Week in review: Back with many words [and some pictures].

Ikind of” because it mirrors my head still spinning with too many thoughts, regrets and oh well … let’s get started.

Has it really been two weeks already since we talked about life and everything? Time. flies. by. The reasons why I didn’t post a Week in Review this past Monday … for one I wasn’t feeling it. Also, I felt vain talking about myself after all the terror the world has seen lately. Does it ever end?? My heart felt and still feels heavy for the many lives lost, people hurt. I had and have no words for this but knew talking about my life felt off.  I have so much to feel more grateful for and yet I was in a funk for a few days.

As odd as it probably sounds to jump back in with a post about my life Yet another blogger reminded me to go on with life and what better way to also get chatting with you than a Week in Review? Thanks to Meg for encouraging all of us to see the good things in life week after week.

Week in review

[Not including much of the my week from July 11th to 17th as this post is getting too long already]

Here’s some of what happened in my life lately: I …

Spontaneously visited my sister on Monday. It was a good way to kick off the week and included another visit to the restaurant mentioned a while back. Fries with vegan cumin aioli? Not complaining.

Visited my sister and nephew once again on Thursday. Because: why not?! Honestly, these days have been my saving grace lately. Which is somehow funny when you take into consideration the fact I [thought] I like my routine and don’t fancy completely overhauling it. Now, though? I can’t wait for my next little venture out. Especially when it includes time with my nephew who has now mastered crawling. And he’s fast.

Finally tried ice cream at a popular all-vegan ice cream parlour. My mum and I took over babysitting duties so my sister could work on her thesis and leisurely took up the long walk to Liberty. While I was hoping for more interesting flavours than were available that day we enjoyed scoops of melon lemonade, double chocolate and coconut peanut butter. My mum – vegan-skeptical when it comes to dessert – couldn’t tell the difference.

Forced myself to read several chapters of three books. Forced not because I didn’t like reading books in general but these were bad aren’t recommendable in my obviously very subjective opinion for different reasons [though the one on top here aside they really are bad …]. I’m a smidgen frustrated. Luckily, one of them aside I didn’t buy any of those but was handed down one by my sister [an unwanted gift; understandably so] and another is one borrowed from a colleague. Who highly recommended it so I feel pressured to finish it regardless  … Yes? No?

Semi-important question, though: I consider ordering “Me before you” today. Did you read it? Thoughts? I have high hopes for it lviing up to its praises and can’t take another disappointment. Exaggerating here but still.

Summer books_2016

Went back into the office for an hour to take care of important faxes that apparently didn’t get through after all on Friday. I actually appreciated the feeling of getting work done on a day off.

Proofread an important document for the business of my sister’s husband on Monday night after returning home.

Proofread another part of my sister’s thesis on Tuesday. Completely in my element and happy to get a pile of work. I might be that odd person who’s actually stoked to work here and there during her holidays. Don’t ask about the current stateof my apartment, though😉. Priorities.

Ran errands for my sister while at her place.

Took care of my mum’s vegetable garden {this is a current one, actually – help!]. I still don’t understand the watering system which is a pity as it’s been pretty warm. Taking care also included harvesting …

Garden vegetable haul

Now I’m a huge fan of vegetables but: those are entirely too many zucchini and cucumbers [many are missing from the picture]. The tomatoes are fine with me but any takers for the green guys here?

Baked a batch of cookies for my mum while she was hosting friends. No, not a healthy kind of cookies but we all know balance is where it’s at. Getting stung by mosquitoes while baking wasn’t quite as fun but that’s just part of summer.

Baked another batch of these healthy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for my sister. Note to self: bake a quadruple batch next time because they were gone in minutes.

Practiced a lot of self-control when visiting Veganz, the German all-vegan supermarket chain, in Hamburg. Any guesses on how much money I spent on things for myself? None. While a brand new peanut butter and chocolate protein powder did tempt me I walked out only buying rice syrup for my sister and a bar of rice milk chocolate  [Hazelnut Brittle] for my parents. Well, for my parents, you know …

chocolate_Veganz

Saw my colleague’s baby daughter for the first time. Granted, they only stopped by our house for a few minutes as the little girl got hungry soon but it was nice seeing her and the baby. Hopefully for a bit longer soon.

… and that’s about it for now. Especially as this has gotten way lengthier than planned. Ooops. Make me feel less vain by telling me abour your life!

Happy Monday!

Happiness-inducing today:  Sunshine. Proofreading. Pictures of my nephew.

 

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21

Pinterest: MissPolkadot21

Bloglovin’: Let’s get living
Tell me three [or more] achievements from your past week!
Which good light-yet-not-too-light have you read lately?

 

 

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Good good links #152

Can you tell me if there’s a way to outsource writing intros for those days when you’re either not feeling it or can’t find the words? I’d appreciate that.

Honestly, though, with everything happening in the world right now it would feel odd to ramble on about my life yet following suit of what others are doing I still wanted to keep going. So it’s time to share some good good links again. And in case you need some super simple oatmeal cookies in your life …

Happy Sunday!

 


Good good links

Good good [food for thought]

You have two kinds of hunger via Yeah … Imma Eat That

Are both of your buckets well filled at the moment?

Why I’m a Racist via Huffington Post

This is one of these posts I’m not going to try to sum up in one sentence. Just read it yourself.

 

Good good [advice, inspiration and other insightful reads]

A bit on Boobs, Butts and Bellies via Healthyez Sweet

“Your looks are truly the most boring part of you.” <- Feeling offended? You likely won’t anymore after reading this post.

Thoughts On “Getting Back On Track” After Vacation via Daily Moves and Grooves

Vacations and straying from our everyday food and fitness routine are a fun part of life – not something to “make up for” by any kind of strict routine afterwards.

Turning Negative Triggers into Positive Catalysts via SuzLyfe

Words can hurt just as much as actions and sometimes it doesn’t take many of them to really get us down. Turning them around is the best way ever to react.

Four reasons why you should stop weighing yourself via Avocado a Day Nutrition

Has stepping on the scale ever made you feel more excited about life and loving towards yourself? See, that [and the other reasons listed here] is why we shouldn’t.

A Digital Detox and What I Learned From Breaking Up With My Phone via The Healthy Maven

Especially lately a break from social media has been sounding more and more appealing.

4 Steps To Silencing Your Inner Critic via Bloguettes

Still working on this myself but these are some good points to keep in mind.

 

Blogging

How to Find Your Blog’s Focus (and Why Less is More) via The BGB Community

Some really good advice on how to grow your blog while cutting down on the work you invest.

 

Good good [posts to make you smile]

PokeDates is here to help you catch … love? via Huffington Post

Why not kill marry two birds with one stone ;)?! Though it might not feel good for your wallet …

 

 

Good good [food]

Frozen Piña Colada Cake via My Whole Food Life

How about skipping the drink and going for a slice of this refined sugar-free frozen delight instead?

Gluten-free Vegan Cookie Cake via Fooduzzi

Hard to believe there are only eight ingredients in this peanut butter-chocolatey cake.

Healthy Love Dip via Slim Sanity

For me, summer is all about the raw vegetables with dips and this one sounds amazing.

Garden Veggie Vegan Bowl via CotterCrunch

Minus the radishes this is what I wish was sitting in front of me right now. Can you say homemade spicy wasabi peas?!

Double Tomato Pesto Spaghetti with Zucchini Noodles via Cookie and Kate

This fits the bill for your pasta cravings and summer aka eat-all-the-zucchini season [at least if you have a plant in your garden …].

Unbelievably Healthy Italian Ricotta Gnudi (Grain-Free, Vegan, Nut Free, Oil-Free) via Sprinkle of Vanilla Sugar

A classic Italian dish I remember my mum cooking occasionally – but turned vegan.

 

Happiness-inducing today: Reading outside in the sun and warmth.

 

Stay in touch!
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

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oatmeal cookies_10

One Bowl Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Buttery without the butter, delightfully sweet without refined sugar: With only eight ingredients, one bowl and no butter, oil or refined sugar these Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies are vegan, gluten-free, easy to prepare and make for a great snack or nutritious treat.

healthy chocolate chip oatmeal cookies

Where do I start with these healthy vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies? They’re small but mighty. Okay, not really. Yet they’re small but have quite the story to tell. Inspired by the oatmeal cookies my mum has been making, sharing with the whole family and raving about these had to happen. See, I’m all for my family eating oatmeal. And cookies. But if there’s an option to merge these in a healthier way I’m even more in for it. Needless to say my mum’s standard recipe does not fit this criteria or else I wouldn’t have dusted off my apron to get baking.*

*granted, I didn’t wear an apron but writing this post reminded me I really should the next time.

healthy vegan oatmeal cookies (hazelnut version)

The verdict? My mum took one bite and said: “delicious, you can bake me a tin full of these”. Needless to say this made my day. Because you might imagine the rarity of a statement like that coming from her. Can we call that a huge success? Especially surprising as – and I’m going to commit a blogger crime saying this – I wasn’t overly impressed by the cookies myself. But I should add that a) I’m generally not a cookie person. Chocolate has my heart, or, rather: sweet tooth. And b) I still thought they were delicious, I’d just choose chocolate over any cookie any day so I’m not qualified to judge😉. My sister was a fan of the cookies, too, though, which should say it all: thumbs up for these.

I tried both a hazelnut and almond version of these – the first picture above shows the almond, the second one the hazelnut ones – and both were equally well received. The almonds blend in well with the other flavours while the hazelnuts add a litte extra flavour  – which I personally thought was great – so you decide what you’re feeling like.

healthy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies -

Crispy on the edges, soft in the middle with a delightfully hearty oat flavour spiked with hints of chocolate – they just deliver. They’re not your average dessert-like sweet cookies but their more nutritious but not less delicious cousins. Have your cookie and eat it [for breakfast], too!

One Bowl Healthy Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

yields about 8 cookies

3/4 cup quick oats [60 g] + 1-2 tbsps, divided [use certified gluten-free if necessary]
2 tbsps ground almonds/almond meal OR hazelnut meal [~18-20 g]
3 tsps tapioca starch
2.5-3 tbsps of maple syrup [see notes]
1 heaped tbsp of coconut oil  [20 g]
Pinch of sea salt
1+ tbsps of mini chocolate chips OR chopped up dark chocolate [see notes]
1/2 tsp vanilla [optional]
[Optional: non-dairy milk]

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F/175 °C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor, process the oatmeal into a fine flour. Add ground almonds, baking powder, salt and tapioca and give it a quick pulse to combine.
  3. Melt the coconut oil.
  4. Add the maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla if using to the dry ingredients in the blender and mix to combine. The dough should stick together well at this point. If the dough is too crumbly, add 1/2 tbsp of non-dairy milk at a time to reach the desired consistency. Transfer dough to a small mixing bowl.
  5. Using your hands, mix in the remaining oats. You want the dough to be less sticky and rollable, not crumbly, so start with 1 tbsp of oatmeal.
  6. Add the chocolate chips and stir through with a spoon or your hands.
  7. Scoop dough onto prepared baking sheet, using around 3/4 of a tablespoon of dough per cookie. Roll into a ball and flatten into cookie shape between your palms. No need for perfection here.
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let the cookies sit on the sheet for around five minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Notes:
Using hazelnut meal I found 2 1/2 tbsps of maple syrup to be enough but adjust to get the right consistency.

Use sugar-free/stevia-sweetened chocolate for a completely refined-sugar-free option.

oatmeal chocolate chip cookies_8

I’m linking up with Allergy Free Wednesdays#RecipeOfTheWeek,#StrangeButGoodGluten-Free Fridays,Tasty Tuesdays,Healthy Vegan Fridays, Meatless Mondays.

 

Happiness-inducing today:  Walking around outside soaking up the summery smell of the air. Can I bottle that scent up for colder months to come?!

 

Stay in touch!
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living
 

What’s one family favourite dish/cookie you’ve “healthified”?

Do you prefer chocolate chips or raisins in your oatmeal cookies?

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Good good links #151

It’s official: technology definitely hates me. Proof #1: the commenting situation still persists [read; sorry for a lack of comments on your posts; they just don’t get through an apparently aren’t found in spam folders either – consider me very frustrated]. #2: the actual second post planned for this week, meant to go online on Thursday: didn’t happen thanks to – right, technology. #3: this post. Yes, you’re reading this so where’s the problem, you ask? The fact that I’d originally saved a half-finished post with many links a few days ago already and when I opened the draft tonight they were gone. Thanks for nothing, WordPress. Anyway, I remembered most of the posts and included them but for some others I’ll have to consult my brain once again and include them in the next Good good links.

Whether you read my above rambles or not: happy Sunday!

 


Good good links

Good good [food for thought]

What’s Serving You? via Blissful Lyss

Such an important question to ask on the regular to eliminate anything that’s negatively influencing us.

For the Record via Huffington Post

At first I was skeptical towards this celebrity-authored article but Aniston truly stands in for all women here. Famous or not.

Why the world needs your story via Apron String and sticky fingers

Unless you’ve never questioned your own value/that of sharing your life and experiences online [or elsewhere for others to see/read/hear]: read this.

 

Good good [advice, inspiration and other insightful reads]

Is organic food worth it? via Food, Pleasure, Health

A great in-depth post on the differences of organic vs. conventional to help you choosehow to spend your money.

7 small changes that will make a big difference in your life via Thirteen Thoughts

Fully agreed though you’ll know the second to last one is hard for me.

What it means to not have a six pack via Blogilates

This post! Like her, I never had a six-pack even at my worst and very miserable times plus I know plenty of seriously fit people who don’t have one. In short: there’s much more to life and a six pack says as much as your BMI [read: nothing].

 

Blogging

You Don’t Have to Publish Every Day, But You Do Have to Write via The SITS Girls

For me, it’s not about the time or number of pages but simply writing and letting the creative juices flow.

10 HTML Codes You Should Know As A Blogger via Bloguettes

The very basics used in everyday posts right from the start [and that I still need to work on memorizing for good].

 

Health

How High-Intensity Interval Training Can Start with Walking via hello healthy

Who says you had to sweat buckets and get your heart racing for a HIIT? Walk your way up to harder workouts

7 other games to get you moving instead of Pokemon Go via CNN

Disclaimer: I have neither played the game nor intend to do so but am all for things like this if they get people moving.

 

 

Good good [posts to make you smile]

Myth Debunker: 43 Popular Myths Debunked

At least that’s an excuse to watch YouTube videos: learning facts. Whether they’re relevant to know …😉

 

Good good [food]

Vegan Black Forest Chocolate Mousse via Lazy Cat Kitchen

Rather than explain why I picked this the question would be: how could I not have? A-maze-ing.

Creamy Coconut Almond Breakfast Pops. Via Half Baked Harvest

Think:  granola yogurt bowl turned popsicle for those hot summer day – sounds pretty good to me.

Double Chocolate Ice Cream Cupcakes via Feasting on Fruit

More [vegan] ice cream in cute shape and with lots of good-for-you ingredients.

Vegan roasted cherry chocolate ice cream bars via love me, feed me

Not only do these look beautiful but: roasted cherries?! That’s genius.

How to Prevent Cupcake Liners from Sticking via Handle the Heat

Obviously not a recipe but some great tricks to avoid the annoying scenario of stuck paper liners.

Vegetarian Paella with Artichokes and Olives via Amuse Your Bouche

Lots of vegetables, beans and rice – my kind of a meal covering all the bases.

Loaded Taco French Fries with Roasted Chickpeas via Clean Eating Veggie Girl

Allll the toppings! Guacamole, hummus, olives, roasted taco-spiced potatoes – what more could you want?

Balcamic Garlic Grilled Mushroom Skewers via Closet Cooking

Meat? Not on my BBQ menu. Meaty mushrooms? Oh yes!

 

Happiness-inducing today: The fact it’s the first day of my holidays!

 

Stay in touch!
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

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Week in review: Waiting for the holidays.

Things that hinder writing a Week in Review in different ways:
1. Unfaithful internet that decides it’s time for a relationship time-out when it’s raining cats and dogs for a while.
2. Sleep being amiss. Ouch.

Okay so the most important lessons learned the past week: get sleep! Enough of it. Because I didn’t and it decreased my productivity by … many percent. I feel like I got zero, zilch, nada done because by the time I came home from work I was done myself. Still, I’ll make an attempt to find some accomplishments to join Meg’s listing party. Let’s see what I can come up with. …

Week in review

In the past week I …

  • Worked the usual five days including some that felt never-ending. Fusing two businesses means a lot of behind-the-scenes work
  • Took up the role of food supplier in the office. Read: a fancy way of saying I made sure we were stocked up on chocolate at all times. Good chocolate. Some clients bring in candy that’s sub-par – not my subjective opinion but that of the majority – and I know I’d appreciate others providing snacks, too [not entirely altruistic maybe ;)].  I figure if I can’t convince my colleagues to dip apples in homemade peanut butter – I didn’t try yet but guess it’s not the best idea – I’ll buy everybody’s favourite treat.The champagne chocolate’s on me!

Milka chocolate bars

  • Skipped my pilates routine several days. This sounds odd if it’s your first time reading my blog but I explained why this is actually an accomplishment a while back. Still not easy mentally but I’m not exactly sitting on my butt all day, either, so that knowlegde helps slightly.
  • Cleaned my apartment. It doesn’t get any more fun but music helps make it endurable.
  • Started writing several posts. I know this isn’t the best habit but I find writing a post over the course of several days works better for me. I now have – unfortunately not finished yet – a more serious post, a lightheared one and the recipe for the last thing that came out of my kitchen to be written.
  • Published two blog posts and finished the second one earlier than usual. I’ve been trying to have my good good links ready earlier these past weeks. Because finishing them the night before publishing has interfered with getting enough sleep – see above – one too many times in previous month
  • Created a new recipe. Something that hasn’t happened in a looong time. Can we say current lack of kitchen mojo? I don’t like it. Whatever. More importantly, this new one isn’t any recipe but one for cookies. Remember what I said about me and baking? Yes. Heureka!

vegan oatmeal cookie

  • Turned off my laptop and read offline for a bit before bed most days. This was supposed to help my sleep but … see intro. Fingers crossed I’ll figure out a better way during my upcoming holidays.
  • Prepared more peanut butter. I still haven’t dared trying anything aside from this. If you own a Vitamix and have successfully made nut butters otherthan peanut in it: please let me know!
  • Prepared some food for the week. This, too, is something I hope to improve during my holidays as in: prep more ahead of time. Storage space is a huge hindrance here …
  • Because you know I always feel uneasy talking about myself only in these posts how about a little shoutout for my sister? As I mentioned before she’s trying to cut down her intake of refined sugar and testing more nutritious alternatives to sweets. These vegan rice krispie treats definitely deserve a pat on the back as finding the ingredient in Germany already is a feat in itself. Rice Krispies? Crispy brown rice cereal? Nowhere to be found. She did a great job substituting here.

Rice krispie treat_vegan

  • Did the laundry. It was only half as bad as usual for some reason. Sunshine helps. Not just in drying clothes faster outside but getting me in the right mood.
  • Answered several emails I’d meant to reply to for quite a while. Does anybody else ‘write’ replies out in their head right after reading a mail and forget they didn’t actually? Me, all the time.

 

So yes, I really didn’t do much besides work which is the product of way too little restful sleep and needing the holidays to start urgently now. We’ve been counting down/talking about/preparing for them since ~eight weeks ago at the office and that made the wait feel all the longer. It’s still only been these past maybe two weeks that I realized – also thanks to some plans getting cancelled – that I don’t have any big plans for them. I’ll just see what happens and my current goals simply are to meet friends and rest up. Doesn’t sound half bad to me.

I’m typing this up in a hurry after the internet has been on/off for me all day so hopefully there aren’t too many typos. You know the rule: if you find one you can keep it😉. <- or is that not a saying in other parts of the world?

Tell me about your weeks and don’t forget to stop by Meg’s for more Week in Review shenanigans!

 

Happiness-inducing today:  Sunshine. Warmth, Today was really summery for once.

 

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21

Pinterest: MissPolkadot21

Bloglovin’: Let’s get living
Tell me three [or more] achievements from your past week!

 

 

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Good good links #150

Trying to come up with an intro is hard. Sometimes. Today is one of those days and rather than try hard and only end up talking about the weather, the way too many thoughts running wild in my head or other randomness would only distract from all the good links I found this week. So: enjoy and …

Happy Sunday!

 


Good good links

Good good [food for thought]

Check Your White Privilege via Hugs and Lattes

Such an important topic I wouldn’t have found the right words for but Nina did so read it.

 

Good good [advice, inspiration and other insightful reads]

Apologies are Actions via Erin’s Inside Job

Similar to why I don’t say “I love you” constant empty apologies without making changes for the better become meaningless – and potentially annoying.

The Single Girl Shame via Skinny Fitalicious

“You may as well tell me I’m fat, dumb and ugly.” Questions on why you’re single hurt. Especially since it’s not necessarily a conscious choice you made

.Sensitive Person Like Me? Here Are Five Tips!  via Happy. Healthy. Life

Raising my hand here and if you did, too, chances are you’ll find this relieving and helpful.

Weight Loss Multi-Level Marketing Schemes | How to Spot & Avoid via Abbey’s Kitchen

It was about time somebody wrote a post about this. Don’t buy into the whole scam.

5 Productivity Apps That’ll Kick Your Workday Into High Gear via LearnVest

You might want to free up space on your phone for at least one of these.

It’s Hypocritical To Call Plus-Size Gals ‘Brave’ For Wearing Bikinis via YourTango

While I might not fall into this category I still find this enraging every time I see it. Feeling confident and happy isn’t bravery :it’s simple awesome – no matter which size you’re at.

11 Ways To Forge Meaningful Connections Anywhere You Go via Mind Body Green

Meaningful or ‘just’ connections as is: these are some great tips – especially  #2, 3 and 6. Though #11 is a tough one.

 

43 Products That Last Basically Forever via BuzzFeed

I was skeptical when I clicked on this story- no, not because of that awful uneven number😉 –  but there are some good ones in here.

 

Blogging

How blogging changed my life via Forever Amber

Such a wonderful posts to read and I’m sure it gets all of us bloggers thinking, too. How did blogging change your life?

 

Health

Are you an Intuitive Eater? via Yeah … Imma eat that

A great post on how to figure out if you’re living intuitively or whether you’re ready to try it.

What Is The Healthiest Nut Butter? (Your Nut Butter Buying Guide) via The Picky Eater

While I don’t think any food – particularly nut butters – should be off limits or labeled ‘bad’ these are some good general guidelnes to follow.

 

 

Good good [posts to make you laugh and DIYs]

21 Insanely Useful Skills Every Introvert Has Mastered via BuzzFeed

Anyboy else who can rely to at least a few of those?

 

 

Good good [food]

Vegan S’mores Ice Cream Cupcakes via ExSloth

If you want to impress somebody – or simply yourself – with ice cream: this is the way to go.

Raw Banana Ice Cream Cake via Southern in Law

See a trend here? What can I say: it’s summer and this recipe makes ice cream for breakfast totally appropriate.

Baked Mashed Potato Fries via Love is iny My Tummy

An intriguing spin on’fries’ and Indian-spiced is always a good idea in my book, too.

Pina Colada Tofu Bowl with Coconut Rice via Amuse Your Bouche

Turning the tropical cocktail into a savoury meal -and- serving it bowl-style? Yes, please!

Gluten-free Ramen Noodle Salad via The Healthy Maven

Avocado, edamame, lots of vegetables and, oh, obviously noodles – that sounds like my kind of salad.

 

Happiness-inducing today: Relaxing after a work week that felt very very long.

 

Stay in touch!
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

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