Loving a laid-back Birthday [week]

WIAW

As the title is giving away already my birthday was spent in the very best laid-back attitude yesterday. It being a weekday meant I wasn’t able to visit my parents and celebrate with my whole family. I’ll visit them on the weekend, though, so inspired by several lovely bloggers I decided to celebrate Birthday week instead. Let’s get partying WIAW style today! Thanks for hosting, Jenn!

Cookies as a mid-morning snack while lounging around – bliss!

Cookies as a mid-morning snack while lounging around – bliss!

My mum was able to come to the city I’m living in after work. It meant a lot to me she took the almost two-hour journey (one way) just to take me out for lunch and do a little shopping – yet another reason why I love her so much.

Not having a huge choice when it came to picking a vegan lunch spot I decided on a cute all-organic vegetarian restaurant. I’d never been there before but the great service, am sure to go back now.

Their daily changing menu – we certainly went on a particularly good day!

Their daily changing menu – we certainly went on a particularly good day!

We met two friends of mine and ordered beverages to toast on my birthday. This might be slightly seriously embarrassing but while everybody else got the obligatory bubbly I ordered my favourite Yogi tea: Sweet Chili. The servant may or may not have been slightly irritated but I simply don’t enjoy the taste of alcohol.  Keeping it classy with afternoon tea, right ;)?

Additional bonus: Being the only one to get a small piece of Ayurvedic spice cake on the side.

Additional bonus: Being the only one to get a small piece of Ayurvedic spice cake on the side.

Okay, I know all you’ve been waiting for is the food so there you go.

Beautifully arranged salads to start with.

Beautifully arranged salads to start with.

My mum got a vegan “Flammkuchen”/Tarte flambée topped with soy cream, vegan bacon bits, fresh tomatoes and vegan cheese. One of my friends got the vegetarian Tarte Flambée which I didn’t snap a picture of but it looked similar.

Flammkuchen

The other friend of my ordered the Mushroom Tortellini with creamy Portobello sauce. While I didn’t try this one she surely enjoyed it a lot.

Tortellini

Not that I was biased or anything but my entrée obviously was the showstopper ;): Root vegetables with glazed carrots, finely mashed potatoes (“Kartoffelschnee”) and lentil ragout. Seriously amazing!

Root vegetables

Eating out is something I didn’t do all too often during the past years thanks to my ED. Seeing as I enjoy it such a lot I’m making it a goal to challenge myself to do it more often and not pick the lowest calorie dish on the menu.

You might wondering where the obligatory birthday cake picture is but I have to disappoint you for now. Not throwing a huge party and my mum being around for a few hours only would have meant eating a whole cake by myself ;). But it’s still going to happen when I’m at my parents’ for the weekend so be back for more birthday week awesomeness!

What do you like to do on your birthdays? Do you prefer them laid-back or go all out?

Most importantly: Do you celebrate birthday week?

Marvelous in my Monday: Making the little things count

Happy Monday!

Marvelous

 

Done! I had my last exam today and I can’t even tell you how good it feels. Now it’s onto writing four essays and an article but it was nice to be able to cross this of my list, still.

 

Admittedly, the accompanying doziness doesn't make a bed a good place to study. But it IS seriously comfy.

Admittedly, the accompanying doziness doesn’t make a bed a good place to study. But it IS seriously comfy.

If you had asked me in the morning how my weekend was I’d have been likely to answer: Boring. Annoying. Not eventful. Well,  studying isn’t exactly anybody’s favourite way to spend the last days of the week any day.

 

Getting wild with my newly purchased colourful post-its. Hey, I never claimed to be normal.

Getting wild with my newly purchased colourful post-its. Hey, I never claimed to be normal.

But then I got thinking what I had actually done and noticed there were several good things in this weekend after all. It’s counting the little things that matters. Let’s get onto the small things that gave my weekend at least a bit of marvelousness.

Nothing like baking cookies just for yourself. These were so good and the first time in a long while I baked something (sweet, at least) just for myself. I’m known to bake for friends all of the time but for myself? Not so much. This clearly needs to change …

Yet more proof of my addiction to coconut flour.

Yet more proof of my addiction to coconut flour.

Also marvelous was playing with my neighbors little baby daughter while her mum was showing the flat to potential new tenants. Thinking of them moving out makes me sad, though.

Running in the snow was a great way to refresh my mind amidst the studying, too. Call me weird but I actually enjoyed running in the cold for a few days. Sure, for some – hello, Canadians – temperatures of around -7 °C/19 ° F aren’t cold at all but for me … It’s getting warmer again, though, but I’m not complaining. Snow is nice but I could clearly do without the cold.

View from my window. Now that it's thawing I'll miss the snow - but not the cold.

View from my window. Now that it’s thawing I’ll miss the snow – but not the cold.

 

Starting a new book that sucked me in right from the first pages. While this might happen not too seldomly I often loose interest after the first chapters. Not with this book. So if you’re looking for a good read I’d definitely recommend “Secret daughter”.

Secret daughter

 

Cold days meant lots of tea and that’s something I never say no to. I’m not a coffee drinker at all but spotting new tea flavours at the organic supermarket gets me excited every time.

That's just part of my collection of teas. I surely buy new ones too often.

That’s just part of my collection of teas that I keep adding new ones to.

And last but not least tomorrow is going to be marvelous! It’s my birthday and my mum  is coming to the city to take me and two very good friends out for lunch. Very low-key but I’m going to extend it to Birthday week and celebrate a bit more when visiting my parents at the weekend.

I hope you’re having a great Monday (evening/night for me already :D)!

 

Do you find yourself overlooking small happy things in everyday life, too?

Tell me one little thing that made your weekend marvelous! Or, if something super exciting happened : one big thing :).

Which book are you currently reading?

[A glimpse into] The Polka-dotted diet

Seeing as food is one of the topics I’m writing about it seemed only natural to let you know a bit more about my diet. Which occasion would be suited better than Jenn’s weekly WIAW party?! Thanks for hosting this fun, Jenn!

While I have yet to successfully photograph a whole day of meals I thought I’d show you some foods that make a frequent appearance in my diet.

Recent breakfast: Greek yogurt mixed with coconut flour and maple syrup – give it a try! And yes, I did add more granola.

Recent breakfast: Greek yogurt mixed with coconut flour and maple syrup – give it a try! And yes, I did add more granola.

 Using the term Sarah came up with I’d call myself a “vegan with benefits”. Growing up I ate meat like all other members in my family and really enjoyed it. Becoming vegetarian ten years ago was actually accidental because I simply decided to skip the meat one day and see how long I could go without. Back then I didn’t have any real reasons while nowadays there are several. Let me know if you’re interested in hearing them – for now I’ll just spare you the story :D. Anyway, vegetarian turned into vegan and that’s where I am now.

Anything eaten out of bowls and topped with salsa is a win in my book.

Anything eaten out of bowls and topped with salsa is a win in my book.

Being vegan with benefits to me means being less strict and able to adapt. Wanting to be fully vegan led to me denying myself certain foods I craved and made me unhappy and hard to be around. I still think it’s a good diet but if I went completely vegan I’d like to be sure it’s not an ED-related choice. Now I’m mostly rolling with my cravings and eating with others had become a bit easier. For example when eating at my parents’ and my mum wants to use regular milk instead of soy in her mashed potatoes I’m cool with that. And I’m certainly not aversed to some delicious Lindor chocolates …

Could you say no?!

Could you say no?!

Chocolate might be my number one sweet but thanks to the blog world it has gotten a fierce contender. Almond butter! It’s safe to say I’m having at least a few tablespoons every day – who says healthy food can’t be addictive?

Best eaten straight from the jar - one of the benefits of living alone ;).

Best eaten straight from the jar – one of the benefits of living on my own and not having to share ;).

Hope you enjoyed this little first glimpse into my diet and maybe I’ll manage to post a full day of eats soon, too.

Are you a fan of “bowls” for lunch, too? What’s your favourite combination? Inspire me!

Which is your favourite nut butter?

 

In need of …

Done! My first exam of the semester is over, phew! Unfortunately, there’s much more to come still. Hope I’m not sounding whiny! I know I’m not alone on this one and keeping my fingers crossed for all of you who are in the middle of writing essays, studying for exams and wanting for it all to be over. Thinking about that makes me long for the end of the semester which will feel amazing. Trying to look on in a positive way: Enjoying all of the things below will feel such a lot more deserved. Is anybody with me on that one? Without further ado, here’s what I’m currently longing for.

… time to read

Books I

I have several books from the library as well as own ones begging to be read. Well, let’s say this isn’t likely to happen by the end of the week and some have to be returned soon.

… more chocolate (or not?)

Chocolate III

Studying makes me crave chocolate even more than usual and having two squares of Lindt a day turned into four. I’d lie if I said this didn’t make me feel guilty but I’m trying to tell myself it’s temporary only.

… fresh air and nature

Out and about

Returning from university late in the afternoon when the sun already fades doesn’t leave me with an opportunity to enjoy the little sun we’re getting these days. Keeping with the positive attitude: There’s at least Sunday as a class-free day allowing me to go for a walk 🙂 . Though Winter’s playing catch-up after a warm start into the year and it’s getting coooold.

… sleep

Sheep

Okay, I have to blame myself for this one. Starting to study in the evening – because I need to run errands/go for a run/rest right after classes certainly isn’t a smart move. Note to self: Less than six hours of sleep aren’t nearly enough.

 

… my family

Coming back home to my flat after spending Christmas break at my parents’ house was seriously hard. I had such a great time with them – I even gave sewing a first try 😀 – so I look forward to seeing them next week. My mum and dad gave me theatre tickets for Christmas so that’s where we’ll be headed to. Even though it’s just a few hours I’ll enjoy every minute of it.

… the perfect birthday cake

 Pie

With my birthday coming up soon and one of my goals being to have a “real” [read: not overly healthified] cake it’s about time to start searching. Last year, I had this Deep-dish Cookie Pie which – while good – wasn’t a hit with my non-vegan/vegetarian family. Do you know any awesome vegan (birthday) cake recipes?

Hope you’re having a great Monday!

 

 

What are you in need of at the moment?

How much sleep do you usually get?

Which was your best Birthday cake so far? Links are appreciated!

Are you going chocolate crazy when studying, too? Please tell me I’m not the only one :D.

Happy New Year and setting [realistic] goals

Happy New Year to all of you! Orchids

First off, I want to thank each and every one of you. 2012 was the year I finally brought up the courage to start a blog – I was afraid nobody would want to read – and I don’t regret it a single bit. The blog community is full of amazing people. I’m so thankful to have gotten to know all of you. Thanks for your sweet, supportive, encouraging and inspiring mails and comments! Each of them brought a smile to my face, made me feel understood and gave me strength when I needed it. Especially following through with my Christmas bucket list was a lot easier knowing I had your support so thanks once more.

Christmas starts

Yes, I know I might be a bit late but I’d still like to chime in on that one topic: New Year’s intentions. Making resolutions and setting goals to work towards isn’t per se a bad idea in my opinion. It’s the details I needed to rethink.

In the past I’d set goals like “getting rid of my ED” or “become an organized person”. I’m an all-or-nothing person: It’s either doing it all the way or not seeing it as an achievement. Unsurprisingly, I failed on them. Striving for smaller goals never seemed enough for me. But too ambitious or unrealistic plans set you – or at least me – up for frustration. You can’t plan on when to be fully recovered or when to reach a satisfying degree of organization.

Garden

 

Does failing to achieve your goals at the end of one year mean I’ll never reach them?  But really, what else but the beginning of a new month does January 1st mark? Yes, way back in time somebody decided that it also marked the start of a new year. But like Amanda said in yet another great post: I’m still the same person in this new year. The goals I set still exist and can be followed over the course of however long it takes me to reach them.

Granted, I won’t be able to make up for my failed attempt at winning an Olympic Gold medal in 2013 ;). [Hey, nobody told me procrastination wasn’t an Olympic discipline yet!] But at least I got to interview an Olympic Gold medal winner while interning at a fitness magazine so maybe that counts :D?

Leaving the safe harbour to get to know new sights and places.

Leaving the safe harbour to get to know new sights and places.

Also, I might not have gotten rid of my ED yet but I did move on in recovery. It’s the little steps that count. Every one of us has his own speed in life and that’s perfectly okay. Comparing how far I’ve come with somebody else who had a completely different initial situation won’t get you anywhere but closer to frustration. Take your time to achieve your goals. Falling back into old habits temporarily is normal and okay. Just keep pushing on.

My plan for 2013 is to set smaller, realistic goals for each month which will include tackling a food bucket list. I know I’m up for a lot of change [which I’ll talk about another time] so setting huge goals for the whole year wouldn’t work out in anyway. Let’s see what 2013 has on offer for us!

 

Tell me: What did you do on New Year’s Eve? I spent mine very low-key at a good friends’ house catching up, eating delicious food and watching her family’s 30-minute firework shenanigans :D.

Did you make any resolutions or what’s your take on them?

Do you have any big plans for 2013 already?