Good good links #18

With a mere two days left until Christmas it’s time for a confession. Yes, I’ve been talking about the holidays and the beauty of the season quite a bit over the past weeks. But it was only yesterday that I truly felt the Christmas spirit. That I was actually touched deep within. Music. It’s always music playing a key role in how I feel. Tonight [writing this on Saturday] it was a concert by a locally well-known duo playing a mix of both popular songs and some of their own. Especially the latter found their way straight to my heart warming it, making me forget all of my worries for a few hours and brought a lasting smile to my face. It was one of the most amazing evenings in a while and definitely filled me with Christmas cheer.

Christmas 2012 1

But enough of that. Here’s what filled my mind with thoughts, my heart with laughter and got my stomach grumbling. Let me know your favourites from the week, too!

Happy Sunday/4th of Advent!

 

Good good [food for thought]

Intuitive eating – A blessing or a curse? via Olives ‘n’ Wine

There’s too much to say about it [expect a post giving my view soon!] that for now I’ll just say: a must read.

When Your Mother Says She’s Fat by Kasey Edwards

Never underestimate the way your self-perception can influence those around you: “We need to be the best role models we can.”

Photoshop Parody Ads By Anna Hill Show Just How Deceptive Altered Images Can Be via Huffington Post

“No one will ever know – as long as you don’t let anyone see you in person again.” – another Photoshop eye-opener.

Good good [advice and inspiration]

If you’re worried about your family driving you nuts. via Sarah Jenks

As much as we love them it’s normal to be a little stressed out by your folks at times. Here’s how to ensure a [mostly] stress-free holiday.

11 Life Lessons from Albert Einstein via Lifehack

Living in the present, using our imagination and showing appreciation for others help us lead a happy life.

Claire Koch’s Parents Couldn’t Hear Her Kindergarten Concert. So She Performed It In Sign Language. via Huffington Post

One of the cutest and most amazing five-year-olds to date.

20 Things No One Tells You About Exercise via Huffington Post

Great solutions and tips for unpleasant exercise side effects. Who knew tea bags could help with smelly shoes?

Good good [things to make you smile]

The 23 Most Unforgivable Spelling Mistakes Of 2013 via BuzzFeed

Painfully hilarious for any fellow grammar fiend. ‘Not a fence’  but there’s no way to ‘sugar code’ the truth …

More Proof That the “Thigh-Gap Trend” Is Ridiculous via Women’s Health Mag

A thigh gap in an instant – try to beat those tips, women’s magazines ;).

51 Times In 2013 Jennifer Lawrence Proved She Was Master Of The Universe via BuzzFeed

Because I know how many of you have a girl crush on her and I’d happily help you fuel it.

5 Happy Things: Happy Snowpeople Edition via Greatist

Not all snowpeople [wow for the gender equality, Greatist] are alike – take a look at these special winter buddies.

17 Hilariously Tragic Holiday Baking Fails via BuzzFeed

Doesn’t that make you feel better about any kitchen mishaps already?

Good good [food]

Peanut Better Balls via Oh She Glows

These are calling my name. And really: peanut butter, coconut flour, maple syup … how could you go wrong with these ingredients?

Banana Sushi via Fit Foodie Finds

And bananas [in]officially win the prize for most versatile fruit. These look amazing.

S’Mores Almond Butter via edible perspective

No need to say anything as you already clicked on the link [right?].

Dark Chocolate Peppermint & Pretzel Bark via Build Your Bliss

Three ingredients, salty, sweet and quick: yes, please!

Vegan Christmas Cookies & Jar Gifts – 20 Recipes via Vegan Richa

A great round-up of Christmas recipes including some last-minute homemade gift ideas [like the brownie mix I linked to before].

Steel Cut Oat Mushroom Risotto via Peachy Palate

These take the term ‘savoury oats’ to a whole new level. I’m sold.

38 Clever Christmas Food Hacks That Will Make Your Life So Much Easier via BuzzFeed

Don’t ditch the empty cereal boxes and Pringles cans just yet [or discover a reason to start buying them again]! And #23 is for Heather – and all other pancake fiends.

48 Healtier Holiday Cookies via Greatist

Who says it’s [ever, actually] too late to get baking for the holidays?

 

Happiness inducing today: (aside from the above-mentioned concert) My first run in a while.

 

What were some of your favourite posts from the week?

Are you done with your Christmas shopping or plan on doing some last-minute purchases?

 

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Thinking out loud #2

Confession: I started compiling randomness for this post days ago already in anticipation for another round of Thinking out loud. It’s late already as I’m finally able to use the internet so let’s dive straight into the randomness. Not before saying thanks to our host Amanda, though: Thank you, girl!

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. My family’s taking turns in where we gather to celebrate Christmas. This year we’ll be at my grandparents’ again. If it’s the same for you here’s a reminder of what to expect and get excited already:

Source
Source

2. Oh, and if in addition you’re single during the holidays? Even better (apparently).  [Note Julie from PB Fingers making an appearance!]

3. How about fried cookie dough balls for dinner? It might have actually happened around here on Thursday night. I’d prepared another batch of dough for Traumstücke and stuck it into my parents’ fridge to chill when leaving for an appointment. My mum wasn’t at home when my dad returned from work in the evening ravenous so he figured she’d left him dinner in the fridge. Seeing as my mum had prepared a giant amount of seitan the days before he assumed that would be what was in the mixing bowl. Luckily, he somehow got distracted from actually diving into the cookie dough bowl. Gingerbread-flavoured seitan? Interesting …

Träumchen

4. Call me a moon watcher. No matter how often I’ve seen it already full moon draws me in each time anew. We’ve had it for the past few days and it already had  me almost stumble over a rock lying on the side of the path leading up to our house. Just because I had my head in the stars was watching the moon. But wouldn’t you take every peek at it you can get, too?

5. That being said: Any ideas on how to use this little gem I picked up at the market last week?

Little_squash

6. While I’d noticed the days before that next Friday would be the 13th I’d completely forgotten upon waking up the day itself. It wasn’t until turning on the radio in the car that I was reminded of the fact again. [Side note: Does anybody else get just a little annoyed by radio presenters needing to stress these kind of ‘special’ days just about every 30 minutes? Why not just celebrate another occasion to say TGIF!?]

7.  It’s almost too simple to call it a recipe. But I figured I’d include the Celeriac Apple Stew/Mash mentioned in this week’s WIAW post for a little strange but good action. Given it’s randomness I hadn’t originally intented to post so my measurements aren’t totally exact. Aren’t recipes just guidelines in anyway?  Preparation: Sauté the onion in a small pot. Add celeriac and almond milk, cook until soft. Blend mixing in the spices. Return to the stove and add kale and mushrooms.  Let cook until kale is wilted and mushrooms are soft. Stir in apple sauce, kidney beans and chopped apple to warm through. I topped mine with a dollop of soy yogurt.

Apple_Celeriac

  • ¼ small celeriac root
  • ¼ small onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 1 handful of kale, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 mushrooms, sliced
  • ¼ cup of kidney beans
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp hot curry powder
  • 2 tbsps of unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ small sweet apple, chopped

8. Not only am I a produce over-buyer but I get special produce anxiety, too. Never heard of that? Maybe because I made the term up. Do you ever buy a certain rare ingredient all excited to use it – only to end up letting it sit around for ages. At worst going bad just because you can’t decide on the one special enough recipe to use it in? That is what I’m calling special produce anxiety.

9. Only two more ‘mandatory’ Christmas gifts to buy! By Monday I was still unsure I’d finish my shopping in time [and announcing this might be knocking on wood …] but now that I’ve even gotten the hardest to buy for person on my list – my dad – covered I feel more relaxed. Fingers crossed my orders will arrive in time!

[Edited to add Rafflecopter was cheating on me so my giveaway is still open today. Sorry!]

10. Stealing a great idea from our host Amanda I added orange zest to my oat bran today. If only it was possible to get all of it from the grater … Any tips?

Zest

And with that I’m off to work again eating said breakfast while typing an article. Wherever you are right now:

Happy Thursday!

Happiness inducing today: A friend doing me a favour.

Share some randomness with me:

Who’s the hardest person to buy for in your family? Did you already find a gift for that person this year?

Smart cookie[s] and family dinner

Pinch me, please! It can’t in all seriousness be less than a week until Christmas Eve! Wait, what are you saying? It’s true?! Then please turn back time. Eeeee! So much to do still, so little time. Let’s just jump right into the food for today’s What I ate Wednesday and Vegan Wednesday!

WIAWbutton_1

With Christmas and work on my mind some things don’t get a mention yet they’re [still] happening. Like my old favourite kabocha [with unpictured almond butter] for breakfast on the weekends. [Not exactly an office-friendly meal, don’t you agree?] I’m down to my last few squashes with the vendors at the market letting me know the season was definitely over. Living in the moment and enjoying while I still can.

Breakfast_kabocha

And some things got a [hopeful] mention way back and didn’t end up happening – until now. Case in point: The last week marked our first true family dinner in a long time. Even though we’d meant to ever since I’d moved back home things kept getting in between. My parents – avid hobby dancers – attending an all-day dancing class on the weekend or going out for dinner with their staff narrowed down the number of days offering up for a shared meal. We finally made it happen. Keeping it simple and safe – no strange but good concoctions for my parents – I picked this recipe as my base making the adaptions necessary.

Family dinner

Especially cute was when my dad asked me for the name of the dish. Clearly not an unsual questions to ask among food bloggers/foodie. My dad, however, is neither. His main attitude towards food is eating to eat as in: food as fuel. Don’t get me wrong: he won’t eat anything and definitely enjoys a good meal. But he simply wouldn’t usually care for details like recipe names or spices used. Yet he did ask me for them this time and showed an actual interest in them. Not gushing too much but this simple fact was happiness-inducing for me. No strange looks for snapping pictures for the blog, either.

Rohkost

With my internship being just temporary and from what it looks like going to end on December 31st we’re not sure how many repeats we’ll have. But I’m convinced that we’d all benefit from shared meal times. For once me because it’s something I still struggle with for a variety of reasons. And all of us because we actually don’t get to see each other much or have more than a short chat during the week. That might sound odd given that I’ve moved back in with my parents. Here’s the deal: I’m living in their guest apartment with a separate entrance and a kitchen to myself so we don’t actually share the same rooms. It’s a bit lonely at times in the evening but my mum and agreed it’d be the best for all of us. And judging from how well – aside from the occasional little arguments that are common among parents and children, huh? – we’ve been getting along it was a good decision.

Celeriac stew

A random quick curried Celeriac Apple Stew.

Ending on my aimed for sweet note I baked once more. While I like our family favourites I’m feeling inclined to give new recipes a try every year. Possible favourites to be if you so will. Playing it safe I went with a cookie I’d been eyeing for months already when it had gone viral in the [German] blog world: Traumstücke! Or the Christmas-inspired spin on them, actually.

Traumstücke Lebkuchengewürz

The recipe itself looked almost too unsuspecting so I was hesitant to try them – worried my parents wouldn’t even touch them. As tolerant as they are vegan baked goods need to meet high standards to pass their taste test. Long story short: they liked them. They really liked them. I did, too. Soft little pillows of melt-in-your-mouth gingerbread-flavoured perfection. Not to tooth my own horn but what a smart cookie I was choosing these ;). So if you need another simple yet amazing recipe to add to your cookie jar: that’s the one you’ve been looking for.

Only one day left to enter my giveaway to win a copy of the new Happy Herbivore Light & Lean!

Happy Wednesday!

Happiness inducing today: Finally getting my hands on international stamps again – they seemed to be sold out everywhere I asked.

Which homemade gifts have you given to others in past years? Instead of buying all of mine I really want to try my hand at some more personal presents this year. So far I’ve been eyeing brownie/cookie or [savoury] risotto mixes in a jar, chocolate bars [melted, then decorated individually] or spiced nuts.

Are  family dinners still a regular happening for you?

A family weekend [+ a foodie giveaway]

Happy Monday!

Looking back at the past days I honestly have to assume somebody’s pushing the fast-forward button when it comes to the weekend and slow-motion on weekdays. The past days were packed with activities but I still didn’t get to check off all [fun and not-so-fun] points on my weekend to-do list and now it’s already back to the grind again. Oh well.

No matter how manic our Mondays might be, however, there’s always the weekend to look back at some marvelousness. And if that doesn’t help to cheer you up think of it this way: we’re already well on our way to another weekend ;).

MiMM_new

If you’ve been reading any of my WIAW posts before you might know I’m a fan of spotting themes or patterns in what I’ve eaten. It’s no different in other parts of life so I’m happy to say my last weekend followed an overal theme, too. And the best – in my opinion – at that, too. Just the way I’d hoped for when moving back in with my parents the past days were filled with family activites – and other kinds of families 🙂 …

Family movie night

Okay, so it was just my mum and me watching the movie. But – at the risk of sounding biased – I’m pretty sure it wasn’t my dad’s kind of movie in anway. Don’t you agree?

Movie night with mum

We watched Stuck in Love and I highly recommend it. I’d actually never heard of the movie before and planned on getting Love, Actually. But when I spotted this one at the rental store it just wanted to come along and so it did. The beginning made my mum laugh out loud and ask what kind of movie I’d picked. Luckily, she’ll watch pretty much anything and it ended up being a great one. Perfect for a mum-and-daughter or single girl movie night. With a side of my favourite snacks: Erdnussflips. I’ve mentioned these before and though my mum once claimed she and my dad didn’t enjoy them much they’ve somehow become a staple since I moved in. Sweet coincidence?!

Family [of] holiday buddies

Holiday buddies

Did I mention my mum’s unusual style of decorating yet? While our house sadly isn’t nearly as festively decorated as in past years my mum puts up cute little figurines, ornaments and vases filled with flower arrangements all year. Mostly seasonal or all-year-round suitable ones so let’s agree that the bunny is there to help the dwarf cheer up the slightly unhappily looking Santa, okay?

Family game nights

Something that hadn’t happened in ages anymore. My mum claims she didn’t enjoy them so I’d given up suggesting to play board games – when my dad suddenly asked if I’d like to because he had some more time this weekend. Needless to say I was game!

Cafe International

Seeing how long we hadn’t been playing this game anymore my parents had completely forgotten the rules. It was my job to keep my eyes on them to prevent [most] cheating but some slipped my view. Do anybody else’s parents keep helping each other while you’re playing on your own? Not fair.

Family[-approved] stickers

A good part of my weekend was once more spent writing [long-overdue] letters. Accompanied by a new toffee-scented candle it was most definitely happiness-inducing.

Seasonal stickers

What can I say? I’m five at heart and get excited at the sight of cute little stickers like these ones. But honestly: Wouldn’t you prefer to receive letters covered in reindeers, santas and other holiday-themed ornaments, too? White paper is a sad sight that should only be left for business letters.

holiday-themed

For the family of foodies

It’s time to say sorry. If you read my review of Happy Herbivore Light & Lean you might remember me mentioning a giveaway coming up. And it only deemed on my yesterday that I’d promised to have it up last week already. So: sorry! No more delaying now, though.

HH Light & Lean

For a chance to win your own copy become a member of the family of Happy Herbivore Light & Lean owners leave a comment through the Rafflecopter widget [link below] telling me why you’d like to win the book. The giveaway is open to US and Canadian readers only [sorry!].

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happiness inducing today: My dad approving of the [vegan] family dinner I’d prepared.

Does your family still have game nights when you meet? Which are your favourite games?

What were some of the last great [romantic] movies you watched?

Are you a fan of decorating all year round or just seasonally for the holidays?

Good good links #17

Baby, it’s cold outside! Did you look up the current weather forecast for Christmas yet? Despite my best intentions to refrain from it until a few days before I have to admit I did. And … sunny, about 5 °C. I’m torn if I shoud like it or not. Sure, given that I’m a cold wimp I should probably rejoice. But Christmas just doesn’t truly feel like Christmas without some snow and the cold. Though I figure Arman might disagree …

Little Angel

Anyway, the weather might still end up turning around completely and surprising us and you didn’t come to hear me ramble about it in the first place, huh? What I did intend to share was another round of awesome posts from all around the wonderful world that is the internet. I hope you find them thought provoking, inspiring or delicious, too!

Happy Sunday!

 

Good good [food for thought]

What If Your Way Was The Right Way by Jamie Mendell

Do what feels right for you regardless of the ‘norm’. Just because others choose a certain approach to life doesn’t mean it fits for you, too.

Special K Filled A Clothing Store With The Mean Comments Women Make About Their Own Bodies via BuzzFeed

Looking past the fact that Special K of all brands doesn’t fit as an initiator this campaign is an awesome idea.

#ChangeOurFitspiration Wrap-Up via Healthy Helper

An awesome project inspiring us to say no to unhealthy ‘fitspiration’.

A Bucket List Of Things To Be Proud Of via Lifehack

There are more reasons to be proud of yourself than you might have guessed.

Good good [advice and inspiration]

10 Habits You Need To Quit Today To Be More Sociable via Lifehack

Why trying to please everybody actually is a bad idea.

51 Hopelessly Adorable DIY Christmas Decorations via BuzzFeed

I want … all of them. Really, though, dinner on Christmas Eve won’t be complete without #29.

20 Surprising, Science-Backed Health Benefits of Music via Greatist

Mood improvement, stress release and better sleep to name just a few: Yet more reasons to turn up the tunes.

24 Non-Food DIY Gifts to Give This Holiday Season via Savvy Eats

Cute and unique gift ideas like homemade lip gloss and handwritten recipes turned into towels (awesome!).

3 Ways to Make Holiday Treats Look Gift-Worthy via Women’s Health Mag

Simple ways to pack that homemade deliciousness.

“Holiday Treats Used to Give Me Panic Attacks” via Mind Body Green

Learning to cope with your feelings without an ED. It’s tough but possible.

38 Reasons Your Life Will Be So Much Better in 2014 via BuzzFeed

Because we’ll be so much smarter. Pet owners: #13’s for you!

Good good [things to make you smile]

8 REALLY Bad Christmas Gift Ideas for Women (True Stories!) via Lifehack

And suddenly none of my gifts from past years seem all that awful anymore.

17 Things Worth Knowing About Your Cat via The Oatmeal

Fluffy purring marathon speed running diesel engines … For all the cat lovers – and haters.

Good good [food]

Dark chocolate almond and blueberry clusters via back to her roots

Simple and delicious combination of flavours  – the sprinkling of salt is the cherry on top [pun intended]!

Healthy Candied Peanuts via Foodie Fiasco

Note the double peanut punch – and candied everything is awesome so I’m sold.

30 Superfood Recipes You’ve Never Tried Before via Greatist

Okay, I skipped right to the dessert and snack selections – but hey, they’re all healthy so that’s fine, right?

“Non-Cream” of Tomato Soup via Urban Baker

Don’t let the ‘plain’ name fool you like I [almost] did: a creative spin on a classic.

Cashew Coconut Cauliflower Rice and Rocket Leaves via Anjas Food 4 Thought

Simple, delightfully spiced and cooked in coconut milk – yet another great cauliflower rice recipe to try.

Happiness inducing today: A movie night with my mum.

What’s the perfect Christmas weather to you? Did you peek at this year’s forecast already?

As always feel free to share your favourite posts from the week in the comments!

Thinking out loud #1

Hi there and let’s get random!

If you’re a regular reader of Amanda’s blog Thinking out loud will ring a bell for you. Amanda had the great idea of turning her random thought posts into a link-up for all of us. Randomness all around? I’m in!

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. Scented candles! I need them in my life especially during the colder months but it had been a while since my last one. That’s because I’m very picky when it comes to which ones I like. Surprisingly enough I don’t find a higher price to automatically guarantee a great scent. In fact, one of my favourites is the Vanilla ice cream scented Tindra candle. Yet I haven’t been to IKEA in a while and there’s no one close by where we live so I’d been on my hunt for a similar one for months. I’m happy to say I was lucky earlier this week. Needless to say my kitchen/living room is a vanilla heaven now.

Vanilla candle

2.  I’d generally consider myself a polite and well-behaved person keeping the public swearing to a minimum. Unless I’m in car, that is. Now that I’m commuting to work every day the amount of swearing has increased by a lot. Believe me: it’s a good thing I’m alone in the car and everybody’s driving with closed windows during these months ;). And on the upside I’m convinced swearing’s a good way of releasing stress.

3. The roses in the basket above are handmade by my sister. She actually crafted them for her wedding and left them at my parents so I couldn’t resist using them for decorating purposes.

Rose

4. A good chunk of my daily swearing in the car happens in parking grounds. Why, yes, I’m a walking driving (?) cliché. Women can’t park? I’ll admit it’s true for me in many situations. But you’d understand why if you’d seen the parking area in front of our editorial office. That’s likely the one part of my internship that I absolutely despise.

5. Confession: Everybody’s been raving about Lorde’s Royals for ages yet I somehow never got into it. Sometimes it takes me a while to really like a song. Many commutes to work later it’s probably not my favourite song but definitely turn up the volume when radio stations play it.

Music

6. Talking about music: Will you believe I still listened to my September playlist until just a week or so ago? I have no explanation for this one other than that I a) still enjoyed the songs for the most part and b) was too lazy to set up a new one. With a little more inspiration thanks to listening to the radio regularly again it was time to start all over and change up my tunes.

7.  Guess whom I met today? Santa Claus! Okay, maybe not the real one – because there is a real one, right?! – but one of his earthly representatives who’s going to bestow children in several families on Christmas Eve. The reason is an article I’m currently working on for the newspaper and I feel it’s going to be a cute one.

Santa

8. In case you’re wondering about why he’s bringing gifts on Christmas Eve already: That’s when we celebrate over here. During my childhood Santa rang the bell after we’d had dinner on 24th stepping in with a bag of gifts. Before handing them out Santa let us know our good and bad habits from the past year – and then it was time for our little ‘show’. Each child had to sing a song, recite a poem or – that’s why I did several times – play the flute. Yes, we were a little scared if Santa would bring to light all of our naughyness from the part year. But luckily he apparently didn’t have his eyes everywhere as my parents would try to make us believe. That was a close shave ;).

9. Meeting Santa got me thinking – and yes, out loud – about my own experiences and the moment when I stopped believing in him. [Oh, woops, I hope no children are reading – in that case I’m sorry for spilling the beans 🙂 !] For me, I think [but can’t say for sure] it was that year when I noticed Santa’s voice was very similar to my mum’s. She, her siblings and my grandpa took turns in playing Santa. It looks like he had a lot of representatives on earth, don’t you think?!

10. Happy Thursday! [stealing this one from Amanda because I couldn’t end on an uneven number and would have said it in anyway.]

Happiness inducing today: My first research meeting for another article I’m writing on a topic I’d meant to dare working on for almost a year.

Do you still remember the moment you found out Santa wasn’t real?

Are you good at parking? Dríving is no trouble for me – if only it wasn’t for those narrow parking spots …

Which is your favourite scented candle?