ToL: Summer TMI, blogger problems and cookies

It’s Thursday and time to let the thoughts run places again.  This will be the shortest intro in the history of this blog but a little trouble I ran into [see below] means I have to finish this at a time I actually wanted to be in bed already sooo … sleep matters, yes? Sorry for this – we’ll pretendit’s part of the schedued andomness.

Ready, set,: thoughts out loud!

Thinking-Out-Loud

Baking for others [and stress-relieve]? I’m so up for that. After recommending this recipe to my sister and getting a rave review from her my mum got curious and wanted to try the cookies herself. I not so unselfishly – an opportunity to taste-test cookie dough?!- offered to bake a batch. It was one of the quickest to prepare recipes I’ve tried so far and the verdict? Divided. I tried a bite and they taste amazingly buttery and have a great texture. At first bite my mum was delighted. Later? Not as impressed anymore – I’m not sure why and will have to investigate . Just to clarify this: Brandi’s recipe is delicious, my mum simply has way too high expectations as you might remember. We’ll have lots of visitors over for the weekend so I’ll be sure to get some more opinons and report back. Because how bad could these innocent chocolate chip cookies be?

vegan cookies_The vegan 8

Oh,  what a difference a few minutes make. More details: just a few minutes ago I was going to excitedly tell you that we got a new internet router that’s allowing for fast internet [less blogging frustrations about pictures not uploading etc.]. Now? Not so much. Fast but flunky. As in: I found myself kicked out for one and a half hours before I could finally get it to work again and write my post. That right here would be the blogger problem mentoned in the intro. Stirring up anxious nerves that I needed to calm. With chocolate.

What is it about chocolate chips that makes them that alluring? Aside from being chocolate, I mean. Because they’re actually not a particularly awesome kind. Or maybe that’s just because I’ve been playing in higher leagues again  [read: mingling with the 80 % bars]. Still,I find my hand in the bag time and time again.

Chocolate chips_II

On a completely different topic, probably verging on TMI territory – though when everybody’s talking about poop what even is TMI anymore? So: summer. Yay sun! For some of us that means not just a risk of sunburn – hi, fellow pale-skinned people! – and also the potential of …. stronger bodily odors. If you know what I mean. Me? I apparently lucked out there. Which is good because I’ve finally made the switch to a [hopefully] more natural deodorant a short time ago. I felt bad about all the chemistry I apply to my skin using regular ones. Though I know there apparently are even more  natural ways to cover unwanted smells but I’m just not ready/daring enough for that.

flower_dandelion_Pusteblume

Speaking of bodily odors – what a nice expression, no? – I told you about my current favourite one already. When thinking out loud about the point above my sister chimed in letting me know that sweat was one of the components of this heavenly scent. Kind of obvious but still  … hmm.

On the note of nice scents: summer’s here! Go and smell the flowers. Or blow the dandelons seeds’! <- does anybody still do this as an adult?

Happiness-inducing today: A walk in the beautiful evening light – without a jacket because it was still warm! Ah, summer is coming.

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What are some topics you’d consider TMI? I’m usually not the one to go into topics like the one above in daily life but I guess blogging makes us share a little more random thoughts ;).

Has summer been showing where you are yet? Our early summer weather is supposed to end again this weeked already.

 

Week in review: Scents and sounds of [family] life

Hello, Monday!

Today’s Week in Review is going to be short – and hopefully sweet – which I hope you’ll excuse as I’m quickly writing this post before enjoying the last few hours of her stay with my sister and the baby. They’ve been staying with us since Thursday night and it’s been a much appreciated break from the usual sounds and scents of life – hence the title and theme you’ll see in a minute. Thank you once again to Meg whose daily life is very baby-centered these days, too.I can’t deny I’m already looking forward to the latest pictures of Ave so let’s get this started!

Week in review

Only a few snippets of what I did during the past week: I …

  • Worked three days only thanks to a public holiday  [Himmelfahrt].  Three packed days they were.

Sounds: hectic voices, occasionally a little louder than would feel necessary.
Scents: sterile. Birch trees when the colleague I’m sharing an office with opened the windows. Technically a nice scent … If it didn’t send me into insane poll allergy sneeze attacks. Spring, what are you doing to me?!

  • Published three blog posts one of which was a recipe for a delicious snack that’s already a new family favourite.
    Sounds: my current good mood Spotify playlist. I highly recommend a slice of this* for your ears if Monday has you feeling like  …

*yes, I’m aware of the actual meaning of this title …

Scents: freshly baked Fruit and Nut Quinoa Clusters. In fact, I have a batch in the oven as I’m typing this. Not to tooth my own horn but with even my dad’s approval I’d say it’s good good food.

Fruit an Nut Cluster_close-up

  • Did the usual household tasks: cleaning. Emptying and loading the dishwasher every day. My parents’, too. Some laundry.
  • Spent Thursday out and about with my mum, sister and my current crush [proud aunt moments: a million]. We visited a few exhibitions by local artists and designers.

Smells: fresh flowers. Baked vegetables and rice. Baby. No, really, this is a specific scent and unfortunately very hard to describe – any help, Meg? Scented candle makers should honestly consider adding “baby” into their portfolios 😉 – it’s a happy-making scent and one I couldn’t get enough of this past week.

Baby

Visited a new only temporarily opened restaurant on said trip. While I didn’t order anything – they only serve burgers  [you know it] and I wasn’t hungry, either – I snagged some of my sister’s fries and homemade ketchup that came with the Halloumi burger she ordered. Not bad. So I think my issue with condiments might be mostly limited to the storebought kinds.

Halloumi Burger_fries

  • Went on many walks, including a short one with my dad. Things still aren’t better but we actually met by accident when I’d gone on a morning walk on Sunday and he’d headed out on a walk with the baby, too. It was really nice since a baby to look at and talk to is a surefire way to prevent arguments or even harsh words.
  • Scents: fresh air. Canola fields. Freshly baked rhubarb cake upon our return.
  • Sat out on the patio with my family one night. This brings back a lot of memories and I’m hoping for more of these nights to come this summer.

Sounds: the baby phone’s alert interrupting our conversation once. Or actually: the baby phone app’s alert- there really is an app for everything these days, no? Also: laughter. Good times.

.. .and with that I’m already off to get some more baby snuggles in. Because they’re making me so so happy.

Happiness-inducing today: Would you be very mad if I used that one again? I promise it’ll change again come tomorrow :).

 

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Good good links #141

Baby, it’s hot outside! Hot according to our standards around here at least – a Texan or Australian would probably still shiver a little.

But you didn’t come here to talk about the weather and neither did I. There are way more interesting things to talk about and you’ll see some of them in this collecton of read-worthy posts. Enjoy – them and the sun that is hopefully shining where you are, too! And if you need a crunchy and sweet snack I highly recommend taking a look at yesterday’s post

 


Good good links

Good good [food for thought]

I am not the body I’m in via Katherine Murphy

“it’s what your body houses that is truly important” – I’ll be forever amazed at how wise a young lady Katherine is.

Let’s Stop Labeling Habits via Erin’s Inside Job

Such a great post on a kind of labeling that we might do unintentionally but could make us feel bad about habits that actually aren’t harmful for us personally.

 

Good good [advice, inspiration and other insightful reads]

Adulting 101 via Hugs and Lattes

Nina has the whole adulting thing down and conveys it in the funniest ever while still talking truth.

The Secret to Being Enough via No Sidebar

A must-read for everybody who has felt like they could do better at everything. So everybody, really.

How To Squeeze In Your Workout While You Get Ready For Work via Career Girl Daily

While probably not actually working out doing some short exercises can be a nice wake-up push in the morning.

5 Posts to Read Instead of Binge-Watching Netflix This Weekend via Blonde on a Budget

While I don’t have a Netflix account I do have my experiences with using TV shows for that seemingly comforting white noise sound. Not labeling the habit as bad here – see Erin’s post – it might be one to look more into.

How To Increase Your Metabolic Rate (Even without exercise) via Bucket List Tummy

Spoiler alert: Eating more food can actually help you with this.

 

Blogging

A simple way to create more blog + social content in less time via xo Sarah

Very interesting  also for those of us that often feel their posts are “complete” yet – it might be  a good thing!

FOMO & Bloggers: Why It’s Okay to Say NO (and be told no!) via Southern In Law

Know your worth as a blogger and that declining one cooperaton offer doesn’t mean none will follow in the future.

 

 

Good good [food]

Chocolate Covered Almond Butter Puffed Millet Bars (Gluten Free + Vegan) via Bakerita

Further proof that puffed grains are amazing and oh my do these bars sound good!

Vegan Double Chocolate Sunflower Brownies via The Vegan 8

A oldie on Brandi’s blog maybe but definitely a goodie that deserves time in the spotlight.

Golden Milk Popsicles via Food, Pleasure, Health

A childhood classic turned into a frozen treat with health benefits – I’m intrigued.

11 Desserts You Won’t Believe Are Vegan via BuzzFeed

Bloggers already know that vegan dishes can easily compete with their non-vegan counterparts but in case you need more proof [or just some delicious inspiration].

Vegan Cauliflower Leek Casserole via Vegan Family Recipes

What’s not to like about vegetables baked in a creamy cashew sauce ?

 

 

Happiness-inducing today: Still the same as in my previous post. I could have tried to come up with something else but there is really nothing better.

 

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Healthy Fruit and Nut Quinoa Clusters [gluten-free + vegan]

Crunchy, sweet and prepared in no time these healthy Fruit and Nut  Quinoa Clusters are the perfect snack at any time of the day. Using only eight ingredients this recipe is vegan, gluten-free and optionally  refined sugar-free, too.

Fruit an Nut Cluster_6

Like I mentioned in Monday’s post this week is a short one – work-wise at least. Everything else would be less than happy. Weeks already aren’t long enough as is but I digress. What happens when you’re off work for the remainder of the week? Right. You’re finally getting back into blogging and pre-writing post more as well as tackling multiple tasks around the household with ease. Only not. Wishful thinking, really. I know I can’t be the only one who has the biggest aspirations for the days off – and awakens to the harsh reality of hardly a thing checked off the to-do list by the end of day one. That was me yesterday evening.

Fruit an Nut Cluster_5

Why I’m telling you all of this? It’s how this recipe came about. I’d actually meant to get up relatively early and finish a post on a topic that has been on my mind for a while already. Yet perfectionism got the best of me and I couldn’t finish it. Instead, I spent my time reading and being lazy relaxing because the weather was too amazing to clean my apartment. Bad conscience caught up with me at some point so I multi-tasked on cleaning some of the chairs on our terrace [gross!] – and these Fruit and Nut Quinoa Clusters.

Now you might think these look familiar and you’re right: today’s recipe is adapted from this nut brittle that’s already good as is. But we as bloggers [and perfectionists] can never let good be enough, right? My recent first-time purchase of puffed quinoa – it was on offer, what can I say? – played into this nicely as I knew I needed to use it in a recipe. Add into this all that my sister has been asking me for healthier treats and her upcoming visit – a decision easily made.

Fruit an Nut Cluster_1

These are the lighter version of the Nut and Seed Brittle if you will. But not lighter in the diet-y sense. Just imagine some more airy crunch, almost granola-like [and we all like granola, yes?]. That. And a chocolate drizzle because: chocolate. Still healthy enough to eat any time of the day and with that granola aspect in mind you could totally crumble them up and eat as such. No judgment. And if you break them into larger pieces rahter than chunks: Copycat KIND bars* for a fracton of the price.

In case you’re wondering how they went down with my taste testers: my sister ate half the batch in one sitting  so  I think I’ll consider this another family-approved recipe. Me? No convincing needed in the first place and my mum wasn’t exactly vetoing a second batch, either. Find me in the kitchen then …

Fruit an Nut Cluster_3

Healthy Fruit and Nut Quinoa Clusters

  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds/pepitas [30 g]
  • ¼ cup of slivered almonds [30 g]
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries or raisins [30 g]*
  • 1/2 cup puffed quinoa  [15 g ]
  • 1 tbsp of ground flaxseed
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp brown rice syrup or honey [25 g]
  • Chocolate for drizzling, sugar-free if desired – amount: however much you feel like
  1. Preheat oven to 320 °F/160 °C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Roughly chop both the almonds and cranberries.
  3. In a wide bowl, stir together honey and maple.
  4. In another bow, mix the almonds, seeds, puffed quinoa and cranberries. Add to the sirup mixture and stir to combine well.
  5. Spread the nut mixture evenly on your prepared baking sheet and press down firmly to ensure it’ll get all clustery.
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes, watching closely to avoid burning it. Baking times might vary depending on your oven.
  7. Melt the chocolate either in a double boiler or microwave.
  8. Let cool completely before drizzling chocolate on top of the clusters.
  9. Once the chocolate has hardened, break into chunks or bars.

Notes:

  1. *the cranberries I used were sweetened but you can sub them for any dried fruit you like I wouldn’t recommend mulberries as I tried them in the batch pictured and they burned in places.

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

 

 

Happiness-inducing today: Every time my nephew smiled at me. Not those times when he did while pulling my hair a little too strongly maybe …

 

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Week in review: [Last of] April showers.

Somebody pinch me, please. It’s NOT May yet. Right?? I’m both shocked and confused. The months really are flying by. ..

Is it bad to look forward to the upcoming weekend on Monday already? Because I very much do after this past week brought on some April showers in the form of not so pleasant happenings. On Thursday my mum and I will pick up my sister and make our way to my grandparents’ to celebrate my grandpa’s birthday. I’m not anticipating the six hour car drive involved but it will be worth it. And then my sister – and the little one, obviously 🙂 – will be staying with us until Sunday. A three-day-only work week isn’t the worst, either. Public holidays for the win! For now, let’s get the week started with a bang in the form of another Week in Review. Thanks to Meg for keeping up with the shenanigans stll.

Week in review

 

Onto some of what happened in my life during the past seven days. I …

Worked five days again. It felt mostly good aside from one day that was hard to endure – and not because I had to wear pants.

Drove my dad around again. No more words on our relationship here as it feels like all the “progress” we made was nixed leaving us back at square zero. A very anxiety-provoking square zero that’s occupying my mind a lot.

Survived a dentist’s appointment. More lined up in the future.

Flowers_

Adulted. Meaning I paid a few bills, sighing at the disproportionate flow of income vs. expenses or in other words: why does money take long to earn but is spent in a matter of minutes?

Cleaned my kitchen and bathroom – at 9 PM on Saturday night. Apparantly cleaning is my go-to distraction when I’m feeling crummy. I’ll take it if that means shortening my Sunday to-dos.

Took care of some laundry wbhic

Cooked every day. I also meal-prepped but like I said don’t feel daring enough to prepare larger amounts of certain dishes in advance. Like my go-to breakfast. Keeping it real here and showing it in its unedited or beautified nature.

Breakfast_meal prep

Decided to keep those shoes – an obvously failed to take a picture to insert here in time. Soon, soon.

Navigated my sister through another healthy baking project. It all started Friday afternoon with a text asking if I had “a healthy cookie recipe”. Bloggers will know there’s so much wrong with this question: 1. How would any healthy living blogger -not- know one? 2. Actually: one? Impossible to recommend anything because you know too many. Specify, please. Crispy and chocolatey were the requirements so after a quick consult of my blog reader I sent her this link. Followed by advice on ingredient subs and sources. Side note: It’s so nice to give back to my big sister even if just in small ways as I could always count on her when I was younger.

Met this little furry, no, thorny friend. No denial of the fact I spent a good while watching him and squealing like a little child afterwards. Can I please keep it?!

Igel_nature_

I’m sorry for this being a shorter, maybe not quite as upbeat post but there’s a lot of rumbling going on in my brain right now. I still can’t wait to hear about what you’ve been up to. No matter the struggles in daily life: the blog world is always there to cheer up and support each other and for that I’m very grateful. Thank you and have a great start into the new week and month!

May May be a good one!

 

Happiness-inducing today:  Productivity.

 

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Good good links #140

Current state of my brain? Half-asleep. <- Yes, I know I shouldn’t write my intros at night … oops.

Anyway, I also know my Sunday intros – luckily – don’t matter quite as much since I want to shine a light on some of the great posts from all around the web. So without further ado: enjoy these reads and enjoy your Sunday!

 


Good good links

Good good [food for thought]

I don’t care about your wedding … but here’s what I care about via The Acquired Sass

This very well expresses my thoughts on the unneccessary fussing about detals of not just weddings but any big life events when the focus should be on the people and memories made.

Would You Like to Work for Free? (An Open Letter to Marketers and Bloggers) via Southern In-Law

A must-read for all bloggers [and any companies if they were reading …].  Know your worth and hard work!

 

Good good [advice, inspiration and other insightful reads]

A key to happiness via The Domestikated Life

The simple mantra that could help you stress less in many areas of life.

11 Totally BS Things Life Is Too Short For via Huffington Post

Truth. Though I’ll admit I nee to work on some of those myself still.

You are a big deal via Alexandra Franzen

This. A short but encouraging post for anybody who feels like they’re not making an impact.

What happens when you fuel your body properly and nourish it right?  via Life without Anorexia

For those times when restriction feels like the right way  to solve your feelings [but really really isn’t!].

 

Blogging

How to Drive Traffic to Your Blog Using Instagram via The BGB Community Blog

Understanding how Instagram works helps you [and me!] improve your strategy.

Bloggers Guilt via Fueled by LOLz

A good reminder for all those of us who are putting too much pressure to perform [= blog] on themselves at times.

 

 

Good good [posts to make you smile]

8 Illustrations Over-Thinkers Will Relate To On A Deep Level via Huffington Post

That moment when something would be comical if it wasn’t drawing a picture of your mind/life. Dear brain, take a break at times, ‘kay?

 

Good good [food]

Vegan Caramel Espresso Cupcakes via Feasting on Fruit

How good to these date-sweetened little treats packe d with good-for-you ingredients look?

Perfect Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan, Gluten-free, Oil-free) via The Vegan 8

These had to make the list here for a reason I’ll reveal in tomorrow’s post … Also: perfect cookies – what more could you want?!

Vegan Marzipan via Vegan Meringue Hits and Misses [Facebook]

Who knew this was possible? Not just vegan marzipan (German varities usually are) but making these cutely shaped ones at home!

Dark Chocolate Tahini Brownies via The Healthy Maven

The cute video aside these sound like a fun new way to use tahini.

Mexican Rice and Beans via Fooduzzi

As if quick and easy Mexican food wasn’t good enough there’s some sneaky hummus action in here, too.

 

 

Happiness-inducing today: A surprising visitor you’ll see in tomorrow’s post …

 

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