Friday Favourites – 12/4/2015

Less than three weeks until Christmas? Ready, set: panic! In all honesty, I don’t feel ready yet. Gifts bought or made so far? ½ of one [PJ pants I’m sewing for my brother … ssh]. Because it’s a well know secret procrastination helps distract from the panic arising that’s what I’ll do today in sharing another round of favourites with you. I’m linking up with Heather and Katie to ring in the weekend on a good note.

Music

Starting with a favourite-in-the-make and jam for the ears Coldplay’s new song.

Though I heard it for the first time this week I already have an inkling I might enjoy Coldplay’s new album – out today! – a little more than they last one. At least if Adventure of a Lifetime is any indicator for that. What I’m not so stoked about is the fact this might be their last album. Can we please collectively wish for this not happening?

Work

While still no full-time employment I got the opportunity to start helping out as a DAF teacher [DAF = German as a Second Language] twice a week. It’s been so much fun as the children in the group I’m teaching with two other women are really motivated and eager to learn. Having taught many students so far this makes such a huge difference and I might get paid a little but would honestly do it even if I wasn’t. Being able to help others in any which way is a rewarding feeling worth more than money.

Food

Christmas baking has officially started …

Cookie baking

… and I’m not seeing an end yet. Starting with the classics, my mum and I baked Vanillekipferl [vanilla crescents] yesterday. Or should I say: I prepared the dough, did the clean up and my mum helped me shape what felt like at least six dozen of cookies. And she kept me motivated kneading that dough for-ev-er. Consider my arm workout of the day done.

For some reason, my camera ate the pictures of the finished cookies so you’ll get to see these in another post. Yet the process alone was promising only good for the outcome …

Baking_chocolate

Another favourite? This soap. It’s a limited winter edition so let’s just call it Christmas soap to fit in with the central topic of this post. It scents like a creamy vanilla caramel shake with a hint of marzipan and I like it [obviously. Which says a lot as I’m really picky about scents. Most are too sweet, cloying or heavy for me. Plus, it’s liquid soap and that’s the only kind I like. Anybody else? Hard soap doesn’t appeal to me – especially if you’re sharing it with others but that might just be one of my odd pet peeves.

soap

 That’s it for me today. I’ll see you on Sunday with some good good links and hope you’re having a fabulous Friday!
Happiness-inducing today: Engaging conversations that got me thinking. A little abstract of a description but it’s hard to summarize in few words.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

What is your opinion on Coldplay’s new song?

Liquid or hard soap? Which scents do you like?

Have you started Christmas baking yet? Tell me about your favourite cookies!

Friday Favourites – 10/30/2015

Well, hello there, Friday! And hello there, [almost-]Halloween! How in the world did this month – or better yet: this year – fly by that fast [again]??! And Halloween being around the corner means Christmas isn’t far away anymore, either.  My plan to be prepped better and have a few presents by the end of this month already? We won’t get into that here …

While I can’t churn out any Halloween memories for lack thereof – yes, it’s true – I decided to link up with Heather and Katie to talk about some current favourites again.

  1. At the risk of being cheesy I just have to say that a definite favourite of mine this week were all your comments on yesterday’s post. Letting my thoughts flow and hearing other people’s opinion is one of my favourite parts of blogging. Sorry not sorry for cheesiness.

2. One firm favourite that boosts my mood on those gray, cold and at times boring days: kitchen dance parties! Kitchen because mine doubles as a living room – not always a blessing. Either way: feel free to laugh but this oldie but goodie made a return this week:

3. Talking about jam there’s a firm food favourite to mention, too. If you’ve been reading for some time you might remember my fondness of a certain brand of Greek yogurt split cups and especially the jam part? Well, the only store carrying those decided to discontinue selling them. I’m a-okay going with my Greek yogurt cheat but I do miss the fruity spread so I’ve been on a mission to find a replacement. While not entirely the same this one is pretty close. Lots of blueberries and 75 % fruit percentage – I can roll with that.

favourite jam_blueberry

Walks. Always good but even better now I’m not excerising anymore. This is actually really tough on my mind but I keep repeating to myself that all of this hardship is serving a better future. And while running isn’t in the books – I’m even trying to avoid blogs mentioning it because I miss it so much – walks are an awesome alternative to clear my mind. And – TMI 😉 – they help keeping you regular, too.

autum walk

Another favourite? Surprise packages in the mail. Granted, this one wasn’t entirely surprising but the fact how soon it shipped [five days and not stuck at customs!] was. So: Quest bars. Why? How? My last post might have left the impression I was anti-protein anything. Which isn’t entirely true. I’m not emphasizing protein in my diet much and  going with my gut rather than trying to figure out any macronutrient needs. And as you know if you read yesterday’s post you will know I think no foods should be shunned from our diets completely. Just make real foods the largest part of your diet and you’re good to go.

Quest bars_protein

Long story short: I’m generally curious of trying new foods and seeing all the rage around Quest bars wanted to know what the hype was about. However, my curiosity wasn’t large enough to actually shell out money to order them online. Are you aware a bar of ## this amazing chocolate ## is cheaper than a ‘Questie’? I know my priorities ;). Nonetheless, I was lucky to win a giveaway on Instagram and got two boxes of the bars – one of the S’mores flavor and a mixed bestseller box – and I’m excited to see if they live up to their reputation. I’ll keep you updated.

For now, I hope you’ll have a great Friday and a good start into the weekend!

Happiness-inducing today: Many little things like talking to my sister on the phone, finding out one of her former classmates that I happen to know a bit better, too, is pregnant and other things.
 

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

What’s your favourite jam – both the edible and audible kind?

If you’re a Quest bar fan: what is your favourite here? And: raw or baked? Because apparently certain flavours are best enjoyed warmed up?!

Do you have any plans for Halloween?

 

Friday Favourites – 8/21/2015

Every now and then I think I should work out a schedule for my blog … and then I notice I’m better at simply rolling with the flow. Like now. I had no set intentions of writing this post but after reflecting on the past week the idea of talking about some favourites sounded good to me. So here we go!

 

Trainwreck!

Source

This one was a huge positive surprise. My current guilty pleasure has resulted in me watching  [or not watching but waiting until it was over] the trailer of this movie about 456834 times during the past weeks. Combined with the very unfortunate German title [Dating Queen] I was 99 % sure I wouldn’t enjoy the movie. Wow was I ever wrong! It was not the expected [boring] romantic/trying-to-be-funny movie but really good. I won’t add any spoilers here but if you haven’t seen it yet I highly recommend you do! The reason I changed my mind and watched it in the first place?

#2 Quality time with friends. Or better yet one very good friend of mine. She visited her family and we got to meet two consecutive days. One of them was spent just talking. It amazes me how there are people in our lives we can go not seeing for months yet the minute we meet catching up is a breeze because it feels like it had been just yesterday. Do you know what I mean?

Tea

Chocolate. Always among my favourites but this week I can actually introduce you to a new one. Aldi of all places was where we met 😉 . Yes, I’m cheating on my usual addiction. I recently did the math lookin g on my consumption of that one and well, let’s say it’s no surprise I have a hard time keeping a strict budget …

chocolate bars_mint

These, however? A refreshingly minty taste, a lot more affordable and vegan, too. It’s a pity Aldi doesn’t sell these regularly so be assured I stocked up big time. The bars you see above are just a fraction of all packages I bought.

Something that is always a bright spark in my days but especially so during the past that felt like a first taste of [the bad part of] autumn: rainy, grey and all kinds of unfriendly: flowers! While I prefer walking through the garden and take their beauty in my mum randomly brought me a bouquet for my table.

Flowers_vase

I’m obviously not complaining.  And that’s it for my favourites for now as I need to go and pack for a little weekend get-away.

Thanks to Heather and Clare for motivating us to focus on the good things in life every Friday!

Happiness-inducing today: A repeat from above but nothing could beat meeting said friend.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

Do you have a set blogging schedule or fly by the seat of your pants?

If you’ve seen Trainwreck yet: what did you think of it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Favourites – 7/24/2015

… and just like that it’s Friday again. I’ll break a record keeping this intro shorter than short and get right into some favourites – ending on a little cheeky fun to embrace our inner teenage girl selves ;).

Not saving the best for last here: My favourite happening from the past seven days was meeting Juli. Anticipation makes everything more worthwhile? Possibly. Because – correct me if I’m wrong, Juli – we’ve been planning/hoping for our meet-up for almost a year already. Yes, Germany might be comparably small but living hundreds of kilometers/miles apart still makes finding a time and place a challenge. Our lucky day came about by Juli attending a work conference in Berlin and my brother conveniently offering me his couch.

Juli and I might not have talked about 1000 [lovely] things but we chatted about this and that, walked a lot around Berlin and got along right from the first minute. It’s almost cliché to say but yes, blogging friendships are truly amazing.

Blogger meet-up_Juli

Also high on top of my list of favourite activities are still – will they ever not feature here? – walks/hikes. Once a country bumpkin, always a country bumpkin. Or lover of nature to use a more positive term. One of my recent travels took me to the Saar [Saarland]. I could never imagine living there –conquering steep hills by bike isn’t exactly my idea of fun 😉 – but whenever around I insist on setting out into the forest for a long walk.

Walk_hike_Saar_2

Which might turn into some kind of adventurous hike if your dad claims to know the route yet misses the right path and you need to make your way through the bushes. Add to this that none of us had packed hiking-compatible footwear. Swearing may or may not have happened. The views more than made up for it, though.

Walk_hike_Saar

On a food favourite note I bought these raw chocolate-covered raisins on one of my last trips to Berlin and all I can say is: oh. My. Goodness. I actually am neither too fond of raisins nor raw chocolate –  aside from exceptions – but these might just convert me. If you have any chance to get your hands on them: what are you waiting for???

Source

Here’s a recent favourite to make you smile. Or giggle. Yes, at times I’m all of 15 years old giggling/swooning over pictures like this – as were all of my friends I forwarded this … Really, though, who wouldn’t have approved of a teacher like that? Aside from the fact that concentration would have flown right out the window …

Thanks to Heather and Clare for remindingus to focus on the happy parts of life and talk about favourites on Fridays!

Happiness-inducing today: Having my sister visit for the weekend. We don’t see each other often enough anymore these days.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

What are your plans for the weekend?

Have you met any other bloggers before?

Do you have any not-gone-as-planned hiking stories to tell? Aside from the lost-in-the-woods one above I have another from a hike through the Dartmoor years ago …

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Favourites – 7/3/2015

It’s been a long since I last posted favourites on  a Friday – unless you counted that one foodie favorite – but Luckily it’s never too late to start it up again. The blog community is a forgiving place, no? Yes, you are. You’re also quite awesome and insightful in your thougths on yesterday’s post. Most of you agreed but I like some polite disagreement or demurs in there, too. It’s all helping to broaden my mind – the best part of this community.

Summer finally showing up and especially the sun. Maybe it’s a repeat offender but I am surprised by how much of an effect this has each time anew. Life isn’t perfect – in fact quite far from it in many areas for me at the moment – but loosing a single day channeling Negative Nancy is no option.

Flowers_buttercup

Bike rides. Given I don’t own a car anymore – yes, I said goodbye to my wonderful ride – my bike is the vehicle of choice these days. Technically, I can still borrow my dad’s car for longer commutes but would anybody really want toin this weather [see #1]? Plus, its environmental benefit can’t be denied.  My favourite bike rides have been longer ones in the evenings watching the sun slowly go down. This is especially gorgeous on trails along the riverside. Yes, despite the not-so-wonderful parts of life I’m feeling blessed to live in an area surrounded by the most beautiful sights of nature. I keep warning you I might just post a million pictures of it one day …

On a walk

Strawberries from my mum’s garden. These are a miracle times two. For one because everybody who has tried it before knows produce grown in your own backyard tastes best. On that note I. can’t. wait until kabocha will start to grow! And then my mum actually didn’t intend on growing any Strawberries this year [for the first time ever!] but a very few plants decided to grow nonetheless. Oh does this make me happy. The taste of childhood.

Strawberries_mums garden

Some people apparently don’t like quotes and I’m not one to plaster my place with them, either. But still think it’s not the worst idea to look at some happiness booster every now and then.

Source

Because it can be a lot easier this way around.

And this one is just too good not to share:

So. much. yes.

Okay, now I’d better get out and enjoy the sunshine while it’s still there. Not too long and summer will be over already judging from the speed at whch this year is passing by again.

Thanks to Heather and Clare for inspiring us to share some favourites on a Friday!

Happy Friday! I’ll see you on Sunday with good good links!

Happiness-inducing today: Chatting with my mum while listening to Taylor Swift songs – Juli! –  and both of us just enjoying that end to a hot summer day.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

What are your plans for the weekend?

Do you grow any fruit or vegetables in your garden?

 

 

 

Friday Favourites – 3/27/2015

Just a random note to start this post because it made me laugh and  realiuze that while, yes, I’m used to writing in English, the dates still confuse me every.single. time. Look at that title: To you [depending on where ypu’re from] it looks normal. To me? It’d have to be 27/3/2015. Oh well, I figure you didn’t stop by to chat about the differences between Germany and the US, no? Though it is interesting to see how much we differ in multiple areas of life but oh, well, another day. Speaking of another day: Blogging – as much as I like and have missed it – once more missed my focus during the last week. But I’m determined to bring booty blogging back next week.

Favourites it is today! Moving on to what has been happening and making me happy these days. Thanks to Heather and Clare for hosting!

… and starting on a heart-y note
Do you ever walk a route a million times and all of a sudden see a detail you hadn’t noticed before. That’s what putting down your phone while outside does. And spotting a hidden heart can only make you smile, right? I’ve been going for a lot of walks lately and the best decision I made there was to carry my phone along but don’t keep checking it all of the time. These times of mindfulness and actually taking in my surroundings more intensely are amazing.

Heart_street_walk

Apples the size of my face.
Don’t let the picture fool you. The peanut butter jar is a mighty 1.1 lb not a small one. For fun and kicks I let one of these apples [that clearly made the cast of Snow White] step on the kitchen scale. More than one pound of apple goodness. I like it.

They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Do you think I can skip the doctor’s for a week after eating these ;)?

giant apples_Farmers Market WHV

Gnocchi
What is it about certain foods that makes them so crave-able? I’d seen gnocchi quite often in the blog world lately yet it had been ages since I ate them myself. Clearly, I needed to pick up a package the next time I was at the store. Admittedly, storebought gnocchi are a far cry from the real deal. They will do in a pinch, though, so I’ve been eating them several consecutive  days this week. A simple tomato sauce, lots of fresh vegetables and nutritional yeast piled on top later on: a happy and satisfied me.

 Gnocchi_March

After I’ve seen others share their recent favourite pins or quotes I decided to incorporate two recent ones, too.

… and isn’t that a possibly intimidating but also wonderful thought?

Apparently, books where on my mind while I was browsing for inspiring quotes but you can’t deny life would be less amazing without them so why not?

Why not make today the day of your next one?

On that note, I’m off to face a Friday of the go-go-go kind and will see you again on Sunday for some good reads.

Happy Friday!

Happiness-inducing today: Walking past a parish hall in my neighbourhood where a choir was practicing a beautiful version of Echosmith’ ‘Cool Kids’. 

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?

What are some inspiring quotes you’ve seen on Pinterest [or elsewhere] lately?

Have you ever happened upon some kind of giant fruit?