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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s get randoMay!

Did you catch my seriously [not] inventive take on a May joke [because I missed the ‘It’s gonna be May’ chance at the beginning of the month. Yes, I’m a broken record here but how in the world is it almost June already??? Time for the last Thinking  out loud in May with Amanda. My head is filled with lots of more serious thoughts but I decided to counteract it by not posting about any of those but a collection of randomness instead. Fake it till you make it, right?

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. Did you catch my last link post? I’ve been resorting to Mondays instead of Sundays lately but hope I’ll be able to change that again soon. Either way, there have been lots of great posts worth reading again.

2. We might be this close to the start of summer but the weather isn’t giving it away in the least at the moment. 16 °C and rain? Hurry up, summer! At least the rain had its positives, though, because wandering through my parents’ garden is offering the most beautiful sights. Instead of spamming you with 384775856 pictures [right now] I’ll just feature these beautiful flowers: Bleeding Heart. They’ve been a favourite of mine since childhood.

Flowers_trÀnendes Herz

3. Green smoothies have been happening in this house! No, my opinion on them hasn’t changed. However, my dad visited a lecture a few weeks ago that was all about healthy living – note: he wouldn’t usually attend any of those so this one was business-related – and he immediately decided to incorporate a few healthier habits into his life. And that led to a scandalous crossing of lines/invading my territory. Given I’m usually the only one eating bananas daily I buy them myself and obviously store them in my apartment.

Bananas

As my dad insisted on having a smoothie and hadn’t wanted to listen to me when I told him he’d better stock up on bananas then my mum just grabbed one of my last ones Sunday night. Not cool. And isn’t it meant to be me mooching off food from my parents and not the other way around? !

4. Thinking about it I actually do. All the time. Don’t say you didnt! Here’s to hoping all that green smoothie business won’t result in my parents ditching their snacking habits anytime soon. I’d dearly miss the bags of Erdnussflips in their snack aisle. Luckily, we’re keeping things balanced around here with flips and greens.

Flips

5. Help a girl out! I’ve been meaning to paint my nails for weeks but can’t settle on a colour. That’s pretty unusual for me because previously I wasn’t able to go without colouring my nails for more than a few days. Maybe not the healthiest choice but the current weather just calls for bright colours to bring in some fun. So …These are the runner-ups. Any votes?

Essie nail polish

6. Do you ever buy yourself random gifts? I hardly ever do so I’d been holding out forever but caved last week and bought the Gilore Girls DVD collection. Oh my. I completely forgot what it’s like to watch a show and look forward to every new episode. I can’t even remember the last time I regularily watched any kind of show – likely because I haven’t owned a TV for the past ~ 5 years  and still don’t – but it’s amazing. The current weather is an excuse to start watching a little earlier than I usually would. And would you believe I actually never watched all seasons of Gilmore Girls before? We didn’t have cable when the first seasons were aired and I only caught random episodes until the final season but was hooked either way. Now I have a major catch-up and I can’t say I was hating it.

Source

… and with that I’m off to a hopefully sunny day. Happy Thursday!

Happiness-inducing today: Sunshine amidst the rainy gray days.

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

No questions today. Just tell me your ranom[ay] thoughts!

Marvelously memory-filled weekend

Hi there and happy Monday! No matter what you did on the weekend I hope it was a great one for you.

If you read my post on Friday you’ll already know I got to spend another weekend at my parents’. Instead, this weekend was all about making the most of my time down there and enjoying the beauty of autumn. Here’s how I spent another marvelous weekend in the coutryside.

MiMM_new

Thanks to a cancelled appointment I was able to take the journey on Friday already leaving me with two full days at my parents’.  Also thankfully the journey took me just three ad a half instead of five hours this time – a good start.

While Friday was spent mostly relaxing Saturday was more active. After sleeping in – I swear it’s the too-soft mattresses’ fault! – I met an old friend for a walk around the lake in the city. Memories of us having to run around that lake in school came up along with laughing about the unsuccessful search of shortcuts back then. And mind you, we’re talking  classmates trying to shorten an already short run ;).

Walk around the lake

Afterwards we stopped by our favourite cozy little cafĂ© to enjoy the sunshine and catch up some more. Seeing her for the first time in months was amazing. While I’ve noticed that with some of my friends from back then catching up after such a long while can be a bit harder it’s a breezer with her. No matter how much time has passed it never feels long with her and we don’t need to explain every detail to immediately understand each other.

Café

Back at my parents we had a friend pick us up to head out into the woods again. Not for a walk this time, however, but to hit the trails for a run. My mum just recently started running and as a family walk wasn’t possible this weekend due to my dad’s working schedule the ‘family run’ was born. Speed or distance didn’t matter – it was all about listening to the sounds of the birds, giving a new definition to the word ‘ankle biter’ [those hills!] and enjoying nature. Okay, I might have sped up a little on the way back …

Run

Truly trying make the most of the rare opportunity to see each other I spent the evening at my friend’s house for a movie and some more catching up. Not just any movie, though, but Despicable Me – yes, I got to see it earlier than expected. The evening not only introduced me to fluffy unicorns but the cutest admirer to date: meet Oskar :). He curled up on my lap and reminded me of the cats we had when I was younger. Memories coming up all weekend …

Dark picture but I couldn't not include Oskar.

Dark picture but I couldn’t not include Oskar.

While my dad had to work on Sunday my mum and I braved the gust for a bicycle tour on one of our favourite trails. Not without stopping at yet another lake to watch the swans and soaking up the sunshine. It’s a tour we’ve been taking dozens of times already and keeps bringing back a plethora of childhood memories every time.

Bike tour

Though it had again been just two days I’ll be forever amazed by the calming and soothing effect a weekend at the countryside and spent with my parents has on me.  Worries [job- and elsewise] might not disappear but I can at least put them on the backburner for a while and make them seem more managable.

At home 054

Knowing I won’t be visiting my parents again any earlier than the end of October is a bit disheartening but I’m trying not to fret too much. Time will likely fly by faster than we know it so here’s to making this week a marvelous one for now!

Happiness inducing today: Randomly getting to know some people on the train back and having a great conversation.

 

How often do you get to catch up with old friends [from school]? I wish it was more often for me but with my friends living all over Germany and us having different [class] schedules it’s been a lot harder than I imagined.

Do you have any cats or dogs? What are they called?

What were some highlights from your weekend?

 

 

Blissfully falling into autumn

See what I did there? With a slight preference for the term ‘autumn’ when it comes to naming the season and the latter having started on Saturday I couldn’t help but choose this title. And a blissful start it was indeed.

But first things first: Happy Monday! The first Monday of the season so how much cleaner than clean could our slates be ;)?! Let’s take a look at all things marvelous from the weekend. Thank for hosting once again, Katie!

MiMM_new

Most marvelous about the past weekend was my spontaneous decision to head down to my parents’ for the first time since my sister’s wedding. Swapping the hustle-bustling grey city for the gorgeous nature and calmth of the countryside – bliss.

Fall

Sparing you the story of my less-than-pleasant train/bus journey [five instead of two and a half hours? Not cool.] the time that followed more than made up for it. First stop after my arrival: my mum’s raspberry bushes. As in: must eat all the [golden] berries. Not like I didn’t eat my fair share of red ones, either, though ;).

Raspberries

My parents were out and about dancing the day away [read: they’re avid dancers and attended a workshop]. While waiting for them I read, pottered about the house and went for a walk. As much as I enjoy my runs in the city already they can’t compare to hitting the trail in the countryside. The weather was perfect – mild temperatures, no rain – and breating in fresh country air again was truly marvelous. Once back my parents had arrived and we sat together chatting, drinking tea and planning the next day.

Candles

Taking full advantage of the fact that my siblings weren’t around and for once not sharing my parents’ attention I’d made a wish: going for a long walk/hike through the autumnal forest. If there’s one activity that I need to partake in every year around this time it’s a walk in the woods. Even though I haven’t written a fall bucket list [yet?] this would have been far on top.

walk

Being in nature lets me forget all current worries, reminiscene my childhood and simply enjoy time with my parents. Not waste a thought on what I’m wearing, what others are thinking of me or my to-do list for the next day – just be in the moment.

Autumn walk

Maybe taking inspiration from this little guy who was clearly enjoying the simply life …

beetle

Back from our walk I visited a friend of my family. Originally just meaning to deliver a present from my parents but then accepting a spontaneous invitation for a cup of tea. Skipping my planned run for it? Totally worth the great conversation and catching up. It’s these little things that made me feel anxious a while ago still and that I’m getting better at accepting. Feels so good to worry less and enjoy more.

teapot

And again one party just isn’t enough to start Monday off right. Just looking at the sheer amount of kabocha I’ve been eating the past weeks and months I simply couldn’t not join Heather’s MMAZ this week.

Meatless Mondays

While last week was about getting creative in the kitchen ourselves this week we’re supposed to show off what we’ve cooked using somebody else’s recipe. Even though I usually have a hard time choosing it was a matter of second this time. The very day after Laura had posted her Thai Peanut Kabocha and Cauliflower I had some roasting in the oven.

Sprint2the table PB vegetables

There’s a lot to say here [I’m not usually a fan of roasted vegetables; peanut flour over here isn’t even nearly as amazing as the one in the US; …] but here’s the short version: go and make this recipe! It’s strangely addictive. Just the right amount of spicyness with the cinnamon adding a subtle sweet touch rounding out the flavour. I couldn’t stop snacking until the whole batch was gone so if that isn’t an indication of how good it was … Thank you for the awesome recipe, Laura! Now if only the stores around here hadn’t conspired against me not offering kabocha anymore. Please keep your fingers crossed for me :).

 

Happiness inducing today: The whole weekend spent at my parents’. Refilling my happiness reserves all the way.

 

How did you spend the weekend?

Fall or autumn: which term do you prefer – no matter if it’s the one you use more often or not? Maybe it’s because I grew up using “autumn” but I just like the sound of it better. Either way, here’s to embracing the season of [scented!] candles, comfy wool socks handknitted by grandma [guess what I’m wearing right now?!] and curling up in bed with a good book.

If you don’t live at your parents’ anymore: how often do you see them?

Good good links #5

Isn’t it funny how easily we develop new habits or start to associate certain things with each other? Even though it’s only my fifth time sharing some of my favourite reads from the week with you I already connect Sundays with these posts. Long story short: I hope you enjoy my picks and let me know which posts or articles you enjoyed this week.

Happy Sunday!

Purple flowers

Good good [food for thought]

Treat Yourself Tuesday: Treat, Not Cheat. via Better with Sprinkles

The difference between a treat and a cheat. Because treating yourself is an important act of self-love that shouldn’t be associated in a negative way.

What recovery is. And what it’s not. via My Neon Running Shoes

Awesome post. There is no magical cure that works for everyone.

We are lying to ourselves when … via Olive to run

So true. Lies we need to stop telling ourselves.

Good good [advice and interesting articles]

10 Inspiring Quotes for Exercise Motivation This Fall via Huffington Post

Not just for people who exercise but life inspiration for everyone.

Why Everyday Activities Count as Exercise via The Greatist

Who says you had to work up a sweat to count activity as exercise?

Why don’t YOU workout? via Itz Linz

Just like the previous article shows: there’s no excuse not to get moving [and happy!] at least in some kind of way.

12 Ways to Look Awake Without Using Make-up via Women’s Health Mag

Because who doesn’t want to look a little fresher?

Your Favourite Fall Scents Have Some Major Health Benefits via Huffington Post

Not only nice to smell but beneficial? Get me all the cinnamon!

Good good [laughter]

Top 8 Conversations Bloggers Have In Real Life via Commitness to Fitness

Every single one is SO true.

Can Ice Cream Help You Find Your Soul Mate? via iVillage

… and now we all know why we haven’t found Mr. Right yet ;).

16 Ice Cream Sandwiches That Are The Definition Of Beauty via Buzzfeed

Beautiful? Maybe. Delicious? All.the.way.

28 Surprising Things That Really Work, According To Pinterest via Buzzfeed

Admittedly not all surprisining [which blogger did not know #5?!] but still some good laughs. Fellow runners: did you try #8 yet?

Good good [food]

Butterscotch Mug Cake via Love, Sweat & Beers

Mug cakes are awesome in general but this one takes the … cake?! German readers: Let me know if you have any idea where to find butterscotch morsels over here :).

Deep Dish Cinnamon Streusel Dessert Pizza via Pinches of Yum

As a cinnamon addict, professional Streusel picker since childhood and [recently rediscovered] pizza fan this is right up my alley.

Tex Mex Spaghetti Squash via Oh she glows

This looks amazing  – and did I mention the toddler-sized spaghetti squash I bought on a wim?!

Smoky Black Bean Tortilla Soup via Nutritionella

Fall screams comfort food to me and this looks and sounds so good.

Happiness inducing today: An annoying train delay making for a spontanous nice conversation about previous times and travelling with a sweet old lady. Seeing the good in a bad situation :).

What are you plans for today?

Which posts made you think/laugh/made you hungry this week?

Did you read any of the above already? What are your thoughts?

Marvelous and meatless [Oriental-spiced Fig & Kabocha Casserole]

Hi there! Did you start the week well refreshed from your mini vacation [aka weekend]?

Being with friends, taking walks and enjoying nature are some of my favourite pastimes. All of these were part of my weekend so it’s safe to say it truly was a marvelous one.

MiMM_new

When a good friend of mine texted me suggesting a coffee date on Saturday I was all in. He just moved to another city so meeting up this soon again was a wonderful surprise. Despite the finicky weather we’ve had over here the past days we ignored the premise of rain and headed out for a nice long walk prior to having coffee. As we share the ‘addiction’ to being outside and moving we didn’t mind – and as my mum would say: we’re not made from sugar ;). Just as a random aside: has anybody else ever noticed that most of the time when you’re packing an umbrella you don’t end up needing it? It’s like a reverse magic spell.

Saturday walk

We had a great time catching up on the happenings since we last met and talking about almost everything. Even blogging – yes. He has a blog himself though isn’t posting regularly. Still, it was fun to have somebody understand the excitement.

As you noticed in the title I’m dancing on two partys at once today. Not only Katie’s Marvelous in my Monday but Meatless Mondays from A-Z, too. Technically, every Monday is meatless in this vegan household but this one is especially so because it’s my first time joining Heather’s link-up. How could I not with the next two weeks being dedicated to kabocha?!

Meatless Mondays

It’s not secret I’ve already gone kabocha-crazy these past weeks. Only now I was meant to come up with a new recipe to share. Even though my go-to kabocha dish would be a hearty stew I opted against this as my submission for MMAZ. It just seemed too … easy … uninspired … boring. However much I enjoy these savory bowls it’s good to break from the routine and go for a totally different idea once in a while. Letting myself be inspired by the ingredients on hand …

Fresh figs

Fresh figs

That’s what I really appreciate about blogging and these link-ups: they force me to get creative. Try something new. Maybe even tackle a fear [food] …

adding coconut oil

Coconut oil. So good.

Brainstorming ideas I quickly decided I wanted to go for something seasonal. Thinking of Fall. Thinking of my mum’s apple crumble …  But why let the apples have all the fun? Why not put a different spin on it? How about some oriental flavours? [Granted, though, this is totally inauthentic. I just associate different spices with certain cuisines .]Once I started I quickly added a pinch of this, pinch of that and: chickpeas.

Casserole

Pre-topping.

Yes, it might seem just a little strange [but good]. Trust me, though: the chickpeas add a great creamy texture, slight saltiness and complement the dish well overall. And hey, there’s dessert hummus so sweet chickpeas aren’t all that weird. If you’re still not convinced subbing some flaked or chopped almonds would be awesome, too.

pre-baking

I think I’m a little obsessed with my new baking dish.

Oriental-spiced Fig & Kabocha Casserole

  • 1 1/2 cups kabocha, cubed [140 g] – steamed to cut down the overall baking time
  • 1 medium to large fig [75 g], chopped but reserving some slices for the top
  • 2 tsps maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp [a pinch] each cardamom and ginger
  • 1 heaped tsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsps chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp [or more, really] puffed amaranth
  • banana flakes [as much as you like]
  • 1-2 tsps coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease a single-serving baking dish with coconut oil.

In a bowl combine the kabocha, chopped figs, chickpeas, coconut and spices. Add the maple syrup and stir well to coat every piece.

Transfer to the baking dish and sprinkle with puffed amaranth and banana flakes. Top with flakes of coconut oil and arrange the reserved slices of fig. Dust with some more cinnamon and bake for about 20 minutes.

Serve and don’t forget the obligatory almond butter.

Kabocha drizzled

Sweet, creamy, crunchy … a little Fall treat, snack, dessert – whenever you feel like eating it.

I hope you’re all having an awesome start to the week and don’t forget to hop over to both Katie’s and Heather’s link-ups for more marvelous- and deliciousness. Happy Monday!

Happiness inducing today: Being outside a lot enjoying a lovely Fall day.

What was your favourite part of the weekend?

Do you talk about blogging with your ‘real life’ friends?

Which dishes make you think of Fall?