Just living – fast-paced and fabulous

If I was to sum up my weekend in just one sentence it’d be: Did it really happen? Or: boy, that was fast! Unlike my last weekend when I had to work all of Friday [think: until midnight] and half of Saturday this one had come with the premise of being calm and uneventful. Not so much in hindsight but I’m not complaining. Let’s recap some of the marvelous happenings from the past two days with our host Katie.

MiMM_new

Starting early – and we know how much I like this – on Saturday morning setting out for a train journey to meet my mum in a city four hours from my current home city. Generally, I enjoy traveling by train because it’s nice to unplug and get fully absorbed in a book. Seriously, if you keep getting distracted when trying to read at home: hop on a train. It works: by the time I got home I was halfway through the book I’d packed.  Plus, you get a new scenery every time you take a break from reading:

Train

Bonus points if you can spot the sea gull in this picture.

 

Because traveling requires some good fuel I packed a lot of food and also tried a new-to-me snack: a Nākd bar. More on these to come soon once I’ve sample some more flavours. I’m not easily convinced when it comes to bars but this one was delicious.

Weekending 020

In between reading and enjoying the scenery time fortunately passed by fairly quickly on my way there. Once I’d arrived my mum and I headed to a café located right by the seaside. Note to self: pack both sunglasses and a light scarf next time because seaside in summer = lots of sunshine and a “steife Brise” as any Northern German would say [overall windiness for all others].

 

neu_Promenadenspaziergang

 

Some more walking around the city ensued but I didn’t take any other pictures of the scenery because when I’m with my mum my phone doesn’t get much attention. Quality time with my mum > being  a good blogger taking pictures. Rather, I’ll leave you with this random non-vegetarian 😉 bit of hilariousness that I found in a book store while waiting for my train later that day. That’s what you happen upon when your train back unscheduledly ends prior to reaching your destination and you have to wait for a new connection. Thanks for nothing, German railway system… [note that it’s basically a requirement to snark at the ‘Deutsche Bahn’ as a German because delays are a daily order of business].

Bacon

Sunday started with leisurely sleeping in – blissful! After some pottering around my apartment, a quick reading session to my second recommended reading place – aka: the gym – and a delicious lunch I headed out to the movies. Following the spontaneous invitation of a friend we went to see ‘The Fault in our Stars’.

I’d read the book way back and actually hadn’t planned on watching the movie but wasn’t going to say no when my friend suggested it. Looking back I’m glad she asked me to tag along.

Cinema ticket

Despite what the ticket might make you guess at first glance we actually watched the original movie in English not the German. I’m usually hesitant towards watching movies based on books that were absolutely amazing because these can really be hit or miss. And while I wasn’t sure about the lot of romance in the beginning the last three minutes had me bawl my eyes out like the book: win. Okay? Okay. Plus: Ansel Elgort… I think I’ll finally be able to include a celebrity crush in my next Currently post again…

In between being out and about all Saturday and not sitting down much on Sunday, either, this the weekend flew by in the blink of an eye. Leaving me thinking that this thing called ‘just living’ feels pretty good. More of that, please.

For now:Happy Monday!

Happiness inducing today: Just all of today.

 

Stay in touch!

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

 

What are some of your [unusual]  favourite places to read?

Did you watch ‘The fault in our stars’ yet or plan to do so?

Tell me your favourite part of this past weekend.

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A traditionally untraditional Easter

Hello there and happy Tuesday! Did you all have a great and sunny long Easter weekend?

Even though I’d planned to post yesterday I ended up staying at my parents a little longer and enjoying those last hours. How about we start this post by saying I was right assuming my mum wouldn’t buy a single [chocolate] Easter egg. But one of my grandma’s – the one who got me addicted to Lindt chocolate – made sure our Easter wasn’t all untraditional by mailing us Easter bunnies, no, chicken. By Lindt, obviously ;).

Easter_Lindt-Hühner

… that my mum didn’t even think about ‘slaugthering’ but immediately used for decorative purposes. I’m taking guesses on how long they’ll sit there…

Beautiful was my mum’s Easter bouquet on the table featuring one of my favourite flowers since childhood: bleeding heart. Unique name, gorgeous flower.

Easter_flowers on the table

Recovery-wise Easter didn’t include any mention-worthy triumphs. But I felt more relaxed in consuming more sugar than usual [new favourite: lemon sorbet straight from the tub in between meals]. No picture because once more the camera wasn’t at hand to capture every moment. However, this is a picture from a scoop of [some seriously good mango] ice cream I treated myself to last week, too, so we’ll roll with it. Okay? Awesome. I’m glad we agree here. (:

Ice cream_mango_Giovanni L

Aside from the ice cream I treated myself to [even] more chocolate than usual, cheese, random bits and bites of whatever sounded and looked good. All of this while not going to the gym. Running still isn’t in the cards for me – or not unless I want to worsen my hip pain – and so I spent most of the first two days relaxing. Sometimes exercise just doesn’t happen and that’s okay. Sunday, however, was amazing and more active. Think the best kind of exercise because it doesn’t feel like a formal workout at the gym: a long bike ride with my parents, aunts, an uncle and one of my cousins.

 

Easter weekend_bike tour

These bike tours are an Easter tradition in my family and actually the last one that remained all throughout the years. No Easter egg hunt, no Easter bakets/ gifts or special dinner – but the bike ride is a constant. This year’s included crossing a river with a small ferry. We’d hardly taken our seats when it was time to get off board again.

ferry_Easter 2014

One of the things you learn* from years of venturing on cycling tours with my dad: never trust his guesstimates when it comes to the length of them. Because thirty kilometres easily end up turning into 45. With multiple breaks, obviously. This remainder of a castle gave the backdrop during our longest rest.

*or you don’t… Note to self: pack more snacks!

Easter weekend_bike tour_castle

We were lucky to have the sun accomodate us all day. Somebody may or may not have gotten a slight sun-induced headache, though. As much as I enjoy being out in the sun too much of it makes me feel doozy. Can any other fair-skinned people relate? I’m pretty sure these guys – further proof of my mum considering Lindt a manufactury of decorative objects 😉 – will agree there’s such a thing as too much sun. At least once they melt they’ll do…

Easter_Lindt_Goldhasen

Despite some up and downs this was an amazing and truly spring-like Easter weekend with my family. Though we don’t follow any of the usual Easter traditions it was our own traditionally untraditional celebration. And no matter how often I probably wished we stuck to the classic idea like other families do in the end I know that deep within I wouldn’t actually want it any other way. It’s typically us.

Spending time with family is a [sadly rather rare] treat in itself so I’m joining Becky’s Treat Yourself Tuesday for the first time today.

Treat-Yourself-Tuesday-Badge

Relaxed [in the beautiful countryside]. Spoiled [with good food]. Loved [all of it].

 

Happiness inducing today: An extra long hug my mum when we said goodbye.

Stay in touch!

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

 

Does anybody feel like making any guesses on how long the hens from the first picture will stay in that place? If they’re still around the next time I visit my parents I’ll suggest making some nice chicken soup, errr … chocolate fondue. (:

What was your favourite part of the Easter weekend?

Did you do an Easter egg hunt or get an Easter basket?

 

 

Good good links #32

Can you feel spring already? It’s been making an awesome appearance with lots of sunshine today and I couldn’t be happier about it. Whether or not you’ve been able to soak up an extra boost of Vitamin D, though, here’s some Sunday [or boring-Monday-at-work] reading material to brighten your day.

Good good links

Happy Sunday!

 

Good good [food for thought]

10 years from now… via Healthy Helper

Do you have the right priorities in life right now?

Let’s talk belly fat and why not #tBELLYt via Be Mom Strong

Taking a closer look at some fat facts and why cutting down your intake won’t help you loose it.

My Addiction to Exercise Permanently Damaged My Body. But It Also Taught Me How to Love Myself by Tara Fuller via Greatist

A powerful story about learning self-appreciation and prioritizing yourself the hard way. Long but worth the read.

 

Good good [advice and inspiration]

 If at first you don’t succeed—quit! via Carla Birnberg

Why quitting isn’t necessarily a bad idea.

Looking At These 6 Things Will Help You Love Your Body More via Huffington Post

Showing that beauty and talent really doesn’t depend on size.

6 Tips To Get Motivated When You’re Feeling Depressed via Mind Body Green

 Not just if you’re depressed but have a hard time getting out of any kind of funk and moving.

 Why Going To Sleep Early Isn’t Just For Grandmas! via The Peanut Butter Lover

Longer life expectancy, desease prevention and more energy are conving reasons to hit the pillows early on.

5 Ways to Use Social Media to Stay Positive via Health.com

Don’t let negativity take over. Used the right way Twitter, Facebook and Co. can make you feel better.

Fitness

ANYtime ANYwhere Workout via My Food & Fitness Diaries

For those days when you don’t actually have time or equipment for a workout but still want to get it in.

How to get the most out of your workout via Keeping Healthy, Getting Stylish

Keep things interesting to benefit maximally.

Blogging/ photography

A No BS Guide to Food Photography via The Healthy Maven

A great guide to taking drool-worthy food pictures. And as far as #4 goes: start stalking Davida herself!

Helpful Blogging Tips via Eat Great, Be Great

Just like the title says a great collection of advice on how to blog even better.

 

Good good [things to make you smile]

23 Useless Facts That You Totally Need to Know via BuzzFeed

Useless, yes, but you know you want to find them out in anyway…

 Mexican graphic artist creates a Barbie without makeup via World Observer

Not just for smiles but making a point that really nobody is perfect.

 

Good good [food]

No-Bake Cinnamon Roll Protein Bars via The Healthy Maven

Ditch the store-bought bars and be on a [cinnamon] roll with these homemade ones.

Twice-Baked, Oatmeal-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes via Keepin’ it kind

Amazed by oatmeal once more in this unusal but delicious-looking recipe.

Enchiladas… like you’ve never known before! via Peachy Palate

A totally different spin on enchiladas – and totally intriguing.

Easy Peasy Freezer Fudge via Nourish by Melissa

Just four ingredients and packed with nutritious power.

Raw Citrus Cream Cakes via Oh, Ladycakes

Sweet, a little tart and almost too pretty to eat.

 12 Healthy Creative Cauliflower Recipes via Daily Burn

Further proof of cauliflower’s amazingness with [vegan] Cauli Mac & Cheese, Cauliflower Bagels and more.

 

 

Happiness inducing today: Meeting a friend to cook lunch.

Stay in touch!

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

 

How did you spend your weekend so far?

Let me know some of your favourite posts from the week!

Spill It Sunday – Shuffle edition

Posting twice in one day is very unusual for me but with some downtime on a lazy Sunday I finally saw my chance to participate in Arman’s Spill It Sunday. Sorry it took me that long, fellow potato fiend. I’m glad my iPod decided to cooperate because that little beast keeps going back and forth between working and hibernating – even in summer. Thanks for motivating me to reanimate it, Arman!

Spill-it-Sunday-option_no selfie

Fingers crossed this won’t be too embarrassing for me …

#1 Viva la Vida – Coldplay

Good luck with the first one! Prior to this album I never used to like Coldplay considering them way too melancholic. But when I read an interview with Chris Martin saying their fourth album was for people to say “yes, I like Coldplay” I decided to give the band another chance – and I’m glad I did. Viva la Vida was on repeat for months after that and I started listening to older Coldplay songs, too, discovering I appreciated them after all. How preferences change with time.

#2 Schneeflockentanz – Fredrik Vahle

This one will seem odd but it has a sweet story. As children my siblings and I grew up listening to “Glitzerschnee und Knoblauchpizza” by the songwriter Fredrik Vahle. When we were older – think teenage years, yes – my sister and I tried to find it again online but no such luck. However, Vahle had since published a new record – a CD when our old one had still been on tape, mind you – and this song is a part of that compilation. Sadly, I couldn’t find a video for your viewing and listening pleasure but it’s so cute and I still listen to it every year around Christmas time.

#3 Sexy Bitch – David Guetta

One of my favourite workout songs – how could you not be motivated by this? I got a little fed up after listening to it way too often but might just add it back into my running playlist again.

#4 Little Miss Pipedream – The Wombats

I’m getting a lot of music inspiration by my sister and while our tastes in music aren’t always alike I’m glad she pointed this band out to me. While this particular song isn’t one of my favourites it’s still on my iPod with the whole album. And either way it revokes memories of seeing them live in the music club I sister worked at for a while.

#5 Entering Bootytown – Haley Bennett

Aaaah. This is slightly embarrassing but just to let you know: it’s an instant mood booster. In my defense: I got it by a guy [yes!] who had the soundtrack to ‘Music and Lyrics’ [meaning that yes, we watched and liked the movie, too]. The whole album has a lot of songs that make you smile and if you’re a fan of Hugh Grant it’s an obvious must-watch and -hear.

Happiness inducing today: Waking up to sunshine.

Stay in touch!

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

What are the first five songs on your iPod’s shuffle?

Which would be the most surprising song to find?

Does anybody upload albums in their iTunes and then just pick their favourite songs to transfer to the iPod? For me, the reason I don’t is a) laziness and b) I want to give my not-so-favourite songs another chance.

Currently … January

Happy Monday!

Starting into the second week of January I thought it’d be a nice idea to chat about current favourites and happenings. Seeing as there’s a lot of marvelousness it fits perfectly with Katie’s motto in focusing on the good things in life. Here’s to a great new week!

MiMM_new

Current Book: The Book of Fate by Parinoush Saniee.

Was mir zusteht_verändert

I hadn’t heard about this before when my mum gave it to me as a Christmas gift so I didn’t know what to expect. After a somewhat slow beginning this book set in Iran several years before revolution tells the story of a girl who’s married against her will. When her husband gets involved in the revolution she suddenly has to stand on her own feet sooner than she’d hoped for. It’s a story of growth, strength and clinging onto hope even when life seems to fall apart. I’m in the last third of the book and liked it so far though I wish there was more detailed information on the political background.

Current Music: Pharrell Williams – Happy

How could you not what to listen to a song that screams happiness all day long? It’s been my go-to morning song for the past week and I don’t see that changing soon.

Current Guilty Pleasure: Long hot showers. It might not be [nearly] as cold around here as elsewhere in the world but it’s still winter. And that totally justifies them [or at least I hope it does].

Current Nail Color: Au natural. Even though I don’t really like the ‘naked’ look most of the time I’m giving my nails a bit of a break at the moment. Does anybody know if there’s a recommendation on how often to take those for healthy happy nails?

Current Drink:

Holiday tea

Sugar cookies, sweet pumpkins and candy canes. Mailed to me by my American pen pal [note: for once not a blend :)] – she  knows me so well. I already knew I liked the Sugar Cookie flavour but was excited to see she included two new-to-me flavours, too. Have you try any of those before?

Current Food:

Alnatura_Erdbeere

Strawberry jam. By the spoonful, mixed into oat bran, yogurt bowls … you name it. Why is it that jam tastes so ridiculously good? It’s one of those foods I’d ditched for the longest time due to thinking it was to high in calories. Waste of lifetime to go without something so good but I’m making up for it now. On the savoury side I can’t get enough of pastry creations. I have another recipe to share later this week.

Current Wish List: Given that my birthday’s coming up on the 29th I should probably think of some wishes. Granted, I’ve pondered getting a tripod because I feel I could make good use of it. On the non-monetary side it’s a little ridiculous to admit after my anxities when first moving here but: lengthening my stay at my parents’. It’s not possible due to another internship lined up but I’ll try to make the most of the weeks left here. It’s a wonderful surprise to see worries vanish into thin air.

Current Needs: Sleep. Will I ever improve in this point? Six hours are far from enough … Oh, and another need would be the perfect birthday cake – and the ability to decide on one :D.

Current Bane of My Existence: No internet access at work [read: not being able to read blogs during my break] and severely cut down access at home. First world problems, I know, but also: blogger problems and I miss being able to catch up on your lives any time I want. I promise I’ll be back to reading and commenting regularly soon! [Sorry if this sounds whiney.]

Current Indulgence: Shopping. I may or may not have gotten the biggest haul in the shortest amount of time ever on a semi-spontaneous trip to Hamburg with my mum on Saturday. Six pairs of tights, a pair of bootees, a cardigan and some other odds and ends. I’ll blame Birthday Month for the splurges ;).

Booties

Let’s hope these are really made for walking [all day long] :).

Current Triumphs: In terms of food: Feeling more relaxed and not overanalyzing every bite. Having pasta for lunch while out and about shopping – and not making it a big deal. Stopping to constantly label foods as ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’. Another non-food related triumph is the story I’m currently working on for the newspaper seeming to work out really well. I’m not sure how interesting details would be so I’ll leave it at that to avoid boring you :).

Current Blessing: Repeat offender but yes, my parents. It bears repeating when thinking back to how long I took their support for granted years ago when I was deep in the throws of my ED.

Current Outfit: 

Outfit_Jan

Did I mention I hardly ever wear pants? Dresses and tights are my outfit of choice any season. Right now I’m pretty fond of florals prints and these tights with some golden sparkliness. Too bad it’s gotten colder and they’re more of an ‘around the house outfit’. And does anybody else sit on their window sills reading? Overlooking the garden it’s the best place to read on a sunny day.

Current Excitement(s): Meeting this fit chick soon!!!

Current Mood: See current music. Okay, to be honest I’ve let you know about my constant over-worrying before and it’s still there. But if I look at the simple facts I should really be happy. Still working on the ‘Live in the moment’ mindset.

Happiness inducing today: Treating myself to a special deep conditioner [will get a funny little mention on Thursday].

It’s your turn! Tell me your current:

1) … book.
2) … guilty pleasure.
3) … excitement.
4) … food/drink.
5) … excitment.

Living blissfully

Happy Monday! Time to get back to normalcy with this first full week of work after the holidays. Or maybe you’re like me and would happily hold off getting back to the grind for just a few more days. Either way, for now it’s not about making snap judgements about the week ahead but assuming it’ll hold as much marvelousness as the past days.MiMM_new

It’s hard to deny January brought forth a lot of amazing people [and no, I’m not saying this because my birthday’s coming up later this month, too]. Starting with Amanda’s last week today marks the birthday of another awesome girl dear to my heart: Emily. For any of you who might not have heard of her before: she’s the blogger behind Build Your Bliss inspiring us to create and live our own version of joy in every day. Not only is her blog one of my favourites but she has become a very good friend of mine helping me in many ways during the past year. Happy birthday, Emily <3!

It’s funny how blogging can help you shift your focus from a grumpy mood to thankfulness. When I sat down to write this post I wasn’t feeling too content with my weekend and not inspired to write. Especially not about finding bliss when I felt far from it. My weekend wasn’t bad per se – just mostly uneventful. But thinking about it in its whole again it deemed to me once again: bliss can be found in simplicity, too. A walk with my mum, successfully creating a new recipe for our family dinner [look out for it on here soon, kale fans!], getting absorbed in a great book. Simple bliss.

Flowers

Taking a leaf from Emily’s book [blog?] I reminded myself of some lessons on bliss that help me let go off negativity and outside expectations,  instead focusing on on the good in every day or in this case my weekend.

Find your own bliss.

Bliss. Defined as “perfect happiness; great joy” it can be different for each of us or – as Emily describes it using a popular phrase – isn’t ‘one size fits all’. So there actually isn’t an all-encompassing definition in the end. Which isn’t a bad fact. The only thing that matters is knowing what bliss is for you and making it part of your everyday life.

Happiness and success is all about spending your life in your own way.  Be yourself. [Source]

Maybe my [or your] weekend wasn’t spent in the way somebody else would have preferred. But if it left you feeling relaxed, with a calm mind and recharged for the week ahead it probably was just right for you. It’s not about impressing others or meeting their expectations but living life the way that feels good to ourselves.

Don’t stress about finding bliss – just see it.

Sounds ridiculous? Just as the above situation regarding my ‘too uneventful’ weekend shows I’m at times trying to find the ultimate happiness in huge things. When in reality it’s the small things adding up.

At the end of the day don’t hold onto the flaws but focus on what made you happy.

Writing down happiness inducers – or better yet filling your own memory jar is a great way to practice this. I’ve had days when I felt there was not a lot of ‘new’ happiness to add. But who says you couldn’t write down the same things twice? It just goes to show we have some happiness constants in our life that repeat themselves on the regular.

Count your blessings.

Even on ‘those’ grumpy days there are blessings we are surrounded by every day. A family supporting us. Our health. Friends. Blends. All of these are present regardless of whatever happens in our life. Reminding us of what we have and being thankful of this helps in finding happiness. Looking at it from this perspective I can say that yes, my weekend wasn’t as eventful as other people’s. But it was blissful in its very own way. And that’s what matters.

Happiness inducing today: The gorgeous light of the Winter sun sticking around almost all day long.

What was blissful about YOUR weekend?

When is your birthday? Any other January babies?