Good good links #201

Happy almost-Christmas! Well, since I won’t be posting on the actual holiday that’s my little early greeting. Plus, I’m confused about when to post good holiday wishes. Somebody already wished me a merry Christmas in an e-mail a few days ago and then there’s the fact we’re celebrating on 24th but most of you do on 25th so …

Anyway. That’s neither here nor there and you came here for some leisurely weekend reading, right? So that’s what I’m giving you and wishing you a very

Merry Christmas! May it be as small or big, as loud or silent or a celebration as you wish for. Maybe even a little bit of snow*?

*not around there parts; it’s almost warm and rainy this year

Good good [food for thought]

Change your mind – it’s a sign of strength not weakness  via The Guardian

In the wellness/healthy living blog world, we talk a lot about our bodies changing shape over the course our lives and this is a great argument on why our minds will – should! -, too, and that this actually is a wonderful thing.

 

Good good [advice and inspiration]

7 Real Talk Holiday Reminders For All Of Us via yes and yes

Behind every shiny Christmas card you’re getting is a person with a life no less messy than your own, gifts list can be ignored (see explanation of what this means in the post) and above all: it’s okay to do things your own way. There’s no standard protocol to follow around Christmas.

How to Enjoy Your Life More, Just As It Is via Greatist

Yes, it’s obviously easier said than done – nothing worth doing comes easily – but it’s definitely possible to come to terms with your life right now rather than wait for some undefined distant future “perfection”.

The Many Mini Ways to Show You Care via Psychology Today

A little more of the science behind why doing good makes us feel good. If reading this doesn’t make you even more eager to go out and help the people around you, I don’t know what would.

Well, I Never via Already Pretty

A poignant post describing pretty well how many of us know but still have a hard time wrapping our head around/convincing ourselves to believe.

What to Do If You Sit All Day  via Shape Magazine

Good advice that I think all of us could benefit from. I actually had a post-it on my screen reminding me of the second to last one here for a while. Whatever works, huh?

The Best Guilt Free Tips to Navigate Holiday Eating via Nourish Nutrition

When food makes us feel anxious, it’s time to listen to expert like these. Because food fears are irrational but these are some relieving reminders and rational tips. Suitable not just for the holiday season but any special meal/event involving more indulgent foods.

Storms don’t last forever via sometimes, always, never

 It can absolutely feel like they’d never end, hard to understand, uncertainty being the one overarching feeling but I think most of us will remember that previous big storm in our lives that did end at some point, too.

This Challenge Will Be The Only Resolution You Actually Keep via Popsugar

Full disclosure: I don’t like all of their proposals but most of them are actually good ones to check off.

Living with Anxiety and Depression – Q&A via Fit Foodie Finds

Lee openly shares her story and replies some of the most commonly asked questions around the issues in this post.

 

Cooking and food

Cookieland via The Kitchn

All things cookies and sweets collected on one adorable map. Oh to travel around here …

 

Good good [things to make you smile]

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, this shop will subcription box might get you very giddy …

Granted, Christmas season is pretty much over now but this gingerbread house is too cute not to share anyways.

The world needs more people like this little guy.

If you’re a parent, this piece will make laugh and feel understood. If you’re not a parent [my perspective, obviously], you’ll still find it funny.

 

Good good [food]

Lemon Chia Meringue Pie [vegan, gluten-free] via Crazy Cucumber

Good thing lemon isn’t a seasonal-only flavour because this little pie would be an eyecatcher on any occasion.

Vegan Chili Cheese Fries via She likes food

… and I still haven’t tried this American classic but really want to because how delicious does this look??

 Veggie Meatballs with Cranberry BBQ Sauce via Catching Seeds

These are the most real-looking vegan meatballs [even texture-wise] I think I’ve ever seen and sauce sounds great, too.

 

Happiness-inducing today: The fact it’s not too cold to go for a walk – heading out in a minute – and that I get to see my loved ones tomorrow. 

Stay in touch!

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

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An honest update and Christmas favourites

Before I get into today’s post: yes, it’s been a while and part of that way my laptop being a pain in the a** again, either constantly crashing or not letting me long into either my WordPress or my Gmail account [has this happened to anybody else before??]. Le sigh. Because it’s Christmas Eve on Sunday and I’ll be traveling the day before that, the Good good links for this week will find their way onto the blog on Friday already.

Thinking-Out-Loud

So where have I been? It’s been very silent on the blog after my previous post. Theoretically, I could leave it at the good old “life happened” explanation and in a way you could say that, yes, it did indeed. But not in the average busy-with-work-meeting-family-and-friends way. I genuinely wish it was [just] that. And just as a heads up before I go on here, I want to stress that I’m not writing any of the following to ask for sympathies or be that annoying vague-talking blogger [though I’m sure it might still sound like that to some]. I don’t like people to do that so I won’t, either. Rather, I’m sharing this because – as I have explained before – I can’t not at least hint at what’s going on behind the scenes and pretend life was all sunshine, rainbows and unicorns. It’d feel like lying to you. What happened is that a regular visit at my doctor’s brought about a diagnosis that will change my life and left me in shock. Tears. Sadness. Guilt.

Some moments I’m dealing okay [as in: distracting myself as best as I can] but a lot of the time, it’s hard. Sorry I’m being vague but I honestly have told a mere three people in real life so far, not planning on expanding the circle of people in the know, so I hope you’ll understand. There were and are moments when I consider[ed] quitting the blog – the sad moments – but others where I absolutely want to keep writing and staying in touch with all of you. The moments when I test new recipes to hopefully share here or think of topics I still want to talk about.

Whew, this is getting long already so without further ado, I decided to steer clear of heavy topics for now [the post I’d originally planned on writing] and just talk about recent things and favourites. Because even though the diagnosis is final, I don’t want to live my life thinking about and focusing on it 24/7 – that’s no solution. Onto the better things in life, my silver linings in every day.

A major favourite, especially given it snowed properly for the first time recently [all melted away by now, though]?
Christmas music and singing and dancing along. Key to brightening your mood in an instant even if your PE teacher – thanks for nothing, Mrs. S –  in school attested you a complete lack of feeling for rhythms. Dance like nobody’s watching. Taylor Swift.  have I been living under a rock to only now accidentally finding she’s back on Spotify? Denying this for the reason alone that it’s [literally] living behind the moon in my language 😉. Very convincing Argumentation. Dancing around to my Christmas playlist – hello there, Mr. Buble – while preparing the Semmelknödel might have slowed me down ever so slightly but worth it.

Semmelknödel vegan

[Not a pretty picture by any means but that’s what eating late and with impatient family members gets you]

So: Christmas! What are your plans? Whom are you celebrating with? What are you having for dinner? What are some of your family’s traditions? It’ll be the first year celebrating Christmas Eve – the main celebration day/evening around here – without my sister [and as such P., obviously] which is … weird. She’s with her husband’s family on Christmas Eve but the three of them will drive over to our house the next day. My parents, brother and I are celebrating Christmas Eve at my grandparents’. Only the six of us on 24th, then a huge family gathering on 25th. And for once, I actually had all my gifts ready a good week ahead of the big day. That’s pretty much of a first [in many years] for me which could be either a win or embarrassing … I can. not. wait. to hand my presents over and see how the recipients like them because I think I found some real surprises.

New Christmas chocolate. My taste in chocolate is honestly quite boring. I don’t care for anything filled and nine  times out of ten, will grab my regular 80 % cocoa bar. But this seasonal organic one caught my attention on Instagram and when luck would have it being available at my tiny local health food store, I knew I was supposed to buy it. The verdict? Delicious. Still not my #1 which is positive because it’d be a pity with it being seasonal only but definitely worth the money.

Maybe not really a favourite because it was a once-only experience but our office Christmas “party” was great. Rather than just following the standard procedure of going to a restaurant, one of my bosses suggested having a cook-out. It’s a lucky accident these sort of evenings [think of something like a semi-guided cooking class with a dietitian] are even offered in this area, given it’s very rural. While I didn’t get to take any good pictures that evening, the memories I made are unforgettable. Cooking and dining a six-course dinner together allowed for a wholly different level of connecting with each other. I’d definitely recommend this to any company – worth suggesting to your boss for the next gathering.

If you read all of the above, especially the first part: thank you! Now tell me about your week,  your plans for Christmas, favourite Christmas songs, movies – anything!

Happiness-inducing today: Scheduling plans to go to the movies with a friend tonight. Another one of those much appreciated distractions plus meeting friends is always a good idea.

Stay in touch!

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

Good good links #200

Oh hi …

This is probably the most unprepared I’ve ever been regarding these posts. The weeks flew by and I found myself with maybe two or three links collected on Thursday. Meaning I did some more intense reading these past few days to come up with enough for a post. Right now, I have many more tabs opened in my browser that I’ve yet to read so I might add those to the next good good links.   As always, share any must-reads you’ve come across in the comments.

Good good [food for thought]

Please Stop Complimenting Me On My Body  via Refinery 29

We do not know another person’s story so even a well-meant compliment can have the reverse effect. Aside from the fact that comments on others’ appearance just need to stop.

Meal Kits Ask You to Pick Your Battle via Observer

They’re [still] widely popular but while it might be nice to have your groceries delivered with no leftovers, there’s a not-so-amazing side to it that needs to get taken into consideration.

 

Good good [advice and inspiration]

How to Move Past the Fear of Judgment via tiny buddha

Shame feeds on secrecy so the ultimate but also hardest way of breaking through and handling it is in sharing. I actually experienced this very strongly the other week. The shame was hard to bear and I needed to tell somebody in order not to drown in it.

I Can’t Love My Body At This Weight via The Real Life RD

Another truly amazing post by Robyn. Loving the life it allows you to live rather than the shape your body has is – I’ll dare say it – the goal of pretty much every girl/lady in the healthy living/fitness scene of our generation.

4 Ways To Still Feel Like An Adult After Moving Back Home via The Financial Diet

First: there’s no need to feel ashamed if you, too, have to make this move. Second: these tips are golden. It’s easy to slip back into the old parent – child roles for both sides but these will help prevent it.

12 Things You Need to Give Up in 2018 to Be Healthy (and Happy) via FitSugar

While I’m pretty sure they posted this exact [or very similar] list a year ago and  I shared it back then already,  it’s worth repeating the action.

10 Ways to Handle Thanksgiving As An Introvert via The Kitchn

Not just for Thanksgiving but all holidays or even any bigger family gathering because – fellow introverts will relate – those can be very overwhelming and make us feel ‘bad’ for not mingling with the crowd like everybody else.

 

Blogging

Why Authenticity Matters For Your Online Personal Brand (And How to Maintain It)  via This Renegade Love

Agreeing with everything Lauren says and especially sharing both the good and bad days – the epitome of authenticity and bringing more realness into social media. 

 

Food and cooking

Canned coconut milk + coconut cream 101 via Oh, Ladycakes

Aka: the post to end your coconut confusion and frustration when that dang cream won’t show up on top of your can or refuse any whipping efforts.

Loving your food is (surprise!) good for you via Washington Post

We can’t get everything [and every bit of pleasure] out of any food or meal if guilt is sitting at the table with us.

The Truth About Carbs [And Why You Should Be Eating Them] via Greatist

Some good mythbusting here though I’ll add I do not agree with the suggestion in #5. Everybody’s different and you should follow your intuition there.

 

Good good [things to make you smile]

This Instagram account is definitely good for a few laughs.

 

Good good [food]

Vegan Peppermint Patty Slice via Oh She Glows

Such a special festive dessert packed with nutritious ingredients and even some hidden greens.

Sweet Potato Noodle Bowls via The Awesome Green

Yes, despite not being a huge fan of sweet potatoes, I think this sounds really really good.

Brussels Sprouts With Cashew Cream Sauce via Skinny Fitalicious

Super simple to make, this sounds like one of those dishes you’ll want seconds of. Or thirds, if we’re being honest …

Coriander-Carrot Grain Bowls with Cilantro-Honey Dressing via Dishing Out Health

 These bowls pack a lot of flavours and textures, a rarely used grain and are so pretty to look at [always a bonus!].

 

Stay in touch!

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

Life lately: Cookie dough, music and social media

Oh hello there!Is it really Thursday and the final (!) day of November yet? This week flew by – I know I (we?) always say that – but it’s been a bumpy one. I’d planned on posting twice this week but … you already know how that went. It’s a “shorter” week for me already in that I’m off to my grandparents’ house for the weekend tomorrow for a family gathering but I stiill wanted to pop in before  left.  Because my mind is running in a hundred directons at once, I’m  gladly following Amanda’s invitation to pour out some random thoughts. 

 

  1. Current favourite song/stuck in my head? This one:

Yes, I know it’s German so you might be tempted to just skip it but would you do me a favour and give it a listen still? When I was younger and couldn’t understand English yet, I already liked the sound of and found myself humming along songs from the UK and US, too, so who knows? You might just enjoy this, too. It’s a kind-of love song, albeit a sad-ish one. My favourite part of it is when he sings “I am fucking Yoko Ono, my heart is broke, oh John!” I can’t quite put a finger on it but that bit is so beautiful. Yoko and John – forever united? Fun fact: yes, Mark Foster is indeed allowed to use the f word. No censoring either on TV or in radio stations over here. I honestly can’t imagine how some more explicit songs or movies must sound like in the US. Constant beeping? Well, you know it: we neither mind nudity nor swearing over here ;).

2. Semi-news: my mum got an iPhone – a major update from her previous age old flip phone. Actually, she’s had  the new one for a few months already and …  Constantly on the phone texting her friends – even at work [yes, I caught her ;)]. And on a recent walk it was her pulling out the phone for a picture when I steered her attention to the sunset That  young lady’s clearly a little phone obsessed ;). It’s quite funny since my mum’s – to put it nicely – not well versed regarding social media. She’s an expert at so many other things but internet and phones? Not. Yet now that she’s in the iPhone crew of my family, she’s joining in the choir of my siblings and dad trying to pressure me into buying an iPhone, too. Which in turn makes me even more resistant [did I mention stubbornness runs in the family?]. Also, replacing a phone after only ~ 4 years seems … wrong.

3. Cookies! While not these vegan Zimtsterne that I highly recommend you add to your baking list – they’re vegan and naturally gluten-free – but plenty of other [new] favourites. I’ll be honest in saying I’m more of a dough that finished cookie eater, though. And seeing as I see [healthy and not-so healthy] cookie dough creations on Instagram, I know I’m not alone here.

4. Speaking of social media; everybody’s always sharing or [not-so?] secretly watching funny cat videos. I can’t say I did that but I recently stumbled upon this gem. Thanks to my sloooow old phone, it took a while for the video to start so I read the caption already, thinking “yeah, sure,  I bet the man hugged the animal so stop lying because we all know they can’t actually hug …”. Oh boy was I wrong. No, it’s not a cute kitten video but all the more special.

Happiness-inducing today:  Baking. It truly is therapy in the way of distracting me from the less pleasant happenings in life. Nothing like kneading dough, shaping cookies and listening to another podcast.

Stay in touch!

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

What’s your parents’ relationship with smartphones/social media like?

Cookie dough or baked cookies? Always the dough for me.

Did you listen to the song? If so: how did you like it??

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Good good links #199

We’ve officially reached the final week of November! Okay, somebody pinch me please. Or should I just get the Bubbly, er, Bublé out to get into my mind that yes, Advent/Christmas season really is about to start? Denial. Full-on denial here. Anybody else??? I even baked multiple batches of  cookies already in the past few weeks, for heaven’s sake! Oh well, you didn’t come here to hear me ramble so let’s get into those good reads. If you have barely any time to spare, just read the one in the first category for now and the remainder later. It’s a good one. Well, they all are or they would’t have made the cut but you know what I mean <- me writing intros way too late …

Good good [food for thought]

The Danger of Convenience via Raptitude

As I said in my intro: if you’re short on time, please just read this one article for now. It’s relevant for all of us. – “We’re making up for a known deficiency created by otherwise helpful technologies, even though staying strong and active never lost any value—it just became easier and easier to neglect.”

Good good [advice and inspiration]

Why Lying to Spare Others’ Feelings Isn’t Worth It  via Greatist

 

Honesty is important and if we’re being honest, lying doesn’t feel good, either. Others won’t hate you for speaking truth [us Germans are pretty good at being blunt there so trust me it works ;)].

How To Stay In Your Own Lane via With Purpose and Kindness

Great little reminders and tips on how to avoid the comparison trap. Even if we literally competed in the same race/or the same job/… we’d have still have had different starting points.

If you Really Want to…10 Eco-Friendly Ways to Shop on Black Friday & Cyber Monday. via elephant journal

Yes, Black Friday’s over and maybe Cyber Monday by the time you’re reading this, too, but these tips are good or any season, really.

Put Down Your Phone: Why Presence Is the Best Gift You’ll Ever Give via tiny buddha

This! When did you last have a fully focused conversation [no phone, not letting your mind go hundred different places at once]? The feeling is magical but these really have lessened so let’s make an effort to bring full presence back.

A Holiday Survival Guide for Sad People via Pinch of Yum

It’s easy to forget that this season isn’t an all-around happy one for everybody. Lindsay’s post is helpful both for the people going through any kind of hardship and those around to help support them. Beautifully written, too.

7 Things You Should Know Before Your First Therapy Appointment  via Self Magazine

Many people can benefit from seeing a therapist but it can be intimidating the first time so these things are really good to know so you’re not feeling overwhelmed.

A Chance Encounter Can Change Everything. If You Let It. via wit + delight

A beautiful [true] story of what might happen if we look up, actually note what’s happening around us and flow with those gentle nudges from the universe [just believe that they exist, okay?!].

Food and cooking

 

Food Science: Why Mashed Potatoes and Blenders Don’t Mix via The Kitchn

Probably no news to any slightly more experienced chef but my grandma and mum would definitely mistrust the kitchen skills of anybody committing this “crime” ;).

Food Gifts That Give Back via Real Mom Nutrition:

Supporting companies that support others is truly the best way of spending your money. Double gift-giving if you will.

Good good [things to make you smile]

How Much Sleep Does Your Zodiac Sign Need?

Oh hi … that’s embarrassingly true for me [or at least my dream sleep schedule].

Good good [food]

Vegan Cheesecakes via Gretchen’s Vegan Bakery

Or in other words: vegan dessert decadence galore. Fruity Pebbles, Oreo or Cookie Butter Cheesecakes plus five more to wow any guest.

Vegan Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas via Eluxe Magazine

Yes, I’m aware Thanksgiving is almost over but these would look good on your Christmas table, too, Particularly eyeing #14 here …

Brussels Sprout Gratin via Yup, It’s Vegan

One of the most underrated vegetables in a cashew-creamy casserole topped with crunchy breadcrumbs – hello, deliciousness.

Mushroom Ravioli with Fresh Basil Pesto via Her Heart Is Vegan

Homemade whole-wheat ravioli with tofu ricotta + mushroom filling and pesto – a dish to impress.

Happiness-inducing today:  A lot of little things, including the adorable pictures of P. and his little sewing machine my sister texted me.  Plus words of encouragement. Alwyays appreciated.

Stay in touch!

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

Thoughts on nourishment and finding silver linings

Hi there and yes, I’m still alive.

Leaving the blog world for a whole week after the previous post was not my intention . What happened was that WordPress ever so kindly kept me from logging into my account on several days. This has happened before and I’m still no wiser about the reasons so if any of you are, please let me know. It simultaneously happened with my Gmail account which was extra annoying. Though while not fun, it obviously is a first world problem and didn’t keep me from living my life.

Okay, onto some of the happenings from and a few thoughts on the past week. Thanks to Meg for hosting this fun little party to start the week on a good note.

Week in review

During the past week I …

Worked. Same old, same old. It was a somewhat busy week which is a positive in my book. There’s nothing worse – again: first world problem – than waiting for time to pass until you can leave during the less busy weeks.

Mailed a little birthday package to a very good friend living way too far away. As much as I like surprising others, I have a hard time finding a gift that feels just right. Useful but surprising. My sister – not completely without ulterior motives 😉 – suggested one of her undies so that’s what I got. The birthday girl was really happy with her new donut undies. FYI: This post is not sponsored by my sister  – I bought  the undies from my own money ;).

Spent time with the cutest little fellow in my world [aka: my nephew], my sister and my parents. I’ve seen them – my sister and P. – less often and miss having them around. It’s fascinating how fast P. is developing now – not just in terms of growth or vocabulary but in character. Being honest here, he’s sweet but definitely a little wild thing and hyperactive at times. Still cute. Plus, he’s calling me by my “pet name” now and has those adorable snuggly moments so it all balances out. Can’t he stay little forever, please?!

Met up with the aforementioned friend for another cooking date. It might unfortunately be our final one for this year with the holidays and lots of invitations coming up. Sad because the afternoons at her house are the epitome of nourishing for me. Cora wrote a post about this that really resonated with me. What makes a meal or a moment in life nourishing isn’t necessarily or at least not solely about the food. Yes, some foods do feel more nourishing than others. But how far does that go if we’re not feeling nourished wholly? The meal with my friend was just that through the setting – I really like her kitchen: lots of light, a few decorations and an overall cozy feeling -, the company and, yes, also the food. Feeling full but not uncomfortably, taking time to eat and having a deep conversation. Oh and since I figure you might wonder: we tried Dana’s Lentil Eggplant Lasagna. Repeat offender …What can I say? There are a million blogs but I simply trust her recipes and have so many I want to try. It’s actually funny I chose the lasagna because I neither like eggplants nor tofu much but the reviews were incredibly positive and it fit my criteria of offering enough tasks for two people. The verdict? So good! The sauce is super simple but flavourful [I didn’t use store bought marinara but a bottle of unseasoned tomato sauce, adding talian herb seasoning], the tofu ricotta actually delicious on its own already and the eggplant? Oh well. I thought it was cut into too thick slices as per the recipe. My friend would have liked more of a spicy kick – as did my mum and sister who got to try some leftovers – but enjoyed it. Her husband missed the meat [and I didn’t expect anything else to be honest]. You can’t please everyone even with dishes that got rave reviews on the blog. I actually took a few pictures this time but they didn’t turn out so I’ll use one of Dana’s here. I highly recommend you give it a try.

Had dinner with my parents, sister and P on Saturday night. Since I liked the lasagna so much, I made it again and can now say it’s definitely way faster to assemble the second time around. Slicing the eggplant into thinner rounds this time really made me enjoy it even more. It was only me eating this – the remainder of the family had Serviettenknödel [containing eggs so not for me] with mushroom cream sauce – but it was sharing a meal and time spent together that mattered. Yet another nourishing moment in my week.

Went on a walk with my mum on Sunday afternoon. She suggested it after we’d waved goodbye to my sister and P. I’m glad we did despite the frigid temperatures because our conversation and getting a good dose of fresh air was just what I needed as a finishing touch to the week. It wasn’t the happiest week for me but I’m always trying to shift my focus on the silver linings and try to be forgiving [of myself and others].

Despte what it might look like from the things listed above, the past week was rough. Tears, a hard time sleeping most nights because my brain wouldn’t calm down,  an uncomfortable appointment and body image struggles – all of these were part of it, too. And just so it doesn’t seem like it: I’m not saying any of these asking for sympathies but because I want to be honest. A lot of bloggers [choose to] portray only the good moments of life and if that’s what feels right for them that’s totally fine.  It’s just not for me [I also can’t lie when people in real life ask how I am and I definitely wish I could at times].  But I’m obviously also a big believer in seeing the silver linings in even the ickiest of weeks. And with all of that, I wish you a …

Happy Monday!

Happiness-inducing today: Family time. That’s not to say we were always getting along but it’s the overall happiness that’s on my mind still right now.

Stay in touch!
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living
Tell me some achievements from your past week!

Have you tried any new [blogger] recipes lately? Which ones?

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