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 …

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been too long [traveling and a decision]

Take the title of today’s Thinking out loud and the post itself in a two-fold manner. For once, it’d been way too long since my last trip to Berlin. And on the other hand, I’ve finally made a commitment that took me even longer than packing up my bags to head to the capitol again. I’d better start explaninig  before I’m loosing your attention at this point already. So either way: If you’re not interested in recovery rambles [it’s okay, we can still be friends] I’ll throw in some of the [half a bazillion] pictures I took on my visit to this wonderful city.

Thinking-Out-Loud

 

 Like I mentioned before my recent travels have been much appreciated breaks from my daily grind and also helped me stress less about food. What especially my trip to Berlin did, though, was give me that final push to take a cue from Julia. If you’ve been reading for a while already you’ll have seen the many posts about recovery in my good good links. Every single one of them was further encouragement to work on recovery – yet I still found myself stuck in some state of quasi-recovery. Not delving into it and letting go of all my worries.

Maaay and bits of June 015

During the past years of writing this blog I’ve made huge progress in my recovery that I tend to overlook at times fbut luckily I have people reminding me of it. Yet I’m still far from where I want to be: Living a happy and intuitive life.

Maaay and bits of June 049

What was I or – knowing I’m not the only one here –  are we waiting for? We will never feel 100 per cent sure about anything. No doubts whatsoever. Ready to dive heads-on into the unknown. No, it’s not going to happen. Or maybe one per cent of all humans can – lucky if you’re part of that minority. For the remainder of us it’s really about getting fed up with our situation and wanting to change. And long story short: I want to change things.

houses_Berlin

What was or is, really, still holding me back? Several reasons, actually and I’d be writing a short novel if I was to list all of them. Some are:

The fear of loosing all control. That’s a huge one. Have you ever wondered why those weight loss plans promising to loose x pounds in y weeks sell so well when you could just  loose weight slowly but steadily by eating mindfully? Because they make a promise of control. Weight gain, on the other hand, is not predictable.

Similarly, weight loss is cheered on by society and the media while weight gain is by far not [considered] glamorous. This needs to change. If you’re [probably severely so] underweight there’s nothing happy or admirable about that and weight gain is indeed something to encourage – and celebrate.

Old habits die hard. Counting, Measuring. Stressing about exercise or lack thereof. It’s not easy to break the cycle.

The belief that I’m that rare unicorn.  [This post is already getting too long so click over there for an in-depth explanation].

Maaay and bits of June 065

I know what skinny feels like and I don’t want to experience any of this anymore. I’m craving freedom. Happiness. Just living life and not planning 384550 things ahead to make sure I know what I’ll be doing/eating/how and when I’ll be exercising. Just typing it all out exhausts me and again: I’m sure others can relate.

Maaay and bits of June 070

If you’ve made it this far in today’s post: thanks for reading! My intention was to be open, maybe encourage others in the same situation and make myself accountable. Inspired by Julia, Alexa and many others I’m currently working my way up to intuitive eating along the lines of Minnie Maud. I’m not expecting this to be easy – is recovery ever? – but worth it. There’s too much proof of this to stay stuck any longer. Amanda is another huge inspiration – even if she didn’t formally follow Minnie Maud she’s been encouraging me to let go of control – and also travel! – about a million times before.

Maaay and bits of June 037

Oh and to end this on a non-recovery note: If you haven’t been to Berlin before you absolutely need to go. Whenever I visit this city it amazes me anew each time. There’s so much to see, do and explore that I’ve come to the solution I need to move there one day. Now that’s some good recovery motivation, don’t you think?! [and there I failed at truly ending on a non-recovery note …]

 

Happiness-inducing today:  Riding my bike back home from the store, up a small hill and all of the sudden being flashed by bright warm sunlight. It made me smile. Big time.
Stay in touch!
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living
No questions today but just your thoughts, questions, experiences – whatever. Or just share what has been making you happy lately.

 

Thinking out loud #7

What a difference a label makes … Not in terms of diets in case that’s what you were thinking. But if you’ve been reading my blog for a while already you might remember I used to do these ‘random thought’ style posts for a while already. But while they were fun to write I can’t remember I ever got as excited about them as I do now for Thinking out loud. So thank you for the music label, Amanda!

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. Speaking of labels and now in terms of food after all: Why is it that children [or grown-ups, too, if we’re being honest] enjoy eating one and the same dish or food even more when it comes with a cute label? Going through some of my stuff still stored in my old room at my parents’ I happened upon this gem of a book called “Party recipes for Children”. [Note that even if you don’t speak/read German the Amazon preview has some hilariously old-fashioned pictures to look at.]. Who wouldn’t want to eat Anti-Vampire Soup, Pizza faces or Little Red Riding Hood Salad?! I know you’re curious about the recipes now ;).

2. Why not start a random post with a random picture I took in Berlin? This was too cute to pass.

Street art_Berlin

3. Not looking my age can be a real annoyance when working as a journalist[-to-be]. Sounding young on the telephone doesn’t make things any easier, either. Case in point was one member of a network I was supposed to write an article about deeming it necessary to spell ‘coordinator’ to me. Eh … thank you very much for nothing. And no, I’m not the newspaper’s school intern.

Notizbuch

4. Granted, judging from my current [work] notebook you might doubt my age. In my defense, though, I didn’t buy and choose it myself but just asked my mum if she had a spare one lying around.  Very grown up, no?! It happens to actually be one I got years back, though, and had never used so it went directly into my mum’s stash.

5. When I returned home on Sunday one of the first things my dad asked about my meet-up with Lucie was if she was vegan. Picture his delighted grin when I told him she wasn’t. “So not everyone’s vegan then, huh?” Trust me, I never said anything like that. Oh, sure, just so you know: all bloggers are obviously vegan – even if you didn’t know yet you’d better start chugging soy milk and dousing every meal in nutritional yeast right now to fit the stereotype.

6 . Judging from that graphic I’ve failed at fitting the blogger stereotype all the way. Or wait, let’s see …  Does Journalism count as a form of art? Check. Loves: photography, blogging, family, fashion, obscure [is vegan and organic obscure?] restaurant, … Wow, I’m apparently more stereotypical than I thought. Should I be proud or ashamed?

7. Apparently it has become some kind of trend among the visitors of Berlin’s Museum of Communication to adorn the traffic light in front of the entrance with their bright visitor’s badges.  Note that mine isn’t in the picture …

Berlin January 19th 018

  … because I kept sporting it on my cardigan all day long and didn’t notice until back at home. Woops. Lucie, did you notice? No need to shell out money for brooches or buttons when you can get a bright spark on your clothes for free ;).

Kommunikationsmuseum

8. Sorry I’m not sorry for the constant Disney appearances on the blog. But after Caitlin tweeted her result of this test yesterday I just had to try it and share with you, too. Don’t forget to tell me your result because you know I’m curious!

9. No mention of the puzzle [or better yet its progress] in today’s Thinking out loud. [Note that this doesn’t count.]

10. It’s less than one week until my birthday and I have yet to decide on a cake. It’s about time to make a decision, I guess. If only it wasn’t that hard! [Read on before you judge the childish picture – it all makes sense.]

Source

Happiness inducing today: A kind* stranger at the gym telling me to enjoy my workout and sounding like she meant it. Not something you – or at least I – hear often because far too many people don’t even greet others.

* that’s why I thought the ‘random act of kindness’ graphic was the best fit for the birthday week picture.

What makes you the stereotypical blogger [according to others]?

Do you jaywalk often or are you a goodie-goodie using the cross-walk?

Trusting hunger cues & Berlin recap

Visiting Berlin isn’t just the obviously amazing experience of spending time in this vibrant and multicultural city. For me, it’s also a way of measuring my progress in terms of eating. There are usually months in between any two visits to the city and I can see at least a little bit of improvement every time. Maybe not visible to an outsider but noticable differences to me nonetheless. It’s What I ate Wednesday again so here’s to sharing not only meals but also some reflections on past and present times at Berlin. Don’t worry: deliciousness overweighs the heavier thoughts.

wiawloveyourveggiesmonthbutton2

We had intended to spend the whole weekend in the city but as my mum had a busy week and still more work to do on Saturday we decided to postpone a longer trip and make the most of Sunday. Getting up far too early for my liking [7:40 AM on a weekend?!] to be at the station in time to catch our train at shortly past 9. How do you early birds do that every day??

at the station

Our first stop and priority after arriving in Berlin was warming up from the chill that lay over the city at a café. Not any, though, but Sarah Wiener’s at the Museum of Communication that we’d meant to visit in anyway. The café has a cozy and comfy feel and an inviting atmosphere.

Sarah Wiener_Kommunikationsmuseum

For any of you knowing Sarah Wiener you won’t be surprised by how pretty – though not vegan – the piece of cake my mum ordered with her coffee. I may or may not have snagged the decorative piece of white chocolate.

Sarah Wiener_Torte

Past visits to Berlin evoke memories that range from not more than an apple for breakfast to then touring the city in a grouchy beast mode and brain fog. Enjoyable days? Far from it. Not only did they clearly affect my general condition but fighting with my mum – related to food or not – was unavoidable. Eating or lack therof pushed itself in the foreground no matter what we did. It became a dominating issue whenever we visited Berlin interfering with any plans we might have made. Previously [note: years ago] trying to eat as little and move as much as possible throughout the day hadn’t made for the most amazing times. This time, however, I let go of plans and followed my intuition. A breakfast that left me satisfied along with some snacks was a first good change. The second was not ignoring my grumbling stomach after making our way through the exhibition on beauty and body image [possibly more details in a post to come]. Knowing we weren’t going to have lunch until the late afternoon we spontaneously stopped by yet another café.

Berlin_youghurt

I’m not a fan of being the only one eating when the people I’m with aren’t hungry yet so this was a step out of my comfort zone. A step that felt good and right, though. Not only was every spoonful of this tomato soup with a sweet and spicy kick warming and delicious. It was another little learning experience: Listening to our hunger cues – however untimely they might feel – isn’t always easy when our mind tries to convine us elsewise. But in doing so we free our minds from focussing on food instead being able to turn our full attention to more important things.

Tomato soup_youghuru

Like meeting blends as I did after eating said bowl of soup above. I’ll keep myself from gushing about how awesome meeting Lucie was again 😉 – but just because today’s about the food. And there was more of that because as good as it tasted the soup clearly didn’t comprise a full lunch. Enter lunch part two. When it came to choosing between an early train home or lunch food won. Food and good company.

Burrito bowl_January 2014

No visit to Berlin is truly complete without fulfilling my need for a burrito bowl at Dolores. Same order as usual: mild salsa, Mexican-spiced brown rice, a hearty serving of black beans. All topped off with salad and freshly prepared tortilla chips. We had a great time caching up with one of my aunts and her boyfriend who are living in Berlin. And just because it’s hard to tell from the first picture: yes, there were rice and beans below all of the chips.

Dolores

Snacks on the train back home included Amanda’s oatmeal bars once more which I swear get better by the day. Back home I had – well-prepared as I am [as if] – oat bran waiting for me to reheat it on the stove making for a great breakfast for dinner on a cold cold night. Trust me you don’t want to see a picture of this let alone one taken in sleepy and ravenous state [not like I took one but you don’t need to know me slacking on blogger duties ;)]. Previously I’d have neither had a two-part lunch nor allowed myself to eat a full dinner plus more snacks after returning home on a rest day with hardly any moving around. It’s all about learning to trust my hunger cues and as hard on my mind as it can still be at times I don’t want to go backwards anymore.

Oatmeal bar_II

There you go with a day of good food, meeting a blend and bonding with family in Berlin. Blissful.

Happy Wednesday!

Happiness inducing today: Quiet me time in the morning.

Have you been to Berlin before?

Do you have an easy time listening to your hunger cues and following along no matter which situation you’re in?

Blended in Berlin [blogger meet-up]

Hi!

Keeping it [rather] short and sweet but also slightly sappy here today. If that’s not for you just return tomorrow for the food. I won’t judge you [much]. For those of you who are still reading: let’s talk blends once more. It’s a well-known fact among bloggers that aside from all wonderful parts of blogging the friendships we create are the most amazing. Like I mentioned before this weekend did not only involve a simple day in Berlin but involved a meet-up with Lucie.

Atlantic Berlin_2014

Lucie had suggested a cute little restaurant in Kreuzberg, the neighborhood she used to live while in Berlin in 2008 for our meet-up.  It had the typical Berlin flair – a mix of guests from students, tourists as well as people who looked like they had been born and raised in Berlin. Unsurprisingly the place was packed and had a great atmosphere. I’ll admit I was still anxious the hours leading up to our meet-up. What if we didn’t get along? Or if I don’t know what to say? Or … I can be quite talkative but awkward when first meeting others. Clearly my constant over-worrying tendencies persist even in the face of happy events to come.

Lucie

All of my worries were obviously [or not so to me, apparently] unnecessary and forgotten all at once when we met. From the moment we hugged and said hello we clicked with each other right away. It’s one of those clichés that’s true: when you’ve been following each other’s blogs, exchanging mails and letters it’s like you’d been friends forever. Lucie and I talked non-stop about … everything, really. Just like catching up with an old friend you haven’t seen in a while and where you can pick up a conversation at the point were you stopped the last time. From blogging in general to food [obviously], families,  fitness and whatever else we could have gone on forever. It’s probably a cliché saying this by now but Lucie truly is just as sweet in person as she appears to be on her blog.

Tea with Lucie
The beauty of friendships among bloggers [is blendship an existing word yet??]: We know each others’ background, thoughts, opinions, worries or just random quirks. Meaning that we’ve bonded over similarities, given advice, laughed with each other long before an actual meet-up. What we share on our blogs at times is so intimate we might not even have confided it to family or friends. No matter where we are in life, which struggles we face or questions we ask about life there’s somebody out there who has experienced the same and can offer helpful or at least calming and reassuring words. Support, advice, There’s no need to explain yourself or try to be someone else when you meet people who don’t judge you for your past or current ‘flaws’ you shared on your blog. There are topics I have an even easier time approaching with blends than with ‘real life’ friends though I’m happy to add Lucie to the latter now, too. [In case she agrees, that is :).]

If it hadn’t been for either of us needing to catch a plane respectively train back home Lucie and I agreed we could have kept talking forever. It’s safe to say plans to visit Switzerland are starting to form over here. Even more amazing would be following Lucie suit and attending one of the huge blogger meet-ups overseas to meet even more blends. Wishful thinking …

Come back tomorrow for more on what I ate  in Berlin. Happy Tuesday!

Happiness inducing today: Sharing an office with a nice colleague.

What was a highlight of your weekend or your Monday?

Will you attend one of the blogger meet-ups in the US? Which one?

MIMM: Fabulous February [favourites]

[Grammar nerd alert: Can’t get enough alliteration in my life.]

Yes, you read that right. I know it’s almost too late to post February favourites by now but as there were quite a few fabulous things and happenings I’ll still do it. Which better occasion to do so than Marvelous in my Monday?! Thanks to Katie for hosting!

MiMM_new

Favourite beauty product

Thanks to my fantastic American pen pal who spoiled me with goodies earlier in February I finally got to experience the awesomeness that is Bath & Body Works.  Their Honey Autumn Apple Lotion scents sooo good.

Honey Autumn Apple

Favourite tea

Cinnamon Apple Spice

While I’m usually not keen on fruity teas at all Celestial Seasoning’s Cinnamon Apple Spice flavor is a fabulous exception. Warming, naturally sweet and just delightful it’s one of those teas I can’t get enough of.

I’ve been bugging a local store selling several Celestial Seasoning’s products about ordering this flavor but while they promised it they never did. Talk about bad customer service. Once again my pen pal stepped in and mailed me not only two large boxes of that flavour but also some of this …

Sugar Cookie

Sugar Cookie Tea!

She got this for herself after I recommended it having heard the whole blog world rave about it. Teasing me she pretended she wouldn’t be able to fit it into the box anymore. Such a sweet surprise to open the package to this one, too. Granted, I might not have assumed the taste to be reminiscent of sugar cookies had I not known the name. But it certainly tastes fantastic and I totally get what all the hype is about now :).

Favourite blend

Hoping to get back to the lovely restaurant soon - not alone for sure :).

Hoping to get back to the lovely restaurant soon – not alone for sure :).

Okay, there are way too many sweet people in the blog world to play favourites. But having met Kat in February I can definitely say she’s a fabulous one I hope to meet again soon! Getting to know alike minds is one of my main reasons to blog and I hope to meet more blends in the future.

Favourite book

Kindle reading

Reading everybody’s enthusiastic reviews during the past months I finally got “The Happiness Project” for my Kindle. I’m usually skeptical of books like this but am enjoying it a lot so far. In case you’re wondering why I haven’t finished it yet: I think it’s one of those books to read slowly trying to incorporate the advice in your own life. Yet another topic for a future post, I guess 😉 – not that there weren’t enough I’ve promised you already. I will get to those soon, I promise!

 

Favourite trip

The famous "Ampelmännchen" spotted on a shirt at the flea market.

The famous “Ampelmännchen” spotted on a shirt at the flea market.

Visiting Berlin was definitely one of my highlights in February. Funnily enough I wasn’t even to keen on going there when I was younger wondering what all the rage was about. But especially during the past years I’ve grown quite fond of the city. It’s an interesting place with many things to see and do as well as good food to eat, obviously ;). Traveling with my mum was the cherry on top. Fingers crossed we’ll be going again soon!

What were some of your highlights in February?

Which is your favourite flavor of Celestial Seasoning’s tea?