Week in review: The Self-Care Edition

Hi there, February! Don’t you like it when Monday doesn’t just start the week but month, too? No? Just me?

Either way, Monday once again marks the time to get listing and link up with Meg again. Admitting this afterThurday’s post is ironical but I didn’t feel iike I’d done a lot during the past week. Taking my own advice, though, I reevaluated my days and noticed that long work days were balanced by lots of self-care.

Week in review

Starting with one thing I didn’t do:  celebrate my birthday [yet*] – say what?? Instead, however, I had an amazing first: I finally met the latest addition to our family on my birthday. I happened to have the day off from work and my sister expected other visitor the next day so it worked a charm. I’m not resentful about forgoing a celebration or even just a dinner out as meeting my nephew was the best gift. If I was excited about becoming an aunt last week I’m completely obsessed now. Yes, this is what every aunt or mum will say but he’s so flipping cute. [Insert endless gushing about tiny baby hands and awwwr here.]

And here’s where I owe you a sorry: I won’t post any of them. Trust me, I would be happy to share but I also respect the privacy of my sister and especially her little one. I hope all of you will understand.

*I intend on celebrating later this year when more friends are around. January is never a good month to gather people from all over the country.

That aside I …

Published three blog posts again. One of them related to the very topic the Week in Review is centered around and I was happy to see so many of you shared their thoughts and/or could relate.

Set up a flower bouquet my mum gave me on my birthday. It’s probably no secret I like flowers even though I’m bad at keeping them. Honestl, they’re better off outside in the wild than sharing the same four walls with me …

Birthday flowers

Went on a walk with my dad. This deserves its spot in here for numerous reasons one of them being it only happens once in a blue moon. He actually asked me to join very randomly when he saw me heading out yesterday and we had a good conversation, too. All of this only makes sense when I let you in on the fact that we don’t have the best relationship.

Remembered to up my moisturizing game. No ewwws here. The story behind this is that I can get pretty bad about using lotion because I’m a bit iffy after a few of my clothes were ruined by not so nice greasy stains. My legs and feet don’t like this so I’m trying to get back into the habit. It helps when your lotion smells like candy.

Lotion_Sweet Apple Pie Hugs

Freed up space on my laptop by deleting old pictures. Fellow bloggers will probably know the pain of taking millions of pictures of one and the same thing and forgetting to delete them. It’s okay for a while but then your computer starts acting up …. Or is this just mine?

Baked? no-baked? Prepared lactation bites for my sister. Basically all kinds of nutritious ingredients (various grains, cooked brown rice, coconut, …) rolled into balls And yes, they’re called balls in the original recipe but since a) that’s not blog-appropriate 😉 and b) I tinkered around with it to create my own recipe I changed it here. Confession: I was skeptical of how well these would turn out as they tasted very healthy at first. Low and behold, though, they got my sister’s sign of approval so if she asks for another batch I’ll share the recipe. Not just for any pregnant or breast-feeding women but anybody needing a healthy nutrient-dense snack. [No visual proof here as I prepared them at night and they looked like raw meat balls in the only picture I snapped.]

While I didn’t celebrate my birthday my mum treated myself to a little health food store haul as a small birthday gift. She knows me well. I went very basic but with some items I can’t find where I live: puffed buckwheat, oat bran, coconut flour and – ! – Chocolate Chili Yogi Tea. Seriously, if you can find this where you live: buy it! I used to be a huge fan of their Chocolate tea, switched to the Sweet Chili variety – you’re not surprised by this one, are you? – and then discovered this amazing blend. It’s so good. Sadly also so expensive but worth it as a treat.

Food haul_Schoko Chili-Tee_yogi tea

Took a rest day. I told you I’m only working out very lightly with workout videos but one day this past week my mind said yes, my legs no. So no it was. This is still hard when I feel like I’m not doing anything strenuous at all but it’s about healing my mind to develop a healthier attitude towards workouts in general.

Played a game of Yathzee with my parents yesterday and – won again. I have no explanation for this but I’m not complaining. It might have been due to the birthday bonus my dad granted me through throwing the dice an additional time when I’d had bad luck. Birthday week after all ;).

Happiness-inducing today: The current overall good atmosphere between me and my dad.

 

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21

Pinterest: MissPolkadot21

Bloglovin’: Let’s get living
Tell me three [or more] achievements from your past week!
 Random question: how do you feel about posting pictures of babies or children? It’s the first time I had to handle this situation and I’m curious about others’ approach.

 

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Ready to roll with the randomness?

First things first: Thank you so much to everybody who commented on Tuesday’s post. Writing and admitting to this really wasn’t easy for me and I kept telling myself I’d probably just delete it in the morning. In hindsight I’m glad I didn’t because many of you were able to relate.

Moving on to today. It’s ironical how now that I took the pressure off myself I felt inspired to write another post. A light-hearted one for a change so I hope Amanda won’t mind me linking up twice this week – I don’t see this becoming a regular.  I told you I wasn’t going to go anywhere so today I’m rolling with the randomness. About that post I talked about last week? I decided that after my last one it’d be nice to go back to some random thought dumping for a break. Be assured that topic’s going to be up soon, though – as in: scheduled for next week.

 

Thinking-Out-Loud

 

1. Get ready for an announcement … I’m officially a member of the coffee fiends circle now. Or at least if the requirement to consider yourself part of that exclusive club is having a daily coffee ritual and looking forward to your cup of the dark brew. I’m also planning to take advantage of the fact I’m still using instant and trying it in some baked goods soon. Stay tuned!

New in 004

2. It’s the season for … Lanterns! Oh sweet memories. Seeing small children wander through the streets with their ghost-, Hello Kitty- or whatever-shaped lanterns and singing the familiar songs makes me wallow in childhood memories. The good old times … <- wait, did I say that?! Dangit … am I really almost 24 already??!

3. Speaking of my age: How in the world is my birthday only about seven weeks away anymore? I don’t think I’m feeling ready yet. Granted, 24 is one of those ‘in-between’ ages – not 20 anymore but not 30 yet – and I won’t experience any major changes. Not like when you’re coming of age at 18 [I know it’s later in the US]. But maybe it’s time to write a 30 before 30 list like Juli did? Just to make sure I’m getting up and living during those in-between years??

4. On that last note I’ve been thinking [at times out loud] about a blog name change forever. I never mentioned it but – okay, with my overthinking tendencies it’s not a real surprise – I kept mulling over a name for-ev-er before starting my blog. And even then I wasn’t happy with the name. Maybe I should try to remember the other name options from back then. Actually, I do remember a few.

Birthday-calendars_May-August_f

5. Apparently the topic of birthdays is getting me on a roll because I just remembered the blogger birthday calendar I started way back. So … How to go from here? Are you still interested in it? I kept forgetting because I didn’t have enough names for some of the months but I wouldn’t mind starting again.

6. Ending with some humor because I feel we can all use a dose of that on a Thursday [or any day, really]. I think you can’t argue with this:

 

I’m actually not running out of thoughts but knowing I need to keep the time in check – another is it really this late already moment – I’ll just finish here wishing you a happy Thursday! Can you smell the weekend already???

 

Happiness-inducing today: Many nice short conversations sprinkled throughout the day.

 

Stay in touch!

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

 

 

Time for your randomness! Any thoughts on the topics above?

Blogger birthday calendar: yay or nay? [is that even a question?!] If so: let me know your birthday!

Do you remember the lanterns you had as a child?

 

Spilling the birthday beans

Posting twice again today in celebration of Australia’s special holiday:  The Queen’s birthday Arman Day. The host of spilling the beans – or just: Spill it Sunday – is another year older and demanding birthday facts and confessions. It’s been a while since I last joined so here we go!

Spill-it-Sunday-option-2-1
1. When is your birthday?
The reason why I can’t snark at winter: January 29th.

2. What would your ideal ‘day’ look like?

For whichever reason I find it hard to describe the ‘perfect’ day because aren’t the best birthday those were you make no huge plans and are surprised by how amazing they turn out? Okay, to answer the question: getting enough sleep, eating all of my favourite foods and being with my favourite people.

Root vegetables_2

3. When was your most memorable birthday?

That time I invited everybody from my class in school and we played SingStar all night. Does anybody even remember that? It’s been ages  – my 16th birthday if memory serves me correctly – but it was a blast.

4. When was your worst birthday?

I’ll cheat and won’t go with the worst but the strangest celebration ever. It’s been ages and I have no idea why my parents agreed but I was one of those children who had the idea celebrating their birthday at the Golden Arches had to be incredibly special. If you envied kids who celebrated there while all your parents allowed you was grabbing a Happy Meal: you didn’t miss out on anything. Unless touring a McDonald’s store and receiving an inflatable dragon that had lost pretty much all of its air by the time you went home sounds intriguing to you.

In case you’re wondering: no, the scary clown luckily didn’t make an appearance.

5. What is the best birthday present you have ever received?
Hard to pick. Generally, though, they weren’t the most expensive but those coming from heart: dresses and skirts my sister respectively mum had sewn themselve. Like this one:

Polkadots

Or the Waldorf doll my mum made herself and gave me when I was a wee little one. It’s those gifts that hold special value and a million memories. Knowing the time and effort these gifts required made them as special as they were.

6. What is the worst birthday present you have ever received?

Let’s just say one of my grandmas didn’t really have the best idea of age-appropriate gifts. The bright pink plastic make-up set and [intensely smelling] soap in shape of a sun I got when I was about 15? Well, very considerate but it was… Unusual. And never in use.

7. What is a health related gift on your wish list?

Not wanting to sound too cheesy but one I can only give myself: full recovery. Working on that one. In terms of gifts that money can buy: a treadmill. Not because I enjoyed running on them so much but – winter birthday, remember? – running outside isn’t always that well possible.

8. What is a food related gift on your wish list?
A spiralizer. The [blog] world is giving me constant nudges to get one. These pear noodle parfaits? All kinds of vegetables noodles in this book? Actually, I might ask for one for Christmas.

9. What is your birthday cake of choice?
Ice cream cake. Which I’ve actually never had but – again inspired by the blog world – need on my next birthday. Because ice cream is the better cake.

Childhood throwback, however: Kalter Hund. It’s a no-bake cake made from shortbread sandwiched with a thick chocolate frosting. If this one had ever been missed on any of my birthdays I’d have throw a fit so my mum knew better. Thinking about it Kalter Hund is totally deserving of a healthy makeover…

 

Happiness inducing today: Good news from a friend I hadn’t talked to in a while.

Stay in touch!

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

 

When was your most memorable birthday?

Did you ever celebrate at McDonald’s or were invited at a friends’s birthday there? It’s safe to say that my own future children will not be allowed to celebrate there. Ever.

 

Thinking out loud #10

Did anybody else notice it’s the 10th episode of Thinking out loud [at least in its link-up form] already? I don’t know about you but in our family significant birthday like this always were reason for a special celebration. Either way: Thanks for hosting this random fun day, Amanda! Here’s to many more weeks!

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. Every blogger knows the importance of props and background materials. Maybe it’s odd but recently I’ve found myself in a constant prop search modus. When I spot something that I think will work I’m curious to give it a try. In fact, I even transferred it to my mum in a way who now makes suggestions for what to use as props [which she called preps before – did I mention she’s cute:)?].

2. … and everybody [or so I assume] appreciates beautifully wrapped gifts. Enter my birthday and the gifts coming with it. I couldn’t really let those wrappers go to waste, right? The perfect low-cost new backgrounds for pictures to add to my collection. And no, I don’t think it was a coincidence polkadots made an appearance. My family really knows me well.

12. Februar 017

3. The gym. It really is a place to meet and watch the weirdest people. Sometimes an innocuous smile is understood as the invitation to talk another person’s ear off. Let me just tell you that thanks to an understanding smile to an older guy on the elliptical next to me I now know stories about basically every technical gadget he ever bought and sneaky sales pitches of a certain skillet manufacturer dating back to the 80s. Maybe I should choose the recipients of my smiles with a little more care?!

4. There are times when I should pay some more attention, though. Embarrassing to admit but true: I was out of my favourite chocolate earlier this week so naturally a quick trip to the grocery was in order. While I was at it I also got some more items for myself and my parents meaning I had a lot to carry back to the car afterwards. And it was only when unpacking at home – and checking multiple times in both my purse and the bags I’d brought along – that I noticed I was missing a single item: my chocolate. A sad night [yes, exaggerating a little here] and a lot of money spent for nothing. I obviously made up for it by buying two bars the next day.

12. Februar 009

Note the above-mentioned new background put to good use.

5. It’s my last week at my parents’ before moving back into my apartment so I’m trying to spend as much time with them as possible. Which – due to both of them working – sadly isn’t much. However, when my mum wanted to watch her favourite crime thriller series – ‘Tatort’ for any German readers – I joined her just because it was another reason to spend another 1 1/2 hours with here. We changed things up for a little more fun, though, playing bingo. Just for anybody who hasn’t played bingo before or can’t think of a way to play it while watching a thriller, here’s how: we both wrote down 5 x 5 terms we hoped would appear throughout the movie like crime, murder, pregnant, the agents’ names, … Believe it or not but I was this close to winning – even with a double bingo. Next time.

6. Impulse purchases are truly the bane of my existence. But can you argue with another pair of fuzzy socks? The last ones have started to disintegrate already. That’s what you get for buying a cheap pair, I guess.

Fuzzy socks

7. Will I ever stop taking the Disney quizzes? Maybe. Maybe not.

8. For all the other single ladies out there probably dreading the idea of spending tomorrow alone: Think about it differently. From what I’ve gathered the intention of Valentine’s Day isn’t making those of us currently not in a relationship sorry for themselves. It’s about love. And love doesn’t come in just one form. Read this great post if you need further encouragement to embrace single-dom. Additional bonus: you can keep all the chocolate for yourself. Or how about …

Schokotorte_cake

9. … keeping most to yourself but still sharing some with those you love. I might not have a valentine this year [or do I, GiGi 😉 ?!] but that doesn’t mean there weren’t any loved ones in my life. Like the above Chocolate Mousse Cake for my parents. Maybe I wasn’t altruistic all the way when making this. Just three words: chocolate whipped cream.

10. If you’re spending Valentine’s Day alone celebrating yourself tomorrow and feel like a whole cake is just a little too much: Be back tomorrow for a sweet little single-serving dessert [shown in yesterday’s WIAW already] just in time for Davida’s Bake-Off.

Happy Thursday!

Happiness inducing today: Chocolate mousse.

Keep in touch!

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


Have you ever played bingo before?

What’s your favourite chocolate? Dark, milk, white? Brand? I blame one of my grandma’s for getting me hooked on Lindt.

Do you have any weird gym stories to share, too?

Keeps getting better

Okay, fine, I know we’re all a little rushed at times – but in what kind of an exreme hurry is 2014?! Are we actually three days into February already? I’m in denial. Especially since my birthday approached way too quickly and it seems like it had been days since though the month itself still was so short. Time is confusing.

It’s been five days since my birthday already and I still haven’t done a recap of any kind. In fact, I haven’t even considered doing one though I’d planned to before the day itself. Knowing I didn’t have any special plans I’d meant to keep it short hopefully triumphantly accouncing my defeat over my parents in board games :).  My decision not to follow up on the day, however, was because some things did happen. Only these weren’t the happy and joyful memories I’d hoped for. But I didn’t come to whine today.

Good things

A year ago this would have gotten me down. A year ago I might not have been able to take a step back and re-evaluate the situation. A year ago – yes, a year ago. Things have changed. Ever since I started focusing on the positives and counting sparks of happiness, though, I haven’t allowed a single day to pass on a negative note. Just looking at the day a little more closely – or actually, it didn’t take long at all – I remember all of your sweet comments and mails that truly made my day. How could I consider a day a fail when I’d been the recipient of so much love and positivity after all? [And when there was snow and I didn’t have to shovel – win!]

snow

There still were a number of issues that really got to me and will require further working on them [note: not related to food]. Nothing that’s easily wiped away or brushed off like an annoying fly but such is life. Repeating it in my head like a mantra I started to believe this: If my birthday was the lowest point I’d been in a while it might have been destiny’s plan.  Meaning that from now on it could only keep getting better. And guess what? It did. I still won’t say things have made a  lasting 180° turn-around but I’ve seen and experienced a profound change and encouragement already. So no, maybe my birthday wasn’t the most amazing in what happened but it once more offered a learning experience and opportunity of growth for me. And isn’t that what birthdays actually are supposed to be?

Birthday and more 016

If we trust in the good it will come to our lives. Maybe not the very moment we feel we need it the most. But persistence and believing in good times to follow the less stellar ones will pay off. Bad days happen no matter if on our birthdays on any other day. That’s life and it’s okay. Like a good friend reminded me: we shouldn’t overvalue a specific date like our birthday or a certain holiday. When we don’t it’s easier to accept that bad days are simply part of being. We will go on. Things will work out. And that’s marvelous.

Happy Monday to all of you!

MiMM_new

Happiness inducing today: Talking to a blend via Skype. Oh, the blessings of technology [though I’m still not perfect at using it.]

 

Feel free to share your thoughts.

What did you do on the weekend?

Is there still any snow where you are? If so I hope you don’t have to shovel yourself, either :).

 

 

Thinking out loud #8

You really know how to make a girl feel special on her birthday. Thank you so much for all the mails, texts and Tweets yesterday. Every single one was a little happy spark in my day and made me feel loved. Back to the regular scheduled program now … It’s Thursday after all and time for some Thinking out loud hosted by Amanda who’s currently enjoying the sunshine and Disney (!!!) in California and I don’t which of the two things I’m more jealous of …

Thinking-Out-Loud

[Note that I drafted this post pre-birthday knowing I wouldn’t have the time and internet permission on my birthday. Hence the lack of birthday detail mentions :).]

1. Were you confused by the years celebrated on a certain birthday as a child, too? I remember explaining to a friend in 7th grade that your – just taking this as an example as it fits – 23rd birthday actually meant  celebrating the end of your 23rd year and start of the 24th. Meaning that wishing somebody a happy 23rd year of life on their 23rd birthday was a little late. She was confused ;).

2.  The birthday wishes made me think that a blogger birthday calendar might be a good idea. As much as I wish I did I don’t know every single blends or other blogger’s birthdays and would be glad to find out so I can return the well wishes.

… and yes, I could totally see myself use that very printable to write them down :). So cute!

3. No matter how much I love my family some of their habits get annoying after a while. Call it OCD but doesn’t everybody know how to load a dishwasher the right way? There clearly is one best and most effective way ensuring all dishes get clean and reducing the time needed for unloading. Why, yes, I do have a system.

Spülmaschine

4. Long legs, a huge chest and barely weighing a gram too much: no, that’s not the description of a model. Far from it. What is is: spiders. That’s the downside of living in a countryside house: those ‘Weberknechte’ are everywhere.. The worst is when they decide to join you in the shower cabin allured by the steamy hot water. The horror. Forget the scary movies – this is enough for me already.

5. Finally word is spread of the amazingness of phyllo dough – obviously just because I started it ;). And can I just say how perfect the title of this post is? If you’re still not convinced you need some buttery hugs in your life then I’m at a loss.

6. Judging from the looks of my poor fingers I can’t be trusted around knives anymore. Just during the last few days I’ve cut myself three times. Actually, we’re not just talking knives but sharp paper edges, too. It’s a dangerous world we live in …

Cutting bell peppers

7. Dear winter, I’d call you beautiful – okay, I do – if only you weren’t so damn cold. But yes, still beautiful with the thick snow blanket covering the surroundings.

Snow_2014

8. Speaking of the cold: Can we talk about a current blessing and downfall of mine? Built-in seat heating. A blessing because – let’s face it – some mornings nothing else will get me out of my warm bed than the promise of at least staying semi-warm during my commute to work. The downfall? Confusing the car with said bed. Does anybody else get all dozy when cranking the heat up all the way in the car? I need to really focus and let down the car windows for the freezing 5 °F wind chill to wake me up again. Woops.

9. Another blessing – and this time without any downsides: my new thermos. You’ve heard me talk about my need for warm lunches before and this one’s absolutely perfect to ensure those at the office. Best investment recently.

Thermosbehälter

10. Tomorrow’s the last day of my internship at the newspaper and I wish it never ended. Cheer me up, please?!

Happiness inducing today: Finishing the post on my birthday I’ll obviously go with the birthday wishes again <3!

Blogger birthday calendar: Good idea? Bad idea? Unless you want to keep it a secret: Tell me your birth date and expect congrats coming your way on your special day :)!

Do you agree there’s a certain way to load dishwashers? Possible answers are: yes or heck, yes!

Any favourite chick lit books?