zimtsterne-gluten-free-and-vegan-made-with-aquafaba

Flourless Vegan Zimtsterne

A cinnamon fiend’s dream: Flourless vegan Zimtsterne are a traditional German Christmas cookie gone vegan with the help of aquafaba. Dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, with no butter, oil or flour these cookies fit many diets.

First off: …

Merry Christmas! – Fröhliche Weihnachten! – Joyeux Noël! – Geseënde Kersfees! – God Jul! – Feliz Navidad!

Instead of my usual Christmas post I’m bringing you a recipe as a little gift today.

Do you know what’s funny? It’s only through blogging that I realize foods or dishes I’ve eaten for ages fit certain criteria. Like these Zimtsterne that to me were just, well , Zimtsterne but actually happen to be naturally gluten-free. No tinkering needed. However, they still needed a makeover because the traditional recipes relies heavily on whipped egg whites so isn’t vegan. In comes the magic that is aquafaba! If you haven’t heard of this superstar ingredient yet: it’s the liquid you dran from cans of chickpeas and white beans. Or rather: the liquid you won’t be discarding anymore once you see its amazingness play out.

Zimtsterne - vegan and gluten-free Christmas cookies using just six ingredients!

The flourless vegan Zimtsterne aren’t the healthiest cookie out there, I know. All that powdered sugar – whoa, huh? Here’s the deal [and it’s no revelation]: life’s all about balance. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know I like to experiment with more nutritious alternatives to traditional baking ingredients. Gluten-free oat flour instead of the refined version. Maple syrup standing in for sugar. Dates to create a luscious caramel topping. Yet – there are recipes that aren’t meant to be healthified. The memories evoked by these naturally gluten-free cinnamon cookies weren’t made eating a sugar-free #cleaneating-approved version of them.  Now if I absolutely cannot convince you to let a little sugar into your life: there’s help.  Here’s a tutorial on how to make sugar-free powdered sugar at home or a storebought alternative. Because nobody should miss out on Zimtsterne.

zimtsterne-gluten-free-and-vegan-made-with-aquafaba

Now I haven’t eaten my grandma’s Zimtsterne in years as I’m not eating eggs anymore. So I obviously had to ‘force’ 😉 my family to rate the authenticity of my vegan Zimtsterne. Verdict? Big thumbs up. Even my dad who – unlike my mum and sister – didn’t know about the fact these were vegan, much less the secret ingredient, noticed no difference. If you’re not convinced to try these yet I’m at a loss. Too bad because you’d be missing out on these delightfully soft-yet-slightly-chewy cinnamon-spiked cookies topped with a crisp sweet icing. If you’re a cinnamon fiend you will fall heads over heels for these naturally gluten-free Zimtsterne.

One more thing: Don’t let the length of the instructions intimidate you! This recipe for vegan Zimtsterne – while more time-involved – is actually very simple and fun to prepare. I just tried to make the directions as clear as possible so you, too, could have  Zimtsterne in your life. Not just for Christmas but all year round!

Flourless vegan Zimtsterne

  • 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar, sifted [180 g]
  • ¼ cup of aquafaba [60 ml]
  • 3 cups of almond meal [300 g], divided [2 ½ + ½ cup] OR 2 ½ cups of almond meal + ½ cup of gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsps of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp of amaretto*
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  1. Add the aquafaba to a tall mixing bowl and beat at high speed for 4-5 minutes.
  2. In intervals, add in the powdered sugar, beating it in well on high speed for another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Transfer about ¾ of the mixture  into a larger bowl. The remaining ¼ will be your frosting later on.
  4. Mix 2 1/2 cups of the ground almonds and cinnamon. Pour on top of the whipped aquafaba in the large bowl and mix to combine everything well with a spatula.
  5. Knead in the amaretto and a squeeze of lemon juice by hand. If your dough is too sticky, add some of your reserved almond meal/[gluten-free] flour.
  6. At this point preheat your oven to 120 °C/235 °F.
  7. Sprinkle some of the reserved ground almonds or the gluten-free flour on your work surface, place your dough ball on top, sprinkle with some more ground almonds and roll out about ¼ inch/1/2 cm thick.
  8. Cut out cookies and transfer to your lined baking sheet(s).
  9. Using a knife or baking brush, spread the reserved aquafaba on the cookies.
  10.  Bake for around 16-20 minutes or until your able to lift a cookie from the tray without bits of dough sticking to the parchment paper.

Barely adapted from Daily Vegan.

Notes

Make sure the bowl you’re whipping the aquafaba in  is completely dry and free from any fat residue as aquafaba – just like  egg whites – reacts negatively to fat [i.e. won’t whip properly].

Cover your mixing bowl with a towel for the first minute of whipping up to avoid Aquafaba splashing all around your kitchen and getting covered in it yourself.

*For an alcohol-free version sub 1 tbsp of water + ½ tsp of almond extract.

Zimtsterne - vegan and gluten-free Christmas cookies using just six ingredients!

On a last note big thanks to my sweet friend Charlotte who helped me decide on the pictures here. I obviously sent her home with a cookie bag as a little gift.

I’m sharing this with Allergy Free Wednesdays#RecipeOfTheWeek, Gluten-Free Fridays,Tasty Tuesdays,Healthy Vegan Fridays, Meatless Mondays.

Happiness-inducing today: Despite being full-on sick now the day held so many wonderful little moments. Meeting my friend mentioned above. Finding out that her on-off boyfriend finally commited to a relationship [ I asked her if I could share this because it made me truly happy].

 

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Bloglovin’: Let’s get living
What’s your favourite Christmas cookie?
 

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Scenes from a night owl’s life.

It’s just true: I’m a night owl through and through. Trust me I sometimes wish I wasn’t or even try to convince myself I’m not. Life proves time and time again I am. Just like that most of my accomplishments happen in the later hours of the day. Baking Christmas cookies at 10 PM? I’m that kind of girl. And apparently the exception in the blog world that seems inhabitated by early birds [jealous!].With the many differences between Germany and the US in mind I’m wondering if this is another one to add to the list. >Let me know what you think in the comments, I’m genuinely curious about this as one of my bosses just attended a workk conference in the US and told me the daily programs tended to start at 7 AM  – definitely not the norm over here.
The week felt full and passed by [too ] fast so here’s a recap through another Week in Review hosted by the fabulous Meg and sweet Ave.

Week in review

During the past week I …

Worked as usual.  Aside from Thursday that required pushing on despite a sudden spell of sick- and dizziness that led my colleagues to recommend going home. But despite not being overly fond of my job leaving the others hanging wouldn’t have felt right.

Posted twice: a Week in Review and those good good links.

Cleaned my apartment, including mopping the floors – on Thursday night already. That’s a first and made a huge difference in how my weekend went along. Having those annoying tasks crossed off already allowed for more time with the family – and baking.

Spent time with my favourite little human,  i.e. my sister and P. visited us for the weekend. Unfortunately, P. has been fighting a sticky cold on and off for weeks so he was very mum-focused but also enjoyed me carrying him around for longer than usual, too.

Baby nephew

[old picture because I didn’t take many this weekend]

Took another trip to town for my dad on Friday night even though I was just tired, hungry and not feeling it. But when your dad asks you to get him batteries for his headlights  [he’s been out late these days building a fancy new shed in my parents’ garden]. Granted, he didn’t ask but demand. Anyway, I took the chance to blast the music in the car and get my dance on. When life hands you lemons …

Baked! This deserves all the exclamation marks as I’ve been getting my Christmas baking game on late this year. Making up for time I chose two of the most involved recipes to bake this weekend. Each of them a classic from my maternal respectively paternal grandma’s repertoire.

omas-kekse_christmas-cookies

[Cocoa cookies sandwiched with coffee-spiked almond crème and topped with coffee-scented buttery frosting – a mouthful to say but pretty much gone after two days my parents’ house]

Fun fact: I dislike cut-out cookies – the process, not the results – yet both recipes required it. For the first one I shared duties with my mum – I prepared the dough, filled and frosted, she cut out and baked – but the second]? Done all by myself and I now have newfound appreciation for my grandma’s baking efforts. Zimtsterne [cinnamon stars], a gluten-free almond/nut-based shortbread base topped with crispy-crackly meringue frosting were the name of the game. Rather than use egg whites I ventured into Aquafaba territory and they turned out amazing. My family was so impressed  – and you might remember my mum’s not hiding her true opinion on my baked goods – that my mum a) said the person who discovered Aquafaba should be awared the Nobel price and b) told me she was going to prepare a chickpea dish this week so I could bake more Zimtsterne. If that doesn’t state how good these are I don’t know . They’re vegan and gluten-free but still pack a good amount of refined sugar so I’m not sure whether to share the recipe with you or not … Thoughts?

zimtsterne-vegan_aquafaba

[Not my best picture – trying to get one in the late afternoon on a rainy day isn’t the smartest move …]

Spent Saturday evening chatting with my mum and sister. While the seamatresses of the family went about their business I baked the abovementioned Zimtsterne. Words of encouragement were exchanged and pushed us through the finicky work. Win-win.

Went for a solo walk after my sister and P. had left on Sunday and I could feel a little Sunday blues arising. Being in nature and looking at cows helps. A little at least.

Meal-prepped as usual. Most of this happened while listening to Davida’s new podcast. Give it a listen if you’re into podcasts!

Ate intuitively on the weekend. More or less successfully but I tried. This meant swinging from non-stop appetite – hunger? – on Saturday to a lack thereof on Sunday. No pretences here: Intuitive eating -still- doesn’t come easily to me. The reason for which lies in my history of eating which I know I haven’t shared with you yet but I’ll leave it at this. Yet days like these show me that it works. Somehow. And we can all get there.

As I know this is already turning into half a novel in length again I’ll leave it at this and won’t add the other bits and bobs. I hope you had a great week and are starting well into the new one. Only so much longer until Christmas!

Happy Monday!

 

Happiness-inducing today: Family time.

 

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Tell me some achievements from your past week!

When do you usually write your Weeks in Review?

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Week in Review: Destiny. The bad. The good.

Hello there!

Today’s post is starting on a heavier note again and continuing where my previous Week in Review ended. After going back and forth about this for days I decided to tell you [some of] what’s caused my current mood and lack of posts and interaction on social media. My family lost a member this past week. We knew it was going to happen as he’d been suffering from cancer but … it’s still hard. Anytime I write about this it sounds oddly neutral, unemotional. When in fact I feel anything but unemotional.
The past week was characterized by the knowledge of it possibly happening any day – and then the news it had. There are no words to express my feelings and I also would rather not talk about it. This isn’t a topic for the blog but I also couldn’t not mention it as it’s been on my mind at all times. Even more so when writing. Those of you who have been exchanging mails with me know the thoughts are running wild when I’m writing.  Which I guess means I should really start journaling again.

Sort of journaling or at least keeping track of our lives is Meg’s Week in Review which I’m joining once again.

Week in Review

Some of what happened in my lfe during the past week. I …

Worked four days and challenged myself again by offering to free up some time for my colleague working at the reception desk by answering calls for her when I had a free minute. Yes, this is ridiculous for others but an accomplishment for me as calling people I don’t know always takes a little effort. It doesn’t help I’ve had people not take me serious due to my voice sounding younger than I am before.

Wrote two blog posts, one featuring many good good links from all around the web.

Replied to all comments I got in the past week which I know I’ve been slacking at before. I don’t think I’ll be able to catch up on all from the many previous weeks – sorry, really! – but will make an effort to stay on top of them from now on. Sorry if I didn’t reply to one of your comments in the past! That’s not saying I didn’t read and appreciate it.

Healthy Nutella - vegan recipe by Texanerin

[This picture is the outcome of me forgetting about the fact it’s getting dark earlier and I have yet to take pictures.]

Spent Friday with my sister and little P. It filled my happiness batteries, my stomach with homemade vegan bolognese and pasta and distracted my mind like nothing else. Exactly the kind of mental health day I direly needed. Which was funny because I’d asked my employer for this specific date off months ago already. So the fact it fell into this very week was – as some would say – accidental. As I would say: destiny. [Yes, I believe in destiny]
By the way: baby led weaning is beneficial for aunts, too. Or at least I don’t think I’d have just touched beets or kaki anytime soon. The latter just because I’d never had a delicious one before, the former because beets are nasty. Still. Though a nine-month-old offering you some of his makes them slightly better [insert (un)necessary aunt gushing].

Traded some homemade paleo + vegan chocolate tartes [as pictured further down] for also homemade healthy Nutella using this recipe. Because – whoop! – my sister just bought a Blendtec after asking me about blenders for weeks. Upon arrival I was presented with Nutella gone wrong [think: dough-like ] and assigned the task of solving the situation – you know these are my favourite kind of assignments. I also found a solution for the Nutella ‘dough’ which I’m hoping to get a picture of later [read: I’m hoping my sister will remember to text me one].  As a thank you I obviously got to take some home – as well as jealousy because wow … Blender envy to the max.

Cleaned my apartment, including mopping the floors, in one swoosh. Dare I say this was the fastest ever I did this yet?

Did some laundry which – thanks to it being a small amount of clothes – didn’t take too long to do.

Continued with my workout routine but also cut down on it one day when I was feeling off. This is a continuous mental struggle. I’ve never dealt with serious exercise addiction but more so a general urge to move. I’m hoping to get to a point where this balances out and I can veg on the couch with a friend for a day without the mental BS.

Treated myself quite a lot – for my standards. A new huge jar of white almond butter [because it was on offer in a store in Hamburg and I can’t find this where I live], new scented candles and the train ticket counts, too. This whole ‘spending money on myself’ thing doesn’t get easier – especially given the holiday season approaching and several necessary larger expenses coming up in my life [think: new laptop, possibly new phone though I’m trying to pretend mine wasn’t fussing around]. Le sigh.

Happiness is … vegan and paleo chocolate tarte. Okay, no, but it was part of my happy yesterday. After a mentally hard week I had Friday off. My first day off in a long time and one I'd scheduled months ago already. Somehow destiny knew I needed it this very week. In dire need of refilling my happiness batteries I took the two-hour train ride to my sister's and spent a wonderful day with her and my baby nephew. Lots of talking, some walking, kitchen excitement and plenty of baby cuddles made for the best day in a while. It was over too soon but when I hope I can make these days more regular happenings in my life. Because I'm not a visitor to appear empty-handed I brought my sister these delightful little tartes. Featuring my nephew's 'Vitamin D duck' 😁. Always look on the chocolate side of life. How have you been filling your happiness batteries lately? . . . . #bgbcommunity #vegandeutschland #vegangermany #paleovegan #healthytreats #staysafeeatcake #iamwellandgood #veganwerdenwaslosdigga #vegantreats #chocolateplease #chocolatetherapy #fillyourhappinessbucket #silverlining

A post shared by @chocolatea_me on

I did more than this – all the mundane everyday things – but this post is getting long already. Like in the previous week I want to ask you to not make the comments about our loss. Not because I didn’t care but I’ve been trying hard to remind myself to live in the now and look at the bright things in life rather than let my mind go darker places. Tell me about your life, your happiness-inducers, what you’ve been cooking/baking – anything.

On another note and as I hinted at in yesterday’s post already I won’t be around much this week, either. My family is going to travel to attend the funeral and spend some time with that part of our family during the week. That’s why I might not read comment much on your posts until the weekend – eight hours of train ride each way would make for a good opportunity if there was an internet connection, though – and the good links will probably be fewer this Sunday. On the upside I do have a delicious recipe for you tomorrow so be back if you like chocolate and caramel.

Happiness-inducing today:  Fall sunshine. A walk through the leaves. The extra hour in the day [cheers for daylight savings!]. Homemade Nutella.

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Tell me three or more achievements or happenings from your past week!
Are you good at spending money on yourself?

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Flourless Hazelnut Shortbread [vegan]

Grandma’s cookies gone healthy! These gluten-free vegan hazelnut shortbread cookies are a family favourite  – but with no refined sugar, no dairy and wheat-free, too.

Who knows best when it comes to cookies? Right, grandma. She’s the avid baker supplying the whole family *with tin upon tin of cookies every Christmas season. Sounds familiar? It’s been that way in my family forever. Both of my grandmas have dedicatedly spent hours upon hours, no, days, of their lives in the kitchen during the colder months to provide many a family member, friend or neighbour  with their amazing baked goods. Each of them creating certain varities that I have yet to  seen either in stores or other families. How amazing is it to think that every family still has those recipes that are handed down from generation to generation? Just me? Oh well.

*we’re talking six children and their families in my maternal grandma’s case here

Gluten vegan hazelnut shortbread cookies - just seven ingredients, no refined sugar, easy to prepare and a family favourite!

Today’s easy hazelnut shortbread cookies are actually a kind I used to overlook and probably consider tin fillers among the more exciting varieties for years. Yet somehow the adults of the family knew better all along and enjoyed these cookies’ simplicity and nutty aroma. How right they were. Only lightly sweetened but full of hazelnut flavour which was heathened by a rim of dark cocoa. Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies are a favourite with all adults in my family, especially when accompanied by a cup of coffee. Dunk- or dipping highly recommended.

Gluten vegan hazelnut shortbread cookies - just seven ingredients, no refined sugar, easy to prepare and a family favourite!

Because grandma’s cookies are neither vegan nor gluten-free, much less healthy I adapted her recipe. They’re still cookies, not health food but with whole grains and less refined sugar these Gluten-free Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies are a more nutritious alternative to the usual offerings in the cookie jar. Oh and another note: while the long instructions make it look like a complicated recipe it’s actually beyond simple. Win-win!

Gluten-free Vegan Hazelnut Shortbread

(yields ~ 30+ cookies)

1/2 cup of hazelnut meal [60 g; can grind your own in a high speed blender]
1 cup oat flour* [125 g]
1/4 cup of coconut sugar [50 g] + 1 tsp of cornstarch
Scant 1/4 cup of cornstarch [50 g]
1/2 cup of coconut oil, softened but not melted [125 g]
1 tsp vanilla
~ 1/4 cup [20 g] of unsweetened cocoa powder

*use certified gluten-free if necessary

  1. Place the coconut sugar and 1 tsp of cornstarch in a blender. Pulse until the sugar reaches a powdery consistency and lighter colour. Voilà, you just made your own powdered coconut sugar. Set aside.
  2. Combine the flour, hazelnut meal and cornstarch.
  3. Using a stand or hand mixer, beat together the coconut oil, sugar and vanilla on high speed.
  4. Slowly add in the flour mixture while mixing constantly until a smooth dough forms. You might need to knead with your hands to get everything well combined.
  5. Place your dough into the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
    In the meantime, line a sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Once the dough is ready, preheat oven to 300 *F/150 *C. divide dough evenly and roll into two logs.
  7. Coat a large plate or cutting board with enough cocoa – you don’t want to see your surface anymore. Roll dough logs in cocoa until thoroughly coated.
  8. Slice logs into coin-sized cookies. Place on the baking sheet.
  9. Bake cookies for about 20 minutes. The centre of the cookies might still be a bit soft at this point but they harden as they cool.
  10. Let cool completely before eating.  Don’t try to pick up cookies right away to avoid ending up with crumbs all over the place!

Gluten vegan hazelnut shortbread cookies - just seven ingredients, no refined sugar, easy to prepare and a family favourite!

I’m linking up with Allergy Free Wednesdays#RecipeOfTheWeek,#StrangeButGoodGluten-Free Fridays,Tasty Tuesdays,Healthy Vegan Fridays, Meatless Mondays.

Happiness-inducing today:  Getting to pick up a few things from another place while at work, hence getting some fresh air and movement in. A much appreciated break from sitting at my desk for hours.

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What’s your favourite Christmas cookie?
Tell me one ‘special’ kind of cookies your grandma/mum/any other family member makes and is a must for you every year!

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Week in Review: Procrastinating no more.

Okay, we all know that title is a lie, no? Unless you’re superhuman it’s very unlikely you’ll just stop procrastinating altogether. It’s much less likely if you’re me: an average girl/woman* ever so prone to forego those pesky tasks that need to be done but maybe not this very minute. We all know that feeling, right? Just me?? Yet the title is right in that the past week was one where I consciously procrastinated less [more on that at the end of this post]. Which isn’t half bad for a start if I dare say so myself.

It’s been quite a while since my previous time linking up with Meg for a Week in Review. Being the overthinker I am I did mull over this and let’s just say the outcome would yield another post of its own so for now I’m giving it a go again and will see how to go from there. Share some of your recent achievements in the comments, too. It’s nice to get a glimpse into what others are working on and getting done, too. And: we all deserve that pat on the back [ask my dad; we have a slightly embarrassing story regarding that whole pat-on-the-back business;)].

*does anybody else – any twenty-something + ladies, that is – can’t decide whether or not to call themselves ‘girl’ [it’s a blog world phenomenon, I think]. Woman just sounds so … grown-up/married/having-it-all-figured-out? I don’t know. Enlighten me if have a clue on this, please.

Week in Review

 

Onto some of what I did, experienced and stopped procrastinating on!

Worked the usual five days. They were pretty busy ones which I appreciated. While at times stressful I prefer having an ongoing to-do list over those slow days a week ago.

Created two new recipes for the blog that I’m excited to share. While no big deal for food bloggers it was one for me as I’ve been lacking my kitchen mojo lately.

Posted twice – including some good good links – which felt good after two weeks out of the blogging loop.

Voted. Germany’s been holding  elections in several of its federal states these past weeks and it was our state’s turn, too. As I knew I’d feel stressed out having to decide on twelve (!) different people on the actual election day – the German voting system is quite different from the US one – I choose postal voting. It was a special moment that had me reflect on the privilege of being able to freely vote and also as a woman. I’ve never gotten political on here and don’t plan on doing so in the future but I truly think everybody should make use of this right. The end.

Read every morning and also most afternoons right after returning from work. Sitting in front of a computer most of the time at work I think I/my brain really needed that time off. I do feel less stressed when I don’t turn on my laptop right away when I get home or flick through Instagram before work already. The only problem is that I’m running out of books. For once, there’s still the bad experience of my planned vacation reads and then the fact I have a few requirements for a good book that I’m always concerned won’t be met. Yes, I’m difficult.

Cried.I only very lightly hinted at it but we received some sad and hard to process news on Monday. Is crying a shame as an adult? Personally, I let my feelings bottle up for two long and crying is my way to work on them. Luckily, I had a shoulder to lean on.

Baked a batch of oatmeal cookies for my parents. In my mum’s words: the best oatmeal cookies. She’s been on a quest to find that one perfect recipe yielding cookies like those sold at a very popular Swedish furniture store. Knowing that her current recipe wasn’t what she actually wanted sparked my ambition to deliver the -one- recipe. I can get serious about these things, especially if it’s an opportunity to try another blogger’s recipe because I personally find it so nice to hear when somebody tries and like one of mine. Long story short: these oatmeal cookies are neither vegan nor healthy. But they’re just chewy and just like those sold in coffeehouses while really simple to prepare. If it wasn’t for the eggs even I would have been tempted to sneak a bite.  [the ones below are my healthy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, not those I baked because they didn’t turn out pretty enough for a picture].

oatmeal cookies_10

Washed two loads of laundry. #adulting – and we know how I feel about this household task.

Cleaned the apartment. It’s still a miracle to me how the floors get dirty again in what feels like minutes every time.

Finally sent off a letter to cancel a contract. Long overdue. This was something I’d majorly procrastinated on because I wasn’t sure how to go about this. Being all honest I was ashamed I didn’t and dreaded asking for help so pushed it back on my to-do list time and time again. Not a smart choice.

Spent less money than I usually do on groceries on Saturdays. This was ironically due to finding myself without a car and therefore having to go by bike with a mere two saddlebags. A balancing act in the literal sense on my way back home. ..

Reflecting on my ‘procrastinate less’ habit here I feel this might just have been the first impact of Erin’s recent post setting in. Some will probably think of it as ridiculous but in a way doing all of these little things right away when I’d usually have procrastinated was a way of lowering my pain threshold. Am I annoyed by overflowing trash bins or compost bags, clothes in dire need of washing or leaving the groceries in their bags instead of unpacking right away? Yes.Yet I still used to/occasionally still procrastinate getting these little task done right then and there. I’m a firm believer of small steps being the best way to tackle the bigger goals, too.

Anyway, a constant goal [and struggle] of mine is going to bed earlier and since I’m once again writing this post at night I’d better finish now. I hope you feel good about the past seven days and have a great start into the new week! Happy Monday!

P.S.: All of these pictures are ‘recycled’ because out internet connection has been a fussy beast for weeks and it was too slow to upload any new ones.

Happiness-inducing today: Having a productive yet still relaxing Sunday – and lots of sunshine!

Stay in touch!
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Tell me three or more achievements or happenings from your past week!

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Week in review: Back with many words [and some pictures].

Ikind of” because it mirrors my head still spinning with too many thoughts, regrets and oh well … let’s get started.

Has it really been two weeks already since we talked about life and everything? Time. flies. by. The reasons why I didn’t post a Week in Review this past Monday … for one I wasn’t feeling it. Also, I felt vain talking about myself after all the terror the world has seen lately. Does it ever end?? My heart felt and still feels heavy for the many lives lost, people hurt. I had and have no words for this but knew talking about my life felt off.  I have so much to feel more grateful for and yet I was in a funk for a few days.

As odd as it probably sounds to jump back in with a post about my life Yet another blogger reminded me to go on with life and what better way to also get chatting with you than a Week in Review? Thanks to Meg for encouraging all of us to see the good things in life week after week.

Week in review

[Not including much of the my week from July 11th to 17th as this post is getting too long already]

Here’s some of what happened in my life lately: I …

Spontaneously visited my sister on Monday. It was a good way to kick off the week and included another visit to the restaurant mentioned a while back. Fries with vegan cumin aioli? Not complaining.

Visited my sister and nephew once again on Thursday. Because: why not?! Honestly, these days have been my saving grace lately. Which is somehow funny when you take into consideration the fact I [thought] I like my routine and don’t fancy completely overhauling it. Now, though? I can’t wait for my next little venture out. Especially when it includes time with my nephew who has now mastered crawling. And he’s fast.

Finally tried ice cream at a popular all-vegan ice cream parlour. My mum and I took over babysitting duties so my sister could work on her thesis and leisurely took up the long walk to Liberty. While I was hoping for more interesting flavours than were available that day we enjoyed scoops of melon lemonade, double chocolate and coconut peanut butter. My mum – vegan-skeptical when it comes to dessert – couldn’t tell the difference.

Forced myself to read several chapters of three books. Forced not because I didn’t like reading books in general but these were bad aren’t recommendable in my obviously very subjective opinion for different reasons [though the one on top here aside they really are bad …]. I’m a smidgen frustrated. Luckily, one of them aside I didn’t buy any of those but was handed down one by my sister [an unwanted gift; understandably so] and another is one borrowed from a colleague. Who highly recommended it so I feel pressured to finish it regardless  … Yes? No?

Semi-important question, though: I consider ordering “Me before you” today. Did you read it? Thoughts? I have high hopes for it lviing up to its praises and can’t take another disappointment. Exaggerating here but still.

Summer books_2016

Went back into the office for an hour to take care of important faxes that apparently didn’t get through after all on Friday. I actually appreciated the feeling of getting work done on a day off.

Proofread an important document for the business of my sister’s husband on Monday night after returning home.

Proofread another part of my sister’s thesis on Tuesday. Completely in my element and happy to get a pile of work. I might be that odd person who’s actually stoked to work here and there during her holidays. Don’t ask about the current stateof my apartment, though ;). Priorities.

Ran errands for my sister while at her place.

Took care of my mum’s vegetable garden {this is a current one, actually – help!]. I still don’t understand the watering system which is a pity as it’s been pretty warm. Taking care also included harvesting …

Garden vegetable haul

Now I’m a huge fan of vegetables but: those are entirely too many zucchini and cucumbers [many are missing from the picture]. The tomatoes are fine with me but any takers for the green guys here?

Baked a batch of cookies for my mum while she was hosting friends. No, not a healthy kind of cookies but we all know balance is where it’s at. Getting stung by mosquitoes while baking wasn’t quite as fun but that’s just part of summer.

Baked another batch of these healthy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for my sister. Note to self: bake a quadruple batch next time because they were gone in minutes.

Practiced a lot of self-control when visiting Veganz, the German all-vegan supermarket chain, in Hamburg. Any guesses on how much money I spent on things for myself? None. While a brand new peanut butter and chocolate protein powder did tempt me I walked out only buying rice syrup for my sister and a bar of rice milk chocolate  [Hazelnut Brittle] for my parents. Well, for my parents, you know …

chocolate_Veganz

Saw my colleague’s baby daughter for the first time. Granted, they only stopped by our house for a few minutes as the little girl got hungry soon but it was nice seeing her and the baby. Hopefully for a bit longer soon.

… and that’s about it for now. Especially as this has gotten way lengthier than planned. Ooops. Make me feel less vain by telling me abour your life!

Happy Monday!

Happiness-inducing today:  Sunshine. Proofreading. Pictures of my nephew.

 

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