How to live more intensely or: No week gets left behind

Ever since joining Meg’s Week in Review club I’ve found more significance in individual weeks. It probably sounds odd but prior to listing what I did throughout the previous cycle of seven days life felt like it was – major life events aside – passing by in a steady stream. Sure, some weeks were busier than others, some happier, others heavier. But I wouldn’t have been able to tell you the subtle changes. How did I feel about life two weeks ago?
This also helps me see what works and what doesn’t. In terms of productivity. In terms of sleep [improvement during the week]. In terms of work. It’s some sort of life analysis, laying open the success and the areas of further improvement. Some of the latter unfortunately are recurring themes that I have yet to make significant progress in which frustrates and in a way scares me because life is so fleeting and time the one thing we’ll never be able to get back once it’s passed. But I’m digressing too far for a Week in Review again so let’s stay in the moment for now and then look back at what happened in the past seven days in my life. Don’t forget to tell me about yours in the comments, too.

Thanks as always to Meg for encouraging us to truly see and reflect on every week in our lives. Even if a week – like the past one – holds no memories of major life changes recording our lives like this allows us [bloggers] to look back in time and see “oh hey, that’s when I did that” or “ah, that was fun”.  A little like a photo album minus the plethora of pictures in my case [blogger fail].

In the past week I …

Worked the usual five days, one of those subbing in for my colleague at the front desk again. It’s my new favourite spot – who knew I’d ever say this?? My male boss was still working from home this past week and I’m feeling slightly bad saying it made work that much better. Not that he’s a terrible person, it’s just his vs. her way of working and temperament. Both are nothing short of amazing at the work they do.

Started two new book and picked up an older one I’ve never been able to get into before. After finishing my previous one – it really was the best I ever read and aspects of it have been on my mind every day since – I find it hard to get into new literature. One of the two I started – unfortunately my mum’s birthday gift for me – will likely stay unfinished. As a novel it’s just too light for me despite its in fact serious background topic [life after leucemia]. I’m very happy with Gretchen Rubin’s “Better than before”, though.

Books I

Chatted with the cheese guy. Okay that sounds weird so let me elaborate. There’s this one younger cashier at one of our local grocery stores. Maybe it’s just my impression but I find him to be a little sassy/snobbish and feel somewhat self-conscious when he’s sitting at the checkouts. The other day, my mum asked me to pick up some cheese while I was running errands at said store in anyway and this guy was operating it. For some reason, I decided to make some friendly small talk to eliminate a bit of that previous awkwardness. We’ll see how this works. Either way, I’m the queen of chatting up random people as you might remember. Really, though, who knows whom you might connect with that way?!

Finally took a trip to the glass containers and got rid off empty jars. There were a -lot- of those. I’m surprising myself with how long I can postpone something that takes all of three minutes [plus driving there] for so long every. single. time. Okay, maybe because it’s gross.

Ran a special ‘errand’ for my dad on Saturday at a time inconvenient for me.  Sweetheart that he is he wanted to welcome my mum back from her short weekend getaway with flowers so I rushed into town and the florist’s shop last minute [read: five minutes before their official closing time at 2 PM]. Initially, my dad asked me to pick up a bouquet for myself as a gift, too, but I couldn’t decide [typical] and also wasn’t entirely sure I still had enough money in my purse. It happens.

Flowers

[Not the bouquet I got for my mum but flowers I had in my apartment some time ago]

Finally created a new recipe for the blog. It’s actually a rendition of a old favourite I’d been meaning to try for ages and I’m happy it worked so well. Unfortunately, the pictures I tried to take didn’t turn out so I’ll have to postpone sharing it once again. I know I owe you several recipes already but I’m incredibly frustrated with the lighting situation here [= I need to get myself a light box. Soon  Better yet sooner than soon..]

Prepared a batch of said treats for my mum to bring along on her weekend trip as a birthday gift for my aunt. She’s a Valentine’s Day baby so a little sweet favour seemed appropriate.

Meal prepped while watching/white noise-streaming the first episode of this year’s “Germany’s Next Topmodel”.  I wouldn’t be able to stand it if I was actually watching but it’s a nice enough white noise. I’m not into any kind of celebrity gossip ish so maybe that’s my one guilty pleasure? We all have some, no?

Prepared another batch of my new recipe creation – late on Saturday night while I  simultaneously  …

Proofread the new version of this restaurant’s menu. If you’ve been around for a while you might remember I translated their menu about a year ago  [I think?]. They’ve now made changes to the menu and asked me to proofread the German version and translate it again. Proofreading makes me happy and that fact makes me a grammar nerd but it’s a label I’m fine wearing.

Hoovered and swept the floors in my apartment. Cleaned the sinks. The usual weekly clean-up.

Baked another batch of granola for one of my colleagues.

Walk_sun

Listened to several podcasts. I’m only now getting into English ones. Previously, I’d listened to German ones here and there but noticing how big of a trend they are in the US I’ve been curious about those, too. There are huge differences in between the nationalities so I’m getting both a lesson in listening comprehension and culture. Fascinating.

Overall, it’s been a good week minus letting myself stay up too late on Friday night which messed up my whole weekend/internal clock. It’s a recurring pitfall of my night owl-ish ways I need to work on so now that I say it you get to keep me accountable ;).

While no recipe there will be at least one more post coming your way this week. Sunday’s time for good good links again and I might squeeze in some thinking out loud, too.

Happy Monday!

Happiness-inducing today:  A short walk in the sunshine. It’s cold outside but a little bit of sun always brightens my days.

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What are some of your favourite podcasts?

Tell me about your past week! Highs? Lows?

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Trusting your future self.

Sometimes I’d really appreciate my mind giving me a little heads-up about the thoughts its goingto pour out once I start writing. Or talking. Has anybody else found that they weren’t aware of how deeply something was occupying their thoughts until they started talking to somebody or grabbed pen and paper? I’ve become aware of this very strongly during the past few months. My point here: I never plan on what I’m going to talk about in these Weeks in Review [and many other posts, either] aside from the obvious accomplishment part. Today, my mind couldn’t steer away from the thoughts that had come up reading a certain article the other day. With that mini-intro to my actual intro said/written …

Self-doubt. At least for me it’s a vicious cycle of not daring to do one thing leading to not even attempting the next. This interestingly coincides with the message of this article I read the other day. When we don’t trust ourselves to be able to – as an example from my own life – go to bed earlier we set ourselves up for eternal failure. Or – remembering the previous week’s post – an eternal struggle. But [sticking with the example here] when we manage to call it quits at night even just a few minutes earlier we learn that hey, we actually can change. Looking at it now I can see tiny little steps in several areas of life for me. Thanks for steering me in this direction of reviewing my life every week, Meg. I mean it. If it wasn’t for the Week in Review I would be much harder on myself and not value the significance of every single week. I wouldn’t recognize the – even if just subtle – improvements I’ve made.

Week in Review

In the past week I …

Worked the usual five days. Work went mostly well. Leaving me tired at the end of the day but feeling like I did my best, accepted criticism and made an effort to improve my work.

Posted just once. This is what happens when perfectionism sets in for me. I had intentions to post one more time but never finished my draft because it just didn’t seem right. I have hopes that things will be better this week. You will at least get one more post as it’s time for some good good links again on Sunday. It actually took holding myself back from already publishing them yesterday already. I make myself laugh sometimes.

Vacuumed and mopped my floors on Saturday rather than Sunday already. I’m getting better at not pushing everything out until the final day before getting back to work.

Finally recreated a blog recipe I’d been meaning to share for weeks but didn’t because I had no proper pictures [insert rant about lighting conditions in winter]. As of yet I haven’t looked through the pictures on my laptop yet so can’t say for a fact whether or not they turned out. Fingers crossed because I want to share the recipes – two in one but I think I’ll share them separately – with you. Below is one part of it [I picked one that’s definitely not going to be in the actual post, smudgy rim and all #reallife ;)].

weißes Mandelmus

Had a short but interesting conversation with a friend from school I hadn’t seen in seven (!) years.

Wrote a letter I’d been meaning to for a while already. This also served as a means of helping me relax while eating dinner. I’ve turned to checking my phone too often while eating at night and want to change that again. It’s not the whole time but I simply know a completely technology-free meal time is more calming and writing letters adds some creativity. Highly recommended.

Worked out most days but keeping it short on days when I felt too tired.

Night owl that I am productivity kicked in on Saturday night so I …

Meal-prepped a little and …

healthy maple buckwheat granola - gluten-free and vegan

Baked a batch of my healthy maple buckwheat granola [sorry. I had not intentions of bringing it up again and again ;)]. Not for any of my colleagues but – my dad. I randomly mentioned I was making some for colleagues and he showed an interest, snagged a bowl and requested a batch of his own. Truth: I’m hoping eating this will curb his appetite for sweets a bit because I know he likes those treats at the office a little too much when stressed  [= every day]. Wishful health nut thinking.

Started my Saturday and Sunday mornings by reading a full hour each before doing anything else. Weekend mornings are blissful. I had actually intended a trip to Hamburg on Saturday but that fell through thanks to the snow and potentially icy roads we’ve been seeing lately.

Ran errands for my parents after work on Wednesday.

Went on a walk through winter wonderland with my mum. We didn’t get to do this the previous Sunday so it was nice to catch up and get a chance to let go of some of my mind’s clutter. Fresh air to get my mind churning, too.

That’s it because the remainder were just the usual day-to-day happenings not worthy of mentioning in a post. I hope your past week went well  – tell me about it below?! – and:

Happy Monday!

Happiness-inducing today: Today was an overall good day with the walk being my favourite part of it again. Thanks to my mum for convincing me it wasn’t too cold for it :).

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

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Christmas_cookies

Week in Review: The one with many blessings

Hi!

Confession: If intros are a struggle for me, the above greeting is proof of an even bigger struggle. Some bloggers get really creative there but I’m not one to call you ‘lovelies’, ‘buddies’ or ‘friendly faces’. Not that any of those were bad but they’re just not …me. Okay, moving on.

Another ‘classic’ – or so it seems – among bloggers/around Instagram is #blessed. Again, I’m not really a hashtag person -but- looking back at the past week and also during those days I did indeed feel blessed. By the generosity and love of some people around me. I hope Meg won’t mind me straying from the original concept of sharing only our accomplishments. Because this post will be a more of a week in review in the sense of happenings and a way of saying thank you to several people [even if they don’t read the blog] instead.

Week in Review

The biggest and best happening of the past week – mentioned in yesterday’s post already –  definitely was spending time at my grandparents’. It was my grandma’s birthday on Monday and most of the family on my mum’s side traditionally gathers to celebrate it. Lots of aunts, uncles and cousins, catching up on each others’ lives and just spending quality time. We’re for more informal celebrations which in this case meant having the annual ‘Grünkohl-Essen’ [8 pounds of kale prepared the traditional German way – SO delicious] and my grandma’s plethora of Christmas cookies.
Time flew by way too fast but it was one of the best weekends in months. So much love and getting into the Christmas spirit. My happiness batteries were charged enough to sustain even the anxiety-evoking journey back.

Christmas_cookies

Remember how I mentioned Germans’ frustration with Deutsche Bahn? Well, I have another story to add or: How to travel by train for free [but with plenty of anxiety]. Planning to go back home by train I stumbled upon error after error. It started with both of the ticket machines closest to my platform – I had a mere 15 minutes left until departure so no time to search for others – not working. Hopping onto the train in anyway with two fellow unlucky I immediately seeked out the next attendant to purchase a ticket. After listening to my explanation they showed not an ounce of sympathy and told me I should have looked for a different ticket machine or get off at the next station to buy a ticket [= goodbye, connecting train]. Luckily, a lady who had overheard the conversation offered me a ride on her ticket. I was so very thankful. In my connecting train – this time with no spare minutes to buy a ticket – I was more or less given a free pass as the conductor was on his own and told me they didn’t sell tickets on the tran anymore but I should buy one after arriving at my final destination. Somebody understand this logic …

In terms of accomplishments I …

Worked as usual. It was an unexpectedly good week, though. I figured out a new skill, got to make a serious dent into my to-do list and left feeling good about everything on Friday.

Posted twice: one Week in Review and a collection of posts worth reading. I would really like to hear your thoughts on the ones in the first category if you find the time to read them.

Prepared a new batch of healthy Nutella on Friday night while simultaneously fixing more of these chocolate cups. Yes, I know I still owe you the recipe, especially since they were such a huge hit with my family  [which is to say something as they had to compete with my grandma’s cookies]. The problem is the lack of light this time of the year.

On Tuesday, one of my ‘favourite’ clients came in and gifted me a jar of white almond butter. She knew how much I liked it as we’d been talking about all things healthy food in the past and she’d bought a few items I recommended before. I didn’t want to accept it at first as gee, that’s one expensive food. Also not because she’d actually bought it for herself in the first place but then a [stupid as heck] homeopath had advised her against eating too much fat. I will let you imagine my rant about that fact and strongly advised her against visiting that – sorry not sorry – jerk again. This sweet lady does not need anybody telling her what to eat as her life is hard enough already. It’s making me sad when I hear stories like that and luckily, she agreed that man wasn’t to be trusted so hopefully she won’t go back. Rant over. I plan on bringing her a little gift in exchange next time she visits.

Almond butter

  • Brought some homemade treats into the office for my colleagues
  • Bought that one colleague a bread roll for her ‘lunch’ break again [and successfully convinced her to let me pay for it].
  • Painted my nails. It had been way too long and hey, grey weather calls for colourful nails so it was necessary.
  • Went on two long walks with [almost] the whole famly. These are a tradition whenever we meet and a great time for conversations and obviously a little digesting ;).
  • Finally, I bought the first Christmas present and consider it a particular achievement as it’s the one for my dad i.e. the hardest to buy for person on my list.

What didn’t make the list was the major meltdown I had a few days ago. Because life definitely isn’t all smiles and sunshine for me but it doesn’t hurt to focus on the positives, no? Looking at what we have rather than what’s missing in our lives. With that I’m wishing you a …

Happy Monday!

 

Happiness-inducing today: Spending some more time with my family before leaving my grandparents’ house  again in the afternoon.

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

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Creating new habits, recipes and memories

Dear Monday,
You could have really come a day later and allow the weekend to last just that bit longer. Is that asking for too much?

Rather than voice my disbelief at it being a mere few more days until December 1st, how Christmas is pretty much tomorrow and how I still haven’t bought or made a single gift I will keep the intro short and get straight to the topic of this post. Like every Monday it’s time for a Week in Review with Meg. Thanks so much for hosting and inviting us to reflect on the previous week! As always don’t forget to share your recent accomplishments and happy moments with me in the c omments!

Week in Review

 

Some of what happened in the past seven days: I. ..

Worked five days. Same game as usual.  I’ve been pushing myself to rush and answer the phone more often. It’s going better than I expected and can be quite rewarding. And I know my colleagues operating the front desk appreciate it. They’re some busy busy ladies and at times it’s hard to get anything done when the phone won’t stop ringing.

Published three posts: a Week in Review, the good good links and one some fun and surprising differences between Germany and the US. It’s amazing how many there are so I might just turn these posts into regulars for some time. I slacked in replying to comments but will get to it this week, promise.

Treated myself to a new book. It had been way too long and like I said before: books are one of the best things to invest in.

Allowed myself some more probably not entirely necessary purchases like a magazine and the cutest polkadotted lids for my nut butter jars. Okay, the latter were totally necessary ;).

Gilmore Girls_DVDs

Watched the first two episodes of the final season of Gilmore Girls (!). This was unexpectedly made possible thanks to my sister and her husband renewing their Netflix account and allowing me to use it. I had originally planned to get a membership for December but obviously appreciated not waiting any longer. I know some – many? – people watched the entire series this past weekend but I want to fully enjoy it throughout the next weeks. Making it last just that bit longer. No spoilers, please.

Created two new recipes. One of them is a spin on a classic candy favourite and the other a basic ingredient so the “recipe” is actually more of a tutorial.  Please excuse the terrible picture as these were another night time creation and gone too fast the next day. Hint: no peanut butter in there and also no other nut butter most people are familiar with in this variation.

nut-butter-cups

Finished “Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell which is one of the best, if not -the- best book I read this year. It’s the perfect mix of informative and entertainment. Reading it felt like nourishing my brain because none of us ever stop learning, no?

Meal-prepped as usual. Since I mentioned the size of my fridge limiting me there and some of you asked about it: 80 cm/32-33 inches from bottom to top. Technically not mini mini but it’s still filled faster than you might guess – especially if you like vegetables …

Spent time with my nephew, sister and her husband. P. is growing so fast that I wish I could see him more often to experience all of it.

Went on a morning walk with my mum, sister and P. who fell asleep on my sister’s back shortly after we left the house. I wish I could say the same about myself at night. Anyway, it was really nice us ladies got to talk through a few things while taking in the autumn sunshine and fresh air.

little-hands

What the title of this post is all about? The little things. Again, yes. If we look at it closely life in its whole is based and relying on lots of little things. Think: Butterfly effect.
As such, I’ve – intuitively, no intentional plans here – been introducing [or at this point I might still have to say: practicing] small new habits.

  • First change: I get up, pack the food I’ve prepared into my bag, brew my tea [in a can I take to work] – and lie down again for a few minutes. This will probably sound silly to most of you but this little allowance to curl up again in the middle of my morning routine is really nice.
  • Second: Changed my phone’s alarm clock ringtone. Here I was going with the same one for more than a year and hearing it evoked negative emotions. My new one is like a ‘hey, let’s get moving and dance into the day’.
  • Third: Walked in silence. Usually, going out for a walk after leaving the office meant plugging in my earphones pretty much immediately, sinking into the tunes of my playlist and letting my thoughts wander. Or so I thought until I – for whichever reason – didn’t get the earphones out on Monday afternoon and walked with no distraction. It’s an entirely different experience. Now I was actually listening to my thoughts and truly letting them flow. I still like listening to some music but will spend more time in silence, too. That’s when creativity comes about.

Looking back it was a week of many good moments and the weekend in particular helped fill those happiness batteries a bit again. Yet in full disclosure – once again the bits we don’t share on social media weigh in here – I can also see quite a few points requiring change. Time is flying and like everybody else I want to make the most of it but feel I’m not. While I don’t think we need the start of a new week or month to change our ways I will still take today as an opportunity for just that. Let’s pretend the fact it’s Monday is merely coincidence ;).

Happy Monday!

Happiness-inducing today: The time with P. and his adorable laugh, Shameless repeat offender.

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: Hello there, November.

Oh hi, new week in a still-new month!  Because my past week involved both traveling for three days and getting sick [fun times … not] I don’t feel like I have a lot of achievements to share with you. Let’s see if I can find some by following Meg’s prompt of acknowledging every little thing. An excuse in advance for possibly not making sense at times but my brain still feels a little foggy from the sticky cold [that I’m hoping will disappear soon]. As always fill me in on your past week in the comments!

Week in Review

In the past week I …

Worked three days or rather two and a half as Friday turned out to be a shorter one. Truth is I felt guilty. Guilty for taking time off to attend the funeral. In theory, I know this is ridiculous but as I didn’t exactly –do– much on those days off parts of them felt like undeserved holidays while my colleagues had to cover extra work due to my absence. I don’t like taking time off, no matter what the reason. Feel free to call me crazy.

Realization: Time management in private life [work is an exception] isn’t my strongest vice but a healthy dose of stress works wonders. This related to two things:

1. I published three blog posts. A Week in Review, the weekly feature of worthwhile reads and this Healthy No-Bake Millionaire’s Shortbread. The latter was my biggest struggle as I knew I’d either get it up – involving the proper link to the round-up – by Tuesday morning or not have a chance to correct it until our return late Thursday night. Stressed definitely described my feelings there but hooray, it worked smoothly. And  I …

2. Packed my suitcase not only in time but also didn’t overpack. Those who know me in real life are aware of how huge of an accomplishment this was …

Traveled for seven hours on Tuesday – leaving right after work – and nine on Thursday, getting back shortly before midnight. This was hard as my cold had been in development since the past Friday and spending this long in confined spaces as well as without hot tea to soothe my throat: far from ideal. Add in a serious delay on our journey back that involved standing on a platform in the cold for almost an hour. Thanks for nothing, Deutsche Bahn  [German readers will know the struggle with the German railway company]. However, over the years I developed the ability to stay [mostly] calm even in these kindof situations. In this case I focused on how much more enjoyable getting home was going to be after the delay and a nice conversation with a fellow traveler.

Realization: Vegetables cravings are legit.

This is an overall realization from a week of traveling and being sick. For some reason, vegetables were the one thing I still craved. That and peanut butter, because, well, peanut butter.

apple_peanut butter_snack
Ate [lots] despite a severe lack of hunger. I don’t want to talk about recovery and these kind of things too much but will say this was a big win for me. Right now I’m at a point where – while I’m not incredibly underweight and could probably handle it – loosing weight is undesirable. It’s a step back I don’t want to let myself go. Seeing this with Cora’s post in mind: it wouldn’t be in line with my core desire of getting stronger and reaching other goals. Eating way beyond my point of fullness was uncomfortable, yes. But nobody ever said recovery or anything worth pursuing was easy. And as a sweet friend reminded me even in non-recovery terms: Starve a fever. Feed a cold.

Gave many hugs. Listened for hours, wishing I could do more.  It’s hard for me to face sad situations and be unable to change them.

Took a semi-social media break during the time of my travels. While I did have my phone and excellent internet connection I didn’t feel like using it much. It’s nice to see I’m not as dependent on it as I worried I was becoming.

Went on a long walk through the woods and hills – my legs are definitely not used to those – where my relatives live.  This was made even better by a very inspiring and interesting conversation. These kindof encounters light me up and truly brighten my days. No small talk for me.

walk_fallen tree

Lost and regained my voice. Can we please consider this a win? If you ever spent a day without a voice, particularly at work, you will agree. As of now it’s still a bit croaky but we’re getting there.

More things I got to cross off my to-do list:

  • Blended up a new batch of peanut butter.
  • Cleaned my apartment because I luckily am not too sick for that.
    Did some laundry. I guess I’m okay with it as long as I do it in smaller batches.
  • Slept for way longer than in average weeks. Two nights of 10-11 hours?! Craziness. Maybe that’s the one upside of having a cold. Always look on the bright side of everything.

Looking back the past week flew by. Actually, the whole of October did before that. Do we have any proof that month really happened?? Weird, weird. My brain is still feeling a little groggy I’ll end this already too long post by wishing you a good start into the new week!

 

Happiness-inducing today:  Getting more than I excpected done. Productivity makes me happy.

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: 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

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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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