Currently … March

March is that weird in-between month. It’s not yet spring, not really winter anymore [though the temperatures in the mornings around here would make you second-guess this]. And Thursdays are those in-between days – not yet the weekend, not bearing the fresh [or if you’re usually facing a heavy workload on Mondays: heavy ] feeling of a new week anymore. As my brain is apparently caught in a weird in-between state where I can’t seem to finish one post but draft three at once I decided to forgo either of those. What better way to solve the problem than go with some thinking out loud and a little glimpse into life as I currently know it?

Currently_2

 

Drinking:  This tea. Tea snobbery is a thing and thanks to BuzzFeed a verified obsession in my case so there’s no denying it. Honestly, though, if you can get your hands on this Yogi Chocolate Chili Tea: do it! I won’t drink any other [at home] right now.

Yogi tea wisdom

Eating: All the Cs once again. I seem to do that every March – actually: have been doing so for months now.Carrots, Cauliflower. Chocolate. Coconut milk. Not together, mind you.Shown here is a  sneaky b that has been making its way into my life on an almost daily basis: Brussels sprouts. A vegetable you either like or really despise. Which team are you on?

Brussels sprouts_stir-fry

 

[Non-] Guilty Pleasure:  Ich habe heute leider kein Foto für dich. <- Guess that show. Okay, only Germans will know. .Do you remember my mention of trash TV for relaxation? I didn’t spill the beans on what exactly so the cat’s piut of the bag now: Germany’s Next Topmodel. I actually have what I’d call a very low tolerance to trash TV and I’m not saying this judging others. It’s simply that I find a lot of what’s on German TV to be unbearable to watch [and I know I’m not alone on this one – American shows have a much better reputation]. But watching this show somehow lured me in again afters years of lot watching it anymore. I’ll even overlook Heidi Klum’s bad grammar :D. The show is on tonight so

Nail colour and outfit: Forever not taking the classic nail polish show-off picture. Also forever being into all shades coral/pink/red. This is Essie’s Manhattan Ave-hue which I really recommend not only for its colour – the obvious one – but as it’s one of the few I’ve found to truly last on my nails. Almost every other polish has started chipping by the second or third day so far.

Currently_nails_Essie_Manhattan Ave-hue

Obsession: The pictures of my nephew my sister sends me. I’ll keep it at that to spare you my gushing once again.

Reading: More like:  the last book I finished: Poor Economics. It’s the one I mentioned in my Week in Review a while ago and while I think a full-on review is impossible – there’s too much information – I could give summing it up a try if any of you are interested. A lot of thought-provoking, enlightening insight and many a-ha moments.

Poor economics_book

Listening To: My current playlist  is an all over the place mix-up but fitting my current mood. Including this gem right here – judge all you want but if your key criteria for songs is getting you in a good mood: this delivers.

Need:  After reading the book mentioned above it feels very first worldly [not a word, I know] to see any of the things coming to mind as actual needs. A new laptop – mine’s been failing on me for months, if not a year already  – would be quite helpful with blogging and … everything, though.

Bane of Existence: Late nights resulting  in lack of sleep. There’s no denying the fact I’m a night owl but also none in this not meshing well with regular working hours.

Listening to: My current playlist is a wild mix of songs – some new, some old, some slow, some fast. Main criteria: cheering me up. This one delivers:

Excitement:   It might get old for you but … my sister coming to visit on Easter weekend. Obviously with the little boy who stole my heart. Needless to say Easter can’t come fast enough.

Procrastination: All kinds of blog work to be done. It’s not that I don’t want to get started – the problem is deciding on where to do so.

Triumph:  Sharing recipes on here again – and ones that are approved by others.  For actual food bloggers this isn’t a major feat. But me? I’m neither a chef nor baker by nature – too much of an overthinker  [creativity in the kitchen for a part is about letting go, no?!] – so recipes actually turning out and being a huge success with others feels very rewarding. A little preview of what’s to come your way next week …

Bienenstich_Coconut slice

Link: This website. Fun and helpful at the same time? Yes, please.

Mood: Am I the only one who finds this hard to answer and odd for a post summing up a month of currents? <- that would be me trying to slip away from answering it. Honestly, though, this changes quickly for me at the moment.

That was a long post. Over to you now!

Happiness inducing today: So. much. sunlight. until early in the evening. Spring is on its way!

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Tell me your current

  • a) book
  • b) needs
  • c) food
  • d) bane of existence
  • e) triumph.
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Friday Favourites – 10/30/2015

Well, hello there, Friday! And hello there, [almost-]Halloween! How in the world did this month – or better yet: this year – fly by that fast [again]??! And Halloween being around the corner means Christmas isn’t far away anymore, either.  My plan to be prepped better and have a few presents by the end of this month already? We won’t get into that here …

While I can’t churn out any Halloween memories for lack thereof – yes, it’s true – I decided to link up with Heather and Katie to talk about some current favourites again.

  1. At the risk of being cheesy I just have to say that a definite favourite of mine this week were all your comments on yesterday’s post. Letting my thoughts flow and hearing other people’s opinion is one of my favourite parts of blogging. Sorry not sorry for cheesiness.

2. One firm favourite that boosts my mood on those gray, cold and at times boring days: kitchen dance parties! Kitchen because mine doubles as a living room – not always a blessing. Either way: feel free to laugh but this oldie but goodie made a return this week:

3. Talking about jam there’s a firm food favourite to mention, too. If you’ve been reading for some time you might remember my fondness of a certain brand of Greek yogurt split cups and especially the jam part? Well, the only store carrying those decided to discontinue selling them. I’m a-okay going with my Greek yogurt cheat but I do miss the fruity spread so I’ve been on a mission to find a replacement. While not entirely the same this one is pretty close. Lots of blueberries and 75 % fruit percentage – I can roll with that.

favourite jam_blueberry

Walks. Always good but even better now I’m not excerising anymore. This is actually really tough on my mind but I keep repeating to myself that all of this hardship is serving a better future. And while running isn’t in the books – I’m even trying to avoid blogs mentioning it because I miss it so much – walks are an awesome alternative to clear my mind. And – TMI 😉 – they help keeping you regular, too.

autum walk

Another favourite? Surprise packages in the mail. Granted, this one wasn’t entirely surprising but the fact how soon it shipped [five days and not stuck at customs!] was. So: Quest bars. Why? How? My last post might have left the impression I was anti-protein anything. Which isn’t entirely true. I’m not emphasizing protein in my diet much and  going with my gut rather than trying to figure out any macronutrient needs. And as you know if you read yesterday’s post you will know I think no foods should be shunned from our diets completely. Just make real foods the largest part of your diet and you’re good to go.

Quest bars_protein

Long story short: I’m generally curious of trying new foods and seeing all the rage around Quest bars wanted to know what the hype was about. However, my curiosity wasn’t large enough to actually shell out money to order them online. Are you aware a bar of ## this amazing chocolate ## is cheaper than a ‘Questie’? I know my priorities ;). Nonetheless, I was lucky to win a giveaway on Instagram and got two boxes of the bars – one of the S’mores flavor and a mixed bestseller box – and I’m excited to see if they live up to their reputation. I’ll keep you updated.

For now, I hope you’ll have a great Friday and a good start into the weekend!

Happiness-inducing today: Many little things like talking to my sister on the phone, finding out one of her former classmates that I happen to know a bit better, too, is pregnant and other things.
 

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What’s your favourite jam – both the edible and audible kind?

If you’re a Quest bar fan: what is your favourite here? And: raw or baked? Because apparently certain flavours are best enjoyed warmed up?!

Do you have any plans for Halloween?

 

110 Things That Make Me Happy

Hi there, Monday! Once again, you came faster than expected.

As bloggers we open our lives up to an indefinably large audience. We share what’s going on in our world. Food. Fun. Maybe fitness. The good and the bad. I’m not a Negative Nancy so while authenticity is a key priority for me on- and offline, I don’t always tell everything – and I fell most bloggers will follow the same approach. Life isn’t unicorns and rainbows 24/7 and the past weeks have been more rain than rainbows for me. There, I said it. However, like I said, negativity isn’t my style so I’m trying to keep my head up. Coincidentially, Kathy inspired me to do some thinking about all the good things in life. It’s the little things that make us happy after all. Without further ado, here are 100 things that make me happy and bring joy to my life. Because photography is one of those things, I added some pictures bringing my list to the marvelous number of 110 things [and counting because once you start looking there are countless things making you happy in life].

  1. Being with people I love.
  2. The sound in my ears when riding my bike.
  3. My bed. The comfiest place on earth.
  4. Riding my bike.
  5. Especially riding my bike in the sunset.
  6. Flowers of any kind – as evidenced by the bazillion of pictures of them on my blog. You’ve got to share the love, right?!
  7. Walks through the woods. Just taking in nature, forgetting about the time and everything else.
  8. Seeing people smile. Especially people I love. I’m happy when others around me are happy. Smiles are indeed contagious.
  9. Silence and rest after loud and long days or nights.
  10. Stopping to smell the flowers. Literally.
  11. Writing letters
  12. Receiving letters.
  13. The sun.
  14. Curling up in bed pulling the blankets up until under my nose.
  15. PJ pants_striped_bed
  16. Reminiscing in childhood memories.
  17. Taking showers.
  18. The scent of my shampoo.
  19. Those rare days when the scent of said shampoo actually sticks in my hair for longer than a few minutes. Just me?
  20. Hand-knitted wool socks by my grandma. ‘tis the season.
  21. Freshly washed sheets.
  22. Fresh fruit. All the fruit.
  23. Ice cream.
  24. Nut butter. I don’t discriminate here.
  25. All the kabocha. At best home-grown from my mum’s garden.
  26. Sleeping in on the weekends.
  27. Talking with friends for so long we forget all about the time. And food.
  28. Buying new writing utensils.
  29. That’s an obvious one: Blogging.
  30. Family walks – on the beach or elsewhere.
  31. Reading thought-provoking articles.
  32. Sunday walk_October
  33. Taking pictures.
  34. Long dresses. Short dresses. All kinds of dresses, really.
  35. Getting dressed up for special occasions.
  36. Watching one of my favourite movies. Like How to steal a million. Mad Hot Ballroom.
  37. When I’m sad and others find just the right words to cheer me up.
  38. Painting my nails. Even if  picking a colour can be tough.
  39. The sound of leaves crushing beyond my feet on walks in autumn.
  40. Things children say in awe of things they don’t yet understand. Yes, it sure is possible to raise a foal in a three-bedroom city apartment. You just have to believe it.
  41. Saying that, I think I should re-read some of my old favourites.
  42. Tongue twisters.
  43. Running. It clears my mind, lets me breathe and fuels my creativity. I can’t wait to lace up my shoes and get back into it again one day. Hopefully soon.
  44. Colouring books. Because you’re never too old for them and it’s important to keep the inner child alive. Adult life can be rough.
  45. Winter sun
  46. Being silly with friends because we should keep our inner child alive forever.
  47. Insider jokes. Oh that one created on our class trip to the Netherlands …
  48. Gilmore Girls.Rory and Lorelai have saved many a boring night for me.
  49. Working out. Those endorphines produced while exercise are amazing.
  50. My favourite magazines.
  51. Listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks. To all Germans: Rufus Beck is brilliant.
  52. Laughing.
  53. While I’m neither a huge cake nor cookie person eating the dough is my favourite part.
  54. Scented candles. I just started lighting one on my table in the morning again. It didn’t feel right in summer but now that it’s getting colder again …
  55. Driving, turning the music up loud and jamming along. There’s a reason I prefer driving alone.
  56. Breaking out into spontaneous kitchen dance parties.
  57. Candles_December
  58. Random conversations with strangers.
  59. Libraries. Going into them with no idea on what to get and browsing endlessly.
  60. Reading. Duh.
  61. Writing lists. Like this one.
  62. Checking things off of my to-do list.
  63. Receiving a new issue of the magazine I subscribe to.
  64. Watching the clouds and looking for cloud animals. Did anybody else do that as a child?
  65. Watching the sunrise.
  66. Watching the sunset. Is it apparent I like the sun just a smidgen?
  67. Surprising other people.
  68. Asking my grandparents about their lives and listening to their stories. If yours are still alive and you haven’t asked them about ‘earlier’ yet: do it.
  69. Exploring cities or new places by simply walking around with no set goal.
  70. houses_Berlin
  71. Finding/buying/collecting beautiful dishes. I have way too many a lot.
  72. Early mornings. On those occasions I wake up early enough to enjoy them …
  73. Watching the stars.
  74. Beach walks with the whole family including my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins.
  75. Wearing boots that make me a little taller. Any other short people that can relate?
  76. Unplugging. Some of the best memories are made when there’s no technology around to capture them.
  77. Eating nut butter straight from the jar. The joy of not having to share.
  78. Getting compliments. Not just for appearance but things I wrote or created, too.
  79. Making new friends.
  80. Hearing birds sing.
  81. When somebody unexpectedly calls, texts or mails to simply ask how I’m doing. That’s something to pay forward.
  82.  Finding things I thought I’d lost again.
  83. Baking cookies. Or cakes. Or anything, really.
  84. What's not to love about freshly baked cookies? Tasting the dough might be my favourite part of baking, though.
  85. Figuring out how to do things I had yet to understand.
  86. Rainbows.
  87. Trying something for the first time and immediately getting the hang of it.
  88. Playing board games. Unfortunately not one of my family’s favourite activies so we hardly do it anymore these days. That has to change!
  89. My mum’s laugh. Trust me, it’s the most contagious [and one of the loudest] ever.
  90. Creating new recipes.
  91. Candied peanuts_2
  92. Going to the movies.
  93. When my apartment looks neat and organized. Why does a thorough clean-up never last long??
  94. Crafting. It’s something I really enjoyed as a child but – thanks to many arts teacher telling me I had no talent – lost over the years. With Christmas in mind I started searching Pinterest for ideas and can’t wait to get started.
  95. Speaking English. I’m currently teaching German to an American exchange student and while I’m getting paid the best part is being able to practice my English, too. I’ve always loved learning languages.
  96. When the kids I’m tutoring are successful in school.
  97. Having a sudden flash of inspiration.
  98. Hot showers. Even more now that it’s getting colder outside they’re a real treat.
  99. No matter what’s going on in my life I will always appreciate a hug.
  100. There’s nothing like changing into your pajamas, watching some movie or reading a good book.
  101. Singing [when nobody’s listening].
  102. Listening to my favourite songs on repeat.
  103. Kitten. I guess we can agree baby animals are cute – but so are grown up ones.
  104. Scarves.
  105. Traveling and seeing new places.
  106. Doing puzzzles – even if they take me forever to finish.
  107. Learning something new.
  108. Living in the moment and not worrying about the future. I’m still practicing …
  109. Every comment on here. Yes, I know I’m repeating myself but the blogging community – you. Thank you for stopping by, commenting and making blogging all the better.

 

Happiness-inducing today: Taking a walk outside before the rain set in. Thoughts flowing, feet moving – it was wonderful

 

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Tell me some of the things that make you happy!

Friday Favourites – 8/21/2015

Every now and then I think I should work out a schedule for my blog … and then I notice I’m better at simply rolling with the flow. Like now. I had no set intentions of writing this post but after reflecting on the past week the idea of talking about some favourites sounded good to me. So here we go!

 

Trainwreck!

Source

This one was a huge positive surprise. My current guilty pleasure has resulted in me watching  [or not watching but waiting until it was over] the trailer of this movie about 456834 times during the past weeks. Combined with the very unfortunate German title [Dating Queen] I was 99 % sure I wouldn’t enjoy the movie. Wow was I ever wrong! It was not the expected [boring] romantic/trying-to-be-funny movie but really good. I won’t add any spoilers here but if you haven’t seen it yet I highly recommend you do! The reason I changed my mind and watched it in the first place?

#2 Quality time with friends. Or better yet one very good friend of mine. She visited her family and we got to meet two consecutive days. One of them was spent just talking. It amazes me how there are people in our lives we can go not seeing for months yet the minute we meet catching up is a breeze because it feels like it had been just yesterday. Do you know what I mean?

Tea

Chocolate. Always among my favourites but this week I can actually introduce you to a new one. Aldi of all places was where we met 😉 . Yes, I’m cheating on my usual addiction. I recently did the math lookin g on my consumption of that one and well, let’s say it’s no surprise I have a hard time keeping a strict budget …

chocolate bars_mint

These, however? A refreshingly minty taste, a lot more affordable and vegan, too. It’s a pity Aldi doesn’t sell these regularly so be assured I stocked up big time. The bars you see above are just a fraction of all packages I bought.

Something that is always a bright spark in my days but especially so during the past that felt like a first taste of [the bad part of] autumn: rainy, grey and all kinds of unfriendly: flowers! While I prefer walking through the garden and take their beauty in my mum randomly brought me a bouquet for my table.

Flowers_vase

I’m obviously not complaining.  And that’s it for my favourites for now as I need to go and pack for a little weekend get-away.

Thanks to Heather and Clare for motivating us to focus on the good things in life every Friday!

Happiness-inducing today: A repeat from above but nothing could beat meeting said friend.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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Do you have a set blogging schedule or fly by the seat of your pants?

If you’ve seen Trainwreck yet: what did you think of it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently … August 2015

Oh hey, it has only been … forever since I last shared some currents from my life. But in celebration of another Monday I’ll give you a little update on what I’ve been reading, eating, doing and thinking. Sounds good? Let’s get into it.

Current book: Maybe I’m one of the last ones to read this book and it has actually been on my reading list for a long time: ‘The Opposite of Loneliness’.  So far I like it but don’t feel it and agree Keegan was a talented young writer.

Book_Marina Keegan

Current music: Blank Space – Taylor Swift

 

 

Current guilty pleasure: Why did nobody tell me YouTube videos were that addicitve? Or should I say effective? Because they can be both for me. Here’s how I started the addicition: My sister sent me a total of twelve pages she had to hand in for her studies as I usually help her with editing. I find that I work better with some white noise and because

Current nail colour: Prior to asking the question a while back I had gone weeks, no, months without any colour on my nails. Now that summer is in full bloom I absolutely need to get my nails sparkling and shining. And yes, I’ll say the same again in winter. For now, I’m wearing Essie’s Double-breasted Jacket.

Nails_Essie Double breasted jacket

 Current TV show: Still Gilmore Girls. And I’m still bugged about this problem I had while watching it.

Current volunteer job: While I might not have a new full-time job yet I’ve been trying to keep busy with tutoring and helping out in a reading club for children. What I expexted was like a kids’ version of adult book clubs. However, it’s more about getting the little ones to get active outside of sitting in front of the computer or TV. We practicted for a short role play some of them got really excited about – so cute! – and now during the holidays there are various activities centering around certain books.

Leseclub

Current bane of my existence: The weather. Why in the world can’t it be constant? Rain. Heat. Rain. Summer, where are you?  My mood fluctuates with the weather and lack of sun means …

Current drink: Tea? Water? I can’t say much was changing in this realm throughout the year.

Current food: What am I not eating? Really, though, ever since upping my intake  my appetite has been through the roof. Given my stomach looks like that of a pregnant woman most nights [hello, TMI]. Right now and for the past weeks, these have been chickpeas [always], chocolate [ditto], cottage cheese and carrots. And did I mention that when chocolate comes out peanut butter isn’t far away, either?

Chocolate and peanut butter_Lindt

Current blessing: Probably my most repeated but it’s worth saying again: friends. Real friends who care about you and always offer to lend an ear but also cheer you up not asking how things are going.

Current guilty embarrassing pleasure: Turning up the music and shaking it out. I have no feeling for rhythm whatsoever – but all the more fun. When going through my iTunes for the first time in a while this song came on and I despise my plan to quickly send out a mail I couldn’t stop myself until the song was over. Crazy times.

Current link: make-it-okay.com If only this existed in real life  …

Happiness inducing today: Something I felt majorly anxious about beforehand turning out much better and happier than expected.

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Tell me your current

  • a) book
  • b) needs
  • c) food
  • d) blessing

Let’s talk about Instagram.

Something has been making me sad in the world of Social Media again*. Jumping right in: I’ve been dabbling around with Instagram lately and noticed something … If it was just the occasional person I wouldn’t give it much thought. Yet: I see it happening left and right all of the time. Literally every time somebody posts a picture of themselves – aside from ab shots or body builders/fitness IGs – it comes with a semi-joking caption like ‘okay, ready to loose a few more followers again’. Or in the case of several people even – and this made me sad – the excuse of ‘hope it’s okay to post this.’ Am I the only one who gets thinking about our focus and priorities here?

Here’s what I noticed. And yes, I double-checked. Triple-checked. In short: I kept an eye on this during the past few weeks to make sure it wasn’t a mere coincidence within a few profiles. Let’s take the example of a random profile. What goes on in your mind if you see that a package of storebought pasta gets [decidedly] more likes than the pictures of the [subjective but yes] sympathetic couple behind the account?

Source

* Please note that I’m not generally a sad person :).

Are we really more interested in seeing food picture after food picture than the people behind them?? Their interests? Their hobbies? Quirks? Random things that made them smile?

Along those lines is the issue of people asking their followers what they’d like to see more of. Sorry but really? If I asked and the most popular answer would be ‘monogram-styled bowls of oatmeal and selfies’: would you change your feed and stop posting pictures of your garden/family/whatever else you like to share? Just to please others? Win followers? Loose yourself [allow me to be a little drastic here] ?

No. If somebody enjoys my pictures and captions I will happily welcome them among my followers and check out  their profile in turn – that’s the way to build community. The ‘mission’ shouldn’t be to post for others but yourself.

my Instagram feed
Blog for yourself. Post on Instagram for yourself. Share what’s on your mind or important to you. Like minded people will follow. The remainder? So what. As you might have already guessed I’m not somebody you can ask for ‘S4S’ or ‘f4f’. Nope. If that’s your goal than au revoir, mon ami. We won’t be #instafriends anytime soon. Actually,  about that term friends… you know my take on this.

Don’t get me wrong. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want anybody to follow me. But like I mentioned some time ago in regards to blogging I value quality over quantity. The most important and best part of both blogging and Instagram to me still is the community.Even if a picture didn’t get many likes yet a few people commented sharing their thoughts and opinions that would matter so. much. more to me.

On a last note I’m not judging people who treat Instagram differently than me. To each their own. All I’m hoping to do is remind whoever is sad about a small following or unsure why their pictures don’t get as many likes as others: it’s not about you. You are great the way you are as is your Instagram account.

 

 

Happiness-inducing today: Starting a great new book and reading outside in the sunshine.
Tell me whatever comes to your mind: Do you agree? Disagree? What are your experiences?

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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