Currently… August

Even with an as-of-yet non-existent blogging schedule it’s that time of the month again. Wait, not that time. You know what I mean: it’s August already [insert comment on how fast time is flying by] so why not give an update on current life happenings?

Current book: Too many and none. I keep piling up books from the library and attempting to read all of them yet not being completely drawn in by any of them. Right now I found one that is acceptable for a quick mindless summer novel. A sweet nothing [in a good way] in written form if you will.

Sweet like sugary frosting as you’d guess from the title already: How to Eat a Cupcake is the story of two women who used to be best friends as children – Julia, the careless child of rich parents and Annie, their housekeeper’s daugther – but broke apart due to happenings in their teenage years. The story is how they meet again and – despite their anger – decide to open up a café together which involves quite some drama [men, secrets, vandalism, …]. It is told interchangeably from Julia’s and Annie’s perspective which is a way of writing I enjoy.

Current drink: Alpro Coconut drink.

July 23rd 024

I used to only drink calorie-free everything but how much fun is that in the long run?  At first try this seemed way too sweet for me despite containing no added sugar. Now, however, I’m completely smitten with it and will pour myself a cup several times a day. Creamy, sweet, refreshing. I wish I liked it less because a) it’s a bit expensive for going through a litre in three days and b) I soon won’t be able to get it anymore [see current procrastination].

Current food[s]: Not new ones but rediscoveries have been the motto for me  all around lately.

Hazelnut butter.

Picture dump_July 032

There are no words. Or maybe: hand me a spoon, please. I’d been putting off purchasing a new jar for months because it’s ridiculously expensive.  So when I noticed it was on offer at the health food store I had to pick it up. That was only days ago and half the jar is gone already.

Raspberries. Their season might be over soon so I need to make sure to get my fair share in while I still can. Or hope for my mum’s to grow soon so I’ll be able to scope up a nice lot when I’m at my parents’s soon. She grows ‘late’ raspberries which ripen around the end of August or even a little later. Meaning that by combining the store-bought variety and hers I get to lengthen the season. Win!

July 23rd 016

Peas: It’s no secret I like legumes but peas are one of those unsuspecting ones I tend to forget about. Childhood memories with every pea I eat because they made frequent appearances on my plate when I was a little one. But now I’m quite fond of them as you might have noticed in the cheesy vegan gnocchi recipe.

Current nail colour: Essie’s Madison Ave-hue was on my nails a lot again recently. I’m about to change colours again, though.

Currently_nails

Current blessing: The weather. It’s been perfect these past days: sunny but not too hot. Today actually being the exception because Germany is currently drowing. It’s pouring buckets.

Current needs: Somebody to help me pack or Mary Poppins’ witchcraft to shrink all my belongings and make packing easier. When in the world did I gather all those kitchen gadgets, clothes and food 😀 ??

Current procrastination: packing. I had yet to mention it on the blog but I’m about to move in a little over a week. Right now the sadness of leaving the city and beautiful apartment I’ve grown to feel home in during the last four years is overwhelming and putting a damper on my mood. It doesn’t help that my new place will be in the middle of nowhere with hardly anything around and I’m not sure about the job itself, either. There’s a lot going on in my mind right now but I’m still ttrying to figure it our myself. Trying to stay positive but it’s not easy.

Current bane of my existence: Fruit flies. Vegetarian or not: I respect many creatures but fruit flies are none of those.

Current wish list: Not having to move. Okay, as this one’s out of question: Family time. Aside from sporadic meet-ups with my mum I haven’t been with my family for longer since I moved back into my apartment in February. I’ll likely spent the time in between moving and starting my new job at my parents’ place in the countryside.

Current link: Lifehack. Procrastination? Maybe. A lucky bag of awesome advice? Absolutely.

I hope your Monday started in a marvelous fashion and the week will follow suit there for all of you!

Happiness inducing today: A chat with a random stranger [more on that in a future post!].

Stay in touch!

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

 

 

Any packing tips? How do you decide what to throw away and what to keep [also memory-wise]?

What’s your current

  • book
  • food
  • nail colour
  • wish list
  • blessing?

Me, myself and I in 39 [plus one] questions

Mondays are for … survey fun! And I just had to go with that title for the fact that survey really are self-centered – no way  in denying it, is there? Whether or not I’m the last person to jump on this train I’ve been eyeing the 39 questions Amanda posted way back for a while. We can ignore the fact I don’t like uneven numbers because I sneakily added a 40th one. Either way surveys – uneven numbers or not – are a great way to start the week after a relaxing weekend. Happy Monday and make it marvelous by visiting Katie’s blog. Congratulations to our sweet host who just started her yoga teacher training.

Marvelous

Were you named after anyone?

Actually yes. However, different from many others who were probably named after a family member or important person I don’t know the woman whose name I’m sharing. The sister of a not at all close friend of my parents was an inspiration for this unusual name.

2. When was the last time you cried?
It’s been a while but I wouldn’t mind saying when if I remembered. I’ve mentioned before that I think it’s an important means of letting our feelings come to the surface and has a ‘cleansing’ effect. And mum: thanks for the hugs and kind words.

3. Do you like your handwriting?
It’s not an artsy kind of handwriting but after the many letters I’ve sent to blends recently I’ve come around to being okay with it. The only ‘complaint’ I’ve heard is that it’s a fairly small writing but try as I might I can’t seem to write bigger letters. So yes, my handwriting’s me and I like it.

Letter

4. What is your favourite lunch meat?
Any that doesn’t make an appearance in my lunch 🙂 .

5. Do you have kids?
Can we get back to that question in … due time? One day, one day.

6. If you were another person, would you be friends with you?
Friends, yes. Maybe I’m interpreting this too deeply here but I think it’s a good question to ask ourselves on the regular. If we’re being honest but also not too hard with ourselves it should help us find an inner balance. Right now there were several days when I had to step aside and honestly admit I wouldn’t have wanted to be my mum or sister in that moment. I’m not sure about you but I know I’m a lot different around friends than family and have given my loved ones a hard time more than once before. But in the end I think we all have our good and bad characteristics and as long as we’re able to see when we’ve hurt others and can admit to it things even out. Talk about a lengthy reply but this question really got me thinking.

 Sheep_September

7. Do you use sarcasm a lot?
Apparently more often than some people would expect from me because I’ve gotten some hilarious responses [read: or lack thereof in the form of speechlessness] to it sometimes before.

8. Do you still have your tonsils?
Yes, I’m still a proud owner. But before you’re asking: no, I haven’t named them – for fear of losing them after all, obviously 😉 .

9. Would you bungee jump?
Are.you.kidding? Risking my life and paying money for it?! Thanks but no, thanks.

10 What is your favourite cereal?
Hello from Cereal Desert Germany. If we had the same choices you lucky ducks have overseas I’m sure anything peanut buttery would be high up there. But right now I’ll go with plain Saltoos. Think fruit-juice-sweetened crunchy rings made from whole-grain spelt. Fancy. Feel free to mail me those Peanut Butter Puffins I keep hearing about and my answer will likely change in a minute.

Cereal

 11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Boots for the win! Zipping is all I need to do. Talking running shoes: no. Maybe it’s lazy but it’s just a timesaver.

12. Do you think you are strong?
We’ve talked about my favourite strength workout before so if that counts then: yes. But don’t ask me if I’ve ever set foot into the weights area at the gym.

13. What is your favourite ice cream?
Not a fair question for an ice cream fiend at all. Previously an ice cream parlor’s rating in my book would depend on the quality of their cherry ice cream. Trust me, I can tell a good from a bad cherry though I’ve since moved on to make it depend on mango. In the picture below I went against my usual picks and had vegan Tiramisu ice cream – a delicious way of breaking routines.

Ice cream

14. What is the first thing you notice about other people?
If they’re looking overall sympathetic.

15. Red or pink?
Life wouldn’t be complete without either of them. And no, that’s not cheating – just naming the facts. A look into my wardrobe would tell you.

16. What is your least favourite thing about yourself?
My lack of time management skills. I might be a perfectionist but there’s still part of me that’s way too chaotic. Is that’s what we call balance?

17. Any tattoos?
Just thinking about them makes me cringe. 1. Because getting them requires a way-too-long for my liking contat with needles [anything longer than ten seconds is, no, scratch that: one second] and 2. Because … did you realize you’ll have them forever?! I occasionally can’t even seem to pick clothes that I’ll still like a year from now so don’t make me choose a tattoo motive.

18. Do you have any hobbies?
For some reason it always felt awkward answering the hobby question in friendship booklets and not just because I’m so indecisive and there’s way too little room. So just to confirm: yes, I do have hobbies.

19. What colour shoes are you wearing?
All the colours of the rainbow. Okay, maybe not all. Favourites are dark red or black.

Shoes

20. What was the last thing you ate?
Almond butter. Typical.

21. What are you listening to right now?
Another sunny day. We could really use more of these again after the past weekend.

22. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be?
Don’t ask me why but my instant answer was yellow. Really, though, I feel it should be red as that’s my favourite. Does anybody care to let me know what my first intuitive pick says about me?

23. Favourite smells?
Roses, freshly baked goods, vanilla ice cream [the IKEA candles!], … too many to write all of them down here.

24. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
My mum. Next up is my grandma because I’m long overdue calling her.

25. Mountain hideaway or beach house?
Mountain hideaway. Maybe it has to do with growing up in the countryside and being a fair skin type but I just can’t get as excited at the premise of lying around in the sunshine all day than hiking around in beautiful scenery.

Autumn walk

26. Favourite sport to watch?
None. Don’t get me wrong: I’m sure all of these athletes are doing a great job but my mind drifts off minutes after I start watching. Okay, maybe making an exception for soccer during the European or World Championships.

27. Hair colour?
A light brown my mum used to call “dark blonde” but … it’s not.

28. Eye colours?
Matching my hair colour: light brown.

29. Do you wear contacts?
I wish I was able to but my callus didn’t feel like cooperating the time I tried.

30. Scary movies or happy endings?
Will you believe I’ve never actually watched a whole scary move until the end? And don’t we all need a little bit of cheesy or at times heart-breaking romance in our lives?!

Movie night2

31. Last movie you watched?
The Butler which I definitely recommend watching if you haven’t seen it yet.

32. What colour shirt are you wearing?
Actually, I’m sitting her in my PJs right now and my shirt’s a light rosy colour.

33. Summer or winter?
All the seasons! I might complain about the cold right now but I couldn’t imagine living in the heat all year round, either. Every season has wonderful parts I wouldn’t want to miss.

34. Hugs or kisses?
Hugs. There’s something so deeply comforting and secure about a big warm hug. A good hug says more than a thousand words.

35. Computer or television?
Computer. In fact, I don’t own a TV and feel fine without. Not so much without my computer … [note that I don’t own a Mac book, though. Not an apple addict here.]

36. What book are you reading right now?
Tiger Mom by Amy Chua. After finishing The Heavy I noticed I wasn’t up for fiction right now and this one had been on my to-read list for a while already. If anybody’s interested I can do a review once I’m finished.

37. What’s on your mouse pad?
Is this the outdated part of the survey? Okay, so:  there’s none.

38. What colour is your house?
Our house in the countryside is an old farm house with red tiles. Just looking at pictures makes me feel all cozy inside.

39. What colour is your car?
I don’t actually own a car myself but my mum and share one when I’m at their place – it’s a black Opel.

… and because I mentioned I don’t like uneven numbers:

40. What’s one motto you live by?

An oldie but goodie that I remind myself of every day. A day without a smile is a lost day. And would you want to loose any days of your life?

Happiness inducing today: A blissfully lazy day and many good [text] conversations with friends. Can tomorrow be Sunday again?

Stay in touch!

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

It’s your turn: Answer some of the questions, too!  But definitely the 40th 🙂 .

Time-crunched crispiness [Healthier Crispy Peanut Protein Cereal Bars]

Chewy and crispy cereal bars reminiscent of Rice Krispie treats but in a healthier and less indulgent way. A low-fat, higher-protein take on a classic.

crispy_snack

Double-checking my calendar was necessary today to realize that yes, it’s actually March already. How in the world …? I wasn’t kidding when I said February was keeping up with January’s fleetingness. Something I am currently keeping up with the second week already is a changed schedule of posting a recipe on Monday instead of reserving it for my usual Friday food talk. The title suggests it already: I’ve been a little crunched for time lately – yes, I’m unorganized … – but it also fits for the recipe I have for you today.

crispy_II

Weekends have become my recipe creating time frame. Lately not just on the savoury side of baking in the form of casseroles but some sweet baked goods, too. Or actually un-baked in this case. An especially good idea when needing to use up impulse purchases. Semi-impulsive. In my defense: when I spotted brown rice syrup on offer at the health food store I knew I’d find a way to use it in a healthier baked good or other treat. And even before buying this new kind of cereal I’d envisioned to combine the two for a Rice Krispie treat-alike sweet.

crispy

I’ll admit right away that I can’t get nostalgic at all or reminiscene my childhood regarding Rice Krispie treats. They were non-existent back then and even fast forward to today I can’t remember I’ve ever had a real Rice Krispie treat. Which, however, is not to say I couldn’t keep talking about the sweet deliciousness I experienced during my years as a wee little one. Kalter Hund, Schoko-Crossies, Grießbrei and other treats certainly are worth remembering. but these slightly less indulgent crispy cereal bars don’t have to shy away, either.

crispy_stacked

Sticky, peanutty and sweet but not too much so with a generous dash of salt turning these into a delicious sweet-and-salty creation. The cereal I briefly mentioned above is a recently introduced high-protein blend of soy flakes, plain and cocoa soy nuggets, chocolate chunks and dried fruit. When I noticed it was both [accidentially, I assume] vegan and low in sugar I just ‘had’ to try it. Even if you can’t find a similar cereal, though, these bars will keep their appeal – just try the sub I noted in the recipe. The brown rice syrup acts as a binding agent and peanut flour adds another protein punch to these little bites of not-so-indulgent indulgence foregoing the protein powder.

crispy_hand

Healthier Crispy Peanut Protein Cereal Bars

  • 1 cup crispy [high-protein]* granola [for any German readers: I used this cereal by Layenberger] [70 g]
  • 1/2 cup of puffed brown rice
  • 1/4 + 1/16th cup [70 g] brown rice syrup
  • 3 tbsps peanut flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • salt to taste
  1. Combine the different cereals in a bowl.
  2. Stir together brown rice syrup, peanut flour, vanilla and salt in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add in the cereal and mix well to combine.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a 8 x 8 inch baking pan and press it down firmly.
  5. Refridgerate for several hours or overnight before cutting into squares.

*If you can’t find any high-protein granola you can sub any mix of puffed cereals like amaranth, buckwheat and quinoa. The granola I used is very dense/heavy in weight so you’ll likely need to increase the amount if using puffed grains only or mix with your favourite crunchy granola.

To keep up the higher protein content adding a scoop of protein powder might work.

MiMM_new

A marvelous snack or slightly less indulgent treat for whenever you want a sweet little something but don’t want to go all out. Happy snacky Monday to all of you and thanks to our sweet host Katie!

Hoping they’re fans of Rice Krispie Treats, too, I’ll be linking up with Laura, Kierston and Healthy Vegan Fridays here. Even if you’re crunched for time it’s well worth visiting their link-ups.

Happiness inducing today: Catching up with a friend I hadn’t seen in months.

Stay in touch!

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

What were some of your favourite childhood treats?

Are you good at time management or find yourself crunched for time more often than not? Talk about a serious need for improvement on my part here.

http://www.layenberger.com/Low-Carb/LowCarb-one-Protein-Muesli/LowCarb-one-Protein-Muesli_sorten.php

Regret – it’s what you make from it

Another Monday, another fresh start with a clean slate after the past week. Time to evaluate what went well and what could use improvement which we might follow up by setting [smaller or bigger] goals to change things. And yes, Mondays are indeed a marvelous chance for reflection. Having just moved back into my apartment after several months at my parents make this a special occasion for some long-term evaluation.

MiMM_new

Do you ever feel like running in circles completely overwhelmed but with no way out? And then it just takes somebody asking the very right questions to make you notice you’ve already known the solution or at least the root of the problem all the time? Whether or not you can relate [anybody?] it’s been just like that for me lately. long with my move – already in the days, weeks even, leading up to it – came the return of an old acquaintance. And one I didn’t welcome back with open arms: Regret.

Looking back at the past months of living at my parents’ house I suddenly felt so much regret. Regret for opportunities I didn’t take. Questions I didn’t ask. Decisions I didn’t make. In the end, though, regret is about realizations which in itself can be positive and actually help us progress in life. Regret focuses on the past and we can’t change that anymore  – however much we want to and if we like this fact or not. What we can influence, though, is the future. By choosing not to regret [as much] anymore and preventing ourselves from regret in the first place.

Saying all that my goal is to regret less and have less reasons for regret. The latter might be even harder than the former for me, admittedly, because it means taking opportunities when offered. I’m stressing the less here knowing myself and that I don’t feel able to say yes all of the time for now. Just taking invitations and stepping out of my comfort zone every now and then would be an improvement already. Focussing on a certain number of ‘challenges’ per week will only set me up for failure in the first place – and with failure comes regret. Nevertheless, I know it’ll take some pushing from the outside, too, and I think there is a number of blends out there [you know I mean you] that are more than willing to be just that encouragement :).

It’s interesting to see how my non-resolutions [unintentionally] find their way into my life and the smaller changes I’m striving for. Even though I actually didn’t look at the post again since and hadn’t thought about which tangible everyday goals I might derive from the as the year would progress back then. Maybe destiny knew and influenced my choice? Either way I feel life has its way of giving us hints on where we should head. And for now I guess that’ll mean back to the grind for most of us – though rumor has it some of you are experiencing the joy of a long weekend? – so:

Happy Monday!

 

Happiness inducing today: Enjoying a relaxed Sunday morning.

Stay in touch!

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

 

Do you feel regret often?

How do you handle it? Let it get you down? Use it as a chance for change?

 

 

 

 

Smile at the grouchy gym guy

I’d originally planned a different post for today but the weekend didn’t go according to plan – don’t we all know how that happens? [Almost ]Everything in life happens for a reason, though, ahd this apparently was meant for me to consult my drafts folder again. A good hint by destiny, indeed, because I’m not sure this post I wrote a while ago [you’ll get a better idea of that while if you continue reading] would have seen the light of the world or at least this blog any other way. After some slightly heavier posts last week I figured it’d be just the right post for a marvelous Monday with our favourite healthy diva Katie.

MiMM_new

Friday night after a not-so-swell day of work all I wanted was to get in a quick workout to boost my mood. Colour me not so happy when my ‘favourite’ trainer was in charge at the gym. I’m not usually one to snark about people in public but with this guy I’d never been surprised they usually let him work closing shifts when hardly anybody was working out anymore. He’s so far from your cheery, jolly trainer but rather one of those salacious guys you’d rather avoid altogether. From his appearance alone he’s not one you’d want to be around as the only woman in the gym. Hence why I usually try to get past him as soon as possible. A quick hello, grabbing the key for the locker room from his hand praying he won’t make any remarks trying to be witty. I’ll just take my key, thankyouverymuch. Not.

At the gym_January 2014

When I hopped off the elliptical and meant to make my way up to the changing room once more just quickly getting my key back he came about with one of his annoying comments. Typical. While I’d been able to relax during my workout this simple stupid little remark reminded me yet again why I disliked him. So while changing clothes I intented to simply drop off the key and leave the gym without even saying goodbye because I hoped he’d be in the weights section in anyway.

Yet sometimes I act against my original intentions on purpose because deep down I know it’ll do some magic. It’s funny but I’ve found that in doing this I’m not only surprising myself but others who likely expected a different [negative] reaction, too. And positive surprises are always welcome. Against my hopes grouchy gym guy was hanging out in the entrance area when I left so at least a short exchange of goodbyes couldn’t be avoided.And that’s where I surprised myself: Instead of happily rushing off after he’d – in charming grouchy fashion nonetheless – wished me a nice evening and happy New Year [four days early at that time, actually] I turned around asking if he’d had a nice Christmas. Apparently totally taking him by surprise because he seemed almost insecure answering. When he gave back the question and asked me if I’d gotten any great presents I flashed him a huge smile at the thought of my gifts and responded a happy yes!  Somehow, this one moment changed our ‘relationship’ [it seems odd to talk about having any kind of relationship with a random trainer at the gym you hardly see a few times a week]. A mere few weeks later  [or now: a few days ago on my last trip to this gym in a while] we got along so well we were actually talking for 15 minutes [or more?] like good friends. While – as mentioned – I’d previously have preferred not spending any more than 15 seconds with this guy.

Why, yes, I just wrote an entire post about smiling. Because in my opinion, smiling can never be overrated. A simple smile might not change the whole world. But it can bring a little joy into somebody else’s life – and your own.

Happiness inducing today: A walk with my dad.

Stay in touch!

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

Are there any grouchy guys in your life that you’d rather avoid altogether? I dare you to just give them a little smile or chat them up – there’s nothing to loose.

Have you ever surprised yourself by acting against your intentions? Tell me your stories!

 

Keeps getting better

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

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

Good things

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

snow

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

Birthday and more 016

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

Happy Monday to all of you!

MiMM_new

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

 

Feel free to share your thoughts.

What did you do on the weekend?

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