Where did the links go?

Hi and hello, blog world!

Usually, you’d find some of my favourite posts from the week here. This Sunday is a little different, though, because I just got back to my apartment [and at that my laptop] after spending the largest part of my week at my parents’.  Quality time with the family took priority over blog reading so I don’t have anything to share today. But the good good links will be back on Wednesday so be sure to stop by for some great reads. Until then find out about my year in blogging and share some highlights of yours!

Good good links

Now let’s talk about the holidays! How was Christmas 2014 for you? Big family gatherings? Intimate little get-togethers with parents and siblings only? Tell me in the comments! I’m always curious to hear about the different celebrations in between various countries and families.

 

Happiness-inducing today: Where do I even start? Despite some happenings taking away some of the holiday cheer I’m still incredibly thankful for my family and memories made during the past days.

Stay in touch!

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Ready to roll with the randomness?

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

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

 

Thinking-Out-Loud

 

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

New in 004

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

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

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

Birthday-calendars_May-August_f

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Stay in touch!

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

 

 

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

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

Do you remember the lanterns you had as a child?

 

The Hip[ster] Survey

Do you ever write that one post you’re feeling passionately about, are anxious to share because you can’t wait to hear others’ opion – and then you run out of time? Here’s the deal: I started working on said post Sunday night, then thought I’d be able to finish it one of the past days because it felt almost complete. Only the a) work and b) perfectionism stepped in. Long story short: surveys save the day so I hope Amanda won’t mind me spilling my thoughts the mustache way. The post is going to come next week so stay tuned.

Thinking-Out-Loud

When I told my sister about this survey – read: when I told her the name of it – she rolled her eyes* and replied “what a hipster name”. We don’t agree on everything but one thing is for sure: this survey’s pretty hip around the blog world lately and I couldn’t not jump on board.Even if I’m the last one [typical]. Nobody in specific tagged me and everybody who tagged everybody like Irina.

mustache-1024x1024

*I don’t actually know if she did because you can’t tell when only talking on the phone but I’m about 99 % sure.

Four names that people call me, other than my real name:

Wow,  this is going to be embarrassing but luckily only if you understand German 😉 .

1. Mausi
2. Westi [cutesy form of ‘sister’ and what my sister and I call each other]
3. Schnecke
4. Puddingschwein [thanks for nothing, Charlotte]

Four jobs I’ve had [not including my current one]:

  1. Secretary
  2. Private teacher for younger students.
  3. Sandwich Artist at Subway.  Fancy name for a job.
  4. Babysitter

Subway uniform

Four movies I’ve watched more than once:

  1. Mad Hot Ballroom [a documentary that I urge you to watch!!!]
  2. Harry Potter [my sister and I collected all DVDs]
  3. Love Actually [a must every December]
  4. How to steal a million  [Audrey Hepburn is one of my idols]

Four books I’d recommend: [too many so I’ll randomly pick four]

  1. The Rosie Project
  2. The Sisters.
  3. The Glass Castle.
  4. Intuitive Eating. It’s a blog world favourite for a reason. I actually got this pre-blogging from a friend who found it majorly helpful in her own recovery.

Admittedly, the accompanying doziness doesn't make a bed a good place to study. But it IS seriously comfy.

 

Four places I’ve been:

1. Great Britain
2. Dublin, Ireland
3. France – multiple times, in different areas and during different seasons.
4. Malaga, Spain

Four places I’d rather be right now:

1. At my parents’ place to spend quality time with the family. Living too far away for a short weekend visit sucks.
2. Somewhere warm – negative temperatues are not cool,  Germany.
3. In the US where I’m hoping to travel in the not too distant future.
4. Given I’ll likely be at work when you’re reading this: in bed. See #2, too.

Reading in bed

Four things I don’t eat:

1. Meat [for obvious reasons]
2. Fish [ditto]
3. Mustard. Just no. It’s nasty.
4. Ketchup. Don’t hate me. Aside from salsa I can’t think of any condiment I like.

Four of my favorite foods:

1. Apples. One a day keeps the doctor away – what does that mean for an average of five then??
2. Chocolate.  I’m a picky eater in this point,  though.  Dark and unfilled is an almost safe bet in case you wanted to mail me some 😉 .
3. Nut butter: white almond butter reigns surpreme but I’ve been on a serious peanut kick lately, too – crunchy + salted to be precise. Maybe because it pairs so well with chocolate?
4. Legumes. It’s an addiction that slowly built up after I switched to a vegetarian diet. Goes to show our bodies are smart in letting us know where to find the necessary nutrients.

[4.2. Oats. They can’t go unmentioned.]

Nut butter

Four TV shows that I watch:
Woops. .. none, actually.  But I’ll list those that I used to watch and probably will again now it’s getting colder outside.

1. Gossip Girl. Intrigues, good-looking guys and the life of the rich and famous – what more could a girl desire [in a Show]?
2. New Girl
3. Gilmore Girls – wow,  I  apparently watched a lot of Girl -y shows. But there’s nothing wrong with that for a girl,  I figure.

4. ??

Four things I’m looking forward to this year:

  1.  Christmas! Because it means finally being reunited with my family. I miss them like crazy.
  2. Cookie baking with Christmas music playing every weekend in December. <- necessity.
  3. Hopefully getting to catch up with old friends while I’m at my parents.
  4. Continuing to grow my blog.

Christmas Collage

Four things I’m always saying:

  1. Hiiiii.
  2. [This year:] Is it really  [insert month] yet???
  3. Wait … is it actually this late already?
  4. Yeeees. [sometimes stressed the ‘duh, I know’ annoyed kind of way, sometimes the approving].

 

Happiness-inducing today: Arranging what will hopefully turn out to be an interesting interview.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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Pick at least one of the categories above and share your four answers …

and if you haven’t filled out the survey yet: Do it and post the link, too!

Never enough randomness [TMI survey].

Okay, so I’d originally planned a completely different post for today. But after a ten+ hour work day my brain is mush so I’ll resumed the survey earlier than planned. Too much information is some kind of thinking out loud, too, right?!

Thinking-Out-Loud

27: Fears?

Many. Some are existential ones, other everyday life things. Spiders. Snakes.

28: Last thing that made you cry?

Feel free to laugh but the pain it was to find a parking spot in my street the other day. It wasn’t really that, though, but the result of lots of frustration that had been building up all day and just had to get out. Tears. Short but efficient in releasing some stress.

29: Last time you said you loved someone?
Answering this would deserve its own post. To make it short for now.I’ll say I don’t remember.BUT that does not imply I didn’t love certain people. It’s simply not as common to say this over here or in my family at least.
30: How did you come up with your blog name?

When I started blogging I wanted to keep track of my recovery from an ED. Getting up, facing my fears and living. However, I’ve contemplated changing the name because it wasn’t made for eternity [in my mind] – I’d have never guessed I would be blogging for this long and counting. If only I had any brilliant ideas … Help??!

31: Last book you read?

The Rosie Project and you absolutely have to read it. Just trust me. It’s awesome.

book_The Rosie Project

32: The book you’re currently reading?

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce. I read the first book way back and the sequel was recently published. Given how much I enjoyed Harold Fry I had high hopes for this one but this one didn’t catch me yet and with only a few chapters left I don’t think it’ll turn my mind around anymore.

33: Last show you watched?

It’s been too long but I’d make a guess and say New Girl.

34: Last person you talked to?

My dad. On the phone only but doing what works.

35: The relationship between you and the person you last texted?

Sisters.

36: Favorite food?

Delicious food. Whatever I crave most and eat. Favourites include fruit, chocolate and chickpeas. Not all at once, though…

37: Place you want to visit?

So. so. many. If money was no issue I’d hop on a plane to the US in the blink of an eye. A more realistic one: my parents’ place.

Autumn walk

38: Last place you were?

Only counting places outside my apartment: at a cinema for a short article I’ll write tomorrow today.

39: Do you have a crush?

Real life or celebrity? I have several in the both categories …

40: Last time you kissed someone?

It’s been a while.

41: Last time you were insulted?

Actually, I can’t remember the last time I really was. Jokingly: earlier today related to my height – or lack thereof.

42: Favorite flavor of sweet?
Whatever the question: chocolate is the answer.

Lindt Chili_bars

43: What instruments do you play??

Thanks to my parents insisting my siblings and me all learn at least one instrument: the flute and the alto recorder. I’m still jealous they decided my sister was the one to get piano lessons.

44: Favorite piece of jewelry?

A pearl necklace my mum gifted me for my birthday several years ago. It’s a true classic and while not inherited because that kind of jewelry isn’t my grandma or mum’s style I picked the pearls myself.

Necklace

45: Last sport you played?
Actually, I never played team sports. Like hinted at above I practiced Kung Fu – more specifically because it matters: Wun Hop Kuen Do. My Sifu [trainer] was awesome and I still most those intense hours of training that left me exhausted but happy.

46: Last song you sang?

Luckily, the question isn’t asking for the last song you sang well enough for others to recognize the tunes ;). That being said you could have heard me roar on my way to work today.

47: Favorite ridiculous pick up line?

As coincidence wants I heard a new one just today. Or actually, it’s not one to hear but see and works as follows: text a plane symbol to somebody. No text or other explanation added. Wait for them to reply with something along the lines of “what …???”. Reply: I thought I could land/hook up with you with this. I guess it’s ‘better’ in German but … yes … no words.

48: Have you ever used it?
Seeing as I just learned it today: no yet. Kidding. Not taking that flight 😉 .

49: Last person you hung out with?

Ha! My colleagues.

 

50: Who should answer these questions next?

All of you. No, honestly, I know these kind of surveys can be life- or at least post-savers for any blogger struggling with writers’ block.

There you go: even more random bits of information you [never] wanted to know about me. Enjoy your Thursday and be back on Sunday for some good good links.

 

Happiness-inducing today: See #46. Good tunes make me happy.

Stay in touch!

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

 

Everything you [n]ever wanted to know about me [TMI survey]

Time to show the drafts folder a little lovin’ and also kill two birds with one stone: Kaila tagged me for this TMI survey waaaay back [please don’t look at the date] and I thought it was only fitting in an effort to become a bit more visible. Also, who doesn’t like a some survey action?! It’s a marvelously fun time filling these in and I hope you enjoy it, too. Note that it’s a long survey so I decided to split it into two parts. Next one to come when the mood hits me.

MiMM_new

1: What are you wearing?

Not a dress for once but – weekend-ing plus writing this at night – the brand new PJ pants my mum has sewn me and that arrived in the mail yesterday.

PJ pants_striped_bed

2: Ever been in love?

Truly and deeply in a this-will-last-forever way? No. Maybe I’m too picky [see #15, too]?!

3: Ever had a terrible breakup?
Break-ups, yes, but none that time and friends couldn’t heal.

4: How tall are you?
All of 5’4. Sadly no amount of stretching can convince the measuring tape elsewise.

5: How much do you weigh?
Does anybody really answer this?? I couldn’t even if I wanted to [but I don’t] because the scale and me parted ways when I moved out from my parents’. Meaning four years ago.

6: Any tattoos?
Now come the huge revealing questions [read: the boring part]: no.

7: Any piercings?
You guessed it: No.

8: Favorite movie couple?

9: Favorite show?
Maybe I’m the only one saying this but: none. Or none that is still on. Gilmore Girls were a favourite after I got hooked but I started late and thanks to not owning a TV I have yet to see all episodes. And hey, who wouldn’t like to have a pajama party with Rory and Lorelai??

10: Favorite bands?
That’s a tough one. I tend to randomly listen to songs but hardly like a whole album. Either way, Coldplay, Maroon 5,…

11: Something you miss? 
The carelessness of being a child. Life tends to get more complicated by the year and sometimes I just wish my biggest worries were which dress to put or whom to invite to my birthday.
12: Favorite song?
By now you know I’m not playing favourites so here are a few that brighten my day and bring up memories whenever I hear them:

‘Je veux’ by Zaz.

 

And this one is long, yes, and probably unusual but I like it a lot. Good good memories.

 

13: How old are you?
23. Officially one of the twenty-somethings.

14: Zodiac sign?

Aquarius.

15: Quality you look for in a partner?

Charm. Humor. Loyalty. Authenticity. Honesty. And then some more. I can’t deny I’m picky.

16: Favorite Quote?

There are too many to pick just one. But this one is pretty good especially in the context of social media.

17: Favorite actor?
Audrey Hepburn used to be one of my idols growing up. Not just for her acting skills but personality, too.

18: Favorite color?

Tone-in-tone_phone

Coral and shades of red. Except for pants [I don’t really ever wear them] I can’t think of a single basic item of clothing I don’t own in coral.

19: Loud music or soft?
Soft. Loud is making me feel uncomfortable. Especially when running I need to hear my breathing and footsteps.

20: Where do you go when you’re sad?

Outside for a walk. Nothing helps me clear my mind and sort thoughts bouncing around in my head like moving in crisp fresh air. Bonus points if it’s in the countryside.

walk

21: How long does it take you to shower?

Does anybody time that? A rough guesstimate would be a little less than 10 minutes but turning off the shower when massaging in shampoo.

22: How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

Are we talking the whole routine from getting up to leaving the apartment? Then 1.5 hours. Why, yes, I need my time in the AM though I’m capable of shortcuts.

23: Ever been in a physical fight?

Luckily not. If so I’ll try to channel my knowledge from years of Kung Fu training.

24: Turn on?

Positivity. A sense of humor. Intelligence.

5384d-happyday

25: Turn off?

Negativity. Selfishness. Know-it-alls. People who focus on appearance too much [adding this because I’ve noticed this again lately].

26: The reason I started blogging?

My original reason was my passion for writing and connecting with others but also curiosity. I wanted to see why everybody else enjoyed blogging such a lot – and now I know it.

 

 … to be continued.

 

Happiness-inducing today: The gorgeous coloured leaves on the path when I was running outside.

Stay in touch!

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

 

 

Your turn: Pick a few of the questions and answer them!

Did I successfully accomplish the goal of spilling too much information 😉 ??

Small [talk], big [happiness impact]

Hey there and happy Thursday! It’s time to think out loud again and because everybody wants to be happy that’s what we’re going to chat about today. A seemingly unsual way to find happiness-inducers in the most random places.

Thinking-Out-Loud

While browsing Mind Body Green recently I came across a short note saying small talk with strangers could make you happier. It didn’t catch my eye because it was news to me but actually as it’s something I’ve been doing for years and now there apparently is scientific proof of it, too.

I’ve mentioned before how I believe in destiny. I’m convinced it wasn’t coincidence I walked to the little open public book case located around my corner at that very moment another lady was scouring the display. Placing the book into the shelf I’d noticed a copy of a book I’d read and enjoyed a while back [Enzo by Garth Stein if you’re curious*]. Noticing her searching glace I spontaneously offered to give a recommendation. She was happily surprised and encouraged me to tell her. We ended up chatting about books for a while before we parted ways again – her with a new book she’ll hopefully enjoy as much as I did.

Despite usually not being the feel comfortable entering a room of strangers on a party I oddly enjoy chatting with strangers. The encounter I mentioned above will probably become one of my favourites. In case youre wondering: another one in that category was when I interned in Hamburg and talked to a blind man on multiple occasions. I’m not quite sure how we first got into a conversation but he was on his way to the theatre and we spent the time until I had to leave the subway chatting about favourite theatre plays.

Another time a random conversation turned out to be very lucky was on a train once more. I overheard two girls talking about vegan cheese, chimed in and – long story short here – found out one of them was about to move to the city I lived in. She wasn’t too happy about it but we exchanged numbers and have met several times since. At first for a little exploration of the vegan shopping and eating opportunities but also at the cinema or theatre. Because diets don’t define people.

Great places to meet others:

the gym: You already have the common topic of fitness but by just [politely] chiming in on others’ conversations or even commenting on a completely random topic like the weather [you’d be surprised by some of the fun conversations I had starting with this one!]…

subways/ trains/ busses: Especially if it’s a longer journey people traveling alone might actually be happier to have a conversation than you’d probably guess. Also a great place to start out if you haven’t talked up strangers before because – on short journeys – you have the bonus of leaving soon after any awkward conversations and never seeing the person again.

the supermarket: Nobody enjoys waiting in those busy ‘rush hours’ when half of the city is running errands. Why not strike a conversation with the old woman in front of you? Or the mum waiting in the opposite line? She might be happy for you distracting her little one from begging for all the sweets at the check-out [in most cases they really are].

 

You might not always lead deep conversations debating philosphical questions in all or any of these cases above. But I believe we [should] have a space in our brains for random bits and pieces of ‘just because’ information. Knowing the name of the dog an old man is walking along the street around the corner of my apartment every night, a random girl at the gym’s unusual place to find running tights [thanks for that!] or the names of the supermarket cashier’s daughters? It’s not vital information for my life but just makes my environement feel a little less ‘strange’ and anonymus. Plus it will make both sides happier because that’s what connecting with others does. We weren’t meant to be lonely.

If the idea of connecting with strangers still seems,  well, strange to you think about it this way: What else is it we’re doing in the blog world every day?! Ask a blogger if connecting with others online makes them happy and you will hardly hear a negation. From book recommendations [like the one above*] to more serious conversations about topics I hadn’t even talked about with friends or family before – I’ve had awesome conversations with former strangers now friends [or blends if you will]. Forget what mum told you as a child and go talk to strangers*. Or: potential friends to be.

*We’re obviously excluding any kinds of scary or pervert people waiting for you in some dark corners. Why are you even hanging around there??

 

Happy Thursday and happy talking to strangers!

 

Happiness-inducing today: An e-mail I received earlier today.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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No questions today but I’m curious to hear any thoughts, experiences or advice you have on the topic!