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 :).

 

 

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It’s beginning to look [and scent] a lot like Christmas

Only 15 more days until Christmas!!! Can anybody else relate to the rushed feeling I get when reminding myself I have gotten exactly zero presents for my family so far?!

Talking about traditions yesterday already my parents and I went for another one of our family’s on Saturday night. It’s been some kind of a ‘must’ for my family to visit a local theatre group’s Christmas play every year since I was a child. Though not necessarily Christmas-themed all of the time seeing their performances is a necessity for us. Admittedly, we weren’t too impressed with this year’s story but it was still nice to spend time as a family and meet friends. For more family marvelousness don’t forget to stop by our awesome host Katie’s for pictures of her sister’s beautiful wedding!

MiMM_new

If you noticed my happiness inducing note yesterday my dad helped me get the box of Christmas decorations from the attic. Not just because it’s huge and heavy but also because – despite being a ‘big girl’ now – I still don’t like rumbling through the dark and dusty top flour of our house myself. Maybe because I’m still scared of my brother’s stories of rats living up there? Thanks for nothing ;).

Pettersson und Findus

And that would be my second Advent calendar – two are always better than one and this one’s been in my family for ages. We got it when me and my siblings were a lot younger and have been reusing it ever since. Petterson and Findus are a classic for us and we’ve been enjoying to [re]disover the hidden surprises every year anew. Actually, I like this one even better than my chocolate calendar because it holds a plethora of memories for me.

AdventYes to not fighting over who’s allowed to open the doors on which day! All mine this year.

Something else that I’d been planning to do for weeks already yet never felt like when coming home from work was cookie baking. Turning up the Christmas tunes and getting my hands covered in flour and frosting? Heavenly.

One kind of cookies my family – especially my dad – insists on having every year are my paternal grandma’s Kakaoplätzchen. The name would directly translate to ‘cocoa cookies’ but that hardly describes how special they are. While she still could my grandma would bake a huge batch mailing us a box of these – among many other homemade cookies – every year.

Grandma's recipe

During the past few years, though, it has become our job to create these using the secret family recipe passed down from my grandma to my mum. These have several steps and take some time to prepare. While I’m not a fan of rolling out dough and cutting cookies my mum isn’t too keen on filling and frosting. Hence why we turned these cookies into teamwork. And I somehow feel I got the better deal,  don’t you agree?

frosting

Cookies baking in the oven filling the whole kitchen with the scent of Christmas make even cleaning up the mess left behind more enjoyable. Learn from my [unavoidable] mistake and don’t try to assemble sandwich cookies with your dad in the same room. Lesson learned: you’ll end up with an uneven number of cookies due to a certain someone not being too impatient to wait until for the finished cookies. Note that I said unavoidable because a) my parents’ kitchen and living room merge into one another and my dad was working in the living room randomly grabbing cookies to snack on. Confession: It’s a reoccuring happening that’s almost a Christmas time tradition in itself ;).

Kakaoplätzchen

These cookies aren’t vegan and while I’m not one to call defeat early I honestly think veganizing them wouldn’t work a charm. Knowing how much these cookies mean to my dad I know he wouldn’t be content with a version that doesn’t quite live up the original. I’m aware some vegans wouldn’t prepare non-vegan foods for others. But this is where I see things differently and value seeing my family happy more than adhering to my own food preferences. Even if my dad feels compelled to discuss my reasons for eschewing eggs – still love him :).

Did I mention the first snow of the season gracing Germany?

first snow

Whether snowy or not, filled with Christmas music, cookie baking or whichever other activities: I hope you had a great weekend.

Happy Monday!

Happiness inducing today: Rediscovering our old Advent calendar.

Which Christmas-y activities made your weekend marvelous?

Does your family have any special traditions related to the holidays?

Did you purchase or make any Christmas gifts so far or are you a last-minute person, too? A bad habit I find incredibly hard to break though I’m not a fan of the added stress.

Marvelous in my Monday: Snowy, sweet and spoiled

Happy marvelous Monday everybody!

Marvelous

My weekend was once again spent at my parents’ which actually is just now becoming regular. The last two semesters and working weekend shifts didn’t allow me to go home to see my family too often. That’s why I’m embracing the opportunities I get all the more now :). Family is what’s making my whole life more marvelous.

The snowy part of my weekend was enjoyed on a nice walk with my mum. We ended up talking about many things that were on my mind lately. Honestly, whichever worries I might have: Talk-and-walks with my mum always make me feel at least a little more positive afterwards.

Snow

Sweetness found its way into my life with this belated birthday package by my grandma. She left it at my parents’ as we weren’t able to see each other on my actual birthday. Now that’s making it birthday month for sure, right :D?!

One of my current favourite colours nontheless.

One of my current favourite colours nontheless.

What made smile even more was the bar of chocolate. Usually, my grandma adds a Milka chocolate bar (all of which are whole-milk) to the birthday and Christmas presents for any of her grandchildren. As I eat mostly vegan and don’t care about milk chocolate mine usually gets eaten by my siblings or parents which is fine with me. I’d never blame grandma for it – you do all know I make sure to get my chocolate fix in anyway ;).

Not quite Lindt but who am I to discriminate good chocolate ;)?!

Not quite Lindt but who am I to discriminate good chocolate ;)?!

This time, though, grandma bought me an extra dark bar and I was really touched by her thoughtfulness. Warm socks for my always cold feet and chocolate for the soul made me feel seriously spoiled.

Another piece of marvelousness was brushing of winter by wearing one of my favourite dresses. Just because.

 

I’m all about lace any season of the year, really.

I’m all about lace any season of the year, really.

… and another thing that made my Monday marvelous was our fabulous host Katie‘s post today! You know what I’m taking about, right? Congratulations on getting a little rockstar, Katie!

 

What made your weekend marvelous?

Which is your favourite bar of chocolate (brand, cocoa percentage)?

Do you ever wear special dresses/clothes just because?

Marvelous in my Monday: Making the little things count

Happy Monday!

Marvelous

 

Done! I had my last exam today and I can’t even tell you how good it feels. Now it’s onto writing four essays and an article but it was nice to be able to cross this of my list, still.

 

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

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

If you had asked me in the morning how my weekend was I’d have been likely to answer: Boring. Annoying. Not eventful. Well,  studying isn’t exactly anybody’s favourite way to spend the last days of the week any day.

 

Getting wild with my newly purchased colourful post-its. Hey, I never claimed to be normal.

Getting wild with my newly purchased colourful post-its. Hey, I never claimed to be normal.

But then I got thinking what I had actually done and noticed there were several good things in this weekend after all. It’s counting the little things that matters. Let’s get onto the small things that gave my weekend at least a bit of marvelousness.

Nothing like baking cookies just for yourself. These were so good and the first time in a long while I baked something (sweet, at least) just for myself. I’m known to bake for friends all of the time but for myself? Not so much. This clearly needs to change …

Yet more proof of my addiction to coconut flour.

Yet more proof of my addiction to coconut flour.

Also marvelous was playing with my neighbors little baby daughter while her mum was showing the flat to potential new tenants. Thinking of them moving out makes me sad, though.

Running in the snow was a great way to refresh my mind amidst the studying, too. Call me weird but I actually enjoyed running in the cold for a few days. Sure, for some – hello, Canadians – temperatures of around -7 °C/19 ° F aren’t cold at all but for me … It’s getting warmer again, though, but I’m not complaining. Snow is nice but I could clearly do without the cold.

View from my window. Now that it's thawing I'll miss the snow - but not the cold.

View from my window. Now that it’s thawing I’ll miss the snow – but not the cold.

 

Starting a new book that sucked me in right from the first pages. While this might happen not too seldomly I often loose interest after the first chapters. Not with this book. So if you’re looking for a good read I’d definitely recommend “Secret daughter”.

Secret daughter

 

Cold days meant lots of tea and that’s something I never say no to. I’m not a coffee drinker at all but spotting new tea flavours at the organic supermarket gets me excited every time.

That's just part of my collection of teas. I surely buy new ones too often.

That’s just part of my collection of teas that I keep adding new ones to.

And last but not least tomorrow is going to be marvelous! It’s my birthday and my mum  is coming to the city to take me and two very good friends out for lunch. Very low-key but I’m going to extend it to Birthday week and celebrate a bit more when visiting my parents at the weekend.

I hope you’re having a great Monday (evening/night for me already :D)!

 

Do you find yourself overlooking small happy things in everyday life, too?

Tell me one little thing that made your weekend marvelous! Or, if something super exciting happened : one big thing :).

Which book are you currently reading?