Week in review: The Self-Care Edition

Hi there, February! Don’t you like it when Monday doesn’t just start the week but month, too? No? Just me?

Either way, Monday once again marks the time to get listing and link up with Meg again. Admitting this afterThurday’s post is ironical but I didn’t feel iike I’d done a lot during the past week. Taking my own advice, though, I reevaluated my days and noticed that long work days were balanced by lots of self-care.

Week in review

Starting with one thing I didn’t do:  celebrate my birthday [yet*] – say what?? Instead, however, I had an amazing first: I finally met the latest addition to our family on my birthday. I happened to have the day off from work and my sister expected other visitor the next day so it worked a charm. I’m not resentful about forgoing a celebration or even just a dinner out as meeting my nephew was the best gift. If I was excited about becoming an aunt last week I’m completely obsessed now. Yes, this is what every aunt or mum will say but he’s so flipping cute. [Insert endless gushing about tiny baby hands and awwwr here.]

And here’s where I owe you a sorry: I won’t post any of them. Trust me, I would be happy to share but I also respect the privacy of my sister and especially her little one. I hope all of you will understand.

*I intend on celebrating later this year when more friends are around. January is never a good month to gather people from all over the country.

That aside I …

Published three blog posts again. One of them related to the very topic the Week in Review is centered around and I was happy to see so many of you shared their thoughts and/or could relate.

Set up a flower bouquet my mum gave me on my birthday. It’s probably no secret I like flowers even though I’m bad at keeping them. Honestl, they’re better off outside in the wild than sharing the same four walls with me …

Birthday flowers

Went on a walk with my dad. This deserves its spot in here for numerous reasons one of them being it only happens once in a blue moon. He actually asked me to join very randomly when he saw me heading out yesterday and we had a good conversation, too. All of this only makes sense when I let you in on the fact that we don’t have the best relationship.

Remembered to up my moisturizing game. No ewwws here. The story behind this is that I can get pretty bad about using lotion because I’m a bit iffy after a few of my clothes were ruined by not so nice greasy stains. My legs and feet don’t like this so I’m trying to get back into the habit. It helps when your lotion smells like candy.

Lotion_Sweet Apple Pie Hugs

Freed up space on my laptop by deleting old pictures. Fellow bloggers will probably know the pain of taking millions of pictures of one and the same thing and forgetting to delete them. It’s okay for a while but then your computer starts acting up …. Or is this just mine?

Baked? no-baked? Prepared lactation bites for my sister. Basically all kinds of nutritious ingredients (various grains, cooked brown rice, coconut, …) rolled into balls And yes, they’re called balls in the original recipe but since a) that’s not blog-appropriate 😉 and b) I tinkered around with it to create my own recipe I changed it here. Confession: I was skeptical of how well these would turn out as they tasted very healthy at first. Low and behold, though, they got my sister’s sign of approval so if she asks for another batch I’ll share the recipe. Not just for any pregnant or breast-feeding women but anybody needing a healthy nutrient-dense snack. [No visual proof here as I prepared them at night and they looked like raw meat balls in the only picture I snapped.]

While I didn’t celebrate my birthday my mum treated myself to a little health food store haul as a small birthday gift. She knows me well. I went very basic but with some items I can’t find where I live: puffed buckwheat, oat bran, coconut flour and – ! – Chocolate Chili Yogi Tea. Seriously, if you can find this where you live: buy it! I used to be a huge fan of their Chocolate tea, switched to the Sweet Chili variety – you’re not surprised by this one, are you? – and then discovered this amazing blend. It’s so good. Sadly also so expensive but worth it as a treat.

Food haul_Schoko Chili-Tee_yogi tea

Took a rest day. I told you I’m only working out very lightly with workout videos but one day this past week my mind said yes, my legs no. So no it was. This is still hard when I feel like I’m not doing anything strenuous at all but it’s about healing my mind to develop a healthier attitude towards workouts in general.

Played a game of Yathzee with my parents yesterday and – won again. I have no explanation for this but I’m not complaining. It might have been due to the birthday bonus my dad granted me through throwing the dice an additional time when I’d had bad luck. Birthday week after all ;).

Happiness-inducing today: The current overall good atmosphere between me and my dad.

 

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Twitter: @MissPolkadot21

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Bloglovin’: Let’s get living
Tell me three [or more] achievements from your past week!
 Random question: how do you feel about posting pictures of babies or children? It’s the first time I had to handle this situation and I’m curious about others’ approach.

 

So many thoughts, so little time.

What a week! I can’t believe we already made it to Thursday but I’m happy about it. Only two more days until I’ll [hopefully] hop on a train to Hamburg for a mum-and-daughter day. It’s a well-known fact traveling – and working – is easier without too much freight so I’m following Amanda’s invitation to unload my brain by Thinking out loud.

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. There are certain topics that keep reappearing in my Thinking out loud posts. One being tea. I’m not a coffee drinker and a very picky tea connoisseur. The only kind of tea I truly enjoy is chai made from spices. No roibush, no fruity flavours, no green tea, … Essentially,  I’m pretty much settled on one tea: Sweet Chili. After my previous favourite was discontinued  I switched to Yogi’s version. April 021

Until now I regularly bought it at a number at different stores. But about two weeks ago I noticed stores didn’t restock. Not cool. In my desperation I looked for other ways to get my hands on it and ordered it online.  Amazon to the rescue.

2. When my mum was around on the weekend we needed to look something up online and I happened to have several tabs open on my laptop [as usual]. One of them was this post that made my mum asking what exactly that was in the first picture.  It hadn’t actually deemed to me on first looks but on a second … I trust in your dirty minds  you to tell what she thought ;).

3. On the note of my mum’s visit: she got the dishwasher set up and running! Even if this makes me look spoiled or lazy I feel relief knowing I won’t have to clean every dish by hand. Kudos to all of you who said they did even owning a dishwasher and preferred it that way. In my defense: I still make an effort to use as few dishes as possible and clean a pot or plate by hand or re-use a cup a second time the next time. Frugal habits I know I’m not alone with.

4. Every time I’ve been uploading another image for the blog lately I’ve become painfully aware just how many there already are and how little space is left. Meaning: I’ll need to clean up a little, no? So does that mean I have to delete old images from way back and then I’m good to go again? And would that mean there will suddenly be blank frames where once pictures were showing up after that? Questions upon questions from non-tech-savvy me.

5. Still, I couldn’t not share a picture of the monster kabocha I mentioned yesterday.  Because in true blog world fashion: pictures or it didn’t happen, right?!

Giant kabocha_Hokkaido

6. If I end up filling all remaining storage space before I find answers to those questions you’ll notice by me recycling pictures in every post. What I ate Wednesday portraiting meals I ate a year ago? It might happen and then I’ll be the one establishing frugal blogging. Or I’ll make good use of others’ images …

7. Like here: Do you remember the powdered greens from a while back?  Brands keep making me speechless time and time anew. Apparently smoothie drinkers are a new particularly interesting target group for German companies.

Smoothie cubes? Dried and pressed smoothie ingredients you apparently dissolve in water? I’m really not sure what to think so I’ll leave the judgement of whether these are genius or garbage up to actual smoothie drinkers. Personally, I’ll stick with tea for now and am off to get a cup of my Sweet Chili amazingness now. Better enjoy it while it still lasts. Plus, blog reading is just that much better when accompanied by tea and chocolate.

8. You know I had to add it: Happy Thursday!

Happiness-inducing today: The kindness of a stranger. Also her not laughing at me in a somewhat embarrassing situation.

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

 

No questions for you. Just chime in with whatever random musings you feel like sharing.

 

App-solutely addicted [Thinking out loud]

It’s that time of the week again to break with conventions or structure and follow Amanda’s lead to think out loud. Without further ado: let’s get random!

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. Imagine turning off your phone for its daily break. Imagine trying to turn it back on and – nothing happening. And now imagine all of this occuring on a Saturday with no chances of either having that phone fixed or getting a new one. Let’s say those were three interesting and revealing days until buying a new one yesterday. I’d pondered getting an iPhone but.. .I never realized just how expensive they were 8O. More than 800 $??! For now say hi to my new toy phone:

new phone_Samsung

2. Most of you will have watched this video below before. In regards to that the loss of my phone was a blessing. It’s incredible – dare I say: shocking – just how much I depend on my phone. Watch? Notebook? Alarm in the morning? ” Taschenrechner “? That’d be my phone. I’m not even sure my watch’s battery is still working. Most importantly, though, I actually took notice of things and people walking around. No, I didn’t meet my future husband [ watch the video if you haven’t] but it reminded me once more that I can carry my phone in my purse without looking at it every two minutes, too. I can’t risk missing Mr. Right when he does turn up one day, huh?

3. One of the fonts on my new phone is called Chocolate Cookie. Mmmh, cookies. Only I have yet to figure out the reasoning behind this. Can I get Cookies ‘n’ Cream or PB & J next?

4. If you couldn’t tell from the phone talk yet: I may or may not be slightly [read: completely] excited. The major change? Upgrading to the S4 gave me what feels like hundred times as much memory space. Hello, new apps I don’t actually need ;). Now the huge question is: to join or not to join Instagram? Every blend has been telling me I should forever but I’m a little scared to get completely addicted. Thoughts?

5. For now I need to start praticing my phone camera skills. Proof that I have a way to go – and that there’s a way for lazy smoothie makers to get their greens in:

20140702_Smoothie powders

That would be powdered broccoli, hibiscus, kale and spinach. I guess it makes sense keeping in mind fresh kale won’t be available for another three or four mounths over here and spinach isn’t found all around, either. Still… I don’t know.

6. Why in the world I as a non-coffee drinker happen upon all of those coffee links? I don’t know. What I do know is that there is a huge caffeeine-crazy bunch of you out there so here’s that for all coffee snobs: http://www.foodrepublic.com/2013/06/18/13-signs-youre-coffee-snob

7. You know my preference and the one thing coffee will never be able to compete with: wise words from the Yogi.

Giving is the art of life.

Giving is the art of life.

8. … and sharing is caring so I’ll keep sharing my Yogi wisdom with you. Let’s just say I have a nice backlog by now – the life of a tea addict.

9. I just noticed we haven’t talked Disney in a while so who’s your new BFF? If you’re looking for me I’ll be out in the woods with Pocahontas. (:

10. Happy Thursday and to all US readers: happy long weekend!

Happiness-inducing today: A text from a blend I hadn’t heard of in a while.

Stay in touch!

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

 

 

Which app(s) are your favourites/ can you not live without?

Who’s your Disney best friend?

If you live in the US: What are your plans for 4th of July?

Waiting for the weekend [and Thinking out loud]

Another one of those weeks. Those weeks when Friday can’t come early enough and Thursday is its welcome preliminary sign. Add in that spring’s supposed to make a glorious return this weekend. Needless to say a fast-forward would be really appreciated. But then again that’s mean skipping our weekly Thursday blogger get-together. And Amanda wouldn’t be the only one not quite appreciating that. So let’s get thinking out loud while we wait for the weekend!

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. When I posted about the granola yesterday I thought it was good but actually hadn’t decided if the recipe was worth sharing yet. Insert it as a delicious saviour when a serious pang of afternoon hangriness hit me at the office yesterday and a side-by-side comparison with my roommate’s granola and my decision is made: yes. Come back tomorrow if you’re on the lookout for a crunchy new breakfast,  WIAW reading fuel [<- this was me yesterday] or treatment for lovesickness [I haven’t tried it yet but who knows?!]: here’s one. But I know you don’t honestly need me to tell you the 1,000+ ways and reasons to eat granola. Because you’re smart cookies and it’s granola after all. Plus it contains pistachios so what’s not to like?

May 036

2. Ground[breaking] news I couldn’t let any of you coffee addicts out there go without: this is happening. Way to fuel the addiction to no end. Just think about the possibilites: Coffee Coffee Cake topped with coffee ice cream and with a side of coffee. Caffeine overload?!

3. Not so much of an overload but rather a lack are some not so awesome news I got. Do you remember the tea shortage I mentioned last week? Turns out the company is discontinuing it. Whyyy??? Needless to say I’ve been trying to stock up on any remainders in stores close by. With a rather sparse yield but every box counts.

4. On a positive note I mentioned Yogi was the only other brand producing a chili tea. Given my massive tea consumption I’ll now have a constant supply of sometimes puzzling wisdom. Not to spill too much yet but I’ve been pondering to start a new little series on the blog…

Yogi tea wisdom

5. Speaking of discontinued favourites I was reminded of a sad moment in the life of my [rough guess] nine-year-old self. When one of the two monthly magazine I spent my pocket money on was discontinued. Honorable mention to Disney – it’s been way too long sincs the last time – because it was their Minnie Mouse Magazine. Luckily, the other one – GEOlino to all German readers – is in print to this day still. And on a random note still one of my dream places to work at.

6. Proof that my impatience knows no limits: earlier this week when I was looking for a certain lunch box. When I hadn’t found it within two minutes of searching I called it quits. Time is precious. Granted, it might have had to do with this being on a seemingly never-ending day of work and returning home soaked wet after a downpour. Really, though: time is precious. Also, I still swear somebody stole all of my tupperware. At least I still had my thermos.

Thermosbehälter

Still, I figure it’s about time to go  lunch box shopping. And probably another whisk. Just don’t ask about my progress here next week…

On that note I’m off to make some progress in the new book I’m reading. Happy Thursday!

 

Happiness inducing today: Randomly finding two more boxes of my favourite tea in a store that had seemed to have run out already for weeks before.

Stay in touch!

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

 

Which magazines did you buy throughout your childhood? Do they still exist?

Has any of your favourite products [food or non-food] been discontinued before?

Currently … January

Happy Monday!

Starting into the second week of January I thought it’d be a nice idea to chat about current favourites and happenings. Seeing as there’s a lot of marvelousness it fits perfectly with Katie’s motto in focusing on the good things in life. Here’s to a great new week!

MiMM_new

Current Book: The Book of Fate by Parinoush Saniee.

Was mir zusteht_verändert

I hadn’t heard about this before when my mum gave it to me as a Christmas gift so I didn’t know what to expect. After a somewhat slow beginning this book set in Iran several years before revolution tells the story of a girl who’s married against her will. When her husband gets involved in the revolution she suddenly has to stand on her own feet sooner than she’d hoped for. It’s a story of growth, strength and clinging onto hope even when life seems to fall apart. I’m in the last third of the book and liked it so far though I wish there was more detailed information on the political background.

Current Music: Pharrell Williams – Happy

How could you not what to listen to a song that screams happiness all day long? It’s been my go-to morning song for the past week and I don’t see that changing soon.

Current Guilty Pleasure: Long hot showers. It might not be [nearly] as cold around here as elsewhere in the world but it’s still winter. And that totally justifies them [or at least I hope it does].

Current Nail Color: Au natural. Even though I don’t really like the ‘naked’ look most of the time I’m giving my nails a bit of a break at the moment. Does anybody know if there’s a recommendation on how often to take those for healthy happy nails?

Current Drink:

Holiday tea

Sugar cookies, sweet pumpkins and candy canes. Mailed to me by my American pen pal [note: for once not a blend :)] – she  knows me so well. I already knew I liked the Sugar Cookie flavour but was excited to see she included two new-to-me flavours, too. Have you try any of those before?

Current Food:

Alnatura_Erdbeere

Strawberry jam. By the spoonful, mixed into oat bran, yogurt bowls … you name it. Why is it that jam tastes so ridiculously good? It’s one of those foods I’d ditched for the longest time due to thinking it was to high in calories. Waste of lifetime to go without something so good but I’m making up for it now. On the savoury side I can’t get enough of pastry creations. I have another recipe to share later this week.

Current Wish List: Given that my birthday’s coming up on the 29th I should probably think of some wishes. Granted, I’ve pondered getting a tripod because I feel I could make good use of it. On the non-monetary side it’s a little ridiculous to admit after my anxities when first moving here but: lengthening my stay at my parents’. It’s not possible due to another internship lined up but I’ll try to make the most of the weeks left here. It’s a wonderful surprise to see worries vanish into thin air.

Current Needs: Sleep. Will I ever improve in this point? Six hours are far from enough … Oh, and another need would be the perfect birthday cake – and the ability to decide on one :D.

Current Bane of My Existence: No internet access at work [read: not being able to read blogs during my break] and severely cut down access at home. First world problems, I know, but also: blogger problems and I miss being able to catch up on your lives any time I want. I promise I’ll be back to reading and commenting regularly soon! [Sorry if this sounds whiney.]

Current Indulgence: Shopping. I may or may not have gotten the biggest haul in the shortest amount of time ever on a semi-spontaneous trip to Hamburg with my mum on Saturday. Six pairs of tights, a pair of bootees, a cardigan and some other odds and ends. I’ll blame Birthday Month for the splurges ;).

Booties

Let’s hope these are really made for walking [all day long] :).

Current Triumphs: In terms of food: Feeling more relaxed and not overanalyzing every bite. Having pasta for lunch while out and about shopping – and not making it a big deal. Stopping to constantly label foods as ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’. Another non-food related triumph is the story I’m currently working on for the newspaper seeming to work out really well. I’m not sure how interesting details would be so I’ll leave it at that to avoid boring you :).

Current Blessing: Repeat offender but yes, my parents. It bears repeating when thinking back to how long I took their support for granted years ago when I was deep in the throws of my ED.

Current Outfit: 

Outfit_Jan

Did I mention I hardly ever wear pants? Dresses and tights are my outfit of choice any season. Right now I’m pretty fond of florals prints and these tights with some golden sparkliness. Too bad it’s gotten colder and they’re more of an ‘around the house outfit’. And does anybody else sit on their window sills reading? Overlooking the garden it’s the best place to read on a sunny day.

Current Excitement(s): Meeting this fit chick soon!!!

Current Mood: See current music. Okay, to be honest I’ve let you know about my constant over-worrying before and it’s still there. But if I look at the simple facts I should really be happy. Still working on the ‘Live in the moment’ mindset.

Happiness inducing today: Treating myself to a special deep conditioner [will get a funny little mention on Thursday].

It’s your turn! Tell me your current:

1) … book.
2) … guilty pleasure.
3) … excitement.
4) … food/drink.
5) … excitment.

Sunday [sunny] Funday

A fresh start, a clean slate – that’s what the majority of people attributes to the beginning of a new year. Personally, I like to think the same way of Mondays, too. A whole new week with all its possibilities and changes.  What didn’t work out well or hasn’t happen last week can be made up for in the new one. With a few struggles last week and huge decision made there might actually be quite a bit of change for me this week.  As I can’t say anything for sure yet, though,  For now, though, I’ll have a look back- instead of fast forwards and share some marvelous happenings from the weekend. Thanks again to the wonderful Katie for reminding us to start the week in a happy spirit.

MiMM_new

Saturday was an all-out relaxed day I spent running errands, reading and pottering about my flat. Don’t you just like when you’re visiting a store you’re not frequenting on the regular only to happen upon a favourite item at a great price? That’s what happened for me:

Bengal Spice Tea

I’d been buying the small boxes at little less than the price I found this huge box for now. Score!

Even more marvelous than Saturday was my Sunday [Funday], though. Not only due to me wearing the eponymous Essie colour which I finally found around here a few weeks ago after assuming it wasn’t sold in Germany at all.

Essie

No, much more so because my mum took the trip down to the city I live in only so we could spend a few hours together. Few hours that passed by way too quickly yet I’m so thankful for every minute we got to spend with each other <3.

Trying to make the most of our time we started by visiting a cozy café offering vegan fare that recently opened around the corner of my place.  Unfortunately, they close pretty early on Sundays so we weren’t able to have lunch there but had tea. By recommendation of another guest, my mum also got a piece of vegan Coconut Cream Cake [akin to Raffaelo pralinés if you’ve ever had those]. Needless to say, I snagged several bites and while we agreed it was a bit too heavy for a hot summer day it still tasted amazing.

Rich, creamy, coconutty.

Rich, creamy, coconutty.

Followed up by a nice walk in the gorgeous August sun – really, though: how is it the end of August already? Can we please postpone the beginning of Fall by a few more months or at least weeks? I’m not ready yet.

 Sunday walk

More love locks.

Love locks

We even spotted a newlywed couple having their picture taken and were instantly reminded of my sister’s wedding. Hard to believe it’s been three weeks since then already. Luckily, I still had the pictures on my camera so we reminiscened  the event over lunch. So many awesome memories.

Making it a true Sunday funday we went on a little window-shopping tour after lunch. Some fun finds:

Undecided on these ones ...

Undecided on these ones …

… but how about these?

Hello Kitty Shoe

You know my obsession ;).

It’s not usual for stores to be opened on Sundays in Germany. Yet living in a city with a large central station I am “lucky” [poor employees!] to still have actual shopping possibilities on Sunday. If having another day to spend money on is a good or a bad thing … I’m undecided ;).

new bag

However, it did prove to be great yesterday. I’d been in need of a new large bag spacious enough to house my assortment of lunch boxes   and bags to the office yet also pretty enough to double as a shopping or travel bag. Three had made it onto my short list but being an indecisive person in general I was glad to have my mum’s help in making the choice. Give and receive – so I helped her decide on her first ever Essie polish after I’d been gushing about them for ages. Laquered up was beaten by Russian Roulette in the end :).

Flower

Saying goodybe at the end of the day was hard but here’s too another mum weekend [hopefully] soon!

 

Happiness inducing today: Spending the day with my mum, obviously. Having two siblings it’s nice to have her all to myself every now and then :).

 

I hope you’re all having a great start into the new week!

 

How do you like to spend mother-daughter-days [respectively mother-son-days]?

Do Mondays feel like starting with a clean slate to you, too?

What were some highlights of your weekend?