Virtual Coffee Date #2

Picking up where we left in my previous post because it was a joy talking to you that way, I decided we should get together for tea/coffee again. For once because coffee dates with friends are always a good idea, no matter the day.

If we were having coffee,

I’d start by saying thank you to everyone who asked summer to come back and stick around a little while longer. The result? Starting on the weekend – despite forecasts predicting a 90 % chance of rain – we’ve been having the most amazing sunny days. Granted, the mornings have gotten yet more frigid but on work days I live for the afternoons in anyway. Speaking of which, I’d also tell you …

Blue bike

About the wonderful early evening bike ride I took with my mum on Tuesday. She’d originally asked me if I wanted to meet her to take a little trip to walk around a place adorned by beautiful flowers this time of the year. Yet then she ended up having to stay at work a lot longer than expected and we changed our plans. An evening bike ride through sunny fields and along a river isn’t the worst backup plan I could think of. Add a gentle warm breeze, a conversation about anything and everything – you get the recipe for pure bliss. Pity the weather forecast from now on is seeing us face a 90 % chance of rain, a huge drop in temperatures and barely any sunshine. Summer’s been good while it lasted.

If we were having coffee, I’d also …

Talk about an amazing website I’ve known for years yet somehow hadn’t used in a while until now. If you knew me in real life, you’d know I’ve never been one for online games or even game apps on my phone. This one I can get behind, though. FreeRice is an interactive vocabulary synonym game [edited to add: they’ve sinced added different subjects to quiz you on if vocabularly tests make you cringe ;)]. The clou: for every correct answer, the organisation behind the website donates  10 grains of rice to the poor. Refreshing your vocab and donating for the good cause? Killing two birds with one stone for sure.

Oh and if we were having coffee, I’d also excuse myself at least once and truly mean it – for interrupting you. Because that’s a bad habit that runs in my family. Conversations at those family gatherings are all about being the loudest at the table in the right moment. It’s tough, I’m telling you

What’s also blissful is raspberry season starting earlier this week. No, not a typo. Ever since I can remember, my mum has been growing ‘late’ raspberries in her garden. When the season is just about over for reguar ones, these are starting to grow and they’re the best. Especially the yellow ones I’m always claiming dibs on. Definitely a reason to visit my parents’ garden more often despite it being mosquito territory. This sweet happening is ever so slightly making up for the sad kabocha situation.

Red raspberries and Essie Manhattan Ave-hue nail polish

If we were having coffee, I’d …

Mention that I might be the last person to do so but watched P!nk’s Video Vanguard acceptance speech about her daughter earlier today. Whatever you think of her music, that performance was amazing. I’m not sure if it’s a general trend but I thought these acts of female empowerment might have become more frequent since a certain not-to-be-named moved into the White House? It’d proof the theory a former head teacher of mine brought up: Having a mutual enemy at times works wonders for solidarity, even among people who might not usually agree on other issues, Whether or not it’s this: it’s much in today’s society.

If we were still sipping on our beverages now, I’d express the disbelief and sadness I feel regarding the current situation in Houston. Being one of the lucky ones who haven’t been affected by natural catastrophes before, I can’t imagine what it must be like for the many people who are. When things like this happen, it sometimes feels unreal to me that I can go on about my days as usual while others are going through extreme hardship and losses. Even writing a casual blog post almost seems … wrong.

And now for the question that’d actually have been my first one: How has life been treating you lately? The good, the bad – whatever is on your mind.
Joining Amanda for the weekly dose of thinking out loud.

Happiness-inducing today: The [likely] final day of amazing summer weather.

Stay in touch!

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

What would you tell me if we were having [insert beverage of choice] today?

 

 

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Traveling to free the mind and grow

Whenever I’m stuck in a bout of writers’ block I wonder where in the world everybody else [and me when I’m not stuck] gets their endless post ideas from. And the moment I’m getting unstuck [is that a word?] I remember: it’s by just living. Simple as that. I don’t always know where those ideas come from but there’s usually a happening that gets a thought rolling which starts another train of thoughts and … a post starts unfolding. Thursdays are the perfect occasion to let those thoughts flow and think out loud.

Thinking-Out-Loud

Lately, I’ve developed a love/hate relationship with memories. Yes, like everybody I could go on and on reminiscing all of the blessed and happy moments of the past. Unfortunately, life  isn’t like that all of the time hence why I’m sure every single one of us carries around a backpack of uncomfortable freight. And that’s where traveling comes into play. It has proven to be an opportunity to leave memories and places I’m used to in behind and let my body and mind be free. Free from the luggage I’m carrying around when stuck in the daily grind.

Traveling_shoes

Travel.

A change of scenery.

Meeting new people [or those we haven’t seen in a while].

Getting new perspectives [yes, blogging is a kind of travel for the mind, too].

New memories to be made and leaving old [negative] ones behind.

We might be taking ourselves with us wherever we go but the change of places can change a lot more than just our environment. And: This all is coming from a girl who has been avoiding traveling anywhere for the past years. Yes, I said it. Traveling meant:

An interruption of my routine.

Unknown places.

Eating different food and/or with other people at every meal.

Do you notice something? Yes. It’s exactly the things I listed as benefits of traveling that I used to be afraid of. Why? Because eating disorders can turn everything that deviates from a planned schedule as scary. Kaila’s post came just in time for me planning my first little venture to an unknown place.

Bei Simone und in Pisselberg_April_Mai 034

This is so true for many things in life. We’re scared of them until we actually take the step of saying yes and doing them. You’d laugh if I told you how scared I was of riding a bicycle as a little girl. Until I got the hang of it, that is. Once that happened there was no stopping me anymore.

Telephone booth_Bonn

If you’d told me I would write a post on the iportance of traveling just a short time ago my answer would have been a short and sad laughter of disbelief. And that’s what I’m hoping to happen with traveling, too. Right now, there’s still the anxiety before heading off every time. But the more we [I] push past our comfort zones the easier it gets to step outside of them. Here’s to making travel a regular thing and seeing where it takes us.

To everybody’s who’s attending Blend – another opportunity for growth, meeting others and making new memories [can you tell I’m jealous?!]: Have a blast!

 

 

 Happiness-inducing today: Little bright moments during a time that feels somewhat like a funk.

Stay in touch!

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

 

 

No questions, just your thoughts on the topic today.

 

Good good links #27

Happy Sunday! I hope your weekend’s been filled with happiness and sun so far and/or will continue that way. My internet connection has been acting up when putting this post together already so I’m not challenging fate by going for a long intro. But I think we can agree that’s a good thing because it gives you more time for all these great reads. Right 😉 ?! I’d be curious to hear what you think about any of these posts!

Good good links

Good good [food for thought]

The Perfection Myth via Vegan Sparkles

Striving for perfection doesn’t lead to happiness. “It’s about being our own best friend.”

Simplify and Soften via hello, veggy!

In times of change it is important to care for ourselves and be gentle in our actions.

The Reaction You’d Never Expect After These 4 Women’s Professional Photo Shoot via Greatist

Because flawlessness doesn’t look real anymore. True natural beauty does.

I don’t believe in willpower via Carla Birnberg

Healthy living: is it about willingness or willpower for you?

Just a thought via Long Drive Journey

A thought well worth reading.

Good good [advice and inspiration]

Health

Deconstructing Cravings- Nutrient Imbalance via Mommy Run Fast

What your cravings might be supposed to tell you. Very informative post.

3 Quick and Dirty Tips to Prevent Running Injuries for Good via Greatist

Ways to avoid getting hurt in the first place.

7 Reasons You’re Always Hungry via Popsugar

Lack of sleep, dehydration and boredom might be the reason for more frequent trips to the pantry.

7 Ways to Love Yourself via Huffington Post

Make yourself feel loved every day.

Blogging

You are a BIG DEAL, no matter what your audience size may be. via Alexandra Franzen

Read this if you’re a blogger and having a bad day. Read this if you’re having a good day. Just read this, okay?

10 Blog Post Topics for when you don’t know what to write about via Sprouts ‘n’ Squats

Writer’s block happens to many of us and these are some great go-to options.

Photography

5 Things I wish I knew when I started out in Photography via Helena La Petite

Knowing your camera and having an idea of the final picture before you start will help create better pictures.

17 Insanely Clever Ways To Use Your Phone’s Camera via BuzzFeed

Good ideas aside from the obvious selfie – and who’d have guessed it -might- help to prevent unneccessary purchases?!

Good good [things to make you smile]

100 Reasons Not To Go On A Diet via BuzzFeed

… and I bet we can think of thousands more.

26 Questions You Already Know The Answer To via BuzzFeed

But you still feel like asking.

Good good [food]

Coconut Cumin Roasted Carrots via Food Faith Fitness

Anything with cumin is a win in my book and these are no exception. Who says carrots had to be boring?

Fudgy Dark Chocolate Avocado Cookies via Apple of my Eye

Sneaky avocado action for a buttery taste in these bites of chocolate goodness.

52 Healthy Meals in 12 Minutes or Less via Greatist

Sometimes quick is key without sacrificing taste or nutrition.

Happiness inducing today: Just allowing myself a relaxed day.

Stay in touch!

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

What were some of your favourite reads from the week?

If you read any of the above already: share your thoughts!

5 Things I wish I knew when I started out in Photography

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?

 

 

 

 

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 :).

 

 

[Don’t] judge me …

Happy first What I ate Wednesday of October – and: Happy belated World Vegetarian Day!

WIAW_halloween button(I hope you don’t mind me using the Halloween button, Jenn – it’s just so cute that I couldn’t resist!)

It’s no secret that there’s a lot of judgement in the world. More specifically, there’s a lot of judgement about food in the blog world. Whether people judge others for not eating healthy enough, repeating meals, eating too little or too much – we will never be able to please everyone. Actually, I can get judgemental about the way I eat, too. Feel guilty or ashamed for a certain food or the amounts of it I’ve eaten. But in the end the way I eat is just right for me – as long as I’m listening to my cravings, not cutting out any food groups purposely without medical reasons and keep an overall balance.

Without further ado here’s a [sort of] confessional-style WIAW post of my recent meals and snacks. Thanks to Jenn for hosting

[Don’t] judge me …

Kabocha

for eating kabocha for breakfast just because I felt like it. Oat bran? Yogurt bowl? Fruit? Some days nothing tickles my fancy. Nothing aside from kabocha, that is. Does that mean I’m strange? Maybe. Does it leave me feeling satisfied? Definitely. And let’s look at it that way: some people eat hash browns/potatoes for breakfast so how unsual is kabocha, really? With a side of almond butter it’s a favourite of mine. [Please note that I had way more than shown on the plate. Volume eater forever.]

There was a time when I tried to eat bread rolls with marmelade for breakfast because it’s considered ‘normal’ and that’s what I want to be. Yet just because everybody around eats it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for me, too. Sorry but I’d rather be satisfied than fit in with the norm. And who defines what’s ‘normal’ in anyway?

[Don’t] judge me …

Mint Chocolate Truffles

because I’m still obsessed with my fudgy black bean truffles and eating four more that very day the picture was taken [read: yesterday]. Mint chocolate chip is my current favourite variety. Just adding a little mint extract and omitting the coconut is all the magic behind these. And:

[Don’t] judge me …

Chocolate

for eating the healthy truffles and the ‘real deal’. It’s all about balance and for me that means satisfying my sweet tooth every day never denying myself a craving. Some days that results in me eating both truffles and several pieces of chocolate [while still not going overboard], some days my cravings are satisfied after just a little bit. Admittedly, though, the latter hardly happen. I’m a true chocoholic and won’t deny it.

[Don’t] judge me …

Cauliflower rice

for enjoying cauliflower couscous [side note: I know it’s usually called “rice” but I consider it to be more reminiscent of couscous]. That’s actually something I used to judge myself for thinking I shouldn’t as I’m in recovery and need to have “actual” grains all of the time. Really, though, I’m not fooling myself into believing a vegetable was just like a grain but enjoy it just for what it is: a nice fluffy side dish. If I was going out of my way just to get hold of cauliflower or bought it out-of-season for insane amounts of money I’d be a little worried. All ranting aside I obviously didn’t eat it plain – okay, it was spiced already – as is but let it shine as the perfect accompaniment …

Chickpeas in mole

to my latest creation in celebration of World Vegetarian Day [October 1st]: Chickpeas in Chocolate Mole Sauce with a surprise ingredient – no, not the chocolate. With my September goal still in mind I’ll post the recipe later this week. Not to tooth my own horn but believe me: you don’t want to miss it ;).

All of that being said I still think it’s okay to ask others you assume might be struggling with certain foods or restricting about their habits. Offering advice in a kind and careful way. In fact, others’ comments have helped me take a closer look and question my food habits, too, at times making changes for the better. Just don’t judge right away without knowing the whole story.

Judge me or don’t – it’s the way I eat and I’m happy with it. Whether you find it strange or not :).

Happy Wednesday!

Happiness inducing today: Writing a letter to a very special person.

Have you experienced judgement for the way you eat?

What’s the most ‘unusual’ breakfast you’ve ever eaten? Bonus points if kabocha was included.

Are there situations when you change your eating habits to fit in with the norm?