MIMM with a reunion BBQ and a [semi-]farewell party

Happy Monday!

The past weekend was a special one in all its quiet- yet eventfulness.

Everything started out with a special family reunion on Friday – on a train :). As I’ve mentioned it on the blog only once before you might not know that my brother and his girlfriend have been spending the past 6+ months traveling Asia. Friday marked their return to Germany. Heading to my parents’ place where  I knew I’d only be able to join them for a mere day. Luckily they had to change trains in the city I’m living in so I decided to join them then and there already. With only about half of Germany taking the same train – what’s not to like about an over-crowded train? – it took me a while to find them. But once I did some of the longest hugs ever shared happened.

Please “bear” with me for the sake of cutesy.

Please “bear” with me here for the sake of cutesy.

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Wanting to celebrate the return in proper fashion my family and my brother’s girlfriends’ had a BBQ at our house. Not usually a fan of BBQs anymore since having gone vegetarian/vegan I truly enjoyed this special one. We had a great time listening to stories about adventures in Asia – lots of laughter included. Sometimes it really is all about the company not the food – though the latter was great, too. Quickly improvised vegetable packets for the win. And – in light of my last WIAW post – let’s not forget about the awesome couscous salad with stir-fried vegetables my mum and sister made. Which yes, I did eat and enjoy. Baby steps can feel so good.

BBQ fare

Despite not working out that day I didn’t stress too much about food. Seeing my brother again after such a long time was way more important.

The reason I couldn’t stay at my parents’ the whole weekend was the [almost] farewell party of my university year. Hard to believe that after studying together for six terms we’ll soon all go our own merry ways. It was a semi-farewell as we’re not finished just yet. With a single class – all-day from today through Thursday, actually – left in our shared schedule we decided to end it properly with a bang: party time in an old chapel. Despite hardly half of my year attending we had a great time reminiscing the past three years with a dia show, talking about our plans for the future and dancing the night away. Sentimental would be the best word to sum up this gathering. Food was obviously included, too, and I brought these little gems which were deemed highly addictive by my friends.

Crispy Cereal Bars

I adapted Amanda’s recipe to fit my preferences and the ingredients I had on hand. It was actually my second time playing around with the recipe and you really can’t go wrong with it. Since I’d brought some home to my parents’, too, it got seals of approval of both my family and fellow students. Thank you, Amanda!

All in all this weekend very much deserves the seal of marvelousness. Head on over to Katie’s blog to see more pictures of her cute baby boy Rocco and everybody else’s weekend shenanigans!

MiMM_new

 Happiness inducing today: Sunshine!

What did you do on the weekend? Any BBQs happening?

Tell me something that made you smile today!

Marvelously semi-blended at Veganz

Hi there!

Does anybody still remember me? Sorry for the huge disappearing act I played after my last post! I hadn’t even meant to step away for that long but finishing my thesis took up more time than assumed.

What better day to come back than the most marvelous Marvelous in my Monday to date? Congratulations to our beautiful host Katie for giving birth to her cute little baby boy! Head on over to say hello to Rocco Santino!

MiMM_new

While my current shenanigans probably can’t quite keep up with Katie’s amazing news I’d still like to think there were some marvelous happenings for me lately.

Thursday was a day for the books in terms of university. Handing in my thesis after days with little sleep and me being a nervous wreck was incredibly relieving. Thanks again to everybody who helped me get through those tough last days. Not only my family who supported me in whichever way they could but also fellow bloggers. Who – unknowingly as I hadn’t told anybody I was working on my thesis – brightened my day with kind messages and cute puppy pictures (Dixya!). Thank you! It really meant a lot to me.

Reading - printing - done!

Reading material  – printed – done!

Enough thesis talk now, though, and onto the main marvelousness. With the fourth branch of Veganz – the all-vegan supermarket I talked about before – opening not too far from where I live my Saturday plans were set already. Really, though, I didn’t take the train ride just for the food but to meet a blend. Or – as the title of this post suggests: a semi-blend. Anna and I got to know through the blog she used to write when I hadn’t started mine yet. She stopped blogging last year but we still kept in contact so I figured I might call her a semi-blend ;). Seeing as she lives in the city and is a former vegan gone vegetarian it was only natural for us to reunite at Veganz.

Veganz HH 1

Perusing the aisles at Veganz was lots of fun and I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Granted, I didn’t take many because the store was packed and carrying around my DSLR wasn’t exactly practical. Also, I still feel a bit uneasy taking pictures in public. Not the best premises for a blogger, I know.

Be assured I made good use of the many samples given out, though. Who doesn’t like free food?! Naming just a few there were various kinds of raw chocolate by OmBar, different tigernut breakfast porridges, ice cream, a new German brand of vegan milk chocolate that really tastes just like the real thing, tigernut nut butter and more.  I didn’t get any pictures of those at all, though, because that area of the store was even more packed.

Veganz HH

Oh the choices at Veganz: all kinds of raw bars, chocolate heaven, the first ever (!) bulk bin display I’ve seen, American brands of cheese, ice cream, nut butters galore and more. Despite all the temptation I managed to walk away buying just three items: a 70% fair-trade chocolate bar sweetened only with banana puree, my first ever jar of sunflower seed butter and Hulala, a special kind of vegan whipped cream. Expect to see at least one fancy vegan dessert in the future …

Veganz purchasesDue to the incredibly long queue at the hot food counter Anna and I ended up cancelling our lunch plans and got ice cream instead. And not just any but the Dutch brand Prof. Grünschnabel with its creative flavours like chai-spiced Indian Winter, Brasil Basil Lime and Madagascar Matcha. After taste-testing several flavours I chose Fresos del Habanero – strawberry with hot chili peppers which definitely had quite some heat to it.  Catching up over ice cream – is there any better way? I hope to be back soon.

Not my own photo but that’s a choice of their flavours.

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Marvelousness didn’t end here yet. Upon arriving home I talked to both Heather (and the man-friend) and Shannon this weekend. It truly was a weekend to make me appreciate the friendships made through blogging once more. Now I just need to figure out a way to meet everybody in person 🙂 …

I hope your week’s off to a great start!

Happiness inducing today: My neighbour’s 6-year-old son telling his dad “I think I like that woman” after we had one of our fun conversations. He’s a cutie :).

 

Tell me about your weekend! What did you do/see/eat/read?

What are some of the most interesting ice cream flavours you’ve tried so far?