Sunday, December 29, 2013

101 Things That Make Me Happy

reading time: ca. 2 min

The new year is approaching, people start writing their resolution lists and think about what they are looking for in the future. Instead of saying "what do i want", perhaps we should ask "what have i got?" Think about it. Ask yourself, what can you be grateful for? What makes you happy? What do you enjoy, and how can you promote that? - Here are 101 things that make me happy.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

My Christmas Eve & the morning after

reading time: ca. 1 min

Christmas is forever, not for just one day, for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf. The good you do for others is good you do yourself. ~ Norman W. Brooks

Day Zero Project: update 06

When there are cracks in your heart, it lets the light in. Don't despair.

The Day Zero Project.

101 tasks in 1001 days.

Update 06

Starts: June 19, 2013

Ends: March 16, 2016

Tasks achieved so far: 20/101

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ideas for Christmas Gift Wrapping {last minute}

reading time: ca. 1 min

Since Christmas is pretty much knocking on the door, i'm currently in holiday mood and honestly not really feeling like writing a fabulous post. So i decided to not force it but rather share a tiny bit of my life at this very moment, which is wrapping gifts (whilst watching Disney's Frozen). Like i said, nothing fabulous, but who's judging, right?

By the way, up there you can see some gift wrappings which i kept in a rosy colour scheme. If you want that little extra twist, use two-sided paper and fold it over on the edge that is going to be visible on the outside of the gift.

Another great way to pack up a gift is by placing it in a manila envelope. Getting inspired by this blog entry, i went ahead and recycled some air bubble mailer. This is perfect for giving away DVDs, slender books, sketches, short stories, necklaces etc. 

Like i said, i am a fan of colour schemes, a classy white-gold scheme as seen above which i chose to decorate with some cut out wrapping paper motifs and a paper snowflake. Nothing too fancy. Maybe add a small pine cone and/or a fir sprig or a pair of tiny golden bells, if you like.

Other easy ideas that i love but weren't able to try myself yet include:

source: scjohnson
sheet music

source: linesacross
3-D gadgets  
(not only for kids) like pens or toy cars or tea lights or simply candy

Friday, December 20, 2013

3 Drinks for Cold Days

reading time: ca. 2 min

First day of holidays! Yes, it's finally here, and oh my god, I am so exited for Christmas, I'm such a child :) 

I don't know about you, but for me there is nothing better to do on a cold winter's day than slouching on the sofa, snuggled into a big soft blanket, wearing fluffy socks and a chunky sweater, reading a good book (me at the moment: City of Glass, Paul Auster, not quite sure what to think of it though), and slurping hot chocolate. 


So here are three of my favourite drinks for the Christmas holidays:

Spicy Chocolate *

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

December Essentials /13

reading time: ca. 1 min

Oh my god. Seven days. I feel like a little child, jumping up and down on my bed, waiting for Santa to climb down the chimney. I should not be this excited for Christmas, lol. ― Okay, so it's Decembrrrr and time for my essentials for this month. Guess what they are going to revolve around? Yeah. So if you hate anything related to Christmas, this is probably not for you. sorry.

Fairy lights

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Winter Reads

reading time: ca. 1 min

Best Books To Read In Winter

Now that the world is turning colder and darker once again, what could be better than curling up somewhere snugly with a good book?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Raw Honey Saffron Buns

reading time: ca. 2 min

Preparation time: 20 min (+ 3 hours refrigeration)
Main ingredients: coconut, dates, honey/agave
difficulty level: easy
makes: a plate full
suitable for: vegan, lactose-free, gluten-free, nut-free, paleo, raw food, and delicious "even so"

Since today happens to be the Scandinavian St. Lucia Day, i decided to "rawify" the traditional saffron buns called lussekatter for my Day Zero Project, where i challenged myself to "Cook 5 meals from 5 different cultures"! this episode: Nr 04 Lussekatter (Sweden.)

Monster Smoothie

reading time: ca. 1 min

Preparation time: 5 mins
Main ingredients: banana, kale
difficulty level: easy
makes: ~ 750ml
suitable for: vegan, lactose-free, gluten-free, nut-free, paleo, raw food, and delicious "even so"

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Decoration

reading time: ca. 1 min

First off i should warn you: i absolutely love Christmas season. It's probably my favourite time of year, so i really milk it. Also, since this is quite a special time, i will be posting more blog entries than usual - as you may have noticed already -, and simply share with you the festive spirit i'm in right now. Since number one of my 24 Ways to get into the Christmas Spirit was cleaning and decorating your room, i want to show you a little glimpse of what my personal Advent decoration currently looks like! (bear in mind, i am a student living in a shared apartment, so don't expect any big Christmas trees and what not :)

Sunday, December 08, 2013

I am a nerd

reading time: ca. ∞ min

hello friend,

i am a nerd.

(Grab a cup of hot cocoa or a snack 'cause you're gonna be here for a while. or maybe you'll run off screaming instantly. i apologize. 'cause i am going to ramble BIG time. so, nerd-alert, i guess.)

I am talking about a true nerd here. Not one of these sexy-smart, arrogant skinny peeps with their fake glasses and messy buns, their hippie skirts and biker boots. (sorry, not hating if you one of them :)
No, i am talking about the real, the true, pure geeky kind of nerdiness. The kind where you have watched and re-watched Lord of the Rings every single year for as long as you can remember. The kind where you teared up just from hearing the film's theme melody*. The kind where you actually read all 1000-something pages of the book. Or listened to the Harry Potter audio books until the cassette tapes ripped apart. Or are able to quote Star Wars even at three o'clock in the morning. Or have played the Dr Who drinking game. Or know what all of these symbols mean.
(although, i must say they should replace the arrow by a lightsaber. but you can't have everything, can you?)

Oh yes, i am a geeky girl.

The object of my nerdiness: The Lord of the Rings. story of my life, literally. 
Thinking myself back to my childhood, one of my most vivid and imprinting memories is the one of my Dad reading the Lord of the Rings to me. i must have been about 8 or so years old, when we started, and i remember being cuddled up under my blanket every night and waiting for my Dad to further take me through Middle-earth alongside Frodo and his fellowship. 

Also, i remember not having my parents' permission to go see the first film because i was still too young. Interestingly enough, i never thought of the movies as being brutal (until my best friend pointed it out to me after a few years), which is probably a rather strange attitude for a girly, barbie-loving twelve-year-old, but it honestly never even crossed my mind that it could be a disturbing image to see Orcs getting their skulls split, just as i never perceived Gimli chopping off Orc heads, as it is described in the books, as brutal. 

For me, the story of the ring wasn't about war and bloodshed. as i see it, it is about courage and loyalty, human weakness and strength and various forms of love.
The outward conflict with the Orcs and Sauron i didn't care about all that much. what fascinated me - and still fascinates me - is their inner battle rather than the one on the battlefield. Everyone has to fight out their own inner conflict, whether it's Gandalf, Frodo, Sam, Aragorn, Boromir, Faramir, Eowyn, Theoden, Arwen, Gollum or Galadriel.
After that, in my early teens, i was super obsessed with anything LOTR. Back then i used to consider myself a not-so-typical teenager, since i wasn't obsessed with any band, but let's face it: i was a frickin teenie fan girl. i plastered my walls with posters from Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, Tom Felton and Daniel Radcliffe, collected pictures from the movies in a huge folder, actors' autographs, bookmarks, collection figures, the Elvish dictionary - geez, i even owned a legit Elven Leaf Brooch made of sterling silver, and also an elven cloak that my grandma had hand-sewn for me. wow, yeah. insane, isn't it? i also recall wanting to buy myself Arwen's Evenstar Necklace and Galadriel's ring Nenya, which both cost a fortune, for a teenage girl anyway. Luckily i didn't though, and i ended up selling my silver brooch because i needed the money :'D
As i grew older, i got rid of most of these things. The last thing i kept was this Frodo/Elijah autograph:

Okay, i admit it, i also kept my big ring binder full of pictures (#gettit? ring binder, ha ha. yeh, it's bad, i know). But the rest i threw out over time. Promise.
The only thing that is still with me is my love for the Lord of the Rings. Having re-read the books this summer, i can say, i still feel very passionate about the legend of the ring. And still to this day i watch the whole entire trilogy once a year, typically around Christmas time, the Extended Version of course. i'm not a fanatic any more, like i was as a kid, but i still get super excited about my annual LOTR night and cry my eyes out and sit there sobbing into my snuggle blanket, while the credits are rolling down my monitor screen. Yeah, that's my life. 
Maybe it's the fact that i grew up with Frodo and Sam by my side, but - is it a foolish thing to say i feel a deep connection to the story? There's just something inside me that is undeniably touched by it.
Call me crazy, or a crybaby. i dunno, i'm just slightly obsessed with it, i guess.

Can we just talk about Frodo for a minute (or ten)?
Aside from the fact that Elijah Wood is an absolute sweetheart (both cutie and hottie, haha my heart melts away when it comes to Frodo (i even think, my very first childhood crush was Frodo/Elijah. oh my...). He has the most innocent, vulnerable face. Just look at these blue piercing eyes. Don't you just love his sad, suffering, sensitive smile?

Also, he and Bilbo share a birthday on September 22nd, so one day after my own birthday, Sept 21st. i somehow sort of almost might feel a bit proud of that. perhaps. (#geez, girl!)

Now, what i probably love most about Frodo is the friendship between him and Sam. It is the most beautiful bond i have yet seen between two human beings (or hobbits in this case). i don't really want to call it a "bromance", as everybody seems to looove labelling male friendships nowadays, because as i see it, it is so much more than that. These two connects a deep, caring, understanding love. As a child i never understood why, near the end of the movie, they didn't fall into each others arms while everyone else was rejoicing and embracing each other. i wanted them to hug so bad! But now, now i am glad they didn't. Their friendship is deeper than hugs. They went through so much together, and would give their life for one another, they do not need words or gestures to express their understanding for each other.

(+++ here might be a sketch of frodo's face if i get to it someday :'D +++)

I think what i love even more - if that's even possible - than the deep connection between the characters in the movie, is the love amongst the cast members. they are such a big awesome family, it almost hurts to watch.For example, you h a v e to watch this brilliant prank interview by Dominic Monaghan who tricks his friend Elijah into thinking he is interviewed by a German journalist:

Oh sweet Jesus. i've watched this video three times already, and each time i have to laugh so hard my tummy aches :') just watch it, please. For Elijah's gorgeous laugh alone, it's just beautiful.

Now, enough raving about hobbits! i could go on and on about this... but i'm craving some Lord of the Rings now. So let the epic journey begin!

media sources: (LOTR wallpaper) (frodo's face) (prank interview) (smile gif)

* by the way, the entire soundtrack is absolutely stunning. guess what i'm listening to right now :)

Oh, and a happy 2. Advent!

Even the smallest person can change the course of the future. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien


( - -)
((') (')

Friday, December 06, 2013

DIY Christmas Cards + Earrings

reading time: ca. 2 min
What is a better gesture of love than a handmade Christmas card? (Alright, maybe some homemade cookies, but that's as good as it gets!) I spent last night crafting 5 fairly easy Christmas cards, and wanted to share these ideas with you. Here we go!

You will need:
Card stock
Wrapping paper
(everything else is absolutely optional)

Number 1: Cute as a Button

Sunday, December 01, 2013

24 Ways to Get Into the Christmas Spirit

reading time: ca. 1 min

1. CLEAN and decorate your room! 
My all-time favourite is hanging up multi-coloured fairy lights, but you can also use fir branches, pine cones, hollies, baubles, Santa figurines, nutcrackers, unopened walnuts, wintry mugs filled with candy, lametta, cookie ornaments, tealights...
2. Craft/Get an Advent calendar with chocolates or teabags inside for each day.
3. Make yourself a huge cup of hot sweet deliciousness! (e.g. hot chocolate, Pumpkin Spice Latte, Chai tea, cinnamon tea, hot milk with honey...)
4. Light your room with loads of (scented) candles. Don't burn down the house though.
5. Make some cookies, truffles, gingerbread or roast apples! It's twice as fun if you invite some friends over to do it.
6. Get some awesome patterned knitted socks to wear around at home!
7. Craft/Write cute Christmas cards. Maybe to your grandparents, your aunt or your boyfriend's parents?
8. Read a fantasy (or just fantastic) book, while nestling in a fluffy blanket on the sofa. *

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sunshine Award - I am nominated!

reading time: ca. 2 min

Yay, today i woke up to having been nominated for the Sunshine Award by the lovely Leah S. from Leah Inspired! Thank you so much, i will proudly accept the honour and pass it on to some of my favourite blogs.

The Rules:
1. Thank and recognize your nominating blogger (duh...!)
2. Give 11 random facts about yourself 
3. Answer the 11 questions given by your nominating blogger 
4. Nominate 11 bloggers (cannot be your nominating blogger) 
5. Post 11 questions for your nominees 

11 Random Facts about me:
1. I'm a student of Creative Writing & Cultural Journalism, currently working on my new coming-of-age novel. Cross your fingers!
2. Even though i don't dress very daringly, i am fairly interested in fashion.
3. I have to admit, i struggle with envy from time to time.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

C for Cravings

reading time: ca. 2 min

Holiday season is almost upon us, and you know what that means: holiday food. lots of sugary, buttery, carb-packed, pervalicious holiday food.

Winter is coming, meaning our body starts to store fat to prepare for the great famine - which, for the majority of us, will never come. But still we feel like eating more so the excess energy will keep us warm and comfy. Melanine, the hormone triggered by darkness, doesn't only make us feel sleepy, it also increases our appetite. And besides, in darker times we may be driven simply by a desire to cheer ourselves up.

So how can i stop my craving for stodgy cakes?
First we need to understand how cravings work and how to deal with them.
This is part of a little trivia series on the ABC of raw food lifestyle essentials where i share my knowledge of food and nutrition*. click here for the previous episode.

(Down below you can see what i will eat to still my cravings in winter time)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Day Zero Project: update 05

Life is like a book. Some chapters are sad, some are happy and some are exciting, but if you never turn the page, you will near know what the next chapter has in store for you. ~ anonymous

The Day Zero Project.

101 tasks in 1001 days.

Update 05


Starts: June 19, 2013

Ends: March 16, 2016

Tasks achieved so far: 15/101

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Dealing with Failure

reading time: ca. 2 min

As i am currently participating in NaNoWriMo, i thought this was the perfect opportunity to talk about coping with failure. Basically, NaNo teaches you how to overcome your fear of what may or may not happen, and that's a mindset i'd like to share today.

Firstly, don't be afraid to try. If you try, there's a chance you will win and a chance you will lose. If you don't try in the first place, there's nothing but a 100% chance you will lose.

Failure happens in your head. By that i mean the fear, the judging, the worries - all in your head. Stop thinking about what could go wrong. Face your fears, and you will find them dwindling away almost immediately.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Carrot Hummus

reading time: ca. 1 min

Preparation time: 5 min
Main ingredients: carrot, sesame
difficulty level: easy
serves: approx. 3
suitable for: vegan, lactose-free, gluten-free, nut-free, paleo, raw food, and delicious "even so"

A few days ago we went out and had a nice meal at a local Vegan Salad Bar. I had a veggie plate and a batch of carrot hummus - which tasted so good i decided to recreate it. So here it is: my own improvised and super-tasty Carrot Hummus!

How To Make Your Own Sushi {vegan}

reading time: ca. 2 min

Preparation time: 20 min + 25 min cooking time
Main ingredients: seaweed, rice, vegetables
difficulty level: moderate
serves: 3-4
suitable for: vegan, lactose-free, gluten-free, nut-free, paleo

Here we go - another adventurous dish for my Day-Zero-Project-"Cook 5 meals from 5 different cultures" series! this episode: Nr 03 Sushi (Japan.)

My first time making and eating sushi (vegan, of course), i'm excited! 

As a side dish i decided to include some raw-vegan Carrot Hummus, as well as soy sauce and veggie sticks. 

Have fun! : )

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Maisy ❤ October 2013

reading time: ca. 3 min

Art doesn't need to be pretty. It needs to be passionate.

Read: Asterios Polyp (David Mazzucchelli, 2009)

This graphic novel is not your ordinary comic. It tells the story of an older man, Asterios Polyp, an architect who has never built an actual building, an arrogant, prickly, shabby guy (who David Mazzucchelli applaudably manages the reader to warm up to eventually). In its simplest terms, Asterios Polyp is a coming-of-age story - except that it is told from the perspective of a 50-year-old man, or rather from the perspective of his deceased twin brother who died in childbirth. Yeah, like i said, it's not an ordinary story.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

5-Minute Pumpkin Spice Latte

reading time: ca. 2 min

What is fall without Pumpkin Latte? (basically, what is life without Pumpkin Latte? but let's not get dramatic) 

Following a vegan lifestyle doesn't mean you should have to restrict yourself from your favourite treats like a creamy spicy Pumpkin Latte. Just stay flexible and get creative! 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pumpkin Carving & Cookies

reading time: ca. 1 min

Don't be afraid of the darkness inside you.

So i was at my brother's this weekend. After experimenting with Hokkaido pumpkin as mentioned in one of my recent posts, i have been wanting to try out more pumpkin-y things, like the world-famous Pumpkin Spice Latte or carving a pumpkin. I must confess, i have done neither before, so since my little brother and i are kinda known to try out fun adventurous things, we thought why not buy a pumpkin and do something with it. And so we did.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ways to Wear Feathers (and not look like a bird)

reading time: ca. 1 min

Autumn is the time of birds gathering before they take off to a second summer, far away on the other side of the globe. Their dappled plumage reminds me of autumn leaves, as wind blows through the trees and shakes the branches. Therefore feather accessoires are perfect for fall, whether headband, hairclip, necklace, ring, bracelet, earring or tattoo. obviously you don't want to look like a bird torn to shreds, especially hair jewellery should be treated with caution, so i put together a collage* of actually wearable feather accessoires.

Day Zero Project: update 04

Entire water of the sea can't sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship. Similarly, negativity of the world can't put you down unless you allow it to get inside you. ~ Unknown
The Day Zero Project.

101 tasks in 1001 days.

Update 04


Starts: June 19, 2013

Ends: March 16, 2016

Tasks achieved so far: 12/101

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Down the Rabbit Hole.

reading time: ca. 1 min

good morning sunshine,
tomorrow my first full week of uni + job as student assistant starts. as always i am a little nervous - will everything work out as i'd like it to? will i be able to carry on the workload? the usual stuff - and also i feel a little melancholic. it's my last semester at campus. after that it's another 6 weeks of working experience in an editorial office (hopefully) and after that my bachelor thesis. yikes.
at the moment i'm looking at different universities to find a fitting course for my masters program. perhaps in Vienna?
for now, to calm my ever nervous self, it helps to recall one of my favourite memories this summer:

Misty Mornings in Belgium.