Thursday, 30 April 2015

Style: The girl who can't stop reading



Guys, I have to keep this brief today. I'm mentally not here, but on a train to London with Rachel. We are desperately trying to figure out what happened during that ominous Saturday night where she had a blackout, waking up bloody and with no memory of the previous night. We are returning to the scene of the crime (so to speak), desperately trying to remember... 

Confused?    

I am currently reading The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. and I cannot.stop.reading. I haven't had a shower today, haven't taking a single picture during my yoga practice (no time for challenges), haven't walked the dogs. I need to know what will happen next! This book is so good, like Gone Girl on speed, highly addictive and full of delicious twists and turns. 

The photos you see here were taken a couple of weeks ago, for an emergency just like this (i.e. no time for anything, let alone outfit photos, sheesh). A good thing too, since today was the most dismal day, grey and depressive looking. A perfect day for reading and napping!

Okay, returning to my book now. No spoilers please!
Top: Joe Fresh (old; I wish I had this one in my closet); skirt: Etsy; shoes: old (similar); earrings: gift (these are gorgeous - and cheap!)







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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

My happy place + Let's grow together {Link-up #16}

They say one cannot buy happiness. While I would usually agree, today I have to point out the exception to the rule: You can when it comes in the form of the perfect, most beautiful coral red hammock. The best part? It only cost $29.99! I have wanted a hammock for my favourite spot under the willow tree for a couple of years, but couldn't find what I wanted: they were either too expensive, too uncomfortable, or not durable enough to keep outside for approximately 6 months. 

Last week I went to IKEA to buy some picture frames, not even thinking of hammocks. On my way to the tills however, what was hanging there in all its coral splendor? The hammock of my dreams! When I saw the price tag I could barely believe my luck. In the blue bag it went, and two days ago we put it up in the exact spot I had always pictured for it - it fits perfectly. Don't you just love it when life works out sometimes? 

I also took the opportunity to take some more pictures of our new puppy Nina. She fits in well with the other dogs, and has the spunkiest personality! It will be a challenge to train her to leave the birds alone, she thinks it's the funnest game ever to chase the chickens. 
We also call her pink panther because she has the sleek, elegant body of a panther and assumes a stalking position every time one of the other dogs approaches her. We just love her!




Like I said on Instagram - this is where you will find me for the rest of the summer.

Where is your happy place?





Farm Girl


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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

35 signs that you are having a Third-life crisis


Nobody talks about it, but I am here to tell you: the well-known quarter life and infamous midlife crises have a mean and ugly cousin: the third-life crisis. More embittered than its younger counterpart, it is cunning and creative in its attempts to ruin your life.

Here are 35 signs that you are having a third-life crisis: 

1. You think about retirement more and more lately. Why didn’t you start contributing into a pension plan 10 years ago?
2. The first few friends are getting divorced already, and you aren’t even married yet. You feel hopelessly behind.
3. Should you get married? Your mother has dropped countless hints about you being an “old unmarried maid”, despite you living with your partner in a committed relationship.
4. All your friends are having babies. You are not ready. But shouldn’t you be?
5. You now know what the biological clock is. You hear its ticking a bit louder every day.
6. With osteoporosis looming in your immediate future, you contemplate starting to take calcium supplements.
7. The phrase “time flies” never sounded truer, and never scared you more.
8. Your boss asks you “where you see yourself in five years”, and you feel like a loser for saying “uhm, still in this job?”.
9. More responsibility scares you.
10. But shouldn’t you be more ambitious?
11. Listening to busy working moms juggling kids, careers, husbands and houses makes you feel hopelessly inadequate. You haven’t even done the dishes this past weekend.
12. You realize that being a real adult in your thirties doesn’t mean that you have life figured out. You feel betrayed.
13. You get more nervous now hosting dinner parties than ever before. Expectations are much higher, and some of your friends really know how to cook. Unlike you.
14. You envy your younger self for freely inviting friends for delivery pizza and beer. Those were the days.
15. You envy old people who don’t give a shit and do what they want. You want to be like them. Why do you still give a shit?
16. You can’t drink coffee in the afternoon anymore because you won’t be able to sleep all night.
17. Not only have you not set foot into a club in seven years, but you start to dislike going to the movies. Those kids with their feet in your back, noisy eating and omnipresent glow of their cellphones really go on your nerves.
18. You have to google the meaning of FOMO, smh, ikr, hru – pretty much any abbreviation you come across. What happened to writing words out?
19. You are still scared of teenagers.
20. You didn’t know that #flannelfriday exists. And you love flannel.
21. You fear that your age group will be the reason for Instagram to become uncool. Just look what happened to Facebook.
22. Is your metabolism slowing down already? Or why is it so much harder to lose weight now?
23. Spanx are replacing your formerly sexy underwear.
24. You just bought a car based on its practicality, safety ratings and gas mileage.
25. You just bought your first pair of sensible shoes.
26. You don’t do shots anymore because they make you sick.
27. Eating fast food late at night gives you heartburn.
28. You are unsure if you can still wear miniskirts. Are you getting too old for them?
29. You are uttering the words “I’m too old for that” more and more lately.
30. Grey hair.
31. Having to make the momentous decision: Embarking on a life of hair dye and fighting grey roots, or going gracefully grey?
32. Is there such a thing as going gracefully grey in your thirties? I didn’t think so.
33. To Botox, or not to Botox? That is the question.
34. You have a growing list of little aches and pains, and just got your third crown.
35. You haven’t been carded in years.

Are you in the midst of a third-life crisis? ;-)


*Originally published by Thought Catalog here.*


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Thursday, 23 April 2015

Style: April showers bring Canadian flowers

Can we make this a good old catch-up session with just a few random outfit pics thrown in since today is supposed to be 'Fashion' Friday? 'Kay, cool. I mean, I could just do whatever the hell I want - this is my blog, after all - but I'm my own worst enemy, and this schedule that I devised for my (non-profit) blog has to be adhered to at all cost. It has to! That's the German in me, and who am I trying to deny my heritage. 

Speaking of German heritage, I had some fantastic news this week that I am excited to share: My dual citizenship request was approved! Which means that I can finally become a Canadian and also stay German, which may come in handy in the future. Yay!


This deserves jazz hands!


I have been wanting to tackle this project for years (7 years, to be exact), but procrastinated like crazy. The reasons were predictable and boring: Dreading the paperwork, the associated cost (the whole shebang cost me $1,000) - did I mention the paperwork? Basically I was too lazy to do the work. 
But during the last few quiet days of December, I sat down and wrote myself a list. A list (heretofore referred to as The List) that I begin to regard as magical: The things I wrote down on it are starting to become true. A lot of it is silly or frivolous: paint my nails more often, grow my hair long, cook more regularly, don't use dull razors.    
But I also wrote on The List that I wanted to eat more veggies - and now I started drinking - and loving - vegetable juices. Another item was to get back into yoga, which has since become a big part of my life.
A secret goal was to attempt to have a piece of my writing published - and it happened. 

Yesterday I mailed off all required documents to become a Canadian citizen, which  is so precious to me - I love this country that has become home dearly.

I'm so happy, I feel like I can flyyyyy!!!

And all thanks to the power of The List. I refer to it often, and the pleasure I get from ticking an item off is immense. The List is holding me accountable, and having a bit of a plan makes all the difference in the world.  

Contemplating The List

The List isn't 100% successful though: I also wrote down to spend less money, pay off my credit card debt, paint my kitchen cabinets, and about another 20 items that haven't happened yet. Oh well, nobody is perfect, right? There are still 8 months of the year left...  


Dress: ModCloth (currently only available in black and beige); chambray shirt: Old Navy; jacket: old (cute options here and here); booties: Target (similar); glasses: Joseph Marc from Clearly Contacts  








Linking up with Fashion Should Be FunA Labour of Life and Rachel the Hat



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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Adventures in juicing + Let's grow together {Link-up #15}


If you would have told me two weeks ago that I would start drinking vegetable juice, I would have shaken with laughter and called you crazy. I've always been deeply suspicious of veggie juices, hate Caesar's, have never tried a V8, and never even had a green beer for St. Patrick's day. Green drinks freak me out. Don't ask me why, because I don't know; they just always looked so unappetizing to me.

But then, two things happened.
First, one of my co-workers started juicing and she loves it. She is positively raving, and she is a very honest person; when she tells you something is great, she is convinced that it really is.
Second, I have had the nagging feeling for quite a long time that we don't get enough veggies in our diet. While we both eat a ton of fruit, veggies are a different story; I find it much more difficult to get the recommended amount every single day. Add to that the onset of wrinkles, tired-looking skin, and a few extra pounds, and the glowing reviews and promises of younger skin and a healthy body gave me the incentive to go for it and purchase a juicer. I went with the Breville JE98XL which I bought from Amazon, and couldn't be happier. It's my new favourite toy! I can't get over how it demolishes whole apples or lemons in just seconds, it's incredibly powerful.

I figured I would approach this juicing thing slowly, avoiding anything green and trying fruit-based juices first. (All recipes yield about 30 oz, enough for 2 tall glasses.)

Here is the very first recipe I tried:

  • 1 apple
  • 1 beet root
  • 12 medium carrots
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 oranges
It was deep-red due to the red beets, but I figured I could tolerate that colour easier than anything green. After tentatively taking the first sip, my immediate thought was "this tastes like dirt". Yikes. Had I just spent $180 on a tool I would end up never using?
I took a few more sips, sort of got used to the taste and managed to finish it - but by no means was that a drink I was dying to drink again. 

Okay, on to the second one:
  • 1 orange
  • 2 carrots
  • 1.5 cups pineapple 

This one was sweet, non-dirt-tasting and delicious. However, it was really sweet and mainly fruit-based; my goal was to get more veggies into my diet.

Was I ready to try a green juice?
GREEN JUICE IMAGE BY LECIC / SHUTTERSTOCK


I put on my big-girl panties, kept reminding myself of "glowing skin" and "rewinding the clock", and threw the following ingredients into the juicer:
  • 2 green apples
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 thumb ginger root
  • 1 lemon
The resulting juice was a pretty light green (see first picture) and not all that scary looking. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, took a sip - and I liked it. In fact, it was delicious!
I'm completely amazed at my ability to drink a green beverage. This may seem like nothing to you, but it's a big fricking deal to me!
I'm on such a high that I may actually throw some kale into the mix tomorrow, just because I can. Oh yeah, I got the green juice down now! (This is probably the folate talking, it's making me reckless.)

How do you feel about juicing? Yay or nay? Any thoughts on drinking green liquids?  





Farm Girl




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That time we drove 2,500km to get a puppy

As promised, here is the tale of our spontaneous roadtrip we embarked on last week. But before I get started on that, I have to give you a little background story:

Last August, our beloved girl Blue passed away. 

She had the wonderful ability to make every person feel special; everybody who met her would joyfully say: "Your dog really likes me!" And she did. She loved all people, and was loved by all in return. She followed Richard around wherever he went, always on his heel, sometimes even tripping him up because she was so close.  

After her passing, Rich really missed her, and he started searching the internet for another Blue Heeler. We found a few puppies advertised over the months, but never the right one. 
Until last Monday. I was sitting on the computer in my office, working away, when Rich called me excitedly into the living room: "Come here Miri, I think I found the right pup!" Now, this wasn't the first time he had said that, so I took my time wandering over to him. As I entered the room, he was already on the phone, talking to the owner: "So you have one female left? Can you send me a picture? Good, okay. I'll call back as soon as I have seen it." He hung up, turned to me and told me that there would be a picture arriving via text message any moment on my phone. A minute later, it did: One grainy shot of a puppy, with markings remarkably similar to Blue's.

We looked at it, then at each other. "What do you think?" I asked, already knowing the answer just by looking at the smile on his face. "That's her", Rich said. 
He called the owner back, told him that we would take her, and learnt that he wanted to sell the puppies as soon as possible - as in, now would be good, yesterday even better. I happened to have two more days off work ahead of me, so it was decided: we would leave very early the next day and go get our girl. 
Oh, did I mention where the puppies were located? Outside a little town called Milk River, AB - 1,250 km away. Mammoth road trip, here we come!  

While we did know the closest town, the owner was strangely sketchy when it came to his address; we asked repeatedly, but he kept saying that he would give us directions once we had arrived in Milk River. Curious, but there was nothing to do but take his word for it. 

Off we went, with a bag full of snacks, our winter coats (that had already been packed away), Lily as co-pilot and hope in our hearts. The drive was beautiful: gorgeous scenery, lots of wildlife along the way, tasty treats (sour candy, chocolate and fruit) and pleasant company. We drove 1,000 km the first day, which meant we would be in Milk River early the next morning. 

And so we were. Rolling in, I dialled our address-concealing puppy owner to get some directions. 
I should also mention that he had an accent that was difficult to understand - just to make the conversation more interesting.
"Hi, we are in Milk River now, in front of [the only] breakfast place! Where should we go?"
"Breakfast place? I don't know what you mean."
"It's right across from [the only] motel."
"No, doesn't ring a bell."
"It's on 8th Avenue?!"
He ignored this, and told me to drive to the hospital, he could direct us from there. Since the hospital was only 2 km away, this was easy to do - but how did he not know the surrounding area? I exchanged an exasperated glance with Rich and handed the phone over - I couldn't deal with this.

Rich took over: "Okay, we are in front of the hospital, where are we going next?" 
"So you are heading straight ahead, just keep going for a long time, maybe 20 km but I'm not sure exactly how long it is. Go until you see a green sign for Carson bridge and..."
"Sorry, what is the bridge called? Carlson?"
"Yes, Casson. You head East when you see the green sign - it's a green sign - on a gravel road, and once you are uphill you call me again, ok? I will be waiting in a red tractor."

O-kay. Strange, but we went ahead. After about 14 km we passed a green sign to Coffin bridge, but kept on driving. We drove and drove, for maybe another 10 km, until we hit a big intersection and realized that we must have gone too far - surely he would have mentioned the intersection?
After another, equally confusing phone call, it was determined that we had indeed gone too far, and that "Casson" meant Coffin (such was his accent). We went back and turned into the aforementioned gravel road, almost immediately heading uphill. Where was the red tractor?

There was no tractor to be seen, but instead there was a little farm - maybe that was the place? We drove in, and looked around - nobody was around, the place looked completely abandoned. This wild goose chase was getting old, fast. We speed-dialled the guy again. 
"We are up the hill and drove into a farm, but there is nobody around. Where are you?"
"You drove in? I don't see you."
"Well yes, we have the same problem. Are we at the wrong place?"
"Did you turn east on the gravel road? And go uphill?" 
"Yes, we did. How far do we have to go on the gravel road? We went less than 1 km. Where exactly are you?"
It went on like this for a while longer, but I spare you. In the end, we had to keep driving at least another 5 km on the blasted gravel road, head over the bridge (a fact he had completely forgotten to mention), do another few turns before we finally arrived at a big farm, smackdab in the middle of nowhere. 

There were fields, still brown and lifeless looking after the winter, there were mountains in the distance, and there was wind. Lots and lots of wind. And there he was, sitting in his red tractor as promised. Hallelujah, we had finally arrived! In person he seemed like a nice guy, personable and friendly. Without further ado, he led us to the sole reason for this trip: Nina.

Totally worth it, don't you think?

We handed over the money, he handed over the puppy, and after less than 5 minutes we found ourselves back in the truck, heading away from this strange place.  

We have been back now five days, and Nina is settling in perfectly. It was a fun trip, with the best souvenir ever!





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Saturday, 18 April 2015

Tales from the farm



The other day as I was getting ready for work, my husband walked into the kitchen. "Is it bad?" he asked me, and I turned around to look at him. His face was covered in blood. Blood was running down his cheek, dripping onto the floor, his nose and chin were dirty, yet his demeanor was completely calm. "What did you do?" I shrieked, rushing to him to inspect the damage closer.
"Got attacked by the pheasant", he stated matter-of-factly. And that, my friends, is life on the farm in a nutshell.

He had two gashes in his left cheek, starting from just below his eye down to his chin. I washed it off, put Polysporin on, and tried (unsuccessfully) to bandage it; he wouldn't hear of it. "Naw, it needs to breathe, it's fine. Go to work" he said, shooing me out of the house. And he was right, it will be fine; it's healing nicely, and I have the pleasure of calling him 'scarface' until it does. Win/win.

Most of our animals are friendly and safe to be around. But there are always the few that have the need to be difficult - you know the type, don't you? Every school class, work place, and reality TV show has them - the misfit, shit disturber, Scott Disick of the group.

Let me introduce you to some of our current ones:



This little rooster - laughably small - is attacking everybody who walks past. He is no danger to anyone, weighing just over one pound and barely reaching past a person's ankles; but the bugger will startle you every damn time, and is a nuisance. Why we haven't eliminated him yet, I hear you ask? He is so darn pretty, and too small to do any damage. Plus, you gotta admire his nerve! A chicken coward he is not (even though he is a chicken - gotta love the irony).


Take a look at the turkey to the left (the right one has been made unidentifiable to protect his privacy). You are looking at one feisty - and tasty - turkey. 
That guy had no fear. He would jump up on Rich every time feeding time rolled around, which was the reason why I refused to feed him. Was it joy? Affection? Disrespect? I don't care. Being jumped by a 40-pound bird is not my kind of fun.  
It wasn't Richard's kind of fun either, and so this overly personable bird ended up first in our freezer, and then in our bellies. Revenge is juicy, my gobbling friend.


Picture the picture of a pheasant here. Since I didn't have one, I substituted with this tiger I saw last year in Leipzig, Germany. Scratch wounds from a tiger are much more impressive than from a pheasant anyway, so once again it's a win/win, right? 

To be fair, the pheasant acted purely in self-defense. He was destined to go to the auction, and he must have sensed that with his animal uber-senses.  
Let me paint you a picture: 
Rich is entering the pheasant enclosure, carefully peering through the trees. He spies his prey, and slowly approaches, net firmly clasped in his right hand. With his left hand, he pulls a few branches to the side to get better access. 
He creeps closer.

And closer.

Even closer. 

He tightens his grip on the handle of the net, ready to strike...


...


... when suddenly, the net gets caught in the branches, and momentarily helpless, with one hand holding back branches and anther one being caught, the pheasant flies right into his face, shrieking and clawing at him wildly!  


The rest is, as they say, history. Rich was wounded, but caught his bird in the end, stuck him into a cage, and put him unceremoniously into the auction for sale.  

"My work here is done."






Just another day in farmland. 

   



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Thursday, 16 April 2015

Style: Mad for plaid (and hummingbirds)

Plaid and hummingbird dress

We have returned home after three crazy days of non-stop driving. We did 2,500km in 53 hours, which is a record for us. It was the lastest of last-minute trips ever, which made me feel good in regards to my spontaneity abilities; I feared that I was lacking in this department (I am), since I like to plan ahead and don't like surprises. I wish I did (it's so much more attractive!), but alas, I like routine. 
This time, however, I woke up on Monday morning, expecting a week like any other, not knowing that less than 24 hours later we would embark on the most impulsive road trip in the history of (our) road trips ever. 

eShakti dress and plaid

Next time I will tell you the reasons why, share a few pictures and relate a funny story from the trip; for now, I had to dress up for no reason whatsoever. 
Well, there was a reason: I felt grimy, greasy and decidedly unattractive, and had to do an intervention on myself. You see, what has slowly been happening over time, sneaking up on me if you will, is my complete abandonment of any and all hygiene routine during road and/or camping trips. 
It wasn't always like that. 

Corgi approaching

I recall fondly, way back in the day (when I still had standards), me sitting by the lake, trying to catch my reflection (I forgot to bring a mirror) and desperately trying to plug stray eyebrows. Aaahh, those were the days. Ever since this trip I have adopted a new approach: No soap, no problem. For the last three days, all I did was drag a brush through my tangled hair once a day, brush my teeth and then call it a day. No shower, no face scrubbing, no moisturizing, nothing. It was liberating, yet also limiting: Just before we got home today I had to pop into our neighbourhood store, and I have to admit I was embarrassed at how I looked: clothes covered in dog hair (Lily is shedding something fierce), hair greasy, deep shadows under my eyes, three days unwashed. And wouldn't you know it, as soon as I stepped out of the car, I ran into someone I knew - it never fails.

As soon as I had finished my chores at home I hopped into the shower, did some major shaving and trimming, blow-dried my hair and decided then to take some pictures of freshly groomed me.
Being a girl ain't easy, boys!  

Spring eShakti dress and plaid

Dress: c/o eShakti; plaid shirt: Bluenotes (old; similar); shoes: Old Navy (currently out of stock; really cute alternative); pearl necklace: souvenir from Peru; scar on my leg: got burnt by a hot water bottle, which is to be expected with the daredevil-lifestyle I'm leading

Shake a paw








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