And this was November

Wow… November is gone. NaBloPoMo is over and I blogged everyday until last night. That’s when real life finally caught up with me. Long work hours, some personal stuff and after sitting 30 minutes in front of a blank screen I just decided why force it. I don’t have to prove anything. Just writing 29 days in a row is such an achievement that there is nothing to be ashamed of to finish off a day early.

morning thoughts bed

Look at all the posts I wrote:

#1: Trying something New – NaBloPoMo
#2: Snack Time – The Egg Sandwich or Eierbrötchen
#3: Park Life #11 – 2017 Photo Project
#4: Instagram Accounts I Like Scrolling
#5: Weekend in Lviv, Ukraine
#6: Kale Pie – Because Pie is always a good idea
#7: Blend in Wrapping Paper Storage – Tutorial
#8: My 10 Most Beloved Blog Posts
#9: Morning Thoughts
#10: 10 Things you don’t know about me – Part III
#11: My Favorite Books 2017 – Part I
#12: Creative Weekend :: 12 von 12
#13: Empty Mind going Crazy
#14: Homemade vegan bath bombs – Tutorial
#15: My Favorite Podcast to Listen To
#16: Apple Yogurt Cake with Maple Butter Glaze
#17: My Favorite Books 2017 – Part II
#18: Wochen(Glück)Rückblick :: My Happiness Review #25
#19: Pine Needle Advent Wreath 2017 – Tutorial
#20: One of those days…
#21: Little Beech Nut Bells in Red and White – Tutorial
#22: Sleep Envy – Sleep Habits and such
#23: Best Traditions I grew up with
#24: Every day Life on a random day in 2017
#25: Saturday Morning Coffee Thoughts
#26: Things I learnt from Grandparents
#27: Winter Bucket List 2017
#28: Fruit Warm Breakfast Oats – 6 variations

There were days I found it difficult to write specially when it was late. But only because all the post I had planned or in my mind were requiring a bit more time or some photos I didn’t yet have and light was gone. So I have a long list of posts I wanted to share that didn’t see daylight yet. But I will share them eventually. The Egg Sandwich post was an idea from 2 or 3 years ago…

Would I do it again. I wouldn’t say no to it. It was fun. But it is time consuming and I also have to admit that my plate was/is a bit too full currently. So I am glad that I can take a breath and don’t need to show up here daily. But maybe I will. Definitely more often. *fingerscrossed*

For now I will enjoy my couch and relax a bit.

Happy evening,

Tobia

Fruity Warm Breakfast Oats – 6 Variations

I like warm breakfast. It doesn’t really matter if it is winter or summer really. For me something warm to start the day is just comforting.

I discovered this recipe in a detoxing book. There it was said, that the human body was actually build to eat more soups, mashes and purees and especially in the morning. It was some argument about looking back in history that all the ancient civilizations and most all of the indigenous people up until today have done so. Just think about millet gruel, oatmeal gruel, bread soup…

Anyhow, I am not that fanatic but I found the thought interesting. And the recipe about warm oatmeal was sounding pretty good too. Of course I pimped it a bit and it is not really detox (I think you were supposed to cook with water but I think that is the most disgusting thing there is).

Here is the main recipe and then I have a few variations for you:

❤︎ 3-5 tbsp rolled oatmeal
❤︎ milk, enough so that the oatmeal is covered
❤︎ cinnamon – lots of it (it’s supposed to tame appetite… I just love it!)
❤︎ fruit of choice – my go to is apple and specifically Pink Lady as they taste the best here

Fruity Warm Breakfast Oats apple

Put oatmeal and cinnamon in pan and cover with milk. Let simmer until milk is almost gone. While it cooks prepare your fruit. I usually stir in the fruits and let sit on the hot stove for a bit as I like it semi-warm.

I sometimes swap the apple for pears. I always wonder if there is something better than cinnamon to go with pears…

Fruity Warm Breakfast Oats pears

Then of course as soon as the season of strawberries rolls around this is my go to and I sometimes add a bit of mint or basil:

Fruity Warm Breakfast Oats strawberries

Then I also love love love red currents. This needs additional sugar though. I sometimes use plain brown sugar other times fancy coconut flower sugar:

Fruity Warm Breakfast Oats red current

When I make a bowl with blueberries I usually add a bit of vanilla:

Fruity Warm Breakfast Oats vanilla

And then when fall comes around I really love plums and cinnamon.

Fruity Warm Breakfast Oats plums

Tomorrow I will try a new version with grapefruits. What is your idea? And will you give it a try?

Happy breakfast,

Tobia

 

Winter Bucket List 2017

It’s gotten really cold. Not below zero yet but it’s this wet cold that creeps in every layer of clothing and leaves you shaking. While it is not very comforting it has a message. Winter is coming. So i figured it is time to write down my winter bucket list 2017.

creative winter bucket list

  1. Spread some “Random acts of kindness” in the upcoming season where everyone is just hectic and stressed. I currently think of: smiling to the cashier, meeting the postman half way, let an old lady in front of the line in the post office, etc. something like that.
  2. Dance in the snow
  3. Ice skating. It was on the list last year bit it wasn’t cold enough. Fingers crossed.
  4. Sew a lot: finish the dress, make two sweaters and there is this tote idea in my mind for ages.
  5. I want to read a few more books this year.
  6. There will be some binge watching over the holidays. Definitely GoT, any other recommendations?
  7. Starting my vacation with a spa day all by myself.
  8. Write Christmas Cards and then our newsletter.
  9. Bake two new cookie recipes. And maybe finally tackle the Stollen recipe.
  10. Enjoy the season. Take a few minutes in the morning while drinking coffee and just look at the decorations, the snow, people watch from the window or admire the Christmas tree.

I am sure there will be added a few more things to the list. Right now I am a bit tired so I leave it at this.

Happy winter start,

Tobia

Things I learnt from my Grandparents

Good morning and hello,

Today is the Sunday before Advent. Today it’s Sunday of the Dead – a day where we (in Germany and speacially we as Protestant Christians) commemorate the lost ones. For years I have been going to see and prepare the graves for winter often with my mom sometimes alone. Usually the Saturday before today. While this post goes up, I am on my way to attend service and go see the graveyard. This year I have lost the last of my grandparents. I’ve thought a lot about my grandparents the past months and how grateful I am to have spent the time with we had together. I know not everyone is lucky enough to get to know all four of them. Each one of them taught me something and today I feel like sharing some things with you.

Sunday of the Dead hands

Granny – she was a cooking wizard and made the best apple pie and kohlrabi stew. She always had sheet cake in the cellar when we came over. She was adventurous not only in her cooking. Unfortunately most her recipes were in her mind where Alzheimer’s stole them from us. One of the first things she taught me was how to wreathe flower crowns from sea pinks. She was a handicraft woman and also explained to me how to hold a saw correctly. She taught me respect of the elder and of places. As of today I will never run or ride a bike on a cemetery and feel anger when I see people do so. And then I learned all the board and card games from her and her girlfriends. Only because of her I know how to play Nine Men Morris, Checkers, Rommé or Mau Mau. Granny was a strong woman often had an opinion and didn’t take much b***s*** from anyone. She was the only one who was ever truly mad at me because I scared her. And so I learnt that my actions have consequences. I think I could have learnt a lot more from her.

Gramps – only of late I learnt that gramps was a very moral person and traded that in for high ranking career. I do see a lot of that trait in me. Other then this gramps was someone who knew how to enjoy life. Often his friends would stop by to enjoy some beer (or schnaps) in the garden and he would tell the latest jokes he picked up. I think all jokes I know are from him. Some are secret life lessons. There was his love for sports and we watched endless soccer games and olympics together and he often explained rules. Gramps taught me how to swim. He taught me how to ride a bike on a busy street and how to find coltsfoot on the roadside. He kept this joy of life despite the heartaches and blows of fate he encountered and had a calmness to him. He is the only one who taught me on his deathbed without saying anything: to look back on my life with contentment and peacefulness. If I manage that he taught me everything.

Grandma – if I had to use one word to describe her it would be “warmherzig” I think the best translation would be caring. I have never seen a person in my life who gave her whole self to others like my grandma did. Not only did she support her family from a very young age and slipped into a role of motherhood, she never left that role. She was always concerned about the well being of others. She was a charitable woman. I often feel reminded that I should be more caring. Not in a guilty way though more in a nudging way. I remember an incident this Easter when coming back from my family I was giving a homeless person my leftovers in an impulse and felt so good about it. It wasn’t planned. I wasn’t going to talk about it. I was just feeling like I could do more and without thinking or fear I did. And then I thought about my grandma. The other thing I often think about her is when I come up with an unusual creative idea. My grandma didn’t have much but she made gold crowns from left over coffee packages to play with for us grandkids. She always had a solution to a problem. Mostly they were very practical. Speaking of practical some of my best baking know-hows are hand downs from her as well. I often called her when first living alone and she walked me through recipes. Only because of her I know the secret of potash and hartshorn in christmas cookies.

Grandpa – he was a man of books and learning. He was always curious. And while he was a man of faith he was also deeply interested in science and for him those two things didn’t exclude. I give him credit for my missing fear of all small creatures. He was fascinated by small bugs and spiders and such and every walk in the park he would point out some new animal and then tell us about where they live, what they eat and how they breed. Mixed in were the plants along the way. I think his love for parks and wildlife somehow transferred a tiny bit to me. I find it fascinating seeing a mouse and discovering her trail. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that he also had a big impact on my faith. And he also invoked my love for architecture and art history. I rarely enter a church and looking for some details he pointed out when I was merely 6 years old. I wished I had more time with him because the older I got the more I connected to him. Unfortunately he was the first to leave us.

All of them taught me one thing: modesty. I believe it had a lot to do with experiencing a world war and real hunger, escaping troops and fighting for survival. Just to land in yet another political system with controlled supplies and being monitored in every move. I usually don’t take things for granted and am grateful. I might not show it but I often realize that I am much more aware than other people around me. I do believe it is character trait worths having.

Well, this post got personal. Hope you you enjoyed it and I would love to hear what you learnt from your grandparents.

Happy Sunday,

Tobia

Saturday Morning Coffee Thoughts

Good Morning,

I just checked the calendar. Next week we already celebrate First of Advent. Seriously, where did the time go? This year is a blur.

How fitting that Susannah send her newsletter announcing the prompts for her December reflections last night. If you are not familiar with her work I highly recommend checking her out and have done so before. And will do so again soon.

Anyhow, all through December she invites us to follow along and thinking back on the past year. Either by taking a picture and sharing it on Instagram #DecemberReflections, sharing a blogpost, painting a picture or just privately writing a journal entry. I tried to follow along last year but was too caught up in day life. I really hope to be a bit more considerate and take more “me-time” this time around. Maybe I should put a 30 minutes appointment with myself in my calendar each morning.

creative

This also made me think of all things I wanted to do in December. My big plan was to take off work the entire month. Unfortunately that didn’t happen and I have to work until the 15th. I had so many craft projects lined up. Now I am thinking about only doing half days of work. I hope I can follow through. And I haven’t even started on my Christmas cards or my annual calendar (a christmas gift my parents get every year) yet. Last year I had already ordered by this time.

On one blog (sorry, can’t remember where) I read a really good tip. Do not take on any appointments. So no doctors appointments that are not necessary and can’t wait ’til January. Not meeting friends you didn’t meet regularly anyways. Not accept invites you would otherwise decline. I will take those advices to heart and I am sure I will have a bit more time to relax. Because especially the first two sound very familiar.

Now let me know if you consider being part of December reflections and if you find this concept intriguing.

Happy Saturday,

Tobia