Let’s celebrate: International Day of Happiness

I recently learned that March 20th marks the International Day of Happiness. It was initiated by the United Nations recognizing happiness as one of humans life goals and was first celebrated in 2013.

While I appreciate that happiness is taking a front seat in global politics I am a bit baffled that it has only been acknowledged four years ago.

However there is a whole movement behind it and you can sign up here for a free happiness guide, a kids pack and a study on world happiness. And there are ten posters to print out.

In the end of 2015 I realized that the happy moments in my life are there but I do tend to ignore or forget them. So since January 2016 I write a daily happiness journal. It made me realize that there are much more happy moments, that they are usually small, that I am still not mindful enough to catch them all…

International day of happiness grass

Today I want to share some of those moments with you:

  • Early morning sunshine in my living room
  • The smell of fresh coffee
  • The smell of fresh air
  • The smell of snowflakes in crisp winter air
  • Dancing snowflakes
  • The sound of leaves in the wind
  • A day without migraines
  • A cup of my favorite blend of tea
  • The joy of reading a book
  • Being in the flow while doing something e.g. those easter eggs or taking photographs
  • Absolut quietness
  • A good nights sleep
  • No back pain
  • A call from the godchild
  • A fun letter in the mail
  • The joy of like minded people (is anyone going to a blogging event? I am thinking about The Hive in May?!)
  • A yummy piece of cake
  • Beautiful flowers
  • Something I made
  • Laughter
  • Goofing around with Mr. ♥
  • Summer BBQ with friends
  • Learning something new in a class/workshop
  • The joy of traveling
  • Sitting by the water

International day of happiness water

If you start thinking about those little things you can go on and on and on. Fun thing is that after I wrote my list I check out the mentioned research and I listed quite a few things that the study defined in finding happiness.

But now I am interested: what would you would put in the list? Let me know in the comments.

Happy International Day of Happiness,

Tobia

The Fluffiest Waffles of all Times

There are days when you just need waffles. At least I’ve got those days. It was raining, it was cold and I had a craving. In the days I somehow always go for sweet stuff: pancakes, semolina, french toast or waffles…

Those waffles were the most fluffiest waffles I have ever had. Seriously. They are fluffy yet crunchy, not too sweet and just yum. A real treat. Don’t believe me? Have a try and be convinced.

The Fluffiest Waffles – Crunchy Oatmeal Waffles Fluffiest Waffles

Ingredients:

125 g whole grain flour
25 g grape seed flour
250 ml milk
3 tbsp coco flower sugar
3 tbsp vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 pinch salt
4 tbsp oatmeal, whole grain

Directions:

  1. Mix flour, milk and sugar and let sit for 20 minutes.
  2. Separate eggs and whip up egg whites with salt.
  3. Add oil, egg yolks, oatmeal to the flour mixture.
  4. Fold in egg whites.
  5. Bake waffles.
  6. Enjoy with salty butter and powdered sugar while still warm.

Yummy fluffy waffles

Did you know that I made my very first waffles when I turned 30? I did not grow up with waffles. But for my thirties birthday party I had waffle and lemonade party. Ever since I am a bit hooked.

Do you make waffles for breakfast? Or is it more a treat in the afternoon? Would you spill your favorite recipe? And do you know of a recipe where no egg whites need to beaten? Because lets be honest its a pain in the a**.

Anyhow happy waffle baking

Tobia

Anniversary Trip To Helsinki – Travel Log

Today I have been married for three years. We are not doing anything fancy today but go for dinner Friday night. Last year we’ve celebrated our anniversary with a trip to Helsinki.

When we went to our honeymoon we had a lay-over in Helsinki and agreed to come back after seeing the city from the plane. So we did. It was fun.

Most people are probably scared to fly north during winter but than we love winter. Why don’t I tell you a bit more.

Helsinki City

Ok, first I have to be honest. We had tough weather. It was around freezing and it was so humid. Something between fog, sleek and snow-slush-rain… Being outside was sometimes tough so we didn’t wander that far out of the downtown area and had quite a few coffee stops. BUT what we liked what we saw.

We walked and wandered around a lot. It’s our way of discovering a city and we easily get the lay of the land. More than once we ended up at the South Harbor and were mesmerized with the frozen Baltic Sea. I’ve just never seen anything like it. We came back almost every day…

Trip to Helsinki winter skyline

Close by is the Old Market hall – Vanha kauppahalli. A cozy warm roofed market. We had the feeling that locals and tourist were at balance among the visitors. Lots of people had lunch. Unfortunately we weren’t hungry. Still it was interesting seeing local food and warm up.

Helsinki Trip Old Market Hall Vanha kauppahalli

Also around the corner you can find Uspenskin cathedral. A russian orthodox church.

trip to Helsinki Harbor with Uspenskin katedraali

Unfortunately the building is not open for public but we walked around there and the neighborhood and found it was quite different. The heavy fog might have had something to do with it…

Trip to Helsinki houses

Sunday afternoon we were frozen so we went to the design museum. We really liked it a lot. If you are interested in interior design this is for you. If you are into design history go there too. We learned a lot about how strategic the Finnish people planned their design supremacy. Also there are so many objects we knew by sight but had no idea they were made in Finland.

Trip to Helsinki design museum

Just across the street from the museum is the Johanneksenkirkku – a church (ok, I do have a thing for sacred architecture…). I believe it is one of the nicest I have seen in all my travels. While there is pompous decor it is not dark, stuffy and gold but rather light and withdrawn. You can hardly find any pictures from the inside, I think it’s so worth seeing.

Trip to Helsinki st. Johns church

Suomolinna

On our last day before heading to the airport we went to Suomolinna. An island with a huge sea fortress or better an island fortress. Going by boat through the ice floes was maybe my best experience. It is much louder than I expected and you feel every impact. We journeyed through the skerry landscape and I discovered quite a few cute remote houses. I could easily spent a few weeks there…

Helsinki Trip ice floes on the Baltic Sea

The island was somewhat deserted as we went there off season. However it was still nice to walk around and get a feel of what it must have been living there in rough weather. Being at Suomolinna was the only time I really felt cold during our trip to Finland. The wind is crazy, it was snowing a bit and we were outside walking for a long time. We didn’t go to the museum as we didn’t have much time and rather walked to the far end of the island to have a look at the open waters. The history of the sea fortress is quite interesting and it is under UNESCO World Heritage. You could easily spent a whole day there specially in summer with picnics and nice views.

Helsinki Trip Suomenlinna

Food

During our honeymoon we had a tough time with the food. It was just so very different and than we were even further north and not in a city. Being in Helsinki the food scene was much better. While I started to like it and ate my way through fish and crabs and karjalanpirakka Mr. ♥ had a tougher time. Assuming it’s due to the conditions and location of Finland – they just don’t have veggies and if there are they are really horrible… Just be aware. It all looks old and frozen and tasteless – even in the supermarkets. Maybe that is just a momentarily picture in February but that is what we got after two trips to Finland. On another note, Helsinki has a broad selection of craft beer. I had quite a few and I liked them all. So if you like that Helsinki might be for you.

Helsinki Trip Finnish Food

Accomodation

We found a nice and affordable hotel within the city – Hotel Indigo Boulevard. The hotel is located in Helsinki’s Design District. Al lot of small little shops are in the surrounding neighborhood. We liked the hotel as it was clean, modern and had a separated bathroom – something hard to find nowadays.

Trip to Helsinki Hotel Indigo

Transport

We took a flight from Berlin with airberlin and were surprised it’s only about 2 hours. From the Helsinki airport we took a bus to the central station where we switched to the tram that took us directly to the hotel. We found public transport very easy and comfortable to use.

It was a nice trip to Helsinki we had last year. I would go there again. Maybe in summer. We heard and read the summers in Helsinki are legendary with lots of outside activities and festivals … and the sun never goes down…

Have you been to Helsinki? Would you take a trip to Helsinki? What would you check out?

Happy traveling,

Tobia

Winter Salad with Savoy, Bacon and Tiger Nuts

I love veggies. But I could eat more of them. During summer that is easy. During winter – not so much. It’s the time I crave soups. Something warm, soothing and filling. But I wanted to challenge myself for Claras veggie expedition. February it’s all about savoy cabbage. I could have easily made a soup… with pearl barley and beef. But no I had my mind set on salad. A winter salad.

winter salad with savoy bacon tiger nut

Best lukewarm… because it’s cold out there. And also something savory… bacon is always a good choice! Are you hungry yet? Ok here is is:

Winter Salad with Savoy, Bacon and Tiger Nuts

Ingredients:

♥ 1/4 savoy cabbage
♥ Salt
♥ Bacon (as much as you like)
♥ 2 tbsp olive oil
♥ Pepper
♥ 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
♥ 2 tbsp Balsamico, white
♥ 1 pinch brown sugar
♥ 1 handful chopped tiger nuts (If you don’t have any tiger nuts you can easily use any other nut you have. I just had them in the pantry.)

Directions:

1. Cut savoy cabbage and remove stem. Wash leaves and cut into stripes. Remove veining. Boil for 3 minutes in salted water. Drain and let cool.

2. Roast bacon until crunchy.

3. Toss everything together and season with salt, pepper and caraway seeds. Add oil and vinegar. Garnish with tiger nuts and bacon. Enjoy lukewarm.

What is your favorite winter salad? Do you use savoy often? I don’t. I think its the second time ever I bought this cabbage. But with the many recipes coming in I am sure I will give it a spin. And I have 3/4 of the cabbage in my freezer. All cut up. easy to make soup…

Happy cooking

Tobia

 

WOCHEN(GLÜCK)-RÜCKBLICK :: MY HAPPINESS REVIEW #24

Happy weekend to everyone.

I had a great, happy, productive week and it calls for Denise’s happiness project.

Lets Dance urban art

It all started last Saturday with my dad birthday party that is a huge thing every since I can remember. After college (or maybe even during college) he decided to throw a big annual gathering every Saturday after his birthday inviting all his college buddies. And throughout his life more people got invited  and some didn’t show up anymore. I grew up with this scenario and I just love it. I meet those people every year. Some I don’t even know their names but somehow its just right. You take part in each other’s life maybe just for this one night.

I had time to walk around the neighborhood taking pictures. Well, actually I didn’t feel like taking pictures but had an assignment for my photo class. And isn’t it great that inspiration comes when you least expect it? I was suddenly seeing so many interesting lines and found so many perspectives of this one building I stumbled across. I love this. And the weather was nice too – crisp winter air.

urban lines and patterns

Another thing I started this week – again – was using my yoga app. I woke up with back pain and decided to give it try again. Isn’t it amazing how fast one (me!) forgets how helpful, relaxing, good something is? So I did yoga two days in a row and hope to do more of it in the future.

A few other things happened for me this week that left me optimistic and energized (like this Shrimp Pak Choi Risotto with Coconut milk) but they don’t fit in here right now.

Overall I am happy. And I look forward to the weekend. Are you doing anything fun?

Happy weekend,

Tobia