VIRTUAL COFFEE DATE | AUGUST 2020

Right now I should actually get some work done. But it is a day of procrastination and before I just scroll my phone and eat more ice cream I decided to have our August coffee date instead. So lets take some time , enjoy our iced coffee latte and have a chat

During our coffee chat…
I tell you about the first couple weeks in my new work project. You might remember me telling you about it last time. During my onboarding week I was able to visit not only one but four container terminals at the Port of Hamburg. It was really really interesting as I never dreamed of going there yet actually knowing what is going on in a port. The whole project gives me totally new perspective on how global trade is running. That is what I love about freelancing – within a relative short amount of time I get to see so many different areas, clients and products. I could not switch jobs that fast… My curiosity is my driver – I keep asking questions like a kid. How about you – do you like change and new areas to work in or do you like it more steady?

➢ Keep On Reading

Corona Diaries – Week 1 & 2

The pandemic is holding this world in suspense. Is there a country not yet affected by the corona virus? I doubt it. I didn’t want to make this a huge topic on my blog. But I feel like when this is all over we will sit by the fire and tell our “war stories” and laugh about it, pad us on the shoulders that we are some tough fellas and celebrate with a beer (or Moscow Mule). And for those moments I will capture the days in my corona diaries.

Number of days at home?

We started the with an official quarantine on March 12 after Mr. ♡ went to the doctors to get tested. Until the result came back we were in quarantine (until Saturday 14th when the test came back negative). Mr. ♡ started home office on Wednesday 18th and hasn’t left the house since then as he is still sick. I went outside to a dentist appointment on Monday 16th and to run some errands like getting birthday presents. Since then I only went outside to get some groceries.

How is the political situation?

Schools and universities have closed on Monday 16th and many offices have shut down and have their employees working from home. Since Friday 20th we have official contact ban meaning no meeting/talking with people on the streets or meeting outside. Only two people are allowed to walk together on the street unless living together. Personal sport and movement outside is allowed but no sitting outside.

How is the work situation?

March 12th was my Black Friday when three of my four clients canceled all engagements. The only one still running is only putting out 2 days a months and I assume will get reduced too. Of course that doesn’t pay bills. March will be ok so far. Since payments come in in April that will keep me going but from May on out it will be a tough stretch. Honestly I don’t expect business to pick up before the end of the year…

How is the mood?

I had to get used to having Mr. ♡ hop around during the day. This took a couple days to getting used to and finding a new routine. But since he used to work from home as a freelancer before and I am working from home since 2017 we were both not having many issues. But still it’s a bit stressful at times. Specially when it comes around the questions of “what’s for lunch/dinner”.

Any favorite moments?

  • First lunch on the balcony in the sunshine.
  • Facetime coffee break with my sister.
  • Facetime call by my nephew
  • A battle of Song Pop Party with Mr. ♡

What was the worst moment?

Hearing about family members who don’t really take this as seriously as we do and run around even though being in the risk group. Angry, sad, helpless… all the feelings.

What is stressful right now?

In the beginning it was watching all the news and reading stuff with the first coffee. This got a bit better. Also some moments/situations of anxiety that bubble up.

What was fun?

Laughing with the husband. Seeing the neighbors across the street dance. Looking at Spanish song lyrics one evening.

Any makes/DIYs this week?

Shoot a couple photos with the phone. Decorated an envelope. Wrote blog posts. Blew out eggs. Fixing some holes in the wall and making new ones.

What’s for lunch/dinner?

Suddenly cooking more and trying to find meals we both enjoy. Hard thing. But we had

  • Fish (fingers), mashed potatoes and cucumber salad
  • Pasta with pesto, mozzarella and tomatoes
  • Lasagne
  • Pizza & chicken fricassee
  • Käsespätzle
  • Meatballs with veggies and potatoes
  • Königsberger Klopse (German meatballs in caper sauce) with potatoes

If you feel like you need to adapt the corona diaries to keep sane feel free to join me. I was inspired by tastesheriff and made my own version.

Happy quarantine to you and stay healthy

Tobia

VIRTUAL COFFEE DATE | NOVEMBER

I am so glad we can meet again this month. It is such a wonderful way to have a sneak peak in everyones life and meet new people. And I am really grateful Lecy is hosting month after month.

If we had coffee…
I’d tell you about my endeavor to blog daily in November. It’s been something I have been doing for a couple of years now – thanks San. It’s always a bit of a stretchy but it gets my creative juices flowing. How often do you blog on a regular basis and did you ever blog daily?
And then right with my next breath I would have to admit defeat already on Day 9. Unfortunately I have gotten myself a tennis elbow and now I need to reduce my computer and phone scrolling time to max. 2 hours a day. With work picking up, Christmas presents to be found and all I am scrambling. So the NaBloPo had to fall to the wayside. Unfortunately.

If we had coffee…
I’d wanted to know if you remember November 9, 1989. Here in Germany we celebrated the 30 year anniversary of the fall of the wall. Lot’s of people are coming forward to talk about their experience and how that day had been branded in their minds. I have told my story five years ago when the 25 anniversary was celebrated. To this day my body gets a bit queasy and shaky. I am so grateful for everyone back then risking life and livelyhood to demand change.

If we had coffee…
I’d tell you that my sister and I will again volunteer for Christmas in a shoebox. We’ll be packing boxes to be sent to children in need and who would otherwise not be able to get a present for the holidays. I look forward and can see this becoming a tradition. I wrote about last years experience. Also I will pack one or two boxes myself. Not quite sure but I need to get it done soon. Do you do any volunteer work? Is it a regular thing?

If we had coffee…
I’d wonder if you had any good books to recommend that are Christmas themed. I want to make the most of the holidays. Last year I read my favorite “Christmas Carol” by Dickens but I am sure there are similar ones that I don’t know about. My dad used to read us Christmas stories on Christmas Eve after all presents were unpacked and we were in a food coma. I kinda miss that and picked up the habit to find my own stories and read one Christmas themed one every year.

So much for now. My arm hurts quite bit now and I need to rest with an icepack. Let’s meet up next months and I will be more talkative then – hopefully.

See you

Tobia

Creative Manifesto – creative motivation for slow days

Ever since I read Clare’s post about her Creative Manifesto I knew I had to make my very own version of it. Today I finally do. Probably because I am already stuck on what to write and I can use all the creative mojo.  The creative manifesto is something to help spark creative motivation on slow days and remind me on how to get back into the creative flow, stir motivation and preferably get going. 

craftaliciousme seeking creative life creative motivation for slow days

My pick-me-up list for slow days includes:

  • take a photowalk
  • go outside and take a walk in the park
  • participate in a challenge
  • read a book
  • scroll through Pinterest a bit
  • read blogs
  • drink Earl Grey with a dash of milk
  • eat warm chocolate pudding
  • leave through a magazine
  • look at art or photography
  • stroll the hardware store
  • tidy up the craft lab
  • make popcorn
  • doodle a little
  • dance around a little
  • have an inspiring conversation

If ever I feel like I am stuck I tend to do one of those things. It’s not always that easy. Because to be honest I often feel very unmotivated to even get my butt off the couch but I know the list above is helping getting out if the slowness.

It’s also helpful to remind myself of the following things:

  • you don’t need validation
  • you are enough
  • have fun
  • enjoy the process
  • be curious
  • relaxe

If you are in love with podcasts and they also give your lazy, unmotivated self a kick in the butt you might enjoy those episodes to spark some creativity:

So now I’d like to know what your creative motivation for slow days is? Looking forward to your comment.

Happy day to you

Tobia

Saving the planet one step at a time – living sustainable without effort

You can read about saving the planet and living sustainable everywhere and anywhere. And quite frankly I am a bit annoyed by it. It often looks like propaganda. Many companies try to instrumentalize it for their purpose. But still it is something we all should be aware of and not discard so easily.

seeking creative life saving the planet one step at a time

I always thought we (as in Mr. ♡ and I) are not doing much to keep the planet healthy. However I recently realized I/we do quite a bit without giving ourselves credit for it as it has become habits by now. Following I’ll share a list with you of things we already do and maybe it serves as an inspiration to you as well:

Recycle

Recycling trash is ingrained so it’s really a no brainer for us. I even walk the extra step to put the paper wrapper from my tea bag in the trash can at the desk. I was quite annoyed when I realised our cleaning lady dumped everything I carefully separated in its separated bins in one when taking out trash. Seriously, why?! It’s such an easy way.

Invest in good appliances

Mr. ♡ and I have always invest a bit more money into our appliances. We’ve often heard that we only wanted themost fancy version of the newest oven or dishwasher, that it needed to look cool. And while we are not prone to those things and they do play a big part in the decision process one of the key elements is always the efficiency. Does it run on the lowest energy and meets the state-of-the-art specs? Does it have latest technology built in and is not outed right away. Because those appliances stay with you a while and in 5-10 years they are energy suckers for sure… Also they often live longer and don’t need repairs.

Switch to LED lights

This is something Mr. ♡ has been investing lots of time to in the last years. And it paid off. For the first time we have gotten money back in our electricity bill because we saved up. Of course those LED lamps are an investment at first but in the long run it will hopefully save money. And time because I can’t remember when I had to switch a light bulb the last time. Also I hate having lights on when I leave a room. Switching of lights and not having “castle lighting” on as I like to call it saves up too.

Use totes & bags for shopping

This is another no brainer but I’ll write it down anyways. No more plastic bags. For the last 3,5 years we have been using fabric totes and shopping bags. I usually cary a bag in my purse so every time I buy something I have something to put it in. We always have a shopping bag in the car. Storing totes in places you might need them is an easy way to reduce using plastic ones. Also I have stopped using those small flimsy plastic bags at the fruit & vegetable stand. I just dump it in my bag as is because why do we need to separate by bags?! Doesn’t really make any sense it’s just a habit. Also I just read that Tansania banned the import, export and selling of plastic backs all together as of June 1. So much for third world countries…

Collect batteries

Batteries don’t belong to regular garbage. Most stores offer a little bin where you can drop them off. I have a zip-bag where I collect them and then sooner or later I remember and drop them off. However we try to use rechargeable ones as much as possible. Unfortunately coin cells don’t come as rechargeable and we need those for the kitchen scale and all smoke detectors.

Re-use old stuff

I am a big fan of re-using stuff and making something out of it. I collect burned down candles and make new ones. Or I save up avocado pits to turn into body scrub as well as coffee grinds.. I use food containers for the next birthday gift or a hostess gift. I use packaging material for gift wrapping and used up vanilla beans to make tea or orange peels for decoration. Or I turn fabric scraps into jewelry. There are just so many ideas. Check out my recycling tag to find more ideas.

Also I always re-use printed papers that have one blank side. I write my to-do lists on there. Or just last weekend I printed a sewing pattern on there. And still I produce more scrap paper than I can use in a lifetime.

Buy seasonal

Strawberries in December, pumpkins in April, asperagus in August… While all those things are yummy all year round for sure I am not buying them. They are only staples when in season.

Take trains instead of flights

When traveling for my freelance work I prefer traveling by train rather then plane (right now it’s only within Germany.) This might has to do with being more productive on a train to be quite honest. However it is not always the fastest way. And by taking this route it is defiantly the greener choice. When being out and about in the city I most likely use my bike or if further away public transport. And even on foot I get places.

Of course there is always more to be done. In the course of the last weeks I have observed our behavior and have identified areas I would like to improve:

Laundry

We do have a lot of laundry and I’d really like to reduce the loads but this will not happen. So I need to find other ways. The packaging the detergent produces really does annoy me. Not to mention the water consumption or dryer. Here I am on the lookout for improvement.

Shopping

I want to find a little reusable bag for my pastries. I’ll by them weekly for the weekend and every time they come in paper/plastic bags. When I was a child we always went to the bakers with a burlap tote. I think I need to sew one. Also I want to check out one of those stores where goods are displayed in unpackaged units and you come in with your own containers. It’s a bit of effort. A friend of mine started to leave all her packaging in the stores so they realize how much they produce and start thinking about it. This might be a good way to force change. She also told me that she never buys rubber bands but keeps them from asparagus and flowers. How smart.

Digitalize more

I need to look into digitalizing even more. Like how does it work to sign a paper on my computer and not print and scan. Stuff like that. I know my devices are capable. I am not – yet. I have made the effort to call my insurance company to stop sending me analog bills. Unfortunately they are not capable. Thats for sheets of paper I am forced to receive and store.

Products

I want to look more into using environmentally friendly products that are free of micro plastic and mean chemicals. I have started to look more closely in what I buy for cosmetics, cleaning products and such. However I am not throwing out all current products but start by slowing easing out of it. If you have any recommendations let me know. Specially for detergent as I am allergic to most smells.

On Instagram I read this interesting quote that said something like even if you do only one thing to save the planet it’s better than not doing anything at all. We are not perfect. We can not ignore what’s going on. And we defiantly can not do it all. So I decided to the things that come easy to this household and someone else probably does the things I struggle with. It’s a start. Now if would share your tips or want to write a post like this please do and leave a link in the comments so we can build a huge list and inspire each other. Wouldn’t that be great?

Happy day to you

Tobia