Posts Tagged With: Food

Upwards and Onwards

I know it isn’t healthy or smart to weigh yourself too often. But after I had my second fasting day for this week yesterday, I couldn’t help but step on the scale again this morning. And I lost an entire kilo since Tuesday. Whaaaat? I’m sure a lot of it is water weight but I’m still quite chuffed.

Yesterday was a little bit harder than Tuesday in the way that I got food cravings last night. Which may or may not have been related to the fact that I was watching Game of Thrones and the commercial breaks were all about food, food and yet more food. Pizza, fish fingers, pasta, cheese…fooooood! But I managed to go the bed with under 500 calories yet again. I’ve also planned my meals and snacks a bit better and had low fat (1.5%) yogurt with blueberries and apricots for lunch. I forgot my stevia at home, so the yogurt itself was a little too sour for my taste but that’s fine, the fruit made up for it. For dinner I had mushrooms again. I eat them straight out of the can and I could eat five tons of them and don’t see myself getting tired of that anytime soon, to be honest. Where I’m not a big fan of mushrooms on pizza or as an ingredient in other dishes, I could just about live off the canned ones.

What I noticed really helps me to get through the day are caramel sweets like Werther’s Original. At 20 calories per piece, they don’t come cheap as far as low cal food goes. But they are so sweet, one is enough for me and they last for a good long while, so long that the craving is done and over with by the time I’ve finished one. I make sure to make the 20 calories part of my play for the day and use it as an emergency treat if necessary.

To be honest, I really expected the munchies to strike on Wednesday. And at first, it looked like they would. I wanted to eat all the junk food in the world at once but ended up staying under 2,000 calories anyway. And had some fruit and veggies, too. Smart food choices despite everything. Today isn’t that much worse. I already had a tuna wrap with a lot of veggies and salad and only one treat (a cream roll). So apparently fasting doesn’t turn me into a ravenous beast.

What I’ve also changed without being conscious of it is my water intake. I always drink a lot but it’s usually diet coke. Now I haven’t drunk that much water lately, either, but tea. With the cold and nasty weather, I find myself able to drink mug after mug after mug. That probably added to the weight loss.

And another upside of this 5:2 thing I noticed is that I need much less insulin. Yesterday, apart from my basal rates, I only needed 4 units of my regular insulin. Usually, on an average day, it comes up to around 30-40. Another thing that not only helps with the weight loss but is a lot healthier in the long run.

So far, I’m pretty happy with how this is working out for me. I don’t know if I’ll manage to fast while I’m in London from the 19th but it’s just four days and I may just use the two fasting days for the remaining week.

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Categories: Weight Loss | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Patience

I’m really not a patient person and this whole Endobarrier adventure is proving to be a real test for me.

Time seemed to crawl by while I was waiting for the next appointment with by diabetes counselor and when it finally came around on Thursday, it turned out to be a real disappointment. First of all, the doctor had no time for me. My counselor said she’d added the date to his calendar but something must have gone wrong. He could have popped in for a moment but said with big decisions like this, he prefers to take his time. Which is understandable but still came as a disappointment. Now he’s going on vacation for a few weeks and his schedule is pretty full so the soonest appointment they could give me is on August 25. Which means that it’s more than a month before I finally find out if I’ll get this chance.

I keep googling the subject to see if there are new blog entries or forum posts from people and I can positively say that I’m all riled up to go and this is really slowing me down. I’ve also already started educating myself on what kinds of foods I should leave out. What will suck is that most of the healthy foods I love won’t be allowed. As far as meat goes, chicken is my favorite and I won’t be able to have that anymore. Same with asparagus which is one of my favorite veggies in the world. Instinct tells me I should have those as often as possible now but logic says that’ll probably be counter productive. It’s not like my cravings will stock up on that and I won’t miss them. On the contrary, I’ll probably miss them even more if I get used to having them so often.

From what I gather, the first month or so will be hard anyway. For a couple weeks, I’ll only be allowed soup and liquids and I’ll feel full after about half a dozen spoons. After that, it’s the same story with creamy stuff. It will help that I feel seriously physically full, so it won’t be like I am eating less than I want. What I’m more afraid of are the cravings. Everyone knows that when you crave burger and pizza and whatever else, soup is about worst case scenario. I’m not saying it won’t be worth it. But I’m preparing for that being the worst part of it. The only somewhat negative post I read about Endobarriers was written by a woman who claimed she could eat everything right after she came home from the hospital. And then she claimed the Endobarrier got ‘dislodged’ which I don’t doubt was probably caused by her not following her diet plan. I’m not gonna be that woman!

August 25, August 25…it feels like a whole lifetime till then!

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[Rawrcipe] Kathy Goes Sukiyaki

(Like my ‘Book Rawrviews’, I came up with the idea for this new tag because it is kind of a recipe but by no means am I anywhere near a professional or anyone you should go to for sound advice when it comes to nutrition or cooking. It just documents things I’ve cooked and liked and want to share in my little blog.)

As announced in the previous entry, I ventured into my kitchen on Sunday and cooked myself a nice Asian dish. I called it Thai-influenced in the last entry but to be honest, I think Sukiyaki is a Chinese thing. For some reason, I think of most Asian foods as Thai. Forgive me for the ignorance.

I made this thing from scratch and while it wasn’t a full success because it turned out way, way, way hotter than I’d planned it to be, I still found it delicious, so I decided to write down what I used anyway, even if it’s just for future reference.

Glass noodles with chicken and sukiyaki veggies

Glass noodles with chicken and sukiyaki veggies

I used…

200g Glass noodles (I used Thai glass noodles but I don’t think it makes much of a difference here)

150g Chicken breast

200g Broccoli

2 Bell peppers (one red, one green)

3 Spring onions

75g Red pepper paste

200ml Sukiyaki sauce

Coriander

Garlic

Ginger

Salt

Pepper

 

Those made enough for two large or three small servings.

I simply boiled the glass noodles and the broccoli. Then chopped the chicken and the veggies into small pieces. I let the garlic and the onions roast in a pan with a tiny bit of oil for a minute or two, then added the chicken and then the bell peppers. After another five minutes or so, I added the broccoli, ginger and the red pepper paste and let it roast for another five minutes until it had all adopted a nice spicy flavor from the paste. Afterwards, I poured the sukiyaki sauce over it all, spiced it some more with the coriander, salt and pepper and let it cook for a good 15 minutes.

Once it was done, I just gave a bit of the mass over some glass noodles and tadaaaa!

With hindsight, however, I should have added some coconut milk to the sauce to make it less hot. I don’t even know why I didn’t think of it because I still had a can of it available. If you’d ask for a suggestion, I’d say definitely add that until it’s tolerable for your personal taste.

But otherwise, it was really, really delicious. Once my mouth starts burning at the mere thought, I plan to experiment with it some more.

Oh, and the veggies are totally subject to personal taste, too, of course. I just looooove broccoli but it’d probably do well with green beans, cauliflower and a number of other veggies, too.

Categories: Foody, Rawrcipes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sick Sick Sick

Another beautiful and sunny weekend. Another weekend spent worrying about my mother. My stupid, irresponsible, reckless mother.

I’m not even gonna bother getting into what’s wrong with her this time. I wish I could say that I don’t care either. I just hate how she just sort of casually drops that she’s had fever on and off since Tuesday. I don’t want to sound selfish but I hate how she doesn’t even stop to think about how much this ruins my day. I mean, sure, yeah, if she really doesn’t care about her own health much, I can’t force her. But I’m just really worried and it’s like she doesn’t get that at all. She keeps writing things off as ‘just a cold’ or ‘only a virus’ but hands down, how many healthy people catch one thing after another? There must be something wrong and she just ignores the elephant in the room completely.

So instead of having a great Saturday, I had to do a groceries run (on the Saturday before a bank holiday on Monday!) and otherwise mope around and just worry. Gee, thanks, mom! Kinda makes me wish I had been a difficult child, enough so to ruin a large part of her free time as well.

As for my personal health, I am shocked to report I am more responsible than my mother. I went to that appointment and I don’t know if I’m satisfied with the outcome. My doctor thinks that my stomach issues are just related to too much or too active or too whatever stomach acid. I mean it’s great that she doesn’t assume it’s anything serious. But I’m not sure if I’m really down with her theory, either. It seems unlikely that that kind of pain comes from acid. Shouldn’t it be more of a burning sensation then? But anyway, she prescribed a huge pack of Pantoprazol which by now I think every doctor is sponsored by because I’ve never had anything that I did not get a prescription for this drug for, even if it was just the sidekick of something else. So I’m supposed to take that and come in in two weeks again for an ultrasound and more blood tests. Could be better, could be worse, I suppose.

Last week’s weigh-in was disappointing, as predicted but at least I didn’t gain anything. I’m hoping for a better result this week though I’m starting to think my scale is just a cruel bitch.

I sinned with McDonald’s today although I don’t really care what I eat if it fits in with my calories. I just couldn’t be bothered to cook after I left the battle field that is a grocery store before a bank holiday. 30°C weather and a holiday just turn people’s brains to mush. And suddenly, the shopping carts are used as weapons. But I bought almost nothing that fits the junk food category. Instead, I bought the ingredients for tomorrow’s (hopefully) delicious lunch. I’m making a Thai-influenced dish of glass noodles, chicken and vegetables with a sukiyaki-red pepper sauce. Sounds delicious and dope but will be really easy to make. I hope. I’m already salivating just thinking about it. I even thought of ditching McD’s and making it today but didn’t want to buy more chicken and the filets I have were frozen so I’m gonna have to defrost them over night. Curse my microwave for not having a defrost mode. If it’s actually good, I may even write a food porn entry about it.

Categories: Foody, Weight Loss | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Goodbye 2013! My Year in Review

We talked about 2013 on a forum I frequent the other day and when I wrote my short recap, I came to the conclusion that 2013 pretty much just was for me. It had its ups, it had its downs. I’m not sure I’ll look back on it as a year that was all that special on a personal level.

But even though, or maybe because, it was so unspecial, I’d like to focus on it in a bit of a detailed view. It’s good to look back on things and learn from them, appreciate them and just remember them. This also led to the first time ever that I jotted down notes before writing a blog post. I’m pretty sure what I’ve written in this blog in over a year now is a dead giveaway for how unfocused my blogging usually is. I sit down and write and to be honest, most of the time I have no idea where I’m going until I’m done. But when I decided I was gonna write a recap of my 2013, I quickly came to the realization that reviewing a whole year just isn’t gonna work without notes. Without thinking long and hard, I couldn’t tell you what I had for lunch today, so remembering the past not-quite-365 days without a reminder here and there would be close to impossible.

In the process of taking my notes, I quickly started putting them into categories. Originally, this was just meant to help me organize my thoughts but then I figured it was a good way to do this. So here’s my year…

Personal Highlights

  • AFI: I wrote about this long and hard already, but my favorite band released a new record this year, after four long years of absence. It is hard for me to write about this on a platform like this blog because I’m aware how this comes off with other people. The majority of people have fond memories of being a fan of a band – when they were 14. They can’t fathom what it’s like when that kind of love for (an) artist(s) remains. With most people that gets replaced by other things that become important to them over the years and just like with other values that we are taught are ‘publicly acceptable’, we come to feel like ‘the odd one out’ when we feel differently. I’m not ashamed of how I feel about AFI, I’m just afraid of not doing how important they are to me and on what level justice by not finding the right words. I don’t want people to think this is a silly thing, just because I fail to explain it properly. For now, though, let it suffice to say that I’ve missed being an active fan of this band. And by active I mean actually having something new to deal with, having a word to spreads, having a tour to hope and plan for. The latter still hasn’t happened but I’m confident that it’ll happen in ’14. As an album, ‘Burials’ hit me on a very emotional level. The hurt and anger and emotional stress of this album is so raw and familiar to me that I think it would have caught me off guard either way, whether it is by AFI or another artist. For weeks, I built myself a home inside those songs and lived there quite comfortably. Which is exactly what I’ve always known and needed from this band. Which explains quite perfectly why they’re such an important part of my life.
  • Friendships: 2013 Has been quite the nice little rollercoaster ride for me when it came to friendships. I got a lot closer with one friend who is especially important to me because we have so much in common and are so very alike in aspects that matter. So far, there was this invisible wall between us that drove us apart whenever we started opening up, as if we were afraid to do just that. At some point, after a lot of fights and drama, this wall disappeared and we grew so much closer which is a nice, if even a little scary, feeling. With all of my anxiety and trust issues, I still feel the urge to run every now and again but I can even tell her about that without feeling like she thinks I’m crazy. Then another friend came back into my life at a time when I least expected it, catching me off guard and leaving me to contemplate things all over again. Now, after several months have passed, I’m confident that letting her in again was a good decision. It’s still a bit tender, like a new tattoo and I think it’s still a matter of trial and error with finding the right dosage of each other but at the moment, it feels right, like we’re doing the right thing. What I didn’t like was how it threw me into yet more drama with people who I feel have no say in what I do with my life and who don’t even know me. On the kindergarten frame of mind level, they still think in social groups and all you can do is choose not to play their games. But that doesn’t mean they won’t try to still drag you down. I know that it’s partly my own fault for allowing them to do that and for letting it get to me but sometimes I can’t help it. Especially when some people are so obsessed with getting at me that they cannot even let it go, even when I choose not to comment on or reply to anything they say or do. The third friendship that is giving me a bit of a headache is also my oldest friendship. A girl who’s been nothing but kind to me in over ten years. Almost 15, I think? We used to be so close but over the past couple years, I feel we’ve drifted apart. And I’m not completely innocent, I know that. It’s just really hard to face this huge and important talk I know we’re supposed to have about it all eventually. It’s actually one of my goals for the next year to try and save this friendship or maybe move it to a new level, if need be. The last one that deserves to be mentioned here is a girl I met through my weight loss journey. We’re not so close, yet, that I’d see her as a part of my inner circle but we’re in such a similar position with where we are with our weight loss and what we’re struggling with that our conversations get increasingly personal and it’s nice to share that with someone who truly understands.
  • Mallorca: After I don’t know how many years, I finally had a proper holiday again! I’ve blogged about this more than is healthy already and I’n still missing the last part which I may add later just for closure, so I’m not gonna go on and on about it. Let me just say how good it was to get out, change the scenery for a bit, enjoy the sun and think of nothing but which sights I wanna see tomorrow for a while.

Things I Learned / Achieved

  • I’ve finally accepted and come clean about my own anxiety. It shows in many ways but mostly, my social anxiety is really, really bad. I go through good phases when it doesn’t bother me at all and life seems easy to me but the bad times are never far away. I’ve told my closest friends about it, so they know I’m not being unnecessarily difficult. Which doesn’t mean I get to hide behind it and be reckless, but I hope it’ll help them understand how my mind works sometimes. It’s also something that I know fessing up to was just the first step of. I’ll have to work on it and constantly push myself to my own limits so hopefully, I’ll get better at dealing with it, even though I don’t dare hope this will ever leave me.
  • One of the best things I’ve done today was changing my doctor. In Germany, everyone has a regular practitioner that you go to for check-ups and temporary illnesses like a flu and who you will also go to for a recommendation of professionals regarding more difficult or permanent things. My old one was just really not very helpful and supportive and I’m so glad I switched because even though I’ve only seen my new doc twice, she’s already helped me a lot and made me feel much better about myself and my health issues.
  • The other good thing, though I’ve not been doing so well in the past few weeks, was changing my gym. It’s a much more professional place and gives me the opportunity to follow a much more personal and custom plan. Unlike my old gym, it makes me feel like I’m not alone, like there is someone who will listen to what I want to achieve and help me get there. When you’re a born lazybutt like me and someone puts you into a gym, you just feel overwhelmed. Where do I start? What do I do? How do I use all those machines? What courses are right? At my old gym, though people there were nice, I just felt alone with my quest and like everything they had to offer was made to suit everyone. Which just doesn’t help. I have to lose a significant amount of weight, the next person may be skinny and wanting to gain a lot of muscle. So we have different needs but the gym wasn’t really prepared to offer help with that. So I already feel better knowing that what I do when I go there is the right thing for me.
  • I took up writing again. Nothing major but when Secret Santa time came around, not only did I finish the actual story for that but also one for a friend and it reignited the spark I’d been missing for so long. Since then, I’ve had a million different ideas and hope to go through with at least some of them, rather than adding another few dozen unfinished pieces to the long list on my hard drive.

Books

  • The Land of Stories 1 & 2 by Chris Colfer: I’ve been a fan of the TV Series Glee for a while but never knew that Chris Colfer had written a book, or two by now. So I stumbled upon the first book by accident when I found a thread on a book community in which someone offered her copy as a wandering book. I signed up and had to wait for quite a long time. So long, actually, that I had considered buying it instead. But then it arrived and I read it and loved it so much that I immediately pre-ordered part two which I also got to read this year. I recently learned that Chris is working on part three and this got me so inexplicably excited! Fairytale adaptions are one of my weaknesses and he does it so well!
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: For some reason, TFIOS was almost the last book by John Green I got to read after falling in love with this author. Even though it is his most well known and popular publication so far. I think I was a little afraid of my own expectations. It is, after all, a YA book about a girl who has cancer. You find way too many books about The Big C on YA literature shelves and one day I hope to explore why that is so. Most of them are amazing but you know what they say, ‘too much of a good thing…’. So I was a little hesitant. But TFIOS really is as amazing as they all say. And more. I am 31 and I have a teeny weeny crush on Augustus Waters. There, I said it!
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline: This was probably my big surprise this year when it came to books. I bought this as part of an Amazon special in which you could buy three English paperback titles for 10 €. Most of the titles on offer didn’t seem very appealing to me as they were a lot of romance or sequels to books I hadn’t read. But I already had The Time Traveler’s Wife and The Map of Time in my basket and needed a third book and then I saw Ready Player One and remembered having read a good review about it somewhere. The plot seemed vaguely interesting, so I put it in my basket. It ended up being the first I read of the three and even though I was so suspicious about it, it turned out being one of my favorite reads this year. It was nerdy, clever, sweet at some point and set in a really, really detailed future world that you could imagine to exist a couple hundred years from now. Even though I’m nowhere near as obsessed with virtual worlds as the characters in this book, I can understand where the author is coming from. It’s so easy to lose yourself in online games and identify with your avatar in one way or another and Ernest Cline simply took it a step further, creating a wonderful ‘What If…’ scenario.
  • Authors: I discovered two new authors this year whose work really impressed me. One is Linda Castillo whose Kate Burkholder series I started with early this year. Right now, the fourth book is waiting to be read by me. It is set on the edges of an Amish community and besides the tension and suspense her stories offer, I like learning about these people and their traditions without it being boring in any way. With Neil Gaiman, I’m a little late to the party. Whenever I mention how much I enjoyed reading Neverwhere, everyone just rolls their eyes at me. Apparently, the whole world has been a fan for years. I’ve enjoyed this book so much that I made it a plan for ’14 to read more of his work.

Movies

  • Despicable Me 2: If you know me, you know I’m slightly obsessed with the Minions. I have posters, figurines, apps…whatever I can get my hands on and can actually use in some way. The first movie was probably one of my all-time favorites and I was looking forward to the sequel like other people are looking forward to their wedding days. For months, we had posters outside the cinema near the mall and every single time I saw them, I’d squeal. When the time finally came, sadly, I only made it to the cinema twice, not a million times like I’d planned. But it was glorious. Amazing. My God, how I enjoyed this movie! And I didn’t even particularly care for the plot, though it was enjoyable. I can’t wait for the Minions movie!
  • The Hunger Games – Catching Fire: I’ve read the books, I’ve cried, I’ve been tempted to throw my Kindle at the wall. So I have to watch the movies, too. And how brilliant they are! Catching Fire was so close to what I imagined things to look like while reading the book, I spent most of the time in the cinema convinced that I had already seen the movie. Which was impossible, I’d hardly even seen trailers. But it really came so close. I loved every second of it and can’t wait for the next part.
  • Now You See Me: This was my big surprise this year. I love Amy Adams, so one night when my friend and I found ourselves on the steps of a local theater, spontaneously in the mood to see a movie, I instantly voted for this one. But at the time I didn’t expect more than a bit of mild entertainment. But this movie was so, so good, really smart and had more strengths than just the magic tricks / special effects.

Goals 2014

  • Lose weight: I don’t remember a time in my life when this wasn’t part of the plan. Instead of making it a goal to be a skinny supermodel by the end of the year, though, I’m just not gonna set a specific goal but just promise myself that I’ll do my best to achieve as much as I can.
  • Be more organized: Again, this is a rather vague thing that involves more than just tidying up more or keeping the paperwork at home in line. It also includes small things like taking notes at work, using post-its for actual reminders rather than just doodling, remembering distant friends’ birthdays and sending cards out in time, taking two minutes to remove my makeup at night, not constantly forgetting to brush my hair, clear the dishes right after meals, and so on. If I get better at this, it’ll be easier for me to deal with everyday life in the long run because I know things are just running automatically and I don’t have to stress myself out so much over the smallest things.
  • Stay calm / Relax more:  I tend to freak out at the smallest cause because I’m just so annoyed with things in my life right now. It doesn’t make things easier and it doesn’t help and the only thing I achieve with it is make myself feel worse, so I need to find a way to stay calm and not act like a crazy ghetto bitch.
  • Rekindle friendships: There’s one particular close friend I already mentioned earlier who I’d like to become closer with again because I really miss her friendship. We’ve drifted apart a lot and I know we’ll never fully be on the same emotional level and share so many interests again but that doesn’t mean we can’t make this work. And then there are a few other people who I’ve never really been close with before but we were on casual terms, checking in with each other every other day and that’s gone down the drain over the years, as well. I’d like to get back to having that extended circle of friends again and let them know I’m here if they need me.
  • Save Money: I’ve really lost my way here. I went from having almost 1.000 € in my savings account + another 150 € in my piggy bank to have almost nothing left. And with the prospect of a possible AFI tour soon, I really need to get my act together. I’ve done well this month already by putting aside almost 100 € again and I hope to stay on this track. Also I want to stop abusing my credit card for spontaneous purchases whenever I don’t have the cash, so I can use it for the tour as well.
  • Go veggie: I want to give the vegetarian diet another go. I thought I may start by challenging myself to stick to a veggie diet for a week, if that goes well, extend it to two weeks, and so on. If I fail, I’ll start again. In the past few weeks, I’ve already explored several veggie lunch alternatives I could rely on at work. There’s a bakery / lunch restaurant that has freshly cooked pasta dishes every day and most of them are vegetarian. And there are a bunch of different supermarkets nearby that offer different kinds of salads or other vegetarian dishes. So even if I forget to pack lunch, I’d have good alternatives.
  • Cook more: This goes along with the goal above because it’s certainly easier to stick to a certain diet when you’re prepared. But it’s also easier to lose weight and be healthy when you eat homemade food that you know the actual ingredients of and that you can alter according to your own likes or dislikes.
  • Laugh more, cry less: Sort of explains itself, really.

Challenges 2014

  • Lose weight: This is not one big challenge as such but rather one I plan to take baby steps with as before. Right now, I’m still on the first step that’s listed on my Challenges page which is to lose 2.2kg by mid-January. Since I’m still lacking a working scale, I have no reliable result but hope to be on the right track.
  • Goodreads Challenge: As every year, I’m gonna take part in the Goodreads Reading Challenge again and since I’ve struggled to reach my goal of 50 this year, I won’t up it and set it to 50 again. This time, I’ll put the widget on my Challenges page as well as soon as Goodreads lets you do that.

So, that’s all, folks!

I hope everyone has a great NYE, a lot of fun, whether you’re partying or staying home. I know I’m ready for 2014 to arrive.

Ready for 2014!

Ready for 2014!

Be safe and see you on the other side!

Categories: Bookworm, Foody, Me Myself and I, Movies, Weight Loss, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Half-Way There #3

It’s just one more day til Christmas here in Germany. I think most other countries celebrate on the 25th and even though we’ve been introduced to this by American and British movies, we still hold on to the tradition of having a fabulous Christmas dinner followed by unwrapping and quality time spent with the family on the 24th.

And of course, I finished most of the items on my little to-do list just in time.

  • Write piece for a Secret Santa due on Dec 25th 
  • Finish making mixtape + cover for another Secret Santa
  • Write another Christmas piece I’ve set Dec 24th as a deadline for
  • Buy last piece of gift for friend
  • Buy gift for mom
  • Buy Christmas cards
  • Mail gifts and cards
  • Put up last pieces of Christmas decoration
  • Tidy up and clean living room
  • Buy ingredients for baking
  • Bake Christmas cookies
  • Plan meal for Christmas Eve and look up recipes
  • Finish Goodreads reading challenge for 2013

As you can see, the only thing left undone is the baking. I had bought the ingredients last week but forgot the butter and then never got around to it. Now I plan to bake some last minute cookies after work tomorrow. I’m gonna make Vanillekipferl, a German Christmas treat. As the name suggest, they taste of vanilla and they’re very crumbly and taste best – like most things – when they’re just out of the oven! Knowing me, I’ll forget, but I may take some pictures when I’m actually done.

I was gonna make white chocolate rum balls, too, but those are just too time-consuming so instead, I’ve decided on using the white chocolate I bought for those to make cupcakes for the Christmas movie night and dinner my friend and I have planned for the 26th. I’ve never actually made proper cupcakes (I tried once but only had an American vegan recipe and ended up using all the wrong German alternatives), so I hope that’s gonna turn out fine. Watch me buy some candy from the gas station and bring that instead!

I bought my mom’s gift today, with her in tow actually. I know that was a last minute run but I had tried to buy it on Friday but couldn’t find it anywhere. She’d asked for a gift certificate, preferably Amazon. But would you believe they had no affordable Amazon gift certificates left anywhere. Only the really big ones and while my mom is worth more than money could even buy, I simply can’t afford to spend that kind of money. So I decided to go and look for one again today. But when I mentioned that I had to drive to the mall before work, she tagged along. Zing! Luckily, I managed to slip off and get her gift at one point.

The writing also went fairly well. Once I put my mind to it – and I actually like the piece I’m working on – it’s easy for me to keep going. So I had my actual Secret Santa piece done yesterday. And I literally just finished the other piece a few moments ago. All this writing has really fired me up again and I’ll try to write more. I’ve never been one to pop out another piece every few days but I used to write way more (and actually finish some, too) and I’d like to get back there.

For now, though, I’m really damn pleased with myself. I think this is the first year that I’m actually

Merry Christmas to Me

Merry Christmas to Me

finished with everything before Christmas. I’m not even counting the last item on my list now because baking is fun and it will be even nicer to enjoy the warm cookies tomorrow, on the actual Christmas Eve, so I could as well have planned it. And everything that had other people involved was finished more than just in time. Could it be I’m actually growing up? And, oh yeah, because I’ve been such a good girl – and also, maybe, because I was getting slightly pissed off with the crazy people at the mall today and still didn’t kill anyone – I treated myself to a new bag. Oops! But hello, gorgeous! Welcome to my pretty little army of bags! I regret nothing and it was on sale anyway and it has little skulls on them which my old favorite bag also had. And let me tell you, I loved that one. So much that I carried half my life around in it and that may just have been a little too heavy because the straps got ripped off. Tragic, I know.

Anyway…Merry Christmas, you guys! Or Merry Whatever-It-Is-That-You-Celebrate! Hopefully everyone who reads this has wonderful holidays.

Categories: Foody, Me Myself and I, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Holiday Spirits

Over a month has passed. Things have happened.

First of all, there was my birthday which brought forth a week of celebrations and events. Most of which I was just tagging along for. They brought fun, new people, new things, some drama and the chance to leave my own four walls for a change. And also a new age next to my name, of course. Being 30+ wasn’t well received by me and I don’t think I’ll ever get over the fact that I’m an adult. On my actual birthday, I went to a concert. It wasn’t “my” band but it was a concert. In a tiny club. The kind of gig I went to in my 20’s. And it was fun but my back reminded me of not only my age but also my weight. By the end of the night, I’m pretty sure some people were slightly disconcerted by the positions I took on to make it stop feeling uncomfortable. Sorry!

Moving on before I feel like a granny…

After the birthday shenanigans (this word makes me feel even more like a granny!), it was back to work and for some reason, I found it really hard to get back into the routine of it. I spent two weeks sleep-walking and used every single free minute to nap, even falling asleep at my desk a few times. I was starting to worry that something was seriously wrong but then I got the results from some of my blood tests. Apparently, my former doctor was a bit of an idiot because she said that my thyroid was totally fine and nothing needed to be done. That wasn’t so long ago. Well, now I’m glad my new doc insisted we test it all again when I switched because she said the values were still much, much too low. So we upped my dosage and hope that’s enough. She also asked me straight away if I hadn’t noticed anything, wasn’t feeling tired. I told her I was, very much so. She said it’s common with a low thyroid function like that. Go figure! I’d asked my former doc about it and she said fatigue never had anything to do with the thyroid. I’m so glad I finally got my act together and switched. I feel so safe and comfortable with the new doc! Not only is she really sweet and actually listens to what I say, I also feel like she actually remembers my case and knows what she’s doing. I may talk to her about the waves of depression I still encounter somewhat regularly. But I don’t know yet…

Anyway, so after two weeks of work, it was finally back to London again!

Still feeling tired, I hadn’t made many plans. I spent almost the entire ride asleep and felt like I’d been hit by a truck when we arrived, so Saturday turned out to be Shopping Day as I had no energy to come up with any interest in sightseeing.

I’m not gonna recap every single shop we went to any everything I stuffed my face with but there are two culinary things I absolutely have to mention:

Decadent Godiva White Chocolate Strawberries

Decadent Godiva White Chocolate Strawberries

One would be the most delicious and most decadent strawberries I’ve ever had. We saw them on display at Godiva on Regent Street. They had them dipped in white or dark chocolate and their sight was enough to make my mouth water. I figured they’d be a bit pricey, Godiva and all, but we didn’t even ask for a price before we bought them. Well, turns out they were 10 GBP for about six or seven strawberries. Oops! My mom also bought some delicious dark chocolates for herself and paid 6 GBP for five. But shockingly, I’ll have to stay they were so worth it! Maybe because it’s Winter and it’s rare you get delicious strawberries. Or maybe my taste buds just wanted to love them because they were so expensive. I don’t care, because…yum!

The other thing was another really good Italian restaurant that we found in a little street just off Regent Street. What I love about London is you can be right in the center, surrounded by people and chain stores, but then you turn a corner and you’re almost by yourself and you find the cutest little stores and restaurants. Just like this one. I think it was called Bella Italia or something equally cheesy. It was tiny, a bit shabby, had rude staff but it won me over immediately because it had the most delicious veggie risotto with green asparagus. So, so delicious, possibly the best Italian food I’ve ever had. Sadly, I couldn’t even finish it because the amount of food they serve you is huge. I’d meant to try their homemade desserts, too, but nope!

For the rest, I’m gonna be one of those bloggers and present you my shopping loot. But beware, most of it is very girly…

London Loot!

London Loot!

1. – 4. Books! The annual Waterstones loot is pretty small this year. I ‘parked’ my mom in the café in the basement and meant to spend hours browsing shelves. But then I kind of lost myself and needed to pee and also wanted a drink really badly, so I figured four books would do. I got The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro, Black Roses by Jane Thynne, The Mammoth Book of True Hauntings by Peter Haining and Shit My Dad Says by Justin Halpern. Only when I took this picture did I notice that all my purchases were very ‘red’, judging by the cover, the first two even looking very much alike. I don’t know what that says about me. Ha! The one by Justin Halpern was the only one I really had on a mental checklist because I’ve been hunting for it for a while and only found a German hardcover version. I’ve heard so many good things about it and can’t wait to start it.

5. Duets by Frank Sinatra. Actually, my mom bought this but she gave it to me to import to my iTunes library, too. I’d heard about this album before we left and when I saw it in HMV, I pointed it out to my mom and she instantly bought it. True fact: I love swing music a lot and this one’s so good!

6. AFI – The Lowdown. I have no idea why I bought this other than…frustration?! I’d meant to buy Knife Fight, the movie Davey Havok has an appearance in, but couldn’t find it in any HMV or elsewhere. Apparently, the UK didn’t get it, either. Then I thought I’d browse the shelves for some good old AFI, hoping I may find a single, EP, vinyl or something else I don’t have, yet because it is UK only or something. But there was nothing. And then I saw this thing. I don’t know if these kind of CD’s are a UK thing but I’ve never seen them elsewhere. Usually they consist of two or more discs that have some random person telling the band’s story and then some interviews that you’ve heard a million times before. They also come with all kinds of cheap, low quality bonus stuff like posters, stickers or whatever. I knew it wouldn’t be something I’d ever listen to. But now I have another item that says AFI sitting on my shelf. And it was only 7 GBP or something, so it’s alright.

Urban Decay DIY Palette w/ Maui Wowie and Loaded

Urban Decay DIY Palette w/ Maui Wowie and Loaded

7. Ah, one of my highlights of every London trip! A visit to House of Fraser, particularly their Urban Decay counter. UD is one of the brands that are really effing hard to get in Germany, even online. So every year, I look forward to treating myself to one or two of their goodies. This year I’d meant to check out the Naked 3 palette but they didn’t have it, yet. Then I looked around and found about a million things I wanted to buy. And finally, I ended up in front of their DIY palettes. The empty cases alone are so pretty already! And UD eye shadows are just amazing, really highly pigmented and good quality. So I like that I can buy them without having singles rolling around my makeup shelf now. I bought a case and two shadows for now (at 14 GBP each, I figured I shouldn’t buy one for all four slots yet…), Maui Wowie and Loaded. There were so many shades I loved but I went with two that I could actually use together for some looks. They were a little hard to get out of their cases and move into the palette but once they’re in, it’s easy to remove and replace them if you have to. Seeing as I didn’t really do much since London, I didn’t get to use them yet. But I still stare at them and secretly fall in love a bit more each time.

8. Ciaté Caviar Manicure. Our hotel was in Wimbledon. When we got out of the tube station and wanted to change for a train, we learned the train platform was closed, so we had to go outside and look for a bus. On our way to the bus stop, we found that Wimbledon High Street actually offers a loooot of nice shops, too, including a TK Maxx. I can never resist a TK Maxx. For a Shopaholic like me, it’s like a wonder bag. You never know what you find inside. I fell in love with about ten different bags and other things but stayed strong and didn’t pick anything up. Until I got to the cosmetics section. As usual, it was full of a lot of skin care products, soap, etc. In short: Things I don’t get excited about. But then I came across a display that had a lot of nail polishes. Including this one. I’d heard about Ciaté and especially this Caviar Manicure before but it’s just way too expensive for me to buy and experiment with. But they sold it for 7 GBP so I picked one of them up. They had three different ones and I got the Tutti Frutti one which came with a baby pink polish and sort of rainbow colored pearls. I didn’t have the patience to experiment with it, yet, but it looks easy enough.

9. Deco wet bubble balls-whateverness. What looks like a little bag of weed in the picture actually is something that I hope to be really fun. On our way to Waterstones, we came across a small Christmas fair that was organized by a church. It was so much cuter, better and more seasonal than any of the big Christmas fairs we have in Germany or the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. Basically just a dozen stalls selling handmade crafts and seasonal goods. One of those stalls didn’t really fit in because it was guy who only had a display with these bags and a bowl with little bubble balls in them. The bowl had a sign that said ‘Touch Me’ and when I did, I squeaked because the little bubble balls were wet and felt a little creepy under the touch. Sort of like the bubbles in Bubble Tea. The guy explained that you just add water to the tiny crumbles in the bag and they grow into those bigger bubbles and then you can use them as decoration, for example in a vase. I haven’t used them yet because the space where I usually have some flowers is occupied by the Christmas tree right now but if I remember, I’ll take a picture once they’re set up. I got them in black and I hope it’s gonna look pretty cool with white or pink flowers.

Hooty!

Hooty!

10. HOOTY! The other thing I couldn’t resist buying in TK Maxx. It’s just one of those plush animals that you can heat up in the microwave. I get terrible period cramps, especially in Winter and I also like to take a warm water bottle or something similar to bed with me when it’s cold, so Hooty had to come home with me. Plus, he smells of lavender! He was only 7 GBP, too, so who could resist that price and those eyes?

Not pictured: Maitresse Eau de Perfume by Agent Provocateur. I bought Flash by Jimmy Choo a few months ago and I love its scent but I get allergic reactions wherever I spray it. So I needed a replacement, and fast. I was looking around the duty free shop on the ferry and couldn’t really find anything. I tried all the different scents by Agent Provocateur but wasn’t impressed, then moved on and looked at other stuff. Somehow, I ended up sniffing the little paper strip with Maitresse on it again and again and fell in love with its scent. It seemed like one of those perfumes to me that doesn’t overwhelm people, isn’t too sweet or too heavy and I thought it’d be really subtle. Well, since then two people have asked me about it and kept sniffing me, so I guess subtle doesn’t quite cut it. Ha! But the reactions were completely positive, so no complaints from me. I think it may just be one of my favorite perfumes I’ve bought over the years.

So…that’s it! Sorry, no cool London photos or anything. Just visual proof of my shopping addiction!

Categories: Me Myself and I, Wanderlust | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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