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Tuesday, February 28, 2017


February's theme is "Love"

Unfortunately I didn't had the opportunity to travel to five locations that display a LOVE sculpture. 

Photo Source

If I had, though, these would have been my choices:

  • Philadelphia
  • Las Vegas
  • San Francisco
  • Singapore
  • Lisbon

So at first I was gonna use pictures of flowers, chocolate hearts, pink jewellery and purses. But that felt lame. Also I just posted about Valentine's Day anyway. Instead this is what I'm going with:

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Top Ten Thursday - Motivation

Welcome to Top Ten Thursday!

After celebrating Valentine's Day, probably enjoying lots of good food and (sparkling) wine last week, let's get back to work today! What? You're low on


I know, me, too, it's a bitch. I struggle finding motivation for many things. It took until mid-February for me to put away all the Christmas decoration! 

Today I'm supposed to work out, there is a pile of laundry, I still haven't started dinner much less shopped or prepped for it... As I'm writing this I'm thinking I should combine those. Doing laundry is part of the workout, and I should make it a healthy dinner so I don't have to work out too much, hahaha!

I turned to YouTube for help, and I came across two of Kalyn Nicholson's videos that I liked and used:  How to get motivated and 5 Procrastination Hacks because let's be honest, procrastination is motivation's worst enemy, amIright?

Let's see what she has to say:

Get up earlier - ugggghhh, really? Do I have to? (I'm dropping this one. After all we just need a list of ten)
  1. Listen to upbeat music. Totally agree. I like Bad Romance in the kitchen. Lady Gaga provides my veggie chopping soundtrack! I recently borrowed an old Status Quo album from the library. Cross that Bridge has become my motivational song while driving to the gym!
  2. Clean your space to allow for a less cluttered mind. Now if only I could find the motivation to clean up... She's right, though. Less stuff sitting around -> less distraction -> more focus on what's important!
  3. Plan out your daily, weekly and monthly goals - more about that below.
  4. Be active, make plans with friends! Take your cute ass out the door. I don't know about cute, but yeah, let's go out there!
  5. If you work from home, don't bury yourself there, go and work at Starbucks (gotta love that one!)
  6. Treat yourself to something that supports your goal (in my case that'd be pink workout gear!)
  7. Make a to do list - take your goals and projects she's talking about in #3 and break them down into actual activities and small, doable tasks, prioritize!
  8. Just start, don't (over)think. On the count of 3, just do it!!! Gain momentum! (I like that one!) I also read about the 10 minute trick. If you need to do something that seems hard and time consuming, promise yourself to just do 10 minutes. At the very least you got done a little bit, best case scenario, once you've overcome that hard starting phase, you end up getting it all done!
  9. Don't be too hard on yourself, be kind! Believe in yourself.
  10. Ask yourself why you want to do it? What are you gaining from it?
Bonus hack, but oh so important: be realistic! Don't expect perfection, just get it done! 
Or in my case (see picture below) GET SHIT DONE!

This is hard for me because in my mind I either do it right or not at all. I realize though that oftentimes this is stopping me from getting started at all. 

Writing down goals and tasks is tedious for me, so nice notebooks, pads or apps help me! 
I don't only use them for to do stuff but mostly for ideas for my blog or upcoming activities / events. I stick schedules and maps in there for example. 

Your turn now: what are things that you do that help you to get going? Leave a comment or link up your post using the link-tool.

What's up next Thursday, March 2nd? I will to do the following, and I'd love for you to join in:

Create a vision board (physically on a board or a piece of paper or simply in a collage on your computer, or ten individual pictures or descriptions) and present the top ten featured things in your blog post! Can't wait for that one! Sign up here.

The week after, March 9 let's list 10 unusual or crazy things we've done in our lives. Like stayed at a hotel in your own town, baked Christmas cookies in June or left rain gear at home despite 100% chance of precipitation! Here's the sign up.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Top Ten Thursday - Valentine's Day

Welcome to Top Ten Thursday!

After talking about breaking up and romantic movies last week we're here to discuss February 14 today

I'm pretty conflicted about Valentine's Day. 

On one hand I like the thought of taking out one day of the whole year that is dedicated to celebrate love and romance. 

A word to those who say "I don't need a special day to buy you flowers to tell you I love you, I can do so all year long!" 

Well? How many guys do you personally know who occasionally drop into a flower shop to pick up some roses?

On the other hand I think it's discriminating against those who don't have a romantic person in their lives. 

Plus expectations and reality usually collide dramatically.

This is of course from the female viewpoint. We expect:
  1. Romance
  2. Surprise
  3. Glitter
  4. Spark
  5. Sweetness

Have you seen the Bachelor? A proposal at the starlight room sounds about right. 

The beach would be fantastic, too. More imporant than the location is to find the right words, though, right, Chris O'Donnell's character?

What realistically happens (probably for both parties):
  1. Pressure
  2. Stress
  3. Budget Bust
  4. Consumerism
  5. Disappointment 

Guys (I know, I have sooo many male readers...), if you're looking for ideas:
It really doesn't take much. Everybody can't rent a plane with a message. Cook for us, do the dishes, take over the kids' betime routine... If you don't wanna do it on Feb 14 you may pick the other 364 days of the year ;-)

Your turn now: 
what are things that you (dis)like about Valentine's Day?
Leave a comment below or link up your own post!

What's up next Thursday, February 23? We are sticking our heads together to find motivation to do those things that are important to us - but so very hard to do!

The week after, March 2nd, it's my birthday! You may list the top ten things you're shipping to me. Kidding. 

I'd like to do the following, and I'd love for you to join in:

Create a vision board (physically on a board or a piece of paper or simply in a collage on your computer, or ten individual pictures or descriptions) and present the top ten featured things on your blog! Can't wait for that one! Sign up here.

PS: Here are my previous Valentine's posts:

Friday, February 10, 2017

Use Your Words - Pork Belly

Photo Credit

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once, and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are:

anonymous ~ confused ~ required ~ jeopardy ~ cold

Don't be confused, they weren't submitted anonymously but by the one and only Baking In A Tornado - thanks, Karen!

Now that I have two words down, I'm only required to use the rest of them ;-)

It has become a tradition around here that I use my February words to tell you guys about our office Christmas dinner that usually takes place in January:

2014: Mongolian Fire 

egregious ~ performance ~ assumption ~ luxurious ~ bursting with pride ~ spicy

2015: Oh, Deer! 

anchor ~  callous  ~  antique ~ deer ~ genes 
Update on Mael, the kid who suffers from NPC: He became a big brother once again, his sister Ella is turning two these very days, and apart from some hearing loss he's doing OK. He is participating in a medical blind study that takes him to Birmingham every other week where they (don't) give him Cyclodextrin (I happen to think that he's one of the lucky ones actually getting the agent.)

2016: Eintr8 

silence ~ silhouette ~ hissing ~ flicker ~ memory

This year we chose a restaurant that had been closed for ages while they were doing a remodelling. The new and imporved building looks nice!

The previous owner's wife was from the Philippines, so their cuisine was pretty exotic. The new people's menu is more traditional, but there is nothing wrong with a Chateaubriand, right? 

While the others went for fries, pasta or risotto for their side dish I said I'd be perfectly happy with veggies. Little did I know that the veggies were gonna be spinach, Belgian endive, Brussels sprout and eggplant. Who likes this??? Not me. The meat was excellent, though.

At least they managed to produce some good old carrots and broccoli the second time around.

This year we had a new person at our table. He's not technically a coworker as he just rents some office space and takes use of services like answering his phone when he's out of office which happens a lot because of his assignment as a city council.

The other day his line rang, and the display said "police department". (Aren't their numbers usually blocked and result in saying "anonymous caller"?) 

I nervously answered.

When he returned from his meeting I shooed him away from the entrance. 

"Where did you park, out front?" 

He left his car in the back. 

"Good, that's good, quickly, get away from the door, they're probably watching you and are to come to get you any minute." 

He was probably thinking I was losing it but calmly asked what this was all about.

"Police are looking for you!"

"Oh yeah? Why would that be?"

"That's what I wanna know!!! What did you do? They were calling, asking about your whereabouts!"

Unfortunately I couldn't keep my face straight and laughed. 

They said they misdialed.

He told me he wasn't afraid of the police, actually he used to be their office appliance outfitter back in the olden days when they had typewriters. 

"When we were rolling out a new model there were parked up to ten police cars at once in front of my office building," he smirked. "Can you imagine the gossip?"

Speaking of anonymous callers, on that day I was dealing with a particularly annoying telemarketer from the UK. He called about every two hours asking for the managing director, that would be my husband. He's never available for Pork Bellies as we like to call them. 

I always try to be polite, yet dismissive. This one was overly aggressive, and at some point I wasn't all "he's busy would you like to leave a message" but "look, he doesn't want to buy anything, and he doesn't want to invest money over the phone, if you don't want to tell me what it is about he's not gonna wanna talk to you anyway."
"I''m calling from a trading floor."
"See, I can tell you right away - he's not gonna wanna talk to you, no offense."
"What do you even know about trading floors?"
"Enough that I can tell you with absolute certainty that he's not gonna wanna talk to you. I'm sorry. Don't waste your - and my - time."
"OK, I'll call back on Monday"

Yeah, good luck. I'm not there on Mondays, and my coworker doesn't speak English.

We had some super yummy Italian wine - my exception for that night. After three king's day there has been no more alcohol for me otherwise, same goes for cake and other high carb foods. It's been hard, my friends! I'll talk more about my journey using the A-Z blogging challenge in April.

As it turned out the bottle came from our friend who is a wine distributor. 

"Did you hear what happened to him at the airport?" my coworker asked. 

Our friend, who is usually all about work, work, work, went to visit a lady friend in Bulgaria. It has been many years that he had not taken a flight, so he was confused about pretty much everything. Why didn't they send him a paper ticket, wasn't he required to have a ticket? How was he supposed to check in if no counters were open, why aren't the terminals not called A, B or C anymore (but 1, 2 and 3 - I have no idea either?) 

You can tell that he was excited about his trip. He got himself a new shampoo, shower gel and after shave but unfortunately put them in his carry-on, and of course every single bottle got confiscated by the security officer. 

Judging from the pictures he posted on Facebook he didn't mourn the loss of his toiletries. They went to a tennis game and a rock concert and enjoyed good food. I am bit disappointed to explicetly read that they are not a couple, just good friends. Yeah, well, you never know. I have been in the situation before that I didn't want to place a good friendship in jeopardy by making a move. 

During the evening temps were dropping to the point that it was cold enough for some new snow. By the time we were ready to go home, there was so much snow so some anonymous admirer could leave a message for my coworker:

He walked around his car a couple of times but couldn't find a phone number!?

There you have it! Office Christmas Party 2016/17! By the time you're reading this, I finally managed to put away all of the remaining Christmas decoration. For no specific reason I was taking my sweet time this year.

Now before you leave, check out the other posts:

Baking In A Tornado                        
Spatulas on Parade                   
The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver                      
On the Border           
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy   
The Bergham Chronicles                     

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Top Ten Thursday - Movie Review

Welcome to Top Ten Thursday!

After covering a difficult subject of friends breaking up last week, let's do something lighter today:

Little did I know that I was going to get a movie prompt for this month's secret subject swap: What book have your read that you know would make an awesome movie? As it turned out pretty much every book that I like has already been used to shoot a film!!

Here's the movie I picked for today's post - it may or may not come as a surprise:

It's probably my all time favourite. My then boyfriend and I went to watch it as soon as it came out in Switzerland. I remember we were sitting at our favourite pasta bar asking the waiter for a movie theater program. "We'd like to watch when Harry met Sally but we're not sure if it is playing yet" we told him. For some reason he was super confused. "Who is Harry?" he asked. "I'm not sure I can help you if you want to meet a friend at the movies..."

In the meantime I have been watching it so many times on DVD, I could probably write down a summary about a hundred pages worth ;-)

So here are ten things that make me wonder...

  1. If Sally and Amanda are such good friends, why doesn't Sally even get out of her car to hug her friend goodbye? After all she's moving to New York City, leaving her best friend behind?
  2. Sally, organised as she is, brought a map and figured out after how many hours / miles they should take breaks and switch places. She said it was an 18 hours' trip. Now I don't know if between the late 1970s and today they built any new Interstates or if traffic actually decreased (haha), but today, Goolge Maps says, you may get from Chicago to NYC in less than 12 hours. 790 miles on I-90 and I-80, voil√†!
  3. I took the time to actually write down Sally's Apple Pie à la Mode order: This is her first choice: Heated pie, strawberry ice cream, fresh whipped cream. Second choice: pie, not heated, plain.
  4. Harry moved to NYC and he brought a large-ish bag, a duffel bag and his baseball bat! Guys?!?!?
  5. Of the businesses occurring in the movie some currently still exist: United Airlines, New York Magazine, Katz's Delicatessen while others didn't make it: the Sharper Image (no more retail stores), Shakespeare & Co. I understand their closing the store after a Barnes and Noble opened nearby, inspired Nora Ephron for her next movie "you've got mail". (there is still a store at a different location)
  6. "The clock doesn't really start to click until you're 36" - well, don't kid yourself now. The first couple of articles Google came up with are talking about women's fertility peaking at their mid twenties. Sorry, Sally. I experienced first hand that trying to conceive in my mid thirties was no walk in the park.
  7. I was wondering who actually played against the New York Giants while Harry told his friend Jesse about Helen's moving out, thank God for my friend Eli who knew right away: "Those are the Detroit Lions."
  8. Harry likes his coffee "industrial strength" while Sally's at-the time boyfriend Julian asked for decaf. (Pictionary scene) Doesn't that speak volumes about what kind of guys they are?
  9. "I'll have what she was having" the lady at the Deli is producer Rob Reiner's Mom. Obviously the Katz team put up a plaque above the table where the fake orgasm scene was being filmed.
  10. Two things I don't get even after watching the movie for the gazillionth time: a) why is Sally wearing a black dress to her friend's wedding and b) why does Harry think Sally is "the dog"?


Your turn now: what are things that surprise you in your favourite movie?

What's up next Thursday, February 16? I can't help it but I feel we need to talk about Valentine's Day: why do you love (or hate or simply ignore) it, what are your top ten thoughts on Valentine's Day?

The week after, February 23rd, we are going to post our top ten things that help us to get motivated to work out, to clean up, to do whatever it takes in order to achieve our goals.

Friday, February 3, 2017

February Secret Subject Swap - And... Action!

Welcome to February's Secret Subject Swap. Again 14 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My subject is 
Which book have you read that you know would make an awesome movie (any genre or age group)?

It was submitted by Dinosaur Superhero Mommy thank you, Karen!

You know what? Going through my top ten favourite books ever... I came to realize that pretty much all of them have been turned into a movie already!

This is my original list I posted a couple of years ago: