I feel at a loss

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At the moment I feel at a loss. I am at a point in my life where everything feels insecure. My time as an university student is about to end. I realized that I don’t love my job, nor have I loved the ones I had before. A feeling in my heart tells me it is time to start a life with Mr. Perfect as couple and eventually as family, but there are issues which hinder us from living together. Above all I’m going to turn 30 this July. Isn’t this a date when I should have both feet planted firmly on the ground?

The first thoughts about my future profession came up last year and culminated in this blog: 7 things for 7 days. I so much wanted to start a blog that offers value for its readers, for you out there, that I forgot to think about myself. My voice and real interests got lost on the way, and so finally I stopped writing.

The truth is: I still love this blog and the idea behind it. But I also know that my approach so far does not work for me, and eventually for you. A blogger that feels under pressure isn’t a good blogger. Writing needs to come from the heart.

My heart might be filled with unease, but I do burn for  a healthy, happy life in harmony with our planet. Every day I try to shape my life a bit more in a direction that will make me and future generations proud. Sustainability is the keyword. And above all: happiness.

I’ve got several ideas where the 7 things could come in, but I’ll see to that later. Until then I’ll start with small steps and make myself really at home here. Only if I feel at home, this can be a place where I can invite you to feel cozy and inspired as well. Let’s take this journey together, ‘kay?

Have you ever been in a situation when your future felt like a big black hole? What did you do not to fall into despair? I really could need some advice ♥

In love with: amanda catherine designs

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Hi everyone, it’s Valentine’s Day. And I’m pretty sure you noticed I’m not able to post regular at the moment (and this makes me cry). But I had to drop by today…well, because it’s love day. And I’m in love with Amanda Heller’s etsy shop amanda catherine designs.

I’m a big fan of prints like hers. Typography is the real secret of good design. It’s the key to good webdesign and it can change the atmosphere of a room.

My favorite is the “She dreams in perfect French”. I’d love to see a “She dreams in color” especially for me :)

And guess what. There’s even a shop category for the Pantone color of the year: emerald green ♥

All pictures used upon approval by Amanda Helmer. Thank you ♥

7 things for 7 days: February 2013 week 06

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  1. If you are not already watching the 47th Superbowl go and crash your neighbors’ party NOW ;)
  2. February is love month and it’s such a cute twist to a meal to serve something heart shaped. You can use cookie cutters for rather soft vegetables and fruits and there are many more tricks how to get your food into heart shape on my Valentine’s Day pinterest board.
  3. I had to include this point after I had stumbled upon this wonderful blog post by simple as that. It includes a recipe for homemade playdough and adorable pictures.
  4. On February 9th the Chinese New Year comes to an end and the year of the snake starts. Time for some fortune cookies?
  5. And another love month activity: you could prepare a “heart attack” for someone. Cut out paper hearts and write down reasons why you love that person. Cute examples can be seen here and here.
  6. I told you about the January fitness calender by shrinking jeans, right? They’ve got a new one for February. And believe me, if I can do it, you can, too!
  7. Haha, this might sound funny, but my socks tend to vanish. At least one of the pair. And what to do with the other one? If you’re a bunny owner add one or two wholes and fill it with hay. If you’Re a crafter there’s an endless number of tutorials for sock monsters or plushies on pinterest ;)

 

7 things for 7 days: January/February 2013 week 05

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  1. Last week I made an insurance check and realized I can save some money. When did you check yours for the last time? Do you really need all of them? Or do you have the most important insurances?
  2. Hot chocolate is so much more for me than a beverage: it reminds me of being a child, it soothes me and gives me a feeling of comfort. When I deicded to do without dairy products I was worried about my favorite treat, until I tried this recipe from The Gracious Pantry. If you substitute the honey for maple or agave syrup the recipe is vegan. And it tastes so good.
  3. January 29th is Puzzle Day. Any more words needed? ;)
  4. Winter is the hardest time of the year for the skin. It gets all dry and itchy. Let’s take good care of it, especially now.
  5. Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice turns 200 years this month. To be precise it was published for the first time on January 28th 1813. And it’s perfect entertainment for a cozy evening on the couch, either the book or a good screen adaptation.
  6. To take care of my skin I like to use bath oils. But you can tell if you take a look at my bathtub. My plan is to give it a good eco-friendly scrub this week with a recipe I found on Rebecca likes….
  7. Well, January is coming to an end. February is the month for lovers. It’s finally time to collect ideas for Valentine’s Day. As inspiration you could take a look at my pinterest board.

 

7 things for 7 days: January 2013 week 04

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  1. January 21st is National Hug Day in the United States, but this holiday has spread to other countries, too. Not sure what a hug could change? Let the Free Hug Campaign inspire you (I love this video, it always makes me cry)
  2. I declutter my magazines on a regular basis. That means I check if there are old issues I can sell, give away to family or friends or even throw away. Sometimes I even take the time to browse through them again and only keep the pages and articles that will be important or useful in the fututre.
  3. There won’t be a snowball fight in July if you don’t prepare and freeze those snowballs now.
  4. 21 days are the first step to make new habits stick. At the beginning of the year I started a new fitness routine and tomorrow it’ll be 3 weeks *high five* Now my Mr. Perfect rewarded me with new shirts and 1kg toning balls. Have you made it so far? Reward yourself!
  5. Did you know January is the most depressing time of the year? Get a flower fix. Floral design on a shirt, a new plant for the window or a pretty bouquet…as long as it makes you happy, everything is fine.
  6. If you check websites like Martha Stewart or Real Simple at this time of the year, you get the feeling that kale is the vegetable. Confession: I’ve never ever tried it in my whole live. Time to change this, I guess :)
  7. Over the last week the world looked to Cologne and the imm design fair for the newest trends concerning interior design and living. I went there for an international Blogger Meet Up and for example met Igor of the lovely Happy Interior Blog who did a nice wrap up of five trends you should know about. Of course nobody of us lives entirely like that, but my plan is to bring more flair into my home by integrating these trends. It’s the small details that make a change.

Have a great week!

In love with: Forestblue Factory

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Forestblue factory is the name behind some of the loveliest homemade dolls I’ve ever seen. What caught my eye was this little mouse with antlers ♥

We are talking about a Dutch woman here who has loved to make her own dolls since she was a little girl. Once she rediscovered her passion for being creative she started to make all those heartwarming forest animals like foxes, deer or bears.

Oh, how I love the jumping bunny and the look on the wolf’s face. It’s like each and every one of them has its own character. Forestblue Factory uses only organic wool or recycles knitted sweaters for her creations.

Honestly, I’d love to buy all of her dolls. If you want to do so you can find her on etsy with the Forestblue Factory Shop. More pictures and insight into the life of the woman behind the felted animals offers her tumblr.

All pictures used upon approval by Forestblue Factory. Thank you ♥

7 things for 7 days: January 2013 week 03

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  1. The 52-Week Money Challenge is all over the net. It’s a clever and fun way to save $1,378 dollars in one year. Because the budget is usually thight towards the end of the year you could do the challenge in reverse order or use the alternative system described in this BlogHer article.
  2. Board games are one of my many passions. Together with my friends I meet on a regular basis to simply play. Get that old boards games down from the attic and have a game night with your friends and/or family.
  3. It’s carneval season in Germany, and for Germans that’s serious business…or rather not ;) It’s a time to go out, have fun and dress up. I loved to dress up as a child and I’m pretty sure your kids will love it, too.
  4. I know, I know. Just yesterday I wrote a post about how to store the christmas ornaments and fairy lights, but I think one string of lights should stay. Not as Christmas decoration but to keep that same magic the holidays usually hold for us. I plan to make my bedroom more cozy with mine.
  5. Today one of my best friends joind Mr. Perfect and me for dinner. We prepared vegetarian sushi together and it was so much fun. Are evenings like this a normal part of your social life or have you never tried it?
  6. You might think: what is she talking about…”the little helpers”. Well, I talk about the order of search engines in your internet browser. Or do all pens you’ve got on the desk actually write? Are the scissors in the kitchen still sharp and do you exactly know where to find rubber bands or band-aids? You get the idea.
  7. Last but not least: it’s time for the Golden Globes. If I want to watch them live I need to stay up all night *sigh* But even that can’t keep me from watching ;) If you live in the US grab your girl friends and make a Golden Globe party. Here’s inspiration for drinks and snacks.

How to: Store Christmas decorations

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I don’t like the day I have to pack away all the Christmas decorations. Desperately I cling to the holidays as long as possible, but this blog is all about living with the seasons, right? So the Advent stuff has to go and make room for new decorations and craft ideas.

Because Christmas and everything connected to it takes such a special place in my heart it is important to store Christmas decorations in a safe and functional way.

How to store Christmas ornaments

For all the Christmas ornaments I bought special boxes, which are available each year at the supermarket. They are made from cardboard and designed to hold two tiers with compartments. I own two of those boxes and they contain almost all Christmas decorations I’ve got.

If you can’t find an ornament storage box at your local supermarket take a look at Martha Stewart’s brilliant idea: she uses cardboard and paper cups to turn a normal storage box into a Christmas storage. For smaller ornamnets you can also use egg cartons (see example here).

How to store fairy lights

One of the biggest problems for me had always been fairy lights. They misteriously used to tangle and turn out as one big Gordian knot next December. The solution is so easy I wonder why I never came up with the idea myself. A piece of old cardboard or a paper roll do the trick. Wind the fairy lights around and there you go. Nothing to unknot 11 months later.

Do you have any tipps you’d like to add? Please leave a comment :)

Friday Freebie: Crochet Rainbow Granny Stripe Cowl Pattern

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Haha, I should’ve come up with a shorter name. So here it is. Finally the next Friday Freebie: a Crochet Rainbow Granny Stripe Cowl Pattern.

It’s a quick project that’s easily finished within a couple of hours. The basic pattern is besides some slight alterations equivalent to the Granny Stripe Blanket Pattern by Lucy of Attic24.

I made this cowl as a Christmas present for the lovely Sari of mondgras.de

What you’ll need:

  • DK/Light Worsted yarn in six colors (this pattern could be used to reduce your stash)
  • 5mm crochet hook
  • two large buttons
  • a darning needle

The pattern is written with US crochet terms.

Gauge:

After row 1 the width should be about 42 cm.

Abbreviations:

single crochet (sc)
half double crochet (hdc)
double crochet (dc)

Pattern:

Chain 66.

Row 1
Make a hdc in the 2nd chain from hook. Continue with hdcs till end of row. That means you skip one chain and work a total of 65 hdcs.
Turn the work.

Row 2
Chain 3 (counts as first dc). Make one dc into first stitch.
* skip two stitches, work 3 dc into next stitch * Repeat everything between the stars ** until there are only three stitches left.
Skip two stitches and work 2 dcs into last stitch of the row.
Turn the work.

Row 3
Chain 3 (counts as first dc). Work thre dcs into every space between the 3 dc clusters of previous row.
Make one dc in last stitch (that’s the third chain of the three chains at the beginning of previous row).

Row 4

Because I’m lazy, that’s the point where I simply tie in the second color very, very closely (with a tail long enough to weave in the end later) to the last dc I just made and continue working with the new color. Cut off old color but leave a tail so you can weave in the end later.

Turn the work.

Chain 3 (counts as first dc). Make one dc into first space (that’s the one between the previous row’s last dc and last 3 dc cluster).
Work thre dcs into every space between the 3 dc clusters of previous row until there’s only one space left (that’s the one between the first 3 dc cluster of the previous row and the 3 chains at the very beginning of row 3).
Work one dc into space. Work one dc into last stitch (that’s the third chain of the three chains at the beginning of previous row).
Turn the work.

Row 5
Chain 3 (counts as first dc).
Work thre dcs into every space between the 3 dc clusters of previous row.
Work one dc into last stitch (that’s the third chain of the three chains at the beginning of previous row).

 

Repeat rows 4 and 5 four more times.
Turn the work.
Chain one. Skip first stitch and work hdcs into all stitches till end of row.
Fasten off and weave in loose ends.

To finish the cowl add the two buttons at one end of the cowl. I sewed mine to the upper rigth corner and about half way down.

Very easy and a cute way to add some color to grey winter days. Hope you like the pattern. If there are any questions (actually, this is my first crochet pattern ever) please feel free to comment. And last but not least: a picture of me trying on the Rainbow Cowl ;)

Growing cress the cute way

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In my 7 things for 7 days last Sunday I suggested to grow some sprouts, for example Alfalfa or cress. Maybe everyone has tried this before but is sick of the ugly glass sprouters? Here comes the cute solution :)

Aren’t these adorable? Another Studio turned growing cress into something that looks even good next to an iMac, and I have to say it’s not easy for something to look better than anything by Apple ;) But seriously, the so called Matchcarden make it easy to have something cute, stylish and healthy at the office desk.

It doesn’t matter if you are a city or a countryside girl, there’s a cress garden for everyone. For even more freshness there are the bigger sized Postcarden.

Where to buy:
The cress mini gardens are available through the Another Studio shop (international shipping). In Germany there’s also the possiblity to buy them from the following Dawanda sellers: petit mouton and Casa di Sue.

All pictures provided by Another Studio (another-studio.com)