3.31.2016

March Beauty Favorites

Beauty Favorites

I cannot believe that today is already the last day of March - it is true what they say, time just keeps on flying by. Before we know it summer will be here and school will be over. Crazy how the cycle just keeps going on and on.

This March I indulged in a wonderful new perfume - Narciso Rodriguez For Her. There was a sample in a magazine I had purchased and I just couldn't stop holding it to my nose. I just had to have it and I love it. I am also a fan of Garnier anything. Their products are perfect for my slightly oily skin and help my teint look fresh and matte almost all day long. Hence the Matte Maker from Maybelline, another one of my faves this month.

The Dior mascara is the bees knees. I love the shape of the brush which makes applying it so easy and fun. The Clarins brow kit is also one of my faves I discovered this month. Having nice eyebrows is the finishing touch to any make up and I like using powders to fill in and shape my brows rather than a brow pen. What about you?

What are some of you beauty faves this month?

Happy Thursday xxx

3.30.2016

How I Feel in 5 Words.


Aren't short work weeks just awesome. I mean, how wonderful is it that it's already Wednesday? I am alone at the office today, my co-worker I share an office with had to call in sick and although I am sorry for her not feeling well, I am very pleased with the silence in our office today.
 
So, here's how I feel in 5 words:
 
1. Content.
 
2. Relieved.
 
3. Anxious.
 
4. Sleepy.
 
5. Hungry.
 
I am off to breakfast break - today I brought my Müsli with me and cannot wait to devour it.
 
Now it's your turn - How Are You Today?
 
Hugs xxx
 

3.29.2016

Tuesday Thoughts After a Long Weekend

Tuesday Thoughts
(image source)
 
It's always a bit hard returning to the daily grind after a long weekend - especially if you took 2 days off beforehand to make it an even longer break. Those 6 days off were pure bliss even though I had to deal with horrific headaches and migraines most part of them. Sleep was hard to find last night due to a thunderstorm and maybe a little too much caffeine during the day (I had forgone on coffee during my headaches) and now I am sitting in front of my computer at work like a zombie, but it will be a short work week and the sun seems to making its way through the clouds, so I guess all will be good.

Re-connecting with some of our family both through a visit on Friday and a phone call on Thursday kinda got me thinking. Why is it that we sometimes lose sight of the ones close to us. Be it a friend or a family member - how do we become estranged? Most of the time it's just life that gets in our way. We are too busy or the other one is. Someone moves away and the distance takes over the relationship. Sometimes we just need a break from one another to see things in a different way when re-connecting again.

And isn't it strange how some relationships are meant to come to an end while others are just waiting to be revived?

Happy Tuesday, everyone!
Hugs xxx
 

3.28.2016

Easter Weekend Recap

Easter Weekend 2016

Our Easter weekend was spent with family, indulging in good food and drinks, having great conversations, taking long walks with the pup and some much needed downtime on the sofa watching Netflix and working on my knitted summer shawl.

On Friday we drove the 1.5 hours to Stuttgart to visit family we hadn't seen in at least 3 years. It was so much fun catching up and spending a few hours talking and laughing. The day ended at a wonderful restaurant with delicious food - sadly it also ended with an excruciating migraine for me, which lastet all day on Saturday and slowly crept its way into Sunday. Gladly I got rid of it during the day and now feel so much better.

I have been dealing quite a lot with migraines in the past few months and after enduring yet another horrific episode, I have come to the conclusion of getting to the bottom of them and finding out what is causing them. They might come from my stiff and tense neck muscles due to my desk job, but I think there are other triggers as well. Long story short, first thing tomorrow is to make an appointment with my chiropractor to sort things out and to make it better.

Anyway, Easter Sunday we had family over for food, cake and fun. We had a relaxing day even though we were the hosts, because we had prepared everything beforehand, so we wouldn't  have to spend all day in the kitchen while the others were having fun. We do have an open floor plan, which means the kitchen is open to the dining room which expands into the family/ living room, but it's no fun to spend all day in the kitchen when guests are over. Am I right?

So, tell me, how was your Easter Weekend?

Hugs xxx

3.23.2016

How I Feel in 5 Words.

How I Feel in 5 Words.

Today I am feeling really good. I took 2 days off before Easter and today is the first day of Spring break here in southern Germany, so my girl and I are about to head out to see Zoomania with a friend. I am sure there will be a stroll through the mall afterward, just for looking of course.

Having the day off has me feeling all:

1. Happy.

2. Excited.

3. Relieved.

4. Calm.

5. Anxious.

I spent the morning with a cup of coffee, "How to get away with Murder" and some knitting on the sofa. Ah, that is truly pure bliss to me. Especially when I am the only one up, so it's just me and my furry girls. There is nothing more relaxing than to enjoy some me time during the quiet of the morning.

How is your day and more importantly, how are you?

Hugs xxx

J O I N   M E 
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3.22.2016

Tuesday Treasury | Etsy Favorites of The Week.

Etsy Favorites of the Week

(Etsy)

I used to whip up a treasury on Etsy every other week to showcase the things that had caught my eye browsing all the wonderful handmade goodies. That was when I still had my own little Etsy shop where I sold my knitted and felted goodies. I closed the shop when we returned to Germany in 2011.

Well, it's been a while, obviously, since making such a collage. Then the other day while I was looking for something on Etsy I thought, why not make one. Especially now that it has become so easy to add an item to a treasury (there is a link underneath each article allowing you to add it to one of your treasury lists or to create a new one). And if you know me, you know I love collages to show the things I adore. The link beneath the picture will take you to the actual treasury where you can find the links to each item.

So, here are some of the things that caught my eye and made it onto my wishlist - just in case - you never know.

Happy Tuesday!
Hugs xxx

J O I N   M E 
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3.21.2016

Welcome Spring.

Welcome Spring.

Last week was the sunniest this year so far and I was so looking forward to a sunny weekend filled with gardening. Well, what can I say, the sun left on Friday afternoon and will probably return this morning. Perfect timing, right. I guess that's just life. Needless to say that gardening wasn't on the agenda, because it was freezing cold outside. But, I had a wonderful weekend nonetheless which ended at our favorite Italian restaurant on Sunday evening.

Life is unpredictable and that's probably for the best. We have to learn to take things as they are and stop worrying too much. I know I do. Me being the over-thinker I am. I tend to worry way too much about everything. Maybe it's because I'm a woman, or a mom, or both. Whatever - I am trying to let go a bit more and it feels great!

Yesterday was the first day of Spring which means the weather will be changing day by day and I am looking forward to feeling more myself and more whole again once the sun allows me to let the itch in my green thumb going.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Let's make this week rock!

Hugs xxx

J O I N   M E 
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3.18.2016

Happy Friday | V16.11

Happy Friday

Ah, Friday at last. I am so happy the weekend is finally here. The sun has been shining for the past few days and I have been dreading to get outside, instead of sitting at my desk at work. It's been a good week work wise - I got a lot accomplished and feel rather satisfied, but now it's time to unwind, do some much needed gardening to get my backyard ready for spring and it's time to spend some quality time with my peeps.

With that being said, here are 10 of my happy moments of this past week:

1. Sunshine

2. Compliments from a stranger

3. Happy fur babies when I get home

4. A new season of Grey's and TWD

5. Tears during the Finale of Downton Abbey

6. A goodie bag from my employer 3M

7. Easter is so close

8. New shoes for my girl = a big smile on her cute face

9. Re-connecting with some family

10. Making plans for a weekend get away soon

I finally watched the finale of Downton Abbey - it was pretty emotional. I will truly miss it and I might have to re-watch the whole thing at some point. Funny how a show or its characters can grow so close to ones heart and how hard it can be to let go. I guess I am just too emotionally involved when watching shows like Downton Abbey. 

What about you? Do you cry ugly tears when watching shows like that as well? 


J O I N   M E 
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3.17.2016

Happy St. Paddy's

St. Paddy's

Wishing you all a wonderful day be it Irish or not!


J O I N   M E 
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3.16.2016

How I Feel in 5 Words.

How are you today?
(image source)
 
It's Wednesday and the sun is shining outside my office window. I wish I were at home to take a long walk with the pup even though it is still rather chilly out. But instead I am typing up this post duing breakfast break at work.
 
This week has been a bit of a drag so far and I hope to get it over with quickly. I think I am in need of a little vacation. I might plan a surpise trip with the fam for this coming weekend. I will keep you posted.
 
Today I am:
 
1. Tired.
 
2. Excited.
 
3. Ambitious.
 
4. Determined.
 
5. Glad.
 
How has your week been going so far? Anything fun or exciting happened? Or are you having a bit of a hard time as well?
 
Hugs xxx
 
J O I N   M E 
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3.15.2016

5 Important Career Strategies for Women

5 career strategies for women

Women are becoming more and more successful in their jobs. The percentage of women-owned businesses has doubled in the past 10 - 15 years. There are more women in managerial or executive positions than in the past. But sadly there is still a lack of pay equity in any job field you look at. Full-time working female managers for example earn about 86 cents per dollar a male manager in the communications industry earns. This is still an obstacle we have to face in our every day work life. If I compare my salary to a male employee working full time in a similar position , well, to be honest - I could cry and it makes me angry. 

Why is it that we don't get the same financial credit as our male co-workers do? Why is the work we do so little worth compared to men? But there are some things us women can use as a secret weapon to level the field in a work world where it still seems inevitable for us females to fight for our right of equity.

Here are 5 Strategies to help you achieve the reputation you deserve:

1. Knowledge is Power
This is probably the most powerful strategy for us to use. We need to try and get as much education and training we possibly can. Aim for the highest degree you can and make use of financial aids if necessary - there is nothing more valuable than education. Some employers offer training programs or other opportunities for professional development - use them and make it a point in your job interview that you want to keep on developing your skills.

2. Interpersonal Skills
It is no secret that men and women communicate differently. Especially when it comes to interpersonal competence, which is becoming more and more important in view of organizational success. This doesn't mean women's way of communicating is better than men's, but it is more befitting for building relationships with customers or partnering with suppliers. 

3. Make a plan
Where do you see yourself in 5, 10 or 15 years from now? Do you still want to be doing the exact same thing you are now? No? I didn't think so. If you are anything like me, you see yourself growing and developing. Helping you move on to a better position and striving to be better at what you do.

4. Build Your Confidence
Not too long ago I was told that confidence is probably the most important quality for your career success. Confident people are likeable - they trigger the assumption that being successful isn't hard at all and make you want to be just as confident and successful as they are. How to be confident you ask? Believe in yourself, think about past successes and seek encouragement.

5. Display your Strength
Show others what you are capable of. Make sure they know of your accomplishments, how good you are at what you do and let your boss know what you are up to. Self promoting is hard and women tend to feel awkward in doing so. But if you really want to develop yourself and keep growing your career you have to make sure the "important" people know about you so that they can recommend you yet to others again and so on….Keep spreading the word about how awesome you are!

With that being said I want to point out that all women are awesome at what they do. Being a stay-at-home mom is just as much a challenge and hard work as heading to a job outside of home everyday. No matter what we do, where we do it or when - us women rock at it and we will never cease to - after all, we are women!

Happy Tuesday xxx


J O I N   M E 
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3.14.2016

Life Can Be So Much Fun If You Try To See The Positive.

Life has been busy but fun lately.

We've been trying to endure the still cold weather here in southern Germany, hoping for a soon arrival of spring. As soon as the sun comes out, nothing can hold us back from soaking up as much vitamin D as possible. I cannot wait for warmer weather and less rain. I am ready to head out into my garden to get going. There is so much to be done. The lawn needs some TLC, winter has left a lot of moss patches that have to be removed. My plants are in need of a handful of fertiliser and I cannot wait to get my veggie garden going. 

While waiting for the temps to go up, I have been knitting up a storm this winter. Currently I am working on a summer shawl for Leonie using this beautiful yarn. Healthy eating has been a big thing in the past few weeks. Avocados and chia seeds have been a constant in our diet. We've been on some coffee dates, going on long walks with the pup who lovingly enjoys her new bed after returning from the forest. 

Leonie and I have been enjoying a few mommy-daughter shopping sprees these past weekends. How fun to spend this special quality time with my sweet girl. I will always cherish these trips that can sometimes be stressful, what with her being a hormonal pre-teen and all.

We've been enjoying life. Having fun. Laughing, dancing and singing together. Going on movie dates, having sushi lunches or just being silly at home. Life can be stressful and the daily grind can really get you down, but if you try and see the positive and make the most of it, life can really be so much more!

Happy Monday, sweet friends xxx

J O I N   M E 
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3.13.2016

Sunday Thoughts | COURAGE

A quote for the day
 
 
Happy Sunday, everyone! Hope your weekend is wonderful.
 
Hugs xxx

J O I N   M E 
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3.10.2016

St. Patrick's Day Inspiration

St. Patrick's Day Fun



It's been fun seeing all the St. Patrick's Day related posts start popping up in all of my social media feeds, so I thought with March 17th slowly approaching I'd share my bit of leprechaun inspiration as well. We first heard of St. Paddy's when we moved to the States. We never really knew it was such a big thing in the US what with it stemming from Ireland and so on.

We loved taking part in the St. Patrick's Day celebrations in Chicago - it was always such an event watching the Chicago River get colored green and witness the parade through the city. Unfortunately the Germans don't celebrate this day - no one really knows about it. At least not the people I know. Hence the reason why we hadn't really heard of it before our time in America.

After returning to Germany we tried keeping up as many traditions we had adapted to and which had been so much fun for us, just like this one. We do it on a smaller scale but we try to wear at least something green on said day and I always wear my little clover leaf pin I got from the Chicago St. Patrick's Parade which is very dear to me.

How do you spend March 17th? Do you go to see a parade or do something fun with your loved ones?

Happy Thursday xxx



J O I N   M E 
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3.09.2016

How I feel in 5 Words.

Tell me how you feel today.
(image source)

This week has already been really packed with work and appointments. It has been crazy at the office - so much to do and so little time. Some things always have to get pushed to the next day and I hate it. I am the type of person, I want to get everything done before heading home, but it doesn't always work out that way and sometimes you just have to set priorities. Period.

Then there was a parent-teacher-info-evening where new subjects that can be added starting grade 7 can be chosen voluntarily and Leonie picked French. She wants to learn a new language, this will be her third language and I am thrilled. Je suit très hereux - I am very happy. I had French at school and can still converse a bit, but this will give me the chance to get back into it more again.

Today I feel:

1. Happy

2. Exhausted.

3. Accomplished.

4. Comfortable.

5. Hungry.

I hope your week has been positive so far. Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday.

Hugs xxx

J O I N   M E 
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3.08.2016

International Women's Day 2016 | #IWD2016

International Women's Day
(image source)

Today is International Women's Day #IWD2016 - a day to celebrate ordinary women who have played an important role in the history of their country.

International Women's Day  says on their website: "Celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. Yet let's also be aware progress has slowed in many places across the world, so urgent action is needed to accelerate gender parity.
Leaders across the world are pledging to take action as champions of gender parity."

Isn't it sad that gender parity is still far from reality in so many countries of this world. One should think that in this time and age it would be a common thing everywhere. But unfortunately it's not. So we have to do something about it. We can all help to promote equality, fairness and respect.


If you are interested in learning more about #IWD2016 and it's theme or if you ar looking for ways to contribute or support the #PledgeforParity go to International Women's Day Activity and find lots of places to go and tons of things to do.

Happy #IWD2016

J O I N   M E 
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3.07.2016

Taking Stock

Chicago
(Chicago Summer 2009)

Watching: Downton Abbey Season 6, The Blacklist Season 2
Listening: Tom Odell "Long Way Down"
Knitting: a summer lace shawl - own pattern
Reading: Gossip magazines
Getting: my hair did on Saturday - fresh cut and color = pure bliss
Wondering: how much longer til Spring
Hoping: for a fast work week
Cooking: German pancakes with Nutella (I know, I know - no calorie counting on Sunday)
Drinking: lots of water, a little diet coke
Waiting: for clothes I ordered online
Laughing: Hotel Transilvania 2 with my girl
Enjoying: Movie night with the fam "Maleficent"
Shopping: a new bed for Leonie and for Kyra
Anticipating: warmer weather - sunshine
Wishing: for a 3 day weekend
Working out: restarted the 30-Day-Shred
Walking: after work to get my steps in
Feeling: a lot better but not 100%
Remembering: Chicago

What's are you currently doing? I'd love to hear about it!

Happy Monday
Hugs xxx

J O I N   M E 
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3.06.2016

Sunday Thoughts | Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day
(image source)

Wishing you all a wonderful Sunday.
Hugs xxx

J O I N   M E 
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3.04.2016

Happy Friday | V16.10

Happy Friday
(image source)

It's been a long week but it's been a good one, although I am really exhausted and look forward to lots of down-time and relaxing this coming weekend. Work was kinda crazy since I was sick at home all last week, there was some serious catching up to be done - but I managed and now I think I have earned myself some quality time with my loved ones.

Though the week was super busy, it's had lots of happy moments - here are 10 of them:

1. the Oscars

2. helpful co-workers

3. season 5 of Downton Abbey - one more season to go

4. an impromptu shopping spree to the mall with my girl

5. new yarn

6. a new perfume

7. Alabama Shakes

8. lots of Kate and Leo gifs everywhere

9. shoe shopping

10. late birthday cake at work

What were your favorite happy moments of this past week? Hope it was a good week for you!

I am linking up with these two wonderful ladies: 

Happy Friday Link up

Happy Friday -
Hugs xxx

J O I N   M E 
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3.03.2016

Spring can't come soon enough.

Spring


This winter has been dragging on with rainy grey and cold weather and I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to spring. I am yearning for fresh colors and warmer weather. I impatiently watch every little green sprout on our daily walks, hoping for the first buds to pop open soon.

I know it won't take much longer anymore, I just cannot wait. And so I cling to everything remotely spring-like such as this color collage. I had so much fun putting it together and I hope you enjoy it as well.

Blogging hasn't come very easy to me these past 2 weeks - time is so rare and sometimes I am just too tired in the evenings to sit in front of my computer screen. I hope it's just part of the winter blues and I will be back to my motivated blogger self in no time.

What about you? I bet you can't wait for spring either, huh? Unless you live in a warm place anyway, then you might even be looking forward to some rain.

Anywho - happy Thursday!
Hugs xxx

J O I N   M E 
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3.02.2016

How I Feel in 5 Words.

Who are you
(image source)

It's Wednesday and it's March 2nd. Can you believe it? How on earth is March already here? Before we know it summer will be back and another school year over. Wow - kind of makes me feel dizzy. It's my third day back at the office after having the flu last week. It feels so good to be back to my old self and I have finally caught up on the work that had piled up on my desk. Makes me feel good about myself being able to tackle a week's worth of work in just 3 days.

Today I feel:

1. Accomplished.

2. Energetic.

3. Satisfied.

4. Appreciated.

5. Happy.

How are you today? 

I hope your week has been nothing but wonderful so far. It's hump day guys - 2 more days - we can do this! Happy Wednesday.

Hugs xxx

J O I N   M E 
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3.01.2016

How To Catch A Loose Dog

How to catch a loose dog.

From dog owner to dog owner - we've all been there - our dog got loose on a walk and took the chance to wander off. This is Kyra. We adopted her in late 2007. She is a Greek hunting dog. We believe she is a Hellenikos Ichnilatis which is a Greek harehound.  She had come straight from Greece 2 weeks before we met her and brought her home with us. We don't know her exact age but at the time she must have been 1.5 - 2 years of age. She is the best pup you can imagine (I'm sure we all say that about our fur babies) and we love her so much, there are no words to describe it. 

She is a hunter though. And when she was younger and I let her off the leash on one of our walks through the fields surrounding our home (we live in the countryside of southern Germany), she did take her chances of running off when she had picked up a scent or some kind of animal's track every now and then. She never hunted though, never once caught any animal. She just followed her instincts.

But what to do when your dog is on the loose. Once their instinct sets in, they don't hear your calling anymore. They don't care, they just want to follow the trail. Our instinct as a human would be to run after them, screaming and yelling for them to come back. But the only thing we'd achieve with such behavior would be to chase them further and further away. We'd encourage them to keep on running and we'd keep running after them with no end in sight.

Believe me, I've been there. Kyra was a very energetic young dog and she loved running around. I think for her it was more of a game of power when she did run off every once in a while - to test her boundaries and to see which one of us would "win" the chase. But your dog being on the loose can also be dangerous, like e.g. when there is a high traffic street close by or when there are other animals near you.

Here is what you can do to encourage your dog to come back:

Stop, turn around and wait. Once they notice that you don't seem to care about their running off anymore, they become curious why you don't come after them. They will at some point turn around and come back to check on you and your "strange" behavior.

Turn around and call them. Shout in the opposite direction of where they are running to and they will turn around to see where the call is coming from. In most cases they will be so curious to find out why the call seems to be coming from so far away that they will change direction and run towards you.

Stop and sit down with your back or side to the dog and wait. This is also a good trick to get your dogs attention, because they will want to know why you sat down. They will come looking to find out what's so interesting about that spot that made you sit down and rest. Another advantage of this behavior is that you appear less as a threat to your dog and he will more likely approach you - all the better if you happen to have treats with you.

Start running in the opposite direction. Don't chase after your dog, let him chase you. Your dog will love this and the situation might turn into fun which will lead to you being able to approach your pup and get him back onto the leash.

Open the car door and invite him  for a ride. This one wouldn't work on Kyra - she doesn't fancy car rides very much. But most dogs I know do - so if your car is nearby, open the door and call your dog to come join you on a ride. He will probably be excited about it and approach you so he doesn't miss the fun. And I suppose the fear of being left behind would also encourage him to come back.

There are probably other tricks I didn't mention - all of these except for the last one have worked for me more than once. Please note that I am by no means a dog trainer or anything like that. I am just a dog mom with lots of years of experience - there has been a dog in our family ever since I was 7, which means 33 years of living with dogs - and all I want to do is share what works for me to hopefully make things easier for you.

Hugs xxx

J O I N   M E 
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