12.30.2016

Happy Friday | V16.52 - My Word For 2017.

Don't forget to acknowledge the things you have accomplished throughout a year and let go of what burdens you.
During these last few days of a year, we tend to look back and reminisce about the past 12 months. 2016 has been one hell of a ride and boy has it been a good one. It was one of the best years so far, I have come a long way regarding my career, my personal life and family-wise.

Career-wise I have been able to grow immensely, gained a lot of acknowledgement from both my boss, my team and co-workers as well as my family. I am very proud of what I have been able to accomplish and hope to enhance that even more in 2017.

In my personal life I have been able to gain new friends both online and off. I have been able to grow my blog into a direction I feel is the right one to grow towards even more over time. I have had to let go of a few so-called friendships as I have learned to let go of people who aren't good for myself. I have started leading a more healthy life which will certainly continue in 2017.

Family-wise I feel as though we have all grown together even more and everyone's place in our family has been strengthened because of the things we went through together. Family is the most important thing in life even though it can be exhausting at times - stick to those who love and support you for they know your true worth.

WHOLE was my word for 2016 - and I lived through the whole year together with my family and friends embracing all of it, the good times and the bad times as well as the ones in between. The whole of 2016. 

And even though WHOLE was a good choice for this past year, I feel as though another word would have been even more suitable. And because I feel that this other word will continue to be a part of my life in the coming year, as I intend to do a lot more of it, I have chosen it to be my OLW for 2017

G R O W.

I want to grow in any way imaginable. I want to grow my career and maybe start something entirely new, I want to keep growing my blog and continue growing new friendships both online and off and I want to grow personally. I am looking forward to watching the people around me grow and feel excited to see what 2017 holds in store for all of us.

With that being said - 2016 has held many HAPPY MOMENTS for me and I really hope it did for you as well. I know it has been a hard year for many and I wish you all the best for a happy and successful New Year.

Write down the highlights of your 2016, don't dwell on the bad, let go of what burdens you and don't forget to acknowledge yourself for what you have accomplished, for what you have and who you are!

Hugs xxx

12.29.2016

Currently.

Sharing a few things that are currently going on in my neck of the woods.

Don't those days between Christmas and New Year's feel a bit strange. You don't really know what day it is, what time it is and if it's a holiday or a regular day, a work day or the weekend. Kind of funny, right? You're in some kind of daze, especially if you're on vacation like me.

Well, life has been busy for all of us this past week with the holidays and now NYE coming up, but I have also been trying to relax and enjoy myself now that I am finally better and my old self again.

So, here's what I have been up to:

Watching:  House of Cards (catching up - finally)

Knitting: winter hats and a scarf

Reading: The Ocean At The End Of The Lane - Neil Gaiman

Listening: One Republic, Lady Gaga, Emeli Sandé, John Legend…

Wondering: will it ever snow this winter?

Hoping: to stay healthy

Wishing: for a happy 2017

Dreaming: about career changes/ growth

Cuddling: with my pup and kitty

Coloring: Mandalas

Drinking: Chai tea

Eating: too many Christmas cookies

Writing: New Year's cards (couldn't write Christmas cards bc I was still too sick)

Ok, now it's your turn - what have you been up to besides the holidays and preparing for NYE?

Happy Thursday xxx

12.28.2016

How I Feel In 5 Words.

Sharing your feelings in 5 words can be challenging.

Only a couple more days until 2017 is here. Say what?! The years feel like going by faster and faster. And somehow we always keep saying that, right? Time goes by, we get older and life seems to develop down this road made for us. Doesn't that make you feel dizzy sometimes as well? 

Leonie said the other day that she was super excited for Christmas last year, she could hardly sleep the days leading up to Christmas Eve, the night we exchange gifts here in Germany and that it was all so magical. She felt as though that somehow had disappeared this year. That of course she was still excited for her presents and all, but that she wasn't that excited about it all anymore like when she was younger. 

I felt a little sad when she said that. It's sad how the magic of Christmas slowly fades away as your kids get older. Now being a teenager and with the knowledge of Santa's non-existence (we told her years ago) Christmas is just not the same. Although still exciting and fun!

I guess that's just how things go and that's okay. Maybe I was also a little sad because when she says things like that they remind me of my getting older.

And with that being said - I'll just leave that there - here is how I am today:

1. Content.

2. Excited.

3. Cheerful.

4. Hopeful.

5. Feisty.

How was your Christmas and what are you looking forward to in the New Year? 
But most importantly - How Are You?

Hugs xxx

12.27.2016

A Look Back At Your Favorite Posts Of 2016.

Looking back on a successful year of blogging. Hoping for an even better one in 2017.

The year is coming to an end and like many of you, I thought it would be fun to look back at my year of blogging and share some of your favorite posts. I haven't been super consistent with blogging the entire year, because sometimes life just happens and as a mom you have to be more present in the moment, the here and now, instead of online.
But I do want to up my game blog-wise in 2017, so I cannot wait to share what I've got in store as well as my OLW for the New Year. 

January: I shared my One Little Word WHOLE for 2016 

February: I turned 40 so I shared 10 Things I Learned In My 30's

March: One of my last Treasuries on Etsy, they deleted that option shortly after

April: I shared what was on my needles - Westknits inspired

May: What I Like About Blogging was a huge hit

June: My love for Green came through

July: I didn't blog in July, so here's another favorite from May

August: Coffee Talk

September: Fun Facts About Me

October: Home Decor Inspiration this one was huge on Stumbleupon

November: Quote Love


Now tell me: did you have a OLW for the past year and are you planning one for 2017? 

Enjoy the last few days of 2016! Hugs xxx

12.23.2016

Happy Friday | V16.51

Always try to see the good in life and count your happy moments!

So, the last Friday before the holidays is here. The other day I was thinking how December was going so slowly and all of a sudden Christmas is right around the corner. Crazy how this month suddenly flew by.

As some of you might know, I have been sick at home with a cruel bronchitis for most part of the month, but I am finally on the mend and cannot wait to spend time with the family. Here in Germany we open presents on Christmas Eve - if you are interested in some more of our traditions during the holidays, click here to read more. Starting tomorrow we will be spending the holidays with family and friends and I am so looking forward to that! 

This week has been rather good as I am starting to feel more like myself again and here are a few things that put a smile on my face and in my heart:

1. Carpool Karaoke this and this

2. Our Christmas tree is finally up

3. The OA on Netflix

4. Snail Mail

5. Pre-Christmas excitement

6. Sending out Christmas cards - finally

7. New oils for my diffuser

8. Christmas Vacation for my girl

9. Happy Pets

10. Pizza night

Did any of you watch The OA on Netflix? What did you think of it? I found it a bit hard to get into the story during the first two episodes, not really sure what to make of it, but after that I got completely sucked into the storyline and I really hope that there will be a second season! We just have to know if she finds Homer and the others! Also, how horrible of someone to do that to others. 

Well, with that being said, most of us will probably sign out for the holidays, so:


Happy Friday xxx
SaveSaveSaveSave

12.22.2016

Last Minute Gift Ideas

Gifts, Christmas, Apple, Target, Chanel

Lip treatment, €7,71 / Beauty product / Chanel nail polish, €26 / Chanel nail polish, €21 / Tech accessory, €43 / Headphones earbud, €38 / 18k ring, €9,55 / SOKO ring, €38 / Betsey Johnson heart earrings, €24 / Gold stud earrings, €2,86 / Target GiftCards : Target / The Art of Shaving men s grooming, €17 / Billabong men s belt, €24 / La Mer mens hair brush, €145 / London Beard Company men s grooming, €20 / Home decor, €14 / Anti-Stress Coloring Book with Bright Ideas Neon Colored Pencils, €31 / Funko Harry Potter POP! Movie Vinyl Collectors Set Harry Potter, Ron..., €28 / Jamie Oliver Super Food Family Classics, €31

2 more days till Christmas and some of us might be freaking out just a teensy bit. Am I right? We ask ourselves if we got everything, do we have enough food, are there plenty of beverage choices, are all presents wrapped, is the tree okay, what about the guest room, is our home cleaned and tidy and so on and so forth.

We all get super excited for the holidays and want to make it a wonderful and special experience for everyone around us. Especially us women want it to be perfect and we always worry that we didn't get enough of everything, right?

And then there is always that one gift we forgot, or that one person telling us a day before Christmas that he or she is coming after all, so we urgently need another present, but have no ideas or no clue what to get.

I put together a few ideas of things I know my friends and family would love to get and I will be going out tomorrow for a few last minute gifts myself. Hope these ideas spark an idea for your last minute guest or that one gift you still need.

And even though the holidays aren't just about the gift giving and the presents, I do enjoy spoiling my loved ones just a little bit, after all it is a very special occasion and we should celebrate it nonetheless.

Happy Holidays xxx

12.21.2016

How I Feel In 5 Words.

life, emotions, christmas, feelings
Today is the last Wednesday before Christmas.

How crazy is that? 

Hand on your heart - are you ready for Christmas?

I have to say that I am so glad I finished my Christmas shopping way early this year, what with me being sick at home for the past two weeks thanks to this awful Bronchitis. I am slowly starting to feel better, I know I already said that a week ago, but that was wrong. I kind of had a little fall-back and had to return to the doctor's office on Monday once again. Now on my third day of antibiotics I feel as though the Bronchitis is slowly starting to fade away. Thank goodness.

This whole being sick at home thing does have me feeling a bit timorous though, I feel like I forgot something for the holidays or like I didn't have the chance to prepare everything the way I would have wanted to (although that is the truth). 

On the other hand I am confident that the holidays will be wonderful no matter what. As long as we get to spend time with our loved ones, enjoy good food and drinks, have meaningful conversations we don't usually have the time for and give some thoughtful gifts, everything will be fine.

Today I feel:

1. Anxious.

2. Excited.

3. Confident.

4. On the mend.

5. Content.

life, emotions, christmas, feelings

I am looking forward to the coming weekend and I enjoy watching my teenage girl getting all excited about what will be under the Christmas tree with her name on it! And although I got everything on her wish list and few other small surprises, I always feel as though there it still something missing.

How are you today and do you have your shit together for the holidays? (Please excuse my French)

Happy Wednesday xxx

12.20.2016

On My Wish List | What's On Yours.

On My Wishlist


Kitchen gadgets tool, €38 / Quote mug, €9,55 / Gold wine glasses, €33 / Yankee Candle fragrance candle / Kakkoii Qb S Chrome Portable Speaker, €42 / aHead Bluetooth Headphones Pink, €115 / Party of 5 yarn by Sweetgeorgia Yarns, Swell colour way of various..., €34 / Brass jewelry / L K Bennett cashmere glove, €53 / Native Union tech accessory, €27 / Incase men s fashion, €46 / Narciso rodriguez fragrance, €93 / Fujifilm Instax Share Smartphone Portable Printer SP-1 With 20 Sheets…

I have posted a few gift guides throughout the past few weeks. I shared my ideas for stocking stuffers for the entire family, a gift guide for the beauty lover and I also gave a few gift ideas for your pup. Today I thought it would be fun to list a few things I would really love finding under the Christmas tree.

I have had my eyes on a smartphone printer for a while now since my iPhone is my main "camera" - I take about 80% of my photos with it and I would love to be able to print some of them right away. And to have them in instax style would be simply wonderful! A portable charger would also come in very handy, both for my iPhone as well as my apple watch for when I'm on the go. And a pretty pair of bluetooth headphones would just top it all off!

Give me a few skeins of delicious yarn, a cute mug (I collect mugs), a scented candle (that's my favorite Yankee Candle scent) and my favorite perfume and make me the happiest woman on earth. Add a simple but very gorgeous pair of gloves, a portable speaker or a fun planner for the new year combined with a sparkly glass and new earrings and you've got me! haha

iPhone, apple watch, usb, Christmas

Of course I am not expecting every single one of the items listed above (or do I?), because I am not greedy…no, I am not! But, I sure wouldn't mind finding one or two of them nicely wrapped up with my name on them.

Ok, now you? What's on your wish list this year?

Happy Tuesday xxx

12.19.2016

Fall/ Winter Fashion Inspiration

The Girl In Jeans

This is something I would totally wear in my free time, during a stroll through the city or on a family outing somewhere fun. I'm in love with the burgundy hues and that comfy grey sweater. This outfit is simple and yet very chic. Something you could also wear at work. Aren't those booties so pretty? I love the cut-out detail and that silver buckle!

Rose Gold

This is an outfit I would wear at the office. Rose gold is totally in right now and I have to admit that I too have fallen for it. Combined with the burgundy and beige it makes for a very fashionable ensemble. Don't you agree? And there they are again, my beloved pearls!

I created these outfits on Polyvore (click the images to get to my profile) where I participated in a contest. I didn't win, but the fun of putting these together was totally worth it, so - no worries! I guess in another life I might have been in fashion or something like that, because I really enjoy choosing outfits for others. Who knows…

What about you? Do you like rose gold or which color do you prefer?

Happy Monday xxx

12.16.2016

Happy Friday | V16.50

Life, Happy, Moments, Family



Can you believe it? One more week until Christmas? 2 more weeks and 2016 will be over? I can't. I just cannot wrap my mind around it. It feels as though this year was even faster than the ones before. I know we always say that, but doesn't it seem that the older we get the faster time goes by?

Today is Friday, which means it's time to share a few of my Happy Moments from the past few days. And even though I have been home sick the entire week really not feeling well, there have been tons of happy moments to share:

1. Roses from my man.

2. My parents taking care of things and walking the pup for me.

3. Leonie feeling better - thank goodness.

4. My furry kids.

5. Friends who care.

6. Season 2 of "Life in Pieces" - love it.

7. New Yarn I had ordered online.

8. Snail Mail.

9. Rest.

10. Soups.

It's really no fun being sick at home, not able to really do anything. But having family and friends taking care of you and coming over to walk the dog or take Leonie to her appointments is really awesome. I don't know what I would've done without them all! Here's to hoping the weekend will help me fully recover and to be back to my old self by next week.

How have you been and what were some of your Happy Moments this past week?

Happy Friday xxx

12.14.2016

How I Feel In 5 Words.

life, feelings, emotions
It's been a week since I had to leave work early. 2 visits at my doctor's, a fever and several coughing fits later I now know that I have a bronchitis and am slowly starting to feel a bit better. Thanks to lots of rest, lots of tea and an army of meds. 

It's been a rough week and my body feels super weak, I guess I will need a couple more days to feel more like myself again. But enough of the whining, we all have to go through such times and we all somehow make it through. There are tons of people that are off far worse than I am, so no more complaining on my side. I am trying to think positive and I am trying to make the best of it. 

At least I have been getting some knitting in. I am caught up on my favorite shows on Netflix, I got to spend extra quality time with my girl who has been home sick for over a week now as well (she is heading back to school tomorrow - let's hope she'll be fine) and my furry kids. Kyra, our pup, and Miley, our kitty, have been enjoying having us both home and been sneaking in extra cuddles where ever they could. 

So, all in all things aren't all that bad, hence how I am today:

1. Positive.

2. Exhausted.

3. Sanguine.

4. Well.

5. Tired.

life, feelings, emotions

I really hope you are all well and didn't catch the flu or anything alike! I also hope you aren't letting the Christmas stress get to you. Remember to take one step at a time!

Now it's your turn - tell me: How are YOU today?

Happy Wednesday xxx

12.13.2016

Stocking Stuffers - Ideas For The Whole Family

Stocking Stuffers


In Germany we do not have the tradition of hanging stockings by the fireplace. But maybe our boots in front of our doors on St. Nicholas Day are kind of our "stockings". Our family loves the idea of having stockings, so just like celebrating Thanksgiving, we also hang stockings as one of our traditions we brought back to Germany from our time in Chicago.

I love getting some smaller trinkets for my loved ones, just some surprises I know they will love and have so much fun with. We all have these smaller wishes for things we don't necessarily need but would love to have, even if it's just a fluffy Claire's diary for my girl. Throughout the year, whenever we go somewhere or talk about things and someone shows me or tells me about something they really like but don't want to get for themselves, I jot it down into my phone and come back to it when I have the time to.

Above are just a few ideas of things for the whole family, things I bet everyone would love to get and that aren't too pricey. I know I wouldn't mind getting one or two of them.

Stockings, Stuffers, Christmas, gifts

So, do you have stockings or maybe some other tradition I would love to hear about?

Happy Tuesday xxx

12.09.2016

Happy Friday | V16.49

Happy Friday
Well, due to having the sickies at our home (thank goodness the mister is still okay #knockingonwood) this week hasn't been too great nor very eventful. Leonie has been home sick all week, I had to leave work early on Wednesday to head to the doctor's office who immediately put me on sick leave for the rest of the week. Turns out it was the right thing to do - I have been battling an on and off again fever ever since, I have this awful cough keeping me awake most parts of the night and Leonie is going through the same thing. 

I really hope this coming weekend will help us rest up and get better, so we can return to our normal selves in no time. We've been drinking tea like there's no tomorrow, resting on the sofa with our friends Netflix and Amazon Prime TV. Eating soup and munching on crackers, literally inhaling cough drops and going through one box of tissues after the other. The scent of peppermint is constantly in the air and our furry babes love the coziness this all brings with it, snuggling up on the couch with us, helping us get better by just being there.

My blog is helping me stay sane and gets my mind off of things. A cup of tea, tissues and cough drops right next to me, I do enjoy some extra online time which I normally do not have being a full time working mom and all.

This past week did have a few happy moments nonetheless, so here we go:

1. a supportive boss (with me being sick while subbing for my co-worker)

2. just a short wait at the doctor's even though the waiting room was packed

3. snail mail from a dear friend with a cute little surprise

4. watching movies with my girl

5. snuggly pets helping us get better

6. getting some knitting done (although I had to frog a few rows a couple of times - I guess being sick isn't the best condition to read a knitting pattern)

7. getting to spend time at home

8. organizing a few more Christmas surprises just because, although I already have all my presents

9. Christmas cookies from a friend

10. an unexpected phone call

what made you happy this week

I hope you are doing well and the sickies hasn't gotten to you and your loved ones! 

Tell me, how has your week been and what made you happy?

Happy Friday and have a wonderful weekend xxx

12.08.2016

My Holiday Outfit - Chic, Festive and Comfy

outfit, pleated skirt, micheal kore, chanel, dior

<<source>>

Do you have your outfits for the holidays all picked out? A blogger friend of mine recently asked that question in one of her posts and it totally hit home with me. I hadn't thought about my outfit(s) for the holidays at all. I had been so focused on getting all my presents together, which I did very early this time around, that I had totally forgotten to think about what I was going to wear!

I don't need something super chic and festive for everyday during the holidays, because I will be having family and friends over for dinner on the 25th, which means I will pretty much be in the kitchen all day long, so I will prefer something comfy but also a little festive on that day.

But for Christmas Eve, the night we open all of our presents here in Germany, I want something really festive. We will head out to church for the Christmas Mass before coming back home for dinner and presents. It's been a tradition ever since I can remember and I love that we are holding on to it. 

I really love this pleated skirt. I love the color and it has the perfect length for my stronger calves. I don't like accentuating them too much, so this skirt would be perfect. I would pair it with a warm pair of tights and that cozy knit sweater looks super comfy but also very chic, just look at the shape of those sleeves! And don't heels for the holidays just sound about right? haha

I searched the internet, my favorite way of shopping, for an outfit similar to the one pictured above, ordered it and already received everything, now I will just have to be strong, because I cannot wait to wear it on Christmas.

Do you have your outfits for Christmas picked out? And do you prefer chic over comfy? 

Happy Thursday, everyone xxx

12.07.2016

How I Feel In 5 Words.

emotions, life. how are you
Actually I am feeling a little under the weather. Leonie has been sick at home with flu like symptoms all week and starting yesterday I have been feeling a little like coming down with something as well. First I'm cold than I'm hot, than cold again. I have this awful dry cough and my nose is all stuffy. I would rather stay in bed all day than having to be at work. But since my co-worker is still on her cruise and I am still subbing for her on top of my full time job, I just cannot call in sick. So, I have to put my big girl pants on, take some aspirin and cough syrup, drink lots of tea and eat lots of vitamins.

Needless to say that this is how I am today:

1. Tired.

2. Cold /Hot.

3. Achy.

4. Moody.

5. Unwell.

I have one more week to go until she finally returns to work. Not entirely sure I will make it without going insane though. We both have key positions at work and therefor share an office, hence me subbing for her and vice versa. Both of our jobs are very demanding and time consuming and cover a lot of different fields, so sometimes when the going just gets too tough, I take 5 minutes, leave the room, go outside and just breathe. That really helps. It's like a mini meditation and I feel much better and refreshed afterward. Have you ever tried that?

How do you cope with tough situations and endless workloads at your job?

Happy Wednesday xxx

12.06.2016

Today Is Saint Nicholas Day.

December 6th
Today is December 6th which means today is St. Nicholas Day. We here in Germany celebrate it by putting a boot in front of our bedroom door at night before going to bed for St. Nicholas to fill it with goodies. The legend says that he only fills the boots of children that have been good and were well-behaved throughout the year with goodies, such as nuts, oranges, chocolates and sweets and sometimes even a little gift. 

The legend also says that for the kids who haven't been good and who didn't behave, his assistant "Knecht Ruprecht" leaves a rod for a spanking to punish the kids. But it's only a legend and I never had a rod in my boot. haha I also wrote about this tradition including lots of other German Christmas traditions here.

December 6th

So last night we cleaned our boots and put them out in front of our doors in hopes of St. Nicholas coming by to fill them with goodies for us. Mine was filled with chocolates and this yummy shower foam from Rituals - St. Nicholas sure knows how to surprise me! 

Do you know the tradition of celebrating St. Nicholas on December 6th? And do you celebrate it?

Happy St. Nicholas Day! xxx

12.05.2016

November 2016 - A Look Back

November, 2016, December
It seems to me like November was yet the fastest month of the year. December is here and I cannot believe that this year is now really coming to an end. I've said it before, 2016 was a really wonderful year for us and I truly hope 2017 will be even more amazing.

I thought it would be fun to take a quick look back at last month, because there was so much going on. For one the hubby and I celebrated 23 years of being together. Crazy how time goes by, how much we've been through as a couple and how many amazing things we have already been able to share. I really hope there will be many more awesome adventures for the both of us in the future.

I shared my Fall Essentials and some of my favorite quotes, because if you know me, you know FALL is my favorite and that I believe a good quote can really help make you stronger and guide you through a rough patch. If we only believe we can achieve so much more than we think we are capable of.

I shared my thoughts about not working for free as a blogger. I believe that working with another company should not only benefit them but you as a blogger/ writer as well. Doing a guest post on another blog is a totally different thing, which I have done several times before and also had guest bloggers over here at The Brave Wanderer. I would never charge for a guest post nor would I pay for one. That's a give and take thing amongst us bloggers from which both sides can benefit and it can really help you grow your audience.

Thanksgiving is always a great time to take a minute and reflect on what has been going on throughout the year. It gives us a chance to breathe and give thanks to the important things in our lives.

November, 2016, December

Now it's time to prepare for the holidays and the end of the year - crazy to think 2016 will soon be history. But boy am I looking forward to 2017!

How was your November and what are you focusing on right now?

Happy Monday xxx

12.01.2016

Gift Guide For Her

Make up, Nars, Urban Decay, Mac, Chanel, Beauty Blender, Clinique

This gift guide is totally inspired by my teenage daughter, Leonie. She is absolutely into makeup and everything that has to do with contouring, baking, fake lashes, eyeliner and so on. You name it and she knows it and knows the technique. Thanks to youtube tutorials she is slowly becoming a pro and tells me how to do it properly. haha

She saves her money and spends it on makeup products and boy is she into all those amazing brands.  She'll sit in front of her vanity for hours trying out all sorts of looks. I can absolutely see her making a career out of this later on along the way when it comes to choosing a profession. There are some amazing schools here in Europe to become a makeup artist.

I have to admit that since she has been so into all things makeup, I myself pay a little more attention to the brands I purchase and do see the difference between drugstore brands (which are perfectly fine) and high end brands. I will sacrifice spending the money on a product I feel is a good fit for me more now than I used to do.

What about you? Are you into makeup and do you spend the dollars for a better brand?

Happy Thursday xxx

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