My grandparents golden anniversary

Monday, 29 July 2013

I just blogged about my grandparents' golden anniversary on my other (food) blog, which made me really want to blog about it on here too, because I treat this as sort of a photo diary and I like the photos, so they practically need to be on here ;).

The reason I blogged about it, is because I need help, since Daniel and I have to (we don't have to, but it was our present) cook them a five course meal, and I thought it'd be nice if people helped me decide on what to cook (especially if they have any diabetic-friendly dessert ideas!). If any of you over here have any ideas, feel free to comment them on here as well, I'd love to hear. I'm looking for beautifully elegant food that's not only delicious, but also shows my love and appreciation that I have for my grandparents, because they're the best grandparents anyone could wish for and have always supported me throughout my whole life.

So, anyone got any cool, elegant, loving, diabetic-friendly food ideas?

On healthy eating.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

How do you find the right mix between eating things that are good for you and make you feel good and becoming a Hippie or even worse loosing the fun in eating, because you're obsessing over it so much? I'm really kind of struggling to find the right balance.

Sometimes I wish I'd never started to think about healthy eating, obviously rationally it was a very good thing to do, but I don't like how it makes it a lot harder to enjoy the occasional pizza or the occasional sugar-syrup filled chai latte, when I really at least want to really enjoy them, when I choose to. It's like the more you learn and read about nutrition, the more difficult it seems to get it right. Like they said on the joe rogan podcast, pizza used to be a treat, now it's sweet potato chips, where is this all going?
But, it's not just that I worry more about putting bad things into my body, it's also that since starting to eat healthier, my body has started to resent shitty food. I never used to understand people, who would feel like vegetables after living of fast food for a couple of days, I could have lived of pizza! And now? I don't feel so good after eating it anymore, and once I even got stomach cramps after drinking diet coke again. Of course I don't know if it might just be hypochondria (to be honest, a rather large proportion of it almost definitely is), but I'm not enjoying it!
I like it both. I love healthy food, but I also love pizza, pasta, icecream and chocolate, sometimes even all in one day, crazy right?

But even if you choose healthy food all the time, there are so many controversies about what is healthy. There's even something about kale not actually being all that good for you because of oxalic acid, and eating too much fruit is also bad, because of all the sugar? This makes me sad! Isn't eating fruit still better than eating crisps? 

I guess what I believe in is listening to your body, or if you've come of the right (what even is this?) track, to gently guide your body towards craving things that are good for it again, by getting it used to supposedly healthy things. I really like healthy food now, I crave it, I enjoy preparing it, and I've decided to start compiling a list of recipes for food that is full of good things, but doesn't feel like it (if that makes sense? I could for example never get my head round just lettuce without at least a delicious dressing. Nori Rolls filled with delicious goodness however? I'M ON BOARD).

I also believe in moderation (and even that in moderation, as they say). Pizza makes me happy. It's a fact. I love getting a dominos, probably way too much, and I never want to fully give this up! I try not to have it more than like 2-3 times a month, but I figured that if it makes me happy, it's somewhat ok. I can eat all the kale (or not?!?!) and coconut oil in the world the next day to get back on track.

I believe in listening questioning why you're about to eat something? Whether its because of something your body actually needs, boredom or emotional emptiness? By this I don't mean that emotional emptiness can't be a reason to eat, but I try to question whether it would actually help me to make me feel better to have that chocolate bar or whether that bag of crisps would actually just make me feel more miserable and fatty. 

What I don't believe in are diets and calorie counting. 

For this one, I would genuinely really love to hear your opinions (I always do, but I know that my posts are normally not that discussion friendly). How do you make sure your food keeps you healthy without giving up things that you love? How do you manage to find the right balance, or do you think that you should give up unhealthy things completely? 


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Last week, Daniel and I finally graduated! It was hot and sweaty, but still very nice, especially because my whole family came over to England to celebrate with me. My graduation was last Tuesday, and Daniel's on Thursday, and whilst in a way I would have liked it a lot to graduate on the same day (and to have photos of both of us on gowns etc), I also really liked it this way, because we both had our own ceremony etc (even if every single word of the speeches was the same). I really enjoyed both, even if it felt a little bit like I was melting on both days, especially when it was my turn to wear the gown.

For my ceremony our chancellor happened to be absent, which meant we had Lord Seb Coe as a replacement. I have to ashamedly admit, I didn't know who he was, and thought it was very strange when he said that a lot of students had brought up the olympics when he congratulated them, but when Daniel explained it to me later, it made a lot of sense!

I realised that there's quite a few things I wish I had known before graduation. It's not the most novel stuff, but you know, just in case anyone of you like me has never been to a graduation.

1. Come in plenty of time. 1 hour for us really wasn't enough, especially with having professional photos taken (there'll be a whole point on photos though!). I reckon if I could do it again, I'd aim to arrive 2-2.5 hours before hand, that way you'll have plenty of time to collect your tickets and robe, catch up with your friends, take professional photos and also some fun photos with everyone at different places on campus

2. Don't be put off, if they've only allocated you 2-3 tickets! I was, because I really wanted 5 people to be there with me, so we checked on the day, and it wasn't a problem at all. They have to promise everyone the same amount of tickets, so they can't have you ordering that many, but if there are any left over on the day, they're likely to give them to you, so just ask!

3. Bring safety pins. Sometimes the gown rental company has some, but don't count on it (they didn't have any left at Daniel's graduation). There's a thing to put around the button on a shirt, but 1) girls tend not to wear blouses for their graduation but pretty dresses 2) it pulls your top up too high, so it doesn't look very nice. SO it's better to use safety pins to attach the hood bit to the actual gown on two sides, and if you only put it through the bottom layer of the hood thing, you can't even see it much at all!

4. PHOTOS. I found this bit to be a disaster, and it still upsets me! First of all, as mentioned in point one, we didn't end up having enough time to take a lot of photos, we took professional ones, but even though they were super nice, I thought it was a rip off :(. It was a pretty hard sale, and they kind of trick you into thinking you're getting more than you're getting, but then of course on the day you don't want to worry about money too much, so you end up spending an absolute fortune. But before I tell you Daniel's genius idea about saving money: try to have them taken before the ceremony! Even if it's not as hot as at my graduation, you'll look a lot fresher/be a lot happier with your hair, plus you'll be a lot more relaxed afterwards when you can just say your goodbyes etc.
But as for saving money, Daniel thought (and I agree), that it'd work out cheaper to ask a photographer to come along to take photos, if you do this between 3-4 of you! This also enables you to agree on deals beforehand, so you don't end up spending a lot more than you're comfortable with. However, my mum said that the uni might not allow this, so it might be worth checking!

If this isn't an option, leave yourself a lot of time to understand their pricing, their packages and what you can and can't get! We bought a package of 1 handshake photo, 1 individual and 1 family photo and they told us that for individual and family you get 5 copies. So, when they took 5 different scenario photos of family, I thought that's the 5 copies we bought. I couldn't have been more wrong! You get 1 photo and 5 copies of it! We bought a couple more (just because we didn't have time to take any other photos before, and we had to leave earlier, due to my granddad being unwell), but I'm really unhappy about them misleading us! If you want a digital copy of the photos you already paid a fortune for, it was another 8 pounds per photo and on the day, they told us you could absolutely not buy any digital copies without having purchased the printed version. However, when we came home and checked on the website, we realised that this was very much an option! So, as I said, if you have a proper look beforehand, you should be able to find out everything you need to know, because on the day, you won't have the nerves to deal with it/they'll give out misleading information.

Anyway, all this isn't to say that it wasn't nice! It really was, and it finally made this whole finishing uni thing feel official, but I just thought I'd share my experiences with you, so you won't make the same mistakes :)

London with my lovely mum

Monday, 22 July 2013

Before my graduation I went to London with my mum, who as I said before hadn't been there in literally decades (which shouldn't be allowed right? You should have to go to London at least once a year or something). 
Even though it was incredibly hot, we had a really lovely time. The first evening we just had a little wander around Bankside followed by delicious dinner, and the next day we went for breakfast at Granger and Co in Nottinghill (definitely deserves all the hype around it) and I showed mum the likes of Liberty, Selfridges and of course Wholefoods. We ended the day by going on a bus tour, because our legs were a little tired, and of course mum couldn't leave without looking at the different sights! Unfortunately the bus had to take a massive sub-tour because of an event, which meant it took a lot longer, and we didn't have time to do the whole tour. In the evening, we met up with Daniel and his parents and went to the gate, which was delicious as always!

A fun day out in London

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Yesterday the weather was simply too beautiful to not go on a little trip, so Daniel and I ventured into London for icecream, a bit of culture and a cardshark show.
My main discovery of the day was nitrogen icecream from chin chin labs. Seriously amazing stuff, they always have 4 base flavours and as I understand it, two of them vary, and a variety of cool toppings. We decided to go for Vanilla icecream; I had it with chocolate covered potato chips and Daniel with caramelized pretzels. We went for Vanilla icecream, because we really wanted to let the toppings shine, but I have to say this is some seriously delicious Vanilla icecream, I'd go as far as saying the best I ever had! The chocolate covered potato chips were also a delight, I might have to always have crisps this way (very clean eating that would be). I'm already planning to go back there (maybe tomorrow with my mum) and try their "watermelon and dill" flavour, which just sounds wildly refreshing. 

To top a day filled with sunshine, icecream and refreshing juice off, we also found greatly discounted tickets of a cardshark show on yplan. If you live in London, you absolutely need this app! It always shows you what's on in London for the next 48 hours or so, and you can even buy tickets through the app (and often at a discounted rate because it's so spontaneous). If you get the app, and put in "GOODBYE-" as a code, you can get yourself 7 pounds as a start bonus (and if you actually decide to book anything through this, I will get 7 pounds too ;).

The highlight of my day would have to have been when a waitress asked me for my ID. Yes I've officially reached the age, where I see it as a compliment, especially because I recently got a little upset about never being asked anymore, because most places have the policy that people that look under 25 should be asked (and I'm 22 and like to think that I don't look a day older!). Anyway yesterday they only had a "look younger than 21" policy, and I still got asked. SCORE. To be young again hej!

P.S. We like to take photos of our reflections. Because we're cool and that. 

A magic show and more summertimes in London

Thursday, 11 July 2013

On Monday, Daniel and I went into London to see Luke Jermay's show, which was really good. I'm never quite sure what to make of these shows, because it must just all be fooling the audience, which I guess is the whole point of it, but on the other side I want to believe in real abilities, rather than just theatrical abilities and making the right kind of fuzz about things. Either way, it was very very good and we both enjoyed it. At one point, he told the audience, that he's aware that most people come into these shows thinking a particular thought and that if he gets that particular thing, they'll buy into it. He proved he could get it for one girl, but not for me. Granted I only thought of something after he told us that everyone does, silly me.
I thought, "Please pick Daniel" and "Please pick the young man situated next to me" for the entire rest of the show, but apparently my sender abilities aren't very good so it didn't happen haha.
I definitely would have loved to see Daniel up there, because knowing his magic himself, maybe he could have made it trickier or something. Or then maybe they never actually take real people from the audience, who knows!

Anyway, as I said, we had a very nice evening. Before, I finally persuaded Daniel to get food in wholefoods with me (yes I'm that sad!). I had Sushi with smoked tofu some sort of spiced mayo and avocado (I LOVE their sushi!) and Daniel had a Burrito. We had to pretty much inhale the food, because we got there just about in time. But after the show, we were pleasantly surprised that it was still light outside so we decided to get a slice of pizza each before some Häagen Dazs (I never actually got it in a cone before), nom nom, and watch some (amazingly good) breakdancers in Leicester Square who put a little show on every 15 minutes. They were so so good and if you see a big crowd there, go a little closer and have a look, it's really worth watching!

This weekend my lovely mum is coming to the UK. First of all, we're going into London (because she hasn't been in there for 20 years, and I've fallen in love with this city so much over the last year or so that I really wanted to show her), and then on Monday we're heading up to London with Daniel to meet the rest of my family for my graduation on Tuesday. I still can't really believe I'm actually a graduate.

Have you had your graduation this summer? If yes, I'd be very grateful for any tips how to make it up there as gracefully as possible without any falling or stumbling incidents ;)

On Marriage

Sunday, 7 July 2013

“… I feel like nowadays we live in a world where marriage isn’t valued the way it once was or could be … nowadays it seems like a contract you can 
get in or out of depending on what you want in that very moment (of course this depends on circumstances, and some marriages shouldn’t go on) and the significance, the sacredness, the commitment, all the hard work… I think a lot of that is lacking in society’s idea of marriage these days. and I think that is so sad. and unfortunate.
I love being married. I am thankful for a husband who values me and our marriage and makes our family his first priority every day. our marriage is not perfect and we often have a lot of “do overs” throughout the day (have you ever tried that? you say something stupider than stupid and you’re like oh man. that so didn’t come out right and you ask for a do over? yeah. I am usually asking for a lot of do overs throughout the day.) but I am thankful for a husband who has a lot of patience with me, is never sarcastic (I think sarcasm is terrible for any relationship) and understands the power of forgiveness” 
By Taza, quoted from this post. Font (Dawning of a New Day) by Kimberly Geswein via

I'm posting this very long quote, because it resembles so well what I think. Obviously I'm not married right now, but at some point in the future I'm hoping that I will be. And I know that it won't always be perfect, but with appreciating this long before I actually get married, I'm hoping to mentally prepare myself for it being hard work to make a marriage work, but at the same time, I have this deep belief that it's worth it! That if you marry someone you love and can imagine spending the rest of your life with, that you can make it work, this means effort on both sides and an appreciation for the fact that in real life as opposed to in fairytales, things don't necessarily always flow in a perfect way, but that it can be perfect in an unperfect way, if both parties commit to their marriage and appreciate
the fact that it will require their commitment every single day.

I'm rambling on, again I don't know why I think so much about marriage, I'm definitely not planning to get married any time soon, but it just gets to me how many people give up without fighting these days. I'm a soppy romantic myself, but I realise that it's too romantic a view to assume that things will always be rosy. They probably won't be, but I just believe and never want to give up the belief that it's worth it.

The other thing in Taza's post that really caught my eye was her being grateful for her husband never being sarcastic. I always thought of sarcasm as being witty, funny, and maybe even intelligent, but thinking about it,
whilst it can be funny at times, it's really out of place in a relationship, because it can be hurtful. I think it's
 often just a sign of insecurity, but I for one will try to use it as little as possible.

What are your thoughts on marriage?

London Town with Alice.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Yesterday I met my lovely friend Alice for dinner. We had a lovely time, but there was one tiny disturbance... on my way to the train station and from the tube station to the restaurant, I managed to get myself 4 (!) blisters, because I had decided to wear in my new shoes (bad bad bad idea), so when Alice suggested going for a couple of drinks after dinner I had very mixed feelings. On the one side, it was a beautifully mild friday evening and I felt like it, on the other side, I couldn't walk from pain from the blisters.
But problem solvers that we are, we located a H&M that was still open, where I bought sandals that hardly touched my feet at all, it felt like heaven!
So then, we had a little wander around Soho and went for some drinks at some random pub, where Alice could even follow the Tennis which I had rudely taken her away from ;).

Oh and before I even met her, I randomly found a juice bar that I'd read about before, so I obviously had to get one... I went for spinach-apple-pineapple, and it was beyond delicious, so tasty and refreshing. It made me realise that it's definitely worth blending ice into the juice, because it takes the delightfulness a whole level further.

We went to Mildred's in Soho and I had a Burrito which was super delicious!
Tonight I'm going to Daniel's brother's fiancées hen do, and I'm not gonna lie, I'm a bit scared, I've never been to one and they often seem scary, but we'll see, I'm going in open-mindedly (ish haha).

What are you up to this weekend?

My kind of rock'n'roll

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Have I told you before that I'm a little weird? Like the kind of weird that makes you a little uncool, but not weird enough to belong to some sort of weird group? Like I love wholefoods, but sometimes I love to get dominos or have a donut, full of sugar, not one of the healthy kind. Most people don't understand why you'd love wholefoods so much, and those who do, look down on me for eating processed sugar and dairy not just once in a while, but a little too often. I even eat carbs, lots of them. Don't judge wholefoods people, don't judge.
So anyway I love myself some healthy food. It makes me feel good about myself, and after a day of eating healthy things I instantly feel a whole stone lighter.

Daniel left this morning to go to Budapest for his brother's stag do, so I'm a grass widow for the weekend, I could go wild, he'd never know (apart from if he reads this blog, where I'm confessing all my not actually that dirty secrets), but instead I went shopping and came back with a whole bag of veg. It was super heavy and everything and on top of that I managed to have a whole package of VitaCoco. I'm so unbelievably proud, for as long as I've known about coconut water, I've really wanted to like it. Don't ask me why, I just get this sometimes, and I usually try to like it until I do, again not very cool.
It's not even that we eat unhealthily, we eat very healthily, most of our dinners consist of mainly veg (such good students), but there's something about trying to come up with a very alkaline dish. This far, I don't think Daniel would enjoy going. He likes healthy food, but not my crazy hippy talk and food. Very understandable.
So yeah, this is how I go crazy. I buy celery and cucumbers (for juicing) and melons, and tomatoes and lemons and avocados and and and. It's beautiful.
On the other hand, I'm also looking forward to him coming back, so I have a dominos buddy again, and someone who tells me when I'm going crazy with my healthy eating again. Yeah, that's it for today. Informative post, right?

P.S. I'm about to make banana icecream, you know the stuff with just frozen bananas and no dairy? Yeah that... because I can, and because I'm cool in an ehm how do parents say to their kids? In a very special way, that's right!

Back in London Town.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

So after a wonderful week at home with my family, I got back to the UK yesterday evening. I was kind of hoping for a deeply romantic reunion à la Love Actually at the airport, but Daniel and I had slight communication problems to start with and then my iMessage stopped working (cheers iphone). We did find each other eventually and I was more than happy to see him even without the dramatic classic airport reunion.

I actually had a pleasant flight back and met a lovely girl from LA who I chatted away too on the entire flight back which was a nice little change.

Anyway, now that I'm back, I don't have an excuse to eat lots of delicious but pretty unhealthy food (like during exams/our holiday/mum's birthday etc). I usually eat fairly healthy, but to make the transition back there easier, I thought it might be a good idea to have a one day juice cleanse/detox? I'm not sure I have the will to commit to a proper week long one or something, but according to Kris Carr, even one day can do your body really good, because it just gives it a break from having to digest and can use its energy to get rid of any nasties that don't do it any good!
So, I really like the sound of that in theory, but I know how I get when I'm hungry (like a different person, and not one you'd like to meet!), but I think I'll at least attempt anyway. Have you ever done a (one day) detox? Could you tell a difference? I'd genuinely love to hear what you think!
Just for the record, I'm not one for diets, I don't believe in them, I believe in listening to your body and questioning the reasons why you want to eat. I don't want to do this to loose weight, just to get my body back to normal, where I'm fairly good at being able to tell what it needs (at least that's what I like to think), so please do tell me your experiences/thoughts on this :)

Pimms on the Terrace

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

I was already having a pretty good day yesterday (see here), but then we (nan and I, we're a true dream team) decided that it'd be a good idea to make the most of the sunshine, invite the rest of the family (in Daniel's family this would take a formal selection and invitation process, because his family is considerably bigger than mine, but here three texts work fine) to the grandparents' terrace and finally try out the new Pimms that I got for my nan last week, the one with blackberry and elderflower. I couldn't find any blackberries in our local supermarket to put in, but I thought blueberries would do just as well, and watermelon, well who can ever resist a juicy lookin' bit of watermelon? 

 Two things:
1. The Pimms is delicious. I don't know if I prefer it, but it's definitely a nice alternative, I think you kind of have to have it, not just because it tastes good, but the bottle design is beautiful!

2. We had such a lovely afternoon/evening! I had even brought the dogs around for the little party and they were having a great time too. I love these little spontaneous encounters when everyone just happens to be free and willing to meet up and even the sun decides to behave for like the first time this summer.

This also happened on Sunday, when I saw one of my friends again for the first time in like a year and a half (which is too long and shouldn't happen again!). If she hadn't been spontaneous, I definitely wouldn't have seen her either Sunday or 1.5 years ago that one time. It was so good to see her again, and she was even up for just walking our little crazy dog monsters, and again the sun actually came out, which I definitely didn't expect (I had a hoodie with me, just in case).

Sunshine Happiness

Monday, 1 July 2013

Today I feel very happy, I don't know if it's actually anything to do with the sun coming out, but I just feel really happy and grateful and you know, so I thought I'd blog about it to capture it :)

This morning I went for a little nice trip with my grandma (who I love so very dearly). We went to Trier, which is a super old city near me that we always go to for breakfast and some shopping, which has just kind of become our thing and I love to have a thing with everybody. I watch films/series (hello Gilmore Girls and Modern Family) and go to the cinema with my wonderful mum, in the winter I go to the sauna with my lovely aunt and I go for breakfast and shopping with my nan, and as with the other two, I treasure every minute of it! She's one of the people closest to my heart and one of the most loving, generous people I know.
The other thing, I realised I was really happy about, was missing Daniel. I was in France last year and then I really hated the whole missing thing, because it was annoying, because it was a permanent thing, but now we live together I think it's a positive thing, it reminds me how happy he makes me and that I've got someone to miss, which I find very nice. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that. Not that my heart isn't fond enough usually... but I love seeing him again as well :)

I know this is a slightly soppy post (and very happy), but you know, I thought I'd share the love, people. I also always read these posts on Lisette Loves (in a slightly different, more organized format) and I always enjoy reading them, so I thought why on earth not!
What are you happy about at the moment?