Monday, 30 December 2013

Au revoir 2013, brace yourselves for 2014!

2013 is coming to an end and like every year you start to recapitulate what happened throughout the year. Which experiences were especially memorable – either in a good or a bad way? What changes did you go through? Was there anything that made you feel grateful or appreciate life more? What mistakes did you make?

To me, 2013 was a year with a lot of mixed feelings. I was sad many times, because life at uni did not quite work out the way I wanted it. I failed my last Japanese exam and my bachelor thesis did not turn out as good, as I had planned it. However I got accepted for the masters course I had decided for.

Furthermore there were some events on a more personal and even more emotional level, which were not too nice. After nearly one and a half years I still do not have the guts to tell my former neighbour how I feel about him. We did not see each other as much as in 2012 and I miss our evenings together on the sofa watching movies and playing videogames. There were two ambiguous incidents towards the end of the year (Halloween in particular), which ignited a spark of hope inside me, but then again it came to nothing – as always.
Tomorrow will be New Year's Eve and I will go out with him a few other friends.

So, „it's now or never“, isn't it?

Probably the most exciting thing to me in 2013 was moving into an appartment, inhabited only by my humble self. It was hard to leave something behind, that was so precious to me. The two girls, whom I shared the appartment with, were my friends since middle school and watching „The Emperor's new Groove“ or anything Monty Python related is only real fun, if they are there. Now, we go seperate ways, but I enjoy being on my own. It is definitely more work, but the move itself was so stressful, that the thought of staying within these 33m² is very tempting.

On another note, I started to live a little bit healthier, which means more veggies and less sweets and also more exercise. Of course, I did nothing productive during the Holidays and now I feel just as sluggish as before, but I feel like I will get the hang of it again pretty quickly.

Of course there were a lot more little things, that made this year worth remembering – meetings with the most amazing friends in the world, starting to work part-time, discovering new wonderful films and last but not least there was the addition of a new member to our family:

A second pug!
Jule is loud, quirky, sometimes a real pain in the butt, but once she comes to sit on your lap and cuddle, everything you were angry about is forgotten.

Tomorrow 2013 will end. I am not sure what is going to happen on that evening – IF something is going to happen at all, but 2014 is right around the corner and it feels like it is going to be a good year, apart from the usual little catastrophes.

Always remember, that you are responsible for your life. Try to see the good in everything and in case something goes wrong: Who the hell cares? If you fail an exam, it will not be the end of the world. If you embarass yourself, laugh about it (once it is over). Try to be more courageous and do new things (says the girl, who has been hiding her feeling from her crush for one and a half years ).
Maybe, 2013 was not your year, but life is too precious to get all snivelling.
Get moving instead!

I wish everyone out there an amazing start into the new year, health and happiness <3 span="">

Saturday, 28 December 2013

The absence of passion and talent

I once wrote a post about the film "500 days of Summer" and how a particular scene left its' little mark on my mind - how it made me think about the way my life is at moment.

Tonight another film made a similar impression on me and it was "the perks of being a wallflower". The overall film was very much to my taste. It is very melancholic and also contains good music. Furthermore two whole scenes are dedicated to the "Rocky Horror Picture Show". So, how could this be a bad film?

However there was something else, that stood out to me. Something which might be a minor detail in the eyes of someone else, but it was important to me.

In many films it goes like this:
Even if the main character seems to be normal and sometimes even dull, because he is rather introverted and an average kind of guy,  he always has a special feature about him. In this case we are talking about Charlie, the protagonist of "The perks of being a wallflower". He is shy and does not talk a lot in class (like I used to, when I was in school), but he has a talent for words and appears to like literature.
At some point his teacher tells him, that he should pursue his wish of becoming a writer and that he has the potential to make it. Maybe this whole affair stood out to me, because I like reading and writing myself, but neither would I consider it as a talent of mine, nor did anyone else ever tell me, that I am very good at it - which is even more important.

So, the question, which came up to me at that moment was:
Does everybody have this secret talent?

I mean, it makes sense for a protagonist of a book or a film to have it. It makes him more interesting and gives the character more depth, but in real life?
I should probably say something along the lines of: "Of course everybody has got a talent for something.", but I want to be honest. How can I say something like that, when I am not sure about my own person?

If I was the protagonist of a film, this would be one hell of a bore. first of all, there would be no love life. I never finish the things that I start and I do not have this wonderful secret talent. Last year, I tried ballet, but I sucked. I sucked balls and quit. I am overall not a sporty person and I have never been. Well, I played the clarinet for a few years, but I had to stop before my senior year of highschool. It was okay, but again, nothing I was too passionate about - nothing I was very well at. I like languages, but I am not too good at learning them. I like writing, but I never finish the stories, that I start and I never feel like I can express myself well enough (no matter which language).  I even suck at video games.

To make a long story short: there is no passion in my life and nothing I am good enough at to make me think, that I am not a complete failure. How do all these people out there know, that they are good at something? And that it is something that gives them pleasure?Because to my mind, being good at something, does not necessarily mean, that you have to like it. But if this was a film, there would be a perfect symbiosis of both of them:

Passion and talent.

But in this chest, there is nothing more than a beating heart to keep me alive. No passion. No energy. No fuel for my mind to make me want to achieve things. Just solid biological mechanisms.
Maybe there is some severe overestimation going on right now, considering the power of a "talent", but I certainly think, that it is nice to have one. It is something you can come back to, knowing that you are good at it. It is a safe harbour, where you do not always have to worry about success and failure. You just do it and chances are, that it turns out pretty well.

This whole text is not very encouraging. It is not even an encouragement for myself at the moment, but maybe someone who reads this, feels the same.

I hope, that he or she will not feel alone anymore.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The sweet 'n' salty thing & my praliné mishap

Christmas is the time to indulge in your favourite meals and candys, no matter how unhealthy they may be. And Christmas is the time for me throw all the resolutions I made concerning a healthy lifestyle overboard for the sake of feasting myself.
However, whenever I watch a 'healthy snack video' or read a blog post about this topic, there is this one combination which crosses my way over and over again:

A random fruit (preferably apples or bananas) + peanut butter

Well, I do not habe any regrets, when I let go of all my good intentions during the holidays, but replacing my chocolate and cookies with something „healthy“ does not seem too bad either.
To many people, this combination might not be that uncommon and maybe I am the only person in the world who finds this a strange mixture, but I still can not imagine those two worlds together. So, this evening I made the test and sliced up an apple to dip it into my newly bought peanut butter.

The result: It is actually not that bad! There is this freshness of the apple and then the creamy texture of the peanut butter, which is quite nice. I thought, that the peanut butter would have a very dominant taste, but it does not (but maybe it depends on the brand). You actually have this nutty, salty flavour rather at the end, so it does not collide with the apple too much.
Nevertheless there is one thing I have to admit: it was not enough to satisfy my cravings completely. I still feel like I want a little bit more of something.
Something less healthy.

The reason why I made this „culinary experiment“ in the first place was this recipe with peanut butter, that I wanted to try out:

I love „bite these goodies“, because the recipes are often quite easy to make, but still offer a different twist to a sometimes classic dish. This whole sweet and salty thing is still new to me, but I immediately thought, that these pralinés might be nice.

First off: They really taste amazing! But there is one downside to it: I still failed miserably!
Because I am a stupid European who was not able to convert cups into grams the right way.

=> too many pretzels, not enough peanut butter and sticky fingers.

I mean, look at these pretty, little babies on the site! They are bitesized little wonders! Beautiful and even on the outside and smooth and slightly crunchy on the inside and now look at what I (the genius) came up with:

What the hell are these monsters?? It was a real pain in the ass to form little balls with my mixture. So I ended up with huge chunks of peanut butter pretzels.
Because of the warmth of my fingers the peanut butter became runny and prefered to stick to my fingers or make my chunks fall apart instead of sticking them together.

After more about forty pretzel-chunks, I still have about half of the mixture left. Maybe I will use it up tomorrow. 

 This whole experience makes me feel very incapable and incompetent. Why else would someone assume, that he needs more pretzels than peanut butter? Because, hey! The more pretzels I have, the better!
No! This is definitely not the case.
Please do not get me wrong, I do not want to bash on this wonderful recipe. The overall taste of the „pralinés“ is very good and if I had looked at the pictures properly and done a better job at converting the measurements, everything would be perfectly fine.

Anyway, the moral of this story is as it follows:

Always check the instructions properly and always try something new!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

A little film guide for the festive season

9 more days to go till Christmas Eve and two more weeks of 2013. I guess that most people are at this point either in full Christmas spirit, baking cookies and listening to Christmas songs 24/7 or running around around with a grim face, because of all the stress. Personally, I love the Christmas season and one of my favourite parts about December is that I finally get to watch my Christmas films again. I love films in general, but there is this special feeling about Christmas films that I love – this wonderful warmth in your belly.

This time I want to present to you my favourite films to watch this season. Not all of them are Christmas related, but I still think they are appropriate for this cosy time of the year. 

1) The Muppets Christmas Carol (1992)

Who does not know the Charles Dickens' classic Christmas tale about grumpy Ebenezer Scrooge? Countless attempts have been made to turn this story into a film, but this one is by far the most entertaining one. First of all, Michael Caine embodies Ebenezer Scrooge perfectly, but my favourite part about the film have to be the great Gonzo as Charles Dickens and Rizzo the rat as... well, as himself. The two of them are a great duo which makes this film very lighthearted and humorous.

It is my favourite film to watch with my mum. We love singing along to the songs and the humour is just perfect for our taste.

2) Little Women (1994)

„Little Women“ is based on Louisa May Alcott's novel from 1868/1869 and it follows the story of four sisters and their way to adulthood. It is one of those films which is heartbreaking, but at the same time heartwarming as well and to my mind, this is what makes a very good Christmas movie. Winona Ryder plays the boyish, but passionate Jo March so nicely and you also get to see a young Christian Bale as her best friend „Teddy“ who falls in love with her.
Set around the time of the American Civil War there are wonderful costumes to look at and together with the amazing sountrack and the historic setting, this film has a good frame for this classic story. 

On a side note: There is also a version from 1933 with Katharine Hepburn as Jo which is a warm recommendation to you as well.

3) The Family Stone (2005)

This has to be probably my favourite Christmas movie out of all the ones I mention in this blog. At this point some people might ask: „Why not Elf?“ (Which apparently a lot of people like) or „Why not film XY?“ also, this films' critics are not the best ones out of the bunch (52% on Rotten Tomatoes), but I still love it to pieces and I will tell you why.

It is Christmas at the Stones' residence and the whole family comes together to celebrate. All of them are quite liberal and „free thinkers“ if you want to call it like that. The trouble starts, when Everett (Dermot Mulroney) arrives with his girlfriend Meredith (Sarah Jessica Parker) who is very uptight and so has a very difficult position in the family from the very beginning.
When Meredith calls for her sister Julie (Claire Danes) to come and help her, the trouble really starts. Moreover a more serious shadow is cast over this Christmas season, but I do not want to spoil too much.
Just like „Little Women“ this film is heartbreaking, very very heartbreaking, but there are a lot of romantic and funny moments as well. I love the members of the huge Stones family, especially the stubborn Amy (Rachel McAdams). I love their house and the snow. I love the music. I love the atmosphere within the family itself full of love and acceptance. This film just screams „American Christmas kitsch“ and this is probably the most important fact for me. 

If you want a lovely film to watch, when you just want to snuggle up on the couch, drink a hot chocolate and cry a few tears of sadness and joy, this is for you!

4) Meet me in St. Louis (1944)

This Hollywood musical with Judy Garland in the leading role is one of my more recent favourites. I have known the song "Have yourself a merry little Christmas" for years, but I never got the chance to watch the actual film until last year on the plane (where I curled up and cried like a child while listening to this song). Then, this summer, I finally found the DVD at a flea market in London. 
The film itself is set in St. Louis at the beginning of the 20th century and contains (of course) a love story. However the film reaches its' climax, when the father reveals to his family that they will leave St. Louis to go to New York and they spend their last winter in their beloved hometown. The last ball on Christmas Eve, when Esther (Judy Garland) dances with her grandfather (Harry Davenport) to "Auld Lang Syne" is so sweet and sad to watch. After her return home Judy Garland sings her famous rendition of "Have Yourself a merry little Christmas". It gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it. It might be one of the more das Christmas songs, but I adore it nonetheless. 

Not being entirely a Christmas film, I still do not think I could watch "Meet me in St. Louis" at any other time of the year, due to the strong effect of this scene I described above. It would just feel awfully wrong to me to watch this during spring or summer, but maybe that is just me again.

5) Downton Abbey (2010- )

I am not a very good series-watcher, but the British TV series „Downton Abbey“ got me completely hooked. It starts in 1912 with the sinking of the Titanic and follows the fate of the Crawley family from then on through the First World War, the roaring twenties and is still going on. It focuses not only on the characters of the Crawley family itself, but also the servants working in the house. Critics say, that the series tends to be very melodramatic and I agree with them and sometimes it is a bit predictable, but in the end I enjoy following the development of the characters as individuals and their relationships with others.
Apart from the fact, that I could steal every single dress from Lady Mary, Edith, Lady Sybil, or Cora, their mother, the whole series lives from the melancholic, slightly aristocratic - well British – atmosphere. It is just a perfect watch for the cold season.

A few Christmas specials have been released as well, however I only own the one from 2011. 

I have to admit, that I was a bit disappointed with it. I bought it last year after Christmas when I was in London and did not watch it until recently, because when it comes to Christmas related films, I am very strict: no watching until the first of December!

It was not as christmassy, I had liked it to be, but it is still enjoyable. However I highly recommend the overall series to everyone, who likes England, drama and the historic setting.

6) The Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Maybe one of THE classic Disney films of all times. It has always been one my Disney favourites and I think everybody knows it. But since I enjoy it the most when it is cold outside, but warm in the house, I thought I would still mention it in here. Maybe it is just me, but the atmosphere is a bit darker than in most Disney films and there are also many romantic and wintery elements (which again, to me are the most enjoyable during this time of the year). 

Basically this is just a reminder to everyone to watch this timeless classic again.

At this point I will wrap up my little film guide. Of course there are many other great Chrismas films out there like "It's a wonderful life" or "Christmas Vacation", but these ones are especially close to my heart.
I think between all this Christmas stress with buying presents and preparing everything for Christmas Eve, we should take an evening in between to just sit down and actually enjoy what this season has to offer. 

What are your favourite Christmas films?

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Small boobs -and why you should embrace them

Maybe this is something most of you already know, but:

Boobs are not everything guys are looking for in a girl.

Well, at least if their character is just half as agreeable as they should be. This boobie-thing has been one of the most common prejudices of dating-history, but every once in a while I think people should be reminded of the fact, that boobies are not everything.
I can see why guys like them. They are soft and round and feel nice to touch, but they are also the cause for a lot of trouble and by trouble I mean „mind-trouble“ for women all over the planet. For generations girls and also women have been worrying if their boobies are too small for a man to be appealing, but honestly?

As soon as the sexy-time arrives, he will not care as much about the size of your boobs, as you think he would – if he is not a total dick. I can understand that women who are really troubled do not find this information very helpful, but I still want to raise awareness.

Small boobs are wonderful!

Being quite flat chested myself, I have never seen them as some kind of handicap, when it comes to hunting for guys in the wild prairie. My body is very petite, so big boobs would look weird on me anyway, but in my opinion they have so many advantages compared to bigger bra buddies.

First of all they give you a lot more freedom. For example, when I wear a hoodie, with a top underneath, I do not even have to wear a bra to keep everything in place or to hide my nipples.
The feeling of removing your bra after a long, exhausting day is wonderful, but to me it is good to know, that I do not always have to rely on a bra.

Also, when going clubbing and I want to wear a top without wanting to reveal my bra straps, it is alright to just wear a light bandeau underneath. I always ask myself how girls with a more generous balcony manage this. Any ideas?

Another pro is the almighty force of gravity, which pulls everything down. A bra supports your boobs, so they do not sag or wiggle around your ears, which gets more important the older you get. Sooner or later gravity will do its' evil work and pull these babies down. As a matter of fact women with bigger boobs are prone to this before we small chested women do.

Ergo, even when your face starts to wrinkle, your boobs might still be quite firm and lovely.

And talking about the movements of the boobs:
Actually sometimes I do feel that they exist. During sports or walking and they just annoy me – they way I feel them moving up and down. Another reason for me to prefer mine small and compact.

All of this might not be enough to make everyone who has a small chest embrace this trait. Women will always worry about the way they look. It does not even have to be the chest area. There are so many things about oneself to feel insecure about.

At least, this is what we think.

People love you just the way you are and this is why there is actually just one thing you have to work on:

Your mind.

Start to love yourself the way you are and people with appreciate you even more. Your life will become so much more relaxed. Do not be so tense about your boobs, or your thighs or your nose. Embrace them and find someone who embraces you just the way you deserve it.