Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pancake mistakes, vegan handbags and bunny bookends. {Ten On Tuesday}

Hallo meine Lieben,

you can link up with my friend Alyssa for Ten On Tuesday here. Hope you are all having a fantastic week.

1. I started working out on a regular basis, at least for 30 days (You can read about it here) and one thing I realized is that cats love it when people work out. They even help you by jumping on your abs while training them. You can watch a compilation of people trying to do yoga while their pets are around on Cute Overload.

2.  My hero Philip Wollen discusses if hunting is a sport or "ignoble atrocity". Wise words, I can tell you. Please watch it, it is only 1:49 minutes long. I guess you already know what my opinion is...

3. By the way, here is a list of animals who are almost extinct. Thanks, human kind.

4. 17 of 30 days done of the Jillian Michaels Shred. I have to say that I am glad when it is over. I guess I will start with level 3 tomorrow. I feel a lot fitter but I can't see that woman anymore. 

5. Would you please sign this petition and help a polar bear to have a better life?

6. If you read my blog before that I am obsessed with anything crime related...books, movies, documentaries etc. You can find out how to commit the perfect crime here. It's a pretty interesting documentary.

7. Do you often cook with polenta? If so, do you have any good recipes to share? My mom often used polenta and I always loved it and so I bought some recently but I am not sure what to do with it except of roasting it in a pan. I really need to try out some new recipes. I am kind of sick of all the stuff I usually cook.

8. I am totally obsessed with bookends right now. 

9. When I make pancakes the first one always gets damaged. I don't know why but it happens every single time. 

10. Do you remember my Jill Milan bag? I love this bag so much, I carry it around every single day. Seriously in love. You can find it here. All Jill Milan bags are made of vegan materials of course. 

Have a wonderful rest of the week? 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Half-time report: working out with the mean drill instructor witch.

Hallo meine Lieben,

hope you are all having a fantastic weekend! As I mentioned before I started the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred and I thought I should tell you a little bit about it.

What is it?

The 30 Day Shred is -surprise- a 30 day workout program. There are 3 different levels of difficulty. Every workout is ca. 28 minutes long, the actual workout without warm-up and cool down phase is ca. 20 minutes long. Each workout consists of 3 different circuits and each circuit consists of 3 phases: strength, cardio and abs. The mean workout with is Jillian Michaels. I have never heard of this woman before but it seems like she is known for the TV show "The Biggest Loser". All you need is a mat and weights. There are two other girls with Jillian Michaels -Anita and Natalie- and one is the instructor for the beginners and one if you prefer to do the beast mode. The strength part is 3 minutes long, the cardio part two minutes and the abs part 1 minute. You are supposed to do level 1 for 10 days, then level 2 for 10 days and the remaining ten days you do level 3. 

Why am I doing this? 

I really felt like I needed some more workout. I do go hiking a lot, sometimes I even go running or do some yoga but I am not as active as I was before. When I was younger I did track and field, gymnastics, I was in a soccer team, I went biking a lot, skating etc. My goal is not to lose a whole lot of weight, in fact I do not even know my actual weight. I just want to become fitter and have a more toned body, have more strength and feel better in my body. 

How does it work for me?

Obviously I started with level 1 and I skipped the beginners' part and followed the instructions of the beast mode girl, I think her name is Natalie. I am really bad with names. I only did level 1 for 6 days and then skipped to level 2 because I felt like doing. I guess I am not that good at following rules. My legs really hurt the first couple of days. Walking up or down stairs was pretty painful but it was a good pain because I felt like something was happening with my body. 
I also realized that I do not want to listen to Jillian Michaels talking all the time so I just muted the video and played my own music. That was also much more motivating for me because music makes me want to move - on the other hand you don't really hear Jillian Michaels anymore who tells you that you are not allowed to take a break and that when 400 pound people can do it you can do it easily. How does she know that I am not 400 pounds as well? But anyway, I feel better when I do not have to listen to her. So I created my own workout playlist which is kind of a weird mixture of Bruce Springsteen, Cher, The Hives, The Offspring, Ray Charles and Modest Mouse. So do whatever you feel like doing. She does not say much about each exercise anyway so it is fine to just look at her and copy what she does. I have done the workout 15 times now so I am halfway through. I will probably skip to level 3 soon, I assume that the first couple of days of level 3 will be horrible.
All exercises are exhausting, some more some less but they all make you sweat. And they make you pant and get out of breath. There are some exercises I do not look forward to but I always try to push through it and get it done. Because I do feel like it is worth the effort.
I feel like my body is changing, I feel a lot stronger, I feel motivated and energized. I feel muscles that I have not felt before and I do think that my body starts to be more toned. And you can see some muscles. I do feel my abs, there might be some fat over them but they are there. My legs feel a lot more muscular, also my shoulders and upper arms. Of course I feel exhausted when I am done with my workout but I also often feel like I want to do some more. I usually go for a walk afterwards and sometimes I just feel like jumping into the air or doing some other weird things. I do not know, I guess I just feel really energized.
But of course, I will clearly be happy when the 30 days are over because I do not want to do this for the rest of my life. Every day. I can't say I look forward to this workout every day. It is definitely not my favorite part of the day but I do think it works. So I do it. And when I am done with the 30 Day Shred I will clearly keep going. Just not every day with Jillian Michaels. There are some other workout DVD's she made so I want to check them out and maybe do them 2-3 times a week. And I want to start running again. And of course I will still go hiking. But trust me, I do not feel like going for a 45 minute run when I finish this 30 minute workout every day. But it is definitely motivating and it works for me. I will tell you more about the results in 15 days!

This will always be my favorite workout:

Have you tried the 30 Day Shred? Or other workouts? What works for you? What's your favorite exercise?

PS: Jillian Michaels is not really that bad and of course not a witch. She is just doing her job and she is doing it right. :)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The one with even more books and awards.

Hallo meine Lieben,

my lovely book worm friend Martha nominated me for another Liebster award and I could not feel more honored. Because Martha rocks and because I really love books. So now I will share 11 facts about me and answer Martha's questions. Martha, thank you again for nominating me, it means so much to me!

11 random book-themed facts about me. 

1. Sometimes I am scared to watch a movie which is based on a book because I don't want it to destroy how imagined the characters etc. 

2. I would never give up reading. Not for a million dollars.

3. When people tell me that they don't like books then I think that something must be horribly wrong with them. 

4. I do judge books by  their covers.

5. There are books which I have read more than 10 times, including Harry Potter, the Adrian Mole diaries, the Nick Twisp diaries and lots of books from my childhood. 

6. I always carry a book with me because you never know when you find time to read. 

7. My cats share my love for books. They like to sleep or rub their faces on them.

8. I am disappointed when I find a typo in a book.

9. I would never sell any of my books. They mean too much to me. 

10. My favorite books are crime novels and cook books. And anything about traveling.

11. One of my biggest dreams is having my own library.  In a tower, with a fireplace, an old armchair and a globe bar. 

Martha's questions. 

1. What is the most overrated book you've ever read?

Well, when I was a teenager I read a German book called "Crazy" which was very popular at that time. They even made a movie out of it. Everybody was  so excited  about it and the author who was just a couple of years older than me became very famous. I bought the book because everybody was so crazy about it but I was not. It was okay but I was really disappointed at that time. I expected so much more. 
There are more but this is the first book that came into my mind. 

2. What about the most underrated? Anything other people hated that you loved?

I heard some people saying that they did not like "Set this house in order: a romance of souls" by Matt Ruff. But I absolutely loved the book. 

3. Do you have a special reading “spot” or ritual, or are you an anywhere, anytime reader?

Well, when I am at home then I love to read on the couch with a cup of tea in my one hand, the book in the other and my pets by my side. But I read anywhere and anytime. On the train or when I have to wait for something, in the car....

4. Do you like book clubs? Why or why not?

I have never been a member of a book club but I would definitely give it a try. The thing is that I usually want to chose what I read so that might cause some problems. 

5. Do you have a favorite book to gift to other people?

I love to give my favorite crime novels as gifts. Or the Adrian Mole books. Just because I want everybody else to love them as much as I do. 

6. Who is your favorite literary character?

Adrian Mole. He is hilarious and never fails to make me laugh. Or cry. Or both. I am also a huge fan of inspector Van Veeteren (from the Håkan Nesser books), Carl Mørck (Jussi Adler-Olsen), Kurt Wallander (Henning Mankell), Erik Winter (Åke Edwardson) and some more crime novel characters. 

7. Ever read a line in a book that really blew you away? What was it?

I read a lot of books about animal rights and of the quotes I always remember is “Whether we change our lives or do nothing, we have responded. To do nothing is to do something.” Or “Something having been done just about everywhere just about always is no kind of justification for doing it now.”  (Jonathan Safran Foer). And from one of my heroes Philip Wollen: “When we suffer, we suffer as equals and in their capacity to suffer, a dog, is a pig, is a bear, is a boy.” Or “Peace is not just the absence of war, it is the presence of justice. Justice must be blind to race, color, religion or species. If she’s not blind, she will be a weapon of terror and tonight there is unimaginable terror in those ghastly Guantanamo’s we call factory farms or slaughterhouses.” "Just because you can do little does not mean you can do nothing."

8. If you could rewrite the ending to a book, which would you rewrite, how, and why?

Well, I do not want some books to ever end but I never felt like I wanted to rewrite the ending of a book. Lame answer, I know. 

9. Any favorite book blogs to recommend?

Emily's blog Backlist Books of course. She always makes me get more books. 

10. If you get partway into a book and just aren’t feeling it, do you give up or push on to see if it gets better? At what point does it go into the “unfinished” pile?

I usually try to finish all the books I  start. Sometimes I do take a break because I have enough of it for a while. Maybe that while takes a little longer though.  I admit it. But I always feel guilty when I do not finish a book so I never make the decision to not finish a book. Okay, I admit that I read the first couple of pages of "50 Shades of Grey" just because I wanted to see what all the fuzz is about. And it was so horrible that I decided to never pick this up again. Luckily I never spent money for this book. So to answer the question: when the book is 50 Shades of Grey then I will never finish it. 

11. Which POV do you prefer–first or third? What are your thoughts on multiple POVs in a book, especially when both are written in the first person?

I am pretty much fine with anything, it really depends on the book. I think most books I read are written in the third person. 

Thank you again for nominating me, Martha! It means a lot! And you know I love talking about books!
Happy weekend!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The one with the grumpy bunny and the vegan cheesecake. {Ten On Tuesday}

Hallo meine Lieben,

hope you are having a fantastic week. You can link up for Ten On Tuesday with my lovely friend Alyssa.

1. A vegan blueberry birthday-cheesecake. Not the prettiest cake ever but so delicious.

2. Thanks to the German Nationalmannschaft for winning the World Cup. It was pretty nerve-wracking but they definitely deserved to win. 

3.  Day 10 of the 30 day shred. Can't say I like Jillian Michaels very much. But I feel like it is working. At least I can feel muscles I have not felt before. 

4. I love cows. 

5. Books make such fantastic presents. 

6. You can clearly see that Tiffie belongs to me. He does not like taking pictures either. Grumpy bunny.

7. I got five more crime novels and I am planning to get one or two more next week. I love to have lots of books to read.

8. Swiss vegan chocolate. One of the best I ever had. Almond and "pure". No GM technology, it's fair trade and made with rice milk. 

9. In the German state I come from we call a person who has a sweet tooth a "Siessschniss". 

10. Yeah. Why?

Have a very happy week!

Friday, July 11, 2014

The one with the random facts.

Hallo meine Lieben,

my lovely friend Irene from Away from Tenerife tagged me to share seven random facts about me. Irene just moved to Dublin, Ireland so you should not miss reading about her adventures. 

1. I have 5 book shelves full of books plus countless boxes with books which I can't unpack right now. My dream is to have my own library. 

2. When I was a kid I played in a boys' soccer team. I also looked pretty much like a boy. 

3. I can't resist buying animal related stuff. Like these dachshund bookends...

4. I have a scar on my forehead - just like Harry Potter. Maybe not as impressive. 

5. I took saxophone and bass guitar lessons when I was younger but I am the worst bass player ever. 

6. I love to watch crime documentaries and cute animal videos. 

7. I am so afraid of deep water that I never go swimming.  Even a swimming pool scares me to death. 

Have a happy weekend!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The one with the kitty birthday. {Ten On Tuesday}

Hallo meine Lieben,

today is a very special day! One of the most special days of the year: my cats Lumpi ad Tiger's 7th birthday!! Time flies by. I can't believe that these guys are already making me happy for 7 years. Adopting them was one of the best decisions I have ever made. 

Two grown-up happy sleepy birthday boys. I might be a crazy cat lady but these guys are a part of my family and I could not be more thankful! 
Happy happy birthday Lumpi and Tiger! Hope you enjoy your birthday gifts! I love you!
You can link up for Ten On Tuesday with my friend Alyssa.

1. I love to celebrate cat birthdays. They get presents, lots of food and of course I sing Happy Birthday to them. Not sure if they like that part.

2. Last weekend I watched a French movie called "Intouchables" It is a comedy-drama about the friendship of a handicapped millionaire and his ex-con caretaker. I laughed a whole lot and if you haven't seen that movie yet then I definitely recommend watching it. There are even some Hitler jokes in it - something that every German enjoys. It is also based on a true story. 

3. I had to realize that my rusty French is not good enough to understand everything they say in a 2 hour movie. So even though I really hate subtitles, I had no other choice.

4. Jillian Michaels is one mean b?#@%. I started her 30 day shred on Sunday and my legs feel pretty heavy now. Also my abs hurt when I have to sneeze. Which is weird. 

5. Click here if you want to see a yawning baby hedgehog. And this is another cute yawn. A triple yawn. 

6. I really like these vegan Toms. I always wanted to have shoes with the periodic system of elements on them. 

7. My current food addictions include pickles, corn on the cob, ice cream and more ice cream.

8. Please take a minute and sign this petition to stop the South-Australian ag-gag legislation and to protest against cruelty in slaughterhouses. 

9. Do you want to be my friend on Goodreads?

10. Because it is the most important thing today: Happy happy birthday to my fantastic cats.

Have a great week!

Friday, July 4, 2014

The one with the books and the award.

Hallo meine Lieben,

a while ago my fantastic friend Em nominated me for the Liebster award and obviously this is a huge honor. Thank you so much, Em! You rock! So today I want to answer the questions which Em mentioned in her post. You should all check out her blog by the way, she loves books and cats and writes fantastic reviews. 

What's your favourite part of book blogging?

Well, I am not a book blogger myself but I do love to read book reviews. As many as possible. I mean, I always need a good recommendation and Em gives me lots of them. I wrote a couple of reviews when I started my blog and I have no idea why I stopped. But that's one of the things I want to change about my blog: write some book reviews. I love reading and I do have a blog so I guess it would be a logical decision. Book blogs are definitely one of my favorite source for information (also my friends and book stores). 

Have you found people in the book blogging community that you really connect with? 

Oh yes, Em is fantastic and I am happy to call her my friend. I am also glad that I found my fellow book lovers and friends Martha and Celeste and Rooth and Ankita. We book lovers have to stick together. 

Anyone you talk to outside of blog comments?

Of course. I do talk a lot with the girls mentioned above. I found many fantastic friends because of my blogs. And I love to communicate with them. 

What's your favourite genre (or genres) to read?

Scandinavian and Icelandic crime novels. Especially Henning Mankell, Arnaldur Indriðason, Håkan Nesser, Åke Edwardson, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Jussi Adler-Olsen....I also love to read about traveling. 

Your least favourite?

I am not a fan of romantic love stories (they have to be funny at least...or involve a crime).

Which book do you think everyone should read?

Well, all books by the authors mentioned above. Plus the Adrian Mole Diaries by Sue Townsend. 

What books are on your TBR list for the summer?

My TBR list is endless but on top are: the David Hunter series by Simon Beckett, the latest books by Max Bentow and Lars Kepler, The Girl Who Saved The King Of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson....

Which book cover would you be most likely to frame and hang on your wall as a piece of art?

"Das alte Haus" - because it reminds me of my Mom. She always read that book to me before I was able to read it myself. 

If you could ask the author of your favourite book two questions, what would they be?

1. Can't you write faster? 2. Why?

Which fictional world do you wish you could move into?

I would love to live in The Burrow. 

What's your favourite literary adaptation? (Movie, TV Show, etc.)

I usually like the books a lot better than the movies because I like the way I imagine the characters etc. but I do love the Harry Potter movies. A lot. 
I like Orange Is The New Black but I have to admit that I never read the book so I can't tell if it is better or not. 

When you're not reading, what else are you doing for fun?

Entertaining my pets, drawing, painting, going to flea markets, drinking tea, spending time with my loved ones, writing, watching movies and tv shows, being with animals, listening to music, going to concerts, traveling, cooking and baking, daydreaming...

Have a fantastic weekend!