Thursday, October 31, 2013

Random Thursday. Let's get spooky! Halloween Faves...

Hallo meine Lieben,

welcome to another Random Thursday and Happy Halloween! I hope you are having a fantastic week. Please link up and share your Halloween Faves with us!

Halloween is definitely one of my fave holidays. Halloween is not as popular in Germany as it is in America. When I was a child we did not even celebrate it. You did not even get Halloween decoration in the stores. But things are changing and it seems like the kids even go trick or treating nowadays. My first Halloween in America was so exciting, I felt like a little child, went to haunted houses, bought Halloween decoration, did some pumpkin carving, made pumpkin soup. I  even went to a store which sold nothing but Halloween related stuff. I could not imagine that something like that even existed. As I said, I am a German and I am still getting used to all the American traditions. 

So here are my favorite things about Halloween.

Haunted Houses.

I have been to a couple of haunted house in America and they were all so much fun. Even though I always was the victim of all the monsters, zombies, demons etc. 


I am not sure if that dog is very amused. I have never tried to put my cats into a costumes but I am pretty sure they would not care at all since they are so relaxed and always in a good mood. But a lot of pet costumes are unsafe for the animals. So yeah, dressing up is a great thing for humans but  I would just leave the furry friends alone. 

Pumpkin Carving.

I love to see all the creative pumpkins people decorate their house with. By the way, I am still confused by the term Jack-o'-lantern. I have never even heard  that before I came to America. For me it was a carved pumpkin. I guess you never stop learning. 

Halloween decoration.

I love decorating and since I have a soft spot for all spooky things, Halloween is my favorite. I love bats and vampires. 

Creepy movies. 

I  know, The Addams Family is not that creepy but I love all kinds of movies which have anything spooky in it. So I think it is perfect to watch the movie this time of the year. My favorite "character" is Thing by the way. Which is called "Eiskaltes Händchen" in German ("Ice-cold hand"). Horror movies are also good, of course. Or Edward Scissorhands. Idle Hands. Lots of hands....What's the deal with all the hands....

Please make sure your pets are safe. Especially your (black) cats since there are so many sick people out there who can try to hurt your beloved cat.  

So what are your Halloween favorites? 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Vegan raisin cinnamon buns (Rosinenbrötchen).

Hallo meine Lieben,

as I told you before, I am really into baking right now. I had to realize that the stuff I bake does not always look that great but it usually tastes good. My Rosinenbrötchen are another example for this. Don't let the pictures fool you, they taste pretty awesome. And they are so easy to make. 

Here is what you need.

300 g flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
150 g raisins
75 g vegan butter or margarine (I used Alsan)
250 ml almond milk
some salt

It gets complicated.

Mix all ingredients together. 
Form the dough into 6-7 balls. 
Put them on a baking tray.
Bake them for 15 minutes at 225 degrees Celsius (450 degrees F).

You can also add nuts or chocolate chips if you want to. 

Sorry for the quality of the pictures, I had to use my iPhone camera. 

Enjoy and have a lovely day!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ten On Tuesday. A vegan waiter, insider jokes and chocolate covered speculoos balls.

Hallo meine Lieben,

hope you are all doing great! You can link up with Alyssa here.  


I don't know if this is offending to meat-eaters but the poor waiter just speaks the truth and I thought it is pretty awesome.

I am so addicted to Criminal Minds right now. I don't even feel like watching much else. I have no idea how to catch up with this show but I will definitely try. I have no idea why I haven't started to watch this earlier.

There are some things that you just don't understand when you did not grow up in a country. David still has to explain jokes or sayings to me. I don't like the fact that sometimes I just don't get things but I guess it would be the same for him in Germany.

It would be nice to get some new running shoes at some point and I am really liking the color combination of these shoes. Maybe I would go out running more often with some nice pair of shoes, I don't know. 

You would think that there is finally a progress and companies would stop testing their beauty products on animals. But I feel like there are only step backwards recently. It seems like Stila cosmetics is another company which changed their cruelty free policy. Shame on that company. Things like that make me really sad.

I need to make these. I love Speculoos and these look more than just delicious! You can find the recipe here.

Do you usually eat sweet or savory for breakfast? I need something savory first. Bread with vegan cheese for example. I am a German, I need my bread and Brötchen. 

I don't like the combination of peppermint and chocolate. 

The last song which got stuck in my head was "Es klappert die Mühle am rauschenden Bach" which is totally weird because it is a children's song about a water mill and craftsmanship. And it is from 1824. It took me over a day to get rid of it. My German friends will know that song.


Have a happy Tuesday!

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Sunshine Award.

Hallo meine Lieben,

hope your week is going fine! Yesterday I was so happy to find out that my friend Martha nominated me for the "Sunshine Award". It is "an award given to those who inspire us and bring sunshine into our lives". How sweet and wonderful is that? I feel so honored! Thank you, Martha!

There are a few rules:
-Include the award logo in your blog post
- Link to the person who nominated you
- Answer 10 questions about yourself
- Nominate other bloggers.

And here are Martha's questions and my answers.

1. If you could travel to any point in the past or the future and spend one day there, where/when would you land and why?

I would travel back to the saddest day of my life and would try to change the things that happened. That is for sure.

2. Everyone talks about how much they love autumn--but what's your least favorite thing about this time of the year?

I love autumn but I don't like the freezing cold rainy days when I have to leave the house and try to make sure not to freeze to death. Not that easy. I am always cold and I can wear layers and layers, scarves and hats and boots and warm does not help.

3. If you could only wear one shade of nail polish for the rest of the year, what would it be?

That  would be either a dark red or taupe. 

4. What item do you have no problem dishing out serious cash for? Doesn't have to be beauty related, could be books, food, etc.

Definitely books. I can control myself with other things most of the time but I can't resist a book I really want to read. So when I find one, I buy it. 

5. What would your last meal be?

An Indian curry, vegan cookie dough ice cream, a bag of salt and vinegar chips, pasta, apple pie, fried tofu, hot chocolate with almond milk, pizza with artichokes, more pie, a banana smoothie. Oh, and lots of dark chocolate.

6. If you could live in another country for a year, where would you go?

Ireland, Iceland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, India, Sweden or Christmas Island (not  a country, I know.). 

7. If you won the lottery, would you still work a regular job, or would you choose to punch out for the last time?

I would buy an old castle in Ireland and live there with lots of animals who need a home. Goats, donkeys, cats, dogs, bunnies, cows, pigs....every animal is allowed to stay there with me. David could do his music and I would do something creative. No 9-5 job. Well, I would still work on the stuff I am interested in, forensic psychology and criminology. I would probably try to write a novel too. But I would definitely only do stuff that makes me happy. 

8. If you could have any wild animal for a pet (and it would behave like a domesticated animal, of course!), what would it be?

All of them, of course. 

9. What beauty routine do you secretly loathe, but follow religiously (or not so religiously) anyway?

To tweeze my eyebrows. It just hurts way too much.

10. What's your "theme song"?

I asked David and he said "Smooth Criminal" because I am fascinated by anything crime related so much. 

I nominate all of you lovely friends who are always there for me, stop by and leave such lovely comments. You rock! And you mean so much to me!

Thanks again, Martha! I am so honored and so glad to have you as my friend!

Have a lovely day!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Five Things. Unicorns, marshmallows and lipsticks.

Hallo meine Lieben,

hope you are all having a fantastic weekend. Please visit my friend Celeste's blog and check out her fife things as well.

1. This sweater. 

I am so in love with this sweater. I am in desperate need of some warm sweaters for fall and I think this one would be perfect. Who can't resist a colorful unicorn?

2. These marshmallows.

I am in desperate need of some marshmallows which is weird because I did not even eat marshmallows before I went vegetarian and then vegan. But now I can't think of anything else. It is creepy. Maybe that's America's influence. Who knows. 

3. These lipsticks.

I recently discovered the lipsticks by Melt Cosmetics on the internet, they are all vegan, paraben free, gluten free, cruelty free and ultra matte. The shades look so fantastic and I would love to try them. They are definitely on my beauty shopping list. 

4. This cook book. 

I guess you can never have too many cook books so this one is on my list too. I love to try new recipes even when I change most of them here and there. 

5. This magazine. 

I just love the fact that there is a "home" edition of the Mollie Makes magazine. I love any kind of crafty magazines so I can't wait to check this one out. It is great to get some inspiration to decorate your home.

What are the things you are loving right now?
Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Random Thursday - Fave things to do in the fall.

Hallo meine Lieben,

welcome to my second week as a Random Thursday host! I am still very excited and I hope you will all link up!

And here is this week's topic. 

Fall is by far my favorite season of the year. All seasons can be nice but there is something special about fall. It is just such a cozy and beautiful season. So here is what I love most about it. 

Going to Haunted Houses.

That's one thing I love about America: there are so many different Haunted Houses you can choose from. It's definitely one of my favorite things to do even though all the zombies and monsters always decide to chase me. 


I guess this is no surprise. I love reading anytime of the year but fall is the coziest season so reading is the perfect thing to do. Give me some books and magazines and I am busy for the next days. Or weeks. 

Spending the evening on the couch.

I love to spend the evening snuggled up on the couch, with a warm blanket, something to snack, a hot water bottle, a cup of tea, a good movie or a book. That's my kind of evening.


I would say that fall is the best season to do a puzzle. The problem is that the cats always try to steal the pieces. So you have to be a bit careful. Can't wait to start my next puzzle soon, I haven't done one in ages. 

Shopping for candles. 

I love candles. Especially in fall and winter. Which is why I try to stock up on candles in fall. I recently got some which smell like Christmas cookies. I want to get some caramel ones too. And vanilla is always good too.

A walk in the woods. 

Would be even better with a dog I guess. But I enjoy long walks, especially in fall when everything is so colorful. 

Wearing boots and scarves and gloves. 

What can I say...I also love going shopping for boots and scarves and gloves. I get cold easily so I always need to make sure to wear some warm stuff during fall and winter. 

Drinking tea and hot chocolate.

Always good but even more enjoyable in fall and winter. I prefer to drink my hot chocolate with almond milk and my favorite teas are Moroccan mint, chai, Irish Breakfast Tea, green tea...well, all kinds of tea.  I also love to search for new cool mugs.

Baking and cooking.

Just a very relaxing thing to do. I love to try out new recipes and discover new things to eat. I am really into baking right now. And into eating the cakes. 

So, what are your favorite things to do in the fall? Please let me know!

99 questions you should ask yourself - part II.

Hallo meine Lieben,

hope your week is going great! Here is part 2 of the 99 questions, you can find part 1 here.

11. How many minutes do you look at your phone each day?

I am not sure. I mean, that really depends where I am and what I do. But I do spend a lot of time talking to David, checking my emails, looking at pictures on Instagram. When I am home I usually use my iPad or laptop though.

12. Do you call your parents for no reason?

I usually skype with my Dad maybe twice a week. We always have a lot to tell each other, just the normal every day stuff. 

13. Do you know the story of how your parents met?

Yes, I do! They met in a cafe because of mutual friends. My Mom was only 15 years old and it must have been love at first sight.

14. What do you miss when you are on vacation?

My cats and bunnies of course. I don't like being without them and I always worry that anything could happen to them. I also miss my bed when I am on vacation because I love to sleep in my own bed with my pillows and my blanket. 

15. What is the word of your childhood?

I would say "love" because my parents and grandparents have always been there for me and I always felt their love and support. 

16. When was the last time you played a game?

I played some "Words with Friends" today but if we talk about board games then it was a couple of months ago when I played the "Crazy Cat Lady Game" with David. He surprised me with this game. I love playing board games and I should definitely do it more often. 

17. Do you think more about your past or your future?

I think about the past and the future a lot. I tend to worry too much which I really don't want to do but it is hard to change it. And there is definitely no use in worrying about the past. Nothing you can change about that. So I always try to stay positive. 

18. In which language would you like to be fluent?

Well, I would definitely like to be fluent in English. I mean, I am kind of fluent but I would love to be able to not make any mistakes at all anymore. Other than that, I would love to be fluent in French and Italian and Spanish and Swedish and Icelandic. 

19. Do you try not to look like a tourist when you are on vacation?

Well, let's say I try not to look stupid when I am on vacation but I always carry a camera with me so I guess you can clearly see that I am a tourist. But I definitely don't look like the stereotypical German tourist wearing sandals and white socks. 

20. Do you like yourself better when you are drunk?

No, not really. I don't drink very much, a beer here and there so I don't really get drunk. But I don't like myself when I am too drunk which happened a couple of times in the past. It just makes me feel bad the next morning. 

Please feel free to join. I would love to read your answers!
Have a lovely Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ten On Tuesday. A platypus, a poppy seed cake and cuddling cats.

Hallo meine Lieben,

hope you are all having a wonderful week. It's time for Ten On Tuesday, you can link up with Alyssa here.

1. Yesterday was Reptile Awareness Day! I like the fact that there is an awareness day for almost every animal because they really need as much awareness as they can get. You can read more about Reptile Awareness Day here.

2. I made another cake. A banana-poppy seed-cake. It tastes fantastic but I kind of ruined it when I tried to get it out of the baking pan. So it looks bad but tastes good. I guess that is the main thing. I will share the recipe soon if you want to. 

3. I am in love with a platypus. Such fascinating and adorable animals.

4. Tomorrow I will run to the book store and get a copy of the new Yrsa Sigurðardóttir book. I am so excited. The small things in life really make you happy.

5. Sorry for the quality but Tiger and Lumpi are so cute, I have to share the picture. 

6. My French course is waiting for me on my living room table. It wants me to start working on it. It looks at me every day. I am sure I will start soon. Maybe tomorrow. But seriously, I really need to work on my French. I forgot almost everything I have ever learned. It is sad because I spent 6 years learning this language in school.

7. I am in desperate need of this tea infuser.

8. I agree with Phoebe. 

9. I am currently addicted to pizza. I guess I eat it way too often. My favorite toppings are mushrooms, corn, asparagus, pesto, arugula, chili, peppers, artichokes and vegan cheese. 

10. There are more books on my Christmas wishlist than anything else. There are just so many books in this world which I want to read. 

Have a happy Tuesday!

Monday, October 21, 2013

99 questions you should ask yourself - part I.

Hallo meine Lieben,

in a magazine I discovered an article about "99 questions you should ask yourself" and I thought it might be interesting to answer these. 99 questions are a bit much for just one post so I decided to split them up.
I would be very excited if you would join me and answer these questions too.

1. What are you addicted to?

I am addicted to anything I can read. Books, magazines, articles, blogs. I love to read and I love to do it as often as I can. A world without books would be a sad world. Sure, I also can't live without animals, David, my friends and family, nature...

2. What's the first thing you would do if you were invisible?

Sneak into factory farms, laboratories etc. and free all the animals in there. 

3. Pictures or plants in your office?

I don't have a green thumb at all but I always try to keep at least one plant alive. Must be one which is easy to handle though. And of course pictures too. 

4. If you could magically change a part of your body, which one would it be?

I like myself in general but I am not really a huge fan of my legs. I don't know why exactly but they are definitely my least favorite part of myself. They are always pale and my knees look like soccer player knees. 

5.Do you know people who would want to have sex with you immediately?

I would hope David. 

6. How often do you google yourself?

I think I have googled my name once...that was years ago. I have never really thought about this. Maybe I should do it more often. 

7. Have you ever been depressive?

Depressed yes...but not depressive. I don't know. I had a very hard time after my mom died but I never really showed it. 

8. What is the most embarrassing thing you can find on the internet about you?

Probably some pictures where I really make a stupid face in one of David's photo albums. I have the tendency to always look really stupid in pictures. 

9. Do you think that time heals all wounds?

No, I don't think so. 

10. Which words of education of your parents would you never say to your kids? 

My parents did a really good jobs but I always hated it when other parents said that their kids have to empty their plates. One of my friend's mom always put so much stuff on her daughter's plate that the kid almost threw up trying to eat all that stuff she did not even liked. My parents never forced me to eat anything I did not want to eat. And they were very supportive when I stopped eating meat. 

Stay tuned for part II! And have a happy week!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Philip Wollen and the principle of "Ahimsa".

Hallo meine Lieben,

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

This morning I read an article about my hero Philip Wollen and he talked about the principle of "Ahimsa" which immediately caught my attention. If you haven't watched it yet, I definitely recommend watching  Wollen's speech at the Animals Should Be Off The Menu debate. I think I watched the whole debate at least 5 times because it is so fascinating but the most fascinating part of the debate is clearly Philip Wollen. He is so passionate and such a fantastic speaker, I think he is able to convince anybody with his words. 
Anyway, Philip Wollen is the former Vice President of Citibank and left his job to become a philanthropist and works to help animals, humans and the planet. You can read more about his work and his Kindness Trust here.

"Every morsel of meat we eat is slapping the tear stained face of a hungry child."

“Animals must be off the menu because tonight they are screaming in terror in the slaughterhouse, in crates, and cages. Vile ignoble gulags of despair. I heard the screams of my dying father as his body was ravaged by the cancer that killed him. And I realized I had heard these screams before. In the slaugherhouse, eyes stabbed out and tendons slashed, on the cattle ships to the Middle East and the dying mother whale as a Japanese harpoon expodes in her brain as she calls out to her calf. Their cries were the cries of my father. I discovered when we suffer, we suffer as equals. And in their capacity to suffer, a dog is a pig is a bear….is a boy. Meat is the new asbestos – more murderous than tobacco.”

I could talk about this man forever because he is fascinating. But today I want to talk about the principle of "Ahimsa" which I have not heard before I read this article (it is in German). 

In Sanskrit "Ahimsa" is a term meaning "do not injure".  Ahimsa is also referred to as nonviolence, and it applies to all living beings including animals. And Philip Wollen's goal is that Ahimsa will be lived reality.

Ahimsa is a multidimensional concept, inspired by the premise that all living beings have the spark of the divine spiritual energy, to hurt another being is to hurt oneself. Ahimsa has also been related to the notion that any violence has karmic consequences. Ahimsa is one of the cardinal virtues and an important tenet of major Indian religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism).

Mahatma Ghandi strongly believed in the principle of Ahimsa.It's precept of 'cause no injury' includes one's deeds, words, and thoughts.

I don't know much about the principle of Ahimsa yet but since I first read about it this morning I am determined to find out more about it. It fascinates me and I agree with everything I read about it so far. I wish every person on this planet could follow this principle. We should not do any harm to other humans....not to our planet....not to animals. 

So my questions are: does any of you know more about the principle of Ahimsa? Do you have any book/article recommendations? Have you watched the debate? What are your thoughts?

Have a happy Sunday!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A not so professional not so crumbly but yummy vegan apple pie with cinnamon Streuseln.

Hallo meine Lieben,

I really really love and enjoy baking? Am I good at it? Well, that depends. I am definitely not a professional and you can see that. Most cakes, pies, cupcakes I make don't look very professional but so far all of them tasted pretty good (as long as I don't burn them). So I am trying to improve my baking skills and I surely enjoy the process.
So a couple of days ago I decided to give it another try and make an apple pie. A really easy one. And I want to share the recipe with you although the pictures are not very promising. You have to excuse the quality of the pictures, I still have to use my iPhone camera. So yeah, don't let the pictures and my non-existent crumble making skills fool you: the pie tastes absolutely fantastic. 

( I would say that you have to lick the spoon and the bowl in the end. That's the best part.)

So here is what the cake looks like when you have no idea how to make crumble. I really need to improve my crumble making skills so that the next pie won't just taste good but also look good.

And here is what you need.

For the dough.

150 g margarine
100 g sugar
some vanilla
200 g flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
100 ml almond milk

For the cinnamon crumble.

100 g margarine
150 g flour
as much cinnamon as you want but at least 3 tea spoons
125 g brown sugar

And of course...

ca. 1 kg apples


Walnuts and raisins. 

Mix all the ingredients for the dough and put it in the baking pan. Make sure that you don't just fill the bottom of the pan but also the edges (wow, I just realized that it is pretty hard to describe this in English. I hope you know what I mean. Please let me know how to call this correctly.)
That's what I mean.

Remove the core of the apples and cut them into slices and put all the slices on the dough. You can add some raisins or walnuts if you want  to. 
Mix the ingredients for the crumble and try to make some nice looking cinnamon crumbles. Cover the apples with it.
Put the pie in the oven and bake it for 40 minutes at ca. 200 degrees Celsius. (You can convert all the measurements here.)

And then a piece of the pie looks like that (when you use a crappy camera).


Do you like baking? Are you a lover of pies or cakes? Do you have any recipes to share?
Have a fantastic weekend!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Five Things. Black cats, tree houses and Rudolph noses.

Hallo meine Lieben,

happy Friday! Please check out my friend Celeste's Five Things as well.

1. This castle.

An old Irish castle and sheep? I'll move in. I am sure there is enough space for my library, lots of animals and I guess my own ghost already lives there. Sold. 

2. This face mask.

This Lush face mask is called Rudolph and seems to be perfect for winter. It contains cucumber, coconut oil, green tea and aloe vera. It is part of their new winter edition and also includes a Rudolph nose which you can wear when you feel very christmassy. Like the idea. 

3. This book.

Only five more days to wait for it! I am pretty excited. I discovered Yrsa Sigurdardóttir's books maybe a year ago and I finished all of them pretty quickly. So now I am waiting for the new one to get published. I always get way too excited about new books but I can't help myself. 

4. This tree house. 

It would be the perfect addition to my castle. I would definitely use it as my reading area. And it could also be my creative space...where I paint and craft. I am in love. I need somebody to build me such a tree house. 

5. This cat.

I think this picture of Lumpi is fantastic (even when it is a little blurry) and I can't even put into words how much I love this cat. 

Have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Random Thursday: a random fact that blew my mind.

Hallo meine Lieben,

I hope you are having a wonderful week! It's time for another Random Thursday and there are some news to tell. Meg is really busy right now so she does not have the time to host the link-up which is why Lin and Em asked me to help out. Of course I said yes because Random Thursday is always a lot of fun and I am honored that the girls asked me to join the fun. So yep, you can see my face on that banner now. I will miss Meg and I hope she will still find the time to link up as often as possible. 

So here is this week's topic. My first topic as a Random Thursday co-host. As you can see, I am pretty excited. And also very touched because of Em's sweet welcome greetings

Fact #1.

It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat, while growing 1 pound of wheat only requires 25 gallons. You save more water by not eating a pound of meat than you do by not showering for six months! You can read more about this here.

Fact #2.

When a female horse and male donkey mate, the offspring is called a mule, but when a male horse and female donkey mate, the offspring is called a hinny.

Fact #3.

Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.

Fact #4.

"Siberia" means "sleeping land".

Fact #5.

The marriage between Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher lasted 86 years 9 months and 16 days and was the longest marriage ever. Herbert Fisher died 2011 at the age of 105. 

Fact #6.

There are only four words in the English language which end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

Fact #7.

A group of rhinos is called a crash.

I absolutely love reading about facts like these. I even have a book full with random facts (of course, a book). Please share the random facts that blew you away with us!
Have a fantastic Thursday!