June 30, 2014

Mindful Monday: The Shopping Challenge Review

Oh my! My legs are super tanned in these pictures, I guess the tan is still a leftover from my sunburn I got a few weeks ago, well that's what happen when you're legs are in the sun, and the other part of your body is hiding in the shades :D But most importantly is the fact that my 6 Month Shopping Challenge is over today, wooohoo :) :) :) I think these are the important questions and answers you want to know: 

1. Why did you do that?

I've started this little project as a New Year's Resolution because last year I have realized that I definitely want less, here and now. I wanted to clear my life from clutter, to reduce my life from excess to the most important things, I just wanted to cut down from everything, instead of wanting more, wanting less. My closet was overflowing with clothes, handbags, scarfes, tons of jewelry, shoes and so on that I decided: I cannot do this anymore, I don't want this anymore, it's taking my energy and to be honest, it's weighing me down. I don't know whether or not you understand it, but often to think clear, you must clear your mind. So why not start with yourself and your consumption behavior?

2. How was your experience throughout the 6 months?

The very first month, starting in January, was pretty hard with so many Sales going on and friends trying to 'go shopping' with me, but I was able to resist and say NO to all that craziness of shopping, buying, consuming and wanting more, more and more. Instead, I've spent some time sorting out my closet and go to flea markets to sell some stuff, you can read my 1st and 3rd month reviews here and here. I can now say that I still have too many clothes in my closet, but I feel better that I did not go shopping for most of the time.

Why most of the time? Yes, I have to admit, I failed. Or cheated? If you are very strict, 3 times. The 1st time was at the Berlin Fashion Week in January when I bought myself some Floralpunk earrings; my boyfriend then gave me the money for it, so it was 'kind of' a present from him. The 2nd time was actually at a flea market when I bought a dress and a scarf from my friends, which were 2€ in total. And the 3rd time happened this easter break when I spent some days in Berlin and had to visit the newly opened Uniqlo-Store, the very first one in Germany. I fell in love with this beige 100% Linen Blouse and had to have it. I love the natural color, I love the feeling on my skin and I love to combine it to more beige stuff from my wardrobe in the summer :) Yes, it was a really tough decision because I left the blouse with the tag in the bag for another 30 days, thinking and deciding whether or not to keep it and looking for some fairtrade-or-ecofriendly similar shirts. There was no exact one and I decided: it's a keeper, but I won't wear it until the 6 month challenge is over. So, I guess, I failed 3 times in total, but I am still proud of myself that I did it, I tried, and this was not the end. 

3. How did it change your mind? And what about the future?

Six months of no-shopping are over now, but I realized that this is an ongoing-process, no start and stop, but it's about learning, failing and doing the best you can. Therefore, I am extending my no-shopping challenge for an unlimited time. I extend it to my everyday life, not only for this period of 6 months. I feel very content about it, yes, I failed 3 times, but I am still learning, I don't want to put myself under too much pressure and then blame myself, but on the other hand, I will also try to focus on myself more instead of listening to others and media, who and which influence me and my shopping choices. My boyfriend once said: advertisment creates artificial needs.

I also want to work against an overconsumption of anything, be it clothes, food, electronic things etc. You do not need as much to live a rich, healthy and happy life, there are way more important things and it's also not about having the newest, fastest, best ... on earth, but about quality and meaning. 

Everything in my life is leading to more sustainability right now. Instead of satisfying short and immediate cravings, shopping or food (you know what I'm talking about), I try to choose sustainability and longevity. For example, if something breaks, I don't throw it away immediately, but find ways to repair it, either I learn how to repair it myself or ask for help :)

4. Oh and what happened to the creative part of this? 
DIY? Mix-and Matching old clothes? Trading? 

I've actually did trade clothes and borrowed some stuff from my friends and neighbours, crazy huh? Yeah because if there is something I really really need, I just ask around and I can assure you, someone has it. Talking about the more creative part, mix and matching, yes, I did look for more older clothes and fell in love again, but capturing it with outfit posts was pretty hard for me in the past year. I will give my best and try to blog those outfit posts more for you ;-) Oh and my DIY projects are still in the planning, so I'll keep you updated with that as well. 

This was it so far :) What do you think of my experience, and about my new Linen Blouse? Will you join me in my process and when does your shopping challenge start? Maybe tomorrow? I will also give you some tips on how to shop less in the upcoming posts ;-) so stay tuned!

Have a wonderful new week ♥

P.S.: Another thing I've noticed was that, okay, I do not spend my money on clothes anymore, but more on organic foods and superfoods, which can also be pretty expensive when you're a student, but my thought behind it is: it's my body and my health, it's so worth it!  More about this soon!!! :)

Whites & Greens on Vacation :)

Here are just a few attempts from my boyfriend taking outfit pictures of me. I am not one of those lucky bloggers, who has a photographer as a boyfriend, but I think he did a fair job for his very first time, what do you think? :) That day, we did a lot of biking around Potsdam and Sanssouci Park and additionally the weather was really changeable, warm and sunny or cold and rainy, therefore I was trying to stay comfy and warm. 

I wore an old H&M blouse, olive greenish Uniqlo pants, my black Chelsea Boots and a Vintage Leather handbag from the flea :) I really love that handbag, but I only take it in the summer with me because in winter I shy away from too much color because I think this orange-brownish color is hard to mix in the winter, especially when I'm wearing lots of black and grey. But in the summer months, I like lots of white and also color mixes :) The golden bracelet is from Snash Jewelry NY.

Oh and the picture below is just me 
relaxing on the doorsteps of our holiday home :) 
All beige and white with a touch of brown & gold.

June 27, 2014

The Bread Exchange Experience

How do I know about the Bread Exchange, Malin and friends asked me. Well, I think the first time I read about her and the project was in a blog back in 2010, and at that time I think, she wasn't as big as she is now.. In the recent years she became more recognized and is featured in many magazines and newspapers. 

But what is the Bread Exchange all about and why was I interested in one of her breads? Malin Elmlid, Swedish, but living in Berlin is fascinated by the craft of bread making and was curious about how to make bread without any yeast, only salt, flour and water, pure and traditional. As you might know, I am baking my breads with yeast because I do not have the time to knead the dough all day. Additionally, I've never tried sourdough before, therefore I was curious about the taste of her breads because she does actually take her time (maybe 24hours) to knead and bake breads. Her project is about trading in her bread for special things or experiences, but not money. I recommend you to read her About & FAQs to learn more about it.

So this wednesday, when I was doing some email & blog stuff, I saw on facebook that she posted that she's having a break from bread making until the end of July, but has right now a rosemary bread in the oven. Who is interested? Definitely, I was! (I am right now in Berlin and spending some weeks here before I take off for a big journey). I thought about what to trade in and let her know :)

This was it. I traded in some chili powder and spices from the Sudan and self-grounded organic rye flour. Yeah, crazy, my boyfriend just bought a flour mill and now, we're making our own flour by hand :D Yes, it takes a long time, but it's fun and worth it ;-) Malin was really nice when we met and I was amazed about the shape and the look of the bread with its imprint of leaves on top, never have I seen such a beautiful one!

How did it taste? :) I brought it home and couldn't wait to share it with my friends, it tasted a bit sour, different from mine, but really delicious and hearty. My friends enjoyed it with some butter and I had it with avocado, but this bread can be also enjoyed plain. 

So if you're a breadlover as I am and want to have such a delicious-and-yummy experience, subscribe to Malins Blog or FB Page and maybe you'll be the next one who gets the chance to trade in something for one of her unique breads :) 

P.S.: Malin is also bringing out her first book 
about the Bread Exchange in the US and in Europe in October ;-)

June 24, 2014

Short Vacation at Schloss Babelsberg

The reason why I didn't post anything in the last 3 weeks was because of exams and deadlines for my studies. As a student you might know how it is when your semester is heading towards the end and time is becoming even more precious. You try to work efficiently and let nothing distract you. Therefore, I spend most of my time in the library, studying, and if not in the library, exercising and doing yoga to calm down. 
So, I was looking forward to some rest & relaxation with my boyfriend not too far away from Berlin. It was his birthday and for someone you love what's better to give than time? Time and Attention. Since we already did a trip to the Baltic Sea last summer, I booked some nights in Potsdam, at Schloss Babelsberg. It was really hard to decide where to go, but this lovely blog made it so much easier for me: Liebling Brandenburg. You should check it out if you want to get away for some short breaks close to Berlin :)

We ended up at Zimmer mit Ausblick, a holiday house built in 1895, restored in 2001, where you can book different apartments and rooms with a wonderful view to the park of the Babelsberg Palace. I've decided on the Garden Apartment with one large living/bedroom, a kitchen and a bathroom. I really liked the fact that the wall towards the garden is completely made out of glass, so we would watch the sunrise in the mornings and sunsets in the evenings. 
Although we planned to check out some local restaurants, we finished our evenings with some cooking and wine 'at home' instead. I really enjoyed this kind of stay because you're free to do anything you want at any time and it's more private compared to a big hotel where you have an entrance hall with people coming and leaving everytime. Of course, you're also free to do anything you want in a hotel room, but I think this kind of stay is more independent, you're not bound to breakfast/lunch/dinner times. The owners are living at the very top of the house and you can reach the lovely Pia via her mobile phone. She welcomed us very warmly and was surprised about us. We were her youngest guests so far, but hopefully not the only ones ;-)

We rented two bikes for our whole stay at hers and explored the nearby parks, lakes and castles. In only a 30 to 45minutes bike ride, you can reach the Sanssouci Park and Palace. So, there is plenty to discover and walk around :) A lot of greens & nature :) I did not take as much pictures of the sightseeing stuff because often, you won't look at them again, and other times it's just good to put your phone or camera away and let the moment just be. 
No capturing the reality, 
only living and experiencing :)

Have a happy, relaxed and new week guys,
I hope you'll always take your time for rest & peace ♥

Thanks again Pia, 
we had a wonderful time in Klein-Glienicke
 and wish you and your family all the best :) Take care!