Showing posts from 2017

New Year - New Me?

2017 was a mixed bag in many ways, therefore I am not really sad that the year is coming to a close.
And although I have a lot of plans for 2018, I don't want to make a lot of resolutions except for losing weight - but that's always on the list. ;) Instead, I have joined an online group that focuses on cutting spending to the necessities.

I really enjoy online shopping for clothes - I can browse for hours in my sweatpants and don't have to deal with people. So when an email lands in my inbox promising x% off, I get very excited. I am not much of a luxury shopper. Most luxury items I own (a purse, a coat and a wallet) were gifts or I got them (jewelry) for a lot less because I worked for the company.

Most of my funds go towards vacations. I just love traveling and exploring different countries! Now that we've adopted a kitty cat, traveling will require some additional planning and consideration. We have a few trips on the radar for 2018, however, way less than previousl…

Movie Review: Wonder Woman


I know I'm late to the game of watching the movie Wonder Woman. I had heard good things about it but I was reluctant because I feared it would end like all female-centered heroine movies end: with a wedding or with a baby - or both. (I'm looking at you Hunger Games). No matter how often a woman saves the day in the end, she is always reduced to the role of the love interest or the mother, as if to say "yeah, we know you can kick ass and have brains but don't forget your place in society: by a man's side and in the nursery". Gag.

At about the midway point of the movie, Wonder Woman seemed to go the same direction. Gal Gadot looks - of course - amazing in every shot. A flawless body and perfect hair at all times - just how we would have looked on the battle fields of World War I. I really envied her for her amazing outfit - who wouldn't want bullet proof bracelets. She is trained and raised by a lot of strong women in order to save the world from …

Crazy Cat Lady Loading in 5 - 4 - 3 ...

So far, 2017 has been a mixed bag in many ways. There has been the good: a wonderful marriage, a beautiful home, opening my own language service business, fulfilling friendships and the ability to continue following my passion of writing. Since I mentioned a mixed bag, here's the bad: three different allergies, a thyroid lump and significant food intolerances that severely impact my quality of life - and the pocketbook. All of this has led to a rollercoaster of emotions that I have a hard time controlling and masking around others.

On a particularly sad day, my health issues make me lethargic and make me feel like I'm missing out on 'life', my husband asked me what would make me happy. I know that professional fulfillment is one of the things that make me happy but it's nothing that can be forced and I can only continue to pursue it as much as possible. I tried to remember if there was one thing, one event, one life stage that made me particularly happy. And the a…

I went to Greece - check it out!

My husband and I went to Greece in early October. It was my first trip to the cradle of democracy!

Check out some impressions from Athens and Santorini



Just five more minutes...

If you could spend 5 minutes with someone who is dead, who would you choose? I would chose my dog Jake. We only spent four years together because he was already 10 years old when I adopted him and after three years, his health  deteriorated rapidly. He crossed the rainbow bridge after being diagnosed with a brain tumor and his body functions shutting down one after the other.

I was never as mentally and physically healthy as I was when I had Jake in my life. I did not have a cold or even a headache while I had him. I did not miss a day of work or university. I was fit because I had to walk him several times a day. Whenever I was stressed or sad, he cheered me up with a smile or dropping his favorite ball in my lap to play - or by simply rolling onto his back when sleeping, which always made me laugh out loud.

I certainly never understood why he loved laying down on my yoga mat when I was doing my pilates exercises. Whenever I lifted my legs up to the ceiling and then back down again, …

My feminist city limits

Today, I was really angry with myself. Even more so: I was disappointed with myself.

I pride myself on being a strong woman who doesn't take shit from people - especially men when they think they can just do or say whatever to a woman. I went for a walk today in the woods surrounding the city of Salzburg in Austria. I had some lovely Apfelstrudel and a cappuccino with a view of the fortress Hohensalzburg up on the hill in the not so far distance.

When I was done, I started to make my way back towards the direction of my hotel. Lots of tourists crossed my path, which is nothing unusual in this area at this time of the year. After a few minutes, I saw a young couple that just finished talking to an old man and saying their goodbyes. It seemed as if he was giving them directions.

I was in a happy mood and being polite, I smiled at the old man as I passed him. He called after me: "Young lady!" I turned around and he came closer. "I was just telling these two young peopl…

On the Hunt for Purple Lavender

My husband and I decided that for this year’s summer vacation, we were not getting on a long-haul flight to visit a far away country. Instead, we decided to take a road trip. We live in Vienna, Austria, that, due to its central location in Europe is the perfect hub for European travel. Earlier this year, a friend told me how much she enjoyed her trip through the south of France a few years ago, where she was able to see the famous lavender fields. We sat down and stalked her Facebook profile to look for her photo album documenting that trip. Once we found it, the decision was clear: that’s where we want to go!

We started with the planning and decided to never drive more than six hours each day in order to avoid getting tired. The entire trip was going to be two weeks with the first week focusing on hunting the lavender fields and the second week being lazy on the Cote d’Azur. Therefore, we decided to have the following set stopps along the way, where we were going to book a hotel room…

Prawn, Baby, Prawn & Soy-onara

I love to eat. I enjoy healthy foods but also the occasional (or frequent) unhealthy food. I gave up meat when I was 20 years old. The nightmares from my childhood upbringing on the farm and the trips to the slaughterhouse caught up with me. I never missed meat; not even for a second. However, I still eat fish and seafood. I thought I could kill a fish or a prawn if I had to, so in my eyes, it was a fair fight.

I learned to love vegetarian meals when I moved to California. Healthy eating was part of the lifestyle. Salads tasted amazing and meatless pasta dishes were creative. Plus, veggie burgers were up and coming and more and more soy meat substitutes were available at the supermarket. There was soy sausage, soy 'cold cuts' and even soy minced meat. I was in vegetarian heaven. Seafood and fish were also incredibly fresh, inexpensive and readily available.

I had my food-life all figured out. Even once I moved back to Europe, I learned how to navigate around the meat-heavy die…

Repatriation Nation

I recently read an article about someone who 'repatriated' after six months of traveling. The writer talked about how difficult it was to reconnect with friends after she (or he - not sure) had been gone for so long.

First, I think that if you lose your friends after you have been gone only for six month, they may not have been real friends anyway. So... good ridance. Second, try reconnecting with friends from school after you have been gone for over a decade!

When I made it known on social media that I was about to move back to my home country, I had a lot of people from school reconnect with me and wanting to meet up as soon as I got there. I was excited that so many of them were interested in what I had been up to.

The first friend I met up with is someone I went to kindergarden and school with. We had brunch and talked about the old days and the new days. Over the course of eating some scrambled eggs and drinking a cappuccino, it became pretty clear that this friendship wa…

Lavender Teaser

Here are a few teaser photos from my recent trip to the famous lavender fields in the south of France. If you haven't seen them yet in person, put them on your list as a must-see in late June through mid-Juli.


All photo rights belong to my husband (and some to my selfie stick)