28 Nov 2012

Scented Candle Obsession

It started to get really cold outside. In this season, what can be nicer and more relaxing that to sit besides a candle? While I haven't tried any scented candles at all in the last years, this autumn I discovered scented candles and became a bit obsessed with them. This is how my desk currently looks like:

On the picture, you can see my current favourite candle Feu de Bois by Diptyque. I adore this candle and the scent it has. I stumbled upon it on Meg's blog and had to buy it myself then too. I don't like how it smells when it does not burn, but when it burns, the scent is just wonderful. It smells like a fireplace. The scent is wonderful and very soothing and relaxing. Love it.

The other candle shown in the picture is Real Luxury by NEOM. This is nice but not as overwhelmingly great as Feu de Bois. Both are travel sized because I am still experimenting. However, I might purchase a big one soon as well. But I am not sure whether the big ones are not too bulky.

I love to burn my candles while meditating, while journaling, while reading, while writing my theses, etc. I could burn them all the time. ;-)

26 Nov 2012

Some great advice for the week

Found @tumblr

Love that advice. It's a piece of advice that sometimes can be very hard to follow. Last month, however, I left something that no longer served me as it was not helping me to grow anymore (on the contrary) and, hence, didn't make me happy anymore. I love to grow and get new insights and walking away from that specific thing was the best I did for quite some time now. 

Was there anything you walked away from recently in order to serve your happiness and your natural need for growth?

25 Nov 2012

11 things (part 1) / 11 Dinge (Teil 1)

I have been tagged by Fräulein Kitsch to answer the 11 things tag. This the first time someone tagged me. It's a pretty tough tag that involves a lot of work and also some honest personal answers but I'm very happy that I've been tagged and feel very honored! Thanks a lot Fräulein Kitsch! As it is the first time I've been tagged, I decided to post my answers bilingual in english and in german. For the german version, have a look below. Furthermore, I divide the tag onto two posts, because it is pretty comprehensive. This post presents the first part of the tag. Very soon, I'll post the second part. 

These are the rules of the 11 things tag:
  1. write 11 things about yourself
  2. answer the 11questions you're asked by the tagger to answer
  3. devise 11 questions and tag 11 bloggers to answer them (the bloggers should have less than 200 readers if possible)
  4. inform these bloggers
  5. tagging backwards is not allowed

There is no rule about breaking up the work. Hence, as mentioned above, I'll now first write 11 things about myself and afterwards answer the questions, Fräulein Kitsch asked me in another post and pose my questions to the bloggers I want to tag.

Here are 11 things about myself:
  1. I am obsessed with anything related to good posture. This is why I am doing Pilates and Qi Gong at the moment in the first place and this also why I started to do horseback riding. Interestingly, however, I currently discover Qi Gong as something that has so much more to offer (but it indeed also is a really great training for the deep torso muscles that support our posture ;-)). But it was the same with horseback riding. It happens often that we start doing something with a specific aim in mind and discover new features of the activity that we appreciate as well and adds to the fun. 
  2. I have been a very unorganized person myself but I am currently working very hard to become organized and the more organized I become the less understanding I have for a lack of organization. I am a bit embarassed to admit that but sometimes disorganization can annoy me very much.
  3. It is not really something new (see my post on minimalism) but I am currently obsessed with striving after minimalism and I have managed to declutter half of my wardrobe in the last 12 months. Currently, I also try to shrink my beauty possessions and other possessions as discussed in my Minimalism post I recently posted.
  4. Through realizing what minimalism really is, I discovered my love for limitations. I limit space for item categories, I limit time for certain endeavours and I think very much about all kinds of limitations and start to appreciate them. Recently I even thought that it's great that even our life has a limitation. Yeah, I know, I'm becoming strange ... ;-)
  5. I cannot tolerate any alcohol and don't like to be drunk at all. This is why I discovered the world of alcohol-free alcoholic beverages. Today I am sucker for alcohol-free beer and alcohol-free cocktails and people who don't know me well easily think that I am hard drinker because I drink a lot of drinks that look like alcoholic beverages. Sometimes I even start at lunch. ;-) I have a lot of fun when I am admired for being such a hard drinker. :-)    
  6. I taught myself how to knit with youtube videos 3 years ago. I love to knit because it is is a really meditative and soothing hobby. Unfortunately, I currently don't have time to pursue this hobby at the moment and I really miss it. Here are a couple of things I knit during the last 3 years: bow scarf, bow scarf again, crooked cowl
  7. I'd love to learn how to sew and also experiment with carpentry. :-)
  8. I cannot watch horror films. Unfortunately, sleep is something that doesn't come easily to me anyway but when I additionally watch horror films, I can feel haunted for weeks. Years ago I saw an advertisement for a really creepy movie where something came out of the head of somebody who was showering. Afterwards I had a hard time showering for weeks.
  9. I love watching TV-series and enjoy doing it while cycling each morning on my bike ergometer.
  10. I love to ask a ton of questions and discuss things deeply. Some people get annoyed. Others think that I cannot manage my life on my own because I sometimes ask every bullshit that crosses my mind. ;-) But I also had really great discussions because I am not afraid to ask any bullshit that crosses my mind. Hence, everything has it's pros and cons. ;-)
  11. I drink too much. I might be the only person on this earth who does not need to remind herself to drink more. Each day, I drink tons and tons of coffee, tea, water, ... (1.5 liters of coffee and green tea and at least 1.5 liters of herbal tea and/or water and juice). I cannot sit anywhere with something to drink besides me. And this is why I also have to go to the bathroom all the time. Close friends even make fun of me having to go to the bathroom all the time. Therefore, I currently keep tracking what I drink and how much I drink of it in order to maybe shrink the amount a bit or to take care to drink more healthy drinks.

20 Nov 2012

The Power of Less

I love the video above. It has been made by Leo Babauta from zenhabits as an advertisement for his book The power of less (haven't read it yet but it's on my to read list ;-)). The video is expressing exactly how I feel right now too. Actually, I felt attracted to minimalism for a couple of years now. But I didn't want to get rid of stuff, interestingly, I rather wanted to digitize it and store it on tiny hard disks. This is why I struggled with minimalism a lot and I realized recently that I wasn't a minimalist at all as I focused on space solely and this is just a tiny fragment of what minimalism really is. There are many things that cannot be digitized and that we have to keep in their physical form. E.g. clothes, beauty items, our furniture and many more. I also have to admit - although I love digital books, the software for reading them sometimes spoils the party for me, too. It does not allow to add a dog-ear to book pages, underline words and sentences in different colours, write thoughts at the border of the page and such kinds of things that I love to do with my books. So, of course although I own a lot of digital books, I still do purchase, keep and read many books the old style as well.

My wardrobe and my beauty collection (and other collections) were and still are quite huge because I love to experiment and also love to have a choice. These collections were even bigger last year. Last year I started to force myself to use up my beauty items and while doing so, I discovered that I didn't like many of these items or that the shades didn't match and this is why I started to experiment more and this lead to many additional purchases. Although these purchase were expensive, they also very valuable because I got to know more about colours, makeup and what suits me and what I like and how I like myself to look like in different occasions. While evaluating and experimenting with beauty, I ended up purchasing a lot of new stuff and there were times when my collection also grew more than it shrunk. (I just made an inventory of my body lotions here and I was pretty shocked when I realized how huge the amount is. ;-)) But by means of my monthly empties, I established a routine of experimenting and decluttering and using up and this is something that I am very proud of today. My beauty stuff is used and although it seems like I'm hoarding, it is not real hoarding because I try, experiment and use stuff up and also declutter on a regular basis. In the future, however, I want to shrink the amount of beauty items that I possess much more. 

12 Nov 2012

Bodylotion love/Bodylotion Liebe (Tag)

Chrissi from forever in love with shopping has started a tag with questions around body lotion which I find quite interesting. I have a ton of body lotions and actually wanted to do an inventory anyway. Hence, this tag comes just at the right time and this is what today's post will be about: my body care products and Chrissi's tag on that topic.

Because of the huge amount of body lotions, I started to take care to not buy too many further items in general. But unfortunately, I get weak from time to time just like recently when I stumbled upon two new limited editions by Alverde. I try to use up my stuff but I guess that it will take me forever to use everything up and I won't be able to stay strong until the whole amount of bodylotions that I own is gone. After all, I love body lotions. Nevertheless, I think an inventory and a plan for using up all those products can help me to get rid of them. One day, I want to have only such a small amount of products that I can use up within one or at most two months. 

Have a look at my current collection of body lotions/body butters/body oils/body care products (the two pictures show the same collection from two perspectives):

Here are my answers to Chrissi's questions:  

1. How many body lotions & similar items do you own?  
(Wie viele Bodylotion & Co habt ihr?)

I just counted them and I am really embarrassed to admit that I own 45 items of body lotion, body butter, body oil and other kinds of body care products. Of these are: 3 body oils (2 full-size, 1 sample), 28 body lotions (18 full-size and 10 samples), 11 body butters (6 full-size, 5 samples), 3 multi-purpose creams (1 full-size, 2 samples). So, in this huge mess of body care products, I might even be a bit lucky that only 27 of these products are full-size and the remaining 18 are samples. ;-)

In summary, I have to keep up using that stuff in the pace that I currently already have when using up my beauty products. In the last 6 months (in May I started this blog and my first beauty empties post dates back to May/June this year), I was able to empty 32 items of  body care products (17 full-size, 15 samples) - have a look at my empties posts. So, for the amount of products shown above, I'll probably need around 9 to 10 months to use it up (note however, that I might be able to use more body care products during the winter - I really hope to be able to use more body care products in the next 6 months than I was able to use in the last 6 months).

11 Nov 2012

Life consists of ups and downs (and that's great!)

It's time for some further motivational input! :-)

Found @imgur

8 Nov 2012

Meditation: my progress and my thoughts

Hi guys! How are you getting along with the 21-day meditation challenge? I hope you have seen my link to the interview of Oprah Winfrey with Deepak Chopra. I linked it in my comment to my first post announcing the 21-day meditation challenge. It's a lovely interview and Deepak is explaining and motivating meditation. Try to watch it as soon as possible because I think it won't be available for a long time. 

I started the meditation challenge on the 6th of November in the morning. I am using this challenge to also get ahead with my Qi Gong routine with which I really have struggled a lot. My mornings were completely stuffed with biking and showering and meditation didn't fit in anymore. Hence, I tried hard to do it in the evening but it just didn't work. I have to admit that I wanted to do it every evening but did it only for 3 times in the last 2 months. 

So, when I discovered the 21-day meditation challenge, I had to take the chance and change my routine. I moved biking to the early evening and have put meditation into the morning. This is a major change and I was worried to loose my biking habit. But as biking is already a pretty ingrained habit (I'm doing it now for months on a daily basis), I am doing it in the evening, too. I admit that I lost a day in transition but the following day I was able to catch up. And the new habit of meditation which I try to create, is tough but as I usually biked at that time in the morning anyway, I am keeping up with it. Furthermore, the meditation podcasts of Deepak Chopra are pure fun and it's such a joy to follow them. But I am doing it the tough way like I've learned it in my Qi Gong class. And I also try to do a couple of Qi Gong moving exercises before meditating in a Qi Gong pose while listening to Deepak Chopra's meditation podcasts. However, as they are so much fun and as I am no native speaker, I like to listen to each of the podcasts for several times. E.g. I listened to the first podcast for 3 mornings now and will listen to the second podcast starting from tomorrow morning. 

This is my meditation setup for each morning: 

4 Nov 2012

21-Day Meditation Challenge

Tomorrow, a 21-day meditation challenge with Deepak Chopra will start and I will participate and would like to invite you to participate as well. (I'd like to also take the opportunity to recommend reading the blog HappyIch of Sue because it is there where I read about this meditation challenge for the first time. Sue also already participated in such a 21-day meditation by Deepak Chopra in July and reviewed it on her blog.)

Meditation is not new to me. I started to meditate in September to alleviate the stress my thesis is putting me through by starting a zen buddhistic meditation course. Actually, it is a Qi Gong course, but we are mostly meditating. I don't know how common it is to meditate within Qi Gong courses but in my course we are doing it all the time. Currently, I am meditating once a week within that course and afterwards I feel incredibly relaxed and happy and powerful and this sometimes even holds for a couple of days afterwards. I'm quite impressed by the results. Unfortunately, I am still finding it quite difficult to practice meditation also on my own at home. This is why I am looking very much forward to join the 21-day challenge of Deepak Chopra. It will be my first meditation with Deepak Chopra and also my first guided meditation as my meditation practice in my course hasn't been guided yet.

The meditation challenge that will start tomorrow will be all about "Creating Abundance". The participants will be taken to a journey to an authentic abundance consciousness. According to Deepak, we'll discover what true abundance is, the source from which it springs, how consciousness and the mind affect its flow, and that each and every one of us is worthy and deserving of an abundant life. We will learn how to leverage the Seven Spiritual Laws of Success to manifest our heartfelt intentions and live a more abundant life, attracting more comfort and ease, joy, peace, love, or anything we desire. Sounds great, doesn't it?

Joining the 21-days meditation challenge is free. You can subscribe here either with your facebook account or with your email. Starting from tomorrow, each day a 15-minute guided meditation will be made available. Here you can find more information about Deepak Chopra who is well-known for his books on yoga and meditation.

Are you interested in meditation as well? Will you join the challenge? 

3 Nov 2012

New Alverde Limited Edition Sets

Today I have been in the city center and discovered two new limited edition sets by Alverde. Each set consist of a shower gel and a body lotion. As I have made only good experiences with such kinds of Alverde limited edition sets, I wasn't able to hold myself back and bought them both. The sets don't cost that much. Each was available for only 4 Euro.

Here is a picture of my DM haul. I also bought winter chocolate by Alnatura which currently is my favourite choclate. Actually, this is exactly why I went to DM in the first place. :-)
(The magazine was available for free ;-))

1 Nov 2012

Beauty Favourites October

In October I had a lot of fun with a couple of products and I'd like to share that with you. (I know, I should be working on my thesis and will do so immediately again. ;-)). 

I loved these cleaning and caring products in October:
These are in more detail:
  • Blütezeit organic almond showergel: It smells like camomile and I love this scent. It's relaxing and soothing and I enjoyed it very much to start it as I haven't used it up yet.  Besides this shower gel, I also loved the Alverde Lemon Love shower gel which I emptied and therefore discussed it already in my October empties post.
  • Apothekers Lippenbalsam: This is a new discovery. I bought it because it was mentioned by Paddy from Innen und Aussen as her favourite soothing lip balm for the night. It is a pharmacy product and it is really great. I am using it now each evening and my lips look great in the morning. I also like the taste and the scent of this product. It is on its way to becoming a holy grail product for me too.
  • Lush Therapy massage bar: I love it. It smells great and nurtures the skin. It has to melt when put on the skin and therefore you need a lot of time for applying it by slowly massaging it onto the skin. But actually, this also contributes to the joy of using this product. I.e. being forced to do it slowly can be fun, too. But I admit that I prefer to use it on the weekend because only then I have the time. ;-)
  • Alverde Apricot nail and cuticle balm: Smells lovely like apricots and nurtures the nails and the cuticles. This one is also on its way to becoming a holy grail product. However, I think that Alverde stopped selling this product. I have to check but last time I had a look at Alverde products at the DM, it was not available. So terrible. I can't understand how this could have happened. I hope that I am wrong and the product is still available. 

Concerning makeup products, I enjoyed using these products in October (sorry, the soap is not a makeup product of course. I don't know how it got into the picture below - it is a favorite though and maybe I added it to this picture because I also like to clean my brushes with it ;-)): 

See below a discussion of these products.