31 Dec 2013

Self-guided education manifesto

Recently I stumbled upon the self-guided education manifesto by Scott Dinsmore. It is available on his web page. Basically, it consists of the elements shown in the picture below:

found @liveyourlegend

My favourite piece of advice of above:
  1. it never ends: no it doesn't There is no aim or destination that once is reached allows you to stop and relax and enjoy your earned fruits. It is a lifestyle and as such it never ends.
  2. learn who you are: know your patterns, know your weaknesses, know what you motivates you, know what you love and what you hate (both specifically mentioned in the manifesto above as well :-))
  3. everything is a lesson: even if something does not work out as intended and expected, it was not a waste of time. On the contrary. Try to perceive it as a lesson and be sure that next time you will do better because of this experience. If you focus too much on the bad features of an experience, it will drag you down and you will miss the opportunity to grow and improve. 
  4. build things: theory is important but it is more important to put this theory in practice and build things. Things that exist and are useful are the best advertisement and the business card in the world. The is nothing more gratifying than theory that has been shown to work.
Self-guided education is neither a diet nor a torture. It also never ends as it is a lifestyle and should be embraced.

And don't forget that although it surely is important to also find people who think that you are crazy, it also is very important to have like-minded people around you that support and inspire you in both who you are at the moment and who you want to be in the future. The people you are surrounding yourself with can make you or break your future. So try to find the proper environment that supports you and does not hinder you.

Our life is a gift. Let's make it count!

6 Sep 2013

Art of living / Lebenskunst

"Lebenskunst ist die Kunst des richtigen Weglassens. Das fängt beim Reden an und endet beim Dekolletee."
- Coco Chanel

found @flickr

The art of living is the art of leaving out the right things. This starts with knowing what to talk about and ends with knowing what to show with the décolleté.
- Coco Chanel

21 Jul 2013

Healthy Breakfast

I try to live healthy at the moment. As I don't have much time, I don't cook often, unfortunately. But the summer and the availability of fruits and vegetables allows everyone to have healthy breakfasts. For breakfast, I try to have different fruits and vegetables. For lunch, I usually go into the cantine.

The best and cheapest fruits and vegetables can be found at the farmers market. I usually go there once a week and buy as many fruits and vegetables I can in order to make sure to have my five a day (and usually I have much more than just 5 a day :-)) for the following week. 

Below is my breakfast of today. I also had a huge cup green tea and a coffee with it. (I love to drink both in the morning.)

How was your breakfast today?

1 Jul 2013

Beauty Empties May and June

As promised, although I don't have much time, I still do share my - admittedly at the moment quite boring empties. During the last 2 months, I emptied/ decluttered 15 products - so, I am catching up. ;-)

Here is a picture of all products having left me in May and July:

Unfortunately, I don't have such a nice window sill anymore and have to take pictures on the carpet with worse light.

All the emptied or decluttered products are cleaning or soothing products. I didn't use up or declutter any makeup products this time. I don't have many products with me here, so I just have favourites and didn't get using them up yet. And as they are favourites, I won't declutter any of them either. 

19 Jun 2013

Beauty Empties March and April

A bit belated again but finally here it is: my beauty empties post for March and April. As I moved to the UK in March, I was very busy with becoming acquainted with my new work and finding a nice place to live and, hence, did not have much time to use (up) cosmetics products. Furthermore, I moved with a light luggage that did not allow me to bring too many beauty items with me. The only items I brought with me were an eye cream, a face cream, very few body care items (I think these were just the Alverde shower gel and body lotion shown below and they were even just both half full) and a couple of make up essentials. My skin certainly missed the extra care it got during the last months and dried out. So, I was really glad when I finally had a permanent location and a flat for myself in April and started to use more skin care again. So, have a look at what I emptied in March and April below. 

A side note: I've been in Germany in April as well and decluttered a lot of beauty items. Unfortunately, I didn't count them and also didn't take pictures because I was in a rush but I feel very releaved and it actually was nothing worth mentioning. It were products of cheap german drug store brands that didn't convince me anyway and as I am currently trying to shrink the amount of my makeup possessions to the gems I really use and adore, it was a necessary step towards a tiny beauty collection the goldilocks way. ;-)

This is an overview of everything I used up in March and April (note, however, that the Burt's Bees bodylotion was not useable as I got a really strong allergy against some of its ingredients):

2 Jun 2013

Beauty Empties February

Dear patient readers, I am really glad that you still stop by and have a look at my blog. Unfortunately, I am incredibly busy and just don't have enough time to blog much. Again, I am quite late with my beauty empties of February (and still need to prepare the one for March and April), but I still want to share. It is a very much overdue post as I even tend to forget about the products. Fortunately, I kept them in a bag ready for taking pirctures. 

In February, I prepared my move to the UK and was not that much into using up and decluttering beauty items (you'll see that it was even worse in March and April, however ;-)). So, let's immediately dive into the topic and have a look at what I emptied in February below.

Here is an overview of my empties and decluttered products in February. It is 20 items altogether and I also included 3 scented candle samples I got rid of in February as well.

1 Jun 2013

More current favourite drinks (Matcha tea)

After my last post on my current favourite drinks, it crossed my mind that I forgot to mention a very important new green tea discovery: Matcha tea. So, I decided to share some more information about my favourite drinks with you. 

I first came across Matcha tea when Leo Babauta from zenhabits mentioned it in his healthy eating challenge. Once, he also drank it in one of his videos. He seems to drink it in the traditional way with a traditional bowl (chawan), after having used a traditional spoon (chashaku) and a tradtional bamboo whisk (chasen). I found that so interesting that I still remember it but I didn't consider to try it myself at that time yet. First, I had to witness many of the German and Austrian health bloggers I currently follow to mention it on their blogs and on Twitter. But then, I had to try it myself and I really like it. But I am an advanced green tea drinker and used to the taste of green tea anyway. Matcha tea is not much different. It just has a stronger effect and makes me more awake faster.

I am not such an advanced Matcha tea drinker. I like to drink it in a huge Guinness mug and use a normal spoon and my british milk frother instead of a chashaku and a chasen. ;-)

23 Apr 2013

Current Favourite Drinks

As I didn't use up many beauty items in the last months, I thought I share my current favourite drinks with you. A drink very much worth mentioning is my recent drinking chocolate discovery. One day when I was looking around in Tesco for interesting products, I stumbled upon the drinking chocolate by Clipper which is a brand for organic products. They mainly sell teas and I can tell you that one of their teas also belongs to one of my favorite teas. But let's discuss one drink after the other, right? :-)

This is my current favorite drinking chocolate by Clipper: 
It contains a lot of coarse-grained sugar and when mixed with milk, it needs quite some time to melt. In the picture above, you can see that the sugar still swims on top of the drink. Letting it alone for a couple of more minutes, however, will allow it to finish melting and then it tastes like heaven. At the moment, I end up having one glas of drinking chocolate each evening.

14 Apr 2013

It's time for a reboot

I am not fit anymore, dear readers. While I did lots of sports last year and, hence, was healthy and fit end of 2012, now all these great achievements are gone again. Since December last year, I had to downgrade my sports routine more and more until I didn't do any sports at all anymore since end of January, first due to an operation and then because I moved to the UK.

Recently, I observed that I started to feel quite weak and physically incapable. I don't like this kind of feeling. I suffered of it for many years, but last year I have experienced that this kind of feeling can be overcome with steady and regular physical exercise. It is very empowering to feel strong and physically capable for doing anything. So, I really want to start doing more exercise this month again. Also, summer is coming and it would be nice to be able to wear shorts and short skirts again.

Another thing I don't like that much at the moment is that I also don't eat that healthy anymore. When I am spending time abroad in other countries, I love to experiment with different kinds of foods from that country and at the moment - as I have moved to the UK - I am indulging myself in all kinds of unhealthy foods with far too many calories. Furthermore, I was living in a shared house until recently where I didn't feel comfortable to cook. So, I ate a lot of ready and instant meals. Fortunately, I still fit into the trousers I brought with me but I'm sure that I gained a bit of weight as they started to feel a bit tight lately. Unfortunately, I have not found any scales to check my weight.

All in all I urgently need and want to push life's reset button at the moment! 

found @millenialleader

28 Mar 2013

Beauty Empties January

Dear readers, as some of you might have heard via Twitter, I have moved to the UK beginning of this month. Before that, I power decluttered my belongings and tried to get rid of as much stuff as possible which was quite successful. Furthermore, I put a lot of effort into making my office paper-free which was quite successful as well although I haven't completely finished this endeavor (have a look at a picture showing a part of my scanning efforts). Hence, I did not have any time for blogging and sharing news on beauty or life style with you, unfortunately. Beauty and life style just were not so important for me in the last months, except for minimalism and decluttering. I'd like to promise that I will blog more often in the future but - to be honest - I cannot promise that. I am very busy and try to get a lot of stuff done at the moment. However, you should get at least some regular updates on my beauty empties.

Have a look below at my beauty empties of January. In February and March, I did not empty that many products due to too much stress. In March, besides living in a rather uncomfortable shared house, I also didn't take many products with me and my skin and I, we both miss body lotions a lot! ;-) So, I am looking very much forward to using body lotions again in April. The cold, british weather has dried my skin very much and I probably should also do more sports to encourage blood and lymph flow as this helps against dry skin as well. Will start to do more sports again in April as well.

In January, I did not empty and declutter that much beauty wise. Altogether only 22 products have left me and of these only 6 were decluttered. This is not much indeed - especially considered my usual mass exodus. ;-) But it still is more than I managed to empty in February and March. Have a look at the group picture of the products that left me in January:

20 Jan 2013

Beauty Favourites December

In December, I started to use a new face care. More specifically, I started to use the Caudalie Vinosource series: the S.O.S. thirst quenching serum and the moisture recovery cream. I love both, especially the serum because it is light. The face cream is rather for dry skin and as I somehow got some spots, I am wondering whether it is too rich for my skin in this warm winter. My eye care still consists of the same products like in November and I still do love the products a lot. Here is a picture of my skin care in December:

12 Jan 2013

Beauty inventory 2012: a beauty year in review (Tag)

Recently, I stumbled upon an interesting tag on reviewing the past beauty year: the beauty inventory tag created by Paddy, Jettie and Valerie. Spontaneously, I decided to do this tag as well, because I enjoyed cosmetics and beauty a lot last year. Another name for 2012 would certainly be the beauty year of my life, because I never ever purchased so many cosmetics items (and also not that expensive ones) like last year.

In 2012, I bought a lot of cosmetics items, experimented a lot with colours, my eyebrow shape and anything related to beauty. Amongst others, nearly my whole makeup brush collection has been bought in 2012. In 2011 I only owned very few travel makeup brushes by MAC which I never used. In 2012 I bought a lot of high end brushes - I ended up with quite some collection of MAC brushes. However, I also bought a lot of other brushes. See my favorite new brushes below - this is just a small fraction of the amount of brushes I bought. Furthermore, I used skin care nearly every day (eye care, face care, body care, everything :-)) and discovered that skin care can do wonders to dry skin. I also wore makeup nearly every day (a complete set of products including several eye shadows) and discovered looks that made me look great. I was able to use up a lot of products (see my empties posts) and I also was able to use and experiment with all of my decorative cosmetics items during the course of the last year. However, due to the large amount, some items have been used quite seldomly, unfortunately.

Of course I still do enjoy beauty and cosmetics and I won't stop experimenting in 2013. Nevertheless, I also try to cut down a bit the fraction of time, space and attention that I invest into beauty and cosmetics. Maybe I have got a bit tired of the huge amount of items I tried and used up. As I also found a lot of favorite products, I don't feel like missing out anything when I stick to them for the most part. In addition, I feel the need to shrink the amount of beauty products I own in order to be able to keep enjoying them. More specifically, I need to use up, declutter and to not buy that much cosmetics anymore.

But let's take a look at my review of the beauty year 2012 that just passed. Here are my answers to the beauty inventory tag (Amongst others, I removed a couple of questions that don't fit (e.g. the question about the craziest PR message and the question about the favorite event don't fit because I am not a professional beauty blogger and don't get any PR messages or invitations to events.):

Which new experiences and insights have you been able to acquire in 2012? (concerning cosmetics and concerning the blog)
  • Cosmetics: I read about the season colour theory and realized that I am a summer in this colour theory and that this theory is particularly helpful and inspiring when aiming at shrinking a wardrobe and a beauty and makeup collection and it also helps to prevent mispurchases in these areas. Of course, it is just a theory and not each rule has to be followed religiously. Actually, none of the rules have to be followed. But in case you aim for an elegant and decent style that fits any occasion and a very small wardrobe and cosmetics collection, you should have a look at it because the principles are pretty convincing. They made me realize what I subconsciously knew before anyway. Most of my belongings did match my season colour theory type but I also had a couple of mispurchases. So, knowing what I should take care of is a great guideline for any decluttering endeavor and also helps to avoid mispurchases. Before that, I just had kind of a feeling and feelings sometimes are blurred or not trusted. ;-)
  • Blog: I started my blog in 2012 and when I started blogging I blogged a lot about beauty. However, I soon realized that I don't want to be a typical beauty blogger. This would cause me to hoard products and to purchase a huge amount of cosmetics items on a regular basis while already owning a ton of them. I realized that I feel too much attracted to minimalism and for me a beauty blogger cannot be a minimalist - each new product has to be swatched and compared to other products and hence, they all have to be kept and organized. Afterwards I was in a bit of a dilemma because I don't want to skip beauty on my blog altogether either as I still do enjoy experimenting with cosmetics. It still is a nice and beloved hobby even though I don't want to spend to much time with it anymore. So, I might try to blog about minimalistic beauty in 2013. Let's see. :-)
    Another great insight I got with blogging is that I enjoy writing and sharing my thoughts with the online world very much. And I'm asking myself why I didn't start to blog years ago.

10 Jan 2013

Beauty Empties December

In December, 40 products left me. I decluttered 18 of these 40 products, the other 22 have indeed been used up. Have a look at the group picture (only the decluttered eye shadows are missing, but you can see them below - I gave them away already in the middle of December and hence, they were already gone when I took the group picture):

A short summary and my thoughts about the emptied or decluttered products:
  • Shower gels
    • Loodus Cosmetics Spruce Shower Gel, tiny sample: smells very strong like fir. I didn't like it. The scent was too strong and the sample was too tiny to be able to judge the product - I was only able to use it for 1 leg. ;-) Hence, I won't purchase this product. 
    • Loodus Cosmetics Lemongrass Shower Gel, tiny sample: smells very strong like lemon grass. Not bad, I might purchase this one. It is not cheap but also not too expensive (10 CHF). However, again the sample was too tiny to be able to judge the product - I was only able to use it for 1 leg. ;-) Hence, I won't purchase this product that soon - maybe some day but rather not in the next months.

6 Jan 2013

2013: a reading outlook

As mentioned in my review of the last year, I managed to read 19 books in 2013. I want to keep up with that reading pace and hope to be able to read at least 12 books in 2013. With this post I want to share my plans for the reading year 2013 and also the thrill of anticipation I am feeling when looking at the books that are waiting for me to be read. 

I was inspired for this post by the wonderful book and audiobook I recently received by the lovely Sue from Happy Ich. She organized a really great give away last month (actualy she even organized a couple of great give aways) and I was a very happy winner. I usually never win anything. Hence, I was taken by surprise to win such a great gift! Have a look at the great book and audiobook I won:

Sue said about the book that it touched her very deeply and I am looking forward to maybe make the same experience. I already am quite much focused on my body and started to have kind of a love affair with it myself e.g. by doing sports, meditating and taking care to sleep enough. But I think there still is a lot of room for inspiration and motivation for a new approach on body blessing. I already started to listen to the audiobook which consists of some really nice guided meditations and I do enjoy very much to listen to it. The book is on top of my To Read list of 2013.