Wednesday, December 9, 2015

VISITING A CHRISTMAS MARKET: THE MAKE-UP EDIT


There is just something about Christmas time in Germany; with plenty of opportunities to snack on a delicious array of biscuits, Stollen and grilled goodies, while sipping on steaming hot Gluehwein (mulled to you and me). I just love that feeling the cities have, when the golden Christmas lights are on, the markets are lined with fir trees, and the waft of gently bubbling Crimbo spices tickle the nostrils. Within the first week of December, I have already been to two! An organised blogger would have taken lots of twinkling pictures, but all I managed were a few selfies with friends (who wouldn't appreciate making their blog debut), so there we are, you will just have to imagine the maze of wooden huts that twist around Mannheim's largest landmark, the water tower, before I get down to business and let you into my go-to make-up look for a good ol' Christmas market.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

DEAR SANTA: A NEW MAMA'S CHRISTMAS WISHES FOR 2015


I have loved Christmas since I could understand what it was, and still love the spirit and festivity, right down to all of the naff songs that are repeated in every shop and on every radio station. Just before Christmas last year, we were in New York, and I couldn't have been happier wandering through the Christmas markets, and looking at the festive glitz and glamour. On Christmas Day you will find me dressed from head to toe in Christmas clothing, drinking out of my 'I love Christmas' mug, while ripping open my stocking presents. Yes. I still insist on a stocking. But this year there has been a big shift.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

WE ALL SCREAM FOR 'ME' TIME - 5 VERY QUICK WAYS TO TAKE A TIME OUT


It might not be the most popular or easiest thing to admit, but when my daughter was born, it felt like I had been run over by a herd of rampaging cows, followed by a fleet of steamrollers. I am not talking about the exhaustion that comes from being woken up every two hours to breast feed, or even the aftershocks of the birth itself. Rather, that feeling of having lost every part of your previous identity, your freedom to wash at a relaxed pace, go to the toilet, pop to the corner shop, share the responsibility of feeding and nourishing a new life. I expected my life to change. I felt the 'rush' of unwavering love. But I also sat up for hours on end, unable to sleep, as whenever I managed to close my eyes, my bundle of joy would wake up and it would all start again.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

BE A BLOGGING BABE - A POST INSPIRED BY #GIRLGANG


Back in 2012 I started a project on Craftbotic called 'Blog Angels', where people signed up to be secretly paired up with another blogger and become their guardian angel for a month, helping them out and spreading the blogging love. Promoting, matching, keeping up with it all became a bit too much, especially as the participants sometimes numbered 200 people. That's a lot of emails folks. It also meant I couldn't do as much of what I liked doing myself, which is using small gestures to spread the love in the blogosphere. 

Now in 2015 in steps Jemma from www.dorkface.co.uk to start a fantastic new group of women bloggers who can join up to be part of her #girlgang. If you search this hashtag on Twitter, you will see the explosion of enthusiasm for this project, which is based around creating a positive blogging community and celebrating yourself as a woman.

Monday, November 23, 2015

THREE ABOUT ME - MY YOUTUBE DEBUT!


 Since last year I have been telling myself, and occasionally other people that I intend to start vlogging. I have bounced between thinking it could be a great adventure or that vlogging is confined to a 'younger' audience and producer. Are there actually any 'thirty-something' vloggers out there?

There MUST be, and if you know of any, or are one, then tweet me a link or leave a comment below and I promise to come and check you out. My first every video is a little bit about me, three things about me in fact, that will hopefully let us get to know each other a little better. And if you want to join in and make your own #threeaboutme video or turn it into a blog or Instagram post, I'd love to get to know you a bit better too. Just remember to use the hash tag so I can find you easily.

Also if you are not related to me, or one of my existing besties and actually subscribe to my channel....I might love you forever. Just shhhhhhh.....don't tell my husband that I promised that.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

5 REASONS YOU SHOULD LEARN HOW TO CROCHET (AND HOW TO START)



Last Christmas I decided it was time that I tried out a new craft and settled on crocheting because they are absolutely mad about it in Germany. Dutifully, my husband provided me with a 'crochet a beanie' kit for beginners and sometime around January I started my hat. Then stopped. Then started again. Swore. Started again. Got annoyed. Enlisted the help of someone who knew how to crochet already. (Thanks Emi, you have the patience of an extra saintly Saint)

Saturday, November 14, 2015

PRE-DIABETES WEEK - APPLE, CINNAMON AND RUM SEMI FREDDO WITH GINGER ALMONDS

 

When thinking about Christmas this year, my heart sank a bit, as I pictured my family sitting around the table waiting on a delicious roast only to realise that I wouldn't be eating my body weight in potatoes this year; chomping on a pile of honey-roasted carrots or submerging myself in boozy Christmas pudding. If you caught my posts on Monday and Wednesday , you will already know that I was told that I was pre-diabetic after having gestational diabetes during my pregnancy and that I am officially on a lower carbohydrate diet in a bid to stave off full blown Type 2 diabetes. To the most part, I have come to terms with this, but on special occasions, like Christmas, it is easy to feel like the odd one out. On one hand, I can cope with a couple of really good roasties and I am sure my mum can skip the honey on the vegetables this year without going to too much bother. Where I stumble a bit, is with dessert. Yes. It's once a year and it probably wouldn't be the end of the world if I stopped counting my carbs for a few hours, but having been keeping to my diet, I have realised how sugar affects my well-being and I am just not ready for a two day sugar 'hangover'.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

PRE-DIABETES WEEK - 5 SUPER RESOURCES FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES


Thank goodness for the internet. Without it, I don't know what I would have done when I received my diagnosis of gestational and then pre-diabetes. Although I was 'helped' by a nutritionist here in Germany, it didn't really go further than 'eat low GI foods', 'keep carbs under 40g per meal', 'exercise', and 'don't drink juice'. These are some of the best resources I have found which have really helped me understand more about the condition and how it can be managed.

Monday, November 9, 2015

PRE-DIABETES WEEK - COPING WITH MY DIAGNOSIS


This month is Diabetes Awareness Month in the US and for the rest of the world, Saturday marks the World Diabetes Awareness Day. Despite having relatives with diabetes, I am ashamed to say I hadn't given the diagnosis or consequences of diabetes much thought until I contracted gestational diabetes or diabetes during my pregnancy. A very strict carb-controlled diet followed, and as a result and very luckily my baby girl was born without any health problems.

Touch wood.

Unfortunately, at my 12 week check-up after the birth, it turned out that I was one of the very few women who got to keep her glucose intolerance and I am now officially 'pre-diabetic', with annual tests for Type 2 Diabetes (which is an inevitability at some point now) and also a very strong warning that I must continue to control my carbohydrate intake, exercise regularly and sleep consistently. Anyone else who has a 6 month old baby, or has ever had a 6 month old baby, is probably wetting themselves laughing right now.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

THE GREAT DISAPPEARING ACT OF 2015


Hi there....remember me? Remember how I launched my revamped blog last August and then all of a sudden just disappeared? Thank you to those who read Craftbotic who then got in contact via social media to check up on me. Everything was indeed 'fine'. Everything was absolutely wonderful in fact, because shortly before the end of the month I found out that I was pregnant. Gasp. We were shocked that everything had happened so quickly after our wedding. I needed time to digest what it meant for me: a future mama. Then somewhere in the midst of my dwelling (that went on pretty much 9 months...), I became fiercely private and protective of my pregnancy. I didn't announce it on Facebook, or Twitter....or anywhere else. I barely even told my friends until it became so blinking obvious that I had to. Some people inevitably go off food when they are expecting. It turns out I went off social media. Well, all social media that didn't involve obsessively informing myself about how the lentil, bean, strawberry, pear, banana was growing inside me.

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