Aug 26, 2014

Which language would you like to learn?


Confession time: When I am visiting a foreign country, I get a kick out of acting like a local from the start. You know, the little things like ordering from the menu in the native language or getting a coffee and chatting with the barista and not look like a tourist. I always try to have at least a few basic phrases on hand to feel comfortable and get to know the local people (more about Travel Alone basics here).

I am kind of smitten with Stockholm and Sweden in general, lately. From what I´ve heard Swedish is a delightful language and I think about taking classes before I am heading north. I did learn French and Spanish at school and while I am still pretty good understanding both, I can´t talk that much anymore.

I loved this 8 Tips and Tricks for Learning a New Language Quickly and thought you might be interested as well, yes?!


Oh, and I did take this fun quiz via Buzzfeed. According to my choice of coffee and Brad Pitt movie (!), I should take Arabic lessons. Interesting!

What about you? Which language did you always like to master?


(Photo via Noreen Parton; Illustration by Yumi Sakugawa)

Aug 25, 2014

Monday Madness


Well, hello again, friends!

What are you lusting after right now? Yep, that´s the question of the day. Spill the beans! Right now I am munching on salted vinegar chips - don´t hate em til you try em, folks. They´re delish!
Funnily enough, since that belly bug paid a visit, there´s not much else food-wise I even want to think about. Only these heavenly vinegar-y little gems and plain gnocchi for that matter. I am weird, I know.

What have you been up to lately? Any #ALSIceBucketChallenge videos I might have missed? What happened at the VMA´s last night other than Blue Ivy´s appearance. I am sooo behind, you guys :)


But first, links:

50 Best Dressed TV Characters ever. Yay, Mindy and Lindsay - what about Felicity? Thoughts?

5 Sayings to Keep You Grounded. ´Nuff said.

The Breakfast Conundrum. Help out my friend Nina with quick breakfast choices for the working gal on the go. Thanks.

Making a Headboard all alone by yourself. Thumbs up.

Jenna Lyons approaches aging with ice cream and a martini. Glorious!

#Joggjeans. Yes!

Bright + Airy in LA. Swoon.

Late summer Leafy Nails. Yay!

And last but not least, of course I have to address Robin Williams´ recent passing. As many of you, I am having all the thoughts, feeling all the feelings but this post about depression and this discussion on why funny people create that second persona that has nothing to do with their real self - is really everything we need to know and should be aware of right now. Be kind and listen to the clowns!



(Image via beeslikehoney)

Aug 24, 2014

Sunday Mixtape


Hello, friends. A nasty belly bug got the best of me. The last couple of days have been a mix of sleeping on the couch, watching tons of TV and listening to music mainly. I enjoyed checking out new artists and also falling in love all over again with oldies but goodies. So I spare you the gory details and decided to share my favorite tunes right now, sounds good?

Also how amazing would it be if that hunk showed above would get this lovely bouquet over here?! Just saying´ :)

What have you been up to? Fill me in. Happy Sunday!






(Image via Raisons d´Être)

Aug 12, 2014

Running 101 - A Reminder


Two years ago, I met a girl through blogging who was an avid runner and I was psyched she agreed to guest post on Spunkyrella about all things running since I wanted to start myself. So, Running 101 was born!

Fast forward two years later, Nina is now one of my best friends and thanks to social media the 7500 plus kilometers (nearly 4700 miles) from Vienna to Chicago don´t feel like it at all, but that´s a different story.

Yes, she´s still running up a storm in Chicago and she even motivated me to give it a try. I was always self-conscious about starting a running routine, mainly because at my weight people would tell me not to run as it could harm my joints.
Still, Nina insists that runners come in all shapes and sizes, so I decided to start working on my endurance first before I am running through the city. Wow, me and running. Next stop has to be world domination, obviously :)

Today I´d like to take a trip down memory lane for all you avid runners and curious beginners and share a Best of Running 101. Ready? Here we go....

Aug 11, 2014

Monday Madness


This weekend was well spent reading, thanks to a gift card to a local book store. Of course I had to jump on the #GIRLBOSS waggon and so far it doesn´t disappoint.

Lots of iced coffee, crisp salads and ice cream thrown in the mix and that´s how we roll in the heat these days. My first thought this morning? It´s only a four-day-work week, yay! What about you?

But first, grab a cup and treat yourself to some links:

• Decorating with Large Prints instead of Gallery Walls. Thoughts?

• Hiking to Lagoa de Fogo. Wow!

Ginger Peach Sangria plus Salted (!) Cantaloupe Ginger Ice Cream. Thumbs up!

Tiny Bee Ring. Just because.

Are you friends with your ex? Great read.

• My Terrible Tinder Date. Ha!

Scandinavian Inspired Family Home. Lovely!

• 18 Things We Need to See on The Mindy Project. Agreed :)

• Plus a Free Editorial Planner to download. Must have!


>> Don´t ever grow up. Don´t become a bore. Don´t ever let the Man get to you. <<
- Sophia Amoruso


Aug 7, 2014

What´s your signature summer scent?


When the temperature is rising and humidity strikes, I usually can´t be bothered with wearing any kind of perfume. My favorite ones are usually too heavy for summer, so I ditched that step in my morning routine altogether though I like to wear some kinda scent. I would grab some kind of dry oil every other day, but that was it.

That quickly changed when I came across this light and handy rollerball perfume that mesmerizes with a deep jasmine note that fades into a fresh scent of summer, sun and the beach and by the end of the day I can smell salt water on my skin. It´s heaven in a bottle and it´s called Bobbi Brown Beach. I am in love and can't stop sniffing my wrists all day long :)

Have you ever tried it?



(Image via WeHeartIt | Madame Madita)

Aug 6, 2014

Let´s talk about dating...


Yesterday my friend Suze and I met for cocktails and after a quick catch-up on each others lives, the conversation quickly turned to dating and the young urbanite´s problems concerning that subject.

"I am back for almost six months already and can´t even find a proper apartment, I don´t even want to think about possible dates", she said as the few she experienced were quite underwhelming. She is a smart, funny, driven woman who´s gorgeous and independent - how come it´s hard for her to find someone to date that feels equal to her, to begin with?!

I turned 32 this year and was in a relationship for almost six years. When I entered said relationship in my twenties, I had totally different expectations and needs than I believe I do have now. While growing up I was told that an independent woman doesn´t need a man and that I should never be needy and vulnerable towards men and also that the woman has to take care of everything. Of course I believed that at that time.

Now I know, that if you embody those beliefs, you will certainly attract a specific kind of men - the kind who is accustomed to women in charge. The kind that makes you feel like you´re on your own even though you are in a relationship. Suze agreed with me and we realized we are strong women who also want a strong confident equal partner. Being in charge all the time is exhausting. So what to do?

That´s when I came around Matthew Hussey (if you know MTV´s Plain Jane, you have probably seen him in action), a dating expert who´s videos caused quite a few head desk situations over here, ha.

Especially one of his observations, made me slap my forehead, even though it´s kinda obvious (this video around minute 2:50), and I summarize his point quite a bit:

  • If you want a masculine guy, you need to let him take care of you.  A confident masculine guy needs to take care of a woman. Your argument might be that you can do it yourself. Having to do everything for yourself is a form of weakness. A strong woman doesn´t need to spend all that energy validating herself by showing off how strong she is!
  • The weakest woman claims that she needs a guy and can´t do anything by herself. A level above her is the woman who says she can do anything for herself and doesn´t need a guy to help her. The confident and really strong woman is a level above, knowing she can do it herself but also knowing it´s more fun when someone else does it!
  • It´s strong to be served. It is not strong to hold a guy at an arms length telling him you don´t need him - for an equal relationship, you do!
  • You don´t need a guy for your own happiness, but it´s more fun with one and they have more fun when they can be guys around us!

Makes sense, doesn´t it?!

What´s your experience when it comes to dating (feel free to comment anonymously, if you like) and don´t miss this adorable video about kids talk dating problems. It´s hilarious!





(Image via Raisons d´Être, video via Matthew Hussey)

Aug 4, 2014

Monday Madness


Lately I feel insanely happy and content just moments after waking up early morning - even on a Monday - and that says something. After a hard year personally and healthwise, I just finally feel the rollercoaster going up again and it might stay there for a while :)

This weekend was filled with laughter (like, laughing til I cried of laughing), great food and something that could develop into a so-called sleeping routine and even nicer early mornings. Not bad, huh? What about you?

Think about your best moments this weekend while you´re browsing my favorite links! Happy Monday!

• This Hallstatt post is supposed to make you come to Austria :)

Interior Photography as it´s best. Swoon.

Beyoncé Taught Me. Loving these graphic tees.

10 New Yorker Food Stories to read now!

• Remember my I Quit Sugar Challenge? This Life without Sugar post hit home in a good way.

• This technique will make your lipstick last forever. Thumbs up!

Hello Sunshine - free printable wallpaper. ´Nuff said.

I´m Not the Only One. Watch Chris Messina break Dianna Agron´s Heart - all in the name of music.

• And a yum Cheesy Grilled Pesto Chicken and Sundried Tomato Sandwich. Yes!


>> Time and silence are the most luxurious things today. <<
- Tom Ford


Aug 1, 2014

SBQL #9 - Song|Book|Quote|Look


//Look
I love easy-going (read: no need for ironing) light fabrics for summer and I also love dark shades when it comes to summer dresses. ProFreshStyle´s Christina rocks that look complete with that bold clutch and accessories as well as subtle make-up. It´s love :)

//Song
I am loving a lot of different artists right now but in the end I chose Mary Lambert´s fierce song SECRETS. It´s raw, honest and the lyric video is quite hilarious. Watch here!

//Book
The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan has been on my must read list for quite a while. If you think you´ve heard about her but don´t quite remember where: Marina was the aspiring writer and Yale-grad who tragically died in a car crash before her time. Her essays went viral shortly after and are truly amazing. Definitely a must read!


//Quote
If you don´t fit in, then you´re probably doing the right thing. How amazing and how true, don´t you think? I have always struggled with fitting the mold or so to speak but since I am in my thirties, I finally realized that I don´t have to. Like my girl Nina would say, "I put my big girl panties on" and have now developed a no-bullshit-policy that fits me an my life quite well :)


Now jump over to read Nina´s picks and tell us, what is your SBQL this month? 



// SBQL is an original blog series by Jenna Antonelli. We gather here monthly to keep the SBQL spirit alive. //

Jul 31, 2014

The Water Challenge


How much water do you drink every day? Do you even know? I really don´t, I just know not enough. Usually I make sure to get a pitcher of fresh water every morning and place it within eyesight on my desk. Still, throughout the day, I just forget about it and only have a quick sip here and there.

It´s really bad and I don´t find myself to feel actually thirsty, which is even worse. Friends suggested Waterlogged, a handy app for the phone to remind me when to drink again or to put a post-it on my pitcher and actually count the glasses of water I am drinking. That´s all way to much effort, guys.

That´s when I came across this Daily Mail article about Sarah Smith, a woman who challenged herself to drink three litres (almost a gallon) of water every day for a month to improve her health.

Her approach was a little different. Sarah didn´t sip that amount of water throughout a day, no, she made sure to drink almost one litre in the morning right after she woke up, one at night and one third in the middle of the day - or when she was running errands, she made sure to have a water bottle on hand. All in all she tried to come as close to those three litres as possible. See here diary here.

Not only did her migraines disappear and her digestion improved over those four weeks, she also looks several years younger. Her skin looks dewy and well rested and her eyes look fresh and alert. It´s incredible!

Today I decided to try Sarah´s approach and so far I am doing well. It can be a bit much to drink a litre at once but I don´t force myself and drink as much as I can. According to Sarah it will become second nature and easier over time.

Why I am doing this? Like Sarah, I get really bad migraine attacks, usually on weekends and I feel like my skin got really bad over the last year which might also be due to my thyroid health.

I am definitely as curious as you if and how this challenge will improve my health. I made sure to snap a photo this morning and will continue to do so over the course of the challenge. I let you know if anything changed concerning my health after four weeks.

Since challenges are way more fun if you´re not alone in this, who wants to join and be my guzzle buddy?

Let me know!


(Image via FoodEnthusiast)
 

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