Month: June 2014

I love Bloglovin

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I just found out about Bloglovin which is a way to keep track of all the blogs you want to follow. It seems to be amazing! I already have 28 new posts to read of blogs I follow. And I do know that I’m probably the last person on this planet to find out about this. 😉

Happy reading everyone!!


I’m a coffeeholic!

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I’m really sorry it took me a while to write a post, again, I read some really good books and whenever that happens I’m not able to do anything else until I’m done reading. 😉

To give you an update on my reading: I should be reading Daniel Defoe’s Roxana (1724) for my PhD right now – don’t get me wrong, I just made myself a reading schedule to finally finish it but it’ll still take a while. However, when I got home from my vacation and after I did a lot of work for a meeting with my supervisor I thought I’d reward myself with something fun to read. I ended up choosing Christopher Paolini’s Eragon (2003) which has been on my bookshelf for far too long (along with 116 other unread books – oh well I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a bookaholic!). I really, really liked it! I read it in a week and really want to read the second, third and fourth book of the series now. But I should really be reading Roxana right now. I just can’t read for my PhD while I’m on the train and since I spend approximately 2 to 3 hours on the train per week I need something light to read on the side. For this I chose Helen Fielding’s Cause Caleb (1994) and I didn’t expect to like it so I thought it wouldn’t cause a reading marathon as Eragon did. Man was I wrong! I didn’t read it as quickly but once I started I couldn’t really stop thinking about it even while I did PhD stuff. It’s about a women called Rosie who lives in London with her TV-presenter boyfriend Oliver. After a bad break-up she decides to go to Africa and runs a refugee camp for four years. When an overwhelming catastrophe is about to happen she returns to London to ask her former friends in the showbiz for help.

Reading material (German versions of Eragon & Cause Caleb)

It’s really good – read it if you didn’t do so already! I have not (yet) read the Bridget Jones series but based on the movies I can tell you that Cause Caleb is very different so don’t let your dislike of the Bridget Jones novels stop you from reading Helen Fielding’s first novel!

When Rosie gets back to London after she spent four years in Africa, she realises how different our lifestyle is. We enjoy so many conveniences that are bad for the environment. This got me thinking about what I can do on a daily basis to help. I’m a huge coffee drinker and I drink at least one coffee every morning. I have a machine that works with capsules and each coffee means one capsule that’s thrown away just so that I can enjoy my coffee. (The same is true for pad machines.) I also drink at least one coffee in the afternoon. But then there are these days when I’m late or lazy and I just get a take-away coffee at my local coffee shop to take it with me on the train. That’s even more waste, paper and plastic! That’s not okay! In fact I’ve thought about this for a while already but the book gave me the final nudge. The long and the short of it, we put our old coffee machine in the basement (in case the new one breaks – let’s hope not though!) and got a new one which can be filled with real coffee beans or coffee powder. That was an investment but in the long run it will produce less waste and I think it will save us money, too. 16 capsules cost about 4,50€ and we drink about two to eight coffees per day. As you can see it added up – thankfully I can get coffee at work so it rarely happened that we had to use eight capsules a day but there are always those lazy Sundays…

There’s also a solution for the take-away coffee lovers. I only get them in emergencies and if I do I at least separate the plastic top from the paper bottom before I toss them. Instead I try to use reusable mugs and tumblers that aren’t only environmentally friendly but also look super cute! (I’m such a girl here but you got to admit that it’s true!)

My tumbler collection

I try to not forget my tumbler whenever I think I might need coffee on the go but sometimes it does happen. For this, Starbucks provides reusable and recyclable cups which look like their normal take-away cups. These are cheaper than the real tumblers because they’re not as sturdy and long-lasting but better for the environment than the normal take-away cups. While I haven’t reused mine since I bought it, I now use it as decoration in my room, I use the tumblers which you can see in the picture above instead.

Starbucks reusable & recyclable take-away cup

So I think it’s a great improvement, I already noticed the effect of the new coffee machine – and not only because the coffee tastes better! – there’s really less waste to carry outside and I feel much better about being a coffeeholic now. 🙂

Birthday present to myself

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Wow… it has been a while since I started this blog but a lot has happened in the first few weeks of my 25th year of age that kept me away from blogging on both of my blogs. I’m really sorry, I’ll try to update more frequently from now on!

The biggest news is that I have enjoyed a three-week holiday in America. My friend, who lived in the same student hall in Scotland as I did, had invited me and it has been an amazing trip! I stayed with her and her family in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She took me to the 1862 battlefield which was decorated for Memorial Day and looked absolutely stunning.

Fredericksburg Battlefiled

My friend’s brother’s graduation present was a week long trip to DisneyWorld in Orlando, Florida. That also meant that I  got to see an American graduation ceremony which is such a great thing compared to my own BA-graduation – I only picked up my paperwork from a university office. In DisneyWorld I noticed that I am too old for a lot of things – Quarter-life crisis already? – but at the same time it has been a great experience. It wasn’t as huge as I expected it to be – which was a good thing! – but big enough to walk around in a different park each day. I don’t think there’s anything comparable to DisneyWorld here in Europe – although I have never been to DisneyLand in Paris but I can only imagine that this one is a lot smaller. I have to admit that I was really scared before we went there but I have to say that I enjoyed every day we spent there in the end.

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade
Walt Disney & Mickey Mouse statue at Magic Kingdom

After our trip to Florida – which meant two 14-hour car drives – we did a day-trip to Washington DC and I have to say I am in love with the capital of the United States! It’s huge and the buildings as well as the sights and the landscape are so so pretty! While I didn’t have time to visit everything I wanted to see we walked around quite a bit and I saw the National Mall which hosts the Lincoln Memorial – impressive! -,  the White House, the Capitol and the National Archives. I will have to come back because I really, really want to see the National Gallery of Art which currently has a Mary Cassat and Edgar Degas exhibit on display until the 5th October 2014 – go see it if you happen to be there!

Lincoln Memorial – outside
Lincoln Memorial – inside

I did so much shopping everywhere we went that I was lucky to have taken a second suitcase with me. I know – women and shopping, such a stereotype! I experienced so much in so little time that I still cannot believe that I’ve actually been to the US for the first time in my life. I really hope I have a chance to come back at some point but for now I have to save some money after all that shopping and focus on my PhD as well as work for a while!

Fireworks at Magic Kingdom

As you can see my first few weeks as a 25 year-old haven’t been too bad and there are only a few signs of a Quarter-life crisis but we’ll see how it’ll be without amazing friends who enabled me to have the best vacation/birthday present ever! 😉