A Catalan eve

Special venues make life exciting. Even if there is no special occasion, no birthday or holiday near, we ought to feel special and make ourselves an extraordinary time. Eating delicious food in a well-planned atmosphere, dressed up nicely and dancing happily can put us in a festive mood and can give us just that feeling that makes for great energy and motivation.

Image this: you sit on the balcony of a house in the mountains of an exotic island – a buena vista (Spanish “great view”) in front of you: palm trees lightly swinging in the wind, colorful flowers, high mountains and the wide sea where the sun sets. You’re wearing a red salsa dress. On the table in front of you: a fruity and refreshing glass of sangria and a delicious desert, crema catalana. In the background Blake Shelton’s Sangria is playing.

Doesn’t this inspire you to treat yourself with an evening celebrating yourself and your fabulous life just as it is? With tasty food, a devine drink and a perfectly put together ensemble to get you into the festive spirit for absolutely no other reason than cheering for life itself?

What is your go-to ensemble when it comes to creating special moments for yourself and why?

Have a great start into the new week! x

-your tiny woman in a giant world

More confidence to enjoy life to the fullest

“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.” – Sophia Loren

This is a popular quote that is known by many and imaged on walls all around the world — it also graces my wall. I wonder whether all women are aware of the powerfulness of this quote by Sophia Loren. The strength and confidence it holds.

If you’ve been visiting enchanting notions before, you know I am an advocat for healthy living and eating. But in times of countless diets and this never ending and totally pie in the sky trend of constant self-improvement based on false and stressing beliefs that some people have, I find it crucial to take a moment and try to outline one true meaning of a joyful life. Which achieved, can make all the difference for you.

To be better than the person in the picture seen on Instagram, or the star that someone follows on the social web — it’s so easy to get competitive with the world these days. The feeling of self-contentment is so easy to be lost within us. Comparisons are drawn at such fast pace and over and over again. If you know what I am talking about, just unclinch your jaw, relax your shoulders and inhale deeply — exhaling, let go of all the tension that has built up inside you for the longest time. Let go of the thought that you are not “there” yet, that you have to do and make and get and be… You don’t have to do, make, get or be anything but who and what you are in this very moment. I have got a perspective on life to share with you, inspired by the quote above, and I hope it inspires you to live a life of feather-lightness and strength within yourself.

Walking through life being open to indulge in food, sharing unlimiting views, decision-making based on a free, an unopiniated mind and a choosing of activities that is not to a great degree conform to what only others expect — all this and more is expressed by the quote presented above. Do all the things that need to be done in order to have an active, healthy life. But at the end of the day, moving forward in the sense of “high performance” should not be what drives you. It should be freeness of mind, the power of free decision-making and a feeling of pure joy doing what you love, doing anything that makes you enjoy life (still being a respective, responsible and good person). Life is much more fun when you live by your own standards.

The quote indicates a beaming smirk that makes me feel good about myself when thinking of the confidence to stand by my good flaws — in contrast to bad flaws, indulging in pasta every once in a while without the tiniest bit of somewhat guilt makes you strong. And “pasta” stands for so much more than just the food. What is your “pasta”? What good flaw do you proudly own?

Let me know in the comments below. x

-your tiny woman in a giant world

May I interest you in a little gardening lifestyle?

Waaay way back in history, all mankind had to hunt and gather to get food and nourish their families. Their meals consisted of plants (probably not rarely undefined plants), vegetables, fruits, fish and meat. They were self-dependent and speaking of the health aspect of their eating habits would be doubtful but nature-based. So how bad could it be anyway.

Then, some time later (I am great with exact dates), most of mankind planted and grew seeds, to live on vegetables, fruits, rice etcetera and had farms with chickens and other animals who served either eggs, milk and/or meat. They did not only feed themselves but also the surrounding neighborhoods. They were co-dependent and lived a healthy lifestyle regarding their eating habits.

Some further time later, mankind revolutionized the food industry (or more accurately: they developed the food “industry”, we all know today). Suddenly, there were heavily processed food and mass food production. Unfortunately, very little good came with it. Who am I kidding: processed food is pure poison for you and your body.

A farther time in the future, I hope for our and our planet’s sake that we will find a healthy balance between self-supply and buying our food. That’s why I have a crazy suggestion to make… Why don’t we all (who have the opportunity) start gardening and planting fruits, herbs and vegetables that grow in our latitudes in order to at least semi-self-dependently provide food for ourselves? This way, we can control what goes into our food and ultimately into our bodies, i. e. avoid pesticides, biogenetics and the similar.

Besides the benefit of having control over the food that we nourish our bodies with (which keeps us alive), gardening would also mean for you to go after a hobby that is set in nature. In times of digital office jobs, bonding with nature and spending time outside is such a healthy thing to do: fresh air and giving your brain a break by concentrating on a peaceful occupation.

Did I manage to persuade you to invest a little time in a gardening lifestyle?

-your tiny woman in a giant world

post scriptum This notion does kind of read like a children’s book, right?

the downsides of human love relationships or “doomed lovey doveys”

Being in love… What great feelings to recall: Butterflies in your stomach, the excitement of pleasant anticipation before every date, that seemingly ever-lasting smile on your face. That every touch making your all senses dance. Fairy-tale like times, this first phase of a love relationship. The heart-breaking reality is… This rarely continues to eventually end with a “happy ever after”. Even if one of the partners seems to stay in this first phase for as long as he/she knows the person.

Maintaining the excitement of the first phase requires hard work and strong willingness from both parties. One alone can try as hard one wants, it is a job for two. Love needs two people to grow and ultimately, to last. A balanced relationship evolves from a mutual attraction. Attraction is very much dependend on positive thoughts, admiration for the other person’s character and physical attraction. Having your partner losing sight of one of those aspects is not your fault. It’s just the way it is with relationships. A little distraction on your partner’s side can lead to him/her to forgetting about why he/she fell in love in the first place, which then leads to a broken heart — yours that is. Should we stop being naive and forget about relationships all over to protect ourselves from this kind of heart-break? Every single picture on Pinterest says no, “dare to love”. Well, then.

A love relationship, a real partnership between two lovers is the most beautiful thing to possibly experience. No feeling can compare to being in love and knowing that you are loved. It comes along with satisfaction, pride, great joy and happiness. The feeling that you can rely on someone, any time at any place. Someone who shares his/her feelings and thoughts and with whom you can share yours. Someone who finds strength in you and shows gratitude. Someone who is your source of energy when everything else goes wrong. A balanced partnership with mutual love and affection.

But when it comes to an end due to whatever reason that you did not have control over, after a great amount of time and energy you have put into the relationship to make it back to working, it is the worst feeling. It breaks your heart into tiny little pieces. In this stadium, it just makes no sense to hold on to the person, pushing him or her to talk to you if he or she does not want to. If someone who once shared his or her thoughts with you and spend much time talking to you, stops for no obvious reason, it is not something you can influence. He or she has disconnected from you — emotionally and physically. The healthiest thing for you to do is to make your peace with it. Just take it as it is. Maybe not the first time this ever happens. Maybe not the second time. But surely the third time. You are worth what you put out there. If you put out love and affection and receive reluctance and resistance, you are not obliged to take it in for the millionth time. Someone who loves you will not be able to hurt you, ever. Stay strong and move on. You are not the person to for ever fight for what means the world to you. Your counterpart has to take a little bit of responsibility of his/her own.

How should you go on? Concentrate on your self. Do whatever you love doing. Treat yourself. Surround yourself with the people who adore you. And don’t have second thoughts. You’ve acted on them a fair amount of times already. If it has not changed the past multiple times, it won’t change now.

Animals seem to have a better practice loving and partnering up. Being a penguin for a little while sounds just about right.

-your tiny woman in a giant world

TheBalancedLife.Com: 21 Days of Pilates challenge by Robin

Update: If you read this after the actual start of the challenge, do not worry: All videos are online on Robin’s YouTube Channel, but only until the end of the challenge! 🙂 Did you do any of her workouts? Do you love them as much as I do?

Just now, on my daily visit to Our Body Book, I found out about the 21 Days of Pilates challenge by Robin from The Balanced Life and registered right away. A fun way to add to my regular workout routine, spicing things up and getting an extra challenge on.

The concept is fairly easy:

STARTING TODAY, there will be daily 10-minutes Pilates workout videos by Robin that are absolutely free. So you might want to go over her website and register right now 🙂

I find Pilates a great workout to strengthen my body, especially building up and improving core muscles. You don’t need weights, just your own body and a mat. You can pick your own time and place and just go for it. I am excited to participate in the challenge and expand my daily workout sessions to an extra 10 minutes. Are you too in? If so, you’re very welcome to share your workout results with me!

-your tiny woman in a giant world

spotlight on morning routines — take 2

This following notion is take 2 (the beauty of seasonal morning routines) on morning routines. Also see take 1 (the impact of morning routines on us).

The beauty of mornings is one of a kind. The seasons define our morning routines. Seasons decide what we’ll have for breakfast and where we’ll sit having breakfast. They make for our level of motivation when looking out the window. Seasons influence our choice of music. And seasons very much determine our perception of our environment. In strong nostalgia of past summers, I’d like to share with you one of my last year’s summer morning routines.

My alarm does not have to go off — the beautiful rays of sunlight that shine through my window into my room, warming my face, wake me up gently. The pleasant anticipation of a bright and sunshiny day get me out of bed and clear the need of pushing “snooze”. My thoughts are filled with beachy memories and happy ideas. Tiptoe-ing to the window, opening it and taking in — with all my senses — everything summer offers on this beautiful morning:

I hear the birds tweeting to one another, sharing their laughter.
I feel the mild air and sunshine on my skin, making me feel alive.
I smell the flowers, growing my longing to finally step outside.
I see the green leaves that dance in the light wind, gratitude pulsing inside me.
Is there a thing more perfect than this very moment?

Is there? The conscious gratitude of the “here and now” fills me with great contentment. I get dressed (a light shirt and jeans shorts are all I need today), get ready, smile into the bathroom mirror and dance my way downstairs. Before I head to the kitchen, I take a moment and get on the patio, take a deep breath, stretch, smell the flowers.

The kitchen is my go-to-place on sunny mornings like this. The kitchen window is where the sun goes up. I prepare my breakfast: I slice a watermelon and goat cheese into pieces and place them on a plate and pour over a little honey. The colors on the plate speak for themselves: pink, gold and white. Nature’s treasure. The combination of the freshness of the waterlemon, the creaminess of the goat cheese and the sweetness of the honey creates a culinary delight. With the bitterness of my cup of black coffee on top, it is the best light breakfast to have. Sitting by the kitchen table on the chair, crossed-legged, I enjoy the peace with nothing but the birds singing in the background.

With my spare half an hour left before I need to leave for work, I hop on my bike and cruise around the neighborhood. Enjoying the wind blowing through my hair as I gain momentum, and the sights of colorful gardens that make me smile, I breathe freely.

Grabbing my tote bag with all the necessities for the day ahead as well as my workout bag, I head to my car and head off to the first destination. Driving with my windows down on the country road, I sing along the Mamma Mia! soundtrack, dancing and loving the day.

What does a summer morning routine of yours look like?

-your tiny woman in a giant world

spotlight on morning routines — take 1

This following notion is take 1 (the impact of morning routines on us) of 2 (the beauty of seasonal morning routines).

Recently, I have been philosophizing about how different the unique ways are through which we all view tiny aspects of life — these tiny aspects ultimately sum up to define our world view. I find that we have to mix up actions and activities within certain areas of our lives from time to time in order to freshen up this world view and reconsider opinions we have to ultimately have a wiser and more educated, experienced and most of all relaxed perspective on everything. This said, there is a special impact morning routines have on us, don’t you think?

Morning routines: a repetitive scheme of actions and thoughts

6.30 am. The alarm goes off. In my head the actions after my getting out of bed are playing precisely. Before we make our ways out of bed in the morning, we instantly go over the next steps. The way we start into the day, the things we do morning in morning out, we do through a repetitive scheme. A repetitive scheme not only of actions but also thoughts. Special drinks we insist on in the morning — like coffee, smoothies or green tea. Our preferences regarding breakfast: oatmeal, pancakes or no breakfast at all (I do not recommend that, it’s healthier to have breakfast — a nutrient-rich breakfast fuels your body with energy)? Turning on the news while having breakfast or watching your favorite YouTube videos (my current morning obsession: Late Night with Seth Meyers’ “A Closer Look” — this format is so incredibly funny and intelligent!)?

The impact of morning routines on us

Everyone takes different input through different actions in the morning. This input through actions makes us think specific thoughts. Surely, our thoughts do not exclusively develop through the activities and extrinsic content that we take in. But thoughts do not only derive from ourselves either. So switching up our morning routines from time to time is a great way to break through a creative blockages or just overcoming a phase in which you feel unchallenged or feel the need of freshness in your mind.

Alternative morning routines

One method to gaining a new perspective is by following new routines, like doing things differently in the morning. Here is a collection of ideas for your new morning routine from me for you.

  • The Mindful Routine: Om your way into the day.
    • Yoga/meditation/stretching on a mat in the biggest room available in your apartment/house upon awaking, with instrumental meditation music in the background
    • get ready
    • breakfast: Matcha tea and rice cakes with cashew cream and superfood toppings (honey, goji berries, chia seeds, nuts, cinnamon), fruit bowl
    • breakfast location: whatever room looks at the sunrise, create a cozy corner
    • read a book alongside your breakfast or write something down, whatever crosses your mind or whatever thought you are involved with that very moment
  • The Wild Routine: Dance your way into the day.
    • turn funky music on
    • get ready dancing (contemporary, ballet moves, jazz, hip hop or whatever moves you feel like doing) your way through every day of your home
    • prepare breakfast, still dancing
    • breakfast: healthy oatmeal cookies with nuts, dried fruits and a smoothie
    • breakfast location:  whatever room looks at the streets or the sunrise
    • watch funny videos or read funny lines alongside having breakfast
  • The Intellectual Routine: Inform your way into the day.
    • stretch upon awaking
    • turn on a documentary channel or news (TV or radio)
    • get ready listening
    • breakfast: brown bread with almond butter or cream cheese and superfood toppings (honey, goji berries, chia seeds, nuts, cinnamon), or jelly, cappuccino with coconut milk
    • breakfast location: kitchen
    • read the paper alongside having breakfast

Switch up your morning routines and have a new look at the world from a different angle, it will brighten up your worldview. Do not miss my upcoming notion on the beauty of seasonal morning routines next week.

Have a weekend full of fresh & fun perceptions x

-your tiny woman in a giant world

growing personally through change of perspective

Sometimes we need to reconsider. Reconsider our level of knowledge, the way we act in certain circumstances, our perspective on current issues or even our world view, our opinion on certain topics or our attitude towards anything. Reconsider and change. Constant change is what makes us grow. It’s not about dropping everything and replacing every bit of your life with new content. It is about picking aspects of your life, that don’t satisfy you, challenge you or don’t make you happy you any more. Leaving our comfort zones and exploring new waters is sometimes necessary to make us happier, smarter, nicer and to broaden our horizon.

Spring is right around the corner, waiting to bring back lively colors into our lives. Spring is associated with new beginnings. So closely after New Year (which acts as the biggest new beginning for the majority of people), it appears to be the second chance for those who missed bringing a new element into their lives when 2017 had just started. Why would you do that? Because new elements influence us in many ways. How can we achieve that? As I said, it’s not a process of turning your life upside down. Surely not! We should all embrace our lives in general as it is. Still, we need to see new colors every once in a while to freshen up our minds and mix it up. I believe in the already remarkable positive impact of little things.

Commiting oneself to new activities

Those “new elements” can be found in a broad range of actitivities and actions. The importance is to really commit to whatever is chosen as the new element in your life. Personal growth through change can only be achieved by consistency. If your consistency lies in constantly trying out new hobbies — that’s fine too! Here is a listing of possible activities to try out:

  • finding a new hobby in general: new kind of exercise, drawing, writing, pottery, …
  • attending new social venues: parties, workshops, movie nights etc.
  • attending courses: creative writing, …
  • learning a new language
  • picking a new area of interest to inform yourself about: animals, astronomy, marine biology, …
  • taking hikes in nature
  • consciously changing your daily routine
  • befriending new people: not on social media, but in real life!
  • reading a book from a genre that you have avoided before
  • joining a book club
  • fix activity for the weekend
  • go back to a long lost hobby of yours

New elements for new perspectives on life, new realizations and for fresh opinions — a grown you.

Have you had a period in your life where you intentionally brought change into your life in order to get through a phase where you just did not seem to grow any more? What new element did you commit to then? I’d be happy to hear about your experience. 🙂

Happy weekend!

-your tiny woman in a giant world

Happy Valentine’s Day Month!

February reminds me of flowers, red blouses, heart-shaped cookies with pink sugar coating and smiley faces. Do you too smell the romance in the air?

Valentine’s Day is for lovers, all kinds of lovers. “Lover” not only in its general sense of a person who is in a physically intimate relationship with his/her special someone, but in an even bigger picture meaning “everyone who loves”. And we all do love, that is the nature of a human being. We feel love, long for it, receive and give love. These two weeks until Valentine’s Day especially, let’s remind ourselves to spread the love and show appreciation for the beloved people we spend our time with. It is always a good idea to make the most of every moment and tell the other person(s) that we happily share our lives with him/her/them. Let it be fourteen days of pure love cherishing.

Who are you going to spoil big time with your love this Valentine’s Day season? Feel free to share your V-Day season plans in the comments section below. For all the single ladies out there who need ideas, this enchanting V-Day notion from last year might help 🙂

Be prepared the upcoming days featuring a sweet little love story and a heart-melting recipe. In the meantime, here are two enchanting notions on Valentine’s Day from last year: spread the love on Valentine’s Day & Cupid’s arrows.

Join the V-Day love xo

-your tiny woman in a giant world

sparkling 2017 — add a little mystery to the game

Happy New Year, my precious readers! I hope you had a wonderful time celebrating on New Year’s Eve and that 2017’s first week has treated you well!

Whenever there is a new beginning, there is a sparkling feeling laying hold of me. New beginnings come along with inspiration, they create new opportunities and ignite adventures. New beginnings are colorful, they shine bright with the mystery of the unknown that it going to take place through the many choices that we make day by day. A journey that is waiting to be owned, that we will enjoy and whose memory we will lateron cherish.

If you have already set up resolutions for 2017, just take a moment to reconsider them. This year, let’s try to stick to the saying “It’s not about the destination, it is about the journey.” Living by this dictum, make plans for actions rather than circumstances or state of the affairs. Let me give you a for instance: Do not set the goal “to become a yogi”, rather say “to practice yoga”. This way, you describe an action which is much easier, faster and much more realistic to realize. I assure you, doing things is much more important and it defines who you are, it is the greatest acknowledgement for the person you want to be. Performing as whoever or whatever you want to be is your answer to experiencing and feeling fulfillment as well as contentment.

Moreover, who cares about what will be any way? Why set goals for a state of affairs and making ahead-plans? Add a little mystery to the game 🙂 Isn’t it much more exciting not to know where this journey leads us? Don’t you consider the unknown to be way more happiness-revealing than plans that are schedules in advance? Sure, we do need to have a drive but we do not need to control everything. Release any tension that comes from the need to have the future under perfect control. Breathe deep in, and slowly out. Let go of pressure and enjoy the place (figuratively as well as literally) you are right now.

What’s going to happen on enchanting notions in 2017? Here we go :)…

As you have already seen, enchanting notions has a brand new logo which I love. It reflects every bit of this blog and what it means to me (and hopefully you too): its love of nature, variety in topics, its positivity, colorfulness and magical glitter. Thank you so much to my graphic designer who did a marvelous job bringing my vision of the logo to life.

On your right-hand side you may have noticed a new widget: the “little notions on the go”. It is the place I use to share my little notions with you on a daily basis. If you’d like to reply to a notions or tell me about your opinion to a topic that I refer to in “little notions on the go”, just send me an e-mail at enchantingnotions@gmail.com and I will happily get back to you!

Also, I will publish at least weekly notions for you to read. I appreciate you all so much, thank you for visiting my website regularly. Enchanting notions is a wonderful place for me to let my creativity run free. Hopefully, my notions will continue to inspire you this year. If there is any topic you would like me to write about, please feel free to reach out to me.

As for my wish for you this year: I hope you have a year of DEEPEST LOVE, plates full of colorful NOURISHING FOOD, everlasting HONEST LAUGHTERS and daily PASSIONATE MOTION!

xo

-your tiny woman in a giant world