Friday, January 31, 2014

I watched the movie "Enough Said" and loved it! 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The snow has arrived! Perfect weather for potato gratin. Here´s my simple recipe... serves about 4.
500g potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced, 1 cup of cream and 1/2 a cup of milk, mixed together, salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place potato slices in a baking dish, seasoning between the layers. Pour half the liquid over the potatoes and bake for 30 minutes. Then pour over the rest of the milk/cream mixture and bake a further 15 minutes then turn off the oven. Let the gratin cool down a little in the oven -  about 15 minutes and serve with a green salad or steamed vegetables. Mahlzeit!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

So excited - THE BLOCK IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

With the above ingredients: Spelt flour, butter, milk, onions, sugar, bread, cheese, eggs, potatoes and salt plus apples and cabbage, I can make the following dishes... potato gratin, roesti with cheese, pasta with cabbage, potato soup, cheese quiche, cheese on toast, omelet, onion tart, kaiser schmarren, gnocchi with cheese sauce, slow cooked cabbage, apple nockerl, apple strudel, fried eggs on bread, apple fritters and cheese spaetzle. Can you think of any more? Recipes to follow...

Monday, January 27, 2014

                                                                                       (Quote from http://www.whitehothair.co.uk/)
I´ve been thinking about aging recently. I feel really good in this body and with myself at age 47. That comes more from having accepted the parts of me that I hated for so long but couldn´t quite manage to change. I used to see my body as an enemy and eating, or trying not to eat, as an ordeal. A book I found "by coincidence" at a flea-market changed that within 5 minutes of starting to read it. That book was "Breaking Free from Emotional Eating" by Geneen Roth. The first chapter had me gasping for air - "eat when you are hungry". After all those years of dieting I had never thought about that, hmmm. That book set me free.
My hair is another one of those things. At 45 I finally accepted that my hair is thin, then found the right hairdresser for me - also "by coincidence" - who encouraged me to wear my hair longer, so happy about that! Recently I have been torn between continuing to dye my hair or letting it go grey.
Last week I ordered an issue of Kinfolk magazine after reading about it on several blogs. The current issue is about aging and after seeing the photos of all the grey haired beauties I have decided. I am leaving my hair its natural colour - grey and all!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I live in a town called Wolfsberg. I find it very beautiful here and especially love all the old architecture. We went for a 2 hour walk around town today and as usual, I took a few photos.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


The WOLLfühlen (which in German is a word play meaning feeling wool and feeling well) crochet  and knitting group met for the first time today! Although there were only a handful of people I really enjoyed myself and I´m sure the group will grow each month as word spreads. I believe that everyone is creative and sometimes we just need some help or a gentle nudge in the right direction to start a project. For me, working with my hands and making useful, lovely things is such a joy and I love watching other people find this joy for themselves too.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Today was my Father-in-law´s funeral and the snow was pouring down. He was a modest man who lived a quiet life as a farmer. Unfortunately he was diagnosed with Alzheimer at 72 years of age and after a fall down the stairs 2 years ago, his condition went rapidly downhill.
This was written on his death announcement.
"As God saw that the path was becoming too long, the hill too steep, the breathing too difficult, he put his arm around me and said, come home".
Good-bye Otto, rest in peace.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

 orangette  blogged about this wonderful oatmeal recipe (porridge from where I come from!) and today was the perfect day for it as it´s foggy again. The recipe is from Megan/A Sweet Spoonful who has a new book out called Whole-grain Mornings. I must say, the porridge was the best ever and the recipe is enough for more people, or more breakfasts. I just added raisins.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I love this little house we moved into 3 years ago. All the renovations inside are finished - but we will be moving things around a little after all 3 boys have moved to Graz to study. We got some bad news about a death in the family this morning and so we cancelled all our appointments for the day and retreated into our cocoon.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I am an English trainer and I love my job but I have a desire to share other talents as well, like crochet and knitting, sewing and collage. I´m taking the first step in this direction by starting a crochet and knitting group this Saturday in the town where I live, in the place where I normally teach English. Wish me luck!

Monday, January 20, 2014

At the end of 2013, I minimized my wardrobe to make life easier after watching this video.  Ruth and Courtney were also a great inspiration!  Since then I find it easier to dress and can see what goes with what at a glance. 
I am going to do the same in my fridge and pantry. Limit the amount of foods I use to 50 products (it sounded like a lot until I started writing a list) in order to make shopping, eating and cooking easier while also cutting down on packaging and waste. I find that limits actually give me a kind of freedom, although this seems like a contradiction. I love the Zero waste blog.
I am lucky to live in a region where many products are grown/produced locally and available fresh at a fair price. As much as possible I will make, bake and grow a lot of the products myself. I´ll keep you posted every Monday on my progress.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Last night was my youngest son´s formal. I am so proud of him for learning to dance especially for the occasion, even though it´s not his thing. He recently turned 18 and now all my children are officially adult. Soon he will be finished with school and leave the nest just as my other 2 sons have...that makes me happy and melancholy at the same time, and so curious about what life will bring for all 3 of them.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

After a month of fog, Here Comes the Sun!

Friday, January 17, 2014



Loving this podcast on focus (my word for 2014) by... Jamie Ridler

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Almost every Thursday I eat at a friend´s house between teaching appointments. She has 2 older daughters and now 3 young sons, the youngest just 3 months old and they are a pleasure to be around.
She is a great cook of simple, healthy food and today she cooked fennel risotto. Here´s a recipe.

Fennel Risotto

Ingredients (for about 4 servings) 
4 fennel bulbs and medium onion
1 tablespoon of butter2 cups of uncooked round corn rice7 cups vegetable broth and 1 cup of cream6 tablespoons of grated parmesanchopped parsley, salt and pepper.
Remove the core of the fennel and peel the onion, cut both into pieces.Fry in butter until lightly browned, add rice and stir, add 1 cup of broth and cook, stirring, until liquid is absorbed. Add remaining broth, 1 cup at a time until absorbed (about 20 min.) Turn off heat, stir in cream and parmesan, add parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Mahlzeit!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Have you heard about the movement "Economy for the Common Good"? It started close by here in Graz and is gathering momentum. Daily life is good here in Austria so it´s easy to believe that everything is fine but national debt is growing and there is no transparency about what happens to tax money - ECG gives me hope for the future.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014



One blogger/artist I have followed right from the first day that I discovered blogging is Lisa Congdon. I have 3 of her prints hanging in my entry and they are very special to me as they remind me of a time when I was quite lonely and disconnected from the outside world, living in a small village here in Austria with 3 young children and a husband who was away more than he was at home. That seems like a lifetime ago, I´m happy today and I know it.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Last year I decided not to eat meat in the month before Easter and it was much easier than I had imagined. I watched the series River Cottage Veg and it inspired me to be more adventurous with my cooking. In the back of my mind I was also thinking about a future plan of mine to live mainly from the products we can grow in our garden plus some other products that I can buy from local farmers. Growing and harvesting vegetables is such a calming, natural thing for me to do but I cannot imagine taking care of and then killing an animal and preparing it for being cooked.  In Austria it´s a tradition to take a basket full of smoked and roasted meats and sausages to church on Easter Saturday to be blessed and then eat these meats with white bread and horse radish with family and friends. We were invited to such a traditional feast last easter Saturday and when I saw the plates piled high with smoked ham I knew instantly that my meat-eating days were over and I haven´t eaten meat or fish since then.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


The book A New Earth opened my eyes when I read it back in 2008 and when my Yoga teacher started reading texts from The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali I saw so many parallels between both and really started to understand and live by these philosophies. About a year later the TED talk by Jill Bolte Taylor completed the picture for me.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

I spent the day in Graz (the capital of Styria) where my 2 older sons live and study. It´s a lovely city with a large pedestrian zone, a river and a hill with a clock tower. Couldn´t find any cupcakes - will keep looking next time...

Friday, January 10, 2014

It´s been foggy here for about a month now and people are really starting to get down about it - I don´t mind it myself and you can always start making garden plans for Spring if the grey´s too much for you. Here´s some inspiration...
Gardening Australia, Edible City, Life in a Cottage Garden.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Love these websites where you can see inside real people´s homes (and businesses):
Apartment Therapy, Freunde von Freunden, and  The Selby.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014


I work as an english trainer/translator in a team formed with friends and I love my job. As well as really enjoying teaching and translating,  I have the luxury of not having to work on weekends and Wednesdays. Every Wednesday morning I go to YOGA class for 1 1/2 hours, which gives me the rest of the day to drink coffee with friends, potter around at home or spend time with my husband who is a self-employed cabinet-maker. It has taken us some time, determination, juggling acts and a few experiments to get to this point but it has been so worth it.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014


After reading this last August, I downloaded these free Couch to 5K podcasts and since then I´ve been running 3 times a week. Some days are better than others and it´s been really hard since Winter has set in but I´m proud to say that I can run 30 minutes without stopping which is a miracle because since my school days (a long time ago!) people have been telling me I´m built for swimming, not running, hmmm. The best time for it is early morning or late afternoon because of the sky (no photoshop used on those pics!).

Monday, January 06, 2014


This is me, thinking about taking part in this E-course,
BE YOUR OWN BELOVED

Sunday, January 05, 2014

So happy to have found Flow magazine, originally Dutch and now also available in German and English. If anyone is reading this, hope you´re having a nice day!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

2014: Focus on personality, authenticity, composure,
beauty - inside and out, creativity, enjoying myself and
learning to communicate more assertively.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Say "YES"to life! The sites Zenhabits and Danielle Laporte may help.
I am especially grateful for accept what is and this light meditation.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Enjoying homemade apple strudel, crocheting a noren, reading an old Ikea Family Live article about creating orderly surroundings that motivates me every New Year and creating a routine to help me "FOCUS".