Catching up


It’s been a while… as I said on facebook (find me there!), there’s just so much stuff happening at the moment. I can feel that things are shifting, but the process is too imminent and I feel vulnerable talking about my hopes, dreams and goals at this moment. I am just trying to stay with this forward-moving energy, and not to loose momentum. I know I am very prone to this, and it takes superhuman strength to get back up and going once I’ve fallen off the train, so my main concern at the moment is to enjoy the ride whilst keeping a balance between downtime, personal projects, necessary (adult *blegh*) life stuff, friends and family.

I miss blogging though, so even though I have no words at this moment, please enjoy some pictures of precious moments from the past few weeks.

 



My beautiful sister visited for a short while, and we enjoyed lots of sunny hours sightseeing and adventuring.





Trev and Picoletta are bottling our first homemade beer.

I hosted a full moon ritual. It was beautiful.

Also, yoga is on my mind a lot these days.

We started a garden. Well, it’s not quite that yet, more a patch of dirt where we hope to win an epic fight against an army of bramble roots.


Yoga inspiration and yoga doodles.

Permaculture is still going strong!


We don’t spend enough weekends exploring!

 

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Quiet

Hi everyone, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but it’s been very very quiet here… I just can’t find the mind to blog at the moment. I am crazy busy with a lot of things happening – some of them are awesome, some are just dull and some are bothersome… but it seems I can’t really write about any of them. It doesn’t seem to be a time for much reflection, but more of doing, and living, and making.

I’ve decided to not let this add to the buzz in my head and just take as much time off as I need. In the meantime, if you wanna keep up, follow me on instagram or twitter @little_yaga.

See you around!!

 

 

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Miau Miooo!

Hey hey, it’s me, Edgar, the friendly neighbourhood cat.

Don’t mind me, just chillin’ under your car. And being really sweet and social. Miau miau!!




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Vegan traveling – an ongoing experiment

It’s been a while since I wrote a dedicated post to veganism. As most of you know, I am by no means a fanatic or want to convince anyone to do anything they don’t want to. But I am quite passionate about constantly tweaking my diet and experimenting with better and healthier ways to feed my body.

So, I’ve been eating more or less vegan for a while. Whilst it has never been my goal to completely and forever swear off any animal foods (I’d rather we could find a solution to produce them in a way that makes it morally acceptable to eat them again…), I have always tried to be as strict as possible whilst taking care of not falling into a rut of feeling deprived and like I’m missing out on something.

That is one of the reasons why I always make the most exceptions when I’m traveling. When you’re on the go it is very hard to be picky about what you eat. It either takes a lot of luck and knowledge to source the right foods, or a lot of preparation to bring them with you.

But when I traveled to Switzerland for my Dad’s birthday a few days ago, I had some time and space in my carry-on luggage, so I decided to start an experiment and try to stay vegan on the journey.


I went into a tesco and started piling vegan snacks into my basket. I spent about ten pounds for

- 1pound of carrot sticks
- Bag of pumpkin seeds
- 4 bananas
- Bag of salted pistachios
- Bag of figues
- Small bottle of lemon water (my bad, forgot to bring my reusable water bottle)

Now that’s not too bad I think… the nuts and two of the bananas kept me comfortably filled all day and everything else was really just a nice to have.

The main thing that I realised was that you can actually eat quite well as soon as you let go of the concept of having to eat a ‘real meal’. The secret is to just eat a little bit whenever you’re hungry. That way, you will be snacking continuously over the course of your journey, and you will be ok. Of course I was very happy to sit down to a full meal after I arrived, but the point is: I did not go hungry, I kept myself fed, and I felt good about what I ate, instead of if I had devoured shitty vegetarian plane sandwiches.

So yeah, I think this could be something I want to expand in the future!

Do you pay attention to eating healthy when you are traveling or going on a road trip? How do you do it?

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Before & after – Sleepingroom

This is the kid’s room, the smaller sleeping room of our apartment. This is how it looked when we viewed the place:

It’s quite small, especially with a double bed in it, but we knew we wanted to make it our sleeping room because we thought it was really cute with the slanted ceiling and the skylight.

We moved the bigger bed into this room (yay for big beds!) and aligned it under the window so that we could see the sky when we’re in bed. (Well, I can see the sky, Trev only sees a blob of light as soon as he takes his glasses off…)


It’s pretty well packed with the chests of drawers behind the door. But it doesn’t feel crowded and since we really only sleep in here, it’s fine and serves it’s purpose.

Still, I’m not really happy with it… along with the hobby room, it’s the least decorated room in our flat, and I really want to change that. There’s a ton of wall space, and I think it would be cool to have some quote art up, something like this:

through pinterest

through pinterest

These are really easy to diy and I quite like the different looks you can get with them. They could be romantic, calming, minimalistic… whatever you prefer for your room. I, of course, prefer quirky, cute, or colorful things, but I always try to balance them with the kind of style that Trev prefers.

I do want to accentuate the roof and skylight bit somehow… I was thinking of putting up curtains and fairy lights, but that would probably be too girly and crowded. My new favourite idea is to gather a lot of white feathers, put some glitter on them, and hang them around the window, maybe mixed with some other trinkets.

I definitely need a dreamcatcher somewhere in this room! Or a handmade mandala, like this one:

through pinterest

I pinned the picture below for the mood that the room in the picture has. I would love for our sleeping room to feel light and crisp and simple but a bit romantic at the same time.

source

I’ll keep you posted about any improvements that I make!

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Wall calendar DIY

I promised that I would post about the wall calendar that I made for our entrance hall. It was really quite a simple and straightforward project.

All you need is a large picture frame with a glass or plastic cover, some craft paper, and whiteboard markers.


I decided to have a giftwrapping background for December. I cut out squares for all the days, in different colors for the different weekdays.

Then all you need to do is assemble the frame, and taa-daah!

Then you can hang it up and start to fill in the dates and decorate it with whiteboard of window markers. When a new month comes around, simply wipe everything off and start over.


(Sorry I have no clue why wordpress does that… turning the pictures upside down.. they are fine in preview, they are fine on my computer, and as soon as I insert them into a post – desaster!)

Well, you get the picture, but if you’d like a more detailed tutorial, here’s one of the many that you can find around the web!

Have fun!

Update: The frame I got from Ikea has a really cheap plastic cover and the markers are really hard to clean off it. So I would recommend buying a frame with an actual glass plate to save you the trouble of using nailpolish remover every month! 

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Double double, toil and trouble – kitchen magic!

 

It feels like ages since I really sat down to write a blog post. At the moment, blogging is just not something I really find the time for. Also, auto sync between my phone and computer stopped working a few months ago, so every time I want to get pictures for a post, I have to connect my phone with a cable (*gasp*) and transfer them manually. I know this sounds so it-snobby, but it just really changes the ease with which I put posts together.

Anyways, enough complaining. The main reason why my time is short is because I have a lot of great stuff to do, and luckily, a lot of it makes for interesting pictures, so here is a bunch.

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The abundance that is our vegetable box. I’m so excited every Friday for the box to arrive and to see what is in it (Last week, we had the first baby spinach of the season!!). I have gone down the slippery slope of home making and last week I spent waaay too much time in the kitchen, trying new things.

 

I intend to dedicate Fridays to the kitchen in the future, because I realise I have to take care not to get distracted too much during the week by new recipes and ideas.

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I’m not sure if I have talked about this new feature in our kitchen already. Trev and I decided to buy some of our staple foods from a bulk order company. We are trying to eat a very low carb high protein diet so our meals mainly consist of fresh veggies and pulses and grains like quinoa and buckwheat. These are our boxes of almonds and cashew nuts, which we use for making milk, sauces, and vegan spreads like this one:

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Cashew spread with garlic, yeast flakes and mustard. It’s a phantastic replacement for cheese in veggie bakes and lasagnes.

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This is how we store our dry goods. We’ve got two kinds of lentils, three different beans, hemp seeds (also for making very healthy milk), buckwheat and quinoa.

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And chickpeas, lots of chickpeas. In fact, 25 kg of chickpeas:

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Chickpeas are really versatile, but my favourite thing is when Trev makes lots of hummus from them.

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When the vegbox arrives, I look through the things that we got, and I try to prepare stuff for the coming week. I wash all the stuff that has earth on it (like carrots, celeriac, and beets), I pre-cut and wash things like leeks or cabbage, and I decide which fruit will go into our morning smoothies. I make a smoothie for Trev to take to work every morning, but he’s often in a hurry, so it’s good to be prepared. (Celery, apple and ginger smoothie last week was amazing!)

IMG_5734 (Large)I try to at least have a rough idea of meals to cook for the week, because a lot of the dry goods need to be soaked overnight to be ready for cooking in the evening. This requires a little bit of flexible thinking because we are very used to deciding about dinners spontaneously. But we’re getting better.

IMG_5725 (Large) Black turtle beans in the sunlight. So pretty!

Here is what our milk looks like. We use it mainly for sauces, smoothies and our home made chai tea. Making milk from seeds or nuts is incredibly easy and so much cheaper than buying overly diluted crap from the supermarket. Also, it is endlessly satisfying to make your own food, not just as in cooking, but to be able to make staples like milk, spreads, pestoes, flour…

IMG_5731 (Large)Most of them are dead easy and once you’ve tried it once, you wonder why you ever bought that item from a store, and why you were thinking that there was some sort of magic behind producing it that only food companies could perform…

Here’s another example: Stock from veggie cuttings. So simple! (Keep clean and unspoilt cuttings, as soon as you have a pot full, fill up with water, salt slightly, let simmer for an hour, filter into a bottle, voila!)

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I am also, after a long period of not having too much time to experiment, got back into my quest of replacing store bought and plastic wrapped self care and cleaning products with home made versions.

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I have started fairly low key, experimenting with making liquid soap from bar soap (since I got gifted really fancy soap from Trev’s grandma, but don’t really like using bars). That one turned into a bit of a scene from “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, as apparently I added way too much glycerine to my mixture and had to keep diluting it with water to make it liquid and ended up with approximately onehundredandeightysquare hectoliters of soap.

But the important bit is: It works and I have been refilling our washing up liquid and hand soap dispenser with something that cost me about two pounds (for a small bottle of glycerine that will probably last half a lifetime) and I still have enough soap to keep refilling for another year at least.

I’m dabbling with different shampoo ideas, but haven’t yet been able to find a satisfying solution.

The picture below is just some weird bubble bath from lush that came in a really funny consistency (supposed to be like silly putty so you can play with it before tossing in the bath, but well… meh.), so I just diluted it with water, warmed it up and turned it into liquid bubble bath.

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As well as whipping up a quick garlic and sesame oil ear tincture (for that weird ear pain I’ve had for weeks now), I also prepared some sugaring paste to use instead of wax – haven’t been able to try it yet though.

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I’ve tried sugaring a few years ago, but found it very time consuming and messy. I’m giving it another shot, maybe I can make it a bit more efficient. It would be really cool, since I prefer waxing to shaving a thousand times, but all the wax used (not to speak of the money) is giving me a bit of a bad consciousness.

I’ll keep you posted about my ongoing experiments. For this week though I promised myself to keep it down and work more on art projects that really need finishing.

Wishing you a great day!

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Imbolg 2014

February 2nd is Imbolg, a pagan holiday celebrating the very first signs of spring – new lambs are being born which meant that there was milk to make different and more nourishing foods than stews from shrinkled veggies and potatos, the very first flowers like snowdrops, hyacinths and crocuses are braving the frosts and popping their heads out of the snow, and even though it is still hard to see, the sun is getting stronger and stronger every day, and soon winter will be mild enough for the first crops to be sewn and planted.

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Brighid bread – a Vegan version of Swiss Sunday Zopf

This holiday is also celebrating and honouring the aspect of the Goddess as Brighid, the protector of blacksmiths, midwives, and bringer of the fire of inspiration. These attributes may seem random, but they are all tied together by the process of bringing a project, idea or being into this world, by giving live to something that was just a spark of inspiration before we put our hands to it.

Imbolg is the opportunity to really gear up and invoke the power you need for the projects you want to work on during the lighter part of the year – in other words, to pray for a bountiful season, be it in a physical or metaphorical way.

It was also a very special new moon last Thursday – the second new moon in the month of January. Two new moons in a month only happens quite rarely, so the second moon is said to have special powers and is called a super moon. It was also – as I found out later – the Chinese new year!

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Making new candles from old scraps – to be blessed by Brighid’s fire

Therefore you can imagine that I have been doing quite a lot of magical and spiritual work. One of my big quests since a couple of years has been to put spirituality and Goddess first in my life and really integrate spiritual work in my daily life. I’m doing quite well at the moment, developing a very personal ritual culture and daily practise that feels good to me.

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Imbolg altar with Brighid candles

If you’re interested to read about my spirituality and the meaning of the festivals etc. in more detail, hop over to my very personal spiritual blog, “Yaga denkt” (the title is German but I write in English). I don’t post regularly there, but there’s a lot of information, and when I add something it has a lot of meaning to me, as I keep it as a personal spiritual diary.

Wishing you a week full of inspiration!!

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Weekend pictures – Pubs and Permaculture

Happy Monday everyone! Hope your weekend was glorious and brought you exactly what you needed.

I have been very busy the past few days. I attended my second Permaculture course module this weekend. I took the introduction course two weeks ago and was completely fascinated by this model of thinking. Permaculture is basically bringing all sustainable thinking and methods into one place and putting it into words and structures. A really good way for a person like me who likes to know that they aren’t leaving anything out and who loves to put everything into a place and system.This weekend we talked about geology and how it influences the land and its soil…


2014-02-01 12.10.28 (Medium)2014-02-01 12.10.58 (Medium)We talked about maps and how to draw our own maps and plans of a place in order to process information that is important to plan a garden or farm.

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The other bestest thing about this course is all the inspiring, interesting people and the skills and knowledge they bring together. All our breaks and free time between learning periods is taken up by talking to each other, making connections, hearing about exciting places, projects and resources, and making plans together.

We also have potluck lunches which are the most magical thing ever. You grab a few nice bits and bobs that you find in your kitchen, you arrange everything on a table, and wham! – Instant feast!!

I made these blessed snack balls in honour of Brighid’s day yesterday to bring a little more magic into our food experience, and I baked Zopf, a traditional Sunday morning treat from my home country. It’s so much fun to share some of your personality not only through engaging with the learning circle or through private conversations, but also through the food that you share with othe2014-02-02 09.03.12 (Medium)

IMG_5752 (Medium)Saturday afternoon we tried a few different tools that can be useful for mapping a space. Here you can see people experimenting with an A-frame and a tool called ‘bunyip’, which are both used to visualise contours – the weird wavy height lines you often find on maps. 

weekend pictures

2014-02-01 15.11.24 (Medium)We also do a lot of other things like learn to identify trees in winter (fun!), explore different ways of problem solving (interesting!), and lots of discussing of new things to learn (fascinating!). It’s hard to believe it will be a whole month until I can go back, but on the other hand, I have a huge page full of things to research as homework, so I guess I will be able to make good use of the time.

I celebrated Imbolg on Sunday evening. There will be a more detailed post tomorrow, but it was very beautiful and fu

2014-02-02 19.58.59 (Medium)After this busy time and lots of meaningful activities, conversations and meetings, it felt so good to spend a relaxed evening out at a local pub with some friends.

Freaks playing pokemon under the table!

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Pubquiz – I think we came in last, but we had a lot of fun and even won the random prize, yay!

What was your weekend like?

 

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Rob Roy’s Cave

Happy New Moon everyone! I’m celebrating tonight, so no time for a big blogpost, but here are some beautiful pictures from summers past! The sunshine today really reminded me of this wonderful adventure!

We took a weekend drive into the countryside, towards Loch Lomond.




It was cold.


Rob Roy is a famous Scottish outlaw and many legends and tales tell about his life. He is considered something like the Robyn Hood of the Highlands. There are many different versions of his adventures, so you can go and look them up yourself if you want. Anyways, the walk that we went on promised to lead to a cave where Rob Roy hid for a while when he was hunted by his pursuers.





There were many other things to see and places to explore along the way, but in the end we made it to a steep bit of the lakeshore. We climbed and clambered, full of expectations, and then…:


There it was! Well, either Rob was a really tiny man, or the stones had shifted since his time, but the ‘cave’ was actually nothing but a thin crack between two boulders. A bit dissapointing for fearless explorers like us!

To make up for it, Trev re-enacted Rob’s emerging from the cave. (I’m not sure if he’s doing Rob or Rob’s goat in this picture!)


There are many beautiful ways to waste your time in the grand Scottish outdoors, and whilst some of us went looking for faeries under mushrooms…

… others decided to have heated discussions about current politics. To each their own!



On our way back we caught the prettiest sunset. All in all, a good day for sure!

Greetings from the North!

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