Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas time...

... always flies by so fast. We spend the past days at Andreas' mother's home and yesterday we arrived at my mother's home to spend a couple of days too. Christmas has been awesome so far. Due to the wonderful and snowy weather it really feels like winter these days.
Among all the beautiful presents I got was a new camera. Thus we took a short walk through the center of Neuötting to take some pictures of the scenery:

On the second day of Christmas we went ice skating which was fun. Andreas gave his new noise reducing headphones a chance and is quite sure that he will use them.

Although I love early hours I have to admit that I finally feel tired :). So I'll write about all the other things that happened (e.g. trying out a new gear at Reit im Winkel), and some thoughts I had, after breakfast which will be rather later than sooner.

Take care

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Winter here we come

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Childhood memories

Do you remember all the special sweets and plates you just loved as a kid? I do and once in a while I like to just try some of them. Unfortunately, somehow our tast changes a lot and the good old things aren't so good anymore. The strawberries above are really interesting. I used to love them but to be honest they are gross. The tast is awfully artifical and they are not really sweet. Either the manufacturer changed the recipe or all the deliciouse healthy food I ate changed my internal "like-list".

Thursday, November 11, 2010

How to receive a gift!

This time I'll talk a bit about receiving because I figured out that it's often an issue of discomfort. Just remember the time when you were a kid. Every-time when you got a present your parents probably said that you should say "thank you". Quite easy isn't it. The reason why children tend to forget to say thank you is because they are either thrilled by the gift itself and want to try it out now, or because they are overwhelmed from all the impressions around them.
As kids we don't question peoples' intentions we just assume that there is someone who likes to give something to us and we just receive it. Once grown up the world is different. We learned how to play the game. We know the rules of society. Really?
I read a lot about cultural development and personal development during the past weeks and I observed how people act. Think about your loved ones and the not so loved ones. Why do you like one part of your family and why not the others? Maybe it's because the first ones honor and respect your ideas and make you feel comfortable whereas the other don't believe in you or trust you? How did you figured out who's on which side? Normally people don't say specifically that they don't value you as a person but there are ways to convey that message. One for example is to spoil the process of receiving presents. The best place to try that one out is Christmas! Here are idiot prove phrases that will make sure nobody is ever going to prepare something special for you:
  1. That really wouldn't have been necessary.
  2. You really shouldn't have spent so much money for a present.
  3. For Christ's sake are you mad making me such a gift?
 Perfect! You can be sure that you will receive a bunch of crap as birthday presents because nobody will be in the mood to do something special for you.
Receiving a gift is easy isn't it? What most people forget is that making a gift is only a way of communication. Since communication never is a one way channel you should think about your response! Someone makes a gift to someone to show love, gratitude, or respect and the last thing that person wants to hear is that is was not necessary to do so. Thus to make both sides happy practice to receive gifts. Sometimes old parental guidelines are not the worst way to react :). When I heard about this strategy I was quit irritated but I practiced receiving for a week by just saying "thank you" for every complement or gift no matter how big or small it was and now it feels great.

Try it, there is still enough time left (43 days) until Christmas.
Cheers Christina

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Guess what :) I had a fabulous weekend. Although we took a course in communication, and had not been home much I am relaxed, and motivated. I even got most of the stuff for the university done but that's less important than the fact that I nearly finished my sisters' christmas calendars.
Do you want to have a preview? Here's a picture:

I'll post some more as soon as I am ready with both calendars. I started wrapping the gifts this morning at 6:30 AM, or something like that. As I already stated a very productive weekend. There is something else I finished today:

I was caught by Andreas when I filled the beanbags and he asked who is supposed to leave the company this time, which reminded me that I'm crafting too many farewell gifts. These beanbags are not really a farewell gift because I am sure that I will spend a lot of time with the one who will receive them.

Greetings from Christina, 
who cannot wait any longer to finally go snowboarding again.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Knitting Projects

I wrote a while ago, that I finished the summer project. Why do knitting projects always tend to get ready when the season is over? It's probably destiny, or the lack of interest once there are three of four parts finished. It's the same with my winter project. I only need to put in the sleeves and the main zipper but I really don't want to work on it at the moment.

So I stored it in my closet. I sewed last weekend but not on that project. You know it's going to be Christmas soon. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cake :)

I really missed being in the office. Well, that's not really the truth, I didn't miss all the uncool stuff like priority shifts etc., but I missed the colleague who always knows where to find cake. Thus I had to make cake on my own. I decided to do something with apples. The decision wasn't caused by our strong longing for apples or anything related to the nutritional benefits "eating apples" might have, it was due to the fact that we had a massive amount of apples.
I decided to try something new and so we had "French Apple Pie". Please don't ask me why it's called "French", it's really not that special, apart from the rather complicated process of baking parts of it twice.

Today is All Saints Day and we used it to do (more or less) recreational things. I spent the day with Christmas preparations,  sewing, and bread baking. Andreas fixed his PC and Rolf eliminated tones of paper :), as I said more or less recreational.
Thus today we had raisin bread instead of cake. To be honest I just can't stand apples anymore. I tried to mix them into our meals as often as possible but I'm still not a hugh apple lover. 
Here is a picture of the bread and the orange butter:

The Wall - part two

Facing the most horrible three hours of its life the wall knows that you never ever should trust comforting silence. The ones from upstairs really had the nerve to put in a door.

Before they finished the door they also made other strange things. They brought metal things and green stuff downstairs. There must have been a source of that green stuff upstairs.
 After bringing these green stuff downstairs they started to put all these things together:

In the end there was a new wall. The ones from above argued about sockets, they weren't sure yet were to place the sockets.
The wall felt released at least the ones from upstairs were done with it. It wished the new wannabe wall good luck and decided not to worry anymore.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Once upon a time...

... there was a wall.

The wall was bored being a wall. The thoughts of wall had been: "how lucky I am, I am a wall. Well, a useless wall, which has nothing to carry but indeed a wall. I live in the basement and nobody is there to disturb me. The ones from above already pierced me to hang up a picture, so nothing can happen to me now".
The wall was wrong :)

Now we proudly own a new door in the basement. Tomorrow we will put up a wall and soon there will be  sauna waiting for us to relax.
Stay tuned, there will be a lot to look at soon.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I soon will be famous for my handbag. We are preparing a webinar with a "how to session" at work at the moment and one of my colleagues asked me if he could have my bag to use as a demo item. The upside of that project is that it's quite different from what I usually do at work, and of couse that I got a nice picture of that purse ;). I'm really curiouse how this whole webinar thing will turn out. Apparently, webinars seem to be a big issue in the US. They do exist in Germany too but I couldn't find noteworthy ones :(.
It's odd to start this weeks post with work related topics, because I am on holiday. Well, we decided to use a full week for construction issues in our home. To show all the changes we already made we took some pictures. I'll post some as soon as Andreas converted them ;).

Until then take care.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


As you can see autumn arrived with all the great and not so great aspects. The world got quite colorful, well, if you can spot anything due to the fog. Although I enjoy every day as much as I can, my mind is already preparing for Christmas. I guess that's because of all the cookies and stuff in the supermarket. To be well prepared for Christmas this year I already started to motivate my violin teacher to pick up some pieces :). Somehow he is not as motivated as I am.... but I'm not the only Christmas maniac at the moment. Some colleagues from work are already enjoying Christmas cookies like cinnamon stars, and "Dominosteine".
Apart from Christmas, I'm longing for the next snowboard event. I don't know why but I missed it so much. 
Let's go back to reality, it's autumn and that's fine too. We did cool things during the past days and weekends. One of the most interesting thing we did was visiting the maize maze at night. Just imagine a field of corn with aisles inside which form a maze. We had to find six hidden places and we found them all. 

We used some kind of algorithmic trick to master the maze. Unfortunately it didn't work out the way we wanted it and we had to use our gadgets to find the last place. 

To sum it up, maize maise is fun! Hiking boots are an advantage, and don't believe everything a computer scientist states.
Autumn also brought us fruits :). Both of our apple trees had apples this year. Yippii I threatened the bigger tree because it tends to grow instead of being productive. How do you threaten a tree, you might ask yourself. I learned this particular way of dealing with plants from my mother in law and I really never believed in it but I thought it's worth a try. Basically you threaten trees exactly the way you would threaten a human. Just tell them what you are going to do to them if they don't full fill the desired state. For my tree it was something like this: "no apples this year and I'll cut you down". Worked! Here is a picture of Andreas harvesting the apples:

Craft wise there is nothing to post yet. The summer sweater is still waiting for a union of the body part and the last sleeve. I started a winter project but I'm still in the middle of it. I played piano a lot in the past and I practiced singing. I guess the seminar caused the change. I listened to great classical pieces and I want to be able to sing them all. Due to a small cold I'm not hitting the really high notes at the moment but soon I will. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Normality restored!

Hello fellow readers :),

normality returned during the past days. Last Monday I wrote my exams and after that I took the week off. Well, not really, I went to work and did a lot of stuff but I used my spare-time only for actions I really wanted to do. To give you a hint most of the time I spent sleeping, watching star trek, or practicing singing.
The weekend prior to my exams had been an eye- , more an ear-opener, for me. I picked up a masterclass seminar in classical singing. The place where it was held is plainly beautiful:

I don't remember why I had that seminar on my annual resolution list but it was worth it. My emotions ranged from pure fear up to real happiness. I learned that apparently I didn't learn how to sing, or practice singing properly during the past 3 years. That might sound a bit harsh, but somehow it's true. I finally understood some of the fundamental techniques and I do know how to practice. Apart from singing related topics I also learned a lot about myself. Thus I do not regret any second of that weekend. Maybe I'll be visiting that masterclass next year again.

What else? I should have made some notes on what happened... 
Some colleagues are going to leave the company or have already left. So the atmosphere is frosty at work. According to a Dutch proverb is every goodbye the birth of a memory. Maybe that's why we celebrate every going-aways. Such moments are always a chance to be creative and prepare a gift. 
For the last one I sew 8 beanbags, one for each remaining team member to sign. Here is a picture of the bag I made for the beanbags:

This weekend is a somewhat odd. The weather had been stunning but still something is missing. I knitted  my summer sweater and I'm nearly done. I know some 4 month to late. Well, at least I'll be ready for next summer. I'll post a picture as soon as possible.

Enjoy the day and take care.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Life is like...

I love life is like posts. I think I had one on life is like a roller-coaster already. Today the theme is "life is like a high school cafeteria". This simile applies to all aspects of life but especially to business. Having had a conversation lately that amused me I was reminded that I wanted to write another "life is like" post. So here it is:

Let's pretend you are a carpenter (it's just an example, hopefully far enough away from everything you are doing :).  Let's further pretend there is a tool that can help you to assist you with your work. The tool itself is rather complicated and expensive but it's also impressive. All in all, the tool itself will not do your job but it can help you to strengthen your results. It also will aid to your professional reputation once you've made the investment.

Now, fellow readers we opened up the doors to the high school cafeteria and you'll never find a way out of it again. Do you remember how people divided themselves into groups? Yeah that's exactly what I mean. Our carpenters will split up into at least two groups those who have the tool and those who haven't. Their argumentation will probably be the following:

  1. Those who own the tool aka the geeks: They will advertise the tool and it's usefulness. Eventually (in business not eventually but more certainly) they will find people (C- level executives) who credit their ideas and value the professionally.
  2. Those who don't own the tool and discredit the results aka the purists. These people are great, they try to convince everybody that the tool is just an unnecessary tool, because you can gain equal result with fewer resources. Even if it is true, this group will face tough times. They have to market their ideas even more than the carpenters who own the tool because they are lacking a unique selling point and professional recognition.  People will always question the credibility of this group.
  3. Those who don't have the tool but know about the strength and weaknesses of the tool. I guess these carpenters have a good chance to get along and keep their profession value up. By knowing the price for the tool and the limits they can propose cheeper studies without  appearing as whiners or people who don't grant other success.
  4. Those who don't care.
Thus what can we learn from the high school cafeteria? It never paid of pissing of other fractions in high school, didn't it? First you have to search for weaknesses then you have to find people who will support your ideas etc. At the end you will end up with a mess of accusations, believes, and ideas. You waisted time, and energy and got where? Nowhere you're still in the same cafeteria. In the business world being stuck somewhere is the worst you want to achieve. So take care of the "purist's moments". Question yourself why you are thinking in that way. Maybe it's just because you would like to have that tool, the possibilities, the marketing skills? Once you've answered these questions honestly it's easier to think like the third group of carpenters, and still be successful ;).  

Me watching people facing their "purist's moments".

Monday, August 30, 2010

Birthdays .....

I forget birthdays all the time and I especially hate to be reminded of them by caring others. It always makes me feel like being an idiote. I nearly forgot my neeces birthday as well. I really need to feed my online calendar with the birthdays of loved ones and friends. Maybe with a reminder 5 days prior to the date so that amazon has enough time to ship something ;).
Needless to say that I forgot another birthday again, I'm here to write about the first aniversary of my beloved blog. What an amazing year! 128 posts. Sometimes I just browse through the entries to remeber what happed during that time. All the thoughts, ideas, and emotions in one place combined with videos and pictures.
Starting the blog project as a self experiment and forcing myself to post everyday I learned that there is something worthwhile to notice in every day. Sometimes these little aspects are rather nice ones, or sometimes they are rather ones that set me of. Either way this is it and it's your decission whether you want to read the entries or not.
During the year I figured out that posting on a daily basis is not working for me. I also figured out that it's way to stressful to check google analytics every second day and to invest thoughts about the amounts of readers or their global distribution. Once I stopped doing so blogging started to be more fun to do. I lately figured out that I also don't need the comments section. So the big change for this year is that I will simplify the blog and post only if I have the time to do so and if I have something to share. Apart from that I really hope that this year will be as exiting, frustrating, out of my compfort zone, cheering, calm and interesting as the last one was.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Weekend creativity

It's remarkable how mind works. I'm preparing for my exams at the moment and yet my mind pops up  fresh creative ideas.  Normally I do write them down or just doodle the idea in my idea book, but this weekend I wanted to give one of the ideas a try. As you can see from the pictures, I succeeded :). I'm now a proud owner of 10 brand new juggling balls ;). As a side-effect I juggled a lot today. Tomorrow I'll attend the juggling training again. Maybe I'll find someone who can explain 4 ball juggling, if not I'll be tossing clubs around unsuccessfully for an hour as I did the last time.
Speaking of unsuccessfulness, I read a new book. It's called "secrets of the millionaire mind" and is basically a comparison between the mindset of middle class people, millionaires and those who will never have enough money.
One insight I probably wouldn't have stated the way the author does is that to be really good at something you have to suck badly at the beginning. After thinking that one though I have to admit that he is right. So if you think you suck at something, may it be financial issues, business, recreation, math, PE,  or what ever don't be frustrated it might as well be just the beginning of becoming an expert in that area. The key is to keep going and to follow the Ferengi's seventh rule of acquisition:

"Keep your ears open!" 

Take care.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Simon's Cat

I rather would like to have a dog but I love Simon's Cat. It great. The designer really knows how to observe cats. It's enlighting and really funny to watch the clips. Here is one of my favorites:

I'll do math now. Finals are comming up. :(


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Birthday :)


first of all I'm really sorry for the lack of posts recently. I somehow got a little behind schedule with a lot of things and goals I have. Since today is my birthday I don't want to list all the stuff I didn't finish or the aspects that didn't turn out the way I wanted them etc. I started today with a great breakfast and enjoyed the day. Unfortunately my exams are coming up soon so I also "enjoyed" wonderful textbooks about analysis of variance and other lovely topics which still have to find a nice and comfortable place in my brain. I feel I'm getting closer to achieve that. Now I'll take a break and play around with my gifts ;). 

See U.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


It really feels like summer again. These are the sunnflowers i sow in march.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

About being home

It's been a while since I wrote something. Well it's summer thus I'm enjoying the sun and of course the great weather. Due to the series of birthdays  I also cannot show you most pictures of the creative projects I'm working on but soon (in September) everything will be back to normal :).

We had been in Sweden but we came back on Sunday. Until today we yet have things to unpack from the trip. The time we spent in Sweden was as usually very realxing and inspiring. We successfully made a canoe trip and unsuccessfully fished :). I'll write more about that soon.
I started to knit a summer sweater and I'm nearly done with that.

I hope you are enjoying your summertime as well.
Take care.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Yummy Part 2 ;)

Last year I planted some new strawberry plants and this year I'm blessed with lots of big strawberries. Tomorrow we will have semolina pudding with strawberries but there are manny left for other cooking adventures.

To adapt the blog to the upcoming summer season I changed the theme a bit. A big big thank you goes to the developers of the blog software. They did an amazing job! Changing themes is much easier now and it looks great. :)

Take care and enjoy the sun!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


It's good to reset your mindset once in a while. I encountered the fact that one of the few constants in my life is in deed change. Whether it is the fact that your workout schedule does not guarantee the promised results, a new thesis to be considered, or a close person reacting odd, suchlike events always make me think.
So that's what I did for the past days: thinking. I'm sorry for not posting anything but I didn't want to share unfinished thoughts that are not balanced at all. I am investing my spare time in the following parts at the moment:
  • the art of diplomacy, or in other words everything that has to do with public speaking, how to give feedback etc.
  • my garden. It is instant gratification and the idea to pull out the wild blackberry plants including their roots might actually work
  • psychology and related topics
  • running, today I ran the longest track ever (from the garbage cans to Jesus ;), don't ask I have to take pictures for an explanation)
Enjoy the nice weather and as soon as I finished the thinking part I might post some creative stuff again.
Cheers Me.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A coffee-girl's bag

This weekend was somehow odd. On the one hand it was relaxing and cool and one the other hand I feel like someone stole time from me.
We visited my sister to catch my mother's products which we will return to her next weekend. The time I spent at my sisters house was great. The kids are lovely and everything is mostly uncomplicated. On our way home I had some "swedish moments". We didn't use the highway so I had plenty of time to watch the scenery. The canola is blossoming at the moment, plainly beautiful.  Hmm, I miss Sweden....
Maybe I will be there soon.
I will be on a business trip during the upcoming week so I finished up some tasks that had been open. One of them was the coffee-girls bag made out of coffee packages and some velvet.
I really like how it turned out also it's a bit bigger than planed but you know a women's handbag cannot be big enough.

I'll probably be gone for some days, so take care. I'll post as soon as I'm back from the trip.
Greetings Me.

Friday, May 14, 2010

I went shoe shopping...

... and for the first time in my life I loved it. I never liked shoe shopping. A colleague once said that I'm the only woman he knows who left the biggest shoe shop in town without having spent a cent.
Today was different, I had a target, I found it, bought it, and here are the shoes I am in love with:

I wanted to have black ones but they were sold out. So I considered all possible options:
  • black and pink
  • black and grey
  • corral and gold
  • plain white
  • purple white
  • blue white
and ended up with blue white. :)
If shopping shoes always creates this magnificent feeling in all the other women I really do understand why some have more shoes than clothes.

Greetings Me.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Coolest pin-board pins ever

Aren't they cool? Unfortunately, my keyboard died Saturday night. I don't know why I really loved it and cared for it. I even cleaned it. Well, that's probably the last part of being a geek....
After figuring out that the keyboard is responsible for the drrrr sound, I tried everything from cleaning it over and over again up to putting it into the dishwasher. Since all of it didn't show the result I longed for I tried to carefully remove the keys to see whether there is something under them or not. It didn't work :(.
Thus I ended up in ripping the last keys out to turn them into pin-board pins. I guess I'll go and buy myself a new keyboard during the week.
What happened apart from that?
The new grass turns out great. Rolf even had to cut it :).
We went to the hot-pot again to relax and to forget about all the tasks that are open to do. I corrected half of my classes final exams and the students are way better than the last ones I had. The upcoming week will be easier then the past ones, only the weather is remarkably wet these days.
So take care of your keyboards, love them, hug them, clean them, and just in case they don't appreciate your fellowship have a glue gun close by ;)

Greetings Me.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Frugal Living - Budgetin Strategies

Budgeting always sounds a bit odd, like it's only done to bug someone, or like companies doing it in times of tension. Shifting the point of view budgeting is vital for everyone. First you need to know what you earn, so that you can truly enjoy spending that what's remaining ;).
The basic steps are easy:

  1. know your income (list everything that brings in money e.g. salary, aid money from the government (Kindergeld, Harz 4), pension, income from shares and bonds, etc.)
  2. check what has to be paid regularly (rent, car, food, etc.)
  3. calculate a rate of money to be saved for urgencies, holidays, that ugly final car holdback, annual payments etc. Make sure to put that money far away because although it's not used now you need to spend it sooner or later. I consider it as spend and put it on a short term saving bank account. By doing so I don't have to take care of an imaginary line on my usual bank account but I know people who are doing so.
  4. take off point two and three from point one and you have the amount of money you can spend freely
If you get a negative number you are in trouble because that means that you are spending more than you earn each month. If you don't want to end up being filmed by RTL for their reality show "Raus aus den Schulden" ("Get out of the debt") you need to check point two and three more carefully.
Maybe you can cut back on hobbies,  your car, clothing or luxury goods.

I'll keep this one short because there are well written websites and tools that help you get in contact with the principles of budgeting:
  1. Frugal Budgeting a description on how to set up and maintain a budget
  2. WikiHow How to Budget a description including an example
  3. Better Budgeting free budget forms for the ones who want to do it on paper
  4. Dough Roller 75 Painless Money Saving Tips a more or less serious list of tips
  5. Dough Roller 10 Online Budgeting Tools  here you find  a list of budgeting tools, some are free others aren't. Thus take care that you don't invest in something you don't need. I used to use a budgeting system but I could never convince myself that my data is save in such a system. As a result I played with the system and found it helpful but I never entered my real financial data and kept it running. If you consider to use a program be careful because financial data is nothing to be light-hearted about.
You can find tons of articles about budgeting just use google ;). You don't need to track every little amount you spend unless you have financial difficulties at the moment or you are planning to buy something really expensive. The whole budgeting issue should not be pure pain, it should open a way to see your situation from another perspective. If you track all the money you spent in a month you will be surprised which areas cost the most.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Yeah it's not broken :)

Two days later and a bit wiser I know that my sewing machine is not broken but it just don't like the thickness of the material I was working with. Anyway I somehow finished the bowl:

We received a package from a close friend of us from Spain. He sent us books to study Spanish ;). He wrapped the books in pink bubble wrap. I always wanted to try out something with bubble wrap thus I made a small and quick bag out of it.
Thank you very much for the books and the bubble wrap ;).
I don't know whether I will be crafting this weekend because I want to study a bit. The weather forecast was not very optimistic, so I probably will do a lot of indoor activities.

Take Care and leave a comment if you want to.