Tag Archives: Yule

If only I knew how to stop

22 Dec

Every year when Yule rolls around, I find myself in the same time – drained from taking care of everyone else’s needs, unable to catch a break or tell other people “no”. It does not help that the guy and I have very different opinions on how to spend the holidays, or what makes a holiday a good break from everyday life. Today is the last work day of the year for me, and I am truly struggling not to rip off everyone’s head when we are all in a mad frenzy to get as much done as possible before the place closes down. (And believe me, most others around here are just as worn-out, stressed and on the edge.)

Which makes me wonder – how do we stop this? It might be a great time to rest, to be merry, to do something for ourselves to “fill our cups” (with something else than mulled wine). Seems jsut too difficult to practice what everyone preaches each year.

So, how about you? Running around like mad reindeer mice? Or have you found the magic key to not driving yourself and everyone around you crazy? If so, please share. Or vent, if you haven’t.

 

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Finally, something to knusper!

21 Dec

Is it even imagineable that I had never made a real Knusperhaus in my life? What an imposter!

Well, no true gingerbread architectonics yet, but at least I made something house-shaped to knusper on. See?

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Apart from that, winter is here, I am a bit furious – bet you did not even know that was an option – and trying to make it through the day without killing people. At least I brought cookies to the office!

And now, to everyone involved, have yourself a blessed Yule! This is a postcard I made myself (i.e. wrote the story and had it printed – I am not good at all at crafting!), feel free to enjoy and share!

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And of course don’t forget … if you need a slightly spooky Yule read, there is always time to order Mirror Lake, if you haven’t already. ^^

Heidi and the fat guy with the beard

25 Dec

Heidi und der Fette

I hope you are having wonderful holidays! Only there’s been a glitch concerning the presents… Heidi got to Santa first! Sorry for that!

Out with the old

12 Dec

As Yule nears, with the new year on its heels, this is a perfect time to get rid of some of that old stuff you have accumulated over the moons. This includes exes, old mail, bad habits and – yes – clothing.

Last night while Richard was still busy working, I went through my wardrobe, tried on everything and decided what to keep, what to get rid of and what to stash in the basement in the hope it may fit again next summer.

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I got rid of five(!!) garbage bags of clothing.

SchrankAnd this is what my wardrobe looks like now.

On the top we have pants – those that fit on the left, those that are just a number too small on the right. Sad, don’t you think? (I have three pairs of pants in the laundry – one pair of jeans, one pair of burgundy corduroy pants – very nineties, I know – and one pair of cheap pinstriped trousers for the office).

On the second shelf: T-shirts, long-armed shirts and cardigans/jackets.

Below that: Comfy clothes and pajamas and a box of undies.

Last shelf: exercise clothes and a box of socks – most of them knitted by my mother. ^^

The bottom compartment is reserved for shoes and “stuff”. We all have special places for random stuff, right? Right???

Next I hope to convince Richard that he has to do the same with his wardrobe as well. It is overflowing with T-shirts he has not worn even once in the last seven years. Maybe on Sunday. After that I hope to sort through our knicknack drawers and sort our mail from the last year, which I keep piling onto my desk. Not the perfect solution, I’ll admit.

And then we’ll have time to celebrate Yule and enjoy our cookies and stories. Are you preparing for the new year already?

Early winter birds have the best gifts!

3 Nov

Between writing, preparing everything for my upcoming birthday party (“Monster Movie Magic”, yes!!!) and enjoying my time off, I have started thinking about the upcoming holiday season. Sorry if that is a tad early for you, but if you are like me and constantly trying to find wonderful homemade gifts for your loved ones, sometimes you have to start a little early.

Since we are at the Knusperhaus, some of my favorite things to give away come from the kitchen and are for the kitchen – or beauty products (sometimes both). Did you know that you can make your own organic real-vanilla sugar for baking with nothing more than, well, sugar and a vanilla bean? I always have a jar of that stuff in my kitchen and use it in my coffee, baked goods and even hearty dishes. Other things you could make include flavored coffee, vanilla extract, spice mixtures, baking mixtures, teas, … – the list goes on and on.

Over the next few weeks I will show you several homemade gifts that are out of the ordinary and will not cost you an arm and a leg – promise!

Right now, I want you to write a grocery list and, the next time you go grocery shopping, remember to bring the following ingredients:

  • A bunch of organic oranges and lemons
  • 3-4 vanilla beans, organic if possible
  • Coffee beans
  • One or two kinds of nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, pecan, macadamia, … )
  • Neutral taste honey
  • Sugar – raw organic cane sugar would be best, but really, anything might work.
  • Cardamom, ground
  • Cinnamon
  • Dried ginger, ground
  • Good-quality (but not too expensive) neutral clear alcohol such as vodka
  • Good-quality neutral oil, e.g. sunflower or canola

You should also start looking out for nice jars (I collect empty nut butter jars) and a few bigger (500-1,000ml) as well as many small (50-100ml) bottles. We will commence by making flavored extracts and oils (vanilla, nuts, orange and lemon peel), for these take longest. Another great gift that needs some time to absorb and mix the flavors is a jar of roasted nuts covered in honey. Sounds good? I told you so! (The other things on the grocery list can either be stored in cool/dry places – I freeze my coffee beans until I use them – or bought later. It’s just easier to have everything on hand and make a little something everytime we have a few spare minutes on our hands.)