Samstag, 30. August 2014

Traditional Southern German costume give-away!

It’s finally “Dirndl” time again!
The season for the most feminine of all clothes is in full swing right now – and if you have never worn a Dirndl before, you have to try it at least once:
Whether you are young or old, very slim or curvy – a Dirndl emphasizes what should be emphasized, magically creates perfect proportions, and quite simply is a feast for the eyes.
One of my readers wrote yesterday:
"Dirndl = the ultimate piece of clothing to stress femininity and beauty” and I couldn’t have said it more aptly.

Unfortunately there are but a few opportunities to wear such a dream of a traditional dress – which means a new acquisition is not really justified.

For those of you who would like to freshen up the look of their beloved Dirndl I am offering a great opportunity today:
Why not purchase a new apron or a beautiful blouse and update the Dirndl that way?
You can find these at Nanenda Trachtenmode: hand-sewn with a lot of attention to detail, far from mass produceed in a small Bavarian family-run business.

100% commitment is applied to every single piece – just look at the many colorful aprons made of taffeta and satin!
With these you will whip up a new look in no time: I simply combined a pink one with this Dirndl to create a cheekier and  livelier look.

So if you want to look stylish just in time before the annual fairs, you can order it online, stress-free and without having to look for a parking spot – I’m excited to present you Nanenda Trachtenmode today!
It’s so much fun to freshen up a Dirndl with a new blouse or re-style it with a colorful apron!
One of the Liebesbotschaft readers shall have the pleasure:
Together with Naneda Trachtenmode I am giving away a gift card of 100,-€ today!

That’s more than enough for a new blouse and two colorful aprons – mix & match at the Oktoberfest!

1. Tell me what you would use your Nanenda Trachtenmode gift card for.

2. If you share the link to the give-away on Facebook you have DOUBLE the chances of winning.
If you link the drawing on your blog, you have an EXTRA chance of winning!
Please feel free to take the last image with you for this. 
Please leave a note in your comment to let me know, too.

Everyone can participate – with or without blog.

Important: you have to be registered to be able to leave a comment – to avoid mistakes and multiple drawings.

You can do it quite quickly and simply: HERE.

Please NO mails, you will be considered ONLY by leaving a comment.

The competition is open to all readers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland (readers from Switzerland have to pay for high shipping fees themselves, depending on the sponsor).
Participation for minors only with consent of a parent or guardian.
Jurisdiction of a court is excluded, prizes cannot be paid out in cash.

Please note that I do not contact the winners in writing – I publish them on the blog at the bottom of this post.
If the winners of the draw do not get in touch within two weeks I will raffle off the prize again.

The competition starts now and ends on September 5, 2014.


This post was translated by Ginnell Studio.

Donnerstag, 28. August 2014

It’s always the gardener’s fault, or: how to make 15 pounds of tomatoes disappear in no time.

If you decide you want to eat some tomatoes here in the country, the whole thing turns into a lengthy and possibly dangerous affair.
You can’t just pull it off!

I thought you should maybe come along today – you will understand better what I’m talking about.

We drive past the supermarket and stop at the side of the road:
there is a small table with all kinds of breeds of tomatoes, otherwise not a soul to be seen near and far.
The table belongs to an organic nursery, despite our loud calls nobody appears, so that we are forced to take the long path along the greenhouses in order to find the owner, boss and (as far as I can see) only employee.

He is usually hanging out either somewhere between the plants or in his little wooden shack and comes to meet us:
Sun-tanned skin and a cheeky boy grin, he asks what we might desire.
Now pay attention!
First impressions are deceiving, because this is by no means a harmless person – but we don’t yet suspect it at this point in time.

If you think the answer: ”Tomatoes, please.”, followed by the handover of the same in exchange for money would do the trick, think twice!

We have fallen prey – gormlessly – to a tomato God:

he now keeps us prisoner in his realm, feeds us constantly and lets us go only after we give him the toll he deserves.

First part of the rite is the question WHICH KIND of tomato we would like:
Cherry tomatoes?
Yellow or red?
Oblong Roma tomatoes?
Beef tomatoes?
Pink raspberry tomatoes?
Aromatic tomatoes on the vine?
Black tomatoes?
Or rather orange ones?
Heirloom tomatoes?

A little overwhelmed we stammer something like “well, those for salad…” and are empathically asked to follow him.

And now we reach the actual culmination point of the whole operation:

we are dragged from greenhouse to greenhouse and have to taste a few tomatoes in every one of them on the spot – uttering something like “no, thanks, not for me” is apparently not an acceptable excuse. Neither is an allergic shock or other such things.
No objections.

Once you have tried one of the tomatoes, still warm from the sun, with a fruity scent and picked straight from the vine, you are lost once and for all:
you roll your eyes in face of the incredible sweetness paired with an irresistible aroma, sigh softly, assume you died and went to heaven, and are convinced you have never eaten anything so tasty in your life .

A perfidious trick, of course, as now all you do is nod blankly (slightly numbed by the explosion of taste), nonsensically, while the gardener picks tomatoes and fills bag after bag.
All the while you have to ceaselessly eat tomatoes – whether you want to or not because you want to. And on to the next greenhouse, the premises are huge and the breeds of tomatoes are manifold.
Very manifold.

Any rational thought (such as: “what am I supposed to do with 22 pounds of tomatoes?”) is impossible, as the whole thing is accompanied by a never-ending monologue:
the gardener crossbred and bred some of the tomatoes himself – everything absolutely naturally and organically, of course – triggered by his son’s profession, who is a nutritionist for special illnesses such as cancer etc. – now let’s try the kind with the raspberry aroma – the son also studied art as a sideline – degree, no less! – he also possesses three pharmacies – maybe some of the yellow tomatoes, too? -  he does life drawing, a few of his pieces embellish the wooden shack – the other son is an artist, too, but a musician -  degree, no less! – he runs his own music school and manufactures antique musical instruments as a sideline – some of the Roma tomatoes, too, yes? – etc. etc..

All we can do is nod mindlessly (whether it is tomatoes or relations), and, what feels like hours later, we end up back on the road swaying under the weight of nearly 200 15 pounds of tomatoes. 

And holding a huge bunch of basil (huge in this case means roughly 3  feet long stalks!). 

Well, at least there are 7 mouths to feed, so we could… 

- prepare a classic tomato soup that we will pass through a very, very fine colander or even a cheesecloth afterwards.

What remains is a clear broth (similar to a consommé) which combines an unbelievably intensive aroma with divine taste.
Perfect starter and so delicious that it is completely gobbled up within but a few minutes.

- prepare a super quick and summery pasta sauce – it takes no longer to prepare than the spaghetti that we add to boiling water right at the start.
We take 3 finely chopped onions which we gently sauté in about 5-6 Tbsp of olive oil at low heat until they are slightly translucent.
Only then do we add 3-4 finely chopped cloves of garlic, and after another minute approx. 4.5 pounds halved cherry tomatoes. 
Toss them for about 2-3 minutes at medium heat, add salt and pepper and deglaze with about 1 cup of white wine.
Let simmer gently for another 1-2 minutes.
Drain the pasta (keeping a little bit of the water), add it to the pan, stir well, mix in 1 bunch of basil and roll around in it serve up with a generous helping of grated parmesan cheese.

- Later in the evening halve the rest of the cherry tomatoes, mix with 2 packages of small mozzarella balls and 1 pound of green  beans, boiled beforehand.
(if you cannot find butter beans in bulk you can use canned ones, they are fine, too).
Add vinaigrette to it all and enjoy this delicious salad either as a side or the main actor of your meal paired with a herbed baguette.

- The next morning start wondering which great dish you can conjure up using tomatoes and arrive home to your daughter’s statement:
"I didn’t know what to have for breakfast, so I just made myself some tomato salad. It’s all gone.”

As if on auto-pilot and against our better judgment we set off on our way to a certain organic nursery….

You will, of course, find delicious tomatoes on every farmers’ market right now: make sure to ask whether they are home-grown – you won’t regret it!



This post was translated by Ginnell Studio.

Montag, 25. August 2014

Fault finding, or: things you can learn from watching "Shopping Queen".

I recently told you that the TV program "Shopping Queen“ inspired me to write a series of posts.

For all those who don’t know the program:
In each episode one woman is allowed to buy herself an outfit in line with a certain motto – which other women  subsequently judge by awarding points.
The whole thing is generally an entertaining TV show – but what does it have to do with your life?

Just like last time the following text is NOT about the program, but about one of its individual statements and the connection to your everyday life.
Statements such as:

2. "The golden buckle on the shoes doesn’t match the silver zipper on the purse.”

While the other candidates comment the woman on the catwalk, there is usually one sentence that makes me laugh every time.
In simple terms it is this:
"The golden buckle on the shoes doesn’t match the silver zipper on the purse.”

In my opinion there is no other sentence that expresses the phenomenon of negative perspective and fault finding more than this one!
Outfit: TOP
Hair: TOP.
Make-up: TOP.
Appearance: FANTASTIC.

Just one second….where is the fault….where is the fault…..ah, look!

If it wasn’t so sad, this statement could indeed become an in-joke.

But it is sad, because it highlights what happens a thousand times in our everyday lives: not in a TV format, but everywhere in “real” life.

Instead of concentrating on the beautiful, valuable, great things one goes searching for faults.
And we all know: “the one who seeks finds”.
As soon as you have discovered the fault it does not matter how small and inconsequential it might be – one simply focuses in on it.
"Yes, the woman is quite pretty, but her shoes are impossible!”
"Yes, my son is a nice boy, but his spelling is really a disaster!”
"Yes, we are doing fine, but the weather is really awful: far too cold for August!”
"Yes, it was a nice barbecue with friends – but you should have been at my side a lot more, honey!”
"Yes, I have a new job – but this colleague of mine is driving me crazy.”
(After someone has complimented you on your new dress): “Yes, thank you – but my legs look so fat when I wear it.”

This disgusting search for faults, these horrible little stabs accompanied by resentment, a bit of envy and narrow-mindedness  – this absolute daily “normal” and “but everybody does it” – looking for the negative things and making it the main focus: it’s pure poison for you.

„But we have freedom of speech: I can simply say it, when I don’t like something?!”

Of course.
Any time.
You are free to damage yourself any time, as much as you want – nobody is going to stop you.
You are free to live the crappiest life, ruled by rotten thoughts, even more rotten, confused feelings and dominated by outward circumstances – go right ahead! 
Of course you are free to be a backbiter, but…

"But what if I’m right?”

You can stuff your “oh, how wonderful I’m right”, you measly little low life.

A negative mind will NEVER give you a positive life – right?
Thousands like the quote on facebook and Instagram, hundreds fiercely nod their heads in consent – and not even 3 minutes later they bitch about a friend/teacher/boss/child/job/weather/whatever.
Even if you may find this shocking:
If you continue like this, this course of action will always prevent you to live the life you dream of.
If you fill yourself with negative crap, in the end only negative crap will spill out of you – even if this crap seems really “harmless”, insignificant or in your eyes unimportant.
Small BS is still BS.

And negative, finger-pointing crap will never bring happiness, love, success and joy – it is a law of the universe written in stone, similar to the law of gravity.

Good news is:
You are also free to decide in favor of love.
To devote yourself to the good, the strong, the higher good.
You don’t have to play in the dirt and stand by the wayside to point your finger at others.
This behavior has nothing to do with greatness – absolutely nothing with success – and less than nothing with love.
On the contrary: searching for faults (whether in yourself or others doesn’t make a difference in this case) poisons yourself in small doses, makes you bitter, ugly (sorry, but it’s true), weak and narrows your horizon.

Be aware of this:
This behavior is rampant and so “normal” that you will hardly notice it.
We live in a society that welcomes the critical view on things and people, while a positive outlook on life is eyed (rather critically, lol), and is even viewed as odd and bizarre (!) most of the time.
This is the reason why it will feel a little unusual at first to consciously no longer tolerate this way of thinking.

Make the decision (for example right now would be a perfect point in time) that this way is not worthy of you.
Make the decision – just for yourself, you don’t have to tell anyone about it! – to no longer fill your head and mouth with trash, because you consider yourself too precious for this.
Refuse to look for faults.
Should you discover any, refuse to make them the center of attention, to ponder on them and to talk with others about them.

Even, if reason yells and rolls around on the ground in a hissy fit like a three-year-old in the check-out lane (and believe me: it will happen! For years it was allowed to play in the dirt and suddenly it’s over or what?) – be decisive and clear:
I won’t be abused as a muckraker.

See, you are too GREAT for this low level.
You are already TOO STRONG for it.
You are TOO BEAUTIFUL, TOO PRECIOUS, TOO IMPORTANT to continue to harm yourself and others.

It is not worthy of you!

"But if I do not deal with my faults, can I work on them?”
Um, no, don’t.
Deal with love instead – faults will suddenly not exist anymore at all!

One piece of advice:
If you surround yourself with successful people you will notice that they hardly ever look for faults: they dream instead, they tackle things, they develop new ideas and solutions – or they simply have fun!
They are not even interested in anything else.

So your guidelines are these:
You are not on this earth to look for faults.
You are here to love.
You are here to radiate an aura of happiness and success.
You are here to represent love itself.
You are here to enjoy life to the extreme.
How does petty thinking, bitching, pointing fingers become you then?
It doesn’t become you at all!
Just as a millionaire does not cry over a little lost coin – just as a cat doesn’t bark – a love messenger doesn’t search for faults.
Not for her own nor for those of others.

"But Joanna….if I am not supposed to think about how stupid everyone else is and how many mistakes they make – what am I going to do all day long?"

(or alternatively take up crocheting – I personally would prefer loving after all.)

Yes, you knew that already – I just wanted to remind you.
Oh, you’re welcome.


This post was translated by Ginnell Studio.