Love: A Holiday Message

I have given much thought to the human condition, as of months recent and considering the current circumstances and restrictions, I thought today would be the day to write about it.

Love, in all its chemical laden abundance, seems to be the most significant bonding emotion in the world today. Be it love for family, love for friends or compassion for others, love is a very important binding factor which connects us all in our humanness. It is a connection which everyone of us (even the green grinches) strive to achieve with at least one other.

In my mind, we all contain that part of us from youth in which rejection from others (be it real or perceived) hurts so deeply. Although so many are isolated from those they love, we should all consider ourselves fortunate to have a strong connection with others in our lives. And even though the shiny packages will be so much less this year, it is more important to reinforce that the human connection is there, than it is to make purchases.

So many have suffered heart ache and loss this year. Loss of those loved, loss of businesses, loss of homes, loss of workplace, loss of human connection and even….loss of motivation. The luxury of being selfish, staying angry or being complacent exists no longer. People need to know that others care. If you aren’t already, please, make a call, send an email, post a card, send a text or take the time to help another – even in a small way – this holiday season and beyond.

This part of the human condition, love and compassion for others, is something which has carried humankind through crises throughout history. In my mind, forming a community, helping others, caring and contributing – even through a kind word or friendly gesture – is something that each one of us can do to help brush away the pervasive sense of loss and reinvigorate those around us.

Happy Holidays to my friends here in the blogosphere. I appreciate all that you do and for sharing your valued time to read, comment, share friendly ideas and dialogue with me on this platform which have brightened many cloudy days and I’m hoping to share many bright days and laughter with you on this platform in the coming year, 2021.

Cheers!

-Mliae

Take a VR Trip to The Arctic: Fly Under the Borealis and Meet Santa in Lapland!

Highly restricted travel possibilities this holiday season, understandably, can make planning fun holiday experiences difficult. Aaaannnd …. what do we need so much this year? FUN HOLIDAY EXPERIENCES! This is why, when I realised that Finnair is offering this very cool experience, I had to get more information and share this with you. So I contacted Finnair and they were so friendly to share all the information I needed on this initiative.

Lapland is a highly popular winter destination for travellers from around the globe. Rovaniemi is a city within Finnish Lapland at the arctic circle. This area is sought after as a tourism destination for many reasons: incredible arctic nature, dog sledding, reindeer, undisturbed and amazing night skies, landscape, native culture and Santa! Ask any Finn where Joulupukki (Santa) lives and the answer will always be Korvatunturi (the fell where Santa’s workshop is located).

This year, Finnair had the brilliant idea to offer virtual reality flights to Lapland to meet Santa so that people everywhere can enjoy some holiday fun. The VR experience offers a 360 degree view in which the traveller can be fully immersed in the experience. The trip includes the flight, a comfortable seat in Nordic Business Class, refreshments served by the friendly cabin crew and amazing views of the starry night sky while flying under the borealis. Once the flight lands in Rovaniemi, travellers cross into the arctic circle and have the opportunity to meet Santa at his cabin!

Flying under the Borealis

The flight takes some time to fly under the aurora borealis on it’s way to Lapland. The arctic borealis viewing is a popular pastime amongst star gazers and adventurers alike, as arctic skies are some of the most amazing, star-filled and even colourful night skies to enjoy.

Once disembarking in Rovaniemi, enjoy the crisp arctic air and warm holiday feelings when crossing the arctic circle to visit Santa at his cabin!

Santa’s Village in Rovaniemi

Travellers from all over the world flock to see Santa and now we are able to share in this experience, uninterrupted and without large crowds, for a reasonable price while donating to charity. Win-win-win!

The virtual reality flights are scheduled twice daily, starting on Christmas Day 25/12 and going through New Years Eve 30/12 during two times of the day: 12.00 EET and 19.00 EET. Flights can be taken via laptop, smartphone and VR headsets with web browsers that allow video play. As I understand it, the tours are in the English language.

The flights last approximately 30 minutes and cost 10 euros (or 12.30 usd). The proceeds from these VR tours are donated to UNICEF to help slow the spread of Covid-19 and minimise the impact children that have been adversely affected by the pandemic, globally. Tickets for the VR tours can be purchased by visiting the Finnair shop page by clicking here.

This experience is something that can potentially bring joy to people and families everywhere and I would absolutely recommend trying it.

Enjoy the flight!

-Mliae

Keto – 0 / Holiday Food – 1

I am an idiot. I decided that I would start a Ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting, 1 week before the holidays. I did great. I lost 2+ Kg in that week! And then, I ate. For 3 days I ate like a normal person. It was wonderful. Guess what happened? In 3 days, I gained back 3 kgs! GGGGGRRRRRR!!!

Quite necessary to say that I hit the diet again today.

My question today is: What good is a diet if you gain it all back over a bad few days? Or is there a point when you get kind of ‘safe’?

Back in the ‘fat pants’…

-Mliae


Happy Holidays and Link Party!

Hello all 🙂

It is that time of year again. I just wanted to wish all of you a very Happy Holiday! Enjoy being with you beloved ones, forget about the diet for a few days and take the time to just stop and enjoy the moment!

In the spirit of the season, I am opening the comment section on this post for everyone to share your blogs. Give us a short description of your blog and leave the link. If you feel like it, check out some of the other blogs there too!

Happy Holidays!

-Mliae

I Almost Had it Together This Year….Only Not Quite.

That moment when you realize that you’ve been invited to holiday parties but realize that you don’t have even one hostess gift. You have 1 day to shop, again, for those – and today is that day!

So this is what I’m doing today, people. Going out to get the obligatory ‘Thank you for inviting, imbibing and feeding me – here’s ________’ gift. I hope the stores aren’t full of people. Otherwise, my hostess gift may be a bag of bird food.

Arrrrg!

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

Peppermint Chocolate Cake.

Good day to you all 🙂
I came across this great recipe for peppermint chocolate cake on http://www.crystalscrazycorner.wordpress.com and I had to share it! This of you who have been with me for a time, are well aware that I cannot bake. Cakes confound me. She made this recipe look simple enough that I think I might even be able to give it a go. Thank you Crystal!

Crystal's Corner

With the official 12 days until Christmas upon us and with some inspiration of my favorite thing…CAKE! Today for my continued Blogmas I baked up this delicious Chocolate cake filled with peppermint buttercream and ganache, oh and of course crushed candy canes.

Now with baking really starting to be my main interest these days or obsession…that’s up for discussion. I mean literally I either spend my days looking at new recipes, watching decorating videos, or figuring out a way to convince my husband I need to go to the grocery store for more baking supplies! With my insane charm or my hubby being a sucker for my baked goodies; I was able to spend my morning creating this cake.

I have some issues with cakes because I am still not very good at getting them perfect and by that I mean the perfect level, round, smooth appearance. But…

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‘It Ain’t Christmas’ by Tombstone Betty

I had to share this emotional new Christmas tune by Tombstone Betty.  I’ve been following them for awhile now and this song was just recently posted. Speaking as someone who misses quite a few very special people over the holidays, it left me with a few tears. So I thought I would share this for those of you who don’t mind an emotional charge over the holiday season.

Enjoy!

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Tombstone Betty Official site

When the Holidays Sneak Up on You.

This year has been a bit strange. I am usually that insanely excited person who decorates early for the holidays. This year, I’m late for almost everything. It’s like time is just flying by and I still haven’t worked up the nerve to go sort through storage and drag out our Christmas decorations. I mean really. It’s not like we have so much that it’s overwhelming.

Everyone’s happy that ‘oh, I got my decorations up last week’ and ‘I’ve just finished my gift shopping’!

christmas pixabay

…and I’m over here like

metaphor-pixabay

Any ideas on how to banish my inner Grinch and get back into holiday beast mode are appreciated!

-Mliae

*Text photos sourced via Pixabay. Feature photo is my own.

 

 

A Little Christmas Surprise

Merry Christmas eve to those who celebrate! Apparently I’m doing a bit of a different post this year. Hope its not too personal.

As most of you know (how could you not, I’m posting about it constantly..hah), I’m engaged to be married. I’ve always loved lacy, silky secret things for myself. But I realized recently that we’ve been so busy with planning, family, work, etc. that I haven’t really put the thought and consideration into lacy, silky, pretty things for him. Partly because life got in the way, partly because it’s been such a long time since I felt really confident in my own body. Thanks to the super push to the finish line this past year, that is no longer an issue 😉

So I thought to myself whilst standing and drooling over all the lust-worthy items in the lingerie department – ‘It’s about time. Why not? Just try it on and if you look like a pile of jelly in the mirror, just don’t buy it. But if you look good, you’re doing this.’ Turns out, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

So, check out I did. And now I sit here with a mixture of excitement and fear, over his possible reaction. I think he’ll love it. And it’s a fun Christmas gift to unwrap on this Cold and dark Christmas eve.

Merry Christmas!

Santa’s little elf, Mliae

 

A Happy Start to Christmas Weekend!

Happy Holidays, everyone!

It’s the Friday before Christmas…and what am I doing? Well, blogging at the moment. LOL But besides that, I’ve been cleaning like a squirrel on crack for the past 2 days. Seems like I got my energy back. Yay! And when I say cleaning – I mean cleaning! Scrubbing lamps, walls, windows – the whole shebang. And it’s festive 😀

Although I am usually quite conservative about the amount of holiday decor I put out, this year, I have completely lost my mind and it’s been a blast! It began with a small tree and a string of lights on a tree outside. It’s mutated into lots more lights everywhere (and in every window) with Christmas candles burning & Christmas tunes blaring – around the clock. I even put on a potpourri simmer today.

I don’t know why but there’s something about a 7 hour spotify Christmas music playlists and lots of twinkling lights that just make me lose my mind. In a good way 😉

I’m so excited and really in the Christmas spirit this year! How about you? How’s it going?Any Christmas nerds out there singing along to shop music with me? (Oh yea, I’m that girl. My Fiancé has been keeping his distance)

Happy Holidays!

-Mliae

Winter slim-down week 10

Happy Christmas everyone!

I hope you are all having a lovely holiday season 🙂 This is, admittedly, the worst possible day for a diet update. ‘Tis the season for accidentally binging on our favorite foods…I’m guilty of a sugar induced cavity fest myself. And of avoiding that scale LIKE THE PLAGUE. However, I have still been exercising daily and now I have some new goodies to add to my daily regime…starting TODAY. (As in, I already did it…not just staring and saying ‘yes, yes…later, when I’m done cooking’.)

On Christmas eve, my luh-vah gave me an 8 kg kettle bell and a bluetooth fitness armband! I’m really excited about it because now there’s finally a ‘hers’ to go with ‘his’. My S.O. is really good at what he does – fitness wise. He’s been in the field for the past 20 years. So this morning, after we all finished tearing into our gifts under the tree, he taught me how to do my first daily regular KB double hand swing with my very own kettle bell 🙂 I’ll be adding this exercise as well as 15 second planks to my regime this week. Add that to the fact that I’ve been stalking my fitness band… Did you know that 1000 steps doesn’t even burn 20 calories?! Now, I’m tightening up on that craziness No random toffees for this chic.

Fingers crossed its enough to combat that extra bulge!

Happy Holidays and Thanks for reading!

-mliae

Vegan Cabbage Casserole

Happy Holidays everyone!

Since holidays do have a tendency to be a bums rush for cooking, and if you’re anything like me, you usually forget at least one important ingredient; I thought I would share this recipe as a ‘just in case’.

What you need:

  • Soy pieces (I prefer the small ones that look similar to meat and just need to be soaked in hot water)
  • Rice
  • 2 veggie stock cubes
  • ½ green cabbage

What you do:

  • Chop the half cabbage into bite-size pieces
  • Boil for 30 minutes in a medium pot full of water with the 2 veggie cubes

IMG_4279

  • Preheat the oven to 200C or 400 F
  • Take a separate large baking pan (Pyrex rocks!)
  • Fill bottom of baking pan with the uncooked rice (only enough to cover the bottom of the baking pan)
  • Sprinkle soy pieces on top of the uncooked rice

IMG_4280

  • Once the cabbage has boiled for 30 minutes, pour everything (cabbage AND the water it cooked in) into the baking pan. It looks really soup-y but the uncooked rice and soy will soak up the water and cook in it when it’s in the oven.
  • Mix it together, but make sure the rice and soy are packed down under the liquid
  • Bake in the oven for 2 hours or until the top has begun browning.

IMG_4283

Serve, and enjoy!

Merry Christmas and thanks for reading!

-Mliae

Holiday Potpourri made easy

This. My first attempt at DIY potpourri. I did not fail! I also did not google. Here’s how it went down:

Christmastime in a village shop and all my eyes kept wandering to were Star Anise, cloves and glog spice. So I did what any reasonable woman does; I bought it all and told myself I’d figure out how to use it later.

When I returned and was searching my fruit bowl for what I had to eat right that minute, I realized that I had 2 citrons quickly going in the not-so-edible-anymore direction. So, my S.O. told me that if I put the peels by the fireplace the essential oils would warm up and seep out, making the house smell ah-mazing. Well, you probably know me by now…peels? No way! Lets do the whole thing! So we sliced the citrons and I put them on top of the brick on the fireplace. Heats up faster, right? And overnight..of course.

Needless to say, this little trick worked like a charm. Granted, some of the slices got a bit too tanned overnight, but who cares, it’s going in a bowl on the shelf. Smells great 🙂 I pushed the cloves into some of the slices that still maintained some pulp, mixed in about 5 anise stars (OMG, they smell sooooo yummy), and broke off some cinnamon bark pieces for the mix. My secret weapon? I have a bag of cinnamon root. (Yes, it’s technically a tree). The root, once dried sufficiently, has a tendency to crumble easily from the inside out, so you have to cut in half first. But this maintains the fantastic scent, and works great as a powdered topper on a bowl of potpourri.

Here’s my outcome:

image

Looking a bit fuzzy, nice photographer that I am 😛 Regardless, you can see it. My holiday potpourri pride and joy!

What are your favorite holiday DIY’s?

Thanks for reading!

-mliae

The Body Shop 2015 advent calendar

On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

  • Vitamin E Hydrating Toner with daily quote: ‘Don’t be a wallflower today, enjoy the limelight!’ – ‘Ne faites pas tapisserie, lancez-vous sous les feud de la rampe!’
  • Fuji Green Tea body wash
  • A green shower puff
  • Black eye definer kohl
  • Shea body butter
  • Vitamin E moisture creme
  • Frosted Cranberry shimmer lotion

I had to post a week 1 update on this calendar because I am seriously ready to break into this stuff! Est nécessaire!

Last year, I was gifted with my first Body Shop advent calendar…and there was no looking back! I actually enjoyed it so much that I requested the same Christmas present this year. And more than likely next year as well 😉 It’s a great deal for the money, a gift that lasts all month long and longer because I actually use everything in it, and its well, just fun! 😀

Until week 2 calendar goodie update…. Are there any awesome advent calendars we should look for that you know of? I spy a lego calendar that’s pretty cool for the young ones also 🙂

Thanks for reading!

-mliae