Joyful Antidotes

Ramblings on life from a simple girl

Alexanderplatz Christmas Market

Besides heading back home for the holidays on Friday, this week is basically going to consist of Christmas Market mayhem! It started off last night with a short visit to the market at Alexanderplatz. It has a carousel which I have been promising myself I will go on for 4 years now. Let’s see can I squeeze it in this time. It was nice to have a stroll around and thankfully it wasn’t too busy as it was a Tuesday. Here are some of the snaps I took:

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Quick and Easy Recipes: Cheesy Spinach Pasta

More and more recipe posts have been springing up here and I am really flattered by the positive attention they have received. It seems like only yesterday that I was burning any bit of food I put my hand to, but now, thankfully, there are a few dishes that I can prepare each time without a hitch.

The more I was cooking, the more I was enjoying it, which meant recipes were appearing more here more often, and I was lavishing the positive attention. Then everything came to a standstill and I will tell you why – the lack of time. No, I don’t have the busiest of lives but like many others, I work a full-time job and find myself at times without any desire to cook. The problem with this is that home cooked dinners managed to transform themselves into takeaways. Not very good for someone who is trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle. A good solution to this problem was to always make sure I had a cupboard/fridge/freezer stocked full of simple ingredients which would also help me out in a crisis.

Financially and health wise, this was a good call. But these dinners affected my recipe posting on Joyful Antidotes, simply because I was a little bit embarrassed of the stuff I was throwing together. However, the more I thought about it the more I felt that I was onto some type of mini series for my blog. The meals I was making were relatively healthy, cheap and could be whipped together in little to no time. Surely there were some readers in the same situated as me who could do with some help? Well, let’s see! Here is my first quick and easy, under 5 ingredient recipe! Read more…

A Weekend In Cologne

The Christmas Spirit well and truly kicked in last weekend as I spent it at the Christmas markets in Cologne to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Adding to the excitement was the fact that I got to finally see another city in Germany after nearly 4 years of living in Berlin. I could ramble on for pages, relaying my every moment in the city, but let’s be real, all you want to see are the pictures. Your wish is my command!

Cologne Cathedral

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Mini Pull & Bear Haul

I tried my best to resist Black Friday, but as you can probably guess from the title of this post, I failed. I had been keeping an eye out for some fashion pieces to bring home with me at Christmas time and with Pull & Bear being the only shop which stood out after weeks of looking, it would have been pretty silly of me not to make use of the 20% discount and free delivery they were offering. I did manage to restrain myself, but that was only really because my size was gone in a lot of what I wanted. Sigh. Anywhere, here is what I did manage to snatch up.

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Shirt – €25.99

This shirt seems to be gone from their website but maybe it can still be found in-store. It is light-weight, oversized and cropped. I didn’t realize it was cropped before I bought it and honestly, I probably won’t have made the purchase if I had known. I am glad I did now though because it is really funky on. I will team it with a pair of black jeans and will probably wear a top underneath until the weather improves (it is not cropped enough that your stomach will be exposed unless you run around waving your arms in the air).

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Jumper – €19.99

For some reason, it was extremely hard to find a plain back jumper in the shops. This was not what I had in mind when looking, but am very happy that I purchased it. I think what sold it for me were the faux leather sleeves which are tight in comparison to the overall loose fit of the jumper. Again, it is a light weight material so it is advisable to layer up if you are in a colder country.

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T-shirt - €7.99

There is not much to say about this really other than everybody should have a striped t-shirt in their lives and I was failing in this regard until last week. The quality feels good and I am looking forward to pairing it with a pleated faux leather skirt I bought in Pull & Bear during the summer.

Did you manage to pick up any bargains recently?

*This post is not sponsored. All items were bought with my own money.

 

Easy Spicy Couscous Recipe

I have another recipe for you today as I have been mad cooking these last weeks. Like my guacamole recipe, this is quick and easy to prepare and makes for a delicious, filling lunch. Meet another of my food addictions – spicy couscous!

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Clothing to Survive a Winter in Berlin

Boy, does it get cold in Berlin during the winter time. I write this post looking out at window at a dull, grey Berlin who thinks that a temperature of one degree is enough to keep warm a city of over four million inhabitants. Sigh

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It is my fourth winter here now and while I can’t say that I particularly enjoy living in the minus figures for a few months (who can), I have learned how do deal with the weather a lot better. Let me share my words of wisdom and tell you some absolute necessities when spending winter in the German capital. Read more…

Book Review: The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night Time, The Crossing Places & Villette

Winter is the perfect time to stay snuggled indoors with a good book, so for the last weeks, I have been following my own advice. I bought a ton of books back in October and am slowly making my way through them. Here is what I thought of my most recently completed.

The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon

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This book has been absolutely everywhere for the last year or so. It was recommended to me a few times but there was something about the cover which put me off buying it. Then I saw it at the Mauerpark Flomarkt for €3 and decided to give it a go without evening knowing what the plot was about.

In short, it is about a boy named Christopher who has Asperger’s Syndrome, and who decides to investigate the murder of his neighbor’s dog. For me, there was no really likable characters in this book, nor did I find the storyline very compelling. There were no real moments where I felt I had to go on and see what happens before I could continue to live my life properly again. However, I did find this book pleasant enough to read. While it didn’t grip me and give me the thrilling experience I look for in a fiction novel, I felt that it did teach me a lot about Asperger’s Syndrome, something which I had very little knowledge about prior to this book. It was interesting to read something from the point of view of the sufferer. Read more…

Restaurant Review: Play Off

I wasn’t sure up until this very moment whether to write this post or not, but as a burger lover who despairs at the vegetarian options that are sometimes offered, I thought it was worth a mention.

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On Saturday, I found myself hungry in Potsdamer Platz while waiting for Mockingjay Part 1 to start. With two shopping centres and many restaurants in the surrounding area, it is not very hard to find something to eat at Potsdamer Platz. However, it can be difficult to find something that good quality and within a reasonable price range. Not taking into account fast food joints, you will find, like many other tourist areas in big cities, there are restaurants which will serve up any old slap for a high price to tourists they know will not return. Read more…

Review: Clinique Superprimer Colour Corrects Redness

If I said it here once, I must have said it a hundred times: I have really red and sensitive skin that can be a nightmare to buy products for, especially skin care. That is why I am such an advocate of Clinique and have been wearing their stuff for years. Their redness range works quite well with my skin, although I have realized in the past months that I am better off with a facial wash rather than a cream which requires cotton wool. So, when I saw the Clinique Superprimer Colour Corrects Redness, I knew I just had to give it a try.

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A Stroll Through Viktoriapark

I have been living in Berlin for 3 years now so it is safe to say that I am pretty familiar with the city at this stage. Saying that, Berlin encompasses such a huge space that, even after all this time, I am still discovering some new things to see and do. Beautiful Viktoriapark was one such place and I enjoyed a stroll through it last week on a crisp, sunny Sunday that only Berlin can do so well. I could ramble on for miles here reasoning with you why Viktoriapark is a great place to spend a few hours (the view is absolutely amazing for one), but I think a post like this really should leave the pictures do the talking.

 

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It is in very few places that you can enjoy a view of Berlin such as this.

There are very few places where you can enjoy a view of Berlin such as this.

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