Friday, July 18, 2014

NYC: First Stop Summer Travels

Our travels in USA have been such a wonderful adventure so far! Our first stop was in New York City/Brooklyn. These spots have so much to offer! We were there for a week and we merely skimmed the surface of delights.

Some highlights of the trip were visiting the MOMA, The Met, pizza, visiting old malls/buildings, going to the Brooklyn Flea, and spending time in Central Park, of course. 

Have you ever visited The Big Apple, what were your favourite places? 

To follow as we travel, in real time follow me @olivegreenanna on instagram. (I only occasionally have extended periods of internet access to blog.) 


To read about my tips for saving up to travel click here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Simplistic Summer Style

We're on summer holidays from school!  I love being a teacher and having 6 weeks of summer is such a wonderful bonus. It is a big relief to have all grades in, classroom tidy and packed away, and students home with their families. I only have to care for myself and my husband for the next month. It's a wonderful feeling.

It's time to pack up my bags and head to the good ole USA this summer. I've really been feeling the warmth these past weeks. One thing I am loving in summer are simplistic and light dresses. I have a few but I am going to keep my eyes peeled while in the states for some basic summer dresses.

Here are a few that look just perfect for our US city travels this summer.

NYC, Summer of 1969

White RuffleyShirt Dress

Summer Cyclist. 

What are your go-to summer styling pieces?



Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Natural Beauty Product Experimentation

My new hobby has been wonderfully exciting to explore and experiment. My collection of essential oils is growing, which makes my range of product choices wider. I am really happy with my first mix the Vanilla Coconut Body Moisturiser. The week before leaving on our USA trip, I made some tinted and un-tinted lip balm and some bug spray to take along.

My growing knowledge has been so enabling to make beauty products that I can use. It's a small but significant mind-set shift, to make my own beauty products.

We are taught that we can't make things that we use and that is such a silly lie.

I'll be trying out these products over the summer, then report back about how they work. At that point, if I can recommend them, I will provide you lovelies with the recipes. 

Have you been learning anything new lately?

Have a lovely day.



Saturday, June 28, 2014

Hairy Beauty

I've been avoiding writing this post. Honestly, because I have only just become fully comfortable with my body hair.

Beauty has always been a significant topic in my life. Since high school, I have tried to avoid the lies I tell myself about not being beautiful. I have gotten better at knowing, really knowing, the truth, that I am beautiful.

I have seen many friends who have struggled with eating disorders, or friends unable to leave the house without makeup. One of my most naturally beautiful friends didn't feel herself without her eye make up. It hurts my heart, when I see women believing lies about their natural beauty. That's why I have been testing myself and taking breaks from makeup every few months since being in my 20s.

Whenever I become self-conscious about not wearing makeup. I take a break, even if it is just for a week. I want to feel comfortable in my own, natural, beautiful skin. 

Then I realised, I had the same issue with my body hair. I would feel ashamed if I had a bit of armpit hair. So I challenged myself, not really consciously, but I wanted to see if I could be comfortable with my natural self in that regard too.

I have let my leg and armpit hair grow out to full length this past year and have kept it at its natural length for over 14 months... I took a long time for me to be comfortable to wear tank tops, go to the lake, and go dancing raising my arms for all to see. I am finally okay with my natural self.

It's quite freeing. Now that I know who I am, and that I am beautiful with armpit hair or without, I am free to do whatever I wish with it, and it doesn't change me. I may wax it all off next week, it doesn't matter. I know who I am and that I am beautiful.

Do you ever challenge yourself to fast from makeup?

What helps you know you are naturally beautiful?



Sunday, June 22, 2014

What I Need...

I'm usually quite good at knowing what I need, I usually guard my alone time, go to bed early, and relax when I start noticing that I need to slow down.  But the last few weeks I was ignoring all the intuitive signs, and it took some germs to make me realise what I needed.

 I pushed through the sickness (a sinus infection) trying to get all my grading done for students, meeting with people, visiting a professional development workshop, and ignoring my need to take a rest and get some good sleep. I ended up having to resign to my body, it took charge and floored me. Now, after a week and a half of rest, I realise (again) that I need to pay attention to the signs. I need to listen to my body and my heart and know what I need.

I think it is a part of growing up. Understanding what I need will probably take some time.  I know that when I take care of myself and satisfy my own needs, only then can I be there for my husband, students, and friends.

Do you struggle to really know what you need at times?



Friday, June 6, 2014

Shop Window: Heimathafen Wiesbaden

On our way to the Action House retreat, we stopped at Heimathafen in Wiesbaden. 

Heimathafen is a cafe/co-working space which has been open for a bit over a year. They have a great space and have done lovely things for start-ups in the Frankfurt area.

They have a cafe in the front with a lot of lovely organic treats, eats and coffee. As you venture further into the space there is a variety of different co-working spaces for people that want an office outside of the house and want to meet and work alongside other creatives. 

Action House, the creative collective I am involved with in Heidelberg, is planning to move to bigger rooms

It was nice to visit a wonderfully decorated Heimathafen, with the new space in mind. Action House is more hands-on and directed toward people who want to make time for creativity in their lives, as well as supporting creative start-ups.  It's similar to Heimathafen in that it is a versatile space and that we want to encourage the creative community where we are. Heimathafen also holds concerts and lectures in their spaces. To check out their upcoming events click here

Above is their long-term-co-working kitchen, the illustrated cupboards are great for finding what you need in a communal kitchen.

I hope you're as inspired as I was when seeing this space. 

I'm really glad that Heimathafen exists for people in Wiesbaden. 

I have really found my home at Action House

Are you part of the creative community where you live? 



Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Happier: Holly Becker at Decor8

I have recently been researching and gleaning information about happiness. What makes one happy, and how to stay happy. So, I've started this little series on my blog called “Happier,” which features some of my favourite bloggers/creatives and what three things they do to stay happy.  

What do you do to stay happy?

Today, we hear from Holly Becker who runs the blog Decor8. She is an incredibly delightful human, who leads courses, writes books and mothers a new baby boy Aidan. She is a fellow American making a life in Germany. 

What do you do to stay happy?

"The key to happiness, I believe, is to be positive even on days when it’s hard to see the good stuff. On those days, you have to force yourself to be positive, to see the good, to lift your mood – then you suddenly feel better and with that comes increased joy. 

But yes, positivity creates happiness in your life. If you always see the bad, you will feel bad. If you look for the good, you will find it and you will feel good. It takes more work at times – it’s easier to give in and see the negative in others and in ourselves but the moment you start to drift into that “dark zone” it’s essential to ask yourself why and if it’s not a deep-seated emotional issue but just a passing mood, then do something quickly to shift the mood. Of course, some days are just horrible – someone died for instance – and there is no way to feel better. That’s okay, we need those times to just cry and feel terrible. Beyond the clouds there is always a blue sky again anyway – you have to just believe that. 

 I have a bunch of things that I do to lift my mood when I am drifting over to the dark side. Mostly it’s MUSIC – loud music – great energizing music. Also, going for a long walk and ending up in my favorite local cafĂ© sipping a sugar free Green Tea Chai Latte with soy milk.

It’s the little things that rev me up again and get my mood heading in the right direction. Another mood lifter, that recently has created a ton of happiness in my life, is my brand new baby boy Aidan. When I feel overwhelmed or negative, I look at him and how fragile he is, how he needs his mommy to be joyful, how my mood will affect his mood – and I also think about his birth and how HAPPY I felt when the midwife put him in my arms… And that immediately knocks out my bad mood. Again, it’s all about having access to thoughts or actions that can quickly pull you out of the funk."

Photograph credit:1.Trine Hisdal, 2.Holly Marder, 3. Holly Becker 

Thank you lovelies for reading! 

And Holly, Thanks a bunch for your time and your unending inspiration. I really appreciate you immensely. 



What do you do to stay happy?

To hear what Grace Bonney's tips in a "Happier" post click here

Monday, June 2, 2014

Every Day Delights: 2.6.2014

One trait that I want to foster and grow in is being grateful. Collecting my Every Day Delights helps me do just this. So, here are some of my most favourite things from the past week.

I had the pleasure of celebrating my birthday a whole lot last week. We had a birthday brunch at our place. About 30 friends and colleagues showed up. It was lovely. 

Rode our bikes and the train to Maifeld Derby, a music festival in Mannheim. We met my good friend Amy on the way and Dom gave her a lift. 
We watched a friend Julius Gale give a great show!

Enjoyed the sunshine and finished the lovely weekend with The National in concert.  It was grand.

What have you delighted in this week?



Check back this week to hear from Holly from Decor8, with some tips about staying happy. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Art Studio Tour-Classroom

Welcome to the art studio!
I've been working in this space with my seven grade levels for almost one school year so far. The space is really well lit and has most everything we need to create great pieces. Here's our art studio.
I split the classroom into 4 table groups, colours.

Every table has a job:
Distributers= pass out materials
Collectors= collect materials at the end of class
Polishers= wipe tables when it's time to tidy up
Sink= watch the sink to make sure everyone washes their brushes and tools.

The jobs really help students to know what to do and keeps them accountable. But the main benefit is that it keeps materials and the space in order. There is only one art classroom and one set of materials for the whole secondary school. So, it needs to be a space where everyone can work and enjoy their time creating.
I use a bit of sign language to streamline communication when students are working. That way I don't have a student waiting 5 minutes with their hand up, when I could just nod my head "yes" when I see the toilet sign. 

Labeling jars for brushes helps keep them clean and accessible.

This last photo is my back storage room, which is gradually getting organised. There are a number of doo-dads that still need to find their homes. 

Have a great day.