What is it about Europe and sweets?

Today, one day before the end of my cleanse, I had the biggest sweets craving in a long time. I guess I will have to extend my cleanse for a couple more days to make up for the sweets intake.

How did the affair unfold?

Super easy, I got off the no. 15 Straßenbahn one stop before home and marched straight into Rewe’s sweets section and said to myself go crazy. So I did. I bought one bag of 25% real Saft stuffed Haribo, one bag of mini color-rado Haribo, and Ritter Sport Macadamia. Then caught another 15 and off to nach Haus gehen.

I have never had such a craving living in North America, ever… (must be more disciplined).

Now Gute Nacht from the Friday corner. Bis nächsten Freitag, besondere Leute!



the art of learning german II

German can be fun if you have the right attitude and the right teacher. Last week in Deutsch course I’ve made a huge breakthrough with two simple yet wise abbreviations.

What do a dog and a princess being in love with a man have in common? Easy, they stand for common prepositions used alongside an Akkusativ or a Dativ case. Allow me to break it down even further:

  1. Common prepositions found with Akkusativ are – durch, ohne, gegen, für, um herum, entlang
    Best way to remember them is – DOG FUE
  2. Common prepositions found with Dativ – aus, bei, mit, nach, von, seit, zu
    Best way to remember them is – AUBEMINA von SEITZU (that is a princess’ name and she is in love with Mr. Mnn – Mr. Mnn is short form for Mr. Minnesota)
  3. Quick note about Mr. Mnn – he stands for the Dativ form of articles in German, which are – dem (der), der (die), dem (das), den (pl.) with an ending in en

Like I said before – huge breakthrough! It actually helps a non-native speaker a lot. Punkt. Fertig. Aus die Maus!

P.S. I’ve also included a bunch of new words added to my vocabulary – whatever will I do with all of them?


friday findings vii

I came across something that absolutely needs to be shared. So have you ever travelled somewhere wearing a piece of clothing that basically lets everyone know where you come from? No? Ok, well neither have I…. NOT! The truth is I like what I like, and I simply wear it! Here is a site that specializes in selling Pacific Northwest pieces. I love wearing my red and black plaid lumberjack shirt – absolutely Canadian, and I have been called out by people here in Köln. If anyone would like to indulge in Pacific Northwest attire, which I might add is super cool, please see below:


Ever wondered what happens to your brain when you tell a lie?

Here is a thoughtful and engaging link to help dissect our perceived notion about lying. Is it bad or is it good? You can be your own judge:


Lastly, what is the difference between a cookie and a biscuit? Apparently if I read the referenced description it is clear that a cookie is much better off than a biscuit, which may very well be the reason why nowadays the word “cookie” can be readily found.


That’s all from the corner of friday findings, ‘til next friday, and until then be sure to drink lots of water and buy something green.

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oh what a world…

This week has been the first week in a long time that I actually felt motivated, busy and fully alert to all possibilities. These are the benefits I reap from my body gets used to my cleanse.

My week started off with my regular Deutsch classes, which by the way are super helpful and I can’t speak enough about the efficiency and the speed at which I am learning at – well done Insula! This Friday will mark the end of my A1 classes. On Monday I start A2, which apparently is supposed to be not as grammatically stuffed – whew!

All of a sudden things got really busy. I had an AIWCC meeting, finished off a small project (which hopefully will bring in more clients), landed a small job for 2.5h every Friday teaching two small kids English and a lot of administrative work required for getting myself connected more in Köln.

All in all my cleanse is keeping me alert, and responsive – all this, of course, without any coffee! Maybe I will stick to this regiment the whole year?! Although I would miss steak too much and a latte once in a while!!

Stay tuned for friday findings.


image © Mike Bernard

friday findings vi

I am sometimes a fan of reading people’s horoscopes including mine. Years ago I found a super interesting, eloquently worded horoscope page that I have been following ever since. The writer is brilliant and I must say all predictions have been quite accurate and at times super humorous! The horoscope section belongs to a very well known Chicago newspaper (Newcity) that’s notorious for divulging cool artsy affairs. I think this newspaper should be on people’s radar. Check it out here: http://newcity.com/2014/01/14/free-will-astrology-327/

As far as inspirational photos are concerned I am sharing my current favourite. I took this while I was on vacation in Bavaria and I quite enjoy the tranquility it radiates.


little renaissance town


In my previous Xmas post I mentioned that I will be writing about a town called Wasserburg in Bavaria. I am calling this town the ‘little renaissance town’ for obvious reasons. Please see photos.


At my first glance walking towards the little town from the bridge it screamed out “old Italian architecture”, although with a slightly medieval flair. The old stone buildings all have pastel colours ranging from pinks to yellows to blues and greens, mimicking the very same that can be found in some Italian towns. Turns out that apparently the Bavarian rulers of this town were once heavily influenced by Italian aristocrats and they invested a lot of money and time into building this beautiful town right by the river. An amazing sight it is. With small streets that have the capacity of fitting one car at a time, it can sometimes be less accommodating to daily tourists coming in and out, and parking can be a hassle, but all worth it. At the end of the day I am left thinking that I have to come back here in the summer!!


As an aside story: In this little town when a family has a new baby it is a customary tradition to hang out of their balconies baby clothes in the colour of the gender. The reason why I know this is that there were a lot of pink and blue baby clothes hanging outside of people’s balconies in December…

Both the cuisine and shopping in Wasserburg took me by surprise. With a lot of coffee shops serving the best Chai latte I have ever had to an array of Italian sandwiches to super modern gastronomic restaurant that could very easily be rated top 20 in Germany. Super high end stores can be found all along the winding streets.

Ah little renaissance town of Wasserburg!


friday findings v

I caught myself the other day making a huge grammatical English mistake by rearranging a verb in a sentence which completely did not make any sense. Then I stopped, thought about it, and realized that learning German is spilling over into my English – oh my! It is with this mistake I begin to understand how easily I can manipulate my mind, when being immersed 100% in a language that my mind/I am/are trying to learn, into making silly grammatical errors.

Perhaps it could be that my subconscious is sending messages of “must learn this language” to my frontal lobe which in turn forces my parietal and temporal lobes to dispatch an overwhelmingly large amount of German grammar. Nah, it couldn’t be that easy. I honestly think that right now my brain is trying to make sense of everything and therefore it makes confusing mistakes until it figures it all out. I will be patient with you, brain.

In light of this internal turbulent state of being, I have downloaded the Bon Iver, Bon Iver album and I shall listen to it loudly with my headphones on. The album is in English, get ready brain!

That’s all from the corner of findings for this Friday! Goodnight from Köln, where the men are tall, the women are serious and all the children are slightly above average.


dying from christmas… not

background 2

After a regime of eat, sleep, eat and sleep I think it’s time for my annual cleanse to take over and save me.

Spending Christmas walking, greeting people and seeing the most marvelous corners of Bavaria does not mean that my body excuses the amounts of food and drinks I have dumped into it. In light of that my first day back in Köln was spent vigorously letting go of the habitual eating times and quantities by pumping myself with supplements, veggies, fruits and basically with all the nutrients it has missed.

Day 1 and 2 of my cleanse I spent with an excruciating headache. I think this was self-inflicted because I could have totally avoided this trap by not being so eager to start my cleanse and simply ease my body into it and not shock it with such a dramatically quick change. I am on Day 3 and it’s looking pretty good so far.

I have included a breakdown of my cleanse below, which follows similar footsteps as the Wild Rose. Both are founded basically on eating primarily certain types of fruits, vegetables, and nuts alongside taking supplements. Although, my cleanse allows me to eat chicken, fish, turkey and gluten free sausages! (no red meat though). I have also included the supplements I am taking.

My body requires me to do this cleanse every year and after the first week I feel amazing. The clarity starts to set in and my body awakens from what I can describe as hibernation, and I start to feel more alert without any stimulants such as coffee, black tea or any other caffeinated products. Mainly, my body starts to talk and both my brain and I start to listen to its needs. It’s a fantastic transformation. The first year I tried this cleanse I was documenting everything – almost like a diary and I think it’s so important to track and record your body changes as you interrupt its normal routines.

For me this is a fantastic metamorphosis phase I look forward to each year. Although, I warn you: The first (and possibly second) week is not pretty.

Click here for the food chart (PDF)


1. Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids
2. D-Drops (vitamin D)  liquid 1000 IU/ drop
3. NutraSea HP (high potency) by Ascenta (Fish oil)
4. Intrinsi B12 Folate by Metagenics
5. Magnesium:  MagGlycinate by Metagenics
6. Chlorophyll:  ChloroClear by Metagenics
7. Zymactive with Serratia Peptidase (start with normal strength) – by Natural Factors
8. Turmeric & Bromelain by Natural Factors