Going on Vacation – When Everything Goes Wrong – Guest Entry by Miri – Part One

Hey guys, this is Miri. I recently went on a trip to Bulgaria with my mother, and what looked like a wonderful, relaxing trip to the ocean turned out more or less a complete failure. But let’s start at the beginning.

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How it began

January this year, my mother and I decided to go on vacation together. We’d flown to Egypt together back in 2012, and that turned out to be one of the most beautiful trips I’ve ever made. It started with a negative event, because originally my sister had booked the trip and wanted to go with my mother, but briefly before they were scheduled to leave, her then-boyfriend (now husband) had a motorcycle accident, so she stayed and I got to go on the trip in her stead.

Now. Egypt was a dream, but it was way too expensive for my mom and me. So was Spain. The travel agent we were corresponding with suggested Bulgaria, a place we had never considered before. She said that Albena is a hotel city, but that it has a beautiful beach, and that she had been at this particular hotel before and that it was up to standards. The hotel had four and a half stars, and the entire trip was really cheap, so we agreed. We picked September because the summer holidays would be over by then and off-season vacations are infinitely more comfortable (less people, lower price).

Cut to eight months later. About three weeks before our flight, we got a call from the travel agency, saying that our hotel had been overbooked and that we would be relocated to the hotel next door. I asked which consequences this would have, and we were promised that the only consequence would be that we would be sleeping in a different hotel with basically the same standards (half a star less), that we would be allowed to use all facilities of our original hotel (restaurants, pool area etc.), and that our new room would still have a balcony with ocean view. It still sounded like an acceptable arrangement, but really we didn’t have any other choice if we still wanted to go on vacation, so we said, okay, we’ll do it. There wouldn’t have been any other way but cancelling and getting our money back on such short notice, and we really needed that vacation.

Now the next thing that happened didn’t directly have anything to do with the trip. About a week before our flight, my father was involved in a terrible accident and sustained a number of potentially lethal injuries. I don’t want to go into too much detail, just know that he will be fine, it will just take a while until he’s healed. The point is that, a week before our flight, there was yet another thing to be considered. Should we really go on vacation while my father was hospitalized? Then again, there wasn’t much we could do either way. The accident occurred very far away from home, and the hospital he was taken to by the rescue helicopter was even further away, so that it took a 2-hour drive just to get to him, and neither me nor my mother have a driver’s license. Thus, visiting him was almost impossible, and we could be either worried about him at home, or worried about him by the ocean. My mother was agonizing over the decision, while I was not, at least not a lot, because the accident had been partially his fault, I felt, and I was (am) rather angry with him. Eventually, my mother decided that she still wanted to go because, as I said, there wasn’t anything we could do, and we had been looking forward to this trip since January.

The Hotel

Thus, we flew to Bulgaria. The first thing we realized upon arrival at the hotel was that our room was absolutely tiny. Sure, we had a balcony with a view of the ocean, and that was beautiful, no doubt about it. Still, our room was basically a large bed with a door. There was a small couch, and a small table, and in-between those there was a small space for moving around, and that was that. Well, okay, we wouldn’t be spending too much time in this room anyways, since it was only for watching some Netflix (we were on season six of Orange Is The New Black at the time) and sleeping. Life on vacation takes place outside the hotel, so who cares if the room is smaller than advertised?

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The bathroom was nice, with a very spacious shower, the door of which didn’t close completely, so you had to adjust the shower head in a certain direction so as to not cause a flood, which I discovered that first day. There was a small bundle of hairs in the shower when we moved in, which stayed there the entire time until we moved out, so I reckon the shower wasn’t cleaned once while we were there. There really wasn’t much cleaning going on, as far as I could tell. The guy responsible for cleaning the rooms on our floor (we bumped into him a couple times in the hallway) apparently only folded our blankets and left it at that. I think he at least cleaned the toilet, but I’m not one hundred percent sure.

However, our room wasn’t terribly dirty to begin with. It wasn’t like a cesspool of diseases or anything. I reckon the rooms were cleaned thoroughly whenever someone moved out. I would have just wished for some more rigorous cleaning while we were there. Well, anyway. Our towels were replaced every day, which was nice, except for the towel used to stand on when getting out of the shower, which was only replaced when we explicitly asked for it at the reception desk. People were nice when talked to, but otherwise not especially forthcoming, which didn’t bother me at all.

The Food

The food, however, is another story entirely. The restaurant at our new hotel offered food which was absolutely inedible. It looked old and greasy, it tasted old and greasy, and we were told by another resident that the same dishes served for lunch were still there for dinner. So necessarily, we tried the restaurant at our original hotel. The food there was better, although for lunch the quality was usually better than at dinner time. Breakfast was always good. The problem here was connected to the reason why we were staying at another hotel than our original one. The travel business who had overbooked the hotel and relocated us to another one had done the same thing with who knows how many other people, and since the food at the other hotel was disgraceful, everybody was eating at the original hotel. The result was that not only the hotel’s actual residents were eating there, but dozens of other people, too. Obviously, that meant that the restaurant was hopelessly overextended.

For breakfast, coffee cups were a rare and valued currency. For lunch and dinner, getting your hands on some cutlery that included knives and forks at the same time was a fight for survival. The best meals (the chicken was usually the best) were always reserved for the ones who could run the fastest. If I’m making it sound kind of apocalyptic, that is genuinely how it was. After the first two days, my mother and I cracked the code of how to eat: for breakfast, you had to be the first there, so we got up early and trudged over to the restaurant unshowered and barely awake. That way, not only did we get a coffee cup and saucer, we also found a place to sit, which also was never to be taken for granted.

For lunch and dinner, you could never be first, because it would be so crowded you could barely move, let alone find a place to sit, or cutlery. Or plates, or clean glasses. At one point, my mother got a glass that still had dish soap in it. I’ve never seen a white wine with so many bubbles. So for lunch and dinner, you had to wait at least an hour after the official start of dining time before entering the restaurant. Usually, we waited about an hour and a half. The advantages of that were numerous. First, some of the dishes had been emptied by our predecessors and refilled, so the food was warm when we got there. Second, rush hour was over, so we usually found a place to sit. The cutlery issue was omnipresent, and I couldn’t find a solution for that except theft, so on more than one occasion I stole cutlery from reserved tables. No choice in the matter.

Lunch Ideas That Are Super Quick To Made

Hey my loves,

for the past three weeks I have been trying to eat super healthy and nutritious and today I am sharing yet another recipe related blog entry with you. Last week I should you a whole week of my food and today I show you a couple of my favorite recipes.

Check out my ‘What I eat in a week’ entry right here.

I am showing you three different Lunch ideas that I have been loving in different variations over the past couple of days. They also make super delicious dinner options or in case of the avocado bun even for breakfast. So here they are:

AVOCADO & EGG ON A WHOLE GRAIN BUN

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INGREDIENTS:

  • one whole grain bun
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 of an avocado
  • salt, pepper
  • chili flakes

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Fry your two eggs in a pan until it has the consistency that you like. I like my yolk a little bit runny, so I leave as long on as the egg white needs to set. I like to season the eggs with some salt & pepper.
  2. Half an avocado, and half the piece, spread it on the buns with a fork. I find that if you use a fork it goes way easier than with a knife.
  3. Slice your tomato and spread it evenly on the two sides of the bun, season with salt, pepper and I like to add some chili flakes.
  4. Lastly, transfer your eggs from the pan to the buns and you’re done.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • one whole grain bun
  • one chicken breast (I had one cut up, but a whole piece would obviously work better)
  • a couple of pieces of lettuce
  • one tomato
  • hummus
  • avocado
  • sweet and sour chili sauce
  • salt, pepper
  • paprika powder, chili

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a pan fry your chicken and season it to your tasting. I added salt, pepper and paprika powder.
  2. Divide your bun into two. On one side use hummus (I use the store ready one) and on the other side, smash one half on avocado and season it with salt, pepper and chili flakes.
  3. Place your lettuce and tomato on both sides.
  4. When your chicken is done cooking add about two big tablespoons of sweet and sour chili sauce and stir it in.
  5. Then transfer your chicken to the bun and you’re ready to go.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • Lettuce
  • half of a can of tuna
  • one half of a bell pepper (I used a yellow one)
  • one tomato
  • a couple of tablespoons of corn
  • 40 g of feta cheese
  • salt, pepper
  • balsamic vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Wash all of your veggies.
  2. Cut all veggies (except the corn, duh xD) into mouth-size pieces.
  3. Place all your veggies on a plate, add and mix in the tuna and corn.
  4. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and season it with salt and pepper.
  5. Last but not least, crumble the feta cheese on top and you’re ready to go.

You love salads? Here’s another recipe for you: Healthy Summer Salad

I hope you guys enjoyed today’s entry. What are your go-to lunches? Tell me in the comments and share some of your favorite recipes. I would love to recreate and try yours out.

Also have you guys seen my friends Stephanie’s guest blog entry? If not, check it out here: How to find your passion project when you have no idea what to do with your life – Guest Blogger Stephanie Vivienne

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXO, Jasmin.

 

Healthy Summer Salad

Hey my loves,

in today’s entry I am going to show you a recipe for one of my favorites nutritious salad that I love making for lunch and sometimes even dinner in summer.

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Ingredients:

  • Lettuce
  • 1/2 of a bell pepper
  • 1 tomato
  • a handful of mushrooms
  • a handful of green asparagus
  • a handful of shredded carrots
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 100g low-fat yoghurt
  • Salt, Pepper, Paprika and Garlic
  • Basil & Parsley
  • 45 g feta cheese

Instructions:

  1. Wash and dry your lettuce and cut into mouth-sized pieces.
  2. Wash and cut you bell pepper and tomato.
  3. Wash and cut your green asparagus and mushrooms.
  4. Put a little bit of olive oil into a pan and start cooking the chicken breast.
  5. In the meantime use a microwavable dish and put a little bit of water in and add the asparagus and a little bit of salt and microwave for about 2-5 minutes (it all depends on the asparagus and the microwave you have)
  6. Assemble the lettuce, bell pepper, tomato and shredded carrots on a plate.
  7. While your chicken is cooking you can start making the sauce. For that just mix the yoghurt with all the spices and herbs.
  8. When the chicken is almost done add the mushrooms to the pan and cook them through.
  9. Assemble the rest of the ingredients on the plate and top it of with the sauce and crumble the feta cheese over. Enjoy!

What is your go-to salad in the summer? Leave me your recipe down below.

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.

What I Eat In a Week

Hey my loves,

today I am sharing with you an entire week of food that I ate. Recently I have been trying to cut down carbs a lot more and also incorporate more fresh veggies into my lifestyle. I thought I would share all of the food with you and maybe give you a couple of ideas for dinners.

Breakfast

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So for breakfast this week I had a variation of the same thing and that was some kind of yoghurt with granola and fresh fruit. I had blueberry greek yoghurt three times this week and the other two just some plain greek yoghurt with honey. At the beginning of the week my fruit was mango and red grapes, but I ran out of mango on the third day, so I added banana instead. The granola is store-bought and I used about two tablespoons, because I only realized this later at home but it was very high in carbs and sugar. But two tablespoons were more than enough to keep me full for a long time.

What is your go to breakfast?

Lunch

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Now for Lunch I had these two, and the other days I either skipped lunch or ate granola bars. The only reasoning behind it was that my Uni hadn’t had any healthy option nor something that I would crave so I substitute my lunch with bars and some fresh fruit. I know that is not ideal but what would you do if you didn’t bring lunch. Alright on Monday I had a mixed salad with two eggs. It consisted of mixed lettuce, bell pepper, tomato and feta cheese and a side of green asparagus. It was delicious!

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On Tuesday I had a rye whole grain bun with some lettuce, a tomato, an egg and some cheese. And it was the best sandwich I had in a while, it was super delicious and as I am writing this I am thinking to myself that it would be nice to eat this now. Haha xD

What is your favorite lunch? Do you have any ideas for lunches on the go?

Dinner

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On Monday evening I actually skipped lunch, well not necessarily skipped it, but I fell asleep before I could make dinner, because I hadn’t slept the day before. That’s why there are only for dinners here. It’s not in chronological order but I will pretend that it is.

On Tuesday I had some bulgur with mixed Italian style veggies with chicken breast and a little bit of sweet and sour chili sauce! This definitely was the highest carb dinner this week, because of the bulgur and also because the veggies were frozen and had added some things that made it a little bit more unhealthy. But I didn’t have the time nor the energy to cut up some veggies.

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On Wednesday I had a turkey burger, sweet potato and green asparagus. Topped with some light hollandaise sauce and of course sweet and sour chili sauce. I made the burger myself, I just added an egg and some rye flour to eat and seasoned it.

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On Thursday I had pasta (was craving it) with chicken and mixed vegetables topped of with a self-made sauce and feta cheese. For veggies I had zucchini, bell pepper and green asparagus. The self made sauce consist of non-fat yoghurt and sweet and sour chili sauce. It was a nice change to the normal topping.

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Last but not least, my Friday dinner. Was definitely one of my faves this week! It consisted of some rice, bell pepper, zucchini, mushrooms, onion, corn and green asparagus, topped with a self-made tomato sauce and chicken. The sauce just consist of mashed tomatoes with salt, pepper, basil, parsley and oregano.

What is your favorite dinner?

I hope you enjoyed today’s entry and if you did make sure to let me know by liking and commenting! Also let me know in the comments what is your favorite snack? Mine is watermelon in summer.

Also plates and cutlery is from H&M Home, you can buy it here:

Bowls: H&M Germany BowlsH&M UK BowlsH&M US Bowls

Plates: H&M Germany PlatesH&M UK PlatesH&M US Plates

Spoons: H&M Germany SpoonsH&M UK SpoonsH&M US Spoons

Forks: H&M Germany ForksH&M UK ForksH&M US Forks

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.

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Food Festival

Hey my loves,

yesterday I went to a Food Festival in my hometown with some friends, and what was expected to be just like a two hour or something trip turned into almost six full hours. We laughed so much and had such good food and I thought I would share them with you.

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I shared all the food with one of my friends and except for one everything was SOOOO good. We also had some Nachos with cheese, which to be fair were alright but looked and tasted like the ones you can buy and not the homemade kind and the cheese sauce was super runny almost watery. We also bought some Fudge, I haven’t eaten it yet, but I went for Mango Yoghurt and something with raspberry chocolate, I think.

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We started off with this delicious looking ‘Pulled Pork Cheese Burger’. IT WAS AMAZING! I could have eaten tons of them. I just love pulled pork and with the sauce they made it. It was delicious.

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After the Nachos, which like I said weren’t great, we went for this ‘Tres Chicos’ which is basically BBQ pulled pork with three potatoes and sour cream. The pork was amazing, just like the one from the burger, and I even enjoyed the potatoes (I’m not the biggest fan of potatoes). It was really good!

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And of course, what can’t be missing on a festival like this? Right, DESSERT. I went with this black charcoal vanilla ice cream with sprinkles in a red cone and one of my other friend hat peanut butter and jelly ice cream which apparently was amazing too.

I do have to say though, eaten black ice cream in public is so weird, it stained my tongue, my lips and a little my teeth, but all was good after I wiped it off and had some water to drink. But it was a delicious and very filling ice cream! I felt so L.A., lol xD!

Do you like going to Food Festivals? Let me know in the comments below.

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

XoXo,
Jasmin.

My Two Favorite Breakfasts

Hey my loves,

in today’s entry I am going to talk about two of my favorite breakfasts that I love to have in the morning and are perfect to get you energized for the day. They keep me super full for a long period of time. So here they are.

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Yoghurt with Granola, Fruit and Flax Seeds

I love this breakfast a lot, because it gives me such a variety. Obviously you change out the fruit as you like but I paired my yoghurt with red grapes, blueberries and half of a banana. I also added a handful of granola and a teaspoon of flax seeds. You could add some chia seeds to make it extra long-lasting.

I had chosen an Alpro yoghurt with mango which is already sweetened, but you could just have it with plain greek yoghurt and add a teaspoon of honey. I sometimes do that too, but I try to stay away from dairy as much as I can.

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Porridge with Fruit

Another favorite of mine is porridge. This time around I had a pre-packed mixed berry porridge where you just have to add some water. Mine was from Weight Watchers.

I do like to add some extra fresh berries, that day I added blueberries and red grapes and normally I would add half of a banana as well, but I ran out of it. I also always add a sprinkle of cinnamon to get some extra sweetness.

What is your favorite breakfast at the moment? Do you always eat the same? Tell me in the comments, I would love to know.

Have you seen my latest post? My Bullet Journal

I hope you enjoyed today’s entry and if you did let me know by hitting that like button.

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.

Veggie Bulgur Bowl Recipe

Hey my loves,

in today’s blog post I am going to talk about one of my favorite recipes the last couple of weeks. It’s a vegetable bulgur bowl which is fueled with lots of great veggies and healthy carbs and is perfect for making in a big batch and eat all week. I have been loving cooking this on my meal prep day and it’s so versatile. You can eat it cold for lunch, you can mix it into a salad or you can eat it hot and make meat or fish to it. I just really like it!

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This recipe lasted me for an entire week for about a meal a day, but it might last a little longer if you halve the portion, for example when you put it into a salad.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (uncooked) Bulgur
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vegetable stock (powder) or about 2 cups if liquid, otherwise add 2 cups of water to the powdered stock
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can mushrooms (or 200 g fresh mushrooms)
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • salt, pepper, spicy paprika, garlic powder and chili powder (about 1-2 tsp. each)

Instructions:

  1. Mix together bulgur and water with the vegetable stock and cook first on high heat for about 5 minutes and then on medium to low heat for another 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Rinse and dry the corn, the kidney beans and the mushrooms. Set aside.
  3. Rinse, dry and dice the carrots, zucchini and red bell paper.
  4. Add olive oil to a pan over medium to high heat and start off with the carrots. After two minutes add the red bell pepper and zucchini. Cook for about 5 minutes. Then add the rest of the veggies. Cook until the carrots are soft.
  5. Season the veggies to your liking I added salt, pepper, spicy paprika, garlic powder and chili powder. Stir.
  6. Add the bulgur to the veggies and mix them together. Let them cool of and store them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

I hope you enjoyed today’s entry and I wish you a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.

Meal Plan With Me

Hey my loves,

in today’s blog post I am going to share with you one of my meal plan session with you. I will tell you how I plan everything and will lead you step by step through my progress.

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Scheduling of the Week

At first I will have a look at how my week will look like and maybe even plan it some more. If I’m pretty much certain how often I will be home for meals and how many meals I need I will set my weekly budget, which for the most part is around 25-30€, and on occasion sometimes a little more or less. It really depends if I need to stock up my pantry or not, but I usually have to stock it up every other month.

Looking Up Recipes

After that I will get out some of my recipe books and have a look trough them. I am doing Weight Watchers and am on a low carb, low cholesterol diet, so I always have to make sure that my meals are in my points and also, that I have at least one meal a day that is nearly carb free. Would you like some recipes? I could write a post about my favorites.

I then will write down some of the recipes that sounds good to me for the upcoming week and then I will take a look if they have somewhat similar ingredients or not. If they don’t I usually opt for ones who do. When I have a solid base of recipes, which usually are for a full week (if I’m at home for my meals) 4-5 dinners.

I should also mention that I cook in the evening, since I am not a big fan on eating a warm meal for lunch, because I tend to feel tired after eating. I also am still figuring out the right portion size for me and my lifestyle, so I tend to have less dinners, than week days, because I always have leftovers.

I have a Pinterest board with some of my favorite recipes!

Writing my Shopping List

I don’t really write down the meals for an exact day, since I like to keep my options open, when I want to eat what recipe. I also don’t plan my lunches and breakfast, because in the morning I tend to eat some bread with cheese or if I got the time some oatmeal and for lunch I usually eat salads mixed with various vegetables and sometimes fruits.

When I’m done with researching recipes, I will have a look through my pantry and freezer to find out what I still have and need to buy. After finishing that I will write down everything that I have to buy for my dinners and add the groceries I need for my salads and breakfasts. I usually just snack on some veggies or fruits if I feel hungry in between my meals.

Also when I’m in Uni I swap out my lunch for a low carb sandwich or some fruit and veggies. Like I said, it’s easier for me to keep my breakfast and lunches open, since every day is not like the other.

This is pretty much all I do to meal plan, sometimes if I’m being super lazy I just choose recipes I know by heart, which aren’t many but are enough for a couple of meals. But i just like to try out all the different recipes.

I hope you enjoyed this entry! Let me know in the comments any tips you have or how you meal plan.

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin

How to Grocery Shop on a Budget

Hey my loves,

today I am sharing with you some of my tips to grocery shop on a budget. As a student and with a minimal amount of money per week for grocery shopping I use these every time I go and pick up my groceries for the week.

Grocery Shops

Now this might seem a little bit odd to put as a tip, but believe me, this is one of the major things that make a difference at the end.

For example, we have a lot of different grocery stores in Germany, and they vary between higher priced products and low cost products. If you go into a “Rewe” you are much more likely to spend more money for the same products as you would be paying at “Penny”. And the simple reason is: “Penny” offers their products much cheaper than “Rewe”. So: Find out the different prices of your local grocery shops and choose the one, with the best price-performance ratio. Also, most of the products are the same, just different packaging.

Meal Planning

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Meal Planning is something I’ve been doing for a little while now. When I first moved out I just bought what I thought I needed, and what I wanted, when it was in the store. And that ultimately ended in me paying more and having to go more often, because I was missing a lot of ingredients. Also take into consideration the weekly offers your grocery store has and find out if they are actually the best deal.

Since I’ve been meal planning I not only spend less money but also have to go shopping once a week, which is super helpful if you’re super busy. I always make sure that I have recipes that include somewhat of the same ingredients, which means that I am more likely to use up a bag of carrots by myself, for example.

And since I’m more likely to cook in the evening, I always try to choose dishes that I could either re-heat for the next day as lunch or use the sides as extras for my salad, which I do prefer for lunches anyhow, because a warm meal always makes me feel tired.

Write down a Shopping List

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Having a shopping list is super helpful. For beginners, you won’t forget anything that you will need and it makes grocery shopping so much easier and cheaper, since you are more likely to only buy what’s on your list. Simply because you won’t need more than that.

In the Shop

Always make sure to compare the kg/lb-price with the others, sometimes a product appears to be cheaper but isn’t. And if for some reason you shouldn’t need more products, buy it anyways, because you can always freeze a lot of it, especially veggies and fruits.

Also for the most part the house brand of products is cheaper than the well known brands, and they are usually produced by the same companies.

I hope I could give you some useful tips and if you have any more for me, please let me know them in the comments.

I wish you all a wonderful week!
XoXo, Jasmin.

Two Spring & Summer Salads // Zwei Salate für Frühling & Sommer

Hey my loves,

in today’s entry I’m showing you two of my favorite salads for spring and summer time. I love both of them so much and they are also great to make in a big bulk for a party or for yourself.

Chicken Strawberry Salad with Quesadilla

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I don’t have the exact measurements, because I feel like with salads you can pretty much go all out, but here is everything you will need:

Lettuce

Shredded Carrots

Red Bell Pepper

Cherry Tomatoes

Strawberries

Yoghurt Sauce

Corn Tortilla

Shredded Cheese

Chicken Breast

Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper

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Chicken Quinoa Salad with Mozzarella & Eggs

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Ingredients

Lettuce

Quinoa

Cherry Tomatoes

Cucumber

Red Bell Pepper

Corn

Chicken Filet

Yoghurt Sauce

Eggs

Onion

Salt, Pepper, Other Spices

Mozzarella

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All I can say that both of these salads are super filling and I love to eat them, especially when it’s really hot. And if you prepare everything a day ahead (just skip the salad sauce), you can easily assemble everything the next day, it literally takes no time.

I hope you enjoyed today’s entry and if you did make sure to show it some love. Hit the like and share button and leave a comment telling me what your favorite spring salad is!

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.