Heritage and Racism

I have talked about the rise of extreme right propaganda in a lot of western countries at the moment before when it was related to stereotypes against refugees, but today I want to look at something else that is part of the extreme right wing propaganda, homophobia or racism.

The reason I am addressing this is a recent quote in the FAS by one of the politicians of Germany’s far right-wing party called ‘die Alternative für Deutschland’ (AfD) where he attacked German footballer Jérôme Boateng, who has Ghanaian roots, by saying that everyone in Germany would appreciate his football talent, however no one would want to have him as a neighbour.

I am not as naïve to be surprised about racist comments by a politician from the AfD, sadly that is quite normal. But what surprised me was how personal and specific they would go! I think it is horrific to drag someone into something like this, just to try to get a point.

But I also wanted to talk about apart from the comment is that there are amazing reactions from the fans and people in Germany. The sentence most commonly seen everywhere is probably ‘Be my neighbour Jérôme’ which I think is amazing.  At the same time there is harsh critic at the vice-president of the party Gauland, with many saying they would a billion times prefer living next to Boateng than live next to someone racist. Other national team members like Benedikt Höwedes also said that ‘you need neighbours like Boateng if you want to win titles.’

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[Picture Source 1] (Translation: Jérôme move next to us)

Back to Gauland: he was also talking about that many people would not feel comfortable with a foreigner as a neighbour and here is my question what makes Jérôme Boateng a foreigner? His mother is German, his dad Ghanaian, fair enough. Half of his parents come from somewhere else. But he was born in Berlin, he went to school in Berlin and he started playing football in Berlin. So basically he has the same upbringing as me. He is not more of a foreigner in this country than I am.

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[Picture Source 2] Jérome with his daughter

Regarding this I saw a post on instagram by Luke Mockridge, which showed the national team if you would go by AfD standards and it had barely anyone left. The German national team is diverse and I think that is awesome! We have players that have Polish, Ghanaian, Turkish, Russian, Dutch, Albanian, Moroccan, Tunisian, Spanish, Sierra Leonean and Senegalese roots. Yeah we are diverse and we are proud! In my year in school a lot of people had either Polish or Turkish grandparents and some had Italian, Portugese, American or French parents or grandparents. So what is the problem with that? You’re right absolutely nothing! Most of them are second or third generation and some have never even been to the country their family originates from or speak the language. They speak German perfectly and are absolutely integrated in the society, they are just as German as someone with two parents who happen to be German.

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I think we should be proud of different heritages and should not be ashamed by it or be shamed by others. I mean Luke Mockridge that I already mentioned is the son of a Canadian father and an Italian mother and grew up in Germany. He can speak three languages fluently and without an accent and I must say I am super jealous. Having different roots teaches you tolerance and gives you access to different worlds that you otherwise would never be able to discover.

2w985c0-bild[Picture Source 3] Mockridge Family

It is insane that in a world like ours today, comments like Gauland’s still exist. Racism, to me, makes no sense because the colour of my skin does not determine my abilities or personality. I can be who I want no matter what race I belong to and that should NEVER be the concern of anyone else. We live in a world where we have come so far regarding equality and comments like that bring us so far back. If we all want to be able to live in a world that is as peaceful and free as possible we need to cooperate and accept each other and not comment on the colour of our skin or anything else that is a small part of who we are.

 

So final words: BE PROUD OF WHO YOU ARE! No matter what race, what heritage, what background, gender, age, or anything else. Don’t let other people define you or take anything away from your awesomeness! Embrace your awesomeness! Tolerate each other and be happy.

Lots of love,

Katie

 

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What to do at a girls night in

As my best friend visited me for the weekend, I thought it would be quite fun to write down what you should and maybe also shouldn’t do at a girls night in.

So firstly, and probably the most important part:

Take off your normal clothes and change into your PJ’s or your most comfortable clothes (I always advice a good old Onesie :)) and take off all your make-up. Depending on how comfortable you are around your friend also take off your bra, all you girls know why I advice this ;). Even though guys always have this picture in their heads that girls at sleepovers look super fit and have sexy pillow fights, in reality we all lay around, try to move as little as possible, wear the oldest, unsexy and most comfortable clothes and eat as much food as we can.

Okay, after this step is done, make sure you’ve got enough food/drinks in the house or go and have a quick (okay let’s be real, it will take forever) grocery shop.

Definitely don’t go and buy healthy things! We all know that healthy eating is important and we all should do it, but when your girls are around the only right thing to do is eat as unhealthy as possible. We all need them days where we sit in front of the TV with your girls and have some chocolate or gummy bears and some fizzy drinks. And if you are on a serious health kick, at least try and find some healthy/healthier options.

Going along with this, I personally never order some take aways when my girls are around, we always cook together. Firstly because it’s super fun, you all can get involved but also because there you can choose to make something more healthy to balance the sweets out ;). Also baking something is always a right laugh as well, plus you can have your freshly baked goods later as pudding, so it’s a win-win situation.

Play music as loud as possible

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I don’t know about you but I personally like to sing along to songs. Don’t saying that I’m good at it or anything but when your girls are around you always should have music on. Especially when you’ve turn up the music, dance around in your room like some crazy person and sing from the top of your lungs. Your parents, siblings and neighbours will probably think you have some serious pain or something is definitely wrong with you, but to be fair, on these days who really cares? I also could advice you to play Singstar at this day because it’s super fun. Please, don’t be someone of them girls who sits quietly in the corner on these days and doesn’t want to jump around or sing along. Honestly, most of us aren’t a great dancer or singer either, but it’s the fun that matters.

Watch some films

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Always make sure your friends bring along their DVD collection of films as well. You never can have enough films for evenings like this. And who knows what you want to watch after you all lay on the couch or bed whilst having a food coma. I only can advice some Disney or some really cheesy girl films. 🙂

Whilst watching these films I think it’s really important to complaint about life, boys and all sort of things that are happing in the film. Saying how unreal it is what’s happening and this never happens to you. Don’t be someone who sits there quietly and makes everybody shut up. You probably have watched the films way too many times anyways and a bit of a chat never hurt anybody plus interaction with your friends is actually good for you.

Gossip

Okay, lets be honest for a second, have you ever been at a sleepover where you or some friends haven’t gossiped about the newest things in school, some other friends or some guy someone’s fancying? I’m not saying that it is a nice thing to do and we all probably shouldn’t do it because it’s quite mean, but to be real, everybody does it. As long as it is not rude or insulting it’s fine because everybody does it really.

Take selfies

This one is in our generation one of the most essential thing ever! Go and take as many pictures as you can. Most probably a fair few of them is going to end up on Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter or whatever social media you’re using and is also annoying the shit out of everybody else, but who cares? You have a fun time so everybody else should know it! 😛

Pamper yourselves

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I think I’ve never been to a serious sleepover where my friends and I haven’t pampered us. Go and make yourselves some home made face masks, okay shop bought are totally fine as well, and put them on your faces. Is there anything more refreshing than that? Plus you can take some pretty funny photos with them on. Along side that having a sleepover is a perfect opportunity to put make-up on each other, try out some of a friends make-up products or get some little tips from your girls. This also counts for hairstyles. Let your friends try out something new with your hair and you’ll end up with something you might even like! But also visa-versa, try out a new hairstyle and makeup look on a friend of yours.

Make your room a pillow-room

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No matter what you do, it’s extremely important that you’ve got like 1000 pillows, blankets and other things you can snuggle in on the floor. Fairy lights and candles are also necessary! If you want to upgrade your sleepover create a pillow/blanket fort.

Girl talk

Every time I’m at a sleepover we all talk about our latest problems with guys, stress with some friends or school or typical girl problems. I mean it super important to discuss about the new nail polish colour I should get, isn’t it? Jokes aside, I personally think these times are always the best times to get an honest opinion from your girlfriends and talk out loud all the things that have floated around in your head lately.

Entertain yourselves

It doesn’t matter if you’re laying around the whole evening, you craft something, play some video games, play truth or dare, you start writing a story or something like this, play never have I ever, have a pillow fight, make your own little film, plan something (like a trip or your next night out), watch funny videos on YouTube, play some card games, pull some phone pranks on other friends, create a website (:P) or whatever. Whatever you can come up with and you guys want to do, do it. Its always a right laugh to do that with your friends.

To be fair these are only a fair few things you could do on a night in with your girls, there are way more things you could do and you’ll all probably end up having the best night ever.

Lots of love,

Jenny xxx

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Allis Girl Boss of the Month

Hello lovely humans and Aliens, I hope you’re having a great Sunday.

Today I want to write about a woman I admired since I was a child. She has a mind that must be as big as the universe and a heart the same size. She’s strong and her story has taught me to never give up, because there are brighter days ahead. We all know her because she wrote our favourite book . I’m talking about JK Rowling of course. Joanne Rowling was born in England. The K stands for Kathleen, the name of her grandma, which her publisher made her add so she could use her initials and nobody would know she’s a woman. He was scared boys wouldn’t want to read to read anything written by a woman. (I smell a very fragile masculinity). She studied English and Classics in Exeter. When she was finished she moved to London to work for Amnesty International. Later she moved to Portugal where she married and had a daughter. Unfortunately the marriage didn’t work out, so she moved back to the UK, where she had the idea for the Harry Potter books. As a young single mum without a job she didn’t have it easy. She sent her book to a huge number of publishers and nobody wanted it. But she believed in her idea, she worked hard and never gave up and the rest is history.

Today the seven Harry Potter books are among the most famous, bestselling books of our time and everyone knows her name. She also found happiness in her private life, she married again and had two more children

Joanne K. Rowling

The thing I admire the most about JK Rowling is, that through it all she stayed grounded and never took anything for granted. She published an other book under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, because she didn’t want to rest on her success and didn’t want people to buy the book because of her famous name. JK Rowling also once said she hasn’t forgotten what it’s like to be poor, which explains why she does so much for different charities. She is for example the co-founder of lumos, an organisation which helps children, who are poor and disabled and have to live in institutions to have access to health care, education and social care. The organisation was first called Children’s high level group and it was founded it 2005. She also made a massive donation to finance a neurology clinic in Edinburgh, which cares for people who suffer from multiple skleroris, the disease that her mother suffered from. That’s why the hospital is named after Rowling’s mother. An other organisation she supports is „Gingerbread“. They work with single parents, just like Joanne Rowling was once. She also has a trust, called volant that supports different charities, mainly concerning women’s and children’s rights and supports other organisations. I once heard that she had billionaire status, but lost it because she gave so much money to charity. I think it’s remarkable how she had such a hard time in her life, which I’m sure seemed hopeless more than once, but pulled herself out of it, with her strength, stamina and her belief in her story. But what i admire even more about her, is that she didn’t forget where she comes from and now helps others, who aren’t as lucky as her, with all she’s got. I think J. K Rowling is an excellent role model for everyone who’s going through a tough time and doesn’t see a perspective at the moment. You’re gonna get through this, don’t give up, there are brighter days ahead. And I hope when you’re over the dark times, they will have grown you and made you a better person, just like Joanne Rowling.

Love Alli xx

Sources: JK Rowling’s official Website :www.jkrowling.com

Lumos’ Website : wearelumos.org

Twitter: @jk_rowling

Gingerbread: www.gingerbread.org.uk

Volant trust: www.volanttrust.com

Picture source : http://www.sueddeutsche.de/kultur/krimi-unter-pseudonym-von-joanne-k-rowling-erzaehlkunst-ohne-zauberstab-1.1830918

What To Wear When Working Out

Hey you guys,

how are you today? I hope you’re good 🙂
As summer is approaching and I already blessed you with my lovely Summer essentials post I thought it would be nice to have a post about working out and specifically work out clothes that I think are super cute.
I mean most people start working out for their summer body but of course, there’s no necessity to, if you feel confident the way you are that’s perfect! But to me working out also means fun, I enjoy working out, I like the challenge, I like pushing myself and I like it even better with the right clothes to wear.
So I just looked around the web for my fave sport bras, sport shoes and leggings and put them in this post. If you’re not as much into colorful workout gears as I am, I always put a more neutral alternative next to the colorful one.
Another tip: If you can’t motivate yourself through colorful clothing why don’t you try one of the tips that I listed down below?

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Trainers and Shorts are from Adidas, Top  from Hollister and Sports bra from Victorias Secret (sold out! Alternative one here)

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Trainers and Shorts are from Adidas, Top  from Hollister and Sports bra from Victorias Secret (sold out! Alternative one here)

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Trainers and Shorts are from Adidas, Top  from Hollister and Sports bra from Victorias Secret (sold out! Alternative one here)

 

 

 

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Trainers and Shorts are from Adidas, Top  from Hollister and Sports bra from Victorias Secret (sold out! Alternative one here)

 

Lilis top 10 workout tips:

  1. This is kind of obvious but many people don’t even think about it. Do something that’s fun, not something everyone is doing and you think it might be good to just go along with it. If you find going to the gym is boring then try something else, it doesn’t have to be something like Volleyball or Hockey, what about horse riding, dancing or kickboxing? Many gyms offer free trial classes so just check at your local gym or sports club and try everything out.
  2. Find a workout buddy! Having a workout buddy makes everything so much easier, believe me. I’m usually not someone who likes working out with other people but I found out that I am very competitive so having a workout buddy is kind of my own little competition. Also if you’re doing something that involves weights they can assist you and of course have a look on how precise you’re doing your routines.
  3. Playlists!! I’ve got a playlist that only exist cause I listen to it at the gym. It contains songs that I wouldn’t listen to on a daily basis, but that’s not the point. They’re supposed to motivate you and push you, fun upbeat pop songs are actually perfect. Since we created the „Body Positivity“ playlist on spotify I also like listening to that one while working out.
  4. Remember that everybody started somewhere. Going to the gym can often be intimidating with all these super slim girls and these muscly guys that groan way too loud whenever they lift their weights (like what the fuck is wrong with you? I don’t need some random guy panting and groaning in my ear, you should keep that to your bedroom). Just think that they are probably way too focused on themselves anyway to notice what you’re doing.
  5. Take your time! You won’t look like a Victorias Secret model after going to the gym once. Your body needs time to adapt to the workout, take it slow, doing your routines precise rather than quick is much better and much more effective. You will get faster after some time, after all it’s about the fun.
  6. Also be aware that the possibilities of you looking like a Victorias Secret model are slim to none. They have personal trainers, they go on juice cleanses or whatever before the fashion shows and they’re being paid for looking like this. It’s not that realistic and you should be aware that every step you take towards being more confident with yourself is what counts.
  7. Therefore: Set realistic goals! You’re already perfect and unique the way you are, you were created that way, your body is functioning and loving you and you should love it just as much!
  8. The right diet does play a part in feeling better about yourself. It is a proven fact that refined sugar isn’t helping your body in any way. You’re actually often addicted to it and you don’t even know it. Big companies sneak the refined sugar into basically everything they can, so watch out! Also try and eat more unsaturated fats, like Avocado, Olive Oil and several nuts like almonds 🙂 it’ll just make you feel better. I’m not saying that I’m eating according to this most of the times but a cheat day is allowed. I do like to eat kebab once in a while or just treat myself to some ice cream. It’s just important to find a balance. After all you cannot expect any results from your workout if you only eat McDonalds all day 😀 which also would be incredibly boring.
  9. Well my point number 9 will be that I just like to wear colorful clothes for gym…but you know just wear whatever floats your boat. Stores that are specified on selling sport clothes and everything around the topic of spots usually have several experts, who can check what trainers are the right ones for you and also which sports bra is perfect for you. Take the time and let them do a special analysis of the way you’re running, they then go out and find the perfect shoe for you. It’s just important that your feet touch the ground the right way and that they protect your bones and muscles from doing unnatural movements. Another bonus is, that the right trainer will make working out so much easier!
  10. Try and change your routine up as much as you can, your body actually gets used to a certain workout routine and won’t burn any calories. Even running along the same streets can cause your body to fall into a routine. Mix it up! It will also keep things more exciting for you 🙂

If you have any advice on what makes a good workout just message me on our social media!
Have a wonderful day, evening, morning or night and I hope you now have a more positive view on working out and getting your body moving!
Loads and loads of love,
Lili xx

Twitter: @castaway_minds
Instagram: @castawayminds

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SWMRS

Hello fellow music lovers, ( I’m not gonna say hi to anyone who doesn’t love music because I don’t believe they exist)

I actually wanted to introduce you to some great new band I really like, but then I did some research and realized that they’re not new, they just were new to me. So I’m gonna introduce you to a great not so new band now. That band I’m talking about is called *epic drumroll* SWMRS !!

SWMRS are four guys from Oakland, California making awesome punk music. Cole Becker, Max Becker, Joey Armstrong and Seb Mueller started playing music together back in 2004 ( So why the f*ck did I not know about them until recently ?!). They were named „Emily’s Army“ until 2015 and the story behind this name is that they wanted to raise awareness for cystic fibrosis, a disease Max and Cole’s cousin Emily was diagnosed with. Later they changed their name to Swimmers and then SWMRS. One of the bandmembers names might ring a bell and yes you’re right : Joey Arnstrong is actual Green Day legend Billie Joe Armstrong’s son, who also produced their first album „Don’t be a dick“. My favourites on the album are „Broadcast this“ and „I wanna be remembered“. You should definitely listen to it, especially if you like the earlier Green Day and Blink 182 stuff (Although I’m sure Joey must be sick of being compared to his Dad…sorry Joey). 2013 they brought out their album „Lost at Seventeen“ and played Warped Tour. Under the name Swimmers they released the EP„Swim“ and before their first album under the name SWMRS came out this year. The album is called „Drive North“ and features great punk songs like „Miley“, „Uncool“ and „Drive North“. In my opinion it has a really special, unique sound. They’re kinda chill, punk and have that „garage band“ sound, if you know what I mean. Also I think they sound a bit old school, which I really like. The band is currently touring the UK and after that the US, so if you have the chance, get tickets, I’m sure it’ll be worth it. I’d definitely would recommend them for you if you like Bands like blink 182, Green Day ( I know, I know), New Found Glory, etc. So if you also don’t wanna listen to what’s on the radio, go check them out (that was a lyric reference nobody will understand, listen to „Broadcast This“)

Yeah I’m gonna go to bed and try to get over the fact, that I didn’t know about them earlier.

Have an awesome rest of the day full of music and puppies

Love,

Alli

Twitter : @swmrsca_

Instragram: SWMRS

Website: http://www.swmrs.com

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YouTuber of the month: May ’16

Sophie Louise

It’s the time of the month again where I introduce you guys to a YouTuber I have especially liked this month. This time is the british YouTuber: Sophie Louise.

To be honest with you guys I only discovered her this month but I really liked the videos I have watched so far (and believe me I have watched quite a few). The first video I watched and also her most popular one was her ‘Guy guesses prices of girly items’ and right after I finished watching it I immediately subscribed to her.

I like that she always seems so happy and positive but if you get to know her videos a bit more, you realize that she personally struggles with some aspects in life. As many other people she also suffers from anxiety and also made a video about ’15 life hacks for anxiety’ which I think is very brave of her to talk about that topic so openly. But in general I like her videos because of how happy she seems to be, her craziness and also that she admits that she’s quite an awkward person, which I can highly relate to ;).

In general she does fashion and lifestyle videos but also her videos with her boyfriend Alex are quite popular by her viewers.

Beside of one video every Wednesday she also uploads weekly vlogs every other week.

She posted her very first video on the 02.07.2014 (Summer Haul 2014 (Forever21, H&M, Topshop)) and she already hit 70k subscriber last week, which is an amazing achievement and I personally think that she deserves way more than that!

I can only highly recommend to you that you check her out because I really like how she comes across in her videos, she seems very nice and is very genuine.

I guess I’m back binge watching her videos now and I hope you will do the same soon. 🙂

Lots of love,

Jenny xxx

Sophie’s social media:

YouTube

Twitter

Instagram

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TV shows German kids watched that don’t exist in the UK

Last time I talked about all the amazing stories and books that you guys missed out on if you didn’t grow up in Germany… Well this time I will talk about everything TV series that we had and that would make the world a better place if it would be dubbed and spread around the world. I do realize that in a lot of the shows there is some bad acting entailed but then most of these shows have children in there so what do you expect… It was still our childhood and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Of course we had like a lot of the Disney Channel Shows as well, but most of the shows that I am talking about were or some are still aired by the German equivalents of BBC.

First up, I guess there is no child in Germany who has never seen an episode of ‘Das Sandmännchen’ (translation the little sandman). It’s a show that has been produced since the 1959 and even then in both parts of Germany you had a version. Basically what Das Sandmännchen is is a 10- minute show that is aired everyday at around 6pm. It involves him going to send some child with his sleeping sand and as soon as das Sandmännchen comes in they will ‘watch some TV, which is basically a short story. The story is a very short segment that changes every day, but there are certain series. When this story ends the Sandmännchen will bring the child to sleep and blow the sleeping sand in the audiences film. Watching this was like a religion for me and my brother and it was horrible when we had to miss it for whatever reason.

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Similarly religiously we followed ‘Die Sendung mit der Maus’, which is a show that airs every Sunday at 11:30 and it is a show where scientific things, inventions, historical events and much more is explained to children in an easy way. There are many short segments interrupted by short cartoons of the cartoon characters who were the face of the show. Another show like this was called Löwenzahn and it was a man who was living in a campervan and he often invented things or build them himself or discovered things and then explained them to children. The main character was called Peter Lustig (changed now because the actor died) which means Peter Funny, which when we were younger thought was hilarious. There was a similar show when you were a little older that is called ‘Wissen macht A’ and it would be, still is shown, daily. In that show they do experiments and again expalin many scientific and historical events. (Apparently we like our knowledge in Germany, but then those were some of the very few things I was allowed to watch when I was younger and not at my grandparents house where I could watch whatever I wanted)

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When you were really young there were also some shows that were like game shows for children and they were amazing. My dream was to be able to go to these shows and I had chosen my friends that I would take and who would do what and it was all perfect, except for the fact that I never applied and therefore never went. One of these shows was the Tigerenten Club (the tiger duck club). Awesome name, I know. They were for whole school classes and they even got the teachers involved. They had a lot of games that were either quizzes about music, general knowledge or sports or something, or they were physical. They always had special guests as well and it was awesome. Another show was Tabaluga, the mascot being a dragon called tabaluga and there you would go through challenges with one friend, however the formats changed quite a lot over the years. The last show I am going to talk about was called 1,2 oder 3, where you were in teams of four people and then they would show you a segment about something educational (whoop whoop knowledge) and then they’d ask you a question, give you three answers and you had to chose the right one. (sounds lame but was amazing, because the choosing involved running to a stage with three areas and you would only know if you were on the right field when the light turned on)

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But hey, we are not all about the knowledge in Germany we also had children/teen series that were amazing. First of I think was Schloss Einstein, which is a series about a boarding school and all the students and teachers and yeah. It was an amazing show and I think I have seen every episode about 10 times, just because it was somehow always on and you watched it even if you had seen it a billion times. After Schloss Einstein there would always be something else on, often some of the Australian Series like H2O just add water, but sometimes there were ‘Die Pfefferkörner’ (the pepper corns’) it was a group of 5 children (there are multiple generations) that would have to solve crimes and stuff like that. Often involving smugglers and thieves and stuff, always amazing. There were many other shows, but to explain all of them would probably take waaaay too long. So here are a couple: Die Kinder vom Alstertal, Die Kinder vom Süderhof, Unser Charlie, 4 gegen Z, Endlich Samstag, Paulas Sommer, ein fall für B.A.R.Z., BloghausTV and Wie erziehe ich meine Eltern. One more that I need to mention though is something you probably would have watched when you were a bit older and tbh I still watch it and I love it more and more every time. It is called ‘Türkisch für Anfänger’ (‘Turkish for Beginners’) and it follows a patchwork family with 4 children with the mother and two children being German and the husband and his two children being Turkish. It is one of the most hilarious shows you will find in Germany and it brought out one of the best actors in German speaking TV/film ( yes I know that Elyas M’Barek is Austrian, but so what he’s awesome!)

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Anyways, apart from all the TV series that we got to watch there was nothing like the feeling of being allowed to watch the Tatort (crime scene) which is an adult crime show that is like a religion in Germany (Sunday 20:15 you will find yourself in front of a TV).

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So yeah this is my take on very few of the German TV programmes and series that you missed out on if you don’t speak German/ have access to German TV because they are amazing and actually account for some quality shows that are not overproduced!

Lots of Love,

Katie

A typical family

Growing up around me I only had what is probably seen as the traditional family: mother, father children. May it be my grandparents, my parents or aunts or uncles it was always quite the same. For me that was normal and that is still what I want, but in our society today, we are so lucky that we have more choices and possibilities and that the image of families is changing. We get to chose what kind of life we want, but also that it is okay if life doesn’t always work out the way it should by traditional societal norms and that we can still somehow make it work and be a family.

I don’t think that there is a typical family in that sense anymore, society has changed and our lifestyles have changed. While for my grandparents it was so normal to find a partner and live with them forever, my parents generation has already changed. For example, my great-aunt and her husband for decades have not gotten along and he is, you know, the crazy uncle who doesn’t get invite anymore and even his children do not want anything to do with him, but because it is so engrained that they can’t get divorced, they are still married. While their daughter has been divorced and remarried.

Now, with at about 50% divorce rate there are a lot of people who don’t live in those traditional families anymore. I know so many people that have stepparents and -siblings and I remember that when I was 10 I had a lot of friends that got a half-siblings, because their parents had new boyfriends/girlfriends/husbands/wives. And now I feel like there is some kind if second wave with parents getting divorced/ separating when all their children have moved out. There are quite a lot of my friends where this has happened over the last couple of years and the same with my parents. So yeah if you look around you have quite a few patchwork families, for example my dad’s new girlfriend has a son that kind of belongs to our family now as well.

Another thing that has changed is the not necessarily having to get married when you get pregnant. My mom’s goddaughter got pregnant at 25 and despite all that and her being with a steady boyfriend she does not want to get married. It is her choice and it doesn’t really matter does it? As a child you see your parents together and in the end a piece of paper doesn’t make them any less or more your parents.

There are more “international” families, with children growing up bilingual or multilingual and with dual citizenships and it’s awesome. I mean through the whole globalisation moving across the globe becomes easier and happens more often, people stay in countries for some time but then move again some have jobs for a specific time and of course you create your own life when you are somewhere else. Let’s look at my mom’s goddaughter again, her dad is American and he came to Germany to study and he and her mom got together had her got married and he stayed in Germany. Anna and her siblings all grew up bilingual and I think it is such an advantage. Being able to learn two languages so well when you are young is amazing and makes life so much easier later in life.

There are single parents out there who do an incredible job and despite not being the traditional image of a family, they are still that to their children. Whether it is because the spouse died or getting divorced or for whatever reason it happens and it is more normal. For this I want to take my host mom as an example, she has a demanding job and a little girl and she is doing her best. The girl loves her and the two of them are super close and it is amazing how she manages her life. Yeah their immediate family might be small, but they love each other and are a family nonetheless.

Having children when you’re older. While it used to be so normal to get married relatively young and then have children basically straight away, it is now more usual to wait until you are a bit older. Like my grandmas were in their early 20s when they had their first child while my mom was in her late 20s and now it is basically the norm in the early 30, but then again looking at my host mom she had her first child at 38 and even that isn’t that unusual anymore. Life is changing and women want to have careers as well and there is always the question of being able to afford it and making it work, but I think it is nice that now it is becoming more usual to have a career and children, even if that happens a bit later.

With the average age moving backwards people start to frown now if you are having children when you’re quite young. People asking whether they feel ready for it or if they don’t want to get an education first and things like that. But there are situations that are different. A girl that I know had her child when she had just turned 20 and people asked her how she could do that. But she had done a formation and was in a steady job, same as her boyfriend. They were already living together and basically had their life settled in a way, so that they were in a completely different stage of their life than I was at 20. It so depends on where you are at in your life to make such a decision and no one deserves to be judged for theirs.

There is a larger acceptance of gay couples all around, with gay marriage and adoption rights becoming more popular all over the world. I think it is great that everyone gets the chance to chose to live the life they want no matter what they may be. What I don’t get is why some countries (including Germany) make it so hard for gay couples to adopt children. I think it is great, because it is a step that is well thought through for couples and when they decide that they want a child, they will love it and care for it and it would definitely be better for a child than to live in a foster system or group home and those children will probably be more tolerant than most other people will be.

Relating to this I want to mention fostering and adopting, despite it always being around I think it is a great thing. I want to adopt at some point, just because it means giving someone a home and someone to rely on. My dad’s cousin is fostering a child because she cannot have children and he is the most gorgeous child around. She and her husband love him so much and care for him. The child was neglected when he was younger and to think that he now has a home where he is properly looked after is an incredible thing.

There are plenty of people deciding to have no children at all for career reasons or not being able to have children or simply not wanting to be parents. And that should always be a fair choice. No one should be forced by society to do something they do not want to do. Life is all about making your own choices and not to make others happy.

There are people who chose to stay single. I know that there are people who do not chose it, but there are people who do not want to get married or be in a long-term relationship and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I mean sometimes that seems so much easier and I could also quite well see myself with 10 dogs living a happy life. I mean whatever you do it should be your decision.

I guess why I wanted to write this is thinking about the future and by worrying way too much about everything and hoping to figure it all out and plan everything to make sure it is all going to be perfect. I know I cannot control things and I guess I wrote this article to remind myself that it is going to be okay, that you do not have to have a perfect standard life and have a traditional lifestyle when it comes to family. Looking at these examples from my life and the others that you see in films, books and the news, it is inspiring to see how much is possible today and that we are not based on our choices “branded” by society and therefore have the chance to find our way whichever way we want.

There are big families, small families and everything in between. Whether children are biologically conceived, artificially conceived, brought to a family after they are born or there are no children at all, it all doesn’t matter. Making these choices doesn’t make anyone a better or worse person. I am so grateful that we do not have to fit into a certain category anymore and have to fulfil certain criteria like maybe our grandparents still had to.

I still would like to have a traditional family and compared to most of my friends I would like to have many kids, but being an AuPair and hearing so many stories from friends, having separated parents, I know that life doesn’t always work that way, but it will still be okay and somehow that is very comforting.

 

Lots of love,

Katie

[Picture Source]

Summer foods and drinks essentials

Hello lovely people out there,

I don’t know about you, but when summer arrives I get very excited and there are a few food and drinks I can’t miss out on. So I though what’s better than sharing them wit you. So here are my personal summer foods and drinks I can’t survive summer without! 🙂

Drinks:

Cold water with frozen fruit or lemon/lime

That’s one of my absolute favourite. It keeps you hydrated (which is very important), it’s still healthy, tastes nice and is good on the go as well because you can also refill your bottle during the day with the same fruits in it.

Milkshakes

That’s kinda of an obvious one, but there is nothing better than sitting in the sun with a cold milkshake.

Cocktails/Mocktails

Those who are allowed to drink will agree with me that sitting at a restaurant in the evening having a nice meal with a cocktail in the summertime is just the best. But don’t worry, if you’re not in the age where you can drink alcohol or you don’t want to drink alcohol Mocktails are an amazing alternative.

Smoothies

I guess I don’t need to write anything about smoothies, because everyone loves smoothies!

Lemonade

Not only you will be happy about that home made refreshment but also your other family members because home made lemonade is way better than shop bought one!

Iced tea

A very easy, cheap, quick and also very tasty think to do.

Food:

Fresh fruit/vegetables

Who would have guessed it? But fresh fruit plates are just an amazing snack to nibble on in summer and if you fancy a light lunch/dinner vegetables are an amazing thing to have. Plus in summer there are one of the best fruits/veg in season!

Everything Strawberry

This leads me to this point: Strawberries are finally in season again, wuhu! Everybody loves a bit of strawberry, doesn’t matter if you eat them like that, with cream, with an ice cream, in a smoothie or to your pancakes in the morning. Strawberry are an amazing all-rounder.

Salads

Doesn’t matter if fruit or with lettuce, salads are winners. You can also perfectly take them with you in jars and also top them with couscous, quinoa, rice or whatever you like. And also pasta, potato, rice or green spelt salads are a good shout as well.

Barbecues

Summer, the season not only of strawberries but also barbecues! So go outside and have a nice barbecue with your friends and family. There are basically no limits what you could grill!

Soup

I personally love soup in the summer because it’s light and I don’t know about you but I can’t eat food with a lot of calories or fat in the summer. So soup, if cold or warm is a good alternative.

Omelette

Same as soups, it’s something light which is perfect for summer and once again you can personalize it the way you like it.

Fish

Summer calls out to do something with fish and there are so many ways you could cook with fish, just get creative. But always with some fresh lime/lemon with it because of the freshness.

Frozen fruit

Have you ever tried freeze some fruit and eat it as a snack or for pudding? No? You definitely should give it a try, it’s perfect for summer because it’s super refreshing. My favourites are grapes to nibble on!

What you can do with your frozen fruit as well, would be ice cream/sorbets. Just blend it up and you have yourself a healthy ice cream (tip: if you do it with bananas make sure they’re very ripe when you freeze them because this way they taste even better!)

Or have you tried to make ice lollies out of frozen fruits? No? Why not?

Yoghurt

Once again an amazing snack for the day or as a breakfast with granola in the morning.

Fruit screwer

And again an amazing snack, which you could also easily take to school or work for a little refreshment during the day.

In conclusion, basically every fruit/veg that is in season, something fresh, from a holiday country or something that is lemon or lime flavoured because that just tastes like freshness.

Happy cooking,

Jenny xxx

 

Picture source