celebrations // and a little giveaway

celebration

This one is for… me! Hah! Yes, it is!

Because I am celebrating. Actually, I am celebrating a lot this week. Well, this day. Today. For other people, April 1st is a day full of making funny jokes, but looking back it seems like this date is perfect for me starting new adventures. No joke. ;-) Okay, here we go.

First of all, happy birthday to this blog! Today, topa is two years old. And this means lots of new and good friends. I cannot say it enough, I am glad I started blogging two years ago, ’cause I’ve met so many great people, read so many well-written and inspiring articles and got into highly fascinating collaborations. Via blogging, I was able to share stories about myself and the things I love, about other people’s creativity and my hometown Leipzig, what has been a lot of fun. It’s been a great adventure so far and I am looking forward to future opportunities.

Then, I am also celebrating six years of writer’s assistance, which, in fact, is the name of my freelance business. Six years ago I started from scratch and without a single client and today I am still alive. Seems like I made it through the so-called hard first years. I am still not sure if I figured out every little important detail yet and I am still struggling with these good old buddies called time and perfection, but I am on my way and don’t think I will ever go back. I enjoy working on my own most of the time and created texts and books with/by/for people I never had dreamed of ever before.

And that’s not it. I also have to say Happy Birthday to my self-publishing business finetexts.com. It turns one year today. And with that comes another thing to celebrate. With the priceless support and graphic design know-how of my lovely man, we moved the paperback version of my first book “Freyas Welt” from Blurb to Amazon, where it has a home now that is much more customer-friendly. It was a lot of work the last couple of months, since Amazon is totally different in self-publishing, but we figured it out and here it is: Freyas Welt, now available on Amazon (9,96 Euro, free shipping).

As always, I’d like you to party with me. Therefore I am giving away a copy of “Freyas Welt” to the first person who leaves some words in the comment section below on wordpress.com until April 7th, 2015 about what he/she likes about this blog and what she would like to read about in the near future. (Please keep in mind, my book “Freyas Welt” is written in German.)


PS: Also: Happy Easter holidays! I am taking some days off, so don’t miss me. ;-)

pictured // the magpie’s way of building a home # 4

magpie14      magpie13

magpie15

Hello, magpie lovers! Today is the last day of my little photo project about the magpie’s way of building a home. As you can see, they have been very busy. And with the blue sunny sky background and the almost flowering chestnut tree I think this artwork looks even more beautiful.


what happened? 

Well, they kept building it. After the foundation, they built the side walls. And after the side walls, they built the dome. There must be two entries, ’cause I have seen the magpies coming out of the nest on this side shown in picture 3 but also across from there. It’s not pictured, but all the interior work was very interesting to watch, too. There was a lot of fitting and test sitting and discussing going on.

And some day it was finished.

And left alone.

magpie16

Yeap, of course, watching some little magpies would have been wonderful. But that’s life/nature, isn’t it? You can’t control it down to the smallest detail. But you can participate as much as these little creatures allow you to. And this is amazing. At least for me. ;-)

So this is what it still looks like today. It’s abandoned but not forgotten. The couple of magpies or its breed from last year (I am not that much of an ornithologist) come visiting and inspecting every afternoon. Also, other birds like sparrows, bluetits, and blackbirds have shown some interest (in renting or buying this home). We’ll see, I am very curious and excited how this story will continue this year.


magpie fact #4

There are birds (such as the common kestrel) that don’t build nests. But they love to move in into an old or abandoned magpie home. Also, the magpie is the most intelligent one among the songbirds with a very high level of object permanence (it’s similar to dogs and great apes). They also recognize their fellows and themselves in a mirror. Plus, they are able to differ amounts up to 7.


PS: This is when it’s started. And this is part 2 and part 3.

adventurous music // podcast # 26 – the sound of montreal # 1

 

Podcast 26 - The Sound Of Montreal Pt. 1 by Adventurous Music on Mixcloud

Just another cool mix. This time Adventurous Music (and in particular Signalstoerung) features awesome bands from Montreal.

And this is only the beginning, there is another great mix like that already waiting in line.

Have fun listening and enjoy spring weather. :-)

sunday soup // carrots and kohlrabi

carrotskohlrabisoup

Hellohello, here comes another Sunday soup recipe. This time it’s so simple, everyone can cook it!

When I grew up, I ate a lot of carrots and kohlrabis. Mostly cooked as a side dish. But I also love them raw. Unfortunately, not everyone in my house likes kohlrabi as much as I do (and I am not talking about my cat), so I needed to come up with a recipe that fits for every gusto. And so I created this carrot kohlrabi soup with garden cress and roasted peanuts.


CARROT AND KOHLRABI SOUP WITH GARDEN CRESS AND ROASTED PEANUTS

You will need – for 2 portions:

250 g carrots

1 kohlrabi

500 ml veggie stock

2 tablespoons (vegan) yogurt

1 shallot

some sunflower or rape oil and peanuts

some lemon zest and spritzer and sea salt to taste

and

some garden cress to garnish

And here is how to make the Carrot and Kohlrabi Soup with Garden Cress and Roasted Peanuts – in 20 minutes:

Peel the shallot and cut it into small slices. Put some oil into a pot and add the shallot pieces. Clean the carrots and the kohlrabi, peel the kohlrabi and the carrots if necessary and cut them into small pieces. Then put all the root veggies into the pot and let them saute for a few minutes. Then add the veggie stock and let everything cook for about 10 minutes. (The smaller the pieces, the faster it will be cooked.)

Meanwhile, put your peanuts into a pan to roast them. Be careful that they don’t burn.

Then, puree the soup. Let it cool down a bit and add the yogurt, lemon zest and spritzer, and sea salt (just have in mind the salt that comes with the peanuts if you use salted ones). Sprinkle the soup with your peanuts and garnish it with some garden cress.

Enjoy!


In the end, the soup is kinda sweet because of the sweet taste that comes from the carrots and the kohlrabi. But it’s also sour because of the lemon and yogurt. Spiciness comes from the cress and saltiness and bitter taste come from the peanuts.