Watching American TV Abroad

 

Admittedly, I love TV. I have an addiction to the Real Housewives of most cities and have seen the majority of the seasons at least once. We cut cable in Michigan about a year before we moved to Germany but we had Netflix and Hulu. I was able to watch the majority of shows I wanted to watch and didn’t really miss cable.

Add in an international move and I immediately started to miss cable and tv in general. We decided not to get German cable in an effort to save money. Of course, we are traveling quite a bit and not spending all of our time inside watching tv, but there are definitely Sundays spent on the couch relaxing and nights after work where binge watching something is all my brain can handle.

So, how do we watch American tv while living in Germany?

*This post contains affiliate links.*

It’s simple: Netflix and iTunes.

Netflix is the easiest option because 1) it is still paid via our US bank account and 2) I didn’t have to do anything to update our account, our Apple TV just knows we are in Germany based on our IP address. Netflix also works in other countries the same way. The only issue is that many shows on US Netflix are not available on German Netflix. Germany requires steep taxes for movie and tv production companies, so many shows do not want to pay. There’s no 30 Rock or Parks and Recreation, which is a big bummer, but we have other shows that we probably wouldn’t have watched, like Suits. Netflix also has lots of German shows, too, so it helps with learning German, too.

iTunes is really how I watch the majority of my tv and that’s because it’s how I can watch my housewives shows. Shout out to my dad for Apple Family Plan! I really don’t think I could have survived without it. It’s a taste of home and the perfect background noise. I just started rematching season 3 and 4 of New Jersey and, man, did I forget how awesome these seasons were!

I have some friends who also watch things on Amazon but I have no experience with that. My sister has Amazon Prime and she absolutely loves it. Not sure if it makes sense to have Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, but we will cross that bridge when we get to it once we move back.

Other people we know have a VPN that allows them to watch cable from an American tv. Here’s an article on how to set up a VPN but I find it too complicated and don’t want to put in the effort to figure this out. It seems like a lot of work to just watch This is Us. 

I’d love to know what you are watching now. Leave me a comment down below! 

 

How to watch your favorite American tv shows in Germany

Like what you read? Follow along on Bloglovin’ to be notified when a new post is live and on social media on InstagramFacebook and Twitter! I would love for you to share online and leave me a comment below.

SaveSaveSaveSave

Visiting the Vet in Germany

 

It is no secret that I am obsessed with my 6 pound Cockapoo, Copley.  Just check out my Instagram feed, it’s mostly her. When we found out we were moving to Germany, people would ask me, “What are you going to do with your dog?” What do you mean? What a silly question. It never once crossed my mind that we would leave Copley at home. She would absolutely be coming with us, she is a member of our family.

After going through all of the tedious paperwork to bring her to Germany, I was nervous about finding a vet here that would speak English and provide the best care for our beloved dog. Luckily, we ended up finding a great vet clinic nearby that has great vets on staff, speaks English and is not expensive.

If you’re moving to Germany or have a dog and wonder what it’s like here, today I thought I’d share what it’s like to visit the vet in Germany.

What to bring with you

It’s smart to bring all the documents you have with you, especially the first time you visit a vet in Germany. To read what documents you need, check out this post on bringing your dog to Germany. I also always have my phone out during an appointment just in case something is said in German and I need to quickly look it up!

Making an appointment

Some vets let you make appointments online, while others you have to call and others don’t actually have appointments and it’s just on a first-come, first-served basis. I have found that our vet has lots of appointments and I only need to make one about a week in advance so that it fits nicely into my schedule.

Making an appointment is intimidating but I will say that 80% of people in Germany speak English, so you can work it out together!

Arrival time

Stereotypically, Germans are very punctual. I’ve certainly waited for a doctor’s appointment here, but at the vet, they are very prompt. If it’s your first appointment, arrival a few minutes early because you will have paperwork to fill out.

The visit

In my experience, vet visits in Germany are quick, simple and to the point. For example, Copley jumped off the couch at the same time that I was getting up and I accidentally pushed her and she landed funny on her leg. She let out a horrific cry, I started crying and she wouldn’t put any weight on her leg or walk. We took her to the vet where they examined her, said she was fine and most likely just bruised, gave her some pain medicine and said to just watch her for a few days and if it didn’t get any better to come back and they would do X-Rays.

I really liked this approach. It was cautious but they felt Copley was OK and we didn’t need to go straight to the worst possible scenario. I especially appreciate this because I tend to think the worst immediately and in this instance, I felt even more guilt because it was my fault. (Copley was fine after a few days.)

Visits in Germany are quite similar to vet visits in the States, except there isn’t a discussion with a vet tech first and then the vet comes in. Here we meet with the vet right off the bat and the techs bring in medicine or help hold the dog. We always communicate with a vet.

Payment

Interesting fact about our German vet: you have to pay for medicine separately. This surprised me at first but now I’m used to it. Many people recommend getting pet insurance but we don’t have it because the majority of Copley’s medical expenses have happened already, like rabies vaccine and getting spayed.

The bills are significantly cheaper here, too, especially for after hours care. We took Copley to a 24-hour emergency clinic in Michigan about two weeks before we moved because she threw up four times in one day (it was stress from the move) and it cost about $400 because we did get a X-Ray. Her standard vet check-ups probably cost upwards of $50 each time. In Germany, a normal visit is 30 Euros and medicine is way less expensive. Her trip for her leg cost less than 100 Euros. We’ve never worried about the money aspect and will obviously pay whatever the amount but it’s nice to know that it isn’t going to be a huge expense every time we go to the vet.

Medicine and Medical History

I was able to keep Copley on the same heart worm medicine (she takes Bravecto) and a similar flea and tick tablet, as well. There hasn’t been any issues in regards to finding her medicine or getting vaccines. The kennel cough vaccine isn’t super popular here in Germany but since it is recommended in the States, we continue to give it to her since she travels back and forth to America about once a year.

A major positive of Germany is the pet passport. It is a little booklet that keeps all the dog’s medical history in one place. It is ideal because I can easily see when a vaccine expires and can even have the vet mark that she is healthy enough to fly. I wish I had this for myself.

All in all, visiting the vet in Germany is a similar experience as it is in the States but I wish I had an article like this to read when we were moving to help ease my mind that we would be able to find someone to trust when it comes to our dog’s care.

If you have a dog, what do you love most about them? Did it take you a long time to find a vet?

 

Taking my dog to the vet in Germany, what it's like and how it's different than the US

Like what you read? Follow along on Bloglovin’ to be notified when a new post is live and on social media on InstagramFacebook and Twitter

World’s Largest Pumpkin Festival

 

Happy Monday, my friends. And happy 500th post from me! It’s hard to believe I’ve written 500 posts on this blog and the first few are quite embarrassing to re-read and I won’t even link to them for fear that you will read them. Thank you for reading and I hope you keep following along.

This past weekend we went to the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival, which is the world’s largest pumpkin festival. Isn’t that crazy? We visited last year and had so much fun that we just had to visit again. And, of course, Copley had to put on her pumpkin costume!

It was awesome to cross something off my fall bucket list and walk around the gorgeous ground of the Ludwigsburg Palace, looking at all the pumpkins on display, hearing everyone call Copley “Kürbis Hund” (pumpkin dog) and enjoying the gorgeous weather.

What’s there to do at the Pumpkin Festival? Well, there’s a store with decor, pumpkin prosecco, pumpkin purees. There’s food stands all around with pumpkin ice cream, waffles, bratwurst, pumpkin soup and more. There’s a playground for children and gorgeous structures made from pumpkins.

And now for a photo dump.

Worlds Largest Pumpkin Festival

 

Ludwigsburg Castle

 

Dog at Pumpkin Festival

 

Pumpkin Festival

 

Pumpkin_Festival_Ludwigsburg

 

Pumpkin Festival Chariot

 

Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival

 

Worlds Largest Pumpkin Festival

 

World's Largest Pumpkin Festival, Ludwigsburg Germany

Like what you read? Follow along on Bloglovin’ to be notified when a new post is live and on social media on InstagramFacebook and Twitter

Doing Laundry in Germany

 

One of the things I didn’t think about before moving to Germany would be how I would do laundry. I mean, laundry is the same right? Wrong.

Aside from having to pay for a hotel to do our laundry for two months (fun!), doing laundry in Germany is much more complicated than it is in the United States. I thought I would share how I do laundry now and what really bums me out about it!

*This post contains affiliate links.* 

How to do laundry in Germany

So, just like in the States, it is important to separate your clothes. The kicker is that the washer and dryer are not as big so loads are smaller. I divide my laundry into four different categories: lights, darks, work out clothes and jeans. If I was to washy my work out clothes with my other clothes, they wouldn’t get as fresh as I would like.

Once I have my load, I put the clothes into the washer and then use the correct detergent. I have one detergent for lights, sheets and towels, one for darks and jeans and one for work out clothes. Yup, it’s that intense. I really love using Persil detergent, too. Never been a Tide person because I’m allergic to it, actually.

I wait about two hours.

Yes, two hours. I pretty much throw in a load first thing in the morning, take Copley for a walk, go to the gym, get ready for the day and then change the clothes to the dryer or hang dry.

The dryer is also smaller and not as “good” as my apartment dryer in Michigan. And by good I mean that it takes a lot longer to get the clothes dry. How I understand it is that German dryers use the least amount of energy possible and really are just taking the water out of the clothes and not using air. That’s why there’s a tray that gets full of water after each load that needs to be dumped, which adds another step.

Wait another two hours.

I would say I hang dry 75% of our clothes. I definitely dry our cotton, our sheets and towels but the majority of stuff gets hung.

Doing Laundry in Germany

We were lucky that another couple was moving back to the States after their German assignment, so we bought their washer and dryer. We are able to put them in the basement of our apartment (hence why it’s not the cleanest) with the other tenants. It’s not a bad set up.

Why I hate doing laundry

I hate how long it takes. It is exhausting if I do more than two loads of laundry a day because that takes about five hours!

I also don’t like that you are supposed to leave the doors open so mold and bacteria can’t grow in the machines. I think this is just because they are front-loading and we would have to do that regardless, but it’s still annoying. The laundry room is just a room with open doors in it!

A fun fact, too, is that some German apartments don’t allow laundry to happen on Sundays because it can be loud and Sundays are supposed to be quiet days. I still do laundry on Sunday, thank goodness, but if I lived somewhere with that rule, I definitely wouldn’t like that!

Overall, our clothes get clean but I definitely spend a lot more time doing laundry and try to do at least one load every two or three days so I don’t need to do a marathon laundry day. So, if you’re moving or visiting Germany and need to do laundry, just be prepared for it to take a lot longer than you think.

What’s your least favorite household chore to do? 

What It's Like to do Laundry in Germany as an American, besides it taking forever!

Like what you read? Follow along on Bloglovin’ to be notified when a new post is live and on social media on InstagramFacebook and Twitter

SaveSave

Why Girls Trips Are Essential

 

On Monday I posted all about my girls weekend in Amsterdam with my best friend, Megan. Megan and I have traveled together before a lot. We’ve been to Venice, Italy, NYC twice, Chicago too many times, Stuttgart and now Amsterdam together. It’s so great to have some quality time together and it just makes me realize how wonderful it is to have great girlfriends and how precious and necessary girls weekends are.

There is just something to be said for a girls trip. I always leave them feeling incredibly content, happy and #blessed. If you are on the fence about planning a girls trip, here are 5 reasons why you should definitely do it!

1, No agenda 

It’s nice to have a general idea of things to do when visiting a new place but when traveling with girlfriends, it’s nice to not have a set agenda. You are open to wake up whenever you want with no dog or kids needing your attention at the crack of dawn, you can stroll wherever you want and can stop when you find a cute little bar or restaurant.

Depending on where you go, pool or beach lounging might be the only thing on the agenda, which is no agenda. You can honestly just enjoy your vacation.

2, Life/Boy/Kid talk

There’s just something about girl talk that helps me clear my head. I love being able to talk about what’s going on in my life and hearing what’s going on in my girlfriend’s life. On my most recent trip, we talked about everything from work to where we want to live to how much we want to organize our apartments to married life and future plans for children…and admittedly, a lot of conversations about reality tv stars. Sometimes you just need to talk to someone who you know won’t judge you at all, knows who you are and your background and will listen to every small detail of your life. Add in a glass of good wine and you’re all set.

3, Chill time 

Sometimes life is just so hectic and we need some quiet time. Girls trips are great for relaxing, sans alarm clock and easing into the day. There’s time to read a book in the morning, enjoy coffee and not have a to-do list staring at you every five minutes. Megan and I would wake up and watch some tv while getting ready or we’d come back after sight seeing and take a quick nap before dinner. Again, no agenda and time to relax.

For one of my friend’s bachelorette parties, we went to Florida and I just happened to wake up before everyone (I think I was training for a half marathon and my body clock got up super early) and I went for a run and then had coffee and read my book on the screened in porch. It was just magic. Having time to reset is so necessary.

4, Reverting to the good ol’ days

Remember in college how you would all get ready in one room, listening to Pandora and pregaming before hitting up the bar on on Thursday night? I mean, I was studying but that’s what my friends tell me, promise, Mom! Well, there’s always at least one night on a girls trip that takes you back to the good ol’ days. If you’re staying in a hotel, it’s much easier to make this happen, but cranking up music, swapping makeup, doing your hair and asking about your outfit make getting ready usually more fun than actually going out. And then going to dance always reminds me of college and early 20’s life. It’s so nice to relive that time but, man, I do not bounce back at 29 like I did at 21.

5, Makes you a better wife, mother, person 

And the number one reason you need a girls weekend is because it will make you a better wife, mother, person in general. Everyone needs time to do things that make them happy, that help keep them sane, that connect them to other women. A girls trip can include a spa weekend, an overnight stay at a fancy hotel in your hometown or even a night on the couch when someone’s husband is out of town. The thing is, it doesn’t matter what you do or where you do it, as long as you make it happen. You will come back to your normal life with more of an appreciation, more patience and love.

Do you plan girls weekends? Where did you go? What did you do?

 

5 Reasons You Need a Girls Weekend

Like what you read? Follow along on Bloglovin’ to be notified when a new post is live and on social media on InstagramFacebook and Twitter