July 2017 Favs

 

Seriously, it’s almost August. I cannot believe it. Pretty soon there’s going to be pumpkins and Santas everywhere. But, for now, I’m enjoying the pleasantly mild weather we’ve been having here in Germany and I’m looking forward to one more long, summer weekend. Since it’s the end of a month, today I am going to share some of my favs from July.

In case you’re new, My Favs is where I share some of my favorite products, new finds that make daily life a little bit better and any fun things I’ve been watching, reading or listening to lately.

*This post contains affiliate links.* 

This month I finished reading Lauren Graham’s book from my 7 books to read this summer  list. It was a relatively quick read and is definitely a must-read if you’re a Gilmore Girls fan. I did find the book to be a little boring before getting to the Lorelei Gilmore phase of her life but overall, it makes for a perfect beach read. Now I’m reading Truly Madly Guilty and am having a hard time getting into it. It’s a lot like Big Little Lies in that there are several different characters and you get their perspectives on the same event. I have yet to get to the “big event” or the hook and I’m really looking forward to it. My goal this August is to finish this book and one more, maybe Option B.

We had several vacations this past month, which were amazing. We flew twice with Copley to Nice and Croatia. She does really well on airplanes and I think it’s all thanks to this lavender spray. I spray all over her bag (we use this one and never had a problem with any airline) right before we are about to board and I really believe that it calms her down and makes her feel more safe. The spray is made by the same company that makes Thunder Shirts and is said to mimic the mother’s pheromones, which is why it is relaxing for dogs.

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On the what I’m watching front, Vinn and I totally binge watched Friends from College last week. It’s a Netflix original show with Fred Savage, Colbie Smuders from How I Met Your Mother, and Keegan-Michael Key. The show hasn’t been so well received on sites like Rotten Tomatoes, but we thought it was really funny! It’s about how a group of friends from college all still hang out twenty years later and still haven’t really grown up. They all allegedly went to Harvard, have real jobs and are trying to navigate life as an adult, while still acting like college kids. It’s laugh out loud funny and Fred Savage is my favorite! I wish he was the new host on Live with Kelly.

About three times a week this entire month I ate a snack of a Granny Smith apple with Gruyere cheese. I know I’ve mentioned this many times on the blog already, but it definitely deserves a spot on the monthly favs. I don’t know what it is about this snack that I love so much but I just do. I think it’s because the apple is tart and sweet and then the cheese is so soft. It’s a great snack because it has healthy fat, sugar and protein from the cheese. The one negative is that Gruyere cheese is on the expensive side, so I may have to cut back a little.

bringing your dog to Croatia

And, last but not least, a cute picture of Copley from our trip to Split. I just seriously love this dog with my whole heart. I can’t go too long without a cute puppy picture!

What did you love this July? 

July 2017 Favs

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My Favs {June 2017}

 

Welcome to the all new Friday Favs. I used to post these every Friday but I found that to be a little difficult to find new, exciting things to share each week. I still want to share some of my favorites with you all, so now it’s going to be a monthly series called My Favs.

Each month I will share some of my favorite products, new finds that make daily life a little bit better and any fun things I’ve been watching, reading or listening to lately.

*This post contains affiliate links.*

So, I drink coffee every single day. I just love starting the morning with something warm and delicious. Lately, I’ve been adding vanilla syrup, the same one that Starbucks uses, to my at-home lattes and cappuccinos for a little something extra. It really does taste amazing and I love having something special to make an ordinary day extraordinary. I look forward to it every morning.

With summer here now, it has been hot, hot, hot in Stuttgart lately. There have been several 90 degree days, no air conditioning and sweating bullets. When we went to the tennis tournament a few weeks ago, Vinn and I both got sunburned pretty badly even after several applications of sunscreen. I guess spray sunscreen doesn’t work as well as lotion. I bought this after sun SOS lotion that helped my sunburn heal faster and eliminate any pain. It’s a God send.

This next thing is something that has really helped me sleep lately. Since I graduated college, I’ve had difficulty falling asleep. I think it had to do with living in downtown Chicago and being on my own for the first time. My mind races with random thoughts, ranging from trivial things to the state of the world. Sometimes scary things. It’s awful. I did some research on more natural ways to fall asleep and started taking magnesium pills right before bed. Magnesium is nature’s calming agent and helps reduce anxiety and increase calmness. If it were healthy to take these every thirty minutes, I would probably do it.

We watched an amazing movie this month, Hacksaw Ridge. It is an incredible, based on a true story, movie about a man who joins the Army during World War II but does not hold or carry a gun. Desmond Ross, the main character, is considered a conscientious objector and goes through quite a bit of hazing during his basic training. He signs up to be a medic so he can help save the men who are fighting. Desmond deploys to Okinawa with his troop who must secure the Hacksaw Ridge. During the battle, Desmond saves 75 men ALONE when he stays behind even after his troop has left for camp. The real life Desmond Doss became the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor. The movie is beautifully shot, the writing is spectacular and is directed by Mel Gibson. It was nominated for an Oscar and I highly recommend it. It restores your faith in humanity.

The final fav for this installment is Stroopwaffles! These amazing, caramel filled waffles are from the Netherlands and are perfect to eat along with your morning coffee. Actually, they are best when you put them on top of your coffee mug to warm them up and melt the caramel filling. These little waffle cookies started in the late 18th Century or early 19th Century, we aren’t really sure, after a baker decided to make something with the leftovers. If you ever visit the Amsterdam airport, there are everywhere. If you just want to try some at home, I found some Amazon here. I definitely will be ordering these!

That will do it for today. What have you been loving lately?

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Friday Favs {June 2}

TGIF. TGIF. I woke up yesterday (Thursday) thinking it was Friday. I hate when that happens. But, today is Friday and I am super excited about this weekend. We are having dinner out tonight with our friends who watched Copley while we were in the States to say thank you, having some other friends over for dinner on Saturday, hopefully playing some tennis and just relaxing. It’s a three day weekend here in Germany, so we have a long weekend ahead of us. With all the traveling we’ve been doing, I could use a weekend to recoup and relax.

But before we get into the weekend, I thought I’d share my Friday Favs for this past, super hot week. Oh yes, did I mention that it was 90 degrees one day this week….and there’s no A/C anywhere? Yes, it’s been a hot one.

 

Another cool Alps picture 

 

cute_dog_swiss_alps

 

While I was editing pictures from our Milan trip (part 1 and 2), I forgot about this picture Vinn snapped during a pull off spot in the Alps. This is the face Copley makes all.the.time and I am so glad he captured it. I don’t know what it is about this picture specifically, I think it just shows how much I love her. I also love the juxtaposition of my sleeveless shirt and the snowy mountains.

 

Duolingo

 

duolingo_language

 

I’ve had friends tell me how great Duolingo is for learning a language and I never really thought to try it. Then one day last week I was bored with my German homework and decided to just give it a try.

Well, I love it! Number one: it’s free! Huge bonus. Number two: there’s a website and an app so you can learn from anywhere. I am having fun testing my German knowledge and practicing the grammar and words I already know.

Duolingo says it only takes 5 – 10 minutes of their lessons per day to learn a language. I’m coupling this new site with all my other practices to learning German so that I can continue learning and hopefully be more confident in my skills. I love that there is a percentage of how fluent you are in German at the top. Currently it says I am 24% fluent and that’s from three days. I was able to test out of a lot, too.

If you’re interested in learning a language, I would definitely check out Duolingo. It’s free, so why not! There are a lot of languages too, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Russian, Italian, Swedish, Turkish and more.

 

Vacation planning

 

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I know I say this in half of my Friday Favs, but I am super looking forward to our upcoming trips. The above picture is in Split, Croatia and we are going there in July with my sister and her boyfriend. I am so excited to see this water. And maybe go snorkeling!

We are also going to Champagne, France and the Nice, France with one of my best friends from high school and her husband in June so that one is coming up fast. I am having so much fun researching things to do there and places to visit. It’s going to be one busy summer!

What trips are you planning this summer?

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Friday Favs {May 26}

Hello, Happy Friday. I’m reporting to you live from Milan, Italy. Thursday was a holiday in Germany, so Vinn and I decided to make it a long weekend. So far, it has been amazing and I can’t wait to see what else Milan has to offer.

This past week was a really, really great week. I made some big time decisions and am getting to cross another city off the list. Our plans for this weekend are basically just eat and drink our way through this fashion city….and probably buy a thing or two! I’d love to hear what you’re up to this Memorial Day weekend for those of you in the States! Leave a comment below. But before we get too ahead of ourselves, here are my Friday favs for this past week.

Driving through the Alps

 

swiss_alps

 

How much $1,200 gets you in New York

I have always been fascinated with how much it costs to live in New York City and, boy, it is a lot! I found this article so interesting as it shows different apartment listings that you can get for $1,200 a month. And it is not much!

Milan Cathedral

 

milan_italy

 

The Milan Cathedral, or Duomo, is absolutely stunning. It is HUGE and I could just stare at it all day. Once we arrived at our hotel, we headed straight to the city center to go exploring. It was a great first few hours and I can’t wait to do more exploring today. Also, this photo was taken at 9 PM and look at all those people. I can’t imagine how packed it’s going to be in the afternoon! For real-time updates, follow along on my Instagram! And I will have a full recap post next week of our trip.

What are you up to this weekend?

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Friday Favs {May 19}

Thank Goodness it’s Friday, right? The first full week back from vacation is always hard and this week was exactly that. I’ve been super tired lately and spent this week thinking that Monday was Tuesday and Thursday was Friday. I absolutely hate when that happens. This weekend I am looking forward to some relaxing couch time, hard work outs, a dinner with some work colleagues and a wine walk through a nearby vineyard. It’s going to be a great weekend!

But before we get to that, I’m going to share my Friday Favs for this week.

Coffee shop reading

 

starbucks_coffee

 

There is something about coffee shops that make me want to go back to college and study for exams. But only the fun, marketing exams. Coffee shops also make me want to sit in a big, comfy chair with a good book and a decent latte.

Copley was getting a haircut and I had some time on my hands so I swung by Starbucks to read for about 30 minutes. This book, Dark Money, is extremely interesting but scary and I’ve had a hard time getting into it but I’m determined to finish it.

Copley’s new raincoat

 

cute_raincoat_dog

 

My mom got Copley this raincoat and it is great because it zips into itself, so it’s super easy to transport. I love the color and the little hood. And as my dad said, “It looks like she’s going to serve fish at Long John Silver’s.” This look didn’t last either because there are elastic strings that go under her legs and she hated them. She walked funny for a few steps and then she would just sit. It was hilarious. But this picture is amazing.

Little Venice in Colmar, France

 

little_venice

 

This weekend we went to Colmar, France and walked around the Little Venice area. IT was very small, like two blocks long, but super quaint. It really did look like Venice, there were even little boats like gondolas on the water.

I also just love the rows of colorful houses. This city is just so picturesque and I could seriously visit every month. The great thing is that it’s only a 2 hour drive for us.

I think that will do it for this week! What are you up to this weekend? 

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