Top 2017 Posts

 

With the end of 2017 coming to a close quite quickly, I thought I would share my top posts from this past year. I love to read these on other blogs, just in case I may have missed a fun post throughout the year. Plus, it’s a fun way to look back on the year and remember all the fun and honest times I’ve had.

2017 was a great year! We really started to hit our stride with life in Germany, traveled all around Europe and adjusted to what it means to be an expat. It’s been a fun ride and I know next year will be even busier with travel, new adventures and learning more about German culture as the months pass.

In no particular order, here are my top posts of 2017:

Guide to Split, Croatia // Our trip to Croatia was one of the most fun in 2017. We got to spend a few days in a beautiful country with my sister and her boyfriend, swim in waterfalls and drink a ton of wine! Croatia is certainly becoming a top destination in Europe and I’m so glad we got to see it before the crowds started to notice!

Going to the Gym in Germany // I love to read all about other people’s daily life, even the most mundane topics. I decided to write about what it’s like to go to the gym in Germany because it’s such a big part of my day and a detail of life that I wasn’t expecting to be different, but is! I love my gym but noticed quite a few nuances that are different than my gym in Michigan.

What it’s Like to Go to the Nuremberg Christmas Market // I am not surprised in the slightest that this post was popular, especially on Pinterest. Everything about Germany at Christmastime is magical and the Christmas market in Nuremberg is the tip top of the holiday spirit. There was snow, delicious gingerbread cookies and a great view of the market from the top of the main church square.

Florence, Italy in 3 Days // There’s nothing quite like a long weekend in Italy, especially in Florence. We went to celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary with another couple and just had the most fun time! Florence is one of my favorite cities and I highly recommend it for your next trip to Europe.

7 Books to Read This Summer // I’ve really gotten into my groove when it comes to reading and I love sharing all the great books I’ve found…and hearing your recommendations, too! This summer was a big time for reading and I love the 7 books I read this summer. You can also check out my reviews from these books here.

11 Interesting Things about German Apartment Living // Finding an apartment in Germany was no easy feat. And now that we’ve truly settled, I’ve noticed 11 interesting things about German apartment living that are certainly different compared with the US. Our apartment is stereotypical German living and took some getting used to. But we’ve found a spot for everything and learned how to clean an electric stove!

Based on this list, I think next year’s blog posts will be filled with even more travel and anecdotes about life abroad. I’ve had a blast sharing life on this blog and hope it brings you a small piece of joy every time you read.

What would you like to see on the blog in 2018? Leave me a comment below and your favorite moment from 2017! 

Top Room for Gelato Blog Posts of 2017

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Gift Guide for Babies

 

This past year, 6 of my friends have had babies. Five friends from home, my three best friends from high school and two from college and then one friend here in Germany. Needless to say, I have been buying my fair share of congratulatory baby gifts and gifts for baby showers.

I love looking and buying gifts for babies, especially because I’m have yet to experience having a baby of my own and because everything is just so darn cute! It’s actually pretty difficult to buy baby gifts if you haven’t had a baby, so I thought I’d share some of the gifts I’ve purchased for my friends and other top ideas if you’re stuck on what to get and want to get something that isn’t on the registry.

*This post contains some affiliate links.*

Baby Gift Guide, Holiday or Baby Shower Gift Ideas

Freshly Picked Moccasins // Everyone I know that has a baby is obsessed with these cute little booties. Freshly Picked moccasins come in so many colors and designs that it’s hard to choose, actually! I’ve heard that these are great for babies and toddlers because they stay on the baby’s feet.

Honest Bundles // For several friends, I’ve given the starter bundle from The Honest Company. They offer a monthly supply of diapers and wipes with the cutest design ever! Who knew baby diapers could be cute? The bundles come in a variety of prices and monthly basis, ranging from one month to a year. I’ve only done the one month bundle, but how awesome would it be to give a gift of one year of diapers?!

Pretzel Rattle // Toys are difficult to buy because they are usually bulky and you never know what the mama-to-be has already received. I usually error on the side of caution and get a small toy like a rattle. I bought a friend a pretzel rattle because it’s cute and it can serve as a reminder of the baby’s aunt & uncle in Germany!! I bought it at a little boutique in Stuttgart but found this one online and think it is just darling.

Bibs // These are an incredibly easy gift and make a great addition to a larger gift and these will get daily use. These on Amazon have great reviews and are dishwasher friendly.

Stuffed Animals //  My sister and I had so many stuffed animals growing up and I still remember many of them! I especially love this blue bunny. <— If you’re a Housewives fan, you might recognize it!

Hooded Towel // I mean is there anything cuter than a post-bath baby wearing an animal hooded towel? The answer, no. I am obsessed with this little lamb towel.

If you’re a mom, what’s the best gift you’ve received? If you’re not, what are your go-to places to shop?

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 with your friends and leave me a comment below. 

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October 2017 Favs

 

I love October. It usually means the start of fall weather, even though in Germany it was still warm most of the month, our wedding anniversary, pumpkins and lots of candy. This past month was fairly quiet, full of rest, dinners with friends and preparations for our anniversary trip to Tuscany.

And the end of the month can only bring one thing, my monthly favorites! There’s some new products, a new podcast and some great reads from around the web. Please leave a comment below with some of your favorite things in October. I’d love to hear them!

*This post contains affiliate links.*

Glass containers

I have read everywhere how bad plastic containers are, even if they say they are BPA-free. So, this month, I decided I should become an adult and get rid of all of my Tupperware without the lids and invest in some glass containers. I have used these for meal prep and actually make me want to eat leftovers. I absolutely love them.

Dirty John Podcast

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I love true crime podcasts, especially on long car trips. This past week, Vinn and I listened to the Dirty John podcast and were INSTANTLY hooked. It starts with an autopsy report and you don’t know who the person is, who killed him/her or why. You come to realize quickly that this is a story of love between two people where one of them, the husband, is a con-artist. You learn about all the cons the husband has pulled in his life and it is fascinating to hear what he was able togged away with.

If you like any crime tv show, you will love this podcast. Thank goodness we had 6 hours in the car, so we could finish it without stopping!

The Mentalist

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I know this show hasn’t had a new episode since 2015 but we just discovered it. This show kept coming up on our ‘Recommended’ page on Netflix, so we decided to give it a try after finishing many other series. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a show about detectives at the California Bureau of Investigation and how they work with their consultant, Patrick Jane, who uses unconventional methods, like mind reading, to solve crimes.

I love trying to solve each case and appreciate the humor that Simon Baker brings to the seriousness of the show. If you’ve seen The Devil Wears Prada, yes, this is the guy who seduces Andy and calls her “baby.”

Shania Twain’s New Album

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I love Shania Twain, not as much as my dad, but she was always one of the singers we would listen to in the car growing up. She has such a beautiful voice and it is especially impressive that she can sing since she was diagnosed with a vocal cord disorder a few years ago.

Her new album, Now, is the Shania we know and love. She has some love songs, some great dance songs and the lyrics are everything. It is my go-to recently while cooking dinner.

A good read

If you are in the market of buying a home, I highly recommend this article titled, “Should I Buy a House?” It gives pros and cons of homeownership and gives good insights on what it’s really like. Vinn and I have been talking a lot lately about when we’d like to buy a house and what that savings plan would look like, so this was valuable to us.

 

What are you loving this month?

 

October Favorite Podcasts, Products, Music and Articles

 

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September 2017 Favs

 

And just like that, another month is over and we are entering a new season. I absolutely love fall. I love boots, scarves, leaves changing, the fact that it’s wine harvest and pumpkins. This month has definitely started to feel chillier and it’s darker outside in the morning and getting darker earlier. And I love it!

Now that it’s October, I thought I would share my favorites from this past month! So, here we go.

*This post contains affiliate links.*

Launching new travel & life abroad pages

Europe Travel Destinations

I have been working on updating my blog and how it’s all organized. This month I finally finished and launched my new travel and life in Germany pages! Now you can see all the posts relating to these topics in one neat, clean place. I’ve organized the travel page by country, so if you’re traveling somewhere or planning a trip, you can easily find what we did, where we ate, etc! And if you’re interested in moving abroad or what life is like in Germany, you can more easily check that out, too. I hope you like it. Leave me a comment if you’d like to see something added to these pages, like post ideas.

Meal planning

I stepped up my game with meal planning and branching out with new recipes this month. I still have a long way to go but I am putting forth the effort to eat healthier (most of the time) and to not waste as much food. I have been using Pinterest to find a lot of recipes and just got some new glass containers (similar here), which make meal planning and prepping more fun!

Reese Witherspoon’s Glamour article

I love Reese Witherspoon and always have. I love her even more now that she’s speaking out on ambition for women and creating a space in Hollywood where powerful women are accepted. What’s not to love about that message?

The Influencer Podcast 

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I am obsessed with this podcast. It’s from Julie Solomon, a famous publicist, who brings together all types of influencers to share their successes and tips on being successful. An influencer is someone who has trust with their audience and can influence purchasing decisions. I am learning so much from the podcast and if you have your own business, blog or just want some life success tips, I definitely recommend it!

A chocolate cappuccino 

A chocolate cappuccino

How good does this look? OMG. I went out for coffee with some friends and I ordered a chocolate cappuccino. It’s exactly like it sounds and was the most delicious thing ever. I will seriously order it again…and again…and again.

Another favorite this month is reading a ton. I shared my latest book reviews a few weeks ago in case you missed it!

September 2017 Favorites, a new podcast, books and meal prep

What are your favorites from September?

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Summer 2017 Book Reviews

 

In June I wrote about the 7 books I wanted to read this summer. Now that it is officially fall (!) I thought I’d share what I thought of some of these books. I didn’t read all 7 because finishing my other book (Dark Moneytook me way longer than I anticipated, but I did manage to read 4 books, so that’s what I’ll be sharing today.

*This post contains affiliate links.* 

Truly Madly Guilty 

I had big hopes for this book since it’s written by Liane Moriarty who wrote Big Little Lies. But I have to say that I was quite disappointed by this book. I kept waiting and waiting and waiting for the big event to happen only to be disappointed by it.

The premise of the book is that a group of friends all gather for a BBQ when something tragic happens. The book is told from each character’s perspectives and it bounces back from the BBQ scene of the crime to present day. The writing is well done and the characters are definitely developed but I did not think the climax was all that great. And I actually was pretty upset and exhaling like crazy when I would finish another chapter and be pissed that nothing happened.

Would I recommend a friend to read this book? Probably not.

Into the Water 

Now this book by Paula Hawkins, who also wrote Gone Girl, was the opposite of Truly Madly Guilty. This book got better the more I read it. Initially, I was nervous about it because it was slow to start, but the suspense keeps growing.

This book is about a town in England that has a reputation of witch hunting and then years later, women continue to go into the water as suicide. A high school girl is found in the water and not shortly after, the girl’s friend’s mother is found the same way. The story is told from different character perspectives, which I love, and you learn the backstories about what made the women go into the water. There’s a lot going on, ranging from a manuscript to a forbidden relationship to a marriage on the verge of divorce because of cheating. It’s a deep book but I thought the twists and turns were really well done.

Survey says, this book is worth reading, but probably not if you’re headed on a beach or lake vacation!

Talking as Fast as I Can 

A memoir from Lauren Graham is all about her life as an actress on Gilmore Girls, Parenthood and the Gilmore Girls reboot. If you’re a fan of her shows, you will like this book. She doesn’t go into super detail or share too many behind the scenes drama instances, but I enjoyed it. It was especially interesting to read about how she became an actress and struggled to land roles in the beginning. The stories of her childhood living on a boat with her dad are extremely fascinating and funny.

As far as memoirs go, I thought Lauren could have gone deeper and shared more of her feelings instead of just, “Oh, I went back to the set. It’s so weird being here.”

Read at your own risk. It’s a fast read but you won’t walk away knowing a bunch of new information, a bunch of on set drama or much of anything else.

Option B

I just finished this book today, literally. I read it in four days. It’s a book about facing adversity and building resilience by Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In, and Wharton Business School professor, Adam Grant.

Sheryl famously lost her husband suddenly and had to rebuild her life and be strong for her two children, while also being the COO of Facebook. She shares her experience of going through the most horrific event imaginable and Adam Grant shares more psychological and researched practices of overcoming obstacles. The two share their own experiences and experiences from others with facts and research sprinkled throughout.

Everyone will go through something difficult in life, whether it’s losing a spouse, parent or child, getting fired or being abused. We will all go through something. I recently lost my grandmother and this book was a reminder that while life does go on, relationships are forever.

I would recommend everyone to read this book even if you haven’t gone through something awful. It will give you the tools to go through the stages of grief and to get to the other side. Word to the wise, don’t read it in public, like say, on a train. You will ugly cry.

I am now going to read the final three books from my summer list before moving on to more books this winter. I am so happy that I am back in the groove of reading and find that reading before bed helps me sleep and helps me accomplish one more thing a day. Next on the list is Small Hours

Have you read any great books lately? 

Latest Books I've Read and Their Reviews

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