January 2018 Favs

 

Goodbye, January. Good riddance. The only good thing about January is that it’s Vinn’s birthday. And I’m still recovering from that day. This year was especially awful because it’s been so cold, rainy and grey here in Germany. Just awful. Everyone is sick. We didn’t travel anywhere and we had to pay about 700 Euros to get our car fixed, which is never an ideal situation.

But I am really looking forward to February because we have a trip planned to Barcelona and some weekends with friends, as well as more training runs.  I think February will be a good month. Before jumping into that, though, today I’d like to share some the good things that did happen in January because there were some. I’d love to hear some of your favorites from January, too, in the comment section below!

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iPad Mini // We got a new iPad for Christmas and I am just obsessed with it. We had an iPad 2 from 2010 so we were definitely in the market for a new one. We chose the mini because I didn’t want something too heavy or too big and I could easily throw it in one of my cross-body bags so I can read on the train. I am mostly the one to use the iPad and use it for reading on the Kindle app, read blogs, browse Pinterest and stalk Realtor.com. It’s so nice to have something other than my laptop or phone to look on the internet.

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Skinny taste Cookbook // I bought this cookbook on Amazon and have made several recipes from it so far. I love the broccoli mac and cheese and the zucchini mozzarella chicken roll ups. Everything has been so good and I can’t wait to dig into more of her recipes. If you’re looking for recipes that don’t have too many calories but taste delicious, this is the book for you.

DL Jeans // Another Christmas gift. I found these jeans at Nordstrom and just fell in love with them. They are a little boyfriend-like and super soft. I wanted another pair of semi-high waisted jeans and these hit the spot. The price is right and I definitely recommend. I would also go a size down from your normal size, which is also a plus!

Beneath a Scarlet Sky // I can not say enough great things about this book! I’m going to do a full review on it and some of the other books I’ve read recently but wanted to mention it because it was the best book I read in January, possibly top 5 books I’ve ever read. It’s a book about a teenage boy living in Milan during WWII and how he becomes an unknown hero. There’s suspense, intrigue, love and life lessons. I read 60% of the book in one day and it left a significant impression on me. I kept thinking about it even five days later. And if I do that, I know it was a fantastic book.

January 2018 Favs, books, recipes, jeans & more

What are your favorites from January? Any great books?

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Weekend Wrap Up {Saturday 28}

 

It has been a long time since I’ve written a weekend wrap-up, like the last one was in March 2017. Yikes. I thought I’d share what we did this weekend because it was really fun and also productive. Vinn and I ran our first training run together for our half marathon, I hit up a girls night dinner and I started reading a new book.

But let’s back up to Friday first.

Friday was a pretty low-key day. I worked out, got my haircut and stayed at home on the couch all night. I love spending quiet nights inside, especially since we travel so much and having some peace and quiet at home is so nice. Plus, we have this cute girl to snuggle with on the couch with her new pillow.

Copley Snuggling on the Couch

Is this pillow not the cutest thing you’ve ever seen? My sister got it for us for Christmas and I am obsessed with it!

Saturday rolled around and we eased into the day before our 6 mile run. It’s the longest I’ve run since we moved to Germany and it felt amazing. The pace was pretty good for me but slow for Vinn but, thankfully, he likes running with me and we finished it together. We did an out and back 3 mile loop and headed towards the the castle in our city of Ludwigsburg and I’ll definitely keep up with my half-marathon training if I can run through this.

Running through the Ludwigsburg Castle

Amazing, right?

After our 6 mile run, I got ready to head out to a girls only dinner. I didn’t snap any pictures (I know so bad!) but I just had the best time. It was nice to hang out with some girls, chatting and drinking wine. Probably a little too much wine…oops. I made it home late and passed out immediately upon arrival. Vinn and Copley were asleep when I got home, which made it really easy to climb into bed.

And then Sunday was spent taking Copley for long walks, doing German homework and reading my new book Beneath a Scarlet Sky. Oh my God! This book is incredible. It’s based on the true story of an Italian teen who lived in Milan during World War II and how he and his family get through the war. I’m only 30% finished with the book but it is definitely a page turner. I just can’t believe it’s real! The end of each chapter has me want to keep reading.

I also wrote this blog post and watched last week’s episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills before falling asleep at 10 PM. I loved the weekend and feel rested and energized for the week!

What did you do this weekend? Have you read any good books lately?

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Currently I’m…

 

Good Morning! Happy Friday. For some reason this week went by incredibly slowly. I think Copley is still adjusting to European time and has woken up between 2 and 4 AM three days this week. One of us takes her outside and she does go to the bathroom but she runs back into the apartment and has TONS of energy. I’ve been doing more walks with her to get her tired but if you have any tips, I’d love to hear them, especially what do you do with your dog when it rains!!

Anyway, today on the blog, I thought I’d share something fun and something new. I saw a post on Living in Yellow (love this blog!) and thought it was so just cute and fun.  It’s everything I’m currently doing, enjoying, reading, etc. I’d love to hear what you’re currently doing today. Leave me a comment below!

Currently I’m…

Making // A homemade vanilla latte. I use my Nespresso milk frother and then this vanilla syrup. I only make these every once in a while and they are just the perfect treat for a Friday morning. It is delicious.

Listening to // The Daily Dish podcast from Bravo with Lisa Vanderpump. If you’re a Bravo fan, you need to listen to this podcast.

Wishing // I were on a sunny beach somewhere because it is raining, gray and cold today.

Eating //  All.the.Reese’s. When Vinn’s friends were here, they brought us two Costco size boxes of Reese Cups. I put them in the freezer so I’m not so inclined to reach for them and try to only eat one of the cups instead of two. Last night I had only one and consider that a huge victory!

Withholding // My want to buy over $500 in skin care. My 30th birthday is around the corner (okay, June but that will be here before I know it!) and I want to have a good handle on skin care before this milestone birthday. I’ve been chatting with my best friend who is my guru when it comes to all things beauty and she’s given me quite a list of things to research. If you have some favorites, I’d love to hear them!

Ignoring // The dirty dishes from breakfast. I love my homemade lattes but I hate to clean the frother and dishes in general. Ugh. Plus, why are scrambled eggs the worst to clean?

Excited for // So much! Getting my hair colored today is my number one because my gray hair is out of control. I’m excited to have a girl’s dinner tomorrow and our upcoming trip to Barcelona next month!!! I am so excited for this, I can’t even tell you. What are your go-to spots for Barcelona? Vinn went in college so he has some ideas but I’d love some restaurant and activity recommendations.

Grateful for // Wine. On Wednesday, a truck overturned on the highway by my office and it completely shut down everything. It took me an hour and a half to get home and it normally takes only 20 minutes. Ugh. I came home, poured a huge glass of wine and felt instantly better. I am grateful for the calming effects of wine.

Getting sidetracked by // Watching The Morning Breath on YouTube. Obsessed.

Dreaming about // A cooking class we are going to take in Positano in May. My parents, sister and her boyfriend and us are going to be spending a week on the Amalfi Coast and I can’t wait! We rented an apartment and she suggested a cooking class. I did some research on it and booked it and it just looks fantastic! I can’t wait.

Saying thank you to // All of you. I am so thankful for everyone reading my blog. I love writing it, especially about life abroad and traveling, and I love hearing from all of you. Thank you for reading!

Leaving this post because // It stopped raining and it’s time to take Copley for a walk! Gotta make sure she gets some exercise.

What are you currently doing? I’d love to know! 

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Purging

 

Over the holidays, I definitely hit the mall and online shopping and I hit them hard. I even scoured my mom’s closet and brought home an additional suitcase filled with clothes. It was half embarrassing, half awesome.

And then I got home and unpacked everything. I was standing in our barely 1,000 square foot German apartment, with no closets by the way, with piles and piles of new clothes. New clothes that I don’t necessarily need but want to have in order to have more options. But as I was putting my new clothes away, I started to remove lots of clothes from my closet. It was like something or someone had taken over my body and I just started pulling out things I don’t wear anymore or don’t look good on me or aren’t my style anymore.

I basically did exactly what people say you should do: I got rid of one thing in order to make space for the new thing. That got me thinking. I should purge my closet, including my shoes. And then that ball started rolling and I thought about all the other things I want to purge from my life.

I want to purge negative thoughts, especially about myself. I want to be rid of using negative words to describe myself, mostly in the physical sense. (Have you read this blog post? It’s great)! I want to purge worrying about the future and comparing myself to others. I want to eliminate the food noise, a la Bethenny Frankel. I want to get rid of things I don’t need, especially paper. Do I really need that receipt from the grocery store two weeks ago that’s still in the bottom of my purse? To be honest, I just don’t want the bull shit.

I’ve never been one to dwell on things or be upset over things that don’t really matter, just ask any of my friends from high school when I took it to the extreme. Lately, though, I’ve been falling into the trap of thinking and worrying about the future. Where will we live? What will I do for work? What if we can’t afford a house? It must be the fact that we’re moving back to the States next year, but that’s no excuse. What does all this worrying bring me? Nothing. It just brings me an anxiety attack. Plus, my life is pretty darn great. Why should I be worried about things? I should implement action steps to get where I want in life.

With our move abroad, I have learned that life doesn’t always go according to plan. And sometimes the new plan is way better than the previous! For example, before we moved to Germany, my husband and I were starting to save money for a house down payment and discussing the possibility of having children in the next year. Fast forward two years and we have no baby and have swapped a house saving plan for a saving plan to travel throughout Europe. Would I change it? No. Was it my plan? Nope. Is life better because of this? A resounding yes.

Moral of the story is that this year I want to purge self-doubt, worry and negativity. I do a pretty good job of this, usually, but there’s always room for improvement. I always feel better when I finally do something that’s been hanging over my head for a while and I just want to continue to move forward.

Is there anything besides clothes that you want to get rid of this year?

Why I'm Purging More Than Just My Closet This Year

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5 Foods that Taste Better in Germany

 

One of my favorite parts about living in Germany is exploring all of the food here! I love traveling and trying new things, especially when it comes to food. And since it’s almost been 2 years (!), I’ve discovered 5 foods that just taste better in Germany compared to some of the foods in America.

Note, this post contains affiliate links. 

1 // Mustard 

Number one best thing in Germany is mustard. There are so many different kinds and even stores dedicated to selling mustard. I’m not a huge fan of anything spicy, but there’s nothing like a pretzel with mustard. Löwensenf (lion mustard) is my absolute favorite. And, hey, you can order it on Amazon.

2 // Nutella 

OK, Nutella is definitely the best in Italy but Nutella 100% tastes better in Germany compared to the the ones in the States. I don’t know why or what it is but Nutella from the grocery store is just so good! Spreading Nutella over some bread is just out of this world. I think the Nutella here is creamier and doesn’t stick together in the jar like in America.

3 // Any baked goods 

German bakeries are so supreme. Bakers actually go to a training school instead of typical college to learn how to be a baker at a very young aage. The pretzels, croissants, Berliners (like a jelly doughnut) and breads are just out of this world. It definitely gives Panera a run for their money, I tell you what!

4 // Bratwurst 

I mean, there’s a reason this is a stereotypical and super popular German food. The quality of the meat is so high here in Germany (and throughout the EU) that it just makes everything taste so much better. And when you combine a brat with a bun and mustard (see above!), you just get the most delicious, quick dinner. There’s nothing quite like eating a brat while you’re at a Christmas market!

5 // Fries 

I know, I know, there’s nothing like McDonald’s French fries. And I agree. But, the fries here are amazing. They are just the right amount of salt and firmness. Does anyone remember the scene from Devil Wears Prada where Nate says that they spent a month on the fry? Well, it’s obviously true for German goods. I also love fries with my brats. Yum, yum.

Foods are unique and specific to each person and these are five of the foods that I find taste better here in Germany. On a side note, I believe Diet Coke tastes different here, too, and in a much better way. I love exploring and trying new things and would love to hear what you think!

What’s your favorite foods? Have you ever been to another country and found that their foods taste better? 

5 Foods that Taste Better in Germany, Some Foods are Really different

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