Uncategorized

Temporary Hiatus

Lyss and I have bigger, better things to do than blog at the moment.

 

Okay, maybe not that much better… But with her being in the Army and me in the Air Force, WE GET TO GO HOME FOR CHRISTMAS. I’m leaving early tomorrow morning and she’ll be heading out on Monday evening. This week has been exceptionally hectic trying to get everything ready for both of our trips.

She’ll be holding it down in New Jersey and I’m off to the gorgeous Pacific Northwest!

Portland, I’m coming for ya.

P.S…

I’m getting married on Monday! Epic wedding blog to follow — probably not for a while

Happy holidays everyone!

Advertisements
Standard
Life

I want a thousand different jobs and will probably hold zero of them.

My life is a series of events caused by indecision and eagerness to succeed at everything I do. In high school I thought I had it all figured out. I fell in love with chemistry and a boy (who also loved chemistry), and from there my college plans were set in stone. We would both be chem majors at the University of Delaware, study together, move out together, and our life together would fall into place. And we did just that, until the funds ran low and I fell out of love; with chemistry first, and the boy later.

It wasn’t like I had failed. I was actually a teaching assistant with a great GPA and I’m sure plenty of opportunity. But I wasn’t inspired. I wouldn’t find my future in a lab. Moving forward, I think I tried everything I possibly could have. I attended two more colleges: Rutgers University and Ramapo College of New Jersey. My majors included biochemistry (pre-med), neuroscience, exercise science, business, psychology, photography, and drawing & painting. I also applied to many schools in between for archaeology, art history, culinary arts, and fashion design. Now, I’m 23, broke, and in the Army without a degree or a clue.

I quickly realized that I want too many things. And this has not changed at all. I want to be a tattoo artist. I want to own a bakery AND a bar. I want to plan weddings. I want to be an interior designer. I just want a job making things pretty. Sometimes I don’t want a job at all: I just want to raise babies and have a pretty, happy home.

But now, I want to go for something. To actually try to get one of these jobs I want so badly. But I am full of so much anxiety about each and every one.

Tattoo artists are probably the most incredible people in the world to me. They’re insanely detailed and impressive artists and then they take that ability and transfer it permanently onto another person’s skin. Is that not the most impressive thing you’ve ever heard of? I’m constantly afraid that I’ll never be good enough to do the job, and that friggin’ sucks because it’s the job I want most of all. But okay, even if my portfolio by some miracle of sweet sweet Jesus gets accepted by a good artist or shop, there’s the fact that apprenticeships actually cost you money. And you don’t get paid. And even if you get through an apprenticeship, there’s a good chance you’ll fail. I don’t like these odds…

A bakery… that’s simple enough. I know how to bake, am always excited to try new recipes, and well shit, I just love cupcakes, okay? But the problem with a bakery is you have to come up with the startup costs. Rent is not cheap. Kitchens are not cheap. And oh, there are always health inspectors and all that jazz. Plus, a bakery has to have the right location. You can’t just set one up in a random spot and think you’re going to do good business. Practical career? Hm. Debatable.

A bar. Me and my fiancé want to run our own bar SO BAD. But as we both have copious amounts of student loan debt, and are struggling to keep our heads above water, we might as well kiss that dream goodbye. Do you know the cost of a liquor license? Holy shitballs, Batman.  Not a chance.

Wedding Planner. Definitely. JLo did it. But honestly, unless you’re living in like… Manhattan with the socialites, don’t bother, because your business is going to be slooOOOOOOWWWWWW.

Interior designing is honestly even sadder than wedding planning. Like who on Earth has money for that? Just stop.

Finally, housewifey status. This is the most attainable of all these weirdo jobs I want because, with a hubby in the military, it isn’t that out of the ordinary to stay home and raise the kids. My favorite part about this one is I can make art, and design my house, and plan weddings all while at home. Homemaker of the year, betches.

Here’s my little bit of advice if you’re an indecisive little bitch like me: Find something that makes you happy as early as you can. High school if you can swing it. Don’t feel the need to be an elitist and go to an expensive school if you’re not sure about your future plans. Go for something. Even if it seems unattainable. (When I’m a tattoo artist, you’ll all hear more from me).

Standard
Life

Confessions of a Wander Luster

People all throughout time have found passion and desire that come with international travel. Discovering new cultures, languages, food and sights has become one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever known. Not including vacations to the Caribbean with my family, most of the exploring I’ve done was in Germany. Connecting with my Western European roots and being on my own as a teenager was mesmerizing and now in my 20s, want nothing more than to continue on the road less traveled.

Image 

My grandmother grew up in a very small house in an East-Berlin neighborhood. Her cousins lived down the street and they grew up with ration cards and limited garden space. My great grandma (we called her Oma) was the OG of single moms. How many women do you know that raised 2 kids on her own in post-WWII Germany? Probably not that many. Not to mention, the East side of the wall was not the place to be after the war. That part of the city has changed drastically since then. My grandma has been back, my mom has been back, and so have I. There are car dealerships, grocery stores, parks and boutiques. But the original cobblestones are still laying in the Straßen (streets) and you can still walk down to the Rewe to get groceries.

I knew exactly how I wanted to spend my life—exploration. Let’s be real, it’s 2013 and airlines love to charge the equivalent of a down payment on a new car to get one person across the world. Ain’t nobody got time (or money) for that. So naturally, I joined the Air Force. Little did I know, I ended up with a job that has the longest training and after more than a year, I have yet to see the world—with the exception of San Antonio and Monterey.

These are the confessions of my guilty pleasures.

 

Castles

 ImageImage

Dillenburg & Schloss Sanssouci are two of my favorite spots in the entire country to walk around. Hundreds of miles apart and completely different styles of buildings, I can appreciate the beauty in both. Dillenburg (top picture) is a very classic Prussian style castle. There are hidden passageways, winding stairs and rooms that were dedicated to crown jewels. Schloss Sanssouci (bottom picture) was obviously heavily influenced by the Italians. It literally feels like you leave Berlin and step into Sicily.

Being in two places at once

 Image

As weird as this sounds, it is such a cool feeling. An iron and brick laden track runs throughout the city of Berlin to indicate where the wall used to stand. I always love to stand with one foot in each sector, no matter how old I get. The Berlin Wall separated Germany’s capitol for almost 30 years and it’s insane to me how different both sides of the city used to be, while currently being unidentifiable.

 

Spaghettieis

Image

I don’t know why this particular dish is such a big deal to me. Maybe because it’s not something I can buy or make while at home in America? It tastes just like every other ice cream sundae—yet somehow it isn’t. Compiled of vanilla ice cream “noodles”, strawberry compode “marinara sauce” and white chocolate “shaved parmesan”, adults and kids fawn over this stuff; and for good reason.

Cathedrals

Image

 

berliner

If you’re German, you’re either Catholic or Lutheran (or a Turk who’s family moved here from Istanbul and are a practicing Muslim, which is totally cool too). The gothic architecture of the southern parts of Germany are completely different from the romantic buildings of the North; both equally as beautiful. I can’t get enough. The Köln and Berliner Dom are definitely my favorites.

Bars

Image

Okay, obviously I think this is the best part because I’m not old enough to drink in America—but it’s not even to go out and get drunk. Having the ability to go out to dinner with friends and family and ordering a vintage wine, local stout or handcrafted cocktail is what I enjoy. I have a better nose for drinks than most people my age (outside of raspberry Smirnoff and lukewarm PBR). And let’s take a minute to appreciate Sky Bar that sits atop the 18th floor of one of the city’s skyscrapers and has panoramic windows for sightseeing. I did so while sipping a strawberry & balsamic martini—yum.

 

Family

Image

My parents have been divorced since I was in the first grade and we spent most of my childhood moving around. Until my brothers, mom and I settled in WA State, we hadn’t lived around family for a long time. When I’m in Berlin, so much of my family is within walking distance (or a short S-bahn ride). My Uncle Berndt owns a restaurant 3 blocks away from his house (where I usually stay with him and my Tante Hannelore) and I could stay there and drink beer late into the night just chatting; and I have. Plus, they have so many stories to tell and always have coffee and kuchen ready for me, how could I not love being around them?

 

Olympic Stadium

Image 

I’m sporty. I like to watch sports, play sports, and read about them. Granted, Germany hasn’t had the best luck with hosting the Olympic Games. In the 30s, the Nazi regime held back colored athletes. In the 70s, there was a terrorist attack and athletes were kidnapped. But standing at the doors of some of the world’s most talented athletes is overwhelming. The structure of the building and vibe it gives off is just plain awesome.

Beach

Image

When you think of traveling to Europe, not everyone’s first thought is going to catch some rays. But everyone forgets the Baltic Sea; I like to call it the hidden treasure. Germany has an equivalent to Jersey Shore where 20-somethings go to Rostock and party 24/7. I spent some time at Warnemünde and day dream about going back all the time. Drinking beer and napping in the sand; it doesn’t get much better.

 

Tennis

Image

I had literally never once picked up a racket until I went back to Germany last summer. My grandma’s cousin Gerde and her husband Peter (the most adorable elderly couple in existence) have been part of the Berlin Tennis Club longer than I’ve been alive. They both have a killer serve and my Uncle Peter spent 4 hours last summer giving me some basic lessons.

Go out and experience things for yourself. These are some of my favorite spots, but don’t limit yourself. I have so many countries that I want to visit once I have the time. 

Standard
Life, Technology

iPhone Apps I Need to Survive

1. MyFitnessPal

Literally my favorite diet/exercise app out there, and trust me I’ve used a LOT. (Honorable mention goes to Lose It!) However, I am obsessed with MFP, and here’s why: HUUUUGE food library. I don’t always track calories, but when I do I’m using MFP. They have the biggest selection of foods I’ve seen in an app, including grocery store foods and restaurant foods. Also, the barcode scanner is a must have for me. They also have a simple input for exercise although it’s not the greatest feature. I track my cardio on it, but there is not much on there for weightlifting. (It’s okay; I have another app for that!) Anyway, MFP keeps me on track and I’m super grateful for it. Writing in a journal is just so 2001.

2. MetricMe

If you’re big on lifting, this app is your best friend. It has basically every exercise you can think of, including heavy lifts, free weights, and even machines (if you’re into that). You can set goals, keep track of progress, and it makes it really easy to create routines that you will repeat. Get your pump, MetricMe’s got you.

3. Key Ring

This is my favorite thing that nobody seems to know about. You scan all those little friggin key tag discount cards into the app, so you can kiss your ginormous key ring goodbye. Super simple, super convenient. I always have my discount/rewards cards on me, every time. No looking up numbers or digging through your purse like a mad woman.

4. Ovia

Whether you’re trying to get knocked the eff up, or you just constantly forget your last period and look like a retard at every doctor’s visit, this app is phenomenal. You input your personal information and it estimates periods, ovulation, and fertility windows. But the amount of stuff you can input is really impressive. Every day has places for period, symptoms, food, BBT, OPKs, and HPTs. God, I forget everything and this app is the end of that nonsense. Boom, boom, POW. (Microsoft Word decided this should be capitalized, and I just had to allow it).

5. Spotify

I used to like Pandora, and StereoMood, and lord knows I was obsessed with Songza. But Spotify is my one true musical love. First off, it’s free, although I pay the $10 a month for the ability to use more than just the radio function on my phone. But you can use it on the computer, iPad, iPhone, etc. And you can use it as a database to look up any song you want, or use the radio, or playlists, or create your own playlists. It’s like iTunes but you don’t have to pay for the music.

6. Hulu Plus

I’m not usually one to watch shows on my phone because that shit is tiny and also you’re kind of weird if you’re just watching movies all over the place… But alas, Hulu Plus is on here because it gets me through the worst of cardio when I have the motivation of a hibernating bear. Whenever I don’t feel like I can go for very long, I just pop in my headphones and watch a TV show. (Usually Glee, but don’t judge me). And suddenly you’ve been doing cardio for like an hour and who even knew?

7. The Bump

If you’re knocked up, hi hi hello. Get this app. Because when you have 32574938768956985 questions and you’re a nervous wreck, this app has the answers. The forums on it are seriously so great. The ladies (and even men!) are super supportive and helpful and I just can’t say enough.

8. Flipagram

I just think this is the coolest. Choose a bunch of your pictures and create sweet little flipbook/movies out of them. And my favorite is the automatic timing for Instagram.

9. UrbanSpoon (Emily’s addition)

urban spoon

The best feature is the price range and seeing what is open at the moment. I hate looking up restaurants on Yelp, only to find out they’re closed on Sundays. You can browse by cuisine, price, schedule, and what’s popular in your area. Yum.

10. The Knot (Emily’s addition)

the knot

A personalized countdown until your wedding, a custom to-do list, and a budget checklist; this app is perfect for every bride-to-be. You can bookmark your favorite hair styles and floral arrangements, and keep track of all your venders by selecting them from the list. Pretty much every bridal vendor in every variety is available for selection, unless you live in Podunk Backwoods, AL.

These recommendations are entirely our own, and we are not receiving any endorsements from anyone in order to share them.

Standard
Life

Mutti, Madre, Mère

We had to translate a sentence into English this morning on our quiz, “Mother’s Day is a special day and on it, sons present their mothers with a gift”—which got me thinking. Is that one random day in the springtime enough for 18+ years (hell, a lifetime) of hard work and sacrifice?

“As mothers and daughters, we are connected with one another. My mother is the bones of my spine, keeping me straight and true. She is my blood, making sure it runs rich and strong. She is the beating of my heart. I cannot now imagine a life without her.”

Kristin Hannah, Summer Island

ma

My mom is nothing short of heaven-sent. She has over 26 years of military service under her belt, raised 6 kids in a blended family and still manages to be a great wife and take care of herself. There is nobody I admire as much as her. If someone needed the perfect blend of loving and kickass, she’d be it.

You’ve been there for everything, even though you weren’t always physically there. You’ve let me crawl into bed with you when I was having nightmares and got me medicine past midnight if my tummy was hurting. You took me shopping for new clothes just because we could and braided my hair when I still didn’t know how. You played multiple roles—seamstress, co-fort builder, tea party guest, personal chef, lady in waiting when I was a princess, first aid assistant, teacher, personal stylist, hairdresser, guidance counselor, dessert taste tester, and countless more. We will forever tell each other to “shut your mouth” and squeal over the wittle baby dolphins. You put up with me no matter how bratty I got and without fail, always tell me to “get my fingers out of my mouth” when I go to bite my nails. You endlessly photographed my crazy eyes and always made me life size dresses identical to what my Barbies had. You were there to save the day when I accidentally shaved off my eyebrow and helped me cut a round brush out of my bangs—let’s not forget how much peanut butter you had to put in my hair over the years to get gum out. There isn’t anything you didn’t do for me, and there’s not a single thing I wouldn’t ever do for you.

At 20, not many people appreciate their mom as much as they should. During high school, I’m sure that’s an even larger number. I’ve always had a very close relationship with my mother. She’s my best friend, my number one fan and most importantly, she’s my mommy. Nobody will ever come before her on my ‘favorites’ in my iPhone—doesn’t matter who you are. I will always go to her first for advice and once I get rich, she’s finally going to get her private island (a woodsy one, of course; not tropical. There will be deer and bunnies and fog and chirping birds).

We’re both stationed away from home at the moment. She’s finishing up at the Senior NCO Academy in preparation for her promotion to Senior Master Sergeant. Somehow, in the midst of studying and writing speeches and running 5k’s, she has managed to plan practically my entire wedding from 5000 miles away from home. Every last detail has come down to her; she’s definitely made my life a lot easier. If I get stressed, she’s a phone call away to metaphorically rub my temples. Don’t ever underestimate your mom, they’re capable of some pretty amazing things—remember? They made you.

Standard
Love

To you, for loving me.

You love me when I’m happy, when it’s easy. When I’m laughing so hard I can’t breathe or, dare I say it, I snort. When I’m cuddly and kissy and just want to be touched. When I’m joking and watching so-bad-its-funny horror movies with you and scratching your head, back or various other body parts.

You love me when I’m sad. Not just sad, but like… pathetically sobbing, feeling like I’ll never be okay again sad. When all I do is push you away. When I can’t see and my nose is running and I am just an all-around crabby little asshole. When I have no goddamn clue why I’m in hysterics, you love me anyway.

You love me when I’m feeling fat. When I pull and tag at every bit of chub and loose skin, as if pulling it tight will make it stay that way. When I can’t fit into my jeans, so I wear the same pair of sweatpants every day consecutively for like a week. When I have to try on everything in my closet and have a full-out temper tantrum because I don’t like my body or anything I own to cover it up. You love me when I’ve gained ten pounds, even though I might as well have gained 100 with the way I’m acting.

You love me when I try to lose 30 pounds. When I’m supposed to diet and you’re supposed to be “helping” me, but every time you open your mouth about it I get super offended and bite your friggin’ head off. You love me when I fail, and when I complain about the gym. You love me even though I’m intolerable when I’m hungry.

You love me when I get mad at you for making jokes about other girls. When I get so jealous that even I can’t stand myself. When I can’t take a joke, or freak out about you calling me a mean name in a totally 100% joking manner.

You love me when I’m crazy. Wedding crazy. Baby crazy. Puppy crazy. ALL the crazy. When I’ve spent the past two hours obsessing to you over something you don’t give a single crap about. When I makes plans for us that you want no part of, you go anyway.

You love me when I say stupid things and hurt you. When it blows up, way out of proportion, into a screaming match. You love me when I apologize profusely, even though most of the time you know it won’t change. When you know it will happen again. You love me when it takes me a long time to get over it, and when it takes you a long time to get over it.

You love me when I can’t keep my hands off you. When I’m high on you. When all I want is be next to you for the rest of forever.

You love me whether it is easy or hard. Whether I deserve it or not. All the time.

You love me. And I love you. Unconditionally.

Standard
Life

12 Things To Chase The Scrooge Out of You

I thought I would also give you a quick refresher on The Twelve Days of Christmas, as if you don’t have access to Google.

Image

Before I begin, I would like to mention that I have friends who also celebrate Kwanzaa and Hanukkah. I personally celebrate Christmas. Love and cherish your traditions, but I hope you enjoy while I share some of mine. Happy Holidays!

 

(Twelve drummers drumming)

Holiday Specials of Your TV Show—Every self-respecting television producer puts on an awesome Christmas episode. Getting to share this time of year with the cast just makes you love all the characters that much more.

(Eleven pipers piping)

It’s A Wonderful Life—What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down.” This movie is pure warm and fuzzies. Make a habit of watching it every Christmas Eve.

(Ten lords a’leaping)

Ugly Sweaters—We have Bill Cosby to thank for this one. An awful poly-cotton blend with a reindeer whose nose is an actual jingle bell plastered to the front, how can you go wrong?!

(Nine ladies dancing)

Christmas Cookies—You can make them in every possible shape that reminds you of the holidays. I don’t even like sugar cookies but it’s just the right thing to do. What else are you supposed to leave out for Santa?

(Eight maids a’milking)

Matching Scarves, Hats & Gloves—Cashmere, wool, mink, fleece… These are a few of my favorite things; to be cozied up inside of! Plus, you get to look adorable while doing it.

(Seven swans a’swimming)

*I might be going out on a limb for this one, but…*

Finding the Pickle—I know this is generally a German tradition, but many families have adopted the little green metallic ornament and have a prize for whoever finds it on the tree first.

(Six geese a’laying)

The Gift of Giving—Our childhood’s are over which means there is no greater joy on Christmas than watching people open gifts that you may or may not have knocked over 2 elderly women in Macy’s to get the last of.

(Five golden rings)

Snowflakes—Either catching the real deal on your tongue or making the paper cutouts reminiscent of elementary school, they’re just plain fun.

(Four calling birds)

Family Time—I have seen twenty-somethings whining about how the holidays are “torture”. There was even an article about ancient torture methods that were actually used. You never see these people, and family is forever. Kiss your crazy Aunt Mary on the cheek just once, for goodness sakes.

(Three French hens)

Michael Bublé & Nat King Cole—First off, have you heard Michael’s rendition of “Santa Baby”??? His voice is like hot buttered rum. Yummy. And Nat… Oh Nat. His voice will deck the halls this time of the year for generations to come.

Sidenote: I’ll just leave this here:

(Two turtle doves)

Chai Tea/Cider/Hot Cocoa—They capture the essential taste of the holidays and warm you from the inside out! Extra props if you heat the cider on the stove with a few cinnamon sticks and whole nutmeg.

 

Drumroll, please…

 

(A partridge in a pear tree)

Mistletoe—whether you’re in a relationship or single, everybody loves the idea of getting whisked under that little bundle of holly berries and dipped into a kiss.

Standard