Life

It’s The (50) Little Things

  1. A faint breeze over your shoulders that isn’t too cold or too hot
  2. All the dishes being clean
  3. Fresh, locally grown produce
  4. Runner’s high
  5. The first time using a new lip balm
  6. Unpacking in a new home
  7. Buying something that is cheaper than you predicted
  8. A good ballpoint pen
  9. Kisses on your forehead
  10. A week with no breakouts
  11. The scent of vanilla
  12. Cozy sweaters that don’t itch
  13. Rediscovering an old favorite song or band
  14. Finally reaching that itchy spot on your back
  15. Discovering hole-in-the-wall places to eat
  16. Laying on the cold sand & listening to the waves crash past midnight
  17. Iced coffee that isn’t watered down
  18. A “been thinking of you and miss you tons” text from an old friend
  19. Looking at the stars, and really looking
  20. Opening the can of compressed cinnamon rolls
  21. Messy curls
  22. Smile from a stranger
  23. Buy one, get one
  24. Naps
  25. Paying for the coffee of the person in line behind you
  26. When a tattoo is finally healed
  27. New socks
  28. Baking for the sole purpose to share it with others
  29. Clean makeup brushes
  30. Catching the sun peeking just above the mountains
  31. Finishing a good book
  32. A stack of pancakes
  33. A perfectly executed high five
  34. The bite of chocolate at the bottom of a Drumstick cone
  35. Seeing balloons in the sky
  36. Sweat pants fresh out of the drier
  37. Pulling along any perforated line
  38. Not having to share your Ben & Jerry’s
  39. Inside jokes
  40. When the wing tips on both eyes match
  41. A good stretch
  42. Packing a healthy, filling and pretty lunch
  43. Seeing a full moon out your back windshield
  44. Learning a new song on an instrument
  45. No split ends
  46. Stuffed Crust
  47. Having jewelry professionally polished
  48. “We’re Expecting!” announcements from friends and relatives
  49. Getting told good job on something
  50. Knowing that the list of ‘little things’ in life is infinite and 50 is just a reasonably stopping point
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Life

Hello, Gorgeous.

 

Okay fine, I’ll accept that I’m not Fanny Brice (but a girl can dream, right? Rachel Berry does it…)

Or Ariel for that matter… What the heck, I’m blonde…

Anyway, it’s been a while. And by while I mean more than two months because apparently when a gal gets married these days, blogging no longer matters.

WRONG.

Just a little update:

  • I have a husband! HUSBAND. I mean he’s heading to our next base in 9 days, but who’s counting? (hint: me)
  • I’m working hard to get my fitness and nutrition in check (and by hard, I mean with the occasional cookie).
  • I finally quit smoking.
  • My husband (still can’t get over that word) and I replaced our Camel Menthol Silvers with these babies

PS, iTaste did not endorse me to say this, but, THESE ARE THE GREATEST INVENTION EVER. If your idea of an E-Cig is the crappy gas station ones that die after three days, I’m here to change your mind. There are endless flavor choices and you can gradually lower your nicotine intake. But hell, if I’m not smoking chemicals, I’m totally okay with being addicted to nicotine for the rest of my life. TheVaporChef has flavors like Nutella, Butter Beer and ‘Unicorn Poop’. I have only one word for these things — AMAZEBALLS.

You’ve probably read that my beautiful co-writer, Lyss, and her husband are expected a little peanut this Fall. I’m beyond excited for them! But we also found out we won’t be together when school is over, so that’s a bummer.

I’ll keep this short and sweet. I’m going to start blogging regularly again because my hobby habits are at an all time low. What’s a girl to do when she only has a week left with her new Hubby and will be apart for the first time since tying the knot?

Aside from that, life is good. I’m happy, healthy and excited for the new chapter in my life– and can’t wait to take you all with me.

Until next time, Gorgeous.

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Humor

The Miracle of Pregnancy

Pregnancy is beautiful. There are few things as perfect and wonderful as creating another human being. You get to be a vessel for a human life. Tell me… What’s more beautiful than that?

Oh, I know.

Being able to stay up past 9pm.

Not running out in the middle of work to puke your guts up.

Your pre-baby belly.

Being able to button your pants.

Not being a crazy hormonal little bitch to your husband.

Eating Chipotle and Chinese food, because holy crap no thanks anymore.

Having nice hair.

Redbull on Mondays.

The energy to make it to the gym.

Not crying during every single Glee rerun.

Going out for drinks on Friday night.

That drunk cigarette.

Sleeping on your tummy.

Listen, I know it’s worth it. When I hold my tiny little baby in my arms, all of these things will seem so trivial. But holy hell body, why do you hate me just because there’s a little alien creature inside of you? Jeez. Selfish.

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Life

Help Me Name My Tiny Human

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So my husband and I have been going over and over names and found that we like too many girls names and no boys names. We’ve got a list going, but there are no clear favorites.

Obviously we don’t know the sex yet, but were entering the second trimester so it’s time to get serious. Help us out!

Girls

Charlie Raegan
Sloane Harper
Kerrigan Lily
Kingsley Mara
Ailish Olivia
Paisley Kay
Caroline Ainsley

Boys

Henry Flynn
Owen Reilly
Renley James
Macon Andrew
Jameson Caleb
Emerson Enoch

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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).

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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. 

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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)

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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.

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