Thursday, December 30, 2010

What I Learned in 2010

*That being unemployed does not have to diminish my self-worth.
*That even when I don't have to make them for work, I really do enjoy making spreadsheets.
*That an engagement ring will match every outfit in your closet beautifully.
*That a good wedding planner is worth every penny.
*That after years of being self-conscious about my appearance, I am finally really happy with the way I look in glasses.
*That you never know who's reading your blog.
*That some of your dearest friends can be ones you have never met, and that's normal.
*That a big white bow on a little blue box can instantly brighten your day.
*That I love Petit Bateau shirts as much at 27 as I did at 12. If not more.
*That it's ok to find the makeup products that work for you and stick with them and not leave with the entire Sephora inventory in one shopping trip.
*That the garlic fries at Yankee stadium are delicious.
*That after 6 months of living in Europe, not to buy a box of Whitman's chocolates just because of the adorable Snoopy on the box, because they will taste awful.
*That it's just not a good idea to get 4 packs of monogrammed notecards 6 months before your initials are about to change.
*That some birds can be really, really angry.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Desperately Seeking Shaker

A couple of months ago, I saw these adorable salt and pepper shakers at the Lego store in Frankfurt.
I love fun and whimsical salt and pepper shakers and they are just dorky and fun enough for me. At only 5€, I was ready to buy them on the spot but TLS convinced me to wait. He said that we could always come back for them, they weren't going anywhere, and they might go on sale. From 5€. Seriously.

So the salt and pepper shakers got put down. When TLS went back there to get them for me for Hannukah, they were no longer in stock. They are sold out on both the German and American websites and a recent trip to the Lego store in Cologne taught us that they are sold out completely in Germany. There is not a single set in the entire country.

Obviously, I was not happy with this news and this has only made me want them even more. I have found them for sale on a few slightly shady websites (most are used and I am not ok with buying used). They are for sale on but I just cannot justify spending around $17-18 after shipping on an item that originally cost $5/5€. If anyone reading this desperate plea for help lives near a Lego store, can you please please please check to see if they still have a set in stock? Either of the ones above or of these faces one:
Same story, sold out here and online.

I will pay you for the shakers and shipping and will probably send you some German chocolate in return. Pretty please.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Holiday Traditions

Like any good Member of the Tribe, Christmas to me has always meant one thing- Chinese food and a movie. For the past 7 years, that movie has been the same- Love Actually. It does not matter what else is going on in my life that day, I must watch it. Otherwise, it's just not Christmas without it. Since most places, including Chinese restaurants, are closed in Germany on Christmas, I decided to go with a frozen PF Changs meal.

In Russian culture, New Year is the day that Santa Claus comes and leaves you presents under a tree. It is a very secular holiday and is pretty much the biggest day of the year. When I was growing up, we always had a beautifully decorated tree. My mother has gorgeous ornaments from the Czech Republic and when I moved, she only let me take one with  me, a little yellow glass ornament in the shape of a rubber duckie. In my family, we always put the tree up on December 26th, so as not to associate it with Christmas in any way. Today, TLS and I went to pick out a tree. We got a cute little potted 3.5 footer. Yea, it's been a bit disastrous here. This was the first year since I was 7 that we have had a real tree (no matter how much I begged and pleaded my mother refused to buy real trees and just stuck to the kind that comes from a box). I completely forgot how much they 1) hurt, and 2) shed. Needless to say, we don't have a tree skirt. We found an old sheet that we put around the bottom for now and have learned our lesson for next year, I am now on the hunt for the perfect tree skirt. For this year, thankfully a few of my friends in Germany have already taken down their decorations and a friend is lending me her skirt so Charlie, our tree, can look a bit more festive and dignified.

Throughout the year, we had been periodically buying ornaments one by one to start up a collection so that when New Year rolled around, we'd have a whole bunch . It seemed like a really great and well thought out idea except for the fact that we overestimated how many ornaments we actually bought and despite buying the smallest tree we saw, we ended up with too much tree and not enough ornaments. (Ironically enough, every year at my mother's house, it was in reverse. The tree seemed to get smaller and smaller while the ornaments got bigger and bigger.) Needless to say, the tree is looking a bit Charlie Brown-ish. (Hence the name Charlie.) The ornaments that we do have on it now are gorgeous, but we are going to get a few more "filler" ornaments and some lights to make it look like a respectable tree. I will save posting tree pictures for a day when it is fully dressed up and happy. For now, I will leave you with a picture of our other tree- a friend saw this in a store in the States and got it for us as a Hannukah gift.
Yes, that is a replica of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree! It even plays the Peanuts theme song!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

giveaway winner and Snow my G-d

sI apologize for not posting the giveaway winners sooner. I have a to-do list a mile long (you know, all the small things that are super simple and easy but need to get done and when you compound them all on top of another, it ends up being a lot?) and somehow I hadn't gotten to crossing that item off my list. Until just now.

Congratulations to the following two winners:
CT Cupcake

Please email me at whaleflipflops {@} gmail {.} com with your address and choice of state.

Also- allow me to complain for just a minute here. SnowMG. This is what our house looks like now:
Only without the earthquakes. No, really.

I am not a cold weather person at all. When I first got here, new friends on base told me that last year was the worst winter that Germany had seen in years and that it meant this winter would be a lot easier. Guess what? They LIED! We got 12 inches of snow last night! Then today, it snowed some more. When it stopped snowing, it started raining. After a while, it started snowing while it was raining. Oh how fun. Have I mentioned that I am not a cold weather person yet? A friend felt the need to inform me that we are supposed to get 6-8 more inches of snow. That's just dandy.

I do feel bad for anyone flying in and out of Europe now. Frankfurt airport got completely shut down last night because it got blanketed with a foot of snow in under 6 hours and they couldn't get it plowed and keep it plowed in between flights fast enough. From what I hear, Germany isn't alone in this.

I will be the first to admit that Germany looks gorgeous in the snow. All of the evergreens and the cute little towns with the church steeples really do look like something out of a postcard or a fairy tale.

On a happier note, Friday night was TLS's squadron's Christmas party. I ended up showing up WAY overdressed in my J. Crew silk taffeta dress, but I love the dress, and it's always better to be overdressed than undressed in my book. Anyhoo, at Air Force holiday parties, it is traditional to have a few giveaways/prizes (in between those and thank you/board member gifts, I made out like a bandit at my spouses' association party). The big prize was a PS3. TLS was the lucky guy who got to take that home! The funny part was that he had been talking nonstop about wanting to get a Blu-Ray player and how much he "needed" one so I was going to surprise him with one, and now I don't have to! Thank you Air Force for saving me over a hundred bucks. He got me The Sound of Music for one of the nights of Hannukah and as soon as we got home, we popped it in to watch it. We obviously didn't get through the whole movie as it was late but my goodness it looks GOOD in Blu-Ray. I can't wait until my Phantom of the Opera Blu-Ray comes in now.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wedding Wednesday

This week, music has been the wedding topic on my mind. I read somewhere that when you think of a good song for your wedding, you're supposed to write it down so that when the time comes for the dj or band to ask you for things you'd like played at your wedding, you can give a list as opposed to just saying "stuff."

I have been doing just that. Unfortunately, my song list seems to be a bit sparse. Here's what I have so far.
You Belong With Me- Taylor Swift
I Want to Hold Your Hand- The Beatles
Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better- From the Annie Get Your Gun Soundtrack. TLS and I are always singing this one to each other so we figured it would be cute to play it during dinner.
Fins- Jimmy Buffett
New York, New York- Frank Sinatra
Come on Eileen- Dexy's Midnight Runners
Why Don't we Get Drunk and Screw?-Jimmy Buffett
Bless the Broken Road- Rascal Flatts
Johnny and June- Heidi Newfield
Dynamite- Taio Cruz
Another One Bites the Dust- Queen
Sweet Caroline- Neil Diamond
Just the Way You Are- Billy Joel
Peanuts Theme Song (music only)- Bill Melendez (another one that we love that would be cute for dinner)
Marry You- Bruno Mars
New York State of Mind- Billy Joel
She's in Love with the Boy- Trisha Yearwood

This doesn't include our first dance and father/daughter and mother/son dances. It's a start but is not enough obviously. Anyone have good recommendations for songs for the reception? (Big fat no to Single Ladies.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Trier and Luxembourg

Yesterday, TLS and I went to the Trier Christmas market. Since Luxembourg is only a 38 minute drive from Trier, we made a semi-spontaneous decision to drive there for dinner and get in another country before the year is up. (Last year we made a joined New Year Resolution to visit 10 countries together in 2010. Luxembourg made #9.) In typical MRM fashion, I left my camera at home. Thank goodness my new iphone 4 takes good pictures.

Trier was the third Christmas market we went to together and of those three (the others were Mannheim and Kaiserslautern), it was definitely the smallest. In my opinion- it was the best though. The town itself is gorgeous and adorable and lends itself nicely to the atmosphere.
A gorgeous church in Trier.

I thought this shop was pretty and fun with the giant bow and twinkle lights in the window, so I had to take a picture of it.
The entrance to the Medieval Jewish  Quarter.
Gluhwein mug. Gluhwein is a hot, spiced wine that's traditionally served at the Christmas markets. (You will not find a Christmas market without at least one Gluhwein stand.) You pay a deposit on the mug when you buy your wine, and you can either return it and get your deposit back, or keep the mug. Many people collect these mugs because they are adorable. (TLS has one from 2008 that's in the shape of a snowman! I hope that they bring that one back.) This year's was in the shape of a boot. (I am not certain of the significance of this, but I do know that there is some German legend about drinking out of a boot. I've seen boot-shaped beer mugs as well,) It has 2010 written on the toe, a picture of the town on one side, Santa on the other, and Trier Weihnachtsmarkt on the front. Naturally, we kept ours.
The Porta Nigra- a Roman gate in Trier. A hermit monk named Simeon lived inside it. After his death, a church was erected on site as a monument to him. It is no longer in use today.

We only drove to Luxembourg for dinner and back, so I did not get a chance to take many pictures. Of what we did see, however, the city is beautiful. We plan on going back next year for longer than just three hours. While we were there, we saw a mini Christmas market. There were only 3 food stalls and 2 or 3 crafts stalls.
Attached to the crepe stall (we got a crepe with chestnut cream- delicious!) was a postbox addressed to St. Nick so children could drop their letters in and know that they would get delivered to the source.

Last picture of the night- the beautiful train station.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wedding Wednesday

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. And a silver sixpence in her shoe.

This post is technically on Thursday, but it's still Wednesday in the United States, so I guess it counts, right? This post is dedicated to the traditional items that a bride carries with her on her wedding day.

Something Old: to represent the bride's ties with her past and her family.
I had been planning on wearing an ASA pin under my dress for quite some time. I only have the plain badge and love the pearl one, so a while back, I had posted on facebook asking if any married ASAs had a pearl badge that I could borrow for my wedding. That got put on the backburner until last week when TLS came home with a package for me from one of my sorority sisters, MPJ. Inside it was a 1lb. bag of Twizzlers (I am seriously obsessed with the Strawberry Twizzlers) and a round box. Inside it was a gorgeous pin on a cushion.
The card that came with it said "why borrow when you can have something old? Consider it an early wedding present." I was beyond stunned and elated. To be perfectly honest, I still am a little. It is absolutely gorgeous and words cannot fully describe how much I love it. 

Something New: for good luck and prosperity for the bride in her married life.
In between my dress, shoes, veil, jewelry, etc. I will have plenty of new things on me that day, but I am obviously not posting a picture of my dress on here until after the big day. Instead, here is a picture of the chiffon flowers I will be wearing that day.

Something Borrowed: from a happily married friend or relative so that her good marital luck may be passed on to the bride.
To be determined. Any ideas?

Something Blue: from the ancient days when blue was said to symbolize faithfulness, purity, and loyalty. 
I know that most brides use the garter as their "something blue" but I am still not sure if we are doing the garter toss or not. Most of my married friends have done it, but I am not sure as to why exactly my Nana needs to see my new husband with his head up my skirt. Instead, I am leaning more towards these:
I love Hanky Panky.

Silver Sixpence in her Shoe: for wealth and financial security.
This is the one that not as many people know about or use (probably because the sixpence is no longer used/made in England), but I got engaged in England, so obviously I was getting a sixpence in my shoe! TLS got me one before he moved. I lent it to his brother's wife and a sorority sister for their weddings.

Monday, December 6, 2010

how can I help?

In the past week or so, I have been getting a lot of messages asking what people can do to help out my friend's squadron.

TLS and I are putting together a care package to send over there (one going out on Wednesday, another one closer to Christmas) with items for the guys. In the past, GLS has mentioned that there are quite a few men in his squadron who aren't as lucky as he is and don't get much mail sent to them. If any of you would like to send cards, please message me for the squadron name and I will tell you how to address them and make sure that they get to where they need to go. This doesn't apply just for Christmas/holiday cards. Christmas is just one day and Army deployments are for a full year. They'll be there through August and can always use a smile.

Also, from his last email regarding items that they want/need:

First, there's only one type of deodorant that this camp receives in
care packages, and it's Secret Ultra Something or Other...a/k/a GIRL
DEODORANT.  I don't care if the ads say it's "strong enough for a man",
because it clearly isn't.  And, we smell like baby powder and perfume.
If you send a care package, please include some manly deodorant.
Stick/spray/gel doesn't matter.  I'm just tired of reapplying five times
a day and smelling like my girlfriend.

Second, I talked to a lot of the soldiers and asked what would show them

support and what they want/need.  And we have two main ideas.  1. If you
belong to an organization that has a t-shirt or a logo, printing that
logo (or more) on a tan t-shirt would be awesome.  It has to be tan so
we can wear it, and the cooler the logo the better.  Most of our unit
t-shirts have something over the left chest and a full back design.  2.
Our container with most of our cold weather clothing got lost or stolen
by Afghans in shipment.  So, while we're warm in tactical gear, we're
freezing going to the latrine or working out.  I work out at around
midnight, and all I have to work out in are a t-shirt and silk underwear
(unless I decide to wear something grossly unauthorized), and it's COLD!
So, idea number two is hoodies.  We came up with that because my scout
platoon got a bunch donated, and so far they were able to wear them
because it's the platoon's "unit sweatshirt" and has the scout platoon
logo on it.  I'd like to set something like that up.  We'll draw a logo
if anyone's willing to donate hoodies.  Same for unit t-shirts, but we
really aren't hurting on t-shirts with our own logo, and we are dying to
get a comfortable cold weather top to work out in.

Last thing (for real this time): for those who don't object, the two

most sought-after kinds of dipping tobacco out here are Copenhagen Extra
Long Cut (not to be confused with Long Cut, which we have some access
to) and Skoal or Grizzly Wintergreen.  Just a suggestion :-).

I know that as soon as I click "send" I'm going to remember something...

Thank you all for helping us out and bringing us smiles.  I'm surprised

when I look around and see what other people get for mail (if anything
at all).  You're not just my source of support, you're all my soldiers'
source as well.  They thank you, they really do.

Not sure how the tshirt/sweatshirt thing is going to work out, but we are definitely sending some manlier deodorant over there.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

My New Year Resolution

Generally as a rule, I am not a huge fan of New Year's resolutions. If you see an area in your life that you would like to improve, why wait until January 1 to start? However, this year I do have a resolution and January is a nice, clean date to start with.

Most of you know well by now that I love mail. I love everything about it. I love pretty stationery. I love the thrill of opening my mailbox and seeing a piece of real mail that isn't a bill. I love writing cards to my friends and hearing from them that finding my card in their mailbox on a not so good day brought smiles to their faces. In my opinion, one of the saddest things in life is an empty mailbox. I even have a spreadsheet on my computer of everyone that I send cards to and what cards I send to try to limit/avoid sending duplicates. Yes, mail is that important to me.

Friday night, at services, the rabbi was talking about expressions of gratitude and if people say thank you as much as they should. I brought up the concept of thank you cards and was flabbergasted when the rabbi told me that he does not believe that thank you cards are necessary and that we should not expect to receive them for gifts other than wedding gifts. I was even more shocked when everyone else in the congregation seemed to agree with him! I always make it a point to send a thank you card to anyone who sends me a present no matter how small (I once wrote a thank you card for a pack of gum!) and to any vendors who sponsor giveaways on my blog. It drives me absolutely bonkers when I give someone a gift and don't get a thank you in return.

For 2011, I have decided to make a lot of my friends smile. I dislike how writing handwritten letters and cards is becoming a lost art and am determined to not make it happen. My resolution is to send at least one card a day to one person for the entire year. Some of those (birthday, thank you, new baby cards) will be easier than others.

Dear ____________,
How's it going? I just got married. Time to go eat cake.

x's and o's,
-the no longer MRM

Yea, it's not perfect, but anything that makes my friends smile is a good thing. Think I can do this? Anyone else care to join me?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Alter Designs Necklace giveaway

Just in time for the holidays, Gretchen from Alter Designs is offering a giveaway to my readers. Two lucky winners will each receive their choice of a State Charm necklace.
The state you pick can be whatever you want. The one you grew up in (New York), the one you went to college in (New York), the one whose baseball team you root for (New York), the one you live in now (there isn't a charm or state shape for "Americas Europe" but 3 out of 4 ain't bad), or any other state you want. Or if you just remembered a girlfriend that you forgot to get a gift for, well here you go!

To enter this giveaway, please visit the Alter Designs Etsy shop and leave a comment with your favorite item for one entry. Like Alter Designs on facebook for a second entry. Post this giveaway on your blog for a third entry. You will receive one entry for every person you refer to this giveaway.

The giveaway will run until Sunday, December 12th at midnight EST. I will pick and announce winners on Monday.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Rabbit Rabbit

Rabbit Rabbit.

Happy December!

Things that I am looking forward to this month:
*Hannukah!!! My favorite holiday. Starts tonight at sundown. This year we have decided to get each other 8 gifts, one per night.
*Christmas markets
*Losing 3 pounds. If I post it on here, it will happen, right?
*holiday parties
*finishing up all our holiday card
*jelly doughnuts
*gluhwein (yea, so much for those 3 pounds- bring it on!)
*putting up our New Year's Tree (expect a separate post on that one)
*My very first advent calendar. As a Jew- I've always wished for Hannukah to start on Christmas so it would give me an excuse to buy a chocolate advent calendar. Needless to say, that's not the case for this year, or any upcoming years (yes I did google this fact). However, TLS and I saw these at the German megamart by our house and no way was leaving without these an option.
Originally, our plan was to use it to count down to Hannukah, but why do extra math when we don't have to? Instead, we are going to eat 3 chocolates each night after we light the candles.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bird, Bird, Bird, BBBird's the Word

Well I'm a bright one. I had a good Wedding Wednesday post planned out for tomorrow, and somewhere in my zombie-like state I realized that today is Wednesday. Durf. Guess that post is going to be saved for 7 days from now.

Wishing all of my readers a wonderful holiday filled with good family, friends, food, fun, and memories!

This year, TLS and I are not doing the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner. Instead tomorrow early morning we are taking a flight to Portugal for the long weekend. (Porto- home of Port wine, I am very much looking forward to that one!) We did go to the commissary and get stuffing mix and cranberry sauce so we can have some Thanksgiving-y type food. We also, bought A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and it has taken us some serious motivation to not watch it and save it for the hotel room tomorrow night!

Since the chances of me blogging from Portugal are not very good, I am going to say bye for now, and promise to resume my regular blogging schedule next week. Happy Thanksgiving (and Black Friday to those of you that are brave enough to do it!) to you and all of your loved ones.

Monday, November 22, 2010

things I wish I knew

Inspired by a conversation I had with a friend earlier- Things I wish I knew before I move to Germany.

1) Sunday- Every European country has its own rules regarding store openings on Sunday. Generally though, Sunday is very much considered a "down day" in Europe. In England, stores cannot be open for more than 6 hours on Sunday. To get around that rule, a few stores in London would open at 11:00 or 11:30 but would not open their cash registers until noon. In France, a few of the big department stores choose to stay open every week on Sunday and just pay the fine because it is more profitable for them to do so. In Paris almost all of the shops along the Champs Elysee are open on Sundays so I am not sure if they take a fine or are granted special opening privileges because it is a tourist area. In Switzerland, stores operate with "limited hours." We saw a chocolate shop in Zurich (Confisserie Teuscher- LOVE them) that had Sunday hours posted from 12:00-2:00. We had to wonder why at that point they would even bother opening the store, but we did go back there for chocolate and marrons glacees at noon, so I guess that answered that question. In Germany, there is no concept of limited hours or of just paying the fine. The entire country pretty much shuts down on Sundays. The only thing that is open here on Sundays are some places of cultural interest (zoos, museums, etc.), gas stations, and a few bars and restaurants. In the bigger cities, more of the restaurants will remain open on Sunday, but in small towns, it's not all that unusual for the restaurants to remain closed. Germans take their Sundays very seriously. When I first moved here, I was told that it is actually against the law here to sweep your street on a Sunday so as not to disturb the neighbor!

2) Kitchens- German kitchens are tiny dollhouse-sized things. We have a German fridge that came with our house and an American fridge that is lent to us by the base. TLS picked out our house before I moved here. When he told me we were getting a second fridge delivered, I thought it was wasteful and crazy. Then I got here. Our German fridge is roughly the size of a mini fridge. It has a storage cabinet underneath it to make it the height of a standard American fridge, but yea.  The only thing our German fridge holds is drinks. The freezer is not even big enough to keep a pint of ice cream in!

Our oven is similarly proportioned. My big cookie sheet fits in there only as a rack. If it was even 1cm bigger, it would not fit in there at all!

3) Heating- Or lack thereof. Europeans in general have a different standard for heating or cooling houses than Americans do. Very few places in Germany are air conditioned. You buy as many fans as you can and keep them in every room of the house. We have two in our bedroom. One night over the summer, not long after I had first moved, I woke up at 2:00am sweating and crying. I pretty much told TLS "you're coming home with an air conditioner, or you're not coming home at all." Turned out an air conditioner would have been over €600. No thank you.

Similarly, in winter here, houses are COLD. It is not even dead of winter yet and we are freezing. We have all of the heaters in every room of our house turned on to high, and they still don't seem to be doing all that much. (It doesn't help that our apartment was two separate apartments that got turned into a duplex. There was never a heater on the landing between the second and third floors so now that staircase is always freezing cold and manages to take the rest of the house down with it. I have been feeling a bit blah and under the weather for the past two days and decided to take my temperature today. 94.8. Thank you Deutschland. Spending the day in bed curled up under the blankets with our space heater on.

4) Washing Machines- European washing machines are known for being tiny. TLS's washing machine back in England could not fit much in it at all. I have a friend who lives in Dubai and she told me that when she first moved and saw her washing machine, she thought it was a cute little toy. Having dealt with TLS's washer back in England, I was expecting a cute, tiny thing. I was still in for a rude awakening. 1) Our washing machine is evil. I'm serious here. One time when I washed my jeans in it, it did not drain the water at the end of the cycle. It also locked the door and would not let us open it for a day or two. When we finally did get it open, the machine was full of navy water, and the clothes that had gotten washed with my jeans turned blue. Lovely. 2) The cycle on our washing machine is 2 hours 40 minutes. On a tiny little machine. That can't even hold all of our bedding in one load. I seriously don't know how the Germans do it, because to wash just our sheets and towels in our house would turn into an all-day affair. Thankfully, the base has laundry rooms with American-sized washers and dryers. I cannot remember the last time we actually used our washing machine at home. My mother generously offered to buy us an American washer and send it to us, and it broke my heart to say no to her because of the different voltage. Running an American sized washing machine on a transformer would pretty much make our electricity bill skyrocket.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I'm alive

Yea. So that was a bit of a blogging hiatus there. Back when I was in New York, I got too busy to blog (yea we've all been there) and then whenever I did sit down to write, I got a terrible case of "oh I just remembered that there is a Crumbs cupcake in the fridge that haven't yet eaten"itis and all posts got abandoned early on. (People this is a serious illness, and the second it creeps up on you, you need to cure it with a Crumbs cupcake STAT.) Anyhoo, I am back now and after several days of a very wonky sleep schedule I am starting to finally catch up to TLS's sleep schedule. (He got moved to Panama nights while I was in NY- 7:30pm-7:30am 3-5 days a week. Generally, as a rule, I am not very appreciative when his job interferes with my social life or sleep cycle.)

I had a wonderful time in NY and it feels kind of weird to be back. I actually managed to get accomplished everything on my to-do (to-eat) list and found THE PERFECT wedding invitations in a store. I'm still trying to convince TLS that they are what he wants too. (Dear, if you're reading this, you know you want them. Will post more later on, but I just wanted to let y'all know that I haven't jumped ship!

***Side note: it's been brought to my attention that mail that I sent to friends back in the States about 3-5 weeks ago has still not been delivered yet. If you sent me something and have not yet received a thank you card from me, or are waiting on a package from me still, please do not take it personally. 'Tis the season when the APO stops working normally.***

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

giveaway winner

I apologize for not posting a winner sooner. I got too caught up in all that was going on in NY to blog. Every time I sat down to do it, I never could seem to get my words onto keyboard. Anyhoo, with all that said and done, congratulations to BelleinBows! Please email me your info to whaleflipflopss {@} gmail {.} com!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Marley Lilly giveaway

I was contacted by Marley Lilly, a new monogramming and gifts boutique asking to host a giveaway for them. With only 53 days until Christmas (and 29 until Hannukah!) the only possible answer was a big, resounding, YES!

The lucky winner of this giveaway will receive a monogrammed cashmere feel scarf in her choice of color or pattern. Whether you want to be nice and give it as a gift or keep it for yourself is entirely up to you.
(I am a huge fan of scarves and monograms, so if it were me, I would certainly keep it for myself!)

1) To enter this giveaway, leave a comment with your favorite item from the Marley Lilly site for one entry.
2) Become a follower through Google Friend Connect for a second entry.
3) "Like" Marley Lilly on facebook and write "Preppy Girl Meets World" on their wall for a third entry.
4) Post this giveaway on your blog for a fourth entry.
5) Follow me on twitter and tweet the link to this giveaway at me (@whaleflipflops).
You will also receive one entry for every person who enters and says she was referred by you.

This giveaway will run until Wednesday, November 10th, at midnight EST.

Monday, November 1, 2010

what's in MRM's carryons?

Carryon #1:
Louis Vuitton Montergueil
Ipod (case is Kate Spade)- can't have a spontaneous Taylor Swift Dance Party without it
Lilly Pulitzer Pocket Agenda- my whole life is in this
Passport (in Lilly case)- duh
Glasses in (super old) Vera Bradley Sherbet Case
Longchamp Coin Purse- this is what I use for all of my euros since I always have so many euro coins
Vera Bradley pink wallet/wristlet combo
Keys to my mom's house- not a good picture of the keyfob- this is the back of it. The front is a daisy with an enamel ladybug on it. So cute!
J. Crew hairclip- to contain my hair when it starts looking like a  hot tranny mess
Tiffany pretzel necklace in pouch- TLS got this for me when I had lived in Germany for only a month. I love it and the symbolism behind it so much!
Vera Bradley navy coin purse- it usually contains my camera when I'm not busy using it to take pictures of things that are in my carryon
Vera Bradley Yellow Birds sunglass case- inside it are my favorite Gucci sunglasses.

Carryon #2:
Lilly Pulitzer Originals Tote in Frisky Business
Snoopy- I always, always, always have to travel and sleep with a stuffed animal. Teddy is entirely too big to travel, so Snoopy steps up to the plate. Plus, being a WWI Flying Ace, he appreciates the opportunity to step onto a plane.
Ziploc bag- containing rewetting drops, extra contact lenses, a various assortment of lip glosses, antibacterial, hand lotion, and not one, but two asthma inhalers. A Delta jet is no place to lose a contact or have an asthma attack.
Mason Pearson brush- Got this in Harrods. This baby makes me love my hair on bad hair days.
Lilly Pulitzer mini pocket notebook in Crabtastic- This is the notebook that I use for all of my wedding meetings/notes. Crabtastic is one of my favorite patterns.
LeSporsac makeup case with pink/blue ladybugs.- The colors and pattern should make it pretty obvious why I bought this. It contains the headphones for my ipod, small pocket mirror, the World's Biggest Collection of Lip Balms (there are 6 in that thing alone!), Advil, a spare pen.
A stack of Bridal magazines- self explanatory
Toblerone Bar- Ever since watching that Friends episode, I always associate airports with Toblerone.
Kinder Egg- A friend asked me to bring her one. Since I can't put it in my suitcases (yes, plural), I h ad to put it in my carryon. (If your bags get scanned when they arrive in the States and the Kinder eggs are visible, they will be confiscated. No joke.)
Flake bar- Also for a friend. European candy is not cheap in the States.
Take 5 Bar- pure deliciousness
Pack of red gummy laces- Why yes, the wedding dress diet is going great. Thanks for asking.
Vineyard Vines pink fuzzy whale hat-adorable and very necessary

Rabbit Rabbit

Thank you Daily Bunny for continuing to indulge my bunny obsession.

Rabbit Rabbit. True story: our base decided that to avoid kids going to school all sugared up, we would have all trick or treating on Saturday. I am so used to Halloween being on the 31st, that yesterday when I woke up, I immediately said "rabbit rabbit." Then I realized it was still October. Whoops.

So anyways, I should really be packing right now considering that in less than 24 hours I will be on a plane, but where's the fun in that? I am a chronic procrastinator when it comes to packing. I will make piles of stuff I need to bring, but they will not actually make it into my suitcase until I needed to be out the door 5 minutes ago. (For one of my trips to England, I had the cab driver call me and tell me that he was downstairs as I was still putting things in my suitcase!) However, as much as I procrastinate, I am also a chronic listmaker. (Yes, I am one of those people who makes lists of what lists I need to make. I hear there's a 12 step program for such behaviors. I have no interest in applying.) I make extensive packing lists. I have seen packing lists consisting of:

or just

or my personal favorite:

Not me. My packing lists are precise, meticulous, and leave no room for error. That pink Bobbi Brown pink brightening lip gloss? It's on the list? Those white socks from Target with the pink and red hearts? On there.

Yes, I really will specify down to the exact makeup socks and underwear that I am bringing. So when I actually do get my act together and decide to start packing, the actual packing itself will not take very long. So now, instead of packing, I will commence eating Cheetos and watching old episodes of Bones. (Every.single.time I watch that show, I swear up and down on my life that I will during this show. And every.single.time like clockwork, I always do.)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Lilly Pulitzer resort

A little while ago, TLS and I went out for dinner with one of our friends here. NSB is special because he is one of maybe 5 guys (if even that many) that actually reads my blog. I had made a comment about Lilly Pulitzer to TLS (I forget in what context) and he said "what's Lilly Pulitzer?" Since you cannot read my blog and not know Lilly Pulitzer, I promised him that I would do a Lilly post for him soon. With the Resort collection freshly arriving, I thought this would be the perfect time to do said post. (As a side note, to all of my Jewish readers, he's single.)

I have said many times before, and I will keep saying it, but the Jonah dress is one of my favorite styles of Lilly dresses. It is my go-to dress when I have nothing else to wear. So naturally, both of the Jonahs are on my wishlist.
I am seriously thinking about getting this one and wearing it for our engagement photos.

I love the cut and color of this Kiki dress. The $328 price tag? Not so much. However if I could get it, this would be the perfect dress to wear to holiday parties.

Loving this Connie dress. Perfect for just about anything, including Friday night services, which, coincidentally, is how we know NSB.

You can never go wrong with a classic boatneck top. Much like last year's Casey V-neck, I anticipate buying this in just about every single color it comes in.

What items are you most looking forward to from the Resort collection?

Monday, October 25, 2010

New York, New York, it's a wonderful town

In just 8 short days, I will be on a flight from Frankfurt heading to JFK. (I have flown into Frankfurt twice before, but this will be my first time flying out of it at the beginning of a trip and getting to call it my home airport. Weird.) While my schedule is jam-packed and I have something going on pretty much every single day/night this week which means that I don't even know when I can pack, I could not be more excited for this trip. I know my mother is going crazy. I am an only child and this is the longest that she has ever gone without seeing me by far. Here are some things I cannot wait to do in New York.

*Get my hair straightened. I have been told by people that I have naturally gorgeous hair and I take it as a huge compliment for my hair dresser. Not a single strand of hair on my head is natural. I have super curly hair (I tell people that I resemble a black sheep that's been left out in the rain for too long) and get Japanese straightening done on it every 6-8 months or so.
*Day of fun with my MOH. Tea at Alice's Tea Cup (you have not lived until you have eaten one of their pumpkin scones), picking out bridesmaid dresses, and dinner and drinks.
*Shake Shack
*Crumbs cupcakes
*Getting a winter coat. I need a new one badly and my mommy said she wants to buy me one. (My mother is not an overly sentimental person. When she starts to miss me, she tends to show her affection through her wallet.)
*Lilly Pulitzer. Duh.
*Seeing my Nana. Even if she doesn't remember who I am any more.
*All you can eat sushi and J. Crew sample sale with my other BFF and bridesmaid.
*Dinner at my favorite restaurant, Gyu Kaku.
*Possible hair and makeup trial for my wedding.
*Getting our holiday cards. Surprisingly, there just isn't a market for Hannukah cards in Germany.
*Same goes for Hannukah candles.
*Seeing a lot of my old friends.
*Getting a bra made for our wedding. Not fun or cheap but very necessary.
*Brunch with my mommy and cousin.
*Gray's Papaya Hot Dogs
*getting a real pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks

Ok, so I realize that a lot of these involve food, but it just would not be me if it was any other way!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wedding Wednesday- Business in the Front, Party in the Back

First of all, I must apologize for my severe lack of posting this week. TLS got switched to the night shift for the week and my sleep cycle has been seriously affected by it. Combined with my recent flu shot, I have just been a total zombie. Every time I have tried to start a blog post, I have not had the energy to finish it.

This week's Wedding Wednesday is dedicated to what TLS will be wearing to our wedding. I love, love, love uniforms at weddings (there really is something about a man in uniform- swoon) so there was no question that he would be wearing his dress uniform to our wedding. (Thankfully for me, he wanted to get married in uniform!) TLS will be wearing his Mess Dress uniform, which is the Air Force equivalent of a tuxedo. (For those of you who watched the Today Show wedding- the uniform that Jeremy wore was his Mess Dress.)

Last weekend, TLS and I went to the Air Force ball. After all of the formalities had been done, and dancing had started, I noticed that a lot of people had the craziest shirts on that clearly weren't GI (government issued). Two of my friends' husbands explained to me that these shirts are called "party shirts." Once the formal part of a military event is over with and you can remove your jacket, you are considered to be out of uniform, and can technically wear what you want. Since bringing a set of clothing to change into isn't feasible, people started getting these shirts made to express their personalities. As long as the collar, front part, and cuffs are all white, the rest of your shirt that is not visible when you have a jacket on can be whatever color you want it to be.

Business in the front, party in the back. Hence the title of today's post.

We saw some crazy ones, including one that I called the preppy shirt- white fabric with nautical flags and sailboats all over it.

As some of you may know, TLS is a die-hard Cubs fan. Yes, this has led to much disappointment in his young life. After hanging out with my friends and their husbands, TLS has informed me that he will be getting a Chicago Cubs party shirt to wear to our wedding. Le Sigh. While it might not be my first choice of attire for him, it will make him happy and you gotta admit that the contrast of the uniform with his Cubs shirt will look really good in pictures. What's a girl to do? I am now on the hunt for Cubs print fabric to make into the sleeves of his shirt. JoAnn Fabrics only sells Cubs print fleece fabrics. Nothing is more appropriate for a late May wedding than fleece. Nothing.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Candy Corn Bark!

Like many of you, candy corn is one of my favorite items of the season! I adore it and look forward to it every year. I do wish that they would have it for other seasons as well.

Several of you have asked about my candy corn bark. Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of it for you, but the recipe is pretty simple. The hardest part is getting the white chocolate liquidy enough to pour.

Candy corn
White chocolate for melting
Halloween colored sprinkles

Break up the Oreo cookies and pretzels into small bits. Arrange them on a cookie sheet with the candy corn. Melt the white chocolate and pour it over all of the items on the cookie sheet. Top with sprinkles. Allow it to cool and harden. When it hardens, break it apart into small pieces and enjoy!

Friday, October 15, 2010

two things I just don't understand

1) Deutsche Post

For some reason, every single piece of mail that our friends have sent to us at our German address (whether it be addressed to just me or to the both of us), has gotten returned to sender saying that there is insufficient address information provided. Yet somehow, Deutsche Post has no problem delivering our bills or an incessant pile of junk mail to us.

2) New York Magazine

For the past month or so, I have been receiving a weekly subscription to New York Magazine. This on its own is not odd. What is odd about it is that I have never bought a subscription to New York Magazine. I also never received a card in the mail telling me that someone had purchased a subscription for me. Apparently my subscription just kind of materialized out of thin air? If anyone reading this did buy the subscription for me, please let me know so that I can thank you properly.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

giveaway winners

Thank you to ~miller ribbons~ once again for generously sponsoring this giveaway.

Courtesy of, the winners are:

Ribbon Keyfob:


Desperately Seeking Seersucker

Luggage Tag:
Prissy and Preppy Flamingo

Grabber Keyfob:
Little Miss Can't be Wrong

~miller ribbons~'s generosity does not end there, however, as they have decided to also give keyfobs to the first and last entries: so congratulations to DC Gop Girl and ATLYankeeBelle!

Congratulations to all of the winners. Please email me at whaleflipflops {@} gmail {.} com and I will tell you what to do next!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wedding Wednesday- And the best part is, you can shorten it and wear it again

As you may have guessed, this post deals with one of the not so fun aspects of weddings, bridesmaid dresses. (And yes, it is a reference to one of my favorite feel-good movies, 27 dresses.)

When I first got engaged, I went out and bought every single British wedding magazine in WH Smith. And then every wedding magazine I could find in Barnes & Noble. After flipping through pages of the same exact advertisements, I noticed that a lot of the bridesmaid dresses just plain sucked. Tulle and rhinestones? No thank you.

To be perfectly honest, I spent more time online looking for the right bridesmaid dresses than I did looking for my dress. I had a very clear idea of what I wanted in my head but everything I saw was just not it. Something extra was always there or something was missing. (I wanted knee-length, navy blue, sleeveless, v neck dresses that were not shiny, and didn't have tulle. My plan was to get the same dress for all three women in my bridal party and have a lime green sash for the Maid of Honor, and hot pink ones for my two bridesmaids.) You'd be surprised at how difficult it is to find a simple, shorter dress.

I finally decided on two dresses that both my bridesmaids and I liked. When I come back to New York in November, I am making appointments to look at both and try them on in person. (It is my personal belief that if you would not wear a dress yourself, then it is unfair of you to make your friends wear it to your wedding.)

The Marni by Jenny Yoo in Eastern Shantung:

and the Alex from Lulakate in Dupioni:

I want to see both dresses in person to make sure that the sashes will work with them. From what it looks like on the Jenny Yoo site, none of the pinks that they have are exactly what I have in mind, so I need to see those in person. Lulakate does have a lot more color options and have the exact pink I want, which is a huge plus.

Friday, October 8, 2010

going away for the long weekend

Tomorrow morning TLS will be waking me up at such an ungodly hour that I don't even want to post it here. We will be spending the long weekend here.

Zurich, Switzerland!

Switzerland is a country that I have always wanted to go to but never thought that I would actually make it there, so this is a dream come true for me. I am so excited and cannot wait!

I apologize for being a bit  blog MIA this week. I got a bit caught up in some things on base and have not had time to blog. I promise to resume my normal blogging schedule next week and to post lots of pictures from Zurich along with pictures from Oktoberfest last weekend!

Wishing all of my readers a safe, fun, and wonderful weekend. Be sure to enter my ~miller ribbons~ giveaway if you haven't done so already.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

~miller ribbons~ giveaway

As I have posted on here before, I am a HUGE fan of ~miller ribbons~ products. They are fun, well made, colorful. And not to mention that a little personalization is a great thing in my book. I used to have two of their keyfobs- an Alpha Sigma Alpha one and an MRM one. Both of them did not survive a trip to a sorority conference in St. Louis when my keys got lost, and an international move when one box of stuff never made it over here. Sniff.

Those of you who were lucky enough to attend Oxfords and Oysters, received a plain ~miller ribbons~ keyfob in your VIP gift bags. If you were unable to attend O&O because of Yom Kippur, scheduling conflicts, distance, or for any other reason, do not fret. You too, can have a piece of adorable personalized Grosgrain cuteness in your life.

This year, ~miller ribbons~ has once again generously agreed to sponsor a giveaway. There will be four winners for this giveaway. Two winners will each receive a personalized keyfob:
1 winner will receive a personalized luggage tag:
and 1 winner will receive a mini grabber keyfob:

Keyfobs can be personalized with up to 8 letters or greek characters, luggage tags can be personalized with up to 3 characters, and grabbers can be personalized with one initial.

~miller ribbons~ will work with winners to create products based on their favorite colors. They are one of the best companies that I have had the pleasure of working with and these products make great gifts!

To enter:
1) You MUST "like" ~miller ribbons~ on facebook. Please like them on facebook and write Preppy Girl Meets World on their wall so that we can track entries. You must do this or your entry will not count. After that, please leave a comment on this blog with your favorite color combination. This will give you one entry. Please remember to comment both on this entry and on the ~miller ribbons~ facebook page.
2) Follow me through Google Friend Connect for a second entry.
3) Post about this giveaway for a third entry.
4) Put my button on your blog for a fourth entry.
5) Follow me on twitter  and tweet the link to this giveaway (@whaleflipflops) for a fifth entry. (You have to do both to get credit.)
6) You will also receive one entry for each person who enters that was referred by you.

This giveaway will run until Wednesday, October 13th at Midnight EST. I will announce the four winners after we have verified all of the entries.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sperry and True Prep

There is no doubt that Sperry is one of the preppiest, if not THE preppiest shoe brands out there. I adore Sperrys so much.

It would only be fitting for Sperry to do a contest to celebrate the release of True Prep.

What would you win, you may ask?
Grand Prize: A True Prep trip for 2. Enjoy a 3 night stay in classic Nantucket, MA, a $2,500 gift card to cover travel and meal expenses, as well as a special SeaBag gift bag packed full of island essentials!
First Prize: 3 winners will be awarded a True Prep fashion consulation with a stylist and a $200 AMEX gift card to purchase this season’s hottest styles. Also included, a pair of Sperry Top-Sider Authentic Originals, valued up to $80.
Second Prize: 25 winners will walk away in True Prep style with a new pair of Sperry Top-Sider Authentic Originals, valued up to $80.
Third Prize: 100 winners will receive a copy of the newly released True Prep by Lisa Birnbach, the 2010 update of her classic read, The Official Preppy Handbook.

I hope I win!

Enter here

My First Menu Monday

I love cooking. The only thing  I love more than cooking is eating. Usually, if I'm not talking about food, that's only because I'm currently eating at the time. (Just how much I love to talk about food became apparent in the Spring when my future mother-in-law called to assure me that even if Volcanogate prevented TLS from going to his brother's wedding in Nebraska, they would still make sure that I got some Sonic Cherry Limeade.)

I have always had issues with my weight (including a brief bout of anorexia in the 8th grade). Lately, I have been getting frustrated with myself. I seem to have gotten in a funk and get frustrated with myself and my appearance easily.  I lose 2 pounds, then I gain 3. (I was told by TLS's father and several women here in Germany that when you first move here, you usually gain 25 pounds. I can see why. The food here is amazing.) I have congenital heart disease and had open heart surgery when I was 4. I'm fine now heart-wise thankfully but this is the most that I have ever weighed. For me to put on any more weight would be a huge detriment to my health and I risk getting more problems down the road. Also, TLS has to pass a PT test every 6 months if he wants to keep his job (yay military) so I always try to cook as healthy as possible for the two of us. I feel like we are not eating as much veggies as we should, so this week I am trying to throw as many vegetables as possible into the mix.

Our other challenge has been actually sticking to the menu plans that I create. I am hoping that this will be our first week of not straying from the menu plans.

Without further ado, here is this week's menu.
Monday- Vegetarian French Onion Soup, Angel Cake with 7 Minute Frosting
Tuesday- Chicken wings (my special recipe), sesame string bean salad
Wednesday- Turkey Taco Night- I will be at a friend's house until late and won't have time to cook dinner beforehand. Whenever I make anything that calls for ground meat, I always use ground turkey instead of beef. You can't really tell the difference tastewise, but you cut out so many calories that way.
Thursday- Vegetarian Burgers, salad, oven roasted lime and black pepper fries
Friday- Herbed spaghetti squash, salad, baked apples a la mode- I have never had spaghetti squash before but I've heard that it's delicious. I saw it at the commissary the other day and decided to try it and throw a new vegetable into our routine. 

We are thinking about driving down to Austria or Switzerland for the weekend, so any weekend meals will be eaten out.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Rabbit Rabbit

Rabbit Rabbit.

Happy October.

I have been having a lot of blah/icky/low self esteem days and am determined to put all that negativity behind me tand start off fresh.

Things that I am looking forward to this month:
1) Going to Oktoberfest tomorrow.
2) The Air Force Birthday Ball. (So the fact that I have nothing to wear is just a minor setback.)
3) The Snoopy Longchamp bag.

I have decided that I am getting this bag. And once I decide on something and set my mind to it,. I do what it takes to get what I want.  Even if it involves another trip to London or Paris. Oh. Darn.
4) A few fun giveaways that I have planned.
5) Trick or treaters.
I grew up in an area where it was not common to go Trick or Treating. I always wanted trick or treaters but never got any. When I moved to Brooklyn, I thought "this is my year" and bought some candy. And then proceeded to eat it all because no one showed up at my door. The one good thing about living at an Air Force base is that it is teeming with kids. I have plans to hang out at my friend's house passing out candy.
6) Pink products for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
7) Funfetti!

Thanks to some wonderful blog friends, I now finally have some funfetti cake mixes and frosting! I also got my first ever Bundt pan from Rue La La in the mail yesterday. I am pondering making a funfetti bundt cake to celebrate. We'll see.
8) Reading all of Denise Swanson's books.

She is an Alpha Sigma Alpha like me as well as an author who writes a series of detective books. I have heard amazing things about them but have never read them. Thankfully, KMH sent me all of her books so I can read them for myself.