Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wedding Wednesday

Saw these on my wedding planner's blog, and knew I had to share.

How adorable are these cupcake/escort card picks? I love the idea of doing something unique for the escort card table. Imagine a table with 150 or so mini cupcakes on it, each one holding a pick containing the guest's name and table number. I so would love that. Also, in Germany, Ferrero Rocher makes lemon candies that come in green and white wrappers that would go perfectly with my color scheme and would be just as cute. Sadly, the last thing my wedding needs is even more food, so I think I'm going to have to sit this one out.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

burned by a company

You ever have a really horrible shopping experience with a company that makes you never want to shop there again no matter how much you love the product? Yea, same here.

Here's mine.

I love body scrubs. Philosophy is my favorite, but Sephora doesn't ship to APO addresses so I have expanded my choice of body products. I have tried Isle of Eden products in the past thanks to a friend and have loved them. IOE ships to APO addresses so I decided to give it a try. Lots of variety with some interesting sounding scents. A couple of days after moving to Germany, I placed a decent-sized order for several body scrubs. On July 14th, I received an email saying that my order was complete and ready to ship out. At this point, I had already learned that packages addressed to me were getting sent back, so I emailed the company and asked them to address it to TLS. I was told this was not a problem. Over a month later, I still had not received the package. I also did not receive any confirmation that it had ever shipped. I emailed the company again and asked about it. It took several tries to finally get  response from the company. When I finally did get a response, the woman who emailed me back said that she did not know if the package was addressed to me or to TLS and had no way of checking. I told her that if it was sent to me, she would have received it back by then. Her response was that all of IOE's returned mail gets sent to a PO Box and she had not received anything but that the PO Box does not get checked often and someone would not be checking it for at least another week. Huh? Interesting way of doing business. She offered to remake the scrubs and resend them to me. Several weeks later, I once again have no confirmation saying that anything was shipped. At this point, it is very clear to me that nearly 3 months later, I am just never going to see the scrubs I ordered or the money that I paid for them. (I paid via paypal.) The only email that I did receive was a mass email from the company saying that IOE redid its site and that I would have to recreate an account with them since all account information was not saved. Once again, huh?

Right now I am feeling annoyed and taken advantage of. I am also looking for more reputable places to shop from since I clearly will never be ordering from Isle of Eden ever again or recommending them to my friends. (It's a shame too, because as far as products go, theirs were fantastic.) Thank goodness that Not Soap, Radio ships to APO addresses and I have had nothing but good experiences with them.

Monday, September 27, 2010

wah wah wah

You know those days when it seems like there is just one giant grey cloud of doom following your every footstep directly overhead? Yea. It's one of those days for me. Nothing majorly wrong, just a whole lot of little things. My mood has been all gloom and doom since I got out of bed this morning. Just one of those days.

Remember when I mentioned in this post that the Air Force Birthday Ball is coming up in the middle of October and I had nothing to wear? Well, I found a cute dress from J. Crew that I was going to get. My body is hard to fit (big chest, super curvy, short) and I hate shopping online since things never fit me right. I have not been able to find anything here that I liked, so online was my only option. TLS and I went to the tailor at Military Clothing to get myself measured so I could see what size dress I should order. Well, I don't know if the tailor took my measurements wrong or what, but according to her measurements, I should get a size 22! Size twenty-freaking-two.

While yes, I am realistic and knowing that the last pair of jeans I bought was a size 8 (about 2 weeks ago), and being that I did not gain 70 pounds in less than a month, I realize that I could, in no way, be a size 22, but just seeing those numbers on the sheet did something to me. I have always had body image issues and after looking at the sheet and the size charts, I'm just sitting here crying. Ironically enough, all I want to do is eat an entire pint of Ben and Jerry's to make myself feel better.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wedding Wednesday- the cake

While the flavors of our cakes are decided and set in stone, as is the look of TLS's groom's cake, I have no clue of what to do for the look of our wedding cake. I know what I don't want- anything too modern, anything too busy, anything involving rhinestones, and I have a serious aversion to cake toppers. (There will be no giant Swarovski crystal encrusted S on top of our cake.) I have spent some serious time researching cakes to find out what I want for mine.

While I have never been too fond of copying celebrity weddings, I picked up the latest issue of OK Magazine on base (yes, that's right, our most current issues are 3.5 weeks+ old) and was looking through the pictures of Hilary Duff's wedding. While I was not a fan of most of the details, oh my G-d, that cake was sheer perfection.
I love the simple elegance of it. Such a plain cake says so much. Gorgeous. Since we have two different cake and filling flavors, this would not work out so well for our wedding sadly. (I will neither confirm nor deny momentarily thinking about changing our cake flavors so that I could have this cake.)

I love the use of flowers (real or sugar flowers) in cakes.
Hate the topper, love the cake.

Love this blue and white Jasperware inspired cake:

Beautiful and simple:

Love the monogram and the alternating colors, not a fan of the Rosemary.

Really loving this textured white on white look with sugar pearls.

(I have made myself sufficiently hungry so now I am off to go eat a fluffernutter.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

every once in a while, you need to do a snarky post to get it out of your system

Things that have been annoying me lately:

1) People who did not hang out with me back in New York suddenly wanting to "come visit" me now that I live in Europe. I love having and hosting guests and want nothing more than to have my friends come visit me so that I can show them around. But if you have not seen me in person since 2003, do not message me on facebook saying you want to see me again and want to come visit me in Germany. Get a hotel.
2) Speaking of facebook, it drives me absolutely batty when people who know I don't live in New York or the United States any more invite me to events. I'm not talking about weddings and bridal/baby showers and significant events in my friends' lives. I'm talking about the Tuesday night happy hours with great drink specials. Oh yes, I'll be on the next flight over to JFK. I have replied "I don't live in the United States any more" to events so many times that I can now type it blindfolded.
3) People inviting themselves to my wedding. TLS and I have both heard "I hope I/we're invited to the wedding" from acquaintances. If you feel the need to invite yourself to my wedding, then it's probably because you weren't going to get invited in the first place.
4) My hair. I was going to get my hair cut right before I moved to Germany. One thing happened after another and the haircut never happened. At first I did not get my hair cut here because I did not know where to go, then when I was recommended a place by a friend, TLS and I drove there only to discover that it was closed on Saturdays after 2 (and everything in Germany is closed on Sundays). Now, my hair is getting bad. My split ends have split ends. Yes, I realize this is no one's fault but my own, and yes, I could have called before we drove over there, but I'm just very annoyed with my hair now. Suffice it to say that I have been wearing a lot of messy buns this past week or so.
5) The Air Force birthday ball is in a month and I still have nothing to wear. Seriously.
6) My first week in Germany, I ordered a bunch of body scrubs from a company that I was told shipped them on July 14th via Priority Mail. I had a hunch they never were shipped. When a month and a half had gone by and I still had not received them, I emailed the company and the woman in charge said she was going to resend me the package. That was 3 weeks ago. I still have not received proof of shipment, and am starting to doubt if I ever will. I am ready to contest the charges with my credit card company.

Monday, September 20, 2010

one preppy beagle

It  is no secret that TLS and I have a huge soft spot in our hearts for Snoopy. Huge. There is a little corner of our office that is full of tiny little Snoopys and various Snoopy cards. The other day, when TLS caught me reading True Prep with Snoopy in my arms, I made the comment to him that Snoopy is a very preppy beagle. Case in point:

*He has been wearing the same collar since 1950.
*He likes pretty girls.
*He would not be caught dead in the kitchen and prefers to have his food brought out to him.
*He would never be caught dead in a clip on, and knows how to perfectly tie a bow tie.
*There is nothing in this world that he enjoys more than eating and drinking.

Little did I know just how preppy Snoopy truly is.

This year, marks the 60th anniversary of the Peanuts gang, and needless to say, plenty of companies have been lining up to make commemorative items for the occasion. (Some of you may remember pictures from last year's fashion week in Japan where designers created outfits for Snoopy and his sister Belle.) After a night of googling on my couch, it has been discovered that brands like Lacoste are helping Snoopy celebrate in style. Coming in October, Lacoste will come out with four limited edition men's polos that combine the classic alligator with the Peanuts gang:
Umm yes, that IS the Lacoste alligator residing in Snoopy's doghouse.

Anyone want to venture a guess as to what TLS is getting for Hannukah this year?
A dog may be man's best friend, but little yellow birds are dog's best friend.

Perhaps Charlie Brown's team could have had a better season if they had an alligator playing shortstop?

And my LUST item:
Bottom row- a SNOOPY LONGCHAMP TOTE! (Please excuse the all caps, I was just that excited for it.) This is the very top of my Hannukah wishlist.

Now for the downside, it looks like both the Lacostes and the Longchamp will only be available at Dover Street Market in England. Thank goodness I live in Europe and we can take a day or a weekend trip there.

ETA: I have no clue as to how much either of these things will cost and have not been able to find the information anywhere, but my best guess is not cheap.

How Bazaar

Every year in the fall, the Officers Spouses' Club hosts a bazaar on base. This is without a doubt one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) event of the year here. This year, the bazaar ran from Thursday-Sunday. There were 2 airplane hangars (!!!) and a large white tent full of vendors, and a row of tents of food vendors along the flightline. Each squadron or organization on base can apply to be a food vendor and every year, my spouses' association has a lemonade tent at the bazaar where we make lemonade and sweet tea. I volunteered at the tent most of the day on Thursday, and went to the bazaar with TLS and one of our friends on Sunday. (Thursday during the bazaar, while I was in the lemonade tent, a plane was flying directly overhead. I instinctively covered my ears while everyone else just continued talking like there wasn't a huge jet flying right above us. They all laughed at me and said "newbie.")

There were vendors selling everything from gummy bears to furniture and fine antiques there. As much as I wanted this, a $625 wine rack was not in the cards for me. Lest you fear for my lack of shopping, let me assure you that we did not walk away empty handed.

Pictured: bottle of chocolate liquer (delicious!), blue and white Star of David porcelain ornament, wooden penguin ornament, Italian stationery portfolio, Stroopwafels, three homemade soaps (seaweed, lotus flower, and coconut), masquerade mask, foldable pink and green Reisenthel mini shopping bag, set of crystal Nachtmann candlesticks (I'm not 100% sure of this but I've been told that they either own Riedel glassware or they are owned by Riedel).

For those of you who are questioning the mask, this year for my spouses' association, the theme of our holiday party is a Masquerade Ball so I saw the mask, it was a great price, and went for it. I have no clue what I'm wearing to the party yet, but thankfully, the mask is a great neutral that will go with just about any dress.

I did not want to open the Reisenthel mini tote but here is a picture of the one I got.

There was also some caramel fudge and gummy bears that did not make the picture. Also, I got a few items as gifts for friends and fellow bloggers as well as items for my gift closet that are not pictured.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

(scheduled post) Happy Birthday to

The United States Air Force

And an even bigger happy birthday to my Airman! I love you TLS!

(Sharing a birthday with the USAF is beneficial because it meant that TLS is always guaranteed to get at least one question right on promotion exams.)

Sadly, this year, TLS's birthday also coincides with Yom Kippur, also known as the least celebratory day in the Jewish calendar. So for this year, we are going to pretend that his birthday is actually on Sunday and celebrate it then.

Friday, September 17, 2010

may it be sealed

I have taken a break from blogging today in preparation for Yom Kippur which starts in an hour here in Germany.

Wishing all of my Jewish friends an easy and meaningful fast. May it be sealed and may 5771 be a great year for you!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

giveaway time

This giveaway is all about one of my favorite things. CHOCOLATE!

Like almost any girl, I simply adore chocolate and can never get enough. The chocolate overseas is so much  better than it is in America. (I have a sneaking suspicion that it's because no country other than the U.S. is as obsessed with putting corn syrup in everything as we are.) When Palmetto Belle was stationed in Germany, she would periodically send me care packages of nothing but German chocolates. (I refuse to comment on how quickly those disappeared.) Since moving to Germany, I have bought plenty of candy to send to friends as care packages and am constantly buying more!

Since 'tis the season for candy, one lucky reader will receive a candy care package from me. The contents of the care package will be a surprise of my choosing, but it will be an assortment of chocolates and gummy candy along with some other treats from here. Here are some of my favorites that the lucky winner can look forward to:

I cannot sent anyone Kinder Eggs as much as I love them because those apparently get confiscated by customs.

This giveaway is open to current followers only. To enter, leave a comment on here by Wednesday, September 22nd at midnight EST, with your favorite type of candy. You get a second entry for having my button on your blog. Anyone who has sent me a card, package, or email in the past month will get a third entry.

Monday, September 13, 2010

31 gifts!

A little while ago, I attended a 31 Gifts party at a friend's house. I am not usually a huge fan of going to direct selling parties because I've been to a few that are awkward and put too much pressure on the guests to buy, but after browsing through the catalog and seeing that there were both stationery and monogrammed items offered, no way was I going to pass it up! I had a great time and ordered the most adorable personalized notecards along with matching address labels! They came last week and I am in serious LOVE!

For my first order, I only ordered one pack of notecards (a set of 20) but I will certainly be ordering more!

My friend JMS is a 31 gifts consultant and I offered to host a party for her. For those of you who would like to join in on the fun, here is the link to my party.

Not sure what to get? Here are a few of my favorite items.

Cinch Sac- $20
Perfect for taking to the gym!

Hand Towels, $18

The embroidery for these is included in the price. Perfect for leaving in the guest bathroom!

Littles Carry All Caddy, $12

A friend has two of these in her and her daughter's bathroom for organizing their hairbrushes and accessories. So cute! (Her daughter's one is white and black striped with hot pink handles and a hot pink monogram. That is the one that I will be getting for my closet.)

Ribbon Pacifier Holder, $5

A great gift for any preppy baby or mommy!

Zipper Pouch, $12

I plan on getting one of these and using it as a shoe bag. Picture a bag with the word "shoes" in italics on it!

If you have not yet started to, right now is a great time to start thinking about holiday gifts and the always necessary hostess gifts. (Remember that Hannukah starts on December 1st this year.) I believe that my party link is active through the end of the month. Happy shopping!

*personalization is free for the towels and stationery items and is $6 for all other items

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9 years ago

I was a senior at a New York City high school. I was in 2nd period AP Art History listening to my teacher drone on and on about things that had nothing to do with art history. The loudspeaker came on and the principal made an announcement that changed most of our lives forever. A plane had just hit one of the Twin Towers. At this point, it was still thought to be an accident and not a terrorist attack. We were told to remain calm. Yea. Right. A short while later, she made a second announcement. For the rest of that day, it was anything but business as usual. Public transportation shut down, cell towers went down from all of the frantic calls with people trying to figure out if their loved ones were the lucky ones or not. Several of my friends lost their parents. My dad lost one of his closest friends. A few were lucky and were on the 7 train that was delayed and did not make it into the World Trade Center stop at its scheduled time. That train delay saved a lot of people's lives. I remember sitting in my economics class. Even though we were about 15 miles from the WTC, we could still see all of the fires and smoke from our classroom. When I was leaving school, the bus system had not started back up yet, so a friend and I had to walk about 1-2 miles to the subway stop. On our walk, we passed several military tanks in a quiet, residential neighborhood. Surreal. Getting out of the subway was another shock. The loudest, busiest, most crowded street in our neighborhood was dead. All of the stores were closed. No one was in the streets. We were all in the same place. In our living rooms glued to our television sets. Despite all of that, it still just did not seem real. Like a bad nightmare that was going to end any second now. The next morning, all schools and businesses were closed. My dad worked in the ER so he had volunteered to go down to Ground Zero to help out with the hospitals there that were badly understaffed for such a catastrophe. He said that the things he saw that day still haunt him. My mother and I curled up in her bed (me with my faithful Teddy) under the covers. Every morning NY1 News does a grand, sweeping shot of the New York skyline in the morning. That morning's shot was all covered in smoke, soot, and a giant hole in the middle. When I saw that image, that was when it truly hit me that this was real and nothing ever was going to be the same. I started hysterically crying right there.

I remember walking around downtown Manhattan and seeing fruit stalls that were completely covered in ash and soot. In December, on my way to the South Street Seaport, I turned around and saw the rubble. Most of it had not been cleared away yet and the facade of one of the towers was still standing. It was my first time seeing it not on a television screen and it was absolutely chilling and haunting.

This is my first 9/11 where I'm not living in New York. It is a weird feeling. I feel like I should be back home. I may live in Germany now, but my heart and thoughts will always be in New York on this day. One of my biggest fears is for people to start to forget what happened. Back when Pearl Harbor was bombed, it was the first time that we had been attacked on American soil in over a century. It was a major turning point in American history and everyone talked about it for years. Now, so many Americans don't even know what December 7th is, and to them it's just another date on the calendar. I don't want September 11th to become another date on the calendar. Never forget.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wordles Wednesday- Shana Tova

Wishing you and all of your loved ones a sweet and joyous year. May it be inscribed.

Wedding Wednesday

If you have ever spent more than 5 minutes at a time with me, you know that I am constantly either eating, or talking about food. I love to cook, bake, and eat. For the wedding, food was bar none the most important element to me. I told my planner that I was willing to cut back on just about every other element to make sure that there was fantastic food at the wedding. A lot of our guests are spending a lot of their time and hard-earned money to come see us get married and I want to do everything I can to show them a great time! I want our guests to leave our wedding fat, drunk, and happy! Since TLS and I are both Jewish, we wanted to have a kosher style menu. For our observant guests, we will have two tables of strict kosher catering that is being provided by a second caterer that we're hiring. Inspired by last week's Wedding Wednesday post from the Beantown Prepster, here is what we have come up with for our menu. (Things may change slightly, since a girl has the right to change her mind!)

Cocktail Hour
Butlered Hors D'Oeuvres
Vegetable Samosas
Chicken Satay with Hoisin Sauce
Pan Seared Vegetable Dumplings
Artichoke Falafel with Honey Tahini Sauce
Spicy Chili Tartlets
Seared Tuna with Sashimi Sauce, Shredded Cucumber and Kiwi
Caviar Potatoes with Herbed Creme Fraiche
Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta
Salmon Tartare on Gaufrette

Mediterranean Station
International Cheese and Fruit Station

Roasted Duck with Asian Noodles, Vegetables, and Fresh Plum Sauce

Salad Course
Choice of
Frisee Salad with Poached Pears, Blue Cheese, Slivered Almonds, and Orange Lemon Vinaigrette
Baby Arugula Salad with Seasonal Melons, Herb Goat Cheese, Pine Nuts, and Rhubarb Vinaigrette

Choice of
Red Snapper with Ginger Crust, Braised Asian Vegetables, and Cardamom Rice
Braised Beef Medallions with Chipotle Guava Sauce, German Mashed Potatoes, Warm Bean Salad, and Almonds
Filet Mignon with Merlot Peppercorn Sauce, Root Vegetable Melange, and Broccolini
(We will pick one of the two beef items as our meat selection- we are having a hard time deciding on which one!)

Petit Fours
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Cake- 5 tiered cake with alternating tiers of pistachio cake with chocolate hazelnut buttercream or tangerine cake with passionfruit filling
Groom's Cake- Chocolate cake with peanut butter buttercream
Mini Cupcakes Butlered during dancing- Strawberry cupcakes with vanilla buttercream, Lemon cupcakes with blueberry topping, White Chocolate cupcakes with strawberry buttercream, Green Tea cupcakes with vanilla buttercream

The planner told me that the cupcakes were overkill, but no way was I not having cupcakes at my wedding!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Le Chaim!

Today, TLS and I drove to Bernkastel Kues for their annual wine festival. It is a town in the Mosel region which is home to one of Germany's largest and most famous wine festivals. The weather genie was nice to us today and we managed to have a beautiful, sunny day without a single drop of rain.

On the drive over, we got majorly lost because the road that our GPS told us to go on was closed and we struggled to find an alternate route. We ended up caravaning behind two other American cars and driving down a gravel road in a forest and parking 1.2 kilometers from the festival and having to walk the rest of the way. Fortunately, it was a beautiful walk.
See where that town is? That's how far we walked!
You can see some of the grapes on the vine in this picture. On the way down, I got intrigued and had to pick one and try it. It was delicious!
When we got into town the first thing that we did was get a glass of wine each, naturally.

There was a parade going on! Each winery has a float (a few had themes such as Dionysus or the Vikings) and there was a "Wine Princess" on top of each float. There were also bands playing traditional music of the region and dancers in regional costume doing the polka!
Throughout the parade, there were people walking behind each float with open bottles. If you got lucky, they would pour some of their wine into your glass to try! Definitely not something you would ever see in the States! TLS and I both said that this was one of the most incredible things that we have done together.

After the parade, it was time to move on to more wine and food.
I will leave it up to you to come up with a comment about all that sausage and the 1/2 meter weiners. Tee hee.
While we were walking around, we ran into one of the guys from TLS's squadron and his wife and ended up spending the rest of the day with them. We saw a street vendor that sold different wine and beer glasses that you could have etched in front of you to say what you wanted. TLS got a beer glass with sheafs of wheat on one side and his name on the other, and I got a pretty wine glass with my name on one side and flowers and grapes on the other. Unfortunately, try as hard as I could, I could not manage to photograph it at all. At this point, we had sampled a lot of wine, and I had put the camera away, but I did manage to take a few last pictures of the gorgeous scenery.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tag, You're It!

One of my favorite bloggers, Little Miss Can't Be Wrong tagged me in an 8 questions tag, so here goes.

1.  If you could have any superpower what would you have?  Why?
 I'm not sure if this is a superpower or not, but I would love to have Samantha Stevens's nose. I would love to just twitch it and have all cleaning and laundry be done!

2.  Who is your style icon?
Diane Von Furstenberg
3.  What is your favorite quote?
Never grow a wishbone where your backbone ought to be.
4.  What is the best compliment you've ever received? 
I honestly don't remember. I'm very self conscious. I turn red at compliments and then forget them. It's something I need to work on. 
5.  What playlist/cd is your CD player/iPod right now?
I usually keep my ipod on shuffle, but I am a huge fan of musicals, and lately, have been listening a lot to the Wicked and Phantom of the Opera soundtracks.
I am absolutely obsessed with Phantom of the Opera.
6.  Are you a night owl or a morning person?
Night owl.
7.  Do you prefer cats or dogs?
I had a cat when I was in middle school. We had to give her away because my mother became allergic. When I was like 4, I got bitten by a dog, and that traumatized me for life. I am actually deathly allergic to anything that has hair or fur on it that isn't human. If I could have any pet though, I would pick a bunny. I adore bunnies. I want a slightly fat orange one with floppy ears and a twitchy nose named Bernard.
8.  What is the meaning behind your blog name?
Not much of a story. I picked this name when I knew that I would be moving overseas. I felt it would be good for me since while I have traveled a lot, I have not lived outside of the United States since I was 7, and there would be a lot of quirks to get used to and a lot of eye-opening experiences!

I'm tagging:
LCPl's Princess
Uncork and Unwined
A Real Life Wife
Atlanta Yankee Belle
Maryland Pink and Green
Little Miss Preppy
Full Circle Adventures
5 O'Clock Freck