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.)