Monday, September 30, 2013

Guest post from Monograms and Margaritas

Hi y’all! I’m Paige and you can usually find me over at Monograms and Margaritas. I feel so honored to be guest  blogging for Preppy Girl Meets World today! I’ve known Masha for a little over four years now and our friendship truly is a testament to how amazing blogging can be; I mean without our blogs, I doubt we ever would have become this close. And by close, I mean I message her weekly during my mini-breakdowns and she complains freely about the cost of name brand nail polish in Germany. The struggle is real.

I am starting a new line of posts on my blog to highlight my own love of nail polish and also to provide an excuse as to why I have so many to my fiancé. I’m pleased to bring you the very first post in my new series!

Inaugural Color: Dior Vernis Nail Lacquer in Purple Revolution 906

Shade: Very Dark Violet

The Story Behind It: I was looking for a dark shade for fall that wasn’t black or gray, when someone at Sephora recommended Purple Revolution. Since it wasn’t available in stores, I broke a speed record pulling out my iPhone to look it up. Then I about swallowed my own tongue when I saw the price. I proceeded to go home, pout, stare lovingly at my laptop screen and drink a glass or four of wine before going to sleep. I woke up to find a shiny new, and a bit confusing, order confirmation email from Sephora. The heart wants what the heart wants.

The lacquer applied smoothly and looks fantastic. While it appears dark to the point of almost being black, it does have a purple tint under direct light. I love Purple Revolution for early fall! It’s quite the contrast to the bright summer shades I’ve been wearing and a perfect transition into autumn.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Non-buyer's remorse

When Terry and I first moved in together, I decided I absolutely needed to have a chicken for my tiny shoebox kitchen. I knew it was inevitable that I would eventually become that girl with the chicken kitchen, so I figured I might as well speed up the inevitable. I bought a cute little chicken at the grocery store near our house and named him Fritz because that was the first German name I could think of. (Well it was the second, but the first one didn't seem to be very appropriate.)

When we were in Warsaw back in April, I found an artist who was selling some paintings in a square. They were on wood instead of canvas and were so folky and charming and adorable. I knew I had to take one home. (When you start traveling a lot, you stop buying the typical souvenirs and instead buy more practical stuff that you can use like vodka and wooden chickens.)

After much deliberation, much much much deliberation, this chicken came home with me.
how cute is he???

There was also a similar picture with the chicken sitting in a martini glass holding a toothpick with olives in is beak. Oh how I wanted to get that one too. But the shoebox is tiny and Terry convinced me that a couple only needs to many chickens sitting inside of kitchenware in their lives.

Oh how wrong he was.

I have regretted not getting the other chicken for a while now. Unfortunately, I do not have any information on the artist who made it and her signature is just her initials. After hours spent fruitlessly searching online for an online shop or any ordering information, I have come to only one conclusion:

I have to go back to Warsaw and stalk this woman.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The expat life

A little over a month ago, two of our friends tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony that Terry and I could not attend (plane tickets back home were around $1,300 for one person in August). They honeymooned in Italy and when they realized that they would have a layover in Frankfurt, they decided to add a day there onto their itinerary so that we could come down there to see them. We ended up going on Wednesday, which was Terry's birthday.

Prior to their arrival, Kim emailed us asking for recommendations of what to do/see/eat in Frankfurt. I think she was expecting a list of cool, unique sights along with some of the usual touristy sights that are requisite in any big city. That wasn't what she got.

Frankfurt is about an hour to an hour and a half away from us (depending on how fast you go down the Autobahn and how bad traffic is once you actually get within the city limits). The closest Apple store to us is there. Most of our trips to Frankfurt coincide with me breaking an iPhone. We also use our trips there as an excuse to get away from our community and just have a relaxing overnight trip and get some Starbucks. Also, Chipotle opened in Frankfurt on September 9th and we have been so excited to try it so we told them that was an absolute must. (Before you judge us too harshly, remember that Terry hasn't lived in the United States for a little over 5 years and for me it's been just over 3 years.)

We met them at their hotel and took a cab to Chipotle (10€ for 4 people- basically cost the same as it would have to take the Ubahn- Frankfurt's subway system). When we got there, we could hardly contain our excitement and of course started taking pictures of the outside of the damn building:
Wthout meaning to, we both posted this same picture on facebook with the caption Finally!!!!! at almost the same instant. What can I say? We were excited!

Justin and Kim couldn't stop laughing and shaking their heads. We got inside and after a quick glance at the menu, they got sticker shock. Honestly, after living here for over 3 years, we don't even notice it any more. It was 9€ for a burrito or a bowl (don't even talk to me about how much they cost in the States) so they decided to split one. No way were we going to share! Drinks were obscenely expensive. I'm talking 4€ for a bottled water or Coke expensive. What are they putting in there? Gold-plated foie gras flakes? We decided to pass. We both got steak burritos and an order of chips and salsa. 20€. Ouch. I'd be lying if I said they weren't worth every single euro cent.
just look at those happy faces!

Chipotle is in a brand new mall that just opened on August 31st, so Kim and I walked around for a bit while the boys sat behind and talked about beer. No luck shopping but we did have to stop by for a drink at Starbucks. It seemed just mean of them to have this adorable pumpkin but not to actually have pumpkin spice lattes. He was cute so I semi forgave them.
I forget exactly how much my drink cost, but roughly 10,000€ for a grande sounds about right. I also got a slice of salted caramel cheesecake so figure another 389€ for that. (I'm exaggerating here but not nearly by as much as you think.)

Post-Starbucks, we took another 10€ cab ride back to their hotel. (I'll take "World's Priciest Burrito for $200, Alex.) After some beers (guys) and wine (girls) in their room, we decided it was time for dinner.  (I'm skipping ahead a bit but just pretend I mentioned the part where we took them shopping to show them the good gummy bears and chocolate and beer to bring back home, k?) They asked for a recommendation for dinner. We told them we don't eat German food. In Germany. Hardly ever. (We went to a highly recommended German restaurant in Frankfurt once. The menu had pictures of what animal was in the dish. We ordered something that had a cow next to it. Apparently a picture of a cow is German for "three strips of bacon." We gave up. It's hard being pretty much the only living Jews in Germany. Or some days it seems like it.) So we recommended an Italian place and a Thai place. Shockingly enough, after 2 weeks in Italy they weren't looking forward to Italian food in Germany, so to Thai we went. It was fantastic. Insert another pre-dinner stop at a store for beer/chocolate/marzipan here.

After dinner, it was time for dessert, and wanting to provide our American visitors with the true German experience, only one place would do.
Please excuse the hot mess look here- it had been raining in true German fashion.
The last time we were in Frankfurt, ya know the last time I had a broken iPhone, we saw that a Dunkin Donuts was finally opening there. 3 days later. Go figure. We had been looking forward to getting some donuts for so long. I'm not sure how much donuts cost in the States, but I'm assuming it sure as heck isn't 1,80€/donut. Terry wanted to only get 1 donut each. I told him he was crazy and got 6. It's a good thing I did. I don't have pictures of the actual donuts themselves because they did not live long enough to be photographed but just imagine 3 Boston Cream, 1 glazed, and 2 vanilla frosted with sprinkles inside that box. (I know it's really hard to use your imagination here because without instagram, how would y'all even know what a donut looks like in the first place?) I should also mention that much like everything else in Germany, Dunkin Donuts is cash-only and after a pit stop for beer, we were fresh out so we had to race to find an ATM about 3 blocks away 10 minutes before they closed. I had to beg the lady behind the counter to put 2 Boston Cream aside for me. Good thing I did, because by the time we came back for them, they were sold out of the others!

By the time we were done with Donut-gate it was after 10pm and we still had a long drive ahead of us followed by Terry needing to be at work at 7am the next time so after many hugs (girls) and half man-hug, half handshake combos (guys), we parted ways.

I skipped over a few moments in this post, but Justin and Kim, I just want to say that we had so much fun with you on Wednesday and I am so so glad we got to see you! So glad we were able to provide you with the true, local, German experience.

All of these expat adventures resulted in this:

My Visa is now crying dusty tears. Excuse me while I go sell my kidney.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to my best friend, husband, and the goofiest, silliest, snoriest boy I know. And he's not bad looking either.*

Terry- I love you as much as I love a good Shackburger and am so excited to spend tomorrow eating our way through Frankfurt with you and for many more days filled with yummy food and many laughs and good memories. Thank you for being my rock and armchair therapist/bartender when I'm down.

*Not that I'm biased or anything.

Friday, September 13, 2013

5 on Friday

Hello Hello!

I'm linking up today for the first time with A. Liz Adventures, Carolina Charm, Hello! Happiness, and The Good Life Blog for their weekly 5 on Friday linkup.

1) I received one of these pralines from Aunt Sallys in my latest Love With Food box. Holy amazingness. I have never tasted anything like these and am now ordering a box to my mother's address in New York for when I get there. (If you don't currently have a Love With Food subscription, you can use code FBGIFT to get your first box for $2.)

2) Exactly one month from today, this girl is going to be tying the knot.

We have been best friends for 15 years and I am so thrilled and excited for her. I am so honored and happy to get to stand beside her as she says "I do."

3) For the wedding, we get to pick out our own dresses. They have to be black, above the knee, not shiny, and sleeveless or with cap sleeves. This should be relatively easy but I am not a huge fan of the Little Black Dress and do not own one. Everything I've seen so far here in Germany is either skintight, super short, insanely expensive, sequined to death, or all of the above. I've been looking online for one. So far, this dress from J. Crew is my #1 choice and has been approved by the bride. I want to go see it in person at the store in New York before buying it to make sure it looks good and that I get the right size.
Matilda dress in liquid jersey

4) In less than 2 weeks, 13 days to be exact, we will be in Paris. We are going for the Jimmy Buffett concert and will spend 3 nights there doing some sightseeing and of course, eating our way through the city. Last night, I made my must do/see/eat list for Paris and I realized that I have way too much that I want to see there and am not sure how we will be able to fit it all in. Typical.

5) I've mentioned this before, but nail polish in Germany is bananas expensive, 7,95€ for Essie and 16,95€ for OPI. When I go back to the States, I'm taking the time to stock up on some polishes. So far, on my list are Essie's Vested Interest, Van D'Go, Neo Whimsical, Berry Hard, Smoking Hot, Absolutely Shore, and Splash of Grenadine. Are there any other colors that I should get while I'm there? Also, my bottle of base coat is almost out, and while I love the stuff, I am not ready to pay 12,50€ for another bottle. Do any of you have any base coat recommendations that you love?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Donnerstag in Deutschland

Hello hello.
How are things going? Fall has started in Germany and I am not a fan. I I hate the rain season. Need to dig out my cute umbrellas again. Things have been pretty quiet over here. We've just been busy working and trying to plan out our Paris trip and my trip to New York. I've been looking at bridesmaid dresses online. I found one that I like at J. Crew but want to wait until I can try it on in person to see what size I should get. I borrowed a suitcase from a coworker and have already started packing for New York. We come back from Paris on the 29th and then I work on the 30th and then start trying to hop out on October 1st so I want to be as packed as humanly possible before we leave for Paris since I will have very little turnaround time to do laundry and pack.
We went bowling with a friend of ours on Sunday. She is the girlfriend of one of our good friends who PCS'd a few months ago, and this is our second time seeing her on our own without him, so it was nice to catch up with her and know that she still wants to see us even though he's not in Germany any more. It wasn't a particularly good day for any of us, but at least I broke 50. I know it sounds lame, but I quite literally suck at bowling and have bowled a 12 before. More than once. Glad that didn't happen again. Terry's goal was to break 100 and he managed to score exactly 100.

Yesterday was a hard day for me. It's always difficult being anywhere outside of New York on 9/11 especially since I was there that day and September 11th each year reminds me that I belong in New York more than anywhere else.
The bazaar started on base today. We went there today to check it out and to eat there. We like going there for dinner since that means we don't have to cook. I wanted to get some Polish Pottery and a Reisenthel shopping tote that clips into a shopping cart but wasn't really in a shopping mood. We wanted to get a pretty sign that said "Herzlich Willkomen" from a vendor there who would paint our last name on it, but she would not let us pay by credit card- technically against the bazaar policies- so we left. Maybe we'll come back and get it on Sunday. I also got an Etsy order today that I placed back in June. It shipped June 19th and only just arrived here today. It took so long that the seller refunded me on July 31st. I messaged the seller to let her know that it came in and asked her if she wanted me to pay for it. This is why you never send anything to an APO via First Class

Lynn- I found out from my boss that the tablecloth I got with the gold Star of Davids on it is the last one in the company. She's checking to see if they can get any more in or can get something similar.

Now we're watching Once Upon a Time. Trying to get caught up on our shows before the new seasons start. Are there any new shows you've heard of that we should know about? I'm debating painting my nails again. I painted them today but Terry doesn't seem to be too crazy the color. I wonder how he'll feel about navy blue.
Hope you're having a good week. Send more pictures of Zoe.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Confessions of a Lip Product Junkie

If there is one thing that you should know about me, it's that when it comes to lip products, I have issues, serious issues. I am a compulsive buyer when it comes to almost any and all lip products- gloss, balm, pot, tube, etc. I must have it. Currently, as I write this, there are no less than 6 lip products on my desk next to me. About 5 or 6 years ago, when a certain Tarte lip balm came out, I got on a waiting list (for freaking lip balm y'all- it took like 2 months to get it) for it because I had to have it. If I am ever out somewhere and I ::gasp:: forget a lip balm or gloss, assume that I will be hightailing it to the nearest store to pick something up. In the past few months I have amassed an ungodly average amount of lip products, and here are my winners and losers.

DermStore Lip Quench- 

A while back, my mother asked me to send her my Sephora wish list so that she could surprise me with some things. This was a rare instance in my life in which I didn't need anything, so I sent her a list of the lip products (plus one random nail file) that I had been wanting to try. This one made the list. As a product, in my honest opinion, it's not bad, but not fantastic either. What struck me the most was how ungodly expensive it was. It's no longer for sale on Sephora so I can't look up their price, but it is on the Dermstore site for $12. The tube is so tiny and the product comes out so quickly, that I just assumed it was one of those 100 point samples or something. All I can say is that I am really glad my mother bought this one for me because I would have been very disappointed in the size/amount of the product had I bought it myself.

eos Smooth Sphere Lip Balm-

Normally I am a huge fan of these. They are cheap, tasty, and work great. You get a lot of product for your money and the look on someone's face when they see you using is priceless. The Honeysuckle Honeydew is a staple in my book. Despite my mass collection, I managed to actually finish off this one. I purchased the Summer Fruit with high hopes for it. While it is just as moisturizing as all of the other eos smooth spheres, the smell of this one was just too much for me. It smelled/tasted overly sweet- kind of reminded me of melted gummy bears. No thank you.

MAC Viva Glam VI Lip Glass-
I purchased this one after Classic Annie raved about it on her blog. It did not disappoint. (Also- bonus points to MAC for having free shipping on any order. That is something that will turn me into a return customer.) It's a great shade that I love for evenings out.

Dior Addict Lip Gloss-
I was lucky enough to receive 5 of these brand new in 5 different colors for free. A coworker's niece works for a makeup store chain here in Germany and receives tons of makeup for free from companies. More than she can ever use. Coworker came in one day with 2 or 3 huge bags overflowing with makeup, perfume, lotion, etc. for us to go through and pick out what we want. I got 4 Dior Addict Lip Glosses, one Lip Polish, and one Skinflash Radiance Booster Pen. I like to think I made out like a bandit. Even without the freebies, Dior is one of my favorite makeup companies. These products are all great with wonderful colors and textures. Sadly, they do have the price tags to match, but if you are looking for a splurge, these can't be beat.

CHANEL Lip Gloss-

Chanel is my mother's go-to makeup brand and one of only two lip gloss/lipstick brands she uses. (The other being YSL- anyone care to guess where I get my expensive tastes from?) She purchased this lip gloss- color #69 (go on- make the joke, you know you want to) and gave it to me when I was back home in January. Holy amazingness. This really is one of the best there is. Thank goodness my mommy buys me lip gloss that I am too cheap to buy myself.

Vanilla Coke and Mezzo Mix Lip Smackers-

Proof that I don't only buy expensive lip products. Sometimes, all you need is the comforting scent of a Lip Smackers tube. I posted about the Mezzo Mix Lip Smacker previously (basically it's a German soda that's a mixture of Cola and Orange soda), and on our last trip to the supermarket, had to branch out and get the Vanilla Coke one also. I'm honestly not sure which one I like more. All I know for certain is that I will be buying quite a few of these before we leave Germany for good. To the best of my knowledge, they are only available in Deutschland. If you live here, you can pick them up for a whopping 1,99€ at DM, Real, Globus, Douglas, etc. If you don't, don't fret. I have a feeling some of these may be a giveaway very soon.

Josie Maran Argan Love Your Lips Hydrating Lipstick-
Ironically enough, I am not a huge lipstick person. Maybe it's because I can never find the right color for me, or the texture, I just don't know. Give me a tinted lip balm or some nice lip gloss any day. When I saw the beauty vlog that Blair's Headband and Teddi, Set, Go! did, I was intrigued when Teddi mentioned this lipstick and knew I had to try it. I added it to my Sephora wish list and my mother bought this for me in an "I Miss You" moment. (See a theme here? This is what happens when you are an only child and live in a different country from your mother.) If you can see from the picture, it's essentially a lipstick core with a lip balm outside. I got it in Happy Honey (pictured) which is a perfect neutral and is not as dark as it is in the picture. The texture of this is amazing.

Clinique Chubby Stick in Super Strawberry-
To be perfectly honest with you, I'm not really sure why I bought this one, but I am glad I did! It is kind of like a giant colored pencil or a crayon and is so fun! The color is super strawberry and it's a bit bolder than what I normally go for, but I really like it. Again, feels like a balm and is a great color.

Rosebud Perfume Co. Rosebud Salve in a Tube-
Of course I've used Rosebud Salve for years. Obviously. If I can be honest here, I am not a huge fan of rose-scented products in general and I much prefer this balm's cousin, the Strawberry Lip Balm. I am pretty much a sucker for anything strawberry. See above. 
I was curious about the lip salve in a tube so I added it to my Sephora wish list. Mommy purchased it. It's just as nice as the original balm which really is a classic, but I think I still prefer the tin. No real reason- just personal preference.

L'Occitane Shea Butter Mango Flower Lip Balm-

In my opinion, L'Occitane is up there as one of the top skincare brands. There isn't a store that's close to us (I think the closest one is in Frankfurt, but it seems like every time we go to Frankfurt, the store is closed) so when we were in Brussels and there was a store on the Grand Place, I went in to get some more hand cream (one of the best products ever) and I saw this at the register. It smelled nice so obviously I had to get it right then and there. I am sad to say that I am almost out of this one. Maybe when we're in Paris, I can get more.

Bite Beauty Superfruit Butter- 
My latest Sephora purchase. I am impressed so far. It is not cheap, but feels amazing and the packaging is also so luxurious and nice. The little specks look like they would feel rough and scrubby, but they are not at all. I love how smooth and creamy it is. Definitely worth the price tag.

So now that you've read all about my favorites (and least favorites), I have to ask, what are some of your products? Obviously, I need more like I need another hole in my head. 

**Disclaimer** This is not a sponsored post. All of the items in this post were either purchased by me using my own money or received as gifts. I have received no financial consideration from anyone for this post, and all opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Donnerstag in Deutschland

Shana Tova! Hope your year is off to a good start. Saturday, Terry and I went to the wine festival in Bernkastel and met up with some friends there. We went on a boat and watched the fireworks. We ate a lot of yummy treats- potato pancakes, fire roasted salmon on a brötchen, a cheese skewer with grapes, sugared almonds, chicken satay. thank goodness kosher calories don't count! 6 bottles of a 2008 Riesling followed me home. I have good taste. Sunday, we just spent the day hanging out at home and ordered a pizza. Monday I had to work which was pretty fun since because of a German law, I got paid double. Yay. I spent the rest of the week getting ready for Rosh Hashanah. I made 3 honey cakes, an apple cake, a honey cream cheese dip, sugar cookies, and a salmon horseradish spread. We ordered bagels from a kosher bakery in Berlin. We brought all the food over to our chapel and had a pot luck meal after services. Today we did services in the morning and then I worked.  Now we're eating pierogies for dinner and watching How I Met Your Mother. Not much excitingness over here this week. Told you our lives are boring.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Rabbit Rabbit

Rabbit Rabbit!

Happy September!

Some things I am looking forward to this month:
*Rosh Hashanah- the Jewish New Year starts on Wednesday night. We are ordering kosher bagels from a bakery in Berlin and I am making sugar cookies and challah and some dips/spreads to take to our congregation for a communal meal after services.
*Terry's birthday- my husband is turning 29 this month. He asked me not to get him anything and to instead take him out for a really nice dinner in Paris, but I have to do at least something. Plus, a newly married friend and her husband will be in Frankfurt on his birthday. We were not able to make it back to the States for their wedding, so we are excited to see the newlyweds in person!
*Jimmy Buffett concert- September 26th, Jimmy Buffett is performing a concert in Paris and we were lucky to be able to get tickets. We both love Jimmy Buffett and even danced to his music at our wedding (but that is a story for another day). I saw him once in concert in Virginia and T has not seen him perform at all so we are both over the moon excited for this! Fins up!
*Of course it just wouldn't be a trip to Paris without some of this:
Looking at their website, it looks as if there are two new flavors that I simply must try- Pink Pepper and Gingerbread in addition to my beloved Salted Caramel macarons. Also I had one of the tastiest (and not to mention priciest) salads of my life at the Ladurée in Paris and London. A salad topped with smoked salmon and caviar y'all. So tasty. There will of course also be a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower and lots of baguette and croissant eating.

In addition to everything that I have going on this month, today marks 6 weeks until I get to watch my best friend say "I do" and become a Mrs. I am so thrilled for her and her fiancé and can.not.wait. (And no, I do not yet have a bridesmaid dress.)

I managed to plan out my trips so well that right after I get back from Paris, I have precisely two days to unpack, work, do laundry, and repack before G-d willing getting standby seats on a flight to the States. Oof.

Wishing you lots of luck and fun and excitement for the month of September!

What are you most looking forward to this month? And dear G-d, please don't mock/tempt me by saying Pumpkin Spice Lattes.