Friday, June 13, 2014

Cruciani Meets Baublebar

When I was back home in New York in October, I stumbled upon the Cruciani pop-up shop in Columbus Circle. I was enthralled by all of the fun, colorful, macrame bracelets. I bought one of the bracelets in a gorgeous, dusty pink. It looked so good stacked with my other bracelets that I regretted not getting more in other colors. I wanted to return but did not have time before flying out to Germany.
Cruciani is an Italian company and did not have a huge U.S. presence at the time, so when Terry and I were in Rome, I knew that I wanted to make it over to their shop. Sadly, that once again was not an option since the store was far away from all of the other places that we went to on our short four day trip.

Imagine my delight when I got an email from Baublebar, another company I love, saying that they had partnered with Cruciani for an online shop! I already have quite a few pieces from Baublebar so this was a match made in heaven for me.

The Cruciani C Clover Bracelets are just $16 and come in 5 different colors (Blue, Turquoise, Pink, White, and Yellow).

The Cruciani C Mars Bracelets are probably my favorites because they look like little pearls. They are just $18 and also come in 5 colors, the green and pink ones being my favorite.

The two tone Cruciani C Youstar Bracelet is also gorgeous with a fun color accent ($18, two color options).
These would be so fun to stack together for a multicolored look or with other bracelets. They're great to throw in a camp care package or as part of a gift for a friend.

If you are not a member of Baublebar, join through my link and receive $15 off your first purchase (applies to regular-priced items only, no discounted items). And be sure to subscribe to their newsletter since they randomly mark down certain items as Buried Baubles on Mondays and Fridays.

Do you like Cruciani bracelets? Which ones are your favorites?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

No Longer an Expat

Hello there. Yup, you're reading that right. As of May 8th, Terry and I are no longer residents of Germany. We are currently living right here in North Carolina, about 45 minutes from Raleigh.
Our last few weeks in Germany were extremely stressful. From the day we got orders we had roughly 30 days to outprocess, pack up, get our house ready for inspection and about a million and one other things. Since we had no luck with the job search, we moved in with Terry's parents temporarily to regroup and get back on our feet. (And hey- if you're looking to hire a disabled Vet, I just so happen to know a fantastic one with Top Secret clearance and a few IT certifications. Just saying.... ;) )

The past three weeks have been a series of both highs and lows. While we have loved being back in America, it has been hard not having any friends here and going from having a job to not having one. I've been feeling very lonely. I've cried more than I care to admit. At the same time, we have been spending a LOT of time doing all of those American things that we missed out on while living overseas. This mainly means eating, of course. So far we have visited such fine American establishments as Buffalo Wild Wings, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, The Melting Pot, Trader Joe's, the Farmer's Market, Burger Fi, and many, many, more. Strangely enough, I have lost 2.5 pounds since Germany. I'm not complaining. The beer and fried food diet is one that I could get behind.

It was also harder to re-adjust to American life than we had previously thought. After 4 years of living one lifestyle, you realize just how much you get used to doing things a certain way and it can be so hard to change. Like no longer having to separate our garbage into roughly 20 trashcans. And no longer paying for restrooms anywhere. (I will not miss either of those things.) The whole world of having to pay sales tax on literally everything is new to us. As is having to figure out how much to tip for dinner so you don't offend your waiter. (Apparently it's not considered ok to round up to $25 when your meal is $23.50, yet most places in Europe, no one would blink an eye at that.) Also pennies now seem like a foreign currency. (The military banks overseas figured out that it costs more to ship a penny than one is worth, so all of the overseas bases do penny rounding for cash purchases. The last time I even saw one before this month was in December.) Last week I said entschuldigung to a lady in Trader Joe's whose cart was blocking the aisle and got annoyed when she didn't move. We went to a Durham Bulls game and the national anthem seemed so much shorter because they only had to play one. (On overseas military installations, they always play the host nation's anthem before the Star Spangled Banner. This leads to a serious case of irony when you are at a 4th of July celebration on a base in England celebrating our freedom from the British, and you hear G-d Save the Queen.)

I'm also just now starting to realize just how lucky we really were with our four year long European adventure. We went to a beer store today and I was so excited that they had my favorite Belgian beer, until I saw the price tag. $7.39 for a single bottle. I nearly gasped out loud. I bought the same exact bottle in Belgium for 0,99€ (about $1.40). Ouch. No more trips to Belgium for beer or France for fresh baguettes and macarons for us. No more going to random places just because it's a long weekend that coincides with a Ryanair sale. Seeing all of my friends post pictures from weekend trips to places like Greece and Switzerland, I think I finally understand how all of my friends back in the States felt when they saw my pictures from similar trips. 

We are excited to see what life in America has in store for us. If you live in the Raleigh area, we would love to hear your recommendations of things to go see/do/eat in the area.