Throwback Thursday – A Fitness Transformation

Ah yes, another Thursday is upon us and in light of my new (hoping to make it an..) obsession, I decided with my wedding coming up in one year, it was time to get myself into a habit I can love and really hold on to for years to come. I’ve read a lot about a few fitness guru types and the one I really seem to like is Tracy Anderson. Fitness freak to the stars but I like that she utilizes the idea of keeping things small and lean. I do not like the look of bulky muscles on me so I would prefer the “ballerina” style. So, the 90 day metamorphosis transformation has begun. Just finished workout number one and I want to kill myself! lol. She’s no joke and with my back issues, its not easy. I can’t lay on my back for the abs workouts so I’m going to do her standing ab workouts during that time in the video.

In honor of my day 1 achievement, I felt it was fitting to post a picture of my younger, thinner self. Motivation! Try to be like in my 20s…those were the good old days!

This was my 21st birthday. Such a great birthday! Had a bunch of friends in a hummer limo and we bar hopped…mixed way too many different kind of shots. lol. Eh, it was all in good fun! Felt like a million bucks bags of sewer water the next day but what a fantastic memory. And more so, look at that 21 year old body! AH! How did I let myself go?!


FC Bayern Munchen For The Win!

This past weekend was the Superbowl of soccer here in Europe. The Champions League Final. I’ve probably learned more than I ever thought I would about soccer since meeting my husband over four years ago but it’s been interesting to see this side of the sport world. The Germans ask me all the time what I really think about soccer here in Germany and I always tell them that it is, without a doubt, better than American football. (Sorry for the football fans but what a waste of time that game is!) The Superbowl in general is (and correct me if I’m wrong) more of a reason for us to drink and eat fatty foods while waiting for the greatest commercial to come on and wardrobe malfunctions to happen. Am I right? Or am I right? The biggest difference is the “entertainment” factor. Here, soccer is all about the sport. There are no half time concerts and no billion dollar 30 second commercials. In the US I feel like football is all about the entertainment and the “show” much like politics are, but what do I know!


This past weekend we had a Champions League Final party. Toblerone’s FAVORITE team, FC Bayern Munich, was playing against Dortmund which is the German rival. Amazingly enough, all the teams in Europe had to fight for the top two positions and somehow two German teams made it. For Germany, this was HUGE. We organized two kegs of the best beer shipped in directly from Munich (3 hours away), we had white wurst with sweet brown mustard and pretzels (typical food from Munich), and salads galore! Toblerone organized a beamer and projector screen to show the game as large as possible right in the middle of our living room. (The things I allow him to do…) It was an event not to miss and my LORD am I thankful FC Bayern won. Otherwise, I think I would have to put my husband into therapy. They take losses so personally here so it was the best for all! Here’s a little glimpse into the weekend! Next time, you are all invited!!


Until next time, Readers!!!!! xoxoxoxoxo


The Annual Hike In The Alps

Fresh off the boat from China…..ok, it’s more like off the plane from America but same difference,…I put on my hot pink socks, laced up my fancy hiking boots, and grabbed my walking sticks for an adventure! It’s that time of year again when the Music Club of Toblerone’s hometown takes an overnight hiking trip to the Alps. Last year, we went on a similar trip just in a different area, which you can see here.

Day 1 – View From our hotel

Once in Austria, the plan was to hike up for a good 4 or 5 hours, get to camp (which is more like a hostel with dinner and drinks!)  and spend the night. Next morning climb back down for another 4 hours or so. All together, I believe it was around 10 miles of a hike but it’s not your average 10 miles…we’re going straight up and then straight down. Literally. So it was grueling and at some points dangerous but really beautiful as usual…and as always…I loved going down MUCH better than up!

Day 2 – Loved these funky trees all over the place!

We stopped along the way to have lunch at a little restaurant and witnessed a wedding high up in the Alps. How darling! Then we trekked on towards our final destination for the night. But somehow, once we relaxed for a few hours, people convinced me to go even further to the top of the mountain where a large cross is. (As in the one Jesus carried or whatever) I Went the extra mile (or 3 more really)  and went to summit but was glad to get back and not move for the rest of the night!

Day 2 – Group shot descending

Throughout the Alps there were small clearings and houses made of logs where farmers would stay only during the summer time. Their cows and other animals would be brought up to this area to feed on the fresh grass and would be fully equipped with bells. Each bell has a certain note so the farmer can constantly hear where his animals are. Intelligent, ay? In order for the farmer to get food, it’s delivered once a week. He then can collect it from the stream/river that they send it on for him or by hiking down to the town. Here’s an example of one of the houses:

Day 2 – Favorite shot – waterfall across the way

Check out the Slideshow for more of our trip!!

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And of course the only way to get completely down is with none other than by Alpine Rollercoaster! I don’t have pictures of this (was too afraid I’d lose my phone!) But here is a video to give you an idea of what it looked like. SO fun!! (This isn’t the exact one but very similar to this)

Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

A Stroll Up In The Austrian Alps

I decided to test my athletic endurance and join along in a group outing (Toblerone’s hometown music club…) and hike up the Alps in Austria (This one’s for you dad!) I bought the hiking boots (my first real deal pair) and some of those really fun trekking sticks that I talked about way back when which, honestly, I never thought I would ever get into but considering I was climbing up a somewhat sketchy mountain and interesting terrain I decided a little help couldn’t hurt along the way.

So I was pretty pissed at myself for forgetting to set my pedometer but at least I remembered to bring headphones! Off we went with 16 people and Harley the dog. I jammed out to Dave Matthews, Amos Lee, and Incubus all the way up in the Alps and it was an absolute dream. I picked wild blueberries along the way which somehow got me all nostalgic thinking about that book, “Blueberries For Sal.” Do you people remember that book? Amazing. I need to buy it.

It was incredibly hot and the sun was blaring down on my pale, freckly, Irish skin. There were moments I felt it would never end. Climbing straight up for 3.5 hours is not really what I call exciting. However, as I got into it I really started to enjoy it and couldn’t wait to partake in some beverages once we reached the top. I definitely have a thirst to discover as much as the world as I can in my lifetime and I’ll do whatever it takes to quench that.

From what I understand you can find many little houses/resting places along the way and we stayed at one that was 1,900 meters up (1.18 miles/ 6,233 feet). So after hiking for 3.5 hours my feet felt like they were going to fall off, my skin was like bacon, and I was exhausted. Harley was having a grand old-time making running to the front of the pack then tripping people on his way to the back of the pack and he repeated this the entire time. He did good but was completely exhausted by the time we reached the house.

Here’s a little 360 view of our group and the view at the halfway point! 🙂

We had dinner, lots of drinks….too many drinks I mean….and stories around a large table. Other tables of hikers were singing and dancing. All sorts of merry things going on which is unusual for me but precious at the same time. Do I sound cheesy? Worst night of my life as far as sleeping was concerned. It was SO loud, these small rooms with no insulation left lots of opportunities for the early risers to annoy me to bits! Hangover in full throttle so I decided to leave the bedroom and hang out and watch the sun rise. Couldn’t eat breakfast and walking more than 5 foot steps was about to send me over the edge, literally. How in the world would I make it 3.5 hours down the mountain? Well…I found my cure for hangovers. WORK IT OUT!  As the toxins left my body, I gained some strength back…enough not to puke!

On our way home from Austria…our car decides to overheat…and with 4 cars full of people no one can get it together and come up with a good idea of what to do. The car service like AAA was only good for Germany and we were maybe 20 minutes from the border. DAMMIT! Stupidest idea of the century which guaranteed an immediate death sentence was to have another car pull us. As in we sit in our dead car  and go happily along the autobahn via a string! What in god’s name?!  We were given one burst of luck that got us to a rest area just down the road and there we had an impromptu picnic with Harley as we waited for someone to come get us.

So without further ado…check out the cool pics!!! 🙂 Wish you all could be here!!

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Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

Vacation In The Alps: Day Four – Chill Out

If you haven’t already, be sure to read Vacation day one, two, and three! Be sure to “like” the new facebook page on the right hand side of this blog or by going to this link. It’s easy and makes me happy. So do it. RIGHT NOW! Thanks for everyone’s support!! 

My special day had arrived, it was officially “Princess Day” announced by me of course! I was so excited that I woke up at 7:45 (idiot me!) and went to have breakfast. Upon arrival I saw a sign in front of a food warmer that read “Bacon.” English…the word I have been waiting for since March. As soon as it registered in my brain what I was actually seeing I yelled out, “BACONNNN…..MOVE!” and with that pushed Toblerone aside and went hog wild towards the breakfast table!

Massage at 9:00am proved that I need more spa days. The knots the elbow lady worked on in Day two were still there and refusing to leave my shoulders! Anyone want to donate to the “stress-free-Spice-fund?” After the lady gave up and set me free I was off to prepare for the big day. So why is it a Princess day? Every Princess belongs in a castle…right? Today we were off to see the most photographed castle in the world – Neuschwanstein Castle!!!! I made sure all my jewels were on…who says I’m too old to play pretty pretty princess?

Off we went! Normally we live about 3 hours from this castle but we were only 1 hour from the hotel so it seemed like a good idea. It was so warm outside I felt as if I would melt if I moved out of the A/C in the car. And so I did. We were in traffic for much too long and there were people EVERYWHERE. It was an absolute madhouse with people walking in the streets we could barely move an inch. Finally parked and approaching the ticket center was about a 5 hour wait. That’s not an exaggeration. We quickly learned that the only way to see the actually inside of the castle was to have a ticket and a tour scheduled. They apparently ask that you reserve your ticket a day in advance. So, my happy Princess bubble I was in all morning immediately burst and I turned into Godzilla.

Without a ticket we’re allowed to walk around the outside of the castle and take pictures and this was the ONLY option I would allow at this point. I was ready to just go home but Toblerone tried hard to remedy the situation. We found a shuttle that would take us up the hill to the castle. A lovely, HOT shuttle with no windows open, sweaty people who forgot their deodorant…What is it with people here and their lack of deodorant?

Up on the mountain we have a plan to just get in, take our pics, and get the hell out! There were the typical types taking 8,000 pictures of the same thing over and over again. You know what I mean. This was the first time I was actually annoyed that there weren’t many Germans around. I heard all sorts of different languages and it really took away from the whole magic of the castle, I thought. I was not impressed and was ready to leave and we did just that. As we were leaving it was also a madhouse trying to get on a bus. People crowded all over the place and an older group of fat Italians literally almost trampled and squished me into the bus. I had to turn around and tell them to “Calm the F*** down! We’re all going to the same place. JESUS!” They sort of backed off but probably weren’t sure what I said, only noticed that my eyebrows were angry.

My recommendation to those coming to check out this beautiful castle: Make a reservation the day before for a tour, wear comfy shoes because you do a lot of walking just to get to the castle even after the bus drops you off, and do NOT go during peak season – the summer is off-limits. I bet fall is beautiful though. AND there is another nice castle a few miles down from it so that is something to see as well.

We drove back to the hotel and I was in rare form. I did NOT want to ever look at a castle again or have a day just for me. Clearly, this never works out. There’s always something that goes wrong. Any of you have that same problem? We decided to stop for a beer because that was seriously needed. A little restaurant had maybe two other people there which was great except we had to wait 20 minutes for a beer. Spice = SUPER ANNOYED! So we stole the beer glasses after we paid and went on our way. Yes, we stole them. It’s Justice, people…don’t judge.

Princess day wasn’t over yet so I decided to start over and make the best of it. I swam for a bit in the hotel, watched sex and the city (in English of course) and then went off to dinner. I had another fun thing to look forward to so I wasn’t going to let that stupid castle ruin my day!

Appetizer: Pesto bread with ham and mustard. Balsamic vinegar and watermelon with feta cheese. 

Soup: Decided against this and got a smoothie instead -yogurt and johannisbeeren. Berries we don’t have in the US to my knowledge. 

Dinner: Colorful rainbow trout with wildflower garnish, veggies, and rice of some sort!

Dessert: Ice cream with chocolate, strawberry, and apricot sauce, fruit, and sweet popcorn in pistachios. 

We rushed into town for……..DA DUMMMMMM….. Musicals on Ice! Let me explain…no…I can’t. When I was little I loved to see the Ice capades and this particular show happened to be in town while we were there so Toblerone got me tickets for my Princess day.

It was really great and most of the skaters are top competitors so it was nice to see this and hear all my favorite musical songs. Was really missing my mom and sister in that moment since we’re the musical queens! Anywho, intermission was also really nice. They had another rink with small tables on the ice and in the middle a place to get all sorts of snacks and drinks from Sangria to chocolate covered bananas. Toblerone managed through it all since the girls had on such interestingly small and tight outfits. 🙂

Back at the hotel we had a drink at the bar and then to bed. Our last night there wasn’t so bad. The day however was a nightmare! No more castles for me during summer. Never again!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

Read All About It

The sun has been out here in Germany for quite some time, which I’ve been told by the locals that this is not normal for late March, early April. However, as I’m writing this it’s gloomy with a forecast to rain until Friday. Thats ok, because I need to nurse this slight sunburn I have ;-). I somehow loved the fact that it was gorgeous here and my friends and family on the east coast were still battling with snow! (Sorry guys!)

So, Toblerone and I went to a great ice cream place in Spaichingen (said like: Spy-king-in). It’s an Italian place, run by Italian men known for it’s great “Ice” as they call it here. I love places that really stand out with their menu (Ahem..and men.) I mean they had whacky tobaccy options which I love! I just got a regular yogurt icecream (disgusting…tastes like sour cream, so much for the healthier option) with chocolate. See below. Of course Toblerone gets the cool one that I want! Spaghetti Carbonara! Umm…YES! HELLO! GIMME!!! Not sure how they make icecream look like spaghetti and not melt as we sat outside in the sun but it was great! So all the good stuff (whipped cream, etc) was in the middle under the spaghetti icecream. How cool is that?!

The rest of the week was so beautiful so we had many dinners outside on the grill (we still need to put together our huge Weber grill) but it was quite nice.
Friday afternoon I was picked up by my sis-in-law and we went to Tuttlingen (Toot-ling-in) for some shopping. They have an H&M so immediately when I walked in and saw all the chaos that is H&M, I felt at home! In the other stores though, the clothes are very similar to what we have in the states. They have a slightly different taste in clothes here but no big difference. I mean you get the occasional really stylish person but for the most part they are pretty casual. But they make casual look so nice! Dammit!
Anywho, so I get home and Toblerone is home waiting for a “garden expert” to come and check out the house. The man told us that there are MANY problems and the rock crate things I hate do need to be there but not as many. So, they will break it down, put some random hill in the front, which I’m ok with for 5,000 Euro and then the rest of the place will need some serious work done as well. Ugh, I just want it all to be done now and the jacuzzi to be up! We have other options coming to the house and we will pick the best design and all of that. What a process!
So, after the dude left I quickly got ready and off I went to the sis, Ele’s,  house for pre-gaming with all her friends. My first girls night out since I was with my other ladies back home in NY. (Oh how I miss all of you girls.) We had some time to kill so we went over to one girl’s farm which if you could have seen my outfit. I basically put on all the clothes I could find and some random house shoes of Ele’s mom. Fantastic! I suppose it’s a farm where they produce meat of course but it’s also a place that people go to look at the animals so they have some random things thrown in there. You can see for yourself! I think this guy below here looks like “Donkey” from Shrek but he’s just a short and fat horse!
I’m excited to go back and take a ride on some horses! I haven’t done that in a long time and think it would be fun!
We left there and went back to Ele’s house and sat around listening to music and drinking champagne and this drink or as they call schnaps called, “Ficken.” In German…that is basically the F-word in English with “ing” on the end. You with me? I’m not totally sure how to describe this exactly but I think it’s something like cranberry or pomegranate? I have no idea but it’s SOOO addicting and a quick way to get you fired up and ready for debauchery! For those of you who know you are coming to visit – yes, a bottle of this will be ready and waiting for you!  
So, six girls are trying to decide which club to go to and we decided to go to a club which, I can’t spell the town name (ha…great) but we did know that there would be younger people there but let me tell you, what a reality check for me! Age has crept up on me faster than I ever thought! God do I miss the good days of being 22!
We drank our bottle of champagne in the car on the way there and finished it as we approached the door, rather I was told to chug it because everyone else was done drinking already! What is this place?! Are we in Germany?!?! PEOPLE!! Work with me here! 
Once inside, omg…seriously. Talk about robbing the cradle! There were kids there that were literally 16, possibly even 14! lol. (yes they could drink). BUT, if you all know me, I don’t let that get me down. Of course there were older people as well but I just felt like these little buggers were everywhere. So, I did what anyone would do in my situation. I drank and drank and drank a little more and a little more. Vodka and Redbull, You are a nightmare but SO good! I was a dancing machine, like, seriously couldn’t stop. I haven’t been out really dancing in a LONG time so it was good to get it out! Something that was weird to me is that there was NO drama, none at all! What?! These German girls seriously surprise me sometimes!
I will not post pictures from this because they are not only embarrassing but seriously not ok to show anyone else but those that were there. So for the first time in my life I actually said I wanted to go home ( I think this was around 3:30am) Usually, I stay out until I can’t stay out anymore but thats when I’m in America where the bars close at 2am. Lame. America – GET WITH THE PROGRAM!! Don’t you want people to be useless on Saturdays or Sundays??
Speaking of useless, we ended up staying at Toblerone’s parents house only because it was easier. We all were going to the same house (the boys were out too) so Ele and I stayed there. Of course, I always wake up the ass crack of dawn and joined the parents in law for breakfast. I walked into the kitchen and they died laughing at the sight of how glorious I looked. Makeup down my face, my hair sticking straight up in knots. Awesome. The Father in law decided that I would go for a bike ride with him to see the woods he owns. Thank you. Thank you Drinking God for blessing me with this AMAZING opportunity to go riding bikes on Saturday morning after having 4 hours of sleep and mixing every type of alcohol there is. Thank you for this bread. Amen.
Here in Germany most people own a part of the forest for fire wood so this is pretty normal and he was so proud to show me. I coudn’t say no. But couldn’t we WALK!? I can NOT ride a bike, people. Last time I did was probably when I was 14. I can’t even remember, I’m terrified!! It’s hard to say no to people here when you don’t speak the language. lol. So we start to ride and I’m seriously shaking, and not just from the hangover. The bike is wiggling all over the place because I can’t keep it still. He tells me we are going left up ahead where the only option is to go left or right. Yeah, I got straight. My feet slip off the pedals (in flip flops mind you) and I’m going straight towards a field of god knows what! Luckily I was able to stop but my GOD! I am NOT a fan of this bike thingy!
Sunday was as usual Toblerone’s soccer game. He told me that if he scores a goal he will dive towards me and I thought, hmmm….a dive? He hadn’t yet this season but I could see it in his eyes that today was the day of great things!! So, he attempted a few times and came close and then BAM! There it was!!! He scored the 4th goal for the team and I could see him looking for me in the crowd and there he came…running and DIVE!  It’s a very romantic gesture for those of you that don’t know anything about soccer. When you dive to someone you’re like dedicating that goal and that win to them. Whatever, I was happy!! 🙂
So the week was great and looking forward to this week. Tonight we have our first American visitor coming over for dinner and I’m excited to talk to someone without an accent. However, my German is getting better by the day. I’ve been having many conversations now. Crazy!!
Did you know that the Germans seriously think American’s are stupid? Some where along the way, they heard that American’s believe or were taught that Hitler is still alive. WHAT?! I tired to explain to them that there are some Americans who are stupid and they tend to live in certain places. Lets hope you don’t live in those states.
Ciao for now!!

We Are Not The Champions, My Friends

Last night until early this morning, Toblerone and I had a date. A date to the UEFA Champions League game between FC Bayern Munchen (Munich) and Inter-Milan at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany. He has belonged to the fan club of FC Bayern for many years so he gets first pick at tickets and the seats are usually pretty amazing. So glad he chose to take me and not a guy friend (Thanks Bubbers!) I’m going to do my best to describe in words what it was like for me. This is not only my first soccer game but my first professional game of any kind. It’s 9 in the morning here and I’m still shaking in my boots from excitement!!

To start, I did what the perfect housefrau would do and I put together a lunch box full of the following…sandwiches, chocolate, and BEER! Indeed, my readers, In this country…we can drink in the car (to an extent — but still!

After 2 hours and 45 minutes we arrive to the arena which is a sea of red and white. I have never seen anything like this where the majority of ticket holders are all cheering for the same team. Granted, there were a small percentage of Italy’s fans but lets just say they would be pummeled in a fight.  Toblerone is sooooo giddy! He’s a kid in a candy store and can’t keep his excitement in. Even the smell of food got him going on a big speech about how amazing it all is and I will never have anything like this anywhere! 

Not even 2 feet into our walk, he gets a red sausage – aka hotdog….or more like hothorse. This is the biggest hot-anything I’ve ever seen! Seriously, people. See what I mean?!?! The bun doesn’t even fit. But, it was hands down the most amazing thing I’ve ever had in a hotdog bun! 🙂 (Not pictured: The GOBS of mustard we added)

We trekked on and after many pics later (shown in slide show below) I got my first game scarf and two free beers! The scarf phenomenon. I’m not sure I understand what the catch is but everyone was wearing one or many.  I, on the other hand, used it to keep warm and to swing around and smack people in the face with when I was angry or Munich scored a goal. Not so happy people around me, oops!

For the sold out game, 66,000 people showed up and took their seats. 66,000 people…yeah…thats quite a bit. The chants were continuous throughout the game. Everyone seemed to know every song they had. Flags were waving like crazy, everyone was screaming…it was like a concert, but better.

My favorite part was the fact that I got to scream every obscenity I’ve ever learned, combining each word into one long sentence. Toblerone laughed at me but everyone else just looked straight ahead as if I never said a word. Talk about a release!! I did record some audio but…due to the many choice words coming from my mouth, I’ve decided not to post them. I don’t want anyone’s ears falling off (that means you, Mom!) Nonetheless, YouTube it to listen to the crowd’s anthems.

It’s hilarious to me that all these older men sit down around me, someone’s grandfather or father. Many other men are dressed like they are going out to a nice dinner rather than a game. As soon as the action starts, these men scream until they run out of air and faces are red. Imagine how it was growing up around men who would yell at the Cowboys or Patriots and then times that by, well, 66,000! Everyone yelling towards the ref, the team, the coach, the ball boy, whoever and not a single person on the field would hear them! I guess its way better than yelling at the tv.

Unfortunately, we are not the champions….Inter-Milan won and they are going on to compete in the Champions League. Toblerone was so upset. When Milan scored their 3rd goal, only a few minutes before the buzzer, the disappointment was genuine on every fan’s face. I’ve never seen grown men almost brought to tears over this. It was so sad to watch. As we left, for whatever reason, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” cover from the original “Carousel” musical played. (Again, if you don’t know this..we’re not friends)

We drove the long drive back home and arrived in the driveway at exactly 1:41am. Had to make one stop to get some caffeine since our eyes were drooping but it was all so worth it. Every second. I had a great time and can’t WAIT to go again!

Enough of my babble…check out the slide show for some great pictures! (Thank GOD for the new camera! woot woot!)

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