Spice Gets Married (AGAIN!)

Don’t let the title fool you. Two weddings, same man, under 2 years 🙂 Yup! Thats how life works sometimes when you are in a multi-cultural relationship like ours. I got double the wedding fun! And ever so fitting is that in 10 days we will be celebrating our 2nd year anniversary from our first wedding. A lot of people have asked us which day will we celebrate and the answer is both! Something German for our October 26th anniversary and something American for our August 18th anniversary. We’re lucky enough to have two awesome days to remember…why not celebrate both! 🙂

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Hit play on the video below and listen to the song I walked down the aisle too. This song is more of a party song from the 80’s early 90’s but this version lets you actually hear the lyrics. It was beautiful and made a bunch of us cry! Even Toblerone! But how cute is it that a man that has been with me for 6 years, married for 2 would still cry when he sees me walking down the aisle. Beautiful moments all around, people!

During the past two years I have had MANY expats ask me about the wedding planning process from 3,000 miles away. You want my advice? DONT. DO. IT.  Not only did things come out a bit differently than if I had actual time to do things but the amount of stress compressed into the few days before the wedding is just not healthy. Weddings are stressful but imagine seeing your decorations and things you ordered online for the first time one week before the wedding day. If I had a month to go home and organize all wedding things, I would have in a heartbeat. It would have saved us all from combustion!

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We held our wedding in a house we rented for the week in Cape Cod, MA. It was the most beautiful setting for our wedding day. It wasn’t on the beach but I didn’t really want that necessarily. We just wanted it to be in our favorite place on earth.

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We had over 65 guests and every single person there came from out of state or out of country. Think about that for a minute. 65 people (including kidlets) that came for this moment. This special day. It’s this kind of feeling that just can’t be described but that fact that our destination wedding pulled in that amount of love and friendship was just jaw dropping. We were speechless.

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My darling cousin did my hair and makeup and surprise!!!!!!…… My dress is PINK! Wouldn’t want it any other way! We took wedding pictures at the gorgeous Mass Audubon Nature park and wildlife sanctuary. It was a perfect spot. We had the ocean, we had sand, we had forests, we had ponds. So many different cool aspects for a great backdrop. One would even say magical.

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It was 78 degress, sunny (hot in a massive dress), slight seabreeze, and little tiny bugs just LOVED getting up in between the layers of pink tulle I was wearing! My groom looked crazy handsome in his blue suit specially bought in Germany. Our wedding party looked fantastic! It all turned out well considering this was all primarily discussed through email before hand. Everyone looked perfect for the part!

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The morning of our wedding I woke up around 7am and asked Toblerone to walk with me around the yard to take it all in. That was the one and only moment of “calm” that I felt! lol…but I suppose thats normal! Everything was slowly getting set up and we had lemonade and iced tea set up for our guests as they arrived. They got “fan” programs, noise makers, some got rice butterflies to throw in honor of our grandparents who were looking down on us.

Alot of what I did was DIY. I found a bunch of templates online and the real deal of it is…no one cares about the paper products at a wedding. The name cards, escort cards, programs, all of that gets thrown out or drinks spilled over it. I knew that going in so I did ALL of that myself. Even our invitations. I found a lot of great stuff over at weddingchicks.com. But doing a simple search for “templates” is very helpful! Don’t spend a dime on stuff if you don’t have to!

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The ceremony was perfect and personal. Private and intimate. Everything we wanted. AND…done in two languages thanks to our very good friend who did the whole ceremony for us. Just perfect! We had a “stone and time capsule” ceremony.  On each seat we placed gold painted stones that each person was instructed to hold tightly and say a blessing, prayer, wish, and simply put their love and energy in to while Toblerone’s Dad and brother serenaded us with a trumpet duet. These stones were collected and placed into a box with wine and a love letter for us to open on our first anniversary. This was my absolute favorite part of the whole ceremony.

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The reception started off with me sobbing basically while I thanked everyone for coming all this way just for little old us. Our Cape Cod Clambake was fantastic and people raved about the meal. It was a lot of food and for a great price. More importantly kind of fun! I literally was cracking a lobster in my wedding gown. I highly recommend it!

As for the music, I did it all myself. I spent WEEKS….no make that MONTHS working on a playlist long enough to keep the crowd going! I used an app on my phone called Wedding DJ which was great through all the testing but suddenly stopped working by cocktail hour. Thankfully I had the playlists on my computer in iTunes and we used that the rest of the night. I never left the dance floor. For some reason I felt like if the bride was on the dance floor…people would always dance. No one wants to leave the bride alone up there! Right?! I also didn’t have a sip of alcohol. I was sober through the COMPLETE thing! It was awesome! 🙂 Nothing classy about a drunk bride!

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The party ended around 2am and I ended the night with two of my best friends in my bed talking about the day and life in general while Toblerone hung out with the late-late night crew in the tent. Catching up and just loving the moment. It was the most stressful day of my life and I would NEVER do it again but it was the greatest thing in the world to have everyone we love there (and a few missing!).

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So again for all other expats out there planning a wedding from afar…take the time to sort out the big stuff as best as you can and be prepared for nothing and everything to go wrong on your special day. I received one piece of advice from everyone and that was “Just enjoy the day.” But as a perfectionist, that’s impossible and I wish I could have enjoyed it more. Looking back at it now though, I wouldn’t have changed a thing! Wouldn’t be our story if it wasn’t a little bit crazy and out of hand!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxo

 

Happy Birthday, Pauli!

There is just something about Germans and their “fests” that they take very seriously. And when they party…they party well! Of course most of you know that from my Oktoberfest survival. I mean…I’m almost 30 (eek!) and I can barely hang with the rest of them because now I think about the pain I will feel the next day. However, this particular party I let loose and had a great time…and paid for it the next day.

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It was the 60th Birthday Party of my father-in-law, Paul. Before I go any further, let me remind you quickly how birthdays work here in Germany. When it’s your birthday you are the one responsible to provide cake or breakfast to your colleagues. As well as host your own “kaffee und kuchen” at your home for your family and friends. Personally, I think thats CRAP. With a capital C-R-A-P.

Us American folks know how to get down on our birthdays! We order people around and expect that the world showers us with gifts and pays for all our drinks when we drink away our past years. Afterall, the best gift is that we were born into this world..so people should clearly thank the heavens for this amazing gift. I still can’t believe that my first birthday here in Germany I actually baked myself a cake and invited people over, German style. NEVER. AGAIN. Just….NO.

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In Germany when someone turns 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, or 100…these are big years to celebrate. It was no different for my FIL (father-in-law). He planned a great birthday party in the party hall in his town. There was a lot of planning involved. From the invites, catering menu, decorations, table organization, and the events, he had planned it all perfectly. With a little help of course!

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His party was basically a concert. He’s big into music and belongs to three different bands. All three of them played a few songs each. All three bands were different from each other so it was a nice change up between each of them.

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Inbetween songs was of course dinner but also gifts were presented. Typically, at these parties a group of people say a funny poem, sing a song, or talk about the Birthday boy. At the end he is given a present that usually ties the whole skit together. Makes it a bit more fun!

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Approximately 130 people helped celebrate the 60th birthday of my beloved FIL. It was a great turnout and I think a really special time for him. Something he really deserved.

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I stayed and closed up shop with the last of the folks around 5am. I then woke up around 8:30am and cleaned up the mess that was leftover from the night before. And this of course…is the aftermath of no sleep. This 29 year old can NOT hang anymore. 🙂
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Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo

A Laughing Matter, Sort Of.

I recently explained to you the phenomenon of German Music known as Schlager. But I am about to share with you the ultimate phenomenon. The man that puts all other Schlager singers to SHAME! Thats right, to shame. He’s a hairy beast (stay with me on this) who really drives home the “flower power” statement. He is…..the great….the incredible….the hairy……..

DIETER THOMAS KUHN!!!!!!!!

Ok….I know, you’re not nearly as excited as I am when I say that but this guy is crazy weird. He has this cult following that is scary actually but I give in to it just because it’s so strange and SO bizarre! I first went to his concert last year and his concerts sell out pretty quickly. Upon arriving to the concert people were dressed in strange outfits, wigs, and bright neon colors and 95% of the people were holding sunflowers. Apparently, this guy loves sunflowers?!?! Anywho, before I go any further….this is the one and only Dieter:
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Please tell me you’re as scared as I am… Oh wait, I found a better image….THIS should really get your loins moving.
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Ahhh yes….the faint scream of terrified readers. What a joyous sound! Well, his music is just that much better! This year we went to a concert in Rottweil (yes, a town with it’s own mascot, The Rottweiler.) And although we don’t really go so much for the music, we do go for the drinking and the weird costumes. Ours were pretty awesome too for a last minute put together kind of deal. What do ya think?!
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The music is of course about happiness and love and Dieter kind of puts a swig of “Salsa” in there. A little spanish twist, if you will. But the crowd loves him and they go totally crazy when he comes out to sing! I sneakily took a few pictures of some others around us and their outfits. Everyone comes dressed up as hippies so it’s kind of funny to see all these Germans walking around dressed like they missed Woodstock.

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The thing about Dieter Thomas Kuhn is that he was very big back in the day and he was well known for his hair…that beautiful curled under hair. (OMG!) and the best part of it all…he wears a chest toupee!! YES! As if you couldnt really tell from the pictures above, but it’s true. Some fans even wear the same toupee to his concerts to show their appreciation for his Royal Hairiness!
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Of course, I wouldn’t leave you without letting you hear some of his music so I will leave you with this joyous video and let you decide…is he for real or is he just a joke?

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxo

German Music – Schlager Singers

When I moved to Germany I didn’t really think that they had their own music. Of course they have music that is sung in German but do they have their own special distinctive sound? Well, I’m happy to tell you…there is such a thing! This is called, Schlager (Shh-Lag-Err) Music. I’ve asked a few people to explain to me what this is and the best way I can explain it is, “German Party Music.” It’s basically Barney on crack. Seriously.

The Schlager music is usually upbeat happy music talking about Love, Puppies, and Rainbows. True Story. To me, however, it seems like 70’s music with overwhelming smiles. Lots of keyboard effects maybe that makes it more like the 80’s even! But I’ll let you be the judge for yourself. Here are a few Schalger Singers that are pretty popular here. These songs are not normally played on the radio but they are known by the Germans since these songs are played at festivals and things. Now of course they have yodeling as well…one of my favorites is the song, “We are a Yodel Family.” Check it out..but then back to the Schlager stuff!

Back in the 60’s there was a tv show made around a boy who could sing these type of songs very well. Let’s start with Heintje.

Then we have the very popular Andrea Berg. She’s been around quite a while and has found herself as a guest judge on Deutschlands Superstar (basically German Idol.)

Here is the newest addition to the Schlager Singer world. She is in her 20’s and her beauty pulls at the heartstrings of all the men around these parts! Introducing, Helene Fischer

And my all time favorite…CHEESY CHEESY Fantasy. I’ll leave this for you to think about.

And of course the winner of Deutschland’s Superstar with her winning Schlager Song. Beatrice Egli

What do you think of it? How would you explain this type of music?

Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxo

I Live In A Place That… (Part Four)

Back again with more delicious treats of the place I live in! If you missed the other three parts find them here:

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

And now…on with the show!

I Live In A Place That……..

….When you enter a restaurant or office you say hello or good afternoon. And when you leave…the same. I learned this the hard way. Walked into my doctors office waiting room filled with people and said nothing. I got a few glares and just tried to avoid looking at anyone. Then a lady came in, said good morning, and all responded in chorus. Whoops…don’t mind the unfriendly American!
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….Tells you where the radars are on the radio. There are radar stands that replace the need of police but if you are even one notch over the limit these radars will snap your picture and blind you with a bright red light. There are many that are set up temporarily to surprise you from the ones that you know are always there. And these temp ones are called in to the radio and every 15 mins they give you an update on where they are. Isn’t that illegal in some way??! Isn’t the point that you want to catch people??!
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….Calls rap/hip hop “Black Music”. I did a post on this before but you can be the judge….
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….At lunch time you say “Mahlzeit” and before you eat a meal with other you say, “Guten Appetit.” Which is basically “Good Appetite” or as we say in the US “Enjoy.” Guten_Appetit

….They do NOT believe in Air conditioning. In fact, most Germans tell me this is what causes sickness, says the people who wear fashionable scarves all year round and even to bed sometimes! It gets hot here, sometimes. And with no air conditioning..its bad. And we all know, the Europeans don’t have a good reputation for being the best smelling….if you get my drift. Being in trains or small enclosed areas in the summer is a serious NO for me. I’m going to start handing out deodorant! Of course this isn’t ALL the Europeans but a good percentage. Mainly men…true story. collegehumor.373c24e9585d97507c0a64a65133c58f

Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxo

Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture

Just this past week I was in a “music store” of sorts here in Germany and came upon this new section called, “black music.” In the U.S., I would say some would consider that almost racist or politically incorrect but in the German culture, to them this describes better the Rap/ Hip Hop genre.

Don’t believe me? See for yourself!!

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What is your take? Would you find this offensive?!

Until next time, Readers!!! Xoxoxoxoxo

German “Radio”

You’ve read some blogs where I complain about the radio here in Germany and instead of just my opinion, I decided I’d back it up with a play by play of what comes on the radio. I allowed myself….aka TORTURED myself through a few songs just for you. I know, I’m an angel. Consider yourselves warned…this is a RANT!

Now, This is coming from a radio station that lives by the slogan “Mehr Hits Von Heute” meaning…”More Hits From Today.” More like the recycled tapes they found in Elton John’s trash can. Anywho…before I go on another rant: This is what they played…you’re welcome.

1. Time by Imagine Dragons – Off to a good start! This is new-ish (overplayed in the US I’m sure but it’s new here.)

2. Hijo De la Luna by Mecano – I’ve mentioned how they listen to music from other countries…prime example and TERRIBLE song regardless. This is actually scary or something that would be in a bad spanish musical. Am I right?

3. Beautiful by James Blunt – Was cool 7 years ago, but ok.

4. Underneath Your Clothes – Shakira – Just stab my eyes with a fork. Please. So. So. SO horrendous! What did the world do wrong to deserve this? I say it all the time but HOW on god’s green earth did this chick get a record deal?!?! and WHY are radios still playing this crap?! Omg…just stop it. (I actually turned the radio off for this, I couldn’t stand it anymore.)

5. The Way It Is – Bruce Hornsby – Seriously?! Was I even born when this came out?!

6. Everything Changes – Take That – This took me WAY back. To a place I never want to go again. Ever. Again.

I’ll stop there because that’s bad enough but it gets much worse. Playing songs I LITERALLY have no idea what they are. A lot of Christian Rock music primarily because I don’t think they know what the song is about, language barriers and such. In the US we has specific stations for specific genres. We have the rock station, the top 40’s station, the hip hop and Christian stations. But here, they have satellite radio that is blasted throughout the region and there are like 4 stations to choose from. All playing the same old junk that the US disposed of ages ago. As a music person…it ACHES MY SOUL!!!!!! But for a radio station that claims it plays “More hits from today….” You’re all LIARS!!! I should take over and run the show!

However, I will say that for being over here they do play music from artists that I’ve loved in the past like my fav Irish band, The Coors and the incredibly talented jazz-pop of Jamie Cullam. Sadly, they’ve never heard the likes of Dave Matthews Band or most of the hip hop stuff which to me is a shame. Dave Matthews is a musical poetic genius and they are SERIOUSLY missing out…more like, I’m missing out on any European tours since they aren’t big here 😦

Anywho…go clean your ears out. I’m sorry for what I just put you through but you had to experience the hell I’m living in. Boy, do I miss the US.

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxo