Strawberry Summer Salad – Pin Challenge – Day 9

This is my ABSOLUTE favorite thing I’ve made off of Pinterest thus far. It’s like the Goddess of all salads. In fact, I pray that my grocery store is stocked with Strawberries regularly just so I can have this awesomeness in my mouth from time to time. It’s so easy to make and ohmygod so good!!

Found on Pinterest here and actual website is here.

There’s a few things I changed around.

1. I made candied walnuts with this recipe

2. I used a cow’s milk feta rather than the normal goat cheese feta (regular feta is sheep and goats milk combined)

3. After I washed and chopped the strawberries I put them in a bowl with some balsamic vinegar for about 10-15 minutes prior to using in the dish. Still leaves them sweet but mixes better with the whole salad.

4. Spinach is boring all by itself so I used rucola (yummy nutty flavor to it) and a field salad which is really popular here in Germany.

5. I didn’t have time to make the raspberry poppyseed dressing ( I think it takes 2 weeks or so). I do as the Germans do – vinegar, vinegar, and more vinegar. My dressing was balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, and a dried herbs mixture special for salads.

So far, everyone I’ve made this for is RAVING about it. And I literally crave this baby several times a week.  Make it! Enjoy! And let me know if you like it as much as I do!

Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

The Blog Experiment

Since I’ve been busy with my most recent visitors (sad they are gone!!! but had a BLAST!) I didn’t have time to sit down and write my blog so I read a few others here and there. I’ve also been “introduced” to a few through the Twitter world which has been great! In doing so I took notes on blogs that have a lot of traffic/comments and my findings are slightly annoying!

Here’s what I find interesting though. To me, a blog is a place where a person can write down their thoughts and other such musings about their life or whatever topic it is that they are into. HOWEVER, I’m finding that a lot of these “bloggers” aren’t doing any of that and instead filling in the spaces with ridiculous “link ups” and page fillers. For instance, there is a group of bloggers that do something different for every day of the week. For example: “Funny Fridays” or “Nail color Mondays.” So on Friday, each girl posts a funny picture/movie/etc and who ever wants to join in just simply adds their link to their blog on the main page and that’s it.

Or there are the other people who post one picture and say 2 sentences but yet they have a ton of traffic. I don’t know about you people but I love gossip and the more I know about someone’s life, the more I’m going to connect with their story and read their blog on a daily basis. Not when it’s filling the internet world with mumbo jumbo about what they buy on Taco Tuesdays. To each their own I suppose! I don’t want to pull traffic in with fancy giveaways or boring posts. I guess my posts can be boring from time to time but at least I’m not taking the easy way out!

Nothing wrong with the other ways, I just prefer the type of blogs that follow people’s lives I suppose!

What do you all prefer? A little gossip or giveaways and flash? Stick with me, kids, and you’ll continue to get the first look into my personal life for free! No gimmicks!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo

The Latest Happenings

I may be signing off here for a week or more. I have visitors coming!!!!! I don’t plan on having any downtime to write the blog so I’ll get back to you all when I find a moment! So in the interim you can follow me on facebook here or on twitter here. I’ll try to update them with pictures and the like as I go along so to be apart of the experience – follow up!

So what’s on the plan? Well my best friend and his parents are coming to town (and I hear they are loaded with peanut butter and meds!) They are staying in a beautiful area near the Alps and I will be tagging along as their tour guide and translator (ahem…or so I hope!). The plan is to do the usual when you come to a European country – drink, eat, and castles! 🙂 Of course we’re going to try to fit lots of other things in there as well as hopefully making it to an old concentration camp. That’s something I’m really interested in doing as well.

We have the Spring Fest happening here in Germany which is exactly the same as Oktoberfest except it’s obviously not in October. Pretty excited to wear my Drindl again and feel the morning after pain in my hands of holding those huge beers! How many do you think I’ll be able to handle? At Oktoberfest, I went through 3 beers (the big ones called “Maß”) and I’m thinking this year I’ll edge towards 4 or 5. I’m Irish…what more do you want?! This year we got VIP tickets and our own table full of friends and fun! Really looking forward to it again. Greatest party I’ve ever been to! If you need a reminder of how awesome it was, check out how I survived Oktoberfest here.

The day they are leaving, Toblerone and I are headed to Berlin. Primary reason was to watch the final of our favorite soccer team, FC Bayern squash the rival, Dortmund. But it just so happens that his cousin is recently living in Berlin so we will stay for a long weekend and see the sights! Really excited about finally seeing Berlin. I hear there is a great currywurst museum. I’m down for that!

So, with that being said…I’ll be back in a few weeks for you guys! I’ll try to schedule some blogs but lord knows my hands will be deep in the toilet bowls scrubbing until they sparkle so we’ll see!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo


Maienstecken – Witches Night in Germany

Today, as I write this, it is April 30th. It’s a regular day, the sun has been shining and all seems well and good in the world. What you wouldn’t know, especially as an “Ausländerin,” is that today is actually the day of terror. I remember last year that we sat in the dark and watched the town unfold into a world of chaos and panic!

Ok, maybe I’m being a little dramatic but the possibility the town could be a giant fireball by morning is high. April 30th is known as “Maienstecken” here in Germany. Also known as the “Witches Night.” Halloween sound familiar?? What does this mean? It basically means to take/hide/move things. There is no literal translation but the meaning is that the children (ages from 7-18 approximately) get together and go around their town causing chaos hidden under the dark blanket of the night sky.

Here they are getting ready - bag full of tricks!

Chaos can start with the basics of egging, toilet paper, or the other usual Halloween tricks we all know and love. The more extreme is where the name “Maienstecken” comes from. Toblerone was telling me about his past days and told me a few of the menacing things he and his buddies did:

* Blowing up a mailbox – Need I remind you that all the mailboxes here in Germany are attached to the house. Not down the driveway as a separate entity as we know it in the US.

* Taking a hay tractor and moving it down to the town hall.

* Putting an entire bottle of dish soap in someone’s fountain.

* Hid trash cans.

* Took the wood pile and built up a wood wall directly in front of someone’s front door.

* Took a trailer apart, rebuilt it on the roof of a barn and filled it with cow manure.

The idea is to take someone’s things and completely move them so they hopefully never find them again. So picture this. Last year, we sat in the dark, looking out the window for shadows of scrawny tweens, and cleaning the BB gun. I’m an American – you come near my stuff, I will break your legs. We were lucky last year, no one bothered us, but I’ll tell you what. If I find that anything is out of place I just might be tempted to place mines on the soccer fields where the kids play all day long. I just might. Watch out kiddies! I’m a retired Halloween trickster.

Found this video on YouTube of some drunk nonsense. These idiots are drunk and doing it in broad daylight. I’m not sure exactly what they are doing to someone’s tree but all I could think about is how much that tree must have cost at the Garden Center!!

UPDATE: checked out the damage this morning and all we got was a stupid shaving cream smiley face. 


Until next time, Readers!!! Xoxoxoxo

Truth Be Told

I suppose I should explain why I chose suddenly not to get the surgery to check out how bad my endometriosis is or hopefully isn’t. To put it simply, it’s all bad timing.

First of all my visa expires June 30th. I was here for 3 months before I was issued my 9 month “Student’s visa.” My German language course was the only reason I’ve been able to stay here without being married.

So part two of this story is that I know I will always need these surgeries for the rest of my life for preventative pain measures or to pursue a family. In the moment, it’s April…I wouldn’t be able to start the fertility process until June or later. I don’t want my body to be cut open unless it’s necessary. Last time the Endo was so severe I was down and out for a week when normally the downtime is 2 days at most. I can’t deal with that again! I think the doctor’s here were a little to trigger happy. First steps I think are to sit down with a fertility clinic. Here in Germany the GYN has no part in the fertility process. Completely ass-backwards if you ask me but whatever! So I think if I can line up the fertility stuff with the GYN stuff then we’re good to go. I wish I knew that months ago because I could have gotten a start on it but you all know how I feel about dealing with doctors over here. Not so pleasant and COMPLETELY unorganized.

I had to go into the hospital (1.5 hour drive both ways) the working day before my surgery for pre-op discussions. I met with 4 different people over the course of 5 hours. To do what exactly? The same stuff they could have done with one doctor the day of. It was INSANE. The process was ridiculous and I felt like I was in some sketchy plastic surgery hospital in Mexico. I wouldn’t even find out my surgeon until minutes before my surgery. That to me is insane. My OBGYN in the US was also my surgeon. I had no qualms about it. Here, they didn’t know who it would be and they never make the process personal. I realize doctors can’t attach themselves to one case and it make it their own but it would be nice if they tried. For me, this is my whole world and to put it into a bunch of people’s hands is not for me.

At this moment the time frame didn’t make sense. I want a family but I want one when the timing allows for it. I realize chaos and stress may cause it all to be delayed anyways, so I’m waiting.

A million people yesterday told the world they are having another baby or their first one. I’m so unbelievably happy for everyone but truth be told, my heart breaks every single time. It’s just unfair. I won’t go on and on…you all know how I feel. I just hope by the time all the pieces fall together it won’t be too late.

Until next time, Readers! Xoxoxoxo

Creamy Dijon Chicken Linguine!

I made this for Valentine’s Day and it was a HIT! Lately, I’ve been trying to stay away from Garlic recipes since it makes for some really stinky breath but since it was Valentine’s Day I decided to let us have it!

This recipe is super easy and only takes a few ingredients! Give it a try and let me know what you think! 🙂 (Note: Sorry for the lack of pictures – I was cooking 8 things at once and didn’t have a chance to get out the good camera! Hope you can forgive me!!)

What You Will Need:

350 gram package fresh linguine, cooked
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup fresh, cleaned, and sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
Salt and pepper to season
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds – if you can’t find toasted just regular (peeled) and chop them up!
4 ounces dry white wine
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cups whipping cream

How To Make It:

1. Heat olive oil in a large heavy bottomed frying pan over medium low heat.

2. Add chicken breasts, garlic, season with salt and pepper and continue to cook the chicken until completely cooked.

3. Remove chicken from pan and keep warm

4. Add 4oz white wine (I used dry) to the pan and let simmer until it is reduced by half.

5. Next add in 2 cups whipping cream, 3 tbsp Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste.

6. Simmer until sauce thickens enough to coat a metal spoon.

7. Return Chicken to the sauce and add the mushrooms.

8. Simmer for an additional 2 minutes.

9. Serve over cooked linguine. Sprinkle almonds on top.


Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

Organizing My Life and Other Such Musings

I’ve been kicking myself for being so out of place. Of course my new obsession on Pinterest certainly isn’t helping any! I read somewhere that your house can be clean as a whistle but completely unorganized. That’s exactly what I am!!

I’m a list kind of person and I found some great ones on this site. I printed out two. One for meal planning with a grocery list option as well as a weekly cleaning guide to follow.

Check them out here:

Weekly Planners

I start this new method tomorrow and I’m hoping it sticks. I mean, no one is born into the HausFrau mode. Or maybe some are but for me it’s a struggle! Trying to remember everything that needs to get done is just overwhelming! I’ll keep you posted on how this thing works or not! Anyone have any tips?!?! My goal is to go to the grocery store only once a week to save money on gas and all that. I was going several times a week to grab little things that I needed to make dinner. What are some other good ways to save money?

In other news, Christmas season has started and I’m beyond excited for my mom, step dad, and sister to arrive for Christmas in Germany! I hope the snow kicks in by then! It’s much more beautiful covered in white. I have lots planned from the castles to the wineries to the Christmas Markets!!!!

Toblerone and I went to a Christmas market last night and it’s so magical. This one was small and close to our house but I’m excited to go to the bigger ones. For those of you that don’t know what this is, google it for the images, it’s a sweet market filled with vendors in little huts selling handmade crafts, typical German fare, and of course the Glühwein (warm spiced red wine)!

We picked up this German Advent centerpiece from a friend of his families. You’re supposed to burn a candle on the first Sunday in December. On the second Sunday you burn another candle and the first one again. By the time Christmas comes you will have all 4 burning up!

We’ve yet to get a Christmas tree. This is stressing me out! I’m thinking a fake tree is better for two reasons: 1. Harley won’t want to pee on it and tear it down and 2. The cleanup and watering. Who has good ideas on how to keep your giant dog from eating the tree?? Remember, this is the guy that gets mad when I’m gone to class for 4 hours so he rips everything to shreds. Help!!!

As far as my homesickness goes… It comes and goes. I think we may be able to make another trip in February again for a week or so which would be great! 8 months without going home in the first year of living abroad is an absolute no no! Granted, Toblerone had his emergency surgery so we didn’t have a choice but to stick around. I definitely miss all of my family and friends. I was spoiled being home and being able to text them (thanks Dad for the interim phone!) and see their cute faces!!!!

Here are a few highlights from my trip! Enjoy!!!!

Out for some brewskies with the older Bro

With my Dad and 3 of my brothers!

Snuggling up my baby nephew!

My Brother and I stalking our old house from when we were little

Toblerone with the Brother!

Bonfire and Smores with My Mom and Toblerone's parents

My Best friend RyRy (on the far left) and his Thanksgiving Extravaganza!

Uncle Toblerone and nephew Aidan!

The In-laws and my family participating in the Tree decorating! Goofing off!

A much needed night on the town with the girls!!! "Dear Dan" (long story)

Until next time, Readers!!!!! Xoxoxoxoxo

The GM Diet Completion and Other Thoughts

I was able to complete the 7 day GM Diet and here are my thoughts on the matter. To review what the days’ meals included click here.

The first two days I think were the hardest. First day definitely was stressing me out. Eating only fruits all day long was not hitting the spot and the hunger towards the evening was overstaying it’s welcome. Once I got to the day where I had to eat only bananas and drink milk I thought I would be hungry again but alas, I was not. I ended up only consuming, I think, 4 bananas in total (whereas the diet allows you up to 8! Who does that?!) Anywho, I didn’t have energy to do a serious workout every day but I was active every day as much as I could be. On the first day back to eating meat…I felt SUPER sick. Was not happy about that.

Results: The diet says you can lose 10-17lbs. I lost maybe 3-4lbs. lame, I know…but here’s the incredible things I learned in the process.

1. Exercise is a must. On the days I did workout I saw the greatest results the following morning. We aren’t talking like a brisk walk…like serious movement. Burn those calories!

2. After the hormone injections I was on for my endometriosis I noticed that a lot of water was collecting around my belly of course but also in a small section on my neck (around my thyroid). Also, on day 2 and 3 I could see all the water weight leave my body and I wasn’t “bloated” looking anymore. Although the scale didn’t tell me I was any smaller, it was really noticeable and my jeans were falling off me. I’ve always been able to make a pretty serious “pregnant belly” and I think I’m on the right track to finding out what it is. I never felt sick or consistantly full during these 7 days as I do normally.

3. As mentioned above, I was constantly feeling full even when I ate very little. This has been a battle my entire life without a diagnosis. What did I notice? When I eat meat, bread, drink alcohol or fruit juices, I feel sick. Anyone know what this might be connected to? I ate mashed potatoes tonight and feel like a blimp and in pain. 😦

Now that’s finished I’m continuing to stick to it sightly. Definitely keeping the fruits and veggies in my continues daily diet but trying to eat them as meals rather than having bread or meat. Tons and Tons of water daily. Trying to stick to a plan of 2 liters a day (if I don’t get too carried away.) I think if I keep to this, I’ll continue to feel better and lose the weight I gained from the hormone therapy. GO ME! I’m gonna keep going until I’m at least back to what I was before the meds and then some! Highschool weight? Yes please!

Toblerone and I just had a nice date night (overnight) in Stuttgart (approx. an hour away). So needed to get out! We went to the mall (only my second time in 8 months!) and then got ready for dinner, drinks, and a bit of the casino. Casino felt wicked sketchy in there and started to lose my buzz. I’m pretty sure everyone was on illegal drugs and all looked totally suspicious and wacky! Is this normal for a casino? Is everyone up to no good?! And whats with the dudes playing poker with sunglasses and headphones on? Or better yet, the dudes playing blackjack with sunglasses on? WHY!? Anywho, it was a good night out! Thanks Toblerone for getting me the hell out of dodge!

In other news, I’ll be heading home on Saturday – EXACTLY 5 DAYS!!!! I am SO excited to be in an airport again. As much as I have anxiety about flying I miss the smell of exhaust, the annoying people, and the excitement of what lies ahead! Most of all, I can’t WAIT to get into a country where I can buy all the latest gossip magazines and read up on the disgusting celebrities of America. Give me some Khardashian and Lohan nonsense!

I will do my best to blog on the road, hopefully I will have some down time! Can’t leave you in the dark for two weeks!! No no! However, I do recommend that you follow along on my facebook page to get new photos and quick updates about my daily adventures! 🙂 And pass it along to a friend! I have 77 followers which I’m SO proud of! THANK YOU GUYS!!!

Hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving holiday with your families or friends. And don’t let me forget to find something “American” and fun for the kids in my friend’s English classroom! 🙂

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxo

Who Took The Cork Out Of My Lunch?

Almost a year ago when I came to Germany for the first time (when it was cold and snowy) I went to a winery (my first one, ever!) with a few of Toblerone’s family. If you missed that blog, do go back and read it here first and then come back to this one.

We decided to head back again while it was blistering hot for some wine tasting and a picnic! Grand idea if I do say so myself! The drive itself is about an hour or more away which sucks but it’s well worth it! Upon arrival Toblerone’s uncle, The Mayor (for real), purchased 12 cases of wine within 5 minutes. I kid you not! Mind you, we are 5 people squished into one car leaving only the minimal space in the trunk for everyone’s purchases! Germans love their wine!

We tasted this and that, that and this and I was feeling the laughter start to bubble inside of me. You know that moment when you realize you’re buzzed and everything seems to be either hilarious or very serious. I was reading the back of a wine bottle like it was my rough draft for the President’s speech! Everything in my glass tasted awesome no matter what it was. I couldn’t tell the difference anymore between what was red, white, champagne, or pee. It was all amazing!

Toblerone's Uncle (left) and Dad (right)

We packed up our car with our purchased cases, leaving no room for our cooler of snacks! Holy NOT ok! Up we went to my favorite spot at this winery. The circular monument/chapel for the dead Nazi (not all by choice) soldiers. I know, sounds morbid and morally wrong but you need to read the other blog, like I told you to, first. Why is this my favorite place? Because there is something magical about this small little chapel in the middle of a winery with quite a view. And there we were eating our wurst sandwiches, drinking our newly purchased wine, and enjoying the view of the surrounding countries. Hello France, Hello Switzerland, and Hello Germany’s Black Forest! 

I finally took some pictures for you guys of the inside of this sweet little chapel. With large frames on each wall with all the photos of those men, and boys, from this particular town that died in WWII. This town isn’t large so it made me think that at one point, there were probably a total of 10 dudes in the town after the war. What a ratio that must have been! As I looked at all the faces of lives lost I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sadness. All so young and all share the same undeserved fate. And then again, maybe this had to do with the massive buzz I was working with!

It was SUCH a nice day and I swear to all that come to visit me, I will absolutely, 100% bring you to this place. To eat, drink, and be fantabulous! Not to mention, there is something so right about eating the wine grapes right off of the tree. Speaking of…we planted two wine trees ourselves..can’t WAIT until those babies come in!!!

Most importantly, before you go to the bathroom or clean the grout in your tiled floors with a toothbrush…please (PLEASE, I’M BEGGING YOU!) go over to the facebook blog page, and “like” the page! It’s easy as a click since I put the the handy dandy link to the right hand side here 🙂 Vielen Dank für Ihre Unterstützung! (Thank you for your support!)

Until next time, Readers!! xoxoxo