Bloom

23 07 2012

One of my mini succulents is blooming! It’s my very first one to grow little flowers. How exciting! Also, an added bonus: see the rainbows on the left side of the picture? I took this at night while the chandelier was on – the chandelier shoots rainbows all over the room! How can one not be happy when their living room is full of such color and little flowers?

Hope you all have a good start to your week. I’m pretty much psyched because I just have a 3-day week and get to see my family on Thursday!

P.S. Also, a shout-out to Malorie, my dear friend from high school whose birthday it is today! Happy 26th birthday, Mal!

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Around here

20 07 2012

Home stretch…two weeks left!! And out of my last five days of work before the wedding, I have now finished two. [Starting to get excited, yo!]

Now it’s the weekend, I’ve got a haircut appointment today (trimming off those split ends that haven’t been cut since last summer! and getting my bangs professionally reshaped), shopping with friends, finishing up wedding DIY, practicing our first dance choreography…the list goes on and on.

I am so very excited!

And I’m extra excited this morning because on the way home from work on my bike, I decided to ride on the other side of the street for once to switch it up a little. My spontaneity was rewarded, as I saw a box that said “Zu verschenken” (basically: FREE STUFF!) and it had 6 succulent plants in it! I screeched to a halt and pulled over and stuck as many of them in my bag as I could (4 of them fit!). There were a few bowls and mugs, too, but they weren’t awesome so I left them there for the next person.

Tobias isn’t as much of a fan of these plants as I am, but he told me he likes that I like these plants so much, and so it’s okay for him to have them around.

So…I’m one happy camper!

Happy Friday to you all!





Monkey Donuts

17 07 2012

In class last week, I lamented the fact that there is no Dunkin’ Donuts in Hamburg. But one student piped up and said, “There is a donut shop near the university!” and whipped out her iPhone and had a name and an address for me within seconds. It’s called Monkey Donuts, and it’s apparently Hamburg’s first (and, so far, only) donut shop! I am sooooo excited about this!

This past weekend, Tobias and I were in the neighborhood and I decided we had to stop by! Walking in was like…the most amazing thing ever, seeing all of those colorful donuts all lined up – Dunkin’ Donuts style!

We got a half a dozen. Tobias got a classic (chocolate with vanilla cream), nougat, and caramel crunch, and I opted for a marshmallow, a monkey nut (banana split), and a classic. Let me tell you, it was really hard to make a decision, but I know I’ll be back to try more flavors! They’re delicious! My marshmallow one even had a few mini marshmallows on top (which slid down to the middle in transport). Mmmmm!

AND to make life even more perfect…THEY. HAVE. CREAM. SODA. This is a huge deal to me, because cream soda is one of the things you can’t really find over here, and it’s one of my favorites that I miss.

So you can bet that I’ll be going back there sometime! You can even order donuts online, and if you get your order in by 6 p.m., they’ll be delivered the following day. (Of course, the minimum order is 24 donuts, so it would have to be for a big party, and not just your normal breakfast!) The neighborhood I live in is also close enough to get free delivery! Sweet! I’m thinking…wedding day breakfast?





Flea market finds

16 07 2012

As I mentioned in the last post, we’ve gone to quite a few flea markets recently in order to find old books and candlesticks for our wedding reception.

For the first time, we went out to the flea market at the Trabrennbahn, which is normally a horse racing track, but on Wednesdays and Saturdays, they have a pretty sizable flea market!

We had even more luck when we got there, because we ended up getting this beautiful red office chair for 10€.

I don’t know how Tobias did it…but he carried the chair home on his bike. Hardcore, man.

Turns out the chair is a pretty good brand, too. It’s Labofa, which is a Danish company that specializes in chairs and office seating.

Our chair looks a lot like these. Perhaps our chair has been painted before, because there is black paint underneath the red that is chipping. But I love that it gives it that extra cool look! It’s now sitting happily in our kitchen and matches the floor tiles very well!





Inflatable Canoeing

15 07 2012

A month or two ago, Tobias and I bought an inflatable canoe from Lidl, one of the local supermarkets. And two weeks ago, we finally had good enough weather to take it out for a spin! So we packed it up, put on our flip flops and headed to the Alster, which if you will remember, is the big lake in the center of the city.

It took a while to set it up, but we got it together and paddled it out into the lake. The freedom!

Tobias did most of the paddling, since the boat only came with one paddle. And unlike a normal canoe, the inflatable one floats mostly on the surface of the water, making it a lot easier to tip over. We didn’t fall in the lake, but we had to be careful not to shift around too much because we didn’t want to get too wet.

We went out on a Saturday evening after a long day of scouring the flea markets for candlesticks for our wedding décor, and it was just a lovely, peaceful experience to be out there on the lake. And we had views of the city we’ve never had before!

 





Tobi cooks: Chicken, Zucchini, Red Pepper and Couscous with Grilled Peaches

14 07 2012

This was actually my idea for the ingredients, as I picked up these items after work to bring home for dinner. But Tobias was the one who put all the magic together and made it taste great. (Even though he almost didn’t want to use my peaches, but my allergic self really wanted some peaches and the only way I can eat them is if they’ve been heated up. So he conceded and it turned out just as good as I had imagined. Thanks, honey!)

Apparently I’m not the only one who has thought of this combination — after we had cooked our meal, I looked online for the ingredients to see what I could find. A shish kebab version of them is here on taste.com.au, which looks like it would be a really good treat at a barbecue! And I learned something new from that recipe. The genus name of a red bell pepper is capsicum, which is listed on the kebab recipe as an ingredient instead of “bell pepper”. I was like, what the heck is a capsicum? Googled it, and learned something new. So you can impress your friends at the next dinner party. “You simply must try some of this capsicum. It’s delicious!”

Chicken, Zucchini, Red Pepper and Couscous with Grilled Peaches

Ingredients:

olive oil

1 onion

1 medium-large zucchini

1 red bell pepper, with the skin peeled off

mini chicken filets

1 white peach

pepper, salt to taste

couscous

Cut up the onion and let them cook in a splash of olive oil. Chop the zucchini into medium-sized chunks and add to the onion. Peel the red bell pepper (something new we tried, which is not necessary, but made it more interesting – the skin can be a bit chewy sometimes), chop it, and add to the zucchini and onion.

Cook the couscous according to the directions in the box. Leave it covered so it stays warm, because it cooks really fast!

In another pan, cook up the chicken in some olive oil, adding pepper and salt to taste. Tobias also added a sprig or two of rosemary, which made the chicken taste fabulous. When the chicken is almost finished cooking, chop up your peach and into slices, sprinkle pepper and salt onto both sides of the slices, and add to the pan with the chicken. Cook them until they’re warm and a bit juicy, but not too long that they get soggy – it’s nice to have a little bit of crunch!

When finished, serve onto plates and add a sprig of parsley for the finishing touch!

Guten Appetit!





This and that

13 07 2012

Boy, I tell ya – life sure is BUSY right now! Apart from the basics like eating, sleeping and working, basically every free moment is spent wedding planning. At this point in the planning process, it somehow feels weird saying “wedding planning” because most of the big things have already been planned. It’s just all the smaller details that we just have to get DONE. You know? Checking all that stuff off the list.

…although there are a few bigger things that are still not figured out…like who will be doing my hair/makeup for the big day. Oy.

So you can understand why things have been slow over here on the blog! But I’d like to say a big thank you to my Friday class for canceling, because that means I could sleep in and now have some time to write some posts! And having a long weekend is really great, since there is so much stuff to do.

First up on catching up: I bought some mini beach shovels and a bucket for my niece Abby for their visit here, and I couldn’t help but laugh at how very European the cartoon on the tag was.

See it? You would NOT see that kind of bathing suit in the US! Hah!








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