3.31.2014

Farewell March 2014


March has come and gone leaving us a little bit with the aftermath of a whirlwind. So much has been going on - I can't even grasp how fast time is flying right now. You might remember me retiring my old blog "Whimsical Poppysmic", which is on private settings at the moment due to some unwanted clicks from not mention-worthy sites, and bringing this baby here to life on the 23rd. There is nothing better than a fresh new start - I feel so uplifted and energized to blog again, now if only I had the time.

We are still in the process of selling our home here in southern Germany to finally be able to join Mr. Z over in South Carolina to begin with our new life. Things are looking good and I don't want to jinx it, but I think we might be on the right track now. Finally. Selling a home or even renting it out, which would be plan B if selling doesn't work out after all, is more than stressful. Physically because you constantly try to keep it clean and tidy (we are still living in our home) and emotionally because of the ups and downs of yay or nay.

It is also a very interesting process of meeting so many different people. You wouldn't believe the differences in what they are interested in finding out about the house, the questions they ask, the price they are willing to pay for it, the backgrounds and lives they have. Some of which you wish you wouldn't have let into your home afterward and some of which you wish would move in on the spot. I will type up a post about the whole selling process, the showings, the negotiations etc. in a separate post, because I think this topic just deserves it's own spotlight. 

March went by so fast, I can't even remember when it started. Well, yeah, I do remember it starting on the first, but I don't really remember everything that happened. Maybe it's because there was so much going on. Our weekends are packed with showings and rushing to the grocery store to stock up our pantry. Nothing really fun has been happening, because there is so much to do and with Stefan being in the US I don't really have a lot of helping hands these days.

But I am pretty confident for things to fall into place soon. I am hoping for us to be able to move to the US within the next 2 months, maybe even sooner. So, stay tuned for more fun things about moving a household with pets from one continent to another and don't forget that tomorrow's "April Fool's Day"!

Hugs
 

3.30.2014

Sunday's Quote


Hope your weekend is fabulous so far - enjoy the rest of it!
Wishing you all a wonderful Sunday!
Hugs

3.28.2014

A day in the life of Chrissy

  6:00 am - my alarm goes off and I hit snooze once, after that I get up right away.
  6:10 am - I wake up Leonie, she is definitely not a morning person, haha
  6:15 am - I head downstairs to prepare breakfast and pack our lunches
  6:55 am - we drive to the bus station and I wait with her until the bus leaves for school
  7:05 am - back at home I take the pup for a quick walk 
  7:20 am - I hop into the shower, these are my 10 minutes of quiet before the storm
  7:55 am - after getting dressed, putting on my make up and fixing my hair I head to work
  8:15 am - after arriving at the office and filling the water tank of our senseo, I check my emails
  9:15 am - a 15 minute breakfast break often used for checking my private emails or text messages
12:30 pm - I am done with work for the day and head back home
12:50 pm - back at home I take the pup for another quick walk before Leonie comes home 
  1:15 pm - preparing lunch is on the agenda
  1:20 pm - the bus driver drops Leonie off right in front of our home and we have lunch
  2:30 pm - after cleaning the kitchen and doing the laundry I finally go on a long walk with the pup
  3:15 pm - back at home I have a cup of coffee and take some me time for blogging
  4:30 pm - I either go grocery shopping, do the laundry, clean something or help with homework
  
The time inbetween is used for any kind of activity like e.g. crafting, reading, blogging etc.

  6:30 pm - we prepare and have dinner together, talk about our day, share the things that happened
  7:30 pm - we have this one show we both love and watch before Leonie goes to bed
  8:15 pm - I tuck her in and she reads for about 20 minutes before turning off her light
  8:30 pm - I enjoy the rest of the evening on the sofa, watching a movie, a show, knitting or reading a book before I head to bed which is usually around 10:00 pm during weekdays

What does your day look like? Similar to mine? 
Happy Friday 

3.27.2014

10 things to do before selling your house

Our house has been on the market for a while now - I guess our mistake was putting it on the market during winter which didn't really add to it's curb appeal and value what with the weather and all. Now that spring is here and the sun is out again, we have showings every weekend and even sometimes during the week. We are noticing a huge change in people's interest in purchasing our home. I am confident that it won't take that much longer now. 

Aside from the season during which you are trying to sell your house and the location/ country you are at - people in Germany tend to renting a home rather than buying one. Maybe because they are cautious of tying themselves to high mortgage payments - you can quit renting on a whim, but getting rid of a home with high monthly payments is a bit more difficult. You can probably imagine that this fact doesn't really make selling a home here in Germany a lot of fun. But, aside from all those factors which you can't really control, there are a few things you can do to make selling your house a bit easier on everyone involved. Trust me I have learned a lot during this whole process.


Here a re 10 things you should do before trying to sell your home - and before every showing:

1. Clean up - it's as simple as that. No one wants to walk through a filthy home with stuff lying around everywhere you look. Pick up anything on the floor that doesn't belong there, put the dirty laundry in a basket and cover it up. Empty your trash  cans, throw away any newspapers lying around which you don't need anymore. Dust off that TV or mirror on which you can really see that dust. You will feel much better showing a tidy home, it will make you feel more confident about your house.

2. De-clutter your counter tops and tables - get rid of anything lying around that makes it look messy. I bet you wouldn't want everyone to see your bills, your mail or your grocery list you just jotted down. Put away those used dishes - just "hide" them in your dishwasher. Clean out your kitchen sink and make sure your dish towels are fresh and clean. Everyone knows that it doesn't look like this all the time, after all you live here, but the mind plays tricks on us, so lets use this to our advantage!

3. Hide those toys - if you have a toddler or children you know that there is always something lying around in your home. Be it a toy or a book, anything your kids "need" throughout the day. Put it away before a showing, again we don't want any clutter lying around.

4. Open the doors - make sure all your doors are open. It will make your space look so much more open, brighter and even bigger. It's the illusion that counts. Use this trick to make your place more appealing to a potential buyer.

5. Turn on the lights - especially in places of your home that don't get that much natural light. Like maybe the stairway, or the hallway. If you have a basement turn them on, you don't want potential buyers go searching for your light switches.

6. Vacuum the floors - I always vacuum our entire house before a showing. Even when it seems clean. We have pets and pet hair can be anywhere. Especially in places you don't pay that much attention to, but trust me, a buyer will most likely check those spots. So make sure there is no pet hair or any bread crumbs left from last nights dinner under your tables.

7. Clean your windows - you wouldn't believe how much more light will come into your house once those dusty and dirty windows are cleaned from the inside and the outside. Everything will seem so much brighter. A lot of people noticed when walking through our house and they loved it! 

8. Fix up the curb appeal - don't worry, your front yard doesn't need an entire makeover, but you can spruce up your house with some cute spring flowers in a pot in front of your door. Maybe you have a porch or a bench to place some potted plants, a cute terra cotta decoration or anything that catches the eye of a prospective buyer.

9. Clean your front door - ours is white and before scrubbing it down I thought it was fine. Afterward I noticed the difference which proved me wrong. Make sure it looks pristine because it makes for a good first impression.

10. And last but not least - check the smell of your house - light up that scented candle or use some room spray. Maybe you have a scentsy warmer or a yankee candle. Anything that makes your house smell good. You don't want potential buyers to be able to smell what you had for dinner 3 days ago now, do you?! We have a cat and a dog, but no matter who visits our home, they always assure us that you can't smell it. So, light up those candles and you're good to go.

Now these all seem like easy steps to selling your house. They don't take up a lot of your time but maybe they will help you find that new owner of your house a little bit faster. Good luck! And keep your fingers crossed for us selling our home soon, will you?! Thanks a ton!

Hugs

3.26.2014

Twenty Wishes for 2014 // Progress Link up


It's time to link up and share your Twenty Wishes for 2014 Progress again!!! You can read more on why we started this project back in 2013 here, but first and for most it's just for the fun of it. I blogged about my progress yesterday. You can write and link up your wishes and your progress here. Please add this fun button to your side bar to remind you of coming back and link monthly, and to serve as a little encouragement to work on marking off your wishes!!
Truly Lovely

The link up will be every last Wednesday of every month. Each month one or two of our ten hostesses will offer a little something as a giveaway for those that link with us. So, allow me to introduce your hostesses for the 2014 Twenty Wishes project...

Kassi & Kayli @ Truly Lovely
This month I am giving away one hand knit cable headband/ ear warmer in the color of your choice! We aren't requiring you to follow anyone, the only mandatory entry is linking up to this party with your list of 20 wishes. BUT the more you do the more entries you'll receive and I can personally promise you if you do follow, like, etc any of these awesome ladies you WILL NOT be disappointed! So, link your wishes or your progress and enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter form below! The giveaway will end at midnight on March 13th. Can't wait to see what you lovelies wish for!!!

Good Luck and Happy Wednesday!
Hugs xxx

3.25.2014

20 Wishes for 2014 // March Progress


For those of you who aren't familiar with the 20 Wishes project, check out the details over at Truly Lovely. I posted my twenty wishes for 2014 here on my old blog Whimsical Poppysmic and now it's time to share my progress for January, February and March here on my new blog. Welcome to The brave Wanderer. I hope you'll join again for the link up tomorrow, a fun giveaway included!

Here goes my Progress:

1. Pack up our home here in Germany to finally make the big move back to the States and start our new life in South Carolina. Things are starting to get real. Our visas are here and we are close to deciding when to pack up and leave. We are in the process of selling our home. I don't want to jinx things, but I think we finally found the right buyer. As soon as everything is signed and sealed, we will pack up and leave.

2. Go sky-diving - this has already been on my list last year, I didn't make it though, so here it is again and I hope to make it happen this time around. It will happen! As soon as we have settled into our new home in the US.

3. Visit a Pink concert. I really love her music and her shows are insane - I really want to see her live really bad. This will probably not be happening here in Germany any more - I'll save it for the rest of the year in the States. Like I said last month, it will happen in the US.

4. Visit Disney World in Florida with the family. We wanted to go to Disneyland Paris last year and couldn't make it happen for a number of reasons - so why not go see the "real deal" after we have settled into our new home. Of course this didn't happen, yet, but it will! Again, this is one for our future in the US.

5. Take more time for myself and go out more often. I actually met with a friend for a coffee date and it was awesome. We didn't even notice the time flying by. This will definitely happen again soon. This one has been a tough one this past month. As for most of the showings at our home happen during the weekends, free time has been rare.

6. Be more crafty again and focus on becoming better at sewing. Last year I had "learn how to sew" on my list, which I did. I really want to improve my sewing skills this year. I didn't sew anything since my last post, but I did cast on for a new pair of socks. I finished that pair of socks and then some. Sewing has been on the back burner for now.

7. Visit some of my friends here in Germany one more time before leaving for the US. I have been busy meeting some friends and scheduling visits. I have met up with some of my dear friends and will squeeze in as many fun dates as possible before leaving.

8. Meet my new nephew who was born 9 days ago and lives about a 5-hour-drive away from us. I already know him from photos and what can I say other than that I am absolutely smitten. I didn't have the chance, yet, as he lives about 5 hours away, but we have agreed on meeting up before we leave Germany. I haven't been able to visit during Leonie's spring break because I had to leave my vacation to go back to work due to a co-worker being on a sudden sick leave.

9. Try out more new-to-me recipes in the kitchen. I tend to have my go-to recipes which I keep switching around, but somehow it's always the same. I want to be more creative when it comes to cooking. I made a yummy chicken dish: chicken breast roasted in a pan and put in the oven with tomatoes and cheese on top for a few minutes, served with rice and salad...so good! I have been making new dishes which were really delicious. I am even considering a cooking series on this new bog of mine.

10. Try and keep the negative out of my life a bit more. I let others make me feel guilty way too often, for things that aren't really worth it. I am really getting better at this. I just can't have the negative any longer! Getting better and better at this one. It's actually not that hard once you start doing this.

11. Pay for the car behind me at the drive-thru. I did pay the coffee of a stranger the other day. It wasn't in a drive-thru, but I think it counts anyway. Not this month, yet, but last month's still counts, right?!

12. Take a quilting class. Still haven't tackled that quilt I want. I guess this, too, will happen in the US. Another one for South Carolina.

13. Make an effort at taking more photos of my family - time goes by way too fast and I don't want to regret not having photos of all of us. Gosh, I really need to get better at this. I did do this, even taking more selfies.

14. Read more books - I always buy them or get some a the library and then I can't find to time to read them - I really need to make the time for reading. Not, yet. Well, that stack of books is still sitting there waiting for me.

15. Make new friends at our new home in South Carolina from the get-go. I need more friends! Soon. Very soon!

16. Go out on dates with the mister more often. We need more time as a couple - definitely. We did manage to squeeze in some couple time during the 3 weeks of his stay here in Germany. Gosh, I miss that boy so much! With him being thousands of miles away all the way in SC we'll have to postpone this until we are re-united.

17. Knit a cardigan for myself - made out of some really nice and "fancy" yarn. I ordered the yarn! Yarn came, but didn't look anything like it did online. So I ordered new yarn which hasn't been delivered, yet.

18. Participate in a color run. A friend of mine did so last year and she loved it. Another one for the US. It will happen in America.

19. Do something new - a new craft, a new profession, a new hobby or maybe a new biz. We'll see. Need to figure out what first, getting there. I did pick up painting again. Not exactly something new, but definitely something I haven't done in a long time.

20. Get my blogging mojo back - somehow it has diminished a bit and I want it back. I'm on my way. My new blog here has given me some kind of boost and I am overflowing with ideas. Now all I need is more time.

Well, that's my progress - how did you do? Were you able to cross some points off of your list? Don't forget to come back and link up your wishes and/ or progress tomorrow and enter the fun giveaway! Oh, and you can join this project at any time during the year. No worries if you didn't join last time, just join now!

Happy Tuesday!

3.24.2014

Wanderlust // The desire to be somewhere else









wan - der - lust // a strong desire to travel

Ever since returning to Germany from Chicago in 2011 (I will tell you a bit more about those 3 years we were able to spend over there soon) I we have been experiencing a strong case of wanderlust. The homesickness for the US made us want to travel even more. It's weird when you return to a place so familiar that your only and biggest wish is to leave that place as soon as possible again. Coming back to your roots can be so discouraging and it can make you feel like you somehow failed. 

People who haven't been able to experience the expat life will most likely not understand you. They will question why you would turn your back on your home to go and live somewhere else. They will ask you about the advantages of living in another country and will want to know what makes it so much better than staying where you come from.

And sometimes or even most of the time you will find it difficult to explain to them what attracts you so much to living in that particular place of the world. You will most likely have trouble finding the right words for them to understand your feelings. Believe me when I say that it is very rare to find someone who truly understands you and encourages you to pursue your dream. 

I will start a series about living the expat life and moving/ living abroad. So, in case you, too, are living as an expat and would like to share some snippets of your adventure, shoot me a line, I would love to have you over for an interview or a guest post!

Happy Monday 

3.23.2014

No. 1 // Let me introduce myself



Hello and welcome to The Brave Wanderer. I am thrilled you're stopping by to say hi. Thank you. I am Chrissy - a married mom of one from Germany. Two furry members belong to our family as well, Kyra our Greek pup and Miley our kitty, who is clearly the queen of the gang. You know how they say a cat looks right into your soul, I truly believe that. They can see right through you.


Some of you may already know me and a bit about my story from my "old" blog Whimsical Poppysmic - I have been blogging over there for almost 4 years, but made the decision that I needed a fresh new start. Which this is. The Brave Wanderer will be about our life as a family moving from one continent to another, yet again. Yes, we have already made that big step once before, but then decided to come back home after 3 years only to find out that this wasn't our home any longer after all. But I will tell you more about that in another post. I will write about my passions aside from my family such as crafting, first and foremost knitting, my attempts at sewing and all other DIY stuff I've got going on. 

I also want to write about all the things that happen and are inevitable when moving an entire household from one country to another and what to consider when selling your home. Believe me you wouldn't imagine all the things that happen along the way. I want to share the ups and certainly the downs especially when, like in my case, your better half is already all the way across the ocean trying to settle into his new job and starting to build the base of our new life. Being a single mom at the moment, taking care of a pre-teen and our furry family members, keeping this house of ours clean for showings and still working part-time in an office while trying to tackle everything life throws at me can truly make for some intense nervous breakdowns every now and then.

So, I am sure this will be a bumpy road all along, but isn't life supposed to be that way? Wouldn't it be boring otherwise? Well, I sure do love me a good adventure and we are absolutely in for one. Glad you are here and maybe you will want to stick around for the ride. I would certainly be very stoked about that!

Hugs

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