Here it is - the last day of 2015. I can hardly believe it. I remember last December 31st like it just happened. I am saying good bye to a wonderful 2015 which has helped me believe in the good again after a crappy 2014 and welcoming 2016 with open arms hoping it will be an even better one!
Dear friends, thank you so much for your daily visits and heartfelt comments! I am so grateful for each and everyone of you! You are so wonderful and inspiring - DANKE!
Wishing you all a happy, healthy and wonderful New Year - see you on the other side!
New Year's resolutions just aren't for me, all I achieve from them is to not achieve them. And that's frustrating - I don't want to feel like I failed. So I rather set myself goals without putting too much pressure on myself, that way I can decide along the way if I will be able to achieve them or not. And that's totally okay.
Last year's goals were perfect for me, as I needed some time to find back to my normal self after an awful 2014 and so my goals had to somewhat match my state of mind back then. And they did. I think I did pretty well with most of them. I didn't read as much as I wanted to, because most of my spare time went into knitting or gardening (during summer) and we didn't do as much as a couple as I had wished for, but we are working on it and whenever we do go out, we have one hell of a time, so I guess that counts.
This year's goals are pretty similar. There are just a few more things I want to focus on.
1. Get fit - I have had this on my list so many times and always started out so good, but never reached my goal. This time I REALLY want to get fit, lose the damn weight ONCE AND FOR ALL, be more healthy and lose the damn weight.
2. Travel more - The past few years have been all about work and getting our finances straight - we really rocked in that department last year and decided to "reward" ourselves with something we all enjoy. We are hoping to be able to visit Chicago in 2016 and maybe spend the summer vacation in Spain, Italy or Greece - we are still figuring out the details!
3. More couple time - We really need to work on this and so we are planning a few weekend getaways as a couple. Berlin has been on my bucket list for way too long, the mister really wants to take a trip to the mountains somewhere, maybe a spa retreat in Austria or Switzerland and there will be a few more destinations we want to visit.
4. Spend more time with friends - We are all always so busy with work and the daily grind and never really take the time for our friends, right? I want to change that so badly, because they are the people walking through life with us.
5. Girl time - Leonie is growing up so fast, she will be 13 next May and I want to make sure to do as much as I can together with her as long as she still wants to spend time with me. One day she will prefer her friends and I want to take as much quality time with her as I possibly can.
6. Blog - I want to grow my blog and connect with other like-minded bloggers even more and share my shenanigans with all of you.
What about you? Do you make New Year's resolutions or set yourself goals? I would really love to hear them!
Enjoy the last days of 2015 - hugs xxx
Christmas was wonderful - low key, with family enjoying just being together, talking, laughing, eating and drinking. Pretty crazy how fast it all went down and now we are already counting the days til 2016. How crazy is that, you guys!
I am certain that it will be an amazing year, I can feel it and I know it will be wonderful. Cannot wait to see what it has in store for all of us!
So, how are you spending the last few days of the year?
With the magic of Christmas slowly drifting away - our minds are wandering towards the New Year. Thinking about what this year was like, reminiscing about the good and the bad. Looking forward to a new start, a fresh beginning filled with excitement about what the next year has prepared for us.
Last year I was in a completely different state of mind - this year has been so much better in every way possible - I cannot wait to see what 2016 has in store for us.
Wishing you all a wonderful ending to 2015 - make the best of the last few days and prepare yourselves for an awesome New Year.
As most of you probably have, I took the past 2 days off from blogging. Us Gemans open presents on Christmas Eve, so for the kids it's the most important part of Christmas. What can I say, the gifts were a huge success this year - everyone was happy and pleased with what was under the tree. Family was over, good food was had, yummy drinks were devoured and this morning we slept in - pure bliss!
Today another part of the family will be over, a few more gifts will be exchanged and then we will all enjoy the rest of the weekend, planning a fun day for tomorrow, just the 3 of us. We'll see what the day will bring.
How is your Christmas this year? I hope your days are merry and bright and you are surrounded by loved ones!
Today's my last day of work for this year - wow, it's still hard to believe even though the calendar really does show December 23rd no matter how often I check. This past year has been a year of development and growth for me, my OLW for 2015 was THRIVE, so I guess that counts for something. It has been a wonderful year and I hope 2016 will be as equally good if not even better.
Today I am giddy to get off work, finish up the gift wrapping and then maybe some knitting, a movie and a cuppa on the couch to finally get into the Christmas spirit and unwind.
How are you today? Are you in the Christmas Spirit yet?
Happy December 23rd!
Today is December 22nd - 2 more days and Christmas here in Germany will be in full swing. I still have one more day of work to go - tomorrow will be my last day at the office this year. Just last night I had a conversation with my man about how crazy it seems that the year is already coming to an end. Didn't it just get started? But, I am looking forward to the New Year, there's just something so appealing to a new beginning!
Here's what's going on over here lately:
reading: cookbooks to change things up a bit for our Christmas menue
knitting: a winter hat for myself #selfishknitting
watching: The Affair
listening: Pentatonix Christmas to Me
cooking: light meals tp prepare for Christmas eating
wondering: if we'll ever get snow again
pondering: whether or not to invite a certain person for the Holidays
watching: my girl turning into a young woman
snacking: on lots of veggies - NOT - Christmas Cookies
wanting: just some rest and peace
hoping: for 2016 to be AMAZING
needing: a good night's sleep or two
laughing: with my man - we're such a great Team
contemplating: a new puppy - yay or nay...
How do you feel about Christmas being so close? Are you ready? And what's been going on in your neck of the woods lately? A lot of shopping stress?
The last Sunday before Christmas is here. Hard to believe, right? I did kind of get a little overwhelmed wondering if I was even ready for Christmas, but after taking a stroll through a local mall and purchasing a few things that were still on my list, I am now calm and feel confident that I am more than ready.
We had decided to not go all out with gift giving this time around. We gift ourselves all year long and so we don't feel the need or want to pressure ourselves with having to spend a fortune on gifts for this one day, just because it's Christmas. Don't get me wrong - we do go all out for our girl (subtle ironie)- after all Christmas is something magical especially for the kids, so we want her to have a wonderful time. But, with family and friends we decided to just do something thoughtful and small and everyone welcomed that idea. After all, sometimes it's these smaller but thoughtful gifts that stick with us the longest! Right?
I had fun picking something for the ones close to us - it wasn't that easy to find the "perfect" little something for them all, but I had a great time and I did not let the stress of others get to me. It's just not worth it. We ended our trip to the mall with yummy food and Starbucks for our drive home. All in all it was a fun day and now I am ready for the Christmas magic to take me all in all the while listening to "That's Christmas to me".
Happy 4. Advent!
Can you believe it? One more week til Christmas? Wow - seems like this month is going by even faster than the last 11 did. I am glad we are getting so close to the holidays, even though it makes me kind of anxious. Do I really have all gifts I had on my list? Did I miss something? Anything?
It's always the same. Every single year, I get a head start to purchasing all presents and then a few days before the show goes down, I suddenly have this weird feeling of not having everything together. Or maybe having it all together? haha It might seem crazy. I am sure it is. But I think I might have to get some last minute pressies tomorrow just for the sake of it. haha Anyone?
But, let's move on to my happy moments of this past week. There were probably more than just these 10, but they somehow stood out:
1. Quality time with my girl.
2. Great laughs at work.
3. A special surprise from a friend.
4. Lunch date with someone dear to me.
5. Movie night with the fam.
6. Knitting, tea, couch and kitty on my lap = perfection.
7. Decorating our Christmas tree.
8. Proud mom moments.
9. Christmas cookie baking.
10. Getting my Christmas bonus.
# 8 is definitely my favorite one - sometimes moments arise when you're a parent that just make you proud of the human being you are trying to raise in a good way. Seeing how your child turns into a wonderful person, showing you that you seem to be doing a good job - what more can one ask for. I will definitely be writing more about this in the future.
But now it's your turn to share your happy moments of this week with us.
Happy Friday, everyone - thanks for stopping by!
Accessorize zip around wallet, €10 / Lacoste sport watch, €205 / Sevil Designs gold jewelry, €9,12 / Rella pom pom hat, €33 / Aéropostale infinity scarf, €4,56 / Iphoria key chain ring, €34 / Synthetic makeup brush, €12 / Givenchy facial mask, €68 / Etude House face mask, €7,96 / Eos lip treatment, €8,98 / Body moisturizer / Bombay Duck make up bag, €21 / Clarins gift sets kit, €21 / Essie nail polish, €7,76 / S well drink bottle, €35 / W P Design cocktail set, €22 / Studio Oh! Leatheresque Journal, Beige/Khaki, €9,12 / Tea cup, €9,12 / Leather pouch, €12 / H M scented candle, €11 / My Even More Wonderful World of Fashion, €12 / BEATS BY DRE Powerbeats 2.0 wireless earphones, €235 / Skyline Sport Fountain Pen Medium Nib Mint
Germans normally don't have stockings - we brought that tradition with us from our time in Chicago. It's just so much fun getting some little extra surprises. And to us they are very special - because they were hand-picked for each and every one of us. I guess you can say that the items I picked here are more on the female side - probably because I shop for a girl all the time. Although I, too, enjoy looking for little extra gifts for myself. Sometimes we just have to get something for ourselves - the art of gifting yourself.
What about you? Do you have stockings and if so, what is your go-to stocking stuffer?
Wishing you a wonderful day.
As the year is winding down my strength keeps diminishing and I am so very eager for my Christmas break. I am positive that this break is very well deserved and oh so much needed. My emotions seem to be all over the place, what with the ending of 2015, a new beginning right around the corner, the holidays only a few days away and so many things on my mind. Can you see it - the over thinker in me is coming forward. HA
This week seems to be dragging even more than last one and I am SO happy Wednesday is already here. Still interested in my feelings this week? Here they are:
1. E X H A U S T E D.
2. T I R E D.
3. R E L I E V E D.
4. D E V O T E D.
5. C O M P L A I S A N T.
Caps and stretched was needed to emphasize how all over the place my emotions are. haha I hope you don't mind.
But, enough of me - HOW ARE Y O U?? Please share in the comments!
image found here
Today I would like to tell you a bit about our Christmas traditions here in Germany. I thought it would be fun for you to see what kind of habits we have during holiday season. Some of which you probably have heard of at some point, some of which might be new for you.
Christmas is the most important holiday for German families - it's that time of year where we get together as a family to spend quality time with our loved ones. During the so-called pre-Christmas period, the weeks leading to Christmas, we decorate our homes, just like others, with christmassy decor, candles and fir tree branches, we put up a mistletoe and put up lots of lights. Germans usually have an Advent wreath or "arrangement" with 4 candles and each Sunday of December we light one of those candles until all 4 candles have been lit, which means all 4 Advent-Sundays have been celebrated.
The children get an Advent-Calendar to open a door, bag, box or whatever it's made of each day until Christmas Eve. Like elsewhere in the world they write a wish list of things they would like to have. The Advent Sundays are spent with family and friends who come together for coffee and cookies, mulled wine and German Lebkuchen (comparable to gingerbread) or stollen and read Christmas stories to the younger children.
December 6th is St. Nicholas Day - the children put a boot in front of their room at night and if they have been good throughout the year, St. Nicholas leaves it filled with goodies for them to find the next morning. But if they didn't behave his assistant "Knecht Ruprecht" leaves a rod for a spanking to punish the kids, or so the legend says. I never had a rod in my boot - it was always filled with little surprises as long as I can remember, so I am not sure about the saga of the rod. haha
Throughout the month of December we have Christmas Markets "Christkindlmarkets" like the one pictured above. I love the atmosphere and the smell of food, mulled wine and cinnamon when strolling along between the stands selling lots of goodies. People love getting together for food and warm drinks, some purchase handmade presents or jewellery, I love buying at least one new tree ornament during this time.
Speaking of ornaments - you might have heard of the German tradition the Christmas pickle "Weihnachtsgurke" and the legend it beholds. To be honest, I hadn't heard of it until just recently. It seems more common on Bavaria - although no-one I know ever heard of it either. So I guess, different parts of the country also have different traditions.
We exchange presents on Christmas Eve. Usually part of the family goes to church for the Christmas Mass while mom or dad stay at home to prepare the gifts under the tree. When we get back from church we wait in front of the door until we hear a bell ringing letting us know we can enter the room because Santa or the "Christkind" left after bringing the presents. Well, at least this is how it was when I was a kid. Christmas morning is spent around the tree, having breakfast, looking at our gifts until we prepare our Christmas meal which is normally goose, duck or turkey. Some have fish, or lamb or a roast - however it's a meal shared with the entire family. On the 26th we go out for dinner after having spent 2 days at home cooking and hosting for the family.
Well, that's how we celebrate the holidays. I am sure, as I said before, depending on the part of Germany you come from traditions may vary, but for the most part this is it.
I hope you enjoyed this - if you even made it to the end. Sorry for being so lengthy today.
Happy Holidays xxx
Week 50 of 2015 was a busy but fun one. On Sunday we visited a Christmas Market near our hometown here in southern Germany, had some brats and mulled wine and enjoyed watching the crowds. I had promised myself beforehand that I would not let the pushing and pulling from all the people put a shadow on my good mood and I must say, I was successful. I have made it a goal of mine to not let other people's bad mood affect mine in any way - hope I can stick to that!
The weather this past week was oddly warm for this time of year around these parts. Normally we'd have more snow by now - but we only had a day of snow so far, wouldn't it be nice to have a white Christmas once again?!
How was your week? Did you do something fun? Please do tell!
Friday, here you are again - so good seeing you. It feels like although time is going by so fast, hours at work are kind of dragging and seem to take forever. I love my job, I really do, my body is just so in need of a break - I can hardly wait. Seem like a déjà-vu? I sure have said this before - sorry for repeating myself - it's just the truth though.
How has your week been? Mine was long, but also good. Here are my 10 happy moments of the week:
1. Secret Santa at the office
3. Lunch date with a friend
4. Movie night with my man
5. new tree trimmings
6. Meeting an old friend
7. Christmas knitting
8. a trip to the yarn shop
9. Sushi dinner
10. Watching The Family Stone
Ok, what about you? Tell me your happy moments in the comments!
Happy Friday, everyone!
Frozen by chrissyza
I had so much fun putting this together - I mean just look at the colors! Lovely! Do you know those glow shoes? They are THE hype here in Germany right now - Leonie wants a pair for Christmas. I don't get them, but I guess that's the way it works - parents normally don't really get the IN stuff teenagers want, right?! I can slightly remember my parents not being very supportive of my love for Dr. Martens way back when…haha…I got them anyway.
Technically this is not a wish list - none technically you could say it is…depends on your way of viewing it. HA No, seriously, it's not. I am not that kind of person. Material things are mainly material things, except for some things you really need and some things you get to treat yourself from time to time, because we all need a little motivation boost every now and then. Am I right?
So, tell me one thing that really is on your wish list - one material thing!
Tags: Things I love Thursday
Wow, how did Wednesday get here so fast - again?! I cannot believe how close Christmas is. I cannot fathom the fact that 2016 is kind of right around the corner. I am so looking forward to Christmas break - I really need some time to just unwind. Work has been so busy lately. Life has been as well. I will try and make the best of this coming break for me to fuel my body and soul for the new year!
Today I am feeling:
I know, I know, it's kind of all the feels - all at once. But isn't it always that way?
What a bout you? How are you today? PLEASE do share in the comments! Danke!
Men's Gift Guide by chrissyza
If your husband is anything like mine, he is obsessed with anything technology. And even though one might think they have it all, there is always something better they really need. The cruel thing is, you buy a gadget today and tomorrow they'll bring out the newer even better version.
So, this is most likely a wish list similar to thousands others - but I cannot blame them, because I would surely take one or two of those things pictured above as well. And even though Christmas should really not just be about the presents, let's be honest, at some point it is. We try to keep it down with the gift giving - one bigger item for each of us and maybe a few small, but one can dream, right?!
Would these be on your better half's wish list or is your guy totally different? I'd really love to know!
Week 49 / 2015 - it's a wrap. One more week gone, one more week closer to 2016. Boy, I can hardly grasp the fact that it's all going so fast. I do have to admit though how happy I am for the holidays being so close. It has been a very busy year in all aspects and I am yearning for a break. 2.5 more weeks and I will have off until the 7th of January - I cannot wait!
I have been busy with handmade Christmas pressies - all other gifts just need to be wrapped and I am good to go. I always save the knitting part for the end - I love evenings spent knitting, kitty on my lap, a cup of hot tea and a good movie on Netflix - it's how I prepare for the holidays.
How do you spend the last weeks before Christmas? Are your evenings filled with pressie preparations?
Happy Monday, y'all.
Once again Friday got here in no time - it amazes me every week how fast time goes by and the end of the year comes closer and closer. And even though this week didn't start off so well, it turned out to be busy but very successful, so all in all it's ending on a positive note. What more can you ask for?!
Here are my 10 happy moments of the past few days:
1. Started and finished a new knitting project.
2. Adele's 25, yet again.
3. Puppy walks in the dark looking at all the Christmas lights.
4. Collecting tons of steps on my Fitbit.
5. Coffee dates during lunch break at work.
6. Compliments from colleagues.
7. New seasons of AHS!
8. Sushi dinner with the fam.
9. Shopping for new yarn.
10. Planning a trip to the Christmas market.
Now it's your turn - do share your happy moments of the week!
Rituals by chrissyza
I wouldn't go so far as to say I am addicted, but I have recently discovered my love for all products from Rituals. It all started with a hand lotion freebie in a magazine - the Ginkgo's Secret in the upper left corner and a visit to one of their flag stores in a major mall here in southern Germany.
Now I don't have every one of these products, but I always try to treat myself to one or two pieces whenever we go to said mall. Sometimes you just have to indulge in some great beauty products which make you feel good about yourself no matter what.
This is NOT a sponsored post - I just really like all their products and wanted to share that over here in my little corner of the internet.
Do you know Rituals or maybe even use some of their products? They recently added perfume to their assortment which I have yet to try.
Happy Thursday, y'all!
Well, to be honest, the week didn't start out so well. On Monday I woke up with an excruciating migraine which kept me from going to work. I stayed home, in bed, blinds down, lights out in absolute silence until it slowly started to fade away in the late afternoon hours.
Tuesday was way better, I went back to the office and all was well. Today is even better! If you've ever experienced a real migraine, you know exactly what it means having to stay home because the pain is just too much.
Today I am so much better, happy and ready to share how I really feel:
Now, as always, it's your turn - share you emotions in the comments - I am still pondering about making this a linky linkup - so for now, the comments will have to do!
Ready, set, GO…
Can you believe it? Here it is, once again - December 1st. The last month of the year 2015 has come, the last few days of the year are here. Same day last year I was in a whole different state of mind - the dream of moving back to the US which had almost come true turned out to not be happening any time soon (see how I don't rule out the possibility of it ever happening?!), I was lost and depressed and thought I was about to lose my job, the only constant in my life at the time.
Little did I know that the job offer I had received shortly before writing that post at the time would turn out to be like hitting the jackpot for me. I have grown so much over the past year career-wise and I am pretty proud of myself for achieving so much in such a short time.
December is a time to look back on what lies behind us. To think about the things that have happened over the past 11 months and to think about the things we were able to achieve. Hardships may still need to be processed, maybe a loss is still not overcome. No matter what it is that made 2015 exactly the kind of year it may have been for you - this is the time to reminisce and maybe even let go.
I hope this month will be a good one for all of us - I sure am grateful for each and every one of you. No matter if you visit regularly or just happen to pass by - thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing so - it is very appreciated!
Happy December 1st my dear friends.