Friday, November 13, 2015

My Story

This blog has been with me for a while, and has been a great place for me to post my stories about living abroad in Munich. Going forward I hope to continue to post lots of content about my life, family and adventures in Germany.

I hope to also be able to show you my favorite parts of the city - from my perspective as an American living abroad, and also some great spots for moms with kids.

My larger goal is to finally compile a guide to Munich with family, with a ton of ideas for touring the city with your kids in tow - also great if you already live here but don't know what to do with your visitors with littles!

Looking forward to appearing more often in this space in the coming months!

I am participating in the LYL Start a Blog Challenge to get some more content up on my blog again. Check it out here!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

You decide

As many of my friends know, I am entering a period of career uncertainty. I will spare you the nitty gritty, suffice it to say that I am in the market for a new job.

I was at a barbecue with friends tonight and I kept being asked how I was dealing with the situation, and if I was ok, and how terrible it was and honestly, I was so caught off guard. Because I do not see the situation in a negative light. And I know everyone was just being kind but I also wasn't quite sure what they were so concerned about.

And then I remembered that I had made a choice. A promise, in fact, to myself. When I found out the news that my company was being sold, I promised myself that I would not let this situation stress me out. I would roll with the punches and be as positive as humanly possible, and of course I would work hard to find a new job, but I was not going to let this whole thing get me down.

And you know what? It worked! I am not stressed out, I am using every ounce of energy for good and positive and future purposes instead of worrying or stressing about things I cannot change. Hey, I hear there are even people who live like this ALL OF THE TIME. It's working so well, I am applying it to all areas of my life. Because it's so true what they say:

You can only control what you can control.

Let the rest go. Focus on what you CAN control. Make promises to yourself and KEEP them. You will be so surprised how a situation that could be miserable and sad and panicky and stressful can also be relaxed and productive and, dare I say, thrilling. It's all about YOU. It's in your hand. Not everything, but your reaction, yes. And you don't have to be superhuman and you can still have an emotional response, but you can also control your reaction.

I am so proud to have discovered this. You should try it!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

9 Sendling Favorites

We have lived in Sendling/Thalkirchen for nearly 8 years! Here are our favorites:

1. Campo Sportivo

Delicious Italian food and a great little playground in the middle of a huge sport complex - this feels like a "secret" discovery because the HC Wacker hockey (and tennis) is home to this adorable bistro. There is a huge outdoor terrace, a slide, swing and see saw on a lovely manicured property and Aperol Spritz galore. What's not to love?

2. Best Döner

We are regulars at this Döner place. It's not the fanciest, but the bread is made freshly (even for the Dürüm) and that makes all the difference. The owner is super friendly and we always take up approximately three tables with our kids and make a huge mess and they are wonderful every time.

3.  Italo Ristorantino

This is our little neighborhood Italian café. They have great daily pasta specials and fantastic strong coffee. The owners are THE FRIENDLIEST and are constantly spoiling our boys with amaretti cookies or special foamed milk or lollipops.

4. Stemmerwiese/Stemmerhof

Usually, on hot summer nights when our apartment heats up so much we can't stand it, we throw dinner into a picnic basket and head to Stemmerwiese. If we're feeling really ambitious we'll bring the hammock and string it up between apple trees. Kicking a soccer ball, tossing a frisbee, climbing a tree - maybe we'll escape into the Stemmerhof for some bites from the Biomarkt or Gelato or some wine from the lovely outdoor restaurants - but mostly our kids will want to play in the little rock fountain. We love this place.

5. Kitchenette

This place is such a gem. The breakfast is to DIE for. Order the Kitchenette for two which comes on a tiered etagierè and is so lovely and carefully composed with melon and prosciutto and marinated giant beans and hot peppers stuffed with goat cheese and and....and accompanied by mini pretzels and rolls. Yum. To drink any of the gazillion coffee specials and the lime mint spritzer. It's tiny and no strollers allowed so either eat outdoors or reserve and get cozy.

6. Gelato and Fountain Splashing

If we don't know what else to do, we head to the renovated Harras town square and grab an ice cream at Eiscafè Riviera and then let the kids crawl and splash in the fountain. Always great people watching and always fun.

7 Pizzeria Europa

Great pizza, very cozy italian atmosphere. In the summer this is great with kids because you can sit outside. A ltitle upscale inside but they've tolerated us on numerous occasions.

8. Valleys

After either playing at the Valley-Playground or swimming at Südbad (see 9) we nearly always head to Valleys, because we can't resist. They have the BEST Schnitzel. My favorite in the city. Huge portions, easy atmosphere, tons of high chairs. Go on monday where the HUGE schnitzel is half off!

9. Südbad

With small kids, Südbad is the BEST. It's really an indoor pool but it has a huge outdoor area so you can push your stroller right out onto the lovely lawn. There is an outdoor baby pool with a cool metal slide and a sandbox and playground. The outdoor area is heated and always lovely, The indoor area has a compact baby area with fountains and a slide and there is a separate shallow kids pool. The lap swimming pool has this amazing plant vine wall and when the weather is warm, they open the outdoor windows all along the side so it feels like swimming outside even though you have 100% UV protection. And the snackbar Crepés are the BEST. I love coming here when the weather is warm but it might storm because I know we can always head indoors should the weather turn. What a gem!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

3 Life Changing "Adult" Objects

No, not THAT kind of adult!

Lately, with two kids and job stuff and life stuff, I have been feeling more ADULT. And by adult I don't mean RESPONSIBLE or NEAT (ha!) or even SERIOUS but I have been feeling like maybe I should start having some things that other adults that I have generally looked up to seemed to have - clean floors, non wrinkly clothes, shiny teeth...

I tried for a while to achieve these ideals and then I realized that REAL adults (ehem) have expert tools that they have been using for years to meet these (entirely imaginary) standards. Here is a list of my favorite "discoveries" (this post has entirely too many ALL CAPS and (parentheses) and "quotation marks" already...)

1. Mop

Say it really fast 10 times. Mop is a funny word. Mop mop mop. Did you know that the German word for Pug is Mops? Did you know that the plural of Mops is Möpse? Did you know that this is slang for boobies? Did you know that Germans (even young ADULTS) have mops? NO not the pug kind. Also not the boobies kind. The CLEANING YOUR FLOOR kind. Seriously have you ever used a mop? Like a real one with those cabbage patch doll hair like ropes and a bucket that wrings it out? AMAZING! Especially after years (YEARS!) of trying to scrub away crusted on baby cereal with a swiffer wet. Mops clean your floors. They do it really well. That's why they've been around for years! Want to be a clean-floors-adult? (that's a thing). BUY A MOP! (we have this one)

2. Steamer

I am not an ironing gal. I specifically buy clothing so that I won't have to iron it. Tshirts and nothing button down, etc etc. But the laziness that accompanies no ironing is the same laziness that compels me to leave my freshly washed clothes in the dryer for days. So I definitely could use some wrinkle removing help. But hauling out the ironing board and plugging in the iron for one T-shirt? Laziness wins. I had been meaning to buy a steamer for some time but the ironing obsessed Germans scared me away - the amazon reviews warned me that the wrinkle removing power would be nearly zero. But when I spotted a steamer in the discount bin of our local supermarket (another German thing...) for 10 euros... it had to be mine. And you guys? TOTAL WRINKLE BANISHING POWER. I don't know what kind of standards those Germans have (actually I do. They iron their dishtowels. And their bedsheets) but for me it was like magic. Using a steamer is like one of those infomercials where they mesmerizingly blast away the grime off of a ten year old grill grate. Amazing. Wrinkles GONE. I promptly steamed everything in my house and fantasized about living a life where I look put together. And then I remembered that I had baby cereal encrusted onto my pant leg (See above)

3. Electric toothbrush

I can brush my teeth. I have been doing it for YEARS. But apparently I have been doing it for a far too short period of time. My new electric toothbrush does this vibrating thing that tells me to switch mouth quadrants, and then three times vibrating for when 2 minutes are up. Longest 2 minutes EVER but seriously? My teeth are SHINY AND MAGNIFICENT

That's it folks! What are your adult tricks?!

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