Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My Last Couple Weekends in Pictures

Plant bath time

Springtime repotting time

New balcony plants

Someone's turn for a makeover

So handsome in gold

Steaks for three

Warm temps and a balcony dinner

Beers and hockey

Celebrations for the DEL champions (once again)

Beer brewing prep

Brewing progress

The braumeister (and his serious face)

Brewing protocol

Spring arrived slowly and with a couple false starts, but I took full advantage and joined the rest of Berlin in filling my shopping carts with flowers and soil last weekend to beautify the balcony, which is sadly lacking in tomatoes this year (there is an explanation for that...), as best I could.  We also enjoyed our first grill evening outdoors with Kai after I happily spruced up seasick gnomey's look with a shiny new coat of gold spray paint (he was in dire need of less green).

This past weekend, we got to celebrate the Eisbären's third championship in a row (and seventh total) on Sunday, which would have been more exciting if it weren't so expected at this point, after having spent Saturday brewing a fresh new batch of Summer Ale, just the two of us. I'm told I make a darn good brewery helper and I'm pretty freaking proud of it. Also, this batch is already showing signs of being awesome and we haven't even put it into bottles yet. Not that I'm biased or anything...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

My Heart is with Boston

I'm still at quite a loss for words as to how to express what I'm feeling about the tragic Boston marathon bombings on Sunday, but luckily, somebody else, another former BU student, was able to capture exactly those feelings and write them out much better than I ever could in this article. It is most definitely worth a read, whether you know (and love) the city or not.

Stay strong, Bostonians. You're in my thoughts and heart.

View of Boston from Alyssa & Erik's house - photo by Micha from our trip last year

Friday, April 12, 2013

Happy Weekend!

Just as my final work day of the week is coming to a close, the rain (that drenched me so badly this morning on my bike ride to work, I had to take off my pants and wear my gym pants around the office half the day) has conveniently disappeared and the sunshine (that I'd almost forgotten how it looked) has made a very welcome appearance. This can really only mean good things to come.

 I was not nearly as cute in the rain this morning as this guy...

We have a bit planned for the weekend: some beer brewing, some triathlon training, some Ikea plant shopping (did you know the Ikea garten center in Lichtenberg is the largest in all of Europe?! It's magical...), and some new recipe trying.

So along those lines, here a little food for thought if you find yourself lazing on the couch with your morning coffee over the next two days:

Hanging planters are the perfect way to spring-ify the apartment, I say.

This pasta definitely deserves the chance to try and steal its way into my heart.

I love the idea of thinking of your living room as an awesome library.

This table would look pretty perfect in basically any and every room.

I cannot wait to own this book! (Clearly, I'm obsessed...)

Kerstin and I need party hats for a hats-required wedding this summer (yes, seriously), and this adorable one just made it to the top of my list.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Few Good Things from the Weekend

Thankfully, the next weekend is already almost here, but here a few things from this past one that I found to be pretty darn great.

We went to our friends' (Sara & Christoph) place on Saturday to catch up on life and vacations and they planned that we should make dinner together. I feel like this is a long lost art between people that should be officially revived. Making dinner with friends is awesome. Not having them make it for you, but actually going to their place and contributing. While you all drink too much wine or beer or whatever and maybe overcook or undercook a dish or two... It's just so much better than trying to be the perfect hostess because it's so effing relaxed! Friends - take note. I'm putting you to work next time you come over for dinner! ;)

On Sunday, we met up with other friends for our monthly brunch at a new location that, at first, I did not have high hopes for, but I was oh-so-pleased to be proved completely wrong. I get skeptical when people make reservations in the 'burbs, but I guess this wasn't really that far outside the city - it's reachable by tram - and dammit, if the location wasn't perfection for an almost warm, less-winter-more-spring day.

We went to the Hafenküche, which, while the website is abominable, the location, design, and food are fantastical (totally a real word ;). We got a big ol' platter of wurst, cheese, random mixed salads (egg, wurst, caprese, and the like), unlimited bread, and more for a very reasonable price of 12€ per person. And then we got to walk along the river together afterwards and spy into all the gorgeous fancy apartments that have been built up along it. (One day...!)

Also on Sunday, Micha randomly pointed to a pack of raspberries he'd bought and said, "I thought you wanted to bake..." And since we all know he's not the biggest baked goods fan, I jump at any chance I get to bake and share it with someone. So I whipped up a batch of this raspberry buttermilk cake from Smitten Kitchen (my go-to, on-the-spot, crap-what-do-I-make-right-now?! source) and fell madly in love with the recipe. So simple. So yummy. So quick! Quick really being the name of the game here, but I love that I already had all the ingredients on hand (substituting lemon + milk for buttermilk like I always do, since buttermilk packs in Germany are ginormous) and I also love the fact that it wasn't too sweet.

Raspberry buttermilk mini bundt cakes

I put them in mini bundt forms that Micha's momma had just given me for Easter and they could not have been cuter. In fact, there are still two cakes hanging out in our fridge right now that I might just have to take out and devour before I go to bed...

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Personal Lap Pools

Did you catch this post on Apartment Therapy the other day? Damn that site for always making me want completely ridiculous things for my apartment. A personal lap pool at home that could fit (perhaps) in a city and not just in the 'burbs?! Perfection!

source: Houzz

source: Dwell

I wouldn't have to deal with terrible German swimmers who think they belong in the fast lane (seriously, I want to buy each and every one of them a dictionary and highlight the word "schnell" in rainbow colors) and just think, sister and I could work out together every day and then treat ourselves to poolside cocktails directly afterwards. I think my future goal is quite clear. And since the sun seemingly never wants to shine in Berlin again, perhaps a move to Miami is in store... ;)

(No seriously, sister, get a house with a pool like this and we're there!)

Image credits: Top pool by Secret Gardens via Houzz | Bottom pool photo by James Knowler for Dwell, both via Apartment Therapy

Thursday, April 4, 2013

My Modeling Career

I'm almost ready to start babbling away about our recent ridiculous/hilarious/drama-filled trip to LA and Miami with sister that we just got back from, but in the meantime, here's what may be the the most random post ever seen in these parts. (I mostly wanted to post this here to remind myself in years to come, but you know, I thought that you also may possibly get a kick out of this hilarious little random tidbit of life, too.) So enjoy. :)

As you know, Liz visited last a little over a month ago on her annual pre-or-post-Rome Berlin pilgrimage, and was busy busy busy writing articles and blog posts for Context Travel (yeah, her job is way cooler than mine) during all the free moments in which we weren't baby-cuddling or stuffing our faces or imbibing different microbrews.

One of the articles she was working on was about Rome for Condé Nast Traveler and, as we have been there together on our biannual girly trips a couple times now, I helped her pick out pictures for it. For fun she even chose one in which I showed off my modeling gelato-eating skills.


And then even more hilariously, they chose to use it! So there's li'l ol' me, permanently immortalized on the pages of Condé Nast, peacefully enjoy my artisan gelato in a rare empty corridor of Rome while Kerstin snaps my picture. In an article that includes the word "pope" in the title nonetheless, which hasn't yet ceased to make me giggle (I've been known to start sentences with "If I were pope..." and confuse the heck out of people.)

Since this is actually my second pretend-modeling job (I previously appeared in a random Sunday Times article about DriveNow), I'm pretty sure I'm already on my way to Top-Modeldom and should start charging soon.

 Putting my GNTM-learned skills to use at long last!

So the question is: Which one would you rather see me on, ANTM or GNTM...?