Monday, December 31, 2007

everyone has an ipod...

My friend Sarah got an iPod for Christmas. So did my Mom. Even my 11-month-old nephew got his very own iPod for Christmas! My husband has one. My brother. And my sister, too.

But I don't.

I adore iPods. Steve Jobs should be President and spread Mac love across the world as far as I'm concerned. But I don't own an iPod.

I never really saw a need for one. My husband has picked a few out for me and keeps offering to buy me one, but I just don't know what I would do with least I wouldn't do enough with it to make it worth the money. But when my 11-month-old nephew gets his own iPod...

So my birthday is 6 months away but I already have something to ask my husband for. I think he'll be very proud of me. I guess it's about time to jump on the iPod bandwagon.

So what do you use your iPod for and which one should I ask for? (And I still have 6 months to pick out a color...)

Friday, December 28, 2007

favorite shop friday: middleburg

I'm a sucker for Colonial America style so I love the style of this week's shop... in her own words, Susan "creates simple things that come form inspirations of history, antiques and feelings" for her shop, Middleburg.

There is so much here to add you your home to make it feel so a creative, colonial, historical kind of way.

Like this delicate dogwood flower garland:

And this series of Country Day ornaments:

Susan's work is made from papier mache with environmentally friendly materials. I adore this little sculpture called "Granddaughter 1845":

But this little horse silhouette box is maybe my favorite:

Middleburg will help make your home as cozy and friendly as a sunflower.

Don't miss the Middleburg website and blog and find the shop at

Thursday, December 27, 2007

a very lazy christmas

We had the loveliest, laziest Christmas! Did you know that Germany celebrates two days of Christmas? After Heilige Abend (Christmas Eve) comes the First Christmas Day (December 25th) then the Second Christmas Day (December 26th).

What did we do? Well, I got a nasty cold, so I was never much in the mood for anything but laying on the couch and playing short board games and Karl was happy to be home from work so loved the opportunity not to have any responsibilites and do nothing. So that's what we did. In between we ate a lot of good food and watched a lot of movies.

We ate:

1. Flammkuchen: we had our yummy, simple meal of Flammkuchen on Christmas Eve.

2. breakfast burritos: this is a Christmas morning tradition that comes from my Texas upbringing. As we talked to all my family members on the phone on Christmas, they were all preparing their own breakfast burritos!

3. mustard chicken with parmasean potatoes and bruschetta: this is a meal my husband made one Valentines' day several years ago and is one of my favorites so we had it on the 25th. The potatoes are one of our favorite lazy Sunday meals.

4. grilled roast with baked beans: Karl loves to grill, so he came up with this amazing marinated roast grilled on our balcony with homemade baked beans on the 26th. We had our leftover parmesean potatoes with it, too.

5. hot lemon and honey tea: for my cold.

We watched:

1. A Christmas Story: Classic!

2. Pitch Black: I hate Vin Diesel, but I really like this film. I watched it again so I could watch it's sequel for the first time.

3. The Riddick Chronicles: the Pitch Black sequel. It was ok and, of course, visially interesting which I like in films., but not as good as the Pitch Black. But I really like how it ended...very ambiguous, and you're not really sure if the Vin Deisel character really won or not.

4. The Office Special: the original British version. It's a Christmas special, so it was fitting to the holiday!

5. Spiderman 3: we always watch a Christmas movie on Christmas Eve, Albert Finney's Scrooge, but it's in storage in America, so we watched this because I hadn't seen it yet. I had heard a lot of bad things about it, but I rather liked it.

6. Holiday Inn: I adore this movie! Great Christmas movie...and the first performance of the Irving Berlin song "White Christmas". I especially love Fred Astaire's fireworks dance!

7. Elizabeth: The Golden Age: we always go to the theater to see a movie on Christmas day. So, on the 25th we drove into France and saw just came out here in Europe. (we saw it in English with French's easier to find films in their original languages played in France...Germany tends to dub over much more often). We loved it! I like the exploration of the director of the choice Elizabeth I made to be a virgin queen. I think the first filmed explored why she made that choice, and this one explored the price she paid in making that choice.

8. Star Wars IV: A New Hope: We watched this both with and without the the commentary. Have you ever listened to the commentary? Really interesteding!

9. Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back: Again, both with and without commentary. Have you ever read Chuck Klosterman's book, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs? There's a chapter in it called "Sulking with Lisa Loeb on the Ice Planet Hoth" about how this movie laid the foundation of Generation X who all saw it in the theaters as young children and how Luke Skywalker was the original Gen Xer. I highly recommend reading it if you were a twenty-something in the nineties. It's a middle film of the trilogy, ending on a depressing note, and for many of us Gen Xers, it was one of the first films we saw in the theater and had a great impact on our young minds. He has some good points.

Well that was our Christmas...good food, good flicks, and togetherness!

(Image from CabaretVoltaire.)

Monday, December 24, 2007

fourth advent

Merry Christmas everyone!

Advent wreath

We had a lovely fourth advent weekend. My husband started his vacation time on Friday so he'll have almost two weeks of sitting at home cozy with me!

We started our holiday season by visiting the last of the Christmas markets for the season in Heidelberg, about an hour north of us, on Friday. It was very cold but we had a great time wandering the booths, warming up with hot drinks and wurst and eating yummy sweets.

Heidelberg Christmas Market

Heidelberg Christmas Market

Heidelberg Germany

We also peeked inside this beautiful Jesuit church built in the 1700s.

Heidelberg Germany

Heidelberg Germany

We also splurged a little. We decided to buy a new Christmas Pyramid at the Käthe Wohlfahrt store. It's beautiful!



We also bought a Schwibbogen at a booth in Heidelberg, too.


And this darling little ornament...Santa with a little pyramid of his own!

Tree decoration

And today...well, today is Heilige Abend (the Holy Evening) and we'll be enjoying all the white frost and snow outside, my husband will be opening up the last little window in his Lego Advent Calendar and we'll be eating a traditional humble meal (symbolizing the humility of Christ's birth)--German tradition usually says it should be wurst and potato salad, but we'll be have an Alsace meal of Flammkuchen or tarte flambée.

Lego Advent calendar

Lego Advent calendar

I love Christmas in Germany! I hope yours will be as nice!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

favorite shop friday: ramona west

I know, I know, it's Saturday. But yesterday was a very full and fun day and I still want to get this week's favorite shop in before I blog all about that...

Ramona West! This is a way cool shop. I use to love going through the vintage clothing stores searching for cool stuff...and now I can do it online! But this is even better, because with Ramona West I don't have to search the all the awful stuff on the racks to find the cool stuff, cause she's already done it for me!

She not only sells found vintage, she makes her own clothing designs using vintage fabrics! And she'll do any alterations you may need!

AND she's very eco-friendly! Her clothing philosophy is all about reduce, reuse and recycle!

But my favorite part about her shop is that these clothes are just so cool!!

She's got everything from shoes and bags...

to baby doll dresses and coats...

from gaudy cardigans...

to vintage Valentino!

After drooling over these fabulous clothes, found at, check out the Ramona West blog and website.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

nightmare before christmas

We woke up this morning to a thick layer of white frost covering everything...and making this very noticeable...

Spider Webs on my balcony

...and this...

Spider Webs on my balcony

...and this...

Spider Webs on my balcony

...and lots more!

Spider Webs on my balcony

Our entire balcony is covered with spider webs! They are quite beautiful...but they also kind of freak me out. And...don't tell the Humane Society...but I don't think they're going to last the looks a little too Halloween-ish out there for me.

Spider Webs on my balcony

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

holiday baking

Christmas baking

I've been doing my holiday cookie baking today.

Angels and little stars to give away.

Christmas baking

I didn't have any Christmas forms to use, so I just picked these cookie cutters up on Monday. I actually have a whole collection of cookie cutters...but most of them are in storage in America awaiting my return. I have added to it since we've been here...

I love this pretty church...

Church Cookie Cutter

and this little eating utensils set...

Utensils Cookie Cutters

I don't know why I started collecting cookie cutters. I only ever make sugar cookies once...maybe twice...a year. I just kept buying fun shapes I liked. And then my sister commented once that she wished she collected something fun like I did with my cookie cutters. It wasn't until then that I realized I was making a collection.

Now I'd better go eat that dirty rice that's just finished cooking...I've been munching on broken angel wings all day and I need some real food in my belly...

Monday, December 17, 2007

third advent

Advent Candles

On Saturday we crossed the border into France. We live quite close to France and like to shop there. On this day we visited the city of Strasbourg for their famous Christmas Market. It's famous, not only because it's large but, for France, at least, it's unique.

Strasbourg, France Christmas Market

Strasbourg, and the area of France that lies just over the boarder of Germany, use to be part of Germany. The region is called Alsace and for centuries the French and the Germans have been bickering over was German than French then German then get the idea. The result is a unique region that shares culture from both nations. Many towns have German names, the local dialect shares more with the German language than the French, and, unlike other French cities, there is a wonderful Christmas Market every December!

Strasbourg, France Christmas Market

Strasbourg, France Christmas Market

Strasbourg, France Christmas Market

Strasbourg, France Christmas Market

The market surrounds the stunning and huge Gothic cathedral in the center of the city. Every December the cathedral hangs a set of tapestries illustrating the life of the Virgin. They were gorgeous!

Strasbourg, France Christmas Market

Strasbourg, France Christmas Market

Strasbourg, France Christmas Market

Strasbourg, France Christmas Market

It was very crowded and very cold but we had a wonderful evening!

Friday, December 14, 2007

favorite shop friday: vladmaster

Remember these?

I do. I had a red one. I flipped through 3-D-ish stills from popular Disney movies on mine. And I think I'm going to have to go dig it out because I really want this...

As you might guess, you won't be viewing a 1970s Disney movie on this one...instead, you'll view Franz Kafka Parables. That's right folks, the viewmaster disk is all grown up! Thanks to Vladimir, the creator of this week's favorite shop: Vladmaster.

Vladimir designs, photographs and assembles these viewmaster disks by hand. She even creates some that come with their own soundtracks and narrations. Like Actaeon at Home.

It tells the Greek myth of the mortal who was transformed into a stag for his dogs to devour after spying on the goddess Diana bathing. But Vladimir adds her own modern twist to the ancient myth with images of a train chase and typewriters all accompanied by a music soundtrack (complete with beeps to let you know when to switch to the next image).

Vladimir leaves no aspect of your viewmaster experience untouched: from the beautifully designed envelope and disks to the images and audio soundtracks. How did I ever come to think that the viewmaster was such crappy toy? I haven't had the chance to own one myself, yet, but I can't wait to experience a Vladmaster original!

Now where in the world did I stash that old red viewmaster...?

Find this brilliant shop at

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