Category archives: germany


cold weather always brings out my bright red rudolph nose

It may have taken it’s sweet time to arrive, but there is no mistaking it now- winter is here.  The Spree is frozen and today had a high of -11C.  I am feeling really fortunate that on a whim I bought myself a J.Crew puffer jacket for Christmas, I think without it I wouldn’t leave our warm little apartment.  The bright side is that since the temperatures dropped last week the sun has been out every day, which makes the cold much nicer, and today it snowed almost the entire day (I am a California girl, I LOVE the snow).  I carried my camera around with me most of the week, but yesterday on our furniture search was the only day I actually took it out- I feel like I am finally getting used to these below freezing temps and now I am escaping to California!  It just feels wrong packing my suitcase with dresses and skirts :)
I hope you all had lovely weekends!

christmas in germany

First of all, thank you all so much for your lovely comments on last week’s post.  It means the world to me to have such lovely blog friends, your notes brought some light to what was otherwise a pretty dark week.  I am flying back to the states next week to spend some precious time with my friends and family and I feel incredibly blessed to be able to do so.  We are trying hard to stay positive and hopeful, but sometimes life just feels terribly unfair.

Here are a few random snaps from our Christmas celebration with my parents which I never got around to posting, and what better time to share them than the end of January? It was wonderful to have them here for the holidays, but it was hard to be without my brother, his fiancé and my uncle, who we always spend Christmas with, fortunately skype helped make the distance a little easier :)  I wish I had a picture of our very first Christmas tree- it was a whopping 3 feet tall!  It was really fun to decorate, I raided some of my mama’s stash of ornaments last Christmas and finally got to put our Christmas pickle on a tree.  Have you heard the story of the German Christmas Pickle?  Apparently it is not a German tradition at all, but it was a gift and as I really love pickles it is quite fitting to have a pickle ornament on our tree :)  Cinnamon rolls are a Christmas morning tradition in our family and I think after 10+ years I have perfected my recipe.  They were pretty amazing if I do say so myself, and just looking at the picture makes me hungry.

I hope all of you had a nice weekend, I am back in Berlin and after a crazy month of commuting for work I am really happy to be back sleeping in my own bed and spending time with Andreas, being without him last week made it EXTRA hard.  Thank goodness for husbands :)

2011 in photos

I am posting this about a week late, but I had a great time looking through photos from the last year and thought I would share them.  Be warned, this is a very photo-heavy post.  Although I am sure you are probably used to them around here :)

We rang in 2011 with Travis Jay and Randall eating WAY too much delicious food and champagne in Santa Barbara.  Intimate New Year’s celebrations are my absolute fave.

We gave Andreas a proper (and very short) tour of Los Angeles

sent out our save the dates

traveled to Berlin to photograph a story for Matchbook Magazine’s second issue
< celebrated Andreas's 29th birthday in Karlsruhe watching fußball
spent a few lazy afternoons by the river in Strasbourg

took lots and lots of bike rides

sold my car and bought a VESPA!

went to Messdi and drank some schnapps

visited Istanbul and fell in love with the city (again) and wrote a travel story for Matchbook Magazine

we spent our summer exploring new lakes and appreciating our gorgeous region

went to Paris to celebrate Nica & Didier’s wedding

went to Santa Barbara to celebrate Travis and Randall’s wedding.  this was right before I gave my maid of honor speech…. on a stage in front of 150 people.  so so nervous.

I photographed my dear friend Kala’s new baby, Elaia.  She was one week old :)

my girlfriends in San Francisco surprised me with a bachelorette party on a boat!

we fell head over heels for Emmy Lou

watched the Giants crush the Dodgers

enjoyed the glory of summer in the Black Forest.  Late evening swims with our niece and nephew

went to the Titisee for my birthday

we got MARRIED!

explored Provincetown

relished in newlywed bliss

made our annual Faux-giving

freezed in Munich visiting Mary for her birthday.

celebrated our first Christmas together in Germany.  and then moved across the country.

all in all, 2011 was pretty amazing… but I think 2012 might be even better :)

Hope 2012 is off to a great start for you too!

the voice of germany

To be completely honest, I am not the biggest fan of television but somehow I find myself smitten with a couple German TV shows: Bauer sucht Frau (a farmer dating show- which surely needs an entire blog post dedicated to it) and The Voice of Germany.  Knowing that they film the live shows for The Voice of Germany in Berlin, I randomly signed us up for their mailing list for tickets; although of course the night they went on sale I forgot all about it and by the time I remembered, they were all sold out :(

Last Friday morning after an epic 2 hour skype call with two of my girlfriends in San Francisco, I got an email saying there were a handful tickets available for the nights taping of The Voice, and since our night’s plans involved building furniture and a trip to Ikea (I know, WILD!), I ditched our hot ikea date and got us two tickets.  It ended up being really fun, Andreas was on TV a couple times and even though my hands hurt from clapping for 4 hours straight, there are some really talented singers competing and I loved it.  After the show I realized that out of the 12 contestants who sang on Friday, 3 of the singers were American expats and it just so happens my favorite is one of those 3.  Watch the video and you will definitely see why he is my fave :)

I hope you all had wonderful weekends! We did make it to Ikea on Saturday and I now know never to go to Ikea again on a Saturday- it was complete madness.  We probably should have turned around when we drove into the parking lot and it was completely full.  Although I suppose it was worth it, our flat is a whole lot more live-able now and we finally unpacked our clothes and finished building our closet. That’s right, closet. Because German apartments don’t have closets, so we have the biggest wardrobe ikea sells and it was a total nightmare to rebuild after we moved it to Berlin. A bit of advice, if you want to keep your sanity, do NOT buy a pax wardrobe from ikea. Thankfully after a week of pain, it is finally finished and filled with clothes – no more rifling through boxes each morning to get dressed :)  Major upgrade!

Greetings from Berlin!

sunset at 3:30 in the afternoona very scary looking baby jesus…. the photo does it no justice
To say the last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind would be a serious understatement, but they were also an amazing few weeks.  We had a wonderful time with my parents: we threw our German wedding party, road tripped to Luxembourg for the day, celebrated Christmas with Andreas’s family, and finally packed our apartment into a van and drove to Berlin (which we could NOT have done without their help). Their time in Germany seemed to fly by, but I feel so incredibly blessed that they made the trip to spend the holidays with us- we had so much fun together.  I got real real lucky in the family department :)  We spent our last day together walking around the city and exploring our new home, and of of course had to fit in one more Christmas Market before the year ended and stopped by the Gendarmenmarkt Weihnachtsmarkt.

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday, I have so much to share from the past few weeks, so stay tuned, hopefully you won’t hate me for posting Christmas pictures in the middle of January.  We are slowly unpacking and settling into our new apartment (which I am madly in LOVE with), Andreas started his new job yesterday and I will be commuting back to the Black Forest for work a couple days a week until the end of the month.  So things are still pretty crazy around here, but I am oh so happy to be finished with the move, even if we don’t have any furniture and our “dinner table” is currently a box of picture frames.  If any of you know any great online European furniture shops or stores here in Berlin please share!

and I hope 2012 is off to a great start for all of you!  I have a feeling this is going to be a really good year :)

christmas market time!

As you might already know, I really LOVE Europe’s Christmas markets and have made a goal this year to try and visit as many as possible.  Poor Andreas woke up with a nasty cold today so we kept it local and checked out the Gengenbach christmas market, which I have somehow never visited before even though it is only a 10 minute drive.  Gengenbach is a charming little town whose claim to fame is having the world’s largest advent calendar- the town hall’s 24 windows become the giant advent calendar for the month of December during the christmas market.  Also, a scene from Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was filmed here, offering a quick glimpse of the picturesque little town.  For anyone traveling to Strasbourg’s world famous Christmas Market I would definitely recommend a trip across the border to Gengenbach to experience a smaller version of the festivities.  We definitely enjoyed ourselves, and the food- yes that is a giant bowl of schupfnudeln mit sauerkraut (potato dumplings and sauerkraut aka my favorite German festival food) which could only have been made better had it been enjoyed with a nice mug of glühwein, but it was 3 in the afternoon and I decided to be a good girl today ;)  Can you believe it is already DECEMBER?!?!?!  madness.

hope you all had lovely weekends!


a few instagram snaps from our weekend in Berlin.  Sorry for the blog-silence here last week, pretty much every free moment outside of work was spent scouring the internet for an apartment, it was madness.  The good news is that all of our searching paid off and we found a lovely flat to call home :)  The picture on the bottom left is the view from our new front door of the Fernsehenturm (TV tower) at Alexanderplatz.
We spent most of Saturday running from apartment viewing to apartment viewing and on Sunday morning with a bit of free time, decided to check out a flat in the most amazing location, even if it was a little more than our budget.  Of course we instantly fell in love with the renovated Altbau (it was built in 1918) and it’s high ceilings and giant windows. 5 minutes after we had turned in the application we got a phone call from the landlord saying that it was all ours and we signed the contract before our train ride home.  It was all in all a very busy but successful weekend and I could not be more excited about our upcoming move, Berlin is such an incredible city.


Some big changes around here…. we will start 2012 off with a new home!  We are making the move to Berlin next month and while we still need to find a place to live, are SO excited.  I for one, cannot wait to be back living in a city.  The Black Forest is gorgeous, don’t get me wrong, but for me, nothing compares to the action and excitement of living in a city.  Surely there will be lots of adventures to come, so stay tuned! :)

photos from my Berlin travel story from Matchbook Mag’s Issue 2

christmas tunes

Now that Halloween is here, doesn’t that mean it is now acceptable to listen to Christmas music?  It just so happens that I found my match in a man who loves Christmas music more than me* (which I didn’t think was possible) and undoubtedly A Very She & Him Christmas will be on repeat until the new year.

*Andreas was listening to Christmas music on our flight to Boston in September.  Why?  because it makes him happy.  
he is the most adorable man ever.  :)

Happy Halloween!  I hope all of you stateside will enjoy the holiday for me!  We might be attending a Halloween party tonight, but it is really not the same… so many of my costume ideas don’t translate. :(


homemade pickles are my favorite :)

Andreas and I spent the weekend in Munich celebrating our dear friend Mary’s birthday.  I am still under the weather and on Friday night I somehow managed to fall asleep while dancing at an electro disco (and I was sober). Even though I was feeling a bit like a grandmother, it was still a great weekend.  It seems that fall decided to only last a few weeks this year, because it is freezing here in Europe and feels most definitely like winter.  We braved the cold during the day and walked the streets and through the Englischer Garten, where the foliage was bright and beautiful.  It was so refreshing that for once, almost only German was spoken for an entire weekend.  It is habit to speak english with friends here, because that is the language we met speaking, but it surely doesn’t help me one bit.  It makes me oh so happy when people make the effort to speak german with me.  I still make a million mistakes, but at least we are making some progress…

Today marks one month since we tied the knot!  I cannot believe how quickly the last few weeks have gone!  We got a sneak peak at some of our wedding photos tonight and we were laughing and crying at the same time, I can’t wait to share them with you guys!