On the move….

Oh, life never stands still.  I can’t even stand still.

Look! I stood still long enough to take a picture of my feet.  Don't get used to it... I'm always on the move and can't sit still for too long.

Look! I stood still long enough to take a picture of my feet. Don’t get used to it… I’m always on the move and can’t sit still for too long.

After 20 years of being a military family, we can’t stay in one place for too long.  We are always looking to move up and explore somewhere else.  Barefoot Runner and I both got new jobs – back in the States.  I love living abroad.  I love the opportunities it brings. I love the travel.  I love saying, “oh, I’ve been there”. I also need to have a career.  Sometimes, careers lead us somewhere else.  This time, it is leading me to Virginia.  Oh, I love D.C.  I always have stated that I have a short list of places that I’m willing to move to when it was time for me to go back to the States: D.C. and Austin.  I told you it was a short list. 🙂 Austin is great! The music, the vibe, the fantastic atmosphere.  D.C. well… the history. There is a different vibe there.  In Austin, it is laid back.. D.C. is very much LESS laid back, but the history, the sites, the craziness (and I’m not just talking crazy politicians).  Although I won’t be living or working in D.C., I will be very close.

Now, the fun begins with trying to ship my car from Germany (this has been an extremely long process and I’m still not even close to getting it shipped), find a place to live (I think I’ve found one), and purge the house (basically, get rid of all of the CRAP) so I will have a smooth pack out and move. Oh, yeah… and lets not forget that Barefoot Runner has been trying to get his PCS orders for weeks now and the people stateside are slow.  We are now down to 45 days until he starts (oh, and 5 weeks until I start my new job) and NOTHING can be done to arrange the move until he receives his orders. :::sigh:::

Okay… what should be coming up: the whole shipping a car from Germany to Baltimore experience (requesting/receiving quotes, decisions-decisions, paperwork, shipping, and finally picking the car up), purging the house from unwanted “stuff”, moving into a new house and starting my new job.

Every Home Needs a Gnome!

I enjoy hanging out with the girls from the Spouses’s Club once a month to play Bunco. If you are not familiar with the game, you basically sit 4 people to a table (3 or 4 tables) and roll 3 dice. The goal is to score points by rolling a certain number. You start with 1 and each take turns to roll. If you roll a 1, 4, and 6 and the round was to roll 1s, then you get 1 point. You continue to roll until you no longer roll a 1. If you happen to roll three of a number (not the number you are rolling for) and it is in a single roll, you receive 5 points. Continuing with our round of rolling 1s, I would receive 5 points for rolling three 5s in a single roll, this is called a mini-Bunco. If you roll three of the number, let’s say three 1s in our 1 round, then you receive a Bunco, which is worth 21 points. On your score sheet you keep track of your Buncos, mini-Buncos, wins, and losses.
Okay, so there is more to the game, but that is not the point of this post. The point is the prizes you can win. We play our Bunco game with a “steal the gift” way of winning prizes. This past week I won with the most Buncos and basically got to pick any gift I wanted & no one could take it from me. Oh, infinite cosmic power! There were quite a few really awesome prizes, however, I chose the gnome.

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Isn’t he adorable!! He is a doorstop. There were other prizes that cost more. I was even tempted to bring home the prize I had brought, but this little guy stole my heart. After a bit of begging and pleading, I got the location of the store…. I needed more! So, a couple of days later, I dragged Barefoot Runner with me to find the store. Oh, it didn’t disappoint. I bought a handful more to give as gifts this year. So, family back in the States, be prepared for your gifts that will be coming in the mail. You may receive a gnome… After all, every home needs a gnome!

It’s a love & hate relationship

Oh, school… how much I love you and hate you at the same time.  I enjoy the learning, but the papers I have to write are a different story.  I have class this evening (Friday) all day Saturday, and all day on Sunday – 3 (10 – 15 page) papers due on Sunday and a report due on Saturday.  Where has the time gone?  I’m sure I should have been writing well before now, but who has time?  Not this girl!  I’ve been busy – sleeping, working, trying not to melt in the heat of Germany (no really… it’s been hot here & for some reason the Germans don’t believe in air conditioning, or something like that).  I have been doing research today, really I have… I just … well… my brain is fried!  It’s too hot to think!  Either that or I’m a procrastinator – your pick!      Books

For those of you on my Facebook page that have been following the drama of “are we staying or going”… we are staying!  We get to stay in Germany for at least another 5 years – unless something more exciting comes along.

Time to get back to the papers/report.  Even though I would rather be in Paris!

Enjoying the view while I work

It’s been a while since I wrote a post, life is a bit crazy. I’m supposed to be working on a project right now, but I needed a 5 minute break. I am spending my 5 minutes with you… Oh, aren’t you lucky! I want to share the view of the Bavarian Alps that I am enjoying while pounding away on my keyboard. I’m such a lucky girl!

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Baby Shower Cupcakes

A friend of mine asked me to make cupcakes for a baby shower she was hosting.  I love to make cupcakes, so I said yes.  The order was for 2 dozen cupcakes, themed for a baby girl.  Living in Germany can present some challenges.  Cupcakes are not quite as a big deal here as they are in the States.  Therefore, procuring supplies can sometimes be a challenge.  I had some various pink cupcake liners that I had brought back from D.C., but they were not what she wanted.  She had seen some purple with polka dots liners at a “Euro” store, but when I was able to get there a couple of days later, they were nowhere to be found.  We agreed that maybe we should just do white liners.  I think white liners can be boring, so I knew I was going to have to dress up the cupcakes.  Please excuse the quality of the following pictures, I took them with my phone.

2 flavors were chosen – Vanilla and Marble.  I like to do a marble cake instead of chocolate or red velvet when I am using white liners.  I am able to keep the majority of the dark colored cake in the middle, leaving the outside a light or white coloring.

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French Vanilla and Marble Cake

2 colors were chosen – pink & purple (more of a lavender).  No problem, I have food coloring and I can mix it accordingly, if I don’t have the correct color.

I was given the choice of frosting flavor.

Here is what I came up with (forgive the pics, I was going to take final pics when we had set up the display, more on that later).

After baking the cupcakes and looking at them, they looked okay.  A bit on the boring side, but okay.

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Plain French Vanilla Cupcakes

I was not happy with how plain they were looking, so I had to come up with a plan.  I took out one of my cupcake wraps (you know the kind that cost more than you want to pay to wrap around a cupcake).  I trimmed it (I can use it again), got some scrapbook paper, traced the forms, and trimmed my new “wraps”.

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That was good, but I needed a little more.  I found some flower stickers at a local store and added those to the cupcakes.  They were lavender with polka dots, I was hoping that would fit the bill with the lack of colored cupcake liners.

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They are starting to get there!  Next I needed to make the frosting.  I thought about doing a vanilla sugar frosting for both.  Then I thought, why do we want Vanilla on Vanilla.  No way! Let’s do Lavender Vanilla frosting on the French Vanilla cupcakes.  Now, I had to figure out how to make the lavender flavor.  In my sugar frosting recipe, I tend to use heavy cream, so I took about 1/2 cup of heavy cream, put my lavender flowers in a tea bag (I ended up using 3 tablespoons…. way too many – not bad, just a little stronger flavor than I would have liked.  Next time I will try 1 tablespoon), heating up the cream and tea bag (be careful, milk products can easily scorch on the stove), and then letting it steep.

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I added the Lavender Creme to the frosting concoction, added a drop of red and a drop of blue food coloring to make the frosting Lavender.  I added a little vanilla extract to the mix (after all, it was supposed to be a lavender vanilla frosting).  The next batch of frosting was going to be pink.  I wanted a little flavor to that, so I added some strawberry flavoring to the mix and a little bit of pink food coloring.

Here are the final results (please ignore the blurry picture):

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Now, remember when I said I was going to take a picture of the cupcakes on display?  They never got that far, they are currently sitting in my refrigerator.  Why?  Well, as I was about to start frosting the lavender cupcakes, I got a text from my friend JW (the person hosting the party).  The mommy-to-be became a mommy that morning.  UGH!  I could have delivered the cupcakes to her and let her freeze them for the rescheduled party (one or two weeks away), but I know her freezer is probably about the size of mine.  We have German sized freezers, which means TINY.  I also don’t feel the quality of the cupcake would have lasted.  I refuse to have people eat a cupcake that is not up to my standards.  So, it looks as though Barefoot Runner and I will be taking cupcakes in to work tomorrow to share with our lucky co-workers.  I will happily make her a new set of cupcakes at a later date.

 

 

I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again

Okay, so I’m hoping I’ll be back in a year, however, today is the day I leave D.C. & head back home to Germany. Barefoot Runner will be picking me up in his new car & I can’t wait to see him & the car (he got it while I was out of the country). I have so many stories & pictures to share… I hope you’re ready for them! I will get home tomorrow by noon & we’ll see how I’m feeling about getting them uploaded.
There are stories about some of the buildings I saw, my traveling around D.C., my trip to Chinatown, a story about a homeless guy, and some other interesting stories.
Stay tuned my friends, stay tuned….

To sulk or not to sulk

The big reason why I came to D.C. was for what was basically a job interview.  After a day long process, it didn’t go as well as I thought it had.  I did well, but I did not pass.  Boo!

 I got back from my interview, spent about an hour on the phone with Barefoot Runner (the hubs) & just wishing I was in his arms comforting me & my feeling of failure.  I had bought food to stock up my mini fridge & headed over to make myself a sandwich (it would have been a cheese sandwich, I ran out of turkey earlier today – all of which I’ve been trying to avoid).  I look down & what do I see, there have been delivery menus slipped under my door.  China Express was one of them. While I was here, my plan was to go to Chinatown (it is very close, oh, like less than a mile from my hotel) on Saturday. I debated for all of about 5 seconds if I should be good & eat more of the tomatoes & peppers that are stocked in the mini fridge or if I should indulge in the deliciousness that I am hoping to consume. You know I went with the delivery.  I called, I ordered, and now I wait for the food to arrive.  I hope it is as good as I want it to be.  I’m still not getting out of my yoga pants when I have to go down stairs & get the food, ah, sulking… I’ll be out of it tomorrow when I hit the road with my camera.  Until then… bring on the General Tso’s chicken!