What a wonderful roller coaster it's been and a fantastic adventure.  It's all I thought it would be plus so much more.  You can relive the fun that was our wedding here and here

On an interesting note, remember how I wrote THIS disclaimer at end of last year's anniversary post?
"let's just hope next year we're in the same country!"
Well guess who had to go to France for business this week?  Yup!  But no biggie, we're waiting til he gets back (and the detox is over) to celebrate three years of wedded happiness!


(please don't) pour some sugar on me

Mr Bama and I have been MIA, but it's been because this month has been a little hectic. Adding to the craziness, we decided September would be "Sugar-Free September."  This means:
  • no carbs
  • no sugar-based anything
  • no sweeteners (ie, honey, molasses, maple syrup, etc)
  • no fruit (!)
  • no starches
  • no alcohol (unhappy face)
  • lots of meat and happy, healthy fats
  • I can still drink coffee!!
Thanks to the 21 Day Sugar Free Detox, via Balanced Bites my eyes have been opened to just how much sugar most Americans eat.  Even if you're like me, someone who doesn't drink soft drinks, really doesn't have a sweet tooth, and isn't a fan of baking, you eat amazing amounts of sugar in your bread, your fruits, and even in some of your veggies.
image via
I thought this would be a breeze, but boy was I wrong. I can't find a ton of the ingredients used for many of the 21- Day recipes either at our tiny commissary or on the German economy (apparently Germans don't like coconut flour?) so it's been particularly frustrating.  We've ordered coconut and almond flour from Amazon, but their estimated delivery times are in October, after the detox is over. And I really didn't think this through before dedicating September as THE month to do this.  Because our anniversary falls during the detox and I MAY have to break it to have the customary celebratory champagne.
image via
14 days in and here are my pros/cons list

  • I'm eating more veggies than I ever have before.  I actually like squash and avocados!
  • Bacon is not your enemy, it's your friend
  • coconut butter smells so much better than olive oil.
  • most 21-day detox approved recipes are insanely simple, 5 ingredients MAYBE.  My kind of cooking.
  • no real weight loss, but no weight gain. 
  • total lack of energy.  I have no desire to work out.  AT ALL. I'm exhausted, un-enthused and find that any energy I do I tend to think about my chocolate or popcorn cravings and how much i miss them.
  • Going out with friends can be uber- frustrating, as in Germany most stuff is breaded and fried or potato-based.  When I ask for items without "brot" or "kartoffolen"I get the oddest looks.
Here's hoping that as I start my third and final week of the detox I get a little kick in energy and the benefits start to show up.  Otherwise I'm afraid that come day 21 I will just bury my head in a mound of croissants and never look back.

UPDATE (9/17):  So this weekend I went to Ramstein and bought the commissary out of their coconut and almonds flours just to tide us over until the Amazon orders arrived.  Then I go to the mail room this morning and what do I find?

Thats 5lbs of almond flour there baby, bringing truth to the saying of "it's either a feast or a famine."  That should make crust for oh, about 10 paleo pizzas.


house o' rama (pt 2)

When figuring out what to do with space, the upstairs has been a bit of a challenge usability-wise.  It's very "custom" in that there are great built-ins (rare for a German rental) as well as an absolutely fantastic bathroom (more about that later on in the post).  However, the sloping roof makes a good amount of square footage un-usable, including our third floor bonus room, which has pretty much NO usable space for anyone over 5' tall.  Our old house had the sloping ceiling/walls also, but there were wall dormers that allowed more space to be usable.  No wall dormers with this house, so I had to be creative in the placement of things like desks, our bed and shelving.  Also, the fact that our bedroom has built-ins on the only full-sized wall made it so our bedroom furniture has been banished to the guest room in the basement.

Enough of my rambling, onto pictorial goodness!

We have a landing at the top of the stairs which I kind of designated as Mr. Bama's reading area.  It's sunny and bright, so it's perfect for just relaxing.  I really am not a fan of the overstuffed leather chair (I'd prefer something like this if leather is a must for Mr. Bama).  I love love LOVE our scratch map though.

To the right of the sitting room is the super steep staircase to the upstairs bonus room and the hallway to the bedroom.
My office is also off this hallway, but is in NO condition to be photographed.  Ugh it's a mess, I get a headache just thinking about it.
Here's the master bedroom.  See what I mean with the windows!?  There's about 2 feet behind the head of the bed that is totally unusable.  It's really awkward and yes, we have hit our heads on the ceiling once or twice.  However, it is really neat to be able to sit in bed and look through the skylight at the stars as you fall asleep every night.

Across from the bed are the built-ins. This is what I meant about the previous tenants "loving" orange and green.  Shame I'm not head over heels in love with it like they were. Correction: If the green was less teal-y and the orange a grey or natural wood then I'd be a happy camper, but that's not the case with their funky aqua green and peachy orange combo.  
None of my dresses fit in the built-ins (the tall hanging closets are divided in half and every dress I own is too long.  But not to worry - stay tuned to find out where the dresses have been stored).  This is pretty much entirely Mr. Bama's closet. And yes, his wardrobe takes up all but about 5% of the whole closet.  Lots of clothing for a man who wears a uniform to work everyday.

Now, the 360 degree of the master bath:

Far and away the BIGGEST bathroom I've ever had in my life, and marked improvement over the single sink/no storage or counter in the last house.  And yeah, that shower and the tub are pretty awesome.  PS - the floors are HEATED!

But the best part is on the 3rd floor.  Remember the bonus room I mentioned?  Well due to the sloped ceilings, only about a 4ft by 10 ft area is usable in the room, making it impractical for anything other than as this:
Yeah, it's a designated closet, home of my TD dresses (and some skirts, shirts, but mainly TD). 

Across the hall from this is another small hall closet, where my shoes and purses live. 
Sure, it's gluttonous, but I don't care.  After the past year of living super far away from base in a larger house with no yard by myself, this house has been a big blessing, and will probably be the nicest place we live over the next few years.  So we're going to enjoy it as much as we can and be thankful everyday that we were able to find this gem! This still doesn't knock the NOLA house out of first place for "best house ever" but it takes a strong second.
Bear says "Thanks for all the staircases Mom,
they keep me in shape." Same here pup, same here.
Next up? The yard (already mentioned here) and the BBQ festivities!   


house o' rama (pt 1)

In honor of our recent housewarming party I have decided to post some post-move picts.  I finally had everything hung, vacuumed, swept and straightened to a point where I was happy enough to take pictures.

So, here we go. Enter the foyer:

My poor vase didn't make it 24 hours in the foyer, as "husband who forgot there is now a table in the foyer" ran into it on his way up to bed last night, sending water, flowers and glass shards everywhere.  Oh well, it was pretty while it lasted.  

Take a left at the end of the foyer and you get to the hall:
To the left is a giant hall closet, the square on the wall is a laundry chute (!!).  

Go straight ahead and you get to the kitchen
 Didn't think I'd ever be able to match the size of the NOLA kitchen, but alas, I've been proven wrong.
do a 180 turn and then you're in the dining "room."

To the right of the dining room table is the bar.  I pretty much copied the design I had back at the old house (seen here) b/c it is so perfect for above the bar. 
Keep turn to the right and you are in the living "room."
This is probably the most incomplete area of the house, mainly b/c we NEED a 3-seater couch.  Right now we just have the love seat Mr. Bama bought before we were married (seen in the very foreground of the picture).  If we were in states we'd have this badboy sitting in our living room. However, I refuse to spend money that could go to the above couch in order to buy a cheap European sofa (they are SO uncomfortable!). So love seat and oddly unfinished living room it is for now.

Tomorrow: onto the upstairs.

The irony of the party was that none of it actually took part inside the house, hence it should have been properly called a yard-warming party by the sheer fact that so much time was spend in our yard. We're so lucky that we do have such a wonderful and large yard. And someone worked incredibly hard to make sure all of the libations and food was top notch!  Thanks Babe!


my house is officially a hot mess

Just when I was feeling accomplished by hanging pictures, finally buying a new rug, and not having a house of boxes (for the second time in 13 months, mind you), I made the fateful decision to click on a Pinterest pin with the caption "great decorating ideas." Bad. Move. Curiosity didn't just kill the cat, it ran over it and then backed up and ran it over again.
inspiration for decoration
No room in my house looks anything close to the ones in this blog (thanks expensive architecture degree).  Instead it looks like a mix of Anthro-layout wannabe/ leftovers from being a poor grad student - single person / Ikea showroom with mismatching clutter. There is no design philosophy; nada, nothing, zilch.  My grad professors would be ashamed.

I was totally ready to post a few pictures from my newly-deboxed kitchen, but now I just.dont.know.  My competitive nature feels energized and then deflated due to the fact that I can't buy all of One Kings Lane for my new temporary abode.  Stupid budget.

Do you think the rooms on the inspiration for decoration blog really are attainable by real people with dogs, kids, cats and spouses. Or is it just propaganda by the "your house will never be good enough!" design mag people?


back from paradise

Exhausted and happy.  A full run down is to come, but here's my summery -
  1. Corfu: total letdown
  2. Santorini: a-freaking-mazing (minus the donkeys)
  3. Mykonos: beaches from heaven
  4. Izmir/Ephesus: a nice Turkish surprise
  5. Venice: better the second time around, but still kind of overrated.
On a side note: we came home very, very early this morning to find a dead bird in our house (no I didn't get a picture, eww).  Figuring that all the windows were closed, who knows how this poor little fellow managed to get into the house.  Oh nature can be so weird.


away we go

We're taking a break from the insanity of moving to escape cold (it is July, right?), rainy Germany for a much needed jaunt around the warmer and sunnier *fingers crossed* Eastern Mediterranean.


here's hoping for rest, relaxation, some fun adventures and hopefully no sunburn!

Do you have any fun summer travel plans lined up?


kitchen slicing surprise?

So as of today we're still moving, but this morning I had to meet some workers at the house super early to help with some last minute things to prep for the furniture being moved today.  To kill time, I was poking around the kitchen and noticed something in the drawer next to the sink.  At first i thought "darn it, the last people in the house left something behind!" What the heck is this?
Upon further inspection, I realized the contraption was bolted down and actually pops up.  The end result was THIS!

I'm going to be cutting things paper thin to no end with my new, electric SLICER!! Bye bye Mandolin, I've got this bad boy in my drawer! 1/8" potato slices for some scalloping? You got it. 1/2" tomato slices for a sandwich?  Done.  Paper thin slices of bologna? Eww, but no problem, I've got you covered... with my super awesome German meat (and other things) slicer.

Seriously though, who has this pre-installed, of all things, in their kitchen?


so it begins

The gubment took away this beauty Tuesday.

Oh how I will sorely miss the Purple-People-Eater.  Or not.  Despite its obviously interesting* (that's nice speak for ugly, bless it's heart) looks, a number of guests, including my very picky father, said it was incredibly comfy for naps. I guess you can't judge a couch by it's cover... never mind, that won't keep me from continuing to judge away ugly furniture in the future.

This means that moving has officially begun.  Mainly because the movers also moved our washer and dryer to the new house.  Therefore, there's no turning back - we have to move.  Either that or from here on out I just drive 30 mins one way to do laundry.  Ask me in a day or two and I may say "I'll take the 30 min drive over moving."


on the agenda

So heres what we have for the month of July:
  1. Host and throw BBQ for hub's company.  Yeah.
  2. Move.  By ourselves.  I really hope this goes smoothly, b/c moving usually brings out "ugly, mean, irritated" Mrs. Bama.  Must remember to breathe, that I love our new house and my husband is here and can help. That is until one of us throws our backs out trying to haul the monstrosity that is our desk down three flights of stairs and up one.
  3. Pack for our cruise while moving.  Yes, you heard that correctly.
  4. Go on said cruise. Massive house move followed up by a Greek cruise.  This is either a GREAT idea or a terrible idea.  It could go either way.
  5. Did I mention our new car that was paid for in April is being delivered while we're gone? They say anticipation is half the fun, but after Bruno's driver side window has broken for the second time in 6 months (at $500 a pop to fix) and we're borrowing a VERY generous friend's car so Mr. Bama can drive, that anticipation has definitely lost its luster.  Three months from placing your downpayment to actually obtaining the car is slightly irritating, but c'est la vie.
In 10 days I'll be sitting on a boat drinking some kind of alcoholic drink.  My only job til then: remaining sane and remembering that if all else fails, this is why God invented wine.


canine thoughts

As if I didn't think it was funny enough on its own watching Bear try to figure out what is that "weird bouncy creature," I now have an internal monologue to accompany it.

If you haven't checked out Texts From Dog yet, you're definitely missing out.  You'll never look at your dog the same way again.


holy gatsby

Have you seen this trailer yet!?

Fitzgerald, Art Deco, Carey Mulligan, the Roaring 20s, Tobey McGuire, HOVA, Yeezy, Jack White and Baz Luhrmann?  How can this NOT be epic? Hopefully it will all offset Leonardo DiCaprio being cast as Gatsby, which I am totally not feeling.  I think it will be like Boardwalk Empire, but on steroids. And I'm okay with that.
Come on Christmas!


I Love

absolutely everything on this tumblr.

Props to these ladies for trying to bring back an age of beauty, etiquette and everything elegant.


A Bathroom for Guidos

We have an interesting half bath in the new house.

This just makes me want to fistpump upon entering.  The best part: to the right of this picture you see a toilet.  Next to that toilet is a designated urinal.  Just took the classiness up a notch.


Back from the Dead

I've got a lot of  'splaining to do.  It's been a busy few months - getting back to Germany from the states, running around Bavaria with Misa (and her hubs) from Park & Belmont, and then playing webmaster filling in for a friend at her job while she vacationed.

Oh, and did I mention we're moving again?

The 40 minute drive is killing our budget and I can only imagine the damage it will do once Mr. Bama gets back (which will happen in a matter of weeks!!!).  That being the case, I sucked it up and started looking for a new home to move to that was less than 20 mins from his work.  After the terrible time we had trying to find a house this time last year, I was just dreading the whole process.  Every house I found either was against having pets, housing Americans or was already rented out. It seemed like it was to be a repeat from last year.

And then by total divine intervention, we stumbled upon this beauty:
This house doesn't look like much, but trust me, it's wonderful.  A bit smaller than where we're living now, but it has two huge things:

number one:

A HUGE yard.  The building on a left is the outdoor kitchen for
  outdoor entertaining.  Yup we have 2 kitchens

number two:
this kitchen is amazing and has everything.
Also not shown in the pictures: the laundry chute and the CENTRAL vacuum.  What WHAT!?  Yup you heard it right. We do NOT deserve this house, but it actually found us (a friend of a friend needed someone to rent it...) The style of the house is a little too "Italianate" for me, as I like things a bit more simple and streamlined, but beggars cannot be choosers in the German real estate game.  I feel like my life has been a bit Househunters International of late, but at least I can look forward to moving into this place come July.

Oh July, how crazy and insane of a month you will be.  Since we've already been moved by Mr. Bama's "company"once, we'll have to do the move ourselves.  Did I also mention how much I HATE moving? I may have mentioned it here and here. So not only will I be planning the company-wide Barbecue come the last weekend of June, but we'll also be doing a self-move that the first weekend of July, mere weeks after Mr. Bama is back from being away for a year.  Then a week or so later, we're packing up and going on a Eastern Mediterranean cruise, for relaxation.  We will most definitely need the relaxation by this point. Phew - I'm exhausted after just typing all of that! There's actually much more I haven't even touched on coming down the pipe, so stay tuned for one heck of a ride...


I'm back, but that's not the point of this post.

This is:

(photo court of agrarian by Williams-Sonoma, found here)
Williams-Sonoma recently launched their new DIY home horticulturist and farmer line.  It's official, getting your hands dirty and growing your own stuff is now chic. This agrarian line allows you to order a mushroom growing kit,  purchase canning supplies, even buy yourself a W-S approved chicken coop for your back yard (that is, unless you live in Virginia Beach, VA).  My mom's reply when she saw this in the most recent W-S catalogue was "What?  This is like depression-era tech"  No mom, it's recession-era tech, and it's very "in" right now.

Anyways,  the thing that really gets me excited about this new line are three words: DIY Kombucha Kit.

While in the states (more on that later) I drank a whole bottle of kombucha almost every day I was home.  I knew my precious time w/ my favorite fermented drink was numbered, so I made sure not one bottle went to waste.  I even emailed GT Dave's to inquire about overseas sales (No dice.)  I began to accept that the rest of my stay in germany would be yummy and healthy Kombucha free.

Now, this changes everything.

GOODNESS I hope they ship here...


NOLA on my mind

On Wednesday I returned from a week long "vacation for my soul" in NOLA -  intentionally missing the crowds of Mardi Gras, while still getting the happy-go-lucky vibe of the Carnivale season.  Rather than write a long summery, I figured I'd just let my instagram photos sum up the week.
the skyline so bright
I adore everything in this hotel
my fave: a French 75 in the Sazerac Bar
newly renovated Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone
best roast beef po-boys in NOLA, hands down
baby's got a new pair of pink shoes.
Valentine's Day at the Saturn Bar in the Bywater
I miss this everyday Uptown street vista


happiness is...

finally finding the wine I've been coveting for the past 9 months after it being sold out at 5 different stores

I almost hugged the stock guy at Farm Fresh when he replied "oh yeah, we've got plenty in stock."

It's the simple things...


a list of things

image via  
Bear and I are heading back to the States for a few months this weekend - after some recent events, I realized how much we needed to be back there to be with family and give my soul a much needed rest.  While driving to meet some friends the other day, I got really excited about some things that I had missed from home in the almost 9 months since moving to Germany. Namely:
  • Kombucha
  • stores open on Sunday
  • a yard for Bear
  • Television + movies in English
  • being able to watch YouTube (darn you GEMA)
  • lack of a 19% VAT tax
  • not having to drive 40 mins to see friends
  • going shopping 
  • T.J.Maxx & Target
  • free Wi-Fi!
  • having a reliable car
  • family
  • being able to read labels in stores
  • not having to check conversion rates (instantly followed by a feeling of depression)
But then I realized there's a lot I'm also going to miss
  • not having to worry if your food has GMOs in it
  • not having to worry if your meat has growth hormones and antibiotics in it
  • alcohol not having a negative connotation 
  • the autobahn and lack of a speed limit (my lead foot will miss this the most)
  • the ice cream, coffee and baked goods
  • taking Bear into restaurants / clothing stores / etc. and no one being afraid of him
  • feeling enjoyment in the smallest things: i.e.: while I may not being able to read labels in stores, I am sure as heck able to sing along with Justin Timberlake or Lady Gaga playing on the speakers in perfect English.  Small victories.
I've been frustrated a lot with our situation of late, mainly because the distance (from friends here, from family in the states and from my husband 3,00 miles the other direction) has made life pretty boring.  We're ready to go home, and I can't wait. 
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