Coffee Chat – Peonies, Hansi, capsule wardrobes & a forgotten blogiversary

This morning I decided to drink my coffee outside after I got Happily Mr. of to work.  The weather here has been hot for May, which is crazy as 3 weeks ago we had snow and very cold temps.

I enjoyed waking up to my beautiful peony bush.  Its doing great this year.

Let me take you in for a closer look at these beautiful blooms.

Now, I would like to introduce you to a little guy I have a very big crush on, my cute garden gnome, Hansi.

I think he likes hanging out by my lavender which is coming in nicely as well.  Everyone names their garden gnomes, don’t they?

What else, oh yes,  I missed celebrating my blogiversary here on WordPress.  It was the twenty-fifth to be exact, also my brother’s birthday.  At least I remembered to wish him a happy birthday!  I cannot believe I have been here one year already.  So thankyou my friends, for coming back time after time to hang out with me.  It means so much to me and I appreciate all of you!! xx

One final thing I thought I would mention is how my capsule wardrobe is going.  I believe I talked about wanting to have one in a post quite a ways back.  I am happy to say, I have accomplished it.  In fact, I believe I can fit it all into a carry-on suitcase,  I’m going to try that later today.

Interesting to me, as this summer it contains more dresses and a skirt even.  I find I am so much more comfortable in a dress and am happy to announce I have no problem riding my bike wearing one either.  I think I will go into more detail  & share my 10 item wardrobe in a separate post later this week.  This has turned into a snowball effect of sorts as I have decided to do a “No-Shopping” thing for the rest of this year and you know what?  I am okay with that.  In a funny way, I feel relieved!    This also ties in with  my “Fifties Housewife” experiment.  Which again, I’ll be updating you on in the next few weeks.

Okay…. as always this coffee chat was longer than I planned.  Why am I always so chatty?!  Probably because I enjoy having coffee and chatting with you all!

x

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Is there really such a thing as Salad Etiquette?

Why, yes there is!

If you have been following along this month,  you  might remember  that Salad is the category as we make our way through the Cooking-Through Challenge.

In the spirit of the 1950’s housewife, I am immersing myself into many aspects of this era.  As promised, it’s time to share with you a few of my favorite questions and answers according to  Mrs. Crocker’s thoughts on Salad Etiquette.

Q. Is a salad fork always necessary? 

A.  A dinner salad may be eaten with the same fork as the main course.

Q. How should I serve a bowl of mixed salad or a platter of salad?

A.  It may be passed; but he individual serving should be easy to remove.  Or the hostess may serve it onto salad plates and pass them around the table.

Q.  Should dressing always be passed?

A.  Some salads are served without dressing so that their beauty of arrangement will not be marred; these require the passing of dressing.

Just one more…

Q.  Should one eat the salad green?

A.  Yes, it is a part of the salad and is intended to be eaten.

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Whats coming up next on the blog? Well, last night I tried creating another new dish in the salad category that doesn’t have anything to do with lettuce.  I’ll be sharing that with you friday, so make sure to stop by to find out if my husband gave it a thumbs up or not.  😉

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Bringing Back the Coffee Chat – niches, blogging & randomness

I realized that I haven’t chatted with you over a cup of coffee in 6 months! Too long, my friends.  What do I have to say for myself?  Life happens?  I don’t know.  If you have been reading my blog for the past year, congratulations & thankyou!  You are amazing people to have stuck around for so long and I truly do thankyou.

You probably noticed my subject matter, look and blog name (formerly Making it home by Marianne)  to be all over the place.  Yes, it has even made me dizzy.  There are so many resources out there that tell you not to change the look after you “create” a blog and to know your niche before blogging.  In all reality, I think it truly takes a year (for me at least) to find that niche.  In regards to the look of my site, I found that if something seemed a bit off in my eyes that I did not have the incentive to update my blog.  I instead found myself messing with the look and placement of items instead of writing my post.   By then, I was too tired to blog.

To make this story shorter, I stopped reading those blogging resources.  It was just too much and made me feel that I am not “good enough” to be blogging.   On the other hand, what should I blog about?  I know what I love to do which is baking and cooking.  When the sun is lighting up my kitchen, I discovered, I love to take photos of food too.  I guess I like playing with my food.

Lightbulb!  That must be my niche!  I am just not a “lifestyle” blogger, even though I thought that was what I should be sharing.  I found out I am not even an expat blogger.  This I was told even by an “expat” site.  They mentioned that I share too many recipes!  Okay, is this not enough of a hint?  Anyways, with all that said, I believe I can blog more often when I share what I love, so that is what I am going to do.  When something doesn’t fall into a food category, hence, the Coffee Chat.

After all, isn’t that something we do in our kitchens anyways?  Sit at the table with coffee and friends and chat?

If your interested, I did add-on to my about me page, at the top.  It may explain a bit more about my baking obsession too.  As for the look of this blog? The style is here to stay but the header photo will probably be changing with the seasons.  If you haven’t noticed anything  new because you subscribe to my blog in a reader format, than you might be a bit confused & think I’m a bit crazy.  Anyways, I am glad to have figured this blogging thing out, finally.  Now I’m ready to get cooking!

Coffee is getting cold here, I guess I chatted more than I drank. 🙂

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My favorite resources for recipes

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Since I plan on sharing a plethora of vintage inspired recipes weekly on this blog, I thought what better way to introduce this change and show you my favorite go to sources for cooking and baking.

Let’s go in for a closer look at these treasured resources of mine.

One of my favorite cookbooks not only for the recipes but also for the tips and hints shared inside.  Cooking and baking, meal planning and how to’s from setting a table to measuring flour.  I actually follow much of this advice.

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Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book – published 1950

A book no housewife or single woman even should be without in her first kitchen.

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Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom by Julia Child – first published in 2000

Keeping with Julia Child, probably her most famous cookbook.

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Mastering the art of French Cooking Volume One – first publish in the USA 1961, in the UK 1963

Now on to my treasured gems.  First up, I know some of my family who lovingly read my blog will recognize this little homemade book of Aunt Katie’s.  Some very unique and favorite recipes.

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Next, this book has much sentimental value for me as well as cultural foods my husband grew up with.  Since, I was never fortunate enough to meet my mother-in-law, what better way to get to know someone than through their cookbook.  Even though the book is written in German, I love the old-fashioned photos and thankfully seem to have no problem with the translation of cooking terms.

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Das neue große Kochbuch by Roland Gööck – published in Germany, 1961 (Translation – The new big cookbook)

And my final resource is a book given to me years ago by my Mom which in turn was given to her by my Aunt Madge.  This book is truly unique, not only is it the oldest book I own but it has the most interesting wording for recipes.  It has advertisements from local business and household advice and was created specifically for the housewives of Detroit. (That is where I am from.)

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Marriage Record and Hints on Housekeeping by B.B. Schermerhorn Publishing Co. – published 1920

Here is a peek at the inside page.

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Oh, I almost forgot,  my recipe box holds many recipes written out by family members and was given to me in 1986.  I also keep my favorite “go to”  recipes and my creations in here.  This is my favorite way to store my  “everyday” recipes.

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There you have it.  My favorite resources and inspiration for vintage cooking and baking as well as a place to learn the “how-to’s” that go along with it.  Now when I share a recipe, I hope you will have a visual idea of where it actually was inspired from.


Real quick – If you have been reading this blog since it’s inception, first of all, Thank You so much!  🙂  I have been trying to find my niche, if you will.  I tried out different types  of subjects to blog about and find that cooking and baking are my favorite posts to share.  This is something I am so passionate about, being able to use recipes that woman worked with decades ago –  I absolutely love vintage style cooking and get such pleasure re-creating these recipes!  I will also continue to share the occasional “food” posts of what we ate at restaurants when we travel, especially from the quaint eateries and biergartens that have been around for decades.  

I really hope you these new type of posts to  this blog and if it is not your thing, I truly understand and am glad to of had a chance to get to know you.

Have a great weekend!

xo – Marianne

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Getting over the culture shock – thinking positively.

honeymoon-2011-012The first thing that most people do when moving to a new country is make comparisons and of course imply that their way of doing things or products they use are better.  Yes, I have been known to say the common phrase”that’s not how we do it in the U.S.!”, or “I can buy that in the U.S., why don’t they sell that here?!”  Let me share a few example’s of phrases that have come out of my mouth.

  • “You want me walk to the grocery store? How am I going to get the groceries home?”
  • “Why aren’t there coupons in the paper, how on earth am I going to save money?”
  • “What do you mean they don’t sell Revlon makeup here or Secret deoderant?! I won’t survive!”
  • “No, seriously, will that refrigerator get bigger when it grows up?”
  • “Thats not funny!  They really don’t pick up the trash every week?”
  • “What do you mean I can’t throw it away? Now you tell me I have to carry every plastic container to a recycling center and its’ HOW many Kilometers away? Can you translate that into Miles please?”
  • “I’d like a side of Ranch please.” My husband than telling me they don’t have Ranch dressing here.. not even at Mc Donalds!
  • “What does that mean?  28 degrees?  It’s going to be really cold…wait, it’s summertime!”
  • “The recipe call for 150 grams of butter, how much is that? and “I need to use a stick of butter, how many grams is that?”
  • “OMG, she wore that yesterday!”
  • “Does anyone speak English here?”
  • “What is the German word for…. & how do I say that in German?”
  • “What do you mean there is no English translation?”
  • “What do you mean we have to spend 5 euros on a garbage bag to set at the curb?”
  • “Look at that, that lady is on her bike, with groceries in a basket and its like 30 degrees out (farenheit) and she’s like 80!”
  • “I have to walk how far to mail a letter and then I have to speak in German?”
  • “Just call the guy to fix it.”
  • “No, I am not hard of hearing… I just asked you to repeat what you said because I did not quite understand your German.”
  • “Where is the elevator?”
  • “What do you mean we can’t cut the grass today, it’s Sunday.”
  • “What did they say?” (the most popular phrase I say to my husband, when someone talks to me in German, even now at times.)

It was a shock when I first came here, but then I started to live this way of life and it works.  Everything is smaller and metric and just because rules are different does not mean its a bad way to do something.  Less is so much more here and that is something I needed to change in my life.

Now when I travel to the U.S. to visit, I find I suffer from a bit of reverse culture shock.  I never thought that would happen.  I admit, this past April I actually had a panic attack walking into Krogers to grocery shop.  It was so overwhelming!

I embrace both cultures and look at the positive aspects of what both have to offer.  I no longer make rude remarks or comparisons.  I find myself much calmer and happier even.  The diversity of other countries and cultures is what makes our world so unique. I think people should try to travel and experience other cultures.  It broadens our thinking, understanding and acceptance of those who may seem different from us.  It can also cause us to take a look into ourselves as well.

Finally, I have learned to just enjoy and embrace the culture of where I am at that moment.  Just because I might do things in a different way does not mean their way of life is wrong, it’s just different.  A bit of diversity is definitely a good thing.


Coming soon…. Lookbook Brugge, Belgium

                               Oh No – my Lipstick!

                                Devils Food Cake with Buttercream Frosting – Sinfully Delicious.


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Introducing, the first…Travel Tip Tuesday

Travel Tip Tuesday

It is time for the first ever edition of “Travel Tip Tuesday!

This is a simple post where I will share a travel tip of mine.  Considering I have been traveling for the past 42 years, I have plenty to share.  (Am I really that old?! Wow!) Originally I considered writing a blog post that would contain all my tips, but I thought it would be a bit long and get a bit boring, so…. let’s begin.

Probably my first and most important tip I have learned and not too easily at that is:

*Have Patience*

Know that connections will be missed at one time or another, weather can not always be predicted and delays do happen.  I have learned there are two ways to handle this problem.

Option One, be an ass, yell or get angry at the people who work at the airport or train station, complain to everyone around you and be miserable which in turn makes everyone miserable.  Remember, delays are not easy on the flight crew either.  They have homes and children to get back to as well.

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Option Two, accept the fact that your trip is delayed and just enjoy the adventure.  Yes, I know all too well how hard and inconvenient a delay is.  Especially when you are traveling alone and haven’t slept in 30 hours, have really bad cramps (hopefully not tmi?)  and that the event you were traveling for will happen whether you get there or not.  It happens.  Remember, that those around you have a destination to get to as well, not just you.

Traveling is not just about getting to your destination on time, it’s about the journey, the adventure.  During delays, I have met and had some good conversations with very nice and interesting people, seen places that I hadn’t intended on visiting and rode in an old train from 1966 (the year I was born).  These are a few results from delays I have experienced.  And yes… I am embarrassed to admit I have taken the Option One way to handle a delay before, I am definitely not perfect when exhausted and in travel mode, but I have learned how to handle situations a bit better.

This is the best advice out of all I have to give anyone traveling.

Enjoy the delays, have patience and embrace your adventure!

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Hello & Welcome to my blog!

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Hi, this is me – Marianne, born in the United States, Michigan to be more exact . I am a proud mom to a son & daughter (now very grown up), Oma (Grandma) to two adorable little boys and married to an amazing, very patient and incredible man, who just happens to be German.

This is our very “cheeky” cat, correctly named Khaleesi.042

We live in Southern Germany in the very beautiful state named Bavaria.

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The 700th Birthday Celebration of our Clock Tower.

Six years ago, I somehow made a drastic change in my life, to be happy. Moving overseas wasn’t an easy decision and isn’t always easy now. But living here with my husband, traveling, speaking a foreign language and doing all the things I had ever dreamed of with a man I am in love with… it feels like destiny.

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Tegernsee, Bavaria

This blog is my adventure.

xo,

Marianne

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