A Quickie….

Ok, minds out of the gutter!   😉  I just wanted to hop on to say hello.  Today is the first day back to school after summer break here in Southern Germany.  Autumn has also arrived.  The mornings are crisp and cool, leaves are beginning to change and I am feeling quite refreshed.

Finally, I am back in the kitchen after a too hot summer.  Happily, I am replacing my tank tops and shorts for sweaters and jeans.  Well, we are not quite there yet, but soon will be and I want to be prepared.

This cooler season of Autumn feels like a fresh new start.  More so to me, than New Years.  It is my favorite time of the year, since moving overseas.

There is much planned for the upcoming months.  Travel, family visiting, baseball playoffs, hockey games, fall cleaning, a bit more simplifying, a little organizing and back to work part-time.  Don’t worry, now that I have gotten my “life” organized, I have found time to blog a bit more, finally!

It is amazing once you develop very simple routines how much time one finds to do things that make them happy and relax.  It took me a while to finally develop a routine that seems to work.  (It also helped not to be so anal and obsessive about cleaning…(my deep, dark, secret),)  Oh, and limiting tv, surfing (online, not the ocean) and much social networking, opened up a huge window of time.

A few months back, I decided to track how I spend my time.  I had taken a time-management course a long, long time ago when I was a secretary and I applied the same idea.  All I can say is, Wow!   What an eye opener.  That seemed to get me back on the right track.

This doesn’t seem like such a “Quickie” post anymore so I think I will end it here.

I enjoy beginning this new, fresh season with much new content to share with you.

 

 

Merken

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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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Keeping with tradition – Our Good Friday meal.

Tomorrow is Good Friday, a day our family does honor.  We happen to live in a very catholic town, with the church bells ringing every 15 minutes between 6:00 a.m. and 10 p.m. (which I love!).  Everything is closed as it is a Christian holiday observed  here in Bavaria.

Growing up, we always had the family over in the evening for pierogi’s and potato pancakes, being a meatless day.  If this polish dish sounds familiar, I did write about these pierogi’s  around Christmas.  If you would like to read about this unique dish, you can find that post and the recipe by clicking here.

I know there are many different fillings for them nowadays, but I stick to making them with the dry cottage cheese, just as my Grandpa did.

So tomorrow, keeping with a tradition from my childhood, I will be making delicious polish pierogi.  Making traditional foods from scratch and of course eating them is one of the things I truly enjoy.  It has been fun integrating my husbands Bavarian traditions and mine to create our family tradition.

I will see you next week with details on an upcoming cooking challenge I am excited to be participating in and…

and the results about my closet & clothing goals.  Did I succeed in creating a successful wardrobe that fits in one suitcase?

Lastly, I wish you and your families a  joyous and blessed Easter to all who celebrate.  Enjoy a wonderful weekend!

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“Easter is meant to be a symbol of hope, renewal and new life.” – Janine de Giovannicatholi

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Making a fresh start with the arrival of Spring

With the arrival of spring I am finding a renewed energy.  I never seem to keep resolutions when I make them at the beginning of the year.  When spring rolls around I have a renewed discipline to implement good changes.  This season I am very excited to share a few of these goals or probably more appropriately called, projects with you.

My first and most exciting change will be outside in our garden (aka backyard).  I am thrilled with this opportunity to clean it out and enjoy this beautiful space.  It is unusual to have as we live in a 6 family apartment building, which is pretty standard here.  Being we live in the roof apartment and do not have the luxury of a balcony as the other residents do.  I have been given full reign to do and use the yard to my liking.  We have always set up a small table, chairs and our weber grill in one corner but now we can expand.

Second, I am ready to say goodbye to most of my wardrobe.  I am ready to create my first capsule wardrobe.  The goal is to fit my wardrobe into one carry on suitcase.  I would love to be able to throw all my clothes in one piece of luggage and take off at the drop of that hat.  We do plan on traveling quite often this spring and summer.  I am tired of holding on to clothes that don’t quite fit right but feel guilty getting rid of them. Some I keep for sentimental reasons. Surprisingly, I find myself tired of shopping.  It is a never-ending cycle  that ends up in spending money I would rather use in other ways.  I don’t know about you, but I always end up wearing a select few pieces of clothing anyway.

This will be the hardest project for me, especially emotionally, but I embrace this new challenge.

Lastly, I will be freshening up the walls in most of the rooms in our home.  A little touching up with a fresh coat of paint can do wonders to brighten up a room and ours do need just that. Oh,  and we need a new light fixture in our kitchen as the old one decided to leave us.  Still looking…

 

Enjoy the newness that comes with spring.  I find the little buds of the new flowers peeking through the ground, refreshing and in some way, motivating me to do the same. Blossoming beautifully with a renewed energy.

 

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It’s a big one this year! – Thoughts on turning Fifty

Fifty years ago, a new house cost $14,200 and the average income was $6,900.  Gas was only 32 cents a gallon.  A gallon of milk cost 99 cents and a postage stamp  only five cents.  A tube of Revlon lipstick cost only $1.25 and hairspray just 47 cents. Pampers made its debut and the Baltimore Orioles won the world series.  Why am I sharing that information?  Well,  the number 50 is a big deal very soon and that has got me doing way too much thinking.  I will be turning 50 this week and honestly, I was not too happy about this.

These past few months I did a lot of reminiscing trying to deal with my age, looking at old photos, cooking and baking many things from my childhood and sometimes spending hours remembering all I could of the first 50 years of my life.  My mom said she couldn’t wait to be fifty.  Me?  I would like to be 30 again, in all honesty.  But, I can’t.  But did you ever see that movie 30 going on 13?  LOL  I know… thats just Hollywood.

Seriously though.  It is not that I haven’t accomplished things.  Honestly, I have done more than I ever thought was possible.  From a vanity standpoint, I don’t like the wrinkles and the new middle age bulge that has decided to show itself.   But it is not just that.

I am so thankful that I am going to be 50 years old.  I have been so blessed!  Some never reach that age.  My health is good.  I am living my dream of one day living in Europe.  I get to travel.  I am more in love with my husband than ever and my children are good, happy adults making the most of their lives.  I finally starting writing, something I had put off the first 45 years.

I thought by now I would have these accomplishments, a big house in Grosse Pointe, have that Louis Vuitton bag or wear Louboutan shoes, drive a Jaguar and throw lavish dinner parties.  That was something I really did want to have by 50.  Yep, I am being serious.   Funny thing is that now I don’t want those things.  Living out of the United States has really changed me, made me more humble and finally, have stopped having so large of an attachment to material things.

I hate to admit this but I always thought that 50 was old.  I think I thought that because in the 1960’s, the life expectancy was 70, so I thought that 50 meant you were getting up there in age.  I don’t want to be old and I know, I am not.  My Mom is going to be 85 this year, which helps my thoughts on this subject a lot.  It is time to stop being so serious.  Life can be so short so why spend it worrying about getting old?

pic14270I have earned every wrinkle on my face and I am learning that the more makeup I wear, having wrinkles really does make me look old.  I have stopped spending so much money on products trying to hide them, firm them and conceal them.  Just so you know, don’ waste your money like I did, they don’t work anyways.  I plan to smile and laugh more, not take things so seriously.  Stop planning and writing down every detail of my day and just live.   (This could be an adjustment as I am a list making junkie.)  I plan to spend time outside every day, rain or shine.  Breathe deeply and enjoy every moment spent with my incredible husband and traveling.  I want to watch even more baseball – is that even possible? 😉   I would like to Blog here more.  Organize my home quite a bit more.

Talk to my children a bit more, but I find the older they get, the busier they are.  Living overseas shouldn’t make a difference in communicating.  I am thankful for technology making it possible to stay in touch.  (It sure was not like that when I lived in Belgium in the 1970’s, letter writing was about it.)   I really need to learn to use technology more.  I am hoping one day to have a phone that actually has wi-fi or internet, don’t even know what it is called, so I can delve into the world of Apps.  I hear some of them are a good thing for communicating and sharing.  I would love to do that more with them.

It’s strange, I feel like the act of turning Fifty, means I should be making new years resolutions or goals.  My husband is taking me away to celebrate this monumental occasion.  I will have much travel time to think about this but then again… I might just enjoy the journey.   One thing is for sure, when you have lived as long as I have, made the mistakes I have, seen the things I have, you acquire a bit more wisdom. Just like Scarlett O’Hara said, “Tomorrow is another day!”   I am ready to greet the “Fifty” with much passion! Bring it on!

So to wrap up… when I get back from our travels next week,  I hope to have much to share and so on…

I am looking forward to my next 50 years after all, it is just a number and isn’t 50 the new 40?

 

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