Saturday, August 24, 2013

Double the Fun, Double the Read, and Double the Giveaway

I have two ladies to share with you today. If you are looking for what it is like to live in another country and explore a life that only one may dream of, check out Casey's blog. Karissa, on the other hand, shares budget tips, and her journey through marriage. There's a little giveaway at the bottom. A chance to win $35 in gift cards to Target and Starbucks. 


 1. One of my favorite recent posts of yours {Pros & Cons of living in Germany} talks about some of the cultural differences between the United States and Germany.  What are some things, if any, do you miss about living in the US?

 -I miss how convenient everything is in the states. America is truly the land of instant gratification. Here in Europe, it takes 20 different steps to get one thing done. Granted, this new way of life has taught me patience, but I'll be happy when I can finally go through the drive-thru at Starbucks again. And roam the aisles of Target. MY GOSH do I miss Target! Online shopping is the devil. I also miss not having to pay to pee when we're out in public. I can't tell you how many times I've almost peed my pants trying to find 50 euro cent for the bathroom while out sight-seeing. It's an embarrassing number. America, I miss you.

2. I'm loving all your tasty looking recipes that you post {like this one}. Can you share some healthy food tips for someone wanting to make changes in their diet. 
 -Don't set unattainable goals or try fad diets to jump start your healthy living journey. The worst thing anyone can do when starting to revamp their current diet and exercise regimen is to think they're going to be able to drop 10 pounds in one week or cut out all dairy, carbs, and sugar and maintain that forever. I can tell you right now, they'll make it through one week, won't see results, get discouraged, and then fall off the wagon again. Set goals that are attainable for yourself based on your lifestyle, body, type, fitness and weight loss needs. Don't jump on board with diets that completely cut out a single nutrient if you know it's not something you can maintain for the long haul. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is the perfect body. Give yourself short-term goals and don't place so much importance on that number on the scale (muscle weighs more than fat, folks!). Choose healthy, well-balanced meals, practice portion control, and exercise regularly…the rest is all mindset. :)
3. I can't pass up the opportunity to mention how adorable you and your husband are together. Please, share some secrets to a healthy, happy, loving marriage!
-My best advice? Marry your best friend! Don't settle for anyone you couldn't see spending every waking moment with. From the mundane afternoon cleaning house or to the exciting 2 week backpacking trip through Europe…if your significant other isn't the person you could see yourself doing both those activities with AND loving it, then maybe you should find yourself another significant other. Marrying my best friend was the best gift I could have ever given myself. Having grown up together (we started dating our Freshman year of high school), D and I know just about everything there is to know about one another. He's been by my side through every significant event in my life and knows the innermost workings of my mind, sometimes better than I do! But what makes our relationship so great is that even on those Friday nights spent on the couch in our PJ's, there's no one else I'd rather be with.

4. Tell us 3 things you would like to accomplish in the next 5 years.

-I'd love to finally start to grow our family (baby fever is a real and dangerous thing), start up my own business (whatever that may be has still yet to come to fruition…but I'm brainstorming!), and mark Niagara Falls, Napa Valley, Vegas, and Costa Rica off my travel bucket list.
5. Lastly, tell us why you blog.
-I started my blog as a way to keep our family and friends updated on our move to Germany, but it's morphed into one giant travel log and memory book from our time here abroad. These days, I still blog to chronicle our adventures in Europe and keep our families in the loop, but I also blog to inspire others to see the world, to share my affinity for good food and wine & beautiful spaces, and to connect with other like-minded people all over the world. This blogging community is amazing! I never thought my little creative space would grow to be what it is today.

1. What are your favorite budget tips?

-To eliminate going to Target as much as possible, it's impossible not to over spend for me there. 

-make a list when going shopping, makes you less likely to buy stuff you don't really need. 

- trying to really think about need versus want when I'm deciding to buy something. Thinking about how will use this? Will it just become clutter? Asking myself these questions has prevented a lot of impulse purchasing. 

2. Where do you see your life 10 years from now.
- (family)I will have a 16 year old then so I hope I'm surviving been the mom of a teenage girl. I hope to have a couple more kids, don't know many. I see myself still married to my husband and about to celebrate 20 years of marriage. 

-(career) I see myself continuing with blogging or something in the social media/communications field. I hope to feel successful and fulfilled by what I am doing. I like being a part of this blogging world and want to grow in it. 

-(lifestyle) I hope to be living in my forever home, wherever that may be.  We aren't for sure where we will end up. It depends on so many factors. I hope we are able to travel with our children and see more of the world and expose our children to new places. 

3. List 3 things many people may not know about you.
1. I'm pretty equally shy and outgoing. I'm naturally an open person so that helps me be outspoken but things make me nervous and insecure so I have to push myself to try new things. 

2. That I can't drink since my stroke. Mostly due to the medication I'm on but also I think it's not really recommended. So it's been a long time since I've drank alcohol. I wasn't a big drinker before but a drink occasionally would be nice. Over 3.5 years is a long time.

3. I love infomercials. For some reason I find them really entertaining. It's ridiculous and I don't know why I like them. 

4. What are some of your pet peeves
- bullying is #1. I hate people being judgmental or mean to others. 

- excessive cussing. An occasional bad word here or there doesn't bother me but non stop cussing annoys me.

- When people start smoking around children, if you want to smoke fine but don't do it around my kid or other kids, they don't need it.

5. As a mom, what is some advice would you like to offer to a new mom?
-take peoples opinions with a grain of salt. Trust your instincts and listen to the people you really trust but you can't please everyone.

- don't let people talk you out of things you want to do. I wanted to deliver med free and I did, so many people believed I couldn't. I wanted to breastfeed for a year, was told I wouldn't make it but did till 15 months. People tried to discourage me to prepare me in case things didn't work out. I was aware that things out of my control could happen and prevent me from doing things the way I wanted and I would have dealt with that. I  still tried to push through and be the mom I wanted to be even with all the negative people around me. Its the only way to parent I feel. Decide what you believe in and what matters to you and do everything in your power to do it. 

-Being a mom is hard but it is so worth it so stay strong in those hard moments and know they will pass. The first year was horrible for me. My daughter had colic and was a terrible sleeper and so it was pretty much 24/7 crying for months. I thought I would never survive, I kept trying to tell myself it's just a phase she'll grow up and it will get better. It did she's an awesome kid and no year from 2-7 has been that hard compared to the first. 

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