Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Belgium: Bruges

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

...we went to Bruges. And contrary to what Colin Farrell things, it's pretty impressive. It's exactly what you imagine a little European city to look like. Old buildings, narrow streets, and plenty of canals. It's like a dream.

A dream filled with waffles and chocolate. So really, it's like heaven. Heaven in a little UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ryan and I have never been one to follow advice or suggestions when we visit new places. We let our hearts (and stomachs) guide us. But if you're interested...

Here's what I would suggest:

Food: lizzie's wafels and delaney's irish pub
Sights: the beach and windmills
Shops: olivier's chocolatejuliette's, the lace jewel, and the bottle shop

Here's what I would avoid:

Friday, December 18, 2015

Thank God it's the Weekend

I can't believe it's been four and a half months since I jumped the pond. As true as it is, it's still super weird to say you're an immigrant. It's weird, right? I mean, expat, immigrant; tomaTO, toMATo. So weird.

Anyway, I am definitely counting down the days until I get to kiss the ground in Newark. Gross? Yes. Needed? Probably not. But it's home (sort of).

In the meantime Ryan and I are steamrolling through these last couple months.

We binged on Master of None over one weekend when that hit Netflix. So, so good.

Which of course turned into us currently slamming through Parks and Rec. Because, hello, Aziz Ansari. I almost gave up on it in the first season, because I thought it was absolutely horrendous, but then there was season two, and three, and we just finished season four. It keeps getting better and BETTER.

For our next binge sesh (yep) I'm going to push for a weekend marathon of Harry Potter. Mainly because I read this article and then the first movie was on tv the next night. IT WAS A SIGN.

Speaking of signs. You know you're old when they do "where are they now" articles about your favorite cartoons growing up. But as a nineties kid, knowing what the Rugrats and Hey Arnold! crowd are doing now completes my life.

Is that bad?

Probably, just not as bad as relating to Spongebob. Honestly though, I think anyone can relate to thirteen. And that second one? THAT'S MY LIFE. EVERY. MORNING. You know, since the sun doesn't come up until like noon.

I'm not sure I'll ever stop laughing about nine. "Oh Neptune."

While I dream about this delicious, cheesy crostini, I'm going to the Haribo Outlet. To help keep my mind off all the things I miss from my kitchen. It's very logical.

After that, Ryan's going to let me run freely through more christmas markets so I can spend my life savings on all the tchotchke things. (And yes, I googled how to spell that.)

Lastly, I'd just like to say that Emily Blunt is one lucky SOB. I'd like to come home to this every day.

Sorry cutie. I still like coming home to your beard though.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Thursday Catch Up


Whoever said life goes by in the blink of an eye could not have been more right. It's December and I've been here for four months. FOUR MONTHS! Between traveling and running and binging on Netflix life. is. flying. Too fast. But I'm happy it is. Because it means I'm closer to being home. Like HOME, home. Home, in the house I grew up in, home. Home, in the city I'm so used to, home. Home, where my family is and where my in-laws are only four hours away, home. 

Life here is really good though, and sometimes I forget that. Maybe I just need to wait another four months to really appreciate having lived here.


I know I mentioned it already but it bears repeating...I'm officially signed up for my first half marathon! The more I say it, the more excited I get. Maybe by the time it gets here, and I've said it five thousand times, I'll actually want to run it. That and by the time I'm finished with our half marathon training program there'll be no reason NOT to run it. I'm going to completely ignore the fact that we also signed up for three triathlons because they're not until the summer.

But as we work through the program we definitely get encouraged by the improvements we see. Like a new fastest mile (10:05) and a new personal record for the 5K (33:36). Ryan works in a fifth run day every week so he can do speed work since we run together at my slower pace. 

And since I'm a real glutton for punishment, I convinced Ryan to add more exercises on top of that training. You know, for fun. Greatist put out their first challenge since July and I jumped riigghhtt on that band wagon. I would like to mention that it's currently day ten and I fully regret my decision. My entire body is sore. So, so sore. 

Only twenty more days to go!


I saw this card on instagram the other day and it's definitely starting to feel like christmas. I can't say look like, because for one, we still don't have a tree or really any decorations up, and two, it doesn't seem to snow here. Which is a major bummer because snow is my favorite part of the holidays. 

Which is why I could never live in, say, Florida. Frozen States Forever!

Anyway, I'm trying to convince Ryan that we need to get a puppy when we get home. You know, for health reasons. He likes the idea but isn't quite ready to give up his "lack of responsibilities." I think he sees it as his glory days ending. Picking up and going somewhere on a whim is pretty cool. Picking up dog poop of the daily? Not so cool. 

We may not be exchanging big presents this year (unless you count five pound bags of gummy bears big) but we will be visiting each and every christmas market Cologne has to offer. Drinking gl├╝hwein all along the way. It's definitely not a bad way to celebrate this adventure we've had.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Top Five | Christmas Songs

Do you ever feel like it's not christmas until one particular song comes on the radio? 

Like it doesn't matter if you've heard all the classic christmas songs. Once that ONE song hits the airwaves, it's CHRISTMAS. You can officially celebrate the season. Break out the mulled wine, wrap all the gifts, and cozy up by the fire.

No? Just me? That's fine. Although, for me, it's like five songs.

And I know A LOT of christmas songs. Like I know so many songs it bothers my husband. A couple years back we were putting up some decorations and listening to holiday music to get us in the spirit. I think after twenty minutes or so of me singing along to the radio, Ryan turned to me and asked if there was "any christmas song you don't know?" The answer to which is, no. Then I was asked if we could just LISTEN to the music. Grinch.

But for me, these five songs are what make my season. Once I hear 'em, the season's officially started. 

What's your song? Any one you HAVE to hear before it can be christmas?

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Eating to Run or Running to Eat

Three thousand six hundred fifty-nine miles. 

That's how many miles the google tells me we are from home. And that's how many miles I am from all things that remind me of the holidays. But even the gray, rainy skies aren't enough to keep us from celebrating. 

For thanksgiving, we smuggled in bell's seasoning and spent too much on a teeny tiny turkey. I made a pie from scratch, like I always do, but had to improvise with some of my tools. Instead of using my food processor, I blended the dough with a fork. And did you know, empty wine bottles work as great replacements for MIA rolling pins. Just in case rolling pins aren't included your next apartment (#firstworldproblems).

It's kind of sad that there's no more pie leftover for breakfast but, as much as it pains me, it's probably for the best. Even though I'm convinced apple pie is great fuel for running. Because that training schedule hasn't let up. AT. ALL. And Ryan's a sadist...making me run in the cold and rain.

But! We're officially signed up for our first half marathon! So this training better pay off.

My goal is to run the entire race. No stopping. No walking. Just straight running. Even though Ryan thinks I should have a time goal. Like his, which is run it under two hours.  Mine would NOT be two hours. It'd be like two hours forty minutes. So I hope he has fun waiting around at that finish line. There better be a donut at the end.

Because let's face it, I run to eat.

Somehow everything just tastes better after you work your ass off for it. Don't you think?