Thursday, April 30, 2015

Friday Favorites: Moving in May

Friday, again?! I am not complaining for one second... but I did just ask Husband "What did I do on Tuesday and Wednesday?" I couldn't remember...this week has all blended together. 

Today I am not featuring any of the latest fashions or recent buys because the truth is, I have spent the entire week in my home. In yoga pants. Cleaning. Sorting. Organizing. Scrubbing. Loading boxes. and Repeat.

You won't find any new nail polish colors in today's favorites...The closest I got to a self pedicure was taking the old paint off my toes.

To simply put it, things have been quite glamorous *ahem* around here lately. Just take a look at some of my "favorites":

In case you are new around here, our family is moving internationally from Munich, Germany to our home in North Texas. We are taking 6 suitcases on the flight. Two carry-ons, two checked bags, and two additional. I still have a lot of work making sure our suitcases are organized and unnecessary items go into our shipping crate pile. 

It was really hard for me to start the process of moving and undoing the home we had created. I despise vacuuming. 

By the time you read this post, all of our flat surfaces, rugs, and curtains will be gone to another American family. We still need to sell our chairs, couch, and are also getting rid of most of our DVDs.  Don't worry... Steal Magnolias and Mighty Ducks made the cut!

I am sad to let go of our Ikea hacked Rast dressers. I painted the inside, lined the drawers with fun paper, and added owl knobs. It was a fun and super easy project! (see here.)

Since all of our shelves and tables have been bought, all of our "stuff" is now either in suitcases or temporary boxes waiting for the movers. Welcome to my NEW world. (Eek!) This corner of the house will all be shipped in a crate overseas. It will take nearly 3 months for these items to arrive in Texas. 

When Husband and I first moved to Germany we used a very similar box as our coffee table for longer than I am proud to say. Tonight, I walked in to the living room to see he had set up a "new" coffee table and I just laughed. 

For old time's sake, here is what our space used to look like:

October 2012- The day our crate arrived from The States!


Our space is hardly recognizable after this week! We have learned through prior moving experiences, the earlier we start, the less stress there is at the end. Husband and I still have 4 more weeks in Munich...just us, 6 suitcases, and a cardboard coffee table. 

It always seems impossible until it's done.

Has anyone moved recently?
This move has been great because it has helped us to clear out unnecessary items. 

Next question,
What color should I paint my toenails???

Have a fabulous weekend! Thank you guys for stopping by Mainly Maren and we will see you next week!

Moving Out West,

Linking up with Andrea to bring you another edition of Friday Favorites! 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What's Up Wednesday: April

Hey Everyone! Today I am joining up for the very first time in the April Edition of "What's Up Wednesday". Take a look at what has been going on this past month with Mainly Maren.

What We're Eating This Week:
Yesterday, we had a day of dreary, grey, rainy weather. Since Husband rediscovered our long forgotten hoarding of corn bread mix, I promised that on the next bad weather day we would make chili. So here we are in April, enjoying a couple of day's worth of Texas chili and must-be-eaten-before-the-move cornbread. 

What I'm Reminiscing About:
In the earlier part of the week I took a lot of time to reminisce about my teaching experiences. I rummaged through some old photos and took some time to reflect on the children, community, and academics.  

What I'm Loving:
Last week I randomly decided to give Pilates a try after seeing a few suggested videos on my YouTube channel. Oh my word. I am way late to the party, but this is exactly what I have been missing. As a former dancer, the stretching and core focus is quickly becoming addicting. 

What We've Been Up to:
Husband and I sold a lot of our things in a neighborhood flea market this past Saturday. Does anyone else get sad to see clothing items go when you remember where you were when you wore that particular item? The dress from my brother's graduation, the cardigan I wore when we adopted Shelby, the shirt I wore to that one concert...

What I'm Dreading:
Husband and I, plus Shelby Dog are flying back to The States at the end of May. I am already worried about the temperatures on the ground in Dallas. If the temp is above 85 degrees at our end destination, the airline will not allow Shelby Dog to fly. Flying with a dog is an all around rough experience...

What I'm Working On:
In April, Husband and I traveled to Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Czech Republic. I have several new map hearts to create for our collage. It is pretty fun seeing our wall grow with fantastic adventures! 

What I'm Excited About:
I am excited to move back to Texas and get back into our home. We are switching color tones and will have a lot to do over the summer. I am most excited about the many shopping trips that lay ahead... Hello Homegoods!
 Lovely~~~~~ The Turquoise Home. Details and Resources at: color: Revere Pewter - Benjamin Moore. Color matched to Lowe's paint and primer in 1 --- eggshell finish.
Goodbye Beige, Hello Taupeige!

What I'm Watching/Reading:
Whoever suggested Gossip Girl... I am now officially hooked. I am currently reading Summer at Beach Street Bakery. It is a light-hearted, perfect book for the warming days. 
Image result for summer at beach street bakery

What I'm Listening To:
My talented brother and cousin Kirstie preformed a duet of Christina Perri's "A Thousand Years" during Husband and my 2012 wedding ceremony. 

Right now I am listening to a piano/cello instrumental cover of the song. Simply beautiful. 

What I'm Wearing:
During our trip to Belgium, I picked up a vintage-styled dress from a handmade shop out of London. A-line dresses and skirts in fun fabrics are my favorite spring/summer styles. I wore my new dress to brunch on Sunday and it was perfect!

What I'm Doing this Weekend:
Husband and I are still crossing off items from our "Moving Out of Munich" to-do list. This weekend we are finally visiting the BMW Museum and World. We have heard fantastic things and are looking forward to seeing more about the company that put Munich on the map. 

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month:
In just 3 weeks my brother and his girlfriend are coming to visit! I am so excited! Even though our apartment will mostly be empty, it is going to be a lot of fun showing them around the place Husband and I have spent 3 years living. It will also give us a chance to see the major attractions in Munich one last time before the big move. 

What Else is New:
Friday, all of our flat surfaced furniture (Desk, media, bookshelves, coffee table, nightstands...) is getting picked up by another American family. It will be interesting to go a month without a proper place to put my coffee cup.  
This is some of the stuff we are shipping in a crate. The movers are coming in mid-May. Our house is completely sorted by items we are shipping, donating, and selling.

April has absolutely flown by. I am shocked that May is just a couple of days away. I have no doubt that May will go even quicker than April. 

It will be the month that a door closes on one of our greatest adventures. We are ready for the next chapter and are looking forward to going home. 

From Showers to Flowers, 

Joining in on all the fun today for the very first time with The Larson Lingo, Pinterest Told Me To, and Mix & Match Family! This has been What's Up Wednesday!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Favorites: Gearing Up for Summer

When I started thinking about my favorites from this past week, I realized most of them are about how I am getting ready for summer! Musicals in the park, bright pedicures, shaved ice, circling the parking lot for a shaded spot (Who else does this?!), evenings at the ball field, and fireworks over the lake...summer is almost here... AND I CANNOT WAIT!

Now let's get to this week's favorites:

Eins: Reef Flip Flops
Reef Gypsylove Flip Flops - Aqua | Free UK Delivery on All Orders
Many moons ago my sorority had us buy Reef flip flops for one of the rush recruitment outfits. At the time, I was a little irritated at the price for flip flops but those things lasted me through my entire time in college. I even think my mom borrowed the flip flops on several occasions. They were so comfortable and very well made with leather. This year I decided to give Reefs another try. I found this pair called GypsyLove on Amazon and my heart skipped at a beat. I am such a sucker for these colors! 

Zwei: Asparagus, Potato, and Spinach Galette
 asparagus potato and spinach galette
Last night I made a version of this recipe from my Monday Meal Planning. It was an instant hit. Husband was really impressed by how "fancy" it was when in reality it was quite simple to make. Score! In addition to the potatoes and asparagus, I added garlic, mushrooms, and truffle cheese. Like with  most amazing meals, I couldn't be bothered to take a photo because there were more important things to do...ahem* eat it!

Drei: Prague, Czech Republic 
The week started with the end of our Prague trip. We were so fortunate to take a quick, SUPER QUICK, trip over the weekend. Luckily, Prague is a 3.5 hour drive from Munich so we loaded up the car early Saturday morning and headed back Sunday afternoon. It was our first time in the Czech Republic and I immediately loved Prague. I hope next week to write a bit more about our experience!

Vier: Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery
Image result for summer at beach street bakery
If you are looking for a good spring/summer read then #4 is for you! Last year, I read the original Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan and loved the glimpse into a tiny ocean side town along the English coast. The main character is an independent (British) girl, making it on her own leaving her busy city life behind. She moves into a run down apartment above a long gone bakery shop in a small fishing town. Her path crosses with that of an American guy with a deep Southern accent... but I won't say anymore. When I saw the sequel Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery I couldn't resist. I am curious to see what happens next!

Funf: Munich Zoo
Earlier this week, I met a friend at the Munich Zoo. Since I have lived in Munich I have heard wonderful things about the zoo. It really is a wooded park next to the city's main river. We had a great time walking through all the different paths admiring the each habitat. Not much concrete here! If you are traveling to Munich with children, or just adults, I would highly recommend a nice day walking among the grounds. The entire zoo had a relaxing vibe and just felt very serene. 

Are you getting ready for summer?

When last were you at the zoo? I hadn't been in years!

Has anyone visited Prague and loved it as much as I did?

Have a Blessed Weekend,

Joining in on all the fun today with Andrea to bring you these Friday Favorites.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Show and Tell: What's In A Name?

What's in a name? That is today's topic. I could talk about the name Maren, or Husband's family's tradition, or our favorite names for our imaginary children but instead... I thought you would enjoy some puppy picture overload.  

This is our my dog, Shelby Louise. Also known on the blog as "Shelby Dog". She is our nearly 5 year old, Labrador in summer/Husky in winter, rescue dog. 
Playing in the German Alps

Before I get to her namesake, I want to give you the background story of how Shelby came into our family. 
Shelby's 1st Picture

It all started on an end-of-summer Saturday morning. I was "killing time", just wondering around Target picking up random things like a red back-to-school cardigan, when my phone rang. My dad on the other end said, "Maren, your mom and I are up here at the SPCA and you need to get down here quick. We found you a dog." Um, what? Getting a dog was not in my day's plans. 
With her best friend, 
Lila Rose and my parents

When I arrived at the SPCA, I found my parents inside a play room with a three month old Labrador puppy and a three year old red hound dog. A few dotted lines, a written check, and an hour later, my dad drove off with the hound dog and I had my mom holding a nervous puppy in the passenger seat of my car.  
Learning Together

Husband, then Boyfriend, sure was shocked when he came to visit later that weekend and found a puppy answering the door. Surprise!!!
Such Joy She Brings

It took a few weeks for the new puppy to get comfortable in her new environment. With time, she learned to trust us. Soon we had a routine down and her dog training was underway with little issues. She tried one time to chew on the baseboards in the bathroom but we kept her busy with bones and toys eliminating that problem. 
Taking Care of Business

A bigger problem than puppy training was figuring out what to call the new puppy. Originally, I wanted to name the dog Charlie after watching the "Charlie bit my finger" video on Youtube. Nobody seemed to think that was a cute idea. 
Exploring "Cinderella's" Castle

Then I came up with the name Shelby after watching my favorite movie Steal Magnolias for the 100th time. Who else can quote this movie by heart? My mom and I would watch this movie every summer when I was growing up. 
Steel Magnolias (Special Edition)
After announcing the name "Shelby" my mom suggested "Louise" as a middle name. The movie Steal Magnolias takes place in Louisiana and Louise just fit. Suddenly, my puppy had a new name, Shelby Louise. It's best pronounced with a southern accent!
"Mama, can I help?"

Shelby Louise has since moved across the ocean with us. It was a traumatic experience traveling by air when Shelby first arrived in Germany back in 2012. After a week of hiding in her puppy hut, she finally felt comfortable adjusting to her new surroundings. 
Resisting an early lunch at Nymphenburg 

Soon we will be making the trip back over the Atlantic and we are not looking forward to putting her through another flight. Luckily, her best friend, my parent's dog Lila Rose, will be waiting for her on other side! 
Shelby Lousie and "Mama"

Who would have thought during a simple shopping trip to Target that my life would be forever changed? Shelby is one of my best friends. She has brought so much happiness to Husband and I during times of homesickness and stressful moments. I guess parents really do know what is best!

And just in case you need some laughter today...check out these favorite quotes from Steal Magnolias:

Who has adopted a pet from a local shelter?

Did you adopt your pet or did your pet adopt you?

See You Soon,


Linking up with Andrea today and all the fun on Show and Tell!