Monthly Archives: December 2012

Don’t Pretzel my buttons!

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I giggled out loud as I typed this title because it just makes me chuckle each time I say it! If you are a fan of “OPI Nail polish”, you’ll relate to the title a bit! It’s from their their fall collection of German inspired names! “Dont Pretzel my buttons” was my favorite but it’s so hard to choose just one with funny names like these:

DON’T PRETZEL MY BUTTONS,  MY VERY FIRST KOCKWURST,  BERLIN THERE DONE THAT,  DON’T TALK BACK TO ME NEIN! NEIN! NEIN!,  OK FINE UNFOR-GRETA-BLY BLUE,  EVERY MONTH IS OKTOBERFEST ,  SUZI & THE 7 DUSSELDORFS,   DUETSCH YOU WANT ME BABY?,  DANKE-SHINY RED GERMAN-ICURE,  SCHNAPPS OUT OF IT !

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Also funny, this apron my sister sent to us along with this Pretzel maker! I guess you can take the girl out of Germany but can’t get the German out of the girl!! I’m ok with that!

Click HERE for OPI polish shopping! Be sure to check out their “Skyfall” collection too!

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Vegas Lights!

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One of the best ways to see the lights of Vegas is from the top of the Eiffel Tower in front of the Paris Hotel. I like to time the visit with dusk so that you get the “FULL experience” of sunset over the mountain ranges combined with the lights. It’s also an amazing spot to watch the Bellagio dancing water fountain show, which is literally right beneath you.

Click HERE for ticket prices, hours of operation, & information on everything offered at the Eiffel Tower Las Vegas!

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This sounds like a wonderful idea! That Italian Lakes trip is high on my travel bucket list!

Holiday Plus Rentals - the Blog

Vacation by the lake. Everybody thinks about the sea when deciding to visit Italy, but actually there are as well many beautiful lakes where to spend amazing vacations….

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It started with a Kiwi Bird!

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One little Ornament! That’s how it began! A gift from my good friend Julie who had moved back to her native New Zealand. She sent me an adorable little Kiwi Bird ornament that still adornes our tree 20 years later.

After that, Any time I went anywhere, I sought out an ornament as a keepsake. In addition to that, another good friend & I shared the memories we created on a Euro trip as students back in ’86. Since then, we try to swap unique gifts that remind us of our adventures there. It’s not always an ornament, sometimes it’s European Chocolates or tea or anything else we come across. This ornament in the photograph is one of my all time favorites that she sent me! Every time I look at it, I think of the two of us taking cover from the rain with locals under an Arc. Someone had a bottle of wine, someone else had bread, we had the chocolate…we had an impromtu picnic with complete strangers in the downpour of Paris

As I was putting up the ornaments this year w/ my family, I noticed that I have enough travel related ornaments to do a themed little tree if I wanted to. Now I’ll be on the hunt for clever DIY ideas to help bring it all together so I can make it happen in 2013! Any ideas?

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A hotel for your Pooch!

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From Pooch Hotel’s Web site:

“We Love Dogs.

As recently as a few decades ago, most dogs were “outside dogs”, and only the most privileged had dog houses in their yards. In recent years, not only have dogs made their way inside our homes, but most are now welcome in our beds, cars, laps, purses, and wherever else we can share our love together. And now, when you can’t be together with your dog, they are welcome to join our extended loving family of Pooch Hotels.

In 2004, we had a vision: to create a dream destination for dogs, where people could feel good leaving their pooches, knowing they would be loved, pampered, and cared for. Pooch Chicago was born.

By 2008, we had two locations in Chicago: Lincoln Park and West Loop. In 2009, we expanded to the Silicon Valley in Sunnyvale, California.

Shortly thereafter, Pooch was elevated from a boutique, family-run organization to a brand worthy of national recognition and scale – it was purchased by Petco to recreate the fantastic Pooch experience in more areas across the country.

So who are we?

We are a family of diverse experiences, backgrounds, and interests all brought together because of our love for animals.

We are animal behaviorists, dog trainers, groomers, and veterinary technicians. We are students and doctoral scholars. We are musicians and mathematicians. We hike, bike, ski, run, and golf. We are young and we are old – but all of us (you included) share something larger: We Love Dogs.”

I LOVE this idea! I’ve only had to board a dog once & it felt like the pound, it was sterile, musty, and in no way resembled any form of fun.  Pooch Hotel feels like a home and treats your dog as if it is a family member! Locations are popping up across the country. I’m excited that I have one nearby to try out! Pooch Hotel offers 1/2 day, full day, and multi day boarding so whatever your needs are, they can meet it! Click here to see their full site with a list of services, locations, and more about the company. Next time you travel and need a place for your four legged loved one, consider finding a Pooch Hotel near you!

 

5 ways to snag free WiFi at the airport

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Excellent tips to keep handy!

The Wireless

WiFi isn’t always free at the airport. Some want you take a survey first, some restrict access to specific websites, and others only offer services like Boingo and iPass. If the company isn’t paying for the WiFi, how do you get online?

1. Sit near an airport lounge

Airlines frequently offer their lounge guests all kinds of freebies, including free WiFi. Settle down near a lounge and hop on the internet.

2. Find an unprotected network

Your chances aren’t always great, but it’s worth looking for an unprotected network. If you manage to connect, remember that your information is just as unprotected as the network is. Stick to https sites.

3. Tether your phone

This won’t get you on the WiFi, but it will get you online. Learn to tether your phone, and by connecting it to your computer you’ll be able to use your 3G or 4G to…

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Vino Volo Wine bars at US Airports

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sf 9When Traveling at some US airports, whether your coming or going, it’s always nice to have an option for a “Wine down”!  “Vino Volo” wine bars are in over a dozen US Airports across the country, including Oakland, where this wine was enjoyed!

From their site, they say ” Vino Volo aims to revolutionize how people experience wine.  Each store is a comfortable post-security retreat for air travelers, combining a cozy wine lounge, restaurant, and boutique wine shop.  Vino Volo (derived from “wine flight” in Italian) offers wines from around the world by the glass, in tasting flights, and by the bottle for guests to take home or have shipped.  Operating successfully in airports across the nation, Vino Volo is the only airport wine bar and wine retail concept with a depth of experience and a proven track record.”

This was the 2nd time I’ve been able to relax in one of their wine bars before a flight & I look forward to them! They are much more quiet than the standard food court & the food options are WAYYYYY better. The food is good, the wine is good, the ambiance is good…I’m in! Whose with me!?

to see the list of Vino Volo Airport wine bar locations, click HERE

Happy St. Nikolaus Tag!

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st_ nick shoesWhere I grew up, December 6th was a BIG deal! It was almost like a day of reckoning for children! That was the day it was made clear whether you were going to have a good Christmas or a bad one! It was a day that clearly marked whether your sins of the past year were remembered, forgotten, or forgiven! In my child’s mind, that is how I saw St. Nikolaus Day!

I remember being nervous all day hoping I did not find twigs, stone, fake candy, or a lump of coal in my shoe! Being one of six kids, it was inevitable that ONE of us might find that!

When I became a parent, I was sure to continue many of my German traditions to my children. All 3 loved the “pre-check” of St. Nick coming. They are now 24, 21, & 14 and guess what? They will be putting their shoes outside tonight with anticipation! I think I would get a stink eye if St. Nick didn’t visit!

Many of my friends with young kids are currently doing the “Elf on the Shelf” to help keep their kids in check before Christmas & build some family traditions along the way. While I think it’s cute, I like that St. Nick is an old world tradition passed down in my family for many generations.

48 hours of fun in San Francisco!

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sf2I’m back from my whirlwind girl’s weekend in San Francisco! I’m still on a “weekend high”, that’s how much fun it was!  This shot was taken just steps from our hotel as we wandered over to our first “meal stop” of the weekend, an Irish pub, for excellent bowls of Butternut squash soup washed down with a tasty beer!

Click here for restuarant details! It was reasonable, great ambiance, centrally located, & the staff was friendly too.