So that’s adulthood, huh?!

This morning I stared at myself in the mirror after a fairly decent night of sleep (hey, only woke up once from stabbing pain in my side (thank you work-out last night, must have pulled a muscle while I was on THE FRIGGIN ELLIPTICAL…). Anyway, mirror-me had some new lines on her forehead. Gasp!! No big deal, right (uh yeah, totally a big(ish) deal) but it served as a “good” reminder that time is passing and I’m not a young spring-hen anymore.  Groggy mirror-me bitch slapped me in the face with the realization I have officially aged out of the “young adult” category. But hey, I’m not quite at cougar age, middle age, midlife crisis age,… (let’s hope that’s faaaaar away from today). I guess that makes me an adult. A grown-up. That creature that every child dreads to become. Yikes.

It’s not all bad. Contrary to the childish believe I had, adults still have a ton of fun. Though instead of trying to meet guys until 2am out and about (and then you still had the energy to go to after parties) we now go to bars from 8 to 11pm to celebrate engagements. And we get to drink Moscow Mules and craft beer instead of whatever light beer is on special because anything else would have been impossible to afford with our entry-level pay.

I remember, when I started my career with internships, my managers and colleagues that were my current age all seemed so mature, pulled together, and ultra smart and knew what they were doing in their jobs. Of course I looked up to them. So last summer when we had a marketing intern at work it slowly sunk in, I’m now one of them. What a neat feeling to be able to give (hopefully not completely worthless) advice to a college student that looks up to you for career advice.

So yeah, a quarter into my thirties I am quite enjoying this decade so far. Settled down? Not so much. More so “settled in”. I’m comfortable with life and love that feeling of having arrived (thank you cupid for my amazing husband that makes me feel that way). Yup, not in my twenties anymore. And that’s ok.

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SoCal Round-Up

Oh how wonderful it was to get away from Charlotte’s pollen-loaded spring and spend a week in breezy Southern California. Granted it was for work, this trade show went super smoothly and we had a few hours off as well. A piece of freight went missing but hey, this wasn’t my first rodeo so Plan B went into effect and all was well. Disaster averted!

California has such pretty flowers!

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I always enjoy going to this SoCal show. No I don’t get to experience the flashy & fancy OC tourist experience and there is never any beach time but there is something about the palm trees and the exotic (for this German anyway) flowers that puts me in a good mood. Appears to work on everyone out there, too. People seem perpetually happy and friendly. Oh and have I mentioned the low humidity? My hair seems to jump out of its frizz and stand straight like a soldier as soon as I get off the airplane! Love it!

This was my 4th year there and I still have not made it to DisneyLand but I had a view of it from my hotel (that’s pretty cool for trade show hotel living) and we enjoyed strolling around Downtown Disney one evening and had dinner at ESPN zone. Actually a pretty cool place with OK food. I suppose you go for the sports competitions not a cook-off.

Going as smoothly as the rest of the trade show, dismantle was done midday Sunday and our local rep there took us to this little outdoor outlet mall The Block @ Orange.

Fanciest Dave & Buster ever. #TheBlockOrange

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The boys lingered after lunch at the prettiest art deco arcade to play video games and I got to do some shopping! 😀 Got to refill my recently decluttered closet… You have no idea how thrilled I was to find a pair of mint pants at H&M for about $20. Who cares if they go out of style next season?! 😉

Mint Pants - H&M

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So long SoCal, I’ll see you again next spring and maybe 2014 will be the year that I’ll get to say hi to Mickey Mouse.

Catching the Arizona airplane today

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Oh X-mas Pickle, You Warm My Cold German Heart

It’s The Most – Wonderful Time – of The Yearrrrrr! I realize hordes of people exclaim that they cannot wait for the holidays to be over  but I surely am not one of them! We’re in the midst of the Holidays and I’m loving it!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite US holidays of the year: Great food, great company and remembering all the many reasons to be thankful for make for a wonderful day if you ask me. For a low stress version of the day I opted to forgo the wonderful and very elaborate feast at one of my best friend’s family’s house this year and instead do a low key dinner and relax at zee boyfriend’s home.

Arugula salad, a turkey breast, gravy, boxed cornbread stuffing, bacon brussel sprouts, frozen sweet potato souflee, cranberry chutney that I made the night before and store bought pecan pie with ice cream made for an easy but fantastic dinner! All recipes here. We all lit a candle and said what we are thankful for – which I thought was a sweet tradition to adopt from M’s family.

Freedom Tower Nov 2012Every year the day after Thanksgiving I have to travel to New York for a tradeshow. I really despise the schedule for that show but have started to look at it as “how lucky am I to travel to one of the coolest cities in the world when all the holiday decorations are up?!” It seems to work a little bit to get a positive attitude but still…. What always makes having that holiday weekend crushed to a one day weekend better is meeting up with old friends. This year the fabulous Maren showed me some of her favorite places around Washington Square and I chatted for hours with my college friends Katie and her published author hubby Dave about life, love and intercultural coupling. Wish we all lived closer! They also gave me the tip that the Met has a recommended admission fee so I snuck in there for an hour for $5 before flying home.

Macy'sRockefeller CenterEmpire State Bldg


Oh also, I ate grasshoppers. Did not enjoy their legs in my mouth but the flavor was decent. Only in New York…

Well I’m finally home and brought a nasty cold with me (fail).  Sickly, having a cold always makes me really excited about making chicken noodle soup (OMG it’s sooo good) so I giddily chopped potatoes and carrots with my love. Same wonderful guy came over and cooked a green minestrone for me last night. I feel so loved.

Christmas PickleAmidst all that my Christmas tree came out and it now even has its very own Christmas Pickle. This is supposedly a German tradition – except nobody in Germany hangs pickles in their trees. Oh America. Thank you for thinking labeling something German will make it a best seller. Alas, I do love my Christmas Pickle sooo!

Twenty more days until Christmas! I still have to make a handful of hand-made gifts and buy some but am about half way done with gift shopping. Got my hand on some German Christmas chocolates and cookies from Aldi (as well as GREAT tangerines! Most of the ones I find in the US have a yucky consistency and have seeds… *tangerine snob*). Hope y’all are embracing advent or which ever other holidays you are celebrating! If you are still looking for gifts, I’d much appreciate if you’d consider my hand-made jewelry. Thanks for reading y’all!

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30 – Shouldn’t I be…

Thirty. Yep, that’s how old I turned this summer. Sounds really old to some people – sounds really young to my grand-parents. Looking back to my teenage years and early twenties, thirty was definitely the grown up crowd. You were supposed to be established in life, have a career, be wise and know everything and overall just be a grown up, mature, and serious person (unless you fell into the rare category cool adult).

So here I am, officially 30 and hopefully a cool adult and not a super serious old fart. I’ve definitely done some cool worthy activities but at the same time my silly inner ear infection induced vertigo has definitely made me feel like the lamest old fart. Le sigh!

I gave a very mature speech as the maid of honor at one of my best friend’s weddings – yet it was much less formal and more fun than the other speakers (I think they were yet at least a decade older though). But a weekend later we had tons of fun being silly at a roller skating rink for my birthday and the after-party at a bar included a burning taxi (how is that for coolness, huh?!)

I suppose your thirties are the decade that you can balance fun with life’s serious sides. I’ve been able to go on vacations because I finally have worked enough years with my company to have a comfortable (wait, there are never enough) amount of vacation days and my rainy day fund is filled so savings can go towards fun trips.

It’s interesting to leave that phase in my twenties where I would still ask myself “What do I want to do with life after college?”. I doubt I will be changing too much in my career now and I like where I live. It’s kind of nice not having to worry about that for a while. I still have goals, personal and professional, but it’s nice not having to figure out a grand master plan right this minute. Though looking back at what I thought I’d be doing at 30 from five to ten years ago I feel like I should be much further along in the grand scheme… Anyone with me?

Owning a dog, and a car and living in a two bedroom apartment as opposed to sharing one or inhibiting a studio makes me feel grown up. And my furniture somehow matches (mostly anyway… shhhhh desk that I found free on the streets)! Yet I somehow feel that I should be able to paint my place’s walls and perhaps pay a mortgage rather than rent. Perhaps I should drive a car that doesn’t squeak when I round a corner (OK my driving might be part of that). And shouldn’t I have gotten promotions and raises (OK that might be because of my visa and the stupid recession but still)? And shouldn’t my facebook photo albums show me in exotic places like Tel Aviv, Costa Rica, Edinburgh, and on Mount Fuji? I feel like I am failing myself a little bit in all those categories.

So anyway, here’s to more personal development and no stagnation!

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