…of Journeys and Roots

Archive of ‘Roots’ category

Sunday Lovin’: Brunch at Hillbilly Tea

Hillbilly3When I arrived here in Louisville, my family had given me a gift card for this local restaurant and tea joint in Downtown Louisville. Since this weekend is memorial-day-weekend, and we had a bit more time on our hands, John, Kathy and I headed out for brunch at Hillbilly Tea today. A.m.a.z.i.n.g breakfast food, lovely rustic interior, nice and friendly staff and I loved their iced tea. John and I had the “remedy” tea and Kathy had the “minty green”. So good I even bought their tea blend. Yum!

Hillbilly1Hillbilly2After Brunch, we drove to the Highlands and had a sneak peak at the car show that was going on on Baxter Avenue. Such cool rides, live bands and vendors! Plus I finally got the first glimpse of some Rockabily in Louisville! Also enjoyed strolling the neighborhood and discovering Louisville’s walkable neighborhood. More to come on my first Louisville adventures very soon, so stay tuned!

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Have a great day loved one!

Rainy day

SONY DSCSome days – and I am sure we all know these kind of days – you kinda feel out of place. With everything that has changed the last few weeks, I guess it’s ok to feel overwhelmed and lost. Today it has been hard to figure out with what to start in the morning, especially when there is no routine in place. Without a job, a house, a car, friends by my side, days like today can be hard. I start wondering why on earth I am doing all of this…wouldn’t it have been easier to just stay in the known nest. I guess…but then again, I am following my dream.

I wanted to live in the US and I wanted to take the time to figure out what my calling is. But today the grey sky weighed heavily and nothing felt quite right. I booked a flight to Washington, so that I can go visit my cousins Melissa and Luise; I wrote some emails; I tried to find houses online that are up for rent.

And then I started feeling overwhelmed, lonely and sad. I misses Mike, and I miss my friends in Vienna. I miss being independant and being able to jump into public transportation and just go downtown for a coffee. I started feeling discourage and wondered if this blog is contributing anything interesting to the endless noise online, wondered if I would find a house and a car, and what kind of job I would be looking for, and if our finances would all work out and so forth and so on. It was a hard day in the feelings department.

There is so much to be thankful for and things could be much harder. I do feel thankful for the opportunity of following my heart, being lucky enough to have an amazing husband at my side, encouraging me and cheering me on even if he is on the other side of the globe and has a lot on his own plate right now. I am thankful for my family that tries to help me out in every possible way they can.

A friend reminded me however that it is ok to be where I was today sometimes. It’s okay for me not to put on a smile and get it together. It’s ok to take it slow. I guess I am still adjusting over here.

Sharing it helps me process everything that is going on and I know this will not feel like this forever.

I also think a good nite”s sleep will make the world look brand new tomorrow.

 

Have a good one loved ones!

Scoobadibadoo – Scooter!

SONY DSCAs you might know, it has been rather difficult getting a ride here in Louisville. First of all because my drivers license still is in the process of being transfered, and second of all because my account was useless, due to the fact that all my savings were on hold. Luckily I can tell you that the second issue has been resolved! Yes! I can finally access my account, have a working debit card and can finally start spending money! No, I will not go overboard with this newly gained liquidity…even though it can be somewhat tempting! Just kidding husband! 🙂

However the big news is – and the title of this post might actually have given it away  –  I am now the proud owner of a Yamaha Zuma scooter! Hurrraaayyy!!! And since Kentucky does not require a drivers license to drive a scooter, I can start rollin’ straight away – and have been the past two days!scooter2

As this is my first time on two wheels, motorized of course, I am still practicing and have not yet been driving on very busy roads. Mainly because I want to feel completely secure in my driving and secondly because as a scooter driver you basically feel like a car target all the time! Kinda scary without the known aluminum buffer around you to protect (a.k.a. car). But what regained freedom! I am now actually able to go shopping and can get from A to B without constantly asking for a lift! Greeeaaaat feeling!

Even though Kentucky does not require a helmet to drive a scooter – nor a motorcycle for that matter (crazy!!) – I opt for “drive safe and chic”! So I headed off to the nearest Harley Davidson store for a nice helmet. Two shops later I had to realize that the helmets were either pretty but were not available in my size, or fitting but boring. I therefore chose a simple white retro helmet and decided to embellish it myself. What do you think of my creation?

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I know – I am such a girly-girl – but a little bling don’t do no harm 🙂

selina scooterHappy mid-week loved ones! And don’t forget: enjoy your journey may it be small or big!

Enjoying the small things

patienceThings have been rather slow these days and it has taken me from anger to frustration to just giving up and letting go. And I think that is a lot better place to be at right now! Sometimes letting go is the only thing you can do when things just don’t go your way. And since I am a very impatient person, it’s definitely a learning process.

Becoming an American and settling in has been harder than I expected it to be. I have already expressed some of the issues I have encountered in a previous post. Some things have been figured out, thank god!  Like getting a phone – yeah nailed it! Thanks T-Mobile for being so easy going!  🙂 Or getting my new social security card and opening an account! But I am still without a debit card, the check I cashed and which represents all my savings will not clear before 9 days, meaning I have NO access to money what so ever. Meaning…I can’t buy a car, get insurance, or even look for a job because moving around has been limited. I am so gratefull for my family that patiently takes me where I need to go – so thanks a lot guys!! But without a car in the US you are basically a nobody – or so it feels! No way to get from A to B. I mean, I could bike…but it’s not that much of a biking city and places are rather far apart. I definitely feel like a spoiled European when it comes to public transportation!

Remember when I rambled about credit cards, and not getting one, but feeling lucky about the prospect of applying for a so called secured credit card? Well…let me tell you, it turned out to be harder here too. Because if you don’t have a job, it doesn’t matter how much money you deposit in your account, they will not issue you a secured credit card either! Grrrrr!! So yahhh…that’s gonna be fun buying anything from flights to online stuff I had planed on, with only a debit card. To be continued!

So instead of focusing on the fact that I can’t really do much until my check has cleared, I have decided to enjoy the small things and be grateful for the unexpected time on my hands!

Long walks in unexplored neighborhoods, fresh strawberries, time to do yoga in the morning and wake up slow, enjoying reading magazines on the front porch and enjoying the calm. Looking at cars and apartments online and figuring out where to drop an application. And breathe! Wow…breathing! Kinda awesome.

good things

Things that make it all worth while:

– Lovely notes from Kathy about all the things we will have to do in Kentucky.

– The cute faces of those dogs in the morning.

Mint Juleps!

But BEST of all?? My husbands Visa was granted today!!! He will join me in June! Looking forward to having you here dear!

Have a great day guys and don’t forget to breathe once and a while! Such a great feeling!

Late Sunday Lovin’ – Duuurbaaay and Mint Julep recipe

SONY DSCYou might have heard about it, but this past week big hats and pin stripes have found their way into daily life of Louisville, to celebrate this years most famous 2 minutes in sport: the Kentucky Derby! I was so excited about it, since I had never experienced such an event. Just to be clear, I did not actually attend the Derby itself, nor the Oaks – the local Lousiville Derby before the actual Derby – but did however experience some of the craziness around it. And that was …kinda somethin’!!

derbyfestival1On Friday my aunt took me along on her yearly volunteer job at the Derby Festival, a local food, rides and free live music festival that takes place in the week leading up to the Derby.photo (2) She volunteers as a runner each year – basically driving ‘rock stars around’ as she calls it. I was just going to join in on that chore and help her out if I could, and wanted to take the chance to get down to the water front and experience some of the Derby Festival. I had the BEST of times! Enjoying my first corn dog (a very southern thing – basically a sausage on a stick, coated in dough and deep fried), sipping on freshly made lemonade and enjoying local live bands at the water front. But ounce I came back to backstage from my little errands, the festival producer asked if I wanted to help sell merchandise for the bands. DSC03188Of course…why not!!! First job in Louisville – nailed it! It was fun! I got the sell shirts, CDs for two country bands, Greg Bates and Kix Brooks. I even got the chance to have my picture taken with Kix…I know…I am starting to sound reaaallyy country being all excite about that, but he is kind of a big shot in country music down here!

Anyhow…if you do ever end up spending time in Lousiville around Derby, make sure to hit up the Derby Festival down at the Waterfromt. It’s kinda cool! 😉

So yes…Saturday was THE day…Duuurbayyyy! We were invited to a Derby house party for great food and communal race watching on TV. derbyI cannot tell you how short those two minutes of race seamed after all the frenzy going on in Louisville leading up to that one short race! Really…that was it? Wow! I guess next year I will need to follow some of the qualifying races to get more of an impression. It was however a really fun little party and I got the opportunity to wear a truely outrageous hat! Worth it!!

It is tradition in Kentucky, especially around Derby, to sip on Mint Juleps. Since I am a HUGE Bourbon fan, I was excited to taste this mixed drink for the first time. I liked it very much and think it’s the ideal summer drink, so I though I would share the recipe! (Well at least one recipe, since the correct mixing procedure is very debated upon!)

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– Crush or muddle a few leaves of fresh mint and a small spoon of sugar at the bottom of a glass until the mixture resembles a paste. Add two tablespoons of water.

– Then fill your glass 2/3 with crushed ice, add bourbon and a shot of mint syrup.

– Stir until the drink seams well mixed. Add sugar to taste.

  Serve with a sprig of mint!

Cheers y’all and happy Mint Julep drinking!!

Life is a journey, spread those roots!

I am here! Finally in Louisville

Can you believe it…after my Chicago trip and a 5 hour drive, my cousin and I arrived in Louisville. Let me tell you I squeaked, laughed and yelled he should drive slow enough so I could take a picture. To say the least I was a wee bit excited!! Hello there new home town!

Louisville arriving

 

Since arriving here 4 days ago, I have battled the odds of immigration: jetlag, settling in, applying for a new social security card, opening a bank account to find out it would take 10 days before I would get my debit card and another 7 days before the money was transferred to the account. Dear Lord! And without a Louisville address you can’t even open an account! You gotta start somewhere!! Thank god I have a lovely family to help me out! Even getting a phone has proven to be quite a deal…without a debit card or working credit card with Louisville address – no phone. Bummer. Oh and if you haven’t lived in the US, you also do not have a credit score. And an insufficient credit history means no credit card. Bummer no.2. Luckily banks offer so called secured credit cards, that have a limit and are backed by putting down a certain amount of  cash. Not to mention that I still do not have a car and am therefore less than mobile! Thanks to my aunt Richena for helping me maneuver the craziness of all of this!

Louisville arriving 2There have of course been great first moments in Louisville as well: being in the loving surroundings of my dear family, living with my cousin and his wife, tasting amazing food, enjoying laughter, country music blasting out of the radio while being driven through the city by my cousins wife Kathy, discovering NuLu and its coffee shops, restaurant and antique stores.

Louisville arriving3

Tasting my first Mint Julep at the Garage Bar and buying a derby hat for the most famous 2 minutes in sport, the Kentucky Derby coming up on Saturday!garagebar

Louisville you are beautiful!

 Life is a journey, starting to spread my roots in Louisville!

Things just don’t always go as planed

spring at the praterI apologize for the lack of posts this week. However, I am miserably sick with tonsillitis and basically just feel like sleeping most of the day. I am taking antibiotics but it seams that they havn’t set in yet. Of course this kind of stuff happens when you are short on time and have your days packed full with appointments. Murphys law I guess.

At least it seams as though spring has finally arrived in Vienna and is here to stay!

I have exactely two weeks left before my departure. And let me tell you – I am not where I though I would be with my preparations. Nothing really seams to be packed. We still need to sell a heap of things and Mikes Visa documents are still not complete. I guess it is not that much of a big deal, since Mike will stay here another two months and can take care of unfinished issues. However, I did not want to leave him with all this to do alone. But I guess…things just don’t always go as planed.

I was in Munich last week to visit friends and family and I am about to prepare a post with tips on what to do if you are visiting Munich. I hope it will be finished by the end of the week; depending on my health.

Have a great end-of-week guys!

Life is a journey – and yes sometimes it just doesn’t go as planed. Keep posted!

Sunday lovin’ – homemade cinnamon sugar scrub

SONY DSCDon’t you love sundays? They are my favorite day of the week! Truely! A day for real down time, reading, crafting, baking, watching movies or just staying in bed and spending the day in PJs. My favorite part is to pamper oneself; enjoy the simple things of life. In this case, a homemade all-natural home-spa special: cinnamon-lemon sugar scrub!

I love the smell of sweet cinnamon and lemon on my skin, and the way it makes my skin feel: so smooth and soft, and yummy on top! A hard to get feeling with store bought peelings I find. And isn’t it great to know that what you put on your skin is free of additives and so easy to make you will find all ingredients in your kitchen?! A luxurious and fragrant peeling you can whip up in just a few minutes! So lets get started!

sugar scrub 3Get yourself a glass or jar to mix your ingredients. In accordance to whether you want to mix enough peeling for the entire body or just your face, pour in the amount of brown sugar you think you will use. Brown sugar is an ideal base for a peeling, since its cristalls are soft to the skin and are not as harsh as ground peach pits, often used in store bought peelings.

For the amount I used, I added a half a teaspoon of cinnamon. My cinnamon is extremely intense, if you are using a less strong kind you might want to add a bit more. Due to its content of zinc and vitamin C, cinnamon has been used since the ancient Egyptians as an anti-bacterial treatment and healing properties in cosmetics. Great especially for fighting impurities.

Now add some freshly grated nutmeg. I would say just a few grates…comparable to twice the amount what would fit on the tip of a knife. Nutmeg is high in manganese, copper and zinc as well as many vital B-complex vitamins, including vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A and many flavonoid anti-oxidants whith skin curative properties. Anti-oxidants and vitamin C will boost your complexion and make your skin fresh and radiant.

To mix your scrub to a smooth texture, add some freshly pressed lemon juice. I use a bit less than half of a small lemon. Make sure to add the liquid bit by bit, as the texture might get too runny. Make sure only to “dampen” the sugar mixture, so you don’t have the peeling driping into your eyes during its application. Lemon juice is especially good to add if you have red spots left over from impurities or acne scares. The lemon juice will slowly even your complexion. If your skin is very sensitive you might want to substitute the lemon juice with honey. Honey has been used in traditional medicin for its healing and antiseptic properties, even on wounds for hundreds of years and is therefore the perfect addition to this peeling.

Once the mixture is ready, dampen your skin and apply in circular motion. If you are doing a whole-body peeling, you might want to shower down with hot water first. The warmth will open your pores and make your skin more responsive to the healing benefits. If you are using it as a facial peel, you can leave it on for a while, just like a mask. If you added lemon however, do not let it sit too long as the acid can be harsh to your skin.

This peeling can either be used straight away, or kept refigerated for a couple of days.

Have fun mixing gals and enjoy the warmth of the cinnamon smell! Ideal for a relaxing sunday evening!

 And don’t forget…life is a journey, cultivate your roots!

 

Happy Easter Monday!

SONY DSCHappy Easter everyone!!

I am spending my time with my family in Munich Germany right now, so just a quick post to wish you all a very happy Easter!

Don’t you love tulips? They are my favorite flowers. They make me think of spring days and happiness and the best thing about them is they keep looking beautiful, even when they are way over their peak!

DSC02281Our family has the tradition of celebrating Easter wih long Easter brunches; traditionally in Germany with an easter lamb. It’s not an actual lamb – it’s a cake in the shape of a lamb, refering to Jesus as the lamb of God. I am not particularly religious, but it has been a tradition in my family passed down by my grandma for many year. Now let’s hope Easter marks the begining of spring for good – I am in dire need of more sun!

How do you celebrate Easter?

Life is a journey, have a happy Easter Monday brave-ones!

Easter Sunday lovin’ – easy pancake recipe

SONY DSCSunday is my favorite day of the week! Not only because I get to sleep in until I can’t sleep no more – but also because it is the day of the week my husband and I take time to prepare a brunch-like breakfast!

I love the slow-pace, musik filled rooms and cozy stay-at-home moments we cherish so much on sundays.

What do you like to do most on a sunday morning? My favorite is making american style pancakes. Yes even for Easter!

I thought I’d share my favorite pancake recipe for normal and chocolate-chip-buckwheat pancakes.Spring pancakes

 Ingredients:

– 1/2 to 3/4 cups of milk (about 120ml)
– 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (about 25 ml)
– 1 egg
– 1 cup of white flour (140g)    or
– 1/2 cup of buckwheat (70g) and 1/2 cup of white flour (70g)
– 2 teaspoons of baking powder (10g)
– 2 tablespoons of sugar (30g)
– 1/2 teaspoon of salt (2pinches)

How to:

– Beat the milk, oil and egg lightly in a mixing bowl.DSC02257
– Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt separately
– then add the mixture bit by bit to the liquids by stirring just enough to dampen the flour. Do not over mix!
– If wanted, add some chocolate chips to the batter.

Pre-heat a pan and add half butter half vegetable oil to bake the pancakes. Make sure the pan is hot before pouring in the batter. I like to check by sprinkling some drops of water on the pan. If they crackle it’s hot enough!

Bake light brown on both sides, whithout turning them more than once.

Serve with a piece of butter and maple sirup!

Enjoy your Easter Sunday lazy ones – have a happy one and don’t forget: life is a journey!