Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, dear friends and readers! I hope you get to spend the holidays with your family and loved ones.

We will have a family dinner (BF's family) and then unwrap our presents tonight, on Christmas Eve, just like in Germany. Here in the USA most families seem to unwrap presents on Christmas day morning (December 25), but my boyfriend suggested we unwrap tonight, just like I'm used to from home <3

Hugs to All! Enjoy the holidays!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A little peek (Puppie Love)

Here's a little peek at what I will be doing over the holidays:

Don't get too excited. We will only have them for 3 days. They are our friends' new puppies and they have to travel for three days, so my boyfriend and I will be watching them (and snuggling them until they are sick of us!)

When we visited them yesterday, our friends said: "Oh, thank you so much for watching them. We really appreciate it!" Are you kidding? "WE really appreciate it," I answered! Who wouldn't want to have these guys around for a few days? (OK, maybe non-dog-lovers, but we DO love us some doggies, especially puppies!)

Are they the cutest little things on earth, or what?!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


You guys all know that I lived very close to my office previously. It took me about 5 minutes to drive to work (without any traffic lights it would be more like 2 mins). Now that I've moved, that has changed a little. It takes me about 35-40 minutes each way, every day, ugh! Not so awesome for this spoiled European. (I am used to either walking or cycling to work/school.)

I didn't have high hopes that I would find somebody to carpool with... while people do carpool here in the US, I thought that a 35 minute commute is NOTHING for Americans and that nobody would be wanting to carpool for such a "short" distance... wrong! I actually found a colleague who was willing to. He was tired of driving so much and lives only 5 mins from our new house :)

We're aiming to carpool for 2 out of the 5 work days, yay! (Gotta go to yoga straight after work for the rest of the days!)

Friday, December 16, 2011

The job (December edition)

I'm a (mostly software) engineer, working at a relatively small subsidiary of a German company. Even though normally, my day consists of sitting at a desk in front of a computer, we also produce and sell hardware... as in big time. It's just that normally, I don't have anything to do with it... exceeeeept...

... when December rolls around and it's time for "all hands on deck in the lab". Stuff has to be delivered this year to make our customers and our 2011 numbers happy. That means that even the engineers get to play around with wires to get these systems out the door by christmas. We get to see what out technicians usually deal with all day. A change in the routine... fun! For a while... ;)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Full circle

It's my blog's first birthday today... Happy Birthday!

Photo from ABC Cakeshop & Bakery

These last few days have really felt like I've come full circle in the last year. It's winter again, just like when my journey started. I've been packing boxes again, just like I did a year ago. This year has been quite the ride, and it's been hard at times of course, but it's also been AWESOME! I am SO SO SO glad I took this job and opportunity to move across the ocean.

It's going to be my birthday soon, and then Christmas, so normally this would mean seeing my family and friends. But alas, not this year. This has definitely caused me some heartache. I have been away from home often, even as a child (boarding school), so I felt basically as prepared as one can feel before moving across the ocean to live on another continent. I had never been away for more than a year at a time though and now I can honestly say: I know what "homesick" feels like.

My new friends and friends who feel like family have been wonderful. I have really enjoyed having them around for holidays and special occasions, but... on occasion it makes me miss my family even more. Never fret though, as a trip to Germany is in the works. It will not happen before 2012, but oh well! I will enjoy the anticipation until then :)

Anyway, I am proud of myself and happy and grateful for all the new friends and old friends, and family, and supporters, and helpers I have had this past year.

Thank you so much, All!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Green smoothies

Hi Everybody!

My boyfriend and I have a new thing... green smoothies! We all know that in our modern lives, many of us eat too much processed food. There are many people who try to turn this around by eating vegetarian, vegan, raw, or who knows what else. The idea behind the green smoothies is that not only are they raw, they also contain a lot of leafy greens of which we usually eat too little of.

Anyway, after a couple of months playing with the smoothies, here is an update!

Literature: My BF and I loooove this book Green Smoothie Revolution by Victoria Boutenko. It contains a lot of information, some scientific insight, years and years of personal experiences from her and her family, and a ton of recipes. Great mix for when you're starting out with smoothies! My BF and I now refer to the author as "our friend Victoria", as in "No, don't put broccoli in it. Remember, our dear friend Victoria says is not good in smoothies because of the starch!" Love this book. It's an easy read and it really made us enjoy more and drink more smoothies!

Recipes: We pretty much stick to Victorias principles - keep it easy, limit the number of ingredients to 3-4. Use 2 different fruits (ex: bananas, frozen berries, avocado, pineapple, mango, etc), 1 green (ex: spinach, kale, chard, wheatgrass, etc), and water. Try to use more green and less fruit as you get more experienced.
 ☆ My favorite: raspberries/strawberries, avocado, spinach, water.
 ☆ His favorite (he likes it sweeter): mango/pineapple, banana, wheatgrass, water.

Frequency: Our goal has been to drink at least 1-2 smoothies per day. Some weeks we do well, some we fail miserably haha. It all depends on how busy we are and how much time we spend at home vs. out and about (eating out, traveling). My BF has tried an "all-smoothie diet" for 3 days or so and really loved it (see Benefits below.)
We drink the smoothies as snacks, not as meal replacements. Although sometimes we will replace a meal with a smoothie. We don't have strict rules. A smoothie will keep you full for a while, so it is definitely possible to replace a meal with a smoothie.

Equipment: At first, we didn't want to spend money on a blender in case we end up not liking smoothies. We tried using a food processor. It was kind of messy and the smoothies didn't get very "smooth". It was OK, but not ideal. We liked the smoothies though, so we started researching blenders. The best of the best cost 400 US$ and up (Vitamix, Blendtec). We decided on a much cheaper one (40 US$) that got very good ratings by consumer reports. We are very happy with it. The smoothies get super smooth and the motor shows no signs of burning out. (We try not to run it for longer than 30-60 seconds at a time. Also, always use enough liquid to prevent motor burnout.)

Benefits: Now, for the most interesting aspect. What benefits did we experience? I definitely feel a difference, even when I just drink one large glass of smoothie per day. I feel lighter, happier, just plain better! It also meshes really well with my yoga practice and his workout routine, fueling us with all the nutrients we need.
When my BF did the "all-smoothie diet" for a few days, he felt so amazing! He said it just made him so energetic and he realized that "regular" food makes him fatigued. It made such a difference for him that his colleagues (who didn't know he was doing any special diet) asked him what was going on with him, because he came across as so energetic and happy! Amazing, isn't it?
We definitely feel it, when we skip our smoothies. For example, last week we moved, and between our three households, there hasn't been any time to make smoothies. My BF and I have both noticed that we feel grumpy, our bodies are not happy with the food we put in them, and we just feel tired and blah. We both can't wait to get back to a more regular smoothie routine! :)

Thank you, Victoria! Cheers!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Right on time, on the last day of November, we got our first real snow.

Hrml, not a fan :-/

The cool thing is, my baby car gets to stay in a garage now, so no more scraping or digging out in the mornings :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Better late than never, right? :)

Last week I celebrated Thanksgiving, not for the first time, but for the first time in a while and for the first time with my boyfriend and his family. We kept it small, but sweet, and everybody worked together to prepare the wonderful foods... and they were fantastic!

Cutting the birdie (which was huuuuge)!

All the other goodies including my favorite: stuffing!

The table before the eating extravaganza started ;)

Friday, November 11, 2011

It's time...

... to pack some boxes! Right on time, before the one year anniversary of my big move, I put in notice to vacate my apartment. I'm moving again :)

I am taking another step forward and moving in with my wonderful boyfriend, into a sweet house in a lovely town & neighborhood. I'm so excited!

Monday, October 31, 2011


Happy Halloween, peoples!

Go Tigers!! :)

Got to work this morning and it was positively spooky: the lights were flickering and only few people had power in their cubicles, so we spent a couple of hours in the dark...

How very Halloween-y ;)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Plymouth Segway Rental :)

I did something really cool last Saturday. I finally got to ride a Segway and oh man, was it fun! I am totally going to do this again!!

The place we rented the Segways, Plymouth Segway Rental, offers 1-hour tours of the park by Plymouth. Our guide was fantastic and the area is really nice. We got lucky with the weather: it was cold, but sunny. Did you know you can ride through shallow puddles, gravel, grass, and uneven terrain? I didn't! I thought we'd be staying on paved roads, but these Segways can definitely handle rougher ground. Fun! Try it when you get a chance!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Meeting the Boss (a. k. a. Bikram Choudhury)

Saturday was the big day... Bikram (the guy, not the yoga) was in town and it was time to meet the legend!

He held a lecture and patiently signed our books. Here is mine:

And he was even available for a hug! Sorry for the goofy editing  :D

Friday, October 14, 2011

This is how I roll

I've mentioned it a couple of times... work is kinda crazy at the moment. I don't know when I have to work the next day and where. I'm just kind of on stand-by and the 60-hr week last week didn't help either... blah.

Anyway, this is the result of my vagabond lifestyle...

Why yes, I do have a laptop, a case of water bottles, an oscilloscope, yoga clothes and yoga towel, random food items, dress shoes, and more electronic measuring equipment in my trunk. Doesn't everybody?

Two yoga mats and yoga clothes drying on my improvised drying rack. When I go to yoga and then
straight to a customer, I hang up my wet, sweaty clothes on the hangers... not ideal, but better than having them rot in a bag in my car for 10 hours.

Yep, just trying to make it work...

PS: I'm trying my new blogging app for the first time. Hope this post doesn't look wonky.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Summer's last Hurrah (or: Fall in Michigan)

These past few days, we were blessed with gorgeous weather. (70 degF = 21 degC, for all metric unit lovers.) After the humid and hot summer, this felt like heaven.

Not only did it feel good, but the clear and sunny days and crisp nights turned the trees into a million different colors, all beautiful... look and see!
Across the magic lake...

Michigan from its best side <3

Friday, September 23, 2011


Yeah, so about that 30 Day Challenge... it didn't happen. It turned into a 7 Day Challenge instead.

Benefits from only seven consecutive days of Bikram Yoga:
- more strength (Yay, finally progress in Balancing Stick!)
- back bends are getting... back bendier (Hurray, Half Moon and Camel!)
- forward folds are getting... forward foldier (Wow, whole new perspective on Stretching Pose!)
- ...?

I'm sure there was more, but I cannot remember right now. After my vacation I quickly gave up the romantic idea of making yoga a major priority right now. A stressful work project had (still has) me traveling through metro Detroit and working 10 hour days, day after day. after day. after day. after day... I realized, putting the additional pressure of a challenge on myself was stressing me out and making me anxious.

Alas, this was not the time for a 30 Day Challenge. My challenge is making it to yoga 2-4 a week and that is OK for now.


Monday, September 12, 2011


I finally got to see an exhibit of plasticized bodies. It was fascinating and interesting. I learned quite a bit about bones and body tissue. More importantly, I gained a deeper understanding of the things that I knew already.

I recommend visiting one of these exhibits to anyone with an interest in anatomy. I've always loved anatomy (I'm a mechanical engineer after all and our bodies are mechanical masterpieces) and my yoga practice has fueled this interest even more.

No photographing allowed within the exhibit, so you will have to make due with me tickling the poster-body :)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

My Bikram Birthday (and a new Challenge)

The end of August marked the "One-Year Anniversary" of my Bikram yoga practice. In this one year, I've done a 30 Day Challenge (but mostly had a 3-4 times per week schedule), I have taken a couple of brakes, I have practiced at three different studios (on two different continents), I have practiced at home a couple of times... all in all I have practiced 150 times.

I am happy with my practice: my postures are decent enough and always evolving, but more importantly, I see tons of benefits from my practice both physically and emotionally. Life sure has been interesting in the past 12 months... what with moving across the Atlantic ocean and stuff... a lot of things have happened underneath the surface, too: I have found new direction and purpose in my life, I have found a deeper awareness and kindness and happiness and and lots of other big words, and I'm sure 90% percent of that has come directly or indirectly from my yoga practice. It is safe to say, this yoga has transformed my life... or maybe I should say: I have transformed my life with this yoga.

In the last couple of months, especially during the summer months, it has been hard to keep up a regular practice. It is still a struggle to make it to the studio some days. What do you expect? This yoga is freaking HARD and it's freaking 105 degF in the room (that would be 40.5 degC)! In some weird way, it was easier to get my butt to the studio during my 30 day challenge in March than it is now. Reason being that now I have a choice... do I go and challenge myself in class or do I sit on my butt, eat a pizza, and cuddle on the sofa? Take a wild guess what I often picked... if you need another clue: I currently only fit into 2 pairs of the 8 jeans that I own.

So it's time for another challenge! I'm doing my own little 30 Day Challenge in September. It's going to be very different from my first challenge in March... the weather is still nice and summer-y now... I have more of a social life now than when I had just moved here... I'll be the only person (that I know of) doing a challenge at my studio (in March there were about 40 of us)... I'm actually practicing at two different studios right now, so at times I'm out of my normal environment, without my usual yoga friends... but yeah, my body really needs this now and my practice always improves so much when I practice on consecutive days.

Either way, I have started a 30 Day Challenge on September 1st... let's see what happens :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Take me out to the Ball Game! --- No, really!

Yay, I made it to a baseball game! My first ever! If you remember, I've attempted to go before, but the game was cancelled due to bad weather.

I've come to appreciate baseball in the last couple of weeks, so I was pretty stoked :) It helps that the Detroit Tigers are a pretty good team too!

Detroit Tigers vs. Kansas City Royals

Scoreboard at Comerica Park (Believe it or not, but I even know what all the numbers mean!)

Me with the hot dog... hey, it's a tradition :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Amusement Park Yoga :)

Hi All! Just a quick pic from my fabulous week of vacation awesomeness :)) Yay!!! (Can you tell I'm loving my week off?)

PS: This is me in Camel Pose in front of one of my fave rides at Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


After eight months of work, I finally have a week off :))) And you can all take a wild guess about where I went on DAY 1......

Gosh, I love South Haven, MI <3

More South Haven...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I have been thinking about cravings a lot lately. In the past, I have mainly known food cravings... I have learned to understand what my body needs when I crave certain things. Cravings chips or french fries? I'm lacking salt. Craving fruity candy, gummy bears? My body is longing for vitamins and fruit will do the trick. Sour candies? Lacking vitamin C of course! Chocolate? Oh-oh, better eat something and quick!! Salmon? My body wants protein...

So yeah, food-wise I'm pretty "in tune" with my body's needs. But recently I have had cravings for yoga postures, particularly these:

Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Paschimotthasana or Separate Leg Stretching Pose (picture from Bikram's official page)

Pada-Hastasana or Hands-to-Feet Pose (amazing picture from here)

These new cravings pose a question of course... what do they mean? I'm assuming I don't crave the posture for the posture's sake. I've never particularly enjoyed these postures. Actually, now that I think about them some more... they are both postures in which I am slowly "making progress", by which I do not mean that I look like the pictures above. But I feel like I have finally "understood" the postures... where I have to release, where I have to engage... and yes, I guess I am slowly moving towards the full expression (forehead on the floor or locked knees). More importantly though, I know how to work into the posture correctly, to get all the benefits it can provide for me... (even if it doesn't look picture-perfect.)

Aha! -- What are these postures' benefits then? They both strengthen the lower body, the legs, and stretch the spine.... aaaaah, stretching the spine... something most of us can benefit from, huh? In addition, the first posture massages the abdominal organs and improves flexibility of the hips, pelvis... Sounds good to my office chair-bound body!

So my guess regarding these cravings is: my body is longing for more stretches for the spine and the hips as I am sitting in my office chair for most of the work day. Either way, I'm really enjoying these postures during my classes now! :)

Have you had yoga posture cravings? Which one? And can you tie these cravings to something your body needed at the time?

Friday, August 19, 2011

I'm walking...

This song has been on my mind a lot this week. Remember the Jetta vs. Pick-up truck story? I'm finally getting the body damage fixed and it was more extensive than it looks... which means I have been without a car since Monday and will get it back next Monday at the earliest... Luckily I live close to work, sooo... I'm walking :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

7 a.m. Bikram Yoga

I've got a new habit. About three times a week I take a Bikram Yoga class at 7 a.m. before I go to work. This might not sound super exciting except for if you know me, and know that I usually don't get up before the clock has a big fat eight (or at least a seven) where the hour is noted. So yeah, it's a pretty big deal for me to get up at 6:15 to make it to 7 a.m. yoga.

What makes me get up this early, you ask? A fresh, non-smelly yoga room. Quiet, focused fellow yogis and an amazingly calm vibe. Relatively empty classes. Having my evenings free for my LIFE outside the yoga room. Coming out of the studio into a fresh new day/world. Reeeaallly improving my flexibility in the morning classes! The opportunity to see dawn... :)

Who would have thought that even I can make it out of bed early for something that is important to me? ;)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Love this App!

Just a quick shout out to one of my favorite apps on my iphone... Tracker Lite!

I use it to mark off the days on which I've taken a Bikram Yoga class. It was especially useful/uplifting during my first 30 Day Challenge in March. Actually, even now during non-challenge time, I just LOVE ticking off another day in my calender after I've dragged my butt to gracefully finished a yoga class, YAY :)

Here's the screenshot from this past month... I'm happy with how often I've made it into the hot room, considering I'm busy busy enjoying summer and all that it entails this year :)


PS: Total number of  Bikram classes attended since starting eleven months ago... 141... yeaaaah :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

That's hot.

My car's thermometer showed me a 3-digit number for the first time: 100 degF = 37.8 degC... nuff said.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

You can take the girl out of Germany, ...

... but no chance in hell that you can take the Autobahn out of this girl!

This is the Michigan State Police, disagreeing with my German driving style.

Monday, July 18, 2011


I finally made it to the pool at my apartment complex. It's a three minute walk from my apartment and it's free. Not sure why I haven't done this before... perfect place to chill after work :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Right here.

Hi world!

I just wanted to pop in to say, I'm still right here, where I'm supposed to be :) Well and kicking, enjoying summer, and way too busy to post haha!

Honestly, there is not much going on... I'm practicing Bikram as often as I can, I work as seldom as I can (kidding!), and enjoying my "new life"... it's awesome! Hope you're all well!

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Hmmm, sushi, fruit, amazing location, good company on an amazing summer night... I love! :))

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gorilla Challenge

The Gorilla Challenge was in town last Saturday! We had a blast!

This is us on Detroit's People Mover, trying to stay ahead of the competition in this scavenger hunt :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Management Cookout!

Our management grilled burgers etc. for us lowly ;) employees today! They set up a tent in the rainy yard, put on their aprons, and got grillin, cookin, and flippin... sweeeet! What a nice tradition :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Update from the Magic Lake

Around one and a half months ago I showed you pictures of the new family of geese who lived on my magic lake. Time flies and here they are now... swimming like they've been doing this their whole lives ;)

Aww, so cute how the parents always frame them like that during swimming lessons <3

Sunday, June 19, 2011

You didn't think I was gonna do it, did you?

Yep, I bought furniture!! ......... (I'm waiting for applause...)

During my trip to South Haven, MI, I finally found some furniture that I liked. American style furniture usually doesn't appeal to me... fake antique style... way overpriced... even my grandma would find it antiquated. The pieces that I found are actually old, made of nice wood, were obviously heavily used, and are definitely not from a chain store (and they were a steal, btw). Hurray! Thank you, lovely stores of South Haven, MI!



Good-bye, trusty moving box furniture!