July 25, 2014

Friday I'm in Love

 Hello everyone! What are you all up to this weekend? Our friend Meghan is visiting from Colorado for the weekend. She was Cooper's nanny when we lived in Garmisch 5 years ago! So good to see her, and fun to reminisce.

This week has been a bit hectic with work and this and that, but the weather has been quite wonderful. Yesterday, after picking up the kids from school, I drove a mile down the road to the lakes by Grafenwoehr. The area reminds me an itsy bitsy bit of our summer home in Lake Leelanau. Same smells of pine and birch,  sandy dirt, and water. We picked fresh blueberries and raspberries, searched for lizards, and played in the sand and water. Perfect way to spend the afternoon and can't wait to do it again this weekend. That, and I think we'll show Meghan around the Frankenjura for some climbing and beer gardens.

Blueberry picking. The forest undergrowth is fully composed of blueberry bushes for miles.
Riddley, Diddley, I dee dee, I spy something you can't see and it's a lizard!



Some fun finds this week:



July 17, 2014

Vacation photos: Mallorca Spain


Hello! I'm finally posting some photos from our mini vacation to Mallorca for the 4th of July weekend. This year, I tried to book the same agriturismo (farm stay) as last year, but it was unavailable. So we ended up staying in Cala Santanyi (east coast) at Chalet Sa Roca Fesa right near a beach with climbing we love. We had a two bedroom apartment overlooking the sea, and loved it. I'd highly recommend the place, but the island is literally covered in amazing rentals and its hard to go wrong anywhere in Mallorca. Here are a few photos of our trip this year, if you'd like to see...
We started our vacation in Memmingen, to hop on a cheap Ryan Air flight direct to Palma.
My 2 euro 2 sip ginger ale
The flight is just over 1.5 hours with views of the alps in every direction. Here is Mont Blanc.
Chalet Sa Roca Fesa. We stayed on the second floor.
Views from the Apartment
The perfect place to just sit and relax in the evenings with a nice view and the Tijuana climbing crag in the background.


Beaches make sleepy babes

Old Navigation Compass from an old ship the landlord showed Frank

The landlord of the chalet is an artist and there are paintings and sculptures all over the grounds.

The front of the Chalet

Walking from the Chalet down to Cala Santanyi

With two pools at the Chalet, we spent each evening and morning playing right at our place. The views were amazing and we had a grill right by the baby pool that made grilling out so easy and perfect with the kids! Loved having that little pool for Lily and Cooper. They played so well together in it for hours. 

The beach of Cala Santanyi was only a 5 minutes walk down a steep hill. I didn't take our nice camera to the beach in fear of getting sand and salt water on it, but we used our iPhone to capture a few photos of our days. When we arrived the first day, the wind was crazy and the waves were HUGE. Cooper had so much fun jumping and dodging them.




Both kids thought it was hilarious to be buried in the sand.
Cold showers to clean off endless sand.
Hiking through the National Park Mondrego after a day at the beach.


Every day a man (with his son or wife) comes with a wheelbarrow full of fresh watermelon, coconuts, bananas and pineapples to the beach and cuts them for you on the spot. We always give in and buy them because nothing tastes better at the beach on a hot day! Pretty much all we ate for lunch every day!
Beaches in general, especially in Europe, have some pretty comical things going on. Frank and I have some sick humor and just could not stop laughing about these guys pulling their shorts up into wedgies to sun bathe. I was trying to capture Frank pulling off the look, but man, I should have had him take off the shirt to get the full effect.


Dinner at the Beach. Couldn't ask for a more perfect location.
Ice cream or Popsicles every day!


Mallorca is one of our favorite places. Frank votes it as his all time fave. It is always sunny and warm, there are beautiful beaches, snorkeling, fishing, history, amazing food, markets, crafts, and of course, amazing climbing. Where else can you beat all that?

Perfect vacation really and so very needed. Beaches, pools, relaxing, pizza and ice cream. I'm ready to go back!

July 16, 2014

Awesome Marinated Flank Steak

This is one of my favorite, easiest summer dinners, grilled marinated flank steak.  It is also a wonderful marinade for chicken breasts.  I use the same marinade for the chicken when I make my Pad Thai Noodle Salad.  The marinade is super easy to assemble and then you just allow the meat to rest, refrigerated in the marinade for most of the day or even overnight.  A flank steak is the leanest cut of beef and also the highest in iron.  And it is also relatively cheap, mostly because people aren't quite sure how to cook it.  The key is 'hot & fast'!  You can serve the steak as a main course with vegetables & fruit.  And flank steak is also very good over a Black & Blue salad, perhaps as leftovers the next day.  I hope you enjoy!    


Marinated Flank Steak

4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons lime juice
1 Tablespoon roasted sesame oil
4 grinds fresh pepper
flank steak

Combine all the above ingredients in a gallon size Ziploc bag.  Close the zipper and squish all the ingredients together.  Add your 1-3 pound flank steak.  Seal the zipper pushing out as much air as possible.  Seal the bag and turn the steak over to coat.  Refrigerate the steak for a minimum of 4 hours to 1 day.  After marinating, preheat the grill to medium high.  Grill the steak for 6-8 minutes per side for a medium steak, 4-5 minutes for medium rare.  Remove the steak to a serving platter and allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes to seal in the juices.  I cover mine with aluminum foil to help hold in the heat.  Cut the steak in very thin slices with a serrated knife diagonally across the grain.  I really recommend an electric knife for this, but it's not absolutely necessary.  Serve warm with any summer vegetable or over a salad.  Enjoy!

July 14, 2014

First Day Dress for Lily

When Dana from the blog MADE posted the First Day Dress pattern, I knew I had to make one for Lily. The pattern can be made into about 6 different tops and dresses, and I love them all! So far, I've only done the Swing Dress, but can't wait to try all six styles.

If you are a beginner, so am I, and this dress only took me three hours to complete. Dana's directions are very clear and the pattern includes pictures of each step. I couldn't be happier with how it turned out! Lily loves it and I can't wait for her to wear it later this week when our temps warm back up. Now that I finally finished a craft/project, I'm so excited to do more. 

First Day Dress (www.danamadeit.com)

Here is the back. The dress is fully lined.

Lily wouldn't pose for me that morning, but as you can see, it fits perfectly and she was so happy to put in on.

I won the fabric on one of my favorite sewing blogs Sanae Ishida during a giveaway last year, and finally found a project to use it on.
I know what I'll be doing the next couple of weeks in the evenings now that I found my groove again.

July 11, 2014

Friday I'm in Love

First off, Happy Birthday to my sister Missy in Kentucky!
Dad walking Missy on her wedding day
Wish I could treat you to getting our hair done together, dinner, and a movie like the old days. Hugs and kisses from Germany to you!

Second, the weekend is here at last! The work week is always so much longer and busier after coming back from any length vacation. I still haven't uploaded photos from Mallorca but plan to this weekend. I did sort through no less than five loads of laundry this week already. Unreal and my least favorite household chore. Not the washing part. The putting away part.

Lastly, links to check out :)

  • I LOVE these duvet covers! Aren't they so much fun! Check out Snurk to see even more.