Monday, March 31, 2014

In danger of being a compulsive hoarder?

There was a time I almost ended up a compulsive hoarder.
I really thought I was just a compulsive shopper.
It started with checking out all the offers in e-bay. I would end up snatching up those last minute auctions that go for an euro each. There would be baby items, clothes, shoes, bags, toys, books, whatever article I think would be useful at that time, though I also considered things that might be of use someday. When in truth, it was only a game of winning and yes, greed, too.
Not only that, I would also browse through the local newspapers browsing flea marketschedules. I would drag my husband for an early visit and I would end up with knick-knacks that I would end up using for a time or not at all.
I also checked out the newspaper inserts for possible freebies coming from people who are moving houses or doing spring cleaning or just getting rid of things. I am glad now that I wasn’t able to convince my husband to drive me to pick up furniture pieces and boxes of mysterious ‘pretty’ things.
Of course, I would snap up bargains whenever I would end up in the shopping centers, too.

Read here.

Friday, March 28, 2014

DIY: From Old Jeans Into a Pet Bed

My husband told me Rikki needs a soft and comfortable bed which we could leave in our car's trunk when.

I already made one using an old bathrobe, but it was too thick for the trunk's space. Then came the idea of creating a pet bed from the ever reliable old jeans.

What did I use to make the bed as soft and comfortable, as per my husband's requirements? Check it out:

Rikki's jeans bed

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Tribute to Bernie (September 05, 1962 - January 2013)

Dear Bernie,

It took a long time to write this. Because until now, I still cannot believe that you are gone.

I wonder what really happened to you. What happened, dear friend? It's only you who could answer and I guess we would never know.

I am sorry that you were alone when you it's time for you to leave this world. I am sorry that it took awhile before somebody discovered you. It hurt to think about that.

So sorry, too, that we had to speculate. I learned about you through a Facebook private message. And even then, the messages were still unconfirmed.

Someone told me you asked for assistance after you learned that you need to undergo an operation. But that you had to cancel it. Someone told me about an amputation. All speculations.

You see, most of those people close to you seemed to have started missing you before you even left. A good old friend even told me that you called a few months ago thanking him for everything. What that a sign of something?

How about between us? I still have your note in our guest book written last November 2009 when you became our guest in Manila. A part of your message started: 'Friendshi is like wine, the longer it lasts, the better it tastes!' We had fun that time. Getting lost in the jungle of the small streets. I remember you treating me to a Filipino dinner in a small motel. I remember getting most of the 'pasalubong' (gifts) in your huge luggage.

Sadly, I remember that you also stopped communicating with me a few months afterwards. I assumed you thought I was angry with you. I was not. I gave you the peace you wanted but I always thought about you. I wanted to get in touch for a long time. I don't know why I didn't. And now, this.

But still in your note, you said: 'I believe that despite being apart from each other, we will all be together in thoughts and God's loving grace.' I believe the same, too, dear Bernie.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Saturday Bargains

Nope, I didn't plan to buy anything that Saturday.

I only wanted to go to the public library to return the books I borrowed and maybe browse around the book sale they've set-up on the building's foyer while waiting for the girl's who are having their art lesson.

Why did I end up with a bag filled with bargain items and not those borrowed books I so promised myself?

A pair of blue-tassled leather shoes at 4.95 Euro (Normal price: 24.90 Euro). The price went down to   9.95 then 6.95 for a time, too.
A pair of shoes for only 4.95 Euro

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Knäckebrot = Crisp Bread/Crackers from Bäckerei Bürck

Have you ever tried those Knäckebrot (crisp bread or crakers) that you could find in the different bread or snack sections of supermarkets in Germany? They have an array of flavors, and could be made of wheat, rye, sourdough, etc. They could have nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, etc. 

Here's from Wikipedia: "Crisp bread or hard bread is a flat and dry type of bread or cracker, containing mostly rye flour. Crisp breads are light and will keep fresh for a very long time. Crisp bread is a staple food and was for a long time considered a poor man's diet."

Well, in our household, Knäckebrot is a must. Our favorite are those with nuts. We would eat them for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner and we would have them in between meals, too.

And then a few days ago, my husband brought home a bag of freshly-made Knäckebrot from Bäckerei Bürck.

He was not finished 'pouring' the Knäckerbrot pieces into the bread basket, when I grabbed one to taste. I could already smell the delicious crackers from far away! I simply had to have one. 

They smell fresh, they look delicious, the texture full, and they are snappy to touch and wait until you bite into one... those Knäckebrot had me on that first taste. 

I would never have stopped munching on these crackers! Well, my girls managed to stop me. They reminded me that also wanted some themselves.

Knäckerbrot from Bäckerei Bürck
I tell you, you simply have to try these Knäckebrot from the Bäckerei Bürck. They are light and crispy. They are snappy and crunchy. The combination of cheese, sesame seeds and some other secret ingredients would make you crave for more. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Sunday Picnic and Garden Work

What a sunny Sunday!

Papa wanted to work in our mountain garden (enough weeds to pull, enough tree branches to trim, enough soil to dig) though and he wanted us to join him so he suggested a picnic.

IC bought the idea but MC stayed at home, refusing to skip her favorite TV show.

So off we go with a picnic blanket, some sandwiches and chips, dog treats and drinking water (for human and dog) in a big basket.

I dragged a blanket as I planned to just relax and read a book. IC brought a book and her diary plus a pen because she needs to update, according to her.

IC and Rikki found a warm, shady place
Upon arriving, we noticed that the garden next door was already occupied by a whole family already busy working! After exchanging greetings, Papa disappeared to work. I grabbed my book while IC and Rikki looked for the best place to spread the picnic blanket and immediately wanted to search the bag for food. Hmmmm....

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Kid's Day: Mama and IC's Carnival Party Date

Our 12-year-old girl declared she's not joining any Carnival party this year. What a complete turn-around when she was present in most of the Carnival parties the past years! Well, we can't force her if she's not interested right?

IC was a bit hesitant in attending a Carnival party because she doesn't want to be alone. I told her it would be our date and that I am sure she would find some of her friends at the party, too. She just could not resist the promise of sweets which are being given away at the end of the party, plus she wanted to show-off her new Indian costume.

The Carnival party was called the Weinheimer Blüten Kindermaskenball (Kiddie Masked Ball) and we have been attending their festivities for the past three years now. I love how they encourage a group of youth to show-off their theatrical and dance skills. They even have a different princess every year. They used to fascinate both girls, though MC's fascination got switched off this year.

The stage
To have the best place, one had to arrive a bit early. This year, IC and I were there half an hour earlier and got our usual almost front seats. We didn't want to stay in front because there's a lot of going on in the middle of the dance hall and it would be hard to be moving around, especially if we would end up sneaking out earlier than planned.

The two-man band played music a few minutes before the
formal opening time to keep the kids (and adults) usy on the dance floor.
The dance hall was filled a few minutes before the party began.

It was the youngest dance group march into the dance hall that started the ball rolling, and they were followed by the most important figures of the club, including the guards and the princess.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Fasching (Carnival) Celebration at Home

I did promise IC that we would celebrate Fasching at home right? I had to move it on a Saturday though but despite that, we had a blast!

So, how do you start a Fasching (Carnival) party at home? With the most important thing, the food! Fasching would not be Fasching without Berliner! Berliner is tradionally a German doughnut filled with marmalade.
Berliner from Backerei Bürck
I had to call my husband to bring home some Berliner for us. There were more than enough choices at Backerei Bürck (Bürck Bakery) so he informed us to just go to the bakery, choose our favorite Berliner flavor and we could watch it being prepared right in front of us. We got Berliner with nougat, marmalade and vanilla-egg liquor, plus six pieces of Berliner without fillings.

Upon arriving at home, we decided to dress-up our dog first. The photos were achieved because of loads of dog treats :-)