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Thursday, March 24, 2016

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2016 Preview

Loyal readers may remember... April is A-Z Blogging Challenge Time! 

Last year I wrote about the challenges in my daily life as a (part-time) working mom. 

When I signed up this time, I hadn't made up my mind on a theme yet. 

Later, life happened, and suddenly, on April 1st when the first post is due, I am going to be flying from Los Angeles to Seattle. 

Guess what, my overall topic is going to be on the go which seems to be one of my life's mottos anyway. 

You know me, I would love to do my things in peace and have enough time to do them properly. Instead I end up running around doing this and that on the go. 

Without revealing too much about my upcoming trip, I'm going to be on the go alone! 

Before I can leave, there is a lot to do, so I'll go offline and get stuff done now!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Same is the Game- Yes, I inherited the store!

My blogging buddy Robin aka Someone else's Genius came up with this fictional writing prompt, and I thought I'd give it a try:

Friday night in Charlotte, NC. 

I wait for my friend, let's call her BeeLyssa, at the wine loft.

It's not often that we get to go out without the kids, so we are going to enjoy this night thoroughly. 

As I see her walking in, I'm secretly bursting with excitement and joy, but I try to keep my composure just yet.

We hug, and we may be jumping up and down, just a little.

"So great to see you!! Remind me, what brought you to town again?"

I have to be non-committal and mumble something about a meeting with a lawyer which is actually true.

We order a glass of Australian Shiraz, a steak salad, and we chit chat about the kids, the blogging and our daily life as moms. Somehow I manage to casually direct our conversation towards life dreams. 

That's exactly when the waiter pours our wine.

We toast.

"To our meeting, and to dreaming big! Weren't you thinking about running a fabric store or something for a while?" I ask.

"I was, and something came up, actually! QBee Quilts' owner is retiring. I just heard about it the other day! I can't begin to imagine how cool it would be to take over that business!" 

She beams. 

Is now the right moment?

Not yet. 

"Tell me more. If you were to take over that store, what would you do with it?"

"I would teach mom and kid sewing classes, have ladies craft nights and of course sell awesome fabric!"

"You know if you did that, I might have to take a ton of sewing classes. I sucked at it in school, but there are so many things I'd like to sew, holiday themed outfits for the Elf on the Shelf and my Barbies so they don't have to wear napkins! Maybe, if they turn out nice, you would want to sell them at your store!"

"Haha, good idea. I have a lot of home made things that I might display, and would take custom orders!"

"I think your store should also carry crafts supplies. Oh, and you know what I like about certain stores, let's say B&N? When they have an inhouse Starbucks. The smell of freshly brewed coffee as you walk into a store! Aaahhhh! I definitely think your store would need a coffee corner. And a cake case for that matter."

"The way you're talking... makes me actually see my store!"

As she describes the layout of the store, the counters and the shelfs, her goods to sell, her services to offer, I can see it, too!

"Man, that'd be so cool! Now where is that lottery win that I need?"

We are done with our dinner, and the glasses are almost empty, too.

"Actually, you don't need a lottery win."

"No? Do you have any other ideas on how to raise the money I need?"

The waiter cleans our table and asks if we want some more wine. No thanks, the check please!

She looks at me, disappointed.

"Do we have to leave? Already? I don't get out much, you know! I pumped enough milk for the baby, I don't have to be at home before midnight!"

"We have somewhere to go. You will like it, though! I'll drive, can you hold this for me?" 

I hand her a little crafty paper bag with a bow on it.

After a 15 minutes' drive her eyes widen. 

"This is the neighborhood of the quilt shop I told you about! Do you want to see it now that we're here anyway? Make a right after this block!"

I park right in front of the entrance, and we get out. I walk to the door and pull. 

"It's closed, we can't get in, but you can see through the windows!"

"I think you should just use your key!" I tell her. 

"What are you talking about, I don't have a key? I wish I had one, though!"

"As a matter of fact you have one! Check your gift baggie!"

She looks at me as if I were nuts. Just to humor me, she reaches into the bag I asked her to hold when we left the restaurant. When her hand emerges, she is holding a key with the same bow attached that I glued onto the bag. 

"Is this a joke? What's going on here? There isn't a camera secretly filming me, right?"

"No camera. Just use your key and let's have a look at that store of yours!"

Disbelievingly and with shaking fingers, she opens the door. It works!

"Did you borrow the key? Does Diane know about us going in here? 

"Don't worry, she does, and she approves. After all, you're the new manager, so you're gonna need your key!"

"I'm WHAT???"  

"You know, the lawyer meeting I told you about? Actually, have you ever heard of the rich uncle's inheritance myth? He left me a considerable amount of money. The only condition was that it had to be invested in favor of a local business to give jobs to people and joy to customers. So here we are!"

"I think I'm dreaming! This is real, right? I don't think I could bear waking up from this!"

"Yes, I inherited the store, so to speak! I don't know anything about sewing and fabrics, so I need you to take care of everything related to this. If you're game for my coffee, cake and crafts ideas, a couple of blogging friends and I would be happy to become involved..!"

Please visit the other post(s) and find out what stores they inherited:

Sunday, March 20, 2016

St. Patrick's Day Party @ the Gerber House

This year was the fourth time that I wanted to have a St. Patrick's Day Party at our house. That's why I didn't allow myself to buy more green wrapping paper. You would agree, right?

Can you believe none of the rolls held enough to actually cover the table??? Uggghh! It was Saturday morning, and in theory there would probably have been enough time to head to the store and get some. I just didn't want to!! I had planned ahead for everything and just needed to pick up groceries, so I sure as h*** didn't want to join the crowds on Saturday morning.

Once decorated you can hardly tell that there are actually three different papers. Right? Nailed it.

On to peeling potatoes for the Shepherd's Pie. 

While Colin was busy working on the computer, I had some quiet time to hide all the clue bags around the house. What are clue bags? Head over to the Dating Divas to find out more! That's where (once again!) I got the entire scavenger hunt, and especially those lovely printable from. 

Every bag contains an activity card plus a hint on where to look for the next clue bag.

With the mailbox and the laundry room being hiding spots I was confident that the guys were going to be busy for a while, giving D and I time to catch up!

When our guests arrived they were talking (Minecraft) shop. I didn't understand half of what they were discussing. What happens after shearing a snow golem, how to tame an ocelot - give it some raw salmon but only it it's begging, on and on they went...

Fine with us. Coffee and cake at 4pm

Happy Hour at 5pm

Dinner at 6:30pm

Green pasta for the kids

Yummy Shepherd's Pie for us

I don't exactly know whether this is a Minecraft creeper or a St. Patrick's Day Leprechaun. Either way I think E did a great job building this Lego creature!

Those two had some other green fun!

The boys had started the Scavenger hunt earlier but got into a fight over counting the chocolate gold coins, so they only resumed the game much later and got stuck at the "unscrambling of the words".

Hhmmmmm... what might ARLDEIN stand for?

Ahaaa! IRELAND! But of course! 8yo Eric figured it out!

Chocolate coins for everybody! It was another great St. P's party!

The first Dunkin Donuts Store in Switzerland

March 1st was an important date for Switzerland! 

The very first Dunkin Donuts store opened! We read about it in the papers. Apparently people were waiting in line on the sidewalk for quite some time. 

Of course Colin and I wanted to go! Soon!

Coincidence had it that this past week, due to special projects week in school, his schedule was a bit different, and he got the gift of Thursday afternoon off. 

Not just any Thursday, St. Patrick's Day Thursday!

So I promised him if all goes well (him cleaning up his room, brushing his teeth without talking back, rolling his eyes and the like) I was gonna take him to Basel, which is almost an hour's drive.

I picked him up from school at 12 noon, and we made it to the Sushi place fairly easy. Lunch time!

How fitting is it that the Basel trams are green?

While riding to Kleinbasel which is across the Rhine River, he studied the "menu" I had printed out for him. C is not the quickest when it comes to making choices from so many goodies, so this gave him an opportunity to make up this mind.

I admit, I was excited, too!

I knew the store is located next to McD - but where is it?

Oh-my-goodniess!!! This tiny space??? No wonder people are queuing outside!

Wow, they sure look cute and delicious!
I had texted a friend / neighbor to tell her where we were and to ask what she wanted. 
She sent my all kinds of happy emoij and her order.

While I was waiting in line, C went and took a seat at the only table that fits into that miniature store.

OK, let's see...

Ta-daaaa! :-)

To our shame we couldn't eat them all. We left with a box of unfinished donuts!

OK, I took a picture of a gay bar. I liked the rainbow on St. Patrick's Day!

I also liked the blue sky!

We joined our friend with whom we usually meet for Fall Fair She came to this part of the city pick up her son from school.

The Louvre in Paris isn't the only place with a glass pyramid!

With grocery shopping and dropping off home delivery donuts, we only got home before dinnertime. Who wants some shamrock pizza?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

St. Patrick's Day 2016

Hello and happy St. Patrick's Day!

This year I wanted to plan ahead and start early. Not this last minute frenzy, looking for chocolate gold coins and the like!! Guess what though, I got them early? They got eaten!!

I even made a folder to hold all my secret plans ;-)

Frankly, though, when it comes to Leprechaun pranks I feel like I've done it all before!
So while I was trying to think of some new ones, I did some baking...

We ate some for my birthday, and I put some more in the freezer for our upcoming St. Patrick's Day party this Saturday.

While clothes shopping for Colin I came across those cool socks in rainbow colors! Oh, wait, they're not only rainbow socks, they're weekday socks!

Can you believe my luck? The green ones are for Thursday!

So, magically, over night, his usual outfit was replaced by the leprechauns!

Speaking of outfits. Not only did our Lego Man dress up for the occasion as well, he's also having a Guinness early in the morning. Hmmm, let's hope he know his limits!

As for the rest of us, we'll stick to the green bottled water. There's plenty of it!

Asterix, Globi and the smurf are ready for the green day as well!

What's this? The three investigators went green as well? 
Do they want to tell us something?

Ooohhh, look! A gift?

It's the story / recipe book I've been wanting!

Hey C, let's have breakfast! "No time, there's more to discover! Look at the Lego head!"
Haahahahaha, the legendary green wig I was wearing when we went shopping in our PJs!

Let's see if they fell for our trap! We built a Leprechaun Hotel and left chocolate gold coins in there to lure them. 

Looks like they arrived by helicopter... and green cars! Ate the chocolate and left...

Not before switching my usual pinky-girly  products in the bathroom by more appropriate green ones, though!

They also thought that the "happy Harley Christmas" placemats definitely had to go.

Colin was laughing about this mess, too. Um, that was just me, unloading the dishwasher...

Thursdays are usually hubby's turn for the whole morning routine: breakfast and making sure C gets out the door showered and dressed. But now that I was up anyway, I threw together this snack box using lunch box jokes


Umm, Mom? The jacket? They did something to my sleeves!

When he was gone, I immediately went to my crafty project. I had started the afternoon before, and a FB mommy group friend an her 6yo daughter, both very friendly and very crafty, joined me. It was so fun and productive, too!

We dyed some pebbles and layed them onto plastic bags to dry.

Only when I wanted to remove them, they stuck to the plastic!! Uggghhh. 

Should I ever do it again (I have about 12 more pounds of pebbles...) I'll probably use baking paper sheets. The result does look cool, though. I filled some Nutella jars with the colorful pebbles. Yes, Zee, Nutella does make everything better!

So decoration-wise I'm pretty ready and happy! 

As for the rest of the day, due to special projects week at Colin's school, he has the afternoon off, and we want to drive 44 miles to Basel to check out the very first Dunkin Donuts store that opened in Switzerland this month!