Posts Tagged ‘dog’

Happy Halloween!

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As you can hopefully tell, I half-assedly tried to give myself and Daphne some Frida Kahlo unibrows. I honestly sort of forgot that today was Halloween! It’s not nearly as popular in Germany, so I didn’t have a costume or any festivities planned. We’re hoping to go to a bar on Saturday and celebrate in costume, but I still have no idea what to go as. Help?

As you may or may not remember, next week is my birthday! I turn 23 on Wednesday, and for my birthday present, man-friend and I are going to Amsterdam for the weekend! We’re staying at an apartment that we found via AirBnB, so we get to bring Daphne with us, and we’re planning on packing a lot of sightseeing into our two days there! The short list involves: The Anne Frank house, the Museum of Fluorescence, the Van Gogh Museum, hopefully the sex museum, and a few other stops.

I just can’t believe that I now have the opportunity to travel in Europe. I never really thought this day would come, so I never spent any time thinking about what I would want to do. If you have any suggestions, please let me know!

In other news, I’m in the testing phase with two awesome products: the WeVibe Touch and a Bad Dragon dildo that was made just for me – a small, medium-density Moko in mint green. I’ll be posting full reviews very soon, but I’ve gotta say, good impressions so far.

Happy Halloween!

It’s a Holiday, Not the Zombie Apocalypse

Happy German Unity Day!

Do you want to hear a story about my day, and about how I know absolutely nothing about this country so far? Read on! If you want to just look at some of the pictures I’ve taken since our arrival, scroll. (Totally SFW. I promise.)

Today, our seventh day in Germany, is also a national holiday. I did not know this when I woke up this morning, convinced I had to hide Daphne from the crew that cleans the guest housing in which we live. So, I put a sweater on the tiny dog, and we ventured out in search of breakfast, anticipating the need to stay out for at least a few hours. I honestly never thought that having a place that came with a cleaning crew could ever be inconvenient, but being that we’re the ones breaking a very important rule (no hunden allowed), I can’t very well complain.

I thought it was a little strange that all of the streets were so empty. Then, I began to look in cafe windows. Dark, empty, tables still clean but stacked from the night before. What the hell? Is there some kind of early morning break that everyone gets that no one told me about? Do cafes open late on Thursdays? Have the zombies come?

Nein. I got a text explaining the holiday situation, then quickly decided that my best shot at a breakfast was Starbucks. Which, by the way, is way better over here. The croissants in American Starbucks? Dry, not at all flaky, or if they are flaky, it’s because they’re stale. Here? I could eat one every single day. I might actually have eaten one every single day. Whatever. Also, they gave me a tiny packet of Nutella for my croissant, so basically there’s no reason for me to ever come back to the United States. Except like, maybe loved ones. Maybe.

So because holidays are actually holidays for the majority of the population in Germany (shops are mostly closed, many cafes are closed, and evidently cleaning people do not clean), Daphne and I were able to head home.

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On Friday the 27th, we arrived in Frankfurt. This was the view outside of our hotel window. The buildings were absolutely beautiful!

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On Saturday, we took the train from Frankfurt to Kiel, which is a 4 and a half hour trip. The train was very nice – clean, comfortable, and very punctual. Daphne agreed that it was much nicer than the plane.

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When we arrived at our guest housing, we found that we had been transported back in time, to the land of dorm rooms! I did manage to rectify the situation by using every single ounce of strength in my little body to move those beds. Did you know that most of Europe sleeps with a fitted sheet and a blanket, but no top sheet? I cannot get over this. I just can’t.

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There’s a small park right outside our building, and a handful of other parks in a ten minute walking radius. Now I just need to figure out the perfect outfit that will keep me warm and comfortable enough to get out and enjoy the 55 degree sunshine.

Thanks so much to everyone who wished us a safe trip! We’re definitely still settling in, but it’s been great so far. Keep your fingers crossed for us – we’re seeing an apartment on Sunday!

How to Make a Self-Care Package

My days in the USA are numbered. That sounds really dramatic, and I mean, we hope to be back for Christmas, but the reality is that I’m moving to a completely unfamiliar country in 6 days.

As someone with an anxiety disorder – albeit somewhat successfully treated – I need to be careful to take good care of myself so that I can really enjoy the opportunities that are being presented to me. Yes, I’m scared out of my mind. But I need to remember that once all that fear passes and the unknown becomes more familiar, I’m going to have the time of my life.

So, I’m working on creating my own self-care package. I don’t want to replace or overshadow the amazing cultural differences I’m going to experience. I’m sure that at some point, I’ll have a German comfort food, a comfort spot, a comfort shop… But for now, and with my brain, I need to bring some comfort with me.

Start by identifying what makes you feel peaceful. We’re going to look at my list, but grab a pen and make your own.

1. A book. Or 6.

For me, a good book is the #1 best coping mechanism for anything that ails. If I’m sad or going through a hard time, I tend to choose familiar books, ones I’ve read and loved. If I just want to distract myself while waiting for news, I’ll read literally anything that’s around. I once gave an ex a week to think over our relationship and I ended up reading everything my mom brought home from the library.

Because I recently drowned my Nook in the bathtub, I’m hoping to pick up a Kindle before I leave for Germany. I’m not one of those people that wants to talk to you about what I’m reading if I’m just sitting in public tryna get my read on, so an e-reader is perfect for me. Plus, it appeals to my need to read RIGHT NOW, not when I have time to get to the bookstore.

My picks: The Wicked Girls (this review made me really curious), the entire Harry Potter series (can’t beat that for comfort)

2. Comfort clothing.

On a bad day, the first thing I do when I’m alone is change into something insanely comfortable. For me, that’s usually a t-shirt or tank top and underwear. For you, that might be flannel PJs or your fuzzy robe. Dress up, dress down, do you.

I was tempted to pack my “best” clothes in my carry on suitcase, but then I realized that I don’t necessarily want to look my nicest while traveling: I want to be my absolute most relaxed. What did I end up with? Tunics, leggings, maxi skirt, tee shirts, and the one hoodie I’ve allowed myself to keep since normally, they make me look about 15 years old. My goal for the plane is to be comfortable enough that what I’m wearing isn’t on my mind. I don’t want to worry about uncomfortable waistbands.

3. Body-care products.

Working at Lush has turned me into a true believer in aromatherapy.

It’s no question that a good shower can turn a day around, and there’s no reason that you shouldn’t have that good shower experience every. single. day. Most of my favorite products are from Lush, but don’t let that stop you from sharing your own, whatever brand they are. (Seriously, tell me in the comments. I’m a junkie.)

I like to have essentially two shower collections: Rev Up and Cool Down. Most of the time, I shower at night to take the grime of the day off before slipping into bed. (Unless I’m drunk, then I just try to take off my makeup and collapse.) To relax, I like nutty, berry, vanilla, or earthy scents. No, those don’t all go together, but who’s going to stop me? Ain’t no shower police. Find a smell and a handful of products that make you exhale all the bullshit, and make you shower a sacred place. You’ll step out clean, refreshed, and calmed the fuck down.

If you don’t have time for a shower, a portable version of your favorite smell should help. I have a lip balm that I find very calming (Honey Trap), and you can almost always find a travel size of your favorite lotion.

4. A huggable.

You don’t have to show this kit to anyone, so don’t be afraid to get a little embarrassing. I brought my favorite stuffed animal to college with me (holla at my girl Lydia the basset hound) and it helped a lot on those days when it seems like literally everyone hates you and you’re going to fail at life. Sometimes you just need a good hug, and when there’s no one around – or when you have issues being emotionally available – an inanimate object will do the trick. Don’t have a teddy bear? Let me introduce you to the Amazon.com stuffed animal page. You don’t even need to be seen in public buying one. You’re welcome.

To be completely fair, I’m taking Daphne with me, and she’s counting as my huggable. She’s a snuggle bug, and I can’t fit Lydia in my suitcase with all my clothes, shoes, and body care products. Do as I say, not as I do.

 

What would you consider to be your self-care staples? Any tips for traveling while anxious?

 

Currently

It’s nice to be zombiefied for a little while in the middle of finals!  I’m taking the day off, because otherwise I would lose my mind.  This is my last finals week ever, which is surreal.  Are any of my readers also going through finals hell?

I stole this post format idea from Danielle Hampton, because it works so perfectly for all-around updates like the one I’m about to throw at yinz (Pittsburghese).

Watching:  Steve and I have been going hard on RuPaul’s Drag Race.  I keep trying to convince him that I would make an awesome drag queen, but he insists that you have to have male genitalia.  (Psh.)  I’ve been watchingThe Big Bang Theory alone a lot, because Dr. Sheldon Cooper is my raison d’etre.  I wish I could say that I’ve seen something erotic lately, but that’s not the case.  Maybe I’ll try to find some of Tristan Taormino’s stuff later…

Listening to: Pittsburgh’s best radio station, when you catch it at a good time slot, is definitely WYEP (public radio).  They played “Where Soul Meets Body” on my way home the other day and I couldn’t believe that it had been almost two years since I heard Death Cab perform that live.  I don’t know that I’ll ever find albums that mean as much to me as Death Cab’s Plans or Tegan & Sara’s So Jealous, though their album The Con is a close third.  It seems I’m caught in a musical state of arrested development.

Planning: Christmas!  I just bought Steve’s gifts this afternoon, and I’m almost caught up with everyone on my list.  I have 2 secret santa gifts to grab and that should be it.  Besides gifts for a certain little someone.  Steve and I are planning on driving to St. Louis with his sister and her fiancee on the day after Christmas, and staying there until just after New Years.  This will be my first time meeting his parents, so I’m a little nervous!

Thinking about:  All of the reviews I want to complete for Marvelous Darling!  I just received a new product to review today (thanks Lovehoney!) and while Steve is apprehensive, I can’t wait.  And guys, I found dildo love with the Tantus Splish.  Finally, I’d also like to review my Lelo Luna Mini kegel balls.  So many sex products, so little time, and only one vagina.

Looking forward toCatalystCon!  CatalystCon is a convention for sex educators, bloggers, and aspiring sex-related professionals.  Their speaker list for the March 2013 conference in Washington, DC is amazing and I cannot wait to get my butt there!  I’m volunteering, which is going to be awesome, and I’m honored to be working with SheVibe (thanks, Sandra! You rock!) as my corporate sponsor!  I even get to attend the unparalleled Tristan Taormino’s pre-con talk about becoming a sex ed professional!  Are you sick of my exclamation points yet!? TOO BAD!

Reading:  …lots of things about prisons, the Soviet Gulag system, and on a happier note, other lovely blogs.  I have papers due very soon, so I’m trying to read, absorb, synthesize, and properly regurgitate and analyze.  That sounds disgusting.

Making me happy:

This thing.  (Well, the other thing in the photo too. And the N64.)  The above wuppy is known as Daphne, and is a 8-10 year old bichon/maltese/Ewok mix.  I adopted her from a local no-kill shelter during their holiday rehoming special.  Steve had already agreed to be “puppy daddy,” and it’s pretty nice to have shared responsibility of a creature who is really pretty easy to live with.  She’s housebroken and we’re working rather successfully on crate training.  She sleeps all night at the foot of our bed; sometimes, she snores.  She’s met my parents’ dog, Dmitri, and they’re already best friends.

What have you been up to lately?

Long-Overdue Instagram LIfe

I haven’t posted pictures from Instagram in at least a month, maybe two!  I hope you’ve missed them as much as I have.  I’ve been posting regularly on Twitter and Instagram itself, but they haven’t made it to my blog in a while.  (If you want to keep up with me, you can find me on IG @nicetobelieve!)

My dad’s an architect and sometimes likes to design and build model buildings.  This one is my favorite!

Page Dairy Mart!  If you’re ever in Pittsburgh, I seriously recommend grabbing some ice cream.  They have crazy soft serve flavors and the most amazing sundaes ever.

Blogger cliche #1,956,783: Froyo and toppings, shot from above.  So good.  Every bite.  Taro yogurt, raspberries, mochi, and graham cracker crumbs.

Every time I go into Madewell, I just leave wanting all of the things.

No Instagram post is complete without a shot of the fluffy pup, Dmitri!

Shrimp fajitas from Mad Mex?  Yes, please.  I was kind of shocked by how excellent they were as leftovers the next day.  College kid working 8 hour retail shifts win.

The flowers outside of my parents’ house attract the most adorable bumbly bees.  I can’t get enough!

Steve and I have taken to laying on his roof and watching the sunset, sometimes with dinner in hand.

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