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Month: November 2015

Thanksgiving in Germany

Thanksgiving in Germany

Thanksgiving in Germany

My German family has been so kind as to indulge my need for American holidays and has help put together Thanksgiving dinners for the past two years. It’s fun introducing them to American foods, and seeing how baffled they were last year at the idea of sweet potato casserole as a side. I think Germans like to keep their meals savory and their desserts sweet, so mixing in a sweet dish with the main meal just felt wrong to some of them.

Both years I made green bean casserole. I’m not very handy in the kitchen, so once I figured out how to make something decent, I stuck with it. My main problem was converting the recipe to be useful for getting ingredients from a German grocery store. When cooking and baking, Germans tend to stick to measuring ingredients by weight while Americans tend to measure by volume. So I was stuck trying to figure out how much 4 cups of green beans weighed. I was able to find out how many 14.5 oz cans of green beans equaled 4 cups and then converted that to grams (822!).

What was more difficult was figuring out the soup. I used the official Campbell’s recipe, which, of course, recommends using a can of one of their condensed Cream of Mushroom soup. Maybe I could have found it in a larger grocery store, but my Lidl does not carry condensed soup in cans. They carry powdered soup instead. Using my powers of logic, I deduced that if I added half the water to a packet of soup, it would make condensed soup. Voila! Success!

Green Bean Casserole Ingredients
Ingredients Assemble!
Green Bean Casserole Condensed Soup
Bam! Condensed soup!

I also substituted Maggi for the soy sauce, because that’s what I thought we had. Turns out that when I thought Mr. Faultier was complaining that we were almost out of Maggi, he was actually complaining that we were completely out of Maggi. Good thing we had this mini one lying around.

Tiny Maggi
For those who aren’t familiar with Maggi, it is a brand that makes a seasoning sauce that I believe is just like soy sauce, but Mr. Faultier disagrees. Wikipedia compares it to soy sauce, however.

So, per the instructions. I mixed everything together, saving some of the fried onions to put on top at the end. Not going to lie, even though I do have American measuring cups lying around, I did not actually use them for the fried onions. I just put half of the package in to cook and the other half on top at the end. Mr. Faultier was disappointed that I did not leave him any to snack on.

PreCooked Casserole
Mmmm, raw casserole.

I neglected to get a decent picture of it fresh out of the oven. I just snapped a quick picture on my phone to send to people. I did however make sure to take some pictures of it and the other food once I was at my mother-in-laws house. We hosted last year when our guest room was empty and we could put a picnic table in there, but now we are almost finished renovating and there is stuff in there!

Green Bean Casserole
Om nom nom
Thanksgiving in Germany
We’ve got cornbread, mashed potatoes, a cheese-potato-cauliflower-ham casserole, and corn! And some muffins hiding in the background for dessert.
Thanksgiving in Germany
Can’t forget the turkey! And cheddar mashed potatoes!
Thanksgiving in Germany
It was nice to have a little slice of home.

We didn’t have pumpkin pie, because the ingredients were too hard to track down. But we did have some muffins and these adorable berry parfaits made with yogurt quark and strawberries.

Thanksgiving Dessert
The single serve jars are great for portion control… unless you eat two or three!

While I missed my family back in America this Thanksgiving, having it here reminded me how wonderful my German family here is. They do so much for me and I’m very grateful for them helping me feel at home here.

Seychelles Mama
p2 Glamorous Diva Lipstick – First Impression

p2 Glamorous Diva Lipstick – First Impression

I’ve been having trouble resisting some of the gorgeous limited edition displays in drugstores for fall.  I finally caved and picked up something small from the p2 limited edition collection – Fabulous Beauty Gala. And the collection does look fabulous.

p2 Fabulous Beauty Gala

Lots of gold packaging and warm, rich colors. It looks lovely for the upcoming holidays. I kind of wanted to buy one of everything, but that is definitely not in my budget. Instead, I picked out one of the Glamorous Diva Lipsticks. I bought a lot of warm-toned lipsticks over the summer, and I was really lacking a nice, cooler berry for fall. Lipstick number 010 seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

If you are looking for a shade like this, but the Fabulous Beauty Gala collection is already picked over, p2 had a very similar shade in their permanent line – the full color lipstick in shout out loud 050. It is slightly cheaper (by 0,70€), but I noticed it felt a bit more moisturizing when I swatched. Even though I tend to have drier lips, I don’t like my lipsticks to be too moisturizing. I find that they wear off more quickly and have a greater tendency to smudge. The full color lipstick is also a bit darker, but could be sheered out to a similar shade.

p2 Glamorous Diva 010 on top, p2
p2 Glamorous Diva 010 on top, p2 full color lipstick in shout out loud 050 on bottom

If you don’t have access to p2, but you do have access to Catrice, Catrice’s limited edition Fallosophy collection also had a very similar shade, though it was almost twice the price. It’s no longer available, but if you pick one up, you probably don’t need to the p2 lipstick as well. The textures also felt very similar, but I did not try it out. My dm was sold out of that shade, so even if I could afford to buy two practically identical lipsticks, I wouldn’t have been able to.

p2 Glamorous Diva 010 on top, Catrice Soft Lip Color in C01 Fabulous Fox-ia on bottom
p2 Glamorous Diva 010 on top, Catrice Soft Lip Color in C01 Fabulous Fox-ia (no longer available) on bottom

The Glamorous Diva Lipstick looks gorgeous in and out of the packaging. I love the way the lipstick itself is shaped, it’s not only beautiful, but the sharp edges make precise application very easy. Unfortunately, this is a temporary benefit, but still a benefit nonetheless.

I wore this to work to give it a test, and while it does require touching up, it leaves a light berry stain on the lips, so the color isn’t completely gone when the lipstick starts to wear off. It did okay with snack and coffee drinking, but it didn’t really hold up too well during lunch. It’s not a throw on and forget about formula, but for the price, I think it performs okay. However, if you want something low-maintenance, you may want to give it a pass. It won’t survive a workday without a few touch ups.

p2 Glamorous Diva Lipstick 010
p2 Glamorous Diva Lipstick 010

I do love the color, but I think I’m going to have to give it a few more wears to see if the maintenance is worth it. Definitely looks better in the morning than in the afternoon, but I’ll see if there is a trick to making it last longer. So far I’ve only worn it on its own without much prep or liner. Hopefully I can unlock the secret because I think berry lips look lovely this time of year.

*Disclaimer: None of the links in this post are affiliate links.

My German Resources

My German Resources

ResourcesHeader

German can be a difficult language – or at least that’s what Germans reassure me when I’m struggling along. I always feel like a complete dummy jabbering on with my terrible German, and most people switch to serviceable English if they notice me struggling too much. I’ve been able to get to the point where I can run errands, make appointments, and make some caveman-like small talk, but I don’t do that without help. I’d be completely lost without some of my technological helpers.

Google Translate

Google Translate has a reputation for being terrible, which it can be, but if you have some basic knowledge of the languages you’re translating, it can help you fill the gaps. If I’m having trouble understanding the gist of something, popping it in to Google Translate can help me figure out what I’m missing. I would not suggest using it to do translations for you unless you are able to fiddle around with it and make revisions – at least for anything serious. It can lead to some amusing small-talk, however. And the Live Translate feature on the mobile app is entertaining to say the least.

Google Translate Live
Some Live Translate highlights.

Dict.cc

Dict.cc is the basic dictionary app I use on my phone. You can download language packs to access offline, which makes it very useful. It will only help you with single words and common short phrases, but it’s proven to be fairly accurate when I’m looking for new words. It also shows the gender of the German nouns, which is magical. I’m constantly mixing up der/die/das/den/dem and so on. I’m told that I’ll eventually remember them all, but I doubt that.

Wanna talk about pineapples? Dict.cc has you covered. Also, pineapples are feminine, while pineapple corers and cultivation are masculine.
Wanna talk about pineapples? Dict.cc has you covered. Also, pineapples are feminine, while pineapple corers and cultivation are masculine.

Duden-online-Wörterbuch

I use the Duden website when I really want to impress somebody. Duden gives you so much information, that it can almost be overwhelming if you just need to translate something quickly, but if you want to make sure your verb conjugations are perfect, it is the place to go. I always have issues with second person plural, but it helps me out. It’s hard to make Google Translate understand which version of “you” that you want, but Duden gives all of your options for you. There is a German to English option when you look up entries, but they are as streamlined as Dict.cc, and if you want a quick translation, Dict.cc will get you there faster. However, the German entries are a goldmine, especially for those irregular verbs.

Look at all this grammar!
Look at all this grammar!

There are other resources available on the website, but I haven’t played around with them a bit. If anyone uses any of their other services, please let me know if it’s something I need to check out!

Image used in header by stokpic.

My Beauty Mistakes

My Beauty Mistakes

We all make mistakes, especially when we’re younger and just figuring out what looks good for us. I’ve looked back through old pictures and brought out the top 3 beauty mistakes I felt that I was making back when I didn’t know any better. These may work for some people, but they definitely were not working for me.

1. Heavy Eyeliner

Heavy Eyeliner

There’s no problem with a dark, smokey eye, but I did this every day for school and put pretty much nothing else on my face. It ended up pretty unbalanced and washed me out. I clearly liked it back then, but I tend to go for lighter looks for day and save the heavy eyeliner for special occasions.

2. Frying My Hair

Fried Hair

I used box dyes for a long time without really knowing what I was doing. I ended up with black hair and red roots at one point, which led me to use a kit from Walmart to strip the dye from hair in my college dorm room. I then immediately covered it up with red dye. The end result is in the middle top picture, and sure it looks nice from my old, crappy cell phone camera, but it was a mess. It was very patchy.

Eventually I got it evened out by putting more dyes on top of it. I kept trying to go lighter and lighter with mixed results, but my hair was not happy about it. I finally gave up and dyed my hair as close as I could to my natural color and let it grow out.

I’ve decided that I won’t use peroxide on my hair anymore, unless I go to a professional for it. Though, semi-permanent dyes are still fair game.

3. Messing Up My Eyebrows

Eyebrows

I managed to survive the Great Overplucking of the early 2000s, but in an attempt to avoid a dread unibrow, my eyebrows slowly grew further and further away from each other. I’m sure I liked it then, but I don’t think such far apart brows look that great on my face. Unfortunately, now I am having trouble getting them to grow closer together. One side seems happy to give it a go, but the other side has a small patch where nothing will grow anymore. If only big brows had been in when I was younger.

What are some things that you used to do beauty wise, that looking back now, just looks like a big mistake?

Fleischkäse – German “Meat Cheese”

Fleischkäse – German “Meat Cheese”

Fleischkäse translates literally to “Meat Cheese” – which sounds disgusting – and is basically a type of meatloaf – which also sounds disgusting. In other regions, it’s known as “Leberkäse” which means “Liver Cheese.” I don’t know why anyone would willingly order that, but I’m not German. As you can see, I’m quite skeptical of various processed meat products. Especially ones that look like this:

Fleischkäse

It gets sliced up like a loaf of bread and put on bread rolls, essentially tasting like warm, thick bologna. It’s definitely not my jam, but boy, do the Germans love it. Also popular, and visible on the right side of the picture, is a pizza variety with peppers, cheese, salami, and other pizza-y stuff mixed in. I have not tried it because I can’t imagine pizza bologna tasting good.

If you love spongey, salty, meat-like products, this would be something to try – and Germany is a country you should consider moving to.

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