Monday, May 17, 2010

Γειά σας (Goodbye in Greek)!

This week has been full of cleaning, laundry, and preparing for our cruise that I briefly mentioned in an earlier blog post. Me and Phil will be leaving this Wednesday to start our adventure in Athens, Greece!!!

We are beyond excited. Phillip is mostly excited that he can get a massage on the cruise ship, he needs it from all the works he's been doing.

Anyway, our cruise is amazing. We will be starting off in Athens, exploring the city for 2 days and taking amazing guided tours. I can't wait to learn more about their culture! Once we board our cruise ship, we will be heading to the following:

- Istanbul, Turkey
- Mykonos, Greece
- Ashdod, Israel (to see Jerusalem & Bethlehem)
- Port Said, Egypt (to see the Cairo Pyramids)
- Alexandria, Egypt
- Agios Nikolaos, Greece
- Then back to Athens!

Doesn't it sound like a dream come true? 3 continents in a matter of a week! We truly are so lucky to experience amazing cultures and see amazing countries! I guess I have the Military to thank for something, hahaha.

With that, this will be my last post for a while. I definitely cannot wait to update with pictures and how traveling on a cruise with a vegan diet went. Hopefully I will have more than a few options but I am excited to see what these places have to offer. Wish me luck!

τα λέμε σύντομα!! (see you later)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Pure & Natural

Yesterday I blogged about the new hair care products I've been using. Today I want to share the hand soap and body wash I have discovered.

I think Pure & Natural is a great company. I think my favorite part is how the packaging all their products come in are recyclable. They also use 94% natural ingredients, which is pretty awesome considering the old soap I used to use. Plus I love what they wrote as their commitment.

Pure & Natural's Commitment:

"At Pure & Natural Company, we believe in the power of nature to nurture skin. This is why we take every step possible to protect not only the people who use our products but also the natural resources that make them possible.

Every step we take does make a difference. This is our approach to our products, and our planet. It's our very reason for being.

We also believe very strongly in protecting the creatures who call our natural world their home. Because of this commitment we are pleased to make an annual donation of at least $100,000 to World Wildlife Fund.

This is another step we are taking, and we invite you to make the journey with us. Together we can move towards a healthier world."

I love supporting any company I can that cares about our world and the animals we share it with. And it's a huge plus that the hand soap I now use, the almond oil and cherry blossom , smells awesome and makes my hands feel nice and soft.

Now it's time to find the perfect face wash! Still on that search!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

David Babaii For WildAid

I will admit I am still not 100% vegan in the things I use. I am working on finding the perfect make up, lotion, face wash, ect. I have researched quite a lot and hopefully I will find something here that I can use!

However, I finally found a cruelty free hair care line that is sold here on the military post. It's great I wont have to order everything online!

I came across David Babaii For WildAid when I was browsing the aisles looking for paraben free shampoo. I'm lucky I found this brand!

I've been using the Amplifying Volumizing Shampoo made with volcanic ash and white ginger. It smells amazing and my hair feels really good after using it. Plus I love how 10% of my purchase will go to WildAid to help save endangered species :) I just bought their hairspray too, toxic free! Gotta love it!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Baby Raccoon!

My parents live in Illinois, the prairie state! They live right by a prairie actually. Growing up, my backyard was pretty much tall grass with the occasional deer visit. I love it though.

Well my mom called me a few days ago telling me how she let the dog outside, and immediately he spots a baby animal in our backyard. She took a closer look and called my dad to check it out too. My parents are so cute. They are native Polish, so they didn't know what the animal was called in English. My dad took a few pictures and they called me up asking me what this animal was called so they could all the wild life center for advice. Turns out it was a raccoon!

I just had to share the pictures my dad took. Baby animals have a special place in my heart. I was so worried about this little guy too! He looks so young and he was all alone!

My parents called the wild life center and the very helpful lady told them to leave him be and check on him tomorrow morning. Sometimes baby animals walk off from their mamas, and since raccoons are nocturnal they told my mom that Mama Raccoon wont collect him until night time. Sure enough, after keeping an eye on him all day, the next morning Baby Raccoon was gone. We can only assume Mama Raccoon came and got him.

Monday, May 10, 2010

My Cousin's Visit!

I think it's pretty cool that even though we live in Germany for a few years, we have a family member that lives in the same country! My husband's cousin is married to an airman and they are also stationed in Germany for the time being. Our schedules finally let us all get together last weekend!

Katie and Jeremy drove down to where Phil and I are stationed and we all had a really good time hanging out. Phil and I took them to Pottenstein, the same place we took MIL when she was here! It was a great time. We explored the caves of Pottenstein, which I thought was very cool to see. It got tiring in there though, walking up all those stairs!

One cool lookin' picture from the Pottenstein cave!

After cave exploring, we ended up on the other side of where we entered the cave. It was so scenic though I didn't think we really cared. Plus, the sun came out finally after a week of rain!

Me and my husband, Phil, outside the Pottenstein Caves.

Once we found our way around back to the parking area, we walked the trails to find a toboggan hill where a lot of locals were in line to ride. We definitely wanted to try this out! It was such a good time. Me and Phil both rode in the same toboggan and he was in charge of the break! I almost didn't trust him...If he drives like a maniac on the autobahn I thought he would "drive" just as bad on the toboggan. Thankfully he was a nice husband and did break a lot during the turns! I even managed to snap a few pictures of us going down.

Me and Phil on the toboggan!

Afterwards we ate dinner at the same restaurant we took MIL to, where I ate fried mushrooms. Not too bad. Then we drove back home and decided to play an intense game of Monopoly, where family discounts were involved! Me and Katie sipped on my Organic Wine I purchased at the Bio Markt in Weiden when MIL was here. It was amazing! It might just be in my head, but I swear I didn't get a headache the next morning from all that wine (we drank two bottles to ourselves!) and I totally think it was because it was organic. Plus Katie liked it too so that was a plus!

Jeremy, Katie, and I drinking while playing Monopoly!

Oh and Sammy stayed up with us most of the night with us trying to join in on Monopoly. Poor guy had a rough night, can you tell?

All in all it was a great weekend! Now it's Monday, time for me to clean my house top to bottom and get ready for our up coming cruise!!! That I will explain in another blog! Have a great Monday everyone.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mother's Day 2010

Tomorrow is Mother's Day =) Since living overseas, I send my mother flowers on special holidays like this one. Well this Mother's Day, I decided I would still send my mom flowers, but this time I searched for an organic flower delivery! I honestly can say I didn't even know there was such a thing as organic flowers. I always thought of flowers as natural, beautiful, already organic plants! Then after reading a few things here and there about green living, I learned that was not the case.

The amount of toxic chemicals that flowers come with is actually quite sad. To think that when us women receive gorgeous flowers, what is the first thing we do?! Smell them of course! I know for a fact that I do not want to inhale toxic chemicals, let alone give that as a gift to my wonderful mother...

The benefits of organic flowers are great too! It is obviously more eco friendly by reducing the amount of toxic chemical usage, it's best for the environment, best for the soil, and much safer for the farmers who grow these flowers and the people who smell them!

After searching online, I came across Organic Bouquet. After reading a bit about them and looking through their products, I came across a very pretty plant I thought my mother would love!

My Mother's Day Plant for my mom!
I hope everyone has a great Mother's Day and try to think about buying organic this year!

My Mother-In-Law's Visit!

Well, the week is over! It was a nice week having my MIL here with us. My husband was definitely very happy to see his mom for the first time since Christmas 2008! I would like to share a few of our adventures we took plus all the food I ate while she was here.

My Husband and my MIL

MIL arrived to Germany on April 29th and it was such a nice day outside! Clear skies, warm weather, perfect time to take her to a local German restaurant and sit outside! The first restaurant we took her to is a restaurant us Americans call "Steak on a Stone". Their specialty is to serve raw meat on a very hot stone and the customer cooks the meat himself. Yeah I know what you're thinking... not exactly vegan friendly. My family however is not vegan. So every restaurant we visited, I had to make my own meal! This specific restaurant, that is really called Gasthof Schuettersmuehle, actually had a vegetarian menu. The menu literally had 3 options for vegetarians and all but 1 included milk or cheese. So I had quite a simple dinner that night that consisted of fried mushrooms with a side of fries and salad. Hey, it's a lot better than what my MIL and husband ate...kangaroo and crocodile? No freakin thanks!

My meal at Gasthof Schuettersmuehle. I ate the salad before I took the pic!

Gorgeous scenery in Pottenstein.

Me and my MIL in Pottenstein.

After walking the amazing trails in Pottenstein, we headed home and let MIL rest after a long 9 hour flight. The next day, we took her to a town called Amberg, where we ate at the same restaurant I had mentioned in a previous blog called ME Lounge. It's such a cute little restaurant. I love the dim lights and the bright orange walls. Here I knew exactly what I wanted since I have been here before: Pasta tossed in olive oil with tomatoes and olives! Delicious.

My pasta dish at ME Lounge.

On Saturday, we took my MIL to Munich! We had to take her to the famous and well known Hofbrauhaus. The Hofbrauhaus is a huge and famous brewery in Munich that is famous for it's good German beer. I actually do not like beer at all. So instead of drinking the beer, I drank the champagne!

Me drinking the Hofbrauhaus champagne.

After getting a little drunk at the Hofbrauhaus, we decided to walk it off in downtown Munich! We had a lot of fun listening to some live music on the streets, looking around in the local shops, attempting to find a bathroom in the city because my husband had to go so bad (who wouldn't after 4 liters of beer?!), then visiting the Hardrock Cafe for dinner!

My husband and I in downtown Munich!

I am a bit disappointed in the Hardrock Cafe. I love this place for the music of course, but their menu is not vegetarian or vegan friendly at all! They literally have only one option besides for salad and fries! The one option was very good though. I got the veggie burger with mushrooms, caramelized onions, grilled zucchini and grilled yellow squash. It really was delicious, super huge so I couldn't finish it, and the waiter told me the burger is not made with eggs.

My huge Hardrock Cafe veggie burger.

While we were in Munich, my MIL is pretty much addicted to coffee. No joke this woman cannot function without a daily cup of coffee! So we had to stop at Starbucks. Remember my post about Starbucks making a difference? While waiting in line for her cup of coffee, I came across an awesome travel mug! Not only is it cute, but it is advertised that it is made with 81% recycled content and 28% post consumer recycled content. I thought this was pretty neat, so I bought the travel mug since I don't have my own. I now have a travel mug for my daily green tea I drink, which means I can now drink it on the go!

My new travel mug.

One of our last dinners here in Germany was at a Greek Restaurant in a town close to where we live. They had quite a few vegetarian options, I just had to ask for no butter! I got a yummy appetizer there too made of grape leaves stuffed with rice and peppers and topped with a zesty lemon sauce. I asked the waiter if the sauce had milk or cream in it and he assured me it did not. It was sooo good! My main meal was roasted eggplant stuffed with onions and peppers with a side of fries. I couldn't eat the fries though, I'm so sick of french fries after eating out so much. Plus they just aren't good for me, no more fries for this girl!

My yummy appetizer.

My roasted eggplant.

All in all it was a great eventful week. I think I did an awesome job planning my meals at all the restaurants we visited. I may not have been perfect but I really feel great that I tried and all the food was yummy.