This Blog is Currently Inactive

by Christina Geyer on June 5, 2012 · 16 comments

It’s been months since I posted, so I thought I might as well make it official.

Three weeks ago, I had my 10 years living in Germany anniversary. I didn’t even realize it until late in the evening of the anniversary. I thought hard about writing something to commemorate it, but I couldn’t come up with a single idea. I just don’t have anything more to say about the subject than what I have already written about over the 8 years that I’ve kept this blog.

At this point, I am basically German. Or American-German. I’ve made my life here now.

There are things I could write about. I know there are plenty of helpful things I could discuss that would be great for new expats, but my heart isn’t in it any more and I don’t enjoy writing posts that I don’t feel passionate about. My family make me happy. Reading, cooking, decorating, and gardening make me happy, so that’s what I’m doing now to fill my time.

Maybe things will change in the future, but right now, blogging feels more like a chain around my neck than an outlet for my creativity. Leo is going to start day care in September, so I’m going to have the whole morning all to myself (Shopping alone! I can’t wait!). Maybe I’ll find inspiration to blog again. Or maybe not. Either way, I will keep doing what I enjoy.

I’m keeping the archives up because I hope they will be helpful to people. Some of my best articles can be found under Top Posts and Top Expat Tips. Feel free to comment, even on old articles. I’ll chime in from time to time, but I also have lots of great readers who are very helpful and encouraging.

I’ll also post to Twitter and Facebook occasionally if I have anything quick to say or find an article I think my readers would find interesting.

So, for now, at least, good bye and good luck!

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Metric conversion charts for cooking

by Christina Geyer on December 15, 2012 · 2 comments

I’ve had an Excel spreadsheet where I’ve been collecting cup to gram and spoon measure to gram conversions for several years now. I figure it would be helpful to other expat cooks out there like me. I keep a printout of it in my kitchen so that I can convert on the fly and use my handy digital scale instead of getting all the spoons and cups dirty.

I got a lot of these by looking through cookbooks that have the cup/spoon measures along with the weight in grams. Some of the cookbooks differed as to the weight for the same ingredient. When that happened, I went with the cookbook that seemed most accurate (a lot of the measurements were gathered from Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel, since they didn’t end up with all conveniently round numbers like most other cookbooks).

This certainly doesn’t include every common ingredient, and it might include some only used by me. But you can download the Excel spreadsheet from Google Docs and edit it to your needs.

Here are some screen shots:

Common heat, weight and volume conversionsCommon conversions  - Screenshot from conversion doc

Cup to gram conversions for a variety of ingredientsCup measurements  - Screenshot from conversion doc

Teaspoon and tablespoon to gram conversions for a variety of ingredientsSpoon measurements - Screenshot from conversion doc

If there is an error leave a comment here. If you think there is an ingredient that should be added for everyone’s sake, leave a comment with the weight in grams of either one cup or one teaspoon or one tablespoon and I’ll add them in from time to time. I’m afraid I don’t have the time or resources to do the measurements myself, but if you give me a number, I’ll be happy to add it in.

Once again, here’s the link to the conversion spreadsheet.

Hope it is helpful and happy cooking!

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Before and After: Master Bedroom

by Christina Geyer on July 5, 2012 · 7 comments

I had meant to post this months ago, the photos were taken in February, but better late than never, right?

Here is our bedroom before I got to work:

IMG_0300

IMG_0298

And here is a lamp that the previous owners left for us in the living room:

Lamp from living room, Before

I had planned to spray paint it gold, but once I cleaned and polished it, I thought it was perfect as is. The small lamp shades are from House Doctor, I got them from Das Tropenhaus. We shortened the chain and placed it in our bedroom. The finished product:

Lamp from living room, After

We wanted to make the wall behind the bed a focal point, and went back and forth on what to do there, finally I came upon this great wallpaper from Graham and Brown. The print is called Vitality and I ordered it from InspireMyHome.co.uk. I love love love it and it almost always gets a “Wow!” when people first see it.

Master Bedroom, After

The dressers and nightstands are Ikea Hemnes, and we had it in our old place, the wardrobe is new. The trunk is from Habitat.

Master Bedroom, After

The bed is the Marriott bed, which we bought here in Germany. It is an American-style bed, with a single 200cmx200cm mattress on top of a pair of box springs. The bed is great and very comfortable. Some of the other hotels also sell American-style beds, so if you are in the market, check around. The bedding is Calvin Klein Cayman set, I brought it over in a suitcase from the US.

Master Bedroom, After

I picked the wall colors from colors that are in the wallpaper. I wanted the room to be warm, cozy and romantic.

Master Bedroom, After

I still need curtains, in every room, in fact, but haven’t found anything right yet. At some point I will get to a fabric store or curtain shop, but I haven’t done it yet.

Master Bedroom, After

My current project is working on the garden. Last year the inside got renovated and redecorated, this year I’m giving the same treatment to the garden. What are you working on?

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Guest room: Before and After

February 20, 2012

Why haven’t I been blogging much? Because I’ve become obsessed with decorating my house. Today, I’m ready to show you all our guest room. We didn’t really have anything in the budget for the guest room. It’s not used often, so putting a lot of money into it doesn’t make any sense. We bought a [...]

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The Grass is Always Greener…

January 9, 2012

You can imagine my surprise when I spotted this in the dairy section of my nearby Real supermarket: Yep, that’s grated cheddar! Not only that, over Christmas, in the baking aisle, there was real, honest to goodness, vanilla extract (I’m still going to make my own though). Dr Pepper is now available at the same [...]

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Family Bathroom: Before and After

January 3, 2012

When we bought our house, we knew we wanted to renovate the guest bathroom. Our wish was to update all the bathrooms, but a full bathroom renovation is very expensive, and we could only afford to renovate one full bath. There is another full bath on the basement level that was not in great shape. [...]

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Kids’ Room: Before and After

November 7, 2011

The room we chose for the kids was the previous owner’s home office.  Here’s the before: and here’s the after: The color scheme was mostly decided on by Oliver.  He wanted a blue room, so I picked out a couple swatches and he chose the shade he wanted.  He also picked out the bed sheets. [...]

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