Clothes Swap

Getting out of the closet ;)

So, our wardrobe is actually bursting. We have so much inside that I can’t find anything I want to wear. So when I saw Janet’s Big Blog Clothes Swap I thought it would be a perfect chance to rid myself of some clutter, whilst making some blogging friends. For some reason I didn’t think about getting more clothes in exchange – haha.

I was paired up with the lovely Llinos from The Lilac Linett. She blogs from Wales about her experience of getting cancer at just 12 years of age, crafting, crochet and fitness amongst many other things. It was weird to be stalking a stranger, but I tried to figure out what kind of clothes she wears and guessed by her personality that she would like something bright and colourful.

In the end, I sent a colourful dress, a skirt and a top over to Llinos (I have to admit I have no idea how I would pronounce her name) and I got two tops, a scarf and two necklaces back. Such lovely things! I already wore the necklace and have been wearing the tops around the house too. It was nice to read a blog I would never have found myself and it’s always fun to receive presents in the post – especially when you have no idea what’s on the way. I can only recommend it – thanks to Janet for setting it up and for Llinos for some really lovely things! :)

Lovely new necklace I wore last night :)

Lovely new necklace I wore last night :)

Lovely top and scarf

Lovely top and scarf

Another lovely top :)

Another lovely top :)

Interview with Blogger Charlotte Steggz

Vanessa: I met Charlotte in Japan many years ago and I read her blog more than any other. We have so much in common, having both studied Japanese and lived in Japan for many years and then living in Germany. We were delighted to grab an interview with her and tell you about her exciting new project: podcasts!
Blogger Charlotte Steggz

Blogger Charlotte Steggz

L&A: We love your blog. Tell us all about it!

Hehe thank you. I love your blog too! I started blogging when I was in Japan as a student. I’ve always liked telling people stories, so I found it easy to tell people stories of my life there. When people responded really well, I wanted to keep it up!
These days, my blog is about my life now that I’m back in the UK. I want it to be a tale of me readjusting to life here, of my life doing comedy and an honest representation of what it’s like here. I just started a podcast too – but it’s early days ;)
L&A: How did you go from Japan to Germany?
I was in Japan and feeling really blue. I loved my life there but didn’t like how I felt patronised all the time, and couldn’t really get respect from my coworkers in my job as an assistant language teacher. I also wasn’t ready to go back to the UK, so I applied to loads of jobs – to cruise ship jobs, teaching in Taiwan…and to a games company in Frankfurt. I found that I passed the test for the games company, and was a Japanese translator for them for a few years!
L&A: What is the most delicious thing you ever ate in Germany and why?
Schweinshaxe. I believe that if you don’t wrestle with your food, it doesn’t taste as good.
L&A: What surprised you the most about Germany?
German people are super nice. They have the rep (especially in the UK) of being boring and killjoys. But I think my German flatmates were more party-animal than I was!
L&A: Where is your favourite place in Germany?
I loved Marburg. It’s so pretty and quaint. Plus, the Brothers Grimm were from there!
L&A: Why did you decide to leave Germany?
A number of reasons. I was frustrated with me not being able to communicate easily with German people. I studied and can speak German conversationally, but there were certain situations that I was in where I just wished to be at home with my own people.
My life in Frankfurt was great but I felt my lifestyle was very unhealthy. There were great people around me, but I didn’t have very many close friends. We’d eat out and drink quite a lot and I put on a lot of weight. My life now in the UK is a lot more relaxed, and has a lot less drama in it too! This isn’t a German thing, it’s just the culture of having a small city with lots of foreigners, plus working in a massive company like I did.
L&A: What is the thing you miss most about living in Germany?
Eating out all the time and the cocktails!! ;)
Charlotte with a beer in a dirndl!

Charlotte with a beer in a dirndl!

L&A: Any plans to return to Germany one day?

I went back for the Christmas markets last year and that was great. I don’t see myself visiting back there for a while, but I do miss things there.

L&A: Why did you blog in Germany?

Because it was a huge part of my life, and also the German blogger community is so awesome. I really miss being part of it!
Thank you so much Charlotte! You can check our her blog here and find out all about what to read and watch on her new podcasts.

Friday Links

I’m tickled pink…

My friend actually contributed to this article about dating in foreign languages.

9 America habits lost after moving to Germany.

Bacon wrapped crust pizza? YES PLEASE!

Anyone up for cycling from Berlin to Denmark?

World’s most interesting bookstores!

How to make my favourite ramen at home!

How to get into Berghain… maybe…

Stereotypes of the North.

Cuckoo clocks in the Black Forest - I wanna go here now!

I always knew Indian food was the best in the world – now science has proven why it’s so insanely delicious!

A very interesting read about men getting ‘stuck’ in Japan.

AirBnB Professional Photos

Click Click Click…

We have been super popular on AirBnB recently and we used it all over America. It’s so much better than staying in a boring hotel room – you get to meet locals and stay in a place that feels like home. In New York we learnt that apartments and rooms are tiny, in New Orleans we stayed in a multi-coloured house. It was beautiful!

So when we got a random request from AirBnB offering us a free photoshoot of our apartment, we jumped at the chance. A few days later, a man came over and took some photos and a week later they were uploaded onto the website. They are beautiful – we LOVE them and we have had lots more hits since the new photos were taken – people arrive tomorrow and the day they leave others are coming and we even have someone coming for two months! Our apartment is so lovely – check it out! And pass on the information to any friends of family coming to Berlin – we are great hosts!

And if you are still not an AirBnB member, use this link to join up – it gives you €22 off your first visit! Absolutely great offer :)

What to Drink in America

We did the whole ‘Top Ten Things You Must Eat in New York‘ post and now you need to know what to drink on the other side of the pond.

1) Starbucks - Matcha Frappachino

Most of you already know I’m obsessed with Green Tea Frappachino – it’s literally the first thing I do in Japan and sadly Europe doesn’t sell this delicious morsel. America’s Starbucks do however, so we had lots of the ‘healthy’ green tea drink.

Matcha Frappachino heaven

Matcha Frappachino heaven

2) Max Brenner – Hot Chocolate

The hot chocolate was recommended by my friend and the chocolate literally makes its way through the restaurant via poles! They have special ‘hug mugs’ so you can cuddle your cup and warm your hands while you drink this delicious chocolate mixture. It feels like velvet is slowly descending your throat and I definitely left wanting more.

Hug Mug!

Hug Mug!


Chocolate delivered in pipes!

Chocolate delivered in pipes!

3) Pat O’Briens, New Orleans – Hurricane

The birthplace of the Hurricane Drink. We ordered one each and they are HUGE – and not actually very nice, but when in New Orleans, it apparently has to be done. The waiter didn’t like them either, but he spent all evening bringing them to the tourists’ tables. There is so much alcohol in it that you get tipsy quickly and in the end I think I kind of liked the flavour – but I would say share one between all of you and get something nice to drink alongside it.

“Served in a Pat O’Brien’s logo glass and garnished with an orange slice and a cherry, the fruity red concoction was created during World War II when liquor such as whiskey was in low supply. […] The name came soon after when a glass shaped like a hurricane lamp was used to serve the fruity rum cocktail.

The Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane glass is one of the most sought-after souvenirs in New Orleans.”



4) Fat Tuesday, New Orleans – Frozen Daiquires

Om nom nom! So many flavours to choose from and refreshing in the heat of New Orleans!

Frozen Daiquiris

Frozen Daiquiris

And here’s a bonus:

This is the fabulous present we all got after the boozy-wedding! What a fabulous idea – personalised bottled water for your guests :)

Wedding Water

Wedding Water