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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Baby it's cold outside

Cold weatherAlready another week gone by and almost the end of January. Time's flying by it seems. February is always a very busy month for us (2/10 is our anniversary, 2/14 Valentine's and 2/18 Mike's birthday) so I am sure that will also fly by. I am looking forward to the end of February as we will be spending a week in California then. Flying out on 2/19, the day after Mike's birthday, and coming back 2/25 so just under a week. Looking forward to seeing my friend Nicki from Australia again. Last time we saw her was at her wedding in Sydney 2 years ago. We will be spending most of our time in L.A. (Hollywood to be exact, our hotel is behind the Kodak Theater where they hold the Oscars) but will also go up to Santa Barbara for a night to meet up with some friends there. Looking forward to spending time in CA. It's been way too long since we have been out there (2008 I believe)

Right now California definitely sounds very tempting as it's been crazy cold here for the last week. A good part of the country (Midwest and East) has been dealing with a severe cold spell. The lows have been around 4-9F (minus 12-15C) and the highs around 20F (minus 6C). Brrr.

Had the day off on Wednesday and continued my bookshelf project. Have to say everything worked out nicely. Found a few more books to sell and packed up the rest to be donated and shipped off to BetterWorld Books. I do still have some that they won't accept (books published by TIME magazine and National Geographic) so will have to come up with a different plan for those. Maybe the library or GoodWill? 

Had to work today but it's been a fairly uneventful day luckily. Not sure how long I will be stuck here at work. Waiting for some drivers to return so I can process their paperwork and get out of here. Will see what happens. Mike & I want to see Silver Lining's Playbook at some point over the weekend. So far we have seen "Argo", "Lincoln", "Skyfall" and "Django Unchained" for Oscar movies. 

Also got Broadway tickets for next weekend on short notice. Broadway Weeks are currently going on and we were able to get 2-for-1 tickets for "Nice Work If You Can Get It" for next Saturday at 8pm. The musical is starring Matthew Broderick who is always great on stage. Definitely looking forward to it. It definitely has advantages living close to NYC. :)

Mail Update: Owe replies to: Jessica/DE, Charles/TN, Carmen/Malta, Tiffany/OK, Kimber/Canada and Celia/MA.

Posted by Hanna at 02:32 PM in Books, Weather, Work Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Relaxed Weekend (Movies, Decluttering and more)

Declutter-booksAlready Sunday late afternoon again. Why do weekends go by so fast? Had a pretty nice and uneventful weekend all in all. Slept in late both days which was nice. Saturday we went to the movies at 2 and saw "Django Unchained". Mike had already seen it with our friend Tim but convinced me to go see it with him after all and I have to say I am glad I went. It was a really good movie. Christoph Waltz definitely earned his Golden Globe for his performance and I hope he will also win the Oscar for it. Both Jamie Foxx and Leonardo Dicaprio were also outstanding. After the movies we went to Two Steps for dinner and hung out there for a while chatting with some friends. 

Today we took it easy at home catching up on some recorded shows. In a little bit we will go to Mezon (really great tapas place) for dinner. Haven't been there in ages so I am looking forward to it. 

Tomorrow is Martin Luther King Day which means it hopefully should be a little quieter at work. I made a dentist appointment to get another filling done. Originally I was going to get three but when I heard the amount I would have to pay for the co-pay I almost fainted. I can't believe how expensive dental work is in this country. One filling with insurance will still cost me $175. I have no idea why it is so high. When I went to the same dentist last year it wasn't nearly as much but apparently it has to do with fee structure and the way the insurance covers things/bills them. Who knows. Anyway, let's just say I am not looking forward to tomorrow.

In more fun news I have been on a bit of a decluttering mission and started to tackle our bookcase last week. Tuesday night I went through all the books and made a few piles for books I wanted to keep, sell and donate. I was able to make $9.50 so far. Not much but more than I would have made if I had just kept the clutter on my shelf. Most of the books will be donated to Better World Books, a global organization that helps promote literacy around the world. I will be able to donate any German language books as well which is nice. 

Looking forward to my newly decluttered bookshelf once I clear everything out, sort through it and put the things I do want to keep back. I am only keeping the books that have sentimental value (childhood books etc.) or books I will probably read again. We also have some nice coffee table-type books. But don't want to hold on to everything we have ever bought with no space for anything new. I don't buy a lot of books anymore, mostly the Kindle versons, or borrow from the library, anyway, but it's nice to have room for new things and be able to better display the things we do have and treasure. 

Mail Update: Owe replies to: Carmen/Malta, Tiffany/OK, Kimber/Canada and Celia/MA.

Posted by Hanna at 05:04 PM in Books, Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Baking, Hiking and more

CookiesSo 2013 is well under way now. How is the new year treating everyone? No complaints from me so far. We have had the strangest weather. Super freezing cold (which is not abnormal for January) but this weekend it's in the 50ies (10-12C) which is pretty warm for this month. It's been very cloudy and gloomy though but still can't complain too much.

Taking advantage of the warmer weather today and going on a short hike. You can click here to see the description. We aren't sure how moist the ground will be since all the snow melted so we picked something like that. Hopefully that will work out. After the hike we will go to 121 Restaurant at the Oxford airport which is always a fun place.  

Yesterday we slept in late, then went grocery shopping and lounged around the house for a bit. (played my Sims). In the evening Mike went to Two Steps with our friend John and I went over to their apartment to hang out with Jana for a girly evening of baking. We made poppyseed cake and cookies. (both recipes my mom sent). The cookies are part of her original Christmas recipe (originally my grandmother's). Jana and I did pretty well in duplicating the taste. We didn't have the same decorations so we experimented a little but they came out tasting very delicious. To be fair Jana did most of the hard work (rolling out the dough, fighting with the dough when it wouldn't cooperate, etc.) and I was in charge of spreading the jam, decorating with the sprinkles etc. All in all a fun evening. :) Had smoothies, watched a silly chick flick and baked. 

Well let's see what next week brings. Next holiday already around the corner. Martin Luther King Day. Luckily it's a holiday that mostly only affects the schools. 

Mail Update: Owe replies to: Tiffany/OK, Kimber/Canada and Celia/MA.

Posted by Hanna at 10:49 AM in Food and Drink, Outdoors, Weather | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Happy 2013

Maritime_aquariumHappy 2013. It's strange to think it's a whole new year already again. Christmas and the holiday season all done and over with for another year. We still have our tree and decorations up inside the house. in Austria you usually keep everything up until January 6th. So in theory I could/should be taking things down today but I am feeling kind of lazy. So I guess things will stay up just a tad longer. Not the end of the world. :)

Had the weekend off which was nice. Yesterday (Sat) we took the train down to South Norwalk and went to the Maritime Aquarium. It's definitely geared towards kids but it was still fun to walk around. I had never been there so it was nice to go. Afterwards we went to the Ginger Man which came recommended by some friends. Definitely a fun place. 

Today is a lazy day for me. Doing laundry and a few things around the house but for the most part just relaxing. Mike is out having lunch with Tim and then watching the new Tarantino movie "Django Unchained". I was semi interested in it since it has Christoph Waltz (Austrian actor) in it but not enough to actually want to go. Maybe I'll see it at home on DVD later on.

I will probably play around with my Keurig machine in a little bit, get it set up so I can bring it to work tomorrow. I have decided to keep it at work near my desk. I think I will probably end up getting the most use of it that way. I can always bring it back home if I change my mind.

Watching the Vienna Philharmonics New Year's Day concert that I recorded right now. I always enjoy the intermission part the best. You can watch the 2-part clip on YouTube here and here. It shows lots of  really pretty scenes from Lower Austria, pretending to follow around a young couple on their honeymoon.  

Mail Update: Since the last update letters went out to: Lotte/Denmark, Charles/TN, Eunice/Malta and Jessica/DE. Owe replies to: Tiffany/OK, Kimber/Canada and Celia/MA.

Posted by Hanna at 02:07 PM in Austria , Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack