Friday, May 23, 2014

A Goodbye (& why you should visit Nuremberg!)

I cannot believe our time in Nuremberg has come to an end. This city will always hold such a special place in our hearts. This was the first big adventure of our marriage. We made a big move together, away from all family, friends and took a leap. A leap into a new country, a new culture and away from our "norm". And it was wonderful, Robert and I know this was the place God called us to be for these nine months. It is nine months we are so grateful for. Rob and I were talking the other day about how we will never forget our time here- it was our home for most of our first year of marriage. This is the place where we learned a lot, fought a lot, laughed a whole lot and fell more in love. A time of growing and a time that will forever be in our hearts.

We were shown so much love by many wonderful people here. We are so grateful to God for placing special people in our lives in this place, sweet friendships that will last a lifetime. Nuremberg, we sure will miss you.

I really think Nuremberg is such a special place (obviously) and I think it is a must visit on an European adventure! There is so much history, beauty and fun here in this charming city. Thinking of coming to Europe? Here are 5 reasons why I think Nuremberg should be added to your list.

1. Christmas Market
Nuremberg, in my opinion, has the absolute best Christmas Market. The Market takes place in December in downtown Nuremberg. You can walk through rows and rows of stalls filled with beautiful items, amazing souvenirs and delicious food. As you walk with your hot cup of Gluwein (hot wine) in hand, you will be surrounded by the sound of carolers and surrounded by the sweet smell of gingerbread, crepes and waffles. It is an experience not to be missed. You will leave with the perfect German souvenirs, full bellies and a happy, happy heart.

2. Rally Grounds
Let's talk about history. During Hitler's time of power, Nuremberg was a frequent visit for him. This is the place were he set up his rally grounds. And by set up, I mean he had architects spend years building structure after structure for him to gather with his supporters. It is very chilling and very informative to walk where he walked and learn about his time in power. It really is unbelievable. There are multiple stops to see. Start at the Documentation Center and they will help you map out your route. You can either walk the path or rent bikes and bike to each place. Just plan on a full afternoon or morning. The rally grounds are a must see and an experience you will never forget.

3. Downtown (Altstadt)
Lots of European cities have a downtown area. This is the area where lots of restaurants, shopping and history is situated. Nuremberg is no exception. Go downtown and be ready to be blown away with the beauty and to have a super fun day. During Christmas, this is where the Christmas Markets take place and even when it is not Christmas, there are frequently markets going on and almost daily there are stands set up with German specialty foods, fresh fruits and handmade items. Every season of the year, there are multiple churches you can step inside and stand in awe of their beauty. Keep walking and you will run into the castle at the top of the hill. Walk some more and you will run into tons of great shopping, cute local stores as well as big department stores. There are restaurants all over downtown, gelato stands at almost every corner as well as plenty of bakeries. Hungry yet? Don't miss traditional German cuisine at Goldenes Posthorn, yummy sandwiches (especially the salami sandwich) and pastries at Der Beck and delicious gelato at La Gelateria 4D.  Downtown is where you will spend most of your time in Nuremberg and it is perfection in my opinion. Tons of beauty, plenty of delicious food and lots of fun. Just remember if you go on a Sunday, it will be pretty quiet and all shops will be closed.

4. Nurembergers
That is right Nurembergers- the Nuremberg burger. They sell these babies in stands all over downtown and man I am in love. It is 3 little sausages placed on fresh bread and (my preference) topped with mustard. Famous in Nuremberg and something that needs to be in your belly. And I can't talk about food without mentioning their ahhh-mazing pretzels.You can order them at almost any restaurant, but my favorite way to enjoy a pretzel? Treat yourself to an afternoon snack from a stand downtown. And no, no not just a normal pretzel but a pretzel sliced in half with butter in the middle-yes butter.

5. Surrounding Towns
One of the huge perks of Nuremberg is that it is close to so many cute German towns. So! Enjoy a couple of nights in wonderful Nuremberg and then stop into some very charming Bavarian towns for a few hours. You will be blown away with charm. Our favorites? Bamberg and Rothenburg. Bonus! Not only is it close to charming small towns but it is also close to Munich which is a beautiful city and then right outside of Munich there is Dachau Concentration Camp. Another very chilling and eye-opening experience, a visit that will change your life. Basically, Nuremberg is in an outstanding location. So many places around this area to see.

 And there ya have it! I hope I convinced you. Visit Nuremberg and you are sure to have a great time.

Goodbye, Nuremberg. Thanks for lots of great memories!

(Now I must go hug lots of necks...ahhhh!!)

 Linking up with the wonderful Five on Friday ladies.

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Little Look at Italy

We are back in Nuremberg from a wonderful trip! I will be sharing lots of pictures and details soon but for now here is a little look at some of our Italy trip thanks to the Iphone (&Instagram). Hope you all have a great day!




Tuscan Countryside


Thursday, May 8, 2014

And we are off!

I will be taking a little blogging break while we are off on an Italian adventure! (side note: how cute is that map?? Check out this fun etsy shop!) We will be gone for two weeks and plan to soak up all Italy has to offer. We are looking forward to exploring, spending time together and eating lots of gelato. If you have any last minute recommendations on anything Italy, please let me know! 

If you have an interest in keeping up with our trip, you can follow me on Instagram at lewpartyof2.

Have a great weekend, friends!


May Focus

A couple of months ago, I started listing goals to accomplish each month. Just a list of things I hope to accomplish in 30 or so days. And I have really enjoyed it! Here were my goals for the month of April, some we accomplished and some we didn't which is okay, just more to look forward to:) A recap of April...
  • Go on a picnic with Roberto- Check! We went on a wonderful picnic and it worked with our Whole 30 challenge. Check it out here!
  • Read Five Love Languages with Rob- We are almost done! So much wonderful insight in this book, we are really learning lots and enjoying it.
  • No Fried Foods- Almost. Gosh, the night before we started the Whole 30, we enjoyed a order of fries. That was the only time this past month. Once. So close...
  • Read Lonely Planet Italy books- Check! We are all ready for our trip...wahoo!!
  • Go to a Soccer Game- We tried, but ran into a few hiccups. That is okay though, just means we will have to go next year! 
So as you can see I wasn't perfect with the goals I made this month, but still happy with how they helped me! 

For May, I am going to take a different direction. 

May is a month full of lots of changes and lots of fun. Tomorrow, yes tomorrow (ahhhh!) we leave for our two week Italian adventure! Once our trip is over, we come back to Nuremberg for just a few days and then...American here we come!! So goals for this month?? No goals really. This month is all about enjoying precious time with my husband in a new place, enjoying traveling and exploring new places and hugging so many necks when we get home!! No specific goals. Just a month full of  fun and quality time with Roberto and people we have missed so much! Can you tell I am excited?!

What are your plans this month? Any specific May goals? 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Our Whole 30 Journey

Yesterday was the last day, I made it to the end! My Whole 30 Journey is "complete". I wanted to share a little about my experience, so if you are interested keep on reading if not no big deal! Instead of writing paragraph after paragraph I'll do our recap in more of a bullet/list form. You can see my half way recap here! Alright let's get started....

Program: Whole 30. Basically clean, clean eating for 30 days. NOT a diet but a program to help form healthier habits. Check out specifics here.

Duration: 30 days. April 7th - May 6th.

Who: Robert and I did this together. Sorta, I'll explain in a sec.

Why: Robert and I had a serious talk one day about how to stay healthy now and for the rest of our lives. We have eaten okay this past year but not great. We were not treating "treats" as treats and had just really gotten away from any self-discipline. So we are doing this program to form better eating habits and habits for a healthier life now and for always. Will we still eat desserts, pizza and fries after the 30 days? Heck yes! I cannot give that stuff up forever.But the plan is to introduce it back into our lives slowly and eat those things in much better moderation and occasionally instead of every day. I have learned moderation is key!

Meals:  I love the meals we cooked, many we will continue to cook regularly! I love that we cooked almost every day and did so together, another great change. Our two favorite meals by far are the Kitchen Sink Soup and Burger Bowls. We also really enjoyed Our Picnic! I got a lot of recipes from Paleo blogs, although it is not exactly the same thing it is very similar. Few or no changes are needed to most recipes.

Workout: We did workout during this program. Robert much more than me because of basketball. I worked out about 4 days a week, usually for an hour to an hour and a half. Most of the time it was elliptical, bike or treadmill sprints along with weights.

My moods: Throughout the whole program I did pretty well. There were some days were I thought I might punch someone because I "needed" a pretzel. But then I would have a handful of nuts or an apple and the craving would subside, seriously. Overall it was great, I really got better about focusing on more important things in life instead of what I am going to have more my next meal:)

Now let's talk about some overall results...

For Robert: Robert had to stop and did not go the full 30 days for very good reason. It was going really well and he was sticking to the plan perfectly. We both were feeling much better and healthier. But then we started to realize Robert was starting to drop weight, lots of it and fast. So we made the decision that it was best for him to stop. He stopped at Day 23 and it was very much the right decision. Robert is a big man, he is 6'10" and an athlete. This program was just not the best for him. I am no nutritional expert by any means but for someone who is an athlete and does high intensity workouts every day, I believe they need there carbs. Not necessarily sweets and cereals but at least brown rice, whole grains, etc. But he agrees and is glad that we both formed some great habits that we will carry with us for ever!

For Bailley: This program was really great for me. It was time just to get my eating back on track and really just to treat my body better. Overall, I just feel better, like lots better. Here are some specifics...
    • Skin: Some reviews I've read said they see a difference in their skin. Me? Not so much. It definitely has not gotten worse but from what I can tell it has stayed pretty much the same. 
    • Digestion: This is where I have noticed a big difference. I will not get into specifics but I will say my stomach just feels SO much better. No bloating or stomach aches. Love that difference.
    • Energy: Holy cow! I have SO much more energy. This is another big difference I have noticed. I wake up earlier, hardly take naps because I am much less tired and just don't need it. If I get around 7 hours of sleep at night, I am good to go! Where before I slept for much longer. 
    • Weight Loss: They want you to weigh before the program and then not again until the end. This program is not a diet. It is about becoming a healthier person and forming healthier habits. It is not about the weight loss but that is definitely a perk. With that said, they want you to weigh at the beginning and end so you can see the progress you made in a very tangible way.  So that is what I did. I weighed myself for the first time this morning in 30 days. I am happy to report I lost 8.4 pounds! It was great to get off that extra weight I had gained in the past year and lose a little more as well.  Just helps validate to me how wonderful whole foods and clean eating is for my body. 
    • Overall appearance: Like they say this program is about so much more than weight loss. I feel healthier and have noticed little changes in my body that make me happy. I feel leaner and stronger, which is a win win in my book.
  • Eat. Great insight, huh? But the hard days were when I didn't get enough to eat, and then I was very hungry and that is when major cravings would set in. So eat until your satisfied (not overly full), that was what worked best for me and helped keep cravings away. 
  • Have a craving? They really don't encourage snacking but man this girl needs a pick me up every now and then. So if you are having a craving go into the kitchen and grab yourself an apple, a pickle or some nuts. It will help that tummy calm down.
  • Foods that really helped: Sweet potato "fries", an apple with almond butter, grapes, pickles and eggs. Also a lifesaver?? Dried fruit!! This is okay in moderation and as long as there is no added sugar. Read your labels- the only ingredient should be the fruit.
  • Drink plenty of water. Seriously, so important.
  • Read your labels. Again, checkout their website for specifics but you have to read labels to know if something is OK to eat.
 What Now: We have formed much better habits that will last us a lifetime. We have seen the significant difference clean eating can do for your overall health. We will cook healthier meals, treat ourselves to treats occasionally and not every single day, make healthier choices (a banana instead of chips for instance), junk food in much better moderation and the list could go on and on. I am so much more aware now of what I put into my body and what is good for me. We of course will still treat ourselves, but like I said not every single day. I now want to put "better" into my body, not to lose weight, but because I know how much better you feel and the positive changes it makes on your health. A healthy me is always my goal!

Interested? If you are interested in this program, check out more at their website. You can also email me and I can give you more details from our experience if you would like! It is so very do-able, not always fun but totally worth it! The habits you form and what you learn can change your journey and help you become the healthiest you possible!


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Picnic: Whole 30 Style

In honor of my last day of the whole 30 (yes last day!!), I thought I would share a picnic Robert and I enjoyed a couple of weeks ago. Full recap of my/our whole 30 journey to come tomorrow!

Part of my April goals was to go on a picnic. Robert and I just love a good picnic. We usually go on one and enjoy sandwiches and such. But since we are on the Whole 30 challenge, we had to get creative and it actually turned out pretty well!

We first feasted on Buffalo Chicken Chopped Salad...

I layered the ingredients (lettuce, cucumbers and carrots) in little jars with the chicken on top (we went without the dressing).  

Up next- Chili Lime Sweet Potato Chips and Fruit Salad.

Our chips turned out a little soggy and I think it was because they were not thin enough. Next time I will try a mandoline to get thinner slices.

Last, I made the Guacamole Chicken Salad that is all over Pinterest. And it was so good! We experiemented and put the salad on a cucumber with a pecan on top. Not too bad. 

We had a wonderful afternoon out in the sun soaking it up and eating. It was a great little day date! 


Monday, May 5, 2014

The Weekend & A Nuremberg Must See

Recently a friend sent us an article- 40 Incredible Secret Places Most Travelers Don't Know About. And guess what?? A street here in Nuremberg is included on the list, Weissgerbergasse! So Robert and I set out on Saturday to find this hidden gem and explore a little. 

Once we got to the street, we realized we had been there before! It was at night though so we didn't see all the beautiful colors and stunning architecture.

The best way to describe this street? Charming, very very charming. 

The rest of our weekend we worked out a little, read on a blanket at the park, ate at a fun biergarten and enjoyed fresh fruit from the markets downtown (best strawberries ever). 

How was your weekend??

Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday, self tanner disaster and a neckalce

Hello, Friday! I for one, am so glad the weekend is finally here. It means we are one step closer to our trip and then one step closer to HOME! This week, Robert and I have been pretty restless. The season is over and we are in a bit of limbo- we are just ready to be on the move! I know this summer back home will be busy (but so fun) so I am trying to soak up this down time I have with my sweet husband. We have about a week until we leave for Italy and until then we plan to enjoy our first soccer game and take a little day trip to a cute town! So it will be a fun weekend! Now let's get to my Five on this Friday...

{ONE}This picture was taken before Robert's last basketball game of the season this past Sunday. They finished strong in the semi finals. I am so proud of him for his positive attitude, dedication and hard work. It was an interesting and fun season and we are excited to find out where we will be headed next year. Nuremberg we will miss you!

{TWO}This week I put together a few of my travel fashion "essentials". Basically, my go to items for our upcoming trip and this summer. Check it out here!

{THREE} So I tried my first self tanner. The result? I looked like I had rolled around in the dirt. I tried to get a picture but just couldn't capture the true mess that it was. I read a great review on Tan Wise and so it was the one I ended up trying. I exfoliated before hand, put lotions on knees and elbows, applied it in small circular motions, but it still turned out pretty awful! I am sure it is a great product (and it is very affordable) but for my skin and my self tanner applying skills, it did not work. I think next I will try either Banana Boat, St.Tropez or tan towels that have been recommended. I will keep you updated.

{FOUR}Whole 30 is still going strong! 30 days will be up on Wednesday and I am pretty ready. But really am so thankful for some great habits we have formed!  I shared one of our favorite meals this week...Burger Bowls! Easy recipe here!

{FIVE} Robert bought me this Kendra Scott necklace and I absolutley love it! I am all about simplicity and a piece that will go with anything- and this is it! I just think it is beautiful and have already worn it a ton. When you join their mailing list you get 15% off and they are offering free shipping right now until Mother's Day! A Perfect treat for yourself or for your mama!

And that is it for this Friday! I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!! 

Linking up with the wonderful Five on Friday ladies, Jennie at The Diary of a Real Housewife and Lauren Elizabeth.   

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Neighborhood Walks with Frankie

Last week was a week full of puppy love! 

We took on the role of "dogsitter" for 10 days to a little beagle named Frankie. One of the best parts about having a dog (in an apartment) is that it makes you get out and go on lots walks. And walk we did. One night I pulled out my camera to capture some German neighborhood beauty.

I just love this pretty neighborhood and all the stunning architecture, it made our walks so enjoyable! Sitting Frankie was great practice for us. We are in the process of deciding whether we want a dog in the next few years or not. We loved our time with this puppy but man it is hard work! So...we are still undecided on the puppy front. I think right now we are at a solid maybe :)

Have a wonderful day friends!