Monday, January 28, 2013

Tri-continental Childcare

This week all over Germany, parents of toddlers are visiting schools to try to find a space for the little people for the school year starting this September.  In my part of Germany, you only have until the end of January to find a place and register or it's curtains for the rest of the year ...even if the school still has places available ( I don't know why, rules are rules. Don't get me started, let's just say that it's a battle I fought and lost last year).

Anyway, my daughter turns three this November which means that she will have to leave her wonderful, nurturing day care for the big scary world of the Kita aka kindergarten starting in September. The application process is like dating, more accurately, it's the Bachelor. You show up on open house day with your child and prepare to dazzle the head teacher hoping for a place. Sometimes, parents will be invited for another interview (the rose ceremony) where you prove that you are worthy of a place in the hallowed halls of the kindergarten. Even more frustrating is that you can only apply to one school which is enforced by having you hand over your  Kita Card (like a baby identification card) when you apply so no hedging your bets here.  

Bubbling over with indignation , I call my good friend in Brooklyn and go on a 10 minute rant about the application process and early closing time (2 pm) of the German kindergarten. We both work full time so I was sure to find an understanding ear. She responds by saying "at least you had a year's maternity leave". Turns out that my 350 Euros is nothing to her 1800 USD monthly childcare bill. 

Oh, and my high school friend now working and living in Dubai? Three kids and two nannies. Must be nice. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Out and About - Winter Accessories

This morning, I woke up to this.

What I saw by BeingTricontinental

I love snow.  It's weird because I never saw it until I was about 12 years old and it didn't really leave a great impression on me at that time. To be clear, I love looking at the snow, not rolling around in it, not throwing it...just looking at it.  Inspite of my love for snow, winter isnt really my favorite season (a ballad to autumn to be composed shortly). Besides, January in Germany is the worst ! The Christmas market is gone, the schmaltz kuchen stands are all packed up and it's just cold, wet, dark and dreary. January itself is a sucky month anywhere in the world. Filled with good intentions and new year resolutions that no one keeps. It seems that the "New Year" turns people into wide eyed optimists who inevitably become disillusioned by mid February .

Sidebar- Remind me to share a heartwarming story about winter, a lonely law student and an NYC Starbucks.

Anyhow, last night Germany decided to throw me a bone and I was rewarded with clean, fresh smelling snow. No mud, no slush, just the crisp, clear your head smell of winter. The snow inspired me to share my other great winter loves which are the accessories. Scarves, mittens, fluffy throws, pillows, candles and hot steaming beverages. Although its a bit late in the game, i'm still lusting after these two lovelies.

via Laura Olivia tumblr

Knit Throws via Garnet Hill

It's still January and I haven't broken any declared or undeclared resolutions...i'm off to treat my self to one of the above !

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Out and About - Portobello Market

Three months ago, I was walking around the Portobello Market in London and bumped into the delightful pop up shop of ceramics and home ware designer, Keith Brymer Jones and after getting treated to a complimentary hand massage (pleasure first, people) , I went a little ceramics crazy. 

photo_11939&tn616,500,1&ft1306400025&1460 by BeingTricontinental

                                  I put some dried lavender, thyme sprigs, rosemary and Moroccan mixed herbs in mine.

Perfect for my Rolling Stones + Tea loving husband

My absolute favorite thing from this well thought out and beautifully designed line is the the Pomegranate, Rose Petal and Casis votive. The fragrance is so clean and not all cheap or cloying. It just brings warmth and the scents of summer to my entire living room. As an unexpected bonus, the word "light" is inlaid so it shows as the candle burns down. 

I'm planning to turn the empty jar into a vase for my office desk, so hurrah for multiple use beauty.