NUREMBERG, GERMANY

if you follow me on instagram, then you know i am far away from being in germany & am currently in morocco! our days have been getting jumbled together & going SO fast, i didn't even get a chance to talk about our christmas (it was great! & so strange being on our own..!), but my mom came to madrid on the 28 & we left for morocco on the 29. buuuut i wanted to finish out our germany trip on my blog before even getting into that, so here it is! i just had SO many pictures & so much i wanted to share, i had to split it up! so if you're sick of hearing about my love for adorable germany, i don't recommend reading on, haha! 
before going to germany we found out that one of our friends here in spain, aimee & taylor, were going to be in nuremberg while we were in munich. nuremberg is about an hour & a half away & we thought it would be fun to get together with them so we spent wednesday at the nuremberg christmas markets wandering with them. 

nuremberg was such a charming town, i really can't explain it better than that. when we first got to the markets in munich i couldn't imagine a more whimsical or magical experience. then i went to nuremberg & my opinion completely changed. nuremberg is by far the most whimsical & magical christmas market experience. nurember is a medieval town & still maintains that old town charm. the cobble streets in the plaza are surrounded by adorable buildings of different colors & in the middle of it all are hundreds & hundreds of christmas market booths all with red & white striped roofs & white lights & garland bordering them. & if you have smaller kids the market holds a kinderweihnacht, a christmas market dedicated to kids. this market is full of different rides, a toy house to play in, crepes & waffles, & booths full of cute toys for your kids. it was adorable. 

NEUSHWANSTEIN CASTLE, GERMANY

Neushwanstein castle is a straight up fairytale & it totally makes sense why it’s rumored to have been walt disneys inspiration for the sleeping beauty castle. It’s amazing, especially in person.
But first, a fun story.

Before going to Germany we decided that we would rent a car for Monday & Tuesday so that we could drive to the neuschwanstein castle & to Nuremburg instead of taking the train. We had a couple of friends that drove to the castle & said the drive was beautiful, & truth be told, both Austin & I miss driving, plus it’s a shorter drive than it is to take the train. So before going I rented us a tiny two-door car, rented a car seat & called it good. Monday morning we got to enterprise excited to get going, to find out that they actually can’t rent us a car seat. They’re not legally allowed to, only car rentals out of the airport can do that, buuuuuut since I’m cheap & didn’t go through the actual enterprise website, I had no clue about this. The people at enterprise helped us the best that they could, & pointed us in the direction of a auto store down the street that they thought would sell a baby seat, so while I drove there Austin & cedar had to walk down & meet me. Once I got there I quickly learned that they only had booster seats, which cedar is way to tiny for, & I was trying to ask if they knew of a place nearby, & luckily a customer who spoke English told me there was a toys r’ us nearby, & weirdly/conveniently knew the address to it (luckily we also had a gps too, otherwise I never would have made it), so off I went again, leaving austin & cedar behind. luckily made it with no major issues, until I had to try & find parking, which added a little more stress till I found a street where I wouldn’t have to maneuver into a little spot. Once I got there, I ran into toys r’ us, found a cheap-ish car seat, found a worker, bought it & went back to find Austin & cedar wandering around the street. . I was so incredibly stressed out over the entire situation, plus driving in a different country is always a little stressful at first so I was high stress all around.

If the original plan of getting a car seat at enterprise would have worked, we would have been on the road no later than 11:30, letting us have a lot of time on the drive to go through all the adorable mid-evil towns along the way on the romantic drive, to take our time & enjoy everything. But since it didn’t go accordingly & we didn’t leave till about 1:30, we got to enjoy the drive & the towns from the car while I tried to get us to the castle as quickly as possible.

The thing about Germany in the winter is that it gets dark, pitch black dark, incredibly early. We’re talking 5 pm here. Pure darkness. It’s amazing & makes you insanely tired really early. We got to the castle around 3:30 or 4 & booked it up, too impatient to wait in the line for the bus, but I think we got there at the perfect time. It was sooo beautiful with the sun setting, & the pink & blue marshmallow-y clouds in the sky, it did not feel like real life. The walk up to the castle was so pretty, overlooking the countryside of Germany, all the green fields speckled with little houses & farms & the lake. I couldn’t get over it.

Everything looks so picture perfect & fake, like a fairy tale. Especially when you are looking at the castle & it’s nestled into the alps towering above the little hilly countryside. We opted not to take a tour of the castle (convenient, cause we got there after the last tour even started), because no one actually ever lived in the castle. Weird, right? Here’s a little history for you on the castle: it was built by king Ludwig II of Bavaria, also known as the swan king or fairy tale king, who actually lived in a castle across the way from neuschwanstein. Ludwig died before the castle was ever finished, & once it was complete the castle was open to the public for tours. The king was a patron of the composer Richard Wagner, & drew inspiration for the castle from his operas.

So rather than going on the inside, we rushed to the outside of the castle & walked around the grounds, before it got too dark to see anything. Walking around the castle was amazing. It wasn’t too crowded since we went in December & so late in the day, which was ideal. We walked up past the castle to the look out bridge, which was a rickety wooden bridge, that creaked & wiggled from all the people on it, which made me a little nervous, but the view was breathtaking. I still can’t get over it. 

The best part to me was seeing cedar running around & pointing. “oohing” & “ahhing” at the castle. It’s so much fun for me to see him loving all these places & just to see him at all these historical sites. I know he doesn’t get it, & I know he’s not going to remember it, but I really just love it. Plus he probably wouldn’t want to go to a fairytale-esque castle with me when he’s older, cause that’s how boys are.

MUNICH, GERMANY

our trip to germany was short & sweet & i've got a lot to share about it with you. so be prepared for a lot of writing, a ton of pictures, & multiple posts. cause i can't put this all into one! We’ve been back from Germany for two days now & I’m read to go back. If you have never been to munich, or Germany in general, go. It is so amazing. Austin & I loved everything from the architecture, to the food, to the people, to the landscape, to the Christmas markets…naturally. We left for Germany Saturday morning & came back Christmas eve (Wednesday) night. We spent two full days in munich, a day going to the neuschwanstein castle & a day in Nuremberg. I’m pretty confident in saying that going to munich in time for the christkindlmarkts was one of the best decisions we have ever made. I had never seen anything so magical as these markets.

as soon as we were in munich Austin & I were in love with it, I don’t know if a large part of it had to do with all of the Christmas cheer, but something about the city really struck us. It’s a big city but it just seemed so quaint & cute, so colorful & really fun. Plus, it’s insanely clean. I couldn’t get over how clean it was.. haha.

Our first night there we went straight to the christkindlmarkts in marienplatz plaza, one of munichs main plazas, where there were rows of markets set up beneath the new town hall & a gigantic Christmas tree filled with white lights. All of the booths were decorated & overflowing ornaments, nativities, dolls, candy, cookies, pottery & more. The food at the markets was aaaaaamazing. So many bratwursts! Austin probably ate about 7 a day, while I managed maybe 3 with a couple waffles or crepes thrown in there as well. & cedar was digging the gingerbread cookies that were sold everywhere. We couldn’t get enough. & they had booths of spiced hot wine, hot chocolate, & non alcoholic spiced hot wine, which was so good. If you know what wassle is (I thought this was a common Christmas drink, but the older I get the less common I think it is) or tastes like, it is similar to that. Plus, the drinks come in adorable mugs that have Christmas pictures or say the city name or whatever. You pay a down payment on the mug & after you drink all of your drink, you return it & get the money back. Or if you’re like me, you can just keep the mug. I figure it will go great with all of other mugs.

Our second day there we did a little more than juuuust the Christmas markets, even though I could have gone back in a heart beat with not problem at all, but Austin & I thought we should see more than just marienplatz. We walked around the city, went into smaller markets & then went to the English garden, where we spent the majority of our day. The English garden is pretty much what it sounds like, but it’s huge. The garden is bigger than hyde park in London, & central park in new york. It’ has paths going in every direction & despite the incredibly cold temperatures, people were out riding bikes, playing Frisbee, walking their dogs, sitting on benches reading or talking & musicians playing throughout the park. There is a stream that flows through the garden into the park that people have discovered they can surf at. The stream has a constant wave going & multiple surfers take turns giving it their best shot. It was so cool to see & it looked freezing! We walked all over the garden before finding a smaller & extremely adorable Christmas market. The market was set up with walls made of Christmas tree branches surrounding it, lights strung up, huge wooden stumps subbing as tables & horse drawn carriage rides around the markets & a garden, which cedar was obsessed with watching.

All three of us were in awe of the markets & with munich. It was all so lively, so fun & definitely worth going to. i hope you all had a merry christmas & happy holidays!

WINTER GETAWAY: PACKING LIST

TOMORROW we're going to germany! for four days. it's going to be freezing & quite possibly snowing. i've been trying to figure out what i should pack. since we're not going for very long, & we're charged by luggage, i don't want to take a whole lot, so mix & match pieces are key for me. i put together a few different looks using a total of 13 items (i'm not counting the purse).
 do you ever wish that you could just buy a new wardrobe anytime you go on a trip? it's a problem i have & these moodboards just heightened my wish for a germany wardrobe, haha. i always see all these great things & think "oooh, that would be perfect for my trip" but, i can't really buy a new wardrobe for a trip, no matter how badly i want to, so i'll just pretend & include some things i do have, so it's more realistic for me. haha

since it's going to be so very cold, layers are key! i'm a big fan of layering as is, i hate being too hot or too cold, so layers are great for me. too hot? take something off, too cold? throw something on. you get the idea. i am in love with this sweater i show, from boden, & am really sad i didn't see it before christmas-list making, cause that would have been on there, for sure! 
you probably all know from this post how much i love my plaid scarf, so obviously i have to bring it along, as well as a good beanie (the one shown below is fleece lined) & a pair of mittens.

hunter boots aren't only for rain guys, they're amazing in snow. they've got so much traction & keep you so, so dry. i recommend everyone get a pair of rainboots if you don't already have any. & definitely get some of the hunter socks cause while they keep you dry, they don't necessarily keep you warm (at least my feet always froze in mine). i got a pair of these socks this year & am so happy i did, i use to layer probably 3 pairs of socks every time i'd wear my hunters & now i have absolutely no need. these socks are the warmest & softest things, you will not regret getting some.

oook, fur vests are a big thing right now, i'm sure everyone knows that, & i really, really like the look. i don't actually have one, but everytime we go to zara i look at this exact vest & just love it. i'm thinking maybe i should just bite the bullet & get it, i have always been a fan of vests, but i didn't bring any to spain, so i sort of need one..? haha plus they add so much warmth! & a bit of extra style! what's not to like? (complete side note: the last two times i've decided to wait & think about buying something...gold sequin pants & a fur vest... by the time i made up my mind to get them they were sold out in my size, everywhere. i can't decide if its a blessing or a curse.......)
this patagonia jacket is the absolute best. i got one a few years ago in another color & i use it all the time. it's so lightweight, so comfortable, SO warm & the best part is it folds up super small, which is perfect for traveling.

what are your go-to items you have to take on a trip? i'd love to hear what you travel with.

CHRISTMAS IN MADRID

walking around the city right now is straight up magical. i've mentioned it before how there are christmas lights strung up everywhere & here are some pictures to prove it. these aren't your standard christmas lights, but giant light designs all throughout the streets in the city. it's completely amazing. they really know how to get the holiday mood going here. the main downtown plaza, puerta del sol, has the "main" christmas tree set up & it's 12 stories tall.  plus a lot of people dressed up like santa claus. there is christmas music blasting in every store & almost all stores have lights blinking in all of their windows. one of the main department stores, el corte ingl├ęs, has christmas tents set up outside a few of their stores around the city that are everything christmas inside, decorations, gifts, trees & if there isn't a tent outside, there is a floor in the store dedicated to christmas. the entire city is lit up.

just about every night after austin gets home from school & cedar wakes up from his nap we go on a walk around the city so that we (mostly just me) can see all of the lights, i really can't get enough & it's so cute when cedar gets excited for them, pointing, oohing & ahhing. it's a lot of fun. they even have a bus that they call navibus, that will take you around all of the street lights in the city that is supposed to be amazing. we haven't had a chance to go on it yet, but you can guarantee we'll be going on it... probably at least twice. there are various christmas markets around (they aren't known for being that great, but they're decorated well!) the city, nativities set up all over & more christmas trees set up in a lot of the plazas or main centers. it's so much fun.
(when you don't have anyone to take a picture of you & your boo, you jump into the picture he's taking to send to his mom.)

i can't believe christmas is practically here, this is probably the fastest december i've ever had, but i probably say that every year. haha. luckily our christmas shopping has been really easy since austin & i decided to do a trip for our christmas, we only got cedar & our family presents & i'm proud/shocked to say we've been done christmas shopping since before december even came. i've never been so prepared for a holiday before in my life & knowing me, this probably won't happen again cause i'm a big procrastinator & into doing things last minute... but it really is a good feeling not to stress about it!

this christmas is going to be so different from all the others i've had, but i'm excited to bring the traditions i grew up with & that austin grew up & some new ones of our own to our little christmas! what are some of your holiday traditions?

taking stock

i loved this lazy, easy, rainy weekend. friday night we attended austins class christmas dinner & a tiny spanish restaurant in the heart of downtown. i was so excited to go to this dinner & finally meet the people he spends all of his days with & comes home to tell me about, i was going to be able to put some faces to names! the spanish do dinner much later than americans do, the dinner started at 9, which in spanish time, means 10:30. we got there around 9:30 & were some of the first people to get there, & we didn't have any food until 10:30. it's completely different than back home where you normally meat at 6 for dinner & if you have kids, you're done & home by 8:30. but not here! kids run wild through the restaurants/bars at all hours of the night, while parents are eating & i think they're onto something with that.

cedar was the star of the night. half the people didn't know austin even had a baby, but they allllllllllll loved him. he was exhausted & in the funniest mood. he was getting passed around from person to person, being fed, high-fived, fist-bumped, & jumping up & down on their shoulders. i don't know who loved it more, cedar or all of the people. we didn't make it out of there until 12:30, when everyone else was just relocating, getting their nights started, we headed home. cedar passed out immidately once he was in his stroller & austin & i slowly made our way back home. leaving cedar & i to wake up the next morning with colds & having much appreciated late start to our saturday, followed by a cozy day spent inside with warm food & drinks to comfort us both, austin getting us whatever we needed, watching movies cuddled up on the couch as a family & long walks around the city. it was probably one of my favorite weekends. & it hit me: my life will never be the same as it is right now.

these days are a once in a lifetime experience, no matter how redundant they may seem at the time, no two days are the same. how wild is that? it makes me so appreciative for what i have, my life, my friends, my family & so much more. & it makes me want to document everything, all the little things.because whether i like it or not, life will never be what it is today. so i'm taking stock. taking stock in dreams, in feelings, in the music i surround myself with, the shows i spend time watching, the food i'm making & eating, the business & simplicities of our life, cause i want to remember it all.

making// paper snowflakes
cooking// rice pudding
drinking// too much tea
looking// at these pictures we took in utah before moving
reading// the outlander series.. it's seriously addicting. to me at least.
wanting// extra warm mittens
looking// forward to this weekend (germany, yay!)
heaing// the dishwasher running & christmas music playing
waiting// for christmas & my mama to come visit!
watching// game of thrones, i just started it. so far, so good.
wondering// where we'll be in 6 months
loving// cedars snuggles
hoping// i get over this cold asap
needing// more sleep
smelling// zara christmas candle
laughing// at this video
wearing// lululemon leggings, my heavy metal shop tee & j.crew flannel (similar)
following// a plan of sorts
noticing// glitter on my couch
knowing// we are lucky
thinking// about what to make for dinner
feeling// cozy
opening// packages

1 SCARF, TWO LOOKS

the first thing i bought when we moved here was the softest, thickest, warmest, plaid scarf & i have loved it ever since. its quickly become a staple item in my wardrobe, i wear it almost everyday, so i thought i'd show a couple ways how i wear it! casual & a little dressed up. 

i'm a big fan of mixing patterns & i treat stripes as if they're a neutral, but i really like the look of this scarf with a striped top, i feel like it just adds a little something to the whole look. plus, clogs. need i say more? they really do add something exciting to the outfit, if you ask me.

scarf: zara
top: i truly have no idea where i got it & there isn't a tag... but, similar
coat: Burberry (similar)
jeans: frame (similar)


next is a bit of a dressier or what i call sassy, outfit. whenever i like the look of something but don't feel like i can totally pull it off, i like to give it a trial run. & that's what this was. i love the look of knee highs or thigh high socks but always feel like they just don't work for me, but i gave it a shot anyways & i really liked the way the look came together. & i obviously had to throw in the scarf, because as stated above, i can't leave the house without it.
scarf: zara
dress: madewell it's on sale!
coat: burberry (similar)
socks: target
booties: cole haan