Leanbean in Germany

Military wife trying to figure out this military life

Credit Cards August 31, 2009

Filed under: Germany — leanbean @ 6:20 pm

The best thing about America?  You can use your credit card to pay for that pack of gum you desperately need when you are without cash.  Germany works in a completely different way.  Everything is paid for in cash or wired directly to a bank account.  Imagine giving out your bank account info to a perfect stranger!  It may work in Germany, since crime is practically non-existent but to the Americans over here it’s a slight pain to schlepp your ass to the bank, fill out a weird form and pay the $2 just to send the cash to pay the insanely high gas bill (at least $3k per year for two people).

The other crazy part to this story?  The gas bills are estimated.  So they may charge you 178 euro a month but at the end of the year you may have used more than what they guessed and you get sent a big fat bill of 1,300 euro (around $2k).  And since you can’t pay with a credit card, you better have the money in your account.  While it is possible to receive a refund at the end of the year, I would prefer to just be charged what I am using for the month instead of having a company “guess” what they think we will use.   

Just another reason I prefer the American culture.

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Karlito’s Way August 27, 2009

Filed under: Decorating,Family — leanbean @ 6:06 am

Today I wanted to show one of my favorite rooms and it isn’t one you will find in a magazine or another blog.  Instead, you will find it at Karl’s house, who happens to be my mom’s fiance.  Karl’s main basement room is a great place to have a drink, play some pool or watch the news to see if a tornado is about to hit (this happened when I was home).  Karl wanted to have a room with a theme and his theme is Hawaii.  When Karl was in the Army he and his family were stationed in Hawaii and Karl says it is absolutely one of his favorite places on earth.  Here is Karl’s room to remind him of paradise:

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The lights above the pool table were made by Karl himself and the paint is meant to look like the ocean.  Bamboo can be seen on the floors, the lights and the walls.  Almost everything on the walls was found during his travels.  While most people might not want a theme room in their home, I think Karl manages to pull one off.

 

Handbag August 26, 2009

Filed under: Shopping — leanbean @ 9:37 pm

Every six months or so I get the itch.  The itch to buy a new handbag.  Whenever I whine to my husband about needing a new purse he immediately runs to the closet and grabs all of my bags and asks “Do you really need ANOTHER purse?”  Yes.  Yes, I do.  I am currently looking at these three:

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* Gryson

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* Botkier

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* DKNY

I’m leaning towards the DKNY.  Now if I could only convince my husband I bought it years ago.

 

I’m weird August 25, 2009

Filed under: Decorating — leanbean @ 9:15 pm

I honestly want to have a baby just so I can have one of these:

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A round crib!  Maybe not the most rational thought but isn’t it cute?  I saw one over here and fell in love with absolutely no plans in sight to have a baby.

 

Dreaming of a purple room August 24, 2009

Filed under: Decorating — leanbean @ 8:48 pm

Ever since model Jessica Stam’s feature in Elle Decor I have wanted a purple room.

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Other purple rooms

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Maybe someday my husband will become color blind and I can have a purple room.

 

Light change August 21, 2009

Filed under: Decorating — leanbean @ 8:23 pm

European lighting can be very cool or it can be very industrial.  Take for instance, our bedroom light when we moved in:

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It was just a lightbulb for a 15 by 19 room with 19 foot ceilings, definitely not a statement maker.  Thankfully, a trip to Ikea fixed this ugly problem.

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Everyone and their mother seems to have this lamp but I don’t care if I don’t have to look at the plain lightbulb anymore!  I still haven’t decided if I will change it or not.  For 20 euro it’s a hard bargain to lose.

 

Hole be gone! August 20, 2009

Filed under: Decorating — leanbean @ 8:15 pm

Remember this eye sore in our bedroom?

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* The lovely 60″ wide opening to the ugly closet.  

And it now looks like this (picture via iPhone aka the lazy way):

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It took my husband over six hours to put these curtains up!  Gotta love those concrete walls that have the ability to break drill bits in half.  I think we lost three drill bits to these curtains but the results were so worth it!