Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Following

 "OMG, I can't believe another season of The Following is over!          Last night was the season finally and I am still in absolute shock!"
                       This is what I wanted to say. But honestly, it was just blah. 

For those of you who don't know: The Following airs Mondays at 9/8c on FOX.
It is about an FBI agent trying to catch a serial killer and his murderous cult.
The main characters are Kevin Bacon as Ryan Hardy and James Purefoy as Joe Carroll.

I loved season one. It was so exciting that my husband and I could not blink for the tiniest second. The twists and unexpected killing thrilled us till the end and never let us down.
Season two started off a bit bumpy. Maybe we were so used to all the deaths in this show, that nothing could shock us anymore. We found our self chatting away or playing with the puppy instead of paying attention the The Following. But only slowly it got more interesting for us. When the season finally aired last night, I was a bit relieved to see the ending and hopefully to have a much better season 3 coming.

The most exciting thing for me was, that Mark is still alive and called somebody to pick up him and his dead brother Luke. The question is going to be: Who is that driver?
I have a feeling it might be the reporter Carrie Cooke. She was always present in the last episodes, but was left out in the season finale. *hint hint* *wink wink* - Who knows?
This would make for a really nice twist for season 3.

The Show will continue February 2015. If you have missed it, it is also available on Netflix.

xoxoxo Gracie

Friday, April 25, 2014

Experience with World Education Services

65 days.
This is how long it took me to receive my transcripts in the mail.

Knowing that I would like to continue my academic path for a while I had to provide my school of choice with transcripts not only translated into the English language, but especially evaluated from the German System into the American System.

My research lead me to WES. World Education Services is an agency in New York that provides their customers with an credential evaluation of their foreign degrees.

The following steps had to be made:
  • contact school, explain process: are they willing to help me out?
  • prepare package for each school with copy of report card, precise, word-for-word, English translations, academic transcript request form and an envelope with stamp addressed to WES in NY
  • apply online for an evaluation by creating an account
  • pay the fee
  • wait ...
The waiting game was the hardest. I could never be 100% sure if i provided enough postage or if the envelopes would get lost in the mail. Thankfully it all turned out great and WES received my transcripts about 4 weeks later; letting me know through email. The evaluation process itself only took about 7 business days. And I was very surprised when I checked my online account on April 9th, that I could see the results right away.

I am very satisfied with the outcome and the process. And I would recommend to use WES for that matter even though there are a ton of bad reviews out there.My advise is to contact your school and make sure you follow exactly the steps WES needs you to.

xoxoxo Gracie

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bridesmaid dress shopping at David's

At a Bridal Expo last month I made an appointment for last Wednesday to go see their selection of bridesmaid dresses. My dear SIL, who will be my Maid of Honor is always thrilled to accompany me to those events ;)

Since the wedding (or better our vow renewal) won't be before Spring 2016 we didn't plan on purchasing anything, but checking out the different styles won't hurt either.This gives me a feel for different fabrics, hem and neck lines that I will choose from. 

We arrived at the bridal store with 20 minutes to spare and headed straight for the racks. Sarah, our consultant for the day, was very attentive and helpful. From a catalog we picked out 9 dresses in different styles to make sure I get to see every possibility that I might like.

Our picks included:

all pictures by David's Bridal

We had a blast! She, trying on dresses; me, taking pictures of the dresses from different angles. After about an hour we were done. Exhausted, but happy and with some visions for my dear bridesmaids.

My favorites were chiffon material and long. Even though I always thought short would be the way to go.  

xoxoxo Gracie

Friday, April 18, 2014

Unboxing: My first ipsy bag

I could not believe my eyes when I saw the mail man putting a shiny, bright pink package in my mailbox last Friday.

 Especially since I just got the "your bag has been shipped"-mail the day before.


  Content for April 2014 Beauty Rocks:

  • Look So Natural lashes by KISS
  • White Gold Shadow & Highlight Mousse by City Color
  • 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil Travel Size by Urban Decay
  • Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment by Cover FX
  • Tinted Lip Balm by Cailyn

I am super satisfied with my first ipsy bag and excited to try out the products.
Maybe I could make it into another blog post?

xoxoxo Gracie

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

N and K

The whole Zak family got invited to a wedding this past Saturday.


Gorgeous bride, handsome groom and adorable ring bearer and flower girls.
Bridal party in purple, the parents in silver. The wedding was absolutely beautiful and you could feel the love they had for each other every second.

A sucessfull marriage isn't the
union of two perfect people. It's
that of two imperfect people who
have learned the value of
forgiveness and grace. 
                         - Darlene Schacht

I am wishing the newlywed couple a wonderful honeymoon and a blessed live with joy! 

xoxoxo Gracie

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The universe of subscription boxes

I have been following the hype for a while now and decided that it's time to join in on the fun!
First thing I had to do, was to find the right box for me.
It sounds easier than it is, considering the amount of boxes out there.

Sure, I knew about the obvious once, like olia box, ipsy box, birchbox, popsugar, bark box...
But honestly I had not the smallest clue. On my hunt I found www.subscriptionboxes.com. This website has its viewer rate different boxes and that's were I found out "There is a whole subscription box universe out there!!"

You can get a subscription for almost anything:
  • Art
  • Beauty
  • Clothing
  • College life
  • Fitness
  • Food
  • Jewelry
  • Lifestyle
  • Pets
  • Travel
  • Wedding 
  • and many more...
I knew I wanted to learn more about make up and so it was easy for my to choose at least the category: Beauty. Now I had again a ton of choices I felt. I checked out some of the reviews of my favorite youtubers and finally eleventhgorgeous' monthly unboxing videos of the ipsy and birchbox helped me decide.

I would highly recommend to check out box reviews on youtube. You can get a feel of what it is and if it will be worth the money for you.

So, I am gonna give it a try and have subscribed to...

picture by http://www.crazyshenanigans.com/2013/10/glam-bags.html

My first bag is supposed to arrive mid April and I hope I can get an "unboxing" post out :)

xoxoxo Gracie

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Silverleaf Resorts

We went to Silverleaf Resorts in the Starved Rock area to attend a presentation. At a bridal expo a couple weeks ago we got talked into attending it in exchange for a free trip. Who would have said NO to a free trip, right!?

So we left in the morning. It was about an hour drive and it was gorgeous outside. Chilly but so nice to see the sun and having the tinsyest feeling of this years spring season.

Silverleaf Resort, a little bit hidden, turned out to be a really nice place to spend some time.
 They have mini golf, golf, horse back riding, an indoor swimming pool, picnic areas and a new indoor water park that will open this summer.

The main goal of this presentation was to get us to sign up for a life long time share. Even though we decided not to buy or sign anything at that event before hand, we did consider that amazing deal they offered us.

After some consideration and 5 minutes alone DH and I decided it was not the right time to get this time share. Maybe next time, since a time share like that would benefit us!

Excited to be done and to receive the free trip we made our way to the "gift center".
You might be treated like royalty in the beginning but once you are done, without buying a time share you get to wait 45 minutes till your up. The wait wasn't to bad though. We got to see Finding Nemo, which I haven't seen yet. 

Once it was our turn to receive the gift it went by super quickly. The gifter filled out his charts and made sure that we are the right people and handed us our 5 (!) gifts.

We got in exchange:
- our $40 deposit back
- a day-pass for that day at the resort
- a $100 Restaurant.com gift card
- a weekend trip
- a scatch off ticket which turned into a vacation getaway

We were blown away. We did know about the weekend trip, which was already so worth spending a day and listening to the sales pitch. But all the other things were just the icing on the cake.

I'm so excited to go on those trips and bring back awesome pictures from a great time.

xoxoxo Gracie 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Bachelor party #throughback

Tonight is the bachelor party for the upcoming wedding. Groomsmen and friends are bringing some liquid gifts and will party all night. I'm sure it will get pretty wild ;-)

And why not? I had a blast at my bachelorette party last November.

My SIL planned on just taking me out for a couple of drinks. This "spontaneous" idea turned into a whole event that also my FMIL and my aunts and future-cousin attended.

We went to a cozy little bar across the street for karaoke night. Oh, how I love karaoke. It was so much fun! Having yummy drinks, singing, laughing. It was a great time!! My absolute favorites are: Don't stop believing (Journey), Marry you (Bruno Mars), everything by the Backstreet Boys, Survive (Gloria Gaynor).... and so on....

Tiara and a sash, both in pink ♥ and ready to get this party started!
My dear SIL and I :-*

Wishing the guys a fun, great night tonight and a not too bad hangover!
Lasst es richtig krachen!! ;-)

xoxoxo Gracie

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Dress shopping

Who doesn't know that feeling:
There is an important event coming up, you need to look great and you know there is nothing in your closet to wear.

The #1 war plan that comes to mind is SHOPPING.
So you head out to the store and find absolutely nothing. Why? I don't understand it.
Other times you just go for fun and find so many incredible pieces, but you know there wont be any occasions coming up to wear them.

It's like a "Teufelskreis" (doom loop)

So on that particular Saturday I went shopping with my SIL for an upcoming wedding. Upcoming meaning: two weeks away. Argh!! The first store we went into was so crowded, we immediately started to hid the racks. She in her size, I'm in mine. In the end we managed to snatch 4 dresses each to try on.

Why is it that the first dress you pull the best one is? I'm not sure, but it did fit very well. SIL found also something she liked and added a cute little bow belt to it.

I'm super excited to get all dolled up and go to a beautiful wedding, espescially since I already have shoes and hair figured out. ;)
I really hope it will warm up a little bit more than just the 55 degrees they call for :/  

xoxoxo Gracie

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Bridal Expo March 2014

Dear Husband and I went to our very first bridal expo this past month to get some inspiration for our big wedding in white, meet vendors, get free goodies ;) and have a chance of winning one of the many prices they have.
It was pretty much like a zoo! Arrived on time, we had to realize what a crazy busy day was ahead of us. After standing in line for about 1 hour we finally were able to start the fun.
Right at the entrance they gave us a bag with a bridal magazine and little pamphlets of different vendors, like:
- Reception venues
- Florists
- Transportation service
- Candy Bar
- Caterer
- Photographer and videographer
- Bachelor/Bachelorette parties
- Ministers
- DJs
- Bridal and Groom stores
- and many more

I went ahead and set up an appointment to check out some Bridesmaid dresses with my sister-in-law in about 2 weeks. That's going to be so much fun! :D

Passing tables, getting congratulations, receiving information and signing up for a chance to win. It was pretty exhausting and after 3 hours we were done and ready to leave.

I would recommend to anyone to go see a bridal expo, it definitely gets you in wedding mood!

My goodies ;)