Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Birthday

I’d like to throw out a very happy birthday to the best (and worst!) older brother ever! For the great majority of my life, he’s been a pretty damn good brother. Of course, recently this past year I did find proof that at times he was a big buthaed.

Really though, my older brother has been a guy who’s been there for me. All throughout growing up, family trips, college and living on the same block together in our respective fraternity and sorority, to now when he is taking care of my sweet baby kitty while I’m abroad. At my wedding this past month, he gave the most amazing speech (I have videos and a copy of it, so I know this!) Maybe the only person who can call the bride a stalker in a wedding speech and pull it off.

With that being said, happy birthday older brother! I hope you have a fabulous day!! Here’s to the good times and the bad times, and all the times ahead of us!

Your little sister,

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

LASIK Question

allie-sins asked you:
Hi, I just read your post about getting LASIK done, and I'm having a serious melt down about the procedure. I've worn glasses/contacts since I was 8 years old (I'm 25 now) and I'm just wondering if you could possibly answer some of my questions/fears. Was it hard to stay focused on the laser? I'm scared I'm going to be jumpy and move, or that it's going to hurt, or that I'm going to feel something. I'm scared to death. HELP.

Answer: I just might be the perfect person for you to have asked this to! Firstly, because I absolutely hate and am petrified of anything doctor/medical related... No joke, I faint every time I have to get a shot. I was definitely scared- part of the way I avoided this was by not listening to the doctors during my consultation- I figured the less I knew, the better. I had a general idea what was going to happen and that was enough (ie, I DID NOT know going into it that an actual knife blade would be cutting my eye. If I had, I would have chickened out)
As fas as pain, I can honestly say there was none. I had been advised by a friend it could hurt, so I took ibuprofen an hour before I went in. As far as being jumpy- well I for sure was, despite the Xanax I was given upon arriving (they will give you this if you ask to help you relax). Personally, I could have used about six more Xanax. When they do the procedure, first they tape down your eyelashes and then push down a circular thing around your eye- this was the worst part for me, because that's when I got really scared. However, it's just uncomfortable- imagine gently pushing all around your eye (I just did it now)- its just a strange feeling. So that's when I started fidgeting- but they will yell at you to be still. They have complete control of the laser, so won't move anything until you are still- that's why I stopped moving (or moved less I should say) because I just wanted it over.
Coming from a 100 percent WIMP (yes, that's me) LASIK was pain-free and 100,000,000% worth it. Like I said- financially, it will pay off long term. From every other aspect it was worth it the second I woke up from my nap and could see- and every day I wake up since.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fireside S'Mores

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup S’mores

The easiest (and best!) how-to post I will probably ever do— also, potentially the only.

Step 1. Build fire, stick marshmallow inside (yes, that mallow is on a knife. Sue me, I’m indoors without a stick to properly roast my marshmallows on)

Step 2. Set marshmallow aflame, blow out. Repeat until insides are warm and mushy (just like the love you will feel for this treat when you try it!)

Step 3. Place atop a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and enjoy.

Wow. I cannot believe I have lived this many years without having s’mores this way!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Stockholm Trip

Well, I have finally gotten around to looking at our Stockholm pictures- so here are a few of the highlights! We started our day on Saturday off by heading to Gamlastan (the old city)— luckily for me, Nick has been to Stockholm several times so I had my own personal tour guide! After checking out Gamlastan and the parliament building, we headed to the shopping district for a little bit of shopping before lunch. Lunch was at a delicious favorite of mine- Pizza Hut! (yes, I know, how cliche. The American that goes abroad and craves American food. But hey, I probably won’t get real American pizza for another 6 months- so I relished every bite of it.)

After lunch, we walked back to our hotel through the Gamlastan and I forced Nick to play with the phone booth. Of course, despite being unwilling his pictures turned out much better than mine! From there, it was home for a quick nap before heading to dinner at Bank-O-Mat. The meal was great, with excellent service.

Sunday we took another quick walk through Gamlastan before heading home and saying good-bye to Stockholm!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Personal Pet Peeve

For today’s post, I thought I would talk about a personal pet peeve of mine. This pet peeve would be when people are late.

First off, being late to meet with someone shows that you obviously do not value the other’s time, and view your time to be more important. Especially when this is a continuous problem. If we say we are meeting at 6, chances are I will be there ten minutes before. So when you come strolling in ten, fifteen, thirty, sixty minutes late- that tells me you don’t value my time, and you think that it was more important for you to accomplish *whatever* than be on time. For your information, had I known you would be late, there are countless other things I could have done with my time.

The next problem with being late is that for most, it seems to be a continual problem. I understand- and will forgive you- if it happens on occasion. For example, my husband was late for our first date (then again, he had just come off 18 hours of traveling and gotten about 2 hours of sleep). I understand that things come up, accidents happen, etc- but just be honest. Saying “I’m on my way!” And showing up an hour later when I know it should only take you 5 minutes- that’s bullshit.

This pet peeve grows even worse if I am doing you a favor. If I am going out of my way to do something for you- whether it is small, like dropping something off for you- or big, like giving you a ride somewhere 30 minutes away- you should be grateful and timely. Don’t waste my time, and I won’t waste yours.

To me, being on time is a matter of respecting other people. I KNOW there are other things and people you could be seeing- but you are choosing to make time for me. So I damn well better be there at or before the appointed time, because to me your time is valuable. And being late says that I don’t care about your time.

How do you feel about this issue? Are you usually the one that is early, or late?

A motto I have lived by: “To be early is to be on time. To be on time is to be late. And to be late, is to be forgotten.”

Friday, October 18, 2013

3 Month Anniversary

Nicholas Angell wife

Here we are, my 3 month anniversary with LASIK eye surgery! Years and years ago, when I was in elementary school, I discovered that I needed glasses (and became a four-eyes- gross!). I spent the next 15 years or so of my life battling with contacts and glasses. I started wearing 2 week contacts, but gradually those irritated my eyes- so I switched to daily contacts. Then, those started irritating my eyes- even after just a few hours! Eventually, enough was enough- and I decided that it was time for me to get LASIK surgery. 
Of course, I was petrified to get LASIK done. I wasn’t worried about the finances of it- I assumed it would pay for itself over the years by pure convenience, and of course not having to pay for glasses and contacts. What I was worried about was the actual procedure- trusting someone with your eye sight is a lot of pressure, especially when you have heard horror stories.
Because of this, I chose to go to the Whiting Clinic, one of the best clinics in the world for LASIK eye surgery. My doctor was Dr. Whiting himself- yes, the owner of the clinic. He has performed almost 100,000 LASIK surgeries, which made me feel very comfortable. After all, someone was about to cut my eye open with a razor blade and shoot lasers into it(no joke, this is what happened)— I wanted the best of the best, and my experience at the Whiting Clinic was just that.
From the time you walk in to the clinic, you are greeted warmly and openly. Once checked in, you get to choose a color for your information packet. As a marketing major, I found this amazing. Long-term, the color of my information packet does not matter. But as a patient, I get to choose my own color? Talk about making someone feel just a little bit more comfortable, and like your experience truly is personalized. After this, the Whiting Clinic just continued to impress me- through the rest of my consultation, my actual appointment itself, and my two follow-up appointments. I would highly recommend the Whiting Clinic to anybody looking at getting LASIK surgery- they were phenomenal every step of the way for me.
So lets skip ahead a bit. The procedure itself? Easy. I was in the operating room for maybe 5 minutes, and then sent home to take a nap. Waking up from my nap was one of the best feelings of my life. When I woke up, I could see everything in the room- clearly, without the use of contacts or glasses. At that moment, I felt so blessed and happy to have perfect eyesight again, I began to cry. I could see! What a wonderful gift sight is, and how often do we take advantage of it. It took me all of five minutes after waking up to decide that my LASIK procedure was worth it- no longer did it matter about “paying for itself over the years”, no, LASIK was worth it because for the first time in years I woke up with perfect vision.

Three months later, and getting LASIK done is one of the best investments I have ever made. Of course, I am still getting used to it- there are still nights when I am getting ready for bed and thinking ‘OK, time to take my contacts out,’ but it is a fabulous feeling.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

My 3 Worst Traits

Today’s post I saw from a blog challenge, and decided to truly challenge myself and write it. The three worst things about myself are:
1. I don’t take criticism well. Constructive or not, I have a hard time listening to it, especially when it comes from somebody close to me- just ask my husband about that one! Whether the criticism is about a big thing or a small thing, it is hard for me to accept it without getting defensive. Because of this, this is a very difficult post for me to write- I am publicly critiquing myself (even though many of you might already know about these faults).
2. I can be very stubborn. I’m the type of person where once I set my mind on something, it’s very hard to change it- especially if I think I’m right (although, I must say that at least with my husband I’m right all the time!)
3. I’m not very good at sharing- this pertains especially towards food. If I have an entire box of cookies, and you ask me for one- on a good day I will begrudgingly give you one. But I probably won’t be happy about it. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Prague Travels

Now that I have finished updating about Munich and Oktoberfest, I figure it just may be time to hit Prague! We did a TON in the course of one day while exploring the city— Old Town Square, New Town, The Prague Castle, The Charles Bridge— even mixed in a little bit of shopping and some traditional Czech food!

When we first arrived to Prague, I (like many others) thought it was a beautiful city. However, as our bus continued driving and I started looking a little more closely- I realized that Prague is beautiful, but only from a distance. The amount of graffiti (everywhere!) turned me off of the beauty and on to the reminder that Prague is still in the Old East. Now, I realize that there is graffiti in every city. However, it becomes overboard when the graffiti is not contained to certain places, but overflows onto businesses, churches, shops, anywhere that a can of spray paint can possibly touch. 
With that being said, on our walking tour I tried to ignore the graffiti. First, we walked to Old Town Square and then made our way towards New Town. In Old Town Square, one of the highlights was “Our Lady Before Týn”. An interesting thing to note about this church was that the two towers are constructed differently- one is much larger than the other (when you look closely). After the tour was over, we ventured on our own across the Charles Bridge right before sunset, and made it to the Prague Castle just as the sun was going down. 
After walking the city all day, we relaxed at a wonderful little Italian restaurant with some wine. To close out the day, of course there was some brother-sister bonding time with shots of Sambuca! 
So that was the extent of our sightseeing in Prague! We spent the next day touring Terezin- more to come on that soon (hopefully tomorrow).

Prague Old Town Square

view of Prague

sambuca shots!

Old Town Square Prague

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


So, in Sweden you guys have this drink called “Julmust” that you sell at Christmas, then change the label and sell as “påskmust” for Easter.
What I don’t understand is why anybody would buy this shit not once, but TWICE! I tried it for my first time today, and it tasted like a three-day old rum and coke that had a cigarette stuck in it. Besides the taste, there is the smell of it- to me, it reminds me of the aftermath of a frat party back in the US- NEVER a pleasant smell. All around, my review of this is one word: DISGUSTING!
But hey, I have to give the marketers of this product props- every year, they have the opportunity to trick people and get them to try it twice simply by changing the name.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Review- The Red Boat Hotel Stockholm

photo from Venere 
photo from Venere
The best part about The Red Boat Hotel in Stockholm was the location. It was a short, 5-10 minute walk to Gamla Stan, which was perfect for our trip to Stockholm. Parking outside of the hotel was relatively easy, and even free on weekends! I had no problem reaching the hotel via the use of my GPS.  There are actually two different boats you can stay on, the Red Boat and a White Boat.

The Red Boat Hotel was a very unique hotel/hostel, actually located on a boat in the river. It had pretty views while you were outside the boat. However, this is almost where the good things about the hotel ended. The rooms were very small and cramped, in addition to being noisy at night. Our neighbors in the hostel were partying until about 6 AM on the second night of our trip.

Nick and I would not stay at the Red Boat Hotel again. While the price was very low, and the location good, it is not the environment we are looking for. It was interesting to try, and sleep on a boat for the evening, but we would probably not go back or recommend it unless someone is simply looking for a very cheap hostel in a good location.

Oktoberfest in Munich: Part Two

hockey wife
Zack and I outside Oktoberfest!

Everyone lined up to get inside a tent at Oktoberfest!

The four of us inside the beer tent!


Well! I think it is about time for me to catch up with my travels over the past few weeks. So here we are with the rest of the Oktoberfest pictures. At the very top, we have my brother Zack and myself at the entrance to Oktoberfest. We arrived to Munich on Friday night, and spent both Friday and Saturday at Oktoberfest. Both nights we were lucky and able to get into tents right away. You can see in the last picture that many people were not this fortunate- this was the “line” at one of the tents full of people pushing and shoving to get in! 
Of course, Oktoberfest had a ton of great food options. I had to get a pretzel that was as big as my head- delicious! We were on a steady diet of German food and beer all weekend. 
In all, Oktoberfest was a great time! We met and had great conversations with people from all over the world- Japan, Australia, the US, Canada, and most of Europe seemed to be present at Oktoberfest. Attending the real Oktoberfest in Munich was a great time! I am so excited for the (possibility!) of doing it again in the future. It was great to spend some time with my brother, friends, and the new friends we met while at Oktoberfest!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Nicholas Angell

Friday, October 11, 2013

Driving In Sweden

Driving in Sweden…is exactly like playing Mario Kart. Only instead of having to dodge bananas and shells, you are dodging Swedish drivers, traffic cameras, roundabouts, and trees in the middle of the road. Seriously. Cruising along nicely at 110, and then all of a sudden there is a roundabout in the middle of nowhere and you drop down to 50. Or, while driving through a town all of a sudden the road splits because there is a tree in the middle of it.
And Swedish drivers- I will try be nice. I can’t decide what you prefer- riding my ass even though I’m going over the speed limit; or going exactly the speed limit until a passing zone opens up and then not letting anyone pass.
Oh yes, I forgot to mention that on smaller roads there are no traffic lines or striping. It’s like a giant game of Chicken!
The great news is, by the time I return to the US after this year I’ll be the best Mario Kart player of all time!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

How We Met

Nicholas Angell wife
first conversation we ever had
Hi everyone, this is Samantha’s husband Nicholas Angell and I am doing a “guest post” as Samantha has asked me write a little blurb about how she and I met. The story begins on December 30th, 2011 when a young Minnesota High School hockey player named Jack Jablonski was illegally checked from behind during one of his games. The hit caused an injury to his spinal cord and he was paralyzed from the chest down. This was big news to the hockey community that a fellow player was injured. At the time I was playing for the Berlin Eisbären and the news reached us very quickly. Players, coaches and hockey fans from around the world rushed to offer support to Jack. My team chose me as an ambassador from Eisbären to fly to Minnesota and bring with a bunch of signed jerseys, helmets and sticks to give to the newly established Jack Jablonski fund to be sold at auction to help support the ongoing battle that Jack was dealing with.

During my time home I also visited some of my friends and family. One of my good friends was the manager of a very nice restaurant called Seven Sushi and Steakhouse. He asked me to help him with an event for a charity called “Smile Network”. This charity helps kids in developing countries with clef palates. I of course said yes to this. 

What he didn’t tell me was that I was going to be auctioned off at a bachelor auction. So on February 8th, 2012, I went to Seven to be auctioned off. I patiently waited for my turn to get up on stage and have people bid on me and my “date package” which was a couple movie tickets and a dinner at a local restaurant. One lady came up to me who was well…..lets just say not my type, and told me “I’m gonna bid on you tonight”. I was a little concerned with how the bidding was going because our date packages where supposed to be valued at around $300 and the first guy went for $60. Now I had a couple drinks and as I was sitting up there waiting for the embarrassment to begin I noticed this amazingly gorgeous young lady who was working at the restaurant. I quickly asked my friend who that was and my friend told me her name was Samantha. We got introduced and quickly found out that we had a ton in common. Only one problem…. that other lady was going to be bidding on me in a couple minutes, and I might not ever see Samantha again. So I took out my wallet and gave it to her and said “bid on me”. She looked at me kinda funny but I was serious. I had just met this amazing person and now I was going to get auctioned off to someone else. The only thought in my head was “oh hell no”. I gave her the wallet and proceeded to go up on stage; while she then got into a little bit of bidding war. I can’t remember how much I paid but I remember it was the most of any of the bachelors that night. 

After the auction I went to the checkout table and paid for myself and gave Samantha the gift certificates for the date. I let her know that I had to fly back to Berlin the next day but I would love to take her out to dinner when I came back home in a couple months. I let her know that I had worked in a bar when I was in college and I totally understood that she gets hit on all the time by drunken horny assholes and I was not going to be one of those assholes and that she was in no way obligated to go out with me when I came home. We exchanged contact info and I left that bar having felt that I just met the most amazing, wonderful person. It was totally love at first sight and I couldn’t stop talking about her to my friend. We are lucky that a photographer at the event took a picture of us while talking- so we even have a picture from one of our very first conversations!

So that is the story of the first night we met. After that, there were countless e-mails and text messages exchanged until I finally returned home to Minnesota from Berlin- only after winning the championship there- and it was happily ever after from there on out.

An update on Jack Jablonski: The hockey community truly rallied around Jack to support him. Although doctors still believe the chances of him ever walking again are slim to none, his goal- of course- is to skate again, and play the sport he loves so much. After his injury, a foundation called the BEL13VE in Miracles foundation was formed and has since raised over $50,000 to support other athletes and injuries similar to Jack’s. Jack has progressed to the point where he is now able to move his hand, and with assistance has began crawling. For more on the story, check out his website at

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Rosetta Stone Totale

A few weeks ago I purchased Rosetta Stone, levels 1-3 to try learn Swedish. I did this only after giving up on ever getting a personal number and enrolling in SFE (despite having a visa to be here, apparently I am not getting a personal number and thus can’t take the classes I would like to to learn Swedish.)
Rosetta Stone is an online language course that is supposed to help you learn whichever language you choose. I, of course, chose Swedish. Right now I am about halfway through the first course, in which we learn a bunch of basic vocabulary- colors, numbers, he/she, and activities such as eating drinking and sleeping. However, Rosetta Stone teaches like they are teaching a three year old- they show a picture, and you guess the word/saying they want you to guess. This works all fine and dandy for basic vocabulary- but then today I reached a new barrier: vårt, våra, and vår. I understand that each of these words means “our,” but there is a correct time/place to use each of them. Which is singular, plural, etc? This is something I can’t learn just from pictures.
Hopefully if there’s a Swede out there reading this you can help me out! Otherwise, forgive me in the future when I say vårt and should say våra or vår.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Date Night

Nick Angell wife

Yesterday, Nicholas and I took the time to have date night- just the two of us- before he departed on his road trip this morning. We went to a Restaurant Michelangelo, right down the road. We had been there last week and greatly enjoyed it, hoping this week to get the cozy little table by the window. Of course, that was taken- so we went to a table next to the fireplace. I had some of the best beef carpaccio of my life, and Nick enjoyed the green pepper sauce steak.
Couple that with a fire once we arrived home and a glass of champagne for me, and I would call it a great evening! Date nights are something so valuable to us- just time to enjoy each others presence in life and relax for a while. I would highly recommend Michelangelo’s to anyone in Karlskrona or surrounding areas looking for a cozy date night!
-Samantha Angell

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sling Box: A Must-Have

While reading other blogs similar to mine, I’ve noticed several posts about things that we Americans like to pack or have while we are living or working abroad for months at a time. Packing for me was fairly easy- especially since I had the opportunity to go back to the US a month after coming over here and retrieve more things I wanted. 
One of the things that I’ve discovered is very nice to have is a sling box, which allows us to watch American TV and play it over our TV here. The process is fairly simple— you can buy a Sling Box and hook it up to your American cable box. Once its hooked up, all you have to do to watch TV is connect to the internet and you are able to watch TV through the sling player.
Basically, this allows us to keep up with American football (skol Vikings!), the NHL, the news, and any other TV shows we may feel like watching from back home. I would recommend this product to anybody that is living abroad for extended periods of time!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

KHK Game

What a great game for our visitors to see! KHK won 5-0, and Nick got his first goal of the season! It was Joey’s first hockey game ever, and all of their first sporting event in Europe. I think they really enjoyed the game, the atmosphere, the fans, and the team! It was so nice for our visitors to get to see such a great game, and to show them around Karlskrona. After the game, we went to Stars and Stripes for a little while with the team, and then proceeded out for the evening! After the warm hospitality the guys on the team showed our visitors, KHK definitely has a few more life-long fans!
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