Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mexican Inspired Chili

I'll admit, I found this recipe on Pinterest from this site.  I'm labeling this as Vegetarian as well since this would be just as amazingly tasty without the chicken.  Just make sure your beans are vegetarian, but you already know that.


I bought the iPhone 4s last week and have been OBSESSED with Instagram...

It's been gross, rainy, and cold here, so I'm loving that I finally have a slow cooker.  This chili was delicious and has less than 300 calories per serving!!!  I don't know yet how many servings this makes, but I'll have lunch/dinners for the week.  I'm guessing about 8 servings or so.

  • 1 onion, chopped 
  • 1 16-oz can black beans 
  • 1 16-oz can kidney beans 
  • 1 8-oz can tomato sauce 
  • 2 cans of corn
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (less sodium kind)
  • 1 tbsp cumin 
  • 1 tbsp chili powder 
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • chopped fresh cilantro (garnish)

Combine all ingredients, except for chicken and cilantro, in the slow cooker and mix.  Place chicken breasts on top of the mixture, cover, and cook (high for 4 hours then low for 2 hours).  30 minutes before serving, remove chicken, shred, place chicken back in slow cooker, and mix.  Once in bowl, add shopped cilantro on top of chili.  Enjoy!





Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tomato Olive Chicken

I FINALLY bought a slow cooker.  I cannot believe it’s taken me this long…  We have two dogs and both hubs and I are paranoid about the dogs getting into the slow cooker while we are away, so, I made a gutsy move.  I cooked in the slow cooker on Sunday, froze the meal, and reheated on Tuesday.  I was nervous.  Very nervous.  Would it be gross?  Stale? Mushy? Only one way to find out…

Here's what I used...
  • 2 chicken breasts cut in 2” cubes (uncooked)
  • ½ can of chicken broth
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups of sliced, fresh mushrooms
  • ¼ cup of diced onions
  • 1 cup of sliced olives (I bought pitted olives and sliced them myself)
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of brown rice

Directions – put everything into the slow cooker (excluding the rice) cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. 

If you’re eating right away, serve over a bed of brown rice.

If you’re freezing it, once it’s cooked, take the lid off for about an hour to let it cool down.  Once it’s cool enough that it won’t melt your storing container, bag it up and freeze.  I took the bag out of the freezer the morning of the day I was going to cook.  That evening (still mostly frozen), I put the dinner back in the crock pot and cooked again on high for about 1.5 hours.  Served it over the brown rice.  It was DELICIOUS!  And hubs liked it.  So…easy, painless, healthy, AND delicious?  To me…that’s a no-brainer! 

The only thing I would have done differently was freeze in 2 separate bags for 2 different nights or used less ingredients.  We wasted close to half of it because I unfroze it and re-heated it all at once.  Lemme tell you…once you cook something, freeze, re-heat it, you don’t want to re-freeze or store and then re-heat again.  I think food gets only 1 chance at re-heating, after that it gets thrown away. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

27 Reasons to Give Thanks

This year I turned 26, which means this is my 27th Thanksgiving, so I thought…why not right down 27 reasons I have to give thanks.  I could think of way more than this, but these are some of the best ones (in no particular order)…

  1. I’m thankful that I met my best friend when we were 20.  We’ve gotten to grow up together, grow more in love together, and take on the world together. 
  2. I’m thankful that this past April we got to celebrate the love we have for each other in front of 50 of our closest friends and family as they witnessed us make the ultimate commitment to each other.
  3. I’m thankful for the 4 best girlfriends anyone could ever ask for.  You know who you are and I love you!
  4. I’m thankful for Pinterest.
  5. I’m thankful for my camera and lenses and all things photography.
  6. I’m thankful for the color pink.
  7. I’m thankful for the ability to run, dance, and all around move my body.
  8. I’m thankful for Winston and Zona.
  9. I’m thankful for my mom. She is so strong and so brave.  I could not have asked for a better example of a loving, devoted, courageous, graceful woman to be my mom and an example of beauty in every aspect of her life.  She gave me confidence. 
  10. I’m thankful for my dad.  He set a high standard of what to look for in a father, husband, and friend.  He set me up for success.  Gave me the guidance and support when I needed it.  He let me fall when I needed that and was there to pick me right back up.  
  11. I’m thankful for my little brother and all of the fun and strange memories we have over the years.  He’s been my best friend my entire life.  Such a goofball with the biggest heart of gold anyone could have.  I’m constantly learning from him.  He has such a good soul.
  12. I’m thankful for music.
  13. I’m especially thankful for LMFAO’s Party Rock this month.
  14. I’m thankful for skinny jeans.
  15. I’m thankful for my personal trainer that helps me look good in said skinny jeans.
  16. I’m thankful that my husband not only puts up with my quirks, but encourages them. 
  17. I’m thankful for aviator sun glasses.
  18. I’m thankful for Pearl.
  19. I’m thankful for the ability to travel all over to visit our friends and family.
  20. I’m thankful for Starbucks Via.
  21. I’m thankful for my in-laws.  They are kind, loving, and giving.  They accepted me into their family with open arms. 
  22. I’m thankful for my "nephew". -- One of my best friends son...I'm "Auntie Jen"
  23. I’m thankful for blue wigs.
  24. I’m thankful to be living in a free nation.
  25. I’m thankful for the city of Austin.  It’s a pretty cool town.
  26. I’m thankful that I always feel like I’m home when I go back to Arizona and California.
  27. I’m thankful for each new day that I’m given.
What are you thankful for? 

Wedding photos by Session Nine Photographers.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

DIY Love

I love Pinterest.

I love DIY.

I love craftieness.

I love bracelets.

This is what I did today...








What DIY craftieness do you love?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

52WPC: Week 2

Half



I was eating raspberries when I remembered that I still needed to do this week's photo...half. I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to test out my new Macro Lens Adapter from Photojojo as well!


© Jennifer Stamps Photography

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank you!

Thank you to men and women who served and who are currently serving our country.  Thank you to the wives, husbands, parents, and children who support these men and women day in and day out.  Your sacrifice will not go unnoticed.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Happy belated birthday to the United States Marine Corps!  Thank you mom and dad for serving this great country in the USMC! Ooo rah! 

photo from corpsman.com

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Trash the Dress

My latest project...well, one of them! I finished working on my trash the dress session from Arizona a few weeks ago. To view the full post, visit my photography blog; www.jenniferstampsphotography.com!


© Jennifer Stamps Photography

Friday, November 4, 2011

52WPC: Week 1

Colorful


I had a different photo in mind, but when I went to get my camera out of my camera bag, this is what I saw.  My hot pink & green Epiphanie camera bag (CLOVER), my retro pink & orange top hanging up, and my orange & purple tote bag next to my camera bag.  If that's not colorful...I don't know what is! 

© Jennifer Stamps Photography

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Burn baby, burn


Why is it so damn hard for women to burn fat?  The answer: I’m still looking into it, but I know that it’s different from men, and likely at least a little different from woman to woman.  Join me on my fat burner journey?  I’ll site and link my sources as I go along and will not claim that I know anything to be fact.  I’m just a 26 year old who has literally tried everything from boxing to bootcamp, marathon training to personal training, dieting to nutritional appoints bi-weekly.  I lost 50 lbs like it was nobody’s business and am having the hardest time loosing this last 30…What am I doing wrong?!

I started researching.  Google is my new best friend.  “Fat burning tips for women”, “women burn fat”,
burn belly fat”…you get the picture.  I’m going to start documenting my findings here and label them.  I cannot possibly be the only one having a hard time losing weight.  Here is what I found to start with.

Change up the Routine
According to Women’s Health: Your Fat Burning Routine (http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/burn-fat-now) “routine” is the bad word in “workout routine”.   This is something that I’ve kinda known but chose to ignore.  My trainer always says “confuse the muscles”.  Well – what on earth does that even mean?  It means change up your workout.  Here are a few tips mentioned in the article…

Treadmill – “Challenge your muscles. At the end of a workout, slow your speed to 2.5 to 3.5 miles per hour. Skip for 30 seconds, walk for 30; walk backward for 30, forward for 30; stand sideways and shuffle with your right foot leading for 30 seconds, walk for 30, and repeat with left foot leading.”

Elliptical – “Use intervals. During every third song on your MP3 player or every commercial break, ramp up the intensity and go as hard as you can.”

Weight Lifting – “Minimize downtime. Allow 1 minute between sets for maximum burn. You'll keep your heart rate elevated and your metabolism juiced — both helpful calorie-burning boosts.”

Eat to Burn Fat
Since exercise is best accompanied by a good diet, I decided to research some good “fat burning foods”.  I never really realized there were foods that existed that specifically helped you burn fat.  Once again, I’m drawn to Women’s Health, they say fiber is the key.  Their Fat Burning Food List (http://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/ways-to-lose-weight-with-foods-that-burn-fat) lists a few foods that help burn fat.

Berries – raspberries have 8 grams of fiber per cup, blackberries have 7.4 grams of fiber per cup, and blueberries have 3.5 grams per cup…guess who’s buying berries at the store today?!

Turkey – the fewest calories per serving of animal protein and also contain leucine which they say “may play a role in preserving muscle mass during weight loss, keeping metabolism running at full speed.”

Enova Oil – “made from soy and canola oils — is made of diglycerides, a type of fat that's metabolized differently from triglycerides (found in other oils — even olive) and so not stored as fat as easily.”

Peanuts – curbs hunger

Low-fat Yogurt – they say that calcium might help fight fat, this is a good source of calcium.  I am lactose intolerant, so I won’t be indulging, but it makes sense for those who aren’t lactose intolerant

Breakfast Cereal – I’m kind of surprised to see this one.  I was always told high protein for breakfast is the best way to go…they are saying cereal because it’s lower in fat than bacon and eggs and is packed full of fiber. Hmmmm  WH Best Cereals for a Healthy Morning (http://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutrition/the-healthiest-breakfast-cereals)

I’m going to try this and actually document weight, inches, energy.  Will it work?  I sure hope so! 

PS - if you're joining in on the 52WPC (52 week photo challenge), the first photo should be posted by Saturday and linked in the comments on this page.  This week...colorful! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Accountability – or lack there of



So, I’ve been struggling.  I go through phases…

One phase I am completely 100% confident in my body.  I know I’m hot.  I know I’m gorgeous.  I’m absolutely perfect. – so why work at it?  Why work out today? Why shouldn’t I eat that?

Then I go through self-loathing phases where I pinch everything on my body…even my elbows and knees…really?  Really?  And I think – well I’m so far from my goal, why work at it?  Why work out today?  Why shouldn’t I eat that?  Especially since the past year has proven that it doesn’t work…

Generally speaking, I can feel like this multiple times in a month.  Fun times…men, don’t you totally wish you could experience this?!

For the most part, I have a very healthy self-body image and I can honestly say that it is 90% because of my parents that I had it growing up and about 90% because of my husband that I still feel like this as an adult. 

The common theme, however, is why do I have to work at it?  I have especially been struggling with this because I tried it for a year and it didn’t work.  The only time in the past year that I lost weight was a two month period where I was literally too busy to eat regularly…only eating about 900 calories a day those months.  Not exactly the healthiest.  

Part of my problem is…I don’t have any accountability.  I mean seriously…my husband can only help so much.  What is he going to do?  Make me feel guilty about not working out or eating something I shouldn’t?  No!  He’s not stupid.

So, I’m going to try to use this as a means of keeping myself accountable.  I’m not going to promise that I’ll post daily about my food intake or workouts, but I’d like to do it on at least a weekly basis…

I’ve been thinking about joining a gym for the group classes.  I’m really interested in Zumba and hip-hop dance aerobics classes, so I’ll think I’ll look into it.  I’m also going to give Yoga a try since Jenn won’t leave me alone about it keeps encouraging me to try it.  I figure since what I’ve been doing hasn’t helped, maybe something a little less traditional for weight loss might work.

Fingers crossed…

Monday, October 31, 2011

nothing

It’s about time for an update. I’ve been sporadically posting about my health and fitness. You can read details here:


But for those who want it in a nutshell…
I lost tons of weight training for half marathons and eating healthy. Then after about 2 years I stopped losing weight, even though I had about 25 to lose to be “fit” and 40 to lose to be “thin”. I starting seeing a nutritionist and still couldn’t lose the weight. Started different workout regimes and still couldn’t lose weight. So I decided to get blood work done. BOOM you’re all caught up.

After seeing specialists and getting multiple blood/urine tests, the results came back negative. On everything. Nothing is wrong with me.

Nothing.

The good news is…nothing is wrong with me.

The bad news is…nothing is wrong with me, so the lack of weight loss cannot be blamed on anything else but my own self.

That’s frustrating as hell.

Seriously.

It sucks.

So my plan A stopped working, plan B and C never really worked. Plan D fell through. I have no idea what else to do.

I refuse to believe that I’m going to be 25-35 lbs overweight for the rest of my life. How is that fair?

I’m thinking about yoga. Anyone have any good weight loss results with yoga? Anything I might be missing?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Not Quite Wordless Wednesday

All photos from my phone.


We are going to Arizona this weekend for the ASU homecoming game and what was SUPPOSED to be the Suns home opener.  Damn strike...


On our way to Germany for our honeymoon, we had a layover in Jersey.  Saw this store.  Thought it was hilarious.  Didn't know "America" has an exclamation point!


Winston's favorite spot.


Zona, a few weeks after we adopted her. She still doesn't understand the "No dogs in the kitchen while mom is cooking" concept... 


Currently on the "hopefully by summer" wish list...I want this camera so badly!

Monday, October 24, 2011

52WPC

I’m going to try something. I might fail epically at it, but it’s something I’ve wanted to try for a while. I’m going to try a 52 Week Photo Challenge. I feel like the word challenge is used very appropriately here, because this will be a challenge. Taking photos comes naturally to me. I take at least one photo every day. Maybe with my phone, point and shoot, or my DSLR, but I take photos all – the – time. This is going to be a challenge, because there are topics for each week. And I’d like to keep it creative and make myself take a new photo for each topic.  No cheating.  Can't use a photo I took in the past.  I didn’t want to wait for the New Year, so I have it starting the first week of November. I will post a photo by Saturday of each week both here and on Flickr.

I researched a bunch of challenges and found a few I liked. I combined their topics, deleted the ones I didn’t like, added a few I thought should be added and randomly sorted them and assigned a “due date”(with exception of: love, spring, summer, fall, and winter – those are strategically placed.)

If you’d like to join me, by all means, use the topics. If you do join me, let me know! I’d love to post a link to your blog so people can enjoy them too! http://runjenhrun.blogspot.com/p/52wpc.html

11/5 - Colorful
11/12 - Half
11/19 - Peaceful
11/26 - Relection
12/3 - Simple
12/10 - Rural
12/17 - Pink
12/24 - Alter Ego
12/31 - Joy
1/7 - Winter
1/14 - Person
1/21 - Purple
1/28 - Self
2/4 - Shoe
2/11 - Sign
2/18 - Shadow
2/25 - Down Low
3/3 - Curves
3/10 - Cloud
3/17 - Fly
3/24 - Spring
3/31 - Green
4/7 - Nature
4/14 - New
4/21 - Red
4/28 - Love
5/5 - Black
5/12 - Beauty
5/19 - Yellow
5/29 - Vibrant
6/2 - Urban
6/9 - Water
6/16 - Orange
6/23 - Surprise
6/30 - Tracks
7/7 - Technology
7/14 - Summer
7/21 - Small
7/28 - Old
8/4 - Happiness
8/11 - Book
8/18 - Blue
8/25 - Stile
9/1 - Health
9/8 - Macro
9/15 - Open
9/22 - White
9/29 - Game
10/6 - Sweet
10/13 - Fall
10/20 - Up High
10/27 - Texture 

Friday, October 21, 2011

So Not Ready

If you follow me on Twitter, then you know we recently adopted another dog.  We named her Zona.  She's a rottweiler that was formerly used as a breeder but will be living the rest of her days in our home as a member of our family!  She is such a sweetheart (honestly, she is one of the sweetest dogs I've ever come across).  In fact, if she wasn't such a docile sweetie, we would not have been able to keep her, because Winston (our other adopted dog of 5 years) is a little neurotic...he needs a sweet, submissive, calm dog to balance him out.  They really are a perfect pair.  She brings out a fun playful side of him that we don't see often (because he has a friend to play with) and he is helping to show her the ropes of being an indoor dog and member of a family! 

I bring up the fact that she's a sweetheart, because she's not the brightest crayon in the box.  Sweet - yes, smart - not so much.  That might sound mean, but it's kinda true.  If she were a person you'd say "It's a good thing you're pretty." ;)

She is just a reminder that we are so not ready to have human babies.  Not only are two large dogs (Zona is 60lbs and Winston is 75lbs) a lot of work, but she gets into everything.   

On Wednesday we caught her eating glass.  Yes, glass.  Not grass...GLASS!  We broke a bottle on our tile floor over the weekend.  When glass shatters it travels...far!  I thought I got it all after mopping and sweeping, but she managed to find a rather large piece and proceeded to chew on the piece until we took it from her.  Thankfully she didn't cut herself...but glass?  Really?

Thursday afternoon she walked through the screen door...twice.  The first time she ran straight into it after I opened the glass door (thank goodness she waited until I opened that one), then ran right through it.  The next time she poked her head through the bottom corner until the wheels came off the track then proceeded to walk through it until the entire door fell off...again.

Then later that night, she managed to get herself all tangled up in speaker wires.  I'm not even sure how she did that.  They are wrapped around the base of the speaker and tucked under the sofa so there are no lose wires.  I think she gets into things just to see if we'll notice.  

I'm pretty sure if I brought a kid into the ER for chewing glass, splitting his head open on a door, or strangling himself on wires I'd be taken out of the running for "mom of the year award".  So, for now, it's a pleasant reminder to enjoy this stage of our lives for at least a few more years, because I'm so not ready for the next stage.


Winston (left) and Zona (right)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Holiday Photos


It just wanted to make a quick post about holiday photos. If you are looking to get your family photos done in time for holiday or New Year’s cards…NOW is the time to do it! I have a few more weekends left open:

November 6, 11, or 12
December 10 or 11

I am based in Austin, Texas but have been known to travel a little for photo sessions! I am currently having a special on my rates:

Mini Lifestyle Session – $85
Ideal for individuals, head shots, and senior photos. Limited to 1 or 2 people.
Session includes:
  • 30 minute session in a natural light location 
  • Pre photo shoot consultation via phone, email, or in person 
  • Hours of custom photo editing 
  • A disc of all the edited photos with the digital rights to print

Full Lifestyle Session – $150
Ideal for families, couples, newborns, and children.
Session includes:
  • 60 minute session in a natural light location 
  • Pre photo shoot consultation via phone, email, or in person 
  • Hours of custom photo editing 
  • A disc of all the edited photos with the digital rights to print

Prices listed are for photo sessions in the Austin, Texas area. I am available for hire outside the Austin area; additional fees may apply for travel.

Contact me if you’re interested! jenniferstampsphotography [at] gmail [dot] com.


© Jennifer Stamps Photography

Thursday, October 13, 2011

things I love: new lens

A few weeks ago I bought this bad boy; I'm in love with it.





My brand new Canon 50m F/1.4 lens! 

Monday, October 10, 2011

weekend in dallas

My husband and I went up to Dallas this past weekend for the Texas/Oklahoma games (yikes!). If you're a fan or even semi pay attention to college football, you know that it was bad, like really bad. Not much of a game, more like a punishment, but I digress... 

While we were there, we made plans to see our good friends and have a photo shoot. The original plan was to go to a pumpkin patch or park to take photos, but due to the insane amount of rain, our plans changed slightly.  We met up with my friend (her poor husband was sick, so he didn't join us), her son, and her mom for some fun indoor photos!









For more photos, visit the post on my portfolio.

© Jennifer Stamps Photography

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

newport beach

For those who know me, know that I love to travel! This past weekend, my husband and I made a quick trip (and I mean seriously quick) to Los Angeles. I grew up in Southern California, so it’s always nice to go back. While we were there for the 2 days, we managed to make a pit stop at Newport Beach. Of course, I pulled out the camera. It was such a beautiful day. I think it was something like 80 or 85 which is perfect to me (still triple digits in Austin!). 


.

View more photos from my LA trip: http://jenniferstampsphotography.com/2011/10/03/newport-beach/

© Jennifer Stamps Photography
 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

been there - a guest post

I (Jen with 1 ‘n’) recently went on my honeymoon and of course brought the PassingLEFT Austin shirts. I have loved all of the posts on where the shirts are being shipped and enjoyed seeing all of the different posts on the Facebook album Faces, Places, and Races. I thought it would be really cool to share with everyone where these shirts have been!

My husband and I started in Munich, Germany and road tripped to Strasburg and Reims in France, then to Spa and Liege in Belgium, and then to Nurburgring and back to Frankfurt, Germany. So technically, since the shirts were in my suitcase, they went to all those places. But I have some photos to prove it.

This is just a snippet of my guest post on PassingLEFT's blog today. To read more and see a photo of the speedometer while I was driving on the Autobahn, check out the post on their site here: http://passingleft.com/been-there

 While you're at it, you can check out some of their awesome shirts!  I know you runners and cyclists would LOVE their gear!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tis the Season


I updated my design portfolio with some fun Holiday Card designs that are available on Etsy!  Here are a few of my designs.  Definitely more to come! 



 



© Adrinah Design


Friday, September 23, 2011

test tomorrow

So, a few weeks ago I posted two different times writing about my frustrations in losing the rest of this weight.  After discussing with my nutritionist and doctor, they both agreed on having me take a list of blood tests.  Well, tomorrow is test time.  I've sort of forgotten about it.  A little because I didn't want to dwell over it for 6 weeks and a little because I've just been too busy to think about anything like this.

I'm supposed to go in having not eaten anything, so it was recommended to go in first this in the morning.  This stresses me out a little bit because my veins are difficult to find if I'm not very hydrated.  How can you be very hydrated first thing in the morning?  I'm going to drink tons and tons of water tonight so hopefully that will help.

After talking with a girl friend and researching it a little bit, my thyroid is likely 100% to blame for everything going on with me.  Who knew that it controlled so much of your body?! Seriously!  I think I have hypothyroidism which would explain many, many things: cold all the time, difficulty losing weight, being tired all the time, and all the aches I've been getting in my joints (mainly my knees).  So, I researched treatments for it.  Luckily, they have them and thankfully, they seem relatively easy.  Just a pill.  That simple.  The hard part is finding the right dosage, I guess.  Yay for guessing games!

Anyways...I'm getting a little ahead of myself.  I haven't even taken the test yet, let alone received the results.  I'm honestly just hoping that it is something and that the something is really easy to fix.  I'd hate to think that I've put all of this time, effort, energy, and money to realize that this is as good as it gets.  I refuse to believe it.


Friday, September 16, 2011

honeymoon

Sorry it's taken me so long to post this.  As you can imagine, after taking 10 days off from every day life, it takes a bit of time to catch back up.

Our honeymoon was AMAZING!  Despite the worst night-before-traveling-to-a-foreign-country anyone could ever experience, once we got off the ground it was perfect!

For starters...we were supposed to leave from Austin to Newark at 6am on Saturday, August 20 - meaning we were supposed to leave our house at 4am (cab already ordered).  At 9pm Friday night hubs got an email from AIRLINE WE'LL NEVER FLY AGAIN (AWNFA) saying "Your flight from Austin to Newark leaving at 6am CST has been canceled." That's it.  Nothing else.  No "it's been delayed, we'll put you on a later flight" or "we've refunded your card so you can book a different flight" or "we are working with A-BETTER-AIRLINE to put you on a similar flight"...nothing.

So naturally, hubs calls AWNFA trying to sort it out.  After all, that was just ONE leg of our international flight.  Of course AWNFA is bombarded with calls "We are experiencing a high volume of calls.  If you would like a service rep to call you back in order of when we received the calls, leave your phone number."  So he does.  Mean while I call on my phone (I don't trust those call back things).  I actually get a wait time of 120 minutes.  Wow.  After about 3 hours of being on hold and waiting for the call back, we finally get a hold of someone who straightens out our situation.  We were booked on a leg a flights: Austin to Houston to Newark to Frankfurt to Munich.  We finally got to be around 12:30am Saturday morning and set our alarm for 3:00, but whatever we got it figured out.  I felt awful for the people who didn't find this out until they got to the airport...I would have lost it.

So...the fun part began!  We were going on a 10 day road trip to 3 countries.  The rest of the post will be mostly photos.  Enjoy!

Double decker plane (PS this was NOT the AWNFA -- promise!  Lufthansa was wonderful.)  

 We had enough AMEX points to be upgraded to business class and were served free booze...champagne before the flight! 

Frankfurt Airport...one of my faves!  It looks like a train station.

Munich, Germany
 BMW Museum in Munich

 Munich

This photo almost got me thrown in German prison.  This is the US Consulate so naturally I wanted to take a photo of the American flag.  The German officer assumed I was trying to take a photo of the building for sinister reasons.  So he stopped me with his machine gun and asked to see the photo.  Thankfully he let me keep it and I didn't get in trouble.  Scared the living $%^& out of me though. 






 Beer and pretzel at the Hofbrauhaus (not exactly gluten free, but whatever)



Strasbourg, France

 









Reims, France

Champagne vineyards. 

Old race track on the side of the road.  








Spa, Belgium (The Formula 1 Race!)