Life Update!

Siblings

{Siblings at the Grandparents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary Party}

What a whirlwind last few weeks! I got back to Germany from Normandy on August 11th and left for the USA on the 14th. I landed in D.C. Thursday night (14th) and spent 48 hours in D.C. celebrating my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary! On Sunday, my Dad drove 14 hours straight back to Michigan. After a hectic weekend, I’ve spent the last few days decompressing in Traverse City…relaxing, cleaning, indulging in my favorite foods, and sleeping! I’ve been super lacking on blogging lately so my apologizes. I’m finding that I have little motivation to blog until I have my new site established! Stay tuned :) Here’s a quick life update:

1) I received another internship opportunity at the US Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria. Obviously, I already accepted the internship in Zagreb but maybe some other time in the future?

2) Currently reading A Higher Call. Really good and I highly recommend it. My Dad told me about it and I can’t stop reading it :) If you’re a history buff interested in WWII and the various perspectives, I would suggest you buy this book.

3) Isn’t this a cool article about names? I especially love the part about how females with male names are more likely to get promotions. I always knew Jordan was a good name to have! ;)

4) My new site is launching SO SOON! Gosh, who knew that there were so many moving parts!

5) I love being a millennial.

6) Currently eating Moomers Ice Cream. Voted the best ice cream in all the USA and it is less than a mile from my house!

7) I have a new apartment in Heidelberg and I love it already :) I move in when I get back and I couldn’t be more excited!

8) Off to the Microbrew & Music Festival this weekend with my parents and sisters. 200+ types of beer PLUS Brandi Carlile is performing? My favorites.

9) I started my first coding class a few days ago and absolutely love it already! Super math-y so my type of field :)

10) Some of my friends from grad school are visiting over Labor Day! Yayyyy!

Life’s pretty good right now, isn’t it?

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Weekly Wishes No. 28

Weekly Wishes No. 28

I just arrived in Normandy, France yesterday for a week long vacation (yes, I know…wasn’t I just on vacation last week?!). I planned this trip with my friend, Natalie, in April and we are totally in love with this area. I traveled here a few years ago with my family (see above picture of Honfleur) and consider this region one of my favorite parts of Europe. My parents actually got engaged in Honfleur!

What a wonderful month July was for me! Germany won the World Cup, I threw an awesome 4th of July party, I rocked my final exams, and I visited Prague, Bratislava, and Budapest :) Also, remember that internship I applied for in early July? Well, I didn’t want to mention what is was in case I didn’t receive it but I can officially confirm that I’ll be interning for the US State Department as a Political intern at the US Embassy in Zagreb, Croatia next spring. I LOVE Zagreb and it will be exciting to live in the country where my mother’s ancestors lived 100 years ago.

I’m off to enjoy Normandy! Natalie and I are staying in an old chateau from the 1860s/1870s right on Juno Beach. We literally woke up this morning listening to the waves hitting the shore. As I write this, I’m in bed watching the sailboats go by our beach :) The balcony is amazing and we had tea and cake on it this afternoon. Also, the breakfast was HEAVENLY this morning. Fresh croissants, hand-pressed orange juice, recently-made jams. We spend the afternoon laying on the beach and reading. Ughhh, I don’t think we are ever going to leave this place!

Next week I head back to the USA for 6 weeks. Can’t wait to see my family! I hope everyone has a wonderful August and enjoys lots of family time :)

LAST MONTH’S WISHES:

I got my inbox from 5,000 emails down to ZERO. Gosh, that feels so good. Also, my Dad introduced me to the awesome email program Todoist (I highly recommend it for organizing your inbox/life). I finally caught up on all my Snail Mail and sent them all out late last week. Lastly, I studied my butt off for final exams and rocked them!

GOALS FOR THIS MONTH:

1) Finally unveil my new blog! Everything is almost done! Now just trying to pull it all together :) I’m so excited!

2) Start learning HTML/CSS. I want to be able to make simple blog changes by myself :)

3) Schedule posts and stay up-to-date. It is always an endless cycle of never being caught up. I’m still about 3-4 blog posts behind.

4) Start figuring out what I’m going to do when I graduate from grad school. PhD? Law School? Business School? Work? Teach English? Get another Master’s? So many options. But too many options is much better than too few options!

5) Work on term papers. Yucky, but it must get done!

6) Relax and enjoy my time home in Traverse City, Michigan. There is nothing better than summertime in northern Michigan.

The Nectar Collective
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Favorite Media Moments from the World Cup

Favorite Media Moments

I thought it was only appropriate to recap some of my favorite moments of the World Cup through the media. Enjoy! And let me know if I missed any of your favorites :)

{The World Cup isn’t complete without this amazing segment by John Oliver. Worth the 14 minutes!}

World Cup Meme

{Best meme after Germany destroyed Brazil 7-1}

The semi-final match between Germany and Brazil set many new records including:

  • The largest margin of victory ever in a World Cup semi-final match
  • Germany overtaking Brazil for the most goals in World Cup history (Germany: 223, Brazil: 221)
  • Miroslav Klose scored his 16th World Cup goal, making him the World Cup’s all-time goalscorer
  • Brazil ended its 62-match unbeaten streak when at home (a record since 1975!)
  • The worst loss by a host country
  • Fastest 4 goals ever scored in World Cup history (4 in 6 minutes)
  • 4th straight semi-final match for Germany (reached the semi-finals in 2002, 2006, and 2010 as well)
  • Toni Kroos scored the fastest back-to-back goals (in 69 seconds!) in World Cup history
  • Thomas Mueller scored the German national team’s 2000th goal
  • Miroslav Klose became the only player to ever play in 4 World Cup semi-final matches
  • This was the most watched TV broadcast ever on the ZDF (main TV station in Germany) with 32.57 million viewers (that’s about a third of Germany’s population!)
  • This was the most discussed sports event ever on Twitter with over 35.6 million tweets. I contributed about 10-20 of those tweets :)
  • After the match, German fans were escorted out of the stadium by police due to fear of riots or violence towards them!

These are the best photos of the World Cup Final: CLICK HERE

World Cup

{Manuel Neuer hoisting the World Cup!}

Merkel and Gauck

{Best photo of German Chancellor Merkel and German President Gauck with the VICTORS!}

Khedira's Selfie

{Sami Khedira’s selfie with Merkel and Gauck!}

Podolski 2

{Bastian Schweinsteiger kissing Lukas Podolski in a selfie after the World Cup win! Best buddies!}

Podolski

{Podolski’s selfie with Merkel…so adorable!}

{Celebrations in Berlin after Germany won the WORLD CUP!}

Best photos of the celebrations in Berlin after the team arrived back in Germany: CLICK HERE

Interesting newspaper articles:

Guys, I’m sure I’m missing about a million more hilarious photos, videos, tweets, etc. but enjoy this small recap of the World Cup and let me know if I overlooked any of your favorites :)

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Deutschland – World Cup Champions!!!!!

World Cup

I must admit, I started writing this over 3 weeks and haven’t had the heart to post it. I figured that the longer I waited to post this, the longer I had to continue celebrating Germany’s win!

My Dad asked me, “What was it like when Germany won?” and to be honest, I didn’t (and still don’t) have adequate words to describe it. Even though I’m only German by heritage, I felt this immense sense of pride for this amazing country. Standing alongside my German friends, I felt like a really proud German. I still see a few German flags flying and every time I see one I think, “We won the World Cup!” Still such a surreal moment for me.

The whole month-long World Cup was one of those cultural moments I’ll never forget. How lucky I was to be living in Germany!!! Admittedly, I rooted for Germany every game…except when they played the USA! Even though the USA lost, both Germans and Americans were cheering after the game ended because we were both advancing to the knockout stage

Germany won the World Cup with an impressive record: 6 wins, 1 draw, and 0 losses. Plus, who could forget the semi-final match between Germany and Brazil…in which Germany annihilated Brazil! I was watching the game with my friend, Maren, and at one point, we thought they were showing replays! That’s how quickly Germany was scoring goals (something like 4 goals in 6 minutes. What?!?!)

There are so many memorable moments from this World Cup. Watching Germany vs. Portugal at the student mensa (mensa = student cafeteria but also sort of like a student union in Heidelberg) with hundreds of Germans! Friendly bantering and a pre-game before the Germany vs. USA game. Celebrating the 4th of July as Germany played France (so many countries!). Germany destroying Brazil in one of the worst defeats ever. Goetze scoring the winning goal in extra time with 7 minutes left. I really can’t pick a favorite moment because the whole experience, the whole atmosphere, is truly something I’ll never forget. AUF GEHT’S DEUTSCHLAND!!!

Germany vs. Portugal:

World Cup

{and so begins the World Cup…with beers in hand!}

Germany vs. USA:

World Cup

{Americans and Germans…still friends!}

World Cup

{USA! USA! USA!}

World Cup

{‘MURICA!}

World Cup

{We’re so cute!}

Germany vs. France:

World Cup

{selfie!}

World Cup

{Go Germany! Happy Birthday USA!}

World Cup

{CELEBRATIONS!}

World Cup

{We’re so happy!}

Germany vs. Brazil:

World Cup

{My favorite World Cup picture with my Maren!}

World Cup

Germany vs. Argentina:

World Cup

{Before the game}

World Cup

{After we won! So excited I couldn’t keep the camera steady!}

World Cup

{Marry me, Neuer? Please? Pretty Please? With a cherry on top?}

World Cup

{WELTMEISTER! WORLD CHAMPIONS!}

World Cup

{SCHLAND!!!!!!!!}

World Cup

{Bar: Completely packed 3 hours prior to the start of the game}

World Cup

{The streets of Heidelberg partied until 8:00 am}

World Cup

{Dance party in the streets of Heidelberg!}

Aftermath of World Cup Win! from Jordan Wagner on Vimeo.

Please excuse the camera awkwardness/me not knowing how to work it. My iPhone camera doesn’t work and I was using my actual camera (gasp!) and couldn’t figure out how to take videos! haha

Keep an eye out for a second post on the World Cup in which I share my favorite media moments from this year’s World Cup!

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4th of July

4th of July

My friends joke that I will use any excuse to have a celebration. I love celebrating everything…from the small, insignificant events in life to patriotic holidays! There is nothing I love more than red, white, blue, and stripes (which is evident from my wardrobe and overabundance of striped shirts…my last count was around 20!)

I decided to host a 4th of July party this year and my wonderful mom sent me a huge box of patriotic items! She included plates, napkins, flags, wall hangings, star necklaces, bracelets, and an assortment of other USA items. I’m not ashamed to admit that I wore every single clothing item she sent me!

It was great to get my friends together to celebrate this holiday. About half of us were American and the other half hailed from Canada, other European countries, Asia, and of course, the token Brit. Because the 4th of July wouldn’t be complete if there wasn’t a Brit there to make fun of throughout the day. He said that it only took me a minute and 13 seconds to make my first “the USA beat British” joke. haha!

It was potluck style and we had so much yummy food! Apple pie, cake, BBQ chicken, hot dogs, watermelon, fruit salad, chips, etc. I might have slightly overestimated how much everyone could eat because I bought 48 hot dogs for about 15 people!

Thanks to all my wonderful friends who showed up to celebrate this holiday with me! :)

4th of July

{We stuck this flag in the cake and sang “Happy Birthday” to the USA}

4th of July

{How awesome is my mom and all her amazing finds for me?!}

4th of July 4th of July

{The napkins were my favorite//Pretty patriotic banner}

4th of July

4th of July

{I made that cake! So proud of myself!}

4th of July

{Ummm, anyone want a hot dog?}

4th of July

{This watermelon (which may or may not have been spiked with vodka) was a hit!}

4th of July

{Best leggings!}

4th of July

{Friends having fun!}

4th of July

{The guys}

4th of July

{My girls}

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Prague and Bratislava and Budapest, oh my!

I just got back from 12 days in Prague, Bratislava, and Budapest. I spent two days sightseeing in Prague and then attended a conference in the city for six days (more on that later!). After the conference finished, I headed down to Bratislava for two days and Budapest for another two days.

Prague was historical and charming. Bratislava was unexpected and a wonderful surprise. Budapest blew me away. Of the three cities, I can’t wait to travel back to Budapest. I feel like I only skimmed the surface of Budapest…there is so much more I want to do there!!!

Exams ended and I did really well on both of them (yay!). It feels like such a relief to have them done and over. I can’t believe I head back to the USA for my semester break in two weeks. In the meantime, I leave for Normandy, France on Monday for a week. Normandy is my favorite region in all of Europe. Charming, historical, quaint…everything about it is just stunning. I can’t wait to go photograph-crazy in the region!

Until I get around to posting about Prague, Bratislava, and Budapest individually (I’ve really been slacking lately with my blogging), enjoy a few snapshots of each city!

Also, where did July go? Didn’t we just celebrate July 4th?! I can’t believe it is August 1st this Friday!

Prague

{Prague}

Prague

{Prague}

Prague

{Charles Bridge in Prague}

Bratislava

{Castle in Bratislava}

Bratislava

{Danube River and Devin Castle in Bratislava}

Budapest

{Parliament building in Budapest}

Budapest

{Budapest}

Budapest

{Parliament Building in Budapest. Truly stunning. I’m such a PoliSci nerd!}

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Weekly Wishes No. 27

20140721-191111-69071987.jpg

I’m in Prague right now and it is so so so wonderful! Today I listened to a lecture by the Pakistani Ambassador to the Czech Republic (and even got a picture with him)! He was really fascinating and it was very interesting to hear about foreign affairs from another perspective.

I came a few days early to explore Prague and had the wonderful opportunity to meet up with a friend from Wash U. I’m here in Prague until Friday and then leave for Bratislava. On Sunday, I travel from Bratislava to Budapest until Tuesday. On Monday there is the Budapest Formula 1 race. I’m tempted to go watch the practice laps on Sunday :) I would go to the race on Monday but have already planned to spend about 5 hours at one of the thermal spas!

LAST WEEK’S WISHES:

I totally rocked my exams, guys! I didn’t get my one grade back but I got the grade for my other exam and did really well :))))) I’m officially done with grad school classes. All that’s left is my thesis! Did I mention I have my thesis adviser and second reader?! Yay!!!!

I wrote one blog post but never finished the other one. I can’t wait to upload posts on Prague. This city is pretty gorgeous!

Also, seriously slacking on snail mail!

GOALS FOR THIS WEEK:

1) Relax. I’m really bad at relaxing. I just want to take time to read books for fun and enjoy myself in Eastern Europe.

2) Work on blog stuff. I’m hoping to launch my new site within the next month or 6 weeks!

3) Write Snail Mail!

The Nectar Collective
 Connect with me: Bloglovin’ / Instagram / Twitter

Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium

After a wonderful 2 days in Ghent and Bruges, I headed into Brussels for my final 2 days! While there, I stayed with Charlotte, a foreign exchange student from my high school. I hadn’t seen Charlotte for probably 6 or 7 years so it was great meeting up with her! She had to work most of the weekend which gave me the opportunity to explore Brussels. It is a pretty confined city so it is easy to get (almost) everywhere on foot.

Besides just walking around and getting a feel of Brussels on my first day, I also attended an event put on by Brussels Food Friends. When I initially planned my trip to Brussels, I reached out to Annie from Montgomery Fest. I’ve mentioned this in a previous post but she runs an amazing blog and was absolutely the sweetest. I’m so glad I saw her when I did because she is moving to San Francisco really soon! I feel like I might need to go out there to visit her :) We just hit. it. off. As she explained in her blog post, there were lots of “oh my gosh…me too!” We realized we have a mutual love of J.Crew and follow many of the same blogs. I don’t think her husband was as excited over our random excitement but he was too sweet to actually say anything :)

Annie told me about the Brussels Food Friends meet-up and invited me to come along. Although I don’t really talk about food on my blog, I do love eating food! We had a wonderful speaker and lots of yummy food! It was a well-spent afternoon :)

Of all the things I did in Brussels, my favorite thing was seeing the European Union (well, the European Parliament European Commision) and going through the museum! I’m such a political science nerd so things like that really geek me out :) I’ve taken a class on the EU at a uni in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Germany so I’ve been exposed to so many different perspectives and opinions. If you go to Brussels, I would definitely recommend visiting the museum. It is open every day of the week and is fantastic! Probably one of the best museums I’ve ever visited :) It is totally interactive, well laid-out, and keeps you very engaged. I spent about 2.5 hours in the museum and could have easily spent another hour or two there.

Thanks for an awesome end to my weekend, Brussels! Enjoy the pictures below : )

Brussels, Belgium

{city center}

Brussels, Belgium

{Town Hall}

Brussels, Belgium

{Town Hall}

Brussels, Belgium

{Grand Place}

Brussels, Belgium

{Mannekin Pis}

Brussels, Belgium

{The girl version of the peeing man…dressed in Belgian colors!}

Brussels, Belgium

{Waffle truck at the Brussel Food Friends’ event}

Brussels, Belgium

{Annie and I}

Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium

{Street in front of the Royal Palace}

Brussels, Belgium

{Embassy row}

Brussels, Belgium

{oh hey, USA! Not pictured, the intense security to the right}

Brussels, Belgium

{Federal Parliament}

Brussels, Belgium

{Federal Parliament}

Brussels, Belgium

{Reminded me of The Sound of Music}

Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium

{Royal Park}

Brussels, Belgium

{Gates of the Royal Palace}

Brussels, Belgium

{The Royal Palace…although the Royal Family doesn’t actually live here}

Brussels, Belgium

{Belgium museum center}

Brussels, Belgium

{Main museum square}

Brussels, Belgium

{Pretty city gardens}

Brussels, Belgium

{Tram for Belgium? or for Germany?}

Brussels, Belgium Brussels, Belgium

{Charlotte!}

Brussels, Belgium

{a night out}

Brussels, Belgium

{Let’s go here Dad!}

Brussels, Belgium

{WWI and WWII memorial}

Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium

{awkward selfies}

Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium

{European Union!}

Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium

{European Parliament}

Brussels, Belgium

{so awesome!}

Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium

{EU Museum}

Brussels, Belgium

{Giant map of Europe. You rolled the podiums over different circles/cities and they showed you videos!}

Brussels, Belgium

{European Commission}

Brussels, Belgium

{Antoine’s fries. Huge line but worth the wait!}

Brussels, Belgium

{Belgium vs. Russia World Cup game. Belgium won!}

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Weekly Wishes No. 26 (World Cup Champions!)

Deutschland

As I write this post, it still feels surreal that Germany won the World Cup last night! I think I fell asleep around 2:30 am last night to the sounds of horns, music, cheers, and songs in the streets of Heidelberg, Germany. I remember thinking before I left for Germany in Septmeber, Wouldn’t it be cool if Germany won the World Cup while I was living there? I mean, I knew the chance was slim considering that Germany was 1 of 32 teams in the World Cup. But against all odds, I erupted in cheers after the 120th minute last night and celebrated with Germany as they won their 4th World Cup championship. What an amazing amazing amazing experience. Truly one of those moments in my life I’ll never forget.

I watched the game at a bar last night but if you want the see the reaction of Germany winning at my university’s public viewing, click here: World Cup Reaction!

LAST WEEK’S WISHES:

I finished 2 out of the 4 blog posts I wanted to upload (with another one almost finished)! Furthermore, I got my inbox completely to zero and have been studying my butt off for exams. I have an exam tomorrow and one on Friday…then I’m done for the semester! woohoo!

Definitely slacked on replying back to all my Snail Mail but hoping to get that done this week :)

GOALS FOR THIS WEEK:

1) Upload the other 2 blog posts and get the rest of my blog posts ready for when I’m gone for almost 2 weeks at the end of this month!

2) Send all my Snail Mail before I leave

3) ROCK MY EXAMS!

The Nectar Collective
I’m off to Prague on Friday for a week. I’m headed to my first international conference on political science, diplomacy, and international relations so I’m super excited! Once the conference is over, I decided to spend a few extra days exploring Eastern Europe. I’ll be in Bratislava, Slovakia for 2 days and Budapest, Hungary for 2 days. I’m super excited to visit these three countries…especially because I haven’t been to any of them before! As always, suggestions on what to do in Prague, Bratislava, and Budapest are greatly appreciated :)

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Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

IN BRUGES.

Have you seen that movie? It’s one of my favorites. I remember seeing it when it first came out and being mesmerized by the haunting, sinister architecture of Bruges.

Contrary to the film, Bruges is an absolutely charming and adorable city! I wished I had had at least another day or two in the city. I think I would have skipped a day in Brussels and stayed in Bruges. I had some wonderful recommendations from my good friend Diana including this bar (De Garre), which is a hole-in-the-wall bar at the end of an alley. The beer is 11.5% so they cut you off after 3 drinks…and trust me, you don’t want 3 drinks…you’re feeling it after the first one!

I could go on and on about how much I loved Bruges but I think the photos speak for themselves. Sorry for the excessive amount of photos but really, how do you par down the number of photos to post when you have a city this beautiful?!

Also, next time I come back to this city, I’m bringing my Dad and we’re doing a beer tour of Bruges and then a beer tour of the entire country. Prepare yourself, Dad!

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

{These pastel colors. Killing me!}

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

{Beguinage. For more information: see here}

Bruges, Belgium

{I’m a creepier but this photo was just too gorgeous not to take!}

Bruges, Belgium

{Michelangelo’s Madonna. One of the few outside of Italy!}

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

{They were amazing and I have so many videos of them!}

Bruges, Belgium

{The Belfry}

Bruges, Belgium

{The Belfry was a main feature of the movie In Bruges}

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

{Diamond Museum. Waiting to go back with Papa Swag}

Bruges, Belgium

{Chocolate Museum. Super underwhelming!}

Bruges, Belgium

{Just for you Mom and Grandma. Seriously, loving this green color}

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

{That vial is said to contain the blood of Jesus Christ. Amazing!}

Bruges, Belgium

{De Halve Maan Brewery. The only family brewery left in Bruges. Founded in 1546.}

Bruges, Belgium

{View from the top of the brewery}

Bruges, Belgium

{One of two pictures of me in Bruges}

Bruges, Belgium

{View from the other side of the roof}

Bruges, Belgium

{Beer Beer Beer. Bar at De Halve Maan Brewery. Super cool.}

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

{Flags everywhere!}

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

{Belgian Waffles. Done super touristy.}

Bruges, Belgium

{I was so happy. Best waffle in all of Belgium.}

Bruges, Belgium

{Yum yum yum.}

Bruges, Belgium

{Beer. All day. Every day.}

Bruges, Belgium

{Cafe Vlissinghe. Oldest bar in Bruges. Celebrates 500 years next year!}

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