Entertainment Roundup…. Sommernachtstraum

On July 25th Munichmom enjoyed a full day and night of food, drinks(mojitos in particular)a fantastic fireworks show, and lots of great live music at Sommernachtstraum. The event to place at Olympia park. We covered the event as press and was able to be front stage for all of the acts. Of course Billy Idol was our favorite,  but Revolverheld definitely impressed us too!! There was lots of singing off-key, and flower child hippie dancing done by me and I am not afraid to admit it 😉 If you did not get a chance to be there in person, please feel free to live vicariously through the awesome photos brought to you by friend of the blog, Robin Keller of Robin Keller photography( http://www.robinkellerphotography.com)

Enjoy!!

 

The best brunch experience in Munich at The Charles Hotel

If you have been reading our blog for a while, then you understand that a lot of our time,  thoughts and energy revolve around food. Good food in particular. What is the point of wasting your time on bad cuisine?

Brunch is a really fun dining experience for me. Caught perfectly between breakfast and lunch, offering you a variety of food that can please what ever particular craving or mood that you may be in. A very good spot that in my personal opinion offers the best brunch in Munich is the Charles Hotel.

I had the opportunity to experience a full brunch last May and then again for a special Easter themed brunch this past April. Both times were amazing. I went again with friends on July 19th and I was amazed for the third time with the menu, service and relaxing atmosphere.

The Charles Hotel serves an extensive breakfast every Sunday that is already worth it, however several times throughout the year, they have an extensive themed brunch. This is the brunch that you don’t want to miss….EVER!

I spoke several weeks ago with Viktoria Schuenemann, The Director of Food and Beverage at the hotel. I explained that Munichmom were fans of the brunch and that we wanted to know when the next one was scheduled. I am glad that we reached out to her, bc she was a fountain of information. She has been working hard with staff to ensure that the brunch is a successful. I’m happy to say that she has achieved her goal.

@kristinspeedphotography

Viktoria Schuenemann Director of Food and Beverage at The Charles Hotel

She told us about the brunch that we attended and the upcoming brunches. You guys really should be excited! There are so many impressive things already happening at the hotel. With many things planned for the future!!

Just to whet your appetite a bit, here is what we got to dine on… As usual, the normal breakfast brunch was open, which is the  endless buffet of artisan breads, cheeses and meats. Bratwurst, eggs and bacon are also included. As well as a fruit bar and various muesli and joghurts.There are a variety of jams and marmalade. You are treated to muffins, cakes and breakfast desserts.  You are able to order delicious pancakes, waffles, french toast and omelette off the menu. The pancakes and waffles are some of the best that I have had here. Also the syrup is authentic maple syrup (not to be confused with horrible watery ahorn-syrup that commonly ruins the pancake experience in Germany).

Moving on to the grill specialties of the BBQ Brunch, we were able to sample from  Nicoise  salad, couscous with tomato, cucumbers and mint, Caesar salad, Burrata with tomato and Basil and Gazpacho.

Main menu included  your choice of grilled entrecote, chicken breast with a yoghurt marinade and Black Tiger Prawns. Grilled goat cheese and  Mediterranean vegetables were available too.

 

For dessert, we treated ourselves to Rosemary ice-cream topped with marinated strawberries and Weinberg peaches. So different and delicious. Beverages included an endless supply of white/red wine, coffees,teas, freshly pressed juices and infused water.

 

All of this fine dining was made even more charming and relaxing by the piano player who was non-stop in his effort to provide ambiance and entertainment

One very important thing that I always look for when dining is the staff who are working together to serve you. I appreciate excellent staff, and I like to speak about it when I encounter it. The Charles Hotel has some of the most friendly and professional staff. I spent time chatting with a lot of them, bc a great dining experience is not just the food, but also the people who work hard to ensure that you have been taken care of.

They really enjoy what they do, and they have the distinction of doing it extremely well. They are such an organized unit. Speaking with Julia Reinhold our server for that afternoon was a pleasure. She has been with the Charles Hotel for 6 years now after studying to begin her career in her profession. She spoke passionately about her job. You could tell she enjoyed working there because of the care that she took. She really made us feel welcome.

I whole-heartedly encourage you to try out the next brunch in September. Of course the theme will be Oktoberfest;) Munichmom will be there. We hope you will too.

PS.

Please call ahead to reserve your table. They have filled up quickly the last two times we attended. Also there is a kids club available for the younger ones while you dine.  Be on the lookout for more to come from The Charles Hotel. They have many things planned for the upcoming fall and winter season.

Love,

 

Your Munichmom

Meet Firoozeh Dumas!

Munichmom had the great pleasure of sitting down for an interview with NY Time’s bestselling author and lecturer Firoozeh Dumas. How many times in your life does it happen that an author you have read and appreciated lives around the corner from you? I have had that incredible luck and I am sharing it with you! We interviewed Ms. Dumas over High Tea at the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski München. Something about an elegant hotel lobby and its secret stories, combined with freshly baked scones and tea sandwiches, not to forget the selection of 30 different tea sorts. The perfect setting to sit down and ask Ms. Dumas a few questions about her books but, mostly, about her experiences in our common city of choice: Munich.






MM Munichmom

FD Firoozeh Dumas

How do you live your being ‘other’ here in Germany?

FD Moving to Germany at age 48 threw me for a loop. I was a well-adjusted immigrant in America and I was married to another immigrant, who came from France…and we had it all figured out. Then we moved to Germany. I have to say, it was a much more difficult transition than I thought. At first I felt like such an outsider, especially by not having the language. And the hardest thing for me it was.. well, my entire life I have always thought I am good at languages. Because I always learnt new languages easily, but obviously that talent stopped at German! I really spent my first December here just to learn how to say Merry Christmas 🙂 for some reason I kept forgetting it…Now I am happy that I am starting to learn a little more. I never felt my otherness as much as I felt it here, not having language made me feel so isolated, it just made the adjustment so much harder.

MM This has been my personal experience as well. I also never had a problem with languages, but German was a tough one. I am at a different stage now, where I understand everything, I work and socialize in German. I just do not want to sound perfect anymore. And ironically, that has been very liberating. After having climbed this last mental barrier, my German seems to flow much better and I get less and less self-conscious.

FD Yes I know…I just want to know what the bus driver is saying when the bus stops in the middle of nowhere. 🙂

What was hard for me.. I am a very friendly person and here I felt you could not be the outgoing friendly American that I am in the US. It took me a while to realize that ;)Do not smile at the old lady with the walker, because she does not like that!

MM I see your point of view and I can only empathize. But, aren’t we different people when we speak different languages? My German-speaking self has a different personality than my English-speaking self. And so it is for other languages. Are you different when you speak Farsi?

FD Well, I speak louder when I speak Farsi.

MM How is it for your French husband; is it different?

FD Well, yes. .He goes to the office everyday and works with a bunch of highly educated people who speak English. He had a built-in network. For me…I also left America when I was at the height of my career. I had been a panelist a few times, on a show called ‘Wait wait don’t tell me’, on national public radio, listened to by millions of people. And I could not do that anymore when I moved to Germany and that made me very sad, so I already moved here missing my career .

MM I think this is something we all share….Both Munich moms ended up changing their careers, almost completely, as they moved to Munich.

FD I want to emphasize that I really appreciate living in Munich. I love the fact that 6 year olds go to school on their own. It would be unthinkable of in the States. My daughter just this week went to run an errand on her own and she was so proud of herself! It was very exciting for me.

MM How important is humor for you in everyday life?

FD I could not live without it. I can be friends with anyone, but they must have humor. If you put all of my friends in a room, they all look different. You have every color, different sexual orientation, but they all have humor. If you don’t have a sense of humor, it is going to be hard to be my friend.

MM Do you think there is such a thing as a German sense of humor?

FD Of course there is but, because I do not speak the language, I know nothing about it. I recently met in Greece a German comedian, who did a piece without language, he was very funny. Yes, of course there is humor in Germany, they just do not think I am funny….tragically 🙂

(The conversation shifted on to Firoozeh’s New York Times article on foot fungus and the negative comments by the readers who read the article as a journalistic piece and did not understand the satire behind it)

FD I was a bit thrown off by some of the comments. One thing that I do not like about Munich, and I go on record about it, there are not enough public restrooms. Whereas in America for example, you can pretty much go into any store and use the bathroom. No restaurant facilities in some small restaurants or supermarkets here.

MM Going back to being a parent, what are your thoughts about the German educational system and the fact that 10 year olds are already ‘judged’ by their grades and then, respectively, sent to Gymnasium or Realschule or Hauptschule.

FD I just had a year of experience with German public schools, and I have to say I am very impressed. In America, with my 2 older kids we were nonstop fund-raising for our school, because of education cuts and so on. It is exhausting to be a parent. Here, the fact that the kids go to school and the parents are not expected to be part-time employees, is amazing to me.

The other thing I love about Germany, or at least Munich, is the healthy lifestyle. I look around senior citizens, and they are agile, fit and are moving. In America you are inundated with junk food. God help parents in America. It is a fight against corporate America. It is a fight with your kid to convince them that the blue squirt yogurt is what you do not want. But here I love that my daughter tells me:’ Mom I want cherry tomatoes for snack, can you buy them for me?’ I love that. You can’t find that in America, because corporate America has so taken over the food.

MM I know, I love our local farmers market. You need to come with me the next time. …

FD Oh Yes!!! So this is my funny experience in Munich—- I asked an English-speaking physical therapy doctor I was seeing, how do you stay so fit, do you exercise….? She gave me a very German answer: ‘ I go by bike everywhere, I only eat organic food’ …So she told me her favorite store in Munich and the next day I go and I buy and organic chicken. I do not look at the price and when I go to the cashier I see the price: 26 Euros. And I said, oh no, I just bought a chicken…I paid 26 Euros for a chicken and I emailed all my friends in America and told them I had just spent 32 dollars for a chicken. It was the leanest, most delicious chicken and then I went into a period of mourning because I realized I had been eating fat chicken all my life! I felt I was so cheated by America. Why did I not get a chicken like that in America? So now, I just turned 50 and I never felt so healthy in my life. It is so healthy here that you feel healthy by default.

MM Here is my last question…So, you grew up in California, and both Munich Moms spent a large chunk of their lives on the East Coast…Now I love Munich, it took me a few years to get used to it, but I would not change it for any other city right now.. Sometimes, though, I think that Berlin is trendy, dark, introspective, artsy and Munich tends to be a good-looking, outgoing, sporty town. Sort of like LA and NYC. How do you see Munich? Is it East Coast or West Coast?

FD Oh Munich is definitely West Coast. But I need it. As a writer I live in my head. For me living somewhere where looks matter, as I already live in a world of words and books, is the perfect match. I need a little bit of shallowness. It is good for me.

MM Dear Firoozeh, thanks a million for chatting with us!

Your Munichmom

P.S. In celebration of this interview and the countdown to Firoozeh’s new novel, we are having a giveaway. Firoozeh was kind enough to autograph two of her books, ‘Laughing without an accent’ and ‘Funny in Farsi’. To enter for your chance to WIN you must go to our blog. http://www.munichmom.com and click the follow button. You will be prompted to enter your email address. It’s that simple. The contest will end on July 31st. It is open internationally. There will be a random drawing of the emails to choose 2 winners. Good Luck!!

firoozeh

Fundraising event at Film Casino with Norisha Campbell

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Are you looking for a place to go for amazing musical talent combined with beautiful singing voices? Well then make an effort to go out to Film Casino next week on July 23rd. Norisha Campbell, a Munich based entertainer and moderator who found fame as a contestant on the Voice of Germany, will be performing alongside Emily Intsiful, Ashonte “Dolo” Lee also talented contestants from the show on that night.

They are performing to raise money and awareness about a their upcoming project, an album featuring 11 contestants from The Voice of Germany 2013, re-united as  Voices of Grace.

The album is being produced by Norisha Campbell and Matthias Lingenfelder from Clangstudiosand Herztöne e.V. and will be released later this year.

Tickets are 10 EUR at the door and the proceedings will help fund the CD recording. I hope that many of you can attend, it will be a wonderful evening of music! Munichmom will definitely be there.

BLB……. A great burger experience.

After having heard so many great things about BLB(Burger & Lobster Bank), Munichmom decided to book a table and explore on its own. As we approached the venue, we spotted a few customers taking a break outside, telephoning or meeting up with friends and we understood that, the clientele@ BLB is, indeed, an experience of its own 😉

Upon entering the restaurant we saw that Munich’s bold and beautiful did indeed dine at this establishment. It was hipster trendy, with lots of beards and man buns to go around.

While waiting for our reserved table, we were served a much awaited portion of attitude from the host,  which we served back with an added extra, as protocol calls.

After all rules of protocol were taken care of, we were kindly served to our table and our culinary experienced started.

Our waiter was excellent. He was friendly and helpful while talking us through the drink menu. We were looking for something good and a bit different from our usual glasses of white wine. He helped us settle on some delicious cocktails.

For dinner we showed how alike we are and ordered ” The American” for ourselves. A burger that was hopefully going to get us to the delicious tastes of home. It did not disappoint! The huge burger patty boasted toppings of onion rings, bacon and BBQ sauce on a butter soft bun. It was a served to us with a small sided salad and our choice of regular fries and sweet potato fries. The fries alone made us forgive them for the attitude at the door. I would say that we both would try this burger joint again. It truly offers authentic, delicious and quality food.

If you are indeed on the search for a good burger, then you must give BLB a try. I would recommend that make a reservation. It’s a newer restaurant so it can be hard to just walk in and get a table.

PS. This is not a sponsored review. Munichmom consists of two foodies who used their own coins to give our readers an honest opinion.

The “Scoop” on Bayerische Eismanufaktur

copyrighte@kristinspeedphotography

copyrighte@kristinspeedphotography

Munichmom adores Lehel, cannot do without ice cream and has a weakness for Bavaria. So, when Bayerische Eismanufaktur recently popped up on Oettingenstrasse 42 a, I knew a visit was more that needed. As an ex –Lehel inhabitant I have also been involved in talks about the neighborhood recent gentrification process. I have heard many different opinions and try to respect all of them. I was happily surprised to hear such positive feedback after the opening of Bayersiche Eismanufaktur, which is replacing an old magazine and tabak store, almost an institution in the neighborhood , because I knew, filling its boots , would have been difficult. Without simplifying the gentrification discourse, ice cream (particularly a locally produced one) brings everyone together. Bayerische Eismanufaktur is a small new company, founded by young Bavarian entrepreneurs, who bring together old traditions and new flavors. This young company has strong links with local dairies as well as with farmers. Almost all products are locally produced, with the exception of exotic fruits which cannot be grown in beautiful Bavaria. Munichom just had to taste everything from the classics, which include chocolate, vanilla and the infamous ice café , to the new creations like Bellini ice, with fresh donut peaches and prosecco. My taste buds we rejoicing to the fresh Bavaria cream and the wonderful flavors which were smoothly combined. Pretzl Ice cream will be coming soon, and that will be a big surprise to me! Salty caramel, one of my favorites, is also on the calendar this month. 🙂 So go ahead, visit Bayerische Eismanufaktur : you can either sit down and enjoy Lehel’s flair, or take it to go and stroll around the Englischen Garten! Yours, Munichmom

Meet Kristin Speed

Hello friends of Munichmom. Have you noticed something cool going on around our blog? Well, have you? We have been adjusting the site, cleaning things up and making improvements. One of the best improvements that we have made are of the wonderful photos being displayed on our page.

Those photos have come to us by way of collaboration with the wonderful Munich based photographer, Kristin Speed. Kristin is an expat like us, and many of you. She hails from New Jersey in the United States. She has been living in Munich now for over a decade.11414537_10206889233938952_712412634_n

I first met Kristin three years ago when we moved to Munich. We were looking to celebrate our move with family photos. I spent so many days searching online for the perfect photographer to match the vision of what I wanted. I came upon Kristin’s site and fell in love with her photos. Particularly the ones of families that photographed in the Englischen Garten. At that time I was spending so much of my time there with the kids and my husband, that I felt that it was a place that I wanted to be photographed in as well.

It was a plus that she was American, because being newly here, my German was atrocious. It still is, but it is better ;).  She was so easy to talk to and she had all of these great ideas of where in the garden to be photographed. Unfortunately our first attempt at a photo shoot went south. As soon as we got to her perfect spot, the sky erupted and we were caught in a down pour of rain. It was hilarious trying to wrangle a 6-year-old a 3-year-old and a puppy through the mud. She took it in stride and laughed the entire trip back to the car.

Our second attempt was much more successful. It was a beautiful fall day, that gave us some of our most memorable family photos to date.

Recently Kristin participated in a fundraiser that we covered on munichmom for Daniela(http://wp.me/p5bcsF-fr). She was one of the volunteer photographers that worked on shooting families to raise money for Daniela’s surgery.

We also worked together again in May for photos for my anniversary. Perfect photos once again.

Munichmom is so happy to have Kristin joining in collaboration with us. We know you will enjoy her work just as much as we do.

PS.

If you would like to work with Kristin Speed, then please use this information to reach out to her. Stop by her webpage and take a look at her work. You will not be disappointed.

http://www.kristinspeed.com

Telephone:0176 66852388

Representing my beautiful… The trouble with makeup for women of color in Germany.

color chart

I have lived here in Munich for a little over 3 years now. Outside of the freakishly cold winter,( I’m from the southern parts of the United States so forgive my sensitivity) I absolutely love it here. There is so much available here for my family and I am so lucky to have cultivated very meaningful friendships.

However, there are somethings that as a black woman I find lacking or over-looked here that are very important to women no matter what ethnicity around the world.

Beauty cosmetics. To most women, makeup is usually integral to our daily routine. For me, I love to wear it to finish up my look. The only problem for me here is that my color options are severely limited. I can not go into the local DM and shop for reasonably priced makeup that is remotely anywhere my skin tone. My skin tone is not represented and that of many other women of color. I have to go to expensive lengths to get makeup for my skin tone.

LOreal-True-Match-Lumi-Foundation

Not much of a selection for darker skintones

I do have one option available to me here. It’s MAC makeup. They do have a more extensive shade selection. The problem is that MAC makeup causes me to suffer breakouts and occasionally cast an orange shade to my skin. I usually have to stock up on foundations and powders when I travel back home to North Carolina, or travel to Paris or London where I can buy several brands of makeup specifically for Women of color.

Recently I reached out to Munich based makeup artist Anatasia Onishko.

Makeup Artist Anastasia Onishko

Makeup Artist Anastasia Onishko

It was by chance that I found out about her. She was trying to find women of color to makeover and photograph for her portfolio. She was looking for the whole spectrum of skin tones to work with to broaden her makeup application expertise, which I find commendable. I took to the time to look through her work, and I was really impressed with her skill as a MUA (Makeup Artist) A few weeks ago I sat down with Anatasia for a for a makeup session.

She is a graduate of Lily Meets Lola Makeup Artistry school. She took time to consult with me about my skin tone and then with her Lily Meets Lola foundation, she created my perfect foundation to match my skin. It really felt good to have that amount of attention paid to my skin. She mixed and matched and mixed and matched again to get it just right. I truly appreciated her efforts to get a perfect match, instead of a close enough match. So now I have a new option with my makeup concerns. When I want to look special, I know that I can call on Anastasia to get the job done right. (checkout some of her work here)

That still leaves the problem of not having the convenience of going to my local drug store to get a cheap makeup that matches my skin tone. Or being able to have local access to the makeup brands that cater to women of color.

 So what’s the solution to this problem? Women of all colors need to feel empowered and beautiful first on the inside, and then on the outside, but what are major cosmetic companies telling us? Are they saying that beauty stops at this shade and doesn’t include us?

I would like the makeup industry to pay attention and realize that all women would like their beauty recognized. Or maybe the German cosmetic retail industry will realize that they can order the full range of shades from Covergirl and Maybelline that includes the darker skin tones and still be profitable……….(Steps off Soapbox)

PS

Fortunately for me I have found my perfect match in foundation after much searching.

pro pic1

Kiki Walden–

For those of you who are interested in working with Anatasia Onishko please find her info below

https://www.facebook.com/AnastasiaBeautyAndArt

email: anastasia.beautyandart@gmail.com

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Who remembers ‘slip n slide’? If you are American, then there is a 99% chance that you have memories of hot summers spent running, jumping and sliding on a wet piece of rubber in your backyard. If you did not have a pool, then this was the highlight of your day. Well for all of you adults who have lingering feeling about this awesome American past time, fear not. We have the over grown adult version coming to Munich and I am excited.

Coming to Munich this summer is ‘Slide City Munich’ The oversized version of the American Slip n Slide. It is a tour that will visit 9 countries. Munich is one of 6 German cities chosen to participate.

The location this year will be in Olympia Park. Along with the sliding activities, there will be music, fun and games, cool drinks and food

Ticket prices are  € 20 to be slipped for 2 hours, Sightseers are naturally free of charge and  invited to view this unique spectacle in dry conditions

The slide will be 500m long and will be open from 12 noon to 8:00pm June 26th and June 28th.

The City Slide is built on rubber mats, so you may remain injury free while executing the most epic body slides:)

This event has no age limit. Families, children, adolescents and adults are

equally welcome.

Now you know we love to give things away. It’s our favorite pastime. From today until May 29th you can enter the our contest to win tickets. We will choose two people who will receive 2 tickets each. To enter you must either like munichmom.com on Facebook or follow the blog by clicking the follow button on our blog:) Very simple.

Good Luck!!!

Website http://www.city-slide.com

Facebook Latest News gibt es auf der CITY SLIDE MÃœNCHEN Fanpage

Do you want to slide with us?

Feel Good Friday with Inbal Drukker

feel good

Yesterday was another round of Feel Good Friday. It has become one of my favorite things to do 🙂

It was such a treat to meet with the incredibly sweet Inbal Drukker, our newest winner. She is a recent transplant to Munich from Israel. She is a married mother of three children. Inbal just celebrated a birthday, so this was perfect timing.

I met Inbal for her morning appointment at Salon Pauli (www.salonpauli.de). That day was a bit different because our usual stylist was unfortunately sick, so we moved forward with another. Svea a hair stylist of 13 years(some of those years spent in a salon in Paris) was more than up to the task. She was extremely friendly,helpful and totally capable of creating Inbal’s desired style.

I must admit this was a very exciting  session. When we first started, Inbal had decided on just a wash, mask treatment, trim and styling. However after Svea cut the first half-inch, Inbal decided she wanted a more drastic change. She ended up having 4 more inches cut off. She is going to Israel to visit family for a few weeks and she wanted to surprise them with a new look. Inbal has very fine, light blonde, but when the session was over she ended up with a very stylish, sophisticated bob that had volume and fullness. Check it out!!! I was so delighted for her.