The Off the Beaten Path Berlin Guide

Berlin Guide-01

My four month adventure in Berlin turned into a year and one day adventure,  for which I will be forever grateful. I really learned so much there not only in school but also about what I want out of life. I also spent my fair time exploring the city and exploring new things. I made a Berlin Guide for a friend one day and I have ended up giving it to over a dozen friends thus I thought I should just save everyone the hassle of asking me for it and post it online. This is not your mother’s Berlin guide, this is for the ones who have done the normal touristy things, or are just looking for good eats!

The Markets:

Thursday

  • Markthalle

(5? Maybe 6 till 10pm)

near gorlitzer. It gets packed, so don’t expect to find a place to eat sitting down but it’s still fun. I recommend the following booths:

Bao burgers: sweet pork belly with spices in a fluffy rice bun, it’s f***ing amazing. But too messy to actually share.

The hipsters that sell juice in the middle: delicious hand pressed apple juice with ginger. Expensive but good and help feed a hipster!

Erst Sahne or something: really good gluten free desserts that you can’t tell are gluten free. Think ritzy Italian cupcakes

The Brazilian place that does tapioca crepes. amazing. Both sweet and savory. I love the Romeo and Juliet one, it’s GUAVA!!! I love guava, so I always get it.

The ceviche place is also great, there are beers (gross) in the back left corner that are supposed to be good craft like ones. Whatever. I prefer the French guys in the middle that sell wine.

Spatlze guy. Also sometimes at Neue Heimat. In old van looking thing, not creepy, just good.

Sunday

  • Breakfast market 

At markthalle, same thing BUT BREAKFAST FOOD. UNTIL 4PM. And yes, I’ve been there at 3pm, still going strong.

  • Neue Heimat

So if taking the sbahn, exit right. Walk northish. Past the weird photo booths. Take right at sketchy potato dealer. Walk alllllllll the way to the end. It will have Christmas lights stating the name. There may be a 1 euro fee, whatever. Worth it.

Soooo buy a bottle of wine because it’s more cost effective, duh. Still expensive. Ugh.

Find the hipster potato/pumpkin guys. Their signs are in brown with white lettering and they have lamps. Get the kürbis potato mash one, you want parm cheese. Share it with a friend because there is so much delicious food here you don’t want to get full on one dish.

Arapes guys – chorizo one, yummy! But too messy to share.

Pad Thai is good if you haven’t eaten enough of it already at all the “Asian” restaurants.

WHISKEY RIBS. Omg, yes. Find them! Sometimes outside.

Skip the oysters, not fresh. 

The people with the obnoxious ladies clad in lingerie for their backdrop have really good food, damn them. It’s like melted cheese on bread things.

Lady that sells dessert in little pots is the best.

Also there will be a Dj playing weird music and too many hipster but the food makes up for it.

Bars

  • There is a cool English pub under the train tracks at hack. Markt. If you get off the sbahn, walk to end by freid. Direction. It’s by the river. I think it’s called pug or something, they have a bunch of pugs. But what’s cool is that the tables have taps on them and you pay by how much you drink and so you can purchase like .23 l or something. You fill up how much you like. Their prosecco is passable.
  • Das Gift– another English/Scottish bar, THEY HAVE MY PATRON THERE! Monday’s they do trivia, I won once! Let’s go play! But good drinks. Hermanplatz or str, whichever is not the end station.
  • Krackenklucken…. I have no idea how to say this, it’s on top of the arcade in neukoln. Sweet view. The hut makes me feel like I need to be on acid, I’ve never been on acid but I think I would enjoy the trance music and crystals and lights more if on acid. Their only drink in the hut is a weird chai with rum or whiskey. Not my favorite, but it’s cool. Also you have to take off your shoes. The other bar is more normal. I say wait till it’s warm again.
  • Somewhere there is a gin bar. They only serve gin. It’s near Oberg stop. If you want more info, I can ask where I was.
  • Wienerie– my favorite! Every night starting at 8pm, it’s 2 euros for a glass, and then at the end you pay what you think you drank. Closes around midnight, but fun! Last semester, I had a standing date there every Thursday. It was a blast. Also if you get there early, they have food and I think it’s the same concept. It’s also been referred to as the communist wine bar. If you go and don’t invite me, I will be upset.  Rosenthaler is the nearest ubahn, also accessible from the m10.
  • Torsend– SECRET BAR. Google. Go. Drink, feel classy.
  • Monkey Bar – View from the top.

Brunch places

  • Cafe krone – recommend before mauer park/burneur str tour or after.
  • Parker Bowles – omg GO and GO NOW
  • Melbourne cafe – get the gingerbread hot chocolate. Hermanplatz thing again. Also do trivia on Tuesday nights.
  • Betty n’ catys – FRESH JUICES PEOPLE. LIKE REAL PRESSED JUICES. Also adorbs. Pberg.
  • Bastard berlin – small but amazing. Get the Chorizo and sweet potato thing (seeing a pattern?)
  • Roamers– tiny but delicious.
  • Aunt Benny – frankfurter alle or ostkreuz. Delicious also have lunch things.
  • Flamingo cafe – BEST SOUPS EVER. FRIEDRICHSTR . OMG.
  • That place next to hertie. Same street at Hertie if walking past where everyone smokes, it’s on the opposite side of the street- really good affordable lunch options. Menu changes daily but I’ve only had good things. Think soups salads and such.

Dinner/lunch

  • Yam yam – Korean food. Rosa luxa. Amazinggggg. I always get the bulgogi, really good. So are the fried dumpling things as an appetizer. Aloe vero to drink, obvi. I love the gummy things in it but I know some people can’t get over it. The nut milk tea is …. Different…. Also the alcoholic drinks are WEAKKKKKKK. don’t waste your money.
  • Transit- win stop off the u8 (or thereabouts) . Asian food tapas style. I spent 10 euros and was full. 3 small dishes at 3 euros each and 1 thing if rice. Seasonal drinks are great! Only thing is you need to make a reservation.
  • Hashi – Japanese restaurant recommended by Japanese man. Also tapas style. Really good! I have no idea what I ate but it was all great. The squid balls (terrible name) were good and the chicken things on sticks. Also good cocktails bit pricey and not strong. I had the one that was like a bad giesha or something, I felt awkward ordering it but it was yummy.
  • Thai Place across the street before Transit. Google, figure it out. BUT LEGIT. Like teas in bowls legit.
  • Chickenberg-  soooo this is weird entry but if you ever just crave a rotisserie chicken and good fries, this is your place. Kotti. 5.90 for 1/2 chicken , fries, 3 pieces of veggies and a coke. Sometimes, I just want a simple chicken. Get the garlic sauce.
  • Santa Maria – ugh,  don’t try to go for taco Tuesday. Too busy but great lunch deal. 8 euros gets you a soup, drink, and 3 tacos. Done.
  • Ta’Cabron – y’all have been with me, I go there far too much.
  • Persepolis – really good restaurant off the U2. Middle eastern of some sort. Completely forget which country but delicious and so much food. Get the one with like raisins in the rice or something. Busy though, can get take out.
  • Soooo another option if you want to impress your gf with cooking but don’t know how or just like to try new things is kochhaus. It’s a grocery store that has 8 recipes with all the ingredients next to it. Like if the recipe calls for 1 tbsp of butter, you purchase 1tbsp of butter. It’s all premeasured for you. I’ve never had a bad meal from there. Plus cool kitchen gadgets. It’s just a cool place and I think there are three in berlin. http://www.kochhaus.de/

Things To Do

    • Mauer park – make fun of hipsters and eat the damn potato on a stick, best 2 euros ever spent, other than that glass at the weinerie.
    • Allied museum – yeahhhhh America!
    • Checkpoint Charlie museum – they have the things people used to escape the gdr, like a hollowed out surfboard or an air balloon. It’s cool.
    • Fernsehenturn – ehhh, it’s cool. Read the Wikipedia page first, it is the 4th tallest building in Europe. Buy ticket in advance, waiting in line is for peasants.
    • Kadewe– largest department store in continental europe. Go to the 5th floor and see the groceries and see how your country is defined. America is land of pop tarts, microwave popcorn and Swiss miss. Cute outside market some days. Walk down the shopping street and look at the big church.
    • SCHLOSSES ( pretty sure that’s not the formal plural, but whatever) – charlottenburg (don’t pay to take photos), Potsdam, there are so many!! And crowns everywhere!!!
    • Comedy in English! I’ve been to a ton of English amateur comedy nights that are really quite good! I like the fishbowl, and we are not gemused.
    • East side gallery – obvi.
    • Museum island– so much history!

PS I had the best Landlord Ever 

Breakfast Learning

Breakfast LEARNING

I consume a lot of information but recently, I have been consuming what I would like to call “smart” information and I am trying to learn it in a faster way. Gone are the Real Housewives of Some New City and hello, informational podcasts. ( I jest RHOBH is still my favorite, but I don’t watch it religiously.) I swear I am getting older, my friends and I discuss skincare routines and financial advice now, and I try to go to bed early. What has happened to me??? Now, I normally start each morning listening to podcasts or YouTube videos while getting ready, I love learning new things and with the end of my school life fast approaching, I have needed new ways to get my learnin’ fix.  Here are my favorite podcasts (I’ve added more to my old favorites list), YouTube videos, and other sources for learning new things.

  1. What’s the Point – an old favorite but a goodie, I love the intersection of big data and solving real world problems. This privacy podcast really has me reevaluating some of the ways I interact with these companies.
  2. Fight Mediocrity – I keep meaning to read all these books but I never have the time. This YouTube channel explains popular business books in simple animations, boiling down the information to just the main points. My favorites are Thinking Fast and Slow and 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
  3. Startup– a great podcast about starting a startup podcast company. Done in real time. It’s amazing and so many great lessons.
  4. Note to Self – Their tagline is making technology human and they do such a great job of it, from their digital detox to their fomo vs. jomo debates to infomagical week, I love listening to them ( I even subscribe to their newsletter, that’s real love)
  5. Twitter – Often I find great articles to read while browsing twitter, I don’t really tweet but I do consume information from it! My favorite sources are INC, Vox, Business Insider, and Entrepreneur, normally I find a bunch of articles and save them to me “read later” bookmark to consume while riding the bus.

What are your favorite ways to learn more information?

Skincare Routine 101

Like finances, skincare routines are an important part of “adulting” and can also be scary.  But finding the right one makes all difference. I could do several long posts about skin care, there is just so much to be said! I feel like every week there is a new tip I find saying I should be doing something differently or trying this new product. The best advice I can give you is to do your own research (I know, no fun!) because everyone’s skin is different. Often I watch Youtube Videos, read things on blogs, and search far too much on Pinterest. Here is my normal AM skincare routine:

Skincare Routine

-Cleanser- A friend told me not to use any cleanser that foams, something about that is bad for the skin, honestly, I forget the exact reasoning, but the fact stayed in my mind. She worked for an all-natural skincare store, so I trust her advice. Also, look for something with not a ton of ingredients.

-Toner- When I lived in Germany, my skin went crazy at first, i.e. breaking out like crazy. I went to Lush and the saleslady recommended a toner. Apparently, water is different everywhere and my Floridian raised skin was not liking the harsh German tap water, enter the toner fix. I spritz this a few times and then gently pat my face to work the toner in.

-Serum- It’s like caffeine for your face! But seriously, there are all different serums out there for your skin depending on what you need. Need brightening? There is a serum for that! Need some help with wrinkles? There is a serum for that! Need help with oil? There is a serum for that! Your best bet is to go to your favorite skincare store and ask for help.

-Moisturizer- My mother always reminds me to moisturize my neck too. You can get wrinkles there too, so its important. Generally, you should put on your moisturizer then wait 10 minutes for it to set before applying anything else. I like to use that time to pack my purse for the day, brush my teeth, and do my eye makeup, etc. This one is my current favorite.

-Primer- If you are wearing makeup, you should be putting on a primer. It helps your makeup ‘stick’ to your face and can help even out some imperfections. Personally, I like to mix this one and this one. The pink helps correct some discolorations and no one likes pores.

This is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to skin tips, but hopefully this will help you on your “adulting” journey!

 

 

Not another love song, a playlist for February

February Playlist

Image by DTSP

I am a bit of a music nut. I am constantly listening to music or watching music videos. Recently, I have been listening to all these springy hits, well in my mind, they are spring-y. It may be only the end of January and I just survived a blizzard, but the Floridian in me can’t stop thinking about the sun. I miss the feel of sunshine on my skin, whenever it is bright outside and I can’t feel the sun, it irks me so!

So in order to help me out, I created this playlist of my current favorite songs. They are great songs to listen as you dance around your living room and pretend it’s warm and sunny outside. I love light pop music and all these songs seem to go together to form the perfect playlist to get you out of the winter blues. And totally dance-able too, which is the most important part.

Music is how I pump myself up before going out or when I have something nerve-wracking coming up (which is happening a lot now as I get closer to graduation). Music can instantly lift the mood and right now, I need all the pump up music I can get! Even if I can’t carry a tune, I still sing along each day to at least 10 minutes of music because it instantly lifts my mood.

 

Sidenote: Pandora’s Classical Goes Pop Station is my favorite study music! Perfect when you need some background noise but can’t handle words.

Financial Tips 101

Financially Savvy Tips

Image from Death to Stock Photos

I was having dinner with some girlfriends last week and the subject of “adulting” came up. Inevitably, finances were talked about in depth. We all offered about some tips and tricks we had learned to make it seem a little less scary because when it comes to adulting, finances is up there as one of the most important parts. Just like I mentioned before, when you don’t know something, just google it from when it’s the best time to buy a computer to what should you be saving for… There are plenty of great sites out there that can make it seem a little less scary. Some of my favorite sites are Mint and LearnVest Knowledge Center, they have tons of helpful articles about financial planning.

Some other useful tips:

  • Buy cars at the end of a quarter or year end to get the best deal with negotiating (and always negotiate!)
  • The 50/20/30 rule makes life a little easier! 50% to living expenses (housing, food, transportation -Louboutins don’t count as transportation!), 20% to savings goals (debt, retirement, etc), and 30% discretionary (dinner with friends, that new purse, etc)
  • Get a credit card and pay it off consistently!
  • Check your credit through the three credit reporting companies (Experian, Equifax® and TransUnion®) once a year on your birthday. Sure, it may not sound like the most exciting thing, but since it is free once a year (federal law), it’s an easy date to remember to do it. Check all three, since they all do things a bit differently.
  • Make sure you have saved for an emergency fund, which should be about 6 months of your salary.
  • Start saving for retirement today!
  • My personal favorite: the best financial information can fit on an index card!

What’s your best financial advice?

How to solve a problem like Maria…

How to Solve A Problem

Google it. If it is one thing I have learned this semester in learning Adobe Creative Suite is when in doubt, trying googling. Yeah, maybe you don’t know exactly the correct vocabulary for something (is it a path or a shape?? Do I want it to be isolated??? I just want it to work!), but other people have been there before you and there is probably a forum somewhere with the right answer. Watch a few youtube videos and you will get the task done!

Too often, when faced with the unknown, people freeze. The great thing about google is that no one has to know that you don’t know the answer (except the massive google servers but still!), there is no embarrassing raising of the hand in class to ask a ‘dumb question’,  there is no having to find a work friend to not laugh when you don’t know how to print something double sided. Just google it. Or Bing it or Yahoo! it, whatever.

The point is you can only gain from trying to figure it out on your own. And maybe, the internet won’t have the answer for it, but then when you do ask a live human, you will at least have some preliminary research! So I started in September with no Illustrator or R skillz, and  by the end of it, I am now moderately (which is saying something) good at them!

The Enlightenment was considered the last time when a person could know all the knowledge in the world if they had the time and ability to learn. Today there is too much knowledge for anyone one person to know but we have an advantage that wasn’t there even 30 years ago: the INTERNET! With the power of the internet, sites like wikihow, pinterest. allrecipes, and wikipedia, we have the ability to solve most of our questions and queries. It’s amazing! So use it!

 

 

Halloween Headbands

We just started a new line of headbands! So exciting. What is not exciting is all the black fur bits I keep finding in my carpet. Luckily, my vacuum seems up for the task. We have already sold two of them, but I think they are going to be a big hit once word starts to get around. They are just so much fun!

Also, my dining room chairs get delivered today. PHEW. I promise to post some photos after they get here because it should be amazing. Fingers crossed.

Japanese Meatballs and Cilantro Rice

SONY DSC

As part of my goals for this year, I wanted to try to incorporate more recipes into my repertoire. This recipe a good friend, who had studied in Japan, taught me. It is so simple and yet so amazing. I honestly have to stop myself from licking the bowl each time I make it because the sauce is amazing! Sidenote: It took me three times to get a photo of this because I kept eating it before I remembered to get a photo. Good news, it is super easy to make!

Ingredients:

  • 1lb Ground Beef
  • 1 small Red Onion, diced
  • 1 cup Sake
  • 1 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 cup White Sugar
  1. Combine diced red onion and ground beef. Roll into balls and brown in a pan over medium heat.
  2. In a pot, combine sake, sugar, and soy sauce. Heat over medium heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes until it thickens.
  3. Add meatballs to sauce mixture and continue to heat for 10 minutes.
  4. Serve over rice and enjoy! ( I recommend spooning more sauce over the rice!)

I served this dish at a dinner party last week (and forgot to take photos again!), and a friend asked how I made the rice because she swore her rice was never as fluffy and good. I don’t have a rice cooker and normally just use a small glass to measure out how much rice and water.

Katy’s Rice Tips:

-Use Jasmine rice (it’s the fluffiest)

-1:2 rice to water ratio is best (much softer rice!)

-Chop up cilantro and add to rice (a great flavor booster)

 

Girls’ Spa Night

Moving is a pain, I never want to move again. Needless to say, my apartment is slowwwlllyyyy coming together. I have not really had a chance to have people over, but I did have over a girlfriend for a spa night the other day. It was so much fun!

Spa Night

The great thing about a spa night is it doesn’t have to be really expensive to be fun and it is super easy to throw together (really needed when your place is still a mess).  Here is what I did for my spa night:

  • Water – Step up your water game by adding a few sprigs of mint and some fruit to it a few hours beforehand. Some of my favorite combinations are mint + strawberry, mint + cucumber or lemon + mint.
  • Coconut Oil – The best makeup remover ever! Simply slather on your face and then use a warm wet towel to remove makeup. I like to let the towel sit for 30 seconds first to really absorb everything. (For an added bonus, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the coconut oil)
  • Masks – We used two types: a deep pore cleanser and then a calming mask. For the deep-pore one, we used a clay one that was amazing. I got it from the TJ Maxx clearance section, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get some great masks. Browse the clearance sections of TJ Maxxs, even drugstores often have great single use masks too, and sometimes, I even make homemade masks if I am feeling really into it.
  • Toner –  Once you are done, be sure to apply some toner to lock in all the goodness
  • Night cream – Then finish it up by moisturizing. Don’t forget the neck!!!!
  • A TV Show – I don’t recommend movies because you will get too into them and forget to take off your masks. Commercial breaks are great for washing your face and catching up with girlfriends. Honestly, it ends up being background noise as you talk with friends so it’s nice to have something on that you don’t have to pay too much attention to!

What makes a good spa night for you? I think next time I am going to do a pedicure/manicure, so any tips are welcomed! Also, I woke up the next day and my skin felt amazing, I need to do this more often!

Wise Words: Boring People

Boring People Have Boring Times

I shared one of my mother’s (and now mine) favorite phrases a few weeks ago and here is another good Shea family saying (it goes perfectly with our traveling rules!). Boring people have boring times. Apparently, my uncle came up with this phrase when he was little and it has been uttered ever since in our family. The moment you say you are bored, someone will turn to you and say “Boring people have boring times”. There is no excuse for boredom in our household growing up! From the time I was little, I would have to find a way to amuse myself whether it be while waiting in line to during an ‘adult’ dinner party to long car rides. You can always think of something to do (and that doesn’t necessarily mean with a screen!). Here are some of my favorite ways to pass time without a screen:

 

-Think of backstories about people around you. Why are they here? An important meeting? A date? Are they together? Brother and sister? Where did they grow up? A farm? The city? Suburbia?

-Make lists in your head about what needs to get done. This one isn’t fun but it can be a good use of time.

-Make a guess for how many cars or red cars or jeeps will pass before your bus gets here

 

P.S. Another thing we do is play cards. Gin Rummy is our favorite game and I always have a pack of cards in my purse just in case I get stuck somewhere. I played it a few weeks ago at a bar with friends one afternoon. We had a blast!