Munich — Department Store Holiday Window Decorations

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On Sunday, all of the stores were closed in Munich, except places to eat and the Christmas Market stalls. This was good, because there weren’t as many people out, so I could walk and really look at the store windows.

I thought you’d enjoy these holiday decorations. Really beautiful with the gigantic nutcrackers. Notice that I was able to take pictures with no “shoppers” in the photo. The store had Christmas music playing in English, I was singing along.

The perfect way to end the day!

Are you a Mentos fan? Make a friend, share an “emoticon” Mentos

492DE216-BC7D-426D-AC09-8FE61A3F4392Gee, I guess I haven’t had Mentos in a while. I got a pack and was eating them on the plane. Since the lights were low, I wasn’t paying attention and dropped one into my lap. Unfortunately, I had to turn my light on to find the darn thing. When I did, I looked at it TWICE wondering if that was indeed my Mentos. On a plane, who knows what you can find.

7D0FDB36-D606-46C2-98BB-785DD0AAADD7Sure enough, it was my Mentos, but it had a funny smiley face on it. I found that weird, so I took ALL the Mentos out of the package to assess the situation. Turns out they ALL had some sort of a smiley face or “emoticon” on them. Next, I looked at the outside of the packaging… aha, some “Say Hello” campaign going on.

So, while I didn’t share a Mentos sweet treat in person with someone, I am sharing this message with you, so you see what they look like. They are cute and funny.

It’s “almost” like sharing the real treat, right?!

Munich – The Christmas holiday has begun

5B3A1DEF-DA7E-4F3F-A387-209A49882D35It’s officially Black Friday even in Munich. As I was walking down the street I came across this BIG beautiful Pyramid. My ex/mother/n/law is German and my first introduction to the pyramid was from her. She would get the box where it was stored and show me how to put it together and then the fun part was adding the candles at the bottom, so the heat could move the propellers. I fell in love with this Christmas traditional instantly.

To view a nice assortment of German ornaments and the pyramids, visit Käthe Wohlfahrt of America’s website. I am not affiliated with this site, mainly sharing with you, because it took me “forever” to find a website in America that sold the pyramids. Good news, they come in different sizes. Bad news, they are bit pricey for the 3-tiered ones. However, they are a Christmas tradition to be handed down to your children and grandchildren. Start small, then go BIG.

NOTE: Make sure you buy extra candles, because you cannot find the right size pyramid candles at normal stores.

If you come to Europe for the Christmas Markets depending on where you go, you will see even bigger pyramid displays.

Merry Christmas!

Happy Thanksgiving! Catching up on reading…

FAADC7DA-F0F6-434F-9DE9-D2E7D97045C4Hello, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I am in Munich, Germany. Before I left, I downloaded some books for the trip. I’m in the HERO mood lately. Actually, I’m in the process of trying to find an athletic challenge for next year. My daughter is going to train for a marathon. I am not a runner, I prefer hiking, so I am investigating those kinds of challenges.

In my research, I came across this GREAT book that I started reading last night, “Natural Born Heroes,” by Christopher McDougall. It’s really good, if you like learning about heroes. The author has a fast paced, high energy, writing style — not boring at all. For sure, you won’t put it down, you’ll feel like you are running right beside him on his quest to find out “what makes a Hero.”

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He says a Hero is not about strength and force, but about compassion, because hero’s are known as the protectors. He’s got all sorts of stories and analogies. I like it!

Oh, he has a chapter on Greek Mythology.  This brought back memories of my Italian mother. While we were eating dinner, she would read to us from this  Greek Myths book. Growing up in Italy, when she was in school, they were taught about Greek Mythology, so she would say it was her “DUTY” to teach us as well. And guess what, this book is a bit “old looking now,” but my Mom pulls it out to read to the grandchildren. YES, they must learn about Greek Mythology too! I smile when I see this book.

Ok, I’m off to explore Munich, one of my favorite cities.

It’s raining… Again, I think of my mother. When there was lightning she would say, “Zeus is mad at us! You see how he is throwing thunder bolts from the sky.”

Did I miss Thanksgiving?

Question ThanksgivingYesterday, I was walking to work and I heard “Christmas music,” coming from a hotel lobby. I looked up and this hotel had already decorated for Christmas. I shook my head, we haven’t had Thanksgiving yet.

As I continued walking, I immediately thought of some of those Hallmark movies where the person falls, hits their head and suddenly, they don’t remember anything. That’s how I felt. Did I miss something?

I looked at the date on my phone for confirmation. It was indeed November 19, at least one week or so BEFORE Thanksgiving. I had a vision of the Board meeting at the hotel where the President said, “Look, we KNOW we have to put Christmas decorations up, let’s just GET IT DONE, so we can ENJOY our time off next week for Thanksgiving. The crowds will be awful on Black Friday, if we put decorations up now, our life will be easier.”

The President of the hotel smiled, gavel went down, DECISION MADE!! The Christmas season will OFFICIALLY start ONE WEEK EARLY at this hotel! He calls his secretary to verify that she has finalized his trip to the Bahamas leaving on the TUESDAY before Thanksgiving. He sits back in his chair proud of his decision.

REALLY, don’t you think that is how it happens?!

We can’t even enjoy a quiet Thanksgiving anymore. It used to be time spent with family. Now, it is all about Black Friday sales and moving Christmas up.

REI has it right! For the fifth year they are closing on Black Friday, so families can enjoy Thanksgiving together. They are not worried about losing sales. Would be nice if MORE companies did this… but I won’t hold my breath!

FYI – I do enjoy the Christmas holiday, but in December, not middle of November.

Ok, off to buy apples for an apple pie!

Chicago – Art display on Michigan Ave

Owls in Chicago 1I was walking down Michigan Ave rushing in the cold weather to an appointment. Suddenly, I came across these adorable owls. I had to stop, smile and take a photo. I’m not sure who the artist is, there was no sign, but certainly this is a winning art display.

I share this with you, hoping it makes YOU SMILE TOO!

If you are writing for NaNoWriMo, keep at it! We have the weekend to catch up on our word count!

Have a great day!

Succeeding as part of A TEAM!

The other day, sifting through emails, I pressed the “delete button” over and over. I ALMOST deleted this article, “Becoming Interdependent as A TEAM” from the LeadershipNow™ website. As I started reading, my first thought was back to my childhood where my mother taught us (four kids) to work as a team, stop complaining!

This bird photo is perfect in depicting how a team starts out. There were four kids in my family. Do you see how the birds are discussing WHO will DO WHAT. That’s how we were. If any of you have siblings or endured meetings for group projects at school or work, you know how meetings work. Someone always stands out as the leader, and there are one or two people who remain silent. They either want to play to win OR they are extremely lazy, nothing motivates them. They are dead weight.

My mother, tired of our annoying complaining, taught us (four kids) to work like a Navy Seal team. No one complains, everyone pulls their weight, because as children our goal was “getting to the beach.” If my father saw a lot of complaining, he gave us more chores, which meant no beach time. If we worked as a team, happy smiles, strong work ethic, we got to the beach by Noon.

This is where Jason Caldwell’s article comes in. Caldwell shares how he and his crew team, the American Spirit, worked as a team to row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean to win the 2016 Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge and set a world record.

What Caldwell says, and I agree with, is that in order to build a successful team, you have to build TRUST and understand what motivates each individual team member. It’s not just about the main goal, you need to care about each person’s individual goal(s) and make sure you are aligned at all times. If you are out of sync, you cannot win.

GREAT ARTICLE!

Let’s find and build a winning team!