Inspiring Finds in American Malls

The other day, I was wandering around the mall (and applying all of these green tips- including parking in the back of the lot despite the rain).  There were a lot of American stores that I was completely unfamiliar with – Crate and Barrel, West Elm, Z Gallery, Anthropologie… I only know they existed because people in the US used to email me when we were in Germany.  They wanted to know how I could stand being away from these breath taking stores.  Of course, you can’t miss something that you’ve never experienced.  We used to drive over a hundred miles just to hit up Costco when I grew up.  The lack of shopping does wonders for a simple life!

Still, I decided to venture into two stores I’d heard so much about: Anthropologie and Crate and Barrel.  I know, I know.  Stone Age Katie.

We could have used a Crate and Barrel in Berlin.  My taste in accessories is very American because I like a lot of color (here’s our reeeeally bright dishes in Berlin), and Crate and Barrel is filled with a very American display of brightly colored everything.  My eyes had to adjust from the relatively black and white shopping in Germany.  When they did, I picked up one thing:

baking cups

These silicone baking cups could be a great way to reduce our paper waste if we can use them over and over for years to come.  They were on clearance, and I know I can wedge these into my suitcase back to Germany in a few months.  

Then I went to Antropologie.  And I hope I can wedge my one Anthropologie purchase into my bag, too.  (Yes, I am already thinking about what I really want to bring back to Germany like every expat does when she’s back home.)  I picked a porcelain bird that pours sugar out of its mouth.  Dorky?  Maybe.  It’s also so perfect for those recipes that call for a tablespoon or two of sugar.  Pulling an entire container of sugar out of our drawers of food or keeping a little snack bowl on the counter were both a pain.  We needed a sugar bowl, and this little guy was just begging to be The One:

cheep cheep


Now when people ask me how I survive in Germany (or the countryside for that matter) without stores like these, I can show my treasure.  I might as well mention that Martin and I had never even heard of IKEA until I stumbled on this blog about an American who was living in Germany at the time.  I’ve never even seen an IKEA in the US, and I’m perfectly okay with that.

So to all my rural readers, this one’s for you.

We shared our first experience in IKEA here.  It was on the day we arrived in Germany. 

(Images for Making This Home)