Cookie Policy Privacy Policy

Things I love: Glerups slippers

Things I love: Glerups slippers

When you work from home and have a small child, it feels like 80% of your life is spent inside your house. Especially as autumn descends. Between living in converted Victorian terrace houses, warehouses and timber-frame apartment buildings, a building with a concrete floor – good slippers are critical in my daily life. And now that I live in Germany, it is absolutely standard practice to wear Hausschuhe (literally house shoes) inside at all times. When you visit someone, they will have a basket of loaner Hausschuhe as well!

The hunt for the best slippers

You laugh, but I probably wear my slippers for more time out of the day than any pair of shoes. A good pair of inside house shoes is critical to my happiness. Sick of drugstore fuzzy landlord lady ones, cheap ones from Muji that never stay on, more expensive but equally crap ones from a department store, I decided to do some research. There had to be a solution.

Scandi felted wool lovelies

Behold, my perfect slippers: Glerups.

Glerups shoe shape and leather soleGlerups boot slipperGlerups with rubber sole
image courtesy of Glerups

These Danish felted wool beauties come in several variations – a slip-on clog shape, a slip-on shoe with heel coverage and an ankle boot, all with suede soles. The shoe version has an optional rubber sole, which is the kind I ordered. I love the thick felt, and how warm they are. The rubber sole means I can pop out my front door without worrying about ruining my slippers or finding a proper pair of shoes. And they look quite sleek – no fuzzy pompoms or bunny ears here. Not only that, these are made by workers who are paid a decent wage, and the wool is carefully sourced too.

Investment in a sustainable, responsibly made indoor shoe

They are not cheap, I know the concept of spending over $80 on slippers feels crazy, but these will last forever. I wear mine more hours out of the day than any of my shoes, so it seemed logical. I bought my pair last winter, and with daily wear they are nearly unchanged. Perfect. An update: they lasted for nearly four years, and eventually wore out the heel entirely. But most importantly, animal welfare is an important part of Glerups’ business model, as is responsible employment of their workers. Glerups slippers are made in the EU (in Romania, in fact) and you can watch a few videos on how the slippers come together. Some of the wool comes from farms in New Zealand now, but these farmers also take special care of their sheep.

Glerups are available through their Canadian website, in the US on Amazon, and in Europe on Amazon.

This post was originally written in October 2013, updated in February 2021.

Follow:

Where we figure out the local autumn holidays

Where we figure out the local autumn holidays

Moving to a new country as a family, as opposed to a free-wheeling young adult, dumps you deep into the everyday minutiae in ways that’s hard to predict ahead of time.

img_4279

Our son attends a German/English bilingual school that runs on the local curriculum, rather than an international school (which are in English, and generally stick to North American IB programmes). Most of his classmates are German, as are the parents, and it gives us a window into local holidays. We didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving this year, as we were still getting settled in our flat and our son had a cold. I’m just getting to the put where I can figure out the names of the spices and the cuts of meat I need in German – I didn’t really want to start running around trying to find North American groceries in a small town. Next year I’d like to have a nice get together with our German friends and introduce them to our celebratory autumn meal. Remind me next September and I might get it together in time!

Halloween is not really a thing here, while the kids had a dress-up party at school, there was no trick or treating as far as we could tell. No pumpkins in windows or front steps. Stores had some decorations, but it was pretty low key. Halloween itself also happened to fall during Herbstferien, the autumn term week-long break. I warned our son about the lack of Halloween excitement ahead of time, and promised that Christmas is a Big Deal. Judging by the displays already up in the windows,

img_4394 img_4395

On November 11th, Germans celebrate St Martin’s Day, or Martinstag. We trundled down to our local main street, and followed an actor dressed up as Saint Martin in his Roman gladiatorial gear and riding a horse. The children carry homemade lanterns, and there were several marching bands playing Martin songs, which we didn’t know, but many others sang along around us. We reached one of the squares in the Altstadt to watch a very short play about Saint Martin tearing his cloak in half to give to a beggar, the tasting of the first glass of wine from this year’s harvest, and the handing out of Martinsmännchen, person-shaped sweet bread figures.

There’s something amazing about walking down these streets, knowing children have been running around waving lanterns every November for 400 years. It’s one of reasons I was so keen to move back to Europe.

The Weihnachtsmarkts start at the end of the month, and we’re lucky enough to have a particularly lovely one in our little town. Now I just have to figure out how to do Nikolaustag on December 5th.

Follow:

Three days in Munich

Three days in Munich

One of the reasons we agreed to this relocation to Germany was the chance to travel around Europe. My husband goes to Münich often for business, so before school started, we decided to tag along.

three days in Munich with kids

I know we’ll be in Munich again, so we didn’t try and cram everything in. I find travelling with a seven year old is a lesson in picking a few things and taking your time.

Marienplatz, Munich
Marienplatz, Munich

Thinking about Oktoberfest with kids? It’s fun! Check out Babies & Backpacks for her experience taking her kids to Oktoberfest

The Englisch Garten

This huge park is in the middle of the city, and easy to reach by transit. There are many many playgrounds, and we just stopped at three or four as we wandered. Elliot’s favourite was right next to the big biergarten surrounding the Chinese Tower. You can ride a beautiful carousel from 1905 for €1 a go. Terrifically, no adults are allowed on it, so you can sit for a minute.

Surfers on Eisbach canal, Munich
Surfers on Eisbach canal

Check out the surfers on the Eisbach canal at the far south end of the park. It’s mesmerizing.

Englisch Garten, Munich
Englisch Garten

If you’re exhausted, you can flag down one of the pedicabs for a ride or a tour. It’s not cheap – €35 or so will get you a tour. A cheaper option is taking out a pedal boat on the lake, it’s €10 for half an hour.

Carousel in Englisch Garten, by the Chinese Tower
Carousel in Englisch Garten, by the Chinese Tower

Playground by the Chinese Tower, Englisch Garten
Playground by the Chinese Tower, Englisch Garten

Biergarten by the Chinese Tower, Englisch Garten
Biergarten by the Chinese Tower, Englisch Garten

The biergartens serve the usual bratwurst, french fries, soft pretzels (brezeln), sauerkraut, onion salad, and potatoes – as well as giant vats of beer. You can bring your own food as well, so if you’re planning to make a meal of it, swing by a REWE or Edeka beforehand for some vegetables.

Hellabrunn Zoo

Easy to reach by bus, the zoo can easily take up a whole day. There are several playgrounds, and a little mini theme park called Kinderland complete with ride-on cars, a minitrain, a beautiful carousel, and a digger. Kinderland involves buying tokens for the rides, so keep that in mind.

Carousel in the Hellabrunn Zoo
Carousel in the Hellabrunn Zoo

In the middle of the zoo there’s a biergarten right next to the biggest playground. There’s also a sit down restaurant on the terrace above if you’re looking for burgers instead of sausages.

Looking for a short excursion from Munich? Brittany from October Acres loved Berchtesgaden

Biergarten in Hellabrunn Zoo
Biergarten in Hellabrunn Zoo

Feeding the acrobatic pigeons at the Hellabrunn Zoo
Feeding the acrobatic pigeons

Hellabrunn Zoo, Munich
Hellabrunn Zoo

It’s worth checking the schedule of feedings and shows before you head out. The shows are in German, so if you don’t speak the language it’s a bit less interesting. We watched the acrobatic pigeon show, though, and it was fun anyway. The pigeons kept landing on people’s heads!

Our favourites were the Bat Cave, where the bats fly around your head and occasionally bump into you, and watching the penguins zip through the water.

Ask at the entrance gate for a map in English, and one in German to practice your animal names!

Taxisgarten, Munich
Taxisgarten, Munich

We visited Taxisgarten, a local biergarten recommended by my husband’s colleagues. Again, it’s furnished with a playground, and features the usual food options. It’s beautiful on a warm summer evening, with lights strung up in the trees. You can bring some of your own food here too, so bring some extras if your kids are like mine and will only eat Brezel.

How to get around >> Fellow Canadian Christina lives in Munich and has the full lowdown on how to navigate the Munich public transport system.

Where to find playgrounds >> should you be in Munich and need to find the nearest playground, try this great searchable outdoor playground (spielplatz) database. You can plug in your children’s ages and where you are, it will give you the closest playgrounds. It’s in German – I’m sure you can find your way through, but if you’ve got the Chrome browser with the translation plug-in it makes it very easy.

 

Follow:

Board games: King of Tokyo

Board games: King of Tokyo

IMG_1275

My little guy has been sick this past weekend, which has meant a lot of board game time. One of our favourites has been out on the table for the past three days: [amazon_link id=”B004U5R5BI” target=”_blank” ]King of Tokyo[/amazon_link].

This is a great sort-of co-op game for 2-6 players. I say sort-of co-op – you are battling each other, but you’re taking turns destroying Tokyo. When you’re in the middle of Tokyo, you take all damage, and when you deal damage, you deal it out to everyone equally.

It’s great fun to be a giant monster like the Kraken (above), or Gigazaur, or one of the others. You get to buy extra add-ons like the extra head, a spiked tail – things like that. The games go quickly, and turns aren’t too long either. My son liked playing this when he was 5, but now that he’s 6, he really, really enjoys it. This game will need parents to play too, but it’s a perfect after-dinner activity. Minimal set-up makes it practical for quick games too.

Watch the Tabletop episode on King of Tokyo to get a sense of the gameplay.

Follow:

Oh, autumn

Oh, autumn

IMG_1092

Oh autumn. One minute I’m sweating, the next minute I’m shivering. I find myself cycling between midi skirts and flats, trousers, boots, jackets, and coats. Here are some of my favourite options right now.

modcloth city lovin coat

silver flats

Nordstrom Olson pointy toe flats (above), Modcloth City Lovin’ Coat.

joefresh moto jacket

steve madden troopa

Joe Fresh vegan leather moto jacket (above), Steve Madden Troopa boots

Follow: