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Three Things Thursday - The Year 2010

What did you do in 2010, or what do you plan on doing in 2011? We have been a decade in the 20s. I remember when 2000 flipped how everyone was worried about the computers. Now everyone is worried about 2012 and the Mayan calendar. I don't know, just live while you can and stop worrying about that stuff. If the world blows up in 2012, or even tomorrow, there's nothing you can do. So forget it.
Three things about...
2010 or 2011.
1.    I feel accomplished here at the end of 2010. I’ve gotten over some fears (flying in airplanes being one), gotten onto a career path, and work on the side for a publisher. This year has opened doors for the next year that I would never have thought possible.
2.    One of those doors is the possibility to write another book. I’m gearing up for it. It’s ready to spill out. Now to just write it. Another is that I will continue editing, which is what I truly love. I have found my passion, and I’m going to stick with it.
3.    I hope in 2011 I can visit more places and open my eyes a little wider to how things in this world work. I want to grow. Both as a person and alongside my husband. I have hopes for this year that at this moment it seems will be fulfilled. That is extremely exciting.

Guten Rutsch!

How about you? Tell me in the comments or in your own blog post and link below.


Books Read in 2010

It's time to count up the books I read in 2010. It doesn't feel like that many since it was hard to find English books here, but I think it's actually a pretty good number. I'll give a list of the books I read with a little review of what I thought. Also 1-5 stars depending on how much I liked it. We'll start with a count, and in a later post I'll begin the reviews.

I still have one week left to add some to the list!

Reread books: 11
Non-Fiction: 8
YA: 30
Fiction: 50
Total: 57

Last year I read 60 books. So 57 is actually pretty good. I think I could have read a ton more if I had the Kindle way earlier, as I've breezed through a lot of those books in the last month. I will mix in a review of my Kindle somewhere in the blog posts of what books I've read this year.


Three Things Thursday - When You're Sick

I'm sick today. Everyone in my office has been sick, and I was really hoping not to catch it. I think I was successful considering what I have is nothing like what they had! So there's my positive spin on being home sick. Now I want to know what are your favorite things to do when you're sick.
Three things about...

what you do when you're sick.
1.    Read. I can never pass up a chance to read more. I devour books when I’m sick because I’m in bed anyways. It turns into a wonderful thing, unless I feel so awful that I can’t concentrate on the words. Then it’s a really bad day.
2.    Watch favorite childhood movies. This is when I pull out Aladdin and Robin Hood. Notice I’m not really into the princess movies. They are just complete airheads, and I can’t stand it. I need intelligent women in my movies.
3.    Catching up on house stuff like the mail and little errands. For instance today I signed up for a new internet service online. I should clean the house…but that’s a little too labor intensive for how I feel right now. Maybe later.

Tell me your three things in the comments or leave a link to your own blog post.


Three Things Thursday - Your Face

What do you think about your face? Do you have some pieces that you love and others that you could change? Overall, I like my face. I'm not the type to have lots of mirrors in the house or to do fancy make-up, so I don't look at it very often. So tell me three things about your face. You can be positive or negative, do with it what you want. For you writers out there here's a chance to really play with three things Thursday.
Three things about...
your face.
1.    My eyes. When I wear red they are stunningly blue. And when my hair was dyed red they were Caribbean blue all the time. I like to hope that when I’m truly happy they get a little glint just on the right corner of each pupil. Oh, that reminds me, one of my pupils is larger. It looks strange.
2.    My cheeks are way too chubby. I should have lost that by now, right? With my hair up they look skinnier. If I could just slim them down I would be happier to stare into mirrors…or not.
3.    My nose is adorably cute. But it’s so small that sometimes I just can’t breath. But it’s cute. I think my nieces’ button noses look like mine. People have even said the newborn, Ella, looks like me! That freckle is like a family member. If I woke up one day and didn't see it there I think I would have a heart attack.

Tell me your three things in the comments or leave a link to your own blog post.


Three Things Thursday - Family

Do you love your family? I do. Sometimes I get sick of them, but that's just because I'm an introvert and two weeks of constant people tires me out. But I love them so much. Since I just spent those two weeks in Colorado with my family, I thought family would be an appropriate Three Things topic.
Three things about...
your family.
(From left: Brother-in-law's parents; Albert holding Sam; Dad and Mom; Kelli holding baby Ella and brother-in-law A.J.; and Sadie the dog.)
1.    My immediate family is very close. Sometimes we bicker, and grumble, and complain about each other, but we are rather tight. I stayed in Colorado for college and worked for my dad through and after. My sister moved away for college and stayed away a while until my dad hired her as a manager. Family business through and through. We all lived in our little home town and probably will for a long time if/when Albert and I move back.
2.    My mother is a big mother bear. She likes to take care of all of us. When something is wrong she either comforts us or tells us to get up and do something about it. She’s wonderful.
3.    My dad is quiet. He works so hard. It makes me tired just thinking about everything he does. He’s a veterinarian but he takes care of the house and the animals in all of his free time.

Tell me three things about your family either in the comments or link your own blog post into the linky below.


Free December Calendar

I've been away, basking in the glow of family and friends in Colorado. We left Germany with warm fall weather, found snow in Colorado, and came back to snow in Germany. We are glad to be home. I have pictures to show, but they need edited. So for now I have December's calendar.

Just click on the picture. When it comes up in its own browser window, right click and save the picture somewhere on your computer. Then go to that location, right click on the picture, and set as desktop background. Voila, you have a photo calendar on your computer! And please let me know in the comments if you use it.


Three Things Thursday - Jobs

I just started a new job two weeks ago, so let's get into what your job is like. Whether that's being a mother or a doctor...I want to hear about it.

Three things about...
your work.
1.    It’s actually my first job that applies to my college degree (English), and I graduated three years ago.
2.    I’m really loving it. I have an OCD personality to the point where I actually enjoy stuffing millions of envelopes for the satisfaction it gives me in finishing the job. So this job entails editing documents, designing documents, some photography, and even every once in a while, stuffing envelopes.
3.    I’m also loving having something to do every day. When I have a schedule and things pressing for my time, I usually get more done. When I have nothing and I get to do what I want…I don’t do any of it. So I’m really happy to have a job that fits me, but also fills my days so I can come home and write or cook or do the things I’m supposed to do.

P.S. Love that picture...it's so me. (The words, not the cat.)

Tell me three things about your work either by linking your own blog post or in the comments.


Random Got Beautiful - RGB

Take a look at this very cool photography site run by Nikki Farquharson called Random Got Beautiful. She has pages with different colors assigned to them and photos of those various colors. Her idea is to take photos that are dominated by a single color and place them with others so as to make a whole new concept. It is open for public submission. I submitted my swings photo a while back for the blue page. If you click on blue and scroll down a bit you can see it.


Give-away Winner Three

The winner of the final birthday give-away is Hanna from I'll Name My Typewriter After the Moon. I'll let you know what she chooses when I find out. Thank you to everyone for celebrating my birthday with me and entering the give-aways. I'm still only three followers from 200, so hello to the new followers and look forward to another give-away quite soon!


Three Things Thursday - Dreams - Give-away Winner Two

My mother won the second give-away. Random.org picked one of her entries. Thank you to everyone who entered! And the last one is still open until Friday so enter away.

For this week's Three Things Thursday I thought I would try to tie in with the travel journal I am sending to my mother from Katie at Gadanke. So we're going to talk about where we travel in our dreams. Literal dreams, not figurative.

Three things about...
Day 13

 what you dream.
1.    Usually my dreams don’t get vivid and memorable unless I have woken up around dawn and fallen back asleep. You know those half-awake dreams? Those are my strongest ones. My mind is working, but my body is not acknowledging it so the dreams tend to be some story or invention I’m thinking up. For example: the other night I dreamt about making interactive history books with the e-readers. I’m looking at e-readers right now, and apparently I came up with my millionaire idea while I was sleeping.
2.    I do have nightmares. They are caused by scary movies. Hence, I don’t watch scary movies very often. I actually used to sleep-walk every time I had a nightmare. Strange thing is, that happened multiple times at my grandparent’s house. My grandpa always had cable (and my parents didn’t) so I think I was sucked into watching movies that I wouldn’t normally see. Or maybe the house was possessed and made me sleep-walk, no idea.
3.    One of my recurring dreams from my childhood is still stuck in my head. It makes absolutely no sense and has to do with a warehouse and Sesame Street characters. Oh, and seals and cars. Yeah, see what I mean? But another from my childhood (I vividly remember these two) was with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I was kind of a tomboy; my mom even bought me TMNT boys underwear.

So enter your own blog post in the linky below or tell me what you dream about in the comments. Also, enter the give-away that is closing tomorrow!


Welcome to November - Give-away One Winner

The winner for the first give-away last week is Jamie from The Broke and The Bookish (story of my life, that blog title is) (umm, sorry to go all Yoda on that sentence). I'll get in contact with Jamie and send her the postcards. Thanks to everyone who entered. The other two give-aways are still open, so enter those too!

My sister had her baby on the 29th. Ella Lorraine has the perfect birthday; it is right between her daddy's and mine. So now our family has three birthdays in a row in October. Also, earlier in October my mother-in-law and sister-in-law have their birthdays. It's just a crazy month. But now we move on to November. Here is the free calendar.

Just click on the picture. When it comes up in its own browser window, right click and save the picture somewhere on your computer. Then go to that location, right click on the picture, and set as desktop background. Voila, you have a photo calendar on your computer! And please let me know in the comments if you use it.


Birthday Week Celebration - Give-away Three

Happy Birthday to me! (Well, on Saturday.)

Hello to the new followers. Now I'm only six away from 200. But there's only one more day. So spread the word for me. All three of these give-aways are open for a week so you can still enter them. This one will be open until next Friday.

Today's give-away is not only celebrating my birthday, it is also celebrating one year in Germany. So there is a choice of prizes between my two favorite things. The winner will either get to pick from my library of photographs and have an 8X10 printed, or they can pick any two from my library of books.
The books I have to give away (they are all soft cover and in very good condition):
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman (aka Golden Compass)
Julie and Julia by Julie Powell
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Vampire Diaries 1 & 2 by L.J. Smith

My flickr library is here, but I have so much more than that. It will give you the flavor of my photography and we can talk further if you choose to get the 8X10. (I'd even be willing to capture a new photo specifically for you. I'm feeling rather artsy at the moment and would love some new inspiration.)

Now just fill out this form; it's easy, I promise. You can answer the first question by reading this blog post. And this is the end of the crazy birthday week. Thanks for joining in!


Birthday Week Celebration - Give-away Two

Just a little side note before we get to the give-away: I would really love to get to 200 followers for my birthday. I'm only 8 away, and I have until Saturday. That would be a great way to end the week!

This give-away is focused on travel. I have been a lot of places in my life, and especially in the past year, so I decided to give-away a travel journal made by the lovely Katie at Gadanke. Katie moves between the Rocky Mountains and Germany with her husband. I found her through another expat and couldn't resist getting in touch with someone who lives in the two places I have lived!
I will be purchasing this journal from Katie and having it sent to the winner. The contest is open until next Wednesday. You just need to fill out this form; it's easy, I promise. Answer the first question by reading my blog post on where I have traveled. Come back on Friday for another give-away, and make sure you enter Monday's give-away.


Birthday Week Celebration - Give-away One

Hi! At the end of this week is my birthday. So I'm going to have three give-aways for you. My birthday presents to my readers.

Today I'm going to give you an update on my writing this month and give away a set of my postcards so you can do some writing of your own. Twelve Frozen Flower postcards in their own box.

I'm only one quarter of the way through my manuscript. At least so far. I have one week left. I don't plan on finishing my manuscript this month, but I haven't given up on the whole thing. I still have ideas; it hasn't died yet; it does feel really raw. I'll keep you updated, but for now I'm just plowing through the first draft.

So now, for the contest. You have to fill out this form; it's easy I promise. The first question is something you can answer by having read this blog post. Then fill out the form and you're entered to win the postcards. I will announce the winner for this give-away next Monday. Come back on Wednesday and Friday for more give-aways!


Three Things Thursday - The Past Year

I'm going to incorporate Three Things Thursday with the year anniversary of my husband and I being in Germany because exactly a year ago we landed in Stuttgart. So take a look at yesterday's post for my three things. I want you to look back on the past year and tell me three things about it. Maybe three things that have changed you or even just random things.
Three things about...
the past year.
Blog your own post and link in the linky below or tell me in the comments! I have to clean the house today and then get all fancied up to celebrate a great year.


One Year in Germany

A year ago today my husband and I left the United States for Stuttgart, Germany. It has been quite the adventure. I really believe it has brought us closer, but I wouldn't say it's a good form of therapy for the light-hearted. Stress is our constant companion. We are just now starting to untangle its fingers from around our necks.

I'm surprised to see that I understood Germany pretty well when we first got here. I'm reading through the old blog posts. Here is a photo I took of the farms behind our first apartment. Lovely Bonlanden, the place that smells like farts when the cabbage rots.
Day 81
The adventure of going through buying a car. And then having that car break in the IKEA parking lot and be broken for another few months. (It's now having the same problem, oh yay.)

Finding a beautiful apartment, renting and decorating it, and very soon after moving in locking ourselves out of said apartment.

We've gone to fests and made a ton of new friends. As well as had my family visit. A lot of friends and family are planning on coming out next year, it will be another crazy year!

We discovered the Nürburgring car-racing track and have traveled so many places. I think Albert has seriously been bitten by the traveling bug, he's constantly wanting to go somewhere new now! (And it's funny because he's only been to Europe once...even though it has lasted a year! He's never even dealt with the jet lag on the way back to the U.S. so he doesn't have an opinion when people argue over which way jet lag is worse.)
It has really been a good year. A stressful one, but a good one nonetheless. I'm looking forward to many more either here in Germany or elsewhere. Tomorrow night we are headed to the restaurant we ate in on our arrival. Only this time we can actually order in German!


Three Things Thursday - Travel Wishes

Last week I asked you about where you have been. This week I want to know where you dream of going. I really wish someone would invent teleportation so travel would be so much easier. I'm not the best flier, but I love to travel places. If I could hop from one place to another with maybe a little dizziness and cotton-mouth as the only side effects, I would be set.
Three things about...
where you dream of traveling.
1.    I would like to someday see Japan. I have a strange fascination with the history of Asia and the beauty that can be found there.
2.    I need to go to Australia and South America, then I will have been to all the continents except for Antarctica. I’ve been a lot of places, but it would be fun to be able to say I’ve been to six of the seven continents.
3.    One of my dreams right now is to go as far north as is comfortable in Sweden in the summer to watch the sun never set. That or go to Iceland in the winter to visit the hot springs they have. I just like to travel; I want to experience as many places as I can in my life.


Piepsen Went to London

Piepsen went to London with us in August. He really enjoyed the tea and the shepherd's pie at the pub. He refused to go in the London Eye (the fear of heights and all that). But he loves palaces and the architecture of London.

We're still working on his photos from Vienna. (He thinks he looks like a rat in them.) But we should have those up soon.

Piepsen in London


Oktoberfest 2010

I have to say that I don't need to go to Oktoberfest again. It's nice to say I've been there, and on the 200th anniversary as well, but it's just like any other German fest. For those of you who haven't lived here, you can come to any big fest anywhere in Germany and it'll be like Oktoberfest. In fact, Frühlingsfest in Stuttgart (which is in the spring) is better. Less crowded, cheaper, and exactly the same otherwise. It was fun to hang out with friends, but it was crowded and we had traffic all the way home.


Three Things Thursday - Travel

My mother grew up in Saudi Arabia because her father worked for an oil company. They traveled a lot when she was a child, all over Europe and back and forth to the United States. Because she grew up a traveler, so did I.
Three things about...
where you have traveled.
1.    First I’ll list off the places: a lot of the States, Mexico, England, France, Netherlands, Germany, Tanzania, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Switzerland, Austria.
2.    We used to spend every other summer in Mexico just lazing in a resort. It was wonderful, and I miss that kind of traveling. Lately it’s just been hundreds of museums and castles. I need a relaxing vacation, not a tourist one.
3.    My favorite trip was Tanzania. It was my high school graduation present for my whole family to go on a safari there. It was absolutely amazing. If you can do it, go for it. The landscapes are beautiful, the animals are breathtaking, and because we were stuck in a safari jeep all day we really became closer as a family.

So post your own blog post about where you have traveled and attach your link here or tell me in the comments. I love getting to know all of you!


Small Business and Etsy

It looks like I need to close my etsy shop. At least while I'm living in Germany. The ideas and products I have are too expensive to produce and sell from here. I'm considering some other possibilities like Red Bubble which would allow me to have my photos up for sale but they take care of the printing and shipping. I'm still looking into that.

I do have to say I really miss taking photos of people. That is my one love of photography. I also might attempt to offer my services on the American bases and build some clientele.

For now my etsy shop has the inventory that is sitting in my office, and I will be putting it on sale soon to try and clear it out. Consider this diagram that has passed around the interwebs lately when you want to take something you love and turn it into what you do.

Venn Diagram - Happiness in Business


NaNoWriMo or OctoWriMo

I've been considering the fact that NaNoWriMo will be pretty much impossible for me this year. I'm starting a new job in November that is full time, and then the last two weeks we are going back to Colorado for a visit. I don't think I will have much time to write around those two things. So I decided to write in October instead.

On October 2nd I started a novel that has been rolling around in my head for a while. I didn't want to touch it and just let it flutter in the back of my mind until it was solid and I knew it wouldn't run away. It's a singularity novel. What would the world be like in the future if something technological or biological radically changed our lifestyles? Think of iRobot or Minority Report the movies. I still have to read Isaac Asimov's robot stories, but I've seen the movie.

In my future world it is a biological change. There are other science fictiony things like self-cleaning streets and machines like instant coffee for groceries, but the world revolves around the change in people because of this new medical technology.

This is the first idea I've had that originated around the world and not around a character. All of my writing before has been character based. This novel isn't an exception, it's just that the idea formed differently for me. Which I think means the story will be different than anything I've done before. The story itself is still character based, but the world is more developed than said characters at this point.

You can watch my progress this month on the bar to the right. I'm at 5% right now, lol. I don't know if I'll finish in a month. But I will certainly be pushing myself to do so.


Free October Desktop Calendar

This windmill is in the Black Forest. We went hiking up right underneath it. It was pretty cool to see how they worked and listen to them hum as they changed direction to find the best wind.

So welcome to October. It's my favorite month. Mostly for the weather. Sort of for the fact that my birthday is at the end. I will be celebrating that with you guys. I don't know how yet, but there will be giveaways involved!

Anyways, here is the free desktop calendar for this month. Just click on the picture. When it comes up in its own browser window, right click and save the picture somewhere on your computer. Then go to that location, right click on the picture, and set as desktop background. Voila, you have a photo calendar on your computer! And please let me know in the comments if you use it.


Three Things Thursday

There's not much going on, hence the tiny amount of blog posts lately. I'm just chilling out waiting for my work permit to be approved so I can start working. We're going to Oktober Fest in Munich this weekend, so I'll show you that. But for now let's do Three Things Thursday!
Three things about...
what you watch.
1.    Only movies. I’d rather live my own life than watch tv. But movies are like heaven. A little escape from the world. I'll watch action, comedy, romance. Pretty much anything except horror (remember I get nightmares) and stupid comedy. I absolutely hate to watch a movie that makes me feel like I wasted two hours of my life. Sorry Mike Myers, your stuff is just dumb.
2.    I watch my favorite movies over and over again. Whether it’s to focus on the deeper meaning or to just veg out. Pixar is amazing. A few of their movies are kind of meh, but none of them are bad. Finding Nemo and Wall-E make it into my top ten list.
3.    I have pages and pages in my scrapbook filled with movie tickets from going to theaters.

(By the way, the dress Keira Knightley is wearing in that picture is the wedding dress I imagine for Liza in my novel Her Daughter. Also the picture belongs to Focus.)

So tell me in your own blog post about what you like to watch or tell me in the comments.


Three Things Thursday

I'm terribly sick this week, but I couldn't miss Thursday! So after learning what you're passionate about (or in my case what I write), I'd like to know what you read. I think what someone reads says a lot about who they are. What you choose to read for hours at a time must be something you truly enjoy. Tell me waht that is so we can get to know each other better. Write your own blog post and add it to the linky or tell me in the comments.
Three things about...
 what you read.
1.    Young adult novels give me a chance to sit back and relax and just breeze through a book. Every once in a while I will come across one, like Looking for Alaska by John Green or Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, that makes me sit up and pay attention.
2.    I truly enjoy literature. Some people find it boring and useless or say that it’s only for students. But I really appreciate someone who can write an entire book on normal, everyday life and make it mean something.
3.    Jane Austen is my hero. I hope to be just like her. Well, except for dying in my forties, and being alone…ok so I want to write like her: cynical, humorous, a true skeptic of society. Only I already probably have broader horizons than she ever reached being a woman way back when.


Portraits of My Niece: One Year Ago

Just before my husband and I left to sit in D.C. for a month and then move to Germany, we went to the drag races. I took the opportunity to take my niece's one-year photos. She was just about to walk on her own. (I think she took her first steps just two days after we left.) But she still had those chubby baby cheeks.
She would walk with help, but every time you took your finger away she would just plop down on that Wrangler butt.
Our Mustang (hee hee, my husband will laugh that I said 'our') and my brother-in-law's Camaro in front of it both cooling off between runs.

Chubby baby cheeks, I just want to squeeze them.
Pointing at 'Daddy's Maro' as she calls it now.


Three Things Thursday

Let's go a little deeper and see how you really tick. Think hard and tell me about what you do that you are passionate about. I'll tell you about my writing, but feel free to change that to whatever has a soft spot in your heart.
Three things about...
 what you write (or are passionate about).
1.    Whenever I attempt a young adult or fantasy novel it comes out very childish. My characters seem to be children whenever my brain places them in a new world. It frustrates me to no end. But I’m attempting a science fiction, singularity piece for NaNoWriMo, we’ll see how it goes!
2.    I don’t write sequentially, in fact I can’t finish something if I’m forced to write it sequentially. I have to be able to hop around if I get bored with a scene. If it’s all in order it tends to turn into a monotonous list of things the character is doing.
3.    I always know my ending before I begin. Otherwise I don’t know how I’ll get there. (Learned that from a screenwriting professor in college. It became the only way I can start and finish a full story.)

Pen your own blog post and add it to the linky below or tell me in the comments about your passion!


Married 1001 Days

My husband and I have been married 1001 days. Yesterday he surprised me with a special occasion to celebrate and a cute elephant necklace from etsy. He kept hinting that we would have a special occasion coming up, but my birthday is still a ways off and I couldn't think of anything else. So when I woke up he said, "Happy 1000 days!" (Isn't he just too adorable?) To go along with that I'll post some pictures from our wedding.

We were married on December 17, 2007. It was sunny and gorgeous, but crazy windy. (We got married on the side of a mountain in Colorado.) It was a complete family affair. My sister and I baked the cake. My best friend provided the flowers. Everyone helped make it happen. Chris Giles and Randy Barnes from Alpine Wedding Photography were the photographers.

It's been a wonderful adventure over the last 1001 days and even before that. Here's to the next 1000!


Three Things Thursday

Still working on the background of who you are, I want to hear about your teenage years. Supposedly they are the most tumultuous times of our lives. I don't entirely agree; mine were extremely fun. Yes I went through some hard stuff, but that happens every year of my life.
Three things about...
your teenage years.
1.    I played a lot of (American) football with my friends.
2.    I studied the bible, extensively. Now I just treat that as added knowledge. I’m not a crazy religious. But I feel like I understand myself because of all that God study when I was going through the 'tough' years.
3.    I home schooled…but I’m not one of those weird anti-social types. You wouldn’t know it if you met me. It just gave me a sense of purpose in life and the ability to work well on my own. I graduated a year early and then did college in three and a half years. I have a crazy work ethic, but that comes from my dad not home schooling.

So please add your own blog post to the linky below, or tell me in the comments about yourself!


Portraits of My Niece

My niece is turning two on the 23rd of this month. So I figured I'd catch up on the photos I took of her during her first year. I'm so jealous that I don't get to do her two-year photos, my friend Cora gets the pleasure of that as well as pregnant belly pics of my sister's second baby.

I really want to try to get into some portrait photography here in Germany. People are my favorite subjects. Buildings are cold and heartless, landscapes are too vast, but people are warm and loving and all so very different.

So onto the photos I took when Sam, or Squeaker, was nine months old.

My sister pregnant with Sam.
Sam when she was 3 months old.
Sam when she was 6 months old.
A slideshow of Sam's first year.


Labor Day BBQ and a Few Blog Awards

Karen from Coming Down the Mountain is hosting a blogger BBQ this weekend to get to know other bloggers. I'm bringing the napkins and plates, because I absolutely suck at cooking, even cyber cooking.

At the same time, Melissa from Melissa Getting Published gave me a few blog awards, and I thought they were a good way for the bloggers in the BBQ to get to know me.

The Versatile Blogger
1. Thank and link back to the person that gave the award.
2. Share seven things about yourself.
3. Pass the award to fifteen other bloggers.
4. Contact the bloggers and let them know.

Seven Things About Myself
1. I'm an American living in Germany, and I absolutely love it.
2. On this blog I write about photography, writing, reading, design, crafting, and life. It's rather versatile, so I was excited to get this award.
3. I'm a writer. I have online articles and am currently working on a few novels.
4. My dream job would be an editor for a big publishing house. I'm obsessed with books and have an annoying habit of correcting the grammar in everything I read.
5. I'm a movie fanatic. Whenever I like a movie I buy it, then proceed to watch it a million times until I can say the lines in my sleep.
6. I've ridden horses my whole life. I've really missed it since being in Germany.
7. I always have ten million things going on. If I don't I become lazy. So right now I'm starting a new job, looking at classes to further my German studies, and considering getting a masters at a University here. (As well as reading lots and writing and running my own small crafting business...see what I mean?)

One Lovely Blog
1. Link to the blogger who gave the award.
2. Pass the award to fifteen bloggers you've newly discovered.
3. Contact the bloggers and let them know.

Goodness, that's thirty blogs. I think I might mix those together and just do a total of fifteen...then I'll attend the BBQ and find some new blogs to follow!

1. Hanna at I'll Name My Typewriter After The Moon
2. Andrea at The Lighthouse Keeper
3. Adam at Author's Echo
4. Christine at Christine's Journey
5. Jessica at The Alliterative Allomorph
6. Summer at ...and this time, concentrate!
7. Jen at Unedited
8. Jessica at Epheriell Designs
9. Karen at Coming Down the Mountain

A few people to receive the Lovely award:

10. Summer at My Inner Fairy
11. Meredith at Fairy Tales and Cappuccino
12. RaShelle at A No. 2 Pencil Stat!
13. Bethany at Ink-Splattered
14. Stu at Stu's Place
15. I feel very flattered to receive these awards, but awards also bug me. It's like a clique or an exclusive club. So if you feel that you are versatile or have a lovely blog, please take these awards.


Three Things Thursday

How do you sleep? And do you know what it says about you? This week I want to know
Three things about...
 the way you sleep.
1.    On my side curled up. What does that mean?
2.    I make ‘happy noises’ when my husband gets in bed after I’m asleep. Which are basically grunts to say that I’m happy he’s cuddling with me. It’s completely unknown to me, but it’s what he tells me.
3.    I have nightmares if I watch horror movies. (Usually I’m the main character trying to solve the movie over and over and over.) And sometimes nightmares make me talk, or when I was a child: walk.

So do you sleep on your back spread eagle? Do you have nightmares? Or how about multiple dreams a night that you remember vividly? What makes you you in the way you sleep?

Add your blog post to the linky below, or just tell me in the comments!


Free September Desktop Calendar

This is a farewell to summer with bubbly drinks and limes floating in them. Goodbye to hot summer days that make me totally lethargic and sluggish. So long humidity that makes my hair fluffy and leaves mold on anything that is mildly damp for twenty seconds. Bring on fall. Cold weather, hot chocolate, scarves, and cuddling. Ah yes, back to bliss.

Just click on the picture. When it comes up in its own browser window, right click and save the picture somewhere on your computer. Then go to that location, right click on the picture, and set as desktop background. Voila, you have a photo calendar on your computer! And please let me know in the comments if you use it.


Trip to Good Ole London

Check out the fruits of my hard work, the categories widget on the right hand side of the blog (scroll down til you see the word cloud). I went through all my old posts and added labels so you could click on those words and find exactly what you're looking for.

Oooo, aaaaa, shiny!

Ok, onto photos from London. We went for a three day weekend to jolly London and walked, a lot. I came home with sore feet and a bag full of books (ah books).

The tourists need help with which direction to look for oncoming traffic. It was helpful, as well as hilarious.

A fuzzy hat guarding the royal jewels. Which were absolutely stunning.

The Millennium Bridge, the one destroyed in the sixth Harry Potter movie. It's right near the Shakespeare Globe Theater, pretty much the only thing I cared about seeing.

Classic telephone booth. I don't know who uses payphones anymore, but London would probably have a riot on their hands if they took away the telephone booths. As Albert said, London has probably the most in-use icons of any city: telephone booths, Parliament, taxis, English Bulldogs, the Queen...

The fountain in Piccadilly Square. We also saw Covent Garden, Hyde Park, Notting Hill, and Buckingham Palace. The city was crawling with tourists, but it was bearable.