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Free May Calendar

Here is May's calendar. It's a beautiful little fountain hidden in the open space behind our apartment. Please leave a comment if you use it, I like to keep track of how popular it is.

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!

My family is coming for two weeks starting Monday. I'm super excited. I will be posting Word of the Week but after that I'll be in and out since we'll be so busy traveling around. I'll be sure to post pictures after.


The Hair is Dead

I got it cut. My hair is gone. Yay! It's so perfect because it's now getting hot here in Germany and it's lovely to let my neck breath. It's crazy, I think I got the best haircut of my life and I couldn't even communicate with the girl. All I could say was, 'Ich moechte eine neue Frisoer.' (I want a new haircut.) I showed her where, put my hair in a ponytail and had her cut above it...and thirty minutes later I was a whole new person.

I kinda figure you don't want to see the ponytail. It's always kind of gross to me. Like a dead fish or something. So here's the package. And coolest part that I didn't notice until after I was walking out of the salon. The place was called Hair Killer! How apt.

Here's another self portrait I took the same day. (My hubby helped with these since I wanted specific framing and the crazy flying hair.)

I have an extreme passion for books. So this is what you would normally see if you looked into my house any given day. Me with a book and a cup of tea on the couch. Always in between writing and house chores of course.


Where Will You Be?

I was tagged to answer a few questions by Christine Danek. I stole her blog title too because I liked it.

Question 1: Where were you five years ago?
1. In my freshman year of college.
2. Learning what is was to be an adult.
3. Having fun with my boyfriend. (Now husband.)
4. Studying like mad. (I finished high school early and did college in three and a half years, ugh.)
5. Wishing life would start.

Question 2: Where would you like to be five years from now?
1. More settled.
2. Agented.
3. Published.
4. Still in Germany (Sorry family!)
5. Writing more.

Question 3: What is (was) on your to-do list today?
1. Finish an article.
2. Finish my craft projects.
3. Clean the free chair I got.
4. Exercise.
5. Read.

Question 4: What five snacks do you enjoy?
1. Pears.
2. Carrots.
3. Potato chips. (Gotta throw that unhealthy one in there.)
4. Chocolate! Duh!
5. Croissants.

Question 5: What five things would you do if you were a billionaire?
1. Buy a new house! A big one!
2.  Write full time.
3. Travel. Everywhere.
4. Refurbish furniture.
5. Cars! Lamborghini Diablo/Superleggea, Porsche GT3, MiniCooper...the list could go on.

I'm supposed to tag five people. So here guys. Answer the questions. I want to know.

Lisa and Laura
Karen G


Bier and Piepsen


bier! Or beer if you prefer English spelling.

We went to Frühlings Fest two weeks ago, well and last week too, and we'll go again next week...anyways. It's just like Oktober Fest only for spring. (Frühling means Spring) We took Piepsen along. He has been begging for bier and swears he's of age, in mouse years of course. We let him have a few sips of Albert's stein. He got pretty tipsy, but he said it tasted heavenly. We watched people dance on the tables in the bier tents, and stayed safely on the ground ourselves. We rode a roller coaster, so fun! And ate chocolate covered fruit. Here are a few pictures of Piepsen enjoying the best German past-time.


Word of the Week

Thanks for all the help last week. I'm definitely much less fried this week and have a lot of fun stuff for the blog. First off our weekly game. These four photos have one thing in common, guess what it is in the comments. You can click on the images to see the products or click on the shop names to visit the shops. Thanks for playing! I'll post the answer tomorrow.

If you have an etsy shop and would like to have a give-away for one of your items, let me know! I will feature you in another Word of the Week and display an ad for you on the side of my blog for two weeks.


The Writing on the Wall - Home Painting Project

Back in high school my two best friends and I had a painting business. We called it The Writing on the Wall and we even had business cards. We only worked for friends and family, but it was a lot of fun. We designed and painted rooms and typically we wrote a bible verse or some lovely saying in big letters on the focal wall. I've grown to love having words on the wall. And when I saw a rug that was like an old letter, I got my inspiration to paint on the wall again. So in my office I have a big wall that is just over my bookcase. Here is the recipe for painting words on a wall.


A blank wall.
Paint and a calligraphy brush.
A cup of tea and your favorite quote. Of course my hero is Jane Austen so we're going for some pieces of Pride and Prejudice. It helps to put the quote in a font you like on the computer so you have something to refer to.
Some twine or other way to keep the lines straight and the letters the same size. It's like a big rule book back in kindergarten when you were learning to write.
And voila! You have a lovely, hand-painted letter on your wall. I have Mr. Darcy's proposal, Elizabeth's refusal, her first glimpse of his wonderful house, and the first time they meet after their fight. In this situation I wanted to fill the whole wall so I picked a lot of words. With my friends we usually just did one line at the top of the wall. Although with one room we did one line all the way around the top of four walls. And another we did a long bible verse above someone's bed. Easy weekend project, and simple way to spruce up a boring room.


Good Hausfrau

Sometimes I'm a good Hausfrau (housewife) and I make dinner. I provide a beer for my husband and we sit on the patio watching the sinking sun. This is fried rice with peppers. I chopped red, green, and yellow peppers and sauteed them in butter. Then I cooked the rice. Then I put all that in the sauce pan and poured two whipped eggs over the top and cooked it all together. Like everything here, the peppers had amazing taste.


Review: The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

When a book really releases some reactions from me I just have to spew about it. The Lost Symbol really frustrated me; it's the first book I've ever taken notes about during reading. I won't give away anything in case you want to try it out for yourself.

I remember loving The Da Vinci Code and even more Angels and Demons. But now I think I might need to revisit them to determine if I really liked them or not. The first thirty chapters of The Lost Symbol had me cringing and whining. It felt like one big lecture on symbolism. Like I hadn't jumped into an adventure with Robert Langdon I had just jumped into his classroom. Then, as they went through the mystery, it felt like when I was a child and played make-believe. You know when you play that there's a mystery and you just found the biggest clue of all, it's a dust bunny under the couch, and it has so much meaning and is the answer to the puzzle. It just felt too coincidental that these things kept happening. (Which is why I want to revisit the other two books.) Every novel is its own planet and has its own rules. Even if it is set in our normal world, there are differences. This book fell outside its own rules a few times and that irks me because it tosses me right out of the story.

On the positive side, the villain is amazing. His final act of 'telling the world' is a very convincing threat. But did I have to go through so much muck to get to that great ending? There is a multitude of crazy but logical revelations at the end that make it all come together. I mean, he is a thriller writer after all and they have to explain the insane story at some point.

This novel seems to be a classic case of tell versus show for me. Robert Langdon spends way too much time explaining the symbols and not enough time being chased. I didn't like it. The end was not worth the beginning.


Out of Ideas

I had kind of a weird night last night. And a stranger morning. (You don't want to know.) I'm completely out of ideas. I can't think of a good word for Word of the Week. I can think of a few words, but then I can't think of how to picture them through etsy products. I'm at a complete loss, and it's not a good way to start the week. So while I go munch on some comfort chocolate and have another cup of tea...throw some words out there. Help me out. I can't let this happen two weeks in a row. I can't get stuck in this rut.



Winner and News Updates Before the Weekend!

The winner of the give-away is Jennifer with Wearable By Design! Check out her shop (just click the link), she has some beautiful stuff. Thanks so much for playing everyone. It seems that everyone really loved Little Brown Bird's clutch and it actually sold on Tuesday!

Some news:

You all didn't give me very comprehensive information on whether or not you liked to have a response to your comments. Frustrating, and why I'm opening the poll again. More research is needed! There were 5 votes for a response in the comments; 4 votes for a response in e-mail; and 4 votes for no response at all. At least I know you don't want to see responses in the blog posts! Knocked out one choice. The poll is open again for another two weeks with the narrowed down answers. Feel free to vote again. But for now I have decided to respond in the comments unless it is something I specifically need to respond about and then I'll e-mail.

Oh wow, I'm drawing a blank. I think I forgot my other news. Forgive the craziness, my mind is in a million places right now. We're having a poker party tomorrow night and I need to clean, but I'm also thinking about what I am blogging next week and trying to get over my sore throat. Ahhh!

So I guess, have a good weekend!


I Feel Like Cousin IT

I'm done with this hair. It's killing me. Literally. In my sleep at night I find it trying to choke the life out of me. During the day it gets caught on things and causes me so much pain. Either that or it's so static-y it attempts to fly away with me. It's heavy and messy and sooooo long. I'm done I tell you, done. Next chance I get, it's gone. (At least the majority of it will be on its way to Florida for Locks of Love.)


Flohmarkt Finds

We went to the Stuttgart Flea Market, or Flohmarkt, on Saturday. I'm used to flea markets being kind of shabby. I don't know if it's the small town I grew up in or that Colorado just doesn't have old stuff like New England or Europe does. We hit a nice sidewalk cafe for breakfast first and had coffee and croissants. Then we meandered our way through the many stalls of old toys, beautiful glass and porcelain, furniture, and even old war medals.

I collect elephants, so I was watching out for those. The gentleman who sold us these two said they are from Niederland, Holland porcelain. And there's one scene on the movie Becoming Jane where Jane pulls out an old trunk and flips open the lid. Inside is a huge pile of her writing papers and journals. Ever since then I've wanted some kind of old trunk to store my papers in. I found the perfect one. Of course there were book stalls too, can't pass up the books. I found an old copy of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice in English. It's beautiful.

It was so exciting to see so many possibilities for decorating our house or gifts for people. We're probably going to another this weekend in a small town outside of Stuttgart, Sindelfingen.


Word of the Week - Give-Away!

Porkchopshow has offered to give-away a set of hand-made wooden typewriter keys. What a cool set to make some crafts with! So these four photos have one thing in common, guess what it is in the comments to be entered to win. Contest open until Friday. Usually when I think I've picked some harder stuff I'm wrong, but since I think this week is hard I will give you a hint and you also do not have to answer correctly just honestly. (Don't say duck when there is no picture of a duck.) You can view the items by clicking on the photos and visit the shops by clicking on the shop names.

Hint: I'm working on a project for my office wall. I will be doing a lot of ________ in that office on my computer and in notebooks.




If you have an etsy shop and would like to have a give-away for one of your items, let me know! I will feature you in another Word of the Week and display an ad for you on the side of my blog for two weeks.


Make an Old Table Like New

I found an older table through a yard sale website. It was solid oak, and actually quite beautiful. But the spot it was meant for is decorated in white, black, and red. So I painted it. I really wish I had like five of these so I could do different things to it. I wanted for a while to make this my desk, but it's so beautiful I have to leave it out where people can see it. Here is my process...

 The original table and the first coat of Alt Weiss, Old White. I considered stopping after one coat with the wood showing through, and again I wish I had another table just like it. But I stuck with my original idea and kept painting.

The second and third coats. On the third coat I went the opposite direction I had been going, just to get everything truly covered.

The fourth coat finished it off. I used part of a stencil to paint a design in one corner in red. I still can't decide if simple is better or if I should paint more red. What do you think?


Easy Storage Tutorial

One of the shocks of getting an apartment in Germany was the fact that they come bare. I mean really bare. No light fixtures, no closets, no storage of any kind. It was funny to compare to some friends of ours back in the states who had just gotten an apartment there and said they had a closet in every single room...that's five closets. Some apartments in Germany don't even come with kitchens, luckily we found one with a built in. I'm still trying to find a suitable cabinet to use as a pantry.

Because of that I have gotten creative with storage. Our closets are made from bookshelves from Ikea and a home-made hanging rack that is attached to the book cases. Believe it or not, even though the apartments come without this stuff, they are really expensive. So we improvised.

My family found the easiest way to ship stuff to us (both our things and Oreos, which are also way expensive here), was with flat-rate boxes. I think at one point I had about ten of these empty boxes sitting around. So I got some wrapping paper and wrapped a few of them up and made myself some drawers.

You don't really have to make the inside pretty because there'll be stuff inside covering that up. But I covered the inside so at least there's not nasty brown sticking through.

Simple and easy, as well as re-using something that I just would have recycled anyways.

They fit perfectly in this bookcase from Ikea. So it sits in my office. It's the perfect height for a working table too. Now I just need a desk.


The Answer

I just read the book The Other Hand by Chris Cleave. Very good book by the way. It gave me the inspiration for this week. And the answer is


But since I've been studying so much German we have to spell it


because with a C it actually looks wrong to me. My safari with my family in Tanzania was definitely the trip of a lifetime. To me Africa is the smell of wood-fires and the color of deep sunsets shining brightly in my face with the funky donkeyish sound of Zebras calling in my ears. That trip taught me a lot of things, and it was a lot of fun to boot.

I was given my first blog award by Christine Danek at Christine's Journey. So exciting.

And I will pass it on to:
Cora at C Kemp Shoot - even though we're buddies outside of our blogs
Linda at a la mode stuff - she makes the coolest seat-belt bags!
Tali at Imperfectly Perfect - beautiful photography and a glimpse into life in Israel
Laura at Laura Evans Photography - the crazy adventures she has
Juliette at Zuhause in Germany - for a fellow expat

I have been doing a lot of home projects and get to show you guys this week. Pictures and partial tutorials starting tomorrow.


Word of the Week

The give-away has been moved to next week. I wasn't organized enough this week. But please enjoy this week's game anyways! These four photos have one thing in common. Guess what it is in the comments. You can click on the photos to see the items or click on the shop names to visit the shops. Have fun and I'll post the answer tomorrow.

If you have an etsy shop and would like to have a give-away for one of your items, let me know! I will feature you in another Word of the Week and display an ad for you on the side of my blog for two weeks.


Do you like an answer when you comment?

I have opened a poll on the side of the blog. I'm wondering if you like answers to your comments. Some comments of course don't really need an answer. But some do. If you are a new follower and you leave a comment, do you like to hear from the blog writer or is that annoying? Do you come back and check the comments to see if the blog writer has answered you there, or do you click the box that says you can receive emails of consecutive comments? Would you like an email from the blog writer if he/she feels the need to answer you? Would you like to see blog posts answering comments or questions every once in a while?

I'm not saying I would answer every single comment. I don't want to be fake. If I were to answer them it would be a sincere answer that I felt the need to say. But I feel like some of you start a conversation with me and I don't hit the ball back. So I want to see exactly what you think. I'll leave the poll open for two weeks, maybe a month. I need some substantial feedback to make my decision on this. And feel free to leave comments!


The Winner! and Paris

Quick note: my mom told me that my grandparents, who were married in Notre Dame, were married on April 11. And I didn't know that when I made Notre Dame the calendar for April, so awesome.

The winner for the 100 Followers and 100 Photos give-away is Christine Danek! Thank you so much to everyone for playing. I had eleven entries, the most I've ever had! Very exciting.

Now some pictures from our trip to Paris this last weekend. I have never been into photographing doors or buildings, but I found some beautiful doors and buildings that inspired me on this trip.
The hubby and I outside Notre Dame.
Beautiful statue, and the Eiffel Tower hidden behind a tree.
This was my third trip to Paris and I still have not been to the top of the Eiffel. We found my brother-in-law, who was there on a high school trip, and went with them to the second level of the Tower. But the third level was closed for an hour because of too many people! We had to go back down because we were going on a boat ride and couldn't wait. Next time, maybe.