Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear Friday.  You are the start of a very hectic weekend, and even more hectic next two weeks!  Bring it.  Dear husband.  Hanging out with you never gets old.  I'm glad we never have a dull moment together, and look forward to every single weekend knowing we'll spend the entire time laughing our heads off at each other.  So, to celebrate us, I've hired a sitter for the dogs and booked a room in Cologne for a night.  You've offered to give up pretty much your entire leave to help me pack, move, and clean the old house...we [YOU] deserve a night out.  Dear house.  It doesn't matter how many times I have to do it, packing is a pain in the ass.  I've seriously contemplated just selling every single one of my books since there's no easy way to tote you all around the world.  Dear books.  Just kidding, that would never happen.  We're inseparable.  Dear house.  Seriously though....pack and clean yourself already.  Dear dogs.  I love you all mucho.  Dear Cologne.  We're heading your way for a night of good food, good beer/wine, some touristy sites, and one helluva Christmas Market.  Don't disappoint.  Dear job.  I love having you, and love the fact that I get out of the house more.  You were a good idea.  Dear school books.  Why do you have to be so freaking expensive?  And why do I need so many?!  Dear life.  You're going well, lately.  I'm a happy girl, so thank you for making that happen.  Dear everyone.  Can you believe that we've been here for a year already?  Neither can I!  I caught myself browsing through this post about our first day abroad, and am amazed at how much we've changed and how far we've come since then.  I love it!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Week[end][s] in Pictures

I'm so behind on this little weekly tradition, it's ridiculous.  So, without further ado, here is a completely overwhelming number of photos to catch you up on my life from the past couple weeks.
kinda in love with these very sophisticated dogs

 darling husband let me open my Christmas present box early, and this is what was in it!
 new furniture for new houses
 a Beau in a pocket

 shopping for some new furniture and decor to fit our new place

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bookish Sundays: Anansi boys

Title: Anansi Boys

Author: Neil Gaiman

Category: Fiction, Mythological fiction

Synopsis [c/o Barnes & Noble]: "When Fat Charlie's dad named something, it stuck. Like calling Fat Charlie "Fat Charlie." Even now, twenty years later, Charlie Nancy can't shake that name, one of the many embarrassing "gifts" his father bestowed -- before he dropped dead on a karaoke stage and ruined Fat Charlie's life.
Mr. Nancy left Fat Charlie things. Things like the tall, good-looking stranger who appears on Charlie's doorstep, who appears to be the brother he never knew. A brother as different from Charlie as night is from day, a brother who's going to show Charlie how to lighten up and have a little fun ... just like Dear Old Dad. And all of a sudden, life starts getting very interesting for Fat Charlie.
Because, you see, Charlie's dad wasn't just any dad. He was Anansi, a trickster god, the spider-god. Anansi is the spirit of rebellion, able to overturn the social order, create wealth out of thin air, and baffle the devil. Some said he could cheat even Death himself."
Overview: I wrote a while ago about another Neil Gaiman novel called American Gods one of my all time favorite books.  Anansi Boys is yet another example of Gaiman's extraordinary talent, and another one of my top ten favorites.
This is the story of Fat Charlie, a very plain and unassuming wall flower that tries to get by without gaining attention.  Nothing ever works out for Fat Charlie, especially nothing that has to do with his father or newly found brother.  But, after his dad dies, Charlie must tie up some loose ends, and therefore manages to dive headfirst into a lot of family drama.  He learns more than he wants about bro and dad, and manages to find himself in the process.  Gaiman manages to interweave reality and mythology in a way that leaves the reader wondering if perhaps this world actually does exist.
Gaiman, as ever, absolutely enthralls me with his writing styles.  If any of you took my advice and perused Good Omens, then you'll know that his way with words will have you doubled over in laughter.  He not only entertains with humor, but develops the characters in a way that makes them seem like family or dear friends.  The reader watches them grow, and at the end of the novel, sighs with contentment as if they had anything to do with the amazing results.  Extremely well written, hilarious, and definitely a must read.  Let me know if you enjoy it!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday's Letters

Ninja says *gobble gobble*
Dear Friday.  I have accomplished absolutely nothing today.  Dear friends.  WE GOT THE HOUSE!  I'm so excited to say that we'll be moving early next month into a new home with better heating, and even more importantly, a yard.  I'm freaking out a little.  Dear family.  I'm overly jealous that you all got to visit Kentucky for Thanksgiving, and even more jealous that you got to see family that I haven't seen in years.  Dear husband.  It figures that even though you always volunteer to let others leave work early, and always make sure you take the family friendly holidays so those with kids can stay at home, they still wouldn't let you come home to eat Thanksgiving dinner with me and friends.  Sometimes, I despise your job.  But since I love you, I try to put up with it.  Dear Cindy & Ethan.  Despite not being a Thanksgiving fan, it was definitely fun to hang out with you and others, eating and playing games.  I could get used to this.  Dear husband.  I almost forgot to thank you for the new camera :)  Best early Christmas present ever.  Dear pups.  We found your future sibling.  French Bulldog.  It'll happen, so just deal with it.  Dear Germany.  Time for Christmas Markets!!!!  Dear sinus infection.  Kind of over you, so time to move onto someone else, please.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Secrets Anonymous

Erin at Living in Yellow recently blogged about secrets.  Then she turned the floor over to her readers, and allowed them to anonymously post their own dirty laundry on the web.  I'm going to give all of you the exact same chance.
Have a secret that you won't let a single soul know?  Want to let it out, but can't for fear you'll be judged?  Well, here is your opportunity to share your secrets in public without anyone knowing who wrote it.  I'll even be typing up my own secrets in the comments!

Have weird quirks?  Accidentally shat yourself in public?  Can't take off your shoes in front of company because of the smell?  Crop dust your office on a regular basis?
You can tell us.
No one will ever know it was you, I swear.  Just use the "anonymous" option when commenting.

Annnnddd, the more people who comment?  The better.  Some of these are going to be hilarious, I can feel it.  So, gather up your blogger friends and have them post as well, and let the secrets begin.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Whoot Whoot

Bloggers are seriously some of the best people in the world, right?  Nicole from Grub n Marriage proves this point.  She's nominated me for an award!!  I'm always so honored to receive them, and love passing them along to others.  Now, let's get started.

1. Each blogger should post 11 random facts about themselves.
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, and then create 
11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to.
3. Choose 11 new bloggers (with less than 200 followers) 
to pass the award to and link them in your post.
4. Go back to their page and tell them about the award.
5. No tag backs.
11 Facts About Me:
1. If I refrain from reading a book for more than two days, I go into withdrawal.
2.  Most people think my last name is Brownderson.  It's not.
3.  I have to physically leave the computer if I see a Boxer up for adoption in my area.  If I don't, I end up calling to bring it home.
4.  Half the lightbulbs in our house are burned out and not replaced because I'm too short to change them [even with a ladder].
5.  I have no OCD tendencies that I'm aware of.  
6.  I've been in three major car accidents since I began driving.  Is this bad?
7.  I don't celebrate Thanksgiving.
8.  I've been biting my nails for as long as I can remember, and have no desire to stop.
9.  I swear more than anyone I know.
10.  The taste of pumpkin makes me want to vomit.
11.  I get to start Roller Derby in the spring!

Questions from Nicole:
What are four things you canNOT live without, and why?  I absolutely canNOT live without my Nikon, my snow boots, a book, and a cup of coffee.  Need them.
If you could have any car, what would it be and why?  I think I would choose a Jeep Wrangler.  Not too impressive, I know, but I've wanted to have one since I was a little girl.
Tell us one embarrassing story that you now laugh at.  When I was three, I attended my first Easter party that I can remember.  I saw a colorful egg and decided to take a bite; didn't know you were supposed to take the shell off first :/
Favorite way to spoil yourself.  A book and some pita chips.  Best way to relax IMO.
Top 5 places you want to travel to.  London, Tokyo, Sydney, Moscow, and Cairo.
Favorite TV show?  Dexter!!
One secret you haven't told anyone.  I'm not very good at keeping my own secrets, so don't really have any!
What is your ideal date night?  A nice dinner, some mini golf, walking around and making each other laugh.
How did you meet your significant other?  That's a very long story.  Short version; he was drunk, I was new, he bombarded the car I was driving and I brushed him off.  He called dibs.
One goal you hope to achieve in the upcoming new year.  Lose some of this freaking butt I'm toting around!
Favorite comfort food?  Pita chips and cream cheese.  Yum!

Choose 11 recipients:  Because I've given this award out quite a few times, I'm at a loss!  So, I'd like to choose people that haven't been awarded it yet.  If you own a small blog, and would like for me to give you the Liebster award, email me so I can check out your site and give you the award!

11 questions for recipients:
1.  If you could be any type of animal, what would it be and why?
2.  What is a unique talent you have?
3.  Describe your dream home.
4.  What is your favorite thing about your significant other and why?
5.  Favorite accessory to use in your outfits?
6.  Tea, coffee, or soda?
7.  A must have when you travel?
8.  Weird nickname that someone else has for you.
9.  What kind of computer do you have?
10.  Favorite thing about blogging?
11.  Favorite childhood toy?

Thanks again Nicole!  Really hope others will hop on and participate :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bookish Sundays

Sometimes, I wonder why I pick up a book when I know I'm not going to like it.  This is one of + romance = no go.  Ever.  But, because I feel obligated to share novels from all fiction categories, and not just my go-to Fantasty, I figured I'd share it with you all just in case someone decides it's up their alley.

Title: Dark Lover [Black Dagger Brotherhood Series, #1]

Author: J.R. Ward

Category: Fiction, Fantasy, Romance

Synopsis [c/o Barnes & Noble]: "In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.
The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams."
Overview: This series is a conglomeration of Fifty Shades and Twilight.  A little vampirism, dash of naughty behavior, and the never ending misunderstood love angle.  Don't worry, it has a happy ending [haha, literally ;)].  
Stepping back from the fact that I really just don't like the story line, I suppose the book has a decent author.  The writing style okay, and she manages to cast the characters very well.  Descriptive angles are thought out, and casts a different spin on the vampire/human love angle.  Even better; there's some action involved as the vampires of this super-elite brotherhood team up against their arch rivals, the Others.  The series has a total of ten novels, with an eleventh on the horizon, and I know from experience that the novels tend to drag as the series progress.  But this first one is a great way to start out the story line.
As mentioned, definitely not my cup of tea, but if you decide to try it out, let me know what you think!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear Friday.  Hey there, good lookin'.  Okay, maybe just cloudy lookin'.  Dear new job.  You're going really well!  I only had a one person ask me to turn in homework, a few double checked to make sure I wasn't a student, and one student laugh in my face when I told him I was the sub.  Not too shabby!  I think I can do this.  Dear husband.  I tried to drag you out of bed this morning because you told me you would wake up with me to hang out and walk the dogs together before I had to leave to meet friends.  You didn't get up.  You actually just pulled the covers over your head and went back to sleep.  So, just a heads up, I'm a tad irritated with you at the moment.  Dear pups.  Looks like it's just the three of us this morning, but that's nothing new.  Dear baby bro.  I'm so proud of you!  Being picked for the all-star football team, and being able to play in the Minneapolis Metrodome is so freaking cool!  I'm glad you had this opportunity.  Dear husband.  You gave me my Christmas present early, so I won't be mad at you anymore.  Dear readers.  I've been completely MIA this week, and I apologize, especially since there are so many awesome followers.  I promise that next week I'll be more on top of it.  Dear WSU-Online.  I picked my classes.  I signed up for classes.  I'm officially dreading classes.  Dear weekend.  Please be epic for me!  I need some excitement in my life.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Like Me on Facebook Wednesday

Welcome to Like Me on Facebook

This is a link up designed for bloggers who want to increase their facebook likes and share their facebook pages with others. PLEASE DON'T LINK UP YOUR BLOG.

Come back for Mom's Monday Mingle to link up your blog!

Please TWEET about the hop!

**Facebook doesn't recognize likes from blog fan pages.

Please use your personal account to like.

***Please comment on facebook pages so we can make sure to RETURN follows.

Thank you!


1. Please follow ALL of the hosts on facebook and twitter. They are 1-6 on the list.

2. Like as many facebook pages as you can. Visit pages and say hi! Leave your facebook page url so they can return the follow.

3. Please grab the button and place it on your sidebar or the end of a post. Together we can help each other grow!
Would you like to be the next Co-Host?
Scheduling NOW

for November 28th 

Check Out This Months Sponsor:


Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear Friday.  I really can't believe how quickly this month is flying by.  Friday again already?!  Dear readers.  As you are reading this, I'm probably over at the military high school for my first day of substitute teaching.  Wish me luck!  Dear students in the P.E. classes I'm covering tomorrow.  [you read that right, PE is my first assignment ;)] Please be kind to me.  Dear self.  I'm proud of you for finally catching up on photo editing!  Dear husband.  Work has changed for you...again.  Back to the swing shift grind, which lets you stay home with me over night and encourages us to make the most of our mornings.  Unfortunately, it also means I won't see you at all on days we both work.  That's okay, we can do this.  Dear pups.  A whole 8 hours today home alone, and not a thing out of place.  You all are getting better and better at this!  Dear house in Miesau.  I want you really, really badly.  Dear landlords that own said house in Miesau.  Please please say you'll accept our dogs?!  Your house is gorgeous, warm, spacious, has a yard, and is less of a commute for the hubster.  It is ideal for our situation!  Dear Germany.  I'm trying my hardest to keep up good spirits, but it would be much easier if you gave us snow instead of rain.  Dear unopened novels.  I promise, I'll have time soon to enjoy you.  Keep looking pretty on your bookshelf.  Dear everyone.  Happy Friday!  Hope you all enjoy your amazing weekend.  Also, don't forget: last day to enter the give away being hosted by Be Freckled sponsors!  Ad spaces, gift cards, jewelry; has everything you want and more :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

There was this one time

***don't forget, sponsor give away is still going on!  tell your friends, your family, that weird guy that lives in the mall.***

Remember these dogs?
These are, from left to right: Sass [mine], Rita, Ninja [mine], and Tetris.  I love my own pups, of course, but Rita & Tetris are just as darling.  Devilish, but darling.  They do tons of cute things that entertain me, like Rita wriggling in my lap to get petted, or Tetris & Sass constantly tugging on their respective ends of a rope.  But this isn't a story about them being cute.
I've watched the ladies on top of my two multiple times before.  I've walked them all a couple times a day, have learned to wrangle them in and out of a vehicle, taught them that it's not polite to fight over food.  Walking is the hardest part, but since mine can be let off leash while wandering through the woods, it's not as bad as it could be.  Only issues I usually have, and they're not even large ones, is when they all have to be put on leashes to allow another human and/or dog to pass by on the paths.  I find that it's easier to leash mine and step off the path and into the trees completely to let the other person walk by instead of trying to pull four dogs past another canine.  They've always done really well at listening to my commands, too.
This one time, though, not so much.  I pulled all four pups off the path to allow a woman and her American Bulldog look alike to walk by.  N, S, R & T were behaving exceptionally well that day, and would have continued to do so if the bulldog had minded his own business.  Instead, he decided to growl and bark at the four I'm holding onto, and lunge against his leash.  Owner drags him along, caught up in her own world.  Know what I was caught up in?  Leashes.  Completely tangled, looped around legs and arms and hands.  Four dogs that hear a strange dog growl at them?  They decide to do something about it.  So they take off.
My feet are immediately pulled out from underneath me, causing me to land on my back and get carried along.  The four now sled dogs pull me through the underbrush, mud, dirt, leaves, and who knows what else in an attempt to catch up with Mr. Bulldog.  German lady is swearing at me, running ahead on the path trying to stay out of reach, glancing back over her shoulder to yell incessantly and check on my status...I didn't quite catch what she said since I was completely bewildered at what was happening.  Oh, right.  Pulled along on ground, no way to stop dogs, please keep yelling at me, it'll help!
After a few heart racing moments, I manage to get my feet underneath me and pull three of the four dogs to a stop.  Sass got loose and terrorized the woman some more before heading back with a very cocky tilt to her head.  I'm standing in the middle of the path, bruised, battered, and caked in mud...and decide that it's probably in my best interest to just head home.  The dogs didn't fight me.  I think they could tell how shocked I was.
Lesson learned: German women with bulldogs won't help you sort your shit out.  Oh, and don't walk four extremely strong and protective dogs at the same time.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I think I'm stylish

Don't you?

I skipped Weekend in Pictures this week mostly because of the sponsor give away, but also because I honestly haven't taken any pictures lately.  All we've had to work with here in the Kaiserslautern area is rain, fog, and more rain.  The weather refuses to cooperate with me at all.  But, today starts the hubster's three day weekend, so here's to hoping he takes me out of this house and away from this gloom.  [pretending to raise my cup for a cheers, when in actuality I'm too afraid to do that near a computer.]
Despite not taking photos with the Nikon, I have done a little bit of Instagraming, so here's a 'mini' Weekend in Pictures.  No link up this time, but for sure next week.
Got my hairs cut and a little fringe just for kicks.
 This monster took up the entire road in every village we passed through.  Ridiculous.
 I headed out Christmas shopping in downtown K-Town :)
 Broke out my favorite mug and vanilla liquor to enjoy some spiked hot chocolate!
 I'm not going all out on decor, but I couldn't resist these pretty felt snowflakes to hang in windows.
 A very horrible picture of our new holiday centerpiece for the dining room table.
What did you get to enjoy over the weekend?  Hopefully not rain, like me.  Don't forget, there's a sponsor giveaway going on until Friday!  All the glitches have been fixed, so you should be able to enter as many times as you'd like now :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sponsor Giveaway

In lieu of photos from my weekend, I've instead decided to rally the troops and offer 7 lucky winners prizes from myself and my amazing sponsors!  Take a look at the wonderful ladies participating, and what they have to offer:
Hello everyone! I am Melissa and I write for a little ol' blog called Grin and Barrett. I live in a little college town and adjusting to life in good ol' Alabama. I am a southern blogger who writes about family, faith, and the everyday life of a newlywed. My hubs and I have an interesting love story and everyday things get more and more interesting! If you want to know more about life as a wife, University employee, and obsessive aunt to a 5 month old baby girl, then head on over!
Today, I'm giving away one month ad space on G&B to one winner, which includes:
Group introduction post 
Ad space near top of sidebar
One individual giveaway/guest post
Bi-weekly shout outs via Facebook & Twitter

        Cynthia, Californian, long (long, long, long) time girlfriend, book lover, baseball fan, dog parent, eater (occasional cook), professional shopper (no, really, it's my job! my title? purchasing agent.), aspiring world traveler/ex-pat, and blog addict!  :-) 
        Today, I'm giving away a gorgeous necklace purchased from Etsy to a winner!

        Hello, my name is Chelsea. I am 28 years old and live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. On paper, my life is very simple -- I live with my amazing boyfriend and I work two part-time jobs. In my blog, you will find everything from recipes, fashion and style, my random ramblings, and photos I have taken with my Canon T1i or iPhone 5. 
        Today, I'm giving away Featured Ad Space. Reserve a spot for November 12. 200x300 is at the top of the sidebar plus shout-outs throughout the month. 

        Hey, y'all! I'm J and I blog over at An Unstyled Life. I'm a part-time bail bondsman, a full-time event planner, a full-time social media manager and a full-time wife and momma. *deep breath* I mostly blog about our life, but I've been known to blog about trashy reality shows (I'm addicted!), maybe a little fashion, and pretty much anything that strikes my fancy. I love finding new blogs, so come say hi so I can visit yours! You can also find me on the twitfacebook, and pinterest!
        Today, I am giving away a $20 gift card to iTunes!

        My name is Sarah and I blog over at A Cat-Like Curiosity. I aim to live a curious life, creating, dreaming and basically reaching for the stars every day! My blog is a source of inspiration, cuteness and lots of lovelies. I'd love to see you guys over there!
        Today, I'm giving away one months worth of Curiouser Ad Space on my lovely blog. The top spot no less! The ad space comes with a guest post, social media shout outs and the option of a giveaway!

        I am a southern newlywed who loves sweet tea, God and my family. I am a mama to a lab/pit and a min pin as well as a quarter horse. My life is chaotic but I am trying to keep it Classy!
        Today, I'm giving away 3 months of 200 x 200 ad space at the Grace of Southern Charm. This includes social media mentions, an option to do a guest post and an option to participate in a giveaway! 

        Inspired by the wonderful ladies that support Be Freckled, I've decided to throw in a $25 gift card to Lush!  Pretty exciting stuff, ya?
        There you have it.  Seven awesome prizes means seven lucky winners.  All you have to do is use the Rafflecopter below to enter and win!  Only requirement is that you follow each of these wonderful ladies to show them some love, and additional optional entries are available.  There's even a chance to tweet about the give away each day to earn tons of extra points!  Runs from Monday the 5th of November until Friday the 9th of November.
        p.s.  One way to enter is to leave a blog comment about which prize you would most like to win.  Please please help me make you happy and let me know what your favorite give away item is!