Something I haven’t done in a long time: Candid Carrie’s Friday Photo Fiesta

Of course just because I haven’t done it in a long time doesn’t mean I got the title right either.  I haven’t played along with Candid Carrie in like, forever.  So I thought, seeing as I’m going blog-lite of late, I’d do an easy photo Friday.  Here is the Chick.  She is a snow obssesed little darling.  I call her my Made in Taiwan Snow Bunny.  Funny how a girl who spent the first 15 months of her life in a tropical paradise could be so fascinated by snow.

If you have something good to share this Friday post and link up over at Candid Carrie’s.  Or if you just like to click around, head over and see who else is sharing pictures today.

Candid Carrie’s Photo Friday and Friday’s Feast F2

Thank the good sunshine it’s Friday.  It has been a week with good, bad and ugly.  I’m very happy for it to all to just be over with.  I went all day yesterday without any coffee.  I didn’t get the shakes or a headache or anything.   This morning my husband was driving to work instead of riding his bike so I was nice and made him coffee.  So now guess what I’m drinking?  Wahoo, I lasted a whole day.  Maybe I’ll try again on Tuesday.
Since it’s Friday it means that I’m taking a little walk down memory lane over at Candid Carrie’s with her Photo Friday Fiesta or Friday Photo Fiesta or something.  (You can see why I simply say Candid Carrie’s Photo Friday).  Since flashback photo’s seem to be the new It item I pulled out a few of my own.  Of course this is way before they had scanners and digital anything and probably even computers.  I present you three of my highly amusing childhood photo’s!
My Christening  (I was five months old).  Jeez, I could fly with those ears. Unfortunately I never did grow into them.  I did however finally grow some hair.

Check out the chair! Hello, 1970’s! By the way my sister had a matching dress in green and pretty much the same thrilled expression on her face. I would guess I am about 3 or 4 maybe in this one.

And the real beauty picture!  My favorite place – the beach.  My I was a sassy thing wasn’t I?  Yes, that is a deflated vinyl inner tube I’m wearing as a dress.  Some of you said I had fashion sense, as you can see it started when I was young.  I’m probably about 5 or 6 here.
Go to Candid Carrie’s and see who else is embarrassing themselves (or their loved ones) today!
Moving on to Friday’s Feast F2 over at CaJoh’s (btw, did you all see him at Venus vs Mars yesterday??  If you didn’t go check it out!  Sage advice from Mr CaJoh.)
I really like salads for lunch.  I mean big salads with lots of good stuff.  When my son was a baby I ate salad everyday for lunch for over a year.  Not just some lettuce and that’s it kind of salad, no I like real salad.  Here’s my salad and pita I had for lunch yesterday.  Spinach, cherry tomatoes, black olives, feta cheese and Italienisch Krauter dressing.  It’s kind of like creamy Italian dressing.

What I used to put in a salad was any combination of the following:
Spinach or butter lettuce
Cheese: cheddar, mozzarella, colby jack or any or all
Cherry tomatoes
Green or red peppers
Black and green olives
Dressing: Sweet Vidalia Onion (from Costco) or Maple Honey Mustard (Annie’s Farm Organic)
Now if you take all of that and put it in a pita or a soft tortilla, that’s bliss and a great tasting healthy lunch.  What do you like to eat?  Do you have any embarrassing childhood photos to share?  Be sure to stop by Candid Carrie’s and CaJoh today!
And this has nothing to do with this post, except that I am so disgusted I can’t even stand it. And it’s not a joke. I found this at my bloggy friend J’s site Germany Doesn’t Suck (he intro’d me to blogging sorta, he was the very first blogger I started reading and I’ve actually met him several times.) Visit and voice your disgust even if you aren’t living in Europe.

One In Three Ryanair Passengers Vote for ‘Fat Tax’

Ryanair to Consider How to Charge for Very Large Passengers

Candid Carries’s Photo Friday & Friday’s Feast (F2)

It’s Friday again and today I’ve got lots of treats.  This week I’m going to start with Friday’s Feast F2 with CaJoh.  I bought a few berries at the store and stumbled across some tartlett shells and then discovered I had vanilla ice cream in the freezer.

An idea was born of the simplest most wonderful ingredients.  

It was very yummy.  I may have broken a few HASAY rules but it did at least have fruit.  I thought since it was a red, white and blue dessert I’d find a nice American poem to go with it.


Henry Van Dyke

Tis fine to see the Old World, and travel up and down 

Among the famous places and cities of renown, 
To admire the crumbly castles and the statues of their kings,
– But now I think I’ve had enough of antiquated things. 

So it’s home again, and home again, America for me! 
My heart is turning home again, and there I long to be, 
In the land of youth and freedom beyond the ocean bars 
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars.

Oh, London is a man’s town, there’s power in the air; 
And Paris is a woman’s town, with flowers in the hair; 
And it’s sweet to dream in Venice, and it’s great to study Rome; 
But when it comes to living … there is no place like home. 

I like the German fir-woods, in green battalions drilled; 
I like the gardens of Versailles with flashing fountains filled; 
But, oh, to take your hand, my dear, and ramble for a day 
In the friendly western woodland where Nature has her way! 

I know that Europe’s wonderful, yet something seems to lack: 
The Past is too much with her, and the people looking back. 
But the glory of the Present is to make our Future free, 
We love our land for what she is and what she is to be. 

Oh, it’s home again, and home again, America for me! 
I want a ship that’s westward bound to plough the rolling sea 
To the blessed Land of Room Enough beyond the ocean bars 
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars.

And now on to Candid Carrie’s Photo Friday.  I had planned to put up a slideshow about Luxembourg but in the theme of America I was looking at old photos and came across these we took in 2004.  This was when we were building our house in Maryland.  We lived down the street in an apartment while the house was being built so we generally stopped by everyday to see the progress.  I thought these pictures told a fun time-lapse story. Photos taken June 29, August 16, September 13, September 22 and finally November 15 three weeks after we moved in.
 1 - June 29
4 - August 16
 6 - September 13
Our Street 7 - September 22
 8 - November 15
204 Suburban Drive – Doesn’t that just scream America?  Please visit CaJoh and Candid Carrie for more fun today!

Friday, Fun Friday – F2 and Candid Carrie’s Photo Friday

My first post at In the Real World: Venus vs Mars! is today.  So please go over there and check it out! 
Ever since blogger started this whole scheduled posting stuff, I’ve been on a posting tear.  Like four or five days a week posting streak.  Have something to say?  Schedule it!  Thought of something funny?  Schedule it!  I’ll hit 400 posts sometime around May.
I think that easily tells me I’m avoiding all the other stuff that I really should be doing.  Like housework (but that’s always been easy to avoid, just don’t look at the house!), spending proper time with the kids (are you supposed to do more than toss food at them?) and avoiding making any progress on other ventures.  I can easily blame it on lots of things like the rainy weather, lack of desire to move out from behind the computer (hence why I’ve jumped on the exercise bandwagon), easy access to the Mac in the living room that we never turn off, only put to sleep every now and then, the fact that I love Germany and am not counting down the days till we go Auf Wiedersehen and tschuss! (340 days just in case you wanted to know) 

I’m posting too much because no one wants to play.  It’s like being picked last for gym because your short, small and not particularly athletic.  I’m not saying I am those things necessarily because I have a wicked tennis serve (so long as we aren’t staying in the lines or anything), backhand that ball with the less than the best and I’m really good at my son’s obstacle course in our backyard. Mm, hmm.  And swings, I can swing really high. 
Anyway.  I did have a point this Friday.  I’m following a new Friday event this week at Ca-Joh. Friday’s Feast or F2.  Food.  What is better than food?  Nothing.  Break out your favorite recipes and head over and link up!  Last week was the first F2 and I made Ca-Joh’s recipe for artichoke spaghetti for dinner.  It was so good.  In case you don’t believe me here’s a picture.
So I’m going to post one of my favorite recipes (even my picky 7 year old eats this!)  
Blogging Mama’s Sausage Jambalaya
1 pd ham (preferably smoked), cubed
1 pd kielbasa sausage, sliced (here we use cabanossi sausage since I can’t find kielbasa I like)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 large celery stalks, diced
1 green or red bell pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 1/2 cups long grain rice (uncooked)
1 16 ounce can diced tomatoes
4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
In a large stockpot add the ham and sausage and cook, stirring frequently, until both are well browned, about 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium and add garlic, celery, bell pepper and onion.  Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the rice, tomatoes, broth, salt and cayenne pepper.  Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed (depending on your stove this may take longer).  
Serve with crusty bread, a glass of cabernet and enjoy!
It’s not hard to make I promise.  People see the ingredients and get all “I can’t do that!”  Yes, I am here to say you can.  All it really takes is chopping and stirring and waiting.  I always bring this to potlucks and it’s gone faster than you can spell Sausage Jambalaya.
Candid Carrie, whom I love to visit on Friday’s is of course having Photo Friday Fiesta today!  A great way to celebrate the end of the week with a picture.  So leave me a comment, then go to Carrie’s and see who else is playing today!
If you need me, I’ll be in here today.  I’ve got migraine-o-polis.   Shh, no yelling.
Okay okay, so it’s not actually my bedroom.  It belongs to, lucky girl.  I wish it was though, does that count? 
With lots of this:

I’ll be leaving that place long enough to toss on another round of Blues Clues or Curious George to occupy the little one.  But that’s about it.
Please link up over at Candid Carries and also stop by Ca-Joh for F2!  You might also want to check out this new little blog thing myself and Shelle created called In the Real World: Venus vs Mars.  Everyone’s doing it!
Tomorrow; my entry for’s Spring Fever contest.  It’s gonna be good, so come back now you hear?

Candid Carrie’s Photo Friday & What Are You Wearing?

It’s time once again for my two favorite Friday activities!  Candid Carrie is hosting Photo Friday and over at Tiara’s & Tantrums we have What Are You Wearing? so have a read, leave a comment and then head over to both and see who else is playing today!
Last Thursday I asked my dad if I could look through all the old photos they had of me as a kid.  He brought up the same banker’s box they’d been stored in since I was a child and mom, dad and I had a good many laughs over these pictures.  Shame Sis wasn’t there, she could have prevented me from taking some of the great (80’s highly embarrassing ones of her) and bringing them home to Germany to put on the internet.  I’m just wicked evil like that Sis, sorry.
Unfortunately my old scanner does not work with my Mac so I had to take a picture of the picture which naturally means the quality isn’t as good.  But I still think this is a good picture of my family.  This is us probably circa 1983 when I was six.  I know we are in Alberta (maybe Banff?), Canada because I remember going to the waterfalls there and saying how pretty it was. We were on a camping trip.  I’m the littler one in this picture in the grey and crimson sweatsuit.  
Notice how thrilled we all look?  It actually was a great vacation.  I remember that way back then we could actually drink the fast flowing water without risk of being poisoned.  Of course I wouldn’t exactly recommend this on your next family trip.  My sister may also now really want to come to Germany to kill me for posting this picture visit.  Ha!  I won’t be coming to see you for at least a year so hopefully your memory will have faded by then.  I couldn’t resist posting. Love ya!
The next one is a few weeks before my 7th birthday at Easter in 1983.  I decided if I posted the other half of the picture that contained my sister she really might have climbed on a plane, killed me, dressed me in my running clothes and left my body near the river.  Maybe not but why take the chance right?

Do you just love the shawl look and the white socks or what?  Look how cold it was because there’s a fire going in the fireplace but I have short sleeves and no tights on.  I love the 80’s such great fashion! (not)
So that’s Candid Carrie for today.  I think I’ve embarrassed myself enough.  Go see who else is playing today!
On to What Are You Wearing? with Tiara’s & Tantrums.  I am cheating a bit.  I actually wore this yesterday  I am planning to get out and run today so I won’t be getting into ‘real’ clothes until later and then it’ll likely be comfy stuff since I’ve foisted Boo off on a playdate so I don’t even have to do school pick-up!  So here’s what I was wearing yesterday.
Green coat (that Crash wants to steal) and blue tank under shirt (which you can’t see) from H&M, shirt from New York and Company, black pants from Old Navy and the famous Esprit flats that everyone loved so much last time.  Jewelry – wedding rings, Scottish Thistle ring, butterfly necklace from Tiffany’s and yellow bracelet from J-Crew.

What Are You Wearing today?  Make sure and go over to Tiara’s & Tantrums and tell her!

I also have very exciting news!  Please make sure to come back on Monday where I will be hosting the Writer Mama Two Year Anniversary Blog Tour Giveaway with Christina Katz! Wahoo!  This is a fantastic way to get some inside scoop on writing and a great chance to win a  copy of her book, Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids  simply by answering a question she will have for all of you!  Easy Peasy!  So be sure to stop back on Monday March 23 (that’s this Monday) for your chance to be a part of the giveaway.
Another fun event happens on Friday now too!  Friday Feast with Ca-Joh!  Stop by for some great recipes (this weeks is tres yummy).  You can link up your own recipes as well.  I’ll be heading over with my plate and fork prepared to taste some delicious treats.
And for those who’ve enquired – my mom had her surgery yesterday and dad said all is well.  I’ll speak to her later this evening, so thanks for all your prayers and good thoughts – they worked!

Candid Carrie’s Photo Friday & What Are You Wearing? Disney Edition

Friday Friday Friday!  My favorite day of the week.  Today I am playing over at Candid Carrie’s so after you take a look here head over there and see who else is playing today!

Song for today Better Together by Jack Johnson click the iPod on the side to hear it.

This set of pictures is related to the story I wanted to tell about meeting another adoptive family in Disney who have a daughter from the same orphanage as Chick.  I thought Photo Friday was the perfect time to share.
In April of 2006, two months after moving to Germany, I joined a Yahoo adoption group for families adopting from Taiwan.  It held a great group of people without whom I would not have made it through our adoption.  One of those people was Janalee.  She was waiting to bring home Miss Maya, a cute little Taiwanese Princess.  We had not been matched yet and continued to wait while I talked with the people on the group and made friends.  In August Janalee and her husband left their four boys in California and flew to Taiwan to get Maya.  While they were there they saw a cute little baby and Janalee snapped a picture or two of her.  They flew home and started working their way towards settling their little girl into the family.

In December of 2006, two days after Christmas we got the email that changed our lives.  Our little girl, Miss Sih-Syuan.  We were on vacation at the time but as soon as I got home I quickly shared her photo with my adoption group and lo and behold Janalee said she’d seen her since she came from the same orphanage as Maya.  Indeed Chick was the same child she had photographed back in August.
Janalee shared the pictures with us and from then on we had a kind of bond.  During the ensuing 8 long months of waiting, Chick’s first birthday came and went with no news of even having entered the court system to have our case heard.  A package arrived the week of Chick’s birthday from Janalee.  There inside the box was everything we’d need to decorate her first birthday cake, toys, even items for Boo too.  The most special was a figurine of a mother and child, which resides on Chick’s dresser now.  Her kindness in her words to me and sending me that box, simply overwhelms me.  It did then and it does now.  Janalee’s kids are so lucky to have her as their mom.
Fast forward a few months we get Chick in August 2007.  Fast forward again to about October 08.  On the adoption group I happened to ask a question about passports and adoption papers and if anyone had run into trouble on a cruise since Chick is legally our child (adoption is final) but because of not living in the US her name is still her Chinese name for now.  (Though we don’t call her that.  Her name is MK.)  
It came about that Janalee and family, in California, where also going on a Disney cruise.  Well! What days?  Oh My Word.  Us too.  Same days, same deck of the ship.  We each had not told our kids intending it as a Christmas present.
Day two of being on the ship I was still trying to find Janalee.  I’d been to the ship info center and they dialed me to her room where I’d left a message.  I didn’t want to leave this ship without meeting her.  That afternoon as I was having my chicken strips snack by the pool I heard my name and turned.  
There was Janalee!  We hugged forever and it felt like someone I hadn’t seen in a long time even though we’d never actually met.  She got to meet Chick and after a few minutes she went down to get Maya who was taking a nap.  Maya is a beautiful, sweet little girl I just adored from the second I saw her.  The girls played in the toddler splash zone while we talked and I met her husband and one of her boys.  It turned out we had the same dinner seating as well so we saw them at dinner that night and the next.  We also all went to see a show in the theater at the same time.

The following night after dinner we had this picture taken.  I think it was the highlight of my trip.  I’ve never met another adoptive parent with a child from the same place as me.  Being that Janalee was so supportive during our wait it made meeting her and Maya so special for me.   I hope in the future we can make it to California or they can come visit us wherever we end up next year.  I would love to have the girls continue to be able to see each other.  Maya is six months older than Chick but to see them together was really something so special I’ll never forget it.
Alright that’s enough sentimental stuff for today.  Make sure to head over to Candid Carrie’s and check out who else is playing!
It’s also What Are You Wearing? Friday at Tiaras & Tantrums.  I’m am unfortunately wearing something I am not so happy with.  I got a sassy new haircut while on vacation that I am loving.  But I noticed a bit too much gray on vacation as well and so the other night I decided to fix that. Myself.  So now I am sporting a sassy new AUBURN head of hair.  The lesson:  leave well enough alone!

Is it Friday?

I hate to say I am in a time warp but I am.  That’s the hardest part about coming back from a vacation, especially when there is a 6 hour time difference involved.  I get completely lost on what day it is.  
Make sure to click the iPod music thing at the side for matching music for today’s theme!
But it is Friday.  And of course that means… Candid Carrie’s Photo Friday!  And What Are You Wearing? at Tiara’s and Tantrums.  Pull up a chair and link up everyone for some Friday fun.
Today I’m going Pirate!  For Candid Carrie’s Photo Friday I give you the Pirate themed rooms at the Disney World Caribbean Beach Resort (Trinidad South building).  It was amazing right down to the carpet that looked like planks of a ship deck.  Even the shower had the Flying Dutchman Ship carved into the wall.  The pirate beds were a huge hit with the kids and me.  It didn’t cost any extra but you do have to specify that you want to stay in a pirate themed room.

This shirt was something I found in Nassau and could not resist.  It’s not my normal type of shirt but really, who wouldn’t like it?  My daughter may not come near my with her Pirate fear (though she rode on Pirates of the Caribbean with no problems) but it’s on the back so she might not be too upset.  I am not actually wearing it today because it’s about 35 degrees and it’s short sleeved but I just had to share.
Arg Matey’s!  Have a wonderful Friday!

Friday Time Again! (And Friday the 13th!)

It’s time to play Candid Carrie’s Photo Friday!  Grab some pictures and link up over at Carrie’s and see who else is playing today.  It’s addictive good fun for everyone!
Some pictures from my random driving the other day, the moon Wednesday morning and of course the Chick!  Too cute or what?  (All text was added at, a highly addictive site!)
And of course I have to tell you about What Are You Wearing? over at Tiara’s & Tantrums!  I haven’t been playing the last few weeks because let’s face it, Ms Tiara looks so stinkin’ good I don’t want to post myself!  So head over and check it out.
Okay okay, after my whole be brave speech on another blog I’ll be brave.  Here I am today (I was trying to inflect spring despite the snow falling outside.)  And excuse the shirt, after only an hour I am already wrinkled.



Favorite Tom Tailor jeans 20 euros from Kaufhof (I’ve blogged that before), shirt from H&M 15 euros, Esprit flats 40 euros.  And Hubby brought me a Norwegian Kroner to add to my Danish Kroner on my necklace that I made.  So the key charm is sandwiched in between the coins on the leather string.
Economic survey results are in yesterdays post and tomorrow will be Reading With Blogging Mama.  So check back for some good recommended reading.  You can click the link for past reading selections.
Happy Friday Everyone!

Friday! It’s Friday!

It’s Friday (well I am cheating a bit.  It’s really only Thursday night at 11:38 but that’s close enough right?) which means there’s a lot going on around here.  Boo’s off from school for teacher training or some such nonsense, Hubby’s headed to Tromso, Norway till Monday so it’s me, Boo and Chick for a rip roaring fun weekend.  Candid Carrie’s Photo Friday and Stuff That Bugs Me are on the menu today.  So sit back, grab a mug of coffee/tea, bottle of beer, can of soda/pop whatever you like to drink while reading blogs and enjoy.
I’m going to start with Stuff That Bugs Me and save the picture post stuff for the end.   The real point of Stuff That Bugs Me has to do with books.  I read a lot and enjoy reading.  I don’t think theres anything better than a hot day, a beach and a book.  That is my idea of heaven (and someone to watch the kids because lets face it the beach with a 2 and 7 year old doesn’t allow for a lot of time reading).  So when I delve into a new book only to find the author hasn’t done their fact checking or I find easy editing errors it annoys me.
I won’t point out specific books because maybe that’s not fair but some of the ones I’ve picked up lately… sorely lacking in facts.
Me, I’m neurotic about getting my facts straight when I write.  Even though it’s fiction.  I’ll give a little example of just how far this sickness goes.  Wednesday night I spent thirty minutes looking into Nashville airport’s flight schedules (available on their website listing every city they fly to/from and the times/days they fly).  All because my ms is set in Nashville and I have to get my character from A to B on a Sunday night at 7.  The place I wanted her to go (New Orleans) doesn’t have a flight at that hour on Sundays.  So why not make it up?  Because I’m simply neurotic that way.  If I were Reader M in Nashville and I was reading LIACC (I don’t give out the title until I get it published, that’d jinx it) and the author said J flew from Nashville to NO on a Sunday night at 7 I would know that was wrong.  And it would put me off the story. So I fact check.
Now for the purpose of my story J has to go on a Sunday night it’s important to the story.  The city she flies to must be fairly large and her having dinner at a country western bar type place is important as well.  Well, that means there are only so many places where all these factors will come together and be true.  Research saves the day.  I found flight x to city D at the appointed day and time I needed it to be.  And so I was happy and continued on my merry little way plotting character J’s life.
I’ve been know to visit and look at houses in my city setting to know the neighborhoods and selling prices of houses.  I google earth places to death to research hotels, neighborhoods, restaurants and places of interest.  I bought a book called Why Men Cheat simply because I wanted to know why my character would cheat (and incidentally I learned quite a bit about the male psyche).  I even sent a questionnaire to my extremely nice blogger/adoption friend when I needed the 411 on my city setting since she lives there.  (Incidentally do people use 411 anymore??  I may be behind the times.)  
Yeah I’m weird when I write.  But I want to be sure what I am telling you happened in my book actually could happen.  And it bugs me to no end when people don’t use correct facts.
On to Candid Carrie’s.
It’s time again boys and girls for Candid Carrie’s Photo Friday!  Link up over at Carrie’s with Mr. Linky.  I’ve seen a lot of random memes on opening the 6th folder of pictures picking the 6th picture.  So I decided to just open one folder and pick something at random.  This is from Disney Paris nearly 2 1/2 years ago.  It’s like the long lens paparazzi shot.  This is Boo and me walking out after riding Autopia.
Incidentally I had a lot of concern (or laughter) over my post titled It Was Bound To Happen  Thanks.  I surprised myself so much that I didn’t cry on the spot.  I mean this super tall German polizei guy is about to bust me for not having the proper license and making the left turn, that kinda did freak me out.  But since he didn’t take away my NJ license or look at my passport/visa or take down anything he just ran my credit card (yes on the spot.  I asked if he took cash.  He said no though.)  So Hubby says I’m good to go.  Let’s hope.
Please take a peek at this STUFF list for Monday – Friday posting ideas.  If you’d like to get your link up let me know!  

Candid Carrie’s Photo Friday

Since I’m down with a wicked cold (every year right at Boo’s birthday.  Cosmic joke or my body remembering the nightmare of childbirth, hmmm) It stinks today of all days because Boo is reading the narration for the fairy tale play at school today and I told him I’d go.  I’ll be downing more Tylenol between now and 2 then.  Instead of What Are You Wearing (cause no way am I posting my pj’s) I’m going back to the classic Candid Carrrie’s Photo Friday.  I think I’m going to alternate from now cause I like doing both.  So get a picture and link up over at Candid Carrie’s!
I kinda like her!
 I like her, maybe!
All right, I love her but DON’T make me say it!