Once Upon a Time I Craved Cupcakes with Frosting [and I went all the way to Scotland to get them]

Yo, yo, yo! What's crack-a-lackin'? 

Did you all have a hip-hop-happenin' weekend? My weekend just seemed too short, but isn't that how they always are?

So... I just wanted to tell you guys some really exciting news, but you have to suffer through this post before you can get it. [Don't skip to the bottom, either... that's just not nice]. 

Anyway, I'm sure you all remember this little breakdown that I had a few months ago:

If you don't listen to it, I'm basically crying my eyes out over fatty American food. Totally normal.

So. Imagine how over-the-top ecstatic I was when we went into ASDA (the Great Britain Wal-Mart chain) after 8 p.m. (the stores in Germany would all be closed by then) and found CUPCAKES WITH FROSTING!!!!!! You bet your freaking bottom dollar I bought some of those bad boys.
They were glorious. I will not tell you how many I devoured over the seven days that we were in Scotland. 
I didn't just go to the Wallace Monument, I went to the Wallace Monument and ate a freaking cupcake while complaining about the hike up the hill. 
Oh, to go back to being a lazy American.
Speaking of the Wallace Monument, we hiked up to it, but opted not to go inside.

We did Scotland on the cheap. We went to probably twenty castles and monuments while we were in Scotland and only paid for one. We still got good pictures and saw a lot of things, but we didn't spend a fortune doing it.
Scotland has castles up the wazoo, and almost every single one charges more than five pounds entrance fee. Multiply that by two, and we would have gone broke with everything we saw.
So... most of my vacation entries will be about traveling on a budget. Since, you know, we're so po we can't even afford the "o-r."

Now for the news...

HA! I bet you all are thinking I'm preggers, right? WRONG. But. I did get admitted into the master's program at The University of Southern California. 
Now, before you go all crazy telling me to enjoy the weather, know that it's an online program (I still have to do all the student teaching and classroom stuff - they have connections all over the world to set you up with it). It's the perfect program for us and our little travel bug (and Mike since his schooling is priority).

We will still be heading to Buffalo, New York in the fall, and who knows where we'll be in the spring of 2013? Probably somewhere new, because, as the name of this pretty ole blog suggests, Every Day is a New Adventure. 

Finally, check out the latest design! You can click the picture to go to Katie's blog and see it live.
I used lace brushes from SSDema,  random brushes by Seasonstea, and the fonts are passionsans, playdate, and cursif. 

Sunday Confessions Link-up

Hey Guys!!! 

Hope you are all having a fabulous weekend - the weather here has been absolutely gorgeous! 
Anyway, grab a button and link on up, because today is Sunday, and that means that it's time for confessions!!! 

1. I think peeling skin is so cool. Okay, I realize this sounds gross, but whenever I've had a sunburn and my skin is peeling, I seriously love peeling it off. I know, I'm a freak. 
2. I fully intended to do a vacation post yesterday, but spent part of the day enjoying the weather and the other part doing design work and homework. Oops? I don't feel bad about it at all. Here's a vacay pic to make up for it. Yay. 
3. I seriously just got distracted for a good 10 minutes because I started peeling off my arm skin. Gross. Cool. Oops?

4. I like shoot 'em up video games. Has anyone here played Medal of Honor? Oh, and I'm only good at the PC first person shooter games. Don't ask me to play on xbox because 1. Our xbox is in the USofA right now and 2. I cannot for the life of me figure out how to use those stupid controllers!
5. I just found a spider on the wall RIGHT BY MY HEADBOARD. OMG WHAT THE EFF!!!! This is the 2nd one today... did they all move in while we were on vacation?? Okay, since that's a lame confession, I will tell you that I have a bug phobia. Like, I will cry if a grasshopper, beetle, locust, spider, etc. even touches me, it's that bad. 

Favorite Things Friday


Happy Friday, everyone!! Of course since it's Friday, I have a list of my favorite things... I thought, since I'm starving, instead of making food like a normal person, I'll just give you my top five favorites to make myself even more hungry and miserable. Also, I haven't really talked about food in a while.... what is wrong with me?!

I feel like I talk about all of these foods a lot, so if you don't already know half of them, you should be ashamed of yourself. Kidding. [or am I?]

1. Steak with mashed potatoes. I'm a midwest girl through and through - I love me some good Nebraska steak and mashed potatoes!
2. Macaroni and Cheese. How anyone can not like Mac'n'cheese is beyond me. I mean, who could pass up that cheesy goodness?
3. Peanut Butter. I don't know if this really qualifies as a food, but I count it. I love the stuff. My peanut butter of choice? JIF. 
4. Nutella. Like peanut butter, I don't think it actually counts, but I don't care. Ask anyone that knows me, and they will tell you - I'm seriously addicted. I've been known to eat it with my fingers out of the container.
5. Bratwurst. Because what lady in her right mind doesn't love a good, juicy sausage? HA!! Sorry, that may or may not have been an intended innuendo...

So there you have it. Does peanut butter and/or nutella fall into any of your favorite foods lists? If not, we can't be friends. Totally kidding... but what do you eat if you don't partake in any of this gloriousness? Enlighten me... heck, leave a link to your favorite recipe - Husband will love you forever. 

Pretty Things.

I thought that this was an appropriate greeting since I'm going to share some of Spain with you all today!

We did a lot of hiking while we were in Ibiza, and I thought I'd let the pictures speak for themselves! I don't really know exactly where we hiked, but I can tell you that that island has some of the most breathtaking views I have ever seen in my life (and I feel like I've been a lot of places and seen a lot of things).

So. Without further ado, I give to you some of my favorite photos from our second day on the island (I would give you photos from other days of hiking... but that would be exactly one bajillion photos, and I just don't think you could handle that right now).
This is one of ten pirate watch towers along the coast, built between the 16th and 18th centuries.
These caves were so cool! It was awesome to listen to the waves crashing through them, even though the water looks so calm!
The water was beautiful. It really was that blue. Can you believe it? 
I loved this shell! 
I think these are torn swim trunks - IDK, I just thought it was a cool photo. 
This is actually the only photo I edited, and I love the way it turned out. 
You can tell how far we went from where we started, and this was only our halfway point! 

Anyway... I decided to sort of split up trip posts, that way you aren't totally overloaded. 

OH!! My new nickname is "The Sheep-Whisperer." I have a video that explains it all, I just need to condense it. It's pretty awesome, you won't want to miss it. ;)

AND!! I have a question for you guys - lots of people made fun of Husband and I, telling us that vacations are for relaxing. What do you guys think? Do you get out and enjoy the sites, hiking, and all that, or do you spend your time shopping and chilling out

Linking up with Imprintalish for Loves on a Thursday

WIWW & Ibiza Castle

Linking up with the Pleated Poppy and Rolled up Pretty
Dress: F21 Shoes: Four Star Necklace: c/o hooked goods Bracelet: tourist shop in Ibiza, Spain
HEY!!! Wow, it's so good to be back. I missed you guys!! Thanks so much for all of the kind comments and emails while I was gone, and thanks for showing so much love to my guest posters!! Oh! Thanks for helping me reach 400 followers, too! I'll have to think of a fun giveaway in honor of reaching that milestone!! 

Anyway, I actually won that necklace that I'm wearing in a giveaway - it's so fun and I just love it. You should all definitely check out Margot's shop, because her stuff is really fairly priced, and these necklaces are awesome. 

Anyway.... I'm sure you all are not just here to hear about necklaces and cool stuff like that, so I'm going to tell you all about part of our trip to Ibiza, Spain! 

The first full day we were there, we went on a loonnnngggg hike up to the castle. I'll tell you more about that hike later, but today I wanted to talk about the castle, which is the main attraction in Ibiza Town. 
This photo was actually taken from the pier, but you can see the castle up at the top of the hill. 

The castle was built in the 16th century, and offers beautiful views of the city. and the island. 
Part of the castle
 The church on the castle grounds
 View of the piers and town from the castle
Looking up at the castle
Walking down from the castle, there are narrow cobblestone streets filled with shops and bars. I can only imagine how packed this place is in the summertime! I'll share more about the downtown area and piers later - we did all of that on a different day. 

Ibiza Castle was awesome, and we could have easily spent a full day just wandering around. Unfortunately, the castle was under construction, so it was hard to get good photos. I actually had to hardcore edit the photo up top!! 

In other news, I'm now back to doing design work, so if you need anything done, shoot me an email!!  I did finish a blog design while I was gone, though - here's a quick screenshot! 

There's No Place Like Home... which is fitting, because today we're talking about GERMANY!!!

Hiiii guys!! 

I never thought I'd say this, but I think I'm excited to get back to our little apartment in Echzell. Spain and Scotland have been fun, but there is no place like home. Today is our travel day, so I'm without internet until we're back in our apartment.

I've got one last amazing guest post for you today (with some commentary by me... I couldn't resist! Sorry, Erin!), and she's pretty much amazeballs. Her name is Erin, and she is super awesome! She used to live and work in Germany, too, which is actually what this post is about. You have to read it and then check her out - she's great! 

She also does web design, and if any of you are looking for Wordpress blog design, she is amazing. Take it away, Erin!
Hi Everyone! This is Erin from EEF Etcetera, and I'm hijacking Alyx's blog! Today I'm going to tell you all about when I lived in Germany--which was a few years ago now, but was so much fun that it's still worth talking about!

I lived in Bavaria. I'm pretty sure that German who live up north make fun of this region (Alyx here: she's right... they do), much like we in Indiana make fun of people in Kentucky. In fact, Bavaria even has its own accent, which means I can't understand a darn thing that people who speak "proper" German say!

Despite the fact that the Germans down in Bavaria have a strong accent, wear lederhosen semi-regularly (no, really!), and let their cows walk through town (really!), it is BEAUTIFUL in this area. I lived in Garmisch-Partenkirchen which is a cute little tourist town that is surrounded by alps. The photo above I took while riding my bike just south of town!
080705_eibsee_010See? I wasn't kidding! (Alyx again: What the heck... SERIOUSLY? I thought you were kidding about the cows! No wonder they make fun of Bavarians up here!)
DSCN0204There are tons of fun things to do in Garmisch, some of the things I did while I was there include: hiking the alps, biking, snowboarding, hiking a waterfall, swimming in a glacial lake, and hiking one of the gorges.
DSCN0655This photo is from the Partnachklamm, which I hiked through a few times. It's so pretty!

And of course, there's lots of drinking. Lots. Or maybe that was just us. But with several festivals throughout the year, there were lots of opportunities to get a great German bier!

Did I mention that this place looks just like a story book?



080504_ruins_013Yeah, ridiculous that such a place exists outside of a book or a movie! I feel so lucky to have lived there for two years--it's also where I met my boyfriend, Anthony. He's from California, not Germany, if you were wondering. (What, Erin? You don't go for men in Lederhosen?)

While there I worked at the Edelweiss, which is actually an American military hotel, and I'll be honest, the jobs were kind of lame (scraping plates, serving coffee, etc. nothing glamorous). But the opportunity it gave me to travel, learn about other cultures, and meet new people was well worth it!

I hope you've enjoyed learning a little about me and my time in Germany! If you ever have the opportunity to visit Garmisch-Partenkirchen, I highly recommend it!
Visit me here:

Today it's Edinburgh.... And Hogwarts?

'Ello there! 

Hope you all had a fabulous, fun-filled weekend, and I can't wait to come home and read all of your confessions! 

Today is our last full day in Scotland. I'm pretty sad about this, but after almost 2 weeks traveling, it will be nice to come home to our tiny apartment and grandma curtains. 

On the agenda for today is this beautiful city: 
I'm so excited to get out there and explore!!! 

I'm sure I'll have plenty of pictures to share with you when it's all over, but until then, I have a super awesome guest post for you! If you like history or Hogwarts, or just travel in general, you have to read this! I have Christie from Ma Nouvelle Mode here today, and if you don't know her and Natalia, you should! Christie is one of the sweetest people I have ever "met," and I was so happy she agreed to do a guest post for me. Like I have said, all of these posts are from women I love and read on a daily basis, so I'm not afraid to tell you that you should, too! This is a good place to start. Take it away, Christie! 
Hi everyone! My name is Christie and I have recently joined the team over at Ma Nouvelle Mode, making us a solid team of two :) We blog about life, beauty and feeling fabulous no matter what stage in life we are in. One of the very first people to welcome me to this bloggy world (probably the VERY first) was Alyx. Just a few short months later and I feel like she is a good friend and a true kindred spirit. And when she asked me to do a guest post I was really excited! I was even more excited when she asked me to do something on travel.

Now since you all don't know me I just want to give you a quick background. I grew up (and now live) in Southern California. I went to the Philippines when I was 20 and my eyes were opened to this big big world! My husband grew up in Manila, Philippines until he was 18 (no that is not where we met). We now have 2 lovely kids with one on the way and we LOVE to travel as often as our bank account and life allows. Fortunately for us Joe's parents now live in Oxford, England and we have used them as a landing pad for many different adventures.

Second thing you should know about me, I am in LOVE (obsessed) with two things: English History (and Literature) and Harry Potter. Don't worry, I am not weird about it, I hardly ever talk about it, and you may not even know it about me unless you are very observant (my netflix queue is full of British History Documentaries and there is alway one of the Harry Potter books sitting on my nightstand in regular rotation....oh and my 2 year old son knows how to say Avada Kadavra, but that's another story).

Anyways, this last trip that we took was like a dream come true! We didn't plan any of it around my obsessions but my mind was blown with all the amazing stuff we saw and did! Let's just start with the History side of things:
William Wallace Monument

I'll be honest, this may have been my favorite place of the whole trip. And even though I am 100% positive the Mel Gibson's William Wallace was not entirely accurate I couldn't help but yell "FREEEDOOOOOMMMM" every 5-10 minutes.... and btw the field that is directly behind me in the picture above is where so called "Freedom" battle took place!!!

Kendal Castle
This was probably the oldest place we went while traveling around the UK and the only reason I added this photo is because I am specifically obsessed with the Tudor era in British History. And let me just say that I was a fanatic long before The Other Boleyn Girl and The Tudors came out. This castle was the family estate of Catherine Parr's family (Henry VIII's final wife). So I was pretty giddy about getting to see it!

York Minster Abbey
You guys, I totally cried when I got to see the Westminster Abbey. Let me explain, we were able to attend a mass while we were there and I had the pleasure of taking communion. I was unbelievably overwhelmed by the thought that there I was worshiping my God in the same place that many, MANY good and evil rulers had taken communion previously. I was truly speechless for a good while as I processed the magnitude of that place. (And trust me, I am not speechless often). That moment will probably stick with me until the day I die.

Ok so while we are "in York," let me shift over to my other obsession:

The Shambles, York
Doesn't this street look like Diagon Alley??? I have no idea if this place inspired the makers of the Harry Potter movies or not, but I am not kidding when I tell you that I was craving a butterbeer while walking down this streetAlnwick Castle
Alnwick Castle
We decided to visit a famous castle in the area one day without really investigating it, and I was stunned to find myself standing in HOGWARTS! No joke this is the castle that the first two movies were mostly filmed at. I didn't even need someone to tell me that, I could tell the second I saw it.

Flying Lessons at Alnwick Castle
Probably the only time I have actually been jealous of my daughter. She even got to play with a snitch.....

Ok so like I mentioned my in laws live in Oxford so we toured a bunch of the schools that make up the University and I was so excited to go to Christ's Church because......

Christ's Church, Oxford University
This is were the original "Sorting Ceremony" took place! Here my little girly and I are on the steps the "first years" lined up on before they went into the Great Hall.

And Finally, we have the perfect marriage between my two obsessions. Here I am standing in "The Great Hall" in the Harry Potter flicks but it is more importantly the dining hall at Christ's Church. And as you can see directly behind me is a portrait of Henry VIII, Cardinal Wolsey, and Elizabeth I. They had all, at one point, resided at this school! Amazing!

Well thank you for allowing me my silly rantings into your world! I truly enjoyed the opportunity and I hope to see you around our parts some time too! But for now I will leave you with this little gem....
Yes, we put a kilt on my son. Yes, he hated it. No, I do not feel bad.