To the Germans. Again.


Christmas in July bloggy gift exchange signup is here. If you are a blogger in Africa (or know someone who is), you should send them my way. We have one person from Africa signed up and want to keep shipping costs low for both her and her partner.

If you're waiting on an email from me, I promise I'll get to it ASAP. 

To the Germans: 

Generally, when I meet you, it is with a firm handshake. But excuse my french as I ask you what in the (okay, I can't bring myself to say "hell" because I pride myself on being family friendly, except I just said "hell" anyway, so it doesn't really matter, does it?) am I suppose to do when I'm leaving you? 

Example: Husband and I are in a choir (yes, it is packed full of old people, and yes, we sing old German folk songs, and yes, we love every second of it). Last night was our last night with said choir, so naturally we said goodbye. I listened to them sing this song to us (and wiped a tear or two from my eye - don't judge).

As the song ended, though, I realized that I was going to have to say goodbye to each and every one of them. HOLY BALLS! What do I do? Do I hug them? Do I simply shake hands? Do I do both of the above? Do I do none of the above? Oh - too late - they're coming towards me. This thought process ended in awkward hugging all around. Oh, you're German and I don't know you very well? Let's hug it out. Oh, you just reached out for a handshake? Screw that - let's hug it out. 

Needless to say, all's well that ends well. I still don't know if I should have just stuck with a nice, cordial handshake, but I'm not too concerned about it.
I love the Germans - really, I do. I may poke fun at their always-go-by-the-book-never-break-the-rules-five-minutes-early-is-really-five-minutes-late-I-think-you're-wrong-and-I'll-be-blunt-about-it-and-tell-you-to-your-face-while-I'm-eating-Schnitzel-and-bratwurst-and-drinking-beer ways, but I love them in spite of it all. 

I'm going to go home with silly little habits like...
-tacking "oder...?" onto the end of sentences to make them into questions
-dipping my french fries in mayo
-opening windows to air out the room every couple of hours (even in the dead of winter)
-separating my trash into 50 different bags
-having the word "doch" be my argument for everything
-eating my pizza with a fork (<-- that's a total lie and I will never do that)

I'm going to miss it here. 

In other news: We got our landlord issues worked out - we're coming home with only about 350 EUR less than we originally expected, which is nice. Thank you for all of your positive thoughts and prayers! Everything really does work out. 

Have you ever lived or traveled abroad? How the heck are you supposed to say goodbye to people? 

WIWW. Packing. More Packing. Inappropriate Jokes. A Ridiculous Photo.

Linking up here.
Hi guys!! I'm currently running on zero hours of sleep, so sorry if this post is not the most exciting. :) We've been cleaning and packing constantly for the move back home, and it's a never-ending job. 

If you do want a funny read, though, I highly suggest the guest post I did here

Anywho.... You should sign up for Christmas in July (a bloggy gift exchange) if you haven't already. It's going to be awesome - we've got bloggers from literally all over the world participating!!

I will be joining Gentri for her 7 Questions today. Here is my mandatory ridiculous photo: 

1. If you were to start your own business, what would it be?
Oh, man. I guess Design. Since I sort of already have a business? Except I don't really call it that, because I haven't made thousands of dollars doing it. 
I guess now would be the appropriate time to let you all know that I opened a Storenvy shop. I'll be selling prints, photos, and customizable blog design templates (I don't have any of those up yet, but they'll come eventually). We're in the process of trying to buy a house, and we're both in school, so every little bit helps! 

2. You wake up on the wrong side of the bed, do you embrace your grumpiness or try to fight it?
I tend to embrace it, because fighting it just makes me even more grumpy. 

3. What's the very first memory you have?
Spending time with my Grandpa when they came to visit us in Germany. I was probably 4 years old. 

4. the world is ending, what do you do? Allow yourself to die? Fight? Hide? Etc.
This is kind of a difficult question. I would probably fight, but I wouldn't have a problem with dying. 

5. What is your favorite meal of the day?

6. How do you best learn? Visual? Listening? Hands on?
I think I'm better with hands on learning... but I like all three at the same time - I remember things better that way. 

7. What is your favorite joke?
I'm pretty much an awful person, since my favorite joke has to do with the holocaust (I'm not even going to say it... it's that horrible). 
I guess my next favorite joke is the Michael Scott classic: 

So... What's your favorite joke? I'm in need of a laugh (or 500) today. 

I Stole This Post Idea.

Hi, my name is Alyx, and I'm a lazy blogaholic. 

I'm a bit distracted at the moment, due to moving and landlord issues, so don't hate me because of the totally, 100% stolen post idea. Seriously. I'd cry. And... I stole this idea from my lovely Blogger of the month, Jennie.

Today we will be taking a walk down memory lane. Basically, I will be showing you guys how stupid I was in high school, because that sounds fun, right? No? Okay, you can click away now. 

Before I do that, though, let me remind you about Christmas in July! Signup is open till June 20th. 

And... in case you're interested in reading about what the expat life is really like... you should head over here to Katie's awesome bloggy. 

Now we're off to see the Alyx, the Alyx of Memory Lane (I hope you sang that to the tune of "We're off to see the Wizard," because that just totally fits). 
I went to senior prom with a good friend because no one asked me, and there was no way I was going stag. 
What? You guys didn't play dress up when you were 15?? 

This was in Germany when I was a junior in high school.

Senior picture. 

Phone sex. Get it?? HA. HA. HA! 

I don't even know. I just thought you guys would enjoy seeing what I really look like. 

This was the only school dance I ever got asked to... and it wasn't even at my school. 

About ten minutes after this picture was taken, I went and told a guy that I liked his pants, but that they would look better on my floor. I was totally joking. He thought I was funny[looking], so we ended up having a sort of "thing" that ended in a kiss by the hippos at the zoo. Romantic, no? 

Oh, you know. Just a nice butt shot from below. 
This is pretty much the story of my life.
So... there you go. You have now seen high school Alyx, in all her glory. Or some of it. Or really not very much at all. Basically.... I was exactly the same as I am now. Only not as awesome. The awesomeness thing has grown with time. 

Obviously I'm kidding. 

Christmas in July Signup



It's time for my idea to come to life - finally. I am really just so excited about this - it's kinda ridiculous.
Thanks so much to Cecilia and Daryl for helping me host!

Anyway, if you don't already know about this blogger gift exchange, let me tell you about it. The details are listed right before the signup sheet. Some of these are important, so please take the time to read through them really quickly.

I will link the Christmas in July button to this specific post, so if you have any questions, you can always refer back to this post. 

Now the details: 
- If you are participating, PLEASE take a button and put it on your sidebar - we want lots of people to see this and join in the fun!
- Registration is open from today until June 20th. 
- If you decide for whatever reason that you cannot participate, the last day to drop out is June 20th. 
- You will receive the name of a blogger to buy a gift for by June 27th. 
- The monetary value of the gift should be no more than $20, and no less than $10. 
- Send your gift no later than July 13th. 
- If you are an international blogger, don't worry about shipping costs - we will make sure to give you a blogger on the same continent so that your shipping costs are low. 
- Once you receive your package, prepare a blog post about it. There will be a link up on July 25th where we can all share our presents. 
- Please send a photo of your postmarked package to us via email by July 13th so that we know that everyone will be receiving one.
- If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to contact us. I'm here to answer all of your questions!


Sunday Confessions Link Up


It's that time again... Grab a button and link up!
1. I do not feel like blogging today. Really. So... you'll be lucky if I make it to five confessions. Sometimes you just have those days, and today is one of them. Actually, yesterday was, too. The only reason you got a post was because I wrote it a couple months ago and just saved it for a rainy day (or, ya know, a day where blogging is the last thing I want to do).

2. Along with not feeling like blogging... I also don't feel like emailing. Maybe I will later today, but not right now. I'm calling in sick to blogland.

3. I'm afraid that my blog will be really lame once we move back to the states. I know that my blog probably won't really change that much, but I'm afraid no one will want to read once I'm back home and back to my mundane life.

4. I'm frickin' stressed. There, I said it. Our landlord is being a douche and trying his hardest to rip us off. I'm terrified that we're going to lose our $1000 deposit on the place, and we really need that for a car. We have fought tooth and nail, but aren't sure what's going to happen, and I'm freaking out. Like, seriously. I'm probably going to have a breakdown here pretty soon because I generally just let things build up until I can't take it anymore. I have the feeling that the straw that will break the camel's back is coming soon (yes, I just made myself a camel).

5. I sometimes forget to wear deodorant. So frickin' sue me - it happens. Usually it's when I've pressed snooze 50 times and literally only have time to brush my teeth and throw some clothes on. I will never forgo the tooth brushing for deodorant, sorry.

On Marriage.


I finished a couple blog designs this past week... click the pics to take you to the blog. If you're looking for a design, go ahead and email me - this is the first time in months that I haven't had a queue. 
used Calli Script and ClementePDae fonts. the heart comes in this brush set
used these foliage brushes. fonts: Atlast greeting & Mona Lisa Solid 
I also changed up my about and us pages - exciting, right? I'm still fixing up this design, trying to make it exactly what I want.

Anyway. A while back, I wrote a post about marriage, and I never shared it with you all. I thought, though, that it's about time for me to tell you all the truth, the whole truth, and nothin' but the truth, so help me God [about marriage]. 

So here it goes.

Let me start off by saying this: I don't consider myself an expert on marriage; this is just my story and my opinion. 

Mike and I had what most people would call a whirlwind romance. We met in March of 2010 and were married in August of 2010. 

We got married fast. There were still things about each other that we didn't know - weird little quirks, silly habits, etc. etc. In fact, there are still days when I learn something new about my husband. The important thing to us wasn't knowing every single little detail about each other - it was knowing that the decision to get married was the right one. We didn't depend on ourselves for that answer, either. We turned to God. I didn't get some crazy, eye-opening answer  - I just felt like it was the time for me and he was the person. Almost two years later... I hold to that opinion. 

All of that good stuff being said, marriage is no walk in the park. It's not mushy-gushy-lovey-dovey all the time. I was 3 months away from 22 when we got married, and 9 months away from 2 college degrees. I had lived on my own for 3 years, and had my own way of doing things. I was independent. I had my own car, paid my own bills, did what I wanted when I wanted to, and made all of my decisions myself. I didn't consult with anyone before I did anything, and hadn't for years. 

Because of that, going from single to being married was a hard transition. It was really hard for me to let my new hubby be the decision-maker. I felt like I had just as much experience as he did, so I should be able to make my own decisions without consulting him. 

Even now, over a year later, I sometimes have trouble with that. No, I'm not saying that I should be a totally submissive person who doesn't ever have a say in things. I'm saying that in our household, my husband gets to wear the pants. He's the referee, the dude who calls the shots [after careful consideration of my opinions, of course]. 

I don't always like it, but I know that we are equal partners in our marriage. Sometimes he puts his own opinion aside and does what I want him to, and for that I am so grateful! I'm really glad I've learned to let him be the leader. It's actually less stressful for me that way, too, believe it or not. 

So I guess the moral of the story is this: Being married is awesome, but it's not always easy. There are adjustments that will have to be made. There will be things you will give up, but you will gain so much more in return. It's a bumpy ride, with lots of twists and turns, but in the end... the destination is totally worth the journey. At least I think so. Talk to me in 60 years. 

Favorite Things Friday

Hi friends!! 

Are you all as excited as I am about the fact that it's finally Friday?? If not, you are probably definitely smoking crack crazy. 

Anyway... I've got a list of Favorite Things this week, and there's really no theme - it's just a bunch of random really cool stuff.

1. Peanut Butter Frosting. Holy balls, you people know me well. Kylie emailed me with this recipe, and it is to die for. It is also extremely rich, which keeps me from eating the whole pan of brownies in one sitting.
2. YouTube video converter. Ummm am I the only one living in the stone age, completely unaware that you can convert YouTube videos to mp3s? Well, whatever. If you're slower than me, check this out. 

3. Coral Jeans. I ordered a pair in like, March, and they were on backorder. I got an email yesterday telling me that they've been shipped!! YAY!! 
4. Songs about California. My 8th grade English class is doing a unit on California, so I put together a CD with a ton of songs about California. We're going to do an analysis of "It Never Rains in Southern California" in class tomorrow.

5. Space Bags. I could kiss whoever invented these puppies. As I'm packing our lives into 4 full-size suitcases and 2 carry-ons, I'm reminded of how awesome these suckers really are. And... German space bags are totally superior to the American ones. Amen and amen. 
So... Promise me a few things: 
1. You will try the peanut butter frosting (it's so worth the 2 seconds it takes to make)
2. You will not make fun of me for living under a rock (I can't be the only one who didn't know about the mp3 thing... can I??)
3. You will have a supercool weekend. 

PS... Thanks for this yesterday (I really can't believe it. Like... I'm in total shock - you guys are freaking amazeballs):

Es Vedra & Christmas in July.

Howdy friends! 
Remember that one time that I decided on a whim that a huge bloggy gift exchange would be totally awesome? And that I would call this huge bloggy exchange Christmas in July? Well... I'm makin' it happen, and two awesome girls have offered to help me out. You can visit them here and here (and you can see their pretty faces in the picture below).
Anyway, I'm going to open up registration for this on Monday. There will be more details then, but until then, just know this: 

It's a blogger gift exchange with a budget of $10-$20. Everyone is welcome to participate, and if you're international, you will be matched with someone on the same continent so as to reduce shipping costs. 

So... make sure you come back on Monday to sign up! This is just a heads up to let you know that it will be happening!!

Moving on... 

Once upon a time, I went to Ibiza, Spain and told you about a few of the things we did. I skipped a lot of other things, though, and I'd love to document them, so here's one of them. 
Es Vedra

Es Vedra. Some say that it's right next to the tip of the lost city of Atlantis, jutting out of the ocean. Others say that it has spiritual powers. Even if neither of these things is true, it's still an amazing sight, one that is definitely worth the hike (which, by the way, is not long or difficult at all). Fun Fact: It's the 3rd most magnetic place on the face of the earth.
The 1st time we went to Es Vedra - Day 4 in Ibiza

We visited Es Vedra twice, both times at sunset. The first time would have been good, but it started to rain right before the sun started to set, so we missed out. We had heard such good things about this location at dusk, so decided to come back on our fifth day in Ibiza. We did not regret it - not one bit.
Husband took this amazing shot.

Es Vedra was probably one of my favorite things about this little island, and there was definitely something magical about it. 

What is your favorite natural landmark??


On German Cereal & WIWW.

Linking up here.

shirt, cami, leggings: WalMart sandals: Target 

Hey guys!!

Normally... leggings are not pants. Actually... always. But yesterday I sort of made an exception. Mostly because I was wearing a tunic-type shirt that covered my butt. Oh, and the fact that I didn't leave the house probably helped me to be a little more okay with this look.

And... I'm not a huge fashionista or anything, but I did a super fast tutorial on the braided top knot, and you can see it below. It's pretty much perfect for lazy butts like myself.  

In other news... I have a formal complaint that I would like to launch against The Land of Lederhosen. 
Their cereal tastes like cardboard. 

I'm not talking about the Muesli - that stuff is delicious, and I don't think that anyone can beat Germany in the Müsli department... Especially when it comes to the chocolate kind. 

Anyway. About a week ago, I decided that I really missed American cereal, and went to the grocery store to see what I could find. Kellog's cereal was about 5 EUR a box, and I refused to pay that much for a box of cereal. Then... something caught my eye. A bag of wannabe fruit loops. I was desperate, so I decided to grab them. 
BIG MISTAKE. I got home, so excited to eat those puppies. Grabbed a bowl out of the cupboard, filled it to the brim with the cereal, and poured the milk over it. I took a spoon out of the drawer and started stuffing my face. Immediately, I ran to the sink and spit everything out. I checked the bowl to make sure I hadn't accidentally somehow poured paper into my bowl... Nope. This crap was supposed to pass for a breakfast food? WHO ARE THEY KIDDING??? 

I mean, honestly. This is the same country that eats Nutella, schnitzel, spaghetti eis, and bratwurst. HOW COULD THEY POSSIBLY THINK THAT THIS CEREAL TASTES GOOD??? Ugh. 

Moral of the story: Super processed/sugary/bad for you breakfast is easier to find, cheaper, and more delicious in the states. Soon enough, I will resume my 24/7 cereal habits, and I am super happy about that. Maybe a little too happy, considering the fact that I don't have dental insurance. 

Some More Scotland. Some Changes. And Vampires.

Helllloooooo Blogworld! 

If you don't want to read about the changes, skip to the big neon green sign that says "Start Here." If you just want to look at pretty pictures of Scotland, scroll down till you see them. 

So... what do you think of the new look? In case you've never been here before, this is what these parts used to look like:
I feel like I should mention a new feature that I'm doing, and explain it a little bit. It's called Blog of the Month, and here's how I described it to Jennie, my first ever BotM:
"Okay, it's not so brilliant, and i maybe sort of borrowed and then slightly modified someone else's brilliant idea, but hear me out. So Gentri Lee does this little feature every Monday where she features a smaller blogger that she really likes, and I think that's awesome. I also think, however, that I am way too selfish to give my blog to another person that often (I'm awful, I know), so I decided to do it once a month...I want to try to find bloggers that have less than 200 followers, but are totally awesome and cool and funny and all that jazz. I'm trying to find bloggers that are within the same niche so that my readers will actually appreciate me sending them [their] way."
So there you have it - the new feature. A ton of looking goes into finding these new blogs, and I'm stoked to be able to give them exposure for a whole month.

NOW!!!! On to the post! 
You know, I feel like I have a lot of posts that mention vampires, which is odd, because if I had to pick a Twilight team to belong to, it would totally be Team Sexy Werewolf. Whatever. This post is not about Twilight. Although... I could totally make fun of K-Stew for hours, I will resist and get to the point.

I think I'm turning into a vampire. Seriously - hear me out, peeps. I've gotten so pale that I practically sparkle in the sun and I sleep during the day and am up all night (which makes going to my day job pretty torturous). Someone come tell me that I'm not going to turn into Edward Cullen, please?!

Okay, now on to to the real point of this post - Scotland. Specifically, pictures, because I'm tired of boring you with my words. Even more specifically, pictures of nature. Because Scotland is pretty much one of the most beautiful places in the world (if you're into rolling hills and green) 
See? Scotland really is beautiful!