Signing Off…

Hmmm……

This here little blog has been a breath of fresh air for me.  I have enjoyed chronicling our little world and sharing it.  It is nothing special, but it sure has felt that way.

Over the holidays I made a decision to put this blog to rest.  Why?   When I do something I want to be able to put my whole heart into it.  Over the last couple of months, I did not feel I was doing that.  It is time to take a step back and focus on family, work, and our life.

No worries!  It has been a lot of fun.  Thank you for your comments, likes, and views!  It has been awesome.

I will still be running, reading with a glass of wine in hand.  We will still take advantage of all the traveling we can.

So in my final post, a huge thank you!

Child’s Play

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Growing up in South Texas, snow was not in our vocabulary.  In fact, I never touched snow until I was in my 20s.  Yes, living in Germany had a lot to do with it!

Saturday the white stuff started coming down.  First time this season.

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It was gorgeous.  When we woke up Sunday morning, we were in for a surprise!  There was a lot of snow.  I could not wait to lace up my running shoes!

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This is part of my trail.  This was the clean part.  When I went for my run, it was still coming down.  The run was not always easy but I did not expect it to be!  I can tell you, I had a lot of fun.  No music and no watch.  Just me and Mother Nature.

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When I came back from the run/fun, I just loved the sled drenched in snow!

Of course going to work will be…..

Happy last Monday of 2014!

Yes, another one!

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Sadly, we attended our last Christmas market of the season on Saturday evening.  This time we hit the market in Ansbach.  Never been to this one before.  We like to explore something new.

It was small but very family oriented…just as they should be!

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I love those pyramids.  Very German.  I have yet to get one… I bet I have one before next Christmas!

 

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This looked like a lot of fun.  We did not try it.  There was a long line of kids ready to toss the large game piece down the straight away to hit a bunch of huge pins.

This market was quaint.  It had a hometown feel!

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You could warm up by the fire or enjoy a mug of Gluwein hanging out at a table in a shape of a tree.  Pretty cool!

Of course….Hubby was one happy man!

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More brats!    Nothing gets between a man and his brats!

Happy Christmas Eve’s Eve!

Longer days!

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This weekend we celebrated Winter Solstice.  When you live in a place that it is dark until after 8 in the morning and gets dark around 4 in the evening, this little known event is an occasion to celebrate!

This year we invited some friends over to help us cut into the Yule log.   The menu was simple.  I was looking for an intimate atmosphere.  I went with fondue!  Cheese and garlic fondue in fact.  We had our assortment of veggies, bread, and meat to go along with it.

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I kept everything easy.  Since there were kids coming, I set up a hot dog station.

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I am not a hot dog person but it was a hit!

One of the entertainment events of the evening was decorating a gingerbread house.  Hubby and I made it the day before.  We had a lot of fun putting it together.  He brought out the rulers and protractors.  I just mixed and baked.

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After we put it together and let it sit overnight, it was time for the kids to have at it.  Here is the finished product!

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It will not rival the Downton Abbey masterpiece, but the kids and adults had a blast!

We finished our evening with a fire and a piece of Yule log.

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Not a great picture.  It was delicious though.

What a great time we all had.  Now we are looking forward to more sunlight!

 

Seasonal Station

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How do showcase special treats that you have only during this time of year?  I simply make it part of our decor!

Christmas is hot chocolate, Gluwein, and Christmas market mugs.  Wrapping hands around a hot mug as the steam rises from the top is just a smile waiting to happen.

We use to make our own hot chocolate mix.  A recipe from my Mom.  As a child, I have fond memories of the big container she mixed it up in.  It was always very sad when it was gone!  Now, because we just do not drink enough of it, I choose not make my own.  I guess that is why I treasure each mug I have now.

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Using a festive tray, I have created a Christmas beverage station in our kitchen.  A bottle of Gluwein (yes, Hubby cracked that opened), a Santa tin holding delicious hot chocolate packets awaits us.

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We have a lot of Christmas mugs.  I trade them out ever so often.  They are just fun!

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Each town has their own mug.  Some put a date on theirs and some do not.

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I am very picky when it comes to hot chocolate.  Since I only drink it during this time of year, it has to be darn good!  Right now, I am loving the salted carmel from Starbucks.

Just a little seasonal joy in the kitchen!  Less than 10 days now!

Happy Wednesday!

Where it all Began…

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I love Christmas markets.  They are just a magical part of celebrating the season for us.  We plan every single weekend in December around going to these markets.  We have been to large ones, medium size ones, and the ones that are only for one day in a small village.  It is not so much as what they sell for us. It is more about the atmosphere, the music playing in the background, and the laughter of the people doing the exact same thing we are.

I fell in love with the German markets back in 1992.  Yep, that long ago.  We were young, never been out of the states, and loved the adventure.  The first Christmas Market experience for us was and still is our favorite…yes, even after all these years!  As a young married couple with a toddler we hopped on train to Nurnberg.  From first sight it was jovial.  Since then, we have been back time and time again!

This past weekend, Hubby and took a train again to downtown Nurnberg to once again take in the sights.  Our ride was a little bit longer this time.  Our toddler is a grown Amazing young woman.  However, we still had twinkles in our eyes!

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The streets are beautiful.  The lights and the lovely Nurnberg Angel watching the excitement.  We still have our Nurnberg Angel that Amazing Daughter picked out many years ago.  It graces the top of our tree every year.

As with all markets, there are plenty of things to purchase.

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We love these stars.  I bought one from the Dresden Christmas Market a few years back.  One of our favorite ornaments.

Hubby loves going to the markets because he knows he is going to get some bratwurst.  He loves those things!

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Yes, he ate every single bite.

We listened to a little music.

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But mostly we enjoyed the beautiful Winter evening in just a marvelous city.

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Christmas is such a special time of year.  It is because of magical evenings in December at a Christmas Market that makes the season come alive for us!

Enjoy your Tuesday!

Ready, set, go!

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We are officially ready for Christmas.   We cranked up the Christmas tunes, munched on some queso, and sipped some Gluwein as we unloaded the tubs full of our Christmas stuff.

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After we brought everything up from the basement, I tried to sort out what I had.

This the Santa pile.   I just love this old man.  I like to collect Santa’s from every culture.  Some people collect angels or snowmen.  For me, it is all about the man in the red suit.

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Tree decorations.  Our tree this year is the smallest one we have ever had.  Not sure why, but it is.  I understand why people have more than one tree.   After we trimmed our tree, I had a lot of ornaments left over.  Since this is our first Christmas in this house, I am getting the feel of where and how Christmas will go and look.  I am learning so much!  In fact daily, I am moving things around.

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It was fun getting out our Christmas life.  Each evening after work, I turn on the lights and light the candles.  With my glass of wine in hand, I simply enjoy the scents and sounds of our home.  Life is so good!

Have a wonderful weekend!  We are off to another Christmas market and to finish our last bit of shopping.

Madrid, part 4

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On our last morning in Madrid, we decided to get up early and head out for El Rastro flea market.  I love those things!    When we got there, it was setting up time.  It was peaceful and beautiful.

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I read that people have furnished and decorated their entire homes with flea market finds.  I would love that!  What fun it would be to challenge yourself creatively and budget wise.

Here are some of the shots I took of the market.

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The red sofa was only 50 euros!  That was awesome.  Not suitcase matter there, a person can dream.  It was fabulous watching people who were dressed in fur coats haggle with the sellers.

Sadly, we did not get to stay long.  We had to get back to the hotel and then to the airport.

It was a wonderful get away.   We will be laying low until about April.  Then we will be off on another adventure!

Enjoy your Thursday!

Madrid, Part 3

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Is there any bad food in Spain?  If so we did not find it!  We spent a lot of time at tapas bars/ places.  We liked the small portions and the variety.

Check out our favorites.

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The breaded zucchini was to die for.  I will be trying to recreate that in the near future.

Hubby was very fascinated with Iberian ham.  Walking around we saw several ‘museums’ of ham.  Yes, that is what they were actually called!

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Hubby called these babies true pieces of art.  I snapped this outside of a store.

Another spot I wanted to see was the Mercado De San Miguel.  Just the structure was amazing.  Inside all the food and wine was even more amazing!

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It is a great place to meet up with friends for a tapa and a glass of fantastic Spanish red wine.

Needless to say, we did not go hungry.  Far from it.  We enjoyed the small dishes but more importantly, we enjoyed the atmosphere.

Madrid, it is a wonderful place to be.

Tomorrow I will wrap up Madrid.  Sad, however it has been fun reliving our trip.

Happy Hump Day!

 

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