Our first blog award!

Celebrate good times, come on!

YEY!! We received our first blog award! I’m loving the life of a blogger and learning all the skills that come with regular writing, taking nice photographs and learning about putting together websites. It’s challenging but very enjoyable and it’s lovely to have that recognised!

picmonkey-collage10The rules of this award are:

– Thank the person who nominated you!
– Share 7 things about yourself!
– Nominate bloggers!
– Notify the nominees!
– Put the logo of the award on your blog!

So here I go:

We would like to thank inevertoldher for nominating our blog for this award. Her beautiful writing reads like poetry. Her family sound just lovely and she has four cats! So have a read and enjoy :)

7 Things about me:

1. I love sprechen in le francaise avec un poco de other lingos aussi– languages are amazing. I was brought up bilingually, so I feel I have a bit of an advantage here, but I love learning new languages. I am still annoyed at the language training in Japan, as after many years they can still barely put a sentence together. On the other hand, in Germany everyone speaks English perfectly. Communication is so important and as one day I would like to live in South America, I shall soon be learning Spanish all over again. Watch this space – and learn with me for your visit to the sunshine!

528925_594000268773_1156268265_n2. I try not to walk on pavement cracks. There is definitely some OCD in me as I do things in fives (for example I had five chocolate chip cookies for breakfast this morning), I pick stray hairs off people’s clothes I don’t know and I get nervous when objects are not symmetrical. When we play boardgames (which is a LOT) I am constantly moving the cards and pieces around to put them in their perfect place. It’s tiring for my brain but most of the time I don’t even know I’m doing it.

3. I have an amazing ability to remember people’s names… but a terrible memory for the other stuff. If I meet someone, it is likely I will remember their name forever. I will not remember how we met, why I gave them that strange nickname, what they studied or what their favourite food is, but I will always be able to remember their name. Unless I don’t like them. In which case my brain seems to forget those few letters at a remarkable speed. Quite useful I guess.

4. I love writing letters. I’m still upset about my great-aunt passing away recently, as we would write to each other all the time. I keep my Christmas cards up until my birthday (end of June) and then my birthday cards stay up until the winter season comes around again. I also love making cards, as my mother did as well, and getting crafty. If you are lucky, you will have received a card from me. If not, feel free to leave a comment below and request one.

image45. I ask far too many questions. Often when I meet people for the first time I ask them literally every single detail of their lives. Some people have actually told me they thought they were being interviewed. I always wanted to be a journalist (and amazingly have achieved this goal) so maybe it’s just me practising, but I love to find out unusual things about people and see how we all differ a little, but really, underneath it all, we are very similar.

392565_573949455763_1784199120_n6. I find it hard to believe sometimes that I was ever created. I’m a crazy mix of German and English who fought on very different sides of the war. My parents met by coincidence a few times in South America, which ended up in my mother moving to England and me being born. In our family we have Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Protestants and Church of England followers. My background covers countries including England, Ireland, Germany, Japan, Iran, Eastern Europe… I find my personal history fascinating and would love to know more.

7. I read really depressing books. If it has anything at all to do with wars I am all over it. I love reading diaries and non-fiction. Jason often jokes that he reads fantasy novels whilst giggling to himself, while I sit next to him crying with sadness. Some of the books I read take me a few days to recover from. But I can’t stop. Recommendations always welcome.

Nominating blogs:

I don’t read blogs a lot. I’m a busy bee and I’m not the greatest fan of sitting in front of a screen all day long. However, I have recently been studying blogs and the more you read the more you learn. So here are some of the gems I have come across:


My favourite blog on the internet. We have similar stories, know lots of the same people, lived near each other in Japan for many years and are now both enjoying Germany. Charlotte has made me want to blog more and blog better.


My lovely friend Maggie’s blog is very different to the normal blogs I have found. With her husband and her camera, she travels all over the UK searching for wildlife. If you need some ideas for where to visit or just want to be amazed at the insects and scenery we can find on our own doorstep, take a look.


Tania has the most stunning cards and they make me want to create all kinds of pretty things. I love being crafty, but life gets into the way so easily which makes me sad. Now all I need to do is look at this blog for inspiration.


This friend of mine is getting famous quickly, so get onto her website and take a look. She never leaves the house without her paintbrushes and she is all over Etsy as well. I love this stuff!


Claire and I know each other from Japan. She is still living over there and I love reading her stories as they transport me back to my life living in the Japanese countryside. If you want to get off the beaten track and experience Japan ‘properly’, read this blog for ideas!


Joseph is actually Jason’s friend. And from what I have heard, I want him to be my friend too. He is a bit of a legend in Japan and in the running world and we have even met random people who have seen him running out there. If nothing else his baby is adorable, so head on over for a look.


This is great place for boardgamers. For those of you that don’t know, Jason’s main obsession in life is acquiring board games and playing them all day. Apparently the ideal number of board games you can have is your collection +1. They are fabulous fun and if you want some hints on where to get started, check out this site.


My latest obsession. Bronwyn has some amazing advice on how to photograph crafts and explains it well. She also makes some of the most delicious and cute items ever and I can’t wait to try to make the little fabric strawberries that adorn the entire website. If you are looking for photographic advice, fun things to make or just marvel at how a well-taken photo can make you want to get your craft on immediately, I would say have a looksie!


Jason Halayko takes the best photos I have ever seen. EVER. He doens’t blog all the time but just looking through his photos (especially about Japan) take my breath away. Literally beautiful stuff and so professional I can’t believe it’s not his full time job! I want all of his calenders too – wow!


The best place for all kinds of information on Berlin. I particularly enjoy their personal stories, where contributors write about their Berlin, where they grew up, their favourite café or the best places for spending a cold winter’s night.


Rebecca has recently moved to Berlin and she is all over the place making films. A recent job she has made me dribble all over the place – she filmed a cooking retreat in Germany. She has some great ideas on how to find film-making jobs in Berlin and links to her work on her website. She has great work, but be warned, the food video will make you hungry for more!


For you German speakers out there, this is a great fun-filled blog/ website. They have daily bits of advice for us Berliners to do in this amazing city and currently I’m all over their 40-day food blog challenge. They are eating in a different restaurant every day for 40-days. There are so many restaurants I need to try! Guess what we are doing tonight 😉


Thanks to everyone for reading. I’m super chuffed about being nominated for this award and I hope those we nominated are happy too. We love hearing from you, so do leave a comment in the box below and we will be in touch!


  1. Wow, there’s so much to read I don’t know which post to comment! First of all, congratulations! Second, I found your blog from Homemade in Hong Kong where you left a link to your aunt’s cheesecake recipe. You guys lead interesting lives. I can’t wait to read more of your and your friends’ adventures abroad.

    I live in Chattanooga, TN, where VW opened a plant several years ago. We got 300 German families in town, and I got to teach ESL to some of the employees and their spouses. I was never interested in Germany before, but after teaching these people, I’m more curious about the country and its people. As a non-native English speaker, what are my chances of teaching ESL in Germany?


    • Dear Eileen,
      Thanks for your message!
      I’m so glad you get to spend time with German people, they are great, plus if you can get friendly with the families, try and get them to make cheesecake for you – haha.
      If I’m totally honest I would say teaching English in Germany is really hard, especially for non-native speakers. There are so many English/ American/ Canadian and a few Australian/ New Zealanders etc here who speak English as their native language. In Berlin, it is so multi-cultural that most people speak very high levels of English. Even if it is a German company, I have heard of many companies here that use English as their language of instruction. Mainly because on average it takes around 30% more time to speak German, but also because the foreigners here all seem to be able to speak really good English.
      The jobs here often require perfect English and German regardless of other skills. If you have competency in other languages, that’s a bonus. Teaching English is hard, because in Berlin I would imagine it would have to be at a high level or business level. Also, most people go to a Volkshochschule, which is a really cheap way of learning a language. So even if you get some students, you would then need to charge relatively low prices.
      BUT I would imagine in cities other than Berlin, it would be easier. It would depend on what level and age range you are looking at teaching.
      I hope this helps – if you need more information, please let me know!
      Thanks for the comment and hope you get Valentine’s cheesecake today!
      Vanessa :)

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