Best Traditions I Grew Up With

It is storming outside, the fall leaves are dancing in the wind and my coffee warms my hands while I was reminiscing in childhood memories. I realized I had some fun traditions I grew up with and wanted to share today:

1. Die Fete | The Bash

Every Saturday after my dad’s birthday we celebrate “Die Fete”. BUT it is not just a birthday party it just kinda happens to fall close to my dad’s birthday. It originally started out as his party I am sure but it is much more now. Since my dad’s college days he invites his friends and companions to this bash. Every single year! In 2018 it will be the 30th+ time. And since it is such a fixed date most people have it marked and will show up. Everyone makes time for it. And if something comes up they know next year they have another chance. I think my parents have created a really great way of staying in touch with their friends, introducing new people in the mix as they grow older and even having been matchmakers too. And even though I am over 30 now and don’t live at home there is still one guy bringing candy for the kids.

traditions and memories

2. Der Rundbrief | The (Family) Newsletter

And this brings me right to the next tradition. Every year before Christmas a newsletter was sent out. Again mainly my dad writes about what happened the last year in the family and shares his thoughts with his friends. The very end of the letter always ends with the invitation to above mentioned gathering.
I always loved those letters and since they have been written since I am alive I can basically read my life in them. Since I moved out I receive my very own copy.

But I am even more happy that Mr. ♥ and I started to adapt this tradition the year we got married. Now he sits on December 23rd and writes a wonderful letter of all the things happened to us that year. The things we are grateful for, the things we struggled, the people we miss. It is a wonderful way to connect. Unlike my parents we do sent it out via email though.

3. Adventsstündchen | Advent hour

My love for advent and Christmas was ingrained early on. My mom used to sit us down during advent and craft with. We would light the advent wreath, would have a plate of cookies, sometimes listen to some music or play the piano or flute and make little project. Like straw stars, paper stars or lanterns. We would learn poems, sing songs or think about the Christmas play. Make Christmas presents for friends and family or bake cookies. It was always such a magical time and one of my most treasured childhood memories.

4. Weihnachtsspiel | Christmas Play

For many many years of my life I was performing Christmas plays. And I am not talking about the native plays you do in church though I did those too. No we had pretty specific schedule on Christmas Eve and when who got presents. And while we got ours after church and before dinner my parents got theirs after the Christmas play performed by my sisters and I after dinner. It all started during Adventsstündchen where my mom asked if we didn’t wanna sing a song for dad on Christmas. Once we got older we decided to do those little things on our own. We were putting lots of thought into those plays – even though often we only started the day day before Christmas. I remember one time we were doing the play in English (I started having english class only 6 months earlier!), one was a quizz show with a modern and the old Santa and yet another one where we traveled around the world. One of the funniest one was actually a native play we did where my little sister (only 4/5 years then) played every single role but Maria & Joseph. It was hilarious with all her wardrobe changes. Too bad that I cannot remember them all. And no there are no tapes just memories.

5. Dads Stories

You could put down our intensive vacation travels as a tradition too. Mostly twice a year summer and winter we would go exploring the world. And usually not twice to the same place – only exception would be skiing areas. But as much as we loved the vacation we were always specially excited about the newest story my dad would tell us. It was always a story related to the area we would visit or a topic that was relevant. So there would be a story about marmots when hiking in the Alps and one about mosquitos when we were visiting the Mecklenburg Lake District. There was a story about wolfs and foxes and tunnels when I was hiking in Poland (1988) with my dad and only years later I would discover that he actually told me about the political conflict. I so wished I would have wrote down all the great stories. They were so entertain but always had an educational aspect.

Looking back on those traditions it seems like I had no chance than to fall in love with this time of year. Many of them just revolve around the Season. Or maybe even back then my little self absorbed those the most as it was important to me. Who knows.

But I am curious if you have any traditions that have stuck with you. That always keep coming back to you and that hold warm fuzzy memories. Please share, I’d love to read. And if you decide to write a blogpost too make sure to link it.

Happy strolling down memory lane,

Tobia

WOCHEN(GLÜCK)-RÜCKBLICK :: MY HAPPINESS REVIEW #25

It is time for a new happiness review. I just saw the last one is from January. Not that there hasn’t been any happiness here it just didn’t find its way on the blog.

The last week was really stressful for me and still there were happy moments.

It all started with coming home Sunday night after a weekend at Blogst. I have already wrote about it last Sunday and shared my DIY here. So I won’t go into detail. But it did make me happy. I saw some people from last year and some really good conversations. I also remember one where I actually talked about my day job and while doing so realized how much passion was involved. Hadn’t had that in a long time. Feels good.

Most of the week I was really busy with work but I was happy being able to work from home this week and not be in Dusseldorf. It is just different when sleeping in your own bed and drinking your own coffee. Not to mention that Mr. ❤︎ is coming home at night. And right here was another happy moment: laughing and joking around. Makes my heart skip.

On Wednesday I met my old boss for lunch. It was nice to catch up and talk and enjoy some healthy food.

 

creative lunch beets&roots

I had to “force” myself to get up from the desk and go outside for a bit. So I took a quick walk over the cemetery. I was there when twilight creeped in and it was mystical. You could see the grave candles flicker, wind whispering in the trees and I felt the love from all the graves ready for “Totensonntag”. And then a fox crossed my way. I think I need to go back.

creative fall walk cemetary

I also participated in an DIY advent calendar again this year and I was really busing getting everything assembled and out the door by yesterday. But while it was a bit stressful in the end it still made me realize how close the Holiday Season is and this is – as you well know – my favorite time of year. Here is a secret: Tomorrow I share my annual advent wreath tutorial! And if you like check out all the previous wreath ideas and more.

creative advent DIY

Now I am looking forward spending some relax time on the couch and sleep and hang with Mr. ❤︎ and doing bit of blog work and reading some blogs along the way.

What are your plans?

Happy Saturday,

Tobia

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My favorite books 2017 – Part II

The weekend is just around the corner. Perfect timing for your next favorite book. In this part of favorite books 2017 I share the series I have discovered (check out part I here). By now you probably know I do have a nag for fantasy so of course those are upon the top. Let’s get started:

The Exile Trilogy by Hal Emerson

It is a fantasy. I like fantasy. A godlike immortal empress with 7 children rule the lands of Lucien. One child is different and is planned to be eliminated. Phrophecies, refugee at the land of the enemy, inner conflict of being rejected by ones family, finding a new one. All with some magic gifts and cool characters I personally hope the magic part will be a bit more developed in the third book as I see potential there – some aspects that are not in every fantasy found. Fun read if you like this kinda things.


My rating:
#1 The Prince of Ravens ***** free eBook
#2 The Prince of Exiles  **** eBook
#3 The Prince of the Veil not yet read eBook

Submerged Sun Series by Vanessa Garden

It all starts out with a kidnapping by Miranda to the underwater world of Marin. The king wants to marry her to secure his crown. But she needs to get back to set things right with her sister. I was fascinated by the underwater world created. An underwater fantasy without any mermaids. However it is a lot of teenage drama in the second book that is way I have not picked up the third yet.


My rating:
#1 Captivate **** free eBook
#2 Impulse *** eBook
#3 Release not yet read eBook
#4 Compulsion not yet read eBook
#1-4 eBook bundle

Hidden Deep Saga by Amy Patrick

A modern fairy tale with a fairy folk living in the woods or better underground. Having met as children the two main character come across each other ten years later. I thought some details in this series were well thought out and I was guessing along while some conflicts repeated themselves over and over and became a bit boring. But than this might be life of teenagers and I am just not the target group anymore. Overall it was an enjoyable read and if I ever come across the following books in kindle unlimited they will be on the reading list and I am happy to finish this adventure.


My rating:
#1 Hidden Deep **** free eBook
#2 Hidden Heart *** eBook
#3 Hidden Hope *** eBook
#4 Hidden Darkness not yet read eBook
#5 Hidden Danger not yet read eBook
#6 Hidden Desire not yet read  eBook
#1-9 eBook bundle

Diving into an engaging fantasy series is something I try to do when being on vacation or if I know nothing special is coming up. Because lets be honest, you gonna be sucked right into it.

So for all of you who feel the same way I have two cute little short stories. I discovered their beauty this year. Because sometimes I feel like reading but know I only got an afternoon. Those are perfect:

Static Rain – Short Story by Julius St. Clair

Beautiful love story about rain told from a woman’s perspective and how it stayed with her through life.
Very short though

My rating: **** free eBook unfortunately this book is no longer available on Amazon

The Girl with the Green-Tinted Hair – Short Story by Gavin Whyte

Described as, “Moving”, “Uplifting”, and “Enlightening”, The Girl with the Green-Tinted Hair is a spiritual fable about personal growth and about seeing how truly magical life is.

My rating: **** free eBook, paperback

Now lets connect on Goodreads, be friends and recommend even more books. My reading list is full but I am willing to put more on it.

Happy reading,

Tobia

*If you buy a book through one of the Amazon links I will receive a small  provision. This would help me keep this blog alive and cover a few of the administrative costs. Thank you. Or maybe I just buy a new book, who knows…

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My Favorite Podcasts to Listen To

I love me some podcasts.

Not so sure when I discovered podcasts but it must have been 2/3 years ago. Today I want to share some favorites of mine.

favorite creative podcasts

1. Elise gets crafty

All time favorite. I personally think there in none better out there or at least I haven’t found it yet. Elise talks about creative endeavors by interviewing solopreneurs. They tell their story and share their process. I like that Elise always asked a set of same questions at the end. I find her very authentic and approachable. It is the only podcast where I have not missed a single broadcast!

Listen to podcast

2. Being Boss

This is a podcast I only recently picked up and was recommended to ( I think it was Tina). I like it a lot. However I have to say that sometimes I find it a bit too much spiritual and woohwoo at times. Also they often run off topic but then it’s the charm. There are some really strong episodes in the beginning with little task to set up a business.

Listen to podcast

3. Magic Lessons

This is actually a promo podcast for Elisabeth Gilbert’s book but it really doesn’t feel that way. I love the concept of the show. She calls a person who has a specific problem like the most boring job, lost creativity over a death, etc. And talks with them why and how. Then gives them little tasks how to get out of there and often calls friends of her who have been in similar situations asking what they recommend. 6 months later she calls them back and sees how they are doing.

Listen to podcast

4. Invisibilia

I really like this one. I find this is a bit more researched and more of a traditional journalistic take than the others I listen to. The topics are always things that you can not see and cannot get a grip on – hence the name: like fear. There Or two into the US who go and talk to different kind of people and come back comparing notes.

Listen to podcast

5. Raise your hand and say yes

This podcast was my second favorite when I started out listening to podcasts.Tiffany is life coach and I really love her style and motivation she gives in her podcasts. Some really good advise and thought process. However I find that processing further into the episodes she becomes more and more salesy and that just bothers me.

Listen to podcast

6. Accidental Creative

Yeah a guy! It’s nice to have a male voice once in a while. Similar concept on how creatives came to be creative and what their story is. But a bit more focused on productivity and

Listen to podcast

7. Sterngeschichten {German}

Currently my only German podcast. Another more scientific one. It explains all the wonders of the universe and astronomy. Definitely something new anytime I listen to it.

Listen to podcast

Now I am more than interested if you have any recommendations for me. So drop a comment I am looking forward discovering new ones.

Happy podcast listening,

Tobia

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My favorite books 2017 – Part I

I was aiming for 20 books to read this year after I really surprised myself last year with 45. I managed to almost hit last year’s  count again – I am currently at 40. However not all of them were that good but I wanted to share my favorite books of 2017. There will be two parts as it has been a good reading year.

I have this personal quest. I will read many of the debut authors and free books on Amazon. And then I will clap myself on the back when those books will later be sold for money and I found a good one for free and was one of the first to read and discover. Well it is a tough job but I kinda love it.

Also I come across books I would otherwise not read. And I have to admit most of them are really easy reads so I can manage my reading goal.

Anyway, lets get into my finds for 2017 that I can really recommend and where I spent money on sequels or further books of the author.

Carrion by Betsy Reavley

If I have to sum up this book in one word it would be: disturbing.

The story starts with a very rough opening (car accident and death) and is pretty dark throughout (mental illness). However it is very engaging and I could not put down the book because I wanted to know all the puzzle pieces and get the full dimension of the story. I was intrigued with the different aspects of the character’s and how they develop throughout the story line.

I also like how the language of the author transformed to my own mood and while I was reading this book I was going through emotions like anxiety and anger and I felt how I clenched my jaw while reading because it was so intense.

Over all I can definitely recomment reading! A good writing style and engaging storyline and an interesting topic you don’t come across often.

My rating: Carrion***** free eBook

Ice (Dr. Leah Andrews and Jack Hobson Thriller) by Kevin Tinto

This book was written a bit like an movie – an adventure movie. Fast pasted and a bit over the top but very entertaining. Leah is an archeologist specialized in cliff dwelling settlements of Southern Mexico and her ex Jack an extrem athlete/arctic expert. They end up on a mission with a millionaire at the end of the world between a political conflict. I learnt a lot of survival stuff and you can tell that the  author is an athlete himself.

My rating: **** eBook

After You’ve Gone by Lisa Tremayne

What a wonderful gem! Seriously this book is different and lovely and stands out from all the other (free) Amazon romance books.

Hope and love across oceans and time without being cheesy and flat. Great characters, wise words and just magical. My advice: read! Perfect for the upcoming holidays.

My rating: **** free eBook (unfortunately it is currently unavailable so keep a look out)

House of Cry by Linda Bleser

Starting this book I expected something totally different. I was positively surprised.
I found this book a bit dark and the serious topic (suicide) took me by surprise and yet it was so full of hope and promise and love. An interesting intriguing combination, something I haven’t come across, ever?! It’s a book I won’t forget as soon as I finished it.
So definitely read it!

My rating: **** eBook

The Scottish Rose by Jill Jones

A time-travel romance set in Scotland in the year 1651.

TV Journalist Taylor doesn’t believe in magic and has a show where she discovers the truth behind legends. Of course she ends up in one. After this rather predictable start the story is quite engaging. All about how to adapt to a new era, change history, discovering ones own heritage and falling in love. The main characters are very likable, well crafted and have their flaws but are very likable. It is not all sunshine and rainbows more like struggle and reality. And while reading you learn about Scottish history.

My rating: **** eBook, paperback

The Medium (Emily Chambers Spirit Medium #1) by C.J. Archer

I am usually not really into paranormal suspense but figured I could read something different for a change. It was entertaining and I was not disappointed. I might even found a new guilty pleasure. I defiantly discovered a new author. I like her style of writing.

Emily is a bit weird. She can talk to ghosts. And a ghost was assigned to her because he can’t cross to the other side. Well and there is a demon. And some romance. Again I would read the sequel but hoping it shows up on kindle unlimited.

My rating: **** free eBook, paperback

The Watchmaker’s Daughter (Glass and Steele #1) by C.J. Archer

My second book I read by this author and it did not disappoint.
India lost her father – a watchmaker and also her inheritance as her fiancee stole it and left her. A girl in London of 1890 is depending on man – not so India Steele. It’s a combination of fantasy, mystery and romance. I would read the sequel.

My rating: **** eBook, paperback

The Game by Terry Schott

I was having this one on my kindle for a while as gaming is not so much my thing but then I figured I give it a try. And while I found the setting and the thought process I had really interesting and worth mulling over I have not picked up the sequel. I believe it is a good book and would recommend it. Iit is just not my kind of entertainment.

My rating: **** free eBook, paperback

If you need more books on your reading list come back soon for part II or check out my favorite books of 2016. Also lets be friends on goodreads.

Now will you share your discoveries of 2017 with me.

Happy reading,

Tobia

*If you buy a book through one of the Amazon links I will receive a small  provision. This would help me keep this blog alive and cover a few of the administrative costs. Thank you. Or maybe I just buy a new book, who knows…

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