Monthly Archives: March 2014

Saturday Feature: Sara in Le Petit Village

Yes, I realize it’s not Saturday and for those of you just tuning in, I explain the delay caused by living life here. And boy did we live some life! I had 4 glorious days with my boys filled with sunshine, great food, shopping, apartment hunting and even a DATE! Can you imagine? We haven’t been on a date, alone, for almost a year. Did I mention it was wonderful?

So, here I am, back to all my lovely fellow expats and readers and for this feature, I want to share Sara with you. She was an American expat in France who is now going through the stages of becoming a repat as she adjusts to life in the states once again. This post in particular, she says goodbye to the LPV and I thought you’d all love to meet her (if you haven’t already) and see the place she used to call home.

The Last Days of the LPV

My last days in The LPV whooshed by. I was busy; suitcases needed to be packed, bits and pieces had to be sold, given away and moved out, and goodbyes needed to be said. I was sad, but after six months of preparations, ready to go.

Because my move date was closing in, and I was a spinning top barely able to catch my breath, I made a point of snapping a photo or two every time I was out and about in the village. I was too busy to truly appreciate it all at the time so it was important that I captured it to savor later. Well it’s later.

I have no idea what the story behind the unicorn that has tagged Le Petit Village is all about. I’m pretty sure our local tattoo artist painted it, but as for the significance behind it, I’ve got nothing. I dig it though and like to think a unicorn was chosen because that’s The LPV’s symbol. I honestly couldn’t think of a better one.

I’m actually going to miss walking into my yellow post office. Post offices should be painted cheery colors, it’s a bit deceptive to be sure, but cheery nonetheless. Every time I accomplished something at La Poste (which doubled as our bank), I felt like I had slayed a mythical beast. It tried to better me on more than one occasion, but I remained victorious. Suck it La Poste, I own you.

And of course I’m going to miss the creepy tree house behind my house. It became my favorite thing to show visitors… it’s a medieval building that has been eaten by a tree for heaven’s sake! How does that even happen?!

But what I’ll miss the most in The LPV, is coming home to this door with Gregory and Fifty. There’ll be other doors of course, other homes, more memories, but I doubt any will hold a handle to the quaintness of this one. It’s too darn cute.

There was one last thing that I knew I had to capture, the bells. The church bell at the top of my garden that clanged hourly, driving Fifty batty and ensuring that no one in our house ever slept past 7AM. Now I find myself straining to hear them toll. Clocks strike another hour and are met with nothing, no sound. It’s downright un-Petit Village like.

Sara I was glad to see that Gregory and Fifty made it safely. Hope you are all adjusting well and I wish you the best in your new repat adventure!

Everyone else, please go give Sara a virtual hug and thank you for being patient with me. Don’t forget, no linkup this week as I work on the exciting Tipsy Lit feature, showing off several of your favorite expats!

xx Deanna

Radio Silence

Please excuse the silence as there are some technical difficulties called “life” going on over here. I’ve had the pleasure of spending some extra time with my husband, enjoying the weather, and doing some shopping; just living life. More living than I’ve done in months to be honest.

So, please forgive me, but the Saturday feature will be posted Monday in lieu of the linkup (since there wasn’t to be one next week anyway). I could’ve just posted one today, but I wanted to give you each the time you deserve and thus, have to schedule for Monday.

Thanks in advance! If you’re offended, please fill out an official complaint form. ;-)

Have a great weekend all! See you next week! ❤️

Top 5 German Foods I Wish I'd Never Tried

Top 5 German Foods I Wish I’d Never Tried

To be fair, it was hard to come up with this list as I’m pretty open-minded when it comes to food. I do my best to try everything and give it a fair chance. Sometimes, I even try things twice just to give it the benefit of the doubt. But, when it comes to these things, I tried them once and only once. My husband (and son) love all of these things, but they are just not for me. I tried to find “appetizing” pictures, but for you non-meat eaters out there, you’ve been warned. ;-)


1. Leberwurst

Otherwise known as Liver Sausage, you can buy this fresh from the butcher, already packaged in the store or in a glass jar that obviously already has the casing removed. Typically, it’s eaten on an open-faced, buttered slice of bread or in a buttered brötchen.


2. Rouladen

From what I’ve read, Rouladen is typically rolled beef filled with onions, pickles, bacon and mustard, but the recipes vary by region and generational traditions. For instance, M’s mom serves it filled with a hard-cooked egg which is the only way I have ever tried it. I know many cultures, including my own, have different ways of serving beef and eggs together. Whatever the country, I’m not interested. M has also made a dish that has ham stuffed with ground beef in a sort of cream sauce. No, thanks. I like all of these things separately on their own, but let’s not start mixing them, k?




3. Fischfrikadellen

These are basically fish cakes, which I think are similar to crab cakes, and while I quite enjoy the latter, for some reason I don’t like these. The one time I tried it, I almost spit it out, but to be fair, I’ve never had one fresh from a restaurant or home-made. So, if that were ever the case, I might be willing to give it another go.




4. Mezzo Mix

Okay, so in case you didn’t know, Germans really enjoy combining drinks. You’ve got Radler (beer with lemonade), Cola Bier (beer and coke) Banane Weizen (banana juice with Hefeweizen) and in this case, Coke and Fanta mixed (well cola and orange soda to steer clear of brands). This is another one I almost spit out the first time I tried it, however, if I make the mix myself, it is quite good. I still have to be in the mood for it and can;t drink it regularly, but when doing it myself, I can add less coke which I think is why I don’t like the pre-made version. The cola is very strong and overpowering, in my opinion. I know I’m in the minority as it’s very popular here. (And no, my son hasn’t tried this one before I get any crazed comments, “you let your toddler have caffeine/soda?”)

mezzo mix



5. Schokolade Croissant

I can hear you all gasping, running to unfriend or unfollow me as fast as possible. I know it’s an awful thing to admit, but I hate these. I have tried them multiple times because my boys love them and somehow, I always end up holding them, but every time I do I regret it. For me, it’s like biting off a huge piece of chocolate wrapped in a small amount of bread. For me to like it, you’d have to flip that scenario and make it a whole-lotta bread with a dash of chocolate. I know. The horror! Please forgive me.



So, what about you? Any foods from where you live or your home country that you can’t stand? I’d especially like to hear the ones that are popular with everyone else (like my mezzo mix and croissant).

The Monday Ante #8

Are you guys ready for another week of amazing posts, finding new great bloggers and a chance to be featured this Saturday? I know I am! So, let’s just get right to it!

And don’t forget, you can keep entering even after you win.

Please note, The Monday Ante will not be up next week as I prepare for an upcoming event on Tipsy Lit featuring a few of your favorite expat bloggers! Stay tuned for more details.


How is about you? One person from every link-up will have their post featured on C2C on Saturday just in time for weekend reading, gaining additional exposure for your blog. I will share your post with a link to your site and at least one social media option. This will also be publicized through my social media channels.

Why? Because you guys are awesome and the world needs to know! I want to say thank you for your readership and your support by helping to share and promote your work.

When. The link-up will open every Monday at 8am, closing every Wednesday at 11:55pm. (Time zone is CET - Central European Time which is GMT+1 - Greenwich Mean Time. If that is confusing, ahem, 6 hours later than EST. Hope that’s clear as mud.)

What you need to do. Look at your posts for the past week and pick your favorite. Come back here and link it up before the end of the day on Wednesday. That’s it! (aside from a few simple rules coming up)

What you don’t need to do. No badges. No prompts or topics - the post can be about anything. No additional follows (aside from this blog). You don’t have to read the other submissions, but why would you not want to? Maybe you can find a new blog to love! Or you can just wait for the winner on Saturday and come back and congratulate them. It’s up to you because this is what???? ALL. ABOUT. YOU.


While I am trying my best to keep this simple and fun, there are just a few requirements for your entry to be accepted:

  • You must be a follower of this blog through Bloglovin’, email or WordPress. Obviously since I am doing this to support my readers, you need to be one. Duh.
  • You must share this link-up via Twitter. Not only do we want people to participate, but we also want people to look forward to reading the winning post. There is a handy-dandy Twitter share button below you can use to make it easier or feel free to share on your own, but please use my twitter handle in your tweet so I know (@Casinos2Castles). If you don’t have Twitter, leave a comment and we can work on #1 why you don’t have Twitter and #2 an alternate way to promote if you are against twits.
  • No inappropriate, hateful or adult content. This one is a given, but I figured I’d better list it because, after all, your work will be highlighted on my blog; therefore, I am endorsing it.

That’s it! I am always open to suggestions so if you have ideas that you’d like to see or that you think will make this better, please share with me!

I’m looking forward to reading all of your great posts and I know selecting a winner will be difficult.

Again, thank you for being you and being a part of my blogosphere. <3


Now, link-up!

Saturday Feature: Creatrice Mondial

It’s been sunny and gorgeous here in Germany, but all I see across my social media sites is everyone begging for some sunshine. In the interest of Springtime, Summer, gorgeous photos and ideallyic travel locations, Amy is our Saturday feature this week.

How many of you out there know our lovely Amy, from Creatrice Mondial? She is a designer and amazingly talented at that. Her photos will blow you away as will the many people she has come across through her travels around the globe. And even more exciting?? She’s currently living stateside, but all that will change later this year when she becomes New Zealand’s newest expatriate!

Prepare yourself for the beauty you’re about to see….


Top 6 Best Mediterranean Views

We all dream of a Mediterranean vacation. The sun-kissed coast gently touched by a salty breeze and that crystal clear blue water… it truly just doesn’t get any better. There are many spectacular places to choose from for this dream holiday. Here, I will share with you six of the very best Mediterranean views, based upon my personal experience. In no particular order.

1. Capri, Italy

Ahh… Capri. With the fresh sea air keeping you cool as you sip on the famous limoncello… you could spend an infinite amount of time on this little island just across the water from the southern town of Sorrento. Main attractions include both the Green and Blue Grottos by sea, and the town of Anacapri by land. This tiny commune is located at the top of the hill, although it is more like a mountain to flat-landers. The views, such as the one pictured above, make the effort worthwhile. But don’t worry – you don’t have to huff and puff your way up to the tippy top. There’s also a bus and a funicular rail that runs between Anacapri and Capri, the main port town on the sea. Helpful after you’ve indulged maybe a little too much on the limoncello.



2. Cinque Terre, Italy

Everyone has seen a version of this photo before. In fact, you may have already seen it here if you read myadventures hiking Cinque Terre. This is the town of Vernazza, one of the five villages on the Italian Riviera that make up Cinque Terre, or Five Lands. Really any view from the rugged hike that hugs the coastline between these villages belongs on this list. Vernazza was my very favorite though, and it’s easy to see why. Combine that view with the perfectly sunny day we had for our hike and it’s amazing we aren’t still camped out there today, eyes glues towards the sea. The towns of Cinque Terre are easily reached by train, being located not far from Pisa. And if you don’t fancy a hike (although I strongly recommend you opt for this method) there is a train the connects the five towns that runs regularly throughout the day.



3. Ios, Greece

The Greek islands are famous for their white-washed buildings with beautiful blue roofs and accents. There’s no denying the mixture of sun, sea, landscape and architecture blend to give this region of the Mediterranean its own unique appeal. The island of Ios, among others, is also famous for its windmills, such as the ones pictured above. Ios is quite mountainous, and the windmills perch on top of hills in a prime location to catch those sea breezes as they whip across the island. I have no idea if they still work, but they have a particular charm sitting there, facing the sea. I stopped by this island during my spam-email Greek island sailing trip, when we spent 10 days sailing around, island hopping until we were all convinced we could live that life forever.


4. Mykonos, Greece

Oh Mykonos… what a crazy wench you are!! But you are good lookin’, so you’re forgiven for being a bit rowdy by night. The party reputation of this island precedes itself, but it would be a mistake to dismiss it as purely a hedonistic paradise (although that description does fit). While my stories from our stay in Mykonos is reminiscent of “Hotel California.” it is a beautiful place. It really wouldn’t be so bad to check in and never leave. The sea was a bit wild due to weather conditions the previous day, but it suited the place. The best activity by far, besides renting four-wheelers and driving all over the island, was enjoying a crisp glass of wine at sunset on one of those balconies pictured above. Gorgeous.


5. Santorini, Greece

This is not your typical viewpoint of perhaps the most famous island in Greece. But that’s because I wasn’t viewing the town in the typical way – we were arriving by sailboat, after a sunrise sail from Ios that morning. So instead of the views from the city looking down onto the water, we had the advantage of looking up. It is so impressive how they built the entire town into the cliffside. We were sailing into the caldera, which is actually a result of volcanic activity. It is formed when land collapses following a volcanic eruption, and thus the land here was reclaimed by the sea. In spite of its violent origins, it was really quite peaceful. And, of course, afforded stunning views.


6. Naxos, Greece

It wouldn’t be right to get through this entire list without including at least one shot of ancient ruins. This one, on the island of Naxos, features the Portara, a giant marble door that seemingly leads to nowhere. It faces the island of Delos, supposedly the birthplace of the god Apollo. The door is part of an unfinished temple, dedicated possibly to Apollo, or possibly to Dionysus  (who was worshipped on the island in ancient times). Either way, depending on which angle you view it from, the sun sets right between the pillars. It sits on a small island of its own, attached to the main island near Old Town by a causeway. It’s an easy walk from the port, and the best place on the island to watch a sunset.

So that wraps up my top 6 best Mediterranean views! Of course I realize there are many places left off this list (it would probably take an entire book to cover all of them). And it was largely influenced by the places I have in fact visited, and therefore experienced first hand. Now it’s your turn – any not-to-be-missed views you would like to add? Leave your contributions in the comments below, and I will promptly add them to my bucket list. Maybe we can all plan a group trip someday… rent a villa somewhere… sit outside sipping white wine and munching on fresh local cuisine. How fabulous does that sound?

See what I mean? Gorgeous.

Please leave a comment or stop by Amy’s blog and say hello. Have a great weekend!