Category Archives: Simply Random

My Response to the Response

Since my most recent post has apparently stirred up quite the discussion, both on and off the internet, I decided to write my response post to the response.

First off, what is a blog and why do people have them? The reasons vary from wanting to share travel experiences, personal journeys/skills (weight loss, cooking, crafts), and just to write, but in the end, it boils down to the same thing which is adhered to by the definition:


It’s all based on the writer’s own experiences, observations and opinions. Period.

Why is that important? Well, to me it means that there is not always “right and wrong” and things can’t always be “black and white”. We are all different with unique perspectives on life based on our experiences throughout. Just as some have said that I am “elitist” in my understanding of the term “expat”, they then turned around and wrote their own posts, or comments, or emails, or tweets in the exact “exclusionary” manner. It comes across that way because they formed an opinion, made a judgement, decided they were hurt and right, so I was hateful and wrong. To clarify for the record:

  • I never said anything derogatory about them as individuals or a group, but they did towards me.
  • They said a word meant nothing, judged my use of MY space and my writing, yet went on to fight for inclusion and/or write their own posts/emails/comments about the same thing.
  • They made assumptions about me, my intent and my life yet I never did about them.

I owned my opinions. I certainly didn’t show any two-faced mannerisms by claiming to “agree to disagree”, “interesting post” or even claiming to “agree completely” just to go on and email others, write posts/comments/tweets claiming otherwise in a response to being “attacked”. I also listed plain facts in my original post to justify my conclusion and yes, with a “disclaimer”. I also responded to each and every one with respect because that is how adults have objective discussions.

For those who had hurt feelings, I apologize(d) that my words hurt on an emotional level. In the end, I respect all of their viewpoints, their posts, their thoughts, their feelings and their opinions. They have a right to all of that and their blog is absolutely a place for them to share that.

I accept the fact that there will be differences of opinion.

I am open to the criticism you leave (or don’t leave) in the comments. 

This is my blog where I share my experiences. You follow (or don’t) because you like (or don’t) what I have to say. After all, isn’t that the point?


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! ❤️

25 Free Sexy-Ass Web Banners on Display

Deanna Herrmann:

I hope you have noticed the awesome changes going on around here. Adam, from The Chowderhead, is by far, the most talented graphics designer I have come across in the blogosphere. I barely gave him any idea of what I wanted for my new header and he ran with it. The Roulette wheel is beyond perfect, especially considering our story on how we arrived back in Germany. And the Queen of Hearts driving the car with the graphics showing the tread is so “Fear and Loathing-esque”. I LOVE it and I highly recommend him. Definitely check out this post that gives examples of some of his recent designs.

Oh and I’m still playing with the new theme a bit. He had to trim it down to make it work and I didn’t want to lose any more of it. So bear with me but I’d love to know what you think!

Originally posted on Chowderhead:

There’s one thing that i know is universally true about human beings:  people love free shit.  They’ll take anything if it’s free – it doesn’t matter what it is.  Say the word “free”, even under your breath, and the cheapskates come crawling out of boxes by the thousands like warehouse mice tracking the scent of a moldy piece of cheese.

In this case, that’s a good thing!  This banner giveaway thingy was a pretty bitchin’ deal, and personally, if someone offered me up a FREE custom web banner?  I woulda jumped on that shit like Charlie Sheen on a pile of cocaine.

Thank you to everybody for the interest, the shout-outs, and the challenge.  My fist is in the air right now so as to indicate, “fuck yes, cool, rock on!”  And if you’d be so kind and generous as to plug me again at some point in the future…

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Donkeys, Dinosaurs & Dragons (and discounts)! Oh My!

I would never call myself crafty or creative and honestly, I have little  knowledge about was go into the craft of crochet, but I can tell you that my friend Ace, from Life in Dutch, makes the cutest stuff! And what’s even better? She lives in the Netherlands so for all of us expats overseas, that means easier shipping and shipping costs (hopefully). I asked her to write up a little post so that I could share her new Etsy store with all of you because (1) I am super excited for her, (2) Expats should support other expats, and (3) She makes THE CUTEST stuff! For those of you that follow Sarah over at Chasing the Donkey, you may remember this cute little guy, Donkimir:

Ace made him for her and that is when I knew I had to have her make something for me, however, at the time, she didn’t have a store. Now she does and I have already placed my custom order for a Henry Hugglemonster for my son!

Here’s a little information about Ace and how her love of crochet began. She has also included a special discount for C2C customers for the month of March!

Enjoy and if you buy something, share photos with us and support your fellow expat. 

xx Deanna

My relationship with crochet started over 20 years ago. My grandmother always produced gorgeous knit and crocheted hats, mittens, and blankets; and she decided to teach me her tricks. My first few attempts at knitting were so abysmal that Ma soon decided to scrap the knitting lessons altogether and just stick to crochet. I liked the feel of the crochet hook in my hand and took pride in the few lumpy rows that managed to make – to me it was something special that Ma had always done for others, and now I was learning to do it too. But I would stop crocheting for a while and forget everything. Ma would teach me again, I’d keep up for a little while, then stop, and forget again. This cycle continued for a while, but eventually I would abandon any of my own efforts and continue to admire everything Ma would make.

 A few years ago, I found Ma’s crochet hook case. She had passed away a few years before, but as I looked at all 16 hooks still sitting in their places, the memories of Ma teaching me to crochet came back. Hooks in hand, I decided it was time to take up crochet for real and got to work. I retaught myself everything Ma had showed me and started learning new techniques as I found new projects and brought new ideas to life. Every time I pick up those old hooks, or even the newer hooks I’ve bought for myself, I think of Ma and keep her close while I make something new.

That’s what has brought me to where I am today. I recently opened up my Etsy store, arcBcrafts, so that I can share my love of crochet with others. Each item that I make is made with love, just as Ma showed me, to bring a little smile to every customer. I make a range of items for babies, kids, adults, and the home, and the options are growing every week. Please pop over and take a look!

**And just for From Casinos to Castles readers I’m running a special offer! Until 31 March 2014, receive 15% off your order of 15 euros or more when you use the FC2CPROMO discount code at checkout, just for being a loyal reader! Please note that the 15% cannot be applied to shipping costs. 

A few pictures of the items in the store:

Ace is an American expat living in the Netherlands with her husband, son, and two cats. Her new Etsy store, arcBcrafts is up and running to share her love of crochet and handmade items with others. She also blogs at Life in Dutch to share her experiences as an expat, traveler, and parent, and whatever else comes to mind. When she isn’t blogging, crocheting, or planning planning the next adventure, she’s learning the Dutch language or making a mess of the kitchen. You can follow her exploits on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Bloglovin’.

Good Tidings Today

So many things to share, so I will admit that this post is a bit of a ramble, but here goes.

1. Christmas Spirit

a merry little christmasBack in November, La Maman Heureuse wrote about the spirit of giving and offered her readers a gift to thank them for following along. She asked that you leave a comment with a sweet Christmas memory and a winner would be chosen based on the comments received.  Well, I for one, first had to tell her how sweet it was that she was doing something so generous. No giveaway entries, no follow requests, just simple giving. I thought it was the prime example of Christmas Spirit. I left a comment saying something like that and also sharing how special is to me because it is both the time I met my husband AND when he proposed. I recently wrote a guest post for Polly about when we met and now I have written one for La Maman Heurese about my husband’s marriage proposal. Christmas is such a special time for me so if you aren’t sick of all the love and mush, definitely go check them out!

And look at this adorable Christmas package she sent me from Belgium! Isn’t she sweet? Make sure you stop by and spread some Christmas cheer her way!

Wrapped so cute and festive!

SO many cute presents inside!

She even included these cute cookie cutters in “boy style” for my little guy.

And these ornaments are so sweet!

2. Book Release Day!

Yep, if you haven’t heard, I recently became a contributing author to a book about motherhood. (I wrote a more detailed post about it here.) I am so excited that I was chosen and today is the official book release day! I have included the book on my sidebar that links it to Amazon should you be so inclined to purchase it. But shameless plug aside, I just really wanted to share this exciting news! They are promoting the book release in a radio interview in the states today to help spread the word about this amazing cause. Thanks again to all of you for your support!

Front Cover

Back Cover

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