Concrete Swedish Made Clocks by Forsberg Form

My latest contribution for  takes us to the Swedish made concrete clocks by Forsberg Form.  I found these clocks very interesting and modern.  I think everyone imagines the famous Mora clocks from Sweden, but these might just be their modern counterparts.  Check out my article for more pictures and info on these unique clocks!  

You can read more about the "Concrete Swedish Made Clocks by Forsberg Form" here.

I also wanted to show an example of a beautiful Mora clock just to give you an idea of how different the two designs are.  I would love to own either of these clocks.  The Mora clocks are very expensive and antique.  To be honest, I've never even seen one in real life but I know they are out there.  Does any one have one?  If so, go on Instagram and hashtag #moraclockRR so I can be totally jealous of your Mora clocks.  If enough people participate I'll feature your Mora clocks in a future post :)


GIVEAWAY coming soon!

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Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival and Palace

Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival or Kurbisfest was something that I was really excited to attend.  After I heard that you could go inside the Baroque palace and try various kinds of pumpkin flavored foods, I was sold.  The pumpkin fest is held in the gardens of the Ludwigsburg Palace.  There are over 500 species of pumpkins displayed here.  Every year there is a theme for the fest.  This year they chose the Olympics games as their muse.  The fest this year ran from August 8 until November 3, so it is open for quite some time.

It was so fun to just enjoy the beautiful fall day with good friends and admire all the different kinds of beautiful pumpkins.  We sat down for lunch and shared a variation of pumpkin flavored dishes.  Below is pumpkin spaghetti with bread with pumpkin seeds, pumpkin and squash over rice, pumpkin soup, and pumpkin strudel.  Other things you can get are cakes, popcorn, and roasted squash.  Worth the trip for the food alone.  

We walked the gardens and spotted the mini Rapunzel's Castle.  You can see her "throwing down her hair."

After enjoying the festival we (I) decided that I wanted to take a tour of the beautiful Baroque Palace.  There are tours in English.  It's near Stuttgart and it's one of Germany's largest Baroque Palaces.  Originally this palace started as a hunting lodge but it soon outgrew that purpose and another hunting lodge of beautiful architecture was built nearby.  When you view the inside of the palace you can look from one room and see down many many meters to end of the hall.  This is typical of the Baroque style of using symmetry in the design.  Much of the architecture is parallel on each side.  The inside of the palace is interesting because as the centuries have gone by, the rooms were adorned in accordance to the new styles, so you can see elements of Baroque, Rococo, Empire, and Neo Classicism from one room to the next.  You can literally walk from some of the older Baroque rooms and the next one will be in the Neo Classical style, which has a lot of Greek, Roman, and Egyptian influences.  Both very different styles.  

The tour is very informative, but unfortunately you are not allowed to take picture inside.  I was peeved that I couldn't take pics inside the Neuschwanstein castle, especially the bedroom, so I did sneak a pic of the bedroom of the Queen in this palace below.  As you can see, it is in the Baroque style.  And you can see her chair toilet where, as the tour guide put it "she took her royal shit."  What I thought was really weird was that the tour guide said that during important dinners with guests, it was a privilege for the guests to watch the king or queen take their royal shit at the dinner table.  Wow, have things changed....

I didn't leave empty handed of course.  Below are the pumpkin items I brought home.  Some pumpkin seed oil which I used as a dressing on a fruit salad and it tasted amazing, some pumpkin liquor that I used to make some pumpkin spaghetti of my own, some delicious pumpkin wine, and a mini pumpkin!

What a nice fall day at the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival and Palace.  I'd visit again, because there are always new themes and different types of tours within the palace.

Have you been to an awesome pumpkin festival this fall?

GIVEAWAY coming soon!

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Monthly Inspiration: Pumpkin Colors

This month is all about pumpkin color and inspiration.  I actualy really love the color pumpkin but am not a big fan of the color orange.  There is a fine line for getting the pumpkin color just right and I think these items below show off the best pumpkin shades!  I found so many fall inspired ideas.  My favorites below are probably the scarf, the tote which is actually "Nutmeg" that I found on The Enchanted Home, (which you can buy at a discount price for a limited time) the elbow patch blazer, and the ikat pillow!  Hope you find some fall pumpkin colored inspiration!

What is your favorite item?

Stay tuned for an upcoming GIVEAWAY on my blog!

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The Sunshine Award

    The Sunshine Award is awarded to "bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogsphere."  This is the origin of the Sunshine Award that I found around the web.  I was nominated by Bonnie Rose @  A Compass Rose, and she is an inspiration to me as well.  But you obvously can't nominate the person who nominated you because they've already been nominated.  I decided to participate because I thought that the interview questions were pretty interesting. 
    The general rules of this award are:
  • Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you.
  • Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  • List bloggers.
  • Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate and let them know they have been nominated. 

11 Random Facts:

1) I used to have a real life pet hedgehog. I should probably write a post about my experience, but for now, here is a cute picture.  Her name was Winifred.

2) I used to be big into concerts.  I've seen so many bands live, like Incubus, RHCP, STP, Steve Miller Band, Fiona Apple, Joan Jett, Helmet, Bif Naked, and lots more.  It's interesting that my focus isn't so much on music like it used to be. 
3) I have a French Bulldog, named Louis.  I got him here in Germany.  They are bigger than American French Bulldogs.  Mine is 30 lbs.

4) I recently spent a week of solo travel in Naples and the surrounding area.
5) I am obsessed with traveling.
6) Someday I want to have a library filled with awesome books.  For now, I have a bookshelf in the corner of my living room.
7) I'm actually not that crafty of a person.  I have great ideas but get bored too often and give up.
8) For my wedding I had 5 bridesmaids who lived in different states and essentially never met before.  It was interesting seeing them all in the same room interacting.
9) I got married in a Victorian Museum.
10) I've lived in probably over 20 houses in my lifetime.
11) I like to make lists and plan out future goals, no matter how crazy they sound.

Interview Questions:

  • Something you are looking forward to in the next fortnight (two weeks)?
In two weeks I should have a long weekend because of Veteran's Day.  Maybe I should plan a last minute trip to Budapest.  Hmm.
  • What is one thing your readers may not know about you?
Though I currently live in Germany, I am from Pennsylvania.
  • What is a short time goal you are currently working on?
I just started with the B. Lux Photography Course offered by Bonnie Rose, so a month from now, I hope to have progressed within the course and really start to take some kickass pictures.
  • What is a lifetime dream you would love to achieve?
This is a tough one, I'd love to become a rock star, but I'm not so sure this is in the cards.  Anyone wanna start a  band?
  • If you were to have a dinner party what celebrity would you invite?
I guess I'd have to invite someone super hot like James Franco, so I could drool over him at dinner.
  • Favourite comfort food?
Everyone who knows me knows, I love cheese.  I've loved cheese forever and I know a lot about different all differenct kinds.  My favorites are goat cheese, camembert, and feta,  but really there isn't a cheese I won't try.  Except for maybe the maggot cheese I've seen on Bizarre Foods.  Dutch cheese is amazing, I went to the cheese museum in Amsterdam and usually pick up some cheese in other countries.  Cheese goes great with wine so you can't lose.  Also, this answer about cheese is embarassingly long.
  • If you were to have a quiet night in what film could you watch over and over?
I usually don't like to watch movies over and over.  I'll instead talk about my favorite TV shows which are Workaholics, Portlandia, It's Always Sunny in Philadephia, Louis C. K., and Californication.  Please leave a shout out if you like these shows too.
  • Is there a book you have been wanting to read but have not yet?
Actually, I've been trying to finish the last book in the triology by Stieg Larson, "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest,"  but when you're in school, reading for pleasure comes secondary.
  • Your next dream vacation will be to where?
My dream vacation will be Iceland though I don't have a diffinitive date for this yet.  Probably next year sometime.  But my other dream vacation is Spain.  I plan to visit at least twice before I leave Europe and my first experience there will be in May when I take my last grad course. Can't wait!
  • If you wrote a book (fiction or non fiction) what would it be about?
Funny you ask.  During my undergrad, I was writing a fiction book about psychopharmacology but my computer crashed and so did my interests in starting over. If I could start over at this point in my life, the book would definitely be about being an expat.  Isn't that kind of what blogging is?
  • Favourite item you own?
My fat little snuggle monster, Louis

Interview Questions for my Nominees:

1) What is the first concert you ever attended?
2) Do you have a pet?  What is it?
3) Name a mini goal of yours and a long term goal that you have or will be working on.
4) Coolest place you've ever traveled to?
5) If you had no limits, what would be your dream job?
6) What are the top three qualities you look for in a friend?
7) What are you obsessed with right now?
8) If you could learn to play a new instrument, speak a new language, or instantly fix one of your flaws, what would you choose?
9) What is something you regret that you wish you could change, or do you live your life with no regrets?
10) What is a new hobby you've been wanting to try out?
11) What is something readers don't know about you?

My Nominations:

Bonnie @ Living with Thanksgiving
Sandy @ You May Be Wandering
Dannielle @ Chic-a-Dee
Deanna @ From Casinos to Castles
Michelle @ Malaysian Meanders
Alexandra @ Ifs Ands & Butts
Katherine @ A Year in Fire and Ice

I wanted to let everyone know in advance that there there will be a pretty awesome GIVEAWAY coming up on my blog, so keep your eyes peeled (I hate that expression) for that.

Dinner in Downtown Naples

My last post about my trip to Naples will take us to downtown Naples for some delicious authentic Napoli seafood.  Initially, I wasn't going to do a post on this because it wasn't really a trip and I only had a few iPhone pics to show, but I decided to post about it, because I feel it was the most authentic Italian experience I've had during my trip.  There were definitely no tourists in this area.

On the weekend after one of my classes a classmate offered to take me out to dinner with some of her friends in downtown Naples.  It was the last free night I had in town so I was excited to get to experience Naples at night.  I probably wouldn't have done this by myself because I'm not familiar with the area so I snatched up the opportunity.  We drove, probably the scariest drive through Naples (with the horrible traffic and driving) for about 20 minutes to downtown Naples.  To be honest, I don't know the exact name of the area besides downtown Naples.  It bothers me now that I didnt' ask where exactly we were going but I just went with it.

We found a parking spot and walked along the cobble stone streets to a bustling row of restaurants and people gathered in massive crowds on a Saturday night.  I was actually surprised by the amount of really young people I saw.  It was pretty late but everybody was out.  I understand this is pretty typical of this area.  Not only were young teenagers out, but entire families, little kids, and babies, and it was 11 pm by the time we left and it seemed like things were just getting started.  We settled upon this family style Italian restaurant and met up with some of my classmate's friends.  The evening was filled with great conversation and vini!  I wish I would have saved the menu  (or remembered the name of the restaurant) but it's great to not always be thinking about blogland.  So here are the dishes I had.  My new friends told me that this was about as authentic of Napoli food as you can get and explained that it was different from Northern Italian food in that they tend to use simple spices and herbs.  I love sea food and I thought it was great.  BTW, please leave a comment if you know what any of the side dishes are!

Delicious pasta with clams and muscles, cherry tomatoes, and basil!

Pic # 2 little smoked fish, fish mouse, mini calamaris, and some sort of fish cake.  Pic #3 was some sort of fritter.  And pic #4 was a shell with a fish mixture that tasted like fish flavored mashed potatoes with seasoning on top.  It all sounds pretty scary, but I love trying new foods and it was all pretty good!  Glad I got the opportunity to try it all.
What a great night out with people I will never see again.  That's what is so fun about solo travel.  You can meet people just once and not have to worry about how you are being portrayed because it doesn't matter.  Everything is new and taken at face value in my experiences anyway. 

If I could have spent more time in Naples, I would have definitely traveled to the Amalfi Coast and Positano, and even the lesser known Ischia.  I've had quite a bit of experience in Italy so far but they seem to slowly keep getting better.  I've had my reservations with some of the cities, even Venice and Bari, but like Belgium it's slowly starting to become a favorite country of mine.

What was your favorite spot to see on my trip?  Naples, Capri, Anacapri, Pompeii, or Sorrento?

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Dali Exhibit in Sorrento, Italy

This was my last travel day and I wanted to check out Sorrento.  What I actually did in Sorrento is pretty opposite of what I had expected.  If you followed my last post on Pompeii, then you know that I took the train going to Sorrento and hopped off on Pompeii.  So obviously to get to Sorrento, you just wait till the very last stop on the train.  It took about an hour to get there from the train station.  Very easy though. 

I rated Sorrento high in a lot of categories
Arriving in Sorrento, I expected that I would see similar cliffside villages to the ones in Capri.  And they have that.  But what I didn't realize was that it wasn't available right off of the train station, you had to walk quite a distance or take a bus.  I didn't have too much time to spend in Sorrento before class started so I decided to head towards the shopping area which was only a few blocks from the train station. 

Being that this was towards the end of my trip, I didn't want to spent too much money.  They had some awesome looking clothing and accessory stores.  But I kept walking.  I stopped to take some pictures inside of this gorgeous church.  I really loved the blue and green color combinations and haven't seen those colors in a church yet.

 I walked a little further and happened upon this beautiful Italian villa, called Villa Fiorentino..  I didn't know what it was for but I had to check it out.  I walked inside, and to my surprise, there was a Salvador Dali exhibit going on called Dali Universe. Exhibit meaning, only there for a limited time! Studying Spanish in high school and college, I've learned quite a lot about Dali, so I was excited to see some of his original works.

This isn't the first time I had seen an exhibit of Dali's works.  Years ago, I saw another one with many of his undiscovered painting and drawinsg at an exhibit in Philadelphia.  So what are the odds I'd randomly see another one in Sorrento of all places?  But, the two exhibits I saw were very different.  In Philadelphia it was all about pictures and painting, with a lot of penises and vaginas (mostly penises).  It was a bit disturbing, but overall I appreciate Dali's Surrealist vision.  No matter how old they get, they still somehow appear very modern.  They aren't stuffy and boring.  Even Dali's life is very interesting.  A Spanish born artist, he is skilled not only painting but several mediums including illustrations, sculptures, glass, gold, and even furniture!!!


If you ever get a chance to read about his life, it is really interesting.  Here are some fun facts:
  • There is controversy surrounding the way he died.  Some people say it was a result of his wife Gala, slowly poisoning him...Ouch. 
  • He was a very flamboyant character especially in the public eye. 
  • He was scared of grasshoppers...
  • "The Persistence of Memory" is his most famous painting (the one with the melting clocks)
  •  He was named after his dead brother
  • His obsession with drawing surreal sexual images probably stems from his his fathers persistence that Dali not contract a disease.
  • "The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot."-Dali
Here are his works in glass.

View of Sorrento outside of the Villa

I am kind of obsessed with this Surrealist furniture set and I wonder what others he has done.  I'll have to look into this.  Doesn't this look like super modern furniture?  I'd love to have this in my home!

Some images of Dali

After visiting the exhibit, I had some homemade lasagna for lunch at one of the outdoor cafes.  I stopped in a Gelateria for some limoncello flavored gelato, which was amazing, and of course I had to grab a bottle of limoncello to take home. Perfect day.

Would have loved to take these sunglasses home!

If I had more time in Sorrento, I would have gone to shore and taken a stroll there.  Sorrento a great spot to do some shopping or get some great shots.  And the exhibit was a great surprise.