Thursday, September 27, 2012

Burned Out

 I am a generally upbeat person. I always try to look on the bright side of things and make the most out of every situation, even the bad ones. Subsequently, there is very little negativity on this blog. No one likes negativity, and I'd much rather write about what inspires me than about what makes me cry.

But lately I've been feeling burned out and I feel inclined to write about it here, perhaps in hopes of getting some good advice from others who've found themselves in the same rut I'm currently hiding in.

As of late, I'm feeling exhausted. Stressed and lazy all at once, which I have to say is a terrible combination. It is a result of biting off more than I can chew, realizing that I'm doing too much, and then continuing to add more and more to my list because I can handle anything, right? Wrong.

I've been doing freelance writing lately, which I've been loving. It's fun, exciting, challenging and requires me to get creative. It's also really time consuming. Add in all of the freelance photography I've been doing, the graphic design,  a full-semester's worth of online classes all on top of holding down a regular job, blogging, being a wife and going out of town every weekend...I feel just about ready to crack! My apartment is messy and it's driving me crazy but I don't have the energy to clean it. 

Our trip to Tuscany is coming up. In my mind, that trip is where I can let all of this stress go and hopefully come back a new woman. Hopefully. I'm trying to cram two weeks of school into one this week, in hopes of avoiding doing homework and taking exams in my hotel room while we're there. While I'm so grateful for the flexibility that online classes are providing me, doubling the course load is enough to make a girl crazy.

So here comes my question: How do you destress when it all becomes too much? What relaxes you and calms you down and gets you ready to face the day again? Words of wisdom are much appreciated.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sunset at the Marina

Pants - Zara, Top - Zara, Sweater - H&M, Shoes - FourStar, Necklace - H&M

Thank you, Nikki for taking these photos! I had so much fun with you on my trip to Belgium, I'm still reliving it on the blog!

Linking up to The Pleated Poppy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cologne (The City, Not the Men's Fragrance)

This was my third time visiting Cologne, and it will always be one of my favorite German cities. It is just so charming! I am always blown away by the locks on the bridge - so many locks, and it seems like there are a thousand more each time I visit! In case you don't know the tradition: Lovers write their initials on a lock to symbolize their love and committment to one another. They then throw the key into the river, so that it can never be "unlocked."

I hiked up to the top of the Cathedral this time around - oh goodness, that was a workout in every sense of the word. I like to consider myself relatively fit, but holy crap. That tower is the energizer bunny of gothic architecture. It just keeps going and going and going, until you're leaning against the stone wall inside a spiral staircase, huffing for breath and thinking desperately WHEN WILL THIS END?

I'm glad I had the experience, but once was certainly enough.

I am home from Cologne now, grateful to have a small break from traveling to catch up on things. September has been CRAZY, and October will be crazier!
Have you ever been to Cologne?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fall Home Decor Giveaway With Firenzi!

October is just around the corner!
Are you just aching to start decorating for Fall?
I bet you are, and the adorable handmade store Firenzi is here to help!

One lucky winner will recieve this ADORABLE Pumpkin wreath, made with orange berries intertwined into hand-twisted grapevine, embellished with a burlap or green ribbon! Personally, I love the burlap. Love it!
This wreath would do a fantastic job of displaying your autumn-spirit as it decorates your doorstep.

Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sponsor Me in October!

October is my favorite month of the year.
It is the best month for "Fall Fashion" so to speak,
and of course Halloween makes for a very interesting month.
Apple Cider and pumpkin-flavored goodies are pretty much my favorite.
And my birthday is in October. So, there's that.

I would love to share this awesome month with you,
and help promote your blog or business!
September was my most-viewed month yet (and it's not even over yet!) and my blog is always growing!

Current Stats:

19,500+ page views per month
 1024+ Followers via Google Friend Connect/Bloglovin’
2031+ Followers via Combined Social Media Platforms

Blog updated at least five times per week, with significant increases in traffic after a post goes live.

Read more about sponsorship HERE! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Another Post For You, Darling

Exactly two years ago, you took me on our first date.
I'd gotten dressed up and made myself all pretty in anticipation, excited but honestly not too hopeful that anything would come from this.

I'd never had very good luck in that department. In fact, up until that point the guys I dated did a pretty good job of making me feel like nothing.

And then I met you, and everything changed. How crazy to think that that one evening changed both of our lives completely.

We went on date after date, and being with you was so easy. Nothing felt forced. At the beginning I kept expecting you to lose interest, to stop calling (as the other boys often had) and for everything to fizzle out...but it didn't. It just kept getting better and better. 

And every day it's better still. 

Thank you for taking me out on that first date.
Thank you for showing me how it feels to truly be loved.

In case you haven't guessed, I think you're pretty awesome.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Comfy Chic

Sweater – Forever 21, Pants – Vero Moda, Necklace – Charming Charlie, Bracelet – Haggled in Greece, Hat – Gifted, Socks – C&A, Boots – German Shoe Store

All of these photos were taken by Riley, the eleven year old girl I nanny every day. We’d gone outside to test out a lens I was renting for the day and starting snapping pictures of each other. After less than a minute of showing her how the camera worked she was snapping away like a pro. She has serious natural talent! Her parents may come to hate me for introducing her to such an expensive hobby, however. Whoops!

I bought this sweater in Forever 21 and I’m in love. It is so soft and comfy, perfect for a rainy day, but I still feel feminine and put together when I wear it. When cooler weather hits, I have a bad habit of falling into the worn-jeans-tucked-into-uggs-with-an-ugly-sweater look every. single. day, so I’m happy to have pieces in my closet now that will help me avoid that.

The sidewalk is starting to be covered in leaves…that is so exciting to me! Soon there will be orange and red and yellow everywhere I look. Fall, I love you!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dearest Lou Adspace Giveaway

Cecelia from Dearest Lou is offering one lucky reader of RW&OT a free medium ad space on her blog for the month of October! If you're looking to promote your blog (to her nearly 2000 followers!) then this giveaway is definitely the one for you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.S. Congrats to Elise Rabatin for winning the Handmade by Nicole giveaway!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Road Trips, Weddings & Constant Travel

     Happy Monday, friends!
I spent the weekend in Leipzig, Germany for a friend's wedding. We were supposed to spend all Sunday in Dresden but the hectic weekend completely drained us of all energy and we decided to head home early. I'm comforted by the fact that Dresden really isn't all that far away and I can visit it on another trip.

We rushed out of Frankfurt on Friday evening after work to meet up with our other friends Julius and Mike to carpool for the remainder of the drive. We arrived in Leipzig at about 11 PM.

Our hotel very proudly showing off its "One Star" rating. Whoo, budget travel!
      Leipzig was interesting. There were some very pretty buildings/areas, but they were surrounded by a huge collection of less attractive rundown buildings. There was a lot of grafitti and buildings with windows smashed in. Granted, I was at a wedding the majority of the day on Saturday and spent barely any time on Sunday exploring, so I didn't have time to truly discover Leipzig. I'm sure I would have liked it more if I'd been given more time there!

During American road trips, people snack on potato chips. German road trips? Sausage.

I was able to visit the Freiburg, Germany temple for the first time this weekend to witness our friends Jan and Tahnee get married! You may remember them from the engagement shoots I did for them this past May.

The reception was a blast! One of my favorite moments was right at the start when Jan and Tahnee took part in an Eastern German wedding tradition: They used a double saw to cut through a log! It was pretty hilarious to watch, I won't lie. Working together to saw through the log is meant to symbolise teamwork and the constant "give and take" that a marriage requires.

Congratulations Jan and Tahnee, and thanks for a memorable weekend!
Views of a wind farm from the back seat of Julius' car.
For the longest time I've been saying that I would love to live a life of constant travel. I don't mean frequent travel, I mean constant. Steven and I could just strap on backpacks and call the world our home...pick up odd-jobs along the way, volunteer, learn a few languages. We would relinquish all worries of rent or a mortgage or car payments because we wouldn't have any of those things.

This was a romantic idea of mine that I'd sigh over as I was folding laundry or doing dishes. How great would it be to truly just wander?

Well, the past few weeks I have been participating in nearly constant travel. We just returned to Frankfurt yesterday and as you read this I am most likely on a train to Cologne, Germany to spend a few days with my dad there! After experiencing the stress that the always-on-the-move lifestyle creates, I have to say I'm grateful we have roots here and place to call home. I love being able to sleep my own bed, watch television (even if I should be doing homework) and enjoy a homecooked meal.

Maybe constant travel isn't right for me. Being a weekend-wanderer suits me just fine.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Ghent, Belgium in Photos

Ghent has a canal running through the historical center. It was a warm, beautiful day so city residents had taken to lounging on the canal's banks. 
There was a lovely little flea market running along the canal, mainly selling old books. 
I followed this couple around until I could get a good picture of the puppy in a backpack! Eeee! 


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