Featured Posts



What is SWAGS?

Popular Posts


Start with these posts to get to know Swags better!

     

     


December 2, 2016

What's Up with Not Blogging?

Yes, that's right.

I didn't write a single blog post the entire month of November.


And this post doesn't really count for one in December.

I'm just not that into blogging right now.

What happened?

Life? Routine? Settled into a new schedule?

I don't think it's a bad thing in my case to not have any time or motivation to churn out blog posts or troll link-ups and social media. Because, in my case, it means I'm not stuck in front of a laptop and it does mean I'm out there in the world, doing stuff.

I'm just here. With people. Out and about. Doing this and that.

It's awesome.

I have typically equated my "doing stuff" with reasons to write on the blog. Now I'm just doing stuff and enjoying it. Maybe there are photos, maybe there aren't. Maybe I remember where I ate that delicious lunch, and maybe I don't. It's not so important right now. What is important to me right now is keeping my stride in the things I am busy doing.

Volleyball in Dingo-land. We are 6-1 in 2nd place and I am having a great time. My shoulder has not felt this good in years and I'm finally feeling normal about serving again.


Coaching in Dingo-land and Vilsbiburg. It's a lot of little kids, but there is joy in their hearts, and I haven't seen so many passing and setting reps in my life.


Languaging. I take German on Tuesdays, Spanish on Wednesdays, and teach English on Thursdays. There is a whole lot more German sprinkled throughout my week with the coaching, and I am always amazed at how easy German is to remember and understand. And I still think and talk to myself in French to just hang onto that dream.

Baking. Good Lord, I am literally baking cookies, brownies, or muffins on a ten-day rotation this year. Somehow I haven't gained any weight, but maybe my friends feel differently. And speaking of those friends...


Friending. When I'm not playing or coaching my own volleyball games, I'm going to the games of my 2nd division team from last year, the 1st division volleyball games, the two basketball teams Marc's coaching, or the basketball team Marc coached last year.

And now it's already the Christmas market season, and I've been to two or three or four markets so far. I've got plans to go to another three or four as well. I don't have plans to write about it - sorry!


The most interesting thing to me about not blogging last month was that I actually did not miss it at all. Not once. I didn't miss Twitter, I didn't miss checking stats or comments. I definitely did not miss link-ups. I did miss having contact with some of my blogger friends, but that's just an email fix away.

There is one spot of brightness in all of this, and that is I am still very much alive and well on my Instagram. It's basically the only thing I'm regularly updating, as even my email inbox has been sorely neglected since September.

So, if you want to find me, I won't really be online. You can check my Instagram, but it will mostly be about volleyball. The novelty of living in Europe has not worn off at all, rather, I am learning to express it in different ways, and especially in the present and away from the internet.

Have a wonderful holiday season. I'll be at the German Christmas markets for a few weeks, then heading down to Spain for another sunny Christmas vacation!

Continue »

December 1, 2016

Live Well: December

Welcome to the Live Well series provided by my very own sister, Lindsay Wampler. I may be a traveling expat athlete, but I really haven't explored the health and fitness aspects of that world on this website - which is where Lindsay comes in. 

Lindsay is a 28-year-old occupational therapy grad student in Southern California and health and fitness coach. Her family consists of her wonderful husband, Justin, two dogs, and a cat. They both strive to live well through healthy eating and exercising, and I am very thankful that Lindsay is happy to share her expertise with us each month! 

Be sure to check back the first of each month to see what Lindsay's Live Well advice is, and please feel free to share her wisdom with your family and friends!



LIVE WELL: DECEMBER


The time has come to be of good cheer! (Although I believe that is every day of the year!) The sound of Christmas music has entered shopping centers, buildings are decorated with lights and shimmer, and people are wearing jingles! This time of year will always be my favorite!

The warmth in a home during Christmastime is unlike any other time of the year. And I'm not just talking about the warmth from a fireplace. Homes are filled with a special kind of love during the holiday season. The type of love that invites people over just to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows, the type of love that bakes Christmas cookies while singing carols of joy, and the type of love that chooses to wrap presents for dear friends.

May your home be merry and bright this holiday season! And remember..."the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!" Don't forget to watch Elf!


Beverage Boost


Are there any other eggnog fans out there?!

Eggnog Delight
Serves 1

1/2 c. Eggnog
1/2 c. Coffee
Pinch of Nutmeg

Steam eggnog through an espresso machine, or heat in microwave until warm and stir with whisk back and forth until frothy (~1-2 minutes). Consistency should be very foamy. Once foamy, pour over hot coffee. Top with a pinch of nutmeg. Cheers!


Workout of the Month




Healthy Eating Recipe

Serves 4

4 c. broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 c. red onion, thinly sliced
4 strips bacon (or veggie stripples), cut or broken into strips
1/4 c. craisins
1/4 c. sliced almonds
1/2 c. mayonnaise or vegenaise
1/8 c. white sugar
Salt and pepper, if desired

Cook bacon or veggie stripples. Combine mayonnaise or vegenaise with sugar. (Can later season with salt and pepper, if desired). Combine broccoli, onion, bacon, craisins, and almonds in a large bowl. Mix in dressing. (You can also add in lettuce or spinach leaves, if desired.)

Enjoy!



Essential Oils Mixology


Who else loves when the smell of fresh pumpkin pie fills your house? Now you can enjoy pumpkin pie with zero guilt!

Pumpkin Pie Spice
3 drops Cinnamon essential oil
2 drops Nutmeg essential oil
2 drops Clove essential oil

Fill home diffuser with distilled water. Add essential oils. Voila!





About the Author


My name is Lindsay and I once was a Swagerty, too, but I now am a Wampler. I am a Christ-lover and am disciplined to live the life of my dreams! I suck at traveling because I am scared to fly, but I love to explore the cities around me and build a home I love to spend time in. I am a wife, mother of fur babies, occupational therapy graduate student, online health and fitness coach, and a sharer of my love for essential oils! I am also a lover of all things Disney!

You can find me on Facebookmy group page, and Instagram or reach me directly through my email at lindsayannwampler[at]gmail[dot]com. I would love to hear from you!


Let us know if you try any variations of these delicious recipes, challenging workouts, or essential oils mixes in the comments below!!!

Continue »

November 1, 2016

Live Well: November

Guest blogger Lindsay is a 28-year-old occupational therapy grad student in Southern California and health and fitness coach. Her family consists of her wonderful husband, Justin, two dogs, and a cat. They both strive to live well through healthy eating and exercising, and I am very thankful that Lindsay is happy to share her expertise with us each month! 

Be sure to check back the first of each month to see what Lindsay's Live Well advice is, and please feel free to share her wisdom with your family and friends!



LIVE WELL: NOVEMBER


'Tis the season for scarves, sweaters, boots, hats, umbrellas, and blankets! November is a month full of friends, family, cloudy days, casseroles, pies, and teapots on the stove! November helps me breathe deep and take in all of my surroundings with mindfulness and gratitude. 

May this November do just that for you!




Beverage Boost


Pumpkin Spice Latte Shake
Serves 1

1 scoop/packet Vanilla Shakeology*
1 c. unsweetened almond milk
1/2 c. canned pumpkin puree 
Dash of cinnamon and nutmeg

Mid in blender or food processor until desired consistency. You can also add ice, if desired, for thicker texture. You can even try splashing in some coffee if needed!

*If you would like to try Shakeology, feel free to reach out to me! You can also substitute a vanilla protein powder of choice.


Workout of the Month




Healthy Eating Recipe



Serves 2

1/2 cooked spaghetti squash
1/4 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 pound ground beef (or vegetarian crumbles)
1 c. crushed tomatoes
4 oz. tomato sauce
1/4 c. chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit. Cook spaghetti squash prior. (I used frozen leftover spaghetti squash from a previous meal.) Add oil to large pan over medium heat and saute onion and garlic until fragrant (about 2 minutes). Add ground beef and cook until meat is no longer pink; drain if necessary. (If using vegetarian crumbles in place of ground beef, cook until heated). Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, and seasonings; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until desired consistency (5-10 minutes). Stir in mozzarella and Parmesan cheese; continue to simmer. In a 9x5 dish, spoon meat sauce on the bottom, layer 1/2 of the spaghetti squash next, then repeat with another layer of meat sauce and rest of spaghetti squash. Top with last layer of meat sauce and add extra mozzarella cheese on top for added yum! Cover with foil and bake casserole for 30 minutes. Remove foil after 30 minutes and bake 10 more minutes, until cheese is melted.

This recipe is SO delish! I can't wait for you to try it! Enjoy!



Essential Oils Mixology


Want to fill your house with the smell of fresh-baked snickerdoodle cookies without the guilt? Try this diffuser recipe!

Snickerdoodles
5 drops Stress Away essential oil
3 drops Cinnamon Bark essential oil
1 drop Nutmeg essential oil

Fill home diffuser with distilled water. Add essential oils. Voila!



About the Author


My name is Lindsay and I once was a Swagerty, too, but I now am a Wampler. I am a Christ-lover and am disciplined to live the life of my dreams! I suck at traveling because I am scared to fly, but I love to explore the cities around me and build a home I love to spend time in. I am a wife, mother of fur babies, occupational therapy graduate student, online health and fitness coach, and a sharer of my love for essential oils! I am also a lover of all things Disney!

You can find me on Facebookmy group page, and Instagram or reach me directly through my email at lindsayannwampler[at]gmail[dot]com. I would love to hear from you!


Let us know if you try any variations of these delicious recipes, challenging workouts, or essential oils mixes in the comments below!!!

Continue »

October 25, 2016

German Swag 101: Visiting Vilsbiburg

The first thing to know is that you will not be limited to only visiting our little town of Vilsbiburg. Vilsbiburg, while maybe not ideally situated in the middle of a large transport system, is still in the heart of Western Europe. Planes, trains, and buses go out from Munich to the rest of the world, and Marc has a car that can get us anywhere we need to be.


We have now enjoyed the company of four visitors to our corner of Germany, and here is the basic rundown of what each of them got to experience during their trip.

Vilsibiburg


Marc's mom, Ingrid, got to experience the Dionysiusmarkt the weekend she was here. We had a parade of horses, bands, and carriages amidst a market that filled our small Stadtplatz with trinkets and street food. We try to get everyone involved on my gelato fix, find each person's favorite bakery goods, and walk along the river trail.


My friend, Kia, and I had the city pool to ourselves the day we went in August. Vilsbiburg is easy going and it's the chance to see how our daily lives really work abroad.

Landshut


About a thirty minute drive away, Landshut is what we consider the "city." Landshut has sushi, so it obviously wins my attention. The city center in Landshut is a bit more sprawling, there is a castle on the hill overlooking the town, and a few huge church towers to explore.


It's a bit of the bigger and better version of Vilsbiburg, and one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon.

Munich


We do make sure to get our visitors to the largest city near to us, but I am personally still working on accepting Munich as a fun place to visit. It's tough to be compared to Paris! I think Munich is revealing itself little by little and I continue to be pleasantly surprised.


Ingrid's and my picnic lunch at the Viktualienmarkt proves that I can have an absolutely splendid time in the center, and I need to keep learning where I fit into the Münchner scene.

Salzburg


Salzburg is the highlight of everyone's trip. It charms no matter the season or weather, and the compact city center feels so easy to navigate and visitor-friendly that it's impossible to not be swept away by Salzburg.


The fortress on the mountain provides the perfect foreground to the soaring Alps in the backdrop, and, of course, every Sound of Music fan already has a soft spot in their heart for the city of the singing Von Trapps.

Neuschwanstein


This fairy tale castle is always going to be the Versailles of where we live. What I mean by that is it takes a really long time to get there (over two-and-a-half hours), it's overflowing with tour groups, and it's a bit expensive for the limited experience in the castle.


The bridge view is open or not open on an ever-changing basis, but we did find an incredible German restaurant (Gasthof Krone) in the center of nearby Füssen that will encourage us to return.

Chiemsee


Only Kia had good enough weather in August to warrant a visit to the largest lake in Bavaria, the Chiemsee. We even got to swim around, both by the Herrenchiemsee palace, and the shore by Prien am Chiemsee. Next time, we are renting a boat and hanging out on the lake all day long!

And More


We hope to also include Regensburg and Nuremberg in our visitors' itineraries, but it always depends on our own schedules and what time of year our visitors come. If anyone decides to come during late November or December, these two Christmas markets will shoot up the list because of their great seasonal spirit!

Ingrid was able to visit during our sports seasons, so she was able to see us at "work" at both my game and Marc's games over her weekend with us.

Kia's European adventure stretched from Holland to Germany, then onward to both Scotland and Iceland. She made this work through open jaw plane tickets and one way tickets within Europe.


My friend, Tanya, chose to fly open jaw into Prague, Czech Republic, then fly out of Paris, France. I was able to meet her in Prague, and she and her sister, Tessa, were able to follow me to Paris last May.

You can see why "visiting Vilsbiburg" is so much more than just hanging out in a little Bavarian village!

MummyTravelswanderful wednesday
Continue »