ChitChat pack 1.6: Fall for these favorite links

chitchat pack image small bites in your inboxSchool is back in session and the ChitChat Pack is back after a brief pause. I’m building a similar pack for my Biz page as it’s been a while since I’ve blogged there. No excuses as to why, just that I got superbly busy. That means that although life was chaotic and for a time, I was solo parenting, life was all in all Superb. With a capital “S”. As long as I have coffee at dawn and the occasional chocolate. I’ve been collecting a ton of fab posts and links that I’ve been dying to share with you, so this is slightly bigger than the last post. I hope you’ll fall for some or all of my favorite links, too, starting off with a fun video about going down the proverbial rabbit hole (I’ve done that a few times building up this post).

MUSIC VIDEO: Going down the Rabbit Hole with Whitney Avalon and Jonathan Hurley

The past few days has been a social media struggle NOT to go down the proverbial rabbit hole. Between breaking news on water found on Mars to the refugee situation in Europe, I’ve been jumping over and into rabbit holes all week. So, in honor of Rabbit Holes, I present this YouTube video from funny lady Whitney Avalon. It goes back a couple of years, but it still holds true.

Infographic “10 Best Places To Live” courtesy  best countries for expats

I’ve lived overseas for most of the last 10 years (Japan and Germany, with a brief sidetrip to Afghanistan for the Navy). So when the folks at WeMissOurTv asked me to take a look and share this fun infographic, I thought, why not? It’s their list of 10 best places to live overseas, in bite-size chunks of info. Perfect for the ChitChat pack.

The US Expat Guide – A graphic by We Miss Our Tv

 From hops to beer: How to get ready for Oktoberfest  how to get ready for Oktoberfest

The fall season here in Germany is here and so is the massive party known as Oktoberfest. Contrary to popular belief, not all Germans own a pair of Lederhosen (leather pants or shorts, worn by either gender) or do the ladies all own a bust-enhancing Dirndl and wear them around town. That is truly something found in Bavaria, where a massive 6 million attendees will descend upon Munich, its capital.

Fashionable Travel Hacks that won’t hurt your budget   travel hacks

One of the best and worst steps for me when traveling is the packing part. (2nd to the planning part, which involves numerous rabbit holes…) I love traveling. I hate deciding what to bring along or not bring along, especially if it’s a combined work/play trip in more than one location or time zone. So, I added this list of travel hacks to my permanent list of go-tos.

14 Untranslatable Words Shown in Incredibly Stunning Illustrations   Untranslatable words

We love languages in our home, so much so that anyone listening might hear 3 or 4 different languages in one sentence. We’re a bit weird like that. I’ve heard most of this list from our time in both Japan and Germany. You can Google these words to get a straight up, Refdesk, Webster dictionary definition, but take a look at these illustrations! Some are creepy as my 6 year old would say but you’d be hard-pressed not to be able to recall the meaning!

Why more African-Americans Need to Travel Around   gloria atanmo

I love how Gloria Atanmo puts her soul and spirit out there, sharing intriguing and maybe even uncomfortable photos of her being the token black female while traveling, even addressing the haters who criticize her ability to travel as a single childless woman, completely missing the tongue-in-cheek flavor of this piece. Haters gonna hate, peeps.

Note: My mom just completed her 2nd two-week European trip (Spain and Portugal); I’m going to ask her if she was the only Asian in her travel group of American senior citizens…

The best Paris Restaurants Right Now Best paris restaurants

I’m a foodie, you’re a foodie, let’s check out this list of hot/haute Paris restaurants, shall we?

Social Consciousness: What did you see first?  personality test

This is like a Rorschach test meets a Crayola box of 64 crayons. My favorite viral internet personality test this year!

Declining Student Resilience: A serious problem for colleges  student resilience

As parents of an only child, we’re hyper aware of the focus on children reading on time/early, getting good grades early, everything early. So how do we reconcile the fact that we don’t want to get “that” parent, the “helicopter” parent? We teach our child to be resilient and not need us (or an adult) to pull her out of a scrape (provided there’s no blood and guts spilling out). The bounce factor is important here, whether on the playground or in the classroom. Heck, if she can be a 6 year old doing flips on the back of a moving horse, I think we may be onto something here.

Free Financial Tool: Personal Capital Retirement Planner  retirement planning

I retired a couple of years ago and am blessed that I have a pension coming in while still in my 40s. I’m far from rich, but 20+ years in the military meant that when I retired, I could choose to continue my personal investments into my retirement fund as well as into our child’s college fund. Now that my husband is preparing to retire within the next few years, we’re focusing on our future even more, especially since I started freelancing as a virtual assistant. Questions like “where” to retire in the US or in Europe come up weekly. How will we prepare for aging parents and a college age child? Are we doing enough? Stress is normal but I don’t want us to be caught offguard. So when I found out about Personal Capital and some of their free retirement planning tools, I thought I’d share them here.

MILITARY MIGHT: VAQ-136 Summer 2005 Cruise Video

It’s no secret if you checked out my About page… I loved my time at sea. There were some seriously crappy days. There were at least 2 times where I got so busy that I failed to hydrate during summer cruises that I was a patient on my own ward. That sucked because I would wake up on the ward and have a stack of folders with papers to sign. (It’s nice to be needed, eh?) Anyway, I found this cruise video from one of the airwings during my 2nd summer on the Kitty Hawk. Enjoy!

MUSIC VIDEO: 4th Power, The X Factor UK 2015 Titanium cover/Boot camp

This group of Filipina sisters are nothing short of amazing. Watch it. I dare you to disagree.

MUSIC VIDEO: Burn by the Cure/O’Keefe Music Foundation

Since our child started music lessons (violin or Geiger in German), I’ve been intrigued with childrens music and art foundations. OMF is fantastic. The kids who produce these videos are as young as age 2! Worth the follow if you’re a music lover!


Thanks for reading! Comments are always appreciated (unless they’re totally snarky and rude or you’re a spammer, then you’ll get the big D).


Cheering you on,