Girl Meets Bulgaria

Musings of an American expat in Bulgaria (with detours in Utah and Alaska)


Randomly Me Monday: Volume Six | 10 Day You Challenge

Previous Volumes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


I am such a sucker for these “About Me” tags and challenges. Came across this one on The Daily Visual Inspiration and thought I’d do it myself. If you have done it already or start your own challenge, feel free to link it up in the comments!

Let’s get crackin’…

10 “Secrets”:

(some of these may not be so secret to all my readers)

1) I hate loud music or noises. I have really sensitive ears so I never went through that loud, blaring music phase when I was a teen. Luckily, I found a man who hates it as much as me, so we are a couple of oldies in our car with our quiet music playing in the background!

2) Speaking of loud noises (*said in a Brick Tamland voice ala Anchorman*), I cannot sleep with any sort of noise or lights around me. I have to have complete silence and darkness. I sleep with earplugs in almost every night and even an eye mask every so often.

3) I am a big Josh Groban fan (aka, a “Grobie”). I sing at the top of my lungs to his songs. And contrary to secret #1, he is one of the few people I can stand listening to at full volume. That voice of his is beautiful!

4) I feel super awkward going to certain places alone. I have only ever been to one movie by myself and have never gone to a restaurant and eaten at a table by myself. I would feel like I needed a book or laptop or something to distract me.

5) I have a bad habit of getting very excited about something and investing myself (and my money, unfortunately) in it full throttle. Sadly, nearly every time my interest fades quickly. Some examples: many types of arts and crafts,  diet and exercise regimes, and learning Bulgarian. I am working on this part of myself. I am proud that I have stuck with blogging and building my photography skills.

6) I am a Christian, but I do not follow any one denomination. I am open to all sorts of ideas and beliefs and am still figuring out my own faith. I do not prescribe to the notion that everyone must believe in one thing/ideal to be a good person. I value differences in people; that’s what makes us unique, after all! I think the world be such a boring place if we all believed the same things.

7) When I think about travel, I almost always think about other countries. In fact, I have been to far more countries than I have U.S. states. It’s not that exploring more of my own country isn’t important to me, it’s just that I find overseas travel more interesting. However, this has begun to change in recent years. There are so many U.S. cities that I want to visit and learn more about.

8) I am not an overly untidy person and in some areas of my life I am compulsively organized. But (and it’s a BIG but) my bedroom almost always resembles the aftermath of a bomb. I am a bit of a pack rat and tend to hang on to things that have some sentimental value to them. My room here in Utah is quite small, so it looks cluttered even when things are in order. Right now, however, it’s just plain messy! I still have my suitcase from Bulgaria wide open on the floor. I leave for Alaska in a week, so I figured it would be dumb to completely unpack and put it away only to get it back out and repack.

9) My parents divorced about 4 years ago. Growing up, a lot of my friends’ parents were divorced, but I never thought my parents would. Now that they are (and considering the way in which it went down), we all know it’s for the best and everyone is better off. I love my dad, but he isn’t the greatest person in the world. Luckily, I have an awesome mom and extended family.

10) I have extremely vivid and in-depth dreams. Some of them are pretty frightening (think Apocalypse dreams, all the time). This seems to run in my family as most of the women on my mom’s side have the same thing, we call them “Workman” dreams, as that is my Grandma’s maiden name. I can still remember full details of dreams I had as a child. Another weird thing, I can wake up and then fall back asleep and go back into my dreams. They are sometimes a bit changed but generally the same as before I woke up. It’s pretty cool, I think.


Well there you go, 10 “secrets” I could think of at this moment. Not sure how interesting they are!

Instead of doing this challenge for 10 straight days, I will do one or two posts per week. Once I am done I think my “Randomly Me” posts will be few and far between. I am sure most of you are getting sick of hearing so much about me!




Randomly Me Monday: Volume Five

It’s been far too long since I posted on this series. But I am picking it back up and carrying on with my “confessions” of sorts. Just a small glimpse into who I am!

Previous Volumes: 1, 2, 3, 4

  1. I am a bit addicted to TV infomercials. Ronco, Sham Wow, Magic Bullet, Shark steam cleaner… You name it, I’ve watched (and enjoyed) it. Funny story: I was in Jr. High and I saw the infomercial for the “Part Pizazz.” It’s basically a kit that comes with some stencils to make creative parts in your hair. There were a couple zig zag, wavy, triangles, and square stencils. The kit also came with this weird tool that created the actual parts. I opened up a Visa Buxx account (like a prepaid debit card for teens) solely so I could buy the Part Pizazz online. I think I tried it out once when I got it, but never touched it again (thankfully!).
  2. On that note, I also really love watching home shopping channels. My favorite are the jewelry ones from the south (JTV). The women have big hair, big accents, and like them some giant jewels. HSN and QVC are ok, but I much prefer the all jewelry ones over them. I am an jewelry junky.
  3. I have started many different collections over the years (my rock collection was pretty good) but the few that have stuck are: stretch pennies/coins (I have 30 or so), Peter Pan things (I love vintage, but Disney stuff is ok too), pins (I get one on nearly all my travels), jewelry and scarves.
  4. I was in a pretty scary car accident the night of my High school graduation. My friend was driving (in her adorable VW Bug, which was totalled) and we were on our way to meet up with a bunch of other friends to go bowling. Long story short, being hit in the face with an airbag is no bueno. I also got some gnarly seat belt burns on my neck which can seen in all of my Europe photos as I left for my trip about a week after the accident. Thankfully, both of us were fine! Continue reading


Randomly Me Monday: Volume Four

Continuing my “About Me” posts this week with Volume 4.

Previous posts: 1, 2, 3,

Thought I’d play it a bit more tame this week and list some of my favorite movies and books. Five of each sounds good!


  1. Amelie–this is by far my favorite movie of all time. It’s completely charming and heart warming with that bit of quirkiness that I love. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend that you do. Riiiiiiiight NOW! … What are you waiting for?!
  2. Robin Hood–yes the version featuring Kevin Costner’s slaughtering of an English accent. I have no clue why I like this movie as much as I do (I love most period movies when it comes down to it), but I’ve liked it since I was a kid. One time when I was sick I watched it four times in a row.
  3. Love Actually–not only one of my favorite Christmas movies, but one of my favorite in general. I love the multiple storyline type of movies and this one is probably the best. It’s done by the same people who did About a Boy (another fave).
  4. Cast Away–I love anything with Tom Hanks, but this one is one of his best. I don’t think there is another actor on earth who could captivate an audience without speaking for 1/3 of a movie, but he managed it in this one. And Wilson? Not gonna lie, I tear up when he floats away.
  5. Super Bad–I am a sucker for crude comedies and this one rules them all. I am shocked by half of it, but in that it’s-so-awful/gross-it’s-hilarious sort of way.
  6. Newsies–I know every song, dance, and character (well, most of the characters) name by heart. My BFF and I have watched this movie dozens of times and it never gets old. I am not a huge fan of musicals, but this one doesn’t count. Vintage Christian Bale? Not too shabby! LOVE. IT.

(couldn’t stop at just 5 for movies!)

It’s really hard for me to list my favorite movies as I am such a huge movie buff that they change depending on the mood I am in (except for Amelie, that will always remain my #1). I’m also a big fan of inserting random movie quotes into everyday conversation. I love when people get it and play back, but it’s a tad embarrassing when they have no clue what I am talking about. Thankfully, my close family and friends usually get it!

Continue reading


Randomly Me Monday: Volume Three

Also known as the volume in which I embarrass myself.

Check out: Volume 1, 2


1) Complete list of concerts I have attended, in order: ‘N sync, Backstreet Boys (twice–AJ was *cough…is* my favorite), Britney Spears, and Harry Connick Jr. (he was awesome). Only one I am truly ashamed of? Britney Spears. Because when it comes down to it, I loved me some Boy Bands growing up and I still love hearing their music to this day.

2) My name was spelled wrong in my 7th grade yearbook: Whiney. Yep. Whiney. Sadly, it’s a bit fitting.

3) I once got into a verbal fight with a group of teenage girls in a movie theater over a cell phone. Long story short, one of the girls sitting right in front of my kept texting and the light was really bright on her phone. I should insert here that I am a HUGE movie-nazi when it comes to talking/texting/crying babies/etc. I love seeing movies and get really into them and there is NOTHING worse than having it ruined by some obnoxious person. Back to the story… I kindly asked this girl to put her phone away as the light was distracting. She just rolled her eyes at me, as a snotty teenage girl would, and turned back to her snickering friends. I suppose I looked harmless to her. So she proceeded to open up her phone again and start texting. I lost my cool and pulled out my cell phone, leaned over, and shoved it, bright light and all, right into her face and asked her how she liked it. She jumped up and called me outside to fight and I said let’s go! Two of my best friends were with me and calmed me down. Never fail whenever we went to movies after that, one of them would bring it up and we’d all have a good laugh. Moral of the story: don’t mess with me when I’m at the movies!

4) My secret (not anymore) male celebrity crushes: John Goodman and Jeff Goldblum. Just noticed they are both J.G. Weird.

5) Favorite song as a child: Bette Midler’s Wind Beneath My Wing. I would make my mother call radio stations over and over requesting it.

6) I have some pretty amazing party tricks, if I do say so myself. I can gargle a mean Inspector Gadget theme song, drink through my nose, and name every single country (in their geographic order) in Africa. BOO YEAH!

7) I once tried waxing my eyebrows and ended taking one of them completely off. In an effort to compensate I tweezed the hell out of the other one. I have been trying to grow them back in for years, but to this day they are all kinds of wonky.

8) True story: I have a cousin who went to school with one of Donny Osmond’s nephews. My family went to see my cousin in one of her plays (which Donny’s nephew was also in). This was around the time that he (Donny, not the nephew) was hosting $100,000 Pyramid on TV. So were all seated waiting for the play to start and me and my big mouth (a recurring theme in my life) start cracking jokes about him. How short he is in person, how lame his talk show was with Marie, etc. I was a good 5 minutes into my routine (I’m an amateur comedian, in case you didn’t know… 😉 ) when my mom leans over and whispers in my ear, “You do know he is sitting right behind you, right?” Well, my heart dropped into my stomach and I slowly turned my head and sure enough, there he was, Donny. Freakin’. Osmond. Staring me directly in the eyes with a pretty smug look on his face. I had to sit through a 2 hour play with him (and his family) sitting right behind me. NOT one of my finer moments, but my family still likes to joke about it.

9) I used to NEVER cry in movies. Didn’t matter how sad or touching it was. I was incapable of crying (only in movies, however, not in my daily life where I am a complete baby). Until, one day I was at the theater watching Ever After (love that movie to this day), for the second time, when Danielle (Drew Barrymore) asks the step mom if there were ever a time in her life if she loved her, and the step mom says to Danielle, “How could anyone ever love a pebble in their shoe?” I lost it. Cried and cried. Over that ONE line, in a rather mediocre movie (to most, again I love it). And why I cried when I saw it the second time and not the first? Who knows! Ever since that moment I have lost my shiz over sad/touching/cute/mildly heart-warming movies and TV shows. Take Valentine’s Day for example when I cried my eyes out for most of The Vow.

10) On my first trip to Bulgaria I got stuck in the restroom stall in the Sofia airport. Well, stuck is a relative term here. I am American and our public restroom stall doors typically open inwards. I had finished doing my business and tried opening the door. I kept pulling and pulling. Soon I began to panic. I thought the lock was broken or something and I didn’t know the language so I couldn’t yell for help. Then I hear this sweet little voice saying something in Bulgarian. I ignored it and continued to wrestle with the door. I was about to start crying and the voice just kept talking. Finally, the girl outside the stall pulled the door open and just looked at me like I was insane. I smiled like nothing had even happened and went to wash my hands. I learned that day that many restroom doors in BG open out. My excuse is that I had just landed in Bulgaria after a very long flight and I was super nervous/excited to see Vince for the first time in months, so I suppose I was slightly out of it!


Have some embarrassing tidbits about yourself? Maybe you have a thing for sexy John Goodman too? Maybe you know me and want to add something you remember? Let me know in the comments or link me to your own similar blog posts!

See you back here next week where I’ll likely embarrass myself further with a list of my favorite movies and books!




Randomly Me Monday: Volume One

Hi, friends!

I’m jumping on the “confessional” blog post bandwagon and am starting a series of posts with random facts about, well… Me!

A few of my favorite bloggers have done similar series and I learned a lot about them–which is always fun!

Now it’s my turn!

I’ll probably only do it for a few weeks (or until I run out of semi-interesting things to say about myself), and instead of posting these little tidbits on Sundays like most people, mine will be on Mondays.

Let’s get started!

  1. I am the middle child. I have 2 brothers; my older brother is 28 and my “little” bro is 25 (I’m 26, so we’re all really close together!)
  2. I’m a Scorpio, and while I don’t really believe in all that astrology stuff, I do fit the description of a Scorpio in many ways. Add the fact that I am a “fiery” red head, and it’s quite the combination!
  3. I was really gregarious and outgoing as a kid (read: I loved being the center of attention). I was in all the plays at my elementary school, including the lead (Belle) in Beauty and the Beast. But the second I hit Junior High I clammed up and never participated in any plays again, in fact I hate public speaking to this day.
  4. When I was about 5, I was playing in my brothers’ room jumping from their dresser to the bed. Well, one time I missed and my face hit the foot board. My nose split open, blood was going everywhere, and I immediately had two black eyes. I remember running into the bathroom and looking in the mirror but I have blocked out what I saw. I ended up in the ER where they stitched my broken nose back together. I still have a fairly large scar.
  5. When I was in the 3rd grade I broke my arm. My brother and I thought it would be a fun idea to climb the giant tree in our front yard during a wind storm; unsurprisingly, I fell out and landed on my arm. My cast was purple (my favorite color) and waterproof, so I thought I was pretty cool.
  6. I’ve had pets since the day I was born. In total, my family has had: 3 cats, 7 dogs, 2 birds, 1 hamster, hermit crabs, 1 horny toad, and countless reptiles and amphibians.
  7. On that note… I am deathly afraid of spiders (all bugs really), but not of my older brother’s tarantulas (of which he has dozens). I’ve held them and I think it’s their size that sets them apart from regular house spiders. They are more like little pets. It’s a subconscious thing I guess.
  8. My grandparents live in Nevada and my brothers and I would rotate staying with them for the summer when we were young. One summer I was there it reached 117 degrees (Fahrenheit) one day. It still stands as the hottest temperature on record for their city–I have a shirt to prove it!
  9. I have been best friends with the same fabulous girl since the 4th grade. She’s basically the sister I never had (if you are reading this, Hi, E.!).
  10. My first job was working for my aunt and uncle starting when I was 13. They owned a retail store (high-end baby clothes and gifts) and I only left because they closed the store down to start a family; I was 18 years old at the time. To this day I can’t stand listening to Nora Jones because we played her CD in the store on and off for at least two solid years.

BONUS! I found these pics in an email my mom sent my while I was in Alaska this past summer, thought it would be fun to post them here (and it’s only fair since I posted baby pics of my hubby a few days ago!).

My older bro and I


A dusty scan

Come back next Monday for more random facts about me!