New page URL

January 10, 2015 § Leave a comment

Hello everybody!

I finally decided to take the next step and am working now with a self-hosted website.

You can find sparklingcrane now on here: I hope you will come by and keep following my adventures!

Thanks so much for reading and your support!

Best, Sarah

Goodbye 2014 – Welcome 2015

January 2, 2015 § 3 Comments

Hello to all of you!

First of all: A Happy New Year to everybody around the world!


I am convinced that this year is gonna be fabulous for all of us! Important and wonderful things are going to happen and we should make sure that we seize every day!

Thinking about this post I decided to summarize this past year and write about what has happened here on the blog. It was a good year for sparklingcrane. First, it all started this year in September and it has been going great since then. And I need to thank all of you my lovely readers for that! Without you this little corner of the world wouldn’t be what it is and I hope that for 2015 it will become even greater. So here we go:

2014 Collage

  1. We spent a wonderful summer-time in Mexico with Jav’s family (and mine) which you can read about here.
  2. Within this trip we also went to see my amazing host family in the U.S., Philly, I wrote about it in my posts about Philadelphia (part 1part 2 and part 3).
  3. While I was there I also met my friend Julie from high school and she was so kind to write a little guest post for sparklingcrane, you can read all about it in her college gift guide.
  4. The Manhattan Skyline was another highlight we enjoyed and I posted about it here.
  5. One of your favorite was my series, 3 Days in New York, you can check out day 1, day 2 and day 3!
  6. Shortly after arriving back to Germany my Mexican sister came to spend the holidays with us and we had a great first night in Berlin, so read my post!
  7. For the holidays this year I chose to write about Christmas celebrations around the world. You can find the United States, China, Mexiko
  8. …and last but not least Germany!
  9. We had wonderful days of Christmas (link) and I was invited by Julie to write a little blog post – Christmas around the World.

And what is going to happen in 2015? I have a million of ideas for the blog, some wonderful treats for you, new travel adventures and a lot more! To keep you tuned, here is a little heads up:

Collage 2015

Collage 2015 II

  1. A winter-wonderland in Germany.
  2. Good luck in Prague.
  3. An art event in Magdeburg.
  4. Cathedrals and more about my home town.
  5. An afternoon in princeton.
  6. Dresden and its sights.
  7. Opera, castles and Freud in Vienna.

I thank you so much for reading today and keep checking in here on sparklingcrane! Happy New Year and happy reading!



Celebrating Christmas around the World: Magdeburg, Germany

December 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

A Happy Christmas Eve to all of you!

Having read all about Christmas in different countries around the world you might wonder how are we actually celebrating the holiday in my home country. And here it goes…:

We are really into Christmas. As soon as December starts you can listen to Christmas music all around and enjoy the lights in the streets and stores. On the first of December the kids (including me ;)) start opening the first door of their Advent Calendar -a calendar with surprises for every day of December from the 1st until the 24th-, it can be a bought one, filled with chocolates or other candies, as well as a homemade one filled with a lot of little gifts.


On the night of December 6th, the first highlight happens. St. Nicolaus comes to all the houses and gives everybody either a little gift or a wooden stick; it all depends on your previous behaving the year to end. According to the tradition, that means that everybody needs to clean its shoes on the evening of the 5th and put them in front of the door, then you wake up on the 6th of December and run to your shoes to check which of the two options you received. During December we have Christmas markets all over the towns. You can simply go with friends to have a hot wine (Glühwein) plus food and check around the offered products (ornaments, pottery, jewelry…).

IMG_2785 IMG_9903 IMG_9857

Around the 23rd we put up our Christmas tree which we usually buy in the beginning of December. We gather together as a family and decorate it carefully with ornaments and wooden stars.


On the 24th we meet within our families, listen to Christmas music, have cookies and coffee and later more food (one common meal for Christmas Eve is potato salad with sausages). We exchange our presents on the same day, then on the 25th we wake up in the morning, go to enjoy the tree and check out our presents in detail. For lunch or dinner we get together with more family to enjoy another meal and time together. On the 26th Christmas still continues, more family and more delicious food with presents exchange.

And now I wish you all a Merry Christmas! Enjoy the time with your family and happy reading!




Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

Merry Christmas Eve!IMG_2659


P.S.: Julie let me write a guest post on her blog A Hopeful Hood, don’t miss it!


College student gift guide – a guest post by Julie

December 22, 2014 § 3 Comments

Hey everybody!
How are you doing? Today I have a special treat for you: My friend Julie was so kind to write a little guest post here on sparklingcrane and made a last-minute gift guide for college students. If you are a procrastinator like me you will love her suggestions :)! But let’s Julie start:

Hi, I’m Julie Hood! Sarah and I met back in high school when she did an exchange program with my high school in Pennsylvania, USA and we’ve stayed in touch ever since!(Check out the dorky picture of us some years ago at the bottom of this post, as compared to the one we took when Sarah visited Pennsylvania this winter.) I blog about teaching Español, home improvement projects, married life, and crafty-random things over at A Hopeful Hood.

I started my blog back in my freshman year of college, and since I only just graduated college in May 2014, the majority of my posts are from a college student’s perspective. With Christmas just around the corner (and in case you’re like me and somehow wait really late in the season to finish Christmas-shopping), I’ve put together a list of last-minute Christmas gifts for the college student in your life.


1. a restaurant giftcard (for the socialite/foodie)
Photo 2--restaurant-gift-card
2. a carry-on that meets international requirements (for the traveler)
Photo 3--international-carry-on
3. …and a personalized luggage tag!
Photo 4--personalized-luggage-tag
4. concert tickets (for the music-loving college student)
5. this t-shirt (for the marathoner of netflix)
Photo 5--netflix-tshirt
6. an ihome for the iphone 5 or 6
Photo 6--ihome
7. apartment gear, like a set of wine glasses or this throw pillow
Photo 7--throw-pillow-world-traveler
8. a laptop bag, of which amazon has plentyyy
Photo 8--laptop-bag
9. a keurig desktop brewing system (and some k-cups!)
Photo 9--desktop-keurig
10. some stocking stuffers like chapstick, coffee shop giftcards, dvds, snacks, nail polish

And now for pictures of Sarah and me:

julie and me


What are some presents that you’re excited to give this year?


Thank you all so much for reading today and a special thanks to Julie for guest posting! I love that we have stayed on contact over these years and can now interact like this. Don’t forget to check our her cool blog! 

All the best to you all and stay tuned!

xx Sarah


Celebrating Christmas around the World: Toluca, México

December 17, 2014 § 3 Comments

Hola a todos!

How are you doing today? I am happy to introduce you to the Christmas celebration in my second home – México! As some of you may know Javier is Mexican and therefore I spent some time with him and his family in his home country. IMG_2925

In México, again, Christmas was pretty different to me, but I enjoyed the time a lot! Well, first of all, the weather is so different to our cold, snowy winters here in Germany. Over there it was mainly sunny and warm during the day but colder in the night. IMG_2840

For Christmas Eve we went to have a nice dinner with one side of the family (2 aunts + family, 2 uncles +family, grandparents). Before the meal started we were doing a little play, in which some of the group went outside to wander around the garden like pilgrims and singing and asking for asylum just as Maria and Joseph on the same night. We also had a big piñata in form of a star hanging in the garden and all the kids took turn to hit it in order to open it and get the candy that were hidden inside.


After our meal we began to sing karaoke and talk and laugh. Later during the night we started to exchange some gifts, but each family had only bought one gift for one other member. This is because in México usually the Three Mighty Kings are delivering the presents for the kids no earlier than on the 6th of January. IMG_2898IMG_2852

On December 25th we went to see the the other half of the family, again with a lot of family members. We were enjoying delicious food, such as turkey, ham, pambazos, filled chilies and much more. IMG_2905

All in all I had a wonderful time spending Christmas with Javiers family in México and I am eager to come back for the same time of the year!

Thank you all so much for reading today and make sure to stay tuned:)!



Where I would like to be #11

December 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

A great Saturday to you all!

I am back this week with some thoughts on places that I would like to visit or haven’t been to at all yet. Some time ago Javier went on a trip to Paris together with his sister. They had a wonderful time and made as much as possible out of there fairly short trip. Unfortunately I needed to stay home due to my studies. But of course they took a billion of pictures, so now I can look through them and dream of going to Paris myself. Can you believe it, I have been living in Europe for 20,5 years and I have never been to Paris. Yet.

But check yourself what sights they visited and what a great time they must have had:

paris collage

It just looks all so pretty to me and makes me wanting to go there like right now:). What do you think? Have you ever been to Paris? Or where would you like to go to these days?

Thank you all so much for reading (and looking) today and talk to you soon!