Monday, August 29, 2011


It is just me, or does anybody think paté looks and smells like canned cat food. (I've never tasted either so I can't adds tastes to the list thank goodness).

Toast and paté?
Thanks, but I think I'll just stick to yogurt for breakfast.

**To be fair (to an inanimate object and my readers), I tasted it. It's bad...and not bad as in good.**

Thursday, August 25, 2011


*What's a Heelys?
They are a pair of stylish shoes. But wait...pop in some wheels in the heel and your Heelys shoes transform into a pair of stealth skates.

*How easy are Heelys to use?
You can easily transition from a walk to a roll by shifting the weight to the heel. Then you can turn them into street shoes by removing the wheels.

Once you get the basics down, (it might take a few tries, but you will get it) you can start doing tricks to WOW your friends.

For those concerned with safety, Heelys provides you with a safety playbook to follow.

*Why Heelys?
1. They just look stylish (there are so many options with colors, laces vs velcro, number of wheels, etc).
2. They are tough shoes that will last a lot longer than others through the roughness this boy can provide them.
3. It's a cool way to get the kids out of the house (and give the electronics a break) for some exercise.

*What did Heelys do for us?
for Max: they made him the envy of his brothers and friends on the block. 
for me: since I chose to give these shoes to Max, I got favorite aunt status (LOVE that).
**Heelys do not come with an official instant coolness guarantee**

*Want a pair for a little one you know or one for you (yes, they come in adult sizes too)?
Heelys is throwing a Labor Day/Back-to-School special!! Between Sept 2-Sept 5, Buy one pair of Heelys, get the second pair for only $30!

*Where do I find Heelys?

I received no monetary compensation for this review. I received a product sample for the purpose of my review. All opinions expressed are mine--all mine. Thank you B2B and Heelys.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Another weekend in the forest. So what did we do to keep it interesting? William and I went to a glass house and made hanging glass ball things (I don't really know what else to call them).

Mauth Germany is the home of Glasbläser kunst...a small shop where you can buy various handmade glass items OR with the help of Pavel and Vaclav, you can blow your own souvenir glass ball for 9 euro.

Here we are creating our masterpieces:

The final products
*Granny didn't go with us, but she wanted to hold my ball for a photo. And yes, she isn't wearing any pants. Love her.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Just a little interesting fact for my readers who are moms or might want to be moms:

A lot of Czechs are stay-at-home-mothers. Why? Because they get 3 years maternity leave. Yes, you read correctly, and I didn't make a mistake in my translation from Czech to English on this topic. 3 YEARS! So you can have 3 children within 3 years of each other and get 9 years of paid maternity time.

Who wants to move to the Czech Republic now?

Saturday, August 20, 2011


I have a problem:
Photos of "things" are nice, but photos of me or a person I know with said "things" add so much more value sometimes.

creepy lady statue

Posing like creepy lady statue

(kinda love this)


We had the option to get a flight ticket from Riga to Prague with a 10 hour layover to see Warsaw Poland or have just barely enough time to change planes and be on our way. So we decided to stay and check it out.

Warsaw in a nutshell:
I'd describe this town as old meets new (it was practically rebuilt after being destroyed in WWII)

Kielbasa (eating Polish sausage in Poland)

Tomb of the (polish) unknown soldier & lots of war monuments

Swanky things that made MY day a  little brighter at least (with lots of random nuns walking around town)

And my new favorite shopping mall
(beautiful design and furniture inside, fantastic architecture outside, and a 2-story H&M)

Another 1 hour flight, local bus, student agency bus from Prague to Plzen, tram ride, 2 block walk...and the trip was officially over. Think I'm going to stay at home for a day or two!


After enjoying a complimentary breakfast of green water, cheese, toast with jam, and ham slices, our final bus ride together took us to Riga Latvia. After a mere 4 hours, we arrived in Riga. I was in love. I am pretty sure I said, "This is beautiful!" about every street I looked down. It's just simply amazing and was my favorite place of the trip by far.
We had the best food

Fantastic markets (glad we didn't get shot by some strong Russian speaking man)

Wonderful mosaic art

Fabulous buildings

Fantastic stuff

I think I could go on and on about this city. Riga is definitely a must see place (even if you have never heard of Latvia before)!


Instead of sleeping in Vilnius, I had the brilliant idea of taking a night bus to Tallinn Estonia. I mean, we only had 4 days and I wanted to get 4 countries under our belts. A little less than the first bus; this bus ride was only 9 hours long (9pm-6am). Perfect. Unless you have unruly bus drivers who insult you in other languages, but we won't go into that.
We found exercise equipment in the local park (interesting)

Sat on lots of statues/monuments/cool finds around the city

Enjoyed breakfast (which felt like dinner because we arrived in the city so early) with a cute British couple at the Boca Pott cafe (loved that).

Learned that you WILL get pushed out of the way of an 83 year old lady if you take too long in line at the market.

Slept in a bed for the first time = heavenly.
I enjoyed this city just a tad bit better than the first.
Thank you Estonia.


You might think I'm crazy for passing up option #1 in the previous post, but my pal Katherine who went on the journey with me was already in Italy and had seen some stops I wanted to visit so I didn't want her to have to repeat.

Here goes my Baltic journey to see 4 countries in 4 days:
Day #1
Student Agency bus from Plzen to Prague to meet Kat.

20 hour bus ride which stopped at THE WORST toilet facilities along the way. (Side note: I'm pretty sure western european women pee standing up because I have no idea how else the toilet seat gets sprayed with urine EVERY time I found one).
Made it to Vilnius Lithuania.
Learned they LOVE their basketball right now
Took photos outside and inside the cathedral square

Hiked a hill to the 3 crosses for a wonderful view of the city (and nearly died along the way)
Danced around the city center.
Bought certified baltic amber souvenirs.
Ordered Kvas, tasted kvas, and learned to never get kvas again...with no help from the waitress at all.
Great day Vilnius.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I found myself with 4 days free, a friend to accompany me, and 2 options:

1) fly on a private jet to Tuscany, have a personal driver take us to Florence, and then enjoy the rest of the time discovering Italy on our own using local transportation and eating gelato with plenty of sunshine


2) take a 20 hour bus to visit countries most people might not know where they are on a map or possibly that they existed in the first place (Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia) with 2 other long bus trips in between and possibly chance of rain showers for a good part of the trip

Which do you think I chose?

Friday, August 12, 2011


The next episode of 'What NOT to Wear' should stop by the Prague aqua park. I have never seen so many horrible man thongs in one place.

You might spot hairy legs, bikini tops that touch the bikini bottoms (due to lack of support or high waisted bottoms), and suits with no liner whatsoever on the women. OHGOSH.

But all in all, besides the 1 outdoor concrete water slide of death, the place is loads of fun for everyone.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I learned a very important lesson from William's uncle Petr that will stick with me for a long time.
I was busy one afternoon building a wooden train track with Petr's son Kaja. I mean, we made this track awesome. There was a bridge the track went under, trees and stones by the "lake" we designed, loops, figure 8' name it. We finished and were driving the trains on it when Petr walked in the room, stood above the track, stared for a few minutes, and remarked, "This is really great!"
"Yeah, a nice way to spend a rainy afternoon, right?"
"No, this is really great!" Keep in mind Petr is a pilot for Czech Airlines. "It is beautiful. If I were to build this track it would go from point A to point B the most effective way possible because that is how I see things in the plane. But this, you have created a piece of art."
(Go back and read his lines with a Czech's more fun. I'm paraphrasing by the way).

The we discussed how we need 2 kinds of people in the world: the engineers who build and put things together and then the designers who beautify such things. This thought is so beautiful to me. I want to make the world pretty...every way possible.

Which type of person are you: beauty or the builder?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


During my first Czech stay, I was on a train with my friend Marc from England and our train hit someone. Don't worry--I didn't see it. We were stuck in a cabin on the train forever with one other Czech passenger who spoke some English. So the 3 of us decided to see the village we were stuck in and got off the train for an adventure. I exchanged phone numbers with my new friend from the train and she invited us for dumplings the next afternoon. After the dumpling feast, she TOLD us to do the dishes. This is the story of how I met Mushroomka.

I visit my Mushroomka friend every time I come to Czech. So I decided to see her on my birthday. Nothing has changed. She still lives in a tiny village. She still made me lunch. And she didn't necessarily ASK me to help pick cucumbers from her garden for a salad...instead she handed me a bucket, pointed to some rubber boots, and told me to watch out for the prickly pumpkin plants. Bless her heart.

Monday, August 8, 2011


I never understood why people on tv or in real life dreaded having a dentist appointment so much...until recently. I am used to dentists telling me I have pretty teeth and haven't had a cavity since I was a little girl (knock on wood). But just before I left the states I went in for a filling.

Then it turned into more: more work, more money, and more pain.

Yes, they were nice and tried to make it as comfortable as possible for me, but it still hurts like a mother (and if you know my mother you know she hurts a lot). I now have sympathy for those who dread sitting in the dentist's chair.