• Herbalism,  Lifestyle,  Minimalism,  Spring

    Growing a Tiny Garden Anywhere

    I’ve always wanted to grow my own herbs and vegetables… but I don’t truly believe in the term “green thumb”. I think anyone can garden if, and only if they truly care enough about it and try as hard as they can and put in the time to do it well. Just like caring about how the food tastes and looks makes you a better cook almost automatically. If you are patient, have keen attention to detail about what your plants like or don’t like and are proactive, you can garden. Gardening makes us self-sufficient. It is a natural companion for people who love to cook (or who, at least,…

  • Budějovice,  Daily Life,  Lifestyle,  Winter

    A Winter Cafe Day (with JORD)

    Ah, the half-term cafe date. We have a lot (a lottt) of annual traditions, but this one is perhaps the most simple yet satisfying one to inject a bit of magic into an otherwise humdrum winter Friday afternoon. Almost certainly I’ll have the afternoon off, so we’ll head out to a cafe. This time, we headed to Cafe au Chat de Noir, one of my favorites in town. The coffee doesn’t really blow your mind but more importantly: as soon as you step inside, you feel like you’ve been transported to a European cafe at the turn of the 20th century. At a time where hip, modern third-wave coffee bars…

  • Eats,  Lifestyle,  Minimalism,  Recipe

    New Year, New Focus! + Homemade Peanut Butter Recipe

    Hi, friends. I’ve written and re-written this post about three times for no other reason than I wasn’t really able to convey the sort of thing I wanted to, but giving it another go. I hope your New Year has been treating you well so far! The fact that I barely noticed we were past the middle of January means that the month’s been flying, but in a good way. Other winter seasons here in Budejovice have not always been entirely, how to I put this… successful for me. They may have started strong but I fell into some sort of anti-social, hibernatory rut and didn’t resurface in a good…

  • Daily Life,  Lifestyle,  Yearly Recap

    The Books of 2019

    I know it’s called “the books” of 2019, but I mean merely, that they were books that defining the year for me – I make no big claims here. But now it’s time to take a look at favorite books, disappointing books, reading goals for this year, and generally how everything went. I just barely scraped by my Goodreads goal, just completing my 25 books in 2019. (welp, that went well!) The year before I’d managed over 30, so must’ve got stuck on some slog-reads again, but I feel good about having made it, of course. Rating them an average of 3.8/5, I’d say it was a pretty positive reading…

  • Autumn,  Herbalism,  Lifestyle,  Winter

    The Best Natural Cold-Busting Remedies

    Hi friends. This autumn cold season has hit unbelievably hard this year. At one point last month I think everyone I know was either sick, getting sick or just getting over a cold. Really nuts. But! Will you believe — and I swear this is true — that this fall alone I nearly got sick FOUR TIMES (as in, felt that initial tickle in the throat, started sneezing, runny nose, etc) but managed to turn that around sometimes within HOURS? It can be done! I wanted to pop in today and share just how the heck I have managed that — the quick answer is due to herbal remedies! I…

  • Autumn,  Daily Life,  Lifestyle,  Minimalism

    How Does Your Garden Grow

    A couple of weeks ago, we had the most beautiful late October day you could ever dream of. Even now, in the late afternoon the sun is already setting, I couldn’t help think as I walked home with a basket full of vegetables from the garden plot for the second to last time this season how lucky we were this year with this beautiful Indian summer I keep raving on about — this sort of weather would even be out of place for late September, let alone October. Readers may know that this summer was the first year I had my own garden plot in the earth to work with…

  • Autumn,  Daily Life,  Life Abroad,  Lifestyle

    Photo an Hour – An October Weekday

    I haven’t done a ‘Photo an Hour’ for years, but as I was enjoying my pumpkin pie oatmeal that day, I just thought gosh, I think it’s time for another one! This was on the first day of October, a weekday, and what I thought was the final day of summery weather this season (I would be wrong – our Indian summer is going strong!) So this post is for all the daily life blog post lovers (like myself). Be the post you want to see in the world, I think someone famous once said 😉 I woke up at roughly 7:15 or so this day. Took the dog out,…

  • Autumn,  Czech Republic,  Herbalism,  Lifestyle

    Mushroom Foraging on St. Wenceslas Day

    “Our Czech forests are overflowing with mushrooms.” — an actual line from a local news report St. Wenceslas Day (Sv. Václav) is one of my favorite Czech holidays. It’s right after the official turn to autumn, the school year’s right about to get into the usual swing except for this last holiday weekend to enjoy the simpler things about the start of the season. Normally, I like to visit some sort of happening to watch folk-dancing, browse the craft markets, have a glass of wine or if I’m lucky, burčák (Federweisser aka “fermented alcoholic grape juice” – a wine byproduct). I had every intention of doing that as we started…

  • Autumn,  Daily Life,  Lifestyle

    Misty Morning

    walked to my favorite corner store this morning and was pleased of how serene the morning was. slightly misty, not cold, sweet smell of leaves in the air……. so fresh and invigorating. i felt instantly better. one of my favorite kinds of fall mornings that remind me that i live in europe. pretty cool. cooking risotto and pho (dear everyone, alex ate a dish of primarily onions and mushrooms and LIKED IT), drinking coconut juice, staropramen light, new decaf coffee and kusmi boost tea. watched the conclusion of breaking bad season four, reading this book, meeting new locals/friends, listening to church bells and deerhunter’s halcyon digest album. enjoying the serenity…

  • Autumn,  Daily Life,  Eats,  Lifestyle,  Recipe

    “Figuratively” Speaking (Making Fig Jam)

    an unexpectedly lovely weekend here in ceske budejovice! yesterday we sat for hours in the sun at a cafe along the river with a new friend (outdoor cafe season still going! wooooo) and today, it was all about relaxation. ie… cooking. because making life easier for yourself the rest of the week is awesome. i’ve never had a fig before! maybe in a fig newton, but i’ve always hated those. so, i’ve recently noticed their existence– all over the place lately with big sales at the supermarkets and at farmers markets as well. it must be fig season! so i stocked up and decided to have a go at fig…