• Lifestyle,  Yearly Recap

    The Books of 2021

    I made some major mistakes in my reading life last year. It pretty much all came down to being far too ambitious and picking up way too many reading projects! You might remember last year when I announced my participation in #OurYearInTranslation, in addition to trying to keep up with my book club. What a colossal mistake. I think OYIT is a great prompt if you’re stuck, in a rut and want to try something new, but that’s the thing – I was really happy with my big stack of books as it was and I didn’t really need a challenge. Honestly, I just needed everyone to leave me alone…

  • Autumn,  Film

    The Spooky October Film Series, Part VII

    What are your Halloween traditions like? Mine entail a near devotional spooky film every Sunday night in October in the lead-up to the holiday… however, it can’t be any of the same films we’ve seen in the past several years! It’s not too hard to think up different films that still perfectly fit the Halloween bill if you’re myself or Alex. This year, as I’m also reading Dracula, I was really feeling the vampire theme. I was, however, not allowed to bring Twilight into the mix (I guess on my own time…) so this is the list we came up with this year. I hope it helps spark some Halloween…

  • Autumn,  Budějovice,  Daily Life,  Lifestyle,  Pandemic,  Teaching

    Autumn, Lately

    This year hasn’t been a banner year for the old bloggity-blog by any means. It’s hard to write when a) you are doing a million things and this space has frankly taken a back burner, b) there’s too much to put online, or c) somethings that are going on, you wouldn’t want to put online anyway. It’s also dispiriting when your favorite blogs on the interweb have a) gone dark or b) gone behind a paywall. (If you’ve got a cool blog or know of one, holler at me in the comments because I’m out of ideas!) I miss blog reading. Remember the days that everyone would post their daily…

  • Garden,  Lifestyle,  Minimalism,  Spring

    Gardening With What You’ve Got

    Having grown up with my backyard an actual forest and spent my childhood playing in streams and in dark woods, I can’t imagine my life without an outdoor component at home. I would move! Since adulthood, I’ve been gardening everywhere I’ve lived in some capacity, although it’s gone through plenty of different iterations. I’m fortunate to have had a balcony for the past 8+ years here in Budejovice, and although north-facingand almost constantly shady, it is perfect on the hot summer days of Central Europe when you can’t stand sizzling in the sun anyway, and I love the light summer evenings, sitting outside with a cup of tea and a…

  • Daily Life,  Lifestyle,  Thoughts

    Why We’re Reading (Or Not) During the Pandemic

    Have your reading habits changed over the past year? I’ve heard that many people have been reading less than ever before, as this interesting Refinery 29 article states. Some people seem to find it hard to concentrate. As this isn’t my case, I wondered why that would be, and the article mentions that since last March, people’s thoughts seem to drift towards our current situation and what’s in the news or the lack of social contact we’ve been having. This leads to checking the news, doom-scrolling Twitter or checking up on friends online instead of picking up our books, perhaps. I know a big reader who has been playing Animal…

  • Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  Film,  Language Learning,  Lifestyle,  Winter

    My Winter Joys, Goals, & Other Things

    How’s that for a title after that last post? Thank you for your nice words and reaching out; I’m feeling a bit better these days. The photo taken above was at our annual half-term cafe day at the mid-point of the school year, this time taking place on a bench in my favorite square. I like this photo because even though I wasn’t doing well, I wasn’t going to not participate in this annual tradition – you’d have to drag me away. It seems somehow hopeful. Typically I really like January (and this one has been lovely!), and even though it hasn’t been easy, I can’t but help still feeling…

  • Herbalism,  Lifestyle,  Recipe,  Winter

    Recipe: Chaga Masala Chai Tea

    This past December I was all about ‘dat chai. I was constantly cooking up batches of this delicious, spicy and warming masala chai to enjoy in the evenings mostly, but even in the day time as an alternative to coffee. See… here’s the sad news. I had recently come to the realization that coffee is no friend to me. Maybe one of those frenemies, but not a true friend. I had also been doing a lot of research about healing my hormones and found that I ought to drastically reduce both coffee and processed soy consumption. I’m more of a black tea person anyway, so this wasn’t the worst news,…

  • Lifestyle,  Winter,  Yearly Recap

    The Books of 2020

    A big year for reading it was! I set my reading goal intentionally low at twenty books, but in the end I managed thirty-one! Perhaps this was because I still wasn’t sure if I would undertake any kind of formal studies and wanted to emphasize quality over quantity, and although I greatly surpassed it, I don’t really think the pandemic was the culprit. This was the first year that I really, actively considered reading books a hobby. Before it was just something I did, I guess, but now it’s gone full-out obsession, I’m either sorry or delighted to say. Ironically, I feel like I spend more time thinking about what…

  • Autumn,  Budějovice,  czech culture,  Czech Republic,  Herbalism,  South Bohemia

    Autumn Lockdown Feels Like

    Do you think optimistic, positive people ever just… lose it after awhile? I consider myself one of those and was wondering when that breaking point would come. After holding it together so well since lockdown started in March, I’ve had more work than ever before (none of this Corona free time) and I guess last Sunday, in mid-late November it all sort of came to a head. It came to me today that of course our Christmas trip abroad would be cancelled this year – it would be folly to go through with it. I thought of all the sadness and destruction that 2020 has wrought. I wondered when I…

  • Autumn,  Film

    The Spooky October Film Series, Pt VI

    It’s time for my annual spooky film list for Halloween! If you’re just tuning in, every October, Alex and I draft up five films that are not the typical Hocus Pocus (however beloved that movie is) – something we have not seen tens of times that still has the spooky Halloween vibes many of us are craving at this time of the year. Especially this year, there’s been a lot more time on your hands and far fewer events to go to, making this Halloween a perfect one to sink your teeth into a proper spooky, atmospheric movie. I hope you find a suggestion here for your watching pleasure that…