• Summer

    the expat’s guide to christmas away from home

    i can barely believe that this is already my sixth holiday season away from home. at first, spending christmas in europe was an absolutely fantastic and magical thing and i couldn’t have been happier! the christmas traditions here are beautiful and even more elaborate than i can remember from childhood. however at about year four, i noticed it started getting a little harder; perhaps the sheen had dulled ever so slightly. despite not being home (again) for christmas and being away from my dear family and friends, i am a die-hard forever merry christmas celebrater and i wanted to share with you how you can make this upcoming holiday season…

  • Summer

    friday things: thanksgiving weekend

    it seems that after the initial dust cloud settled after the first week of the american election, things starting to feel a little happier, thank goodness.  so i bring you five happy things for the end of this third week of the month, from recent trips to expat life successes… 1. vienna! we enjoyed a long weekend in the austrian capital last week. although busybusybusy, it was so good! shopping, eating schnitzels as big as our ‘eads at figmüller, seeing the pointillism exhibition at the albertina (i do adore this museum), wandering around the innere stadt until our feet felt like falling off, and of course… plenty of cakes and…

  • Summer

    home vibes

    the dark days have me wanting to be surrounded by blankets, flannels and slippers. i actually totally forgot i had slippers (you might remember my post about them earlier this year when i gave a pair away!) and a big smile came across my face– “I HAVE SLIPPERS!” sure enough, at the back of my closet shoved away, there they were. when you forget you own things, it’s like second christmas. (further proof that i am settling into life here more and more) loads of tea lights and advent candles a glowin’ nightly… so much darkness has caused me to retreat to bed wayyy too early a couple nights this…

  • Summer

    december/prosinec

    hi friends! happy it’s december? you know i am. i’m trying to get a head-start on christmas stuff this year (well, aren’t we all trying to do this every year?) and i decked our halls two days earlier than my usual first of december decoration day. i’m trying out the “after thanksgiving” method, but now that it’s fully december i can play all i want for christmas is you with impunity. oh, don’t try to act like you don’t like that song. christmas trees aren’t available for sale in the czech republic until around halfway through the month, but i’ve been keeping an eye on all the usual places in…

  • Summer

    halloween abroad, pt. IV

    hello friends, i hope you had a nice halloween if you celebrate it! as it is one of my favorites, you can bet i did. it was the fourth we’ve celebrated abroad and it really came and went without too much fanfare. (below, the state of the backyard this morning) it’s been interesting talking about this holiday with the groups of teenagers i teach. usually about half the class seems interested and celebrates the holiday in some way (whether that is some activities at their school, going to a halloween party or gathering, carving a pumpkin, or even getting dressed up!), one or two are completely indifferent and don’t celebrate it,…

  • Summer

    my czech expat christmas: guest-posted

    today is the first weekend of advent, friends. to me, this means that the christmas markets are open and the tree lighting ceremony happens to be tonight: a wonderful evening of drinking vanočni punč, eating trdelnik, and listening to live music in the old town square. better than a birthday. join me as i gush more about my excitement for this season and explain some czech christmas traditions over on a guest post over on my buddy van’s blog, snow in tromso. she is doing this fabulous “christmas around the world” series featuring a different holiday guest-post every saturday… something i can really get in to! a little change from…

  • Summer

    a {real talk} look back on thanksgiving

    i’m sure you’re a bit tired of me announcing all of my first this and second that, but today it is the good ol’ fashioned thanksgiving holiday. that means that this is the third thanksgiving i’ve celebrated abroad since leaving in mid-2012.  i can’t believe that for three holidays in a row i am away from home. and furthermore, STILL HERE. the holiday has got to the point where i really can barely remember what a normal american family thanksgiving dinner is supposed to feel like. but then again, i never had a holiday dinner celebration like the ones they portray in movies or on commercials. not even before this…

  • Summer

    eternal winter city

    why am i always in you in the winter, prague? i barely know what a prague summer is like. maybe it’s because i’m busy going other places in the summer. so, prague is a winter city as i know it. the trees are always bare, people bundled up, and what seems like never-ending christmas markets. spent a fantastic first few days of the new year in this city that i love with my mom, who headed to the airport to go back to the U.S. afterwards. the sight and experience of walking along the charles bridge (especially at night) will always be one of my favorite things, even if i…

  • Summer

    salzburg

    when my mom bought plane tickets to come visit and i was brainstorming of a great place to go with the three of us, it didn’t take long to think: SALZBURG! a city whose beauty rivals that of paris? palaces, fortresses, and gardens against the backdrop of the alps? yes, yes yes! this is the kind of place that i thought would be perfect right after the holidays. and it only takes three and a half hours to get to from budejovice. 3.5 HRS. people, this is blowing my mind that i can get to somewhere this cool in such a short amount of time. oh, europe! it’s incredible how…

  • Summer

    christmas + a big surprise

    veselé vánoce, friends! my second czech christmas is technically still underway (as people traditionally get the 24th-26th off work) and it’s magical. this year my mother has joined us from far away washington state and we’ve been doing a whole lot of wandering the cobblestoney budějovice city streets, last chance advent markets, and of course: eating a TON of food (i may have gone overboard with grocery shopping, perhaps to make up for what is now known as our poor czech christmas last year) and a lot of relaxing before our trip to salzburg tomorrow. and, oh yeah……. i got engaged! alex and i have had a few chats about marriage before, both…