Friday, August 31, 2012

OOTD - Only Because My Students Liked My Skirt

Walking home from the tram, I passed by this building that has super-mirrored windows and I thought I should snap a pic of my outfit before I ran home to change out of those shoes and into flip flops and cozy shorts! Getting used to waking up at 6:15am has been a little rough, mostly because I can't get to bed early enough. I'm pretty good at early mornings though, being the morning person that I am. It's been fun dressing up again but after this day of wearing these wedges (which are normally super comfy) for 10 hours, running up and down stairs, and walking all over the place, I'm so done with them. I've decided to only wear heels on days where I'm driving to work. It's just too much. This led to my high school students asking me if I've always been this short. They hadn't noticed the heels before but now I'm craning my neck to look at them!

My favorite foldable sunnies, skirt is from Ann Taylor (how cute is it?!) and my basic white top (with really cute gold details on the shoulders that you can't see) and necklace are all courtesy of my Mom. She brought me the top and skirt when she came to Croatia and I'm so thankful for her and her great fashion sense. I stole the necklace from her a while back and it's great to dress up any outfit! I'm way too lucky to have a Mom who knows what clothes look great on people and she works in retail so she's got the inside scoop on discounts!

Anyway, school is going great and I'm slowly getting back in the swing of things. I'm so ready to just relax this weekend though! I've got a great new episode of Eat at Home Tonight coming up this weekend that I need to finish editing but look out for it. I was inspired to film it after making the perfect make-ahead lunches (and dinner). Also, I'm super excited because laser eye surgery may finally be in my near future and my eyesight might finally stop ruining my youth! I won a free consultation with Optical Express here in Zagreb, thanks to their Facebook page, and I can't even imagine that it could actually be happening this year. I'm near tears already at the thought of being able to see without contacts or glasses! If you've got good eyesight - appreciate it please! My eyeballs are rough. And sign up for contests guys! You might win, and it never hurts to try!

Happy weekend everyone! It's Fridayyyyyyyy!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Temporary Insanity AKA Back to School!

I haven't been thinking about my dear blog the past week or so because after 2 glorious months (that went by way too fast), it's back to work for me!
 I'm crazy tired, haven't worked this hard in months and classes don't officially begin until tomorrow, but the preparations and endless meetings are exhausting after being on break for so long. You get out of the routine so quickly and those 8 weeks of giving your brain a break are just totally necessary. I can't wait to see the kids tomorrow. They are the greatest part of my job and I'm so thankful for them. They remind me of what is important in life, make me laugh all the time, and teach me things too sometimes! So, forgive me if I'm a bit neglectful of my baby (my blog) for the next few days, just know that I'm busy being an awesome teacher to a great group of kids!

Or, this is happening.

Either way, good luck to all my fellow teachers! Here's to a great new school year!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Eat at Home Tonight - MY version of Hamburger Helper

I've been needing a lot of comfort food lately. I don't have to worry about fitting in my wedding dress anymore, bikini season is pretty much over, so when I want a great bowl of comfort, it's on. This is another great fridge-cleaner-outer-recipe so it's super practical too.

This one is so good, so comforting and even if it's not my healthiest dish, hey -it's all about moderation anyway, there are veggies in here! This is my version of homemade hamburger helper casserole. When I was little, we never had hamburger helper. We always ate healthy at home and my Mom always made us delicious Polish food but that didn't stop me from missing American food! I'm the girl who loved school lunches, remember? Anyway, those days when you're feeling homesick, or just need some a super-feel-the-love kind of comfort dish, use what you've got in your fridge to make this amazing casserole!

Check out my video here!

Here's what I used (but feel free to substitute whatever you have on hand to make this dish):

For the Alfredo sauce:
3/4 Cup of Heavy Cream
3/4 Cup of Butter
Couple of Tbsp Parmesan Cheese

1 Pound of Shell Pasta
About 3/4 lb Ground beef (or ground turkey)
1/2 Cup - 1 Cup leftover Gazpacho (can substitute jarred tomato sauce or even just used canned tomatoes)
2 large tomatoes diced
1/2 large zucchini - diced

Melt the butter in a small suacepan, add the heavy cream to the butter and stir often for about 10 minutes. Add the parmesan cheese to the saucepan. Take it off the heat and set aside.

In another pan or skillet, brown your ground beef. Season it with salt and pepper. You can add garlic and onion at this point if you'd like but since I was using my leftover gazpacho, it was garlicky enough already :) Once it's browned, add in your diced tomatoes and zucchini (and any other vegetables you're using) and sautee them for a few minutes. Then, I poured in the gazpacho (again, you can use tomato sauce) and brought it all up to a boil. Once it boils, turn down the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Then add your alfredo sauce to the mixture in your pan. Stir it up to combine and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes.

Give it a taste and see what other spices you might like to add. I added a bit of paprika to mine to give it a little something extra. Then, pour over your warm, creamy, and decadently meaty sauce onto your pasta. Eat immediately (you probably won't be able to wait to bake it up) but you can bake it for a few minutes in the oven (with some cheese on top) on 350F or 175C. The leftovers are EVEN better (if that's even possible!) but trust me, the leftovers won't be around for long. You'll want to eat this one for dinner and then breakfast, if there's any left. Amazing!

Please try this one next time you're feeling down and need a pick-up because this calming remedy will do just the trick!

Monday, August 20, 2012


We're all human and we all make mistakes sometimes. What better way to say sorry to your man (or sister or Dad, or boss, dog-walker, baby-sitter, whoever!) than with the perfectly chewy and incredibly addictive taste of warm, freshly baked cinnamon bread? Nothing. There is nothing better. It is so amazing, all the love that they'll taste in this bread (Ok, it's so good, it ought to be called cake!) they'll be bound to forgive you in an instant!

This bread is so comforting and delicious, I have to warn you again. It is addictive. You will eat half of it in the blink of an eye and won't even know what happened to it. Then, you'll have to hide it somewhere or leave the house immediately, as not to eat the rest before you can give it to your hubby.

Thank you Olivia for the idea and for inspiring me with your beautiful picture and sending me this recipe.

My attempt at the pull-apart motion did not go as planned. In fact, I tried to film this one for Eat at Home Tonight and it just got too messy. I'm still new to the baking game, but when I have time, I love to try stuff like this out! Plus, when it's that good, it really doesn't matter what it looks like.

Mine ended up getting layered horizontally with the cinnamon spread, so it looks more like a loaf of bread. It's not the prettiest, but the taste is UNBELIEVABLE! It's just so freaking good. And you can see, it didn't last long enough to get a proper picture. But, I'll be making this again very soon! You don't have to only be asking for forgiveness to make this cinnamon-pull-apart bread, it would make a great gift to bring to someone's house, or just for yourself when you need some good ol' comfort food!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Most Magical Place in Eastern Europe

Plitvice Lakes National Park is absolutely out of this world and I cannot believe it's been here this whole time in Croatia and I haven't seen it yet. At first, it felt almost like we were at Six Flags or Dorney Park or something with all the lines we had to wait in (for tickets, to take the boat across the lakes) but it was so worth it. It literally felt magical being there among nature. The hikes were so much fun and there was so much to see. It's hard to live in the moment sometimes but this is one place where you want to constantly look around and be aware of what you're seeing. You just have to visit because it's nature at it's absolute finest and it's the kind of place where you literally have to stop and just appreciate the views.

Calm and peaceful

So beautiful

We just loved it

3 Amigos!

My brother-in-law: totally in his element

Straight after the boat ride across the lakes - so happy and relaxed!

You don't swim at these lakes though (that's what keeps them so clean and beautiful, I guess!) but we did dip our toes in at one point on our way to the big waterfall :)

Look at all of these fish hanging with the duck so close to the surface and to the edge of the lake!

Tomislav feeling the soft water (and carrying all of our stuff while he's at it!)

Oh yeah, there are caves too!

The big waterfall - Veliki Slap looks different all year long!

Brothers :)

I already cannot wait to go back! The entrance fees to the park seem kinda pricy at 110 Kuna for adults (that's about $18 and only 80 or $13 for people with a student ID) especially when you see that parking is so expensive in the park but it is totally worth it. Totally. It's an amazing place to visit with families, friends, or your love (because it's just that fun and romantic and beautiful!) I just wish my friends and fam could have seen it on their trip here this summer but that just means they'll have to come back! I mean, that picture from the other day? Look how gorgeous it is in the winter!

And because seeing is believing, check out my essential tips for visiting Plitvice:

So add this one to your bucket list if you haven't already!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Croatians and Their National Holidays!

It's no secret that Croatian people love to relax and have a good time. It seems like every couple of weeks there is a random national holiday or religious day of obligation which means, no work! So, today is one of those days. It is the Assumption of Mary and this beautiful Catholic country celebrates that day. We are headed to Plitvice Lakes today and I couldn't be more excited! It's my first time going there and it's one of those places that has been nominated to be a natural wonder of the world! It's gorgeous all year long. I mean, just look at this picture of the lakes all frozen in the winter time!

Of course, it won't look like that today but I'll be sure to show you how the lakes and waterfall look during the summertime! Adventure time with the Prša brothers!

 Have you ever been to Plitvice Lakes in Croatia?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Eat At Home Tonight - Summer Gazpacho

Savor the summer and the fresh veggies with this fresh and cool summer soup!

Check out my video with my gazpacho recipe to hear what is so great about chilled soup!

And what's maybe even the best part of making a gazpacho is the leftovers! It is the perfect light lunch or even a super-healthy starter to a dinner (that takes less than 10 minutes to make!). But if you do end up having any leftovers, you can turn your gazpacho into a marinara sauce in a snap. Or my personal fav? Pour your gazpacho over a little vodka, add a pickle and a celery stick to your glass and you've got the best brunch drink ever - Bloody Mary's! Try this one out and let me know what you think!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

All Day I Dream About Food

In the States, I'm always so happy to see a salad of leafy greens with apples, cranberries, nuts, and feta on a menu and today I decided I had to have it! I made this salad with a mix of endive, romaine, and baby spinach with juicy crunchy apple slices, fresh cucumber, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, almonds, and feta cheese and a super simple balsamic vinegarette. Perfection! You've got your savory, your sweet, your sour, your bitter, even umami! It's just the perfect balance of everything. Crunchy, juicy, delicious, and totally filling! The dressing is just a splash of sunflower oil with 1 to 2 Tbs of balsamic vinegar whisked into it.

This is what I was dreaming about today, but I know spaghetti bolognese, stuffed zucchini, mac and cheese, and corn on the cob are all in my near future. Because in dreaming about them too! Is this normal to think about food all day long? ;)

Excuse the poor quality pic - I had to dig in straight away!

Friday, August 10, 2012

New Favorite Summer Hair

I love bloggers who do hair tutorials! I was always good at french braiding my own hair but I never went beyond to try and figure out too many other ways to style my hair but people like Amber, the Barefoot Blonde, and photos on pinterest make it so easy to do you hair in ways you never imagined! My hair is at a real in-between length and it's quite fine (and very straight) but my new favorite way to do my hair came out looking so cute!

The first time I did a fishtail braid was for "Dress Up as Your Favorite Book Character Day" at school and I went as Katniss (duh) but since then, the Barefoot Blonde introduced me to pulling your braid apart to make it look thicker. This was such a duh moment for me, but it makes such a big difference! And this photo series I pinned is just the perfect explanation for a how-to do a 'do.

 Now, look what I did :)

Have a fabulous, good-hair day Friday!

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Hubby is gonna be so happy tonight. So, I literally JUST joined Pinterest and I know it's taken me forever but I was honestly scared that I'd get addicted to it and now I really know why! So when I saw this recipe for Laksa (using only 5 ingredients), I thought it'd make the perfect lunch.

So, I made it as described but when I tasted it, I thought it was really missing a few things. So this is my Thai Coconut-Malaysian Laksa Noodle Bowl!

Here's how I made it and what you should use:

3/4lb (350g) noodles (rice, spaghetti, whatever!)
1-2 Tbsp Thai green curry paste
1 large can (1 1/2 cups) coconut milk
2 cups of boiling water (chicken, vegetable, or beef broth could be substituted)
2 cups mixed chopped vegetables (I used red and green pepper and zucchini)
1 clove of garlic
1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
handful fresh basil leaves
handful of chopped scallions
Juice of 1 Lime
Soy Sauce (to taste)

This is a super quick meal to make too! Boil your pasta or noodles or whatever you're using. Then heat up a little bit of vegetable oil on high heat in a saucepan. Add the Thai curry paste to it and stir fry for about a minute. Then add the coconut milk and boiling water. At this point, I put in my ginger and garlic to flavor up the broth. Once it starts boiling, toss in your veggies and leave them for about 2 minutes. Your noodles should be done by now so put them in a bowl and pour your broth and veggies over the top. Tear up some basil leaves and place them on top of your noodle bowl along with the chopped scallions. I squeezed the lime juice right over my dish at the last second.

It is literally perfection in a bowl! I like to eat mine with about half the broth sort of ratio to the noodles but you can eat it straight soupy. It's so fresh and delicious and it's one of those foods that just make you feel so happy! Happy food makes for a happy wifey :)

P.S. This is the best hangover cure ever!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Case of the Missing HHI DVD

Did anyone else watch Mary-Kate and Ashley's Mystery series? Writing that title reminded me of the cases they used to crack. Loved those videos! And speaking of nostalgia TV, I'm totally jealous of everyone in the States who gets to see the old school Nickelodeon shows! I heard they're on at night and I'd love to catch a night of All That and what not!

Anyway, after over 600 minutes of uploading time (YouTube takes foreeeeeeeeeever! Especially when it's a 22 minute show lol), I've finally uploaded our episode of House Hunters International and you can find it here. It's been such an adventure just to get our hands on the DVD of it! We never got our copy of the DVD from HGTV (as promised and confirmed) so finally one of my sister's besties, Jen, who is so awesome, recorded it and put it on a DVD. My family brought us a couple of copies of the DVD so we could give it to Tomislav's parents too. Well, in the hustle and bustle of the wedding, we managed to bring it on our Familymoon with us (and naturally, played the drinking game in Dubrovnik - BUDGET!). Then, the DVD was supposed to make it's way to Poland with us so we could show my Grandparents and friends and family there. Unfortunately, it was nowhere to be found. Somewhere between the 2,000 km of driving, we totally lost it. Fast forward a couple of weeks, when my parents got back to the States, they found our copy of the DVD as they were unpacking! So, Pistol Pete sent it over to us right away and I finally got my hands on this baby and I'm not letting it go! So, that is the long story of why it's taken forever for our episode to be on YouTube. But now it is! Woohoo!

So play the drinking game tonight! (Or today, it is summer after all so day drinking is allowed) Listen for my super awkward washing machine comments that I had to say and see if you can guess (or remember) which apartment we chose :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


For the past year or so, I've been searching for the perfect blazer. Something cute that can be worn out and to work. Tough feat but a few months ago, I saw this white number at Zara that I fell in love with. The price? Not so much. So I drooled over the blazer for a while but as the weather got warmer, tried to make myself forget about it.

Love at first blazer

Luckily, one random evening, I headed into Zara and to my luck there was a huge sale going on! Now, I've told you all before about how much I dislike shopping (I know, I'm weird.) but when there's a good deal around, I'll go to the next level and bring 10 things into the fitting room and go a little cray cray. Now it all happens very quickly because I'm sure to change my mind at any instant that I've had enough of shopping, so after not being able to decide which one I loved the most, I did something a little nutty. I bought 5 blazers. I knew I would bring them home, try them on comfortably, and then return the rest.

Loved the zippers on this one

Practical black

I just loved the buttons on this one

But the blazer...not so much

So, I ended up keeping 2 of the blazers I bought, thanks to my hubby's approval and I'm a happy girl :) One white, and one black! They've been waiting in my closet for the cool weather to come so they can be worn. I'm not complaining about the sunshine though! But my blazers are totally ready to come out and play. I just love the texture on both of them!

Here is the original blazer I fell in love with! And it's all mine :)
And now I finally had the chance to show you all my purple sparkly phone case that I just love (which was like $2 on Amazon! And everyone said it would fall apart straight away but nope, it's perfect.).

So, have you ever deliberated over shopping like me? Are you lusting over any fall clothes yet?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Eat at Home Tonight - Quick, healthy meal in a pinch!

If you're like me and totally hooked on the Olympics (and have big plans to go to the swim hall every day now lol) you probably can't tear away from the TV. This is the perfect opportunity for you to try one of my absolute favorite ways to make dinner in no time flat with anything you have on hand! And I was in exactly one of those moments before we went on this business trip last week and needed to use up some broccoli (I swear it's not the only thing we eat!) and onion and God knows we have way too much rice (after a hungry grocery shopping trip on the way back from Poland where T-Slav was stoked that the rice was on sale and went a little overboard).

So, for my very first episode of Eat at Home Tonight, I decided to show you guys how I make this vegetarian meal that seriously will not make you miss the meat. People say that all the time, but I mean it! It's the peanut lime sauce in this super easy stir-fry that will satisfy any meat-eatin' folk as well as veg fans! Seriously, one time, I made this with a bunch of different veggies like peppers, onion, broccoli, and those small, baby corn cobs (is that what they're called?) and served it over noodles with the peanut-lime sauce. Tomislav INHALED it. So much so, that I realized he probably hadn't noticed there wasn't any chicken, beef, or shrimp in the dish so as he was finishing I asked whether he loved this vegetarian dinner. He was shocked, especially because it was so filling! He totally didn't realize this was a veg only meal. The sauce is amazing, super easy, and filled with pantry ingredients that you probably have on hand already. What is better than that?

Broccoli and onion stir-fry with a peanut-lime sauce served over brown rice

What I used:
1 head of broccoli
1/2 a big onion
1 tsp sesame oil
(Just because I only used these veggies does not matter at all, I've made this a bunch of times. It's the perfect fridge cleaner-outer dish, because you can literally put anything and everything in this and it'll be delicious! Chicken and shrimp with veggies would be great! I didn't have fresh ginger and garlic on hand to sautee with my veggies but I usually use the fresh stuff instead of powdered. But hey, you gotta use what you have!)

For the Sauce:
2 Tbs Peanut Butter
2 Tbs Water (use more as needed)
2-3 Tbs Soy Sauce
Ginger (fresh or ground)
Garlic (minced or powder, whatever you have is fine)
A smidge of crushed red pepper flakes
Lemongrass (optional)
Juice of 1 Lime

 Did I mention this is cheap?! Just use whatever you have leftover in your fridge and grab a lime on your way home if you don't have it already. It makes the sauce stand out even more. AND it's gluten-free! (As long as you use gluten-free soy sauce) Plus, you can make this in just 15 minutes!

Now go watch the video to see how it's done! Let me know what you think and try this one out tonight!


Friday, August 3, 2012

Big Brother Wrap-Up

OMG last night's Big Brother was CRAZY! Where my BB14 fans at?! I'm so into this season, rooting for so many people. Last night, Julie Chen revealed (SPOILER ALERT!) that America voted to give the coaches the chance to decide whether they want to enter the competition and reset the game. Of course, they did! At least Dan, Janelle, and Britney did! I like to think that Boogie was just super curious which ex-players might have returned to the game next week, maybe even hoping that Dr. Will would be back. Anyway, I'm super happy for this new twist because it meant that NO ONE got evicted last night, meaning Frank is still in the game! He is such a sweetie. I just want his alliances to finally work out. I would love to see more of a bromance between Frank and Shane.

 The episode ended with the endurance HOH competition with all of the players holding on to the side of a pirate's ship. The ship was tilted and moving around and of course, bad weather came quickly to the houseguests.

I'm so pumped for Sunday's ep to see who won HOH! There are so many possibilities and this game is just gonna get more and more interesting. Also, can I just say how much I love that Britney did her impression of Joe's angry voice? She is so funny and I miss the way she always used to make fun of Rachel. Tequilaaaaa!

Omg or when poor Brit had to be handcuffed to the other half of Brenchal (back in season 12) for 24 hours and he had to take a chum bath every hour on the hour?! Ah that was great TV.

I'm watching the show on a bit of a delay since I can't watch it live here. I still can't get over how fun the houseguests Spin the Bottle party was the other night! Ow ow! Get it houseguests! Apparently the livefeeds were cray cray with streaking and many more kisses than they showed on TV.
Yuck. Ashley, come on! That's just way too much.

This season is awesome! And it's just about to get even crazier! I love that almost everyone is really playing the game (well, except Jen. What are you doing girl?) and even silly, funny, blonde Ashley was forced to play this week! Hopefully I'll see Sunday's show on Monday morning. Until then, are you a Big Brother fan?! If you're not (yet), then sit your butt down and catch up on this season. Perfect time to start watching and get hooked on this awesome summer show!  

Who do you think will win HOH this week?! 
How do you feel about the coaches playing the game now as players?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Hat That Looks Good On Everyone!

I was never a hat person before (maybe because of too many unfortunate too-short haircuts that made me feel like I was a boy in hats!) but now I'm getting kind of into them. Keeps me cool and free from sunburn on my scalp (ouch) and I'm afraid I'm totally stealing T-Slav's hat. He never was a hat person either (everyday is a good hair day for my hottie husband) but he recently bought this hat from Aldo in Zagreb and we both love it!

So cute on the ferry in Dubrovnik

Last night we visited Tomislav's parents where they are staying on the seaside (close to Zadar) and my mother-in-law looked so fab in the hat! 

Today I'm rocking the hat in Rijeka, one of our last stops along our Croatian Coast journey. The city is absolutely gorgeous, although we are getting a little sick of all the driving.

The Adriatic Sea plus the beautiful city of Rijeka behiind me!

THIS is the beautiful view of Rijeka on our balcony! I just had to show you all!

The adventures continue tonight when we will check out the nearby town Opatija and tomorrow night, we're leaving Rijeka to go back to Zagreb! We're a little ready to get back to our apartment but I think we'll be itching to go back to the seaside as soon as we get home!


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