Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Drachenbaum - My Prophesizing Painting

To tell you this story, I have to backtrack a little bit. So, a couple weeks ago, before we began shooting House Hunters International in Zagreb, I wanted to paint something, in hopes that it would turn out cute enough to be hung up somewhere in our apartment so that my blog's name could be seen in the filming. Unfortunately, I wasn't convinced it was good enough to be posted in our place, so it was left out. Now looking at it, I really like it a lot. 


On that Austria trip this past weekend (I wrote about it yesterday), we also bought a new plant! 

 In German it's known as a Drachenbaum, in English it is called Dracaena. 

I was curious to see what fully grown ones looked like so I googled it. I was amazed to see how beautiful and interesting they look! Upon closer look, I realized it looked remarkably similar to a painting I had made a few weeks ago. The one I made solely for the purpose of putting "Dream of Home Tonight" on it. I really can't believe the resemblance my upside down tree has to a Drachenbaum! It's really crazy because I had never seen a plant/tree like it before and I just really wanted to experiment with mixing different colors.

 Here is a fully grown Drachenbaum, or Dracaena.

Do you see a resemblance between my purple painting and this unusual, beautiful plant?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Saturday Day Trip...to Austria!

Tomislav and I have been planning a trip to Ikea for the past couple of months. However, the closest Ikea to us is in Graz, Austria so we had to really plan the trip out in advance! The 2 hour drive was so worth it for us and I'm so happy we finally got to go, and it was even nicer because my future in-laws went with us. It was a great day we got to spend together. 

Our apartment that we rent came fully furnished, including all of the plates and cups and pots and pans and what not, however, I've been missing a few things big time and they are just so expensive here in Croatia! Some may think I am getting TOO excited over it, but I'm so thrilled for our new kitchen things that we bought because they make my life a little easier. Things like: roasting pans, a grater, and a large cutting board. Yay! Also, our place feels much more like a home now that we have new bedding complete with a new blanket and pillows. It's so great to have a down comforter, just like I have at home in the States. I love it!

 Adorable stuffed animals in the kids section of Ikea :)

 Tomislav always laugh when I tell him that someday when we have children, I, of course, will only feed them healthy foods...so much so that they will think of broccoli as dessert! In this case, the broccoli would be their cutie stuffed animal friend ;)

Since we were in Austria, there was no chance I was gonna miss eating some delicious Leberkäse! Mmmm, back during my exchange year in Bavaria, I used to eat Leberkäs Semmi's during Pause's (break/recess) at school, at home, and at my favorite restaurant in Viechtach, Iglhaut!

 T-Slav loves it too! The last time we were in Graz, he requested it for basically every meal.

 Not my most flattering photo, but it's just that good!

The other wonderful thing about our trip was doing some food shopping. We had to be quick because in Austria, all of the stores close by 6PM on Saturdays (and are closed all together on Sundays!). Now, I will admit that I'm a frugal kind of girl. I like to save money and not waste it on silly things. I'm not one for unncessary shopping trips, especially when it comes to clothes or things like that. But food, yes food, I will splurge on.

This past week, I really wanted to make Thai food since I brought Thai green curry paste back from the States to Croatia. I had almost everything I needed to make a delicious Thai (inspired) meal...besides the coconut milk. We had only bought it one time before and actually Tomislav had got in Slovenia after a business trip. Imagine my shock and surprise when I get to the grocery store and see that a can of coconut milk is 38 Kunas! That is $7! For one can! Ridiculous!!! I wasn't going to buy it because we're trying to save money and that is just ridiculous. But I knew how much better the meal would taste if we had the coconut milk so I thought, what the heck, this time I'll splurge. (It came out delicious, by the way)

My coworkers told me in Austria I could find coconut milk for around $2 so I knew I wanted to stock up.

I had such luck because the entire Asian foods section was on sale at the grocery store that day and the same coconut milk I had bought in Croatia, was on sale for 1 Euro!

We had a great time and I can't wait to visit Austria again. The country is beautiful, the people are so friendly, and I love hearing Austrians speaking German. It reminds me of Bavarian dialect and we all know, I love Bayern :) Next time we go to Austria, we have to get some Currywurst from one of the delicious street vendors (like in Graz!) Basically, sausage with a curry spiced ketchupy sauce. Yum!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fashion Friday!

Back by popular demand: Fashion Friday! While home in the States, my family and friends were curious to see more of Zagreb's style and fashion so it's back! This week, instead of snapping photos of stylish strangers on the streets of Zagreb, I'm showcasing one of the new, cool things to do in this capital city (and my fashionable friends while I'm at it):

The new, cool thing to do in Zagreb is...BOWLING! The one problem is, it's very expensive here, since it is still so new. But as you can see from our trendy kicks, the bowling shoes are still quite new, so that's nice!

 Maja, Jan, and Sarah, looking fabulous :)

 First time bowler, already a champion!

 Cutie Sarah, another first time bowler with the added difficulty of being a lefty!

T-Slav, just so cool ;)

 Maja was kickin' her man's guzica!

 Would you look at that form? Impressive...

 Go girls! Ivana, Sarah, Maja, and I

 The winner of our lane! (with his trophy)

Ivona, Maja, and I :)

Next Friday, hopefully I'll be able to show you guys more of the fashion scene in Zagreb but for now, happy weekend!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Nikki's Pseudo-Narcolepsy

Things have been going pretty well for me lately. I've been working at the school and I'm liking it a lot so far. I just got contacted about teaching some foreign language classes at night so the possibility of that is very exciting! It's good to be busy. Last night, I decided I wanted to join my co-workers for an English-language show at a comedy club. I wanted to get to know some of my colleagues better and I thought it would be a fun experience no matter what! Well, it was great to see my co-workers outside of the school and to relax but apparently I got a little too relaxed.

I fell asleep.

Not because it wasn't funny, because it was! I was hoping to hear a bit more but maybe I'm still a little jet lagged, I only got back one week ago and I started work right away, then we were filming HHI and I haven't really had a break but halfway through the main act, I fell fast asleep! I didn't think the show would go on that long and I ended up waking up just at the end of the comedian's set, embarrassed, confused, and surrounded by people laughing at me. Apparently, the comedian took the opportunity of me sleeping to add a joke to his act! One of my colleagues who was sitting right in front of me (who also has an early bedtime, like me) was snoozing away in the 2nd row. The comedian saw that and made some comments about how he can't believe she's sleeping during the show. She woke up right away and that's when he noticed that I was dozing in the 3rd row! He was like, well look at that, another one's asleep. But I was totally in slumberland because Tomislav tried to wake me up and I just kept on sleeping! The comedian kept making jokes like, are we sure she's still alive? After the show, some people came up to me and said it was the funniest part of the show! My one co-worker said it almost seemed like I was supposed to be a part of his act all along.

Needless to say, great impression was made on my colleagues (not.) and the news of my comedy club snooze was all over the school today. It was embarrassing but it got my name around the school quickly so everyone started making fun of me, looking shocked that I was awake upon entering the classroom I was in. Asking me if I'm well rested, or if I'm gonna fall asleep and stuff like that. It was all in good fun and I couldn't help but think about some of my other memorable sleeping-in-weird-loud-places moments. Yikes, there have been a few!

  • I slept through a loud, crazy, wild party at Cassie's place in Cairo on the couch of the living room where everyone was partying, dancing, playing music- everything you can imagine at a fun party! Snoring on the couch while everyone's partying around me. Lovely, at least could sort of be a part of it all still ;)
  • My most expensive nap was probably the time I fell asleep at a Bob Dylan concert in Philadelphia. I was with my 2 favorite redheads in the entire world and we indulged in some wine before the show and I got my tipsy nap on during most of the show. Great background music for some shuteye.
  • The first time I was in Croatia back around NYE 2008/2009, I wanted to try a Croatian beer which shares a name with my beloved fiance. It's called Tomislav* and it's a very dark beer, delicious and very rich. I liked it a lot and so I decided to have a 2nd one. Little did I know how strong the beer actually was. I got super tipsy and tipsy-sleepy almost immediately so my Tomislav knew that it was time to take me home! We didn't have a car then so we had to wait for a night tram which sometimes takes forever if you just missed one and it's super-late-night. So we're standing on the Main Square in Zagreb. Wait, well, I guess we're not exactly standing, Tomislav is standing and I'm sleeping on him. Maybe Tomislav had to sit or kneel or bed somehow because I was nodding off against him. He had to basically carry me into the tram and let me sleep on him the whole way back to his parents' place (which is the very last tram stop!). 
*Here's a little known fact: If you google "Tomislav pivo" which means Tomislav beer in Croatian, a picture of us comes up in the image search. I've tried to get it down but I guess it's impossible. Anyway, I'm owning up to it right now so google away (or you can click the link I just posted).

If you've got any good stories or memories of you or someone you once saw (probably me) sleeping somewhere weird, please share!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Juicy Juice

My family has always been into eating healthy foods and making our own juices and smoothies. When I was little, my parents spoiled us by making us fresh squeezed orange juice with our breakfasts in the morning and other fruit and vegetable juices to drink at night. Delicious! So while we were in the States, Tomislav and I couldn't resist buying a Magic Bullet to bring back to Croatia so we could make our own smoothies here too. We figured we'd be able to get a converter over here for the mini-blender but it proved to be a bit more difficult. In the end, we had to get a huge brick of a thing which ended up costing more than the Magic Bullet!

Here it is, that converter is so so so heavy!

 Happy to be able to make my breakfast in the morning with the "Bullet" like this one, with frozen strawberries (and usually other fruits), some orange juice, one carrot, and oats.

 The colors of the juices are always so beautiful!

If you have any sort of blender at home, I really recommend juicing. Throw any fruits and veggies you have in the blender and mix it up. My Mom made us juices with everything from avocado to beets, fresh pineapple, to peanut butter. It's filling enough for me to eat, or rather, drink first thing in the morning, but I usually need a mid-morning snack around 10am then. Yummy!

Back in Zag Zag

It was hard to post while being at home on vacation because I just wanted to spend as much time as I could with the people that I love while I was still there (and eat everything that I knew I'd be missing and craving for the next few months). But alas, I'm back in Zagreb with a ton of new and exciting memories from my month at home that I'll be sharing about soon. The past couple of weeks have been super crazy busy, especially this last week. We filmed House Hunters International which was so much more fun than I could have ever imagined and I started my new position at the school (the very next day after I flew back!). So I've definitely been very tired, fought through the jet lag to work with my loveable students, and then filmed the Zagreb part of HHI the last 3 days. Back to work this week and especially back to planning our wedding! It's really getting to be crunch time and there is so much to do! Anyone who is planning on coming to our wedding and is reading this right now, now is the time to purchase tickets! I'll be e-mailing everyone soon with more details on the best way to buy them, just to give you a heads up! I'm so excited for everyone to come and visit Zagreb and Croatia. January is already flying by and I know June is literally around the corner.

Anyway, sending lots of love to everyone around the world from Zagreb from the library of my school where I can hear some beautiful music from next door. The school is located right next to a Catholic college for priests and I can hear the organs playing from the library windows. It's lovely! Reminds me that we're still in Zagreb (being in my school really makes you feel like you're in America) but the music brings me back to Croatia.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A New Hair 'Do

My sister, Dominika, told me about a new hair style that is so easy to do and looks awesome! Dress down or dress up!

It's a headband braid! All you have you to do is make two braids on both sides of your head (the thicker may be the better in this case). Take the left braid and bring it to the other side of your head and pin it down. Then take the right braid and pin it down on the other side so they fold over (or next to) each other. Simple and cute!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hipster Pistol

Looking through old documents with my family and we found this never before seen gem of my Dad, probably from the early 90s. He's so cool!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The "Piotr"!

This New Year's Eve, I highly recommend you enjoy the delicious drink, known as the "Piotr". Piotr means Peter in Polish which is my Dad's name and this is one of his favorite drinks! It's one part vodka (preferably Polish), one part cranberry juice, and one part orange juice. Delicious and a beautiful pink color!



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