Thursday, 21 May 2015

In the Land of May

As I am having a glass of wine, listening to Sia and doing grown-up things, I am just admiring how great my life is going-currently. I have also decided to add a couple recipes I have been cooking lately because seriously, some of them are so good I can't not SHARE! :) I hope you'll appreciate them too.

But as I sit (yes, still drinking wine) here seeping into the abyss called life, I have started to realize that in a few short months, Steve and I will be embarking on the biggest journey of our lives! September is almost upon us and there is so much to do and seriously, so f*cking little time. I'm starting to look up jobs and update my CV so that I'm not completely blind when we get to South East Asia. It's going to be such a crazy ride and no worries, I shall still be blogging about my adventures. :)

Anyway, this month is full of goodies! Good ole Jill aka Mother aka Mom is coming to Prague May 30th. She is currently traveling with Palm Fron aka Palmer around Europe before she gets to me. Next week ends the school year (basically, I will only be teaching on Friday's). It's crazy how time flies, when you're having fun! I have had such a great teaching experience with Playground English and I will be so sad to go, but I need to move on to different things and experience the world! Hopefully they can find a good replacement, but we all know I am IRREPLACEABLE. But on another note, I will miss some of my kids.

June then is around the corner and Palmer comes on the 10th for a couple months! I can't wait, hopefully we can beat last summer's antics. We've got a lot of things planned.

Nothing exciting has happened in the last few weeks, just finishing up teaching and working on the weekends to save up money for SEA. I have my first CrossFit competition in June, but it's an in Gym thing. Kinda excited! I've gotten into such great shape over the last few months, I love it.

Well until Mother and Palmer get here, that's all for now! TA!


PS Here's a delicious recipe for Mashed Cilantro Cauliflower :)

1 whole Cauliflower head (or half doesn't really matter)
bunch of Cilantro (coriander), enough to fit comfortably in hand.
1/2 cup of coconut milk (I use organic)
quarter lime
chopped up pepper of choice, jalapeƱo works if you want it spicy!
salt/pepper to taste
chili flakes

1. Boil Cauliflower until soft, drain then add coconut milk and cilantro, chopped. Start to mash with immersion blender or hand masher.
2. Squeeze lime juice and add chopped pepper. Add salt and pepper to taste and chili flakes.
3. Enjoy!

I like mine really spicy so naturally I added loads of chili and peppers :)
It should look quite creamy and not too intense of a lime flavor but it is up to you! I was feeling really mexican this weekend and had cauliflower that was about to go bad and VOILA!

This is delicious, gluten-free, sugar-free and grain-free hashtag paleo recipe from yours truly.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

April Showers bring...a lot of weird stuff

So far the month of April has been extremely entertaining. Since the last post, after Berlin, I've worked a few weekends and have had amazing groups! I think last weekends group was my absolute favorite and I'm pretty sure all of us will stay in touch. THAT great. All though I emerged from the weekend with bumps and bruises, I will never forget it. They all decided for me that I was going to go to this festival in England called Boardmasters in August and I'm not going to say no.

More interesting things have happened too; Palmer has decided to say eff you 'Merica and come to Europe for most of the summer. YAY! Can't wait. That'll be extremely exciting.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

I'M BAAAAACK! (again again?)

After a long, extremely unnecessary hiatus, I am back to the blog life! Seriously, I was just being super lazy not updating, and to be honest, nothing super exciting was happening! But then I realized, that's what I think, but you (the reader) obviously are still interested in the smallest point of topic. For example, I started teaching again, Crossfit and a healthier lifestyle. (OH NO NOT SOMETHING ABOUT CROSSFIT JESUS) LOLZ. But seriously, since I started back in November, everything about my life has changed, for the better.  I now feel like my life has a purpose and I'm not just drinking my life away. I actually enjoy teaching now and look forward to going to work every day! Even though, no joke, these kids make me want to pull my hair out but then there are the days when I want to be with them all day!  And I have a nice little routine during the week: get up, go to work, go to the gym and then make dinner! Sounds boring, but man is it nice. Summer was great though, I worked a lot. By work I mean taking groups of stag parties out on the weekend or to any activity they might have booked with the company I work for. Vox Travel. I was so fortunate to become apart of such a great team! But more on that later. Then summer was over and I headed home for a bit and this is when it got hard! ...

Well, to start off in a random, yet necessary point of my life, here we go:
When summer was coming to end, August to be specific, I was trying to figure out what kind of a job I wanted after Steve(bf) and I returned from the US of A. Since we were going at kind of a strange time, getting a job at a kindergarten would be more difficult. I was starting a part time job at a hostel before I left but I knew I didn't want to continue, pay wasn't so great.  But THEN! I found a job posting for a summer camp assistant teaching position for a couple weeks in the summer. It was for a small language school called PlayGround English up in Kralupy (30 min by train from Prague) and I thought it would be a nice little ending to my summer, calm, to some extent, right before heading to America. To my luck, the owner of the school was really impressed by my resume and hired me on the spot to do the camps with his wife, co-owner.  I was still on the fence about teaching full time when I got back, but seriously, she convinced me! We got along so well and thought that it would be good for me to start back up teaching.  At first, I said I only wanted a few classes, (it is a language school so I move around a lot), but then, again, she convinced me to take more. Now, I teach the most classes from all the other teachers in the school. Funny right? It's been super fun this year, a lot of ups and downs, but great nonetheless. Unfortunately, I won't be continuing there because I am starting a new journey in South East Asia. Where you ask? Not sure yet, all I know is that I will be moving somewhere in that area in either September or October of this year and I can't wait!

Aside from the fact that teaching has been great so far, when I returned from America, I realized I was seriously living an unhealthy lifestyle here in Prague. I knew it, we all know it living here.  It's easy to grab crappy food and it's easy to drink like a fish on a night out with a bunch of crap and added sugar. That's when I decided to start Crossfit finally back in November. After being an athlete all my life and taking a year break off of working out. Ya I know, but to be honest, most of us do it! After years of grueling work, workouts, games, matches and competitions, it gets extremely tiring. But my break was over and it was time to get back into shape! The first intro class I did I fell in love. I had Steve come with me because what's better than a couple that is fit?! Nothing! Plus it is way easier if we're both on the same page. :) Anyway, now I've constantly been going since then 3 times a week and started the Paleo diet as well. (Well actually, now I started going 4 times a week, my body has gotten so much stronger.) I'm not one of those crazy people that won't eat sugar now and again, or bread every once and while, (I'm eating chocolate right now haha) but for the most part I exclude it from my diet. And I feel so much better! More energy and all that jazz. It really fills the competition hole I have in me since graduating from college. Although I wish they were more keen on water polo here.

Since I posted last, sheesh a long time ago, I've probably had 4 jobs since then. But my favorite has been working as a tour guide and teaching again. After leaving the Irish pub last March, I was still tip toeing around promoting for the bar crawl but then I found a waaaaay better job being an elite tour guide. :D When people ask what I do for a job, back then, I would say I'm a tour guide because it would be easier. Technically that is what I am, but it is the greatest job ever. It all depends on the weekend, but sometimes I could work Fri/Sat/Sun or just for 1 day. And so far, I've been paint balling, go-carting and AK 47 shooting with my groups :) and of course loads of pub crawls. It is a nice break from the week and have fun on the weekend. I've made a ton of great friends and coworkers from this and I'll be sad to leave when I move.  But until then, I will make the most of it and make wonderful memories!

Now on to the fun(er?) part. Jokes. But really, since the last post, I've travelled quite a bit, especially last summer. When Palmer was visiting(sister), we went to Budapest, Croatia, which both were on a whim and I could say was the most interesting trip of my entire life. We also visited Cesky Krumlov which is a small town in Moravia, south Czech Republic and it looks like a little fairy tale land. Super cute. We also met up with a friend I had in Budapest and had so much fun, met the most amazing people and decided to hitchhike to Split, Croatia with a couple people we just met. We got as far as Lake Balaton the first night near the boarder of Croatia and Hungary and camped out for the night. That was amazing. I don't think we were allowed, but hey, experiences like that will stay with me forever. In the morning, we got on a really early train to head to Croatia. That was an adventure in its own, 2 Hungarian trains and passport control all in one day. Once we got to Zagreb, we then had to take a bus to Split. Split is gorgeous, but super expensive. My friend was living there at the time and showed us a sweet spot to go into the sea. I was loving the salt water FINALLY. I've also been to England a couple times and Berlin since then.  Steve and I went to England for Xmas and New Years and it was really great! Steve was in a band and they did their last gig on New Years Eve and he was amazing. I loved watching him play! Plus this time for Christmas it was nice being with Family, even though it wasn't my mom and dad, it was still great.

Just this last weekend, I went to Berlin to visit a friend who had just moved there and it was great! Berlin is like Prague on steroids. It is HUGE. Like MASSIVE. We did so much walking my legs were killing. I even popped my cherry with a free tour! I don't know why I've never done them before, it was really amazing and informative. I'm glad we did it.  Berlin has so much history and art thrown into one city it is quite overwhelming. It makes me appreciate how small Prague is. Plus, public transport is quite pricey, but it is really great. They have U-Bahn(underground), S-Bahn(outer area trains), Trams, Metro-trams and buses. Like woah. The good thing is, the food is pretty cheap, but booze is really expensive and so is going out. But they cherish the nightlife here. You might spend 15-20 Euros to get into a club, but people will gladly play it because the music scene is LIFE there. Which is experienced and it was fabulous, but going out for more than one night was a no go for me. I'm getting old, man! haha Jk, but seriously, I'm not as crazy as I used to be, so Friday night was all I needed to experience Berlin. Honestly, I was still paying for it on Monday! (It was Easter weekend so no work Thurs/Fri and Monday.) All in all I had a great time and I will definitely go back with Steve and stuff so we can do it all together.

My next trip I'm planning is set for May, Steve's bday! Nothing that exciting, just England, but it's nice to have a break from the hustle and bustle of Prague; also for people to speak English all the time. OH and did I mention my good ole mother is headed to EUROPE for her FIRST time ever?! YUP. Her and Palm Palm are heading to London for the start of the trip in the middle of May. Then sometime in June I will meet up with them somewhere to get my mom and then she'll come back to Prague with me :) I can't wait. It'll be such a weird little adventure with my Ma; one for the books.

Till next time! Which I can honestly say I have no idea when that'll be, TOODLES
Paige x

Just to Wrap up the last few months...

(Seriously, took a few breaks) So you can laugh at this: After taking a break since Turkey Day, I've decided to get back to writing about my life in Europe.  Since every time I went somewhere I said to myself, "Paige, you should really start your blog again." That only took about 20 times.  After having my sister visit me for the last month, I've realized a few things and the meaning of certain, ideas per say.  It's been a rocky and fabulous ride since Christmas and it's going to near to impossible to try and write everything that has happened! For my family who is reading this: you know everything that has happened anyway thanks to FaceBook.  But to those of you reading this blog for ESL purposes and just for a funny read then this is for you!

To start off: Christmas and New Year's were amazing.  It's basically the time when my amazing boyfriend and I started dating officially and I went to Vienna. (Christmas was weird BTW because I've never been away from family for this holiday and less presents. Obviously) :) Prague apparently wasn't as cold as most winters, aka not looking forward to this winter. It still was cold, people are crazy. I had to work New Year's Eve and New Year's Day at the Irish Pub and New Year's Day wasn't real life at work lolz, for obvious reasons.  Still, it was great.  My friend Katie came back to visit during Xmas and New Year's because she was studying in Paris at the time.  Everything was awesome and it was the best time! Prague was so packed with people during New Year's and every club, bar and restaurant was full. Definitely an experience.

Up until March, nothing exciting happened, just usual daily life things.  One of my best friends from high school came to visit me during spring break and St. Patrick's Day, since I worked at the Irish Pub, I had to work during St. Patrick's Day.  My friend and I had booked a week long trip to Krakow and Budapest while she was visiting and I couldn't wait! We took the train to Krakow first and it is one of the most beautiful cities I've ever seen.  It's pretty small, but very beautiful.  We stayed at the party hostel there and I was surprised how friendly the staff was and accommodating.  We had such a great time with everyone and met some really cool people.  I love staying in hostels that allow you to make really good friends for the future. Krakow was amazing though, it's so cute and clean and the Polish people are super nice! My friend and I visited Auschwitz while there and that was very intense. Words cannot describe what one is feeling until the place is visited. After Krakow we took the train (7 hours) to Budapest. That was an interesting trip! We had top bunks for sleeping for the whole time, and it was so tiny. I had all ready been to Buda a couple times before, but this time was way more fun. We stayed at a super grungy hostel, for fun, and we went out a couple times when we were there. One of the first days were were there, hungover, we decided to go to the Budapest caves. Ya caves. Underground and dark. Did I mention we were hungover? Ya that was fun! Also side note, we met a girl on the bus going to the caves that my friend and I went to high school with! So extremely random. Mackenzie(friend) was struggling through the caves and sometimes I got a little scared haha. But man was it fun. The next day we went to the thermal bath caves. That was definitely relaxing and beautiful. We were the weirdos in the 1 piece bathing suits. Thanks polo and swimming! That whole trip was really fabulous and I wish she could come again so we could terrorize Europe together.

Viennese Christmas and NYE-PRAGUE

Christmas in Vienna. Chinese style 

The last month has been so hectic! Sorry for not posting sooner.  Every one has had friends visiting and Prague has been insaaane. The amount of tourists that were here for New Year's was crazy, the city was packed.  But Christmas in Vienna was completely different than I ever thought.

Me outside Belvedere Castle, Vienna

Anyway, Vienna was interesting to say the least.  I had work the night before we took our bus, which was at 3am.  That just meant no sleep for about 24hours.  We, as in my roommate and her friend, arrived to Vienna at about 9am and went straight to our hostel.  They wouldn't let us go into our room yet so we had to go to breakfast.  The first day felt like 2 days because we were delusional from the lack of sleep.  When we did get back to the hostel we slept for a couple hours, which was needed.  After we explored the city a little bit and some traditional Viennese cuisine. 

Christmas Eve was a barren zone in Vienna.  That day is like their actual Christmas so everything shuts early and no one is around. We went to dinner at a Chinese restaurant which isn't weird to me haha. Vienna is gorgeous and I've been back a couple times since then to apply for my visa and to pick it up.  It's not a huge party town, but they have a few cool places :) That's all for Vienna! 

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Be Thankful for...

Last week was Thanksgiving and it was a little bizarre.  Ya, my freshman year was spent with my Aunt and Uncle in Virginia, but at least I was with family. This year was...different to say the least.

Ever since I started at my new teaching company, I've been way happier! I've actually taken on swim lessons on the weekends with the kids of one of my English students. It's crazy what happens when you have connections. I'm finally in the swing of things and doing what I enjoy.  On top of my 3* jobs, I also got hired as a waitress at an Irish pub near my house last week.  It's right near Charles Bridge and 10 minutes walking from my house. If you know me at all, 10 min is nufffin'.  The restaurant is really cool, the chef is American, so we get along.  The place has a lot of regulars, everyone knows everyone and everyone is super friendly.

The Sunday before Thanksgiving was really fun.  We had a "friendsgiving" with most of the people from the Drunken Monkey.  A couple people made the turkey, which is pictured above.  Then about 10 of us made the rest of the goodies.  We brought it to the bar and had a giant feast.  It was literally like Thanksgiving, but without real family and it wasn't on a Thursday. But hey, who's paying attention? Not me.  It was amazing.  It really felt like home and even though my real family wasn't there, these people have become my pseudo-family. After, I was in a food-coma and died. It was greaaaattttt.

That week, I started at my new job.  I had training on Monday and started my real official day on Wednesday, by myself.  I loved it.  The thing was, I had to go to Bratislava on Wednesday night to file for my Visa.  No one could come with me because of money issues, so I was allll by myself.  It was kinda interesting going there alone, but no big deal.  I took the bus to Bratislava and went straight to my hostel.  I had an appointment at 10 am, on Thanksgiving, so I went to sleep pretty much.  I went to the embassy in the morning and long story short, couldn't get in and I have to go back in a couple weeks. Whatever no biggy.  Then I had about 5 hours to fill before my bus left back to Prague.  I was pretty distressed about the whole thing and a guy was there doing his student visa and saw that I had a few issues. He was New York, so it was nice to speak to another American.  We went to grab coffee and he heard me venting and what not.  He was super nice and we decided that we might as well make the most of the day since our buses didn't leave until later.  We then proceeded to walk all around Bratislava (basically) to the castle.  Which, btw is, like, at the tallest point in the city, so that was a nice little hike.  The view was beautiful though.  You could see allllll of the city, it's really small anyway.
View from the Castle

I felt like the buildings were made for mini people, too.  Everything seemed a bit smaller than usual.  It was interesting. It was strange being in a SUPER foreign country, on Thanksgiving, by myself.  Whatever, I made it work.  The bus is only 4 hours (took 5 cuz of traffic) and I was back by 8pm.  My restaurant was actually doing a Thanksgiving special and Poppy, Laura(one of my friends) and I went there to have Thanksgiving Part II thanks to my Ma! It was soooo good, 3 course meal with pumpkin pie. I was in heaven.
Safe to say  it was a pretty successful Thanksgiving.

Naturally, we went out after, which didn't last long due to he-who-shall-not-be-named. Love him anyway LAWLZ. 

This week has been going pretty well, too.  Hopefully my friend will do my hair tomorrow. FINALLY. It's a hot mess. God Palmer where are you. And I have swim lessons this weekend and a couple of my friends and i are going to the cinema on Sunday and I'm making dinner. Well those are the plans anyway. :)

'Till next time, when something else exciting happens. And in conclusion: be thankful for everything.


Sunday, 17 November 2013

This City Will Change You

I know I haven't posted in awhile, it's been a busy month!  From my birthday to Katie visiting, job changes and everything in between, life is Prague is amazing.  It's hard to explain in a blog how phenomenal one city really is.  Who knows how long I'll actually be here for but dang do I love it!

Fact is: I don't have much to write about because I basically do the same things every week.  I haven't done many touristy things since I'm here for so long.  Plus, my roommate has a friend coming so that's when we'll do all that fun stuff.

On my lovely 23rd birthday, my friend surprised me at a bar with 2 bottles of champagne and a cake with streamers! It was awesome. Everyone is so nice and wonderful here.  Every person I've met is so down to earth it makes living here that much better.

Teaching has been going ok, too.  I work for a different company now teaching business adults.  I love it so much more than the kids.  Luckily, I am able to have a lot of lee-way with my schedule and now I can pick when I want to have lessons.  Teaching adults is so much better.  My lessons right now are individual, so I basically talk to my student for an hour about different topics.

My friend Katie, (who is studying in Paris right now), came to visit last weekend and it was really nice to have a familiar face around! She had a great time.  We went to go see Prague Castle *finally on my part* and it was breathtaking.  The view of the city from the castle was beyond words.  It is an aerial view of the entirety of Prague.  We saw the cathedral and golden lane, too.  Golden lane is a street full of small houses, basically looks like it's for midgets, but in medieval times everyone was small I guess? The architecture and design and facade of the building are amazing and it is still very well kept.  So beautiful.  I also tried hot wine for the first time and let me say, I WAS MISSING OUT.  It's like the best thing ever that has entered my mouth.

It's starting to get colder here and I'm really nervous for winter.  I don't think I can handle it! We shall see!

Until the next time.  Hopefully something cool happens soon :) But for now, I'm just tootin' along, doin' as the locals do.