Monday, October 31, 2011

Party All the Time!

Another layout from Shimelle's Pretty Paper Party, this time using patterned paper as a background.

Mardi Gras Fun!

Patterned Paper: Pink Paislee Soiree (diamond, collage, music, words, trellis, news), letter stickers, cushieshocus pocus glitter stickers
Die Cut: Little Yellow Bicycle
Doodlebug sugar coating glitter
EK Success punch
American Crafts glitter buttons (brights)
Sequin embellis Prima Shalimar collection Amia
 Crate Paper phrase sticker

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bohemia, Bavaria, and Beer, Part III: The Night Train

Find Part I here and Part II here.

I cannot recommend taking the night train from Hungary.


Next...Part IV: Munich

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Accountability Wednesday

So tomorrow I see a new doctor with a background in endocrinology.  Even if she just tells me that nothing is wrong and I need to eat less and work out more, at least that's something.

Weight 139.4 (+.2)
Miles walked: 9.5 + 75 minutes Pure Barre + 60 minutes Stretch and Tone class

Monday, October 24, 2011

Living it up at the Pretty Paper Party

The party is in full swing with Shimelle!  We are diving into our paper stashes and using them to their best!  Our first layout was to help us up our scraps.  Here's my take:

We're Sisters

Pieces of old American Crafts collections, some Hambly paper and transparency, Sassafrass, and KI papers and lace papers.  Pink Paislee and Echo Park letters, and die cuts from I don't know where!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bohemia, Bavaria, and Beer, Part II: Budapest

Find Part I: Prague here.

Budapest is the largest city we visited on this trip.  Again, we were surprised by the ease of travel here, with friendly people who all spoke English probably better than we did.  There is great mass transit, so even though its a big city (actually two cities -- Buda and Pest were combined into one) its tremendously easy to get around.

Again we hired a guide, and again we weren't disappointed.  Folks, hiring a private guide may seem extravagant, but it is really very affordable in a lot of places for 6-8 hours of guiding and information you wouldn't get on your own.  Gabriella and her son Robert took us many places we wouldn't have gone on our own, and showed us the best places to shop and to get strudels.

Although the buildings are not as refurbished as those in Prague, the architecture was still beautiful.  Budapest is a town where art deco still thrives.  


The beautiful tilework roofs were something good the Hungarians picked up from the Turks, and I couldn't stop taking pictures of them.

Another thing the Hungarians kept from the Turk years were the baths.  Yes, I donned a bathing cap and we went to the thermal baths to hang out with all the Hungarian men in Speedos.  It was truly a cultural experience!


The Parliament building  is a real gem, both inside and out.

Damage from WWII and from revolts against Communism were abundant.  The House of Terror is a museum that was actually the Nazi and Communist secret police headquarters.  The number of people that entered this building and never came out was striking.


We took a cruise on the Danube and went to a ballet performance.

We wish we had more time to explore this city.  We hope to be back some day.



Next...Part III: The Night Train

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Accountability Wednesday

Well, no surprises this week -- I gained a half pound.  Although I didn't slack on walking, I did make some poor food choices while out of town last week.  On the positive side, I have an appointment with a new OBGYN with a endocrinology specialty next week, and this weekend is my birthday, so I'm not going to worry about what I eat at least for a couple of days.  I'm going to a Pure Barre class tonight, so wish me luck there!

Weight 139.2 (+.5 lbs)
Miles walked: 8.5

Monday, October 17, 2011

Let's Get the Party Started!

I'm so psyched (whew -- flashback to 1992 -- do people still use that word?) to be a guest at Shimelle Lain's Pretty Paper Party!  Her new class starts TODAY, and I can't wait to share with you my layouts using all my pretty paper!  And this is a special party for me, because its my birthday week, and I've been buying pretty paper and shoes like there's no tomorrow to celebrate.  So come on over and party with Shimelle and the crowd!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bohemia, Bavaria, and Beer, Part I: Prague

We didn't really know what to expect when we landed in Prague.  We had only decided to go there because a German tourist in Rome told us we would love it.  We had originally wanted to do a grand Heart of Europe tour, but after doing a little planning and budgeting, it was painfully apparent we could not visit 27 countries in 12 days, so we whittled it down to the cities that drew our attention most: Prague, Budapest, and Munich.

Since not too many US tourists seem to visit the former Communist Block, there wasn't a whole lot of information on my normal research channels: Fodor's and Tripadvisor message boards.  Combine that with the huge language difference, and you get two fairly nervous but brave travelers.  But when we got to Prague, we knew we were totally wrong to be worried.

The town is beautiful.  Very clean, very very safe, and English is widely spoken.  Prague is very small and walkable, and has undergone a great deal of restoration since "The Change", the term everyone used here and in Budapest to refer to the move from Communism to Democracy.


We hired a guide to show us around, since we knew very little about Prague.  Jana with Personal Prague Guide was marvelous.  She took us all over the town, telling us the history and about all the sites.

  Prague's big attraction is the Astronomic Clock that tolls every hour.  A huge crowd gathers and cheers every time it goes off.  Compared to the Glockenspiel, which we saw in Munich this same trip, its much smaller, but I think more fun.

We were also worried about the food, but I don't think I've had better vacation food anywhere as I had on this trip.  I have one word for you:  Goulash.

We toured a couple of breweries, because Mark loves beer, and Czech beer is purportedly the world's best beer.  After a full survey of beers, we would have to agree with this statement.

I highly recommend Prague to anyone looking to explore Europe.  It is a truly beautiful city. 

Next up, Part II: Budapest.


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