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Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Krakow: Burgertata - Yummy Burger Boxes

Dearest sweethearts,

If ever you are in Krakow and in a mood for hamburgers/burgers, KFC, McDonald's, Burger King or... you name it! Any other place that sells fast food, unoriginal, sometimes tasty bit most of the times just plain boring, warm pieces of meat between two buns and calls them sandwiches... oh well, then you better think again and give Burgertata a chance! You will probably enjoy it, even love It, and you will want to go again - maybe to try even more options from the menu ;) 
Burgertata has currently 2 main locations: a small "restaurant" (don't think big, think out of the box - benches and wooden tables and you don't need to have proper manners... after all, you're eating a burger!) - location: Rondo Grzegorzeckie, as you go to the Galeria Kazimierz & a small... I would call it "shed"... A tiny box of matches place, located on Krupnicza 6. It's enough to fit in a small kitchen/grill for cooking, a counter, a tall fridge for drinks and a small wooden table with 4 stools made out of old crates. If it's not heavy raining you can find just outside a table with two long benches on either side.
Burgertata has also another option available from time to time: a trailer, a van on the go, that they take to Street Food Festivals or to other shows. Burgertata also is available "for rent" for corporate events. They also have, as far as I read - but never tested... - an option to order out! And guess what? They have a moped and a bike available for that! :o Shocker! Imagine how fast they need to pedal :) but it's it for the locals, so you can't have them most probably to... let's say Wieliczka.
Burgertata has 4 out of 5 stars, from 63 reviews, on TripAdvisor and also high ratings on the Facebook pages. It seems clients are satisfied with the products and from what I could gather at first screening, the only problem listed is the attitude of the people serving. Now... I haven't tried the restaurant yet, just the shed... but from how it looks I came in with a rather negative attitude... I know always what I want and I don't feel the need to check and double check menus. When I heard that was a Cheese & Bacon option I knew that I had to go for it. After all, the best vegetable is bacon! ;)
The place as you enter is extremely hot and smelly - in a rather pleasant way of burgers and fries. If you are sensitive about that I suggest you swallow, place the order, wait for it outside and then take it with you and eat it in the park - it's less than 5 minutes away. The place might look a bit shady but don't get scared, I was looking on how burgers are made and they take extra care to clean the grills after each burger - that's also why it may take a while... The team, I could say, lovingly makes the burgers according to the recipe. Make sure you check out the ingredients of the burger you choose, as they come with a specific sauce you can't change - that's my tip for you ;)
Today I'm sharing with you the Cheese & Bacon option, small box - 19 zloty.  You can pay cash or card, so don't worry if you don't have change. The small box comes with a burger made out of 100 grams of meat. The big one would come with 200 grams and would be 25 zloty. The boxes come with a portion of really yummy French fries, that reminded me of the Belgium fries I ate in Brussels. The fries are cut bigger than the regular McD size and they don't seem fatty at all! Not oily, not extra crunchy, but rather soft and nice in the middle. The meat was medium done and the sauce for Cheese & Bacon option is a nice barbecue one.
Did you know that, back at the beginning of Burgertata enterprise, in December 2015, Jim Carrey was filming in Krakow and he actually tried the burgers? He said "I love your burger, it's a piece of art, sir!" - now that's something to be proud of ;) I wonder though what Jamie Oliver would think of them? I rather venture to say he would like them - fresh products, well done meat, yummy natural fries. Don't know about you, but my mouth is watering when I think of it... I really must try them again!

Yours very sincerely,
The Twisted Red Ladybug That Loves Bacon!
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Sunday, 28 May 2017

The Krakow Polish Folk Costume

Dearest hearts,

It's hard, especially in the summertime - when so many events happen throughout the city, not to catch a glimpse of the Krakow Folk Costume. It's one of the kind, colorful and vibrant - it always puts a smile on my face when I see it, especially when small children are involved, they look like little flowers preparing to bloom. The Krakow Folk Costume is one of the most well known Polish Folk Costumes and maybe that's why it kinda grew to the rank of national traditional folk costume in Poland. In case you did not know, Krakow is the true heart of Poland, it's cultural heritage being the strongest here. It is only normal and logical to adopt Krakow's Folk Costume as The One for Poland. 
The origins of the Krakow Folk Costume can be traced to the Renaissance time, but the current version started to be quite popular in the beginning of the 18th century. 
A Cracow costume is the only peasants' attire which was promoted to the rank of a Polish national costume. This decision was made on patriotic grounds, with the Cracow's peasants’ participation in the Kościuszko Uprising as a main factor. Even the Uprising's leader, Tadeusz Kościuszko, used to wear the Cracow costume (so he dressed "like a peasant") just so that he would not be recognised by Russian spies. Kościuszko's popularity contributed to the popularisation of the Cracow costume among the Poles in general. Some of the costume's elements were applied to the uniforms worn by participants of the 19th century national uprisings. This popularity of the Cracowian costume, especially in its female version, was then reinforced by the Cracow’s intelligence of the Young Poland (Młoda Polska) movement, who promoted it as a new fashion.[source: The State Ethnographical Museum in Warsaw]
The most obvious and typical part of the Krakow Folk Costume, in the men's attire, is the hat with peacock feathers, flowers and occasional ribbons (especially if we are talking about a wedding attire). The hat is usually dark blue or red and it is high, with 4 corners. The peacock feathers are a must, the more the merrier! - peacocks are considered to be royal birds, reminding people the fact that Krakow is a Royal city, a place where kings lived! The second most important part is the Kaftan - the long, sleeveless vest, dark blue or black, made with red motifs. The main decoration in the men's attire is the leather belt, worn over the Kaftan - white with red & additional metal and beads. 
The women's attire in the Krakow Folk Costume can variate a bit more but... I'll try to break it down and make it simple ;) let's start with the head: The Crown of flowers is being worn only by children and women who are not yet married. Married women have white cloth to cover the hair or use triangle scarves. Women braid their hair in a single braid and tie it up with red sash. Of course women also have their "vest" like the men, but more feminine. It actually is a tight bodice (corset) worn over a white (usually long sleeve) blouse. The skirts are a beautiful and colorful addition, as they are usually green, red and sometimes blue with multiple small colorful flowers. Due to the skirt, bodice and head attire, it's quite obvious that not much else is needed in term of accessories. The addition is the red korale - red beads - and red sminka - lipstick. 

Have you ever seen these beautiful Folk Costumes live? Have you ever been to Krakow or joined a traditional Polish events where you catch a glimpse of these colorful clothes? I would love to hear your stories :) 

Yours very much sincerly, 
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Loves Krakow Folk Costume - especially the women colorful "wianki", flower crowns 💐🌸❤
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Thursday, 25 May 2017

The Ladybug, Dzien Dobry TVN and Success

Dearest sweethearts,

I can't believe what I'm about to tell you, still I wanted to share this with you. It's been quite a commotion this past month, since we came back to Krakow. It's been a fast paced life and the small one is growing steadily - she's going to be a tough cookie, having a mind of its own ever since she was a wee button, just squeaking... But let me get down to today's news I wanted to share: The Twisted Red LadyBug is getting famous! 
That's right ;) after being covered in an article, a year ago, by the Krakow Business Park Magazine, I was contacted a while back by Dziennik Polski for a short article in their weekend spread. It was an article about expat bloggers writing about Krakow, living in Poland. The article came as a nice surprise and it was about myself and a lively Indian lady - Doreen - who has been living and working in Krakow for more than 5 years now! She's new to blogging but she carved a nice path, having received a lot of support from her Polish boyfriend. 
Not a short while after the article came out I was contacted by a lovely, warm and professional lady working for TVN, that wanted to... Guess what?! Take my interview for the Dzien Dobry TVN programme! I could not believe it - "a small step for man, a huge step for mankind" moment came over me! They wanted to do a proper piece on my and Doreen. They wanted to make a collage: interview me, ask Marek his option on the blog, have a few shots of the little LadyBug Baby Girl... it was serious! 
So, after a live one-to-one with the lady from TVN we prepared a day to get the filming done. The date was settled for Tuesday, 16th of May, early morning, to get the Little LadyBug Baby Girl fresh and willing to cooperate. The filming, the Lights-Camera-Action reminded me of University and the Advertising and Filming classes we had - I had almost forgotten how much I loved all that! Not necessarily being in front of the camera, but finding the right spot, the perfect angle, the good light to setup the scene. It's all connected with the love I have for photography and watching the team in action  made me smile and have this "warm fuzzy feeling" :)
The team doesn't need to be big to work wonders on the screen. All you need is a couple of dedicated professionals that know what they are doing and can be serious when they need to and fun and sparkly when not on set. The team I worked with was just right! High degree of empathy and professionalism and a pleasure to be around with. My small LadyBug Baby Girl took an instant liking to the cameraman - it's more than obvious he is good with children considering he has 3 of his own ;) but I'll add to that my Ladybug's love for cameras - she always had an attraction for them! The team, even when filming at our place, never once felt awkward to be around with and they were very reassuring at every step. 
We first shoot my part of the interview, both in English and in Polish - same questions answered twice. I still don't know this Friday which version will be showing... It's going to be a surprise! Then Marek had his short interview as well, about his "famous blogger wife". The last part that we shoot inside the house was some family time with our little Ladybug Baby Girl. It was hard to act natural considering that the small one had her eyes on the camera and the cameraman 99% of the time! ;)) 
Due to the unpredictable weather in Poland, when we were about to wrap up inside the house and hit the town, it started raining cats and dogs. We were supposed to film some shots in the Old Town, walking in 2, maybe a visit to the church were we got married... well... there is always a backup plan! So that's how I ended up visiting for the first time the inside of the Hippolit Museum - must get there again to do more pictures and ground work for a post ;) But more on the shooting you'll be able to figure out yourself, as next Friday - 2nd of June 2017 - on TVN programme called "Dzien Dobry TVN" you will be able to see it all! 

P.S. Dziennik Polski, the newspaper I appeared in, is quite an old one - dating back to 1945!

Yours sincerely,
The Twisted Red Ladybug That Feels Quite Proud of Her Achievements 
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Monday, 22 May 2017

Famous Polish People: Copernicus

Dearest hearts,

If you would ask everyone whom are the most famous Polish people in the world, you would probably get the answer Marie Curie Sklodowska for the women and Pope John Paul the 2nd for the men. Which is a pity, considering the amount of amazing men and women Poland has in its history. Today I wish to bring to your attention an amazing human being that was Polish and that made a difference to this world: Nicolaus Copernicus.  #didyouknow that in 2010, the Polish astronomer remains were reburied in Frombork Cathedral, Poland, after a 200 year search for his tomb? And that happened on this very same day, 22nd of May 2010. Here are some facts about him, that you may not know:
1) Polish origins linked to metal - copper. Copernicus was born as Nicolaus Koppernigk in the city of Torun, on 19th February 1473. His mother - Barbara - came from a rich family in Torun. Copernicus was named after his father, whose family can be traced to the village Koperniki in Silesia. The name of the village comes from the German term kopper for the metal copper, that was mined there.
2) He started the Scientific Revolution - during his time but also many years after his death, Ptolemy model was the one generally accepted. But Nicolaus's book, even though it was not a bestseller during his lifetime, called "De revolutionibus orbium coelestium" did start a fire... the Copernican Revolution that lasted for a century and a half! His model is regarded as "The launching point of modern astronomy and the Scientific Revolution".
3) As any great mind, he was a multitasker and was accomplished in more than one field of study. His skills were not limited to just astronomy! Copernicus was also a physician, scholar, economist, translator, mathematician, an artist and a diplomat - talk about being an all-in-one embodiment of awesomeness! 
Bonus fact: #didyouknow that Copernicus led the Royal Polish defence forces of Olsztyn and Warmid in the Polish-Teutonic war that went from 1519-1521? He also participated is peace negotiations that ended the conflicts that were started with!

Yours very much sincerly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Loves Polish History and Amazing Polish People that Changed the World
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Friday, 19 May 2017

Why I Love The Phantom Menace

Dearest hearts,

#didyouknow that this very day, 18 years ago - on the 19th of May 1999, the Star Wars: Episode I was released in the cinemas? That's "The Phantom Menace", directed by none other than George Lucas, starring Ewan McGregor as young Obi Wan, Natalie Portman as Queen Amidala of Naboo and Liam Neeson as Qui Gon Jinn (Obi Wan's Master Jedi).
In case you are not a Star Wars fan you might not know this, but the prequels to the original Star Wars trilogy were not quite well met by the public, nor the critics. I don't know about that, but I can tell you that 18 years ago, a 12 year old teenager ran to the cinema to see the next Star Wars movie after a big gap. I saw my first Star Wars movie when I was about 6 or 7 and it was love at first sight! I believe the world is mainly split between people would love or hate Star Wars. For me there was no choice but to love it. The moment I set my eyes upon Princess Leia I knew she was a definite role model - feisty and smart and kick arse and a match for even the Dark Side. And whom wouldn't like to have an R2 Unit as a friend? There is so much spark in that little body of circuits and plugs! So... when I heard a new one was out, I just HAD TO get to the cinema and watch it on the big screen. And I loved it -  screw the critics, even today when I watch it is feel as a small child again :) So here are my reasons for loving "The Phantom Menace":
1) Small Ani - sheding light upon Anakin Skywalker and his family background, paired up with the notion of "midiclorians" and the fact that he was created by them, there was no father... it was... immaculate conception. For me Star Wars has so many links to the Bible and connections to the Saviour, that's lovely to watch the influence.
2) Padme Amidala, Queen of Naboo played by Natalie Portman and her #feministic ways - I don't know what you think of her but I believe she's an amazing actress. I loved her tremendously since I first saw her in Leon, but in The Phantom Menace (and the other 2 trilogy movies) she steals the shots she's in and as Ani puts it nicely, she does look like an Angel. Also, it's not hard to see from where Leia has her #girlpower ;) Padme is a strong and smart ruler at her age, and she understands politics but loves her people above all. She would put herself to risk only to know they are safe. She doesn't mind getting her hands dirty and playing the handmaid - I've always loved that!
3) Darth Maul and his badass lightsaber! One of the greatest lightsaber scenes in the Star Wars Universe is the scene at the end of The Phantom Menace, when Darth Maul faces Qui Gon Jinn and Obi Wan Kenobi - that's a Master Jedi and a trainee ;) and he definitely kicks their arse bad enough, before he gets cut in half... but wait! If you are a hard core Star Wars fan you know that he actually makes it through! To be mentioned that a) this was the first kick arse fighting scene with lightsabers in the history of Star Wars, with real choreography and amazing moves & b) that was no regular sabre! It was two-blades, long staff and the actor was trained extremely well in the art of handling both himself and the said lightsaber. Epicness!
4) Liam Neeson as Qui Gon Jinn - we were robbed of his presence way too soon! I got so excited seeing him join the Star Wars universe, especially as the mentor of Obi Wan, that I could not forsee the ending scene where he dies... Liam totally nailed the role and probably channeled some of his Rob Roy mood and looks and sword skills. He was perfect as a Jedi Master, wise and thoughtful and kind and I cannot keep thinking that maybe if he did not die and he would train Anakin, he would not have joined the Dark Side.  I know in the Canon Star Wars there is no such thing as a Grey Jedi but if there was, I think Qui Gon Jinn would be the embodiment ;)
5) The clothes ❤ - can we just take a moment to stand in awe of the amount of time and care the team put into creating such wonderful costumes? I remember watching Queen Padme in her glorious velvety red dress, with her red-white lips and her one-bun hairdo... I remember being in awe, wanting to try that out myself. She looked royal in every piece that she wore, and everything was so perfectly tailored! Even for that dress alone people should grade The Phantom Menace at least 9/10. Not to mention other people/characters wardrobes - so much care and precision ❤ way to go #starwars team!
6) Touching hard subjects like slavery - when I first watched this I could not understand how a human being could be bought and sold. These things were illogical to me... growing up in a country were human traffic was not happening. When I grew older and could read more and search more for the information I needed... I was horrified to learn that human traffic still exists. I feel sad when I think that at this very moment a girl is being sold somewhere in this world. Ani and Shmi (Anakin Skywalker's mum) were sold like cattle, without a care in the world. Watto even bets with their life, as if they are nothing but dust. How horrid! And yet... how true, how much that shows how some people think of others.
7) Showing a bigger picture of the Star Wars universe - how did we get to Ground 0: A New Hope? Where did it all start? What was the Senate, how did it work? What are the connections to the Trade Federation? How much power did the Jedi's have? What was the Jedi structure? How could one become a Master Jedi? So many questions that I had as a child, were answered by The Phantom Menace. How can I not love this movie?! And if you ask about the order... nope! I will not let my small one watch this one first - it's too rough and touches many controversial points. The right order for me is Episode 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3, Rogue One and then Episode 7 - just FYI :)

P.S. So oooooo looking forward to the new Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi, this year! It's the perfect Christmas gift ;) for all the fans out there, in this beautiful blue world :) #MAYTHEFORCEBEWITHYOU 

Yours very much sincerly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Loves Star Wars Ever Since She Was A Wee Lass 
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Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Travel Tuesday: Travelling With A 8 Months Old

Dearest sweethearts,

Welcome to yet another #traveltuesday Episode :) remember a while back when I was sharing with you a little piece about what it feels like travelling with a 4 months old baby by plane ? Well today I'm back with an update on how a 8 months old baby handles travelling. I'm telling you, it's a whole lot of differences! Let's see the hard facts:
1) For the airlines there is no difference. A baby up to 2 years will not have its own seat. The baby will stay on the parents/guardians lap and be attached to the regular buckle with a baby-buckle. Seating a 4 months old and holding them still is way easier than doing the same with a 8 months old. The older the baby gets the more they move and wriggle and push and... eventually cry and scream. Facing for a long amount if time the forward position, not seeing mum and dad face to face, having to watch the front seat for more than 10 minutes - that might be a challenge for an active baby. Make sure you have something to distract him/her, although I don't quarantee that will work all the time. Most airlines provide a small package for your small one, once you board the plane. The stewardess will give you the "gift" when you board. We had, until now: socks from Lufthansa, a soft touchy feely book from Austrian Airlines and twice we got some cute little finger puppets also from Austrian. 
2) The moods differ - a 4 months old will probably fall asleep easier and sleep most of the flight, helping you relax a bit and thank God for her not screaming throughout the flight; a 8 months old will probably not sleep at all and want to play and even make sweet eyes to your front/back neighbours. That's OK - if they smile back and the small one smiles it's all good.  It would be worse if the small one was start crying... just enjoy her relaxing. A 4 months old sleeps usually longer than a 4 months old and is less active, making them a better companion during long flights. On short flights both cases are totally doable. But if you have 2 or more flights... you're into a few bumps with the 8 months old.  
3) The food - of nom nom time for the small one? Now, it depends on the little one but at 4 months old you give them milk (be it breastfeeding or artificial one); at 8 months old you are supposed to have started the diversification, meaning the small one will eat veggies or fruits or both and will want some. It will also mean more poop and quite smelly one - so pray they don't do it when you're up in the air, as you know how small toilets are! If you're still breastfeeding that means you're lucky and you don't have to take bottles and powder with you everywhere and go searching for boiled water... if not, well... I feel your pain! You will have to go to the stewardess and ask for some.
4) Moving around - baby carriers are a must! Once the baby is around 4 months + and can sit on its tush, you can use a baby carrier like the one I have from Madame GooGoo Carrier. They are amazing for both you and the little one.  I can tell you only of the Madame GooGoo Carriers as I've tried them and it was an instant connection - I've fallen in love with their designs and patterns and service and... should I mention the carriers are #madeinpoland but by European standards? They have a ergonomic structure that keeps the baby safe and sound and you can feel comfortable as well. You can use both hands and there is freedom to run and use stairs in a jiffy, that you could not have by using a pram ;) plus, the small one is always close to you, feeling you and you know she's safe and that's most important!

What about you lovely people? Have you ever travelled with a 8 months old by plane? How did you cope with it? What were your tips and tricks? Would love to hear from you as parent to parent :)

Yours very much sincerly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Loves Her LadyBug Baby Girl
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Saturday, 13 May 2017

Why You Should Watch Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

Dearest sweethearts,

In case you haven't noticed, I'm quite a fan of comic books, Marvel and DC Comics (more if a Marvel fan, though!) and all of that stuff that makes my better half say that I'm a nerd. But hey, I'm fine with my nerdiness, I became comfy cozy with it and in need it keeps me smiling. Unfortunately neither Romania nor Poland is so much into comic books as the USA is, for example, but the market is growing steadily and I see more things happening in this field. Going to a Marvel movie makes me smile the moment I think about it, and the smile broadens as I step out the door and head to the cinema. The Marvel movies are made to be seen on the big screen as they have great action sequences and stunning imagery (with the help of the blue/green screen and the CGI masters from the team). I don't know if you got around to see Guardians of the Galaxy (volume 1) but I should think it would be a must for the people who go to watch Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2. It prepares you for it and shows the starting of the dynamic between the heroes. That and it's a kick arse movie with an amazing soundtrack! But... let's not get into politics and let's see why I think you should watch Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2:
1. The 1980s CGI Kurt Russell - oh, that was really well done! And to no surprise you can figure out by yourself *SPOILER ALERT* that he is Peter "Star-lord" Quill's father! What you might not know is that he is a Celestial, a God in full rights, that was able to built from scratch it's own marvelous planet! What will surely make you upset and pissed off Quill... *SPOILER ALERT* is that Kurt Russell's character is a huge arse and he wants to rule the Galaxy. His name is fitting: Ego!
2. Yandu, the Space-Pirate-Scavanger- Unknown Hero. How cool is it to be able to direct arrows just by whistling? Anyway... *SPOILER ALERT* it seems that he did not kidnap Peter just because he was small and could get into places no one could... he did that as he knew what kind of person/Celestial Ego was, and he wanted to save him. Ego was killing all his progeny that did not have the "spark" of Celestial in them. It seems Peter was one in a billion... the only child whom was a... demigod I believe that's the notion. He sacrifices himself for Peter, in the end. That's a beautiful and touching scene and the whole Theater filled with people was sobbing. You would have to be a rock not to shed some tears!
3. Family is the most important thing! Take for example the sisters: Gamora and Nebula - I love every of their scenes and I love the background story. They have been put by their father to always battle each other. Gamora would always win and Nebula had each time - by her father - something extracted and replaced by a robot part in her, so she could be stronger and win. But alas, Gamora always would win. That's how Nebula got a robotic eye, brain, hand... when all she wanted was a sister. They get multiple times when they could finish each other but they don't.  You never kill family, you might harm them by mistake... but they are family nonetheless! They are blood! *SPOILER ALERT* Except when your father is a d**k and wants to destroy the Galaxy and kills your mother - that's when all Hello breaks loose!
4. Sylvester Stallone joining the MCU! I could not have believed it if I would have not seen it with my very eyes. And he fits remarkably well as a Space-Pirate-Scavanger! Of course he is full on "Stallone Mode" and ready to kick arse at every move, but I think he's gonna make a fine addition to the Marvel Universe and as far as I've read, this is not a one time thing, and I'm thrilled!!!
5. Stan Lee cameos and end scene - it's a must in any Marvel movie, and he never disappoints. In this cameo I believe he is referring to Captain America's FEDEX delivery to Tony "Stank" ;)))
6. No unnecessary sexual scenes or gratuitous nudity. Of course Drax is technically naked, but that's not done in a sexual kind of way; sure we can see Chris Pratt taking off his shirt for a minute or two, but it's kinda done in a rather natural way. Even when Ego presents how he has inseminated Peter's mum & several other female alien entities, all is done quietly under a veil. Even the one "penis" joke is rather... not in your face! Plus even if there is an "unspoken thing" between Peter and Gamora, there is not one kiss happening - but I do love that dancing scene ;)
7. Not one, not two... but 5 end credit scenes! As a true Marvel fan, I had to sit tight on the seat until the black screen appeared. Throughout the end credit there were 5 scenes - my personal favourite is the one with teenager Groot. Sure, I'll miss cute baby Groot, but no baby stays baby forever. They eventually grow and "fly away" from the nest. I'm looking forward to full power Groot in the next... Avenger movie? :) 

P.S. Currently waiting game for Wonder Woman to hit the big screen. Now I know this sounds feminist but I want more of that! And a couple of Black Widow standalone movies ;) 

Yours very much sincerly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Loves Marvel
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Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Impressions Of A Polish Wedding

Dear hearts,

I don't know about you but I always loved weddings. Some of my friends had a dread of going to them but I never had, even when I was alone (not with my awesome Polish husband). I always found weddings to be great fun! For me weddings are a chance for the family, for the friends, to come together and celebrate an act of love. For me weddings are always tied to fun, funny or relaxing moments. Some may say weddings are overrated, but that's not my opinion. Give me a wedding anyday! When I came to Poland, to Krakow, and I began to settle down, I was invited to more and more Polish events, Polish parties - some were weddings. In this way I began to see more the differences but also the things that bring together the 2 cultures: that of Romanian and that of the Polish People. We had 3 wedding parties in 3 consecutive years, so you'll have to trust our expertise on this one ;) As my better half loves to put it, the Romanian weddings are like the banquets at the end of 12th grade/high school. There is a lot of dancing and talking and mingling, the food is elegant, sometimes in large portions bit you can still handle it, and the drinking part is not that hard-core... Romanian people like to sip on their glasses of wine or smooth things over with some gin tonic or whisky. The Polish people have a different behaviour when it comes to weddings... you might remember telling you about this over at the article on How You Can Survive a Polish Wedding.
Inside the Catholic Church in Rzesow, Poland
I still find it wonderful nowdays that people wish to get married, with all the crazy nonsense running about in the world. Polishpeople are quite traditional when it comes to the family setups. I have seen many couples that were together for a while and never talked about marriage until the pregnancy test came back positive - but then everyone knows what the right thing to do is. I've been waiting in line, in Medicover, to see my doctor. In front of me was a pregnant lady who was reading to her  (probably 7 years old) daughter. She met a friend and as she was right next to me it was hard not to hear her out... she was expecting her 4th child - they had 2 boys and a girl and now they were expecting a girl as well. Having a big family is an expected occurance, especially with the new help from the state. Having a family, having a lot of children is also in accordance to the Catholic Church teachings, so having a wedding in front of God, to seal the marriage, is a must. The nice part with the Catholic Church wedding ceremony is that it also counts as a civil wedding, so you have a 2-in-1 package, if you will.
Stepping out of the church, not only as a couple but as a Family! Congrats to the lovely newlyweds ❤
Church Weddings are important especially if the family is more traditional. If you wish to do a proper traditional Polish church wedding, the church must be the one in the parish where the bride was living. The last wedding we have been to, in Rzesow, was absolutely lovely - the church was in the city centre and the inside was a sight for sore eyes. The priest knew the bride and the ceremony was very warm and welcoming. There were many touching moments, especially when the brides sister was singing a psalm - she had a lovely voice that echoed in the church. The tradition is for the Bride and Groom to come out and then rice and coins are thrown, for good luck. The couple must exercise heavily as they must gather all the coins. Also, it's customary in Poland to give the gifts to the newlyweds after the church ceremony - I'm guessing this happens so that all would do so when they are fully sober and can say a proper greeting/wish ;p In Romania the wishes with the gift envelope are given at the end of the wedding party, when the guest is leaving. In Poland, the regards and the gifts are given usually after the church ceremony. A long line of all the guests is being formed and people queue up to hug and kiss and say kind words to the Bride and Groom. It's quite legit and safe to do so as on Polish weddings there is a lot of fun and excitement and drinking involved so maybe one might forget to give the gifts when going away ;)
You might find on your table also the listed menu of the wedding, just so you can be prepared ;)
The party is always great fun and usually you have 2 ways in which it gets arranged: either you leave the tables without any names and you don't make a plan on where sits whom and you leave the guests to pick and choose as they please vs. Setting up a plan of each table and having someone to point them to the right direction or display the scheme on a board, at the entrance to the room. Either way people will mingle! Weddings in Poland are customary with a band - we had a DJ as we could not find a band that we would like, that could sing both Polish and English songs... plus I wanted some Romanian hits here and there... There are dedications throughout the night and the band keeps a lively atmosphere on the dancefloor.  You might see also some games being played - some maybe rather dumb... but it's all in good fun, remember! Plus... after the first half a dozen vodka shots you won't care anymore! And as I said, drinking is customary in weddings - especially shots of vodka. The Father of the Bride will come and check upon the tables if you have enough cold vodka for that ;) it's his duty! But overall, a Polish Wedding is something you shouldn't miss - be it traditional or rather modern. It's always a lot of fun and the people get all warm, friendly and talkative.  If you are invited, make sure you say "I do!" :)

Yours very much sincerly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Loves Polish Weddings
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Sunday, 7 May 2017

Things You Will Find In A Polish Home

Dearest sweethearts,

There is something everyone can agree about Polish homes. They are very warm and welcoming and the atmosphere is always relaxed. There is always something tasty on the table, something that smells delicious cooking on the stove or something sweet baking in the oven. Polish people, once you get close to them and enter their safe zone, taking down all their barriers, get very friendly and talkative.
Their favourite topics can range from religion (everyone loved the late Pope, John Paul the 2nd) to sports (be it football, handball, ski jumping) to economics and secret affairs of the world. You can't get bored with a Polish person around. If you ever entered a Polish house than for sure you noticed a couple of odd objects - they are part of every Polish household. So let me tell you about a few of them:
1. The Polish guest shoes - kapci - flat regular shoes that can come in all shapes and sizes. They can be bought in the lovely mountain town of Zakopane and can be filled in the inside with sheep hair in order to be more warm. It's customary for the people who come inside the house to take off their shoes at the door and the lady of the house to offer them home shoes instead.
2. Church items - range large, from crucifixes  to statues of the Virgin Mary, to rosaries, to pictures of Jesus with the traditional text "Jezu ufam tobie" (polish version of "Jesus I trust in you"). It's also common for the older generation to display the framed diplomas of when their children had their first Communion. Polish people are religious and they are very attached to their faith, so don't laugh about it and behave properly.
3. Vodka, clear vodka - the drink of choice is always vodka with the Polish people. True, they drink their share of beer and they have some fabulous local breweries that make some kick arse beers with different flavours, but vodka is the "go to" drink. It's also customary to older generations, when there is a party and shots are being drinked, to use a single shot glass and pass it around. You must drink to the next persons health and look them in the eye.
4. Ogorki - pickled gherkins - either home made or bought at the local store, they are in every house! They are a perfect snack for the drinking parties or can be eaten as layer on the famous Polish sandwich - kanapka - slice of bread with butter or margarine on top, slice cucumbers and a pitch of salt, and there you are! Ready to go!
5. Trash can located under the sink, in the kitchen - you need not even ask! If you have something to throw out you will 99.99% of the time find a trash bin stored underneath the sink, in the kitchen. It's very conveniently located for peeling veggies, chopping meat and cleaning fruits - just a hand throw away.

Yours very much sincerly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Loves Poland and Polish Homes 
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