Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I Will Give Thanks

I just got off the phone with my mama and they are preparing to go to my Gigi's for Thanksgiving. They will celebrate with my whole family and man that puts a longing in my heart!

It is so difficult for me to miss out on quality time with my loved ones. Family is such an important part in Rob's and my life and we hate to miss these precious moments.

But now, as I sit in our little living room with our lit up Christmas tree, I am overwhelmed with thankfulness. Even though we are missing out on sweet moments back home, I am at full peace with God's plan for us. And right now his plan is for us to be here in Poland, together and to make some perfectly sweet memories as a married couple. I am so grateful.

We are learning more than we ever thought possible through this little journey of ours.

We are learning to cherish this rare opportunity in a new culture,  to treasure the abundance of time we get to spend together and  to give thanks in all circumstances.

Even, when curve balls are being thrown our way and things are not going quite like we hoped (which is so often in life!)...we are learning to be grateful and find hope in a greater plan. Thank you Jesus, for being our hope.

So as Thanksgiving approaches, it reminds me to sit and be still. I reflect on all the good and let it overcome any bad, because I have so much to be thankful for. Robert, our health, our families and friends, food on our table and the opportunity to live life with my precious husband...are just a few that I let fill my heart.

I hope you each have a wonderful Thanksgiving. And thank you for reading my little posts. Enjoy these next few days of family, fun and time off!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. Now go enjoy all the turkey and dressing your heart desires!

Wednesday's Words

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Stocking Stuffers: For Him and Her

 Once again, I am linking up with some fabulous ladies to share some Christmas gift ideas. Today...Stocking Stuffers!

Stockings have always been one of my favorite parts of Christmas morning. I actually enjoy opening stockings even more than the actual gifts! There is just something so fun and sweet about it.

Growing up, our stockings were the first thing we did in the morning. We always had to wait until each kid was up and by the fireplace and either my mom or dad had the video camera ready to go. But there was always some peeking going on before hand. When we finally opened, there were always so many fun goodies inside and almost always Christmas candy and oranges...the best of both worlds:) I am so grateful for such sweet memories.
So first up, let's talk Stocking Stuffers for Her...

Gloves. I have seen these gloves all over Poland and I think they are perfect! So cute and the fingers can be exposed easily when you need them. I would prefer these over the touch screen ones just because sometimes I need my fingers for a good grip and gloves do not always allow that.
Lipstick. I have mentioned this baby before, but it is that great I will mention it again! It is not as thick and shiny as a lipgloss and not as heavy as a lipstick. It adds the perfect amount of shine and color to your lips, and it comes in a wide variety of colors!
Socks. How cute are these socks?? I always need more socks during the winter time to wear with my boots and why not make them fun??
Journal. You had me at gold polka dots. I like having a journal around, mostly for my devotional time and just to take notes. It is a huge bonus if it is cute!
Target Gift Card. I think anyone would be ecstatic to receive a Target gift card. I know I many possibilities!
Backup Iphone Charger. I cannot tell you how many times I am out and about and my phone dies. It is my fault, I know, but it still frustrates me every time. So this backup charger would be such a welcomed item to the purse.

Now, let's talk Stocking Stuffers for Him!

Beard Envy Kit. Does your man or papa have a beard like mine do?? Well, how fun and hilarious is this?? I think this kit would be great to keep that beard tamed and looking good.
Bluetooth Speaker. I think this speaker would be a great household addition and I know the husband would love it. It is portable, which would make it so easy to use. I see some dance parties happening soon.
Portable Iphone Charger. Roberto's phone dies out in public too! Just not as much as mine. But I know he would be thrilled to get this as well.
Ear Headphones. Ear Phones are used every day around here. And have you noticed that some types are so uncomfortable?? Well, this pair looks comfy and would be perfect to listen to your music, podcasts, etc. 
Amazon Gift Card. You can get almost anything in the world on Amazon. The options are endless!
Socks. The husband loves a good pair of fun and comfy socks. These with little trees on them are so festive, yet not too over the top. It is a pair he would be thrilled to receive for sure.
Notebooks. I think these notebooks are simple yet have a little pop of color. A man always needs a place to keep notes, make lists and these would work great.

Other great ideas?? Candy (and oranges), of course! DVDs, books, hand lotion, lip balm, homemade coupons, keychains and so much more! All great for him or her. What do you plan to stuff in your stocking this year??

Last week I shared my Christmas List. There are some fun ideas if you want to take a peek!

See here.

Now back to Thanksgiving mode! Today's to shopping!


Monday, November 24, 2014

Weekending / The Holidays + A Fire

This weekend was such a good one. We stuck to our plan and are now all decorated for Christmas over here! The tree is trimmed, the stockings are hung and Christmas movies are being played non-stop. My heart is so happy!

But do not worry, we are not skipping over Thanksgiving! 

Obviously, they do not celebrate Thanksgiving over here but that does not mean we are passing it by, no way. We are having the Americans from the team over and I plan on going all out. Here's to hoping it turns out delicious! As I mentioned before, whole turkeys are no where to be found here, but whole chickens sure are...

This was my first time to deal with a whole chicken and I totally acted like a little girl, if you can't tell from the picture. I mean you could see where the head was cut off?! 

I was not meant for this. 

Not only was I acting like a 5 year old but I also started a fire. Yes, a legit fire. As Roberto and I took the chicken out to check it's temp, quite a few of it's juices poured into the bottom of the oven. Which we didn't really thinks twice about. Well, that was a bad idea. We closed the oven door while we checked the temp, then all of the sudden we heard a loud swoosh. It took about 2 seconds for us to look in the oven and see a fire. Here is how the next minute went..

Robert: It's a fire!
Bailley: Where is the fire extinguisher?!!
Robert: We don't have one!
*Bailley continues to run frantically around the apartment looking for non-existent fire extinguisher*
Bailley: What do we do?!!
Robert: Do not open the oven. With no air it should go out on it's own.
*Mr. Cool, Calm and Collected over here, while I am still running frantically around the kitchen freaking out*
Bailley: Uh. Ahh. What?? Ahh. Uhhhhh.
Robert: It's out!
*Bailley cools her jets*

Whew that was quite the few minutes. What we learned...

1. Find unknown fire extinguisher in apartment building
2. Learn Polish emergency number
3. Robert is the three C's under pressure...and Bailley freaks out.

What a day! It sure is fun making these sweet and crazy memories with that Mr. of mine. 
The next few days I will be prepping and shopping for our real Thanksgiving meal. Wish me luck and pray for zero flames.

Our day ended with my mama's taco soup (recipe to come!), elf and cuddles by the light of the tree.

I would call that a successful weekend!

Linking up with B Loved Boston Carly, Bella and  Join the Gossip.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday and Christmas Fun

I am a extra excited it is the weekend on this particular Friday. Why? You ask. Well...we are putting up Christmas decorations tomorrow!!

I had full intentions of holding out until after Thanksgiving but then I thought why wait on something that makes you so happy?? It took some convincing of the husband, but now he is on board and we are ready for a little Christmas Cheer. So tomorrow you can find me in a pile of ornaments and lights, singing Christmas carols and sipping on hot chocolate. Ahhh, now that is the life.

Now, linking up with some lovely ladies to share some fun this Friday!

These days I am wearing my heavy jacket and big scarves. But for a little bit it warmed up here and my go to outfit was my leopard scarf and green jacket! I loved the colors together and it was definitely inspired by Pinterest. Pinterest, what would I do without you??

My outfit

Pinterest inspired      

Roberto and I were craving pancakes last night, so I ended up trying this healthier recipe. Our conclusion....they were delicious! It made a ton so I froze what we did not eat for a later day, which makes this recipe even better. Try them for yourself, you will not be disappointed!

So this picture might not make you laugh like it did for me, but I was cracking up. We were at the grocery store and the Husband is wearing his hat like a stinkin' Smurf. When I looked over and saw tall Rob with his ridiculous hat surrounded by tiny little was a sight to see and one that gave me the best laugh.

Since Christmas will be in full swing at the Lew household tomorrow, my go to holiday album will be playing...Michael Buble's Christmas album! It puts me in the Christmas spirit, and his voice is just the best. What is your go to album for the holidays??

There is still time to enter the amazing CASH giveaway! Make sure to enter below because who couldn't use a little extra Christmas shopping $$$??

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Friday, friends! Here is to a fabulous weekend!



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Thanksgiving is almost here and Christmas is right around the corner. It is the most wonderful time of the year!!


Today I am linking up with some amazing ladies for a little Thanksgiving AND Christmas happiness.

First up, let's talk Thanksgiving.

We are hosting a little Thanksgiving celebration at our apartment this year and I am pretty pumped about it. I have not been able to find whole Turkeys here so that is off the list (which is fine by me). So I am braistorming other meat options and I would love your ideas!

Here are a few recipes that look delish and have been added to the menu...

Mix and Match Mama's Mashed Potatoe Casserole. And you can make it ahead of time, just pop it in the oven the day of. Yes, please!

Pioneer Woman's Dressing. I do not think you can ever go wrong with one of Mrs. Drummond's recipes.

And no picture yet...but also my mama's Brown Sugar Green Beans. Yummm. Recipe to come soon after Thanksgiving!

And how cute is this??? The perfect centerpiece!

Now let's switch a little Christmas Cheer!
I am linking up for A Few of My Favorite Things Holiday Linkup Party. And today is the day to share MY Christmas list!
Roberto and I are not going to do gifts this year but it is always fun to make a list anyways! And hopefully to give YOU some fun ideas!
Fun, right?? I would be thrilled to find any of this under my tree!
I just cannot believe we are already talking about Christmas and that Thanksgiving is NEXT week?? It makes me so excited!
I hope you have a wonderful day friends! And don't forget to enter the CASH giveaway. A little extra Christmas shopping money would be soo nice, right?! Click here to enter!

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Weekend + A Giveaway

This weekend was a good one in the Lew household!

Rob had a game, we relaxed, baked a little and Rob and his buddy watched football while I painted. Just kidding. Roberto did most of the painting while football was on. We actually had a lot of fun doing it! Mind you it was only two walls. But still, it felt very "adult" of us! You know?? Weird. 

So anyways the weekend is over which always is a little sad. Anybody with me??

So how about a great giveaway to brighten up your Monday??

bailley | nelle
karli | katie | hayley | crystal
lindsay | becca | amy | andrea
bex | kristin | karissa | lauren

 I am getting together with Karli from September Farm and these other great ladies to offer you a chance to win some mula! $145 to be exact! How great would it be to win a little extra spending money for all that Christmas shopping you have to do?! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Monday friends! Here is to a fabulous week!

P.S. Karli sponsors awesome giveaways each month. Wanna be a part of the next one?? Check out your ad space options HERE.

 Linking up with B Loved Boston Carly, Bella and  Join the Gossip.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thoughts for Thursday

Here our some thoughts of mine this Thursday, basically a random jumble with some very entertaining stories. Read on...

- cannot find them here without seeds. And it was driving me a little nuts. And then...I was in the grocery store yesterday and they had two bags of seedless grapes! Who knew something so small could make me so happy??

- Last weekend, I was emotional, like really emotional. I was a site to see that is for sure. It was just one of those days (or few) that I was just not adjusting to life here in Poland very well. I was focusing on all the difficult things about being in a foreign country...the language barrier, the no car thing, the lack of close friends, of a church, and so on. Basically I was focusing on all the negatives. But then it was a a new day and God granted me peace and the realization that I needed to change my attitude. Because there are so many positives to living over many wonderful opportunities, tons of time with my amazing husband and just the opportunity to dive into a new culture, to learn and to grow as a person and as a couple. So basically I am giving myself grace, knowing that it is ok to have hard days but challenging myself in those hard moments to refocus on all the positives instead. I know I am not the only one who gets emotional right?!

- We went on a double date last night (a positive- having a great Polish couple to hangout with.) to the movies to see Interstellar. Robert and I both really liked it. It is very sci-fi and long, but a good movie.

- I am currently making homemade granola and it smells ah-mazing. Let's hope it taste that way. If it is good, look for a recipe post coming soon!

- Hot tea is my new jam. Isn't it weird how your taste buds change over the years?? I have never liked hot tea before and now I can't get enough.

- I am so excited to put up a Christmas Tree! From what we have been told, you can buy a real one at certain stores here. Sadly, there are no Christmas Tree farms like last year, but real trees and that makes me excited! But I think I am going to have to wait a few more weeks before they start popping up.

- I am trying my hardest to hold out on Christmas Music until after Thanksgiving. Will it happen?? Your guess is as good as mine.

- So I am learning a little Polish, the very basic stuff. I definitely know how to say "I do not speak Polish" in Polish, that is my life saver. But even when I say that, half of the time people will still try saying stuff to me in Polish and I get this awkward I'm so sorry look on my face. I am sure it is pretty entertaining to witness.

- I got to snuggle a baby last weekend. And I know I say this a million times, but man it is the best.

- I made cinnamon rolls from scratch Sunday morning. And they wouldn't cook fully in the middle and looked disastrous. Just one thing that brought on a cry fest (it was the tip of the iceberg- I am crazy I know). Even though they were a little uncooked and hideous, they tasted to die for. Thankfully, Roberto talked some sense into me before I threw them away. Check out the recipe here.

- If you are needing some good podcast/sermons to listen to check out Willow Creek ( Bill Hybels). These were recommended to me by a friend and each one is so great, especially the Simplify series.

- Lastly, I want to say THANK YOU to all of you who read this space of mine. I cannot tell you how much it means to me and how grateful I am. Y'all are the best.

And because no post is complete without pictures... A throwback Thursday to 2 years ago because I miss these sweet friends of mine!

Have a wonderful Thursday, friends!

 Linking up with Annie, Natalie and Joey.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love a simple chocolate chip cookie, and throw some oatmeal in there?? Yes, please.

This recipe was passed down to me from a friend and it is plain delicious. Perfect to wrap up to take to a neighbor or friend and perfect for your after dinner dessert.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
2 cup oatmeal
1 1/2 packages (12 oz. bags) of chocolate chips (whatever type/size you would like)
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)

Mix butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla together. In a separate bowl mix flour, salt and soda, then add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Fold in oatmeal and chocolate chips. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. Bake at 365 degrees for 10 minutes.

I made these with my little siblings back in the states and then stuffed them in these Target dollar section bags closed with a sticker. Add in a mix of adult and kindergarten gold sharpie writing...and you've got the perfect little Thank You gift!


Friday, November 7, 2014

This Week's Favorites

Hello ladies and hello Friday!

We have a relaxing weekend ahead of us...a basketball game, probably a movie and possibly horse riding (?), random but fun!

A pretty uneventful week here, but here are a few of my favorites from this week...

Favorite Quote. Still going strong on the current She Reads Truth Study {Hospitality}. A favorite quote from this week...

This is my first study to do with them and the Lord is teaching me in so many ways through it! If you need a free, challenging study, I highly recommend this one!

Favorite Song{and video}. This song is so beautiful in itself and then the video came out. Oh my... stunning. I get chills every single time. 

Favorite Moment. We went to a Handball game one night this week. It is very popular here and I like to describe it as soccer but with your hands. Ha. I am very knowledgeable, if you can't tell. These ladies were tough and so impressive. It was a really fun {and different} night out! Another favorite moment was a weekend trip to Warsaw with my handsome husband, check out this beautiful city here!

Favorite Recipe. Does this not look delicious? It is not very "fall" but I think it would make a great dinner side dish!

Favorite Pin. One of my best friends is coming to visit in December and we are going to meet in London. I seriously cannot contain my excitement! This is a place I have wanted to always visit. So this post was very helpful. But, I need your help too! Have you been to London?? I need all kinds of recommendations! Especially hotels. We are trying to stay on a budget which is pretty hard to do in London. So if you have tips, please share!

I hope you each have a wonderful weekend! Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to hearing any and all suggestions!

Happy Friday!


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Weekend Getaway / Warsaw, Poland

This past weekend we enjoyed a lovely few days in beautiful Warsaw. 

Robert and I really want to take advantage of his days off and travel as much as possible. After their win (!) on Friday, they got the rest of the weekend a weekend getaway it was! Warsaw is the capital of Poland and only 2 1/2 hour train ride away which made for a easy journey.That made this guy very happy...

We really did not know what to expect, but as soon as we arrived we were so pleased. Warsaw is a beautiful and bustling city, it was such a pleasant surprise.

We checked into our hotel (Hotel tip? stay here!) and then chatted with the concierge to figure out our day. We first decided to hit the beautiful Łazienki Park. 

The park was about a 40 minute walk from our hotel, which we didn't mind because it was such a great way to see the city AND we stopped at the cutest french bistro (Charlotte) on the way. 

The park was breathtaking and full of every fall color you could imagine. 

We spent the afternoon walking under it's trees and soaking in it's beauty. 

And playing in the leaves!

After our visit to the park, it was time to head to our dinner reservation. The concierge at our hotel set it up for us and honestly we had no idea what to expect. But once again, so pleasantly surprised. We enjoyed our meal and wine in such an elegant ambiance, it was such a treat. If you ever find yourself in Warsaw and want to enjoy a nice dinner, Rozana is a must. After dinner we enjoyed our hotel's beautiful pool and a relaxing evening. 

The next day was spent enjoying their buffet breakfast (Roberto's favorite) and exploring Old Town. 

We had a little more time to enjoy the city before our train left so we headed to Warsaw's biggest mall (Arkadia) and enjoyed a fun afternoon of shopping and eating. 

This trip was so made me fall more in love with Poland and it's beautiful culture. 

Warsaw, thank you for a beautiful time. 

Linking up with Bonnie.