Monday, June 29, 2009

I spy cake!

Some fancy--and tasty--camera work recording Budapest's finest pastries landed Diane in one of our favorite blogs. CakeSpy.

Diane's friend, Jessie, writes CakeSpy. Jessie records everything tasty and sweet and you will see that she is an accomplished illustrator. Diane has Jessie to thank for the idea of producing her own iPop Magnets.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Today is a great day!

A baby was born!

Today started with Steven sending a text message to Kätlin Kruusmaa (his 'host sister' from Peace Corps) realizing that is has been 10-years since he arrived in Estonia and met the Kruusmaa Family. The Kruusmaa's became a "second" family to Steven.

Today is not just a 10-year anniversary of friendship. In Estonia, today is Jannipäev which is...well the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it best:
Aside from Christmas, Jaaniõhtu (Midsummer Eve) and Jaanipäev (St John's Day) are the most important days in the Estonian calendar. The short summers with brief nights hold special significance for the people of Estonia. Jaanipäev follows the longest day (21 June) of the year, or the Summer Equinox, when night seems to be non-existent.
Even more extraordinary--and special--is Kätlin's birth to her second child, Lee, today. She was born on Jannipäev!

We are so happy for Kätlin & Ivo!

Ivo, Kail, Kätlin, Diane & Steven in Dubrovnik, Croatia (2006)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Shuffling toward Monday...

Well it is Monday again. This day keeps coming around somehow.

We are well prepared, however. We had a great weekend with nothing planned. Sometimes you just need to stay home and do nothing. Naps, eating good meals and enjoying the cool weather (60F˚/16C˚) with candles lit all day long was how we spent our weekend.

It was perfect!

Actual footage of Diane shuffling in her cool
slippers on our lesser cool Ikea "Persian" rug.
* Thanks to Bonnie & Richard for the slippers!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

What is this?!

On Friday Steven bought 1/2 kilo (about 1 lbs.) what he thought was spinach. He bought this so-called spinach from his favorite vegetable stand ironically ran by a Bulgarian family. Upon further inspection...this is not spinach! At least it is no spinach that we have ever seen. The leaves are thick and crunchy. The underside is velvety. We sautéed some with garlic and oil for dinner tonight. Given we don't know what this is, we though some heat would help. So far we both feeling fine...

Any ideas what this stuff is?

Leaves are about 2in./5cm wide & 3in./7cm tall.

Underside (backside) of leaf

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hungary for Mexican

Over the past few months we have received many packets of taco season and taco shells! (I think it is the "we miss Mexican food" that has been on the "what we miss" list that has encouraged people to send taco mix.) Tonight we thank Kate for the season and Bonnie and Richard for the shells! We have one more packet of taco shells and 8 more packets of taco seasons. When the taco season runs low-we will let you know. The shells come a little crushed but still tasty. We are able to find tortilla wraps which is just as good!

Thanks to Kate and Bonnie and Richard!

Diane's taco-notice tomatoes
Steve's Taco-notice no tomatoes:)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

happy busy

I know we haven't updated in awhile so I thought I would link you to my "other" blog. You can see what I have been up to....

Click here to visit

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A short update...

It is 11:30 pm and we are both up. I am sitting on the couch reading the news on the internet. Steve and I hear scratching at the door.... We look at each other and he answers the door.

There sits Sultan. She steps in the house, Steve sits down and pets her. There is lightning and light thunder. She is scared. I so wish we could let her in. She truly is the sweetest dog.

Breaking news - more paprika consumed

So we continue to disgrace our new homeland by eating laughable amounts of paprika. Although we've eaten much more then 175 grams, we are officially reporting an update. See our 'paprika thermometer' in the lower-left. How would you eat more paprika?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Missing friends...

Photo credit: Sarah Rhoads

No the photograph above is not stock photography of a "model" family. It is our dear friends Michael & Karri with their lovely children in Seattle. We miss Michael & Karri but get to virtually stay connected with them through their blog. Michael has a great snapshot writing style that captures what is on his mind. Or as the blog notes, what is on the mind of Daphne, the head of the household, an adorable Jack Russell.

We miss you!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Work = Fun = Work

Steven was in Békéscaba (near the Romanian border) last Saturday with his colleagues, Panka and Éva.  It was a 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. kind of day!  They were kicking off an United Way Hungary charitable giving campaign at Budapest Bank's Operation Center.  It was the bank's family day celebration.  Steven often writes how fortunate he is to have good co-workers. Check-out the video below to see how "uptight" his co-workers are.

Éva & Panka

Steven and his United Way swag!

Kids having fun at the United Way tent!

Éva & Panka play a game of Chutes & Ladders

Home Security System

Here is a photo of our "home security system" named Sultan.  Her bark is truly louder then her bite.  She is a good dog and loves it when we come home.  Sultan--or Suli--belongs to the family that owns the house.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Visit Diane at WAMP this Sunday

People are always asking what I am working on...well this week here it is!
When? Sunday June 7
Where? Erzsébet square (Budapest)
Time? 11am-7pm
Why? To support local designers and have fun!
Special focus on mommies and babies!

What is WAMP?

"WAMP was established in 2006 with the aim to bringing designers closer to public and to creating a common platform for unique, quality and available design objects. The monthly WAMP design fair has become one of the most important cultural and design forums in Budapest. In the summer Erzsébet square (former bus station) and in winter Gödör Klub hosts the event.

Jewelery, graphic design, textiles, ceramics, glassware, recycling objects as well as toy design objects are presented by designers and some galleries present their works on the fair. The special atmosphere of the fair was once a novelty in Budapest but became an awaited regular event after becoming generally known.

The aim of the initiative is to support and promote contemporary Hungarian design, as well as to enhance demand for design in everyday life."

I will be selling pillows and cards! If you are in Budapest come by and say hello! And keep your fingers crossed for good weather!

I must give a HUGE thank you to my friend Andi who will be helping me on Sunday.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Another blog?

Some of you may not know that I have another blog. I started this blog a few months ago and the focus is on design and art in Hungary and Europe. I also write about projects I am working on and where you can find me and my products-it is more of a professional blog.

So, I updated the blog last night with photos from a great trip I went on with my friend Sue.

Check it out:

Sue and Diane and Herend

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pocket Coffee?

No this isn't some special pocket where you keep your coffee cleverly concealed.  Nor is this what a friend of ours calls the dessert pocket:  a pocket that magically appears after eating a large meal that allows you to eat that delicious piece of chocolate cake.

Pocket Coffee is a chocolate praline that is filled with real Italian espresso.  The maker of this confectionery invented the hugely popular Nutella.  In my opinion, where they succeed with Nutella they failed with Pocket Coffee.  The idea is brillant:  chocolate + espresso.  The taste however is too much like Chemical Coffee.