Sunday, September 12, 2010


I moved this blog to WP today. The decision was rather difficult to make, but in the end I’m glad I did. It is so much easier to reply to comments! and I found it easier to operate in creating side pages and things. I hope to keep all my followers from before (!) and find new followers along the way. Remember to switch your bookmarks! The new site can be found at The International Loser.

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Although I am not in America at the moment, I am first and foremost an American. I am Proud to be one. Like many fellow Americans and people throughout the world I am remembering today and the tragic events that took place on September 11, 2001. It is hard to believe that so many years have past since this event took place. The wounds are still fresh in my mind and nothing can ever make up for the senseless tragedy that took place.

photo source

I remember exactly what I was doing when I heard the news of a plane being driven into one of the Twin Towers. I was at my locker (I was a freshman in H.S.) getting ready to head to my science class which was right across the hall from said locker. A friend of mine, Jake, came rushing up and said that a plane was flown into the Twin Towers. A small Midwestern girl that I am had no idea what the Twin Towers were. But I immediately went to class where my teacher was crying and playing it on the television. I sat there with many fellow students and cried, while I didn't personally lose anyone in this tragedy I still felt the pain and loss like we all did.

I ended up moving to New Jersey, a mere 30 minutes outside of NYC, in 2006. I heard firsthand stories from people that were in the city at the time and people who lost loved ones. I don't think that enough could be said to portray the depth of the tragedy that took place on this day a mere 9 years ago

My heart goes out to everyone that lost someone on this tragic day.

Recap of the Week

Can't say I don't follow through all the time!

Since my last post of dressing to impress I have been doing just that. Now I'm a bit resentful of the time I have to put into getting ready when some people can just walk out of the house looking like they are hitting a runway! But, I also have experienced much more self confidence and self esteem since doing it!

Me and my two favorite Hungarians went to the park to play Frisbee! I'll willingly admit that I am not going to be playing frisbee professionally any time soon!

Friday the Minimax (the Hungarian Nickelodeon) came to our town. They had lots of things for the kids and I didn't leave empty handed got a nice Hungarian magazine, now if only I understood it! Best part of the Minimax was the bus!!!

An American school bus!

Brought back memories of the days of riding the bus to and from school. In Europe the buses don't look like this so the kids loved being on it, they kept calling it "the magic school bus" because they get that show!

after we left we cooked up some Jell-O!

One of the few American products I brought back with me.

And good news, well I assume it is! Today I got an email that I assume means I was accepted into the Criminal Justice Masters program at Cincinnati University! Well the email wasn't an official acceptance letter, it was a letter telling me that the new student orientation was that means I am in right?!?! Guess we will find out Monday!

As to if I am staying or going, I appreciate those of you who commented. The consensuses was to go with my heart. I've been thinking about it heavily lately, and I haven't made a decision yet. There are so many pro's and con's to both. It is definitely something I am going to have to consider a lot more in the next few weeks.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dress to Impress....

Okay so one of the most obvious ways to tell if you are experiencing weight loss is by how your clothes are fitting, (well that is if you don't think the way I do and assume your clothes are just no longer shrinking in the wash! ) and you start to feel good about how you look because your clothes are fitting. I know that since I realized I have lost weight I have been finding myself through clothes, I have completely gone about shopping in a different way. It is no longer what fits and more about the style.

When I was home I found a box that had all my pictures in it from H.S., I looked and was shocked at what I saw. (Really really wish I had a photo to show you, so you could see for yourself. I even just went to my fb and alas there are no hs pictures on there. )

Looking at those photo's I could not believe that was me. For some strange reason I thought I looked good in H.S, but now I realize I was hiding myself behind clothes that were to big because I was ashamed of who I was. In H.S. I was relatively popular, I got good grades, was involved in clubs and sports (track and field!), I was social and I was happy but I was hiding myself behind clothes that were to big.

While I grew up being overweight I didn't experience the social downsides of it, I wasn't picked on, I wasn't picked last for things, I was friends with "the popular crowd", I wasn't an outcast. The one thing I vividly remember hating about my size was clothes. I wasn't able to fit into name brand clothes like American Eagle and Abercrombie past Jr. High. I felt that a part of me, the part that wanted to dress like everyone else and be normal with the fashion trends couldn't because I wasn't able to wear those clothes without them looking like they were painted on.

I found two different sets of photos, one where I had on the skin tight name brand clothes, and the others where I wore clothes at least three sizes to big. There was no perfect in between. When I found these photo's and was talking to a long time friend I made a comment about myself and said something along the lines of "I dressed like a tent". My friend looked at me and in a very serious thing she said that I look a lot better now, not because I have lost the weight but because I dress in a way that says "I like myself".

It was in our discussion that I realize that I didn't like myself at the time. I hid behind clothes. I wore clothes that made me feel protected. I had shirts hanging out me in a way that I could probably had stuffed another person in there! I have been thinking about this since I came back from America, and I realize that while I dressed up when I was home, in Hungary I am still dressing in the manner I did in H.S. I wear an 18 yet I'm still wearing 22/24's. My shirts that were 2xl I still wear even though I am a XL/L. Granted I've come a long way and don't wear these all the time, but the fact that I still wear these shows I am still hiding.

So as part of my mission to stop hiding and embrace the weight I have lost so far and to boost my self confidence and self esteem, I am going to start dressing to impress. The one day this week I got myself together meaning I ditched the sweats and college logo shirt, my hair wasn't pulled up, and I wore make-up I received several compliments (they may have came in the form of two very sweet children and their grandmother, but none the less it made me feel good). I realized that I don't want to hide my figure or myself any longer. I have decided to embrace myself. I am going to start putting an effort into my appearance.

I may not leave the house looking like this.....
but I am going to start caring what I wear, not just throwing any random thing that matches on.

Do you think you dress to hide your body? Or do you dress to show of the success you have accomplished so far?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


What do you get when you put together an elliptical and a bike? Besides amazingness you get the ElliptiGo.

(Photo from Elliptigo)

So I'll admit that I haven't exactly tried this product yet, but I really want to! The elliptical is the only exercise equipment that I actually like, and I use the bike pretty regularly so this it would make sense on paper that this product would be great for me. Plus, since I suffer from a short attention span this product would be perfect for moving ( it is not stationary) instead of staying rooted in one spot.

Downside this guy costs about $2,199. Since it is relatively new it is safe to assume that if it does last for a few years it will probably be marked down tremendously.

Fitness magazine had a article about the product that alerted me to it's existence, otherwise I'm afraid I would have been clueless! I don't see this becoming a popular product here in Europe, since trends take about a decade to reach and I'm positive if I was home in rural Indiana I wouldn't see anyone riding around on one!

Have you found any new fitness equipment or products lately?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Back in Hungary!

Sorry guys, I know I could have been a lot better about blogging over the past month....but it was my vacation so needless to say I didn't spend a lot of time on the computer! Thank you all for your well wishes, I truly appreciate it. I love getting responses from people because it means that people actually read this blog...and that I am not babbling to myself!

So in the end I spent 4 weeks in America and the last week of my vacation in Italy. Oh how I missed Italy!

I have mentioned before that I lived in Italy, and behind America it is the best place I've ever lived in. The language, the food, the people, the places are all beyond words. Needless to say I go back every chance I get, and the fact that I have people there that are my family in every sense of the word besides blood it's a no brainier that I go there frequently.

When not hanging out in the lovely village that I fell in love with and lived in previously we went to


I went with this lovely group of Italians...
We were only at the beach for one day, but in that time I got an amazing tan(!) but unfortunately the sun bleached my hair so my amazing dye job from America ruined as I am not almost blonde again! When we got back to I got to hang out with these little guys! Two years since I last saw them! I realized I missed them so much, and was glad that I was able to go and spend time with them also. These kids were the children I first au paired for way back when I was a naive 20 year old!

So Italy was amazing. It was worth the 30 hour journey, which was my own fault since I took the longest possible way. Now wanting to cancel my return ticket to Vienna, I went from Vienna to Bratislava, to Milan from the States. It was a long journey but the end results I couldn't ask for anything better, even if I did have to wear a ridiculous amount of clothes leaving Milan because the airline I flew with had a ridiculous luggage limit. (Tip! If you travel in Europe cheap airlines like Ryanair are great, if you don't take luggage. If you take luggage you pay the same amount as the plane ticket and they don't allow for you to take much. In Slovakia they don't weigh your carry-on, in Bergamo (Milan) they do!)

Blah so I managed to put on a few pounds while at home. Not good, but I'm not beating myself up over it. I realize I didn't let myself go, but did enjoy the occasional thing that wasn't great for me. I did so in moderation and for the most part I was conscious of what I was doing so do I feel guilty? Nope. I could beat myself up over it but at the end of the day my trip was fantastic and I left so happy that I'm not dwelling on the small stuff!

So as I am back in Hungary I have the horrible decision on how long to stay for.... Since I got my degree confirmation (and diploma!!!) while home I am officially a Criminology major. Which means I should do the responsible thing and go get a job in my field of study and not travel whimsically around Europe. I'm split about even on my decision, stay or go. Both have pros both have cons. What would you do?

And now that I'm back hopefully I'll be a more dutiful updater!

Monday, August 9, 2010


Hey guys!

So since my last post I have been stateside for two weeks! It’s crazy to be back! I’ve been so busy that it doesn’t seem like I have a minute of downtime. Currently I’m writing from a Starbucks in Orlando! My only moment of free time as I passed on going to Disney with the fam!

So where to start?

I dyed my hair dark!

My sister gave me a kitten....I named him Callen!

I was given a welcome back party!

My cousin came in from outta town for a visit!

Spent time with the family!

Went to Louisville!

I went to Indy to visit some family friends.


Enjoyed some Orlando nightlife!

It’s so weird to be back in a country where everyone is speaking English! I am so used to not understanding everything that is being said around me, that it’s crazy when I overheard conversations and understand what is going on! Being back makes me want to stay back home! I'm not going to lie just being here makes me want to go back to Europe to just train the person replacing me and to come back for good. I miss America, I miss my family and friends, and I just miss the culture in general. I wouldn't trade my time in Europe for anything, yet lately I've been questioning if going back is the right thing for me at this point in my life....I guess we shall see.

I also wanted to share a tip I’ve learned for being on vacation and not gaining weight. Because let’s face it, we are on vacation and want to relax and enjoy our time. It is very possible to eat out and not gain weight! In Prague I managed to lose weight, and Europe is the land of large portions! Mainly it was due to the fact that I walked a lot! But when I would eat out I made sensible choices, and would listen to my body! It usually started with a light breakfast and heavy lunch and a light dinner. I would snack also on an apple or a piece of fruit or crackers if I was really feeling hungry. By listening to my body I wouldn’t eat just because it was time to, I ate when I was hungry! Wow, that sounds so much easier than it is right?! I am so used to eating because it’s time that I would sometimes eat when I wasn’t hungry, or if someone else was eating I felt I had to!

Do you have any tips on losing weight or maintaining while on vacation?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Prague Part 2

Okay I've had this posted typed up since Monday, but have had computer problems.....Apparently sometime in my 16 hours traveling from Hungary to la U.S.A my computer got hacked. I am still not sure if it was only my email account or all my personal information so I've been hesitant to use it!

Prague Pt. 2

Skipping the uninteresting and hardly eatable hostel breakfast, Jane and I made our way into the main square.

Just some background, Jane and I have been to Prague together before. Way back in 2008 we went with her boyfriend and another friend of ours when we all lived near Munich. Needless to say we had already completed the tourist thing before so this trip we planned to do something different…..and we succeeded!

We got Thai massages, which was a little nerve racking because we weren’t sure if they really were going to be a Thai massage or a “thai massage”!

We did a lot of shopping…

Coffee drinking….

French marketing…..

And ended up going to the movies……

Eclipse. I’ll admit I felt like such a geek, but the movie selection wasn’t great and in the Czech Republic they speak Czech not English, so to find a movie in English was a plus! We ended up joking the rest of the night that we took in a “mind fluff” movie because if you’ve read the books or watched the movies you know why. For some strange reason I’m drawn to it but I have no idea why….maybe I like to read things at a teenager’s level?!! Either way it wasn’t so bad.

After the movie we went back to the half-naked hostel and slept (or tried to at least!)

Sunday, our final day….it rained! Go figure, we had plans to spend the day chill-axing up at a local park and having a picnic! Needless to say that was a wash. So our last minute scramble to find activities wasn’t that hard to find!

We stumbled onto a rock candy demonstration. (It is not like our rock candy fellow Americans!)

And got free samples. (I split what is pictured with Jane!)

After leaving we found a …… festival.

I found it very interesting even though it was not my religious holiday. They had really nice music and dancing and had a good positive energy. I ended up speaking with one of the main men that is involved with this religious group. He was super nice and told me lots of information about the religion and related it back to criminology once he found out that was my major. It was really fun to go in the parade with them also, the atmosphere was amazing!

So that’s about all the interesting bits of my trip. Unfortunately I was only there for the weekend and I traveled about 12 hours just to be able to go!

In other news I am back in the States! I am sooo happy to be here! I will have a recap post soon because it sure hasn't been a dull moment!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Prague Part 1

Sorry guys for being MIA for the week! My excuse, and I'm sure you will find is a good one, I was in Prague. Being my third time there I did not have high expectations because the city is not my favorite. Actually Prague ranked second in my worst list behind Bologna (Italy) before I went. But after this weekend I can now say it has moved from my worst cities to favorite cities list!

It took me about 6 hours to get there. My bus ride was rather nice. I went with a company called OrangeWays. I would recommend them. They had a nice stewardess who was extremely helpful and pleasant. They had free hot drinks and new movies playing . The problem was I had to do the sub-title thing as they played the movies in Hungarian!

After arriving I got lost! (Shocker!!!). Originally I had two hours from between when my bus arrived and when I had to meet Jane at the train station. My bus arrived an hour late and I was lost in the city for about 30 minutes before arriving, so I had only a 30 minute wait.

Once I found Jane we went about trying to get a hostel. Disaster. We booked with a company that finds last minute places to stay, they sent us to hell. Okay maybe not literally but it was pretty close. I do not recommend Crib 15!!!! Not only did we stay all of 5 minutes, we spoke with other guests who said it was the worst hostel they had been to and as we waited for a refund someone else was asking for a refund. So we packed up and went back to the booking company and were directed to Apple.
As far as hostels go it was nice. This hostel had more male guests than female, and as the shower and bathrooms were not connected to the room we saw many half-naked guys for the weekend. It was about insane, at one point we kept commenting to one another that we were in a nudest colony. Can't say that I minded, luckily the guys were all very easy to look at!
Also it was located really close to everything. We had to walk two minutes to be at the main shopping street, the tourist street, or the train station. Plus it was a very nice area of town.

So after we got settled in our hostel it was nearing 9 at night and we were famished. We set off blindly looking for a restaurant, and stumbled upon one we had been to two years prior! It was a good trip down memory lane.

We ate pasta stuffed with cheese and topped with tomato sauce. (Jane is vegetarian so I didn't eat meat on this trip.)
And split a Mint Iced Teaand a cucumber lemonade.
The mint iced tea was delish, the cucumber lemonade tasted like cucumber puree so it was refreshing just not the best drink in the world!

After leaving the restaurant we immediately went back to the hostel and crashed!

So in the next few posts I plan on sharing the rest of the trip, giving tips on traveling, and of course how it is possible to lose weight and travel. If you guys want me to address anything specific just ask!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Good news!

In a totally personal victory I just got approved for a two year Hungarian visa!!!! I applied for another 6 month visa (because that is what they gave me the first time) and walked out of the immigration office being able to stay here until 2012. I probably won't stay here until 2012 but it is nice to have options!

Now I'm off to celebrate with a few of my Hungarian/ Latvian friends......and for once the celebration is not going to be centered around food or booze! I'm not sure about you but in my life celebrations of any kind (birthdays, weddings, graduations, etc) are rewarded with food. That is definitely something that I have had to work to overcome and will be facing a lot more in 2.5 weeks when I am stateside.

How do you celebrate without food?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Sadly there will be no fireworks or BBQ's for me. I had to find something else to occupy my time in a country that does not celebrate my holiday......Shopping.

I bought this:

I am still really shocked with myself for being on a dress kick. I've never wanted to wear dresses or skirts, and all I buy these days are dresses and skirts! My mom even commented on that last night! But they are cute and fun.The three dresses are from the same line: colours of the world. The skirt I bought for $2.75, it was a steal! I'm glad to be able to shop in the normal sizes for tops and dresses!

In addition I also bought these rings. I don't usually wear jewelry, but they are fun and go with my purple dress so I went ahead and picked them up! (Thanks to Leila for teaching me how to take a better picture!)

And in random fun news that made me smile another store set up and American section today. Included again were the typical American foods, but it had peanut butter, ketchup, pancake mix, cranberry juice, and hot dog/hamburger buns. I passed on all the items because why they were extremely affordable (for an American product in Europe) I'll be stateside in 3 weeks, and it wouldn't be worth it to buy it now! (Plus the PB was chunky and I like mine smooth!)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

To act like a kid again!

So it's been an amazing Saturday.

I got in two long bike rides. I've found that I enjoy biking so much. When I first came to Hungary I was wobble on the bike! My thighs hurt every time I rode and frankly I contemplated leaving the lock off the bike in hopes it would get stolen.....glad I didn't resort to desperate measures because I prefer the bike now!.......Biking in Europe is common. There are bike paths everywhere here, so frankly it is very safe. The one thing I hate is crossing the street, but biking is practical form of transportation. In Verona and Munich I walked everywhere, since I was always in the center of town. Now I'm close enough to walk, but I'd rather spend 5 minutes on the bike as opposed to 20 by foot!

After cycling the kids and I went to the park......

Can you tell that I am concentrating on swinging! It is such a fun work out! I like to swing or play on the teeter totter with the kids....I may or may not be a big kid myself!

I found this at the Aldi. Sheep cheese. I'm not a big cheese fan unless it's Gouda, then I'm all over it. But I wanted to try some cheese on my salad so I picked it up, and honestly it was because it said light and I understood what I was buying! (Being the blonde I am I actually translated that schaf meant sheep in my head before seeing the picture of the sheep! Yikes. )

and sprinkled it on top of my cucumber and tomato salad.

The verdict......Es schmeckt gut! Which translates to it tastes good! (German packaging..German review?)

And to celebrate the 4th of July I bought these....
Tortillas! I was shocked when I saw the Aldi had a little American section this week. Although, the food was rather sterotypical: marshmallows, muffins, chocolate chip cookies, etc. These products are hard to find in Europe! The tortillas I am glad to have found because I usually spend three times as much at the Tesco for less. Now if only they had Peanut Butter....

Happy 4th of July fellow Americans! Hope it is a good one!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Grad school, travel, and volunteer work....

So another semi-eventful week in M.ovar.

I worked more this week because my boss was away in NYC (I was very jealous that she went stateside and I still have to wait!) so I had the kids. We had an excellent time. I took them shopping, (and it is the cutest thing to see them with their money pricing items to buy!) we bought pizza, and took a few walks!

It was my first time trying Vegetarian pizza! And I must say I didn't miss the meat at all! So I could totally be a vegetarian if only I wasn't an addict for chicken chimichangas!

I spent my free Sunday cycling around M.ovar. Even got a helmet. I've never biked with one and really I think vanity isn't a good reason to stupidly ride around without a helmet. I finally realized this and luckily I did because I would rather be safe then sorry.

My boss picked me up these cool items. She knows me so well! She bought the magazine because it had recipes under 500 calories, she said she even checked to make sure the calories were listed! She bought me the livestrong bracelet because of my mother. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after I moved here, and my boss was basically the one who held my hand through the whole thing.

Trip wise, Munich is a no-go

photo shot by me the first time I was in Prague

and Prague is in!

Basically I planned to go back to Munich to meet with my friend Jane and to visit the family I use to work for. (Jane worked for the family across the street so it would have been perfect). However there was scheduling conflicts so I had to pass on Munich. Jane (a native Liverpool-er) is interning in Hamburg and I am here in Hungary so we picked a place that was in the middle....Prague.

Prague is not my favorite city. I've been there twice. The first time I went with a German friend of mine and we went all out. Air plane rides, fancy hotel, Prague card, etc. The trip was the most I've ever spent in my European travel! The second time I went it cost maybe 50 euro. I went with Jane+2 friends by train, we stayed in a hostel, and it was inexpensive! This time I will be going by bus....

So hopefully this trip to Prague is good! It will only be for the weekend, so I don't expect to get to bored. I will probably arrange more day trips, as both Jane and I have seen what Prague has to offer. (I should probably stop visiting the same countries (and cities!) multiple times when there is so much to see!!)

Also, I have been giving a great deal of thought to volunteering once I leave Hungary in December. I have always been a big supporter of helping people in need and volunteer work. Unfortunately I haven't been much of a volunteer since high school. Ultimately I wanted to do something big, like orphanage work abroad. I've been in contact with some places in Mexico and Bolivia about there independent programs. My only concern is these programs don't go through an agency and I am safety conscious.

There are so many people that need help throughout the world. It is so hard looking at these websites because I wish I could do it all. I wish I had the funds to do it all! To volunteer with an agency it is around $1000-$3000 usd per program. I am a struggling soon to be grad student, so I'm not rolling in extra cash. If anyone has any opinions of volunteer groups or opportunities please let me know! I also plan to do a big project once I am back stateside in the states.

I have officially applied to graduate school!!! I have to wait to hear back, but I'm hopeful.

I applied to the that uni was not my first choice. I've planned to go to Boston University since I picked my major and knew that I wanted to either get my Ph.D. or law degree. BU is very expensive, and as a person who does not want to use student loans the uni I applied to is a more practical financial option. Plus, it isn't a bad school. They are ranked #3 in the program for my major and it doesn't hurt campus is 1.5 hours from my 'rents! Now fingers crossed that I get in!

Wow, so my week was more eventful then I thought! How was yours?