Archive | May, 2012

Soccer’s Heavenly Bodies – Euro 2012

31 May

I love the game of soccer or football.

 A little fun tidbit of info about the name game.

The United States and Canada refer to the sport as soccer, as not to confuse the sport with the other sport of football prevalent in the countries.

The American Football Association thus changed its name to the U.S. Soccer Football federation in 1945 and eventually in 1974 to the U.S. Soccer Federation.

No worries, the whole world knows about this play on words, none the less it has not become a distraction to the game, unless you find yourself living in the US for a bit and then going home to Europe and accidentally referring to the game as soccer, well that is another  story all together.

 (A word to the wise, try not to make that mistake!)

The game of soccer(football) is magnificent to watch.  It is a game of skill and art.  The combination of immaculately fit masculine, close to perfection bodies as well as the skill to brilliantly maneuver a leather, 28 inch, 16 oz, pressure equal to 0.6 – 1.1 (how precise) ball across a grass field while 9 other set of legs quickly and assertively manipulate that same ball to their advantage is a sight to see.

That last minute crossing pass that seems to slow down time as it soars from the sidelines, down the middle to the perfect chip shot that floats over the goalkeeper’s head and just makes it swiftly under the crossbar to score the winning goal.

The game of football (soccer) is an artistic endeavor and may I add, a sexy game as well.  I know I know it is a game of skill, a sport, but a girl has a right to enjoy the view as well, correct?!  I mean let’s not fool ourselves that men solely go to the pool or the beach to enjoy the water; the girls in bikinis are a major draw as well.  Therefore, I must sometimes succumb to watching a sport, not merely, for the sportsmanship and skill involved, but for the eye candy as well.

When that tone, fit to perfection player immaculately and skillfully maneuvers a chest trap, I must sigh at the chest muscles rippling underneath the snug jersey, while the hamstring and quadricep muscles peak from underneath those fantastic billowing shorts.

 I believe this calls for some delightful visions.

A plethora of good-looking and superbly talented football (soccer) players and a few celebrities who are even more superb in soccer attire.

Adam Matuszczyk

Artur Sobiech

Cesc Fàbregas

Cristiano Ronaldo 

Damien Perquis

 david beckham

 david villa

Dimitar Berbatov

 Fernando Torres

Gerard  Pique

Grzegorz Wojtkowiak

  

Ludovic Obraniak

Robert Lewandowski

 Sebastian Boenisch

Gerard Butler

Jude Law

Prince Harry

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Gerard Butler gives Soccer some Aid and a Bright Smile Indeed!

28 May

I hope you all had the opportunity to watch Soccer Aid 2012.  A great game for a great cause, UNICEF raised 7.5 million pounds, or close to 11.7 million dollars, which included ticket sales.

The event was brilliant, not to mention all the eye candy running around on the soccer field.

The England team beat the Rest of the World team.

England The Rest of the World

 The score was not so bad, 3-1, extra bonus points given to the players for giving us a scoring game, not a boring 0-0 match, but one that gave us endless enjoyment watching celebrities charge the net.

Of course, the enjoyment of watching men be men in a game that peacefully raised money for a good cause makes one wonder why all the world’s problems can’t be solved through a soccer match.

A little Scottish eye candy and then some!

Michael Sheen and Robbie Williams

Gerard Butler (nice abs)A little bit of Scottish manliness, anyone?Yup, we should all save our aggression for the field.Poor Gordon RamsayWhat a team playerOh boys and their uniforms, it never fails (my heart beats a little faster)What could be better than 1 Scottish hunk in a pink tie, 2, or maybe even a handful?

Gerard Butler and James McAvoy

Oh Mr. Butler, always so cheekyA close-up just in case!

Richard Armitage Dry Spell is OVER; Technology has been Restored!

25 May

I am rather excited to say I have my computer back again.  I have been without a computer for 16 days.  I am not sure how many of you have ever experienced the most frustrating part of technology, its penchant to break down just when you need it the most.

My morning ritual is to check my emails before I head off to work, lo and behold Thursday May 9, I press the power button on my computer, and what to my eyes may appear, um… nothing.  I spend most of the evening restarting, rebooting and basically re anything that would magically fix one of my prized possessions.  The piece of machinery that unfortunately has managed to possess some of my most precious items, pictures, my writing, is also my connection to the world of gossip, blogging, news, bills and is my international connection, via Skype, to family and friends.

So here I am $440 and 16 days later with no real explanation to the computer malfunction (just lots of explanations; a virus in the modem, just bad luck with your hard drive or my favorite and most frustrating, it just happens you are lucky we recovered all your data).  I am now safely backed-up on a portable hard drive; please no more questions about why I was not in the first place.  I have installed virus protection on a mini-notebook computer in case of emergencies so that I can safely get online.

I am once again able to mingle with my online connections.  I have missed some of my favorite bloggers and am trying to catch up on lots of fun posts.  My Richard Armitage dry spell has been quenched in a matter of hours (thank you Fedoralady), and I have managed to catch up on all lagging matters that lack of computer access may involve.  There is only so much you can do on a public computer, whether in the workplace or in the library.

I think the only thing that saved me from having a total meltdown, was a business/pleasure trip to Miami.  Lounging in the sun, writing and people watching was very relaxing, not to mention a wonderful pick me up.

Flowers Brought Love for John Thornton; Now it’s My Turn.

8 May

I love flowers, and as I stated in, The Brilliance of May: A Little Succulent Fruit, my favorite month of the year is May.  Peonies bloom in May, and they are a great fuel for my imagination.  The fragrance of the Peony awakens my senses and takes me on a delightful journey into the unknown.

Peonies are known as the flower of riches and honor; with their lush, full, rounded bloom, peonies embody romance and prosperity and are regarded as an omen of good fortune and a happy marriage.

By the way, who can resist a great man with a flower or a handful of them.

Richard Armitage (John Thornton)

Love and flowers bloom bringing an aura of a bright future.

For me?!?!

Richard Armitage

Bradley Cooper

Jake Gyllenhaal

Gerard Butler

3 Things That Make You a Better Person, and a Better Writer

7 May

Another Monday,

Monday…Monday…lala..lalala

Most people need a pick me up half way into the week, but not I; I need a helping hand to get the week started.

How about a much-needed boost to the writer within, the one struggling to climb to the top, the one that wants so desperately to pop out, surprise, enthrall and entertain the masses.  What about the person within, struggling to make an impact on the world, not all of us can be writers, but all of us want to somehow matter.

Take a moment and reflect on who you are and the choices you make every day.  For those of us struggling to put thoughts into words and words into creative developments pick 3 things that make you a good writer. Not what someone else thinks of your writing, not what someone else values in your artistic endeavors, but what you believe to be the qualities that make you who you are, the qualities that will push you to create your own individual mark in this world.  Some of the values that you love about yourself may, in fact, drive those around you mad, but that’s why this little project is all about you.

The power to believe in our gifts, hopes and dreams is what propels us to move forward, establish and create.  Doubt is the leading cause of failure; however with proper motivation, stimulation and inspiration we have the power to forge ahead and change the worth that we assign to our own lives.

 3 Things that make me a better writer.

1.  I love to research down to the nitty-gritty.  When I write about a subject, I need all the details, all the historical significance, and all the facts.

(Of course, the downside to this is veering off course, projects being shelved for research and time spent on anything but writing)

However, the great thing about this trait is learning new things, enlightening the mind with wondrous information and discovering hidden passions.

2. I love well, love.  Yup, I am a sucker for romance novels, love stories (real or fiction), romantic comedies, and anything in between.  My passion for looking for the bright side, and finding the answers in love, is what fuels my writing.

(The downside is the refusal to believe that love is unattainable, abstaining from movies or books that refuse to give me a happy ending)

However, I am a better person because I see the good in people, the love in their eyes towards those that matter in their lives.  I refuse to give up on love, and hope to continue to search for it in my life, in novels, in movies, in the world, and in my writing.

3. I have a habit of writing everything down: the smallest random thing I hear, an event that I witness that inspires me, every wonderful word or sentence I want to remember from my daily reading, any thoughts that enter my head throughout the day (never imagined there would be so many, I need to practice staying on task)

(The downsides of this little habit are the countless notebooks, sketchbooks, and pads of paper lying around with my countless inspirations.)

The ability to search through these ramblings has given me never-ending writing perks, the ability to find a quote, memory or idea on a moment’s notice and the ability to search out the moments that may only have made an impression for a split second, however, will stay with me forever because I have them written down for eternity.

 Motivate your self-worth by coming up with 3 things that make you a good writer or just a good person, 3 things that make you happy to be you, no matter what profession or destination you have taken in life.

Sprinkle Someone with Love and a Great Meal: Quick Polish Inspired Pork Cutlets (Kotlety Schabowe)

5 May

This affordable Polish inspired meal is definitely quick and easy and yet; it has the sophistication of a meal that took endless hours of preparation.

If you are looking to impress someone with your great cooking skills, look no further, this meal has very little room for failure, and it is packed with great flavors that will make everyone beg for more.

A pork loin fillet (pork cutlets) breaded, seasoned and fried to perfection.  Some lovely mashed potatoes, glazed carrots and of course, the perfect breaded pork cutlet (kotlety schabowe) side dish, sauerkraut with carrots (surówkę z kapusty kiszonej z marchewką).

Ingredients

1-Pound Pork Loin

Salt

 Black pepper

½ t Butter

1 T Olive Oil

½ t Sugar

2 T Sour Cream

Expeller pressed Canola Oil

1 large egg

Bread Crumbs

1 Bunch Carrots  (I always buy the organic small bunch from Whole Foods, they are very economical and no peeling necessary)

6-10 Potatoes (depending on how much you enjoy eating them)

1 Large Carrot

½ White Onion

1/3 Jar Sauerkraut (I recommend any Polish sauerkraut that you can get your hands on; I do believe it is the best. However, for those of you that are not fortunate enough to have a global market in your town, any kind will do, although sauerkraut in a jar is much tastier than the stuff that comes in a bag!)

Preparation

1. Cut  pork loin into desired pieces, 1 pound should give you 4-5 really nice kotlety (pork cutlets)

2. Pound the meat until tender and thin

3. Peel Potatoes and Boil

4. Heat skillet on medium, lightly coating with expeller pressed canola oil

5. Beat one egg with a fork (preferable on a plate, easier to dredge the meat)

6. Prepare breadcrumbs on a plate

7. Sprinkle pork cutlet with salt and pepper on each side

8. Dredge in egg and then bread crumbs

9. Place on the skillet, fry about 5 minutes on each side

10. Add about ¼ cup water when all kotlety (pork cutlets) are fried, cover and let stand on very low heat for about 10 minutes (a little secret that will leave your meat beyond tender)

11. Wash carrots and boil for about 6-8 minutes (in a skillet)

12. Drain, add about ¼ teaspoon butter, a bit of salt and pepper and about ½ teaspoon sugar, a quick sauté of 3-4 minutes will create a perfect flavor

13. Place the sauerkraut into large bowl, grate 1 large carrot and add to sauerkraut, finely chop ½ onion and add to bowl, drizzle with 1T olive oil, sprinkle pepper about 1 t (don’t add salt), and mix will.

14. Mash potatoes, add ¼ t butter, 2 T sour cream

 Of course, as always, no Polish inspired meal would be complete without a glass of tea.

Euro 2012: Wroclaw, Little Venice, is the Place to Be!

4 May

Still trying to decide what cities to discover while enjoying the exciting vibe of Euro 2012; take a quick glance at Wroclaw, a city that will grab your attention and the people that will keep you coming back year after year.

Wroclaw is known as little Venice of Central Europe.  The city is made up of 12 islands and over 100 bridges; many of the bridges go back to medieval and Pre-Christian times when Wroclaw was a Slavic tribe settlement on the Odra River.

It is the city of my birth, so I have a special place in my heart for this town.

 Wroclaw is a wonderful city with an eclectic community of citizens.  Many of the Polish people in this town can trace their ancestry to Austria, Germany, and Ukraine.  A town whose population and borders were constantly changing, the people of Wroclaw are as unique as their backgrounds.

 A lot of us can trace our toots to a grand time in Polish history; a time when Poland held a powerful place in the continent of Europe, and it’s royalty flourished among the noblest of its time.

Prince Mieszko I, of the Piast dynasty, founded the Polish state and extended its borders, including Wroclaw as a prominent city in history.  King Boleslaw the Brave established one of three bishoprics in Wroclaw, establishing the town as the religious center of Silesia.  During the 12th and 13th centuries, Wroclaw became a center of international trade, merchants from all over Europe flocked to the town so that they could trade and sell their goods.

Wroclaw is known for its dynamic atmosphere and its sprinkle of college students, adding a wonderful youth to the ancient town.  In recent years Wroclaw has gained popularity for its night life as well, although not to the extents as Poland’s capital Warsaw, it has become a trail blazer for party night life.

Stroll among the ancient bridges, enjoy the canals, and relax in a particularly pleasant ambiance.

Another shout-out to my favorite Euro 2012 teams.

Poland Euro 2012Spain Euro 2012England Euro 2012France Euro 2012

The Brilliance of May: A Little Succulent Fruit

2 May

May is upon us; so far, this glorious month has decided to bring wonderful weather as well.  I love the month of May, not because with it comes another birthday, I think after 25, I decided I would rather celebrate my name day.  (In Poland, everyone has a day of the year that is linked to his or her name, and thus you are celebrating your existence, celebrating you, and not your age, or rather the addition of another year.)

The month of May always brings a bounty of flowers ( my favorite flower peony) , newborn babies (human and our little friendly, furry creatures), and a sense of a new beginning.  I feel as if anything is possible, you finish the old and bring in the new; a rejuvenation of your spirit takes flight.

It may have something to do with my incapability to live outside of the school year calendar, or with the fact that all my favorite television shows have their finales and take a well-deserved hiatus, giving me one as well.  I refuse to watch summer television shows, instead I focus on spending all my free time in the sunshine or at least in the fresh air (you will never catch me without my SPF 30).

May brings wonderfully delicious, succulently ripe strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and mangos, to name a few.  I eat fruits in the winter, often resorting to frozen berries for my daily smoothies, but with the coming of May, my mouth starts to water just thinking about the fresh fruit, I will be able to enjoy.

I start to think about all the deserts that I can create using fresh fruits, and my mind starts to wander to my favorite pastime, a good book, a great lounge chair under an umbrella on the beach, fresh fruit, cheese, a yummy baguette and a great glass of wine.

Check out my ode to spring; strawberry whipped cream angel food cake

Remember to enjoy the season and to take time to soak in the beauty of May.  The month comes upon us, rather quickly, giving us a little glimpse of the possibilities that wait for us and then it passes us by.

Like the bloom of a flower, May gives us such pure unadulterated pleasure; a burst of energy, hope and beauty, quickly fading, yet making a brilliant impact while it is here.

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