Healthy Lifestyle

Each Day is a Gift


  • About taking a social media break
  • How sad I am for those that have lost their lives during the terrible storms on the Tatra Mountains, where I just was several days ago…… I am praying that there are no more deaths and my heart and prayers are with those people and families that have lost their lives or family. EVERY DAY IS A GIFT. Read about it here
  • Where do I want to go next?
  • About my school year ahead, I am excited!
  • Pen Paling with my cousin in Poland again
  • I want deeper connections
  • I could use a hug
  • How to spend my last free weekend before the school year begins



Things You Save in a Fire

Just Completed:

Lock Every Door – Typically I have loved all of Riley Sager’s book, but this one?  I don’t understand the high ratings and raves. I thought this was completely unbelievable and not well written. I could not wait for it to be over. It was not scary or thrilling in any aspect.  I give it 2 stars.


That my parents return today!

That I no longer have to go between two houses

The bonds I have formed with my parent’s pets

That I was able to get to know my family in Poland on a more intimate level AND that we connected so well!



Those that live each day and moment as if it was their best day yet

To travel more

To maintain closer relationships with my family, no matter how far they are

To step away from social media a bit and see what it can open up for me

Old pictures


Sharing myself with others, in a way that is comfortable to me

To find love again, I have lost faith and hope over the years, but I am finally realizing that there is plenty of love out there to give and receive.  Thank you to my cousins “M & T” for showing me this. After 16 years of marriage, they still act like newlyweds. Of course, they have their moments and disagreements but what they also have is loyalty, trust and each other ❤   I am so happy for them and their family



Poland – Part 3 “Zakopane and Krakow”

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I had been to both areas of Poland, Zakopane, and Krakow, before. Not much had changed BESIDES the fact that it too, felt so much more touristy 😦  This makes me so sad because I feel like everywhere is turning into repetitive McDonald’s and quirky t-shirt vendors.  I want neither.

However, that did not put a damper on the amount of beauty, fun, and history I had experienced! I felt like I had my own personal tour guides in Poland, thanks to M & T.  I was so happy and fortunate that we were able to spend a few days together and really get to know each other and grow our bonds.  I hope that they were able to get a better feel of me and know that I love them truly and they will always hold a place in my heart. Again, it had been 16 years since our last escapade, and it felt like no time had passed us by at all. I love this feeling!

We spent our Monday hiking the beautiful and challenging Tatra mountains. (recent tragedy there today)  We ate, rested and set off for Krakow.  Krakow holds a very special place in my heart. Krakow is one of the only cities in Poland that were not completely destroyed by the war(s).  Many original buildings, cobblestone, and castles remain. This adds to the magic of the city.

My cousin, when not forcing up a dangerous mountain (haha), has great knowledge and history of Poland. I loved hearing all the wonderful facts and of course tales, Poland has to offer (“The sleeping giant,  The dragon’s cave, etc).

Our drive to Krakow from Zakopane was beautiful.  I was very quiet as I wanted to take in the beautiful scenes. So many beautiful creatures just wandering around (cattle, sheep, goats)  The rolling hills, the beautiful Goralski Folk homes (They are very unique) Image result for goralski homesImage result for goralski homes

It was a very enjoyable ride, with a great mix of Polish and American music might I add!

We arrived at our hotel/student housing in Krakow and still had plenty of the day left to explore. We unpacked our things and the rooms were VERY clean and just what we needed. Babylon is considered “Student housing” or a “hostel” (NO do not watch the movie) and we had a shared room, meaning we each had our own bedroom (with two dorm room style beds and desks) and we shared the bathroom and kitchen.  It was clean and comfortable. The wifi was not the greatest, as you were only able to use it for an hour at a time, then had to sign back in, but we made it work.

When we were settled we headed out to catch the train into the heart of Krakow 🙂  The location was good, far enough that we did not hear the hustle and bustle of the city BUT in turn, we did hear the hustle and bustle of college students…..all night long 😦  It was still doable 🙂  Image result for frat party

We, of course, were starving so we found a place to rest and eat.  I love all the outdoor dining options, we needed something MEAT for “T” and vegan for me, what a great trio we were!

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Fortunately, this combination was never really a problem. We came across a Gregoria restaurant and quite honestly, I do not remember what we even had. But every meal I had in Poland (except for ONE In Zakopane) was delicious. img_1803img_1809

We later ended up watching some Georgian dancers perform and had a seat at an outdoor cafe and ordered some drinks.  img_1813We wandered about the beautiful city some more and found ourselves returning to our rooms to rest up for the next day.

Near Wawel Castle and the dragon (Breathes smoke on the hour, but today it was not breathing  lol)

Fairytale setting

Inside Wawel Castle

I am glad I took advantage of the dry weather to get my headstand in 🙂


I woke up my last morning to the sound of rain. “T” wanted to sleep in a bit, so “M” and I grabbed umbrellas (She is SO prepared) and strolled over to a nearby cafe for some coffee and breakfast.  It was so nice to sit and chat as the rain fell 🙂  Honestly the mood was a bit solemn for me, as it was my last day in Poland, with a family that I loved and felt very close to (I wish we were closer).  Yet I was not going to let this day and weather “Rain on my parade”.

We headed back to our rooms and “T” was up, we brought him back some breakfast and started to think about our day.  Since it was rainy, we decided a movie at the famous Kino Pod Baranami  (Cinema Under the Rams) would be a great idea, but it was not until 3 pm.  “M & T” thought about pulling up a movie on their laptop for us to watch, rest, and relax until the weather lifted. I thought this was a lovely idea for them, and it would give them some time alone in this romantic city. I, on the other hand, wanted to go and explore. The idea of coffee shops and book stores along with people watching and walking in the rain, sounded fabulous to me. I told them of my plan and they decided to join me as well, which I think they were extremely happy they did.  This day, without a plan, ended up giving us so many treasures!  We walked around to a few book stores, had coffee, purchased our tickets for our show, and my cousin “M” found a little underground pub that we decided we would take a walk down to and explore. I am so grateful that we did because I think this was possibly the most beautiful bar I have ever been to. What treasure and a find!  We scoped it out, did some headstands (Because WHY NOT) and decided to have a small bite to eat before coming back to see our show.

Rainy day? Still, play

She loves me ❤


We found our way to Chimera, which had vegan and non-vegan options (SCORE)img_1827img_1832img_1829


“T” happy with his non-vegan meal and Compote (non-alcoholic)

We purchased tickets to see “Minding the Gap”, (available on HULU if interested!) it was a documentary that followed 3 men trying to “Skate free” of their addictions. The seats in the cinema were so comfy, it was so damp and rainy out, that we figured, even if it is terrible, we could at least catch a snooze.  The movie ended up being excellent!  Very touching and sad, even brought tears to my eyes.  We dried our eyes and decided to grab something to eat before settling down for an evening drink at our newfound pub.  I wanted Vegan, so vegan it was!  We made our way to the Jewish section of Krakow, which I really wanted to see.img_1841 There were some beautiful synagogues and a little town center to explore. We, well I, decided on falafel, so we found a wonderful Israeli restaurant, Hamsa. I currently am obsessed with falafel and hummus, so this again (As in Paris) was my favorite meal of the trip!  img_1842img_1844img_1843

After dinner, we wandered a bit in the shops and outdoor markets……


Sukiennice (Or Cloth Hall) in Krakow




These colorful pysanky eggs brought back SO many childhood memories for me 


art wall


Here are a few photos of the lovely Piwnica Pod Baranami 


This “basement bar” is the most beautiful and eclectic one I have ever been in!



Our bartender was fabulous! We told him what we liked, he created individualized drinks for us, we were all pleased!


We stumbled our way back to our rooms for a few hours of sleep before getting up at 3 am to get ME to the airport in time for my flight home.

It was an amazing adventure filled with food, fun, and most importantly FAMILY.  This is a trip and adventure I will always remember, and I hope it can bring our two worlds closer together.  I plan on keeping communication quite frequent. I would love to continue to Pen Pal with my cousin “A” and her students. I would love to visit each other more often, and most of all, I would love to continue to get to know my family and have them get to know me.

Until my next adventure…..


Healthy Lifestyle

Then and Now


  • What is next for me?  Where will I go, what will I do? I have a few things up my sleeve, we shall see
  • I really want to be loved, feel loved and give love ❤
  • How beautiful the Polish language is, essentially all European languages. There is just something about the way it sounds. Even the simplest words and phrases sound songlike.  I feel very harsh as an American!
  • When you connect with people, time apart really does not matter, you seem to pick right up where you left off



How things change, yet still remain the same….Then and Now 🙂

Photos are from 1983, 2003, and 2019


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To slow down.  Between jet lag and running around the past two weeks, I have also done the opposite. Slowed down.  Took my time to eat, walk, read.  It is sensational yet still quite difficult to master. I hope to practice this more often and take in everything at every moment.


That I will be reunited with my parents shortly, and that I will not have to tend to the “farm” any longer! I have learned so much about the outdoors and animals the past 3 months, I might even say I enjoyed it if you catch me at a good moment 🙂


Poland Part 2

Zakopane (Tatra Mountain region)  and Prague

A few more photos from when before my cousin departed…..

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Blueberry Perogies, yup

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Goodbye, my beautiful cousin! 

After my cousin Ania and her family departed (Sniffle, sniffle) , I was with my parents and aunt, uncle and cousin.  I planned on staying in the same cabin BUT it was jam-packed as is, and not one but TWO snorers…..So I was on a mission for accommodations. It was an unsuccessful night one and had to sleep next to the snoring monster…..

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The next morning, I found accommodations about 1.5 miles from my parent’s cabin, it was perfect! It was far enough I would not be able to hear their snores…….(hahahaha)

This was our view from the cabin, of Mount Gievont (read about the tale of the sleeping giant hereSee how it looks like a sleeping giant!?!??!!

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And here you can see Mount Gievont in the background as well (and I wore shorts this time 😉

That evening I wandered around town on the famous Krupowki street. I wander in stores and markets and gathered a few things I needed. I also found a great coffee shop with Almond milk, Costa coffee 🙂  So I was pleased!

The next morning I set off with my aunt to hike the beautiful Morske Oko

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My aunt is an accomplished hiker! I was beyond impressed!

Image may contain: mountain, sky, outdoor, nature and waterAND then the highest peak in Poland read about the Trail to Rysy here

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And of course…..

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The next day I did my own mini hike up to Dolna Gubałówka

I wandered around the shops and took in the breathtaking views before meeting my mom, aunt, and cousin for a stroll through town.

Later that night, we left (at midnight) For our Prague adventure.  We booked our trip with Strama

The bus was very comfortable and our tour guide was phenomenal!  He was so kind and sweet and even fist bumped us several times!  He always made sure we were comfortable. On the trip, we received sandwiches and bottled water. We also received some chapstick!

Here is the official itinerary:

TRIP Schedule

The first day (Saturday)

  • 00:01 Leaving Zakopane
  • 09.30 Arrival at Prague – meet the guide, sightseeing (5 hours):
    • Starhov Monastery
    • Pohorzelec
    • Loreta
    • Prague Castle
    • Garden Valdstein
    • Charles Bridge
  • 14.30 Free time
  • 16.30 Tranfer to the hotel – accomodation
  • 18.30 Dinner in the hotel
  • 19.45 Departure for a Cruise on the Vltava River
  • 21.00 Cruise on the Vltava
  • 22.30 Return to Hotel

The second day (Sunday)

  • 07.30 Breakfast in the hotel
  • 08.30 Departure from hotel
  • 09.00 Meet the guide (4 hours):
    • Wenceslas Square
    • Lucern Palac
    • Church of Our Lady of the Snows
    • New Town Hall Prague
    • Josefov
    • Old Town Prague
    • Municipal House
  • 13.30 Free time
  • 15.30 Departure from Prague
  • 00.00 Planned return to Zakopane


It was a 9-hour bus ride, which we all tried to sleep, but it is similar to trying to sleep on a plane….

We arrived in Prague at 9 am and began our 5-hour tour, wandering around the fairytale setting of Prague. it is such a beautiful and romantic city!  Image may contain: sky and outdoor

We had a few hours of light drizzle, then the downpour. Image may contain: 4 people, including Diana Christine, people smiling, outdoor

We were able to find some ponchos and remained fairly dry for the rest of our tour.  I spotted many places I wanted to visit but time was a constraint. I was able to get a feel of what I would like to visit when I return.

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My favorite part of Prague? Charles Bridge. Just stunning.

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Charles Bridge to the left

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view from the Charles Bridge

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After our tour and some free time to wander, we headed back to our hotel and had dinner. Later we were to depart for a night cruise to see Prague at Night, but I opted out of it as I was barely functioning, like a walking zombie. My parents went and said it was beautiful. I am sorry I missed it but I think I made the right choiceImage may contain: Diana Christine, smiling, outdoor


The next morning we had early breakfast and left at 7 am for our next tour. Today was the complete opposite of the previous day. Sun and warmth.  Perfect weather for Prague. This perfect weather also brought the crowds. My beautiful Charles Bridge was barely accessible with the amount of volume on it.

We continued our tour and on our free time, my parents and I found a great little cafe and had a bite to eat.


Later we found ice cream and had to try this concoction out!

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We ended our tour around 3 and piled back on the bus to return back to Zakopane. It was wonderful and beautiful but way too short for such a captivating city. I will be back 🙂


After a few hours of sleep, my cousins T & M were ready to take me on a hike!  Sleep-deprived as was, what was another 8-9 hour hike?

At the start of our hike, I tried to turn back several times. lack of sleep and balance was scaring me. Plus the constant uphill trek on rocks and boulders…..did not look good to me.  However, my slave driver cousin managed to persuade us many times to keep going forward. This would play out several more times throughout our hike.

We hiked the Czerwone Wierchy of Zakopane. This was a heavenly hike. Quite literally. We were so high up, most of the hike was in the clouds!

We started off sweaty and sticky. It was HOT, that was soon to change ….

It started to become so windy that at times, I was getting pushed over and lifted up!  I was terrified, but quickly found out that stopping only made it worse!!  Again, Cousin “T’  told us to keep pushing forward… we did!


Low Visibility + Crazy winds …..

My cousin pretending to get blown away…..

After our hike, we ended with a Polish beer at the bottom of our trek. It was a cute little outdoor pub on the trail!  After our beer, we had another hour or so hike, but it was all downhill…..which caused us to wobble and hobble down.

We later went to our favorite street in Zakopane for some dinner. We were starved!  Finally, we settled in for the night, rested, as we were off to Krakow the next morning!

To be continued…..img_1360

Healthy Lifestyle

Passionately Poland


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  • How much I learned about myself over the past 12 days of my trip overseas. I found myself in many uncomfortable situations, yet somehow I was able to make the best of them and persevere.  I am really proud of myself and my experiences.  The biggest lesson? I can do things I am uncomfortable with, and continuing to voice myself and be heard helps in so many ways.


Currently Reading:

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Normal People 


The Unbreakables – 3.5 stars. This was a quick and enjoyable read for me!

Want to Read:

Red, White, and Royal Blue

The Right Swipe

The Wild Woman’s Way

Lock Every Door

I read so much and so often, then sometimes I can’t remember a recent book that I JUST READ. This makes me so sad! Love this article and these tips and I will be doing this (Not every single book, but especially non-fiction)



To live in the United States – the conveniences we have. Sometimes stepping back and away from them is eye-opening, I always return from trips feeling so grateful ❤

For Freedom and diversity

For spending time with my family and parents in Poland (our first time all together there since I was 3!)

For having a safe flight to and from Poland

For being able to live the fairytale of Prague

For speaking up for myself

For finding and enjoying  connection (Surprise!!)

For my big, cozy, fluffy bed

Being able to stretch out


For realizing, slowly, what I truly need and want

My large shower

exploring nooks and crannies in foreign places


Inspired Byimg_1801

Loving relationships, making it known that it is possible

How little some people have, yet make the most and best of every little thing

Clear communication, standing my ground

The hospitality of others – I was SO spoiled and taken care of in Poland, something DIFFICULT for me to accept, and uncomfortable. Image may contain: food

One of my many breakfasts by “Chef Anna”

This “I Don’t” List 


My Poland and Prague Trip, Part I

I just spent 12 days traveling all over Poland and Prague. This was surely an adventure and experience I will remember for a lifetime. I really learned so much about Poland, my family and myself.

My flight from Newark to Krakow was wonderful. I had one smooth connection in Frankfurt and was on my way again!  Getting off the plane I was incredibly nervous, I had not seen my cousin Ania since I was 3 or 4 years old!  What if we did not get along? What if we were too different? What if we had nothing to talk about?  Sure enough, my nerves were put to rest as soon as I stepped off the plane and saw this welcoming sign, hahaha, Perfect, we will get along JUST FINE


Ania’s brother and his fiance joined us for the trek. We drove back a little over an hour to Ania’s lovely town of Dabrowa Gornicza, Where I would spend the next 4 days.  Ania took me up to her lovely condo, introduced me to her 16-year-old son, Michael, we had some coffee and then went to visit her parents. Here is their home (Cool clock, right!!!)IMG_1907[1]

I was feeling quite beaten, not having slept for over 24 hours, but was still going strong. We finally went back to Ania’s and settled in for the night.  I was still in awe that I was actually in Poland with my family and my cousin that I had pen-paled with all year during the school year.

The next day, Monday, we set off for our first adventure. We decided to visit Częstochowa, home to the famous “Black Madonna”.Image result for black madonna poland This brings pilgrimages from all over the world to see her beauty and glory.  Here is some information and things to do in Czestochowa. 

On our drive to Czestochowa, I was in desperate need of coffee thanks to my lack of sleep and jet lag, so we came across this adorable little Alpaca farm and coffee shop!

When we finally arrived at Czestochowa, we were greeted by beautiful songs and music as pilgrimages approached the church!IMG_1914 And of course I had to begin my **headstand challenge, so I found the opportunity and took it, sort of 🙂


**The headstand challenge was started by a fellow yogi friend of mine who recently travelled to Dubai, Croatia and Krakow, he performed headstands all around those countries and I opted to continue the trend to see how long we can keep this going

We toured the grounds and the church from the ground and in the air…


We then made our way into the quaint little town for some lunch and of course some photo ops…

Popcorn Salad @ Awokado

It was such a lovely, fun-filled day. Lots of laughs, sights and of course delicious food.

Tuesday we decided to do a bike tour of Dabrowa Gornicza, specifically the Pogoria Lakes.  There are 4 of them, each so unique and special.  It was such a fun day and especially viewing it all on a bike!  We ended our trip by having coffee at the lovely waterfront restaurant my cousin celebrated her big 4-0 !

Later that evening we wanted to spend some time with Ania’s brother and his fiance. 16 year old “Pro gamer”, decided he’d like to join us and tag along. Guess we are all still sorta cool 🙂

We went to one castle, Zamek Siewierski, and it was breathtaking. We arrived as the sun was setting, and it was just a beautiful and peaceful time to explore the grounds. IMG_1938

We stopped for a delicious fish dinner as well
And finally one last stop before heading home (and heading to bed) we stopped by my cousin’s school, where our pen paling adventure all began.

Another jam-packed, adventurous day, just the way I like it.


Finally, Wednesday arrived and it was time to drive to the Tatra mountains to Zakopane, where I would meet up with my parents and aunt and uncle at their cabin getaway……  The drive was long and filled with traffic, but we made it and I was so thrilled to see my parents smiling faces and big, huge, hug from mom

We said our hello’s and hit the famous Krupowki street in Zakopane. It is a cobblestone street filled with wonderful shops, crafts, cheeses, restaurants. I especially loved the Empik store (similar to our Barnes and Noble) and the coffee shop, Costa Coffee (comparable to Starbucks).  The Cukiernia’s (Bakeries) were scattered throughout the street as well, always able to find a great pastry or cup of coffee there



Goralski Praliny – highly recommendIMG_1956IMG_1955IMG_1953IMG_1952IMG_1951IMG_1949IMG_1948IMG_1947

After dinner my cousin and her parents left Zakopane and headed back to their homes…..part 2 of my adventure was to begin (to be continued)


Also, lunch, not pictured here , highly recommend