Monday, July 30, 2012

Weekend Bits

Our little town of Leuven is contained in a circle - the Ring road is the border of town, and we never really have any reason to exit our little bubble. Plus, without a car, there's not many places we can really go. Yesterday, however, we decided to go for a walk, and go beyond the ring... and what a wonderful adventure we had...

It felt like we had left town and were on vacation somewhere far away, even though we were only a 30 minute walk from home. Walking through the woods, down quiet streets, across vast lawns, over old wooden bridges... It was like walking through a fairy tale.

Sometimes that's all it takes to feel refreshed...

(ps Have you been watching the Olympics?? Around here, all we really care about is basketball... MES UZ LIETUVA!)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mixing it up...

Around here, at least one meal a day consists of a hearty salad... we've run the gamut from Southwest inspired salads with black beans, corn and cilantro dressing, to Chinese chicken salads, to simple tomato and basil side salads. Even now I have a pasta salad chilling in the fridge for lunch today - packed with more veggies than bowties and dressed with a light lemony vinaigrette. With seemingly endless combinations, salads are the perfect meal.... 


I'm getting tired of them.  

Enter.... THE SANDWICH. Who would've thought that a good ol fashioned sandwich would be such a welcome change of pace.... I love sandwiches, but because of the million ridiculous pregnancy warnings about eating deli meats and a slew of other restrictions, I've veered away from them (other than an occasional panini at our fave little panini joint). The past couple days, however, we've enjoyed mixing it up:

Open faced mozzarella, tomato, basil, avocado sammies:

Chicken breast, arugula, tomato, avocado with goat cheese & a balsamic-dijon dressing:

Salads will remain in constant rotation... but we'll toss a couple sandwich combos in the mix as well. Any favorite preggo-friendly-non-deli-meat combos we should try? 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Let's taco bout it...

Yesterday there was a beach volleyball tournament happening in the middle of our town square - yes, beach volleyball. No, we don't live anywhere near the beach, but the town brought in truckloads of sand to construct volleyball courts in the middle of the square by the main library. I'm not quite sure what they were thinking, seeing as it rains every five minutes in this country (like right now, for example)... but they certainly lucked out and yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day. Perfect for beach volleyball in the city.

The Californian in me wanted to get out there and show them how it's done... nevermind the fact that I'm pregnant and out of shape. But instead, I channeled my inner SoCal spirit in the best way I know how and made shrimp tacos for dinner. 

I sauteed the shrimp with some garlic, onion, cajun spices and a hearty squeeze of lime, then made a little guacamole, some salsa fresca and topped each taco off with a little drizzle of a spicy cilantro sauce.  They were perfectly zingy, and so good. The only thing that was missing was a nice margarita to wash them down with... sigh...

Have a margarita for me, dear friends... and I promise to eat an extra taco for you :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Weekend Bits

26 weeks and an ice cream cone

The highlight of our weekend, by far, was dinner on Friday night with friends who were passing through Belgium on their way home from Lithuania. (I'm really loving the Brussels layovers, btw... it's such a fun way to squeeze in a quick visit!) We met them at their hotel in Brussels for cheese and drinks, then crossed town to a little restaurant we love for a fantastic meal. We nearly missed our train back to Leuven, but we sprinted through the train station and down the stairs to the platform, jumping onto the train just as the doors were closing... The rest of the weekend was spent recovering from that intense run :)

Here's a glimpse...

the lovely couple
saturday morning omelettes 
roast chicken and potatoes  
sunday morning muffins

Apparently all we did was eat... which, honestly, isn't far from the truth. There was also some drinking. My darling Didz came home from the store one afternoon with some beers... he even thought of me:

pregnancy beer

Happy Monday! Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

17 Hours of Stella

Last night we had the pleasure of hosting our darling Stella (of Chocolate Tasting fame) during her 17 hour layover. It was the shortest, but absolutely sweetest visit we've had... we went out to dinner, talked, laughed, strolled through town, and ate chocolate. She got to rub my big belly as we talked about our plans, making sure the babette knows her voice for future visits together. Then we went to bed, woke up and bid her farewell. It was far too short, but I couldn't be happier to have gotten those few precious hours with her. 

homesickness inducing graffiti - i think it's a sign 
lights and windows at Hungaria restaurant
love her
dessert x 2 

So long, dear Stella... Give a little love to NYC for me and I promise to eat an extra waffle for you. I'm already looking forward to our next reunion, and for you to meet the Didzette when she makes her fat-cheeky appearance. 

We love you!! 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Weekend Bits

After last week's bout of sleepless nights and unpleasant early mornings, the weekend was all about sleeping, napping, movie watching, dining al fresco and spending time together. We didn't engage in any big life talks about the future (a common theme at our dinner table lately), and instead allowed ourselves just to drift through the weekend carefree, without any plans, obligations or concerns.

This week, I'm looking forward to *two* evenings with dear friends... this one just couldn't stay away and booked an overnight lay-over here on her way home from a business trip on Wednesday, and on Friday we have dinner plans with another good buddy from California who is passing through town while travelling with his lady.

Anyone else care to stop by? :)

Have a fantastic week!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Dear Construction Workers,

Please Stop.

Your gigantic trucks come rumbling down our narrow cobblestone street at 6:30am. Your jackhammers  start pounding promptly at 7, and your screeching saws shortly thereafter. It's too hot to keep the windows closed, but too noisy to leave them open. This pregnancy has turned me into an insomniac, and when I finally doze off at 5am, I do not appreciate the harsh wake-up call you provide after what seems like mere minutes of sleep.

I understand you're just doing your job. You have families to feed and bills to pay. I know. But please. Please! I'm begging you to stop.

Cranky & Pregnant in Belgium

Monday, July 2, 2012

Weekend Bits

Thanks, Teta Deana! She'll always know where her real home is... 

After last week's whirlwind reunion with Deana, this weekend was all about chilling out, relaxing and laying low. Friday night we went on a little date to the movies to see "What to Expect When You're Expecting" (I know, how predictable, right? But it was either that, or Ice Age 4 dubbed in Dutch). Saturday we had a little picnic in the park, and Sunday night we got to enjoy the live stream of the Lithuanian Folk Dance Festival from the comfort of our bed. Big BRAVO to all our friends who danced in Boston... and a HUGE congrats to our friends Alexandra and Paulius who got engaged in the middle of the arena dance floor... in front of thousands of people... on the jumbotron!

(oh, and thank you to Stan and my brother for the 2am phone call the other night... your pregnant sister wasn't sleeping or anything... we miss you, too.)

delicious Chinese Chicken Salad we ate a few times over the course of the weekend

I hope you had a wonderful weekend. It's so hard to believe that it's July already... it's like I just want to scream SLOOOOW DOWWWN! I'm not mentally prepared for July, yet... July means it's almost August, and August means we have to have our lives figured out... and well, that's just too close for comfort.