Search This Blog

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June wrap up


The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski - already half way through this book I had to order the next part of this trilogy. This book paralyzed my life for 2 days. The book is inspired by the Greco-Roman period after Rome had conquered and enslaved Greece. Kestrel is a general's daughter in a vast Valorian empire. One day she buys Arin a Herrani slave. Kestrel pity slaves as Arin, Arin hates Valorians. It is very well paced book, with good action, nice dialogs, emotional and mind games between two young people that had to play grown ups because of being born in uneasy war times.
I was a free person until the second book The Winner's Crime has arrived.
The Winners's Crime by Marie Rutkoski - I really liked it and I wish I didn't have to wait a whole year for the last book of the trilogy The Winners's Kiss to be published (spring 2016). This fantasy romance, probably aimed for younger readers than me (but I do not care ;)), is just beautiful. I like that the choices are difficult for Kestrel and Arin, and how much they are afraid to trust each other despite the love between them. Although living in emperor palace Kestrel is desperately trying to stay true to herself but she knows the price of the smallest mistake and she is being watched very very carefully.

Love Letters by Katie Fforde - it is fine chick lit. Characters are likable and they develop thought the book. It is about romance between Laura and Dermot. Since Laura is a bookaholic organizing a literary festival and Dermot is an Irish most famous living writer whole book plot is placed in literary atmosphere. It wasn't very informative book but still I guessed I learned something about book industry. The only think is that "the truth" is so obvious that at some point stubbornness of the female protagonist towards Dermot is a bit tiresome. It is forgivable mostly because romance is some how a side part of the career progress that Laura's goes through. All in all, it was an entertaining read but it definitely won't go on a list of my favorite chick lit books.


While We're Young - it is good movie but I am not sure what type of movie it is. It is not a romantic comedy that I was hoping for, it wasn't an action movie that is my favorite to watch... It was a movie that discuss some issues from different perspectives and introduces interesting characters... I have enjoyed watching it but I had a weird feeling in the end that it was a bit about nothing. If one likes one could probably discuss it and analyze human behavior in it for very long time and have some interesting conversations about growing up, getting old, being young, getting kids,... The movie touched a lot of life stuff, it didn't fully discuss any. I wouldn't recommend it to myself.

Jurassic World - it definitely was entertaining. I am normally quite forgiving when it comes to movies. For me if there is good action or adventure, a bit of sense of humor an romance it is enough. However, the way Claire Dearing release a Jurassic Park veteran Tyrannosaurus Rex to fight the genetically modified dinosaur Indominus Rex is too silly. I still liked the movie but I think comparing how well they did with having a bit of science and psychology in the movie this scene is disappointing. Btw. Chris Pratt as Owen the raptor trainer was really good.


I have spend the last weekend of June in Warsaw, Poland. Warsaw offers all that big city should but still is very affordable destination comparing to other capitals in Europe. It has a lot of historical sites and beautiful parks.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Food allergies while traveling

I have just come back from Japan. I have allergy to and intolerance of milk products. Mostly when I travel it is not a problem to communicate my issue in restaurants or hotels but there are places where English is not very common. 

What have I learnt during my trip in Japan is that our allergies don't have to limit our food experience during our holidays and for sure they should't limit our traveling destination choices. 

What I did and what totally worked for me in Japan is that I had dozen of small cards with written in English and Japanese that I am allergic to dairy products. Whenever I had a doubt if the dish I want is fried on butter or has milk in it and people wouldn't be very fluent in English I would just show them my card and point on a dish of my interest.

It worked perfectly. I kept them in my bag, wallet and most of my pockets so that they were always handy.

If you do not want to make such a cards yourself there are web pages where one can print them from, for example those I took to Japan are from

In Japan there are places where you can easily communicate in English as from my experience very often English skills are quite basic and as it is just enough for simple practical touristic issues (like directions, shopping, etc.) I wouldn't recommend to rely on it when it comes to allergies. 

Such  cards will work in any country that English is not a first or a second language. 
I highly recommend to each time you travel print them and keep them handy. Maybe you won't need it but maybe it will save your mood each time you in a restaurant.

 Happy Holidays ;)


Niedawno byłam w Japonii. Mam alergię na i nietolerancję produktów mlecznych. Przeważnie podczas podróży nie mam problemów by powiadomić w restauracji czy w hotelu  o moim problemie, ale są miejsca, w których angielski nie jest powszechny.

Podczas mojej podróży po Japonii przekonałam s że nasze alergie nie koniecznie muszą nas ograniczać.

Miałem kilkanaście małych karteczek z napisanym w języku angielskim i japońskim, że jestem uczulona na produkty mleczne. Ilekroć miałam wątpliwości, czy dane danie smażone było na maśle lub na mleku i ludzie nie byli za bardzo biegli w języku angielskim to pokazywałam im moją karteczkę i wskazywałam na danie.

To działało idealnie. Trzymałam karteczki w mojej torbie, portfelu i większość moich kieszeni, tak aby zawsze były pod ręką.

Istnieją strony internetowe, gdzie można je wydrukować na przykład moje które miałam w Japonii są z

W Japonii są miejsca, gdzie język angielski wystarczy, ale nie wszędzie. Jeśli chodzi o alergie to lepiej być pewnym ze zostało się prawidłowo zrozumianym.

Wydaje mi się że takie karteczki będą działać w każdym kraju gdzie angielski nie jest pierwszym lub drugim językiem.

 Udanych Wakacji ;)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

one day in traditional Japanese kimono

While traveling in Japan I have visited Kyoto. Kyoto is a fantastic city with infectious cultural vibe. People even from Japan go there to experience Japanese traditions. One way of letting oneself immerse completely in the culture is of course to wear traditional clothes, in this case it is of course a kimono.

I have rented kimono for a whole day and got a bit of makeup and hairstyle done to create a coherent look.
I wasn't alone. Kyoto is a city filled with people wearing kimonos. It was a great experience and brought me closer to people around me.
I am glad I did it.

Kimono is still worn to special occasions like weddings, birthdays, etc.

May wrap up


With my husband we went to visit my friend from high school near London, England. Since I have been not once in London before we haven't done much of sightseeing except of a trip to Stonehenge and Cambridge.

I went to Japan for my honeymoon and it was amazing! :) I visited Kamikochi mountains, full of culture Kyoto, and breathtaking Tokyo. I hope to write some more about Japan in separate posts.


Firefight by Brandon Sanderson - fantastic sequel to Steelheart. A bit slower in pace than Steelheart but every page is worth reading because of final "battle". Sanderson is amazing writer and he created very rich universe. In Firefight he is expanding the universe, introducing a lot of new characters and the only sad part is that the next book Calamity is coming in a year time, and trust me when you get to the end of Firefight a year to wait for more will seem like eternity.

Your Fathers, where are they? and the Prophets, do they live forever? by Dave Eggers - I loved this book. It is a fast read, written only with dialogs.  It is about desperate man searching answers about his country (US) in a very extraordinary way. Very tense, well paced book.


I watched a lot of movies this month. It was my holiday month, and I had two 11h long flights during which at least for me it is pretty hard to sleep. All in all, I feel a bit excused ;)

Far from the madding crowd - I haven't expected much from this movie but I actually think it was good. Soundtrack is very nice and pictures are beautiful. Story is interesting and I am really looking forward to read the book one day to get to know the characters a bit more. I find man-woman interactions from nineteenth century very interesting. The story is settled in the British countryside and follows a "relationship" of Gabriel Oak a young shepherd with a loan and leased farm and Bathsheba Everdene a proud beauty who arrives to live with her aunt. Gabriel falls in love with Bathsheba but when he makes her an unadorned offer of marriage, she refuses. When next they meet, their circumstances have changed drastically. An inexperienced new sheepdog drove Gabriel's flock over a cliff, and after settling all his debts he emerged penniless. On the other hand, Bathsheba has recently inherited her uncle's estate and is now wealthy...

Ex machina - movie about survival and intelligence. Artificial Intelligence versus humans in a very basic set up of a house in a mountains. Very disturbing movie and that is why I loved it.

Still Alice - beautiful story about alzheimer's disease. How it is when you define yourself through your intelligence and richness of your language skills and suddenly your memory do not work and you cannot express yourself anymore. From being one of most bright people an independent woman Alice becomes sloppy, forgetful, dependent on others. This movie is very touching.

The signal - it is not too bad teenage movie. The idea is interesting and I guess it was shown as good as they could taking into account it is a low budget production. I liked the little mind games played in the movie. Anyway, movies about research mostly appeal to me.

Epic - family movie, I liked it. It is a sweet story about civilization of little people that move much faster than we do therefore we cannot see them.

Big Eyes - very interesting movie based on true story of a painter Margaret Keane. I liked it a lot.

Mad Max - crazy, violet but really cool. I haven't seen the old one with Mel Gibson so I have no comparison. But this one is very entertaining and I liked it a lot. As far as I know it is a trilogy so there is at least two more movies to come in this anti-utopian universe.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron - as always Avengers are very entertaining to watch. Movie is full of action, and the action movie type of sense of humor, that I personally really like.

Tomorrowland - very inspiring Walt Disney movie. I loved it! The better world demands smart people that do not give up and want to make a difference. I thought it was uplifting but I guess one can also feel depressed afterwards. In the end, it is a movie about utopia.