:: Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
Photo taken in Wroclaw, Poland.


:: Vitbis Christmas Ornaments, Made in Poland

I know I teased you a bit with my Christmas Ornament post last week, so here it is - a factory tour of Christmas bulb manufacturer Vitbis right here in Poland! This is the largest hand-made glass ornament factory in Poland and one of the largest in all of Europe. And because Christmas is in just a few days (or, maybe just because?), get ready for some Vitbis GLITTER!!!


:: Christmas Ornaments from Poland

As my Instagram followers know, a few weeks ago, I was able to go to a Christmas bulb manufacturer here in Poland and learn how these festive decorations are made. In the meantime, here is a teaser looking at the bulbs I purchased during my factory visit. 

Don't you just love them!
And a few more photos of my teal and white Christmas ornaments...


:: Rome in Three Days (Day Three)

After visiting the more popular destinations in Rome, like the Vatican and the Colosseum, on Days One and Two, our third day in Rome was a very relaxing one. Though we didn't have a full day in the city due to our flight back to Wroclaw later that evening, it was a much needed day to just unwind and explore. 

We started our morning with a walk to Piazza del Popolo which lies at the base of a huge park.


:: Wroclaw Lamplighter

I have officially found my favorite thing about Wroclaw!!! (No, really. I swear you'll love it, too.) Please welcome the Cathedral Island lamplighter :) 
This guy physically walks around Cathedral Island at dusk and lights all the lamps. How cute is that?! I had heard about him before but I hadn't witnessed it for myself yet. So off I went, trying to be a member of the paparazzi...I wish I was kidding. 


:: Guest Post/ Creating New Traditions

Earlier this month I was asked to write a guest post for the Expat Loop blog! Yeah! Being that the holidays are quickly approaching, I wanted to share my story here on Morning Kawa as well. I think it may help you think a bit differently this year. So here it is:

As you know, I currently live in Wroclaw, Poland which has enabled me to meet people from all over the world: France, Sweden, South Africa, Ethiopia, really anywhere – you name it and someone from there probably lives here in Wroclaw! It’s been a great way to open my eyes to traditions and customs beyond that of the US. However, the story that has most opened my eyes is a fairly recent one and I can’t wait to share it with you to maybe open yours during this upcoming holiday season...


:: Rome in Three Days (Day Two)

Alrighty, I finally finished sorting through hundreds of photos from Day Two of our trip to Rome, Italy and I am ready to share!  Our second day was just as beautiful as the first day in Rome but focused more on the ancient sights that we all know and love. 

Here is a look at our Day Two Itinerary of my Three Days in Rome series. 


:: Ad Alert: Amsterdam Heineken Tour

I haven't posted a Morning Kawa Ad Alert in quite a while so on this Friday, let's talk BEER (my drink of choice)!

When we were in Amsterdam last month, we saw the ultimate advertisiment: the Heineken Experience a.k.a. a Brewery Tour. This place just radiates the Heineken brand so I thought it fit more into an 'ad alert' rather than squished into my Amsterdam city review and I hope you agree. It really is a walking advertisement but, surprisingly, worth a stop. I mean, look! They have a wall made out of beer bottles, doesn't that make you want to find out more?!


:: Rome in Three Days (Day One)

Before we moved to Poland, we made a list of cities we wanted to try to visit while living in Europe. At the top of this list was Rome, Italy and this weekend we were able to cross this beautiful city off our list (yeah)
However, we didn't have a ton of time to spend in the city - just three days - so we had to make it count. Not only did we see everything we wanted to but we also felt that this was plenty of time to see it all without feeling exhausted, which is a bonus. I thought you may like to see our itinerary if you plan on visiting Rome but only have a few days. Oh and if you can, visit in the offseason. It is still busy, but the weather is great (60 and sunny) - so no sweating with mobs of other people. Plus, thousands of others aren't photobombing all your photos. 

Anyways, here is Day One of my Rome in Three Days series.


:: Holiday Sparkle with Almi Decor

In the spirit of the holidays, I wanted today's Wroclaw Wednesday to add a bit of Christmas cheer to your day and possibly inspire some decorating ideas for you this season. Though this store is not specific to Wroclaw, it is one of my favorite home decor shops here in the city so I thought it warranted a shout out on Morning Kawa for Wroclaw Wednesday.

Polish store Almi Decor asks you, why not hang ornaments from the ceiling above your dining room table? 


:: Visiting Boleslawiec, Poland - Home of Polish Pottery

Last week, I had a chance to visit the town of Bolesławiec, Poland - the home of the Polish Pottery factories. In fact, I was even able to tour a factory, see how it's made, and attempt to paint my own mug!! This was one of the coolest things I may have ever done. Honestly.

When they say, "Handmade in Poland" on the bottom of each dish, they mean it. It's a true art form. Here's an inside look at what goes into each piece of Polish pottery.


:: When in Rome...

That's right, we are off to Rome, Italy for a few days where the weather is almost 60 degrees (F)! Of course, I will be sure to show you all my favorite sights next week :) 



:: My First Interview!!!

I am over the top excited to have been featured yesterday on one of my favorite blogs, A Spot of Whimsy, for her new "Five Questions With" series that highlights new bloggers to love. (OMG she featured Morning Kawa!?)
Here is my answer to one of the five questions:

Q: Fill in the blank: "One thing Morning Kawa readers don't know about me is _____"
A: My first job was in NYC planning events that had guest lists complete with Oscar de la Renta, Vera Wang, Anna Wintour, Josie Natori, Carolina Herrera and even Bill Clinton. This job is what began my obsession with design and events... however, 


:: Lilou Wroclaw

Ok friends, you are in for a treat today! You know I love supporting brands from Poland and I have quite possibly found my absolute favorite one yet - Lilou.  Lilou is a Polish brand most known for its bracelets, which have even been featured in Vogue so you know they're good ;) 

Let's just say there are quite a few Lilou boxes under my tree this year ;) 
Lilou was started in Poland in 2009 and now has many store locations not just in Poland, but in Paris as well (their website is also available in many languages).

Here's the shopping scoop and a look at the Wroclaw Store:


:: Santa Stationary - Congrats! You Made the Nice List!

Need a unique idea for your holiday party invitations? Well, look no further than my Christmas party invites I created for the International Friends of Wroclaw - (yeah for my first soiree into event planning in Poland)! They turned turned out SOOO cute! Plus, download the template free.

How's that for a Happy Holiday?


:: Holiday Tablescape with DIY Gold Leaf Table Runner

Welcome back to work for all you kids out there who had a nice long weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving. I hope it was fabulous! Our Thanksgiving was wonderful - My tablescape was even featured on HGTV's Instagram account. So thankful for that!

I want to take a moment to share my almost famous Thanksgiving table with you and give you a fun DIY project that involves leaves and spray paint (look at the table runner...EEK I love it!) Perfect for any holiday table :) I hope you enjoy. 


:: Limerick, Ireland

Ok. I feel like I have been talking about Ireland for like a year, but this is the last destination on our Ireland road trip: Limerick, Ireland.

Not that Limerick was a "destination" by any means, it just happened to be about 20 minutes from the Shannon airport, so it was more of a convenience destination. However, it was a nice place to stay for a night. If you're looking for somewhere near the airport this is a great choice.


:: Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from Poland to you - wherever you may be.

We aren't celebrating until tomorrow so you'll just have to wait for images of my tablescape (let me say, it is looking fabulous so far). In the meantime, I just tried to make this Cranberry Sauce recipe from Martha and who knows what kind of berries I bought at the store, but they sure weren't cranberries. However, it still tastes delicious ;)


:: Wroclaw Christmas Market

Merry Christmas from Wroclaw! What? Too soon to say the words MC? I think not! And the market square here in Wroclaw agrees with me. Yeah! Bring on the Holiday Cheer!


:: Snow in Wroclaw

Today we had the first snowfall in Wroclaw for this 2013/2014 winter season! It was so beautiful, I just had to share an image from my walk around town.
It didn't stick and it only snowed for a few hours, but it sure put me in the Holiday spirit! Who knows, I may even play Christmas tunes at our Thanksgiving dinner ;)


:: Visiting Killarney and the Gap of Dunloe - Ireland

The next part of our Irish road trip was actually not planned at all until we arrived in Dingle! That's right, we had no plans to visit Killarney or the Gap of Dunloe. One of the fellow guests at the B&B we stayed at recommended it as a "do not miss" destination in Ireland. And off we went. Oh boy, what an adventure!


:: How to Make a Rope Vase

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I am sure you have been busy searching Pinterest for 'Thanksgiving Tablescapes' - I know I have been.  That's why I can't wait to share with you my latest DIY project: a rope vase! I plan to use it for our Thanksgiving table, but you can use it all year long. Yeah! Not to mention, it's super easy and super cheap. The best kind of DIY project.


:: Insta Morning Kawa

Morning Kawa is now official! Did you notice my new URL? www.MorningKawa.com

I'm pretty proud.

However, I am waiting for a few more approvals before we are totally up and running but if you just can't wait for your daily dose of Kawa, make sure to follow me on Instagram

Here are some photos from my @MorningKawa Instagram account.
You'll love it, I promise. I mean, who doesn't love filters?


:: Plac Nowy Targ

Today is Wednesday - you know what that means!? It's Wroclaw Wednesday! Today's feature is Plac Nowy Targ (New Market Square). This market square randomly has metal lawn chairs placed in a circle. I just had to learn more.  


:: Dingle, Ireland

The first town we visited on our weekend trip to Ireland was Dingle. This town is located on a quaint, little peninsula and was oh so lovely. National Geographic called Dingle one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and I couldn't agree more. Don't forget that as you look at these pictures, the white dots in the fields (as seen below) are actually sheep!


::DIY Thanksgiving Invitations

We are hosting our very first Thanksgiving here in Wroclaw! Of course, Poland doesn't celebrate Turkey Day here, so we're gathering all of our American friends and throwing a fabulous dinner party of our own on Friday evening (since we don't have Thursday off like the USA). I'll be sure to write all about it, but in the meantime, here is a first look at my DIY Turkey Invitations. 


::The Irish Countryside in November

Last week, we traveled to Shannon, Ireland from Wroclaw via RyanAir for $30 US roundtrip. (Not kidding. Thirty dollars...how is that even possible?) We rented a car at the Shannon Airport and embarked on a road trip through the Irish countryside to the Dingle Peninsula, Killarney, the Gap of Dunloe, Limerick and back out of Shannon. Before I get into these cities in more detail, I first want you to experience the beauty we saw just getting to them.

Here is a look at the Irish countryside in November.


::Introducing Wroclaw Wednesday

I am super excited to announce my new weekly installment of Wroclaw Wednesdays! Each week, on Wednesday (duh!), I will highlight a new element of my town, Wroclaw - whether that be a new favorite shop, a tourist destination or the best designed restaurant in town. It's all about Wroclaw on Wednesdays from here on out!

To kick off this Wroclaw Wednesday (WW), how great is this picture of the Rynek artist? He sits outside of the Old Town Hall nearly every day, rain or shine. Don't you just love him? Plus, it's just a bonus it happens to be Movember as well ;)
P.S. I know it is nothing new to showcase Wroclaw, as I have already posted so much about Wroclaw. It's more to ensure there is a balance in posts regarding what MorningKawa is all about: Destinations, Design and DIY! Happy first Wroclaw Wednesday!


::Off to Ireland

Another holiday weekend here in Poland means another trip :) We're off to Dingle and Killarney, Ireland for a long weekend.

Enjoy this picture of a picture of Dingle from one of my favorite books: 501 Must-Visit Destinations.


::Ad Alert: Adidas Throwback Thursday

As you know, today is Thursday which can only mean one thing in the digital world: it's Throwback Thursday. 

For those of you who don't know, this means that people post a photo from "a while ago" on a Thursday. Don't ask. As with most trends, not everything makes sense. Remember the 90's? 

Anyways, memories of the 90's aren't going to stop me from posting on this #TBT. Albeit, this photo isn't from that long ago. It's from our trip to Dresden and it is of an awesome guy dressed as an Adidas shoebox handing out flyers. Because why not?


::Amsterdam - a City of Charm

As I am sure you have gathered by now, we took advantage of a three day weekend here in Poland and traveled to Amsterdam! I had never been to Amsterdam and I wasn't really sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by the design of the city - so many boutiques, buildings full of charm and perfectly styled bicycles lined each and every street. Yes, this city has a reputation but, honestly, it is so much more than what you're probably thinking it's all about.


::It's Black and White in Vintage

I found this vintage black and white tweed coat for $18 (US) here in Poland!!!

Its first appearance was in Amsterdam this weekend. Umm. it can't get much better than this - especially at that price. LOVE <3
Also loving my new H&M heaadband ;) I may or may not have been called, "garter head" for the weekend.


::Tips for Flying WizzAir

We just got back from an incredible trip to Amsterdam this past weekend (more to come on this design-centric city later) - for now, I would like to share just a few tips regarding the budget airline, Wizz Air, that got us from Poland to The Netherlands (for less than $40, might I add).

I was expecting my experience to be terrible, but Wizz Air was actually not too bad. Here's what to expect/how to avoid incurring extra costs.


::Wroclaw Timeline in the Sidewalk

As you're walking from the Ossolineum to Hala Targowa you may notice a brick walkway that holds metal plaques commemorating influential dates for the city of Wroclaw.

I have walked along this path numerous times and always found the design of them to be intriguing, however, I never really knew what all of them meant. I decided it was time to learn a bit about what's in the walkway and I thought you may be interested, too. Here is the Wroclaw Path of History, as told through images in the sidewalk.


::Wroclaw Train Track Bars

A few months ago, we were trying to go out to eat with a group of friends for dinner and I am not kidding you every restaurant near the Rynek was booked/their kitchen was closed/they were out of food/{insert other excuse} so we ended up taking a walk down Swidnicka (Street) towards Arcady Mall and found some awesome, local bars/restaurants under the railroad tracks. If you feel like just getting out of the Rynek and experiencing a more local feel, this is a great place to go to try something new. 


::DIY Halloween Party

Whew - what a weekend! We threw our first Halloween party ever, and it just so happened to be here in Poland. I had a great time preparing for the party and I can't wait to share all my hard work with you! It's full of DIY elements which just goes to show that you don't have to spend a fortune to make a party look great. Feel free to read my commentary, or just look through the photos!


::Painting Pumpkins

I am so in love with painted pumpkins this Halloween and it is so very easy to do! If I can do it, you can do it ;) Here is my how to DIY guide for painting pumpkins. 


::Feeling Batty?

With Halloween just around the corner, I am sure you are in need of a quick and easy Halloween DIY tutorial that will spruce up any room, right? Well, here it is - Do-it-yourself cut out bats!

::Beaches of Sopot, Poland

I am pretty sure Sopot is the best town in all of Poland. It has fabulous beaches, views, shopping, spas, restaurants and, not to mention, it even has seagulls. What more could you possibly need in a perfect town? ;)


::Coastal Town of Gdansk, Poland

Our trip to Gdansk, Poland was a big landmark for us - our first vacation via airplane since moving to Poland!

Even though most people visit Gdansk during the summer (due to its proximity to beaches on the Baltic Sea), we still had a wonderfully relaxing weekend. When we arrived, a full moon lit up the rainy streets of the city. It's funny how rain can add to the ambiance sometimes...


::Happy Friday!

Happy Friday! Me and my trusty bag are all packed up and ready for Gdansk, Poland this weekend. Of course, stay tuned to hear all about it. 

Have a fantastic weekend :) 


::Wroclaw Ossolineum

When most people talk about the Wroclaw Ossolineum, they usually refer to the fact that it houses the second largest library collection in Poland (behind Krakow) and that it has writings from Copernicus and drawings from Rembrandt. I, however, am most impressed with the courtyard ;) It's my absolute favorite courtyard in the whole entire city and what I envision my backyard to look like one day. (Wishful thinking, I know... but a girl can dream right?)


::Dawny Bastion Wroclaw

While walking through the streets of Wroclaw, I instantly fell in love with the crumbling structure of the Dawny Bastion Sakwowy in Wroclaw (also known as Partisan Hill). It's not listed as a 'top sight to see' anywhere and, in fact, it is hard to find in guidebooks at all but it might just be my favorite building in all of Wroclaw for the potential I see here.

When I wander through the stairs and columns, I get this rich feeling that is just so hard to capture in photos. In fact, I took some photos for this post a few days ago and while going through them, I just couldn't find images that captured what I was feeling. So, I went back to the Bastion this morning to see if I was imagining things. Thankfully, I was not (phew!) - I was brought right back to that feeling of a grand history again this morning. 

After some digging, I found some photos of what this building looked like once upon a time. Even though this goes against my blogger oath to only use my own photos, I feel that I need to lead with an image I found from before WWII to help get your mind into the feeling I am trying to convey. I want you to feel the potential I see here and I think this image helps to show just that.
Anyways, here is what it looks like today. (The tower above was removed during WWII so it could not be used as a reference point.) I know it sounds strange, but I can just see a fantastic, extravagant party happening here. Let me show you how.


::Wroclaw Train Station

It's funny really. Even with all our traveling, I had yet to go to the Wroclaw Glowny Train Station. I had heard that it was a beautiful train station and this weekend I thought it was time for me to decide for myself. Boy am I glad I did. 


::Wroclaw Opera House

I have walked past the Wroclaw Opera House numerous times, but this week I actually went to a show held there: The Nutcracker Ballet! Though it wasn't an Opera performance, it brought back great memories of being in the Nutcracker Ballet when I was growing up. A fabulous performance in a fabulous theatre. 


::Wroclaw Philharmonic

This past Friday, we attended the season opener of the Wroclaw Philharmonic - the best part? Tickets were only 40 PLN (so about $12 USD) and there was not a bad seat in the house.


::Trip to the Vineyard in Poland

There is a vineyard near Wroclaw, Poland? Who knew?!

This past weekend, Wroclaw had perfect weather and what better place to spend the afternoon outside than at Adoria Winery! The winery is an easy 30 minute drive from the city center and I would highly recommend this place for a Wroclaw day trip (not to mention, the wine isn't too bad either)