:: Newborn Photographer in Wroclaw

I love to try to capture life's most precious moments with beautiful photography and taking photos of our new baby was one of those moments I just had to have on film. As many of you know, I do not speak fluent Polish so I was worried about finding a photographer we could connect and communicate with here in Poland. Luckily, we found Natalia Medlarska and I want to share with you some of our newborn photos that I love oh so much. If you are in need of a family photographer in Wroclaw - I highly recommend Natalia. And no, I was not compensated for this post ;)


:: Meet Henry and a New(ish) MorningKawa

If you're a frequent visitor to MorningKawa then you know I have been off the grid for the past few months. But, in my defense, it has been with good reason: we had a baby (and it sure takes a lot of time to prepare for having a baby)! Please meet Henry - the newest addition to our family. Isn't he just the cutest?!

Now, as you know, with babies come change - change in routines, change in sleeping (oh vey the lack of sleep...), change in pretty much your entire life (all for the better!). And for me, our new baby also means a small change to MorningKawa. Of course, I will still be blogging about traveling, decorating and creating DIY projects but now I'll be adding a bit more flair focused on baby and raising a little one here in Poland. Now, don't get me wrong, MorningKawa won't become a 'mommy blog' only, it's just impossible to ignore the most important thing you do every day when blogging about your life. We do have family visiting throughout the Christmas season but expect more frequent posts to resume after the new year. 

I am so excited to be back to blogging and I hope you are, too!



:: Under Construction

Hi Everyone! MorningKawa is currently under construction and in the process of re-branding a bit.

Hope to be back soon :)



:: Prague, Czech Republic

Phew - so much has happened the past few months - including a long hospital stay (don't worry, so far so good!) 

Anyways, last month, we had some friends come to visit and one of the places we went was Prague! My husband and I have visited Prague before, but that was before we moved to Poland. It is a beautiful city and worth all the hype that it gets as a must-visit place in Europe. Prague was much larger than I remembered, but just as beautiful.
View of the Charles Bridge. Lots of street art to be found here!


:: Zakopane, Poland

A few weeks ago, we were lucky enough to visit the Polish ski town of Zakopane located in the Tatra Mountains. Yes, I know it isn't quite ski season yet, but the town was every bit as enjoyable in the summer as I imagine it would be during the winter. This town is no secret to the people of Poland - almost everyone from Poland knows of Zakopane and has vacationed here at some point. And, the weekend we arrived was no different as it was a busy, bustling town from the early morning through  the evening hours.


:: A Dream Vacation to Greece - Part V - Santorini

OMG Where did the time go since my last post!? Sometimes, life just takes over! But, let me tell you Santorini is oh so worth the wait!

THIS place is the reason I became in love with Greece without ever having been there and THIS place is THE reason to go to Greece. If you're planning a trip, make sure you visit here for at least a few days. It isn't like anywhere I have ever been and the relaxation that comes with visiting Santorini is just unexplainable - it overtakes you and you just.are.so.content. Ahh...I can't even explain it. There's this haze over the island at all times and I think that haze just puts you in a trance making this the perfect place to reset and recharge. 


:: A Dream Vacation to Greece - Part IV - Heraklion, Crete

After our days spent in Chania, Crete it was time for us to head to Santorini. BUT, in order to get to Santorini from Crete we had to take a ferry from the town of Heraklion, which is exactly what we did.

Heraklion is actually the largest city in Crete and tends to be a very popular destination on the island. BUT...we did not like Heraklion. At all. (See we don't love every city we visit!) We were ready to leave just as quickly as we arrived.


:: A Dream Vacation to Greece - Part III - Elafonisi Beach, Crete

As I mentioned, when we went to Crete we were on a mission to find the best and most beautiful beaches on the island - and boy, did we ever! On our second day in Crete, we ventured to Elafonisi Beach. After spending the previous day at the beautiful Balos Beach, I was a bit skeptical as to how Elafonisi Beach would compare. But, let me tell you, we were not even in the slightest bit disappointed - and we were kinda relieved we didn't have to hike a mile to get to the water ;) 

I'm convinced Elafonisi Beach is easily a top contender for one of the best beaches in the world - pink   sand, crystal clear water and, overall, a perfect place to spend the day doing absolutely nothing. 


:: A Dream Vacation to Greece - Part II - Chania and Agia Marina, Crete

Now that you have seen our day trip excursion to Balos Beach, let's chat a bit more about the island of Crete itself - with a focus on the towns of Chania and Agia Marina. 

Let me start by saying my "perfect vision" of Greece that I held in my mind for years originally did not include the Island of Crete. But, Crete is where Ryan Air flies to from Wroclaw so without much choice it was added to our week-long Greek trip. Plus, given that our flight was only about 100 USD round trip, I didn't much care where we were flying into - I was finally going to Greece!!! 

Let me now say that I honestly am SO glad we were given a chance to explore Crete. It was an island full of beautiful beach and mountain landscapes with charming towns. In reality, Crete should be on the list of must-see islands in Greece. Really. It was great. 


:: A Dream Vacation to Greece - Part I - Balos Beach, Crete

Ever since I can remember, my dream in life has been to go to Greece. I have wanted to walk the streets of Santorini and swim in some of the best beaches in the world. I wanted to eat the Greek food and explore the islands like the girls in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants ;) In fact, I have had this perfect vision of what Greece would be like in my head for so long that I was worried I would be disappointed, or let down in some way when I actually went there. (You know how sometimes when you want something so badly that when you get it, you're a bit like, "Oh that's it...?") Well. Let me tell you. Greece is NOT like that. It exceeded any and all expectations that I had and I would add it to the top of anyone's travel bucket list. I really think it is the most beautifully relaxing place in the world. Honestly. It is the best place I have been hands down and I would go every single year if I had the chance. This was also our first truly relaxing trip with no exact itinerary - and that's how everyone should plan to visit Greece. It's a go-with-the-flow type of place.
As I began to look back at my photos, every single place was so full of the magic of Greece that I didn't want to leave any of it out, or have a blog post a mile long :) So that said, I will be sharing with you separate posts on each destination we visited during our 7-day trip to help you see the places we went in their entirety. We'll start with our day trip to Balos Beach in Crete. Then in separate posts, I will get into more of the specifics of where we stayed and how we got there, places we went, etc.

So here we go:
Day One in Greece; Balos Beach on the island of Crete


:: I'm Under-Construction

No, MorningKawa.com isn't under construction, I, myself am!!!

I FINALLY got a new computer with Photoshop (my old MacBook Pro was from 2006....) and I am busy taking the time to actually learn this program. It's been on my "to-do list" for years and I decided there is no time like the present. And, if I don't do it before baby, I may never. Perhaps this is my version of nesting :) 

When I come back from my classes, I will have lots of (hopefully beautiful) Greece photos to share so get ready! Here's a peak of the most beautiful place ever! 



:: Wroclaw Boat Rental

We just got back from a whirlwind week in the USA. Now that is is raining cats and dogs here in Wroclaw, I wanted to share with you something to do when the weather turns up a bit: rent a boat and take it down the Odra!


:: Happy [belated] 4th of July!

Yes, I am well aware that we're a bit beyond July 4th, but many people here in Poland have asked me what this American holiday is all about. Being that this is my favorite holiday, I LOVE to tell them all about it and I thought my other non-American readers may be interested in hearing about it, too.  If you already know - and love - America's birthday it's ok to skim over this post. But if you don't, keep reading. 
Image Via


:: A Polish Wedding

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of attending our first Polish wedding! It was located in the small mountain town of Koniakow - about 3 hours from Wroclaw. It was a beautiful wedding and let me tell you, those Poles know how to celebrate! Keep reading to hear all about this Polish wedding traditions ;)


:: Baby Shower Invite

Ok, ok. I know that the person of honor isn't usually supposed to be too involved with planning their own shower but anyone who knows me, knows this is impossible and I need to be involved! I LOVE planning events!!! Not to mention, my BFF is a fabulous graphic designer out in L.A. and she always helps bring my vision to life through paper :)

As you know, we're heading back to the U.S. soon and as part of that trip, we'll have our baby shower. Our shower theme is 'Vintage Garden Party' - EEK! I just can't wait to share the images from the event with you - but in the meantime, here's a look at our invite!  love. love. love.

Obviously, ignore the white spaces in the invite, these are spaces for personal details - address, phone number, etc. 


:: Krakow, Poland

It feels like we were in Krakow, Poland ages ago but I am just now getting around to looking through our photos of our overnight trip in May :) Oopsies!

This is the first city that we have visited that we have actually been to before. However, we came to Krakow before we moved to Poland so this kinda felt like a new experience since we now know a bit of the language and are familiar with Polish culture and cuisine. Overall, Krakow is a beautiful city worth adding to a vacation itinerary, especially if your wallet needs a break from the expense of Euro cities like Rome and Paris. Krakow (like most of Poland) is very affordable compared to other destinations across Europe and worth a visit.

Krakow was actually one of the only large cities in Poland not to be destroyed by the war so the charm of the city is authentic and not a rebuilt version of what was. The weather was a bit gloomy during our trip, but hopefully you can envision the true beauty of a sunny day!


:: Wieliczka Salt Mine, Poland

It should not be a surprise that I use my blog to help share the places that we visit with others to encourage them to want to go on a new adventure...which is why I am not posting too many pictures of the Wieliczka Salt Mine - a working mine full of sculptures carved out of the salt :) Now, don't read this the wrong way. What I mean is that this place is SO extraordinary but is VERY dark making photography extremely difficult - especially for a lil', 'ol amateur photographer like me! And, since my blog is supposed to encourage people to visit places, I am just posting a few photos that actually turned out ok. I encourage you to check out a quick image search to see more. Anywho, here is a quick look at the Wieliczka Salt Mine located just outside of Krakow, Poland - about 2 - 2.5 hours from Wroclaw. 


:: I'm BACK!

First and foremost, I am SO sorry for being away from you all! But I have a MAJOR life update that I am hoping makes up for it: we're expecting a baby in November! Needless to say, we've been busy preparing and are very excited to share this news!


P.S. Here's a sneak peak at our little nursery in progress!


:: Visiting Istanbul

FINALLY! I am ready to share with you a look at our trip to Istanbul, Turkey - a place that I never imagined actually being able to visit.

As I have previously mentioned, my husband and I made a list of where we wanted to visit most before moving to Poland. One of the top cities on my husband's list was Istanbul. My husband had traveled to Istanbul quite a bit for work and wanted me to see for myself how beautiful the city is. And, I am sure glad I did! Istanbul is unlike any other city in Europe: the culture, the sounds, the food, the architecture, the people - it's all so unique and wonderful! I would highly recommend visiting here if you have a chance. Honestly, this city tops the list of cities of I have been to in Europe. Here's a look at our trip to help explain why.


: The Easiest DIY Ever?

One of the reasons I have not been blogging lately (so sorry!) is because I am in charge of my very first remodeling/interior design project - for a real client! YEAH! It's been exhausting and very time-consuming but now I can call myself a European designer ;) We start painting tomorrow (phew!) and I am prepping for some new signage today, including this DIY "There is Always Time for Coffee" sign that I wanted to share with you. 
This is by far one of the easiest thing I have done and it looks super cute and was free! 


:: Decorating Eggs in Poland

I know, I know. Easter was months ago... I just totally forgot to post about this fun little Polish tradition: decorating Easter eggs. 

Ok, I also know that painting eggs is nothing really new to Americans, as it is something that we also do. However, the eggs that are decorated here in Wroclaw (and all of Poland for that matter) are phenomenal!! They are hand beaded or decorated with paper cut designs. So very intricate. Here's a photo of one we received this past holiday (white beads on white paint make it hard to see, but it is lovely). 
And here's a borrowed image showcasing the more traditional paper cut eggs. Yes, that is cut paper - not paint!
If you look for these eggs in shops post Easter, you may be able to find them outside of the holiday season - especially in Krakow (we saw a ton of them and we were just there last weekend). If you're interested in what stores I might check to see if they have them in Wroclaw, let me know via comment. 


:: Guitar World Record in Wroclaw!

Last week, we were a part of history! Well, we were there at least ;)

Wroclaw hosted its twelth-annual 'Thanks Jimi Festival' on May 1st, 2014. Part of this festival involved gathering thousands of guitarists into the market square to break a world record. Despite the rain, history was made and 7,344 people simultaneously played the song, "Hey Joe" by Jimi Hendrix to break the record. Now, I am not sure if they broke the record for most people playing guitar at one time, or most people playing the Jimi song but either way, it was very interesting. Save the Date for May 1st, 2015 to see if Wroclaw can break it again ;)


:: Happy May Day

And here in Poland, it is a 4 day weekend! Yeah! We are heading to Krakow, Poland for an overnight trip. Though we did visit Krakow before we moved to Wroclaw but I am very much looking forward to seeing this city with new eyes and exploring more of the great country of Poland! :)


:: Polish Pope Canonized

I am sure some of you had heard that two Popes were canonized (meaning they were named Saints) this past weekend - John XXIII and John Paul II. But, did you know that John Paul II was from Poland? Well, he was ;) And that, my friends, called for major celebrations throughout Poland, including right here in Wroclaw! 


:: Quick Trip Around Dublin, Ireland

Phew, we have had a busy month here in Wroclaw with the in-laws in town and an upcoming trip to Istanbul. Anyways, while the in-laws were in Poland we were able to scoot away for a few days to Ireland (it has been my in-laws dream to go to Ireland and we were able to take advantage of another RyanAir flight). Here's a look at our quick, 2 day trip around Dublin.


:: Spotted: a New Gnome!

This new gnome in Wroclaw is brand spankin' new! It was just installed last week so you won't find it on any gnome-hunting tourist maps. Want to know where it is located? Keep reading :)


:: Palace of Versailles

As I mentioned in my Paris post, we spent the morning of our final day in Versailles. What a treat! This palace was just stunning and HUGE! I think it would easily take 30-45 minutes just to walk from one side of the palace to the other. Really beautiful. I would highly recommend a quick tour if you find yourself in Paris.

(This image below is from the back of the castle - this should give you an idea of the size.)


:: Chapels on Cathedral Island

First things first, let me apologize for being away from you so much recently! I have been working on a secret project - but more to come on that later. In the meantime, here is something new you may not know about Cathedral Island's Cathedral of St. John the Baptist (the famous cathedral on the island) in Wroclaw.

Of course, I have been to Cathedral Island numerous times, however, I had never been with a guide before so when some friends were planning to go I hopped on their tour. I had no idea that inside the Cathedral were many chapels (paid entrance of about 4 PLN). These chapels were not destroyed by the war, which is really amazing.

Here's a look at the Chapel of St. Elizabeth built 1682-1700. This chapel is dedicated to St. Elizabeth of Hungary. The statue of St. Elizabeth was created by a student of Bernini.


:: Notice Anything?

Just for funsies, do you notice anything interesting in this photo taken on Cathedral Island in Wroclaw a few weeks ago?


:: A Weekend in Paris

We were able to purchase roundtrip tickets to Paris via RyanAir for 40 USD....(I swear, I am not even lying a little bit).  However, sometimes with budget airlines you have to be flexible regarding your schedule. And so we flew into Paris on a Thursday afternoon and were back in Wroclaw late Saturday evening. Though our trip was short, it was just the right amount of time to get to experience the flavor of Paris. 

Here's a look at our weekend in Paris, France. 


:: WOW!

As most of you know, I was recently featured in Polish newspaper, Wyborcza Gazeta, and the response has been overwhelming (but in a good way)! Please know that I am working to answer all of your nice messages and comments :)
I hope you continue to visit Morning Kawa - stay tuned this week to see our trip to Paris. 

Oh, and if you can read Polish and haven't already read the article here is a link


:: Capitol Theater Wroclaw

This weekend, we have tickets to see Rufus Wainwright right here in Wroclaw! Yeah! The concert wasn't really advertised at all and I have no idea how we found out about it, but hallelujah we did :) Anyways, the show is being held at the recently renovated Capitol Theater. I went to check out the renovations last summer but haven't posted about them yet. So in honor of Rufus, here's a quick look at the Capital Theater. 


:: St. Patrick's Day in Dublin

Happy St. Paddy's Day from me to you! Here are just a few images from our trip to Dublin, Ireland during St. Patrick's Day in 2011. If you were wondering: Yes, the Irish DO celebrate (a lot). In fact, it's a national holiday and most people have the day off. Cheers!
The streets of Dublin.
On top of St. James Gate aka The Guinness Brewery!


:: Train to Heaven

So today's Wroclaw Wednesday is a bit odd. It is literally a train coming out of the ground. Curious as to what this is? Welp, so was I. 


:: Bastei, Germany

As you can tell, we have been making our weekends count while we are living here in Poland. Last Saturday, we took a day to travel to Bastei, Germany - about 2.5 hours from Wroclaw and only 20 minutes from Dresden. (Note that this National Forest is called Saxon Switzerland National Park but it's located in Germany just to confuse you.) Unfortunately, it was extremely foggy on the day we visited these rock formations. But still gorgeous, nonetheless. 


:: Hochberg Chapel, Wroclaw

The best way to explore a city is to get lost in it. Ok, not that I was technically lost when I found this church - just strolling around near the University - but I did venture into a building I had never been to before. And, what a surprise.


:: Where in Wroclaw?

This past Sunday, I found a new church near the Rynek in Wroclaw! I will feature it on tomorrow's Wroclaw Wednesday - here's teaser. Any guesses as to what this is?


:: Trip to Świdnica, Poland

It's safe to say that I officially have cabin fever. With the weather being so nice, I can't help but want to explore everywhere! And so, last weekend, we ventured to the town of Świdnica, Poland - about a 45 minute drive from Wroclaw, Poland.

We were expecting this to be a 'day trip' but in all honesty, Świdnica is very, very small. We were actually in the car longer than we were in the town. But, it was a nice trip that was on my "to see in Poland" list and I am glad we came for a visit. 


:: Happy Pączki Day!

It's Fat Thursday here in Poland - just like Fat Tuesday in the USA, but it's on Thursday. Something missed in translation? Perhaps. But OMG the lines of people waiting for a Pączki is just unbeleivable. Of course, I had no idea it was "Fat Thursday" today until I went to the market and saw a special booth full of these yummy doughnuts. 


:: Bożego Ciała (Corpus Christi) Church, Wroclaw

I walk by this church at least a few times per week but today, I decided to take a look inside this architecturally Gothic basilica and share it with you this Wroclaw Wednesday.


:: Karpacz, Poland

I haven't been to a place where I feel like photos just don't do a destination justice in a while - but today I bring you Karpacz, Poland where photos really just don't bring this place to life. At all.  :)


:: Yeah! I'm a Recommended Blogger :)

I am very excited to announce that Morning Kawa is officially listed as a recommended blog for the popular expat group InterNations! YEAH! What an honor :) Just in case you don't know, InterNations is a social network for expats that helps connect people from around the world.  Following is an excerpt from my interview: 


:: Wroclaw's Naked Swordsman

The past few days have been super busy here in Poland (including a broken pipe escapade with water leaking down below our apartment, but that's another story for another day)  - anyways, that's why this week's "Wroclaw Wednesday" is really "Wroclaw Thursday" ;) 

Today I want to introduce you to The Naked Swordsman located at the University of Wroclaw

The statue has been here since 1904 but the story behind the sculpture is what makes it interesting. 


:: Tips for Booking Hotels in Europe

One thing that I really enjoy doing while living in Poland is trying to book trips on a budget. As part of this, I need to find hotels. As I have started planning trips, I find that hotels are the hardest thing to book so I thought I would share my process to maybe help you plan your trips abroad. 

Here's Morning Kawa's guide to hotel booking:


:: Happy Walentynki!

Happy Walentynki (vah-len-TIN-kee) a.k.a. Valentine's Day from Poland! 

If you're curious if the Poles celebrate this Hallmark Holiday, the answer is yes, yes and yes! It may even be more popular here than in the States, who knew? There are vendors everywhere selling flowers and couples making reservations for dinner at the best restaurants in the city. And, no matter where you look, you'll find some red heart details :)