Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Shopping in Poland

Before you travel, internationally, you might want to do some research to see how much items cost in the country you will be visiting. You don't want to be taken advantage of because you are not aware of the customs or prices of certain items.

If you are adopting from Poland or just traveling, Wes and I have found this neat-o website from the Polish government that gives you an idea of how much items costs. Click here. This website tells you how much it costs for milk, bread, etc... If you are going to live like a local, you might as well pay the "local's prices".

Since we are on the subject of money, another tip is to find out if the country you are traveling to takes debit cards or if you are able to use atms to withdraw money. Sometimes, using a atm is cheaper than having US dollars transferred to another currency by a vendor. But check your bank's policy and see how much they charge for withdrawing internationally.

If you are traveling to Poland, here is another cool website that gives practical travel information about money. It talks about atms, credit card usage, and using cash in Poland. Of course, if you are not traveling to Poland, you could search on this website to see if they have any information about the country you will be traveling.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Celsius to Fahrenheit Conversion Chart

Every one else in the whole wide world is on the metric system except for United States, which can pose a problem if you are traveling internationally.  So before you travel, you might want to familiarize yourself with the metric system's temperature scale.

Here is a printable conversion chart of Celsius to Fahrenheit (click on the pdf version to print):

FYI: Daniel Fahrenheit, who developed the Fahrenheit scale, was born in Poland.

Friday, August 16, 2013

How to Pack All Your Clothes on Your Carry On: No Space Bags Here

Packing for an adoption can seem very daunting. You want to pack everything in sight, but you want to leave enough room to bring home souvenirs or maybe even some of your adopted child's things.  And sometimes you really don't know what to pack or bring, so that aspect can seem overwhelming too. Packing in general stresses me out. I feel like it is a no-win situation. In this post I hope to give you all some insight on how I make packing stress free for me.

So the big question is: how do we pack for a month away from home for 2 people and have enough room to bring extra stuff back? And I know less is more, but if you are traveling because of an adoption, you have to bring extra, extra stuff (diapers, bottles, toys, coloring books, markers, etc). My goal, and I know it sounds crazy, is to have ALL of our clothes and most personal items fit on our carry ons. We want to leave room in our checked baggage to bring gifts, items for our child, and have extra room for souvenirs. Of course, I did a random google search on "how to pack a month's worth of clothes" in your carry on to see if anyone out there has actually done it. I don't want to re-invent the wheel, ya know. My results came up with these two videos.

1. How to pack a suit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQJWLU8Yvdg
I needed to know this because I don't want our "court clothes" getting wrinkled and looking awful in front of the judge, who will be deciding if we can adopt our daughter- kind of a big deal.

2. How to pack for weeks on a carry-on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDn9l20NlWw

After I watched these videos, I did a "test run" to see if I could actually pack all of my clothes in my carry on. And it works! I was able to fit 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of nice dress pants, 5 skirts, 7 shirts, 1 dress shirt, 1 dress jacket/blazer, 1 rain jacket, and 1 sweater. Not to mention fitting all of my personal items, a hand towel, and 3 scarves. And I still have room to put shoes! This doesn't even include the clothes that I will be wearing on the plane ride over. Overall, I will bring about 8-10 days worth of clothes, most of my clothes are versatile so I can wear them in lots of combinations, thus creating more outfits.

This method totally works and you don't have to use or buy space bags, thus saving you money. I will definitely use this method when we start to pack for Poland. And one of the best things about this method is that I don't have to worry about lost luggage, because I will have all of my essentials with me on the carry on.

Now of course, if you are traveling to a colder climate, you can't have heavy wintery clothes in your carry on.  They would take up too much space. You might want to pack your heavy clothes in your checked bag or wear your heavy clothes on the plane.

Do you have any travel tips or advice for packing? What do you use or what method do you have that works?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Clothing Advice for Women Traveling (sorry guys)

Poland, like most of Europe, is comprised of beautiful cobble stoned roads. This might present a problem for girls who are in love with their shoes, like me. And since we are going to court in Poland, we will not have the option of wearing heels, unless you hate your feet.

I came across this great find while I was out thrift store shopping (we can't spend a lot of money on clothing items for our trip). I found 2 pairs of shoes that could be dressed up or dressed down depending on what you are wearing. They are super comfy. And the 2 pairs of shoes COMBINED cost $20.  So where did I find this hidden gem? Walmart, of course. I bought a black pair and a brown pair. Now I would tell you the brand name, but I can't find it anywhere on the box. I think it is just a Walmart brand product that's in a red box (pictured below).

Now here are the cons:
They are not in high fashion, of course. I think they are a mix between Herman Munster and Grandma wearing shoes. Whenever we return from Poland, I think I might wear them to the grocery store or to run errands or check the mail box, but nothing too fancy.

The other day I was researching what type of clothing is appropriate to wear in Poland. I don't want to offend anyone, especially the judge. I came across this cool website: Journey Woman.

Journey Woman is a great website if you need to know what to pack, how to dress, and extra (special) items to bring when you are traveling internationally. Women all over the world can post about the do's and don’ts of a particular country. This is definitely an awesome website.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Why Pay: Language School

Learning a new language is expensive! Since we are adopting an older child and will be in her country for quite some time, we feel that it would be beneficial to know a) how to order food, and b) go to the bathroom. We have been using a combination of things to help us achieve this goal, some free and some not so much. Of course, we don't want to spend a lot on a language program because we are saving for the adoption and for future expenses on her. So here are our low cost solutions for learning a new language that we have used.

1. Live mocha is a great FREE resource to learn a language. I know I have mentioned this website before, but you can learn almost any language. I even think they have an app for your phone so you can learn on the go!

2. Since we commute about 1-2 hours everyday, why not buy a couple of audio CD's or mp3's. Even 30 minutes everyday will vastly improve your knowledge of the language that you are trying to learn.
You can buy them on amazon.com or from Pimsleur, which has a great language learning program.

3. Here is a previous post detailing how we are learning the Polish language for free by using youtube.

Do you have a free/cheaper way to learn a language that works for you? Please share below.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Vaccines in the Polish Language

 Wow, It's been almost 1 week since my last post. We have been super busy with adoption paperwork. Is that ever going to end? Probably not! We have no new updates. We are still waiting on a court date. Hopefully we will hear something soon. In the meantime, we are preparing our home for our little girl, learning Polish, and working at our current jobs. Doesn't sound like a lot, but it sure takes up a lot of our time.

This post came about when a coworker of mine needed to look up vaccines in every type of language. I work in a pediatric office and sometimes we have patients who are from other countries. It gave me an idea that I need to have a chart that converts the vaccines from Polish to English. Whenever we travel, we will hopefully be given her vaccine record and it would be helpful to know what she is vaccinated against or if she needs any additional vaccines.

Upon doing a google search, I came across this website that has translated the vaccines from Polish to English. If you are adopting from Poland or another European country this sheet could help you or your Pediatrician figure out what vaccines your adopted child(ren) may need.

Translation sheet: http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p5122.pdf
 CDC's vaccine recommendation: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/su6201a2.htm

*If you are adopting from another country, it could be beneficial to you and/or your Pediatrician  to do some research on vaccine translation. You don't want to have to spend more time in a doctor's office with your newly adopted child while the nurses research online vaccine translations.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Polish Pride Songs: Warsaw Uprising.

On August 1, 1944, Poland was invaded during WWII and the Poles did not have much back up to help fight off the Germans. They were completely outnumbered but they stood strong. Here is a song by Sabaton (a Swedish heavy metal band) that honors the soldiers that fought during WWII. This song also shows Polish pride of their dark era. The song is titled 40 do 1 (40:1). The song is sung in English but it is hard to understand.

with English subtitles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnFSb8xcmN4

with WWII pictures: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mz4i9TjOD2w

Here is another song by Sabaton titled Uprising. It is about the fighting in Warsaw (Poland's capital).

Here is recent news article about Polish citizens stopping to honor those who fought in the war: