Monday, February 28, 2011


195! five more days till 200 days in belgium, and tomorrow is already MARCH! february was super super short. seems like yesterday i was here writing how fast january was gone! Well, normal boring monday if i do say so myself. Language class was nothing special, and in real school i had english class. in english, they played on a website where they had to listen and talk back to help their pronunciation. although my british english and not american accent could use some help, i was allowed to just chill playing on the computer the whole time. and would you believe it..they figured out a way to block facebook even with the sneaky way i accessed it! what a shame. twitter was also blocked..its such a pity! hopefully i won't have to sit in the library for many more days this year. after that our teacher was gone so i came home. such an exciting day..i think i have two hours in the library and one lesson tomorrow as well. I JUST LOVE SCHOOL! sarcasm is getting heavy tonight, haha. but here is the good news of today! before i went to school the doorbell rang, and my host mom answered and we got my package from my mom! now, if you're a good reader you will know that at the beginning i received many large packages from home. i haven't had one from her since christmas! but this time i needed american deodorant (they use the weird spray kind here..not my thing), a memory card for my camera (since i lost one like the first week i was here), and a couple cookie cutters and magazines as well. so that was nice! today i also finally applied for college (again!). these days a lot of schools wouldn't defer my enrollment, so after being 100% sure where i wanted to go next year i reapplied. my scholarships and recommendations and stuff are still good, but for some reason i had to apply again. i see no reason why they wouldn't except me again this year, so its fair to say IM GOING TO SDSU NEXT YEAR! something i really laughed at though was the question "have you lived for the past 12 months in south dakota?" on the application. most of the questions were so basic..such simple knowledge of my life like name, address, school, whatever.. but that one sort of came as a shock to me. i stated my major as "nutrition and food science" and i guess we shall wait and see what goes from there! it will be so different to be back home, studying, and not having my blog every night and somebody/something to share everything with like i do now. well, as promised...a photo a day for every day of february. although it was such a short month, i hope you enjoyed my attempt at photographically trying to entertain you these past few 28 days :) here's me.. my memory card, american deodorant, and future university's tee shirt.

i guess this is when reality really starts hitting, or what? goodnight and thanks for the nice february, readers!!! :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011


happy sunday! this morning i woke up REALLY noon or something, because i think i took a little too much cough syrup last night. also when i woke up and for a portion of the morning i had no voice! which turned into a raspy voice with a not pleasant cough to go with it. woo! officially one week with a cold. i don't get colds, stupid belgian weather! this week will also be a busy week so i'm not sure how quickly it will go away. thus, i will try to make this blog post short and sweet so i can get enough sleep and maybe my cold will go away. anywho! today we went to brussels! i know i was just there on wednesday, but all we did was go to the brewery and pub. today i finally got to see the atomium!
for those of you not familiar with what it is, here's a link to wikipedia: basically, its a giant iron molecule made out of steel that they built for the 1958 world's fair. i was really surprised how big it was! you can go up into all but three of the balls. the first couple are exhibits and one was a restaurant. you go to them by escalators or stairs like this:
it was like epicot or something, haha! here's a view from the top. you can kind of see a stadium, a waterpark, and mini-europe in the picture.
last but not least, we went to see mannekin pis again! i was SUPER happy because he FINALLY had an outfit on!!!! first time i saw him he was naked, and not going to the bathroom...the second time, he was peeing but had no clothes on. today, he had clothes on AND was was great.
so now i can officially say i saw the two big brussels icons../tourist attractions. i find that pretty neat. so like i said, feeling sort of sick so i'm going to bed now. thanks for reading, hope you had a nice saturday as well!


hello! happy saturday. woah!!!! over 13,000 views!????! how is that possible, i feel so popular :) instead of pictures for today, i have a video from my last 100 days experience here in belgium. sometimes i think pictures just aren't enough for you to visualize what i'm doing here, so instead i take short bad-quality videos and poorly edit them on my computer so maybe you will get the idea of what i was doing!
hope you enjoyed that, haha. but now about today! i slept in pretty late then ate some toast. i cleaned my room and watched american idol during the afternoon. tonight we went to a concert. a belgian singer/band "daan" and he was pretty good. i especially liked the girl who multitasked playing drums, vibes, horn, and chimes. now im home and i made this video. and now, it is definitely time for bed! my sleeping patterns really aren't normal anymore..not good! goodnight and thanks for reading :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011


hi world! yesterday was one of the coolest fridays in belgium ever! actually, probably just the coolest, and also the weirdest. biggest celebrating day over the "100 dagen" left of the school year. so after getting about three hours of sleep..i woke up and manuella and my host mom curled my hair! they did such a great job, i could have never done it alone with my stupid hair!
then i got picked up to go to another girls house..and there i got lots of makeup caked on my face to make me look more cabaret-ish. that was the theme of our class by the way! all the last year students celebrate all day and wear crazy outfits. everyone dresses SO WEIRD and goes completely all out for this day. we were probably the classiest, simplest group. there were spongebob characters, smurfs, all sorts of animals, fruits, superheros, and ridiculous things. it was like homecoming on steroids! here's how i looked when i left the house:
then we all went to school and had's me there!

then it was time for all the last year classes to go on the catwalk. they all go out in their costumes and dance in front of everyone..i'll try to upload a video eventually. i really wasn't good at dancing since i am always at dutch class when they practice! but nonetheless it was super fun. after that we had pizza at school for lunch..then watched all the class videos. my class did a dance instead of a video, and i just stood in the back with another kid snapping the whole time, it was really funny. i guess we didn't want to dance with them because we didn't know how! after that all the last year dressed up kids left school and walked through town to this giant tent's a few from my class!
they literally partied and made tons of noise like a parade on the mile or so walk to the tent. it was fun to watch! we ended up walking back to town, but later last night i went to the party and it was interesting! music was pretty hardcore for my liking..but lots of people and an overall good time. who would have thought dressing up and going to parties would be part of my exchange year experience? well i hope you enjoy the pictures, and i will definitely try to make a video! thanks for reading, and goodnight. ps: only 100 more school days!

Friday, February 25, 2011


happy thursday! short post tonight, because its 2:30am and i REALLY need to get to bed in order to be ready by 7am tomorrow/this morning..but about today! in school i did close to nothing because my class had to do a jury-like thing one by one the whole day, so there were no lessons. but since i have jazz band with a seperate class, i had that! my one lesson of the day that i wasn't sitting in a room talking with the class, haha. i took a video, but my playing isn't very good and i don't have time to upload it tonight. but i will show you eventually! after school i came home and watched american idol on my computer. gosh its uneventful this season..they don't let you get to know the characters enough to be sad about people getting cut or making it. absolutely no emotions while watching that show, what a pity. then i got ready and met my class to eat and go out tonight! since this is the week equivalent of homecoming..theres a lot of festivity in town! the most is tomorrow, but today there was quite a bit of activity as well. lots of people in town and tons at this party we went to. my class is sooo nice! i'm really thankful they include me in things like tonight. so we ate dinner then we went to the party to celebrate 101 days of school left. its really reliving my senior year in every sense. except we don't party on thursdays till 2am. so here are a couple pictures! first at the restaurant...

then the party..
pretty good time. first party on a thursday in general i think, let alone in belgium. but now i'm going to sleep, although i don't feel tired..i've passed that point. another big day tomorrow..yippee! goodnight world!!!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


hello world! happy wednesday, or whatever day it is that you're (hopefully) reading this. ten more days and i hit the 200 mark, thats a wee bit odd.. but, it was a busy day today! first, i went to dutch class for about 3/4 of the class, then i came home to drop my heavy book off and bike to the station since i didn't feel like walking home in the dark later..(sounds confusing, but its not..i got the bike so i could come more quickly home tonight). then i grabbed a sandwich and got on the train with manuella to brussels. i went to brussels south station for the first time today! north station is the creepy one, with the prostitutes in the windows and homeless people..central is nothing special, just takes you to the middle..and south must be the international one, because there were trains going all over from there like paris and stuff. i was half tempted to get on one and say whoops wrong train, guess we're going to paris tonight! but i didn't. when we got there we met the other inbound exchange students from our small district and went to tour a brewery! it was this small family brewery that makes all natural (and completely bitter, no added sugar) beer! i attempted to make a video because one girl couldn't make it, but i walked way too fast and so its just a few blurry scenes with music but if you're interested here is the link: ...and here are a couple pictures of me there, the last one being the completely full glass of super sour cherry beer the rotary guy bought for me.

how ironic is that though? touring a brewery with the rotary, then getting drinks at the end..from the same people who created the "no drinking" rule. culture, eh!! haha we didn't go overboard, trust added sugar is nothing attractive for people our age. in fact, the lady mentioned that most beer in belgium is (pardon me, but direct quote) "shit in bottles" because of all the added sugar, and that belgium can thank american influences for making everything so unnatural, hahaha. after that we literally sprinted our way back to the station so we could head uptown and get out of the ghetto south area...have you ever tried sprinting in the sleet? hurts your eyes. or biking in the sleet on my way home from the station tonight...hurts even more! but nonetheless, even after the cold few blocks outside we still couldn't resist some haagen dazs ice cream..caramel cappuccino, mind you.
then we caught a random train and rode about 5 minutes to the middle station. we got off there and went to the celtic pub where lots of exchange students go every wednesday. it's sort of annoying there, because everybody likes to drink and party and enjoy their time away from mommy and daddy back home..but i actually enjoyed myself today, which was cool. then manuella and i ran super super fast to catch our train back to turnhout and almost missed it. running in the rainy, cold, dark, cobblestone streets of belgium can be quite charming at times..but after ice cream and beer it was a little difficult. so now i'm home, super tired and going to bed now. thanks for reading, and enjoy the pictures and video if you want. i'm starting to get a little sad because nobody comments anymore.....tear :( goodnight!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


27 weeks in belgium. over half a year! that means...1/38 of my life has been spent here, or so. (is that correct? more than 6 months living here and i'm 19 years old?) weird!! it doesn't seem like that long when you put it in perspective. it also doesn't seem like that short of time either. super hard to explain. anyways, thank goodness its not monday. one more monday with a sore throat, i don't think i could do it! the nasty cough syrup paid off last night and today, as i slept like a baby and only had a couple cough drops today. hooray! but it still hurts, and at night i start to get a really deep raspy voice..haha. so on this fine, cold, a little windy tuesday...i went to language class. it was boring, and i left early to go to the rotary meeting. after eating too much chicken and listening to this awesome old guy tell me about his printing company (he tells the same story every time-ask anybody) i went back to school for bad hair day. well, my hair is naturally today i just put it in a ponytail and stuck a toothbrush and a pen in it. clever eh? not creative at all, but who would blame the foreign exchange student for trying right! especially when i only go to school on tuesdays for two classes. so we used the self timer in one class to take a picture! i know you cant tell, but everyone tried to have bad hair..and we are all wearing matching sweatshirts that say 100 days..hooray for school in belgium...
i also got my class picture today! it was taken way back in september or so..but this is my class, i have almost every lesson with them when i am not in language class and they are great. sometimes theres a lot of drama because its all girls (and one boy, you see two in the picture because one was the foreign exchange student from argentina who lasted no more than one month with us) but overall they are a very kind and talented group of people! its a picture of a picture, so its bad quality but you get the picture (i'm pun-ny).
so i guess thats about it for my day! the math teacher brought me a book in english today. i thought it was going to be a work book, but its just a regular reading book about how numbers were first created and stuff. that has to be one of the most difficult subjects to explain! where does 1 come from, why is it before 2, who thought of it, blah blah. not a bad book actually. another thing i should mention is a had a hazelnut burger for supper, it was so cool! i could never imagine having that at home. its like the concept of a hamburger and a cheeseball combined, then made with hazelnuts. awesome. last thing i'll mention before i got to bed is that my host mom rented (or bought, i dont remember) the movie "dances with wolves" out of complete randomness which is really crazy because almost the whole film was shot in south dakota! not to mention its my dads favorite movie. i remember on lazy days or nights he would ask me to watch it with him on the couch and i would always say no dad i dont like your stupid western movies! small, small world. but like other things that have been happening to me, everything is starting to come together..and thats what this year is all about! i better get to sleep because tomorrow is a busy wednesday..class then going to brussels to tour a brewery with the other inbound exchange students in our rotary district! haha, hows that for irony. goodnight!

Monday, February 21, 2011


hello all! well today is monday, which just sets itself up for failure..but after lots of ricola's and really bad cough syrup i'm still alive! turns out they really do put more sugar in everything in the USA, horrid cough medicine! the only notable thing about school today was english class. seems like i ALWAYS have something to say about english class. you will absolutely NEVER believe what the subject in english class was today. it was all over the movie "supersize me" which if you've never seen it or heard of it, consider yourself lucky-or you just live in a cave. this guy eats mcdonalds for every meal for a month, and its absolutely disgusting but makes you want a cheeseburger at the same time. in the end he ends up gaining lots of weight and getting almost addicted to the food there. its a horrible depiction of the american eating styles, which of course is super awkward for me to sit there and be asked questions about how it really is or my opinion on the movie. there's nothing much to say to defend ourselves, and not like i had to be defensive or anything but yet again i question the motives of the lesson plan. why is it that learning about obesity in america comes before pronunciation and basic, practical grammatical exercises? i will never understand that, never! but like i said, at the same time i wanted to go out and eat a cheeseburger..good thing the mcdonalds opens in Turnhout (my town) sometime in march..hahah reason for celebration right? not! speaking of which, french fries and hamburgers tonight for dinner, along with fabulous upside down apple pie, only i have the name wrong about that, but nonetheless...i have to be on the easiest diet ever. kilo's are staying on at this rate. sooo that's about all for today. here's the picture i promised you a couple days ago! my amazing host family number two.. :)

goodnight all!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


hello all! fun day in belgium, but i must say..i've had a super annoying and painful sore throat going on ALL DAY! it hurt sooooo much while i was sleeping, i hate that. then the whole day while i was trying to enjoy myself it was super sore. oh well, it was still a nice day! you'll never guess what i did after lunch with my family....went to a soccer game with my third host dad! not just any soccer game, this was a professional game in holland! now let me remind you...holland and spain were the two teams in the world cup last year, and although this wasn't the same's still soccer country eh? anywho. the stadium was super huge and the game was good too! i guessed 5-1, and my future host dad guessed 3-1, the scored ended up being 4-1 so we both were right, haha. i even got a scarf and keychain as a present, what a nice day! it would have been so much better if i could swallow without being miserable. that never puts me in a cheery mood. i remember being advised to get my tonsils out a few years ago when i had multiple cases of strep throat within a short period of time, but i didn't do it. maybe when i come home i can get my tonsils AND my wisdom teeth the same time, then i can be double miserable, haha NO WAY! so here are some pictures from the game..look how huge the place is! apparently it holds like 34 thousand or something. it was like the cotton bowl or the rose bowl or something, only one thing i noticed was that the people watching ACTUALLY WATCHED, unlike in the USA how they watch while eating a snack and listening to the marching band. other than that it was almost just like american football, except for the sport is completely different. and its too cold to tailgate. wow that makes me excited for next year at home! so anyways. at home now there is supposed to be like 10 inches of snow, i can't believe that! today was very cold, like freezing temperature..i guess it gets better later this week. a little sun would make my throat feel much better! so after some tea and too long on facebook, i'm finally writing this blog, and now i'm going to bed. enjoy the pictures below!!! thanks for reading.


hi all! lets get this blog started with something funny, shall we?
i dyed my hair!!! can you believe it? haha well don't believe it because i'm kidding of course..its just a wig. my host sister was helping me look for an outfit for school next week. i guess they dress up and get crazy for something called "100 days" which means there is only 100 days of school left. i've decided its the belgian version of homecoming. but more about that later. on to today! well, today i was really tired. i can honestly say i was tired 100% of the day. i don't think i ever woke up! i watched idol on my computer and did a lot of lazy facebook creeping. tonight the parents of my host sisters boyfriend came over for dinner so it was a full house..thats pretty cool for me, actually. its such a difference from having just my mom and i or my parents and i. but i've already said that. anyways! then i watched bones with my host brother. after that i said i was going to bed because my sinuses really hurt tonight for some reason, its soooo annoying and painful! but then my great friend adam was online so we skyped and it was awesome. i miss my friends so much! especially adam. he always has a way to make me laugh..we are so similar yet so different. hmm. well thats all for now! goodnight :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011


hi lovely reader :) day 185 here! tgif..i love fridays! got my test back in dutch class today, 10/11..not bad eh? i spelt a couple verbs wrong but other than that it was good. our next test isn't until after the break, that makes me happy. happy to think the break is coming soon, and happy that we have another test. i like my class, i really like it. its so nice to have a good teacher, that makes all the difference. i've always wanted to be a teacher, but i think i'd be too afraid that i would be a bad one. there are so many bad teachers out there, but the really great ones make up for them. i think my dads a good teacher, i still wish i could have been old enough to have him before he retired. i miss going to his house to eat dinner then having him drag my lazy self to the drumset to learn something new or practice. sorry, lots of rambling tonight. i'm really tired because i didn't get good sleep this week..not enough anyways. and because i just got home from the belgian version of a barmitzvah. i guess its pretty typical to get together and host a party when you turn 18 or something. i was talking with the other american exchange student at the party, and we giggled a lot about how it was like a barmitzvah. then i shared my victorias secret lip gloss. we also laughed about our weight depressing! but id rather not talk about that. school was boring, there was a test in geography that thankfully the teacher didn't make me take. i tried to look as busy as i could with my dutch homework during that time, haha. tonight all my host siblings were home, so cool having a big host family! we got a picture after dinner, and i will try to get it and put it on here eventually. i had dinner with two host brothers, two host sisters and their boyfriends, and host parents..9 in total, a lot different sitting around the table with them than watching wheel of fortune and eating leftovers with mama mary back in the USA. except it wasn't really different, because i still made dessert. lemon bars!! turned out alright, they may have even liked them i think. that or they were just being too nice. well since i have no picture for today yet, here's me being really tired and a little cold before i go to bed. exciting webcam pictures that i take..haha not. goodnight all!

Friday, February 18, 2011

184! 6 months!

six months in belgium today!!! its hard to believe that six months ago today i woke up, went to the airport, hugged my parents goodbye and hopped on the plane to this adventure in belgium. six months ago i said a temporary goodbye to my bed, house, dogs, car, friends, family, town, state, country, and everything i've ever known. i'm surprised i had the guts to get on the plane..i was so scared! my whole last year of high school was all about "oh yeah im going to BELGIUM next year" wooo i'm so independent...then when the time came to get on the plane all alone i felt like the weakest person in the world! it was very hard to look my parents in the eyes and say "see you in 11 months!" ..but look where i am now, I DID IT! i've made it six months in a world of everything new, and i wouldn't change it for the world! its crazy to think of all the things i've already seen and learned during my time here. this year is not only about culture, its about yourself. i've learned to see my life and the world in a whole new perspective. books, money, and vacations would have never given me the same experience that i have now.. and for that i am super thankful! thankful to all of my families and friends and for everyone else that helped me get so far. hahaha, its like i won a grammy or something. along with being thankful, i'm also really proud of myself. i think its fair to say i had/have more homesickness than a lot of people, or maybe i'm just more open about it. i think it's really helped me to have my blog as a diary to write in every night to express my thoughts, talk about my day, and share my journey with those who are interested in reading. i could blog for the rest of my life if i could, haha just kidding, but i really enjoy it. so thanks for my average of 67 views per day, it gives me some motivation to write things down so i will never forget them while maybe entertaining you at the same time. time to talk about today now! school...long thursday of school. no language class on thursday, so i get to go to school a little later but its still SCHOOL! haha i would never complain about BHS again if i had to go back there! except today i had jazz band, i can honestly say its the one class i don't dislike. in fact, i enjoy it..i think almost love it. i had to play a new orleans second line feel (dad are you reading?) and i realized just how bad my chops are. guess the arm muscle gradually fades away with no practice and too many french fries and waffles? other muscle goes away too but i don't want to go there, haha. i came home for lunch because i forgot my stick bag and i ended up cleaning my armoire. thats officially the only clean thing in my room. every day i try to clean it a little and it just doesn't work!!! its a sign that i am busy and not spending time in my room though. i feel bad having a messy room..clothes and books and stuff. books such as these pictured. my level 1, 2, and 3 dutch books! i love my language class :)

tonight we went to a dance recital/performance..i guess i don't know what to call it! it was these 7 extremely well built african guys that did amazing choreography to music from bach. way cool! but makes me want to start working out. my family is so nice to take me! so i guess that is all for today. thanks again for reading and making my 6 months of blogging a success :D

Thursday, February 17, 2011


hello world! thanks for checkin the blog today :) a nice wednesday in belgium. went to language class, came home and ate lunch, then went with my host mom and manuella to antwerp! we walked from the house to the train station, and had to run to catch it. it was funny! when we got there we met a girl from brazil, who is now an exchange student in denmark..but her sister was here last year on exchange, so she was here to visit. complicated, but she was really nice and we spent the whole day going around antwerp with her and it was nice. first we went to the cathedral, which i've walked by maybe 5 times and never actually went inside. check it out! so pretty, and i there were a lot of paintings..apparently this one by Peter Paul Rubens (thank you google) is popular or famous or something! it was such a big cathedral..i felt like i was in london or paris or someplace besides antwerp. so then, here are some pictures from there!

after that we headed to this cool looking castle, which i guess we didn't actually see much of. here's the three of us, and me by the castle thing!

after that we stopped and had something to drink then eventually went back to the station to say goodbye to the denmark girl. then we didn't know if we should stay and eat dinner with my host sister somewhere or come home with the train, but we decided to stay..but our last train was pretty soon so we could only eat somewhere in the neighborhood. we chose pizza hut over the creep italian tourist trap place. then we ended up being late AGAIN for the train and had to run. i ended up running to the wrong platform, and we all ended up laughing really hard at/with my mistake and the running in general. i don't think i've laughed that hard my whole time in belgium. i miss all the laugh out loud moments of life at home, but its good to know that its still possible here! on that note, my laughing self really needs to get to bed. apparently there are northern lights right now but i dont know which way is north and there are too many lights in town to see them..shucks! night!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


good evening reader. happy day after valentines day! today was really long..thats about all that can sum it up. dutch class followed by real school..what a drag! two hours in the libary and an hour of reading my book in math class. someone PLEASE remind me why i drag myself to this nonsense every day? there are so many positive things about this year, but sometimes like today i can only focus on the not so positive. (i refuse to call it the negative, everything has a little positive in it, right?). the not so positive is things like doing nothing at school. the gap year is really difficult in that sense. i'm done with all my school responsibilities at home, which leaves me between a rock and a hard place for school here. the level is higher than in the us, first of all. and secondly, the language continues to be a barrier for me because the information is all new so its like..impossible. words i dont even know in english probably. plus in general its just different. so i guess that frustrates me a bit at times, but i'm trying not to let it get to me! next year in college i will be missing how easy i had it here, thats for sure!! so after a boring day at school i came home and watched desperate housewives on my computer, then snacked on a bell pepper. try it sometime, its tasty. then eventually i got ready to go to the monthly rotary evening meeting...oh the joy. a guy talked about how you can use rats to find land mines for almost two hours!! he was very intense and it was almost funny. pretty smart idea though, i guess they're cheaper than dogs and don't set the bombs off. if anything, it was good dutch practice to listen to him ramble on. well thats about all i have for today, so here are a couple pictures from the meeting to leave you with! goodnight!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


hello all! what a nice day in belgium. first of all, HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! i was a little worried that i wouldn't get to do my normal over the top american valentine things while in belgium, like baking and cards and stuff, but my amazing host family made it almost better than normal! it seems like i have some sort of anticipation for every holiday that's happened while i'm here, such as thanksgiving and such..but they all end up being holidays that i will remember for the rest of my life, ya know? i wonder if i'll ever be an old lady that says "back when i was an exchange student in belgium..." haha! so anywho, i woke up this morning dreading a full monday of language class and school, and end up getting a text saying our teacher is sick so there's no dutch class. but i was already awake and eating breakfast so sleeping in wasn't really an option anymore. i was pretty happy there wasn't a lesson, but i was more happy because when i came down to eat a quick breakfast and walk to school (seems i'm always running late..) there was a cute little package and card on my plate along with adorable heart candies! in the box were really cute earrings for valentines day :) my family is great!
aren't they pretty? so since manuella was already in town for class but there was none, she came over till lunch time and we sat on the computer and reading magazines and stuff. nothing special i guess. then i had some soup and a couple mini sandwiches then went to school. in school i had english class, where we talked a little more about american politics and the class laughed at my obama tee shirt that i was wearing. then the subject changed to racism and prejudice, and i mentioned things like blonde jokes..which was stupid because im the only blonde in the class, so later we were watching a movie thing and the teacher says "look, she's blonde and she's stupid!" at the lady in the film. unnecessary much? it was a little funny, but i don't understand why i'm the only blonde. i've only highlighted my hair once in the 6th months i've been here and the roots are still really blonde, its weird. i figured it would be brown by now but i guess not. odd. well anywho, nothing much happened till i made a cheesecake tonight. it was in the oven while we ate dinner, then it had to stay in the oven and cool down for another couple hours. tonight i watched sex and the city the movie with my host mom. its a good movie, and it was even better because there were pralines! haha, chocolate and a movie. (side note: secret to cheesecake= don't over-beat, bake in a water bath, and slow cool down. i love making cheesecake!!!) all in all, it was a very nice valentines day (minus english class) and i am thankful i have the opportunity to be here! happy valentines day everyone, goodnight <3

Sunday, February 13, 2011


hi all! well a short post about today, because truthfully nothing much happened. i spent the night at manuellas, and woke up and had breakfast then got home around noon or so. i took a shower then spent the afternoon in my bedroom attempting to take a nap but was distracted by american idol and facebook. i slept at least an hour though at some point. after dinner i made a few valentine cards for my family with things i found in my room, haha. thought that counts right? so now i'm going to go to bed, and again i'm super sorry that the blog gets boring at points. thats life! oh and before i go, since i promised a picture a day in february...

my awesome squeaky baby and i waving goodnight. hahah, my host mom said she was making my bed the other day and the doll squeaked and it was funny. we're precious, i know. night all!


well, yesterday was day 179, and im really sorry i didn't blog. i was planning on doing it before i left for the night, but then i guess i just didn't do it. super sorry! but no worries, i'm still alive and here to tell you all about my day/night. i woke up really late yesterday, or really late for me anyways. i think i was super tired from the day in Ghent! so i slept through breakfast but after lunch my host sister and i baked a cake for Manuella because later i went to her house for her birthday party thing. the belgians aren't really used to all the colorful and artificial looking things like us americans, so i thought it would be fun to make a Brazilian flag cake for her. the inside is colored too!

it was fun to make, and it's really nice having a host sister. she even let me wear her shirt out too! so i got to manuellas and we had dinner with her family along with some kind of brazilian cocktail..interesting! after that we played a quiz game for an hour or so then went to a ridiculous place called "desire". come on, what kind of name is that. it was pretty similar to the reflex where i've been quite a bit, only this place was a lot warmer, worse music, and lots of young girls in short skirts. but we had a good time nonetheless!

we got home around 2:30 which isn't too bad in the world of discotheques. i guess that would be the translation of it in english, but it sounds weird. its not a disco, thats a horribly falsely named name. and that was a horrible sentence, haha! but what i mean is that its like one of those clubs you see on csi or something, not like a place for 70s music. although we did come home with a boa somehow...haha, and that sums up my yesterday!

Friday, February 11, 2011


day 178! long day in Gent (or Ghent in english..whatever) today! I went with Manuella and her host mom. it was maybe an hour and a half drive, but on the way home tonight it was a lot longer because there was a lot of traffic. first we went to the design museum, it was everything from the 17th century bedrooms to new crazy couches and chairs. pretty interesting i suppose. different than going straight to the shopping street like i always do!
after the design museum we got a little lost looking for where we were to meet our "tour guide" for lunch and discovered this awesome graffiti passageway. i guess graffiti is allowed here and its always changing and overlapping, i think its really sweet! its like two blocks long too!
so when we walked into the lunch cafe place, i laughed really hard because they had the same sign my dad has as a magnet on his fridge back home in the usa... (maybe thats not something to be proud of, but i giggled).
after that we toured the gravensteen castle which was really cool! they had a special exibit over we also got to see a bunch of old swords and chains. my personal favorite was the guillotine they had on display. its all fake except the blade is really from a long time ago! i remember learning all about it last year in english class. maybe i'll send my english teacher an email, that would be neat. everyday i feel my "two lives" coming closer and closer together. learning about the guillotine in a classroom at brookings high school, then peeking my head out of one in the middle of belgium in a castle. cool huh?
overall it was a very good day! i was really happy to finally see what all the hype about Ghent is about. the hype is well deserved, and i'm sorry my pictures don't do it much justice but hopefully you get the gist of it all. well, super bad headache because i'm really tired. so goodnight, and thanks for reading. i'm up to over 12,000 views!!!!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


177! normal thursday. school..boring! jazz band was really fun though. we're trying to make the song "summertime" not so boring. today was the first day this whole year that i brought my stick bag, usually i just find a pair there. today was also the first day i brought my music in a nice folder, not crumpled up in a ball in my backpack. have to try something new every day ya know! other than that, i painted my nails while i was bored in music class. (yes, you read that correctly..being an exchange student is tough eh?). and i read almost half a book about anne frank. it was in dutch! supposed to be for kids 6-9 years old, but that's not too bad is it? less than 6 months here and at least i can read and speak some. understanding people talking is always the easiest. so other than that i didn't do much today. i skyped with my friend becca for a little while, that made me very happy! she's been my best friend since 6th grade...i can't begin to explain how weird and strong our friendship is. so thanks to her googling skills i took a screenshot of us waving goodbye. i miss all of my friends a lot! especially becca..but i'm used to missing her because she lives far away from me in america too. but i think it says a lot about your friendship when you can endure such great distances and still be the same to eachother! goodnight all!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


reader! hello. happy wednesday! today was again nice weather in belgium. the sun always puts me in a good mood. it's hard to imagine what it would be like if i was home and had to put up with all the negative temperatures! i haven't even worn a real jacket the past couple days. just a random combination of a couple sweaters. i haven't worn my uggs to school for maybe a month now, its just too warm. and a hat and mittens aren't super necessary unless its an extended amount of time. that would be basically impossible in brookings! thus, i'm pretty content for now. this morning i had dutch class and only dutch class. i love half days! i spent the rest of my day baking cupcakes. literally the rest of my day. i ended up making carrot cupcakes with marscapone frosting (which i might add is almost better than cream cheese frosting) and also chocolate/chocolate chip/applesauce cupcakes with chocolate frosting. i don't know why i've never baked with much applesauce before, you can use it instead of oil in a lot of recipes and i don't know, i think i will just always been an applesauce fanatic. i must mention that the applesauce i used today was some that my mom shipped from america to here, haha! slowly the cupboard full of american products is getting used. oh and i also should say that i ABSOLUTELY LOVE the sprinkles and cupcake liners sent by Ms. Hartz..i can't get over how cute they turned out and how good it feels to get something thoughtful from home. what i mean is, i love baking and i felt very comfortable and relaxed making valentine cupcakes today, haha!

so i feel like i should say more than telling you i had eggs and bacon for dinner, but it seems that this is in fact a food blog. what else can i say about tonight..umm! i dont know. i guess today is a little boring to write about. but it was really fun, and nice weather, and february is like 1/3 done. woah! within a month we are going to barcelona. i am SO excited..oh my goodness! i wonder if it will be warm there? maybe i should brush up on my ever-so-bad spanish. in that case: buenas noches y gracias por leer!!!!(?)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


175 days in belgium! 25 WEEKS IN BELGIUM! to me, thats pretty cool. i'm actually quite proud of myself! today was a good day, especially because the sun was shining. normal language class, followed by a normal rotary meeting over the lunch hour. it was pretty boring, but at least we didn't have to eat fish. its nice that they always invite us though, i suppose. last saturday at a rotary thing manuella and i talked to these two girls from our school who are going on exchanges next year, and they talked us into going to their class with them today. so..after lunch manuella and i went to their class where we played with paints the whole afternoon. it was a lot better than math class, but i think a four year old has more talent than i do! but personally, i had fun and to me that is all that matters. i am happy with my lack of creativity.
so yeah, it was really nice to be with people who had the same interests as i do about going on an exchange and stuff. maybe i'll go back next tuesday, who knows. there was one girl that looked at me and said "don't do art". i laughed, because thats my general reaction to everything.. but she was completely serious and looked at me like i was very unintelligent. you know, i may be a little sensitive but come on..if you cant say anything nice, don't say anything at all. but when someone says something like that, it just makes you appreciate the nice people more. for example, the girl who told me to try and make a sun (which i failed at). or the girl that took manuella and i to meet her friends after school. anyways! nothing much else about today except that my host mom made awesome dessert. she's great!
..maybe tomorrow i will try to make cupcakes? we shall see. goodnight world! stay pretty :)

Monday, February 7, 2011


happy second week of february! unbelievable, really. today was monday, and i only had language class! it was really nice not having to go to real school this afternoon. instead i got to go back to my first house and see my first host mom and brother. thats so weird, having different families. but its also really nice at the same time. i get to see life in belgium with three different families. it reinforces the fact that in the world not everybody does things the same, just like having different families. not that i wouldn't want to stay with any of them for one year, but i mean i can see why the rotary chooses to take this path. but anyways, i saw them and it was really really nice! i could barely stop talking i think! but while i was there i got a package and some mail from home. grandma and grandpa's christmas card along with an amazing valentines package from Hartz! wow, my MOM didn't even send me a valentines package. i'm going to try my hardest not to open the rest till valentines day, but i got sprinkles and cupcake liners and i am REALLY excited to make valentine cupcakes!!!!
so before i went back to visit family 1, my every so sweet host mom generously offered to have manuella over for lunch. its her birthday and i gave her a lunch box..something typical from belgium that she can maybe take home with her. we had amazing pancakes!!! not american pancakes but like..crepes. the recipe my host mom uses adds a whole BEER to the batter, crazy right? i found them especially tasty with nutella. americans by far don't use enough of that chocolatey hazelnutty spread. well i guess that's about all for today. tonight we had pizza, i think i enjoyed myself a little too much today. days like today make me feel a bit guilty. no school, pancakes, good conversations, and how bout them packers!!!!!!!? goodnight all!