Sunday, January 15, 2017

This Week I'm....

Well, illness has hit the Hogan household in full force. Mike has been couch bound for almost a week now and the doctor asked him to come back on Wednesday for a mono or tonsillitis test. She gave him antibiotics, which seemed to have killed the virus and accompanying fever, but now he has some sort cough/congestion thing that sounds HORRIBLE and leaves him breathless every time he laughs at the 50 millionth FRIENDS episode we watch.  Mike and I, being the medical professionals we are, have ruled out mono because he doesn't have the fatigue that accompanies mono usually, which leads us think it's tonsillities.  He'll tell you it's from diphtheria since he's overdue on his shot, I say it's from the cold he's been fighting on and off for the past month. I'll let you decide. Luckily, I've managed to fend off this illness for the most part. I have a sore throat and feel a little congested, but nothing more than a normal cold would give you.  Knock on wood it stays that way.

Between the illness, cancelling our baby moon due to said illness (our life is a baby moon so we can't really complain), and reading about all that's happening in our country's politics (pre-existing conditions! A freaking civil rights leader! That press conference!), I figured we all needed a distraction.  I remembered that last year, I did a bunch of posts like this one and this one and figured it was a good opportunity to do another one!

So, here we go! This week I'm...


  • reading I'll Give You the Sun.  I'm not in love.  It's a little too out there for me.  It has a good basic plot (twins who's mom dies and they are navigating being teenagers), but it's a little too artsy/day dreamy for my liking.  I'm about halfway through and am having trouble making myself read.  I hate when that happens. 
  • listening  I just subscribed to a bunch of new podcasts.  Call Your Girlfriend, Still Processing, and The Popcast to name a few.  My go-to is still Story Corps, but these new ones seem promising.  Any other recommendations?
  • doing  I've been able to work out throughout this whole pregnancy which I'm so thankful for.  I really think it's helped me feel better. In fact, throughout my first trimester, I really couldn't tell a difference when working out. The past few weeks though, I've been a little winded when working out.  I've been doing the Beach Body maternity workouts and they've been pretty easy, but this week I had to tone it down and do the third trimester workout (I'm almost there anyways!). I'm not upset, just trying to listen to what baby Maximus and my body is telling me.
  • eating this avocado chicken salad.  So so good!
  • researching new cars! We're going to need a second car when we get back to the States in August and it will most likely be a mid-sized SUV, so I've been trying to start researching so that we can test drive them right when we get back and make the big purchase soon after.  Any recommendations about what to look for, especially in a "mom car" are appreciated!
  • watching The Americans.  We're about four episodes in and really enjoying it.  It's about two KGB spies who are living in the United States during the Reagan administration. Keri Russel and Matthew Rhys are the main spies, but the entire cast is great.  It's a good compromise for Mike and I because it's got the action for Mike and the drama/relationship stuff for me.  Definitely recommend it.  Thanks Matt and Katy!  I have a whole list of television shows that people have recommended, so hopefully I'll be able to knock some of those off leading up to and directly following Baby Maximus' arrival. 
  • enjoying my manicure and pedicure!! In attempts to get out of the germ infested space known as our apartment, I went to get a manicure and pedicure yesterday and it was wonderful. #treatyoself
  • watching/reading the Bush sisters' letter to the Obama sisters (I'm not crying, it's just the onion I'm chopping!).  Regardless of politics, I have a lot of respect for all four of these ladies.  I can't imagine what growing up with your dad as president must be like and they all handled it with grace and class (most of the time!) and have turned out to be an inspiration to women everywhere. 
"You have lived through the unbelievable pressure of the White House. You have listened to harsh criticism of your parents by people who had never even met them. You stood by as your precious parents were reduced to headlines. Your parents, who put you first and who not only showed you but gave you the world. As always, they will be rooting for you as you begin your next chapter. And so will we."  -Jenna and Barbara Bush


  • passing along this image. You may have seen hearts floating around Facebook in order to raise support for breast cancer awareness.  While this is great because it makes people ask what the heart is for, I think this image does a lot more and I'm glad to see it popping up on Facebook just as much as the hearts.


Welp, that's pretty much it for around here.  Back to watching another episode of the Americans and fending off illness! Have a great week!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

A Day in Sintra

We had an extra day in Lisbon and had heard great things about Sintra, which is right outside of Lisbon, so we decided to give it a go! I'm so glad we did because it was beautiful. It's an easy train ride from the center of Lisbon and we arrived in Sintra mid morning.  We spent the first hour walking around and checking things out. 





It reminded both of us of a small Italian town, with winding and cobblestone streets and little shops and restaurants interspersed throughout.




Anybody need an orange?
After lunch, we decided to give the Quita da Regaleira a look. Guys, this place is so cool.  One of the reviews on TripAdvisor described it as a huge playground for kids and adults. I'm not even sure what it really is.  I think a castle with a large garden, but who even knows.  Regardless, it was beautiful.  It reminded me of the Secret Garden. There are underground tunnels, waterfalls, towers to climb up and a castle to explore.  You could probably spend the majority of a day there if you really wanted to, but we limited ourselves to about two hours.



I spy Mike!







Baby Maximus and I in Portugal!







We walked around the castle and, like always, got ideas for our future home. #wishfulthinking








After the castle, we headed back to the train.  There is another castle at the top of the mountain that you can explore.  There were lots of tuk tuks around offering us a ride up to the top for only 5 euros, which we may have considered, but I was tired and it seemed like a lot of effort to basically go to another lookout.  Plus, by this point, Mike really wasn't feeling well.  We headed back to the hotel, siesta-ed and ventured out for a quick dinner and gelato before going to bed early.   What a day! 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Lisbon, Portugal

We arrived in Lisbon on Saturday night just in time for dinner, which in Portugal is 9:00pm.  I don't mind eating late and we definitely adjusted our schedule to be more like the locals, but it was an adjustment from our normal 6:30 dinner time.  

Mike found a barbecue place on TripAdvisor that was close to our hotel. What we didn't realize was that it was up a hill and some stairs.  By the time we got there, I was huffing and puffing! Baby Maximus has definitely taken a toll on my lung capacity!

The next day, we set out to do some sight seeing.  We primarily stuck to the Baixa area but our hotel was right downtown on the main street, so we pretty much saw it all. Again, we were just happy to be out in the sun, so we could have seen anything and been content.



The Opera House





We took the tram up to the Baixa area, which was recommended on every tourist sight and book we read.  In the end, it's just a tram.  I thought it would provide some good sight seeing, but really, I think it's recommended so that you can say you've ridden a tram.  While cool, not sure if it's all that it's hyped up to be.  



What was worth the hype was the overlook.  Our walking tour (thanks to Lonely Planet) was pretty much all overlooks with a few churches thrown in. Our last overlook gave us a view of our first overlook! Too funny!



Lisbon definitely has the city feel to it in some parts.  While Berlin definitely wins the prize for the most eclectic city, we did find some cool street art in Lisbon. 
















Another hour, another lookout.  You see that tree to the left of center? We were standing under that when I took the first lookout pictures of this post.


These guys had me cracking up.  

Day Two in Lisbon was spent outside of the city, in Sintra. I'll do a separate post on that because it was super cool.  We had a half day left in Lisbon on Tuesday and had planned to go to Bellam, which is another area of the city that has a monastery.  When we arrived, there were tons of cameras and media people outside.  Come to find out, it was a funeral for a former president (the one who got them into the EU and brought socialism to Portugal....a big deal!).  It became apparent that we were not going into the monastery that day.  It ended up being fine because Mike wasn't feeling great and the weather was nice, so we walked around for a little while before heading to the airport early. 











We were definitely sad to get on the plane and say goodbye to sunny Portugal.  I definitely enjoyed Porto more than Lisbon, mainly because Porto was on the water and had a more laid back feel, but Lisbon and it's beautiful architecture was well worth the trip!