Stockholm- A Culture Capital

Stockholm- A Culture Capital
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Works Vs The Putici Bros.

Two years ago when my brother started moving his work into Eastern Canada I heard about the myriad of unique and delicious restaurants in Ottawa and Toronto. One restaurant that never left the back of my mind was called The Works. Imagine a burger restaurant where you can get nearly anything a top your burger from pineapple, Kraft Mac N Cheese, sauerkraut, and what screamed out to me—Peanut Butter. This Ottawa born burger chain has been around 8 years and now has 6 locations around the city. Other than the 67 toppings to adorn their seven varieties of burger patties from beef, to chicken, to elk, The Works also features massive towers of onion rings and dozens of amazing milkshakes such as ‘Ryan’s Ashbury Shake’--a mix of caramel, Oreo, and peanut butter.

Due to the heavy and over indulgent menu I have been waiting weeks for a day where I could afford to lay comatose on the couch for the afternoon and recover from the caloric attack on my body. So when the day arrived it was GAME ON!


Round 1: Fajita Poutine
[Fries topped with jack & cheddar cheese, 'oodles of gravy', sauteed onions & green peppers, salsa, & fajita chicken.]

Round 2: San Francisco Treat w Sweet Potato Fries
[1 Lbs Beef Patty, real kraft dinner, cheddar cheese, and bacon]

Round 3: Sk8r Boy w Sweet Potato Fries
[1 lbs beef patty, peanut butter, jack cheese, and strip bacon]
(NOTICE: That glorious dollop of gooey peanut butter)

Round 4: Mocha Oreo Milkshake

In the end we could not finish everything. Therefore the victory goes to the works for overtaking our appetites, but also for having amazing food, and the most creative burgers I have had from any gourmet burger restaurant.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Bringing Spain Home

[Strawberry Salsa posing with prop}

I love throwing parties center around food- much is my life. So for a home coming and farewell party I decided to bring second life to the Spanish foods I loved so much while touring in Barcelona. With the help of my Momma I developed a Spanish inspired menu for a little get together at my home.

The Final Menu:



Strawberry Salsa

Prosciutto Wrapped Melon
Caprese Bites
Huckleberry and goat cheese Croustades
Mushroom Croustades
Jerk Mango Shrimp

Patatas Bravas

Chorizo and Chicken Paella


Mom’s Famous SEX in a Pan (nothing Spanish here)

[From Left Clockwise: Huckleberry Goat Cheese Croustades, Jerk Mango Shrimp, Mushroom Croustades, Patatas Bravas]

[Jerk Mango Shrimp]

[Mushroom Croustades]


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sleep Around for Cheap


If you don’t want to take part in any programs overseas and just want to spend your days taking it all in, what you need to focus on is finding ways to be thrifty without sacrificing your experience. Most of us will only travel somewhere once and so you don’t want to miss anything vital. So how can one save money while still having a full experience? You have a couple of options.

A Major expense of travel is always the accommodations. However most travelers spend no time there. They simply crash at night and spend all day out. If you can cut or eliminate cost of accommodation you can do a lot more and stay a lot longer.

Hostels are always the best bet for cheap accommodation, if you don’t mind sharing a room or washroom with a few people you can get rooms for very cheap, or if you want to spend a tad more you can get a private room for a group of travelers for you self. A perk of communal bunking is that you can meet other people that you can tour around with and make friends with some interesting people. A very inclusive and easy to use site for booking hostels for your next voyage is:

If you are not into cheap and would rather go FREE, it is possible. There is an amazing online community called Couch Surfing. This community has over 2 million members and is growing, The idea behind couch surfing is that people all around the world open their homes to travelers and give them a place to sleep without asking anything in return other than the hope that others will do the same. Not only does a couch surf give you free accommodation but often gives you a local expert to point you in the direction to some of the local favorites around town, and even a friend and tour guide to spend time with while you are in the city. This is great for single travelers or a group of 2 or 3.

All you need to do is create a profile at and once you have made a profile you can search for members offering their couch (or spare room) and if they seem like a safe bet you ask them if you can stay. From there you wait for a reply and can exchange some information in order to get a better idea of each other before sleeping under the same roof. I know some people worry about the safety of this idea, and it is true that you are staying with a stranger, but they are risking having a complete stranger come into their own house. Plus every time you couch surf you give a review of the host/surfer so if someone has a lot of good reviews it gives you a good idea of the person you will be with, and you can’t hide bad reviews. I have done this and know many others who have and the results have only been positive. If anything will renew your confidence of the kindness of people it will be a couch surfing experience.

Always use your resources when traveling, if you have friends or family over seas stay with them and get as many insider tips about the area as you can. Traveling does not have to be expensive with so many options.

Life is Fantastic

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Live Anywhere You Want!

Yes! It is possible. You can go anywhere you want. North Americans and Europeans have it made in the shade. I concede not everyone has the know how and comfort level, but hopefully this should help.

I have a lot of people ask me how I manage to travel as much as I do. ‘Where do you get all the money?’ is something I hear often, along side ‘I wish I had your life.’ So I have decided to fill people in on a variety of ways that I save money while traveling and keep me on the move without breaking the bank. Try these things and you can all have the life.


The only thing better than traveling for free is getting paid to do it. What I am currently monopolizing on is getting paid to teach English over seas. This is something ANYONE who can speak English can do. You can get jobs with no experience, but most jobs will require you to have a TEFL or CELTA certification and some post secondary or Bachelors degree in any field. A lot of schools will pay for your flight to and from the country of residence, and many will provide lodgings and sometimes even food. If you want to get away and live in a country for 6 months to a year so that you can really immerse yourself in the culture and live life beside the locals this is a great way to do it. You will usually be paid middle class wage for the country you teach in and will be able to live very comfortably while you are there.
Take a CELTA anywhere:

Some job listings can be found here:,,,

Being an Au Pair is another common over seas job and requires little to no experience as well. Being an Au Pair is a great way to live overseas for an extended period of time, it also allows you to learn the language and become part of a family. If you have a passion, or even a tolerance for kids you can have a great time. Your duties often range from short English lessons, cooking and cleaning, taking the kids to the beach or park and generally helping the family run smoothly. An easy way to get started is making a profile on an au pair website. I have joined

There are people looking for male Au Pairs so don’t rule this out as a male.

Other than these there are plenty of camps, bars, cruise ships and other things you can find to do. If you want something more flexible you can always get a Working Holiday Visa with many of the countries Canada has partnered with. The idea behind these visas is for you to go live and tour a country and work part time in the country to help fund your travels. These visas allow you to take on any part time job like you would at home. Some of the countries you can go to are England, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Check out your options here:

If you don’t want to work overseas you can try volunteering (you still need to pay for accommodations and food), doing an internship, or studying overseas. There are internships in several fields of work with a lot of opportunity in sales and marketing. Full degree programs can be taken at most schools, or you can take short-term courses of all kinds. Creative writing courses, tourism, culinary, and languages are all abundant study opportunities. posts up to date travel offers from organizations globally.

The options are endless to what can take you to the places you want to go. Hopefully these options can lead you in the right direction to begin the adventure of a lifetime.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Family Affair

[The Immediates]

There is nothing like a great family reunion to remind you how nice it is to spend time with those peoples you love. I spend most of my time away from home and I am usually making new friends or running solo. Spending this past weekend in Kelowna with my family had me rediscover that I don’t need to be going somewhere exotic, or constantly on the move to enjoy myself. (Not that it is going to stop me) The combination of good food and good people is all you need to have a good time-- A great time.

[Brother and I]

Our family is a Zany bunch, and leave it to them to have us playing giant Dutch Blitz games, giving out tattoos and splitting our stomachs open laughing over a variety of games and food. I am sure you who know how much I love to eat and will probably not be surprised that my family spends an incredible amount of time with plate in hand. We were lucky to have traditional family foods like cabbage rolls and borscht as well as a baked potato bar and deserts galore.

[My Crazy and Beloved Cousins]

[Playing 'The Bus Game']

This was the first reunion we had in something like 6 years but we plan to keep it up every 2 and return to the sight we were at called La Punta Norte Bed and Breakfast.

It was great to see long time relatives and new additions to the family before I go off into the unknown again.