2012 – The Year of the Smile

First of all I would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year.   In the past I had a tendency to delay the beginning of the year to February.  Main reason being is that my birthday falls in January and I used to find it difficult making resolutions and thinking about fresh starts…when all I was really wanting was to continue the celebrations.  Perhaps, coming to an age where one begins to forget how old one is, you begin to opt for more subdued birthdays.  This year, I am looking forward to sharing my first birthday with Henry, my new boy!   He gave me the best Christmas present I could have hoped for – a smile!!!


Therefore, I suppose I am conforming and yes have decided to make a few resolutions both on a personal and professional front.  Yep, there are the standard eat more healthily, exercise daily, watch less TV, read more blah blah but what excites me most about 2012 is a concerted effort to smile more.


Some year sago, a department store in New York City, in recognition of the pressures of its sales clerks were under during the Christmas rush, presented the following homely philosophy.


The Value of a smile at Christmas


It costs nothing, but creates much.

It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give.

It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.

None are so rich they can get along without it, and none so poor but are richer for its benefits.

It creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in a business, and is the countersign of friends.

It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and Nature’s best antidote for trouble.

Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is no earthly good to anybody till it is given away.

And if in the last-minute rush of Christmas buying some of our salespeople should be too tired to give you a smile, may we ask you to leave one of yours?

For nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none left to give!


Lets not save up all our smiles for the festive period….no matter how austere, or troubled the world may become in 2012 it is so important that we keep smiling! 😉


Winter Warmers

We all know how chilly it can get during the winter in Eastern Europe; anyone who has visited these parts also knows how the locals like to tell tales and stories over strong liquor. We count down the top 5 winter warmers to try this year.

Riga Black Balzam – As thick as tar and 45%abv this drink is a cross between Jagermeister and cough medicine, which is handy as the local Latvians swear by this drink as a cure for the common cold…if you have enough we are sure it could cure most ailments.



Unicums – Brewed from over 40 herbs (apparently) this liquor from Hungary is sure to warm the cockles of your heart, even if the image of a drowning man on the label is a bit odd.




Zubrowka – This list would not be complete without a good old traditional Polish wódka and where better to start than the Bison Grass wódka. A single blade of Bison grass is placed in every bottle and although this has been copied many times over there is only one original Zubrowka.



Vana – This Estonian liquor is available in varying levels of potency, from 16%abv up to 50%abv. Of course when in Tallinn there is only option and that the 50%abv, not as old as others on the list it is perhaps a bit more palatable with a sweeter taste.



Rakija – A favourite amongst the Balkans this liquor made from distilled fruit, Serbian Rakija is renowned as the best around, due to the excellent fruit farming in this area…again the not so legal form of Rakija can pack a punch at 60%abv


What is the Secret?

What is the secret – why are Eastern European women so hot?


Excuse the cliché but if I had a Euro for everytime someone asked me why the women are so hot in Eastern Europe I would be a very rich man.

Ask any expat why they moved to Riga, Prague, Budapest, Krakow, Kiev and many more European magnets you will hear a wonderful yarn about the beautiful architecture, endless opportunities and cost of living. These are all valid reasons for anyone wanting to uproot and move to Eastern Europe but cutting out the fluff – the real numero uno reason is what you see when walking down the street.

Forget simply in the summer time, when living in this part of the world as the great Mungo Jerry sang:

You got women, you got women on your mind

Have a drink, have a drive (not illegally though)

Go out and see what you can find!

This is a great time of year for going for a wander as many of the locals have swapped playing around in their summer houses with bbq tongs and bum slapping birch branches to tottling around the old town in high heels and tight denim jeans.  There is a new fashion in this part of the world…women do not put jeans on they spray them on!  You simply have to ‘Experience it to believe it’!!

I have debated writing a book about the secret behind European beauties – I thought it would be a riveting read for any dude intending to visit Eastern Europe and the number one self help book for most Western European women.  But eh gotta start somewhere and a Blog post is as good a place as any:


[youtube width=”600″ height=”365″ video_id=”KvP_YvfFPn4″]

Video courtesy of MaiklsTV


The Secret Seven Theories:

  • Melting Pot Theory

In the past 800 years Latvia has only had only 40 years of independence! The Germans, Swedish, Poles, Russians and Lithuanians have all occupied at some time that makes quite a genetic cocktail which in turn creates a great look!

  • Brrrrrbaltic Theory

Baltic / Eastern European winters increase the metabolism – hence weight loss!  Venture outside when the temperatures are plummeting to a -25 degrees C…the only way you can keep warm is walk fast!

  • Tottle Theory

Tottling on the cobbled streets in stilettos helps to increase balance, leg and bum muscle toning and attitude!  Tottling on sandy beaches (and believe me it happens) does not quite burn the calories but it certainly raises a smile!

  • Meat and two veg theory

No processed food – a supermarket shop in Eastern Europe is very different to your typical Tesco shop .  Please Tesco’s stayaway and please Eastern European mum’s keep teaching your kids how to cook.

  • The Competitive Edge Theory

3 – 1 ratios….dudes during the soviet times were sent to Siberia, now they are sent to Oslo and Dublin to earn a decent living (the average wage in this part of the world is embarrassingly low….there is a saying that we have European costs and non-European wages).  With such a ratio it is no wonder the women want to dress to impress and keep themselves looking great.

  • Cake Justification theory

Go to a gym here – women actually do work out – it is not a social and there is no cake justification mindset.  Women here would rather spend their pocket money post work out on a solarium rather than a cheesecake.

  • MTV Theory

Young women love watching and reenacting the dance routines of their favorite pop stars. We are not only talking the moves but also the fashion. These girls know what they want and they will go to extremes to get it!

If anyone has any other secret theories we are always open for suggestions!!


Coming soon….

The Baltic Beauty exercise and nutrition program:

  • Bicep curls with your ratdog
  • ‘club’ running and dancing in high heels
  • Champagne and cherry eating