Hi, I'm Sarah and this is my blog. With nearly a decade of posts, Novakistan is filled with stories from my early days in Minnesota and then our Diplomatic adventures in the Philippines, Peru, DC and Malawi, our current home. I'm glad you're here and hope you enjoy our overseas adventures as much as we do!
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The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: A must-see foreign film!

Product Reviews

Nick and I saw this film over the summer and fell in love with it.  This French film has subtitles but I noticed when watching it that I became so entranced with the film that I forgot they were there.  It’s out on video now, so with the weather turning cooler, it’s a prime time to rent […]

September 10, 2008
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The Boutique Craze…

Travel

So boutique hotels are the “in” thing now. Minneapolis is getting a slew of them, the most famous ones recently being The Chambers, The W Foshay and the Ivy. The key differentiator of boutique hotels is that they are intimate, luxurious and quirky- typically having only 3-100 rooms. The furnishings are often themed and some […]

September 8, 2008
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While we're on the topic of purses…

Recommendations

I had heard about the site Bag Borrow or Steal, but had never taken the time to check it out.  Ladies, this is the frugal fashionista’s paradise!  You can “borrow” jewelry, purses and accessories for a week or more at a time.  These aren’t just any old purses though- they’re DESIGNER purses, 100% verified.  Take […]

September 2, 2008
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Calling All Curlers!

Recommendations

Hello all.  I’m afraid I’m getting desperate.  I’ve had a dream for the last year that I could be a curler by association and belong to the St. Paul Curling Club.  I’m totally fascinated with curling, but don’t really desire to play myself.  I really just want to belong to the club and hang out […]

September 1, 2008
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Purse Heaven on Grand…

Recommendations

So, I’m pleased to report that this fabulous little purse shop just opened on Grand.  I happened to be making a trip through the neighborhood a month ago during the grand opening and stopped to chat with the owner.  I have this strange need to get to know the shop owners around here now that […]

August 30, 2008
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Andrew Zimmern: A Star is Born

Misc.

If you’ve lived in Minnesota for long, you’ve probably heard of Andrew Zimmern.  He’s most commonly known for the food column he writes for Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine.  Or perhaps you heard him on the radio saying, “This is Andrew Zimmern for Lunds and Byerly’s”.  Well, our local celebrity has made the big time now.  He […]

August 29, 2008
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25 Things on the Verge of Going Extinct

Misc.

25. Pit Toilets: By the 2000 Census, the number of Americans who lacked indoor plumbing was down to 0.6%. Even though that’s still an awful lot of Americans using an outhouse or pit toilet — 670,000 households or 1.3 million people — it’s a huge improvement from 1950 when 27% of households (and over half […]

August 20, 2008
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Monetary Goals + Social Networking = Smarty Pig!

Recommendations

Oh my gosh.  This site was made for me- I can’t believe I didn’t know about it until now!  Let me introduce- SMARTY PIG.COM.  This FREE site encourages saving for specific goals IN ADVANCE.  All you do is tell them what you’re saving for and when you want to reach that goal and PRESTO– they’ll tell […]

August 18, 2008
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