30 September 2014

A nice little gift

A nice little gift goes a long way. Even for the giver.

I enjoyed offering the bouquet above even more than if I would have received it myself. And with this after picture I got, I liked the flowers even more seeing how good they look at their destination.

Here is another little gift idea if you are in for a nice surprise.

A gift a day keeps the doctor away!

29 September 2014

Harvest Fest

Before this weekend, even though October is knocking at the door, I was still thinking about summer. Going to the Harvest Fest this Saturday finally made me realise that fall is here.

The kids loved it. They spent one week of their summer vacation at the countryside, but other then this, they are city boys. This fair was the closest they will get to harvest, to what autumn is really about. Everybody had their own favourites: A. liked the lamb pastrami smell, Cristian enjoyed the pumpkins with all their interesting forms. I named all the vegetables we passed by for Tudor and he liked it a lot. We all took the time to look at how stum (grapes juice) was made right in front of us and we bought one bottle home to enjoy it in the days to come. The scarecrow was also a favorite for Tudor.

Autumn is here! Make the best of it!

A fair a day keeps the doctor away!

P.S. In the steam train and The National Village Museum visit

27 September 2014

Nailed it- glittery dots

As much as I enjoy my work and my life in general, time away from work is just perfect. As soon as we returned home from our 2 week vacation at Arsenal Park and at the Bulgarian seaside, I thought of ways to make the transition to the day-to-day routines easier. I couldn't find much, cause it's kind of impossible to measure up to quality time with your loved ones.

There was just one thing that put a smile on my face and brought me a little bit of the summer vacation feeling:  my glittery dotted pedicure, Polka.com by OPI.

It was the only way I could still have summer at my feet. And I still do, to keep that warm happy feeling of vacation with me.

A pedi a day keeps the doctor away!

P.S. code pink for blue Monday and brownies

26 September 2014

How to not quit your dreams

I think about quitting my blog writing every week. But for the last couple of days it was really serious. With all the changes in my life's routines, I was totally messed up and had no spare time at all. I even fantasied about writing a final "adieu" note, that would have been followed by a lot of comments saying: "Please, pretty please don't stop writing. I enjoy your blog so much, blah, blah...". And then, I woke up for the day dreaming and realised that life will go on as perfectly as possible without my silly blog in the picture.

After a while, I read some of the previous posts and enjoyed them myself so much that I knew I had to go on. Even if it is for my pleasure only. Unfortunately we, the humans, are constantly looking for validation and when it's not happening is hard to get going. And times like this, we need a cure. We need to find a way. And I think I find it: Diana Nyad talking at TED about her 53-hour swim from Cuba to Florida. These 15 minutes of the talk may well change your life.

Here are some of the things she says:
"You have a dream, you have obstacles, as we all do. If you believe in perseverance as a great human quality you'll find your way"
"Every day of our lives is epic"

"Be bold, be fearless! ... Think about your dream"

While thinking about quitting, without even realising it, I entered the 3rd year of my blog. And I'll try to keep this journey going. For as much as I can, as imperfectly as I can.

Never, ever, give up! But if you ever consider quitting, listen to Diana Nyad at TED!

A dream a day keeps the doctor away!

21 September 2014

If I could wear anything today - dress and boots

Autumn brings that perfect weather when I get to wear nice dresses with boots, without tights. A non-sense if you ask A., but one of my favourite outfits that I look forward to, once the summer is over. It's still warm here, so I didn't wear my boots yet, but this Isabel Marant dress, I would wear it with anything, any day. It looks perfect on Jane. You should check her blog, Sea of shoes,  for fashion inspiration, or at any point when you may feel guilty for buying yet another pair of shoes.

A dress a day keeps the doctor away!

P.S. other nice dresses and autumn dos

Credit Photo: Sea of Shoes

18 September 2014

It's OK - to be an imperfect parent

Believe it or not, there were times when children used to play by themselves in their room, parents used to smoke around kids (see Mad Man), TV was the best babysitter (also seen in Med Men and experienced whenever in real need), and the only bed time routine was DARKNESS.

As Huffington Post puts it, " Jerry Seinfeld's Rant About Parenting And Bedtime Is A Thing Of Beauty" . If you haven't seen this already, Jerry Seinfeld on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, you have to. It's beyond hilarious.

Jerry says : "Anybody that has kids now, I just think we're too into it." There is some truth in this, don't you think?! What about us, the parents, who's looking after us now? Who's worried about our state of mind on the verge of being crazy sometimes?

So when guilt corners you, instead of feeling guilty, realise that whatever you're doing is the best you can. And it's fine. And have a good laugh or a good cry to release the tension.

I recently found out that kids laugh around 300 times a day, whereas adults laugh only 5 times a day! Find a way to laugh more! With your kids. And have fun!

P.S.1 in case you're wandering the cute boy in the pictures above is Cristian around 4 years ago
P.S.2 it's ok to leave that book unfinished and closet clean up tips

15 September 2014

The first day of school

There are good days, bad days, plain days... Some days, even though you don't know how they would look like, you do know, way in advance, it will be one of those days you'll never forget.

In Romania, 15th of September holds a special meaning because it's when the new school year starts. This year it was extra special for me because Tudor started kindergarten and Cristian started school. Even though I was there for both, I can hardly believe I am that old, I have a son going to school now.

I was just a little nervous and even more excited about the future. Cristian's future and how the world will start to unfold in front of his eyes through school. I am looking forward to the days when he will outsmart me in every possible way.

He made me proud today, especially when we left the playground where he played before we went to pick Tudor up. He knew we were about to cross the street and he said:
- Mom, can we please cross the street on the zebra?
We normally do so but he was just trying to show me what he learnt from the crosswalk safety campaign going on in school. I am sure this is only the beginning and we will learn a lot of valuable lessons in the years to come.

As if the day was not adventurous enough, because of a power outage late in the afternoon, we ended up climbing 7 storeys in the dark and having dinner in the candle light. The kids were so happy to finally put their flashlights to a good use. A highly expected day deserves an unexpected end, don't you think so?! Haha

P.S. other proud mama moments here and here 

13 September 2014

12 tips for packing toiletries

Traveling feels like the ultimate luxury for me and the only luxury I dream of having as frequent as possible in this lifetime. So, with every opportunity I have, I try to make the best of it. Including packing as light as possible. I thought I'd share with you my "thinking/planning process" when it comes to packing toiletries:

  • invest in a nice cosmetic bag with a lot of compartments so that your staff stays organised until you reach your destination. Mine is Aqua and it is the souvenir I bought home from Bulgaria

  • although I use a brush on a daily basis I pack a comb for travelling to save space;
  • try to limit the liquids I carry for damage control, so I only use makeup removal wipes when travelling;
  • similarly, I pack one nail remover wipe so I can refresh my manicure if need be. Until recently I didn't even know they existed but this summer they were very useful, especially since you can find them packed individually. So they are a real space saver, not to mention the damage a liquid nail remover leakage can do;
  • carry a razor and a tweezers for all the hair that may surface in a well lighted hotel bathroom;
  • I usually don't wear makeup so I only have my lip gloss in my hand bag and I may also carry a lip balm or a lipstick for a more dramatic look (dramatic for me cause I normally only use gloss). But with all these space saved you can carry your makeup in the bag as well;
  • I kept the very little bag I was offered with cotton buds at the Hamam and refill it to capacity; or spare the small shower gel hotel containers, refill them and pack but only if I'm not staying in a hotel (which already provides soap or shower gel);
  • instead of my regular bottle of parfume, I carry samples that I purposely save for travelling. Not only they are saving space but they will be a nice surprise when I spray them on while away from home. They just add to the novelty part I adore about travelling;
  • don't skimp on cream cause the hotel one may be not that hydrating;
  • I leave any toiletries I can in the bag for easier packing the next time I travel: a spare toothbrush, my comb, cotton buds, nail remover wipes, etc;
  • I don't pack any jewelry lately, only wear what I have on me when I leave home. Especially since any trip is a good opportunity to explore and bring home new local pieces, instead of touristy souvenirs that clutter your home;
  • pack your favourite beauty panacea. A real multipurpose product. Inspired by Garance's post , this time it was rose water for me. Rose water can serve as : makeup remover, subtle perfume, thermal water spray substitute, natural anti-inflammatory and also hydrating. In winter I would most likely switch to olive oil.

And the bonus tip: don't worry if you leave something behind, you can live without any of the above except toothbrushes that you can find pretty much anywhere.

Enjoy your packing!

P.S. 12 tips for organising beauty products, at home, and 10 tips for closet clean up

11 September 2014

Time travel at Balchik

"I'm not going to tell the story the way it happened. I'm going to tell it the way I remember it."*

When I was a very little girl, so little that my parents still carried my potty with them, we vacationed at the Romanian seaside. From there we went on a one day trip to Balchik. It was the one and only time my parents and I travelled outside Romania and this is probably why I still have some memories of it. The image that really stayed with me was a huge stone throne on the beach overlooking the sea. And I also remember putting my potty on it and doing what little kids do on the potty. Back then it must of felt special sitting on the throne where a queen used to stay.

30 years fast forward, it felt special again. A week back, we stopped at Balchik on our way back home from the Bulgarian seaside ( It was the first time the boys travelled abroad, too). I was about to leave the gardens when I realised the throne must still be there, so I had to find it and confront my memory of it. I was really excited to see how much reality would match the image that lasted in my memories for 30 years. I was in for a big surprise.

It was there, almost the way I remembered it but sooo much smaller. I was overwhelmed when sitting face to face, or throne to face, with my childhood. It's so rare that I have this luxury, to relive those happy times. Since I don't have a picture from my first time there, I asked the 2 better versions of me to sit on the throne so that the photo I'd took could help me recollect this moment in the future. But the truth is the depth of this special encounter can't be captured in a picture. There will be just my memory of it which will last me for at least another 30 years.

A time travel a day keeps the doctor away!

 *that's how my favorite movie begins

P.S. how a strawberry beamed me back in my childhood and the pursuit of happiness

8 September 2014

The veil of the century

Some call it the true wedding of the century. I don't care about whose wedding was more important. From what I've seen in the pictures released to the press Angelina's and Bred's wedding was exquisite. And I, a simple woman  resisting my mom when it comes to wearing a veil at my own wedding, I believe Angelina's veil is the most beautiful and most original veil I have ever seen. Trully the veil of the century for me. (My mother won, I let her won, and I wore a veil at my wedding, since it was my one and only chance of wearing it and I ended up also liking it).

Jolie's dress was an expression of her kids' creativity: Luigi Massi, the master tailor at Atelier Versace, sewed dozens of designs from her children's drawings into the veil.

A wedding a day keeps the doctor away!

Photos: Hello Magazine and People