13 March 2017

Nailed it - CIA


Having spent more than 2 weeks in the promised land I am now settling back into my life. More to cope with than the expected jet lag. My mind is divided between memories of my US trip and thoughts around my daily tasks now that I am back being a working mom. I never stopped being a mom. However for 17 days I was a lucky mom with enormous chunks of time for herself. Which I enjoyed to the fullest. Sometimes in a childish way like visiting SeaWorld in Orlando, my first destination. 

20 February 2017

Winter Alphabet


Alain de Botton is my latest crush. "Love is skill rather than enthusiasm" says his latest book "The Course of Love". So reading this now I hope I am upskilling in the love department.
Bag I'm dreaming about: Anya Hindmarch rainbow perforated bag. Because the perforation is something I am planning on doing soon as a DYI. Another one of a kind bag work in progress
Chef to be, Cristian, cooked mini pizzas for us and they were yummy. Proud mama!
Dreaming about a Lego Land visit with the boys.
Eating healthy food most days to stay away from food guilt.

5 February 2017

Hats, shopping and the story


Starting on the wrong foot

- Honey, we should check the dress you wanted on NYE, says my generous husband while we are in front of the Massimo Dutti store at AFI mall. That's one offer I can't refuse. 
2 minutes away, having checked 3 racks of clothes on sale, patience is running low on the hubby side:
- I thought we were shopping for me today! says the big bad wolf. It was as if aliens kidnapped my generous husband and brought me a  beast instead.

24 January 2017

Pimp my bags: fancy, fluffy, flowery


In an effort to tame down my obsession with bags, I "invested" in some bag accessories this sales season. So I won't have to overcome my bag boredom with a new bag purchase. Unless I must. And sometimes I really must. Some bags wink at me and there is a special connection between us and I have to bring them home. Like the ones below that underwent a face lift:

21 January 2017

On storytelling: It's my blog and I'll rewrite if I want to

 
Digital Parents Talks, the storytelling edition was too good of an offer to pass. Here I was, Saturday morning, ready to enjoy time on my own and to learn things I am passionate about. So I did. The event was very nicely organized and the speakers were lovely too. Liviana Tane had a lot to teach us about storytelling. Here are the notes I took as improvement points for me:

20 January 2017

The celebration tray or how I mothered a tradition


The pregnancy

One late evening, on my way back home, I went wild. Not that wild, just "usual work night" wild. I dropped my worries about Cristian's homework and decided to live a little. My staying late at work paid off with something that felt like a small personal victory. It was only natural to share my joy with the 3 men waiting for me home.

16 January 2017

The day I found what my talents are


Today was one of those days where nothing came easy. I even had a hard time convincing Cris and Tud to go see a movie. We eventually did so and it was really a lovely movie: Vaiana (Moana). What happened before and after the movie was complicated but there was also a conversation.

8 January 2017

Snow life 2017


I am not big on birthdays. But when it comes to first snow of the year, I am all in. I took a day off on Friday and guess what, Thursday night it snowed like in fairy tales. I was over the moon especially since boys were on vacation too. We left the warm comfort of the house I grew up in

New Year's Eve 2017


I've been meaning to recreate the 2013 New Year's Eve for the past 4 years. This year I did

2 January 2017

My 3 words for 2017


In an effort to switch from frustrating new year resolutions to new year guiding "lights", this is my fifth "3 words" exercise. The longer I do it, the harder I need to dig deep down my soul to learn what I can't find as much as I'd like to. Precision is key. Overall I am the same me. However, every year does bring new challenges and old ones I haven't adjusted to yet.

31 December 2016

If I could wear anything for New Year's Eve 2017


"Give a woman the right dress and she can conquer the world" is my version of this shoe quote. This silk dress has been on my mind ever since I saw it for the first time a month ago. I noticed it from the outside and it dragged me inside the store to admire it more. My imagination is running wild now thinking about a complete outfit, or even 2.

30 December 2016

Nailed it - in the gray


Lately I've been alternating between 2 shades of gray for my nails. The opaque shade is my favorite "Liv" in the Gray . For special occasions, like the 2 days of housework before Christmas, I chose My Private Jet.

28 December 2016

Exhale


I get home and change myself into something clean and comfortable but nice. I'm making myself a coffee even though it's dark outside. A. laughingly asks me to shred a cabbage. He already knows the answer is no. Not tonight. I get a call from a friend asking me to go out. I say no, not tonight. On my way to the sofa I get the remote control, my laptop and my phones. I have everything I need within arm's reach. I am going to watch

25 December 2016

Merry Christmas!


We opened a restaurant last night because Santa brought us a loaded shopping cart toy. Cris was the chef, Tud took orders and I was the bartender. Dino was our first guest

17 December 2016

What I really, really want


Dear Santa,

I've had more than my share of sweets this year so no candies for me, please. I suppose everybody is asking you for world peace and good health. Of course these are always on my mind but, this year, for once, let's make it about me only. I'm making a list, checking it twice so, If I could have anything and everything this Christmas, here is what I'd like:
  • a full day with A: from dawn to dusk, breakfast to dinner with everything in between, without any distractions;
  • the books of all the people I follow. Don't worry Santa, I'll make a list for this as well;
  • speaking of people I follow, lunch with Seth Godin, my biggest inspiration;
  • minus 10 kilos;
  • an exquisite bag, always on my list;
  • a surprise getaway for my parents because they are me and I am them;
  • a magazine subscription to Porter;
  • Flowerbomb, eau de parfum
  • 100 followers for my blog's facebook page.
Thanks a lot,
Aura

So, what do you really, really want? Have you thought about it lately? Would be great to share your wishes in the comments here. Santa's watching and waiting.

12 December 2016

1st of December getaway


As much as I like visiting new places, the familiarity of going back to one I know well is comforting. One might argue that 8 kids in a house may not sound comforting at all. It turned out kids had fun their way which left us, the adults, the opportunity to relax our way. Here are some pictures to tell the story of our time in Curtea de Arges, first week of December.

Dirt is good and getting way too dirty was the best part for Cristian and the other kids his age. They built a fort similar to the one they did in Trivale woods this summer.







After all this construction work, climbing the hills around and strolling the town streets, a fire was all we needed.











At times there was a lot of noise around. However it felt quiet and sometimes this is just what the doctor ordered. Plus a puff of snow.

A joy a day keeps the doctor away!

P.S. my favorite place at Curtea de Arges, besides the excellent shops there

7 December 2016

Saying something stupid like...


It all started with something stupid. I had just left the house to meet some friends when my high heel broke. Superstition says it's a sign you'll meet the one. Right then for me it was a sign I had to get back home and change. Little did I know it was going to be the night that changed my life.

12 years ago I had my last first kiss. I admit I fantasize about having a first kiss again, or, more "politically" correct, a kiss that feels like a first one. Oh, those stupid romantic fantasies women have! 

12 years into our relationship our story feels more of a comedy than a romantic one. Dark comedy because often times I think bad thoughts about my husband. I am a bad girl, what can I say, not in that way, though.

Today is not about me. Today I honor the man that made me a fiance, a bride, a dog and a cat owner, and above all, a mother. 2 times because if it were up to me I'd never stop having kids.

Some days I think about divorce. However, the last 12 years, I never met a guy who seemed better for me than A. I love the very few words we need to agree on the little things in our lives. I like his confidence, generosity and luck. I like the trips he plans for us and the "You are so pretty" compliments coming when I think I deserve them the least. I even like his aggressiveness because I need my man to dominate me.

If there is one thing I hate about him is the smoking that puts a closed door between him and the rest of the family.

What I love most about him: he is honoring the commitment he made 10 years ago. I'm sure he was too young then to know what he was getting into. I'm also sure I haven't been the perfect wife. I just hope I will always be the one and only wife for him. He's still the one for me. All that matters is that WE ARE.

Happy birthday, honey!

P.S. Honey is our song and Something Stupid is a favorite of mine.
Photo valigoaga

6 December 2016

Saint Nicholas Eve


It was one of those special days kids wait for and talk about months in advance. This is why I decided to make it so that my kids will enjoy it as much as possible. I tweaked the St. Nicholas tradition and left the presents on the window sill before kids got home. Growing up I always welcomed St. Nicholas the night before and not in the morning. Which is perfect for a school night.

To my surprise, Tudor spotted the gifts 2 minutes after the boys got home. He first asked if I put those things there, and I pretended I know nothing about it. A very rare occasion of white lie, otherwise I never lie to my kids.

To make a long story short, we went wild: we shared 2 bags of chips while watching cartoons past TV curfew time, we ate sandwiches in front of the TV even though we had a cooked dinner in the fridge and played some more after TV time. The long afternoon ended with a good bath which the boys enjoyed possibly the most. Ocean blue water was the star of the night.




We had joy, we had fun, we had children in the bathtub. I wanted to give them a little extra something to enjoy besides sweets. I chose a personalized Christmas snow globe and some bath products: foam, a magic towel. The fizzing bath ball that colored the water blue was what they liked most. I had a really hard time convincing them to remove the bathtub drain stopper as they didn't want the special water to drain away.



When preparing the gifts for the boys I added a little something for the parents as well to make the tradition more convincing. However my special present was brought to me by Cristian: 
- Mags, you got the smallest present even though you are the best/most dutiful of us all (ro: "cea mai cuminte")

There was no time left for bedtime stories but we created our story just the way we like it.

A present a day keeps the doctor away!

P.S. a great gift for kids and another wanderful compliment from Cristian

23 November 2016

Human after all


Part of Cristian's homework for Personal Development class was writing down what he would change about him. Not knowing how to answer, I confessed this is a tough question for grown-ups as well. 3 days later, listening to Human on repeat, with frustration of all sorts cornering me, I have been thinking hard about my defects. In no particular order:
  • I yell at my kids when I can't control myself anymore;
  • I overeat when feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, especially on Friday nights when the crazy paced work week is over;
  • I have yet to learn how to love my husband freely, without asking anything in return;
  • I have daddy issues which I project on my husband, expecting more from him than he can actually offer. He surely has issues of his own, don't we all?!
  • I don't demand enough respect from the 3 men in my house. They feel that my time home is exclusively theirs;
  • Weeks go by without any me time. And I do miss me, so much. I miss my thoughts and putting them in writing;
  • I have very high standards for myself as opposed to the kindness I enjoy treating others with.

See, I am moderately screwed up. As if there is a middle ground when it comes to being deeply flawed. Moderately because I think there is still hope. And admitting all these may well be the beginning. I hope so.

Finding joy in ordinary is my coping mechanism. I am far for having a perfect life and far from figuring it all. As much as I would like to, I can't do it all. Can't have it all. And that's fine, some days.

"I'm only human, I do what I can. I'm just a woman, I do what I can." (Human)

May you be kind to yourself today!

Love & Kindness,
A.

1 November 2016

Halloween '16


It must be the novelty of this celebration that I like Halloween so much. It gives me the opportunity to build our own family traditions around it. And let's face it: silly or scary costumes topped with candies and other treats. Who can say no to that?! I have been saying yes for the past 4 years and I like our celebration more and more each year. Here is a glimpse into how we had fun this year.





A party a day keeps the doctor away!

P.S. Army of ghosts from last year and our first Halloween little party