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

Travelling 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 perfume, 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

6 September 2014

Postcards from the Quiet Nest Palace

On our way back home from the Bulgarian seaside we stopped at Balchik. The Quiet Nest Palace, "was constructed between 1926 and 1937, during the Romanian control of the region, for Queen Marie of Romania ". It's really a spectacular place so I'll let its beauty speak through the pictures I took there:

What beautiful places have you visited this summer?

A garden a day keeps the doctor away!

P.S. the Poenari Castle and The Stone Ravens

3 September 2014

Son and sunrise

Cristian totally rewired my brain when it comes to sunrise at the seaside. I used to think it was romantic, now I see it as a beautiful thing you can share with a loved one. Surely, love ads to this, and mother and son love may well trump romantic love. Probably this is why both Cristian and I loved it so much.

We went out on the balcony right before the sunrise. It was just the two of us... 

There was sun and there was love and the warmth that comes from both. There was magic in the air...

A sunrise a day keeps the doctor away!

P.S. a special compliment Cristian paid me and 4 things I want to teach my kids

30 August 2014

Fish Spa

This is about the day when I decided to become food for fish. I didn't throw myself to the sharks, but I voluntarily gave my dead skin to some little fishes named garra rufa. It was nice and very tickling especially in the beginning when the feeling was new. After a couple of minutes you get used to it and it's relaxing, like any spa activity should be.

I must warn you that some reviews I read afterwards argue this is not safe and in US is also illegal in some states. Life is not safe as it is, so we can only hope for the best.

Overall it was an interesting experience, a new sensation and a fun activity to do in vacation.

A spa a day keeps the doctor away!

P.S. hamam, the luxurious art of bathing and 12 tips for organizing beauty products

27 August 2014

Now and then -Sibiu

That was Sibiu 2013. We made a quick stop this year too, on our way back home from Arsenal Park.
This is Sibiu 2014. The cars are the same there, but the boys are one year bigger now. Almost heros, like Itsy Bitsy, the kids radio, says every night.

A memory a day keeps the doctor away!

P.S. at the Sibiu zoo and a cute sleepyhead