Posts

My 3 Words for 2021

Image
In an effort to switch from frustrating new year resolutions to new year guiding "lights", this is my ninth "3 words" exercise. I find some quiet time and take myself on a date. I ask questions and try to find out what I need to be more of myself. Every year, resistance is cornering me: "Shall I do something else this time? Maybe using those journaling prompts from Vienda ?". Not yet. Setting intentions on the first days of January is powerful. It casts a spell that will veil me throughout the new year. So, here I am again. My 3 words for 2021 are:  GRACE Finding some ease and elegance even in challenging times. Acting instead of reacting. Surrender comes to mind as well. Taking time. Grace is sprinkling a bit of personal charm, "je ne sais quoi", on top of my temper. Elegance showing on the outside, while inner peace is what I want to feel inside. DISCIPLINE Nurture over indulgence or neglect. Discipline is about

What I am thankful for in 2020

Image
2020 was a year of massive disruptions: confinement , loss and insecurity. My kids worried me the most, having to go through their school year in front of a screen. I don't think they are developmentally equipped to do so. As for me, a quick scroll down my Insta and I can clearly see I used to have more trips, more manicures, more action in my life.  However, I am more thankful for what I have than sad for what I lost. It goes without saying, I am most grateful for good health. Here are other things I appreciated throughout the year. Call it gratitude exercise or counting my blessings: 🏡 There's no place like home. Working from home was on top of my list at the beginning of the year. I remember saying to myself: "In 2020, more than anything, I want to be able to work from home more. I have no idea how. I trust the Universe will provide" Since this worked in strange ways, I have to be very careful about my number 1 wish for 2021. 💁 My little corner of the bedroom wh

Would You Carry a Bag Around the House?

Image
Bags and Royals I am one episode way from finishing The Crown. Have you watched it? I am fascinated with the costumes and intrigued by what's fiction and what's not. This is why I found myself pausing episode 9 more than a couple of times. Did Diana dance on Uptown girl for Charles, in front of an audience, on stage? Did she really have an affair or more? Why is the queen always carrying a bag, even when inside the Buckingham palace?  Diana used her small clutches to shield her chest from photographers every time she stepped out of a car. For this reason she called them Cleavage Bags. But what about the queen? She is always carrying a bag. When making Christmas pudding with Prince George , at dinner, during her audiences. One of her many iconic Launer London bags made an appearance in her 2018 portrait . For Queen Elizabeth, the bag is more than a fashion accessory. She is using it to send signals to her staff. When she wants to end a meeting or

What Are the Little Things Bringing You Joy This Fall?

Image
My commute to work is down to 1 step. Yeap, 1 step. If I get out of bed on my hubby's side. 7 steps from my side of the bed. It used to be 40 minutes of walking and METRO while listening to my favorite music  ( if you are keen about words, like me, here is the distinction between underground, subway and metro ).  I am working from home and mostly spending time in my neighborhood. However, last Tuesday, I went out for an errand to the city center. Where I found myself crying while watching a flight of pigeons (back to vocabulary: a group of pigeons is called a flight or a flock). Why cry? A mix, I think: the pigeons so carefree, sunbathing in what seemed to be total freedom; a good cry of relief; the escape of the ordinary. The inch of freedom to leave my apartment, the sun, the trip, the music playing from my iphone. My favorite music, in my favorite town on a day of my favorite weather. Happy tears mixed with leftovers of loss.  Sometimes I cry, most times I smile. I continue to p

Our Visit to the Bellu Manor

Image
Old family, new museum. The Bellu Manor Museum is located in Urlati, 20 minutes away from Ploiesti or 80 minutes away from Bucharest. Give or take. This makes it the perfect half day trip in these pandemic times. Chances are you don't know about it either. The museum opened to public in 2011 with 2 visiting sites: the entry tower and the manor.  The Bellu Folly Museum The little tower at the old entrance has 3 floors. The permanent exhibition, “Alexandru Bellu – photographic artist and avid collector” is on the first. The remaining floors, very limited in space, display an exquisite sitting area furniture set, national costumes and glass icons. Back to the ground floor, there are 6000 year old ceramics excavated from the site. They belong to the Gumelniţa Eneolithic Culture. My boys were fascinated with the old cameras inside and the snapdragons outside. We call these flowers the lion's mouth. Long time ago, I taught them how to open

Amanda Palmer Teaches the Art of Asking

Image
"She's a powerhouse of a woman!". That's what I thought after listening to Amanda Palmer on Tim's podcast . Months later, at Carturesti,  Seth's book blurb convinced me to buy her book,  "The Art of Asking : How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help". The book is part memoir, part self-help, part romance. Memoir: her artistic journey from the Eight-Foot Bride living statue to the most successful Kickstarter campaign ( her goal of  $ 100 000 was exceeded by $ 1,1 million). Now she has over 14000 fans as patrons supporting her work and giving her total artistic freedom. Romance: vulnerability stories  from her marriage to Neil Gaiman. Self help because it is about asking for anything. Key Ideas in Q&A form 1. What is asking?  “Asking for help with shame says: You have the power over me.  Asking with condescension says: I have the power over you.  But asking for help with gratitude says: We have

My Lesson on the First Day of School

Image
Per Aspera ad Astra, 2019 I used to like going back to school. My boys don't, especially Cristian. Last year he tried to act cool, saying "I really don't care" when I could clearly see he was nervous and bitter. It's always better when they come back from school. The devil is not as black as he is painted (that's a Romanian saying).   First Day of the New School Year, 2020

When the Moon Shines like Ice Road Truckers

Image
There are things everybody can quickly find out about Cris. He loves cars, World War II stories, Twenty One Pilots and Eminem (the title of the post is a line from Godzilla ). He likes climbing trees and cooking. And lets not forget about video games in general and Minecraft in particular. There are also small things only I know about. Peculiar remarks. Moments lingering in my mind or written down on random pieces of paper all over the house. I'm sure they don't mean much to Cristian. But to me, they do. Here's some of the ones I collected over the past 4 years: I was cleaning their closet one day and I found some T-shirts he grew out of: "Mom, I spent a feeling with them. Some of them I wore in London. We should put them in a glass case (ro: vitrina)." Cristian says things like:"This tomatoes are as unripe as my soul." And speaking of tomatoes: "Thank you for taking care of us, mom! says Cris while I cut another tomato and he takes ano

Summer of 2020, a vacation story

Image
Vacation or trip? Do you know the difference? This guide argues that going away with kids is hardly ever a vacation. "While there is nothing wrong with a family trip -- and, in fact, it can be a memorable time of family bonding -- it should never, ever be confused with a vacation." One of the criteria mentioned: a kitchen. "If your final destination has a kitchen, you are not on vacation."

Twelve Commandments at 40

Image
The big dead end Do you remember "When Harry met Sally"? There's this scene when Sally is  crying about being 40 someday . In 8 years to be more precise. Well, I'm not crying and it's here. I recently turned 40.

The questions game: 2020 edition

Image
The inception Kids say funny things. That's for sure. Dinner is a good time to have wide-range conversations with my boys. Sometimes we discuss   the purpose of a toast or blush brushes . Other times about their future. Of course I don't ask a 3 year old "How do you envision your life 20 years from now?". I asked these instead, around 3 years ago:

I turned to me, at 37

Image
I am soon to be 40. The following is something I drafted at 37. It will be my starting point for counting my learnings and my blessings from the past 3 years: Beginning of 2017, my boys were brushing their teeth before bedtime. I took their silence as an opportunity to announce I might take a 2 week work trip abroad. "But mom, you never leave home!"

Confinement journal 2020

Image
source: banksy First day of 2020 I wrote this on Instagram : "Happy New Year! No makeup, pj pants on but wearing my celebratory earrings. That’s how I walked into 2020. I feel rested and ready to surrender to whatever this new year has for me ...". My heart pinched the moment I hit the share button. I thought it was my self doubt whispering to my ear: "Girl, do you really feel that self assured and ready?!". In hindsight, I know it was my intuition. On a personal level, my grandfather passed away 2 days after. In a couple of weeks, classes were closing because of influenza. More recently the world has been closing because of the coronavirus. Do I still feel I am ready? I think so. I did my homework, the self work. Going deeper to the core of me. Where peace stays. I love journalling and I know these are unprecedented times. So I have been keeping a journal of my weeks in confinement:

Our Easter Morning

Image
I'm an early bird. I love the silence of being the only one awake in the house. This Easter Sunday, I was on a mission. We are confined at home, so I planned something we never did before. Something that could bring us a little bit of excitement in these curious pandemic times. An Easter egg hunt. I split my chocolate eggs in two and added 1 Kinder egg. Then I had my share of fun trying to camouflage them in 2 rooms: kitchen and living room.

The books I've read in the past 16 months

Image
"Another morning comes. It always does. Time always moves at the same rate, only feelings have different speeds. Every day can mark a whole lifetime or a single heartbeat, depending on who you spend it with."  Beartown , Frederik Backman I spent my Saturday with Beartown, a book by Frederik Backman. Started reading Friday around midnight. Finished 27 hours later, at 2.40 am. I know so little about hokey but I was so vividly rooting for the ice hockey team. I have been reading Backman's books in chronological order, so happy I still have quite a few left.

Marrakesh: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue

Image
Some places lure you from afar. For years, everywhere I turned on the internet, there was yet another bright and cheery image of Marrakesh. When my hubby called to let me know about a special travel offer I was quick to say yes. Morocco started as an offer I could not refuse, evolved into a decision I almost regretted and concluded as a 4 day escape I would always redo.

A breath of fresh air

Image
21st of March 2020. Into the woods we went to breathe in some fresh air. Outside of our 7th floor apartment where we have been self isolating for the past 4 days. I had a feeling it could be our last chance to go out for weeks. I was right because lock-down followed promptly the week after.

Mixtape to beat the spring blues

Image
Do you like to dance? I still do. When I was a teenager dancing was one of my favorite things in the world. I used to go dancing every week. I also danced alone in front of a big mirror in our living room. Now my boys like to dance too. Every now and then we do spontaneous disco sessions at home.

The Power of Moments - How I spent IWD

Image
8 March 2018 Today I woke up around 3.50 am. I lingered in bed for a few more minutes, having trouble turning because Griza, the cat, was glued to my legs. She was sound asleep, despite my fidgeting. I was ready to start the day.

The perfect job for me

Image
Watterson's star Have you ever seen "The Amazing World of Gumble"? In  this episode  Anais uncovers a secret that will lead her to the Wattersons' hidden family treasure. When Gumball was born, his father made an "out of space" investment. He bought a star from Stellar Corporation and when the company went out of business, it took the Watterson's savings with it.