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

30 October 2016

Ahead of time- my experience with TEDxBucharest


My day at TEDxBucharest was a luxury to begin with. A day of my own to immerse in bright ideas. It ended up being like the speed dating session I never had. But with dreams, not men. Some dreams charmed me more than others. I heard stories about success against all adds, medical innovation, trend watching, feminism, sociology research, volunteering, LiFi, bio hacking, implants and digital lifestyle, resilience, autonomous technology and VR. Pretty interesting topics, but what I really liked best were the questions I was left with:

Which dots will you connect?
What will your customers want next?
When did you last see a statue of a woman?
Who are you mentoring?
What is your story?
What would you do if money were no issue?
Why do we work?
How can we raise hapy/balanced kids?
What is your life's mission?
What is consciousness?
How are you remarkable/worth making a remark about?

When I came back home, Tudor climbed on my back to fall asleep. Which I absolutely adore. As I felt his weight falling asleep on me, I also felt the weight of all these questions still left unanswered.

How can we all prepare for the future? How can we be ahead of time?

A question a day keeps the doctor away!

P.S. 12 things I need to be happy

17 October 2016

My compass at 36


I look into my heart and outside too, almost nothing has changed. I look into my mind and somehow I feel more settled than a year ago. And settled is good. Maybe I know "1 year more" of navigating though life. With acceptance rather than frustration. Possibly because I am running to 40 now. Don't we all run, these days?! Somehow I just grew more accustomed to the pace. Or is it just because today is a good day?! Or maybe, 36 years on earth, and I finally found that thing. You may call it: balance, holy grail, the path, inner peace, happiness, infinity, whatever. Today I call it my compass. It shows me the north and the south and the est and the west. And everything in between. This is what I use as guidance along life's way, my way:

Kindness

I am sure I got this from my mother. Her calm and kindness are the greatest traits I inherited. It was only after I become a mother myself and failed a couple of times at it, I decided I never wanted to have that awful feeling of guilt again. My close family sometimes lovingly tells me I am too kind. Which I take as a compliment although is not meant that way. But I keep on doing my thing because this is what I want my kids to say about me: "Mom is kind and we do fun stuff together all the time"

"One day you'll understand that it's harder to be kind than clever" says Jeff Bezos in  "What matters more than your talents"  speech at Princeton.

Trust

I see successful people around, yet their lack of self confidence transpires through their actions. They lose energy over small dramas. Of course I too, doubt myself sometimes, but most days I trust me. And I put trust in my close family and friends. If disappointment comes as a result of their actions I say to myself:  " It's not you, don't take it personally" and I move on. "Self-reliance is the greatest art". More interesting thoughts on trust from "the one and only" Brene Brown on "The anatomy of trust" 


Family

We were on a nice vacation when Cristian says out of the blue: " A family never stops" . Of course this was followed by one of those deep conversations only Cristian can spark. The truth is family was my only "ambition" in life. The only thing I pursued with both heart and mind.  I am very grateful to have it for the last 10 years now. It is my number one priority, the place where I get most of my struggles, where I put a lot of work and forgiveness. But in the end of the day, nothing makes me happier. And this is what families are for: a happy place to turn to everyday.

Sleep

This may come as a surprise but sleep is my secret weapon. Enough sleep gives me the strength to accomplish a lot during one day, in a good spirit. Sleep has become non-negotiable for me and my life is so much better now. Proud I found this even before it become a thing. Arianna Huffington started her sleep revolution and you can find more about it here: On Family, Success and Sleep.

For the first time, I'm more 40 than I am 30 and I am pretty fine with it. I admit I was surprised to see some gray hair this year and some other stuff going on with my body. However, I love what I grew into on the inside. That's the best part of being 36. You know what you want, you know what clothes fit you and you know exactly how you like things to be done. And most of the times I claim my way.

Today is a good day. May all your days be merry and kind!

xoxo,
Aura

P.S. my picture is part of the series "I feel princessy" - thus the happy pose I do when I feel special and rich as a princess, while traveling to a new place.

5 October 2016

October Alphabet


A is from Aura, cause it's nice to see your name written down.
Book I just finished: How to be Parisian wherever You are . Exceeded my expectations from the very first chapter with this piece of advice: "Always be ...: when standing in line at the bakery on a Sunday morning, buying champagne in the middle of the night or even picking the kids up from school". Fill in the blanks.
Cooking with Cristian recipes from Jamila,  like zucchini tart and stuffed potatoes.
Dreaming about a trip to Marocco.

Easy- the latest series I watched on Netflix.
Fashionista crush: Camelia Craciunescu Huls  via TheCoveteur. I love everything about her style so much that I got into Instagram to follow her. And she is from Romania!!!
Game I play with the boys: "The Last Straw: Success is in the balance". I have been waiting for 8 years to play this, since I bought it when I was pregnant with Cristian. Also it reminds me of  Marocco game I played with my grandpa when I was Cristian's age.
Home decoration plan: buy some nice apartment plants to cheer up the long winter to come.

Inspired by 30 Days of Genius with Chase Jarvis
Joke I laugh even now, thinking about it: a very angry Tudor is threatening Cristian to tell on him once dad comes home. Since he is out of town for 10 days, a very calm Cristian is quick to answer: "Don't worry Tud, you will forget all about this (by the time dad is back home)".
Keen to start planning for the Halloween kids party.
Learning how to live without sugar, 4 days and counting. Maybe this time I will master this, cause it got to the point I couldn't control my addiction.

Music: excited about the Depeche Mode countdown. I am so ready for another album, hoping this is the surpise.
Netflix fix: "Chelsea" when I want something short and fun.
Obsessing over latest Zadig&Voltaire bag collection.
Purse I would love to wear this month: this tricolor bag .


Quote on my mind: "If you can't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?" Ru Paul. From the outside one would think I am good at this, however, on the inside, I feel I have a lot more to learn about love.
Reading a wonderful series on parenting in different countries: Motherhood around the World from A Cup of Joe.
Series I have been long waiting far: "The Fall, Season 3". And it's not only because of Jamie Dornan, which I consider putting first on my list. Ashton beware, you have competition!
Treasure the last warm and sunny days of the year.
Using the internet to find answers when it comes to homework so I can help Cristian deal with it better. Here is a good article.

Video I can't stop watching: Pentatonix & Dolly Parton: Jolene. Music aside, they are all so beautifully different.
Wanting some time of my own...
Xanthic like leaves in the fall (xanthic means yellowish, cause words that start with x are hard to find).
Yearning to squeeze some creative juice out of this busy and bored soul.
Zen from getting 8 hour sleep most nights.

What's on your mind this month? How are you having fun this fall?

P.S. this is the first in a monthly series I plan to keep me on the creative track

12 September 2016

Back to school '16

By the time I am writing this, well into the night, I am sure you are all fed up with back to school photos on FB. I am, too. But this is not for today and it is not for anybody else other than me. Truth is I can't remember any of my back to school days, although I remember I liked getting back to school. In case this happens for my 2 boys, they will have the www to go back to. I will surely do so when I won't get to walk them to school anymore. So I am privileged now and this is how things should go in history.

To begin with, my fridge never looked better than last night. I should switch from flowers on my kitchen counter to flowers in the fridge. They are such a lovely surprise and nobody could tell you anymore that your fridge is empty. Note to self: make sure to buy edible ones next time.


Tadaa, the classic picture. It may look easier to take than it really is cause kids don't normally just pose. Luckily it was too early in the morning and they were partially numb.





I love the shirt on shirt combo I prepared for Tudor, provided that the collars are different. A little self praise didn't hurt anyone, did it?!

The most heated moment of the day, other than the pile of clothes I had to iron at 6am in the morning, was Cristian's joy when he met his best friend from school. I was happy to see it was mutual and witness their excitement.



Notice Cristian's face after a lot of time in the spinning wheel. And of course he didn't like me taking pictures of himself. Of course it didn't bother me at all cause sometimes I don't like stuff he does to me. And we are far from even.



Same parks after school, same stunts. I love the routine of it all, the things we do while we are waiting for Tudor to finish his short day at kindergarten.




Tudor was very happy with his day. We visited some more playgrounds and of course there was room for some brotherly disputes along the way.







Boys will be boys and first days of school will always be special. In the midst of it all, I found peace in the shadow marks on the playground's carpet. I wish my school year was as serene as this photo looks to me.


 May you find peace and sun and shadow wherever you are! Happy school year to you!

P.S. back to school day in 2015 and 2014.

4 September 2016

Style Notes to Self: September


1. What I would like to wear this fall: a floral print I have on a Zara dress (the one in the picture is from latest H&M add) and pink, because I've always liked this colour. Especially this fall when Rose Quarts is one of the 2 Pantone colours of 2016.

2. Sweater cue not to take myself too seriously and add playfulness hints to some of my outfits.

3. A tiara because the inner strength women demonstrate these days should be toned down with princessy details on the outside.

4. Same Diesel bag, 2 versions. I can't decide which I like most.

5. I don't have it in me to wear such dark lipstick but I plan to use some bold lipstick shades this fall.

6. A Musette bag I love because of the wide, studded, shoulder strap. Colour and print are also nice. I plan to make it mine as soon as it will be on sale in January. The wait will make the buying/having even better.

7. A reminder to wear colourful details just like I've always liked.

8. There's been no addition to my ring collection this year. This Pandora ring is nice enough to bring it home with me.

9. Special occasions ask for special outfits. Dressing appropriately and leaving the everyday style rut is surely easier said than done.

10. This KIKA patchwork bench would look very nice in our hallway.

A joy a day keeps the doctor away!

2 September 2016

Fairytales with horses


Our family is not that keen on celebrating. However, there are days too special not to enjoy wholeheartedly. Like the 1st of June, the Children's day. We took advantage of a special offer and enjoyed the day in a fairy setting, with horses, stuntmen, a wolf, medieval stories and some surprises at Basme cu Cai :







During the mid show break the kids were invited to take pictures with the charaters from the show: actors and animals too. This is the part kids seemed to enjoy best. It was very brave of them to sit next to a wolf and touch it. They felt very courageous and special after the photos.




 

I highly recommend the show. I think we, the adults, enjoyed it even more than the kids did.

A show a day keeps the doctor away!

30 August 2016

Vive les vacances, vive les tongs!


F and I, we go back a long time. 7 years I think. We have a friendship relationship of sorts. Even though we only meet twice a year max, we share the best time of the year.

F may come from freedom or the breeze caressing my feet with its soft touch. F actually comes from flip flops. Flip flops, makeup remover wipes, my colorful Desigual bag, they all mean the same to me: the time of the year when breakfast is served to me. That time of the year when my flip flops and I, we have places to go, people to see.


Vive les vacances, vive les flip flops!

A vacation a year keeps the doctor away!

P.S. 12 tips for packing toiletries


25 August 2016

Now and Then: When magic begins

 
Summer of 16

Sitting on a bench watching my kids play in the playground is not one of my favorite things to do. I believe it's not one of the boys' favorite either. Most of the times we get the chance, we wander around our neighborhood. It may sound boring, there are a lot of blocks of flats, not that many gardens. Yet, we always find something interesting. Provided that we take our curiosity on the road with us. And we always do. 

This is how we found this fruit and later on the tree where it came from. I've never seen it before. Do you know what it is? We don't, so we are still fascinated with it.



Most of the times the boys have some sort of a vehicle with them. You can imagine their joy when they find a puddle. They even ask for my permission to go through it and, of course, I say yes. What could be more fun?


Other times we see peculiar things like a single house hidden between blocks of flats, or a pigeons cage hidden in plain view on top of a 8 storey building. Who knew somebody raises pigeons 3 blocks away from us?! Few days ago I spotted a small moss mat. Cristian was quick to tell me it indicates the North while Tudor was hesitant to touch it first.


Summer of 15

More than a year ago, another walk around. Cristian tasted honeysuckle for the first time. I taught him the proper way to get the juice out of it just like I did when I was his age.



Here the boys found some big pinecones and they were having a walk break, resting. We must have walked for quite a while that day.


My favorite find is this mural, "When you sleep, the magic begins".


When you walk, the magic begins. When you search, the magic begins.

A magic walk a day keeps the doctor away!

P.S. now and then Sibiu, on top of the hill