Friday, November 29, 2013

Life in the Countryside

I would just love to get away for a summer weekend to this guest house in the Polish countryside. It feels so out of this world, a place from a time long gone. I cannot decide if I prefer the interiors which are so much my style that it reminds me of my place, or the outside life. I'll let you decide for yourself and dream of your weekend.

All pictures are from Moniowka website. Did I tell you that Monika, the owner, gave up her 9 to 5 job in the city for a life in the countryside to run her guest house?The dream :)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My Bucharest through someone else's eyes optimistic. At least if you look at it through the pictures posted here on Bucuresti Optimist. I am one of those people, who, like My Cup of Digital who showed me these pictures, loves Bucharest. This is were I grew up and spent most of my life so far and even if it's not the perfect place to live, it's still in my heart. I haven't lived there in 5 years but I still know the city quite well and even dream of it's streets sometimes.

Here are some of the pictures from the page.The depth, the colours, almost reminds me of the smells and sounds of the place. Yes, I love Bucharest, whatever people say, it's got its good points, you just have to open your eyes. And yes, the communist buildings are what remind me of Bucharest the most, but inside the buildings there are the people that make it my city.

So many things have changed in the 5 years I've been away, there are not so many cities that move at the fast pace that Bucharest has. Here is the National Arena. It wasn't there when I left.
And I also love the nostalgic Bucharest of the 20s and 30s with its Paris meets Istanbul air. The mix of styles is impressive, not always very pretty but quaint. The Lipscani area or Old City is a memory from a long lost commercial past but the new rendition of it as an area for partying is equally successful.

 Go check out Bucuresti Optimist, you will find a Bucharest you barely recognize. This is Herastrau park for instance. Everything looks so different if you look at it from another angle. Even the pessimists will start to love this city and maybe work on making it better.
Every time I go to Bucharest I feel I came back home, and that is despite the fact that sometimes I feel so far from all the issues that trouble Romanians. for me, Bucharest is Romania and these pictures bring back the memories.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Driving bebe

I've mentioned we have an Aygo. Perfect city car, we go with it everywhere. A friend commented that a car means independence and I am here to tell you what the car means to me as a new mum.

I was driving all through my pregnancy and even joking I'll end up driving myself to the maternity. At the time, I was working 45km away from my home and so if labour started early, I had 45 minutes of driving to my maternity of choice or 15 minutes to the closest one. Many were surprised I wasn't carpooling any more but I felt free and wanted to be able to leave fast if any contractions so I preferred to drive by myself. I continued driving for errands during my maternity leave, I was even driving the night before my son was born.

Because I had a c section, I was afraid the safety belt would bother me and I would be unable to drive. This made me sad, I knew I would be home with my son only and I wanted to be able to use the car if necessary. I also wanted the freedom a car gives me.

I was surprised to find that adjusting the seat was different then when my big belly helped - knew how far I had to be from the wheel because the belly stopped me - but other then that, the belt didn't bother me at all. So I drove the car about 2 weeks after my son was born and I think it helped against the baby blues: wind in my hair and the possibility of going anywhere meant that life was moving forward ok even with a baby. The big football match that day meant no free parking space around the city centre and a 20 minute walk in the rain for me: I should have taken the tram instead.

Life part 2 started, now with a kid and I enjoy putting him in his baby car seat and taking him for rides to visit friend or shop or whatever. Mobility is so important for us, we don't have to stay inside all day long, we can go anywhere. As winter approaches, my husband will take the car to work instead of the bike as he does now. I will miss the car but the trams and buses are a good alternative even if they don't takes exactly where we need. We just have to put an extra layer of clothes on us to keep warm. But this is another discussion: who to dress your baby for trips outside?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Breastfeeding in public

My post is inspired by this from A cup of Jo and a discussion I had with a friend before I gave birth. My asked me what my opinion was about breastfeeding in public and I said the jury was still out on this one.

The fact is, before I had to breast feed, I considered it as a private affair between mother and child. The only women I saw feeding their kids in public wore gipsy women in Romania. I was a bit uncomfortable with the idea of nursing your baby while others watched, even after reading about this on several blogs and seeing mothers do it in CZ. And not just gipsy mothers.

And then I had my baby and he was hungry all the time so my choice was to give up any form of public life such as dinner with the family or nurse him in the living room. I am not so prude any more but I still retreat in a corner, discreetly. I think that my baby deserves my attention and care and that is why it's called nursing. But I still like to eaves drop on conversations.Besides, being able to breastfeed in public spaces such as in the car or Ikea's cafeteria (they have a special corner for this) means that I am more free to move. And this is excellent, we can take him on trips and have fun as a family.

By the way, the picture is from the post I mentioned earlier on Joanna's blog. I totally see myself in the way she is dressed.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Autumn Baby

As Autumn is getting closer to saying it's final word, here are some pics from the neighbourhood I walk around with my son. The side walk was covered in crunchy leaves, just the way I like them, the weather was nice and quite warm for this time of the year. Too bad my pictures are not so good. This area is full of houses from the 30's, I day dream all the time of having even the smallest one.

The park in the second picture is a big round place in an intersection and it is always full. I crossed there Ukrainians and Slovaks and heard some English once.

The other day a squirrel crosses my path and once, I saw a small hawk. My son will be lucky ti grow up with squirrels for neighbours.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Yellow nursery ideas

Right now the nursery is a nook in our bedroom. Our first idea was to have our bedroom as nursery and keep the yellow colour of the walls. We had to keep it simple because moving and building while at the same time pregnant is not easy so we kept that bedroom to ourselves and junior will be moved to his own bedroom later. His future room is under the roof, has a low ceiling, grey, green and yellow flower wallpaper (we are not going to tear down) and blue window shades.

With these colours in mind, I started searching on pinterest and other sites for inspiration. His bed is white, like in the first picture and the window shades are a similar blue.

I like the warmth in this nursery, even if the wood is an old fashioned colour. I know my son would love a balloon mobile as well.
Very modern nursery and I just adore the light as it is filtered by that window. I don't have the space for an arm chair like that but I like the colour. Also, gender neutral and warm.

This one is more girlie but could still pass for a boy's nursery. I want to keep things gender neutral and not too childish because the room will double as a guest room. We'll have two beds installed which my dad will build around already existing mattresses. The pink pouf is a nice touch, I have to think of something similar for my son's room, to give a splash of colour.

All pictures are from my pinterest account and Appartment Therapy.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Cooking men

Haha, I donot want to talk about cannibals but about men who cook, they are so rare, aren't they? While my mum was here, helping me cope with the first weeks of being a mum, my dad was home alone. Grown men are like babies sometimes, we were worried he would starve to death or worse but instead he would give us daily reports of his culinary endeavours.Quiche, omelette, steak, some frozen pizza and of course eating out at friend's. My dad did ok but then, he surprised us with pictures of this chicken broth he cooked on his own. Looks good :)

My dad's speciality is barbecue but he always prepared some delicious easy meals in a very creative way. I have very fond memories of salty butter on fresh bread, the best fried eggs and potatoes with feta cheese. Not to mention the omelette and the barbecue. Still, it's basic stuff, survival food and he prepares it methodically.

Now this is my husband's cooking you see below. I am blessed with talented men. During my pregnancy he tried to cook the fish in the sushi. Not such a great success, raw salmon is much better but the gesture was sweet. After the pregnancy, I can finally enjoy my husband's sushi's, better then in most restaurants in town.

My husband loves cooking, maybe the French in him but he is the master baker in the family and makes great sponge cakes. We sometimes cook together and it's a nice synergy, blending two culinary cultures. He is a very creative chef, sometimes this is too much for me and we tend to clash on things such as leek in ciulama (the horror) or raw duck breast in sushi. But I have to admit that most of his culinary inventions are tasty (not fond of the duck sushi).

What about the men in your lives? Do they cook for pleasure or need?

Friday, November 8, 2013

aygo Baby

I haven't written about travelling in a while because well, I haven't travelled in a while. Life, more exactly pregnancy, moving to a new place, having a baby, etc, they all got in the way of my passion for taking to the road. We are slowly getting into a routine which will make it easier to get away even with a small child so I am looking forward to our first road trip to France this weekend.

The picture above is of the trunk of our car with a push chair chassis neatly folded inside, leaving space inside the micro trunk to put some luggage. You can see my husband's arm in the background as he is attaching the baby car seat/ cosy. Because we may be new parents but we are also proving that our new life fits inside our old car, the mini Toyota Aygo.

Some of our friends told us we cling to the past and that we should grow up and buy a more family friendly car but we stick to the Aygo for now because we don't need a bigger one. We chose the push chair and accessories to fit inside the car and to be easily manoeuvrable in town. And it works for us. Life slowed down a notch and yet we are still active as we want to discover the world with our baby and have new adventures.

Wishing you all a great and safe weekend!

PS. This is post n°138. Just saying.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Monochrome flower arrangement

Hello and a very good week to you! I will spend my week at home with my baby. We are going to play and do some shopping and cooking. This week we will also start baby swimming lessons. Very excited!

I want to share with you some photos of a flower arrangement I made inspired by this post from Apartment Therapy. I bought the flowers they had in the grocery store (the same store I bought the wedding arrangement flowers) just like the post said.

The choice wasn't great, just roses and lilies. I picked up shades of burgundy, the other choice was yellow lilies but the roses were only in white or pinkish hues. I striped the flower stems of  leaves and made a random arrangement, trying to keep in mind that the lilies will bloom.

The second picture is the bouquet on the table the next day; we had guests over for the weekend. I hope it will inspire you for your next dinner party.
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