>> Friday, November 30, 2012

Jr. is nearing the big 2 birthday.  Only now Vito and I are begging to feel like we live with a third PERSON instead of like a cute pet (that poops a lot).

Jr. is decisively deciding to make more decisions on his own.  Like what shoes he should wear, and more alarmingly... what shoes mama should wear.  He now decides which way his hair should be brushed and there was a bit of a commotion in the bathroom this morning when he tried to "adjust" papa's hair.

Mostly though his newly discovered decision making ability is exercised around food.  Coupled with the new found love for talking this is what we hear all day long:

Cookie! cookie mama cookie! - points to where the cookie jar is.
Apple stroop - (in Dutch, apple butter) anythign that is sweet and spreadable... thanks Grandma!
Apple - apple or any fruit or berry that is red
Nana - Banana
Rin - mandarin or any fruit that is not apple or red or a banana
Bear - Pear
He has never had ice cream but knows how to say it and points it out in a book... thanks kinder garden!

What is this green thing??  Hmm... definitely not a cookie... or apple stroop...
I'm totally not a sweet tooth person so I know he does not get it from me.  Vito has a sweet tooth, but I wonder if that's just a "man" thing?

Man, Jr is a man.... baaaahahahahah I have to laugh otherwise I already feel panic and anxiety that he will want to go on a world wide trip and 'make friends' with nice exotic ladies...

I'm the reincarnation of my Great Grandmothers, and my Grandmothers and my Aunt... wait! Times TEN!

Lesson kids: Having kids is not "hard" it's dealing with your dormant craziness that inevitably surfaces triggered by childbirth that is difficult...(!!)


Corner View - Thankfulness

>> Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thankfulness is an art.  It's an art to be practiced, perfected and even if you're really good at it, there are always new techniques to learn.

I myself have to practice this ''art" daily.  The reason I started blogging in 2005 was to challenge myself to see good, and positive things, in every day, which in a way finding something daily to be thankful for.  It's so easy to just make snide remarks about everything.  And doing things that are easy will not get us anywhere.  Finding easier ways to do things that are difficult, not THAT! is something I'm a big fan of.

So here is my recipe for Thankfulness daily:  take a snapshot of something making it beautiful, and if you're not a photo person, write a blog post about something making it sound nice/good/glamorous/beautiful/lovely/fantastic!  Of course I'm talking to a room full of bloggers, you guys know this trick already ;)

Except my friend Cadiz who started her blog in 2005 specifically TO complain...  she's loosened up since then... especially after meeting THE ONE through her blog...and marrying him ... (!!!)

Thank you for today's theme Kari!
Hosted by Francesca
Invented by Jane


Corner View - ENERGY!!!

>> Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I define myself by this word!  Energy is the only answer to this thing that we call life, it is ALL we have!
(Hands in the air menacing... at something... bolt of lighting is heard.... somewhere)

Ok, so the drama aside, it's time to reveal a secret.  While everyone that knows me is amazed by my seemingly boundless energy, what they don't know (well actually they ALL do) is that it all comes from a very well defined source.  The fountain of youth?  Pretty close!


Transformation takes place from the very moment the delicious nectar hits my lips.  Life starts pulsing through my veins.  My brain starts registering sounds and sights begin to acquire focus in my eyes.

One VERY satisfactory espresso had by me in the Loire Valley... I took more pictures of it then the castle we were visiting.  I know, I need to discuss this with my toxicologist.  And hey! at least I leave out the sugar, see above diagram for evidence.  Boy, this is like the longest caption ever in the history of the world... No, universe!  Yeah!! 
Even when I was pregnant, I continued drinking one small cup of coffee in the mornings.  After a day and a half of abstaining, I determined that it was safer for the unborn child if I went ahead and had my coffee.

Oh, and please, don't ever, EVER, mess with my coffee...

Corner View theme:  ME!!! 
Hosted by Francesca
Invented by Jane

P.S: Come play with us next week!!  See next week's assignment over at Francesca's.


Giddy for Gidsy!

>> Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My absolute favorite thing about travel is meeting people who live in those destinations and if they take me somewhere they love to go... well I'll just be giddy from such luck!

That is why I thing Gidsy is PURE GENIUS!!!  Think Etsy but for Activities!!!!

I tell you a secret.  Once upon a time when I lived in NYC, I wanted to start a walking tour company.  Then I took a huge shotgun and shot myself in the foot about 38 times.  (Over thinking things like, nyc tourism activity permit, insurance, taxes, etc, etc, etc...)

Now for example, you're on your way to Amsterdam and you're walking around taking in the sites.  You come across one of the many picturesque canals and see lovely house boats.  You lean accross the bridge railing wistfully thinking... "Oh if I only knew someone who lived on such a boat, they could invite me over and I can see what it's like inside..."

Well GUESS WHAT!?  Few clicks on Gidsy and you're in!!!!  I myself have not used it yet, but the next time I'm going somewhere I can't wait to give this a try!  As for the house boat dinner, a total MUST quintessential Amsterdam.

Eat Dutch stew with houseboat crew! by Mark & Cynthia V. on

Security declaimer: of course the jaded New Yorker in me is screaming not to go into any stranger's house as it could end in a bloody mess.... but I realize that it's a personal problem to work out privately with my team of psychologists so for now I tell the voice to shut it, and enjoy life ;)

Where would you take a tourist to in your town?


It's a shipping container... it's an oil platform?'s a...

>> Thursday, November 15, 2012

...RESTAURANT!  How cool is this!?

photos via
The Dutch really know how to do atmospheric eating.  I haven't been there yet, but my husband took his clients there.  Next time I have out of town friends over we'll take them there!  There is something definitively romantic about industrial landscapes!!  Can't wait to try it.  Want to go?


Corner View - Spirituality?

>> Wednesday, November 14, 2012

To me the word "spirituality" signifies some sort of indecision.  I'm a very action oriented person so I don't like to be undecided about anything.  However simply accepting an established answer is also not for me.  So while I don't like the word spirituality I also don't like the word 'religion'.    I guess the difficult part in talking about Faith, religion and God is that there is no template or pre-set instructions even though all religious groups do try to come up with their own.  So what is my view?  I believe in God and I believe in what the Bible says.  Do I doubt this? No. Do I think MY way of seeing it all is the ONLY way?  Of course not! Case closed.

There is nothing sinister about that face!
On a side note.  Long time ago (during the turbulent teenage years) I had a dream in which Yanni was the devil who came to tempt me to 'join him' as we strolled around a bustling square with a fountain in a sunlit picturesque Greek town somewhere in the Greek islands.  He wore a white linen suit and he was extremely friendly and straight forward asking me to 'go with him'.  I remember in my dream being surprised at how NICE the devil was.  At the end or our stroll I told him sorry I won't be 'going with him'.  He smiled and said he thought so, but if I ever change my mind he'll always be waiting.  Goosebumps stuff no!??? ;)

Aside from my crazy dream, I think Yanni makes absolutely amazing music and is a pretty handsome man.

Lesson kids: don't go nowhere with good looking older men wearing white linen suits

Corner View theme:  Kelleyn 
Hosted by Francesca
Invented by Jane


Peanut Butter Cookies Ice Cream Sandwiches... wow what's a mouthful!

>> Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Here is the other cutesy thing I made for the "manly" dinner.  Peanut Butter Cookies Ice Cream Sandwiches!

The recipe inspiration for the cookies came from here and the plating from here.

1 cup of peanut butter (creamy)
3/4 cup of organic brown sugar
1 large egg
3/4 tsp baking soda
pine nuts for flower decoration

Mix all ingredients well.  Put a spoon-full of on the cookie sheet flatten and decorate with pine nuts. 

Bake on a cookie sheet in a warmed up over at 175C (350F) for 8 minutes.  8 minutes ONLY!  Note that cookies will still be completely soft when you take them out of the oven but they will harden in a few minutes.  Don't stick the cookies to bake longer or they'll burn.  (I burned my first batch because I'm not good with authority and decided to bake longer then 8 mins.)

For the ice cream filling I used store bought cinnamon ice cream, mixed it with a bit of pickled ginger syrup.  



BFF needs dissipline... and ceviche recipe.

>> Friday, November 9, 2012

So again my BFF was getting out of hand the other day.  How do you manage your time?  She asked.  Hmm... Well, I kinda sorta don't do anything so I have plenty of time for "it all"!  I said.  And of course she thought I was trying to be rude and obnoxious.

After more detailed discussions it turns out that I do A LOT!!!!!!!!!!  I have a full time job.  Granted I'm lucky enough to be able to work from home some days and thus save 2 hours of commute time.  But still it's a full time job.
I cook dinner...
Vito and I hang out with Jr...
But then he goes to bed at 7pm and till 10.30pm we have time to do whatever we want.
Once a week possibly I go out with the girls.  And once a week Vito has football.
So my BFF convinced me that I indeed have a packed schedule.
To me that's doing NOTHING.
To me "doing things" is when I'm working on some "BIG" projects or other, and I just don't consider making dinner, or having a light social life very time consuming.  Or doing little home improvement stuff.  Or any other home stuff.  My only 'BIG' project at the moment is Jr. and that's pretty much my only saving face activity, at least I'm accomplishing something - helping a human being grow.  Remember that was my delema for even blogging, since I do nothing so this blog will be about "nothing''.

To me a relaxing day is a day when every minute is PLANNED with activities.  If all I have to do in a day is "relax" I'll probably get really angry and stressed, maybe a bit violent.  So to answer her question about how I manage my time, I still stand by my: I don't need to MANAGE my time, I do NOTHING!  (breathe... breathe... breathe...)

I was complaining about this very thing to my dad the other day.   "Paaappppiiiiii!!!!!! (pouty lip)  Jr. grew 5 new teeth in the last 5 month!!!!!  What have I done? NOTHING!!!!"

My dad, and that's why he is the greatest ever, said.  "Ok, but who is Jr's mother?  Who feeds him?  Who plays with him and helps him grow?"

"I guess.... I do.... (lip is still pouty)"

"Well, then him growing 5 new teeth is just as much YOUR accomplishment!"


"Of course!"

"REALLY!!!????  Yeeeeeey!!!!!!!!!  I have done SOMETHING in the last 5 months after all!!!!"

Thank goodness for daddy, he just always knows what to say to cheer me up.

You know what else cheers me up!?  CEVICHE!!!  I made this sexy little thing for a started for the "manly" party.  The men LOVED it!

Take mini crevettes, avocado, sweet red pepper,  cilantro, (if your husband approves of it) chop it up into tiny squares except for the crevettes.  One juice of lemon and a pinch of paprika.  Let it all marinate in the fridge for an hour or so.  Serve in martini glasses.

Have a great weekend!


Corner View - Longing for....Christmas in Reykjavik?!?

>> Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I just LOVE the two men in the video, they just seem like they'd be such fun dinner guests!!!  I love how the one man just keeps on talking excitedly and the other one just smiles and nods, and I don't know, maybe looks like he is just a tinsey bit laughing at his partner.  So CUTE!  I must show this to Vito so he understands how he should act when I talk and talk excitedly.  He currently rolls his eyes... and even violently protests some things that I say.  He thinks he is so tough.  Does he still not know that 'resistance is futile'???  I thought I proved that to him the day we got married!?

Anyway, I've been recently obsessed by everything Iceland and having come across this video I instantaneously got inspired to start creating some of my very own Christmas traditions.  I grew up in Ukraine and back in the day we had the tree for New Year's Eve, and the presents were exchanged to ring in the New Year with new stuff.  It was a magical night when kids got to stay up till midnight and we ate a very elaborate dinner prepared by the women in the family and watched the obligatory New Year's Eve musical program on tv.  It was something out of this world for a kid.  I'm really looking forward to start to create something like that for us.  For now though I just want to grab the whole family and fly over to Iceland, stalk the two men down and see if they'd invite us all over for Christmas dinner!

Theme by Kasia

Hosted by Francesca
Invented by Jane


manly dinner

>> Saturday, November 3, 2012

We got men coming over for dinner tonight!  Vito's football guys.  I'm thinking of rose shrimp ceviche served in a delicate martini glassess for a starter...  followed by some more chick food and something pink for dessert...

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A blog about finding something beautiful in everyday. Lots of time we forget to do that.

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