Archive for November, 2010

2010, November 21

Fall (surprise) vacation! ;)

Looks like, even though I was convinced I won’t use it again, I’ll be posting my “Vacation time!” photo.

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It seems like only yesterday I arrived back from my trip to Hungary. Those two weeks have flown by way too fast, as time often does, and the regular day to day stress came back to my life; slightly enhanced by the cold weather and the approach of the holiday season right now.

However an amazing (unexpected!) opportunity presented itself giving me the chance to relax (as the word “relaxation” isn’t in my vocabulary, I’ll be doing that in my own way: running around/visiting everything I can/taking tons of photos) in a pretty, sunny place before all the craziness of the holidays will be upon me.

On Wednesday I’ll be flying to Sicily, Italy.

I feel like Christmas came early this year! Like a friend pointed out, I’ll not only be traveling and spending a week in another country, one that I’ve never been to nor expected to end up in soon, but I’ll be visiting the world-renown region of said country!

Though I traveled to Hungary alone, this time I’ll be traveling with a very dear friend of mine, fact which makes it much more exciting. She’s one of the most generous people I’ve met and I’m extremely grateful for her friendship!

I’ve been in packing-for-plane hell over here for the last few days and although I’ve seriously considered leaving my clothes behind and taking my laptop instead I somehow don’t think that’ll work out very well…

But I have found out that, aside from the somewhat ridiculous weight-limit of 10 kilograms, I can’t even take remains of human body in my carry-on. Don’t know where I’d be if they hadn’t pointed this out in the Terms&Conditions. Do all the airlines make you check those or is it just the ones over here? :P

Aside from that minor set-back, I’m very excited about the trip, especially as I was 3 last time I’ve flown, eager to meeting new friends, being around American people and attending my very first Thanksgiving celebration dinner. Plus the chance to learn some Italian, sight-seeing and checking out what craft stores in Sicily are like is very welcome!

That said, starting today (because of the need to finish some crafts, figure out packing everything I need while allowing enough room to bring back things, etc.) I will be taking a breather and staying unplugged until around December 5th.

I hope you’ll still stop by when you miss me and read my previous posts, my: Creative Writing, Green Lifestyle and Recipe of the month posts. (Also, I’ll try to fit in a few Tweets throughout the weeks.)

And I hope you know how much I’ll miss
each and every one of you!

Have a lovely rest of November, Thanksgiving
and a great start of December ;)

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2010, November 17

If I had a life professor

I was so touched by Judy’s amazing post about being Fearless just now, that I had to share with you my favorite lines. I, too, would love to have a life professor saying the following to me.

She’d tell me that I’m nice enough and funny enough, and I can have a pretty good life being nice and funny.

” But every now and then you go beyond nice and funny,” she’d say. “You leap when you can’t see your landing, give your heart when you fear it might get broken, write words that scare you and then show them to people who might reject you. You risk, and, lo and behold, you land. You love. You tell your story and are understood… You live a little magic.”

I totally get what Judy is talking about, and when feeling a bit afraid of looking ahead, I always think of her advice: “Leap and the net will appear!” And I also think of how being fearless isn’t about being not afraid, but what we do in spite it.

If I stopped every time I was afraid, I’d most probably never would’ve started this blog or writing fiction, I wouldn’t have my own small crafting business, travel by my self and I certainly wouldn’t have met all my wonderful bloggy friends!

Thank you for the reminder Judy!

2010, November 15

Homemade Cough Syrups

As the weather keeps getting colder each day and Winter is just around the corner, figured a simple and effective cough syrup recipe would be beneficial to many of my readers.

They don’t have side effects and harmful substances making them suitable for children and pregnant women alike (as opposed to many syrups found in pharmacies) :)

Homemade Cough Syrups

Lemon and honey Syrup

Needed:
2 lemons
200 ml of good quality honey

Preparation:
Boil the lemons in a pot of water at soft heat for 10 minutes; by boiling they’ll soften and you will end up with a greater quantity of juice. Cut in half and squeeze very well into a glass. You can also use the pulp if you want to.
Add the lemon juice to the honey and mix well; you can even reheat it a bit so the honey will melt and mix uniformly with the lemon juice.

Use:
Take 1 teaspoon of syrup every time you cough or as prevention take about 6 teaspoons throughout the day after meals and at bedtime.

Carrot Syrup

Ingredients:
3-4 carrots

Preparation:
Wash the carrots well and cut into thin slices. Put them in a deep bowl and cover with powdered sugar. Allow the syrup to form overnight.

Use:
Take 3-4 tablespoons per day. You can also eat the carrots.

Black Radish Syrup

Needed:
1 black radish

Preparation:
Hollow the black radish in the manner of a volcano. Fill the hole with powdered sugar. It will form a thick syrup overnight.

Use:
Take 3-4 tablespoons per day.

Stay healthy everyone! :)

2010, November 13

Beauty – by Estrella Azul

Beauty cannot be defined in words, 
beauty needs to be felt.
Beauty admires. 
Beauty vibrates in everything surrounding us,
from a sunrise and ending with the smile of a loved one. 
Beauty is inside each and every one of us.
Beauty is us. 
Beauty does not disappear,
and never goes out of style.
Beauty is disturbing. 
Beauty is both creative,
and the killer under white velvet gloves.
Beauty is what we’re headed toward continuously. 
Beauty is a belief.
Beauty is often a curse,
and in the same time a blessing.
Beauty is a paradox.

Beauty just is and doesn’t need words to be.

2010, November 11

What do you do for a living?

Until I started, when someone asked if I was working and I answered no, I felt terribly guilty.
I could hear them judgingly thinking: “Why isn’t she’s working? Unbelievable.” But I was ok, I didn’t really care, I hid behind classes and courses, which, between you and me, were virtually non-existent, with easy courses in a few weekends a year without too many exams.

Instead now, when the same question gets asked and I answer: “I’m a floral artist. I have my own crafting business. And, well I also tutor English. (And I write flash fiction and poems in English.)” I don’t feel guilty, but downright embarrassed.
I can see myself labeled and shoved into the same pot as “losers” who aren’t able to find a job in their field, fitting their training and education, or even a job where you can sit down from time to time, and have the only required exercise of bowing to clients.

I think that any job where you have to deal directly with the customer, a customer who automatically is on a higher rank because “I don’t like what you have here, I want you to make me something else” is a job where your value is determined strictly by the degree of kindness that you are willing to offer. And yes, especially on days when I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, I don’t have too much courtesy. Yet I’m still kind and patient despite everything thrown at me, while I just feel like running towards a more “noble” job, where you only have to sit at a desk all day long and think instead of sweating over hand making something quickly.
I would like to be paid for what I think (or even for my writing someday), and not for how quickly I can move my hands. And though this business can seem so dreamy and calm and relaxing and involving tons of creativity, I’m guessing that most of the world couldn’t care less about my/our creativity. We’re here to make the customer’s creativity reality, which more often than not is questionable, because in some people’s opinion you can mix red with yellow and orange, purple, green and white with pink and I know how many decorative birds and ribbons and hearts and butterflies and still end up with something nice.
And yes, the reply I heard most often to the question “Wouldn’t you like any of the bouquets already made?” was: “No, I want something more spectacular, more interesting. Make me a bouquet of three roses.” (red of course). And that’s even without mentioning those customers who don’t even ask “I’d like you to make a such and such bunch of flowers” but who say “I want to make a bunch so and so”.

Perhaps it’s not quite so bad as it seemed to me at the moment, and yes, I should be happy that I even have jobs, with the financial crisis and wages cuts and everything else going all wrong. But I sometimes feel all sad and I can not find a tangible reason, the rain doesn’t seem to stop washing me of everything; thoughts, ideas and especially the joy of the holidays that are getting closer with each passing day.

So… I’m waiting for sunnier days (in a lovely place (more on that to come)).

And Christmas! :)

2010, November 9

Handmade Chair Leg Booties

I haven’t personally made the socks from the photos (they were a gift), but after using them in the room on hard wood floors I’m very pleased of how well they protect it. Plus, they’re so cute and easy enough to hand make; thought I’d share the idea with you guys too :)

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Handmade Chair Leg Booties

Cut two round pieces of fabric the size of the chair foot plus 3-4 inches. Hem the circle by folding fabric under a quarter inch then once again. Stitch around the hem. Insert a thin elastic or ribbon through the hem.

Cut a half sized piece of leather than your original pieces (or carpeting) and sew it unto the bottom of the bootie for further protection and durability.

Place the chair foot in the center of the fabric circle and draw up the elastic or ribbon. Secure and your chairs are cuter by the second :)

Optionally, if you have uneven floors or chair legs, use a small scrap of carpeting or quilt padding and place it under the chair leg before the chair leg bootie is attached. It’s unnoticeable and your chair won’t waddle any more.

Happy crafting ;)

2010, November 7

Recipe of the month: Easy Pumpkin Sheet Cake

Extra, extra, freshly out of the oven! ;)

I love to bake this sheet cake recipe and combine it with basically any kind of fruit. Here’s the pumpkin edition my mom and I tried for the first time over the weekend.

It’s delicious, we’re proud of ourselves for coming up with this combo ;)

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Easy Pumpkin Sheet Cake

2 mugs flour
1 mug sugar
2 eggs
2-3 table spoons vanilla extract
1 pack baking powder (10 grams), half a teaspoon salt
5 table spoons oil
milk
500 grams previously boiled pumpkin
pinch of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, etc.

Use the same mug (250 grams or more) all throughout baking!

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Break the eggs into the mug, add the 5 spoons of oil, mix, then pour milk over it to fill the mug. Gently stir, then add it to the rest of the ingredients in your bowl and mix well. (You may need to add a bit of milk, depends on the flour and sugar you’re using).

Puree your boiled pumpkin with a fork, add cinnamon, cloves, ginger, vanilla extract, etc. to your taste (and add a bit of milk if needed, so it can be easily stirred).

Mix it in with your sheet cake batter.

Bake in preheated oven for about 20-30 minutes on medium temperature (which depends a lot on your oven, it should be about 200-250 on an electric oven).

Serve with powdered sugar or as is, it’ll be the hit dessert!

What I love about this sheet cake is that it’s extremely adaptable!

– you can add cocoa and chocolate chips to the batter (add any kind of icing)

– you can add cocoa to a small part of the batter, pour it over the vanilla part and create a mosaic

– and you can add any fresh fruit you like: cherries, plums, apples, peaches, apricots, etc. just make sure –> the fruit’s fleshy part must face upwards. Sprinkle with a bit of sugar.

– you can also add: cottage cheese, raisins, dried fruits, etc.

Bon appétit! ;)

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