Archive for February, 2012

2012, February 29

41 six-word days — Part two

A great way to look at our days, that I took a part of over at a Human Thing.

When we were half way through I shared my first 21 days. Now that all 41 days are up, here’s the rest of my days summed up in only six words each.

41 six-word days – Part Two

Day 22.
~ Sometimes it’s just so darn complicated…

Day 23.
~ No massage this week. Very sad…

Day 24.
~ Crafting. Working. Romance. Writing. Full day!

Day 25.
~ I left lasting writing impressions. *Proud*

Day 26.
~ Fresh salad! I’m quite easily pleased.

Day 27.
~ Only three words: teething… wisdom teeth :((

Day 28.
~ People loved "Diaper Cake" at christening.

Day 29.
~ Just-because hugs, kisses and togetherness.

Day 30.
~ Appreciating all well wishes! Feeling better.

Day 31.
~ It only really takes three words!

Day 32.
~ Love Letter Bundle request is up!

Day 33.
~ Love came in form of coffee.

Day 34.
~ Kind words – all one needs hearing.

Day 35.
~ Scent is so important to animals…

Day 36.
~ Understanding the other person is fundamental.

Day 37.
~ Some days are just too long.

Day 38.
~ Allowed myself to feel vulnerable, breakable.

Day 39.
~ Job title under signature – taken seriously.

Day 40.
~ Friday nights feel nicer than weekends.

Day 41.
~ Life is weird. Hard. Also beautiful.


Now, I know you don’t have time to go back 41 days and make a list of your own. So instead, tell me in six words what has your February been like?

2012, February 27

Practical advice for winter skincare

Although we’ve entered winter a few months ago, it’s only been in the past few weeks (month or so) that the cold has truly set its foot down over here with temperatures going as low as –23 Celsius (yes, minus 23!). Cold and frosty winds – the greatest enemies of our skin during this cold season.

I don’t think cosmetic products used during winter greatly differ from those that are preferred during the rest of the year, but they still must be used regularly. Even one day when you have not followed all the steps leaves a trace of evidence, or at least that’s what always happens in my case.

So to prevent entering spring with a tired and visibly marked skin complexion, I recommend considering the following tips:

  1. Hydration as the basis of everything
    Hydration is essential! Using various heat sources affect water balance in our skin and bodies overall. Drink plenty of fluids (water, hot tea, fresh juice) and do not forget about room humidifiers.
  2. Do not skip over any part of your cosmetic routine
    On both body and face, cleansing, toning and nourishing the skin add up to a valuable routine which is essential to be followed daily, both at morning and in the evening (whether you used makeup during the day or not).
    A gentle cleanser or preferably one homemade of suitable oils mixture will first easily remove all impurities. A toning floral water will remove any remaining residues. And a blend of face creams, lotions, butters and oils will nourish your skin. Avoid using non-organic soap on your face and never leave the house before applying cream.
  3. Eat well
    Eating well doesn’t mean you must eat more, but that you should make sure to include as many vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, soup and fish in your diet  and as little heavy/greasy meat as possible.

These are just three, very simple tips, which are highly effective and can be easily followed with just a little willpower and organization.


What are your tips for a beautiful and healthy skin during this frosty season?

2012, February 22

One dumb thing I used to believe in (Okay, so maybe two)

I used to believe I was weak and worthless. Some years ago, yes, but remnants still floated by every once in a while closer to the past few years. Inadvertently, I also used to believe self-love didn’t have much to do with the love I put out there and share with everyone I care for.
And then there was last May. Last May, I wrote myself a love letter. I gave myself permission to do one thing, for seven days. I committed premeditated acts of self-love. I wrote a list of what I’m allowed to do, and paid more attention to all that I can do.
It was a month of self-love, but also a moth of rediscovering myself, of rediscovering how much I’m worth and how while my heart may be broken to pieces not only in big life altering ways, but in tiny everyday ways, while I may be fragile to a certain degree – I’m strong enough!

When I read j’s recent post tonight, over at a Human Thing, it has led me to be able to recognize what made my day a good, truly love-filled one:
allowing myself to feel vulnerable and breakable.
(After a babysitting situation which in the heat of the moment felt/was quite brave. In hindsight it was also quite stupid/dangerous, but that’s how the “mommy-bravery” thing works, I guess).


What’s one dumb thing you used to believe in?


*Blog post inspired by this week’s question from Danielle LaPorte’s The Burning Questions Series.


PS: I also used to believe in fairy tales and buy into the whole concept of The One. At the end of 2010 I have also come to the same conclusion as Danielle has. But that’s another story.

2012, February 20

My purpose for money

Steadying an aim is good for us from time to time. Even if I can’t fulfill much of it just yet, I think being on the right path is what matters most.

Estrella’s purpose for money, Feb. 2012

  • Travel. By myself, and with loved ones
  • Surprise loved ones with gifts
  • Buy friend’s books and art
  • Shop organic/homemade/handmade/etc.
  • Build my plaster crafting business so it becomes a steady income
  • Save up and invest wisely
  • Turn writing into a priority and a steady income 
  • Donate, be a philanthropist
  • Own a lovely home – where ever the right place for it turns out to be.
  • Create my own writing space and workshop in said home

Quite honestly, I don’t want a lot of money. I don’t think a pirate’s chest full of money is required to be happy. I only want enough to do what I want to do and be who I want to be this lifetime — as opposed to having two (three) jobs just to stay poor.

What is your purpose for money?


*Blog post inspired by Danielle LaPorte’s second post for The Burning Questions Series.

2012, February 15

Writing Love Letters for Our Adopted Bundle

moreloveletterslogo We’re past step one — we’ve committed to writing at least ten love letters for a bundle we adopted from MoreLoveLetters. We’re actually up to sixteen love letters which thrills me beyond measure. Thank you again everyone!

Step two is all done as well, as I have signed us up and have just received the love letter request from Hannah.

Now it’s time for step three, my playing Juliet and passing on the info to all of you wonderful letter writers:

Your Letter Request:


Requested by Brandis’ Best Friend

“Brandis is a very loving, caring, and sweet woman who was my first friend when I moved to Texas for my new job. I had no family in Texas and she immediately opened her home and her heart to me. Just recently, she discovered her husband was being unfaithful and now her life is cracking and crumbling as a divorce is pursued while she tries to care for her two young children and battle ill-health. Brandis is stronger than she knows, but now she is feeling unloved, unwanted, and very alone. Please help me show her that she is loved, wanted, and needed in this world. It would be a darker place for many of us without her in it.”

If this is your first time writing a love letter like this, I suggest dropping by and reading this Starter Kit Hannah has put together. It’s filled with all the info you need to turn your love letter into an emotional art form.

Step four is up to all of you individually, write your love letters to Brandis <3

Please be intentional with your love letters. We want to be able to gift someone else with the best looking letters of the bunch. Handmade cards, stationery are a plus! Ribbons, bows, confetti, etc. will score you extra brownie points with the MoreLoveLetters team!

I’m adding step five, because I’d love love love to see all Your letters! So make sure to take a photo of your letter and send it to me at estrella [dot] azul20 [at] gmail [dot] com . I promise to make something beautiful with the received love letters and then share it/them here on my blog with the whole World Wide Web!

Tweet and Facebook the MoreLoveLetters team, they want to report all our love letter progress! The team is also encouraging everyone to snap photos that they can feature on the site, and are also open to video blogs and guest posts! If any of you are interested in guest blogging about the experience, please e-mail me and I’ll get back to Hannah for all the details.

And then as step six, since we can’t mail them all together, please mail your love letters, by the end of February, to:

Brandis Bundle

More Love Letters
PO Box 2061
North Haven, CT 06473

Make sure to include an extra, loose, stamp with your letter (or if you’re feeling extra generous like one of our letter writers has already, include a book of stamps). If you have more than one person in your household writing letters, you can include them all in one envelope.

Step seven: Spread the word! MoreLoveLetters currently operates under the pocketbook of its founder, Hannah Katy. The team will so appreciate you reaching out to friends, family, and social networks to tell everyone about the Bundle we are putting together and encourage them to support the Postage Stamp Drive: Without raising funds, they cannot continue to keep MoreLoveLetters up and running, so drop by IndieGoGo and help. Any support is so appreciated!


For any of you reading this blog post who haven’t volunteered, but would like to, please feel free to do so in the comment section below! The more love letters, the better <3


The nitty gritty P.S. kind of stuff…

read more »

2012, February 14

Eight things I associate with true love

I love you message







~ It only really takes three words (if needed at all), to make someone’s day. ~


True love is…  T … trust.

True love is…  R … rare.

True love is…  U … understanding.

True love is… E … enchantment.


True love is… L … listening.

True love is…  O … ocean-deep.

True love is… V … valuable.

True love is… E … enough.

2012, February 12

Recipe of the month: Sauerkraut Spread

One of my favorite winter dinners (or appetizer) consist of Sauerkraut Spread on fresh bread. Not to mention how much it’s simple-yet-deliciousness helps decide what to prepare!

sauerkraut spread

Sauerkraut Spread

300-400 grams sauerkraut
3-4 tablespoons sour cream
homemade mayonnaise (1 egg yolk, 1 teaspoon mustard, sunflower or olive oil)
salt, pepper, garlic (or garlic powder)

Chop the sauerkraut into thin strips if it was fermented as a whole cabbage. Press out the excess pickling fluid.

Prepare the mayonnaise by adding small amounts of oil to the egg yolk and mustard while mixing vigorously to disperse the oil.
You can also make this in a food processor, just be sure to set it on low speed so the end result won’t separate.
The mayonnaise is done when the emulsion is more resistant to mixing and has a considerably light color compared to how it started out.

Mix together the sauerkraut with the mayonnaise, add the 3-4 tablespoons of sour cream (or even less depending on how creamy you want it), season with salt, pepper and pressed garlic or garlic powder and you’re all ready to spread it on your slices of bread.

Bon appétit!

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