Archive for November, 2012

2012, November 27

Small Kindnesses {Blogsplash}

I have written about small kindnesses before. Like in my blog post “Fifteen minutes and a doodle” from 2011, or in “Orchids and love” from 2009. There are other posts as well about kindness, sprinkled all over my blog.

 

Today, I want to tell you about the time when my at-the-time boyfriend broke my teapot. It was an accident, but it made me seriously upset because I only warned him a few minutes before the teapot was on the floor, shattered to hundreds of pieces. That particular teapot was from my mom, it had a nice, different shape than other ones I’ve had, it was the perfect size for as many cups of tea as I drank per day, and then it was broken. I went to bed angry…

By the time I got home the next day, there was a box waiting for me on the bed. I opened it, in it was a teapot. Similar to my old broken one, about the same size. My boyfriend went from store to store trying to find one that day so I’d be able to make tea in the afternoon. Such a loving, thoughtful and sweet gesture!

That is the teapot I’ve used ever since, and have only put it away this summer when its handle broke…

I’m unsure why this particular memory stood out as I started writing this blog post today, but I’ve long decided not to fight it and just post what feels right at the moment.

And, I want to say “Thank you!” again.

~~~

Another small kindness which warms my heart is receiving lovely gifts from a friend who lives seas, oceans and continents away. They’re displayed on my shelf, one of the first things I see after waking up.

I’ve always wanted chopsticks, and after a visit to China, he sent me a pair. They’re so beautiful! He’s such an amazing friend, I wish for everyone to have someone like him in their life! I love him dearly!

~~~

The most recent small kindness I’ve received was in form of two small chocolates to take and “eat them at work when you can use a sugar rush”. It made me smile. And feel grateful. And fall in love just a little bit more. <3

 

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The Blogsplash is organized by Fiona Robyn to celebrate the release of her novel ‘Small Kindnesses’ which will be free on Kindle all day today. All you have to do is write something about being kind – a memory of someone who was kind to you, a list of kindnesses over the past week, or something kind you did for someone else. It’ll be a celebration of kindness in all its forms, especially those little kind acts that make all the difference.
To find out more visit Fiona’s blog, or join the Facebook event.

2012, November 26

I’m getting there all by myself

I know I have no chance to define normality, nor have it fall in between two points, two limits, two walls or two clouds.

I know that what seems normal to me does not have to be the same measure of normal for others. But I keep stressing myself when I see that people, especially the ones whom I have high expectations of, are doing things in the exactly opposite way.

Who am I to decide that the sky should be blue, people should walk with their feet on earth and not the clouds, that hands are made to be woven in pairs or only milk and cinnamon sugar is good for coffee?

Some days, all I can do is sigh.

So I’ll just repeat what the little girl I babysat said to her father one day, and simply call it a day: "Daddy, I don’t make you get mad, you get mad all by yourself."

2012, November 19

On dealing with children

Well, I’m on this subject again. Maybe it’s me, because I don’t have children of my own yet. And I certainly don’t want to be judgmental, but I just don’t get a few things that parents around me are doing.

I know most of you have children, so I just have to ask the following. Also, since I babysat C up until a few weeks ago, a nearly six-year-old, I’m asking in regards to her age.

What is the deal with picking up after children?

C had a play date a few weeks ago. I took her and two of her kindergarten mates home, to C’s place. They had her small room’s floor covered in toys in under five minutes. There literally was no where to step; I “sent in” apples as a snack for them, they took it handing the plate around.

They asked to watch cartoons, and I said no. Because they really wanted to, we settled on watching one cartoon later, after a good hour/hour and a half of playing first. Everyone can watch cartoons when they’re in their own home, this was a play date. Plus, I don’t want to get paid for not doing my job. Play dates make my babysitting easier as is, as the kid doesn’t need me to be around her every second of that time.

Just when the kids sat down to watch the promised cartoon, C’s father arrived home. I told him about the cartoon thing, and that I’d be taking C’s friends home when they were done watching and helping straighten toys. He said okay. He went by C’s room and marveled at the mess. After washing his hands, he went inside, and started picking up all the toys and such. He was done by the time the cartoon was over.

Now… I have to admit: there was a huge mess, and a lot of toys to pick up. However. I really don’t think this was the best idea. I mean, how can one teach their kids to pick up after themselves if they’re cleaning up after them without a word? I, personally, was thinking of something more along the lines of all of us straightening up. And okay, let’s say he didn’t want the two girls helping since they were guests and all. But then, since there really was a lot of work on it, help his daughter pick everything up. Why do it for her?!

Especially since the following week, C asked me to hang her coat up for her because “Dad said he’d throw it out if he finds it on the floor again”…

PS: no wonder she refuses to blow her own nose, while a three year old does it for herself…

Help getting dressed and undressed?

Sure, I can see why one helps a small child, one who hasn’t yet learned how to get dressed on their own. That’s how they learn.

When I go pick C up from kindergarten she dresses herself. I may need to help with zippers, scarf, sometimes boots (depends what kind), but that’s about it. She’s throwing a tantrum because she doesn’t feel like it? Go ahead, I can wait until she’s finished – with both things.

Then, when we her mom’s firm was taking the employees and families for a weekend trip, I took C up to her office. Mom greeted us, showed us to the kitchen and left to get her purse telling her kid that “Estrela will help you get undressed”. My initial (unspoken) thought was “Yeah, I’ll get her scarf so she won’t choke herself, cause she just pulls at it. Other than that, she know how to get undressed.” And she did.

The other day, her mom arrived home before us. Upon greeting us, C started muttering she wasn’t in the mood to take her shoes off, and demanded help. Mom immediately started undressing the kid.

Is it just me, or is that showing C that she will get her way if she throws tantrums?

Not teaching them foreign languages?

This applies more here in my city of Kolozsvár, but still.

Being a Hungarian person who lives in Romania, one is required to speak Romanian. Logical, I know. It doesn’t make someone less Hungarian, and knowing other languages is always a plus. However, can’t recall what exactly the conversations was about, but C’s mom said to me once “I am glad C wants to learn Romanian. But I will not teach her.” Queue a million questions running through my head…

Yes, there are many parts of Romania where there are more Hungarian people and so, Romanian is barely spoken. I had classmates like that. But my gosh, Romanian literature classes were tough on them when they couldn’t properly string a sentence together. Romanian literature is required at exams! And there are so, so many collages in Romanian only! What if the kids wants to be a doctor? There is no Hungarian college for that.

For me it was easy, I learned both languages while growing up. I speak both since I was three. So, while attending a Hungarian school, Romanian classes were much easier for me. If one teaches their kid Romanian, they’re making both their lives easier for when school starts. And in life in general, because she will be living in this country…

So I simply don’t understand: why, why, why would one not want to help their children when they’re young enough to learn and not leave it until fifth grade when learning a foreign language is so much harder?

Telling kids to shut up and not embarrass themselves and you?

This last one is something I overheard a mom telling her little girl on the bus. She was taking the kid with her, to her work place. I don’t know any more details.

But does that sound like something one should say to their child?

2012, November 14

Love Letter Request for November, 2012

The More Love Letters team writes this so much better than I could. Here is the love letter request for November’s bundle.

tis’ the season

Dear You, Coffee beans grind– steam rises– orders mount– espresso, latte, mocha– skim, whole, double shot, soy– decaf, frappuchino– lines getting longer,patience growing shorter. The holiday madness has begun. I cannot imagine trying to keep all the orders straight and attempting to please so many customers who think the coffee world revolves around them. This season of giving will have Grinches who grumble and Mad Hatters who think you should hurry to pacify their impatience. I will not be one of them. I will order my pumpkin spice latte with a smile and say ‘thank you’. I am sending you some love to help you through the chaos. Hold on, the season will not last forever! Wishing you a wonderful holiday! Love, One of your grateful customers.

: to thank a "latte."

THE BARISTA BUNDLES ARE BACK!!

Last November, we invaded New York City with love letters for baristas & latte makers alike at some of the busiest coffee shops on the avenues. We had so much fun with the experience that we could not resist bringing the Barista Bundles back again. This time we are hand-delivering them, mailing them, and dropping them all over the place, and we need your help!

We are calling on you for this fun-filled holiday mission, just in time for the season of thanks & giving: Rope your love for lattes, your cravings for caffeine, your gratitude for the ones who rarely get appreciation, all into a love letter this season. Instead of grumbling like the Grinch, help us thank the ones who make our season extra foamy + sweet.

Write one, write two, or maybe three! But
please mail all love letters by November 30th to:

Barista Bundles
PO Box 2061
North Haven, CT 06473

During the second week of December, some of the More Love Letters team will be mapping out a route across Manhattan, hand-delivering letters, and documenting the deliveries throughout the day for all of you watch… Live love letter tweeting + vlogs with our lattes?! Yes, please!

Need inspiration? Check out some samples from last year.

staying local?

Perhaps, perhaps, you are already crooked into that cozy corner spot of the coffee shop in your own hometown. Be the first one to thank the hard workers at your hometown coffee shop for that extra foamy cappuccino. Send a photo + location to PS@moreloveletters.com and we’ll add it to our map!

With crossed t’s and dotted i’s,
Hannah B &
The More Love Letters Team

————–

New to letter writing? Get started here! Or want some tips + tricks from our team writers? We got em’ right here.

2012, November 12

Forget measurements. Let it overflow!

I think there is good measure for everything. As is in the kitchen so that your cookies come out exactly right, you have to add the exact amounts of each ingredient, and for that we fill our cabinets and drawers with cups, spoons, pots, scales and many many more such precise measuring instruments.

Why can’t we be fortunate enough to find such measuring instruments for work, love, leisure, dreams, wanders, for passion, sadness, tears and smiles? It would be easier to know exactly when to stop serving and how much silence to sprinkle on top. Or how many tablespoons of sun we need per day and how many milliliters of rain. Perhaps it would lead us to a new recipe for life.

Unfortunately, happiness is measured by pipette and pain goes by kilograms. Walks are taken in inches and work in nautical miles.

But you know something?

The only one for which there is no high enough measure to encompass is love. We can add as much as we’d like, the recipe will always come out amazing if not that much better.

So forget measurements. Let it overflow with love!

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2012, November 11

Recipe of the month: Apricot Tarts

Rukmini Roy’s Chocolate Tart recipe over on Trumatter, made me recall baking Apricot Tarts with my mom a while ago. They were sooo yummy! I made collages to share the recipe. Then I forgot all about it… So here it is now!

Hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I do :)

page savarin teszta

page savarin teszta 2

Apricot Tarts 

Tart shell:
25 dkg margarine (or butter)
4-5 tablespoons sour cream
1 baking powder
100-120 grams sugar
4 egg yolks
pinch of salt
flour

Combine ingredients and add as much flour as it takes to result in a light (kind of puffy) dough.

Place in tart tins and as filling add one teaspoon of apricot jam in each tart’s center. (You can actually add any kind of jam you prefer.)

Mousse:
4 egg whites
100 grams sugar
100 grams minced walnuts (optional)

Combine the mousse ingredients with a whisk, then add 1-2 teaspoons of it onto each tart (cover the jam entirely if you want to).

Bake in preheated oven, at 180 degrees, for about 10-15 minutes.

Bon appétit! ;)

2012, November 8

Dear Thursday, 08.November.2012

All the small stones born on Mindful Writing Day are now in e-book format. Mine is on page three! *excited*

Mindful Writing Day Small Stones <— download here

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