Posts tagged ‘happiness’

2017, September 1

Six Reasons to Smile – Summer 2017

This is my second blog post in the “Six Reasons to Smile” series, which I have turned into a seasonal one after a year of monthly blog posts.

Summer was a mix of good, of bad, of worse, and everything in between. I honestly still don’t really feel like talking about it, so I’ll simply leave you with the collage.

Here are the reasons I smiled this Summer:

 

Did you smile a lot this Summer? This month? What were your reasons? In case you’ve also captured them on camera, I’d love to see!

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2017, May 12

Six Reasons to Smile – Spring 2017

No, you are not seeing double. I totally just back-dated this blog post because I missed hitting “publish” when I was supposed to. Good thing I read Bloggoneit’s Blog, and her ‘6 reasons’ posts reminded me!

I think that we all need more positivity in our lives. Which is why, near the end of each month last year, I posted a collage of six pictures here on my blog as part of a year-long “Six Reasons to Smile” series. I liked it so much I’ll continue the practice into 2017, except as a seasonal summary. Here’s hoping I remember to publish them on time for the rest of the year!

Spring was really nice this year. As soon as it was warm enough outside we started taking road trips to cities and villages near our city, and for my birthday we traveled to Bucharest, the capital of Romania. Chia pudding quickly became a favorite after trying out new recipes. I marveled in the quietness of the countryside, and the beauty of flowers, of nature all around me. It was a hectic kind of season, but I think we managed to feed our souls, too.

Here are the reasons I smiled this Spring:

Did you smile a lot this Spring? This month? What were your reasons? In case you’ve also captured them on camera, I’d love to see!

2016, December 30

Six reasons to smile in December

This month, I couldn’t help but notice a trend: Winter weather has definitely settled in to stay in this little corner of the world, ever since mid-October actually when the weather changed drastically, and many of the things which made me smile every day are off of my Cozy List for Sweater Weather. And then there was Christmas, too, and being off from work, getting the chance to finally rest for a bit sure made it easier to smile.

I wonder if I should continue posting these six reasons to smile blog posts next year as well? They were fun to write up and share the pics, yet I’m not sure if I want to continue…

Here are the reasons I smiled in December:

six-reasons-december

Did you smile a lot this month? What were your reasons? In case you’ve also captured them on camera, I’d love to see!

2016, December 23

Christmas: Then vs Now

Recently I read an article, where it said “As you grow older, you begin to experience the “Christmas spirit” in a different way. Instead of counting down the days until Christmas starting Dec. 1, you are caught off guard when someone says that Christmas is only a week away. Your older self doesn’t necessarily become the Grinch, but the excitement that takes over your every thought slowly dims.”
How true! I wanted to come up with my own blog post on the subject. So, keep on reading.

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What was the holiday season like way back when I was a kid?
~ What is the holiday season now that I am pushing 30?

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Starting with Advent, we would listen to Christmas carols all day, every day, and sing along.
~ Now, I mostly forget to play carols or Christmas-themed songs, because I don’t listen to music much anymore.

The night before Christmas I would stay up late because I was too excited to go to sleep.
~ Now, I stay up late because at 10PM there are still a million things I need to get done.

On the 24th, I would wake up very early and all excited. The excitement level would only go up as the evening approached. (The custom is to receive presents on Christmas Eve, not on Christmas Day here in Romania.)
~ Now, I try to snooze the alarm clock five times before getting out of bed to skip breakfast and finish everything that didn’t get done the night before. The stress level only goes up as the evening approaches.

On Christmas Eve, my mom, grandparents and I used to go to church, and I was always in the Christmas play the kids at church would act out in front of more than 300 people.
~ Now, I don’t go to church anymore. (My mom and I go listen to my former high school’s choir concert, but that’s a a week or two before the holidays.)

During the play, one of my grandparents or my uncle would go to my mom’s house to decorate our Christmas tree and place presents under the tree – because I would’ve noticed if my mom wasn’t in the front row singing along carols with us kids. My grandparents decorated their tree and placed the presents under it before they left. My uncle did the same at my great-grandmother’s house.
~ Now, I decorate our apartment, my mom’s and my grandparent’s houses and their Christmas trees. Aside from helping with cooking and baking, and my own cooking and baking. I kinda like the being-surprised-by-a-Christmas-tree-materializing-out-of-nowhere idea better, but that most likely won’t happen ever again.

After the play, on our way out, all of the children at church would receive a small present.
~ Now, I am the one assembling presents for children (both my boyfriend’s and my firm take presents to ShoeBox Romania). An extra present for myself comes from Secret Santa at work.

First we’d go to my mom’s to find that Santa brought us a Christmas tree and presents. Then to my great-grandmother’s, and then to my grandparent’s for the same.
~ My boyfriend goes to his brother’s and they go over to his grandma’s. At home, I skip lunch to finish everything that didn’t get done the night before or in the morning. Then we go over to my mom’s and grandparent’s.

My Christmas wishlist would be a mile long. Yet everything was still a surprise when some of the items off my wishlist made it into the presents, because we couldn’t afford much.
~ Now, my wishlist is still long, but three quarters of it I ignore, and what I really need/want I buy for myself instead of flat-out asking for them. Presents aren’t surprises much anymore, because usually mom asks me if it’s OK to buy me “x”, and I correct her that “y” would be better as I haven’t used up the current “x” yet. Or, she’d call me three times in a row while my phone’s on silent, then immediately text saying “call me urgently!!!” to ask what color PJs I’d like, because she knows I needed to sew mine twice in one month.

We’d have dinner at my grandparent’s.
~ We have dinner at mom’s.

At the end of the night, my mom and I would go back to mom’s house. During school holidays I stayed with her, not with my grandparents as was my living situation during school time.
~ Now, my boyfriend and I go home to our cat to spoil the little fluffball rotten some more while watching a Christmas movie and maybe having a cup of hot chocolate.

On Christmas Day we would all go to church and have lunch at my mom’s place.
~ On Christmas Day, I try as much as I can to get out of the church part, but given I can’t, we all go to church together and have lunch at mom’s place.

~~~

I still like the holidays, and I do get excited. However, I do find this season stressful now, and sometimes I really wish I was a kid again and just enjoy it rather than be the one to do the work…
What do you think? What are your holiday preparations and holidays like? Do you find it more or less stressful now than twenty years ago?

Luckily, twinkle lights and hot chocolate help keep my spirits up!

Here’s wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!!!

2016, November 25

Six reasons to smile in November

I took part in Positively Present’s 2016 Gratitude Photo Challenge this month. You may recall I took part in the November 2011 one, carried my camera with me for the month of November and it inspired my very own, year-long photo challenge.

Go check out my Instagram or Facebook feed to see all the photos I posted this month. There are still a few days to go, but even so far it is a lot of fun, and it was hard to choose six that I love most. So, one of them is a collage of four as a small bonus.

I am so thankful for being able to take pictures and enjoy my surroundings. I need to be more present in the moment.

Here are the reasons I smiled in November:

six-reasons-november

Did you smile a lot this month? What were your reasons? In case you’ve also captured them on camera, I’d love to see!

2016, October 28

Six reasons to smile in October

At the beginning of the month, my boyfriend and I took a little one day trip to Jibou, where we had the most lovely walk in its Botanical Garden. I never knew it existed until a friend of my mom’s told us about it. The place is really beautiful, and our day together came very close to perfection.

During the enigmatic and spooky team building I took with my firm last week in the mountains at over 1100 meters altitude, we stayed at Hotel Castel Dracula. It was a nice weekend, even nicer for the people who love partying. But the view did bring smiles to my face and I was happy that it stopped raining just enough for a one hour walk to take it all in.

Here are the reasons I smiled in October:

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Did you smile a lot this month? What were your reasons? In case you’ve also captured them on camera, I’d love to see!

2016, September 23

Six reasons to smile in September

This month, I have signed up for George HS Singer’s Poetry Tour run by Poetic Book Tours, so I am posting this one week early. I know you won’t mind, once you see the pictures I’ll share ;)

Nearly every morning, I get one of these beautiful lattes, prepared by the boyfriend after he wakes me up. I love sitting on the balcony with him while drinking it.
For the birthday of a colleague at work, I decided to get a bit creative and place the money we raised in a jar filled with M&Ms – he loved it!
Pixel was all sorts of cute this past month – like always – and delighted me with a bunch of new poses.

I was walking on Eroilor Street one afternoon and saw an arrows-advertisement for WalkingMonth, which I found interesting. Teams of four people compete against each other to take as many steps as they can during September 12 – October 11, and the funds raised through registration will be donated to the children with neuromotor disabilities cared for by the Malteser Relief Service in Romania.
I would’ve loved to participate, if I hadn’t already (very bravely!) signed up for The Companies Cross, where you can run either as individuals or in teams, in a fun race of 6 km! My colleagues and I have formed teams and have trained for the run in Central Park every week this month, and honestly I can’t wait to see myself crossing that finish line on Sunday. Like my colleague also said, the benefits of doing sports are life changing: helps us clear our minds, makes us more productive, keeps us focused and in good shape. Definitely a nice little nudge to continue my new-found exercise routine! I only wish I could run during winter as well, without having to go to the gym, which I hate the thought of…

One evening when I was visiting my mom, I really felt like turning on the lamp my godfather made when he was young. I just needed a moment of quiet.
And one day after my afternoon run, I came across a really pretty sunflower. Just the one. In the middle of a grass patch. I loved it!

Here are the reasons I smiled in September:

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Did you smile a lot this month? What were your reasons? In case you’ve also captured them on camera, I’d love to see!

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