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Sunday, 26 February 2017

Why Star Wars Is Not "Boys Only"

Dearest Star Wars fans,

This one is dedicated to you and especially to all the little girls out there who grow up to love Star Wars. I can't imagine my childhood without thinking about movies and when I do think about movies I think about the good old Star Wars original trilogy. Recently I have read in the Facebook  groups a lot of cases in which wee lasses were attacked by lads at kindergarten/school, telling them that "Star Wars is a boys only movie!" - utterly horrible thinking if you ask me! Of course, boys will be boys and especially kids can be very mean! (I know that from my own childhood wars). I remember one of the very first movies that I watched at the big screen, from the ones I actually remember, was Star Wars: A New Hope. I was just a wee LadyBug when all that wonderful story began to unfold in front if my eyes... to this day I believe Princess Leia to be one of my best models of being a kick arse lady in a world full of men. Whomever states that Star Wars is other for boys does not understand the movies completely and should not consider himself a fan! It's like you would deliberately kick out and reject all the female characters and the importance that they have! Where would the Saga be without Padme, Ashoka, Leia, Mon Mothma, Jyn or Rey?! So without any further ado let me tell you my thoughts why you should never say that Star Wars is "boys only":
1. It's true that the original trilogy had almost a full cast of guys and when you think about the movies, female characters, you most probably can recall only Princess Leia Organa and the Rebels leader and heart Mon Mothma. Fair enough, but that does not mean it's only for boys - look at the big picture and the number of times when Leia takes control of the situation and always manages to get Han and Luke out of scrapes. She shows initiative and sass and brain all at once. She is empowering and hard not to notice. Of course, back then the science fiction  movies did not exist and somehow George Lucas maybe thought it was more of a boy's thing, but he could not be more wrong! There are women that are still fans after more than 4 decades! Now that is commitment!
2. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy - that's right! Did a male take over the legacy that Lucas brought into this world?! Nope! He left it all in the hands of a woman. He entrusted a women to take the baton on and lead the way into developing further the Star Wars expanded universe. And guess what?! I think he was right to do so, considering the movies that came out: The Force Awakens (TFA) and Rogue One (R1). TFA had the lobby unknown until Star Wars, Daisy Ridley, who is just fingerliking amazing playing Rey. R1 has Felicity Jones playing the young rebel Jyn Erso & we get to see much more female rebel characters ( including pilots in action, that were a legacy from the old Star Wars trilogy).
3. Loving/hating/being neutral in relationship with Star Wars is something personal, not necessary something instilled by someone. It's true, I love Star Wars because my father took me to see A New Hope, but guess what?! I was the one who deliberately wanted to go see part 5 and 6! I was the one that was drawing all day and night sketches of R2D2 and Princess Leia and the X Wings! I was not forced into liking them and I did not have a boyfriend who guided me through! On the other hand, I was the one that taught my boyfriend, my fiancee, my husband, my better half actually about the joys and wonders of Star Wars expanded universe! Love indeed means that you don't have to explain any SW reference ;) call me geeky - I don't mind!
4. All the amazing female characters - just pick one and look at it! Just look at it! There are so many things you can learn from them. Shmi - she is a slave that gets freed but think of how it was at the beginning when she found out she was pregnant out if the blue. She was strong and courageous and decided to keep the baby and raise it from her heart. She had faith in Anakin. Padme - strong and gentle and wise for her age. Capable of so much love... Queen really knew what they were says in the line " Too much love can kill you"... To be Queen and then Senator is not a small thing! Aunt Beru- you never give her credit, buy think about it! She had to accept a little boy and raise it like her own and you can see she loves Luke and acts as his guardian, echoing his wishes of joint the Academy. Mon Mothma - the heart and soul of the Rebellion. A wise and kind leader to whom everyone (every male!) bows.
Princess Leia Organa - strong and smart and kick arse lady in a world where men only reside. Perfect aiming capabilities (unlike stormtroopers) and so much sass... even when George introduced the metal bikini she still was able to be amazing, as usual, and save the day! Rey - alone since she was a wee lass she was able to handle herself nicely, be strong, remain faithful to her true self, learn how to pilot divinely (even Han offers her a job!). Who says you need a male influence in your life?! 
5. Without females there would be no males, no perpetuation of species. Without Shmi the midiclorians would not have been able to converge into one spot and take life as a human. True, probably there might have been some meddling there from the Dark Side but you still would have needed a vessel for the birth ;)
Do you think that Star Wars is a "boy's only" movie or do you also believe that is utter bollocks and gendering science fiction movies like that is pure nonsense? I am glad my little LadyBug Baby Girl is gettingbigger so I can soon... hopefully very soon... teach her about the "ways of the Force". Being a strong female character in a sci fi movie should never be able issue, especially considering how the population gender is split. And as I said... look at Leia versus Han or Luke, the lyrics "Anything you can do I can do better, I can do anything better than you" - including shooting stormtroopers and handling war tactics ;)

Yours very much sincerly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Loves Star Wars Ever Since She Was A Wee Lass 
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Thursday, 23 February 2017

A Guide To... Falling In Love

Dearest hearts,

Well it was about time to tackle the "subject of the month" : Valentine's Day - to be or not to be?! That is the question! If you are Romanian or lived in Romania for a while, you might have heard about our very national and traditional festivity of Love, called "Dragobete". Of course I don't feel the need to Americanise everything but there is a tendency nowdays to borrow celebrations - for example Halloween/Hallows Eve and Thanksgiving. I also don't feel the need to have just one day a year to celebrate love, or one day a year to say to the ones you love "I love you!". I believe that saying this on a daily basis to your significant other(s) is the thing to do! You never know what the next moment brings and letting the other know that they are loved is an uplifting experience.  I hear this daily and it makes me smile when I am down. It always lifts my spirits up :) But recently I've been thinking about Generation Z, the Generation of Now, and it scares me to think how little they know about falling in love, how for them true love does not quite exist anymore and how everything seems to become overly sexual in their eyes, from a very young age. I dunno if I'm the right person to talk/preach about love, but hey! The writings on this blog have always been free flow... so... without any further ado, here is my guide to "Falling in Love":
1. Accept who you are - nobody will love someone who does not accept himself/herself. If you can't handle yourself how do you expect/presume others will?! In a healthy and happy relationship both partners are at peace with themselves and with the world around them.
2. Learn to love yourself - God made you with a purpose higher than yourself. He made you to love and be loved, to be happy, not to sit in a corner and cry/mope about how life has treated you so unfairly! If you can't love yourself... well... check Point 1!
3. Think of the things that make you happy- when you are happy you are relaxant and more in tune with the world. Positive energies attract people who have positive energies as well. And having a hobby may get you closer to your future partner. Let's say you both love to dance, or both enjoy martial arts... pop! You already have one thing in common, toomey hinges to talk a about!
4. Let things go - sometimes, the more you focus on a thing you get stressed and you feel as if your life slips through your fingers... the moment you let things go, have it their own way, the moment you let go of the reigns of Life you will see your story unfold. Take my example: the moment I let myself go of thoughts about having someone, the moment I was at peace with whom I was, that's when Love came knocking at my door ;)
5. Love is unexpected and you might fall for someone who is not "your type" - but he might actually turn up to be "The One"! So be careful whom you talk to and make sure you never fake things! (That brings me to the next point!)
6. Never fake it! Always be yourself! (Unless you can be a unicorn, in that case...) - there is no point in telling lies to yourself or the one you love. Fall in love for real for the person next to you and be sure that they see you naked - not naked naked, but I mean without makeup and without the fuss, the person whom you really are. You don't wanna end up further in life, thinking... who is this person next to me?!
7. Love does not mean smother - each of you have different things you love and some you might have in common, some you may learn to like or even love together but... some will always be your very own. That means both you and your partner can and will go out on their own and have a piece of their life unattached. Love means you know they are out there but you know they love you and think of you and will come back ;)
Love is a very complex feeling, it is not a stable equation. Love is unexpected and fulfilling yet somehow it knows how to strip you naked in front of your significant others eyes. Falling in love, especially accidentally, is an amazing feeling that I wish everyone could go through. I hope everyone had a lovely #valentinesday or will have an amazing #dragobete :) I'll celebrate Love everyday! So you should as well...

Yours very much sincerly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Loves (Daily!)
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Monday, 20 February 2017

Iasi, Romania: Bistro Copou - Pancakes With Soul

Dearest sweethearts,

Ever since I was a wee lass I loved food. Food was not just something you placed in your mouth, chewed and be done with. It was not just a fuel for me to burn. Food was always something magical, especially when my amazing Granny was doing it. She is able to whip up food and create recipes on the go, with whatever she had in the fridge at the time.  One of my favourite dishes were pancakes. The traditional Romanian ones made with cheese and raisins and sour cream, prepared in the oven. This was always bliss ;) Granny can create pancakes with everything - mushroom, meat, sweet preserves... you name it! Rarely I was able to find such great pancakes like my granny makes them. I had amazing fluffy American style pancakes in Krakow, but never the flat - European ones. In Iasi there was a place called Oscar that had great pancakes with cheese and raisins, just like Granny does but... I think their chef went away and things are just not the same :( but recently I have discovered that my hometown is not yet lost when it comes to pancakes. Not since the "Bistro Copou - O clatitarie cu suflet" (A pancake place with soul) was opened. 
Picture taken from Bistro Copou Facebook Page
The Bistro Copou did not open ages ago, no maam! It opened its doors this beginning of the year (Winter of 2017) and it is situated on the place where another pancake place was located. It is located very near to the entrance to Copou Park (where Eminescu's linden tree is located). The place was opened less than a week when I passed it's door - it still had the sign from the old pancake place, now it already has its brand new and exciting electrical display with its new name. The moment I passed it's doorway I liked the colors - of course I felt welcomed also by the fact that I simply adore the combination of green and red. Pair that also with black and white and you will see why once you step inside Bistro Copou you will feel relaxed. The interior got me thinking of summer and wishing for some sunshine, as all furniture is made out of wood. I would soon expect to have sand beneath my feet and to begin my relaxation with a drink that would have a little colorful umbrella in it...
We came there for a small snack... maybe a pancake with something sweet... something not much, that we could handle fast. That's an error of thinking that you will soon remedy! The menu offers both pancakes as dessert but also pancakes as a full meal. You can also get some shaorma or different regular food (soups included!), but why should you come to a place where they take pride on "pancakes with soul" and not eat a pancake!? Beats me! So, of course, we asked what they recommend and the answer was, if we wanted something not sweet - for lunch, to try out the "House pancake specialty". As the weather was quite cold/freezing outside we paired that up with some hot chocolate (hazelnut flavour, very sweet and creamy) and lemon tea ( with loads and loads of lemon! Delicious!). The lovely part about Bistro Copou is the fact that you get to watch while your meal is being cooked! The kitchen is open and you can see the chef flipping the pancake in front of your eyes ;) The lady who served us was all smiles and curtsy and you could see she really wanted to please us. We ended up ordering some pancakes for home as well, to go. Unfortunately Bistro Copou does not have, right now, a homeorder option.
The prices:
- lemon tea with loads of lemon - 6 RON 
- hot chocolate (different flavours) - 10 RON
- "Clatita casei" - the pancake home specialty - 16 RON - chicken breast and bacon ❤
- Pancakes With chocolate and fruits - 14 RON
Verdict: lovely place, would like to go there again and try now the sweet ones (the one we took home was for my Granny and she loved it!). I may even take with me the little LadyBug Baby Girl as the chairs are big and she could sit on the tush, between the big pillows that each chair has :) 

Yours very much sincerly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Loves Pancakes
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Friday, 17 February 2017

5 Ways Madame GooGoo Carriers Saved My Life

Dearest sweethearts,

A while ago I was telling you about the lovely #madeinpoland products by Madame GooGoo. The marketing ladies lovingly entrusted me with a carrier to test, and the moment could not have been better! Last year I was planning my trip back home and somehow I was dreading it. I dreaded the travelling part for the first time in my life! Not even when I had to fly from Romania to America did I panic so much or get scared... having a little LadyBug Baby Girl at the age of almost 4 months and travelling by plane is a challenge! My little lady had her first flights at the age of 4 months without a day, and to my surprise she acted much better then I did! The Madame GooGoo Carriers are made to be used when the baby is 4+ months, usually when the baby begins to sit well on the tush ie and it's tall enough. Each carrier is fitted to the best option for the baby and the mother. They are designed by mothers for mothers, keeping in mind the ergonomic structure - neither mother nor baby should be harmed. There are si many carriers nowdays on the market and people are not trained enough on how a true carrier should look like - sad story :( when one could at least Google things out at this speedy Internet age! Our little LadyBug Baby Girl is getting bigger and bigger - she is taller than most kids her age and developing skills very fast, so handling her in a carrier at an early age was a must for both of us - taking restrain off my back and keeping her happy, close to me. I must admit Madame GooGoo Carrier was a life savior in many occasions in these last 2 months, but I'll share with you 5 ways in which the carrier saved my life:

1. Travelling with an almost 4 months old by plane, switching flights - we were scheduled to have only 2 flights home: Krakow - Vienna - Iasi with a break between flights of almost 4 hours. Enough for the little one to eat, change, play, take a nap & me and my amazingly supportive sister to grab a cappucino. Fast forward to the day of the flight, 1 hour before boarding time: flight from Krakow to Vienna was cancelled... this was on the 19th of December and there were not many options as... Guess what?! Christmas time! People wanna go home... we ended up having 3 flights with time in between flights of around 45 min... imagine me running around terminals with the carriage of the little one... impossible! Now think of having a carrier that you can put on while in the aircraft and getting a headstart, having your arms free for the tickets, passport and other luggage... much better!!!
2. Handling rough terrain aka wintertime in Romania, when you simply cannot use the carriage due to the immense amount  of snow piling up... sure, a few days after snow clears up its all good, but the baby needs to get out daily and you don't wanna raise the carriage every meter through a pile of snow... it's dangerous for you and the baby! Having a carrier takes a load off your mind and you can go everywhere! Hands free for shopping as well ;) and talking on the phone with friends whom you need to meet or have a coffee on the go ;)
Sporting out the lovely Madame GooGoo Carrier in front of the National Theater in Iasi, Romania 
3. Visits to the doctor - let's face it, even when you go to the doctor you want everything to be quick: in and out! I don't wanna stay long there! The children are the same... they don't want an odd and sterile person to touch them and look at them... but it's a must... and I dunno about you but I don't like going to the pediatr with all the other potentially sick kids around. Having the Madame GooGoo Carrier gave me a sense of security over my little one. I could keep my little LadyBug Baby Girl next to me at all times, facing me, and I could go fast in and out. 
4. Stairs - my worst enemy when I'm out with the Little LadyBug - when I'm with the carriage I avoid anything with stairs and steps and this ruins any impromptu ideas I might have. Having a carrier magically gives you the flexibility you once had. Going up and down the stairs won't be as hard as having a carriage. You'll be able to get up that flight of 5-10 stairs in a jiffy! My back feels comfortable, no strain whatsoever and I can see the little ones smiling face looking at me :) or at the cars going past us on the street... she's fascinated! And it's better than laying down in the carriage. An upright position helps her see more, experience more and get more information in her beautiful brain. 
5. Sleeping time - everyone knows that rocking a baby puts it faster to sleep. Babies love the movement similar from the time when they were in their mothers womb. They love being close to their mothers, hearing their heart and feeling them there. The carriers are a brilliant invention that let's mothers have their hands free while taking care of the babies, keeping them happy and safe. Madame GooGoo Carriers are not only beautifully done, with attractive material for children and mothers alike, but they also help mums in the rocking/sleeping time. When I put my wee lass in the carrier and take her for a walk, she falls asleep in around 5-10 min due to the movement (and fresh air). It's a miracle for babies who tire their mums ;) and it does stop the crying!

I have to admit Madame GooGoo Carrier was a life savior and I am grateful each day, each moment that I wear it. It's a brilliant invention and investment especially for new mums that wanna do more and still be active and multifunctional while taking good care of the wee ones.  I cannot recommend it highly enough and I must admit it is one of the revelations I had as a mother. Motherhood is all about learning and Madame GooGoo Carrier taught me quite a lot. I am sure it will teach me even more in the days/weeks/months to come :) 

Yours very much sincerly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Loves Madame GooGoo Carriers
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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

10 Romantic Things To Do In Iasi

Dearest sweethearts,

The World celebrates today Valentine's Day. You might not know but Romania also celebrates love through its own festive day called "Dragobete" - February 24th. Of course the festivity is not that well known, but still... it has a beautiful story nonetheless. But... let's get back to our sheep: Valentine's Day. If ever you will find yourself in Iasi with your other half / significant other it would be nice to do something romantic together as well. Now Iasi ain't Paris, so keep that in mind! It is a city filled with universities and students but it's not a popular location... but that does not mean that there aren't lovely places to see or interesting things to do. As today is Valentine's Day I have prepared for you a long of 10 Romantic things to do in Iasi:
  1. A walk in the lovely parks on the Copou Hill - just choose if you want to visit the Lion Obelisk and Mihai Eminescu's linden tree or if you wish to go further on to the bigger park next to the Botanical Garden (the biggest in Europe when it comes to the square miles of land).
  2. A night at the Theater - make sure you catch a representation at the National Theater. Known as the first National Theater in Romania it hosts amazing monuments of art: the painted curtain by the Viennese master M. Length, the iron curtain painted by Al. Goltz with ornamental motifs symmetrically arranged tightly separated from the restroom scene and the painted ceiling also by Al. Goltz.
    Detail from inside the National Theater in Iasi, Romania
  3. Feed the pigeons in the main market square (Union Square - Piata Unirii) - you know I just hate it when there are too many of these "flying rodents", like in Krakow's Main Market Square, but in Iasi it's quite intimate and if you manage not to get pooped (I never was ;) lucky me!) this can be quite fun! And you can get some nice pictures with an adorable architectural wonder like Hotel Traian (project fine by the famous Mr. Eiffel).
    Union Square and the Traian Hotel, Iasi, Romania 
  4. Take a romantic dinner on the 13th floor of the Hotel Unirea - don't worry, there is an elevator you can use ;) and you should not be afraid of being the last floor and the 13th floor as well. The view is well worth it! I recommend you to schedule it in a way that you will catch the sunset - it's just magical! Don't expect grand food, it's decent, but the view is the one you're after here ;)
  5. A long and relaxing walk in the Botanical Garden - as I said before... it's the larger in Europe and I believe also one of the oldest ones. Here I really cannot recommend you enough to go visit it at autumn time! There is also, each year, an expo of chrysanthemum - they are displayed in different shapes and colours and sizes, combined with different species of pumpkins. My favourite a couple of years ago was a pheasant as tall as me, made all out of mums!
  6. Shopping spree at Palas Mall - let's face it: women love to shop! Be it if they do it for themselves or if they do it for others, women love to spend spend spend and it's like therapy for them. Also, is it not better to buy yourself a nice dress vs. Give money to a therapeust? Palas Mall has many brands so it will surely suit your needs - be they extravagant or regular. 
    Palas Mall interior by Twisted Red LadyBug 
  7. Have a traditional dinner at the "Bolta Rece", the closest equivalent to the Parisian café where all the important minds would gather and create. Try the "tochitura moldoveneasca" and a Cotnari region wine. You can't go wrong with that!
  8. Go to a wine tasting ;) Needless to say that the Moldavian region is well known for its wines. Cotnari will always be close to my heart as it was so close to where I grew up. Take a tour of the wineyards and try the selected brands. Every one of my foreign friends that have tasted Cotnari and that love wine, have instantly became fans. The price is insanely low compared to other European brands ;) so that's a plus for the buyers!
  9. If you both love history and antiques than visiting the Lapusneanu Street and going inside the "Grumazescu" gallery is a must! 
  10. Riding at Hamak - outside the city, where the noise and constant humming of the city dims out, there is a lovely place called Hamak. Here young and old can have a great time outdoor. There is also an adventure park but what will interest you more is the possibility to ride.  They have a small stable with a few clean and well fed horses that just wait to be petted, made friends and then be ridden. 
Of course you will say that there are dozen of other places that are way more romantic than Iasi. Of course you will say it's a wee city upon the Romanian map and it's so far away from everything but I say you should at least give it a chance as it may hold wonders that will make you smile ;) what do you have to lose?! 

Yours very much sincerly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Loves
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Saturday, 11 February 2017

The Generation of Now

Dearest sweethearts,

A different topic I wanted to tackle today, but last night got my wheels spinning, thinking of the generation of now. I'm not talking about the Millennial kids, I'm actually talking about Generation Z. In case you did not know the Generation Z refers to all kids born from 1994 to 2005. It's the very first generation when the Internet was so widespread and the technology simply boomed. My generation still remembers using floppy disks, cd's and dvd's as storage method. Then we used external hard drives and... now we use cloud storage... all during my lifetime! But Generation Z does not even know what a floppy disk is! There was a case where a boy was shown one and asked what it was. The boy thought it was a 3D print of the Save icon... priceless but... scary in a way... to think how technology and the world is on Fast Forward and how kids are given now some things for granted. I remember that my first cell phone came when I was in the 9th grade - high school. And guess what?! I feel grateful for that, as I can see children nowdays who are addicted to it from a very young age. The same they are addicted to TV and Internet, especially Facebook. 
Last night I went to the National Theater in Iasi, to check out an item from my #bucketlist - watching "The Sound of Music" live, on stage. I was away to do so and see the Romanian version. My mother told me to expect large crowds of little ones, of children, and she was right... I would say at least 70% of the theatre was filled with wee lasses and lads of all ages! I think there were a couple of classes from school as well! I would not dare say it's a story for children, even if it had children playing main characters... it is indeed a story of Love inside the Family but it also tells about the Second World War and how it changed the life of the Von Trapp family. It is a story I have known since childhood and since then each time I see the musical something new shines it's light upon me, I see a certain scene in a new way. I remember as a child is was less focused on the historical side than on the music itself... I don't think I would have been able to understand it all fully at that time... Anyway... "The Sound of Music" is a musical you live with all your heart and watching it live was a blessing. Of course Julie Andrews can never be topped as Maria! But the show was wonderful! 

But it's not the show I wish to speak of... in my back, there was a group of Generation Z. From their beginning of the conversation, in the very first minutes of the show, I found out (rather loud and clear) how they were here only because their mothers made them to. How horrid! Forcing them to be exposed to culture, rather than staying on their smartphones on Facebook.  What they proceed onto next was to take out their phones, put the headsets on and listen to some dull - commercial - bulls**t piece of something they called music... I wanted to rip their headsets off and throw their phones away. Instead I lowered and raised my voice, turned to them and said "Silence" and gave them "the look" (you know... the one that kills!). It worked for a while... but listening to their chatter and lack of fine manners when it comes to being in public places, and especially at the Theater... was very sad indeed! I know education starts at home and all the vibes from them came off wrong... as if everything was for them and they could do as they please

As a contrast, in front of me there was a full family (i believe): mum, dad and 2 daughters. The small ones did not make any sounds but you could see clearly how much they enjoyed being there, how much they enjoyed the play. The small one I believe must have been 6 or maybe 7 years old. She truly loved it... you could see her swinging and swaying in the rhythm of the music... she was clapping her hands for each performance and at the end she did not want to leave and was sad that the show ended. She managed the 2 hours and a half like an angel. I believe that she had more manners than the 3 kids behind me. Yes, she did not have a phone of her own but who needs a phone at that age? Children shod have limited of no time to the Internet, phone, TV and other sources that distract and eat away the time. Children should be allowed to think and create and develop a deeper understanding for deeper meanings. And that should happen at a young age! Respect is another thing one learns during childhood and I am sad to say I see it less and less in children nowdays. The Generation of Now thrives on narcissism and egocentric behaviours. Showing off is a must! Don't you believe all this is sad? Do you see things the same way? 

Yours very much sincerly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Hopes For A Better Generation
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Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Don't We Love To Hoard?!

Dearest sweethearts,

I know it's uncomfortable to admit, but each and everyone if us is a bit of a hoarder, even if it's deep inside of you... it still rears it's head up from time to time. At the beginning, when I started to think why we hoard things I thought that we due it due to our communistic background where everything could and should have been recycled. You did not but things, you were not in a society based on consuming everything until the world went dry. Everything had a measure so that - ideally - everyone could have a bit of everything. Things would be mended if they got broken, so everything you received could be in a way used and reused. "You never know when you're gonna need it!" - that was the saying... Nowdays the focus is on producing more, even if that burns out all the natural resources. Weirdly enough people did not stop hoarding... There is a trend now, maybe not that we'll know, called "Minimalism". You should read more about it ;)
You don't actually need all the things you own. It is true, some of us may be compulsive hoarders - yes, there is such a thing! The specialists have run tests and analysis (The New England Journal of Medicine published an article on this, if you're interested in learning more) and found out that this is a true sickness. People feel the need to spend money and accumulate objects around them. It might be a small thing... like collecting Kinder egg surprises, or saving clippings out of newspapers, or it could get out of hand... overboard... when people let go and their whole house becomes a junkyard. People get so used to having all these around them that they don't even realise how dangerous it can get. I believe in USA there is a special TV show about "Hoarders", where they show drastic cases of people that don't even have where to sleep...having their house filled with rubbish they don't need! We do just the same... maybe on a smaller scale but we do that nonetheless.
I recommend doing at least twice a year (i love doing this in spring and autumn): full house cleaning. I don't mean the scrubbing of each piece of furniture/floor/wall/door in your house. What I mean is going through your closets and boxes and wardrobes and other storage places, and creating 3 big piles: definite keepers, definite NO (things you will throw or give away for charity) and Maybe's.  My advice is to keep the Maybe's to a minimum as at the beginning you will tend to put everything there... The worst part is letting things go. You are so used to having that particular item that you get attached to it and maybe certain found memories are relived just by looking at it - seashells from your first trip to Greece, your postcard collection, the dried roses you got for your graduation... maybe you think that throwing that away means letting ģo of that fond memory. Challenge yourself! Stop collecting things and start collecting memories instead!
But what can you do if you simply cannot let go of things? Well... try to think it if "Final Destination" frame of mind: you won't inherit this world, you will eventually die and... guess what? You can't tell the year, month nor the day that you will leave your shell and go to a better place. And guess what else? You won't be able to carry all you hoarded into the grave - you are not like the Kings of Egypt to be buried in a pyramid with all your possessions. Think light and start de cluttering your closet, your room, your house, your life! Kick out the things that bring negative energy and set yourself free!

Yours very much sincerly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Tries To Hoard Less And Less...
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Sunday, 5 February 2017

Things I Am Thankful For - January 2017

Dearest hearts,

In every day that passes I belive everyone should be able to find at least one thing that they are thankful for. I believe that we tend to forget to count our blessings and we rather like to think of our sorrows more than we should. I believe one of the keys to happiness is acceptance, another key is love, another is being thankful... considering the fact that nowdays most people even forget to say "Thank you" it is no wonder that few of us truly are happy.
I propose a little exercise this year: at the beginning of each month think of the month that passed and write a list of at least 5 Things you are thankful for - it can be an item, a person, an action, a thought, a smile... put it all on paper and think of what makes you happy and how those things made you happy. Stay true to yourself and try to think of the things you truly are thankful for, from the bottom of your heart... not just a random list of 5 items, but rather create something with true meaning. As we are at the beginning of another month, let's think about what you are thankful for from the month of January. Here is my list - the order is random ;) 
  1. Being in a country where there is no state of war - both Poland and Romania are safe in terms of an environment where there is no conflict and you can go to sleep without worrying about tomorrow and if you will have a roof over your head, else it would be blown off and your house will be rabble... I am thankful my little LadyBug Baby Girl can go outside and listen to the birds and the wind in the trees and not hear sound of bombs and sirens.
    The Entrance/Door at the Mitropolitain Church located on Stefan cel Mare Street (Stephen the Great)
  2. I am able to spend time with the ones I love, with my family, especially with my Mum and Granny - how many can boast on living a 4 generations moment? I am glad my little LadyBug Baby Girl got the chance to meet my Mum and my Granny. I am happy they are alive and they can see her grow. I am happy I was able to bring her to my homeland, even if for a brief period of time. 
  3. I got to see "Winter" again - somehow, even though Poland is a much colder country in terms of temperature, I never got that childhood feeling about winter as I get when I am back home, in Romania. I am thankful for the crisp air, for the soft snow, for the rays of sun that sparkle in the fresh snow, for the snowmen that appear over night, for the squeaky snow underneath my boots, for the long winter... with brief moments of "Spring is coming!" After which there is yet another snowfall... 
    Winter in Copou - Iasi, Romania 
  4. The Little LadyBug Baby Girl getting her first "solid" meals - my mum keeps remembering funny stories about me being Emma's age and hating all veggies but loving everything that was meat related ;))) somehow I think she'll be the same... definitely not a vegetarian!
    The first carrot soup... mmmm.... yummy!
  5. Aging nicely :) This makes me crank a smile... twice this past month people thought I was younger... exhibit A: lady at church, after prayer, asked me to which Faculty I tried out. Exhibit B: lady in random shop - I was looking at some clothes and she proposed a very nice piece. I declined saying that after birth I don't wear that tight clothing... at least just yet. She complimented me on being a young mother at 18 :))) I must be doing something right! Someone up there loves me!
What are the things YOU are thankful for? What made you happy, what made you smile this past month? Search in your heart, think about it and put it on paper. You don't have to share it if you don't wish to ;) it can be only for your eyes, but do it nonetheless - #countyourblessings and be happy!

Yours wholeheartedly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Wants To Be Thankful For The Little Wonders Of Life
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Thursday, 2 February 2017

Thoughts of Democracy: A Romanian Revolution In The Making

Good morning everyone!

I don't usually go into politics... but when I do, I tend to get personal and remember about the past! Thousands of people all over Romania as well as Romanian people living abroad went on the streets last night... and the night before as well! Why? - might you ask, well... it's only because power corrupts and the people that govern Romania are two faced lying bastards that care not about the people, but they do care about their rising bank accounts. Tuesday night an emergency ordinance came out - it decriminalised certain offences, but worst of all it stated that people that entertain official misconduct and the damage is less than 200.000 lei (that's around 38.000 pounds!) can and will walk away free. The news came at around 10 pm! Who passes laws at that hour!? 
People on Bd. Independentei in Iasi - February 1st, 2017
Immediately people around the country took to the streets and the movement began... Media estimated around 12.000 people alone, that night, in Bucharest. Last night the numbers went up, not unexpectedly! At 5 pm the local radio was saying that around 5.000 people gathered in the Main Market Square in Iasi - Union Square / Piata Unirii. At around 9 pm the group marched along the Bd. Independentei (Freedom Boulevard... nice name ;) is it not!) under the balcony of the apartment I was in. I watched the column pass by for 40 min straight and went inside to my little one finally and the crowds kept pouring and pouring... peacefully and in order. The estimated number at that time, in Iasi, was over 15.000 people! The numbers coming from around the country kept rising and it was official now that Romania had another revolution in the making... the numbers of people in the streets was bigger than the one during the "Fall of Communism" Revolution in 1989. They were right... History does repeat itself! I just didn't think it would repeat itself so soon!
Source: Facebook - Bucharest - February 1st, 2017
I am sure that Facebook and in general the social media was a great help into the mobilisation I have seen the last 2-3 days... I remember 1989 and I know that back then all the source of information was from the TV, radio or newspapers. The phones were tapped so you could not say much... so the info was not flowing so fast and freely. I know that the TV now lies, mass media lies, but you have friends in your list that you know and care - they don't lie! They tell the world as it is, through their perspective, they tell their thoughts and ideas. I don't own a TV for more than 5 years now and I am happier without the lies people are fed daily. Through the Internet people gathered and helped each other. I have colleagues and friends who went on the streets in Iasi and Bucharest. Peacefully, some with their young children. I am proud of them! They are fighting for a better world... I am sad to say but I kinda gave up on Hope in regards to my homeland...
I gave up on Hope as each time I come home I feel the city, the region, my country is worst than I left her last time... I used to be like that... hitting the streets, thinking I could change the world... then I grew out of it... but I still have this feeling, from time to time, like I had last night, that MAYBE! Maybe things could get better... I wanted to go out in the streets with my friends and shout and believe... but then again I am a mother now so my first priority is my little LadyBug Baby Girl. Her safety is paramount and you never know what and when something bad can happen. You can take care but you can't take care of others that only wish harm. The protests in Bucharest were peaceful until last night around 11 pm a group of football fanatics came in and started to instigate by throwing things at the policeman who were guarding the protestants. Of course most of the protestants formed a human shield between the policeman who were attacked and the instigators. The armed forces were obliged to disperse the crowd... To those who asked me why I did not go out to protest: I am a mother, I have a 5 months old lady and I do not wish to put her in danger. Yes! I did go to vote! I did that abroad and I urged others to do so as well! (Not that it helped much...)
Iasi - February 1st, 2017 - Union Square 
I am proud of the people, the everyday people that live in Bucharest and that put out their homes, free of charge, so that people from around the country could come and manifest. I am proud of the Facebook groups formed with the purpose to help each other get to Bucharest and protest. I am proud of the my friends and colleagues who took days off to be there. Of the several ones that when they heard the news they immediately booked flights to Bucharest so they could be there the next day. I am proud of the degree of commitment I see in the young people, in my generation. They wished for a better world but all they were given back was broken... broken trust... history repeating itself. I am sure that tonight protests will continue and that more and more people will come out in the streets. I pray that God keeps my friends safe as the government is clearly set against them. We believe in democracy and human right and the power of speech... none of that is real! Democracy died with thunderous applause the day that after the '89 Revolution Iliescu came to place. Democracy died when Lech was made president as well. They were all just pawns in a bigger game...

Yours very much sincerly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug - Over & Out on This Very Political Subject 
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