November 30, 2012

Few things for the holidays...

awesome easy recipe to try - delish! and here is a place that makes me wish I was a master chef every time I check it

great album to listen to  - modern, but traditional Christmas, how cool is that? you guys, I almost fell off the bed when I heard them sing the song from MY CHILDHOOD in MY LANGUAGE ( they translated a part into English - so you'll understand too),  and did an amazing job with the musical arrangement! LOVE this album.

some fun ways of mason jar decor

speaking of decorating, LOVE this wisdom note

love this romantic hair tutorial

no need to spend much on garlands when you do this ( and i love it! on the "menu" for tomorrow)

on art and creativity note, this sculpture blows my mind every time I see it

the cold weather is here ( or just around the corner for some of us) , keep little ones toasty warm with this

and i absolutely love everything about this look , and some fun flares to recreate the look ( and here, here and here) , though it's a shame they are not the same.


November 29, 2012

To make you smile...

I came across this video, and it put a smile on my face. I think you'll enjoy it too. Makes one see the world from a completely different point, doesn't it?

Have a happy and smile-y day!


November 28, 2012

"Mommy! Talk to me!": On Stokke strollers.

updated: you can find a full review of stokke crusi here.

Whether they are children of your own or not,  we all come in contact with babies this way or the other, and their parents respectively. 
Constantly on the go, in the city, out in the nature, traveling between states and/or countries, a good stroller is what I rely on. 
Any parent does.

As a new mom 10 years ago, I had no idea what to look for , what was really important and what my needs would require me to have. I , as I am sure , many, went with one of the "best selling models" that sales clerk recommended me. Oh, how I wish I had someone point me in the true right direction. It would save me so many tears, moments of frustration and money ( as I shared here and here ) . 
I went through many models , with highlights of Maclaren,  Combi, Phil&Ted, Silver Cross, City Select and Bugaboo. 

While all offered some of the great qualities, none have targeted all the needs one has. If one stroller was light and easy to manage, it was not durable enough. If it was a sturdy one, then it was also extremely heavy and bulky. If it was compact and easy to maneuver ,  it did not offer properly supported seating. At some point we simply accepted the fact that there isn't one single company out producing a good quality stroller that we had access to.  For years we've owned several models of strollers to accommodate our and/or baby's needs. When a sibling arrived things have only gotten more complicated.

You ALL know our love for Stokke Xplory, once we discovered it. 
And while it fit our and our children's needs perfectly for majority of the time ( and allowed us to downsize to one stroller comfortably), there were some moments when we needed a napping place for a sibling, or a folding light something to take on a quick errands run with public transportation. 
But both issued were easily solved with a riding board and Stokke MyCarrier, and the benefits of a stroller outweighed any little ( and really - they were little) inconveniences that might have been. 

There are not enough words to express excitement we ALL felt when Stokke came out with not just one, but TWO absolutely new and different models of strollers, and I will tell you why in just a second. 
 I love the video below and highly recommend watching it. You can see the care and intense research Stokke puts in every product designed.


While I - among thousands of others ( i can just show you the number of emails that came to my mailbox since Stokke announced the new models) - are beyond excited to welcome the new additions to the Stokke family, it was somewhat disappointing to see some of the immediate negative commenting on the newest products.

That is something I would like to elaborate more on. 

Design.  I believe that Stokke has made a genius and very wise move by creating models that are different from Xplory. While my heart is and always will be stolen by the beauty and elegance of Xplory, I do know for a fact that not everyone felt the same way as I ( and millions of others) do about modern design. Some people that I met expressed a sincere wish that Stokke , whose quality and ideas they loved ( whether by owning other products or hearing about them) , would create something slightly more traditional so that they too could benefit from ownership.  The new two strollers cater to those needs beautifully while still maintaining the unique design and integrity of Stokke. 

" Just like ___ [insert the brand name]".  While it may appear "just like ___", believe me, it is NOT. It's BETTER. 
As I mentioned above, I am YET to see a company whose products performed comparable to Stokke. Care and thought are put in everything they do, addressing those little details that don't seem to be important until your hand reaches for it, and you realize how glad you are that it IS there. It would take a book to write about every small thing Stokke foresees ( which is what the owner's manual resembles, by the way) . 

Sibling seat. This one got a lot of buzz around the FB part of world wide web, controversies all around. 

Let me clarify something.

Stokke did not produce a double stroller ( yet?) , they created an option for a sibling, and a great one. 
It seems that many people confuse the double stroller - something that is a must for twins - with a stroller needed for 2 little children of different ages. A sibling seat creates a great and very needed option for a pair of tired legs to rest and , maybe, even take a nap , should all the energy be used during the exploration times. Children of different ages have different needs, with one child , typically, being in the transition phase. The sibling seat beautifully takes care of all those needs without requiring a purchase of another stroller or being creative in other ways. 

I absolutely LOVE the thought designers put into comfort of the child. 
After all, how many of us spend thousands of dollars on mattresses for ourselves , but don't think that the baby, whose back is so much more delicate , needs even more care? Look at any other  stroller and think - would YOU be comfortable should THAT be your mattress, even if for just an hour?
I love to see my baby doze off 5 minutes after I buckle her in - I know that she is comfortable and secure. 

After all, thanks to Stokke, my smiling face will be the first thing that she will see when she opens her eyes.
And she knows it too.

UPDATED: we have a new STOKKE CRUSI REVIEW here.


November 20, 2012

Modern day Fosse ...

Young and extremely talented , Konstantin Tomilchenko is a present day Fosse for a musical theater dance style in Eastern Europe. Konstantin choreographed and staged the first original  musical "Baron Munchausen". 

At only mere 35 years of age, Tomilchenko has already taken his very firm  ( and well deserved) place as an innovative and original choreographer since 2004. 

While there is not much that can be said about Konstantin's biography ( yet!) , this pieces speak for themselves. 
Original. Interesting. Creative. Unexpected.

Judge for yourself :

November 18, 2012

Radu Poklitaru

Dance is a healing place for me. 
It's a happy place I go to no matter what/no matter when - be it a studio where I physically work myself,  my little barre at home, making up pieces of choreography to new music popped into my ears while I'm out and about, or simply ... dreaming. I dream about dance and endless pirouetting, weightless leaps, and all things beautiful and impossible that my imagination wants to recreate in life and through my body. 

Radu Poklitaru is one of the very few people that will always have a special place in my heart. 
Down to earth, extremely kind and an absolute modern genius of choreography ( and not only in my eyes), he taught me much about myself, dance and TRUE expression. Once of the amazing people who influenced my dancing life in a very significant way. 

Radu Poklitaru is one of the most gifted young balletmasters in Europe, whose art enraptures the audience and evokes great controversy.

 His name first became known in the late 90-s when Radu`s short productions, singled out for their flexible approach to the art of dance, musicality and dramatic structure, were winning first prizes at a number of International ballet contests. 

The choreographer has created about twenty 1 act and full-length productions, all of which have been staged in many theatres such as Russian Bolshoy Theatre and Russian Chamber Ballet `Moscow`, and the National Opera Houses of Moldova, Latvia and Byelorussia. Radu Poklitaru enraptured Kyivetes by his choreographic approach to 1 act ballets such as `Pictures at an Exhibition` based on Modest Mussorgsky’s music and `The Rite of Spring` (`Le Sacred du printemps`) by Igor Stravinsky staged in the National Opera House in Kyiv, as well as by his unique production of opera-ballet `Le Forze Del Destino` which embraces the classical vocal and expressive contemporary dance art (this project was implemented by Vladimir Filippov Art Fund). 

 Each work of the choreographer is an experiment and search for novelty attracting the audience by its unexpected approach to world-renowned theatrical plots, innovation and enrichment of contemporary dance, while remaining true to the music. Every production aims to show the complicated inner workings of the human psyche. 

 According to Radu Poklitaru he appreciates free dance, which denies nothing, and embraces every dance style: `If I find a classical move that makes the point, then I use it, just as I will use a movement from modern dance. When one has no taboos, ones palette is richer. It may seem to be eclectic, but when I use many styles I feel truly free.

Performances by Radu Poklitaru have been staged at International Musical Festivals and tours in Great Britain, France, the USA, the Netherlands."

There are no words to describe his creations, but to see.

November 15, 2012

Friday Wisdom ...


It seems that the right words appear in my life to record it before I even know it. 

However you turn it, I found all these words inspirational and/or funny. I hope you do to.

So, the 32 hasn't started off very well. 

My birthday hit over the weekend, and I'd probably not even mention it, had I not been reading these quotes 2 hours after I compiled and posted them to realize, with a sad smile,  how much of a complete reflection of my subconscious mind they have been. 

Now , if I could only have the eyes to see it BEFORE the situations arise, my life would be so much more fun and easier.

"Life has many ways of testing by having nothing happen or EVERYTHING at once"?  - yes, thank you. THAT was true.

"Don't tell me sky's the limit, because there are FOOTPRINTS on the moon?" - you betcha I'll be the one climbing to that moon CHECKING if those things I see ARE the footsteps I think they are. Most likely not, but, hey. I need to climb to check it , right? 

"Don't talk about me until you talked to me..." quote? Please, focus on the "challenge" middle part. Because, hey - according to my subconscious ( but not very wise, if going all honest here) self, we're in the fight or flight mode. And since I don't flight, it's a BATTLE. ALL. THE. WAY. Why not, right?

" Be daring, be different, be IMPRACTICAL ..." - perfect! I've excelled at ALL. Except for WISE...

The truth is that from years back I had a rare chance to reconnect with a wonderful person and a great friend.  Something I always wished could be, but never thought could really happen. 

And when it did... it was too good to take it for reality. Insert the " Appreciate what you have , before it turns in what you had" here. Because there isn't really much that I can say in my defense. I'd love to blame it on the lack of sleep, but , typically, I got to keep my brain even at those times. 

And speaking of the sleep... Considering it's 3 am, it's obviously not the "sheep's opinion" that's keeping me up. 

 In my entire life I never wished to turn time back, except for this week. 
I would  LOVE to rewind and start over. To not fear. To trust. And accept. One would think that getting older brings some sort of wisdom through experiences. I had a good share of experiences. But where my wisdom is - that part is questionable. 

I guess one should get up, patch up the holes and keep on going with hopes for best. Except that "one"  is me, and , somehow, it's not that easy and all I want to say,

 in the words of the last quote : 

"we should probably cuddle now"

Doesn't it always solve everything? 
I hope so.

or any experiences i should learn from before they become my own? 

Through the eyes of Instagram

The winter is on the doorstep ( well, according to the amount of snow that arrived over the weekend, it's winter here already) but these moments never made it to the front page, and it's a "must" to keep. 

The crazy scientist alone is rather charming and - forgive me if I am wrong - but Einstein resemblance?  And as to the costume... it's magical how far daddy's white shirt and a few colored gel pens will take you. We lost the pens through out the day, but acquired a baguette.  I think the substitute was worth it.

science or not, but true etiquette manners are starting to take root : he carried her backpack ALL. THE. WAY. home from school. That's 45 walking minutes. 

I took his bag ;) but does THAT really matter? 

two witches doing what witches do best - mischief

and what witch is there without a caramel apple? 

the rides...

... to meet a head-less horseman ( all the way from Sleepy Hollow. impressive) 

... the corn maze ( and the corn box) ...

the only smurf that didn't mind smurfin'. on the iphone. 

... is currently obsessed with balls. and melts my heart just the same every day.

... but all that smurfing is exhausting - she's currently revising her napping schedule, i'm assuming ( having teeth not allowing for sleep at night may or may not have something to do with this)  - and here she was chatting just 5 seconds prior to this photo taken. friday prep:

... and lot's of mischief 
THE crime scene : 

...and THE criminal. Asleep. Bum up and all, two feet away from evidence ...

And for those that asked - the winter warmer used in the stroller is Stokke Foot Muff
I absolutely LOVE it and highly recommend. It keeps little ones warm and smiling and gives me a complete peace of mind that they ARE warm even when I am freezing.

November 13, 2012

Did you know ...

Did you know that :



* The earliest in the early 1800’s, as we’ve mentioned in passing,were fruit (particularly apples) and nuts. These, along with the evergreen trees themselves, represented the certainty that life would return in the spring.

* Other fruits began to be added, along with paper streamers and bits of shiny metal foil. Whether a tree was lighted or not, the idea of reflecting the light in the room where the tree stood grew in popularity. 

*Another concept, too, began to take hold with the German families in whose homes the first “popular” trees resided. Food, often gingerbread or other hard cookies, would be baked in the shape of fruits, stars, hearts, angels and – yes – bells. 

*As the idea of decorated Christmas trees spread, various countries added their own variations. 

-- Americans, for instance, would string long strands of cranberries or popcorn to circle their trees. Small gifts began to be used to decorate the tree, sometimes contained in little intricately woven baskets, sometimes nestled in the crook of a bough, sometimes just hanging by a thread or piece of yarn. 

-- In the UK, creative ornaments of lace, paper or other materials showed the variety of interests and talents of their makers. Small “scraps” cut out of newspaper or magazine illustrations also found their way to the family’s tree and after a few years it became harder and harder to actually see the tree beneath the ornaments.

  * As the Twentieth century began, Christmas and its celebration was, for most Europeans and Americans, a time to focus on the visible aspects of the season with an emphasis on the delights of children. Gift-giving to the younger members of the family was encouraged not only by the youngsters themselves, but by enterprising merchants as well. 

The number, variety and complexity of glass ornaments coming out of Germany was now augmented by competitors in Czechoslovakia and other countries. These ornaments, however, retained their handcrafted originality, even when produced in the vast numbers demanded by an ever-growing consumer base. Because they were all handmade, by people who often followed in the glassmaking traditions of generations of their families before them, each ornament had a touch of individual craftsmanship.                                                                                                               

Though Thanksgiving Holidays are not here yet, many places are already in pre-Christmas mode. 
Where do you fall in?


When Holidays draw near...

holiday gift guide


When Holidays draw near, a little gift guide for your most important people is just what we all need.

Modern, natural, creative, functional and fun is our motto! 


November 08, 2012

When money ....

warm for the holidays


When money is no object, it would be fun to stylishly keep warm this way for the holidays while traveling Europe's most treasured spots.

 ...and for the baby .... 

winter warms


But until we're all rich & famous  ( isn't it an awesome phrase? my friend used it once, YEARS ago , and i love it til this day) ,  H&M always has something on a crazy sale.  And for the baby (and the whole family too, actually ) - don't forget Gap's Friends and Family this weekend. 

Go get 'em bargains! This is the time! 
(ps they have their newest holiday collection on sale too!) 

ann in case you missed it, here is an evening post about mornings.


I love my mornings ...

I love my mornings. 

Time always seems to rush much faster then I want it to allow. It seems that just tomorrow there will be enough hours to get the projects done, the laundry caught up,  floors re-polished, and so on. And then , the next day's evening rolls around, but there are just as much, if not more, things that are screaming for attention. 

Time wasn't kind to me while I was learning that no matter how many hours I have, every minute can be devoted to work, career, chores - anything really, and there will never be enough of daylight ( or nighttime) to coordinate with Life's needs. Unless Life is put first. By Life I mean that which truly matters. 

I said it many times before and will again : I wish I had a time turner. 

I would care less if my mirror kitchen tiles were mirror-like.  I wouldn't worry whose schedule I mess up by arranging mine.  I would cut down on working hours ... I would change so many things... I wish I could. 

My laundry pile now is ... everlasting. But my mornings are great. 

We send the "learning crew" off to study and then we wonder. We always have some books on hand ( see that backpack? it doesn't leave home without a friend and a book or two. and the backpack MUST come. you know - how can it not when a brother and a sister have one?!) , some food and some imagination. 

The weather has been kind enough for us to often take the trail into the canyon and smell delicious air, pick the acorns and gather some leaves. Have you ever been to a forest after the rain? It's magical. The smell. The droplets of rain on the leaves. The spiderwebs ( although i'm not a fan of hosts themselves) 

I cherish this time. I learned so much about my little girl, that gets lost among the energies that surround her - the older two and youngest one. Three always-going-never-stopping explosions overbear her. Until this time when we are - almost , with sleeping baby - alone.  She is so kind. So curious. And her imagination blows me away. To say that I am honored to be by and humbled by her is to say nothing at all.  

Whether it is the age that makes me - hopefully - wiser, time or experience, I do not know.
But I will take it whichever way it comes.

The fascination with the "crystals".  Do you want to know how many rocks are currently stored in my kitchen drawer? more then I can count at a glance. This one was magical. It now lives with us as well. 


Acorns are another "must".  Have you made acorn people with them when you were little? I have!
We've created a whole little village of 6 families from some clay, acorns and leaves. 

Her favorite storage place. I love finding all sorts of things at night - from rocks to pine cones - tightly packed in the outside pocket. 

And , yes, I'm a big fan of those polka dot bloomer-style shorts. oh, to be three again...


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