This is for you, Mimi!

I met Mimi in 2007 when I moved to Bucharest and I started working my first real job in Oracle. I was new to the city, had a few close friends, but I was eager to bond with my new colleagues. I was young and not very sure of how to fit in the new world that I was entering. I met Mimi my first day there and I knew instantly that I would like her. She was beautiful inside and out, friendly and it turned out that we had friends in common. So we started talking and going out together. I remember the Tae Bo classes we took together and how she helped me move house only 3 months after we met. She offered to come carry my stuff with her boyfriend in her car. I think she had this power of seeing when people were struggling and needed help. And she always offered to help.

We continued being friends and colleagues but once I changed jobs and moved country, we mostly talked on social media. She followed my adventures and I, hers. I now realise that she was constantly present in my life, even if it was only by a comment or a like at one of my pictures or blog posts.

I read one of our chat conversation back from 2011. I had recently moved to Switzerland and I had started this blog for a few months. She wrote to say that I had a voice that could touch people and that I should always keep writing, that she felt like I was talking to her when she was reading my posts. She told me to dream and talk about my dreams because they can come true if we believe in them, her words: Believe beyond the means. Her childhood dream was to be a fashion designer and she was very proud that she had started pursuing that dream. (Story about Mimi is the name she chose for her brand)

This weekend, our Mimi passed away. She was one of the victims from the fire that happened in a club in Bucharest. She was there to support one of her coworkers that had a rock concert with his band. From what I understood she was also doing the costumes for the band. I wish she would have not gone to that concert and club, but Mimi had to be there close to her friends. There is no way she could have missed it.

I now know that the legacy she leaves behind will never die. Her words and the lives she touched will continue to live forever. I can only feel sad that I did not talk more to her in the last few years, that I did not tell her how wonderful she is. I should have done it every chance I got. We think we have time, and that we will be here tomorrow but that is true until one day…Take the time now and every second to spread love and kindness around you. This is what Mimi did all her life and I will do my best to continue to do that for her and for all the people around me.

With Mimi at a company costume party somewhere in 2009.

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Photo in the header from here.

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My perfect Surprise Baby Shower

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This past weekend my girls with Traian’s help organised the best surprise baby shower I could have asked for.  They were all very sneaky and managed to get me confused about the entire thing. I was expecting a baby shower at some point, but what they managed to pull off was beyond any expectations of mine. I am so incredible lucky and blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. Being pregnant is teaching me so many things and one of them is how to be able to receive so much love and attention from the people in my life. I just hope that I get to return the same gratitude and love to them. Our baby is so blessed to have such wonderful human beings around him.

Here are some details from the party. All the guests had to wear blue since we are having a boy and me because I had no clue that I was going to my baby shower, I wore pink…I definitely managed to stand out :)) Everyone had a flower arrangement in their hair and I got to wear a flower crown.

There were games, good food, cake and presents. Everything was so sweet and so well planned that I still can’t believe it happened.

Thank you ladies for one of the best memories in my life (this goes next to my wedding day)!

And some pictures, if you’d like to see.

Playing the game: Guess the celebrity parents! My friend, Dewi chose the best games.

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We had a Polaroid camera and we took some great pictures throughout the entire evening.

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Feeling like in a fairytale!

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All the cupcakes and the most amazing cake, were made by my friend from Emi’s sweet room.

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With my friend Cristiana, the author of the Diaper cake.

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My cousin, Paula and my friend, Camelia that made the trip from London and Romania for this party.

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The Diaper cake!

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Only the best of wishes for our sweet baby.

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Mama’s little cupcake!

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PS: More baby shower ideas: the one I hosted 1 year ago for my friend, and another one that I attended 2 years ago.

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10 lessons learned as a couple

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These days we are celebrating 2 years since our wedding. We have been living together for quite a few years before, so getting married was not really a big change for us, it just made it official for others, since for us it was as official as it could be. Our relationship has grown and evolved through the years and now we are about to face the biggest challenge of all, going from two to three and being a family. I thought that since we are both stepping into the parents roles this year, I would put in writing the things that I have learned so far from sharing my life with this great man. (I believe each couple has their own dynamic and besides love, the little stuff we do each day make a couples life. Yes. There are the important milestones, like the first I love you, moving in together or getting married but if the everyday dynamic is not working then those things won’t happen). So here are 10 lessons learned from our everyday life together.

1. Feel free to express your thoughts, no matter how silly or meaningful you think they are.  I am very lucky to be married with my best friend and to be able to share with him everything that goes on in my life. It is incredible hard to keep things from each other just because we are so used in sharing everything. One example is giving each other presents since we always end up revealing them before our actual celebration day. Traian’s birthday is in September, but he already received his gift because I kept picturing his happy face when he would receive it so…why wait?! Life is short…:).

2. Find time to try new things together. We like eating out every now and then and even if we have our favourite places we always try to go to new restaurants as well. Going to a concert or driving out of town for a few hours just to take a walk in an area we have’t been before are among our fav activities as well.

3. Pursue your own passions: My blog is my passion, he loves cycling, taking pictures and playing video games. We each have moments in which we do that individually and we love having that time to ourselves. It is so relaxing to know you have that time for yourself.

4. Help each other with the household tasks. Living with someone is not always easy especially if one is more organised then the other. Keeping a house clean, paying the bills and other daily chores can become a pain if only one of us carries the weight. Finding a balance and helping each other out can avoid having discussions about stuff that usually have a simple solution to it. I do most of the cooking but Traian is always helping me with the cleaning.

5. Have fun together. Traian loves good music so one of our traditions is to spend a nice evening at home (usually Fridays) listening to new music while having a glass of wine (I am skipping this at the moment) and enjoying finger food (I like to throw a mix of everything I have in the fridge on a platter or have a cheese fondue in winter). We end up having the best of time, laughing and discussing all sorts of things from our hobbies to our plans for the future…. We end up being so relaxed and when you wake up the next morning with a slight hangover you can’t help it feel young again. And just to be reminded we can still have fun just the two of us is the best feeling of all.

6. Forget the small arguments. Everyone has discussions that start from nothing and that can drag on because we all love to be heard and be right. Traian is organised and extremely punctual. As an organised and control freak myself, I still think he sometimes can be exaggerated. For example, we end up discussing why we have to be at a friend’s house at 5 o’clock sharp when there is no official party or hour, just a casual evening with friends. It always helps not to forget where the other one is coming from and why he is doing what he is doing. In the beginning we could get really upset from all stupid things, but as we got to know each other we learned to let the small things go. Still this is a work in progress since there are days when stress, hormones and mood swings (yes, pregnancy I am hinting at you) take the best of us.

7. Always remember what you admire about each other and verbalise it. Saying words of encouragement to each other or simply saying “I am proud of you”when it comes to professional of personal achievements makes a huge difference. We all need to feel that what we do counts and hearing it from the person you love the most is always good.

8. Prioritise intimacy or “sexy time” as one of my girlfriends calls it. Your bedroom is your kingdom so find out what works for both of you and just go for it. Some couples find that scheduling sex works, we did not try it so far but maybe after the baby is here we might need to…:).

9. Always make time for friends and family. Unfortunately we don’t live close to our family, but we always make time to Skype with them. Most of our friends are common, but we also have separate girls or boys nights out. We love to entertain and we are lucky to have close friends that make up for our families not being around.

10. Spoil and take care of each other. Traian makes breakfast each weekend and sometimes during the week when we wake up in the same time. I love that and I feel like it is the best thing to wake up to the smell of coffee. In return I make him sweet treats that I know he likes, even though he says I want to get him fat :).

And if you are in the mood to read some more about relationships I have found the below very interesting as well:

8 things I learned about marriage from Joanna Goddard, A Cup of Jo

A test to help us identify the way each of us likes to show love: The 5 love languages (found on Cupcakes and Cashmere).

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Pictures from our wedding weekend.

xo, Andreea!

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Pregnancy update

I did not write much about my pregnancy so far because I felt like I needed to get adjusted to all the changes that were happening to my body. I am now mid pregnancy (20 weeks) and I would like to share with you what I experienced so far.

The first trimester was an easy one for me. No major morning sickness or feeling bad. It was mostly normal days, except for a few weeks when I was hungry all the time and it took a bit of effort not to eat everything around me. Somehow I managed to stick to healthy options even though I was eating more often. It helped a lot the fact that we were clean eating before getting pregnant as well. I had a few mishaps ( more pastry than I would normally like to admit), but fruits saved me whenever I felt like snacking. Keeping a food journal for a week was eye opening that eating well is possible even when your hormones are telling you otherwise. So it is possible, but don’t expect miracles, the scale still goes up because our body is changing. I try not to worry too much about that since I know I am doing my best to have a normal pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby.

Concerning exercise during pregnancy, I read a few articles and I am currently trying to stick to some basic gym exercises. I think it helps, as long as you fell healty,  to keep the muscles toned and built strenght for the birth. I signed up for a pregnancy yoga class as well, just to continue a bit my yoga routine. I find that pregnancy yoga so far is quite easy and it focuses more on the breathing and relaxing. I did one class with this instructor that was a bit more intense and I loved it, but I saw that the ladies that were further along than me, were struggeling a bit. Again it is all about how comfortable you feel when doing it. Pushing your limits when you are pregnant is not a good ideea.

Being pregnant for the first time and having reached the middle I can only hope that the other half is as good as the first. This baby is treating me so well and now that I feel his first movements I love him more and more. It is truly a wonderful period for us!

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A big thank you to my talented friend, Emilia from In love with cupcakes that did my hair and took these gorgeous pictures.

I am wearing: H&M dress and Miu Miu Sunglasses.

xo, Andreea!

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A new energy

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I like to think that I take care of my body, that I work out and I watch what I eat. I feel like sometimes I am very good at doing it and some other times, I just go with the flow and I don’t do as much as I could or I would like to. My most used excuse when I don’t feel like working out is that I am tired. Or at least this was true until I discovered Power Yoga. A few years ago I had tried a yoga class, but for some reason found it so hard and boring, that after a few classes, I stopped. I just assumed that it wasn’t for me. Recently however, I decided to give Yoga another try mostly because a few close friends wouldn’t shut up about how good it is. (Did I mention how much I love my friends!?).

I was lucky enough to stumble on the best teacher and to start with a beginners class. I believe this was the key for me and even if the class is in German I managed quite well to get the hang of it. I am now hooked and I am still amazed on what a complete body workout it can be. I have muscle ache for the next few days, which usually means that I did something right. The other thing I love about it is that it gives me such a good energy. I feel extremely energised afterwards like I could run a marathon, and this is on a Thursday night, after a full work week. I am pleasantly surprised to see the benefits it has on my body and on my mindset.

With help from Pinterest, I have found some yoga poses that I like to think I will use at home by myself someday. (so far I only do it when I go to class). I am probably one of the last to join the party, but I am curious: do any of you keep in shape with yoga? Do you find it hard, relaxing? Do you practice it at home as well?

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Source Here.

 

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Saying good bye to 2013

I was never good at saying good bye, but somehow I am happy that 2013 is over. There is no particular reason, since it was a very good year, but I love new beginnings and 2014 is exactly what the doctor ordered. So bring on the new year and let’s see what is in store for us. So to say a proper good bye I made a video with my outfits from Instagram. Have a blast tomorrow! See you in the new year!

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The magic of waiting for St. Nicholas

Every year on the 5th of December I go back to my childhood years and remember one of the happiest days of my life. I would wait for St. Nicholas knowing that he brings gifts to children that were good. I would prepare my boots and he would leave the presents there. My grandparents were the ones having to handle my anxiety and they would tell me all these stories that would only make me more curious. And then one year, I met him. I was so nervous and scared to even get close to him. Little I knew that it was my dad disguised as Santa. Sweet childhood memories…Tonight I felt like recreating the atmosphere of waiting for Santa and I made tea (we actually received some amazing tea today), cookies and I put some nice music on. Now you tell me if I don’t deserve all the presents in the world? We even have our boots ready. Enjoy the holiday, my dears! The magic begins tonight.

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Things to do right now

I am currently trying to be more organised when it comes to my shopping habits. I am somewhat of a shop addict and in order to find a much needed balance I started planning my purchases a bit. And what better way to do it than looking online, create a wish list and work towards getting some of those items in my wardrobe? In this sense I added a new page to Stylish Dreams, called SHOP. There you find some of my favourite items, and if you click on one of the pictures you are redirected to the page where you can buy the item. Take a look and see if something inspires you.

And now my list of things to do in the next month:

1. Try and get my hands on the Isabel Marant for H&M collection. I have my eyes set on the lovely ankle boots and on the jacket that Frieda Pinto is wearing. The collection will be in the selected H&M stores on the 14th of November. Here you can find the entire collection.

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Source here

2. Go to the theatre. I love watching plays and ever since we moved to Zurich I have been wanting to go to the theatre, but because my German is not very good, I gave up. Until now, when we have found the Zurich Comedy Club, English speaking amateur theatre. We plan on seeing our first play there in November. Go date night!

3. I have finally managed to decide on a new fragrance. I chose one from Tom Ford, Violet Blonde. I tested it this week and it just agrees with me especially since Jasmine notes are one my favourites.

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4. I started reading my first book in German. I wanted something easy to read, but interesting enough so that it keeps me a bit hooked up. My friend gave me this book and by the first pages it looks promising, in the sense that I understand quite a few words without having to turn at my dictionary every 2 seconds. (in case you don’t know, I am trying to learn German…the joy!).

 

5. Find a desk for our home. I have been wanting a desk for a very long time. So far, the one below matches my taste, but I am still considering my options.

 

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Find it here

 

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One positive talk

Do you happen to have days when you just complain about everything? Even if I consider myself a total optimist I have days like that, usually when I am tired. And the most common thing I complain about is the weather (silly, I know). So today while doing my usual round of I can’t stand the rain, my friend said that we should try and focus on the positive things. And then, joking and having a good laugh we listed some of the good things we have going for us. It might sound totally childish and random, but just think how much of our days are determined by the negative thoughts we project on ourselves, on others and on all the things around us (especially things that we can’t control, like the weather). So becoming aware of that from time to time, is just what we need to turn our day around.

And a TED conference. I know, I am jumping from one thing to another, but I listened to this talk today and I just have to share it. Maybe some of you have already heard it, since it has been circulating around Facebook, but if not, just give it fifteen minutes. And if you are in your twenties, the best advice anyone can give you is in these 15 minutes.

 

 

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This is 30!

Big birthday on my side today! I am not going to tell you that 30 is the new 20 or anything like that, simply because I don’t believe that. Each age has its own benefits. I loved my twenties and even if the Peter Pan in us, tells us that growing up is boring and not something to look out for, the best thing is when you realise that you are already there. Your 20s were about growing up, and your 30s are about making the best of that. And here are my 30 reasons that make sitting at the grown up table feel like a walk in the park.

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