Luca is 1 year old

My dears the day to celebrate Luca’s first birthday sneak up on me. I have no clue how time went by this year and even though I wished at times that he would get older sooner (after the nights with less to no sleep) now I can only feel nostalgic that he is growing up so fast. He is so fun to be around, he is curious and likes to play with other kids. Food is still big on his list and he seems to be in no hurry to walk. At the moment he is crawling in his own unique way and he makes his rounds around the house. Loves to see what is in every drawer, plays with books and magazines and puts a lot of effort to turn the pages with his tiny hands. So fun to watch and be around him. Oh and he is a talker, he says Mama, Tata and imitates talking on the phone by saying Ata (from the Romanian Alo that is Hello in En.)

We organised a small party with our close friends and he enjoyed every moment of it. I had so much fun planning everything and Traian and my brother were the perfect co-hosts that one emotional Mammy could ask for (on Saturday I relived a bit the day I gave birth and it was great to remember how we went through everything just to get to meet him in the evening). It is so special to experience your child’s birthday (to me it is much more interesting than celebrating mine).

But back to the party, I made the food and some sweets. There was cake from In love with cupcakes  but since I want to keep Luca away from sugar for a little longer I  tried a recipe for a special baby banana and carrot muffins with no sugar and the kids loved it.

For the adults I went for finger food mostly and Good Food gave me the perfect ideas. Here are the recipes: Philly- Style hot dogs, Emmental and Leek Quiche, Hot and Spicy Chicken Wings, Basil and Sun Dried tomatoes Hummus, Homemade Guacamole, Crunchy Red Cabbage salad, Homemade Coleslaw salad

And a few pictures with the Birthday boy below. A big thank you for all your warm wishes and nice thoughts that you sent our way this weekend.

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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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Birthday wisdom

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Today is my birthday and normally this day would have had a bittersweet feeling attached to it. I think that when it comes to birthdays, I was always a bit vain and selfish. I would focus on the fact that I was getting older and what that would do to me, like a lot of us do. But this year after coming across something online, I’ve finally realized that I was looking at the whole birthday thing from the wrong perspective. I mean why not be truly happy that I got to live another amazing year, that I got to meet Luca and experience his first year of life, that I got to become closer to my husband, that I got to build new friendships and make the old ones stronger, that I got to see our own parents become grandparents and the joy this has brought on them. That and many others are just a few reason to celebrate and to look forward to another year. Yes, that means getting old and dealing with all the stuff that will come from that but that is inevitable. And what you can’t change, you should embrace and live though with as much grace as possible. Don’t you agree?

So hurray to my birthday and to my new found wisdom that it’s linked once again to motherhood. I know I say this a lot but having a child and experiencing everything that comes with that is incredible. And as it is my first birthday since having Luca, I have to say that it is one of the best ones. It just is something else to be the mother of this little boy.

The first picture is from a barbecue we attended this past weekend at a friends house and the second one is from today, leaving the restaurant we had dinner at.

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Xox, Andreea.

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Life latelly

Two months already since I am back to work and things are beginning to resemble somewhat to normal for us. Luca is doing better and better at the daycare, I am home with him on Fridays and having a 3 days weekend is great. Life is not boring for sure. I am trying to get into a rhythm where I have enough time for everything I want to do. First priority everyday is spending time with Luca and Traian and some days this is all we do. But there are the days when I can devote a bit of time to my interests, blogging being one of them. All is very different from before but it is a good different. The only thing I would love to be able to accommodate better is spending more time with our friends. We are not able to arrange spontaneous outings with friends like before for now. We need to give the babysitter thing a try in the near future.

Luca is growing and his personality comes through. We had a bit of a headache with the teeth but as we are already counting 6 of them things seem to be calmer. He loves to be around people and he smiles at strangers like he knows them for a lifetime. He is not crawling yet but as he is more and more on the floor with his toys, I think we are close to him making a move. A part of me can’t wait to see him move on his own but then I know that our house will need to be rearranged. I think my heart will stop ten times per day with all the corners, drawers and other possible dangers. But then again, each milestone he faces, we face with him and we are growing together.

He likes to eat and every time we introduce a new food and he loves it, I feel like I conquered Everest. He is into finger food and I try to give him fruits and veggies mostly. You know you are a Mum when you carry all sorts of snacks in your purse (one of my friends told me this and she was absolutely right :)).

One thing that has not changed since Luca came is our habit of being out of the house. We arrange activities during the day so that we spend as much time as possible outside. Luca loves being in the car, in the stroller and as of recent in the carrier. Being out with him is wonderful especially since he seems to enjoy it so much. Here are some pictures as of lately.

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Wild berries tart

There is nothing I like more for desert during summer then a nice piece of fruit tart. Well there is ice cream as well, but still…baked goods are my weakness. Since wild berries seem to be everywhere I wrapped up a nice tart this past weekend. The good thing is that you do it in less than an hour, and the fruit is fresh since you don’t cook it. What is takes longer is chilling it, but you can savour it at room temperature if you are impatient.

For the sweet pastry I used the same recipe I use all the time. It works wonders and it is very simple: 100 gr. butter, 60 gr. sugar, 220 gr. plain flour, 1 egg. You mix the sugar with the butter and the egg and at the end you add the flower and using you hands you mix the dough. You should mix until the flour is just about incorporated not more. Put the dough in the baking tray and leave it in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes. Then you put it in the oven for another 30 min to 180 degrees C covered with baking paper and some beans/rice on top. After 20 min you can remove the baking paper and leave it for another 10 min to continue baking.

For the crème pâtissière I used this recipe. I put almond milk instead of the usual milk and it came out just as good.

Once the sweet pastry and the crème pâtissière are chilled just put them together and decorate with the fruit of your choice: blueberries, raspberries or any berries for that matter work. Leave to chill and savour it with someone you love. Sweets are meant to be shared if you ask me.

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Little things

I just put Luca down for his midday nap and while sipping my coffee, I am reviewing our week. It was a good one for our little family. Luca had the first full week at daycare and he is very much getting settled into the routine over there. He now has his first tooth (that I still haven’t managed to get a good picture of)  and has a favourite song: Little Lion Man (how cool is this title) from Mumford & Sons. When we play it for him he will start smiling and dancing in his high chair…hilarious and so sweet.

Being back to work, but still being able to enjoy the little moments with this little family of mine, means I am doing something right. My mantra lately is to focus on the now and not rush things. Not always possible or easy to do but each day is a new beginning and can be better than the last.

Keep positive my dears and have a lovely weekend!

And a few pictures from the last weeks.

 

Xox, Andreea!

 

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Books to read this summer

I always have a list of books that I want to read. Do I get to read all of them? No, of course not, but let’s hope that in this lifetime I will find the time to read more. I remember the time when reading was my only job. As a French Literature Major I had to read all the classics. Oh, student days! Since we are planning our holiday I thought I will get out the list and see what I can add to it. What about you? Do you guys have time to read? If so, do you have any recommendations?

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Source: here

Ever since I read one of Botton’s first novels, Essays in Love, I loved his writing and perspective on human behaviour. I really want to dig in more into his work and Romantic Movement:Sex Shopping and the Novel and On love look very interesting. Have you read them?

Jonathan Tropper’s novel sounds like a family affair story that I would love to read.

 

I like a novel that revolves around a woman and The Summer of France has that plus the French background.

I loved Gone Girl and Luckiest Girl Alive  is suppose to be the next big thing. I heard it directly from the horse’s month, in this case Reese Witherspoon (yes, we are Instagram pals 🙂 that is going to turn it into a movie with her production company (the same that was behind Gone Girl).

Did you read any of them? Any other holiday reads that you have in mind?

xox,

Andreea

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Family photo session

We are getting ready for our first weekend away without the baby. It is one of those milestones that I feel we have to reach, but I am not sure how ready I am. I sometimes think six months is too soon for me to leave him, but in the same time I know that I will never be ready for this. So we are doing it and hopefully all goes well and he has fun with his grandma and uncle for 2 days. Us on the other hand we’ll try to enjoy Paris and sleep late in the morning. Ah, that sounds nice now.

Also, I am wrapping my first week of being back to work (only 3 days a week for now). It was hard the first day but as soon as I started getting into things at work I remembered that I like my job. And that being there is something I chose for myself and my family and that it makes me happy. I am very lucky to have great colleagues and as long as Luca is happy, we are going to rock our new routine.

I leave you with a few pictures we did back for Easter when we had Luca’s christening in Romania. The photographer we worked with, Vasi Vasut, took these amazing pictures that I love to share with you.

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The Little Things

Guys, I am wrapping my final week as a stay at home Mom. I am retuning to work on Monday for only a few days a week and I feel so weird. I am not ready for this new chapter but again what woman is?! I will just have to figure everything out as we go along. But let’s focus on the weekend first. My mother is visiting and as it happens this weekend Zurich has another edition of the Street Food Festival. So I guess you know where we will be.

Here are some pictures from this past week. It’s all about the little things. Have a fun and relaxing weekend!

You know it is Spring when peonies are everywhere.

The best roast beef sandwich in Zurich can be found in front of Globus on Bahnhofstrasse. I absolutely love it.

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My Mom felling knackered after one of our walks. Luca on the other hand was quite bored with the hole thing.

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His new favourite playground is a carton box. Who said babies need much to be entertained? He spends hours in there.

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Perfecting our selfie game as a family during our day trip to Luzern.

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xox, Andreea

 

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10 things I wish I’d known before becoming a Mom.

 

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As a first time Mom most of the time you will feel overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the change in your life, by the amount of new information it is thrown at you, by the love for this tiny human being and the list can go on. Now that 6 months have passed since I took on the role of a Mom, I asked myself what could have helped me to make this period easier. And here are the things I wish I’d known before becoming a fist time mom:

Most babies don’t sleep through the night in the first 6 months or the first year for that matter. Yes, some babies do sleep for 12 hours in a row but they are the exception, not the rule. You can try different methods, and it will happen eventually just don’t expect it to happen because you read somewhere that babies can do that. I read so much about sleep training and babies routines that I was expecting Luca to sleep all night by 3 months (also everyone with a baby around seemed to had mastered some kind of technique to get their little ones to sleep through the night). And when that did not happen for us I was sure I was doing something wrong, especially since everyone around was asking how he is sleeping. But after a few days of soul searching I realised that the pressure I was putting on myself was not doing us any good. Instead I started being more focused on making sure Luca was receiving all the love and the support he needed to sleep well for as long as he wanted (sometimes an hour, sometimes three or four). And in the end it paid off since he is napping like a champion and sleeping very well through the night.

Your body will surprise you and it won’t be for the worst. After I got pregnant and the weight was increasing I feared what will happen to my body after I gave birth. Will I ever look good again? Will I lose the weight after I give birth? How long before I will feel like myself? Well, to my surprise, the weight went away and my body recovered well after pregnancy and giving birth.

Giving birth is hard, but it’s not as bad as some people portray it to be. No matter how you chose to bring the child into the world (c-section, epidural or all natural) know that it is something that will pass and it won’t be the worst thing you had to endure in your life. (You can read my birth story here).

Breastfeeding might be all natural, but it also can be very challenging and not possible for everyone. This was my biggest disappointment as a new Mom, not being able to breastfeed my baby. I had so high hopes about this and I remember even dreaming one night before I gave birth how my child was grabbing my breast. Well, that did not happen and I had a few days of hell trying to figure out what to do. Also pumping can be painful and exhausting.

The first 3 months with your baby are the biggest challenge and are when you learn so much about you and your child. So be patient and when you feel hopeless remember that this too shall pass and better days will come. This was actually my mantra in the first months.

Nobody is safe from post partum depression. Even though I did not experience what you would call post partum depression, I am sure I was very close to one. It is important to know and be aware of the signs and if you feel alone, remember that you are not and talk to your dear ones about it.

Friends with babies are going to be on your speed dial from now on. They know a lot by now and they might be very resourceful. Keep them close!

Having help is not overrated. I used to think that after I give birth I will be able to do it all by myself. That was not the case at all, and besides the support from my husband, I also appreciated the help from my mother. If I could have afford it, I would have hired a full time nurse for the first weeks, especially since we don’t have family here.

Your sleep routine will change to the point that when you will sleep five or six hours in a row you will think that something is wrong. I always thought about myself that I was unable to function normally without my 8 hours of sleep. Well, I was wrong. Maybe you can’t climb mount Everest, but you get to do what needs to be done. And you get used to it and life goes on. Easy, ha?

With a child comes joy, happiness and a new life. Also a new kind of love that you have never experienced before. And the best part is that this love grows bigger and bigger every day. I am sure this is one of the reasons why people have more than one child. Also had I know these feelings before, probably I would have started earlier on having kids.

And some pictures with my sweetheart from yesterday when he turned 6 months old.

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