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Tips on testing a new cafe

Publié le par Charly Cross

Last week I went out to have a drink and relax. I had no idea where to go and I just wandered around until I found this cafe called The Drunken Lords.

 

The cafe, or bar -as I'm not entirely sure what its label is- is located in the Historic Center of Bucharest. This area is full of cafes, restaurants, bars, night clubs, and even random shops, especially those selling wedding gowns. I may show some of these stores in a future entry.

 

I never went here before, and I often go to new places just because. The downside is that I never know how the service or the drinks are. I came up with a simple and rather sure way of testing out new cafes. I will share my observations with you, because you know, "sharing is caring," and I started this blog for this particular reason.

 

Check out the atmosphere of the place.

 

This means you need to observe "each detail." For instance, what do the seats and the tables look like? Do they seem comfortable? How many people can they accommodate? What type of decorations are there on the walls? Is there a funny scent, or is it too smoky?

 

The Drunken Lords had tables for two but tables for 4 or 6 persons as well. The  owner or the designer thought about using a combination of chairs and sofas [or couches] to appeal to the preferences of more people.

 

I sat on a chair, while my friend used the sofa to sit at the same table.

the handle i used to have and the former name of my blog

the handle i used to have and the former name of my blog

I really liked the wall decor and this is why I took two pictures of it. One of the walls was completely covered in these old books - most likely nobody would have read them anymore. Among all those books, some really old fashion suitcases were also sprinkled. You can actually see a little bit of one of them in the above picture.

Tips on testing a new cafe

I didn't take a better picture because it took me minute to realize what was I looking at, and was feeling self conscious taking pictures. On another wall, the designer used the portrait of a gentleman [see below] - too bad my phone and the spotlight were at a bad angle. I really liked how the middle section was left as it was while the upper and the lower sections seem painted over.

 

Check the bathroom

You may not need to go, but you should still go wash your hands before consuming anything. This is exactly what I also did. Having a look at the cafe's restroom is a great indicator of the care they put in serving their clients.

 

Luckily most of the restrooms I went to while being at a cafe, were CLEAN. They might not have someone to clean the place after each person, nor advanced Japanese toilets, but you won't feel like throwing up while walking in there.

McDonalds restroom. [post edited in 2017]

McDonalds restroom. [post edited in 2017]

I never sit on the toilet seat, but that's a different story. This restroom was not only clean, but it was nicely scented too. They have one for the ladies and one for the gents, separated, unlike many other places. 2 people can go in 2 separate stalls at the same time, and there were 2 sinks with soap and paper towel dispensers as well.

 

Can you tell I was nicely impressed?

 

Pay attention to the staff

Of course, many people would pay attention to the staff, and notice faster if the staff is rude or not polite enough. The guys on duty on that evening were all smiles and excited to talk to me and my friend. This made the experience more relaxed and much more pleasant.

 

There is one slight minus that happens virtually everywhere I go: when the order came, there was no napkin in sight! 0.0 I realized this when it was too late, and took my own out [taken from another cafe. When our waiter noticed, he got upset, but he didn't say a word. ooops] I should have asked for some, but I'm not sure why I didn't.

 

The way your bill is presented at the end is also important. Since you're going to a more fancy place, you should receive it inside a little something, and not just given in your hand. Different locations have different ways of presenting it: in glasses, inside small fancy looking boxes, or specially created cases.

 

Place your order

This step is one of the most important one when going to a cafe or restaurant. However you must be prepared ahead of time.

 

What I like doing is quite simple, and uses common sense [I noticed not many people still have it these days, sadly].

 

I order some drinks I really like and that are super easy to get right or fail. [Well, I also pay attention to the quantity and the price, to see how 'fair' they are or if they're trying to rip customers off - this is something that happens at times].

 

We ordered a lemonade and a hot chocolate with a side of a standard drink - Pepsi Cola [hey, Pepsi folks! can I get some change here for advertising your drink? =P LOL]. Pepsi was the last resort if we hated the other two drinks ;)

the handle i used to have and the former name of my blog

the handle i used to have and the former name of my blog

Lemonade is something REALLY easy to make. And it might sound ridiculous to some of those reading this entry, but I had a few places bringing me a NASTY lemonade. If they don't know how to make a decent lemonade, how are they going to make other more complicated drinks?

 

The staff at The Drunken Lords made a nice lemonade for me. Its size was decent too - not too large and not too small either. I also found its price rather fair, so I can't complain in this regard.

 

Hot chocolate is something that I had a bad experience with on a few occasions. This one was a good one, and therefore I have no complaints here either. The bad experiences were related to watered down chocolate, and the drink not being hot enough [at the same time too at least once], OR it being a pudding chocolate.

 

Hot chocolate is supposed to be like hot Nutella and a bit more creamy or liquid when hot. And the barista at The Drunken Lords did just that. YAY! [can I get some cash for advertising Nutella as well?]

 

All in all, I had a nice time there. I also liked it because at the time it was mostly empty, so it was more quiet. The music was nice as well. At least in the beginning of my stay, because I can't remember the whole playlist, but the music was pleasant all the way.

 

If you're in Bucharest, you should totally check this place out. This is their website.


©Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved. Re-edited in March 2018.

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How much do bloggers lie about their life?

Publié le par Charly Cross

It's been a long time - my offline life changed for a while, now it seems to be back to 'normal.' I just want to share a few thoughts and insights regarding the life of a blogger [or a vlogger].

I'm not going to lie here: I read several blogs and follow several vloggers on Youtube. What's more is that they seem to lead a perfect or ideal life - it most certainly looks better than mine, from my point of view.

 

But that's just MY point of view.

However, I did notice how others seem to share this impression, but the reality is different.

The internet is everyone's tool and chance to become famous.  Or to at least get noticed a little.

Some people are more successful or lucky than others, and they become quite famous online. Some of them use their online fame to make a change in the [offline] world around them.

This is something I also secretly dream of. But I'm not going to put my hopes too high.

In any case, I recently realized that most of us that decided to share our experiences with the world have one thing in common:

 

We present a chopped, idealized reality.

And we do so because we want to inspire others to be better people and not do the mistakes we make. You could say we are selling dreams.

Except, not all of us are receiving money for this.

Except, not all of us are receiving money for this.

The internet is literally a shopping street, and with the right tools, some of us can show you our dreams while earning some money as well.

I did mention before that some bloggers and vloggers share their experiences and opinions as to inspire others as well. Some of them started their blogs and channels from a passion they had - beauty, fashion, gaming - or because they have a rare life-style - married to people from a different culture, living in a foreign country, so on.

Everyone wants to lead a better life, and some people are simply scared to do what it takes to live their dreams.

All bloggers and vloggers took it upon themselves to show the world that it is not impossible to live a [near] impossible dream.

It just takes a lot of hard work, courage, and will power.

They are showing the world no dream is impossible if enough passion is used while working. Some of them managed to start their own businesses through which they do whatever they can to help other people to follow their dreams for a better life.

A blogger's life is not perfect, because they are just humans, and there is no perfect human out there. They might have reached the "star" status, but even so, not even "stars" have a perfect life.

Bloggers choose to show the better parts of their life for two reasons:

  1. life is too short and full of negativity and they [we] choose to spread a positive attitude and energy.
  2. one cannot inspire others into become better and more brave by sharing the bad parts in their life.

I hope you can now better understand why the life of a blogger seems perfect, but it actually isn't.


©Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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I'm not too Eco-friendly but YOU can be!

Publié le par Charly Cross

(if you want to, of course)

 

This post is not meant as a brag, nor as a judgment towards those who don't do what I'll talk about next.

 

Being Eco-friendly is seen as a good thing these days. And why shouldn't it be? We actually take care of our planet by paying attention to what and how much we consume or throw away.

 

But what inspired this post?

You wouldn't believe me, but my kitchen sink clogged and my floor flooded as a result. The clog was well down the pipe, in the wall, and pretty bad. I used some products for this issue, and I thought I got rid of it, but I was wrong.

 

I tried doing the dishes in the bathroom, but it was a nightmare, and not very hygienic. Then, a better idea popped into my head!

 

Why not using the kitchen sink, but letting it drain into a large bucket? [you know until the plumber would come to fix it] I used the bucket meant for mopping. The idea worked like a charm! But there was still one tiny problem: the bucket would contain just so much water and needed me to empty it constantly. 

 

Of course, I needed a different solution. The solution was to use less water when doing the dishes. Said Thought and done! This second solution worked even better: I needed to empty my bucket more rarely. YAY!

 

I used the method for some 3 or 4 days, and noticing just how much water I'm wasting scared me. It scared me because I never realized just how much water I use.

 

I then noticed the same thing when showering, because guess what? A few days after I manage to have my sink fixed, my tub's drain pipe got clogged as well. I never saw the clog from the kitchen, but the one in the bathroom looked as if the ghost from The Grudge would emerge from there at any minute. 

I'm not too Eco-friendly but YOU can be!

I had to shower while containing the water in the tub, and then remove it somehow else with buckets, and what not. I almost never leave the shower running while using shampoo or shower gel. I removed about 4 or 5 buckets of water.

 

I think this is a lot. It didn't look like a lot, and perhaps other people use more water. But, do we really need to use 4 or 5 buckets of water? I think not!

 

For instance, sometime last year, they had to stop the hot running water, and it was actually during one of the cold months. I clearly needed to shower, and I boiled 1 big pot of water. When I used it, I mixed it with cold water, so it would have a good temperature. Do you want to know the result?

 

It was enough! I managed to wash my long hair, use conditioner, wash my body, and then properly rise everything off!

 

One thing IS certain: even if I mixed cold and hot water in a proportion of 1:1 I wouldn't have had 4 or 5 buckets at the end, but 2 big pots of water just good to wash my body and hair with.

 

So, what am I doing wrong? Why do I waste so much water? Anyone experience this? Talk about your experiences in the comments below!


© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Cold zucchini stew for hot summer days

Publié le par Charly C.

Or for cold winter days, depending on how you serve it, of course. If you want it hot, it's ideal in winter, and if you want it cold, have it in summer!

Be warned that in winter zucchini is more expensive, since it's in season in summer.

Cold zucchini stew for hot summer days

Yesterday I received these beautiful zucchini, and I decided to cook them. I really like zucchini food, more than any other way of preparing zucchini. These are brought from the countryside and are grown in a bio way, as people here don't like tasteless food ingredients.

The recipe is super easy and you don't need many things at all. Additionally, many other recipes follow a similar pattern, so if you know one recipe, you can make several types of foods.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 medium sized zucchini
young and pretty zucchini

young and pretty zucchini

  • some salt - about a teaspoon
  • some oil - 2 or 3 table spoons?
  • some condiments - I used black pepper
  • some tomato sauce
  • some all purpose flour

METHOD

  • Pour the oil in a pot and turn on the fire or heat.
  • Dice the zucchini and drop them in the pot.
Cold zucchini stew for hot summer days
  • Sprinkle with salt and set to cook with a lid covering them.
  • Mix from time to time with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  • You have about an hour till they're done cooking.
  • At the end, you will want to sprinkle your condiments, add the tomato sauce, and some all purpose flour if you find it the food liquid.
  • You might want to continue cooking for some 10 minutes more at this point, or turn off the heat and let it sit covered for the same amount of time.
  • Serve in a dish, either hot or cold, however you prefer!
bon appetit!

bon appetit!

NOTES

  • You can cook this with chopped onion if you like. You'll have to saute the onion a little before adding the zucchini. Some people say it tastes better, but I disagree.
  • You don't need to add any water to this food because the zucchini will provide plenty.

I hope you'll like it if you decide to try it out!

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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On body shaming - stop this behavior!

Publié le par Charly Cross

We all have issues with the way we look. We can never be happy with the bodies we got from Mother Nature.

 

We always want to modify something about it: hair color and type, eye color, get longer legs, bigger boobs or bottoms. Everything can go under the knife. And if we're labeled fat, or anything over that, we have to lose weight. WHY?

 

Because society got brainwashed by pretty looking images seen in movies and ads in which people on the slender side, were featured. They were portrayed as happy and functional. Now everyone seems to associate "happiness," "being functional," and being "thin" or "slender." Anything else means we failed.

 

I have an average looking body, and according to my BMI [which apparently isn't enough to determine just how fat a person is, but does help to some extent] I'm a person with a normal weight. I still think I could lose some 10 kg - don't worry, I would still be consider "normal" weight for my height. [In fact, I gained 7 kg in 2 months last year.]

 

I admit I kinda think poorly of people I see as "fat." I'm not shaming them - or at least I'm trying not to do it anymore. Because I realized I was being mean for nothing: it wasn't MY problem to deal with. THEY are overweight, NOT me. It's not me who suffers more because of extra weight, but them. They surely know it, and they don't need me to remind them of this.

 

I came to realize some people have health problems that make them gain weight. I get that, and I feel bad for laughing or judging those who fell victims to these health problems. IF you belong in this category, I'm sorry. I was ignorant and mean, but now I know better. Or trying to know better.


 

Sometime in the past month I read an article about being fat, and some of the problems associated. Well, ok I'm lying as I forgot what the article was about, but one of the comments stood out.

 

It was hilarious, and I wanted to be able to remember it in the future. You can read it below. Sadly, the author had no name: the author's name was either "Anonymous" or "no name." Their comment is not mean, but it can pass as such. In any case, you decide for yourself, as I copied and pasted as it was written there:

 

here's a test that involves just 3 steps to determine if you're fat - 1) get naked 2) get in front of a full length mirror (preferably at home but to each their own) 3) take a good look at yourself and ask "am I fat?"

here's a 4 step way to change being fat - 1) only eat healthy food (it's much easier to lose fat when eating nothing but very healthy food) 2) burn more calories than you consume (it doesn't even matter how you burn them, just burn them all day long) 3) get on a regular sleep schedule (this is much more important than many people give it credit for being and will also help with a plethora of other health related issues) 4) buy a year long calendar, hang it on the wall and circle today's date; then accept the fact that it took you a long time to get fat so it's going to take you a long time to get not fat ... but you started down the road to being healthier and that's pretty awesome of you!

 

Surely this method of deciding if you're fat or not will not always work. Some people have a distorted sight or a bad mirror. Asking others if they think you're fat or not is not helpful either: they will generally say something you would like to hear. Not very nice.

 

If you're a body builder or some other type of sportsman, getting on your scales to see how much you weigh, they will not tell you anything either. So how do you know if you're fat for real? (Actually you might already know deep in side if you're fat or not. Your doctor and other people might have dropped some hints about your weight.)

 

You might look at people who have a smaller body frame than yours for the about same height. And when you look at them you might think "how nice must it be to be able to move so fast without getting tired so soon."

But do you know what these thoughts are? Or what they represent? They represent self - body shaming. You're shaming yourself. By doing so, you allow others to shame you for your weight as well.

 

It is you who needs to stop the self hating and shaming first. Only then you'll feel empowered to demand this treatment from others. But this won't happen now when you read this blog entry, it won't happen overnight [though it would be really nice if it did]. It will happen ONLY when you realize the truth in these words and when you're ready to make peace with yourself.

 

I don't have a magic pill, but you have the magic pill. Better said, your mind does. They say that God works in mysterious ways, but the mind is possibly 10 times more mysterious.


 

I think it's time to think a bit about the other people. Those labeled as 'skinny' or even 'underweight.' Do you think it's easy for them to be that way? For some, yes it is, because of their build. And WE ALL need to stop shaming them for weighing too little.

 

They too have problems, especially those who go on extreme diets: they get easily cold when it rains or in winter. The wind could blow them away - hell, it nearly took me away on several occasions. They can get easily tired because their bodies don't have enough stored energy. The list could still continue, but it will stop here.

 

It is really NOT OK to laugh at other people no matter how they look. It is really not OK to tell them in a masked way, that because they don't fit into a mold they can't be happy. They can be! Many of them are! Next time, before you engage in laughing and pointing to a fat or skinny person, ask yourself:

 

  • "What do I have to gain by pointing their body frame out, especially if I can't use magic to make them look 'better'?"
  • "How does their weight affect MY life in any way?"
  • "Will they instantly lose/gain enough weight so they'll look the way I want them to look, so I'll accept them?

I plan on writing some tips on how you can lose weight without an extreme diet or surgery. I also plan on writing about the reason I gained 7 kg too, sometimes soon.

 

Don't be a mean person, be kind and a better person!


©2013 - present Charly Cross. All rights reserved.

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Creme brulee or creme caramel..?

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello World~~

I realize I havent posted anything in a very long time, but this is due to more reasons. The main one is that I haven't cooked something worth sharing, nor something new.  If I did cook something different, I didn't take pictures, and recipes without pictures are boring and don't inspire anyone to try out the dish.

Yes, I remember baking a brownie with walnuts some 2 weeks ago. I found the recipe in a local newspaper, but brownie recipes are all the same. I hope to make it again soon enough and also take some pictures for you to enjoy. But, now let's return to today's recipe.

Creme brulee or creme caramel..?

What I wanted to cook was creme brulee, but I had ingredients for creme caramel...? Well, these 2 sweets are very similar, and to know which one is which, you better read this article because it explains things better than me. In the end, I think the result was a cross between these 2 desserts. In any case it was sweet, light, and with a consistency I liked.

I have used this pan a lot. The whole creme caramel was about a finger thick, though the pan is taller than that.

I have used this pan a lot. The whole creme caramel was about a finger thick, though the pan is taller than that.

Preparation time: some 15 minutes

Baking time: some 30 minutes

Cooling time: as long as possible, preferably in the fridge. I cooled mine overnight.

INGREDIENTS

For the custard:

  • 1 liter milk
  • 8 eggs
  • some vanilla essence

For the caramel

  • 250 or 300 grams sugar
Creme brulee or creme caramel..?

METHOD

First of all, you want to make the caramel. Pour all the sugar in a pot that can contain at least 2 liters of liquid. I used an oven pan of 20 x 30 cm, and some 3 cm deep? [I didn't measure it's depth, but it's pretty deep.] Make sure this is a metal oven pan because you'll place it on direct fire or heat before putting it in the oven.  Then you preheat the oven to medium heat. Place the pan on medium or fast fire, on the stove to melt and burn the sugar. Be careful how you handle the pan to avoid burning your hands or fingers. The sugar has to turn to a medium golden brown color. It doesn't matter if it turns dark brown because "brulee" means "burnt," so the color would match this description.

While you wait for the sugar to become caramel, beat the eggs in a large container, like for an omelet. Pour the milk and vanilla essence on top and mix. In fact, you can use any type of vanilla flavoring you like or have on hand. You can also use some lemon peel if you have, but not more than 2 teaspoons.

This slice is upside-down.

This slice is upside-down.

When all the sugar turned into caramel and covers all the bottom of your pan, pour the egg and milk mixture on top, and place in the oven. Bake on medium heat for some 25 or 30 minutes, but not longer. As the pictures show, mine got a bit too burned with these time and heat settings. Because you're using so many eggs and a lot of milk, it is best to overcook this dessert than to under-cook it.

Creme brulee or creme caramel..?

TIPS:

  • Let it cool completely before chilling it in the fridge. It tastes so much better the next day when it is really cold, like an yogurt.
  • When serving it, make sure to pour some of the brown syrup on top of the custard, because otherwise it will have no taste.

I hope you like this dessert.

Bon Appetit~~~

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

PS: post copied from the original CookingMyExperience blog I own, and edited in may 2018

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How to become a Dog Behaviorist

Publié le par Charly Cross

Hello.

 

Romania is not the place where anyone can just become anything they want without proper training. Of course, if there's a will there will be a way. This article was ordered by a client a very long time ago, but for some reason, things took a weird turn and  the project didn't have a happy ending. Since the content is still original, I decided to post it here, for all of you who love animals. Sadly, this article refers to dogs only and those who want to become a cat behaviorist should take a different route. I may post a guide for that as well. Sometime in the future.

 

As a side note, this short guide might help people living in UK.

This used to be my dog, Kali. This is a pic of her back in June '14.

This used to be my dog, Kali. This is a pic of her back in June '14.

Have you often been told how good you are with animals? If the answer is ‘yes’, you may want to choose a different career path. There is always time for a change! If you have a special affinity for dogs, the best career you could choose is one as a dog behaviorist. The title seems complicated, but it’s actually quite simple.

 

WHAT THE JOB IS ABOUT

Not all dogs behave nicely and you have most likely encountered that dog that never stays put, never listens or even attacks, at times.

Your job will be to make sure these things never happen ever again, for a happy dog means a happy owner that will forever be grateful to you.

Prepare to get close and personal with both the dog and its owner over a certain period of time, in which you get the pet rid of its phobias, bad behavior, or any other issues the owner complains about.

 

NOT ALL DOGS ACT THE SAME

The breed of the dog and its own personality play an important part in your work, so do not treat every pet the same way! You need to learn about the different dog breeds’ behaviors but you need to observe the dog too, to see their personality.

 

Dogs are generally docile pets, they are a man’s best friend after all, but what about the times when the best friend misbehaves? The bad behavior shows in many ways and each will be treated accordingly. For example, one dog can be overly aggressive and chase people around, while another will be scared of something or refuse to go out.

 

What you need is to talk to the owner in a clear matter about the pet’s issues, figure out the causes and then follow up with a step by step program that will ensure this behavior changes. You will also be in charge of checking up on the pet regularly and see the progress with your own eyes - this is the most rewarding part of the job!

Kali, April 2014

Kali, April 2014

GET PROPER EDUCATION

Like with most jobs, you will need to get the proper training first. However there is more than one way to gain entry into this field of work.

 

 You must attend college, as the proper training is offered to those who graduated it. You need 2 A levels and you must have studied biology at the very least. CFBA and UCAS are just 2 places where you can get more info on available courses. You may also wish to get your hands on any DVD that shows how to do the job properly, and watch online videos. Then - practice, practice, practice and don’t forget to continue studying after you get in the business!

 

We suggest you also sign up for a class or seminar. If you’re serious about it, a degree in Animal Science will be helpful. Check the resources and seminaries in your areas and decide what’s the best option for you!

 

Training is crucial. Even though you might love being around pets, you aren’t born with the knowledge need to become a pet behaviorist.

 

Another way is to get a job in the field first. This could be anything - even working at a pet shop or veterinary office will do. The point is to get you used to the way animals act - the more, the better. You will quickly notice how different they are one from another.

 

WORKING HOURS AND EARNINGS

As a pet counselor, you will be making your own schedule and paying your own taxes. Like any other self-employment job, it has its advantages and disadvantages. You will not get paid weekly and you might struggle at first, but this is why this work is suitable for people who truly love animals.

 

The best paid dog counselors are people who make some cash on the side - of course, in the same field! This should not bring you down though. There are many successful counselors out there, but the wage you will get varies from $30,000 and up to about $75,000 a year. In UK, the charges can start at £85 and can go over £250, per consultation. Of course, if a case is more difficult, you can charge more, but you’ll need the proper credentials as well – see the previous section.

5 month old Kali

5 month old Kali

WHAT ARE YOU STILL WAITING FOR?

One of the best parts of the job is that your work will be anything but boring! Be prepared to train the pet as well when needed, watch it play, and interact with it as much as possible.

Once the dog begins to trust you, the most difficult part is gone. You will have fun whilst working - this is the main reason most people decide to get a career in the field.

 

Read about my experience with Kali.

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved. 

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12 Ways To Improve Your Happiness Level

Publié le par Charly Cross

Focusing on today and the present moment is essential if you want to look back on the positive experiences in your life. There are a few key tips which you should pay attention to in order to seize the moment.

 

  1. Pursue your hobbies and make new ones

Most people lead extremely busy lives where work comes first. However, take the time to rejuvenate your spirit and pursue the things you are really into. So, if you have a passion for music, sign up for those piano lessons you always postponed, or buy a guitar and start practicing. Unleashing your creative spirit will help you take advantage of every moment and improve your life.

I made this and I didn't want to use any name...

I made this and I didn't want to use any name...

 

  1. Get personal

Each of us has a different life path and personal journey. You can make today worthwhile by paying attention to your feelings and do something for yourself. It doesn't matter if this is a project you never had time for or simply starting a journal. By doing this, you will learn more about yourself and keep grounded in the present moment. When revisiting what you wrote, you may uncover a lot of meaningful things you never knew about yourself.

 

  1. Take a challenge

Not everyone is competitive and sometimes the only one you should compete against is yourself. You don't need to push yourself up to the point of exhaustion, rather just learn how to give it your best in every situation. A lot of people go throughout the day without truly attempting to improve, regardless if it’s work or a fun hobby. Sometimes we need to know the areas which need working on and just take it from there. At the end of the day, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and every day will be something to remember.

 

  1. Let go of past patterns

A well known Zen proverb says “Let Go Or Be Dragged.” We all have various things and events in our past that keep us stuck and thus disabling us from fully enjoying the present. Take a look at your past and try to distinguish anything to which you might still be holding on although its usefulness has run its course long ago. It doesn’t matter if this is a past relationship you couldn't get over, or a missed career opportunity: our past experience make us who we are today. Let go of negative experiences and focus more on what you can do today.

 

  1. Practice meditation

Depending on your set of personal beliefs you may find meditation to be a quite pleasant experience and something to benefit from. For example, mindfulness meditation teaches us how to accept the present moment for what it is and live in the now. You don't have to spend hours on end in a meditative state, and 15 minutes every morning are just as effective. Try to find something that works for you and keep up with it: it will help you both in present difficult times, but in the future as well.

 

  1. Just be yourself

Instead of being a people pleaser and follow what everyone else says, find your own path in life and meaning. We are all individuals with needs, dreams, and desires. Don't compare yourself to others and how they live their life, and choose to become your own person. There will always be others who achieved more, but you should rather focus on what you can do with what you have. Becoming a “better you” will bring you the much needed peace of mind and help you seize the day.

 

  1. Give yourself credit

Make sure to give yourself a much deserved pat on the back whenever you accomplished something you are proud of. Don't put yourself down for what you perceive to be small failures, and find a way to reward yourself when you feel you did something good. After all you are the one you have to answer to at the end of the day.

 

  1. Find meaning in simplicity

At times the most simple things in life are also the most rewarding. Even a 10 minute walk in the park can refresh your mind when you feel tired and burnt out. If you can, walk to work instead of driving and find the time in your day to fully enjoy a meal. All these things may seem small, but together they will add up and provide you with several health benefits.

 

  1. Take up volunteering

Giving back to the less fortunate is important and you can do that by engaging in a volunteering program. This will give you a sense of doing something good for yourself but especially for other people, and will add a dose of positivity to your life. You don't have to go far out of your comfort zone, and sometimes just volunteering at the soup kitchen a couple of time a week is enough to make a difference.

Fostering an animal in need is also helpful. This kitty only needed a forever home and she found it.

Fostering an animal in need is also helpful. This kitty only needed a forever home and she found it.

  1. Work on your social skills

Having a wide social circle enriches our life and helps us see things from a fresh perspective. Relating to other people's life experiences is an essential part of self growth and you can achieve that by making new friends whenever possible. Keep an open eye for opportunities to meet new people and you will soon notice the benefits this brings.

 

  1. Have fun and enjoy the moment

Laughter is good for the soul so don't miss out on the chance of engaging in any fun and lighthearted activities. Reconnect with your inner child and you will see how humor can change your life. You can watch a comedy show that makes you laugh, or perhaps listen to your friend's jokes. Either way, your mood will improve and problems may not appear as important. Don't take life too seriously and keep a positive mindset.

this is how i generally have fun

this is how i generally have fun

  1. Learn about the power of forgiveness

Keeping grudges causes bitterness, while forgiving others makes you a stronger and better individual. Try to acknowledge everyone is doing the best they know how, and don't be afraid to sincerely apologize to someone you have wronged in the past. You may just reconnect with them and learn from each other's past mistakes.

 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved. Edited in Feb 2018.

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Summertime and icecream

Publié le par Charly Cross

Hello world~~~

 

Now my summer is almost over. But, summertime is everyone's favorite season to enjoy some ice cream. Or more ice cream than usual. The main reason is its cooling effect, or so they say. I personally don't need an excuse to eat it, and neither should you.

Strawberry mousse “ice cream” from my cookingmyexperience.wordpress.com blog

Strawberry mousse “ice cream” from my cookingmyexperience.wordpress.com blog

But, tell me: for how long does the cooling effect last? For me it lasts only as long as I eat it. Some 5 minutes later I start feeling very very hot. This is especially true if I have while I'm outside, with no air con. If you don't believe me, go ahead and have a small ice cream and tell me how you feel. Stop your air con, go outside, stay 5 or 10 minutes in the scorching sun (don't forget to protect your skin against sunburn), come back in a warmer room, and have an ice cream. Go on, go, do it! OK, so you finished it. Do you feel refreshed, chilled, hotter, or do you feel nothing much compared to before?

Delicious!

Delicious!

When I'm done eating an ice-cream I rapidly start feeling more hot and energetic, than before. The explanation is simple: the ice cream contains a lot of sugar. Sugar is what gives more energy. Part of this energy turns into heat that keeps us warm. Additionally, the low temperature of the ice-cream [at least 0 degrees Celsius]  tricks the body into thinking that it is warmer outside than it actually is. We can record summer temperatures as high as 32 degrees Celsius, so eating something frozen will definitely makes us think it's actually so much hotter than it really is.

salty caramel icecream [my picture - that's the former name of the blog]

salty caramel icecream [my picture - that's the former name of the blog]

Japanese people noticed these effects of the ice cream and this is why they eat it in winter too. I must admit, I did eat ice cream in winter, while being out and about. What did I feel? I felt warmer. I was also walking, and the energy boost was needed. In case you were wondering, I didn't catch a cold because of eating an ice cream in winter outdoors - that's just a myth. I didn't have the flu shot either, but I'm considering having it this year.

 [my picture - that's the former name of the blog]

[my picture - that's the former name of the blog]

Ok, guys, enjoy the last days of summer, and pay attention to how much ice cream you eat ;)

 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved. Post edited in Feb 2018.

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Refilled bell peppers

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello world~~~

Today's dinner will be "refilled bell peppers" with pork, carrots, and rice. People here love this dish, and so do I.  This recipe calls for cooking both on medium heat and in the oven. It can be done all in the oven too, if you prefer. ;) This is a main dish, and I actually forgot what you can eat it with. Maybe a tomato salad, some yogurt or sour cream. You might want bread too, if you're a fan. The dish can be served warm or cold, depending on when you serve it. Sometimes these peppers taste better cold, or the next day if the person cooking them is really talented. If you ask me, this dish doesn't really need other side dishes.

Most main dishes use onions and (or) garlic, but I am allergic to them, so I used shredded carrots instead of onions. I hope the dish still tastes good. I had 10 bell peppers in total, but I only managed to use 7. That's how many fit in my pot, and not all of them had the same size. I broke 1 pepper and I didn't use it anymore for this dish, but I will use it for a sandwich, or some other dish. I will give you the quantities I used, and I want to mention before hand that I have some left overs I placed in the freezer for a future batch. You need a tall enough pot in so the peppers would stand on their tips. I used pork meat, but you can use a mixture of pork and beef, or just beef. I think beef will cook for longer, though, I'm not sure.

serving idea

serving idea

INGREDIENTS

  •  500 g pork meat. [1 pound?]
  • 500 g uncooked rice [1 pound?]
  • 2 long carrots
  • condiments: black pepper, salt, paprika,
  • thick tomato sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 200 g sour cream [tastes better than yogurt]
  • 3 table spoons of cooking oil [I used sunflower oil, the most commonly found and used here]
  • bell peppers [7 or more]

METHOD

First, wash the rice, and leave it in some water until you're ready to mix it. Peel and shred the carrots. Now, remove the core with seeds from the peppers, and wash the peppers. Make sure you don't break them. It is time to mix the meat, condiments, eggs, shredded carrots, 2 spoons of tomato sauce, and rice.

soaking rice, counted peppers, and the filling before mixing everything

soaking rice, counted peppers, and the filling before mixing everything

With a spoon fill each of the peppers, but leave some empty space at the top as the rice will swell up. Place the filled peppers in the pot, with the opening up. Fill with water to cover them, and place on medium heat for an hour. I think you need medium heat, as I used low heat and things were going nowhere.

While the peppers boil, mix the sour cream with some 4 tablespoons of tomato sauce, some salt, some black pepper, the oil, and some water.

When boiling time is up, your pot is supposed to be half full with water. I had a lid over my pot and the water level never went down. This turned out to be a good things though, as I used some of the water in the sour cream and tomato sauce mixture. ;) The mixture has to be rather liquid, like tomato juice.

 

i edited this entry in july 2017, when i re-cooked this

i edited this entry in july 2017, when i re-cooked this

When putting the sauce mixture over the peppers, make sure you cover them as well. Place the pot in the oven for 20 minutes. I stopped the fire in the oven after 25 minutes, and then I left the pot in there as it wasn't yet dinner time.

my leftovers before freezing time. can you tell I forgot to put tomato sauce in the mixture? hahaha.

my leftovers before freezing time. can you tell I forgot to put tomato sauce in the mixture? hahaha.

Some notes:

This recipe can be altered for those who do not eat meat, by replacing all the meat with rice or soy. It is best to use some sort of lid for the peppers after filling them, so there will be no leak. You can use slices of tomatoes, potatoes, or pieces of peppers, like I did.

You might have figured out by now, that broken peppers may leak or break further, and you don't want that. Depending on the size of the peppers and number of people at the table, the serving size is 1 or 2 peppers per person. Use at least 2 table spoons of sour cream or yogurt on each pepper after you place them on the plates.

The same filling can be used for refilled zucchini or refilled tomatoes.

Please leave your questions in the comments below.Bon Apetit~~~

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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