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Articles avec #blogmas tag

Blogmas days 19 through 22

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello Everyone!

This entry is a short overview of Blogmas days 19, 20, 21, and 22. The challenges for days 23 and 24 have never been posted. Even the challenges for these 4 days appeared much later. 

With all these aspects taken into account, this will be the last blogmas entry for me, for this year. 

I'm writing this on the 27th, but thanks to some functionalities, I can post this on any previous day I want (as I type this, I'm still trying to decide on which day to post this). Someone who will read this blog for the first time in the future, will not know without this disclosure. 

I just wanted to mention this, so that those of you who visit my blog will not think your brain is playing tricks on you. 

On with the challenges, shall we?

DAYS 19 and 20

I put together these 2 days because they have the same challenge: finish up the gifts for Christmas

I gifted my partner mostly on Hanukkah and on the virtual-pet site we play. You can read more and see here the gift I prepared for them. 

I still prepared another gift for them. This time a satin poncho/wrap/thing that looks as if it could be some pajama top or cover. 

It can be worn anywhere, any time almost. I want to write a blog entry about how I made it and everything, so please keep an eye out for that. I want to post it before the New Year, but we'll see. 

DAY 21

The challenge for the 21st day of blogmas was to draw a line/conclusion from the statistics (of the blog). 

So, i posted  during 10 months out of 12 in 2020. However, i had people visiting my blog every month. I'll share the data here for transparency, as well as for me to find it easier if i ever want to look back on it (in December 2021 for instance). 

statistics
MONTH #posts VISITS VIEWS
january 3 86 111
february 3 43 49
march - 102 143
april 3 219 252
may 2 111 130
june - 81 100
july 2 80 106
august 2 95 127
september 1 125 171
october 2 218 288
november 2 127 167
december 16 174 213
TOTAL 36 1461 1857

The article with most views is "What is tea like in Romania." I posted a total of 36 articles in 2020, this one not included. 

The only thing i can think of that drove more visits was that i was probably more active on various forums where i have links to my blog/site in the signature. 

DAY 22

For the 22nd day of the blogmas, all we had to do was to enter a contest for a free business account for 1 year! And of course i entered. 

and....

I WON! I WON! I WON! 

I can't believe i won! 

The cost of the Business account is 239.88 euro per year. I had an Individual (lower) account that costs 59.88 euro per year. Those who choose to pay every month, have to pay 23.99 euro/month (or 287.88 euro per year) and 5.99 euro/month (or 71.88 euro per year), respectively.

Now I have to post as much as i humanly can, to take advantage of this offer. 

See you next year!

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Blogmas day 18 - Read the Over-Blog's staff's blog

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello Dear everyone! 

Today's challenge is to read the blog written by the staff of Over-Blog for the bloggers using this platform. 

This blog is in French, and you can access it here

Here is where the staff shares updates for the platform or where new ideas and subjects are posted, for us to develop on, on our own blogs. 

I personally like seeing what others share. However, it is difficult for me to find someone who i enjoy following. Especially in reading. 

You see, i'm a slow reader. I only read only when i have to - for work, tutorials, recipes, or other instructions. Of course, i read some books as well

I just recently discovered a French creator. She runs the blog Les Creations de Cathy M. but she writes in French. She presents sewing-related creations. However, there are pictures for some of the things she makes. Some of the entries have step-by-step pictures, so it's easy to understand if you don't speak the language. 

I recommend using Google Chrome for the option to translate a page on the spot.

If you prefer sewing blogs in English, try the Camden Stitch blog. Jay, its author, also has a Youtube channel, by the same name. She didn't post recently due to some personal problems, but i'm sure she'll be happy to receive some attention. 

See you in the next entry, because I don't know what else to say. <3 :3

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Blogmas - days 15, 16, and 17

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello everybody!

Today is the 17th day of Blogmas and you perhaps wonder why didn't I post daily as promised, especially lately.

The answer is pretty simple: not all the challenges were created to writing something. Or if I could have written something, it would have been too short. 

Personally, I don't like very short entries - we have Twitter for that. I also don't read very long entries, and I'm pretty sure nobody really is either. 

Let's have a look at the challenges for the missing days!

DAY 15

For blogmas day 15, we were supposed to make a Christmas wreath. You may wonder why, since for the 5th day of blogmas we had to decorate for the holidays. I mean, it does include putting out a wreath as well, right?  

And you may also remember from the same entry that we don't really have any such decors. 

Well, at the time you may be reading this entry, you may not know, but I have some updates for that blogmas day ;) 

However, I also completed the challenge for the 15th day as well. Well, sort of.... 

I had these magnets on the entrance door. and they were placed in a chaotic manner. 

Now, they're arranged (in no particular) order. But they form a circle more or less, that can be reminiscent of a wreath. a very stylized wreath, if you will. 

Can I get a T for "I tried?" ;p 

DAY 16

To be completely honest with you, I haven't even seen the challenge for this day. Like I mentioned, the challenges are posted on Facebook

Even if I did see it, I wouldn't have been able to write anything because I was out and about for most of the day. This involved a lot of walking. 

When we got home I was tired, I had to write for my day job, as well as cook some food. I also decided to write a review for a beer on my BeingObscure.com website

Writing for my blog would have been impossible. 

In any case, when I finally discovered what the challenge was, I realized I couldn't write much about it anyway. The challenge was to "be positive the whole day."

This challenge did make me think of this entry from about 2 and a half years ago. I can't believe it's been so long since I wrote it. 

I believe we'll have to change our perspective on this year and everything that happened. it's been tough, but we made it. Those who didn't ... let's pray for them and let's not forget them if they were close to us. We can only hope their suffering ended and that they are in a better place, I suppose. Let's not take our lives for granted. 

However, to keep in the spirit of the challenge even more, I'll share with you something that manages to make me feel better and more positive: some nice hot coffee.

a cup of matcha latte from maybe may 2018? december 2019? i forgot.

DAY 17

Today's challenge is to update old entries. This is good practice for bloggers. Over-blog suggests a few ways in which we can do this: 

👉 Update your old items regularly
👉 Create an article on a theme that comes back regularly on your blog
👉 Submit a Best-of-Your-Read Best-of-Your-Best-Read Articles
👉 Link your articles
👉 Repost/share old articles on your social media

I, in fact, recently updated an old entry. It's a recipe and you can see it here

Most of my articles have links - either to other entries on my blog or to other sites, as you can see in this entry. 

Well, this is it for now! see you tomorrow!

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Blogmas days 12, 13, and 14

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello everyone!

Today's entry is another combined entry. And you'll soon learn why, when i talk about the challenges.

DAY 12

For the 12th day of the challenge, we were instructed to watch a movie. 

We didn't watch any movie, but we do watch a Chinese historical drama called, in English, Ruyi Royal Love in the Palace. You can watch this show on youtube for now. 

We are actually kind of binge-watching it because I'm playing about 2 episodes at once. 

Before the show though, i had to work on the project at hand with the deadline on December 31st. The current project is rather boring, and I'm dragging myself to write it, thus wasting quite a lot of time, sadly. 

We also went to the store and bought some stuff, including some minced meat that became meatballs. I have a recipe for meatballs over here

This time, instead of frying the meatballs, i actually cooked them in the oven. This way, i can cook more at once - this time, all of them, thus saving time. They also turn out less oily, which is better. However I didn't take any pictures, so i'm using the old one.

That day I also made doughnuts. You already know the recipe from here

DAY 13

For the 13th day of the challenge, we had another contest at hand. This meant we didn't need to write any entry. 

Due to some events, ahem/procrastination/ahem, this entry was thought of on this day. I wasn't able to finish it on time, sadly. 

Oh, the result of the contest? Again I didn't win. Maybe next time? 

DAY 14

On the 14th day of blogmas, we're supposed to write an ABOUT ME page. 

OOPS. I just realized i don't have such a page, but now i will have to write one. However, i need to think it out well enough, so i can't publish it for now. 

Once the blogmas challenge is done, I will write such a page and it will be linked at the top, like the others. 

Thank you for your patience with no entries for 2 days in a row. I just condensed 3 shorter entries in a single one. 

See you tomorrow. hopefully.

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Blogmas day 11 - Worst Christmas

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello there!

So today i'm supposed to talk about the worst Christmas. 

This will be hard for me. Not because i have too many such instances to chose from, but because i can't remember. 

Honestly, i don't want to remember bad things. I want to remember good things. I want nice memories. 

I don't think we had bad Christmases. Maybe last year was a bad one or ruined one.. And most other Christmases were probably sad while seen from outside as we had no decorations and not much gifts. 

Milky the cat back in Dec. 2016

However Anna and I had one another and the pets, and we were healthy. We also had a roof over our heads and food on the table. Sometimes we even had a lot of work to do, so that was distracting. 

I also wish for my readers to collect nice memories more than bad ones. 

The world has enough bad things going on that we really don't need more negativity. 

I'm also trying this blogmas challenge for the first time this year, to end the business year on a positive note. This is because so far, after 10 days of writing on the blog every day, i realize i had fun. 

I expected to have fun at least to some degree, and i see i wasn't wrong. So yay! 

(c) ObscureJourney.com - december 2020

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Blogmas Day 10 - Christmas Menu

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello all!

So today I'm supposed to plan the menu for Christmas. Except I don't need to because every year we eat the same thing. 

See, here in Romania, there are a set-in-stone celebration dishes. Everyone makes the same food. Rarely there's any variation. 

One of the first things that need to be made for Christmas, or any other big celebration that is, is the cozonac

I personally never made one, so I don't have a recipe for it. As type of food, this is a dessert. By the method used to make one, it is a bread. So basically, it's a sweet bread and traditionally it has a filling made of nuts and cocoa. Rum (the alcohol) or rum essence (flavoring) can also be used in the filling. 

Blogmas Day 10 - Christmas Menu
Blogmas Day 10 - Christmas Menu

Of course, nowadays it is very common for city folks to buy one or a few. In the country side, it is still being made the traditional way.

The cozonac found int he city comes in different shapes and flavors, with some of them better than others. 

Another dish that cannot be missing from the Christmas table are the sarmale. This dish comes from Turkey and if you know that dish you'll know this one as well. 

We have cabbage leaves wrapped around a filling made of rice mixed with meat. Generally, the meat is a mixture of beef and pork. I talked a bit about the filling in this article. 

You just have to take about a spoonful of filling mixture and put it on the cabbage leaf, then to roll or pack the whole thing neatly. We'll most likely receive some Sarmale, if everything goes smoothly this year, considering the virus. 

Sarmale are labor intensive and this is why they're kept for special occasions. These special occasions can include weddings and funerals, especially in the countryside. 

Another dish you'll see is the Oliver's Salad, though it's usually called Boeuf Salad or A la Russe. There's actually a small difference between Boeuf and A la Russe: the former has meat and the latter does not. Otherwise, they look the same and generally have the same ingredients. 

The ingredients are boiled potatoes, carrots, peas, pickles, black olives, and mayonnaise. Everything gets chopped and mixed together. It is usually decorated with olives, boiled eggs, and red pickled peppers. This salad i plan on making. I made it before, and i can't believe i have zero pictures as proof, though i had some pretty ones made. 

Creator & Copyright: Dana Valery from retete-culinare-cu-dana-valery.ro/reteta/salata-a-la-russe-cu-legume-si-maioneza

That's what it can look like and the link will take you to a recipe in Romanian. Google Translate can be your friend.

This salad should be made a day or two in advance, so that the flavors mix well. It's definitely a dish that tastes better at least the next day, and it has to be kept in the fridge. 

The taste depends greatly on the pickles used as well as on the mayonnaise. It's best to make the mayonnaise at home, from scratch as it tastes better than the one from the store. 

Many people would prepare many dishes based on pork, as they butcher a pig a few days before Christmas. The most notable dishes are steak and home-made sausages. 

Some people will replace the pork with a roasted chicken or maybe beef. 

This is it for now! see you in blogmas day 11!

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Blogmas Days 7 & 8 - Contest and gifts

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello everybody.

This entry is for both days 7 and 8 of blogmas that i decided to participate this in.

DAY 7

The challenge for Day 7 was to enter a contest. The prize of the contest was to win 1 year of premium membership. The contest was held on Facebook. 

We were 4 contestants in total and the result was that i was not the winner. But maybe other contests will be held in the future. who knows.

Since there was no topic to write about, I had no real thoughts about the challenge itself, therefore i didn't post.

DAY 8

Today's challenge or theme is to write or talk about the gifts we prepared this year for our loved ones. 

I prepared the gift for the most important person in my life. However, i can't really talk about it. now now. I did prepare the blog entry talking about it and it will appear on the blog on the 26th or 27th. 

All i can say about it is that something my person wanted for quite some time. I managed to make it in about 2 days in total. It doesn't really look like the exact item my person wants, but i still hope they'll like it. 

However, i can show you a sneak peak of the item. 

I also have a pair of trousers made of the same fabric - 'm wearing them as i type this. i use them as pajama pants. The fabric is very thin so it's perfect for summer and not winter, but i don't feel cold right now. 

We also play this Subeta game together, and i prepared some gifts there as well #spoiler, ooops - because my person reads my blog. 

You can't tell me how to spend my currency! >.< ;p 

This year we have spent a bit more than we expected, on certain products. 

Someone put next to the trash a bottle of white French wine that i already gave away to someone. You now me, i'm not ashamed to pick stuff from the trash. /leShock/ And mind you, the bottle was unopened. This is the only reason i got it. 

I also really needed to give that person something, though they don't/didn't fully deserve it. Here it wouldn't have been consumed anyways - i don't like white wine and my person is allergic to wine. 

I want to make at least one more gift for my person, but im not sure they'll use it. I'm pretty sure they'll like it, just not really use it. And if i'm right, don't want to make something that just takes up more space, collects dust and so on. 

I guess this is it for today. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Blogmas day 6 - Relaxation

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello all!

Today's challenge is to take things easy. 

But some of us have online jobs or run our own businesses. This means that we have little time for relaxation. 

The thing is that finding some time to unwind is significant for our well being. Also spending time with our loved ones. 

I talked a bit about my off-line work experience some 3 years ago. I realized then that time off is important as time is all we got. or not, at times.

So, today i completed the challenge: no blogging, no working. Instead we took a pretty long walk to downtown and back. We really needed the fresh air (through the masks it wasn't as fresh as we hoped, sadly). 

We also stopped by the grocery store to buy ingredients for pizza. Tonight was delightful: anna's pizza, cuddles, and Christmas lights dancing on the wall

See you tomorrow!

(c) Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Blogmas Day 5 - Christmas decorations

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello there!

Apparently there are 20 days to Christmas and now it seems to be the reasonable time for appropriate seasonal decors. 

It rather makes sense since it's not too early and not too late either. Plus, you can keep the decors on for longer, if you wish, or if you celebrate on January 7, like many Russians do. 

In any case, as i mentioned in previous posts, here and here, we never really decorated for Christmas in the years we lived together. 

As you can see, we managed to have a tiny potted tree before that we managed to somehow decorate. 

Sadly, this year there is no tree. Instead we have faerie lights. or Christmas lights. 

The failure comes from the fact they're too short. I didn't pay attention to what's written on the box. They are also cold light and about 8 different lighting modes.

We hang the lights on the curtain rod because we no longer have a curtain. Anna is allergic to dust and we have to limit fabric items like curtains or other home decor, as much as possible.

There aren't much decors this year because we had to save money for a new computer, which was postponed by a pretty urgent surgery for Anna as well as many medicines. 

I have some greeting cards i forgot to put out and i'm not sure i want to display them. but maybe i can still add some small things around the house. 

This is it for now. See you tomorrow.

December 18 update!

In the past 2 or 3 days, our living room became a bit more festive! 

On the 15th we went out to search for something and we came back with something else: glass, hand-painted bauble for the Christmas tree. 

We don't have a Christmas tree, so I hung it on the lamp. The cats won't be able to reach it there and I know it will be safe from other accidents as well. 

It is lunch time but it's so dark outside and indoors. i used the flash to snap this picture and the bauble looks black. it is actually beige and all the colors are more creamy. 

We also bought another set of faerie lights. These ones have a warm light. i placed them on the door to the living room due to technical reasons (proximity to an outlet). 

I think they pair well with the previous lights. 

If we add more stuff to the room, I'll update this entry again. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Blogmas Day 4 - Christmas Songs

Publié le par Charly C.

HeY eVeRyBoDy! 

Today's challenge is to make a playlist of songs for Christmas. 

Unfortunately, I don't like this type of songs. 

I don't like them because every year, no matter where you go, especially in stores, you hear the same songs played over and over and over gain. 

It becomes tiresome, overdone, and plain boring. 

However, Romania has quite the handful of traditions related to Christmas. I just realized I kinda never posted anything specifically related to this holiday. 

I spoke briefly about some of the traditions but not much details. 

Most Romanians celebrate Christmas on December 25th, with a few that celebrate on January 7th, like the Russians. 

The celebrations include preparing a lot of food, singing carols, as well as various dances and theater plays. In the old days, caroling was done by children but also by adults. 

This custom is still preserved in many villages today. However, it's important to know that each village would have its own caroling group made of both adults and children. 

Customary, only boys and men would go caroling through the village. The girls and the women would stay at home and prepare the meals, wait for the carolers, and do other chores. 

Some of the most popular carols and dances are the ones called "Steaua" and "Capra," meaning "Star" and "Goat" respectively. There's singing involved for both, but there's a dance associated with the "Goat." Another caroling dance and singing is the one with the "Bears". 

As far as the Goat and the Bears go, there's always someone in the group dressed as a Goat or Bears. Usually, the group has 1 goat, maybe 2 at times. There are usually 3 bears in the Bear group. There has to be at least 1 bear, but I'm not sure about how many bears there can be in the group. 

Below, there's a very short clip of the Bear dance, from 4 years ago, at the Christmas market. I don't think there will be any this year due to the virus. 

Across this city, various groups go with either the Goat or the Bears. I'm not sure if this year we'll see any Goats or Bears due to the current situation. 

I spoke more about the Goat and Bear because i like them the most. The Goat is very colorful. I don't think you can meet 2 identical looking Goats, but I'm not sure. She might look different from region to region. 

The Bear dance is loud and one can barely hear the words being sung or spoken. The Bears have 2 red pompoms around the neck or ears, i forgot. They are also supposed to appear closer to the New Year, so usually after Christmas. 

Traditionally, all carolers were supposed to receive some sort of reward from the person receiving them. The traditional rewards are apples, nuts, and a few other edible items. Nowadays, money is the most common reward. 

The Bears however, are supposed to receive clothes. I forgot if new or old clothes. It's best not to receive the carolers if you can't reward them: you'll be followed by bad luck in the new year. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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