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Bucharest adventures in April

Publié le par Charly C.

This entry was quite long in the making, for several reasons: my poor memories, recovering and editing the pictures, and actually writing everything, in between other stuff going on in our lives. Published a bit later than hoped, but not that late, and better than never at all ;)

Last week of March was when all the winter happened as the worst winter weather hit us. Luckily, as soon as April started, the weather also turned into spring. It never snowed again, after that. YAY!

Since the weather warmed up, we were able to go out more and have various adventures. 

these flowers appear later in the monththese flowers appear later in the month

these flowers appear later in the month

The month started off with the Easter celebrations in the Catholic world, but Romania is an Orthodox country so we had Easter on the 8th, 1 week later. 

During the first week of the month we were quite busy, and we couldn't wait for Easter to come so we'd relax a bit. Luckily, in Romania Easter Monday is a bank holiday so everyone stays home to relax and eat.

At 11 pm on Satuday we went to the church to to hear a bit of the mass and to bring home the "Light" - or a lit candle. All Romanians do this for good fortune in the "new year" [from an agricultural point of view]. 

Check out this video for a little insight into how the midnight mass goes. 

many people heading towards the same churchmany people heading towards the same church
many people heading towards the same churchmany people heading towards the same church

many people heading towards the same church

The next day, on Sunday Easter we were supposed to go to A's parents' house. And so we did. They moved out of city, but luckily the city bus takes us close to their new place. We had to walk from the bus stop to their house because the usual minibus driver doesn't work during major holidays like Easter. 

A small feast was waiting for us there - see the picture below. That's a cheesecake that replaces the traditional pasca which is a bit different both in looks and in how's made. 

The slices with boiled eggs in the middle are a special meat loaf made only for Easter, called drob

You also get to see a bit of the countryside, from A's parents' balcony, in the pic below.

Bucharest adventures in April
Bucharest adventures in April

Some time later, A's birthday came. That day we had to go with the older cat to the vet. He wouldn't eat and he would throw up if he did. The vet said it's just a gastritis, and gave him some shots and home treatment. 

Everyone praised Whiskey the cat for his prettiness and for being such a good boy. 

The next day, in the evening we decided to have a bit of fun. Or to try to relax a bit. So we went to see a movie - A Quiet Place. You probably already read my thoughts on the movie, and if not, by following the link you can do so now.

he was in my arms and trying to hide :)

he was in my arms and trying to hide :)

We also had to go search for a specific cat food, that we learned we can find at this rather new mall that opened not too far from us - some 6 tram stop away, and that's close. Check out this post about the public transportation in Bucharest.

There was an interesting place where they would only sell French fries. Of course we had to try them out. And I personally wasn't impressed - only 2 guys taking orders and serving people, so I had to wait some 30 minutes? The taste wasn't impressive either, but the fries were made on the spot which also added to the waiting time. 

And while I did say these were fries, they weren't thin like at McDonalds, but thick type, wedges. I also think they needed to be cooked for longer and maybe at lower temperature? 

In any case, we saw another location downtown, in the Old City Center area which is easier for us to get to. 

Bucharest adventures in AprilBucharest adventures in AprilBucharest adventures in April

One day A asked me for avocado on toast. So I made some. Not much to say there, but it's too small to make a separate entry on it. 

Toast the bread. Cut open the avocado, remove the pit. Slice it up or mash it and spread on the toast. Then serve.

I discovered avocado tastes better with a dash of salt on top. If you think this is weird, wait for my entry on the weird foods I sometimes eat and enjoy. 

Bucharest adventures in April

After some time, I decided to make some doughnuts. I decided to follow a Romanian recipe for "Little Lies" which I have to tweak. The recipe I had gave me some cookies or biscuits instead of donuts, which is probably why they're called "Little Lies" -in Romanian minciunele.

However, they were pretty sweet and worked well with tea and coffee, and there's that at least. 

I have this cat shaped cookie cutter and I decided to make some of them shaped like cats, because why not? I got the cookie cutter as a freebie from a box of margarine. It was meant to make cute looking sandwiches for your kids, but that's too much work for me. 

Once I find recipe that I like better, I'll share it. Till then, just a sneak peak at my Little Lies.

all dough-nuts should be covered in confectioner's sugar, if you ask me.
all dough-nuts should be covered in confectioner's sugar, if you ask me.

all dough-nuts should be covered in confectioner's sugar, if you ask me.

At some point we went to a cafe for the first time in ages. Or it felt like that to me. I think we had hot chocolate and tea? or something like that, I completely forgot.

Bucharest adventures in AprilBucharest adventures in April

Some time after that, I decided to turn some old shirts I had into pillow cases. I like doing things myself the most - this makes me feel accomplished. 

The blog entry will appear in June, [which is awesome because I discovered some pictures I forgot to add] however the idea was born in April and was mostly performed in May. If you read this entry when it's published, the link won't work, but if you read it some time in June, out of curiosity, it will work. You can have a little sneak-peak below.

Of course, my oldest cat decided to help out.
Of course, my oldest cat decided to help out.Of course, my oldest cat decided to help out.

Of course, my oldest cat decided to help out.

We also had some work to do, and we still did go out after that. But nothing much happened, except for the adventure we had outside of the city, in search of an outlet. I'll let A talk about it, as it was her idea and i'll just add the pictures in.  

A month ago we decided to go to an outlet store that was suppose to be in an area we haven't visited before. However, we had no idea of how this trip was going to go. We sure didn't expect what was coming ~

First of all, we got in the bus and as we looked on the map, realized it was gonna take at least 22 long stops. 22!! We never really went that far. Beside that, the day was quite hot, it was a rush hour, and the bus was packed with people. So half way there i started feeling nauseous and like i had no air...many of the people in the bus seemed to have no problems as if they were used to it ~

An hour later (no joke) we finally got off the bus. It was pretty much in the middle of nowhere, and even tho we went to other malls that are somehow out of city, this one was different. The entire area didn't seem safe at all, there was a lot of shadiness. We crossed the street and started walking by these what seemed to be abandoned houses and trying to make sure no stray dogs were gonna bite our ass. It wasn't comfortable at all and i felt quite unsafe...after walking a while trying to gather all our courage we ended up crossing a street to get to a railway and in that moment, we started to think what the hell are we doing. The mall didn't see to be in sight, actually there was nothing like a mall in the area at all. That's when we decided to turn around and go back as we didn't want to end up being there at night. 

After more waiting for the bus, it finally arrived and we got in. But, since we were already out, we thought it would be a good idea to go to another mall that was located somewhere halfway through the trip. And so we did.

Well, this mall was a lot better. We got to rest a bit while exploring it. I was looking for some sport shoes and at the very least they had some options. When we got really tired we went outside to a cafe to sit and eat something. We had some fries and a burger that were not impressive. The burger was supposed not to have any onion, but i found a big layered slice of onion in it. At least it looked funny. 

At that point we just wanted to get back home but didn't know how. We started looking at tram schedules to see which one we need to take, and spent some 15 minutes waiting in a stop. Then we realized that might not be the right stop as the tram we were waiting for somehow turned into a different one with another route. Pretty discouraged we went back at the mall and after waiting some more and trying to figure things out, we called a taxi.

Luckily at least that was uneventful. The taxi came fast and took us home, where we finally arrived home, 6 hours after heading out in the first place. This trip gave me some interesting feelings ~

Bucharest adventures in AprilBucharest adventures in April
Bucharest adventures in AprilBucharest adventures in April

First of all, i thought i knew the city pretty well so i didn't expect getting lost. I also thought its really hard to get lose and especially not be able to locate the transportation i need easily. Then there was the uncomfortable feeling of the area, which i didn't feel very often at all. Bucharest is generally a safe city with no problems, so i wonder where does that come from...
And the tiredness. I feel i'm becoming an old person since I got tired so fast. 

All in all this has been an interesting experience, but not one i am about to repeat anytime soon. The mall managers should definitely do a better job at explaining where its located so that shoppers don't put their hopes up in the first place....or maybe it was just a ghost mall that could never be found, o.o. Now that would be quite a twist....

Hopefully you didn't get too bored, if you managed to get to this point. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Some money saving tips

Publié le par Charly C.

Recently I started watching videos on finances and minimalism. I'm not good with money and I'm not a minimalist either ... well, not really. I guess, I decided to start learning about the mistakes I could be faced later on, or how to fix the ones I already made [and I'm too embarrassed to talk about].

However, I realized that in a way I can be described with both epithets depending on the situation. Now, I decided to share with whoever reads this blog, some possibly new [and some definitely old ways] in which you can spend less money.  

yes, doing this saves me some money

yes, doing this saves me some money

"hacking" my clothes

Some of you might remember my post in which I shared how I added a pocket to my sweatpants that didn't have one. 

How does it save money? I didn't have to go buy another pair with pockets [not that I would have found something I liked] and I didn't pay someone else to do it for me. Of course, for this you have to know how to sew [by hand or with the machine]. 

To do this, you'd have to sacrifice some time. For this project I wasted a bit more time than I was supposed to, because of extra steps that proved not needed.

I have a similar project going on for a bag. Hopefully I can post it soon enough.

old stuff to rags

If you were to calculate how much you spend in a year for certain cleaning supplies - mop replacement, kitchen sponge, dust cloth, whatever else you use, how much do you estimate that would add up to?

Honestly, I didn't calculate myself because I'd have to keep track of how often I need to replace them. But my wallet is a bit happier I didn't have to buy kitchen sponges anymore - for like a year. 

Instead I use old kitchen towels that I cut into smaller pieces. Most my kitchen towels used to be bath towels that got too worn to still use as such. Yes they were that old. 

By doing this not only do I produce less waste and pollution, but I also save a bit of money. Why are kitchen towels so expensive? 

How about the clothes I mentioned, you say? Depending on the fabric type, I cut those into the shape and size I think I need, and use the rags to clean windows and their sills, doors and their frames, dust the few horizontal surfaces I have, or the tiles in the kitchen and bathroom. Cleaning the toilet with those rags is a good idea because once that's done, I can throw away the rag feeling less guilty about pollution. 

I have to mention that as long as I don't clean the toilet with said rags, I can wash them in the laundry machine, and re-use them until they can no longer be used. 

Some towels make an even better mop than the one I have, so why not taking advantage of that? Not to mention that once the dishes are done, I can rinse off the piece of towel I used, and hung it to dry - it's more hygienic than a sponge in this regard.

Tshirts, sweat pants and matching sweat-shirts are the best candidates here. I find this a really good idea for when cleaning due to moving

This is especially do-able for those who don't have a charity or some other place where to go donate or sell old clothes. Let's just say, towels are not a thing to make others use.

Some money saving tipsSome money saving tips

by cooking

Cooking can save you some money as oftentimes the ingredients are cheaper or add up to 1 meal at a restaurant, depending on what you order. Let's not forget that usually cooking means you get several servings of the food you make, and if you really like what you make, that's always cheaper and better. 

What I cook is usually sweets, soups, and stews. I can't really find the stuff I prepare at home in the store. Even if I did, the taste is not the same, and may have ingredients I want to steer away from (garlic, onions, preservatives, food coloring) from a health related perspective.

If you want to prepare a meal that is not really specific to the country you live in, the ingredients can cost quite a lot. You might actually save money if you went to have a serving of an "exotic" dish at a specialized restaurant. You'll also realize whether that food is really worth trying to make at home or not. 

 

eating directly from the pot

"Whaat? that's gross, weird!" - it's what you may be thinking. 

And you're right when you cook for a whole family and not just yourself. It's also not really gross if you just warm the food on the stove, in a small enough pot to hold 1 serving of whatever you eat. 

How does it save money? indirectly: you have only 1 container to wash, not 2. You save water and dish washer because you use less of both. Of course, this works only if you do the dishes by hand. If you use a dish washing machine, you might actually want to use a separate plate to eat in. 

I have to say that these machines are not very common in Romania yet, though they can be found in stores. Younger families are more likely to own them, than older generations. They are more likely to be found in newer or renovated apartments. We don't own one.

Each household is different, of course, and what works for me might not work for you. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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some thoughts on moving to another country

Publié le par Charly Cross

Moving to another country is not what many people expect it to be. Sadly. 

It can't happen overnight - unless you're very rich, or maybe don't care about going into a big debt. To avoid this, you could sell everything you own of value - but what if you don't own anything at all? This is perhaps one of the first things to keep in mind especially if you're older and a school exchange program can't be applied to you.

You should choose a country where a language you know is spoken. In case you'll be interested in getting a job, having a diploma, degree, certification, or experience, will help greatly. Any of these attributes will help you secure decent employment. You do have other ways of generating income, and as a woman you could even get married to a rich man from that country - a practice frowned upon.

But I'm nobody to talk about those topics. As you know, we plan on moving to France, and it's not an easy process. We want to learn more about the life there, but there aren't many people writing or making videos about it. Following Youtube France ... I only get suggestions for comedy channels with pranks, or challenges. Not helpful at all, but we still try.

We're also trying slowly improving our grasp on French. We luckily learned some in school, but it's been so long ago. We do know that the quality of life in France is far better than over here, so why shouldn't we want to move there? After all you don't want to move to a country where you don't have access to running water or electricity, do you? You also want to have enough money from your paycheck to be able to have some fun as well.

The political atmosphere of the country is important. While I'm sure there are some people who would like to live in North Korea, they will never outnumber those who want to live in USA, Sweden, France, the UK, Japan, or any other country where people are free to say and do whatever as long as they don't hurt others. Not many people want to live in a very corrupt country either - Romania is one of the most corrupt ones out there.

some thoughts on moving to another country

Some countries have a more accepting attitude towards foreigners than others. This is why Canada is a place where foreigners are very welcomes, but countries like Japan, China, Switzerland are very enclosed and rejecting towards them. Sure there are reasons, however it is quite difficult for many people going to those last countries to feel at home, welcomed and accepted.

It is well known that some products or services you might need or like, are not available in other countries. For instance, Europeans going to USA won't be able to eat or even buy Kinder eggs, or that internet is heavily censored in China and that many sites are blocked over there. We're going to France, so I'll be missing some foods that I'm pretty sure I won't find there, unless I can find Romanian shops there. What's more, some stuff will shock you - maybe the so many vending machines in Japan qualify ...? Or that all the shops are closed on Sunday in France, Germany, and Switzerland - or this is what I heard.

Your safety is important, especially if you're a woman. You will want to know just how safe it is to walk down the street at night, or even in the daylight. Bucharest is rather safe, plus you definitely don't risk getting randomly shot because we don't own guns. We don't need them. Having thieves breaking into your home is relatively rare, as far as I know, especially since most buildings now have an intercom system, sometimes even a guard downstairs, and cameras.

What do you do if you have pets, like we do? You of course have the option to re-home them, but if you're like us, you probably think the pets are part of the family and can't imagine anyone else taking better care of them. Plu you'll be missing them a LOT. We decided to take 2 of them with us [we have 3], and to return for the 3rd one at some point when we become more stable with the money. But the pets need passports, vaccines, microchips, and I forgot what other documentation. What's more, is that we need money for all these vet visits and paperwork.

Then, we'll need more money for plane tickets, food while we're there till we find employment, and so on. Not to mention the time we need to invest in all of this. Just the pets' stuff might take up to 2 months. I always thought I can just pack my bags and be out the door, but I never really put much thinking into all these aspects that can be scary at times. Remember you can't succeed with fear in mind: you have to be somewhat brave.

I may have been a dreamer, and still am. There is nothing wrong with that as long as I'm aware of the effort needed to make my dreams come true, and being willing to do the work. And A and me ARE preparing to turn those dreams into reality.

In conclusion, if you too wish to move to another country, get as informed as possible about your destination to ease the process, and then start doing the work for it. Don't forget that sometimes it just takes more time than expected. Good luck!


©2013 – present. Charly Cross. All rights reserved.

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Stuff I wish I knew before re-branding

Publié le par Charly C.

As some of you know, I recently moved my blog and I also re-named it. All this trouble can be called re-branding! YAY!

So my rebranding consist of:

  • new hosting platform 
  • new blog name
  • new author name 
  • new blog and author logo - that I designed

In case you're wondering, the old version of the blog still exists, still on the platform I was using before, however it is being hidden from the public. 

Like many other people that try new things for the first time, there are some things I wish I knew before doing this step. Well, to be completely honest, I did no research on what rebranding or moving a blog so it's partially my fault. In any case, if you want to learn a few things, or think you might need a few tips in the future, please read on. 

Backing up pictures

Not everyone posts pictures along their blog entries. You'll see some of my own entries with no pictures whatsoever - they're not always relevant. 

However, if you do have pictures on your blog, you might want to back them up. From the start. The same goes for your videos. 

When I rebranded, I noticed several posts [this is just one of them] had broken images, and I was really scared I didn't have them anymore. But thanks to the hoarder that I am, I did find them. 

You might want to edit them and have them bear your new brand if you watermark them. I didn't do this, but maybe I should. The thing is I am not 100% sure I still have the originals or that I want to waste even more time for that. 

that entry was deleted before rebranding, as i changed my mind about it since the time i wrote it.

that entry was deleted before rebranding, as i changed my mind about it since the time i wrote it.

Edit / delete posts / entries

Rebranding usually has something to do with having changed your mind about the purpose of your blog. This means you'll have to go back on your posts and see if there is anything that doesn't fit your new perspective. Rebranding is similar to a face-lift so to say, so you'll have to do this.

I had to delete some entries that for some reason or another were blank. Originally those were re-blogs on my other platform, but perhaps the original poster also deleted the entries or something weird happened. Blank entries look weird and unprofessional, so in the bin they went.

At the same time, you might want to delete or add new pages for a better organization of your entries. Editing them [their content] is also a good idea, to breathe in some fresh air. 

Check and fix your URLs

My URLs were a mess after I moved my blog. It took me several days to go through all my entries and fix them. As a curiosity, they read something like: "http://www.obscurejourney.com/http://theownertravelsto.wordpress.com/missing-entries-on-my-blog" - WordPress is my previous blogging platform. This type of URL looks complicated, not functional and very unprofessional. My old blog is still there, but it's hidden from the public: it's my way of backing up my site. 

Not only did I have to fix the ugly URLs, I also had to fix any links I had in any post as well! My links were directing the visitor towards my previous blog and therefore the links appeared broken. I hope I did well and managed to fix them all. 

Learn about your new host

This should be a no-brainer. But, I jumped on this new platform without reading too much about it. I still hope I won't regret it, haha. 

You should learn about your new host because you want to go LIVE as soon as possible, so learning about the host - how to post entries, customize the appearance of your site, so on, should be done beforehand. 

For instance, WordPress and over-blog work differently when it comes to creating new pages. In WordPress you create a new page and it appears at the top, by default. On over-blog, you have to create the menu yourself. Each method has its own advantages - and i like that here, on over-blog if i want to change what a page says, i can just change the URL of the old one [if I want to keep it] and create a new entry with the previous link. It sounds a bit complicated, but it's really easy. 

Let's just say it took me a while to realize a few things, and only because I didn't properly study my new host.

Matching social media

I decided I should make social media accounts that match my new brand and identity. This is because I want to appear more serious and more professional. however, don't expect to see me on those accounts too much for they make me anxious, and it's close to a panic attack. But, if you want to show your support, you can do so there, if it's easier for you. Send me a private message or a public one, and i'll make sure to reply to it [sooner or later]. 

Before I was "the owner of the blog" or "the owner travels to" or something weird like that. Now I decided to take on a pen name [yea, sorry this is not my ID name - I don't connect at all with it] and a easier to remember URL. 

I therefore created "matching" social media accounts: on twitter and on facebook, and I connected both to this platform. I also have a "matching" email account on gmail [4charlycross [at] so on]. There's also an instagram account by the same name - you have higher chances of seeing me active here. 

You don't have to be very active on all of these platforms, but it's nice I guess to give people options to get in touch with you, other than through your blog [or youtube channel -yes I have one of those as well, for when I think stuff are easier to show through a video rather than pictures and writing. but don't expect 4K HD quality or anything as I'm just an amateur]. 

the logo that i made myself in MS Paint.

the logo that i made myself in MS Paint.

Logo

As you can see, I also have a "logo" that I use "everywhere." It's like a virtual signature for easy recognition. 

Use the logo across your social media accounts or wherever you want to be recognized. You can use a picture of yourself, if you're ok with it [i'm not u_u] or the same handle across all your accounts [as I tried doing]. 

This idea came to me, after seeing a vlogger i was watching, renaming her Twitter, and now her old handle belongs to a random guy who will benefit from her hard work. Her new handle is difficult to write and pronounce, and doesn't really have a connection with her life, except slightly. I try not to make that mistake and you shouldn't either.  

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Rapidly gaining weight - a nightmare

Publié le par Charly C.

Some of you might remember one of my past entries in which I talked about losing weight, and you can read it here. At the time I promised I'd talk about how I also gained weight. 

It wasn't very easy for me to talk about gaining weight, and the only reason I can find is that this is something a bit hard to think about. Right now, I passed through 2 periods of rapidly gaining weight. 

First time of weight gain

The first time happened after we rehomed a puppy we found on the street. There's no secret that owning a dog makes you go out a lot, and sometimes walk a lot. Owning a dog is great if you need an excuse to go for a walk to either stay in shape or lose some weight. Best results are when you find a dog that needs long walks, that is full of energy. 

Sadly, such a dog is not really happy in an apartment with other pets, or with people who are more lazy than active - such as myself. 

As you know, Kali [the puppy] found herself a home with a dog-loving family [we're more of cat people], and this meant I had no reason to go out and walk as much. This lack of exercise translated into extra 7 kg for me [about 15 pounds]. 

I gained this much weight in about 2 months. Sadly, I can't remember my before or after weight. 14 pounds in 2 months seemed a lot to me, but it really can be worse, like the second time around. 

Second time of weight gain

The second time when I gained weight happened at the beginning of 2017 after I gave up my job as a supermarket cashier. I haven't talked about this job because it needs a separate entry, and I'm not ready for that yet. You can read about other jobs I had though, if you're really curious. 

A bit of background info

Working in a supermarket as a cashier is close to working for the devil himself. And giving up that job was both a good and a bad thing for my health. If you ever worked in a supermarket, you'd know what I'm talking about. 

This place was opened from 7 am to 11pm and we were supposed to work only 2 shifts! i was very "lucky" [can you sniff the sarcasm there?] to work mostly the afternoon shift ... and this meant I'd get home at 1 am [because of random "duties" we were supposed to perform after the store closed]. 

This messed up my sleeping hours, that I tried hard to fix [I used to go to bed at about 3 or 4 am, and managed to make myself sleep quite early at midnight. with my new job, i'd go to bed at about 2 am]. A poor sleeping habit also means poor quality sleep, therefore not getting the rest I needed. Especially for the weekends I had to be there the whole day, from 7 am to about midnight. yes, you read that right - 2 days of 14 hours in a row, meaning on Saturday [make that Sunday morning] I'd sleep 2 or 3 hours? 

Of course, this further led to stress and having a breakdown at work and almost fainting. I also started to feel my overall health impoverishing as my diet was all over the place, not getting enough nutrients from my food. The breakdown and near-fainting happened after a couple of months on the job [wow, that was fast]. At that point I decided my health is far more important, so I decided to quit.

The aftermath

As soon as I finished working there, on New Year's Eve, I went into a sort of coma for 2 weeks straight. I'd sleep for 22 or 23 hours of the day straight with whatever breaks for restroom and food. A lot of it. All of it. Can you imagine what food with no working out does to the body? 

Before starting the job from hell, I was about 59 - 60 kg [so about 130 - 132 pounds]. While on the job [for some 3 months] I went down to 56 - 57 kg [123 - 125 pounds]. When I finally started to need less sleep I noticed i reached 70 kg! [154 pounds].

Gaining some 13 kg [28 pounds] in 2 weeks is insane if you're not pregnant! This happened in January of 2017. Only in October I managed to start losing a little bit of weight. Now, in April I'm about 67 kg [147 pounds]. I'm trying to work out as often as I can, and of course I'm eating much less. 

some advice:

If your job is too demanding and you can barely get any rest, it might be better to give it up, unless it's your dream job. In my opinion, no job is worth risking one's health because health is something we take for granted, but it has no price when we have it. As soon as we get sick, we start shelling all the money we have and don't have, just to get better. 

 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Being a hoarder

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello there!

My partner would label me a hoarder - at least in some regards. I totally fit the bill of "don't throw that away as you don't know when you might need it!" In recent years I started to tackle this and I generally stopped trying to keep every little thing. 

As some of you might know, I recently changed the platform I blog on. I used the well known WordPress but I think over-blog might be a better option for me. The blog on WP is still there, but hidden from the public. [as a back up >.>] 

During this move, I had to look at all the past entries and see if the images are still there, to check the links, and other stuff. To my shock, some pictures were completely gone! Luckily, I still had most of them on my computer, on tumblr, and even on a DVD. 

However, one blog entry in particular still had some pictures while others were nowhere to be found! DISPAIR! 

So I started to search for them everywhere. And I mean everywhere. The only place I didn't look until the end was a folder called "COPY." Lo and behold! The pictures I thought I lost forever, were there! The ONLY copy I still had of those pictures!

I was quite happy to discover them. I edited them as fast as I could and I put them in the blog entry. 

This is not the only time I kept something "for later use" and it was actually useful. But I have a hard time recalling the other times, at this point. I really don't know if I could get similar pictures if I didn't find them, so I'm thankful for being a hoarder. 

Piece of advice: You don't really need to keep 5 items of the same type, generally 1 is enough. 

How about you: Are you a hoarder? Did you ever find yourself in a situation where you wish you kept something you threw away only to discover it would be useful for X situation? Or did you at some point need something you knew you kept and were happy you did keep that thing?

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved. 

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Thoughts at the end of the year [2017]

Publié le par Charly Cross

As I write this, 2017 is almost over. Clearly I must draw a line and summarize what happened this year. I should also create a sort of bucket list or New Year resolution at the end of the post. I posted a half-year conclusion in July or so, therefore one at the end of the year is a must.

Thoughts at the end of the year [2017]

One of the first things to happen to me, was to realize that full-time employment is not for me. And it's not as if I didn't try. See, I have a creative brain/ mind, and for me this translates into a difficulty to stick to a routine, to do what others [AKA bosses] tell me to do. I can do it but just short-term. Not to mention the effects full-time jobs had on my body and on the relationship with my partner.

We decided to focus our energies we know we can do, do them well, and try out new things. This basically means concentrating on the tasks and projects from the clients, this blog, and even starting a proper YouTube channel. I already uploaded a couple of videos there, and I only have a few views.

Another good thing that happened was for me to see a popularity increase for this blog. Again, it's not much, but seeing it has been viewed daily at least once, is a start. I started to post several times a week, I even have a "cultural" day, and things seem to be going well, even considering that now I'm technically on a break until I move the site. I'm also really excited about the short stories that will appear on the site.

On a personal level, my partner and me are now closer, we always hold hands when we go out, not to mention we're also almost always together. Can't tell you how happy I am, and not to mention less lonely. We got to experience many new thins this year, to visit new places - like the National Village Museum, try new treats like this ice cream. We even went on a ghost-hunt before Halloween, but we failed at seeing any ghosts.

Thoughts at the end of the year [2017]

I also started cooking more, though I don't really have what to show for, except these "artsy" crepes. I also started bullet journaling, however it evolved more into a planner kind of thing. In any case, it seems to help me stay more organized, and to show me that I am doing things, and not just waste my time. It also seems I managed to keep a more clean house when compared to last year. I don't know if it's thanks to planning, but I'm pretty sure it's related to actually being home.

From a financial point of view, 2017 wasn't the most abundant, but we were together and this mattered more than the money. I rather be poor and with my partner than being rich and without her. <3

I'm also proud of myself for studying more Mandarin, for proving to myself I can even complete DIY projects. Of course this is not much, and other people are much more advanced than me, but I have to start somewhere. I'm proud and happy because I feel my creativity reached new levels I didn't think possible, and I feel more worthy.

Thoughts at the end of the year [2017]

NEW YEAR RESOLUTION?

I never did something like this before, so I don't really now how to start.

  • workout more - make a habit out of it
  • walk more
  • cut the amount of swear words from my daily vocabulary
  • stop talking badly about others (ooops, I have a bad habit)
  • communicate more
  • continue with Mandarin (at least twice a week)
  • be less lazy
  • be less envious of others

I'll have to incorporate these into my planner somehow. I hope you had a good year, I pray the next one will be better, and for health for everyone.

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved. 

Pictures belong to their makers.

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My offline work experience

Publié le par Charly Cros

For the past 7 years I've been working online as a ghost writer. I love this job, even though I'm not always the best at it.

However I did have several jobs that can be labeled as 9-to-5, therefore full time employment. I will talk about 3 of these jobs in this post, as they're in the same field - sales. I've been a sales assistant in a shoe shop and in 2 clothes stores, and this is where my worst experiences came from.

After reading this, you'll probably say that I should have sucked it up, and bear it ... but that's just not me. My brain is wired differently, and as a result I can't act the way the norms of society tell me to act - plus I'm still a rebel and I'm prone to disobey the rules. But that's for a different entry.

"Romanians find products made of genuine leather to be of a better quality, and looking better, and will prefer it."

I'll now talk about my experience working in a shoe shop. This store - or better said its name - is a well known Romanian brand. its products are made of real leather, and this includes shoes, bags, and belts. How they source their leather, I don't know, and I'm not here to discuss whether this is an OK practice or not. [I will however tell you that Romanians find products made of genuine leather to be of a better quality, and looking better, and will prefer it. This is especially true for those over the age of 35, as younger generations are more influenced by the animal rights movement.]

At this store, I worked 2 weeks in one location, then they moved me to another location. I hated working there -not sure why- and I also didn't understand what was I supposed to do there. They expected me to learn more than 100 products by heart, in a couple of days. Before getting hired, I thought that working in a shoe shop is easy - wrong!

This was my first ever experience working with so many products, clients, and high amounts of money. Despite my lack of experience, they wanted me to check the products on the register - when selling, and to so unsupervised. [So they'll have someone to blame should money be missing, I assume.] They might have shown me how's done, once or twice, but it was super fast, and didn't learn it - I learn at a slower pace.

The other girls didn't seem to like me, and I also disliked them. I remember having to obey weird rules such as standing in one spot if the store had no clients. However, when I did that, they would call the store and tell me to move around. So, am I a statue or not? make up your mind, people. I got fired after those 4 weeks. And you know what? I don't regret it one bit. I wouldn't advise anyone working for this company.

"The main job there was to convince the clients they needed those rags."

At the clothes shops, I also spent 1 month in each, but this was many years after the shoe store happening. I worked for the first clothes store back in 2015. That was another unpleasant experience that mostly messed up my feet. The items sold there were ridiculously expensive but made on the cheap - well, maybe there were a few exceptions, but too few to matter. The main job there was to convince the clients they needed those rags and to make sure we each sell of a certain amount of money each day, to get the sales commission.

That's because here, sales assistants get a fixed salary and a percentage of the total sales made in a month - usually the month before the payday. This store had a sales target per person, per day, equal to the fixed salary. So, if your monthly paycheck was 2000, you had to make sure you sell every day, merchandise worth 2000. Impossible? Well, maybe selling 2 dresses each day, was enough. Except there are not so many people needing a [fugly, elegant] dress every day.

What happened? I failed, and got fired. But I was happy because I had to lie to the clients - something I'm bad at, and dislike doing. Plus some people can tell quality from trash, and can buy the same product for a fraction of the price, from some other place. I also think the other chicks didn't like me as I wasn't as fake as them. I don't have the energy for that.

"The other girls here seemed nice to me."

Working for the 3rd store, was another fail story. I was supposed to receive a full uniform there - they only provided a top. And then they asked me why don't I have normal pants like the other chicks working there - take a guess, Einstein! Just like the first store, this one is another Romanian brand, and their designers are sisters - I had no idea of this before getting hired. Maybe this is why they fired me from here as well.

The worst part of working there, was the CEOs were checking the cameras at all times, not having alarm system, making it easy for people to shoplift. The other girls here seemed nice to me, but I learned they gossiped about me behind my back. I would assume none of the colleagues really liked me was because I didn't want to tell them all my life story from day one.

NOT a sob story nor asking for your pity

So this concludes the story of me working as sales assistant for 3 different shops. I'm not seeing it as a sob story, I don't need to be pitied or anything like that. I just want to point out that working a full time job outside the house is not something made for everyone.

And I wish society accepted this already, and the governments made it easier for people like me to make a living in different ways, not just the "traditional" way.

I still have some stories related to old-fashioned type of employment, but in different sectors. And the experiences there were still unpleasant from my point of view.


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

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Praying - things we should know -

Publié le par Charly Cross

Everyone makes mistakes, even me with my blog, and the things I post here. You can read about one such mistake here, if you're curious.

It's not my place to judge people, but I think that if we want G-D to give us something, we must pray the right way, and to try avoid making some mistakes.

Several years ago I decided I should be more spiritual, to pray more, be kinder, less negative. I took a notebook and wrote in it some guidelines for "how to pray." Surely I found this guide somewhere on the internet, but for the love of what's good, I can't remember.

This entry is an adaptation of that info - simply because I didn't agree with everything in there, and I also think some other stuff should be added.

Matthew 6:7-8 New International Version (NIV)

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.

Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Prayer is a highly personal experience

For me this is true, as you could probably tell from this blog entryEveryone whose prayers have been answered will probably tell you the same thing. This is not something that can be explained.

What I can say is that the prayer is a tool helping us to attune and communicate with G-D - or whatever other Higher Being or Creator you believe in.

not my picture

not my picture

 Don't pray just in time of need

I find this to be wrong, though it can be effective if you pour all your soul into it. I think that if you want to live a more peaceful and fulfilling life, trying to pray on a more regular basis is [or works] better.

You can compare this to a person whose teeth look perfect - surely they visit their dentist quite often, brushes and flosses their teeth twice each day.

Be thankful while praying

Forgetting to thank G-D for everything positive in our lives is something many are guilty of. Including those that pray on a regular basis.

What can you be thankful for? The clothes on your body, the house you live in, the neighborhood you live in [if you like it there and feel safe], the food on your table, your job [especially if the income is acceptable], for having people that care about you in your life, for being able to have pets [if you have them], and so on.

These were just examples and are the things I'm generally thankful for while praying. Every little thing does matter and you should be thankful for, including your health, looks [if you consider yourself pretty, or you particularly like something about yourself like your eyes or hair], talents [like cooking, baking, drawing, fashion style, applying make-up].

Some of these attributes sound vain to be thankful for, but I can guarantee there is at least one person out there that wishes they had what you have - material or not. You can walk, talk, see, read, sing? Be thankful for all of those since there are folks that can't perform these actions.

What to pray for

You can pray for everything or anything, including for world peace. For better and higher chances of the prayer to be answered, just ask for small things and one thing at a time.

For instance, you lost your job [or were forced to quit?] when praying, thank your Divinity for all the jobs you had in the past and ask Them to help you find another suitable one quickly.

We can even ask for help in becoming mentally stronger, better people [less negative, less critical of others], in finding a new hobby, a new partner, in overcoming problems that seem very complicated, or even forgiveness.

We can pray for forgiveness for ourselves or for others. Maybe you lied to someone and now you feel bad, but still don't have the courage to confess to them? Ask G-D for forgiveness, but try not to lie anymore in the future. If someone did something hurtful towards you, you probably can't let go of those negative emotions so easily. Ask the Divine to help you with that, and ask the Divine to forgive that person's mistakes.  [I did this and it felt liberating.]

not my quote not my picture

not my quote not my picture

 Acknowledge you're wrong or sinful

This segment goes against Christian teachings of confessing and stuff. We all do things we're very ashamed of later on [what? it's just me? hmmm]. Sometimes those actions feel too heavy, and we're too embarrassed to confess them to a priest [if that's part of your belief system].

Telling G-D during a prayer about those things can be liberating. Not many people know what you did, but G-D DOES know. The Divinity knows everything about you. Admitting that doing this or that was wrong and asking for forgiveness can help. [It did help me, I felt less tormented].

When and where to pray

You can pray at any time, in any place. It is however better to find a quiet time and place to do so. For instance, you could pray while showering or taking a bath, right before falling asleep, when everyone else is asleep or away.

The most important thing to try and remember is that you should not be disturbed. You should silent your phone too, if you receive too many texts, calls and notifications.  You don't have to be in a church [or similar type of building] to pray. You don't even need a picture of your Deity around you.

Faith is crucial

No mater who you pray to or what for, you must be certain 100% that They hear you and that They will answer. It's not enough to say "Oh, my god's name is this, and they DO exist... blahblahblah." No! You must feel with every cell of your body that that Creator exists and that They love you and will send you what you ask for.

When you start communicating with Them, you have to be aware of Their presence in and around you: you wouldn't be here without Them, and you wouldn't have everything you own without Them.

May God look over From His Holy Dwelling and may he strike all those who hate His People with a wink of an eye

Behold here is the Lord rising and standing on a plumb-line Giving them a cup of poison but not wine

Pronunciation:

Yash'kef Elohim mima'on kod'sho veyach kol sonei amo keheref ayin

Hineh Hashem kam venitzav al anach yash'kem lechos ra'al aval lo yayin

I have no words to express how much I like this song, and how well it helps me get into a praying state of mind. It also helps me be more aware of G-D and His presence in my life.


©Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved. The song and lyrics belong to Sagiv Cohen.

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Missing entries on my blog

Publié le par Charly

I have to come clean guys.

Recently I watched a video in which the author [sorry, can't remember who it was] was talking about people that get paid to write or film FAKE reviews for items, services, and so on.

This video hit home, quite hard, because I'm a freelance writer and I did get paid for that as well. However, once I was shameless enough to post that review on my blog, and have you [who reads this] believe that I actually know what I'm doing or talking about.

This blog was started as means for me to explore my creativity, share my life lessons, try and spread some more common sense to some who lack it [now that I matured a bit since I started I realize this is a near impossible task].

Back to my topic. Back when I posted that entry, I did feel guilty about it - I don't think I even mentioned I got paid for that entry. I remember I was rather happy I have something to post, since at that time I wasn't posting as much as now.

Today I'm coming 'clean,' I deleted that post, and will also have to further brush through my past entries to see what else doesn't fit in my blog anymore.

WordPress admin view. my previous blogging platform.

WordPress admin view. my previous blogging platform.

I deleted this entry a while back, but I wanted to show you guys proof that I did delete it, and that this post did exist at some point. I currently have another entry removed. Once I figure out which entries still need removing, I will probably take another screen capture of my trash folder and update this entry. Maybe, I don't know for sure for now.

Do know this is a slow process simply because I move slow. From now on I will only post things that happen to my partner and me, or just me. I may have my partner or other people write entries for me in the future, but until then, it will only be me posting. As stated earlier, I will only write about stuff that happens to me, that interest me, or my thoughts.

Wanted to clear things out, and assure you guys that the missing posts were intentional and not some sort of Mandela Effect.

If you read to here, WOW! you deserve a cookie! Have a good day!


© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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