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Making salad "à la russe"

Publié le par Charly C.

Happy new year! 

I have no idea since when you guys read my ramblings here. But with a quick search in my past entries, you'll see that at the end of each year, for the past 2 or 3 years, i tried to post some "End of the year thoughts". See here, here.

This time i decided against it. I have more reasons:

  • All December I had work to do (my main job)
  • I tried to do/did blogmas (see my recent posts or the link)
  • I have this entry where i drew a bit of a line for 2020.

For blogmas day 10, we were supposed to talk about the Christmas menu. And I did. And i mentioned that, traditionally, in Romania, people like to make salad à la russe. 

made by mother and given to us for new year's

I looked through my shared recipes and i noticed that i haven't shared this one yet, despite having made it quite a few times already. 

Well, now's the time to share the recipe! 

INGREDIENTS

We wanted to make a lot of salad this time around because we really like it. This wasn't the best idea ever but we did it anyway, so here we go.

We used for the salad:

  • 2.5 kg potatoes
  • some 4 carrots
  • 4 -5? pickled cucumbers
  • some salt
  • 1 big jar of peas (already cooked, drained)
  • egg-whites from 1 or 2 boiled eggs

We decided to make our own mayonnaise, but to also buy some, in case I fail at making the mayo. I remember the first time I made mayonnaise - it was thick, yummy, and I was proud of myself. 

Most likely, after that, I was over-confident, as the next other times I made it, it didn't turn out quite the same. Oh, well, we live, practice, and then we become better. 

For the mayo I used:

  • 1 egg yolk (from a boiled egg)
  • 1 raw egg -whole
  • some mustard 
  • some salt
  • oil (as much as needed)

For decoration: (you can use what you have on hand, these are the most common things you'll see in Romania, on this dish)

  • black olives - pitted
  • pickled red peppers
  • pickled cucumbers
  • pickled carrots
  • fresh parsley (not other herbs)
  • hard-boiled egg(s)
METHOD

For this salad, we have to boil the potatoes and the carrots, then dice them. The dice shouldn't be too small, nor too big. You want the dice to be actually smaller, rather than larger, so that the salad would have a smoother appearance. 

If the dice are larger, the salad will look as if you made it with rocks and boulders instead of potatoes.

We decided to boil these 1 day ahead. And as you can see from my pictures, i boiled the potatoes for far too long. They shouldn't crack like that. The potatoes should be cooked, but firm for this salad.

Maybe I should have used red potatoes? I have no idea, but almost every time I try making this dish, I overboil my potatoes and they're far better mashed than diced. 

As you can see, I used larger pieces of carrots. I think by weight, the carrots are half the weight of the potatoes, maybe even less than that.  

Given the quantities, you'll need a very large bowl in which you'll throw everything for mixing. 

I suggest that on the day you want to prepare this, you first make the mayonnaise. If you don't want to make it, you better buy 2 bigger jars of mayo. 

To make things better, get the fancier, more expensive brand. It should taste better. The type and taste of the pickles, as well as that of the mayonnaise, are the secrets to this dish.

These 2 ingredients will make or break the taste of the whole thing and will decide if you like it or not. 

So, to make mayonnaise, you have to mix the hard-boiled egg yolk, the raw egg yolk, some salt, some mustard, with plenty of oil. 

The best tool for mixing, I noticed/learned to be the vertical blender part of your mixer. You add the oil bit by bit, and you might also need to add some salt and mustard from time to time. 

If you think the mayo looks too thick (almost like cream cheese) you can add the raw egg white as well. Try not to add it all at once as you could ruin the result, or it may take some time for the mayo to re-gain a decently thick consistency (yogurt-like). 

Once you figured the mayo out, cover it and put it in the fridge to rest. Now you can start dicing the potatoes, carrots, and pickles.

You throw these in the large pot/container along with the drained peas. For reference, I used the pot in which I boiled the potatoes after cleaning it.  

At the end, you can also throw in a hard-boiled egg you diced. This improves the taste of the salad. Don't forget to add some salt in with everything, or this will be a bit sweet and tasteless. This is not something you want.

As you can see, I diced my potatoes in sizes that are a bit too big. They should have been half that size, thus slightly larger than the peas. I also forgot to add the salt. And that's not the only thing i forgot to add. 

Now, it's time to add in the mayonnaise and to get your hand dirty. Mixing with a spoon is fine, but I feel I have better control over the mixing process if I use my hand. 

Once you're done, you can transfer the salad to other containers or plates, for decoration. I used 2 plates and a big soup bowl - i forgot its name. 

 And then, you'll need to use your imagination on decorating these. Nature-inspired decor (like flowers, or the sun) looks the best - somehow it balances out the heaviness of the mayonnaise. Red, orange, and black give it a nice visual contrast.

Above, you can see the decor I came up with. I had black olives in the fridge, but i forgot about them at first. I added some after, but i didn't take pictures anymore. 

Like i said, this is best eaten the day after you prepare it, so that the flavors mix in a bit more. We eat this usually on its own, but with bread. Extra pickles also work, as there is plenty of mayonnaise to make one nauseous. I think it's served before dishes with meat. 

I hope you can give this salad a go and that if you do, you'll enjoy it as much as we do. 

Bon Appetit! 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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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 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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Overblog Challenge - Christmas Wishlist

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello! 

Today is December 1st. Over-Blog, the platform i use for this blog, just launched a challenge for us, its users, for the month of December. 

I thought it would be cute to participate, as I never did something that others do or did. I hope to be able to complete the challenge every day. 

So, the first challenge is to write our wishlist for Santa Claus. It's not just kids who want things, but us adults as well. And oftentimes, we don't ask for things because we think we're not kids anymore. 

This image is an old greeting card Anna's mother had.

So this is what I want for Christmas this year. Well, i won't complain if i get them later as well, haha :D And before you ask, i tried hard to be a nice person this year ;p

Even though this will be a list, there is no particular order:

  • Twin needles for my sewing machine
  • An embroidery hoop - medium in size 
  • A serger - i'd like one, even though i have no idea where to store or how to use it. i don't need it, not for now.
  • Enough money to buy a house in Italy or France ;p 
  • More visitors on this blog and on my BeingObscure.com site ;p 

Those were physical stuff that can be bought more or less easily.

For the stuff that can't be bought, I want:

  • More health for Anna, me, and our parents and relatives
  • To manage to live in peace with Anna
  • More joy and happiness for Anna and I.

Now, I want to write all this in French. Well, i'll use Google Translate for that. 

Bonjour!

Aujourd'hui, c'est le 1er décembre. Over-Blog, la plateforme que j'utilise pour ce blog, vient de lancer un challenge pour nous, ses utilisateurs, pour le mois de décembre.

J'ai pensé que ce serait mignon de participer, car je n'ai jamais fait quelque chose que les autres ont fait ou fait. J'espère pouvoir relever le défi chaque jour.

Alors, le premier défi est de rédiger notre liste de souhaits pour le Père Noël. Ce ne sont pas seulement les enfants qui veulent des choses, mais nous, les adultes, aussi. Et souvent, nous ne demandons rien parce que nous pensons que nous ne sommes plus des enfants.

J'ai oublié où j'ai vu cette œuvre d'art.  :(

C'est donc ce que je veux pour Noël cette année. Eh bien, je ne me plaindrai pas si je les reçois plus tard aussi, haha: D Et avant de demander, j'ai fait de gros efforts pour être une personne gentille cette année. ;p

Même s'il s'agit d'une liste, il n'y a pas d'ordre particulier:

  • Deux aiguilles pour ma machine à coudre
  • Un cerceau à broder - de taille moyenne
  • Une surjeteuse - j'en voudrais une, même si je ne sais pas où la stocker ni comment l'utiliser. je n'en ai pas besoin, pas pour le moment.
  • Assez d'argent pour acheter une maison en Italie ou en France ;p
  • Plus de visiteurs sur ce blog et sur mon site BeingObscure.com ;p

Ce sont des choses physiques qui peuvent être achetées plus ou moins facilement.

Pour ce qui ne peut pas être acheté, je veux:

  • Plus de santé pour Anna, moi, nos parents et nos proches
  • Pour réussir à vivre en paix avec Anna
  • Plus de joie et de bonheur pour Anna et moi.

C'est tout. Merci d'avoir lu! A demain avec le prochain défi!

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Halloween in Romania

Publié le par Charly C.

Romania doesn't traditionally celebrate Halloween. However, it so happens that thanks to the movies, series, and kids learning English in schools, this October event made it somehow in our lives as well.

Of course, over here, we only have the more commercial aspect, and so far, nobody goes Trick-or-Treating. Over the past years, I've seen young adults on the streets dressed up and with weird make-up on going to or leaving some Halloween party. 

We never really cared about it - we never dressed up,  never put make up on, never nothing. However, over the past few years, we always did something: going out to eat, or searching for ghosts downtown, or carving pumpkins. 

I will showcase our past October 31st adventures, and hopefully will be able to explain a little as well. Not all the pictures are nice though, so be warned. 

Halloween in RomaniaHalloween in RomaniaHalloween in Romania

The earliest pictures I found date back to 2015. That year, around Halloween, i believe I was working the 2nd job I talked about in this post

Halloween that year was a grim one for Bucharest and for Romania in general, as a fire devastated a nightclub and 64 people died in total. The fire happened on October 30th, and you can read more about it here

I don't remember much else from that year that happened. It seems we went to an Irish pub on the evening of 31st, after the fire. I can't remember what we had, but the place was decorated for the occasion, and I vaguely remember it being full. We barely found a table. I think it was an OK evening out, all in all.

Sadly, for the year 2016, I have no pictures, no memories either. At the time, I was working as cashier in a supermarket. It was a tough job I had no time to go out and have fun. One of the reasons were that the job was also pretty far from home. 

click on them to enlarge themclick on them to enlarge them
click on them to enlarge themclick on them to enlarge themclick on them to enlarge them

click on them to enlarge them

These pictures are from last year, 2017. The big pumpkin is the decoration of a restaurant downtown. I don't think it was real, but I can't be sure as i don't remember if i touched it or not. 

We decided to carve pumpkins, just out of curiosity, and to do something fun. I remember we had a lot of fun while carving them. We took some pictures too, but I can't find them anywhere. I must have lost them somehow. 

One of the pumpkins was already a bit "injured" but we didn't see it before bringing them home. We had to keep them in water with bleach, to try and kill the bacteria, but the black spot still managed to enlarge quite fast. I think we kept them for about a week before we had to get rid of them.

We also tried to go find ghosts downtown, but I can't remember which were those. Perhaps we went before the 31st, or I deleted the pictures. In any case, we didn't find any ghosts because Bucharest is not known for its haunted places. 

This year, I decided not to celebrate Halloween. Mostly because it's a pagan celebration, and it's still this year that i decided to become closer to God. I can't have fun because it's Halloween as it would be against my beliefs. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Romanian style embroidery

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello everyone!

Today I want to share with you my newest interest - cross-stitching. WooHoo! /throws confetti/ oh, i'll clean that ... later...

 

freestyle vs patternfreestyle vs pattern

freestyle vs pattern

Cross stitching is something I didn't think i'd get into. But somehow it happened. The story is a bit longer than this. Back in 2015 I received this gigantic sheet for the inter blanket -duvet? I thought I can't possibly use it as it is, and i thought I could turn it into pillow cases. And therefore I started measuring, cutting and sewing -everything by hand. 

If you don't have a lot of resources, and you need to hem your cloth, you can use some hair pins to keep the fabric in place. I found this method easy to use and not to ruin the material. On top of this, you can simply slide the pin as you need to advance. 

As a curiosity, i used a running stitch on the fabric i folded twice, and the stitch didn't get ruined in the laundry machine. 

my pictures, from my instagram @secret.agent0101my pictures, from my instagram @secret.agent0101

my pictures, from my instagram @secret.agent0101

I wanted to use traditional motifs, so i asked people i knew if they had something to help out. I needed both patterns and thread. Of course they did and they gave me a book with traditional patterns and a lot of thread as well. 

Romanian style embroideryRomanian style embroideryRomanian style embroidery

I flipped through the book to find a design that wasn't too complicated to replicate since I'm a beginner. And i found some that did looked easy, in a single color.

The one i decided on was all black and seemed easy enough. I copied it on paper using colored pencils, because i wanted some more colors on my pillow. 

The next step was to make sure the colors looked ok together. They weren't bad and they look better in real life.

i changed the design a bit more [3rd picture above]i changed the design a bit more [3rd picture above]i changed the design a bit more [3rd picture above]

i changed the design a bit more [3rd picture above]

The design i chose is the one in the lower right corner, in the book. I also show you how you're supposed to embroider it, if you like it. It makes a really nice edge on stuff, if positioned right.

I thought that an all black design would look too rough, though it would have been easier to stitch.

Did you know that Romanians traditionally sew with red and black thread, on white cloth? White means purity, red means joy and black means life.

I wanted to have at least 1 traditional color in my traditional motif. And this is why i choose red.

Romanian style embroideryRomanian style embroideryRomanian style embroidery

Since the cloth i decided to sew on in not easy to count the threads, i needed more visual help. I used a fountain pen. If you want to use the same method, make sure it's blue ink: red and black are staining the fabric and are more difficult to remove.

Of course, i sometimes messed up the guide. But it's ok as some of the errors got covered by some of the later stitches. 

None of these patterns have instructions on how or where to start from, so I had to figure these aspects myself. I figured that stitching the wave first would be easier later when i decide to add the other elements in other colors. 

However, drawing the guide [here the dots], then crossing the location of each stitch made my work even more easy. This allowed me to embroider whatever element I wanted first. 

Refer to the 1st picture in the beginning and the 3rd picture above, if you want to see what happens when you don't count the thread of your fabric, when you're supposed to do so.

Romanian style embroideryRomanian style embroidery

And above you can see the end result. I decided to embroider a hen eating grass as well. For that design i decided to use a piece of etamin fabric to trace a counted guide. it made my life quite easy, but for the size, i needed thinner thread. 

I like what everything looks like. I will continue practicing my embroidering skills though.

© 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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Christmas is here ... again!

Publié le par Charly Cross

Today, as I type this, is Friday (1 week before Christmas. but I finished the blog entry on the 24th - call me lazy). I decided that today I'd decorate our "Christmas tree." Well, we don't have a proper tree, just the one my partner bought last year.

Christmas is here ... again!

I was a bit sad that we don't have any Christmas lights nor decorations, nothing. :( and I was storming my brains for ideas of how to make something more Christmas-y without spending too much money [because we need it for 1001 other things]. And all of a sudden the idea popped! :D

All I had to do was to find an alternative to all the decorations. I first came up with the idea to put under it a few items we haven't opened yet, even though we knew what they were - some nice tea, an orange, an unused candle, a pair of Christmas socks my partner got as a gift, and 2 pine cones.

And then, I remembered I had these blue plastic beads from a necklace that broke. I thought I could paint them red or golden and then hang them on the branches.

The only thing I could use to paint these beads was some nail polish ... except it didn't work as planned.

Christmas is here ... again!

As a result, I decided to just leave them as they were. Then I proceeded to place each bead on some piece of string and hang them on the tree. I thought at first it would be nice to use the same string color for all the beads, but then I changed my mind.

I also used some extra string I had to wrap it around the tree like some sort of tinsel. I also used some other old jewelry - a shiny bracelet, another blue necklace, and a silver heart locket [in the back, barely seen in the picture]. The decor is 'original' I think, it's something that anyone can do, I believe, regardless of their budget and skills.

Christmas socks! and a part of the gifts. 
Christmas socks! and a part of the gifts. Christmas socks! and a part of the gifts. 

Christmas socks! and a part of the gifts. 

And because we got into the Christmas spirit - at least a bit, we decided to take a walk and go see the Christmas Market set up in the square in front on the infamous Palace of the Parliament.

The boulevard got decorated for Christmas. The decorations are nicer from the Unirii Square towards the Palace. See the images below.

bad camera, bad editing skills? -_-"
bad camera, bad editing skills? -_-"

bad camera, bad editing skills? -_-"

The market has a big tree - that can actually be seen from downstairs, a stage, a nativity scene - the animals were even animated with sounds at least, there was a merry-go-round but just for kids, as well as an ice skating rink that was still designed for kids and children, but parents were skating with those that were too young.

Christmas is here ... again!Christmas is here ... again!

If you know how Christmas markets work, you probably know what to expect when you get in. There are stalls with food, drinks, clothes, traditional crafts, and several sellers with almost identical merchandise. But that's OK because you have options - if you don't like the person selling, right?

Christmas is here ... again!Christmas is here ... again!
Christmas is here ... again!Christmas is here ... again!
Christmas is here ... again!Christmas is here ... again!

These were the stuff we liked the most at this year's Christmas Market. I wish you a Merry Christmas [and if you don't celebrate it, Happy Holidays]! I hope you can be surrounded by your loved ones and that good luck and health will always be by your side!

Do you have a Christmas Market in your city or in your country? If Christmas is not a thing for you, please share some traditional stuff from where you are, even if they happen at other times of the year!


© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved. 

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