ALL THE GOOD STUFF

Monday, April 25




























































Hey, we made it! We made it through the weekend! The paintbrushes are clean and put away, walls are drying beautifully, fifth laundry pile has been spinning in the washing machine as I type and milky coffee made it to my desk in a pretty mug so all is looking good. I even had a reasonably good night and Nadia woke up early and refreshed, ready to get the hang of adding and multiplying. Our flat still lingers in a state as if a family has just moved in, I try not to get tense about it but been trying to take note of things that still need tackling while focusing on my ridiculously blooming windowsill garden, that is what exactly matters at this time.

I come home every morning after dropping Nadia off to school, pour myself nice warm drink, browse the internet while the baby washing spins noisily in the background. I read on the sofa, tidy up the mess we made intentionally the day before, read some more. I crave still moments like these, to wind down, get a little lazy, talk to my baby boy in private. I crave lots of sour tastes too - plums, lemonade, fruit sorbets giving my body what it presently needs and plan on continuing to do so all summer long.

I bough first watermelon this year and we all devoured it wildly before and after dinner, it was that delicious. Occasionally while I run errands, I walk about slowly among aisles of baby products and imagine what would make days prettier, not necessarily being practical or essential. But we've already stocked on everything a tiny person can need and more -- blue, corn yellow and cloudy grey so he can start each day knowing he's well looked after.

And unpredictably, I have become an early riser not finding it sweet anymore to linger among sheets longer than for what my idea of heaven is. Then in quiet hushed footsteps I tend to move things around, water the plants and wait for the rest of the household to greet with wet kisses. What a beautiful season in my life.

But now - hanging the laundry to dry is a pleasant priority. Have a great week, friends! x

"THE ONLY WAY TO THE OTHER SIDE IS THROUGH"

Saturday, April 23


































































































I haven't answered that many 'how are you?' and 'how are you doing?' questions in my entire life as this past few months. Everyone wants to know how I/we are coping, how things get turned around from completely unplanned to definitely working. It's sweet, it's intimidating, it's just a part of life we're temporarily in. For the most part, I feel we've been in control. Generally on top of things. For some parts destiny's gentle hand was far off and barely seen from a short distance. It ranged from dealing with a whirlwind of emotions, powerful hormones and fast reactions, doubts about the future and the state of our present, finances and energy to handle it well. If done correctly, it's just a phrase in life - overwhelming and potentially never-ending but we all know that nothing lingers for long. Especially the bad as there is so much good to relish and continues to be if noticed and cherished daily. We got accustomed to harder times like bees fly around to expand their territory to forage for food in periods of climate change or loss of natural habitat. And we're busy as them too.

They say (who are they, anyway?) there's never right time to become a parent, that we're never ready to juggle more things than humanly possible. I say, we're always ready to love. I say, we're always ready to give encouragement and hope, that our hearts are never full enough not to fill them up with the best of feelings. And when are we going to be ready if not now? Today, here, at present? Yesterday faded away far too quickly, tomorrow may never come but each breath and blink makes us fully aware of the space we have to fill in great detail NOW. Once a decision is made, a certain vision is tightly affixed to it and one thinks nothing will ever be possible to see it in a different light. Even though time flies and changes perspectives, shifts moods, moves mountains, creates miracles. Or all of them at once.

How I am? How I am doing? I can see a little more clearly everyday what's ahead of us in getting through to the other side. The side of an established routine, enough money coming in each month, relived stress, energy restored miraculously and shared in abundance. The side where sense of having it under a total control is regained. But... how unrealistic does it sound? How optimistic yet surreal? As if having control was ever possible. As if getting it back in order was ever achievable. I say, let's enjoy this moment in time. The good, the bad and the ugly. Not always joyful, more times through tears and speechless gasps, it's a way too.

I'm fine, I'm good, we're getting through. I appreciate your well wishes and concerned looks, I'm grateful for your offerings and feel no need for stopping accepting it. You know who you are - giving me a lift, supporting our budget, picking up Nadia from school, I plan our whole existence around your kindness. Thank you.

And although Damian may be adding his unwanted five pence to the whirlwind of the last 35 weeks making me consider committing a crime at least once daily, he's also been the biggest support with his mind totally fixed on wellbeing of our small tribe. I am a demanding tenant and him trying to cope with everything these days is beyond my comprehension. Taking time to breathe through it he's rarely allowed, there are endless tasks rapidly expanding if not handled on time. He's who I was exactly looking for, I hope I'm still the one he wants to keep discovering. In good and bad, sickness and health, till death do us part... and our bank account regains its strength.

We're getting through.

IN PICTURES

Thursday, April 21

Dreaming of adventures and journeys far beyond our seaside
Standing there with every intention of satisfying each hungry belly
It's easy to be my friend - just hand me a smoothie, not even a straw required
Will we always have our walls sprinkled with hand made, home made wonders? As long as there are stories to tell, I'm not buying professional art.
Without needing a reason I plop down on the sofa with her any time we feel like it. And we do feel like it a lot.

Personally I'd add more plants to the current collection, for sentimental reasons (I don't want to watch them die) I'll stick to what's already thriving.
Games time is categorized here as a guilty pleasure but occasionally everyone has to show their loyalty to technology
Always staying on the curious, mischievous path.
I did not grow up loving plants but I came to love them since acquiring a decent sized windowsill and enough sunshine to live for 
Too much red shouldn't really work yet somehow it always does on her. Did I tell you Nadia's anything but ordinary?
A view that requires only a handful of crumbs and a calm heart to soak it in. A steaming cup of coffee would be great too!

THIRD TRIMESTER FEEL GOOD CALENDAR

Tuesday, April 19
























Weeks flow by as I'm feeling him moving and keeping me awake at night whenever he needs to stretch or roll. No day is completely smooth yet I await each morning in anticipation of him accompanying my every move and decision. I really came to love our lonesome days of chores, guilty pleasures and secrets only the two of us share.

Yesterday I was browsing through parenting websites and magazines I stock for quieter moments and came across an article featuring something called Third Trimester Feel Good Calendar. I believe each trimester could benefit from a lot of feel-good, self-love activities yet the last weeks of carrying extra sweet weight is an adventure this calendar could inevitably help out with. I think so anyway. I have customized it to suit my lifestyle and energy levels not forgetting little treats during days of things taking it longer than I would want them to. So, here's my life in the next five weeks or so, more participants welcome wholeheartedly.

     ►► Catching up on TV - been meaning to catch up on those old, loved films and series for ages - I'm thinking old Robin Hood, Friends, Labyrinth as well as late night Celebrity Juice with a dash of Babette's Feast for those overwhelming cravings. My reset button after a long eventful day.

►► Buying a nursing bra - how this could fit seamlessly a feel-good, self-love activity only expectant mother can understand. Totally fit for the purpose, soft and stretchy while still looking pretty. Sounds miraculous, no?

►► Making life simpler - this I could apply to my daily routine being pregnant or not, overall a genius idea. Stockpiling beauty products and toiletries I may not have on my mind for weeks to come will minimize extra shopping trips after the birth and with the summer round the corner there will be activities making more sense than rummaging through drug stores and make-up aisles.

►► Keeping (fairly) busy - like organizing closet, sorting out all the baby things, drafting birth announcements (and addressing the envelopes now since it is not yet considered a chore), cooking homemade dinners that can be frozen (my favourite green soup or chickpea patties, pancakes will do too). Little things that will matter much. I'm definitely drawn to lining pantry shelves with healthy (and less so) convenience food that could potentially save my life - soups, nuts to nib, dried fruit, whole grain crackers, canned essentials, fruit and veg, pasta and sauces, packets of crisps (they'll still work for a post feed snooze).

 ►► Making a home movie - recording silly moments and serious conversations leading up to a big day? I think I'll treasure it in years to come.

►► Being lazy - well, I've started a long time ago...

►► Having hair done - I'm looking at you fringe in need of trimming and roots raising my blood pressure with the lightest shade of gray. Diving deeper into this project is a must.

►► Getting a manicure - and a pedicure to have those flying in the air feet a delight to look at! My steady-handed and a perfectionist in nail art friend has already agreed to kneel down and treat my cuticles with vibrant colours. 

CHOCOLATE CHIP PAINT PARTY

Sunday, April 17




Right now the amount of things to do that I have envisioned in their physical form is simply overwhelming. Every aspect of our lives has been repeatedly revised and placed next to several different versions of a final, satisfied result. It has been tiring as it's been exciting. Right now the amount of decisions needing a solid, undivided attention varies from ten to hundred on any given day with my mind shifting between them willingly. But the true satisfaction is yet to achieve. You find me in my last trimester, the least energetic in body movements yet buzzing with ideas and celebrating the arrival of our son way ahead of time touching newborn clothes and softly polished wood of first toys. Forever my favourite part.

Our small shoe-box flat is not ready for his arrival, at least in my opinion that differs from my husband's but this feeling has been widely known as nesting instinct and I'm holding strong onto this term with unmanicured hands. Expecting through spring makes me overthink seriously everything that needs to be ready in coming weeks and not being able to resist the changes, the challenge seems too great to handle. This is something that no longer annoys me, planning instead of rolling sleeves and getting jobs done has to be considered as there must always be a good deal of organizational and researching tasks. It will if it becomes a routine but the time left to the big day pushes us without our will and I have faith it'll all be ready soon.




 There is a long list of things to tackle, thanks to my ambitious pregnant self in nesting mode. As the walls will not stretch miraculously giving us more space for furniture of a new purpose, a great time of research, studying and walking around the flat with a blank piece of paper consumed good part of the second trimester. On paper it looked as if I would not want to go out anymore, in reality I needed to be creative in finding things quietly dealing with finances and energy needed for it all. Simply said, thrifting, revamping, replacing and finding new purpose for things will take us there in weeks to come. Because this project definitely has a deadline yet if not tackled completely, I'm hopeful and ready to add or take away as the time progresses between feeds and evident routine changes. It's something if only partially finished -- can still make my heart flutter as home projects are never finished as such. Long term projects are therapeutic for me and if I can focus enough, miracles happen.

The magnolia walls sprinkled in gray damp marks and us have so much catching up to do you wouldn't believe. But the future is promising, I have found an organic company dedicated to removing signs of neglect causing all sorts of water condensation problems. Once this aspect has been covered, I want to jump into the arms of something unusual and never experienced under our roof before - among variations of wall paint colours I have been gravitating irrationally towards the dark bold side (thank you, Abigail!). There are so many different dark colours out there my mission may never be accomplished. Starting from gray, mocha and progressing into chocolate, taupe or even dark olive is the way I'm heading. Our flat is luckily a very bright place with sun hitting the walls since early morning on a great day until late evening when the summer rolls around. Neutral has seemed the best answer to this amount of light and sunny reflections on things we've had unintentionally, today in my nesting, waddling mode this no longer is an option.




 And as I'm guessing your question, yes we are renting so why bother? Why going through samples of colours, comparing prices and scheduling dry weather days for all of this? The best answer I can come up with is just telling you I always strive to be different. Not just for the sake of it, or because of defiance or stubbornness but this is something that has always grown in my heart, made me excited and pushed to do things my own way (hence the title of the blog, I suppose?). Whatever sparks an idea in my head has to go through a filter called 'how different and unique am I going to make it?' (filter still in patent pending mode). It happens with every single thing from breakfast, dressing up to interior design. I lack skills in many departments and that's OK but my unique skill in spicing things up is held intact: walking paths less travelled by, creating rather than buying to match our needs and inspire others'. It is me. I could maybe tell you I was compared to others a lot in my early childhood and teenage years always looking less desirable, behaving less appropriate and generally not being enough to match their accomplishments of sorts. It saddened me back then, alienated from my peers, today it's just a weakness of mine, a trait engraved in tears and short breath -- striving to be my own, go my own way, do my own thing in all the aspects that make life possible. Intentionally. Also because I'm tired of falling asleep to a ceiling covered in grey dots, marks and stains no matter how gray colour is close to my heart.

Many of it is a custom project requiring rolling of sleeves and sweating a ton but I'm eager to start, look for solutions with our own hands and pieces already in our possession.

This blog is also on my mind often in terms of revamping, giving you more insight in our day-to-day lives with some in-depth conversations sweeping a little those barely touching the surface of the subject articles and tutorials of sorts. Back in September when I found out I was expecting, the tiredness, the overwhelming feeling of life changing its course abruptly (pregnancy hormones causing a stir for sure) - the so called important and desired outcomes, the principles of life hit the floor with a bang. I haven't blogged for four months, I found internet or just sitting upright in front of a monitor annoyingly robbing me off of precious time, energy and mental clarity. I had thoughts of deleting the space once and for good, I grown tired of too many options and price ranges and simply reading about the same thing seasoned with only different words and filters left me dissatisfied. As a blogger I became frustrated by so many spaces focused on consuming and spending, on living life attached to clever but irritating devices. I needed a break. As you see I have come back, still haven't found a perfect way of expressing my new-found desire for simplicity and thoughtfulness, still in re-discovering myself mode but this is what I'm contemplating day and night these days. With a growing child by my side and another almost in my arms this subject like any other happens to keep me pulling rarely touched up hair at night.


 Back to interiors... it all shifts and merges, circles around each other and I'm hoping getting through these absolutely manic six weeks will prove my good intentions to be completed at the right time in our lives. With all of that said, I'm definitely not done with the topic of simplicity and attentiveness. I'm at the starting point of turning our lives into a better, more ethical existence while being busier and intimidated than ever. But somehow the more things I juggle, the happier I feel and days are considered a small but continuous success. I'd love you to be a part of it. x

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As for the pictures in this post, yes! you guessed it - we're finally in the 'rolling of sleeves and getting things done' mode at the moment. Rest is not an option when we're in the middle of moving things around and being unable to find a simple object. Among the tiring parts, this whole painting walls and moving furniture game seems to be a great fun for Nadia asking to help with everything and anything. I oblige immediately before she changes her mind, extra pair of helping hands is impossible to avoid right now ;) And after she's done, she's back to what's such a big staple in her life - holding a pen and creating magic with it. She did just so while Damian was sweating with the first coat of a chocolate chip paint. The colour didn't last long, we covered it with a lighter shade eventually letting it stay on two walls only. Dark is nice but it needs some getting used to. Stay tuned, I'll be posting more about how everything turned out, soon a little boy may be in the picture too ;)
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