04 May 10 things that made me happy
Another glorious Monday is upon us and I come with a fresh installment of 10 things that made me happy. This week was bittersweet for me, as it was the last in a long chain of weeks with random public holidays sprinkled here and there. But I do not despair, as its passing is bringing some other exciting happenings closer, including a few trips!
1. Blood is thicker than water
My bro is in town after long 4 months away. Immediate results: radiant mother, daily creative home cooking and a heart-wrenching love that can only be felt for a younger sibling. There is something quite special about having a sibling and the feelings you have for them. It is the only human in the world that shares everything with you: DNA, parenting experiments, room. It is also the only person, who will be there with you for most of your lives, as nature will have it. Nothing else can quite match that bond.
2. Spring cleaning
Dubious entry for this week, as I am not a domestic goddess by any stretch of imagination. But I do get immense satisfaction from seeing my cupboards nice and neat again, rearranging seasonal clothing and removing bulky items ‘out of sight, out of mind’. A few bags of cast away clothes later (all goes to a charity store down the road) and I could finally find my belongings once again, instead of rummaging through wardrobes in the dark.
3. Healthy eats
Another type of spring cleaning is the transition from winter comfort foods to light and refreshing nutrition options. My Russian roots came-a-calling this week and I just had to recreate my mother’s salad recipe, that screams ‘summer’ to me. In truth, I combined 2 salads that share the same dressing ingredient, yogurt. Well, sour cream would be more appropriate but I have been living abroad for over a decade and have managed to put some distance between me and my genetic love of that particular dairy product.
4. New blogging milestones
Not a milestone per se, but I have joined the ranks of Pinterest-groupies this week. I am not quite sure why I have resisted for so long but if I had to guess, I would say it was a subconscious method of self-preservation. Specifically, my wanderlust went into overdrive, when I saw the sheer volumes of terrific travel photographs sprinkled all over my suggestion page. And don’t even let me get started on the endless pictures of shoes, which I desperately want to adopt and call my own. Basically, Pinterest is a dangerous place for someone with poor self-control, such as myself.
Because who does not love gifts? A friend has made my weekend by presenting me with my next leisurely read, which promises to be delightful. The particular person is somewhat of a bookworm herself and has worked in publishing, so when she recommends you a book, it is basically an expression of a professional opinion, as far as I am concerned. The specific book is ‘The Bastard of Istanbul’ by Elif Şafak and I am saving it for my sailing trip around the Croatian coast that is coming up.
6. Bank holiday, again
I promise you, this is the last one (addressed to those, who literally want to strangle me at this point for bragging). But yet, this week was yet another ‘short’ one, courtesy of Labor Day, this time. No big plans were made or followed through with. No major adventures or even getaways took place. Just pure chilling and relaxation. But I ask you, who needs big plans, when you can curl up on the couch with this little fellow and take long naps?
P.S. Basically, my terrible cat’s uncharacteristically timid behavior is what made my day (those that have met Vegas, know what I mean).
7. Hitting new targets
As in literally, hitting them. This week I have been upgraded in my boxing class, from ‘shadowing’ to actually punching a stationary bag. It felt immensely satisfying to make such quick progress and I can’t even begin to describe to you what this controlled violence does for your stress levels. I may never be your regular Rocky (I am still trying to overcome my aversion to actually touching the gloves to my face), but as far as workouts go, boxing is probably my favorite class ever and I am glad I am learning the ropes fast.
8. On the road again
We marked the cycling season open, when me and a friend of mine took our respective bicycles out for a spin. Leave the fact that we did not really cycle too far (only until the nearest beach front cafe) and that I got my very first sunburn of the season, as a result of this escapade, it was thrilling all the same. Firstly, fun exercise that does not feel like exercise is officially the best way to get your blood flowing. Secondly, it was such a lovely way to start our day and appreciate the fact that we have a long stretch of a beach at our disposal to enjoy, as we please. This last part is often overlooked by me, personally, and it was healthy to have something remind me not to take it for granted.
9. The hills are alive
With the sound of music. I got to hear 2 live performances this week, which is a rare occasion and a very welcome change. First was the courtesy of my very own singing teacher and the second was a lovely surprise. First revolved around the very belt-y repertoire of my coach and the second brought to mind Frank Sinatra et al. First encouraged me to give my all at the next class (today) and the second urged me to pack my bags and catch a flight to Las Vegas. You can catch my last post on Las Vegas, here, which has little to nothing to do with the Rat Pack in itself, of course, but the city will always remind me of the great Frank.
I am almost through my New Scientist’s ‘Question Everything’ book and though I am sad to let it go, I thoroughly enjoyed getting my head around a different genre altogether. I typically sway towards Sci-Fi and historical novels, for my leisure reads and given that I am constantly reading for some professional qualification exam, my reading preferences are somewhat predictable. It was delightful to have this book to jolt my mind into another frame of thinking. For those, who love Quora take note, as this little gem kind of triggers the same all-encompassing hunger for knowledge in you.
And to wrap it all up, here is another #OOTD entry, worn to a formal affair over the weekend. I love me some tailoring (though I usually prefer a more ‘manly’ silhouette on suits) and I got to take my favorite Rockstuds for a spin. Stay tuned for more happy thoughts in next Monday’s ’10 things that made me happy’ (and everything in between).