Category Archives: Hobbies

Updating the kitchen on a budget

I’ve made so many plans for this year. So far, almost of all of them have gone bust or have been forgotten. But I’ve been rallying on about the kitchen for a few months now.

Marlanu'

The apartment we live in is owned by my parents. They moved to the country side last summer and left us in charge of the place. Which is awesome! We don’t have to pay rent or anything, we just need to pay all the bills and to make sure the house is kept up.

But, that’s the thing. The house is clean and all (all thanks to me), but the last time it was renovated was back when I was still in middle school. Quick reminder that I’m 28 years old now. It’s been a long time since anything has been done in the house (besides our bedroom and the appliances that broke down). We also got a cat and a dog, and there were some damages done. Not major damages. but the place could do with some improvements.

I’m fully aware that this place is not ours, but it will be a while before we could get a place of our own (with minimum damage to our financial status). So, I really don’t mind making some improvements, especially to the kitchen.

I was planning on buying things one at a time, not to disrupt our day to day expenses. But, that didn’t happen. The fridge broke down!

kitchencontent of the fridge

Truthfully, I was expecting the oven to go first.

I’m so glad my paycheck was great this month, and that Johnny is going to get his paycheck with 3 days sooner. We went shopping this weekend, and the fridge is full. If anything would go bad I would kick myself. We spent a good deal of money on groceries, since we made sure we have enough for an entire month. All the important stuff is in the freezer (meat mostly).

I am, in a way, happy that we are getting a new fridge. But, I was hopping to buy tile first. Then the kitchen cabinets, shelves and a new sink. Afterwards a new kitchen table and lastly, if needed, the appliances.

With that said, tomorrow we get our new fridge.

Feeling proud for my friend!

Yes, I’m feeling proud for my friend!

Proud

Source: Tumblr

One thing that I enjoy about me being back at work, is the fact that I’ve made new friends. There are a lot of interesting characters, with different hobbies and interests. And, by chance I was able to find someone with common hobbies! That’s a rare thing and I am really giddy about it.

This new friend is very much in love with the Korean culture.

She is very active in learning and pursuing her own interests (culture, language, and so on). She is on a different level than I am, and I couldn’t be more happy and proud of her. Proud that she is actively pursuing her goals and dreams.

She is currently in Korea! Yup. She’s participating in the World Samulnori Competition! I’m guessing she is having a lot of fun and seeing a lot of awesome things. I can’t wait for her to get back. I want details and amazing stories to be shared. Most likely, an outing is in order so we can enjoy ourselves better.

One thing I do know for sure, I’m probably gonna want to go all out as well. So, she’s going to be a good muse for me. That, and I also want to speak Korean and Japanese (need to get back to practicing).

Ahh, the joys of having a friend with common interests. That never happened to me before.

Hope, she’ll come back soon and I hope she had a great time there. HWAITING!

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Source: Tumblr

25 days till September

I know this might sound crazy, but I can’t wait for September.

I am fully aware the weather will not get colder as soon as the 1st of September comes, but I hope it will not be as hot as it is now. Since I still have 2 more months on the night shift, and I want another 2 more (for financial reasons), I just want nice weather for me to sleep during the day.

25 more days of waiting.. Yes, I counted the days in the calendar.

For me to complete my current goals, I need money. And for money, I need the night shift. But, for me to be functional on the night shift I need to sleep. And for me to sleep, I need to have a nice comfortable bed, a quiet environment and if possible colder weather.

I’m gonna be as busy as possible this month (when I am awake) just to make time pass faster.

With that in mind, I started a week of good habits. I haven’t smoked in almost 12 hours (trying to quit!). I had breakfast and lunch (healthy home made food), cleaned the house, read and even watched a few episodes from “Gilmore Girls” (almost finished season 1).

God, I want this weather to go away! I want Autumn. I want September to come and I want my phone to be fixed so I can take nice pictures. I want sweaters and jackets. I want to be able to wear jeans without worrying that I won’t be able to get out of them.

And, it will take another 25 days till I can use this gif:

September

Oh well, at least I hope I will quit smoking this year.

Old fashioned?

Old fashioned?

old fashioned

Is it me, or things haven’t changed that much when it comes to taking care of yourself? I mean, we don’t see videos like this one on TV anymore (that would be something), but the rules are basically the same with some new twists and turns.

This kind of videos are really cute and, I dare say, very informative. But at the same time a bit cringe worthy. We live in a day where information is available at your fingertips. If you need to know something (especially something personal) you can just google it. And if it’s something really embarrassing you can always use incognito mode.

I just can’t imagine staying at home with your parents and watching them. I could imagine them, judging me: “Is my kid neat enough?“. Sure, some of them are innocent enough, but what about those topics? Yes, you know what I am talking about.

Have no fear, we have those kind of videos as well.

What? Were you expecting a video on sex? Well, this one is much better, hilarious actually. Talk about being old fashioned. The ending killed me! After all, “there’s no need to get out of your clothes as you were a sack of potatoes” or “there’s no point in leaving your bedroom as a cyclone struck it”. Ahh, the fun and joys of living in society, being told what is right and what is wrong. Eternally being watched and silently judged by others. Fun, fun, fun. And to think the only reason why I stumbled upon these lovely videos is because I was looking for vintage dresses. I guess being old fashioned is not as glamorous as the fashion of the times themselves.

Please don’t be primitive!

Too hot!

It’s too hot! I can’t take it anymore. I’m doing nothing and I’m sweating rivers.

I hate spending the summer in the city. If you don’t have AC (which we don’t) it’s murder. This is when the summer heat is real. While I can always take a shower, eat an ice cream or drink ice cold water, Pluto and Marlanu’ have limited options.

I can see them melting away in the house and taking them outside is not an option. They just hide away in the bathroom, which is probably the most coolest room of the house at the moment.

Pluto is too hotMarlanu'

Also, this heat is affecting my work as well. It makes me sleepy and taking a good sleep during the day is almost impossible. I can’t sleep during the night, because I’m on the night shift (and I will be on the night shift till October). I even checked the weather reports and we’ll have to endure this heat for a week at least.

I can’t wait for autumn.

I do not like feeling hot. I do not like sweating, and I certainly do not like how unproductive I am because of the heat. I barely managed to wash the dishes, put in 2 loads in the washing machine and sort the clothes. I was supposed to do some ironing as well, but that’s out of the question. As far as I’m concerned, I would rather wear crumpled clothes than die next to the iron.

At least I have more time for my hobbies. And the best hobby for this kind of weather is reading. I’m slowly catching up on my reading challenge for this year.

Mini vacation at Brasov

Our mini vacation has come to an end. It will probably be the only vacation we’ll have this summer and I’m happy that we had a great time.

It wasn’t exactly a vacation in the full sense of the word. There was a wedding in the family, and of course we had to attend. We just took advantage of the location of the wedding, which was at Brasov.

Mini vacation at Brasov

Considering we went as a family, I can’t really complain. It went much better then expected. We managed to make everyone happy, which in itself is an achievement of great proportions. But the best part was that we didn’t had to compromise on anything.

The wedding itself was short (comparing it with other weddings that we’ve been to). But the location, the food & the atmosphere was great.

Kronwell Hotel Brasov View

The wedding itself was held at the Kronwell Hotel. It was one of the best weddings I’ve attended. I’m also glad it didn’t last long, because I was able to get some well deserved rest on this vacation. 3 full nights of rest! I’m well aware that I’ll spend another 2 months on the night shift so I take whatever rest I can get.

I’m also glad I did some research before leaving, regarding the local attractions in Brasov. Otherwise, we would’ve missed a lot of great things: starting from the String Street (Romanian: Strada Sforii), which they walked past by without even given a second glace, all the way to the Black Church (Romanian: Biserica Neagra).

Street In BrasovBrasov tourist attractionOld street in Brasov

There were so many beautiful buildings. So many streets I wanted to roam and take photos of. Really, I enjoyed Brasov more than Sibiu.


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Truthfully, I wish we would’ve had more time because there were other things I wanted to see. But then again, Brasov will still be there and it will be a good enough reason to visit it again.

There was also a rock concert. Apparently it was the Frienship Days Bergenbier festival. The beer was cheap, the music was good. What more could we ask for.

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But the best part of them all was no pets! Yes, I am going to say it, it was nice to not worry about Pluto and Marlanu’. It was nice to go out or stay in as we wished. Not having to worry if the dog needs to pee or that he needs a walk. As much as we love those two, It was great to have a vacation away from them.

A small compact photo camera

I’ve decided: I’m going to buy me a small compact photo camera. The one that I have now is way to big to take with me on a daily basis. It’s just not practical.

It’s been 2 months since my AllView phone died on me (the battery couldn’t handle my usage). I never realized how much that phone meant to me and I really miss it. From the awesome photos it took, to playing Pokemon on it, it was a part of my daily life, and it always delivered. The iPhone 4 that I am using now (which is Johnny’s old phone), doesn’t satisfy me at all (I won’t even get into details, just thinking about it makes my blood boil).

While I was looking to buy a new smartphone with a good camera, I realized it would be cheaper to buy a small compact photo camera. After all, on the phone I use a few applications (Instagram, Mail, and a few games).

But I always want to take pictures. Photos are an essential part of my life. It’s the way I record my memories, from the random ones to the most important. That’s why I will switch my focus from a new smartphone to a new compact photo camera.

That and the prices have gone down a lot since I bought my original Sony photo camera, back in 2007 (which by the way, is still flawless and works like new). So, I’ve decided on Sony DSC-W800. It’s one of the cheapest models on the market, but at the same time it can also deliver.

A compact photo camera

Initially I wanted to buy a Nikon or a Cannon. But decided against it. I’m familiar with the DSC models from Sony, and I’ve never been let down by the quality of their products (the fact that my Walkman is still alive after 5 years & that my initial photo camera works after 8 years, proves their durability). And, as far as a compact photo camera, it’s a great model for beginners and amateurs like me.

As soon as my pay check comes in August, I’m hitting the stores to buy this little baby (the black model). Hopefully I’ll find and a pouch for it at a reasonable price. The reason why my electronics last as long as they do, is because I also take good care of them.

Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time

“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” ― Marthe Troly-Curtin

I can honestly say that I’ve wasted my time. Most of it was wasted on sleep, yet most of the times I wake up more tired than when I go to bed. Other times, I just waste it running around in circles and not getting much done (concerning the household chores).

I’m not the most productive person at the moment.

Yet, I feel that these past few weeks the time spent with loved ones and friends was not wasted. Some good memories came out of it, and of course some good photos as well (even if most of them are with our pets).

Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

Aren’t they beautiful?! Our babies have grown up and they are just adorable when they play and hang out together. Not only that, but it feels like they’ve created a friendship between them like the ones we had when we were children. Something that cannot be replaced.

Pluto and MayaTime you enjoy wasting is not wasted time Pluto with his ballMaya taking a nap

I’ve also managed to read a book in one sitting. It was a book from the Maigret series by Georges Simenon: “Maigret And The Idle Burglar“. I’ve actually missed reading and I’ve had a great opportunity this weekend when we babysat Maya (her owner was our of town at a wedding).

Maigret And The Idle Burglar

I loved it because it was one of those slow paced books, even if it was rather short. But then again, a book doesn’t have to be long to be interesting. And, it was really relaxing reading it while Pluto and Maya were sleeping next to me.

Pluto and MayaPluto and Maya sleeping

Of course, now I’ve started a new one called “Maigret’s Failure” by the same author. I’ve realized reading is a good way to go to sleep, especially since I find it hard to sleep during the day (I’m still on the night shift).

 So, my time has been wasted but I enjoyed wasting it. It was a nice break from the fast pace I’ve been having ever since I started work again

Feeling Happy

I’m feeling happy. I don’t have a specific reason for feeling this way. I just do.

Or, I believe I might have one. I was a bit lost in finding a specific goal to keep me motivated and just grounded. I couldn’t find one till I opened my blog (this one).

This blog makes me happy. It has precious memories of our daily adventures. We might not live a glamorous life, but it’s our life and that makes it so much more special. What keeps me motivated and grounded is making precious memories. And I’ve managed to keep things happy and free of any personal drama away from this special place.

This is a happy place for me.

Feeling happy

My goal is to build a life I don’t need a vacation from – Rob Hill Sr

This quote describes best my current feelings.

So, I’m just going to keep working on improving my vacation free life and make it as enjoyable as possible. I am also plotting on a few adventures with John. After all, it’s been such a long time since we went on an adventure. Just the 2 of us (and something tells me, Pluto will be joining in).

Just one more month and things will start moving. I can’t wait for things to get back on the same old track. And, if I will ever need motivating I shall come back to this place. Feeling happy, being happy, whatever the term I’m good with it.

On that note, tomorrow I shall go back to work feeling motivated.

Lazy mornings

I was thinking that I would have to say goodbye to my lazy mornings. But, that’s not the case anymore.

It’s true that at 7 AM, 5 days a week, I am making my way back home (since I have the night shift). But, it’s still a lazy morning. While others are rushing to get to work, my day is ending and I can slowly enjoy the summer mornings.

I get to see the sunset from work, which is really pretty (from any part of the building, since it’s a glass building). I get to listen to good music (like “You’re nobody till somebody loves you” by Dean Martin). I take the long, non-crowded route and enjoy the morning breeze.

Lazy mornings

Once I get home, I put on the kettle to make coffee (for John) and take out Pluto for his morning walk. It’s become a ritual.

Pluto Pluto on his morning walk

A ritual that I’ll be doing for the next two months at least. I am hoping that I’ll be able to keep my shift (from 11PM till 7AM). It’s the shift that suits me best considering our current needs. Next week John will start work as well (at a new place) and we’ll be able to see each other in the morning and in the afternoon.

This way we can share the share our chores and responsibilities (taking care of Pluto and Marlanu’). Well, Marlanu’ doesn’t much attention, since cats live in their own world, but Pluto is a different story.

Marlanu'

Speaking of Marlanu’, he managed to find another comfortable place to take a nap. Not sure if I should change my bag or not. Oh well, it’s nothing that we can’t handle. The fact that I am still able to enjoy my lazy mornings and get a good sleep during the day makes up for all the other little problems.

Hopefully, I shall a new twist to my lazy mornings, that being photography.