Friday, January 29, 2016

Clickable Links Friday.

We have yet another birthday coming up this weekend in our family, so I'm hoping, no more cake incidents, ha! This time I'm making a lemon meringue pie, wish me luck!

Today's clickable links:

Do you dry brush? This is new to me, I don't think my sensitive skin could ever handle it.

I'm thinking of getting this matte lipstick one once they hit the stores.

Oh! and I like this one too. What do you think?

Comfort food and our brains. 

Amazing video of Iceland. Warning: Aurora Borealis may cause awe-induced goose bumps. 

Yessss! to high rise flare jeans.

I came to a conclusion: I like soap. A lot. 

Leo DiCaprio, our planet, and Pope Francis. Respectfully enough, he thanks the Pope in Italian. 

The Boons of Prunes

I wish every 23 year old (or better yet, pick any age) knew this

Have a good one!

(*Photo downloaded from 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

How To Practice Mindfulness: Try This Easy Technique First.

These series of weekly posts, about mindfulness techniques, will explain one technique per week in hopes that you (and me) will put them into practice, and may be check in next week to see how that went.   

First things first...What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is being aware of your thoughts, your body, and feelings. It involves being in the present moment, with the experience, in a non judgmental way.  

What is it good for?

It's a powerful healing tool used for stress reduction, anxiety, sleep problems and many other clinical conditions.

How to Start? Easy Technique First.

I'd say, in order to ease into mindfulness, practice Informal Mindfulness. Have you ever multi tasked your way into the dining room, bringing more than you can handle to the table, only to realize, a few seconds later, that you have dropped half of what you were carrying and even managed to hit your thumb against a chair? (?!) I have! 

Informal mindfulness would be the exact opposite to multitasking. Single-tasking is achieved by doing one thing at a time and being fully present, paying attention to what ever it is that you are doing at a specific moment in time.

Leave the autopilot for another day. Start practicing mindfulness by engaging all your senses and be fully present when you pet your dog, drink your favorite cup of coffee, play a card game with your kids, or even do the dishes. Breathe, inhale and exhale peacefully while you are at it. Be fully present. Acknowledge moment to moment sensations. 

Put this into practice, cultivate mindfulness, by focusing your attention on your sensations during your everyday activities, and see what good things this technique unfolds. (No more thumb hitting for me, please!)

Stay tuned for more formal techniques next week! Have you ever practiced mindfulness? Are you keen on multitasking :/? 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Clickable Links Friday And My Carrot Cake Incident

It was my birthday yesterday, January 21st. I was very happy to be having friends and family over, but one unexpected thing happened involving my homemade cake.

I made a carrot cake for the occasion. The moment came for me to blow out the candles, so I went to the fridge and took the cake out. When I was about to place it on the table, it slipped out of my hands, splashing onto the floor... sniff, sniff! Ruined carrot cake kind of situation.

Something to do with the plastic lid that was covering the cake, and the slippery, and very breakable glass dish. Anyway... my very good friends went to the nearest Havanna shop and got me another cake (yum!) Problem solved. 

Apart from this random incident, and the fact that I'm one year older,  :/  next week I'm starting a series of blog posts about mindfulness techniques and how to incorporate them to our daily lives. Are you interested?

Have a great weekend! 

On self confidence.

10 ways introverts interact differently with the world

Bad news for our planet but we can generate change.

There's a 64.5% chance of it happening! Downton Abbey movie.

World's best countries.The German way.

Good thing I like tomatoes. Do you? Caprese salad, anyone? 

The repercussions of Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman's names. (video) Why I find British humor so funny is still beyond my comprehension. 

Thank  you for reading!

(Photo taken during our last trip to Punta del Este.) 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Chocolate Soap Dilemma

Last week, I saw this bar of soap at my local VZ Bath & Body shop. I thought it was beautiful and fun. So, I brought it home with me. However, when I opened it and smelled it, I immediately wanted to eat it! 

Bottom line, to me, something is wrong with the concept. On one hand, I think it's pretty and fun but once you smell it, your temporal lobe engages in a dilemma. To eat, or not to eat. Ha!

I currently placed it in my socks drawer patiently waiting for the one in use to call it quits. I can't pin point exactly what it is about this chocolate soap. Vanilla, I can manage. Chocolate, apparently is too much to handle. Yum! Maybe I should try other brands with more of a soapy scent. Any favorites?

Do you like any "edible" bar soaps? 

P.S. Throws, Pashminas, Ponchos & Everything in Between  and  How to Make Palmiers

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Yoga: My Feel Good Workout

The evolution of my workout routine is going very well so far, thank you very much. I went from completely unmotivated to happily anticipating my next yoga class.

How this happened has everything to do with Yoga With Adriene. Her yoga camp classes (I'm currently on day 18 of 30 days of yoga) are daily improving my overall well being.

It's not just about the good workout. It's about experiencing yoga as a whole, learning to be present and attesting that there actually is a connection between mind and body, and that by tending to it, your well being flourishes.

Give it a try and let me know! You see, I've tried yoga before but never really got into it. Previous classes I tried with different teachers never clicked. What can I say?...there's something about Adriene's guidance and, the way she incorporates mantras (today's mantra was "I surrender") to specific movements.

Now, here I am, recommending you to take a look at one of Adriene's videos. Any video. All of them have a common theme: finding what feels good. And that's exactly what you get: you feel good.

Don't worry about flexibility. It doesn't matter what level of yoga you subscribe to, she's got you covered. She is funny, but can also be serious, caring, smart and all this, in the right dose, with an ease and "flow" that results in a dignifying, uplifting yoga class. I guess Adriene has been touched by the magic wand that grants talent. And she uses it for our benefit, yay! A great yoga guide all around.

Can you tell I've been having the best time at yoga camp? Are you a yoga camper already? Have you ever tried an at home yoga class? 

P.S. Cultivating Well Being,  Cheese Plate Praise and When Stars Align: Yoga and Life 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Clickable Links

What are your plans for the weekend? I'm on a full-time mom mode. My kids are on summer vacation until the end of February. Sometimes it's a challenge, but between having their friends over and going to the movies we are surviving doing fine, thanks...

1. Speaking of movies, and of kids being on vacation...we went to see Star Wars 7. Have you seen it?  I cried twice! Star Wars is a sci-fi movie, and I cried... twice(?!!?). I guess, it's not every day that you see Han Solo and Princess Leia reunite. :)

2. On the subject of reunions... Have  you heard? Friends is coming back after a 12 year break?

3. If, by any chance, you are a Friends connoisseur, and fan (like me), you may want to consider this Instagram account, with daily clips of different episodes.

4. 10 myths about introverts.

5. If you follow this blog, (if not, I'll quote Caroline Hirons and say "how rude"!) you may know that I'm loving yoga and learning a lot in the process, especially from Yoga with Adriene. Well, in this case I found 10 yoga poses to relieve anxiety.

6. Chimps reveal defining element of friendship

7. When a good cry is good for you.

8. It's hard to be an Actor (funny).

Have a great weekend! 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Can You Help Me Decide What To Store In These Glass Jars?

So...I have a question to ask you. What do you think I should store in these jars? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

How I Ended Up With Two Big Jars In My Kitchen.

My husband works in the construction business. A few years back, he needed to decorate one of the apartments to function as a model unit. He hired a very tasteful interior decorator who bought many lovely things, and left the apartment looking beautiful and homely. The place was easily sold, as well as the rest of the building. 

Years passed, and up I go to my home attic to get the Christmas tree. Lucky me, little did I know that I would find my "early Christmas present" laying there in a box (yay!). 

Exhibit A and B (black boxes), the jars above, and other items, such as, candles, big wooden spoons, and pear shaped glass bottles were inside the box. Everything was in perfect condition, as good as new.

Fast forward to today, and here I am, facing a true fact. I can't decide what to put in them. It's been a few weeks now and these jars "stare" at me every time I go into the kitchen.

At first I though spaghetti. That could work, although I'm trying to eat less pasta and seeing pasta enticingly displayed, certainly won't help. I also considered flour, sugar or salt. Cookies? Too tempting. you can see.. I can't decide. Do you have any ideas? What would you store in them? Do you have jars on display in your kitchen?



Alina :)

Friday, January 8, 2016

Like or Dislike: Vanilla Perfumes

A few years ago, I was carpet shopping, for my home stairs. I went to a shop, near my house, where you can find a good selection. When I got in, the air smelled sweet and comforting. It was vanilla. The girl at the counter was wearing it, and I'm pretty sure they were using a vanilla room spray, as well .

I loved it at the time. From then on, my quest for a vanilla perfume began! I ended up getting the Sephora Collection, eau de toilette, vanilla purse spray, months later. I used it a lot during that year, but for some reason, I don't wear it as often anymore. Yesterday, I sprayed it on my pillow and it almost had the same effect as lavender. Calming, but with an added cozy and warm twist. 

I couldn't find it on the Sephora site today, so I'm not sure whether they have it in stock right now, or not, but here's a list of 14 (apparently "of the best") vanilla perfumes.

The one I got is very sweet. It smells like vanilla with sugar on top. Extra sweet. Definitely, not an every day kind of fragrance for me, but on the days I want to smell like cake, I wear it! :)

So now, I'm curious to know about you. Do you like sweet scents? Some people can't stand wearing them. What kind of perfumes do you like to wear?

P.S. Perfumes I like and How often do you change your staple perfume?


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Back from the Beach! Our Vacation: Punta Del Este, Uruguay.

I'm back after a two week break. The beach was fun and refreshing. It's so interesting to see how spending a week (or even a weekend) somewhere else, on vacation, can reset your thinking and charges your whole system with new energy.

It's safe to say that I had a very relaxing time...

We stayed at Solanas Green Park in Punta del Este. Beautiful place with gorgeous parks and quite a few things to do. 

One thing though, next time I'd prefer going to a place where, at least, breakfast is served daily. Going so often to the supermarket was not on my plans for this short vacation. But, I'm not complaining, we managed...we did go out for lunch every day. The housewife in me was very happy about that. 

We played paddle, went to one pool with warm water and to another one with a big slide. 

My boys even learned to play pool!

Uruguayan beaches are beautiful. Vast and clean with medium temperature, clear waters. I filmed a few short clips and posted them on my Instagram account herehere, and here, if you'd like to see.

There's a huge beach with very little, to non existent waves, called Playa Mansa, and another one, with bigger waves, called Playa Brava. My boys always chose Playa Brava to brush up on their surfing skills. 

Do you remember I told you to keep your eyes peeled for a sunset pic on my Instagram? Well, I thankfully got one. Tada!!

Punta del Este is a very easygoing beach town but, at the same time, it's one of those places where celebrities from all over the world, eventually, stop by.

It can be either sophisticated, or homely, and simple. Your choice. There's even a Trump Tower under construction (?). It sounds ambivalent but, this part of the southern hemisphere, is family friendly and it also has a worldly night life.

Did you have a nice holiday break? Hope you had a great start to 2016. If not, we always have time to turn it around, right?

Stay tuned for more posts coming up! 

P.S. A visit to the Museo de la Plata, Buenos Aires and The World of Coca Cola