I woke up like this

…Flawless

On lazy Saturday afternoon, when Utrecht was covered in that 1cm of snow, I was sitting with my friend and her boyfriend in a bar eating some deep fried stuff (Bitterballen are love) and drinking wine.

The conversation was about my 10-minute online dating experience ( aka the gift of finding something wrong with any picture). And then we went on talking about the  power/importance of the looks in the first impression.

And here comes the thunder in the blue sky. The friend’s boyfriend goes like: “Well, I think a girl in sneakers, in a casual shirt, with her hair in a bun and a beer in her hand looks very sexy”. My bitterball gets stuck in the throat: “What?!”

The next day I kept thinking about the sneakers-bun-beer image, and thought it actually can be sexy.. but(!! and this is crucial ) with quite some work on the background.

I agree it’s not always about the high heels, heavy make up and the dress. However, it’s always about being..polished maybe?

Your feet are soft just like a baby, cuticles doesn’t resemble the lifestyle of a homeless, nail polish covers the whole nail (and not like “oh, I should have removed it a week ago”). No hair on the legs is allowed, the skin on the elbows should be soft. The hair should be clean, soft and shine, smelling like a bouquet of fresh flowers in spring.

The face has this healthy glow as if you never got tired in your whole life. Super smooth lips and groomed eyebrows (aka not resembling a warm or a caterpillar).

The body is toned. The clothes fits perfectly. And the sneakers are clean and kinda new.

And ok, if you have all of this that look can be sexy.

P.S. The more I live in the Netherlands, the more I love the Youtubers (quite some are Russian) who keep talking about hair/facials/make up/body. In Russia, no matter how much money you have or how much time you have, there is a bare minimum that is considered to be something just like brushing your teeth. Here the minimum is literally “I woke up like this” and my Russian soul(and eyes) is missing being around women who look “taken care of”  🙂

Welcome 2017!

How did you welcome the new year?

For the first time I hosted a New Years party! And it was the first party  in my new home. For that reason I was a bit worried about everything going smoothly and being fun. Lucky me, my worries were for nothing 😊 We got a ton of food, from all over the world: Russian salad(my love), indian samosas, Dutch oliebollen, Belgian chocolate mousse(it was so delicious everybody had to eat it with eyes closed)). And lots of Spanish, Italian and French sparkling drinks! A good party is when there are more empty bottles than there were guests))

We have this silly saying ‘you spend the year the way you see braced it’. So 2017 is waiting for me in an open silk dress, with perfect hair, dancing like crazy to 90s hits.

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4am after party selfie
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Nobody  starved 😅

Thank you 2016

How to leave the past behind?

I guess it’s my wicked mind trying to reflect on the past year as hard as it can. This reflections lead me to red wine and ice cream.
Why is it so that I keep thinking again and again about the failures of the year? It’s just a “bad radio signal” kind of noise in my head. And all the positives seem not so big. Or maybe just not so noisy.
Actually this year was great.
I visited the places that I always wanted to visit. I spend a week in lovely Georgia eating the wonderful food and drinking the best rose in the world.
I discovered that I got true friends in the Netherlands.
I discovered a lot about myself, something it wasn’t anything positive- but as we all know first step to solving a problem is realizing that you have  a problem. As my step counter app says “you are on the way to greatness!”
This year I got my first home.
This year I learned to enjoy time alone and not to feel lonely.
I started doing things that I wanted to do for years-and was postponing for years. Not in am back to dancing. I started colouring a painting. Started doing the group class at the gym and actually, to my surprise, being able to enjoy it.
I had the strength to say goodbye to people who didn’t make my life better.
I learned to make my life better.
Once again I realized what a sweet, loving and supportive family is have.
So..thank you 2016, for all the great and powerful experiences I had this year!

Honesty is the best policy

Guys, let’s be honest.. Btw how honest do you think you are?

What I noticed is that people (including myself) tend to think better about themselves than about others. “Oh I am such a well mannered person, and that I was rude to the waiter today-I was just tired, that’s a reason decent enough”. Such little lies won’t hurt, right?

How about being honest to others? Living in the Netherlands I heard a billion times about ‘Dutch directness’. What I have to say about it is that being impolite/tactless is not that same as being honest, and that’s the confusion for me. I expected the second but keep seeing the first.

And how about being honest with yourself? Not direct, thinking “you fat cow” when looking in the mirror,  but namely honest. Saying to yourself “you are so bored with your life that can’t stop chewing” seems to be a different approach.

How often do you illude yourself? ‘It will change’ you think. ‘it’s tempory’. ‘I just smoke socially’. ‘I really tried’. ‘He will change his mind’. ‘I would have done that if I really wanted’.

To be honest..honesty is scary. Being honest to yourself in many cases means change. Insecurity. Starting from scratch. It’s all really tough. But the risk of not doing that is that one day years from now you will wake up and cry. Because you lived somebody else’s  life. Because of all the opportunities you missed and the time you wasted.

Be honest and tell yourself what you like and what you don’t like. And have the guts  to do something about it. Or to accept that but then be at peace with the situation.

This honesty will save you from major disappointments. And it is never too late to start practicing it! Make it your number one New Year’s resolution. “I will always be honest with myself”. And I will do that too 🙂

Just face it

Monday morning not the best time of the week by default, the gloomy Dutch weather makes it even more weird. The fog around sort of says “Get some red wine and start talking philosophical bullshit”.

No red wine for me, but got some thoughts to share. Have you meet those people, hm.. in Russia we say “with a needle in their arse”, meaning they just can’t sit still- always running around and doing things. Suddenly it crossed my mind that there are two sides to this behavior. One- is that you truly love discovering new places, trying out new things, really enjoy being around people.

The other- not so cheerful- you are so badly trying to avoid reality. Enjoying the company is not the same as running away from loneliness.  Discovering new places is not the same as feeling sick when you are at home. Just face it, if life sucks there is no way you can ran away from it forever. At some point you will stop and realize that you don’t have truly dear people to you, that there is no place you can call “Home”, or that you can’t stand spending time alone because you are so bored with yourself.

Stop for a moment and face it. As we all know acknowledging the problem is the first step to solving it.

XX

My favourite band in the world is coming to Amsterdam! Saw it on Facebook today, immediately checked tickets to see if they are not sold out already (concert is in February btw:) ) Lucky me, the sales only start next week and as a true dutch I put it in my agenda to buy them right in time.

The band is the XX – and why it’s favourite: first time I heard their song Heart Skipped a Beat like 6-7 years ago. For several years I had it as my alarm clock. And I still like the song!

When people ask me what music I like I always get lost- don’t think there is some particalar style I like and my favourite songs come from all sorts of bands and singers, but I am totally sure there is something in common between all of them. I call it sort of the “perfect background” music, nice melody and no matter how loud you put it the never feels like something is screaming in your ear. And it also doesn’t disturb my own (very messy) flow of thoughts.

And might be, for the first time in my life, I am ready to go to a concert by myself (the first moments of Bridget Jones come up in my mind).

  • looking through this post I realised I have no clue about the proper punctuation in English

Sweet november

-doctor, I want to stay under the blanket with a cup of tea all the time, what’s wrong with me??

– it’s normal, you have November

So this season started: still too far from holidays, but already cold like in Siberia! OK,  never been to Siberia, but i assume, the weather is no better than here 🙂

What annoys me most is that it’s dark all the time- going to work is still night, coming back home already night. Well, the good part is that is the perfect season for red wine! doesn’t seem as heavy anymore 🙂

Also I feel like staying home more, tea and movies are so much more attractive than dressing up and (oh gosh!) leaving the house! not to turn into a complete sociopath Dutch way of keeping agenda helps a lot! when you made plans, bought tickets when it was still warm, the thought of having your money wasted pushes in the direction of the door no matter the weather )))

But so far sharing my autumn favourite,the best tea I tried in a long time! If you live in the Netherlands check out this Simon Levelt shop, the tea selection is great.20161109_213144

And then the perfect evening at home, blanket, movie, tea and rituals candle

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So guys, no matter how bad is the weather, make the most out of it, use the time to enjoy yourself !

“if you are so smart then why are you so poor?”

I was making dinner yesterday night,my all-you-can-find curry, and was listening to a Russian psychology  programe on the radio. A woman called to ask her question: “my family keeps critisizing me about everything: my job, my looks, hobbies. this really offends me, but I know they just want all the best for me. how to deal with such heavy criticism and not ruin the relationships with them?”. so the psychologist says “the only reason people criticize others is the attempt to raise their own self esteem”.

Wow, if only that wise thought reached my ears like 2 years ago! in Russia we say “smarties learn from mistakes of others, fools learn from their own mistakes”. I am definitely the fool here, can’t do anything about that. but now the trick is how not to be an even bigger fool and not to fall into the same pit over and over again.

So the recommendation in that program was to immediately say that you don’t like hearing this criticism , and if this happens again you just stop the relationship with that person! as simple as that! for some reason I felt like I will offend someone if I tell them to keep their mouth shut about how imperfect I am. But now I realise I should have cared about my own feelings first.

Ah, and by the way, the solution to break the relationship doesn’t really work if you depend on those people. So if you are 30, living with your parents and unhappy about how they criticize you all the time- first move out and then make your own rules.;)

And that’s the dinner that came out of a 30min radio show!afterlight-1

Work work work

Tough day at work is when in the end of an 8-hour meeting you suddenly notice a tiny Twix candy under the table. It’s obvious someone stepped on it and probably it was there for weeks, but it’s still wrapped so you start discussing with your colleagues if you should actually eat it.

But really, office is just killing me sometimes. The air that goes out of the ventilation systems here is meant to fight every living creature. Hand, face, eyes (brain?) get as dry as the Sahara desert. Having a hand cream in the bag helps, but even better is to open the windows once in a while during the day. Outside air (at least in my country of fields and cows) is much richer with oxygen, this  also helps a lot with headaches and yawning all the time.

And cut off some caffeine! Probably if say no to coffee completely, you might seem a bit grumpy to colleagues J but try taking max 3-4 coffees a day, and a glass of water for each cup.  Still might seem like a lot, but not for local standards! A lot of Dutch drink like 10 cups a day, probably trying to replace sun energy with caffeine (you can recognize those by slightly grayish skin color).
drink-coffee-do-stupid-things-faster-and-with-more-energy-quote-1Also make your step counter happy – walk around the building during the lunch break, 10 min invested will make you feel so much better.

And remember: working hard is not the same as working smart 😉

It’s all about the balance

Today was second time I tried a group class at my gym- I’m delighted! For those of you who are “office veggies” just like me- Body Balance class will solve all the troubles!

First, the music is super relaxing. Then there is no one screaming in your ears to do the ‘harder stronger better’, no one jumps around like crazy- that’s too much stress after a full time working day.

All the exercises are slow but still making your muscles work. Lots and lots of stretching (you can be as gentle to yourself as you like). So for three days already no back panes, even thought I spend on my chair biggest part of the day. Even my shoulder blade that felt stuck for the last 3 weeks magically stopped bothering me. The class finishes in 10min meditation, official time for day dreaming or just a little nap 🙂

So that can be a great option for those who need their body as a friend, not an enemy. Mind gets in order as a bonus!