Friday, 30 May 2014

Friday Favorites

1. My new fragrance: my mom's nearest and dearest treated her to a week-long trip to Paris in honor of her 60th birthday (mom, you rock!). Apart from having a ball, mom did the obligatory cheese and macarons shopping, as well as brought a little something something for a very special someone, er, me. Having accidentaly broken a bottle of my favorite Iris by Prada a few months ago, I went without a signature scent as I couldn't really decide which one to get. Mom resolved all dilemmas and came back with a new Givenchy fragrance, Eau Demoiselle. I love it to bits, it's gentle and flowery and does not interfere with my sensitive prego nose. And the packaging is great, vintage-looking, taking pride of place on my vanity.

2. The new Coldplay album, on repeat since released, calming and soothing for my overwrought nerves. I remember doing the same during my first pregnancy, no wonder my daughter loves them.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

It's official - I'm a Cumberbitch!

I just finished watching the three episodes of Season 3 of Sherlock on the sly and all I have to say is - hot damn Benedict Cumberbatch! Never mind that these three trump all previous episodes, never mind that the dynamic duo - Holmes and Watson - unfolds with such delicate complexity and unstoppable emotion before our eyes, never mind that they finally have a female character that is a match for both, what marks a distinct and profound change for me is the fact that now when I hear Holmes I think - Benedict, not Jeremy Brett any more! And I thought that would be impossible! Seriously!

Apart from his acting skills and that voice, here's proof undeniable that Benedict Cumberbatch is one good looking sleuth!

Sexy Sherlock
Photo Shoot

My personal favorite:

Thursday, 22 May 2014

The Year We Lost our Grandfathers

Knowing that the Grim Reaper comes for those who are indeed first in line given their age and health issues does not make loosing a family member any easier. Within a month apart, both my husband and me lost our grandfathers. They were both almost 90 and their health, their bodies were failing them in the past few months to the point that living was not easy. Both have been blessed with long lives and relatively good health well into their 80s so I guess that in and of itself is more than any of us can hope to experience given our sedentary way of life and the questionable quality of food we are ingesting.
That does not mean that their lives were easy. My husband's grandfather survived the Second World War in a German labor camp. My grandfather was purposefully displaced from Montenegro - the land of stone and hills - to the rural flats of the Serbian northern province of Vojvodina. They both spent most of their lives tending to the land and animals, although they both also earned their pensions through regular office work.
Losing my grandfather means there is one less member of my family from my late father's side and that makes me so sad because it's also like every time that happens I'm also losing another part of my dad again. My grandpa was a tall, strong man, with wavy hair - a feature most of us, his grand kids, have inherited. He was very optimistic and easygoing in his manner and very disciplined and hardworking. He could cook wonderfully, another trait that runs among the male members of my family, and could also make a mean apple strudel. He was also very stubborn, another of his characteristics that some of us (khm, khm) inherited without doubt.
My husband's grandfather was a figure of authority, old-school man of the house type, but also with a great sense of humor and very lovable. In some photos the resemblance between him, my husband and my daughter is uncanny. Visiting his home in Slavonija, in Croatia, enjoying the outdoors, the country stuff so appealing to the kids grown up among the concrete blocks of a big city, was every bit as exciting for me as it was for my daughter. He lived an honest, simple life albeit taking the hard way out of some situations because that's just the way he was. Obstinacy is also a family trait in my husband and my daughter and it is he who they have to thank for it.
I will miss them both a lot. They will never meet the baby growing inside of me, but my daughter will remember them both.
My maternal grandfather, though, is still alive and well, going strong aged 84, and I am very thankful for that. His is a very special place in my heart.

Friday, 16 May 2014

These days

Other than silently observing the torrential rain that just will not let up for the past three days from the safety and comfort of my office/home, I just don't know what else  I could do. Sure, there are the help lines and care centers where you can drop clothes, food, blankest for over 6000 people who had to flee their homes throughout Serbia in the face of floods that obliterate your whole life in seconds. But even that seems insufficient, nothing, compared to the magnitude of destruction and desolation. We are truly helpless compared to the force of nature and devastation it can bring. This reminds me of a summer some 20 years ago when we stayed at a friend's vacation home in one of the most beautiful parts of Serbia and having visited the neighbors who supplied us with milk, cheese and eggs, we witnessed all their year's worth of agricultural works destroyed in minutes by rain and hail. That left me as speechless and numb as I feel these days . . .
On the other hand, there is me and someone else to take care of. This second pregnancy definitely does not feel that good as the first one. I'm six years older, gee, that may be it ;) I just don't feel energetic enough. I feel tired, sapped of energy, lacking of will, wanting to stay in bed most mornings, no good hormones kicking in in the second trimester. Everything seems a cause of worry. Just thinking about the family dynamics after the baby comes out is enough to make me want to go hide in a dark corner and not come out.
But the baby is growing and moving, It's there, it's alive, a part of me and it;s an incredible feeling. Another tiny little thing fighting to survive and face the world. Miraculous and scary, all at the same time.
My favorite part of the day lately is having a shower in the evening and then going to bed and to a good book.

I loved the 'Remains of the Day' and this promises another thrilling read, with elements of suspense and hints of detective work together with intricate character development.

I devoured this one, McEwan is really one of my favorites. His language is testament to his genius and his plots are unpredictable.

At least I don't have a case of baby brains and I can read and write. Small things make a life, just have to keep reminding myself of those.

Friday, 9 May 2014

In the mean time

There haven't been any posts in a long while, too many reasons for that, too little time. However, what I've read in this week's issue of GOOP prompted the desire to share. The newsletter is titled Ending Mommy Wars, alluding to the hard time we give each other as women, judging, eyebrow-raising and generally just frowning upon each other's choices on being working or stay-at-home moms. However, it is the two articles inside Ideal Mothers, Ideal Workers, and the Myth of Busyness and Work that provide powerful insights on what needs to change in the way we ourselves and the society at large perceive our roles - for both women and men - in the family and the work place. Many big issues are deconstructed - the stigma for men who want to be more present in their kids' lives, the struggle and failure of women to be perfect at all fronts, and the guilt associated with taking out some 'me' time. Worth a read!