Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The end!

     I can't believe 2014 has come to an end! It just doesn't feel like it yet... If I had to describe this year in one word, that would be balance. The way it started and the way it ends have such a symmetry that it just cannot be unnoticed.

    It was definitely a full year and there were many lessons to be learned. We learned about ourselves and our most basic needs, about commitment to one another and to the things we set out to do, about the value of time, prioritizing and looking at the bigger picture, about the importance of family and friends and their presence or absence in our lives,  about finding gratefulness and appreciation in the small stuff that usually go unnoticed. We learned about the world, the different people that live in it, some good and some not so good, we learned about giving back and trying to find purpose in our existence, about healing, the power of words, cherishing each other and the way love can grow.

     2014 brought us some challenges, but also the best reasons to be happy about. The most important gifts that we have received this year are a healthy pregnancy and this baby girl we are excitedly waiting to meet sometimes in the next 2 weeks. This will forever be the most relevant fact of 2014. This is why we cannot end it any other way but smiling with our hearts full of joy, looking forward to whatever 2015 has prepared for us. We are ready! Bring it on!  :)

Happy New Year, friends!  

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas 2014

     I was terribly afraid that being alone, far away from our families and friends would actually mean ...not much of a Christmas this year, but I am happy to report that I was wrong. Sure,  it wasn't the same, it couldn't be, we were missing our loved ones quite a bit, the weather here is in the 25 degrees Celsius with plenty of sunshine and we had a plastic tree, but in the end it was cosy, sparkly and truly joyful!

     We shared a few lovely gifts of our own, we received some from our  families as well, there were home-made cookies involved, so I was particularly happy,  we laughed and hugged and cried happy tears!

     Later in the evening we went for a dinner with some of our friends here in Abu Dhabi, there were Romanian dishes prepared, salata de vinete, oua umplute, chiftele, sarmale...let's just say I was pretty close to rolling on my way back home...  :)

     So Christmas was a lovely thing, I felt happy and grateful for everything that we have and all that we've been blessed with, and most especially for my husband, who is the most wonderful person I know and continues to amaze me and surprise me all the time, he makes me laugh like no other and understands everything about me before I understand myself.  Happy Holidays everyone, wherever you may be!  :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Holidays!

     Merry Christmas and a joyful beginning of 2015 to everyone! May the New Year bring everyone lots of love, laughter and the most beautiful memories!   :)

Sunday, December 21, 2014


     Maqamundo is the musical project my husband is a part of. It's a group of such talented musicians, performing a great mix of Arabic and Flamenco sounds. I believe in their originality and passion for music. And even though they don't perform for a living yet,  they are doing an amazing job curating traditional arabic music pieces as well as their own compositions, creating what they like to call 'world music'.

     Today they will be performing at the Gasteig, the Munich Philharmonic. It is their biggest concert yet, with an audience of around 230 people. Sold out!

     I wish you could tell how proud I am, grinning from ear to ear. It's such a beautiful thing to assist and support someone in fulfilling their dreams and following their greatest passions. It's a beautiful thing to witness the happiness and the positive vibes that come out of such an experience. And even though my 37 weeks baby bump didn't allow me to fly and physically share this event with them, I will certainly be there with my heart and spirit. They will be in my thoughts the entire time and I know they will be brilliant!

    A couple of months back when I was in Europe, we took advantage and got together for a little Maqamundo photo shoot. It was my first 'official' experience photographing people and I am not saying by any means that it is perfect, but I am happy with the outcome. It is definitely something I wish to do more of in the future and hope I will find the ways to constantly challenge myself and explore all the opportunities I can get. So here you have a few of the better snaps that resulted on that beautiful day, plus a couple 'behind the scenes' ones - just to keep things personal over here.    :)

 behind the scenes:

 is this how you are supposed to hold a violin?  :D
 the pigeon insisted on being in the group
 superstars in training...   :D

 being silly...
 us, girls :)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas wishes

     Living in a country where winter translates to 25 degrees Celsius temperature doesn't exactly help inspire Christmassy feelings... That may be the reason my house is still not decorated or why I had no thoughts about putting together a Christmas wish-list type of thing.

     Then there is also the fact that I am in my last month of pregnancy and this little babe already took over my entire existence... I constantly have her and her needs on my mind.

     I tried to make a quick effort and put together a couple of things that I found fitting as gifts for myself this Christmas, but I must confess... My husband and I have already agreed to a month-long stocking-stuffer kind of gift. This can be incredibly hard, especially when you have to stick to a smaller budget. It definitely made things interesting so far... Not going to mention all, but there were tuna cans, Where's Wally books, socks, car air freshers, lip stick, a cookbook and a Nutella jar involved...  :)

     Here's the little board I've put together.

1. A roll-up beauty case , which I can use for my hospital bag soon enough...
2. I am missing my Starbucks Chai Latte terribly as they don't have it here in the UAE, so maybe this could help till I get to the real thing back in Europe
3. I don't care much about the brand, as I don't normally wear a lot of make-up, but this pink shade of lipstick would sure cheer me up
4. This doesn't really need a link, you can find these disposable cameras everywhere...
5. I once got this as a present and I was hooked, problem is I can no longer find it at our local Waitrose...
6. I am a huge fan of kitchen gadgets, so this  zester/cheese grater is an absolute necessity 
7. These Italian Christmas deserts made their way pretty much everywhere and there is none better that this one
8. I still haven't noticed travel versions of perfumes at our local Sephora shops, but I know they are out there
9. I wish I could have come up with a round number, but this is the last one on my list! Would love to make some fondue or chocolate covered fruits using one of these things

     So there you have it! My quick wish list for the holidays! I do however wish more than anything,  that everyone spends joyful, happy holidays with their loved ones, in good health and surrounded by love and light!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Bur Dubai

      Plenty of photos were left in this post, even after all the trimming I tried to do. There you have it...a beautiful day in the old part of Dubai, the one that looks and feels like a different part of the world not just a part of the same city where you have the Burj Khalifa, The Palm, Dubai Mall, countless luxury hotels and overall incredibly modern architecture.

     This is the part of town you want to experience. On foot. With all your senses. You definitely want to take your time and appreciate the differences.

     We wandered around on small streets filled with Indian fabric shops, passed by the few relevant historical checkpoints and then immersed ourselves in the hustle and bustle of the Souk. It so happened that we were on the hunt for the best bargained spices, saffron in particular, which seems to be what everybody wants to buy. It's not like we knew all that much about it, so I am a bit unsure if we made the right purchase, quality and money wise, but we left the shops happy and proceeded to grab ourselves a freshly chopped coconut. After slurping all the yummy coconut water, feeling refreshed and having put down our thirst, we decided a 1dhs water taxi ride from one side of the creek to the other, was just too good to pass up, so off we went.

      That was an experience as well, to see how the tiny wooden vessel got populated fast and then carelessly backed out from the dock to start it's short journey. Loud noise and gasoline smells aside, we enjoyed the view from the water at sunset. The old wooden boats that look like they belong on a 'Pirates of the Carribean' set rather than actually functioning and being loaded up with various products, mostly electronics from what I have gathered, making their way to Iran...The crowded shores and all the lights reflecting back from the water.

     It was absolutely worth visiting and I am looking forward to returning to this area. I find it really special and beautiful, in a completely different way than anything else this city has to offer it's tourists.

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