Do you bleed?

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There’s a thought that’s been on my mind a lot lately… Sometimes, it’s been so present in my daily life that I’ve been loosing sleep over it. Maybe because I’m a too sensitive soul, maybe because I’m a mom that wants the best future and society possible for my daughter… Maybe it’s just because I bleed?! I bleed like everybody else does… Some people hide their sorrows better, some aren’t as skilful, but we all do, indeed bleed. What I’m talking about is – judging! Why do we judge each other so easily? We are not know it alls and we’re not more special than the person we’re “looking wrong” at.

We’re beautiful, unique creatures, all sent to this earth with our unique personality which was sent down here to make a difference… Even the smallest difference is a significant one and the one that was supposed to be done. Maybe we were sent here to influence by talking or maybe by singing… Maybe we were supposed to “touch” other people’s hearts by our beautiful paintings… Maybe we were sent down here to be somebody’s mom, a life teacher, maybe a daughter which will hold our hand through though moments in life, maybe we were supposed to write so beautifully that we would inspire others by that. We were all sent down to this earth with a special purpose and a good, positive, kind one that is.

Something that we might not all be aware of is that as much as we are unique, everybody else is too. As much as we’r vulnerable, others are too… No matter what it may seem on the outside, we all need the support from each other, understanding, love.

Way too many times I’ve seen people pointing fingers at each other, starting or continuing constant fights over such meaningless things… So many times bad and ugly things overshadow the beautiful moments we could be living. Only if we would see more clearly, only if we would try bit harder to be there for each other, if we would try to be more acceptive and understanding of each other, this world would be a much better and more promising place to raise our children in.

We both have good and bad sides inside of us… We are the devil that we feed. What you give out is what you build yourself of. The bad thoughts about yourself or others will always prevent you from completely finding beauty, goodness and magic of life… But remember, once you’ll bleed, you’ll want that saving, comforting hand and there won’t be a single one if you’ve lacked to give one when it was needed.

If we would just open up our eyes more often and instead of staring into our phones, tv and laptop screen and instead of living on the “auto-mode”, maybe we would see how much we and everybody around us needs a change, help and a promise of a better future.

I’m wearing: Dress – Zara, Sandals – Isabel Marant, Bag – Gucci, Sunglasses – Chanel, Ring – Deni design, Bracelet – Givenchy

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5 for Friday

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Hello dear readers and happy Friday! The post comes online a bit later than usual this Friday. I’ve been having some hectic couple of days in Croatia, but working is always lots of fun at the same time, the sun is shining, food is super delicious… I really can’t complain at all. :)

How are you doing my dears? I’m so happy and thankful to all of you for always engaging so well with all of my posts and leaving me your comments. I read through all of them and I try my best in answering all of them too. You really make my day and the blogging is never hard, but very motivating job instead.

I’m back with my 5 for Friday post, 5 photos from my Instagram feed which I loved in the past week. If you wish to follow my daily adventures and know more about what I’m up to, then follow me on my Instagram profile HERE!

What are your plans for this weekend? It seems that there will be a first real heatwave coming to the South of Croatia tomorrow, so I’ll make sure to take day off and spend it by the beach with my daughter and take my friend for lunch too.

Have a wonderful Friday everybody and take care! <3 <3 <3

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Visit Croatia: Pelegrini

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When people travel across the country to the small, seaside city just in order to dine at a certain restaurant and when the reservations are highly required since all of the tables are almost always completely booked, then it must mean that you’ve come across a very special place… This special place is a restaurant and it’s called Pelegrini. It’s situated in the old town of Sibenik, Croatia, right next to the majestic and UNESCO protected cathedral of St. Jacobs. For the third year in the row, it won a prestigious gastronomy award as the best restaurant in the whole country, accompanied by this year’s award for the best chef as well.

Mr. Rudi, the head chef, the visionarie who has “built” Pelegrini from a small, unpretentious restaurant to the most innovative and hyped about one. It’s worth mentioning that this restaurant is a part of Jeunes Restaurateurs d’Europe, a prestigious association of young restaurateurs who want to share their talent, innovations and profession with each other.

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Between billion “konobas” along the Adriatic coast, which are usually just a tourist traps, often unappetising and 3 m long menu kind of restaurants, places like Pelegrini are real jewels. I was very excited to visit Pelegrini for late dinner last Sunday and experience the privilege of enjoying a chef’s Secret menu of all together 9 courses. All of the dishes were wonderfully paired with the finest local wines such as Bibich, Rak and Gracin.

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We started off our foodie trip with the little “golden bombs” of the best what a sea can offer – oysters! We were told that those oysters are local ones which are from the Krka river, just in the spot where the sea mixes with the sweet river water. Oysters were served with a bit of lemon gel on top which has enhanced the taste of these sea diamonds to the max! Along with that we have snacked on homemade bread and black olives, capers and anchovies tapenade.

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Next up arrived a fish tartar of a lightly seared sea bream on a cuttle fish inked rice chips. This was a perfectly warm, crispy, salty and simply such a fish delight of a starter/ snack.

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Right after, followed a very interesting presentation of beef tar-tar! I was impressed by a very original idea of serving raw, chopped up meat in a panko crust with a bit of mayo on top and tomato gazpacho soup on the bottom. I have never seen a beef tar-tar taste or look like this anywhere else. 10 points for this starter!

All of these three courses were paired with Brut Bibich bubbly.

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Now, onto the first plates – Gnocchi with squid like nothing I’ve seen before either! Love how a very, so to say traditional Croatian dish got a whole new makeover at Pelegrini. Soft and warm gnocchi wit the squid ink was paired with thinly sliced squid, topped with fish caviar on the bed of homemade, reduced fish sauce. Match made in heaven!! This was my favourite dish off of the menu.

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Next up was a mashed potato with cream cheese and chili with cooked and thinly sliced pig ears, topped with marinated mustard seeds and on the bed of reduced meat stock. I have to be honest and say that I have “forwarded” this dish to my assistant and rely on his opinion about it. He approved it with two thumbs up and said that when everything is mixed together, the explosion of tastes happens and that’s when the dish becomes alive. Def. a chef’s strong card to impress an eater who has “seen it all”.

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Besides gnocchi and squid, my 2nd favourite dish was Egg in Shorbul. It’s basically another very traditional dish, interpreted in a very inspiring and modern way. It’s a runny egg ( soldiers ) with foam of fermented cow’s cheese, local truffle slices, local prosciutto and snails from the fields. I have no words for this dish, it’s so “simple” but incredibly delicious and unusual.

All three dishes were perfectly paired with another local and family run vinery Rak – Marashtina wine from 2013.

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As for the final, main course we were served puree of celery with raspberry, cooked kale, slowly cooked ( 6 hours in su-vid machine ) in the red wine beef cheeks and covered with demi-glace sauce. First I was wondering why the raspberry “on top”, but let me tell you, that was a party in my mouth little bomb of sweetness which connected perfectly the smooth and creamy pure, crunchy kale and buttery, cooked to perfection beef cheeks. Once again, such a simple, but perfectly done dish.

This dish worked wonderfully with Gracin Babich red wine from 2011.

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As a pre dessert, we were served bisque with the strawberry compote, cream with lavender scent, lemon gel and fresh strawberries. The main dessert was Rogach cake, made of rogach, raspberry panna cotta, strawberry coulis along with apple puree, cooked apple and choco thins. This goes straight to the top 3 best desserts of my 28 years of existence. 😀 SO GOOD!!!

As the dessert wine, we were served with Ambra Bibich prosecco.

I must mention that besides brilliant surprise menu, tasty food and fine wines, the service was absolutely impeccable, better than in many Michelin starred restaurants. Yep! Believe it or not, Pelegrini deserves the hype, awards and everything in between… You must visit this place if you find yourself anywhere near or in Sibenik this Summer. :)

*This post was made in collaboration with Pelegrini restaurant. All of the opinions are my own.

*Thank you to Miss Lucija and Mr. Rudi for making this collaboration possible.

*All photos by: Natali K. photography

 

Needing less, getting more

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As you might remember from my previous posts, I’ve been mentioning that I would be attending my friend’s wedding and it happened two days ago in a little town on the South of Croatia. Little town in which I grew up, went to school in and have so much that still connects me to it. Some of the memories will never die and I will always in a way or another have special place for this town in my heart.

I was happy to bring along my daughter with me to the wedding ceremony to witness one of the most beautiful moments and highlights of any relationship. I know that real love doesn’t need any papers, stamps or “files” but when there is a wedding happening already, it’s such a sweet and magical moment which makes everybody equally happy and excited to see the smiles and proudness on the faces of the bride and groom.

Seeing my friend and her now husband getting married, having that magical love aura surrounding them and being just so truly happy in that moment, right there and then surrounded by the closest people made me realise how little we need to be truly happy and how often we think that we need this or that in order to be someday completely happy. I have already touched base on this same subject before and it’s more clear to me now than ever before that…

There’s no such thing as complete happiness and there are no formulas on how to get happiness come to or be part of your daily life. We all hurt and cry, we all laugh and love, it’s just up to our inner selves how much we’ll let the real happiness be part of our daily lives. Seeing my daughter being excited and happy about the smallest things such as Kinder Surprise and which toy she’ll get in it made me think more and realise that happiness truly does lie in the smallest things and it’s never about the big things, let alone materialistic ones. I have been “guilty” of thinking that having more will give you more happiness, stability, closure… Whatever! That’s bullocks my dear readers. Core of real happiness is inside of us and it’s not up to anybody else OR hoarding on things to make us happy… It’s up to us to let ourselves BE happy and appreciate the smallest, daily life miracles. It is a miracle and a pure happiness to open your eyes every day and know that you are alive, that you breathe, that you have a possibility to do a good deed, that you have a chance to put a smile on another person’s face, that you have the choice to surprise a friend with a flower bouquet… That you have an option to be happy and spread happiness anywhere you go. It’s not in the big things, it’s not in materialistic things… It’s in that kid’s honest smile, it’s in that perfect ice cream ball in a cone, it’s in the sun that is shining today…

Thank you for reading and commenting my dears, you are among other “small things” what makes me so happy day in-day out. :)

I’m wearing: Shoes – Marc by Marc Jacobs, Jeans – Tiger of Sweden, Shirt – Pepe Jeans, Bag – Chloe, Bracelet – HOH1960, Long blazer – Uusi Kuu, Trench – , Sunnies – Dita, Earrings – Chanel

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5 for Friday

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Hello everybody and greetings from sunny Croatia!! I’m here for my friend’s wedding day which is tomorrow and I’m very excited to see her take a big step in her life like this one. I’m also looking forward to just relaxing and having some fun with close friends.

I’m also here for some work and small projects which I can’t wait to talk to you about. Most of it is still “under construction”, but already next week, I’ll be kickin’ off the first assignment. :) Keep an eye on this space because Croatia is a big time “hotspot” as the world’s most wanted Summer destination this year.

5 for Friday is my little roundup of 5 favourite Instagram photos which I took over the past week and if you wish to follow me daily and see what I’m up to, then def. follow me up at natakar .

Since I have a lot to do and prepare for tomorrow’s wedding celebrations, I’ll take off now, but stay tuned for so much more to come. :) Have a wonderful weekend everybody!

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Visit Helsinki: Bystro

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It’s time to introduce you to one of the newest jewels on the Helsinki’s culinary scene and that is Bystro! Bystro are celebrating Russian traditional kitchen with an accent on blinis which are thick, round pancakes usually topped with different kinds of sweet or salty toppings.

Bystro are proud to welcome you to taste Russian cuisine in the middle of Helsinki city center with an incredible sea view on the port of Helsinki and Old Market Hall. Bystro are offering a lot on their menu, there’s a wide selection of finest roes and caviars, as well as a great choice of vodkas, Russian beers, tea and house shots.

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Besides the regular menu, the restaurant is serving a popular lunch on every working day from 11:30 to 15 and that’s a great time and “reason” to try the all you can eat blinis with different types of roe, homemade smetana, pickles, etc. as toppings.

Usually, Russian restaurants in Helsinki are quite on the pricy side, while Bystro are maybe having “shorter” menu and are more concentrated on blinis, the prices are very affordable for the quality and authenticity of the food that’s being served.

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As starters, we have tried blinis with mushroom salad, pickles and salmon trout roe with homemade smetana. Hands down, these were the best blinis I ever ate in any restaurant. So far, only my moms and Russian grandma’s ones were the ultimate winners, but Bystro’s blinis came the closest to that perfection and definitely brought me back into my childhood while we were eating those delicious bites.

As warm, main courses, we had to go with the classics such as Borscht soup and Pelmenis. Borscht soup was served in a big bowl and could easily be shared between two people. It was a warm, rich with flavour and comforting soup. I ate it with the slice of rye bread and house made Adzika spread. I gave it 5 stars! :)

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My companion ate Pelmenis stuffed with minced meat and topped with caramelised onions and smetana. Smetana is Bystro’s own and it’s just incredible, I couldn’t believe the taste, it was like no other smetana that we have tried before. Pelmenis were done perfectly, it’s such dish that requires a great chef not to mess it up, because it’s one of the staples of Russian kitchen and not everybody can turn this simple dish into a fine dining one. Top notch! Well done Bystro!

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Finally, we have finished off our lunch with Syrnikis ( small pancakes filled with fresh cheese ) served with raspberry jam and whipped cream and quark mousse with sherbet and pomegranate. Wonderful desserts that brought me back to Summers spent at my grandparents’ Datcha and the taste of fresh berries that I used to pick with them as a child and make homemade jams from, later on.

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As Russian born, I am more than happy to welcome a newcomer that serves authentic, unpretentious but wonderful, homemade cooking style Russian cuisine. Thank you Bystro for welcoming us, we will be back! :)

*This post was made in collaboration with Bystro Helsinki, all of the opinions are my own.

*Thank you to Miss Annika for making this collaboration possible!

*Photography by: Natali K. photography

 

One heart in two bodies

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That’s how I feel like about my daughter… We are one heart in two bodies. Ever since she was born, my world has completely changed and has never been the same. Each day, esp. since she has grown up a bit and is away at kindergarten or at a playdate, I feel that half of my heart is “gone” with her. Whenever she’s hurt or sad, I feel it double as she does… If she’s happy and smiling, I’m double as happy as she is.

I feel like this world is the most beautiful place ever each time I see her sunlike wide smile and diamond spark in her eyes shine the beauty and pureness of her soul from the inside. Becoming a mom, I didn’t take it as something that makes me somewhat better, smarter or more important than any other woman around, but being a mom def. has thought me so much about life, feelings, worries, etc. more than any other “role” in this life could. Children are our biggest teachers and they always speak the truth, no matter if we like to hear it or not. As much as I like to hear my daughter tell me how she thinks that I’m the best mom ever and that she hopes to become like me someday, I also don’t like to hear when she complains at times that I work so much and we haven’t managed to play a board game we were supposed to play 2 days ago. If anybody can quickly shake me up and make me rethink my daily life, habits, choices and “forces me” to get my time management and scheduling in order, then it’s her.

She also thought me, or should I say has reminded me to see the world through child’s eyes more often… Something that I can pass by many times on daily basis and not see it’s beauty, she will spot it immediately and see so much in perhaps, so little… Taking a moment to really “look up” and around yourself just the way that she does, made me remember what’s the core of life… To see beauty everywhere, to be happy about everything and anything. As long as we’re breathing, as long as we’re jumping in the muddy puddles, as long as we’re enjoying the sun that’s shining while laying in the park on the freshly grown green grass, as long as we stuff our faces in ice cream cones and laugh together, as long as we hold onto those precious little moments that make life so special, we’ll forget about any worries we might’ve had.

Life can be so simple, so real and so good, only if we change the way we see things and how we act or react to what happens to us on daily basis.

They say that a woman has always been a woman and she will forever be a woman, but mother, mother has been born when the child is born… The moment that birth cord has been cut, one heart has been split in two newborn bodies, one body of a child and another one of a mother. None of them existed up until that moment. That is so true! I have and always will be a woman, the one that loves unconditionally, the one that is silly, the one that is vulnerable and strong at the same time… The one that is bit crazy and different but has pure heart and a soul that hold so much inside… The one that wants to inspire and help, the one that wants to go out with her friends and have fun… But I’m also a mother… Something I never thought I’d be, something I have never been even imagining what it feels or looks like to be a mother. I’m a mother that I hope my daughter will be proud of someday and will look up to me when she decides to give birth to two bodies of one heart…

Happy Mother’s Day to me and to every single beautiful mom that I know in real or this “virtual” world!

Have a good Monday everybody!

I’m wearing: Sneakers – New Balance, Jeans – Tiger of Sweden, Sweater – Max Mara, Kimono – Asos, Bag & bracelet – Balenciaga, Sunglasses – Chloe

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5 for Friday

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Good morning my dear readers! It’s finally a weekend and I’m very excited about it. There’s a lot of things I’m looking forward to do over the weekend and ultimately, I can’t wait to celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday. I’ve been a mom for 7+ years now and I can’t put into words what it means to me to be a mom to the most special, beautiful and smart little girl like my daughter is. <3

Are you a mom? Do you celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend too? Are you going to treat your mom something special? Let me know in the comments! :)

In only a few days, I’ll be travelling to Croatia and I can’t wait but it sure will be hard to leave the gorgeous weather that we’ve been having in Helsinki for over a week now! It’s a record believe me, esp. for the month of May. 😀

Past week was a mix of turbulence and chill moments so to say… I’m totally in a need of good weekend, so I’ll kick it off early and head out to do some gift shopping for my family in Croatia.

Have a great Friday and weekend everybody! May the sun shine strong wherever you are right now!

Here’s a roundup of my 5 favourite Instagram shots from the past week.

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Visit Helsinki: Savotta

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About 9 years ago, I came to visit Helsinki for the first time in my life and I was overwhelmed with how beautiful, different and somewhat mysterious this city was. I knew right there and then that I must come back to this city as soon as possible… I felt that there was just something calling my name and that 7 days spent in it were “not gonna cut it”, if you know what I mean.

Only about half a year after, I had my bags packed and I have moved to Helsinki. Ever since, I’ve been all the time learning and exploring more and more about Finnish culture, traditions, food, etc.

Let’s stay on that “food” part of exploring because today, I’m bringing you a new post from my cycle of “Visit Helsinki” posts in which I’m recommending you and presenting you the finest places in this city to stay at, dine at, go shopping, etc.

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In the past 2-3 years, there’s been a boom of fine dining cuisine restaurants opening in Helsinki. It’s been very popular to have a restaurant serving Finnish food French style with a modern twist. While I’m not the biggest fan of such dining ( not that I dislike it either ), I’ve been constantly on the lookout for a restaurant that serves traditional Finnish food, the traditional way, so to say.

Savotta has it all my dear readers, the interior, the food and an overall warm vibe of a Finnish countryside. All of the waiters are dressed in typical “workers” old traditional clothes, interior is styled in “Finnish grandma’s house” and the food is hearty, delicious and as authentic as it can be.

If you want to enjoy the best of Finnish food dinner with your family or a partner while overlooking the majestic Tuomiokirkko ( White Cathedral ) and a Senate square, then Savotta is your ultimate destination! :)

For the starters we’ve opted to have a fish starter plate for two which consisted of: fish roll known as “kalakukko”, Carelian pastry with the egg butter, boiled and buttered new potatoes with dill, mushroom salad, salmon carpaccio cured with beetroot, marinated pickles, smoked pike with horseradish puree and baltic herring with sour cream and dill. Along with this came a small green salad and a bread basket.

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Carelian pastry was one of the best ones I ever ate in Finland during my whole 9 years of living here, salmon carpaccio cured with beetroot was something completely new which I haven’t seen in other restaurants and it was one of my favourites from the starters too.

To be honest, all of this was so delicious and filling that even just eating this platter would have been enough for the two of us. Luckily, we came hungry and “food adventurous” so we were very excited to get our mains anyway.

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One of the main courses was arctic char with kale, caramelised onions and baked carrots and potatoes. Alongside with it came a cucumber, dill and sour cream sauce. Everything was fitting so well together and even though it was a “simple” dish, it was explosive in richness of taste. Do I need to mention that the plate was empty really fast?! 😀

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Another main course was reindeer meat with baked parsnip and mashed almond potatoes in a “sweet & sour” like sauce. Red wine gave the sweetness to it while cranberries gave it a crunch and sour kick. Wonderful, very traditional and perfectly made dish. Highly recommend it as a main course choice.

I don’t know how, but we did managed to squeeze in some desserts too! 😀 As per tradition, we went for Finnish style french toast with berries, vanilla and whipped cream and as per “modern” choice we went for Sisu ice cream with biscuit crumble, liquorice and berry sauce. I have one sentence to say: “God Lord of my sweet tooth, that was uber delicious!”

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Savotta is proud to use only Finnish ingredients picked from the carefully selected small business suppliers. They’re also a part of wonderful, long lasting and one of a kind experience, restaurant chain A&S ravintolat so if you wish to check some of their other restaurants read my posts about Saslik and Saaga.

*This post has been made in collaboration with A&S ravintolat/ Savotta. All of the opinions are my own.

*Thanks to Miss Johanna Haataja for making this collaboration possible!

*Photography by: Natali K. photography

 

Starting fresh

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Happy month of May everybody!! How was your weekend? Did you had a nice May Day celebrations? I had a chill weekend which consisted of long walks, “sucking up” all of the sunshine ( weather was incredible ) and having an ice cream by the beach. I went to Sea Life as well since I love the sea world and it’s creatures. :) Sea Life always makes me calm…

I love the idea and feeling of new, fresh beginnings and every time, when the 1st of month comes around, I feel that I have a chance to press that invisible “restart” button, sort out my thoughts, have a conversation with my inner being and get a clearer picture of the path I’ll be taking on that month(s).

I feel that the time which we’re given in this life is a gift and a curse at the same time. It’s a gift, because if we use our time right, we can do so much, we can make a big difference in the world eventually and we can def. someday die knowing that we’ve done it and seen it all… But if we don’t use the time that we’ve been given to the max, we’ll always feel somehow “lost”, uncomplished and as if the time just slipped out of our hands. E’ll wake up someday when we’re suddenly 10 years older and will have no idea where did the time in between pass by.

Writing down 5 things I’m thankful for and 5 things that I want to accomplish/ do each month does help me see and feel that I’m using my “fresh start” correctly or they give me perspective on what I could and want to do more of in the next month.

Couple of years ago I had the attitude of “there’s still time” and a lot of days were taken for granted because of that. I only now see that the time we’ve been given is so precious, uncontrollable and it might end tomorrow, so hitting the refresh or restart button every 1st of the month has proven to be a very good thing for me.. It also made me much more humble in sense that I’ve learned to find the beauty everywhere around me, in the smallest of the things. Hitting the restart button made me see that when you do a lot of little, but significant things each month, you’ll end up having a year that will equal the value of 5 years of being “lost in translation”.

Go, hit that restart button today and make this month of May the best one so far. :)

I’m wearing: Ballerinas – Chanel, Bag – Gucci, Scarf & trench – Burberry, Sunglasses – Celine, Dress & ring – Free People, Bracelet – Kate Spade, Longline blazer – L.A.M.B

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