#bookofthemonth : All Adults Here by Emma Straub

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Everyone was talking about this, so I picked it up as one of the books to take on vacation. I would say 3.9 stars out of 5. It is an engaging novel about the complex family dynamics but sometimes the plot was not as developed a I have hoped.

"When Astrid Strick witnesses a school bus accident in the center of town, it jostles loose a repressed memory from her young parenting days decades earlier. Suddenly, Astrid realizes she was not quite the parent she thought she’d been to her three, now-grown children. But to what consequence?

Astrid’s youngest son is drifting and unfocused, making parenting mistakes of his own. Her daughter is intentionally pregnant yet struggling to give up her own adolescence. And her eldest seems to measure his adult life according to standards no one else shares. But who gets to decide, so many years later, which long-ago lapses were the ones that mattered? Who decides which apologies really count? It might be that only Astrid’s thirteen-year-old granddaughter and her new friend really understand the courage it takes to tell the truth to the people you love the most.

In All Adults Here, Emma Straub’s unique alchemy of wisdom, humor, and insight come together in a deeply satisfying story about adult siblings, aging parents, high school boyfriends, middle school mean girls, the lifelong effects of birth order, and all the other things that follow us into adulthood, whether we like them to or not"

Have you read it?
£49-12%, £69-18%, £109-23% with code: LFWUK
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OOTD - Little White Dress

Monday, August 3, 2020

Every girl should have two things in her closet: a LBD and a LWD. Summer has gone into overdrive (THANKFULLY) so I have been wearing white dresses on repeat. I love the backless fit and cinched waist of this dress. Its a perfect length and gives me a cute little shape.

dress: Zara (old)
shoes: Nordstrom
purse: LV

Love Lockdown

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Life in lock-down has been tough on many relationships.Regardless that if you are single, daring or married its been a challenge and negotiating the transition back to “normal” (whatever that may be) will also be a challenge.
There are two ends of the spectrum - causing both sides to deal with obstacles and changes they weren't used to. For couples quarantine rules enforced during the pandemic have created a space for couples spending long periods of time together, often in close quarters which for many is a huge change. On the other side the social distancing rules enforced during the pandemic have forced single people into isolation and almost entirely into virtual dating.

Anyone in loving and supportive relationships is most likely to cope more effectively with the COVID guidelines (or having to spend a ton of time together or not time together at all) and now with relaxation of social distancing rules but what happens to people like me, who in pre-COVID world we just starting out to figure out our brand new relationships? 

A little back ground: before all of this I connected with someone who I knew for a long time. Both of us were on the dating circuit like Match Me Happy , free uk dating sites or Tinder so it was just a question of time when we would cross each others paths. Since we live at opposite ends of the world this was already gonna be a challenge because long distance usually is but we had all kinds of plans of meeting up and seeing each other,

Then, COVID.  Not only did social distancing, but quarantine and travel ban all came on fast and all our plans fell apart. Fast forward to today, 6 months in with no physical contact and a lot of digital platforms have become the only way for us to connect. So how do we make this work? Even couples used to being apart and daring long distance aren't used to being apart like this. We're not used to being apart without knowing when we might see each other again. 

All the usual things that make long distance relationships (making plans, schedules and having an end date) cant be relayed on because even with post COVID world will be challenging because I m still not sure when the borders for both of our countries will be open and when we will be allowed to travel. That is all on top of dealing with anxieties of getting on a plane, multiple connections and leaving comforts of your own bubble where it might not feel safe.

While my relationships sometimes feels like I am on set of love is blind - The best advice for anyone in similar situation to me would be clear and open communication. Relay on technology, have virtual dates, talk - about everything and anything, including those difficult conversations- and make sure you are on the same page. 

How are you dealing with love lock down?

3 Ways to Create Better Pins

Guys, I have been at this for a while and let me tell you blogging is a funny thing.  What started as a place for me to change what language I think in, turned out to a huge passion and has now evolved into a part-time job of sorts. I am learning everyday and I couldn't be happier with how things are progressing.

Over the last year I started taking blogging more seriously and with that comes a lot of incredible opportunities, and I've come to realize that having a unified “brand” is essential when navigating the world as a blogger (or any creator in fact). What I mean by unified brand is more than just picking you niche and aesthetic but its about font and graphics you use – on anything from your business cards, to blog posts, to Pinterest graphics and YouTube videos.
I m super guilty of this – if  went back and you looked at my blog than my Pinterest it would look like two people crated those (or like seven different people) …they have multiple fonts, multiple color graphics, multiple sizes and its all kind a mess. So, it took me awhile to find a place that would not only get inspiration but pick up some fonts that I can use - without it costing an arm and a leg.  This is especially important for us bloggers who don't have a branded logo for ourselves, but still want our work to look sharp and unique but its equality important for anyone who is a creator. I found Fontbundles.net and the have ton of resources and offer exclusive deals on the highest quality premium and free fonts from independent designers. I had read good things about these font bundles online and after looking at their options I was totally sold. On top of saving up to 90% off the offer freebie fonts. The freebie fonts are available on weekly basis which is great if you are testing out the waters and need to finds something that works for you, without spending too much.

After looking a while, I picked a premium free font called “Lovebird” that I m going to try out on all my Pins going forward. 
I like that this font is simple and elegant and I think in black it will work well on all my pinterst and blog posts.  It was super easy to sign up (I used Facebook) and downloaded the bundle to my computer. From there I installed it. I create all my Pinterest graphics in Canva so I used the super helpful tutorial on how to use fonts in Canva (find the full step by step tuttorail here: https://designbundles.net/design-school/how-to-use-your-purchased-fonts-in-canva  it look less than 3 minutes to set up. How it works: (super simplified) In Canva you pick graphic you want to create, on the left side click on text, select the type of text you want, then on top left side click on the fonts, roll to the bottom and upload your new font, and TADA!

I create pinnable images to add to my blog posts so I can easily pin them or share them across social media platforms .When I first joined Pinterest, pinning seems simple. Simply upload an image and a link to a board you have, and voila -- you've got a pin. Except like million of is doing exactly that so how do you get noticed?   
A good Pinterest pin/graphic should be vertical as that best shows on all screens, especially mobile, and since most people use their Pinterest on the phone you want to maximize that. The images you use when creating Pins should be high quality and clear and you want to avoid clutter. This a good rule to follow for anything you do, the images/photos you use, should never be blurry (like EVER). What is the point of putting all the work and effort into anything if the photo you use is grainy and looks like you put no effort in it?
 All pins should have a description that capture the imagination and tell a story. This is where the font you use is crucial – if you are adding text to your pins you want the font that is going to uniform across all your content and aid the image you are using. I strongly believe that all photo should be descriptive aka have word on them because you have few seconds before some scrolls down their feed without reading actual captions. A short text, captive description on your photo helps pull them in and stop scrolling to read your post. You want your photo and fonts to be complimentary so pay attention to color and size. 
And lastly you want your pin to have a destination of where its going. If you did a good job and captivate the audience with your pin, that should lead to your blog/instagram/website/etc as that is the ultimate goal.

What font do you use in your work?

FTC: The post was sponsored by fontbundles.net, all opinions are my own. Some of the links are affiliate links. If you buy something through some our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We recommend only products we genuinely like. Thank you so much.

Actually Good Things About Dating in 2020

I’m just going to say it - dating is hell, especially during COVID times. All the traditional ways of meeting people, getting to know people have changes. What was simple as let’s grab a drink and meet you for coffee is not more complicated. Going out involves planning, hand sanitizers, masks and that’s if everyone is comfortable being out and about... that’s all if you can meet someone. 
I think the ways of apps that were hook up forward are things to the past, and dating sites like this are in. Finding relationships at a time like this needs a more comprehensive approach where it’s about more than a picture and couple of quotes. WeLoveDates have created our own range of dating sites for all types of people, as well as reviewing some of the leading names in the dating world.

So in an effort to continue pursuing romantic interests amidst living in a COVID-19 world, we are getting creative and, as a result, getting more personal. Finding new ways to connect has led to a whole lot of video-chatting, texting, phones calls (YES, phone calls) and potentially making better connections. So what are some positives about dating in 2020?

While I found that it's never been easy to decipher who's interested in you and who isn't, the COVID and post Covid times seems to change that. If someone isn't responding to your Tinder messages when you know they may be at home all day (or, if they're not, at least not going out like they used to) well, you have your answer about how they feel about you.

You spend way less time worrying about looks, whether its profiles, or what you are gonna wear on dates. I personally feel like dating now has forced us all  into a little bit of an experiment and to learn how to gauge physical chemistry in a virtual setting. I m not saying any of us are good at it yet (well I m possibly not) but learning to recognize how you feel without phycial contact is a  good test to work out if you like or don’t like someone.

Once all restrictions have been lifted, your face to face date will be so much betters, so much less awkward because you spent weeks talking and getting to know each other.  I think with the "new normal" dating websites are working hard help users make connections and at the same time comply with social distancing rules by adding video options, more accessible chats and sharing tips and tricks of how to date in COVID and post COVID world. 

What do you think changed while dating in Covid times?

8 Things to Inspire You to be More Creative

2020, What a time... this being one of the most challenging years for me being creative has been the only thing that has kept me sane.  I’m guessing that like me you have found more than one creative area of interest and way to channel your creativity and passion. Lately, I have been creative in all sorts of ways, not just through art, but through DIYs, home projects,  and I have found that it has done huge things for my mind set and how I feel.

Here are few things that helped me stay creative and foster creativity:

Cleaning and de-clutteringClear out an area in your home. Even if it’s just the make up table, it feels so good to have control and be organized. 

Get outside. There is something about fresh air, sunshine (even rain) that help boost how you feel and get the creative juices flowing. I started walking every morning, for 10 minutes or so but that ensured I started my day on a positive note.  If you are not able to get outside for a walk, a balcony, garden, back yard, anywhere that has some nature and fresh air will do.

Create a Pinterest inspiration board.  Create a Pinterest board (or boards) for very specific things that interests you - whether that is DIY's, make up, home updates and fill those boards with as much inspiration as you can.

Make things! Put your Pinterest boards into action. Maybe find a perfect SVG Files and create anything. SVG means Scalable Vector Graphic, which means that the graphics can be scaled to various sizes without quality reduction. you can download them and then use digital cutting machines such as a Silhouette or Cricut to create stunning projects instantly and you can do it on paper alone, vinyl leather, felt and cotton;  SVG cut files are used by crafters to make tote bags, shirts, mugs, handmade gifts and much more. These are so reasonably priced and creative opportunities are endless. 

T-shirts like this:
Water bottles like this:
Or these cute bags that make perfect gifts

Cook/Bake.  Dive into a new cook book or find a new recipe online. Try something new - maybe it wont turn out but I bet it will taste delicious.

Take photos. Carry a  point-and-shoot camera with you or just your phone, and take pictures of things that inspire you. When you’re on a walk, coffee shops, etc shoot as many as you want, collect and edit the really good pictures and delete the rest.

Learn something new. Take a class, listen to a new podcast whatever it is learning new things will foster creativity.

Play. Older we get, more serious we get and we forget to play. So play every day - play can me doing things that are light heated and bring you joy. Draw, play jenga, color, build a fort.

This post was sponsored by Design Bundles. All opinions are my won. Design Bundles began in 2016 as a way to provide our customers with affordable digital products such as Graphics, Templates, Mock Ups, Patterns, Illustrations and Craft Files. Since that time we’ve managed to build a customer base of OVER 1 million users. At Design Bundles you can browse over 150,000 Marketplace Products and save big money on our Curated Design Bundles with up to 96% off the Regular Retail Price.

For the love of food #yegheritagefest

Friday, July 31, 2020

This year has looked different for many reasons, from quarantine, social distancing and all kind of events getting canceled. While I missed a few I haven't really noticed, untitled now, that an event wont happen. Heritage days are my favorite.  Its three days of culture, food, entertainment and shopping from around the world.  I think is about people, about experiencing culture though food and their passion of what they put forward. So I went on a search of my favorite foods that you can get at pavilions... by no means is this a complete list representing every pavilion and every menu items (there is 508 of them) and for some countries there is a lot to choose from. I choose places I have been to over the years.

Arabic - Sunbake Pita Bakery and La Shish Shawarma

Bosnia and Herzegovina/Croatia/Serbia - Kafana and  European Sweetness 

France - Normand's and Cafe Bicyclette offer some of the best in French cuisine.

Japan - Izakaya Tomo

TurkeySofra Authentic Turkish Cuisine

JamicaA Yah Mi Deh Jamaican Restaurant and Safron's Caribbean Delight

Menu items that are a hit that you can make at home:
Churros are a huge hit and this recipe worked well for me. 

Croatian pavilion is best known for their elephant ear - and this is the best recipe (and the closest) I got to those. 

This empanadas are perfect little pockets of cheesy beef. The dough bakes into a golden flaky crust that shatters beautifully.

These delicious pupusasA pupusa is a thick griddle cake or flatbread from El Salvador and Honduras, made with cornmeal or rice flour.

Perfectly delicious, easy and customize crapes. 

I have waited an hour  at Guatemala pavilion for a  Mango Loco aka mango on a stick. This recipe is perfect and no line.

Rwandan mandazi are little African donuts that are truly addicting. Basically fried dough, one of my favorite things.

Fried Plantains – sweet ripe plantains, sliced and fried to perfection. 

One of the best soups I tried was a Chicken Pepper Soup at the Nigerian pavilion. This recipe is so good.

Egypt always has the best Falafel Wraps and this recipe is close to what they make (theirs might be better TBH).

Can you really go wrong with a yummy deep-fried potato on a stick? These are always a hit at the Korean pavilion.

I spent months last years in a search for a e authentic recipe for Ukrainian Borshch and finally stumbled upon this one. Its absolutely delicious.