Thursday, 31 July 2014

It's Friday Tomorrow!

Gosh, it's tiring going to work every day at seven months pregnant . . . That's why I'm excited about Friday! Although, the weather is crap, no real summer this year, rain and hail mainly, interspersed with bouts of sunshine that cause horrible humidity, really not the best performance this year, Summer dear!
I took a long walk on my lunch break today, popping in and out of shops, looking at what's on sale, and trying to stay dry - rain was dripping intermittently every 5-10 minutes.
I mainly wear a uniform of capris, ballet flats and whatever top fits the growing bump these days. Exhibits 1 and 2 below:

Not the most revolutionary look style-wise, but hey - cut the preggo lady some slack, will ya?  These capris from H&M turned out to be life savers this time around as my previous preggo jeans do not fit me this time - somehow, they are just too big. The black jeggings I invested in from Mothercare are also pulling their weight, although the biggest problem are the humid and hot days - I seem to not want to wear anything then and that's not an option, at least in the office ;)

The sales revealed a few covetable items: 

1. a soft, unstructured jacket from Monsoon, in navy, with mustard and red accents, perfect for my style which tends to seer clear of too fitted anything (sadly I cannot find a picture on the net, it must be from some of the previous collections)

2. a ZARA necklace which wold go with just about anything in my wardrobe:

3. a red, faux leather skirt for my daughter, also from ZARA:

But what I really really really want are these shoes:

These are from a local designer and are just the top of the iceberg in fabulous overload that are the rest of the collection of loafers and oxford brogues I fell in love with about a month ago. You can have a look see for yourself here. Amazing, yes?

I now need to think long and hard as to what to order as birthday presents from mum and the hubby - sure some of these will find their way to me neatly tied with a ribbon? ;)

Just finished reading one of Orhan Pamuk's books - The Museum of Innocence - not overly impressed, I give it 3 out f 5 stars. I'm now tackling the New York Post short stories collection available online here and planning the next big read. Also, eagerly awaiting to at least hear the news that the next season of Sherlock started filming (supposedly around New Year's time) and before that I hope we get the chance to see Benedict in 'The Imitation Game' and hear him in 'The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies' soon enough. 

Friday, 25 July 2014

The Waiting Game

Two things making me jittery since this morning:

1. Today would have been my father's 60 birthday. Typing 60 makes me cringe - he would have been only 60! And I would have expected a good 20 years more out of him, just as I do with my mom. But he's not here and I will never see him or speak to him again. It is these two things that make coping with his death as hard as it was almost five years ago. I so wish I could hug him once more and hear him say my name, nothing more. I see his picture on the shelf as I walk through my apartment every day and some days it just startles me how very much alive and happy he looks on it and for a second I forget that he's dead. I decided I'll try and not let myself be sad all day but work on remembering the happy bits, the anecdotes, the love, the four of us being happy and laughing.

2. A follow-up ultrasound for the fibroadenoma in my left breast. I was diagnosed with it past October and the shocking (to me) revelation came followed with the words 'don't worry, a third of the female population your age has that' or something to that effect. It didn't make matters any easier though. This is a benign lump that warrants some monitoring and especially during the pregnancy, to see whether the hormones make it bigger or smaller. On the conscious, rational level I know this is not something to get worried about or freak out over. I know that my life is not immediately affected by it. I know I need to be responsible and check it in regular intervals over the course of two years and that's it. On the subconscious, more primal instinct level, I want to scream my head off. I'm scared, I dread the moment I'll enter that exam room and I don't know how to make it through the few minutes that the examination will take place.

This speaks volumes as to my problematic relationship with any form of medical issues, given my family history related to cancer. I am acutely aware that I'm in that high risk group with everything that's happened on my dad's side of the family and I know regular check ups is the way to go (hello colonoscopy, probably next year, after I've had the baby). That, however, does not make it any less scary.

I just need to breathe deeply, take the plunge and hope for the best tomorrow. The lady doctor is very nice and I hope everything proves to be ok.

Meanwhile, I leave you with pictures of the bump and my current favorite summer handbag.

Thursday, 24 July 2014


In less than a month now I'll be reaching the ripe young age of 34. Sounds . . . scary? No. The number of years I've spent on the Blue Planet so far does not scare me, yet. Mature. Yes, but - I've somehow been born mature, always 'older' than I actually was at the time, and somehow all-knowing of the world and its secrets. Too knowing for my own good. That does not mean I haven't made mistakes. There have been mistakes galore for the 30 something years but I'm not in the retrospective mood this year. Some of the bigger ones have been rehashed too many times for my own good, some lessons learned, yes, some progress at forgiving myself made, but for what I consider the biggest ones - no, no scratching beyond their surface value and I know this is something that would have to happen, eventually. 
It's summer, my favorite time of the year, and although it hasn't been covering itself in glory this time around (I'm talking to you, oh Gods of rain, yes, you heard me), I enjoy it. I enjoy the warmth, the sun, the fruit, the lazy feeling, the empty Belgrade, and only regret not getting to go to the seaside this year, due to the planned vacation dates being too close to my actual due date. I guess summer is also what makes my birthdays more tolerable and somehow always taken more lightly than what the numbers suggest. Everything is less serious in August.
The birthday this year gets me closer to another birthday - of my unborn child, and that's what sets the tone for being 34. Will everything be all right? Will I give birth to a healthy child? How will my older daughter cope with the new addition to the household? Will I make mistakes as a parent of two? Will those mistakes be the ones that my kids resent me for in their 20s or 30s? How will I cope with two kids? Am I going to go mental for a few months like the last time around? Am I ever again coming back to myself, to what I want, need, wish and be free to do it? How much adjustment will it take? Will the compromises ever stop? How will my marriage be affected by all this? 
Doubt much? Yes. Worry much? Oh, yes, definitely. Scared? Way too much. I am scared of this new chapter in my life more than I'd like to admit. But that's me. I'm always scared and worried in advance. And than when it's time to perform/take the test/pass the exam, everything usually falls into place and happens the way it should. It's not always the way I expect it to be, though, but that does not mean that it ends up badly, no. 
I have an impression that I'm breathing hard these days, catching my breath, getting ready for the ride of my life. I know nothing will ever be the same. I don't know how will it turn out and what to expect. Am I ready? I don't know that either. All I know is that when it starts happening, I'll manage, hell, I'll even do a stellar job at times, or less of a good one at other moments, but I'll give it my all and I won't be looking back. And I won't be doing it on my own.
I hope the number 34 brings joy and good times for my family. I hope it brings that feeling of being good in your own skin and the ever-elusive peace of mind. I hope it brings clarity, reason, purpose and significance. I hope it adds to an improved version of me.
Here's to birthdays and great expectations!

Thursday, 10 July 2014


To say that I have a sweet tooth is a serious understatement. I LOVE sweets. I love chocolate first and foremost. I love cakes and I enjoy making them. I adore all kinds of creamy goodness associated with cupcakes, lava cakes, fruit tarts, filled puff pastries, caramel-flavored anything, and I could go on and on . . . Baking soothes and calms me, there is a method to it, exactness and a sense of controlling the process leading to yummy results.
I started doing it as a kid with my grandma and my mom, I was in awe of their egg breaking and yolk - egg white separation skills and I wanted to get in on the secret. I loved the smell of vanilla, grated lemon zest, cherries, ground nuts, melted butter, cinnamon and chocolate. But what I loved the most about the whole magical undertaking was the moment when the dough/cream/filling was finished and dispensed from the bowl to the pan/onto a cake, whatever. That meant that there was creamy goodness left in the bowl that was mine for the taking. It was the most solemn of all childhood rituals, licking the sweet stuff and feeling good about it!
There is a Serbian superstition that says that if you lick the cake bowls than you'll have rain on your wedding day. Now, there is no rational explanation in my head at least how these two are connected - I suppose this was devised as a deterrent for girls, preventing them in enjoying too much of the good stuff and therefore appearing unseemly and overflowing on their all-important day - but the superstition appeared to be oh so true on my wedding day. It was June 3rd, it was only 12 degrees Celsius and we had heavy, grey, overcast skies and rain falling from heaven and earth. It stopped only - how conveniently - for me to throw the bouquet and it went on and on and on for the day.

Regardless, I completely agree with the picture below:

My daughter seems to be following in my footsteps as she awaits the bowl for the licking with the same keen excitement that always melts my heart ;)

My love for macarons - an all important sweet in the culinary world - came only later and coincided with my first visit to France. It was love at first sight though - me venturing into Laduree and having a go at this melt-in-your-mouth heavenly treat - it could've only ended as a love affair. That is why I was exceptionally thrilled to find out that there is a Pierre Hermes macaron with my name! Come on - how cool is that! And a raspberry-mint taste to boot.


Speaking of sweets, here's another kind of candy that gets my pulse racing these days:

'nough said!