cooking, drink, food, health, Uncategorized

Apple season

It’s time to make apple cider, don’t you think? I never knew there are different kinds of it but fortunately the book in the library shed the light recently. Cider hard and sweet by Ben Watson is a good find where I learned that you can also make a pear drink called Perry and mix it with cider half and half to get Pider. English and French have their own kinds of cider that are known to be bittersweet. Natural carbonation is the best if you can get it right. So much fun to even think of the process of making it!

An apple a day they say… A new twist on it is a bottle a day keeps the doctor away. Here I am not sure about the content since there’s also apple wine I haven’t try, only heard about. Apple vinegar diluted in water is recommended in your diet as a morning drink to loose weight, it can also be used in cooking as a substitute for vinegar.  Apple butter is something I read about, would love to try it one day.

There are so many ways to use apples in cooking: all kind of pies and salads come to mind. My mom would dry cut apples and keep them all winter long to make kompot or eat them as snacks. Kompot is stewed fruit where seasonal fruits and berries will come in handy. In winter we use dried apricots, apples, pears and / or plums to make a drink called uzvar, traditional drink in Ukraine.

Have you tried baked apples stuffed with raisins and nuts? Really healthy dessert for picky eaters and connoisseurs. In Turkey they serve apple tea to the tourists to demonstrate hospitality but never drink it themselves. In Germany they make apple strudel for dessert and in Poland it is Sharlotka, apple pie with a cool name. Talking about cool names, Steve Jobs used apple to start a well-known brand you have probably heard about.

 

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beauty, culture, experience, travel, Uncategorized

Ukraine

ua

August 24 is Independence Day in Ukraine. It’s a big deal for Ukrainians since latest events have not been the greatest. Lots of people immigrated different places still dreaming to come back one day. Who knows maybe in the future things will be back to normal? Keep praying and hoping for the better.

If you ever want to travel somewhere nice and cheap go visit Ukraine. I miss it terribly! Kyiv is the best city I have ever lived, for me it’s the place where miracles happen and history is still alive. Explore and you will be surprised how much more there is to discover…

This country has a lot of problems and stuff but it feels real with four seasons, good and bad smells, street markets and all the pleasures of public transport. People are so direct, sometimes you wish they weren’t that way and women are so beautiful that it’s hard to keep up to par. Population is mostly poor, there is no middle class but it doesn’t seem that way.

Ukrainians love foreigners thinking that all of them are milliners. Foreign culture is considered to be better, a lot of loan words are used just because it’s cool. Traditional food is great, hospitality depends on the money paid and part of the country you are in. If you want to see the contrast go to Lviv where people speak Ukrainian and Odessa which is mostly Russian, fantastic tourist destinations with tons of things to enjoy. I wish I was there to be your guide…

 

love, meditation, self help, Uncategorized, wellness

Power

Knowledge is power they say… But ignorance is bliss. I love being blissfully ignorant sometimes and I think it saves a lot of positive energy and faith. On the other hand, my addiction to know it all, does it do me any good?

Being educated, well read and well travelled is considered to be great. Why then our system of education is getting weaker and weaker every year, forgive my rant, teachers will always be teachers. It’s funny that we think we are smart but can we make a living?

Not knowing everything is actually a blessing. You have to depend more on others and trust their judgement. And, of course, no one is perfect, so you would have to forgive others for their false views and opinions. This part here is a bit uncomfortable. This is why we want to be gods knowing everything and never making any mistakes. How about forgiving yourself then? Since we don’t know everything we do get ourselves in trouble otherwise there is no way we could be doing anything in life ever.

So what is real power? If it’s not knowledge than maybe it’s forgiveness or generosity… Or wisdom, not sure how to define this one. Anyway, we all want to be powerful this way or the other.

health, love, Uncategorized, wellness

I want to be forever young

обои (3)How to stay young? this question is something we have in common no matter what country or culture we came from. Rich and poor, black and white, men and women – we all want to know where the fountain of youth is.

Can you afford such luxuries as good sleep, healthy food and a steady relationship? It’s not as easy as a beauty shot or a gym membership but it works. Invest your time today and you will feel better tomorrow. Especially if you think of your food as a source of energy.

I decided to stop worrying about all the things I can’t change in life. Trying to embrace it is not easy. I realized I will not be rich or famous but I can survive I guess. There are things that I can’t do, there are people I can’t change, there are places I won’t see. So what? I can still find the reason to be happy and grateful.

I feel like being outside is a benefit for all of us. It helps living in real time and gives a perspective. It opens a new world providing some food for thought.

Spending time with your loved ones makes the world go round. And yes it helps you stay happy and young. It’s all in your hands, just live it, make it happen no matter what!

 

black, cats, pets, Uncategorized

Black cats matter

This summer is unusual since I am taking care of two black cats, well a cat and a kitten. They get along quite well despite being completely different. The cat is smart and bold while the kitten is shy and kind of forgetful, he will easily miss his dinner time keeping himself preoccupied with other things. Oh well, you can guess who gets fatter meanwhile…

These furry friends do make my summer cool, they live in a basement apartment which is always dark and fresh as you can imagine. With cats you have got to learn a lot, for example, you have to be simultaneously strict and gracious to them. You need to entertain them while they are entertaining you. They will test your boundaries to make you feel so important and unimportant at the same time. This is when you start thinking about the dogs comparing pros and cons.

Pet owners live longer and feel more optimistic about life. Cats bring happiness to those who are looking for it. At the end of the day, we all need someone to keep us more in tune with the nature.

 

inspiration, learning, motivation, self help, Uncategorized

Design your life

What makes up your day? Mine consists of so many little things that I can hardly keep all of them in mind. Sometimes it’s hard to tell which one is a game changer. Think about

  • Food and exercise
  • People you deal with
  • Music, books and movies
  • Social networks
  • Living conditions

To make your life better you need to grab the bull by the horns and be responsible for your own happiness. Give up your fears and start living the dream!

  1. Buy / make decent food, plan a week in advance
  2. Walk / run 30-40 minutes a day, do other fitness activities if you like
  3. Minimize time with irritating people, maximize positive exposure
  4. Be selective with the books / movies you enjoy, pick the inspirational ones
  5. Hide / unfollow negative posts / people online. Time yourself while in cyberspace
  6. Make your home comfy: clean, fix and declutter as much as you can
  7. Love what you get, get what you love

The process of designing your life can take longer than you think. I started 2-3 years ago, some changes are obvious and some are still in progress, I wish it could be done overnight but it’s a process.

inspiration, meditation, morning, motivation, self help, Uncategorized

Good morning!

How to make your day better? Start with a winner morning. I am pretty sure you have heard this before. Well, summer is here which is honestly a perfect timing for kicking off a new habit. Here is a few things I plan to do myself cause you never know… It might actually work 🙂

  1. Mind your head before minding your feet. It’s Buddhist advice which makes you look in the mirror, comb your hair, smile at yourself and put your thoughts together before you run somewhere doing something.
  2. Meditate / pray or just sit quietly practicing Zazen for 20-30 minutes. Stay away from watching TV or checking your social media accounts at this point.
  3. Drink water before you have coffee or anything else. Play some music if you like.
  4. Have breakfast outside or inside. If you are not hungry in the morning, try to eat half of your meal the previous night saving the other half for the next day. Light dinner will help you sleep better and be hungry  the next morning.
  5. Keep your diary. Look back on what went well on a previous day, what could be done better next time, note lessons learned, plan and prioritize.

If you can do at least three of those every morning you will feel like a champion. Add sports/yoga activities if you like. Be good to yourself, life is too short to skip the best part of your day. Good morning!