Saturday, December 31, 2016

On changes

2016 has been a conundrum.

For me, it was full of travel, and exciting travel at that. I was a globe trotter, a wanderluster, an airline frequent flyer. Something I've always dreamed of being. I loved the new experiences, views, and tastes, although I always faced them with careful planning, I guess to counteract my fear of the unknown. I saw the sun rise over Machu Picchu, I lit candles at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, I ate tapas in Barcelona and drank Aperol Spritzers in Italy, went to a SPA in Romania and had dinner in a palazzo in Mdina in Malta. All of these amazing experiences were stuff that dreams are made of, moments that I never thought I'd be able to experience, but I did. That's something to be grateful for, and I am. The best moments of my year were at those trips.

At the same time, 2016 was not all happy moments for me. It feels almost unappreciative, ungrateful and even whiny to say it, given how many people dream about some of the trips that I have been able to take, but I have not been as happy as I have wanted to be. Sometimes it felt like a struggle. There were disappointments - in people I thought close, in the way some situations have unfolded, in the inability of people to step outside themselves and understand others, in the atmosphere at the office, even in my own inability to make the changes I need. Maybe I needed to learn some lessons. Maybe I was holding on to a past and a closeness that was no longer there, and I needed to snip those invisible threads holding me to move on. Maybe I need to learn that not everything people do is a reflection on me, or somehow my fault, but more of a reflection on them and their own character. I don't know if I've learned that lesson yet.

And while this year has cast an unflattering light on some relationships, it has illuminated others once again. There were people I feel immensely thankful for, like my family, like friends that feel close despite being thousands of miles away, and old friendships rekindled. I know that for some of my married/in a relationship friends it is hard to relate to my suddenly single and not as happy self, so I am very grateful for those who have been there for me and who have taken time out of their lives and plans to support me. I am trying to be there for them as well.

As for this year's resolutions, there are some big ones and some small ones, but hopefully they will all bring me joy. Some of them I have done and loved, but somehow have never gotten around to doing again, so I think now is the time. Others are new and exciting. I would appreciate any help with making them come true, as well as any company - so message me if you's like to be part of these.

Here they are:
- swim in a waterfall
- go on a photography trip
- get a tattoo
- fall in love
- spend all day outside
- go ice skating
- update my Behance profile
- stop feeling guilt
- fly with a balloon
- brush up on my Italian

But what is more, I will try to embrace change, make it mine, make it exciting. 2017, here I come. 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Baking

This year's Christmas baking was very successful, if I dare say so myself. Every year I aim to try out a few new recipes - it's my thing. I like trying out new things, and since I don't have that much time during the year, the holiday season seems like a good time to finally do it. Besides, home-made cookies and candy make for great Christmas gifts.

I always enjoy home-made gifts so much. It's both the gift itself and the fact that the person took time out of their daily schedule and routine to make it that makes it twice as precious as a normal gift, in my opinion. I have so little free time that I always appreciate when someone just as busy has made something for me.

But back to this year's baking - the recipes I tried out turned out to be amazing - coffee crinkles and Oreo truffles with black and white chocolate. They were sooo tasty, I almost kept them for myself instead of giving them as gifts to my team at work.

The coffee crinkles were soft and chocolaty and coffee-tasting and completely amazing - they are easily a contestant for the title of my favorite cookies ever. The recipe is from A Baker's House.

The Oreo truffles were also quite nice and creamy, and I used some nice cooking chocolate for dipping, which totally made a difference. My advice is to use good quality chocolate for such things whenever you can. The recipe is from here: Cooking Classy.

All in all - a good holiday baking haul and an excellent selection for this year's Christmas gifts.

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