Tag Archives: friends

this is my truth

18 Nov

I don’t want to make any excuses.

I don’t have time. I am guilty of using this phrase every now and then and although it seems to be most of the time true, it actually isn’t.

Yes, having three kids and a household to take care of doesn’t leave me with a lot of ‘free’ time, but it all comes down to HOW I chose to spend this ‘free’ time. Most of the time you will find me in my kitchen. Sometimes I am too tired to do anything productive which is OK. Ever since the little guy outside made his début I find myself in a constant state of accepting and embracing imperfection.

Talking about imperfection I have decided to embrace my imperfect little belly which depending on the angle of the picture makes me look 3 – 5 month pregnant. I am at my pre-pregnancy weight but my body has changed and I have learned to respond with a smile at innocent little five year olds who ask me WHY I have such a big belly. Instead of badmouthing my body I tell them that I have been lucky enough to grow inside me 3 utterly nauseating at the time wonderful creatures and that I love to eat. 

I still breastfeed my 17 month old blessing of a wonderfully vivid and healthy boy. I officially apologize to any of you I had silently criticized about extensively breastfeeding your toddlers before. I never planned to nurse him that long and although I am in a constant forgetful sleep deprived mode, I am no way near weaning him because the truth is, I still cherish this special bond. So, for all of you who are dying to ask me the same question I have been asked a zillion times in the past six months when will you stop? the answer is whenever I feel ready.

I love making plans. Sure, making plans and actually executing them are two different things but even if the plan doesn’t work out it doesn’t mean it was not worth it in the first place. That being said, the execution of my BIG PLAN to start my own food blog has taken a bit longer than anticipated, not because I didn’t have the time until now it’s because ”life happens while you are busy making other plans”. But I am determined to make it happen, so stay tuned 😀

Last but not least. Appreciate the small things, learn to let go & enjoy life.

Chose to be happy.

until next time

love

t

   

a little bit of gratitude

25 Sep

A little over a year ago I was completely ignorant of the magnitude of happiness that the little guy outside would bring to our lives. The day I held the positive pregnancy test in my hands I started crying and crying and crying and the only one that saved me that day was MY person, MY ROCK, my sister Alex. I honestly don’t have a clue what I would do without her.

Alex was thrilled. She was ecstatic. She was out of this world happy. She tried to calm me down by saying all the right things and she even managed to make me take a momentary glimpse at the light at the end of the tunnel. She stayed calm and reassured me that everything was going to be alright. 

Well, she was DAMN right. After a trying and very difficult pregnancy, everything DID turn out alright.

I would like to dedicate this post to the people who stood by me and whose gestures of kindness helped me in one way or another to fight my inner demons and simply gave me hope. HOPE is a wonderful thing. HOPE is essential to leading a happy life. HOPE is priceless.

A big shout out to my enthusiastic sister and my loving hubby, who always encouraged me that I COULD do THIS.

Special thanks to my mom who showed empathy, compassion and patience when mine was running out and to my mother in law who went into the trouble of putting properly cooked food on our table, every single day.

From my real life friends who went out of their way to help me (thank you Iro & Daphne for that surprise delivery of burger & fries-you seriously MADE MY DAY) to my fellow blogger friends whose words of encouragement made all the difference (Matt, you might be right, he might turn out to be my favourite after all).

Thank you.

Life is good. Life is NOT PERFECT. It is blissful, chaotic, beautiful, frantic, challenging, stressful but most importantly BEAUTIFUL.

Yes, LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL

Until next time

love

t

happy

social media frenzy

15 Sep

I am not a private person. I like sharing. I like communicating with others. I like getting to know new people. I would prefer doing all of the above face to face but for someone like me, a stay at home mom who lives in the suburbs, that would mean that these physical interactions would be limited to once or twice a week, should busy schedules and different lifestyles allow them to take place.

So, yes, I use social media to connect and stay in touch with friends and acquaintances.

These are a few of the main reasons I keep using them:

I found my dog Benny on facebook.

I reconnected with my friend from primary school who now lives abroad and we have managed to stay in touch thanks to Skype and facebook.

I have become a cinnamon bun freak thanks to Pinterest and an Akis Petretzikis groupie thanks to YouTube.

Last, but not least, I have become an Instagram lover, ever since my dad gave me an iPhone as a present a year and a half ago. And yes, I post pictures of happy moments because these are the ones that I would like to remember and hold on to when things around here get rocky. After all, for the daily struggles I have WordPress.

What about you? Are you pro or contra social media?

until next time

love

t

social media

source: Pinterest, Jessica Northey 2013

 

 

it’s that time of the year

24 Apr

I love birthdays. Almost too much. Ever since I was a little girl my mom always made me feel like I was on top of the world on April 23rd. One of the drawbacks of celebrating an unforgettable birthday each year is that it gets extremely difficult to top the awesomeness of the last one.

Then, I met N.

N. doesn’t share my passion for birthdays. You see, he was born 2 years and 2 days apart from his brother and they always celebrated their birthdays on the day between the two days. Mid September (=beginning of school). I rest my case.

I tried to convert him into a birthday lover but I have not quite managed to do so. He makes a serious (yet not convincing) attempt to show enthusiasm once I start the mental countdown in my head in the beginning of spring each year but I can see right through him.

Due to my limited mobility this year I had no expectations of feeling spectacular whatsoever. N. had to resume his working parent duties and I was at home with my two precious ones. How lucky was I! (when does school start again??).

My mom came to my rescue just before noon and I decided that it would be best for everyone involved if we managed to leave the house for a while. And so we did. It was tiring and totally against my doc’s advice but it felt damn good. I managed to get a few things done and treated the kids with some frozen yogurt. Happy kids, no mommy meltdown. WIN WIN for everyone.

Upon our return home two surprises were waiting for me.

Surprise no 1:

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as N. is allergic to flowers, I have accepted the no flower gifts from him. This year he had the perfect idea. My favorite flower in a pot to be planted in the garden

Surprise no 2:

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my best friend P. surprised me with the perfect birthday cake

Deeply touched and blissfully happy I felt immense gratitude. For my family. For my friends. And for my strawberry tart.

Until next time

love

tatu

 

 

an ode to my friend: Vesna

8 Apr

‘Would you like to go to the movies sometime?’ Vesna asked me while I was booking one of her flights to go back home.

‘Sure, that sounds great’ I fired right back at her.

It was back in 2002, while I was working at my dad’s travel agency and she was working at the Swiss Consulate, a block away. We had only spoken on the phone a few times and seen each other once or twice but we immediately hit it off.

A few nights later we bought our big buckets of pop corn and our diet cokes and enjoyed My big fat Greek Wedding at an open air cinema. After the movie was over, we stood outside the cinema and talked for 2 hours straight.

That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Cheesy, but true.

For the next couple of years we had our weekly girls night out which included indulging in junk food (yes, she is a foodie as well, couldn’t have it any other way) and watching a movie.  It was perfect. When her contract ended and she moved away we managed to keep in touch by writing each other long drama induced emails.

A couple of years later she decided to give Athens another try and she returned. Circumstances had changed, our lives were completely different as I had become a desperate housewife and stay at home mom but things between us had stayed the same. This is when I realized that strong friendships can endure change.

Unfortunately things didn’t work out for her here and she decided to return home. Its been almost three years now and although we live in different countries she manages to visit us once or twice (if we are lucky) a year and when she does its like nothing has changed.

Today is her birthday and she is here with me (spending her last day of her short trip she decided to take and pay us a visit).

Vesna, happy birthday! It was great having you here. Take care and see you soon! Next time we ll be +1

love

t

 

 

 

 

 

HUGE

7 Mar

‘Are you sure you are only carrying 1 baby in there??’ My dear friend E. fired at me while trying to grasp the hugeness of what has become of my once normal sized belly. Even her husband came and said ‘oh look, she has a small belly‘. Once I uncovered the ‘small’ belly from my over-sized scarf he immediately corrected himself OH, NO, YOUR BELLY IS HUGE!.

It is.

Evidence pic no.1:

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Evidence pic no.2:

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Even N. stared at the weight scale this morning and commented: ‘Have you only gained 4 kilos? How did you do that with THAT HUGE BELLY? 

I get it.

It looks kind of alien-ish. And funny. And completely and utterly out of proportion.

Truth of the matter is I don’t really care about it now. But I do wonder HOW this will transform into anything remotely NORMAL once the baby has actually left the premises. Oh well. I ll get over it. I always do.

Enough about THE BELLY now. I have some good news I wanted to share with you.

PEOPLE, I FEEL GOOD.

After 21 weeks it has finally kicked in. The anticipation. The joy. The awe of yet another miracle of life. Yes, I am still freaking out about the not so great things of adjusting your life to the needs of a newborn, but I am actually happy.

I can’t wait to meet him.

I am sure this had something to do with it:

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me: honey come and look I have a pic of your brother. This is the nose, the lips, his hands and part of his tummy
Yiannis: he kinda looks like a monster

I hope you are doing all well

Until next time

love

tatu

bed (ar)rest

30 Dec

After 7 days, 20 hours and a couple of minutes (it’s not like I am counting) of bed arrest there are a few things I would like to share with you that have come to my attention:

  • voluntarily going to bed rocks, having to stay in bed 24/7 sucks. In order not to permanently damage the excellent relationship I have with my bed I decided to spend the majority of my day on the couch and leave my bed for night rest only.
  • he has become me. N. promised me he will never underestimate what I do all day EVER AGAIN. He does everything I used to do, except from the cooking which has fallen into the hands of my poor (and by now exhausted) mother in law who happens to live near by. I think that by the end of this week he will return to work to get some rest.
  • I love knitting and I love watching Jamie cook but I pretty much overdosed on both. After knitting all my Christmas gifts and watching Jamie master the art of preparing the perfect turkey (over and over again, thanks Greek TV for all the fantastic re-runs) I am eager to expand my horizons on things I CAN still do from my couch.
  • I miss things I took for granted. Taking care of my family is on the top of this list. Cooking, grocery shopping with the kids, baking my own bread, playing with Benny outside. Just plain, ordinary things.
  • Help usually comes when you least expect it. My friend M. passed by last night and kindly prepared crispy prosciutto to perfection (let’s not forget WHY I am spending my days on the couch) while loyal and burned out N. had a little meltdown of his own when he declared he was not willing to clean another dirty pan.
  • give with all your heart without expecting anything in return. I love to give, I have inherited this from my mom. Sometimes you will get frustrated and you will feel you are the only one giving but I promise you eventually someone will give back and then you will feel like you are on top of this world.

I hope you had a wonderful time with your loved ones.

Until next time

love

tatu

it’s not you

13 Dec

its me.

I am in a dark place. I have been there for a while now. I acknowledge the fact that I need to kick myself in the butt and get the hell out of there, if I ever want to feel OK again. I have been drowning in self pity, I have been beating myself up that I have failed as a parent already twice, why should I make another child suffer (yes, THAT bad), I have been nasty and cynical to the people I love, I have exploded more than a few times and I have shed more tears in the last few weeks than I have in my entire life (totally exaggerated of course).

I wasn’t planning to leave this hell place anytime soon, I was expecting that I would magically snap out of it and see the light. But this is a load of crap my friends. Sitting back and waiting for things to change is just plain stupid, cause you know what? It doesn’t work like that.

If you are depressed and you feel that the whole world is closing in on you, you are shutting everyone else out. Especially your loved ones. And you expect for them to understand. If they love you, they will understand. Right??

Well…That is partly true. They will TRY to understand but they can not REALLY understand, because they (thankfully) are not experiencing what you are. So, they will be patient. And say the wrong things at the worst time. Because you are in such a miserable state that nothing will make you feel better. And you won’t see the light cause you really DON’T WANT to see the light. You want to continue feeling like crap because you think that this is your safe place, where everything sucks. And it’s easy to stay there. You don’t have to make any efforts whatsoever. 

The thing is though that the longer you stay there, the harder it is to get out. It really is a vicious circle.

You might get lucky. You might have someone tell you the truth like it is, not sugar coated. And in the beginning you don’t listen to anything they have to say, because you are in denial. But then, you might look at it from a different angle. If you manage to let your self pity thoughts go, you might see what is truly there. The TRUTH. Things are not really THAT BAD.

So, my friends. I have faith. I will get better. I see it now.

Until next time

love

tatu

p.s. Thank you N.K & Y.M.

Image

 

 

 

 

detox day

6 Dec

I am not talking about actual physical detox, like these incredibly disgusting healthy greenish little magical juice cleanses all you healthy people are voluntarily inhaling (good for you by the way, but SERIOUSLY??)

I am talking about the oh-so-needed MENTAL DETOX.

We are all living hectic lives. We worry and stress and our lives are dictated by deadlines and promises we feel obliged to keep. Do we ever take a break? Not really. There is no time, we keep telling ourselves. There are one hundred other million things to do before. Before what though? Before we reach our limit? Before we hit rock bottom? Can’t we identify the warning signals ahead of time? Can we not avoid the meltdowns?

We sure can.

We just need to learn to let go or have someone push us into that direction.

Two days ago, I was lucky enough to have my mom talk me into enjoying some alone time. I was hesitant at first (to say the least). But then, the idea of enjoying some pre-Christmas window shopping with my sis seemed irresistible. The couple of hours I originally had in mind magically turned into a whole stress free day away from everything and all obligations. We strolled around the shops, nostalgically missing our old uncomplicated lives and ease of spending, wished we could afford the 10 things we were sure we NEEDED (spoiler: if you come to think about it, there are very few things one ACTUALLY DOES NEED), met up with two close friends, indulged in digesting the ultimate junk food (yes, people, my DETOX involves ACTUAL JUNK FOOD) and obeying to my pregnancy craving which included Bradley Cooper, toffee and raspberry. YES, that Haagen Dazs ad definitely hit this pregnant woman’s sensitive spot.

When I returned home I was dead meat but incredibly happy.

Thank you mom

Until next time

love

tatu

never underestimate the power of a vacation: Corfu

30 Jun

We are back.

After spending 10 beautiful days on the island of Corfu with our rediscovered friends N.K. & Y.M.

It was the first time in 6 years that we returned home with a nostalgic sigh rather than a sigh of relief. To all the parents of young children: Hang in there, there will come a time when vacation will mean VACATION again, sooner than you think.

OK, I must admit it. The potential for a successful vacation was there. The weather was awesome, all four kids were healthy and the house we were lucky enough to spend our holidays in was HEAVEN on EARTH. No, seriously. But most important of all, the company was GREAT.

We laughed, sun bathed for 10 consecutive minutes without being interrupted, ate like pigs (I tried to weigh myself in the morning and for the first time in my life I was actually thankful that THIS home appliance was out-of-order), went out to dinner (without kids), watched movies, ate Fonzies. We had a BLAST!

Let me share some pictures of our trip.

I was a bit terrified of the road trip as it involved spending 6 hours in the car & 1 hour on the ferry, but we managed to survive it.

iphone total back up 771

Note to self No 1: Next time I will tell the kids that we are going to cross a magical bridge, 5 minutes before the actual crossing (to avoid hearing the kids ask: where is the bridge, for 369 times).

After a long and stressful trip we finally arrived. All the stress was gone in a second when we faced this:

iphone total back up 839

Although we were extremely tempted NOT to leave the house at all, we managed to act like tourists on a few occasions

We visited the shell museum (kind of decadent but the kids loved it)

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we went to one of Corfu’s most beautiful beaches, Ag. Gordios

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visited the Achilleion Palace

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Note to self No 2: Don’t go on a sightseeing tour with a sleep deprived 3-year-old.

strolled around the castle of Corfu

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and around the old town

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I even got my burger & fries. I was in FOOD HEAVEN (at this point I was seriously doubting the fact that this vacation could get ANY BETTER)

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By the time we realized there was no place like (N.K.’s) home, we decided to stay put and enjoy the small things in life:

the sea

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the unbelievable fool moon

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Y.M. in character while trying to fight off the boys

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the satisfaction of completing this puzzle with my soul sister and co creator N.K.

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and most important of all, we enjoyed this:

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the best gang in the world!

until next time

love,

tatu

I dedicate this post to N.K. & Y.M. Thank you for everything!

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