Let’s have a stylish laugh: Lavi versus Rosie (Rosie wins)

 

When I decided to move to London, I started reading some British blogs. I probably didn’t find the right ones because I quit them in no time, one by one, all of them, except for one. This one.

It is friendly written and beautifully curated by Rosie, a stunning girl with incredible style.

I have absolutely no sense of style. I mean, if I had all the money in the world I would still look like a Romanian peasant.

Not this kind of Romanian peasant…

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…but this kind of Romanian peasant…

Pic "stolen" from dventures-of-jules.blogspot.co.uk

Pic “stolen” from dventures-of-jules.blogspot.co.uk

The lady above is wearing no Hunter wellies, believe me.

To give you just one example of how lame my fashion sense is: red is my favourite colour but all I have in red is a scarf, which I bought from Bershka few weeks ago (£10). I liked one from John Lewis but I just couldn’t make myself pay £20 for a scarf. I just couldn’t. So, I am a cheap woman with no style, right? (I could have afforded the 20 quids scarf, just so you know, so yeah, I am cheap. That cheap!). Oh, I also have a red bag.

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I scored it with £10 at Harrow Mall, from an Indian guy selling them in the middle of the mall.

Now, speaking of bags…Rosie invited her readers to a snoop in her  handluggage which was quite a treat.

I thought it would be fun to invite you to a sort of a snoop in my bag as well, because I laughed really hard when I saw the huge differences between Rosie and me.

Except for the style which she has plenty and I have none, she is also tall and I am not, I mean I am as tall as her legs, best case scenario. She probably lives in an area where the weekly rent is what I make per calendar month but I am not jealous, no, no, no! I own property in Romania! Beat that! :)

First, Rosie has, among other brands, a Prada bag. I don’t, obviously. I can afford a John Lewis scarf but I definitely can’t afford a Prada bag. Or Prada anything for that matter. And even though I have no style, I would never ever go for knock offs. That’s just lame. Hence I buy my bags from TK Maxx. You can find affordable nice bags, like these two I wear all the time.  Not at the same time, mind you.

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Rosie has a scarf because she likes to snuggle in something soft. She said not to tell anyone about the blankey she grew up with and she still has so I won’t.

I have scarves because I am damn cold ALL THE TIME! I slept with a thick duvet all the three weeks of summer, can you imagine? These are my favourite scarves.

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The stary one is from John Lewis and no, I didn’t buy it. It was a present. And the flowery one is M&S and it belongs to my sister.

I don’t do music, but I always have a book with me. Right now I am carrying this one all over I go (Middlesex by J. Eugenides). I am half way through it so I’ll swap it with something else by Sunday, maybe.

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Yeah yeah I have an e-reader but 1) I like the feeling of reading real books and putting them on shelves and look at them and get my fingers through them every now and then and 2) I am an avid reader, buying them online would get too expensive, at least more expensive than now, when I am buying my books from charity shops with a couple of pounds or less.

I do sunnies, though! Rosie has lots and lots of fashionable shades. I have only one, from Guess. I scored it at Boots at half price (37.5 instead of 75) because I had a coupon. Ha!

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I am not even gonna check how much Rosie’s perfume costs! I have two perfumes which I deeply love and I can easily afford: Armani Diamonds and Gucci Guilty.

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The woody box in the background is a handmade miniature of a traditional Romanian dowery chest.

Rosie has a travel candle. I have never heard of a travel candle before but honestly, if I have a good book with me I can get into a state of relaxation similar to a mild coma. No need for candles. I like scented candles at home, though, but on winter only.

I am definitely buying that Midnight recovering Concentrate from Kiehl’s. And the soothing eye mask from Elemis.  And another thing a friend showed me on Saturday but I forgot what. I’ll have to ask her again.

I don’t do baths, I am a shower person. I don’t have a favourite shower gel. As long as I have a pair of exfoliating gloves, I can use whatever to clean myself.

I haven’t found a mascara that stole my heart yet, so I might try the Clarins Rosie recommends. I am using Rimmel at the moment and I don’t really like it. I do have a favourite moisturizer though, and my skin won’t accept anything but that. Avene Hydrance Optimale UV Rich SPF 20.

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Rosie doesn’t need skin foundation because her face is flawless. I, on the other hand, have some brown spots that decided to decorate my cheeks forever, one summer, when I started taking birth control pills. I stopped the pills, I stopped the sun bathing, yet the spots are still there. I am considering a chemical peel in the near future. I am researching now and so far, SK:N seems to be the one. I am not a fan of skin foundation but I have to use it every single day. I am now giving a try to No 7 Intelligent Colour but I am not happy. I will have to move to something stronger and better. And more expensive.

I don’t do Elle or any other women magazines, for that matter. Probably that’s why I have no style?

I don’t care about wireless much. I have unlimited data on my phone and for now it’s fine. I am not a business woman, like Rosie. I am a nanny :)

I do have a wallet. A no name wallet but so cute. Yet I don’t use it much. I keep all my stuff in this tiny thing, a gift from a friend after a trip to…London, yes. I never used it in Romania but here it proves to be the best fit for Oyster, card, library card, yoga card, change and some notes.

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I have a pencil, to underline stuff in the books I read. Then I have a hand gel for when I pet cats in the street. Yes. I do that a lot but I have a sort of cats allergy. If I touch my eyes after I pet a cat, they get all itchy and red. So I carry this with me because I don’t want to be in the position of cuddling a friendly cat and not be able to do it.

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Umbrella. Because London. £1 pound umbrella from Pound Land and that is me being practical, not cheap. I keep losing my umbrellas so investing in an expensive one is pointless. Ok, I forgot to take a pic of my umbrella. It’s black. A black umbrella. Use your imagination. I dare you!

Hand cream. Lip balm. Cherry flavour from Nivea is my favourite because it hydrates while leaving the lips with a taint of pink. They don’t have it in London so I smuggle it from Romania.

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What I also smuggle from Romanian is my makeup remover/body cream/whatever you want. It is an old school Romanian product, fat enough for my dry skin.

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Rosie is rocking Manolos while my most expensive shoes are from Aldo and Clarks. But so comfy! Rosie is rocking watches from Pocket Watch while I have this old Fossil.

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It stopped yesterday at 8.30. Now I have to change the battery, darn it. (I most def can afford a Pocket Watch and I might get one while saving for a Tissot which I was suppose to give to myself for my 30th anniversary but I didn’t because I travelled to Canada instead).

Oh, and here is stunning Rosie in a stunning little black dress. It is the most beautiful little black dress and that Chanel bag is a work of art.

And this is me, in my little black dress.

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My little black dress is from Forever 21. I scored it half price in a charity shop (£3). Hahaha. In the picture I am wearing my Fossil watch that was still working when I took the picture. The clutch is for Primark. I have fancier clutches but not as big. I was carrying Fight  Club by Chuck Palahniuk  that evening. I finished it in front of the Box Park in Shoreditch, while waiting for my friend to come.

Another great thing about Rosie, besides her style, is her mother. She designs and makes jewelery and I am soon going to get my hands on this one.

acornIn silver, to go with my Pandora charm bracelet, which I love and always wear.

P.S. I apologize for the quality of the pictures. They are taken with my LG antique smart phone. I should buy another one. Or a camera. Or both. Whatever…

 

Counting the days till #hoxinabox

Today is Wednesday and tomorrow is the day! Remember? I told you about it here. 

Now, here is what I have heard through the grapevine about the whole experience.

I will get dinner, cooked and delivered by celebrity chef Andy Bates, donuts from Dum Dums, wine from Newcomer Wines and breakfast from Lyles.

Quite posh for shipping container, isn’t it? 

Apparently, the room looks like this:

The Hox

The Hox

I love the interiour and that radio reminds me of my naughty grandmother in Romania (the one that buried three husbands, not the alcoholic one that only buried two husbands). She used to have a similar one.

I have decided on my room mate for the night but I am not naming names yet. All I can say is that it’s so not kosher! Not at all! 

Friendly advice: like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter if you want to see what I am up to on Thursday. I’ll check in at 3 pm. See you then?

It’s gonna be fun.

Source

Have you seen my sense of humour?

Because blimey, I think I’ve lost it. I can’t crack a joke these days if my life depends on it.

Roaming, lounging, painting toenails, killing time...

Roaming, lounging, painting toenails, killing time…

Other than that, I am not doing much. Roaming a house too big for one person. That’s when I am not lounging in the bestest bed I have ever been in and I am including here some very comfy hotel beds that I will never forget. Is it very very wrong if I take the bed with me when I leave? (I am house sitting, by the way).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Friday night I was out and about London. I had a small glass of wine, outrageously expensive (£10,35) in an over crowded place that raised my anxiety through the roof. Crowds are bad when you are 1,55 meters and you don’t wear high heels. I like tall men and when I am out in a busy place like the one I’ve been to on Friday, I come to terms with myself and decide I shouldn’t feel miserable that tall men almost never notice me. Instead, I should be happy that tall men never step on me by mistake. (I am that small).

Anyways, once I finished my very expensive small glass of not a very good white wine, I was off to Carnaby Street for some beer on the pavement. Few sips later, I was completely tipsy. Because yeah, I forgot to tell you, I sort of quit drinking. I like the feeling of not having alcohol racing through my blood, but then, when I sometimes go out TO a posh place and they charge me £6 for a soda water I feel robed. For God’s sake, it’s bubble water! And, to calm down, I tell to my self: “At least I am hydrated, at least I am hydrated, at least I am hydrated…” until the words lose meaning and the memory of me paying £6 for bubble water becomes distant (it never does, but at least I am hydrated).

Loving London, missing Toronto...

Loving London, missing Toronto…

On Saturday I was too cold to enjoy the Jazz Festival at Canary Wharf and the skyscrapers in Canada Square made me nostalgic about Toronto. Those were the days, my friend…Then we went to Greenwich and we took a stroll in a tunnel which seemed to never end and apparently we were like 18 meters under the Thames and I was worried about all the light bulbs under there, because you know, electricity and water are not good friends and then I realized we were cooler than Jesus because Jesus only managed to walk on water while we were walking under water. And then we went to Camden.

Canary Wharf Jazz Festival

Canary Wharf Jazz Festival

Canary Wharf Jazz Festival

Canary Wharf Jazz Festival

What I did on Sunday cannot be mentioned on the blog just ‘coz my future kids might read it and I don’t want to give them another reason to be embarrassed by their naughty mummy. They’ll have plenty, anyway. In fact, they already have some and they are not even born yet. Naughty mummy should calm down. Eventually. 

A sentence in Romanian sneaked into a book in English! (Middlesex by J. Eugenides)

A sentence in Romanian sneaked into a book in English! (Middlesex by J. Eugenides)

Yesterday I decided I was feeling a bit “not very well” so yeah, I took advantage of the above mentioned bed, mostly snoozing and reading and snoozing and reading. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides is a masterpiece. I will devour his other two novels soon. And he has made it in the very short list of my very favourite writers. Well done, Mr. Eugenides!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today I feel very ‘academic’, as my muses seem to be back from wherever they were partying hard so I will be writing all day long. The cherry on the top will be a well deserved hot yoga session for which I am badly badly craving and not because I feel stiff but because I feel cold. Summer is gone from London but the three weeks of it are unforgettable. 

Have you liked my Facebook page, by the way? 

Love and laughters from yours truly :)

Love and laughters from yours truly :)

How is life with antidepressants

Depression

Depression

I was supposed to write something funny. But then Robin Williams’ death put me into a state of such sadness that humour simply seem inappropriate. 

I was never a fan, mainly because I am not a fan of anyone in general. I appreciate talent and I respect talented people in absolutely all fields of work. I am not much of a movie goer so my “favourite” actors are mostly the handsome ones, if you know what I mean.

I saw some of Mr. Williams’ movies in the past and yes, he was one brilliant actor. His comedies always made me laugh, really really laugh. One fine comedian, he was. So, thank you for the laughter, Mr. Williams. 

Yesterday, the entire online world was mourning his death but I couldn’t help noticing the silver lining. My Facebook news feed was pouring with articles about depression, which almost never happens. Mr. Williams’ death raised awareness on depression and as sad as his death is, the outcome is priceless. No death is in vain if something good is made out of it.

Depression still carries a stigma which makes it difficult opening about it. Here, in London, I find it easier but back home in Romania people still fight it with the power of their minds. It is a shame to call it quits and go see a doctor about it, which I think is both primitive and dangerous. 

I had depression for more than fifteen years, before finally turning to a doctor for help, in February 2013. I started medication and my life changed for the better. I made all the process public in my circle back in Romania. I would tell about it to everyone for one sole purpose: to raise awareness.

I was pitied, considered crazy, warned that I would get fat or become a vegetable (urban legends about antidepressants) but I didn’t care. I was in a mission and I still am. I wanted to show people how your life can change once you treat your medical condition. They knew the before-the-meds Lavinia and they could enjoy the after-the-meds Lavinia. They could see the difference and decide for themselves. 

After treating depression

After treating depression

Here is what happy pills did to me:

1. My brain is quiet. I can keep a train of thoughts running long enough to make sense. 

2. The fear and panic are gone. I was permanently in a state of panic, without a particular reason. I would wake up in the middle of the night terrified I was supposed to do something and I didn’t.

3. I get to actually sleep. Like real sleep, you know, the whole routine: put yourself into bed, fall asleep, wake up in the morning. For 15 years my sleep was weird: insomnia, sleep talking, sleep walking. 

4. I am calm. All the time. I don’t freak out anymore, not even in my mind. Everything has a solution. If I don’t see it right away, I look for it.

5. I notice things like the smell of grass, the shape of clouds, how the sun beams fall on the leaves of a tree. And they give me butterflies. And I stop to look at them. To enjoy them. I would have never done that before. 

6. I used to do everything compulsive, because I was forcing exciting things onto myself. Only the excitement of new things would keep my depression at a reasonable level: I was eating, shopping, dating, having sex, partying, travelling in a compulsive manner. Now I do everything when and if I feel like it. Like any human being should. 

7. I’ve been in hell. Nothing I have ever read on depression can describe even remotely how it actually feels to be in that place. Your mind is not yours anymore, it’s like something else takes over and you try not to obey. It is the most cruel of battles, your brain against yourself. And some lose it. I give my full support to people turning to me when fighting depression because I know how lonely it can feel to be there and because I now know what to tell them. Don’t tell them “try harder”. It is dangerous. Instead, tell them “give it some time, be a bit patient”. It makes a whole lot of difference.

8. When on happy pills, life is not all bright and fun. I still get sad, I still get upset, I still experience PMS. What changed, is how I deal with hardship. For example, my boss telling me off is not the end of the world anymore. My friend not returning my call doesn’t mean she hates me. Bottom line, nothing is out of proportions.

9. Leaving the bed, going out, calling friends, making supper are not extraordinary difficult things to do anymore. Now, not doing them are choices or just me being lazy. Contemplating the moment I’ll have to do one of them doesn’t bring despair and panic into my heart, like it did between 1995 – 2012. 

10. I am a better person. I am a better sister and a better friend. I am at peace with the world and with myself, still struggling to come to terms with my past, while trying to be a positive influence in people’s life.

Last but not least, now, when I am reading articles like thisthisthis, or this I know what they mean. And I share them on Facebook and on Twitter, hoping more people will read them and share them, to raise awareness on depression. You should do the same. It would make Robin Williams smile, I think. 

Hox In A Box

hox” How many people can honestly say they have slept in a shipping container in the heart of Shoreditch? Well now you might just be able to! The Hoxton, Shoreditch has teamed up with their neighbours BoxPark to give 10 people the chance to sleep in ‘Hox in a Box’, a pop-up hotel room located in a shipping container.

The shipping container will be cleverly designed in the same style as The Hoxton’s rooms that are perfectly formed to maximize comfort. Think duck feather duvets, comfy beds, 300 thread count linen, Roberts radios, fridge stocked with fresh milk for tea and coffee and complimentary water.

The hotel will be open for business for just 10 days and nights and not only will guests get a bed for a night, they will get breakfast delivered from one of the newest additions to the Shoreditch restaurant scene, Lyles, and dinner at a local restaurant.

Oh and there’s a catch, the room doesn’t have its own bathroom so you will need to use BoxPark’s facilities and of course you can pop along to the hotel after check-out and get a good drenging in one of our Rainmaker showers, all in the privacy of one of the hotel’s 210 rooms!”  Source

 

How does this sound to you? It sounds absolutely great to me and I’ll tell you why:

1. I love hotels. Back in the days I used to be a travel agent, the info trips were my favourite part (testing one hotel service after another for a living was quite cool);

2. Shoreditch is my very favourite place for going out in London. Because I don’t own heels and designer bags and my hair is mostly messy, I obviously don’t qualify in the West End girl category. I would swap Mayfair with Shoreditch any time. Anything goes in Shoreditch. And the entertainment options are countless.

3. Boxpark is the place to be. Going out in a container is weird and fun. Whenever I am there, I don’t miss my chance for a nice meal and a lovely cocktail at Cottons Rhum Shack. I remember this particular time when we were craving desert and they didn’t have any. The manager said he could make us some cheesecake. We were beyond cheeky so we said we’d actually have something with chocolate. He said he would make it happen. It took too long, we lost patience so we left outside to mingle. Soon, a waiter was looking for us in the crowd. He was holding chocolate ice cream for us, one the house. How lovely was that?

As for the ‘Hox In A Box’ thingy, for me it will be an experience that money can’t buy. Because I get to do it for free, that is. The container, the duck feather duvets (oh, how I love a cozy duvet), the lovely food and several other surprises The Hoxton has in store for me, the whole package. I’ll be documenting the entire experience here, on my blog, on my Facebok fanpage and on my Twitter. Make sure you are around on August 21st, starting with 4 pm, London time. I promise it won’t be just another quiet night in at a hotel.