What a little bit of bad luck can tell you about your relationships 

Yesterday morning, I hurt my pinky toe at the corner of the coffee table (major cursing ensued). The night before, my internet connection stopped working mysteriously. Today, I missed my bus and thus my only chance to find the super market open (and have a healthy dinner), due to limping because of said hurt pinky toe.

Two common things about the mishaps in the above paragraph: (1) bad luck (2) I missed my boyfriend in every single instance.

Partners are great to have fun with, but the real idea of companionship is founded on longing for the other person when not at your best (or at least so I believe). I have many suitors when I have my make up on, my fancy clothes and good hair. And that doesn’t impress me much. I only care for one when I haven’t showered for three days or I’ve gained gain a couple of pounds.

I wanted to call my boyfriend because he was the only one I wanted to be comforted by at that moment. I wanted to talk to him because I knew he was on a business trip and wouldn’t be home when I got back from work. I wanted to hear his voice because it’s the most soothing sound on this planet (I should test him against whales once).

Who do you think about when your day sucks? Who is the first person you want to call when you hurt your pinky toe?

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How to stop stressing out about work

I was recently thinking about the stress caused by our work situation, something totally uncool and non-worthlivinit, but something I see all my friends trying to cope with on a daily basis.

It can be that work is too much or that work is not enough, or that there is no work at all. That the clients are too demanding, the boss totally unhelpful and the colleagues trying to step over your dead body. Deadlines, performance reviews, presentations to the board, salary cuts. All these paint a very bleak picture of how today’s working youth is looking at its work life.

I don’t think my parents ever experienced the kind of stress I and my peers live through every day. Of course there was no global crisis tormenting the economy and Greece was going through its golden age of modern times, but I think it wasn’t just that. It was also a different mentality. Of course they wanted me to want to have a job and be happy with my job and have a job that pays the bills (but doesn’t necessarily make you rich), an important job (so I can use all my skills, diplomas, foreign languages etc) and most of all a job that I enjoy and don’t lose my sleep over. I don’t believe my mom was ever stressed about her job to the extent she snapped out at my dad or had nightmares for three nights in a row. I, on the other hand, have been THAT stressed (I’m actually going through such a period right now, that’s how I thought of writing this post). I never remembered my dad complaining of stress (my dad is a lawyer, a job I find super stressful because other people’s well-being depends on you-even if that well-being is get out of paying a parking ticket). I, on the other hand, complain ALL THE TIME, when I’m stressed at work. I show signs of depression, I refuse to get out of bed in the morning, my tasks look like an endless list of challenges and I feel I’m drowning.

NOT COOL AT ALL.

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So I’ve developed a few tricks over the years to try and calm myself down whenever I’m going through a phase like this:

1. Put things into perspective: There are so many things in this life that are pure SH*T. Like war, illness, death and loss. None of these are caused by not performing well at work though (unless you’re Obama). Things will get harder in life. If you’re lucky enough to have friends and family, then things are about to get worse in some years from now. I know it sounds morbid and totally bleak, but that’s how it is: you’re bound to feel great pain from the loss or suffering of people close to you. And this is just one of the things that might go wrong. So stop it. Stop delving into stress without any particular reason, other than “my project is crap”. Stop feeling like work is the only thing that validates you and that it is worth losing your sleep over it. Stop thinking that your PowerPoint presentation will make it or break it for you. Instead, think of all the great things that make your life #worthlivinit, of the people you love and of all the great things you have achieved so far. Every time I was stressed before an exam, a test, a difficult day at work, a big presentation etc. I would always complain to my mom: “Mom, I just want tomorrow/next week/next month to be over.” It will”, she would answer, “it most definitely will. 30 years (i.e. my age) have gone by and they have been good. Don’t you think another day/week/month will go by as well?” I always found this phrase so wise and liberating and I always have it in mind every time a challenge shows its face at work.

2. Share your troubles: Talk, take it out, don’t feel you’re burdening people, you’re not. To the contrary, you’re actually opening your heart and mind to them, which is therapeutic for several reasons: It helps you take the burden off your chest, it helps you realize how ridiculous it might (or might not) sound and get a perspective that you probably hadn’t thought about before. If nothing else, it helps you get out of the house, have a drink and catch up with a friend you hadn’t seen in a while.

3. Meditate: Don’t roll your eyes and stay with me for a second here. It is extremely difficult to start meditating if you’ve never done it before, and I have first hand experience with this because after several months, I’m still trying! The 20 minutes per day that most people advise are a far away dream for me, however, even starting with 4-5 minutes will make a huge difference. I first thought about meditating to make myself sleep at night as I often find myself looking at the ceiling 2 hours after I laid in bed. You can find many tips online as to how to meditate, but I got my first cues from Arianna Huffington’s Thrive.

4. Get help: If you feel that the stress is getting worse and worse every day and that none of the usual tricks will do it for you, ask for help. Professional help. Go online and search the name of a good helpline that works on the issues that worry you. Call them. It’s a great first step in your path to feel better.

Why September is the best month of the year

Today is the first day of fall, September 1st, the beginning of a new school season, a time when goals are being set and strategies rolled out.

I’ve always loved September, it’s easily my favourite month of the year. It feels more “new” than New Year’s, it feels fresh because it’s not too warm any more, however the weather is still good, we look our best because we’re tanned and with sun-kissed hair, we get back together with our friends we’ve missed during holidays and spend nights sharing stories and chilled wine.

And most of all, a new season lies ahead of us and we get a clean slate🙂

I have so many plans for this new season – learn a new language, refresh my French, take up music again or maybe start dance classes? So many possibilities, so little time!

And maybe start focusing on this blog a little more…

What about you? What are your plans starting this new season?

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Great September view of the Atomium in Brussels.

 

 

My diet

Writing this post last week on the things to do when coming back from holidays, I did mention going on a diet – a diet that’s actually been with me for the past 10 years or something. Not that I’ve been on a diet for 10 years, God no!! It’s just my little trick whenever I get to put on a 1-2 kilos and would like to get rid of them just because there’s no reason to have them. If however there is a good reason to have them (e.g. that time in my life that I was having 2-3 glasses of whine EVERY EVENING with dinner), then so be it, life has taught me any way that when habits change (meaning our mind…) our body usually follows suit.

So I’m gonna share with you my lovely diet in order you’re looking for something new to get you out of your eating habits. This promises a loss of 8 kilos in 2 months, which is pretty decent and healthy, but I never manage to keep it up for that long or follow it religiously, which makes it more like 1-2 kilos in a month for me. But these are real kilos, meaning you don’t see them coming back the second you have a pizza. Or two.

A few rules before the game starts: You can order the days as you like, Day 1 does not actually have to be on a Monday, or you can try Day 7 before Day 4 if you wish. However, you cannot choose to have the same dishes over and over again – I know the one with pasta is a treat, but if there was pasta that could make us lose weight, believe there wouldn’t even be a reason for this post (or Weight Watchers for that matter…) You can also use as much lemon, mustard and spices you want on your food but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stay away from salt as much as possible. You know you have to avoid alcohol and other sugary drinks if you want to make this work, but coffee/tea with as much little sugar as possible is allowed. As for snacks between means, there are also very much advised and could be a fruit, a handful of unsalted nuts or almonds, half a slice of bread with a bit of low-fat cheese etc. you know, the usual stuff.

(DISCLAIMER: I’m a full figured woman, weighing 72 kilos (on a good idea) and measuring 1.75m tall. I’m perfectly happy with my body and losing a few kilos now and then is just a way for me to balance periods of unhealthy eating or excessive consumption of alcohol etc. You’re smart people so PLEASE DO NOT EMBARK ON THIS OR ANY OTHER DIET IF YOUR HEALTH DOES NOT ALLOW IT and before anything else check with your doctor if you have any kind of doubt as to what your eating should entail).

There. I said it. We’re ready to start now.

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Day 1: 

Breakfast:

  • 1 glass of fresh orange juice
  • 2 slices of toast bread (whole wheat) with 1 slice of low-fat cheese and 1 slice of low-fat ham/turkey

Lunch:

  • 150 gr. chicken prepared with 1 tbsp of olive oil and vegetables (don’t use ANY MORE olive oil, try instead to use a lot of spices to give the chicken some flavour. And of course, NO SALT)
  • a green salad with 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 slice of bread (whole wheat) OR half a cup rice OR 1 medium-sized potato (baked or boiled).

Dinner:

  • 1 wrap with 1 slice of low-fat cheese and 1 slice of low-fat ham/turkey
  • a small green salad with 1 tbsp of olive oil

Day 2: 

Breakfast:

  • Half a glass of milk
  • 3 tbsp’s of oatmeal
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

Lunch:

  • Half a cup of cooked lentils OR beans OR chickpeas with 1 tbsp of olive oil per serving (here , here and here are some nice recipes you can try)
  • 30 gr of low fat cheese OR 1 boiled egg
  • a green salad with 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 slice of bread (whole wheat)

Dinner:

  • 80 gr of beef OR fish OR chicken OR 1 small burger OR 60 gr of low-fat cheese OR 1 boiled egg
  • a small green salad with 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 slice of bread (whole wheat) OR half a cup rice OR 1 medium-sized potato (baked or boiled).

Day 3: 

Breakfast:

  • 1 glass of milk (1.5% fat) OR 1 yogurt (2% fat) OR 30 gr. of low-fat cheese
  • half a cup of cereal OR 2 pieces of melba toast (whole wheat).

Lunch:

  • 150 gr of fish (boiled or prepared in the oven)
  • a green salad with 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 slice of bread (whole wheat)  OR 1 medium-sized potato (baked or boiled).

Dinner:

  • 1 glass of milk (1.5% fat) + half a cup of cereal + 1 tea spoon of honey

Day 4: 

Breakfast:

  • 1 glass of milk (1.5% fat) OR 1 yogurt (2% fat) OR 30 gr. of low-fat cheese
  • half a cup of cereal OR 2 pieces of melba toast (whole wheat).

Lunch:

  • 2 cups of cooked green beans with other vegetables (here‘s a nice recipe) with 1 tbsp of olive oil per serving
  • 30 gr of low fat cheese OR 1 boiled egg
  • 1 slice of bread (whole wheat)

Dinner:

  • 1 yogurt (2% fat) with 2 fruit, 2 tbsp’s of cereal and 1 tea spoon of honey

Day 5: 

Breakfast:

  • Half a glass of milk with 3 tbsp’s of oatmeal
  • 1 small banana OR 1 apple
  • 1 tea spoon of honey

Lunch:

  • 1 omelette (1 full egg + 3 egg whites) with 1 tbsp of olive oil, mushrooms, peppers, 1 slice of turkey and one slice of low-fat cheese.
  • 1 green salad with  1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 slice of bread (whole wheat)

Dinner:

  • Tuna salad with 1 canned tuna + 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 slice of bread (whole wheat)

Day 6: 

Breakfast:

  • 1 glass of fresh orange juice OR 1 piece of fruit
  • 2 slices of toast bread (whole wheat) with 1 slice of low-fat cheese and 1 slice of low-fat ham/turkey

Lunch:

  • 2 cups of whole wheat pasta prepared with tomato sauce and vegetables, and cooked with 1 tbsp of olive oil per serving + 1 tbsp of graded cheese
  • 1 small green salad with 1 tbsp of olive oil

Dinner:

  • 2 slices of toast bread (whole wheat) with 1 slice of low-fat cheese and 1 slice of low-fat ham/turkey
  • 1 small green salad with 1 tbsp of olive oil

Day 7: 

Breakfast:

  • Half a glass of milk with 3 tbsp’s of oatmeal
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 tea spoon of honey

Lunch:

  • 150 gr. of chicken OR beef OR 2 small burgers OR 1 small serving of giouvarlakia (try them, they are amazing) OR 1 small serving of soutzoukakia (try them, they are amazing)
  • 1 small salad with 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 cup of mashed potato OR baked potatoes OR rice

Dinner:

  • Dakos (try it, it’s amazing) with 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 piece of fruit

So here you go! Print it, go shopping, put it on your fridge and good luck!!!!

The first 3 things to do when coming back from holidays 

My summer vacation came to an end last Tuesday. I woke up in the morning in my family’s summer house, went for a swim, had lunch prepared by my mom, took a car, a bus, a taxi, a plane and then another car and 10 hours later I was back home.

These two pictures are from the beach Mylopotamos, on Mountain Pelion in Greece. This is where my dad;s family originally comes from and we still visit the family house every summer for a few days in August. I don’t think there is a more beautiful place on this planet and my dream is to one day go back at the village (Tsagkarada) and open my own Bed & Breakfast.

It’s always a very difficult process mentally to come back from holidays – at least for me. I’m also always very sad for leaving my family and friends back. However, I’m also happy for the new season that starts, especially in September I have this “back to school” feeling that always gets me excited and keeps me up at nights.

Getting a job after finishing university meant getting into a kind of routine that can be very difficult to break. But I’ve found that setting new goals and keeping my mind busy can help to this direction. So here are three things I’ve decided to do to keep myself busy in the next few days/months:

1.Go on a diet:

I’ve been on a diet very few times in my life and I think the biggest success was to lose 2-3 kg. However, I do believe that a good detox is called for after 3 weeks of non-stop Greek food (yep, you’ve read that right, I think I had pasta like once and that was my only experience with international cuisine…). Since I’m not your typical diet person, I’ve stuck with the one diet that had really paid off for me throughout the years – I did for the first time while a student at university and I re-visit it every couple of years when I feel I get out of order. It promises a loss of 8 kilos in 2 months, which is more or less accurate and a healthy option may I add. I’ll share the diet with you, but please keep in mind that this works for me, but might not work for other people. I also ALWAYS make sure that I don’t feel hungry during the day – if I do feel hungry, I eat a piece of fruit, or a couple of crackers with low-fat cheese.

2.Decide on new activities

I will improve my French and will also sign up at the gym. These two are really radical steps for me! I’ve never tried to improve my French before (it’s been almost 15 years since the last time I took a lesson in French…yes, young children DO NOT need to take French lessons mom!) and I’ve only been to a gym before once but only did a few classes of pilates in the course of a year. This time I’ve decided to actually go the full way and try the instruments, with the ultimate goal of toning my arms and butt, but also strengthen my back a little bit…As for my French, my goal is to be able to have an intelligent fluent conversation with my French colleague by Christmas (I don’t know why I think an intelligent conversation will happen by default…)

3.Adopt a post-summer beauty routine

Again, this is linked to goals: keep summer on me for as long as possible and try to create a new make up process for my newly cut short hair. (Yes, I decided to cut my hair into a lob, i debated for several months with friends, family and boyfriend and despite everyone’s advice to the opposite, I decided to cut it! I’ve never had it this short, but couldn’t be happier with the result!!)

First thing to do is treat my skin after this extensive two-week exposure to the sun. A few years ago I had a terrible experience, when I stepped out in the strong sun right after waxing my upper lip and without any sun cream on. As a result, I developed sun marks (my skin complexion is fair and I have freckles, however I’m tanning nicely in the summer. However, living in Belgium for all these years has deprived me for all the vitamin D I had accumulated in Greece…as a result it has become significantly more difficult for me to get a decent tan in less than 10 days…) Since that horrible event, I’ve started applying sun cream religiously especially to the damaged area of my upper lip. Even like that, every summer the marks make their reappearance and make me miserable. This year however, I found something close to a solution: Lancome’s Visionnaire.

It’s a bit on the pricey side, but I’ve been using it for a little over a week now and I can say the results are already visible. My skin feels firm and hydrated and my sun marks get paler with the day. I also feel it’s done good to an area of my face where I have acne marks from a very bad break out 10 years ago.

The next thing is to devise a good way to maintain my tan. And yes, I’m talking about using a self-tanning product. I know that most people tend to use them before they go on holiday, exactly to not stand out like a fly in a glass of milk (favourite Greek saying), however I find them much more useful and easy to use once I’m back from holidays. Why? Because this way, we can apply the product without getting this weird feeling of your legs looking more orange than your arms, or accidentally forgetting to apply it on your foot, which makes you look like you’re wearing super weird tights! My product of choice this year was Garnier’s Ambre Solaire Natural Bronzer. It was the first time I used it, and I’m really happy about it, although I’m still torn between cream ones and sprays…I guess this is a dilemma to be solved next year!

Lastly, as I extensively mentioned in this post, I cut my hair short, which immediately made me want to highlight the features of my face to make me look a bit less like a tomboy or a 15-year old French girl. What I’m doing every day now is a “half” cat eye and a red lip, but with a lip pencil. I know a lot of people find a cat eye a bit “too much” for morning activities, that’s why I keep to it a half design, I always do it with a pencil instead of an eye liner and the pencil is always brown (so is my mascara). This way I avoid the too harsh image of a smokey at 9am at work.

Short road trip at the south of Peloponnese 

If you ever find yourself in the south of the Peloponnese region in Greece you will know everything about the essence of #worthlivinit.

In my opinion, this is the most beautiful place on earth and the most “Greek” of all the regions in the country.

I have an amazing recommendation for a short roadtrip should you ever find yourselves in the south of Peloponnese: Elafonisos and Monemvasia – two places made out of heaven.

You can reach Elafonisos by boarding a ferry from the port of Pounta. This is one of the smallest ferries you’ll ever see, it’s also one of the shortest rides (approx. 10 minutes), so no need to worry about that.

The ride is also darn beautiful:



The cost of the travel is also pretty cheap: 12 Euros one way for two passengers plus their car (no matter how big or small your car is). There are ferries leaving the port of Punta every half hour from early in the morning to 10pm (or even later the busiest months of the year). You can find more info here.

Once you reach Elafinisos, follow the signs to Simos beach. It’s 4 kilometres from the port, and you’ll start squeaking like a baby mouse once you see from afar the see getting closer to you. It’s the most green sea I’ve ever seen, the most beautiful colour, like an emerald waiting to be conquered. The amazing thing about these beaches in Greece is that they might look like you’re at the Carribean, the water is however much more “swimable” – serene like a pool, with little boats floating here and there and no sharks🙂

Simos is one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever been to, you should definitely plan a visit if you’re in the neighbourhood! There is also a cafe nearby to cater to your need for water and a snack – nothing too exceptional though so make sure to have your own provisions.

We took the boat back and drove to Monemvasia to enjoy the sunset. The drive is not too long, so if you leave Elafonisos around 5-5.30pm you can reach Monemvasia around 7pm. You should go visit the castle which hides a beautiful two inside its walls full of little resto’s and coffee places where you can enjoy a drink and the amazing view.


7 days in Paradise 

Today my vacation starts. My out of office message has been set, but I still need to get into the right mood. This year I’ve been very busy and very stressed, and I’ll be even busier when I come back in 15 days. But what I want to achieve in these two weeks is to not worry about a thing. And to really believe to my core that every little thing is gonna be alright.

Tomorrow morning I’ll set off to a roadtrip to the south of Peloponnese. I really have high hopes for this trip, it’s supposed to be super beautiful and I can’t wait to spend the time with my boyfriend at the beach and little taverns. I want to swim, eat and read. Nothing more, nothing less. 

I hope you’re all having a great time wherever you are with people you like. I’ll be keeping you updated on my trip. Keep me updated on yours!!!

The first leg of our trip involves a short boat ride at 6.30am….THE BEST!!!

Mediterranean gnocchi recipe

When the weather gets warm (and thank God it has – yes, summer is officially in Belgium people!), my cooking choices always revert to the Mediterranean diet – simple stuff, almost no meat, lots of olive oil and herbs.

I tried a new recipe with gnocchi the other day that I really enjoyed making and eating so I thought toshare it here with you. I actuallycamepup with it right on the spot, as I had a few vegetables in my fridge that I need to consumer before I leave Brussels this weekend (I’ll be gone for three weeks and every time I have to travel for such a long time there is always a cleaning the fridge procedure going on, I hate throwing food away!!!)

So this is really easy peasy and here’s what you need to have to make it happen (serves 2):

A 500 gr pack of gnocchi

Two tbsp of olive oil

1 aubergine (chopped in cubes)

1 zucchini (chopped in cubes)

A handful of porcini mushrooms (sliced not too thinly)

Half an onion (thinly sliced)

4 medium-sized ripe tomatoes (each cut in 4 big cubes)

1 tbsp concentrated tomato sauce

3/4 cup water

Herbs according to preference (I used oregano and dried basil for this one)

Salt & pepper to taste

A pinch of sweet paprika

A few capers

A few kalamata olive oils to taste

1 garlic clove (unless you cook this to take to work for lunch the next day or to serve on a first date, in which cases skip the garlic)

 

How to make it:

We warm up the oil in a normal pan, adding the onion once the oil is hot and cooking it until soft and slightly brown.

Add the vegetables and cook for a few more minutes, until everything in the pan has a nice golden touch because of the olive oil.

(Note: I usually cook in low temperatures to make sure I can control the process. On a scale from 1-9 I would cook the vegetables on 6).

Lower the heat (in my case, I would take it down to 4) and add the tomatoes, the salt, the pepper and the herbs. Add the tomato sauce and the water. Stir well so everything comes together nicely and let cook for about 15-20 minutes.

Cook the gnocchi (follow the advice on the packaging, it always works well with pasta).

Dry the gnocchi and add in the sauce for a final spin.

Serve warm or not so warm, with or without cheese, with or without a glass of chilled wine. So easy like summer should be😉

 

 

 

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A perfect way to spend your Saturday afternoon

Summer is officially in the city and most of my friends are already on holidays… I still have a few weeks to go before I board that plane to Paradise (aka Greece), so I’m totally in the right lazy mood, but really on holidays yet….so….staycation it is!!!!

We had the perfect lazy afternoon on Saturday, stayed at the balcony with cold drinks just shooting bubbles in the sky…times like these make me feel so young and carefree….

How to really enjoy your birthday (even if all you want to do is eat cake and cry)

P.S. The majority of this post was written before the terrible events in Nice took place. I was always proud that my birthday coincided with the French National Day, which stands out among all national holidays for the powerful message it comes with: Freedom, Equality, Brotherhood. These principles need now to be reinforced. With every blow on our bodies we must strike back with a thousand blows of love in their hearts.

Yesterday was my birthday! Yay!!!! Or……nay?

My birthday and I have a complicated relationship. I kind of hate it, but then it turns out to be one of the sweetest days of the year, because every single person I love and cherish takes a few seconds to remember me and send some good vibes my way. Then again, I really hate growing old(er), I’m not one of those people who feel like they really make the best out of every age, rather I’m always feeling left behind, unable to do all the things I would like to do. Time to me is a ruthless enemy, not a trusted companion, not at all!!!

I’ve celebrated 31 birthdays so far, almost 15-16 of them trying to organise some kind of entertainment for my friends. I’ve tried pretty much all formulas: party at a club, party at home, dinner party at a restaurant, dinner party at home, huge groups of people, small groups of people, just with my boyfriend naked in bed, completely on my own watching Miss Congeniality and/or Moonstruck. 

There are true merits in every one of those options, except maybe for the alone one, because as I grow older I get more and more insecure about the people around me (it totally works if you’re in the 18-25 box, I can totally see my 18-year old self eating a whole cake on my own in front of the TV).

What I have done though with great success the past four years is an intimate drink/dinner with the 3-4 people in Brussels I can really call “my own”. It’s true that if I was back home I would usually throw larger parties at the beach. Or if my birthday were not in the middle of the summer, I would have more of “my people” in Brussels as well. Or if my friends stopped having babies, THINGS WOULD ALSO BE EASIER (just kidding guys, keep on bringing babies to this world, they’ll be the smartest and most beautiful people of the 2040’s!)

It’s a great relief knowing that there people who I can really call my friends and rely on pretty much for everything pertaining to my survival. I value my true friendships very much. And of course I also enjoy the more superficial ones, the friends I have to have coffee or go shopping with, but for my birthday, I really want my besties with me. And that’s more than enough. That’s why I’ve been having these very small intimate dinner parties the past four years. We’ve really had the chance to enjoy ourselves much better this way, eat a lot, drink a lot, dance and sing more and more than just a lot, and also cry a little at the end (me mostly, I’m a big cryer).

Exactly because I’m a very emotional person, birthdays are kind of a big thing for me. I’d prefer if everyone forgot about it, but then again if I don’t get enough people wishing me on Facebook I get totally depressed “because people forget about me as years go by”. And because I’m so emotional, it is really important for me to not get overwhelmed and try to have fun without any pressure on this special day. Everyone should find what makes them happy on their birthday and go with it. If you can master huge parties, go ahead and do so! Because there’s not better excuse than birthdays and because noone really throws huge glamorous parties any more! If you’re more the “I like cooking for an army” type, throw a huge dinner party with 3 courses and a lot of art de table! Then again, you might enjoy wine, in which case you only need several bottles of the finest wine and lots and lots of cheese, and you’re done!

But whatever you do, make sure to have people you love around you and most of all – relax and have fun. Birthdays are a celebration of ourselves and our lives. Treat them both with love and respect and have lots of fun on the way.

And if you’re looking for the ultimate tip to make any gathering (even the one with just yourself) successful, here it is: PICK A THEME. It is always a guarantee for fum (I’m planning my next dinner party to feature “Woody Allen movie types” as a theme. Precious.)

Here are a few ideas about how we celebrated yesterday:

  • Food: Starting with some spanakopita (i.e. Greek spinach pie) and with chicken roast as a main course, noone complained much.
  • Instead of a typical birthday cake, I shove my one and only candle on a moelleux au chocolat served with vanilla macadamia ice cream on the side.
  • Best present ever: Black leather clutch.
  • REALLY best present ever: Flowers and a very delicate necklace from my boyfriend. I think I’m in love with this guy. Seriously.