I also write for / Scriu si pentru


I also write for / Scriu si pentru

Revista Tango Romania


Monday, November 23, 2020

Ten Great Youtube Videos of All Times

For today's story I would like to feature ten great Youtube videos that I have loved over the time, from different years of Youtube existence. These are some of the most watched videos ever since Youtube was created, some of them with dozens of millions of views and thousands of comments. I still get a kick from watching every single one of them, even after so many years. You probably know some of them too. 

Enjoy the show! 

1. Christmas lights gone wild, 2005, 11 million views 
I remember this was one of the first Youtube videos that I have ever watched. The synchrony of this light show is absolutely incredible and pure perfection.  

2. Jill and Kevin's big day, 2009, 100 million views 
This viral video was originally uploaded to Youtube on July 19, 2009, featuring the wedding of Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz, using Forever by Chris Brown as the song for their wedding march. In its first 48 hours, the video accumulated more than 3.5 million views. The original upload of the video was the third most popular video on Youtube in 2009. Time magazine ranked the video at number fifteen on its list of the fifty greatest Youtube videos. The video was so successful that it now has its own Wikipedia page. I don't know Jill and Kevin, but I hope they are still together, happily ever after, and maybe with a couple of kids by now. Thank you Jill and Kevin for sharing this wonderful video with the world, to the amusement of millions of viewers.  

3. The Office wedding, 2019, 4 million views 
Jill and Kevin inspired the Niagara episode of The Office, aka Pam and Jim's wedding, Season 6, Episode 5.
  

4. Touching wedding speech by father of the bride, 2013, 939K views 
A very emotional and heart touching moment shared by a father with his immediately to be son-in-law.  

5. Mom reacts to daughter's quilt, 2018, 5K views
The most beautiful Christmas gift that this mom could possibly get from her daughter.  

6. Heineken commercial, 2008, 16 million views
Probably the best beer commercial in the world. It never gets old, and it cracks me up every single time when I watch it. ☺ 

7. Jeep Grand Cherokee commercial, 2008, 137K views
Another hilarious commercial. As it happens, I owned a Jeep Grand Cherokee at the time when this video was posted on Youtube. I no longer own the Jeep though, I now drive an electric car.  

8. Pandapia, 2016, 21 million views
I laugh out loud every single time when I watch this video. These pandas are so cute and adorable!  

9. Little surprise by Samsung, 2015, 101K views
A community learns the sign language to make the day easier for this hearing impaired person.  

10. Toronto, 2009, 1 million views 
This one is a personal to me. I love this city more than any other place in the world.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Canadian Menswear Designer Christopher Bates Is Announcing a New Collaboration with PFAFF

Christopher Bates, Canadian menswear designer, is thrilled to announce a new fashion collaboration with legendary Canadian automotive brand PFAFF this season.
The PFAFF x CHRISTOPHER BATES collection is made in Italy with luxurious materials and artisanal level craftsmanship. It focuses on elevated basics and comfort, with subtle touches that reference Bates’ passion for high performance automobiles.
The unisex capsule collection features sporty trousers, t-shirts, and sweaters.
The new collection is available now at Pfaff Porsche, Pfaff Markville Mall, McLaren Toronto and online at PFAFFAUTO.COM.
Congratulations Christopher Bates on the new collection!

   

Photo credit: Courtesy of Christopher Bates

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Christopher Bates: Introducing the Ultimate Weekender Bag

Canadian menswear designer Christopher Bates has launched a series of limited edition, hand-made weekender bags inspired by the heritage and design of classic sports cars. The bag is designed in Canada and handmade in a small, highly specialized factory in Northern Italy. The initial run of 100 bags has some very special characteristics.
Each bag features an embossed production number 001 to 100 as each edition will be limited.
Military grade RFID fabric lines the outside pocket for an added level of security, while two-tone deviated stitching inspired by sports car steering wheels adorns the leather handles.
With this edition, the custom tartan exterior fabric is the designer's nod to the classic interiors from the ‘80’s from a special car maker.
Characteristics of the Weekender bag by Christopher Bates: 
-Proudly handmade in Italy; 
-Limited edition, each bag is numbered from 001-100; 
-Shell is made from a durable, water-repellant cotton blend (68% cotton, 32% polyamide); 
-Genuine leather trim; 
-Fully lined with water-repellant jacquard (90% polyamide, 10% polyurethane); 
-Internal zip pocket and straps; 
-Gunmetal feet and hardware; 
-Shoulder strap, luggage tag and protective bag included; 
-The Weekender bag is now available at ChristopherBates.com

Photo credit: Courtesy of Christopher Bates.

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

“Un Amico Italiano” by Luca Spaghetti – A Book Review

I read the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert in 2010. Prior reading the book, I remember seeing it on displays in my favorite Indigo bookstore in Toronto every time I went book shopping. The hype at the time was all about Eat, Pray, Love, I was seeing this book and hearing about it everywhere on blogs and social media, but for some reason I delayed getting a copy of it for months. Then in August 2010 I found out there would be a movie based on the book, starring Julia Roberts as Elizabeth Gilbert, and I saw the trailer of the new movie. This is when I finally got curious enough about the book, so I bought a copy and read it. 

I loved the book, and next I was looking forward to watching the movie. When the movie was in theaters, I was on maternity leave, my son Alex was a few months old, and I didn’t get the chance to go to the theater to see it. While everyone else was already enjoying the movie on the big screen, I was just reading the book, the late reader that I was. Finally, toward the end of 2010, the movie was released on DVD/Blue Ray, and I got it in Blue-Ray format as a birthday gift in December that year, and this is when I finally watched it. 

I loved the movie just as much as I loved the book, while Julia Roberts is one of my favorite actresses. I have always been charmed by her big ear to ear smile, ever since the days of Pretty Woman, and we get to see her signature smile in this movie as well. I loved the scene when she meets David for the first time when we see her big gorgeous smile. 

Then in April 2011 Elizabeth Gilbert came to Toronto for a speaking event, and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to meet her. I attended the evening with Elizabeth Gilbert that took place at Roy Thomson Hall downtown Toronto. It was a beautiful evening – she talked about some of her life experiences, her books, her writing, her relationship with Felipe whom she had met in Indonesia during her one-year long trip around the world that she wrote about in Eat, Pray, Love. I enjoyed every single minute of that event. The book Committed was also available to purchase at the event, guests could buy a copy of the book signed by the author. Without hesitating, I bought a copy of Committed before leaving there that night. You may remember Committed – it’s another memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert, released in 2010, and it is a sequel to Eat, Pray, Love, in which Elizabeth writes about her relationship with Felipe and the institution of marriage. 

A few month later while book shopping at my favorite Indigo bookstore downtown Toronto, I saw this book on the shelves – Un Amico Italiano ~ Eat, Pray, Love in Rome by Luca Spaghetti.

Photo credit: Amazon

The name of the author was unfamiliar to me at the time, but the title of the book definitely rang some bells. I took the book from the shelf, I browsed it a bit, read the back cover to figure out what the book was about, and decided that I would like to read it. In a way, Un Amico Italiano was another version of Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, because it described the events that happened in Rome when Elizabeth Gilbert was there on her trip to Italy, and the story is now told from Elizabeth’s friend’s perspective, while he was showing her around his beloved city of Rome. I bought the book with the intention to read it in the near future. 

I came home with the new book in my purse that day, and I put in on the shelf, thinking that I would read it soon. But weeks passed, and I didn’t get to it, and then I all forgot about it. And then another number of years passed, the book got stuck in the back of the shelf in my home library, and it never saw the light of the day again, until this year. 


Fast forward to 2020 – Corona times. I have worked entirely from home during the pandemic, and just like many other people around me, I stayed home, reduced any social activities to zero, spent no more time in traffic, and suddenly I had much more time on my hands to spend for myself and with my family. And like many other people, I turned to books during this pandemic to catch up with my reading. I read more than 20 books in the last 6 months since the pandemic started and I can’t get enough of my reading. Everybody tried to make the most of this time when we had to stay home, and everybody turned to their hobbies, myself included – reading, writing, journaling, watching TV, crafting, painting, gardening, you name it. Reading has been one of my hobbies that I spent my time with during the pandemic. Lots and lots of good books. Shopping for new books has been another pleasure of mine that I indulged in since businesses started reopening and I could go to bookstores again. 

While on the waves on my recent reading enthusiasm, I reorganized my personal library which had gotten into an unkept state, too unkept for my taste. My usual home library organization is in alphabetical order, per authors; but lately my books were all over the place and they had lost their pristine order that I used to have for them before. One afternoon a couple of weeks ago I spent some time with my beloved books and reorganized them, but this time in two alphabetical orders – the read books and the unread ones. My shelves are wide enough to accommodate two rows of paperback and hardcover books, or three rows of pocketbooks. So my first alphabetical order, the order of books that I have read, found their new spot in the back rows of my library, while the books that I am yet to read are now organized in the front rows of my shelf. This exercise put my books into a new perspective and suddenly I had all of them in front of me, in the front rows of my bookshelf, and I could see all of them, all of my unread books. This also gave me a great opportunity to count how many books in my personal library I am yet to read, and it’s about 100 of them. The total number of the books that I own should be around 400 (I didn’t count the exact number of all my books though). For a while I thought that the number of books in my personal library that I have already read, versus those that I am yet to read, are about 50%-50%. But once I reorganized my library and I counted them, turns out it’s about 75%-25%, which is great, right? Suddenly I felt less guilty for owning so many books that I am yet to read. 

Now that I had all of my unread books in front of me, I got even more excited about the books that I would like to read next, but I also realized that there were so many books in my library that I had completely forgotten about, and that’s because all these years they stayed in the back of my bookshelf and I haven’t touched them ever since I bought them and placed them there according to their alphabetical order. Out of my sight – out of my mind, this is what happened to many of my books. But now things are about to change, and now I’m really excited to read my forgotten and newly found friends – because my books are my friends and I love them just as much as I love my friends. 

One of the books that stayed in the back of my shelf and I had completely forgotten about its existence in my personal library is Un Amico Italiano by Luca Spaghetti. And now that I rediscovered it, I read it this summer; it was a great read and I loved it. While reading about Luca and Elizabeth’s exploits in Rome back in 2003 when Elizabeth made her notorious trip around the world, I couldn’t help but think about her book Eat, Pray, Love that I had read back in 2010. And because it’s been such a long time since I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir, I had forgotten that Luca Spaghetti was one of the characters in her book. I had the physical proof in my hands alright, but I didn’t quite make the fully cognitive connection between the book by Luca Spaghetti that I was reading now and the book by Elizabeth Gilbert that I read 10 years ago. So in order to refresh my memory, I pulled out Eat, Pray, Love from my library (which was now in the back row of my shelf, the “read” row), and started browsing it – and yep, there he was, Luca Spaghetti, in Part One about Italy. And then I pulled out Committed, another favorite of mine from Elizabeth Gilbert, to browse it a bit and to bring back some beautiful memories – reading the two books all those years ago, watching the movie, going to that event and meeting Elizabeth Gilbert in Toronto in 2011, writing about all these experiences way back when. Reading Luca Spaghetti’s book almost made me want to reread Elizabeth Gilbert’s two books, Eat, Pray, Love and Committed, and I still have them on my desk as I write this, and maybe I will reread them soon! Shortly after I read Un Amico Italiano I looked up Luca Spaghetti on social media and I connected with him on Facebook and Instagram, we had a nice message exchange about his book. I also started following Elizabeth Gilbert on social media – I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner! The two of them are close friends, and now with their books on my desk and my connecting with them on social media, it feels like I befriended them as well, even if only from great distance. 

I just spent the long weekend for Labour Day at my cottage, and I took the movie Eat, Pray, Love with me to watch it at the cottage – I loved seeing it again after all these years since I first watched it, and it was great to refresh my memory on this beautiful story. And I loved seeing Julia Roberts’ big smile again – she’s such a sweetheart, I love her! 

If you loved Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, you will definitely love Un Amico Italiano by Luca Spaghetti. It’s a beautiful book, a charming read, and I heartily recommend it. Now that I have learned more about Luca Spaghetti as an author, I also found out about his other book, Anything Is Possible, which I hope to be able to read soon.

Photo credit: Amazon

Friday, April 03, 2020

“How to Not Wear Black” by Anna Murphy – A Book Review

Recently I read the newly published book How to Not Wear Black by Anna Murphy, Fashion Director at The Times of London. The book is a practical guide to help you find your style and create your forever wardrobe. Also, we will find great tips on the pages of the book how to always look our best with the help of clothes and accessories that are right for us.

The title is very suggestive too – the author teaches us how we can embrace color in our lives and in our wardrobes. Many times we turn to our black clothes because it’s just simpler and easier – don’t we all have multiple pairs of black pants in our wardrobe that we wear almost every other day, not to mention the black blouses and sweaters, and of course LBDs? Anna Murphy shows us how to wear other than black. It’s not like we shouldn’t wear black anymore, it’s just we shouldn’t wear it all the time.

It was a fun and easy book to read, and I really enjoyed it. I found Anna Murphy’s suggestions and tricks really useful, easy to follow, and easy to adapt to our personal style and our wardrobe.

The book is structured in 15 chapters, and in each of these chapters the author talks about different aspects of our wardrobe and how we should approach it in order to enhance our style, as well as boost our confidence when choosing our outfit every morning.

In the first chapter for example, “Bodymapping”, we learn that before we build our perfect wardrobe, we need to figure out our body shape. According to Anna Murphy, there are seven main shapes of our bodies – neat hourglass, full hourglass, triangle, inverted triangle, column, rectangle and rounded. “Fashion is architecture. It is a matter of proportions”, Coco Chanel said once. Once we know which shape is our body, we can choose the right clothes to flatter us and to fit us best.

In the next chapters we learn how to start building our perfect wardrobe by reviewing our entire closet, keeping the good and getting rid of the bad. Anna Murphy suggests a great technique how to select the winner clothes which will make up our new and improved wardrobe. Some of the questions that we should ask ourselves when triaging each piece of clothing are if it fits, or if we look and feel great when wearing it, and this way we will know which pieces will stay and which will go.

Next great tips that Anna Murphy teaches us are how to combine black with color so that we don’t wear black all the time; how to choose the right colors for us depending on our skin tone; how to choose expressive patterns depending on our body shape. One of my favorite tricks that I learned from this book is how we can use patterns in our wardrobe in order to balance our figure. It’s also a great idea to use patterns in order to attract attention to those parts of our body that we love the most. For example, if you are a triangle, with narrow shoulders and full hips and thighs, then your best bet is a patterned top and a monochromatic skirt or pants. On the contrary, if you are an inverted triangle (wide shoulders and small hips), then wear monochromatic and simple clothes as tops, and patterned bottoms.

One of my favorite chapters in the book is the one dedicated to sustainable fashion (Chapter 8), as I am a big sustainable fashion enthusiast myself. Style is about attitude, it has nothing to do with money, or quantity. We don’t need to buy more, we just need to buy better. Every single effort that we make in order to be more sustainable in our sartorial choices counts – it counts where we buy our clothes from, how much and how frequently we shop for clothes, and so on. I can talk a lot about sustainable fashion, but I will only mention a few tricks that the author reminds us in the book (because we already know all of this already, we just need to be aware of it all the time) – buy less, and buy better. Buy what truly flatters your body, and you will wear it many times. Don’t buy one-time items, because they will just take up valuable space in your wardrobe and in your life. Buy from brands who commit to be sustainable. The author also shares a list of 20 sustainable fashion brands at the end of the chapter, and she encourages us to embrace a slower fashion style. Some of the brands and designers from Anna Murphy’s sustainable list were already familiar to me – Eileen Fisher, People Tree, Stella McCartney. Also, H&M Conscious and Mango Committed collections are on this responsible list – while H&M and Mango are two behemoths in the fast fashion world, these two collections are their forays into sustainability.

It is a great book for all those who love fashion, but also for those who might need a little boost of wardrobe confidence. It’s a book that will teach you how to make clothes in your wardrobe work full time for you.
Photo credit: Courtesy of DK.com

Thursday, March 05, 2020

The Value of a Sheet of Paper (And a Stationery Haul)

I am an avid collector and user of fine stationery. I love agendas, journals, notebooks, notepads, sticky notes, deco paper, letter paper, pens and writing accessories, greeting cards, gift wrapping stationery, all things paper. I have an impressive collection of all kinds of fine stationery in my home office, and I love it so much that I tend to purchase more than I have time to use.

In these times of acute environment issues that we as the human race are facing, I learned to respect and love paper as it had a soul of its own, and not just as a random commodity. To me, paper isn't simply a random commodity, but a valuable asset. To me, respecting paper is respecting the tree that it came from, and furthermore the environment that we live in. Remember, we only have one planet. If she's gone, we all are gone -- gotta be conscious about that, right?

As such, I have learned over time to appreciate paper to its fullest value, and I use it to its full potential without wasting any of it. To me, paper is a valuable asset not be wasted, as I always remember the tree. Each sheet of paper, each greeting card and each notebook are meant to deliver a message of love, and I will never discard it before it does its job and delivers the message.

Just think what a piece of paper can do.
  • Writing handwritten letters to your penpals; 
  • Writing holiday cards to friends and family; 
  • Wrapping gifts for your loved ones; 
  • Jotting down your thoughts in a journal; 
  • Keeping your memories alive. 
And I love to do all these things with fine stationery. Among my favorite places to buy fine stationery in the City of Toronto are Indigo, Winners, Marshalls, HomeSense, Dollarama, Dollar Tree. When I go to any of these stores, I like to immerse myself in their stationery aisle, and if I could, I would never leave! And when I do leave, my shopping bag will be full of stationery!

But I also love to thrift for stationery. I love the stationery and office aisle in a thrift store just as much as I love the stationery aisle from Indigo. Remember the tree? Thrifting for stationery is a great way to save a tree, not to mention the treasure hunt which is so thrilling. Why let all that precious paper go to waste, when it can get a second life on someone else's desk. To me a thrifted notebook, if it's still in good condition, is just as good as a notebook that comes from Indigo or Marshalls.

I also love using online stationery, and PaperlessPost.com is a great resource for those who prefer all things digital. I discovered PaperlessPost.com two years ago, and I came to appreciate this online stationery website for its variety and endless choices. Sometimes it's just easier to say it online, isn't it? The online stationery and greeting cards from PaperlessPost.com are great for that.

And here's my newest stationery haul, all things paper that I love so much. Some of these notebooks and journals have already been written, some of them have been given as gifts to friends, some of them are still awaiting in my home office to be filled with precious memories. Some of them came new, some of them are thrifted.
Photo credit: Victoria West

Thursday, January 02, 2020

Cumparaturi recente – Shopping Lately

Bine v-am regasit dragele mele prietene! Sper ca ati avut sarbatori splendide, ca v-ati bucurat de vacanta de iarna din plin, ca ati avut un Craciun minunat alaturi de cei dragi, si ca ati avut parte de o noapte de Revelion de vis! Va doresc un an nou fabulous si sa va fie 2020 asa cum vi-l doriti!

La multi ani tuturor!
Cat ma priveste pe mine, am avut un sezon linistit si relaxant de sarbatori acasa impreuna cu familia mea, si in prezent sunt in vacanta de revelion, ma voi intoarce la serviciu saptamana viitoare.

Iar in articolul de astazi mi-am propus sa scriu despre unul din subiectele mele preferate – shopping, si as vrea sa va arat ce cumparaturi am facut ultima vreme (adica in decursul lui 2019), imbracaminte si cosmetice. Intr-o alta ordine de idei, acest articol nu va include chiar toate cumparaturile pe care le-am facut anul trecut, ca sa nu fie articolul prea lung, dar si pentru ca nu am apucat sa fac poze tuturor hainelor si produselor de frumusete pe care le-am cumparat; pe unele dintre ele le-am folosit inainte sa le fac poze, astfel incat m-am hotarat sa nu le mai includ intr-un articol de shopping.

Voi incepe cu articolele vestimentare.
Geaca denim Levi’s – o am deja de cateva luni, dar o includ in aceasta poveste de cumparaturi pentru ca anul trecut nu am fost foarte activa pe blog si nu am scris despre experientele mele de shopping in decursul lui 2019. E foarte confortabila, am purtat-o la greu, si a devenit una din piesele mele preferate din graderoba.

Am cumparat si diferite bluze. Cele trei din poza de mai jos sunt model identic, diferite culori, precum si alte bluze in celelalte doua poze.
Am cumparat acest top vara trecuta, pentru vacanta mea din iulie pe care am petrecut-o la casa mea de vacanta din Minden. Ziua nationala a Canadei este pe 1 iulie, si am purtat acest top in timpul vacantei.
Papuci de casa...
Trec acum la produse de beauty.
Doua pachete cu servetele umede demachiante Dead Sea si Garnier, un spray body-mist cu mosc alb, doua masti de par, bombe de dus Dr. Teal's. Unele din aceste produse le-am folosit deja, pe altele le mai am in baie. In principiu mi-au placut toate. As vrea sa spun cateva cuvinte despre bombele de dus Dr. Teal's, cu aroma de eucalipt si menta verde -- au aceeasi functionalitate ca bombele de baie, numai ca nu le folosesti in cada cand faci baie, ci la dus. Folosesc si bombe de baie pentru serile cand fac o baie relaxanta, dar din pacate nu am timp sa fac asta prea des, si raman cu dusul obisnuit, aceste bombe de dus fiind perfecte pentru dus. Pun cate o bomba din aceasta in cada, si dusul ii scoate aroma de eucalipt si menta verde pentru un efect relaxant si calmant.
Sampon uscat Batiste XXL Volume, pudra compacta Rimmel London, manicura aplicata. As vrea sa spun cateva cuvinte despre samponul uscat Batiste, este un produs excelent, I am a long time fan, l-am cumparat de multe ori pana acum, si il voi mai folosi pe viitor. Stiu ca si multe din cititoarele acestui blog il apreciaza, este cu adevarat un produs foarte eficient si isi face treaba bine. Dintre toate sampoanele uscate pe care le-am incercat vreodata, Batiste este de departe cel mai bun; iar dintre toate variantele care exista in gama Batiste, XXL Volume este preferatul meu.
Sapunuri lichide pentru maini, diferite arome
Doua geluri de dus cu aroma de cocos, sampon, balsam
Sapunuri lichide de maini -- diferite arome; un set de bile parfumate pentru incaltaminte, cu aroma de vanilie
Body scrub cu levantica
Bombe de baie
Ruj Wet&Wild, dar si sampon uscat Batiste Tropical. Desi samponul uscat XXL Volume de la Batiste este preferatul meu, am vrut sa incerc si alte arome din acasta gama.
Detangler pentru par Pantene; detangler pentru par Garnier Whole Blends cu ovas; ulei pentru fata; saculete parfumate pentru diferite utilizari, cu aroma de bamboo (set de doua saculete); un set pentru ingrijirea picioarelor. As vrea sa spun cateva cuvinte despre detanglerele pentru par Pantene si Garnier -- ambele sunt foarte bune, le-am folosit recent si mi-au placut grozav. Sunt utilizatoare constanta de descalcitor pentru par, si m-am bucurat sa descopar doua produse din aceasta categorie atat de bune. De asemenea, cateva cuvinte despre saculetele parfumate cu aroma de bamboo -- pot fi folosite in foarte multe feluri in casa, la fel cum ai folosi saculete cu flori uscate de levantica, precum faceau bunicile noastre odinioara: in dressing, in dulapul de lenjerie, in baie, in valize, in dulapul de incaltaminte etc.

Voi ce cumparaturi ati facut recent?

Sa aveti in continuare o saptamana frumoasa!

Photo credit: Victoria West