10 Things I Learned During Renovation 

There is a saying that you can only start the renovation, but you can never finish one. Well, in out case this saying proved to be wrong, because few days ago we have officially finished renovating our kitchen and bathrooms. And I am gladly sharing with you all what I learned during these 2 weeks.


1. Even if you think your kitchen is small, there are at least 10 trash bags you will fill with things you found when emptying the cabinets.

2. “7-10 business days” term given to you by furniture consultant when you are still shopping for cabinets magically becomes 4 weeks once you paid the money.

3. Even if there wasn’t a snowflake during 3 months of winter, you will get a snowstorm in the middle of March, the day your appliances were scheduled for delivery, delaying it and messing up your renovation schedule.

4. After 5 days of eating out there is not a restaurant in the world that would beat the homemade soup. You wake up and dream of homemade omelette. Too bad you have another 5 days to eat out. Tough life.

5. It takes 3 days for your cat to get used to the sound of drill so that she wouldn’t even wake up when the drilling starts.

6. You can put your makeup on in the car, when all your mirrors are off the walls. On that same note you can double down on your swimming pool and gym time because these places have shower too.

7. Even if you planned the renovation carefully, multiply your budget by at least 25%. Trust me. This is just how it is.

8. You will never be able to buy everything after just one visit to construction store. Not after two either. Not after nine. I’m not joking. You will also be doing a lot of returns and exchanges.

9. If you feel like you are tired from making choices and decisions and are ready to go with “whatever, I don’t give a damn” – leave the store and come back another day rested and ready to choose and decide.

10. Putting things back in will take three times longer than taking them out.

On a brighter note, the result is completely worth it.

But I’m still stuck at number 10.

TV January 2017

t seems it was January for as long as I can remember. It started on a very high note with me passing the big exam for my professional certification I was studying for for couple months and a few days later I passed the re-certification for the one I did few years ago.  Very content, relieved and proud, I decided it was time to relax a bit.

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Next thing I knew I was glued to the TV. I think I spent more time in front of the screen for the past month than I did in past 5 years. And among my other accomplishments for January are: Continue reading

Flip-flops In Winter? Why Not?

If there is one thing I am still struggling to understand about the Americans, it’s their relationship with the weather. Or rather, the connection between their clothes and the temperatures outside.

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Before I came to the US, I used to determine how cold  or warm it was outside just by looking out of the window. People bundled up in scarves – damn cold, I am not going anywhere. Wearing jackets – I need a warm coat. Wearing t-shirts – I might grab a lighter jacket, just in case.But here in the US it is a wrong way to decide on what to wear. Continue reading

Christmas 2016

I almost missed the Christmas hassle this year – thank you, gentleman across the aisle on a plane from London, who was coughing his lungs out the entire flight.  My to-do list for December was 3 feet long and what’s more important, I had tons of inspiration to actually do all of that.

Well, next time I’m thinking I need some time off work, I’ll be more specific as to my physical well-being, as this has officially been the longest-playing virus in my life. During 2 weeks of being sick I went through all 5 stages during this time – denial (no, I am not getting sick, it’s just the dry air that makes my throat sore), anger (I hate this guy on the plane), bargaining (if I have another Day-quill, I can probably go out), depression (that’s it, no Christmas for me this year) and acceptance (so what if it’s the case?) – and then I figured out I needed to see the doctor, and the doctor figured out I needed antibiotics, and after 3 days I figured out I am feeling much better and there is still time to jump on that last wagon of the Christmas hassle. A lot of figuring out involved.

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In just  5 days I can proudly say that I am 95% done with my Christmas shopping – just 2 gifts left, all of the packages have been wrapped and shipped worldwide, all of the cards are signed and mailed, stockings are up over the fireplace, window lights are out there,  Christmas tree is up too – and it’s been cold enough to start the fireplace season, so it adds to the atmosphere. Still have to catch up on hot cocoa with marshmallows, but that is only because I’ve eaten a bag of marshmallows I bought  for this cause even before I could think of hot cocoa. Continue reading

When The Universe Is Trying To Tell You Something…

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I spend last year and a half looking for another job.

There were a handful of reasons for me to do so. I felt there was no room for me to grow in my current position, I felt I mastered it all and was just wasting my brain on a transactional stuff a monkey could do.  I felt I’ve overgrown my salary, and most importantly my working style and the one of my direct manager didn’t align very well. Being an HR professional I know you should not vent too much about your manager online, so let’s just say it didn’t click.

During these 1,5 years I have been to literally dozens of interviews. God knows how many times I was the final candidate. I once had company CEO calling me after the interview letting me know how impressed they were. I was once shown my office-to-be and introduced to direct-reports-to-be. But everything was falling through. At first, I was cool about it, knowing it’s all a part of the process. Then I started being pissed. Then concerned. Then desperate. Then almost a wreck. Three years ago I found a job in a week having zero US working experience. Now I could not find a job in 1.5 years, having a good track record and managerial position with one of the industry giants.

My circle of support also went from encouraging to plain laughing every time I was telling them that yet another company picked someone else over me. Continue reading

Travel…

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Travel. Spend hours finding tickets, booking accommodations, discussing itineraries, packing suitcases.

Nag. Nag about the lines in the airport, putting all your liquids in a see-through bag and the laptop out in a separate bin. Nag the ever-decreasing leg room in the coach, far-from-delicious airline food and unpredicted patches of turbulence. Ignore the crowds in the destination airport, never-ending hallways to the rental car counters or the train station.

Fight. Fight the jet lag with the endless cups of coffee, fight the swollen feet with the thought that you will rest at night, fight the temptation to go to your hotel and sleep by telling yourself there is another amazing view around that corner.

Learn. Learn to style your hair with fingers and hair band because you forgot to pack your hair products,  learn to live off whatever you packed in your suitcase or buy dime a dozen t-shirts that will only last you a trip. Learn new words, new road signs, new foods.  Eat something you never tried before. Eat that late night dinner because this is how locals do it. Eat that croissant even if you are watching your calories intake. Especially when you are watching your calories intake. Eat it.

Let go. Let go all “must-do’s”, all the “have-to’s”, all the restrictions and considerations. Sign off from your email. Turn off your alarm clock. Or actually… put it on for as early as you can – to soak in more of your travel destination. Be here and now. Capture the moment, savor it, enjoy every tiny second. Magical things will happen, I promise.

Open your heart and embrace. Embrace differences, similarities, sudden change of plans.

Come back a better version of yourself. Start planning the next trip.

Travel.