How to..?: The case of long distance best-friendships…

photo (3)As we become busier, we grow up, we develop, our friendships can often take the back seat to jobs, boyfriends and new friends…sometimes somewhere overseas or in different cities. Hopefully most friends will be forgiving in this situation. We all know what it’s like to be swamped at work or get lost in the bliss of a new relationship, and you’ve probably been understanding when a few weeks have gone by without hearing from an old friend. But as long as these happenings are temporary, all is good and well. It’s when we stop making time for our friendships that the trouble starts. Good friendships are important to maintain, and to be honest it isn’t always easy.

I have been moving a lot in the past years, and I was lucky enough, wherever I moved, to make deep friendships, be it my home town – Baia Mare, or Bucharest, or Milan, or LA, or Lausanne. However, it has been very difficult keeping in touch, so that we don’t grow apart. I have to admit I have had fall-outs on touching base with everyone, and I wish I would do it more.

Fortunately, in this day and age there are about a million ways to stay in contact with one another, so there are really no excuses. That being said, here are a few tips I discovered for remaining close even when you are far away…

  • Schedule your hangouts.  
Just like you would have made plans to grab a drink after work or meet up with a friend for lunch, plan a time to connect with your old friends too. Between different schedules and time changes, planning on a set time to Skype chat or get on Whatsapp/Facebook chat is the best way to catch up.
  • Plan a getaway.  
Whether it’s around a holiday or one of your friend’s birthdays or just like that, get everyone aligned (yes…I know it is hard! but worth it!) and find a weekend you can all take a little time for a getaway. Even if it is weeks/months away, a little together time is a great thing to look forward to.
  • Send some cute messages/funny pics on Whatsapp or Facebook.  
There are few things I love more than receiving a message of any kind from one of my besties. It doesn’t have to be anything special. Send your close friends a little reminder that you love and miss them and I guarantee it will brighten their day.

If your best friends live far away, try making one of the tips I listed above a regular occurrence. Maybe you each send each other a “postcard” from the city you live in once a month. Or maybe you plan two trips a year with your girlfriends. However you decide to keep in contact, making it regular part of your life will make the distance between you seem a lot shorter.

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My summer slim detox secret: Strawberries

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Last year I discovered the power of strawberries on a slim fit body. In summertime, I was mostly obsessed with watermelon which is again one of the best fruit to be eating on hot weather because of its hydrating capabilities. Then I read about strawberries, their anti-oxidant power that helps maintain a beautiful skin and a good metabolism, how they are packed with vitamins, fiber, and particularly how they are a sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, low-calorie food. They are among the top 20 fruits in antioxidant capacity and are a good source of manganese and potassium. Just one serving of about eight strawberries provides more vitamin C than an orange. Research also shows that individuals who eat strawberries on a regular basis have higher blood levels of folate, vitamin C and phytonutrients, and a higher intake of fiber than those who don’t eat strawberries – which helps you stay toned, and get those beautiful legs that women long for in summer :).

Having these great nutritional capabilities and then being soooo delicious (!!!), have motivated me to try on some ways to include strawberries in my daily diet.
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Therefore, I have tried two detox options with strawberries:

1. Have a three-day fast detox, eating only strawberries every day and drinking lots of water. I have occasionally added watermelon or raspberries. This is a fast way to purify your system, but you cannot do it more than three days. It becomes extreme as your body will start lacking other nutrients that you cannot get from strawberries.

2. The second option that is my favorite and works great during summertime, refers to having strawberries as a side dish to your breakfast, lunch and dinner. This second option is more long-term and easier to follow. Moreover, it maintains a healthy state of your organism throughout a longer period. So, every morning since the season started, I add strawberries to my breakfast (goat yogurt with muesli and at least 8 strawberries on top). At lunch time, as a desert I have strawberries or if I need to snack in-between meals I reach for strawberries. At dinner time, or watching a late movie, I again go for some strawberries.

You may ask: don’t I get bored of it? Honestly, not really, as you don’t actually over do it. It is about adding the strawberries as a side ingredient to your meals. Give it a try and I am sure you will notice some results in about a week.:) Let me know if it proves to be otherwise!

Work it: 9 to 6 dress to impress… for the job!

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Work attire is a tricky subject. While there are a few general rules of thumb for office dressing, it really depends on where you work. Different environments call for different ensembles. However, I have learned a few things based on my office experience, especially since I moved to Switzerland in a corporate HQ. I will try below to provide you with some general tips on dressing for work.

If you’re new to the working world, I should warn you: Beware of the fashion police otherwise known as “Human Resources” and your fellow co-workers, especially females (believe me – been there, done that!). Wearing the wrong threads has the potential to distort your image as a valued employee and may even prevent you from going up the ladder. If you wear tight skirts, sheer blouses and routinely put your “girl parts” on display at work, your co-workers may have a difficult time taking you (and your wardrobe for that matter) seriously. Therefore, as with all occasions, dress for success–and mean it, especially when you’re on the clock!

Even though all work environments have different rules as to what is and isn’t okay to wear, the following points cover most of the general dos and don’ts of dressing at work:

  • Never let your outfit outshine your work. (Yes, creatives and fashionistas, this applies to you as well!)
  • Do not wear clothing with big written logos. (No one wants a walking billboard in their office.)
  • Avoid all sexy and revealing clothing. Don’t show much cleavage or wear a skirt that skims your butt. Stay away from too short skirts (If you want to wear shorter skirts, or even dress shorts, pair them with opaque tights to temper it). Also, no tank tops unless you have something layered over it to cover your shoulders.
  • Do not wear any ripped, torn, or sloppy clothing. This includes anything that can be worn to the gym or the beach (gym shoes and flip-flops etc.).
  • Try to dress like your female boss. If you do not have a female boss, emulate the highest-ranking female in your company. This doesn’t mean steal her style. Rather, base your office attire on what she considers appropriate. Is she casual? Always dresses to the nines? Take a cue from the people in positions you aspire to have someday. They don’t say, “dress the part” for no reason.
  • Don’t let casual Fridays fool you. Jeans may be okay, but that old tee reserved for lazy Sundays and those comfy flip-flops are just not going to make it… Casual Friday attire should be based on your weekly work wear, but made slightly more relaxed. 
  • Careful that your underwear does not become outerwear. Ever. This is pretty self-explanatory…
  • Always use your best judgment. Consider your work environment and dress accordingly. Anything you can wear to a club should never step foot in an office.

I hope you find these tips helpful!

P.S. These rules apply to interns too! 🙂

Summer beach fav: Black & White

I always considered black & white the reference for stylish simplicity. I believe these non-colors are the utmost of elegance, that’s why every summer in my swimsuits collection, I like to have a black & white or white or full black swimsuit for those occasions when I want to feel a touch of elegance on the beach.

I usually like to buy my swimwear from Victoria’s Secret and below is my favorite one (you can find it on the VS site in the current collection).

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Here are two other personal favorite black&white ones also from VS:

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And here’s a stylish full-body one for a white pool party (you can find it here http://www.yoox.com/ch/47152423WE/item?dept=clothingwomen#sts=sr_clothingwomen80&cod10=47152423WE&sizeId=4)

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Or this beautiful Just Cavalli one (http://www.yoox.com/ch/47157185VR/item?dept=clothingwomen#sts=sr_clothingwomen80&cod10=47157185VR&sizeId=3)

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I guess if you have any kind of fancy beach parties planned this season, a non-color swimsuit is always a good choice. You can accessorize it with a pair of platforms and an oversized hat and you will look fabulous for sure!

Learn to listen to your body: What food cravings are telling you

I’ve learned that different food cravings pop up when your body is trying to signal to you that there is something that it needs.

The other day, I had a serious craving for ice-cream and I was curious to investigate a bit what cravings really meant as I am not the type of person with a big appetite. What I discovered was that there is a pretty surprising list of cravings and their real meanings. It’s sort of fascinating! It is also very helpful to see what your body really needs.

So here are some cravings below and what your body is really trying to tell you… (by the way, this is not a raw vegan point of view – I looked at it from a meat eater perspective too)

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If you’re craving sweets…
It means your body really needs chromium, carbon phosphorous, sulfur, and tryptophan. Get these by filling up on, fresh fruit, cheese and sweet potatoes when you have a sweet tooth. This craving may also mean you’re tired. Evaluate how much you’re sleeping lately if you find yourself wanting sweets. Instead of heading for the chocolate cake, take a nap if you can. Or, go for a walk to boost your energy levels.

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If you’re craving carbs…
It means your body needs nitrogen, which is found in high-protein foods like fish, meat, nuts, and beans. Eat a turkey burger, a handful of almonds, or a black beans (or corn, pico de gallo, guacamole, brown rice). You might also be craving carbs because you’re trying to cut them out of you diet completely. If this is the reason, make sure you’re eating every food group in moderation to prevent a big, unplanned carb-fest that will leave you feeling way worse than, say, a real sandwich.

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If you’re craving French fries, soda, cheese and pizza…
And other junk food, it means your body needs calcium and also fatty acids. Instead, make a salad with steamed broccoli, chicken, breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. It might not sound quite as good as those French fries at first, but it will leave you feeling way better, not to mention guilt-free. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and other joint problems. Reach also for raw walnuts, wild salmon, and flaxseed oil, and add ground flaxseeds to your diet.

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If you’re craving caffeine or red meat…
It means your body needs salt and iron. To get these nutrients the healthy way, eat lean meats like chicken or turkey, eggs, or black cherries, surprisingly. If you can, a great option here would be to make an omelette with turkey and veggies, with a handful of black cherries on the side. Craving caffeine can also mean you’re actually just really thirsty or dehydrated. Drink an entire glass of water before you reach for that second (or third) cup of coffee—you might realize you don’t even need it.

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If you’re craving salty foods…
It means your body needs chloride, which is essential in order for your body to maintain healthy digestion and keep your electrolyte levels in check. Avoid super salty junk food like potato chips and eat goat’s milk yogurt or fish instead. I would recommend making a tuna fish sandwich or salmon salad for lunch with goat’s yogurt as a snack the next time you have a salt craving.

I hope you also learned something new and interesting from these food facts. I certainly did. I’m definitely going to keep some almonds on hand for those guilty carb cravings…

Summer-Lace-Obsession

I developed a small passion for lace this season, be it short tees, skirts, dresses or cover-ups. There is something about white, cream or black lace that makes me feel both gentle and sexy. I feel feminine and I feel attractive. I simply love it!

Moreover, lace can be both casual and elegant. It is very versatile. However, you have to be careful with the pattern in lace and how stretchy or short it is not to fall into vulgar.

However, as it is beach season, I decided to focus on how nicely a beach outfit can be if you put a touch of lace. One of my favorite beach cover-ups is a white lace one from Victoria’s Secret below. It goes with every swimsuit I have and it reveals just the right amount of skin:
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You can find a lot of cute lace outfits in Zara and Mango today, but also online on http://www.chicwish.com. And it goes from shorts, blouses, dresses to playsuits (that I personally love).

I also recently bought this white lace skirt below from PNK Casual and it shortly became one of my favorite items this season (you can find it here: http://ro.welovecouture.com/pnk-casual/imbracaminte/fuste/fuste-scurte/fusta-scurta-alba-din-dantela/ )
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Moreover, the stores are full of chic lace dresses that you can casually wear with flats on a hot summer day or with a pair of high heels and statement jewelry for an evening out.

So why not embrace your femininity and be both delicate and sexy with a touch of lace this summer!

How about you go for some real no strings attached this summer?

GirlsGirls, how about if this summer instead of looking for Mr. Perfect, you actually accept the challenge of reversing the roles with men? How about going through this summer, like guys do, without any strings attached, without putting any feelings in flings (none at all), without building expectations on what seems to be a hook-up that leads somewhere?

I believe you owe it to yourself, especially in the 20s, to develop the capability of actually just enjoying your time, your summer, have fun, focus on what you love to do and leave romantic feelings out of the equation. Yes, you will meet guys; yes, they will be suntanned, hot, but how about you train yourself not to be impressed about all of that, and focus on just having fun, at present tense.

You cannot deny the fact that as a woman, you have a tendency of getting mushy or at least expecting some attention post-hook-up from a guy you hit it off with the night/the day before. We all do it. Don’t deny that this is what happens, that thoughts like “Maybe I wasn’t good enough/ pretty enough/ fun enough” haven’t crossed your mind at least once after a hook-up? And then every failed hook-up (from the perspective you are seeing it which is not a one-time thing, but secretly hoping for more) hits your weak point of being lonely and you find yourself crying into the arms of your best friend saying “Why can’t I find a boyfriend!? Will I ever settle down and be loved and find a good relationship and get married?” and so on. This is common woman/girl thinking in the 20s, and don’t deny it. But what you don’t realize is we are 20-something, worrying about the problems of a 30-something.

Sometimes indifference for where the future exactly takes you or who will be by your side then, helps you become a more self-confident self. In the 20s it is normal to practically be in the process of still identifying what you love, knowing yourself, trying things and experimenting (honestly we are still baby at life-experience in the 20s), while your mid-30s should be about spreading that love to the “targets” you learned are making you happy. Then why not having the time of your life in the meantime and experimenting as much as possible?

So how about taking the CHALLENGE this summer to be about yourself, to be thinking more like a guy and for a change be the one just wanting flings, no strings attached experiences, be the one leaving in the middle of the night, or not calling back… or simply record the event as a night-one-stand, one time fun. How about you are the one who is not sure about settling down, calling it a “relationship” or giving up “monogamy” for someone? How about you try for once to feel so good in your skin and love yourself and your independency so much that you will reserve summertime for good time, and discovering yourself, while the guy that would be able to break that this summer better bring the moon or the sun to you!

What do you think? ARE YOU IN for the challenge? 🙂