So here is the amazing giveaway for 3 Planet Boxes, that I have been talking about a lot lately and I just so love to use everyday to pack Isadora’s lunches. I have a blog post here about why I love this box so much and how it’s really not that hard to pack healthy lunches for our kids each morning. I just wake up maybe 10 minutes earlier than I normally would and that is so worth it for me to know that my daughter is not only eating healthy but she is learning a life long lifestyle of eating healthy.
Planet Box has graciously sponsored one of the lunch boxes and I will sponsor the other 2 boxes..
The grand price will include one planet box as well as the cute little flower shapes and letter shapes I use to cut sometimes the fruits or veggies for Isadora along with a “Say Please” lunchbox notes.
Here are the details about the giveaway.
1. The grand price will be picked based on how creative you guys are with posting links or pictures on your FB on why you would love to win this box
2. The other 2 winners will be picked at random
3. The winners will be announced Friday March 8th, 2013
Welcome to my full of color home. So what’s these crazy thing everybody has been talking about that I love color??? Don’t we all love color?? When we look outside, the nature, the flowers, the birds, everything that we set our eyes on is full of rich, vibrant colors, full of colors that we would not certainly think to put together ourselves, full of bold patterns, and shapes of all kinds that somehow all work in such harmony and are so pleasing to our eyes. Take a walk in a park, take a walk in a forest and try to take notice of all the colors, all the textures, all the patterns… Have you ever thought to yourself that the blue of the sky doesn’t really match the brown and green of the trees? or the green leaf of a plant would maybe clash with that beautiful purple color the flower that the plant will bring to life?
Everything the green, the purple, the yellow, the pale pink, the brown, the vibrant blue and all the other hundreds of colors and hues, create the beautiful nature around us. Yet we are taught since we were little, that purple and red will clash, gray and blue will clash.. same goes for so many patterns out there. I think that’s why I just let Isadora dress any way her little soul wants to dress that day.. Today it was red polka dot shoes, military style jacket and a bright purple animal zoo tshirt that really did not go with the whole outfit. But again.. I find myself going to judging colors and outfits based on what I have been thought… So I just let her be.. She was so proud of herself and the outfit she picked..
I was not always a person in love with colors. I was a very brown, earthy colors. My first encounter with pink was when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. You can imagine how uncomfortable I was with all that pink going on. I was never a girly girl.. and honestly even if I was, we did not have so much pink and purple things back in Romania when we grew up. We were happy to have anything, color was not something we worried about. So when all the pink came in my life, it took me a while to get myself to even wear anything pink, I think I started with a scarf, than a sweater and somehow the pink was so much of a better color than the brown I used to wear as the pink made me feel like I am alive. When your body is fighting to survive somehow that feeling that you are still alive, is such an amazing feeling. So I started to add in more and more color in my life. When I finally taught myself photography, all those colors started to reflect in my pictures, but it was not like I was trying to establish a style or to force myself to love colors. It came naturally until I realized, what a big impact colors have in my life. If I would have a bad day, I would just try to surround myself with some kind of color, and like magic, I would feel so much better, I would be so happy, I would feel like, Ok I can do this, I am alive, life is beautiful.
This past year, me and my little Isadora moved to a much smaller home than we had before and as painful as this move was, somehow I was so ready to have a place to call a home, not a house. I sure was the queen of the illusion of the perfect house, big, impressive, intimidating for others maybe… but it was just that.. and illusion. It was a very pretty illusion I might say, but it was dead inside. So when we moved to this new home, I wanted the home to reflect my soul’s journey, to reflect this time of my life, to reflect Isadora’s time, to reflect her childhood. I was so done with fancy things and I just wanted to decorate my house not with what was in style but with what felt good to my heart.
And sometimes what’s good for the heart and soul is just that.. to have a home not a house. To let Isadora be a kid, to let her books, her toys out around not having to hide them and show the world what a beautiful perfect house I have.I could have even hidden the toys in the pictures I took. I could have straightened the sofas, the blanket, the pillows, got some fresh flowers for my kitchen not the tulips that were loosing their petals, and I could do so much more, but I just got so tired of perfection. I have lived my whole life trying to impress others, to let others dictate what I like, gosh I was not even sure who I was anymore, I was even postponing taking these pictures of my house as I still had things that needed to be done. But I guess when I will do those things.. I might just have to do another blog post.. There problem solved..
And on a different note… please bear with me if there are some things I misspelled or if I didn’t express myself correctly.. English is my second language.. and that is still no excuse… but honestly I am trying to just practice this letting go of perfection.. even the writing of my blog. I had emails telling me that I don’t say things right and some spelling errors and to get somebody to help me with that. Trust me.. If I was to read this blog over and over and over again.. I could figure it out on myself what needs to be fixed.. but if I learned that I can’t second guess myself.. other wise I will never publish this blog as it will never be perfect enough. If you look back on my blog, I haven’t published much last year for fear I will say the wrong thing and for fear that I don’t know how to express myself. I know many of you are English teachers and might not like how I say things.. I could hire somebody to help me with this, but honestly I just don’t have any time for another email, another person to run this by.. I just don’t.. I kind of to choose between two wrong things.. Hope I stuck with the least wrong one…And I also want to try and see how this not perfect Lidia feels like for now.. Far away from perfect… but so much closer to real.. and I tell you what… being REAL FEELS SOOOOO LIBERATING!!!
Hope this helps explain a bit my fascination with colors..
I’ll try to put some links bellow on where I got some of the things in my home…
Here is the entrance to my home. It’s almost like a loud scream … BEWARE this home is full of love and color. But to me it’s more of a statement to what Phillips Phillips sings about in his song called Home.
Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home
Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home
I got the little pillows from Urban Outfitters. I got them last year, not sure if they have them. I collect salt and pepper shakers so here is my little collection of them and also other fun colorful things.
Here is what to expect when you walk in my living room. I think that color warning was for real.. More color in my living room. Isadora’s toys are pretty much always in front of the fireplace, there is very little space to even step to sit on the sofa.. but somehow we are not that high maintenance and make it all workThe canvas with the hearts I got the template from Design A Glow, the little wood ladders or not sure what to call them, I got them at Home Goods (it’s a place here in Texas kind of like TJ Max and Marshalls). The black storage with all the polka dot containers and the wicker baskets at the bottom, I bought from Ikea, the polka dot baskets were from target. Yeap there is a TV in there as the town home community here includes cable too. Very rarely do I turn that TV on. Unless it’s to watch a movie from a DVD that we have.
Here is a little close up picture on what I put on my little wooden shelves. I have one of the shelves that is my inspiration, my Lidia place, I placed in there the books that have changed my life and allowed me to be the person I am today, I have placed there a picture of my as a little girl, one of the very few pictures I have from when I was little, and I put this picture there as a reminder to love that little girl anytime when I tend to not be too nice to the older Lidia. I know I am a bit weird.. or different. But the many books I read, I realized that I am not alone, that we all tend to talk so mean and ugly to our selves inside our own mind, I don’t think we would want to have ourselves as our own friends the way to talk to ourselves sometimes.
There is a sign I love to remind me that life is a journey and to just enjoy it as it’s short. I was raised baptist, with lots of guilt, shame and honestly I was just scared when I had cancer that God punished me for something I did wrong and I will go to hell. Well, when you face death in the eyes, you start to questions a lot of things that you raised up to believe. I first said there is no God, how can God not see that I just had enough. I almost died when I was pregnant, Isadora was born and she had so many medical issues.. now I had cancer??? So I embarked on a journey to find out the truth.. The truth that has always been in me but I thought others have the truth. The symbols of different religions and the many more I will add to this collection are there as sign that I might not be a religious person but I am a very spiritual person. Like I tell my mom, this is how I see things right now based on my soul’s journey, maybe 2 years from now I will believe different. As much as we want to make everybody believe the way we do, it’s just not possible, we all are and believe what we believe based on our journey. One thing I do know… I am so much closer to God now then I have ever been, I am not scared that I am a bad person and will go to hell, I am just in awe of how amazing God is and how perfect this thing called life is and how he orchestrates things so well, that looking back at our lives everything the good and the bad, the high and the low, the love and the hate.. everything makes sense..
Here is what you see next after you are done indulging your eyes in all the colors and patterns going on in my living room.. My dining room and kitchen. In the back you see the little room, that is Isadora’s little office, her place to call Isadora, her place of inspiration. Gosh we are two pretty deep girls here… I asked the builder to cut this space under the stairs and even though it’s very small, it was the best idea ever. I have a picture lower down showing how it looks right under the stairs. It’s pretty much where Isadora puts her backpack, her shoes and just things that usually she would not have a place of her own to put them.
The table and the chairs from my dining room I got them at Pier One Imports. Wait for the 25% off sale and you get a great deal. The bright colorful red chair is a sleep cover that I can just replace when I am tired of all those bold colors. For now I will stick with it. I still love it every time I set my eyes on it. The rug I got from West Elm. There are two bar stools that are suppose to be there but we use one of the stools upstairs for this tent Isadora has that is made out of some sheets and of course the bar stool.
Oh how I keep my floors so clean and the dogs don’t bring mud in? you see the little crate right by the patio door? When the dogs go outside I open the crate door and they go straight into the crate and they get dried up a bit over there. I used to wipe their paws all the time and I never did a good job. This way they have a little furry pad inside the crate and it’s nice and comfy for them while they get a little dry.
Here is a little close up look from the above picture. The little storage table I got it also from Pier One. The wicker baskets underneath are from Pier One too. On the far back wall up the stairs, will do a collage of pictures and inspirational quotes. That is a work in progress that is not done yet. Other things that I decorate with are probably from target, pottery barn (the lemon holder) and the fun cow there in the corner is from William and Sonoma. That was Isadora’s idea. You can write in chalk the menu in there.
A little look into Isadora’s personal space. It was hard to get a picture of the place under the stairs. But you can see here, that this is pure just Isadora’s place; art, and shoes, and toys and bags …
And finishing this post with my favorite place.. my kitchen. The old house, I had this huge and fancy kitchen. Oh and the miles I would make when I had to go from the refrigerator to the sink, or from the stove to the sink. Never in my life will I ever have a big kitchen anymore. Unless of course you have a lot of kids and you need that space. But for me and Isadora this little kitchen is WAYYYYY more than enough. Sometimes my dogs come in the kitchen and if the dishwasher is open there is really no room in there and I bump into them. That’s to give you an idea that it might look big in the pictures but it’s really pretty small. I wanted to get away from all the brown and dark colors that were very popular and I wanted lots of light and bright colors so I choose this distressed white for my cabinets. It’s hard to see but I keep Isadora’s art work behind the glass cabinets, my Starbucks mugs collection ( I have a weak spot for mugs) and just pretty dishes that I get from everywhere I see something that I like, some are Anthropologie, some are target, some are World Market. I don’t usually buy a whole set of dishes that match together.. I just buy one or two and wait as I know I will find another pretty dish at a later time.. AM I alone in not having a full set of coordinated dishes??
I had to have a little corner of happiness here too. With the risk of getting this picture dirty, I wanted to have a picture of Isadora in the kitchen and with space being limited here was the best place that I found for it..
You can see my faithful Juicer up on the countertop. It’s big and bulky but I use it everyday so it stays there.
Little details of my countertop. What’s new.. crazy colors and patterns.. I got the salt holder from Pottery Barn, the oil dispensers along with the jars from Target. Gotta love that target!! I choose the little sun tile as an accent tile to remind myself to always shine bright like the sun. To let my own light shine
And that my friends.. is what me and Isadora call our home!!! There are a lot more details I could have done now that I look at it.. But I did my best in the limited time I have available. I will try to take pictures of the upstairs and post them sometimes. Thank you so much for reading my blog, hope this will encourage some of you to step out of your comfort zone and add some color in your life.. Love and peace your way… from our hearts to yours!!!
All the beautiful sky pictures I have been posting these past few weeks and the beautiful comments from my fans got me to stop and think why am I so passionate about life? Why am I so passionate about helping others? Why am I so passionate about photography showing how beautiful life is through my pictures? Why is this passion so strong it’s hurts at times? As I sat down and wrote this post.. I remembered.. and I hope this will light a candle in your soul to remember your passion, to remember your soul’s journey and to honor it!!
I remember the sweet comment from one of my fans back in December when I posted a picture of my Christmas tree… “Sometimes I think God gave you a little extra Lidia, when he made you.” It made me smile… And I replied.. Indeed He did.. He gave me something extra special both ways… the very creative mind, the sensitive spirit to help others, the gift of just putting colors together and so many other wonderful gifts… but He also gave me so many tears, so many tragedies in my life, he gave me a little girl with so many medical conditions that I am scared at times to look in the future and I live my life one day at a time and enjoy her every single day like it was my last day, He gave me a place to call home always far away from my family, He gave me a lot of days in the hospital where I felt so alone and so forgotten by everybody, so desperate, so scared, He gave me a body that when I look in the mirror I cringe at the view that looks like there was a masacre field on my body, He gave me a marriage that didn’t work out and I had to learn to be my best supporter, my best admirer, my only person to believe in myself, He gave me a childhood filled with so much internal pain and fear that even to this day those memories are so fresh in my mind and if I could paint, there would not be a single detail that I would miss from those times.. And it’s true God did give me something extra when He made me… but He gave each one of us something extra special…
Most days it’s so much easier to hide that extra special, it’s so much easier to just pretent we are alive, to just go with the flow and not stop and think about how to use that extra special? Why did we come here? What’s our soul’s journey on this earth?? I know for me it was so much easier back then.. Yes the pain inside was too much for words to describe, yet who cares about that, nobody sees my inside anyway.. so why worry?? Just wake up, go with the daily routine, try to ignore that deep crying pain that comes from your soul, go to sleep and tomorrow is another day.
I remember I was 33 when I really thought, well there is nothing I will ever do with my life. I will just stay home, raise Isadora, than get a small little job in a store and there life will be over and why bother with anything. I can’t make a difference in this world anyway.. I am way too small. But deep inside, my soul was burning with a passion, a passion to inspire others, a passion to do something that will get others from their pain, a passion that has been haunting me since I was 6 years old. I remember picking a book that had way too many words for me to read, but it also had a few pictures.. A few pictures with children in other countries that were poor. And in my mind as a child, even though we were so very poor ourselves… I said to myself, One day I want to go and help those children. I get tears in my eyes thinking about that moment. But that was my soul speaking to me, and we can ignore a lot of things in our lives, but the deep burning desire coming from within our soul is hard to ignore..
As much as I wanted to lie to myself I knew that my life couldn’t just stop there. It was painful to get up in the morning and put a smile on my face and be present with Isadora, when 2 months ago, I just flew back to Romania to see my dad for the last time, this time not as the strong 58 year old business man he was. This time it was just his lifeless body that I saw. I remember sitting by his lifeless body, and watching about 6 strong people trying to lift my brother’s wheel chair to fit through a door and I was so confused… so confused.. How can this happen all at once?? I am fighting breast cancer, my brother almost died in a motorcycle accident and now at 31 he was in a wheel chair, my dad has passed away all of a sudden because of a strong virus… how can that be??? The pictures are so crystal clear how my brother was trying to reach out of his wheel chair to see my dad’s lifeless body.. I wasn’t sure how to align my feelings of pain in order and which pain to feel at that time…But there was no order, there was no time to prepare my soul for one pain at a time.. I had to embrace all that pain and hurt.. all at one time. Oh and how I thought I will not be able to survive another day… with a heart that felt that it was just too much to handle..
I did not have any desire for pictures, for art, and actually my pictures from that time when I look back are very lifeless. No color, no tone, no beauty, just deep sorrow. I had to fake it for while, to get myself to read something encouraging, to listen to songs that would give me some hope that things will be better, that will make me feel that I am alive. At first I was just numb, then I became angry, but after I let myself feel all those feelings, I became passionate about life. A passion that is hard to explain, a passion that almost hurts at times to just keep inside and not share with others. I became committed to not be a victim, but rather embrace my past, embrace my pain, embrace my journey and use it in ways to I help others come to life, help others see the beauty in life when everything around us crashes.
I will share more of where my journey took me next, on how I was so close to quitting so many days… yet each day, I would find one little piece of hope that I would hang on so so tight. I wish I had somebody to hold my hand during those times.. I think it would have made the journey a bit easier, a bit faster, but looking back from where I am today, I am glad I walked that journey all by myself. It gives me strength and courage to know that I can walk any other journey that my soul is here to embark on.
Not sure how many of you will read this message, but even if just one person will read this and if my words will make sense to them and encourage them, my heart will be full. Because it takes one person to make a change in this world, and then it becomes like a domino effect. I will share in more detail one day how I started on my photography journey.. but it was because the encouraging words of one stranger on Flicker that commented on my picture and said.. Beautiful work my friend. Can you picture how those words affected my life? Do you think I would be sitting here knowing all I know about photography, having so many followers that I so want to inspire, had it not been for those kind words from a stranger? Can you imagine the difference you can make in your world today? We really don’t know who reads our posts, who will ever come in contact with what we put out there on our facebook pages, on our websites, but if we don’t even worry about how many people we are impacting, or that our words have no power as we are just one simple person, if we just let our soul lead us in the direction of our journey… than MIRACLES will happen!!!
So for all you beautiful women out there, that are questioning so many things about your beautiful selves, about your beautiful beings, here is poem one of my fans shared with me and I am so honored to have the privilege to share it with you.
I Made Her Because I Love Her
I made her…She is different,
She is unique,
With love I formed her in her mother’s womb.
I fashioned her with great joy.
I remember, with great pleasure, the day I created her.
I love her smile,
I love her ways,
I love to hear her laugh,
And the silly things she says and does.
She brings Me great pleasure.
This is how I made her.
I made her pretty and not beautiful,
Because I knew her heart,
And knew she would be vain…
I wanted her to search out her heart,
And to learn that it would be
Me in her
That would make her beautiful…
And it would be Me in her
That would draw friends to her.
(1 Peter 3:3-5)
I made her in such a way,
That she would need Me.
I made her a little more lonesome
Than she would like to be…
Only because I need for her to lean and depend on Me…
I know her heart, I know if I had not
Made her like this,
She would go her own chosen way
And forget Me…her Creator.
I have given her many good and happy things
Because I love her.
(Psalm 84:11, Romans 8:23)
Because I love her,
I have seen her broken heart…
And the tears she cried alone.
I have cried with her,
And had a broken heart, too.
Many thanks to Rachel Vanoven for this beautiful capture!
Many times she has stumbled
And fallen alone
Only because she would not hold
So many lessons she’s learned
The hard way.
Because she would not listen
To My voice…
And now she is Mine again…
I made her, and then I bought her…
Because I love her.
I have to reshape her and remold her…
To renew her to what I had planned for her to be.
It has not been easy for her,
Or for Me.
I want her to be conformed to
This is the high goal I have set for her,
Because I love her.
(2 Corinthians 2:14)