Bucket list

Challenge № 8 – Read a quote every day

Read a quote every day….

Challenge 8 Read a quote every day.png

Quote are powerful messages and very often they cross our eyes or our eyes cross them at the very right moment. That happened to me while I was procrastinating to start my blog. One day I just read the following quote:

“Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with the voice trembling but start. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have. Just… start.”
Ijeoma Umebinyuo

That quote made me realize that I  have to start my blog no matter how prepared I was/ or was not at all. I just took immediate action and wrote my first article. since then I am working on my blog and trying to develop it as much as I can.

In order to stick to my 50 things to do before you die, I would like to share my favourite  quotes that helped me in my life so far:

“I’ve come to believe that there exists in the universe something I call “The Physics of The Quest” — a force of nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity or momentum. And the rule of Quest Physics maybe goes like this: “If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself… then the truth will not be withheld from you.” Or so I’ve come to believe.”― “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert

“Work hard. Talk less. Do what you feel is right. Learn from your mistakes. Build people up. Laugh often. Stop complaining. Invest in yourself. Dream big. Plan ahead. Love unconditionally”– Anonymous

“Three simple rules in life:

  1. If you do not go after what you want, you’ll never have it.
  2. If you do not ask, the answer will always be no.
  3. If you do not step forward you will always be in the same place.” Anonymous

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“Do not grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.” – Rumi

“All very neat and tidy. Tie up your problems with a big bow and maybe you can pretend they are a present”The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

”What you want exists. Don’t settle until you get it.” – Motivational quotes

“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of the fear.” – George Adair

“Eat better. Run more. Squat more. Sleep earlier. Wake up earlier. Make a good breakfast. Drink water. Eat fruits. Read books. Adventure. Talk less. Listen more. Feel deeper. Love better. Open your eyes. Experience life. Be happy.” – Try to stay positive

 

 

Bucket list

Challenge №6 Learn how to cook

Are you ready for a culinary adventure?

Cook toImpress.png

Do you remember the 50 things to do before you die? If not, I am going to remind you that we still have 44 to go…No worries, you have a lifetime to thick them all.

I am skipping challenge №5 Learn to drive, as I did not yet accomplish it…It’s a real challenge for me, but I am not giving up…

Today, I am going to write about challenges №6 Learn how to cook. I always thought that everybody can cook, but actually many many people could not. It’s not a big deal if you can afford to eat in a restaurant every day, but it can be very very handy in case you want to save money or want to eat tasty and healthy.

I learned how to cook properly when I moved to the Netherlands. I was looking for a job and at this time was very fond of all cooking shows especially Jamie Oliver and Annabel Langbein. This is how I embarked on my cooking experience and created my own weekly easy menus – which take me only 30 min./per day. I experimented with different dishes and different cuisines and discovered that cooking is super fun and a perfect way to improve your creativity. Also, you can not rely on takeouts and eat in bars and restaurants in the Netherlands as it is quite expensive. And the best of it is to invite all your friends to a dinner and make your signature dish…Yummy

Cooking is a survival skill that can be useful in our hectic life of stress, plastic bags and pre-fabricated food. So, learn how to cook and enjoy the taste of life.

Thanks for reading!

Bucket list

Plant a tree every year – challenge №4

Minimalistic garden

It’s been a while that I had not updated my Bucket list column. It’s because I needed to make a structured research in order to write about challenge №4 “Plant a tree every year and watch it grow”. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? It’s quite a popular goal and you can find it in almost every bucket list circulating on the web. But on the other hand, it’s something that everybody absolutely should do at least once in a lifetime, even more….I have never planted a tree myself until, me and my husband we bought a house with a little backyard. And the backyard needed to be completely renovated…..So, that’s how it all started.

We are very into Scandinavian minimalistic design, architecture, and houses, and we always wanted to have our own house with a backyard or a garden. And one year ago it became a reality. We bought a new house and renovated it in guess what style? Minimalist of course! The dominant colors are white, grey and black and the most used material is wood. The living space together with the kitchen is spacious and we have only what we need in terms of furniture. Once the house was renovated and furnished and the summer was coming, we decided that it was time to renew the backyard and organize a big BBQ-housewarming party.

We wanted the backyard to be in the same minimalist style and to be in synergy with the house itself, but at the same time, to have an outside retreat to relax and stay in touch with Mother Nature. This is a part of the concept of Japanese gardens – a place full of calmness in the spirit of Zen Buddhism which stresses simplicity and looks naturally clean. Even though everything from the layout to the main elements has a strict meaning, role, and place, they are laid out asymmetrically to suggest rugged wildness of nature. The elements and materials we used are wood (for the decking), concrete (for the outdoor tiles), little stones to fill in the spaces between the decking and the tiles. Grey (tiles), brown (decking) and green (plants) colors predominate. We filled the stony spots with trees, ponytails, and lavender. In total, we planted two trees, three or four ponytails and one lavender bush. The plants symbolize time’s passage and seasons change and make the backyard look differently in different seasons. So, challenge №4 has been successfully achieved and now we enjoy the summer days in the backyard. And gardening, relaxing in the hammock or making barbecue for our family and friends are the perfect stress-reducers and fulfilling activities especially in the warm seasons.

And you, do you like gardening? Did you already plant your tree or plants?

For more inspiration to make your own garden/ backyard, see my pictures below.

 

Thanks for reading!

Bucket list

Accomplish a goal every month? C’est pas possible!

Accomplish a goal every month

I haven’t updated my Bucket list column for a while and took the time to investigate among my friends if they can accomplish a goal every month. Wow, that’s kinda tough, a lot of them said…A month goes so fast…What do you mean to achieve a goal every month? What kind of goals? So instead of giving me enough insight of yes or no to achieve a goal every month, everybody was bombarding me with questions????

So what do you think, is it possible to accomplish a goal every month? I am very very curious to hear from you….

Where this crazy idea comes from? Remember…My Bucket list column…and the ultimate 50 things to do before I die…I am like a Frenchie Bulldog, I do not give up on my goals…

In order to answer for myself to this question, I took my diary (yes, I have one) with all the things I would like to accomplish one day or another.

I started to page through the notebook and think about what have I achieved so far this year???? Hmm, let me think…

So, 2017 here we go…

January: the beginning of the year is always super exciting as we all set up our resolutions and start to chase them with ferocity since day 1. In January I finally finished “Bulgarian chronicles” – historical chronicles of Bulgaria from the establishment of the country to nowadays. This is a very serious reading…It took me a very very long time and a lot of notes to finish it. So, that’s thicked! Well done! 2. The second highlight of the month was my improvised girly last-minute spontaneous trip to Nice and Monaco..Never thought to go there, but…gave it a try and do not regret! I am challenging you: find the cheapest ticket and pack for an unknown destination! If French Riviera sounds appealing to you, check my review here:

February: Costumes party, Chocolate festival and beautiful Haarlem! In February I was invited to a homemade costume party and guess what? I was dressed up like a gipsy! yes, the easiest costume to make with scarfs, bracelets and stuff you have at home! Very creative and unique idea! Google how gipsies look like and create your own outfit!

Chocolate festival: quite unusual, isn’t it? People usually go to music festivals, but not chocolate…A friend of mine visited me and we spent a day eating chocolate and learning about the way it’s produced and the countries it comes from…and the exquisite flavours existing all over the globe – pure, spicy, white with safran, dark with truffles and many many many others to taste and bring home in case you did not get enough. If you are interested, check it out!

The third thing I did in February was my visit to Haarlem. The little Amsterdam as Dutch people call it! Amazing city, very underrated, very quite and very few tourists were to be seen there…Haarlem looks like Vermeer’s “The girl with the pearl earring” – aristocratic, unique and very exquisite. When travelling to Amsterdam, absolutely check it out, it’s only in 15 minutes by train from Amsterdam Central Station!

March: spring is in the air! It’s time to head to Paris and see the Mona Lisa! Visit the Louvre was on my list for years! I went to Paris for work many times, but could not manage to finally visit the imposing and one of the biggest museums in the world. The Louvre…So in March, full of determination, I decided that the time has come for me to tick this out and I visited the Louvre. Everyone should visit it at least once! Of course, the building is just immense and one day is just not enough, but you can choose what to see…

April: Dutch countryside and windmills.In April the wheater was getting warmer and warmer and finally, my mother paid me a visit in the country of the tulips. We travelled a lot with her, but the biggest highlight of our trip was…not Amsterdam, not Utrecht, but…Werkendam!!!! Yes, Werkendam…never heard about it??? Me neither…It’s a small colourful village in the middle of the Dutch nowhere…How to get there??? That’s tricky…We took a water taxi from Gorinchem and ended up there! If you want to immerse in the Dutch countryside lifestyle, go ahead! Werkendam is waiting for you! During the Easter holiday in

Another thing I am very proud to have ticked off was to visit Zaanse Schans! I hear you laughing! So, finally, I made it! Zaanse Schans, you are no longer on my bucket list! I am not gonna bother you with Zaanse Schaans here, as I am planning to do a detailed review of it in a separate post! Keep you in the loop!

May: my favourite month of the year! And it’s time to go on holidays in Bulgaria…I originally come from Bulgaria, but every time I go back home, I try to travel there as much as I can. This time I planned to visit Plovdiv, Veliko Tarnovo and Ovech Fortress. Plovdiv is the second big city in the country and one of the oldest cities in the world, Veliko Tarnovo is the former capital and Ovech Fortress looks like the Great Chinese Wall, but in Bulgaria! I will provide you with all the details how to get there, what to do and what to eat in another post (man,  I have so much to write…)

As I was supposed to spend the summer in Bulgaria, in June, me and my mother we had the crazy idea for a little escape…you are wondering where??? In Romania!!!!! Dracula here we come! We spent a lovely time, me and my mother, admiring the Carpathian mountains and wondering if this famous guy of Dracula will be so kind to visit us…

July: the perfect time for sun, sea and mussels…I travelled a lot last summer and during my weekends in Varna, I had the opportunity to travel a little bit around…I visited the Museum of mosaics in Devnya – this is the place where you can see real mosaics preserved from the Antique era. It’s been on my list for a while too and now, I had the opportunity to finally pay it a visit. I also spent a day in Balchik! Beautiful! So many things to do there….Botanical garden, Queen Maria’s castle, many traditional Bulgarian museums, typical Bulgarian architecture and of course…beach, sun and good food! The dolce farniente Bulgarian style!

August: it’s time to come back to the Netherlands. Back home I decided that it was time to organize a garden party and to invite my friends to come over. I always wanted to make a big party/ dinner at my place and the moment has come! One more thing on the list was checked out! It turned out that it was an inside-home party as it was raining that day. But anyway! All my closest friends came over, a pleasant multinational dinner took place in my beautiful house and we spent a great great time together! Food, drinks, good friends, that’s all you need!

At the end of August, me and my husband we got our 10th anniversary! Yes, ten years together! We were up for something more than a fancy dinner and we went on a trip to Iceland! Finally, my dream came true! For more details on my trip to Iceland, please read this:

After Iceland, I was missing the sun so much so I decided to prolong the summer and to chase it in Marseille! If you are interested in visiting Marseille, check my review here:

Now it’s already October and three more months to go before the end of the year! I decided to do the best of it! I have my goals set up, my daily planner is always open and dear reader I can’t wait to keep you posted on my progress!

What are your goals so far? Sharing is caring and giving others good ideas to explore!

Thanks for reading!

 

Bucket list

The ultimate question of “How to achieve your goals”?

How to achieve your goals

Hi there!!!! I am very into goals setting, goals achieving, goals writing and so on and so on. It all started in 2014 when I moved to the Netherlands and had a lot of time to read, think, look for a new job and learn English….By this time I spent a lot of time in self-improvement and self-development process/ reading and bought a notebook that I still keep where I started to write recipes, tips for how to find a job, or just noted quotes of the books I was reading. One of a sudden, I started writing down things I would like to do like, for example, a hot-air balloon riding, get a tattoo and go to Cirque du Soleil. These were simple things to do/ accomplish, they cannot be categorized as “dreams”…But when you write your goals, you are already on the halfway of accomplishing them. All that happened by the end of 2014. So obviously, in the beginning of 2015, I set up my “2015 New Year’s Resolutions” list which included more and more sophisticated things than the ones in 2015. Everything I put on writing, happened to become a reality which really impressed me. I continued to read and take more and more notes, kept writing everything that crossed my mind, that I ticked everytime I accomplished something. By the end of 2015, I had a lunch with colleagues of mine and everybody was talking and asking about the “2016 Resolutions” when one of my friends mentioned reading somewhere that instead of setting goals, one should try to make an annual review and give a score to the last year. All the not-accomplished things can be envisioned as accomplished by the end of the next year, and the feeling of seeing your goals coming true explained in details. The exercise sounded very appealing to me and I could not wait to come back home. I wrote down everything I accomplished, did, achieved and everything I did not. All the paperwork made the picture clear – what are the goals for the next year really were….I wrote down three important things that I absolutely had to do by the end of 2016…But then I forgot about the list…..The year was following its course and by the end of the year, I opened by accident the notebook where I have put the ultimate three things to be done by the end of 2016 and voila – all of them were accomplished!!!! That was umbelievable!!!! I could not take my eyes of that page, I just could not realize how was it possible????? But still I was very very happy and continued to dig into this vast subject about the goals and how to accomplish them…After a studious research, I am coming up with my version of the successful recipe. Here we go:

  1. Think about your dreams/ goals/ things you want to have or accomplish and write them down. This is the most important part of the exercise. Writing them down gives you a significant edge and propels you to the halfway of accomplishing them. Seriously…
  2. When you write them down, try to be specific – the ultimate example given is “lose weight”, but this is not a specific goal, that’s why a lot of people fail at it. Instead, you can try this one: by the end of …..I want to lose 5 kilos and exercise 30 minutes three times a week. That’s something else. You know what is your departure point what you have to do and where you are going…
  3. Set deadlines…I learned that the hard way….Setting deadlines is the key to success, otherwise, you will procrastinate and be lazy and not achieve your goals never ever….When you are determined to do something within a period of time, you are on your way to definitely do it and your brain is searching ways how to stick to the deadlines.
  4. Review your goals on a regular basis: this has a lot to do with motivation, focus and frustration. 1.Motivation – when you review your goals regularly, you’ll be reminded of what do you really want and not just write down some nice things to achieve and forget about them the minute after. 2.Focus – coming back to your goals will keep you focused and not distracted by the others and their ideas of what to achieve and what to fight for. 3.Frustration – very often, one decides to do something with a huge determination, but once he or she shares his or her idea with someone, he/ she becomes aware of potential not expected difficulties on one’s way. At first sight, that can be confusing and even frustrating and one can think about giving up…So this is the reason why you should absolutely open your notebook and review your goals and stick to the plan. Everything that lasts has been built up the hard way, nothing is easy…don’t forget that. To become an expert, you should first follow the entire process from the beginning…This applies to goals as well.
  5. Take action or just do something, but never sit arms crossed and wait for a miracle to happen. Everything you wish for is your responsibility and if you want to do something, think about it in details and you’ll absolutely figure out how to make it happen.
  6. Setting goals can be very contagious, motivating, a mind-blowing exercise that will boost you and make you feel heavenly…But…there is a big but….be careful, too many goals and too many big goals can be very depressing as well…because you will realize that one life is just not enough to do all these things..and you are absolutely right!!!!So, just as I already said…review your wishlist on a regular basis and give up on the goals that are not aligned with your inner peace….
  7. Stay true to yourself!!!! Only make things you believe in and that makes you happy!!!! Don’t be influenced by what other people have achieved and try to model them…The comparison game is not a healthy one and you will definitely lose.

So you have all the tips for an exciting goal setting exercise. Don’t think too much, just write down and put everyting on paper. And the last, but not the least thing…DO NOT QUESTION YOUR DREAMS AND GOALS..ANYTING AND EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE..STAY ATTUNED AND LISTEN TO YOUR GUT FEELING!

Thanks for reading!

 

Bucket list · Travel

Day trip to taste some Dutch cheese from Alkmaar cheese market

Hi, guys! As this week comes to its end, I am happy to announce that I finally finished “Unlimited Power” by Anthony Robbins (see post Bucket list) and have already started to read another book – “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy. I will write about it in a separate post.

Now, let’s go back to our 50 things-to-do-before-you-die list….Remember….Challenge № 1: Read a book every week. It sounds hard, but just try it out. Audiobooks can be an option, too!

Now I am inviting you to take up the challenge № 2: Travel on weekends

I know that the weekend is the time to clean up the house, to do the groceries, to do the washing machine and so on and so on….But try to travel more on the weekends and visit new places as much as you can. Especially if you have a car….Me and my husband, we moved to the Netherlands four years ago and since then we did a bunch of day trips to different cities in Germany, Belgium, France, Luxembourg and others. We travelled a lot in the Netherlands as well, especially in the beginning.

In order to inspire you, I am going to share with you my impressions from one of my last trips – a day trip to Alkmaar, a city in the province of North Holland, in a half an hour by train from Amsterdam Central Station. Alkmaar is well-known for its numerous medieval buildings that are still intact, most notably Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk tower. The other main attraction, especially in the summer period, is Alkmaar’s cheese market at the Waagplein, one of Holland’s most popular tourist attractions. The cheese market takes place every Friday morning between 10:00 and 12:30 from April to September. For more information, please check Kaasmarkt Alkmaar. After the old-fashioned way of the hand clap, traders and carriers will weigh the cheeses. It is one of the five still existent traditional Dutch cheese markets  . The demonstration takes place in front of the medieval weighing house which is surrounded by stands where you can buy local cheese. The Tourist information office is located at the same place, in case you want to check what to visit next.

If you are passionate about museums and culture, I highly recommend you to visit the Beatles Museum – dedicated to the legend band, Holland Cheese Museum, and the National Beer Museum “De Boom”.

It is quite a challenge to make nice pictures as the cheese market is packeted with tourists and visitors. I am going to do my best to select the best of them. I spent an hour on the cheese market and then decided to do a city boat trip – I’ve done that in almost every Dutch city….but decided to go for it…just for fun….I could admire the beauty of city onboard and make some photos that I am sharing below. Alkmaar is not a big city and you can visit it in a half-day only….

So where are you going on the weekend? Get inspired and share your experience with me….Ciao and see you soon to set the challenge № 3.

 

 

Bucket list

Bucket list

Bucket list

I am a big fan of all kind of Bucket lists📝, 100 things to do before I die lists, goal setting systems, books about challenges to check, Pinterest posts with ways and things to do for a happier life and so on and so on….I also have a lot of notebooks and diaries that are full of things to do, goals to achieve and pictures of places to visit before I die. All these tools motivate me and make me feel happy every time I check one of the things I have written down. However, one of the best “challenges to try” tools remains the book 203 Travel challenges by Maria Angelova and Ivalina Nenova. This is a pocket, travel size book that is the best friend if you are bored and the best travel mate if you love travelling solo. You’ll find your inspiration to go out and explore the world by just opening it on a random page.🗺🛫🚤

The second tool I personally watch every single day is this short video 50 things to do before you die. Let’s explore together these 50 things to do before you die and share the experience of achieving each of them….

№ 1 Read a book every week

So … do you like reading? Do you have time to read? Do you have a special books-to-read-before-I-die list? Or you just decided to challenge yourself and try to read one book a week?📚

I read a lot and have massive lists of books to read and I am really trying to read one book every week.Not always possible, but….this is why it’s called a challenge. This week my target is to finish the Unlimited Power – The New Science of Personal Achievement by Anthony Robbins.

I started reading this book one month ago, oh yes, one month ago….This is a must-read for everyone who is interested in self-development, successful goal achieving, the power of building trustful relationships with others and empowering techniques for a better everyday life. This book contains valuable exercises and tips for a better and fulfilling self and life. So the reason I could not finish it in one month is that you have to read it very carefully, take notes and do the exercises. Otherwise, it’s not going to work….The success is not just setting goals, it is all about taking massive actions and try.

So…wish me luck and see you soon to talk about and set challenge № 2….

 

Challenges
Reading 203 Travel challenges