Sunday, 29 May 2011

Four years of being a mother

My debut as far as marzipane decorations are concerned. Caught the bug!
I thought I'd write something about Mikolaj's first birthday, but I can't gather my thoughts. Whatever follows will be closer to verbal white noise than stream of consciousness.
Fourth year of my motherhood was marked by attempts to please Mikolaj so that he didn't feel left out due to the appearance of his little brother and later by constant reconciliation of the two. He also began his kindergarten education, bringing home all sorts of influences, good and bad. He learned how to be in a group, how to interact with others, how to eat (he still refuses to eat at home, but I don't care any more, no healthy kid has ever starved himself to death), but he also brought home aggression, physical violence, shouting for attention, bad language, playing with weapons etc. It also seems to me that he regressed as far as his education is concerned. The kid, who knew all the letters of the alphabet at the age of 2 didn't learn anything new at the age of 3. First of all he started spending less time at home, secondly we had less time for him after Adam was born and finally nobody in the kindergarten cares to teach children anything in a formal sense.
But this is not what worries me most. I'm much more concerned about his new stage of development - constant protests and hysterias. He's always been a stong, non-compromising character, who taught his parents many useful lessons, but now he once again managed to surprise us. This started around April this year. First of all we interpreted his cries as a reaction against his brother or a way of attracting our attention to him. Now I'm not so sure. I feel it's rather a war for dominance over us. He tries to contradict us in every possible way: we fight about clothes, trip destinations, food, amount of juice in his cup, bedtime, books, bubble baths and countless othe matters. This weekend he insisted on going to his grandpa's birthday in his pyjamas. Out attempts to get him undressed ended up with his hysterical cries. He changed his mind right after I let him go in his socks and pyjamas. He also sometimes refuses to wash and once he's washed he wants to become dirty again. I always knew this moment was about to happen, but I hoped I had some 10 years to prepare. But since this happened much earlier he won't manage to surprise me when he's 13.So far we haven't found any fully successful solution, but we're working on it.
On the bright side, I want to say that when he's not playing nasty he's so sweet. He started to enjoy hugging, kissing, lying together with us. And he is still such an intelligent child. His imagination is unbelievable, sometimes he plays with no toys, just in his imagined world. His linguistic ability also never fails to surprise me. He invents his own words (which actually often sound so appropriate that we adopted them to our own family idiolect), and what is even more interesting he often makes some mistakes in inflections on purpose because he doesn't want to confuse some homophonic words (instead of saying 'miał' he says 'mał' cause miau is the sound cats make). And what I really like about him is that he's so passionate and serious about his hobbies. His knowledge about trains is almost professional!     

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Gil Scott-Heron R.I.P.

source: google images

Just recently discovered, sadly missed already. He'll be 'new here' for ever...

Friday, 27 May 2011

Clinique 3 steps for dry/combination skin type (2)

Clinique 3 steps for dry/combination skin type (2)
This is the set I guess everybody knows, I personally have been using the generous samples from Sephora, this is the first time I've bought the product myself. This set conists basically of the clarifying lotion and 2 samples of liquid soap and moisturising lotion (15 ml each, I'm saving them for travelling).

1) Liquid facial soap (mild)
this soap removes all the dirt, including non-waterproof make-up, even cream eyeshadows like MUFE or cream eyeliners like E.L.F. Does not irritate my skin or cause any allergic reaction. But on the other hand my Garnier face wash does the same and costs aboout a third of the price. Prehaps I need to use it consistently for a longer period to achieve any noticeable differene.

2) Claryfying lotion
this lotion is alcohol based, which might irritate sensitive skins, but for me this is a magic potion. Using it twice daily helps me fight with the occassional breakouts that I have. It also helps to control oiliness, which is particularly usefull in the coming summer season. When applied for the first few times it leaves a pleasant cooling sensation, which disappears later on as the skin gets used to the substance.

3) Dramatically different moisturizing lotion
I like the moisturising properties of this lotion, it can even be used in the undereye area and I must admit it moisturises this troublesome area really well. I do really like it, although in hot sunny weather it leaves my face feeling quite sticky. I'm considering getting the gel variation for the summer.

If you consider buying any of these products always check the sets available. I bought the whole set for the price of of the clarifying lotion, which was a good deal I suppose.

Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Kings and Queens shimmering body milk

This review is based on a generous sample I received from Douglas. And thanks goodness I received the sample, so I'll never be tempted to splash out on such a product. I was really excited about the possibility to try it out, but I found nothing that could justify the price tag. The product had this weird smell, which I suppose was meant to associate with natural ingredients, organic products etc. Actually it smelled like malt, not the smell I enjoy in beauty products. My skin was in no way smoother, better nourished, nicer to touch. My drugstore body milks do a much better job. The consistency was all right, but somehow it was difficult to distribute the pearly substance well, you needed to spend a considerable amount of time smearing this stuff evenly to avoid white patches. Glitter is not the kind of think I'm looking for in a body milk, but actually this is the only feature I really appreciate. If I weren't past my clubbing era I would definitely enjoy the effect as my body looked like a mirror ball, quite an exaggerated result for any kind of daily use, but it stayed on  for a very long time, much longer than other shimmer products I've had. So all I can say is that I didn't fall in love with the product and I won't be purchasing.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Music: Grabek @ Teatralna, Gdynia (16.05.2011)

Last Tuesdsy we went to see Wojtek Grabek play live in Gdynia.

I must admit I was never able to judge performances of electronic music artists. I loved their music at home, but never got the idea of a live show, never understood what they were doing with all this machinery, to what extent they were fooling us with playing pre-recorded material. The only thing I could definitely enjoy was that I could listen to the music much louder than it was possible at home and hear and feel every beat and bass. This was not the case with Grabek. The music was not loud and he definitely played 2 instruments live and sang (in the traditional meaning of the word).

Grabek is an excellent violinist who creates lovely musical landscapes which reveal countless influences, to those who are much into the scene of electronic music of late '90s early 2000s the sounds are very familiar. However, he adds the violin, which gives the inhuman, robotic electronic music a human aspect (this is such a sexy instrument everyone likes ) and vocals sang in a clear, undistorted way (he would do fine in a rock band). This broadens the concoction of influences bringing to my mind associations as distant as the late Johnn Balance's manner of singing and the music of Coil from  "Music to Play in the Dark" period.

Unfortunately I must say that the compositions sound much better in their studio versions. They were emotionally loaded but they lacked climax, excuse my comparison, it's a bit like satisfying sex without orgasm . In the most tense moments, when I expected something to happen, the music withdrew, faded. In a live act I would much appreciate some wilder arrangements, dirty, distorted, unpleasant sounds that would  make me shut my ears and pant with exhaustion when it's over. I simply couldn't get involved.

Grabek is definitely not a showman, but breaks every barrier between himself and the audience, it's been more like playing for some of more distant friends, he's adorably clumsily honest, displays natural sense of humour, therefore attracts more attention to the music than to himself.

All in all, this was a nice evening. Nice place, nice music, nice people. I wanted to say that artists like Grabek are so rare in this country that we should appreciate all their attempts. But then I thought this would be like awarding a blind singer just because he's disabled. What we imagine to be avant-garde in our country entered the British mainstream years ago. So Wojtek, keep up the good work, I hope one day you will make one of our best export products!

Lancome Hypnose mascara

Lancome Hypnose in black

This is so far my favourite mascara. I like the packaging, the shape of the wand, the intensity of the colour. It applies evenly, no clumps, no smudging, no flaking. It does what it promises, volumizes, extends and curls my lashes nicely. You can always add more layers for a more dramatic effect. One bottle lasts for about 6 months of day-to-day application. Not bad. I'm considering a repurchase, but on the other hand I'm tempted to try something different. Hypnose Drama perhaps?

Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Girls' outing @ Primitive , Gdansk

On Friday night we went out for a girls' outing. I'd been excited about for the whole week, first of all every chance to leave home makes me exultant and also I was about to meet my friends I hadn't seen for almost a year. But this was a bad evening from the very beginning. We arranged to meet in Gdansk, in Balzac, but every single seat was taken (hoards of foreigners everywhere, I didn't know I lived in such a touristy place) so we tried to find some other place. We ended up in a restaurant called the Primitive, and the primitive it was indeed. Don't ever try to cross the threshold of that establishment. At the first glance the place looked acceptable, cave -like decorations produced by a mediocre interior designer (such things are always a matter of taste as one of my friends seemed to like it), but the remaining part of the night explains why this was the only place we could find somewhere to sit and talk.

We were greeted by a nice waiter, who led us to a sturdy wooden table and offered us a laminated menu which consisted of unimaginative dishes called in lots of fancy ways like the Flinstones' dinner or caveman's kebab, troglodyte's fish and chips. The names were supposed to be funny and match the decor, but they actually put us off as we pictured a spiceless, underdone leg of  pork, dripping fat or raw beef or ungutted fish and other rather unappetising delicacies. So we went for a safe option - pizza. This was off  cause there was no cheese left, and so were most other dishes from the menu (the reason was different each time). We ended up having a few portions of chips. Imagine our surprise when they arrived. Each chip was different: small, large, straight, crinkled and also each portion was cooked in a different way. Mine were the tiny leftovers from the bottom of the packet, deep-fried brown, the girls had a very pale and non-crispy option of microwaved chips. Both were disgusting. The menu listed a 7 -beer range out of which one was available, and this was the awful corporational beer - Tyskie.

But food was not the worst thing that evening. Next to our table there sat a group of 6-7 Portugese tourists, they were enjouyng themselves, so were we. Suddenly there came a suspicious looking guy, sat at the table near them. My friend noticed that he was digging in the pocket of one of the Portugese guys' jackets hanging on the back of the chair. Since the guy looked rather dangerous and we, being the citizens of this city who might have enough bad luck to cross his path again, chose to report this theft to the waiter immediately. To uor suprpise the waiters reacted in such a clumsy way that the thief escaped. And it was enough to lock the door of the restaurant and wait for the police. I guess the Portugese did not understand why we didn't shout out that one of them was being robbed and I must say I don't understand it myself.  The whole situation makes me sick.

This completely destroyed our mood. The conversation circled around criminal topics, which later gave me bad dreams, we didn't feel like going home, but the party was definitely over. Since there was no more beer left in the restaurant we were forced to leave. On the way home we were stopped by the police, cause our friend who was driving us home drove so slowly and carefully that the policemen thought she was drunk. In a strange way this whole disastrous evening was only a tangible manifestation of our relationships falling apart. And paradoxically saved us from the prolonged, uncomfortable silences which would inevitably fall between us. 

Saturday, 21 May 2011

My herbs

My herbs: top row: lavender, coriander, thyme, rosemary
Bottom row: sage, marjoram, basil, chives and parsley

Mint simply refuses to sprout, tried 3 times, will try again.
Thyme and marjoram are so easy to flood with water and uproot the sprouts.
I've also planted spinach and oregano.

Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer vs Urban Decay Primer Potion

I'd like to compare two eye primers: Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer and Urban Decay Primer Potion.
Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer (top)
Urban Decay Primer Potion (bottom)

the wands: Smashbox (top), Urban Decay (bottom)

Before I bought my UDPP I didn't know I needed a primer, now I can't live without it. It solved all my problems with oily lids, fading eyeshadows, creasing etc. This certainly is a magic potion. Packed in a tube resembling a witch's vial (which some people hate and I personally don't mind), the very pale beige primer is applied with an angled wand. The consistency is very creamy and easy to distribute all over the eyelid, dries quickly so that you can start applying your eyeshadows almost immediately. Once it's dry it doesn't leave a dry sensation. So you might wonder why I bought a different product, and you would be right. The thing is that Urban Decay does not sell their products in my country. I bought the one on ebay, which I hate doing as I always fear I'd buy something fake (I know what I'm talking about, I've already bought some fake MAC stuff). So I was looking for some alternative and I stumbled across a 3-piece set of Smashbox face products (eye primer, line sealer and face primer).
The Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer is sold in a simple tubular container with a typical doe hoof applicator, which is really convenient and practical. the colour is much darker than the UDPP, much closer to a typical medium foundation hue. The consistency seems more watery at first, but the actual coverage is better than in the case of UDPP, but the product does not blend into my skin that well. I mean UDPP is invisible, whereas Photo Finish leaves a hint of colour. Probably on someone with darker skintone this would also be invisible. I generally like everything about the product except one thing: it does not work. My eyelids are as oily as they were, the shadows gather in the crease and disappear. I suppose this product is good for somebody with non-oily lids who wants to even out the the skin tone. For me UDPP remains the perfect solution and I'll keep repurchasing whenever I am abroad.

EDIT: I accidentally dropped my UDPP and the neck of the bottle just snapped in half. Not such a good packaging after all. I was surprised how much product was left inside, I've been using it since October and I thought I'd soon need a new one. Fortunately I was able to deposit the primer in one of those Sephora jars. Anyway I could expect something like this to happen if the product was a cheaper brand, for a high end brand this is barely acceptable. 

Disclaimer: I bought the products myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Clinique: Fresh Bloom Allover Colour in Almond Blossom

Fresh Bloom Allover Colour in Almond Blossom

I am absolute in love with this product. For a long time I've avoided brownish hues in blush, thinking they would not match my pale pink complexion. I was wrong, this is a beautiful shade, so nice and warm and just right for the  summer. When you buy the product the flower part is covered with something glossy and hard, which makes it hard to get the product on the brush, but once you scrub it away its absolutety easy to apply, the colour is sheer and buildable  and the glow is amazing, the same applies to the light, background part, which makes an excellent highlight. And of course I need to mention the obvious thing: the design is really irresistable. It appeals to me so much that I can't resist buying one more of these in peony.

Disclaimer: I bought the products myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.


English beer haul: Fuller's Golden Pride and Honey Dew, Wells Waggle Dance
I'm supposed to be dieting and what am I doing?  Intaking liquid calories and pringling Pringles. When I saw Honey Dew in a Polish supermarket (Bomi) I simply couldn't help myself. Since Saturday night fever seems to have overwhelmed us we're watching Eurosong contest ha ha ha. Still waiting for something quite as good as my all fime favourite Verka Serduchka, but I think gems like her are not born everyday.

Polish lagers from local, non-corporational breweries: Warnijskie, Twierdzowe, Lubuskie, Piwo na miodzie gryczanym
We've become fans of Polish beer from small local breweries. The quality and variety is amazing, you can choose from non-pasteurized beers with 2-week expiry dates,  ale-like beers with reddish hues, honey beers (much sweeter and honey-tasting than English beers), wheat beers and plenty of others. 
The only thing you need to do is to say "no" to corporate, tasteless produce of Zywiec, Tyskie or Lech and delve into the realm of taste.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Clinique: True Bronze Pressed Powder Bronzer in Sunkissed

True Bronze Pressed Powder Bronzer in Sunkissed

This is the first real bronzer I've ever bought, so I find it quite hard to write a proper review since I lack a point of reference. Nonetheless I feel I've made a good purchase for this summer. First of all I must say I like the packaging. Although it's plastic and looks rather brittle I'm sure it won't break. Also in spite of being plastick it looks classy. I must say that the packaging has very often put me off buying Clinique products (the green plastic was horrible) but I can see they are working on the new lines of products in silver or brown, so maybe I'll buy their products more often. It is also sold together with a rather decent brush for contouring, which you can use for travelling.
As for the bronzer itself I believe it's got a very nice tone and tiny shimmer, but I don't notice this shimmer once it's applied, which is good as I was looking for something rather matte. It's quite sheer, which is perfect for fair complexions such as mine. I bought it mainly to contour my face and it does its job perfectly. I love the fact that the powder is soft, so you don't need to scrub it with a brush and this gives you more control over what you are doing. One sweep is enough for me to draw the contouring lines. I also tried sweeping it all over my face and I looked naturally tanned without any yellow undertones.
The only disadvantage is that it does not have any SPF and I'm currently on the lookout for products with sunscreen. I don't think I will ever need to repurchase, I think I won't use this up till the end of my life.

Disclaimer: I bought the products myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Fred Farrugia module palette

Left to right: palette top and accessories drawer, powder blush in 08, pearly/shimmery eyeshadow in 15, 04 and 14

Before I start my review I need to explain what this set really is. The brand has been recently established by Lancome's former creative director Fred Farrugia. We certainly cannot deny him creativity as he designed a range of make-up products in a form of ingenious modules, each of them bought separately can be assembled together to make a customized make-up palette of your own choice. It takes one click to fix one module on top of another, they rotate and open like a fan. The palette bottom contains a mirror and a drawer which hides small applicators and brushes. There are also two pouches, which I forgot to photograph, one resembles a knitted mobile phone pouch, the other one is plastic and hides a finger sponge (used to apply powders). The idea is brilliant, especially for people on the go. The variety of products to choose from is almost unlimited, of course you need to narrow down your choices cause you can't pile these modules without end, the kit turns impractical if you stick more than 5 modules together. Definitely it was this module system that attracted me to this product.

But unfortunately this is where the advantages of this product end. First of all I must say that while each module is relatively inexpensive (compared to other brands sold at Sephora), but the outer case of the pallette together with the equipment is sold separately at 20,00€. Quite expensive, isn't it? And the set won't work without it, you need something to cover the top pan.
As far as the products are concerned I'm going to comment only upon the eyeshadows and the blush, I haven't tried any other products. The eyeshadows appealed to me with their gorgeous, quite unusual colours. No 14 is a lovely shade of light and dark denim blue, the colours complement each other, they are good for base and contouring type of make-up. The trouble is they are very glittery, actually they are all glitter. The fallout is immense and the shadows are extremely hard to manage. I somehow disregarded this glitter at Sephora and thought would reach for the shadow every day, in fact I never use it. You can see how messy it is by the marks it leaves on the white case.
Number 04 is a duo of glittery yellow and pearly violet. I never use the yellow, and actually never intended to, but the violet disappointed me in terms of colour on the lid. I expected it to be deep plum violet, on the eyelid it looks like some sort of dark patch in no particular shade. And again it's horribly messy, so if I want to use it I need to do my eyes first, but even then, throughout the day there's still a lot of fallout.
No 15 is a combination of warm white with pearly finish and extremely glittery dark metallic colour with a bit of violet hue. The white makes a nice highlight for the brow bone or the corner of the eye (party look), the dark one is again too glittery and messy.
You may wonder why I'd bought all of these messy shadows, well, there was a promotion at Sephora like buy 3 and get the bottom and lid for free, these three seemed the most wearable shades and they didn't dupe anything I had at home so I got them. Also when swatched in the shop they seemed highly pigmented and just shimmery. It's a pity they are so difficult to apply cause I still think the colours are lovely.
The pink blush, on the other hand, is quite nice. I'm not absolutely sure the shade suits me, definitely looks better on untanned skin, so I'll stick to it in winter, but the quality itself is decent. It's quite sheer, when you look at it it seems matte, but when applied it makes your cheeks glow really nicely, though there's no shimmer or glitter visible. It's buildable and what is important it's not the glow or shimmer that builds up (like in the case of ELF blushes or bronzers) but the colour. The only drawback is the aplication, you need a flat, narrow brush whereas I prefer the round and fluffy ones.
The reasons why I didn't try out any other products were that first of all I wasn't satisfied with the quality which didn't match the price tag and also I think the shape of the pan makes many products extremely difficult to use, it's hard to manouvre any decent brush along this container.
Generally I think the idea is good, but they still need to work on their product a lot.

Disclaimer: I bought the products myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Shiseido: Hydro-Powder Eye Shadow in Violet Visions (H6) SWATCH

Hydro-Powder Eye Shadow in Violet Visions

I'd been wondering for a long time if I really need such a product and now I know I do and will probably buy another if the shade suits me.

The product is sold in a clear glass jar with a small sponge applicator in its own tiny pouch (good for travelling). The applicator is too small to be convenient for everyday use, I replaced it with a synthetic brush.
The shadow itself is in gorgeous lavender colour, I bought it to be a base for my Lancome Ultra Lavandes eyeshadow and I must say it makes a lovely combo, the staying power of the eyeshadow is everlasting, no smudging, fading, creasing whatsoever. I haven't tried wearing it on its own, so I can't say anything about how it works alone. The consistency of the shadow is smooth and creamy, easy to blend without clumping. Gives a nice wash of pearly violet colour. Feels cool to the eyelids when applied, but causes no irritation or allergic reaction (I'm very happy about this cause I tend to be allergic to some sort of violet pigment).

I really love this shadow as an eyeshadow base and deeply regret Shiseido do not have any nice blues, silvers or grays in their range.

heavy swatch

Disclaimer: I bought the products myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Cacharel: Anais Anais

Anais Anais

This smell has once been described as the first perfume you should give to your teenage daughter. I guess this couldn't be more appropriate. It's so fresh, so flowery, so innocent like the first blossom. I'm not a teenager and I don't have a daughter and it's been ages since I've been using the perfume. When I saw it's new version in a small flowery bottle for almost no money  I could not resist the temptation to smell like Miss Spring again. Nothing's changed about the smell, still as charming as it was, lasts all day and lingers on my clothes for much longer, the bottle is actually much nicer (the original one looked cheap and tacky, resembled a roll-on deodorant) and I really love the idea of repromoting old perfume in these 20ml bottles and selling them cheaply. I wish other brands would do the same, I would definitely repurchase a number of my old times favourites if they cost less. To conclude I just want to say that I don't like the smell for sentimental reasons only, it's simply a good quality perfume, flowery and youthful as no other, and above all it's time resistant. I guess if they advertised it well Cacharel could sell these tiny bottles to generations of young women yet to come.

Disclaimer: I bought the products myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Clinique: all about eyes rich

Clinique: all about eyes rich

This is my new favourite undereye cream. After my second pregnancy I developed this horrible dryness in the undereye area (this is what hormones and, well, let's face it, ageing can do to you). My previous favourite creams didn't work any more, so I've tested and bought a large variety of creams ranging from drugstore brands to the upmarket ones and most of them landed in the bin cause they didn't moisturise enough.

It's hard to write a review of a cream. All I can say is that All about eyes fulfilled my basic requirement, which is to moisturise. It also absorbs quickly, leaving no oiliness, you can put on make-up not long after the application. The formula is quite thick,  but spreads easily once it's warmed up. I don't mind the packaging, which is a glass jar. I'm not allergic to the product, I feel no stinging, no eye irritation. So I think I've found what I was looking for. High price tag is probably the only disadvantage, but I'm sure I will repurchase.

Disclaimer: I bought the products myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

Friday, 6 May 2011

May weekend

Hectic time. Busy and lazy, good and bad, eventful and boring, relaxing and exhausting four days.

On Saturday we drove the boys to the grandparents (one boy per each pair of grandparents to entertain everybody equally) with the intention of renewing Mikolaj's bedroom so that Adam could at last vacate our bedroom and move in with Mikolaj. While we pretended to be extremely busy, we used the opportunity of spending two days without our kids to enjoy ourselves a bit. So, having prepared the room for painting we marched to the bedroom and indulged ourselves with good 2 hours of sleep, then went shopping to a shopping mall to try on summer dresses and shoes and then drove to the cinema to see The Rite with Anthony Hopkins. This was I guess the weakest point of the evening, the film being more hopeless than I'd expected. I wanted to write a review of this one, not that it's worth it, but simply because going to the cinama is so rare for me. But the thing is I have nothing to say. I'm not sure why this film was made in the first place. Was it supposed to clear all the doubts about the existence of the Devil? Or justify the exorcism? Or to counter exorcism and psychiatry? Probably it was meant to be an intelligent thriller, but it definitely failed to thrill. I think religious people would find it convincing. Watching it a night before the beatification of the pope John Paul II made me think about this mumbo-jumbo the Church wants us to believe ( like the Pope healing a nun, he was undoubtedly a good man, but this goes too far).

When we returned home we enjoyed the silence and... a little drink.

On Sunday we slept till 11, had breakfast, and eagerly painted the room, our thoughts focussed on returning to bed once we'd finished. And so we did. Then we returned to our painting jobs for touch ups et voila, the room was ready. So what could we do with another free evening? Cinema again. This time the choice was much better. Potiche, starring Catherine Denevue and Gerrard Depardieu did not disappoint. A nice story of a woman who (quite late in her life) refuses to be a beautiful ornament on her husband's shelf. By no means is this a film on liberation of women or their struggle for social position or rights, though political motifs are interwoven in the plot. Potiche is a lightweight comedy, not the kind you roar with laughter when watching, but makes you smile as the action turns. It was a pleasure to watch, though I most probably won't remember the film very long. A good idea for a nice evening, but nothing to write home about. So having relaxed well we were ready for a brand new day, meaning the kids coming back home.

On Monday morning we picked Adam and introduced him to his new room. He willingly accepted the change, though I guess was a bit surprised to see his bed gone from the bedroom. And this was when our peace and quiet was over. My husband got a phone that a pump in our summer house broke and water was gushing all over the place, so he rushed to mend it. I didn't know what to do, the weather being horribly cold, so I decided to spend some money on myself and drove with Adam to a shopping mall. I returned home without even getting out of the car cause there was no parking space at all. Kuba came back late, and we were anxiously waiting for my parents ( who got stuck in a traffic jam for over 3 hours)  to bring him home. He accepted the changes and Adam's presence in his room surprisingly well and quietly went to sleep. So far so good, we thought.

We were woken up at 5 am by our lovely children who'd just started their day. We'd arranged with our neighbours, parents of Little Mikolaj (one year younger than ours), to spend the day visiting attractions of Koscierzyna and the surrounding area. The trip was to start at a commonsensical hour, 10 o'clock namely. So it takes no scientist to figure out that we had 5 long lours to survive until we could strap the little brats to their car seats and breathe with relief. We spent those 5 hours pacifying Mikolaj, pretending we didn't hear his hysterical cries, tearing the two brothers apart, trying to feed them in the meanwhile, pack their stuff  and remain sane.  

In the Steam Engine Museum Mikolaj went berserk. He was running from train to train with madness in his eyes, waiting for nobody, paying attention to nobody, ignoring his little companion completely. Everything would have been fine if it hadn't been for the weather. The temperature was 6 degrees, but it felt like 0, we were freezing while he was enjoying himself.

Then we moved to the open-air Ethnographic Museum in Wdzydze to have some local potato-and-lard-based ethno meal hoping the substantial amount of calories would warm us up (it didn't).  
My husband's found his alter ego
We thought the boys would sleep on their way back home, but we were totally wrong. Adam demanded his biscuits by saying something between nynanyna and ryraryra (it's one of his first words) and only biscuits kept him relatively quiet. Since we were running out of the sweet treats we thought we could get some from a local shop in Zblewo (a small town we were passing on our way). I spent about half an hour queueing among some local inhabitants, all of whom bought vodka, beer and cigarettes and I must say my life will never be the same. Truly memorable 30 minutes it was.

Back home Mikolaj did everything he could to spoil the day.  He refused to undress, take off his shoes, wash his hands, screeched with all his might, kicked his feet in the air for no apparent reason, put on his best jeans to have supper, then hysterically struggled to button them up, then ran naked, still screaming. We also kept running around him trying to reason with him and calm him down. Utter madness. His kindergarten teacher would never believe that. He is such a sweet and lovely creature! But why does he turn into a demon at home? Maybe we should baptise him? Might be worth trying!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Easter cheesecake craze

This cheesecake was not exactly what I wanted, but it made everyone extatic, so I decided to post the recipe.

125 g butter
90g sugar
1 egg
250g plain flour

Cheese mix:
10 eggs
1kg cheese
50g starch /semolina
400g icing sugar
100g butter 
vanilla extract
50g raisins

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.  To prepare the base place the butter and sugar in a food processor and whiz until just combined. Add the egg. Tip in the flour and process until the dough just comes together. Knead the dough lightly, wrap in cling film and chill for 30 min before rolling out. Line a large baking tin with the pastry and bake for 20 min.
Mix the butter together with the sugar and egg yolks. Add the cheese and raisins. Beat the egg whites. Gently fold the starch or semolina and the beaten whites into the cheese mixture, pour over the base and bake for an hour.

Not a cheesecake. Obviously. But this is what we saw this easter!