Today is the 16th of April and the end of my gratitude challenge.

Today I’m beholden for one more thing, and that is for SUN (and for SPRING and for Easter).

I’m grateful for the sun that finally began to shine, bringing joy and hope around me; bringing also the wonderful spring that gives warmth to both my heart and mind.

I’m grateful for holidays in general because they help us relax and give us the opportunity to spend more quality time with our family.

In the end, I’m actually grateful for the feeling of gratitude itself and for the fact that I have so many things that make me happy and pleased.

It’s really easy to find things to be grateful for. I think I could go on writing one reason every day,  three hundred sixty five days per year. The only thing I need to do is to look around me and welcome everyone and everything with optimism and with a big smile on my face.

#twoweeksofgratitude

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Yesterday I had a general feeling of gratitude for my good health, both mental and physical.

This life is worth living. And to build a beautiful and healthy life,  I believe you don’t need too many “ingredients”.

It’s sufficient to:

– eat healthy food
– exercise regularly
– read good books, both fiction and nonfiction
– listen to music that melts your soul
– be optimistic
– surround yourself with reliable people and with good friends
– be in love with your partner like it’s the first months you’ve been together
– be as close as possible with your mother, father, sister, brother; try to understand them and show them your appreciation
– be confident
– love your job
– have faith that everything will be alright

I am thankful also that I can do all these. Or that I’m trying,  at least.

#twoweeksofgratitude

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Today I’m grateful for the existence of music  and for being able to choose my own type of music.

I like pop, r&b, latino and jazz, but it’s only this kind of music that can transport me to a different time and space and really make me forget about everything…

http://youtu.be/IaI5JCxOCdw

An evening filled with songs like this one, is magical to me.

#twoweeksofgratitude

I realize that I haven’t expressed my gratitude for a long time now. It has been four days.
So I’ll just go on and write here my feelings of gratitude for each day since Friday:

– on Friday I was grateful and happy for being able to send my family a little bit of attention; I hope they’re gonna like my presents

-on Saturday I was grateful for the sunny weather and for the pleasant ride with the bicycles,  that I took with my dear dear husband; thanks to him, I am always seeing things for the first time

– on Sunday I was grateful for my patience in general and also for the cute yellow flowers I now keep at my kitchen window; they brighten my cooking days🙂

Did you have as well a weekend full of gratitude?

#twoweeksofgratitude

Today I’m grateful for my permanent thirst of knowledge.

And I’m also grateful for all the information that exists out there and for the fact that I can use it to understand how things work and how people act and think.

With every single detail I learn, I feel more powerful and more intelligent and I see myself and the whole world with different eyes.

I believe in being curious and in asking “why”. I believe in doubting and in finding answers on your own. I also believe in thinking outside the box and that is what a lot of books, newspapers, magazines and online sources are teaching us nowadays.

So I encourage reading and asking and discussing and arguing on smart and challenging topics. For they keep our mind ans souls alive.

#twoweeksofgratitude

Today I’m grateful for being me. For being me and nobody else.

I accept myself for who I am and I’m working towards improving myself because it’s good for me and not for anyone else.

Everything I do, it’s for me. The others should take me as I am or they should leave me. Whoever loves me for real will understand and accept me. And they will gave my full love in return.

I love myself and I’m happy to live with myself. I’m proud of all my achievements and when I look in the mirror, I see a wonderful person, a caring, sensitive and competent woman who has a lot to offer, but only to those who really deserve.

#twoweeksofgratitude

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I love my mom and I am forever grateful for the education she gave me and for her unconditional love and her good pieces of advice. She has always supported me and loved me no mather what I did or said. And she always had smart things to say to me (although she could become a little annoying sometimes :P).

 

brush your teeth

 

you'll eat it

 

 

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  I know she will be there for me whenever I’ll need her sholder to cry on or her smile when I’m happy and enthusiastic. My only wish is that she really knows how much I love her and that I’ll do my best to reward her with my full help and understanding. Thank God I have my mother!

#twoweeksofgratitude

 

love you mom    

social media channels

 

Today I’m grateful to all the social media channels that make my life easier and more thrilling.

Thanks to Facebook and Twitter I can share my own thoughts and I can see what my friends are doing, through their own status updates, comments and pics.

Thanks to Skype I can speak to my mom and sis back home and I can even see their faces. It always feels like I’m there, next to them.

Thanks to WordPress I can write on this blog and I can share and read about exciting experiences.

Thanks to Viber and WhatsApp I can send free messages and I can get pics in real time.

I am greateful to social media because it gets me closer to my friends and family when we are miles and miles apart.

#twoweeksofgratitude

 

 

 

I’m a little bit late with my gratitude for day four, but I’ll go on being grateful for the friends I have and for all the new things I learn from them constantly.

A good friend is that who accepts you for who you are and never points out your mistakes or your bad parts. A good friend never maked you feel bad about yourself.

A good friend helps you whenever you are in need, even without you asking for help.

A good friend is one who lifts up your qualities and makes you feel like a better person. A good friend doesn’t drag you down.

A good friend always gives without asking for a favour in return. A good friend doesn’t show off in front of you.

A good friend knows your tastes and will always take into account what you really want and need.

A real friend loves you unconditionally and misses you whenever you’re not around.

#twoweeksofgratitude

Today I’m grateful for living in beautiful Stockholm, because it’s a clean and green city that comes to life when the sun shines down upon it.

#twoweeksofgratitude

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Sometimes I’m really fed up with this diversity of brands and shops.

It became really difficult for me to decide which product to buy and which not.

Do I pay the correct price for this product? Will I find it cheaper somewhere else? Should I wait for a discount that maybe or maybe not will apply in the future? And the latest question that is bugging me: SHOULD I ORDER IT ONLINE INSTEAD?

I am waisting so much time because of these many choices I have to make daily. Because when I’m going shopping,  I cannot keep it short. Not a chance. It takes me at least two-three hours to check all the shops in search for the best product. And I might not even buy anything!

At the same time, I find it hard to decide for one brand for example. Or for one  shop. I think it’s cruel to be faithful to one single product or brand when you have so many choices. It is contradictory, I know, and this is not making my life easier!

If you have solutions for this little problem of mine, I’d be happy to hear them🙂

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One of my friends said that she’s grateful for the latest books she bought because they brought her lots of knowledge.

So here I am, being also grateful for books in general, for the fact they exist and bring more love, more adventure and more information in our lifes.

I am grateful for all those writers who shared and are sharing with us a little of their imagination.

I love the fact that reading takes me to other worlds and dimensions and that it transforms me in another person, with each and every book.

Reading has brought a lot of experience in my life and has taught me things and has shown me places I have never dreamt of before.

This is my number two reason to be thankful on the second day of #twoweeksofgratitude.

What are you grateful for today?

Today I’m starting a challenge. I’m calling it “The Gratitude Challenge” and I’ll dare you all to post every day one thing that you are grateful for. This challenge will last two weeks that is, until the 16th of April, and I’ll be posting every day one reason for being grateful. I’ll call these posts “The Gratitude Posts”.

You can write your reasons in a comment to my posts. Or you can write them in a comment on my Facebook posts, with the hashtag #twoweeksofgratitude. Or on my Twitter, using the same hashtag #twoweeksofgratitude.

To begin with, I my self am looking with gratitude at the last two months, February and March, since I’ve started my new job. I am truly thankful!

 

I-Love-My-Job-hands

 

What are you grateful for today?

you've got mail

 

This CUTE image not only reminds me of that romantic movie with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks You’ve Got Mail, but it also makes me think about communication and expressing your thoughts and feelings virtually.

Every day I’m thanking that person who invented the email!

The email is my favorite way for distance communication. I feel much more confident and in control when I’m able to double check what and how I’m writing. Of course it has its disadvantages, like for example that you’re not able to see the expression on the other person’s face. But nevertheless, sending email it’s more “handy” and more suited than for example a phone call, in some cases.

Do you also prefer the email as a rapid method of distance communication?

My last “to-do task” in Kiruna was to ride on a dog sledge. What a great adventure! Regardless the frozen feet and hands, the aching face (from the cold wind), the uncomfortable position in the sledge itself (you need to have good abdominal muscles since you have to lean on the passenger behind you but still don’t lay all your weight upon him/her) and the really bad smelling dog poop (they were literally peeing and pooping whilst they were running LOL), the trip was a wonderful and exciting experience. And the dogs (mix of different types of husky breed) were so cute and friendly and playful that I didn’t want to leave them not even after our ride was over. Take a look how sweet they are:

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And what a fantastic landscape I was able to see:

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We are so blessed with such a beautiful, breathtaking nature! We should care for it more, we should think about its future and about the life we want to live surrounded by it. Nature is truly a wonder and we have to cherish it infinitely if we really want to keep it. This I’ve realized during my trip to “Winter Wonderland”, in Kiruna, north of Sweden.

Driving the snowmobile is awesome!!!
Actually it was not me driving, but being a passenger is still great, since you just get to hold on tight and admire the landscape. And, believe me, the surroundings are just indescribable! The forest is all silent and white and the lake is frozen (ice as thick and hard as concrete). We even saw tracks of animals in the woods (mostly of reindeer and moose) and stopped on the frozen lake to watch the Aurora Borealis. Unfortunately… we didn’t see it, but the trip was so amazing that it was worthy every minute!

We had a short pause for dinner in a cottage:

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With a friendly companion named Lipton:

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The “hunting” for the Northern Lights lasted for almost five hours, but for me it felt shorter. I don’t know if I had that feeling because I was freezing and my face was in pain, even though I had a really good equipment, or because it was so exciting and new and impressive. Anyway, I would definitely do this trip again!

Here’s me with the snowmobile:

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And with the winter equipment (at least some parts of it), ha ha!

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This was the best winter activity so far!

Really really fascinating, this ice hotel!! I’m thinking about all the hard work the artists put in these sculptures and I’m just speechless. One, because the pieces are simply amazing and two, because it’s freaking cold outside and they had to work in this absurde low temperature for a long time. Apparently they started sculpting and shaping the Icehotel since November 2013… I pity them, but no comments about their beautiful results. The pics speak for themselves:

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The last sculpture is my favorite! ♥

I found out they are taking the ice from the frozen lake behind the Icehotel and that the water here is among the purest in the world, which is why swedish people export it to other countries where ice sculptures are being made.

This was an interesting and fantastic experience! I recommend it to everybody!

Brrrr… just got inside from a (short) walk in the city Kiruna ( minus 29 degrees out there, I think maybe the lowest temperature I’ve experienced!) and my feet are cold, my face is frozen and I have ice in my hair!
It’s not like I’m complaining, after all I knew where I’m coming and I knew I’m sensitive to cold… but the shock got me there a bit and I think it’s tougher that I expected (just a little bit🙂
Anyway, with a hot tea and warm pyjamas, I’ll get over the first night. In the hotel, the radiators are really burning so the room is quite cozy and warm.

Tomorrow we’ll visit the Ice Hotel and then we’ll have a five hours tour with the snowmobile – we’ll go Aurora Borealis hunting!!

Here are some pics from my first day in “Winter Wonderland”:

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The last ones are candle holders made of ice. How cool is that?

I’m waiting to get on board on the Norwegian flight towards Kiruna, in the North of Sweden. I have big hopes to see the Aurora, also called the Northern Lights (although some say it’s not really the best time fot that…)

-17/-20 degrees wait for me there so I’m packed with warm clothes and good mood. I can’t wait to take the snow scooter and the dogs slide (the las one takes you on a hunt for the northern lights – during the night! ). Also, it will be my first trip in the North so I’m really excited and curious at the same time.

I’ll come back with more updates and pics later on!

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Funny movie this one, about a young married couple who finds a magical teapot (sort of an “Aladdin’s Lamp”) which gives them money every time they hurt themselves. More than a funny movie, this is a lesson of life, and it teaches us where to draw the line and when to stop. From becoming an evil and selfish person, that is. Another lesson is that there are so many temptations (money, hurting the others, cheating etc.) in our lives and that you need to know and trust yourself very good in order to be able to react to these traps that life puts in front of us.

I won’t go ahead and tell you the story of this movie because you should definitely watch it yourselves. I just want to say that I find the idea of the movie very interesting and intriguing. The thought that what the teapot has to offer (wealth) comes with such a great price (hurting yourself and the others around, family or strangers, doesn’t matter), makes me realize the despair and the permanent thirst that we, people, have for money. We are dependent on money and richness. We want more and more and more. And once we get to the point that we don’t know where to spend our money anymore, we realize that we actually still don’t have enough and we ask for more (I’m thinking about the main character from the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street”, 2013). It seems to me that humans’ ideal in life is to earn money (from nowhere! ) so that they never have to work again… Ridiculous!

Bottom line with this movie is that people have too many weaknesses and they can easily take the wrong way in life. And for most of them, things don’t end up so well. That is why you need to be good and smart and learn where to draw the line and when to stop. After all, you only have one life and it’s such a pity to waste it!

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