Rainy Baku

39911573-AF53-485F-BD70-EF3E88B8E612I started walking / running exercise routine in October when the weather just started getting colder. On some days the weather was still so nice that I walked in a T-shirt. Then gradually the temperature decreased. Baku is a windy city and our winds can make it unbearable to be outside. Even when the temperature doesn’t drop below zero, it feels like -10. I needed to adjust to these conditions somehow, so I started walking in the Old City. Inner part of Baku is protected by thick walls that date back to 12th century and they hid me from the wind. I loved walking there and exploring it’s labyrinths and I loved that no walk was as the one before. Each time I was changed a route and I always came across something interesting and beautiful, like suddenly noticing a beautiful ornament on the wall or a door made to look like a giant backgammon set, or meeting an old lady that was so loving and kind that she invited me, a stranger, to her house for a tea.

When the winter kicked in, I thought to myself, so how am I going to do this now? I have to admit that getting out of the house wasn’t easy on some of the days. But I was pleasantly surprised to discover the willpower and determination in me that I haven’t noticed before. When I set a goal and I have a plan, I will go out and do it no matter what. And I’m proud of myself for doing this. Another thing that I came to discover is that it’s only the first few minutes when you leave the comfort and warmth of the house or a car that are difficult. After 10-15 minutes body seems to adjust to the temperature outside and it’s not so cold anymore. And the more I build running / walking into a habit, the easier it became.

Isn’t the same process valid for everything else in life? When we have to do something new, something we haven’t done before, it seems scary. In our day-to-day life we often try to run away from problems and challenges. But what if we saw them not as threats, but as opportunities to become wiser and stronger? I saw somewhere that fear was described as False Evidence Appearing Real. So, what if all the things we fear in life, are nothing but illusions that our brain created to keep us ‘safe’ in the comfort zone? But is my purpose here on Earth to be safe? I’m not saying that constantly putting your life at risk is what we all should do, however I want to live and experience this life to the fullest and I don’t want to be captivated by my own fears and limits I put on myself. What about you? Are fears holding you down from doing something you really want in life? Would you like to join me on my endeavor to become fearless, bold, unapologetic me?

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Song of the day: Miley Cyrus – Climb

The Climb (song)
The Climb (song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I can almost see it
That dream I’m dreaming but
There’s a voice inside my head sayin,
You’ll never reach it,
Every step I’m taking,
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking but I
Got to keep trying
Got to keep my head held high

There’s always going to be another mountain
I’m always going to want to make it move
Always going to be an uphill battle,
Sometimes you going to have to lose,
Ain’t about how fast I get there,
Ain’t about what?s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb

The struggles I’m facing,
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes they knock me down but
No I’m not breaking
I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I’m going to remember most yeah
Just got to keep going
And I,
I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on, cause

There’s always going to be another mountain
I’m always going to want to make it move
Always going to be an uphill battle,
Sometimes I’m going to have to lose,
Ain’t about how fast I get there,
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb

There’s always going to be another mountain
I’m always going to want to make it move
Always going to be an uphill battle,
Sometimes you going to have to lose,
Ain’t about how fast I get there,
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb

Keep on moving
Keep climbing
Keep the faith baby
It’s all about
It’s all about
The climb
Keep the faith
Keep your faith

My second favorite media after oil paints are watercolors. Even though it is considered as one of the most difficult media, the lightness and washed out effects that you can achieve with watercolors are beyond beautiful.

I’ve done two landscape paintings inspired by the watercolors that my art teacher saw in her hotel room on one of her recent trips. This one is winter, another one is autumn landscape, which I’ll also post shortly.

Winter Landscape by Natella MammadovaI love the layering technique used in this painting and the transparency of these layers adds depth and perspective.

I had to change my signature and you’ll notice that I only used my initials – NM – on the recent paintings – I didn’t want it to occupy too much space and distract from the painting.

Do you like this painting? I’m planning to explore more of this technique and I prepared a few photographs that I’ve taken during my walks around the town. I want to turn them into multilayer watercolor paintings. If you have any suggestions, or your own photos that you would like to provide to turn them into watercolor paintings, please send them to 1happyblog@outlook.com.

App of the day: Pocket for Chrome

Do you often come around interesting articles posts and cool pictures or videos that you want to read or view later?

Pocket is a simple and beautiful solution for that.

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About Pocket

Pocket was founded in 2007 by Nate Weiner to help people save interesting articles, videos and more from the web for later enjoyment. Once saved to Pocket, the list of content is visible on any device — phone, tablet or computer. It can be viewed while waiting in line, on the couch, during commutes or travel — even offline.

The world’s leading save-for-later service currently has more than 12 million registered users and is integrated into more than 500 apps including Flipboard, Twitter and Zite. It is available for major devices and platforms including iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac, Kindle Fire, Kobo, Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera and Windows.

signup_graphic@1xAs you can see, you can get Pocket on your Mac, browser and lots of mobile solutions are available here.

If you don’t own a Mac, you can still get Pocket on your desktop thru Chrome Web Store.

Pocket is really easy to use. If you install the browser extension or if you have Pocket on your phone / tablet, whenever you find something you like, just click or touch the Pocket icon. That’s it – it is saved now and you have an option to add the tags for easy searching in the future.

unnamedPocketWhen you open the app, you’ll love the beautiful design and how your articles are arranged in it.

App of the day - Pocket for Chrome - 1You can also have a list view and once you roll over a post, you’ll have an option to Share, Archive, Delete, Edit tags or to save as Favorite.

App of the day - Pocket for Chrome - 2If you’d like to get a Pocket Premium, you’ll find even more amazing features, like suggested tags, personal backup and different search methods.

Продукт дня: L’Oreal Paris Трио Актив Основной уход Ультраувлажнение уход для нормальной и смешанной кожи

triple-day-care-normal-and-mixedЭтот крем просто подарок судьбы. На данный момент это идеал и лучший крем, который я пробовала и среди масс-маркета и среди более дорогих марок косметики. У него гелевая текстура, он очень легко наносится и впитывается также быстро. Он, действительно, отлично увляжняет кожу и обладает очень приятным ненавязчивым запахом. И Т-зона с ним не блестит. Также нет ощущения маски и кожа легко дышит. Must-have!

Product of the day: Nivea Aqua Effect Moisturizing Day Cream SPF 15

Nivea Aqua Effect Moisturizing Day Cream SPF 15 is for normal to mixed skin. It is perfect to use for fall and spring. During summer, it felt a bit heavy on the skin and I think that during winter, it’s better to use nourishing cream instead of moisturizing. Right now it feels great on the skin. The cream doesn’t have a strong smell, which is good.

Enriched with Vitamin E and Hydra IQ, it provides the skin intensive moisture and leaves it feeling fresh.

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My routine is as follows: First I clean the skin and apply the cream gently padding with the fingers. It is quite quickly absorbed by the skin, but I still prefer to wait one hour before applying foundation. Before applying foundation or BB cream, I use a napkin to get rid of excess cream or oils.

Apply on cleansed and toned face by gently massaging in small circular motions.

The cream does a good job of moisturizing as I don’t feel any dryness in my skin during the day. There’s also a night moisturizing cream from the same line, but I haven’t tried it yet.

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Product of the day: L’Oreal Triple Active Moisturizing Eye Cream

When you find a drug store product that works miracles that’s a double win because let’s face it: no one likes to spend a fortune on a product that you can’t show off (jk) and that will be gone in a few months time.

With eye cream I found my magic product – L’Oreal Triple Active Moisturizing Eye Cream. The cream has very light, gel-like texture, it is quickly absorbed by the skin and it smoothes out tiny wrinkles.

3What is your favorite eye cream product?

In honor of Mesothelioma Awareness Day

Few weeks ago a beautiful, inspiring and strong young lady contacted me and shared her story with me. Her name is Heather Von St. James. Heather was diagnosed with mesothelioma 8 years ago – a rare and preventable cancer caused only by exposure to asbestos. She had just given birth to her beautiful daughter, when she was given 15 months to live. After the life saving surgery that included the removal of her left lung, Heather made it her mission to protect the innocent victims and spread awareness about mesothelioma and the dangers of asbestos.

Heather and Family

Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that attacks the lining of the body cavity called the mesothelium. The only known cause to mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. The sad fact is that asbestos is still not banned in all countries across the world.

Mesothelioma is dangerous because it commonly sits dormant in the body for 20-50 years after initial exposure to asbestos.

September 26th, 2014 marks the 10th anniversary of Mesothelioma Awareness Day and in honor of it, I want to share some facts and help spread awareness and I do believe that together we can help the victims and change the regulations related to asbestos.

  • Asbestos is a naturally occuring mineral that is classified as a known human carcinogen, because of its association with mesothelioma.
  • On average, 30 million pounds of asbestos are still being used in the United States today. The substance can still be found in many homes, schools, and commercial or industrial buildings.
  • Asbestos is used as building material in several developing countries throughout the world, including India and Brazil. Industrialized nations such as China, Russia, and Canada also continue to mine and use asbestos as material for consumer products.
  • This year 10,000 Americans will die of asbestos-related diseases such as lung cancer or mesothelioma and 200,000 people will be living with asbestos.
  • The EPA estimates that there are asbestos containing materials in most of the nations approximately 107,000 primary and secondary schools and 733,000 public and commercial buildings.
  • Between 2,500 and 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year. On average, they are given 10 months to live.

What can you do to help? – Re-blog, share and spread the word on social media to raise awareness. One way you could do it is through Heather’s awareness page. You can also make a donation through MARF (Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation) donation form. For more information, see mesothelioma.com.

App of the day: 500px for Chrome

Get inspired. Lose yourself in an endless supply of breathtaking photos.

This is the phrase you see when you open 500px.com and the website does exactly what it promises – I easily lose track of time when browsing magnificent, beyond-beautiful photos on their website. Now that I found 500px at Chrome Web Store, this experience is even more enjoyable.

You can either browse the pictures without registration or you can create an account and upload your own photos and interact with the community. Registration through social media accounts is available and is very easy. Another great thing offered by 500px after the registration is 14 days trial of “Awesome” plan, which allows you to upload unlimited amount of photos and other great features.

App’s design is very clean and easy-to-use. There are ‘Popular’, ‘Editor’s choice’, ‘Upcoming’ and ‘Fresh’ feeds. Once you find the photographer you like, you can follow him/her and his/her works will appear in the ‘Flow’.

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You can search photos by typing keyword. See how many beautiful photos I found of peonies.

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Have a beautiful and blessed Saturday!

xx,

Natella

I love bunnies. I have toy bunnies, I have bunny t-shirts, I have bunny decorations, I have done sooo many drawings and sketches of bunnies and I even had 2 real bunnies. Everyone who knows my love for bunnies, gifts me something with an image of a bunny. They are so adorable! 🙂

And now I want you to meet the new love I found on Instagram – Woody. Woody is a mini lop bunny living in Australia.

Cuteness of the day - Woody by One Happy Blog

For more cute pictures of Woody, follow him on Instagram.

xx,

Natella