Eastern Orthodox Easter

My dear Friends,

Not everyone knows but Ukraine is mostly an Eastern Orthodox country that celebrates her Easter in the other day. There is one for the Catholic Church and one for the Orthodox Church. On rare occasions the two dates fall on the same day. The reasoning behind the different dates comes down to the church and the modern day calendar.

This year we celebrate our Easter today, 8th of April. Paska, along with krashanky – which are dyed hardboiled eggs, usually of one simple colour and meant for eating at the Easter feast – are placed in the basket with lit candles and brought to the church on Easter morning. The Easter baskets are blessed by the priest and taken home by the families. After the ceremony, and sometimes after going back to sleep, families celebrate Easter morning with food from the basket. I confess that many Ukrainians get used to putting not only eggs and paska into their basket but also ham, horseradish, vegetables and even wine. Thus, their Easter breakfasts are quite nutritious. I certainly would like to be different and bring in my basket with only eggs and paskas in it…

More interesting facts you will find in my book that is going to be published soon…very soon!

Happy Sunday!

 

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Happy Easter, my Friends!

DSCN2194Happy

Easter reminds us that hope must never be lost for as dark as the road may seem, there always lies light at the end of it. May all your prayers be fulfilled.  Sending you joyful hugs this Easter. May all of your dreams and wishes come true!

Love you all!

Yours A

 

Sending My Thoughtful Wishes Your Way

My dear little Friends,

Sending thoughtful wishes your way in the hope you know the joy and treasures that come with the Christmas season. Make each day of this Christmas season count by spending time with family and friends. Share the happiness and I share mine with you:

Friendship cannot be bought by money. I am lucky that I am rich with friends like you. This makes celebrating Christmas more meaningful!

Let us celebrate the ultimate gift of Jesus’s birth That we were all given this Christmas. May you all have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New 2018!

Love you all,

Yours Film Director

Ukrainian Christmas

Hello, my little Friends. I know that all your Christmas holidays are over and you are fully immersed into your working lives. I confess that mine are over as well. However, I would like to put a full period with my last short film devoted to something new about my own Christmas.A short film about my Christmas…songs, food and Ann on ice…these are not all the components of Ukrainian Christmas, but you still have a great chance to glance at my Christmas day in Kyiv. Promise to prepare much more serious for the next Christmas and tell you more, trust me there is a lot yet to show, you cannot even imagine!

Please make me happy and leave a little (almost invisible) comment!

Love you all!

Have a lovely week!

Yours Big Dreamer

What’s Your Name? (Competition)

My name is Ann and yours? This phrase plays an important role in every day’s life. It has a profound effect on everyone. Especially if you have an unusual name, which might be not clear from the first pronounce. It may even lead to some confusion (in case you still don’t remember his/her name) or a smile at someone’s face. Nevertheless, it is a powerful way of successful communication.

Collage

Every name is unique as its owner. In my country it is not so popular to celebrate name days, however, in Europe and other part of the world it is a wide known reason to have a party with some presents. People cannot be satisfied with only one day per year celebration (birthday), so they came to the conclusion that they need an extra one. Surely, I know that the custom originated with the Catholic and Orthodox calendar of saints, where believers, named after a particular saint, would celebrate that saint’s name day.

Cup Collage

There are really name ways to celebrate your nameday and every country competes for the most extravagant. Unfortunately, I heard only about quite typical traditions including exchange of greetings and presents for this day. I believe it could be nice to witness a very bizzare tradition of celebration with some kind of smashing cakes like Americans do for their birthdays, or “bumps” given to kids at their birthdays in UK, or in Jamaica, a person can expect to have his or her special day celebrated by having copious amounts of flour thrown at them from friends, family and occasionally random onlookers alike, or in Hungary (as well Ukraine), where following the opening of the presents all tug on the earlobes of the lucky birthday boy or girls and etc. It can be pretty nice to establish some particular traditions for namedays as well. What do you think, my little Fellows? Any weird ideas? How do you celebrate your nameday or birthday (if celebrate)? And what does your name mean?

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I’d love to hear your stories…please, please! And the most interesting answers will get a reward, one of the postcards presented in this post upon your choice for free! How about it? Aren’t you interested? The winner will be announced next Friday, June 8, in the beginning of my next scheduled post. Your reward will be delivered to you via post on the address provided to me personally (secrecy guaranteed)!

Gentel White

http://www.redbubble.com/people/anrostudio/shop

Happy weekend!

Love you all,

Yours Ann

Third Sunday of June

Hey, Friends, who knows what is generally celebrated on third Sunday of June, huh? Right you are, Dad’s Day is on the way. Dear Children, have you already baked your favorite dad’s chocolate cake? If not, then be in a hurry. Father is a very important man in your lives, so let’s pay enough attention to him at this special day of the year. For example, send him my very beautiful cards designed specially for this occasion (joking!):

Happy Father's Day
1.43$ per postcard or 1.79$ per greeting card

http://www.redbubble.com/people/anrostudio/works/22154333-happy-fathers-day?p=greeting-card

(20% off pretty much everything. Use code POP20.)

“I want to congratulate all the men out there who are working diligently to be good fathers whether they are stepfathers, or biological fathers or just spiritual fathers”.
T. D. Jakes

 

Vintage Father's Day

http://www.redbubble.com/people/anrostudio/works/22154507-happy-dads-day?p=greeting-card

To be a successful father, there’s one absolute rule: when you have a kid, don’t look at it for the first two years“. There is a good point, dads, right?

Greet your dads next Sunday! Do not forget, kids!

Be good, guys !

Yours Ann

New Year Special with Eros, Rose and Lily

Dear Friends, I guess you go on celebrating Christmas and visiting all your relatives, aren’t you tired yet? Honestly, you are a bit. And how about your stomach, after having eaten so many different delicious food don’t you feel uneasy? Hope not…How about to relax and read my Christmas Special about my sweet trio who is ready to come back to stage, they missed you a lot and you? Action…

Christmas Tree In Kyiv

A blue-eyed god of love, Eros, is a frequent guest in Crown’s House since he bravely opened their doors with injured Lily in his hands this Fall.  Yes, sweet little Lily experienced a real fall this season and she was forced to stay in bed for a while. And guess who did visit her? Surely, her real knight-in-arms who rescued her…not from a tower…but from a tree’s branch over which she fell. Yep, I agree that we have not a classical Princess and brave Prince episode, but let’s face the truth we live in the 21st century and everything changed a lot since that time. We have Internet, mobile phones and spaceships, who can imagine Prince driving a very modern BMW car, latest model, instead of riding a horse…oh, I bet riding a horse still sounds more romantic, ain’t I right? I am too old-fashioned though. Sorry, I went too far and lost my trail… Thus, Eros became Lily’s superhero, a very handsome man whom everybody liked immediately, especially her mom, Marina. If she had had her way she would like to have such a son-in-law for her daughter. She has already drawn a picture in her head, but rules of decorum did not let her act too quickly. She was not a bad mother, however, she wanted to see her daughter happy and considering her unlucky fate – Lily needs to have a strong and supportive shoulder by her side. Who wouldn’t like? It is a huge dream of all girls! Marina Crown, a decisive lady and serious council, wanted only the best for her daughter and she thought that Lily found a good pair for herself. Certainly poor little girl did not realize it yet, she is too inexperienced in affaire d’amour, that’s why her mom’s role was as important and obligatory as never. She encouraged Eros to visit her and made everything (and even more) to attract his attention. And she did it pretty well because somehow Eros and Lily came to an understanding. Eros found Lily pretty funny and clever. Firstly, he came because he felt that he should inquire about her health and his visit was not too long due to Lily sharp tongue, she went on telling some jokes about his pity towards her state and etc. Secondly, Lily’s mom Marina asked him in office to bring some documents to Lily to deal with, you might guess that it was made on purpose. This second meeting was a good game, Lily did her work well and treated it with respect. Eros saw her seriousness and even businesslike approach towards tasks, at that moment they found something common. Surprisingly, Lily saw in him not only a playboy, but a man who likes his job. She started to respect him, although that kiss in Lviv did not come out of her head…

Monkey Among Us

Anyway, Lily recovered and came back to office. From time to time they meet in the office and chatted during lunch breaks. Time flied away very quickly, Christmas and New Year holidays have come. Rose decided to invite her colleagues for New Year market in the city center to celebrate. This year was quite unpredictable for her, she got her first job at the Embassy, she met Eros who gave her a perfect kiss in a nice place. However, she felt that it was right to stay only friends and colleagues. She cannot let herself any romantic affairs, too risky and not in time. Rose Spice is a very ambitious woman who needs to establish her career life and proves everybody that she suits to this diplomatic world. She cannot believe how lucky she is to come back to Ukraine and celebrate these nice family holidays in her big Ukrainian circle. First time in her life she was where she belonged – in an amazing, colorful, sometimes difficult and yet unknown city – Kyiv. Place where her mom was born, place where her grandparents live, place that makes her heart sing. Now she was walking along this long market between two cathedrals that was a kind of bridge between her past and present, she looked at Ukrainian faces and pictured them in her head…

Party in a Big City

This exact day Lily also was there, among people, she planned to do some Christmas photos. She asked permission to leave her office sooner and headed straight to the market. She was fully equipped with her camera and tripod. Every second minute she stopped and pressed her magical button. She admired its Christmas atmosphere. Beautiful Christmas tree, which was specially brought from Western Ukraine, decorated with hand-made Ukrainian toys, sparkling scene where children were practicing before New Year show: children who were excited and full of energy, they were eager to go everywhere and watch everything, they were so curious, loads of candies, presents, attractions and different food. A well-known picture drawn by Charles Dickens ” Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveler, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home!” Lily felt how her heart jumped in delight, pure childish delight!  

Candies and Church

“Sing hey! Sing hey!
For Christmas Day;
Twine mistletoe and holly.
For a friendship glows
In winter snows,
And so let’s all be jolly!” sang Eros in his head and smiled because this is the first time when he does not celebrate it at home in UK. “How odd it is” he did not stop repeating in his head. His mom, Dolly, made it almost obligatory to spend Christmas only at home and within UK territory whenever he was on a mission. That’s always a rule to come back to their old cottage on N street and celebrate it in traditional British manner. And this year everything has changed. Dolly was so involved in her new atmosphere and new friends that she forgot about it. Eros’s mom met wonderful people in Kyiv, she also decided to join local culinary club where she got acquainted with many charming ladies of her age. All of them were foreigners and had a lot in common: they were in a strange country with an unknown language and culture, however, here they almost felt like at home. Eros saw his mom happy every time she came back from this course.

Party Goes On

 This 2015 was a really fantastic year for him. He met Rose…oh, a beautiful flower who made such a mess and then left him so confused. He did not know what to think, he thought that he was in love, but her friendly behavior and kind words made him changed his mind. He definitely found her very attractive, but she clearly let him know that she prefer to leave it as it is. They were colleagues and she was his boss! While thinking Eros did not notice how he occurred to be next to Santa Claus House, so it was time to make a wish!

Santa's House

 “What a long queue?” said Lily and stopped here for a second. Among many adults with children she recognized a tall blue-eyed man.

“What does he do here?” wondered Lily and turned her head to the scene. And what she saw was not less surprising…Rose Spice in her nice white coat was elegantly walking in the direction of the same Santa Claus House. Lily almost froze at her place, she did not move and almost did not breath, Rose was coming to her and Eros was turning his head in her direction. At this awkward funny and fatal minute all three gazes are met…three very different personages were looking directly at each other…Rose also stopped and put her eyes on Eros while he hold his gaze on Lily…and their minds started spinning and time stopped…

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” Who wants something sweet?”

My dear Fellows, I can see your angry or puzzled faces now and I know the reason – I finished my story at the most exciting part and put “awful” three dots. How can I dare to do it? Probably I agree with you, at the same time, cannot do much since I have no idea what is going to be further. My three funny personages joined in a conspiracy and went silent. I am not able to read their thoughts and see their moves. They closed the curtain and switched off the light. Thus, I am sitting now in a cafe and tasting this dessert, wouldn’t you like to join me?

Christmas Dessert.jpg

Now that’s all I have! Delicious chocolate mousse that will wash  your tears away.

Who Wants Something Sweet

“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”I am happy to share this chocolate glass with you, my sweet and kind Friends, and wish you happy 2016! I want it to be as sweet as this mousse and so good-looking as well. Every year is a challenge for us, it is a countdown, which nobody can stop, therefore let us live it to the full and never give up! Always dream and transfer our dreams to reality, even the craziest and most impossible! I make a serious prediction – 2016 is going to be the most challenging and most fabulous year in your life, each of you, but only if you come and read my posts…ha-ha-ha…kidding! My warmest wishes and strong hugs!

Love you,

Ann

P.S. Do not eat a lot during last year night or you can be the next Winnie the Pooh who was not able to leave Rabbit’s house after too many meals!

My Christmas Present for You

Dear Fellows, I cudgeled my brains over a present  I would like to put under your Christmas tree. It took some of my time. I wanted to prepare really something special and unusual. I guess I have already mentioned that photography is not my only one crazy passion, I have the other one as well – I am fond of film-making. I bring my video camera with me whenever I can and film everything I see. Thus, I decided to make up a video story for you about days before and after Christmas in two big cities, Lviv and Kyiv. If you know my blog, then you read several posts devoted to these nice and unpredictable cities. They are quite different, one is the center of Western Ukraine, while the other is the center of Northern and Central parts. However, both of them mean a lot to me. I prefer thinking of them as of my two residences…as in ancient times lords and dukes always have two residences: winter and summer. I am no worse than them, ain’t I right? Indeed. I love these cities and cherish them. One is my birthplace, where I spent my childhood and students years, the other is my soul place, where I find my muse and inspiration. Two places, two short stories mixed with Christmas decorations, over a cup of coffee or tea with black or white chocolate, somewhere in mysterious coffee mine and magical tunnels, sang at opera house and listened to beautiful music, under Christmas tree and with magical wishes in our hearts…

Please make a wish and St. Anna, whose name day is celebrated today in Ukraine, will make it true!!! Merry Forthcoming Christmas!!! Here we go…

Yours Ann

P.S. I would much appreciate your opinion on my film! Thank you in advance!