Call Me By Your Name

Have you seen Call Me By Your Name yet? What did you think? I went to see it last night and I really liked it. It was very pure - nothing fake or about. I like when the viewer is respected as someone who gets it, who does not need over-the-top tricks. I also really want to read the novel now.

And, I guess, I will have to watch the Oscars this time even though I usually do not have enough interest to spend Sunday evening on it. Sufjan's song from the movie got nominated!

My Love, Don't Cross That River

I can't stop watching this trailer! I ordered the movie on Netflix, however, it looks like it is also available online.


The milk industry is trying to put up a fight with a sad #Februdairy campaign in response to Veganuary. Meanwhile, Mike Stura from Skylands Animal Sanctuary posts a video of a calf rescue. How amazing for that calf and how said at the same time. Do you see all those plastic boxes that seem to be stretching out indefinitely? They are filled with boy calves that are taken away from their moms right after birth, so that the milk that was intended for them, can be stolen and sold to humans instead. Grieving moms, crying babies, plastic boxes, freezing cold. I just can't. :(

I hope more and more people will wake up to this and more businesses (e.x., Elmhurst Dairy is now plant-based Elmhurst Milked!).

Good News

I don't know what it is about this video (the sneakiness, I guess, and also that the camera no longer follows the interview), but I think it is one of the funniest things out there!

Some good news recently. First, for NYC people. Bareburger chain of restaurants is going to open an all vegan place soon! And not only that, they've added Beyond Meat burgers to their regular menu (I am boycotting The Impossible Burger that they also serve).

And, this is such great news in my world! Thank you, Switzerland, for moving towards compassion.

2018 Resolutions: Week One Update

I was able to sample what life is like with my 2018 resolutions for an entire week. I think I will keep them. :)
  • I went to the gym twice and tried a new yoga class.
  • Found time to do some projects around the house that I've been procrastinating on, for example, organizing the entry closet.
  • I found it interesting that on Saturday, when I was allowed to be online for any purpose whatsoever, there was not much that I wanted to check. As if I got it out of my system and it is not so interesting anymore.
  • Time is limited on weekday evenings and there is that tendency to feel like a hamster in a wheel. I have to remember to pause and savor the things that I am doing, no matter how mundane. I should try to remember, that I don't "have to do" these things, but I "get to do" them.

Moments of Joy

Some moments of joy from this week.
  • After I put my contact lenses in early one morning, I felt that something was unusual outside. When I looked out, I saw the above. A beautiful path created by the moon. It was stunning and the photo does not do it justice.
  • Another morning, a big snow storm was promised. As I was getting ready to go to work, the first snowflakes started falling. By the time I headed out, there was a good amount of snow on the ground and barely any people around. Oh, what joy to be the fist to step on the snow. No other footrpints yet!
  • New year's resolutions are going strong! Worked out this week as promised and am in pain here and there from sore muscles. However, also noticing the stronger core. That area that tends to "collapse" when tired, stressed, carrying heavy bags, not mindful. This week I felt that it is back - my core, my center.

2018 Resolutions

A post shared by Natalie Zed ( on

Hello, the first morning of the new year! Before I do my first meditation of the year, I want to reflect a bit on 2017 and make some resolutions for 2018. I just reread my prior resolutions posts - again, I am glad I have this blog so I have a record of those. It is interesting to see my "evolution" over the years.

So, 2017. Great year, amazing year for me. The main reason is because I have accomplished something I've aspired to for decades. I meditated every day starting with around January 10th of last year. I have not missed a day! (Here is a link to my meditation related posts.) Now, I would not think of not meditating. It is like brushing teeth - essential. This showed me that I can stick to something, if I put my mind to it and gives me great inspiration for 2018.

2017 was the year when I did not have a single cold. That was probably for the first time in my entire life. I credit meditation for that. I also stopped consuming refined sugar in May so that might have helped.

Meditation brought up something that I was not aware of before - internal energy and ways in which it manifests. I got so curios about the subject and so inspired by this fascinating account, that I booked a session of my own. That was at the end of August. The session itself was amazing (I could not believe what my body was doing), but even better was the feeling I got afterwards. That evening, I felt such a profound sense of equanimity. I really want to go back to that feeling. I was also fascinated by the fact that the therapist can do remote sessions too - the other person can be across the globe. Wow!

Right away I felt that this is what I want to learn. Ways to help people by working with internal energy. I am planning to attend the teaching this spring, but meanwhile, I've figured that I should find out what Reiki is all about. Or more like, I was on my computer one day and there was an ad for Udemy class on Reiki and I felt this strong pull to click the button and register. Prior to this, I had no interest in such things and always thought of Reiki as something questionable. Well, fast forward few months, and here I am - doing Reiki sessions on my family and friends. :) (There are some aspects of Reiki tradition that I do not subscribe to - symbols or repeating symbol names. I can see how they can be useful to concentrate energy, but I find that there are other ways to accomplish the same. Turns out, I am not the only one. As for Udemy course, it has some amazing guided meditations. For example, on meeting and consulting your guide or creating your space - that stuff is so powerful. And, of course, I love the Reiki principals.)

As for 2018, there are still some areas in my life that I need to get a good push for developing better habits.

One of the Buddhist vows for lay practitioners listed on The Mind Illuminated author's site, is "I undertake the precept to refrain from activities and behaviors that cause dullness of mind." Originally, the vow was probably referring to drugs such as alcohol, but I think these days it is applicable to such things as procrastinating online. My mind definitely gets dull from spending time on the Interwebs - I get tired, scatterbrained, forgetful and lazy.

I really need to do something about it. It's been better in 2017, but nowhere near ideal yet. So, my resolution is to stick to a routine that I came up with after reading The Artist's Way. One of the exercises in that book is one week without reading - any kind of reading. I had an amazing week when I tried that. I was unable to procrastinate online or with books. I had all this time on my hands and that left me with nothing else but to do things that I should be doing. So, I want to do a "No Reading" year with few allowances:

  • Instagram feed for 30 minutes on the 1st of the month, reddit for one hour on 15th of the month
  • No reading (online, books, magazines) on weekdays, except for studying (Italian, etc.)
  • Ok to read books for one hour on Friday evening and weekend days
  • Ok to spend time online for one hour on Saturday
  • Ok to devote time to my blog but for 30 minutes a day only
  • Ok to check e-mail twice a day

I've been pretty good about staying away from news. I plan to continue this year. No news sites whatsoever.

My second resolution is exercising. I've been really bad about about that. So, in 2018, I resolve to go to the gym twice a week (for 30 minutes minimum) and take yoga classes twice a month.

I think that these two resolutions will make a big difference in a way I live my life.

Happy New Year!

Whether you are celebrating, reflecting, or doing nothing this New Year's eve, may it be full of joy and peace! And thank you for visiting my blog this year.

As a token of appreciation, I want to share this printable calendar. I found it attractive and helpful in tracking family activities. It hangs on our entrance door. (I got brown paper for it at Paper Source.)


Anyone participating in Veganuary? If so, that's awesome! If not, never to late to start. For extra help / inspiration, see this community.

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А вы планируете попробовать веганство в январе?

Moments of Joy / Маленькие Радости

These cheap but freaking cute decorations for sale in the pharmacy window were giving me joy all December.

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Дешёвые рождественкие декорации в витрине CVS Pharmacy приносили мне радость весь декабрь.