1. According to old wives' tales, I'd been fashion-obsessed since the tender age of three. My mum remembers that I loved playing dress up and would try just about anything on, preferrably all at once: ski hats, long scarves, dresses, coats, sunglasses - size really wasn't an issue. Having switched my attention to make-up, I can't quite say I still display the same attitude towards my clothing... but I do have some interesting choices in my closet.
|Apparently, I also loved unique headgear, and liked to smirk from a very young age.|
3. I hate people leaning on or even just touching the back of the chair I'm sitting in; it makes me want to pull my hair out. Oh, and the worst of all: tapping or kicking my chair... I think the feeling of vibrations travelling through the wood into my body because of someone's mindless habit is just pure torture. I need space, man!
4. When I was in primary and middle school, stationery was my crack. I loved visiting various stationery and craft supply stores in the neighborhood, looking at pens, pencils and notebooks, and sometimes buying a silly knick knack. I especially loved cute erasers; I remember having a stiletto-shaped one, a neon coral one and a set of eraser tools - a hammer, a screw driver and a paint roller. I still love beautiful stationery and prefer handwriting notes and lists whenever possible.
5. I'm a coffee snob and I fully admit it. My favorite kind of coffee is a classic latte with a teaspoon of sugar, no flavored syrup, no caramel sauce on top (coffee drinks are something I tend to frown upon). I'm very particular about the quality of espresso shot (love my crema!) and the quantity and perfect consistency of foamy, velvety milk. The best latte I've had so far in the United States was at Stumptown Coffee Roasters, and I use their Holler Mountain beans at home to make my coffee. I'm not a caffeine addict though, so if I can't have my coffee just the way I like it, I generally prefer to skip it altogether.
|Photo from my Instagram (shameless plug): the only time I ever succeeded at creating latte art, and yes, it was a complete accident.|
7. When I was a little girl, I really wanted to be an actress; my dad actually used to be an actor so that's probably where I got the idea. I went to different acting classes for a good couple of years, won first prize in a recitation contest when I was 8, and even got a tiny part in a Polish movie when I was 12. Around the age of 14 though I became too introverted and uncomfortable on the stage to continue my acting passion. I turned my attention to writing and drawing, which required a lot less public attention.
8. I'm neither city folk or country mouse. I grew up in big Polish cities, but moving to Pacific Northwest marked me with a deep appreciation and awe of the natural world; I still think Vancouver, BC, Olympic Penninsula and the San Juan islands are some of the most scenic and breathtaking places you can visit. I do love living in New York though and revelling in all of its unique culture and history, and I can't wait to get to know East Coast a little bit better.
|In the Olympic Penninsula. Yes, it's that beautiful.|
10. I like to think I'm a decent cook and I definitely come from a long line of excellent cooks: my mum, both of my grandmothers and even my paternal grandpa can all cook (and bake!) absolutely delicious food. The challenge in my kitchen though is having to adapt to my husband's food allergies, which include but are not limited to cow's dairy, eggs and garlic. I think I can still do an ok job, even with these limitations, although I tend to get very bored of my own dishes. I like variety!
11. Libraries are some of my favorite places to hang out. Although I generally research what I'd like to read at a given time and then place a hold for my book online, I sometimes like to roam aimlessly and get lost between the shelves. There hasn't been a library I visited so far that I didn't like - be it a tiny local library at my parents' suburban town, a majestic Warsaw University Library with its rooftop gardens, or my current Midtown Manhattan library, right next to the historic 5th Ave Stephen A. Schwarzman building.
12. Although I'm not a very small person (I'm 5ft 6', or 167cm), I'm often regarded as one. I think it has to do with the fact that I have quite small upper body and a small head, and combined it can somehow give the impression of frailty. I'll never forget when a much shorter friend, hugging me hello in the highschool classroom, would exclaim 'You're so tiny!'. I'm much curvier now but I used to be quite willowy as a child/teenager.
13. My best friend's name is Mariya and she lives in Seattle. She's the most beautiful, smart, funny, kind, positive and compassionate person and I'm very grateful to have her in my life. For me, one of the biggest cons of moving to NYC was being separated from her and I still very much miss her, even though we try our best to talk on Skype at least once a week. Love you, Mashenka!
15. I am by no means an atheltic or physically active person. Although I occasionally hike, play tennis and snowboard with my husband, my preference is to bury myself under a warm blanket with a good book, and maybe stretch my muscles by reaching for the tea mug. From different sporty activities I've tried in my life, dance/cardio classes like Zumba were my favorite, and I also like taking long walks.
16. My feet get cold very easily, which is why I love wearing fuzzy slippers at home and like to buy my winter boots in Poland, where you can get real leather honest-to-God cute boots with an insulating fuzzy on the inside (my newest pair has a sliver of silver on the toe cap and an exposed silver zipper at the back, and they're very high).
17. I have one brother who's older by 5 years and lives in Warsaw, and he's currently starting his own law practice. In terms of looks, none of us took very much after our parents and we don't really look much alike either, but we're always told that we have the same smile. I'll take that because I think my brother has a really cute smile - doesn't he now? I wish I had his blue grey eyes and loose curls too!
19. My Zodiac sign is Virgo, and while I don't take much stock in horoscopes, I have to agree that I share some of the typical characteristics of this sign: I'm more of a rational, analytical thinker that needs to bring order to chaos (or you know, organized to the point of OCD), I'm quite independent, and I like to be precise and reliable in what I do. In the Chinese zodiac, my animal sign is Tiger, which is supposed to be a charming, self-possessed, courageous but rather sensitive and moody personality. I can definitely agree with sensitive and moody, but not so much with the 'charismatic leader' part. Well, Virgo & Tiger is an interesting combo anyway!
20. I like sour foods a whole lot; my favorites include lemonade, freshly squeezed orange juice, raspberries, red currants, kiwis, gooseberries, a bunch of those weird Polish fermented foodstuffs like sauerkraut, dill pickles or sour rye soup (especially zalewajka), and I love things marinated in vinegar, like cornichons, sunomono, wild mushrooms, plums or pears spiced with clove. Yum! (I'm sure half of you is salivating right now, while the other half is seriously grossed out #sorrynotsorry)
|Recent Whole Foods acquisition - tastes great in salads.|
22. For a beauty-obsessed person, I very much dislike having things done in the grooming department; I hate facials because I stress out and hold onto the esthetician's bed for dear life, barely tolerate pedicures because my feet are tickly, object to hair styling because duh, boring. I do like beauty rituals in the safety of my own bathroom though, and I like relaxing in a hot tub or sauna.
|Squirrels in Poland are definitely red, with a super fluffy tail and extra tufty ears.|
|And a surreptitious drawing of a hobbit, from David Day's book.|
25. Often when I'm thinking hard (or just lost in thought, aimlessly staring into space), I tend to move my feet subconsciously: I wiggle and turn my ankles, rock my leg from knee down, tap my toes on the floor. Funnily enough, my dad and brother do it too, and we jokingly compare it to the leg movements of a chirping cricket (uhm, I stand corrected: apparently crickets chirp by rubbing one wing against the other, not their legs... who knew?).
26. When I was in college, I learnt by way of an experiment at a non verbal communication class that I sometimes intimidate people by staring them down when they're speaking. I was quite confused to learn that anyone at all can find me intimidating, and I don't do it on purpose in the least - I think I just listen a bit too intently to what the other person has to say, and it helps me to understand their meaning better if I can look at them - which is one of the reasons I hate talking on the phone.
|I swear I don't mean to stare... or do I?|
28. Speaking of collecting, I had some very interesting collections when I was a child: stickers, pages from cartoon notepads, little toys from Kinder Surprise, stamps, printed napkins, seashells, silver necklace charms, small tins and giftboxes. I'm obviously a collector at heart but I now try to avoid amassing too many things; apart from make-up though, I like buying tea cups, books, scarves and earrings, and we also receive a variety of fridge magnets from our families' travels in Europe and beyond.
|Newest addition: a tiny espresso cup, handmade in Bolesławiec|
30. I carry a scale from our Christmas carp fish in my wallet for good luck. Every year, my mum puts some scales aside for us at the request of my dad, who then makes sure they're being carefully stowed away in wallets and purses. I'm not a superstitious person but I regard it more as a family tradition that I'd like to pass along one day.
Gosh darn it, this was hard, you guys - hopefully you're not bored to death now and at least you had a good laugh looking at pictures of me as a kid. I don't usually tag anyone, but I'd love to see some random ramblings from Driveller Kate at drivel about frivol, Bellyhead at Wondegondigo, Liz at Beauty Reductionista and everyone who feels like it. Spill it, ladies!