We All Need Some Good News

Dear Optimists,

Den is a huge Office fan. HUGE. HUUUUUUGE. He pretty much watches it daily. It makes him so so so so so so so so happy.
So when John Krasinski posted his new Youtube show, Some Good News, Den was pretty excited. Especially when Steve Carell was on Some Good News as well!
John’s show is a combination of fun and positivity, something we here at DO adore. We love that the show is making such a positive impact on people. We ALL need some good news.
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Den is hoping John does more. Lots more. Maybe one with Jenna Fischer?
Or just make an Office reunion season already!
Love,
Den & Nadia
P.S. Den’s favorite Office episode is Stress Relief. What’s yours?

Pillow and Blanket Fort, Anyone?

Dear Optimists,

How are you dealing with the stress that everyone is feeling right now?

We have always built pillow and blanket forts, but these days they’re a bit different. It’s kind of a kindergarten for Baldur, a place for Alda to study and read – and it doubles as my work space! All at once. Can you imagine working inside a pillow fort? It’s AMAZING.

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Often we’ll listen to audio books while cozying up under the blankets – both stories and educational books, of course.

A blanket fort is a great example of how you can be together with your kids, enjoy yourself (because who doesn’t love a fort!?) and make your boss happy because you get your work done. All in the comfort of a giant, fluffy pile of pillows and blankets.

Life hack, you know.

Love,

Nadia and Den

Foraging in Denmark

Dear Optimists,

In Denmark, Nadia has been spending some time on learning how to make sour dough, which is fun for everyone (especially watching it rise).

She is also making food from things she and her family find outside. Imagine that, optimists? Foraging in 2020! These times have created such a unique opportunity to try new things with the family (or whomever you are stuck inside with!)

Nadia’s kids are now showing interest as well. They search for dandelion leaves, nettles (small plants high in vitamins), and more.

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Den wasn’t sure what nettles were or how to use them, so Nadia told him.

“They’re a certain type of plant. They sting so you have to be careful. It’s the new shoots of nettles that are good to eat. Collect, wash, dry and put them in the freezer. Smash them up and put it in your dough. Boom. Vitamins galore.”

Sounds like fun! But with Den’s luck he would collect poison ivy by accident.

Love,

Nadia & Den

Facetime is the New Playdate

Dear Optimists,
My daughter misses school. Who wouldn’t?
She’s been a little down with only mommy and daddy to play with. We have fun, of course, but let’s face it…we aren’t kids.
Facetime has become her new playdate. She talks to her friends, showing them all of her toys. She tells her cousins what she did today. She learns short lessons from her grandparents and great aunt, who are just trying to give me a nice, quiet 20 minute break.
Untitled-Artwork-2.pngAre you using FaceTime or Zoom or something else to have chats? I hope so. Everyone needs to have some sort of human interaction.
You can always start a comment conversation with us. We would like that. And we would definitely respond.
Love,
Den & Nadia

Bear Hunting

Dear Optimists,

This week, my neighborhood is doing something nice for the kids.

People are putting teddy bears in the windows. Why, you may ask?

Well, with all that has happened, people are walking around the neighborhood much more. We walk during breaks, or on nice days, or just to get our kids (or ourselves) out to move around a bit.

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Someone had the brilliant idea to start a trend; put a bear in a window that can be viewed from the street…then take the kids out to look for the teddy bears.

It’s called a BEAR HUNT! And it’s fantastic.

Love,

Den and Nadia

P.S. Nadia says in Denmark they are doing something similar with rainbows. Is anything like this happening where you live? Let us know in the comments!

Everyone is Nicer

Dear Optimists,
Is it just me, or are you noticing everyone is a little bit nicer these days? Is that everywhere or just where I live?
Yes, there’s a pandemic. But humanity is being so much more…human.
I’m raking the yard. A stranger walking by says hi.
A lady is pushing her son on a cart, and they both wave. My daughter has a conversation with them from across the street. Next thing we know, we have a play date “when this whole thing is finally over.”Untitled-Artwork 1.png
I take the kiddo for a walk. Everyone we pass asks how we are and if things are good. Some even ask if we need anything.
All from six feet away.
Is it possible we needed to get farther to become closer?
Love,
Den & Nadia
P.S. Let us know if people seem nicer where you are! Tell us stories in the comments.

New Book & Facebook Page

Hey all! Since Den just had his third book published, he got an author Facebook page! So head over and like him here so you can keep up to date on what’s going on with him.

He misses you all (and posting here) thoroughly. But he IS feeling quite optimistic still, and things are quite well for him. He got married, went to London on honeymoon, and in general is quite happy.

Here’s a description of his new book:

On the day author Dennis Finocchiaro sat and started interviewing his grandfather for a graduate school project, he never knew how far into the past he would travel or the range of emotions he would feel. This is the story of Rosario “Charlie” Finocchiaro through the eyes of his grandson Dennis, throughout his childhood in 1920s Philadelphia to war in Italy all the way up to his retirement in Havertown; Inheritance introduces the reader to the life of an everyday man, a soldier, contractor and patriarch. Experience childhood in 1920s Philly, wartime Italy during World War II, the Jersey Shore throughout many decades, and contemporary suburban Philadelphia in a memoir that jumps through the last one hundred years and introduces the journey of a grandson getting to know his grandfather thanks to an assignment. Humor, romance and even a few bootleggers make this nonfiction account of one man’s life both heartwarming and informative. Travel through time with a grandson as he learns his family’s history, heritage, and ultimately, his greatest inheritance.

If you miss us, dear optimists…

we apologize! We were finding it a bit tough to come up with content, what with the craziness of life and all. But if you miss us, here are some things to check out that Den has been up to:

Den’s blog, of course. Some of you probably already follow it, but just in case, he writes on there sometimes, and of course most of his stories are at least a little optimistic.

Children’s Literature: Den has been writing and self-publishing some kid’s books with his time off from D.O. He has been lucky enough to work with some TERRIFIC artists and has learned to create ebooks with some diligence. Here is some info on them:

A Day in the Dumps: the story of Joey, whose favorite toy is thrown out and his mom takes him on a quest to find the dump and locate the toy. It’s a nice bonding experience for mother and son, and Joey also learns of the importance of recycling. Artwork by Monica Minski. Available on Kindle and in the iTunes bookstore.

 

The Princess of the Land of Black: Princess Onyx is tired of her father, the king’s refusal to use anything that isn’t the color black. She knows there must be more out there, so leaves her father’s kingdom on a quest to learn about the world. Artwork by Lyndsaye Greke. Available on Kindle.

 

 

Even if you don’t have kids, they are fun reads. Or maybe you could recommend them to others! Either way, Den misses all of you and hopes everyone is well.

Time off

Dear Optimists,

This is us these days!

I’m spending every waking hour at the University, writing essays, articles and yet another thesis. It’s absolutely fantastic and I love every bit of it.

Den is of course busy planning the perfect wedding – as you can see on the picture, he’s very preoccupied.

This isn’t goodbye. Our lives are just so amazing these days that we can’t find time to write all the fantastic things down and draw it up for you.

Don’t worry, we’ll be back… we’re just taking a break.
We’ll miss you!

Love,
Nadia.

To do before I die #1

Dear Optimists,

Last night, I was thinking about what I want to do before I die. All sorts of crazy things came to mind: Scooba diving in Australia, bungee jumping, roadtrips with my future children, drive a Ferrari F40 (red, of course)(childhood dream); all things that won’t happen within a reasonable time frame.

Then I remembered.

When I was a kid, I tried building an igloo. It took forever and I never finished.

In other words, one of the things I want to do before I die is to gather friends and build that godforsaken igloo.

Building an igloo – have you ever tried that? Any pro tips?

Love,
Nadia.

P.S. Typical me realising such thing now the snow’s gone…