Bayesian search. Is it the best way to tune your hyperparameters?

Andrei Manea

As you may know, every machine learning model, whether it's a tree based one, or a deep neural network consists of trainable parameteres (weights, bias etc.) and hyperparameteres that can not be optimized during the training process. After acquiring a dataset, you have to initialize and optimize the weights of every layer, or just optimizing (if you use transfer learning). This process is computationaly expensive for a set of hyperparameters (h1, h2,…, hn) and we have to find a way of performing fewer runs. In this article, we will briefly talk about 3 ways of hyperparameter tunning, with the final accuracy and the runtime.

Model and Dataset

For this article, we've chosed a light dataset regarding the dairy products industry. We will forecast the monthly milk production based on past quantities of Cotage cheese, Icecream and fat. Because the values varies through time we have to deal with a time series subject.Therefore, we'll use a tree based model, xgboost and try to optimize its hyperparameters.

In [1]:

import xgboost as xgb
import pandas as pd
import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
from datetime import datetime

from skopt import BayesSearchCV
from sklearn.model_selection import train_test_split, GridSearchCV,RandomizedSearchCV, \

from sklearn.preprocessing import LabelEncoder
from sklearn.metrics import mean_absolute_error, explained_variance_score


We will use Month.Count as index drop the last 2 columns which represents the squared and the cubed value of the month number.

In [3]:

columns_to_drop =['monthNumSqred',  'monthNumCubed']
for col in columns_to_drop:
year_column = 'Year'
month_column = 'Month'
timestamp = 'Month.Count'
cheese_column = 'Cotagecheese.Prod'
icecream_column = 'Icecream.Prod'
milk_column = 'Milk.Prod'
fat_column = 'N.CA.Fat.Price'

In [4]:



Now, one of the most important step is understanding the data and "make a lot of plots". We can easily notice that the icecream production has higher values than the others. Therefore we decided to plot it in another figure.

In [5]:

fig, (ax1, ax2) = plt.subplots(2,1, sharey=False)

ax1.plot(dataset[timestamp], dataset[cheese_column])
ax1.plot(dataset[timestamp], dataset[milk_column])
ax1.plot(dataset[timestamp], dataset[fat_column])
ax1.legend(['cheese', 'milk', 'fat'])

ax2.plot(dataset[timestamp], dataset[icecream_column])


[<matplotlib.lines.line2d at0x170a5bb89c8="">]</matplotlib.lines.line2d>

Here we can see a seasonal patern inside the icecream graph. The milk is week corelated in the begining, but with time and on the test side may work relatively well.
The next step is to encode the month column using a LabelEncoder from sklearn.

In [6]:

encoder = LabelEncoder()

month_column_enc = month_column + '.enc'
dataset[month_column_enc] =encoder.fit_transform(dataset[month_column])

In [7]:

features = [timestamp, year_column, month_column_enc, cheese_column, icecream_column, \
features_scaled = [col + '.scaled' for col in features]
milk_column_scaled = milk_column + '.scaled'

Another sklearn tool will help us spliting the data into train and test. Test will be 15% of the data and because it's a time series problem, we'll not shuffle the lines.

In [8]:

X_train, X_test, y_train, y_test =train_test_split(dataset[features],

In [9]:

y_train = pd.DataFrame(y_train,columns=[milk_column])
y_test = pd.DataFrame(y_test, columns=[milk_column])

Now we'll scale the other numerical features, manually simulating a MinMaxScaller. Precisely, we'll get the maximum and minimum values from the training set and apply the formula with these parameteres on both the training and test set.

In [10]:

X_minimum = X_train.min()
X_maximum = X_train.max()

y_minimum = y_train.min().values[0]
y_maximum = y_train.max().values[0]

In [11]:

X_train[features_scaled] =(X_train[features] - X_minimum[features]) / \
                                                       (X_maximum[features]- X_minimum[features])

X_test[features_scaled]= (X_test[features] - X_minimum[features]) / \
                                                      (X_maximum[features]- X_minimum[features])

y_train[milk_column_scaled]= (y_train[milk_column] - y_minimum) / (y_maximum -y_minimum)

y_test[milk_column_scaled]= (y_test[milk_column] - y_minimum) /  (y_maximum -y_minimum)

In [12]:

X_train_arr =np.array(X_train[features_scaled])
y_train_arr = np.array(y_train[milk_column_scaled])

X_test_arr = np.array(X_test[features_scaled])
y_test_arr = np.array(y_test[milk_column_scaled])

The following search methods require K-Fold Cross Validation. However, the regular one does not fit on time series subjects, because that means predicting the past behaviour based on future events, and this may interfere with the pattern that our model tries to understand. So,we'll use a TimeSeriesSplit which folds the dataset only from right to left (future through past).

In [14]:

xg_reg = xgb.XGBRegressor()
ts_split = TimeSeriesSplit(n_splits=2)

Grid Search

One of the most popular approach is to list all the hyperparameter possible values in a multidimensional grid and to run the training process for each point. In the bellow figure, we have 2 parameters,one with a great impact and one with a lesser. The colored graph represents the score of the trained model.
As you may see on the red graph, the grey points are the values we get; but there are a lot of higher points between them that we ignore. A naive solution would be to set more points for all parameteres. But acording to the exponential complexity, this will lead to the Curse of Dimensionality.

Bellow, we set the search space: it consist of list of fixed values.

In [52]:

search_params = {
   'objective': ['reg:squarederror'],
   'eval_metric': ['rmse'],
   'n_estimators': np.arange(1, 25),
   'max_depth': np.arange(1, 15),
   'min_child_weight': np.arange(1, 15),
    'booster':['gbtree', 'dart'],
   'verbosity': [0],
   'learning_rate': [0.01],
   'random_state': [101]

In [53]:

start_time =

grid_search = GridSearchCV(xg_reg, search_params,cv=ts_split,
                           verbose=1,n_jobs=3), y_train_arr)

time_elapsed = - start_time

Fitting 2 folds for each of 15288candidates, totalling 30576 fits

 In [54]:




'eval_metric': 'rmse',

'learning_rate': 0.01,

'max_depth': 3,

'min_child_weight': 1,

'n_estimators': 39,

'objective': 'reg:squarederror',

'random_state': 101,

'verbosity': 0}

Randomized Search

Instead of having a list of possible value, this time we'll use a probability distribution (usually uniform). On every step, a random variable is generated for each hyperparameter. This is much faster and the process has no end, therefore a new parameter should be specified (n_iter).

In the bellow figure, we have 2 parameters of opposite importance and a scenario where the local maxima is archived. But there are multiple scenarios where it is hardly found, because, for example, if we have uniform distribution, each real point is an equal candidate to be the next one.So the local minima/maxima can be found either in 2 steps, either in 2000,depending how luck you are, right? :)

In [55]:

import scipy.stats.distributionsas dists

search_params = {
   'objective': ['reg:squarederror'],
   'eval_metric': ['rmse'],
   'n_estimators': dists.randint(1, 25),
   'max_depth': dists.randint(1, 15),
   'min_child_weight': dists.randint(1, 15),
    'booster':['gbtree', 'dart'],
   'verbosity': [0],
   'learning_rate': [0.01],
   'random_state': [101]


In [56]:

start_time =

random_search = RandomizedSearchCV(xg_reg,search_params, cv=ts_split,
                               verbose=1,n_jobs=3, n_iter=2400), y_train_arr)

time_elapsed = - start_time

Fitting 2 folds for each of 2400candidates, totalling 4800 fits

In [57]:



{'booster': 'dart',

'eval_metric': 'rmse',

'learning_rate': 0.01,

'max_depth': 3,

'min_child_weight': 1,

'n_estimators': 23,

'objective': 'reg:squarederror',

'random_state': 101,

'verbosity': 0}

Bayesian Search

This one is a solution to the luckily randomized search mentioned above. It provides a method of adjusting the probability distribution, based on previous experiments.

If we take the performance of the model on the given data as a function f(x) = Y, we want to minimize it but without using gradients base methods. The idea is based on taking f as a stochastic gaussian process.

That sounds pretty tough, right? :) Well, it's not. It means that a vector Y of all unknown points is a multivariate normally distributed variable. This give us a probability P (below formula), where y0 is a lower value of our best loss function, and the greek letter Phi is the cumulative normal distribution function with given parameters (cdf).

Actually the implemented algorithm computes the conditional probability (based on ys which are the observed points). If you're interested in the formula and the proof of this assumption you can check here. The key partis that this probability is updated after each step.

Also it gaves us a way of implementing some acquisition functions. These are lighter function that can be minimized and the result is the next tuple of parameters to be tried. One example is the lower confidence bound. As a consequence to the distribution of Y, every point y is normally distributed.

According to 3-sigma rule, we have the possible values for y (below formula). But we're interested in the lower bound, therefore, if you take as acquisition function a , and minimize it, you'll get h as the next hyperparameter tuple.

In [58]:

from import Real,Categorical, Integer

search_params = {
   'objective': Categorical(['reg:squarederror']),
   'eval_metric': Categorical(['rmse']),
   'n_estimators': Integer(1, 25),
   'max_depth': Integer(1, 15),
   'min_child_weight': Integer(1, 15),
    'booster':Categorical(['gbtree', 'dart']),
   'verbosity': Categorical([0]),
   'learning_rate': Categorical([0.01]),

In [64]:

start_time =

bayesian_search = BayesSearchCV(xg_reg,search_params, cv=ts_split,
                               verbose=0,n_jobs=3, n_iter=100), y_train_arr)

time_elapsed = - start_time



In [65]:




            ('eval_metric', 'rmse'),

             ('learning_rate', 0.01),

            ('max_depth', 3),

            ('min_child_weight', 1),

            ('n_estimators', 25),

            ('objective', 'reg:squarederror'),

            ('random_state', 101),

           ('verbosity', 0)])


On these examples, the grid search gave us a better result than the randomized ones. So there is not a right answer on which optimization method is the best one, it depends on the context. If your model is light and runs in a few miliseconds(like this one) you may very well try the grid approach. If your model is computationally expensive like a deep neural network, you should try the latest 2, especially the bayesian search. Its strategy may lead you, in the worst case, in the proximity of a local minima, but in much faster way than grid search.
Also if you are having trouble in understanding the meaning of each hyperparameteres, the bayesian relieve the importance or the a patern of combining a few of them to optimize your final model.


If you want to run this, you need to install some libraries with pip, anaconda or other tools. I recommend you Anaconda, to install it and use the links from below to run from the command line of the specific environment. If you have any issues with the xgboost or skopt running inside a Jupyter Notebook, run the lines from the following cell.


In [ ]:

import sys
!{sys.executable} -m pip install xgboost
!{sys.executable} -m pip install scikit-optimize

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In this era of rush and unintended superficiality, the COVID-19 pandemic came as a call for silence, introspection, isolation and care for those in need.If there is something nobody told us though, is that this mix of introspection and isolation (that sounds more like the perfect recipe for a high price meditation retreat), may be sometimes surrounded by a cloud of feelings. Ironically, right now, the sense of community is awakened more by the isolation than by the physical closeness that we've been experiencing before. Our reality transformed itself so much that some days we wonder if it's some SF stuff or if this is really happening.This calling of our community and the need to keep sharing moments with one another determined us to start a journal.

"What the journal should do?" you may ask.
We invited everyone to write, anonymously or not, how this pandemic and social distance are making them feel. It can be the humor behind one's morning rush to catch their commute only realizing that they're only half-dressed and that for a while their office will be the kitchen or the sense of solitude that lays beside a quiet night while watching one of their favorite plays online. All being said, we encouraged everybody to share and keep the Journal alive.
We will be updating it daily, so if someone's not quite ready for the sharing part, they can still feel the community's daily vibe just checking it.

As we all know, "#weMindEachOther" is a state of mind, not a place.

Day 1 (30.03)

Ioan Anton

Started 5th week in insolation and despite the examples of other countries that we (Romania) are with 1 month back of the ones that have a large number of casualties and problems, I am getting armed with hope, optimistic thoughts (as much as possible) and a large number of activities that are keeping me engaged and ease my time passing in isolation.


Today I am struggling to see also the positive side for the coronavirus crisis and find meaning in all that is happening right now. It reminds me about the important things in life - family, health, relationships (including a very good relationship with myself). It is like someone is making an experiment to teach us a lesson, maybe that lesson that was perfectly summerized by The Little Price in "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."


As no trouble comes only by my mouses' battery died.


The first week was kind of like a bubble - happy to be home with my loved ones. The second week was hard, dark and fearful. Now I'm more connected with my truth, being it happy or hard, than I was in a long time. It makes me feel complete. It makes me...well, me.


How fun it is to try to avoid the other video calls from the house and find a spare room :)

Day 2 (31.03)


Why am I so sensible to the weather outside, if my life is entirely inside these weeks? A little ray of sunshine coming through my window will instantly change my mood #iWantMySpringBack

Ioan Anton

This was my last day in a project that i spent almost 3 years. It was a great experience for me so today I needed to spend some time to leave some knowledge that I accumulated in order that my colleagues have some information on different parts of the project that I worked on.

Jane Doe

I think they call them "does" because of all the hit and runs, which is a bit sad if you think about it. What happened to Bambi? First of all, great idea - the whole "write down your thoughts" thing. Reminds me of one of the greatest and at the same time most horrible teachers I ever had. I remember him by one thing, and one thing alone, namely - Postmodernist literature class, the time when I learnt that you don't read Faulkner to understand what he wants to say (that's the deal with all the crap in Latin), you just read Faulkner, period. And there's this guy, mid-50s, unmarried, frustrated teacher, asking a bunch of 20 year olds, in 2017, if any of them keep a diary. Hilarious, right, but the way he put it - "Do any of you ever take a moment to think about what you do, what you feel? Do you have any idea why you do what you do, why you feel how you feel?" I mean, hilarious, right? Who has time for that? That's one of the best ways I cope with leaving the house just for dark chocolate and not knowing how long until I get to see my parents and my brother - take a bite out of the good old madeleine.


This day was so blue! But also full of work and accomplishments. So I could call it a winner.


Day #21 in isolation - Today it was nice... birds singing, children playing, sun was shining... Thanks God for that bottle of Chardonnay forgotten on the bottom shelf!


Pinky day today ~ My mouse battery came alive! Kidding, it's a new one and now life's better. AND I didn`t check the news today!


My morning office/kitchen window reveals the back door of a local store. People come and go bringing supplies I go and buy once a week. I seldom feel some kind of envy on the people free to walk the streets then I remember how fortunate I am to be able to protect my family and myself by working from the comfort of my home. Stay home, stay safe, stay sane and stay thankful.

Domnul C

This is the 21st day in auto-isolation. All the days are following this pattern: eat -> work -> eat -> work -> exercise -> eat(+alcohol) -> relaxation(2 h max) -> sleep I will come back with an update if/when something will change. Observation: I'm glad that 2 forms of salutation will disappear (at least for a while): cheek kissing and handshake

Day 3 (1.04)


Last night I received some amazing news - my best friend just got into remission and he is close to beat cancer for the second (!) time. If it wouldn't have been this social distancing, probably I would have been in Timisoara right now to celebrate it together. I really needed these good news.


Today was a good day because I am (slowly) connecting to the new reality, while continuing to be connected to the same me. To be able to make jokes and not take myself too serious feels refreshing. What other better proof that we can not controll everything in life than this coronavirus crisis? But if I let fear to be dominant, I will miss the excitment of the unknown. Always said that I love surprises, now is the time to prove it. I choose to have faith in the collective "us", in humankind. Without being a religious person, I choose to believe.

Domnul C

See Day2


Two days ago I read an article saying that what we're feeling now, during these times, is grief - we are grieving the loss of our life as it used to be. As a result, the process we are going through is similar to grieving - there are 5 phases: Denial - "This virus won't affect me", Anger - " Why is this happening?", Bargaining - "Ok, if I stay inside for two weeks, then can I have my life back?", Depression - "This will never be over, things won't ever be the same, I am suffering so much", and finally - Acceptance - "This is the situation now and I have to make the best of it. Things WILL get better". Today, after already passing the first three phases and spending almost a week in the fourth, I think I have finally started my path towards Acceptance. I'm not yet there, I'm still sad a lot, and maybe I won't ever fully be there, but the feeling of acceptance and content is starting to grow, I feel it. I'm starting to think more positively, to see the silver linings of this situation clearer, and who knows, maybe by the time this is over, I'll see life in a brighter light. Maybe we all will. Stay safe, stay sane :)

Ioan Anton

First day in new project, excited to work with new and old colleagues that I crossed path with. New challenges awaits, new business requirements to understand, new projects figure out how to open them...about this does anyone know why this damn 'npm install' command doesn't work on front-end project?


Day #22 in isolation - my dog is upset that I’m working to much, I have to take more breaks and play more with him. The makeup game is still strong, I won’t give up and I will wakeup every morning really early and have the same routine, my mental health is important. I wonder how much time will pass until my Ikea order will arrive and where I can find some new vinyls cause I played so much the ones that I already have, Dean Martin is still my favorite. Maybe I should order more wine and cook more.


Today I thought a lot about diversity. That's what I miss most. I miss humans. I miss authenticity. I miss vibes. I miss places. That is how I used to learn about, people. I used to observe everybody and learn, and love. I learned to love them all, differently, just how they needed it. Now I'm stuck in this apartment. But that's how I can love people now, isn't it? Protecting them, staying home.

Day 4 (2.04)


Today I fell in love with being alive. Today I got to take a walk outside. A needed one 'cause the dog was out of food. Today I wondered what is it about humans that makes us appreciate the things/places/people just after they are not ours anymore.Today I felt the sun while walking and felt like it was the first time. Today I saw people, random people, normal people with different eyes. Today I learned to be grateful for everything and anything in particular. Today I learned to feel the feelings being them heavy or uplifting. 'Cause if we are feeling them it means that they are supposed to be there, right? Today, between my home and the vet, I felt that weird combo of pure sense of freedom and paranoia that I used to feel when I was skipping classes in high school. I was so happy to be out but couldn't get rid of that "we're gonna catch you". Today was a good day.


Today was a good day because I am (slowly) connecting to the new reality, while continuing to be connected to the same me. To be able to make jokes and not take myself too serious feels refreshing. What other better proof that we can not controll everything in life than this coronavirus crisis? But if I let fear to be dominant, I will miss the excitment of the unknown. Always said that I love surprises, now is the time to prove it. I choose to have faith in the collective "us", in humankind. Without being a religious person, I choose to believe.

Domnul C

The order that contains 3 bottles of sanitary alcohol was delivered to me. Now, I can disinfect objects more often. I ate baked chicken. I like chicken. I'm still undecided if I will drink palinca or wine this evening. I like both.


The sun today was absolutely beautiful. It gave me a lot of energy to make it between the video calls running all day and the fights between my two little ninjas. Another day healthy checked - thankfully sanity is still checked also. We are still humans just in a smaller universe.


Day 17 of quarantine: I went to Mega Image for some bread and water and when I came back I waited 30 minutes in front of the door just to feel like I was at Apollo again.


I`ve just realized that I skipped Day 3 :( Oh well, it was a rough day and I couldn`t focus as much as I wanted. The news that a close relative may have Covid19 it scares me and I am trying to be optimistic and positive - she needs all the good vibes Today was a bit better, I was productive and I did enjoy my colleagues'jokes - Yey! Everything will be ok, I know that!

Day 5-7 (3.04-5.04)

Domnul C

I'm thinking to isolate the ventilation hole from my bathroom. If the cigarette smoke can enter through there, I guess the virus also can. During the weekend, I want to exercise and watch "The Platform" on Netflix.


Today I have a baaaad headache! Some say that it`s all because the chemicals we breath in this period of Covid19...they spray it everywhere; but what I`s because I stress too much. Happy it`s Friday...hurraaaayy! Mhm no, the stress is still here. Oh well, I`ll get used to it. PS: my cousin is feeling better


Day 26 of quarantine: I bought "Eugenia" to feel like I'm at Mindit again. Eugenia is the best thing ever!!!!


From no cooking one month ago to 5 dishes on Sunday: soup, muffins, asparagus, banana bread and chicken with smashed potatoes. Obviously, I am an "All or nothing" type of person. Note to myself: take care of what you start getting into! I have bought only 5 bottles of wine...


I'm always thinking about my greatest dream - to become an astronaut. Obviously I'm not anything close to an astronaut. But I like to think that one of the Universes in the Multiverse has a me that lives this dream. To know the space, to see it, to live it.

Day 8 (6.04)


Early March was the wrong time to delay getting a haircut...


Dear Journal, This is my first entry... I have so many thoughts that I could write here, but I'll try to keep it short. Today seemed to be a pretty productive day, even though I woke up really late 'cause I couldn't sleep and I am sneeeezing sooo bad, probably allergy (grrr spring). I am really happy that I also managed to help some colleagues - I think this is one of the things I like the most: helping others/the team, offering them support. Even though I've been pretty stressed in the past weeks, today I remembered the old me and how much it matters when working remote, your attitude. If you have a different tone, if you put a certain smiley face, if you type something which can be interpreted wrongly, It can drastically change a discussion. Be careful with that and give only positive vibes - it helps you and others. But anyway, I still have some other stuff to do, 3 more actions on my to do list, but I'll resume later - the advantage of working remotely. xoxo

Domnul C

My main purpose for this week is to find an available delivery interval on a retailer website to place a big order which will include all the things I need for this month. May the force be with me!


This weekend was a lazy one...I did `almost` nothing! Should I be worried? Neeeh... but I think I`m losing my energy and I have to do something to regain it. Also.... I would like to ask "Domnul C.", how was the "The Platform" movie? Is it worth it?

Day 9 (7.04)


Worst part is that i JUST bought a subway monthly pass before going in isolation.


Meetings. Meetings. Meetings.
A day full of meetings - some would say it is not a productive day. But actually, we have closed some opened points, opened new ones and also changed the scenery speaking and spending few hours with different people, which is gold during these times.
But anyway... yes - meetings if they are productive, are really useful and definitely help more than an email in some cases.

Domnul C

1st attempt for placing an order failed. Next attempt will take place today at midnight.
I enjoyed "The Platform" movie, it describes very well the human behavior and it somehow fits with the times we live now.


Today I spent way to much time watching french chefs ...chefing.
Also, I wonder why do we feel this need of partnership? Why are we so eager to use the "us" word?

Day 10 (8.04)


Do I even have time to post something here? I should find time! Because a break is always welcomed.
My balcony is almost cleaned, between work and meetings, we've managed to clean it up and probably in the weekend we will spend time in the sun with a Cuba Libre and online party-ing with friends!


Did not write for few days because I have one question or two that keeps bothering me... What should I do in order to change my mindset from the one prior to COVID-19 crisis to the one that would see opportunities and beauty in the new reality?
How can I project an exciting future for myself (maybe 6 months or 1 year from now) to inspire my current decisions and actions, if I feel traped into the old assumptions and ways of thinking?
So many things changed in my life in the last 3 or 4 weeks, same as for almost anyone on this planet, but it feels like my main believes and ways of thinking are still the same - is this good or bad?
Does it means that I already was in a good place with me and the world and I just need to continue in the same way?
Or does it mean that I am not flexible, open minded, ready to accept the change in my life - therefore I will not be able to see opportunity in building myself into the new reality?
It's probably from no sport and too much cooking...


Couldn't stand it anymore. I went ahead and cut my own hair.
Good thing my sides and back aren't visible during video conferences.

Domnul C

2nd attempt for placing the big order was successful.
Now, I must think at another main purpose for this week.


I am so stressed right now, all I want is to scream really loud. Not cool at all.

Day 11 (9.04)


I keep receiving this memory from 5 years ago on different social medias... when I was working completely remote.
Started in 2014, but after 2 years I've switched because I really missed the feeling of working close with the team. The human interaction that can't be replaced with videos and calls.
Now, with almost 1 month of remote work again, I feel like I'm going back to that period and even though I love working from home, I really miss the office - because its not only about the place, but also about the people giving that "human interaction" mentioned above and that good energy.


Today I finally started exercising. I feel alive again! Have to do it every day.


Today I wanted to share with you an article by Mark Manson (you might know him as the author of "The subtle art of not giving a fuck") which helped my mindset a lot.
It's a bit long (took me 20 mins I think), but it's totally worth the read!
In other news, I'm exploring the positive parts of living alone - might be the basis for a future decision. Also working to improve my routine.
I want to get up earlier, so maybe that Zoom morning coffee is in fact a great idea. :)


I didn`t write anything here for the last 2 days because I was very stressed and I had some bad headaches.
Why stressed? I really don`t know... maybe because I have a lot to do and sometimes I feel soooo drained of energy... Sometimes I don`t recognize this "me".
I always said that it`s hard for me to understand anxiety or depression because I never face it. Nor this time, don`t panic :)) but what I feel is a mix of feelings and most of them are: laziness combined with some headaches and a drop of hope that everything will be fine.
I miss going out and drink a coffee with someone for hours. I really do.

I didn't sign up for this by Black Widow or Pink Unicorn depends who you ask

It was June 2016 when I embarked into a new journey - new job that started with 2 months handover training in Nigeria... Visa, 5 vaccines … didn't know exactly what I wasn't getting myself into it but I spent 2 months of my life "locked" into a campus.
I could get out only in armored car with police protection, couldn't walk on the streets, talking only with a couple of colleagues (local people). It was raining every day and I was eating only rice as I couldn't digest local food.
Now it feels like Nigeria all over again and I didn't sign up for this.... I miss walking on the streets... I miss the smile of the lady that sells me a pretzel… I miss our coffee machine from Bravo and bragging about my 3 colors coffee... I don't want to get emotional and tell you how I miss my mum, my childhood home...
I miss everything that seemed normal and I took for granted... But I see the light, the sun shining again on our street, I have hope and I'm looking forward to the day we will all dance in a big hora.
I will kiss the Earth and I will kiss and hug every person I meet on the street... once is safe and allowed:))
Till then, I'm thankful for video conference, I will keep using at maximum this amazing "invention" on my family, friends and colleagues :)
Till next time, have a good one!

Day 12-14 (10.04-12.04)


Today I realized how productive I am when my house is clean...


Had a really hard couple of emotionally draining days. Starting with last night physically too.
You see, my doggo has health issues and we still don't know what it's happening with her.
Yesterday she had surgery and last night I had to sleep with her on the floor for 2 hours 'cause she was crying so hard that she woke us up. Therefore I had 0 energy level all day.
Now we are waiting for her lab results and I am so scared.
She taught me another level of feelings. Raising her, educating her, having her here with us for every second of our lives made me feel new feels.
It's weird, intense and beautiful.
But bringing some positivism into the equation, I'm glad we did this while being able to be home with her.


Today and this week I felt so bad with this isolation situation.... I just want to get in the car and drive somewhere, maybe in Istanbul or on an island in Greece.
Staying inside makes me think too much and I don't want to think, I need to do something...anything...
Tonight I'll watch an old movie, I've always been in love with old movies, but now I really feel the need for old romance.
Why isn't winter anymore? I wonder why people don't stay at home, the longer we stay inside, the faster we're getting out.
It's the first time since I've known myself when I don't feel the need to celebrate something and with Easter coming I feel even worse... Stay inside and stay safe!


Dear diary,

Let me cut right to the chase – a good, honest one – I have been captive in this submarine for a few weeks now, I thought we were safe, that once we shipwreck (where?!) someone will come after us, that someone is watching a screen with circles and we’re there blinking on it, a dot, a submarine – yeah as if - we’ve been alone for a few weeks now and it’s beginning to be crystal clear /to me/ that we’re not blinking on any screen, and that our sad howls aren’t getting past the submarine’s metal walls. Water, water everywhere you look around. We’ll keep our hands on the hilt to the hilt!

As we all know feelings are art and art it's only perfect in its original state.
This entry was wrote in romanian so we will post the orginial version too.

Draga Jurnalule,

intru direct in paine - d-aia calda, moale - am ramas captiv in submarinul asta de cateva saptamani, credeam ca suntem la adapost, ca odata naufragiat (unde?!) cineva o sa vina dupa noi, ca cineva se uita pe un ecran cu cerculete si noi clipocim pe el, un punct, un submarin, dar de unde, suntem singuri de cateva saptamani, imi e tot mai clar ca nu clipocim pe nici un ecran si strigatele noastre triste nu trec de peretii de metal ai submarinului. apa, numai apa in jur! o sa tinem panzele sus pana-n panzele albe!


I have the best family in the world. Feeeling #grateful

Day 15 (13.04)

Domnul C

I heard that it will rain tomorrow. I'm happy because it will wash my car.
Someone I know sent me a picture with it and it is very dusty.
I hope that when we will be allowed to travel, distancing to be applied mandatory in trains and airplanes. Maybe I will be able to travel comfortable in a train or airplane for the first time in my life!


Today was my second day rowing. It brings me some enthusiasm that I've been lacking these days.
I never realised how hard it is to connect through video calls. I miss the "vibe" of a meeting, that feeling of minds vibing on exactly the same wavelength. Everything is so "robotic", nothing is creative or intuitive anymore.
Or maybe I am just starting to see life through hyperboles.


I find it difficult to connect through phone calls. Video is helping a little bit, but not enough.
There is a certain energy flow that is just missing. It's hard to recharge/increase my level of energy in the job related context, with missing human interactions.
When my mind is taking the lead, my intuition is fading.

Black widow feels grateful

Grateful for family and friends that are far away but safe and in good health...
Grateful for the roof over my head and food on my plate...
Grateful for my friend given by nature, my "twin", my advisor, who gives me strength and patience and wisdom and energy....
Grateful for coffee with my colleagues every morning, video meetings and a lot, a lot and a lot of work!

Day 16 (14.04)


I think I've reached the peak of my blue vibes today. I can't find my motivation anymore.
I need to go outside. I need people, lots and lots of humans all around me.


Freedom was always one of the most important things in my life. Strangely enough, lack of freedom is not the strongest feeling I have these days, but rather my lack of creativity.
It is not the outside world that is shaping who we are, but maybe plays a more important role than I thought in being a source of inspiration to me.

Day 17 (15.04)

Good Fairy

I used to just sit around and read what everybody was writing here.
BUT I saw and felt the blue vibes from the last days and boldly decided to say something.
Hey you, @Gold and @Mars! Cheer up! It's ok to feel weird sometimes. Feelings are beautiful anyway! But another fairy just whispered to me about those coffee meetings @8:30 in the morning. Everybody so ready to start another day and also eager to connect and share and be there. We'll be there, waiting for you, to laugh and connect!
You know "#WeMindEachOther is a state of mind, not a place".

Lots of love,
Good (and shy) fairy


Got my piece of good news today. Doggo's labs are here, she has a little IBD but she's fine otherwise. So happy she is safe and that there isn't any C word mentioned on those results.
It's amazing how  good news can change your hole vibe. I wasn't sure about rowing today but now I'm so ready for it.
Hope these days will bring some peace and quiet for everyone. Maybe some dancing too.


Had great news from the customer today, got me excited and ready to enjoy the Easter break!


I realised I am not that up-to-date with the news - it is somehow an achievement.
The best moment of the day - my baby boy was trying to get my attention while I was so focused working on my laptop when the perfect light touched his face in the same time I looked at him. "I love you, mommy " he said.
The time just stopped and I enjoyed the pure love of motherhood.

Domnul C

I just realized that I never had more than 1 month during the last 20 years without watching a football game! I really hope they will start playing at least behind closed doors.
Maybe tennis can start before football because distancing can be respected easier there, but having in mind rituals like Nadal's who is touching the ball (came from the ball boy) and then his face every time before he serves, I don't think tennis will start earlier..


I`ve started the day with an amazing vibe drinking coffee at 8:30am with my colleagues. We`ve talked about lots of things and for a moment I forgot about the global situation and I had the energy to attent a Cardio online session


Am I the only one who feels that time fly really quick nowadays?
Sometimes when I was at the office a week felt like a year, but now I don't even notice when a week is over. Maybe it's because we gave up on keeping track hours, days, weeks. And this reminds me of some lyrics from a TV show I love "when it hasn't been your day, your week, your month or even your year". Sad reacts only.

Day 18-22 (16.04-20.04)


Today I was full of energy and very productive. I didn't miss the morning coffee with my colleagues and I found out some interesting "tricks" on how to spend my quarantine time! :D

Domnul C

Today I celebrate 1 month since I last left the building I live in. It's not that bad. I can do this at least until the summer of 2021.
What I do like the most about this situation is that I spend a lot less money. My monthly expenses have been nearly halved. I'm not saying that I want this situation to last forever, I'm just remarking some positive aspects.

Pink unicorn

It feels like Easter... It is Easter... No matter the distance, times or pandemics... It is Easter, we are celebrating this holy event and I can feel it through all of my senses.
We adapt, we learn how to handle difficult times, difficult situations... we break eggs, paint entire kitchen, almost burn the house making cozonaci… but we do what we feel in our hearts, in our veins, we do it our way... each and one of us in their particular way... how we saw in our homes, how we remember it from grandparents or simply how we feel it... Happy celebration!

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

When this ends, may we find that we have become more like the people we wanted to be, we were called to be, we hoped to be.


Got a seesion of online gossiping and drinking with my friends, each one of us with a glass of rose or gin.
Watched for the second time "Perfetti sconosciuti". 300% recommend it.
Baked a lot: Tropical fruit cake - Beetroot, ginger and soured cream cake - several other cakes.
Bought me some plants.
Read a book, almost finished another one.
Made some new friends even without meeting them.
Bought some cocktail material from my fav bar.
Step by step, this life it's becoming very close to what I used to experiment before.