This week I am vacationing (finally) at my boyfriends parents place at Dubrovnik. As a welcome drink his mum who is an amazing cook, now retired and has time for doing more projects around the house served us with samples of her home made liqueurs made with special Croatian home made liqueur (40% alcohol) 'rakija' as a base and various additives per taste as: cherries, walnut or with flowers like Roses.

My boyfriends mum was kind enough to share her recipe with me, containing carefully selected and nurtured ingredients. Later on when drink is ready for consumption, one can decide to water it down or strengthen it up by adding more pure liqueur.

I was personally thrilled with this homemade Rose liqueur because it taste sweet and smells wonderful which makes a perfect girly Summer apéritif. Here goes the recipe:


Ingredients:

1 kg of sugar
1 liter of pure homemade liqueur - 40% alcohol (rakija in Croatia :) )
petals of 20 big pink Roses



Directions:
Mix 1 liter of pure liqueur with 1 kilo of sugar in a large jar (5 liter) and add petals of 20 big pink Roses when they are in their full bloom as this is when the scent is most intensive. Mix all gently and close jar tightly. Keep outside, on the sun for 40 days. Serve in the shot glasses, cold. Enjoy! :)

I am actually thinking about packaging design for Croatian market already ;)
Let me know if you try it lovelies!







"Who ever said that diamonds are girls best friends, 

never owned a dog."


As you know I travel quite a lot with living in between Barcelona and Budapest for a while now. On top, I travel for work and since I don't have anyone who can babysit my dog - Papi while I am away and since I stay in Barcelona for a week or so at a time Papi needs to travel with me each month, by plane. Luckily, he is a young, mid-size dog with curly black hair, puddle mix with a friendly personality and in good health who takes the plane travel rather well.

Still, I am not to excited to have him fly every month as although he is taking it well, it is certainly not natural for a dog to travel so much and I imagine it must be even more stressful for him then it is for me, so I am hoping that this 'living in two cities' situation is just temporary and that we will soon settle in one city which we will be able to call home.

When I was preparing to travel by plane with Papi for the first time I did a bit of investigating online and I was terrified after reading a horror stories on forums and on various blogs, there was also a lot of wrong or conflicting information (I know now) so I decided to simply share with you my experience of traveling with Papi in the last year and a half on almost monthly basics with various airlines in Europe.

Papi is mid size dog (14kg) and he is traveling 'in hold', meaning, he is not traveling in the cabin with me but in his cage/pet carrier in a special climate controlled compartment for pets (not with the luggage).



#1 Getting a flight ticket for a dog & choosing the right airline.

I used to just buy my flight ticket online and come to the airport 45 min earlier then when I travel alone to buy a ticket for Papi on the airline counter, at the time, I was flying with Lufthansa who based on my experience has the highest fees for dog travel. This is not the best way to go about getting a ticket for your dog, as it might happen that there are already 3 dogs on the same flight and there is no available room for your dog, which might result in you having to cancel your ticket as well.

The best way for me now to get a ticket is to call the flight operator directly and ask if there is a room available on the flight for the dog (each flight if you will have stop-overs) once operator confirms there is I buy my ticket for the selected flight and once I get my ticket number I call the provider back and purchase a ticket for Papi with my credit card via phone and then company sends me Papi's e-ticket via email.

“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."  
Ben Williams

#2 Choosing a most pet friendly airline.

As I travel quite often with Papi I had really different experience with different airlines.

When getting a ticket for your dog, you will need to know your pet-carrier dimensions and exact weight as well as exact weight of your dog. I first started traveling with Lufthansa but since I never really knew how much the ticket for Papi will cost me as what I saw online was not what they told me on the airport when I was purchasing the ticket on the counter I ended up paying from 150 - 300 Euro one way, every time the price was different which was quite frustrating for me. Later I flew couple of times with Swiss and they were better and more consistent with prices. Also, I found that the price was different on different airports when purchasing ticket on the counter on the day of the trip - in Budapest I paid with the same company (Lufthansa) 250 Euros and upon my return from Barcelona, in Barcelona, only 100 Euros.

For traveling with a dog 'in hold' my favorite company now is is Air Berlin. They have a really pet friendly and knowledgeable staff, have more room for dogs - 6 vs. other companies which have up to 3 or 4 per flight and their prices are much more reasonable and consistent.


#3 Understand airlines requirements.

As I previously mentioned, you will need to have a FAA (US) and IATA Live Animals Regulations (EU) approved carriers with a proper ventilation, of a proper size for your dog size (dog needs to be able to stand, sit and turn in the carrier and you will need to have a passport for your dog and a health certificate from your vet. Here and here is the link to video with details on how the carrier need to be prepared for the flight.


#4 Getting a health certificate.

Make sure that you go to see your vet within a week before the flight to check a general health condition of your dog and write a health certificate needed for traveling, usually dog's passport contains room for these so vet just writes and stamps the passport. If your dog is older or taking medication, it might not be good to fly with him, also, some airlines will not take a snub nosed dogs like pugs as they often have trouble will breathing and flying in an airplane is more dangerous for them. Vet's are recommending NOT to medicate your dog to calm him down before the flight and many airlines won't take medicated dog's are they cannot guarantee how the dog will react to medicine during flight.

#5 Preparing your dog for a flight.

In preparation for the flight I usually double check that all of Papi's vaccinations are up to date, I take him for a health check and put the carrier in the living room with a thin blanket inside and try to make Papi comfortable to stay in the carrier for couple of hours so he gets used to the carrier and is not to stressed on the day of the flight. During Summer I fly with only early or late flights when it is not to hot and I always give Papi lots of water, when I check in my luggage I walk him outside of the airport a bit until it's time to check in. Also, I do not give him food on the day of the flight at all until we reach the destination.

I hope you find my tips useful, let me know if you have any questions as I pretty much mastered the subject :)

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”  

 Josh Billing





Zadig & Voltaire is another of my top 10 favorite brands when it comes to both price-quality ratio but also because of how versatile, timeless, wearable and careless it is. For me the brand represents that fabulous London rock & roll vibe. It was founded in France by Thierry Gillier in 1997 who has indeed created a new luxury. 

 "The original idea behind Zadig & Voltaire is to create a new luxury. From the beginning, Zadig & Voltaire has naturally established itself as a 'concept store designer' ahead if its time. Zadig & Voltaire is a breath of fresh air, a dream factory, a producer of designs (...) My wish was also to create a French brand and a specific distribution network."

Thierry Gillier, brand founder 

My favorite   Zadig & Voltaire pieces are their amazing 100% cashmere tops, great fitting jeans and pants and leather accessories. So far, my favorite collection (when I first fell in love with a brand) was SS 2012. one where Erin Wasson was their cover girl. Also, as you might noticed from some of my previous posts I have a special place in my wardrobe for scull print (on pretty much everything) which derives from my love for McQueen and his scull prints on cashmere scarves and accessories. 




This year,   Zadig & Voltaire launched an   exclusive jewelry collection in collaboration with Pamela Love as well as   'My Creation' offering where you can custom make your own cashmere pull-over by choosing your own model (out of 2) , color, font and outline and text and get it in 6 working week delivered to your address. :)

Below I have picked some of my very favorite pieces from current SS 2013. collection. 

Most of the   tops & shirts are either 100% cashmere or partially cashmere and extremely comfortable. 

Romantic   lace trim shorts are ideal for Summer while silver   sequin shorts and mini skirt I would wear with grey cashmere and cotton mix t-shirt, booties and leather jacket for Fall and only t-shirt and strappy sandals for Summer and Spring clubbing season.


I am obsessed with the scull iPad case,   soft leather clutches and these fabulous   metallic snake skin booties which I am definitely getting for Fall.

Zadig & Voltaire SS 2013.

Now when I discovered   Zadig & Voltaire store here in Barcelona I am already preparing a special saving jar for my Fall soft cashmere wardrobe essentials. :)







Photo source:   www.jcrew.com | J.Crew bridal party

This Summer I am invited to attend four weddings which can be a challenge when it comes to putting together appropriate outfits, especially if you have many of them one after another, so you need to make sure you don't do a repeat and wear the same outfit twice.

Since I couldn't go to the wedding I was most looking forward to, the wedding of my beautiful Polish friend Ania who married her equally good looking hubby last month now, if all goes well and I will be able to attend next four weddings and now I have one outfit (which I planned to wear to Ania's wedding) ready at least. Three more to go.

Today I went to look around the stores a bit here in Barcelona (and quickly got tired of it) so I continued my perfect wedding guest outfit on the web. In this post I have compiled couple of outfits to share with you, in case you also need some help with putting a perfect wedding guest outfit for weddings you are attending and I also put together a list of common guidelines to think of when putting together an appropriate wedding guest look.

#1 DO NOT WEAR WHITE DRESS.
I think this one is quite self explanatory. While white is majority of times reserved for the bride, you can still wear seasonal trends like monochrome, stripes, metallics or florals.

#2 KEEP IT ELEGANT & SIMPLE.
You friend's wedding is not the appropriate event for you to make a fashion statement on. The bride should be the star of this event so make sure that you look elegant and clean but not standoutish so make sure that you don't go to wild with your make up, big hair and to short or to dark outfits.

Photos:   www.asos.com

#3 PAY ATTENTION TO THE FABRICS AND COLORS.
Since Summer weddings can get quite hot make sure that you choose natural fabrics for your clothing and shoes otherwise you might feel sticky quite early in celebration. When it comes to color selection, most of the time female guests on Summer weddings chose romantic floaty pastel color tones for their outfits, twin sets of skirt and a blouse, cocktail or maxi dresses. If you choose to go with bright primary colors make sure that they are not to dark as dark colors attract even more heat.

Photos: Mary Katrantzoe | Dolce&Gabanna via   www.luisaviaroma.com 

#4 DRESS APPROPRIATELY FOR THE OCCASION.
Of course during Summer our skin gets darker, we feel are more confident to wear shorter dresses but this doesn't mean that the same dress we wear for clubbing is appropriate to be worn at your friends wedding. Most of the time it is not. Keep in mind that bride's dress should be the center of attention, this is her night and you are her guest. If you have a dress with cleavages, maybe you will then make it a bit longer on legs and if you are wearing above the knee dress, then your cleavage should be covered and maybe your dress will have a bit of an open back. If you are unsure, you can always do a quick test in your dress, if you cannot  properly crouch, sit and lean down in your dress easily without showing your private parts, then it probably isn't appropriate to be worn well..anywhere really, especially to the wedding! :)

Photos: both dresses:   Lei Lou by Alex Dojčinović

#5 TRY IT OUT EARLIER & HAVE YOUR CLOTHES FITTED.
Make sure you don't shop for your outfit day before the wedding. Decide and purchase what you want to wear well in advance so you still have time (if needed) to take your clothes to the taylor to get it fitted to your measurements. This is important because you should have fun and be comfortable at the wedding and not having to worry about pulling your dress down or up.

2 EXTRA TIPS!


Don't wear new shoes! Make sure that the shoes you will wear at the wedding are broken down. If you like dancing at the weddings like me and my boyfriend (we get really wild on the dance floor :) ) then you surelly don't want to end up barefoot with blisters before midnight.


Choose natural and light make up & apply it moderately! It gets hot at weddings and you don't want your thick layer of make up to melt and drip all over your boyfriends white shirt or your dress.

Now, where to buy amazing wedding guest dresses?

My recommendation would be: J.Crew, Asos, Luisa Via Roma and Lei Lou by Alex Dojčinović.

I hope you found above tips useful, have fun at the weddings you are attending lovelies!








First time I tried this dish was at Mr.Deb's. I babysat for her and she taught me many things about parenting, housekeeping, books, smart shopping and many other useful skills, especially cooking. Mrs. Deb was an amazing cook and she used to make amazing recipes from all over the world. Peanut noodles was my favorite dish she did.

Today I am sharing with you my own spin to this recipe as I am traveling a whole lot and can't always find all of the ingredients she originally used so I played around with different ingredients and then based on my boyfriends and my own taste I have put together a combo of ingredients which we  the enjoyed the most.

When it comes to quantities of each ingredients I am improvising a whole lot, depending on if I want to have some left overs for the next day lunch or not. The great thing about this recipe, other then being very easy to make is that it doesn't take to much time, it is quite inexpensive and you can make it all through the year with different seasonal vegetables.


  • INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in stripes
  • 3 soup spoons of chunky natural peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 8 ounces whole-wheat thick spaghetti or rice noodles
  • 3 mid size whole fresh peppers (red, green and yellow) 
  • 1 broccoli or shredded carrot (optional)
  • 1 mid size onion 
  • 4 spring onions 
  • a bit of fresh parsley

This recipe takes about 30 minutes to make, the most time you will spend washing and cutting vegetables and meat. First thing I do is that I get the water to boil for pasta and once water boils, I cook pasta for about 10 minutes and once done i just drain it on a side. 

While pasta is cooking I cut chicken breasts into thin stripes (same size as peppers) I poor some soy sauce onto them and leave them in a bowl (not to much just to soak and soften the meat a bit, there shouldn't be much soy sauce on the bottom of the bowl when you are ready to put the chicken in the wok). 
While chicken is sitting in the soy sauce I cut onion and 3 colorful peppers intro thin stripes. Then, I warm just a bit of olive oil in the bottom of the wok and brown the chicken with soy sauce in it, I add onion, wait for it to get tender, then I add the cut peepers and optionally broccoli cut in small pieces and cook it all on mid heat level until it softens. 

In the meantime I mix well minced fresh ginger, chunky peanut butter, soy sauce and optionally a bit of Mirin (Japanese wine) in a bowl, poor this mixture over chicken and vegetables and stir well. If you think it doesn't look creamy enough you can add some more peanut butter. 

Lastly, I add spring onion cut to very small pieces and fresh parsley and steer one more time for a minute, add pasta to wok with sauce and steer all carefully to combine and serve. 

Voila! Bon appetite lovelies! Let me know how it works for you if you try it!


You can find more of the recipes of my faovorite dishes and pastries I make on my Pinterest cooking board.



Photo:   www.bikbok.com

One of my favorite Summer vacation activities are Summer festivals and listening to live music performances out in the open during warm Summer nights. Next vacation which is actually going to happen quite quickly, I planned it for last week of  June when I will spend a week at my boyfriends parents place in Dubrovnik and at the friends wedding in Montenegro couple of days after.

Judging by the weather so far seems like we might have quite an unpredictable weather all through the Summer, thus, I plan to pack wisely (hopefully I won't overpack...again...as always.)

As you know, I live in between Budapest and Barcelona and vacationing in Dubrovnik so I decided to list best Summer festivals hapening in these cities this year and propose best outfit options for each.

Dubrovnik Summer Festival - 10th of July - 25th of August

All dresses via  www.lulus.com 

BUDAPEST

Sziget Festival - 5th of August - 12th of August
WAMP designer fair - June 9th and 23rd, July 7th and 21st

 Crochet top and stripped dress via  www.asos.com 

Festa de la Musica - late June
Musica al Parcs - June - August
Montjuic de Nit - July

All via   www.nastygal.com

When one saids music festival, I automatically think of leather fringe purses, crochet tops and dresses worn over denim shorts and suede boots. When packing for Summer holiday I definitely plan to pack my 'festival staples' like a couple of denim shorts, white cotton and jean long sleeve shirt and a plenty of maxi and cocktail dresses. This season, small bucket bags are making a come back and I have selected a couple of my favorite ones for inspiration in this post. I am planning to get one in beige or salmon color for myself.

Jackie geo black stud purse, 39,90 USD | Topshop 

Other then suede boots which would have been way to hot for Dubrovnik Summer weather I think that when packing for Summer holiday festival converse sneakers are an absolute must for men and women, my favorites are mint color and leopard print pairs from the photo below. For a more romantic and girly look I suggest   Valentino rubber flats (94 Euro) and in case of the bad weather foldable   Butterfy Twist Windsor boots (55 Euro).





Are you ready for Summer vacation darlings? I am about to start packing! :)


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