"Racism is man's gravest threat to man - the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason."

Abraham Joshua Heschel


"Armina, what race am I?" - I (a human) asked my friend Armina (a human) who was already attending Towson for three years and to whom I turned to for absolutely everything. I was sitting in the Towson University Women's Basketball locker room before the first practice of my freshman year trying to complete a university questionnaire assistant coach handed to all of us. 

"How do you mean? You are white!"- she said while changing. "I thought so but there are more options here." - I said totally confused. Then I peaked at my friend also freshman Alis's questionnaire (a human) and I noticed she marked 'african-american' so I asked her naively: "Are you from Africa?" She laughed and said, no I'm from Maryland and said: "I think you should circle White-European." 

Walking up to practice gym I remember thinking about the skin color for the first time in my life (Croatia where I am from is predominantly white, catholic so I haven't seen much diversity before coming to Towson) and wondering why they have so many race options and why does it matter what color your skin is when playing basketball or attending an university. When handing over the paper to assistant coach I asked her why do they need to know my race - she just said: "It's a standard form, all students need to complete it." I remained confused.

At some point during my sophomore year I started to go out with a guy named Alvin (a human) and we dated for some time. Some of my teammates saw us holding hands walking from classes and when I came to the locker-room I got a side comment from one of my black teammates who half-jokingly said: "Are you dating a black guy Kat? Damn, aren't there enough black girls out there?"Another black teammate just put her hand over my shoulders leaving the locker-room and said: "Ignore her Kat, she is being an idiot today."

Slowly but surely I started to realize how superficially, racially, unfairly and unnecessary segregating people is quietly and slowly eroding most prosperous nation in the world and building prejudices which are now hard corded in the hearts, minds, laws and upbringing of this nation. This big tree is rooting at it's root. The centuries long quite racism has been swooshed under the carpet, now there is no more room there, wind has blown and it's spreading it all around...taking young innocent black lives, making people angry, frustrated and sad. This mental, emotional and every other segregation which was justified with 'acknowledging the differences' or 'helping the minorities' has now erupted and it has caused major economic, health and educational problems for the whole country. 


"Racism is still with us. But it is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall overcome."

Rosa Parks

Black people in America are not a minority and they are not a victim nor an enemy. Acts of individuals cannot be blamed on a single skin color otherwise White skin color people could be forever labeled as the most violent race in the world. The system chosen and set by American people (black, white and all the other colors of the rainbow you put in your little university form) has failed the people as it is programed to divide and not to bring together and develop a nation of kind human beings.

This morning I woke up to terrifying news of racial conflicts and riots in Baltimore, city close to  Towson University where I studied, a beautiful city where bunch of my university friends and teammates still live.

How ironic, the most prosperous country in the world, the nation of the free, the home of the brave, which proud it's self on freedom of speech and equality, which is playing the role of the powerful military force and world's cop is now faced with it's own internal hypocrisy. 

Before we start putting these lazy labels on each other determined solely with what our eye can see at first glance (skin color) why don't we all try to earn, be proud of and nurture an ultimate label of being a decent human being?

What's wrong with you America?


XoXo


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A couple of weeks back I was invited by my friend Lorena Vilanova a blogger and a journalist behind   The Stylistbook blog to visit a designer Pop Up at   The Secret Room in Barcelona. A designer we went to see was a charming Sasha Budnik - designer and illustrator behind the brand   Vasya.

The Secret Room is very special place in Barcelona which combines beauty, art, fashion and leisure. On a regular day this venue is a full time hair studio and soon to be beauty studio as well, but it's also equipped with a bar, a gorgeous terrace and DJ booth. The  Secret Room is a place where you can enjoy variety of events, art expositions, tastings, culinary workshops and fashion showrooms. One can also rent a venue for private event.




Venue is beautifully and tastefully decorated with a unique mix of vintage and modern pieces and has a very friendly staff and management team and it's located in very center of Barcelona at Passeo de Gracia.

The fashion Pop Up we came to see was a full day event organized on a gorgeous sunny day. The event featured five fashion, accessory and jewelry designer but there was also a sitting bags designer, cook and a florist.





Slow Fashion In addition to groundbreaking runway creations, derived from the sweet elegance and superior style of European artisanship, the VASYA collections follow the concept of Slow Fashion.

THE CONCEPT OF SLOW FASHION
Slow fashion, like ¨slow food¨, ¨slow travel¨, or even the ¨slow career¨ which are seen as alternatives to better health and economy in all areas, is an epiphany for fashionistas with waning disposable incomes and a need to have instant remarkable style that will last, and last and last… VASYA by incorporating a long term unique looks has created separate collections for the every-day chic woman to take her beloved accessories and fashions to the next level, by catering them and making them accessible for today’s trends and tomorrows. 

SASHA BUDNIK, fashion designer
VASYA by Sasha Budnik Sasha Budnik is a Fashion Designer and Illustrator, and the creator of VASYA designs. After obtaining a degree in the Fine Arts University (Minsk, Belarus) in 2006 and presenting her first collection in 2003 in Belarus, she established herself in the cosmopolitan city of Barcelona, where she continued her studies at the Instituto Europeo di Design. She is currently teaching in IED and working on her new collections.






“I dedicate my work to bringing out the different “characters” in women – women with personality confidence and a strong sense of self, spirituality and their existence. The most genuine and creative personal style is created not only by a constant developing of trends, but also by individuality.”


Sasha Budnik, fashion designer

Similarly to Croatian designer Kate Almighty, Sasha's signature dresses have open back, usually deep-V cut back cleavage. Although Sasha doesn't produce her collection in large production facilities, in fact all of her items are unique, not more then one piece is produced per style and she uses luxurious fabrics such as silk and lace, her clothing is still quite affordable for a regular women. 

At the Pop Up shop I tried this gorgeous floral crop top but it was just a bit to tight on the shoulders, I am 6'1'' after all. :) My other favorite items of her I liked were of course the backless dresses and another black button up sheer cropped short sleeve sweater which I photographed bellow.











What are your favorite 'secret' gem places in Barcelona? Please do share in comment.
I live in Barcelona for some time now but every week I continue to discover new fabulous place to eat, shop and enjoy!

XoXo
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Long time no recipe post, right? 

Today I decided to share with you my favorite comfort food which I tend to make after a long and physically and mentally exhausting work week. Right before sitting down to post my Friday blog post I take half an hour to make this delicious treat. I actually had it for dinner today! 

In Croatia and surrounding countries just as in Turkey rice pudding is done a bit differently then in US and it's called 'Sutlijaš'.

I always use the opportunity to mix my favorite flavors into rice pudding so here is my way of making it.

INGREDIENTS:

600 ml milk
70g white or brown sugar
2 tea spoons full of vanilla scented sugar 
120g white round grain rice
1 tea spoon full of instant coffee
1 tea spoon of cinnamon powder
1 tea spoon of grated lemon peel

Optional toppings (either/or):

5 tea spoons of shredded coconut
Fresh mint leaves
hand full of shaved almonds
1/2 of sliced banana
handful of dry figs
strawberry jam
assorted berries
sunflower seeds


PREPARATION:

Boil milk mixes with sugar and vanilla scented sugar carefully (don't leave it so it doesn't boil over). 
Add rice and cook for 20-25 minutes on low temperature (I use 5 setting, so mid strength on my electrical stove) steer occasionally. 2-3 minutes before your cooking timer rings add: cinnamon, coffee and lemon peel, mix well. Turn off the stove and let it cool for 10 minutes before serving. My favorite topping are fresh mint leaves as I love mint mocha. Sometimes I even add a bit of coco or tiny pieces of dark chocolate.

If you haven't tried it already I encourage you to because it's super simple, effortless but delicious!

Happy Friday Fabulousness! 


XoXo


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On a beautiful sunny Saturday, a day before Easter I went to Palo Alto Market in Barcelona's well know artistic and urban Born district with my friend Anka. I went both a a curious blogger, always happy to research new designers but also as a buyer on Trendcy, looking to potentially participate on May's edition of Palo Alto Market with some of our Trendcy brands. Super helpful & friendly team of Palo Alto Barcelona market invited me to check out their event's April edition.

For the occasion I was wearing a dramatic A-line floral skirt with Lei Lou by Alex Dojcinovic handbag and H&M grey thin sweater.

A photo posted by Katarina Stimac (@lakatwalk) on


Boy was I surprised when I got there! Pleasantly surprised, the place was comfortably crowded located in gorgeously romantic Carrer de Pellaires passage with walls adorned with plants and flowers the place smelled divine from various beautifully decorated gourmet food trucks parked around the entrance where one could try fresh vegan juices, lemonades,  fresh bread, fruit balls, cupcakes, empanadas, purchase an organic vegetable basket or enjoy some street food on the go be it Asian or Californian! Of course we went straight to drinks and ordered organic lemonades with ginger and snacked on Muns absolutely amazing mini empanadas. 







As we entered the market my eye wondered straight to the stand with gorgeous hats by Miyuu Barcelona. I tried a couple of wool hats but fell in love with white and black Panama hat which designer Cristina showed me that's coming in her new collection, stay tuned to hear more about this brand in my new blog posts.





The venue was segmented in half open half closed spaces to show clothing Spring collections, music and performance section, Mariscal Gallery, Design Gallery, Organized Workshops, Boheme Gallery, Fashion Gallery and street market. On top of clothing and accessories one could purchase various designer items from small home decor and dishes to furnishing. 












Rowdy weekender bags and backpacks are beautifully made out of the softest leather and there is a great positive and charitable vibe in companies story. The brand takes a special care of their shopper, distribution chain and their production keeping their prices really low vs. the quality they provide which is trully high. The philosophy is quotes as: “We all want to help one another, human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery.” 




Babau handbags make a perfect match of a daily necessity, stylish accessory bag and technology. Each handbag has a light that turns on when you open the bag so you will never have to search panically for anything in your bag, Babau helps to light the way through your bag! ;)

Entrance was charged 2 Euro but it's definitely worth to visit and enjoy a gorgeous sunny day at unique venue enjoying the amazing food and shopping really unique designer items surrounded with great crowd and positive vibes. If you find yourself in Barcelona during market weekend, be sure to visit, have fun and grab some unique souvenirs,  you definitely won't be sorry!


XoXo


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