Cold wind, early night fall, city workers high up on the leathers setting up Christmas lights and people in the windows of cafe's hugging their tea cups with both hands are announcing festive Christmas season in Barcelona. This city has different kind of charm during holidays then snow covered cities in Croatia. 

For this post I built my inspiration for the 'French look' around beautiful wool red beret 'Pardon my French' from Remake Home shop. I paired the beret with a couple of more red accents, my favorite every day mini bag from Homanz, red bandana from Nasty Gal & Mac red lip polish.

We started shooting in the early evening to capture the gold touches of light and busy street life in Barcelona. 


CHRISTMAS IN BARCELONA

Christmas in Barcelona is somewhat different for our family then in Croatia. There is no snow here (which I like) and some celebration customs are much different. Here in Spain Three Kings celebrated on January 6th are more important holiday then Christmas Eve (Nochebuena/ Navidad).

Also, interesting figure in nativity scene in Catalunya (but also parts of Italy and France) is Caganer (a figurine of a peasant literary pooping with his naked butt showing).

Caga Tio (tio means uncle) is a wooden log with a smiley face painted onto one end. Caga Tio also wears a traditional Catalan red hat and is basically the Catalan equivalent of Santa Clause. Tradition is for Caga Tio to be 'cared for' by kids from 8th December until Christmas Eve. The kids need to cover the back of Caga Tio with a blanket to keep him warm, they feed him with orange peel and depending how well they care for him that is how many gifts Caga Tio poops out for them. On the Christmas Eve they beat the log with the stick and sing a song to persuade him to 'poop out' their presents.

Our Family traditions include long preparation and cookie baking. We start decorating and playing Christmas songs beginning of December, also we kept some Croatian traditions so we buy or make an advent reef with 4 candles, we light one every Sunday until Christmas.

Also, we buy Christmas bouquet from local florist early December and then we dry it (contains eucalyptus) and eat lots of Panettone with dry orange peel and black chocolate.  Ante, my boyfriend is in charge of building nativity scene in Betlehem under the tree and we all decorate the Christmas tree together a couple of days before Christmas.

This year my whole family is coming to stay with us for holidays so we will have a full house!

OUTFIT DETAILS

In the post I am also wearing J.Crew striped turtleneck, pearl embellished mom jeans from Uterque and black suede pearl booties from  & Other Stories. I shop a lot from J.Crew because they have tall sizes so I can order denim, tops and especially jackets with sleeves long enough for me but with skinny fit.



All photos, as always by the fabulous Andrina Peric.



Some underwear brands researches say that up to 80% of women are wearing wrong bra size! This is quite shocking but looking back at my own years long search of finding a perfect bra in terms of fit and comfort I actually think this statistic might be true.

My cup size has changed during last two years since I had a baby but generally I can say I am a 85 B. Usually I wear wired bra's with minimal padding. I own a lot of bras including popular bralettes and padded push ups but I daily wear something in the middle of the two which is wired but soft organic cotton seamless bra in neutral colors (black, nude or white). Generally I have been avoiding wearing more structured pushups on a daily basics as my chest felt sore once I would take the pushup bra off after wearing it them for more then just a few hours.

NEW KIND OF PUSH UP BRA

Last several weeks I have been testing new kind of push up bra - Upbra®Upbra® Cleavage Enhancing bras use the new patented ActiveLift® technology to give more cleavage to smaller cup sizes and more lift to women with larger cup sizes than any other bra. 


CONTROLLED LIFT

Upbra is designed to give women with smaller breasts the cleavage which they would hardly get with usual push up bras. Also, the Upbra provides women with larger breasts lift they always wanted. Upbra has a special cleavage control straps in the bottom inner front side of the bra which allows you to control your lift, this is the heart of their ActiveLift® technology. 


At the bottom of each Upbra bra/swim tops is the locking system that let you lock in the cleavage look you want. You just need to hook the cleavage control straps into the slot position you prefer. To get more cleavage, you just need to move the Cleavage Control Strap hooks into a locking slot farther from the center. The farther away the loops are from the center, the greater your cleavage.


STAY UP STRAPLESS

What surprised me the most about Upbra is how well it holds and lifts breasts when worn strapless. the Upbra® Miraculous Stay-Up Strapless Bras have a specialty formulated grip around the band of the bra that will keep your girls up, even when going strapless. This strapless lift up bra also comes with bra straps for when you it's not a strapless kind of day.


The grippy hearts on the inside of the bra and swim cups have been added to the Upbra bras & swim tops to ensure that your cleavage will stay up throughout the day.

BEFORE & AFTER

In comparison to all the other bras I wore through the years I can say that the Upbra provided me with the most accurate cup fit, comfort level, lift and hold that I need. I like that they even have the mobile app which helps you determine your bra size. If you decide to order Upbra through their online shop and for some reason you don't like it, you can return it no questions asked.


If you like the idea of Upbra, check out their sister site: Tanthrough , too.

In one of my recent blog posts I featured one part of Unique Travel Set - jumpsuit which can also be worn as pants which I styled with chunky sweater and a hat. 

Unique Travel Set is a set of 7 perfectly designed and harmonized pieces of clothing packed in a fashionable and multifunctional fabric bag. The set consists of pants, leggings with breathable net, a long shirt, a multifunctional dress, a cap, a belt and removable long sleeves and it all comes in its own multifunctional bag. It weights only 1.7 kilos or just under 4 pounds. 


Luxury Unique Travel Set has also tule scarf and tule t-shirt pictured bellow which ads a bit of sass and a bit of sexy to your classic black outfits.



In today's post I am posting a dressy look where I have styled tunic dress from the set with black Stuart Weitzman thigh high suede boots and Gucci belt. The short sleeve tunic dress features loose fit, it can be worn off shoulder and it has a sheer tule back and sheer tule patching under arms. The tunic has elastic band which allows you to adjust it's length so it can be tunic, mini or knee length dress. 


Removable sleeves can be useful addition when you wear a tunic dress without a blazer or a jacket which makes this set an appropriate year around go to outfit set for your short travels or a daily use. 


What I found is that Unique Travel Set really looks best and most complete for each of us when we style it with our own personal touches and accessorize in the way that best fits our daily lives.

I personally change my outfits 2-3 times per day. In the morning I literally jump out of the bed and have just about 2-3 minutes to dress as I spend most time trying to persuade my toddler daughter to let me dress and change her for school.


I usually wear the leggings or pants from Unique Travel set in the morning with a sports top (so my sporty version of it). I run to the gym right after I drop Anabela to school. Next, I run home and change for work (yes, I dress up most days although I work from home office). This is when I combine my tunic dress with leggings and comfy cashmere sweater blazer in nude and a belt to create a waist.

If I need to run to the meeting outside of the home office I just grab my boots, coat and hat and replace my sweater with more business like blazer.

Voila! Morning through evening kind of set!


Every Winter we make orders of ten kilo at the time of organic mandarine oranges from nearby farm here in Barcelona. We eat them, juice them and make delicious desserts with them all Winter long. One of my favorite recipes taken from one of the mom & baby Facebook groups and tweaked a bit to be healthier for my baby daughter Anabela is this mandarine & coconut bundt cake.

My favorite thing about this cake is that is quick to make and it doesn't require me to do a lot of mess in the kitchen and it makes a very refreshing, fruity dessert.

To make recipe healthier I replaced white with brown sugar and butter with coconut oil in the same quantities. If you would like more zesty taste keep peel on 3 mandarine oranges and remove it from two.
I tried to make this cake with whole grain flour and it did not came out that well so I would not recommend trying it. Because I did try to make this cake keeping the peel on all mandarine oranges and it was a bit to zesty especially for a baby, for milder taste I recommend to just keep them peel on one or two.

INGREDIENTS

 5 mandarine oranges
100g brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g coconut oil
3 eggs
200g white flour
100g coconut flour
1 baking powder

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 190C/375F.
2. Cook mandarine oranges by cooking them in water (3 peeled and 2 with peel on) until boils (2min aprox). Rinse them and replace the water. Cook them one more time until water boils. Blend them in a blender.
3. In a seperate big bowl mix coconut oil, eggs and brown sugar with hand blender. Add mandarine mix to this mix and combine well. Slowly add coconut flower, white flower and baking powder and mix to combine.
4.  Poor the batter into a greased (I greased it with coconut oil) bundt cake mold (it is supposed to be a sticky mixture) and bake it for 45 minutes on 190C/275F. Let it cool a bit and turn it upside down on a clean cloth.

I hope you try this cake and that your family loves it as much as mine does!
Bon appetite!


Unique Travel Set is a set of 7 perfectly designed and harmonized pieces of clothing packed in a fashionable and multifunctional fabric bag. The set consists of pants, leggings with breathable net, a long shirt, a multifunctional dress, a cap, a belt and removable long sleeves and it all comes in its own multifunctional bag. It weights only 1.7 kilos or just under 4 pounds. 

The Unique Travel Set comes in four sizes (and it includes petite and tall options - YAY!) and is available in Diamond Black, Coal Gray and Golden Beige colors. The ladies behind this set are designer Katarina Dzale and business manager Raseljka Maras.

WOMEN BEHIND THE SET

First thing I noticed when I met Katarina Dzale in Croatia who is a designer part of duo who made this set is the calm and the positive energy she projects. Mind you, I am not the spiritual, yoga, positive energy, mindfulness, zen type. I am honestly more of a manically organized, can't stop, won't stop, sleep is for losers, virgo looney who used to think she can't be bothered to stop and take time to self-reflect, self reevaluate and take time to breath and be alone. Katarina is truly one of the women who got me inspired to take time to get to know me (I don't think she knows that). 





Second thing I noticed is that her clothing designs, her environmentally conscious ways of thinking about designing are not always commercial, they are often ahead of our times, they never focus on the brand name nor her as a designer, she stays outside of the spotlight. 

MY FIRST THOUGHTS ABOUT UNIQUE TRAVEL SET

At first, when I saw the Unique Travel Set presentation online I was skeptical about having a set of clothing pieces made out of the same material as my only a carry 'go to travel wardrobe'. I loved the design of most pieces in the set, the only items I thought I would not use were fabric belt, removable sleeves and a cap however I had a really good feeling about this set so I backed it up on Kickstarter. 




Several weeks later I received it in mail in Croatia where we were on vacation and tried the leggings first. The first thing I noticed that they were long enough for me (which is usually never the case because I have long legs), also the fabric was super soft and light. I traveled in them to Barcelona and they are really, really comfortable and breezy. 

THE PREMIUM COMFORT

Upon our return to Barcelona I wore the set more and more frequently, different pieces almost on daily basics. All of the pieces fit me perfectly and in black are so easy to combine with other clothing. I could have probably ordered size Small (Tall) for more snug fit as the material has enough stretch but for my lifestyle and constant running around all day looser fit will do perfectly. 




My favorite features of this set are unbelievable comfort, styling versatility (you can truly wear pieces from this set as part of formal look) and quality. I wear and wash items from this set over and over again and the color and structure remained untacked. 

STYLING VERSATILITY 

I love that the Unique Travel Set is put together in a way that you can really style it for workout, for work, lounging at home or fancy dinner or a party. My Unique Travel Set is black and consists of leggings, jumpsuit, t-shirt, dress, bag, belt, cap, removable sleeve, sheer tule scarf and sheer tule loose fitting top.I wear leggings, dress and jumpsuit the most and I love playing with removable sleeves and tulle scarf which I just figured out how to work into my personal style once I wore them several time.

We shot this post about 10 days ago, since, I have worn at least one piece from Unique Travel Set a day and I haven't traveled further then my local park. Clothing in this set are truly the most comfortable pieces of clothing I have ever purchased (and trust me, I buy a lot of clothing) and they definitely come loaded with positive energy! 

In next several posts I will show how I style my Unique Travel Set for various different occasions. 


Beat the Fall blues with plush flush of sensual and cozy burgundy knits! As a person who suffers from meteoropathy, dressing against my mood helps me to battle rainy and gloomy Fall weather.  In Barcelona Fall is rainy and windy but mild in temperature, it still allows bare legs which is great for someone who wears lots of dresses like I do almost daily.

MY FALL DRESSING RECIPE

The base for my personal recipe for Fall dressing are midi/maxi viscose or wool dresses. My dresses always have a generous amount of floral pattern (yes in Fall too! In nature leaves are drying out and falling while I continue to bloom 😃 ) which I combine with chunky wool and cashmere sweaters and leather or velvet booties. On colder days I replace my dresses with denim or leather pants worn with colorful coats, loose fitting cashmere sweaters and silk cami tops with lace trimming.




B LIKE BURGUNDY

For this #ootd look I styled loop ring burgundy wool dress from Asos with circle floral clutch and velvet bee chocker by Croatian brand Bura. We shot this post in charming restaurant Cachistos in Barcelona in La Rambla street. On top of great food and quick service this restaurant is designed to be a perfect place for various occasions from quick drink while you are visiting town to business teams lunches and romantic dinners with your significant other. With its comfortable velvet and leather sofas, cozy corner nooks and luxurious decor it was a perfect locations for our burgundy Fall mood shoot.







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After almost a year of eating everything Anabela started to be a picky eater over Summer. As I am adamant to keep her eating veggies and proteins well so I found alternative ways to get all that good stuff, vitamins, minerals and proteins into her without forcing her to eat what she doesn't want to - I packed it all into bite size mini muffins.

As a member of various mommy facebook groups and curious mom cook who likes trying new recipes (which are super quick to make) I tried a whole lot of recipes given by moms, nutritionists and cooks throughout the vastness of internet platforms, forums and Pinterest, after Anabela tried the prepared muffins I tweaked each recipe here and there to make it more healthier or more toddler taste buds friendly and I came up with 10 quick, easy and healthy recipes for your fussy eater toddler.

Before listing out the recipes I listed some useful kitchen tools and gadgets which are not mandatory but are super useful for preparing these muffins, although most you can prepare by using just fork, 2 mid size bowls, baking pan and the oven. :)  The tools listed will make preparation quicker and cleaning after much easier as it all goes into dishwasher and voila, you are done!

All of the recipes are within 8-30 minutes preparation range.

Bellow I am listing some good substitutes in case you want to replace (or omit) any of the ingredients:


  • White/brown sugar can be replaced by honey/maple syrup  - for every 1 cup of sugar, substitute 1/2 to 2/3 cup honey and reduce oven temperature by 25F
  • To avoid egg -measure 1/3 cup applesauce for each egg you are substituting for
  • You can replace white flour with integral flour or you may substitute oats for up to one-third the amount of flour called for in the recipe
  • To replace butter for coconut oil - measure coconut oil in a one-to-one ratio and substitute it for butter

This cookbook is FREE for all of my blog readers, all you need to do is to add it to the cart and at checkout enter your email and your information and the pdf file will be sent to you via email.

I will not store or use your personal information provided or share it with anyone, this is just the way to avoid spam on site. :) 





My closet is packed with floral dresses but I realized I have almost no orange piece of clothing! This season I decided to invest in (another) boho maxi floral dress but this time in orange with long sleeves and gorgeous button details and front draping.

Obvious brand to start my search with was Free People which is indeed where I found one. The only issue with shopping from Free People when in Europe are customs fees. Asos sometimes also carries Free People items which is one of the ways to avoid paying import fees on their products.



Since Fall in Barcelona is extremely mild (read short sleeves and shorts in mid October) I played with combining this gorgeous colorful dress with red accessory and favorite distresses boyfriend jeans. 

My favorite piece from this look is this red, super soft leather Homanz mini bag. I wear this bag every single day and it ads a pop of color to any outfit. The bag is made out of luxurious soft leather, a kind you can see only with premium handbag brands. I love that the bag has blue piping and extra pockets inside for small accessory.





The red suede shoes and 'bisous' gold bracelet are from & Other Stories, one of the shops I order most from but I carefully check materials and making every time as this is what usually makes a big difference in comfort and fit.


Shop the items from the post bellow:

         

       


As I had issues with my stomach most of the Summer and had to eat exclusively cooked food with no spices and no nothing (think 6 months old kind of meals) I got craving today to prepare a healthy, berry, low sugar version of my favorite recipe - Mrs. Deb's banana bread.

This delicious dessert is kids friendly and it stores (well wrapped) on home temperature so you can have a great breakfast treat for several days.

My daughter Anabela absolutely loves this strawberry version of banana bread and for her I make it with coconut or all wheat flower and low fat greek yogurt.


INGREDIENTS

Dry Ingredients
1 3/4 cup (414 g) all purpose flour (coconut or all wheat)
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Wet ingredients
1 egg
1 cup ripe mashed banana (about 2-3 bananas)
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted and cooled
1/3 cup (79 g) packed dark brown sugar or coconut sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup (59 g) nonfat plain greek yogurt
2 tablespoons unsweetened almond/coconut milk

Spoon in last
3/4 cup (178 g) strawberries
1/4 cup (59 g) raspberries/blueberries or strawberries
1/2 cup (118 g) unsweetened coconut
2 tbsp chia seeds

DIRECTIONS 

1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
2. In a large bowl combine together dry ingredients and mix with a spoon.
3. In a seperate, medium bowl mix together with a whisk or a mixer wet ingredients (smash 2 or 3 ripped bananas first).
4. Slowly add dry mixture bit by bit to wet ingredients while mixing on lowest mixer setting or manually with a whisk. 
5. Fold in sliced strawberries and/or other berries of your choice, add chia seeds and coconut. 
6.Grease the pan with coconut oil and pour in the mixture evenly. Decorate with shredded coconut and sliced strawberries.
7. Bake on mid rack in the oven for 50-65 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.






After restful and calm whole Summer long family vacation I came back to terror struck Barcelona and I couldn't make myself post anything, anywhere. I was out of words, out of motivation, I felt emotional, empty and hurt. I felt angry at criminals momentarily robbing me from my sense of safety and security in this truly most beautiful and lively city in the world - Barcelona.


This feeling of anger quickly turned into need for action, rebellion, compassion, grieving for the people hurt and love. Yes, love. I tried, hour to hour during last couple of days to bring myself to see the fight and love for freedom and peace on the faces of people of this city which is absolutely indestructible. No matter what, they, we, are not afraid, we keep on living and we keep on celebrating the freedoms and versatility this gorgeous city has.


Andrina and I shot this look before I went for vacation but the mood of the photos felt oddly appropriate and fitting to these new feelings I have after days of feeling shocked and empty. Emotionally it feels as if Fall came early this year and it's up to us to bring back the sun.


So this post is not about clothes and #ootd looks. This post is about coming back home, getting back to our daily routines in this amazing city we are lucky enough to continue to call our home. To drinking coffee in near by Starbucks which, however crazy or basic it might sound does provide me with sense of belonging, sense of homey and sense of known wherever in the world I might be; to going to our favorite park to play in sand and getting dirty; to eating lunch super late in the afternoon and having dinner after siesta far later then appropriate for toddler parents out on the restaurant terrace surrounded with all the other families with equally obnoxiously loud kids - tranquillo, no rush.


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