Throw back Monday: Easter edition

I hadn`t seen my grandparents for eight years. I live far away and it is very complicated to see them often. So three years ago I decided to book a flight and make a surprise appearance in Greece to visit them.

The only person who knew was my aunt Irini. She picked me up at the airport at midnight and we went straight home. When we arrived to my grandparents house everything was quiet because they were sleeping. So my aunt woke my grandfather gently and said she had a surprise for him. Both my grandparents woke up and went to the living room where I was waiting,excited.

Their first reaction was absolute silence. I knew, from my grandfather`s expression, that he thought he was still dreaming. He gently approached me and touched my face. We both started to cry.

I will never forget this trip.I spent two weeks with my grandparents and I am truly thankful for those days together. That was the last time I saw my grandfather, he passed away eight months later.

I want to share my favorite things that happened in that Easter trip to Greece because it was my first Easter there and one trip I will never forget.  

1) One of the traditions on Greek Easter is to paint boiled eggs red. You have to hold your egg then you tap the end against the end of your opponent’s egg, trying to crack it. It is called «tsougrisma» and it always ends in laughter.

DSC012052) I feel in love with this giant mug to grow flowers in.(Isn`t the Easter bunny lovely?)DSC012113) Spring flowers. I couldn`t stop taking pictures of flowers everywhere. DSC013214) The «Lefko Pirgo» at sunset. This was spectacular. DSC013245) I discovered chocolate euros. DSC011386) Tangerine tree downtown.DSC012317) Had the best «Giro» in town.DSC011088) Found baked Lays in Greek. DSC011999) My beautiful grandmother`s flowers.DSC0125810) I had strawberries every single day. DSC0120011) This happened. I rarely eat fried food but I made an exception.DSC0129612) Here with my papu Kiriakos. This was our last picture together. I will treasure it for the rest of my life.

papu y yo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you

playa thank you

This post was inspired by a fragment of last week’s post «Emotions». I wrote about how the word «Thank you» is as powerful as «I love you».

I believe that being grateful can change your whole world. Sometimes you don’t mean it when you say it, maybe other times is just a natural reaction to an act of kindness, but what’s really important is to feel it.

A couple of years ago I used to complain about everything. I use to wake up in a bad mood, brush my teeth, take a shower and while I did those things I was complaining. I complained about my past and some terrible things I went through. Then my day would go on and this constant emotional baggage would accompany me until I went to sleep at night. I cried, I complained a little more, eventually I slept.

I am not going to sit here and tell you all about my magic transformation and the tragedy that inspired it because I’ll be lying. I am going to tell you how now, before complaining about anything, I think about something I am grateful for. It changes my whole perspective of the situation.

It makes me a happier person to count my blessing than to count all the things that make me unhappy. There is always something to be grateful for. Always.

So today I would also like to thank YOU. For reading this, whoever you are, wherever you are in the world, whatever you believe in.

 

 

 

Some time for myself: my day though my Iphone

Yesterday was one of those unexpected «free-days» and I took advantage of it doing what I like. Here is my day through my Iphone.

1) 6:00 AM. First thing in the morning (after two glasses of water) is my needed coffee.

day 1

2) 6: 30 AM. My quick breakfast: «fried» eggs. (They are not actually fried. I used no oil since I have a fantastic nonstick pan.)

day 2

3) 8:00 AM. Morning run: 45 min of cardio to burst up my energy for the day.

day 3

4) 9:20 AM. Home, shower and get dressed to go out. (I was fully dressed when I took this pic, I promise).

day 5

5) 10:40 AM. No going to the office or the studio today so I thought it would be nice to visit my parents. (Random pic before stepping into the elevator.)

day 4

6) 11:30 AM. Arrived at my parents and had coffee with my mom since my dad wasn’t home. This has to be one of the prettiest views to have while drinking coffee.

day 7

7) 1:10 PM. Had lunch with my mom.

day 8

8) 3:00 PM. Went to my old room to organize some documents and Nina kept me company (she is camouflaged by my pants).

day 9

9) 4:35 PM. Arrived home to study for a couple of hours.

day 10

10) 6:20 PM. Packed my weekend getaway bag.

day 11

11) 7:00 PM. Baked next week’s Culinary Tuesday tutorial. Yummy recipe coming next week.

day 12

12) 8:30 PM. Had steak tartare for dinner. This was SO good. Thank you Jimmy.

day 14

13) 9:45 PM. Worked on the blog and checked my emails. Then went straight to bed.

day 13

Neon hair: bright pink ends

Ok, so here is the deal: I went crazy when I saw this trend last year. I am aware that it is not everybody’s cup of tea.

Todays inspiration is for the little rebels out there that think this look is fun. Let me tell you that if you like the look but are afraid of a permanent change, there is always pink hair chalk and semi-permanent looks. (Am I convincing or what?)

pink collage

I wanted a fun twist to my blonde ombre so I bought some pink dye and went for it…at home. I was terrified but excited. I knew that the worst thing that could happen was me not liking it so I would top it with brown dye and go back to normal.(Considering I could also go bald).

My attempt was successful. I did like it…for a while. I kept it for three months, had fun with it and eventually went back to my last look. Got it off my system.

Here is a picture I took last October of my new pink dip dyed hair (see how smart I am that I did it near Halloween? Just in case.)

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Let us have dessert: gluten-free version

Dear migraines: 

Thank you for limiting my diet to practically twenty foods. I am working on it and feeling better but seriously, you already make my life miserable so why upgrade yourself like this?

Got it off my chest.

Since going gluten-free and limiting my diet to less chocolate, coffee, processed foods, junk food, wheat and dairy, I have been experiencing 70% less pain.

Sounds wonderful right? Well, it is but it comes with it`s price. This is NOT a trend. Please do not do it if your doctor hasn`t told you so but if you suffer from migraines like me, you should definitely ask.

I want to share some gluten-free dessert recipes that I really want to try. Why give up yummy food when you can switch some ingredients and have them?

1) Chocolate chip bread. This recipe contains yogurt, so I will use chia pudding instead. It has worked wonders in my other recipes. 1

2) Lemon squares. You have no idea how much I love lemon based desserts. So this alternative is fantastic.

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3) Cinnamon roll cupcakes. I can`t wait to try this recipe. It looks delicious!

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4) Banana bread. This is actually my recipe. I did a post on it in January. I hope you try it because it is easy and yummy.

recipe 6

5) Angel food cake. This is heaven.

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The art of relaxing: 5 things that help me unwind

hat

We all have those days; you wake up and every-single-thing feels like a slap in the face. Yes, you know what I am talking about.

Everybody has different ways of relaxing. People often told me meditation was a wonderful thing to do when you are stressed. The last thing I want to do when I am stressed is meditate, I mean, seriously? Please do not get me wrong, I love to meditate but not under stressful circumstances.

Here are five things that help me get through moments of stress:

1) I go for a run.

It works every time.I sweat, I mentally curse a little, then I am a brand new person.(Can this count as meditation?)

2) I watch a movie.

If I am feeling like a potato-couch, I dive in my sofa and watch a movie. (Not a horror one obviously.)

3) I make myself some tea.

There is something about tea that soothes me.

4) I cook.

I go to the kitchen and make something yummy. It brightens my mood right away.

5) I put my favorite classical music playlist.

Since the ballet days I fell in love with this genre. It has been scientifically proven that classical music is good for relaxing.

Sometimes I do more than one of these at the same time…

What do you guys do to relax?

Emotions

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There is nothing that makes me feel more alive than singing. It is my way of coping with all kind of emotions.

Every time I find the melody of what I am feeling I write it down and turn it into a song. Sometimes it gets so personal that I record it just for myself. You see, when I sing I have no armor, only raw emotions from deep inside. Depending on my mood I could write a happy song, a dance song, a mellow song or just let it go and write something that helps me get through things that hurt.

All of us have a way to process emotions, all of us feel overwhelmed sometimes and it is ok so crumble a little. Letting go is what makes us stronger. How we react to a given situation makes us so unique. There is always something that makes us feel more alive than ever.

Embrace it.

I want to dedicate today’s post to letting go of unhealthy emotions, unhealthy relationships, self-pity, grudges, bad memories and anything that makes you unhappy. Give thanks for everything you have instead of complaining for everything you are missing. «Thank you» is as powerful as «I love you», because behind those two there is always kindness…

 

Let’s organize: closet edition

closet 1

Photo credit: DeliciouslyOrganized

Don’t we all wish to have a big walking closet where all our wardrobe’s pieces would lay there like a fancy and glamorous store? Off course we do. Unfortunately most of us don’t have the space and end up asphyxiating our clothes one on top of the other or one next to the other if we are lucky.

I usually follow this guide that I hope will help you out:

1) Choose a day when you know you will have time to take everything out from your closet. (When I say everything, I mean it.) You will be able to have a perspective of everything you own in your closet.

2) Clean the space. I like to use a natural cleaning spray that is a mix of water, vinegar and a little baking soda to clean everything from top to bottom.

3) I am terrified of moths. These little fellows have a passion for eating my lovely shirts and I refuse for my clothes to smell like naphthalene. I bought some essential oils that are natural moth repellents and make your closet smell amazing. (Mix in a small bowl the next essential oils: lavender, spearmint, cedar wood and cinnamon. Pour in a spray bottle and spray where you cleaned before. Let rest until dry.)

4) Now it’s time to move to your clothes. I usually have two boxes. I label my boxes with «donate» and «maybe». Then I start dividing my clothes in piles depending if they are skirts, dresses, pants, shorts, bathing suits, shoes, etc. I also divide my eyewear, jewelry, scarves, hats, belts, everything.

5) I start by returning to their original place all things I wish to keep and start putting in one of the boxes all the things I wish to donate. The pieces that I am having second thoughts with, I put them in the «maybe» box.

6) When you put the things you are going to keep back in the closet, divide them by type. Dresses go with dresses, pants with pants, etc. I like to organize my clothes by color because it is easier to find things when I am in a hurry. (Yes, I am that kind of girl.)

6) When I am done organizing the things I want to keep and the things I want to donate, I go to the «maybe» box and start trying everything on. Clothes that are not flattering or I haven’t worn in a really long time go to the «donate» box and the things that I like go back to the closet. (It’s ok to have pieces that have a sentimental value to you, but please don’t become hoarders. The point here is to make some space and get rid of things you don’t use anymore.)

There you go! Now you know everything that’s in there and you probably have more space. 

 

 

Sparkle: sequins jacket inspiration

There is something about sparkling sequins that makes you feel glamorous instantly. Personally, I love sequined jackets because they can turn an ordinary outfit into an extraordinary one. Yesterday I was browsing my closet, when I saw my golden sequins jacket and thought that it would be a cool inspiration for this week.

Paired with jeans, black shorts, leggings or a dress, this piece is a must for adding a little sparkle to your outfit.
collage sequin j

1) All disco colors in these jackets.

2) Shine bright like a diamond.

3) Sporty glam.

 I took a picture from my Iphone so you guys can have a look at mine.

jacket sequin

Craving right now: Italian comfort food

There are certain dishes that my mom made when I was a child that I still love to eat today. Every time I smell basil or tomato sauce, I jump back to 1994 in a second.

My dad loved «Bruschettas» and the classic «Pasta al Pomodoro». With time I started to love them too. Those where the good times when I used to eat as much as I wanted. Lately, I have been under a lot of stress and I find myself craving those meals. I can understand why they call them «comfort foods».

Two weeks ago I shared my favorite Greek foods and today I will share my Italian comfort foods. I can’t have them often because of my migraines but I do cheat from time to time.

1) Bruschetta. This is simple, fresh and delicious. There are tons of different types of Bruschettas but I like the classic one. I always make it when I have unexpected guests over because I always have the ingredients at home. Sometimes I make some gluten-free bread and it tastes like heaven with the tomato and basil.

bruschetta

2) Risotto ai funghi porcini (Mushroom risotto with Porcini). This is a fantastic alternative to pasta. When I was little I used to sprinkle so much Parmesan cheese on this meal that my mom used to tell me «Natascia you are not eating risotto with a little Parmiggiano, you are eating Parmiggiano with a little risotto».

risotto

3) Pasta al pomodoro. This is my ultimate comfort food and I love it madly. I am not kidding. I could eat this everyday for the rest of my life. I cook this sauce with gluten-free pasta but I also found a great alternative with zucchini noddles.

pasta pomodor

4) Rosemary focaccia. I don’t have to explain how delicious this is. Be prepared to jump of excitment: here is a gluten-free version.

focaccia

5) Nutella. This one is obvious right? Let’s all dedicate a minute of silence to the Ferrero Company for inventing such a delicious, decadent and addictive desert since 1964. For me nothing compares to this. Period. If it wasn’t for my migraines I would have it every day. (After the pasta al pomodoro obviously.)

nutella

Do you guys have any favorite Italian foods?