Food

Matcha Latte

25/01/2018

I bet you have heard of this strange word “matcha” at some point in the past year or so (past 2-3 years to be more accurate).  It has been all over social media – Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. – oh what a time to be alive! 😀 – and it still is. And that’s exactly how I found out about it. I wanted to try it immediately – because I like all things that are on the healthier side, and it looked intriguing.

But the first try was not that great for my taste buds. I found a café in Bergen that served matcha latte (and I think they were the first ones to do that), but it was so intense, that I had to pretend to G. that I like it. 😀 After all, I paid around 3 euros for that cup! Every sip was bittersweet, haha.  However, I did not give up after that failure and decided I should try to make a matcha drink myself. So I ordered a set of matcha tea powder (yes – matcha is finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves) together with a whisk (you would need that for preparation). And let me tell you – a good and tasty matcha latte is only a matter of proportions.

Matcha Latte:

  • 1 or ½ a teaspoon high quality matcha green tea powder(the amount depends solely on you – start with a bit less and see how it tastes)
  • ½ cup hot water
  • ½ cup of dairy free milk (almond, coconut, cashew)
  • 1 teaspoon of honey or maple syrup ( I usually add less than that)

Add the matcha tea powder to a small amount of hot water into your favourite mug and whisk it with a bamboo whisk until it is completely dissolved. If you don’t have a whisk, you can use the back of the spoon to stir and make a paste. After that, add the remaining hot water and if you use the sweetener, add at this point. Prepare your almond milk (or the milk of your choice) as if you would make a latte – warm it up and make a foam with a milk frother, then pour it over the tea. Taste it to see if you need a bit more sweetness and enjoy!

And – if you like the tea, or the latte drink, you will probably enjoy other foods as well, because you can add the powder to smoothies, while baking or making some healthy treats. At the moment I am looking for recipes for the energy bites (or energy bliss balls), and I will let you know how it turns out!

If you want to find out about the benefits of matcha tea, you can read more here. It’s full of antioxidants, it’s good for your heart and your brain, and it gives you energy! I will say – give it a try 😉

Love, V.

❤️

Experiences

Dog sledding in Sjusjøen

16/01/2018

Evening, peeps! As promised, I am writing a post about our amazing dog sledding tour. I mean – how can I not(??), because this was truly a highlight of our little getaway!

I remember thinking of activities for our stay in the cabin, and I had a thought that it would be fun to experience dog sledding in full winter setting. So after some research, I found one company – Sjusjøen Husky Tours– that does exactly that. They say that this is a wonderful activity for everyone, and a unique way to enjoy beautiful Norwegian landscape – and I couldn’t agree more. You can check their website here and find out more about what they have to offer.

We chose a shorter ride – 6 km, that lasts for about 40 minutes, followed with a warm drink and “pinnebrød” snack after the tour. And that was very much appreciated as the cold pinched our cheeks during the ride, haha.

So we came a bit earlier to the place and were greeted with these amazing views! The humidity and mist that rises from the lake (or the river that flows out of it, because the lake is frozen) created this mystical cover of crystals in the air – and it looked really magical! We had some time before our tour, so we just took some pictures of the landscape and petted all the dogs. All dogs are very sociable and enjoy being cuddled, so I was extremely happy about it 😀 !

 

Before the sledding, we were given instructions on how to break, turn, etc., – basically how to steer the sleigh. Also, we could have swapped at half way point, so both of us could enjoy and experience the ride, but I was a bit more comfortable sitting and taking pictures, so Giedrius was in charge the whole way. Along the way we tried to battle the cold, snap some pictures (it was -18 degrees!, your fingers become very numb very quick), and enjoy all the beauty and calmness of the surroundings.

And it was unforgettable! But check it out yourself…

          

It is amazing how nature can heal your soul and take all worrying thoughts that build up in your head. A bit of cold, a lot of snow, interaction with animals – and you are recharged! Well, at least it helped me, and still to this day I can’t forget how fun it was. I hope we will have the opportunity to do it again.

 

Giedrius, and our new friends. You can tell by the hair that it was really COLD, haha.

And as I mentioned, we ended our experience with having some tea/coffee by the fire in a little hut, followed by a bread on  a stick. The tastiest bread I had in quite some time 😀

So if you happen to be in the area, I suggest you do some research and book this tour – I promise you won’t be disappointed 😉

Love, V.

❤️

Food

The Best Banana Bread recipe!

14/01/2018

Well, at least according to me and my friends, who enjoyed it a lot while we were staying in the cabin. I guess, we left the place a bit more happier and with a bit chubbier cheeks 😀 Naaah, we walked a lot, so all the pies aka banana breads don’t count.

And the recipe is so easy you would probably be making one today! So, if you have basic ingredients for baking (flour, eggs, butter, etc.) roll up your sleeves and get to working 😉

Banana Bread:

  • 115 g butter
  • 250 ml suggar (1 cup)
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 3-4 bananas, finely crushed (you know, the ones that already started to ripen, with brown dots on the peel-the best ones!)
  • 375 ml flour (1½ cups)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla (optional)

1.Preheat the oven to 175º C. 2.Cream together butter and sugar. I tried to do it with both room temperature butter, and melted butter – it works fine both ways. Also, if you don’t have butter, you can use coconut oil – it is a nice substitute ( a bit healthier, but also high in calories, just so you know). 3. Add beaten eggs and crushed bananas and combine well. 4. Mix together flour, soda and salt and add to creamed mixture. Add vanilla if you prefer. 5. Mix just until combined (I use a spatula for this – it is a good choice for mixing a batter). 6. Pour into greased and floured loaf pan. 7. And finally – bake at 175 degrees for 55 minutes.

If you like dark chocolate (as obviously I do), you can chop some in small pieces and add to the mixture while you are adding flour. The melted pieces truly add some flavour to the banana bread. Oh, and if you eat it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, you’ll be in heaven for sure 😛

Have a great Sunday, and let me know if you try this!

#SummerBodyInTheMaking

Love, V.

❤️

Life Places to Visit

A snowy start to 2018!

10/01/2018

Hey, guys! How are you?

We literally talked last year!

A little update from my side – G. and I had a cozy Christmas with family in Lithuania (and now it seems it was ages ago!), I was reflecting on my life a lot (still do), managed to delete three blogposts by accident (backup, backup, backup! And it means that now I have to re-write them…not that bad, but I was mad at myself 😀 You live and you learn, haha), but the most exciting part was the end of the year – we were in a cabin with friends, celebrated New Years and had the best time ever.

  

The cabin is located in Sjusjøen, a skiing destination in Norway (30 minute drive with a car from Lillehammer). I don’t know what I was expecting before arriving there, but the location completely blew my mind – a true winter wonderland! The whole time we (I think I can talk for the whole group) felt like children – very happy and enjoying the snow, the cold, and the views every day! In Bergen we experience precipitation in different form, so you bet this was SOMETHING. One morning some of us went out just before sunrise, to capture all the beauty of it. My nose was freezing, and fingers were numb, but who cares!

     

I think the cabin is located in a perfect spot – we had the views of the cross-country skiing tracks, the beautiful landscape, and a bit of the resort itself! Idyllic, if you ask me 😉

So we spent 5 days there, walking and enjoying the nature everyday, eating lots of pies, a bit of skiing for the guys, playing card games, laughing and just … being in the moment. Oh, we also did a dog sledding tour on a frozen lake, but I’ll write another post about it!

     

I was dreaming of a snowy, white New Year celebration, and well, my wish came true! Could not have imagined it any other way. I even let my mind to rest a bit and it was refreshing (and it is one of the goals, or wishes this year – let myself breathe more, overthink less ;)).

Love, V.

❤️

 

 

Travel

The Marina Bay Sands experience

25/11/2017

Hey! Or – hello – whichever you prefer 😉

*I am writing this post for the second time, because I deleted it *by accident*… I usually try to be cautious about these things, but oh well, life happens. And since I forgot what I exactly wrote the last time, I will try to recover as much as possible and probably put some new bits and pieces to this blog.*

Singapore was our first stop of our 5 week journey around the world. Sadly, a bit too short of a stop, but really memorable – not everyday you get to swim in a pool that floats above the city. And that is probably what pops to your mind when you think about the place – the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel with the infinity pool on the top floor! Now I cannot imagine the city without it – like Paris without the Eiffel tower, or New York without the Statue of Liberty. It has become the symbol of it. So when we bought the tickets and started planning our trip (where to stay,what to do, etc.) of course the thought of staying there crossed my mind, but I was like “naaah, too good to be true”. But too good to be true became a reality when G. said that we have to use this opportunity and pamper ourselves a bit, and it was one of the best decisions we made.

After 3 tiring flights and nearly 24 hours of travelling we finally landed in Singapore. We were greeted with a wave of warmth and humidity, and everything I really wanted was getting to the hotel as quick as possible, taking a refreshing shower and relaxing a bit.

We got to our hotel quite easily (with a MRT train – very convenient), and were more than ready to check in. Everything went really smooth and fast, we got upgraded to a bigger room (which has never happened before so I was excited!), chatted and joked a bit with the receptionist, and were pleasantly surprised when we asked if we could fly our drone from the infinity pool area, and they said YES. *p.s. you can check some drone shots on G.’s Instagram*

I remember the moment when we entered the room – the curtains on the windows started to part leaving us with the view of the city. I was in awe! Well, all I can say is that they really know how to make an impression 😉

  

We took some moments and enjoyed the view, I had a quick shower and we were ready for the pool!

  

This pool is really worth the hype, but you have to be aware that there will always be lots of people most of the time – even in the morning, but that did not ruin the experience for us. We rested on the lounge chairs, had a couple of cocktails (I almost fell asleep :D), and as real tourists – took some selfies 😛 You can’t blame us here, the view itself asks to do that, haha.

   

Later that evening we went for a walk, as we wanted to see a tiny bit of Singapore at night.

When we came back, G. was starving, so we had our first ever room service. And what did we order…? A burger, of course 😀

The next day we woke up at 6 AM, as we anticipated to see the pool without that many people, but you probably already guessed that it’s not possible. And, I really wanted to see the sunrise over the bay – so it was worth it, as the sky went from blueish to warm pink tones. The top floor also has some dining spots, as well as an observation deck and some jacuzzis on the other side of the pool. So whatever your preferences are, I am sure you will find a perfect way to spend your day there.

                     

Giedrius, feeling all bubbly 😀

 

After some pool time we were pretty hungry, so we found a spot for a late breakfast. As we did not do a good research, we ended up paying a bit more for a breakfast than we would want to (but there are some other options for cafes and restaurants outside the hotel where you can have it cheaper). The food was delicious, though, so no complaints here, only a tip if you want to save a dollar here and there.

 

The overall experience staying in a hotel was fantastic – from checking in, to enjoying the pool and the views, to later check out and luggage storage if you need that. For us it came in handy, because our flight was later in the evening, and we had almost full day to spare in Singapore.  Our plan was to visit Gardens by the Bay as well, but I will elaborate on that in the next post 😉

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of the hotel, so if a visit to Singapore is in your plans, consider Marina Bay Sands as one of the options. I believe, you won’t be disappointed. Have an amazing evening, and talk to you soon. ;)*

Love, V.

❤️

#gedrimaitravels Travel

Australia: first impressions!

24/10/2017

Hey, guys! Oh, I know that it has been some time – but we have been road tripping and having an internet was more of a luxury than a necessity;) But today, after many days on campgrounds and sleeping in a car, we decided to book a hotel – and that means that I have a proper wifi and can share some stuff with you!

As of now, we have already reached South Australia – but we started our journey in Darwin. Since then, we have visited Kakadu National Park, enjoyed the beauty and magic of Uluru and drove on what seemed to be endless roads on our way to Adelaide. Everything here seems a bit unreal, but so so beautiful and full of life! A variety of wildlife really amazes me, it looks like something taken out of a BBC documentary. Oh, and don’t get me started on those sunsets – we have seen pretty spectacular ones!

I promise, I will do proper and full posts on our travels here in Australia,  but for now – I will leave you with some pictures and I’ll try to make some comments here and there. I hope this will bring you some warmth and sunshine – sorry friends back in Norway and Lithuania, I can’t comprehend the fact that winter is coming. 😀

This little fella is the size of a thumb, but he is a very good fisherman;)

Some moments from our boat tour in Kakadu National Park.

It gets really dusty on some roads…

Natural pools to refresh ourselves – very much needed (that day temperatures hit 41 degrees C.)

First sights of kangaroo!

Our morning view while camping in a car – not so bad, right?

First signs that we are going the right way 😉 This experience was really unforgettable! We managed to see two sunsets and two sunrises at Uluru, did a base walk around the rock and thoroughly enjoyed our stay there. If you ever have the opportunity to visit this place – my advice would be – DO IT, without any doubt! I promise you, it will be something 😉

And as for now – have a wonderful day, goodnight from me, and talk to you (probably) soon!

  

Love, V.

❤️

#gedrimaitravels Travel

Singapore moments

17/10/2017

G’day everyone!

At the moment, when I am typing this, I am already in Australia (and there will be updates, many of them, if I get my hands on some kind of internet 😄!), but I just wanted to share some moments from our stay in Singapore.

It was our first stop on a 5 week long trip – and it was simply magical. We treated ourselves with a stay at Marina Bay Sands, and boy oh boy, it was worth every penny! 😄 After several flights and long traveling time, a comfy bed and a room with a view was very much needed.  And their infinity pool  was like a cherry on the top! We chilled a bit (I almost fell asleep), had a couple cocktails and enjoyed the views of the Marina Bay and the city.

       Since we had only 1 day in Singapore,  we woke up pretty early the next morning, to catch that sunrise and enjoy the pool without that many people in it (it gets pretty crowded during peak hours, but the good thing is that the access is given only to the hotel guests). After a good breakfast, we headed to the city to explore a bit more. We did not plan many activities – as we didn’t want to rush everywhere, so we just hang out, walked a bit, and were a bit surprised of how much Singapore reminded us of the USA (street names, the buildings, etc.), the only thing that is extremely different- the cleanliness of the place (and there are big fines for littering!).

   

The visit to Singapore wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Gardens by the Bay – a manmade wonder, so this was our last thing to do later that day. We visited the Cloud Forest and OCBC Skyway – I really enjoyed both, but what amazed me the most was that lush green colour everywhere, that is really soothing to the eye. I hope you enjoyed this little recap, and I will try to come back with some more as soon as possible 😉

Good night from us!

Love, V.

❤️

#gedrimaitravels

Travel day

13/10/2017

Hey, guys!

Sorry for no updates these past days – it has been pretty busy with work, some last minute preparations before the trip, and other stuff that I had to finish. As always, I thought that I had plenty of time, but yesterday at around 1 AM we were still packing our luggage… And maybe because of this, or overall excitement, I couldn’t sleep properly – but I hope that this will work in my favour later, haha 😀

But today’s the DAY – we are going away for our vacation, and I couldn’t be happier! Sounds a bit surreal, to be honest, but amazing at the same time. *pinching myself constantly*

So as it is going to be a long travel day, with several flights, I will try to think of some sort of plan for the blog, and I will try to post as much as possible (while enjoying our vacation, of course ;), and having in mind that internet quality might not be that good). But I will try to update my Instagram stories, so you can follow me along here. (No pressure, though 😀 )

As for now – I am going to finish my coffee (which is most probably cold at this point), wait for my husband to arrive, and we will start our journey! *excited!!!*

Have a wonderful Friday and a good weekend, peeps, talk to you later! :)*

Love, V.

❤️

Life

Sundaze

08/10/2017

Happy Sunday, peeps! Oh, I hope you had a wonderful one.

This weekend the weather in Bergen was insane (meaning – the sun was shining all the time), and my mood and overall feeling is great! It hasn’t been a very active weekend, rather a slower one, but I needed this change.

So today we decided to go for a late breakfast and a cup of good coffee in the city, and enjoy this beautiful autumn weather while it lasts. We went to one of our favourite spots  –  Espresso House, because they serve a really good coffee and have a selection of foods to choose from. And recently they started making matcha latte, which, of course, I had to try (and they make a tasty one – not too bitter, which is a good sign 😉 ).

We sat there, sipping on our coffee/matcha latte, and sun was shining all over us – and it was a pure Sunday bliss!

   

After that, we had a little walk around the city – and let me tell you – it is much better with all the warmth and beautiful weather (unbelievable, right? 😀 ). We also met with one guy who we had known for quite some time (and mostly from social media, haha), and he has this cuuuute dog akita-inu Limi that I wanted to pet and cuddle for quite some time.  The fluffiness and softness and cuteness of this dog is unbelievable. Hands down, it was one of the best Sundays! Do I sound like a crazy dog lady yet? 😀

   

Aaaahh, she is so darn cute. ❤️ I wanted to take her home with me (too bad I can’t), but this was such a nice time. Thanks, Algirdas, for letting me pet her – my heart is complete 😀

Love, V.

❤️

#gedrimaitravels Travel

One week left

06/10/2017

Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.

-Gustave Flaubert

Hey, friends! (Real and virtual ones, hehe 🙂 )

Today’s  Friday and it means that it is officially one week left until our vacation! ONE. WEEK. I thought that on this occasion I can share a bit of our travel plans, but I am so excited that I basically don’t know where to start and what to write first.

Ok, so here it goes. 

We are going to visit koalas!

And kangaroos!

And crocodiles…aghemmm…maybe not, or maybe from very far away. Do you see the pattern here?   We are going to the land Down UnderAustralia, a country, that I wanted to visit for so long, and my heart and soul still can’t handle this!

But. It is not the only destination that we have in our plans – we are kind of doing a round-the-world trip, with 4 stops in total!

A quick layover in Doha, a day in Singapore, a bit more than two weeks in Australia, and then – we are going back to Hawaii (also for about two weeks)! But this time it is going to be other islands (last year we visited Maui). And then we have a couple of days in Los Angeles before coming home.

Sometimes I ask myself, if this is real, and I have to pinch myself from time to time.

***

There’s gonna be some road trippin’ in Australia, some new experiences, sleeping in a car (most likely :D), but I am so looking forward to this! And I really hope I will be able to share some moments on the go with you guys, but I already got some heads up that internet there is…not so good. Fingers crossed, though!

Some scenery of beautiful Maui island! The beaches are just insane, and Road to Hana with waterfalls is like a different world – I haven’t seen this much greenery in quite some time.

What’s your dream destination? Are you as crazy about travel as we are? 😀 Let’s talk!

Love, V.

❤️