Lifestyle

A hint of red

19/05/2017

Good morning, babes! Not sure how I should address the guys (babe-os? :D), but oh well. You get it. :))

A couple of days ago Norway celebrated its National Day, and it was the first time (in 6 years!), that we get to see and celebrate it as well. I was either working or it was raining on that day in the previous years. So, as the sun was out and we felt the festive mood – we decided to dress up a bit and and go to the city. It was a nice change for a day because usually you can see me running around in jeans, a t-shirt and sneakers. And as my outfit turned out to be with blue and white details, I knew I had to incorporate something red as well.

The best way to do that? Lipstick, always lipstick 😉 A red one. Just be sure to find a proper shade for your skin tone, and it will be your best accessory. Well, at least I think so, and probably all of the French girls. And they can’t be wrong. Right? 😉

I really wanted to take some photos of the cherry trees, and to make some kind of tradition out of it – because I did it last year, and the year before, but the petals started falling down already. Eh… But – we found a beautiful rhododendron (oh gosh, what a word), and did a little photo shoot there. So much inspiration at this time of the year! Warm, long days – I love you ♥

And…it’s Friday! Time for that red lipstick, huh, girls?

Lipstick: Max Factor (Love, 35) Ring: Gina Tricot 

Love, V.

Food

17th of May inspired breakfast

17/05/2017

Hey, everyone! And a special ”Hey!” to my Norwegian friends.

Today, they celebrate their National Day (or Constitution Day) and a lot of festivities are held during the day. They dress up with their traditional Norwegian costumes (bunad), start up the day with drinking champagne for breakfast (I think I have to join next year!), and later on gather together to celebrate with everyone! It is really inspiring of how much thought and effort they put to make it special 😉

So today I prepared a breakfast inspired by 17th of May! I made a little chia pudding/strawberry/blueberry parfait, and I think it goes well together with the colors of the flag – red, white and blue. It was not only yummy, but very nice to look at, too. And you know by now, that I love all the details that appeal to the eye.

I have prepared chia pudding before, so you can find a recipe in my previous blog posts under the category ”FOOD”. 

We are going to finish our breakfast and go to the city later – I really want to see all the celebrations! And the weather is perfect today – we have sun and the whooping 19 degrees! 😀

Have an amazing day! And – Gratulerer med dagen, Norge 

Love, V.

Travel

Bali: Exploring the green – pt. 2

10/05/2017

As I promised – here is the second part to the blog about our adventures in Ubud and the surrounding areas.

So after the rice terraces in Jatiluwih, we headed to the coffee plantation for a little tour and tasting. We did not choose a particular one, we kind of trusted our driver – but if you have something in mind, plan it ahead. There are a lot of coffee tasting houses/plantations/cooking classes in Bali that you can choose from – and it is a really great way to learn about the culture more.

 Fresh cinnamon in my hand! Smells divine… We got to see and learn not only about the Bali coffee, Kopi Luwak, but also about the herbs and spices. And I really enjoyed this part!

A big nesting-box for big-ass spiders. Just kidding 😛 Or am I...?

And then – the famous Kopi Luwak! I’ll give you some information from Wikipedia:

Kopi luwak , or civet coffee, refers to the coffee that includes part-digested coffee cherries eaten and defecated by the Asian palm civet.

Producers of the coffee beans argue that the process may improve coffee through two mechanisms, selection and digestion. Selection occurs if the civets choose to eat cherries. Digestive mechanisms may improve the flavor profile of the coffee beans that have been eaten. The civet eats the cherries for the fleshy pulp, then in the digestive tract, fermentation occurs. The civet’s protease enzymes seep into the beans, making shorter peptides and more free amino acids. Passing through a civet’s intestines the cherries are then defecated with other fecal matter and collected.”

So, if your question is if we have tried the coffee – yes, we did. But I would not anymore – mostly because I did my research, and read not so fun facts. And since I do not want this to be a sad blog, I will just leave a link for you, if you want to be educated more 😉

(Read some more here.)

On the other hand – we have tried a variety of different coffees and teas. The smell and the taste of peanut coffee, or coconut coffee is just YUM! And the tour is free (except for the Luwak coffee cup – but you decide if you want it or not), so it is only nice if you purchase at least a little something from them.

After the tour we had a very needed lunch (because it was just about time) and we were deciding what to do. We had only a couple of hours left as the sun sets quite early there – around 6:20 PM to be precise, so we decided to skip the waterfall and go for our last destination – Tegalalang Rice Terraces. 

In around 10 minutes we were happy with our decision, because it started raining cats and dogs! The streets were flooded with water and it seemed as if everything is floating around. Good thing we were in a car! Not so good if you are on a motorbike – but I guess locals are used to this.

Just before we arrived to our last spot, the rain has stopped and it was almost time for the sunset. We did not have to see it, as it was overcast, but the rice terraces were beautiful. We flew our drone, scared some people 😀 (not intentionally – the woman did not see the drone landing, and when she did, she jumped back a bit. Sorry about that!), and enjoyed the rest of the evening.

The only thing that I regret – that we did not have enough time to explore every place in depth. It is so beautiful and calm there, that you want to take it in with every part of your body.

This picture sums it up pretty well 😉

Talk to you next time – good night, sleep tight and dream about Bali!

Love, V.    

Travel

Bali: Exploring the green

10/05/2017

And hello guys! Are you ready for some exploring? It’s been a month now since we’ve been to Bali and it is only now that I have the time to dig into pictures. But one thing I can tell you – it is really fun to look back to all the good memories and experiences… and I want more of those!

So as I have mentioned before, first days we stayed in Ubud – the jungle of Bali, the greenery of Bali, the heart of Bali! And as we had only a couple of days there, we wanted to see as much as possible.

Our plan to see places went something like this:

  • Pura Luhur Batukaru (temple)
  • Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
  • A coffee plantation for the world’s most expensive coffee – Kopi Luwak… Others might refer to it as a ”poop” coffee, haha (and it actually is). I was excited for this one, until after the trip I did a bit of research on it. But keep with me here 😉
  • Tegenungan Waterfall –  (spoiler alert – we did not have the time to get there – it started raining like crazy, and we had another location to visit).
  • Tegalalang Rice Terraces

We hired a driver for a day (around 10h – it cost us 700 000 IDR / 53$ – for 4 people – maybe a bit expensive, but as it was last minute, I would say a good price ;)), and went on our little adventure. What excited me the most was all the greenery! Palms, banana trees, rice fields – in such a soothing green color that I could not stop watching. My eyes were longing for something like this after a very long and grey winter.

First stop – Pura Luhur Batukaru – ”one of Bali’s key temples, located at the foot of namesake Mount Batukaru. At an altitude of 2,270m above sea level on the second highest peak in Bali after Mount Agung, the temple is surrounded by cool natural forests, providing a pleasant sightseeing stopover for nature lovers. ” 

As we have never traveled East before (we – me and my husband), and haven’t had the chance to see other cultures and religions that is very different to ours, it was a really nice experience! All the ceremonies and rituals that they do, the way they dress and prepare for the day – something not to be missed. Oh, and the locals are very friendly, too- it was the first time that I asked someone to pose for the picture, and they had no issues with that.

The beautiful people of Bali.

Yep, even guys have to wear sarongs. But they look cute, don’t they? :))

Oh, hi there! We could not resist the combo of this tree, the reflections and the beauty of this girl 😛

These two Balinese men were very eager to have a picture taken, and even asked to see it afterwards. They were happy with the result 😉

After the temple, we went to visit Jatiluwih Rice Terraces – a truly spectacular place. You will find the largest and most picturesque expanse of paddies in Bali and perhaps the whole of Indonesia here. It’s only a pity we had  limited time. I would have loved to explore more of it – take a walk , enjoy the nature, breathe in and relax. Believe me, there is nothing more you would want to do – just relax.

This place is a must visit on your trip to Bali – and I would suggest spending the whole day (or at least a half of it) there.

The vastness of the rice fields! I miss it already. But I hope we will be back for more. We have to.

So this is it for this part. I decided to split the blog in 2 parts, and it will come later this evening. It is impossible to pack everything in one post! 😀

Love, V.

Photography

A blissful Sunday

07/05/2017

Hello, you guys! I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday 😉

Today, on my way to work I had to see this beautiful sunrise – and I had to stop for a snap(and – I am so happy I had my camera with me!)! I love sunrises and sunsets a lot, I love SUN a lot, as you may have guessed, so this combination of fog and sun rays made it extra special!

And for me, being a sun person, collecting as much warmth and nature’s beauty is essential. It just makes everything better. ♥ So I wanted to share it with you! 😉

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and I am going to visit my mom a bit later, as it is Mother’s Day in Lithuania (in Norway they celebrate it in February). Hopefully, we will get to see an amazing sunset while having some coffee and cakes 🙂

Talk to you the coming week – I have so many pictures to share, but not enough time – but I hope I will manage to deal with that 😀 😉

  Love, V.

Food Travel

Breakfast with a view

21/04/2017

 

Morning, guys!

As it is breakfast time, I thought I will share some moments from the first meal in Bali. I love good food as much as travel and photography, so here you go 😀

I was a bit afraid of trying new foods there as you might end up with upset stomach, so my choice for breakfast was fruit platter, some coffee, and pancakes with banana and yogurt on top. Yum! (And G’s choice was some kind of Balinese specialty I think – Mie Goreng(fried noodle dish) or Nasi Goreng(fried rice dish), if I remember correctly.) Everything was made fresh by the hotel staff and we enjoyed our meals right outside our rooms, on the patio, with the view to the jungle. The skies were a bit overcast, but the warmth, the nature around us, the feeling of this new adventure made us feel unreal.

We (us and the other couple – Kristina and Tadas), put our tables together and had a really nice breakfast experience. It is moments like these that stay in your head –  so I say a big YES for more breakfasts like this 😉  It is my favorite meal, and I think it kind of sets the tone for the rest of the day.

Have a nice breakfast (or the upcoming lunch!), and may your Friday start easy 😉 ♥

Love, V.

Travel

We woke up in paradise!

20/04/2017

 

All kinds of bugs playing their serenades, a gecko hanging somewhere on the wall and greeting us with its squeaky ”gec-ko!”, a warm breeze soothing our tired faces – that is what welcomed us in Bali.

After 4 long flights, a couple of stubborn taxi drivers, and then one ”not-really-a-taxi-driver-but-a-friendly-face” driver – and we were standing at our hotel reception, somewhere in the middle of Ubud, at 1 o’clock in the morning.

We got some snacks (thanks to the personnel from the hotel (Graha Moding Villas – highly recommended), who kindly waited for us to arrive! and fed us 😀 ), observed all the surroundings and went to sleep.

And then we woke up.

In paradise!

The warm weather and all the greenery. My eyes and soul was longing for this for so long. We took some photos and then another logic action was to jump in the pool. It felt amazing! Our friends joined us as well (we traveled with another couple), and we did a little photo shoot in the pool. The fun part is that it was only us! 😀

Later on we had a fulfilling breakfast and planned our day – we had some points of interest in mind, so we hired a driver for the whole day. And that is a really good way to get around, especially on the first day – when you don’t feel confident enough to rent a motorbike (which we did later on our trip). A driver will take you to all the places you want, and will usually do it very efficiently.

I will have another blog post from our day adventures – and for now – enjoy the views from our villa in the jungle! I loved it so much – with all the sounds, the authentic feeling, and even with some critters that decided to show up in our room… 😀

(I am talking a big-a** cockroach over here…)

But as Balinese people believe – nature is ”power” and each element is subject to influence from spirits. So, as we wanted to keep our karma clean, we did not do anything to the bug (even though shivers were going down my spine 😀 ).

So enjoy the view, and talk to you tomorrow 😉

Love, V.

Food

Buttermilk pancakes & vacay feels

05/04/2017

Hey!

You missed me? I should hope so 😀 It’s been a while… Well, I surely missed this place, but I was very uninspired. Beaten to the ground, questioning-my-life  uninspired 😀

The weather has a lot to do with this, but I think you already know how I feel about the grey skies, rain-all-the-time, and well, no appearance of sun whatsoever.

But that’s about to change tomorrow, and I am very VERY excited!

So I had to celebrate this with pancakes! Yummy, soft, buttermilk pancakes – or to put it simple – I improvised with what I found in the fridge. 😉

Buttermilk pancakes for a better day:

  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • spelt flour (I adjust the batter to my liking – don’t make it runny 😉 )
  • a dash of rolled oats
  • chia seeds
  • a cube of melted butter
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • tsp of sugar

I do not have the exact measurements, I think that’s how it goes with pancakes. Mix the dry ingredients first, then add egg, buttermilk, melted butter and combine together well. Fry on medium heat, for about 2-3 minutes each side (or when you see the bubbles on the top). I used coconut oil for for the pan. 😉

Serve with some maple syrup, fresh berries, or other toppings. Simply yum!

Oh, and they go well together with some matcha latte!

Have to run now – to do some last minute preparations before the trip.

Palm trees and sunshine – we are comin’ for ya!

p.s. you can follow me on Instagram – I will try to share some stories there along the way!

Love, V.

Life Places to Visit

Women’s Wednesday

09/03/2017

Mornin’! My clock says it’s still 11:11 AM, so you bet it’s still a morning here 😛

Yesterday I had such a nice day despite the fact that the weather was all over the place. It was gray, windy and snowing. Fun, right? Not so much, when you expect spring to come any time now. Hi, hello, where are you?

However, it was International Women’s Day (woop woop to all of us – to strong, independent, fierce – us! Eating-croissants-all-day-long us! 😀 You get it… ♥), and I went to visit my beautiful friend Elle (she is an amazing make-up artist, by the way 😛 ) who I get to see only once in a while (shame…). But we live quite far from each other, so that’s our excuse (shame x 2).

We wanted to have a cup of coffee, chat a bit, have some much needed girl time. She knew one place, so we thought we will give it a try. We drove there, and of course, the place was closed during day time (they opened later that evening), but we met the owners who appeared to be there, and they kindly offered us some coffee. On the house!

So we sat there, sipping our coffee, talked about life, and enjoyed the beautiful surroundings… The place is situated on a pier, with views of the sea and beautiful nature all around. I am predicting that in summer this place will be crowded! A perfect spot for a wedding or any other event, or simply spending a nice, long summer evening there…

Cozy place, with handmade rustic details, and a boat (!) inside, which is used as a serving table during continental meal times. Fun, right?

I loved the lamps! Something I would like to have in my own place (when I have one 😀 ).

Such a nice place! Even on a day like yesterday (or especially on a day like yesterday? When you can hide from that hideous wind… ).

So if you are ever in the area (Bergen and around), I suggest you visit the place. It is about an hour drive from Bergen, but I promise you, it is worth it. And you can do some easy hiking as well – you can find the western-most point in mainland Norway here, it is called Vardetangen.

You can find the place here:

Kilstraumen Brygge (their FB page here)

Kilstraumen 1

5943 Austrheim

Norway

Love, V.

Life Personal Photography

Monday mood: reflections

06/03/2017

Yesterday, as I was scrolling through Instagram, I read a question:

“Does anyone else feel like everything great you create is a fluke and everything bad is just proof that you’re not a real artist?”

And, of course, it caught my attention. I was questioning myself on the same topic just too much these past days. (I guess it is quite normal to a person who creates…? M? 😉 )

I had a meltdown. I was so overwhelmed with everything (I am working on something these days, and hopefully I can share the news soon), and I just cracked. Basically, life happened.

But.

It is good to have those moments. You realize what is important and what is not. And that you are not alone in this – people are usually there to help you, to soothe you, to give you advice. They are there to talk sense into you when your sense decides to take a stroll somewhere in the mountains 😉

And you realize, that you will do your own damn thing – no matter what it takes – because it makes you happy.

That simple. Happy.

I was inspired by some beautiful people out there, and today, I took my camera, looked at the mirror, and then… reflections happened.

Playing with light and angles. It was so much fun and very needed.

My kind of therapy.

Don’t ever, EVER quit on what you like to do.

Have your bad days, have your doubt days, but always trust your gut.

 

Love, V.