Tuesday, November 12, 2013


The city where your child becomes a rock star. The city where East meets the West. And one of the last cities where people treat strangers as a family. Insanely culturally rich. Insanely friendly. The one and only. Istanbul.
We arrived on a rainy December day and we'd be fools if we thought the rain would stop. It never did. But it evoked we had that city to ourselves. And let me tell you, it was the best feeling. No tourists, just locals. We became an attraction. But not because of myself or my husband. Not at all. Blame our son. That kid was a hero. A superstar. Everywhere we went, people adored him. They wanted to picked him up, played with him, spoiled the heck out of him. Every store we went to, every restaurant we ate at, people were giving us free toys (remember the story here?). We left with a fuller suitcase than the one we came with. And even today we can't fully understand what has really happened.

One evening, after a satisfying cup of coffee, the azan (the Islamic call to prayer) started and in that empty street of ours, with rain dripping on a cobblestone street, we felt welcomed. We found ourselves right in between Hagia Sofia and Blue Mosque, and as we listened to the beautiful voice of muezzin, felt the rain soaking our skin, something intriguing happened. Those are the magic moments you'll never forget. And every time our memory takes us back to those special places of our fantastic brain, the feel, the vibe of that particular moment, quickens. Comes alive, once again. Real treasure right there, let me tell ya.

If you see pictures of Basilica Cistern (and no, sadly I don't have any), no travel guide, nothing can prepare you for the majestic beauty that visually appears in front of your eyes. Underground kingdom with lines of ancient columns, that are buried in the water. The opportunity of walking through this marble paradise makes the experience surreal. All you can hear are tiny drops falling down the water that surrounds you everywhere. And if you come to visit Istanbul in December, this is the perfect place to hide from the rain;). 

Those empty streets were becoming quickly familiar as we spent all day wandering around. If you are like me and want to always bring something from your travels, please, do wander. You will find some amazing stores and usually all it takes is to take one or two streets off the main shopping one. Istanbul has great bazaars as well. We visited the main two: Grand Bazaar and Egyptian (Spice) bazaar. Both of them are wonderful and very close from each other. But again, take one or two streets away from them, and you will find yourself lost in between Turkish people, who will not bargain over your child but mainly adore him.

Interacting with locals is so important. It puts the reality into perspective and rather than listening to what media want you to believe, here is a chance for you to truly understand the culture. We had a blast not only with the locals but also just random travelers. I do believe this city is visited by the most interesting and cool people. Not only our luggage was full, but my wallet was also loaded with new cards and contacts. And stories, so many of them. Leaving the beautiful city richer is an understatement. I left only to learn that nothing is same anymore. That part of me has changed again. For better. And if you let those places to do the same thing to you, the never stopping growth of yours will be forever performing the happy dance. I love you Istanbul, you were so good to us.

All photos are taken by me.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Bruno Barbey

Barbey, a Frenchman, born in Morocco in 1941. He studied photography and graphic arts in Ecole des Arts et Metiers in Switzerland and even though he doesn't consider himself a war photographer, he participated as a photojournalist covering the civil war all over the globe (Nigeria, Vietnam, Middle East, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Iraq and Ireland). He became a regular contributor at Vogue and in 1968 he became a full member at Magnum.
I call him the photographer of life. Somebody I look up to as an ultimate inspiration in the photo field. His beautiful images that speak all the languages and colors. He is a teacher of minimalist compositions and I admire his work that screams PASSION.
Enjoy this beauty, and for those who have never seen his work before, let me introduce you the one and only - Bruno Barbey.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Guardian Angels

I've recently read this article and it got stuck in my mind. Not because it was a great article, but it was a reminder. Guardian Angels. Let me put it straight. I am religious, I do believe in higher power. I am not sure if it's God (but that's probably the closest description of what higher power seems to me).
But I am also very skeptical. I never question my beliefs. But I do question the way how did humans find the ultimate version of what we are supposed to believe in. Is there really just one way? (or depending on religion, multiple ways:). Is what we're taught really the absolute truth? Or is there more to it? I am convinced we know very little. Something we hang onto to give us hope. Which, in the end, we all need.
But those guardian angels, or those strikes of light called souls, they are on my mind all the time. I want to know more. I am curious, have you ever experienced anything like that? Do you believe there is a possibility or it just sounds like a plain rubbish to you?

Picture found here.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Just thinking..

My friend Kate sent me this video and while watching it, I felt like they took the words right out of my mouth. Simply beautiful, but also alarmingly encouraging. Sometimes I feel I have to give my best every day when writing this blog but I know that the best pieces require more work, more focus. I don't want to write just because I have to. I so ENJOY having this blog and I want to keep ENJOYING it, because only if you ENJOY something, beautiful things happen. Do you feel the same? Do you prefer quality over quantity like me? Or vice versa?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


I am slightly obsessed with gold lately. On my last visit to IKEA, I bought couple of SNARTIG vases and was thinking how to spice it up a little. Golden sharpie did the magic and those beauties create wonderful display, sitting quietly next to each other, side by side..

All photos by me.

Monday, July 15, 2013

From around the world

Hello there, how was your weekend? We were outside most of the time, watching a baseball game, enjoying warm evening walks, having fun time with our friends. It was perfect. I so do love summer evenings.
But I have to admit, that one thing I am missing in California is the good old summer rain. The one that creates thunderstorm so loud that all you want to do is to drink a nice cup of coffee, cuddle up under the blanket and pick up some seriously good reading material.
So let's pretend it's raining and enjoy some nice links I picked for you this week.

An eclectic home.

Pom pom balloons.

I just like her.

Portraits of fourth graders around the world.

It's good to remind this to ourselves from time to time.

Oh, those shoes. And the cutest swimsuit.

This room feels so cozy to me..

Perfect plate.

Fish taco bowls sound divine to me.

Photo found here.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

You'd be mad not to check out..

Friend, are you a fan of jewelry? I have to admit, I am indecisive. It's all about the mood I am in that day. But if I do, I tend to lean towards very simple accessories. So when I spotted those little munchkins, I thought it would be the perfect thing to share. It would make a great gift, especially if that person has an attachment to a certain city. I can already think of one friend, who'd die to own the one of Venice! What about you? Would you wear it?

New York Central Park

San Francisco




Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Architecture of density

Yesterday I wrote about urban living. And even though it can be glamorous, sometimes it might feel a bit cramped. One of my favorite cities, Hong Kong, is definitely one of those densely populated places that there is no other way than building high rises as tall as you can imagine. This city ranks as one of the most expensive in the world and not everyone can afford a big place. Many elderly, unemployed people are packed in such a small spaces that are not bigger than toilet cubicles. Their frugal life is fascinating to me.
German photographer Michael Wolf, who currently lives in Hong Kong, captured fully occupied complexes by removing any sight of sky or a ground. He called his project Architecture of density and you can see the whole collection here.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Urban city living

I've always felt like a city girl. You could put me in almost any metropolis and I will be right in my element. The city inspires me, recharges me and most importantly, makes me walk everywhere! Oh, how much do I love long walks. So today, I felt the urge to search some city pictures and share that urban skyline love with you!
What about you? Do you like vibrant places or something calmer in the nature?

Photos found here, here, here, here.

Monday, July 8, 2013

From around the world

Hello there, how was your weekend/week? Thank you for being so patient with me. We finally moved and it was pretty hectic. We are almost done unpacking and we already fell in love with our new place. Even though it was only a local transition, I must say it was equally exhausting as an oversea one. But it was so worth it. I can go on and on about how much do I love San Diego, but I am sure you are interested in some fab links, correct?;) Enjoy and have a fantastic week!

Moms and their real bodies.

Cutest little sandals.

Eternal beauty.

Gorgeous chairs.

So simple and so good.

Loving everything about this room.

Thinking about trying this recipe sometime this week..

Feast for your eyes.

Photo found here.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

You'd be mad not to check out..

Why don't make your camera more stylish? I am starting to see more and more people polishing their look while taking their buddy for a walk. You can either purchase the sparkly strap here or if your skills are super awesome, you can make it yourself. Go for a full tutorial to this website, where talented Ashley shows you step by step how to make this gem. And if the twinkle is too much for you, go over here to check out this gorgeous floral accessory.

Have an amazing weekend and I will meet you here on Monday!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Is there anything that attracts human eyes more than sparkle? And if so, isn't the natural glow just the most gorgeous and rare thing out there? When I found those places, I couldn't help myself but share them with you.

1) Bioluminescent Bay, Vieques, Puerto Rico:

(photos found here)

There are not many places where you can experience that, in fact, Bioluminescent Bay is the brightest 
one in the world. The beautiful glow happens when the growing bacteria is somehow disturbed, usually by a swimmer or predator. So every time you lay your hand in the water or jump for a swim, the bacteria creates a light show by using it's defense method. I've experienced something very similar once, but not as bright, in Los Angeles. It is spectacular. So if you are going to Puerto Rico, don't forget to add this on your list!

2) Aurora Borealis

I am sure you've heard about this one before, some of you have even experienced it. I've always dreamed about going to Lapland and watch the lights joining their hands, performing their most beautiful dance. Aurora Borealis is quiet, surreal and peaceful. The Nothern lights. Have you seen it? Did it fulfill your wish?

3) Glow worm caves, New Zealand

(photos found here)

As I recently posted an article about New Zealand and places I'd like to visit, I could easily add this one to the list. Located in the Waitomo region, this geological formation will definitely grab your attention. The neon decor is created by Arachnocampa luminosa, a gloworm species living only in New Zealand. You can take the standard tour and get on the boat that will take you to the starry night fantasy. Fun fact: glowworms live about 6 months and are are fed by insects that make their way into the deep caverns. Can you imagine being there? That is something I'd daydream about..

Monday, June 24, 2013

From around the world

Hello there, how was your weekend? We were trying to enjoy last peaceful weekend before the storm hits as we are moving next week! Friends, I don't really like moving. And especially I don't like moving with two small children. But it must be done and even though we have a wonderful company to help us pack, it's still a lot of work. So please be understanding of my sporadic posting in the next two weeks.
Meanwhile, here are some fun links for you, have an amazing week!

There is something beautiful about this painting.

Another Foster + Partners creation.

Hubby and I enjoyed this movie. What a gem!

I am definitely trying this recipe today.

It's always sad to loose an amazing actor. My heart goes out to his family.

Look at this place! Go straight to the kids room and check out the steps leading to a magic hideway!

Beautiful pastel portraits.

Venezia in un giorno.

The cutest little thing.

Friday, June 21, 2013

You'd be mad not to check out..

This is a little unusual travel gadget but I couldn't help myself and had to share this weird but probably unbelievably comfortable ostrich pillow. If you are thinking what in the world is that, don't worry, I had to ask myself the exact same question. This pillow is supposed to be used on your travels, whether on a plane or train, or at your office?? (I guess power naps?) and offer you the privacy and comfort in small spaces. Now I am a bit confused here since I can't picture myself at the airport wearing this huge pillow on my head, that provides a hole for your nose and two other sides holes where you can let your hands rest. HA! But it does make me smile and to be honest, I wish I could lay my head into that magic hat right now. Zzzzzzz.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I have left my heart in..

We all know this feeling. You go to places and they become a part of you for a second. They will make you who you are, they will help to rebuild your thoughts and soul. Sometimes you won't have the need to return and sometimes you fall hard for that place. And if you fall really hard, then you'll find out that a piece of your heart went missing. That's what happened to me in Thailand. That country stole my heart. What country, city or a place did the same to you?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

3 places I'd love to see in New Zealand

1) Egmont National Park and it's Goblin Forest. The park is beautiful itself, but the main reason why I would like to visit this natural wonderland is the Goblin Forest. I've never seen such magical place where the trees with their gnarled shapes create an eery feel. They are called "Kamahi trees" and because you can find them in one of the highest area, they burst with abundant mosses and ferns.

2) Tree Restaurant, Auckland. It's suspended 10 metres up a huge redwood tree and it was designed on a child fantasy of a tree house. I am fully aware this is not a tourist attraction or a magnificent landmark but I couldn't resist and it actually is on my list. The only downside is that it is not longer open to the public but it can be reserved as a private party for 30 people. I can see myself renewing vows there.
What an unique experience of fine dining!

3) Champagne pool in Rotorua was formed nearly 900 years ago by a hydro thermal eruption and it's temperature reaches 74°C. It was named Champagne pool because of it's resemblance of a bubbly glass of famous sparkling wine. The unusual coloring is mostly from arsenic and sulfide deposits. And I found it visually so beautiful it makes me want to go right now!

Photos found here, here, here, here and here.