Summer vacation is over

And autumn seems to already be here…

When I looked back on my vacation, I realized I really did get enough rest and I enjoyed my time off. Even when the weather turned cold and windy. The books occupied my time while I waited for the sun’s return.

I’m not sure if you can see it in this picture, but the wind “bura” was blowing and there is a white fog over the sea.

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But then, when the wind and the rain stopped, it became possible to catch pictures of sun through the trees.DSC_0043

Most of my vacation was spent in Smokvica, we just traveled for the last few days to southern Dalmatia to watch  Maraton lađa – a famous event in that part of Croatia where teams compete on the river Neretva in rowing old-fashioned boats native to that region. For 22,5km! That is more than 2,5 hours of rowing.

But before the main event, we were lucky to have dinner at a place that features this sunset in front of it. DSC_0053

And views like this one:DSC_0056

In order to get to the start of the race boats are organized for tourists that first take you for a swim and a lunch and then to the start of the race.

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And here go the teams – there were 34 of them.DSC_0064

This is what cheering from the boat looks like.🙂

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And now I’m back in Zagreb, just so you don’t think my hair always looks that disheveled, I have a fresh hairstyle.

(that will probably be disheveled in 2 days time)😀DSC_0078

Summer reads – Kresley Cole: Dead of Winter

In preparation of the fourth Arcana Cronicles installment, I decided to read the previous ones. And now I did it, I realized I never published my thoughts on this one. Strange because this one ends with a massive cliffhanger. I won’t spoil it for you, but if you haven’t read it yet, wait until the 4th book is out so you can continue in peace. Which is August 15 (4 days from now).

What can I say, this installment is tense, we learn a lot about the Lovers card and a new Arcana comes into play.

I grew to like Evie (a.k.a. The Poison Princess) – she was a bit ‘stupid’ in the beginning, what with the naive thinking and getting angry at all the wrong things. But she’s 16 when all hell breaks loose, so I understand that it’s not easy to grow into seriousness and mature in a short space of time. But she managed it and it becomes apparent in this book.

I can’t wait to see if she’ll manage to stop the game and keep all of her newfound friends alive. I certainly hope so.

I’m not so happy about her being in love with two guys. Actually, that doesn’t bother me exactly, what bothers me that she has to choose. Why not keep them both?!😉 She loves them both.

And, to finish this, I do hope Jack turns out to be Arcana as well, but so far nothing. There is only one card inactivated and I still hope it will be him – but chances are slim…

 

 

Summer reads – The 6th Extinction by James Rollins

It’s been a long time since I read a Sigma novel. I forgot how James Bondian they sometime seem what with last minute saves and getaways from impossible situations.


Still, I love these novels because Mr Rollins has a way of looking at information from different strata of life and incorporating them into an incredible story that actually makes sense. Even when it’s incredibly unbelievable.🙂 (INCREDIBLY!)

I don’t want to go into details about the story, I think it’s better if you read it for yourself when you are up to some good adventure/thriller fun.

The most important thing about this book is that it presents genetic research and gene manipulation from two perspectives which are opposite to one another but which cannot be dismissed as completely wrong. Or right for that matter. It always comes back to ethics and morality. And some people not having them. 

But to make a long story short, I always learn a lot from these novels and go away wanting to learn more about different subjects. 

Even when it seems learning more might make me see the future of mankind in a bleak perspective…

Long time, no sea

Sorry, couldn’t help myself.🙂 It’s been a long time since I wrote anything, and well, this post will come with sea photos. ;-) 

Yes, I’m on vacation. Finally.

I had (still have) time to think about what’s been going on in my life and pondering the reasons why I no longer have the time and/or energy to read and write. Honestly though, I haven’t come to any smart conclusions. Life takes you on a path and before you know it, all that once brought you pleasure as a hobby suddenly no longer fits into the hours in a day. I hate that.

So I spent my first week of vacation basically doing nothing. Just resting from the hectic pace my life is when I go to work. 

I sleep a lot, go for a swim, do some yoga and pilates and read. I’m just doing things I enjoy and that bring me relaxation and hopefully, one of these relaxed days I will have an epiphany and realize how to make time in my routine for things that make me happy and relaxed.
Because when I’m happy and relaxed, nice things happen to me. Like talking to a neighbor and discovering a new perfume gem I now covet. 

Cartier’s La Panthere. 

I was so surprised to find myself enjoying a perfume I thought was for older ladies.😀 Oh, well, I’m the first to admit I’m prejudiced. 

Anyway, I hope to do a review sometime in the near future. So far, I can only say that after reading the notes, I am no longer surprised I fell for it. There is gardenia hidden in its heart. :-) 

And to leave you now with typical Smokvica sights:

I won’t be powdering my nose – Narciso Poudree

I’ll be powdering everything else I can.😉

It’s funny – one day you’re lamenting how you can no longer find a perfume that will make you fall in love and then, suddenly, from the most unexpected place, one appears.

I’m not complaining though. Ok, maybe a little as it’s not yet out so I can’t get a bottle of  my own but in the overall scope of things, I can live with that. I can even live with the fact that I’ll be encountering many other people smelling like me once it’s released.

I think Narciso himself introduced this perfume in the clearest of ways:NARCISO image9.indd

“With the original NARCISO fragrance, I wanted to create an extremely sexy fragrance. NARCISO eau de parfum Poudrée captures femininity at its core in an even more seductive way. It is both tender and powerful and immediately addictive.”

I cannot but agree with everything stated here. I liked the original Narciso perfume but it is this one that is at the same time sexy as hell and feminine and not overpowering. It speaks to me like in all the ways I didn’t think a perfume can. It reminds me of younger days when I thought Very Irresistible by Givenchy was all the rage. There is a character note they share (rose) and where Very Irresistible made the air in the room unbreathable with its overbearing silage, Narciso Poudree is the wisp of air that makes you turn your head in search of the sensuality you think you noticed and want to make sure you didn’t imagine, because it smells too good to be truly there.

Yes, it’s obvious I’m in love, isn’t it?🙂

Notes from I gathered from the press release include: jasmine, Bulgarian rose, vetiver, black cedar, white cedar, powdery musc.

Before going on to what I smell, I want to say a big thank you to Raquel Zimmerman who made me re-think the fact that synthetic muscs will never work for me. It is obvious this was made expertly as this perfume never veers off into territory where muscs take over, even though the longevity is here – my blotter still smells amazingly strong after 3 days and it smells great.

I admit with shame now that when I first smelled this I have no  idea what it was I was smelling, I just loved it from the first spray. The best thing I can say for myself is I understood why they named it Poudree.🙂 It took me a while to understand that rose was the one seducing me from the start, accompanied by her minions whom I ignored. It is only now that I smell the drydown again and again I can understand where vetiver comes into play (I would never have guessed it was there by myself) and I would swear there is some vanilla in the base as the warm, seductive sweetness it exudes cannot all be attributed to the mentioned notes.

I love the powdery feel of this perfume as it keeps the rose in check and I love that the creaminess you feel in this perfume is a sleight of hand done by jasmine. And even though I would say that vetiver adds its dryness and sweetness to the poudree part of the name and the perfume drydown, I still think a drop of vanilla helps.😉

So, I hope now you are all as eager as I am to see Narciso Poudree released.

Please let me know what you think once you get the chance to smell it.

 

And I would like to say a big thank you to Ivo who shared this gem with me.🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traveling in France – skiing in Val d’Allos

It’s funny how I haven’t been to France in years and then in the span of a month I traveled both to Paris and to Val d’Allos for skiing. We were there in early January, it’s just that I’m slow in posting.

I missed skiing so much these past few years we didn’t go so I enjoyed myself immensely this time around.

Even though the snow wasn’t much in attendance (all over Europe), we still had enough to be able to ski every day. Most days the weather looked like this:

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Lots of sun and luckily not too warm most days so the snow didn’t melt.

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How could you not feel happy when all day long this is what you see:

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Not that much snow around though…DSC_1510[1]

Enjoying a little sun while taking a break (and practicing taking selfies)😉

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The only cloudy day when a storm was coming – with lots of snow!DSC_1525[1]

View from the balcony:

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And for the first time around, I’m sneaking in a photo of my boyfriend (he doesn’t like his pictures published online but I’m thinking this one is fine):
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Traveling in France – Paris

In December I finally had a chance to visit Paris again, even if it was only for two and a half days. It was a quick getaway that happened at exactly the right time to re-charge my batteries before work hit me hard for the rest of the month.

I arrived on the first Sunday of the month and the optimist in me thought to visit museums for free.🙂 This is the closest I got to a museum – this is Rodin’s. Louvre and Musee d’Orsay were out of the question, the queues were unbelievable! Still, just walking in the gardens of Musee Rodin was a beautiful experience.

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So, since my free entrance to Louvre was out of the question, I decided to pay for it and used most of my Monday to stroll around it. I seem to have been fascinated with staircases this time around but I’ll post just one picture of them (ok, maybe two).🙂

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There are so many beautiful things to see in Louvre. I’ve been there once already, my first time in Paris, but I really wanted to visit it again.

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The jewelry on display is “magnifique”!DSC_1394[1]

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This time I was actually able to snap a rather ok photo of Mona Lisa.

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It is not a worthy trip to Paris if you don’t visit a perfume shop and this time, my perfume wanderings took me to Jovoy (no pictures from there but a perfume did come back😉 ) and to Caron which had an amazing Christmas display in their window. I didn’t buy anything there but the SA was amazingly nice and cooperative and explained everything. I went away with arms smelling of many perfumes and a sample of Poivre.

Honestly, I feel old French perfumery is calling me back to its folds. I seem to enjoy it more and more.

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Of course that no trip to Paris would be complete without a visit to Guerlain. This time a friend and I decided to visit the famous tea room (Le 68 Guy Martin) at Guerlain and it was the first time I discovered what the French insolence feels like. You see, you need a reservation for the place and we didn’t have one. But as it wasn’t really full we somehow managed to convince them to let us in for tea and cake.

That was misstep number 2. You see, you cannot come around 2 for tea and cake.😀 Because that is lunch time. As we were very haughtily informed. Still, they obviously made an exception in our case.

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And since I didn’t know if taking a photo of my dessert would be misstep 3, I took it quickly so it’s not the best one.

That said, once we started eating our dessert and being so obviously appreciative of it, the chief waiter (one being frenchly mean to us) actually appeared with a smile on his lips. Honestly though, this was I believe the best dessert I ever had in my life. And I can’t even remember its name and can’t find it on the restaurant’s menu either (some kind of chocolate profiterole).

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My Guerlain visit ended with a purchase of Shalimar tea. Again the optimist in me thought I’d buy more than just Shalimar tea, but once I saw the prices, additional tins were out of the question.🙂 Oh well, at least I tried one of them with my dessert.😉

My New year’s resolutions

(not that they usually do me any good, I just basically follow my own way😉 )

But, I woke up today with all the possibilities for this year clear in my head and with a strong urge to make them happen. Who knows, maybe now when I write them down, some of them actually happen.🙂 I.E. I make them happen.😉

1. Write more. Especially about perfume (there are many great perfumes I’ve tried lately that I want to write about).

2. Get organized – I have this feeling that if I get my different parts of my life better organized, it would make me faster when doing something and less stressed when I’m in a hurry

3. De-clutter all aspects of my life. I really feel I have too much stuff. Yes, I love shopping (I’m a true consumerist) but I would enjoy my stuff more if it didn’t get lost among all other stuff.🙂

4. Figure out what is it that I want to do. Really want to do.

5. Do more yoga. Or pilates. It goes extremely well with running. And does wonders for my lower back.

6. Relax. I’m a really tense person who wants everything right now. I realized I have a problem enjoying the moment so I want to learn how to do that. Or just be more aware of it so I can enjoy life more. There’s no hurry.😉

7. Keep on running. Ok, that’s nothing new but running helps me in so many ways that I just want to keep on doing it.

Merry Christmas!

From Zagreb!🙂

I wish everyone a very merry Christmas, spent among people you love, hopefully with some good food and drinks as well!🙂

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This is a photo of what Advent (part of it) looks like in Zagreb. I took the photo today while passing by.

Ingrid Divković: J..e li vas ego?

Or, loosely translated into English, Is your ego fu..ing with you?

Well, I hope you’re intrigued by the title as I was.🙂 jebe li vas

I was at the book signing on Monday as I thought this might be an interesting book to read and after hearing the author say how it came about, I decided to get my copy and read it. It’s a fast read as it’s not  a long book, and also, it’s not a self-help book. It’s more author’s musings on different situations that happened to her in life that made her realize how much she reacts from/with her ego than anything else. Something we can all relate to.

I find it funny that I can say that Ingrid is still young (she’s 30) and you can tell from her writing she is young. I’m not that much older than she but it feels like I am, after reading the book.She still has that naive outlook at life (which I had for quite a while as well) and it shows in her writing. Not that I mind, I just find it funny that I look it that way now.

For her first book, it’s amazingly interesting and full of thoughts that make so much sense from a female perspective. I might be prejudiced, but I somehow don’t think men would understand them as women do.

And although the book suffers from some beginner mistakes (mostly the thoughts feel unfinished), it is still a book you read in one sitting because once you start you just go on. It also makes you feel good about yourself and leaves you with a positive outlook on your future.

I really look forward to reading what Ingrid writes next because it’s rare to find a Croatian writer I like and think has so much potential.

Picture taken from ingriddivkovic.com

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