23 Apr 2014

BLOGGER 4 BLOGGER: NEJA FROM YOU CAN HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO

Remember the first post in my blog series "Blogger4Blogger" back in February? Well, it's about time for another one. This time I'm presenting you one of my absolute favorite food and lifestyle bloggers - Neja from You CAN Have Your Cake And Eat It Too. God knows I never enjoyed cooking and probably never will. Except for the quick pasta with pesto, but boiling water isn't exactly cooking. This girl Neja, darn she makes me want to bake stuff all day long and swirl around in the kitchen while my perfectly baked macaroons would sit pretty in the oven. So I asked her if she's interested in doing a guest post here on my blog, and put yo handz up in the air, she said yes! Enjoy, guys!


Gita made me the happiest girl when she offered me to introduce myself on her cool blog. From the moment I found her blog it was clear to me that she likes to support other bloggers and that she is open minded, down to earth, energetic, and that there's always a lot going on in her life.

Who am I? I am Neja and I'm creating a blog called You CAN Have Your Cake And Eat It Too. A year and a half ago my boyfriend suggested to me to open my own website which would be associated with healthy way of eating (because I am currently completing a masters degree in Dietetics). At that time (and still at this point) I didn't feel wise enough to teach people what they should eat; I don't like people who are ahead of themselves and create premature conclusions regarding certain topics and then they force and lecture these conclusions all around them, to other people. That seems irresponsible to me since integrity means a lot to me. That's why I said to myself that it's not the right time yet, it was too early for something like that and I'd prefer to wait. But the one thing I could do was to write my own food blog on which I'd post healthy recipes. At the same time it'll also be an opportunity for me to learn how to cook for real :).


I've always been a complete foody and loved having conversations about food. A lot of people around me probably think this is really weird, but I don't care, I like it. At some point in your life you have to stop neglecting your interests and passions just because you want to please other people. I wish that all people did this as soon as possible instead of throwing away the only thing that's really theirs - their freedom, their personality, their interests, their smiles (I know that in certain parts of the world people don't have freedom, which is downright awful).

The most important decision that I've taken was when I decided to go in a different direction, despite the fact that I just got my diploma in nursing. I didn't relate to this title, I didn't feel it, I never wanted to become that. I envied my classmates who knew exactly what they wanted to become. I didn't have a clue what to do with my life, where I belong. It was brutal! I have nothing against nurses, I really appreciate them, all I'm saying is that this wasn't my dream. And I am a dreamer. In life, you have to do what makes you happy, keeps you alive, energetic, inspirational for other people. Don't allow your job to be your silent killer. That's why I was happy to heaven when I discovered that a new master program opened - Dietetics, exactly at the perfect timing, right after I got my diploma.


Let's return to blogging ... It started with healthy recipes but soon I was so pulled into cooking that I wanted to cook and bake all those dishes that I always loved to eat. Because I'm a dessert-o-holic, you'll find a lot of totally unhealthy recipes on my blog. As well as healthy, do not worry :). Perhaps many recipes differ from what one would expect from a dietician, but there's a reason for it. I don't like extremes in life, especially not in my eating habits. My opinion is that you can eat practically everything, just within the normal range. Of course you won't eat cheesecake every day, but when you do need a recipe for a birthday cake, you'll be able to find it on my blog. I absolutely believe in Oscar Wilde's quote: "Everything in moderation, including moderation." This is also the reason why I chose my blog name, because I believe that you can have it all.

Over the course of blogging I realized that I really like photography, food styling, arranging table place settings - so I learned a lot over the last year and a half. I found new hobbies, new reasons for happiness. In addition to recipes, I share fragments of my personal life, moments from my trips, my thoughts, my tips, DYI's, photos, favorite music ... You'll find these in the tab named Neja's MilkshakeYou can also follow me on my Blog, Facebook, Bloglovin', Twitter, You Tube, Pinterest and Goodreads.

Of course I can't go without leaving you a recipe. I'll say goodbye with something sweet!

With love, Neja

Recipe (From: Lemons for Lulu)


Ingredients
For the cookies:

150g semi sweet chocolate, chopped
60g unsweetened chocolate, chopped
30g butter
32g flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon espresso powder
2 eggs
85g sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
96g mini chocolate chips


For the filling:

225g mascarpone cheese, softened
55g cream cheese, softened
32g powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons Kahlua Liqueur (I used rum)


The process

In a small saucepan combine chocolate and butter. Heat over low heat until both have melted. Stir until smooth and set aside. 
In a small bowl, combine flour, then add baking powder, salt and espresso powder. Set aside. 
In a mixing bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, and vanilla until mixture begins to thicken. Stir in cooled chocolate mixture followed by flour mixture. Beat until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Let batter stand for 10 minutes in order to thicken up.
Preheat the oven to 375 (~190 degrees Celsius). Drop dough by tablespoon full about onto a lined baking sheet, keeping each cookie about 5 cm apart. Bake for 8 minutes or until the edges are set and cookies are slightly cracked. Let it cool for 1 minute before removing to a cooling rack.


For the filling

Beat together mascarpone and cream cheese. Add in powdered sugar, vanilla and liqueur (or rum). Spread a healthy tablespoon of filling on the flat side of one cookie, top with another cookie. Makes 12 sandwich cookies. Store assembled cookies in an airtight container.


Feeling inspired? I'm sure gonna try and make these cookies myself. Thanks Neja for your time, great recipe and fantastic photos (you already know I'm your biggest fan)!

xxxx

16 Apr 2014

NAOBLAKU.SI: WANT TO WALK ON CLOUDS?

How do you like your sneakers? Low, high, glittery? Do you change them regularly? I don't know about you, but I always get that über fresh feeling when switching my kicks. Currently I'm all about comfort and finding something that suits my active lifestyle and still looks fly. So in the spirit of sneakers I want to present you a new Slovenian store "Na Oblaku" (meaning On the Cloud in English) that delivers some cool and sweet footwear for all the active hip souls out there. 

It all started not that long ago when my friend got the opportunity to start his own business. He opened his own company, "Na Oblaku", and I was pleasantly surprised by their selection of sneakers. They currently present two companies: Shulong and Burneties. They offer a great selection of women's and men's high-top sneakers, (my all time favorite) low classics, and some trendy slip-ons at a dope-ass affordable prices. There are always a few models on their discount tab too, which is of course always a good thing.


"Comfortable Dragon" aka Shulong is a trademark that sports stylish and vintage sneakers and canvas shoes that will surely fit every occasion. They've got a fantastic selection of multi-colored delicacies for your feet, so make sure to take some time and check them out!


Burnetie's sneakers are made to fit your lifestyle with an uncompromised quality, no-nonsense price and a commitment to our world by striving for a zero waste manufacturing. They also started with some innovations in reducing rubber and reusing the rubber waste in a way that is both innovative and groundbreaking - as a result their outsoles are made from 30-50% of  devulcanized rubber. Burnetie believes that the packaging is also a big part of eco-friendly solutions, so they're working on programs that will reduce the packaging by 30%.


You can also find "Na Oblaku" team over on Facebook where they'll update you with all of their novelties. I think the models are amazing and I'll sure consider a purchase. I also dig the fact that the prices are totally reasonable. I have my eyes on this black and white Burnetie Low Slip - watcha think, you like?


Big thumbs up for team Na Oblaku! 

xxxx

10 Apr 2014

ANJA SLIBAR ILLUSTRATION: BLACK'N'WHITE WITH A HINT OF RED

I've always had a soft spot for illustration. It all started with the obsession with the mothership of cool blogs - Garance Doré and her drawings, followed by an amazing fashion illustrator Cate Parr, and the list could go on. Have I ever tried to illustrate anything myself? Oh, puh-lease. I can't even draw such a basic thing as an outline of a damn cat. Anyhoo, my latest illustration obsession started not that long ago when I spotted this crazy talented girl Anja Šlibar. Seriously, I was just staring at her drawings for a couple of days, releasing sounds of admiration like "aaaah", "oooooh", "woooow" ... I instantly knew I've got to arrange an interview and present her to you. What I like the most about her work is the fact that she prefers the use of organic pen and paper while staying true to the usage of somewhat basic colors - red, black, and white. She says that she's inspired by small, unimportant everyday moments, girls with long hair, and cats.


Hi Anja, wassup? Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

Hello! Well, I'm a soon to be a 27 year old lady with hard working habits and a lust for a joyful life - trying to find a balance between those two! Plus I love cats, horror movies and pretty girls with long hair. And if you ask my boyfriend I probably have too many shoes. 

How did you get into illustration?

I think I was always a part of it. I slowed down when I thought it would be more convenient for me to study graphic design. Soon after I started working as a graphic designer I learned how little possibilities it offers. You always have to adapt and change styles. That's when I realized something was missing for me. I started to do things for myself again, I made prints and stickers, T-shirts and bags. Just for myself, you know? And for my friends. Everything else came later. 

Which three words best describe your work?

Red, black, and white!

Most of your work features the coolest girls with long hair; what do you enjoy the most about illustrating them?

Probably the hair! I think I would become a hairdresser if I wouldn't know how to draw.


Please take us through your design process, where do you start?

I start unintentionally with the daily web browsing ... If I see something I like or something I would like to have or someone I would like to look like or hang out with, I save the photo. Later on I observe the photo and try to find out what was the thing that caught my eye. When I do, I try to find as much reference as possible!

Would you define your work as more conceptual or decorative?

Decorative for sure! I like keeping things simple and avoiding conceptualism. The world is too much complicated as it is, I want to help make it more simple.

Do you think an illustrator needs a distinctive style? Why? Any tips on developing it?

Only you can see things like no one can, so take advantage of that and use your eyes and thoughts! I think someone gets to be an illustrator only when he develops his own style. Because when you find it, you also find yourself enjoying doing what you do. And that's why you do it - for your own pleasure or need. And when you start enjoying what you do, people will start noticing your work. If you work only for pleasing others, you'll sure get lost! Tips on developing a distinctive style ... For starters, try out many different styles you can find, even try to invent your own. Quickly, you'll realize what suits you best and bring you most joy while doing it.


Do you sometimes get blocked when searching for ideas? How do you overcome that?

Usually I get "hand blocks" instead of ideas blocks :). Even if I have an idea, if the day isn't right I won't be able to do it ... On some days my hands won't follow my mind. There aren't many days like that, but it happens! And when it does, I put away the pen and paper and do something completely different.

What are your favorite tools to work with and how do they help you to work better?

Tools that help me work are pretty simple: a piece of paper + pencil and eraser + black and red pens + super duper hi res scanner + the latest version of Photoshop. Usually everything is drawn on paper, scanned and "cleaned" in Photoshop. I try avoiding full digital illustrations.

When are images better than words?

Always! I hate words!


Where should a person start if they want to pursue a career in illustration?

I'm not someone who knows this path very well, but I think it should go like this: find the motifs where you can lose yourself in and enjoy doing it. Make stuff for yourself. DO IT A LOT! Like "don't go out, work till you're sleepy, work even if you're too tired" a lot. Get feedback from your sincere friends. Let people find your work, get yourself out there. Make a web page. Make a portfolio. Don't forget about the CV. Be short and effective! Find as much magazines as possible, send them your work. Wait. Wait for a long time. No reply? Do it some more! Send your stuff to blogs, do competitions! Don't be afraid, just enjoy it.

Do you think the internet has made the visual culture a vital part of everyday life?

Yes, absolutely! And as much as I hate the internet and the social media sometimes, deep inside I'm grateful to live in this age! The world literally is in our hands and I love it.


What's currently on your playlist?

This is gonna sound weird but I'm a kind of a person who listens to a song on a weekly basis. When I find a certain song I like, I play it over and over and over again! Usually this lasts for a week or maybe even longer if the song is good. I can listen to one song for eight hours or more a day! So previous week was dedicated to: Battle of Hernani - 1982.

What would be your ultimate goal as an illustrator?

To have my own exhibition and be able to showcase anything I want. And I mean anything!!!

Anja, thanks so much for your dose of inspiration, I really appreciate it!


So guys, what do you think, isn't her work just the best? I can totally see these illustrations hanging on the walls of my apartment. God knows I'd even hang them in my bathroom! If you're also fanatically in love with her work like myself, check out Anja's web page and get your illustration groove on!

xxxx

6 Apr 2014

HAPPY 2ND BIRTHDAY, ODDS&ENDS!

Holy shiz, it's already been two years since I wrote my first blog post! I know, I know, that may not sound much to some of you, but lemme tell you that this is probably the longest free time commitment I've ever made in my life. It's so interesting to see how my enthusiasm was shifting from one to another area of interest during the past two years. It's like having a little diary and there's nothing more fun than browsing through the older posts and having a good laugh at yourself. Don't even get me started on how many interesting people I've met just because of this blog!

So, in honour of Odds&Ends, let's take a quick trip down the memory lane, shall we? It all started with awkward fashion posts. At that time I thought I was SO into fashion and at the moment I couldn't care less about it. I was thinking of deleting all those posts, but an extremely wise man, dr. Shepard, once said that self-acceptance is the only way to one's freedom. So I'm still embracing that thought ... For now. The next chapter was full-force beauty period. Man, that hit me hard. I've always been a huge beauty lover, because there's nothing better than slathering your precious face with new, hyped products in fancy packaging (yes, I'm that shallow). I still like to write about it now and then, but my blog life is currently still ruled by my latest obsession - hunting down interesting peeps, musicians, artists, and getting to know their work and presenting it to you, my dear readers. I love it! In a perfect world that's what I'd like to do full-time. It's dynamic, inspiring, and so freaking interesting. And last but not least, you get to meet tons of amazing folks.

OK, enough with the reminiscent chitter-chatter, here are some of my highlights of the past year:



I can't even express how happy I am to have this little baby of mine! If you're thinking about starting your own blog I have only two words for you: DO IT! Well, actually I have three: DO IT NOW! I also wanna thank all of you for your support and nice comments, you're absolutely the raddest.

xxxx