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Food, Lifestyle, My Work, Travel

Marski by Scandic : Visit Helsinki

August 15, 2019

About 12 years ago when I’ve first visited Helsinki, there weren’t as many hotels as there are now in the very heart of the Helsinki city centre but one of the first hotels I did stay at back then was Scandic Simonkentta.

Swedish chain of 4 star hotels right away “got” me with their minimalistic design, effortless check in/out and great comfort. Couple of years after, I have stayed at hotel Marski as well and while it was not any different looking than the other Scandic hotels I’ve been to (in other cities such as Turku and Oulu) I did love the very central location of it, right on the main street Mannerheimintie and right across the best department store in Finland, Stockmann as well as the historical Swedish theatre and 3 blacksmiths square.

Scandic Marski hotel lobby
very stylish and cosy Scandic Marski rooms

About a year and half ago I have heard that hotel Marski is under the reconstruction and the whole new look and concept will be given to it!

Oh and it was so! Beautiful new hotel Marski by Scandic was (re)opened couple of months ago and the new , very stylish and fancy design had complemented the “old fame” of the place.

I love the cozyness of it, the upgraded bedrooms and amenities as well as the restaurant Kuusi Palaa which served us amazing dinner and a wonderful breakfast table. I found the rooms to be very stylish, more spacious than before and I have loved the new “splash” of colour it got versus the other Scandic hotels I know of.

Marble walls and golden details in the bathroom!

Gym, sauna access, parking garage and super friendly and helpful staff would be definitely what I’m looking for when staying at a hotel in any city’s centre. Something that is also great about Marski by Scandic hotel is that WiFi is free of charge, pets are allowed and it also proudly carries the Nordic Swan eco label for the sustainability.

Thanks to already mentioned hotel’s restaurant Kuusi Palaa, I have dined well and have enjoyed to the max Noridc / Finnish cuisine at it’s best. The name of the restaurant is quite entertaining as it can mean many different things and some of them are: “Burning Tree” or “6 slices”. You even get a small pamphlet on your dinner table explaining the name and all of the variations of it. 🙂

Restaurant Kuusi Palaa

It’s rare that I like any of the hotel’s own restaurants, but Kuusi Palaa has definitely satisfied my foodie standards as well as my tastebuds. 🙂

From the starter plate or so called Finnish tapas to the main course and finishing off the dinner with a rich but just perfectly combined brownie with coffee cream and popping candy was nothing short but great!

I can definitely recommend you to try out the Marski bar, besides live music played by the DJ you can also enjoy many great cocktails among which I’d like to point out Grandma’s pickle cocktail and Raspberry boat, both of them you can also get as a mocktail. 🙂 For avid beer lovers, there’s an extensive list of local and Finnish beers as well.

If you find yourself visiting Helsinki sometime soon and are looking for a 5 star hotel treatment and vibe but at much affordable rate, give a chance to Marski by Scandic, you won’t regret it!

*This article was made in collaboration with Scandic hotels / Marski hotel but all of the opinions are my own.

*Photography by Natali K. photography

*Thank you Ms. Elina and Mr. Jouko for this opportunity!

Beauty, Lifestyle, Outfits

A year away

July 15, 2019

How much a year away can change you? A lot! I didn’t plan on it, I didn’t know what will happen with me or to me but a year ago I took off to see my family in Croatia and due to my very fragile and at that point “incurable” health situation I was sure that I was about to see only few more days and that’s it…

Yes, it was that bad and I was in shock when the doctors told me that I was fighting for my life or that my life was hanging on the threads. Thanks to the love of my siblings, I have managed to fight through, I have managed to leave the hospital, start getting better and also for the first time in forever – just be.

My beautiful daughter came over for her Summer holidays and I was happy that us two got more time to be together, to put a “restart” on life as we knew it and make new rules and memories.

It happened to be that my health was getting better all the time, I was enjoying my Summer days by the beach with an ice cream in one hand and a great book to read in another. I was indulging in seasonal, local fruits like a crazy hungry monkey, I was inhaling the breeze of the fresh seaside air as if it was the first time I’ve ever experienced that.

But the Summer was coming to it’s end and I wasn’t ready to leave the place in which I have just started to feel so good, to finally relax and let go of all of the chains I’ve put on myself in all the previous years. I knew that I got a new chance on life and I was not going to play it out… I had to make a decision at cost of the life I knew for the past 11 years and at cost of my daughter’s life to stay in Croatia for a while.

We didn’t put any date on anything… We just started to live day by day as it comes. I’m a person who’s always thinking about the past and how I could have done this or that better. I’m also a person who’s living in the future, all the time questioning myself what’s going to be, I even visually picture something which haven’t and most possibly won’t happen at all, but of course that kind of thinking just lead me to an enormous amount of anxiety.

That was when I have told myself that I just need to slow down, let go of any rules, let go of any stupid thoughts which were choking me in now – the present.

That is when I started to completely break down the girl which I thought I was – a creation of tens of other people, living and functioning according to what I thought certain person wanted me to be, what I thought they were thinking about me and trying to please everybody so that I would be liked and approved by everybody because for a long time I thought that THAT is where my worth is. If everybody likes me, it means that I’m a good person, I am doing things right and I will be always understood.

Yea, my *ss! First of all, nobody cares about you that much, esp. if you don’t care about yourself and secondly, what anybody else thinks of you is none of your business. YOU NEED TO BE GOOD TO YOURSELF and that’s all that matters. See… I was brought up thinking that for TRUE LOVE you need to work hard.

I thought that in order for my mom, my dad, my siblings, friends, etc. to TRULY LOVE me I need to work really hard to have their love, acceptance and to be worthy of their time and love.

THAT IS SO WRONG! For the true, unconditional love, you don’t need to work. Love is NOT work, love is the true emotion which comes just by you being you, without hiding anything, without overthinking everything, without trying hard to impress somebody in order for them to love you back. Yes! I always am advocating to give and expect nothing in return, to love endlessly and to be kind to one other but there is a limit to all of that and also a realisation point when you figure out that not everybody is worthy of your time and love and that the more you’re beating the horse who doesn’t respond the more you’re hurting while they’re still indifferent towards you.

People who really love you will always be there for you! Even after you had fights, even after you have not agreed on things, even when you haven’t spoken in a while… People who really love you will always be ready to hear you out, to give you a second chance or will be very well aware of how much you’re worthy, how much you’ve done for them and how much you love them too.

Sometimes, your closest people stab you in the back the hardest. Sometimes, it’s hard to accept that some people you have spent so much time giving and loving couldn’t care less about you, about what you’re doing, how you’re feeling or perhaps, if they could somehow help you out.

What this year away has thought me is that I’m bendable! I was torn apart, practically faced the death bed and have risen up like a phoenix. I have for the first time truly looked at myself in the mirror, seen myself for who I really am and have decided to love myself… To fully embrace myself and give myself a hug when I needed it the most.

It was only then, when I started to accept myself that I have started to change the way I see others, how I respond in certain situations and what I really want from life at all.

I found it “funny” how things which had so much importance to me before, now I couldn’t care less about those. I have discovered that my connection to the nature and being in tune with myself spiritually was what made me find that silver lining. I have realised now more than ever how much the power of some things had over me and how I was slave to everything which I’m completely unbothered by right now!

I have realised how much more aware I am of my thoughts, my actions, my finances, my plans for the future. I have realised how much I DO accomplish when I set my mind onto it and how many things do fall into place when I don’t desperately push them to fall there.

A year away can change you and teach you so much! I don’t advise you to take a year away from everything you know or have been living a certain way for over a decade but I have always been an exhibitionist and only doing drastic moves could open my eyes, smash me but also build me up in a very short time.

What’s one year of living, learning and changing? Not much really, I had 11 years of living by the same rules and patterns, so I thought that I owe it to myself to give this one year away a try…. A try to do everything differently and see what happens!

While none of your problems will just disappear by snapping with your fingers, they will be looked at from a whole different perspective! You will gain the strength and a new outlook on them and how to solve them.

Right now, a year later, I can say that I didn’t have it easy going through this transformation but this year has brought me some new amazing people in my life and have also make me see people who have always been there and loved me differently (in a positive way). It also made me realise which relationships needed to be broken off and to stop over romanticising some of them for what they’re not and have never been.

A year away has also thought me that sometimes, all you have is yourself! You are the only person who’s with you there at the end of the day. Sometimes you will be the only person which you can rely and trust on but that’s not tragical, that’s exactly where you’ll find what you’re made of and how much strength you have which you weren’t even aware of.

So thank you life for everything you’ve put on my path, I now see and understand things and people differently! I have learned not to take everything too close to heart but I have also learned to listen because I’m not always right and sometimes the answers you’re looking for are exactly in what you’re running away from or not wanting to hear.

All photos by Valerio Baranovic, make up by Katarina Maglov, session for YSL beauty

Lifestyle, My Work, Travel

NOVA Rent A Car

March 15, 2019

NOVA Rent A Car is my favourite rent a car company in Croatia. When I’m not in Finland and I want to relay on a good, safe and modern cars for the local trips in Croatia, I go to NOVA Rent A Car!

NOVA Rent A Car has the best selection of rental cars at the most affordable prices! I have been using their services for a long time to be able to stand behind my words when I assure you that there was not a single time I had any issues with NOVA Rent A Car, actually quite the opposite. Every visit to NOVA Rent A Car in Sibenik has been one of the most pleasure filled “client services” experience.

From getting to the office, to getting a car, payment, driving the car and to finally returning it, it is all so easy and comfortable which is the main reason why I keep on coming back to NOVA Rent A Car and don’t go elsewhere.

Great fact about NOVA Rent A Car is that they have many offices through whole Croatia, from Zagreb to Dubrovnik but you can also always book your car online too! Another cool thing is that you don’t need to stress taking the car back to the original office where you have picked it up from. If you need car from Sibenik to Zagreb for instance, you can drop off the car in Zagreb NOVA Rent A Car office and continue on with your trip.

NOVA Rent A Car offers you 2 different options when renting their cars, you can take a full on package, meaning you prepay for the insurance of the car or you can take it without one but then it’s bit more riskier because in case something happens on the road, you’re responsible to pay for the damage no matter what the price will be.

There are also car extras which you can choose according to your needs and you can also always check out NOVA Rent A Car website for the special deals which could for instance get you a 15% discount on certain cars for a specific period.

*Thank you to Mr.Ivica from NOVA Sibenik and Miss Vanja for the best customer service.

*All of the opinions are my own/ all of the photos by me.

Lifestyle, My Work

Portabile phone cases

March 6, 2019

Phones are something we’re all attached to on daily basis, some of us more, some less, but I don’t think that any of us can imagine a day go by without using our phone. 

I also drop my phone on daily basis… A lot! I know, not something to brag about but I am wishing to explain you the importance of a great, high quality phone cases. 

Costumised phone case

The ones which I’m using, Portabile phone cases are exactly that, high quality, durable phone cases which are protecting my phone but they’re also something I have “designed” myself and you can too! 

Portabile phone cases are Croatian based company which allows you to create your own phone case, costumise it just how you want it in 3 easy steps:

1.Pick the model of your phone (iPhone, Samsung, Huawei)

2.Upload your preferred photograph

3.Fix/ scale your photo to fit the phone case and add text if you wish.

It can’t be easier or quicker to create a new “coat” for your phone be it something more trendy or something more personal like a photo of your significant other or a child. This could also be a beautiful and unique present to your friend, family member, etc.

Check out Portabile phone cases website here and order yours today!

*At the moment, Portabile phone cases are available only in Croatia but the plan is to start a worldwide shipping too.

Food, Lifestyle, My Work, Travel

Visit Croatia: Zinfandel’s

January 28, 2019

Zinfandel’s restaurant is one out of the two restaurants which you can enjoy inside of the Esplanade hotel. While LeBistro is more of a laidback “bistro” for a whole day dining, Zinfandel’s is perfect for a romantic night out, foodie experience or the best hotel breakfast you’ve ever had.

Perfect crepes

Let’s start with the breakfast, big variety of cold cuts, dips, spreads, fruit platter, overnight oats, smoothies, numerous cakes, selection of breads… All of those are part of the breakfast buffet table where you can serve yourself and eat as much as you like but if you wish to have something more special like warm porridge, grilled pineapple or poached eggs, you have a a-la-carte menu and the servers will do their best to spoil you with something warm and delicious. 🙂

Breakfast a-la-carte
Breakfast strukli

I would say that you should definitely try the “star” of their breakfast table and that’s traditional Croatian strukli, a dish like no other, which quickly became my favourite breakfast choice. Dense yet “melt in my mouth” dough, filled with the fresh cheese and topped with the sour cream and eggs, baked to perfection in the oven. It’s a well known fact that Esplanade’s breakfast strukli are the best in Zagreb, if not in whole Croatia.

Zinfandel’s got it’s name after a special sort of grapes originating from the South of Croatia. Main chef, Ms. Ana Grgic has been devoted to crafting her special signature at Zinfandel’s for 13 years. What begun as an apprentice in training, developed into something very fruitful and it ensured that Ms. Ana becomes the main chef of Zinfandel’s and LeBistro.

Ricotta gnudi
Carrot risotto with burrata and black olives paste

If you are looking for a delicious lunch with a 5 star service and a cozy, home like vibes, I suggest you to go to LeBistro. It’s a perfect place to try traditional Croatian dishes but interpreted in a “finer” way with a modern day twist to it. What stood out for me were definitely a carrot risotto and ricotta gnudi.

For a dinner at Zinfandel’s, I’d suggest you to leave about 2-3 hours of free time to enjoy all of the beauty of the interior, complex but delicious bites of food and some of the best wines from an extensive drinks list.

Foie gras with truffles and truffle ice cream

It’s impressive to see how much an interior can change from the breakfast to dinner service. From a bright, “comfy” and bistro like vibes in the morning to the luxurious, dimmed lights and candlelit dinner tables at evening. Zinfandel’s menu is changing very often but some of the dishes marked as “Zinfandel’s classics” never go off of the menu and there is a reason for that. Traditional dishes, which don’t need any adjustments and are visually as well as tastefully perfect just as they were years before and will be in years to come.

Rabbit lasagnette

Part of Zinfandel’s a-la-carte selection which does change has been for years putting it’s chef and the restaurant in the top of the Croatian restaurant scene. Loved by the critics as well as by the visitors and foodie enthusiasts, Zinfandel’s have set the bar very high to all of the other hotel restaurants in Zagreb. So far none of them have even got a close to Zinfandel’s in this “silent competition”.

Reindeer with rhubarb and beetroot

I was happy to share this dinner experience with my brother. We went a little “reckless” and have ordered some dishes which sounded interesting and innovative to us. There was no room for the safe options when trying to test and give a grade to Zinfandel’s food.

Starters were foie gras and truffles with truffle ice cream and cocoa cone and open lasagne with rabbit confit and chickpea foam. I must say I have never yet heard of truffle ice cream and esp. not served with the foie gras so I was excited to see how it’s going to be plated as well as what kind of the taste all together will have. Foie gras with truffles was delicious! I suggest putting it on a cracker bread to enjoy it fully. The ice cream part was bit confusing to me as I just couldn’t put/ mix it with the foie gras or eat on it’s own but that’s just the way my taste buds were, maybe you would go nuts about it so don’t hesitate to try something as innovative as this.

My brother had the open lasagne and before I could even ask him how does he like his dish, it was gone, licked off of the plate. 😀 He loved them as they were full of taste, creamy… Tomac Millennium Brut sparkling wine was perfect to match with our starters.

Pork fillets with radishes and mustard seeds

Main courses were reindeer fillets with roasted beetroot and rhubarb and a pork fillet with mustard seeds, pickled radishes and Bernaise sauce. Visually, both dishes were perfect but my brother who tested both of the dishes could conclude that the pork fillet was the “winner” out of these two.

Technically they were both prepped perfectly but the reindeer fillets were overpowering with the taste the rest of the food on the plate. Rhubarb and beetroot might be a good combination together in some vegetarian dish or even a dessert but together with the reindeer maybe something else would be a better choice. Pork fillet had nothing to complain about, everything matched well together and mustard seeds were a cherry on top of the taste explosion. Well done!

For the main course wine we were offered a merlot by Krauthaker from Kutjevo. I must say that the sommelier made us really entertained by the whole service of the red wine from out of the bottle to the glass. Very nice “touch” to the whole dinner experience.

Zinfandel’s dessert list consists of 4 equally great sounding options but we have decided to try their brownie and lemon sponge cakes. Brownie was a chocolate and nut dream, it tasted like a sophisticated version of Snickers bar. 😀 Lemon sponge cake was served with marinated pear and cinnamon ice cream – I couldn’t think of a better , Winter perfect dessert.

Lemon sponge cake with cinnamon ice cream
Peanuts choco brownie

I hope that my detailed description of what you can expect from Zinfandel’s and LeBistro as well as the photos of the dishes have made you consider of visiting them both and experiencing a real food heaven oasis in the heart of Zagreb city.

*This post has been made in collaboration with hotel Esplanade, all of the opinions and photos are my own.

*Thank you to Ms. Sanda and Mr. Ivica for making this collaboration possible.

*Thank you to all of the wonderful staff at LeBistro and Zinfandel’s for giving us a remarkable service during our visit.

Lifestyle, My Work, Outfits, Travel

Visit Croatia: Hotel Esplanade

January 22, 2019

Hotel Esplanade, situated in the heart of the Croatian capital city Zagreb in an old but grandiose building which has been an important part of city’s history as well as one of the, up to this day, most important spots for social happenings, fine dining, jazz nights in the bar or perhaps the place with one of the most beautiful rooftop views overlooking the streets of Zagreb.

Concierge

Hotel Esplanade counts 5 stars and from the moment you enter the hotel, you are being treated as a 5 star visitor. From the doorman and bellboy, over the concierge to the receptionists you feel warmly welcomed and attended to. While you’re waiting for your check in, just a look around will give you a sense of old, glamorous times, back in the time of Orient Express train for instance. Exactly Orient Express train and this hotel have a big connection as the hotel was visited by many passengers from the famous train. Ever since, 1925 to this date, many important politicians, movie stars, musicians, etc. have stayed at the hotel Esplanade creating it’s story which is already long and interesting, a movie could be made about it. 🙂

5 star hotel in every way
Sit down and relax 🙂

Hotel Esplanade’s 208 rooms are all spacious, carefully designed to fit the 5 stars standards while still sticking to the “vintage” vibes. Beautiful marble bathroom, fluffy big pillows or one of the most comfortable beds I’ve ever slept in will make you feel at home even if you’re far away from your home.

Hotel lobby

If you wish to get pampered and relax to the max, hotel offers you Spa, gym as well as real Finnish sauna which I had to test first to make sure it’s the real deal and it was. 😀 I must say that before moving to Finland 11 years ago, I have never been to sauna and have found it even “scary” but once I got into it, I fell in love with how amazing benefits it had on my overall mood, feeling clean and warm. 🙂

Hotel Esplanade guests can enjoy full day dining in two restaurants, Zinfandel, offering a fine dining cuisine lead by a famous Croatian chef Ms. Ana Grgic or at it’s “sister” restaurant Le Bistro, more laidback dining with traditional Croatian dishes also designed by the master chef herself, almost becoming the biggest competition to herself since the food at both restaurants looks and tastes wonderful. I must say that hotel’s breakfast which consists of a-la-carte menu as well as the buffet section is the best breakfast I’ve ever had anywhere in the world. Esplanade’s famous strukli dish were simply to die for!

Warm welcome from the hotel
Deluxe suite living room
Deluxe suite bedroom
Marble bathroom
L’Occitane toileteries
Caring for the details to the max

I will write more about my dining experience in the next post but to finish off this one, all I want to add is that after travelling a lot, staying at different hotels and even testing many different hotels in only Zagreb itself, I can say that only hotel Esplanade meets the world class standards of 5 star hotels. First thing I said to my brother upon leaving the hotel was: “They don’t build them like this anymore.”

Feeling like a movie star
Business rooms floor

*This post was made in the collaboration with the hotel Esplanade. All of the photos and opinions are my own.

*Thank you Ms. Sanda and Mr.Ivica for making this collaboration possible as well as for the warm welcome to the hotel.


Lifestyle, My Work, Travel

Paldesk live chat

September 20, 2018

Paldesk live chat is one of many new additions which I’m preparing to bring on to my 2.0 version of blog. It’s been so many years ago that I have started this blog and now is the right time to either “let it go” and just stay active on Instagram OR making all nice and pretty and continue with a lot of new posts.

Paldesk is a live chat, you can from now on find it in the bottom on the right corner of my blog and if you click on it, you can so easily contact me and if I’m online then – live chat with me. 🙂  Continue Reading…

Food, Lifestyle, My Work

Visit Croatia: La Belle Vie restaurant

August 11, 2018

La Belle Vie restaurant is a newly opened hotspot by the sea in Vodice. La Belle Vie is worth making a stop for in this little city on the South of Croatian coast. La Belle Vie or Good Life in translation is clearly a guideline of the restaurant as their dishes and cocktails plus the incredible location truly make a trio which will guarantee that you will enjoy good moments in life – La Belle Vie way.  Continue Reading…

Lifestyle, My Work, Outfits

Cruise chic with YSL beauty

July 25, 2018

Cruise chic? Yes, that was my lead thought when I was planning the style of my 2nd outfit for YSL beauty club. I love styling my outfits in retro and cruise chic manners when the temperatures are as high as they have been this Summer.Add some YSL beauty / make up products to a cruise chic outfit and the chances are that I’ll be feeling great and confident. 🙂

Continue Reading…