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Lifestyle, My Work, Outfits

How to dress for Autumn with Ivana Helsinki

September 23, 2019

How to dress for Autumn? Yes, want it or not, the Summer has finished and the season of layers is here. I must say that I’m happy to feel the breeze in the air, put on a coat and light scarf… After all, the Summer in Croatia was insanely hot, end of the Summer was also hot in Helsinki so I had it enough, officially. πŸ˜€

As soon as the Autumn arrives, I become more creative and playful with my outfits. I start to dig out the clothes which I have totally forgot about, some new, more Fall like colours start to dominate in my outfits and first thing which comes to my mind when somebody mentions Autumn are forests, trees and that golden sunshine hour which is so magical and only specific for Autumn.

This year has been the year of “Trees” for IvanaHelsinki. Their main designer and founder, Paola was inspired by the Red Wood forests in California as well as the nature in her homeland, Finland. Trees and forests have a mystical grounding power that is channeled into the prints of this collection. Forests are spiritual, intelligent, enduring yet very delicate and vulnerable.

I couldn’t agree more with Paola, ever since I was a little kid I’ve been wondering in the forests, that’s where I would find the best inner peace, my inspiration would blossom on my long walks in the forests, I had many “realisations” about life, solution to my own problems and so on exactly in the middle of the majestic forests in Russia, Croatia and finally in Finland too.

I’m happy to have partnered up with IvanaHelsinki to collaborate together and spread the word about everything that IvanaHelsinki is and stands for as well as, in my mind, one of the best collections the brand had to this date. You still have time to shop “Trees” collection at THIS LINK with a discount of 15% by typing IVANAXNATALI at the checkout.

To those who remember IvanaHelsinki flagship store on Uuudemankatu in Helsinki, it has moved to a new, much bigger and more functional space , an architecturally unique Finnish atelier house built in the 70’s on Palopirtintie 15. When you arrive to the shop, you can not just explore the newest collection but also have a cup of coffee or tea and talk to the lovely girls which are working there, check out an exhibition because the space also serves as a mini gallery or just wonder around and admire the beauty of the wooden house with a calming and elegant atmosphere. You will feel very welcome either way. πŸ™‚

I will link some of my favourite pieces from the “Trees” collection here, happy shopping! NORMA , SYLVIA , JOCELYN .

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, 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. πŸ™‚

5 star hotel in every way
Sit down and relax πŸ™‚

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. πŸ˜€ 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. πŸ™‚

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, 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. πŸ™‚

Continue Reading…

Lifestyle, My Work, Outfits

How to style Chanel ballerinas for Spring?

May 10, 2018

How to style Chanel ballerinas for Spring? One of my favourite Spring shoes are definitely ballerinas and I have about 6 pairs of just Chanel ones and another 10 pairs of different colour, pattern, designer and non designer ones in my shoe closet. Yep! I think that by now I might know how to style my Chanel ballerinas or any other ones too.Β  Continue Reading…

Lifestyle, My Work, Outfits

How to wear a denim jacket?

April 23, 2018

How to wear a denim jacket? There are plenty ways of how to wear a denim jacket but my favourite way is just like this, over a maxi gingham dress and with a pair of cool and comfy sneakers. Wearing a denim jacket comes so natural to me each time the weather gets properly Spring-y and I can finally ditch the long, Winter coats and padded jackets. Continue Reading…

Food, Lifestyle, My Work, Outfits

Triple Yes

April 17, 2018

Triple yes to the latest restaurant ran by a successful gastro duo of Richard McCormik and Ville Relander. Those who are locals or have been following bit closely Helsinki food scene must have already come across those two names as those are the same people to “blame” for eateries such as Sandro, TheCock and Holiday Bar. Continue Reading…

Lifestyle, My Work, Outfits

3 ways to instantly feel better

April 10, 2018

How to instantly feel better? I have 3 easy ways which always make me feel better. Just before Easter I was feeling very good about myself, my work flow was steady and I would wake up with a very positive attitude each morning. I took some time off to just chill during the Easter but somehow I fell into a “funk” and couldn’t seem to get out of it for the most of the past week. Continue Reading…