Saturday, March 2, 2013

My dear Lilica

My love, I look at you and I still cannot believe that we have you. Everyday, your father and I we always feel grateful for your arrival. We talk about you day and night, night and day... we like doing so many things, but perhaps our most favorite is to play with you. To just be with you.

You are already quite a handful these days, you take most of our energy, I tell you, but I like getting lost with you. When I hold you in my arms, my thoughts turn from surreal to vivid, sometimes I cannot tell the difference.

Every home has its magical stories. Every family is different. Our way of life may not be the usual. But we try to provide you the best. No TV. Lots of touching. Lots of snuggling. Lots of cuddling. Lots of dancing. Lots of walking day and night, night and day. Whether it's cold or warm. Out in the town. Out in the fields. In the nature. With our friends. With just me. With just your Tata. With just your deda (grandfather). With just your baba (grandmother).

Sometimes, when I see you bigger than you used to be, I break a little.

Time flies by so fast. But when we dream of the days and years coming, with you, we are our happiest. 

You are you, and we love you so much. Just watching you grow takes me to different places. You are full of wonder and beauty.

Everyday, I always say I need a break from all these, but one single minute that you're not in my arms, I am already feeling useless. We were definitely made to take care of you. To nurture you. To love you. 

Keep growing, my love. 

You are lovely. You are beautiful.

You are mom's little sugar.

You are your Tata's little sweetheart.

AND Thank you for coming into our lives.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Our Feature on EXploziv

Hello, all!

It has been a looonnggg time I know. But I am back for a quick post. This time just to share a link to the story that was made about our family for the show, Exploziv before I even forget to blog it.

Exploziv, is something like a counterpart of "Balitang K" or "Pipol". They feature real people leading interesting lives I suppose, and really I don't know the reason why we were picked for this, except for the fact that I am from Manila. This is not the first time that we have been featured on TV (hehe), but this is my  favorite, just 'cause Lili is a big part of this. And me and Ivan, though always hesitant to do something like this, this time we did it for Lili (our past features were always just us), & besides the fact that it is great marketing for our work (as they initially called us to feature our photography).

Anyway, enough of blah blah, the narration is in Serbian... we were introduced as photographers who mostly do weddings in Serbia, and how us being partners in real life helps us connect with our clients, as they find us comfortable to work with most of the time... Obviously, it was mentioned that we met on a ship, and later on decided to come to Uzice to settle.

They also asked me about my first experience of winter, and so I spoke about my "nightmare" last year when Serbia experienced its worst winter in 30 years, and I happened to be here, haha!

Then you will see photos from our "DIY" wedding last year, some of our work, and a few other things were discussed like how locals here sometimes mistake me as a "gypsie" or from China, or how Ivan's family has accepted me over here, how her mom loves me and is learning English because of me, and how my family likes him as well.

Later on, they described how I have adjusted to living here, and of course they had to hear me talk in Serbian so the few phrases or words that I know I had to showcase :)

Watch Lili dance with us at the end, well, just watch Lili and ignore us, haha.. That's our routine everyday, dancing for 30minutes - 1 hour and her most favorite song is Mambo number 5 (YEAH, YEAH so old school but believe me that is her favorite), as you will see :)

So, there.. if you have time, click on the link, and then click on the second/middle thumbnail to view our episode. I heard that it cannot be viewed on mobile by the way. ENJOY :D

Monday, January 21, 2013

The biggest blessing

Let me go back on Christmas Day 2011. That day when everything made sense to me. It was in Budapest, Hungary that we found out the happy news that we were pregnant.

On board the train to Budapest a few days before Christmas, I remember I was mostly in absolute silence feeling pangs of melancholy. I was in a foreign country but my mind and heart were not with me. Ivan told me that it could only be holiday blues, being so far away from my family. Then, a thought came to me one night, that if I was feeling that way, what possibly could make me happy. I heard only one answer from my heart, and that was to be blessed with a child.

Morning of December 25 we decided to check if I was pregnant, and when finally the result showed positive, the joyful news could not stop us from sobbing. A huge part of me was reborn at that moment, I felt that those days of sadness could be actually compared to a "season" of mourning of wasted time passing, "times" of wild freedom and ugly things because rebirth was forthcoming, and things can only get better. 

And then seasons changed.

And then our little angel, LILI was born. 

All the moments of pain, of suffering and doubts before that were replaced by everything beautiful. Our LIFE had more meaning. We are more complete. 

She is almost 5 months now. Beautiful and perfect.

And we have not been the same since. 

It has been a wonderful 2012. We were definitely surrounded by lots of helpful people and I am still amazed by the amount of guidance we got from our family & friends. 

 My heart is full from gratitude, up to this day. Those 9 months during my pregnancy I was treated like a local resident with unlimited number of checkups, tests and medicines. 3 doctors looked after me and my delivery was flawless without any charges.  I couldn't be in any better place during my pregnancy than Serbia.

And this year we pray for a better and exciting year filled with lots of fun adventures. We are hopeful for bigger and greater things, and we wish everybody the best of everything. 

Thank you for spending time in our world.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Kars (the talented one)

I believe that photographers should write more. Not a few words to describe their work, but really to tell a story.

I also believe that writers should photograph.

If you can do both, for me you are an artist.

Meet KARS. The traveler.

This is her getting tattooed by 89 year old Whang Od, the last of the Kalinga tattoo artist in the Philippines

Yes, she travels. But as you can see she's a great photographer. 

Kars started traveling at age 19 (in 2000) hiking mountains around the Philippines and Southeast Asia. After a friend took her to Borneo for a month for backpacking she then got hooked into that culture. Like the vast majority of us, she too had to do something for a living. She was a copywriter for ABS-CBN shows in Manila, Philippines before deciding to work as a Photographer on cruise ships in 2008. A few years later she quit ships, and pursued writing in land and continued traveling with her own funds.

A few days before her trip to Mongolia early this year, she posted a photo of her backpacking gears on Facebook. Cool, huh?!
One of her great captures in that trip to Mongolia.
A backpacking hostel where she stayed with friends during one of her European adventures.

If you could see all her albums, you would think what else is left for her to see, but she tells me that her next stop is Central Asia, or maybe Katmandu and Burma at the end of the year. 

This is her on the cover of View Magazine.  With the article Pinay Travel Chronicles Europe 101 that she also wrote.

Yes, she travels. Yes, she takes beautiful photos. But as you can see, she also has a talent in writing. 

And because we share the same belief that traveling is the most invaluable experience you can give yourself, that I decided to write about her. Here, she will tell us a few more things that hopefully will inspire you to see the world. And that wisdom I see in her you will be able to read between her lines.

Are you a better writer and/or photographer because of your travels?
"Yes, and I'm still learning every single day. With writing, I think it's one of the few professions where you better as you age because you read more, you learn more and your understanding of things becomes more profound. As for photography, I'm really not that strong technically but as a writer I'm also looking out for a good story and that's how I want my images to have- a story. I love people and analyzing how things move- the microcosms of society, and if you watch carefully and patiently wait, you can capture that in a single image. I can stay put in a place and I just watch different stories unfold. I want to study photography, and learn the whole discipline formally. That's really my goal to enroll in an art school, photo school abroad."

If there is one place that you can write about, what would that be?
"The Philippines is amazing. Cordillera is the Disney Land of culture. The Philippines fascinates me!"

How do you fund your wanderlust?
 "If you choose traveling as priority, you have to save money to travel. I don't buy designer bags or shop for clothes a lot, I just choose good pieces and use that a lot. I'm also lucky that my writing gives me enough money to travel. I'm also paying for my condo right now which I plan to rent out when it's turned over so I can get additional income that I can use for future travels. Basically, invest in things that make you happy and make money. I also work like a dog when I'm not traveling. So work hard, party harder."

Any advice to newbie travelers?
"Just go for it! Freedom is sought only when chains are conceived."

Lastly, I asked her how many countries has she seen so far but she told me that she does not count and that what excites her is to see the whole of Asia. I actually admire her sense of self since it is quite intact because there is no need for her to separate her writing career from doing what she loves best- traveling. When she travels at the end of the year, she would perhaps take off with a backpack and a camera for a company, and for me she is a brave lady.

To see more of her works, you can visit karen capino
or if you want to view her current photo project, go visit The Indigenous Hipster

Wishing you safe travels wherever you go, Kars!
And wishing everybody who's reading this freedom to travel.



Friday, December 7, 2012

Obsessed with super seed mix

 Hi again, everybody! I'm back.

I found a little downtime so I am happy to share with all of you what I am loving recently. On most days, when I don't have much time for cooking, or when I feel like snacking, I sit infront of my laptop with a bowl of super seed mix. YES, here's my current obsession.

It's only recently that I discovered this. One day, about 2 months ago, my mother-in-law gave a me a bagful of flax, pumpkin, chai with granola seeds and told me it's great to mix it with yogurt. Serbians, by the way, loooooovvvveeee milk & yogurt. My husband alone can finish one litre of each a day if he wants to. Honestly, he couldn't make me to drink yogurt until the start of my pregnancy. I just never liked it. 'Cause the only kind of yogurt I have tasted before are the flavored ones sold in supermarkets back home. And they taste like plastic. But one strange day, in the middle of winter last JanuaryI suddenly felt the need to drink yogurt. It was the most unusual craving for me! Even I could not believe that urge but as I learned later on, with pregnant women, they usually look for food that their body needs. I guess that, since I was always against drinking milk and yogurt my WHOLE life, I needed that much calcium for a well-balanced diet since I was growing a baby. And so the obsession to drinking milk and yogurt stayed on up to this day. I really think highly of my calcium intake that me and my husband we can slurp up gallons in a few days. And when we buy milk we literally buy in dozens ;p

We always go for yogurts with 2.8% fat; just the plain and simple yogurt; the most wholesome and versatile

So, let me share with you guys how I make this simple snack. This is really just straightforward.

First, I pour in just enough yogurt in a small-sized bowl.

 And then, I add in about 6 tablespoons of my seeds.

 And then, I add about 2 teaspoons of sugar. I normally use brown sugar but in this case, I used white.

Breakfast for the champions, as some would say. I usually have 2 bowls or more in a day.

Easy right? Easy but excellent for overall health. It has a wide variety of health benefits, a great source of Omega 3's, fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, protein, among others. Plus it contains lots of antioxidants, and is great for boosting your immune system.

 I normally try different seeds and combine it with dried fruits as well. And for some of you who may not like it with yogurt, you can turn them into a smoothie or mix them in your pancakes. 

For now, here's what I enjoy. With a cup of chamomile tea on the side, since the cold winter has arrived.

Ahhh, so nice and warm especially with Christmas coming up!

But soon, who knows maybe I can share a good pancake recipe with this! If I can squeeze a little downtime again since there's so much going on.. Catholic Christmas, New Year, and then Orthodox Christmas, and then Orthodox New Year! Phew.. not 2, but 4 celebrations. Will tell you more about it next time!



Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Me. Different Day.

It's been a while for some dutiful outfit posts, so what I did during testshots with hubby, was wear some fine ensembles so I could put them up one day (& that day is today) on this blog.

This time I am posting only 3 photos.

All Pink!
 Torn jeans purchased from a China shop here in Uzice. Pink long sleeves is a Zisuki Collection (80% wool), pink infinity scarf from Bershka, and brown low cut boots with stripe details. 

Photo was taken with my daughter one fine day a few weeks ago.
Gray with a hint of yellow.
Gray with lace top from NewYorker, gray Zara jacket, black tights, and yellow scarf. I know that yellow is not a popular color for winter but sometimes it is odd to wear just all-gray so I added this scarf for a little versatility. We all need that burst of color during this time of the year, right?

AND It's true what they say: Everything is a bit better with colors.

White still works.
Brown & gray long-sleeve top from Legend (a Serbian brand), a pair of white pants from Manila, a brown cardigan that is 100% wool, and my favorite faux fur vest from NewYorker. I like this outfit the best, not that I am quite analytical on how I have put my stuff together, but because when I dress up it's totally random, this last look I find well-balanced. 


Lastly, returning to my quest for winter shoes... I finally found 2 after months of search. 'Just thought for now that I would share the photos and If I get the chance, I will create some outfit posts.

This pair is a Chinese brand. About 18 euros and the comfiest thing ever!!! So far, this is my most favorite shoes! Just 'cause it's waaaaaaaaay toooo good!
This pair is a Weinbrenner in lilac. About 65 euros. Cheaper than the rest I have seen, since this is the biggest size in the junior section.  This, I hope, will save my feet during the worst of winter.

Autumn may be at its end, it is getting colder day by day where we are. Days are getting shorter, and it gets dark by 4pm :( sadly! My crazy days and weeks are failing me miserably from posting here often, but hey, let's see... I hope you are all well. To my friends in Manila, I miss our all-year hot weather & I hope you could send me some sunshine. 

Much love,