Top

Archive | Travel

Watercolour challenge: underwater

Watercolour challenge: underwater paintings inspired my mural walls in FranceLast month while exploring Carhaix-Plougue in France I was surprised to see so many creative wall murals around. These were mostly underwater creatures and seaweed that were appearing not only on the walls. There were few similar artworks displayed on the windows too. Watercolour challenge: underwater paintings inspired my mural walls in France Watercolour challenge: underwater paintings inspired my mural walls in France Watercolour challenge: underwater paintings inspired my mural walls in FranceSo inspired by all this art I decided to paint similar art for my watercolour challenge. It has been refreshing to paint something in one colour and discover different tones in it. I chose bluish grey which was perfect for sea world paintings.Watercolour challenge: underwater paintings inspired my mural walls in France Watercolour challenge: underwater paintings inspired my mural walls in FranceLater I realised that the wall murals in France were actually just the paintings on white paper and then stuck onto the wall. I wonder if they were having an open-air art gallery out there in Carhaix-Plougue…. hmmWatercolour challenge: underwater paintings inspired my mural walls in France Watercolour challenge: underwater paintings inspired my mural walls in FranceWe found this jelly fish at the beach which is soo pretty and obviously made its way to my pages on my notebook. I think sometimes the best inspiration comes from nature itself ;-).Watercolour challenge: underwater paintings inspired my mural walls in France Watercolour challenge: underwater paintings inspired my mural walls in FranceThanks for letting me share!

Rasa xoxo

0

Salad in a crepe

Nicoice salad in a crepe recipeMy love for crepes have reached the next level while in France. I knew crepes can be savoury and sweet but it never crossed my mind that crepes can be served with salad inside it. Woaaaah!!! Sunny times like these require a lot of salad eating I think! I also decided to brave up this time and make crepes 100% buckwheat (we all know pancakes without gluten are just too complicated). But after many failures you eventually get it, buckwheat pancakes need a lot of practice and patience. If you are not up for challenge, regular crepes/pancakes taste just fine ;-).Nicoice salad in a crepe recipeNICOISE SALAD IN A CREPE

(for the crepe)

  • 200g buckwheat flour
  • pinch of salt
  • about 500ml water
  • knob of butter for frying

(for the salad)

  • 3-4 potatoes, pealed and thinly sliced
  • sunflower oil
  • 200g canned tuna in brine
  • 20 green olives, halved
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 handful of lettuce, chopped
  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 eggs, quatered
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard (we did not use it here, but I think it would taste good)
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed to paste
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • chives, finelly chopped

1. First prep the crepe batter by combining all the ingredients. Start with dry ingredients and then gradually add water into it till the batter reach double cream consistently (be careful not to overmix). Refrigerate for an hour or overnight.

2. Boil the eggs.

3. Fry the potatoes in the frying pan with the generous amount of oil.Nicoice salad in a crepe recipe4. Make the salad. Arrange prepped ingredients ready for serving. Sprinkle with chives and seasoning.Nicoice salad in a crepe recipe5. To make vinaigrette combine vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, garlic paste, lemon juice and sugar in the jug. Add salt and pepper to taste. Nicoice salad in a crepe recipe6. Melt the butter in well heated frying pan. Pour one spoonful of crepe batter and immediately start swirling round the pan to get nice even layer. Loosen around the edge with a spatula once the top “dries up”, then turn the crepe and cook for further 1 minute. As you can see its not easy as with lack of gluten these crepes are flaky and therefore easily collapse when flipping. However I am sure lovely crepes can be achieved once you have a bit of practice.Nicoice salad in a crepe recipe7. To serve arrange Nicoise salad on the crepe and scatter more chives on the top.Nicoice salad in a crepe recipeBon Apetitte

Rasa xoxo

0

French holiday with friends

French holiday with friends (in Brittany)Back from French holidays last week and I can honestly say these were the best holiday so far since having kids. Although I thought I learned so much already how to do relaxing with kids, I still keep learning on the job. For those who are still struggling to holiday with babies here are my post from few years ago, I can only encourage you that things gets better with kids age.

With older kids you can create play area where they can play independently. Which is why it is so important to pick a place that is child friendly and safe. Self catered houses/villas are the best! Not only that they provide more space for your children, but it also come up much cheaper than hotels. French holiday with friends (in Brittany)We loved eating in as it was so much more relaxing in the evening and that meant we could relax outside while kids are sleeping near by. I have learned (thanks to our friends that went on holidays with us) how simple is to pack lunches which saved us money and time (no need to find a restaurant and wait for a food with impatient kids). It was so much more relaxing just to picnic outside. We were so lucky to have such a good weather!French holiday with friends (in Brittany) We loved local activities such as kayaking and walks by the cannel. So my advice is to pick a location/house that comes with activities you like. That way you can exchange with baby sitting and do fun things in turns!French holiday with friends (in Brittany) French holiday with friends (in Brittany) French holiday with friends (in Brittany) French holiday with friends (in Brittany)French holiday with friends (in Brittany) We stayed in Brittany, near Carhaix-Plougue. It is a very cute and creative town with lots of wall murals around (I am so into #wallmurals right now!!!).French holiday with friends (in Brittany) French holiday with friends (in Brittany) French holiday with friends (in Brittany) French holiday with friends (in Brittany) French holiday with friends (in Brittany) French holiday with friends (in Brittany) French holiday with friends (in Brittany) French holiday with friends (in Brittany) French holiday with friends (in Brittany) French holiday with friends (in Brittany) There was this crochet doily artworks all around the town centre and library. Feeling very inspired just remembering it!French holiday with friends (in Brittany) Of course we also visited the lake and local sea side which was the highlight I think.French holiday with friends (in Brittany) Amber water is not what people tend to get excited about lol, but I did!French holiday with friends (in Brittany) French holiday with friends (in Brittany)Have you started the holiday season yet? Hope my tips help ;-)

Rasa xoxo

0

Watercolour challenge: jungle

Watercolour challenge: inspired by jungle To be completely honest it was very hard to come back to painting but once I started I really felt piece and joy. I felt inspired by the plants that I saw on our holiday in Dominican Republic. Tropical climate plants are so so pretty!!! I am inspired to have some of them at my home some day, but for now they can at least live on my walls.

As usual I started with the method in mind I wanted to try. This time I wanted to try watercolour combined with the wax crayons. I remember first time I fell in love with the watercolour is when my Finish art teacher showed me how crayons makes paper waterproof and when watercolour is painted on top of it, the wax of crayon blocks from colouring (mixing with) the drawing leaving the colour it was but colouring all around it instead. This technique really fascinated me back then which is why I wanted to try it out again. In the painting above I drew the core lines with the crayon and painted leafs on top of it. I was pretty pleased with the outcome. The lines kept its sharp green shade!Watercolour challenge: inspired by jungle Watercolour challenge: inspired by jungleThe plant in the pic above have been my favourite so far! Although I don’t feel I depicted it well in my painting…Watercolour challenge: inspired by jungle Painting this curly leaf plant was quite fun! I love making repetitive patterns and painting these wiggly lines been real pleasure.Watercolour challenge: inspired by jungle Watercolour challenge: inspired by jungle Watercolour challenge: inspired by jungle To add some colour (not only paint in green) I tried painting this pink flower. I feel this was not my best painting so far. And look at all this mess I made in my watercolour palette! I wonder if other artist end up like that. Although I have seen other people just using water colour from the little tubes and mixing palette on separate piece of paper. I wonder if it is worth investing in fresh collection of water paint, hmm…Watercolour challenge: inspired by jungle Watercolour challenge: inspired by jungle For my next botanical painting I decided to use pencil instead (and rub it off after), that way I thought I will improve my shading technique. I divided the leaf into different segments that are “coloured in” separately and therefore shading is visible (hopefully). This painting took 2-3 hours, but it was so so worth it. I am in love!Watercolour challenge: inspired by jungle Watercolour challenge: inspired by jungle Finally this was a quick painting, I used pencil to mark the stalk of the fern and leaf in watercolour. I don’t know why, but this is my another favourite, so simple but so beautiful at the same time!Watercolour challenge: inspired by jungleThanks for letting me share my experiences here re my new found passion :-)

Rasa xoxo

0

Watercolour challenge: forest in snow

Forest in snow inspiration from our recent trip to Austrian Alps As you may have already noticed I enjoy taking challenges, and for a good reason! Challenges are good for achieving goals. Not all types of goals of course, but if you want to learn something or get to start doing something then this method is the best (at least in my experience). In the past I did Pinterest challenge to get myself to try more recipes from Pinterest (still doing it sometimes), then I did a photography challenge so I could learn to take better pictures, I did a sugar free diet in the form of a challenge (sort of) and a book reading quest for three years which worked a treat. Now my aim is to get myself painting more and this is why I came up with this watercolour challenge ;-).

Few weeks ago we went to ski to Austrian Alps and I loved the snow there (as well as occasional snow at home). Falling snow brought be joy and the whole experience was quite magical so I decided to put it all on the paper. But at the first glance snow is white, so how do I paint the white? Once I look through this first obstacle I realised snow came in different shades actually. Whats more, I liked seeing some bold colours in a pretty misty landscape such as people wearing bright outfits or a lift cabin like in the pic above.Forest in snow inspiration from our recent trip to Austrian Alps I began painting the forest landscape first. I thought if I do it using the classic watercolour method I should achieve the right texture quite easily. I tried dipping paper into water and then paint vogue outline of fir trees. I thought the paint would bleed and that way would create required texture. That did not work out even when I tried getting better paper and paint brushes. The fir trees just looked too plain for my liking. Eventually after much trial and error and some research I found that salt is best in creating this so much desired texture. Yey!!! Now I am quite pleased with my winter wonderland forest painting. Hope you can pardon my spelling, but I do love this quote. It’s exactly how I feel when I see snow!Forest in snow inspiration from our recent trip to Austrian Alps Forest in snow inspiration from our recent trip to Austrian AlpsThis is what I mean by many shades in the white snow. It was fun painting this as shading with watercolour is very pleasant. It works quite simple: the more water you add the lighter the colour. If you want the colours to bleed less then wait for it to dry more before applying another layer. Watercolour challenge: snow Forest in snow inspiration from our recent trip to Austrian AlpsPainting trees has always been my favourite thing to paint. Here I initially tried to create the branches by blowing on the drop of paint that was sitting already on the paper. Later I added more branches and snow by lightly brushing some tinted water on it. Watercolour challenge: forest in snow Forest in snow inspiration from our recent trip to Austrian AlpsLastly I was amazed of fir tree needles sticking out in the snow. This took quite a lot of attention on detail but it was all worth the try.Watercolour challenge: forest in snow Watercolour challenge: forest in snowHope I inspired you too to take a challenge or thought you something new about watercolour.

Rasa xoxo

1

Devon in Autumn

Devon in Autumn We spend last week in Devon to celebrate Lukas birthday and I was blown away by a beautiful scenery once again. I was thinking yeah yeah, I been here before and blogged about it as well. Surely there is nothing new to see and share. But guess what? I changed my mind! Initially I was taking pictures with my phone not planing to post it and only on our last walk I took my DSLR with me when I realised this beauty needs to be captured properly. So forgive me for some pics that does not have such a great quality, I included some pics from my older walks when I was not prepared. Devon in AutumnYou would think Devon is coloured with Autumn colours right now, but thats not the case. It turns out the grass is still green (very very green in fact), then there are evergreen plants such as my beloved ferns ❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎ . Devon in AutumnDevon in Autumn Even the pond is green in Autumn because of green algae, who could have thought!Devon in Autumn Lukas liked the muddy puddles the best and I decided to chillax and let him enjoy the Devon properly. He even took his cars to have a wash :D.Devon in Autumn Devon in Autumn Devon in Autumn Devon in Autumn Devon in Autumn And of course there were bees. Joni’s dad said I was brave to go and take pics of them so close so I could share these pics with you ;-). Luckily I did not get stung! I wonder what the bees are up to in Autumn.Devon in Autumn Devon in AutumnHope you are enjoying Autumn wherever you are :-).

Rasa xoxo

0

Devon in spring

Devon in spring A week or so ago we had a pleasure of visiting Devon again. This time in spring! This is one of the benefits of having family somewhere far and dreamy (many negative aspects as well unfortunately). Like everywhere else in spring outdoors are filled with many bright coloured flowers like daffodils and bluebells, however here I found primroses as well (strangely it reminds me of Teletubbies scenery… hmm). Devon in spring: full of primroses Devon in spring Although we stayed in Honiton we have been lucky to explore further in Devon. We took a tramway to Seaton through dreamy marshes…Devon in spring: on the way to Seaton by Tramway Devon in spring: Seaton Devon in spring …and explored the seaside :).Devon in spring: Seaton Devon in spring: Seaton Devon in spring: Seaton Devon in spring: Seaton We also had a chance to visit Escot Park that happen to have this lovely cafe.Devon in spring: cafe at the Escot park Devon in spring Devon in spring: Escot Park Devon in spring: Escot Park Devon in springHope you all had a lovely Easter break too ;-)

Rasa xx

1

How to holiday with a baby (what I have learned so far)

How to holiday with the baby (what I have learned so far) If you are following me on Instagram/Facebook then you probably know that I have struggled with the holidays and a baby combination. I just did not find it relaxing and I was missing the holidays I used to have. But the reality is that this is how my life is going to be for good few years so I decided to find a new ways to find a new relaxing. My first stop was to ask my friends who had experience with it. Here is what came up and how did I apply on our second holidays in France. How to holiday with the baby (what I have learned so far) Lower your expectations, first thing I heard from one friend which I must admit made me a bit sad as it sounded a bit negative. However having high expectations is what made me feel disappointed with my first holidays, so this advice totally makes sense! So when we went to France I decided to enjoy as it comes and it really helped for me to relax (not completely but definitely more relaxing). For example, we used Lukas naps for driving to different locations, that way we did not need to wait around for his naps to finish and we could explore different locations in France.

Babysit in turns, was the next advice from another friend. Joni looking after Lukas while I go and do something I enjoy sounds good! Except we preferred walking and enjoying the sights together, so babysitting in turns did not work all the time. Except once when Joni wanted to go on the tour in Fort National (obviously not my cup of tea). He took Lukas with him while I enjoyed the sun on the rocks (much better and more relaxing than it sounds!).  How to holiday with the baby (what I have learned so far) Eat out for lunch and eat in for dinner, because apparently that’s cheaper. Well… it turned out to be true! There are plenty of affordable and good meals available for lunch and in rural Normandy where we stayed there were less restaurants open in the evening and everything is more expensive. However I found that’s not the only reason why this advice was a life saver!  Because our habit is to put Lukas to bed around 7pm, it just works much better if we eat in while he is asleep which I really enjoyed (especially eating al fresco!).

I did however found that French like to take their kids to dinner which can sometimes be very late in the evening. But in return they put their kids to nap in the early afternoon. Well that is good alternative to keep in mind!How to holiday with the baby (what I have learned so far) After Lithuanian holiday I could also add another advice.

Pack for everything, if you don’t have luggage restrictions of course! After Lukas sleep was disrupted by the very light bedrooms in Lithuania, I invested in travel blinds. I have not yet had a chance to use it, because in France the window shutters were unbeatable, but I still think it is worth every penny and I am sure it will come in useful. Every time I pack I carefully think through what I need to make Lukas feel at home as much as possible. Because I just love his routine and would love to keep it as it is during the holiday as well.

We will be off to Centre Parcs next, which I never thought of visiting before. Suddenly it sounds like a much more apealing destination when you have a baby with you. Will let you know how that goes!How to holiday with the baby (what I have learned so far)I hope you found this helpful xx

Rasa

3

Photography challenge: learning new things on holiday in France

View from the lace where we stayed in BuaisLast week we went on our second holiday to France which was much more relaxing than the first one! While we were there I decided to take up another photography challenge. Except I could not think of what I should learn this time in specific, so I thought lets just go with the flow and see what happens. The result? I did learn something that will tell you later later (I am quite excited about it!). For now I would like to talk how I kept my photography challenge as relaxed as possible. We were on holiday after all!

The pictures bellow have been taken around the place where we stayed close to Buais.View from the lace where we stayed in BuaisView from the lace where we stayed in BuaisView from the lace where we stayed in BuaisView from the lace where we stayed in BuaisMy toolsUse any photography tool available, whats wrong with taking pictures on the phone? On our first few trips in France I actually forgot to either charge my camera or left it in the house by accident. My phone was a saviour, I was still able to capture all the moments and the quality does not seem too bad to compare with my DSLR. Ok, you have more freedom with the photo camera but I did survive taking pictures with the my IPhone for quite few years before I got a “real”camera. Can you spot the pictures here that I took with the phone? View from the lace where we stayed in BuaisOur visit to Port de CancaleOn the first day we have visited Port de Cancale. Local caught mussels in wine and chips were fab (even Lukas loved it)! Our visit to Port de CancaleOur visit to Port de CancaleOur visit to Port de CancaleOur visit to Port de CancaleOur visit to Port de CancaleOur visit to Port de CancaleRennes was our next stop. Although we went there only for an attic clear out sale (similar to boot sale here in UK) I really loved the city and its architecture.Our visit to RennesOur visit to Rennes

It’s ok to use an Auto mode! I have been using this setting for years and only now started looking at other settings. To be honest, its good to know the other tricks with lighting and focus, but when you taking pictures of quick moments I think there is not enough time to fiddle with the settings. After all often good pics happen with good composition!  Our visit to RennesOur visit to St MaloSt Milo was Joni’s place (maybe because of all the forts and castles).Our visit to St MaloOur visit to St MaloOur visit to St MaloOur visit to St MaloOur visit to St MaloOur visit to St MaloOur visit to St MaloFort National, accessed when the tide is low! Our visit to St MaloOur visit to St MaloOur visit to St MaloOur visit to St MaloOur visit to St MaloOur visit to St Malo

So what did I learn from my holiday challenge? Is how to take photos in Golden Hour! I read about it somewhere long time ago and it sunk into my brain I guess. So when I woke one morning very early and saw a golden glow of the sun everywhere I could not resist but take pics all around me. No wonder its also called magic hour! You just need to catch the right time either in the morning or evening (found good timeline here) and take the shots outside ;-). What I also liked is including sun glare in my composition, it made my photos extra magical!golden hour photographygolden hour photographygolden hour photographyHope you are inspired!

Rasa xoxo

0

Happy marriage cake

Happy marriage cake recipeHappy marriage cake it is not a made up name for a cake, it’s a traditional Icelandic name for rhubarb jam tart. I first tried this cake on an airplane (a location not generally associated with fine patisserie, but I was craving something sweet) and I was’t impressed. But I saw potential in this cake and I knew that I could make it taste moist and wholesome. After all this cake needed to live up to it’s wonderful name!Happy marriage cake recipeFor the filling I have made a strawberry and rhubarb jam because I wanted it in pink colour and I was never able to get that colour just from rhubarb (I don’t know how other bakers do it?!). I added oatmeal to the crust as that seemed traditional for this cake.Happy marriage cake recipeHAPPY MARRIAGE CAKE

(for the filling)

  • 220g rhubarb, chopped
  • 120g strawberries
  • 150g sugar

(for the crust)

  • 200g butter, softened
  • 130g sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 85g oats
  • 170g flour
  • 1tsp cinnamon

1. Make the jam filling first. Place the chopped rhubarb, strawberries and sugar into a small pan and bring to the boil (splash some water to begin with so it does burn). Cook for about 10-15 minutes until the mixture is thick and jammy. You then can puree the mixture with the hand processor if you prefer smooth texture.

2. Make a crust dough by creaming butter with sugar till it is light and fluffy. Gradually add egg yolks, oats, flour and cinnamon and mix everything to combine.

3. Spread the crust dough at the bottom and sides of lined baking tin reserving small amount for later. Happy marriage cake recipe4. Pour the jam filling into the dough. Dot the remaining crust over the top. Bake the cake in the preheated 180C for 25-35 minutes.Happy marriage cake recipe Happy marriage cake recipeHappy weekend everyone!

Rasa xoxo

0

Iceland!

IcelandThis is probably going to be the loooongest post I have ever posted, but there is so much to see! Our holidays in Iceland turned out to be breathtaking (at least for me) even if it was only for four days. I can honestly confirm that Icelandic scenery is completely out of this world. No wonder there were so many movies filmed here! I hope the pics below speak for themselves (especially the pic of never ending lupin field).Lupin field in Iceland Icelandic scenary Waterfall in IcelandWaterfalls were definitely one of the signature Icelandic features.Iceland IcelandThyme that grows in Iceland!Thyme in Iceland What grows in Iceland Icelandic scenaryTomato farm, IcelandAfter seeing fields of lava, moss, lupin and greenery we were wondering where Icelandic people grow their veg? We got our answer after visiting one of the green house farms. Due to short summers, green houses are the way to go and because of cheap electricity due to volcanic nature here in Iceland the lighting and heating  does not cost very much. Plus they have these very friendly bumble bees to pollinate the plants :-).Bumble bees in tomato green house, Iceland Geysir, IcelandGeysir springs were breathtaking, although very stinky! It definitely gave me few heart jumps when they exploded all unexpectedly.Geysir, Iceland Geysir, Iceland Waterfall in Iceland Iceland Icelandic scenary Iceland Glacier Lagoon, IcelandGlacier lagoon is another place that I loved, although it was a very cold experience. Turns out the icebergs are white/bluish from the outside because of the sun and all clear under. Clear ice block found in Glacier lagoon, Iceland what grows in Iceland Black sand beach, Iceland Black sand beach, Iceland Black sand beach, IcelandI love seasides and this one is exceptionally amazing! Black and white, who would have thought it exist?Black sand beach, IcelandMe and Joni celebrated our 1st Wedding anniversary that day as well :-). Our first Wedding Anniversary in Iceland Waterfall in Iceland Reykjavik from the church tower perspective….Reykjavik, Iceland Reykjavik, Iceland Reykjavik, Iceland Blue Lagoon, IcelandAnd the last, but not least is the Blue lagoon. This was my main reason why I wanted to visit Iceland!Blue Lagoon, Iceland Blue Lagoon, Iceland Blue Lagoon, Iceland Blue Lagoon, IcelandI hope you are inspired to visit Iceland :-)

Rasa xx

1

Holidaying in Lithuania :-)

Plane CloudsWe just came back from our long long holidays in Lithuania and Iceland (this is why I was so silent for couple of weeks). More holiday pics to follow, but for now here are the pics from our Lithuanian adventure with Nicola (my sister) and Chris :-). At my granniesFirst we have visited my Granny, than the forest in Kuršių Nerija National ParkWild strawberriesMy sister and meForest at the seaside My sister and me…than the seaside with dunes.sand dunesRasa xoxo

 

1

Panemunė forest

I just came back from Lithuania and i could not wait until I can share about our forest. Me and my mum went for a walk everyday here because it is just outside my parent’s house. I know it may look dull as it is still an early spring but it is magical in winter or summer. Sadly, one thing I could not transfer into the pics is the smell of pines and oaks :-).Panemunė ForestAlthough there was a storm 4.5 years ago that destroyed 1/3 of forest, the consequences of it are still apparent today. Panemunė ForestEven if mini forest is growing to replace the lost one (It’s a looooong process)Panemunė Forest Panemunė ForestAnd there is a river! (the biggest river in Lithuania called Nemunas)Panemunė Forest Panemunė Forest Panemunė Forest Panemunė ForestI hope you liked our mini forest tour ;-)

Rasa xoxo

1

Seaworld in patterns

SeaworldOne of the ways to get inspired to be creative is to look around you (especially in nature). At least this works for me! When we were visiting Florida it was hard to find something cultural or a place in nature. All you could find in Kissimmee is a lot of Amusement parks (I might love them one day when we have kids, but I hate them now)! So I ended up visiting the one with the least rides and more nature. In Seaworld I focused on texture colour and shapes. And this is what I got!

Seaworld in abstract patternsSeaworld Seaworld Seaworld SeaworldSome patterns I have painted myself after being inspired by all those underwater colours!Seaworld in abstract patternSeaworld Seaworld SeaworldI hope you feel inspired today and look around you when you go outdoors! And you can find patterns everywhere, even better than the ones I found in Seaworld :-).

Rasa xoxo

0