Friday, November 18, 2011

my first "friday fancies"

Today, I'm trying this Friday Fancies "linking up" thing with http://www.longdistanceloving.net/.
She asked bloggers to put together an outfit mixing and matching prints.
 Here's what I came up with:

 

this outfit could be switched up with 
a thin black belt
a pair of black boots
and some fun black tights


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

49er Faithful

I was born and raised a San Francisco 49ers fan 
by two San Francisco born parents.

My mom was/is a big fan 
(probably more so than my dad because he was more familiar with "real football", you know, soccer)
she even got into it once with some Miami Dolphin fans the day of the 1985 Super Bowl
they were driving
she was not
distracted, they got into a fender bender
whoops.

that is why as a baby she would dress me like this
or it may be because my parents had hoped for a boy.

if you haven't been following the NFL
the 49ers are currently 2nd in the league
with a record of
8-1
and it looks like they're headed for the Playoffs.

makes me wish I was in California just so I could go to a game.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

sunny November


 the news forecast said that the weekend would be overcast and rainy
but today I woke up to a beautiful, sunny, warm day.

I can see about 15 people on the beach
enjoying the weather

sunbathing
parasailing
playing volleyball
and swimming.

I am so tempted to join them.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Elafonissi

The day I was supposed to return the rental car
I decided to keep it to take a day trip with Koko
to the beach of Elafonissi in southern Crete.

Neither of us had been before.

Along the road, we stopped at an impressive ancient Greek Orthodox Church built inside a cave.
I had visited it before, but Koko had not. 

Elafonissi was beautiful
It was a little difficult to find parking because there were so many tourists
From a distance, they looked like tiny ants along the shore

The water was a beautiful clear blue
the sand white with specks of pink shell pieces.
It was incredibly warm and shallow;
we were able to walk straight across without the water even reaching our ankles.

On the way back
we stopped at the Monastery of Chrysoskalitissa.

It was a lovely way to spend a lovely day with a lovely man.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cuckoo for Koko

I've been wanting to post about some other trips I took over the summer,
but they won't make much sense until I introduce him

this hunk of a man/Greek god is "Koko" (that's what I like to call him. along with kokonuts, kokopuffs, kokobear, bratface, and other unusual terms of endearment. unless I'm mad. then he gets called by his first name.)

Isn't he handsome?

Anyway, I'm introducing him now because he came to visit me this summer.
traveled over 7,000 miles
across 2 continents
and the Atlantic Ocean
all the way from California. 

we had a fun 3 weeks together
visited a few new places
and I miss him dearly.

Friday, October 21, 2011

my current obsession: pinterest

So I recently discovered Pinterest
and have fallen in love.

Pinterest is a "vision board-styled social photo sharing site where users can create and manage theme-based image collections".

Basically, you can upload, find and share photographs of your favorite things and categorize them into vision boards.

I use it to keep track of recipes, inspirations, crafts, ideas, outfits, items, and images that I want and like
as well as the sites they come from.
It makes it easier than Bookmarking everything on the internet.

Some of my vision boards include themes like Holidays, Dream Wedding, a Wishlist, Outfits, Quotes, Fitness Inspiration, Home Decor Ideas, Places I Want to Visit,  and so on.

If you haven't checked it out yet
go there now.
They also have an application for the iPhone.
It can become addicting,
but I think you'll thank me later.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Barcelona, España: La Genta Esta Muy Loca!

At the end of May, I took a 5-day trip to Barcelona.

I spent the first 2 days exploring on my own,
then met up with my sorority sister and her travel mate
as well as my cousin who I have not had the chance to spend quality time with in years
since she has been off studying in New York/Australia/London
It was 4 California girls loose in Barcelona
I needn't say more.

Here are some of my favorite photographs followed by a complete list of "Things I Saw" and my "5 Favorite Experiences" of the trip.

Hop-On Hop-Off City Bus Tour

Park Guell

Mount Tibidabo

Camp Nou

Champions League Final 2011
Barcelona Beats Manchester United 3:1
Magic Fountain

La Sagrada Familia

La Boqueria Market

Santa Maria del Mar

Placa de Santa Maria, Picasso Museum

Things I Saw 

Casa Batllo-Fundacio Antoni Tapies, Passeig de Gracia-La Pedrera, Gracia, Park Güell, Las Ramblas, Tramvia Blau - Tibidabo, Monestir de Pedralbes, Palau Reial–Pavellons Finca Güell, Camp Nou: Futbol Club Barcelona, Francesc Macia - Diagonal, Placa d'Espanya, Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Anella Olimpica, Funicular de Montjuic, Fundacio Joan Miro, World Trade Center, Colom-Museu Maritim, Miramar-Jardins Costa i Llobera, Port Vell, Museu d'Historia de Catalunya, Port Olympic, Champions League Final,  La Sagrada Familia, La Boqueria Market, Placa de Santa Maria, Santa Maria del Mar, Santa Maria del Pi, Cathedral of Santa Eulalia, Picasso Museum

5 Favorite Experiences

1) Watching the Champions League Final
On a giant big screen television in a Plaza along with thousands of other people climbing light poles, lighting fireworks, drinking and cheering in the streets. The people I met at my Hostel and I came decked out in our Barca gear (shirts, scarves, bracelets) and celebrated with the locals drinking beer and champagne (classy).

2) La Sagrada Familia.
The architecture is impressive and it is worth going inside to see. It was completely untraditional in comparison to other Catholic Cathedrals I have seen, but very bright and beautiful.

3) Pablo Picasso Museum
I LOVED his art (the naughty sketches made me chuckle). I would visit Barcelona again solely to see this Museum and pick up some more souvenir post cards of his paintings.

4) La Boqueria Market
One can find the yummiest fresh fruit smoothies here as well as colorful displays of organic fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, dairy, chocolate products

5) Magic Fountain
Truly magical. Every night, around 9 PM there is a music/water/light show. Lots of people (and couples) gather around the fountain and on the steps of  Museu Nacional d 'Art de Catalunya to have picnics. Very romantic.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

fashionable denim?

This year I have been seeing a lot of denim
dresses
tops
jackets
vests
I couldn't really picture myself wearing any of them though.
I think because this fashion nightmare is what I picture everytime I think of anything other than denim pants
so I passed on making any denim purchases.
While going through my closet today
I found an old, cropped denim jacket that I bought back in high school.
(I had my family bring it to me this summer)
Yet I haven't worn it since high school.
So, I considered either donating it or tossing it.
Then, I came across these images on Pinterest.
Denim vests looking stylish and fresh!

Why not give my jacket a makeover instead?
So I did.


It was easy-I just took a pair of scissors and cut off the sleeves following along the seams.
Hopefully my new vest gets more wear than my old jacket!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

well, hello there

remember me?

oh.
you don't?

that's alright.

I used to blog here.

then
I stopped having internet access
I went on a trip to Barcelona
and my family came to visit from California for 3 months

I've been busy,
but now I'm back.

if you don't remember me, maybe you remember this?

my Mom gave me a temporary fix by bringing me some of my favorite items.

I was like a kid on Christmas.

see?


complete and utter joy.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

currently

typing this post from Barcelona

as in

Barcelona,

Spain.


Heading back home

a.k.a.

Greece

tomorrow though.


:)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

spanakorizo recipe

Since my grandparents left me for the States
I have had full roam of the kitchen.
I am enjoying the opportunity to cook and test out recipes.
One of my absolute favorite dishes to make is Spanakorizo (Spinach rice)

It is easy, tasty and healthy!

I'm sure there are variations to the recipe,
but this is the one that I use and that I have found to taste best.

Spanakorizo Recipe

Ingredients
1.5 kg fresh spinach
1 cup white rice [Uncle Ben's is fine]
1 large onion, chopped
Dill, chopped
1 1/2 cans chopped tomatoes
Olive Oil
1 Lemon
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Sugar

Preparation
Wash the spinach
Chop the onion [I used a food processor]
Chop the dill
Sautée the spinach in 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil until it wilts
Add onion
Add chopped tomatoes
Add dill
Add rice
Add salt, pepper and sugar
Mix together well
Cover and let everything cook for 12 minutes
Turn off heat
Let sit for 10 minutes
Add lemon
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil
Mix well
*Note: I did not pre-boil the rice, but I wish I had. It was a little harder than I would have liked. Although the recipe didn't call for it, I would advise boiling the rice in water to soften it a bit before adding it to the spinach.

Try the recipe and let me know how you like it!

Πάσχα-Easter

I ended up staying in Chania for Easter.
My friends convinced me that it would be a lot of fun
because everyone would be on 2 weeks of Spring Break
and the city would come alive.

They were right.
There were plenty of events and people out nightly.
The weather was fantastic and I had a great time.

For the Holy Saturday service I went to the village of Aroni with friends.
The moment the priest began to sing "Χριστός Ανέστη" [Christ is Risen]the church bells began to ring
fireworks started
and the burning of Judas began.

The Burning of JudasThe burning of Judas is an Easter-time ritual celebrated on the island of Crete.
A doll where an effigy of Judas Iscariot [who betrayed Jesus Christ] is hung from a tree with leaves and branches beneath.
It is then lit on fire and fireworks explode.
Anthropologists generalize these type of activites as "scapegoating rituals"
Customs vary, but the effigy of Judas is typically hanged reenacting Matthew 27:5) on Good Friday, then burned on the night of Easter Sunday.

Easter SundayFor the actual day I was invited by my cousin to spend the day with his wife's family in the village of Vatolakko.
It was wonderful.
The village was beautiful.
We had a lamb on the spit, kalitsounia, pilafi, kokoretsi, and other traditional Greek foods.


The weather was fabulous all week.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

born to be wilder

Anyone remember this?

I thought I was such a bad ass for riding on the back of a motorcycle.

Well guess what
I drove one!
That's right.

It was in a big, flat, closed space
surrounded by grass
but still very cool.

I even have video footage [not sure how to upload it] for proof.

Needless to say, my parents weren't too thrilled
but that's okay with me.
:)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Three Month Check-In

Yesterday was the 7th.

I've officially been in Europe for 3 months.
Three.
Tρία. Tres. Trois.

Can you believe it?
I hardly can.

I love it here.

I've been having the time of my life,
but there are still a few things I miss in California
mainly my family and friends.

But also...
-My car
-Lawns and the smell of freshly cut grass
-Bloody Marys
-Spicy boneless buffalo wings
-Spicy chicken sandwiches (Chik-fil-A)
-Flamin' hot Cheetos
-Frank's RedHot sauce
-Ranch dressing
-Mexican food (Chipotle, Chevy's chicken quesadillas & strawberry margaritas)
-Sushi
-Normal store hours
-The mall
-Going to the mall/super market/Starbucks in my pajamas and it being totally acceptable

Just to name a few.

Feel free to send me any of the above mentioned items.

You will be my new best friend forever if you do.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

rompin.

I've never considered myself very "trendy".


I have always (okay, not always. There was this awful Easter outfit she wore once...) envied my middle sister's sense of style.

She makes dressing cute look so easy.
She also spends a lot of money (my mom calls her "Hollywood" and "Imelda Marcos").
Something I'm not too fond of.

I am cheap.
I like to use the word frugal.
It is really difficult for me to justify spending money, especially on clothes.
I'm always on the look out for a sale or deal.

I digress...

As I mentioned, I don't consider myself very "in" with the latest trends.
I rarely leave my "box" and try something new.

There have been a few trends that I have resisted because I considered them down right stupid at the time.

However, I gave in to each.
1. Flats: like wearing slippers!
2. Boots over jeans: Love!
3. Leggings: like wearing comfortable pajama pants wherever you go! "Girl, where yo' pants at?!"
4. Headbands: As my hair has been growing back, they've been life-saving.
5. Gladiator (or like) sandals: Still struggle with this one. I feel like they make me look shorter.

If there is one trend I have tried to avoid with every thread of my being
it would be
"the romper"
They remind me of skorts (are they shorts or a shirt?)
or something my mom would have made me wear to a picnic at the age of 5.
And what happens if you get a wedgie?
Pretty ridiculous looking, right?

Or so I thought.

Until Forever21 dedicated an entire section to the "Jumpsuit and Romper" on their site.
Some of them are just so darn adorable.
I can actually picture myself wearing them
in Greece
tan
with super hot wedges.

I have one in "My Bag" right now waiting to be bought.
Don't judge me.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Acropolis

This post is long overdue.

In March, I spent 2.5 weeks in Athens (plus a few days in Patra) visiting my God siblings.
While there,
we experienced Athens nightlife,
navigated the metro,
shopped on Ermou,
visited the Acropolis,
and explored the new Acropolis Museum.


My first taste of Athens by night was an outing to a club named "Boutique" for an "RnB" night (in Greece they call "Hop-Hop" music "RnB" and "RnB" is called "Jazz". Don't ask me why).
It was completely packed, but very fun.

The day my God sister and I spent at the Acropolis was perfect.
Warm and sunny with a light breeze.
It had snowed a few days before, but the weather cleared just in time for our little adventure.
We climbed up to the Acropolis and took lots of photographs.
Since it was low season, there weren't too many tourists which was great.

It had been 10 years since I last visited the Acropolis.
I loved it then, but even more so now.
Having graduated with a degree in Anthropology
and having taken several Archaeology courses, it meant more to me this time.
I had a much greater appreciation for everything; the architecture, as well as a better understanding of ancient lifeways.

Afterwards, we crossed the road to Lofos (Hill) Filopappou.
My god sister and I hiked it to the very top and saw hundreds of caterpillars along the way.
We took in an amazing view of Athens on one side and the Acropolis on the other while sitting atop a giant rock.
We heard music being played and found it to be a man playing Lyra (the traditional instrument of Crete-the island we are both from) beneath a rock with the Acropolis in the distance.
It was inspiring.
Special life moments like that remind me of how wonderful life is and how lucky I am to be experiencing it.


A few days before, we visited the newly built Acropolis Museum.
It is a great museum. Very nicely built and kept clean. Well done.
There are a lot of exhibitions and a variety of artifacts.
The Greeks have made copies or left empty spots where they hope their marbles are returned to them.

Πατρινό καρναβάλι, Patras Carnival

During the 40-day Lenten fast in Greece, people abstain from meat and animal products.
That is why the 3 weeks before Easter are called Apokreas (abstention apo=from kreas=meat).
Lots of celebrating goes on at this time and Apokreas has become synonymous with festivals of fun and masquerading for all ages (like Mardi Gras minus the beads).

I celebrated Apokreas with my God siblings and their friend
at the Patrino Karnavali (Patras Carnival).
It is the largest carnival in Greece with over 180 years of history.
It is rumored to be the 3rd largest Carnival celebration in the world.
I learned that Patrino Karnavali is Greek for fun.
We painted our faces and went out every night until 9 AM.

On Sunday, we took part in the Grand Parade, well-known all over the world.
It was complete insanity.
There were fireworks, pieces of confetti and silly string everywhere
music was being amplified through large speakers
people lined the streets and those on their balconies tossed us treats.
There were over 200 themed groups and thousands of people dressed in costume.
Our group, "Farmaville" (we dressed as farmers) was the final and largest.
For an hour and a half, we drank, danced and blew our whistles through the streets of Patra.
At one point it began to rain, but that didn't stop us.
It was like nothing I had ever seen or experienced before.

«Πατρινό Καρναβάλι για πάντα
Έλα να μάθεις τι θα πει Πατρινός
Πατρινό Καρναβάλι για πάντα
Έλα να ζήσεις για λίγο τρελός»

Along the drive from Athens to Patra, we stopped at the Isthmus of Corinth

Thursday, March 17, 2011

drum roll please...Rome and My "Top 10". finally.

We left Venice to set off on our long (6-8 hour) drive to Rome.

Once there, we settled in to our hotel and went on a walking tour.
We saw the PantheonSpanish Steps
and Trevi Fountain.
Looking back at the notes I had taken from that day all I wrote was "WOW".
It was much larger than I had expected.
I did the logical thing to do at a fountain and threw in a coin to make a wish.
I'd tell you what I wished for,
but then it won't come true.It began to get dark and Rome seemed so romantic at night.
Little restaurants with fire pits and live music lined a square with a fountain
Simply beautiful.

The next day...
"Here, you can touch history with your fingers."
We began with a very interesting "Imperial Tour" of the
Colloseumand the Roman Forum.After the tour, the girls and I ate at a restaurant across the street.
We dined on pasta with a fantastic view of the Colloseum from the window next to our table.

When we had finished our lunch; and thinking we had extra time to spare before the Vatican, we went off in search of an ATM.

We didn't have extra time to spare.

We ended up losing the group and the bus and having to take a taxi.

However, we made the mistake of telling the taxi driver to take us to the Vatican
instead of the Vatican Museum.
Whoops.
We had to walk 1 kilometer (that's over half a mile) to get to the Museum.
Luckily, along the way, we ran in to our tour guide.
She waited 30 minutes with us for our entrance ticket
and then
we ran
through the entire Vatican Museum
to meet the group in the Sistine Chapel.

It was quite the adventure.

We weren't allowed to take photographs in the Sistine Chapel, but it was gorgeous.
After, we headed to St. Peter's Basilica.
Sadly, I was not impressed.
I had expected that I would be moved
feel something
at the center of Roman Catholicism,
but I didn't.
I blame the fact that it is treated like a tourist attraction rather than a place of worship.
People were loud, moving around and snapping photographs with flash;
treating it like a museum rather than a holy place.
Our Farewell Dinner was at Ristorante Papa Rex,
an adorable, traditional Italian restaurant
like the kind you see in the movies.
There were white lights strung outdoors, decorative tablecloths, candles, an opera singer and accordion player.The girls and I enjoyed bruschetta, pasta and lots of wine!
We also took some silly pictures of us sharing pasta (think Lady and the Tramp style)
During dinner, I was pulled to the floor to dance to "Mambo Italiano" and had so much fun!

Afterward, we headed to a club where a crazy-haired promoter named Francesco
set us up with 2 hours of all-you-can-drink at the bar for 20 Euros
We took advantage of that by ordering two at a time
(vodka sprites and "sex on the beach" were my drinks of choice for the evening).
We met lots of people and had the most fun
dancing until passed 3 AM.

The next morning after saying good-bye to Dani
and breakfast with Marika
I headed to the airport to catch my flight to Athens.

I didn't want to leave.
I fell completely, madly head over heels in love with Italy.
It is a European treasure filled with beautiful people and a rich history.
Every place surprised me and excited me
and I literally ate my way through the entire country
with 3-course meals, pastas, desserts and wine daily.
And, I met wonderful people whose friendship and company made my entire experience
more enjoyable and filled my days with laughter.
I hope to visit them and Italy again some day.

Here are my "Top 10" from Italy (in no particular order):
1) Florence-everything!
2) Michelangelo's David
3) The Sistine Chapel
4) St. George's Greek Orthodox Church
5) Venice-the alleys, the gondola ride & Bellinis
6) Lake Garda in the fog
7) Cinque Terre in the rain
8) Wine tasting in Tuscany
9) Santa Maria del Fiore
10) The FOOD! The best bruschetta, pasta, pizza, seafood spaghetti, gelato & wine I have ever had