Love you both

I remembered something these days. Something a little bit forgotten, or just lost somewhere in the back of my brain. I got a lesson. I was witnessing it this whole week that they came to visit in the island. They showed me love and how it should be like, all over again. It is what they have and it is simple really. Complete understanding. Trust. Care. Anxiety for each others well being. Unconditional love. Kind words. Some lovely fights. Hugs. Each other. Friendship. Admiration for each other. Humor. A united team. Soulmates.

Thank you for the lesson. I almost forgot.

Love you both so much.

All photos by Maria Drossou and Quiet Whistle.

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Mirror mirror…

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But the question is always the same? Who am I? Do I really know myself? In years of thinking about it I have come to one conclusion about this matter, which actually makes things even more complicated than simply “knowing”. There is no solid self. There is a core, a bag full of abilities, feelings, beliefs, characteristics and then there is each situation that forms all these randomly placed things into several orders. I believe that there is no solid order for anyone. We are beings of interaction. Socially integrated into communities all of our lives. This molds us, shapes us and eventually makes us act accordingly. Has it ever happened to you to act in different manners depending on the person you had in front of you each given time? And has it also occurred that you ever shaped or shifted a little bit your ways because you believed you must be in sync with someone’s opinion of you? Well I believe this happens to all of us constantly during our lifetime. We, as social beings, are shaping ourselves depending on the idea that we have of the other person’s idea of us. It is kind of a twisted reality, but just as with most big questions in life, I have the notion that we will only get to know our real selves, if we come to terms with the idea that we will never actually will and that is how wide our spectrum is. In the end, the “right person” as we call it, might be the one that will open-hearteadly project his or her best idea of us, back to its source.

BCN in pictures …and feelings

If I could travel constantly, I would. If I could have a life on the road, I would too. That is how much I love seeing places and experiencing new things. One of the biggest concerns in my life is not having done too much until I am gone, although I see that fulfilling this dream of freedom that I get, may take a while – or yet, never happen. It is not the cities, their smells, their people and colors that I long for. Nor are the tastes, the scenery, the landscapes and the picturesque villages. It is the need of being free to go wherever that I have. And the fairytale-like feelings that occur on the encounter with the unknown. The end goal would be a no-return ticket to lets-get-lost-wherever-the-fuck-land. But for now I got my small dose of happiness from a “forest of fairies” that is Barcelona…

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This last trip, with the city opening its bright spectrum to me, came into full alignment with a brighter kind of spectrum I felt inside. It “clicked” in place so perfectly well, that it is actually difficult to walk away from, even if I am constantly making this effort. Oh what the hell… I have come to realize that some things are just meant to appear to you like a passing butterfly, with which you will keep up as long as you can, until it gets lost again. But at least you will always be happy that they came your way for a while… I hope so at least.

 

A small step towards clarity…

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I took an afternoon walk into the fields, just me and my camera (and, oh well, the bugs). It is amazing how nature has everything planned into perfection. Every little detail, every function, every curve and every edge. Nothing exists for no reason. I love how some delicate looking plants have such a strong pinch when you brush up against them, I love how they always find the way to curl around a hard and cold looking fence, how magnificent they look as a unit, but as a whole as well, and oh, how they light up as the sun passes through their delicate, almost transparent parts…

As I was silently observing, ruining the calm with occasional clicks, I got a revelation. Having lived the last years in hectic mode, over-concentrating tasks and to-do lists made me a very efficient robot, but a soulless one . It is not a joke you know. There is this danger that some people say, of disconnecting from who you are and it is as real as it gets. You lose the communication of your inner self with the external edges of your body and soul in ways that are quite frankly scary. You forget to see, really see the magnificence surrounding you without including thoughts that cover your eyes with tar, you forget to hear, or smell nature, food, moments, people… You forget to touch and be touched. And stay there for a while, let it get to you, without thoughts, like a tulle vail against the window breeze. That is what I felt today. And after so much time of pure loneliness, I let myself go just a tiny bit, with no concerns… And you know what. It was amazing. And a small step towards clarity.

“Bugatsa” desert in a delicious version

Bugatsa recipe

Bugatsa recipe

Bugatsa recipe

Bugatsa recipe

Bugatsa recipe

Bugatsa recipe

Bugatsa recipe

Bugatsa recipe

Bugatsa recipe

Bugatsa recipe

Bugatsa recipe

Bugatsa recipe

Bugatsa recipe

Bugatsa recipe

Bugatsa recipe

In the midst of undoubtedly crazy times, hectic preparations, trouble solving tasks, some personal ups and downs and the usual unresting mind that keeps me company as the base of it all, I will put it simply. One needs sugar. And if sugary feelings lack, one needs even more sugar. That is when my dear friend Laura comes in as the most gifted and yet modest and hard working person I know. She is a true gem to us at work (in the hospitality business) and to me personally.

You know these days that your soul is kind of lost and to the blackish side and then a smily face appears, holding a warm coffee and a super delicious, cinnamon – cream, freshly baked, right out of the oven “bugatsa” desert? Well I thought I should share it, as of some general demand for the recipe (our guests got their treats too of course)😉

“Bugatsa”, recipe by Laura Pone.

Ingredients

2 vanillas
1 glass fresh milk
1 glass sugar
500ml cream milk
20 gr baking powder
1 packet Filo pastry sheets
powder sugar
cinnamon
125 gr melted butter
4 eggs

Making of the crust “base”

Grease the baking pan surfaces with butter.

Open the “Filo” pastry sheets carefully and cut them in half along their wide side. Place them all in one stack, taking one by one, carefully butter the sheet, sprinkle some sugar on top, fold it in half and lift it by pinching the sheet in the center, folding it like an upside down pouch. Place it in the pan and continue with all the sheets.

Place the pan with the “Filo” pouches in the oven, on the upper rack, for about 25 mins at 120°C. They are ready when they become golden brown.

Making of the cream filling

In a large bowl, add the sugar and the eggs and mix well. Then add the milk, the cream and mix again. Finally add the baking powder and vanillas and mix again.

When the “Filo” pouches are ready, take the pan out of the oven, and carefully pour the cream mixture all over the pan. Place again the pan in the oven, on the lower rack, for about 25 mins at 150°C.

Once ready, remove from the oven, sprinkle powder sugar and cinnamon on top and enjoy!

Better served hot.

Thank you Laura!❤

Α butterfly for Danai-Vintage

But how can you spread your wings and fly? Will they let you? I often ask myself if I think too much or too little of the things I am “supposed” to do. That society asks of me. The unwritten “rules” and “regulations” with which I must comply in order for the others to feel at ease…

Am I too old? Or still too young? What do I feel? What do they let me feel? Do I still have time to do the things I always wanted to do? And if this is so, why haven’t I started yet? What am I waiting for? The right time? People? Feelings? Or am I just setting fake goals in order to make it impossible to ever catch them. Will my subconscious tell me “See I told you”, then? Or do I just enjoy the endless ours of daydreaming? Too many unanswered questions, I know. Maybe they are supposed to remain so. In order for my inner butterfly to finally be able to crack its cocoon open by itself. I hope so at least.

One thing I do know for sure. People can be proven wrong.

Shirt and skirt by Danai-Vintage.
Photography, styling and idea: Dione Kal.

 

 

 

Light, fresh ideas, and Danai-Vintage

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Oh! the light, how it can change everything. Our ideas, our thoughts, the scenery itself. I enjoy the light. It is this time of the year again that everything starts appearing clear, as if the dark grey cloud of the winter moodiness is about to fade. And it is. Although it is the season of responsibilities and hectic preparations for me and my “means of surviving”, I hugely enjoy the most-needed comeback of inner urge for creativity. Well the truth is that (as I have said before), I think I passed a 10 year creativity plateau that I finally see fading away. The light that I always observed externally, is now coming from within, pushing me to get rid of old, unwanted, rotten situations and people and make a new start, even if this means to stay by myself for a while…

I just wanted to share that. Don’t know why. Maybe because the pictures accompanying this post are bright. Maybe because I wanted to make a parallel comparison with the bottom of the empty pool and its white walls as a sort of a “blank paper” that forces me to use it. Or fill it in order to emerge on the surface again. Or maybe it’s just Sofia’s clothes and her crazy and full of great ideas mind, that made me want to work on her “Vintage Japanese” view of this lovely tailor-made coat, the most Japanese way I know. Minimal. I will accompany my pictures inside the pool, with her selected japanese prints as I really loved how it all came together. Please follow her Facebook page “DANAI-Vintage” and give her a thumbs up. All clothes are second-hand and for sale in great prices! More to come soon!

xo

In bloom with Danai-Vintage

bright tailor made maxi dress

bright tailor made maxi dress

bright tailor made maxi dress

bright tailor made maxi dress

bright tailor made maxi dress

bright tailor made maxi dress

How about those old precious clothes? Filled with memories, moments, life and the occasional rebellious threads coming out of the seams? Sometimes, as everything in this world, they have completed their own circle in someone’s life and are ready to be freshly reimagined and re-owned. I am all about sharing clothes. Sometimes I even believe that other people’s clothes suit me better than my own, so when the case is so, that one of your good friends asks you to wear those pre-loved clothes, style and shoot them as a part of the lovely “Danai-Vintage” project (link below), then it can not get any better!

Since I want my posts to have some consistency in their color palettes, I will not post everything at once, but rather one shooting at a time. It is more fun that way too and I will also be able to fill my “Mini Editorial” Category on the right, with some interesting stuff, plus give me some post-worthy material, as I am too busy this time of the year to be posting more than once or twice a month. Will be back soon though, I promise!

Enjoy Sofia’s pre-owned clothes (some of them are of well known brands and a real bargain, believe me!) here:

Visit her new page Danai-Vintage, for more material and info!

🙂

Frid-esque editorial

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I have discovered a newly found freedom in expression. It is called, not caring for feedback of any kind. This alone is capable of releasing some profoundly positive energy waves and carry you from periods of pain to such of the brightest light. They won’t last for long, no. You will most probably relapse into your insecure, deep and dark judgmental thoughts. But they won’t disappear either. They will be passing you through like those newly discovered gravitational waves and the power will be so strong that you won’t even be able to explain where it came from. Well, it came from the inside. You just never look there.

Frida Kahlo was always feeling this internal pain (mostly due to the external one) and she was just able to look inside, take it out and find the best way to express it. Colours, flowers and love to conquer all that was dark and painful. And there was a lot.

Stop searching for outer aid. There is none. Its you. Alone. And you can make it. We all can.

“I never paint dreams or nightmares, I paint my own reality.”

Frida

 

 

Mini Choco – Orange Pavlova’s for two …or one.

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Well, whether you celebrate today or not (I mean even when being with someone), a Sunday is always a good occasion for some desert to go along with your late-morning coffee.

I never really celebrated Valentine’s day, as in my mind it was always associated with those awkward days in elementary school, when the popular boy would bring a rose to the blond girl in class and everyone would be surrounding them, giggling (and secretly wishing they we in their place instead). Since that day, a lot has changed, many boys and girls passed from our lives, we all got in that place and many of us just decided not to have a day to celebrate it. It isn’t just the fact that it is just another commercial occasion for stuffed animals and hearts to be sold, it is also weird to have “a day” for everyone. Your day with your special person is supposed to remind you of things. And be special. So Valentine’s day is just another occasion to just eat heart shaped deserts and have great expectations. I say, let’s just stick to the desert. It will never disappoint us and it sure is sweet. Plus it has all the right ingredients for the day. Chocolate, orange, Grand Marnier and the light texture of a Pavlova base. Will you fall in love tonight? I think you will. I did.

Pavlova base ingredients:

  1. 75g orange-flavoured chocolate
  2. 4 large egg whites
  3. pinch of salt
  4. 225g icing sugar
  5. 1tbsp cornflour
  6. 1tsp white wine vinegar
  7. ½tsp vanilla

Topping ingredients:

  1.  150g blackcurrant sauce (in a can)
  2.  3tbsp icing sugar
  3.  1tbsp orange-flavoured brandy liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
  4. 1 large orange, zested then peeled and segmented, and a little of the juice
  5. 300ml whipping cream
  6. 50g dark chocolate

Method:

Pavlova base:

  1. Break the orange-flavoured chocolate into a small bowl and let it melt in a pan, over shimmering water. Leave it for a while to lower its temperature as you will later pour it over the meringue. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Place the 4 egg whites and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Use an electric mixer to whisk until you see soft peaks in your mix. You should add the sugar in small quantities until the end of the process, whisking gently after each addition and reserve 2tsp of sugar for later. Once the sugar has been added, the meringue should be very stiff. Sift the cornflour over the meringue and fold through very gently. In another bowl, mix the 2tsp of icing sugar with the vinegar and vanilla essence and then fold into the meringue until well mixed.
  3. Take a tablespoon of mixture at a time and place 4 piles on the tray (it makes 2 trays). Drizzle a little melted chocolate over each with a teaspoon and swirl the chocolate into the meringue to form a 9cm circle. Take another spoonful of meringue and add to the top of each circle. Drizzle over more chocolate then swirl to spread the mixture into 12cm circles, making a slight dip in the centre of each for the filling.
  4. Cook for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to 110°C and cook for 45 minutes. Remove the pavlovas. Place on cooling racks. When just cooled, place them on a tray in the fridge until completely cold. Peel off the paper and store in a cold place until needed.

Topping:

  1. To make the topping, put the blackcurrant sauce in a pan with the sugar, orange liqueur, orange zest and any juice left behind from segmenting the orange.
    Heat gently, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook until the cranberries just start to burst. Continue to cook until the mixture is no longer wet. When removing from the pan into a bowl, extract any excess fluid in the mixture. You want it to be as chinky as possible. Put in the fridge for up to 1 hour before using.
  2. To make the chocolate flakes, just take a sharp knife and slide it on the back of the chocolate, scraping off the top layer. Be careful in the process, and hold the knife carefully to protect your hands.

Whipping cream filling:

Whisk the cream until it just holds its shape but is still a little floppy. Add a teaspoon of icing sugar if you think it smells too much like milk, but not more than that, as the rest of the topping is quite sweet on its own. Pile some of the cream into the centre of each pavlova. Place the orange segments on top of the cream and arrange the cold blackcurrant-Grand Marnier topping over them. (If you want the desert to be a bit less sweet, add more orange pieces and less blackcurrant topping. Top with chocolate flakes.

(Recipe is found online and is slightly altered according to taste and ingredients that can commonly be found in supermarkets here in Greece).