Sushi-licious patterns

Hello hello again! After all this time I’m here again for some delicious patterns! The inspiration was a dinner night last week at Sushimou, the best sushi restaurant in Athens! It’s the closest I’ve ever ate to what I ate at Tokyo, it’s a real savorous experience, the chef is the best and we’re very lucky to have it here! In fact, it’s almost a year from our trip to Japan so we went there as a celebration. After that we were drunk with sake and happiness…
The results are below, enjoy!

1. Onigiri in pink by Rhubarb&Cod  2. Shrimp nigiri   3. Maki with chopsticks by Susi´s Cauldron  4. Sushi pattern by Laura Manfre  5. Japanese food box by Papern Paper Co

From onigiri to maki, nigiri, sashimi and chopsticks, everything you can imagine is here. There were so many more but I tried to be realistic…I don’t know if it’s because Japanese art is so sophisticated and advanced, maybe because kawaii style and manga have a lot of drawings and image decorations but there are a lot of beautiful watercolors or graphic works of Japanese food on the internet! I discovered a great artist, Justine Wong, creator of the project ’21 Days in Japan: An Illustrative Study on Japanese Cuisine’, consisting of 100 paintings of her meals throughout Japan. It’s so beautiful!

  1. Sushi with dots by Cecilia Renlund  2. Blue sushi by Alexandra Bond  3. Sashimi watercolor by Justine Wong  4. Sushi cat pattern by Siyiart  5. Sashimi by Rhubarb & Cod

You know, some rules of sushi eating are that you should grab the nigiri with your hands (not chopsticks) and you dive only the fish at soy sauce, not the rice 😉 . I think my favorite tastes are at sashimi dishes, i love almost everything! And imagine that years ago I hated sushi!
Of course here we have also cats in sushi and cats in soy sauce, cats can never be missing from Japanese illustrations!

  1. Sushi scrimps by Susanne Floe  2. Nigiri watercolor by Justine Wong  3. Sushi pattern by Sundra Art   4. Pink sushi by Creative Streetwear  5. Blue sushi pattern by Robin Sheldon

Shrimps, tuna, salmon, see weeds, wasabi and everything are in repeat making us drooling and smiling! Which is your favorite sushi ingredient?

  1. Sushi plate pattern by Sundra Art  2. Sushi orange by Jenny Viljaniemi  3. Sushi love via pinterest  4. Cats and soy sauce pattern by Mikaylart  5. Sushi in turquoise by Bronte Poynts 

Bright colors, even fluorescent, graphic illustrations or more realistic and depicting all these sushi patterns are perfect to gets us in the mood of Japan! Grab the chopsticks, pour some sake at your glasses and let’s go!

  1. Sake watercolor by Justine Wong 2. Sushi pattern in pink by Jessica Singh  3. Sushi pattern by Gifts Pattern

Ioannina, Greece

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Ioannina city, the old and the new

During October I’ve had a really nice time on a long weekend at Ioannina city of Greece and finally I’ve made the time to make a post about it! It’s been a month (plus) now that I have so much work to do that I think my blue flamingo is feeling very lonely…however is always in my mind, I’m mentally preparing interesting posts to present them to you someday!

This one is about this marvelous city that I’m definitely proposing of visiting! It highlights the tradition in such a chic way, offering very nice strolls at the lake, at the old market, the traditional coffee and wine/tsipouro spots where you can warm yourself and your heart with the right company. And of course, starting from Ioannina you can explore the Zagoria villages and the mountain which is very very beautiful.

To better understand the culture and fully get in the mood of this place you should hear some traditional epirus music, I adore it! One of my favorites is this: Xechorismata by Petroloukas Chalkias.
Or a contemporary aspect of it, the Villager of Ioannina city band.
I really believe these 2 aspects of music is very characteristic of the city vibes you can’t catch by photos only. I propose to hear them while you read the post if you are into it! 🙂

Unfortunately, we had only 3 days for all, but I think we saw a lot to love the city. The first thing anyone thinks on hearing about Ioannina is the lake! Such a serene scenery and beauty of nature especially on this time of year where the tree leaves have all these hues of green-orange-yellow…They say that deeper on winter, the lake is covered by a mysterious mist and it can be even more beautiful! We enjoyed that stroll so much that definitely I could say people there are very lucky. It’s also a great place for photographers, we even saw a famous one(as we’ve been told) photo shooting his little daughter among fallen leaves, where she was doing the same at her dad with her phone! Cute, huh?

Along the shore – despite the birds and the people to look at – there are some sculptures to admire that I liked a lot. By local, famous or not (to me) artists contribute to the evolution of aesthetic level and criteria of the people. I think it’s very nice having pieces of art out in the open, for every people to get familiar with it.

As I told you another characteristic of this city you shouldn’t miss is cute cafes and small taverns where you drink local tsipouro (a very strong alcohol drink) with tasty food. In any food situation I am incapable of taking photos, it’s official! I had my mind though of capturing some moments/corners from a very cute vintage cafe where we had our morning coffee one day. It’s called “To diko mas waltz” which means “our waltz” and served coffee and more in a well preserved old house, with small rooms and old furniture. I liked the “love of books” touch at the entrance a lot.

Another highlight of the city is the Its Kale hill where the Turk commander, pasha, has his palace and facilities. From there you can have a really nice view of the lake and the city and of course learn about this era. We visited a new museum of silverware that had a huge development in the area. This museum was actually very interesting both for the exhibits and the displaying ways of them and for the renovation of such a building. I was looking at the exhibit boards and then at the lighting methods or the way they used the building structure. A must see for architects!

Also, an excursion nearby is a must! We went towards Aristi village and at its exit we stopped at the river. You can see by the photos that it was amazing! The colors of nature, the hearing of the water and the feeling of your footings at the moisty earth was very refreshing. There were also some people that were doing rafting etc it would’ve been awesome.

As you can imagine it was the joy of the photographer! A lot of desktop wallpaper choices!

Continuing from there towards Papigko villages we stopped at some water ponds called Ovires. It’s a magical place where mountain water passes by big stones, sculptured by it, creating small and larger water ponds. During summer people swim there, I don’t even imagine how cold the water must be!

The scenery there is very imposing: big mountains around you, small villages underneath them, Vikos gorge and the river whenever you can see it. Leaving Ovires we had this view in front of us! And at this mountain foot was the Small Papigko village where we stopped for lunch and exploration.

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Mountains at Vikos gorge, such a scenery!

The first thing we saw after we left our car was this scenery below…Like a fairy tale. This plane tree was like a magnet to us…we took several photos!

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This plane tree reminds my the ‘Big Fish’ movie, don’t you think?

Obviously…

And then we went to eat something because after all these our stomach was complaining clearly! Lamb ribs at a tavern’s yard compensated us! 😉

It was such a great 3days vacation yet very tiring because it’s very far from Athens. I definitely recommend to have more days there, to have a car and to explore the mountain and the magical nature/villages of the area. It’s really beautiful at any season!

 

Weekend time while Fall still lasts

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Because you know…winter is coming and stuff! In Athens we were lucky this weekend to have a nice weather to enjoy it but it won’t last for long! Yesterday that I went out I realized that maybe it’s time for heavy coats and fluffy scarfs already! And I’m gonna prepare a nice post for you about a very autumnal excursion I’ve had in mountain Greece last month, so I’m trying to get in the mood! (This photo is from there 😉 )
Lately, I’m having a very cultural time with jazz concerts, modern dancing performances, cinema, architecture exhibitions etc. all of them with nice company and I’m really enjoying it! I think Autumn is perfect for such night outs, let’s have the most of it!!

Do you have plans for this Sunday? I wish you a great time! xxx

Folegandros | The Land

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The view of Panagia church on the cliff, the most classic photo of Folegandros!

I know, it’s not the best time to speak about greek summer – in Athens it’s deep Fall, we start to feel some cold weather expressions and a lot of us think about Christmas already! But not me! hehe…I’m gonna torture you a little more.
I think that greek islands are never off season! Especially now that a cousin of mine is planning to open her own shop at Folegandros (next summer the island will have a high quality stylish voice, keep in mind!).

I’ve already wrote about Folegandros’ beaches and clear blue waters here, now is the time to show you some of its land beauties!

Folegandros has 3 let’s say villages: Karavostasis (where the port is), Chora (its basic settlement) and Ano Meria. If you visit you should stay definitely at Chora, its where everything happens. The beauty there is impeccable! Laying at the edge of a cliff, having above you a high ridge with a traditional church, a traditional and very old settlement named “Kastro” on the inside and everything built with local architecture, all quite well preserved keeping a low and original profile offers you a very unique experience of living and memorable summer vacations!

Of course, we visited the island at early September where everything is quieter and less touristic. It’s said that is very popular on high season and maybe you won’t be able of feeling all the flavors of the island.
What I liked the most was that local people and owners have kept the local characteristics of the buildings and keep them simple so that you receive a quite original impression. Also, the existence of a lot of squares so that different kind of corners grow here and there depending on the use. I loved exploring new spaces as walking by, hidden shops and restaurants, as if life there is shown to you little by little.

Another characteristic is that people use the public area the most of it, like sitting on mantels and church’s precincts, tables are laying under a tree’s shadow and habitats hang their laundry on the streets adding their personal style!
Also, the whole Chora is very dense built because of the wind and that’s why all the houses are next to each other creating a very interesting organism all together. If you feel the wind there you’ll know what I’m talking about!!

And now some of how we were spending our time there!
We were starting our day with a nice breakfast every day at a different cafe. We wanted to try all of them and also to find where it wasn’t very windy! It wasn’t everywhere the best but we made some good choices eventually. One of my favorites was at the balcony of “Lontzia” cafe next to the entrance of Kastro. It was very peacefull, we had a nice view of the square on one hand and we had the Kastro on the other, we were sitting at built benches next to hibiscus, what else to ask for?!
My second favorite was strangely “Nicola’s place”. At the first glance I could hate it, very touristic, but we ate a very decent breakfast there (except coffee though, which was the reason for not going again) and it was so cult that you couldn’t not lough! However, the best thing there I think was the gaming options that you had. A lot of games, traditional, puzzles to solve, backgammon and of course …chess. We stayed there one morning for 3 hours playing chess with G. where fortunately I won!!! hooray!
Usually, after breakfast we were passing by the bakery to take some local cheese pies (yummy) to keep us for the day.

At the end of Chora is the Kastro settlement. Kastro means castle, citadel in greek and it was the first settlement of the island, where people were living on the old days. That’s why the houses are very close one to the other, the roads are very narrow so that they are mostly protected by the wind. It’s still inhabited, it has 2 entrances and it ends exactly at the edge of the cliff!! So scary to see that. The beauty of Kastro is incomparable, strolling around is a great walk, I loved imagining how life must have been there.

Night life was also limited for us because of the wind. Most of the days we were hanging out at Astarti bar, sitting at the church’s precinct next to it, drinking rakomelo (hot raki with honey and spices) to warm ourselves! It was the hit of Chora and we saw why. I loved that place for its intimacy and coolness.
One night that the wind wasn’t so bad we went to Beez bar for a summer cocktail and it was very nice also! One day there was a wedding on the island! And they had the party at a tavern on a square where all the passers by could stand for a while and watch. Quite special for a wedding party to happen on the open like that, it was really something.

Usually, at night we were dinning at a restaurant/tavern where unfortunately I have no photos because my mind was only at the food in front of me! I’ll make a list, from some places we liked for you at the end of the post, though.

One of Folegandros highlights is of course the sunset! But not from anywhere, you climb the zing-zag path towards the Panagia church (what you see from everywhere on Chora and on the cover photo of the post). From there the view is amazing!! It’s not so difficult to go there, but I was tired enough…there are some donkeys also to get you there if you want. So you pick a rock to sit and wait…and as you wait the sun to dive in the sea you enjoy the island changing in so many colors!! Very romantic 😉

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The first lights of the night that comes at Chora

We enjoyed the sunset at Ano Meria too, we were lucky enough to be at the right time there! This settlement had/has the rural facilities of people of Folegandros, creating at the end of it a very interesting scenery to enjoy the infinity! We were walking towards it that day just to get closer to the sunset and have a better view and we discovered this place like forgotten for many many years…until a pig tried to communicate with us! Then we saw also a cow standing among ruins and huge rocks so we kept them company for a while, admiring all together the sunset!
It’s also very interesting to see the rural facilities because you learn about how life could be the old times and how these people were working there. I was impressed by the “tree house” a built circle with a tree on the center, usually a lemon tree, to protect it by the wind so that they rescue the fruits, I saw some of them myself! Now there are mostly taverns and traditional restaurants there where you can try some local delicacies you shouldn’t miss!!

As you can imagine Folegandros is a very very beautiful island, very simple yet so interesting, with so many aspects and stories where you can find peace. Rough beauty but in a chic way, definitely a place to remember!

Places we ate and suggest:

Pitokamomata at Chora, for the most delicious street food!
Eva’s Garden at Chora, for a nice, romantic dinner
O Kritikos at Chora, grill tavern in a very picturesque square
Zefiros Anemos at Chora, for fresh seafood
To Zimaraki at Chora, for italian cuisine-yummy pizzas
I Sunantisi at Ano Meria, for local cuisine and the famous matchata!

Also, there is a very usefull app about everything of Folegandros, check it out if you ‘re about to visit: INFolegandros

Check out the previous post: Folegandros | The Sea for having the whole picture!

 

Rainy weekend

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 presetHello there again! I woke up this Saturday with a bunch of thoughts at my head swirling around…today is the day that I have to make plans, organize myself and next week’s work, tidy up my home-because you can’t work in a chaos, and then maybe tidy up my head and in general DO stuff!! It’s gonna be a really hard week and I should be prepared and ready, don’t you think?
And as all these must happen it’s been a while that is raining cats&dogs here! The sky is dark, you feel like the night has come already and all I want is spend the whole day in bed, under blankets watching TV series!

I imagine myself being a (cute) snail as I recede into my ‘house’ and prepare myself for next days! I would be a weird snail though doing that when it rains, I know…

Have a nice and relaxing weekend y’all!

 

source image via Find your own adventure

Fall patterns, again!

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Molly from the movie ‘The Breakfast Club’ – Beginning of school and discipline, in the right colors! By JTO JTO

Seeing that last year’s post about Fall patterns is one of your favorite, I prepared another one these days to feed our (because it’s mine too!) desire for seasonal patterns to put us in the mood for Autumn!
Funny thing that when I was younger I didn’t like this season at all! I imagine because of the beginning of school and the end of summer carelessness etc etc. On the contrary, as I grow up I am so ready for all the changes of this transition that I even can’t wait for them! I’m so eager for cozy nights and weekends, the new face of nature all around us, excursions to the woods, warmer palettes of colors, cozier outfits and homey feeling!

Happy Sunday guys, let’s enjoy Fall!!

Nature and foxy themed in earthy tones! Orange foxes – I don’t know why but this animal is stuck in my mind as a fall’s element, falling leaves, new pinecones – the last one was such a hit! – and of course pumkins!
1. foxes by Leticia 2. falling leaves by Jess Smart Smiley  3. pinecones by Georgiana Paraschiv 4. pumkins by Lindsey Elise Design

Sweeter tones with some blush pink and pomegranates! And of course-again foxes, cooler this time.
1. flowers via pinterest 2. blue foxes by Ooli, via Sorryzorrito 3. Pomegranates by Better Home

Closing this patterns’ party with my favorites, mostly for the feeling they create. Swallows for the migratory birds of this season, school/office stuff with pencils and erasers – it’s the time to concentrate again and do the real business, the first hot coffees of the year…knitting of course 🙂 beside the fire even better, with a purring cat at your lap (my favorite!!) and then as we have the rains what’s more suitable from rubber wellies!
1. swallows by Bridiy  2. office supplies by Emma Trithart  3. Knitting via pinterest  4. Chemex Coffee Culture Pattern by Sara Combs  5. pink cats by Angie Garland  6. rain boots by Cassie Kulp

Check out the previous Fall Patterns post Here

 

 

 

 

Folegandros | The Sea

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A tiny beach next to Agali, beautiful to look from above

As the temperature in Athens is still hot -despite the first days of October- I take the opportunity to post about my main summer vacations! And get some of the vibes that are so precious!!
The first days of September we went at the small&distant yet magical island of Cyclades, Folegandros! I’ll make 2 parts of it because there is such beauty that I simply can’t limit the photos. At this part we’ll have our jaws dropped by the clearest and tempting waters of the island! If I should distinguish one thing from Folegandros would definitely be the beaches. At least for my taste that I love pebbled beaches, blue and deep waters and calm and isolated-if nudist even better, this was a paradise. You should know though that you’ll have to get supplies with you definitely and an umbrella because usually there is nothing there.

However, we were unlucky with the weather. It was SO windy these days that couldn’t go at any beach whenever we wanted. And because of the cold wind I felt really chilly sometimes! Brrr… I’m not famous for my tolerance to cool water anyway!
So, to get an idea of what Folegandros was for us the first days you can take a look at the following pictures and see: The wild situation of the see! The dry and rocky land that dominates (with some goats here and there) and the Karavostasis where the port is. When we say port though don’t think of what you’re used to, check it out to understand!

One of the most accessible and easy beach was Agali, in the middle of the island. Its name means “hug” as the land subsides like one so that the weather isn’t such a problem. However because of that there is always crowd which I don’t love…It was very nice in general but I liked more to look at it from above!

 

As I told you all these days the wind was pitiless! After asking some local people we started exploring some more “secret” beaches that you had to walk through pathways. The first day we attempt exploring  Fira beach which is 10′ from Agali. Along the way we were very surprised sometimes by what people consider “pathway”!!! After all, we took the right way every time but I think it was only a matter of luck! I was of course fearless….
Besides the view from there was magnificent, so I was only impatient to reach the beach. And we were very well paid off as you can see!

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Happy swimmer

To find a quiet beach, with rough beauty, after all the wind and crowd was such a delight! All the beaches from that day on were amazing. I was swimming for hours, sunbathing after the cool water to get the right temperature, reading my book (‘The woodpecker’ by Tom Robins which I finished there and totally loved it!!) wearing my mask and seeing SO many fishes underwater that I enjoyed it a lot!!!! Also, as you’ll notice, I was very proud of my pedicure 😉

Some other beautiful beaches were St. Nicolas, Galyfos and Livadaki, on the south part of the island. Again by foot or by boat. Quite small all of them if you are used to large, endless beaches and I imagine if someone visits the island on high season they can be very very crowded.

On the following picture we can see some old guys trying to pull a boat out of the water with no good results…As I was waiting for G. to help them I was taking photos…

The best beach in my opinion was Katergo! It was our favorite by far and thankfully the wind stopped for one whole day (wow) so that we could see it. I mean, magnificent…We didn’t want to leave that beach. A high cliff behind us, a large beach so that all the people can spread out and clear, refreshing waters for swimming for hours. Beautiful scenery.

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Katergo beach – the best!!!

Another, rather quiet and small beach was Ambeli. Very rocky in general, wilder as an environment, but what I loved the most was the way until there. Not so the driving part-which was very atmospheric indeed- as the walking part till the beach. You have to pass through small paths under trees so that the beach is revealing itself at the end and you feel like you found a treasure!

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Heading to Ambeli beach, seems like we’re gonna find a treasure!

It’s also nice to catch a sunset there or on your way back and stop at Ano Meria, a small village, to see the sunset and eat local delicacies as matchata pasta with rooster…yummy!! The best closing for a day at this beach!

If you want more from greek summer/islands of Cyclades see my older posts:
Sikinos here and here 
Kimolos here , here and here

Summer holidays at North Euboea

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Panorama shot of my favorite beach

At last I found some time to write a post about a part of my summer vacations! It’s fall already but everyone enjoys some summer spirit even if summer has gone, right?
So, here I present you my time at north Euboea during August! We went by car, passing through Euboea which was magical if you are a strong driver! The first day of our trip was not so summery because the weather was just the opposite! Rain and cold but on the top of the mountain we stopped for a hot cheese-bread that calmed us for ever!! Then as you can see on the photos above we made a stop somewhere to rest and we found out a small river there! It was just after the rain and the scenery was beautiful!

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When we arrived at G’s village we were welcomed by his grandmother and the cats! We ate some figs with cheese and the proper summer had just started!!
We stayed for a few days only but we had a great time. Swimming all day at paradise beaches, eating like kings, playing with the dapper cats that required quite patience I must say and relaxing a lot……

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This cutie was so low-voiced that was like been in silent mode

As you can see the beaches there are superb!! Just like I want them: quiet and calm, less people the best, with pebbles, clear blue waters and fishes to explore on the inside! One day the sea had a lot of jellyfishes (not harmful though) that scared me but G and I made a silly song about them so we had fun eventually!

summer_euboia_mbf_12Some of our equipment! The floating sea-animals (or sea-vehicles) weren’t ours unfortunately. And some of what we were seeing while lying down.

As we were staying all day at the beach we were present during the sunset. Which was magical. I loved the serenity of that time on that beach!

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I must say that I’d taken my new camera for the first time so I tried a lot (!) of sunset shots!! It was hard of choosing just some of them!

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Returning from the beach that day as the sky was magnificent-obviously-we saw an owl that stopped just in front of our car!! I was so excited!!!

See my other excursions to north Euboea here and here.

Material trend | Terrazzo

I don’t know if you’ve noticed that more and more terrazzo is used in high aesthetic renovations. Not only because we used it in our Room18 proposal, but I love it!!! I want it everywhere, on floors, walls, furniture, details! It’s so chic, bold, down to earth and architectural that with the right material combination it can transform a room. It highlights the general design of a space with a humble yet aristocratic way. I could say that terrazzo is the new cement that I hope is here to stay.

It’s not by luck that the best known brands have used it in their retail stores with high success. Valentino, Prada, Issey Miyake are some of them, presented at this post. Especially Valentino uses terrazzo at every retail store in the world, keeping the same style and giving us more chances for our jaws to drop! Here we see the New York, Rome and Paris’ stores, designed by David Chipperfield Architects.
See for yourselves below how the products come up like art exhibits or jewelry!

The size and color of the chippings varies so that we can have different styles and even combine them for a bolder result!

Of course floors, walls and other components aren’t the only way of using terrazzo. Furniture, counters, sinks and objects by it are very beautiful too! I absolutely love this minimal aesthetic, don’t you? Check out the kitchen here and the bathroom here.

Or how about almost the whole bathroom? I’ll take it! Extra points at the white, minimal accessories and the general minimal design.

Stairs also can have terrazzo and speak to our hearts directly…
Stairs on the left Stairs on the right

However, my favorite terrazzo application is at these spinning lightings! Mari Goga is the designer of them, Greek and inspired! I’m so in love with them, I’m already thinking how on earth I could have one of these…for now I only dream about it. Aren’t they super lovely?

Below you can see other applications in a different, even funkier way. Terrazzo can be colored of course and rule the room! I would be in a great dilemma which one I should use in a renovation, grey or colored…Which one do you prefer??

Photo links from top left to right: 1. Acne studio 2. Olivia Aspinall Studio 3. Prada store 4. Issey Miyake 5. Cafe Kitsune

 

You can check our ‘Room18’ entry in this post, where we used terrazzo on the half of the room and we nailed it! hehe

August | Let the summer begin!

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First day of August and the living is easy… or I wish it was! As I get closer and closer to my vacation days it’s getting even harder to focus and work! What about you? I must ignore the sirens and do stuff but all I think is a deep dive into the sea and forget about everything…

So, what did you do the weekend? I had a very special time because my best friend is getting married in a month and we had all kind of preparations! Wedding dress fitting and 2 kind of bachelor parties! One night version of it (At a beach bar, drinking cocktails and wearing funny stuff) and one morning version of it (traditional hammam treatment!!!) This second one was my favorite! I’ll talk about it next days, I hope..

So, you tell me, how can I work after such a weekend!? Impossible!!