Step by step guide to the perfect cozy day

Yes, it’s that time of the year already. Where accordingly to Mariah Carey’s song, snow should be falling all around us and people should be playing outside and having fun. Well, especially in my case that isn’t the way I see the winter season. Although many get fairly excited when snow starts to fall and the degrees start lowering, I am quite honestly the opposite. I highly dislike the cold and snowy weather, because even though it may be beautiful and in December the Christmas spirit hits me and I get all jolly, during the rest of the time when I go outside I have to layer myself with a lot of clothes and start regretting my existence. For this reason the only thing that gets me excited about winter is that I could use the cold as an excuse to sit at home and cozy up in front of the fireplace alongside a nice book. Since I am sure that a lot of you are just like me and prefer to be lazy at home rather than to leave the house and walk in the snow, I wanted to show you how my perfect winter cozy day looks like. I believe that all the activities I have included in this blogpost are not only suitable for winter time, but will also be very helpful if you want to rest, relax and forget about your stressful daily life at work or school.

Step 1 – Find a spot and fill it with blankets and pillows – what would a cozy winter day be without warm blankets and cute pillows. Whether you will place them on your bed, couch or floor, just lay them on the place you have chosen and put as many as you can. It will not only look very cute and cozy, but if in some case you get cold or start falling asleep you won’t need to worry about getting up from your cozy fortress.

Step 2 – Pick a favorite activity – Whether you are a book worm or a movie addict, it doesn’t matter, choose a desired activity, which could keep you distracted from your work and will really help you to stop thinking about your stressful week or things that need to be done. The cozy day is all about me time.

Step 3 – Pour yourself a hot drink – Drinking a warming drink is an essential thing to do during the winter season. It not only warms up your whole body, but also heart. I personally am a chocolate addict, so my absolute favorite winter drink would of course be hot chocolate. But since I am trying to follow a healthy lifestyle and try to lower my sugar and dairy intake, I have found an alternative to regular hot coco. I consists of non-dairy milk(I use almond), natural cocoa, sprinkle of cinnamon and vanilla and some natural sweetner(honey, agave, etc.). Just put all the ingredients in a sauce pan and leave them to simmer for about 5minutes. After that you got yourself a healthy winter drink, which still tastes as delicious and maybe even better. Another drink which I really like having on a cold winter nights is mulled wine or just some classic tea.

Step 4 – Light it up – What would a cozy day be without the smell of cinnamon or vanilla. I am true lover of aromatic candles since I was a little girl. I even remember that, every time we went Christmas shopping with my mother the first store we stopped by was the candle store, where I spent about an hour smelling all the candles that were for sale. Even if somehow you are scared of fire or happen to dislike candles, you can also switch on some Christmas lights and use them as a cute decoration.

Step 5 – Dress up – who said that you can’t look cute at home. What is a perfect cozy day without a comfy outfit to match? Put on your favorite pajama or oversized sweater, throw on some fluffy socks and slay your lazy day at home.

I am wearing pajama from Oysho

Step 6 – Treat yourself – Would it be me if my perfect day didn’t include food? I can’t imagine a day at home without a snack or a dish to munch on. Honestly one my favorite things to have on a cold winter day is either a warming soup or a spicy Indian curry. Of course there are times that I feel to lazy to cook and just snack on my favorite dark chocolate.

Step 7 – Pamper yourself: what’s a perfect day at home without putting on your favorite face mask, using your favorite body lotion and just taking time to make your skin glow up.

Well, I guess that’s a wrap. Honestly whether you choose to follow those steps or not, the only thing that actually matters is to really take this time to relax and treat yourself with the things you love. We all have a very stressful lifestyle and often forget about the small things in life that can make us smile. It doesn’t matter if you are wearing a cute sweater or a stolen old shirt from your dad’s closet, relax, forget your worries and enjoy yourself.

3 healthy and easy party bite ideas

December was a month full of family and friend gatherings combined with Christmas parties. I am not complaining of course, but at a certain period, I felt drained from all that buzz and people. It was the end of the year and I had one last party left – New Year’s Eve. I was supposed to spend it with a few of my closest friends, so that is why I really wanted to surprise them with a few different kinds of party bites. As I already mentioned I was pretty tired and I did not want to spend hours in the kitchen, so I came up with these three recipes, which are not only healthy and nutritious, but also don’t cost you a fortune, and take only a little time to make. I can assure you that they taste great, because even before we had a couple of drinks, the snacks were already demolished. They are also great to be served as appetizers or snacks while throwing a cocktail party or just having a wine glass or two.

Zucchini bites

Ingredients:

Basil

1 Zucchini

1 red pepper

Dried tomatoes

Vegan cheese or regular cheese spread

Arugula

What to do?

Very thinly cut your zucchini lengthwise, I used a normal vegetable peeler to do so. Smudge one side of the zucchini with the vegan cheese, place a little bit of the arugula, two pieces of the red pepper(diced lengthwise) and add the small piece of the sundried tomato and basil. Then roll the zucchini and voila, you have yourself a small raw zucchini bite. Continue doing the same with the remaining ingredients.

Greek salad bites

2 cucumbers (preferably larger)

1 tomato

150g feta cheese

50 g yoghurt

1tbsp olive oil

*For a vegan swap, you can stuff the cucumbers with guacamole

What to do?

First make your cheese spread by combining in a bowl your; crumbled cheese, yoghurt, oregano, pinch of salt and 1 tsp. of olive oil. Then cut the cucumber in thicker pieces, remove the flesh and pat them until dry. Lastly fill your cucumber cups with the cheese spread and add a few cubed sliced tomatoes.

Aubergine bites (vegan)

Hummus

2 Aubergines

1 Pomegranate

Cilantro(optional)

What to do?

Slice round your aubergines, salt them gently and leave them aside for 20 minutes. This way they won’t have a bitter taste. After 20 minutes, pat them dry and grill them until ready. Cut them in bite pieces, spread them with hummus and finish them off with the pomegranate and cilantro.

Well, there you have it! 3 delicious party bites that don’t require anything more than 30 minutes, love and creativity. Don’t hesitate to experiment and change up the recipes to your own liking, I would love to see your own creations!

Black and White Look-book

Let’s be honest, if we all look at our closet during the winter, we will most probably notice that the color scheme isn’t quite vibrant. It’s often discussed that the classic combination of black and white is too boring and we generally tend to avoid it. Well, as much as I agree with this statement, I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to prove that this classic combo can also “wow” the crowd. After spending a few hours in my closet I finally came up with two lovely black and white looks. They are a bit more on the dressier side but are still extremely comfortable and can be worn on a daily basis. The following photos of this look book were photographed by the charming @picsbyjulieta.

Enjoy!

The matrix – For the first look I was mainly inspired by one of the hottest trends right now – blazer tied with a belt. In my look I used my fanny pack as the belt. I know that many people are very skeptic when it comes to bum bags but personally I find them extremely convenient. Not only are they light weight, but they also add an edgy touch to the whole outfit. I believe that the mix of patterns and fabrics used for this look definitely make it stand out. It executes a much less boring black and white color combination. You are probably wondering why I chose this name for the look. Well, honestly the story behind the name isn’t as interesting as some might think. My best friend told me that I looked like a character from the matrix.

T-Shirt – Top Shop

Blazer – Marc O’Polo

Coat – Jill Sanders

Sunglasses – unknown

Boots: Guess

Bum bag : ASOS

Mademoiselle BW – The second one was influenced by the classic French fashion, especially the barrette. I have recently noticed that one of my most worn pieces is in fact the barrette. I just adore how girly and stylish it can make even the simplest look. This look I styled with pieces which normally don’t go together such as midi-skirt – a more classy clothing item, and a bomber jacket – a much more sporty piece, but tied up with the statement hat make a complementary sport classic look.

Sweater – Frea

Skirt – Zara

Barrette – Asos

Bag – Ecco

Jacket – Cheap Monday

Boots: Guess

That’s all from me today. I hope that this look book inspires you to experiment even with your simplest clothing pieces.

Thrift shopping: Where to secondhand shop in Sofia?

Since I was a little girl, fashion has always been one of my biggest passions. I still dream that one day I will have a closet overfilled with designer clothes, bags and shoes. I will walk the streets of my city with the same sense of style and confidence as Carrie Bradshaw from the Carrie Diaries Continue reading “Thrift shopping: Where to secondhand shop in Sofia?”

“Meatless” balls with roasted red pepper sauce

It’s December, the temperature outside is below 0 degrees. Meaning that the only thing I am willing to do in this freezing weather is to sit at home and enjoy myself. But let’s be honest what’s a perfect day at home without a favorite comfort meal? As every other Sunday when I have finished all my work, I like to head to the kitchen and experiment with different ingredients and dishes. This particular Sunday I was craving a comfort meal, which could still be healthy and delicious. Inspired by the famous American recipe – meatballs in tomato sauce, I came up with the so called “meatless” balls, which consist of buckwheat and spices. To level up the traditional tomato sauce, I added some roasted peppers, which gave the dish a nice kick. Since I felt like my Sunday experiment was successful, I decided to share it with you. It’s fairly easy to make and it is perfect for a family lunch or dinner.

Ingredients:

For the “meatless” balls:

1/2 cup of buckwheat

1 carrot

1 onion

1 garlic clove

1 tsp. Cumin

1 tsp. Oregano

1 tsp. Paprika

1/2 tsp. Nutmeg

Parsley

2 tbsp. Flour

*Note: feel free to replace the buckwheat with lentils, chickpeas or any other legume

Salt & Pepper

For the sauce:

1 can tomatoes

1 clove of garlic

3 roasted peppers ( you can also use raw)

1 tsp. Basil

Salt & Pepper

1 tsp. Spicy paprika(optional)

Salt & Pepper

What to do?

  1. Cook your buckwheat according to the instructions on the package until softened
  2. Meanwhile, cook onion and carrot in a pan with some olive oil until softened
  3. When your buckwheat is ready, drain it and wash it thoroughly with some cold water to stop the cooking process
  4. In a blender, process first the parsley, veggie mixture and spices
  5. Add the buckwheat and blend again
  6. Transfer in a big bowl add the flour, mix with your hands and start forming medium sized balls as you would to for regular meatballs
  7. When done, place in the 190 C preheated oven and cook for about 25 minutes or until firm and golden brown
  8. While waiting for the meatless balls to cook, make the red pepper sauce
  9. In a pan add some olive oil and roasted peppers
  10. Cook for about 3 minutes and add the spices
  11. Pour the tomatoes along with a dash of sugar
  12. Let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes or until thickened
  13. When ready, process the sauce in a blender until smooth
  14. After your balls and sauce are done, it is time to plate
  15. In a spaghetti bowl, place some of the sauce on the bottom and put your balls on top, for some additional color chop up some parsley
  16. **For extra flavoring feel free to also add some Parmesan or any other kind of cheese

I hope you enjoy the recipe and let me know if you end up making it!!

Aubergine couscous salad

This summer I rediscovered once again my obsession with aubergines. Spending almost a month in Greece, the one thing that I consumed every single day was and honestly I never got tired of it. When I came back home I still found myself craving and wanting to have it on a day to day basis. Inspired from my trip to Morocco this year, especially the traditional spice mixture from its cuisine, I created this simple and quick cous cous with aubergine. As most of my recipes it takes almost no time to make, it tastes delicious and you can eat it on its is own or serve it as a side to your main dish. The best thing about it is that it’s budget friendly and you most probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of cous cous

1 large or 2 medium sized Aubergines

Feta cheese(optional)

One bunch of mint leafs

1 lemon

1 tsp. Cumin

1tsp. Paprika

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

1/4 cup – walnuts

Olive oil

What to do?

1. Cut the aubergines into round circles and place them on a baking sheet

2. Salt them and let them sit for 15min. – in this way you dry out the moisture and make them taste less bitter

3. After the time has passed brush them with olive oil and place in the 180 preheated oven until ready( 20-25min.)

4. In the meantime mix the half a cup of cous cous with a 1tsp. Olive oil, the zest of one lemon and a few fresh mint leafs

5. Pour hot water over the cous cous mixture and let it sit for around 5 min. or until all the water is absorbed

6. Fluff the cous cous with a fork

7. When your aubergines are already baked, chop them into small pieces and add them to the cous cous

8. Season with your remaining spices, chopped mint leafs, juice of one lemon and generous amount of olive oil

9. Roughly chop the walnuts and add them on top

There you have it! A simple and delicious weekly dinner or lunch idea! Hope you enjoy it!

LOOK BOOK : Autumn Vintage

I don’t know why but when the beginning of Autumn comes, I get very nostalgic and that definitely reflects on my overall style. I’ve always adored vintage fashion pieces and from time to time when I lack a style inspiration, I look threw my mother’s clothes from the 90s or scroll threw some vintage fashion Instagram accounts. Soon enough I concluded that during this time of year my style consists mainly of second-hand clothing items or borrowed clothing pieces from my mother and grandma. For this reason, I decided to create this mini look book, in which I have styled my two current favorite vintage pieces. Along with my fellow friend and talented photographer @m.art.in.photo, we shot this vintage detail editorial.

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The shirt in this look book is probably my favorite thrifted item. I got it about a month ago from a small second-hand boutique located in Sofia on Angel Kanchen street. Its vintage Ralph Lauren, which I got for 12 leva (or around 6 euro). If that isn’t a good deal, than I don’t know what is. The best thing about wearing the shirt is that whether you style it with jeans or a skirt, it adds a very subtle touch of class to the whole look.

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Sunglasses: H&M

Jewelry: unknown

The bag I got from a random shop in Fez, Morocco, but I am sure you can find a similar one almost every where since they are so trendy right now. For example I saw nice models in Zara.

The jeans were worn by my mother about 20 years ago and have stayed in her closet ever since. About a year ago, she gave them to me and until now, they are one of my most worn piece. I think that they are the perfect denim color and compliment my style and fit really well.

I really hope you enjoyed this mini look book. If you would like to see more amazing photos, go follow @m.art.in.photo on Instagram!