Thursday, December 22, 2011

Let it snow!


Garance Dore

Basic Label Sweden

And YES, exactly this cheesy! :)) Ho-ho-ho! :))

Thursday, December 15, 2011

French Chocolate Cake

For my birthday I baked two delicious cakes - French chocolate cake and raspberry cheesecake. The recipe of the cheesecake will have to wait until I bake one more as I did not manage to capture any image before it got eaten :)

French Chocolate Cake
it is:

  • 200 g of dark chocolate
  • 200 g of butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 200 g of sugar
  • 200 g wheat flour
for icing:
25 g of butter
100 g of sweet cream
150 g of dark chocolate (with orange flavour)

Melt the chocolate and the butter (I fit a bowl in a pot with water and put it on a stove, like that the heat melts it gradually without burning it). Whip the eggs and sugar into hard foam. Mix it into the wheat flour. Add the melted chocolate and butter. Stir the mixture until it becomes homogenous. Pour it in a greased form. Preheat the oven at 175°C. Bake the cake for 30 min. It should be a little bit moist. Cool it afterwards. Take it out of the form.
Prepare the icing: melt the butter and chocolate and add the sweet cream stirring it while the mixture becomes homogenous. Cool it afterwards. Then pour it on the top of the cake, spreading the icing on the sides as well. Put it somewhere cool. You can serve it with whipped cream adding some liqueur or cognac. I chose berries. 

Voilà et bon appétit!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

London revisited

Previous weekend me and my friends went to London - my city of all the cities. Besides long strolls by Thames, mulled wine in the Christmas market near Waterloo bridge, wondering around Covent garden, once again I had many new discoveries. One of them was Angel area in Islington as it was the first time we stayed there and enjoyed the scenery with the beautiful Victorian houses, all the lovely boutiques, little vintage shops, restaurants and coffee places, like Keston Lodge which was hosting the Wonder Hill Market last Sunday where we got the chance to taste delicious cupcakes of Arthur & Aleksandra - my personal favourite out of those I tasted was chocolate & orange cupcake. Didn't find the picture of it on their blog but here is a couple of teasers just to show you the beauty of those creations :)
arthur & aleksandra
As Arthur&Aleksandra state themselves this is what happens when an architect turns their hand to a spot of baking...

arthur & aleksandra
So hopefully by the next time I am in London they will have their shop opened some place.

Then we were happy to discover that just on the corner of the street where we had our hotel we also had Jamie Oliver's restaurant "Jamie's Italian" which  quickly changed our mindset from a choice of going for a musical in favour of  a gastronomic feast. Even though we didn't have high hopes entering on a busy Saturday evening it surprised us with the accessibility as the system there is that you don't necessarily need to make a reservation, you come over, ask for a table, the receptionist tells you the approximate waiting time and if you are ok with that you are given a beeper and welcomed to wait in the bar area until you get the table (that's when the beeper comes in :)). For us it took nearly 1h30 and two yummy cocktails each :) I loved the food, the atmosphere and friendliness of the staff, the prices were very democratic and the interior - industrial/rustic/retro mixture. So YES - thumbs up!

Jamie's Italian
For now this is all I wanted to share hoping to go to London soon enough to get inspired by that magnificent city again. Sweet dreams and have a great w-end! Be inspired and become an inspiration yourselves!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Prepping for Christmas

As I've probably mentioned before I am a TOTAL Christmas freak - I just LOVE everything about it! I love the time of waiting and preparation, I love getting and making presents for my family, friends and beloved ones, I love decorating the house for the occasion while listening to the Christmas songs, in a nutshell - it is the most heartwarming time of the year for me as it fills my being with sweet and nostalgic sensation and I do believe and see that people are trying to be more kind and caring for each other over this time of the year. 

This year it seemed that preparation for Christmas had started much earlier than usual. Christmas trees were on sale already before the First Advent. Christmas period always passes so quickly therefore I don't mind stretching it a bit longer even though I do realise that it is done for the sake of better marketing. But as I said - it seems that this festivity makes people willing to be better so whatever works and the longer it works the better.

I've decorated my house already two weeks ago. This would be my improvised Christmas tree :) as the real one we will decorate in Latvia on Christmas Eve. Yes, it is really bizarre living like this having those two worlds miles apart from each other but trying to live in both. It is  true that this festivity makes one realise either how lonely or how rich you are in terms of lacking or having  your people around you. And this is quite a topic for expatriates. I will always remember the story one of my acquaintances shared with me after last year's Christmas when there was a lot of snow and many flights were cancelled, his as well, so he ended up coming back to an empty apartment, eating baguette (as there was nothing else he could get in the local petrol station) and crying - this big, strong guy, but I can totally picture that. And he was not crying because of baguette :) This is the time of the year when we have to be around those we love.

I am praying for snow this year around as well but so that we are able to go to the places we want to go as Christmas without snow is not real Christmas. And one more important thing to get into Christmas mood is of course to watch Christmas movies :) And the list is as follows:

An absolute classic
It's A Wonderful Life

Movies to watch together with kids or remembering yourself as one
Home Alone

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

And then some very good ones and very cheesy ones (but it is allowed for Christmas) for all of us

Love Actually

The Family Stone

The Holiday

So wishing you a merry time preparing!

Friday, November 25, 2011

The song of the day

A recent discovery...
Confetti lamp, confetti song :)
Great music, great voice.

Confetti Lamp

So all you need is a pack of confetti whatever shape or colour you choose, rice paper lamp for the base, glue and quite a lot of free time.  But the result is very pleasing :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Barnwood Headboard

Naturally I am trying to find all the possible reasons and excuses to avoid preparing for my French test tomorrow. And look what I found on Design Sponge - this beautiful self-made headboard. Of course I had to share with you on that one :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Joys of The Week

No. 1 As for Latvians the time of mummers' has started just now when we disguise ourselves and pay surprise visits to our neighbours playing tricks on them, and it will last until 10 February, we have plenty of time even to send our dogs on this mission :) This one just makes me giggle every time I look at it :)

Photo from

No. 2 Dutch model Doutzen Kroes attended the New York Fashion Week wearing this cloth bag from Souve. Statement-bags/things are really in. Still.


No. 3 Fabric Fair in Luxexpo on 19 November.

Have a joyful week!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Splendid week-end in Brussels

I've never been a fan of Brussels really but more and more of my friends are moving there so I am going there more and more often. And this city is starting to grow on me somehow, maybe because of the fact that every time I happen to discover something new as each of my friends makes me see this city through their eyes so I have very versatile impressions and get to see Brussels from diverse angles. One thing is for sure - there are so many things to see and love.

It was a beautiful week-end I spent in Brussels visiting my friends. A week-end of warmth, friendship and delicious food :) ...

... A week-end of long walks in the beautiful parks of Brussels... 

... and a week-end of many inspirational things and events.

One of my friends and her husband are renting an amazing apartment. Here is a little sneak-peek as I promise to come back with more when they will install properly and when I will be visiting them again in Brussels.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Photo from
 "Kūkotava" is one of my favourite spots in Riga. I am there almost every time I  go back home. The name is catchy and is actually kind of a word game - "kūka"  in Latvian means "cake", but "kūkot" means either "cuckoo bird's calling" or "loafing/idling" so all together - a place for idle cake eating :) And the cakes there - DELICIOUS, as well as pastries, cookies, candies, bread and salads. The atmosphere is very nice, you can observe bakers working just behind the counter, interior is rustic and cosy, and it is definitely a place to meet your friends who have a sweet tooth over a piece of cake and have a nice chat :)

Photo from
For those of you who understand Latvian I can recommend the cooking show hosted by the owner of "Kūkotava" - Liene Tomsone on LNT (you can watch it online also on YouTube) called "Lapsa virtuvē" - "Fox in the Kitchen". She reveals many great recipes.

So have a nice and tasty w-end!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Boring Life of Hair

I know I am a bit out of season with this post as it looks that soon the season of hats will kick in and life of hair is never easy under a cap but I am just having another boring day in the life of my hair so I thought I might share with you in case you are facing the same problem :) Already back in summer I had a conversation with my hairdresser complaining that my hair live such a boring life, that I'd like to experiment more and learn how to style them easily (as I am now in growing-long-hair period again). So she suggested to look up a lady called Lilith Moon on YouTube. And this lady really seems to know A LOT!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Dear cinema fans in Luxembourg, it is the last week of CinEast festival. Check out the programme and don't miss out as it is not common to get so many opportunities to have an insight of the contemporary cinematography of this part of Europe.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Photo from
Recently I read an article about another vibrant, active and bright Latvian woman Inese Krūmiņa, who used to work as an economist but after facing existential crises of a 30 year old she decided to open a sock and stocking boutique. It was considered to be a madness by people around her as it happened exactly at the time when financial crises kicked in but she made it and blames exactly the right timing for the success as she started to design the stockings and socks herself to vary the assortment of the shop. 

Being a full time mum she is also a successful designer, business woman and founder of an interesting enterprise called SockBox, she has started designing clothes and frequently cooperates with different fashion designers of Latvia and helps out as a stylist to some famous people in Latvia. She herself claims to be changing her outfit several times a day or change the dislocation of the clothing pieces, let's say a skirt can become a dress, or a shirt becomes a skirt in a course of the day :)

Wishing her all the success and a lot of inspiration in the future!

And talking about stockings autumn is exactly the right season to wear a beautiful  pair of stockings or socks to show off. And as I was checking out the collections of SockBox no wonder this became my favourite pair (is there some kind of psychological characteristics for people who choose the same pattern over and over again? :S the only consolation here is that it would mean me and Coco Chanel might fall into the same group of individuals :))

Model called "Tiramisu" from Chocolate Dreams collection


The Indian summer days are over, so not only on paper has it come, but its everywhere - the air is crisp, the first frosts set in, leaves are starting to fall and cover the streets, people are wearing knittings and suede, the world is adjusting to autumn's saturated and earthy colour pallet. It is time of a very particular sensation, some kind of bitter-sweet melancholia, like what evening is for the day - time for reminiscence. The season of harvest and transition.

Apart from the flu (I am being a victim now) I love everything about autumn. It is time for long walks, cups of hot chocolate, pies and stews, pumpkins and apples,  golden-daisies and rowan-tree berries, ponchos and berets, cosy evenings at home crawling under the tartan blanket, reading a great, thick book or watching a nice movie. Yes, movies by the way - which is your autumn movie? Mine is "You've got Mail" for some reason (though it actually covers all the seasons but for me it is an autumn movie).

And speaking of stews, here is the recipe of a very tasty vegetable stew I made yesterday:
  • carrots (approx.8)
  • cabbage-head (medium size)
  • potatoes (1 kg)
  • canned green peas
  • sweet cream (200 ml)
  • flour (1 table spoon)
 (of course the proportions depend on the mouths you want to feed and you can always improvise with the ingredients)

So you chop carrots, put them in a pot and add some water (not too much, remember it is not a soup we are making), after a little while add the chopped cabbage-head and mix every once in a while so that it doesn't get burnt, add some more water if needed. When carrots and cabbage is almost done, add chopped potatoes and after a while peas. Don't forget to mix it and check the water level, add some salt, pepper if you want and some sugar to make the taste milder. When all the veggies are ready, pour the liquid from the pot into a bowl and add the flour and mix it well, then pour this liquid back in the stew and add the sweet cream. Mix it all in, keep on the range for a little more and your stew is ready. Healthy, tasty and rather light food.

So,  bon appetit, be inspired and enjoy this beautiful season!

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Reminiscing over the conversation I had today with my friend on the essence of life I came to a conclusion once again that perfection of life often appears to us in those little moments, even if it's just about the way the sunlight plays on the wall of our bedroom...

Sweet dreams and have a great week!

Valērija's Apple Pie

Returning from another Saturday at the Apple Festival I wanted to share  the  recipe of this tasty apple pie, which I learned from Valērija, hoping she would not mind :) So here we go:

  • 2 eggs
  • 250 g of sugar
  • 250 ml of kefir or Greek yogurt
  • 400 ml of flour
  • vanilla sugar
  • baking powder (one little package of Dr. Oetker's)
You need to stir it all, pour it into a greased baking pan and lay slices of 5 apples on the top of it. Then top it with stirred:
  • 3 table spoons of sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tea spoon of sugar
  • 2 pinches of cinnamon
After pouring this over the apples' slices you can still spread some cinnamon on the top of it. Put it all in a pre-heated stove at 200 degrees and let it there for 25-30 min. And there you go - enjoy the delicious apple pie! And, Valērija, thank you on behalf of everybody! :)

P.S. Concerning the information given in the previous post about the fact that apple cider equals apple wine I have to withdraw it as tested on me, myself and I - NO, IT IS NOT THE SAME THING. But still tasty :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Apples, more apples, plenty of apples

Last Saturday we went to Steinsel's (a town in Luxembourg) surroundings for the Apple Festival which has become a MUST GO over the years for many here and serves as one of the tourist attractions as well. And I have to admit - well deserved. It takes place on the last weekend of September and the first two weekends in October. This was my first time around since my stay in Luxembourg (bad, bad girl) but I got so excited that we are going again this Saturday :)

Firstly it is a great outdoor activity for you and your family and friends, secondly you get really beautiful fruits (and cheap I have to mention), you can also buy many other good things there, like pumpkins, potatoes, cheese, honey, different spirits, even sweatshirts (but those were quite ugly I have to say) and apple juice and hard cider but there is a trick about the cider - you have to ask for the apple wine because apparently this is how they call it here and if you'll ask for the cider they will shake their heads saying - nein, wir haben kein. That was what was recommended by the English speaking community members on one of the local radio stations :) Though I have to remark that  my apple juice has become a hard cider over the days staying in the fridge but I am not really sure one should consume it :)) 

It is getting quite crowded during the day therefore I recommend on going earlier unless you are a competing type :) After collecting the apples and all the other goods you can enjoy a drink and some food and the great weather there on the spot as well.

You can find all the necessary information once you 'google' Steinsel apfelfest or for those who understand some German this can serve as a site of the reference: