Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Party at Filomena Spa

A few weeks ago we received an invitation to attend the Christmas Party at Filomena Spa. The same place I had my five-hour spa treatment for my birthday a few months back. It said -Save the date for December 23rd and bring a present so Santa can give it to your child. What a great idea, I thought. An opportunity to meet the locals.

Delicious appetizers were served. Some pastries that resembled biscochos and chocolate cookies were among a few that I tried. They were very yummy.

Champagne was served.

And she cried when she saw Santa! She didn't want a present all she wanted was her Daddy and Mommy....She was terrified!

Mingling at the party.

Happy again away from Santa!

It was a fun party. I met a girl from New York City we chatted in English. She has been living in Split for 6 years now. Her husband is Croatian and she is originally from Washington State. We exchanged numbers and promised to get together for coffee after the Holidays.

I took a minute and asked one of the hostess if I could schedule an appointment for a classic massage she said of course you can. Next Tuesday I will be back for some pampering. See you then!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Magical City

Magical city or Carobni Grad has finally opened its doors at the Poljud Stadium here in Split. It is a new place for children to come and enjoy an afternoon of fun.

And as you walk in you are greeted by a giant whale.

This facility promises to have it all: endless activities for children, an exercise floor including dance lessons for women and for dads well, lets just say they will play along with their kids.
Once inside there is a sitting area with contemporary red and white furniture and a coffee shop. Or you can have your coffee on the go. Have to keep an eye on those kids right? By the way did I mention they have nannies?

After registering your child you are guided into the next room and this is where the fun begins.

Parents are asked to wear disposable booties and children must remove their shoes.

Tea anyone??Beli loved the kitchen area..Hmmm wonder where she gets that from?

I love this wallpaper! Considering it a decorating theme for her room.

And off we go to visit the grocery store!

Overall, this place is a wonderful idea. A new concept for the city of Split and many parents including us are excited about this place. With colder days on the forecast we need new ideas and games to keep our little energy bunnies occupied.

For the price of 35 kunas your child can enjoy endless hours of fun.

Nannies keep an eye on the kids while parents drink that much needed cup of coffee. A relaxing way to ease into the holidays. OK, maybe I am speaking for myself.

Yes, I think we will be frequenting this place many, many times!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Shopping

Let the credit cards do their magic! This would have been my statement a year ago when we lived in the States and I had a job. But not this year, this year we are living in Croatia and lucky for us, Christmas here is all about the children. That is how it should be right? Gifts for the kids and for the adults, an opportunity to eat all those yummy treats Grandma makes. Yes I like this new tradition.

On our way to the shopping center.

Beli turned 20 months old yesterday and as you know our birthday tradition: we celebrate her birthday every month. Feliz cumpleanos princesa!

At the children's department store.

This is what she picked out for herself!

And it costs how much????????????????

Let the drums roll..........

$399.00 kunas! or $81.42 US dollars to be exact. But do keep in mind this price already includes the 23% sales tax. So really before tax it is $61.42 that sounds BETTER right? Still, I don't think we will be purchasing it.

Ok, Lets move on to the book section!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Raising a Multilingual Child

Raising a 19 month old in a foreign country raises many questions for both parents. One of them being, what language will we teach our daughter? My husband's native language is Croatian, mine is Spanish but we speak English to each other. The result, Beli speaks all three languages! And since we are living in Croatia she knows more Croatian than Spanish or English. She knows her body parts in Croatian, colors in English and if she wants something to drink she asks for agua water. At bedtime when I sing twinkle, twinkle little star she hums along with me and when I call her mi tesoro y mi nina preciosa, my sweetheart, my precious girl she tries to pronounce preciosa. I melt me derrito when I listen to her trying to pronounce this word.

One day over coffee I mentioned to my friend from Russia how Beli uses all three languages throughout the day.She told me about the One Parent One Language (OPOL) method. She explained that this would increase the likelihood that Beli would be bilingual. Except in our case it would be trilingual. Our goal is for our daughter to speak all three languages so she can communicate with both sets of grandparents.

According to this OPOL method, my husband should only speak Croatian to her, and I would speak Spanish. But to be honest with you, I am falling victim to Spanglish. Not that there is anything wrong with this right? I read her a book and I say "look Beli the tree is green and the cielo sky is blue. Y mira la agua look at the water. Then I wonder if we are only confusing her or is she really grasping each language independently? Or is she too young for us to even be worried?

So maybe this OPOL is worth a try? And while there might be no right or wrong answer, consistency is important according to this method. I will keep you posted of how it is working.

Aver como nos va. Will see how it goes.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Scenic pictures from Znjan to Bacvice Beach

I began jogging. Yes, again. For the fourteenth time. But this time I am hoping to stick with it. After all, I have someone to be accountable to. Me.

I must admit the path I use to jog from Znjan to Bacvice beach is quite picturesque and motivational. It pushes me to continue running when I feel like quitting. This particular morning, I remembered to bring my camera along. There are many photo opportunities and the photographer in me said, "next time bring YOUR camera."

These are the photos I took this morning.

I will jog along with you.

This always takes my breath away. Or is it the fact that I have been jogging for half-an-hour and I am just out of breath?

Outside Zenta marina.

Seagulls flying around an abandoned boat.

Catch me if you can.

Bacvice Beach.
Another cafe...Seriously I think I counted about 10 of them. Who needs Starbucks right?
Jogging through the Zenta Marina. Oh, and to your left is the restaurant Velo Misto. Great Pizza. Ok, why am I mentioning food?
Walking the dogs party.
Enjoying the sunshine on this quiet morning.

Narrow sidewalk. Somedays, when it is windy you have to be cautious as the waves come crashing against the wall and you might have to run very fast to avoid getting wet.
Heading back home.

Taking a break.
Walking hand in hand.
Seeing these surroundings is what I enjoy the most during my morning jog.
How or what helps you stay motivated?

Monday, December 7, 2009

New Christmas Tradition

All week my mother-in-law was reminding us that this coming Sunday we had to take Isabela to have her picture taken with Santa Claus at the local mall . I thought, "yeah finally I can make Christmas cards!" Sunday came around and Isabela was in jeans. Alright, let me take you back to that Sunday morning.....

I wanted Beli to wear a dress with her shiny black shoes well she had other plans. Not only did she refuse to wear a dress and the shoes but she also made it clear by throwing herself on the floor and arching back and crying at the top of her lungs...sokee,sokeeeeee..(her word for sock) that she didn't like the knee high socks with pretty pink flower that I had purchased just for this occasion. So after trying 3 different outfits we, I mean she finally settled on jeans and a t-shirt. Sorry grandma!

We showed up at the mall and to our surprise instead of finding this roly-poly red-suited man,

We found this guy!

We were confused. But where is Santa Claus we asked ourselves. Unfortunately Isabela was only interested in the candy not in taking a picture with the nice gentleman, but can you blame her?

We visited the next mall in hopes of finding the "real"Santa Claus. No luck there either, so we instead took a few pictures of the Christmas tree.

After that we went to my in-laws and what do you know? There were presents under grandparents' Christmas tree waiting for Beli to open them. Davor asked his Mom, "but it is not Christmas yet, what is going on?" She said "today is St. Nikolas day, December 6th is the main day of gift giving. "Umm I don't have any presents Nada", I said. Nada replied, "oh, don't worry we just do it for kids!"

Opening her presents.

Needless to say, I was confused by this tradition so I did a bit of research and found some information about the true story of Santa Claus, click here to read with me as I find out where Santa Claus really came from!

OK, I admit it is a long story but it all began in 1821 in New York City with a poem called "The night before Christmas." That is all I will say, as I don't want to say too much for those that still believe in Santa.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Adriatic Shrimp con Linguine

A few weeks ago my Mother-in-Law was cooking a delicious meal of shrimp and linguine called Kozice Repovi or literal translation: shrimp tails. I wanted to learn how to prepare an authentic Mediterranean meal so I asked her if I could help her. "Of course, you can help, she said." I was taking meticulous notes in between cleaning the shrimp, chopping onion and garlic all with the intent of making sure next time I prepared it on my own, it would be just as tasty.

Today I was in the mood for cooking shrimp so I went to the grocery store Tommy for all the necessary ingredients to prepare Kozice Repovi.

You will need these 11 ingredients (serves about 4 people...or ONE hungry husband)

1 lb shrimp (heads removed, leave shell on as it infuses your dish with a seafood aroma)
1 Tbsp Butter
1 medium onion chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
parsley, several stems chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup white wine
1 cup heavy cream (you can use sour cream)
1 pkg linguine ( there are many varieties, you can choose your own, I purchased spinach linguine)
Salt and Pepper
Parmesan cheese for garnish

Melt butter and saute onion, garlic and parsley for about 1 to 2 minutes.
Add shrimp and olive oil (you can add more if you think it is too dry). Cook for 10 minutes
then add wine, salt, pepper and cook about 1-2 minutes
Stir in heavy cream and cook for 2 minutes.
Add cooked linguine and serve immediately.
Add Parmesan cheese to taste.

I asked Nada, my Mother-in-law, "what do you think, is it good?" She said, "it turned out better than mine." Oh she is too kind! But I agree it turned out pretty yummy as the contents of the skillet vanished within minutes.

Be prepared to eat with your fingers as you enjoy the shrimp tails!
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