Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fotos and words

Yesterday I spent the day outdoors.
 I took various photos and instead of telling you what a beautiful sunny day it was and how much fun Beli had,  I thought I would do something a little different. What's your first thought when you see these photos?   
It'll be interesting to see if we agree!
1. Innocence~ Inocencia

2. Devotion~ Devocion
3. Learning~ Aprendiendo
4. Curiosity~Curiosidad
5. Growth~ El Crecimiento
6. Trust~Confianza
7. Wisdom~Sabiduria
8. Love~Amor
9. Serenity~ Serenidad
10. Youthful~Juvenil
11. Perseverance~ Perseverancia
12. Searching~ Buscando

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Daily Reflections

swam in the sea
had fresh eggs from the farm
walked daily on the beach
picked olives, figs, sweet cherries, jalapenos, and tomatoes
 traveled to beautiful islands
met and made friends from all around the world
heard my daughter speak Spanish, English and Croatian all in one sentence
had the opportunity to meet the most wonderful man who brought thousands of smiles to my face
learned how to cook wonderful meals
had gelato as part of my daily diet.
did all of this
 during two of the most memorable, challenging, wonderful, happy years 
of living abroad.

 Our happy to be living in Croatia moments have officially come to an end, 
(hubby has safely  reunited with us in Iowa).

But now it's time to create new memories and learn more, much more!
These past three months I've cherished the time spent with my family.
We will soon return to Colorado (our previous home state before moving overseas)
I hope to continue blogging
to take you along my travels within the United States
share my thoughts on raising a multilingual child

and deciding which language to speak at home.
Many family members live overseas
I do foresee traveling  from time to time 
Croatia won't be a distant memory 
but a daily reminder 
to have balance in everything 
I do.
photo via
~See you soon!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Three bean salad with basil- lemon vinaigrette

Lunch today was inspired by a blog I came across called Always order dessert. You should check out other wonderful recipes Alejandra has created. Next on my list is her rum cake (made from scratch!)

The recipe called for pesto but I didn't have any pine nuts in the pantry so instead I prepared the salad a little different.

I was short on time (watching three kiddos is no easy task) so I literally threw all the ingredients together and the end result was a gigantic salad!

It's a very filling meal. I really liked the idea of using cranberries but I'm sure you can use other dry fruits.

For the original recipe you can click here. And for my variation on the recipe,

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon minced fresh basil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
a few spritz of balsamic vinaigrette
1/2 cup dry cranberries

And here comes the easy part!

 Mix all the ingredients and serve a desired quantity over a bed of mixed greens. I also had some leftover corn so for color purposes ( I like my food to be colorful!) I  added some to my salad. And of course hot salsa. So feel free to add as much and as little as you want.


Currently working on my grocery shopping so I can bake hubby home-made flan, a favorite of his.
 We will finally be reunited after 3 months! His flight is from Split-Zagreb-London-Chicago. My brother-in-law will be driving 3 hours to pick him up. We will stay at home as his flight is late in the evening.
For the past few days Beli asks me, "Mami, ahorita viene Daddy?" Mommy now Daddy comes?" 
She is also awaiting the mickey and daisy toys she asked him to bring her from Croatia.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A book shop partners up with other indie businesses

photo via  Iowa backroads
As an avid reader, I'm always on the lookout for bookstores. You might remember my search for the bookstore in Croatia. Since returning to the States, I have had more time to explore book shops and so far I haven't been disappointed.

 A few days ago, I took my parents (who live in Iowa) out for coffee at the local coffee shop and as we were walking in, the building next door with its beautiful white marble pillars caught my attention.

Here is what I learned about this renovated historic building. It used to be a bank and now houses the independent bookshop Bookvault. The owner Nancy Simpson, a former librarian followed the advice she read in Warren Buffett's book, the Snowball to successfully manage her bookstore. Like a snowball, the shop started out small, then began gaining momentum. You can read more about it here.

The bookshop has been in business since December of 2005 and it offers a large selection of books, unique gift ideas, yoga classes, cooking demonstrations with their in-store chef Ruthi Rogers, and events like Day for Divas. How would you like to get cooking tips while sipping on a glass of wine or  fashion tips while getting a foot massage and drinking mimosas? Sign me up!

Travel therapy? Sign me up as well!
The kitchen area especially built for the the purpose of hosting its twice a month event, Cooking with Books. The schedule for cooking demonstrations  can be found here
utilizing former vaults to showcase books, what a great idea!

 Heading upstairs to the children's area.

 Next time I will bring Beli along, I think she will enjoy it here! Don't you love the shoe chandelier?

I purchased a few items and I signed up for their free membership. After every $100 dollars spent, you receive ten dollars off your next purchase, all you have to do is give them your name and it will be stored in their computer.
another former vault, this one houses children's books.

 I had a great shopping experience and excellent customer service. On my way out, I grabbed their monthly newsletter. Now I'm off to plan my Diva day. Have you come across independent bookshops with so much to offer? Please do share on the comment section.  Another one that comes to mind is also a favorite of mine, Tattered Cover ,the independent book shop located in Denver, Colorado.

 Hope you were inspired to grab a book and enjoy hours of reading!
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