Thursday, September 26, 2013

TRAVEL is about gorgeous feeling...

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Aurora 2013-
in studio progress

I liked this one:

"When one is traveling, everything looks brighter and lovelier. That does not mean it is brighter and lovelier; it just means that sweet kindly home suffers in comparison to tarted up foreign places with all their jewels on."

 - Catherynne Valente

Image via

Image via    

As much as I love traveling, there’s nothing like being home.  I’ve missed my bed, my art studio, and full access to all my beauty products and wardrobe :)  
I’ve even missed my yoga routine!

What are you missed most about when you away from home? Comment below and let me know!

xx, Lana

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Moscow - Love/Hate Relationship - Part Two

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Part 2:   You know you’re in Moscow when…

....People also seem quite happy to sit, relax, and enjoy each other's company on a more personal/intimate level:
Lana's Art Studio
there is a deep admiration for luxury brands – conspicuous consumption is very prevalent.
Lana's Art Studio

even in the red "brick" square you see impossibly high stiletto heels finishing off the infinitely long legs of impossibly beautiful, blue-eyed, blonde and brunette, model-esque Slavic women (look closely, see how skinny the heels are).

You know you’re in Moscow when…

the skyline is a mix of steaming power station chimneys and beautiful multi-coloured onion-domed churches.

Russian Churches 

no-one is running down escalators to catch the next train – not so much because the escalators are very deep (although they are), but because trains come along every minute, so no need to rush. People also seem quite content to sit, relax and read their papers in the beautiful marble hallways before 

boarding their train.

taxis include private cars that are flagged down beside the road, with fare and route negotiated on the spot.

moody-looking men in leather jackets are holding meetings in hotel lobbies.

Hotel Sovetksii

 the neo-20s buildings are larger and more beautiful than you’d expect, whilst the military and Soviet era statues are even more over-the-top than you’d expect.

statures in red square 

you can buy vodka in the ‘alcohol corner’ of a butcher’s shop, and it’s quite common to see well-dressed young men and women drinking from brown paper bags.

borscht, dill and cream are on daily menus, as is mushroom soup, although pizza is now just as ubiquitous.

I would like to sharing some of my favorite recipes I found from pinterest here:

Borscht – Beetroot Soup from Green Kitchen Stories: 
2 tbsp ghee or cold pressed olive oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 lbs / 500 g raw beetroots, any color, coarsely grated
4 cups / 1 l vegetable broth
2 bay leafs
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
sea salt & freshly ground pepper
Horseradish Yogurt
4 tsp freshly grated horseradish, or more to taste
1/2 cup / 120 ml plain yogurt
Heat ghee in a large saucepan on medium heat, add mustard  and cumin seeds and stir constantly to prevent from burning. Fry until fragrant. Then add onion and fry until soft, stirring occasionally. Add the grated beetroot, vegetable broth and bay leafs. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and let simmer for 30-40 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the Horseradish Yogurt by combining both ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Add apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper to the beetroot soup and let simmer for another minute or so. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve in bowls with a dollop of Horseradish Yogurt.

This is from Oliver Magazine - beautiful photography of  Russian food  by A. Montgomery:

Russian Salad
You can make this authentic Russian potatoe salad called “Olivie” and it is delicious! If you love shrimp or chicken, you’re going to love this dish!  And it’s so easy that if you can buy some pickles, a can of peas, boil 6 eggs, peel a few potatoes and cut up some carrots…..your friends will think you’ve become a master chef!  Here is original post on russian cuisine!

So, the true Soviet version of salad Olivier includes the following basic 5 ingredients:
  • hard boiled eggs, diced
  • boiled sausage, diced (or use dised canadian bacon) 
  • boiled potatoes (usually boiled with peels, my Mom also boils carrots in peels, and then the peels are removed), diced
  • marinated (or fresh) cucumbers (usually home-made freshly salted , from home-grown cucumbers), diced
  • canned green peas, whole
  • green onion, diced
Dice everything, except for peas=), season to taste … and add loads of mayonnaise, the amount depends on your decency (which can also be ‘lightened’ with sour cream or greek yogurt)
Enjoy! Let me know if you tried this and what is your opinion on it)

Have a great week! 

This is it for now! Stay with me and do more recipes, stories, hotel tips, and more in my part 3 of Russian trip next week,

xx, Lana 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Moscow: Love/Hate Relationship...

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Moscow - A Love/Hate Relationship .... 

- crowded, dirty, smelly, polluted, and expensive. 

Moscow - architecturally beautiful, rich, magnificent, lively, historical, colourful.... 

Take your pick, it's got it all. 

Having experienced the flip side of both coins this week, give me rural any time. In my life I have visited Moscow a few dozen times. I use to live in Moscow for some period of time as well. My grandma was from Moscow and everyone from my fathers side of family as well. But this is is a different story.... I first visited Moscow in my teens, some ... years ago. It's a different city than it was then, or maybe I'm just different. Whatever the reason, it has lost it's allure for me. I would not be sad if this were my last. I love Russia don't get me wrong, but noise, crime, all the smells melding together .... like any big metropolitan city.

 My husband would like to spend a month here and after one week of FABULOUS romps around town, I decided it is a city to visit, not live in for long time. A week is plenty of time for me.  

red square view
being silly at mall

Happy Birthday
Art display at foyer 
Dior - Red Square  60s

Moscow is also a wonderful place to visit for a certain time, to soak up the MAGIC (whatever that may be for each person) but country living, that's for me too!

xx, Lana

Saturday, September 7, 2013

September 2013

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Back from an intense trip, filled with inspiration,
please check out more new artworks soon. 
Happy September to all!

Lana's Art Studio

Thank you Bonnie for your lovely feature in the September Gift Guide. If you wonder painting here at #7. 

a handmade gift guide for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays… or for no reason at all!
fun facts for september:
>> september 2 is labor day.
>> september 14 was the day that francis scott key wrote the star spangled banner.
>> september 22 is the autumnal equinox.
>> september is called ‘harvest month’.
>> september’s birthstone is the sapphire.
>> september’s birth flowers are the forget-me-not, morning glory and aster.

More for Gift Guide read here: Going Home To Roost

xx, Lana