Sunday, 23 November 2014

The urban myth of takeaways

Ever since Charlotte in Sex and The City said remarkable "I'm a bad wife. I ordered Chinese", Joey from Friends  cared about pizza way more than about hot pizza delivery girl, Emma from Bride Wars found a ring in her fortune cookie and Mrs. Doubtfire served a fabulous healthy dinner without ever cooking it, I was hooked up with the idea of takeaways. Effortlessly enjoying the meal cooked by someone else while sitting at home in your pyjamas seems like the best kind of plan on Sunday, Monday, ANY day really!
That said, my 2 year experience with takeaways has been... well, rubbish. When living in student halls we would order Domino's pizzas on Tuesdays, but the social aspect of being all together was much more enjoyable that those pizzas. There were numbers of orders and takeaways, but they all have been too spicy, pricey, small or simply forgotten. None of them stood out or made me swear it being the greatest meal in months. None of them until about a week ago.


Not only it was the real version of my dream takeaway, but it also was an absolutely wonderful night. He brought Wudon noodles and nibbles and giant prawn crackers (!!!), I set up the movie and did my happy wiggle dance (just like at fireworks!). We watched Love Actually and enjoyed loads of that delicious and full of flavor food. It's great value for the money and definitely best takeaway I had in Glasgow so far.
What is your favorite takeaway in Glasgow, guys?


Monday, 17 November 2014

The magic behind Airbnb

Last night I was watching one of my all time favorite movies, The Holiday, and caught myself thinking that Airbnb pretty much nailed the idea of the movie. Staying at someone else's apartment while abroad enhances whole holiday/travel experience enormously! We don't only visit countries for wonderful architecture, delicious food or breathtaking nature; it's the people, lifestyles and attitudes what we are after, really. Trying to embrace foreign thinking, pace of life and habits of locals takes ages, unless you dive into their everyday life straight away. And so we did!



Planing our first holiday together we faced way too many questions and decisions. Just after we settled on the date and place he found this apartment on Airbnb website and we instantly knew we will be staying there. It was a new post with just a few photos and short description, however we didn't hesitate and signed for it the same day as we found it. To be honest, it couldn't have worked out any better for us. As the day of our travel was approaching we saw updates and new photos, which made us more and more excited about our stay in Berlin.


If you still haven't heard of it, Airbnb is a website which connects people all over the world. You can rent an apartment or a room for as long as you are traveling or you can sublet your own place for those exploring your country. It can be as cheap as a hostel or as luxury as 5 star hotel, the one thing you can be sure about is the unique, local experience.


We were really lucky I think, as the apartment we stayed at was beautiful. I could have taken the picture of every single corner and create a pinterest board of it! The area was also great as we watched locals passing by and checked out little hipstery shops. The most important - our host Vicky - she was amazing at helping us before and during the stay, answering our silly questions, giving directions and even inviting us to the brunch. We felt so welcomed and comfortable. We did rave about the apartment, partying with Germans and all beautiful views from our window for so long, that we missed the review posting period on Airbnb (honestly the only bad thing about this website!), so I am writing this as a tribute, as a big thank you. I want to think that Berlin changed me, there were some very personal experiences I had and new things I learned about myself. The holiday in Berlin was so remarkable and inspiring for me that I wish I could share bits and peaces of my experience with everybody on a dull busy Mondays like today.



If you are planning a holiday or even little getaway during upcoming holiday season, check Airbnb out here (and get £16 off your first travel), or alternatively - be a host, because you never know, maybe a few days in your apartment will truly change someone's life.

Share your Airbnb experience!


Thursday, 13 November 2014

Shine bright Glasgow

Experiencing city life at night is wonderful. Whether it's streets buzzing with crowds or empty lanes and corners, the atmosphere changes when the lights turn on. Empty face expressions neutralize whatever emotional storms we experience inside. All cozied up in giant scarves and jumpers we brace the night aiming to get home in record time. But if you stop for a second, to have a deep breath and glimpse of the streets you will see - nights are truly wonderful.









Friday, 7 November 2014

Sparkles in the skies, sparkles in your eyes



We may be ready for adventure for years, but we only start the journey once we found our partner in crime. And now I know I did.

I can't express how grateful I am to have that particular someone who would go to all touristy places with me, watch Russian movies about new years, patiently listen to my instructions about stupid video games, try out burgers, and even onion rings at various places in town, buy appletizer and put up with unsweetened almond milk in the cereal, see me cry and be angry, go on a first independent holiday with me, care about my girlfriends, listen to my morning songs and help me experience all new wonderful things in Glasgow. I might be a bit soppy, but it surely is the truth.



After few years in Glasgow, I finally made it to Glasgow Green to have a look at fireworks. And he was there, holding me while I wiggled and jumped and happily stared at fireworks. 


Sunday, 26 October 2014

Lazy Sunday reads - Lena Dunham's book

After all the uni work, numerous articles stuffed with words never understood or even acknowledged and constant computer buzz transmitting tv shows and YouTube clips, occasional buzzfeed video here and there and then it's Sunday. I usually use it as a day to finish all things on to do list and clean up and cook a big meal for a week... Not really, not gonna lie to you. I do nothing that really matters on those grim Sundays. I take a bath, message my friends, organise my socks maybe and read.
I used to be a book-worm geek at school and I want to believe my book loan history is one of the biggest one they have in records. But somewhere in between becoming a student and moving to another country I lost it. I did read occasional book or two on holidays, but that would be it. And that made me feel incredibly empty. Stepping up, getting a degree and education meant a 3 page article in Vogue was the biggest leisure related read I could have handled. It was the time for a change!


Lena's book was something I was waiting for with an excitement and curiosity. A woman who created GIRLS wrote a book full of stories, about love, sex, body, friendship, work and loads of other day to day things we all experience to certain extend. I can't tell you how easy it is to read it, as if you read a friends' letter, a story that happened to her last Tuesday. She mentions family and school and time when she was working on the first girls season in the book, and that makes it all so realistic, as if she has nothing to hide. Although, I am sure she does. We all do.
I love how easy this book is. You choose a single story, a thought, a consideration. You can come back tomorrow or in a year and re-read it and it will bring you new ideas and thoughts.


"There are two types of women in particular, who inspire my envy. The first is an ebullient one, happily engaged from morning until night, able to enjoy things like group lunches, spontaneous vacations to Cartagena with gangs of girlfriends, and planning other people's baby showers. The bigger existential questions don't seem to plague her, and she can clean her stove without ever once thinking, What's the point?(...) The modern version of this is my friend Deb, who loves trying new exercise classes and is able to write for the same four hours every day in the same coffee shop, unconflicted about the creative process. She had a revolving door of casual dinner dates when she was single, before she met her husband and fell in love with him, never once accusing him of not understanding "what it feels like to be me." Deb plans regular weekend getaways to "sexy, delightful" places like Palm Springs and Tulum and is a master at the logistics of dinner parties and doctor's visits. She doesn't seem to worry that she has lupus or cancer. It would be easy for me to jealously dismiss Deb as flighty or superficial, unaware of what's really going on in the world. But Deb's smart and, I told you, I am jealous."


And that got me back into reading. I really want to think so. I really really do. It is so simply genius. Thank you Lena!


Saturday, 25 October 2014

Ultimate hungover breakfast - Full Scottish


I have never felt the need to search for an ultimate hungover foods. Enough water and a good sleep was a perfect cure for any type of alcohol after-effects I have ever experienced. But then, I came to Scotland and was introduced to Freshers' Week, and tequila shots, and sambuca, and chips with curry sauce, and pints of fun, and even after-after-parties. Luckily for me, I was also introduced to a full Scottish breakfast - big, fat, delicious, meat-lover's meal.

I love how you can find it everywhere in cafes, airports and fancy restaurants once comes the brunch time. Most of the time though, I prefer just cooking it myself and adjusting in any way I want. The best part is, that every shop in the country, even the tiniest little one in the middle of Scottish nowhere, will most likely have some square sausage, bacon and freshly baked rolls.

Now, I don't know who was that genius, who decided to put million types of meat on a frying pan, add some beans, potato scones (all my international friends be like - what even is that?) and maybe a roll. But it really does wonders to your body on a dull, scary hungover day. Not only it makes your body so full that you can't think of any other meal for the rest of the day, or maybe even two, it also beats any nasty emotions or feelings you have or ever intended to have on that particular day. And yes, it does also taste wonderful as a non-hungover breakfast! What can be better?


Friday, 10 October 2014

Distressed and worried.

It's okay to be sad, upset or angry. These are emotions and they are there for us to use them.
It's okay to give up, leave and stop a conversation, run away from a party, throw away rubbish meal.
It's okay to do things on your own. Go to movies, cafes and galleries, do sports or go for alone walks.
It's okay to demand attention and care from people that love and care about you.
It's not okay to say sorry, if you don't really feel so.
It's not okay to pretend to be fine.
It's not okay to feel distressed, but lots of us do. I did.

I am overcoming it and it feels wonderful.
Today, World Mental Health Day, try and think of things and people that make you uncomfortable and angry. Leave them in the world of yesterday and go for a walk with a good friend.
Take 3 deep breaths. 
Life is great, and so are you!


Saturday, 4 October 2014

Come back post and tummies full of comfort food

Things have been super busy, fun, exciting and just that a little bit stressing recently. A couple of days ago, however, I had one of the best days in a while with all the things going well, lots of fun, laugh and nice time spent with my lovely peeps. So I thought, it is finally time to go back to blogging and recreate life balance. I've got loads of photos, ideas and plans to share! I am going to start with something very very simple, home-like almost, insanely comforting.


Merchant city is like a west end of city centre. With all the vegan places, art galleries and quirky vintage shops it has such a cool vibe to it, which makes me feel peaceful and very excited at the same time. I wandered those streets quite a few times in September - booking tables, having lunches, going to watch basketball games and just rushing about. One of the places I went to was Russian cafe and gallery Cossachok.


I can go on and on saying how beautiful this cafe/gallery is and how quiet it is inside and on and on and on, but true reason is that it makes me feel a tiny lil bit like home. We watched Lithuanian translation of basketball game, drank Lithuanian beer and had some comfort food. And while I am pretty happy living Scottish kind of life on a regular basis, once in  while it feels incredible to go to places like that!



In case anybody wondered, I had potato pancakes with meat and he had chicken dish with a very fancy name. And yes, those meals do result in food babies, but  I am not complaining!


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Great days out: Tennent's Brewery Tour



Here is a fun fact about me: my grandma worked at the brewery and she is pretty damn good at tasting beers and picking the best stuff for family parties. I just love listening to her stories, jokes about first tastings, drunk times and how she gives random suggestions to young people while doing her grocery shopping. It was only a matter of time when I step into magic brewery world myself and see what is going on in there. My friend's 20th birthday was a perfect occasion and we made a day out of it!

Got our group together, made a booking and tried not to be too excited. But it's Tennent's Wellpark brewery tour, so why not? We got our caps and glasses, met our tour guide and started an adventure. The tour, that lasts approximately 2 hours includes interesting stories from Tennent's history, seeing indoors and outdoors brewery sights, checking out Tennent's Academy, getting refreshing complimentary Tennent's pint and oh, trying a couple more of nice drinks they make. Sounds awesome, doesn't it?



While originally Wellpark breweries were making darker beers, lager (aka white ale) idea came from Germany when Hugh Tennent went there for a recovery holiday. Sadly, he passed away before all lager making idea came in action. It was definitely a success though! There is a collection of old cans with their impressive designs in the T room and apparently old brewery staff was lucky to get some of this goodness while on a shift! The brewery itself is very big and beautiful space, with all the graffiti paintings on walls and fun images everywhere it definitely looks impressive. We got to see beer in production and experience the true brewery atmosphere (alcohol is in the air...). It is surprising how wide a variety of Tennent's production is. Not only legendary lager, but also a variety of export alcohol as well as... Tesco beer! (note to all those skin students out there!).



Tennent's Academy, running different food and drink classes is also a part of brewery and some of their offers sound like a pretty fun thing to go for. But once we have seen this last bit we rushed back into the T room for a pint and tasting. We tried Lemon T, Tennent's stout, Whiskey Tennent's and Tennent's Extra (9.3%) and those last two were clearly the winners! Some of them are not available in UK, some available in certain shops in Glasgow, but the whole tasting experience probably made beers taste even better than they are in real life. The space is perfect for socialising and chill time with TV screening old Tennent's adverts, tour guide pouring pints and answering silly questions and Tennent's Foosball table there! Student ticket price is 5 pounds, but the whole experience worth much much more.
Saying that I would definitely recommend this tour to a friend and anyone planning a fun day in Glasgow, really. It feels so good to stir things up a bit sometimes and go for days out like that, especially with a bunch of awesome friends.









Monday, 1 September 2014

Glasgow Cathedral and Necropolis


I want to think that after 2 years in Glasgow I know the city. Fun places, fresh coffee, cheap  pizza, cool stationary shops - you know, the usuals. I might not go to all the places or have my well-formed opinion on them, but at least I am aware. I'd like to think that. But I am wrong again!
My flatmate was first one who told me about Necropolis and I was quite sceptical about the whole graveyard idea up until recently. It just happened to be a beautiful sunny day and us both lacking fun date ideas, so Necropolis it was. Subtle evening sun lightened it all up so nicely, we couldn't have picked a better time! He was telling me about all the people and their graves there and I was just enjoying stunning Glasgow views. There is something about Necropolis, so quiet and peaceful, but just 10 minutes away from city center buzz. Who would have thought?!



Necropolis_4  Necropolis_6




Saturday, 30 August 2014

Breakfast in Edinburgh: Oink rolls.


I am becoming one of them people afraid of any new places not previously discussed in countless blogs, forums and various Facebook comment sections, I am afraid. After all, I really have to spend my student budget wisely, and oh I do love a good breakfast, lunch, dinner eating out!
Last week in Edinburgh we actually had a very clear food plan, however I got hungry waaaay too early and burgers weren't exactly my dream breakfast at that moment, so we just kept our eyes wide open in hope of spotting something good. And so we did!


We were walking down Victoria Street and I noticed that tiny little rolls' place called Oink and it had a little roast piggy lying in the window (that is clearly a good sign, right?). We both got delish hog roast rolls with haggis and bbq sauce (£3.95 for one) and went on wandering Edinburgh streets. When I think of it, I am honestly surprised how no one have ever thought of putting some roast pork in the morning roll before, as it is a real game-changer!

Oink rolls are simple, tasty and very very filling (we never made it to that burger place after all...). The only drawback is very liquidy bbq sauce dropping on my shoes, and tights, and scarf and everywhere, but what a meal to remember! I might trust my eyes and instincts more often now.