Wednesday, February 22, 2012


My favorite Croatian word is Lavanda. It means lavender. I'm absolutely obsessed with lavender, I just love the way it smells, I love the way the Croatian word is pronounced, and I love the wonders it does with my skin! If I was ever to become a pop singer or rock star, my stage name would definitely be Lavanda!

It's perfect because Croatia is one of the largest producers of lavender! Due to the ideal climate and good soil it mostly grows on the hills and rocky slopes of the mid-Dalmatian island of Hvar. Luckily, one of Tomislav's best friends comes from the island of Hvar so we have had the hook up of some fantastic lavender. You can buy it in little satchels all over the country but the lavender from Hvar is the real deal.

 A lavender bush at a rest stop along the drive to Dubrovnik - amazing!
 Fresh lavender smells sooooooooooo good

 Ah, driving along the Croatian coast is gorgeous!

I'm holding a sprig of lavender :)

Tomislav's friend got us lavender (which T brought to the States then!) so we could throw lavender (instead of rice or seeds) at my sister and her husband after they got married last year!

So, my sister, (the inspiration behind all good things) makes these amazing face cleansers and toners using all natural ingredients that she found on Crunchy Betty, this fantastic blog about healthy and natural living. I read about the benefits of cleansing your skin with lavender oil so I've been trying it out for the last week and I already see and feel an amazing difference! Now, it may not be winter over on the East Coast but here in Zagreb, it's winter, so my skin gets really dry. The lavender oil leaves it so smooth and soft and it smells amazing! Even hours later, T still notices how nice my skin smells :)

Here's what I do -

First, I gently wash my face and exfoliate. Then, I boil water on the stove and when it's hot, I (carefully) put my face over the pot to steam my entire face for a minute or two so it opens up all of my pores. Be really careful if you're doing this so you don't burn yourself, and don't put your face TOO close to the water, just keep it at a safe distance so you can feel the steam on your face.

After the steam, I take a washcloth and wet it with hot water and add a couple of drops of the lavender oil to the wash cloth and use that to wash my skin. It's amazing how clean your skin feels afterwards, it's so soft and it smells so good! You can read all about the Oil Cleansing Method on Crunchy Betty's site. Beautiful and glowy!


  1. Nikki!

    Hey it's Eli you're old freshman year roomie! I just have to say that I stumbled across your blog while facebooking and I've been reading it ever since!

    I just wanted to let you that I think what you and Tomislav have is amazing and your journeys/adventures/recipes/advice/etc. are so exciting to read!

    Congrats on your engagement. I wish you guys a lifetime of happiness!

    PS Keep making more blog posts they keep getting better!

    PSS Trav says hi baby! ;)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Eli my dear girl! I'm so glad to see you're reading my blog. Your message is very encouraging :) Thank you so much for your well wishes, it really is so great to hear from you! I hope you are doing great. I'm wondering where you are these days and what is new with you! Sending you and Travis lots of love from Zagreb!!

    Elaine - you will love Crunchy Betty! Such a great site...happy packing these days!

  4. Well, Trav and I are living in DC at the moment working, playing and living(loving) life. I work at a charter school in the elementary side (love the kiddies!!) and Trav officially became a professional photographer not too long ago (very exciting!)
    If you're ever in DC please don't hesitate to look us up (on facebook lol) and let us know!


    PS I just read your post on homesickness and I just want to say that mostly everyone feels this type of way sooner or later. Knowing that your family and friends are rooting for you from long distances always helps.

    Lots of love baby Nikki!

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