Old Orhei.

At the end of June this year I visited Old Orhei. I’ve been there before and took lots and lots of photos with my point-and-shoot. Figure it was time for a bit of an update.

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This looks like a non-menacing spot of shrubbery.

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Until you realise that I’m standing at the edge of a cliff, looking at tree tops from above.

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All photos are quite similar. Just feast yer eyes on the glory of nature.

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Glorious indeed.

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… Aaand yep, here’s the reason I was at Old Orhei in the first place – my cousin’s wedding. Bride and groom photos were taken by the pros, whilst I just happily snapped the landscapes around me.

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Second part coming up next week.

Bigger versions of these are available on my flickr.

Nail Polish: Golden Rose, AVON, Julie G.

01-golden rose yellow

Golden Rose Rich Color Nail Lacquer in 48

I’ve been looking for a warm yellow nail polish since ever. I’ve had one before, by Beauty Skin, but the formula was bad. It was gloopy and streaky and took forever to dry.

This one is better, but gloopiness exists. Takes its jolly time to dry as well, so I guess it’s just the matter of warm yellow pigment or something. The photos don’t show it, but this polish has got the slightest amount of shimmer in it. It’s almost invisible, so I’ll let it slide.

The brush is not quite one step, but it’s very, very good. Any inaccuracies and cuticle coverage is all due to my perpetually shaky hands.

02-avon jaded

AVON Speed Dry+ in don’t be jaded

This colour dries a little bit slower than its comrade, rebel rose, but compared to all other polishes I own, including the fast drying ones, it’s still a record breaker. Chips very fast too, though. It goes on a little streaky, but nothing too terrible. This is two coats. If you take a closer look, you can see the nail line in there still.

Such a pretty green, though. This is the only nail polish colour I’ve been complimented on recently. Like rebel rose, this shade was discontinued.

03-golden rose rust

Golden Rose Rich Color Nail Lacquer in 109

Long long time ago, I had a nail polish by Oriflame. It was… brick coloured, I guess. I’m not sure how else to describe it. Anyway, point is, I loved it to bits, and have been trying to find a dupe for it ever since. It has to be by memory, unless I manage to encounter an epic collector who still has the no doubt dried up bottle of the original Oriflame Visions* polish.

This is nowhere near that colour, but simultaneously this is the closest I’ve come so far. It’s a … rust brown? Orange? It’s paler in real life, and reminds me of autumn and abscission. The application was smooth, and it dried pretty quickly. I enjoyed wearing it, but I don’t think it compliments my skin tone.

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AVON mosaic effects in black

… Let’s pretend that the horrible flash picture with my creepy grabby fingers is masterful art direction to emphasise the Hallowe’en feel of the combo. Let’s pretend really hard, OK? I like – love – the crackle effect, and I think it really fits here. The orange/black is indeed Hallowe’en inspired. This combination reminds me of a menacing forest silhouette at sunset. I really liked it.

The Mosaic Effects series itself, though, leaves me ambivalent. It’s got a weird texture, and feels like it never really dries fully. It dissolves the base, especially with certain polishes, and turns the whole thing not so much into patterned cracks, but a weird mess. The Golden Rose one held up, but the Julie G one below didn’t.

The colour of the Golden Rose rust brown one is more accurate in this picture than in the previous one.

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Jesse’s Girl Julie G in Romeo 70167

The polish I received in my Lip Monthly bag. Like I said, it’s a pretty summery shade. I wouldn’t call it coral, it’s more of a bright cool pink for me.

The first coat applied perfectly, but on the second one it started to coagulate a bit. Still manageable, though. The brush is nothing special. Just a standard polish brush. I applied it several hours before bed. It was dry enough to do things around the house, but not dry enough to battle the masterful duvet prints. It started chipping on the second day on my right hand. Nothing major, but definitely visible. My left hand held better.

I’m still not feeling it for winter, but I think I’ll be painting my toes with it come summer. It would look great on tanned skin, I think. Something I’ll never have, tanned skin, but on my horrible terrible pale feet it would still look good, because it’s cool-toned and bright enough to be borderline neon.

Unrecipe: Okroshka.

It’s a testament to my scheduling ineptitude that I’m posting this in October. Okroshka is a summer soup. I took these photos somewhere in… I think it was May.

Making okroshka is as simple as throwing together a salad. In fact, it’s pretty much a salad in a soup form. The only difference is that instead of using a salad dressing, you’re using a liquid to give it a soup consistency.

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You start with potatoes. You must always have potatoes.

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Then you add eggs. Eggs are optional for some people, but I can’t fathom okroshka without them.

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In go the cucumbers.

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And the radishes. Which are optional, but make the soup spicier.

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Then go in various herbs. Here I’m using parsley. I didn’t use dill…

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… because it’s not my favourite plant. My father loves it, though, so I just chopped a bunch and served it on a separate plate. Sometimes I fancy some green onions, but I rarely ever add them to the soup directly. Like dill, I serve them on the side.

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Radish this year was pretty bad. See how it’s kinda hollow on the inside? That’s bad radish. Bad old radish. Not to mention the black ones.

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Anyway, you’re pretty much done by this point. Just salt and pepper your concoction to taste, mix it as you would a salad, and add soup base. Here I’m using kefir.

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Later I thinned it a bit with mineral water, as kefir can be quite thick. I love adding mustard for a punch, but I only ever add it when I make okroshka using kefir. It can also be made using kvass. Next year, I want to try making it using ayran.

And yes, there’s no photograph of a finished product, because by that point everyone came home, and we got too busy eating. I’ve an older post about okroshka here, which gives you an idea of how the end result looks.

… I’m so excited about the idea of okroshka on ayran now, I might just make it in the dead of winter.