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Here comes the Bride | Korineum Golf & Beach Resort
Where onions come from... Not Woolies | Angolem, Cyprus
Wedding location | Korineum Golf & Beach resort
Parking next to the boarder. Prettiest Boarder l have ever seen | Nicosia, Cyprus
Wedding favours, Harup trees | Lefkosa, Cyprus
Ezic Restaurant | Girne, Cyprus
Homemade mandarine cordial with a sprinkle of Jasmin flowers | Angolem Cyprus
Whilst in California last month, the young lady who was doing my 'Blow Out' (AKA: 'Blow Wave' Australian's!) asked me where my accent was from. I replied with 'Australian' of course and proceeded to tell her l was from Melbourne, just in case she was still interested in me before the tip was required. She responded with "O.M.G - my FRIEND.... her BOYFRIENDDDDD just came from D.U.B.A.I !!!!!!!!!".
That conversation was a few weeks ago and l am still trying to figure out the relationship there, but meanwhile l can assure you that later conversations of where my parents were born came with even further perplexing responses of "Cyprus! Where is that???".
Cyprus is a gorgeous little island country in the Eastern Mediterranean sea, just south of Turkey. It is occupied by what feels like my entire extended family. I walk into homes of cousins and friends and see what can only be described as extension of who l am. Such love lives here for my family in Australia and for that l make the effort to visit every couple of years or when one of my uncanny familiar cousins decide to take the plunge into marriage. Hey, a little wedding celebration can always bring an abroad trip to the next level.
So as l spent my previous weekend at Korenium Golf & Country Club celebrating the joyous occasion, l felt deep love for a land that feels like a second home. Many conversations followed about transferring my Melbourne wedding next year to Cyprus. For a moment l considered this fabulous concept to be more than a jovial idea - but the reality is, l am an Australian, born an another island that has blessed me with so many gifts. One of which is my beginning with my Fiancé. So the wedding remains in Melbourne and the destination wedding l dreamt about growing up is still a reality, the only difference is the destination location is for all those that will be coming from their own islands.
Mini Latif xoBLxo
xo Beauty Lover xo
Tourist Selfie | The Blue Mosque
Amazing shopping and architecture | The Grand Bazaar
Inspiration around every corner | Istanbul, Turkey
Latif Jewelry | Istanbul, Turkey
Dessert 'Kunefe' | Hafiz Mustafa. Istanbul, Turkey
To try and describe the beauty of this place is really futile. What l can do is tell you how it makes me feel.
When l was 7 years old, my parents took me here and as we walked through Dolmabache Palace l fell head over heels in love with the pure opulence of the look and feel of it ALL. I told myself that when l grew up l would start my own business one day and it would look just like that palace!
Fast forward 25 years and l did open that business, l also did it with the artistic influences of the Ottoman times and often l never smell the roses and remember that at minimum l have achieved that goal. Coming back this weekend alone, it has been a time for deep reflection on what has been and gone and what is in store for the future.
This is one city walking through alone as a woman can bring a lot of anxiety. The overall pressure of learning to ignore the heckles and men signing to you "Seni Seviyorummmmmm" (I Love Youuuuuu) can be challenging. The main reason for this attention really is to get you to buy one of whatever they are selling, but it still can give you a sense of panic. Today alone at The Grand Bazaar Market, l must have said "No thanks" over 100 times.
A good sense of humour definitely is important and know that you are not in physical danger, just financial danger, because your wallet WILL get a work out! Though l must say, in these markets l haven't felt that yucky aggressiveness. Knowing a bit of Turkish helps and l often keep that to myself as it really does come in handy. I stopped in a rather remote part of the market to have a coffee, l think they were surprised l would walk in alone and l first asked how much for coffee and she replied in english "3". I said ok, paid for the coffee and went and sat on the table, whilst the other man working there said to her in Turkish "You know you should have charged her 4", to which she replied "I said 3 and 3 it will be - stay out of my business". I had a little chuckle to myself, l actually didn't know that coffee prices were negotiated too, but good to know a warm smile may get you a dollar off!
I have spent the weekend talking with different vendors to bring to you an Ottoman3 product like nothing l have done before. But the concept is so beautiful to me and it is about going back to the roots of my brand and giving you the opportunity to experience where it all began 25 years ago. I hope to have it for you in the next few months and l am sure it will be something that will delight your soul, even for a moment.
Till then, l am going back to the streets of Istanbul as there is a little dessert here l discovered today called 'Kunefe' and it is awaiting me.... Afiyet Olsen xo
Mini Latif xoBLxo
xo Beauty Lover xo