November 2015

Motsameta Monastery near Kutaisi in Georgia

Published: 30 November, 2015 seen 1,793 Churches and Monasteries

Motsameta monastery is one of the most spectacular sites I have visited while being living in Georgia. To get here yo will need either to own your vehicle or hire a taxi, probably there are organized tours as well heading to Motsameta monastery. I first visited this site in Spring 2015, unfortunately it was already a night and I didn't see much nor photographed anything decent here, the next time I visited Motsameta was in Autumn 2015, together with my mom, this time I was better prepared and it was a day. Rail tracks near Motsameta monastery There is actually a train making a stop in front…

Water Reflections on Lisi Lake

Published: 29 November, 2015 seen 286

She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and to no city. - Roman Payne, The Wanderess Spectacular water reflection photography done in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia on Lisi Lake.​ Water reflections on Lisi lake in Tbilisi A perfect harmony water reflection Mountain reflection on water Boat deck reflection on water Building reflection on water Ducks

Cost of Living in Tbilisi (Republic of Georgia)

Published: 28 November, 2015 seen 9,533 Living in Georgia

This post is a result of an experiment I performed for one month in October 2015, I counted my everyday expenses and summed it up to see how much actually it costs to live in Georgia. This information might be useful if you are planing to move to Georgia or just to compare how your country stands to Georgia. For tracking my (our) everyday expenses I installed Expense Manager Android app on my phone and entered spending just after purchases.  Total expenses in October 2015 In October in total we spent GEL 4,385 which equals to $1,823 or EUR 1,708 (according to exchange rates on November 20,…

Some Popular Desktop Computers Under $500 (Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals)

Published: 27 November, 2015 seen 1,406 Online Shopping

Feel it is time to upgrade your old desktop computer? Probably looking to own a brand new one. Look no more in this article I have listed 15 great desktop computers under $500 apiece. Looking for Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals for 2015 - that's right. Desktop computers listed here have discount prices on the biggest online shop -  Amazon. A quick note: This article contains affiliate links to Amazon.com, by clicking on links on this page and by making a purchase on Amazon site, I might earn an affiliate income from that. Prices for desktop computers listed on this page are retrieved using…

Simple Aspic (Meat Jelly, Kholodets) Recipe

Published: 27 November, 2015 seen 1,567 Food blogger

In today's food blogger's series I will show how to prepare a really tasty and delicious homemade aspic out of pig's trotters. I'm not sure how popular an aspic is in the Western world, but it is a super popular in post Soviet countries, and is served in every fiests. Russian have a name for it - a kholodets (Холодец).According to Wikipedia - Aspic is a dish in which ingredients are set into a gelatin made from a meat stock or consommé. Non-savory dishes, often made with commercial gelatin mixes without stock or consommé, are usually called gelatin salads. Nearly any type of meat can be used…

Third Traffic Spike: More than 7,500 Daily Users

Published: 26 November, 2015 seen 474 Servers

A huge traffic surge to this website was experienced on November 15 when total unique user count reached 7,732. The vast majority of them were coming from Turkey.  Update: Learn how I got 10,000 Page views in a day This was already third traffic spike to my blog, previous record was set back in January (2015) with 3,584 users. While the first serious traffic spike my blog experienced almost two years ago, when total daily traffic surged just above 1,000 daily users. For the couple of last months this is actually a daily traffic norm to my blog - well above 1,000 daily users every day, though…

How to add MailChimp Signup Form for Drupal

Published: 25 November, 2015 seen 1,567 Drupal Development

After being blogging for more than two years already and finally reached about 40,000 monthly unique visitors to my blog I decided it's time to set up an email newsletter. I knew there are some Drupal modules already, but I ended with a very simple solution not involving any of them (modules). I have been using MailChimp in past to deliver email newsletters and I believe MailChimp is one of the best in the market. They offer free account for up to 2000 subscribers list. Perfectly what I need. Since I'm building my list from scratch I believe it will take a long time to get over 2000…

Postcards from Tbilisi

Published: 24 November, 2015 seen 896

Tbilisi is city which have inspired many great poets, writers and of course travelers. Mikhail Lermontov, Alexander Pushkin, Leo Tolstoy and even Marco Polo have spent some time in Tbilisi. Who knows maybe the sulfur baths in Abanotubani district has inspired the great poets?! As for a photographers - Tbilisi is a lovely destination and we have found a lot of inspiration here (This is the place I learned to create a decent night exposure photography). This time we headed to catch the Golden Hour and ended up with lovely postcard style images from Tbilisi. Tbilisi - thanks for being a piece of…

Black Friday 2015 Laptop and Notebook Deals - Save 20% and More

Published: 23 November, 2015 seen 439 Online Shopping

This year's biggest shopping event will happen on November 27 which is known as The Black Friday. Since the early 2000s, it has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the US, and most major retailers open very early (and more recently during overnight hours) and offer promotional sales. One of the biggest online retailers - Amazon is offering a huge sales on Laptops, Netbooks, Desktop computers and not only. Those of you looking for Black Friday electronics deals - sales has already started on online stores.  Looking for Black Friday laptop deals? Here you go - 22 …

Gelati Monastery in Georgia

Published: 23 November, 2015 seen 1,106 Churches and Monasteries

Gelati monastery together with Bagrati Cathderal are one of the main sights in this region (Imereti) in Georgia. Although I have been living in Georgia since 2011, first I visited this site just in the Spring 2015 together with my dad, unfortunately it was a late evening already and I was not proficient of taking night photography (now I'm). The second time I visited Gelati monastery was together with my mom already in Autumn 2015. This time I was prepared much better and instead of just taking photographs here I took HDR images. Gelati monastery near Kutaisi Gelati is a monastic complex…

How To Make Floating Banana Photo Trick (Photoshop / Lightroom)

Published: 22 November, 2015 seen 1,298 Digital Photography School

I created this simple floating banana image using a tripod, camera and Adobe Ligtrooms + A little retouching in Adobe Photoshop. I wanted to make the image look even better so I did a HDR image. Floating Banana Photography Trick I did this image for my 365 day photo challenge project and submitted it as day 49 picture. I really feel proud of my self - like on day 1 I barely knew how to take a decent exposure using Manual mode, while on day 49 I'm photographing floating bananas already. I can't wait to see what will I submit at day 365. Now back to the floating banana... Actually it is very…

Restaurant Dzveli Gelati near Motsameta

Published: 21 November, 2015 seen 514 Restaurant reviews

Restaurant Dzveli Gelati (Old Gelati in English) is located outside of Kutaisi in small village Motsameta. I had a chance to have a dinner here during a short one day tour around Kutaisi (Bagrati Cathedral, Gelati monastery and of course Motsameta monastery). Dzveli Gelati restaurant serves a traditional Georgian cuisine, prices seemed somehow above average for me, but meal was just excellent. By the way this was on of the rare places in Georgia were vinegar is added to salads. A large banquet hall in Dzveli Gelati restaurant Restaurant Dzveli Gelati near Kutaisi View from Dzveli Gelati…

Best 50 Batumi Hotels in Georgia 2015

Published: 20 November, 2015 seen 677 Hotel reviews

​Batumi is a vibrant destination in Georgia offering a lot, some heads here to enjoy rocky coastline of Black sea, while others head here to ...play casino's. I haven't tried out (yet) any of Batumi casino's, but I believe much of the city's infrastructure is built to attract gamblers. I might be wrong, but Batumi definitely has many casino's. Either you are traveling to Batumi to try your luck or looking for sub-troop climate this city has many hotels to offer. Starting budget range hostels and guest houses, ending eight 5-star hotels and plenty of luxury stay. In this article I have listed…

Masterclass in Asian Cuisine

Published: 20 November, 2015 seen 532 Food blogger

At the start of November 2015 I took a master class in Asian Cuisine. The master class happened in a lovely Georgian restaurant Sareckela in Tbilisi and was led by a gourmet chef from Russia Natalia Chvileva. You can follow Natalia on her Facebook page: Touch to Food The reason that made me to take participation in such master class was simple - I love to cook, I enjoy Asian cuisine and I have a food blogger section on my blog. Being a food blogger means just one - I'm always learning new things and I'm happy to share my knowledge with my readers (you). This master class was not only good for…

October 2015 Blog Traffic and Income Report 39,928 Users / $549.49

Published: 19 November, 2015 seen 1,284 Online Income Reports

Today we are celebrating this blog's #22 traffic and income report. Unbelievable how fast times goes by. It seems just yesterday I sat at my laptop's monitor, installed Drupal on Linode VPS, registered a domain in Godaddy and started to explore is there a way I can get some traffic (back then I was not thinking about making actual money out of it) to my blog.  On October 10, 2015 this blog celebrated its second anniversary - just wow. 2 years passed like a flicker.  I was doing separate reviews both for traffic and income until last September, I just understood - how time consuming it is to…

Restaurant Sareckela in Tbilisi

Published: 18 November, 2015 seen 707 Restaurant reviews

Restaurant Sarackela is located in Tbilisi on A.Tsereteli Avenue 72, it serves both European and Georgian cuisine, and has one of the most passionate chefs in the town - Natalia Chivileva. One of the nice features this restaurant offers - are master classes for kids and adults on Sundays. This is the reason I got to this place actually, I took a master class of preparing Asian food at start of November 2015. Restaurant Sareckela in Tbilisi ​ Interior at Sareckela restaurant in Tbilisi Restaurant Sareckela in Tbilisi Working hours for restaurant Sareckela ​The Bottom Line Although I didn't…

Prometheus Cave near Kutaisi (Georgia)

Published: 17 November, 2015 seen 3,807 Tourism objects

Prometheus cave is one of the interesting places I have visited lately in Georgia. In fact that's the second cave I have visited here. The first one is called Sataplia Cave. In case you are into caves and speleology I recommend to visit both of them. Prometheus cave is located some 20km from Kutaisi in village Kumistavi (Tskaltubo Municipality), and if you are arriving to this lovely city  - I can only recommend include Prometheus cave in your itinerary while being in these parts of Georgia. And that's how it actually happened last time I were here - my mom arrived to visit me in Georgia…

Painting Floor - Adding Base Layer of Paint

Published: 16 November, 2015 seen 528 Home Remodeling

After we cleaned up our space from junk, I painted walls and ceilings in white using just a water based paint. Both our future temporary bedroom and kitchen started look decent. Then my father helped me with electrical wiring and installed a few new power outlets. Now was the right time for painting floors. I started with our bedroom. Bought the most cheapest paint available on market (brown) and started to paint. I was hoping that for temporary solution it should be enough just with one paint layer, but I turned wrong - floor looked screwed. But that's not a big issue, because you can always…

My Outdoor Working Place During Last Summer (2015)

Published: 15 November, 2015 seen 445 Home Remodeling

Owning an old rural house is nice, and it's even nicer if you can both live and work from there. Since I'm into a thing called a digital nomad (place doesn't matter as long as there is an internet connection), during last summer I had setup my working place in different corners both inside and outside of our country house. I remember how back in 2014 we used Turtle lake for our working place in Tbilisi.  Prior of having a basic outdoor working place there are three main important things you will need - an internet connection, a laptop and of course an electricity, speaking of the internet -…

Bird Cage in Autumn Mood

Published: 14 November, 2015 seen 265

A HDR photography done in Tbilisi's Vake Park (Autumn 2015)

Rail Tracks (Tbilisi/Georgia)

Published: 14 November, 2015 seen 304

HDR photography of rail tracks done in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia

Replacing Electrical Wiring and Installing Outlets

Published: 14 November, 2015 seen 519 Home Remodeling

On June 25th electricity was connected to our old rural house, and that was the next big issue to fix soon. The old electrical wiring was done like some 30-40 years ago and it just wasn't safe. Luckily I'm familiar with the best electrician, and he is my dad. So I called him and asked for both advice and assistance. Dad seemed excited and soon he was on site, with a lot of wires, cables, screwdrivers, different unknown for me electrical measurement devices and the wiring replace works started. Old wiring We agreed to disconnect all the old wiring and install a new cable connecting it…

Homemade Noodles in Spicy Sauce

Published: 13 November, 2015 seen 1,244 Food blogger

November started with a huge goal - not to spend a tetri eating outside, instead we decided to cook good food at home. Today I will show how to prepare a really fresh egg pasta noodles in spicy sauce.  I really love to make noodle pasta by my own - and actually it's very easy, thus a hand strength is required if you are not using some dough mixer machine.  My recipe for noodle pasta is simple - one egg for every 100 grams flour. Today I took 7 eggs and 700 grams flour. Add a little bit salt (1 tbs) and sugar (2 tbs).  Directions for preparing fresh egg pasta Add Flour to a bowl (make a small…

Abandoned Armenian Church in Tbilisi (Surb Nshan / St. Nikoghayos)

Published: 12 November, 2015 seen 1,325 Churches and Monasteries

Tbilisi never ends to surprise (at least me). I thought I'm quite familiar with all the places in Tbilisi's Old Town, but turned out - I was wrong. It was a Halloween eve and we decided to head to Shardeni (Tbilisi Old Town) to photograph some Halloween pictures. Prior to that we went to lovely noodles place called Fire Wok on Shalva Dadiani street, and then just to randomize our route we decided to take a slight right turn on Lermontovs street, our first discoveries started already here, so I find a lovely Boutique art shop - Estia.  After Estia we continued to wander through narrow Old Town…

Estia Handmade Art Boutique Shop & Masterclasses in Tbilisi

Published: 11 November, 2015 seen 1,306 Shopping Venues

It was a late October evening (It actually happened on Halloween night) when after having a delicious noodles at Fire Wok we decided to take some other route for heading into Tbilisi's Old Town. And suddenly on Lerrmontov street 3 we noticed a small boutique shop with interesting name - Estia, at first I thought maybe it's somehow related to Estonia. The sign at outdoors informed they serve a coffee here as well. You can't buy happiness but you can buy coffee This statement turned out to be just a half true - you can buy a coffee here, but that's actually not a coffee, but an instant coffee…

Our First Veggie Garden: Planting Plants in Boxes

Published: 10 November, 2015 seen 441 Home Remodeling

What would be a real country house without a garden? Right it would be a garden less country house. Although we have some old apple orchard and a few cherry trees there was one thing missing - some small veggie garden for our needs.  There was one another major obstacle we didn't have any water supply at our rural country house. Read more: Home Remodeling - How It All Starts So we opted for a small veggie garden to be planted into boxes, call it a mini sustainable agriculture if you prefer. We saved a lot of water at least, thus we were carrying about 50 liters in 5 litter bottles each day…

Top 20 Best Selling Laptops / Notebooks November 2015

Published: 9 November, 2015 seen 1,162 Online Shopping

For the second month in the row Asus Chromebook has made up to #1 top selling laptop on Amazon. Thus this model is not the newest (it was release back in 2014) the price, stylish design and smooth performance has made it a popular choice among new laptop buyers.  If you still prefer a casual notebook capable of running Windows OS (Don't worry Apple fans, MacBook is among top selling laptops as well), there are plenty of other machines on this list as well. A quick note: This article contains affiliate links to Amazon.com, by clicking on links on this page and by making a purchase on Amazon…

The Tiger Lillies Concert Review in Tbilisi

Published: 9 November, 2015 seen 501 Events

The Tiger Lillies performed on Tbilisi Concert Hall on November 8, 2015. I must admit I had no clue what this band is all about, but had heard that The Tiger Lillies are must have. And I'm glad I agreed to visit their show in Tbilisi. This was the second show in a row (previous one was Diana Krall's concert at the end of October 2015) I visited in Tbilisi concert hall. First surprise arrived when we noticed that our seats was just behind tuner control Tuner control in Tbilisi Concert Hall What seemed an issue at start turned out to be a good place to photograph from and see in action how…

How to Patch and Plaster Walls in Your Old Rural House

Published: 9 November, 2015 seen 643 Home Remodeling

It's one of the construction works I really enjoy - to patch and plaster walls - it doesn't requires a lot of skills and it's a really cheap way to get things done fast. Today I will show you how I patched our rural country house's kitchen walls with a plaster mix for less than $10. Prior to that I removed all the junk from the room (kitchen) and applied a base paint both for walls and ceilings. Read: Removing Junk And Adding First Layer of Paint (Kitchen Works) Tools you will need - and old bucket (I prefer used plastic bucket leftover after paint job), a trowel and some good mix of plaster…

Shaurma Club on Tamar Mephe Street (Tbilisi)

Published: 8 November, 2015 seen 1,266 Restaurant reviews

Shaurma club on Tamar Mephe street in Tbilisi is among one of the best street food places I have tried in Tbilisi and Georgia. They offer really tasty shaurma's, kabab's and they even have a salad bar. They obey all sanitary norms (work in gloves at least) and the prices are really budget friendly. If you enjoy street food and love shaurma's you will definitely enjoy Shaurma Club on Tamar Mephe in Tbilisi. Frankly speaking I have been living on this street for the last 2 and a half years, and Shaurma Club is a new boy on our street, prior to that, this corner of Tamar Mephe was a shady corner…

Abandoned Airfield Near P104 (Jaunpils-Tukums) Road (Latvia)

Published: 7 November, 2015 seen 566 Military Heritage

As I stated in my previous post about beautiful poppy fields near P104 Jaunipils - Tukums road in Latvia, there is a hidden treasure inside those lovely fields - an abandoned airfield.  I doubt it has been used for any military means, more for agriculture (field spraying from a biplane). So I headed in and here is what I got: Abandoned airfield near Tukums The same concrete plates for runaway structure as seen in Skrunda Abandoned Military Ghost Town Abandoned airfield I just love such low profile perspective photography. Grey concrete in contrast to dark blue skies. Airfield in middle of…

Need a Cheap Hostel in Tbilisi? Get One Starting $3.5 Per/Night

Published: 6 November, 2015 seen 1,417 Hotel reviews

I don't call myself a hostel person, but there were times I used hostels a lot back in my early 20ies,  actually when I first arrived to Tbilisi back in 2011 I stayed exactly at hostel. Hostels are good for couple of reasons - you can meet new friends, but what's important they are cheap. Tbilisi are no expectation when speaking of cheap stay, there are dozens (if not hundreds) of budget price hostels. The cheapest ones comes as low as 7.5 GEL per person per night typically it means you will get a bed in a dorm room and in most cases will be located out of city center. There have been two…

Riga Central Market

Published: 6 November, 2015 seen 706 Shopping Venues

Riga Central Market as I believe is among of of the top Riga attractions a tourist might want to visit and see. First opened to public in 1930, with main structures of the market built by reusing old German Zeppelin hangars, it now has become Europe's largest market and bazaar. There are not many markets from which I have seen I could compare this one. The closest I can compare is La Boqueria market in Barcelona, Spain.  One of the Riga Central market pavilions In total there are 5 pavilions in Riga central market, each representing it's own sector, like there is a dairy pavilion, meat…

20 Laptop / Tablet Gift Ideas For this Holiday season 2015 (Best Selling Items on Amazon)

Published: 6 November, 2015 seen 447 Online Shopping

This holiday season comes with a lot of cool gadgets, e-readers, powerful laptops and stylish tablets. If you believe an electronic device is a good gift to your loved ones or perhaps for yourself, here is the list with 20 best selling electronic gift items on Amazon. Love to read books? Amazon has a lot to offer to you - Kindle reading devices. Love reading books and surfing web? Amazon Fire might be your next best holiday gift. How about a new gaming laptop? You bet, it' s holiday season right, anything you wish. I believe there will be many who will start New Year with astonishing…

Beautiful Poppy Field Near P104 (Jaunpils-Tukums) Road (Latvia)

Published: 5 November, 2015 seen 498 Tourism objects

Some might think what's so special with those poppy fields in some place called near P104 road in Latvia, and I might reply - probably there is nothing special, but since we used this bypass road to get to Riga all the Summer along, we just noticed them every time we drove past this district. Now I took those images on June 26th and today being back in Tbilisi I tried to locate this place on map, unfortunately I couldn't find an easy task to do this (that's why I love cameras with built in GPS), but after some 30 minutes of using Google Street view I finally found the same bus stop I captured…

How To Split Large .TSV files and Import to MS Excel or OpenOffice Using EmEditor

Published: 4 November, 2015 seen 5,314 Web development

In this article you will learn how to split large .tsv (and not only) files so you can import them to MS Office, Open Office or whatever you need using a small and neat (paid) program called EmEditor. Here is the scenario - I have been booking.com affiliate partner for many years already, I remember few years ago I dreamt I wish I would programmatically access to all of their hotels (with metadata) , so I could import those data to some other web app and reuse data I want in manner I want to. Recently I noticed on my Booking Central there is a new option - Data download, and here it was - All…

First Summer Solstice in Our New (Old) House

Published: 3 November, 2015 seen 439 Home Remodeling

Last year we celebrated Summer Solstice on our apartments balcony in Tbilisi, this year we did it the right way. After I tried out how it's to move grass with a scythe, then with a trimmer and finally hiring a professional grass mover we started to repair our recent acquisition, after room and kitchen was cleaned out ouf junk and some paint job was applied both to walls and ceilings we did a test with a first garden party in order to prepare for this Summer Solstice night. Now we were ready to great Sun. Since our property on that time was without electricity we decided to go creative and…

Photo of the month - October 2015

Published: 2 November, 2015 seen 477 Digital Photography School

At the end of September (2015) I started a new photo challenge project - 365 taking pictures. I decided to use Flickr for storing and uploading my project pictures.  Now it has been already almost 40 days since I have started my project and I decided to take a look - is there a way I can use data available on Flickr.  Flickr offers two valuable stats (if you have a PRO account) probably even more (I don't have a PRO account yet) - views and faves. I decided that I will use fave count to determine my picture of the month. For almost all October I was convinced that my picture of Bagrati…

Top 15 Best Selling Desktop Computers in 2015

Published: 2 November, 2015 seen 2,921 Online Shopping

The year of 2015 is rapidly coming to the end - following last year's trend it means just one it's time to list Best Selling Desktop computers in 2015 - who knows, maybe exactly one of the computers listed here will end under or a top of your desktop during this holiday season. Update: see: Top 20 Best Selling Desktop Computers 2017 (Office & Gaming) Just as in 2014, desktop computers looks more like some video projectors than the ones I use to be familiar with - towers. But wait, at the top of this list you will find the regular tower computer from ASUS. What's the use of desktop…

Ēdole Castle and Emila Market with 17 Cheeses and Crayfish

Published: 2 November, 2015 seen 586 Tourism objects

Ēdole Castle is a Gothic Revival castle situated on the banks of Ēdole Lake, Ēdole parish, in the historical region of Courland, western Latvia. I had an opportunity to visit Ēdole castle and taste some of the 17 cheeses few days before Summer Solstice Līgo was held (back n 2015). During my visit a fair called Emīla market (Emīla tirgus) took action. Famous Latvian film Emīla nedarbi was filmed here in 1985. So that's the reason why this fair is named after Emīls. If you enjoy medieval things and medieval architecture you will find a lot interesting at Ēdole castle. Ēdole castle complex It…

Removing Junk And Adding First Layer of Paint (Kitchen Works)

Published: 1 November, 2015 seen 776 Home Remodeling

In my previous article on home remodeling series you already learned how with the help of just a white paint I decided drastically to improve a room which latter might become our bedroom in our rural house. Haven't red that article yet? Go ahead and see it: Room One - Wall and Ceiling Painting with Water Based Paint Now it was turn for another room (kitchen) to put some facelift on, but before that we had to clean up the mess, remove all the junk and... paint.  Kitchen loaded with junk As you can see from above picture both walls and ceiling are covered with soot, Soot is coming from the…