Ana-Marija Baric Brings A Little ‘Croatia’ To Your Own Backyard
For her high school graduation trip this year, my youngest daughter was given the gift of traveling to anywhere she wants to go. Knowing her, that meant that she and I would be heading to some sort of exotic beach for our final excursion together before the next leg in her personal journey began.
She narrowed her choices down to two places, Portugal and Croatia, eventually choosing Portugal, to my surprise What pushed her towards Portugal? One of her teachers, who fancies the country, urged her to visit. Oh well, Croatia would have to wait for another time, another adventure, but push it back much longer, I will not.
You see, I have heard so many wonderful things about Croatia that I’ve been itching to make my way there for the last several years. Having a personal assistant who grew up in Croatia, I’ve learned a great deal about this quaint, congenial country with the remarkable food and inviting landscape. Couple that with stumbling upon a wonderful mom blogger and DIYer named Ana-Marija Baric, who not only blogs from Croatia, but lives there full time and offers out her guest house to...well, guests...for some R&R and delicious food that her husband cooks up. That makes for a mighty easy escape to arrange.
As Ana-Marija encourages through the title of her blog carpe_diem, it’s time for me to 'seize the day', and you, too, by getting to know her and all that she is up to through the interview below.
What is your full name?
What is your personal mantra?
It's Carpe diem ("Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero", lat.), well said by Roman poet Horace.
It is roughly translated to English as "Seize the day". Its full meaning is - What you can do today - do it, do not leave it for tomorrow. Or, when you can do it, do it well, because tomorrow may be too late.
Tell us about you and your life.
My name is Ana-Marija, I am 44 yrs old. I live in Croatia. I am a wife to my biggest supporter. We have three kids together; daughter Mia (21 yrs) who is enrolled at University, daughter Ena (18 yrs) who is a senior in High school and a son Dino (13 yrs) who is at 7th grade. We live in a family house in a small village on the Adriatic Coast, Pirovac.
Our home is located directly on the beach. My husband and I have a Guesthouse where we host guests from many European countries during the summer period. We do our best to produce vegetables for our family and guests in our garden. Also, we produce homemade red wine and olive oil. Most of our daily activities are related to our Guesthouse. In the summertime, we try to provide our guests with great memories and in rest of the year, we make sure our house is ready to host. We have made many home improvements and DIY projects over the years. I like to blog about mine!
What is the name of your blog? When was it launched?
My blog is called "carpe_diem". It was launched 5 years ago, May 14th 2012. Most of my blog posts are DIY tutorials. At first, I was thinking of my blog as a kind of journal, something to remind me of my own projects. But, suddenly I realized that I have some followers who are genuinely interested into what I do. Imagine my surprise! And that's how I got my new love - blogging and interacting with similar minds.
What is the primary focus of your blog?
I mostly write DIY tutorials of my own projects; sewing, interior decorating, kids crafts, tips and tricks. But, I also share some recipes that I use in my everyday life.
List any awards you have won.
If you are referring to the blog awards, I am quite fortunate to have blogging friends who nominated me for Liebester Blog Award, One Lovely Blog Award, Premio Dardos, So Sweet Blog Award...
Are you a Brand Ambassador and if so, for which companies?
I am not a Brand Ambassador right now. I was contacted by several Brands, but our cooperation could not be achieved because I do not live in USA. I would like to become one, though. One of my favorite brands is Kreg Jig.
I was asked to write some product reviews on my blog, mostly by Glassess USA and similar companies, and I did. I really enjoyed presenting their products to my readers and supporting their interest in approaching new markets, such as my country.
What is your favorite social media outlet?
The first thing I do when I open my laptop is to go through my email, both business and personal. Then I open my FB account and soon I discover all the news and events that interest me; local news and events, world wide news, weather forecast. I am connected to most of my "physical" friends, but also I keep in touch with many "virtual" friends that I have met during my blogging years. I feel that Facebook's performances and abilities have helped me get connected with my blogging buddies even stronger because we are in immediate interaction, no matter what part of the world we live at. Browsing through photos of my blogging FB friends and reading their posts are source of an inspiration for me. I've made my FB "world" to fit my needs, a world where I can relax and recharge my batteries from time to time.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to moms who may be interested in beginning a blog?
Organize! Organize your life, your family and home chores and your own needs so you have some spare time to blog. If you do this well, you will not feel guilty of conscience about something you have missed to do.
Share the name of a blog you read regularly (besides your own).
Ana White - amazing woman, amazing building plans, amazing energy.
The Kim Six Fix - DIY tutorials, great sence of humor.
Love Grows Wild - DIY Farm decor, tutorials, great projects and photos.
Prodigal Pieces - refinished furniture
Interior Frugalista - love her style!
Are you an entrepreneur or professional beyond your blog (and outside of being a mom)? Please share.
Having a Guesthouse and working in it had many benefits for me as a young woman/mother. I was able to run a business directly from our kitchen table while keeping my children close to me. Many times my personal and professional lives overlap. Our guests feel like home once they get to know my children, sleep in the room that I have arranged, eat food that my husband and I prepare for them and for our family, as well. Having an occupation like this has boosted my creativity and ability to expand my interior design potential, to figure out my own style. Also, it gave me many opportunities to try some DIY projects that I love so much; sewing, refinishing furniture, decorating. And most important, it gave me ideas for many many blog post!
Do you support – either formally or informally – a particular social cause?
I am a member of several civil society associations, predominantly humanitarian. My last activity was related to the collection and organization of aid for flood victims two years ago. I was also a member of a non-political association of women who ran to the local council and did some changes in local community such as setting a speed bump in front of the kindergarten and introduction of the pedestrian zone around the playground park for children.
When all is said and done, how do you want to be remembered?
I wouldn't mind if I was remembered as a "crazy grandma" - a fun person to be around with!
If you still haven’t made vacation plans this summer and need a respite, Ana-Marija Baric knows exactly where you should go. She can also help you arrange your own home to feel a bit more like a vacation place through her skilled hands and DIY ideas. All you need do is reach out to her and read carpe_diem to accomplish both. Your “lazy days of summer” just became ever more interesting, now didn’t they? Believe me, you (especially you, moms) will thank me when August rolls around!