Sunday, 30 July 2017

PLITVICE LAKES AND ZADAR, CROATIA || OUT AND ABOUT

So here is part two of my adventures through the land of Croatian beauty (click here for part one). After spending the day in Zagreb we took a very early morning bus to the Plitvice National Park. I think it is safe to say it is one of my favourite places I have ever visited. The water was a beautiful turquoise colour and incredibly clear - you could perfectly see all the fish swimming around.





The park is massive and there are different paths you can follow to explore it - some are only an hour or two and some will take up the entire day. Since we had a lot of time to spend in the park we decided to do the longest hike which was shorter than it was supposed to be - it must have taken us about 5 hours which is not too long given that we got to explore the entire park.  We also saw some big green lizards which scared me a tiny little bit but I got over it. 

As the walk was shorter than expected we decided to rent a rowing boat which was a great. We got to see some extra waterfalls and it was so much fun. I also discovered I was pretty decent at rowing... you'll see me in Tokyo in 2020.




Later that day we took another bus to Zadar where we explored the Old Town a bit before having dinner and going to bed early after the exhausting day we had had at the park.

The following day was spent in Zadar, and we discovered there isn't really much to do there other than wander around the pretty streets in the Old Town and walk along the promenade. Another cool thing was The Greeting to The Sun, which are essentially solar panels that light up after the sun sets. It was hard to get a good photo, specially because it gets reaaaally crowded but it was gorgeous. Near the solar panels you can also hear the Sea Organ, which according to the Internet is a 'music instrument which plays music by way of sea waves and tubes located underneath a set of large marble steps'. I could have never explained it so well. 










And this was our time in Zadar! The next post will be about our time in Split, one of my favourite cities!


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Thursday, 27 July 2017

PRINTING MEMORIES WITH PRINTIKI


I am a hoarder of memories, I love taking photos of literally everything and I love looking back at all those moments and relive them in my head. As much as I enjoy going on my photo library on my phone and scroll back all the way to 2009 where I looked like a too cool for school teenager, there is something about physical photos. It's like you're holding a piece of your life in your own hands. Not only that, but seeing just one photo capturing the moment instead of 50 slightly different ones makes it a bit more noteworthy and unique. 

So when Printiki kindly offered to send me some photos of my choice I was thrilled. They offer a range of products to showcase your favourite memories - photo albums, posters and prints. I decided to go for the Matte Retro Square M style, which are Polaroid style and you can even add some writing at the bottoms in beautiful handwriting. I opted out this option because I already had some Polaroids in my room and wanted them to match. 


The whole process is super easy, just go on their website and choose where you want to get your photos from - you computer, Instagram, Facebook, Google Photos, One Drive or Photobox. Then you can go through every photo and zoom in or out or adjust it so that it looks per-fect!

It's only £5.50 for 20 prints which is rather cheap for good quality Polaroid style photos. I personally love to put them on my wall as a decoration, it adds a personal touch to my room and looking at them always makes me happy and reminds me of some of my favourite memories. 

And to make it even better, if you use the following code: SFQX2MK9 you get free shipping! 





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Sunday, 23 July 2017

ZAFUL SWIMWEAR HAUL


It is hard to ignore all the beautiful swimwear on our Instagram feed, you know, those carefully staged photos of tan girls in stunning bikinis in front of crystal clear turquoise water. Whilst I can't offer you a holiday in the Maldives, I can offer you gorgeous swimwear with a very small price tag. 

When I am looking for cheap yet cute clothes I always like to have a browse on Zaful and, trust me, I always find something. This time I was looking for some swimwear and, as expected, I found it. Even though I was tempted to buy every single design I laid my eyes on, I decided to behave and only got two bikinis. 


The first one is one that I have been wanting for ages. The bottoms have a palm tree leaves pattern which looks super summery, they are a bit cheeky but that's something I don't really mind and I think they look great. The top is a beautiful peachy pink colour, and I adore the crossed back (I won't like the tan lines as much though). The one thing I don't like about online shopping is having to guess my size - after carefully analysing all the reviews I decide to order a size M. For reference I am a size 32D and UK size 8. Technically, the bikini fits me but ideally I would have ordered a size S for the bottoms and a size L for the top. Unfortunately, you can't order different sizes for tops and bottoms. Nevertheless, I still love the bikinis and I am definitely going to wear them loads. 

The other bikini that I got was  this sort of striped bikini. This one is more 'family friendly' as the bottoms aren't cheeky at all. The tops has a gorgeous back - which took me nearly 15 min to figure out how it is meant to be worn. I ordered a size S for this one and it fits me very well, so when ordering from Zaful I would recommend you read the reviews as a guide to figure out which size to get.


Finally, I also decided to get a a pair of earring because I barely ever get new ones and I thought it was about time. These look so beautiful on and are perfect for every day wear.  They are great because they are kind of 2 in 1. You can wear them either with or without the bottom bit. 


Overall this order was only about $30 which I think is pretty great for what I ordered, considering a single bikini can easily cost $30 or more at any high street store.

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Saturday, 15 July 2017

24HRS IN ZAGREB, CROATIA || OUT AND ABOUT

If you've ever spent a summer in London you'll know that, whilst London is absolutely beautiful in the sunshine, it doesn't really feel much like summer. Highs of 20˚C and only sporadic days of sunshine are not the representation of the well-known quote "summer, hair gets lighter, skin gets darker, water gets warmer, drinks get colder, music gets louder, nights get longer, life gets better".

Which is why after coming back to England from Spain, I escaped the clouds once again and run off to Croatia with a friend for about 10 days. I visited different cities and a couple of stunning National Parks. Instead of doing one massive post, I decided to do one for each place so that I can explain everything in more details. 

We flew from London to the capital, Zagreb where we spent the day. We didn't have much of a plan and everything we wanted to see seemed to be vert close together in the Old Town so we took an Uber there and wandered around. If you visit Croatia I would definitley recommend using Uber instead of public transport as it is similar prices and obviously much more convenient. I only spent about £20 in 9 days and we took at least two-three ubers per day.

We took an Uber to the Railway Station and then walked from there towards the Zrinjevac Park. After walking to the Trg bana Josipa Jelacica (Main City Square) we went to the Dolac Market where we got some incredible fresh fruit to snack on and a pastry for lunch. And that was the day we discovered Croatians love cheese in their pastries, I love cheese but not even I would eat that much cheese. 





We also visited the Cathedral and then walked to the Upper Town where we got some breathtaking views of the city and stumbled upon the Giant Whale Mural by the French artist Etien.
Since neither of us knew much about the history of the country we decided go visit the Croatian History Museum, which was only 5HKR (about 50p), and taught us all we needed to know about the recent war and how it affected Croatia.




After that, we walked around the Upper Town for a bit before going to the Museum of Broken Relationships which to be honest wasn't as cool as we were expecting but still worth visiting if you don't know what else to do.



 After all that walking and our 6:30AM flight we had been on earlier, we were quite tired and hungry so we went on the hunt for some good Croatian food. We ended up going to a place called Nokturno where I had some incredible Black Risotto for a very decent price, the restaurant was located in a very lively and cute uphill street with many other restaurants.

Overall, I would say I enjoyed Zagreb more than I expected but I also think a day is more than enough to visit everything and to enjoy the city without getting bored. It is also the cheapest city we visited in Croatia so if you want to get some nice seafood for a good price do it there!


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Tuesday, 11 July 2017

FAVOURITE MAC LIPSTICKS FOR SUMMER




When it gets hotter in summer I usually stay away from make up, specially during the day as sweat and foundation is not a great combination. However, for special occasions or for the evenings when it gets a bit colder, I like to wear minimal make up which usually includes lipstick as I feel like a nice lip always makes it look you spend twice the time getting ready. 

Many high-end brands like YSL, Clinique and Chanel have wonderfully pigmented lipsticks with incredible formulas but they also come with a higher price tag. My favourite brand for lipsticks is MAC - sure, it is not as cheap as drugstore brands like Rimmel but I personally think that the difference in quality is worth the price jump.

Unlike some bloggers, I don't have a massive MAC lipstick collection of 40 shades but I do have some and I also have a few that are my favourites. A few shades that I just can't get enough of, and that I'll know I'll repurchase once I use them up.

My most recent purchase is the shade Kinda Sexy in a Matte finish. It is a brown nude colour which is surprisingly not drying for how matte it is. I have very dry lips so most matte lipsticks are literal torture for me, MAC is one of the only few brands that has matte lipsticks that I can actually use. I love this shade for everyday wear or for when I'm going for a more natural look.


Next is a classic: Russian Red in a Matte finish. Who hasn't heard about this shade? It is one of MAC's best sellers and it's no wonder why - it is the perfect shade of red, not too dark not too light and it's matte. Perfect combo. I used this shade when I am trying to pretend I am classy and all that...

Finally, let's talk about the first MAC shade I ever bought: Impassioned in Amplified finish. I don't usually wear bright pinks but for some reason,  this specific colour really suits my skin tone - specially when I'm tan. So, whilst I stay away from it during the colder months when I resemble Casper the Friendly Ghost, I do use it very often in summer as it makes me look even darker which is always a plus. 


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Saturday, 8 July 2017

ZARA AND BRANDY MELVILLE HAUL




I feel like I start most of my hauls by making an excuse as to why I went shopping. Well, this time is going to be no different. If you've read my previous post you'll know I am currently in Croatia celebrating I graduated from uni. In preparation for my trip I went online and ordered a couple (literally) of things from ASOS. 

The first thing are a pair of round sunglasses. These look pretty much exactly like the RayBan Round Metal Sunglasses but were only £20 - the quality is obviously not as good but I am happy with them and they get the job done (i.e. making me look fab and protecting my eyes from the sun).

Believe it or not, I, someone who spends all her summers in Mallorca, hadn't bought any new bikinis in about two years. So, I was in need of some for my trip. I got this baby blue off-the shoulder style bikini top on ASOS but it's from the store Pimkie. And the best thing is that it was only £12!


A few days before my trip I went to Brandy Melville wanting to get some comfortable shorts - unfortunately they don't do the style I wanted anymore which was a bummer because I don't think I've ever worn such comfortable AND pretty shorts. I still managed to find something though, I got a plain baby pink slightly cropped t-shirt (wow, that was a long description). I couldn't find the exact top online, but here's the link to a similar one.As most Brandy Melville clothes, it is incredibly soft and fits perfectly. I am pretty sure I'll wear the heck out of this so £13 seems like a good price to me. 

As the good Spaniard that I am, it is expected that Zara is my favourite store, which it is. As I always do, I paid it a visit during my three weeks in Spain and got a few things. The first thing is this cream embroided off-the-shoulder top , I love wearing white and cream in summer and  I also love off-the-shoulder tops so I obviously had to get it. I also got these baby pink wide leg trousers (there seems to be a lot of baby colours in this haul) which look absolutely fantastic with the top I mentioned before.

And, for now, that is all people. But fear not, I'll be back soon with another haul. I always am.



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Wednesday, 5 July 2017

MY TRAVEL ESSENTIALS




Right now, I am in Croatia celebrating that I am officially done with university (I am still wondering how on Earth I made it out alive, but I did!).  Since I am currently abroad I thought it would be appropriate to show you what my travel essentials are. 

It goes without saying that things like passport, money, phone and chargers are essentials for everyone - you're not gonna get very far without you passport or the right currency. So, here, I am just mentioning 'extra' items, which you may not find absolutely necessary but I never go away without them. 

So first of all, food. Yeah, you know. I love food. Whilst I personally love to go grocery shopping when I am abroad and get some snacks that are exclusive to the country I am visiting, I also like to take some snacks with me. You never know when you'll have time to buy food once you're away and no one likes being hungry or airplane food- so cereal bars and Oreos are a must. 


Going on holiday usually means being on a plane/train/car for quite a while. This is specially annoying if it's a plane as there's usually no Internet access which means the flight can be VERY boring. I've found that the only thing that does wonders in making any flight bearable is Netflix. I always download way too many movies and TV shows butI am also never bored in planes soooo... 

This one might sound a bit odd but I never leave without meds (like paracetamol) and vitamins. Most of my holidays are not exactly relaxing beach holidays, they're more like walk around a city for 10 hours a day to make sure I see everything I want to see holidays. So needless to say after a one or two days like this I am exhausted, and multi-vitamins are my best friend. 

Suncream and sunglasses are definitley a must if I am going on holiday during summer (which I usually am). Sunglasses are important because I don't want to be squinting my eyes in all of my Insta photos, and well we all know suncream is very important to protect your skin from the sun. 

Finally, this is a bit of an odd one: Brandy Melville clothes. I know, how more basic can I even get? But what I mean by that is Brandy Melville style clothes, they don't necessarily have to be from there. Loose-fitting, fresh, comfy shorts, basic cropped tees and trainers are my go-to outfit when I know I'll be out all day in 30˚C weather.

What are your travel essentials?

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Sunday, 2 July 2017

BEST 5 FREE STOCK PHOTOS FOR BLOGGERS



Photos can make or break a post - use a crappy, badly lighted and low quality image and your post is likely to get less reads. This is specially true when sharing your blog post on social media, for better or for worse platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are all about looks. If you share a bright, pretty and high quality photo it is much more likely to get noticed. 

However, sometimes we just don't have the time or the resources to take those attractive photos. Whether you're on holiday, your camera is getting fixed or you lost your memory card - sometimes you need stock photos to keep your blog going. There are many sites out there who will give your a massive library of photos for a fee but guess what, you can also get incredible stock photos for free! 

I am sure I don't know all of them but there are a few I use more often than others and that never fail to provide fantastic images for my posts. Here are my three favourites.

CGScreative

This is my favourite site by far, it was created by the blogger Roxy at City Girl Searching. She has the most beautiful images which I love so much because they really go with my blog theme. The library is password protected so you'll have to join using your e-mail to get the password, but don't worry she won't spam you.

I honestly cannot rave about those images enough, if you like perfectly lit feminine stock images this is your site. Oh, and they are also all vertical which is just a bonus in my opinion as I much prefer them to horizontal ones.

Retika Nicole

Again, these are more on the feminine side. Unlike the ones from CGScreative - which are more white themed - these are bright and colourful beautifully styled flatlays. All she asks for in return is for you to give her credit if you're using one of her photos on your blog or Instagram, which is totally understandable! 


Haute Chocolate

To get access to some of bright and Instagram worthy images all you have to do is to sign up to the mailing list. You'll then get an e-mail that will take you to a dropbox folder where you will be able to download the images. When you sign up you'll get four stunning stock photos for free and then once more each month. 


Pexels & Unsplash

These two are quite similar. They offer a wide variety of stock photos ranging from nature shots to artsy coffee snaps. These are not as bloggery (yes, I just made up a new adjective) as the ones from CGScreative but there's nothing some editing can't fix.

What I love about these to sites is that they are great if I want a photo of something specific or if I want a cool landscape shot. They are all from great photographers and I have definitely used more than a few on my blog! Plus, you don't need an account and you don't have to sign up to any mailing list so it can't get any easier.






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