Holiday · Interests and Hobbies · Life · travel

Guest post series #placestovisit – Why I Love My Adopted Home In Barcelona & Why You Should Too?

Today’s post is written by Charlie from world of travel photography, if you would like to know more about Charlie, please scroll down to the bottom of this post where you can find his details.

You may have heard about Barcelona in the news quite a lot recently. Since summer 2 major events have taken place which haven’t exactly painted the city in the best light, which is why I feel so passionate about writing this post. First there was the, quite frankly sickening, terrorist attack back in August and more recently the unrest about Catalonia (the region in Spain where Barcelona is located) voting to become an independent state and attempting to break away from Spain.

Both of these events however do not define this beautiful city that I have come to call my home and I feel as though the other side of the story needs to be told.

Firstly let me start by saying this isn’t going to be a politically driving post, this is just me showing you why I love it here and why, if you haven’t already, you should plan your next escape to this little corner of the world full of so much culture, fun and things to do.

Let’s start with a little background information

You can think of Spain as less of a country as a whole and more of a union of smaller regions which came together to form what we know as Spain today. In total there are 17 autonomous regions within the country which have varying degrees of independence from the central government in Madrid.

Catalonia is one of these autonomous regions.

You might think that in Spain the language everyone speaks is Spanish right? Well while this is true for 99% of the population there are also 3 other main languages spoken, the largest of these other languages is Catalan which is from Catalonia. In total 17% of the entire country of Spain speak Catalan (as well as traditional Spanish, or Castellano to give it its true name) so you can see that Catalan culture is well and truly alive and kicking.

This strong connection to their roots makes Catalans and the city of Barcelona a melting pot of traditional Spanish culture and Catalan culture. If your thinking ‘well Catalan can’t be that different from Spanish’ you’re wrong. It’s not a dialect, it is its own language entirely. I speak Spanish and can only just about understand the odd word of Catalan here and there.

The fact that the people of Barcelona identify so strongly as Catalan rather than solely Spanish is the reason the independence movement has gained so much momentum recently, but like I said this isn’t a political article so let’s move on to one of my favourite things about the city.

The architecture  

Barcelona is known the world over for its stunning buildings, mostly thanks to the 19th century architect Antonio Gaudi who used the city as his playground for creating his masterpieces. His most famous piece being the Sagrada Familia, a unique church that takes pride of place in the centre of the city.

The Sagrada Familia

It’s impossible to come to Barcelona and not see some of his creations. They are dotted all over the city, each one unique but at the same time distinctly ‘a Gaudi’.

Casa Batllo, another one of Gaudi’s creations

And finally we come to Park Guell. Gaudi designed it as a place for the local community to enjoy his unique style of architecture whilst looking out over Barcelona with a clear view all the way down to the sea.

Park Guell

The cities’ easy going vibe and eclectic mix of nationalities

Barcelona is anything but unwelcoming. As you walk through the narrow alleyways of the Gothic Quarter or down the famous La Rambla you will hear every language being spoken under the sun. The city is a metropolis in the true sense of the word, people from all over come to Barcelona to both visit and make a new life for themselves. Everyone is welcome here.

(PHOTO 5 Caption: La Rambla)

What sets this place apart from other big European cities is something intangible, its vibe. This is largely thanks to the fact Barcelona is situated on the coast and has a beautiful beach which for some reason seems to make everyone take life just that little bit slower. During the summer months people sunbath by the Mediterranean Sea, others can be seen playing volleyball and laughing with their friends. Then at night the beach turns into a chilled out bar under the stars, groups of friends sitting on the sand with beers and sangria in-hand chatting away late into the night.

Barcelona Beach found right on the cities’ door step

The food

You can’t talk about Spain without talking about the food. This gets even more interesting when in Barcelona. The Spanish/Catalan mix really comes out when eating in this part of Spain. While you can still get a great Paella you’ll also find other traditional Catalan dishes with a Spanish influence on the menu.

Traditional Pa Amb Tomàquet Flickr Creative Commons Credit

Find a great little local cafe and order Pa Amb Tomàquet (toast with blended tomatoes and plenty of olive oil) for breakfast, or if you’re there in the right season some char grilled Calçots (a type of long thin onion that is cooked over bare flames and served with Romesco Sauce).

Calçots & Romesco Sauce Flickr Creative Commons Credit

I hope I’ve inspired you to visit my favourite city in Europe, if I have I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. If you have any questions about Barcelona drop them below as well and I’ll make sure I reply and help out as much as I can!

Thanks for reading.

The Author

Charlie is a travel photographer who shares his experiences and work over on his blog World of Travel Photography. Since a young age he has been passionate about travel and using photography to document the world as he sees it. Recently he has turned his attention to helping his readers get on the same path and turn their hobby of photography into part-time or even full-time work.

Blog | Instagram

Fashion

Top tips in choosing a party dress

It’s the time of the year again when Christmas is fast approaching and you know what is that mean? Party party party….so shopping for a party dress is on the list.

I honestly love dresses and I have loads in my wardrobe that I always end up confused as to what to wear when I get invited to special occasions such as a Christmas party.

Choosing the right party dress can be daunting if you feel like nothing suits your body shape, style or budget. For me, I like to look around and one of my favourite place to look at is the party dresses from quiz. One of my favourite dresses I wore at Christmas was from them.

Quiz offers a great selection of dresses so there is something for everyone. When it comes to an evening party, you could never go wrong with sequin dresses that will make you stand out from the crowd.

Make other women green with envy with this beautiful green sequin dress.

Royal blue definitely gives a wow factor to any body shape either a skinny or with curve.

Be the lady in red and look sizzling hot with this style. This remind me of the dress I wore on a Christmas party with friends.

Be that elegant lady in navy and look divine in either short or maxi dress.

Gold will makes you look like a million dollar goddess and this remind me of one gold sequins dress I wore one new year.

With so many choices nowadays, dress shopping can be a nightmare. Don’t worry because finding that perfect dress is now easy with this tips from my fellow bloggers who shared their ideas for choosing the right party dress.

Katie from Mummy in a tutu said, In person shopping can be stressful. Order a few dresses online and then try them on in the comfort of your own home. Then just return the ones you don’t like. Simples.

Hayley from Devon Mama said, Try sitting down in it as well, I’ve had so many dresses that are lovely when stood up but SO uncomfortable to sit in – definitely something to bear in mind for a party that involves eating!

Ann from Rainbows are too beautiful said, Think comfort. Parties can be stressful too so don’t put in an added pressure via a dress that’s annoying

Lynette from Reclusive Fox said, Wear the dress that you’re most comfortable in. At the very least you don’t want to be dealing with sequins sticking in your boobs! If you’re comfortable you’re more likely to forget about the outfit and focus on the fun of the night.

Emma from The Money Whisperer said, Can you see the Spanx through it 😂 (essential nowadays!)

Laura from Five Little Doves said, Always think about what kind of bra you can wear with it! My days of going bra-less are over after 5 kids!

Holly from Thrifty Mum said, Is it something you’ll wear more than once? Otherwise it might be worth renting a dress instead.

Naomi from Not a perfect parent said, There are always plenty of dresses in a sale, It’s always my first go to place now. I managed to pick up the dress for my daughter’s christening for a bargain £9 that had been reduced from £70!!

Clare from Wild Mama Wild tribe said, Order lots and try on with a friend in nice natural light and a glass of wine! not a grotty changing room then use free returns to send bad ones back

Nyomi from Nomi Palony said, Take photos of you wearing the dress – often, how something looks on camera is not the same as in the flesh.

Debbie from My Boys Club said, Don’t get hung up on the size on the label – go for the one that fits.

Clare from Emmys Mummy said, Wrap style dresses are very forgiving and go for patterns or darker colours as they hide and spilt drinks by the end if the night lol

Folakemi from Peacocks can fly said, Try several and ensure they blend with the accessories,heels and the bra you intend to use with it. if it feels uncomfortable it probably looks uncomfortable.

*Collaborative Post

Days out · Life · travel

Guest post series #placestovisit -Alternative Things To Do in London.

Today’s guest post is written by Daniel from travel weekly and he is going to share about alternative things to do in London. if you would like to know more about Daniel, please scroll down to the bottom of this post where you can find his details.

I have the privilege to live close to the capital city of the UK, London. It’s home to a wonderful range of things to explore and see in London. I have rounded up my top 10 things to do in London from my extensive time testing

Try one of the many Rooftop bars.

As London always builds skyscrapers. With some theses comes a rooftop bar. With the warmer weather slowly returning to the UK. It would be a great idea to go to one of the many rooftop bars. One rooftop bar that used to be a car park is now a rooftop bar and it is situated in Peckham and called Frank’s Café. There are hundreds more of rooftop bars, but they are more expensive.

CATCH A QUIRKY Rooftop cinemas screening.

Leicester Square you might think is the best place to go to the cinema but they are very pricey. Instead, try one of London’s quirky cinemas. On a nice sunny day why not try out one of London’s many outdoor cinema options. Luna Cinema holds screenings in London Park and the sky Garden. Also looking something more different, try out the Rooftop Film Club that turns the rooftops in east London to a cinema for a night that cost £15 for a single ticket. Head below ground in winter to the vaults under Waterloo Station for the Underground Film Club. You can get some rooftop Cinemas that come with a Jacuzzi cinema.

Explore what little Venice has to offer.

Little Venice, with its beautiful canals and waterways, can be found just to the north of Paddington., This picturesque neighbourhood is home to quirky waterside cafes, cosy pubs, and charming restaurants. Regent’s Canal starts for Little Venice and ends in the Docklands. One restaurant I have been in Little Venice is a nice Cafe Laville. They serve great quality Italian food with views of the canal.

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THE HIDDEN ROOF GARDENS OF KENSINGTON.

After a long day of exploring London’s great spots. Why don’t you try the Kensington roof gardens? It is a great spot to just wind down and relax. It is also a rooftop restaurant that is hosting 1.5 acres of fruit trees, shrubs, lavender and plenty of other greenery. They even have real flamingos, exotic ducks, and stream full of fish. The great thing about it that it is free entry but check when it is free to the public, as they provide lots of private functions.

Junkyard golf

The junkyard golf club is a crazy golf with nine themed putting greens in Brick Lane. The place is made from reclaimed junk. Everything from Barbie dolls to car body parts has been used. As well as the nine-hole ‘green’, Junkyard Golf Club features a large bar area, a kitchen run by the Fabulous Burger Boys. Tickets only cost £9.50 to play.

Rooftop East

Rooftop East is a rooftop bar and events that is on the top floor of a car park in Stratford, Has a wide range of activities that change all the time to keep you occupied so check the website as now they have ice-skating and curling, In the past they have done bowling, golf, baseball and lost more activities. Prices are mid-range in the grand scheme of things, but the good news is you won’t be paying through your nose for a glass of wine.

About the author

Daniel cowen-Rivers

I am a budding travel blogger who travels the world and shares my experiences and travel expertise via social media and through my blog.

I’m 22 years old and originally from Buckinghamshire, England. I specialize in Photography, I try and spend a much of my free time traveling as I can at every opportunity!

I started this blog to showcase the destination I have been too and helpful travel tips o help people travel more.

Blog | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Holiday · Interests and Hobbies · Life · Live, love, laugh

Places to visit guest Post series

Who doesn’t like travelling?! I’m sure you all have a bucket list of places you want to visit or a dream holiday. I love to go on holiday and I would love to travel more if only possible but at the moment it’s limited because my boys were still little. However, it’s nice to indulge and get inspiration from travel bloggers who are happy to share their experiences and recommended places for a holiday or travel destination.

Since travelling is one of our interests but we can’t do as much as we would like at the moment that we are launching a “places to visit” guest series

The #placestovisit guest series will be a new Wednesday regular weekly feature on the blog and aims to feature fellow bloggers sharing their traveling diary, experiences, holidays and recommended places they have visited, uk and abroad. It would be a valuable insight to hear their journey of adventure so that when our turn comes, we will be ready and things we learn from their post will be handy for travelling.

The first guest post will start next week. If you would like to take part in this guest series and would like some more information please message me to get in touch.

Philippines

Since we originally came from the Philippines, I would kick start this guest series by showcasing you why you should visit the philippines.

The Filipinos

The people in the philippines is very welcoming and hospitable when it comes to visitors. They are more than happy to offer the best thing they have just to pleased their guest. They are very generous, entertaining and always smiling. They have a cheerful personality that makes you happy as if like there is sunshine everywhere.

The foods

There is a wide varieties of food choices in the philippines since many restaurant cater many different cuisines either Chinese, English, Japanese food and many more so you there is something for everyone. However, your travel to the country won’t be complete without trying filipino foods.

Accessories · Health & Beauty · Life · Product review · Style

Xtava curling wand review

My hair is naturally straight so a bit of curling wand can give it a volume and style sometimes. It’s my first time to try xtava brand. It comes on it own packaging which looks presentable and would make a great gift.

The pack content included a travelling bag, heat resistant glove to protect your skin from getting burn. Everything you need to know is in the user manual. The wand or barrel appeared to be a bit thick compare to other curling wand. This is the only thing I can fault because it’s difficult to reach the back of your hair especially if you have a short length.

You can turn it on & off at the middle button and you can control the temperature with the left and right arrow button. The temperature does heat up quickly. It does provide a good quality of curl which is nice. I thought it’s a good value of money for its price of £20 at Amazon ( price at time of this review ) I’m pleased with this product and would definitely recommend it. Check out my video review on YouTube.

Disclaimer : I was sent the xtava curling wand for the purpose of this review. However, all thoughts and opinion are my own.

beauty · Health & Beauty · Life · Product review · skincare

Vitapacks whitening beauty products review

While I was in the philippines I was sent product to try and test. Vitapacks sent me a set of beauty product which includes soap, lotion, face mask and mega white supplement. While it is a big thing in the UK to use fake tan and try to brown your skin more, in the Philippines it is popular to have pale skin and less tan, so you get whitening products instead of tanning products.

The soap is 8 in 1 which has anti-aging, anti-blemish and many more. What I love about this soap is that it doesn’t melt very easily and it doesn’t dry up my skin compare to other whitening product I have tried before. Some whitening soap is a bit strong and does sting on my face but this one is gently and smells nice too. My face has got few pimples after I came back from my holiday and they slowly disappear after using the soap. I’m pleased with the result because it even Out the dark tan lines I got from wearing my eye glasses.

The lotion smells nice and has a lovely texture. It’s not thick or heavy, it just feels perfect when applied on my skin. I feel like it moisturises my skin and evens out the tan lines patch area that I have such as my wrist watch mark which is slowly fading. I love this lotion, it’s one of the best whitening I have ever tried.

The face mask is so amazing. It feels luxurious on the skin and makes it feeling softer and nice to touch. It’s so refreshing once applied and makes my skin looking fresh after using it.

The supplement seems effective as few people notice that I’m glowing and complimented me. Looking at my before and after photo, I can definitely see some difference and changes. My skin appeared brighter and more looking good compare to the tired and dull looking one before trying them all. I’m really pleased with the result and I would definitely recommend them if you want to use them not just because of the lightening reason but also to even out your skin tone and have a bit of glow. What I love about this product is also doesn’t irritate my skin or it’s not harsh compare to other whitening brand I have tried in the past. It won’t give you an instant whitening effect but you can definitely see the difference after using them.

Disclaimer: Vitapacks set of product was sent to me for the purpose of this review but this does not not affect my thoughts and opinion after testing them. I’m only sharing my experience after trying them but bear in mind that everyone has a different reaction on every products.

halloween · Life · Ocassion · Style

Throw A FANGTASTIC Halloween Bash

Image

Halloween is only a few weeks away, and many of us are running to the supermarkets to buy the perfect pumpkin to carve, plenty of candy for trick or treaters… and of course decorations for a party! Planning parties can be a little stressful, but mostly fun because you get to play around with idea and be as creative as you want.

The secret to throwing the spookiest party you can is to first plan the following things:

· Date and Time

· Who’s Invited

· Theme

· Scary or Fun?

· Food Options

The easiest place to hold a party is at home. You can decorate your whole house to feel like a haunted house, knock up some scary recipes in your cozy plan kitchen rand make the most of playing hostess for the night. You will be able to create the perfect ambience for your SPOOKTACULAR and keep all of your guests entertained!

To really add to the creepy atmosphere of a Halloween bash, why not hold it in your garden? You can set up a gazebo and hang up skeletons on the trees to scare people as they approach the house.

Some simple treats you could make can include:

· Jack Skellington Oreo Pops

· Spooky S’Mores Dip (paint the marshmallows to look like ghosts)

· Ladies Fingers (Sponge fingers and Jelly)

· Witches Cauldron Punch

Once you’ve decided on everything you want to create for your Halloween bash and who you’d like to invite, it’s time to decide whether you want a theme or not. Themed parties are fun and take everyone back to their childhoods, so this is a great option for you and will help you decide what kind of decorations and games to play.

GHOST : The simplest theme you can have involves everyone dressing up as a ghost. It could be a full glow in the dark costume or an old bed sheet, the choice is yours.

MOVIE MONSTERS : There have been some very iconic horror movies in the last few decades, and giving your guests free reign might give you some fun surprises. Someone will no doubt dress up as Pennywise, and don’t be shocked if you see a few Dracula’s and Freddy Krueger’s around.

CLOWNS! : If you don’t like clowns (we don’t blame you) then this theme is not for you. The theme is broad so you could end up with some cute, fun clowns and some that look downright evil.

VAMPIRES : Excusing Twilight from the list, vampires can be menacing and evil creatures. A vampire theme would involve lots of bats, coffins and BLOOD (strawberry sauce or wine for the adults)

ANCIENT EGYPT : Egypt is full to the brim of mythical creatures, Pharaohs and Mummies to make for a colourful and crazy party. Just make sure that you make room for some pyramids in the backyard.

MOVIE PARTY: Movies are always a great choice for a party. You could go for a magical Harry Potter theme, choose something more galactic like Star Wars, or even go full Superhero and have a Marvel theme

*Collaborative Post