Long weekend in Copenhagen during advent

In case you missed all of my 54857 photos from Copenhagen on your Insta feed, I was there at the beginning of the month.

I was desperate for a weekend getaway with my mama before the craziness of Xmas hols kicks in, the baby fever around my sister’s second pregnancy flames up and I genuinely just wanted to hang with one of my favourite humans ever.

How to get there? I booked tickets that were fairly cheap for the advent season and the weekend. Mum’s was from Zagreb with Croatia Airlines there for £120 and mine was from Gatwick Airport with EasyJet for £98 (but you could get them for cheaper, depends on the airport, day and time of course) The flight was just under two hours during which I was watching first half of The Irishman.

Where to stay? We stayed in the v snazzy hotel practically in the centre of the city called AC Hotel by Marriott Bella Sky. You can’t miss the hotel from the cities sky-line as it’s seriously something. It’s very reasonably priced for all it’s gems and we were so lucky to get a room for the first weekend of December.

How to get around? Buy a CityPass. Yes, that is all you need. You can buy it at any station (and I highly recommend airport one, although we had a hotel shuttle pick us up). We then got 72 hours pass and it was around £30 for two. There is no faff to get around as trains and buses have very regular service and there is only 4, I repeat 4 lines SO IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO get lost. I navigated us with City Mapper app which was easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Places to visit/what to do? Copenhagen is absolutely stunning. Nyhavn is probably the most famous part where the infamous row of coloured houses on the canal. From there we took an hour-long boat tour (around £12 each) which was all of our sightseeing and it was lovely but a bit chilly. We saw whole of the city via boat and had a good view of The Little Mermaid statue, The Royal Danish Opera house, The Royal Library, etc. Strøget is the pedestranised street for shopping and yes I’ve done lots of my xmas shopping there, mainly because it was Black Friday weekend. All the Christmas markets are in the center and you can’t miss them. I’d also visit Tivoli Gardens, which is basically the Winter Wondeland of Copenhagen. The tickets are £20 each but you don’t have to pay for individual rides as all inc.

Food?Drinks? Where do I start??? the food is absolutely delicious. We are big fans of markets, which by the way are IMMENSE, so we tried to eat there as much as possible. There is Tivoli food hall and Torvehallerne which was our absolute favourite. There is no food or drink, or flower you can’t buy there. Breakfast in Laura’s bakery and ALL the cinnamon buns BECAUSE you simply can’t walk into Copenhagen and have none. Next to Laura’s Bakery, you can find the best coffee in the area at the coffee shop COFFEE COLLECTIVE. We also tried hyped Atelier September which didn’t disappoint but the coffee was bloody expensive however mucho worth it. I would also recommend Hidden Dim Sum & Gasoline Grill for sit down meals if case you need a change of scenery.

What did I like the most? My favourite thing about Copenhaygen is definitely it’s very relaxed atmosphere. Even on the Monday morning when we were having last breakfast and were getting ready to go to the airport, everyone was so chilled out it was contagious. No one uses their phones so surprise, surprise neither did we (as much!). Also all very beautiful danish people and Scandi and minimalist style were just haven for my eyes.

When is the best time to go? When do you want! We wanted a very hygge weekend packed with food, xmas markets and lights so we went in that period but we definitely want to go back in summer!

Hot tip: No need to take out any currency. I used my Monzo which is great and most places are cashless anyway. AND, yes I speak no Danish but they all speak English so you’re good!

NOVEMBER favourites.

Well December is here and with it a new round of monthly favourites. Without too much chitchat let’s dive right into what I loved/used/discovered the most in November.

Beauty & makeup

Nursem hand cream is the no 1 savior for my poor lil hands I over-wash in order to avoid germs. It’s designed by nurses for nurses ( so I should use it either way, eh?) The smell is bit funny like in a good way and it absorbs A-S-A-P. Works wonders!!!

Cowshed cuticle oil just really good oil if you need a bit extra hydration in this cooler months because dry cuticles are so not FETCH.

Exfolikate genuinely the best exfoliator I’ve ever used. If you head over to my morning routine post you can find more details there, but wanting to give it a shout out as saved my skin this past month!

Fashion & accessories

Teddy coat by Matalan – unfortunaley for you it’s out of stock, luckily for me I bought it on time and have been wearing it ever since. So damn cosy.

H&M jumper gives me a bit of brightness in gloomy Ldn days. It’s fast fashion and it is cheap but it’s great quality and perfect level of warmth.

Other

The Crown. and Olivia Colman instead of Claire Foy. Did I survive the change? I DID. OKAY, OKAY, OKAY! I can’t express how much I adore this show. SO. BLOODY. MARVELLOUS. It definitely was worth the wait and having no social life for two weeks to binge watch all 10 episodes of season 3 T-W-I-C-E.

Grey’s Anatomy is my favourite tv show of all time. YES it got it’s ups, and downs, like YES THE KILLED DEREK SHEPHERD and sent dr. Yang to freezing Switzerland but overall it’s about Meredith. And last few episodes before mid-season finale were a great reminder why I never gave up on the show.

The Irishman is a masterpiece by one of my fav movie directors, Martin Scorsese. It’s very much recommended if you like mafia movies which surprise, surprise I do. It’s surprisingly on bloody Netflix, and not surprisingly SO DAMN GOOD. IT’S like good old Hollywood. You’ve got them all: the great Robert De Niro, amazing Al Pacino and funny Joe Pesci starring. Do you seriously need more reasons?

Oatly barista edition a serious game changer when it comes to coffee. I honestly can’t tell the difference between this and cow’s milk in my FW (flat white). it’s worth EVERY penny especially for y’all vegans.

Valentina – Tina is my bestie who I only met a year ago, like for reals. It was our friendshipversary in Novemeber. I honestly thought I’ve got enough friends and like the best friends as I already slightly started lifting that bridge to my heart when T heard my shouting in Croatian one gloomy Thursday morning during nursery rhymes. I of course wasn’t shouting I was talking to my sister and excuse your posh bottom but that is how we communicate in Croatia. But Tina understands, she’s a Croat. We hit it off like Angie and Brad whilst he was still married to Aniston and we never looked back. Now I can’t even remember the day when I didn’t get a ten plus minutes long whats-app message. But specifically this last month, thank you for all your support and cheek cramps.

Did you try/ watched any of these? And what are your November favourites?

B x

*my monthly favourites are usually thing’s I’ve used/consumed and enjoyed the most in a past month and not necessarily something newThis post contains some affiliate links which means that if you buy anything via my link to a retailer, I’ll make a quid or two in commission, but it doesn’t cost you any extra.

All I want for Christmas! my ultimate Xmas wishlist

I don’t want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don’t care about the presents, UM WRONG!

I do care. Which sounds very obnoxious I know but here’s the thing: I DON’T ONLY CARE ABOUT THE PRESENTS I GET. I mainly care about what I’m gifting, the people I’m giving it to and obviously presents represent so much more than just things.

I decided to write my ULTIMATE XMAS WISHLIST. Again, I understand this is not content for everyone and BELIEVE ME, I won’t be doing “What I got for Xmas” because I found those a bit braggy HOWEVER, this is INSPO people! Ok? OK! I got few DM’s asking for my assistance in buying gifts so you could say I’m an expert by now 😀

We all have that list of things we want, “need”, desire from the bottom of our hearts. Whenever we see something we like we add it on, but we never really buy anything off that list. We can all very much survive without things on there.

In order to widen your horizons and expand your imagination, I wrote down mine. Hopefully you get a clearer picture of what you want/need and what to buy/gift someone.

So mums , sisters, brothers, boyfriends, girlfriends, best friends (or if you just wanna treat yo self, it is Christmas after all) TAKE NOTES I’m about to guide you through every millennial girl’s dream present list.

ALL IS WANT FOR XMAS IS

Jewellery – You can never go wrong with nice statement piece of jewellery. I mean diamonds are the girls best friends. But seriously, have a look at girls Insta feed. Is she sliver or gold kinda girl? Earring or necklace? All the info you need is always on Instagram. *Boys do be careful with small jewellery boxes around Xmas trees and kneeling etc. You don’t want a lady to get a wrong idea or in my case move away to another part of the World. Here’s five pieces I’ve been lusting for good two years now but no boyfriends in sight so I’ve already sent this links to my mum.

Tada & Joy – Star hoop earrings

Missoma – Gold Interstellar star drop necklace

Rock n Rose – Everly Rose Pendant Necklace

Missoma – Gold engravable round signet ring

Daphine – Oli ring

Beauty – we are currently in a very tricky territory and I’d suggest not to get this for someone unless you heard them talking about the specific product, OK? There is nothing as disappointing as when someone spends the money on you and you can’t/don’t want to use the product. One look in girls bathroom or Pinterest board and you will know what she likes. If still no clue and there is million ???? above your head, snap few photos and take that to a lady in let’s say Liberty, she’ll know what to do (or in my case just accidentally send screenshots to your siblings)

Frederic Malle- Portrait of a Lady

Hourglass – Ghost Ambient Lighting Edit

Laura Mercier – Translucent loose setting powder

Chanel Rouge Coco – Ultra Hydrating Lip Colour (in Cecile)

Fashion – again, unless someone shouts HINT whilst talking about the specific item, I would double-think about it. BUT that being said, a girl can never have too much clothes (THIS IS LIE, WE ALL HAVE TOO MUCH!!!) Please do consider to buy more sustainable brands, and don’t hesitate to spend few more £££ for more quality over quantity

Berghaus half zip fleece in black/grey

Nike Running air zoom gravity trainers

OB Knitted midi skirt

Anthropologie Pyjama bottoms

Glossier Sweathshirt

Books/ Stationary/Subscriptions – I genuinely miss the days I used to get books as gifts. And journals. And pens. Oh sweet teenagehood. Books are not just for the bookworms these days, ok? Maybe all that gal on the go needs is a audio books? Or is she more of a TV kinda gal? Sometimes, we just need to chill AND meditate.

LEUCHTTURM1917 Notebook

Pigma Micron Fineliners

An Edited Life by Anna Newton

Audible subscription

Life Lessons from Remarkable Women

Life long presents – this category makes my heart beat a bit faster because who is this adult person? Here’s few things that’d make my life a whole lot easier and I always find my friends to relate once I say it out loud

OB Jewellery Box

Muji Aroma Diffuser

Tripp suitcase

Echo Show 5

Foreo Luna mini 2

Heartwarming presents – something that will absolutely melt your gift recipient’s heart.

Personalised mug by Anthropologie to bring a morning coffee in.

Byredo Bibliotheque Candle whilst you prep them a bubbly bath.

Tickets of Book of Mormon, or any other West End show.

A facial or a massage in lovely Cowshed spa.

Your time.

*If possible, please do consider donating to a charity or providing for a person in need this holidays. And as remember, the best gifts are not material.

B x

Autumn/Winter glowy morning skincare routine

To some people skincare may sometimes seem a little superficial, but the truth is that beauty isn’t just buying the expensive products.

For me, feeling good about the way I look is boosting my confidence and the routine of applying skin care products to me classifies as self care.

But that being said, yes I am very much a skincare enthusiast. I always get compliments on my skin and I’ll admit, I have good skin. However, to say I have an elaborate skincare routine would be a massive understatement.

 I love talking skincare and I’m going to go pretty in detail about my morning skincare routine. I am very serious about the products I put on my face but I’ve tried and retired a LOT of formulas to find what works best for me and the frequency with which to use them.

Before we hop into the products that are currently sitting on my bathroom shelf let me say few important things.

Skin care is not a luxury but it can get a bit pricey. However, Clean and Clear products won’t cut it for me anymore. I’ve tried lots of products over the years and I still try lots, so if you have any questions/need recommendations please slide into my dm’s on Insta because that will make my day.

My skin is, well I don’t really know what my skin classifies as because every time the season changes so does my skin. But it’s a always gravitating towards being v sensitive, like it’s owner. I’ve had hell with it, but also was that girl who could get away with using Neutrogena grapefruit wash and blue Nivea cream (can we go back to that???)

Naturally, during colder months my skin gets a bit dry but also a bit pale and dull due lack of sun. I don’t get too many breakouts unless my period is on her way, but I do have blackheads on my nose which I try and get removed with facials.

I drink minimum of 2L water/ day. Plus green tea (and freshly pressed juices if there’s time)

I get at least 7-8 hours of sleep, 8-10 on the weekend!

I change my pillowcases and face towel once a week!

I never, ever, EVER sleep with my makeup on (happened maybe twice in a lifetime and it still hunts me)

Every single product below has been used for at least 4 weeks and I use them on daily basis (and few listed I reach for weekly, monthly, or for spot treatment). Whatever I used on my face I also bring down to my neck and chest and sometimes on my hands as well.

I’m after a very glowy and healthy looking skin. All this products work for me and I swear by every single one but if you have serious skin condition or you’re not sure about whether to use or not use something please ask a professional.

Here’s all the details on my current morning skincare routine. It’s going to look very complicated and long but I swear it takes no more than 5 minutes.

*This post contains affiliate links

Daily routine

5am: wake up! I roll out of bed whilst complaining about watching an extra episode of Friends rather than fall asleep earlier.

I brush my teeth, scrape my tongue and wash my face with ICE COLD WATER. To wake myself up, but also to reduce puffiness two bowls of pasta for dinner caused.

Now this might seem controversial, but I don’t wash my face with cleanser in the morning. I was advised by my dermatologist not to because it just removes the healthy layer of skin and it causes dryness. I double-cleanse in the evening and honestly that removes all impurities so I’m good. BUT if I do wake up incredibly oily after a cray-zay night out or if I work out in the morning I will wash it with my second cleanser, Glossier Milky Jelly cleanser.

But here’s what goes on n e x t

  1. Toner! This Cowshed refreshing toner is so good and just works great in the morning. Lavender has powerful antiseptic properties, while Chamomile soothes the skin. I spray it on the pad and swipe it across my face and neck. It removes surface impurities and prepares skin for the rest of my routine.
  2. Vitamin C Serum! Drunk Elephant Firma Day Serum. OHMYGOD. This particular serum is packed with antioxidants and essential nutrients for my skin. So, it’s basically great for anti-aging, breakouts, and helps give with skin that “glow” we all want! It’s v pricey, BUT HELLO MAMA I’M A GLOW GETTER. The very sleek packaging if I might say, says one drop is enough for all of the face and neck but it’s texture is very gluey so I apply three drops directly on my face, one of each cheeks and the forehead.
  3. Hyaluronic Acid Serum. The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 delivers lasting hydration and offers visible plumping and moisture retention so that skin looks smoother, softer and healthier.  Few drops on my hands to put all over my face and neck to give me that extra hydration. This might be one of the reasons I never look tired but let it be our secret, ok?
  4. Face Oil. Khiel’s Daily Reviving Concentrate. I just can’t get enough of this. I put three drops on my face and gently spread around it in with my finger tips. Which is followed by GUA SHA facial massage tool to properly massage it in and de-puff my face. Honestly I have no fucking clue if I’m doing it correctly because the amount of different ways showed in videos I watched on YouTube is just so overwhelming but two months in and I can genuinely see results. Face oil absorbs extremely quickly, makes me look very radiant and awake. Much happy with it.
  5. Face moisturizer. My all time favourite Origins GinZing Gel moisturizer that wakes up my dull, tired skin. I apply it all over my skin, neck and chest and I feel fully recharged. It’s main ingredient: COFFEE. Smells like heaven. Does wonders.
  6. Eye cream. QI ENERGY™ Ginseng root & ginger brightening eye fix. Fights under eye puff, hydrates and soothes I mean, YAS. I take a generous amount and gently tap in under my eyes, but also on my cheekbones and above brows (just like a highlighter) and on my eyelids. My tired eyes love it.
  7. Lip Balm. Glossier Balm Dotcom because we mustn’t forget the LIPS.

In the winter months, mid Oct-mid March I don’t apply SPF if I’m putting on my foundation because there’s spf in it. However when I’m going make up free, which is quite often lately I use Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defence SPF 30. It’s perfect for daily use as this non-sticky formula doesn’t leave behind any unwanted texture or residue with zero white cast. Doesn’t break me out. And most importantly my face, neck and chest are protected.

Weekly routine

Once a week, usually Sundays I do a mini pamper routine which includes

A scrub. I’m using Kate Somerville ExfoliKate® Intensive. I like to use it in the shower because the steam helps open pores for a deeper clean, which is actually the tip I got from a lady who works there. It’s green and yes I look like Shrek when I apply it but it washes away my week and mistakes and leaves me with the smoothest skin reflecting my prettiest day time princess Fiona.

A face mask. There is not such a thing a good chilly sheet mask can’t fix. I do it once a week, usually on Sunday. For better effect I keep it in the fridge 30 minutes before and it genuinely makes all the difference. There is no brand I use all the time but my current favourites: Soap & Glory Speed Plump Miracle Moisture Mask, The Dr. Jart+ Dermask Rubber Mask Moist Lover & Garnier Fresh Mix Face Sheet Shot Mask with Vitamin C.

If I break out

Dots for Spots® Original Acne Absorbing Patches are my saving grace. They are disgusting yes, but let me tell you how it works. You pop it on your spot and leave it for minimum of six hours or simply overnight. No one will ever know it’s on, OK? After a while you’ll see the translucent centre has turned opaque white. You peel if off and voila, NO SPOT anymore.

Monthly

I try to get facial once a month but with this crazy busy life I probably go once every 2-3 months.

I told y’all a information overload is coming but I promise, the routine is way more simpler when you’re doing it vs writing it! I just wanted to explain what each product does and why I like it.

If you’re struggling to know where to start with a skincare routine browse the Net or watch the Tube, there is plenty of advice based on your skincare type out there. I’m also here if ya need anythang babe!!!

ps. Give it at least 4-6 weeks to see the changes 🙂

Detoxing, digitally.

So here we are, digital detox.

I am 25 and yes social media is a big chunk of my life, ok Karen?

I know it such a silent action but it makes me feel like I’m not alone. Like I’m in a room full of people and I’m talking to them about my current worries, which I am forever thankful for.

I’ve created my own little community on Instagram and it’s my safe space to pour out my high and my lows. I’ve started my Instagram profile as a diary during my cancer journey but found it very helpful after that as well, so it’s been like good 8 years for crying out loud.

It balances my mental health, mostly because I don’t talk about my darkest moments to anyone but my mum or my therapist. So why not share it with strangers all over the world. It’s pretty damn great but I also realise it is not for everyone.

Equally, I need a break from it. From time to time. I do and it has to do with me getting v self-involved and just getting fed up with seeing my own face and hearing my own voice.

PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE AND PICK UP YOUR LIFE.

And just giving my brain a sweet break. Slowing down and not being in control. Basically switching off a world that’s oddly very loud and flashy and having a moment of silence. That’s how I feel when I’m not on social media, my brain is silent. And it makes me feel lonely. But I love being by myself. With my thoughts. And silence. It recharges me.

Not knowing what’s everyone’s up to is often isolating. But guess what? I can survive if I don’t know what someone’s eating and wearing or kissing or driving! Most times it’s actually oddly refreshing.

In the past I would get serious fomo from stalking other people’s profiles and would occasionally feel like poop based on the facts that

a) I don’t have plump lips or perky boobs (now days both proven to be very fake), a Bentley, 2358295 designer bags, and I’m not gifted a floating house to stay at in Indonesia’s top hotel resort

b) my school mates have husbands, and houses and babies and I’m not even sure I want a baby but OK

c) I would waste my time, like literally hours of time on going down that internet’s rabbit hole that would lead me to my neighbour’s boyfriend’s cousin’s cat’s sister’s profile and like what fresh hell?

But here I am. Having a healthy relationship with social media and shit,

who am I?

Having a detox or a break from your socials is actually very easy although it might feel like a end of a world to you.

I started with genuinely 5 minutes a day.

I didn’t reach for my phone the minute I woke up. I kept it in my pocket whilst walking down the street.

It’s as simple as that.

I didn’t give up my phone and went living in the wild with monkeys.

I took small steps,

And slowly, I built it up. I trained my brain muscles.

I stopped taking it the bathroom (we all do it ok?).

Didn’t take it out of my bag whilst talking to a friend. I was present in a moment.

A for a hot minute I felt very much content, but there was a period when I’d feel myself itching for my phone, like a real ass junkie.

I was v anxious when I was offline as much as I was online and I was in the big freaking limbo but I found it helpful to delete the actual apps of the phone. That way I’d prevent myself from habitually having a cheeky look at the feed.

Once I got in a routine of not checking my phone ALL THE TIME, I started practising my social media breaks more frequently.

I don’t use my phone at least 45 minutes before bedtime (unless on a night out!)

I stay completely offline once a week.

I like to put down my phone and pick up my life. Live more intentionally. It is not the easiest thing to do sometimes but it is a great way to exercise mental self-care.

I can only urge you to try it for you and your well being.

B x

BEAUTY PIE and everything you need to know about it

Today is all about my latest beauty and skin care obsessions the BEAUTY PIE.

For those of you who don’t follow me on Instagram, hi this is my profile so have a look and if you like what you see don’t be scared to press follow, as I don’t bite most of the time. But for all you who do, you’ve probably seen me talk about Beauty Pie.

The BP is the first luxury beauty product buyers club.

So this is how it works and FYI it’s totes simple.

You pick one of four possible memberships and sign up for it. According to your membership you get a amount of months spending limit (but don’t worry as they offer top ups as well!!!) and you buy your products for the BUYERS CLUB PRICES, WHICH IS SO FREAKING CHEAP!

My membership is £10/month which gives me £100/month rolling spending limit.

An eye cream I got was £40 for full price and £6.80 for my members price, so £33.20 was covered by my spending limit.

You see, it’s so AFFORDABLE! Which is what we need, because skincare is an essential and we don’t want to be broke for flawless complexion, ok?

Why so cheap you wonder? NO SCAM LOVE. Here’s is how they do it.

They do all their products, packaging, testing & safety warehousing and VAT in DA HOUSE so the don’t pay for middlemen, shop fits, retailer markup or celebrity marketing. Damn, that’s smart AF.

What I really love about BP is that they have such a wide range of skincare but they also sell make up, hair care, body care, perfumes AND CANDLES. You know you will not only find something for you but for your mum as well.

Another great feature is that if you don’t feel very spendy one month, DON’T YA WORRY HUN! You spending limit just rolls over to another month so you can have a proper spending spree for yourself, you know Xmas is coming so maybe for someone else too?

All their products are cruelty FREE! And most are classified vegan, but some aren’t so do check with their customer service if that’s your thing!

Here’s the products I got so far in case you need some inspo:

PLANTASTIC™ APRICOT BUTTER CLEANSING BALM

QI ENERGY™ GINSENG ROOT & GINGER BRIGHTENING EYE FIX

PLANTASTIC™ MICROPEELING SUPER DROPS

SUPER RETINOL CERAMIDE-BOOST ANTI-AGING FACE SERUM

SUPER RETINOL (+ VITAMIN C) NIGHT RENEWAL MOISTURIZER

SHIMMERBAR™

With my link you get your first month FREE and I get £50 of spending limit. SO IT’S A WIN-WIN, ok? ALSO, use PROMO CODE BPSHIMMERBAR at checkout to get my current fave bronzer (see the last photo) for FREE with your first membership. (While supplies last!)

I’m currently waiting for my new products and I am so excited. Believe the hype!!!

Are you a member? And if so, what’s your faves?

If you’re not, that’s ok! but IF YOU DO ONE THING FOR YOUR SKIN THIS YEAR, DO THIS…

When life gives you lemons.

November gives me chills. And not because it’s freaking cold outside but because November is my reminder. Reminder to be grateful for being alive.

So here’s the thing, I had cancer. And before you give me your pity and puppy eyes, please note that I said had. Which means I have no more. And yes it was “traumatic” and fucking hard but truth be told there is people who are going trough worse shit every day so let’s just acknowledge that, and that I am not anymore. I am healthy.

I don’t mean to sound like a twat. I’m sure you’re very kind and respectful individual, and asking if I’m ok? is more than nice but I don’t want this story to be my cancer story. Simply because I’m not ready to share it yet. I’m still bubbling it in my inner self and trying to form it into words that won’t sound too painful but also too vain. But that story will come out one day. And it might be an essay, it might be a book, who knows? But this is not it.

This November marks eight years of me getting leukaemia diagnosis and I’ve been reflecting A LOT. Whenever I catch myself being ungrateful little shit and care for material more than I should (which I hate to admit I’ve been doing quite a lot lately) I just stop and give myself a huge fucking reminder how good my life actually is.

Apparently there are two kind of people in the world: when life gives you lemons you can either throw them back at it or squeeze them and make a lemonade. However I’m more of a take a lemon, slice it and bite into it after shoot of tequila kinda gal.

What can I say, I do love tequila. But also I am not letting anything or anyone else being in control of my life.

I spent too long just sort of drifting and letting things happen to me. Both good and bad things. And I know how fucking miserable and little I felt during that period of my life. Those crippling feelings of emptiness and uselessness.

We’ve all been there. For one reason or another, we have ALL been though something that made us wonder if we’ll make it. That’s why I’m writing this after all. For you. So you know you’re not alone.

Life is hard on it’s own. Without depression and anxiety thrown in there. And sometimes life doesn’t seem to be fair. Or even remotely good. But you can’t live surrounded by your troubles and worries EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. for the rest of your life.

I read an article recently that says how people who are happy are desperately looking for things to make them miserable.

MIND.BLOWN.? To me it sounds very familiar. I’ve been doing that over past few months. Whenever I woke up feeling good and my mental health was under control I’d find a thing that I could moan about.

Well I think fucking not Barbara. Get yourself together. AND I DID.

I flicked through my diary and photos from eight and seven years ago. It was enough of a reminder.

And you know what I’ve learnt? GRATITUDE. AND HAPPINESS IN EVERYDAY little things. Like having time for yourself. First sip of your morning coffee. Or fresh bread. Hot showers. Nice face cream. Or breathing crisp air.

I had power of being in control of most important thing – my happiness.

And I am happier than ever before.

A lot of it is about being in control –you can worry about not having a secure job, or enough money or reliable network of people but this level of control is something we can all create ourselves.

It’s normal to occasionally whine about the weather, and tube delays and how the dress on your wish list is out of stock – we don’t have authority over that.

It’s ok to keep dreaming bigger and aiming for more that doesn’t make your less grateful. It makes you having a purpose in life.

I want to have a family and write a book and buy my own home – but I won’t be unhappy because I don’t have those things yet, because I’m grateful for everything I do have and I am more than aware that something more awful than being in my overdraft, or gaining weight, could happen.

October favourites

I mean I still don’t get it. One moment it’s January for 78 years then I’m drinking margaritas on a beach and now I’m supposed to enjoy autumn colours and drink pumpkin spice lattes and what is this crazy life?

October is finished? SAY WHAT? How? When? Why? WHYYYYY?

My October was busy, busy, very busy. I worked A LOT. I drank and ate, a lot (but not as much as I wanted) and I shopped a lot (went a bit crazy after buying literally nothing in September). I’m still v upset over the fact I didn’t make it to a pumpkin patch or went for a hike as planned, but hey, it’s autumn until late December.

This months picks that made it into favourites are a random mix of new stuff or very old, newly rediscovered stuff. So before I start making list of things that caused my bank statement look like I’m back at uni, let’s see what were my most used/most loved things last 31 days.

Beauty & makeup

  1. Kiehl’s facial oil. After summer made me look ten years older than I actually am I was desperate for a nice and light oil to give my complexion a radiant and energized look morning to night. For me personally, £38.00 is a shit ton of money but I decided to invest into myself and I didn’t regret it. I shit you not, if I had a pound for every time someone complimented my skin I’d be freaking Oprah, okay? And more importantly I can honestly see the difference when I use the oil and when I don’t. Totally worth the money!
  2. Beauty Pie Bronzer. Oh. My. Golden. Goddess. Heart. I won’t lie, I’v been feeling a bit blue ever since rain season in this big old smoke started. I’m just missing the sun and having a tan. My God, does everything look better on me with a tan? Or nothing on me, with a tan? Buying a bronzer wasn’t on my list but whilst browsing very hyped Beauty Pie online shop I came across this absolutely stunning product and I’M GOOD.
  3. Dr. Paw Paw balm. I was out. My lips were dry. I forgot my beloved Glossier balm dot at home. So I ran into a store to buy my usual 2nd choice Carmex, just to get me through the day. And saw like a million VSCO girls standing in front of me and chit-chatting over a small yellow tube. I mean, MOVE IT GIRLIES? I’m late! And then I overheard them saying how Emma Watson uses the pink one and I was OK, now move so I can grab it. I WAS INFLUENCED by fifteen-year-olds. Goodness me. Oh well, this balm became my saving grace this month. Didn’t have a dry lip syndrome yet plus my lips are freaking moisturised and they look very juicy because it’s slightly tinted.
  4. Aesop Geranium Body Balm. I very frequently visit Aesop shops because their interiors are freaking goals, ok? I can’t afford buying their products all the time(although their hand creams are just probably the best freaking thing ever) and this was a gift. And it came with a matching shower gel that should have made into my summer favourites (but that post never happened). Ok, now I’m not a massive body balm user as I prefer oils on my very dry skin however I gave it a try. Firstly, it smells freaking AMAZING! Like, am I in some sort of magical botanical garden? Secondly, it’s texture is just divine. And lastly, it leaves my skin looking very radiant and soft, so to anyone out there, I wouldn’t mind a refill for Christmas, thank you very much!

Fashion & accessories

  1. Longchamp Le Pliage Neo bag. This bag was a birthday present to me, from me. It is such a statement piece (am I a fashion blogger, yet?) Jesus, here’s the deal I needed something to go with everything at anytime of the day (so preferably black), big enough to fit my essentials like a baby or two bottles of vodka if needed, but mostly to store my laptop and snacks and that’s not going to break like my last tote bag which did crack under pressure of carrying coke zero six pack and packet of crisps.
  2. Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Trainers. Yes I’m that basic bitch. I don’t care, I’ve been her since I was 12. I still remember buying my first pair of Chucks, and my mum trying to convince me to buy pink glittery ones and I really just wanted the black ones, and I of course ended up with both but that’s just how I roll (hence will never probably never afford to buy a house in London) 13 YEARS LATER, and boom still very much enjoying wearing shoes that made me look very rebellious early on in life.
  3. Primark dress. I don’t really buy clothes in Primark, I buy pyjamas in Primark, and tights, and my socks. But I have to give it to them that their autumn collections is JUST as DIVINE as freaking AFFORDABLE. I bought two everyday dresses and I very much wear them all the time.
  4. Hoop earrings. BECAUSE. YOU. CAN. NEVER. HAVE. ENOUGH. HOOP. EARRINGS. They came in pack of 3, they are same but different. I’m sorted for a month or so.

Other

  1. Heartburn by Nora Ephron. It’s been sitting on my shelf since late May until I saw a girl reading it on the train one Sunday afternoon in September so I decided to finally give it a go. One of my favourite podcasters, Dolly Alderton (from the Love Stories with Dolly Alderton and The High Low Podcast) always raves about this book and Nora Ephron and I have to admit I can finally see why. Heartburn is as hilarious as it is heartbreaking and it took me a week (but it can be read in a day) and was left with *OH MY FUCKING GOD, WHY DID IT TAKE ME 25 YEARS TO READ THIS AMAZING NOVEL?*
  2. The Skinny Confidential Podcast: Him & Her. Just one of my latest obsessions. When I work in the office (three times a week) I listen to podcasts all day long and TSC has been one of my favourites lately. Hear me out. I’ve been following Lauryn’s lifestyle blog for years now but could never get over her very loud, obnoxious, american voice. HOWEVER, one of my favourite YouTubers swears her podcast changed her life and perspective of it YOU KNOW, so what did I have to lose? I chose first episode to be just her (she usually does it with her husband and they often have very successful and inspirational guests) I SHIT YOU NOT, OK? I SHIT YOU NOT! She motivated me to work sooooooooooo freaking hard I legit didn’t want to leave the office. I mean, come on!!! I’m now working on listening all the episodes (all 294) from the beginning and you know me, binging is my vibe.
  3. Spin classes. I USED TO FUCKING HATE SPINNING. My bottom would hurt for three days after, I’d look like an angry tomato afterwards and most of the time I’d feel like Amy Schumer in that movie I feel pretty, but before she hit her head. All that being said, I fucking love them now. Because all I needed to do was to find a class that works for me. And that’s a class with great music and an instructor that actually shows you what to do and how to do it. I mean, is it possible to be more basic???
  4. Michelle Choi and hers Living alone diaries. I’ve been kinda watching too much YouTube lately and I’m not going to fucking deny that. When I find content I like, I LIVE & BREATHE for it. And Michelle’s videos are just right up my alley. There is something very calming and reassuring about them and her lifestyle. It’s almost like she’s living slowly and very intentional. Subscribed.
  5. Pinterest app. Some will say, WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK BARB, IT IS 2019!!! Bur hey, I’ve just always been a Tumblr kinda girl, alright? I’ve had an Pinterest account for like a minute now but I’ve only gotten to used and actually enjoy it this past month. I have to seriously pay attention to the time otherwise I go down that internet rabbit hole and adios, will see you in 2020! *here’s my Pinterest profile, just FYI
  6. Hustle by Pink. Just my jam lately. I play it every time I’m on my way to the office and it puts me into my *bitch please* mood. YAAS.
  7. Instagram profile: @sophieedwards_tcmp This girl is just goals man. Her insta is just soooo FASHIONABLE, in a normal fucking everyday style. And what’s even more amazing is that she’s currently doing series of how to style one thing and wear it 31 way, SAY WHAT? AND EVEN MORE AMAZING, is that she’s doing 100 active days and I won’t lie I’m kinda low key doing it with her. SUCH. A. BABE.

*my monthly favourites are usually thing’s I’ve used/consumed and enjoyed the most in a past month and not necessarily something new. This post contains some affiliate links which means that if you buy anything via my link to a retailer, I’ll make a quid or two in commission, but it doesn’t cost you any extra.

Why I started waking up at 5AM

You are probably like Geez Louise, what’s wrong with this girl?

And even I am surprised with the fact I am basically new Margaret Thatcher but here we are. I’m one of those people who changes things when she doesn’t like them. *my mum clapping and cheering because her job as mum D O N E*

Earlier this year I would complain about how I have no time. No time for me, no time to call my family, or see my friends as much as I want to, to read a new book or to even binge watch new Netflix show. I had no time to work out as often I as wanted to, to date and absolutely no time to write. And I would complain and complain until I decided to change my priorities which naturally ended up in giving up me time and constantly chasing deadlines and that made me miserable. Like LES MISERABLE.

So since I couldn’t give up work (because you know it’s my livelihood) I googled (all judgements welcome) how to organise my time better where I found out that I indeed have the same amount of hours in my day as Beyonce does (believe it or not). But what caught my eye was a list of very successful people who wake up at 5am and basically slay.

All this was read and then forgotten back in June, and then the summer rolled and I slept as much as koalas do.

But as that pattern of me complaining how constantly busy I am kept repeating I was like, fuck it. Who needs sleep? LET’S HAVE A PARTY. When: AT 5AM. Where: My room. Info: PYJAMAS MANDATORY & BRING COFFEE.

And so the party began mid-September. And I won’t lie that the first alarm sounded like the angels crying and my groggy self wanted to launch my phone through the window whilst being completely fine with the lack of time to take on the world and do what makes me happy yet I got up and survived.

First week was D R E A D F U L. *just very honest me* It felt like that part of PMS where you’re constantly tired and hungry and you hate everyone, especially cute and perky girls who wear t-shirts *woke up like this* whilst she probably did *crying emoji*. (Also thank you God for not timing that with my actual PMS)

After that? Well, EASY PEASY LEMON SQUEEZY. I feel like my whole life changed. *WHO SHE?*

I have the time to do things I want *still trying to figure out the dating thing though* And more importantly those side hustles I wanted to work on don’t feel like chores anymore. I don’t call my mum whilst rushing to the gym anymore because I have more than twenty minutes to talk to her. *if neeed* I’m not struggling to keep my eyes open trying to read the book that’s on my bedside table since my birthday *June baby* I can watch YouTube without feeling guilty. I can go to an early (like real early) gym class. I have time to meditate and reflect and if I just want to lie in my bed and watch the sunrise I have time to do that too.

Outfit details.

Blazer: H&M

Jeans: River Island (via ASOS)

Trainers: Puma (via ASOS)

T-shirt: ASOS

Bag: old H&M (found similar)

Headband: My Accessories London-sold out but similar

Watch: Samsung

How London living changed me

Have you noticed that time flies whilst you’re having fun?

Me too. I still can’t believe I live in London even after three years.

I still get chills passing next to London eye, Big Ben (although is all wrapped up), Trafalgar Square and Buckingham palace and my heart still swells when I walk down the Oxford street or sit in a cab that’s driving on Tower bridge. I mean I obviously love it here otherwise I would have only stayed a year as I firstly planned BUT I fell in love and hey, I is still here.

Tons of you asked and keep asking about life in London, what do I do, where do I go, how come I moved here and all that shebang and I promise it’s coming, it’s coming but before that I feel like I owe you this one. I want to share how living in London changed me and my perception of world (hold on there is a list)

  1. I became absurdly impatient. Every single time I’m back home in Croatia, or just anywhere outside London I seriously have to fight back tears and practise deep breathing if I have to wait for a bus more than three minutes.
  2. Paradoxically, I’m more than happy to queue up for an hour to get a table at the restaurant I want to eat at. Yes I am very choosy, even with my patience.
  3. I no longer give a shit about my personal space. It has been invaded so many times during rush hour that now days if I’m on the tube and there is no crotch in my face, WHAT IS THIS?
  4. My coffee intake has inexplicably risen by like a lot. And thankfully my local barista knows my order by heart now.
  5. I strongly believe that whoever invented CONTACTLESS should get a Nobel for peace. Because having to spend ten extra seconds to put your pin in is such a waste of time, and carrying cash is just so 2008.
  6. I am never bored. I kid you not, N E V E R . There is no excuse with all parks, and pubs and events and museums and excuse you NYC, but I think it’s time to hand over your “City that never sleeps” title.
  7. I can handle a hungover like a P R O. No, I am not an alcoholic mum, but it just happens that now drinking is not reserved just for the weekends. So I mastered faking looking easy breezy at work the next morning whilst holding down my stomach content.
  8. I feel like travelling more than few zones on tube feels like forever. Meet you in North London? No I can’t possibly go to North London, that’s the longest trip on Earth. *only looking to date men in south London*
  9. I became an utter food snob. Living amongst fanciest cuisines is not easy because it costs you an arm and an leg to eat out, not being able to zip your skinny jeans and spoiling your taste buds rotten so at one point Mc’Donalds won’t cut it anymore.
  10. I lost all perception of what affordable means. That’s why I am more than willing to spend £27 on one meal out, cute ASOS top or an Uber (in that order!) but why are detergent and toilet paper so expensive???
  11. I h a t e tourists. I know you all are excited about being here and taking your photos BUT COULD YOU PLEASE KEEP FUCKING RIGHT IF THE SIGN SAYS SO??????????
  12. I started to mind my own business. All wackos and weirdos became normality for me and frankly I couldn’t imagine not seeing them around.
  13. I fell in love with the city. And I might stay forever.

Dress: old H&M

Boots: Dr. Martens

Necklace: old Accessorize

30 days of VEGAN

WHOA!

Before I share how did my month of veganism go I’d just like to point out how bloody proud of me I am. *background clapping* I know I’m not exactly Greta Thunberg here but for a girl who’d eat bacon cheeseburgers at least twice a week this is a massive, MASSIVE achievement.

So let’s get into this.

Hiiiiii, my name is Barbara and I always like to make my life hell by complicating things. But also, hello! My name is Barbara and I am a 25-year-old who is fucking terrified about our planet and my own future.

Yes, I am very conscious about the fact that the production of plant-based foods is a more efficient use of our resources, as it requires less energy from fossil fuels as well as less land and water. But I am more aware of the fact that vegans typically have lower levels of cholesterol and blood pressure, a lower body mass index, and reduced risk of death from heart disease and cancer. SO, I very selfishly started this because of my own health. And due to my personal reasons (mostly bank balance) I didn’t go full on vegan and got rid of all my stuff (bags, shoes, belts etc) that are cruelty free (but will definitely not buy or support brands that aren’t) but my diet was vegan or plant based if you wish.

This plant based diet is something I’ve had on mind for months. I’ve done lots of research before I kicked off so I didn’t just dive unprepared.

I kept a little photo diary throughout September (you can have a look at some unappealing dishes on my Insta profile highlights under Vegember) and a food log on myfitnesspal app.

So here’s how eating a plant based diet worked out for me.

*I messed up ok? I had 3 non vegan meals (out of approx. 100) but that pizza, tiramisu and cheeseburger were worth it so genuinely no regrets!

Day 1 started great. It was Sunday so that allowed me to be in control of my meals and to plan for coming up week. I literally watched youtube videos for 3 hours to give me some inspo and read about million articles on why will my heart thank me after going vegan. I had takeaway vegan pizza from Franco Manca and spent a day on a sofa.

I meal prepped for next two days, booked few workouts and positively stepped into the week.

Day 2-6 were easy because I work 12 hours a day and I mainly needed to prep for lunches the day before to stay on track. (Day 5 is when normal cheese on veggie pizza and tiramisu happened which was always on agenda as it was L’s birthday dinner).

Day 7 and 8 is when I started to feel some sort of change really. I’d wake up before my alarm in the mornings and wouldn’t drop dead in the evenings. I felt like I had an extra boost of some sort of energy and frankly I didn’t know if it was me desperately wanting this to work and make me feel better in my body or was it genuinely because of the diet.

Day 9-15 is when I started feeling better than great. My skin was beaming, I could hold focus for longer than usual 20 minutes, I wasn’t bloated at all and for once in a long time I could actually say that I ate all the carbs without putting on any weight. (Day 15 is also the day when my lunch was a cheeseburger, potatoes with aioli and cheese fritters with tons of alcohol which obvs wasn’t planned but life fucking happens.)

Day 16-22 were my best days. I started cooking more and experiment with new foods, I also worked out 9 times that week and just felt AMAZEBALLS.

Days 23-27 were my worst days of the month but nonetheless I didn’t go rogue. I spent few days in bed, yes. Had few takeaways, yes. Were they vegan? YES. Were they healthy? Maybe yes, definitely no. But that’s what I needed really.

Days 27-30 was me back on track with healthier options and just continued feeling good in my skin.

Day 31. Um I have no need to eat differently than last 30 days. SAY WHAT?

Now here’s my issue. I thought that being vegan automatically means you’re healthy, OH BOY WAS I DELUSIONAL. Because IT DOES NOT. (my Ben & Jerry’s tub screaming in my freezer) You still get tp make healthy and less healthier options only now you don’t contribute to animal cruelty and global warning.

What I really wanted to do is vegan whole foods, where you eat more raw and unprocessed food which I can’t say I didn’t eat but I have to admit I ate rather a lot of bought meals. Now, instead of re-writing my whole food log here I’ve decided to write down my most eaten meals to maybe help you incorporate more plant based meals into your diet.

For most breakfast I ate: avocado on toast (on mornings with extra few minutes I’d add grilled mushrooms), granola with soy vanilla yogurt and berries plus handful of nuts, peanut butter with jam on a bagel

Most common lunches were: loaded salads (usually nuts, greens, falafels, hummus, etc), pasta with either tomato or pesto, sweet potato with grilled veggies and vegan sausages

Dinner were usually: curries, stir frys, grilled veggies, risottos or pizzas, jacket potatoes, soy

Snacks: Greggs vegan sausage rolls, crisps, hummus, fruit (mostly apples, grapes and mangos), nuts and protein shakes

I also drank loads of cold press juices, mostly to boost my immune system but also to increase my veggie and fruit intake.

So overall how was it? Surprisingly NOT as hard as I thought it would be. Actually not hard at all. Mainly because I live in London and there are countless vegan options for every occasion. But I wasn’t overthinking this either (probs for the first time in my life). I was easy and made a decision not to be to hard on myself if I screw it up. I ate simple meals until I get the courage and willingness to cook/prepare more complex ones and YEAH, I still hate cooking but just a little bit less than before. I feel abso-fucking-lutely great and don’t think I’m missing out on anything or that my body is missing anything. I lost few pounds but I was never, ever, ever hungry. I am yet to do some blood work to determine how exactly this lifestyle affected my physical health but I have a good feeling.

AM I STAYING VEGAN? Umm actually I might. Like I miss eggs so fucking much. And seafood. And nice cheese. But that’s about it. I think I’ll try to eat as much plant based as I can with occasional vegetarianism dips. But you never know with me. I go with the flow. Do what feels good. Eat what I crave. And just enjoy life.

Today has been cancelled, go back to bed.

To anyone going through a hard time but still showing up, getting dressed and putting their damn shoes on every day, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Also to anyone who’s going through it and isn’t able to get out of bed because of it-YOU ARE ALSO NOT ALONE. Whether it’s for physical, social, emotional or any reason-your journey is valid and you deserve to be seen and get love or space if that’s what you need in order to heal. You are a beautiful human and I promise that it’s going to get better.

And there is goes. Just when you think life is great, all there is are sunshine and rainbows, you’re more than satisfied with what you’ve got and who you are, you look yourself in the mirror and you’re happy with how you look, you finally think how you got this, this balance between everything

THERE IS GOES. LIFE GOES TO SHIT.

I’ve been bottling up some feelings for sure. I mean we all have a mini drawer in our brains where we send all those problems that can either be dealt with later or are Major problems (yes with capital M) you absolutely have no fucking willingness or mental power to deal with so we just lock them away. That’s what 90% of adulthood is anyway.

BUT all this is fine. You see, I AM USED TO ALL OF THIS. However what I am absolutely not used to is when something I completely got over, patched it back together until it was healthy enough to put in the past comes back in my life knocking on my mini drawer in my brain until one massive motherfucking Kraken of the emotions erupts.

Now it doesn’t really matter what exactly happened to me. What or who caused that carnival in my head. But it happened. It is now first time it did and let me tell you it won’t be last time either. BUT here is what I learnt this time around.

YOU ARE LOVED NO MATTER HOW YOU FEEL.

1.) Try not to be hurt by people. Especially if you know they are hurting as well. And this is I know not a walk in the park my friend. Relationships are complicated and I am not a big fan of anything complicated because I strongly believe everything is simple (except maths, f u c k that) So I try to stay out of complicated relationships. But sometimes you are related to people. Or married. Or you’re under a 12 month contract together. So you can’t exactly escape them.

It is then that you have to decided whether this person is worth your time and love and mental ability to forgive them. Is this person worth you. Or is you and your inner peace more worthy.

I long for the day I decide to put myself first! (and so does my therapist) And I know I always preach about that, how it’s not selfish to choose yourself, to protect your feelings and your mental health over anyone else, but here’s the thing! I mostly talk about it all the time because I suck at being that person and it’s me reminding myself to do so.

I can’t emphasise enough how important is for us humans to realise that we are the only ones who are in our lives ’til we die. So putting you as your top priority is not only ok, it’s mandatory.

And sometimes other people decided to choose themselves over us, and that is fine. Don’t take it personally. Take it as a chance to work on yourself, for yourself, by yourself.

2.) You are loved no matter how you feel.

I’m a talker. I literally talk about everything, with everyone. But when it comes to hurt feelings, feeling small or desire to spend an eternity under your bed covers and pretending that everything is fine, then I don’t talk. I lose all my words and only thing I have left is my thoughts. At least I am very good at thinking that. Truth is that I have much more than what I think.

I have a family who loves me unconditionally. Friends who are struggling as much as I do yet are willing to show up anytime and anywhere. And most importantly, I’ve got me.

A very sad, hurt and hopeless me. But I know that this person isn’t really me. It’s someone who going to a rough patch and need just needs a little bit of time and a little bit of extra love to go through it.

The best thing I can do for myself is to love myself on bad days as much as I love myself on good ones.

No matter how melancholic this sounds but just because you’re taking time out, time to think and recover an get back on track doesn’t mean that the Earth is going to stop. But it also doesn’t mean you’re worth less. Loved less. Or even strong less. Your journey is important. TAKE YOUR TIME. And when you’re ready to come back the Earth is still going to spin, you are still going to be loved and your place under the Sun is going to be waiting for you.

3.) Time heals.

It will take time. And believe it or not you will get better. And then you’ll hurt again. At some point even more than before. But then one day you will wake up and you will be one-hundred-percent OK.

Sometimes it takes 3 weeks, sometimes 3 years and sometimes 3 days.

From time to time you’ll only need a 3 minute cry out in your office bathroom or if you’re more like me in front of your Starbucks cashier because they didn’t heat up your toastie.

But trust me when I tell you, the misery and emptiness you’re feeling on your worst day are not staying there forever.

It is going to be OK.

Shout out to everyone making progress that no one recognizes because you never let anyone see your darkest moments. You’ve been silently winning battles and transforming yourself, be proud of every step you’re making in the right direction. Keep going because you got this.

Binge worth Netflix shows I’m loving at the moment.

Me watching Netflix is about 72% of my evenings. Not even going to try sugar coat this terrible statistic. (other 28% is either me in the pub, me in the club or me snoring with a book on my lap)

Because what is better than some Netflix and chill after an exhausting day of work or you trying to survive that nasty hungover?

I love to suggest to my friends what to watch so we can obsess together over something, but in their eyes I’m not competent enough just because I’ve never seen a single episode of GOT. (dunno if this is used but I am referring to Game(s?) of Thrones)

But that irrelevant fact aside, I’ve got quite a few of you that always ask what to watch and frankly I take great pleasure in suggesting and discussing this obviously very important topic in ones life.

These are my current favourites which change every month or so. You might’ve seen some, you probably watched some, and you’ve probably never heard of some. Give them a go! They’re approved!

Without further nagging, here’s six titles you should give a try this weekend!

STRANGER THINGS. My story with ST started nearly 3 years ago now, when I was babysitting one very late Friday evening, and decided to start watching the ” phenomenal” new programme no one would shut up about. 15 minutes in, my hands were sweaty, my usually bradycardic heart rate went through the roof and I nearly shit my pants. I’ve turned off the TV, turned on all the lights in the house and called my mum because I was PETRIFIED. And that was it, IT WAS A NO FOR ME. Fast forward to this June when my then boyfriend insisted we watch ST because I’m missing out but more importantly he’s so brave and wanted to show off his fearlessness. Three episodes in and I went from someone with very little interest in the show and the premise behind it to absolutely loving it. I wanted to adopt Eleven, move to Hawkins, Indiana and marry chief Hopper. I binge watched all three season in under two weeks, and then re-watched everything in another two. I don’t really know which tv show can I compare it to because this show is beyond words. Season 4 can’t come quick enough because it is truly B I T C H I N’.

WORKING MOMS. Is a comedy that absolutely nails working motherhood with wit and irony. IT IS OBVS very relatable even to me who is working with children on every day basis. It’s very Sex and the City, the friendship formation part, and swearing and drinking. Three seasons in and I laughed out loud at every single episode so far.

DEAR WHITE PEOPLE. Before we I even start, YES a title is off-putting BUT I indulged, and so should you. The reason I ate this show up when I started watching it was its phenomenal style, with an at first confusing but engrossing structure and shooting that really shows off the vibe they are going with. Characters are my age and real life problems are shown. AND if you’re white and think this show isn’t for you, you ARE SO WRONG (privileged) SIR! Shows like these spark thoughts and discussions, and so we can come together as a people and as a society. If you open your hearts instead of your ears, and use your funny bones instead of your feelings, I bet you could understand or get behind this show.

13 REASONS WHY. Ok, ok, ok. This series is absolutely fantastic yet so absolutely horrifically tragically horrendous. I found first season very hard to watch because it was magnificently written and everything from music to the cast was absolutely perfect, LIKE it is actually real (which sadly it is). Season two was a bit quieter but with equally strong message, AND then there is the third season which wasn’t my favourite but was just as mind blowing as the first one. I personally prefer comedy over dramatic shows because they sometimes trigger my mental health issues and 13RW wasn’t an easy watch for me however I literally swallowed it. It is so powerful that it actually makes you consider your actions more and I just wanted to be there for people even more. The series is not for the weak (and a bit too harsh for the hungover ones) but I would definitely recommend it, if nothing you’ll learn how to take other people’s feelings a bit more seriously.

This show has the capacity to shake you from inside, so please if watching make sure you either watch it with someone or that you actually talk to someone about your emotions. There is people who care about you!

AtYpical. A cute comedy that follows a teenage boy who has autism. He’s a bit like Sheldon from the Big bang theory. The series is absolutely brilliant. Funny, sensitive, heartwarming and on times even heartbreaking! I finished watching both seasons over one very hungover weekend with Pad Thai and coke Zero on repeat, AND I still claim that was one of the best recovery weekends of my life.

Bonding. Extremely over the top series, which in my personal opinion needed more episodes and not only seven with under 20 minutes each. It took me one afternoon to finish it and I managed to completely flip over it yet stay hungry for more. It’s a dark comedy that shows how students these days really have to work all sorts of explicit jobs to stay in school and not end up on the street. Hoping that Netflix won’t let us down and sign them up for second season with hopefully more to follow.

Here is also few titles I l o v e and think are worth mentioning: Sex Education, Friends from college, Good girls, Dead to me, Grace & Frankie.

Let’s talk about: What’s new?

HI SEPTEMBER! WHADISUP?

I took a month off from the blog because I needed to just chill and stay away from the computer and I also needed to work on myself, to get some clarity and to worry less. AND I had a fab August thank you very much!

I was basically sleeping, eating, drinking, beaching, swimming, reading, hanging out with the fam and friends and to sum it up: I WAS ON HOLIDAYS. You could have followed some of my shenanigans via Insta but I’m not planning on writing detailed post about my summer.

And don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my everyday life in London, but getting out of big smoke felt so G O O D. It always does, to get out of here. I just breathe differently whilst out of Ldn. I don’t know if it’s me subconsciously knowing that it I don’t always have to be so alert or the clean air or whatever, but it’s always refreshing.

I have to say I had a fair amount of messages from your lovely faces who were wondering when is the next post coming out, AND it made my heart swell!!!

Did ya miss me? I missed y’all.

I wrote a lot, mostly in my notebook and I got a fresh perspective on life and this blog and on the “content” (omg that word makes me cringe) and on what to write!

September for me always means a fresh start. Like fresher than the new year. I think I still link it to the beginning of school year which I always L O V E D. I was (and still am) A BIG SUCKER for buying new stationery, notebooks, new trainers and new everything! So I decided to incorporate few new changes into my everyday routine. Some are just being tried out for the month of September, some I’ve strongly decided to stick to, but we’ll see how that goes.

so what is new?

  1. I switched to a plant based diet. BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I KNOW. This was basically everyone’s reaction when I announced I’m doing Vegember (Vegan September). My (usually very supportive an loving) boss told me: BUT BARBARA, you’re the biggest bacon cheeseburger eater I know. AND fuck yeah, she’s right. But ALSO, fuck yeah PEOPLE CHANGE. This didn’t come overnight. But it came. I’m doing it for whole 30 days of September and will do a post about it, but until then, please pray for me!
  2. I wake up an hour earlier than I usually would. THE ANXIETY OF MORNING ROUTINE IS REAL YO! My mornings usually start with me putting my essential oil diffuser on, meditation and I always do 20 minutes of reading and going into my email inbox to flag important emails I need to deal with later before I start getting ready. But that shit always stretches or I end up replying to emails AND all of a sudden I have 10 minutes left to get ready and I am a women, I NEED MORE THAN 10 MINUTES. I would usually rush brushing teeth in the shower between shaving legs and washing hair and I decided that if I want to decrease the amount of stress I start my day with I just have to be an adult and wake up earlier because IT IS SO WORTH IT.
  3. I fell in love with having a routine again. This sounds freaking ridiculous but hear me out. I was away for nearly five weeks. F I V E. 5! I was all over the place. And had no real routine. And yes, life is pretty great when you don’t plan it and it’s ridiculously wonderful when you don’t need to set your alarm or check off your to-do lists and meet deadlines and be somewhere by a certain hour BUT I’m such a routine kinda girl. And I dare to say that I still live life to the fullest. I still have days off. I still don’t plan some evenings, and I just go with the flow. But you see, for my mental health and my anxiety, A ROUTINE is a must. So I eased back into it. Back into work. Back into working out. Back into going out. Back into London. AND it was a bit painful for a bit. However, I motivated myself with some new beauty products, and to be honest I just binge watched a massive amount of morning routines on YOUTUBE. (LIKE, WHAT EVEN BARBARA?) So now, I do love waking up every morning, putting my creams and serums on, fresh t-shirt and a big smile. It just feels right.
  4. Making time for ME TIME. Repeat after me, ME TIME IS NOT SELFISH. It is not. And I don’t know why, but I have to remind myself of that EVERY SINGLE DAY. I am a people person. I love to socialise. I love to chill with my fam and my other fam, and drink with friends, and watch Netflix and do brunches and all that BUT. I don’t function like a person if I don’t spend at least one evening a week with just myself. Reading, chilling, watching something, bathing, listening podcasts or just wasting time. Depends what feels right that day. But I NEED IT. I need that time like I need air. I KID YOU NOT. Y’all can be kidding yourselves but you ALL need it. And my summer was filled with meeting my friends, spending time with my family (who I fucking love so so so much) and I was constantly with someone and PLEASE don’t think I’m a witch but by the time I came back to London, I just felt so emotionally exhausted. And my therapist says it’s normal. LIKE IS IT? I hope so, otherwise I’m just a bitch. ANYWAYS, me time is now booked weekly, AND sorry (not sorry) DARLING, but I’m busy tonight!!!
  5. I’m saying YES to second hand September. I’m doing 30 days of no new clothes, unless it’s from a charity or second hand shop. WHY? I’m trying to be more sustainable. Also because I am overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I have and that I always have nothing to wear. I’m trying to break up with fast fashion which naturally leads to investing in better quality and more long term products that will serve me longer and better. Which also means that I’m not going to be defined by what’s “in” and what’s “out”, but I get to wear what I want, when I want it. (Take the pledge, if you can and MORE INFO on why to do it you can find here)

It’s not much, but five days in and I can feel such a positive change already.

Let me know if you made any lifestyle changes recently and what they are.

B x

73 questions with Barbara

*Opens the door of my luxurious mansion in Malibu and welcomes you into the marble foyer, as I gaze into the camera lens *

  

I am obsessed with Vogue’s 73 questions videos (Emily Blunt and Margot Robbie deffo favs) I’ve decided to do a little parody post so you can get to know me better. Although there is so much more to both you and me than seventy-three questions, it’s always fun to pretend you’re someone important and you’re being followed by Vogue around your zen garden whilst unicorns sing Amazing Grace but until that happens you’ll need to settle for less glam, very chilled holiday version of Barbara.

  1. What your usual Starbucks coffee order? I don’t drink Starbucks coffee. I get coffee from local independent coffee shops. And 90% of the time I go for flat white, but if summer deffo an iced latte. But when in Starbucks: peach green tea lemonade!!!
  2. Favourite colour? Any shade of blue but specifically Space blue
  3. Least favourite food? Absolutely hate lamb and coriander, AND fresh ginger (although it’s growing on me)
  4. Favourite food? just one? um then I guess dim sum
  5. When are you the most creative? When caffeinated and motivated
  6. Who’s your girl crush? Lady Gaga
  7. Last piece of content you consumed that made you cry? Monica’s Church youtube video– My boyfriend cheated on me
  8. Sweet or savoury? Savoury. ALWAYS SAVOURY.
  9. Who should people be following right now? Anyone that promotes body positivity, feminism, gender and race equality, and self love
  10. Person you’d like to have coffee with? Meryl Streep
  11. Song you can listen to on repeat? Vossi Bop by Stormzy
  12. What makes you laugh the most? Poppy. But also memes
  13. Dogs or cats? DOGS.
  14. If you could go to any concert past or present, what would it be? Coldplay or Luciano Pavarotti
  15. Top three countries on your travel list? Thailand, Italy and Morocco
  16. Can you describe yourself in a hashtag? #enough
  17. On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you about life right now? 10. always a 10, even though Mercury is retrograde atm
  18. You are stuck on a deserted island and you only have one book, what are you reading? I wish I could say something very adult like Anna Karenina or War and Peace, but Harry Potter and Half-Blood Prince it is.
  19. What’s one thing people don’t know about you? If I watch horror movies I have to sleep with a light on
  20. Who is your favourite Disney character? The Little Mermaid, Ariel, without a doubt.
  21. If you could star in any movie what would it be and why? Mamma Mia, first movie. Because what’s better than dancing and singing ABBA on a Greek island?
  22. What’s your favourite time of day? Sunrise
  23. If you could travel the world with anyone who would it be? My Mother
  24. What’s your pet peeves? People walking slowly, or people stopping on the pavement in front of you, or people standing on the wrong side of escalator.
  25. What’s the most sentimental gift received? Diamond ring my mum had custom made for me when graduated uni (the gold part is her and dad’s melted wedding rings)
  26. Heels or flats/sneakers? Sneakers!!!
  27. Vintage or new? New
  28. What industry do you see yourself working in? Entertainment, marketing or medicine
  29. Style icon? Anna Wintour
  30. What are the three things you can’t live without? Family, laptop and eggs
  31. Favourite pastime? Working out, writing and chilling
  32. What 3 people living or dead would you like to make dinner for? The Obamas and Ellen Degeneres
  33. What’s your biggest fear in life? Forgetting or being forgotten
  34. Window or aisle seat? Aisle
  35. What’s your current T.V. character obsession? Eleven from Stranger Things
  36. Twitter or Instagram? I N S T A G R A M
  37. Most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life? Diving with sharks
  38. How would you define yourself in three words? Bubbly, ambitious, dependable.
  39. Favourite piece of clothing that you own? denim dress
  40. Must have clothing item everyone should have? Perfect fit jeans
  41. Superpower you would want? Flying
  42. What’s inspiring you in life right now? Poppy. And my friends.
  43. Best piece of advice you’ve received? Just do it.
  44. Favourite dessert? salted caramel ice cream
  45. What is more important to you in a relationship? Loyalty
  46. Who is your favourite spirit human ? Christine Baranski
  47. What is something you notice about someone when you first meet them? If they’re smiling or not
  48. What is your biggest regret? The time spent sweating the small stuff
  49. Best way to rest/decompress? Hot shower and breathing
  50. Favourite solo artist? ADELE
  51. What is heavily played on your music playlist right now? Florence and the Machine
  52. If you could master one instrument, what would it be? Piano
  53. What are some of your must have beauty products? Origins moisturiser, Blink eye drops, Benefit brow gel and Mario Badescu face mist
  54. How do you react to criticism? I’ll take it into consideration but if I can’t learn from it I mostly ignore it.
  55. What’s your favourite cocktail? Long Island Iced tea
  56. How would you describe your style? Evolving haha. Mostly very hipster casual with a hint Beyonce
  57. What fictional character do you relate to the most? Bridget Jones.
  58. What’s your favourite board game? Cards Against Humanity
  59. What is your guilty pleasure? Friends on Netflix and fries
  60. What did you read most recently? This is going to hurt a little by Adam Kay
  61. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds
  62. How do you start your day? Meditation. Brush my teeth. Drink carrot/apple/ginger juice and do emails.
  63. What’s on top of your wishlist right now? New camera
  64. Pilates or yoga? Yoga
  65. Coffee or tea? COFFEE.
  66. What is your favourite holiday? Any holiday I get so spend with my mum
  67. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate? Don’t eat chocolate, but dark with salt flakes if in the mood
  68. If you could raid one woman’s closet who would it be? Ashley Graham’s
  69. Summer or winter? SUMMER
  70. What is your biggest weakness? Not admitting I need help/was wrong and Five Guys
  71. What is your favourite place that makes you feel happy? Croatian seaside
  72. A skill you’re working on mastering? Writing
  73. What do you want people to remember you by? I want to be remembered for a girl who never took the life too seriously and always lived to the fullest.

June favourites 2019

Whoa wasn’t June a bit short?

I swear to God, I still think it’s like middle of the month and I have all the time in the world, BUT NO BARBARA you are 3 days in July and STOP procrastinating and start getting your shit done.

Last time I wrote about my favourites went down really well, and you are always suggesting I start this as a monthly thing, so let’s give it a go.

Hope you find something that works for you x

*This post contains affiliate links.

BEAUTY

-you can definitely see we are in summer because there is ZERO make up involved and all summer essentials shizzle is in use

Clinique MOISTURE SURGE OVERNIGHT MASK I used to be a massive Clinique fan so, a sixteen-year-old me is currently high-fiving a current twenty-five-year-old me because this face mask aka overnight moisturizer is basically everything you need to look like an actual human being in a morning. It gives you that, YES I slept for normal amount of hours/YES, I drink stupidly big amount of water daily kinda look and I love it because it’s minimal effort to make me a very happy and glowy millennial.

The Ordinary Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 with Antioxidants (50ml) it is second summer of me using this face sun cream and all I can say is: yes, it is affordable as fuck. Yes, it is effective as fuck. Yes, you should buy it asap. It does dry my skin a little bit and when I first started using it used to make me break out (turns out it was just a PMS) but it was the only sun cream that’d actually protect me from the sun. Thank me later because you ain’t getting skin cancer when using this.

Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops -Light 30ml so since I didn’t see a beach since March and want that nice summery tan so I don’t look like Gollum from Lord of the Rings, I bought this self-tanning drops you mix with your face moisturiser and VÓILA. You get a healthy glowing tan that doesn’t make you look like oompa-loompa. It’s very easy to apply (don’t forget to wash your hand after tho!!!) and it stays on for days.

Nuxe creme prodigieuse boost during summer when I want to add a little bit extra hydration to my skin, this gel boost works perfectly as base to my everyday moisturiser. It’s very light and refreshing, with a nice soft smell which is not my cup of tea but I get over it quickly. It gives my skin that perfect radiant and bright look, just what I need to start my day right.

It can totally be used on it’s own, but ever since I started using SPF cream on daily basis, I’m using it just to boost my faces freshness.

Glossier perfume After I legitimately sniffed and interrogated around half of London why do they smell so good, answer was always. THIS. PERFUME. It’s another great product from very hyped but for a good reason hyped brand, Glossier. Very millennial, I know. Well this perfume, smells like YOU. Like legit. It sort of melts with your skin and makes your own personal fragrance. It’s honestly revolutionary because it makes me smell differently each day. L O V E I T!

FASHION

Silky H&M pyjs I mean. We all have pyjamas preferences. Some of you sleep naked. Some in knickers. Some in pjys. Some with socks. (You weirdos) but most importantly everyone has their own thing. My thing is matching pjyama sets. It makes me feel very adult and put together, yes I know that all I’m doing is sleeping. This cute set is from H&M, comes in various colours (but pale pink is so cute tho) and it feels like you’re nude. Also, you never know when you’ll have to call firefighters to come rescue you from the fire because you attempted cooking.

Shell earrings this is not me following the trend of everyone shelling the f*** up, this is the 8-year-old me finally getting that shell accessories her mum thought was to tacky to wear. well, HA MUM.

Birkenstocks I mean. I do know I look very gay in these but fuck me aren’t these just the best fucking thing to wear in the summer? Answer is yes.

ASOS chochet knitted vest this is just very probably the cutest top I’ve seen in ages and I wore it every week since I got it. I’m obsessed with white and knitted in the summer. Sue me.

Denim dress this is the dress I purchased last summer, and was definitely most worn item in my wardrobe. It was obviously very popular because H&M decided to bring it back this summer, and I’m about to tell you why. IT IS PERFECT. It’s so light. Perfect length. Goes with everything. And most importantly, it is so freaking comfortable and I feel very confident wearing it.

OTHER

Tales of the City, Netflix. Not to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, BUT I’ve cried, laugh and LEARNT so much from this prideful series. It so RAW, striking and well made. Just what we need in this world. #LOVEISLOVE

My best friend, TAMARA. Tim Tam is like my rock foundation everyday. But in this past month, she helped me through very bad anxiety, birthday blues, boy-drama, work worries. SHE IS SO SELFLESS AND UTTERY WONDERFUL. I am so grateful I have her.

I really hope you have your Tamara, because a girl can only take this much without her best friend.

Stormzy. THIS. FUCKING. LEGEND. Beats, words, that GLASTONBURY PERFORMANCE. You the hottest in the world, and my Spotify playlist.

Let’s talk about: Hungover Chronicles.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been quite frequent at drinking over last few weeks. AND, no it’s not because I’m a full-blown addict, it is because I am a regular twenty-five year old with a some kind of social life and love for tequila.

Also, it is June. Which means it is summer. Which means that day time drinking is acceptable without being judged by old ladies on tube. So here we are. ALL IS great.

How do you go out and get absolutely shit-faced and then you have a completely normal next day?

UM, it is doable. ALSO, I’ve kinda became an expert over the years.

So yes, I’m writing this for me, but mostly you, my dear.

Do you know that feeling when you wake up in the morning (or few hours after you passed out in your bed, whilst half-way through taking off your make up) and your head feels like someone smacked you with a bat and you can’t fully open your eyes because they’re either stuck together or you forgot to pull down your blinds and the day light is all of a sudden making you feel like a freaking vampire under the direct sun?

Huh, that’s the level of rough I feel most of the time, YES.

At this point, I turn on my back and put a pillow over my face, trying to recall why the heck to I feel like the herd of rhinos ran all over me, but ALSO how the hell am I supposed to make it though the day???

FYI, my nights out usually go like this.

After I decide that once again eyeliner is a NO NO, and down my third glass of wine whilst Florence and Machine are playing in the background. I’m taking approximately 45-89 selfies, of which one or maybe even none will be posted. Then I decide to tidy after myself, because hello OCD but also, A GIFT to my-tomorrow’s-very-hungover-self.

Then I’m ready to go out.

Starting with vodka-sodas, because we love vodka and we are trying to stay hydrated (and yes, pls I do need a vodka brand to sponsor me). Then somewhere between vodkas, and occasional tequila shoots (which according to my bank statement the very next day cost more than a new liver on illegal market) I do rum and coke or two, just to change the taste to somewhat pleasant. When I genuinely think I’ve had enough of strong drinks (and I usually figure this out when texting the wrong person or telling the lovely girl in the toilet queue that I’ll pay for her uni expenses), I go and buy a beer, to fight that disgusting dry mouth feeling, but I buy Desperados aka tequila beer.

At this point, my tummy (but mostly heart) tells me that it’s Mc Donald’s time. SO we find the nearest one. But on the way there we usually meet one, two or sometimes ten homeless people who are for God knows what reason always very chatty at 2am. So after we discus latest Brexit talks, and everyone’s agenda for the summer we say our goodbyes with a promise to take care as many strange people are lurking at this time of a night. (We always ask if they want some food, but they are usually always after a quid or two, so we give them whatever coins we can find at the bottom of our bags)

My go to order in Mcds is: extra gherkin-double cheeseburger, two large fries (very salted) with sweet curry sauce and coke zero. AND, if you never had to wait for your Mc Donald’s order for 30 minutes together with half of the London, you don’t know what commitment is.

Sometime after figuring out how the heck I got on the right tube I needed to and fidgeting with my phone to get an Uber to take me to mi casa, I find myself turning my bag upside down in front my door to find the key because at this point I really, really, really have to pee, only to remember that I hid it in the “safe” zip pocket.

It takes me around 45 seconds to take my shoes off and climb three flights of stairs that get me to my bedroom, but for some weird reason at this point this seems like a forever.

I usually end up sitting on my bed for next five minutes, because my Spotify is still on, and I’m probably mentally preforming at the Grammy’s.

Which leads us back to me sitting on my bed just few hours later and trying to regain full control of my brain and body.

At this point I’ve already decided that fried eggs and salted butter on toast are what I need to get my shit together but first THE SHOWER.

THE SHOWER has to be boiling hot when I get in, because that chilly feeling you’ve got is you lacking sleep and metabolising alcohol.

Then after washing your face and hair you do conditioner, but slightly switch water to lukewarm, because the last stage is turning water ice cold to snap you out of whatever bad decision you were over-thinking.

So when you sterilise your outside, and use scrub to make sure disease from touching everything in that dodgy club last night is gone, you wish you could wash your insides, but coffee will do.

NOW. If you’re a thrower upper (thanks to sweet baby JESUS I AM NOT), I suggest going for tea, or any liquid you can keep down. And toast. I is just going to quickly make full English breakfast because, thank you genetics I can eat.

Now you’ve eaten, sure you can pop few Aspirins for that awful headache ( I mean it’s not going to make up for a fact you chugged seven vodka-sodas last night Barbara, but it will help. ) but I suggest spending the next few hours lying horizontal.

I mean, unless you’re working, there is really no better thing to do than to either take a nap or watch Netflix.

(If you are working, or worse, have a family occasion you need to attend, I highly suggest drinking one re-hydration sachet, tons of concealer and grabbing Mc Muffin and black coffee on a way.)

But if you’re lucky (and smart enough), your hungovers will most probably be present on your days off.

So please, please, please do yourself a favour and enjoy them.

Turn your phone off. Switch your brain off. Enjoy slouching on a sofa. Lounge clothes were invented for moments like this. Take advantage of food deliveries. Hydrate. Chill. Recover. Take a bath. OR. Take a walk. Go to pub for a roast. Go to a corner shop for gummy bears. Do what you’e feeling doing, even if it’s nothing but breathing.

BECAUSE, it is completely fine to count this as normal.

Hungovers are not half bad when you accept them as necessity and aftermaths of a good night out. When you actually have a reason to take it slow, because we all know how guilty we feel taking some time off.

When everything you can think about, and SHOULD think about is what are you watching and where’s the next source of carbs coming from?

Twenty-five.

So, today marks 25 years of Barbara.

And I would be lying if I said that I’m not freaking out.

Because I am freaking out. Like A LOT.

Like most of America did when Trump got elected. Or when Alabama banned abortion.  So, like a whole lot.

Like no offense to myself or anything, but what the fuck am I actually doing?

Because when someone asks if I have a plan? I repeatedly answer with: I don’t even have a pla.

Can you relate already?

Apparently it’s called quarter life crisis, as we millennials have to put a label on fucking everything.

So yeah. FUN TIMES EH?

To be honest, I had this very great idea about how this post is going to written. I was gonna get ballons with numbers 2 & 5 and buy a random cupcake with a little candle that’d be thrown away later and I’d wear a dress and write this cute text about twenty-five things you should deffo do before turning 25 and then I’d tell you how amazing it is to be a very functional adult and have your shit together.

THE TRUTH IS THOUGH, I don’t want to lie to you. And I don’t want to put more pressure on you. Because I don’t have my shit together. My definition of adulting is being able to power through a very bad hungover on a working day and eating green veggies at least once a week. And not needing to sell my eggs for money if I want a good night out and making sure that my mum get’s daily updates on my life, otherwise that woman thinks I’m dead and my body is on the very bottom of Thames river. Also, not dying and having my body thrown to the very bottom of Thames river.

I’d never lie to you, because life is hard. But if you’re in your twenties life is even harder.

Because, honestly, twenties are shit.

Apparently you should be having the time of your life but you’re constantly stressed. First you get stressed about graduating and all the uni shebang. Then when you finally think you’re on track you get all stressed because you can’t find a job.

Or at least a job that doesn’t require seventy-eight years of experience although they’re looking for young people to hire. And then you’re stressed over the fact you get paid peanuts and you can barely afford living with other six people in shitty house and you quit your job.

And of course you are all stressed again about finding a new job. But you lucked out and you find one.

And you move flats. But not without stressing over the fact that your rent costs a small fortune if you want a room with a window and decent sized bathroom with hot water.

And you’re always stressed about your sex life. Because it is hard to date when you barely have time to breathe. Or shower. Also it is freaking hard to find someone who gets you and you don’t have to be fake with, and who isn’t selfish in bed and wants to do Netflix and chill rather than just sex. And when you do come across a decent lad, or you know a lady, they fuck it up by putting their parts into other people’s bodies and then you’re stressed again, well rather sad and mad, and you swear you’re never dating again, but you ain’t vowed for celibacy. And then you go on dating apps and unwillingly turn into a little bit of slut, but at least you are safe, and pleased.

And you finally have time to go out with your friends without a feeling that you should be searching for a future father of your imaginary child every time you exit the house.

But then you get stressed because some of your friends decided they are not your friends anymore because they are pretentious little shits, but you get over it faster than Khloe Kardashian got over all of Tristans cheating, because you are better off without fake people in your life.

But then again, you are persistently tired as fuck. And you’re always feeling like a fraud because you can’t be rude to Karen from office, who is middle-aged, hates millennials and isn’t getting any.

And everybody always thinks you’re a upset because you’re young, that you are loud because you’re young, that you are politically naive because you’re young and that you get easily annoyed because you’re young.

AND you can’t tell everyone to fuck off because half of the time, even you are not sure what the fuck is wrong with you and you are too busy to figure it out.

To busy because you need to get a proper amount of sleep, and hydrate, go to gym, reply to all gazillion Whatsapp chats (mostly audios, that you firstly have to listen to), make time for self-care so you don’t burn out, eat your suggested 5 a day and catch up on podcasts (mostly about adulting).

And what pisses the fuck out of me is the fact that even when I do all this, when I eat my avocado on toast, and do yoga and call my mother and cross off all the things off my to-do list I still feel like I should be running a marathon, or buying a house, or popping out a child or two, or should be a CEO of my own company and I get anxiety attacks.

Our society puts so much pressure on miìllennials these days that if you’re not on Forbes 30 under 30 list, what are you even doing with your life Barbara???

Like, why aren’t you climbing Mt. Everest or have seven million followers on Instagram?

I’ve been stressing over all this shit for too long. And do you know what? I’m done wasting my time. I’m done convincing myself that I’m missing out and that I should be something I’m not.

It all cool to dream that you’re the next Kylie Jenner, but if your sister does have a sex tape, chances are it’s more likely going to end up on a dodgy website rather than with a multi-million contract.

It’s time for real talk now.

Keep working hard. Keep being passionate about the things you love and don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t do it. Whatever it is. Because you are capable. Because you can be more than Kylie, and Kendall and whoever.

And it is ok to live on a budget, in a crappy apartment and have crappy sex life at the moment. As long as you’re doing everything you can to change that. As long as you don’t settle for less than you deserve. As long as your self-pity days don’t last longer than an actual neccesity. And you can switch from *can’t fucking adult today* days to *I got this shit * days.

It’s not easy but you got it babe. Sometimes you just have to give yourself the pep talks.

Like:“ Hello, you are a bad ass bitch! Don’t be sad! You are doing great! Love you!“

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, stop fucking comparing yourself to other people.

JUST. DON’T. That ain’t healthy. I know you will still do it from time to time because I do, but don’t. Stop being jelaous of other people. They also worked hard to get to the top (or you know, their sister cashed their sex tape really well).

Stop thinking of failure. Stop crying because someone has Cartier love bracelet and you have Pandora. Stop beating yourself up because someone goes to Hawaii twice a year and you never left Europe. Stop. It.

Truth is. Nobody is as succesful as Instagram makes them look and nobody is as pretty as filters make them seem.

The only healthy and worthwile comparison is you yesterday vs you today.

You are healthy. You are smart. You are loved. You are not related to Trump. You are twenty-something and your tits are still perky. Life is great even though sometimes you shower with ice cold water and have hummus for breakfast, lunch and dinner because you’re broke. You are actually living your best life, because you are living. And this rollercoaster you are on my dear, it is only going up.

Barb recommends: 3 places to visit in Croatia this summer

Hiiiiiiii you beautiful people.

How’s was your May?

 WAS?

WAS!!!

 HELLO JUNE!

‘ELLO BIRTHDAY MONTH.

 Hi SUNSHINE.

Hey chilled ciders.

AND roof top cocktail bars, beer gardens and barbacues.

ALSO, WELCOME SUMMER. WE HAVE TRULY MISSED YOU.

Summer in London is something else, let me tell you.

Everything just comes back to life. EVERYONE IS IN BETTER MOOD (YES, Jeremy Corbyn and my local barista I’m talking about you). We all take our Birkenstocks, straw bags, hats and flouncy dresses out of the wardrobe. Everybody on tube seems to forget wearing a deodorant. We swap our usual go-to coffee with an iced latte. And instead of usual eggs with avocado we now eat salads WITH eggs and avocado. There is also all the festivals and activities we can attend and have so much fun and then the day after we all get together on a common and we have a picnic and we chill whilst talking about how bad out of ten is our hungover. FYI, mine is like always somewhere between 2-4/10, because WATER. (but a post about hungover is coming later this month)

But being from Croatia I got used to spending my summer at the seaside. Not England kind, but a proper it is so hot *you could fry an egg on your brothers head if he even tries to sit anywhere near you*  kind of hot.

My family has a house that’s like five minutes away from the beach and okay I might got spoiled with being able to dip my toes in the sea whilst sipping my cocktail during happy hour from mid June to late August for the most of my life. But can you blame me really?

Which brings me to: THE QUESTION! The question people ask me once they find out I’m from Croatia, no matter is it during pub quiz, on a tube, in toilet queue in club in Shoreditch, waiting for dodgy looking kebab in Fulham, Hinge dating app, in front of Balham Mc’ Donalds at 2am or just my usual Saturday morning gym class.

It always comes down to this: *MILD FREAKING OUT MOMENT with overall excitment*

 WHERE IN CROATIA SHOULD I VISIT?

SO, here I am. Approx. 20 YEARS of living and breathing there and I finally feel competent enough to recommend some places I think should be on your *must visit* list. I tried to summarize where to go and what to see, but also dropped few places that I loved for food and drinks. Hope it’s helpful…

HELLO MTV AND WELCOME TO MY HOMELAND!!!

  1. ZAGREB aka the capital

Although everyone is utterly obssesed with Croatia’s remarkable coastline, Zagreb is a little gem hidden in the NW of the country. It is only 2 hour flight away from London, on a relatively cheap (depends on a day) flight.

It is a city that can offer you everything.

It is made for strolling, eating, drinking and partying but also for museum visiting, nature exploring and art seeing. It is very cultural and historic yet vibrant and exciting.

Once you’ve been there you will see what I’m talking about.

In a past few years Zagreb became a very multicultural and open-minded city (rather it’s people) and it developed into a hot european destination.

It can offer more than just it’s best voted destination during the winter.

Where to go: During the summer you get to spend some time in Zagreb’s parks, my favourite is Maksimir where you can also visit the ZOO.

It’s public transport can get your from north to east and west to east easily, but it might be hot in there during summer months so I highly recommend either renting the bikes or walking. The beauty in our small country is that you can walk everywhere.

If you are after more historic part of the city go and visit Upper town, where you can get by using the funicular. Zagreb’s funicular is the world’s shortest cable railway used for public transport.

Once in there, take you have to visit St. Mark’s church which is located next to our parliament and also a very short walk away is the Cathedral of Zagreb.

To find out all about history of these buildings you can sing up for a walking tour which start from cca. £10.

Food and drinks: Food and drinks are very cheap comparing to London, so make sure you go for quality as it will still be within your budget yet very delicious.

My fav resturants are Boban & Kaptolska klet, for more traditional food but you’re only one Google search away for more suggestions of your liking.

What to do: Night life in Zagreb is ONLY VERY AMAZING. If visiting in June, make sure to check out INmusic festival as they always have the coolest lineups.

There is also plethora of night clubs with very diverse music so no doubt you will find somewhere to enjoy.

If you’re more of a chilled person, open-air Summer Cinema should definitely be on you list.

If very hot (and yes it will be), make sure that you and your swimsuit visit Lake Jarun, in the middle of the concrete Jungle this oasis will most likely convince you that you are at the seaside.

What I love the most about it is that you can easily take coach anywhere to make a day trip and it doesn’t take longer than 2-3 hours. Try visiting Lakes Plitvice, one of our eight national parks or Trakošćan Castle, museum that’s located in the middle of most breath taking nature you will absolutely love exploring.

PRO TIP: If on a budget rent a Airbnb rather than a hotel, and try to buy come fresh groceries from Dolac, famers market located right next to the main Ban Jelacic square.

2. SPLIT

Not only is Split the very center of Dalmatian coast but it is also stunningly located between both the sea and the mountains. Split is a perfect mix of modern life and ancient history. It is busy and it is big. But everything is walking distance.

Where to go/ What to do/ What do eat: It’s Old town is perfect for getting lost between visiting Diocletian’s palace, climbing bell tower of St. Dominus Cathedral for the best view of the town, eating world-class seafood ( I’ve personally been to Bokeria kitchen and wine bar, and Dvor resaurant and can say that never had a reason to go anywhere else) drinking fine wine and having very tasty icecream. You don’t want to miss out on drinking coffee on Riva, which is a promenade that has many palm trees, beautiful old buildings and a view to the Adriatic Sea.

BACVICE BEACH! Vamos a la playa, because you want to have a swim in the most beautiful sea on this planet. Now, y’all better be prepared for a very over-crowded beaches because that’s how great our seaside is. However, if you walk a bit further and go visit Kasjuni beach, you will find less people there and more peace and quiet.

To sum up, Split is absolutely fabulous. You will most definitely NEVER be bored because there is so many experiences you can sign up for (day tours, rafting, etc) or you know just chill on a beach. Night life is ace. People are great. Flights from London’s Gatwick very affordable. And do you really need more reasons?

PRO TIPS: Use Uber instead of TAXI because you won’t get overcharged.

Use shuttle bus from and to the airport (aprox. 3O minute ride for about 30 kunas, or 7 euros)

Harbour that is located in the very centre is connecting all near by, MUST SEE islands and you want to get on that ferry man!

TAKE A FERRY TO: VIS

Have you watched Mamma Mia 2 last summer? That sea, that sun, that God sent beautiful nature Lily James was having a time of her life in whilst singing ABBA’s songs?

WELL, THAT’S VIS IN A NUTSHELL.

It is, if you ask me the most authentic island in Croatia. People usually visit to get a proper peacful getaway, to clear their heads,to rest and spend some time unplugged from the world.

Vis had great gourment delights, nature and bohemian vibe to offer, and although it is all very chilled you can still dance and jive, and have the time of your life.

3. ZADAR

THIS. TOWN.

Oh man. I spent the most beautiful 3 years of my life going to University of Zadar AND can personally vouch that THIS. TOWN. is one of a kind.

Many say it’s like a mini Split, BUT HELL NO.

It is it’s own kind of unique beautifulness and OMG now I’m crying.

Where to go: Let’s start with the Old town, because, well because I want to. Zadar’s Old town is basically a peninsula. Connected to the rest of a town via bridge (and a little bit of land).

It is all stones, white stones. Very instagrammable (I got your back and your Insta game girl).

You will probably want to take few photos in front of church of St. Donatus where FYI they don’t charge you an entrance during the mass but they do other times (so do make sure that you check that timetable out, OR just show up on Lord’s day aka Sunday)

Right behind that, there is a Cathedral of St. Anastasia with it’s very own bell tower (surprise, surprise) that indeed has a breath-taking view (and it also takes your breath away whilst going both up and down, DO NOT recommend if afraid of heights)

Then please do walk towards the sea, and have a walk on a promenade towards the Sea Organ that YES, is an actual instrument played by the sea.

AND if that’s not cool enough for you, there is a monument to the Sun that’s basically sonar panels right next to it and YES and it glows in a dark, so VOILA.

Yes, Zadar has a beach. Or I’d rather say, BEACHES. Anywhere next to the sea is a place to jump in and enjoy clear sea but DO NOT DO IT near SEA ORGAN, because you will be fined (I might have been there, done that BUT I was also celebrating my uni graduation). Kolovare beach will do for you, and there is also a very funky bar that is worth checking our because they make superb pizza.

Food and drinks/ What to do: On the other side of Old town (whole ten minutes of walking away) is a little park in the ancient walls with a  beautiful gate that are hiding fab coffee shop Ledana turned bar during night and is very recommended for chilling out or socialising during your time there.

There is also my favourite restaurant called Pet bunara. (try Squid ink risotto and homemade bread or any fresh fish they have to offer)

There are other few good restaurants to eat at. Couple museums to visit. And awesome walking tours to walk. When you’re trying to leave the Old Town there is an bridge you have to cross or simply take the bus, but near that bridge are many boats and agencies with whom you can book boat day trips to near by islands (like national park Kornati islands, where people usually see dolphins while sailing, but hey not Disneyworld kind of dolphins!!!) or just cruising day out.

PRO TIPS:  DO NOT PASS ON THE ICECREAM, IT IS THE BEST.

Buy your own booze and sit next to the Sea Organ in the evening and just breathe. It doesn’t really get better than seeing most magical sunset in the World. (rated by Alfred Hitchcock)

Take a bus from main bus station to Biograd na Moru or Krka National Park for a fun day trip to change the scenery.

So, have you packed your swimsuit yet? If not, WHAT are you waiting for?

And if you aren’t in the mood to plan your own holiday make sure to visit Tour Croatia and they will have you sorted.

Kisses and see you in Croatia this summer.

B xxx

6 things that made me laugh this May

Bonjour peeps!

Don’t you agree that January lasted like three years, February was about two weeks long and March & April  passed as fast as Melania removing her hand away from Trump? 

YES, me too.

But May was indeed just as long as it needed to be?

I had extremely busy,  very emotionally charged, activity-filled month AND fucking hell some very funny things happened to me. So I figured why not share my faves as you might either relate or have a mini LOL moment at my expense. 

Here it goes.

  1. Wine Country on Netflix. I LIVE FOR TRASH MOVIES LIKE THIS. It’s like ultimate comedy you need in your life. It is nearly as funny as the Bridesmaides but main characters are middle aged which only makes you laugh even more (BUT, hello me in cca 30 years)
  2. When my postman delivered my 5th delivery of the week with an eye roll and a comment: “Another ASOS delivery, eh?” I then panicked a bit and lied that I am an influencer. (that’s me DONE)
  3. Getting locked in Regnet’s park whilst drinking prosecco with my besties and needing to jump over the fence to get out. (it is as simple as that)
  4. When my toddler nephew was video calling me but decided that talking to himself in a mirror is obviously more important.
  5. Bryony Gordon’s book Wrong Knickers, but most importantly chapter “How to survive the wedding season”
  6. Date from hell. *I need you to know that what I’m about to write isn’t made up it is in fact a true event I have evidence to support this story. AND YES, you’re allowed to laugh.*

I WENT ON A DATE WITH A TRUMP SUPPORTER. Yes, a right-wing, gun carrying, abortion approving, red colour wearing, Mexican hating, wall building, Trump supporting man. He was as Republican as they get.

I OF FUCKING COURSE HAD NO FUCKING IDEA. To me was a cute looking guy from Florida (ALARM! ALARM! ALARM!) who asked me out for drinks because he’s never dated a foreign gal (ALARM! ALARM! ALARM!) and wanted to take me out for dinner (WHO GOES OUT FOR A DINNER ON A FIRST DATE!?).

I stupidly downloaded Hinge few weeks ago  and HE DIDN’T ADVERTISED IT ON THERE. Which let me tell you, IT SHOULD BE WRITTEN THERE. Especially if on a first date, you’re planning to tell a girl that once you get married, she’s your property.

Now, I negotiated drinks in my local pub because hello safe drinking and dating and first 15 minutes were indeed very pleasant. Then he mentioned he’s a 25-year-old virgin (HEY, ain’t nothing wrong with that but ALSO HEY, you’re an American). THEN I JOKED (thinking he was joking) how now he’s gonna tell me that he also voted for Trump which by his very serious question: “WHAT’D BE WRONG WITH THAT?” told me that I should stop joking because he isn’t joking.

It took be approximately 22 seconds to put on my fully democrat, open-minded and feminist brain to work and start what now seems to me like slightly dramatic monologue about how everything he believes and stands for is WRONG.

Then we started having a debate and oh boy!!! (Hilary and Trump should be ashamed) Very long and very amusing story short, after what seemed like forever but obvs was only 45 minutes two people (hi Tori & Richard) jumped in on our convo because I was fucking losing it, and of coure Tori was the most fab feminist lawyer, killed him with her arguments to the point where he decided to leave the beer garden and wait for me inside (NEVER HAPPENED, as the waiter let me leave the pub in the back exit). Tori and Richard then bought me drinks (total of seven), and tried to cheer me up with their funny date stories and we stayed there for next two hours discussing how very narrow minded ‘Mericans (does not apply to Democrats) are and how no Londoner should ever take shit from them. We were also joined by two other girls in our chat, (don’t remember your names lovelies but thanks for more drinks) until the pub was closing and the waiter who eventually saved me told me that that dude is still waiting for me inside. MAJOR LOL MOMENT I still don’t believe it happened but HEY, you win some, you lose some. (ALSO I HAD FEW ANGRY MASSAGES FROM HIM LATER ON BUT THANKS GOD FOR BLOCK OPTIONS)

Let’s talk about: love for your body

As last week was a Mental health awareness week focused on body image I’ve done lots of self reflection on that topic. Although I’m only 24, I’ve been to emotional hell and back when it comes to body image.

But haven’t we all?

 As I’ve always been bigger than any girl my age and people would always point that out as something that was incredibly wrong with me. I was called  names and made fun of my looks simply because I was taller (mostly by undeveloped little boy twats), and had like extra ten-ish kilos.

Little did they know that I don’t actually give a single fuck what they think  or say.

I first came in touch with body dissatisfaction in high school when my best friend developed anorexia and bulimia.

 I didn’t know what the fuck to do.

How to help.

Or even what to say.

To me, she was the most beautiful, smartest, funniest and kindest girl I ever knew, that I know.

I didn’t understand.

I would stuff my careless face with pastries whilst she’d tell me stories about how she lives on half of the apple a day because her tights don’t have a gap size of the Grand Canyon between them. It was abolutely devestating to see her think and act like that.

But that’s the thing about eating disorder, isnt’t it? It makes you tell yourself that you’re not skinny enough, that you’re not pretty enough and all of a sudden you’re not good enough.

It is so fucked up.

What she’s gone through marked me a little as well. It put that little bug in my ear that said: well if you ever do feel like you need to lose weight this is the faster/easier way. Because nothing feels as good as skinny!

WRONG, I’d tell myself, sausage rolls do!!!

And as a every sixteen-year-old I too was obviously very delusional.

Pressured into it just to fit in, my time of no eating anything or barely something came as well.

Luckily enough my mom shut it down after two months of me pretending to live in Skins tv show with a threat she’ll smack my bottom and send me to live with the nuns.

It wasn’t really until I was 18 and have been to through some serious medical shit that changed by body literally over night that I was left with a seriously poor self image.

Next five years of my life was me living in a body that I didn’t recognize.

A body I was ashamed of.

I tried hiding it and didn’t love it, like at all.

On really bad days I’d actually hate it. I’d scream at doctors asking why the hell would they try to fix me by ruining my body?

How dare they saving my life if that meant losing all of my hair and gaining weight and having mulitiple scars, muscle atrophy and let’s not even mentions cheeks as a squirrel caused by sterioids because I CAN’T.

It took me five years to even consider myself beautiful.

To even try to look like a girl.

 To feel confident.

To tuck my shirt into my jeans.

To wear heels.

To wear a skirt above my knees.

To wear a tank top.

To wear something that shows my scars.

To put on a bikini.

To not worry if I’m going to fit between tables in a coffee shop.

To feel like a woman.

Five years of practising self love and self care.

 Lot’s of therapy.

Pep talks from my friends but mostly mother.

Accepting I am good enough the way I am.

Finding a workout and a routine I love.

 And lots of deep self analyzing to be able to even like my body.

I did lots of journaling.

Listened lots of podcasts and read few books.

I unfollwed all unreal Victorias and her secret models on social media and started following body positive advocates.

But the hardest thing was letting go.

Letting go of things I can’t change.

Letting go of man that make me feel like shit.

Letting go of people don’t accept me for who I am and are constantly trying to change me.

Letting go of diets.

Letting go of that control freak I was.

 And accepting who I am is enough. I am perfect the way I am. And if I am too much for some people, well then they weren’t my people to start with.

A letter I wrote to my body

Dear body,

I am so sorry.

I am sorry for the way I treated you most of my life. For not caring enough about you and not liking you enough, sometimes even at all.

I am sorry for eveytime I hurt myself by bumping into things and for all the broken bones, total of 9 throughout my childhood.

I am sorry for all the cigarettes I smoked.

All the alcohol I drank and continue to drink.

And all the drugs I’ve put you through.

I am sorry for every 2am McDonald’s.

I am sorry for late nights and lack of sleep.

 I am sorry for googling plastic surgeries I can get in order to fix you. God knows I’m too much of a wuss to even get a lip filler not to mention liposuction or mastopexy.

I am sorry for every bad sex that left both you and me very unsatisfied.

 I am sorry for every single time I over fed you.

I am sorry for every single time I starved you.

I am sorry I’ve got sun burnt every summer so far.

 I am sorry for all the tight clothes I used to squeeze you in. (we both know that Spanx didn’t change anything)

I am sorry for all the comparisons I made with skinny girls in magazines. And all the Kardashians who drink shitty teas and have armies of people who make them look like brand new Barbie dolls.

I am sorry for all the damage I’ve put you trough whilst doing squats and dead lifts completely wrong.

Dearest body,

I also want thank you.

Thank you for fixing yourself after all the damage I’ve done to you. It still amazes me how incredible you are.

Thank you for getting me places even when I didn’t want to go.

Thank you for getting me through cancer. For putting up with all the chemo and other shit that we needed in order to get cancer free.

Thank you for not giving up on me when it was life or death.

Thank you for loving me back even tho I didn’t love you.

It is just you and me on this journey life is and I need you to serve me as long as you can so we can have more fun, see places we’ve never been to and walk down the aisle to marry a man we are going to have many dogs with.

Or even a little baby. Would it be okay if I let another person live in you as well? It’s just for 9 months that according to my sister go by very fast.

I am sorry it took me nearly 24 years to do so but I love you.

Love every scar.

Every strech mark.

Every bump and lump.

Every grey hair.

Every line on my face.

All the cellulite.

Hair that doesn’t listen even on a sunny let alone rainy day.

My bad knee that doesn’t bend properly because I fucked it up skiing.

My shrek fingers that look very wonky.

And even my hobbit feet that I got from my dad (and his nose!)

I love you dear body.

I will take care of you for the rest of the life. (and yes, I will try to cut my alcohol intake)

I promise.