Hi there nosy parker!
I am Barbara and I'm 25 year old Croatian with London address.
So what am I doing?
I honestly don't know. But I can promise you we are going to have some fun.
This blog is a mix of random bits and bobs that are more or less relevant to average girl in her 20s. So, get yourself a cup of tea, sit down, relax and happy reading!!!
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!
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.
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?
*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.
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.
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)
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
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.
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
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
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
Toner!ThisCowshed 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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 useDrunk 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.
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.
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.
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 🙂
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.
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:
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…
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.