De-stressing night routine

PEOPLE, we have made it. First full week of work in 2020. WELL DONE US.

It was freaking hard to get back to routine after 10+ hour sleeps, constant food comas and non-stop staring at telly. I just barely managed to get a grip and can’t tell you how very stressy depressy it was. With all my jobs and workouts and side hustles. I get easily burnt out if I don’t take care of myself so I created a very relaxing night routine to help with unwinding and getting rid of that anxious feelings. And of course I decided to share. I’ll get really specific, ok? So lets dive into it.

6pm- I usually eat dinner at work.

7pm- most nights I finish work around 7pm. As I work from home I go and change clothes. I put on leggings, work out bra, top and oversized sweatshirt.

7.30pm- workout. I love getting a good sweat in as that helps with my anxiety and relaxes the fuck out of me. I prefer doing cardio in the evenings as it helps me sleep better. On Mondays and Wednesdays I’ll go for a spin, Tuesdays are for circuits and Thursdays for yoga. I walk to gym and back to get some fresh air and during that time I listen to music. Usually this playlist.

8.30pm- I’m usually home between 8.30-45 (this is also the last time I check my phone for the day) and I go straight into my bathroom for a very hot shower and to do beauty night routine.

I wash my face with Glossier Milky Jelly cleanser in the shower. I basically make sure it’s my time to calm down and wash the day away. Straight after shower I love to put some Bio Oil on my body. For my face, I’ve been loving the Ordinary Gylcolic Solution as my toner which is usually followed by Drunk Elephant hydro serum for some hydration as retinol serum I apply next, dries my skin. The DE serum is very light so retinol still goes through it. After serums, here comes the moisturizer to which I add few drops of DE marula oil as winter in London can be brutal for my skin. For eye creme I use Kiehl’s Avo treatment and as lip balm Laneige sleeping mask.

As an extra little treat I use Clinique moisture surge overnight mask. It basically works as a very heavy and hydrating moisturiser and I obvs sleep with it. It gives my face very fresh and glowy look the next day.

After that I brush my teeth, I scrape my tongue and I floss (ok, most nights I floss).

9pm- pyjamas and tea time. Lately I’ve been driking Pukka night time blend which tastes and smells AMAZING. It’s a perfect path to restful nights.

9.15pm- bed time. I’ve been in the candles lately. It sets a better mood than oil diffuser during cold and dark evenings. My current faves are Pomander by Diptyque and This Works Deep Sleep candle. I also absolutely LOVE my salt lamp. I have it on every evening and it is sooooo relaxing.

If I’m in the mood, I will read. I’ve started new book recently and have been loving it. But if my day was really stressful and I just want to completely switch off, I put on tv and watch something funny. I started AJ and the Queen on Netflix over the weekend AND I’m hooked.

10pm- sleep time. I set my alarm, put my phone one airplane mode, blow out my candles, open my window for 10 minutes whilst I’m saying thanks and prayers and then I turn off my lamp and I go to sleep.

I know this is quite early but 7-8 hour sleep is essential for me to recharge. I wake up around 5am and if I don’t get enough sleep I am super cranky and unproductive the next day. If you’re going to take one thing from this blog post, please get your sleep.

Hope you enjoyed this post, and please let me know in the comments what are your hacks to de-stress and relax.

Lots of love, B.

ps. All links are affiliate.

Hi, my name is…

Camera – Olympus

WELL HELLO YOU AND WELCOME TO A NEW DECADE. Boy am I happy for you to be here and read my nonsense in 2020.

I believe that since you’re here you pretty much know few things about me and presumably like what you see/read but here we are, new year, fresh start and all that jazz so decided a little re-introduction is in order.

Hi, my name is Barbara. Like just in case you didn’t pick that up until now. I am a 25-year-old woman who still feels like mummy’s little girl most days. I’ve been a Londoner for over 3 years now and all my family is back in homeland, Croatia. But all of this you can find out from my Insta bio.

I am here to share my deepest, darkest, most honest self.

Why? Because I am an oversharer and I can’t help it. But also because I want to.

I find it very beneficial to see other women my age or size sharing their problems or worries. When they give advice or tell their stories. When they motivate me or tell me that it’s ok to spend a day on a sofa.

There is something so comforting in sharing my everyday life, my highest highs and lowest lows with strangers on the Internet. And if by doing that I help one, just one person out there, well that’s me happy.

But despite being a perpetual oversharer who’s very active on social media I am a introvert in a weird way. Despite the fact I talk too much, too fast and all time I like to be silent. I like to listen. I like to savour the silence and peace that comes with it.

I adore simplicity and aspire to live minimalist, Scandi lifestyle. I Marie Kondo my life every so often but I’m constantly getting new things so that ain’t happening.

I love listening to music and podcasts more than I like reading books.

I am a movie freak but lately only have time to watch series. Equally I will stay up until 2am to watch Academy awards because “the Oscar goes to…” sentence makes my heart skip a beat. When I was younger I wanted to become a female version of Martin Scorsese or new Meryl Streep.

Pop culture is more important to me than any other section of newspapers and I won’t apologise about it. However, I am very conscious about the happenings in the world. Politics is a topic not everyone wants to discuss yet I am very passionate and could talk about it for hours.

I sometimes lack compassion and often have to stop myself and try to look at things from other perspective.

I hate injustice and when things aren’t by the book. I will stand up for my values and will defend my principles.

I get very loud when happy, very red in cheeks when uncomfortable and VERY, I MEAN VEEEEERY FUNNY when drunk.

I am way smarter than I think. Way more capable then I give myself credit for. And I can cook although it’s the worst thing I have to do in order to survive.

I love to clean and I’m only 100% sure I’m slightly OCD as can’t leave my room in the morning without making my bed.

I am a very typical millennial who eats avocado on toast and keeps dipping in/out of veganism. I love my coffee from independent, posh coffee shops and travelling.

I shop of ASOS like a true basic B and HAVE NO FREAKING REGRETS. Except I have no control which keeps making me stay in my overdraft.

For me fashion is art and I’ve been reading Vogue since 12, however 90% of the time I’m in my white t-shirt, straight jeans and white trainers paired with gold hoop earrings.

I have an unhealthy obsession with trainers.

I am an skincare enthusiast and would spend every last penny on skincare. I also love make up but I use it maybe three times a week.

Glossier balm dotcom
Gold hoop earrings
Keyring

I am UK size 18, which makes me plus size and it’s been a freaking journey to come here where I feel comfortable in my own body. I also have bad days where I can’t even look myself in the mirror.

I have the most supporting and loving family. I am a daughter, sister, gran-daughter, niece and auntie to the best people on this planet and I wouldn’t be so in love with life if they weren’t part of it.

My nephew is most probably the closest I will ever have to children. He is one of few I’d give my life for.

I often complain about little things because I find them easier to cope with if I talk about them. I also don’t feel like a hypocrite to do so as I’ve never really complained whilst having cancer.

I like to eat my feelings, mostly in fries and bread.

I like to sing in the shower.

I prefer vanilla over chocolate and actually I don’t eat much of chocolate. Once a year I like to eat a jar of Nutella with a spoon.

I have 3 jobs. None of those have anything to do with what I studied for three years in uni.

I get bored easily. Paradoxically I’m could watch Friends or Sex and the City forever and ever. My favourite music hasn’t changed for years because when I find a song I like, I listen to it until my ears bleed and then I don’t want to hear it ever again.

I think that the most important relationship I have is the one with myself.

I’m not afraid of dying.

But sometimes I’m scared of living.

Dogs and sharks are my favourite animals. I don’t like cats. Or bugs. I especially hate pigeons.

I am impossible to be around whilst PMS-ing.

I am very complicated to date. I am selfish.

I will never stop wearing animal print.

I prefer staying at home to going out.

I will probably never own a house because of Deliveroo and Uber.

I am fully addicted to Coke Zero.

I’m a nanny to two incredible girls. L who makes me laugh to the point I could (I did) pee my pants and P who is the bravest of them all whilst living with her disability.

I allow myself a monthly cry session where I release all my stress, negativity and worries.

I can’t watch horror movies since 7th grade.

I believe in God but stopped going to church.

When I have bad mental health days I like to watch Modern Family or Grace and Frankie, drink mint tea and have my essential oil diffuser on.

I geek out on routines and to-do lists, Harry Potter and history.

When sad, my sister sends me memes and my mum tells me to cry it out and then get my shit together.

I watch way to much YouTube.

I am a professional stalker and Netflix watcher.

I don’t take myself or life to seriously.

I am anything but average.

I’m always wearing my positive pants.

I am flawed.

I will share my opinion, asked or not.

I don’t apologise unless I really mean it.

My every day is a bad hair day.

I’m a serial procrastinator.

I get easily annoyed if hungry, late, hot, tired or desperate for a wee.

I often catch myself being ungrateful.

But I’m working on myself.

AND I am around if you need anything. Most importantly, thank you for being here.

B x

t-shirt: ASOS

clips: H&M

earrings: Rock n Rose

*This post contains some affiliate links

Thank you, next!

Thank you next is my most listened song on Spotify in 2019. NO SHIT SHERLOCK. Ari girl thought me so much so there’s no surprise that Jan 2019 me and December 2019 me are two VERY different people.

My calendar year is usually Jan 3rd to December 26th, and anything in between is a transitional period. I just need few days to sit down and look back for the last time and decide what shitty moments to leave in the past, say thanks for all the good and take all the lessons I possibly can. And to set goals.

But I can’t write about a new year without reflecting on this past year.

2019 was, phew. Indescribable really. It was a year that had so much good but paradoxically said: “did you die though?” The whole mood people were generally in was “disappointed but not surprised” and frankly I get it. Despite several bad days and few heart breaks, I had a great year. You want to know why? Because I made it possible for myself. I had the AUDACITY. To say what’s on my mind, to ask for what I deserve and to walk away when someone/something didn’t serve me anymore.

I learnt so much about myself. Rediscovered this whole new nearly adult person who doesn’t settle for less than she deserves. Who refuses to stay quiet if injustice is being done or if someone is in need of kind words. A person who fully accepted who she is, what she likes and what she wants. A woman who hates her time being wasted and despises being treated like a child. A friend who has friends she can depend on and share a little bit of comfortable silence with. I found new passions. I achieved some of my childhood goals. I laughed. I cried. I lost family members but equally learnt there is a new one on the way. I made peace with some people but decided to leave them in the past. I left all of the bitter, messy, and hurt behind. I found love. Love for me, my body and my well being. I became more open to new beginnings, new chapters and new opportunities. I stopped being so hard on myself but also on the others. I let go of things that can’t be controlled and I restored my inner peace. I am more grounded and more present in my life.

And ready to take on another year.

Every year I write down resolutions, so why would this year be any different? However, this time I want to keep them to myself. Because in 2020, I want to be a girl who doesn’t talk about what she’s going to do – she just does it. A girl who trusts herself and has no doubt in her abilities. Someone who has faith in timing and is slowly but steadily moving towards her goals because she know’s better than expecting instant changes. I want to know when I need to push harder and when I need to pull back. Someone who rests when needed knowing it’s for the best. A woman who has her priorities sorted and is guarding that fiercely. Someone who isn’t her own obstacle.

And to you I want the same. I hope you find yourself. Your true-honest-self.

Don’t be scared to embrace that pearson.

There is nothing wrong with being a half-vegan, semi-sustainable or that basic bitch.

I also wish you peace. And that you fall asleep the moment your head hits the pillow. That you stop overthinking. I hope you have no need for sad tears. That you don’t know of that horrible chest feeling when you’re in ER, or waiting for the results. I wish you have a job you’ll love going to and that alarm sound isn’t the worst thing ever. I hope you have no regrets because what you did was what you wanted in that exact moment. I hope you stop looking what’s the last time someone was online, that you believe in yourself no matter what and that you stop explaining yourself to others. Never forget about the people who raised you and that in every moment of your life you know who your real friends are. I hope you experience more happiness than sadness. Most of all I wish you health. Both physical and mental, because then you’ve got what you need.

Lots of love and massive thank YOU to one and every single one of you wonderful beasts reading this blog and following my daily tantrums on Instagram.

Now go on, have the best night of your year.

Love, B x

*Aff. links

Top: Weekday via ASOS

Skirt: New Look

Headband: ASOS (sold out but similar)

2020 Diary: Oliver Bonas

Earrings: ASOS

Hand cream: Beauty Pie

Jewellery Box: Oliver Bonas

How to survive the holidays

So it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and by Christmas I mean like turkey, pigs in blanket, roast potatoes, Eggnog, tree stuffed with decorations, wrapped presents, countless hours in front of telly, empty bank account and of course that holiday guilt that slowly but steady builds up in my gut whilst all I actually should be feeling is Xmas spirit.

What am I talking about?

That crippling feeling because you’re eating yet another serving of desert or having a third buzzy night in a row. That incapability to relax and watch Lord of the Rings marathon with your brother because you’ve got work to do (although on hols) or exam to study for. And that awful guilt of not working out for days yet eating nothing but carbs.

Oh yes, xmas holidays are very holly jolly when you’re a kid but being an adult during holidays is sometimes very stressy depressy.

Anytime between 24th of December and 6th of January there is that sinking pit in my stomach after having anything, I MEAN ANYTHING TO EAT that’s not a leaf of lettuce. It’s been around for few years now and I won’t lie to you no matter how hard I’ve worked on myself that year. Whenever I’m like: “ok B, ten days of eating whatever your heart wants!” that sucker creeps up and I mean I still eat but sometimes I cry afterwards. I dunno why it’s there but this year it isn’t invited. Because I don’t care about my size. I don’t care if I’ll gain 3kg just after Crimbo lunch. It is baby Jesuses birthday after all and if I want to eat all the potatoes I shall eat all the potatoes.

I don’t know when I became so fussy with my C-day outfit because I swear to God I used to spend the day in my pyjamas until few years ago but that shit also brings no joy ok? Let’s face the fact that no one, I mean NO ONE will see my fancy spanx and matching bra under overpriced dress I will probably never wear again. So H&M dress will do this year and there will be no ah’s and oh’s if cranberry sauce gets on it.

And we also have the great fear of time wasting. I’ve mastered telling myself that time I enjoy wasting isn’t really wasted. That watching Friends for the fifth time or sitting and listening to music whilst staring at the lights or just simply going for walk by yourself isn’t wasting time. If it does you and your mental health good, it’s opposite of wasted. It’s what you need and maybe it’s just me telling myself that it’s ok to watch all HP movies on Boxing day but who can really say no to that?

I know holidays are tough and sometimes we are all a little bit more like Grinch but that’s normal.

It’s completely ok to feel gutted when your uncle Bob asks if you’re married yet, found a real job or when are you buying the house??? or if aunt Karen comments on your weight and the fact you’ve been downing prosecco all night? BUT you shouldn’t just stay there listening to that shit. Walk away from it. Walk away from it with a smile knowing who you are and what matters is that you are loved and worthy of having the best time of your life. What really counts is on the inside.

Let me just remind you that this holidays you are allowed to sleep in late. Leave your spanx in the drawer. Eat too much. Cry for no reason. Spend some time alone. Drink. Waste time. Slow down. And most importantly enjoy yourself.

Happy hols babes, have the best time ever!

B x

Aff links*

Bra: M&S

Knickers: M&S (very on brand)

My all time favourite Christmas movies

People I don’t wan to alarm anyone but it’s less than 10 days to Christmas.

HOLY MOLY! Isn’t December just the most wonderful time of the year?

I really do enjoy Xmas and the whole shebang that comes with it. I sometimes get very stressy depressy during hols because I always pressure myself into having all the fun, but do you really want to know what’s my definition of fun? CHILLIN’. I just want to chill in front of my telly, watch some Xmas movies, have my fairy lights on, maybe eat some mince pies (JK they taste horrible, I’ll eat shortbread cookies) and drink a cup or two of mulled wine.

There, this is how I lift my Xmas spirit. And today I am sharing A LIST (I do love a good list!!!) of my all time favourite holly jolly movies. So pick one, I mean you can’t get it wrong. Get yourself cosy, with a candle or fairy lights or whatever works for you and enjoy your December evenings to the fullest.

  1. LOVE ACTUALLY you can watch it on Sky Cinema or Amazon Prime. This is one of my favourite movies EVER. I know every word of it and yes it’s been 16 years but I still can’t forgive Alan Rickman for cheating on Emma Thompson OK???
  2. Home alone 1 and 2, both on Amazon Prime or YouTube. Probably watched both part a million times. And will probably watch it another million times.
  3. ELF is on Apple TV or Amazon Prime. SANTA IS COMING? Don’t be a cotton-headed ninny muggins, spread some holiday cheer and laughs with Elf. IT IS THE BEST.
  4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone can be found on Amazon Prime or YouTube. OH my, Harry Potter’s first Christmas in Hogwarts usually turns into a HP marathon but isn’t what *that time between xmas and new year when no one knows what day or date it is* is for?
  5. The Family Stone is on Amazon Prime. It a very complicated and cheesy rom-com and it just makes me feel like my family isn’t all that messes up.
  6. It’s a wonderful life is on YouTube or Amazon Prime. An ultimate Hollywood movie. SO worth the watch at least once in a lifetime!
  7. How Grinch stole Christmas on Netflix and YouTube. CLASSIC.
  8. Meet Me in St. Louis Amazon Prime or Google Play. Watch it just to Have yourself a merry little Christmas!!!
  9. The Holiday is on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Another very cute rom-com. I can’t get enough.
  10. The Santa Clause is available via Amazon Prime, YouTube, Disney +. This screams CHILDHOOD OK? And it would also make me jelly my dad isn’t the Santa Clause.
  11. Love the Coopers can be streamed on YouTube or Amazon Prime. It’s very celebrity packed and had few very sweet moments so it’s definitely worth the watch. I love it very much.
  12. A bad Moms Christmas is on Netflix. Ultimate shitty comedy that makes you piss your pants and literally let your brain C H I L L .

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.