My favourite ways to relax

Hi guys,
I don’t know if you already know this, but I am a stress freak. I stress about pretty much anything; asking for help in shops, having to call someone. I even stress about the stress that I know is coming. Due to this, one of my resolutions this year was to learn how to relax. I found and experienced a lot of techniques and these I find to be the most satisfying. Enjoy!
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  1. Going outside – Recently we have been lucky enough to visit Poznan, Poland and stay in a lovely hotel and SPA – Hotelarnia. Despite the SPA being a very relaxing experience, what I enjoyed the most was the fact that the hotel was situated within a one minute walking distance to the local National Park which was beyond beautiful. It was so peaceful there, often not a person in sight. We sat down by the lake or on a forest glade and enjoyed the sound of… nothing! (well, maybe just the birds singing or frogs ribbiting). I think it is safe to say that I have not felt so relaxed in a long while.
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2. Spending time with your loved ones – Of course, not everyone has access to a National Park. Or even a normal park. What do I do when I am stuck at home and stressed out of my mind? I talk to my boyfriend, mum, friends. Nothing can cheer me up as much as they can and nothing else could talk me out of my worries as effectively. I honestly don’t know where they get their patience from, but I am forever thankful.
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3. Active rest – I do have to say I’ve been really good with working out this year. I have literally been doing it 5 times a week. Usually, this includes youtube videos which I have shared with you before, however, the hotel mentioned above offered rental of bikes. Now, I have not cycled in what seems like forever, so this was quite a challenge and I did end up with two quite nasty bruises on my legs. However, I can’t remember the last time I had that much fun! Being active makes me get rid of my worries and ‘shake them off’. I know that if I don’t work out when planned, it is going to be a bad day.
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4. Pamper night – I love a pamper night. Face masks, baths, candles… It doesn’t get any better than that. I like to put on some relaxing music or a favourite movie (Grease forever!), pop on a face mask (some of my favourites in the photo), lay in bed or a bath and just give myself some time with just me. I do the things I love and take time in enjoying them and experiencing the moment.
Those are my favourite ways to relax. What do you like to do when you’re feeling a bit stressed or under the weather? Let me know!
Julia x

 

Things I love about Spain

Hi, hope you’re all doing well.

Ever since I was a little girl my dream was to live in Spain (It still is, actually!). I was always curious of their culture, language, architecture. Something about the country just struck me.

I do have to admit I have managed to fulfil my childhood dreams quite effectively; ever since that time I have undertook the learning of the language and visited the place twice, so, go me! My dream of living there won’t be achievable for at least the next two years due to my studies but I’m not going to give up hope as anything is possible if you really want it. And I really do. Here are some reasons why:

The weather

On the contrary to most people living in the United Kingdom, I love high temperatures and the sun. We don’t get to experience a lot of these in UK, but I do find that when we do, I am a much more motivated and positive human being. Costa del Sol, which is where I spent most of my holidays in Spain, enjoys an average of 300 sunny days per year. I don’t think it could get any better than that. The beach culture thrives, the night life thrives and it is all I ever need in life.

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The people

Let me set this straight; I am in no way an expert on Spanish people and their culture and if anything in this offends anyone, then I apologise.  But I do have to put this out there: I love the Spaniards. I love their laid back attitude (what is the point in rushing?!) which has probably derived from the local climate. I love their siesta and how literally everyone comes out late in the evening for a nice meal at a restaurant. I don’t think that would ever be possible in England, especially on a week day,  not only because it is usually freezing cold, but also due to the fact that most people have to wake up for work the next day.

I love how family orientated they are and how social life plays a massive role in their existence. Because, what is the pleasure if you just work, work, work and work?

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The food

Lets not joke; this is probably the most important bit for me. Whenever we go on any holidays we take it upon ourselves to try the local cuisine and never end up eating at the hotel but rather exploring the tiny cafes and family-run restaurants.

Where do I start? From chorizo, paella, croquettes to churros and crema catalana, Spanish food never fails to hit my tastebuds with brilliance.

What has really left a big impact on me, was the food market in Barcelona; La Boqueria. From the outside, it may look like nothing much, but after seeing the what seems like endless maze of different food stands, you will be amazed. The variety, the passion and the drive that you can sense in this place is just indescribable.  If you’re there, you just have to visit.

As we’re at it, if you are ever near Palamos in Catalonia, please try eating in a restaurant Candela. Hands down the most delicious tapas I have ever tried. Can’t recommend this enough.

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Architecture

Spain is in no way architecturally similar to any other country I have ever visited. Paris being charmingly consistent with the architecture throughout the whole city is a lovely contrast to Barcelona, where next to each other you can find an old-fashioned townhouse and a modern tower block standing next to each other.

But on one side, you can experience the beautifully structured buildings designed by Gaudi,  to then just be able to drive for two hours to see the Greek-like architecture of Cadaques.

Although Barcelona has a special place in my heart, Cadaques has really done it for me. Out of all the places I have ever been to, this must be one of the most romantic and breathtaking. It is a place I would easily recommend to anyone, even when going on a honeymoon. Secretly, I hope to get married there someday.

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Although these I would consider to be the main bits that stick out to me about the country, there is so much more about Spain that I still don’t know and am willing to find out. There are so many places there, that I have yet to see and so many tastes I have yet to experience. I hope that my future allows me to do just that.

Lots of love,

Julia

PS. All of the photograph were taken by me.

Seaside

I love the seaside. Although I don’t live directly by the seasise, I have always been quite close and near it. Being a person with anxiety, the sea always manages to calm me down. Just sitting there, listening. And if you listen carefully, there is just so many stories that the sea has to tell.

I think the sea can be quite intimidating. It seems so immensely massive that it makes all of my anxieties feel the size of the pebbles on the beach. It makes me realise that perhaps, in this big, wild world, all of the things that I am worrying about may not really have that much importance. That they are just dark stories made up in my head and won’t take place; and if they do, so be it! It is not the end of the world; it is not like the sea will dry out, it is not like the waves will stop crashing to the shore. I will get through this and so will you. There are many other ways that I often use to calm myself down, but if I really feel like going to the seaside and can’t at the very moment I just listen to the sound of the sea online. There are a lot of videos and files out there for you. It may not be the same, but it’s something.

Just a thought; maybe the sea calming us down has something to do with us being in the womb surrounded by fluid? Apparently, when I was very little I cried a lot and my mum used to put the hairdryer on near me, because it is supposed to remind the baby of the sound of the fluid in the womb. Well. Now it sounds silly.

(Yay! My dirty sandals!) I also love the pebbles on the beach. Not only do they give amazing foot massages, but provide me entertainment for hours. I love looking for shells and pretty rocks that I could then put in jars and use as decoration in my room. (You also find lots of other gems, such as cigarettes, 1p’s, plastic…) Whenever I go with my family, we tend have a competition; who finds the best shell, wins. There isn’t really a price other than pure satisfaction, but in our family the feeling of beating everyone else is really enough.

Oh, the houses by the seaside. Don’t you just wish that you would wake up to the sound of the sea? And then open your curtains and the first thing you see it’s the sea? And then whenever you looked out the window, there it was, right in front of you? Oh yes, I wish.

I love you all,

P.S. And of course, you can’t forget that the best thing about the seaside is fish and chips!!!!

P.S. 2 The photos were taken in Hastings.

Paris

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Paris is considered one of the most romantic cities on Earth (well, maybe beside Venice which is the usual destination for the honeymooners). Unfortunately, when we got there it was far from romantic; Paris has greeted us with rain, fog and unusual chilliness. But how could this possibly put you off? Despite the runny noses and frozen toes we began exploring this architecturally stunning place.

What has caught my attention straight away was the way of the Parisians. It is almost as if they don’t notice that you’re there and don’t get me wrong, I do not mean it in a bad way. It gives the place authenticity and allows you to truly experience the place. The fact that they are all so well dressed is only a great bonus. The amount of times I turned my head following yet another completely unique outfit, I could not possibly count in my head.

Although we haven’t managed to take a decent photo of the Eiffel Tower (I know, foolish), the views from it were absolutely breathtaking. Despite my fear of heights, I couldn’t resist taking a few pictures. As I have already said before, the architecture is absolutely astonishing. All these apartaments with big windows gave me a Vogue-like feel and made me desparately want to live in one at some point in my life!

Since my boyfriend and I are so gooey and romantic we couldn’t possibly miss Pont des Arts. I think it is a lovely little gesture. Being realistic, I don’t think all the couples that hang their padlocks there remained together for the rest of their lives, but it is the thought that counts. Although I think the bridge has now collapsed (oops!) the symbol of our love still remains in this photo.

What I also find very important in my travels is food and yet again Paris has not dissapointed me on that one. I fell in love with the sweet tarts and my favourite macaroons. The cheese selection was incredible and we did end up eating it for our lunches quite a lot with some amazing chutney and a selection of regional meats. I am also a massive sea food fan, therefore I am not overly scared of trying anything that looks unappealing to the eye, however snails I have never tried before in my life. And although we did order them and I did try my best, their taste still remains a mystery to me.

Paris will forever remain one of my favourite places to go back to.

Love,