Autumn at home

I am one of the few people that don’t actually have a favourite season. I think they all are very unique in their own way. I was brought up in a country with four proper seasons so I get why many people in England don’t really understand where I’m coming from. I always say this: go for a trip to a country that has the actual season and you’ll see what I mean. Switzerland in winter is just too dreamy. And Austria in the country side during Autumn is still one of the prettiest things I’ve ever seen. I won’t give you examples for summer, summer is pretty good everywhere really. Oh, except England 😂 The thing is, sometimes weather lets us down, so here are some ways to make you feel more cozy and relaxed and really bring the autumn season to your home.

a good movie and an even better book

There’s something so romantic about getting cozy under a blanket while it’s pouring with rain outside. And you’re there, fully emerged into the story of the book, no mobile phones or social media to distract you. I have recently managed to organise our office room and unpacked our book collection that was hiding in boxes for a while now. I remembered again how amazing it is to just sit down and read a book, with nothing else on your mind. I realised this hasn’t happened in months, I was always rushing around and forgot to just take a break. I have preordered 3 new books that will launch in November and I am very excited to give them a go. One of them is by Michelle Obama, called Becoming – I cannot wait to read it. I love Michelle so much, she’s the ultimate female goal – she’s beautiful, she’s very intelligent, hilarious and extremely hard working. Her character is so strong and unique, I wish she was my BFF. You never know, maybe one day!

fall inspired hot drinks

You’ll have to admit that pumpkin hot drinks are a must for autumn and autumn only. It’s the best season and only season when you can really indulge in pumpkin flavoured hot chocolates and teas. I for one like to avoid sugar at any costs so instead opt for flavoured natural teas – my favourite one at the moment is the Nut&Spice package shown above. The best thing about these teas is that they’re all plant based, all natural, they smell like autumn in a cup and they’re actually good for you. I buy mine from Adagio, they have the best variety and it’s all proper loose tea. If you’re a tee fanatic like me, then you should give these a go.

beauty rituals

I find myself having more baths than usual, and remember me mentioning reading? Well reading while having a bath is just maximum relaxation level achieved. It can not get any better than this, I’m telling you. When it comes to Autumn, the biggest change in my beauty regime is the face cream. My skin gets more dry than usual so I like to give it a boost with the Estee Lauder – Advanced Repair Ampoules. It’s extremely concentrated, you only need one tiny ampoule per day for a full face of hydrated skin. It doesn’t have oils in it so it’s good for those with mixed/oily skin like me. It’s the most expensive beauty product I’ve ever purchased, but I for one swear by it.

candles and home decor

The other day I ended up picking a bunch of dried leaves to put around the house. It’s the best way to bring some autumn into your home: they’re free, they don’t get dirty and it’s very easy to throw them once you’re ready to move on (onto the Christmas decor!). I also stack on smelly candles and I always get mine from Homesense or TK Maxx. They have the best brands when it comes to natural and strong smells. Most of these are created with natural oils which makes them a bit more pricey, but you’re really paying for the quality. My favourite brand at the moment is DW Candles, they last a long time and smell incredible. My whole house smells like I’ve been baking all day and that’s thanks to the Vanilla Pumpkin Latte candle I’ve got going on.

I have also been playing around with autumn inspired outfits which I show mainly on my Instagram account, so make sure to follow me there. I’d also like to keep my promise and keep up with the Youtube videos, it’s a bit tricky at the moment with this thing called life, but I like to keep my promises so there are some videos in the making! 😊

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When you feel like giving up

I find that when I take on a challenge, the hardest thing for me is to carry on if I don’t see any visible results. If I’ve spent a lot of time and effort into something that’s not quite how I wanted it to be, it’s very easy to let go and move on. Or to put it straight: to give up. I mean, when do you know you’re on the right track? How long until you should succeed? How much time should you invest? What about money? When do you stop and when do you carry on? Sometimes it’s not that easy, sometimes it’s not that clear and when results don’t come, your mind is playing tricks on you, telling you you’re not good enough, you’re not made for this and you should probably move on to the next project.

This year has been very challenging from this perspective, but I promised myself I’ll carry on no matter what. It was my mission to suck it in and try and put my faith into the power of consistency. I took that saying “hard work beats talent” and really embraced it. It has been one of the most difficult things I had to do: to carry on white not getting any rewards (mentally, visibly or financially).

This made me thing of all the other times when I just gave up. Don’t get me wrong, some things had to be left in the past but some other things I regret giving up on. You know those people who have no regrets in life? I mean, are they for real? I just don’t get it, I mean .. like none at all, zero, null? I for one, have a long list of regrets. That doesn’t mean my life is ruined, it just means I got to learn from my mistakes. And because of some of these regrets I decided not to give up this time. So in a way, having regrets paid off. Another thing that helped me be more focused was a book by Darren Hardy, called The Compound Effect. It talks about the importance of small steps, how it all adds up and the power of being consistent. It’s a lovely book and I recommend you give it a try. Let’s face it – autumn is the best time to read: cosy blankets, rainy days, fireplace in the background and a glass of wine. I’d love to know what you do to keep you going, any tips and tricks I should know? 🙂

Wearing top from Shein | Old Zara Skirt | Vintage Bag | Shoes from Dolce & Gabbana 

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What I’ve learnt from being married for one year

(hit play)

I never believed in the fairytale wedding scenario. I remember being just a child and thinking to myself – how do you know when someone’s meant to be with you forever? Now I know the answer: you just know. I simply knew I was meant to spend the rest of my life with Dan. It just felt right and exciting. So here’s what I’ve learnt from my very short married experience.

Weddings are fun

I am so glad we got to have two weddings – we just had the best fun in the world. So here’s my advice to you: if you are definitely against having a wedding, just do a small party with your loved ones. Make sure you celebrate your relationship somehow. It’s just so full of joy and happiness and goosebumps. It’s a perfect occasion for a party, just think about it: celebrating two people that are in love, celebrating getting a new family – it’s exciting for everyone!

You feel more settled

This is society messing with my head but I swear since I got married I feel more settled. It’s weird, I didn’t need a paper to know that Dan will be beside me forever. But somehow it just made it all sound more reassuring. I know it’s silly, but I’m here to be honest.

Butterflies come again

I am so much more in love since we got married, it’s crazy! It’s all the excitement I guess. Maybe also postponing our honeymoon for a year was a good thing too. It kept the momentum going if that makes sense. It’s the small things too, calling your partner “husband” or hearing him call you “wife”. Yes, it’s as cheesy at is sounds, but it feels so gooood.

It motivates you

I often hear jokes like, you got married that’s it, you can now get lazy and fat and so on. Like life ends when you get married. Since last year I have become more preoccupied with how I look and what I do career wise. I really want to make my husband proud. It’s kind of like I just realised it’s forever so I want to make sure he’ll always be interested in me, in how I look, in what I do and what I say. (and gosh I do talk a lot, so might as well be interesting!) It’s like extra motivation to get to the next level.

Baby topics are very common

If I could have a penny for every time we get asked when we’re going to have babies.. It’s fine though, it doesn’t bother me – sometimes it’s just a question to break the ice. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of people get offended by this question and say it’s a personal matter. I agree, it is a personal matter, but I also think it’s just a courtesy question that doesn’t need to be taken seriously. People are asking for the sake of conversation, not to know the ins and outs of your reproductive thoughts.

Nothing has to change if you don’t want to

I refused to change my surname and many people got mental about it. I don’t even know why, it’s none of their business. So let me tell you why I decided to keep my name: because it’s so much more practical! I’m sorry, but I really don’t want to take days off to go all the way to the embassy to London to change all my paperwork. Then go back to Romania to change all my bank account details too. Oh and don’t forget about the drivings licence and all the bank accounts in the UK. Oh an also I like my name and I don’t want to. The thing is, marriage can be however you want it to be. You don’t have to follow all the silly social rules. It’s what matters to you and your partner. Besides my name, most of my life stayed the same. Just a bit more exciting.

What are your thoughts on marriage? let me know 🙂 

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Just breathe easy

I always said the best therapy for the soul is travelling. That, and a lovely bath. This time I had plenty of both while visiting Bali, Indonesia. I will soon tell you more about our amazing experience, but firstly I wanted to share with you the first thing I learnt from this island: to unwind. I also wanted to feature my most worn item on this holiday. Island life can’t go without beachwear, right?

I’m wearing this gorgeous Forever Unique kaftan, which goes too well with my drink hihi. I got it from UK Swimwear, an online beachwear brand based in the UK. If you’re planning a holiday abroad, they’ll have everything you need. I love their wide brand portfolio, with different sizes and fits especially for the bust area – which many of us struggle with.

We live in a society where it’s cool to be busy, everything is on your phone at all times. There’s no time to relax or just let things go. There’s always something happening, someone calling, texting, emailing, stressing. And I just feel it’s harder and harder to detach from all this madness. Mainly because of this silly mobile phone. A different continent, and a hotel with this gorgeous view were just what I needed to let go of everything and just relax. I started writing in my journal again, I discovered some new things about me and I came back full of energy, ambition and some new goals. That’s what travelling does to me, that’s why I love it so much.

My kaftan is available to buy here

 

 

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How to Afford Luxury Items

No matter what your budget is, you can afford luxury brands, you just might have to work harder than others. But if it’s something you want, then you’ll get it.

I was brought up in a modest family, in a modest town, therefore owning a designer item was never on the table. I was thought that money needs to be spent wisely, not on silly expensive fashion. I was also the only one really interested in this industry, so I had nobody to share this passion with. It took me some time of earning and saving, until I was comfortable enough to start my mini collection. I took very very small steps and I’m here to tell you my tips and tricks.

Start a separate savings account

Start a mini savings account for any items you’d like to purchase in the future. I like maths (a looot) so I like to work with percentages. Pick a very small percentage of your revenue and pop it on the side each month. Let’s give you an example: saving 5% each month for luxury when earning £1000/month. That would be £50/month, which makes £600/year. And boom – that’s a pair of designer shoes. The idea is to pick an amount that’s manageable to you, you can go lower or higher. But don’t go too high, there’s other things more important in life than a pretty bag.

Go for outlets

Designer items are rarely on sale. If you want to save yourself some money, it’s best to look at something that’s from an older collection – there’s a chance you’ll see it on designer outlets or in the occasional sale sections of the main online designer websites. My favourite are Outnet ,  TkMaxx for outlets and NetaPorter ,  Luisa Viaroma and My Theresa for sale. I have to confess, I only have one item bought full price. Everything else was either outlet price, sale or vintage (cha ching!)

Go vintage

Especially for bags, I recommend you look for vintage finds. Instead of getting a brand new Michael Kors made in China, why not get yourself an old YSL, full or character, handmade in France and at the same price? The problem with vintage is that it’s all about your personal style. If you don’t like old looking bags/classic bags then it will be harder to find something for your taste. When vintage, avoid big brands such as Chanel and Hermes – they usually increase their value in time. Opt instead for brands such as Miu Miu, YSL, Louis Vuitton (tricky), Gucci, Viviene Westwood. Some good vintage shops are Designer Exchange (shop and online) SophiaShop on Esty and Vestiaire Collective online.

Follow the influencers

Make sure to follow your favourite influencers and their Depop accounts. They often sell their items and they usually go for smaller prices. They’re usually inundated with clothes and accessories, so there’s a high chance they’ll be in very good condition. If you’re not into reading blogs and so on, just do a quick search on Youtube for Luxury Hauls – find their Depop accounts and just keep an eye on there from time to time. If you’ve seen someone wear something you like, don’t be afraid to contact them directly and offer to purchase the item. They sometimes say yes 🙂

Luxury comes at different price points

I’m here talking about being comfortable in buying luxury items, but I’m still far from getting a Chanel Boy bag. I mean, sorry but £4000 is way too outside of my comfort zone. Or should I say financial zone? The thing is not all luxury needs to be expensive. Some good priced brands are: Charlotte Olympia, Vivienne Westwood, Kate Spade, Malone Souliers, Moschino. You can also start with accessories such as jewellery, scarves, belts, purses.

Be flexible

Do as much research as you need in order to get to see what you would actually have the most wear out of. Go to Selfridges/Harrods etc and look closely at all the pieces that you find tempting. Try on some shoes from different designers, check out inside pockets of the bags – try to know as much as possible about the brands you like. When the sale hits up/outlets get more stock in – try and keep an open mind. There’s 0.001% chance you’ll see the exact item you wanted. So be a bit more flexible with your choices, kind of when shopping in a vintage or thrift shop. Look out for the hidden gems!

Don’t get into debt

Last but not least, have fun and make sure you make the most out of your luxury items. Don’t overdo it, don’t buy them on credit or using instalment payments.  Fashion is not worth getting you into dept. And if you still feel you struggle to save some cash for luxury, make it your goal to earn a specific amount of money in a year or two or five. Use it as a financial goal and work to make it happen.

Wearing Coast Dress | H&M Shoes | Ted Baker Bag

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Sicily – 5 Things You Need To Know

I’ll be honest with you. I don’t like to plan my holidays too much, I like to go with the flow and often make random decisions. It always turns out to be amazing, so why change my strategy? That’s kind of what happened to our trip to Sicily – it all started with finding very cheap flights via Ryanair. Once we booked the flights, we started doing some research and decided on an itinerary. So if you’re like me, here are 5 quick and easy tips you need to remember when travelling to Sicily:

Places

Make sure to travel around the island as it’s so different and has so much to offer. Our itinerary was: Palermo – Cefalu – Taormina – Etna – Palermo. I have to say that every location has its own beauty and you don’t need more than a day to spend in any of these places. You can if you want to, but you can see enough in a day.

Food & Drinks

If you’re on a diet you might as well not go. The food is de-li-cious! Plenty of fresh seafood, prepared in different ways, accompanied by the best wines. If you don’t fancy the sea food, well, let me state the obvious: pizza & pasta! The only regret I have about our trip was that we didn’t eat more, and I’m not even joking.They also have the best ice-creams, fresh fruits and Cannoli, which is a traditional Sicilian desert best described as heaven. I realised I haven’t got any pictures of my Cannoli’s (which I think were 10 over the course of 2 days) and that’s because they were too delicious, I couldn’t take 2 minutes to snap a picture.

Money

Prices in Sicily vary depending on the places. Except Taormina, everything is pretty much affordable and quite on the cheap side. Taormina however is a bit pricier, being the most touristy place. It is very good for buying souvenirs though, but I’ll cover this subject more in the Shopping section. Make sure you have cash available, there’s not many ATMs available and it feels like it’s safer to pay cash rather than card in most of these places (if you know what I mean). One big spent will be the accommodation, don’t be afraid to check out B&Bs – people are very friendly and prices tend to be much lower.

Transportation

Best option is to rent a car – it gives you the freedom to move around the island and it’s quite affordable. However, be aware of the driving there! Around the East coast was brilliant, lovely sceneries and lovely roads. It was all great until we arrived in Palermo and we were just shocked – as my friends put it: like driving in India but maybe not as hectic. Or as the guide book put it: Driving in Palermo requires nerves of steel. I may add: and a car of steel, so you don’t get crushed by everyone else around you.

Shopping

Sicily is a great place to buy some souvenirs: olive oil, pistachio cream and liquor, herbs, Cannoli, wine and kitchen accessories. They have the prettiest handmade ceramics, all with lemon and fruit patterns, very Sicilian like. I would also emphasise on the pistachio cream – is like Nutella but with pistachios – heaven in a jar! Make sure to keep some cash for these souvenirs – I spent about £100 with presents included. I bought all the kitchen bits and lemon soaps from Taormina. I had to buy all the food from the airport as I only had a hand luggage, but next time I’m getting a big luggage and get my food from local shops – cheaper and tastier!

Last advice I can give you – make sure to make the most out of the trip, walk around the small streets with beautiful architecture, enjoy a drink in one of those fancy hotels overlooking the water, swim in the most clear and blue water I have ever seen so far, don’t worry about the calories and make sure to indulge in their cuisine.

Sicily, you were amazing!

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We’re all in this together

It’s funny how things work.. Last month I had a flicker of creativity, wrote an article quickly and before I knew it, I pressed publish. And there it was. Out for the world to see my weakness. Me, a typical Aries – stubborn, ambitious and with too much personality. So for me to say I couldn’t handle it, was not easy at all.

I was overwhelmed with the messages and the amount of people that contacted me afterwards. First, everyone wanted to know if I’m ok, how I feel and if they could help. It made me feel incredible to see that many people that care.

Secondly, I felt like I started my version of a #metoo campaign. So many of you told me how you’ve been struggling, how you couldn’t do it anymore. And that, basically, we all deal with issues and it’s not as easy breezy – and that it’s harder and harder to find the best opportunity to talk about these things. How do you start a conversation about “I can’t do this anymore?”. In my case, this is how I started the conversation and I ended up talking with many beautiful friends that all had challenges much bigger than mine.

It gave me peace to share this with others and it gave you peace to share your problems with me.

We’re all in this together.

I’m wearing: dress from Shein and the bag belongs to Dan’s grandma. She used it when she was my age, to take food to workers on the fields. It’s older than me and yet, the trendiest accessory for this summer.

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Life Update: A lot has happened and it’s been too much

– life update –

A lot has happened since I last wrote on this blog. I have been going through so many emotions that at the end of it I was just too exhausted to do the thing that relaxes me most: create blog content. But I have to force myself back into this routine. It’s like going to the gym – takes a bit of effort, but once you’ve been you feel proud, like you’ve just accomplished something. That’s how this blog makes me feel. And I’ve missed it.

SO WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON?

We got married

First of all, the most obvious thing was that Dan & I got married last year.  Planning a wedding abroad was not the easiest thing, but I wasn’t too stressed. You see, I never dreamt of a specific wedding, wasn’t sure what I wanted or anything. I wanted to feel good and have fun. And boy, I did!

We lost a house

To make it all more interesting, we were in the process of buying a house. Right after the wedding we were meant to finalise everything and we were already inviting everyone over. It all fell apart shortly, when the bank said the house is not worth the money we were paying and they won’t give us the requested loan. We had to let that house go. It wasn’t easy to find a house in the first place and now we were back to square one. Just imagine how hard it is to find a dress for a special occasion. Now imagine how hard it is to find the house. And then be told you can’t have it anymore. Heartbreaking.

We bought another house

Honestly, from then on all we wanted was to find a new place and that became our obsession. All mornings, afternoons and weekends. This meant I had to give something up: my blog, my creative part time pleasure.

I am happy to tell you guys that early this year Dan & I have received the keys to our first house. From the moment we saw the house and put an offer on it, it took 5 months to get the keys. My patience has never been tested like this before..

We started a project

The house we bought is more like a project, it’s an old house in need for renovations. We’re talking walls taken down, replacing the wiring and heating systems and so on. All very big jobs. So no matter how fun it all sounded at the beginning, getting the right people for the job, getting the right details and documentation and then.. well.. spending all the money – all this was a bit hectic and nerve wrecking. We moved now in a house with no kitchen and only one room where we sleep, eat, change, everything. It is not the most comfortable thing but I’m happy to finally have taken this step.

I re-started my blogging/vlogging

I got myself new lighting, a new camera and decided to re-launch my blogging. This time I was going to do Youtube, which meant I can organise it all myself and decide my own schedule without any additional help. I made a calendar, made a plan so I could find enough time to create videos on a regular basis.

I crushed

Now just imagine this: I was working full time with no holidays left, Dan was working 60 hour weeks on a new project he just started, we were in the middle of changing houses and moving into our new home (aka construction site), packing all our things/unpacking everything, still trying to cook with no kitchen so we eat healthy(ish) and also trying to film interesting Youtube material at least once a week. I just couldn’t do this anymore. It’s funny, you’ve got all these things going on and think to yourself – why am I complaining? It’s just that it all happened at once and we just couldn’t take it anymore.

I prioritised

So instead of giving up the things I like, I decided to come to a compromise. The big news is that I’m working part time now. This way I have more time to do other things that matter to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. But I also love creating content. I also always dreamt of having my house with my garden and my style. So yes, I wanted to take over the house project too. And lastly, I wanted to lift some pressure from my husband’s shoulders. One of us needed to take over some of the new responsibilities.

I can sleep now

I haven’t slept so well in months, I am so excited and so happy. There’s still a long way to go and I’m not even half way there. My blog is nowhere close to a winning website, money maker machine. My house is a mess. My career is under pressure with me spending only half the time on it now. But it’s ok. You can’t always have it all and you can’t put all that pressure on you. I’m here to enjoy my life and that’s what I’m going to do.

I’m still not sure why I told you all this. I usually don’t share this much with the world. But the morale of the story is: sometimes it’s ok to feel overwhelmed, even though apparently it all looks good and exciting. Sometimes it’s just too much and sometimes you need to let some things go.

I’ve only got one life and I’m gonna bloody enjoy it. I’ve missed this.

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My last obsession

Go through my last posts and you’ll se a theme going on: I’ve never worn so many maxi dresses in a season. And I love it! They’re such a statement, but most of all – they’re very comfortable and flattering at the same time. I used to only wear maxi dresses for a special occasion or for a holiday. But this year I went a bit crazy with the maxi. I do love it how the always windy Manchester makes these cute waves, hair and dress always blowing in the wind.

On another note, this has been my first summer in a while without a holiday abroad. And it will be my last. I just realised how much I miss travelling and how it acts like a therapy in a way. Just to escape the ordinary, get to change the landscape, food and the language. Have you had a nice summer break? Any places you would recommend? 🙂

My friend Alexander Ward took these awesome pictures, he’s a Manchester based photographer, you can find his work here. Don’t be afraid to drop him a line 🙂

Dress – ASOS

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Pardon my French

When I was a little girl, I never wanted to be an astronaut or a doctor, or a lawyer. No, I wanted to sale dresses. And people would be: But don’t you want to do something bigger? In other words, something that society thinks is a good career? I always loved clothes, I would spend hours trying on my mum’s dresses, playing with fabrics and creating outfits. I never wanted to be a designer, I was told I’m not that talented so I decided to give up on that dream. But I did like playing with clothes and I decided I’ll create a career in the fashion industry somehow. I went on to study Marketing. I thought I needed to learn how to sell the clothes, I needed to know what people want and I needed to find a way to use my creative mind. I don’t even remember the amount of times people made sure to tell me how easy is to study Marketing. And my answer would always be – it’s not easy to be the best, no matter what the hell you study or do, so shush.

I was over the moon when I found a masters degree in Fashion Marketing. I thought I finally found a way of building a career exactly how I wanted. In the meantime I started writing this tiny blog of mine. Not because I am confident, not because I am photogenic, but because I like to do creative shit and this was the best way. In the meantime a lot of girls decided to become fashion bloggers, I guess there’s no point to tell you how many eye rolls I get when I say I’m one of them. And then comments like “oh, you’re actually smart, you actually have something in your head, not just <check out what I wore today>”. Since when working in fashion is not good enough? Since when having a passion about clothing, cuts and designers is a silly thing to do? I choose my path, you do your thing and give all us fashionistas a break! I’ve seen too many awful doctors, shitty lawyers, corrupt presidents and bad teachers to think that just because you have a society favourite job, you’re fab. The job does not define you, you define you.

P.S. I hope you like my outfit! Got it in the sale, of course.

Dress – French Connection | Shoes – Zara | Watch – Daniel Wellington

 

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