As this unpredicted but not so unexpected event caused by COVID-19 has us all experiencing all kind of emotions, from home and away from home, like grounded adults, I’m coming back to share my favourite explorations of the first months of this year 2020.
You’ll find it’s a very “fashion”-able post, but your girl has some interests that must be shared. At the end, as usual, some of my favourite techy/geeky and random stuff.
Let’s dive into the fashion world!
You may recall that I mentioned I was reading a biography about Diana Vreeland – Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland – , the great and famous Vogue editor (let’s say a predecessor of the more known today Anne Wintour) when I started exploring more of the fashion world on my reading. I’m not a great fan of Vogue magazine – or any fashion magazine, for that matter – as there’s so much marketing on them… But I do enjoy the photography and essays they publish.So, from time to time, I do explore them. Now, reading about the life of Vreeland makes it a lot more interesting. And by the way, she started at Haper’s Bazaar.
There’s actually a lot of fashion history in those pages and I would totally recommend it to anyone interested in the fashion of the last century. At least for other folks that aren’t yet so familiar with the origins of the great fashion brands of today, but also those interested in fashion communication and how this world came to be how we know it. From the Parisian Haute-couture to today’s fashion walks. I’m pending to read her autobiography though! Looking forward to it.
Now, there’s a lot that I got from Vreeland in that book which goes beyond fashion. It is her philosophy in life and how deeply she believed that one can make herself up – that really stands out for me. We are not what we’ve been told we are, but who we believe we can be. That’s a great power, my dears. And you’ll see how she made herself up if you read the book 😉
Wanna know more about fashion brands and keep reading? Well, there are two more books on my shelf that have been entertaining me for a while.
Always in Fashion: From Clerk to CEO — Lessons for Success in Business and in Life. Kind of a memoir of a man who started out as a designer and built his way up to LVMH (you know, the luxury group to which Louis Vuitton and so many other brands belong to. My key take-away? His philosophy too, the passion he put in his every role, the drive to learn, become better and make the business work, not as a way to only get personal profit but to make the company and one’s work greater. There’s much more to learn in the book though, as there are plenty of behind the scenes in the fashion industry, closer to our days than those in the Vreeland biography.
Third, the book I’m reading right now,The End of Fashion: How Marketing Changed the Clothing Business Forever . This book does go brand by brand, which is sooo …. nice? It feels very educational while still entertaining, as it analyses the big names in fashion, the luxury brands, how they came to be and where they are headed, while going from designer to designer. I still have a long way to go before I finish this book, so I may add some new thoughts on it in the future.
So, now that I’m so deep into the fashion world… Let me add another recommendation – The Coursera course created by the MOMA which is called Fashion as Design. It’s a very different approach to fashion from the books above. Instead of focusing so much on the big names and shiny brands, it talks pure fashion. The design, the purpose… They explore different themes during the course, while teaching about different clothes and why they are how they are. It’s a must even if you are not interested in fashion (as seen in the media) if you like the design side of things. I totally loved the approach of those lessons and it’s a way to understand fashion that aligns better with my own vision.
Something else. Did you know that there’s a TV program showcasing what’s inside the V&A Museum (Victoria’s & Albert Museum in London)? Well, it started some weeks ago on BBC2 and it’s quite interesting. It shows the work of the museum focusing on various pieces of different kinds in each episode ( p.e. jewellery – painting – costume). It’s called The Secrets of The Museum and you can watch it here (if you’re not in the UK you may want to use a VPN – keep scrolling down, I’ll talk about it later).
Now, let’s travel!
So, not really. You know why, the whole world knows. BUT. If you need a moment to get your mind off everything and fill the weekend with some new, different memories… well, there are a thousand things you could do. The want I’d like to check on today, though, is… VR travelling!
The world is going digital (ughh… hello black mirror nightmares), so there are lots of digital alternatives to anything right now. From the digital online fashion shows to Google earth in VR to shopping in 3d scenarios . Check out this recent article by the Independent about places you could visit digitally that I recently found (or this other one). And I’m quite sure there are many, many more similar opportunities. Think of any museum you’ve ever wanted to visit and look at their website for digital tours and exhibitions. Think about it: sometimes, even just a well structured article to be read on the sofa could be better than 4 hours of standing in front of pieces and looking for the small captions. At least, you can get some previous knowledge about the great pieces in display. For example, I found that the museums of Edinburgh have this Mode article in which to discover 30 pieces of fashion – and you can see them in 180º!
Another possibility is to check the outdoors online, and not only by a webcam – which is not such a bad option after a whole week spent looking through the same window to a boring view – but you can go on a dreamy vacation instead. Not a bad way to visualize a future destination, right? It’s as easy as going to Youtube and searching for “virtual tour” of your destination of choice. Or let the suggestions get on the way and visit things like “The Titanic” or a million dollar home. Would you like to fly over a particular place ? We can do that too! See! And this! What about entering the worlds of Dali?
Just found my place on Youtube now. I’ll be spending all my remaining internet data here. I’m doomed.
Let’s get techie!
Lately, everywhere on the internet there are references and ads about VPNs. They are important to surf more safely, adding a layer of privacy, to access sites restricted by geography, trick apps and games that depend on your location and even recommended if you download software in not a very legal way.
I personally feel very much against the restrictions of location. The internet is a door to the whole world, from my point of view, and I have always loved it for that. Finding I can’t read articles or watch a video because I live in Europe terribly disappoints, so sometimes I use Windscribe. It’s free up to 2gb with an account, no credit card needed. I had used Tor in the past as a way to navigate privately, but it’s a browser and it changes the experience. As you see, I have no experience in VPNs but if you don’t need much, that one can be useful. I also downloaded an app for my phone, which I haven’t used really but looks fine enough : it’s Tunnel Bear, also free for about 500 mb and options to get more by sharing the app (or upgrading).
If you’ve seen my post My commitment to creativity in these lock-down days, you may remember that the first day I had a break down with my computer. I had to erase the whole hard drive and so I lost all my apps. As a consequence, I had to quickly get the ones I needed the most to start working. So when it comes to 3D software, I went straight for Blender. I had been using other apps, but it’s been a while anyway, so I figured it wouldn’t be so bad to use Blender. By the way, they have now plenty of lives everyday in here.
Well, it has surprised me in a very good way. The first time I used Blender I may have been 14 years old, maybe a bit older. I remember having the instructions printed at home for ages. I never followed all of them. I like modeling and 3D scenarios but I’ve never given it enough time to learn them. Now, I do intend to be able to do some basic things, as I have a purpose on mind. Blender has improved so much since then! And it’s free and there are plenty of resources and tutorials about it. I’ll show you how I’m planning to use it soon!
Now that we are spending so much time at home, working from home, what about monitoring the time you spend on your computer? I recently installed RescueTime, so I can get a register of the hours I’m on the computer. Not that I needed to know what I’ve done and what I haven’t, but it’s nice to see it in graphics and numbers. I’m a very visual person, so it helps me to know I have to focus. And it clearly states I spend too much time on Firefox. Maybe I’m blogging too much??
Oh my girl! I’m dying to watch these documentaries : “5 Design World Documentaries to Stream For Free” ! I’ve seen “Helvetica”, of course, but I just wish I got more time to kill (and more gb of Internet). Now that I’m thinking about it, I still have some episodes of Abstract to watch… 😁
We are staying at home and we are staying safe. But are we staying sane?
It is from experience that I say that being locked at home for long hours and days, even as a purposeful act to accomplish a higher level of productivity, never turns out as good as I’d hope not for me, at least). So, how are you doing?
We all need some routines and ways to get accountable
These are hard days for all of us. For the world, for society, for the economies… The truth is we don’t even know why or how we got into this situation.
Our routines have been broken, almost vanished. We are uncertain about many things. But we hold tight onto the hope that everything will be OK and that we’ll go back to normality. Maybe we will even be stronger and develop tools to better process similar events that may occur in the future.
Now we find our day to day to be total chaos. We go with the flow. It seems like we are all bored, refreshing our social feeds endlessly in hopes to see that everything is coming back to normality and seeing that we are all feeling the same way, sharing our boredom, anxiety and suffering. We are trying to stay connected when we have to stay apart.
But maybe we can have our say in how we all want this to develop.
We are building something new. We are finding new ways to do and adapt to what feels like a different world. And we will be building new routines, while taking further advantage of technology to fill the voids.
Striving for a better version
But can we choose to do it consciously? Can we use this moment to create that improved version of ourselves that we have failed to become every 1st of January? I believe so.
There are few things as powerful as habits. And if you add the right attitude, you can just crush it.
So, what now?
So, I’ll be trying to walk the talk. I have a strong drive to do more and become better as I want to prove myself that I can achieve all that I really want to and believe in. It’s not just a self-centered, selfish ambition, I want to share this feeling that mostly everything is possible, that where there’s a will, there’s actually a way. And the only way I know is by doing and creating. So that’s what I’ll be pursuing these weeks.
It’s a moment to reflect on our own personal and professional situation. Even those who are lucky to now have “time”, may confront the fact that there are actually many things that could benefit from our energy. This energy is not endless though, and this “time” will not be available forever.
So, it may be now or never.
We may have a choice. How will these events impact our lives in the areas that we have some control over?
Not ashes. Ocean. Water we are and we’ll find our way to the ocean. I much better prefer that mental image. And then, being a drop in the ocean makes a lot more sense. Or the ocean in a drop, like Rumi says.
I don’t think I’m the only one, but I feel a kind of obsession about the quick passing of time and the presence of death. Let me put it in a picture for you: I was flipping pages through a local magazine that my boyfriend had passed me. And I spoke out loud about a place in the cemetery for sale (I always find it funny that you buy a “block” for when you are finally dead or to Rest In Peace) and then I also saw an ad for funerary services and had to say “do someone who really needs them at the moment will be reading this?”. At which point my boyfriend pointed out how he didn’t notice any of this ads. I’d like to think that I’m just so amused at life that I always notice a threat to it, even if its just by naming the end of it.
About the passing of time, maybe it’s more noticeable because of having a clear routine. And, although it doesn’t feel comfortable to be thinking constantly about time running out, it clearly is a necessity and one that not everybody takes seriously enough. We all go around hoping and doing as if things won’t change any time soon. Until they do. And I don’t say we should be doing otherwise, at least not to expect what we don’t want, but we should think about it to gain perspective in life and about our priorities. Because when change does really break into your routine, we get a better picture of what we really liked about our past and we’d really like to change for our future. And then be able to break our patterns and beliefs to get the life we want.
And so, I had to share these summer photos, those stills that remind me of how free I can be and that are moments that can last forever even if they don’t actually do. Does it make any sense to you?
I believe you could divide the world into two types of people: those who are on time, always prepared and write the posts on time… And those who always run late. In the blogosphere at least. Ok, no, I just changed my mind: I believe we all do this thing off-time. Unless you are doing live streaming. That’s the real deal.
It all started with the title of this article. As you may know, I adore summer or maybe I just hate being cold, which happens most of the time in my life: be it indoors, outdoors, because of the AC, because of cloudy days… So I’m always a bit resentful of time flying by specially after summer has ended. Actually, I feel like I just skipped autumn altogether. I enjoyed warm temperatures (at least at middays in the sun) and now I’m just freezing, wearing some cut-off gloves while I type under the blanket. It’s cold in here and dark night outside. But let’s cultivate some optimism!
Why do I write?
I just recently thought, what if someone tries to write my biography when I’m dead? I know, quite an ambitious dream (not the being dead part, of course). I was just reading a biography of Diana Vreeland and there are many quotes in there from her diaries. The thing is, I don’t write a diary, and when I’ve written something similar to that I’ve made sure, like really sure, that nobody could ever read it. Although there was little on those entries that could help in a biography rather than have a psychological profile made of my inner conflicts and unresolved emotions, which are the only things that make me write in secrecy in the first place. 🤔 So, my only legacy, if I never get the chance to write a book (I have many books in my mind!) may be this blog. Until the day I (or someone on my behalf) stop paying for the hosting.
So, this blog does serve as my legacy, not only to showcase what I create (occasionally), but also share a small piece of my mind and vision of the world. And this, my friends, kind of serves me as a consolation for writing about my “average” life. I keep promising to myself that one day I’ll only write good, informative and inspiring stuff, but here I am again.
[Changing the subject]
How to keep motivated when it gets colder
Life has been quite good for the last months. And I felt really, really good. I practiced sport, I worked, I started lots of sewing projects, got great ideas I hope I’ll find the time to pursue… And now I have to be positive and embrace change. In my clothing at least. I adore doing sport in shorts, I can tolerate being too hot but I totally hate it being so cold until I’ve actually being active for a while. If you are like me, hold on. Let’s put our favourite tunes and … think about what we can control to make the transition to winter much, much easier.
1- Let’s get some nice winter sporty clothes!
I don’t want to promote consumerism but maybe it’s not the best of to the ideas to try and motivate yourself to go for a run wearing some old, boring and worn out leggings. And what about a matching shirt and running jacket instead of an old jumpsuit? (Remember fashion is our friend as long as you don’t fall for every fast-fashion trend and learn your own style)
Quick update: I did get some real “sport clothing” just for that, and it did work! It looks amazing on me (no modesty here) and gives me the same feeling that I used to get when wearing my wetsuit for surfing – that of empowerment and freedom.
2- Picture yourself having fun out in the cold
3- Picture yourself feeling so great in the hot shower afterwards
4- Think about the big goals you want to achieve for next summer. It won’t happen if you keep sitting by the fireplace
5- Oh, did I say to start with some good music to kick it off by moving that awesome body?
6- Last but not least, think about that great dinner or that glass of beer that will be waiting for you when you come back
One thing I realised not long ago is that I used to put on warmer clothing than I needed. So I was uncomfortable all the time, having my exposed skin so cold but then I was too warm where I was covered. Just saying, for those of you who also thought, how on earth can they be outdoors with shorts, in this temperature?
There’s no chance I’ll be going running these days just with a pair of shorts, but you won’t find me with gloves and an infinity scarf neither.
Now, let’s remember the good moments of the last season: (oh, yes, it’s an excuse to tell you that I got the chance to surf and finally tried scuba diving! It won’t be my last time!)
I don’t have much to say about Autumn though. But now I can get excited about Christmas!! Aren’t you already?? Decorations are on the streets already and Black Friday is coming fast. Will I be able to create something christmassy inspired?? I hope to at least get to style some cozy shots. Keep posted! 😉
UPDATE : fuck, nop. 😩 I didn’t even get to finish this post before Christmas, nor publish it before 2020. Let’s say I’ve kept pretty busy during this last quarter. Maybe next year? 🙏
But let’s remember and repeat our winter mantras :
Summer Autumn may be coming to an end, so let’s embrace this moment to share a couple of things I’ve been enjoying and digging in and that I want you to know about.
First of all, and this may be coming too late for those of us in the northern hemisphere, what do you use to avoid sunburning? Did you know that your suncream may be killing the coral reefs? I kindly and highly recommend you to read this article to learn a bit about this issue. You’ll realise it’s not a small issue: there are days that you get on a crowded beach, go for a swim and there’s no way to smell the sea as there are so many smells of suncream around you… Did you notice? How much suncream goes into the sea??
Some components in our sunscreens are endangering life in the oceans, so we should take that into account. Do we need to use all that solar protection? It’s far more beneficial for everyone to be aware of the time and hours we spend under the sun, to protect ourselves with clothing and the right accessories and avoid sunscreen as much as we can. Suncream should actually be our last resource.
My way of dealing with it? First of all, I don’t spend that much time under the sun. I’m not trying to get tanned either, but if I did, I would try to spend less time in a day laying in the sun but spending more days in a row doing so. The worst thing I did this summer was to go running at noon, on one of the hottest days 😅 So what did I do? I used a zinc solar protection, which should be safe for the ocean too, and I only used it for my nose area, as it’s my most delicate spot – I’ve sunburned it too many times. And, of course, I wore a shirt and shorts. This kind of protection is what I’ve seen surfers use plenty of times (though not in Spain) and it works for me too. And you should totally check it out. More info on the link mentioned above.
As I get back to the flow of sharing things around here, summer is getting to an end. And I don’t say that easily. It’s breaking me to see myself already wearing my soft pullovers and zipper ups indoors while the beach is still calling me with warm waters. Still, I’ll try to ignore all of those who already share pumpkins and fall collections. Ain’t giving up on summer yet, even if my clothing says otherwise!
Now, let me share a bit of what is going on around here. Did I enjoy summer at its fullest? I’d had to say no. I did get to the beach quite a few times, though I think what I did most was running. And snorkelling. Freediving and apnea are a growing interest for me this year. Anyways, I’m not a big fan of going where the crowds are, the surf hasn’t been much convenient (if there was actually any) and, of course, life is always busy.
Maybe you recall me talking about reading that much early in the year. Well, I’m not keeping up very well as I’ve been shifting my focus on trying to staying on track with practising my drawing/painting skills as well as trying to work a bit on my body, aka doing some sport or activities. And summer is great for that. I’ve felt so much more active during these last couple of months!
So, let me tell you about my morning routine. Beware, I’m not another blogger talking about the importance of self-care, those who get to spend three hours in the morning doing what makes them feel good… I’m just trying my best to make the most of my days. The days in which I go to my full-time job.
So, what do I do? Firstly, I try to wake up as early as possible (trying to sleep around 7 hours during the week though) which means that luckily I’ll get up at 5.40 am – but which also means I can’t watch any series before sleep. While I start clearing my mind and pulling away from the sleep in my eyes I spend a good chunk of time having my breakfast, usually while scrolling Instagram. I sometimes even make a post or start preparing one.
After that, I’ll go for like a half an hour of stretching/yoga/plank exercises to wake up the rest of the body while I listen to some music. I totally need that, even if I’m too tired, just some stretching makes wonders for my body. Especially, if you consider I’ll be sitting for almost the rest of the day! Then, it’s time for some art! For half an hour or so I’ll be sketching or painting, still with my music on and I use every minute available before I have to rush to get ready for work. And so here my secret revealed as to why I still get rushing to work when I get up so early.
Not all days go so perfectly, some days I’m too tired, some days I have something else to prepare or do, some days I exercise more and paint less, and otherwise. On lucky days though, I may even get 20 minutes of painting on my lunch break. And that, my friends, is why I’ve been able to paint these things below.
Oh, and this is me, trying to smile still sleepy, in those days when I could still go around with just a shirt in the early morning…
Internet is a great place for businesses and for marketing. We all know it. But why? Basically, because the internet makes it a lot easier to find the right audience for any product. Also, everybody is consuming a lot of content, which means that our behaviour makes it even easier for companies to reach us. So, advertisers will look for and find you on the internet. But, can you avoid them? And if so, how?
Yes, you can. That’s the short answer. But you’ll have to take action. And they’ll try to put you back on the ads consuming wagon at every turn.
You should be conscious that most services track you so they can get the right ad in front of you. Every time you accept the cookies of a new site, you should take a good look at which cookies are those. The most basic ones and the reason why most websites need to warn you is because of the social media cookies. That website that you are visiting may not be tracking you but as they use social media widgets and other third parties (and those do track all your activity) they must warn you. But I’ve found that many sites will even specify which services and companies work with them, which might actually be many more than we are used to and will share your data for a wider range of purposes and to far many companies. Unfortunately, there are some of these cases when it is actually not possible to deny accepting those cookies and to navigate the site.
How to remove ads (some at least)?
First of all, start by getting some tools. Aka:
Adblock (for your favourite browser)
Use a browser that doesn’t track you and blocks most ads
Then, accept that you’ll have to say no. Every time you say you consent to have ads better suited to your interests, you are accepting ads and trackers.
a gratuitous picture of my cat, depicting privacy 😆
How to get more privacy using google
First, check this(!) It freaks me out to see it. They just have too much information. Imagine you could access that info about any person. Or every person. You could know much more than where they work and live (which is not little).
Go to https://myaccount.google.com/data-and-personalization and pause all the services you don’t really need. I only keep the Youtube history to keep a record of which videos I saw, in case I want to rewatch any of them. Turn off ad personalisation (anyway, it is more fun to see new unrelated ads, and you won’t be seeing many either).
And now for the action that changes it all: go to these sites and turn off all the companies:
Last but not least, stay informed and keep trying to push off the ads. You may even find that you are not seeing ads on Youtube! I rarely see any and I can enjoy Youtube music for free without interruptions (most of the time).
And rest assured, the day you are actually on the internet looking for a product you want or need, you’ll be able to find it without the help of constant ads floating all over the sites.
Some days I roll around, some days I cruise around. This video is one of the rolling ones. There’s not too much to it, just a casual day. Thought I would get some footage and then decided to edit it to make a little video. I’m sure you won’t be enjoying it as much as I enjoyed the afternoon but… I’m sharing a piece of my life that hopefully will inspire you someway.
Check my youtube channel. There’s not much there yet but I’ll try to create better things in the near future!
Wanna see another very small part of my life? Meet (briefly) who I spend the most time with in this other post/video.
Coming today with a video I made…. in which I am not 😛 I could have made a vlog but I decided to try out my camera video options in a more ¿artistic? way and made my first edit in ages. It’s just a way for you to meet (briefly) my twin sister, my boyfriend and our pets, and the landscape that surrounds me. How nice were the warmer days! (and yes, I recorded this before the summer started… it’s embarrassing having to admit that I’ve neglected my internet presence for a year). Anyway, we are all on a never-ending quest for finding balance!
You can find this video also on youtube. And do follow me on Instagram to see my pictures more often or on Twitter to get spammed with links when I get some time to surf the net.
Here comes what used to be my “links of the month” post : Links and recommendations I found that (I think) are worth sharing along with some life updates.
YOU CAN SKIP THIS PART
The year started 8 months ago and I didn’t get to publish any post. So embarrassing and shameful. But here we are. So, let me tell you REAL quick what my intentions were when 2019 started. I decided not to focus on a list of goals for the year. Instead, I want to focus on the bigger picture and work on it slowly and steadily. That’s my only goal. To move forward. To lower my expectations over myself and all the things I should be doing and achieving and to acknowledge that I’m already working hard on balancing all the things on my plate and giving priority to building habits that will help me achieve my big dreams. And I encourage you to do the same. I can’t jump to a future life without being here right now and doing the things that need to be done right now. Taking care of oneself is not as social media lays it out to be (pink baths and cute pyjamas) but about being brutally honest with the self and starting to learn what those activities are that do you well but that you deny because, in your mind, you are not that sort of person. (I feel so mature now that I’m 26 yo LOL) Let me put better: I tend to avoid people and sports, not because I dislike them (maybe some people and some sports, but not in general), but because I don’t see them as a priority. As it happens, though, I do feel a lot more alive if I spend a good chunk of my free time engaged in both of them. And that’s hard to listen to, as I usually think I need to stay in when I most need to go out. You may understand this better if your personality type is 5 too. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check this. And you may also be interested in this (it seems I’m a logician). These are personality groups, with tests and information on every type. I’m not a fan of being put in a box like that but when it happens to be quite right and the texts become enlighting, I must admit it can be helpful. And I’m always up for some self-improvement.
NOW THE LIST
Here comes a mix of links I found on the interwebs with no connection:
– This video: ” In “Dream”—a harrowing video by Zombie Studio—critically endangered animals poignantly sing “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables.”
– Ever wondered about the beaches in South Africa? I did and I want to keep this article close for the day I get to go. You know, even though I’m not the cliché surfer who gets every surf break they can, I do like to travel to places where it is possible, so if I get the chance to surf the better.
– If you are a designer too, you may like this. How important do you think typography is for science fiction movies that picture the future? Well, quite a bit actually. You can see some case studies on this page.
– Here is a short guide to Instagram basics (characters related) that comes handy.
I started doing so well with my reading this year… And rapidly went back to the old habits. I love reading but I have to do it squeezing the small chunks of time I have left in my day and that means being focused on reading, while I still want to be thinking about so many other things, my projects, designs, illustrations… Anyway, here’s a list of what I’ve been reading this year (yeah, there’s a theme around here – I’m always up for a business/ marketing/ self-improvement book):
– TheSlight Edgeby Jeff Olson – This book sets the tone for the start of the year. The idea behind it is simple but that makes it just more powerful. I totally recommend it to anyone but to explain it in a sentence: there lays a great power on every small action you take every day and it will change your future.
– This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See by Seth Godin. You probably know Seth Godin as he’s a marketing guru on the internet and you have probably come across something he said already… Anyway, in this book he talks modern marketing in the era of online commerce and it’s a nice read, good to brush up on some ideas.
– Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business by Paul Jarvis. I love how he talks about building and keeping a small business small and how that’s important. I totally buy into the idea that small businesses have a real future and the idea of not trying to grow bigger and bigger as a business should be pursued more broadly.
–The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter–And How to Make the Most of Them Now by Meg Jay. This one’s a bit off-topic, but I really enjoyed it. Not in the way I would enjoy a novel, but as a book that knows how to clearly break down what it means to be a 20-something, the worries we have, the problems we face, how we feel about our lives. And it gives solutions or at least it shows us the path. How to grow up and keep going forward in the way that better suits and benefits us. I wish I had this book when I entered the twenties but at least I had it 4 years to go before entering the so cursed 30’s. Anyone else has noticed that all benefits of being “young” or “under x” end at 30? Is there something that they don’t tell us, like that we will be dead inside or something when we reach that age?
– As a man thinketh by James Allan. I had listened to/ watched videos with James Allen’s voice overs for a while and heard (actually read) about this book lots of times previously, so it was a matter of time I would read it eventually. It’s a short read and it teaches how to think, which is not a small feat.
– Rich dad, poor dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki. Did you miss having financial classes or some kind of guidance while growing up about money issues? Well, here you’ll find what you wanted and what you need to start progressing. I enjoyed it, was motivated by it and have to keep digging in that field (I have a full course on financial studies ready to study).
–When Coffee & Kale Compete: Become Great at Making Products People Will Buy by Alan Klement. How can you get a great idea for a business? How to prove it’s worth pursuing it? This book is full of good ideas, case studies and ideas on how to find a good idea, how we know it’s a good idea and how others have made it. Learn what you need to know to develop a good business idea – that what you can take from it. I loved the approaches taken in this.
I’ll tell you more when I’m finished. And probably the list will have grown longer, as my to-read list is endless (f***).
And here goes a video I enjoyed recently about this great surf artist and his path to it.
And lastly… A product that has saved me this year: glasses with a blue filter. I had my doubts they would actually work… But spending most of my day in front of a screen (retina screens and my Xiaomi’s) I had to try it, as I would have red eyes almost every day. And they do work. I still get red eyes from time to time and some days they even hurt, but it has now happened on occasion when it would be like this every day before. If you are thinking about taking the leap and trying them, go ahead!
Because I don’t want to feel like the drawing above, I end up looking like below. A bit too geeky for my taste.
Grab your backpack, fill it with your fav equipment and leave the house without knowing what time you are coming back.
What do I feel is the best thing about practising sports or any activity outdoors? Just being outdoors. That’s why sometimes I’d rather sit in the wild with my camera at hand and just look around, observing everything and noticing the details of every little leaf, rock… Maybe it is because of my childhood holidays spent on the mountains, allowed to spend all day on the outdoors, doing as I pleased, playing my own games and the ones I’d make up with my sister.
I dream of the day I’ll be able to spend time in my own garden, working under the sun, enjoying the breeze and letting my imagination wild.
Nowadays, though, I just enjoy going out. The sun always warms you, even on the colder days and the air is fresh. Natural light and different views will always be highly appreciated (especially after a week on the office).
As much as I can love routine, I love breaking it even more, or simply escaping from it. And those become the happy times, the moments to remember, the days I’ll remember in the future. Because routine, as good as it can feel sometimes, just gets lost in countless moments you won’t be able to tell from each other.
Nothing can beat outdoors time. It will keep me grounded and steer my imagination in ways a screen will never do. And it improves my sight and not otherwise!
The quietness lets your mind breath and all shapes, colours and feelings are an endless source of creativity.
Here below find some memories from a day out, being inspired by the late-fall feelings.
Oh these little beaches! White sand (at least before the winds blow and the sea rises) and blue, green and purple waters. Fluffy foam and funny waves… The beach is where I go when I just want to go somewhere. Where I go on my mind to think, dream and relax. I love where I am when I’m not at the beach and I love going to the seashore at the same time.
It is the place where I go on Summer to … just go.
It is where I go on Winter to walk the dog and breath the salty air when it’s flat. And surfing whenever the stars align.
Let me fly away underwater and listen to the sounds down there.
I dream of going to the desert and look at those endless mountains of sand, soft under the feet, slipping between the toes, too hot to step over for long.
In the water the world morphs, it’s more flexible, open… It seems reality isn’t as stiff as it often seems to be. I see more glimpses of freedom in the water, may it be because I get to play and be myself as we used to do when we were kids.
I like to remind myself that this is what can be home. I don’t need a place to call my own, I am home and the sea (and nature) is where I like to hang out. Not much else I need.
The shapes of on the water make me crazy (in a good sense). I find it so fascinating to look at the changing shapes, the movement and colours. It’s like a kaleidoscope. I always love waiting for the swell to come while I enjoy the peaceful landscape, the changing colours, the lights and skies, the surface of the sea… I’ve seen so many wonderful skies thanks to being chasing waves.
Most of these pics are courtesy of my twin sis. As well as this nice butt %$s Sorry, I meant legs 🤪. You can see (read) her stuff here. You should take a look (and not just because I helped with the brand-web-graphics).
My sis, you’ll see lots of pics of her on my insta. Don’t think that’s too bad, we are twins xp
PS. This post may have been published like some months after it was actually photographed and written. It may just be that I like to fake I live in Australia or that I’ve been busy with other business.
Time is so relative! So different from one time to the next. That afternoon hour in the office when you forgot to have coffee and you get so sleepy runs so slow… that day spent indoors cleaning and organising that flies away before you can put your feet up… those days you drive for several miles and have some fun outdoors…
And then there are those days you can stretch. When you get away to have a bit of an adventure. To go up to the mountains and then back to a new town, when you walk and you talk, and dream and walk and see new things non-stop.
These pictures are from one of those times.
Sometimes I even get the feeling that the surreal thing is our daily lives, so far away from places like these, walking only over concrete, having forgotten that we should be running wild and free a lot more most of the day.
After the hike in nature, we went back to meet civilisation but we remained on awe. We walked over ancient rocks and buildings, made so long ago, standing the pass of time while we pass by in a flicker.
I was marvelled stepping over these colourful cobblestones.
Oh, and this pattern of flowers! I could totally have that door in my dream house. Maybe not that tall though.
How fun it is to find old buildings in such colourful palettes! Every little adventure could keep me inspired for months!
Everything comes to an end and this was it. Roadtripping back home, seeing the sun shine, driving under a storm and getting home to a peaceful night.
PS : locations are the summit La Gallina Pelada, the town of Besalú and the city of Girona. There was so much we saw and have still left to discover!
I made a commitment to myself to not be so angry about it being winter. I chose to enjoy it like any other time of the year. I think I’m doing fine. Though, winter is really just starting. As it will not end officially until the twenty-something of March, I still have three months to put my new attitude to the test. I’m feeling positive, though!
Does it feel less cold and comfortable now? Indeed. But I’m at peace with myself, I make sure I don’t feel the cold that much and that I still do things I love. Even if it means going less and less to surf some waves. As you’ll see below, that doesn’t mean I stop going to the beach!
When mountains call
Does it feel like winter in the pics above? It surely feels cooler and the sun was almost gone when I took the pictures, so you can bet it doesn’t feel like summer. But it is wonderful as well, as always. Also, wherever you go, if you are in good company, there’s not much to complain about. And here we brought our dog and cat with us, while E. climbed and I entertained myself running around trying to keep the cat on sight. We even found some (lots of) mushrooms to take home for dinner. Win-win!
When the sea calls
I could stare at the ripples of the sea endlessly. Remember, you won’t see them ever again, not the same, not in all eternity.
And how wonderful is the beach? Much more enjoyable than in summer, where people are lying all around. We can bring our dog and have some fun while she runs and plays with all the other pups. I get to enjoy the salty air, enjoy the beach views and even watch some wild shrimps.
As much as I love taking a few good shots of the coastal life, I can’t ignore the beauty of the rural life I’ve got. Being those mountains and country sights my day to day, sometimes I also feel the urge to capture the beautiful lights and colours that shine all around on the peaceful moments I go outdoors, even if it’s just to walk the pets.
These pictures were taken on one of those days when the sun was setting and creating a warm palette of colours.
Now, enjoy some folk vibes for a change!
Water reflections are always a favourite sight. Though Pumpkin the cat doesn’t like them very much.
When I get to spend some time on the outdoors I always feel grateful to be able to enjoy our beautiful landscapes. And I’m especially grateful for not living in the heart of a grey big city where those peaceful moments and sights are even more precious and harder to find.
May we all find a peaceful walk for each day, one that brings us closer to the world, keep us grounded and frees our minds.
I have no green thumb but I’m lucky enough that plants outside home live perfectly without my help and I even get to enjoy their fruits! How gratifying it is to collect food from the woods and wild plants. During this year I’ve learnt about many more plants that are edible and it is eye-opening to discover that you can buy your groceries, grow them and even find some in the wild.
Summer doesn’t want you to be sad.
She is not going that far, and she’s coming back in 9 months. She’s just going on a trip, and you could even join her.
But the sea… ahhh the sea. She is not so kind. She’s that kind of girl who likes to play with your feelings. You never know when she’ll be ready to move forward or when she is leaving. She won’t give you waves when you are ready and will bring the best swell when you’re on duty. We forever chase her, like trying to catch the moon on the mirroring waters of a peaceful black lake. And she always slips away from our fingers and wetsuits.
She likes our salty tears as much as we like her salty foam. But she doesn’t want you to be sad, not specifically. You can cry with excitement and fun too. She’d be satisfied too, but who really knows with Sea?
However, we should cry with excitement indeed. We are lucky to be able to play where Summer and Sea hang out. Don’t you think? Will you join us?
There’s a special feeling when you get to the sea for a quick swim, with nearly no one on the beach, when the water’s still warm and the sun is strong on the skin.
Who else loves to swim close to the bottom sand? It looks like there’s another sea behind, with its sand dunes (or waves) and all the reflections playing around…
And what about the light rainbows? And the light shining on all the white shells looking like diamonds underneath your bare feet?
I have so much fun in the water, even when it’s for a short amount of time, even if it’s occasional and not a daily thing. It’s dreamy as well, and a very precious time I’ll recall for a long time.
Not picture perfect, but surely filled with joy[/caption]
Tides are a funny thing. When we think about the beach we don’t usually think about the tides. And surely we don’t take into account how beaches change with tides. D’you know those paradisiacal beaches you see in travel sites in those wonderful photos? They may not look the same on low tide.
But how do tides work and what should you know about them?
Tides are sooo important when going surfing. I’m used to not thinking about them because in the Mediterranean they are almost inexistent. But whenever I go surfing to a new spot, I realise how dependent we are of the tide.
Picture by a surf mate 🤙
Surfing spots are very different and tides are a key factor in creating the best moment to surf. With surf forecasts, it’s easy to know when the tides are changing but you must know what’s the best condition for that beach. There are beaches that work best in high tide, others in low tide, some in the medium high tide and some others in the medium low tide.
Tides are created as a result of the gravity of the Moon and the Sun on the Earth and their movements.
Every tide lasts approximately 6 hours and there are two low tides and two high tides every day. Between the two high tides, half a day it’s gone (12h and 27 minutes).That’s because the Moon takes almost 25 hours to circle the Earth. So every day the tides come an hour later than the day before.
How’s that there are two high tides (and lows) if the Moon only takes one trip around the Earth a day? Well, it seems weird, right? While the water rises when the Moon is overhead your beach, it has the same effect when it’s just on the opposite side of the Earth (just below your feet). This is because the gravitational force of the Moon creates two water bulges that also move contrary to the movement of the Earth as a result of a centrifugal force (created from the difference in the rotation of the Earth – it rotates around an axis that isn’t exactly at the c
enter so one side will rotate faster giving some inertia to the second bulge of water).
The bulge on the side of the moon will be the high high tide and the one on the other side just a high tide (but it’s more noticeable on certain spots, for example, on caves or narrow indentations of the sea).
What’s the role of the Sun? Well, because of its distance from the Earth, its gravitational force doesn’t affect the seas as much as the Moon does, but when it aligns with the Moon and the Earth spring tides happen (when the high tides get higher). Conversely, when the Sun gets on a right angle with the Moon, the neap tides happen (the lowest of high tides).
Also, the distance from the Moon affects those bulges differently (you know, it doesn’t go round the Earth in a perfect circle, it’s more like an ellipse). So, when it’s closer to the Earth (perigee), the tidal bulges increase and they decrease when it’s at its furthest (apogee).
Ready to pack and leave towards a new adventure? Here, my favourite hacks for preparing before leaving
We all know the importance of preparing your suitcase, or better, your backpack before going on a trip. You only have to type “how to pack” on Google and you’ll find endless resources about how you should pack. And they are really good, so I’m not going to show you how to do that. But there a few steps that have been really really useful to me for when going away.
My hacks before going on a trip
– If I know I’m going away for more than a couple of days and knowing that I have spare time or will be flying/train/whatever I’ll make sure I take my Kindle with me. It’s not only great for entertainment – and honestly, long flights are the best moment to tackle that Goodreads list that has pending reads from 5 years ago. What’s more, you can store dictionaries inside, as well as any text resource you found on the internet. Also, you can navigate the web too, in case something happened to your phone. And it’s great for storing digital versions of your important documentation.
– In the same line, I loved having a private folder in my Drive where all my important documents, copies and research for the travel were. In the last trip, I shared it with my sister who wasn’t coming so she could help us in case I couldn’t access them and needed them emailed, printed or just a quick check for info. It did help in consulting about our travel insurance. When you’re on the go, some help from home can be a great relief.
– One of my musts before leaving: saving offline maps from all the sites I’m planning to go. I know there are people who still don’t know about it but it’s extremely helpful. Now that we can go almost everywhere in Europe without being charged for Internet use seems less relevant. But still, there are some small countries where that doesn’t apply. And what about the first day in a new country without a phone? It’s quite useful to have google maps working without the Internet. Usually, the GPS functionality would work anyway so it can help you find your accommodation the first day in the new city. Now, how does it work? Here are the instructions.
– Zipped plastic bags (those used for food) are the greatest thing to pack everything in your backpack. If you choose different sizes you can organize your clothing and all items by size, type and usability. Also, you can squeeze all air out and you’ll get a vacuum packaging. A similar thing is the now so popular packing cubes. But if you want to try one of both, start with the zipped plastic bags, they are a cheaper option, plus less weight and less space.
– A portable power bank. It is a must. Not only you don’t know when and where you’ll run out of battery but even if you don’t, you may need to connect multiple things to just one or two plugs. If you charge first your power bank, you’ll be ready to go, able to charge multiple items at once and always charged! Choose a good one depending on your needs (more power or less weight?)
– Paper list of what you are taking. No digital here. And I’m not saying it just because I like to design printable lists. It’s easier to visualize and count and see more things missing when you can handwrite, cross and draw all that you’re taking. It’s good advice too to start your list several days before living and checking the list many times to see if there’s something you should add (or cross out).
Finally, take care of packing well. Fill the gaps (no room for air in the backpack). You should play Tetris for a while and manage to have your stored items organized in a way that you get easy access to the most used ones and everything is packed using the less amount of space possible. But for more nice packing tips I found this article, which it’s cramped with wise advice. Take a look. http://herpackinglist.com/2017/04/how-to-pack-minimalist-packing-list/
Did you ever find yourself lost in a sea of files and archives, the desktop full of things you don’t remember, the status bar showing 20 different icons, notifications every 10 minutes and a dock full of applications?
Maybe it’s time you strategize your digital life and organise your Mac. It will make your life so much easier. This way, you’ll know what you really need to save on your hard drive, you’ll need less space (meaning you’ll have to erase things less often) and your interface will look cleaner and nicer. Because there’s enough noise out there to have it on your computer too. Or phone. Nowadays, these devices are our second home.
A place for each thing and everything in its place
The best way to start is to organize your folders as you need, and have as many folders as you’d like. In a way, your mac (or pc) will probably help you a bit. Movies, Music, Documents and Pictures have their own folders already. Do you use them for that? Instead of saving your newest pictures to a document folder with the name of your camera you could try and use the pictures folders. If you download a book, movie or picture don’t let it rest in the downloads folder. Download it right away into the folder they belong to or move them without waiting.
For photos, I don’t use the Photos application. First of all, it uses far too space. Also, I’d have to manually select the pictures I want to copy on my hard drive or move the whole library around. In addition, it makes me go through a long menu to be able to open them on Photoshop. I’d rather use Image Capture to load the pictures into the camera and choose where to store them. Then I just preview them or drop them into the app I need to.
The best way to have a clean desktop is to not store anything in there and keep everything organised. You should move it to the right folder or make a new one in the right category. I have this bad habit of leaving these things I think of “temporary” in there but they end being around for ages. The worst thing is that they could actually be in the trash right now or in their own folder.
Don’t store apps you don’t use. There was a time when I wouldn’t have internet at home and because of that I just downloaded everything. I still find myself storing things when I don’t need to. If it’s something that will stay online, don’t download it. If it’s valuable, you’ll know how to find it. In case you’re afraid you don’t, share it on one of your social networks or save it as a favourite. To erase apps I use Appcleaner, it will erase the files that are stored out of your sight so you don’t end eaten up by old useless apps files that you don’t see.
In order to have a clean menu bar, you’ll have to go to System Preferences and go from menu to menu to unmark the checked boxes that say “show in menu bar”. For example, you’ll have to go the network for the wifi icon, to energy saver for the battery one, to users – login options for the username etc. I like to only have the battery menu. Also, I don’t use the native battery status from the MacBook. Instead, I use Slim Battery Monitor, that lets me change the moment when the MacBook tells me I need to connect it to charge and I can change the looks of the icon.
For the clock and date, I prefer to use the ones on the dashboard. Same for wifi networks (when not connected automatically I can check them in 2 clicks – I keep the System Preferences app on the Dock bar).
Change your interface to help you to work better and smarter. You know most apps have shortcuts. Use them or change them or add some of them. They make life easier and you’ll be quicker at whatever you do. Invest a few minutes to learn them and you’ll save many more in the future. I promise.
Furthermore, you can change which tools show and how they are distributed on your screen in most applications. You could start by changing the position of your dock (if another one fits you best) and get to play with the reader option on safari. Or download a writing app that will block out everything else.
[bctt tweet=”The key to an organized life is thinking carefully and taking decisions upfront.” username=”lenasingla”] We are used to going by reaction instead of action but a little thought here and there can help a lot. Maybe just writing the things you wanna do at the start of the day will stop you from procrastinating and from mindlessly falling from activity to activity.
On your phone
Certainly, a place where we spend a lot of time. And most of it is not productive. In this case, you may not have to create folders and organize files, but probably you should do so with apps and crap. All those gifs and pictures from the messaging apps that are just silly? Cut the crap! The apps you don’t use, erase. The ones you shouldn’t use, keep them far from reach.
How do you keep track of all your digital stuff? Tell me in the comments!
CROSS THE LINE⚜
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It was winter, the cold was here, the holidays too – So we had to go, to go on a winter trip
Christmas Holidays are over and we are glad about it. Preparing for them was exciting but meal after meal you start realising the time for wreaths and lights is ending. Now the new year arrived and we are back to normality. And maybe hoping for some summertime already, the next destination in the train of work life. But winter is not leaving us (could it be any more present with the recent storms and cold temperatures??) so there’s no reason to stop enjoying it. Between those meals, we got to escape north. If you haven’t done it yet, do it soon!
Before the year was over we went out on a winter trip and I’m here to bring you some white inspiration! Put some layers on, lace your boots and go for a winter adventure now that we can enjoy the snow!
DON’T LET THE FEELING GO AWAY,
EVEN IF BRANDS ARE TELLING YOU SO!
(have you also seen ads about the spring and summer collection yet? No please, let me enjoy the winter while it lasts, even if I prefer summer. Because summer is not here yet.)
TBH I don’t enjoy most of the wintertime. Well, I don’t look forward to it to be precise. But I do love winter lights, the Christmas feeling, presents, the meals and get-togethers and some snow. And going outdoors on cold but sunny days it’s still so much better than staying indoors.
But the feeling of a snow day? That’s awesome. Last year we had a few, but not any without taking the car and going north. If we hadn’t gone to the Philippines, we would have enjoyed one, but we were there already in summer mode! Sad and happy at the same time! I’m hoping for it to snow right at home again.
Anyway, we went north again just right before the year ended to have some fun in the snow and delight our senses with the snowy scenery. The purpose was just to go north to be surrounded by bigger mountains and spent some time outdoors.
Pedraforca! 💚 I missed a great shot on this so we’ll have to go back 😛
Watch these mountains! I call this a VIEW!
Ever walked on iced mountain paths? This is one. I prefer soft snow. 🙃
It was cold as hell, especially where the sun wouldn’t get through and at night. But the snow was so beautiful and shiny and the mountains looked so sweet with their white tops like sugar glacée. Stepping onto fresh untouched snow is addicting for me. That sound! And there’s no day in the snow if I haven’t made a snow angel or thrown some snowballs!
I’m an angel!
What a badass tree house we found!
We may have stepped into a ski slope (closed) and went down in it.
We hope you enjoyed your time and are ready to live a better year. Don’t expect another “New Year, New You” post from us, as we’ve seen too many of them. I haven’t even written a list of goals for the year. I know what I want to accomplish in every cell of my body and I hope you do too. Let’s work and live happily towards it, shall we?
This is a clue to my next collection for the shop 😉
What’s your favourite winter trip? Have you headed north already? Let us know in the comments!
GET ON THE LIST ⚜️
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I’m very sad to be the one saying this but… Summer may be over already.
Temperature has been dropping fiercely here in Catalan lands and the weather is already calling for some blanket and sofa time. I must confess I’m actually wearing a long sleeve top and trousers (and I’m in need of changing my short socks for long ones or I’ll be freezing in no time). Sun is still warm but clouds have been coming and going all week. I hope this winter comes slowly. I hate wearing really thick clothing.
So… what now?
Well, the cold brings with it a lot of good things too. First of all, we will be able to go on new adventures! It was too hot and too crowded lately but now… Well, I predict a year full of great times spent outdoors.
Also, I can’t stop my mind from thinking about October already, seeing pumpkins and hearing about Halloween all over the place. Which, I don’t know why, makes me think of hot chocolate, the fireplace and chilling afternoons. But you must know how to make a cup of hot cocoa so I can’t share that with you. However, I’ve found some recipes that would make for a perfect plan for a Friday or Sunday afternoon.
– Here’s a cake that is also a cookie and a pie. I’m melting inside like a coulant. I want to taste that. Right now. Please.
– Wanna see who else is excited about Halloween? Follow @loveandasandwich and her cute monsters!
– What about something healthy for breakfast? Lately, I’m testing how to introduce some oats into my life and I’ve just found this recipe that could be quite handy. Are you ready for an a-mues-zing month?
– Did you ever hear about vegan bacon? Me neither but here it is. I’m buying cauliflower this week.
With more time to spend indoors, going back to our work and life routine we may end spending more time in front of our screens. But try not to! Contradictorily, I want to share a couple of articles (on the net) about it.
– Not everything is dark and sad in this world. Now look at what Disney is doing. I love it (spoiler alert: breaking princesses stereotypes with photography).
– I’m missing the surf. This cooler weather should mean more waves coming in right? Hope so. In the meantime, I was reading about this exhibition in California that “tells a Complex Message of Access and Environmentalism”. If non-surfer people loved the beach as we do (and if we all loved all natural places) would all of us take better care of them?
Now I leave you with these links and wish you the best time going back to “normality”. But let’s try it doesn’t become “normal”.
Doing the Thing
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I like to start every month with a little challenge. This consists in finding a topic, elements and a color palette that could potentially inspire me for some of the works in the month ahead. So I never stop learning new things, adding different objects and developing new ideas.
For August’s month, it’s all about fruits. In the hottest month of the year (here in this side of the world) I can only thing about fresh food and fruits. Honestly, I’m not much of a fruit person, but I do eat some (more) during August. Be it watermelon, melon, strawberries or the good blackberries.
Once I had thought about the topic for the moodboard, of course I went deep into Pinterest. And instead of looking for nice pictures I just started browsing and pinning (into my to-do secret board) all kind of recipes.
I’ve just been eating a delicious chocolate cake with blackberries that my mom cooked with some of the fruits we collected just a couple of days ago. It’s so yummy!!
So I did some watercolor paintings of all that food stuff! And girl, I just can’t stop looking at that sheet of paper. Bright colors, nice contrast, sweet food. All very summery (is that a word??)
But, what’s in it for you? Of course, my theme could inspire you too. Although, you get to keep my illustration if you like it!
Go over here and you’ll be able to download it as a wallpaper, just ready for your desktop (and you can even choose from some different background colors! yay!).
“It’s too hot to go outside at this time of the day” said I on Saturday’s afternoon. “But I do want to go somewhere, to do something.” As usual, he knew a good place to go.
The mountains were calling, and so we went. The car couldn’t take us passed the uphill path. So there we started walking. First on the wide path, then on a smaller trail. We were surrounded by trees and small bushes, walking in the shadows broken by the afternoon’s sunlight. It was upward all the way, but now it was not only prettier but arduous too. Leaves on the deep brown track and harder rises. It didn’t last much though.
Soon the big trees led to an open sky. We were much higher, starting to see the top of the mountain. Now we had a great view of the landscape already.
We started walking a tight trail, with some pines at sight but mostly bushes of the height of my shoulders. Flies made their appearance and wouldn’t stop flying and chasing our faces.
More climbing and we’re at the top. The wind was blowing and so it was cooler up there. No more flies on our faces, just the breeze on our hair and the sights for ourselves. We stayed for a while. It was a great place to be.
Of course, we eventually got down, but the moments up there feel like a time outside of times.
Here it is what Imdb says about it “Harriet is a retired businesswoman who tries to control everything around her. When she decides to write her own obituary, a young journalist takes up the task of finding out the truth resulting in a life-altering friendship.”
It’s a good movie, with special attention to female relationships, empowerment and speaking your mind. It’s drama and fun and a lot of good stuff packed for 2 hours of a good time on a Sunday night.
Gidget by Frederick Kohner
Most Americans will know this book (or the series) just because of the popularity it had some decades back. Or maybe just because it became a pop icon. I had heard of it –well, actually read, as it’s mentioned quite a bit when talking about surf’s history.
It’s not the kind of reading I’m doing these days : it’s a teen novel really, but with that spirit and atmosphere of the surfing from the 60’s. A girl discovering the beach bums, surfing culture, surfing herself on Malibu beach and, of course, finding love.
Sara Guixs is a videographer and fellow catalan. She is living in New Zealand and has just released a documentary about where she is staying, Raglan. I discovered her through an article and has the kind of dreamy pictures that fuel my dreams of freedom, which are actually not so different from my own reality.
I love her photographs, full of greenery and quotes. When it comes to succulents and quotes I’m touched. Also the green and brown backgrounds make for a cozy feeling, always nice to pop up from time to time on my feed.
Sometimes I need to follow people who do different things from me and aren’t what I want to do either. That doesn’t make me less appreciative of their work. In this case, I love the vector cute illustrations, with their nice colors and characters!
Last one for today. And I wanted it to be an account that will make you dream of your next adventure. Because we all need more motivation to go outside and live. Here you’ll find all you need to feed your wanderlust, or maybe just make you thirstier for a vacation. It may not be original, but it surely is inspiring.
Wanna see a bunch of skater girls recreating “Stand by me”? If yes, follow along. If not… just move on.
It looks like this is a bit nostalgic post … And this is the skater life I didn’t have. I skated a bit, but only started when I was 19 and never did much more than carving in the pool and a poor ollie or two. I didn’t have the girl gang neither. But I now enjoy cruising around by the sea, with my boyfriend and/or my sister coming along.
New Disney’s movie that will be on theaters next year. It’s based on the novel “A Wrinkle on Time” and it is for sure known as that movie starring Oprah Winfrey. I can’t tell you about the movie but I certainly like the trailer (and the music!).
Are you ready to set out on your next adventure? Check this if you are also ready to document it appropriately.
There are many ways to immortalise your outdoors escape but not all of them are the right fit for you or your travel. What do you plan to do with the material? What do you want to bring back from the travel? Pictures to share with the family? Awesome shots? Natural references? A journal that will become the next “Eat, Pray, Love”? Have all that in mind before you depart so you can squeeze the trip and make gallons of lemonade.
Lana del Rey new album is now available, and I’m so totally into it!
I don’t know exactly what it is, but I love her music. I’m a very positive and quite optimistic person but I love that nostalgic feeling of the 60’s in America… And the songs and their lyrics are to me that rock and roll life I will never live. Also, it is the kind of music I like to listen to when I’m on the painting or drawing stage, between podcasts and firing up music. I must admit, Lana del Rey is not the music I’d listen to while driving at four in the afternoon with the sun on my eyes.
Another month has gone, so fast. The more I do, the more it seems I have to do and the quicker the time goes by. But that didn’t take any fun of living the start of the summer, with some beach days, river days, climbing days and many movies. I can’t even remember all of the good stuff.
Though, I’ll make you a quick list of links to check. (psst, don’t worry, you don’t have to check all of them now, we’ll be waiting for you).
1. A newsletter : Lecture in progress
I have subscribed to many newsletter this month. And they look quite promising. Lecture in progress surprised with their emails, so I want to recommend it to you. If you’re after some good advice from creatives, interviews and have interest in the creative industry you’ve found an ally in them.
2. A song :
I love every single song by Lana del Rey. Just recently listened to it.
3. Additions to my following list on instagram
Loving is sharing! And today I want to share a few inspiring designers! Their images are so wonderful, modern and striking! They just make me want to design more.
She means business. You know I’ve read quite a few books about the creative life, entrepreneurship and success. I’m still doing. Maybe a new post of Books for Girlbosses will come soon. Anyway, my point is, this is a good book on the topic. At least, one that resonated a lot with me. It packs practical tips and strategies with felt advice alongside visualization talk and the like. And her personal journey and those of her closest ones. But not only that, she also has a lot of resources for you to build your success journey. I’m totally diving into those, so be sure I’ll be shining in no time 😉
BTW, I got myself the audiobook, so it’s Carrie Green herself talking, so cool and nice to listen to while painting.
5. A place :
Siurana. We started June at full power. We got on the car for two days and didn’t stop for a minute (okay, maybe some, I just like to make things big!). We went for lots of exploring and climbing. Here some shots. Get inspired and go find your next adventure!
6. Do your to-do stuff while playing
Have you ever heard of gamification? In few words, it’s transforming some activities into a game. The example I want to share with you today is Habitica. It’s a game developed to help you get better habits and do your to-do list with a more engaging twist. My sister (Mariposas de papel) introduced me to this, and even I’m so behind her in the game, I’m still going there day after day.
What’s in it for you? If you ever played online games like Gaia online, wanted to have the nicest avatar or just liked pixel art you can be sure you’ll like it. Though, the funniest part is doing it with friends. You can even get into battles that you’ll only able to win doing a hell out of things from you list.
(Need a tip? Have lots of dailies and do as many as you can to keep healthy).
7. Surfing freely (online) : a safer anonymous Browser, Tor
Do you ever feel that google, or the internet knows you too well? Would you like to be able to browse the internet without it knowing all about you? Maybe just because you should be able to. Because you don’t have to be giving your info all the time.
I’ve started using it. No regrets. More freedom. Always strive for freedom.
Oh my girl! Did I forget to mention that I was away for a month? I can be such a bad person at times…
Well, the thing is we (my bf and I) went on a holiday to the Philippines!! So exciting. Had never been on a travel like that: to Indonesia, different culture, tropical climate and coconuts and palm trees everywhere! We visited Cebu, went to Bohol and stayed most of the time to the beautiful island of Siargao. I could write about the travel for hours, but I just want to explain you the things I loved the most that weren’t the main touristic activities of Siargao.
So, let’s deep in!
1- First of all, what we did first.Visiting a big city
(Please, forgive me! This is not something you’re gonna do in Siargao, but you may need to in order to get there). Which was Cebu. We arrived at the Mactan-Cebu airport and found our way (thanks to many nice filipinos) to our guesthouse in the center of Cebu, taking many jeepney’s and seeing the afternoon get darker and darker. We stayed two days and came for another one before leaving. Did we love the city? No. Did we enjoy it? Not so much. What was undeniable is that it’s something worth to experience for a day at least. Bohol and Siargao are beautiful islands, plenty of little villages and a couple of small cities, but they look not much alike. It’s a different world. Cebu is crowded, the traffic is insane, the electric cables can’t say if look crazy or they are art… There is poverty and there are also the commodities and shops that we see in Europe. A place of contrasts. Eating out can be very cheap if you do so in local streets.
A main road in Mactan Cebu. It was more peaceful and closer to the airport, so we stayed there before taking our flight home.
2- Next thing you’ll love to do is to find a paradisiac spot.
Yeah, something like this.
Who haven’t dreamed about some palm-trees like that, by a white sand beach and crystal clear waters? Dream *completed*!
As we stayed over 20 days in Siargao, we had to spend quite some time in the beach, so this one was always first on the list. I think its name was Paradise Beach 😛 For those who surf, G-spot and Magic spot are pretty close, but far enough so we hadn’t to share a piece of beach with anyone!
3- A similar one, but not the same: explore *your* beach!
As you can imagine, there are many beaches in an island. Though Siargao is small, you still can try and find one nobody talked to you about. We did spent days going into little trips to new places with our motorbike and find some really nice places. Where we could relax, see a special village, an island or just snorkeling. Also bathing into rockpools. (There is a main attraction in Siargao called Magpupunko, which is a very beautiful rock-pool, but you may find some other beaches full of little rock-pools as well). We enjoyed one like this, and it was wonderful. Hot water, peace, silence and crashing waves on the horizon. Have in mind that they usually are rock-pools only when the tide is low. So it’s always good to know the tide times, as even paradisiac beaches doesn’t look the same in low tide than in high tide (you can ask a surfer to help you 😉 ).
You may even find your desert island. (My take though? I don’t ever want to be left in a desert island without a boat to get back).
4- Something tasty!
Go to a bakery and shop and try everything! (Ok, almost everything.) Pastries are very unexpensive and quite good. When we discovered them we couldn’t stop taking some for breakfast, afternoon snack… until we get bored. They are different to what I’m used to, quite fluffy. I loved the ones with something purple. They usually seemed to have chocolate and then we would find out that it was actually this purple thing (called “ube”). What’s typical in Siargao is “pan de surf” (surf’s bread), called like this because the shape of this small bread resembles a surfboard. You can find women baking them by the roads, burning coconuts. Also, they make “pan de coco” too, which is very good and tasty when still warm.
5 – Watching fireflies.
It came almost a surprise. I knew there were fireflies on the island but never thought about it. Then, in the way back to the cottage after a walk by the sea at sunset, we spotted them for the first time. It was already dark and looking to the side of palm-trees and gardens you could see very bright points moving in the dark. I’ve seen fireflies before, but never so bright. At the first moment I thought it was a spark or something similar. Then, other nights cruising on the motorbike we would spot more of them flying into the jungle.
6 – Step out of the beaten road.
Siargao is mainly an island with a big road that goes all along the coast, in a circular circuit and also crosses in the middle. A part from this, you may found some smaller roads and paths that will take you to villages, rural homes or just palm-trees. But who knows what can be hidden into the jungle?
We followed some small roads off the way to get to beautiful villages and also into the jungle. It’s not like the great imaginary tropical jungle we usually have in mind. Not so many colourful animals and rare plants. But you’ll surely spot some wonderful butterflies, small flowers and big leafs.
7- Be sure to know and go do some activities that you enjoy.
There may be days when it rains, or you have nothing to see or just want to not sit on the motorbike for two hours. So it will be helpful to know some activities you’ll enjoy doing. In my case, I had very good times taking pictures (what you see here is the top of the iceberg), we also enjoyed very much snorkelling and looking for shells and submarine life (so many starfish!!!). We “even” surfed! (That was on the list for sure). We also had some books with us, went to bars and the like, played and trained in the common area of our accommodation, etc.
I spent a month away from my pencil and watercolors. Hard for my hand
8- *Bonus point!* Bring good company (or find it along the way)
What else I wouldn’t like to miss
Visiting Bohol. I loved seeing the tarsiers, the Chocolate Hills and getting all over the island with the motorbike.
Spending some time with locals was also great. Kids were always happy to meet us and in most villages people were also very friendly. And getting to far villages always offered a new wonderful scenery.
Facts and tips about Siargao
It’s getting more popular and you may need to book your hotel previously or be able to change plans.
Because it’s more of a touristic place, prices get a bit more expensive than in others places of the Philippines.
Most tourists stay in General Luna. You won’t find so many foreigners while exploring the island. It’s also where you’ll find more accommodation options.
If you have questions, I can answer them (from my experience)… Because there are too many things that could be said.
The Holiday mood is already everywhere. This week we decorated for Christmas. We have half of the presents bought. I’ve heard carols in the radio and the streets are decorated with its coloured lights. We are ready for this season!
I like this time of the year. Specially when we are still getting some days that aren’t that cold. Even then, that’s the prefect excuse to warm up with a cosy blanket on the sofa, something to drink, a panettone to eat and a movie or book to entertain ourselves.
I also find it’s a very good moment for creativity and imagination. You know, it’s the magic time of the year. But it’s also near the end of it and the start of the new. How will it be? How was this year?
Imagining the future feels good. We can start planning next year adventures, travels and activities.What can be more fun than that?
Make a couple of new boards on Pinterest and start planning the year! I’ll be doing it!
In the meanwhile, I want to share with you some pictures of my little adventures of the last months. A good way to remember the best and get some inspiration for the next MiniAdventures.
Have you heard about this term? Checking it I see they are called MicroAdventures instead. I like mini though. It’s basically about getting outside, do something different without having to travel far away or for a long time. You can find more about it here and here. It’s something I really like, because MiniAdventures are short but good, in new places but not at days of travel, challenging but affordable. Any trip, every cycling day or hike could be one. I like to see any activity as an adventure. Life is an adventure. Every day can be an adventure.
For today’s, I want to show you about my last surf trip to the north, in France. One week of chances, challenges, nice weather and some calm.
Are you coming?
Pack your board and bikini, some clothes and get in the car. We are going! Road trip mode on
Be there, do that. Ready for da surf? Let’s go!
Look for that beach with perfect waves, park the car in the woods, surrounded by magical forms and get ready. Walk over the dunes of sand and paddle hard for the waves of fun.
Feel the salt in the skin, the sun in the eyes, the freedom of the sport.
I don’t usually take a camera into the water… so let’s pretend the picture below belongs to the same trip… 😉
Surfing base camp – Boards, wet wetsuits and shiny noons.
Transport yourself into a week of nice sunsets with bright colours and beautiful skylines.
When the summer is gone, it feels even better : Beach on the morning, beach on the afternoon.
Have a laugh; this is my stylish way to the top of the bunker.
One day the adventure is over and we have to come back. But there’s still a promise of more.
What MiniAdventures did you do recently? Something snowy planned for this Christmas?
Long days pass on through my studio’s windows, while my hands move quickly over paper and keyboards.
I wander on paths of woods in the warm afternoons and the streets of imaginary cities on my mind indistinctly.
I am a free soul.
My fingers dance over four strings while I relax at the sound of my ukulele, inspiring dreams of a surf trip to Hawaii.
Time is nothing but a shadow in the wall. The air is filled with the fragrance of a thousand flowers.
Sunsets spill waves of gold over the mountains and the sea is transformed into countless pieces of mirrors that show us another sky.
Drops of paint run quickly over the canvas, water deforming the shapes, the brush redrawing them and the voice of Lana del Rey bringing melodies of old dreams.
I am a free soul.
The only rules I know are those I build, the only schedule the routines I create.
All I know is the world I live in, the fresh air from up north, the breaking waves of my surfing spot, the chirping of birds when I wake up and the silence of the night.
Plenty of people populate my world; more than I’ll ever meet, some more than those who know my name, strangers who one day may become friends.
The smell of old books fill cosy afternoons by the fire while others are spent on unknown places that resemble galleries and airports.
Routine is always broken by adventures: long walks and climbs, surf trips to catch the next best wave, road trips that take us to beautiful landscapes and open our minds to new realities… nights under the stars and travels over the waters.
My work is all I’ve been doing naturally since I started doing things for myself. It brings pleasure to me while giving pleasure to others.
It was hard to realise that life would be whatever I decided to do with it. But then everything started falling into place.
There’s never perfection but fate comes always with perfect moments. Patience has always been my worst enemy thought in the end always becomes the best friend of the artist.
A creative soul lies within. Glimpses of it can be seen through gentle eyes. Everyone has a piece of it, all of us can watch our magic.
But no magic is greater than life has in itself. And to experience it may be our only mission.”
How should an artist’s lifestyle look like to you?
How do you imagine the perfect lifestyle of a creative life? What is your ideal routine? What is the life you dream of?
Need more? Let me send you a recap of all links at the end of every month:
Love is not about receiving. Love is about giving, is just loving, not be loved. Well, it is too, but receiving it’s the consequence. Love has no shape, not even a heart shape; can’t be seen, nor touched, just felt. It’s not one person nor thing. Not even a thing of couples. Love is everywhere and nowhere. Everybody knows her. Or think they do. It rules the world but can’t be bought. We don’t decide to love or who or what to love. Or maybe we do. We believe in different kinds of love. But aren’t all of them love?
It was Valentine’s day this month. And so I decided to celebrate love designing some postcards with lovely messages. I’d like to say that I’ve been a very fortunate person in love matters, but if we take in consideration how Valentine’s day is pictured, I haven’t. I even hated Valentine’s once (and did some posters about that). However, if we think of Valentine’s Day as Love Day it feels so much better. We all have felt love, from others and to others so it’s something anyone could be grateful for. That’s why I embrace Valentine’s. I don’t even need to hope that someday I could celebrate it with a partner (probably, I’ll see it like a silly day then, to celebrate a relationship the same day that all other couples in the world ). So, in case you missed my postcards, here they are:
I’m listening to the song called like this, by Nickelback. The lyric strike me so I decided I should share it with you :
[…] leave your fears behind
And try to take the path less traveled by
That first step you take is the longest stride
If today was your last day
And tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have?
If today was your last day
Against the grain should be a way of life
What’s worth the prize is always worth the fight
Every second counts ’cause there’s no second try
So live like you’ll never live it twice
Don’t take the free ride in your own life
If you’d die today, would you be happy about what you’re leaving behind? What wouldn’t you like leave undone, unsaid? In front of death, everything gets clearer. So I’m not afraid of thinking about it. As many more days end with a feeling of satisfaction I learn that I’m on the right path. When dying today wouldn’t be so sad, I start understanding what does it mean, to me, to live a fulfilling life. And no, it’s not all about living the millionaire beach life.
At the beginning of last week I went to a too-fast business travel to Italy. And even I had almost no time to think or see anything I remembered that italian saying that goes “Dolce far niente”, translated as the pleasure of doing nothing, but better expressed as “delicious idleness”. It hit me because a few weeks ago, (or maybe just two ) I watched the movie “Eat, Pray , Love” starring Julia Roberts. In that movie they talked about it when in Italy.
That made me think about it and I realised it is an idea I could embrace easily. Why? Well, it seems that nowadays, in order to live, you must be doing something all the time. And if we have nothing to do right now, we check our phone.
I don’t believe in that lifestyle. Why bother trying to get distracted all the time? I believe that when you are busy all the time it’s because you’re trying to avoid doing something else.
How can Delicious Idleness improve our life?
Mindfulness has being gaining popularity. The practice of being present. For me, it’s Delicious Idleness. I’d just love having some time for resting my mind and body while being somewhere I like. Time of my own. It’s not wasted time, in fact is a precious time gained, because it helps me choose what direction to take in life. Usually, I’d be laying under the sun in the garden, hearing the birds, sheep, breeze and random sounds. Or, while surfing, I’d be waiting for the next set of waves, feeling that peaceful state of relax and awareness. That’s even better, because there are those moments when I have to stop thinking, empty my mind and concentrate to catch a wave.
To somebody else it could be anything else, like driving or cooking or colouring a page or writing about your day…