culture · food · international · life curation · luxury · relaxation · travel · wine

My Time in Spain Part 1 – My Time In Malaga

Hi friends! After spending a few days in Portugal (including taking in incredible sights around Lisboa, touring Sintra National Palace, time at Rock in Rio Lisboa, dinner at Hotel do Chiado’s rooftop bar, Entretanto, and an unexpected viewing of Sarah Ferreira’s art, I was off to my next stop. I flew TAP Air Portugal from Lisbon to Malaga, Spain, to embark on the next leg of my adventure.

I arrived in Malaga and was taken by private car to the town of Benalmadena, a beachy stretch a little less than two hours from Granada. I stayed at Hotel Best Siroco, a darling resort that offered all-inclusive packages as well as standard lodging. The hotel was beautiful, and the weather was divine!

My hotel was a short walk away from the beach and some fantastic local eateries. There was also some fantastic art and gorgeous flowers everywhere I went.

One beer, a good tan, some sangria, and many tapas later, I can confirm that Malaga is a must-see for people who love good food and lots of sun.

This one little town in Spain is such a jewel, and I can’t wait to return!

beauty · international · style · travel

Where My Travel Wardrobe Went Wrong . . .

Happy Monday, friends! Tomorrow, I’ll start discussing the highlights of my trip, beginning with my first stop (Lisbon, Portugal, and the surrounding towns). But today, we talk travel fashion.

When I prepared for my trip, I began by adopting a capsule wardrobe approach. I knew I wanted to function with one piece of luggage, and one wardrobe that had everything I needed to mix and match my ensembles. By the time I packed for my trip, I had the following wardrobe list:

If you want to see the ensembles in motion, here’s the video I posted, showing some of the outfit combinations and accessories:

Now, I’m overall pleased with the items I selected. But, looking back a bit, I realized there were a few things that could have created a better capsule wardrobe:

  • Instead of my taupe flats, I really needed flat shoes with better grips on the soles. I had to walk very carefully when we toured, because my flats were slick on the bottom and I could have used the extra grip for touring on those well-worn stone surfaces.
  • Denim shorts would have been a fantastic addition to this wardrobe, especially if they were tapered and knee-length.
  • Another button-down top would have given me a little extra polish: it would have been even better if it was a sleeveless button-down so I could stay cool while I tooled around.
  • Because Lisbon was unseasonably cool, I needed more long-sleeved tops. Having few long-sleeved options was a problem for me.
  • Also, a jacket or cardigan would have been great and given me some additional wardrobe options.
  • I really wish I’d thrown one other color into the mix, aside from yellow, white and royal/navy blue.
  • As a Kibbe Soft Classic (SC), I would have benefited from a few pieces that had a bit more structure and symmetry. Less structured items = more comfort, easier maintenance, but opting for structured pieces would have ensured that I felt more like myself as I toured, and more put together.

I am glad that I had a capsule wardrobe that worked for my travels but, like anything else, there was room for improvement. I’ll do it even better next time!

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This post contains affiliate links.

books · writing

Writers Wednesdays – The Books I Planned To Read On Vacation (& What I *Actually* Read)

Initially, I planned to take a couple of hardcover and paperback books with me on vacation. However, my space was at a premium, and I wasn’t able to take any physical books with me. Fortunately, I have the Kindle app on my phone, so I had a way to access a library (my digital library, that is).

Now, I did a whole YouTube video with my hardcover and paperback books that were *supposed* to go on vacay with me. Here’s that video:

The books I discussed in the video were The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, Caring Economics edited by Tania Singer and Matthieu Ricard, and By The Pricking Of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie.

In actuality, the books I read while I was gone were Longevity by Maria L. Ellis, MBA and Take Back Your Life by Tami Stackelhouse. These were both digital books (ebooks) downloaded into my Kindle app before I left home, that I read while I lounged poolside in Spain (bliss!).

I’m glad that I chose to read some of my ebooks while I was away, since I tend to prefer paperback and hardcover while I’m at home. Being able to read anywhere I have my phone or laptop was a blessing, and these two books were instrumental in me defining several things I could do right now to uplevel my health (which is why I’ll be reviewing both of them in the weeks to come).

That’s all for my travel reading list! What do you all like to read while traveling or even during your staycations? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

*This post contains affiliate links.

art · culture · international · life curation · relaxation · travel

Summer Vacation 2022

Hello friends! It’s been a while since I wrote on this blog, because I’ve spent the past several weeks traveling, as well as getting back into my groove post-travel. I mentioned how much I wanted to travel in 2021, but as luck would have it, I was unable to go all of the places I wanted to visit.

However, 2022 has been a year that is in my favor, and this year, I FINALLY got to resume international traveling. And it was fantastic!

I went to Portugal, Spain, Greece and Turkey over a 2.5 week period. I’m sharing a few of my favorite travel pictures in this post, but there will be more extensive write-ups on each location in the weeks to come. Look out for those posts, as well as more Fibro Friday details, some of the fun stuff I did to prepare for my travels, and more! Talk to you all tomorrow!

(photos from Lisbon, Portugal)

(Photos from Granada, Spain; Rhodes; and Kusadasi, Turkey)

food · life curation

What Happens When You Take a Break From Intermittent Fasting

Hey friends! This is my post to tell you a bit about how my body reacted to a recent deviation from my intermittent fasting (IF) eating plan.

As you recall from my first post about my recent cruise, I couldn’t stick to IF for the entire trip. There was so many good food options! I wanted to try everything and I couldn’t do it in my 8 hour window without being parked all day at the different eateries. So I put IF to the side while I vacationed.

When I got back home, I noticed several differences in my appearance. Firstly, I put on 4 lbs. That wasn’t too surprising: I was eating anything that my heart desired, and I was eating my favorites whenever I wanted. However, I noticed that I was also bloated and just had a general icky feeling when I came back home. I wasn’t sleeping as well and I wasn’t as satisfied when I ate.

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I love food so much LOL!

Most of that yucky feeling resolved when I went back to IF. Now that I’m back on schedule, the bloat is pretty much gone and my energy levels are starting to return. I’m mentioning this because it’s important to note how your body reacts to dietary changes. For me, abruptly stopping IF really made me feel less healthy. So, if I ever decide to stop eating this way, I would probably choose to wean myself off of the plan and increase my eating window incrementally instead of going crazy and eating however I want (like I did on the cruise). The more you know, right?

That’s all for today. If you have any experiences with IF and changing your diet after doing IF for a period of time, let me know in the comments below. Talk to you all tomorrow!

 

 

life curation

Creating a Staycation

After experiencing several intensely busy months at work, I had intentions of taking a vacation to the warm, sunny island of Puerto Rico. I saw myself walking the beaches, touring Old San Juan, and getting the tan of a lifetime.

Then Hurricane Maria happened.

So, needless to say, my dreams of soaking up the Caribbean sun were dashed to pieces. No beaches, touring or tanning for me. However, I count my blessings: my Puerto Rican friends are safe and healthy, the island is starting to recover and I’m positive that they will rebuild and be better than ever.

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(Photo courtesy of WeClipArt)

That being said, I still have a few scheduled days off and no concrete plans.

What’s a girl to do?

Time for Operation Staycation! I started getting everything I need to have a fantastic time at home. Here are some of the elements needed for a restful and restorative staycation:

  • An itinerary. Just because you’re staying at home doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t plan out how to spend your time. The reason why most staycations fail is because there is no clear plan in place. Trust me, a good staycation involves some sort of planning.
  • Tools of relaxation. Clean sheets with high thread count, a fluffy robe and comfortable slippers, plush towels, and luxurious bath products are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to tools of relaxation.
  • Limited distraction. Lesser amounts – or complete elimination – of social media, television, phone calls from annoying people, no checking into work email accounts should all be the goal. Whatever distracts you and makes you feel stressed or tired should be minimized or completely removed during the stay-cation.
  • A commitment to relaxation. Be clear on what it will take to make you feel rested and relaxed then DO THAT!

If you all can’t go somewhere fabulous during the holiday season, at least commit to enjoying a little bit of staycation time. You won’t regret it!

festivals · relaxation

Weekend Shenanigans

Happy Friday, sweethearts! Yes, another weekend is upon us, and I, for one, am ecstatic! It’s been a hectic week and I’m ready to leap headfirst into the weekend! Also, Monday is a holiday (Columbus Day), so I’ll have an extended weekend. Let’s all do a dance for having an extra day off!

As it turns out, this weekend is extremely popular for Virginia festivals: I counted six festivals in Richmond and the surrounding areas. I have so many options: I don’t know where to start! If you’re in the area, the Richmond Times Dispatch has a list of all of the October festivals going on this weekend.

Saturday evening, I’ll be checking into a hotel and enjoying a change of scenery. I won’t be venturing far, but it will be nice to relax in a space that isn’t so stimulating. As much as I love my loaded-down bookshelves, I enjoy taking a break from looking at them LOL!

Aside from this weekend’s festivals, I should have enough time to get deep into the October book selection and work on the next post in the Preparing for 2018 series. I may even have enough time to squeeze in another vintage movie. The last time I watched an old movie, I saw “Gang Smashers” (I can’t wait to tell you all about that one! It’ll be in another post, pinkie swear!). But I still have to watch “Sepia Cinderella” and “Hell’s Angels“, so maybe this weekend will be a good time to squeeze in another movie.

For now, enjoy a couple of screenshots of the gorgeous Nina Mae McKinney in “Gang Smashers“. And be sure to get out and ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND! These are the perfect fall weekends that we’ll be longing for when winter comes. So SAVOR them, and have some fun!

 

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Nina Mae McKinney in “Gang Smashers”

 

 

 

 

 

international · travel

Flashback to Cruise 2016, Pt. 1

I haven’t gone on a true vacation since last October. My current job is demanding (though enjoyable) so I won’t be able to really get away until November. In the meantime, I’m looking back fondly at my last vacation, which was a cruise to Bermuda.

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I cruised with Royal Caribbean; the ship was the Anthem of the Seas. I’ve sailed with both RC and Carnival Cruises, and I almost always prefer RC. I’ve found that the service, dining options, and overall ambiance of RC is more luxurious than Carnival. However, I’m still looking for other cruise lines to try, and I’m positive that I could have an even more luxurious experience with a different line.

The trip wasn’t very long – 5 days – but it was just enough time to recharge me. I sailed from Cape Liberty in New Jersey, USA. Two short days on the water later, and I was stepping foot onto the Royal Naval Dockyard in Kings Wharf, Bermuda. The ship remained docked there for two days before sailing back to Cape Liberty.

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I was focused on relaxation this time around, as opposed to exploring the island, so I didn’t see a lot of the island. I did take the ferry to Hamilton, which was nice. I’m including a few photos from Kings Wharf and Hamilton, Bermuda.

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Have any of you cruised with Royal Caribbean, or have you taken a trip to Bermuda? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below! Stay tuned for the next installments, where I discuss the ship, the dining options offered, and the artwork on board!