Since May somehow (and most of June! – how? when? where?) has flown by like The Flash on a mission, I decided not to write “May Favourites” but call this post “Spring Favourites” and do a little round-up of my favourite things, places and people. Also, I will be honest – I must have re-written this intro at least 10 times. How do I explain not blogging for 8 weeks after writing my 6 Weeks Without Blogging: Reasons, Lessons and What’s Next post and promising to be more consistent? Frankly, I thought I should probably write another “explanation post”. But then I changed my mind. Because A) you guys understand and you are here no matter what & B) I better stop promising and start doing. So without further ado, let’s jump in and take a look at my faves. I think both you and I would be surprised if there was any other place featured in this category.
I mean, how can I not continue to talk about New York City and the wonderful trip that we had in May?
New York has always been the one.
Our most recent visit didn’t disappoint. It’s still as cozy and as lovely (if not more) as it’s always been.
Here’s the thing. This might sound very strange but if you asked me to describe New York City in one word, it would be COZY (excuse the American Z but I think it’s appropriate to spell it that way).
Big Apple wraps you in a cuddly hug and you never want to leave. I know it can get busy, stressful, hot. But it’s still cozy.
Okay, so what did we do in New York this time?
Brooklyn Bridge. Always a yes. Hubs and I have walked it in all seasons, in all kinds of weather, and it’s been our little tradition to do get on that bridge every time we visit NYC.
Then, there’s Top of the Rock. Another must-do with its breathtaking views. And many other places I should probably list and rate for you in a separate blog post. (Would you like that?)
There’s one thing I couldn’t recommend more and I can’t stop talking about it with anyone I meet and their mother. Rent a bike and cycle around Central Park. Start at Columbus Circle and enjoy the ride. Cycling in the park is extremely safe and non-stressful (speaking as someone who’s terrified of riding a bike on the road with all the cars “wanting to wipe me out”). The closest to traffic you get is when you have to give way to the horse and carriage tourist rides, mind fellow cyclists or let people cross the road.
Easy. Breezy. Fun.
It was tough to pick only one event.
I don’t say things like this very often but May was buzzing with fun events and I am very much okay with that.
It was definitely between the two for me (and my birthday wasn’t one of them, ha): Worship Night in America concert and Jesus, a Sight & Sound Theater show. Both equally incredible.
On May the 4th (be with you – sorry I had to do it!) we went to a Christian concert in Philadelphia called Worship Night in America. And it was THE best concert I’ve ever been to.
Not only did I get to enjoy beautiful music, mind-blowing vocals and amazing company but most importantly it reminded me with each song how grateful I am to God for every small and big thing He’s ever done for me.
For His love. For His patience. For His Son.
I know you might think this has nothing to do with what you believe in and I completely understand that. But whether you’re a Christian or not, I think you might enjoy this, this and this song. Give them a listen. It might surprise you how the lyrics would speak to you, comfort your soul, remind you that you’re not alone, never was and never will be.
You’re so so loved. By the time I’m writing this, I’ve seen this movie three time.
And I will most likely watch it over and over again. One gazillion times more.
It is based on a true story of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman, who let his dreams become reality. Notice I said “let”, not “made”. We often turn away from our dreams because they seem to intangible, too ambitious, too big.
Not only the plot and the story is so compelling, so 2018 (despite being set in the 19th century), it teaches a whole lot of valuable lessons:
– What are your priorities in life? Is it really all about money, fame and “success” the way society defines it?
– The importance of acceptance and celebration of all kinds of bodies, skin colours, backgrounds, talents and whatnot.
– Creativity and hard work will make the way.
– LET yourself dream and believe in your dreams.
The soundtracks from this musical film, in my opinion (as optimistic as it might sound), will live on for hundreds of years. My absolute favourites are: From Now On, This Is Me, Never Enough, Rewrite The Stars and of course The Greatest Show. Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron were absolutely UNREAL at acting/singing/dancing. If you haven’t watched it yet, don’t delay any longer.
I need to try and make this short and sweet but I gave myself a challenge again by picking out not 1 but 3 favourite beauty products I use on a daily basis. Let’s go!
From left to right:
BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector / Highlighter in Champagne Pop: This highlighter (or highlighter topper as some suggest) needs no introduction because it’s so popular it’s sold out most of the time. It was designed by Jaclyn Hill, a huge YouTube beauty guru, for Becca Cosmetics.
I am usually the last person to hop on the bandwagon when it comes to “the latest hottest thing” because I think 95% of the time they are overrated. However, I can vouch for this highlighter as it does give you that brighter-than-the-sun glow if that’s what you’re after. It’s definitely one of the best highlighters I’ve ever tried: somehow they managed to make what feels like butter into a pressed powder situation, and it’s incredible. The shade is soft and warm, and the best news is you don’t need a whole lot because the tiniest amount will give your skin Laguna Beach vibes.
Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation: I had a bit of a how-could-I-do-my-makeup-without-you moment when I started using this foundation again. It’s lightweight but it’s still medium coverage and it’s buildable. Since I have combination skin (more on the oily side in the summer), Double Wear is one of those few foundations that keeps my at-times shiny complexion at bay. It stays on for good number of hours without budging (up to 6 hours for me, then it needs a bit of a fix-up). The only downside is the absence of the pump and the fact that it does oxidise a bit. I would definitely recommend getting matched to find your perfect shade. My current match is Desert Beige.
Nude by Nature Natural Definition Brow Palette*: I have tried many brow products but this one, kindly sent to me by Feel Unique team, stands out. Not only it fills my brows perfectly, the combination of two shades (one lighter and one darker) is exactly what your girl needs because finding that one flawlessly matching shade is almost impossible. The best news is it doesn’t budge and looks very natural on the brows. The fact that it’s got a little mirror and a brush gives Nude by Nature major brownie points. I use this palette every single day and I can see it lasting for months.
I surely do like a good challenge, right? Since I’m including a candle into my favourites and putting myself into a position to “describe” it for you.
Number one thing you need to know is that you can rarely go wrong with a Bath & Body Works candle. Their scents are out of this world.
Last time we were in the US and I brought one candle back (it was a three-wick one but it still broke my heart a little that I brought back only one), every single person who walked into our house commented on how lovely it smells.
So this time I had to take advantage of the fact that we booked an extra suitcase (YES!!!). I literally shopped my heart out in Bath & Body Works.
This Eat. Beach. Sleep. Repeat. Tiki Beach candle definitely had to come back with us in that extra luggage. It’s a Caribbean summer in a jar. It’s fresh, fruity, summery, delicious, fun, flirty and, it’s safe to say, it smells incredible.
When it comes to a favourite Instagram account, singling one out is not a walk in the park.
However, Hayley from Frock Me I’m Famous made it super easy for me.
Her photos will definitely give you massive wanderlust as the gal has been around the world. I have loved following her travels in the US, Singapore and Indonesia. She’s currently in Italy and it’s giving me I-need-a-little-European-holiday-ASAP vibes.
Hayley doesn’t just bring you along on her globetrotting adventures, she inspires (me – big time!) to swap my jeans and tee to something “a bit more creative and fun”. I absolutely love her style but I have to warn you – it could potentially seriously hurt your bank account.
Last but not least, Hayley is very down-to-earth, sweet and lovely. She always makes time to interact with her followers and support friends. I can’t even tell you how many times I felt so disheartened about my Instagram page when Hayley swooped in with likes, lovely comments and reminded me that so many people actually do love what I post.
So yeah, make sure you follow this lovely human and say hello to her from me when you do.
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And now it’s time for a nice little giveaway to celebrate my comeback.
1. Bubbles At Home (Belgian brand) bath bombs | 2. To-do List Notepad
3. Crabtree & Evelyn Pear & Magnolia Hand Cream | 4. Bath & Body Works Pineapple Colada Hand Sanitizer
5. Surprise Gift
+ the giveaway is open internationally
+ you can enter from June 22nd to July 12th
+ to enter follow the steps provided by Rafflecopter (below)
The winner is:
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and let me know what was your favourite thing about spring.
What plans do you have for the summer?