Instagram {aspects} # 7- Vacations edition

It’s been more than I week since I came back from vacations and only now I came to compile this little post with my instagram snaps. You obviously noted that there are a few photos featuring the sea, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t hit the beach at all! I spent my vacations in Crete relaxing, swimming and …eating (how original for us Greeks)! So it’s no wonder that this year instead of “mini guides” for the cities I’ve visited I have a few posts lined up from restaurants!

So tell me how/where did you spend your vacations??

Discover Kea

Kea is one of the largest islands of the Cyclades and the one closest to Athens. Yet due to its mountainous landscape and the fact that “locals” prefer their privacy vs. the influx of tourists (either from Greece or abroad), the island isn’t on a lot of people’s radar. Yet the Daily Telegraph discovered it and included it in their “secret” beach holiday resorts in Europe.

So I thought that it was high time to post photos from my latest visit in Kea (also known as Tzia) here on the blog, back in 2012. I stayed over at a family friend’s home, which deserves its own post on the blog and will follow shortly. I’ve visited Kea many times (always staying at the said house) in the past 10 years. It has many small, clean beaches that are usually hard to approach (with a conventional car) as there aren’t many asphalted roads. Koundouros (in the south) is the most well-known beach  as well as Otzias (but it’s in the north, so when wind blows that way, it’s not ideal to swim there). But there are other beaches as well, like Spathi and Sykamia two beautiful, rather quiet beaches in the northeastern part of the island.

Now, as food+drink is concerned, Vourkari and Korissia (the port) are the most popular choices.  Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of Ioulida, which is the “capital” of the island, but it’s worth the visit. An important sight of the island is the monastery of Panagia Kastriani which has spectacular views over the Aegean Sea.

How to get there: Ferries for Kea depart from Lavrio port. You can find information and book tickets here.

Where to stay: There aren’t many hotels to stay in Kea and you’ll have to choose from either expensive ones or basic bed and breakfast ones. Here you’ll find the available hotels in the island. Of course you can also check out airbnb as there are many homes available for rent.

Koundouros, Kea a cat in Kea Korissia, Kea Sykamia beach, Kea

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Summer Blue

 

Is it in Miami? (nope) Malibu? (nope) Those palm trees you see are located in the National Garden in Athens.

I’m spending my last week in Athens, before heading to Crete for my vacations and since I couldn’t hit the beach for technical reasons, I spent last Saturday afternoon in the city, eating sushi in Furin Kazan, stopping by the National Garden for some photos and then hitting the stores for luggage shopping.

For this outing I chose an all (light) blue outfit consisting of my favorite denim shorts by Replay that I own for more than 5 years and a peplum top by Free People (which also isn’t new). I liked the top so much when I saw it that I bought it, despite being a US size 8 whereas I’d normally wear 4 or 6! The blue bag that completes the outfit is by Guess and it’s a recent purchase. Its blue color stroke a cord and I just had to get it!

I finished off my look with those beaded earrings, which added a tiny dose of red color and matched them with a coral-ish lipstick (the color is actually a combination)!

What do you think? Isn’t it an ideal summer outfit for both the city and vacations?

P.S. Oh yeah, after the wedding I chopped off my hair, but I guess you noticed that.

P.P.S. I’m linking up to today’s Style Elixir Style Sessions.

summer make up and short hair

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A quick guide to Santorini

Oia Santorini

Have you ever dreamed of living in a postcard? Well, visiting Santorini will make you feel just like that! It’s no wonder that Santorini is the most coveted Greek island thanks to  its stunning view, unique architecture and well its volcanic past. This is probably one of the few islands that beaches aren’t a priority. Not that they are not clean, but they have black sand due to the volcanic minerals. The picturesque village of Oia and the “capital” of the island Fira with their whitewashed buildings and beautiful view over the sea (where once the volcano crater used to be) make up for the no t so exotic beaches.

Last time I visited Santorini was 2 years ago. I was there for 5 days and really made a good use of my time: I walked in Oia, I saw the sunsetfrom Fira, I tasted wine in 2 wineries, I ate…well a lot, I visited the archaeological site in Akrotiri and I swam in the sea, which surprisingly was not ice cold at the time (as it is usually in the Aegean Sea).

What to See

Of course Oia and Fira will be on top of the list. Walking, exploring, taking pictures, making memories. The best time to explore this beautiful villages is late afternoon when the sun isn’t so harsh…trust me, I learned the hard way (p.s. if you notice my photos where taken during midday). Also it’s highly likely that you may even get jammed in order to watch the sunset! If you’re lucky and it’s a cloudless and humidity free day, you’ll even see the sun setting in the sea!

Also do visit the archaeological site in Akrotiri. It’s amazing! Here you’ll see a whole village with its roads and buildings that was demolished during the volcano explosion way back when. The site is restored and preserved thanks to a modern ceiling that allows air and sun to come in but protects the ruins from corrosion.

What to Do

During my first visit in Santorini back in 2002 I wasn’t aware of the many vineyards and wineries that this island has! Well this time (in 2012)  I visited 2 of them, where our friends are working and tasted some very interesting wines (and I’m not even a wine drinker)! First stop was the Boutari winery, were we tasted the white wines Kallisti and Nychteri, the red wine Mandilaria (that’s the grape’s name) and the sweet wine Vinsanto (to be drank with fruits/desserts). The next day we visited the Domain Sigalas winery where we tasted the Cavaliere wine (it’s a white one) (p.s. we had already tasted their Vinsanto wine, which has to be my favorite)! The Domain Sigalas has a very nice courtyard with nice view of the vineyards and the sea, where you can taste your wine! So if you visit Santorini do add at least a winery visit in your itinerary!

Beaches to visit

As I wrote in the introduction, Santorini isn’t known for it’s beaches, as the sand is usually black-ish due to the volcanic minerals. Notable beaches are Perissa, Perivolos and Kamari. The Red Beach near Akrotiri is also one of the well known beaches of the island (due to it’s color). Last, I really liked Vlychada for it’s peculiar stone formations and its not so dark sand.

In order to be more helpful I gathered all my suggestions in the following map.

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View from Oia

Fira, Santorini

Watching the Sunset in Fira

Sigalas winery Santorini

Wine Tasting in Sigalas winery

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How I Chose My Wedding Shoes

 

wedding shoes by Kate Spade

A lot of people complimented me on my wedding shoes and the fact that they matched my lace wedding dress perfectly (it wasn’t intentional, it just happened!), so I thought it would be interesting to share how I ended up getting this pair of shoes, which trust me was a huge deal for me!

I should start by stating that buying shoes is a tedious task for me, as I’m usually drawn to bags rather than shoes. So a few years ago I made a “pact” with myself: I see a pair of shoes I like, I buy it on the spot. The only second thoughts I am allowed to have is about the said pair of shoes fitting my lifestyle and being comfortable or I would end with a rather large collection of pretty looking high heels that I would rarely wear (lesson learned).

Now, choosing the wedding shoes is almost as important as choosing the wedding dress. Only for me it was even harder! I started looking for shoes in early March (the wedding was in June) and the stores hadn’t rolled out their spring collections by then, so I postponed my search for a bit.

The Specs

To be honest I didn’t have a clear idea of how my wedding shoes should be, but I had a few “guidelines”: I didn’t want peep toe shoes because I find them uncomfortable and I wasn’t looking for the typical white satin shoes adorned with Swarovski crystals (or not).

So, I set out to look for pastel colored shoes to match my color theme. My Prada pumps would be a really good fit and I said to myself that if I didn’t find a pair of shoes I liked that would be my backup plan!

The Search

I started off trying out patent pumps (that reminded me of the said pair of pumps I own), nude colored slingbacks, and silver colored high heeled sandals. And I didn’t like anything AT ALL!!

By then it was the 1st of April and I had to choose my shoes, buy them and get them to the designer so that the dress hem could be determined. So…Pinterest once again came to the rescue. I was scrolling through my home page when I spotted this pair of Kate Spade shoes on Glitter Guide’s board. I turned to my fiance and said “Now that’s a pair of shoes I would wear!!” So I started looking for the shoes online. One thing led to another and I found myself browsing the Kate Spade collection on Nordstrom. And I stopped when I saw these slingbacks.

The Desicion

That was it! That was my shoe! It wasn’t peep toed, it had a reasonable heel and it had this lacy effect that matched my wedding dress. And then I started thinking “How will I know if it fits?”, “What is the right size for me?”, “I never shop for clothes and shoes online”. It lasted 2 hours, an email to Nordstrom, perusing Kate Spade size guide, measuring my feet again and again until I determined my size. Then I pulled the plug, took my credit card and ordered the shoes!

The Shoes

After waiting for almost 2 weeks for my shoes to travel from the US and pass border control (which took 3 full business days!!), the pair was finally on my hands feet! The first thing that I wanted to check was the fit, as I had ordered half a size up, just to be on the safe side. And yes, I should have ordered 7,5 instead of 8…but a silicone pad did the trick in the end!

I did wear them a bit before the wedding to break them in, which was a wise choice and on the wedding day I didn’t have problem with the shoes whatsoever. Lastly you want to know what I love about my shoes? That I can wear  them again, easily and they can be styled with anything from jeans to dresses. Score!

So tell me, what do you think about them?

Wedding Preview

I’ve been absent for a month, but I had valid reasons! I got married on the 21st of June in Crete! Of course it’s super early to have the official photos, which I’m pretty sure will be lovely as I love our photographers work so much (P.S. You should check it out too here). Here’s a small photo preview of the wedding day and the day prior to that!

My preparation took place in GDM Megaron Hotel, where we also spent our first (and second) night as husband and wife. The ceremony took place in Saint Titus church, which I’ve given you a preview in the past here and the reception at a beautiful garden called “Garden of Senses”. As good blogger I searched for decoration inspiration on Pinterest, but of course my florist gave the flower decoration his own spin and the turned out really lovely. We had a great time and tasted great food at the reception and danced a lot until we could bear no more!

So here’s my little photo preview and there will be more to come in Fall :)

Credits:

Wedding dress: Katia Delatola, Make up and hair: Michalis Tsotras, Photography (and the lovely bouquet photo): Hanna Monika Wedding Photography, Decoration: Yucca Flowers, Wedding Cake: Paspatis Catering

 

Tunisia

camels in Tunisian desertTunisia is the only African country I’ve visited and let’s say the most “exotic” one (although Istanbul can also be classified as “exotic”). My visit took place back in 2007 and although it was winter and also rainy (we were unlucky enough ti coincide with the few rain days that Tunisia gets within the year), it was a nice experience and we got to see the different aspects of this country.

First of all: the desert! If you travel near the south borders of Tunisia you reach the region of Sahara dessert. For the first time in my life I saw how an oasis looks like. And no, it’s not a couple of  palm trees and a small lake. It’s hundreds of palm trees in small valleys, which provide the best location for small cities. Also did you know that parts of Star Wars (especially the planet Tatoine) were filmed here in the desert of southern Tunisia? If not, you know now! I also included a photo of the deserted filming site. Another exquisite site worth seeing in the desert is the salt lakes. I visited the salt lake of Chott el Djerid and the view was amazing. It’s a good thing we visited on a cloudy day and the sun was glistening through the clouds.

Star Wars set in Tunisia Oasis near Tozeur Chott el Djerid salt lake in Tunisia Oasis near Tozeur

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Featured in IFB Links a la Mode – May 29th

So glad my post on Hair Care tips was included in this week’s Links a la Mode! Enjoy the rest of the interesting links as well!

lalam0529

Style Secrets Revealed

There are so many “secrets” in the style industry. It’s all smoke and mirrors, or so they say. We’re here to put an end to that. As bloggers, we like to share those secrets often whispered between friends. No, not who you kissed at the party last night! What to pack on your trip, how to get your sunglasses fitted, what are the best pairs of black tights around, and heck, even compare your wardrobe to that of a woman living in the 1930’s.

Links à la Mode: The IFB Weekly Roundup

SPONSOR: East Dane Coupon, Trendy shoes, Ferragamo, & Weitzman, Mcpherson, True Religion, THVM, Spiritual Gangster, Koret, Versace & DKNY

Want to be featured in Links à la Mode?

1. Read the clarified rules and submit your links on this page: Links à la Mode.
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3 ways to add sunshine to your looks

3 ways to add yellow touches to your looks

Summer is almost here and what a brighter way to add some sunshine to your looks than adding on yellow accessories! Personally I love some neon yellow earrings like the ones I’m wearing here and a couple of neon yellow bangles like the one featured in the collage above. But without further ado, here are 3 simple ways to add some rays of sun in your looks (monochrome or colorful ones)

1. The Scarf

I spotted this scarf on Folli Follie’s twitter feed and I immediately thought of summer! It immediately adds color to any monochrome look, and will create a colorblocking effect when worn with vibrand colors. If you’re heading to windy islands for vacations, you’ll definitely need this!

2. The Bangle

Again a Folli Follie accessory. These “Greece is Bliss” bracelets are my favorites and I singled out the yellow one! Wear it on on its own or stack it with other bracelets for a summer-y arm party!

3. The Shoes

Yellow shoes? Why not? These YSL sandals look so minimal and easy to wear, but their vibrant color is eye catching and will add a ray of light in your summer looks!

Links Worth Checking Out #5

links worth checking out

It’s been a while since I did a links round-up, but I had so many posts lined up and I failed to bookmark my favorite posts! Continuing with the “spring cleaning” round up I’ve read a couple of interesting posts about closet makeover on Design Sponge and lingerie wardrobe upgrade on Into Mind. I think I’ll put them both into good practice. Beauty wise, I found this blush tutorial by Aggie very useful and it has quickly become my method of choice when applying blush! P.S. If someone has tips for cream blush, by all means do share!!

On another note, I really enjoy reading about cool places and travelling…So I really enjoyed and was almost drooling in front of my screen when I saw the photos from Meert patisserie in Brussels on S Marks the Spots. I also put mentally Cafe Gitane in NYC on my list after seeing in on The Londoner. Be cautious though…don’t read these posts before mealtime…

I’m closing this links roundup wish some beautiful photos of cherry blossoms captured by Aggie in Japan. Truly beautiful indeed!!

 

 

 

 

 

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