Spring in Greece

apricot tree blooms in Voula

I know most people associate Greece with summer…you know, the islands, the beaches, the picturesque island streets, sun tan etc. The truth is that Greece is lovely all year long! Spring in particular is my favorite season, because everything is in bloom. With Easter weekend upon us, I know that many fellow Greeks will “flee” to the countryside in order to celebrate!

Inspired by spring too, I made a collection of photos from past spring escapades both within and outside the city borders for your viewing pleasure…

I know I’ll be “escaping” this Friday too and I’m getting prepared for some relaxation and lots of food (which is unavoidable).

Will you be doing something special this Easter?

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4 things Yoga can teach us about Blogging

4 Things Yoga Can Teach Us About Blogging

I tried yoga for the first time 10 years ago out of sheer curiosity! The reason that I stuck to yoga and I chose it as my main way of physical activity is that it helps me evolve physically. I value the fact the every class is different; I get to try new poses, evolve existing ones, get better each day and learn something new every day. Though I must admit that when I practice yoga I’m not fully there. My mind wanders on to various things, places and situations. It actually does that all the time (stupid brain). Anyway, one day upon leaving a yoga class I had an idea! I would write about what yoga can teach us about blogging, because many of the things that my teacher tell us over time on how to perform poses better could easily be applied in blogging (and help me evolve there too). I’m pretty sure that yoga can teach us many more things about blogging, but here are 4 that I deem important.

1) Don’t compare yourself to others

One of the most common things a yoga teacher will tell you (especially if practicing a challenging pose), is that you shouldn’t compare yourself (and the way you perform the pose of course) to the people around you. Chances are you don’t have the same body, or the same skill level or even the same commitment to yoga.

The same applies to blogging. Comparing yourself with other (especially more successful) bloggers is going to get you anywhere.You should focus on yourself and capabilities and remember that each one of us is different and unique.

2) Be Organized

My yoga teacher keep reminding us to have our bodies organized at all times when practicing yoga. What he means is that all our muscles (legs, abs, shoulders, hands) must be energized and not slacking!

In blogging if you want to evolve and become a better blogger, you also have to be organized. Organization in this case ranges from having a posting schedule, keep your blog’s design user friendly, take clear photos etc.

3) Everyone has his/her own strengths and weaknesses

Each one of us has his/her own strengths, capabilities and weaknesses in all aspects of life. In yoga no two people can perform a pose in the same way and some of them won’t reach the end pose be it an inverted pose or the upward bow pose for that matter. And yes I’m talking from personal experience.

In blogging, you won’t be able for example to deal with opportunities, PR/brand pitches or showcase events the same way as your peers, as each one of us has a unique writing/presentation style.  Which brings us to No.1: stick to your strengths, evolve according to your strengths and abilities and don’t compare yourself with others.

4) Do your best and always evolve

Knowing yourself  and your limitations doesn’t mean that you give up and don’t try to take your poses and practice a step further. In yoga you should always try to evolve taking of course in to account the said limitations that your body has. Trust me, there’s always space and ways to get your practice a step further.

In blogging evolution is important if you want to stay relevant, even if you choose to be a hobby blogger. You can evolve in so many ways: take better photos, streamline your blogging schedule, switch up your blog design, network with other bloggers, PR companies, brands etc. In this process of evolution I suggest you seek out and read blogging tips and resources (as many as you can).  A few weeks ago I posted some interesting blogging tips I found online lately. A few examples of other valuable sources are Independent Fashion Bloggers, CopyBlogger, Problogger.

If you practice yoga, have you found any other yoga values that can be applied in order to make you a better blogger?

 

 

 

Links Worth Checking Out #4 – Spring Cleaning Edition

noteworthy links

It’s that time of the year people…the perfect opportunity to open our wardrobes, throw everything out and decide what’s a keeper or not…plus it’s time for spring clothes to make their appearance. Of course spring cleaning isn’t limited to the wardrobe, but it’s a good opportunity to clean and tidy our house as well (not that we don’t clean it the rest of the year, but you know, give some extra effort). So in this week’s Links Worth Checking Out, you’ll find useful posts which will aid your “cleaning” process!

Starting off we have Stephanie’s post on 8 ways to start spring cleaning this week, which will set you in the “right” mood and give you general directions on how to go about spring cleaning your home. Moving on to the wardrobe, there’s always the issue of what clothes to keep or not. StyleCaster provides us with a “checklist” on deciding When to Get Rid of Clothes. Another really helpful post is IFB’s Blogging, Shopping & An Overflowing Closet Dilemma. I know I will put those tips in good use the following weeks! Then you can always rely on Nouvelle Daily’s tips on How to Declutter Your Space. I know I love their last tip “declutter regularly”…ah you are talking to my heart Nouvelle!

After going over your wardrobe, shoes, accessories etc, it’s important to use clever organizing tips in order to save space and let our stuff “breathe”, so here are 12 ways to organize your shoes and accessories. I personally love tips #4 and #8 for storing my accessories.

So tell me do you have any spring cleaning tips to share??

Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote

Do you have a travel “bucket” list? You know, the kind of list where you mentally write down the places you want to visit in your life. I don’t exactly have such a list, but there are a few places that I’d love to visit like Japan and California. One thing’s for sure: the Canary Islands weren’t on this list, but…when the opportunity arose to visit one of them I hopped on board (literally).

I’m exaggerating a bit here, as I only visited one island, that being Lanzarote.  It isn’t the most renowned island of the bunch such as Tenerife and Grand Canaria, which are the “posh-est” of, but it belongs to the Canary Islands nonetheless, in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Africa! Yeah, I’ve traveled further than that I know, but I still got excited with the opportunity!

I must admit that the coastal cities/resorts reminded me of the Greek Islands a bit, as white is the prevalent color for the buildings here as well. The inner villages, had a more Spanish (and original) look. Sightseeing wise, the “top” sight for me was the volcano tour. I’ve never been near an active volcano (it last exploded on 1824) before, so it was quite an experience.

In the photos below you can see some snaps from my trip featuring a cactus garden, celebrations for Canary Day, the beach at Puerto del Carmen, soldified lava in Timanfaya National ParkEl Golfo beach, Famara beach, a building in Teguise village, the exquisite view at Mirador del Rio and the interior of a restaurant in Puerto del Carmen.

If the opportunity to visit the Canary Islands arose again, I’d probably try out another island, Tenerife maybe? (Which also has an Opera House designed by Calatrava).

Have you been to the Canary Islands and if not, would you visit one day?

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Instagram {aspects} #5

March wasn’t a productive month Instagram wise (whereas lifewise was super busy), but this month marked a first on my Instagram feed. For the first time I featured the photo of a dog!! Yeah big deal I hear you say, but bear in mind that I’m a cat person and partially afraid of dogs (and their way of expressing their affection). But this cocker spaniel was to cute to ignore :) Of course to make up for the cats I did shoot a ginger tabby cat on my way to work. Yeah I’m sure he preferred food to having his photo taken!

My city also made lot’s of appearances this month, from inside peeks of Zappeion Conference Hall, to lighten up buildings, to the fabulous view from the terrace of my office building! Oh yes, I also made a stop at the new M&S Food Hall in Ermou Street to check out the goodies. Back when I was studying in the UK, I visited the Food Halls as it was the only place I could find take away sushi (if I got there before 12pm that is). I was a good girl and restrained myself this time though!

Style wise, it’s time for pastel colors, stripes and rediscovering my accessories, like this Folli Follie watch. The weather is getting warmer but for the colder days I relied on my Neutrogena hand cream and Maybelline Baby Lips to keep my hands and lips hydrated.

Statement Necklaces: How to Style them plus DIY inspiration

Statement Necklaces
Today we’re focusing on statement necklaces, an accessory I like a lot and have featured a couple of times on the blog. I admit that I like bold jewelry; necklaces, earrings, bracelets…the lot! I believe that they can elevate the simplest of outfits in no time.

How to Style Statement Necklaces

You can style statement necklaces with almost every outfit, but let’s state out my favorite ones;

1) With a simple T-shirt

A statement necklace is the best accessory in order to get a look from day to night. Ideally the t-shirt should be monochrome or striped. A busy pattern won’t let your necklace shine!

2) With a vibrant colored top

You can see my bright example right here! You can choose complimentary or clashing colors. In any case you’re going to make an impact!

3) With a buttoned up shirt (I prefer denim ones)

While wearing a shirt a statement necklace can be worn either with the shirt a bit unbuttoned like the photo in the collage above, or with the shirt buttoned up. I believe that with a buttoned up shirt the necklace would be more prominent, especially if it’s a large one! Here’s an example of what I have in mind.

5) With a monochrome dress

You probably got it till now, that I prefer statement necklaces to be matched with monochrome clothes and not patterned or florals ones. I prefer it that way, so that the necklace will elevate the clothes rather than clash with them. Olivia Palermo gives a perfect example of how to style a bold necklace with a dress!

Why Not DIY?

If you have a flair for creation and DIY is your thing I have plenty suggestions for you. Geneva from A Pair and A Spare has created a statement necklace with crystals and also presented how to make a stacked necklace. Honestly WTF girls show us how to create a vintage statement necklace as well as a woven chain necklace (my favorite). Last Erica from P.S. I Made This has a handful of DIY statement necklace tutorials: Brooch Necklace, Statement Necklace (similar to the Etro one pictured on the Polyvore collage above) and Beaded Bib Necklace. And last I would like to add Florendia’s DIY vintage necklace, which you can check out here!

Athens Fashion Week: A Retrospective

With Athens Xclusive Designers Week coming up this weekend, I couldn’t help but remember the first time I attended a fashion show back in 2007 and make a mental and pictorial retrospective of the different shows I’ve been so far.

When I first read about Athens Week taking place here in Athens, I hoped that one day I could be able to attend one show. Well my “dream” came true thanks to fashion school initially and then thanks to fashion blogging. Within the 7 years I’ve been attending fashion shows in Athens many things have changed of course; the venues, the organizers, the designers who take part, the people who attend the shows.

During the first fashion weeks, well known and established Greek fashion designers took part, whereas now there is a swift towards emerging designers and talents. The first fashion week venue was Zappeion Conference Hall, my favorite venue so far. Nowadays it takes place in Ethniki Insurance Conference Center.

Did I mention that from 2006 to 2011 we had 2 fashion weeks? Yep you read that right. There was Athens Fashion Week and Athens Xclusive Designers Week (AXDW). The first one ceased to exist and the second one is still active. I think fashion shows are a far cry away from the most well known fashion weeks, but still better than not having an organized fashion week, right?

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Links Worth Checking Out #3 – Blogging Tips Edition

noteworthy links

In blogging even when you are a hobby blogger (as I like to view myself) it’s important to stay on the “game” and utilize a few tips and tricks to make you a better blogger. I always bookmark links that are interesting (and do-able) and I even have a special Pinterest board for all this posts. This week’s “Links Worth Checking Out” has a “blogging tips” kind of theme, because we all need some tips and ideas to keep us blogging and make us better one step at a time!

First up is Kate’s (ghostparties) post on Keeping Content Fresh. Kate’s writing this post from the beauty bloggers perspective, but those principles can be applied to any king of blogging. Next are 16 Blogging Resources to Improve your Blog that I came across thanks to all4blogs. This post covers everything from getting inspired, SEO, creating images for your blog and sharing your content. At this point I should mention that about a month ago, WordPress.com issued 3 free e-books with writing prompts, photography tips and growing your traffic tips.

Keeping up with photography tips, thanks to S Marks the Spots I came across 10 Tips to Improve your Photography & Camera Skills. This article suggests that one should “play around” with the camera and discover more about it’s settings….yeah…I should probably do that than shooting in auto!

Do you have any interesting blogging tips to share? You can add them in the comments!

Blush

DSC_0204

The Look

I’m notorious at color combinations…I might match my top to my earrings, or my shoes, or even my bracelet to my shoes and so on. The funny part is that I buy most of my clothes and accessories separately, save for the time that I want to create a total look, which is a quite rare occasion. Still I can always pair up things. Magical isn’t it? This time I even matched my makeup to the color of the top and went all pink in eye shadow, blush and lip gloss.

The top is a recent acquisition from Bershka and to be honest I chose it for two reasons: the color and the bow details on the back. It is a good match to my Prada pumps and my NARS Orgasm blush. This blush really lives up to its hype and I believe it’s ideal for me (with Korres blush in Peach being a close second). As for the pumps what can I say…they really worth their money and it’s one of the best pair of shoes I ever owned!

The Venue

The setting for this shoot was a mosaic park in Voula which is a favorite spot of mine. I like the colorful mosaics and it does remind me of Park Guell in Barcelona. More photos and info on the park can be found on my other blog.

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A quick guide to Paris

a quick guide to Paris

First time I visited Paris was back in 1993. I was hardly 9 and was hyped about visiting Paris. We arrived by train (from Luxembourg) in Gare de l’Est and honestly as the train entered Paris – from a not-so-flattering angle and neighborhood – I was thinking that maybe the hype was just, you know, hype…My opinion though quickly changed after we took the metro to Passy (near Trocadero), were our hotel was located. The rest is history and Paris is my favorite city (*like ever*) despite the fact that I’ve visited London more times. It has an allure, openness, an aura that I honestly can’t ignore! So it was only natural for me to combine a quick guide to Paris from my point of view, and share my favorite walking routes, sights and places to eat (patisseries included)!

P.S. Be sure of one thing, a similar (and even more detailed) guide for London will follow.

See

I should start off by saying that whole Paris is a sight. Wherever you walk, whatever you see is interesting. Be it a building, a store, a bakery, whatever. Then again you have to narrow it (sightseeing) down, because I’m pretty sure that the time you have in Paris is limited!

The place/sight I like to begin my visit in Paris with is Arc de Triomphe. I never actually made it to the top, but I’m pretty sure it has some nice views over Paris. I also like it because it’s the beginning of the Champs Elysees (more on that later on). The Eiffel Tower is another favorite of mine and yes I’ve been to the top once, on my first visit in Paris about 20 years ago. I also like to admire the Eiffel tower from the Palais de Chaillot (metro station Trocadero) at the opposite site of the river. That location provides the best view over the tower. During my last visit I also had dinner on one of the restaurants located on Place du Trocadero behind the Palais de Chaillot.

High on the list are Musee du Louvre and Musee d’Orsay especially if it’s your first time in Paris. Bear in mind that there are many masterpieces to admire in these museums, so plan ahead!

Paris has many remarkable churches in all sizes and architectural styles. Of course you should not miss visiting Notre Dame. Being a fan of gothic style churches it has to be my favorite one in Paris (though I read that the Saint Chapelle is beautiful too, but never had time to visit).  Sacre Coeur in Montmartre should also be added in the must-visit list, for its peculiar style and great location (see more below).

If time permits other sights the can be added to your list may include Arc de la Defence, the new National Library of France, La Villette and Opera Garnier

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