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.
2. If your link was selected and you need this week’s code, visit this page: Links à la Mode Code.

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!!

 

 

 

 

 

How to care for color treated hair

Color Treated Hair Care

My hair was never my strongest point. It always bored me and I always tried to change it (nothing radical though), so I started having highlights 10 years ago and now that I have more gray hair that I’d like to, I have them dyed and ombre-d (for the time being)! It’s only natural to search for appopriate care products such as shampoos, conditioners, masks, hair oils etc. But there are so many products out there so I don’t know where to start from!

And that’s where Garnier comes to play! A few months ago I attended their presentation for this year’s products launches and I was more than pleased to see that they introduced a hair oil (Miraculous Oil Brushing Express) that protects from heat up to 230 degrees Celsius and cuts blow dry time in half, as well as a new bi-phasic spray designated for color treated hair called Shine & Care Shake It.

After the presentation I took the opportunity to “shoot” Garnier Greece and their head hair stylist Nikolas Villiotis with questions about how to create a “custom” hair care line for color treated hair by mixing and matching shampoos, conditioners etc. Below are my questions and the respective answers which I hope will help you define which products are the best for YOUR hair!

Q. In the beauty market there is an abundance of hair care products available (shampoo, conditioner, masks, serums, hair oils etc), designated to treat various types of hair (dry, color treated, oily, dull etc). The thing is though, that our hair rarely falls into only one category; they can be oily, color treated with split ends all at once. The question that arises is how can a woman through mix&match crated a customized hair care line just for her hair (e.g. shampoo for oily hair, conditioner for color treated hair and mask for damaged hair)?

A. This abundance of products facilitates women in choosing whatever product is ideal for them. One should start off with the shampoo, which is aimed at cleansing the hair and should be specialized according to one’s hair type. Next she can differentiate her hair care by choosing more products in order to create an ideal look for her hair. For example if a woman has oily and color treated hair she can use a shampoo aimed at oily hair and then continue on to use a hair mask aimed at color treated hair such as Fructis Color Resist or the new spray Shine & Care Shake It which doesn’t weight the hair down.

fructis hair spray and hair oilQ. My second question is about the fair use of all these hair oils and serums. For example Garnier currently has Miraculous Oil, Miraculous Oil Brushing Express, the bi-phasic Shine&Care Shake It Spray and the Goodbye Damage serum for split ends. A woman who uses a hair straightener frequently, has colored hair and split ends should use all 3 products? If yes in what order?

A. When the frequent use of heat styling tools is the case, then after washing her hair, it would be advisable to use Miraculous Oil Brushing Express, ideally keeping her hair wrapped up in a towel (Note: I’m so doing this next time), so that the product sinks in the hair. Brushing Express Oil protects hair from heat styling tools such as hair straighteners and cuts blow dry time in half. Right after using the hair straightener, she can use the Goodbye Damage serum as a finishing product only on the ends.

 

Q. As last question, I’d like to know if you have to share general tips about caring for color treated hair, concerning the use of heat styling tool, having a haircut, protecting hair from sun damage.

 A. It is essential for colored treated to use hair care lines aimed at protecting the hair color like the new Fructis Color Resist line. As far as sun protection and summer’s high heat goes, everyone should have Fructis Shine&Care Shake it with her at all times. This biphasic spray protects color treated hair, keeps them hydrated and has a pleasant summer scent.

As far as haircut goes, it’s advisable that the ends are trimmed every 2 months especially for hair that are colored in light tones. Continue reading

Bohemian Grey

grey silk blouse, grey jeans

Yet another top with a bohemian vibe…Another favorite item in my wardrobe. I like it because it can be styled with any type of pants: skinny, bell bottom, straight leg and look great every time! This time I went for an all grey outfit paired with a pair of blue ballerina flats, which injects the necessary color dose to the outfit!

What do you think of my outfit? How would you style a bohemian style top?

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Pepe Nero, Herakleion

Pepe Nero Trattoria, Herakleion

I had spotted Pepe Nero back in 2012 and wanted to visit ever since, as I had passed so many times in front of it! You see I have an affinity for Italian restaurants :) Especially more so if the interior looks nicely put together. So last month I had the opportunity to visit and I wasn’t disappointed!

We started off our meal with a salad and an appetizer which featured cold cuts, arugula and Parmesan. Both were delicious, but I was eager to try my pasta as well. I had tagliatelle with mushroom, sausage and white sauce. My friends had risotto with mushrooms and bacon, spaghetti carbonara and farfalle with white sauce (not pictured). The tagliatelle were delicious, but I shouldn’t have eaten so much from the appetizers in order to have more “space” for the main dish.

The meal ended with complimentary desserts which featured a delicious semifreddo and banoffee pie. I made a resolution of visiting again! Hopefully this summer!

Essential Information: Pepe Nero Trattoria, Chandakos 63, Herakleion, Crete, tel +30 2810 287863

Pepe Nero Trattoria Herakleion, Crete Pepe Nero Trattoria, Herakleion

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