Tuesday, 16 September 2014

War Zones and Sunsets: Bosnia & Herzegovina || Travel

For our October trip we headed even further South to the Capital of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Sarajevo. With a population of just under 400,000 the cultural and religious difference within the city is incredible, Orthodoxy, Islam, Judaism and Catholicism coexist within the valley. Despite the fact that not too long ago in the 1990's the city was on the edge of annihilation, today it is a vibrant and attractive city.




Above is the spot where Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofia were assassinated in 1914 and the wall plaque dedicated to it.





Sarajevo is a beautiful city to walk around and take in the various different religious buildings and places. As well as visiting all the top tourist sites and destinations within the city we also paid to go on a trip outside the city to the Sarajevo War Tunnel which is the tunnel that was used throughout the war to help civilians escape the city and to import materials and food into the city to help the soldiers; at this time there was no other way in or out of the city due to it being surrounded by the Serbians. It was there that I saw this...



After partying it up in the city's best nightclub the next morning we awoke with some foggy heads but despite this we were rearing to get going to our next destination; Mostar.





Mostar is located to the south west of Sarajevo and is definitely worth a visit, we spent our Sunday morning there. It is a very small town but has great cultural and historic importance due to the magnificent bridge photographed above. 
Stari Most, which in English means 'Old Bridge' is a reconstruction of the 16th Century Ottoman bridge that crosses the river Neretva and connects the two sides of the town. The previous bridge stood in place for 427 years, until it was destroyed in 1993 by the Croat forces during the war. This reconstruction opened in July 2004.



We then found a spot for our picnic lunch and headed back to the car for our journey to Split in Croatia, the drive was around 180km but we were sure to stop off a take some snaps of the beautiful scenery. 


Although we arrived to Split quite late into the evening it was totally worth it as we all gazed out to such an incredibly, beautiful sunset and wandered around the old town. 



Elle xxx

Friday, 5 September 2014

Sea Organs and Waterfalls: Croatia || Travel

To continue on from my post on my little trip to Lake Bled in Slovenia, today's post is going to be about my first long trip whilst on my erasmus year abroad. At the end of September, I was lucky enough to travel from Slovenia to Croatia for a total of 3 days. In that short time, I managed to visit a total of 5 places in Croatia! So if you're looking for somewhere to escape to (even through a computer screen!) keep on reading :)

Our first stop was Rijeka, in the northern part of Croatia, the third largest city of the country, at first glance, Rijeka can just seem like a gritty port town which most people dash through en route to the picturesque Croatian islands. However, if you open your eyes wide enough, you will notice the pretty Austro-Hungarian buildings that stand  within the concrete based coastal city. We arrived in the evening and only had time for a short walk around before dinner.

The next day we woke up early and got going, the next stop was Krk island, only 50 km away. We spent the morning exploring and even taking a dip in the glistening blue sea!

Rijeka






Road to Zadar (sorry for bad quality.. moving car issues)


That afternoon we headed down towards the city of Zadar, which is 250km all the way down the coast line of Croatia. The journey took around 4 hours but there was never a moment of boredom, we were all fascinated with the views from our coastal road. As we rolled along, the sun was setting on the beautiful Adriatic sea, I felt like the luckiest girl in the world.

Birdseye view of Zadar (image taken from Google)
We arrived in Zadar early evening, the weather was still warm and we strolled around the beautiful ancient walled city. As you can see from the picture above (stolen from google) the city is situated on a sort of separate piece of land which is attached to mainland Croatia at just one end. We ate some beautiful food and then walked to the most popular attractions in Zadar; the Sea Organ and the Sun Salutation - these are two artistic installations which utilise the power of nature to create beautiful sounds and sights. It was one of the most magnificent performances I have ever seen, if you are ever anywhere near Zadar, it is definitely worth it to visit purely for the Sea Organ and Sun Salutation. To end our beautiful day we got lost in the outskirts of Zadar trying to find our hostel, which actually turned out to be an apartment in the basement of someones house! However skeptical I was, the family were very lovely and we enjoyed our night there.
Sun Salutation (image taken from Google) 

The next day was going home day but we weren't departing without a fun day full of activities! We asked the owner of the house we stayed in if there was anywhere near that we weren't to miss before leaving. The lady of the house recommended a small town close by called Nin. The lady stated that this is the oldest town in the whole of Croatia and therefore has significant historical importance. We decided to take her advice and give little Nin a visit.

Nin, Croatia
Nin was a beautiful little fishing village. After a short walk in the rain, we decided to carry on to the National Park.




It was an incredible trip and I would recommend Croatia to everyone! Have you ever been? Any tips to share?

Elle xxx

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Hello September

September is the month for cosy nights in, hot chocolates, oversized blankets and vegetable soup. I spend my whole summer wishing it will never end until it gets to September 1st and I'm suddenly ecstatic about Autumn. 

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This September I plan on filling each day with happiness, spending each day doing something I love to make it the best September yet.  I've decided to share with you 10 of these lovely thoughts and things. 

1. Family time. I'm going to Scotland for 4 days to spend time with my family who live there, I don't see them very often so I'm sure we are going to have some lovely cute outings in the autumn weather, with hot chocolate stops at the local cafes!

2. Cooking. I've been really enjoying letting my creativity run wild in the kitchen lately. With the colder months approaching, I would really like to try a few new dishes to enjoy in the winter.

3. Reading. With all this spare time I've had over the summer months, I have been reading a lot more books, crime novels in particular, I'd like to be able to keep this up even when I have a slightly busier schedule! 

4. Me time. I'm thinking, candles, bubble baths, beautifully painted nails, face masks and rose scented spritzers, yes please. 

5. Focus. I need to be organised to enter into my final year at uni (eeeeek). Finding a structured routine for myself is key if I want to achieve all that I aim to this coming academic year. 

6. Beauty. No longer exposed to the sun, sea and sand, my healthy tan will begin to fade and therefore I want to make sure my skin stays in top condition. I often get lazy after the summer, but I am to keep moisturising daily and make my tan last as long as possible!

7. Glamour. A bit of lippie and a party now and again is never a bad thing. Heading back down to uni is a great excuse for a get together and I can't wait to get my heels on and have a good old boogie. 

8. Creativity. I know that I have a lot of creativity bursting out of me however I'm often one to ignore it because theres always an easier and quicker way to get things done. But, this September I'm determined to do things a little differently and let my creative vibes flow oooooo!

9. Confidence. We all have those times, you're feeling down, tired, unmotivated and just not very confident with who you are right now. Well, September is my new month to be confident again, be proud of who I am and what I achieving because you can never do better than you're best.

10. Smile. Just smile :)

What do you want to achieve this September? Are you as excited for autumn or are you a summer baby? 

Elle xxx

Monday, 21 April 2014

Motivational Monday #3

Today is Monday, Monday is the day to make new promises and banish bad habits! Right? Well, not exactly, for most of us it's just a day that we struggle to get up on time.

Well, if you feel like making just a small little promise to yourself, one that maybe, just maybe you could stick to.. it could be to start reading! If you are someone who is constantly with their nose in a book, then I salute you. But, if you are not one of these people, ok I get it, we are not all book worms, but I believe that we should all make an effort to read something, whether that be a classic romance novel or just the daily newspaper, whatever floats your boat! I found this picture and it has definitely motivated me to get back into my books.. my kindle has been feeling a bit neglected recently.


Reading stimulates the brain, it gives an escape from you own life and the ability to throw yourself into someone else's world and see life through their eyes. I know, of course, not everyone wants to escape their own lives but even if you love your life, it's nice to see things from other perspectives. Whether it be Harry Potter, George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four or the Daily Mail, get reading people! 

Enjoy your week lovelies, Elle xx

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter my lovelies! Hope you all have a fantastic weekend, eating lots of chocolate and hot cross buns and spending time with loved ones. 

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Lots of Easter hugs and kisses!
Elle xx

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Lake Bled, Slovenia || Travel

First of all, I would like to say sorry for not posting since the beginning of the month, I have had 2 weeks of mid semester exams and therefore blogging had to take a back seat I'm afraid. Anywhooo, with all the educational boring stuff out the way for now, time to get blogging! I've been itching to write a post!

Next, I just want to ensure you that my motivational Monday series will be coming back on Monday, do not fear! Now, in this post I am going to talk about the first of my many adventures whilst living here in Slovenia.

Back in September, I was lucky enough to take part in a language course for the first 4 weeks of my stay here in Ljubljana, as an Erasmus student. I participated in the EILC (Erasmus Intensive Language Course), as well as teaching us basic Slovenian to ensure we were not totally linguistically isolated, the course also organised a lot of activities for us in the afternoon. One Thursday, we went to Lake Bled, located in the Julian Alps in northwest Slovenia. Lake Bled is breathtakingly beautiful, a very popular tourist destination. It is only 55km from Ljubljana and therefore a perfect day trip, I have been another two times since September.


A great way to spend some time is to rent little rowing boats like we did. They are not expensive, I cannot remember the exact price, but I know it didn't break the bank! We rowed across the lake to the infamous Bled Lake island where you can enjoy some beautiful views and if you wish, climb the church tower. There are weddings regularly held at the church of Bled Island, traditionally it is considered good luck for the groom to carry his new wife up the baroque staircase of 98 stone steps, leading up to where they can ring the church bell and make a wish. 


We decided to visit the tower and climb the staircase. It cost 2.50 euro to enter, which I thought was reasonable.As well as seeing the beautiful inside of the tower you also get a magnificent view from the top.. however due to windows being covered with bars (safety first!) it is difficult to get a decent picture. 


All in all I would say Lake Bled is beautiful and a must visit if you are anywhere in Slovenia. You can catch a cheap bus from the city of Ljubljana from the bus station, right next to the train station and I believe it only takes around an hour. 

Hope you have enjoyed this post, there will be more coming, including Croatia, Bosnia, Hungary and more! Have any of you ever visited Lake Bled or anywhere else in Slovenia? Let me know in the comments below.

Love Elle xx


Thursday, 3 April 2014

Review || The Real Techniques Stippling Brush

Today I am going to review one of my ultimate favourite brushes and has been a staple in my makeup bag for quite a while now, the Real Techniques Stippling brush. If you are not familiar with the Real Techniques brushes, the range was created by Samantha Chapman who is one of the Pixiwoo girls. I think its fantastic how a beauty blogger and youtuber can be so successful and produce such greats products! 

I bought this brush back in the summer time, the brush is actually for applying foundation, however, I was searching for something to apply my new cream blushes with, after some research I decided that this brush was the best buy. It is a versatile brush, so I thought if I go back to powder blushes during the winter months I can always use my Stippling brush to apply my foundation - It's a win-win situation! 


The claims from Real Techniques: 
'This dual-fiber brush is the trade secret for creating airbrushed, high definition results with all types of makeup' 
  • look pixel-perfect even in harsh light
  • ultra-plush, synthetic taklon bristles are hand cut and 100% cruelty-free
  • self standing for easy storage
  • extended aluminium handle is light and easy to use
I always think that some makeup brushes can be quite boring and not very pretty, however, not this one! I really like the appearance of this brush, it is pink and girly, so of course, I love it. But it is also extremely lightweight, which makes it very easy to handle. As the brand claims, the bristles are very high quality and I haven't noticed any shedding at all. It is also one of the softest brushes I know, and due to the bristles being so short, they don't give much which makes application precise and enjoyable. 


So, this brush applies my cream blushes like a dream. Due to the surface area actually being quite small, I can really apply the blush precisely and not end of with it down by my jaw line! The fact that the bristles do not give at all, I can really press and blend the blush into my cheeks, creating a natural, flawless finish. 

So, overall, I really love this brush and it is one of my favourites from the range. I would give the brush a 10 out 10 and recommend it to anyone who is looking for something to apply those coral, peachy summer creamy blushes! Some would say that it is a little bit pricey, at £11.99, however I definitely think its worth the price tag, also you can try to buy it as part of the 3 for 2 offer in Boots as I did, this always save a little bit of money. 

Has anyone else tried the Real Techniques Stippling brush? Or anything else from the range? Do you have any other brushes you could recommend?  

I'm full up to my eyes with revision this week as I've got two midterm exams and two midterm papers due next week! Apart from that, I'm having a relaxing time, appreciating the gorgeous weather we've got here in Slovenia. I hope you are all having a fantastic week. 

Love Elle xx

Monday, 31 March 2014

Motivational Monday #2

Okay, so maybe I am a little bit late to motivate you to kick Monday's butt, however I hope I am still in time to save the rest of the week. This week I am all about doing rather than saying I will do.. We are all culprits of the ever so common "I'll do it tomorrow" phrase, but this past weekend I have told myself that I'm going to do do do, and no more say say say. I was inspired by this image I found on We Heart It and I hope it inspires many of you to do the same. Stop wasting those precious days, because, however cringey, it is so true that you will never get this day back, you will never live this moment again and you will never be this young. 


Have a fabulous week lovelies! 

Monday, 24 March 2014

Motivational Monday #1

Monday's are always a bit of doom and gloom for everyone.. you're still a little tired from the weekend and not quite ready to take on another week at full speed ahead. Well, let's change this! From now on I will be posting a 'Motivational Monday' post on every Monday of the week to fuel you all up and inspire you to get up and go!


I saw this on pinterest a few days ago and, in my current personal situation, I found it very easy to relate to. I hope this motivates you all to appreciate the small things in life, whether that is thoughtful walks and time to think, your daily good mornings with those you love or the weekend catch ups with the besties, because one day you might realise that they aren't there anymore and you will miss those 'little things'. 

Feel free to share what you appreciate right now below, I would love to hear! Have a great Monday and wonderful week. 

Elle xx

Saturday, 22 March 2014

L'Oreal Elvital Total Repair Extreme

Spring is just around the corner, the suns coming out and we all want to be showing off our luscious locks with cute sunnies and daisy chains. So, in this Saturday's post I am going to talk about my current favourite shampoo and conditioner. I have just recently had my hair cut, before I had extremely long dark blonde hair (when I say extremely long, I really mean it, it was down to my waist!) but now it's looking a lot healthier at a sophisticated boob length. I have never coloured my hair and after the cut I have had countless comments about how I look so good with dark hair! Yes, I know, I am confused too.. but I guess with the cut, a lot of my natural blonde highlights were chopped off and swept away!

Anywho, getting down to business, for the past few months I have been using L'Oreal Paris Total Repair Extreme Shampoo and Conditioner. Now, as I am studying abroad in Slovenia, the ones that I buy have actually been imported from Germany and therefore are in German so I cannot read what they are actually claiming to do. However, I have put my google translate skills to the test and this is the result. The shampoo claims to act as a deep reconstructing and strengthening product to the entire hair fibers. the active substance stabilizes the inner hair structure and strengthens the outer protective layers. Promising, increased resistance, suppleness and vitality. The conditioner claims it makes even very damaged, dry hair wonderfully supple.

In my opinion, both the shampoo and the conditioner live up to their claims. After washing my hair, it feels renewed, nourished and surprisingly strong. I have always had very long hair and it can be very knotty and difficult however with L'Oreal's Elvital Total Repair Extreme I have no trouble and can even leave my hair to dry naturally and not have too many knots! I fully recommend these products and they aren't too pricey either. I buy both for 2.85 euro which converts to around £2.40 each.


I hope you liked this post and let me know if you would like to see more favourites! Has anyone else tried this shampoo and conditioner? Let me know in the comments below. Hope you all have a great weekend!  

Elle xx

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

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Where have I been? || Life Update

Hi lovelies! So I must admit, shamefully, it has been over a year since I have posted anything on my blog and I am very ashamed of myself! I'm hoping you can all forgive me and I want to say thank you to those who have stuck with me :)

I guess I owe you all a little bit of an explanation of my where abouts... So here goes! As you all know I am a bit of a travel bunny, I love exploring other countries, cultures and indulging in the local foods. You can see what I got up to on my Summer 2012 Inter-railing trip here. So I decided to take up the opportunity of studying as an Erasmus student for an academic year, in Ljubljana, the capital city of a beautiful country in Eastern Europe called Slovenia. I've been living here since September and I'll be back in England in July!


The picture above is of my beloved city! Ljubljana is one of the prettiest, cutest cities I have ever been to, despite it being the capital, it is actually tiny. I will be doing a more detailed post about the city soon, so keep your eyes out for that one if you are interested. Let me know in the comments below if you have already visited this beautiful hidden gem!

On another note, before I ramble on too much, I wanted to say that I'm going to be back to blogging ad much as I can. It's funny living in a different country, and one so small as Slovenia, it's often hard to find beauty products that have just launched or classic products you know you will always find in trusty boots, the price is also quite expensive due to bad exchange rates and import taxes but I will try my best on the beauty front. However, I would also like to do some more lifestyle posts, travel, fitness, advice, Q&A... anything really! Let me know if you have any requests. 

That's all for now.
Are there any suggestions for posts? Anyone ever been to Slovenia or Ljubljana itself? Have you had any similar experiences? Are you a former Erasmus student? Do you have any advice for me?

Ciao ciao,
Elle xx