Sunday, October 17, 2021

The Ultimate Italy Travelguide.



I have been travelling to Italy quite a lot in the past year. That probably has to do with me moving to Munich last summer and since being so close to it. However, after my last trip in October 2020 to Florence and Tuscany, I followed with a week-long holiday in Rome, Naples, Capri and Sorrento. And let me tell you, it has been one of the best trips I have ever been on! So today I thought I would share with you my thoughts and tips on all places I have visited in Italy so far... 

This will be a long one, I hope you don't mind. 

South Tyrol / Dolomites 

The first time I ever travelled to Italy, our trip started in the dolomites, to be exact in the area of Bolzano. Green parks (or a white paradise - depending on when you decide to visit), beautiful promenades, dolomite peaks in the distance - the walks in Bolzano in Italy are characterised by unique diversity and beauty. I honestly love this place so much and would recommend anyone to visit if you can. We stayed in the cutest little hotel with the nicest owners. Their breakfast was amazing and they are very helpful when you want to get some tips about activities in the area. We will definitely be back soon! 

When you can and there is not too much snow you should definitely take a hike up the Seceda. These views are unforgettable. I believe there is also a cable car that will bring you halfway up there... But I also think that the hike is half of the fun! 

Also, I loved Alpe di Siusi - a Dolomite plateau and the largest high-altitude Alpine meadow in Europe. We took a cable car all the way up and then went on a hike once we reached the top. To be honest, I was a bit scared of the height but after some encouraging words I got over it... so if you are scared of heights like me - give it a try anyway!






Tuscany 

You just got to love Tuscany. After spending a few days in South Tyrol we went on to Tuscany. I think if you want to explore Italy by car it is best to stay away from big cities and focus on the beautiful landscape of Tuscany. 

We actually stayed in a gorgeous Airbnb in the Chianti area and got to experience a wine tasting and vineyard tour that we also booked through Airbnb. I highly recommend you also look for activities and tours on the platform, not just for the next place to stay. 



Florence

Florence was the third and final stop on our little road trip last fall. I must admit, driving into the centre was probably not the best idea but definitely... an experience! You really got to be careful when taking your car into inner Florence (or any major Italian city for that matter) as there sometimes will be limited traffic areas which you will need a special permit to enter (which of course we did not have). However, these areas suddenly appear out of nowhere, at least if you are not familiar with the city and I heard it can be quite costly if you get caught. 

But all the adrenaline while driving was definitely worth it. I completely fell in love with Florence. The city is just beautiful. We got quite lucky as we went to visit Florence in the off-season so it was quite empty and the perfect opportunity to see all the important sights without being surrounded by tourists. We actually got to experience the Galleria dell'Accademia di Firenze and the famous Michelangelo's David statue all alone! There was literally nobody else in the museum and it was in the middle of the day! I highly suggest you book a ticket in advance though, especially in Covid times. You really shouldn't miss out on seeing this impressive work of art when you are in Florence. 

Another must-see in Florence - Piazzale Michelangelo.

Have you ever seen one of those incredible pictures of Florence and the Duomo and wonder where it came from? The answer is Piazzale Michelangelo. Named after the famed Renaissance sculptor himself with a replica of David out of Bronze in the centre.

You can enjoy the view during the day or ideally at night. If the conditions are right you’ll see one of the world’s best sunsets.




Rome 

Rome has truly stolen my heart. I think it is the most beautiful city I have seen in Italy so far. I visited it this summer - this time we flew into Italy and left the car at home. Reaching the city centre is quite easy from the airport. It is connected by many trains and you reach in around 30 to 60 minutes. 

We stayed in a hotel in the Trastavere area and I already know that when I will come back I want to stay in the exact same area again, if not even in the same hotel. The hotel was quite simple but affordable, clean and the staff was great. However, Trastavere was the real star. The area really comes to life at night. There are countless bars and restaurants - aways from the typical touristy areas so you get to enjoy authentic Italian food. At the same time, it is within perfect walking distance to all major sights of Italy's capital. 

I am not going to list you all the typical sights you need to see when you visit Rome, but I would like to suggest a more unusual place to visit. The Testaccio food market in the south of Rome is a must-see. We went there on our last day before continuing on to Naples and we are so glad we took the little detour. Packed with locals the food is just amazing!

Speaking of must-eats in Rome - you simply have to visit Giolitti for some ice cream. A well-known café and pastry shop, apparently the oldest ice cream place in Rome. Founded in 1890 and soon after they became the supplier of the Italian royal family. Like... what? It is still owned by the same family! Honestly, I never had better ice cream in my life. It is so creamy and rich and at the same time light - almost like a mousse but in ice cream form. It's almost a crime to leave Rome without experiencing Giolitti at least one time. The good news: they have loads of vegan options, too! 





Naples

Naples is probably the most chaotic city I have experienced in Italy so far. Once we stepped out of the train from Rome we got hit by a literal sensory overload. So many smells, colours, people, sounds... everything! Even though it took a bit of getting used to the city really has its own charm. A very unique place, that will certainly leave a lasting impression and buzzes with energy. If you want a quiet and relaxing place, this is not for you. I loved the hustle and bustle but to be honest, I am glad we only stayed for two nights. 

It was just a bit too much for me personally in the end. Also, the humidity was insane which made the almost 40 degrees celsius in the day even worse. 

We used Naples as a starting point to visit Pompeii and Herculaneum, two major archaeological sights that you simply must visit! I loved Pompeii, simply because of its size. An incredibly impressive place. Herculaneum is the smaller site out of the two but is in incredible condition, even more than Pompeii. If you have the time you should see both. They are only about 20 minutes away from each other (by train or car!). However, I advise you to book a took in both places as this really gave us an insight into this extremely interesting place that we otherwise wouldn't have gotten. Without the tour, I think Pompeii would have only been 10% as impressive. Again, we booked ours through Airbnb! Also, this way you get to skip the long lines at the ticket counter! 




Capri 

We had to take a little day trip to Capri while travelling from Naples to Sorrento. So we booked a ferry in the early morning and made our way to this glamorous and famous island. 

I really adored Capri once we got past the busy Port and loads of tourists. Don't get me wrong, wherever you turn in Capri there are tourists. However, the pretty streets of the centre and the breathtaking views of the top really make up for it and give you some space to breathe. However, the central port really is crazy busy. Not the relaxing and glamorous entrance I expected, but still worth a visit. I think Capri is the best when you have your own yacht (duh) or at least a high-class resort or hotel. Then you really get to see the relaxing side of the island. I would come again, but would definitely book a resort this time. 




Sorrento 

Rome is my fave city so far - but Sorrento has to be my fave coastal place. Such a calm and beautiful place right at the ocean. The hills and the architecture are simply breathtaking. Next time I will definitely stay longer in this paradise and use it as a base to visit Positano and Amalfi. 

We only spend 24 hours in Sorrento but they were just perfect. We roamed the busy streets and markets in the centre most of the time. However, if you only have limited time in Sorrento I highly recommend you visit Bimonte Sorrento. A gorgeous jeweller and handmade workshop of Mediterranean cameos. Their pieces are beautiful genuine Italian cameos with gold or silver settings. I fell in love with their place and especially their history and their wonderful family. 

Christian, part of the Family that completely runs the shop and produce the pieces by themselves, took his time to explain to me everything about this craftsmanship. I was looking for a ring and he was absolutely wonderful in helping me find the right cameo which meaning suits me and my personality the best. Because as he said, "don't choose the piece for its size or colour. Choose it so that its story fits you and what you want to tell the world about yourself". I absolutely loved his approach and you could tell how passionate he is about his art. 

I will most certainly come back next time and buy another piece.. I cannot wait! 





Have you been to Italy yet and what was your favourite place?

x Lisa



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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Let's Talk About Brows.

*This post contains PR Samples

Brow Products Anastasia Beverly Hills Bobbi Brown


I feel like all of us have had that awkward brow phase at least once in their life. For me, it was never really the shape, as I don't really have to do much to them in this regard. However, finding the right colour and product for my brows is a struggle. 

I have quite thin brows, which need a bit of extra filling in. However, as my brows are more on the subtle side I do not like it if they look too 'heavy'. So the formula of my products definitely has to be sheer or buildable. 

My natural hair colour is a cool brown. So it is very important to me, that the colour of my brows is also cool-toned. Any warm-toned product that pulls even slightly red or orange makes me look very fake. So you can imagine I have been looking for the right brow products for ages. And I can confidently say that I now have the perfect lineup for me.... and these products should be no stranger to you. 


Brow Products Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz

Brow Products Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Gel


The Pencil 

I have refused to buy into the ABH hype for years. I always feel like if products are that hyped, they mostly disappoint when you try them. But not with the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz. The tip of the pencil is so tiny, it gives the most beautiful and natural look. The formula is buildable, so with a light hand, you can get a very subtle result. As much as colour goes, I find the "Taupe" looks best on me. But they really have a great selection of colours, especially the range of different brown tones is incredible. 

The Gel 

As much as I love the Brow Wiz on its own, I sometimes need some extra definition and staying power. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Gel gives me exactly that. It defines my natural brows perfectly and gives it a more 3-dimensional look instead of only using a pencil or powder. Also, my brows do not move at all the whole day. I am obsessed. 

The Highlight

No brow look is complete without the right highlighter. Here I use my holy grail, the Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder in "Afternoon Glow". A gorgeous natural glow with a hint of pink. Perfect for my skin tone. 

What are your go-to brow products?

x Lisa

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Thursday, September 2, 2021

9 Things To Do When You Are Stuck In A Rut.


We all thrive to celebrate or better said to look forward to celebrating something. Whether it is a wedding, vacation or job promotion.

There’s nothing like the thrill every time we have an exciting event or life update. But when exciting things aren’t happening, life can seem rather, well, dull. Maybe you already went on your big vacation for the year, don’t have any weddings this season, or are feeling pretty meh in your career. Every day is filled with errands to run, bills to pay, and chores to do, and it doesn’t feel like there’s much to celebrate besides making it to Friday every week. Even if you are working towards exciting goals, we all have those stuck-in-a-rut periods. Let’s face it: normal doesn’t exactly give you butterflies. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t enjoy life and make the most of even “normal” days. 

So what can you do to get out of that feeling? 


1. Be mindful. 

When we feel “stuck in a rut,” we usually feel disappointed in the moment because we’re missing out on what we thought should be happening (like feeling you should be on that amazing vacation right now, instead of sitting at your job). Use mindfulness to stay in the moment and accept the present, rather than thinking about what could’ve been.

2. Move. 

When you are in a rut, moving your body might be the last thing on your mind but is probably the first thing that helps. Exercise can help boost your mood, but can also change the way you view yourself. I love to run and listen to something inspirational while pushing myself. If I’m a little grumpy at the beginning of my run, I’ll almost always end get into a good mood by the end of it. Try it!

3. Practice gratefulness. 

When you’re feeling blah, it takes a bit of effort to move through bad moods. But when you focus on what you are grateful for, you show yourself that you don’t need special events in order to feel happy, and your ability to thrive does not depend upon your circumstances.

4. Search for a(ny) job. 

The other day I was perusing the web and came across a few job openings that looked interesting but I am not looking to change my job any time soon. However, I still compared my skills to the job requirements and thought about what experience I would need to gain to get the jobs that excited me the most. It gave me some completely new insight into what I really want to do. So if you’re feeling in a rut, a job search may invigorate you with a new direction or excitement, even if you are not planning to apply for it. 

5. Start journaling. 

You probably heard about the therapeutic effects of journaling. When you journal, you allow yourself to get all regrets and worries out of your head and onto paper. At the same time, you can also use journaling to focus on the bright things in life. Journal depending on what you think you need in order to feel better. For example, if you feel like you have a lot of emotions and stressors built up, let it all out on paper, no holding back. If you’re realizing that you’re being a little extra negative, journal about the things you can be grateful for. 

6. Learn a new skill.

They say if you aren’t learning, you aren’t growing. Sometimes, we get stuck in a rut because we don’t feel like we’re evolving in our careers or as a person. So the easiest answer is to do something to get what you want out of life. Knowledge is power, and learning something new will not only make you feel more inspired but might actually help you move your life in the direction you are only dreaming about. Whether or not it’s directly related to your career or hobby, take a course that sounds interesting, dive into a good book, or spend time looking up how-to videos on Youtube. There is so much out there for you to learn every day!

7. Clean out your closet. 

Just like your home, your closet can be a great indicator of how you feel emotionally. Too many clothes, too few clothes, clothes we’ll never wear, clothes that just don't fit right, clothes that just don't feel right—you name it. You know the saying, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have?” What we wear can change what we think about ourselves, and what we think about ourselves changes everything from our emotions to our actions - and therefore basically changes your life. Give away the clothes that don’t make you feel amazing, and make room for new clothes that will allow you to dress for the life you want. Start with the basics. When was the last time you sorted out your underwear drawer? I might be time to invest in some beautiful new dessous by hunkemoller to make you feel like you are on top of the world. Every day. 

8. Romanticize everything. 

Often, all it takes to feel like we’re in an exciting period of our life is to find things to celebrate. Even if don’t have any exciting events in the near future, you can find little things to celebrate and small moments to appreciate. For example, make yourself your favourite dish for a random lunch on a Tuesday, just because, or stop for some cake on the way home from work, just because you feel like it. Have your best friend over for wine night to celebrate the praise you got from your boss. The more you romanticize the mundane by finding the “special” in the ordinary, you’ll learn that you can create your own happiness while still striving to achieve goals. Being happy does not mean you won't move forward!

9. Change up your routine. 

Sometimes all you need to do in order to spice things up a bit is to change up your routine. Do you normally workout after work? Maybe try it early in the morning instead. Do you watch youtube while getting ready in the morning? Try a podcast instead. The truth is that nothing will feel different until you do something different. Read a new book in the night, take a stroll on a route you’ve never been on, or try a new restaurant on your night out. When there’s nothing new going on in your life, make something new. 

What do you do when you are feeling stuck in a rut?

x Lisa 

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