Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Wordless Wednesday #27 "Exploring Lebanon"

Today's Wordless Wednesday is all about Batroun, a coastal town in Lebanon you will fall in love at first sight, a real treasure of the first civilizations, among them the famous Phoenician Wall. 

For sea lovers, Batroun is a real bliss to enjoy the crystal clear waters and the white pebble beaches of the Mediterranean Sea. 


The Phoenician Wall, Batroun, Lebanon


Batroun, Lebanon


The Phoenician Wall, Batroun, Lebanon

I'm not a beach lover so I was more excited to find out Batroun's cozy narrow streets, biking routes and old souk (the local stores and cafes). 

We were also lucky to discover Lebanon's most famous brewery " The Colonel Beer" and most importantly to taste the lemonades made by the hospitable and sociable locals. BTW in 2012, Batroun entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest cup of lemonade which weighed 5,543 liters.

The Batroun Lemonade

 

Do you like road trips?

When was the last time you explored your country as a tourist?

I am linking up with





Monday, October 21, 2019

5 Tips to Pack for a Vacation

Travelling has become an anti-stress prescription that lets me discover new places, new cultures, relax from everyday chores and do what I love most, taking lots of amazing shots. It teaches you about the world, makes you more tolerant and independent and provides you with unforgettable memories and experiences.

However, there are a few things that stress me when traveling. 

I am one of those people who takes traveling so seriously that gets very worried and anxious before every trip. One of the reasons is that I usually overpack especially when I'm back from my homeland blaming myself for all the unnecessary stuff in my suitcase. 

That's why I've been trying to improve my packing skills and I've found some tips that might help you in your packing as well.




1. Start Packing Beforehand

I usually carry a suitcase, a carry-on, a backpack and a purse with me so it needs lots of planning. A few weeks before the travel I put all my luggage open in a visible area and start packing it slowly and mindfully. I have a visual memory so it helps me keep in mind what I already put and what still needs going.

2. Make a list of the essentials

There are everyday-use essential items that you have to put only on the day of the departure. Chargers, toothbrushes, makeup. Make the list of your essentials to cross out before closing your suitcase and keep that list for later references as well.

3. Carry matching outfits

Carry clothing that is easy to mix and match. Just imagine your total outfit starting from accessories to footwear for each day. Try to minimize your clothing by sticking to neutral colors. Add bright colors with accessories. Also keep in mind that dark colors are more preferable as they may hide stains.
Assign one outfit set for the travel day both for the departure and the arrival. This way you won't have to worry about what to wear.

4. Everything should have its place

Remember where each item goes. Everything should have a place. I put all my electronics in the backpack. The carry-on is kept for light first-hand essentials, snacks and souvenirs.  Try to group items like makeup, toiletries and accessories in small bags. Place your socks in shoes. Also have clear photos of your identity cards, tickets and insurances in case your wallet gets stollen or lost.


5. Pack smartly

Whenever possible, carry samples of perfumes, creams, makeup, toothpaste. Dress with a couple of layers. Wear what you can't fit. Wear the heaviest jacket, the heaviest shoes. In case you feel hot or cold, you can always use them as a cushion or a blanket.




Is packing a struggle for you as well?

Do you usually pack beforehand or keep it to the last minute?


I am linking up with 

Inspire Me Monday




Sunday, September 29, 2019

Coffee Lover Interview 3


Insert some coffee as it's time to begin another Coffee Lover Interview, this time with Shawna from Practically Minimal.
Shawna is exploring minimalism in a practical way with the aim to inspire one another to work toward a life free from clutter and too many commitments. 
As she does this, she is always accompanied by some coffee to help in this mission of hers. 

Keep on reading to find all about her love and addiction to coffee.

Shawna in front of the first-ever Starbucks in Seattle


1- What time of day do you usually drink coffee?

In the morning. Except, if I’m out at a nice restaurant, I may have an espresso or a Spanish coffee after dinner.


2- How many cups of coffee do you drink in a day?


One or two usually. On occasion, I’ll have three cups, but that’s rare. 


3- Do you prefer going out for coffee or drinking it at home.


Both. I’m a freelance writer and blogger, so sometimes I’ll work from a coffee shop. More often, though, I’ll make my morning coffee at home or grab a coffee to go. 


4- What is your favourite coffee drink?


Hot, black coffee either light roast or medium roast. If it’s a really hot day,  I might have a cold-brewed black coffee as a treat.


5- When drinking your coffee, do you prefer drinking it instantly and quickly or taking your time and enjoying it?


Taking my time and enjoying it. However, I sometimes do 6 a.m. fitness classes, so I’ll usually drink my coffee pretty quickly on my way there! 


6- What is your primary reason for drinking coffee?


I’m probably addicted to it. I don’t necessarily notice that it “wakes me up,” but I’m sure it does. I look forward to my first cup of coffee in the mornings. 


7- What do you take coffee with?


Absolutely nothing!


8- Do you own a coffee machine at home?


Yes, I have a Ninja. It’s a drip coffee maker, put you can make a single cup at a time to a full pot (and everything in between). 


9- How often do you visit coffee shops?


Anytime I need to get out of the house and have work to do. Or, if I’m between appointments and need something to do. I may go several times a week, or not go at all for several weeks. I’m very inconsistent with my coffee shop visits!

10- What is your favourite coffee shop?


I don’t think I have a favourite. My first choice is almost always a cool, independently owned coffee shop. In Edmonton, I like Credo or Transcend. Otherwise, I’m a Starbucks girl. You can pretty much always find a Starbucks nearby and their coffee is consistently good!

Even though I’m Canadian, I really don’t like Tim Hortons coffee (am I allowed to say that, lol?)!  



You can find Shawna on






You can also give a read to


If you are a coffee lover and want to be featured on my blog, feel free to contact me and send me your answers to the 10 questions below. 

You can download the free printable "Coffee Lover Questionnaire" by clicking on the link below. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

My Sunshine Blogger Award

My blog, coffee and camera!

A few weeks ago I was pleasantly surprised to be nominated The Sunshine Blogger Award by Heidi from Rise...Love... Live
Heidi loves to share stories of gratitude, peace, music, and adventures guiding you to the best you that you can be.
Please check out her blog as she inspires you to RISE to the occasion, LOVE everyone and LIVE a life worth living.
Heidi from Rise...Love...Live
Here are the Rules for The Sunshine Blogger Award
  • Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  • Answer the questions they asked of you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and
  • Ask them 11 questions.
  • Remember to inform your nominees of the rules and
  • Don’t forget to notify them of your nomination!
My blog, coffee and camera!

11 Questions I got asked by Heidi

1- Please tell us about yourself and your blog.

I'm an elementary teacher, a mum of 2, an introvert. I started this blog of mine back in 2013 as an online personal space to post the photos I took as an amateur photographer without having my friends to block me from Facebook:) 
I needed a place where I could connect with like-minded people where we could share our hobbies thus enriching our lives and encouraging one another. I took a break from my blog for a couple of years and was back again (this time seriously) in 2018.

2 - Can you tell me a few of your strengths that have really helped you with blogging?

The 3 P's : Passion, Patience, Perseverance.

Do it with passion, don't expect overnight success, make mistakes but still keep improving.

3- What is your favorite vacation destination? And why?

I love exploring cities and going sightseeing, exploring cultures through their cuisine, local shops, events, and museums. The Maldives and Bali are not for me. Living in a city with a seaside I grew disliking beaches (don't even know how to swim). Whenever I feel tired, I love to take short trips to the countryside to avoid the crowds and tourists and relax.

4- How do you manage your time to run your blog efficiently?

It depends. Perfectionism hinders my time management a lot. I usually take more time for everything than normal people and I am more efficient when I am single-tasking. Most of the times, I manage it at the expense of my sleep and that is too bad.

5- What do you find to be the most frustrating aspect of blogging?

Social Media and the changing algorithms make it more and more difficult and time-consuming to promote our blogs these days. But hard work and consistency usually pay off.

6 - What is your favorite holiday? And why?

I guess I don't have a favorite holiday. The longer the days-off, the more favorite it is :))) So, summer holidays are the best.

7 - Is blogging your profession or just a hobby.

For the time being, it is a hobby but back in my mind, I am conjuring some plans to turn it into a full-time job. However, I will make it happen only after I go self-hosted.

8 - How do you want to improve yourself in the next year?

My number 1 priority is to go self-hosted. Meanwhile, I am planning to learn more about SEO, take online Photography courses and do lots of readings about blogging tips and tricks.

9 - Are you a "city mouse" or a "country mouse"?

I am both, it just depends on my mood. The perfect variant would be to work in the city and live in the country:)

10 - How would you describe your blogging style?

A lifestyle blogger blogging about coffee, photography, introversion trying to adopt minimalism, healthy and sustainable living.

11- What is your favorite part of being a blogger?

The supportive blogging community, the sincere comments left from time to time by my followers.

My blog, coffee and camera!

My Nominees













My questions for the Nominees


1- What's the story behind your blog? How did you start it?

2- What is one wish you would like to have accomplished by your next birthday?

3- What's one thing you want to give up/get rid of by your next birthday?

4- If not your current job, what's the job you're dreaming about?

5 - What's your favorite post you have written so far?

6 - Describe what a perfect weekend night is for you.

7- What's your favorite social media platform and why?

8 - Which country would you like to spend the rest of your life in?

9 - What's on your car playlist these days?

10 - Tea or Coffee?

11- Early bird or a Night Owl?

It was really fun writing this post and I hope that my nominees will take the challenge and can't wait to check their posts.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Coffee Lover Interview 2

My blog, coffee and camera!

Meet and greet Gianluca Fiore, a Neapolitan programmer, traveller and a metalhead, the co-author of PaperSounds blog and an absolute coffee lover who enthusiastically agreed to answer my 10 questions about his coffee habits and preferences.


Gianluca Fiore 

Paper Sounds was born to take out every useful thought, share every inspiring experience and light up a debate on currently discussed issues. The idea is to create a friendly space where principles can grow and personalities evolve.

Coffee Lover Interview/Questionnaire


My blog, coffee and camera!



1. What time of day do you usually drink coffee?



It has to be in the morning, shortly after waking up. Usually an espresso or a double one. Then I tend to avoid too much caffeine for the rest of the day but if I need, another espresso or lungo may be drunk around early afternoon or just after lunch.


2. How many cups of coffee do you drink per day?


1, max 2. Very, very rarely 3


3.  Do you prefer going out for coffee or drinking it at home?


Definitely at home. I go out for coffee only on the weekends.


4. What is your favorite coffee drink?


Espresso is the “true” coffee for me and the one I drink the most. I enjoy the occasional cappuccino or macchiato. But if I had to choose one type to drink for the rest of my life, it will surely be espresso.


5. When drinking coffee do you prefer drinking it instantly and quickly or taking your time and enjoying it?


Sort of both. I don’t gulp it down as it would disappear otherwise but I never drink it so slowly as to make it become tepid or even cold. I attempt to savor it and taste it well each time if I can. I try to drink it all at a hot/warm temperature, so I can take around a minute to drink it all (for espresso) or
5-6 for a longer drink like a cappuccino or a lungo.


6. What’s your primary reason for drinking coffee?


I love the taste. Even if it had no caffeine benefits from it would still be one of my favorite drinks. The fact that it also wakes you up and increases your focus is simply a great bonus.


7.  What do you take coffee with?


Nothing, most of the time. I prefer to focus on the coffee alone and most of the coffee blends I believe don’t mix well with most kind of food. When drinking coffee out I may have it with a cake or a croissant. Otherwise, I drink coffee 
separately from anything else.


8.  Do you currently own a Coffee Machine at home?


I own 2. A Moka pot and a Nespresso machine.


9. How often do you visit Coffee Shops?


Since when I bought the Nespresso machine, much less often. Perhaps once a month, or less. Before it was once every  10-15 days.


10. What is your favorite Coffee Shop?


I find it hard to choose a favorite here as I find all of them serve either mediocre coffee or add too much sugar to it, even when specifically asking for no sugar. I usually go to local cafes rather than bigger chains and if I have to name a specific one I would say Tektura in my city, Krakow. 
They have an amazing blend for cold brews too!


Follow Gianluca on the following social media

Instagram

Facebook Page

Twitter

Favorite Post - Top European Capital Cities : My Favorites



If you are a coffee lover and want to be featured on my blog, feel free to contact me and send me your answers to the 10 questions below. 

You can download the free printable "Coffee Lover Questionnaire" by clicking on the link below. 


Have a sip of joy, enjoy your coffee!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Bucket List: 35 Things To Do at 35

Back on New Year's Eve, I made my first Bucket List of 35 Things to Do in 2019 and kind of failed as I was not very persistent and kind of forgot most of the wishes I had determined to accomplish.

Today, as I have turned 35 years old, I feel more determined to set a bucket list of 35 goals, wishes and things to do by September 2020. I have tried to make most of my wishes achievable and realistic. Wish me luck!

 
My blog, coffee and camera!


1. Travel to a new country

2. Purchase a professional camera

3. Purchase a mobile with a professional camera

4. Develop my photography skills (online course maybe)

5. Eat healthily and keep my ideal weight

6. Keep fit, exercise daily

7. Drink more water

8. Practise self-care on a regular basis

9. Paint on a canvas

10. Ride on a train

11. Start driving

12. Start designing T-shirts

13. Go self-hosted on my blog

14. Save money

15. Learn to play chess

20. Run a marathon

21. Watch classic movies (write down their names)

22. Finish all the books I have purchased

23. Try a new cuisine

24. Buy a painting from my favorite artist, Leonid Afremov

25. Learn to take better care of my plants

26. Create my herb garden

27. Learn to ride a bike

28. Try pottery

29. Take a cruise

30. Learn to paint on fabrics

31. Create a blog logo

32. Go to the movies alone

33. Try audio-books

34. Purchase a designer-made item

35. Learn a new skill ( will add the name once I do it)



Is there anything more pleasing than ticking something off your To-Do list?

That's why I will cross a wish out once I accomplish it for me and you to be visible how far I have gone.


My blog, coffee and camera!

How many of these things have you done?

What's the one wish you would like to have accomplished by your next birthday?

I'm linking up with