Weekend Friday Favourites

Happy Sunday as the Americans say! And Happy International Women’s Day to all the amazing ladies I know and amazing ladies who inspire me, motivate me and so many other amazing ladies.

International Womens Day

A late Weekend Friday Favourites, so I’ll get straight to them and Fridays run view!

Friday Run View7km along the beaches and stadium steps sprints. March’s windy here and combined with heavy legs, that I would run right on the shore break as opposed to the compacted sand to avoid the nudists out in full force and prep for Spartan raced, mud laced trainers it was an interesting run!

Education Has No Age Limits

Priscilla Sitienei proves it’s never to late to start learning. 92 years young and the worlds oldest primary school student!  An inspiring lady for International Women’s Day.

Tiger Bubble Padded EnvelopesMetallic Padded Envelopes

The only way to describe Tiger is a revamped up market LibrasPound/Euro/Dollar shop selling everything you didn’t know you needed until you saw it. Like these metallic padded envelopes that make a great alternative to wrapping paper.

Gorjana Replating Service

From this to

Before replating. Gorjana

To this

After replating. GeorgianIn January I found out that Gorjana offers a free replating service for all their jewellery, gold or silver. I posted off my sad looking bracelets back in January and this they week they arrived looking brand spanking new! Thank you Joanna at Gorjana for taking care of them!

Peacock TailPeacock, Barcelona Zoo

I find their tails more beautiful as they fan out them like a cloak out hopping up on fences or perched with their long trains sweeping down. It’s quiet elegant drama compared to when they’re shaking it all for the ladies!

Sephora CardSephora offers

Most store cards I’ve come across in France and Spain aren’t worth signing up for. In the UK, supermarket points cards work for you. Sephora however knows the game. 10% off every 4th buy or 150 points collected. Every 6-8 weeks, they send a 20% off voucher that you can use as many times as you like in a 2 week period. That’s loyalty!

Sunset Wednesday. Sunset MarchReverse sunset March

A grey morning, rain all afternoon, sunshine 2 hours before sunset. Right behind chasing the sun, the moon.

Aj and DLove me a box, AJD, love me some sunshine

AJ: Love me a box

D: Love me some sunshine

What’s been making you smile this week? 


My Go To Inspiration Sources

Last weekend I finally made time for my sketch pad and charcoal. Up until a few years ago, I use to paint, draw, get crafty and make things quite a lot. Somewhere along the way, life had different ideas and I miss not being to get creative as I often as I’d like. I’m little rusty with the charcoal but it felt good to be sketching again.Puffin As with my photos, a lot of my drawings are of animals. Somethings don’t change! What has changed is where I get my inspiration from. Previously I’d copy photos from magazines tear outs or animal coffee table books. As I was flicking through some of those books for inspiration at the weekend, I was surprised at the photo quality, why I don’t use my own for inspiration and why I don’t read books as much. This got me thinking where I get my inspiration and motivation from now and how much the internet and social media has impacted my life. I grew up without the internet and now I can’t imagine life without it. It’s kinda scary how much we’ve technologically advanced since the industrial revolution to now, compared with the whole of human history. It’s even more scarier with how much technology we have to 5 years ago! My go sources of inspiration in no particular order: Google Search: It’s like asking your Mum when you were little, except it does know everything. Instagram: Instagram is a huge, vast source of inspiration for me. I get fitness, fashion, make up and lifestyle tips, food ideas, get taken to different parts of the world everyday and admire different landscapes. A photo or something in a photo can trigger inspiration. It’s also a surprising source of knowledge. I follow National Geographic , a bee keeper in Los Angeles and learn something everyday. And, yes, I follow cute cats and dogs accounts, a hedgehog and have a phone filled with screen shots.Instagram Inspiration Blogs: Another huge source of inspiration. Fitness and workout ideas: Tone It Up, TRX, Google search. Fashion and Lifestyle: Chriselle Lim, Tone It Up, Michelle Phan,  Song of Style, Feline Creatures, LifeAnnStyle, PB Fingers. Yoga, running tips, recipes, nature, travel, life, photography, reviews, recommendations, the list is endless. A lot of blogs I follow on WordPress, like Instagram take me to different parts of the world everyday which can spark ideas or thoughts. I love reading how people see the world! Or maybe I’m just nosey. YouTube: Google Search and the blogs mentioned above take me to YouTube. So much inspiration and ideas to be found! Magazines: Magazines have always been one of my favourite sources of inspiration, mostly, fashion, skincare, fitness, lifestyle and of course National Geographic. Thanks to Zinio, Instyle (US) is now the only paper magazine I buy. I used to have folders filled with magazine tear outs, but recently recycled 99% of them. I hardly looked at them and if I wanted to refer or look for something, I turned to the internet. I did keep 2 A4 folders filled with Shape Magazine workouts which I still refer too along with the endless Zinio Shape Magazine screen shots! Zinio gets extra bonus inspiration points, as if I delete a magazine, I can reload it at a later, saving trees and storage space. ZinioShape Magazine, Zinio TV: What little TV I watch sets off; I like what she’s wearing, Where’s that location, I didn’t know that, I didn’t think of it like that, Where’s my iPad, google….. Nature, Outdoors, Out and About: I can’t seem to go a day without taking a photo of something when I’m outside! I always say nature is the best colour wheel and I guess you could say that I’ve been using photography and blogging to get creative instead of drawing. Photography is an awesome way of noting, recording ideas, memories and any random number of things that can trigger inspiration and motivation. My phone camera roll is filled with Zara Home decorations, posters, door knockers (Barcelona has some fantastic door knockers!), buildings and the odd shop display. At the gym I ‘steal’ ideas if I see someone doing something I’d like to try (no photo, I write it down!) and of course like so many people, people watching. A huge source of inspiration!One Evening of Photos Where do you draw your inspiration from? How much do you rely on the internet? What would you like to make more time for? I’d like to make more time to read actually paper books and get creative and crafty!

Weekend Recap, Hangry Cats, Fears, Netflix

I have confession. I’m a mean cat mama. For the past few weeks, both cats have been asking for more food in the evenings*. Both have a different manner of asking. Aj, mouths at me, gum flaps, makes little squeaks while sitting close staring intently. Diesel has the exact opposite approach. Paces, meows loudly and it’s not even a cat meow. I don’t think I’ve ever heard either of them meow. Diesel voice as much as I love him can grate when he’s really hangry: hungry and agitated. We bicker, he answers back. I swear if he spoke English, he’s be saying ‘Where’s my food ……!” After a trip to vets last Friday and permission to increase their food intake, I’ve come to the conclusion they understand Spanlish. I gave them extra that evening, they ask for more. I gave them more, they ask for more, like they know they’re allowed more. The third time of asking for extra, I gave them the open crunch/kibble/pienso bag to figure it out. I’m mean cat mama.

Got kiss myself I’m so pretty. AJ OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

*They get the extra food to keep the peace.

I hope you had a great weekend! I made no plans, which was just how I wanted it after a few weeks of running around. No Friday Favourites, little internet, lots of TV which kinda bit me in the bum Monday, but I felt somewhat refreshed from doing nothing. I felt like I had energy and refreshed energy to take it all on. Okay, some of it. Diesel sympathised with this weeks do list.Mama's do to list?! Diesel

Saturday, just the gym, full burpees with a press up were easier this time. I still prefer them without a press up, but 30 full burpees are the forfeit for not doing a Spartan Race obstacle, so I’m making sure I can pull off an insane amount of burpees. Another Korean TV drama Netflix marathon in the evening. Genius idea, tv on demand, but serious will power is needed to switch it off sometimes.

Sunday, a bit bleary eyed from Netflix, morning run came an afternoon run. Opps. It was one of those runs where you want to run your thoughts out, drown them out until they’re nothing but about the run. I feel like there are some changes coming. Ones I want, ones that are needed and ones I perhaps don’t want but are necessary. Working past fears and doubts that I place in my way. It’s work in progress and every little fear or doubt passed, is a little accomplishment in itself and it’s not always that bad or scary! Rosa Parks go it right, “I have learned over the years, that when ones mind is made up this dimishes fear. Knowing what must be done does away with fear.”

12km up the coast. My longer runs recently have a faster pace than my short runs. Not sure what’s going on there. Longer runs are meant to be slower paced than short runs. Right?12km run. Another thing I working on is not to be so materialist. It doesn’t do me any favours. I mean, we take what we need on holiday in a suitcase. If you’re into astrology, numerology and believe in it, I’m materialistic in nature. I’m not saying I believe in all that stuff but it’s fun to peek every now and them. I’ll leave my belief with that we’re and everything is made up stardust. I feel another sort out coming on. Does anyone else get itchy feet for sort outs? Most stuff we buy ends up in cupboards, drawers or sits there collecting dust. It’s nice to have things, but if you don’t look at it, appreciate it much or use it much, why buy it? Again it’s work in progress. I try to do a ‘Luther’ shopping. In the BBC detective drama, Luther, whenever he was at a crime scene, he kept his hands in his pockets. Less temptation to touch. I (try) apply that shopping. Hands in pockets or phone in hand. Or just don’t go in the shop!

The rest of Sunday was taken up with chores, planning workouts, bike ride and erm, another mini Netflix marathon. Just 2 more episodes to go, then it’s out my system. That is until the next drama I pick!

Parc Ciutadella. I took a short cut through the park to dodge the fair weather winter crowds and came across this building. The park has mishmash of building styles which anywhere else wouldn’t work. The beach was the only place I could escape the crowds.

Fairy Tales in the CitySea cycling back

Hope you had a great weekend! Do you find fears place a stop to you want? Do you accept them or work at overcoming them? Netflix, good or bad?!

Weekly Photo Challenge, Serenity

Definition of Serenity: noun, The state of being calm, peaceful and untroubled.

First up, hands down, this has to be Diesel sunbathing. Apart from landscapes, my cats feature a lot in my photos. They’re easy subjects when they’re not moving! Diesel’s second hobby after telling me that breakfast and dinner were 30 minutes ago, is sunbathing. This particular day he looked extremely at ease for a cat who spent his first year of life on the streets.

Somewhere high up in the Smokey Mountains, North Carolina, USA on the Appalachian trail near Nantahala Outdoor Activities Centre, early September. We’d spent the morning mountain biking on the trails near Nantahala Outdoor Activities Centre and wanted to explore the mountains more. The guy in charge of the bikes mentioned a trail leading up to a watch tower with amazing views. After a 45 minute journey there where the whole time I kept thinking he’s done The Tourist on us, thanks to the endless tracks, few houses and no one around we reach trial head (and first car in a while). After an hours walk we were rewarded with the watch tower, 4 other hikers (The Tourist?) and spectacular views. It was a late summer afternoon and nothing but hot sun and buzz of nature. Everything knew it’s role and we were only visitors.


Sunrise Antibes, France, August. I still can’t believe this was my kitchen window view for 2 years. Many sunrises like this one were so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Someone walking outside, their footsteps were so loud! Any other time of the day, traffic would drowned them out. I used to love watching the sun pop over the horizon, bringing a new day like it has for eons.



The Moon, Hair, Energy and Netflix

I have no idea if what my hairdresser said is true a few weeks ago or it’s just me passing the blame onto my hair styling ability. Apparently the day I went, was a bad, bad day in the lunar cycle for trim if you’re growing it. If you want your hair to grow, it must be cut on a new moon.IMG_1446

If you’re still with me, ever since then, it’s not been playing ball. There’s a cow lick both sides of the part and not just on front. Both seems to extend all the way back to the crown of my head. I can get to shine, but anything other than that. nada. And before you ask what type of hairdresser does she go to, a regular family owned business, that was my hairdressers before moving back. I did some googling and  depending on your hair goals, you cut it during different stages of the lunar cycle (it’s even on Livestrong). Perhaps that’s why werewolves are most hairiest around a new moon. Maybe it’s a coincedence my next visit is booked for around the next new moon. I have always wanted long flowing hair for as long as I remember!

Anyways, hope you had a great weekend! Saturday, I added an old favourite of mine, skipping (jump rope for non British English speakers) to my workout. 20 seconds in-between sets alternating high knees and lower boxer steps. Last time I skipped was about 3 years due training home and space. My calves were talking to me afterwards. Loudly! I forgot how great and effective skipping is for total body workout, building endurance and drills.


Reverse sunset Saturday

The afternoon was spent running around the centre looking for art and craft shops. I found a few but they’re more paint, glitter, gift wrapping and packaging supplies than craft. And we’re talking serious glitter, 1/2 litre tubs! Coming back empty handed I made the fatal mistake of just seeing what’s on Netflix. Bad move: a 4 hour marathon of Korean tv shows.IMG_2119

Glitter for daysIMG_2080

A late run Sunday thanks to the Netflix marathon. 14km up the coast. I didn’t enjoy this one. I wasn’t feeling it, too many people out as I ran late and as pretty as the views are I need a new long running route. I miss running trails. There are a few more longer routes to choose from if I run from the house. One I cycle every day and the other having little terrain variation. Just flat tarmac which gets tiresome quickly. The trails outside the city are tricky to get to if you don’t have your own transport. IMG_2166

I’m still working on sorting out the spare room/office. I finally attacked the last 2 boxes from when we moved in May last year! There’s still a lot more clearing out however the energy in the room is flowing better already. I switched around my desk and I swear the change was instant!

My sortout-er assistant, Mr D

Hope you had a great weekend? Do you cut your hair according to the Moon? Do you think there’s any truth in? What’s your Netflix marathon weakness?