25/04/2018

TRAVEL | Living the Dream in Positano, Italy


Where 'postcard landscape' definitely makes all its sense.

I am sure you will have seen photos of Positano, most likely on Instagram. The beautiful village is built on the Amalfi coast, about two hours south of Naples. As we were in the area and we had seen all the beautiful pictures of those uneven rows of colourful houses facing the sparkling blue sea, we decided to take a day trip there and experience the lush Positano with our own eyes.
I will put more details as to how to get there from Naples with public transport, but for now let me introduce you to the town by showing you the view on the way there. The bus is crowded, there's a baby crying, and you're feeling a bit dizzy from all the turns and meandering roads. And then, this is what you see out of the window:


The sights on your way to Positano are breathtaking, and already give you an idea of what you will be arriving too... Once you reach the town centre and get off the over-packed bus, the streets are yours to explore. As you turn your head to admire the town, you will find the perfect photo spot. Trust me, we spent ages there trying to get the best photos - and with that backdrop, it was easily achieved!


Once you've run out of data in your camera roll, it is time to explore. A tip: wear comfortable shoes, preferably trainers. The town is on the hillside, and you have to make your way down to reach the beach. On your way, you'll get lost in the maze of narrow streets, where colourful houses will make you go 'ooh' and 'aaah' at every corner. Also spot the little artisan shops, full of clothing or art, which, although they may not be to your fancy, definitely are part of the charm of Positano. 


From there, go all the way down to the beach. It is a small one, so expect a lot of people sunbathing or running around. In the summer, going into the water must feel great - in late March, however, I only dared dipping my feet in the sun, and it was freezing cold. But walking back and forth on the beach listening to the waves and looking at the blue water glittering in the sun was a moment of bliss. Right then, you almost forget all the people around you.


From the beach, you can take boat trips that will take you to Naples and other neighbouring towns, like Sorrento and Amalfi. The boats only come and go at certain times, so you might have to wait for your turn for a bit, but you'll be in the best place ever do just sit and wait, observing the landscape around you.
Now, let's talk about the restaurants. Those on the beach are the most expensive, with prices that are mostly ridiculous for bruschetta or pizza. My advice is to go in the little streets uphill, since most restaurants have a terrace in Positano and will allow you to enjoy the view with your lunch. My friends and I ended up in a place called La Zagara, which is more like a bar where you can have a light lunch with pizza and sandwiches, and try one of their pastries. Although they all looked amazing, I went for a classic tiramisù, and it was delicious - the second best I've had in Italy, and trust me I've had quite a few! The food is not out of this world though and the waiters could do with more welcoming manners, so if you are someone who always looks for a top experience in restaurants, this might not be the one for you. However if you're there for a light lunch, a glass of wine and a pastry, the negative sides are still really worth bearing. Especially because of La Zagara's wonderful terrace, where you'll spend your lunch with this view:


In a nutshell, Positano is a lush, beautiful town to go for a little daytrip on the Amalfi Coast. There isn't much to actually do there, but a day of wandering around, relaxing on the beach and having Italian food and drinks is about as heavenly as it could be. I high recommend a visit, if only for the breaktaking view over the coast.
To get there, hiring a car must be the fastest way, however the streets are narrow and parking must be hell. I would advise to take a bus, from the SITA company, that will take you straight there. From Naples, you have to take a train to Sorrento, and at Sorrento take a bus. However, if you are based in Sorrento or Amalfi, you can simply go by bus - or boat if you're feeling adventurous! All these options get really crowded though, so avoid Positano in the summer - we went at the end of March and the tourist ratio was about right. It is the type of place that gets crowded all the time, so bear in mind that you won't be the only ones there!

Have you ever seen photos of Positano? 
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14/04/2018

LIFESTYLE | Why You Should Do Things NOW


No more excuses.

Procrastinating is so easy, especially when the weather is crap in early spring days. We'd all like to snuggle in bed with a hot drink and a film instead of working or completing the projects we've been postponing for ages. We're all guilty of doing that aren't we? However today, I'm going to talk you through all the reasons why you should be doing stuff right now. Close Netflix, get yourself at your desk and think about these...

WORK NOW, ENJOY LATER
Working can be tiresome and feel like a chore sometimes, even when you love your job. As much as I love teaching, sometimes creating Powerpoints and planning lessons is the last thing in the world that I want to do. But will putting off the work make it disappear? Nope, it'll still be there in a couple hours, which I'll have spent mentally complaining and vegetating. A lot of time lost, not much accomplished. 
If you do the work as soon as you can, you can tick it off your list and not think about it again. It'll make you feel satisfied and you'll enjoy even more your time afterwards, because you'll feel like you've well deserved it! At the weekend, don't postpone a task until the late afternoon. If you do it in the morning, you'll enjoy cups of tea in front of YouTube videos for as long as you want once you're done. Find the little things in your daily routine that would be a reward - it may be a normal part of your day, but it'll feel ten times better if you do it after you cross the tasks off your to-do list!

TAKE OWNERSHIP OF YOUR MIND
What is preventing your from doing things, if not yourself? Procrastination is a big psychological process, and I think everything that happens in your mind can be solved by you and only you. It just takes a little motivation to accomplish the things you have and want to do.
Stop thinking about that project you've been wanting to do for ages. Get your head together and do it! You can always improve it and change it later. Once you've started, it'll feel a lot less daunting and you'll finally enjoy it. How many times have we told ourselves "I should have done this earlier!"? I bet we've all said that to ourselves more or less recently. 
One of my big projects to accomplish this year is to complete a novel I have started writing a couple years ago. To motivate myself on days where I feel like procrastinating, I think about my goal, the outcome of all the work I am putting in the novel, and this fuels my mind to give me the motivation I need - saying that yes, I can do it and it'll be an awesome accomplishment. It all starts in your mind!

« Do it now. Sometimes 'later' becomes 'never'. »

STAND UP FOR WHAT YOU ACHIEVE
It is important to take pride in what you do, even the smallest things. If you push yourself, find the motivation when it seems impossible, and do instead of saying 'I wish I'd do this', you will show yourself and the world what you can do. The quicker you start, the more you can do and the best you can become. Whether it's work, a sport, your blog, your health, writing a book, starting your business, changing something in your life that you're not satisfied with - it all comes from you, and all the results you'll get will be thanks to your determination, power and your own making. The best motivation to accomplish something should always be yourself, and the pride you will take in accomplishing these challenges, no matter how big or small they are.
Don't wait for other people to do it for you, take the reins and show yourself what you're capable of!

What is the one thing you have to do right now that you've been avoiding? Go and do it now!
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04/04/2018

BEAUTY | The £2 Hair Routine That Works


Sounds suspicious? It's not. Read on.

I have a very simple hair routine: shampoo, conditioner, oil mask once a week. I've been trying a lot of products over the years, and never really found a magic combo that would make me want to ditch everything else. On my quest for good hair products, I sometimes found myself in Poundland - UK readers will know - because they have Dove shampoos and I like those.
One day, I decided to try out a shampoo and conditioner duo that were new to me from the Xpel Argan Oil range. One pound each, you can't do cheaper than that! And although I wasn't expecting much of either of them, I was actually really pleasantly surprised. These are rather good products!


First off, they contain 300mL which would last you quite a while. Second thing: they smell amazing. It's a clear, 'professional' scent which reminds me of hairdresser products. I always use the two products together, and they make my hair really smooth. When my hair dries, it is soft and untangled, and my curls look really defined and not frizzy at all. Needless to say I've been quite impressed by Argan Oil and I've repurchased them recently. Now I am not saying they are the best product in the world of shampoos and conditioners, but they do an amazing job for their price - I could be paying £8 in Boots for a shampoo that would give me the same result, which, we'll agree, is unnecessary - if you can find a good bargain, just go for it!
Anyway if you spot these in Boots, give them a try - you might enjoy them as much as I do, and if they don't work as well on you, at least you wouldn't have spent a fortune!

What's the best and cheapest hair products you've tried?
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