Monday, 30 December 2013

2013 Travel Overview

2013 has been a great year for travel and I feel very blessed that I got to see so many wonderful places around the world. I love travelling and my main wishes for the next year are to be able to explore more, learn more, experience more, and of course challenge myself more.

We started the year by spending the winter holidays in Madeira, Portugal. 20 degrees weather, peaceful surroundings, and a great hotel breakfast.
madeira portugal
madeira portugal

In February I headed for the first time to the USA in Las Vegas. I am very far away from being a party girl but I actually enjoyed Vegas a lot. Mostly because you can spent your whole trip or life(!) in their huge hotels. You can find swimming pools, nightclubs, casinos, restaurants, spas, shops, cinema all in one hotel. And yes I have tried my luck at gambling as well although I kept losing continuously. After 10 days and a much lighter bank account it was time to head back home.
las vegas
las vegas strip
las vegas

In March my boyfriend surprised me with the best birthday gift ever: a trip to Paris! I`ve wanted to visit this city since I was small so you can imagine my joy when I finally stepped foot outside the Eurostar in Gare du Nord. Paris has so much to offer that we were spending the days from morning till night outside trying to fit all the things we wanted to see before we left home. Thankfully there was always a patisserie near by to give us a sugar rush.
angelina paris
eiffel tower paris
louvre paris

As summer started making its way to the UK we started taking small road trips outside London and exploring the wonderful English countryside. Bray is a bit of a foodie village as it has a couple of really amazing Michelin star restaurants as well as local pubs so you know you`re always gonna have a good meal while visiting it.
bray uk
bray village

Oxford is a very beautiful and cultural city although there can be quite a few tourists around. As it was middle of summer most of students went back home so we spent the day visiting the deserted University, the surrounding area, and sleeping on the grass.
oxford university
oxford uk
oxford cafe

At the end of June I also took a small 3 day trip with my office to Poznan, Poland. A very picturesque city with lovely architecture and great history.
poznan poland
polish dumplings

Barcelona has definitely been one of my favourite trips of the year. This city seems to have it all: great weather, lovely beach, friendly people, amazing food, beautiful architecture, and just an overall relaxed atmosphere in the air.

barcelona beach
barcelona architecture
park guell

In September we headed over to a completely new country and continent in Morocco, Africa. We visited the exotic Marrakech, home of so many fashion designers. And I could see why, this city is incredibly inspiring, the interiors and architecture are beautiful, the nights are dimly light, and the music gets you up from your chair and dancing.

marrakech belly dancing
four season marrakech
four seasons marrakech
four seasons marrakech

Finally we`re ending the year in Thailand, in Bangkok and Phuket where I`m currently at. Photo diary to follow!
bangkok view
sky bar bangkok

Although I love making "to do" lists for almost everything (strangely having something on paper for me means that I NEED to do it and I feel a great satisfaction when I cross something over- I know, it`s sad),  I usually stay away from new year resolutions as I think making resolutions should come at the right time in each person`s life and not when you are being forced by the approaching of the end of the year.  However this time the end of the year felt like the perfect time for putting together a travel list, so for 2014 my main destination wishlist looks a bit like this:

1. Tokyo, Japan
2. Ibiza, Spain
3. Cotswolds, UK
4. Istanbul, Turkey
5. Dubrovnik, Croatia
6. New York, USA
7. Cinque Terre, Italy
8. Australia
9. Cornwall, UK

Have you made any travel wishlists for next year?

P.S. Happy New Year everyone!

Alina Anghel.xx

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Today`s Outfit: Smart Chic

smart chic outfit
smart chic outfit
smart chic outfit
smart chic outfit
(Zara brown blazer, Asos brown jumper, New Look checked trousers, Nelly ankle boots)

I must say London hasn`t felt so Christmassy this year. We`ve been having some pretty horrible weather with pouring rain and strong winds almost every day for the past 2 weeks and it feels more like fall than winter. In a way I`m happy it hasn`t snowed as London tends to go in a complete panic mode every time a few snowflakes hit the ground and I still have a plane to catch. As much as I love snow, I love the beach even more.

What are your plans for this Christmas? Have you finished your shopping?

Alina Anghel.xx
Follow on Bloglovin

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Delicious London: Nopi restaurant review

I have walked past Nopi before and thought that it looked very nice and pristine inside. And I wasn`t wrong, Nopi has a gentle feel about it. With that New York chic feel to it, it`s the perfect place for a romantic date or a friends get-together.

We had come for the food after hearing good things about the desserts. Yotam Ottolenghi marries flavours from the Middle East, Southern Europe and Asia, but what flows through his food is a blend of great produce, simplicity and a lot of care and attention to detail. So much that it makes Nopi a place you feel comfortable coming back again and again.

All the dishes we had felt well thought out without the need to over complicate the dishes. The lamb with celeriac and jalapeno sauce was very well cooked and delicious. But the silver mullet with mung beans and pancetta and Jerusalem artichoke was definitely the highlight of the meal. The lightness of the fish with creaminess of the mash was a perfect blend and we finished it very quickly.

nopi interior

nopi interior

nopi bar
And let`s not forget the drinks! I had this amazing mocktail made out of passion fruit and kumquat which was deliciously refreshing and made me even more eager for sun filled holidays.
nopi passion fruit cocktail
The silver mullet with Jerusalem artichoke puree (16/20).
nopi silver mullet
Our only vegetable dish (oops!): the red meat radish, apple & chicory salad (14/20).
nopi red meat radish
The lamb with celeriac and jalapeno sauce (15/20).
nopi lamb
Pig cheeks with corn puree and bourbon glaze (13/20).
nopi pig cheeks
Sticky rice, brown coconut jam, caramelised banana (12/20).
nopi sticky rice

 The dessert, although it was good, it wasn`t really anything mind blowing that would make you "wow, I need to have that again!"but I`m eager to try next time their other options as well.

Overall the bill came to around £60 so if you`re around Piccadilly Circus and would like a good meal without completely blowing the budget Nopi is well worth the visit.

Overall rating 14/20.

Follow on Bloglovin
NOPI on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Hair, makeup & nails party inspiration

What I love most about winter holidays is that they`re all about spoiling yourself and the ones around you. The perfect time to indulge in 3 desserts per day without feeling bad about it, to spend mornings in bed watching reruns of your favourite Christmas movie (I`ve lost count of how many times I`ve seen "Home Alone"), and of course to pamper yourself for all the upcoming parties and family get-togethers. While I can handle the clothing, I`m quite rubbish at hair, makeup, and nails so for the last few days I`ve been Pinning from across the web looks that I love for this time of the year.


party hair
1) Braid with pretty accessories/ 2) Side long braid/ 3) Milkmaid braid
4) Vintage 50s hairstyle/ 5) Side swept hair/ 6) Cute ponytail with ribbon
7) Short punk hairstyle/ 8) Soft waves/ 9) Long bob
10) The classic chignon/ 11) Top bun/ 12) Sleek low ponytail


party makeup
1) Cat eyeliner & red lips/ 2) Dark berry lips/ 3) Bare face & bright pink lips
4) Colourful eye makeup with pale pink lips/ 5) Metallic bronze eye makeup/ 6) The glitter smokey eye
7) Dewy makeup/ 8) Natural, barely there makeup/ 9) Nude soft lips & eyes makeup


party nails
1) The classic red nails/ 2) Dark berry nails/ 3) Navy blue nails
4) Green & navy nails/ 5) Gold nails/ 6) Metallic grey & silver nails
7) White & gold glitter nails/ 8) Pink glitter nails/ 9) Nude & gold glitter nails

Which looks are you favourite?

Alina Anghel.xx
Follow on Bloglovin

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Christmas DIY gifts for him and her

With Christmas just a few days away everyone is kinda in a gift- shopping fever, including me. There are quite a lot of gift guides at the moment around the web so I thought of putting together a slightly more special one that focused more on homemade gifts that you can give to your friend/boyfriend/girlfriend, and even family. I`ve tried splitting them into his and hers although most of the ideas can apply to both. 

For her

1. DIY twig votive candle holder. If you`re girl friend loves candles this is a great and stylish idea. Instruction here.
diy twig candle holder

2. Homemade snow globes- perfect gift for your friend for Christmas. Instructions here.
diy snow globe
3. DIY gold cups for tea, coffee, and hot chocolate fans. Tutorial here.
diy gold mug
 4. Printable food envelopes- and if you`re extra talented you can even bake the cookies! Details here.
diy food envelopes
 5. Cute Iphone case DIY. This idea is especially great as you can personalise the case depending on your friend`s/girlfriend personality and play with different fabrics and colours. Details here
diy iphone case
 6. This cute DIY recipes book makes me wanna start cooking. Reminds me of the the diaries and wish-lists I used to keep as a child. Tutorial here.
diy recipes book
 7. DIY necklace. I don`t have a particular link for this one but this is quite easy to make by combining two different coloured necklaces into one.
diy necklace
 8. Felt circle pillow DIY. A bit more hard work the end result is totally worth it! Details here.
diy yellow pillow
 9. Homemade scrub. Look for a simple recipe online like this one below with sea salt, lemon and olive oil, add the mixed ingredients in a jar and decorate it with a cute ribbon and a note. Perfect organic beauty gift.
homemade lemon scrub

For him

10. DIY Ipad cover- for all gadget fans. Instructions here.
diy ipad case
 11. Homemade herb oils. Perfect excuse to get him cooking? I think so! Instructions here.
homemade herb oils
12. DIY moustache knitted cup holder. Cute gift especially made for coffee & tea addicts. Tutorial here
diy knit cup holder
 13. Homemade pepper infused vodka and salt. Great last minute gift if you`re heading to a friend`s Christmas party. Tutorial here.
homemade pepper vodka
 14. Homemade shave cream. Every man needs this so you can`t go wrong with this. Instructions here.
homemade shave cream
15. DIY Zen garden- for interior design fans or just those that need to relax. Details here
diy zen garden
 16. Skinny tie DIY. If your friend/boyfriend likes wearing ties (or you think he should wear more ties) this is definitely a gift that will impress him. Instructions here.
diy skinny tie

Which is your favourite? 

Alina Anghel.xx
Follow on Bloglovin