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Quesadillas, two ways

Can a tablecloth inspire a recipe? Absolutely! After buying a colourful tropical tablecloth this weekend, we decided to use it for the first time with a fun, spicy, colourful recipe. Because we love celebrating small things! If you follow us for a while you’ll know that we love our rustic minimalism, but we’ve been following Erica Davies on Instagram lately and she has infected us with her enthusiasm for colourful decor. Hence the tablecloth, which we bought on sale at H&M (you will find the direct link in our shop!)

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But onto the recipe. Today we bring you a turkey and cheese quesadilla and a sautéed mushrooms and cheese quesadilla, with a side of green salsa and guacamole. Sounds good? Both recipes are so easy that basically they only involve assembling things! Well, the vegetarian option needs a little bit more work, but you can have everything prepared in 15 minutes.

You will need (serves 2):

Turkey and cheese quesadillas
2 tortilla wraps
Thinly sliced turkey (or ham, if you prefer)
A big handful of grated cheese
Two pickled green jalapeño chilli pepper, sliced
One spring onion, finely sliced
A few coriander leaves
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

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Sautéed mushrooms and cheese quesadillas
2 tortilla wraps
300 gr mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, diced
A couple of fresh parsley leaves, chopped
A big handful of grated cheese
Two pickled green jalapeño chilli pepper, sliced
One spring onion, finely sliced
A few coriander leaves
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). One tablespoon for the mushrooms, the other one to brush the tortillas.

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First, heat one tablespoon of EVOO over medium heat on a large pan. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute, then add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the parsley leaves and cook for another five minutes. Set apart.

In the meantime you can chop and prep all the other ingredients for your quesadillas and heat a ridge griddle.

To make the Turkey and cheese quesadillas: place the tortilla wrap on a plate and cover it with turkey. Over one half only, sprinkle the jalapeño slices, grated cheese, spring onion and coriander leaves. Fold the tortilla wrap in half and brush each side with the oil before putting it on the griddle. Grill for a couple of minutes each side.

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Now, let’s make the sautéed mushrooms and cheese quesadillas: the process is the same, only change the turkey with the mushrooms. We told you this was really easy!

To serve, transfer the tortilla to a board and cut in two or three pieces. Eat with some salsa on the side. Salsa verde is perfect, but since we don’t find tomatillos here, we bought a jar of salsa verde in a local Mexican shop. Shop-bought salsa is fine. Homemade is better, though. But sometimes you have to do what you have to do!

You can have a side of guacamole as well. In case you have no will to live and therefore you have never made guacamole, here you have a very easy recipe because you haven’t lived if you haven’t prepared and eaten guacamole at least a thousand times:

Chop one tomato, one small onion, one red chilli pepper and a little bit of chive and coriander leaves. Mix all together with the juice of a lime, sprinkle over some sea salt and mix again. There you go, the easiest guacamole.

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We know this is not a properly Mexican recipe (so please, Mexican readers, don’t get angry!) but it’s delicious and makes a wonderful easy dinner in front of the TV while watching Game of Thrones or a great festive lunch with a new, pretty tablecloth!

6 Instagram accounts to follow if you have a sense of humor

There has been a lot of scandal around Instagram this week. We know this social platform has became a place where nothing is real, the pictures have turned into marketing tools and there is even an Instagram Mafia, whatever that is, but since we choose to look at the bright side of everything and Instagram helps us a lot when insomnia hits, we’ve decided to dedicate some nice words to this platform.

The truth is that there is excellent content on Instagram. From talented photographers to great recipes, and of course it’s a great tool if you want to do some research before travelling.  But today we wanted to share with you 6 brilliant, sharp, fun artists that have amazing feeds. If you are a woman and have a sense of humor, we are sure you will love their accounts. They share cartoons, vignettes and comics that reflect the struggle of being a woman.

Mari Andrew: humour with a touching sensitive twist: vulnerability, homesickness and happiness. She also does a hilarious series on A Cup of Jo (the image above wa featured in these series).

Cartoons by Hillary: with one sentence she can sum up career success, mansplaining and life in general.

Maritsa Patrinos: fun, comic-style feed that shows honest-to-God truths, human nature and everyday struggles.

Planet Prudence: we wish we could have had this role model when we were teenagers while dealing with acne, social anxiety or awkwardness.

And for our Spanish speaking followers (hola!!!):

Monstruo Espagueti: the perfect mix between intelligence and humour. Well, now that we think about it, they are kind of the same thing. Diets, reality and work life.

Agustina Guerrero: a graphic designer with the cutest hair bun of the internet that uncovers every day life: doors, guilt, hungovers, shaving and Sundays.

Do you follow any artist that we should know about?

Beef and bacon stew

Today’s recipe is dedicated to those of you who aren’t lying on a turquoise beach or jumping into a plane today. Because while everyone and their mothers are on holidays according to Instagram, we know that there are lots of people working from 9 to 5, preparing their meals on Sundays and suffering from cold, rainy weather. Today’s recipe is for you.

What we love about this beef and bacon stew is that you can prepare a big amount, freeze it and use it for different kinds of lunch: accompanied by a salad (healthy), with a side of rice (fulfilling and comforting), as a ragout for your pasta (buono!) and once you have reduced the sauce you can use it to prepare the most amazing leftover sandwich.

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You will need (serves a crowd or makes quite a lot of Tupperwares to freeze):

200 g unsmoked bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 large onions, finely diced
1 kg minced beef
4 garlic cloves, diced
2 teaspoons hot smoked paprika
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato purée
800 g chopped tomatoes
1 celeriac, peeled and chopped (or a few celery sticks, chopped)
2 handfuls of fresh parsley, leaves and stalks separated and chopped
2 tablespoons mustard
400 ml broth (we used beef broth)

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Wow! That’s a lot of ingredients. However, the steps are really easy. First cook the bacon on a medium heat in a large pan for a few minutes. Then add the EVOO and onions and stir during 5 to 8 minutes until the onions are softened, then add the minced beef, garlic, paprika and thyme. Stir for a couple of minutes.

Pour the maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and tomato purée and stir for another minute. Next, add the tomatoes, celeriac and celery sticks, parsley stalks, mustards and broth. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for 2 hours. Serve and top with the parsley leaves.

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You can also add carrots (as stated in the original recipe of our beloved Hemsley sisters) when you add the tomato and celeriac, but it turns out I’m intolerant to carrots, so we try to avoid them. Yes, I know. Carrots? Well, I’m also intolerant to pineapple and apples and cherries and quinoa. But luckily, I can eat all the gluten I want!

Try this recipe if you want/have to meal prep on a rainy Sunday. You will have a few days of delicious lunches al desk-o sorted out!

Summer makeup

Two months ago we spent a few days in Ibiza. In addition to lots of tips for our slow-paced weekend guide to Ibiza, we brought a nice tan with us. Miraculously we still have a lovely sunkissed tone in our skin and that’s why my only purpose in life since then has been keeping and enhancing that “oh, I’m just back from Ibiza” glow. For that, I’ve been skipping foundation and using these ten products (plus lots of moisturizer and lots of water, because we all know that drinking lots of water is the secret to eternal youth, good health and Victoria Secret’s body).

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Becca First Light Priming Filter Instant Complexion Refresh: this primer gives you a glowy base for your foundation but if you have a light tan, the one that gives you small cute freckles, you can use it as a your skin, but better lotion.

Clarins Instant Concealer: a little bit goes a long way, so tiny amount of this concealer will cover your  dark circles (because you are just back from the beach but you have to get up early and go to work… and that’s the recipe for dark circles). I’ve read that some beauty bloggers even use this concealer as foundation! It’s really, really good.

Guerlain Terracotta Light bronzer: this is Summer in a compact. It emulates a gorgeous sunkissed caramel tan, it enhances your features and it makes you feel on holidays when you look in the mirrow.

Bobbi Brown Brow Kit: because I can’t leave the house without this in my eye brows.

Clarins Stylo 4 Colours: best thing since sliced bread. This was a present from my mum and it’s the best eyes and lips pencil that I’ve ever had. The three eye colours (brown, black and bright blue) and the nude lip colour are soft, longlasting and don’t smudge. If you grow up in the 80s or 90s I’m sure you had one of these pens with four different colours in your pencil case. So it adds a bit of nostalgia and Summer always comes with a little bit of nostalgia, doesn’t it?

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Clarins cream eye shadow: this product was part of a Summer limited edition and has a wet, super pigmented yet sheer texture that it’s perfect to get the Jlow bronzy smoky eye. Oh well, if you can’t achieve that Jlow sultry look at least it’s easy to apply, just use your fingers, and gives a warm luminosity for your eyes.

L’oreal Megavolume Collagen Mascara: I should probably recommed a waterproof mascara but I hate them. They stick to your eyelashes like sand to freshly applied SPF and, just like sand, you just can’t get rid of that black stains under your eyes. So this is the latest drugstore mascara that I’ve tested and I really like it.

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow talk: I’m super late to the party but this lipstick is the epitome of natural. It’s matte but not dry and it gives you a lovely Brigitte Bardot Summer in the Provence pout.

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And I’ve saved my best latest discoveries for last:

RMS Beauty Living Luminizer, the most subtleand glowy highlighter and the RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek, a gorgeous, creamy blush that doubles as lip colour. You can apply them both with your fingers  to create a youthful, healthy, Summery look that will make you feel refreshed, beautiful and natural, just like Summer does.

Now, excuse me, because all this Summer talk has left me longing for drinks at sunset, sea breeze, salty hair… and I just need to go book a couple of plaint tickets. Google in 3, 2, 1…

 

Our favourite hotels in Europe (and 2 tips to book wonderful stays)

When we were preparing this post we both have discussed a lot. Which hotel would we recommend as our favourite? We have stayed in all kinds of wonderful resorts and boutique hotels. However, they all have something in common: the attention to detail and the relaxed atmosphere. Some hotels have the best locations, others have the best breakfasts, others have an amazing sense of place… But the ultimate question to choose our favourite hotel was: if our very best friends were to visit just one hotel for their holidays forever, which one will we recommend? Here you have the result followed by the only two tips you need to book wonderful stays:

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Our favourite mountain retreat:

Rosa Petra Spa Resort: this boutique hotel is absolutely perfect. The rooms, the breakfast, the location, the spa, the restaurant, the views, the staff… Everything is flawless. We go back every year before Christmas and the experience is always wonderful, it’s a little piece of heaven on Earth. This has to be our favourite hotel in the world. Read our review here.

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Our favourite urban escape:

Here we couldn’t agree in just one hotel. For me, the best urban hotel we’ve ever stayed in is SP34 in Copenhagen. The decor, the understated atmosphere, the amazing breakfast, the REN amenities… I love everything about this hotel, it’s a gorgeous Scandi dream. And then again, it’s located in my beloved Copenhagen.

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But for her, the Only You Atocha hotel is the first one in the ranking. We’ve made this hotel our home away from home in Madrid and I have to admit that I love it too. The location is perfect if you want to do some sightseeing, the decor seems out of a cool magazine and the breakfast spread is impressive.

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Our favourite beach getaway:

We discovered the Belavista Hotel & Spa by pure chance but the moment we entered the premises we were mesmerized. We’ve been back a couple of times and we can’t wait to go back again. We even wrote a post with the reasons we love this hotel, so head over here to read it. The spa is incredible, the restaurant offers the best tasting menu we’ve ever had and the swimming pool is picture perfect. As we said before, we can’t wait to go back!

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Now onto the two tips you need to book the most wonderful stays:

Research: when looking for new hotels we always visit these websites: the Conde Nast Traveller guides, Design hotels and Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Besides, we google “boutique hotels in…” and read at least five pages. It may seem a quite obvious tip, but sometimes the best hotels are small or don’t spend lots in advertisement, so you have to dig for them. Once we have a couple of options, we read all the opinions that we can find. However, we’ve learnt to be very skeptical about these reviews and actually by reading so many reviews it’s very easy to distinguish between those which are real and those which are just exagerations or simply bad personal experiences. Just an example: sometimes you will see that lots of tourists from USA critizise hotels in Italy for the limited options for breakfast. We know that we don’t have to pay attention to it because it Italy an orange juice, a capuccino and a cornetto is a perfectly normal breakfast and it can be uttlery delicious. It’s all about culture and your priorities when travelling. Common sense, basically. But if a hotel is recommended by those websites mentioned before, we know that’s a guarantee for a great stay. On the other hand, sometimes a hotel just gives you good vibes or offers a special sense of place that you feel attracted to. Then our advise is: just book it!

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Book directly: this way you have a more personal experience and if someone is going to get an upgrade, that’s going to be you. It has happened to us a few times and it’s always a nice surprise. Besides, nowadays hotels offer the best rates and sometimes last minute offers in their own websites. Before booking, if you don’t find the right option for you but you still want to stay in that hotel, simply call or write an email and explain your concerns or requests. For instance, if the hotel has a minimun stay policy but you can’t extend your stay more than a weekend, get in touch and ask if they could make an exception. Chances are that you will have a positive answer. In this internet era we seem to have forgotten than we can call and have a nice chat!

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And a bonus, before finishing this post: check Conde Nast Deals or Atrapalo for the best prices and offers!

 

Summer capsule wardrobe

Even though the weather has made an awkward turn towards Autumn, today we are dedicating a few lines to the difficult science of Summer capsule-wardrobing… hoping that there will be more sunny days ahead. If you read our last piece about conscious shopping, you know that I’m trying to reduce my purchases and create an edited wardrobe. I’m planning to write an update in a few months but June has been difficult, the sales and our recent trip to London made my policy went up in smoke, but I’m determined to behave myself again! Anyway, today we bring you my better half’s Summer capsule wardrobe, which as you can see in the pictures is quite cohesive, monochrome and simple. That is, what capsule wardrobes are meant to be.

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Two tees, two dresses, two shorts, one jacket and one jumsuit. Stripes, blue and denim mixed with neutral shades and natural textures. One bag and a pair of comfortable espadrilles. Do you need anything more for a few relaxing days in Ibiza? Yes, a couple of bikinis, but that’s all. If you have a minimal, understated casual style, maybe you will find some inspiration in this capsule wardrobe.

Surprisingly most of this Summer capsule wardrobe comes from Mango. We used to ignore this brand but in the last couple of years it has became our favourite high street shop. Since our Summers are short because the weather in the North of Germany is everything but warm, we don’t spend a lot of money in Summer clothes. That’s when the high street shops come in handy. However, we have to admit that the quality of Mango fabrics is quite nice and longlasting. So you get a nice value for (not a lot of) money.

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Tee shirts are a must in any Summer wardrobe. You can dress them up or down and if you choose basic colours or stripes, you can’t go wrong. Some suggestions: striped tee with cute starfish detail and light grey cotton number (with ridiculous price tag).  In any capsule wardrobe you want all your pieces to combine perfectly, so you can mix and match! And talking about mix and match, the obvious choice is to choose a couple of bottoms that go with all your tops. Light denim and linen are great for Summer, so she went for these linen oversize shorts and she kept the classic short jeans that she bought a few years ago. Here, I want to emphasize the quality of the fabric: these shorts have come with us to lots of trips and they still look as good as new! You can find a similar option here.

And what is Summer without dresses? Even though she doesn’t wear dresses on a daily basis, in Summer there’s nothing better than a light dress and even she has succumbed. She bought the long stripy dress in Asos last year and she has wore it everywhere: with sneakers for flights, with sandals for lunches out and with espadrilles as beach coverup. So versatile. We couldn’t find it online but here you have similar options: blue with white stripes, cool mono stripe version, jersey maxi dress and the most adorable white and red number.

The other dress, a gorgeous dark denim shirt dress is perfect for chillier nights or Northern Europe days. It belongs to the Stockholm collection by & Other Stories, a brand that makes the most gorgeous not overly girly dresses. You can buy it here on sale! It looks Scandi cool with sneakers and if you add a pair of embellished sandals, you can use it for a night out.

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Another must have in any Summer capsule wardrobe has to be the denim jacket. You can find hers here. It’s a little bit oversize, has a light wash and a really soft texture. A little bit 90s but very nice with dresses and… jumpsuits! And here we arrive to the last piece of this capsule wardrobe: the jumpsuit. This one is from last season, but there are other cute overalls on sale now like this one.

So there you have it: a simple, versatile capsule wardrobe that proves that you don’t have to break the bank. Add a pair of espadrilles and a Summer bag, and you are good to go (on holidays)!

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Roasted tomato tart

This weekend two very exciting things happened: we discovered an amazing breakfast place and we bought new baking supplies. That’s us, #livinglavidaloca. So we did what one normally does after a great new discovery: posting a picture in Instagram. And, to welcome our new baking supplies, we baked a delicious roasted tomato tart with goat cheese and pesto. Oh, what a weekend! Granny style!

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This recipe is our take on the Avoca tomato tart, which is absolutely delicious. We’ve used whole wheat and changed the pastry a little bit. You can always buy the pastry in the supermarket, it’s absolutely fine and it will save you some time, but we wanted to prepare the tart from scratch. If you choose to make your own pastry, you can find the steps here. If, like us, you substitute the white flour with whole wheat flour bear in mind that the result won’t be as flaky and it would be difficult to remove from the baking tin.

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Once you have your pastry baked, you will need:
800 g cherry tomatoes (we used red and yellow because we wanted a colourful tart)
1 large onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp nigella black onion seeds (if you don’t find them or you don’t bother to buy them, you can use oregano. It will be very nice as well)
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar (we use coconut sugar because it has a lower glycemic index than caster sugar)
A handful of basil leaves
200 g goat’s cheese
Extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp pesto
Sea Salt
Pepper

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Heat 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil on a low heat and cook the onion for five minutes. Add the garlic, half the cherry tomatoes, nigella black onion seeds, vinegar and sugar. On  a medium heat, cook for about 20 minutes. You will have a thick sauce, lightly caramelised, that will fill your kitchen with a heavenly scent. Season with sea salt and pepper. Set aside.

In the meantime, roast the remaining tomatoes. Preheat the oven at 170º. Cut the tomatoes in half and place them on a baking tray. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar. Roast for 20 minutes.

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Now spoon the tomato onion sauce into the baked pastry shell, arrange the roasted tomatoes and the goat cheese on top. Return the tart to the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese has started to melt. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with some basil leaves and drizzle with pesto.

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Serve with a simple salad, in this case we opted for baby spinach leaves with a simple extra virgin olive oil dressing. A perfect Summer lunch in our books!

PS: July is the best month to enjoy sweet tomatoes, because they are at its best, so make the most of the season and add tomato to your recipes. How about a nice gazpacho? Check our recipe here.

Summer rituals

A few years ago I was completely obsessed with SPF. I was terrified of the sun. I would cross the street searching for shade (picture this: a person frantically crossing streets in Madrid, not caring about traffic… OCD much?), I would wear long sleeves ALWAYS, even in those scorching Madrid’s Summers, I would never go to the beach… I wanted white porcelain skin and being the hypocondriac that I am, skin cancer was a permanent threat. But then I moved to Germany and everything changed. I discovered the benefits of the sun in my skin, in my mood and in my health. Mostly because there was no sun and my Vitamin D levels dropped so much that I got sick. Of course, my approach to the sun is different now. But I’m still hypocondriac and I still want porcelain skin so I’m still obsessed with SPF, but in a good way. That’s why every year, when we head to the beach for a much needed sun recharge, I look for the highest SPF possible. But I demand a light formula, a non chemical scent and, most importantly, I run away from those lotions that leave you looking like Casper.

Well, I’ve found a range that really works for me. Last month, during our stay in Ibiza (check our slow-paced weekend guide to Ibiza here!), I took The Ritual of Karma SPF range with me and loved it. To be honest, I had used the SPF 50 sun protection milky spray before and really liked it but somehow I had forgotten about it. This year I added the SPF 50 face protection cream and the after sun hydrating lotion and I have to say that even though I sunbathed every day (25 year old me would have been shocked) my skin was safe, moisturised, not greasy and I didn’t look like Casper even though I reapplied frequetly. The after sun lotion was calming, refreshing and delightful after showering.

But then we came back to Germany and I wanted to maintain that  sunkisssed skin because, let’s face it, it doesn’t matter how tanned my skin is, the moment I set foot in Germany I turn green again. Not white, no. I turn green with a grey undertone. Beautiful. Cue: the self tanning lotion. I never fake tan but this time I thought that maybe if I applied a tiny bit after the shower for a couple of days my skin will maintain that caramel shade a little longer. The result was very natural and smooth after the first application. Really nice. Then I got excited and applied it a second day and… well, I shouldn’t have done it. One day is enough for a perfectly natural light tan.

In short, this range is fantastic and I can’t recommend it enough. I’m curious about the sun protection hair spray, maybe I will throw it in the cute waterproof toilet bag that I received as a present next time, since I have finally found another hairdresser that keeps my balayage in shape… (hair drama here).

PS: our favourite scrub, also by Rituals.

PS2: This post is not sponsored, we just really like these products.

The slow-paced weekend guide to Ibiza

We’ve finally published our slow-paced weekend guide to Ibiza! We uncover for you the other Ibiza: the rustic, lonely, magical, calming island that we fell in love with a few years ago. From the most secluded beaches to the most picturesque villages, we have listed our favourite spots in the island.

Check the Weekend Guides section in our front page… or just click here!

Moodboard: Sardinia

Do you remember this post about travel FOMO, coming back to the same places over and over again and not being able to visit Maldives like a 20 year old Instagrammer? Well, we create these moodboards to encourage us to travel more and explore new destinations. And this time we almost made this moodboard came true before we even published it! Last month we spent a few lovely days under the sun in Ibiza (slow-paced weekend guide to Ibiza coming soon!) but the first destination we had in mind was Sardinia. The fact that it was almost impossible for us to get there without spending less than 12 hours travelling was crucial. So we went back to Ibiza, which we love. But we still want to visit Sardinia, specially the North of the island.

Let’s call these moodboards our aspirational motivation. That includes posing like an influencer with a towell glamorously wrapped around our heads at the beach, yes. Because how can you get a nice picture at the beach in real life? Respect for all the people who take gorgeous pictures without hair all over the face, a weird sunscreen stain in the most ackward place or an old man photobombing in his neon speedo. Because that’s how we look in all our beach pictures. But I digress! Let’s focus on Sardinia. Have you ever been? Any tips in case we finally make it? And, ehem… any tips on how to look good in pictures at the beach without looking like a croquette?