DAY 2 // ON THE ISLAND

Hello beautiful friends,

Today was the classical romantic day of walking, exploring and eating pizza in Italy.  We started the day pretty early, even though we didn’t get too much sleep. Sergio drove somewhere an hour outside Bergamo, I knew we were going somewhere near a lake, but I never imagined we’ll go to a small paradise. We arrived in a small village called Tavernola Bergamanasca, located in along the shore of lake Iseo, on a hill. I felt so happy and grateful to be there, sharin13227684_714533128686568_6085985454874113422_og the experience with Armand. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, nothing like a sunny day in London. I was so hot I had to take off my shoes and refresh myself by letting the water brush my feet. This world is slow-paced. Nobody is hurrying. They seem to be enjoying life properly, like we all should. After we walked around the area we decided that it’s time for some proper Italian pizza so we stopped at a restaurant by the lake. Luckily for us, everybody was happy to speak to us in Italian, so I can say that we really practiced our Italian and even improved. We also learned that in Italy you’re not supposed to leave tips, but instead you are charged a”coperta”everytime, which includes the service 13282526_714920725314475_1133633044_oand some bread/ pretzels they are serving before the food (and it is not optional). Anyway, did I mention the amazing salmon pizza? Or the traditional Bergamasca pizza? Here you go. It might seem that the pizza doesn’t have much ingredients, but if there is one word that describes the Italian cuisine, it is simplicity. I am so excited to start cooking my own Italian dishes, but firstly I am here to observe and steal all the little details that make the food taste authentic.13288200_714920705314477_332134682_o

With our tummies full we started hiking up the hill in order to burn the calories, haha (not really). As we were walking up the hill the view was getting better with each step. We got a chance to look at the island, which is a mountain, in the middle of lake Iseo. Naturally we wanted to go there so we came down and hopped on a boat, but not before stopping for a gelato. Good thing we stopped, can we got to play with a pug as well.

The cruise was magical, so was Mount Iseo. We 13288428_714920688647812_970021664_ostayed thtere until sunset and then we turned back to meet Sergio and his girlfriend, Chiara. We headed back o Bergamo, where we stopped at a small art show. Such a beautiful day, truly amazing. A big thank you to everybody that made this day possible and to you for following me through Italy.

PS: Remember the vespa photo I posted when announcing the trip to Italy? I tried to reproduce it today.

xx,

Alina

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Day 1 // London to Bergamo

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Day one: London to Bergamo

As I’m writing this I am patiently seating in the airplane and sipping on my tomato juice, one little habit that I have when it comes to flying from one place to another. So far the day has been quite agitated, I have been acting a bit weird up until now. I think I am very excited and anxious at the same time because when it comes to travelling, Armand is the one who does everything last  minute, whereas I prefer to take my time.

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The ride has been a bit bumpy, in the sense that we lost our train to Gatwick and the flight has been delayed. Whatsoever now we are just fine, although we just can’t wait until we get there. The plan was to meet our good friend Sergio at the airport, but he thought we were arriving at Milan Bergamo Airport, but in fact we touch down at Milan Malpensa and we can not meet him anymore at the airport, we’ll make our own way to Bergamo – somehow.

I am so happy  right now, the view is amazing, snow sprinkleIMG_2230d mountains for as far as I can see, this is one of the views that make me meditate upon how beautiful and this precious this world is. Astonishing. Oh, I can already feel the airplane descending. Exciting times, guys. Bare with me.

Update:  All my stress ended as soon as we set foot in Bergamo and met Sergio. I was expecting to go home, but that didn’t happen. We went to “social centre” which is a place where people organise various events and parties. We stayed there for quite a while after that we went to the Upper Town, the Old City. There we met a bunch of people  who were dancing some traditional Italian dances so we joined them, even though we had no idea what we were doing. That was very very revitalising after a long journey. It was already like 1 AM but the journey didn’t stop there, we went further on for a walk on top of the city. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. I didn’t get the chance to take pictures because there was no light, but today is another fresh day.

PS: We found a friend with a Vespa, so our plan is starting to look even more promising.

xx,

Alina

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THANK YOU!

Hello, beautiful people!

Thank you, beautiful people. Thank you for trusting me, thank for being here with, thank you for reading my blog, thank you for following me.

Often we forget to take a break and reflect upon every good thing that life has brought us. We get stuck in our daily routines and I just wanted to tell you that gratitude should be part of our routines. This habit not only brings you immense joy, but also gives you a more positive approach towards life.

550917992aecb-0213-vintage-pink-typewriter-xlAfter 5 years realising that more than 2k people are still following my blog is something beyond my comprehension. So thank you, for every comment, every like, every share, every view. The engagement I received in the last couple of days gave me so much strength, so much determination to continue. You guys are amazing.

Also there are a few people that I would like to thank individually. Thank you, Armand for believing in me, for pushing me to do this and for all the support, love and care I get from you on a daily basis, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you. Thank you, mom, for being my pillar of strength, my everything. Thank you, dad, for all the advice you gave and for all the effort you put into educating me. Thank you, my dear aunt Dodo for being my older sister, thank you grandpa and thank you grandma for raising me and for making me become who I am today. Thank you, my dear friends, all of you for giving me the best times of my life and finally, thank you ALL. I am deeply grateful and humbled.

I love you all!

xx,

Alina

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My everyday tools

EN: Hello, beautiful people!

I’m writing this in order to share with you my everyday tools that help me live beautifully. Your life is like a beautiful sculpture and you need to put passion into it and have the right tools in order to create something remarkable.

How can you find the right tools? That I do not know, I can only tell you how I got to use them, which is by trusting other people that inspired me trust and positivity. I will begin with sharing with you my list of tools. I believe it’s better if I talk about them separately in different posts. So here we go:

The Five Minute Journal – this is the one thing that helps me wake up with a positive mindset and go to sleep with the same positive vibes. Mental health is crucial, guys.

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The Productivity Planner – This helps me beat procrastination – the name probably tells you everything, but don’t worry, I even made a video about it. Soon I’ll talk about it in more detail.

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Headspace – this is the iOS app that I recently discovered. It is basically your meditation buddy – helps you learn meditation step by step.

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For me, this is the ultimate starter pack for a more positive and relaxed life. However, let’s not forget that I named them tools and as with every tool, you need to have the determination to learn how to use them. Further on, you need practice. Practice every day beautiful habits like these that bring good vibes into your life. For now, this should be enough, I don’t want to bombard you with too much information.

Stay positive!

xx,

Alina

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Follow me to Italy

Hello, beautiful friends!

As part of my new lifestyle, I decided that I want to travel, I want to be able to travel whenever I want, wherever I want to. I am not bound to any place, I am not bound to a country or to people. Mobility is the key. How else can you grow as a person if not by travelling? You experience new cultures, new people, new habits, new food, new languages. Does it seem impossible to you? It is not. Not if you choose so. There is also a way to work around your job, your business or whatever it is that you think is holding you back. Follow me onto this journey and learn together with me how YOU can do this as well.

adbaa27d3424272e9e627f8a04062fe5My next destination is Italy, and I’m leaving London together with Armand on Saturday, 21st of May 2016. We are going to Bergamo until the 25th, then we will be in Milan for a couple of days and then we’re off to Tuscany and the last destination is Rome, overall we will be  travelling for one month around Italy. There is a beautiful and exciting journey ahead of us, this is the only thing I know.

So, why are we doing this? We have three main goals: learn to speak Italian like an Italian // learn how to cook Italian like an Italian // learn how to ride a Vespa. You see, there is so much more to life than just your job or your studies. We are robust, complex beings that shouldn’t be defined by our job/professional description. I am Alina and indeed I study IT & Management at UCL, indeed I have some internships and other must-haves on my CV, but I also organised two Michael Jackson flashmobs with over 50 people when I was 13, I also love acting, I also love cooking, I also am very fond of Web Developing and maybe I like to spice up my life with some hot street dance moves when I’m alone. The point is that most of us only focus on the first two parts of the description (see above). We forget that we are not defined by our job or job-related skills (see all the standard CV must-have skills and blah blah) and we succumb into this never ending spiral of chasing success. We dream of our dream life, but in the meantime we forget that life is what is happening right now. “Work hard now and later on you will enjoy the benefits!” – how many times have your heard this or something similar? No, my dear friends, work smart now and enjoy your life now. This is what I am trying to do, so come along with me.

On a final note, I would also like to see what your life philosophy and what your mindset is. Let’s chat and share beautiful ideas together.  Leave a comment here or come say hi on social media.

xx ,

Alina

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Hello, beautiful people!

EN: Well, it’s been such a beautiful journey. Everything started in 2011, when I was a 15 years old aspiring fashionblogger. Time passed, no less than 5 years and here we are now. Over past couple of years I’ve tried so many new things, I have learned so much and I met some of the most amazing people that I will probably ever meet.

My life has been crazy, I started a new fashion blog, I tried to become a professional longboard-er for a few weeks(?!), I met my boyfriend Armand, I wanted to go study in Denmark, I didn’t, I chose London, I moved to London, I started uni, I started cooking properly, I started flirting with app development, engineered -the best app of the year- (only to find out after that the idea was already put in practice, and it really was the best app of the year, just not of 2016, but of 2015) and the list goes on and on…Only talking about this brings so much joy to me. I am really grateful for everything.

Fast-forwarding to the last couple of months when I was just co-habitating with my boyfriend in London. I was doing nothing all day. Go to uni – eat – sleep – repeat. I was struggling to find answers, to find how am I gonna make money, how am I gonna get rich, blah blah, you probably know the questions better than I do. However, Armand came
home to me one night and told me about a YouTuber called Alex Ikonn. “Oh, another one of your gurus!” I thought to myself…but couple of days earlier I was the biggest fan of Alex, his wife Mimi and their work. Guys, I even sent an e-mail to Mimi to talk about how much she inspired me and all that, and guess what? She answered. Those of you who know me personally can imagine that this is not representative for me.

Fast-forwarding to a couple of weeks ago when I started listening to “The 4 Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss. That was it, I knew something changed within myself, something that will last and that is not undo-able. Yes, beautiful friends, I totally changed my mindset, I am much more positive, much more flexible, much more happier, but the same old girl who started Vanillily 5 years ago. Curious to know how this all happened? I am going into more detail soon.

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xx,

Alina

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Fruity + BIG NEWS

Hello, lovelies.

Here I am after a long absence with some great news: I’ve just started working with an amazing photographer and a friend of mine, Maria. (I will put her blog adress at the end) The thing is that we are going to shoot for Vanillily once a week. I am sooo excited about this.

However, here is the first result of my collab with Maria: (I am more than in love with it)

My fruity Dr.Martens were the inspiration for the whole outfit.

PS: BIG UPS for Maria: http://airamphotography.wordpress.com

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