TRAVEL | A Week in San Diego, California

The week that made me realise I actually quite enjoy the US.

In February I flew from England to California to spend a week with my boyfriend at his home in San Diego. Bearing in mind that we had last seen each other in July of last year, it was a pretty important trip for us. And I was incredibly excited to go again. 
Having only six full days together, this was a much more relaxed trip and I wanted to make the most of the time I had with him. We revisited a few of our favourite places, and make sure to scroll down for a few tips if you ever go to San Diego!
Even though Los Angeles attracts everybody and gets all the spotlight, San Diego also has some amazing sights, beaches, city spots and museums - without the masses of tourists that you will find in LA. If you want to visit the sunny west coast but hate the crowds, you'll find that San Diego is a great compromise. Here are some of the things I would advise you to do there:


Balboa Park has been - and still is - one of my favourite places I've been in San Diego. It's an area that gathers many museums, gardens and beautiful sights where the architecture very much reminds of Spain and Italy. You can see Balboa in more detail in this post from last summer. We went to the Botanical garden again, which is my favourite, with its exotic and colourful flowers. The trees around Balboa were already blossoming, full of white flowers that looked like fluffy snow.
My boyfriend took my to the Spanish Village Art Center, a side of Balboa he discovered recently - think colourful mosaic floors, little huts and houses where various artists sell their work, and wonderful little corners.

Although it was raining, the colours all around just make you so happy. Balboa is a real gem in San Diego, and no matter what you like - art, botanics, museums - there will be something for you.

San Diego is on the coast, so going to the oceanside is a must. There are many lovely beach areas with different vibes, Torrey Pines being my favourite (see this post from last summer) - other places like Carlsbad and Del Mar are lovely as well. This time, my boyfriend and I headed to Sunset Cliffs - because as the name suggests, sunsets are pretty awesome there. We went on Valentine's day, and although the clouds were heavy in the sky, the sunset we witnessed was still beautiful, turning from yellow to red and purple.
If you're into surfing (because that's what people do in California, right?) the coast of San Diego is also a great place to be. There were some people surfing in the sunset when we were there, and it must be a rather special moment for it!

I know zoos are quite controversial places. I tend to not like seeing animals in fences, but there are some zoos that do take care of the animals and their well-being. The San Diego zoo is forever expanding, creating partnerships with other countries to protect animals and raise awareness of the importance of protecting species, especially endangered ones. I have been to the zoo a few times already and it has so much variety, but also a staff who knows what they are talking about and are happy to answer questions about the animals. Definitely a fun destination, where you can easily spend the whole day.

Some of the areas that are really worth checking out are: the new Africa Rocks area, with its dunes of sand and cacti, the penguin aquarium, the polar bears, and the pandas. Also the okapis. Okapis are cute.
The zoo has some amazing parts that take you high up over the palm trees, where you can see everything from above. Take the cable car for beautiful views of Balboa Park (which is right next to the zoo) and walk on the bridge over the Panda Canyon, where you can stop for a break at a little cafe.

San Diego is a huge city, where you can find pretty much every type of food you want. We tried some of my boyfriend's favourites, and one place I particularly like is the Havana Kitchen, in Old Town Temecula - a Cuban coffee place where you can get both lunch and dinner, coffee and sangria, and the atmosphere is very relaxed - you could go there for a coffee date in the afternoon but also for a nice Cuban dinner in the evening. I always get their Cubano sandwich, which I discovered thanks to my boyfriend, and their signature Sal-Latte is amazing (latte with a pinch of Kosher salt - yummy!)
We also went to the Athens Market Cafe which is a Greek restaurant in Carmel Mountain, and I had the best falafels of my life - beating the amazing ones I usually get in Paris, which is saying something!

Another place I'd recommend is the Original Pancake House - if you're into pancakes, that's the place to go. Their menu is impressive, and the buttermilk pancakes I had were super fluffy and filled with crispy bacon. My boyfriend went for the strawberry waffle which looked just as good. The portions are generous too, so this is a great place to go for brunch.

This is just a few of the things we've done in the seven days I was in San Diego, but there is so much more to see and do there. I hope I'll get to go back and show you more of the awesome things the city has to offer!

Have you ever heard of San Diego? Where in California would you like to visit?


BEAUTY | Winter Moisturisers

My secret to soft skin.

Moisturising is a big step in my beauty routine. In fact, I can never have a shower without using a body moisturiser afterwards. It just feels wrong. And let me tell you, my skin is super soft. My boyfriend's still impressed. 
Thus today I thought it would be helpful to share with you the different moisturisers (body, face, and so on) that I am using this winter to protect my skin from the cold.


I got to (finally) discover Bath & Body Works last summer, and I have been using their body lotion ever since! They have an amazing variety of scents, and Moonlight Path caught my attention - it is a very clean scent that I find great for this time of year. I am on my second bottle now, and I don't seem to get tired of it! Although it's a body lotion, it is thicker than your usual lotion and leaves the skin super soft and hydrated. It sinks into the skin quite well too and doesn't feel heavy or sticky at all.
Of course there are quite a few nice body lotions in Boots, like Garnier which is one of my favourites, but the scent range really makes me go for this brand so if you ever get the chance, check out Bath & Body Works. It's not just about the candles!


Now this cream has been a firm favourite of mine for years now, and it has probably already been featured on my blog a few times. Nuxe is an amazing skincare brand and you can never go wrong with their products, and I have found that this face cream works amazingly on my combination skin. It is soft and you don't need a lot of product to cover your whole face, which is great because it will last you months and months. The Crème Prodigieuse moisturises the skin and leaves it super soft, and if you have little dry patches (I often have some on my nose or forehead) apply just a little more cream on there and they will disappear. I am not in a hurry to try another day moisturiser any time soon as this is still the best to me.


The Rose Oil Blend has also been my go-to night moisturiser for months now, and I have mentioned it before on the blog. Pixi products are generally quite good, and this is one that has really caught my attention because it moisturises the skin beautifully and whenever I stop using it for a few days, I instantly notice that my skin gets a little drier. Thus this product is a lifesaver!
Although it is quite oily when you first apply it and it will make you shine (I don't recommend using it before makeup for example), if you use it at night the product will sink into the skin and you'll wake up with hydrated skin.


My mum gave me this lipbalm because I was desperately looking for one at home, and I ended up really enjoying it. I had stopped using stick lipbalms after falling in love with the Nuxe Rêve de Miel lipbalm in the glass jar version, so I was a bit snobbish thinking that a stick balm would not do much for my lips. Avène is a really good skincare brand though and I have been loving this lipbalm, it is very moisturising and does a great job. I use it day and night, and also under any lipstick and it works wonders. I already have another stick waiting for when this one runs out!


Back to Nuxe again! The Rêve de Miel range is one that I could never recommend enough, all the products are amazing - and the hand cream is just as good! First of all it smells amazing, and the texture is not too thick nor too greasy (I hate greasy hand creams.) It sinks into the skin when you massage it in nicely, and leaves the hands soooo soft. So soft. It has prevented my hands from suffering this winter and is now an essential in my handbag!

What are your favourite winter moisturisers?


FASHION | The Camera Bag with Monnier Freres

That moment when you make an amazing deal in the sales and you feel as proud as if you'd just run a marathon or something.

Camera bags are a popular item at the moment, mostly due to bloggers and vloggers turning cameras into a must-have accessory. Although I don't vlog or take my camera with me all the time, I find that camera bags are really useful when you only need the essentials (phone, wallet, keys) and don't want to carry around a bigger bag. The classic YSL camera bag is for example one that I could see myself wear and use a lot - if only it was more in my budget!

Luckily, as I was browsing the sales section of the Monnier Frères website, I found this gorgeous little camera bag by Karl Lagerfeld and fell in love with it. It is now mine!

It is the K/ikonik Pearl camera bag by Karl Lagerfeld. Admittedly, I am not a fan of the designer himself (he can be quite controversial) but because I am weak, I loved the bag and decided to get it anyways. I've been loving the pearl trend at the moment (still looking for the perfect pearl-adorned jumper for spring) and this bag has it all: double texture effect, pearls, gold detailing. And even better, it was in the sale!

I got it from Monnier Freres, a French luxury retail website recommended to me by a friend. It was 50% off, but here's a tip for you if you find something you fancy on the website: subscribe to their newsletter and you'll get 20% off more, which also works on the items on sale. Thanks to that coupon code, I got the bag for £108 (RRP £255)!

Luxury items are not something I collect and I would never buy anything expensive lightly. It's important to take the right decision when it comes to investing in higher end accessories, and I could would always recommend to wait for the sales and buy reduced items only. Because let's be honest, luxury items are never actually worth the original price tag - you pay for the brand and (sometimes) the manufacturing, but ain't nobody got money for full price Dior bags. Unless you're quite lucky.

I will get a lot of use out of this bag. I'll try to include it in outfit photos in the future too. It is very versatile and although pearls are very much a trend now, the design is rather timeless and I see myself using it in the years to come even when the trend dies out. 
If you're interested, you can still find the bag in the sale here, and there's also a nude version. Monnier Freres is an amazing website, free delivery and shipping was really fast so I am pleased with their customer service and would happily recommend them.

Do you buy luxury or higher end items? What are your views on them?