October 31, 2016
California 1

California 1

October 31, 2016
california one highway
The California Highway 1 is one of the world's most famous coast-hugging routes. It starts in my beloved San Francisco and goes all the way to the south ending in the beautiful San Diego. Along the way you can visit some of the most famous California cities: Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. You can go wine tasting in Santa Ynez Valley, one of most diverse grape-growing regions in the country. Finally, you must stop at the charming coastal towns of Monterey and Carmel. Today I want to give you a small tour around some of these places. 

SAN FRANCISCO
You can start this trip at either end. However, since the city by the bay was my home during my time in the US, all my trips started there. I've written many posts about San Francisco that you can see here.
california one highway san francisco

california one highway san francisco

california one highway san francisco

california one highway san francisco

SANTA CRUZ
Santa Cruz is a surf town. It's actually where the sport was first introduced in California. It's also a great destination for families because of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, a yesteryear-style esplanade which includes classic coasters, arcade games and a historic carousel. Finally, it's full of college students attracted by the boho chic restaurants you can find downtown.
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk california one highway

MONTEREY & CARMEL
After San Francisco, these are my favorite places to go in California. Carmel-by-the-Sea is a wealthy fairy tale town, I've never seen anything like it before. Monterey is a charming town famous for delicious seafood, its renowned aquarium and for being the setting of some of John Steinbeck's books. Here you can't miss the scenic 17-mile drive and a historic landmark: the beautiful Carmel Mission. I've already devoted a post to each town, click on the names to read them.
monterey fish hopper california one highway

monterey fish hopper california one highway

monterey california one highway

california one highway

california one highway
Can you spot the sea lions below?
california one highway sealions

carmel mission california one highway

William Randolph Hearst built my dream house. The Hearst Corporation donated the property to the state of California in 1957. Since that time it has been maintained as a state historic park, so unfortunately it will never be up for sale... Click on the name to read the post.
hearst castle california one highway

LOS ANGELES & SANTA MONICA
The City of Angels is the largest one in California. If you prefer smaller places, stay in Santa Monica like I did. From there you can use public transport to get anywhere you want. Musts are the Getty Villa in Malibu, Universal Studios, Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Downtown L.A.

I had always been obsessed with L.A. It was #1 on my bucket list as a teenager. I thought it'd become my favorite city in the world. Oh boy, how wrong I was. It was a disappointment. Even though I'm a city girl I found it too big and it's not that beautiful. It's a great place to live if you are rich, otherwise, not that great. Don't get me wrong, it's still worth visiting but it's not as glamorous as movies and TV shows have led us to believe.
los angeles santa monica california one highway

los angeles santa monica california one highway

los angeles santa monica california one highway

los angeles santa monica california one highway

LAST STOP: SAN DIEGO
I was surprised by how much I liked San Diego. The best places to go are the Gaslamp Quarter, Seaport Village, El Coronado and Old Town San Diego. Read this post to see why it stole my heart.
san diego california one highway
Some day I'd love to go back to California and do a tour of the Missions. I've always been attracted to those historic buildings probably because it's part of Spanish history. Route 66 is on my bucket list as well.
How about you? What are the top 3 places on your bucket list?
xo Cristina
October 28, 2016
Blogger Reflections

Blogger Reflections

October 28, 2016
I want to discuss something with you today. Since many of you are also bloggers I thought it’d be useful for you to read about a recent experience I had. I often get collaboration offers in my inbox. We could say I’ve turned down around 98% of them. I sometimes wonder if I’m doing the right thing.
Recently, I've started to get collaboration proposals from popular Chinese websites which have hundreds of thousands of followers and buyers from all around the world. This is when I have the hardest time saying no. On the one hand, it looks like I'm missing the chance to be connected to a big company. On the other hand, they don't pay and the cheap products they offer for free are not what I want my brand to be associated with.

Most brands take my refusal well. They are polite and understanding. However, the other day a company offered a teeny tiny amount of money to put banners on some of my posts. I turned them down and I was surprised by this reply: "Placing a post banner is just like adding a picture, and only show at one page. Why do you still hesitate when you can earn money by just adding one picture at your older post?" Maybe I took it too seriously, but the reply annoyed me. It made me think that they believe small bloggers are desperate to earn money. My blog is my hobby and my passion, I do it first of all because I love it not for the money. I'm not "selling" my blog for a few bucks. I can't deny that I'd love to collaborate with high end brands...but if it's not with them, I prefer to blog for free and just post what I love. We are brands too. It’s our responsibility to take care of our brand. If we don’t take our work seriously, who will?

I’d love to read your thoughts on this, guys. Have you experienced something like this? Do you ever feel like brands think you are desperate to earn money/attention?
xo Cristina

October 24, 2016
Animal Print Sneakers

Animal Print Sneakers

October 24, 2016
Happy Monday!  Finally, it's time to wear some fall clothes around here. October has been pretty warm until now. The change has been huge though. One day we were wearing short sleeved tops and today I'm writing this post with a blanket on my knees.
animal print sneakers
Cold weather took me by surprise when I was heading out to shoot this outfit. I was planning to wear just the vest but it was freezing and since I didn't want to risk getting one of those nasty colds, which are so hard to get rid of, I had to pick up an extra layer: the quilted jacket.
I was really looking forward to show you my new leopard print sneakers by Spanish brand Gioseppo. Some of you have already seen them on my Instagram stories. I had been on the hunt for a pair of comfy shoes with a little added height for a while and these couldn't be more perfect. They have some pretty strong points:

  • They are warm
  • They are comfortable
  • They don’t hurt my feet
  • I feel as if walking on a soft surface permanently
  • The extra height
  • The animal print pattern
  • They look cool ;)

It took me a while to find them because they were sold out everywhere. The good thing is that on their website they have the option of subscribing to sold out products so they can email you when it's back on stock. As soon as I got the re-stock alert I bought them. I was also very happy with the shipping. It's fast, I got them less than 24 hours after I ordered them. It's free is you live in Spain.











Has the cold weather reached your area too? What are your favorite fall layers?
xo Cristina

OUTFIT DETAILS
Massimo Dutti jacket
Ralph Lauren vest
Tous bag

October 17, 2016
How to Host a Tapas Party

How to Host a Tapas Party

October 17, 2016
how to host a tapas party
As a Spaniard I'm really proud of our food. Eating well is not only a pleasure for us but also part of our culture. On today's post I'd like to show you what goes into eating, entertaining and drinking like we do. There's no better way to do that than showing you how to host a tapas party. Let's start with the basics:

  • The main idea is serving a series of shareable small colorful plates. Don't divide your meal into starters, entrees and sides. Here, any dish can be the star of the show. 
  • Tapas are appropriate for any time of day or night. 
  • They are designed to be eaten while standing up. You hold a tapa with one hand and your drink with the other (beer, wine, cider or sangria are our favorites). 
  • Most of them are finger food. 
  • You don't have to worry about food getting cold, tapas are served at room temperature.

how to host a tapas party

how to host a tapas party

The list of tapas you can make is endless but here's a roundup of my favorites:

  • Steamed mussels with diced tomato, green pepper and onion on top.
  • Olives with different dressings.
  • Spanish omelette (recipe).
  • Cheese platter (must include at least one wedge of Manchego cheese).
  • Fried morcilla (black pudding) served with foie-gras and bread sticks.
  • Croquetas (croquettes). They are usually made with ham but the ones in the photo above were made with cecina which is cured meat that may remind you of beef jerky.
  • Fish meatballs.
  • Bread slices with a slice of ham and a fried quail egg on top.

Another favorite of mine is this tapa riojana I posted last February. I recommend you to read the article because I also explain where the word tapa comes from.
how to host a tapas party

how to host a tapas party

how to host a tapas party

I've already numbered the drinks we usually order. However, I didn't mention the star of the summer gazpacho (recipe). On this particular occasion I opted for a sangria pitcher.  Make your own sangria following the recipe below.how to host a tapas party sangria recipe

how to host a tapas party

how to host a tapas party

What was your favorite dish? Would you like to host a tapas party?
xo Cristina

October 10, 2016
Cozy Fall Cardigan by Lolitas&L

Cozy Fall Cardigan by Lolitas&L

October 10, 2016
cozy fall cardigan lolitas&l outfit fashion
In my constant pursuit of pretty things I stumbled upon this cute cardigan by Spanish brand Lolitas&L. Born in 1995 this brand stands out for their versatile and high quality designs. Every piece is 100% Spanish something I really appreciate. I wear a variety of brands from all around the world but if you follow the blog you know I always feel proud and excited to share with you pieces from Spanish brands. I love to show the world we have great designers here too.
cozy fall cardigan lolitas&l outfit fashion
cozy fall cardigan lolitas&l outfit fashion
I don't take many fashion risks, but I don't like my clothes to be plain either. So let's talk about this cardigan. Obviously the first thing I noticed was the cute bear attached to it. It was love at first sight. It's a removable pin so I can wear it with or without the bear. Therefore, it's incredibly versatile. If you fear that it may look childish, you can spice the outfit up with a leopard print top like I did. Also, I'm on the hunt for a (suede) brown dress which I think would look great with the cardigan. If you've seen any around, let me know!
cozy fall cardigan lolitas&l outfit fashion
cozy fall cardigan lolitas&l outfit fashion
What's your favorite piece this fall? What's on your wishlist?
xo Cristina
OUTFIT DETAILS
Mango top
Des Petits Hauts shorts (similar)
Des Petits Hauts belt (similar)