March 27, 2017

How To Balance a 9-5 Job and Blogging

Bijuleni - How to Balance a 9-5 Job and Blogging

Bijuleni - Tweed Pattern dress with bell sleeves and suede pink flats look

Bijuleni - Tweed Pattern dress with bell sleeves and suede pink flats look

Being able to balance a 9 to 5 job plus blogging has been a daunting task for me since I started blogging. One word described my process. EXHAUSTED! Working a full time job on its own can be stressful and tiring. As soon as I was coming back home from work I was taking on my blogging job. I was struggling to get content done, I was struggling to keep a work-life balance, I was struggling to stay motivated to even blog and most importantly I found myself not being able to put as much time into blogging as much as I would want to, even though I was spending hours doing "blogging things" at home. Until one day I realized I was doing it all wrong. This is how I changed my Blogging Work:

Set a Space for Working

Working from the couch is the worst thing you can do. I was doing this all the time. Margot would jump on me for cuddles so I would pause my work and cuddle with her. Or Kamiran would be watching TV and then I would get distracted and watch TV too. It would take me 2 hours just to create a blog post. It was a disaster. I was getting no work done. As soon as I decided to complete all of my laptop work at my desk that's when magic happened. I am now able to complete my posts much faster and I have tons of time left over. I also find my content to be more focused and well prepared when I sit down at my desk. 

Bijuleni - Tweed Pattern dress with bell sleeves and suede pink flats look

Bijuleni - Tweed Pattern dress with bell sleeves and suede pink flats look

Determine Blog Work Hours

I never designated work hours for my blog. I was just doing blog work whenever I was at home which left me with no time to spend quality time with Kamiran, Margot or even having friends over. As soon as I switched this habit my quality time spent at home with Kamiran was much better, and honestly even for me there is a sense of relief that I do not have to spend all of my days doing blog work. I now have set hours I designate on my blog during weekdays. Usually 1 hour each day after work so between 7-8pm. My biggest work day for the blog is Saturday morning between 9am to 3pm when I get most of my work done so that I don't have to worry about it during the week.

Social Media Batch Scheduling

What has saved a lot of my time is scheduling posts. Sorry guys, but in most cases bloggers do schedule their posts in advance and some pictures you may see on Instagram may not be real time. Although I try to keep this to minimum for Instagram posts in the case of  Facebook, Pinterest and in some cases Twitter I am always scheduling posts. I spend about 2 hours each Saturday scheduling posts on my social media channels for the week. A tool I love using to schedule my posts on Pinterest is Tailwind. It is about $170 per year, but for me it was totally worth spending the money on it. Before I used to spend everyday pinning. Now, I just spend two hours each weekend to schedule all of my posts for the coming week, or sometimes I spend more time on it and I schedule an entire month's work. I have a referral for you want to try Tailwind FREE for a month. Just use this link. ($15 credit)

Bijuleni - Tweed Pattern dress with bell sleeves and suede pink flats look

Bijuleni - Tweed Pattern dress with bell sleeves and suede pink flats look

Invest in a Photographer

When you are working full time you are not able to shoot at any time of the day. It usually has to be either after work or you have to do all your photoshoots the weekend. Nothing beats having an Instagram husband or bestie to take your photos for free, but there is also a downside to that. For the most part Kamiran has been able to take my photos, but he also has a very different schedule than me. I also found myself feeling lazy sometimes to shoot even though I was fully capable of doing so. This was a bad way to go on blogging. Finally in February I decided to work with a professional photographer on an ongoing basis and the results have been much better. There is no more "I am feeling lazy to shoot today". I know that comes Sunday, my photographer is waiting for me to meet and shoot. I don't feel guilty anymore for waking Kamiran up early mornings to shoot when he has his late night conference calls and most importantly, my photographer edits my photos which means no more spending hours editing my photos.

Extra Tip

Ever since I became a blogger, I try to utilize my time as much as possible. If you commute to work by train or subway, writing blog posts during my morning and evening commute on the subway has saved me lots of time. No, I don't carry my laptop with me. I just use the Notes on my iphone to write my posts and then I simply copy and paste into blogger. 
For those that are trying to balance both a full time job and blogging is there anything else you do to keep a balance in your life?
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March 24, 2017

3 Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks to Try This Spring

3 Charlotte Tilbury Lipsticks to Try This Spring

3 Charlotte Tilbury Lipsticks to Try This Spring
3 Charlotte Tilbury Lipsticks to Try This Spring

Good morning my flaneurs and happy Friday !My blogging goal for this year was to expand my horizons and offer more content to you that affects your life as a whole. My main focus has always been fashion, but I want to focus on other categories that I do tend to neglect from time to time. For this beauty post I wanted to share with you 3 Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks that I will be using for spring.

Nude Kate 

3 Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks to Try This Spring  - Nude Kate

3 Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks to Try This Spring, Nude Kate

3 Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks to Try This Spring

First Runner up is Nude Kate. I have never seen myself wearing a nude lipstick before so this was so interesting to see. You definitely feel odd at first, but as time went by I got used to it. I have wanted to add a nude lipstick in my collection for a while now, and I do think this one is a keeper. The lipstick is very nude, at least for me, since I have always worn pink lipsticks. But I was so impressed with the quality. The lipstick's pigment is amazing.A little trick I discovered is to apply gloss to nude lipsticks. It adds that extra shine and in away makes it seem less nude. 

Penelope Pink

3 Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks to Try This Spring - Penelope Pink

3 Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks to Try This Spring - Penelope Pink

3 Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks to Try This Spring - Penelope Pink

This shade is really interesting. So when you look at the lipstick it looks anything but pink, but then when I applied it on my lips and later on my arm I could definitely see hints of pink in it. It is a very nude colour, but it's more of what I want to call a fleshy pink or a peachy-tan nude. So don't let the name throw you off. Compared to the Nude Kate lipstick, Penelope Pink is a darker nude with hints of pink and tan brown. The Nude Kate has more of an earthy tone to it and is also more transparent than this one. Penelope Pink is also a semi mat lipstick, but it doesn't over dry the lips like other brands too which I love. If you are looking for a semi-nude I would recommend going with this one.

Coachella Coral

3 Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks to Try This Spring - Coachella Coral

3 Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks to Try This Spring - Coachella Coral

3 Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks to Try This Spring - Coachella Coral

3 Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks to Try This Spring - Coachella Coral

Coachella Coral is another Charlotte Tilbury lipstick I recommend for spring. If you like pink you will love this one. It is a mixture between red and pink that has such a beautiful rich colour when you apply it on your lips. I absolutely loved how this one looked on me. Also, since this lipstick is darker, you do not need to add a gloss over it. I found this lipstick had the perfect amount of shine in it.

3 Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks to Try This Spring

3 Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks to Try This Spring - Arm Swatches

3 Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks to Try This Spring

3 Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks to Try This Spring
* Thank you to Charlotte Tilbury for Collaborating with me on this post 

Overall Thoughts

I am pretty pleased with the quality of the lipsticks. I cannot speak as to how other shades of Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks are, but I did like the ones that I tested. At first I felt out of place wearing a nude lipstick, but I can definitely get used to the Penelope Pink. I have been wanting to try a nude lipstick for a while, and if you are looking for one too, I do recommend this brand. I also adore the feminine, gold packaging which gives that Great Gatsby feel to it. I liked applying a little bit of gloss on top of the lipsticks for some extra shine. But that is totally up to you.

Has anyone else ever used Charlotte Tilbury Lipsticks? What are your faves?

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March 22, 2017

My Birthday Wishlist: Items to Invest In

One of my favourite times of the year is around the corner. Talk about being totally self-absorbed my favourite time of the year is my birthday. Going into spoil mode galore here. I use my birthday as an excuse to convince myself I earned this. In all seriousness though, if you remember last year's post where I shared why I always create a birthday wish list. My Birthday wishlist helps to keep myself grounded with my purchases and to really pin down the items I want to purchase for the year even though sometimes I tend to deviate. So here is this year's list.

Ted Baker Suitcase

So this is a metaphor item. My birthday wish is to travel more. Not necessarily big trips, but even just small weekend trips around my city as well. My biggest trip this year is going to be India, and I am hoping by next year I will get to travel to my bestie's birthplace Morocco. Hard to believe that I have never gone on a trip of just me and Meryem alone, considering we have been best friends for decades. I find traveling such an important aspect of living life, and enriching life. 

Eyewear

I am in serious need to update my eyeglasses. Period.

Tom Ford Black Orchid


I love heavy perfumes that linger forever. This perfume reminds me of the Dior Poison scent which also happens to be my favourite scent of all times. This perfume has been on my list of things to buy for years now, but I have never managed to buy it. I feel this is going to be the year.

Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer

My current hairdryer is the worst. Like terrible. Sometimes I believe I can smell my hair burning. lol. My next big hair product investment is going to be this Dyson Supersonic hairdryer. I really hope it is just as good as everyone makes it to be because the price tag for a hair dryer is pretty steep. I am hoping with this Dyson Hairdrier I am going to have Victoria's Secret hair everyday. 

GG Marmont matelassé shoulder bag

Big handbag purchase of the year. I always try to keep my designer handbag purchases realistic and to a minimum. This year I had to sit myself down and think about what was missing from my handbag collection. A statement bag. I have been drooling over the Gucci Marmont matelassé for a while now. If you recall on my twitter rants about Kam referring to this purse as the purse that pepto bismol threw up all over it... But no bag says Eleni like this bag. The colour, the gold chain, the GG hardware. I love it. Unfortunately, the medium size is currently sold, but the mini and large version are still available. I think the mini is too small. If you are looking to invest I would say go with the medium (other colours are still available) or the large. (Let's not kid ourselves, I already bought this bag last weekend and I loooove it). 

Hello Doormat

How cute is this Hello doormat from Target and so affordable! I mean for under $15this is the best birthday item on my list.

Bar Mix Set 

This is more on my wishlist for Kamiran's use than mine. I hardly even drink, but my aim is for us to add a little cute bar cart in our apartment and this bar mix set is going to add a little extra Mad Men vibe to it.


 Kate Spade Utensil Holder 

Not the most exciting purchase of the year, but I need to update our utensil holder to something that is a bit more chic than the one we currently have. This Kate Spade polka dot holder is an instant fave for the kitchen. 

Shop My Wish List:


There you have it. My birthday wishlist for 2017. Are there any items you are currently coveting?

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March 20, 2017

Floral High and Low Dress

Bijuleni - Floral high and low Dress, Faux Fur Zara Vest and sparkly heels

Bijuleni - Floral Rose details

Bijuleni - Floral high and low Dress, Faux Fur Zara Vest and sparkly heels

Bijuleni - Floral high and low Dress, Faux Fur Zara Vest

Bijuleni - Aldo Sparkly Clutch

Bijuleni - Floral high and low Dress, Faux Fur Zara Vest and sparkly heels

Bijuleni - Floral high and low Dress, Faux Fur Zara Vest and sparkly heels

Bijuleni - Floral high and low Dress, Faux Fur Zara Vest and sparkly heels

Bijuleni - Floral high and low Dress, Faux Fur Zara Vest and sparkly heels

Bijuleni - Floral high and low Dress, Faux Fur Zara Vest and sparkly heels

Bijuleni - Floral high and low Dress, Faux Fur Zara Vest and sparkly heels

Happy First Day of Spring! I wanted to start off with this gorgeous floral high and low dress that captured my attention while shopping at Winners. The perfect way to welcome spring if you ask me. Prom like dresses are starting to surface everywhere and if  I were to attend prom I would for sure consider this pink and grey mix floral dress. I also love how some of you thought that is was a skirt and not a dress when I posted a photo on my Instagram account .Gives it an interesting twist. Aside from this being the perfect prom dress it also makes the perfect dress for any formal occasion you may have to attend. I have also linked a blue version of this SL Fashions dress  as well as a black and pink version of it which I adore just as much. There are tons of different colour combinations available to suit your preference but they all look fab.

Dress: Winners | Heels: Le Chateau | Clutch: Aldo | Bracelet: Ann Taylor | Vest: Zara

Shop My Look


Photography by Laura Clarke

 What kind of dress did you wear at prom?





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March 16, 2017

Travel Diary: Santorini




Is Santorini as magical as everyone says? No. It is better. I have been 3 times and would go again and again. Everytime I discover something new about it. Its beauty is rough yet polished and divine. Santorini has a special place in my heart for some unknown reason. 

Getting There
I can't stress enough how important it is to pre-book tickets. It is not the end of the world if you do not, but it will make your travel less stressful and one less expense you have to worry about it during your travel. You can either get to Santorini by ferry or by airplane from Athens. As someone that has traveled back and forth between Greece and Canada (11 hour flight) my recommendation is to always stay a couple of days in Athens to recover from jet lag before you jet off to your islands. Two days in Athens, then take the ferry to Santorini from Pireaus Port and then from Santorini fly back to Athens. This is the best combo you can have. For ferries, I always pre-book with Super Fast Ferries. It is faster than other ferries, not by much, but I'll take 5 hours instead of a 7 hour ferry ride. I usually get the Air Seats, although when we went last summer to Santorini, we ended up sitting on the deck which is usually Economy class.In Economy class you find a spot, you take it. Air Seats are numbered. I actually liked sitting in Economy class, being outside and enjoying the sun sipping on my frappe, but it is not meant for napping (chairs are plastic). So if you want to nap, go for the Air Seats which are much more comfy. If you are on a budget go for Blue Fast Ferries which is more affordable (about 37 euros round trip each person), but it's slower. 

Flying back from Santorini. Aegean Airlines is the airline we used to fly back to Athens. Flights are not frequent and they book really quickly. I would recommend you book your flights within Greece asap! The flight to Athens from Santorini is 45 minutes and for two people it costs around $450. It may seem like a large sum considering the ferry is only $126 for two people but it is worth it.


When To Go
Stop thinking Greece is a tropical destination with sunny weather all year around. Everyone always assumes this. Greece has seasons. Please do not plan to go to Santorini in October. You will be faced with fall weather and you will not be able to swim or enjoy summer like weather. A visit to Santorini is ideal between end of May to mid September. I have always gone to Greece in July and early September, although I would love to go back in Spring to experience the island in a different season.

How Long to Stay
It is up to your discretion how long you want to stay in Santorini. I have stayed there for 3 nights and I have also stayed there 5 nights. If you have a limited time in Greece I say ideally you want to spend between 3-4 nights if you really want to get to know the island. If you just want to come, take pictures, see the epic sunset in Oia and leave then 2 nights should also be sufficient. 

Where To Stay
Santorini is a gem when it comes to accommodations. An expensive gem. Book early! I cannot stress how important this is. Especially if you are on a budget you want to ensure you book early to get a good value hotel for your money. If you wait too long your option will be either the 1 Star Hotels or the $1000 per night hotels. If you want to get a sunset worthy hotel you will have to pay for it $$$$$. Caldera view hotels range from $400 to $1000 a night. I absolutely loved the hotel we stayed at and I would definitely recommend to anyone who is willing to spend a little bit more. You can read more about our stay at Agali Houses in Thirostefani.



How To Get Around
We rented a car in Santorini. Scooters are dangerous, do not rent one. Locals will also tell you that it is not safe. Santorini has cliffs everywhere with the narrowest streets ever. If you are staying in Thira. the bus system is amazing and takes you to all the beaches you will need to go as well as Oia, but it does get crowded especially the one that goes to Oia. Kamiran and I rented a car since we wanted to be on our own schedule. ATVs are also safer than scooters. If you do rent a car and you decide to drive to Oia go at least 3 hours in advance, otherwise you may not be able to find parking.You could also walk from Thira to Oia but that's a 3 hour hike so not ideal.

Avoid Tours
I did the Volcano Tour the first time I visited Santorini, just because I thought it was the thing to do. My recommendation would be to skip the Volcano Tour. If you want to occupy your day with something do it since it is nicely planned out, but you are not missing much. However, if you want to get a view of the entire caldera from afar then doing the volcano tour will give you that view because it is situated across from the town.



Avoiding Tourists
If you are a person that is not fond of tourists I would say Santorini is not for you. Between May and September Santorini is packed with tourists. I personally, I have been to Santorini during high season but never felt that the island was over packed with tourists. My bestie on the other hand who I went to Santorini with a couple years ago who doesn't like tourists, said that there was too many of them. If you would prefer less traffic go early September when most crowds have cleared. August by far will be the busiest month because that is also when Greeks take their summer vacay.

Families Traveling to Santorini
Santorini is not a stroller friendly island. Please spare yourself if you have a baby and do not go to Santorini. I have seen tons of moms with their strollers and they are struggling to push the stroller on the cobblestone paths. Also, please bring flats. This is not an island you want to be wearing heels and wedges.

Visit a Winery 
Santorini has a long wine-making history. Due to its volcanic soil, warm and dry climate; Santorini is perfect for wine-making. It is known for specialty wine like Mezzo, Vinsanto, and Nychteri. We had two wineries on our radar to go to. Santo Wines and Venetsanos Winery. We ended up going to Venetsanos and we loved it.We did a wine tasting and paired it with a charcuterie board and a couple of dips. It was a windy evening, but the sunset was incredible. You get a panoramic view of the entire island. It was one of the most romantic evenings I ever had. Another great option is Santo Wines Winery, but I have heard the view is not as wide.






Food with a View
No matter where you are in Santorini, chances are you will be able to enjoy a meal with a view. In terms of authentic Greek food I would say for the most part all of the food yo will order will be authentic Greek. Some must try foods in Greece/Santorini are: Moussaka, Pastitsio, fava beans, Greek Salad or Choriatiki (non of the lettuce Greek Salad nonsense), Ntomatokeftedes, Dolmadakia, Saganaki, Tiropita, Spanakopita, tzatziki dip, Yemista, Gyro (duh! lol. You are no Greek if you don't eat Gyro. Desserts to try: Galaktoboureko, Kantaifi, Halva, Ravani, Loukoumades, Kok.


Scenic Caldera Strolls
Walking along the caldera is my favourite thing to do in Santorini. Grab a coffee, wear a hat if it is morning, lather on the sunscreen and start walking along the caldera to explore the Grecian beauty the island hides. Overlooking the volcano, the cliffs have such a majestic landscape it is unreal. It gets to me everytime. I would also hike to Skaros Rock. I haven't had the chance to do it yet because it is quite a hike and I always seem to forget to bring extra sunscreen with me. 



The Epic Donkey Ride!

Best Spots to Watch The Sunset
It is hard to pin point only one spot that the best for watching the sunset. Our hotel was situated in Firostefani but we had a beautiful view of the sunset from our suite's terrace. Oia is probably your best bet when it comes to watching the Sunset and it is one of the most photographed villages in Greece if you are not staying at a hotel that is on the caldera. But, Oia is also extremely crowded, so again go well in advance to get a good spot. I also recommended going to a restaurant that is situated on the caldera and watching the sunset from there while you are eating. Oia has tons of little cute taverns hanging at the edge of the cliffs. Venetsanos Winery also has a spectacular view of the sunset but the sunset does appear a little further in distance than it would if you were to watch it in Oia.I was also recommended by a local to go to Profitis Ilias. A little monetary high up on a mountain that overseas the island. It is on my list of things to do next time I go to Santorini.




Beaches
If you are looking for an island with breath taking beaches, Santorini is not the one. Even though all of the beaches are nice, and there is by no means anything wrong with them I personally do not believe they capture the clear blue water beauty of the Mediterranean sea. This is due to the volcanic eruption. The sand is little black,red and white pebbles, and the water is a navy blue. if you are looking for turquoise waters I would go elsewhere like Zakinthos, Lefkada, Milos, Crete to name a few.


There you go my flaneurs! Santorini; The island where magic begins and happiness never ends. Hope the guide was useful, super long but I wanted to be as helpful as possible. If there is anything else you want to know let me know below. Happy Travels!
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