Hello! It’s been a while…

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Almost two months¬†have passed since my last entry. I just didn’t find it in myself to sit and write… I was busy finishing my master thesis… and well, let’s be honest, also busy with important summer responsibilities such as sun-bathing and swimming! ūüėČ

Jokes on the side, I don’t know why, but I wasn’t much in a blogging mode. And to be true, neither was I on a growing mode… of course,¬†I have been caring for the plants in the balcony, and I will tell you it has not been easy, summer here is quite hot so I have spent quite the time carrying water in reused bottles from the kitchen tap to the balcony!! But what I haven’t done is planting new things… and I have to admit I even have three or four empty pots lying around!

I wasn’t very surprised because, it happens to me some years that with the start of summer I kind of become more laid back and kind of chill out of the things I usually do, and then I come back from my holidays with a lot of energy and big plans of the thousand things I want to do that year!

So here I am with my growing-blogging-crafting energy back at the top! Already with many ideas in my head… and thinking about what could I grow this autumn… suggestions anyone? ūüôā

Jara

Weekend getaway to la Vall de Bo√≠

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A couple of weeks ago Sergi and I went on a much earned (and looked forward!) weekend getaway. We went to La Vall de Boí which would translate to something like Boí Valley and it is located at the north west of Catalonia at a four or five hour drive from our home.
There are two main attractions that make this small valley so interesting: on one hand, the National Park of Aiguestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici with its amazing landscapes, ponds, lakes and rivers; and on the other hand the incredible collection of Romanesque churches, scattered around the villages in the valley that are considered World Heritage by UNESCO.
This is the first trip Sergi and I have gone to since we bought our Canon 600D, and between this and that all the valley is amazingly photogenic, we took like 500 pictures in four days!! But don’t panic, I have been able to reduce that to a smaller selection to share with you all here ūüėČ
The first day we went hiking into the National Park of Aiguestortes and Estany de Sant Maurici.¬†We started our hike at Planell d’Aiguestortes and went up to Estany Llong.¬† The landscape is amazing isn’t it?
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We even got to see a frog!! You should have seen us urbanites so super excited watching the frog ūüôā
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The town of Boí.
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The town of Durro, this church is called Sant Quirc.
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The church of Sant Feliu in Barruera.
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This photo is from the top of the bell tower of the Santa Eul√†lia church in Erill la Vall. In many of the churches you can climb up to the top of the bell tower, to me it was a bit scary because I am scared of heights but the views are great and also it was quite trilling to be up there on a tower that was made hundreds of years ago…
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The second hike we did was bordering the dam of Cavallers and then following up the river that flows into it.
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This is the¬†village¬†of Ta√ľll. All the villages in the valley maintain¬†a traditional aspect. Stone houses, cobbled narrow streets. And the beautiful mountains around always present.
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These four days were amazing. We were able to breathe, relax and recharge batteries to come back to the routine energised ūüôā
So what do you say? Willing to pay a visit to la Vall de Bo√≠? ūüėČ
Jara
PS: Find out more about this beautiful valley here and here¬†ūüôā
PPS: If you are in a travel-blog reading mood you can check the posts about my last trips to Sweden and to Madrid.

Journal day #9: Beauty

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How would you say your upbringing or background has shaped your idea of beauty? Were you taught to apply makeup or do you hair by your mother or friends? If not, where did you observe what is now your norm as far as beauty practices? And although most of us have been inundated by different cultural beauty “norms” via the media, would you say that television and magazines have had a strong impact on shaping what you think of as beautiful? This week, write about your idea of beauty- how your background has shaped it and what that means for you today.

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“Oh look at you, very pretty… but you look even better without anything you know?” that would be my mum’s standard sentence when she sees me¬†pampered up for a night out or special event.

Apart from my mother influence though, I grew up with the usual influences most people have, friends, magazines, movies, tv… And therefore as a teenager I wouldn’t listen to her and put on makeup many days. I had some periods I wore makeup to high school everyday and other periods when I only wore makeup some days, and on weekends when I met with friends.¬†Also, I have curly hair, and I straightened it every day, to what my parents would always say they liked it better with my natural curls. Even so I keep doing it every day until about a year ago.

My idea of beauty¬†nowadays,¬†is a natural look, a clean face, and an authentic appearance. My beauty practices for everyday look basicly consist on washing my face on cold water and applying moisturiser. Some days, is I feel like it, or if it’s kind of an special day ¬†(say, first day at work, an important meeting, date with friends I am not very close…) I apply some mascara and illuminator.¬†Then for dinners, night outs’s, weddings and stuff like that I do get on some more makeup, like black eye-liner, lipstick and colour shadows. And precisely, what I like is that, since I never wear those on a daily basis, the day I do feels like an special thing.¬†I still straighten my hair, every now and then, for a change, but usually I wear it as it is. And since I have stopped straightening it every day I am amazed at how much faster it is growing!

My upbringing has helped me grow up with an idea of beauty as an effortless and natural thing, that does not follow “fashion” rules and that values authenticity. Do not now think I do not have any insecurity, that I feel as the most beautiful on earth, but whenever I feel unsure I just think that it’s okay, I am who I am, of course I try to look good, and well, I love putting on makeup for a special occasion, and buying clothes¬†following the trends of the season… but I never obsess about it and try to be simply myself.

Thanks for reading my opinion on beauty, I hope I haven’t been rambling too long! ūüôā

What are you thoughts on this? Wasn’t this a lovely prompt to talk about? I loved sharing this with you!

Jara

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This is a response to¬†Journal Day Prompt #9¬†from¬†the¬†Sometimes Sweet¬†blog. You can also read¬†Danielle’s response. Thanks Danielle for the prompt!!

Credits: Author and photography Jara Forcadell

A walk in the sun through Girona

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Today we went for lunch at my parent’s. They live at the opposite end of town on top of a small hill. Since it was very sunny we decided to go walking across the city and take the chance to take some pictures on our way…

Our city, Girona, is quite small, about 100.000 inhabitants. It is crossed by 4 rivers, here in the pictures you see one of them, the Onyar.

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I love the atmosphere in the center on Sunday mornings…

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The most beautiful part of the city is the old town, today we have passed a part of it but there is so much more than I show in the pictures… Another day I’ll make a post about the old part and share more pictures with you. In the meantime you can check my Pinterest, I have a board called Girona where I pin pictures from the city I find around the web.

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Lunch with my parents today was a bit special because we ate “la Mona de Pascua”, a kind of cake made entirely with chocolate that is typical to gift to children for Easter. Although we are not children any more my parents still bought one for me, my brother and sister this year… and one about the movie Planes no less!! ūüôā ¬†¬†In theory the day to do that I think it’s next Sunday, but well, we are not very traditional and each year we do it the day of Easter holidays that suits us better, so we did it today. It was so cute…¬†and of course, so yummy!!

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Hope you liked the pictures, and if you ever come to visit Girona do not hesitate¬†to tell me, I’ll give you good advice ūüėČ

Jara

Credits: Autor and photography Jara Forcadell

This week…

IMAG0176A company called Sprinz has come up with this new reading method that blew my mind. Apparently it allows you to read faster by showing you each word at the pace you have set and in a position that is ideal to read it… I still am unsure though, I mean, I can see myself using this for reading a report for work or a piece of news from the paper but for a book? Usually when I am reading a book there are paragraphs I read fast and others where I like to linger and read slowly to take all the words in… Still, I found it very innovative!

Have a look at this amazing greenhouse, the roof has a ventilation flap that opens and closes to adjust the temperature inside, it is also totally out of my budget but hey, I can dream!

A table with a small garden in the middle, a beautiful green building, and a gorgeous fiddle leaf fig tree.

The song I just cannot get out of my head these days is Rather Be from Clean Bandith feat Jess Glyne, have you heard it? I don’t get tired of it!

Hope you’ve had a nice weekend… and that you start this new week with energy!

Jara

 

Credits: Autor and photography Jara Forcadell

Journal Day #6 – What keeps you going?

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Everyone has different things that keep them going. Sometimes it’s the people around us, other times it might be what’s waiting for us on the other side of hard work. Whatever it may be, there’s usually some sort of motivation to get up every day, get things done, or maybe even go the extra mile. With that said, what would you say is your biggest motivation in life? Has it always been this way?¬†

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Most days it is not like I like much help to get going because I am such a restless and enterprising person myself… that quite often what I really need is someone to get me stopping! But is is not like I don’t need help of course, actually I need my loved ones around all the time…

Sergi, my boyfriend, is the one that helps me to stop when I am trying to take on with too much, and who cheers me up on my bluest days, when I jump to the other end and I would just do nothing. Since we live together he is the one that lives with my daily worries, mood changes, my daydreamings and my most excited we-are-gonna-eat-the-world days and I tell you.. he knows me sooo well… he is amazing at doing that!
My parents, they do a great job too by downplaying my problems when I get too dramatic, at the moment that usually¬†pisses me off, but I have to admit it usually works to keep my feet on the ground. And of course they also give me support when the problems are really worth to worry about! Paula, small sister and best friend, is the one to talk to about confidences, who takes me out for some shopping or spends all afternoon¬†cooking cupcakes with me. We have always been friends, but now that she is getting older we are getting more similar and I feel like everyday we are more connected. Also, my brother Pol he is always able to make things look so much simpler and problem free. I can be a worrier sometimes, just mulling over something in my head as if it was very important, and he is always able to make it sound like it is not such a deal,¬†and¬†in case that fails he is always ready to make a joke! My both grandmothers, always my best fans, with their calls to see how am I doing and give me advice on gardening and growing in the balcony… one of them, Llu√Įsa, even reads my blog! (Hola iaia!!)¬†¬†I have also Idoya who is my best friend, to make emergency coffees over problems or exciting news and make crazy plans on our most stressful days. And a bunch of other friends, to go out, have beers and dinners,¬†discuss about life and have fun.

All these people… they are what gets me going, because whenever I feel bummed out I just thing how I have all them well and happy and close and I feel I just have no right to feel sad being so lucky.

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This is a response to Journal Day Prompt #6¬†from¬†the¬†Sometimes Sweet blog. You can also read¬†Danielle’s response. Thanks Danielle for the prompt!!

Credits: Author and photography Jara Forcadell

Cycling through the city

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There is something liberating about cycling. Maybe is the speed, the wind on your face (although it is yet quite cold around here so the wind is more hurtful than anything else ) or maybe it is the zigzagging through cars, pedestrians and varied urban obstacles.

Currently I have to take a train to work, and to go to and from the station I use the public bicycle service from my city. On the morning ride I a too sleepy and stressed like ” Damn it Jara, damn it… today is THE day, today you’re gonna lose the train… ” to fully enjoy it, and it’s rather on the evening on the way back that I realize how much cycling cheers my up. I make a two hours commute (don’t feel too bad, it is only a 3 months internship I am doing), it’s about 1 hour 20 minutes on the train plus 20 minutes on each end to reach my destination, and so you can imagine how tired I am when I take the bike to return home. But as I cross the city my spirits go up and I get home with rosy cold cheeks and a smile.

What about you? Do you ever cycle around the city? Would you like to? How do you commute to work?

Hope you are all having a nice week. Here, spring weather made an spectacular appearance for a few days but then winter came back…

Jara

Credits: Author and photography Jara Forcadell