Countryside chic!

Lately, I found myself loving shirt dresses, especially when combined with gladiator sandals.for some reason, this combo just screams festival-relax-fun. I especially love a shirt dress that has a masculine feel to it, if it’s light blue, than it’s a must-have in my closet. The only downside for rather short people like me (I’m 1,65 m) is that they can drown you so the obvious solution is a belt.

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For this outfit I chose a ZARA shirt dress which is a) very cheap and b) very versatile. As with any trendy purchase, if it’s not a classic piece that will withstand the test of time, then just go for a cheaper version from that you can find in most shops right now. As for the versatility of this shirt dress, you see it here in a festival environment, but pair it with Loubs and you get an dinner-ready outfit and if you un-button it and combine it with a neon swimsuit you’ve got a very trendy cover-up. I will at some point shoot this exact shirt dress in the above mentioned combos.

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On me:

Dress – ZARA; Belt – Massimo Dutti; Shoes – Gioseppo; Bag – Furla; Bling – Tomorroland, Pandora and Swarovski; Watch – Daniel Wellington

Today my choice were these wonderful gladiator sandals from Gioseppo that I got in Madrid. These sandals were pretty popular in Madrid, as I had to run all over the city to find them because they were sold out everywhere except for one store. Obviously a braided brown belt was the best choice to perfectly match the hippie feel of the sandals. I decided to wear my Furla mini Metropolis and my usual Pandora and Tomorrowland rings paired with a Swarovski cocktail ring, because I felt like I needed a little bling. Both D and I wore our Daniel Wellington watches with matching straps, as we bought at least a dozen straps for our very versatile watches.

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On D:

T-shirt – Calvin Klein; Pants – ZARA; Shoes – Vas; Bling – Constantin Nautics and Fossil; Watch – Daniel Wellington

D also chose a blue festival look. He paired his ‘Frodo’ pants from ZARA with a polo t-shirt from Calvin Klein, which in my opinion, is the perfect age-appropriate combo for summer festivals. To match my outfit all the way, he wore his brown leather flip-flops that he also got from Madrid, but fortunately, we didn’t have to run all over Madrid to find them. Naturally, he wore his bracelets from Fossil and Constantin Nautics. For some reason, we just love Constantin Nautics bracelets because they’re beautifully crafted, you can find them in hundreds of colour combos and therefore you can match them to any outfit and they are seriously affordable.

We had a great time shooting these outfits and even though I didn’t really like the setting, in the end I loved the way the photos turned out. I can’t wait for all those summer festivals but I also can’t wait to shoot this shirt dress with stilettos.

L.

Getting fat in Madrid…2KGs!

This is the second part of our fattening experience in Madrid. Without further rambling, here’s the rest of the post.

LA COCINA DE SAN ANTON

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Monday was the day D made us change our originally set course at some point in the day, and lucky for us he did as we stumbled upon San Anton Market. On the rooftop we discovered the amazing La Cocina de San Anton that won our hearts over at first glance with it’s shabby-chic decor. This place is tricky to find as you have to go up some back stairs that we luckily found because we were very hungry and we saw people on the roof from outside. Because we had that primal hunger feeling, we decided to go all the way with our dinner and went for three courses: on shared and the other two individual. The great thing about this place was that they served Sangria de Cava as well which made us very happy. We promise, again, that we are not alcoholics, and even though denial is the usual way these things go, we never go past one bottle per dinner.

As an appetiser we got the Fresh Market Cheese Plate which got me really excited (see photos!) as it was the first time I was trying six different types of Spanish cheese. I have to say that I loved every single one of them! As a main, I decided (this was a hard decision, just check their online menu) on the Tomato Panini with Fresh Basil and Burrata (yeah, I know I am a cheese addict) which came in a very unexpected form. I was actually expecting some sort of combo between diced tomatoes and burrata cheese with some panini bread on the side, but instead, it came on a hot plate and the waiter cut it in front of me as the burrata needed to get just the right amount of warm before it was cut and dispensed all over the baked panini. Needless to say at this point that besides the fact that I love cheese, I just love, love, love any type of warm-cheese dish. D got the veal with some sort of cooked cabbage and judging by the fact that he was quiet the entire time he ate despite the fact that we had already had an appetiser, made me jump to the conclusion that it was absolutely delicious and it wasn’t just the hunger silencing him.

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The dessert was really something special. We decided on two different desserts: cheesecake and the “Happy Ending” dessert. On the Cheesecake – this was definitely the best Cheesecake either of us ever had, and we are both very picky when it comes to Cheesecake, as even though the popular belief is that it’s very hard to ruin a cheesecake, it’s equally hard to do a magnificent one. This one was magnificent! The “Happy Ending” was really something else. Midpoint after D started eating it (we’re taking turns and each of us eats half of the dessert), he started laughing uncontrollably, which immediately made me think about the ‘funny-cupcakes’ from Amsterdam. As he didn’t want to tell me under no circumstances why he was laughing, I had to try it myself. Two bites in and I was laughing like a mad woman (I have a loud lough) and it wasn’t because of any ‘funny-business’, the dessert had crispy popping chocolate balls in it that just kept popping long after you’ve swallowed them and basically it felt like someone was was tickling you inside your ear. This is in now way annoying and if you factor in the fact that the popping chocolate balls come submerged in home-made vanilla sauce with a warm brownie on the side, you realise why I say that this is the most awesome dessert ever!

Our whole meal, that came very fast (seems this is a regular thing in Madrid – other countries should learn from that) and included and appetiser, two mains and two desserts, plus a large Sangria de Cava, cost about 80E, which is very good by any European standard.

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TOMMY MEL’S DINER  

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On our last day in Madrid we really wanted to do a re-dinner at Cocina de San Anton (yes, we loved it that much!), but since we spent most of the day at Mutua Madrid Open, when dinner-time came, we rather felt like eating somewhere close to our hotel as all we really waned was a quick dinner and then to start packing for our leave (early flight). On our way from the Metro station we found this classic 60’s American diner that looked absolutely too good to miss while there.

This was a reminder of why we never really eat twice at the same restaurant when we’re abroad. This place was just lovely! Starting with the impeccably in-theme interior design and ending with the very friendly waiter/bartender that barely spoke two words in English. Unfortunately for us they didn’t serve Sangria de Cava. But just like any unfortunate thing tends to become immediately fortunate, they did serve another typical Spanish drink that we didn’t taste up to that point: Tinto de Berano. This is basically red wine combined with some sort of soda drink and some fruits, or at least that was what we managed to understand from our non-English talking friend. But I bet you there are some secret ingredients to it as I am sure that if I mix those exact ingredients, my final product won’t be half as good as this one was.

As per usual, I opted for a salad, a Caprese Salad to be more specific, that turned out to be more surprising than it sounds as it had tomato jam in it. In my ignorance, I had no idea that one could make Tomato jam, even tough I’m way past the point when a person is stupid enough to not know that a tomato is a fruit. It just never occurred to me that you can make jam out of them, and it definitely never occurred to me that it could taste this amazing in a salad. We also shared a plate of bacon and cheese potatoes and D settled for ordering three types of burritos which I can’t really remember what they were called in the menu but that course did have a very funny name. Needless to say that he was extremely satisfied with his pick. Since we were in an American diner eating Spanish food and drinking Spanish specialities, we decided to end our dinner with an all-American dessert: Pancakes. I admit that we decided on dessert fully for blog-purposes as we were already full by the time we finished our mains.

Taking into consideration that we ate a lot and drank a lot and the food came really quick (but that seems to be something normal in Madrid), this dinner was very cheap. We even felt like checking the bill twice as we couldn’t believe that all we ate and drank cost about 40E (tip included).

This was basically our food incursion in Madrid, and if we had to make a top five of the restaurants, I think it would look a bit like this:

  1. CAPUCCINO
  2.  La Cocina de San Anton
  3. Tommy Mel’s Diner
  4. VIPS
  5. Hard Rock Cafe (just based on the fact that we’ve eaten at HRC hundreds of times)

Also, if you’re looking for a nice place to drink a good Sangria in Madrid, we’d recommend any of the small terraces in the Chueca area (the featured images are from our Sangria breaks there).

This concludes the food series from Madrid and also ends all our posts from our vacation in this beautiful city. I hope we didn’t bore you too much with all the details and also, I hope that at some point you will find them useful.

L.

 

On our way to Mount Doom!

Initially I wanted to give this post some fancy title including/about tennis, but once D saw the photos, he immediately texted me saying that we look like we’re on our way to Mount Doom, hence the new title which is much more appropriate. Did I mention that most of the time he is my inspiration? And even though, right now he is away on business, he still manages to inspire me.

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The photos you see in this post were from our last full-day in Madrid and we decided to spend most of it at Mutua Madrid Open. As I said in an earlier post, we love everything about these kind kind of events so we had a wonderful time surrounded by tennis fans. Come to think of it, we do look like we’re in Frodo’s squad on our way towards a magnificent adventure. Unfortunately we were right at the end of our Spanish adventure, but next time we’ll do this type of cosplay at the beginning of the vacation.

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On that particular day we didn’t match at all, as I’m not really considering the tassel details we both had, I more than D, which occurred completely unplanned. There was no planning behind the hat thing either and to prove it, D got his at the Open as after about 10 mins of standing in the sun a terrible headache hit him hard. I chose a black and white look, while D went for a blue relaxed combo.

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Almost everything I’m wearing is from ZARA except for the shoes and the bag. I think it’s pretty obvious that I’m starting to be a bit obsessed with the wide pants trend, especially when combined with raffia-soled shoes. It’s just that I always seem to feel so comfortable and good while wearing these type of pants…I just can’t stop searching for them in each shop I go. I’m even on the verge of mastering the whole hat thing. That morning I was seriously considering using hair pins for it just to make sure that the damn thing won’t fly off my head at the first light wind. In the end I decided against that and I’m glad I did as the hat didn’t move an inch all day – true this was a windless day.

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Since it was really hot that day, with temp hitting 28 degrees, we really were dressed appropriately. That was the only day from our entire vacation when I decided to abandon my Michael Kors bag and go for this beauty from Chloe that I got from theOutnet last winter. Funny thing is, that even though I didn’t planned it, at some point in the day I realised that I had a lot of tassels on: the bag, the pants and the blouse. D even had a small tassel attached to his pants (matching on point!). The shape of my bag also contributed to the whole Lord of the Rings theme.

 

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On me:

Blouse – ZARA; Pants – ZARA; Shoes – Tory Burch; Bag – Chloe; Hat – ZARA; Bling – Swarovski, Pandora and Constantin Nautics; Watch – Daniel Wellington; Sunglasses – Ray-Ban

The shoes I picked that day are Tory Burch and a recent purchase (I think from the week before we left for Madrid) also from theOutnet. I did not realise it then, but now, looking through the photos, I think I need a new pair of black sunglasses as the pair I’m sporting here are a no-no! The bling is exactly the same as before: a bracelet from Constantin Nautics, rings from Pandora and Swarovski and the beloved Daniel Wellington watch.

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On D:

Shirt – H&M; Pants – ZARA; Shoes – Tommy Hilfiger; Bag – from Barcelona; Hat – Mutua Madrid Open; Bling – Fossil and Constantin Nautics; Watch – Daniel Wellington

D wore his newly acquired light blue pants from ZARA (yeah, he also did a bit of shopping while there), which in his opinion make him look a bit like Frodo but if you ask me, I only see the handsome and trendy man I married. Remember when I said that he raided H&M after he got his tattoo as he needed some soft shirts to wear while it was healing? Well this is yet another colour of the infamous shirt, the dark blue one that goes really well with the pants. He completed the look with his boat shoes by Tommy Hilfiger and his already well-known by now, bag from Barcelona. 

As he didn’t think to bring one of his hats with him in Madrid, he addressed that issue by elegantly buying one with a blue detail (yeh, he’s very fancy sometimes) to match his outfit. As usual, he wore his Fossil bracelet, Constantin Nautics pendant, all paired with his Daniel Wellington watch. You know what? We really love these watches as they’re extremely comfortable to wear as opposed to all the other automatic (or not) watches in our collection.

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Hand in hand and doing out fashionable walk, we started our quest towards Mount Doom (the Open), but not before doing a small photoshoot in the lobby in front of our hotel room. I can’t really believe it’s only been a week and a half since we took these photos as it feel like ages ago, now that we’re both back in the saddle at work.

This was the last fashion post from Madrid, but there will still be one more food post to end the Spanish saga, and after that i promise to only briefly mention this vacation in future posts.

 

L.

Getting fat in Madrid… 1 KG!

These two posts are about us trying to explain ourselves…mainly for the extra amount of fat we came back with from our Spanish adventure. Initially I wanted to only do a single post on the food, but to be honest, it would’ve ended up missing lots of details as I am really trying to keep my word count in check. I hope that by the end of these fattening series posts you will understand why we probably won’t expose perfectly toned bodies at our first pool party… But maybe we’ll be lucky enough to not have pool-appropriate weather until we’ll be back on track with our body-fat percentage!

First of all, aside for the tapas, I found Madrid food to be more to my taste than the food I ate in Barcelona. But that might only be me, because Barcelona’s food is mostly based on sea creatures, which I can’t stand, while in Madrid I found a wide variety of all the things I love: cheese, salads, cakes.

We ate at six different places during our stay there, though we didn’t take any pics of the first place we had dinner mainly because D left the camera at the hotel (yes, I’m talking about the first day we got there). It wasn’t a notable place anyway, as the food was plain at best. This terrace was located in Plaza Mayor, and we each had a paella that wasn’t taste-bud amazing for any of us. This just goes to prove that one should not dine in tourist-popular locations when visiting a big city.

Let’s just cut the small talk and get down to analysing all the other five places we ate. Most days we only ate dinner at about 6:30 in the evening, mostly because we don’t really eat late when we’re at home either so why change that. The complicated thing about that is that in Madrid most restaurants tend to serve dinner at about 8:30-9:00 p.m. We didn’t get discouraged by that and found some beautifully delicious locations for those of you that like an early dinner just like us.

After purposely ignoring our first dinner in Madrid, let’s start with the first photo-documented day:

VIPS

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Here we had our one and only proper (if you only take into consideration the time) lunch. After wondering the alleys of Buen Retiro Park for about six hours at 17 degrees, all we really wanted was to find a nice terrace to have a green tea break. So we stopped at Vips and after a thorough analysis of the menu, we decided to have a quick bite as well. While D was at the bathroom (another problem that Madrid has: no public bathrooms anywhere!), I decided on us being healthy and opted for two things for both of us from the Fitness menu. I had a salad (can’t remember what it was called) and for D I chose the lean veal with sautéed green beans. He seemed satisfied with my choices when he found out that we were having lunch as well as a hot cup of green tea and patiently waited for our food.

To my surprise, the food came really quick despite the fact that the terrace was full, and that, in my book that is mandatory for any restaurant that gets praising from me as I hate waiting for food for too long. I become all cranky! At first glance the food looked really appealing and after we both tasted it we decided that this place needs to be recommended to other people as well. For the first time in my adult life I wasn’t able to finish a salad. Yes, it was that big! I have no idea how it got to be on the Fitness menu, but D had to eat a third as I was way beyond full.

This specific Vips (as you can find numerous Vips in Madrid) is located near the Westin Hotel at Fuente de Neptuno. I wouldn’t say this is an expensive food option, although it’s not on the cheap side either, as our entire lunch came at about 50E. Overall, if you’re in the area, you should really give this place a try. I can’t really say that this one is a must-go-to place as we only had one course which in all honesty was very good.

HARD ROCK CAFE

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That evening, after yet another few hours spent exploring the streets, we found Hard Rock Cafe. We do admit that we are biased when it comes to HRC, therefore, to compensate, we are going to put it last on our must-eat places from Madrid. I say we are biased because we always eat at HRC when we’re away and D always has the Local Burger. On top of all that, we spent last Christmas at Hard Rock Hotel&Casino in Punta Cana. Maybe one day we’ll do a top on HRC’s Local burgers.

D obviously had the above mentioned burger, while I had the vegetable (shocker!) fajita. Now I kid you not when I say that I am the type of person that eats their pizza with a fork and knife, so imagine my surprise when my food came and I realised that I had to assembly it myself. I do admit the playing the shawarma-guy role was a lot of fun and the food was incredibly good. To accompany our dinner, we also had a glass of white Spanish wine, which, to be honest, didn’t really impress us at all.

In the end, since we were quite full, we decided on sharing a dessert. When our waitress came, we were almost sure that a mistake had been made as the thing was enormous! As you can see in the photo, D used me for scale. We had to sacrifice ourselves and we managed to finish it and it was really really good.

I’d say that the check wasn’t in anyway a surprise, HRC keeping it’s prices globally, so however much you pay at your local HRC, that’s exactly how much you are going to pay no matter where you are.

CAPPUCCIONO

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The following two days we had dinner at Cappuccino because, yes, the food was that good! We hardly ever do that when we are abroad as we are always on the lookout for new and exciting restaurants, but every once in a while, a place like this one comes along and we are basically hooked. We only did this one more time, in January in Ischgl, but that is a story for another post.

First and most important of all, this was the first place in Madrid where we found Sangria de Cava, our favourite Spanish drink ever since we visited Barcelona, and to top it all, this was the best we’ve ever tried. You can say that they got us hooked on the booze and you wouldn’t be wrong. Until the food came, that is…

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On Saturday I ordered the kale salad and it was absolutely amazing. I’m not the biggest kale fan, so when I find something that’s that delicious and contains mostly this superfood, I tend to be very excited and willing to try everything on the menu. Surprisingly D ordered the Pepperoni Pizza. Surprising because he always orders either steak or burger, almost never pizza. Since I’m a big pizza fan myself, I couldn’t resist and took a bite and you could actually feel the great quality of all the ingredients used. It was a pleasure for my taste buds and D agreed completely! Since we were having such a lovely evening we decided to try some desserts as well: the Banofee and the Apple pie. Those two desserts got me obsessed with the idea of coming back there the following day, and got D to being obsessed with trying their in-house made burger.

Since I’m not the type of cruel person to deny my man his burger, we came back the next day and even before we took our seats we ordered the usual Sangria de Cava. D ordered his burger which actually came in the form of two mini-burgers, that honestly were the best burgers he’s ever had in his life, and he’s had quite a few. I second that opinion as I couldn’t stop drooling over his burgers once I got a bite and tasted their heavenly aroma. I think it must be the spices the cook puts in the meat and the sauces he makes for these burgers. Either way, this is definitely a must-try in Madrid.I ordered the Mozzarella di Buffala salad, which was extremely good, just like the Kale salad from the day before. At the end, we both shared a Carrot cake, that quite probably is the best Carrot cake we’ve ever had.

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I loved this place because, besides the extraordinary food, had a magnificent decor designed by Jaques Grange. You can find this place quite easily, as it’s located at Puerta de Alcala. Both times we ate there, the price was barely the same, around 90E, but it’s worth every single cent. The staff is very friendly and well-trained, and the food comes very fast.

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Since I don’t really want to make this post too long, I’m going to stop rambling now and tell you about the other two amazing restaurants from Madrid in another upcoming post.

L.

 

Conscious in Madrid!

Back on track with my no-jeans vacation goal. We were very lucky that the weather continued to be warm and sunny, so I was able to wear my H&M Conscious pants again. I needed it to be warm as wearing these pants, even though they’re long, feel like I’m only wearing shorts (the gif will better illustrate what I’m saying). As you know, I love these pants and I’m committed to making them a statement piece this summer in my wardrobe.

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These photos were taken on the day we imagined we were going to be able to visit Madrid’s Botanical Garden, hence the green theme. I had the perfect photoshoot decor in mind, but the two-hours queue changed our plans so we had to change venue for one of the beautiful small streets this city has to offer. 

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Silly as you know us to be by now, of course we searched for the appropriate street for us to jump on and off stuff. We got fixated on the poor street poles, as you can see. My attempt wasn’t blog-worthy good, like D‘s was, mainly because of the beloved pants. We ended up on this street as we were on our way to DStage, because we were stupid enough to not take into consideration that this place is fully booked until November. So we did the best we could with the situation at hand and we did a full photoshoot near the untouchable restaurant. 

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Seeing the pics when we got back to our hotel room, I realised again (not that it was necessary), just how much I love these pants. What got me 100% convinced was the fact that I’ve worn them with sneakers and I don’t look as stupid as I expected, so I feel that they were worth every one of the 25€ I’ve spent on them as I just love wearing flares with sneakers. The pictured sneakers were bought by yours truly two days before from Madrid, making me break my shopping-on-vacation rule again. 

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On me:

Blazer – H&M; Blouse – ZARA; Pants – H&M; Shoes – MTNG Attitude; Bag – Michael Kors; Bling – Swarovski, Pandora and Constantin Nautics; Watch – Daniel Wellington; Sunglasses – WoodFellas

I paired them with a white, lace crop top from ZARA because I loved the crop top-high waist trend last year and I’m beyond happy that it’s fashionably acceptable this year as well. As I’ve said in earlier posts, I’m also in love with the green and white combo, so it was quite easy for me to choose the print on my sneakers, as, if you’ll go to VAS online shop, you’ll find there lots of other prints and colour combos.

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On D:

Shirt – H&M; Jeans – Replay; Shoes – Polo Ralph Lauren; Bling – Fossil and Constantin Nautics; Watch – Daniel Wellington; Belt – Replay

While it might look as warm, despite the clear sky and the sun shining, it was chilly enough to make me put on a white blazer from H&M, to finish the look and keep me comfortably warm. The jacket is the only item that you can’t currently find online as it’s from last year’s collection, but I found something very similar on their site. As usual in this vacation, I wore my Michael Kors bag, my Swarovski and Pandora rings, the Constantin Nautics bracelet and my new favourite watch from Daniel Wellington. Also, because it was sunny and I was wearing green, I decided to wear my WoodFellas sunglasses.

D also chose green (maybe I also had a word in convincing him) for the flop-visit to the Botanical Garden, but, again, as opposed to my colour-combo, he wore light green and dark blue. The light green shirt he’s sporting in these pics is from H&M (yeah, we do shop together) and I think he got it in four different colours, mainly because the material is very soft and he needed soft shirts for the office while his tattoo was healing, and because it doesn’t need much ironing, not that we bother with ironing anyway. 

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He combined the shirt with his dark Replay jeans and Polo Ralph Lauren sneakers, also a darker shade of blue. Just like me, he wore the same jewellery, the Fossil bracelet, Constantin Nautics necklace (yeah, that sounds so feminine!) and the current obsession, the Daniel Wellington watch, which we both got for each other as an early Easter present (see our facebook page!).

You can also spot, in some of the photos, his dark blue Replay belt, and, unfortunately for him, since he’s taking most of our photos, there’s no real point in him wearing any sunglasses which was hard on the days the sun shone brightly.

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This was yet another great day spent in Madrid, with my Jawbone tracker registering about 23000 steps, so yes, our feet were killing us, but ‘luckily’ for us, we only had one more full day before heading back home to start acting adultly again. Unlike other fashion posts, most of the stuff we’re wearing is still online, so most of the links provided will take you to the exact pieces we’re wearing.

L.

Blue skies…

Here’s yet another bundle of pics from Madrid. I think this post here contains the largest number of photos we’ve ever posted, simply because choosing pics from this day was extremely hard.

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I’d like to point out the fact that I’ve really tried to do a no-jeans vacation for once, but I just could’t resist this pair I’ve found in Madrid from Pepe Jeans London. I mean, the colour is just perfect for those long summer days and short summer nights, and even though I have about 20 pairs of skinnies, I did not have this exact wash, so D had to comply and agree that I should have them.

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On me:

Blouse – ZARA; Jeans – Pepe Jeans London; Sweater – Terranova; Shoes – VANS; Bag – Michael Kors; Sunglasses – Ray-Ban; Bling – Swarovski, Pandora and Constantin Nautics; Watch – Daniel Wellington

Usually whenever I do some vacation shopping, I always wait until I get home to actually wear the stuff I buy, but this time, I just had to wear them the second day after I bought them.

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These photos were taken on our third (photo documented) day in Madrid, and the weather was plain and simple perfect. As stated in an earlier post, we’re not exactly evenly matched colour-wise, but we both chose something light blue to wear.

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On D:

Shirt – Massimo Dutti; Jeans – Scotch & Soda; Vest – Bershka; Shoes – Nike; Bag – from Barcelona; Bling – Fossil and Constantin Nautics; Watch – Daniel Wellington

I decided on a white blouse from ZARA, which you can’t really see in any of the pics (as i intended) because I wore my summer white sweater from Terranova (as for the blouse, I couldn’t find the exact same item online, so I’ve linked some alternatives), that I got ages ago, over it. Since it was Sunday, and I was on my third step of my CHANEL routine (Le Weekend) I couldn’t wear any make-up, hence the less bronzy look, and decided on wearing just a bit of mascara. I’ve chosen my trusted VANS because a) they’re white and b) we had a lot of exploring to do by foot.

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As per usual, I’m wearing my Michael Kors Hamilton Traveller bag. I think I’ve worn this bag a thousand times and I think I’ll wear it to death because it’s the perfect size to fit all sorts of necessities and small enough to not annoy me when I need both of my hands.

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D chose his Massimo Dutti shirt which matched the shade of my jeans, and, as opposed to me, he chose a darker look. One could say that aside for the blue items, we were like a chess board. He went for his darker Scotch & Soda (one of his favourite brands) jeans and his way-too-poufy (for this weather) vest from Bershka, that he mostly carried around in his bag.

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He, like me, chose his comfortable black Nikes and the one and only bag that he packed that he bought a few years ago from Barcelona from one of the many street fairs happening there all year round.

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Sunday was the day we visited the Templo de Debod and Parque del Oeste. You can find loads more info on the locations of our photoshoot in yesterday’s post. I hope you can see from the pics the amount of fun we had on Easter Sunday.

 

 

L.

Madrid Overall – Curly Part

The third (photo documented) day came and I decided to undo my braids and go for a curly fun look. I owe having the courage to heat-process my hair to the Olaplex system and the incredibly delicate BaByliss Curl Secret and there was no sign of damage to my hair whatsoever.

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Since the weather was very nice and warm, we decided on yet another park. This time our walking marathon started at Templo de Debod where we snapped lots of pics (for yet another fashion post to come). Since there’s lots of info online about all the places we’ve been to, there’s no point in me trying write it down here, I’ll just do my best with the direct links for all of them. After we’ve finished our part tourist, part fashion photoshoot at the temple, we realised that we were in one of those great, non-touristic green areas (aside from the temple) thanks to a viewpoint at one end of the temple. Since we had absolutely no time to prepare for this vacation, we took things as they came, and decided to continue our Madrid marathon in that area. First place we encountered was the Garden of La Rosaleda, where, as per usual, lots of photos were taken. We quickly realised that Madrid is a city where there’s always something happening as there was a triathlon undergoing in the area, the cycling part to be more specific. As I was concentrating on posing for D, I realised that my favourite photographer had left me to look as stupid as possible and ran off to catch the cyclists on camera.The Garden of Rosaleda is a vast rose-garden with hundreds of rose species on display, but, unfortunately for us, this was’t their blooming period. None the less, it was lovely spending some time there even without a strong rose fragrance. 

As we went further, we discovered the Parque del Oeste, which is a place nobody should miss while in Madrid. If I was under the impression that Retiro Park was the best park Madrid had to offer, well this one definitely changed my mind for good. This is a beautiful area, with lush vegetation and beautifully landscaped alleys. Since this was a Sunday, I was really surprised to see that we were alone most of the time spent there and that allowed us to really discover some beautiful hidden corners of the park. That again, was the thing that got us hooked on Madrid – the lack of tourists. One of the wonderful corners I was talking about was the fully bloomed lilac arch we found at some point along our walk. The fragrance we felt in the area was amazing and this was a place that was completely out of  the way of any main alley of the park, so this park really needs a full day for discovering. After we started feeling the repercussions of walking so much (translation: our feet were hurting like hell), we made our way towards the Moncloa metro station, to start our way towards the centre part as we did need to eat our dinner and we wanted to explore the streets some more after that.

We stopped at Puerta de Alcala and made our way towards the Calle de Cerrano, which is Madrid’s high-end shopping area. When D told me where we were ending our Ester day, I was beyond ecstatic and started making lists in my head with what statement pieces I needed for summer. Fortunately for our bank accounts, since it was a Sunday, all the shops were closed, to my disappointment. We continued our evening walk down Calle de Maria de Molina, a walk that I personally recommend as the boulevard is very peaceful and nice with wide pedestrian areas and lots of things to see on the way. We then finally and fortunately (for our feet) reached Avenida de America where our hotel was located.

On the next day, I had my mind set on visiting the Botanical Gardens, thinking that being a Monday it should be quite empty. We started walking through Buen Retiro Park again as D spotted the Crystal Palace the night before online, and since we were there anyway we thought why not make the most of our park adventures, plus it seemed like a lovely place to snap pics. The area around the palace was way more beautiful than any of the pics we’ve seen online or in any travel guide, so this one really deserves the trip. After about 100 photos snapped there we started for our destination, the Botanical Garden. Since the entrance is not clearly specified on the map we were using, we went down Cuesta de Moyano, and as usual a book fair was going on there, with lots and lots of old books, magazines and postal cards for sale.

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When we finally reached Plaza Murillo, where the entrance for the Botanical Garden was located, we realised there was no way whatsoever that we were going to see the garden as the queue was two-hours long, so we decided to explore the area surrounding it. We made our way towards Plaza Mayor by way of Calle de Huertas and then we continued our walking-marathon towards Puerta del Sol as we realised that we had not yet bought presents for our families and friends back home. We, however, changed direction at some point, on Calle de Augusto Figueroa because D spotted some lovely side streets and we can’t resist small streets. Lucky we id that, as we found Mercado de San Anton where we ate one of the best meals while in Madrid, but more details on that in the food post.

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Our last full day in Madrid was all about tennis. Being sports freaks, we enjoy watching tennis as well and we absolutely love going to live tennis events, as, just like with any other Open, the atmosphere is incredible. We were very fortunate to catch a very eventful third day, with matches played and won by Simona Halep, Rafael Nadal and Any Murray, but since we had quite an early flight the next day, we couldn’t stay and see Murray as well. None the less, our day was perfect with just two important matches, especially, as we know by now, Halep won the Open. If you’re ever in Madrid while Mutua Madrid Open is happening, make sure you won’t miss it, as everything from location to the people coming there is absolutely a must-see.

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Since we had a lot of packing to do, we started our way towards out lovely hotel, but we did stop at Paseo de Eduardo Dato, which is a location we saw on our first day, because I had my mind set on taking a few pictures there as well. Naturally, when we got back to our hotel, none of us could stand on our feet anymore and the whole packing experience was time-consuming and horrendous.

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Overall, Madrid is a wonderful city to visit and I personally think that it’s way underrated as a tourist destination because of Barcelona and Valencia. Trust me when I say that it’s a must see and this is coming from someone who’s seen Barcelona (twice) and Valencia (once). Though we thought we’d come back way fatter than we left, thanks to our walking marathons I think that after 2 weeks of serious gym and diet time, we’ll bounce back into our original shape. Until then, loose clothes and comfortable shoes for us! I really am very excited to do the food post because, to be honest, by comparison with Valencia and Barcelona, in Madrid we’ve found the best food options.

I honestly hope that you enjoyed our text/photo tour of Madrid and stay tuned as more posts on our vacation will come with lots more photos. And by the way, our next vacation is in Milan, so if anyone knows any good places to eat and see there, please leave a comment either here or on our Facebook page!

L.

 

Madrid Overall – Side Braid part

Here’s the deal, we are finally back and I was really torn about how to do the posts on Madrid mainly because there’s a lot to say about this city and I had no idea if I should do a day bay day walkthrough our vacation, or do a few overall posts and a few fashion posts. In the end, D helped me decide, so today we are going to post the first overall view on Madrid.

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What we both loved about Madrid is that, unlike any other big cities we’ve traveled to, it’s not filled with tourists. Mainly I think that’s because Spain has Barcelona and Valencia to offer. This makes Madrid one of the go-to destinations if you are anything like us and hate pushing your way through masses of tourists. In my personal opinion, a very tourist-popular destination takes all the originality of a place. The downside being that Madrid was the first place we ever went to, where we had serious language barrier with the locals. Good thing that we used to play mime-games when we were both little, as that was mainly our way of communicating with people. Seriously, you can hardly find someone in Madrid that speaks fluent English. We did however manage to learn a little Spanish while we were there so I guess that’s a win for us.

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Now, a bit about the weather… When we chose Madrid, we mainly did it because in Bucharest, in May, the weather tends to be more on the chilly side and quite frankly this year, the day we left for Madrid, it was full-on late autumn, so when we decided our destination, back in February (I think!), we thought that the temps will hit 30 degrees in Madrid. That wasn’t the case, as it seems most of Europe is under an autumn-winter kinda weather. When we landed there, it was cloudy and chilly, but not as cold as Bucharest had been lately. However, by the time the afternoon came, the sky had cleared and all we got was sunshine and temps up to 29 degrees for the rest of our stay. We were very lucky in that department, as the day after our flight back, the weather was supposed to turn cold again. Fortunate for us, as we managed to do a lot of fashion shoots while there.

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Back on point… Another reason for choosing Madrid was the fact that the last time we had a Spanish experience (Barcelona), we really enjoyed ourselves. Lisbon was our first choice as none of us had ever been to Portugal, but unfortunately there were no direct flights from Bucharest at the time we booked out trip. Not for one moment did we regret the lack of airline services, as Madrid was great!

We chose Silken Puerta America Hotel for our stay, and to be honest, I don’t think we’ve ever stayed in a more special hotel. I may be biased when I say that simply because of my architecture background and the fact that we stayed in the room designed by one of my favourite architects, the late Zaha Hadid. The hotel itself has every floor designed by a different architect and I told D that I, for sure want to come back here again as I’ve spotted the next levels I want to stay in. We had the option of choosing Zaha’s white or black room and we decided to go for the white simply because the light was better and I’ve always loved completely white rooms. Since we are talking about a five star hotel, the service was great if you go past the fact that at their cocktail bar the bartenders barely spoke any English, so drinking my evening tea was quite complicated (go figure – I still don’t know how to ask for tea in Spanish). All in all, if you follow me on Instagram, then you probably know by now that I love hotel rooms in general and this one was a real treat. I think it is very important to talk about the breakfast buffet, because we always search for reviews on that before we book anything. The breakfast assortment was quite good, but in my opinion, being a veggie-lover, they lacked in the fresh vegetables department. Other than that, all was decent, but not as rich as the buffet breakfast we had in London.

Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty and talk about Madrid. First of all, I’d like to point out that neither of us is into visiting museum and/or castles whenever we are in a new city. Basically, growing up, we each had our share of that whenever we used to visit with our parents as kids. We’re both more on the walk-till-you-drop side where discovering new cities is concerned, hence my Jawbone Up band was really happy with me during this vacation. The day we got to Madrid, let’s call it the ‘No Photos Day’ as we took absolutely no pics, we ignored the fact that we were both up at 3 a.m., we quickly unpacked (but there was not a lot of unpacking going on as Zaha Hadid designed the room with barely any space for clothes) and then we hit the streets. Basically we covered the entire central area that day, and my tracker registered almost 30000 steps, which is about 5-6 hours of wandering the streets. Needless to say that a) our feet were killing us when we finally reached our hotel again and b) we were really starting to love this city.

Let the day-countdown begin… The next day, which was actually the day we started taking pics, we visited most of Buen Retiro Park. This is probably their biggest and most central park and it has everything that’s considered park function in it. It’s beautifully landscaped and one could spend all day walking on the alleys and discovering something new with each step.

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We exited the park at Fuente de Neptuno, near Prado Museum and none of us was really tempted to go inside it. This area in particular, being a museum area, is quite crowded with tourists so we decided to venture on the side streets, where Madrid surprised me again. There were a lot of small local shops, local brands, handmade stuff and basically all the things that make an economy strive. We later realised that most of the locals buy everything from these artisans, and to be honest, I bought a few things even though I left home with the mantra of not buying much during this vacation, in my head. I just couldn’t resist as most of the stuff they’re selling is top quality and beautifully hand crafted. These small streets are located between Calle de Cervantes and Plaza Mayor, where we ended our evening, but not before walking by foot to our hotel (because all those kcals from our dinner needed to be burned). Our said evening walk started on Calle Mayor, passing on Puerta del Sol, going down Calle de Preciados and Calle Fuencarral. I’m trying to redo all our walks so a) you’ll get and idea of the amount of physical exercise we got and b) these walks are wonderful and I’m trying to convince you to take those walks for yourself to see how beautiful he streets of Madrid are.IMG_1199

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The following day we were set on visiting Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Those are our kind of museums that we enjoy visiting when on vacation. Since we both watch football, this one seems like the right fit. However, we rarely ever cheer for the same team (except for Barcelona), so you can imagine the war-zone our home becomes whenever there’s a World  Cup Championship or an Euro Cup Championship on. This doesn’t stop us from visiting all the stadiums whenever we are on vacation. As per usual, we walked most of the way there, and as expected by now, we found some beautiful places near the stadium. The stadium itself was very impressive, as in my opinion, it’s the steepest stadium I’ve seen so far, and I’ve seen a fair amount. Because none of us is really a fan of Real Madrid, we didn’t get the goosebumps we got when visiting Camp Nou.

 

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In the area we stumbled upon the Google Campus and we decided to snap a few (hundreds) pics, but you’ll see them in one of our upcoming fashion posts that we are preparing. We then walked towards Jardins de Sabatini and then to Palacio Real, which was a wonderful and relaxing walk until we managed to bump into some tourist groups therefore deciding to change course towards Plaza de Oriente. On our way there, we found Mercado de San Miguel. This is a marketplace where you can buy groceries as well as enjoy a glass of sangia, beer or a cone of seafood, like D did to my disapproval, as he ate some sort of squids and other likewise disgusting sea creatures and prevented me from coming close to him for about half an hour because, in my opinion, he reeked. I also got a small bite, some sort of lemon almonds and thyme almonds and managed to ruin the integrity of my beloved pants, hence from that point onwards, all the pics I let D take of me were from the back. When our feet decided to stop cooperating with us on the grounds that we tortured them enough, we started our journey towards the hotel. But not before we stopped for dinner. Naturally we did that every single day, but the places we found in Madrid served such amazing food that they deserve a different post.

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This sums it up for the first part of our ‘Madrid Overall’ post, there will be a second part, mainly because I managed to pick 100 pics from our 2000 total and uploading 100 pics at a time would really make you miss some details about our trip. Also the text would double, and quite frankly, I would hardly have the patience to read this one, much less double the quantity. This post is mainly divided by the two hairstyles I sported throughout this vacation.

L.

Meanwhile On our Instagram Accounts and Facebook

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Yes, we know we haven’t been very active during our Madrid vacation on the blog, but we have been very active with live photos of what was happening on both our Instagram accounts (@lavinia.bodu and @teodor_bodu) and on our Facebook page (facebook.com/evenlymatchedblog/).

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Here are all the photos we’ve uploaded during the last week. We hope you enjoy them until our first official post on Madrid will be done and up online (hopefully tomorrow).

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As you can see we had a blast in Madrid and we really needed this time away. As we took about 2000 photos in the five days we spent there (first and last day doesn’t count), we’ll probably have a whole week dedicated to Madrid, so this is just a trailer of what is to come next on the blog.

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L.

Sneak Peak from Madrid!

Just a quick hello from our vacation in Madrid!

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Since there’s so much to do and see in this wonderful city this post is going to be very brief, but fear not, as I will probably have quite a few posts next week on our vacation here. Until then, I hope you enjoy these photos!

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On me:

Blouse – H&MBlazer – ZARAPants – ZARAShoes – Mihaela GlavanBag – Michael KorsBling – Swarovski, Pandora and Constantin NauticsWatch – Daniel Wellington

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On D:

Shirt – H&MVest – BershkaJeans – ReplayShoes – NikeBling – Fossil and Constantin NauticsWatch – Daniel WellingtonBag – Handmade from Barcelona (three years ago)

Again, most of the stuff we are wearing is from ages ago, so the shopping info is the closest alternative I could find online, from the same brand.

L.