ariestrash

Saturday, October 25, 2014

changingleaves

It’s been a bit since I shared a mixtape. To be honest, I’ve been listening to the same handful of songs over and over as of late. I’m quite addicted to My Head Is An Animal by Of Monster and Men. I can literally listen to that album all day without getting bored with it. I’ve also been listening to U2’s new album, Songs of Innocence, on repeat as well. I got very excited when they released their new album for free on iTunes. I was in Athens when they released it, and I swear, I was probably the only one in the entire world trying to get the album onto my iOS device while everyone was trying to delete it off of theirs. I also really love the soundtrack to The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Been listening to that on repeat as well.

Anyway, I’ve compiled a few songs that I found myself liking over the past few months. I’ve listened to each one of these songs too many times to count. Hope you enjoy. :)

Tracklist

  1. The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone) – U2
  2. My Sweet Summer – Dirty Heads
  3. Your New Beloved – Lovelife
  4. Sweater Weather – The Neighborhood
  5. Mad – Cassie Steele
  6. Somersaults in Spring – Friends of Gemini
  7. Youth – Daughter
  8. Ledges – Noah Gundersen
  9. How – The Cranberries
  10. Dirty Paws – Of Monsters and Men
  11. Stay Alive – José González

Thursday, October 23, 2014
firasantorini

The view from the caldera in Fira, Santorini

If you ever decide to go visit Greece, I definitely suggest hitting up at least one or two of the Greek islands. There are a ton of islands, but on my trip I only visited five of them in the Cyclades. They are such great way to get away from the loud, busy streets of Athens. You can spend all day lying on the beautiful, windy beaches then the evening in town, walking from shop to shop with some homemade gelato in hand. Ah, all this thinking about the islands makes me wish I were back on the islands!

For the Greek Islands, I did a Busabout Group Island Hopper trip. As a solo traveller, I think this was the best way for me to experience the islands. Basically, I was in a large group of 20-30 year olds and we had a group leader who acted as our guide on each of the islands. Our group leader handled all of our ferry tickets, accommodations and accommodation transfers, and any other optional activities that we wanted to participate in. Our leader also gave us a short walking tour of the town on each of the islands, which was really nice as it can sometimes be a hassle not knowing where you are going. The Island Hopper has a fixed duration, but with the option of staying on any one of the island for more than the default two nights. So when I went, I stayed four nights in Mykonos, two nights in Paros, Santorini and Ios, for a total of ten days. And because I stayed on the first island for two extra nights, the first group that I started with wasn’t the group I ended with. I ended up joining the following group, which was great because the group was much smaller than the first one I was in, which made it less cliquey as everyone seemed to talk and mingle with everyone.

Our first stop was Mykonos and it was probably my most favorite of the islands. I could be that it was the island I spent the most time on, but I think it was because it offered a little bit of everything. If you wanted to sightsee, there’s a few museums, the Church of Paraportiani and the famous Mykonos windmills to see. You could even take a half-day trip to the ancient island of Delos (which I did), the birthplace of the god Apollo and goddess Artemis in Greek Mythology. If sightseeing isn’t your thing, you can relax all day on one of Mykonos’ famous beaches, then hit up Mykonos Town in the evening for dinner and some bar hopping or party the night away at Paradise Beach. There was just a lot to do in Mykonos and that’s what I loved most about it. The only downside to the island is that it’s one of the most expensive of the four islands that I hit on the tour.

We hit Paros next, then Santorini and lastly Ios. Paros is a very quaint island and I loved that it was off the map in terms of being a tourist attraction. Not many people go to Paros, preferring the more popular islands of Mykonos and Santorini instead. That’s what I liked about Paros though. There wasn’t many tourists and the small town was very nice to walk around. There wasn’t a whole lot to see, but enough to spend a full day in town, wandering the white stone streets and shopping.

Santorini was a bit different. The island is small enough to travel from one end to the other. Our base was in Fira Town, but we did take a day going about the island, ending up in Oia to see the famous Santorini sunset. I got to visit the Minoan ruins of Akrotiri, the Black Sand beach in Perissa, and the famous Red Sand Beach. I loved Oia Town more than Fira Town only because it was a lot bigger and there was more to see.

Our last island was Ios, which I will admit wasn’t my favorite. I’m the sightseeing type and like places that there’s a lot to see and do. My mind has to be constantly stimulated with new sites, and sitting on a beach consistently for more than two days isn’t really my thing (maybe for a few hours, but after awhile I tend to get bored). So Ios, being the really big party island, didn’t have much in terms of sights. You basically spent the day at the beach, then grabbed a bite to eat before heading into the very small town to bar hop and party the night away. While I had a pretty good time in Ios, it really wasn’t my scene and I probably wouldn’t stay more than two nights there if I were ever to visit again.

I really enjoyed my time on the Greek Islands. I had a great time with an awesome group of people and I definitely recommend going with Busabout if you’re young and want to give a group trip a go. This trip is really great for solo travelers as it’s easy to meet people to do things with and depending on the size of your group, chances are, everyone will end up doing everything together, which makes the trip even more enjoyable.

busabout


Sunday, October 19, 2014

kikkik2

I finally bit the bullet and ordered me some Kikki K. To be honest, I’ve been stalking that site since I discovered the beauty of the discontinued Mint and Gold Dots planner. I missed out on the limited edition Mint Personal Planner back in June and have been waiting patiently for Kikki K to come out with new Mint planners they said were coming out in October. But when October came around, the date was pushed back to maybe November, but definitely on time for Christmas. But, scouring the many Filofax For Sale groups on Facebook, I managed to snag this lightly used Mint Kikki K with the snap closure! The minute I bought it, I decided to order a few things from Kikki K because I needed inserts for my new planner anyway.

Right now, Kikki K is having a sale on a few items from their past lines, so I was able to grab the Uppsala Featured Journal for $13.97. I bought the first Cute Notepad and the new Cute Puffy Stickers, as well as a pack of the Uppsala Personal Planner Inserts to match my Mint Personal Planner, since the seller I bought the planner from didn’t include the original inserts. There’s currently an October Promo Code (diaryloveoct) that I used to get the Cute Mini Planner Notepad for free, which was perfect because I wanted to buy it anyway! There were a few other things that I would have liked to order, but sadly they were “Out of Stock” at the time and I didn’t want to wait any longer to order the few things that were in stock in the chance that they too became out of stock. So I grabbed the few that I wanted and hope that later on in the year (maybe before Christmas–or after the holidays when I know Kikki K has their end of the year sale) the other items are in stock so that I can purchase them then. Seriously, had everything been in stock, I would have spent SO MUCH money.

The photos on the store’s site does not do their items justice. Everything looks prettier in person! I was so surprised when I opened up my package because I wasn’t excepting the things I bought to be so pretty. But they were and everything matched so perfectly with one another! That made me so happy. I love the quality of the Uppsala Featured Journal. The edge of the pages are gold and there’s also gold embossing on the cover. All the pages in the journal are different designs as well. I was so surprised at how lovely this journal is when I got it because I bought it with the intention of ripping out the pages to use in my planner, but now I’m seriously reconsidering it. The two notepads are much smaller than I expected–they’re 5×7–but still a good size to easily be punched and fit into my A5 planner. And the stickers are adorable. The inserts I got for my planner are very nice. I love the simplicity of the layout, the only think I’m concerned about it that the ink to some of my pens may bleed through. I’ll just have to test them out, as I have not done a through testing yet.

I began setting up my planner last night. Right now, I have to print the week on two pages inserts I made for myself and purchase some laminate for my dividers, so they will be reinforced and protected over time. I think once I get all of that done and punched, I can put them into my planner and begin planning!

Before I leave you with my lovely pictures, I just want to say that shipping from Kikki K was excellent! I placed my order on Sunday, October 12, it shipped on the 13 and I received my package first thing Saturday morning, October 18! I didn’t except it to take just five days to get to me, what with it coming from all the way in Australia. I was excepting a week or more, but five days! What a pleasure it was to get it so quickly!

All in all, I’m an super happy about my first Kikki K purchase. Honestly, I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself when they continue to come out with such cute lines of stationery each year. I’m probably going to go broke unless I show some self restraint!