About two hours until 2018 here in California- time to look back! Oh 2017, it’s been a year. Rollercoaster of a year.

I can’t quite remember a year where there had been such lows but also such highs. To an extent 2017 was one of the most challenging and most difficult years of my life, incredibly trying and filled with sadness. And at the same time there was proof that without darkness there can’t be light. There also was an amount of love, laughter and commitment that I did not previously know.

So here are the sweetest moments from My Tree and Me:


Smudging- Celebrations- and travel. We went to celebrate Daniels birthday in Milan and I made him climb up all the stairs of the Duomo because we ate our body weight in pasta yet again. Hashtag Italian Eating.


Travel continues to Florence where we meet up with my parents, to Maranello where we simulated Italian driving and up to Como, where dinner finishes at 10p after limoncello, coffee and after coffee snack. Bless Italian eating! After returning to the states I went on an amazing trip to Miraval in Arizona which had been on my bucket list for years!


Travel took me to me to one of my very favorite places- the southern United States, Savannah. I have a big heart for the south and specifically the Savannah-Bluffton-Hilton Head Island region. And the resort we stayed at is one of my top 5 resorts in the continental US: Palmetto Bluff.


Spring rejuvenation started with shedding some skin, I did a deep skin peel at 22% TCA, those work like a charm for me. They lift an intense amount of pigment and the skin underneath is baby-perfect-and-then-some. Looks scary for a few days, SO worth it.


New adventures all around in May, My Tree and Me Blog was born and with it a new morning routine – which since has been re-stared and let go off too many times I care to admit! Ha! And the mane, I cut the mane.


Great travels – great losses. Though one of my favorite movements was watching the sun set on top of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The best moments of your life leave a mark, not just the sad ones do. It’s all a journey.


Daniel’s brother got married at The Ranch in early July and the celebration was grand- the day perfection and the love sweet. I also got my brows micro-bladed and absolutely dislike it (but that’s a story for another post). And we celebrated Dora Lunerkind’s 6th birthday with a beach bash. She’s got our heart!


Many sunsets spend by the beach and Mother Nature certainly made it worthwhile. I can’t count how much wisdom I get from Chinese fortune cookies – a lot. Either that or tarot cards.


Ultra fit challenge- life changing. Gym nights and mornings. And cooking. At home nonetheless. And no, Daniel did not get food poisoning- surprising even to me.


All the feels in October. All. The. Feels. A resort project I was helping with opened its doors after plenty of construction and new envisioning and there is something really powerful about hotels opening. Their doors will then always be open, welcoming travelers from all over the world. -That’s why I work in hospitality. For those moments.

And most importantly Daniel and I shared a very special-life changing-moment. He asked me to be his wife and I said yes! I never really knew that I wanted to be engaged or get married mainly because commitment to me does not come from a marriage license- it comes from two people who care enough about one another to grow with- and support each other so that they can become who they dream of being- together. And Daniel is that person to me. But the moment he asked me to marry him, I had all the butterflies and all the feels. Hashtag OctoberWedding.

And of course October equals Pumpkin Patch. Obvi.


End of year re-set anyone? Me!! Urban Remedy to the rescue!


A full-circle kind of month, moved back to Carmel Valley exactly 4 years after moving away from it. Such a great feeling being back – there is something about Carmel Valley, it’s quiet and stunning and the rolling hills remind me of Italy. What’s not to love. Shared a surprisingly fabulous sunset in Oakland’s waterfront also- in the 10 years I have lived in California I had not been to Oakland, I even refused flying out of OAK international once or twice so I was certainly positively surprised by its beauty.

We took our engagement pictures with stunning redwoods in Big Sur with Mike Steelman and he made it just so easy and fun for us. A really wonderful day!

Let’s finish with the final sunset of 2017, captured from my driveway.

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” – T.S. Eliot

Thank you so much for reading in 2017, I cannot wait to see what we can accomplish in 2018!

There is something about California in October. The Golden State. Golden for a reason.

Driving down the highway leaving Salinas, heading south over Paso and San Louis Obispo. They call it Monterey wine country and it’s pretty fascinating just how many vineyards there are. Miles and miles of grapes until 101 S leaves it’s inland route and you finally see the glittering of the pacific ocean in Pismo Beach.

Lunch-tip: Thomas Hill Organics (1313 Park Street) in Paso Robles, delish! Danny had their smoked salmon sandwich and I had the goats cheese sandwich with a glass of Pinot Grecio. Quick stop, good food and on the way out get a latte from Kreuzberg Coffee Company. If you haven’t been to Berlin and especially if you haven’t been to Berlin-Kreuzberg, this shop is a must. Or if you like coffee as much as I do. It’s on 725 13th Street.

Heading yet further south for a couple more hours through the American riviera, Santa Ynez – Santa Barbara and Montecito.

Lunch-tip: (I’m all about lunch) If you’re looking to grab lunch in Santa Barbara, you must try the Four Seasons right in between Santa Barbara and Montecito. (1260 Channel Dr.) It’s Four Seasons- so- it’s pretty much perfection. Bottoms up, here comes your 5* hospitality service.

There is two ways to get to Ojai, you either stay on 101 until Ventura and then head inland (on 126 to 150) or you take 33 at the Ventura Fairgrounds and head uphill through the backcountry. I prefer the 33 route but it’s pretty windy and if you gotta be in Ojai quick then take 126/150.

Ojai Valley Inn

You know that I work in hospitality for a good reason. And that reason is that I love hotels. I especially love really good hotels. Ojai Valley Inn is one of those.

The service is intentional, the property is stunning and I love spending time there!

Above the fireplace is the gift I gave to Danny it’s a star map of the night him and I met! It’s from The Night Sky.

Danny and I got to share a super-special-unforgettable-kind of Pink Moment this time around and even Dora Lunerkind got to come. Bless her, she’s such a good traveler!


Hands-down, one of our favorite dinners was enjoyed at Olavilla the main restaurant at the Inn.

Italian-Californian-Organic. Perfect presentation and really incredible service!

(And their pottery is also very pretty, no I didn’t take any but I wanted to.)

A special mention has to go to the desert, which was the perfect presentation:


All in all Ojai Valley Inn is the perfect resort for a getaway and especially in autumn. They are really good celebrating the seasons and I gotta appreciate that! The weather was incredible, about 75F in mid-October. Ojai truly has a very special place in my heart! A must visit!

And one more from me and Dora, we took this after dinner in Paso Robles at about 10:30pm. It’s hilarious- look at her paw, so sassy (that’s her real personality).

Thank you so much for traveling with me again! Cheerio!

I’ve been a Sephora member on Rouge status for a lot longer than I care to admit. 

I absolutely adore purchasing beauty items. It’s a thing. What’s also a thing is the yearly Sephora Beauty Insider Sale. 20% off for Rouge and 15% off for VIB’s- online and in store, or both. That’s how we roll. 

Here are my top items! 

Let’s go!

1. Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask ($26.00)

I absolutely cannot live without. Overnight lip masks have a very special place in my heart, but this one especially. It’s a thick salve thy gives your lips intense moisture and sheen while also healing chapped lips. They have it in 3 colors and I own them all, the original is my favorite however. I use it after I scrub my lips in the morning and I also use it underneath all my lipsticks. I have a tube next to my bed, one on the vanity, one at work, in the car and in my purse. I pretty much am never without it. It’s that good! The Bite Beauty concept is that if it’s not good enough to eat then it shouldn’t be on your lips and rightfully so! 

2. Korres White Tea Shower Gel ($18.50)

I had known Korres well before it even was sold in the US. The Greek pharmacy brand is clean, Parabeln free and the scents are amazing. When we stayed in Palma de Mallorca last year (read about it here) the Hotel Can Cera had Korres in room amenities and Daniel’s favorite shower gel was the white tea one. Since Sephora now carries the while line, this had got to be in my basket! 

3. Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb (from $85.00)

I truly only wear three scents, YSL Black Opium – Jill Sander Sun and Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb. And Flowerbomb is absolutely a scent that people remember you by. It’s flowery but not overbearing. Soft but incredibly strong. And it’s these items where the sale is just making a nice difference. 

4. Anastasia Beverly Hills Scissors ($22.50) & Brow Wiz ($21.00)

I love myself some Anastasia. And my brows are really where it’s at! I just love her scissors, they are super filigran and sharp. And the Brow Wiz is my absolute favorite of all brow pens that I’ve ever used. It’s just perfect. I go through them quite fast so I usually order 2 or 3 at the sale! My color is taupe (believe it or not, I don’t like my brows to be super bold when my hair is lighter so taupe is perfect for me!) 

5. First Aid Beauty Bouncy Mask ($38.00)

The mask definetly comes true to its name! It’s a gel based mask rich in hyalouronic acid. Hyalouronic acid is a super star ingredient that can bind water times one thousand. Sleeping in that mask just makes me wake up feeling replenished and super hydrated. I get HydraFacials regularly and this mask is like a HydraFacial in a bottle when it comes to the hydration. It’s a must. 

6. Amorepacific Color Correct Compact SPF 50 ($60.00)

An absolute must have for me, you get a dewy coverage and SPF 50. What’s not to love?! The color correct will really take care of any redness or patchiness and it gives me a flawless and dewy complexion that lasts all day. I apply it with a wet beauty blender which I like better than the sponge that comes with it. And it comes with a replacement catrtridge also. 

7. IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye ($24.00)

My holy grail of concealers. I can say that I rarely ever leave the house without it. It’s absolute perfection. It’s a thick and full coverage concealer that does not set in fine lines and stays on all day long. I use the tiniest bit. So much so that I just opened the tube I bought last year. They also make a travel size that I keep in my travel make up bag every day. I’ve got crazy dark undereye circles and I would be absolutely lost without this magic potion. 

The sale is beginning November 3rd and lasts until the 6th. Go get your basket! 

Thank you for reading and happy shopping! 


“It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.”

There is something about fortune cookies that I like. It’s like your own little piece of gypsy wrapped in a carb baked cookie after you ate your body weight in spicy eggplant. Very comforting. 

I’ve always kept my little wisdom, I take them home and keep them in a glass jar. Sometimes I’m excited about it, sometimes I just smirk and sometimes it makes me think.

Like this one, I got today. (Cheat meal obviously, no judging).

The past few months have been about the next step, the next version of oneself. I’ve asked myself if what I was doing on any given day was going to get me closer to who I want to be tomorrow. 

It takes courage! It takes courage to understand that the one person holding you back, is most likely yourself. 

“Close your eyes and imagine the best version of you possible. That’s who you really are, let go of any part of you that doesn’t believe it.” -C. Assaad 

Here are a few things I had to let go so that I can grow:

– Doubting yourself

Never, never good for anyone. Try with all you got, should you fail- you’ll grow from it. If you doubt yourself in the beginning you ain’t going anywhere. Just because something states ‘CLOSED’ don’t doubt that you can’t get there! Roads closed? You hike! Believe me I learned a lot about that, with compliments to the highway 1 closure! 

– Procrastination 

I am still very guilty of this one, it’s a tough habit to break. I’m trying hard. Again, make a decision that is in line with what you believe in – that holds up your standards of integrity – and base it on weather it gets you closer to where you want to be. If it does not work out, you will grow. Be informed about your options but make that decision! 

– Negative Self Talk or Negative Thoughts

Just don’t. Do not ever do that. I made myself run a mile for every negative thought that I caught. Pretty sure I can run a marathon soon. Get something positive out of something negative. Sore hamstrings don’t count! 

– Fear of success 

I learned once that fear translates to ‘False Evidence Appearing Real’ and one cannot fear being successful. Or what other people think about ones success. If you work hard and give it your all, you are deserving of the success and no one can take that from you! This is not about luck, this is about working hard and getting what you work hard for! Go for it! 

– People Pleasing

Ugh a tough one. I work in hospitality I do it all the time. I had to learn that unless they are guests, you can’t walk through life pleasing other people. Be kind, help others be their best and be humble but that does not equal the constant need to please other people. 

– Do not take criticism personally

Listen to it, no matter how painful. Acknowledge good points made, disagree without being disrespectful. Remember that anyone who accomplishes great things will have some critics. Remember your own core values, take what you need to grow and be appreciative of it. 

As the one and only Dr. Brene Brown said: You can choose courage or you can choose comfort but you cannot choose both! 

Don’t hold yourself back! Let’s go! Happy October!


The next level.

Every next level of your life will demand a different you. Every next level of your life will demand growth, change and adapting. And every next level should push you to become the person you always wanted to be. No matter where you are in life currently, find comfort and discomfort in knowing that new challenges and growth are always ahead. Enjoy the beauty of your growing pains and focus on a new fresh level.

“She understood that the hardest times in life to go through were when you were transforming from one version of yourself to another.” -Sarah Addison Allen

There is always a push that makes you change your life, sometimes it’s a traumatizing experience,  a yearn for change or a simple wish to be better.

On Tuesday as Mercury finished it’s retrograde (finally!), I realized that it’s time for me to rise to the occasion. In many aspects of my life including health and stress levels, work-out and skincare routines, quality time spent, blogging and (always of course!) work.

So I signed myself up for the Ultrafit challenge to reset. So here is to cheer to the weeks coming that will reveal nothing less of growing pains, comfort and discomfort, beauty and transformation. Both myself and My Tree and Me Blog! Cheerio!

“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.” -Abraham Maslow

“My eyes are filled with wonders, my heart is filled with spirit, like coffee for the soul, gelato for the brain, travel makes me sing, Mallorca and Spain.” – Samantha Richardson

Palma de Mallorca is to Germans what Cancun is to Americans. Miles and miles of beach party on Ballerman 6, beers are to be had at Bierkönig all day and all night and sangria is only served in gallon buckets and extra long straws.

I can assure you that for too many people, Mallorca, equals only Party, alcohol and soccer clubs on relegation win trips. And there is SO much more to this Mediterranean island than the described above. There is Palma, an old Spanish city, with rich history, fabulous shopping and amazing food! There is caves and quiet. Beaches and traditions. And the weather, let’s not forget that either.

On week of summer on the Balearic Island of Mallorca. Let’s go!

We arrived over Duesseldorf from San Francisco choosing Air Berlin as our air carrier, and as so many of our Europe trips we went in June. Due to the time difference, most of those flights arriving to Europe leaving the west coast as red eye but also get to Europe later in the day.
(Air carrier tip if you are arriving from the US: Carriers like Air Berlin are fab as you can choose the X-tra seats and the extra space on those seats makes for a very comfortable experience. Unless you get to travel upper class/business class it’s worth it to spend the extra $ on reserving those seats. Full disclosure: Over the years I’ve become a picky flyer, I’ve been on too many national and international flights that were just plain awful considering service standards. You’ll never hear me making a low cost carrier suggestion, which does not mean that there is anything wrong with those, it’s just not for me. From the US, I fly Lufthansa, Swiss, Air Berlin, Virgin Atlantic and Emirates only. )

During this trip we will travel around the island and stay two nights each, beginning and ending our journey in Palma.

Stop 1: Palma de Mallorca

Where to stay:

I love staying in old town Palma, and I like small luxury hospitality with distinctive service. We picked the boutique Hotel Can Cera on Carrer de Sant Francesc. Can Cera equals what I like about hospitality: perfection and class. It is inside the ancient city walls and located between Plaza de Santa Eulalia and the Plaza de San Francisco. It only has 14 rooms, and they all have a different character. What I love most about Can Cera is that they understood to mix modern with truly Majorcan and combine it with exquisite customer service. I have a big heart for pre-arrival communication, and I was very excited receiving an email from the Can Cera team after I booked as they wanted to make sure that they can match us with the perfect room –  and they did! We stayed in room 4.

*Literally having worked in hotels for this long I could not remember when I used an actual key to open the room doors. Not a key card but an actual key. I was thrilled – it’s the little things!

It brings me so much joy to get up early that first morning after arriving to Europe, head out into town, the heat is still bearable, you take a deep breath and you just know that you are on vacation. Grab that first cup of European coffee. Una taza de Café con leche por favor, or if I want to be extra indulgent and drink my sweets, I will have a Café Bombon.  It is a traditional Spanish style coffee, mixed in exact parts of espresso and condensed milk. Not for everyone, but definitely for me. Yumm.

Daniel likes Café Solo (Small cup of strong, black espresso. He orders this when he knows he will need some energy for lots of sightseeing. I can walk for miles in the mid-day heat.) Or Café Americano (if the intensity of a café solo is a bit much.  This coffee contains the same amount of caffeine as a café solo but with more water, resulting in a milder flavor.)

Coffee tip: Try Café con Hielo (summertime favorite, simply coffee with ice. You will pour it over ice yourself, as you get two glasses from your Barista. Starbucks who?!) Or if you want to splurge, and also great as aperitif after dinner, Carajillo (espresso served with rum, whisky or brandy). So good!

What to do:

Palma is literally a stunner. You can wander in any direction from the awe-inspiring Gothic Catedral (Catedral de Mallorca) at its geographic and historical heart and you’ll find bent medieval streets lined with aristocratic townhouses, looming baroque churches, teeming public squares, vibrant bohemian neighborhoods and markets overflowing with all the bounty of the island. It’s rich in history and beauty.

Seven places you must see-

  1. Catedral de Mallorca – It’s vast, absolutely breathtaking and designed by Antoni Gaudí and renowned contemporary artist Miquel Barceló. You just must see it. Map it here .
  2. Banys Arab – Achient bath house from the time the Moores were in charge. From the 10th-century, the baths are virtually all that remains of the Arab city of Medina Mayurqa, that now is Palma de Mallorca. Its a fun site to see and also has a beautiful garden that has some very nice spots to sit and just be. Map it here.
  3. Sant Francesc – This church and covenant founded in 1281 is absolutely stunning, you must go in. If there is a wait, you must wait and you must go in. Map it here. Also there is a hotel right nearby and I actually had my birthday dinner there on the rooftop sushi bar. Stunning-unforgettable-amazing food-kind of venue. A must! And the hotel is gorgeous as well! You can learn more hereimg_4068
  4. Placa Major – Medieval square, markets, cafe’s and shopping. About centrally located. Map it here. img_0240
  5. La Rambla – Oh La Rambla. Shopping left and right. La Rambla is one of those traditional European streets where you can buy what your heart desires. And when I say what your heart desires, I mean European and International luxury goods. Obviously. Welcome to La Rambla!
  6. Mercat de l’Olivar – Amazing fresh food market, you must have tapas there. Super good! I also always buy my olive oil here and bring it home. Map it here
  7. Museu dels Molins – It’s the windmill museum and yes you must go, it’s close to the port and if you go in the afternoon you can walk along the port and watch the sun setting. At that time you’re back to where the Cathedral is and believe me, this is Instagram worthy and then some. Map it here.

Stop 2: Cuevas del Drach

We are leaving Palma, back to the airport to pick up the rental car (ain’t no-one wants to drive in downtown Palma, not even Daniel) and are headed east onto MAR-15 (think Interstate-ish) towards our next adventure: Cuevas del Drach in Porto Cristo.

I love the Drach caves, and I always have. I remember being younger and going there. It’s touristy but it’s worth it. It an under-earth-labyrinth-water-cave-kind of place. The caves are 25 miles underneath the surface and they literally hide an underwater lake. It’s fascinating.

You’ll go in a group of about 20 people and you walk down stairs for about a mile. The difference in temperature is unbelievable. Bring a sweatshirt. You’ll continue to walk through the cave, by the lake and then you sit down to watch an underwater concert. The acoustics are phenomenal. You’re in the cave for about an hour and a half.

I don’t particularly love Porto Cristo otherwise, so we went straight through to our destination, Formentor where we stayed at the Hotel Formentor– a royal hideaway.

Stop 3: Formentor 

The Majorcans call Formentor the ‘Meeting point’s of the winds’ . We are all the way on the tip of the east side of the island. The streets from Port de Pollenca (which is considered the closest touristy-ish beach town) are windy and tiny. You definitely want to take your time driving, or just drive fast like the locals do – that is up to you and the fact if you can stomach that.

P.S: This is not the kind of blog where I suggest 2000+ bed hotels, build on the beach, one-next-to-the-other. But if you care to check it out, be welcome at Can Picafort and Alcudia. I’ve spent plenty of summer vacations there as a teenager. It’s on the way to Formentor.

We spend two nights here and arrived from the caves in the afternoon. We had a fab dinner in the hotels restaurant, El Pi, that night and enjoyed being by the beach for the first time this trip. I love the beach and I love the sound of the Mediterranean sea, so the next day after a way too indulgent breakky we went to the beach. Now, this is not the kind of water temperature that you’d call warm. It’s refreshing. Actually, it’s so cold I was worried my soul is going to frost over. I like my ocean bathwater temperature, so unless it’s 70 degrees, you ain’t going to see me in that water. That’s just who I am.



The Formentor peninsula is pretty true to a true Mallorca experience. Leaving the hotel you see locals enjoying the beach with their families and you’re making you way up towards what I call my personal “Majorca Fab Three” Port de Soller, Deia and Valldemossa. If this can be more than a day trip then it should, it wasn’t for us (we wanted to stay two nights in a new hotel called Pure Salt in the El Toro/Port Adriano area) but I absolutely want to return to Deia.


My Majorca Fab Three:

Port de Soller–  Funny thing with Port de Soller is that you feel like you’re on the Italian Riviera. Literally you might as well be in Portofino. On your way to Port de Soller, which is on Mallorca’s west coast, you drive though olive and lemon farms, the streets are pretty tiny, the weather is hot with a light breeze. Be sure to stop frequently to take in views, hashtag Instagrammworthy. Park right downtown, there is lots of public parking and if you are wanting to explore both, the port and actual Soller, you can ride the tram back and forth. Little port Soller has everything one would wish to see in a Mediterranean town, golden beaches, a lighthouse, great restaurants, ice cream parlors and pottery shops. Perfect. The surprising part is that Port Soller has a art gallery that shows Picasso and Micro. The main shopping street is Carrer de la Marina, if you keep walking until you see Cami des Cringle street on your left and turn you get to see those incredible Majorcan stone build houses. If you keep on walking, in about 10 minutes you’re headed uphill, you cross the bridge and follow the narrow path until you see a small hamlet of stone houses built on the hill. The views are incredible from there and its a nice after lunch walk. You can make it a loop and head right back into Port Soller.

Deia– Oh Deia. To me, Deia is the most beautiful place on Mallorca. It’s a gorgeous medieval town in the Serra de Tramuntana mountains which forms the northern ridge near the coast. You can hike down to Cala Deia which is a beautiful cove beach. It’s west enough that you get to see the sun set and everything sets in beautiful red colored hues.


Valldemossa– Hands down my favorite village on Mallorca. Think lush country side, quiet and narrow streets mixed with charming cafes, Spanish traditional galleries and ‘Coca de patata’ – which is translated to potato cake. Basically a sweet cake made with potato that form a small and soft bunt like cake. It’s good, it really is, worth all the calories and carbs. Driving into Valldemossa you pass what seems to be thousands of almond and olive farms. The landmark everyone comes to Valldemossa for though is Frederic Chopin’s Cartuja de Valldemossa, a monastery established in the 13th century. There is a beautiful garden not far off the center that is named after Chopin and it offers some step hillside hiking trails that bring you up to the Valldemossa plateau offering gorgeous sea views. You must pay extra attention to the doorways on each house in the center of Valldemossa, many of the feature a symbol of Saint Catalina Thomas, the Mallorca patron saint, it is set to protect their home from harm. Restaurant tip: Head towards Port Valldemossa, there is the seaside restaurant Es Port. It is absolutely fabulous. Fresh line caught fish and you can sit on the terrace overlooking the sea.


We are headed out again further along the coast towards to El Toro and Port Adriano, which is about 30 minutes from Palma.

Stop 4: The bull (El Toro) and Port Adriano

Truth be told there is not too much to do in Port Adriano, though we had one of the best dinners of our trip there. We choose Port Adriano as our destination for two reasons: 1) Because I really wanted to stay at the newly opened Pure Salt and 2) because it was super close to the airport and we had a really early flight out.

We arrived in El Toro in the evening hours, and knew immediately why we chose the resort, the views. It was definitely the view and maybe the room with ‘swim-up’ pool. You get to see far over the little port and the ocean. And it truly it is worth the dollars spent. The rooms are new, and incredible (Did I mention Hermes in-bath amenities?), the in-room service you may chose for breakky is lush and why would you not want to have a meal by your own swim-up?!


Now let me tell you about my favorite dinner. It was surely on the last night of the trip, we went out to eat late (like 9pm, we always do), truth be told we did not really know where to go but we went on to the port and Daniel was picking the restaurant, there are plenty of restaurants on the posh port. He chose El faro del Torro and it was definitely rustic from the outside, we went in, and got a table overseeing the marina. Alone that, made my night.We shared a Paella and it was absolutely second to none. Hands down the best Paella I ate on the trip and probably in ever. And the Sangria. Let’s just say that 3am wake-up call the next morning came quick. Perfect night ending a week of summer in the Mediterranean!

¡ Adiós! Majorca y hasta luego!

Thank you so much for reading! Cheerio!  -Franziska XO 

A little glimpse of what I brought home. I like pottery.

*As always, my content is original-all opinions are my own and none of my links are affiliate.

“But I want you to remember that struggle and strife come before success, even in the dictionary!” -Jessica in Post Grad (the movie)

Sit tight, fasten your seat-belts, August astrology is going to be bumpy, fast and furious. The stars go from simmer to sizzle serving up major moments of change. Leo season, partial Aquarius lunar eclipse, Sun, Mars, Jupiter-Pluto square grand finale and solar eclipse (they call this one life altering, uh-oh) and Mercury going retrograde. We’ll be sure to feel all the feels this month. Let’s break it down and see how we can make it through. Let’s go!

The sun sign: Oh you courageous Leo

Our favorite sun sign is up, the ever-courageous Leo until August 22 and to sweeten the ride, fearless Mars is alongside all month. Ready to roar with a August 21 total solar eclipse in a very rare Leo new moon that can be described as bold, self-expression, and stunning in what it will reveal. Karma calls leadership. Step up or ship out. The sun sign Leo is described as fierce and with that solar eclipse in it’s sign, plus that second new moon (usually only one per sign) you will feel that times a thousand. You’d do good to replace ego-driven-anything with true heroism. Do good for your people.

Hi Aquarius & lunar eclipse

There is lots of good in Aquarius truthful, curious, affectionate, frank and oh-so-imaginative. With all positive there must be not-so-positive also and that can be unpredictable, detachment tendencies and the ‘go off-track’ mindset. Hermit crab?

So in the midst of this, on Monday August 7th Aquarius brings us a partial lunar eclipse. And along with it comes the revealing need to come together around issues that affect you. Eclipses bring inevitable changes and turning points, pushing us off the fence if we’ve been wishy-washy and demanding that we take a stand. Watch out for this one as feelings of resentment will be hard to swallow during this time.

Retrograde #1: Uranus (soften up)

Uranus retrogrades equal a choose your battle scenario. This already happened on August 2nd and occurred in Aries. It’s an annual thing for Uranus and he’s napping until January 2nd. So be it. Uranus usually asks to tone things down, ain’t no edgy behavior getting you anywhere right now. Choose your battles wisely, it may be all too easy be get the ‘rebel without cause stamp’. I’m a Gemini, so rebelling might as well be my damn middle-name. I always have to watch out for this one. I usually choose to roll my eyes instead and put it off. I’m really good at rolling my eyes.

Retrograde #2: MERCURY TA-DA in Virgo

Mercury, the ruler of travel, technology, and communication, also retrogrades from August 12th to September 5th, because we obviously don’t already have enough to deal with. It’s shadow started on July 24th and we’ve been feeling it. Mercury in Virgo that is analytical and critical will ensure that if you choose to dish out some criticism you’ll get it right back. Do yourself a big favor and do it sparingly if you must. Leave it out if you can. Remember what I said up top for Uranus in retrograde, roll your eyes instead, it’ll save yourself a lot this month.

Sun enters Virgo on August 22nd, and that Virgo is also ruled by mercury (and so am I as Gemini), some of the best, strongest, most fearless, kind and loyal people I know are Leo/Virgo cusp’s and it is the sign of ‘taking care of yourself’ so use this retrograde to research a healthy lifestyle. Don’t implement anything crazy though. It won’t last, it just won’t. It’s Mercury in retrograde. You’ll start something new and you’ll have stopped following along by the time it’s mid September. That’s just how it is. Mercury is reflective, watch your spending too, keep that Platinum Amex in your wally.

Digital technology is about as unstable as it will be, as both Uranus and Mercury messing with technology. Strengthen your sensitive data passwords, watch the email ‘reply all’ button because you just know you want to be snarky when you really shouldn’t.

Umm… Jupiter-Pluto Square equals power struggle

August 4th serves up the third and final Jupiter-Pluto square, it’s first one happened back in November 2016, second one on March 30th 2017. The worldly-Jupiter is in relationship-Libra and shadowy-Pluto is in hierarchy-ruler-Capricorn. Perfect and thank you very much.

Sometimes I wish that all I knew about ‘Jupiter’ would be the 1950’s and real-time town in Florida so sweetly described in American Horror Story . Ugh. But there is the planet Jupiter, the fifth planet out from the Sun, two and a half times more massive than all the other planets in the solar system combined. Let’s call Jupiter a force and we’ll capture it’s power about halfway.

So basically we’ll be busy sorting through important dynamics, figuring out how to balance control and compromise. CONTROL AND COMPROMISE, most people only know the one but not the other. We would do good ensuring to brush up on the fact that there is no control without compromise and not the other way around. Investigate for yourself also though, are you giving your power away to be liked or to keep the peace? Again, resentment isn’t good for anybody this month.

Squares have a bad reputation, and so do retrogrades. Because they create conflicts.

But they create conflicts that are designed to help us evolve.

“Do not claim you want to grow and then run away the minute you feel growing pains.” -Bossbabe on Pinterest 

When it takes a crisis situation or severe discomfort  before we snap out of denial and take action. So maybe you need to speak up, or open up and be vulnerable with someone. Stagnant patterns are ready to burst. Balloon + needle = burst. Let’s go!

Reward for what we’ve been through: The Saturn retrograde is over

Controlling and  oh-so-pushy Saturn ends its four-month retrograde in the ever-adventurous Sagittarius on August 25th. This retrograde will help our visionary plans to finally get un-stuck and move ahead. This is the time to see things through to completion! Just do it, ain’t no more Saturn in the way to mess you up!

Remember that through all this, through all the suggestions and thoughts of uh-oh what is going to happen, that your life is made by you. It’s how you let it affect you and what you make of it!

Thank you so much for reading! Cheerio!
*Pictures taken on the one and only, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California – Statebeach. #CaliforniaPicturesque #Blessed 

“I’m stronger because I had to be, I’m smarter because of my mistakes, happier because of the sadness I’ve known, and now wiser because I learned.” -Curiano 

It’s ok to be like a glow stick, because sometimes you have to break before you can shine!

From there you can start your comeback. You stop asking why certain doors have been closed, because at that point you are to busy being grateful for the doors that are about to open.

That one day it just clicks, you realize what’s important and what’s not. You learn to care less about what other people think of you and more about what you think of yourself. You realize how far you’ve come- and the places you have ahead. You remember times when you thought things where messy and feared that you could never recover. And you smile. You smile because you are proud of yourself and the person you’ve fought to become. There are some things you can only learn in a storm, and in order to be the best- you learn to handle the worst. You can do it! You can make it happen.

* Pictured above, a squirrel in the early morning hours at the fire pit in Carmel Valley, getting some of the leftover s’mores crackers. Squirrels are a Native American symbol of preparation, trust and thriftiness. Have you seen a squirrel trying to get food from a bird feeder or else? If so, you’ve seen their smart behavior in making it happen. Then they bury their nuts in the ground, a behavior that is called caching. They do find and eat most of their nuts and seeds, but the ones that are not recovered sprout in the spring and grown into plants and trees, thus they assist in forest renewal. And they are obviously adorable. The German word for squirrel is Eichhörnchen– Stop already with the cuteness!

“If you want to be happy, you have to be happy on purpose. When you wake up, you can’t just wait to see what kind of day you’ll have. You have to decide what kind of day you’ll have” -Joel  Osteen

Happiness is achieved when you stop waiting for it and make the most out of the moment you’re in.  So stop waiting for Friday when it’s Monday. For summer when it’s fall, for someone to love you like you think you deserve and stop waiting for your life to happen. You need to make it happen. 

“And suddenly you just know it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of new beginnings!” Because “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” -Eleanor Roosevelt 

(There is something about new beginnings, they are like fire and ice, like a crisp fall morning. There will be the day when you wake up and know that you have the strength you need to push through the glass ceiling and start a new pattern. Cheer to that, to the power of new beginnings! ) 

Erziehe deinen Körper – erster blog Beitrag auf deutsch! Los gehts! 

Gewohnheit hin, Gewohnheit her. Gut oder schlecht. Wer kennt sie nicht?!

Um Gewohnheiten zu ändern muss man zwei Sachen erstmal verstehen:  wie die Gewohnheit entstanden ist und warum man sie im Alltag verfolgt. 

Nur wenn man versteht wo es herkommt und warum man es macht kann man Gewohnheiten ändern und dann entweder eine möglicherweise schlechte Gewohnheiten abschalten oder eine neue Gewohnheit beginnen um anderes Resultat erziehlen. 

“Wenn du immer wieder das tuest, was du immer schon getan hast. Dann wirst du immer wider das bekommen, was du immer schon bekommen hast. Wenn du etwas anderes haben willst, musst du etwas anderes tun!” -Paul Watzlawick

Der Gewohnheiten Kreislauf beginnt immer mit einem Auslöser und einer Handlung, wie zum Beispiel das ich immer erst nach Mitternacht ins Bett gehe weil ich zu spät von der Arbeit komme. Meine Belohnung ist dann das ich bis mindestens um 6:30 schlafe. Und da ich von Dienstag bist Samstag arbeite, ist das meine Routine. 

Auslöser + Handlung + Belohnung = Routine 

Aber ich möchte gerne mehr Sport machen. Wo kann ich das einarbeiten wenn ich doch spät von der Arbeit komme, ins Bett falle, aufstehe und wieder auf Arbeit gehe?! 

“Wenn man eine Veränderung wirklich möchte, wird der Wille eines Tages größer sein als die Angst!” -Unbekannt 

#1: Erkenne die Gewohnheit – Verstehe und analysiere was deine Routine ist. Nur wen man sich bewusst ist was man täglich immer wieder macht, kann man feststellen ob man etwas ändern sollte.

#2: Erkenne Trigger und Reize – Wenn man etwas ändern will muss man rausfinden warum genau man es genau macht. Wenn ich zum Beispiel lange arbeite und nicht regelmäßig esse, komme ich spät abends heim und regelrecht Überfalle den Kühlschrank und Naschereien sind mir dan am liebsten weil sie in diesem Moment ein Wohlgefühl auslösen. Hmm Nudeln schmecken immer besonders gut nach 21 Uhr und eine Kugel Eis als Nachtisch hat noch keinem geschadet! Ha! 

#3: Überlege dir zielführende Verhaltensweisen als neue Gewohnheit – Früher aufstehen und am Morgen eine Stunde Sport machen, dafür muss ich früher ins Bett, früher von der Arbeit und früher Abendessen (oder mal überhaupt das Mittagessen nicht auslassen!)

#4: Übe jeden Tag auf’s neue – Jeder Tag ist ein neuer Tag! Nur weil es gestern nicht funktioniert hat, heißt das nicht das es auch heute nichts wird! Jeder Tag ist eine neue Chance- nutze sie! Rückschläge muss man in Kauf nehmen und überwinden! 

#5: Arbeite an deinem Mindset – Positiv und nichts als positiv. Es geht nur nach vorn und schau bloß nicht zurück! Du gehst ja nicht in diese Richtung! Blicke nach VORN! 

#6: Du musst 30 Tage durchhalten – Konsequent, Konsequent und nochmals Konsequent! Man sagt das nach 30 Tagen eine neue Gewohnheit geschaffen ist! Und arbeite immer nur an einer Gewohnheit zur Zeit. Konsequent und Konzistenz brauchen Ihre Aufmerksamkeit! 

#7: Sei stolz auf deine Gewinne! – Feier deine Gewinne! Bist du 7 Tage lang früh ins Bett und wieder früh aufgestanden?! Yay! Eine weißweinschorle bitte! 

Vielen Dank für’s lesen und vorbeischauen! Und jetzt gehts los- jeder Tag ist ein neuer Tag mit Potential! Macht das beste daraus! 

Eure Franziska 

“Das Wichtigste ist, dass wir niemals aufhören daran zu glauben, dass ein neuer Anfang möglich ist!” -Unbekannt 

Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe and have faith that everything  will work out for the best. -Unknown

You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn if for yourself. -The Wizard of Oz 

(Picture of my newly unwrapped Dubai porcelain, dropped and shattered immediately after unpacking. You’ve got it in your own hands. Though in my native Germany, breaking porcelain brings luck. It’s the way you see things, they way you let it effect you that counts. “Scherben bringen Glück!” And that may be the single most important reason I love to travel, it opens your eyes, your heart and your thoughts. It broadens your horizon. One thing may be unfortunate in one country and a blessing in another. You pick!)