Segovia | Spain Travel Diary

Segovia | Spain Diary, via Red Lips Tortilla Chipsscathedral sidestreet portrait1 fans ceiling2 door aqueduct portrait2 cookies1 baskets austriantile house hapsburg courtyard sweets walls elalcazar chocolates portrait3 cathedral facade cityscape window town aqueduct2 castle cookies2 segoviaMy trip to Spain was rich with history. Since we were on a guided tour of the country, we had the opportunity to see many buildings that were important in forming Spain as we know it today.

On the third day of the trip we made our way to  El Escorial just outside of Madrid (no photos were allowed, but you can see it here) and then we made our venture to Segovia where we would be seeing El Alcazar. Both sites were from the age of the Hapsburgs (Austrian) ruling Spain; they were the kind of buildings that make you silent because your eyes are too busy tracing the details from floor to ceiling and your mind is making a lofty effort to soak it all in.

Sometimes I skip the more touristy sites because I want to feel like I’ve genuinely experienced a place and not just gotten caught up in its sites. However, within the last two weeks I have gotten to explore some breathtaking places. Architecture tells stories that we get to feel a part of, even if it’s only for a 45 minute tour. In those instances, I find myself feeling introspective about the things the walls surrounding me have seen and heard; about the things I’ve read in texts books that happened so long ago in the same space I am getting to experience.

I highly recommend adding both places to your trip itinerary.  Segovia is an ancient Romanesque city (declared a world heritage site) that is worth spending an entire day in to window shop down the alleyways and treat yourself to some Spanish cookies (they have so many good ones). You may also want to see the Roman Aqueduct, the Cathedral and the many plazas framed by restaurants serving authentic Castilian cuisine.

Tomorrow: Burgos and Spanish food

 

Speak to you soon!

 

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Madrid | Spain Travel Diary

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Exploring a new destination means every day goes by lightning fast; one minute you’ve just touched down at the airport, and the next you’re taking off again. That was definitely the case with Spain. There were a lot fewer free moments than I was anticipating so a break from constant blogging accidentally ensued, but I am excited to share all of the moments with you now!

Madrid was the first city in Spain we visited. It was a buzzing city whose rich history and ornate architecture mesh with the urban, modern style of today. Cars raced down busy avenues past monuments erected for heroes past, and the smell of tapas and coffee was constantly hanging in the air. Once you’re deep into the heart of the city though, quiet side streets lined with Spanish Bakeries, handmade goods and hidden bodegas give you an escape from the fast paced crowds a few streets over.

One of my favorite things in Madrid was the Mercado de San Miguel. The stalls were filled with fresh produce, jamón, meringues, wine, fish, cheeses, spanish candies and all of the tapas you can imagine. We piled a few pieces of Manchego cheese and some croquettes onto our plate and took a few minutes to soak it all in. Afterwards, we got a local recommendation for a place to grab some churros, and made our way to Chocolatería San Ginés. The smell of chocolate immediately took over my senses, and within five minutes our order of six perfectly sweet churros and chocolate to dip in were delivered to our table outside. Heaven.

We headed to the Prado Musuem after that to peruse to hallways of renowned paintings and sculptures. Definitely worth a visit.

Madrid is an experience I recommend playing by ear. There are a few landmarks you won’t want to miss, but you’ll find the best things when you least expect them.

 

Next stop: Segovia

 

Speak to you all soon!

 

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Toledo | Spain Travel Diary, Day 1

TOLEDOPROMO TOLEDO1 TOLEDO5 TOLEDO7 TOLEDO8 TOLEDO6 TOLEDO4 TOLEDO9 TOLEDO11 TOLEDO3 TOLEDO2Hola! I’ve made it to Spain, and I’ve got to say that so far…it’s beautiful. Although jet lag is holding strong there have been very few still moments since we landed. Today we toured the centuries-old city of Toledo. While most travel blogs I read didn’t so much recommend this sweet little town, I beg to differ. Toledo was very charming and full of history. If you’re an art fan (especially one of El Greco) then this is a stop you’ve got to make.

The architectural influence of the Moors/Muslim’s could be seen from road to roof; my favorite was within the ornate, geometric decoration of the historic synagogue (once possibly planned to be a mosque). Many of the resident’s balconies were dotted with fresh flowers and greenery galore; I could probably have spent all day just meandering around the side streets, inhaling the aromas of cooking paella and stopping to admire the sharp, shiny souvenirs that are specific to Toledo.

My final answer on whether or not you should take the trip? Yes. Just take a couple of hours. I think you’ll be charmed, too.

 

Madrid post coming soon + heading to Segovia/Burgos tomorrow.

 Follow me on instagram for more photos and to follow me on my journey! @lacunningham

Te Hablo luego!

 

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Takeoff | May 19 Playlist

musicmonday2The day is finally here! While there are still a few last minute preparations to go, my flight for Spain leaves this afternoon! I’ll be there for 10 days and I am beyond excited about seeing a new place and experiencing a new culture.

Naturally, for the plane ride I needed a playlist. Fly with me!

 


Next time I speak to you all, I’ll be in Madrid! Have the best Monday.

Speak to you soon

 

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Sandalous | Summer Sandals

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WHITE MULES • NUDE GLADIATOR (similar here and here)• BLACK LACE UP

All of my summer sandal needs have officially been fulfilled. They’re all super cute, versatile and under $100! I’m 90% sure you can’t beat that.

Speak to you all soon!

 

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Spain in 1 day!

 

Shades | Warby Parker

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Recently I’ve been a little too liberal with one of my favorite life philosophies: “TREAT YO SELF,” But after a week of round-the-clock business hours and frequent pilates sessions I felt like today’s splurge was well deserved.

I’ve been paying regular visits to the Warby Parker display in a Nashville store called Imogene and Willie for a few months now. So, when some unexpected dolla-bills (what?) came my way, I decided it was time to take the leap from cheap, low quality sunglasses to the real deal.

Warby Parker glasses are vintage inspired and their frames are handcrafted. They have a “buy a pair, give a pair” business philosophy; similar to the way TOMS gives back, WP gives a pair of glasses (and/or funding)  to a non-profit, like VisionSpring, who then trains low-income men and women to sell affordable glasses to their community. Thus, the people who never thought they would be able to afford glasses are enabled to. The cause alone is something I was excited to get behind.

To check out more of Warby Parker’s eyewear click here. To view the Everett style, that I chose, click here

 

Speak to you all soon!

 

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2 days to Spain!

 

Au Naturel // Little Seed Farms Giveaway

aunaturalpromoSummer is typically a time where I make every excuse not to wear makeup, with the exception of maybe a little tinted moisturizer (with SPF of course) and some mascara.

“It’s just SO Euro,” – what I tell myself so I can ride a chic little ego wave or something.

Skin care, then, becomes a number one factor in my no makeup confidence. I do my best to use products that are free of harmful ingredients and weird animal byproducts. I’ve found the most effective way to steer clear of those things is to explore natural options.

I present to you my 2014 natural-summer-skincare holy grail:

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Number one is Apple Cider vinegar. Hair health begins at the root, and the root begins at the scalp; After trying a million shampoos and offhandedly taking some questionable advice from Pinterest, I came across this remedy for dry scalps. Before my shower I mix 1 part ACV to 1 part water in an empty water bottle and shake it to mix. After washing my hair like normal, I distribute the mixture throughout my scalp and massage in (as you would with a deep conditioner). Usually at this point I clip up my hair and get out of the shower for about 10 minutes; this is a good time to put on a skin mask or send that email you forgot about until mid shampoo rinse. After letting it soak in get back in the shower, condition the ends of your hair, finish up your routine and then rinse out everything at once.

The bad news: ACV has a PUNGENT foot-like smell. However, once your hair is dry it does disappear. Do your best not to get it in your eyes or mouth; if you do, you won’t be incapacitated because you are poisoned, but you’ll probably hate yourself for not keeping things closed. (Speaking from unfortunate experience).

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Number two is (the one and only) COCONUT OIL. This multi-use product is a current obsession of bloggers and beauty gurus, and after hearing constant raving from my mom of what its done for her skin (bye, wrinkles) and hair I thought I’d give it a go.

You’re going to want to get organic + virgin coconut oil, which is widely available and pretty inexpensive (especially for how much you get/how long it lasts). When you open the container, it’s going to seem solid in consistency; scoop some out and warm it up by rubbing your hands together to melt it down. So far I’ve used it as a deep conditioning treatment, a moisturizer and a makeup remover; you better believe I’m being honest when I say that it has yet to disappoint (also it smells A LOT more delicious than ACV).

Pro tip: when using it as a deep conditioning treatment, don’t use TOO much or your hair will end up greasy after you wash it out; emphasize the product on the ends of your hair and it will naturally work it’s way up.

3aunatural.psdNumber 3, Activated Charcoal Soap. More specifically, Goats Milk + charcoal soap. I picked this up at the farmer’s market a few weeks ago and I am actually in love with it. The sweet woman from Little Seed Farm, here in TN, who sold it to me explained how the charcoal withdraws toxins out of your skin that have settled there throughout the day:

Activated charcoal is gifted with the ability to deep clean without drying, chemically attracting and locking in toxins (from indoor and outdoor pollution) that can cause breakouts and irritation. It washes them away without breaking down your skin’s naturally protective mantle, making our Activated Charcoal Bar a perfect companion for sensitive and irritated skin. “

I can see and feel a difference in my skin since I began using it two weeks ago.  Using warm water I work the soap into a lather, massage it into my skin, rinse and then pat dry with a cloth. There is no weird scent or residue left over, just a baby soft face; HIGHLY recommend.

To learn more about this product, or to purchase it, visit the Little Seed Etsy shop here.

G I V E A W A Y // D E TA I L S

I hope this was helpful! I decided to do a little giveaway with Little Seed farm products! They have so many amazing options to choose from and I wanted to share some with you guys.

TO ENTER:

Follow my blog+instagram (@lacunningham), comment below (or on my Instagram) and let me know if you tried any of the products/regiments I mentioned, the product you’d most like to try in the Little Farms shop or if you have any natural beauty secrets yourself! A winner will be randomly selected to receive a product of their choosing from the Little Seed Farm etsy shop! Here is the link again so you can check out their product line. Giveaway closes on May 23, 2014 and the winner will be contacted on the 28.

 

Speak to you all soon!

 

x

 

 

PS: Spain countdown, 3 days!

Scatterbrained

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A few of my favorite pins/reblogs from this week:
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This week I have been all over the place; from errands, to client meetings, to coffee catchups–things have been a little crazy. There are just a few final loose ends to get tied up before liftoff on Monday. Have I told you guys I’m going to Spain? Just kidding, I know I have. I only wanted to hear myself say it again for the sake of my #sanity.

Speak to you all soon!

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Travel Day

Travel Day

 

 

No matter how excited I am for a trip, packing is something I tend to procrastinate on. Somehow or another it ends up being the night before an early departure and I am scrambling to figure out where sandal number two is in the pair that I must take along with me.

Though the above scenario has happened more times than I’d like to admit, that isn’t the case for next week’s adventure; I’ve been day dreaming about what’s going in that suitcase for weeks. I’ve been picking up bits and pieces here and there to be at a Beyonce level of put together, while still being sensible for all day walking in the hot sun.

Staples? A comfortable pair of cotton pants, lace up sandals that don’t side around, basic tops to mix and match, and a hat for shade on demand.

So excited to share everything with you all!

 

Speak to you soon,

 

x

Twelve

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This week has already started off on the strongest foot I can imagine; with one week left until Spain, a beautiful photo shoot wrapped up this afternoon and the promise of some exciting projects on the horizon, I have no complaints.

I explored some new genres this week and really fell in love with some artists I hadn’t heard of before. Get ready to dance, ya’ll.

 

 

Speak to you soon!

follow me on Instagram at @lacunningham

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