3 March 2015

LIFESTYLE | Dear Mum











I've definitely always been a mummy's girl - I guess the above picture illustrates this quite well after all (fun fact: I never knew of the picture of my Mum on the right until I took mine and Mum pointed out that she's already seen a picture like that somewhere! ha!). I'm pretty sure that everyone says this, but I do believe that my Mum's the strongest, most loving person in the whole wide world. She always, always, always puts her family before everything and everyone and does anything to make the ones around her happy. Anthropologie has challenged me to pick up with four things which remind me of my Mum and me - our similarities, our differences and I guess my 50% share of her genetic information.

Now we've made it clear that I'm Mum's carbon copy, let me tell you a few (maybe not so secret) secrets about my Mum

MUM'S DA COOK
Czech cuisine is very different to the British one. It's full of Sunday-roast-type of dinners, dumplings, thick creamy sauces, smoked meat and sponge cakes. And Mum is seriously da cook, her Sunday roast's done by the time you've only just realized you fancy one. Magic! One of the biggest regrets of my genetic information fail is that I'm nothing like my mum when it comes to cooking. Aaah, how I wish I could make at least one bloody dumpling!  

Brownie dish & measuring spoons
MUM, LE JARDIN EXPERT
My mum has got oh so very many talents but one that I admire very dearly is her love for everything blooming, growing and flourishing. Her and my Dad are always in the garden, be it summer or winter, digging holes for plants and shrubs, painting fences, watching fish in a little lake they made in the garden. Now I've moved to a larger place with a garden I've been desperately trying to make my own little flower beds - fingers crossed that once the sun starts shining a little stronger, I'll be proudly watering my daisies and forsythias.   

Floral bowl
MUM, THE CRAZY CAT LADY
One trait that I've successfully inherited from my Mum is the love for everything feline. My Mum's a right cat obsessed cat lady. I secretly believe that she only got me because she wanted have her very own kitty, and maybe that's why she sometimes calls me a kitten, aha! 

20 ways to draw a cat book
MUM, THE EDWARD SCISSORHANDS
When I was little, my Mum would saw pretty jackets and skirts, and even knit a jumper or two for me. One moment has stayed particularly strong in my memory - when she was using her large black utility scissors to cut the cloth, the scissors would make this sharp cutting sound. Every time I can hear it, it reminds me of me sitting in our kitchen watching my mum cut up pieces of cloth for pillows cases or little skirts for me. Aaah, these are the dearest and most random childhood memories.    

Dear Mum, I'm incredibly proud to be your daughter and I honestly hope that one day I can be at least half as awesome as you are.

What are you giving your Momma on this year's Mother's Day? 


1 March 2015

BEAUTY | Yves Rocher fragrances

By now you probably know that I absolutely adore Yves Rocher fragrances. You could get the hint from the article here, here, here, here, and here. And here, too. Sometimes I wish I had a massive collection of high end perfumes, but you know what - why would I spend £90 on 1 perfume which might bore me after a few months when I can have 9 of them for the same price and swap them around depending on my mood! That makes so much more sense, doesn't it? Now let me show you my 3 new fragrances from Yves Rocher which are definitely worth trying

Vanille Noire (Yves Rocher)
I've already done a brief review of Vanille Noire here, but I still feel like I haven't done the perfume enough justice. The scent of this fragrance is along the lines of dark and serious but with a hint of sweet and attractive. The way this scent is architected reminds me of Beyonce fragrances but the actual scent itself is much more classier and luxurious. Sweet vanilla and dark woodiness in a very non offensive manner which is sometimes so hard to achieve with vanilla perfumes, isn't it.   

Muguet en Fleurs (Yves Rocher)
This fragrance smells like an epitome of spring. Imagine lying in a field full of lilies of the valley, the air is crisp and sharp in your lungs. The notes in this are green, bright and fresh. An extremely feminine scent, I've also heard people describe this as very natural for women - which I think is spot on!

Quelques Notes d'Amour (Yves Rocher)
The newest addition to my Yves Rocher fragrance collection - Quelques Notes d'Amour (any French students here? how do you even pronounce this?). This is quite different from my usual scents (I like clear scents which I can easily put my finger on - rose, lily of the valley, vanilla. This fragrance is a complex mix of all different scents. What I can smell is a spicy rose with a lot of patchouli and warmth. It's a very sensual yet spring toned scent which is a rare combination I think as spring scents tend to be much more on the fresh side of the fragrance spectrum. 

Have you tried any fragrances from Yves Rocher?
Which one is your favourite?  

25 February 2015

LIFESTYLE | Keepin' fit - motivation, cookbooks & activities

Guilty as charged - keepin' fit is something I don't do enough. In fact, I'm sat here eating chocolate with one hand and typing with another. Standard. The point is though that I want to go for a seaside holiday this year and therefore I NEED to do something with the folds around my waist, the chicken wings and all that hideous stuff that's going on under my suspiciously lose top. Let's have a look at a few things I've been doing lately to work up my appetite to get back into exercising (read going shopping to real shops instead of shopping online all the time) and eating less take-aways. The three key areas of keepin' fit for me are my motivation (currently at the bottom of the Mariana Trench), my cookbooks (I've been really getting into cooking, nomz!) and different activities that encourage me to be positive despite my laziness!     

MOTIVATION
You are probably expecting something more 'roaaar' but one of the hardest kick I've been getting from the 'keeping fit' YouTube videos! Just search for things like keeping fit, staying healthy, my fitness routine, healthy lunches. You will get hours of fun colourful videos of people being (at least in front of the camera) their best at fitness and being 'good' with their food, exercising, lifestyles. I find it very inspirational to watch someone else (a real human, not a celebrity) to do something, to change the way they live, to improve on their habits. Another thing I've been enjoying is reading a book called 'The Happiness Project' by Gretchen Rubin. The book describes 12 months of her life - starting with a day when she realized that she could be happier and have that little bit better life than she already has. In the quest for the ultimate happiness, she tests various theories and practices for life betterment. Just one of the ones I really like:


'It's fun to fail' 

Without failure you wouldn't have success, just like you wouldn't have good without any bad. It's absolutely crucial to admit to yourself that you are allowed to fail. All you need to do is pick yourself back up because you know that once there's a possibility to fail, there's also a possibility to succeed. Well, I am currently a bit of a fail on the fitness front, but hey - one day, one day I will succeed!      

COOKBOOKS
Another great inspiration of mine have been cookbooks. How have I never noticed what absolutely beautiful cookbooks are out there? My current favourites are these three:
The Forest Feast by Erin Gleeson (the most stunning illustrations)
Plenish by Kara Rosen (all about juices and detox)
The Picnic Cookbook by Annie Bell (handy tips not just for picnics but also for lunch boxes, ha!)
Not only that I've been enjoying cooking way more than I used to (the large kitchen in our new house definitely helps!), I've also been thinking more strategically about what I'm putting into my mouth. Apart from food (doh), I've been also consuming some different supplements to what I used to take - the one I've been currently testing is the Organic Chlorella from Viridian. In all honesty, I can't see much difference, but I also believe that I'm more to blame than the chlorella is. Chlorella helps you with nervous tummy, it improves your immune system and digestion. Lately I've been so very stressed that I don't think anything on earth would help me get rid of the stomach spasms, but hey - there's always the possibility that without chlorella it would be even spasmier in my tum!   

ACTIVITIES
Now my activities are not particularly active, but a passive activity is an activity nonetheless, right? I say - do anything that makes you feel active. Lately I’ve been putting a lot of effort in our new house (we’re renting but the landlord has been so lovely that she lets us do the house up a little). Almost every weekend I’ve been cutting hedges, digging up flower beds and planting flowers, shrubs and herbs around the garden. I’ve been putting up shelves around the house and painting walls. One would think that it’s a bit of a wasted effort (and money) on someone else’s house but I can’t live in a not-very-me environment. Which I believe is a rather good start to kick off a healthier lifestyle. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying – clean home means clear mind. Once you’ve dealt with the external – you can deal with the internal. Make yourself happier, more approachable and get a more active mindset. There are endless fun things you can do to get motivated, to get the wheels spinning - from getting a new gym gear (they have this terrific marble collection in Matalan, have you seen it? Lush!) to football betting (because it gives you an excuse to watch all the fit football players on telly and have a shouting match with your brother/boyfriend/dad whilst you might even win a few quid on top of it!) and running your own 'Happiness Project' (because everyone thinks they can be that little bit happier than they already are). Just do it! I’m off to watch my new Davina McCall DVD. Maybe even exercise a little!      


What do you do to get the kick-start for a healthier lifestyle?

24 February 2015

LIFESTYLE | 10 transferable skills all bloggers should put on their CVs


'How long have you been blogging for?' I get asked this question a lot, and I bet you do too if you're a blogger. Cityscape Bliss has been around for more than 3 years, did you know? Now it doesn't seem that long but when you think that over those 3 years I've written over 800 blog posts you realize that I've been blogging for bloody ages! Over those 3 years I've had 3 different IRL ('in real life') jobs and in every single of them I did have at least one moment when I stopped and thought how ridiculously grateful I was to have this or that skill - thanks to blogging. People get jobs because of their blogs! Check Terri from Hello Terri Lowe out, she's le boss when it comes to blog-induced jobs. Now let me give you a quick run down of 10 transferable skills I think every single blogger should put on their CV.      

1 Effective & efficient communication
You're basically a creator, editor and curator of an online mag - and it doesn't matter whether your blog is about fashion, food, lipsticks or cats. You are getting information across to the anonymous crowd out there and even if it's just your mum reading the blog, it counts. You might also be talking to agencies, PRs, brand representatives, shop owners, celebrities, other bloggers.  

2 Social media 
Blogging involves a strong social media presence. Just about every blogger now has got at least a Twitter account. Some of us (in the attempt of self-destruction) juggle more than one social media platform at the time - Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube... (the list is pretty much endless). Each platform requires a slightly different set of skills, a slightly different tone of voice and a slightly different approach - and you can handle them all (or some). Companies pay for agencies to do their media planning, did you know? Agencies such as Total Media have got years (decades really!) of experience in choosing the right mix of social media channels for their clients, it's a real deal business thing which you can hardly compete with. You're doing it for your blog for the love of it, but hey - who wouldn't want to employ someone who knows their media mix?   

3 Strategic thinking 
Just like social media do, blogging teaches you how to think strategically. In regards to your content - what's an interesting trendy topic to blog about, what places to go to and what people to see, which lipstick is going to be the one for this Christmas season - there's some serious strategic thinking behind all these little seemingly insignificant decisions.  

4 Creativity
Not only that you're creating your own content and managing it's creation, editing, publishing, promotion and all that jazz, you're also being creative with your imagery, with your blog header, with your layout, with the way you form your sentences. All these are unique to you. Even if you're using a Blogger template, you will still make it unique by giving your blog a certain name, a certain feel. 

5 Time management & planning
Not exclusively, but especially when you run your blog and have an IRL job, things can get a little messy. God, and you want some social life, too?! This requires some serious time management skills - and you obviously have got them. Even if your planning software is a blank notepad and a pen!  

6 Reliability
You are a doer, and you don't give up. The world can rely on you to come back and take care of your corner of the internet. And you have proved it by being consistent, by delivering, by providing new and new content. There's been a hiccup on the road? You stopped blogging for a while? So what - life is about priorities and your IRL job or your family was probably a priority then. Fair enough. Everyone is allowed a sick day or a holiday here and there.    

7 Grammar & proofreading
Reading blogs is like a literature lesson without the school pressure. You read so much, I bet adding up all the blog posts you've ever read into one massive book would be like woooooah. War & Peace multiplied by 10. And even if your grammar is not brilliant, you pick up so much new vocabulary, idioms, and grammar in general. Your brain is now programmed to proofread whilst typing.   

8 Research
You're also skilled at researching - be it a product, a brand, a company, maybe even other blog reviews to be able to compare and contrast your opinions. You ask questions, you state possible answers. Almost academic, ay?!

9 Sales
You might not believe this one but a blogger is a true sales person. A blogger sells their content - constantly. They sell their blog design, their social media interaction, their images, their blog identity to their readers in exchange for views, shares, comments, attention. Each and every single reader of your blog is a person you got hooked by your sales skills. Well done you!

10 Diplomacy
Being a blogger is all about being diplomatic. The whole world has got access to your blurbs. And your blurbs are therefore well thought through, you've put them down on paper (your blog) because they count, because you want the world to be able to learn from them. Blogging from a village doesn't mean you're blogging just for that one village - this shiz iz global!  

PS: The 'if it fits, me sits' attitude. If the skill fits your dream job role, use it. Do it. Now.


Have you put your blogging experience on your CV?
What are the most valuable skills you have personally gained from blogging?
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