Fun & Travel

Latest Updates

Home products review at canvaschamp.com

8:08 AM

Hi, guys! I hope you are having a wonderful time while quarantined at home. Cooking, reading, creating, or even just watching TV. As long as you feel safe at home, this is the most important thing today. 

I have done many searches online on how to update and redecorate our home. It's actually the perfect time right now since we aren't traveling anywhere. I ended up on canvaschamp.com and came up with a few ideas about what I would like to order. If you are not familiar with canvaschamp.com, they offer a nice selection of printing options from canvas to different photo products like mugs, pillows, coasters, and of course photobooks. 

I know my mother-in-law was looking to order some photo pillows for their country house because we already have a few printed canvas. I thought that I would like to order a wall calendar for this year. Having a calendar is actually useful especially if you can write down all your appointments and important dates. Since I am against plastic bags, you can also get your own tote bag that will be a future option too. I also would love to print my own magnets from our travels that I can share with my relatives. Plenty of options for cute personalized flair to add to your home or give away gifts to bring a smile to someone's face during this weird time.  

What I like about this store is that it was easy to register, low prices, easy to manage and you can find their monthly offers here. Let me know what you think or what would you like to order!










Budget friendly destination - Northern Portugal

11:25 AM

I know it is not the best time to inspire you to travel while COVID-19 is still spreading around the world. Many of us are locked in our homes and can't even cross into neighboring countries. But I am pretty sure that many of us are hungry for travel destinations once things are back to normal. So here is my travel itinerary when we went to Northern Portugal last year.

First, we flew to Porto from Germany. Since my husband had been already to Porto many years ago, we decided to make this trip worth the money by getting out to the hinterlands.  After a late-night arrival, we stayed near the airport, rented a car, and hit the road the next morning for our first destination.

Braga is one of the oldest cities in Portugal and because we arrived very early in the morning, we were able to see Braga Cathedral. The guide who barely spoke English was so excited for foreign tourists. I truly was mesmerized by the decoration and elements of the church.  What I truly love about Portugal was seeing a ton of tiles that burst with uniqueness and charm. We walked around the town, checked the Gardens of Santa Barbara as well. The gardens weren't in great shape at this time, but if you visit in summer, definitely check it out. Also, we walked through Arco da Porta Nova and stopped at St Vincent's Church and found it quite amazing. After a few hours in Braga, we decided to drive and see Bom Jesus do Monte.

Bom Jesus do Monte is an amazing hidden gem. This Portuguese sanctuary is quite spectacular and you can not only enjoy the beautiful view from the top, but also walk the Baroque stairway that goes up to 116 meters. If not so motivated, you can take a cable car while enjoying the view too. We spent a few hours here before we drove to Guimaraes.

Guimaraes is another small town that you shouldn't miss. It is located near Braga and many tourists visit Guimaraes 10th century medieval Castle. But before we went to the castle, we were absolutely starving and stopped at a local restaurant where we got the best and cheapest lunch. Just at 10 euro per person, we got a bottle of water, veggie soup with bread and a big fish that we couldn't even finish. The locals packed this place. Despite the rainy weather, we decided we should stop at Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Oliveira church located in the old part of the city. As soon we were done with the city, we walked to the Castle. To be honest, I truly love it. I wished that the weather was nicer so we could have enjoyed a walk around the fortress.

As for our stay, we picked quite the charming and (a bit) spooky place - Bussaco Palace Hotel. Who knew how magnificent this place would turn out? It would have been nice if we could have stayed longer to truly enjoy the stay. We got so lucky that this regal hotel was almost empty. We had a quiet romantic dinner in their restaurant that I would definitely advise everyone to try who would stay there. The only thing that I regret is that I didn't bring a beautiful dress because this location is a perfect spot for editorial photoshoots. Make sure to order their 5-course dinner because it was among the best dinners we've ever had.

After enjoying our lovely stay, we drove to Aveiro. It was a cute town, but since the weather wasn't nice, we ended up spending some time at a local restaurant to enjoy octopus (unfortunately, it wasn't as tasty as our previous trip to Lisbon).  We then drove to the Costa Nova beach, popular for colorful beach houses. As soon it started to get darker, we drove to our hotel that was located in Porto.

I actually loved our stay at Intercontinental Porto Hotel (disclosed: our stay wasn't paid by the hotel). Since my husband has some membership status, they upgraded our room to a duplex suit, which had two-floors and 2 full bathrooms. We couldn't be happier that the hotel was located right in the center of Porto on Liberdade Square. We walked to Igreja dos Clerigos, and I would say that it is a must-visit. Afterward, we went to Igreja do Carmo that was quite amazing also. As for Livraria Lello, I found it overrated. It is a book store with beautiful stairs that aren't made from the wood as we found out later. Plus, it was overcrowded. You also had to pay to even go inside. If you want to buy some fun souvenirs, I would advise you to stop at Fernandesm Mattos & Ca. store.

The next morning, we started our journey by visiting the most beautiful church, I ever have seen - Santo Ildefonso. There are so many things you can see in Porto like the Chapel of Soul, Bolsa Palace, Episcopal Palace, Monument Church of St Francis, and Porto Cathedral. Don't forget to enjoy the riverfront at Ribeira Square and make sure to walk over the bridge to get a beautiful view of the city.


Braga



Bom Jesus do Monte

Guimaraes



Bussaco Palace Hotel







Aveiro




Porto












Printed Canvas with CanvasDiscount.com

6:48 AM

Hey, guys! How are you doing? I hope that you are safe and staying at home. Since it is the second week staying at home with my husband, I am almost running of things to do. I decided that it is a good time to redecorate our guest room and change a few things in the house. I got quite lucky that I got in touch with CanvasDiscount.com and was so thrilled to order a few printed canvases to redecorate our home.

Before the world lockdown, we got our chance to travel to Namibia and South Africa. I got a lot of amazing pictures that I will share with you. The most memorable moments were seeing wild flamingos and the tallest dunes in the world, following by Deadvlei. I knew that we had to have printed versions of my photos in our house.

CanvasDicount.com is actually a very easy page to navigate. They offer different types of things you can order for your house - from wall decorations to photo blankets. The prices are also quite affordable because I did some research to compare prices with other photo printing companies, and Canvasdiscount.com is a good deal.

Anyway, after creating my order, I got my package delivered to the house undamaged, and I was super excited about how my photos turned out. Each canvas has a stamp for quality. I also ordered a gift for my little sister. She recently opened a beauty salon and I thought that a picture with pink flamingos would look fantastic in her salon. Since I am collaborating with CanvasDiscount.com, we are giving 15% off with discount code QUEENHORSFALL15. For Canvas Prints click here.







Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by CanvasDiscount.com

How to survive in isolation from COVID-19

12:51 PM


Our normal lifestyle has changed and the entire world is at war with the pandemic virus-like COVID-19. I always had a fear of sicknesses and don't really do well even with a common cold. I thought that while everyone is isolated, I should write a short blog post on how to survive this period of quarantine and/or isolation.

Normally, I spend a lot of time with my husband, but we usually travel or do things like shopping, enjoying a delicious meal somewhere, going to the gym, or even cooking together. But this time, it is a bit different because we don't have people around us. It is just the two of us in the house and we are 24 hours together for the next 2 or even more weeks. It is like being stuck on an island or in a galaxy spaceship where only 2 people survived. It's actually been going quite well for us.  Seeing how we've adjusted to this new reality, I am offering some tips to help maintain your sanity with your loved one (who you may be seeing more than normal right now!): 

- create a list of tv series or movies you two want to watch. I love having our TV time.  We usually watch together in the evening while having dinner. Bring some snacks, drinks and enjoy your 1-2 hour together when you don't need to talk;

- find time to do exercise. Exercising is not only good for your health, but also for your mind. I find online exercises on Youtube and do it myself.  Sometimes, we do it together in our yard if it is nice weather.  If you don't have a garden, you can exercises while motivating each other;

- play board games. I am so glad that we bought a bunch of games for our house that we can play with two players. If you're bored with just two, then invite your friends or family to join online;

- create an online drinking Friday night with your friends. Pour some wine and enjoy your time in a digital group setting;

- create or join a book club. I actually created a book club maybe 3-4 weeks ago with my besties. We picked books that we want to read and then decided how many pages to read for certain time periods.  We then have a chat call where we can talk about the book;

- invest time in blogging and Instagram. I know it is hard to create any content right now, but you can still write things that you want to share and stay in touch with your followers;

- read books that you wanted to read. I have a list of books that I am planning to read while my friends are trying to find time to read the book we picked for our book club. I just finished reading "Three Daughters" by Consuelo Saah Baehr, and am now reading one of Stephen King's books ("Salem's Lot");

- start to create. I love drawing, but I usually only do it if I have inspiration or want some meditation. It is seriously so calming. My mom loves knitting, for others it is sewing. Just try something new or do something that you didn't have time to do before;

- clean your house or your closet. Our house is almost always clean because I clean every day, but I don't mind doing a deep cleaning like washing all the doors, stairs, and windows;

- repot your plants. It is getting warmer and it is a great time to repot your house plants. I am actually thinking I should use some seeds at home to plant something. Why not?;

- take an online course. Since many schools are closed, there are many programs for online courses you can do today. Here are some websites that you can check: open.edu, Coursera, Khan Academy, lingua and you can also get apps like Duolingo to learn a language; 

- cook something that you didn't cook before. It is a great time to hone your cooking skills. There are plenty of recipes on Youtube;

- self-love. If you forgot how to take care of your skin, your body, and your mind, quarantine and/or isolation is an ideal time to enjoy a bath, do your nails, put on a face mask, and do hair masks.


I hope that all these tips are helpful and will color your day during this trying and scary time we live. At least we're not living through a war or something more destructive. Stay home, don't be selfish, wash your hands, and stay healthy!




















 
Copyright © Queenhorsfall. Designed by OddThemes