Old Convent Hotel in Lisbon – York House

Pretty courtyard at The York House Hotel in Lisbon

Pretty courtyard at The York House Hotel in Lisbon

Total washout today!  I worry about British summer when rain falls incessantly like this.  Hopefully it won’t last long and we can see our cheerful sunshine again tomorrow.  Watching rain from our living room window this afternoon, a thought popped into my mind about visiting Lisbon this summer.  We need to re-stock our Portuguese glassware soon, so travelling there might be a good idea…..  Then then, when I was surfing the internet (of course out of boredom), I came across this beautiful former convent hotel in Lisbon!

Wow, this is totally beautiful.  The York House Lisboa is located in the Lapa district,  10 minutes from downtown Lisbon.  Apparently it used to be an old Carmelite convent that dates back to the 17th century.  It is now wonderfully restored with pretty courtyard to enjoy outdoor dining.  Look at this outside sitting area!  Isn’t it beautiful?  Ah, I can easily stretch out on this comfy sofa with a glass of wine…..

Outdoor living at The York House Hotel

Outdoor living at The York House Hotel

Interior too has been beautifully restored and rooms are all stylish.  I love this superior room with nice wooden floor and beams.  White walls remind me a bit of old convent, sure enough.

Rustic bedroom at The York House Hotel

Rustic bedroom at The York House Hotel

 

And look at this!  Some of the rooms have a terrace overlooking the ocean.  Now close your eyes…..  do you hear the sea and and feel warm sun on your face?  Certainly that’s what I am dreaming now on this rainy day.

Terrace overlooking the ocean

Terrace overlooking the ocean

The York House Hotel Lisboa can be booked via their website or at Expedia.  Expedia’s customer rating is “93% Very Good”, so visitors must have enjoyed this beautiful hotel.  Time to go!



 

Bright Scottish House – Country Croft

Croft House - bright dining room

Croft House – bright dining room

Croft House - comfy living room with colourful cushions

Croft House – comfy living room with colourful cushions

Croft House - an arm chair with modern fabric

Croft House – an arm chair with modern fabric

Colour colour colour! This bright and cheerful interior design was created by an interior designer in Aberdeenshire, Emma Clanfield. Weather in Scotland can be challenging (I know so, because my other half came from there!), and often days are so dark in winter. But look at this! Every corner of this pretty house is covered by beautiful colours. 

Emma spent 12 years in the Middle East and after her return she set up an interior design business in Aberdeen. She was originally trained as a textile designer, and I can see her strong skills in combining exotic taste and modern fabrics. Love love love these colourful cushions and a pretty arm chair at the corner! This is a good example that we don’t need a drastic change to make our home look pretty. There are so many wonderful fabrics and all we have to do is to pick the ones that make us happy. And if you are stuck, there are always talented interior designers like Emma.

It is still dark and cold outside, but looking at these photos I can almost smell spring. It’s almost there.

Free Workout Videos on YouTube to Get Fit at Home

Andrea Orbeck and Fat-Blasting Workout

Andrea Orbeck and Fat-Blasting Workout

Wow time flies – it’s been a while since my last blog…..But I’ve been busy! Over the last weekend I’ve been trying various free workout  on YouTube to get fit at home.  Here are some of my favourite free workout videos I found:

Victoria’s Secret Model Workout: 10-minute Fat-Blasting Circuit

This short workout was designed by Andrea Orbeck, who teaches models for Victoria Secret (yes! That Victoria Secret!). She also teaches how to get fit during your pregnancy. This particular workout lasts only 10 minutes, but you’ll be surprised – it’s really hard! You do each workout only for 1 minutes by keeping your body low and strong. Believe me, you really feel the effect on your thigh. It is very simple, but also it’s FUN. Andrea’s calm voice encourages you to get going whole through the workout.

Fat Burning Cardio Workout – 37 Minutes Fitness Blender Cardio Workout at Home

My other favourite workout is Fat Burning Cardio Workout designed by Fitness Blender. In just 37 minutes the workout pumps up your heart and works on all the muscles in your body! Jogging, jumping jack, tummy crunch, and more. The video has calories consumption scale on the screen, so when you get tired, just look at the scale and get going! When you complete the entire workout you can shed nearly 400 calories. Founders of Fitness Blender, Daniel and Kelli, offer various workout programs on their website. Check it out.

So guess what, my body aches so much after the hard work and I could hardly walk this morning. It feels good though – and on top of that I might have flat tummy and toned body just in time for late beach holiday.

 

No Makeup Selfie to Beat Bullies

Amy Elsegood Birthmark Selfie

Amy Elsegood Birthmark Selfie

Ah the world is full of inspiring people! Today via Huffington Post and Daily Mail I found an inspiring story of Amy Elsegood, who was born with facial birthmark. Apparently she was bullied when she was growing up just because she was different. I really hate these bullies – what’s wrong with these kids? What is wrong with being different?  Well, I was bullied at school too, so I understand how difficult it is to deal with bullies. But luckily I was not suffering from a physical difference like Amy did. According to Bullying UK, there are still a lot of myths about reporting and challenging bullies. I really hope we will find an effective way to stop bullying one day, because I am sure it is causing many children serious misery in their precious early life.

Anyway, back to Amy – I was so impressed with her Selfie and her positive attitude. Amy now accepts who she is, and decided to promote the discovery with her No Make-Up Selfie. What a brave thing to do, I totally admire her for her courage.

Amy with foundation concealer

Amy with foundation concealer

Amy also has a wonderful support from her boyfriend, Josh, who didn’t even register Amy’s birthmark when she first revealed it to him. Whenever I hear about these aspiring young people, I become a bit more positive about the prospect of this sometimes gloomy world. Looking at Amy’s selfie  makes me smile with hope and wonder. Really well done Amy!