Lifestyle

What if You Slow Down - 10 ways to simplify your life

Why is it so hard to just slow down and enjoy each moment as they are? I have questioned this myself many times for past weeks.

 

I'm doing 100 things at the time. Trying to multi-task (yep, I know it is not recommended for productivity wise). Trying to be quick and trying to achieve as much as possible for the shortest amount of time possible.

5 reasons why you should visit Tulum with a kid

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5 reasons why you should visit Tulum

 

Tulum is a magical place. We didn't get sick, the weather was great, food excellent and everything went so smoothly. It was a relaxing and perfect holiday for us all.

 

We travelled with our 3 yrs daughter and I can really recommend Tulum for a family holiday (if you are not into that "all inclusive resort thing").

 

We didn't stop travelling after our daughter was born because travelling is our passion. Travelling fuels your soul and gives perspective to your own life and its ups and downs.

 

Our daughter's first trip was to Stockholm when she was 3 months old. After, she's been around Europe, Asia and lastly in Mexico.

 

There are more than 5 reasons to visit Tulum but I will give you my 5 reasons why you should travel to Tulum with a kid.

5 reasons why you should visit Tulum by Petra Veikkola www.nellaino.com
5 reasons why you should visit Tulum by Petra Veikkola www.nellaino.com
5 reasons why you should visit Tulum by Petra Veikkola www.nellaino.com
5 reasons why you should visit Tulum by Petra Veikkola www.nellaino.com

Why we chose Mexico this time?

 

Already years ago I was dreaming about a trip to Tulum but it never felt right timing. I preferred Asia over Mexico. I preferred easy European vacations over Mexico. And I even wanted to go to New York City more than to Mexico even though I have already been in NYC tens of times.

 

The reason behind our choice was purely cheap direct flights to Cancun and some great hotels in Tulum that I found via browsing the internet.

 

To be honest, my travel plans usually start with a cool hotel that I've found somewhere. That is also why I love Bali so much. The hotels there are just divine.

 

When travelling with a kid my top priority is to get a direct flight or if not a direct one, a flight with only one stop.

 

Our daughter is a perfect travel companion and she usually don't mind being on a plane for 9 to 11 hours if only she has some food, snacks and something to do (books, iPad, toys). I've noticed that it is the adults that have more difficulties with long flights than children.

 

Anyway, I wanted to plan a pretty smooth and easy trip so that there will be no extra hassle when travelling to and from our destination.

5 reasons why you should visit Tulum by Petra Veikkola www.nellaino.com
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Tulum shortly

 

Tulum is located on the Caribbean sea and it's approximately 1,5 - 2 hours drive from Cancun airport. 

 

Tulum is basically one long strip of beach. It's really easy to navigate around either with a bike or with a rental car if you want to go a bit further as we did. 

 

Along the beach strip, you can find cute little shops, restaurants, spas, and yoga places. Everything is relaxed and the pace of living is slow.  

 

Tulum is pretty trendy at the moment. New hotels and restaurants are opening constantly. It is not anymore just a chill out place for backpackers. There are beautiful, sun-tanned young Americans and some Europeans strolling around the Tulum beach and occupying the hip hotels.

 

I like the atmosphere. It is not too posh but bohemian. It is boho luxury at it's best.

5 reasons why you should visit Tulum by Petra Veikkola www.nellaino.com
5 reasons why you should visit Tulum by Petra Veikkola www.nellaino.com
5 reasons why you should visit Tulum by Petra Veikkola www.nellaino.com
5 reasons why you should visit Tulum by Petra Veikkola www.nellaino.com
5 reasons why you should visit Tulum by Petra Veikkola www.nellaino.com
5 reasons why you should visit Tulum by Petra Veikkola www.nellaino.com
5 reasons why you should visit Tulum by Petra Veikkola www.nellaino.com
5 reasons why you should visit Tulum by Petra Veikkola www.nellaino.com
5 reasons why you should visit Tulum by Petra Veikkola www.nellaino.com

Why should you travel to Tulum with a kid?

 

I had doubts before our travel to Mexico whether it is a suitable destination for kids. After we arrived Tulum I realised that we could not have found a better place to be with our 3 years old. My initial thoughts were so so wrong!

 

My 5 reasons to travel to Tulum with a kid are quite obvious ones for me:

 

1.Tulum is the best place to be on the beach with a kid. The beach is beautiful, calm and the white fine sand is just perfect for having fun and playing. And do I even have to mention that crystal clear aqua and turquoise ocean?

 

I also love that there's a regulation that no higher than 2 stories tall buildings (or higher than the palm trees) are allowed which means that no huge resorts will ever get there. Peace and tranquility!

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2. It is easy to go nearby cities and villages by a rental car. We visited just briefly Cancun (the beach and one of the malls) but several times Playa del Carmen. There are cool adventure parks nearby Tulum and Playa del Carmen but we didn't go to those this time. We had so many other things to do and wanted to spend some time at the beautiful Tulum beach.

 

After spending a week at the Tulum beach we drove to Valladolid which is a cute colonial town with great cheap shopping and pastel colored houses.

 

The food in Valladolid was not so great but our hotel was one of our trip's highlight.

 

Our accommodation in Valladolid was a big suite over the Coqui Coqui Perfumerie. There's only one room over the Perfumerie so reserve it early if you want to have it!

 

My heart is pumping faster when I think about that place. A shame that I didn't have time to try out their spa. That place was a magical and affordable luxury.

 

Valladolid

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Cancun

 

3. The weather in January and February was mild. There were a couple of rainy days but after that, it was mostly sunny. Perfect weather to walk and play at the beach. No constant fear of sunburn but you definitely get tanned.

 

The colours were the most beautiful I have ever seen anywhere. I mean they really can take your breath away. Turquoise clear waters, emerald green palm trees and baby blue sky. And the pink and rose sky at the sunset and sunrise! So beautiful!

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4. The food is pure bliss in Tulum. I was amazed how many really good restaurants are around Tulum beach strip. We ate Mexican, Indian, Argentinian and Italian food there and all was top notch.

 

We didn't try the most famous restaurant Hartwood as we didn't like the idea of queuing with a hungry kid. It looked nice, though.

 

I will write a separate blog post regarding the restaurants that we tried in Tulum.

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5 reasons why you should visit Tulum by Petra Veikkola www.nellaino.com

 

5. Hotels are mostly kid friendly and they are super cool and nice. Our favourites were La Zebra (our daughter's favourite!) and Coral Tulum.

 

There are also really cool looking hotels just for adults if you want a kid-free environment.

 

We couldn't try Coqui Coqui Tulum even though we'd wanted because it was already fully booked (reserve really early if you want to experience it!) but maybe next time.

 

There are lots of great hotels but don't expect ultimate luxury as the feeling is more of a bohemian luxury than 5 stars hotels. I love it that way!

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Some extra thoughts

 

Tulum is a bit expensive place. Even with European standards. The food is pretty cheap but everything else is pricey.

 

You can find beautiful, handmade clothes, bags, home decor, and other accessories with a bit steep prices. If you want that hip feeling and handcrafted souvenirs that are not from like the mainstream tourist shops, be aware open your wallet.

 

Clothes are mainly done with good quality materials, linen and leather are used a lot. One item that I was really into was a huge dreamcatcher but our suitcase was too small for that. Next time, next time...

 

With regards to shopping (and if you are not so much into those expensive Tulum beach shops) try Tulum centre instead. It has small inexpensive shops selling souvenirs and local handcrafts. There are lots of leather sandals, hammocks (I wish I could have bought one of the beautiful lace hammocks), dresses, jewelry, dreamcatchers, and pottery. You have to bargain to get the best price in those shops.

 

And if you are thinking whether to rent a car or not. I highly encourage you to do it. Driving in Yucatan is easy and we didn't have any dangerous situations or anything like that.

 

Pack your flip flops or buy them from Tulum. If you are staying at the beach, you don't need even the flip flops. We were most of the days just barefoot.

 

And remember that in many places and hotels in Tulum, you cannot flush your toilet paper but you should put it into a separate waste bin instead.

 

Remember to visit at least Tulum Ruins but I can also recommend Chichen Itza with a kid. It's easy to combine a night in Valladolid with a visit to Chichen Itza.

 

We will definitely go back. It is just a matter of time and money. As a conclusion, I'd say that Tulum really surpassed my expectations with everything. It became one of our dream destinations!

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5 reasons why you should visit Tulum by Petra Veikkola www.nellaino.com
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Tulum travel tips for creative minds. Lots of photos and what to do. Tulum is the place to be at the moment!

Tulum travel tips for creative minds. Lots of photos and what to do. Tulum is the place to be at the moment!

Tulum travel tips for adventurers and hipsters. Lots of photos and what to do. Tulum is the place to be at the moment!

Best productivity tips that actually work

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Best productivity tips by Nellaino www.nellaino.com Lifestyleblog about photos, styling, travels and more.

MY BEST PRODUCTIVITY TIPS

 

I don't know what it is but I'm almost always late when it comes to any holiday planning. I mean I notice a couple of days before that I should have done something. I should have planned. I should have gathered my ideas and start making those plans real.

 

I mean I notice a couple of days before that I should have done something. I should have planned. I should have gathered my ideas and start making those plans real.

 

This Easter is no exception. I have not planned anything. Ok, my husband has already decided what we are going to eat but that's about it.

 

Normally when I realize that I have not done anything and there are only a few days left I start to procrastinate. I feel overwhelmed. I feel like there are so many things to my To Do Now -list that I just cannot do anything.

 

This time I used the internet and started to search advice on Pinterest. I needed some clarity and guidance.

What to do when you are too overwhelmed? How to prioritize? How to be efficient? How to be productive in your life?

After some searching (read: too many hours on Pinterest!) I found pretty good advice. But as I have to prioritize, I'm only going to incorporate the best ones (or the most interesting ones) to my life.

Best productivity tips by Nellaino www.nellaino.com Lifestyleblog about photos, styling, travels and more.

My top 5 best productivity tips

 

  1. Write down your top 3 most important things that you will do today

    1. I will make a moodboard for my Easter table setting ideas

    2. I will make a shopping list to my Easter shopping

    3. I will start cleaning our house (like immediately!)

      Brainstorm all your ideas and write them down on a paper

      Start one thing which is on your top 3 things list and start doing it for 30 minutes

      Change your location and view

      Eliminate all distractions

I know I need to be more specific.

Best productivity tips by Nellaino www.nellaino.com Lifestyleblog about photos, styling, travels and more.

1. Your top 3 important duties

 

Firstly, you need to prioritize all that what is going on and what you have written on your  To Do -list. You cannot do everything and you should not try to do everything in one day. What are the most important things that shall be done today? What are your main goals? Are they really important?

Are they going to help you to gain more clients to your business? Are they going to make you feel healthier?

Will the tasks generate more time with your family? After completing your duties will you be happier?

 

My number one priority just right now is to start planning our Easter table setting. My husband's parents are coming over and we will have an Easter dinner with them so I want to make a beautiful setting. After I've done a moodboard I can execute my ideas tomorrow.

 

2. Brainstorming

 

Brainstorming your ideas is a pretty big task if you have lots of things going on like I do at the moment. But...you have to spit it all out. Write everything that's on your mind. Every task and every little snippet that may be helpful later on. At least, you'll have things to add your weekly or monthly to do -list.

 

It is great to clear your head and empty everything that clutters your mind. Brainstorming also helps you to create new ideas based on your disordered thoughts. I personally love brainstorming and I have at least 5 notebooks full of my brainstorming ideas.

 

3. Just do it

 

The third one is simply to start taking action. Please start doing NOW! Start making! Start creating! You need to see some effort for your own sake!

 

Yes, I will start creating my moodboard right after I've finished this blog post.

Best productivity tips by Nellaino www.nellaino.com Lifestyleblog about photos, styling, travels and more.

4. Change your scenery

 

You have to change your view and location where you'd normally do your work. You will immediately feel energized and have different ideas when you have changed your workplace. It doesn't have to be a big move. It is fairly enough if you change a room where you are working. From work room to kitchen, from bedroom to livingroom, from home to coffee house. Remember to take small steps as they are easier to execute.

 

We have a separate home office in our house. I will take my iPad, pour a glass of red wine and locate myself to our livingroom to start crafting my moodboard. That's a big change to my work environment and hopefully, I will be more inspired.

 

5. Eliminate all distractions

 

The last one of my tips is quite important to me. First, I thought that this is impossible! How can I switch off my iPhone, not check my e-mails every now and then and be in silence. But one can do it!

 

You are so much more effective when you are present, truly present to what you are doing. One task at a time. This is not only applicable to your work but to your personal life also. When you are spending time with your spouse be present, do not check your phone all the time. When you are playing with your kid(s), really concentrate on that play and nothing else. Everything else should be insignificant at that time.

 

This advice has helped me a lot. And if this sounds too hard to really do, think about what kind of life you would like to live. What kind of memories would be important to you? I can assure you they are not the ones when you have checked your e-mail constantly!

 

Have a relaxing Easter!

Best productivity tips by Nellaino www.nellaino.com Lifestyleblog about photos, styling, travels and more.
 
Best productivity tips by Nellaino www.nellaino.com Lifestyleblog about photos, styling, travels and more.
 

Do you make Holiday wreaths?

HOLIDAY WREATHS THAT LOOK AND SMELL GOOD

 

Holiday wreaths, they are my ultimate favorite things in order to make our home smell good and also to make our house look cozy and festive. This is the first year when I made them by myself. Usually, I go to local vendors and buy their beautiful twig wreaths. That has been the easiest way to start a holiday and get into the Christmas mood.

 

This year I've seen so many DIYs and instructions how to do wreaths that I thought I'd had to try it by myself. Our basement has an excellent space to do a different kind of crafts but the lighting there is very poor. I think I should start doing more of these DIYs in the future. It's really fun to make something with your own hands. And it's not that hard when you are not trying to be a perfectionist.

Imperfection is beautiful!

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I ordered some mistletoe and eucalyptus from a local florist and foraged other greenery from our garden and trees. I also asked my husband to cut off big branches of our pine trees and spruces. I will put those branches on the table during Christmas dinner to give some great forest smell and earthy feeling to our tablescape.

 

I also bought some really cheap rattan (?) wreaths and just started to tucked it with eucalyptus. I really didn't have any particular order or way to do it. I just used my creativity and played with the materials that I've foraged. My wreaths are a bit asymmetrical and imperfect but I like them that way. Besides, they smell divine!

 

As holiday wreath making is so easy, this is not a DIY post. However, if you'd like to dive into specific instructions how to make a wreath, I found a great site for that (with images!). Just click to see  a beautiful wreath in making.

 

You can see a peek of our mirror wall also in the pictures. It's one of my favorite corners in our living area.

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Holiday wreaths by Nellaino

Happy Holidays to everyone!

Enjoy your time with the closest ones!