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Did you catch my Weekend in Split post a couple of weeks ago? In it I introduced you to the first stop on my little Croatian tour last October and mentioned that the next visit was to Hvar, my favourite of our three destinations. Hvar is a tiny little Croatian island and we got so lucky with the weather that we just had the best time ever. Thinking about it makes me want to go back right now, in fact my boyfriend declared he wanted to move there and run a boat for hire place. Looking out at the snow from my window, I’m actually quite tempted…

Where we stayed…

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We definitely nailed the hotel pick in Hvar. There are two main sister hotels, Hotel Amfora Grand Beach Resort and Hotel Adriana. The first is big, loud and ready for a party. So we went for the second and didn’t regret it for a minute. It is a tiny bit more expensive but much smaller and more boutique. There isn’t an outdoor pool and to be honest the indoor one was way too cold for us, but that didn’t seem to matter one bit. It sits right on the harbour and the views are just beautiful. There’s also an amazing rooftop bar that we spent a lot of time in – especially as they kept bringing us free crisps! We read up there whilst sunbathing but also had a few amazing cocktails looking out at the twinkly lights of the rest of the harbour. I can’t forget the breakfast too – it was the best hotel breakfast ever with everything you can possibly imagine laid out on the buffet and the best view in town to sit and eat it at. The other hotel is great if you want to party but be warned it is big and loud and a bit of a walk away from all the main attractions.

What we ate…

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We ate SO well in Hvar, I absolutely loved all the food. But that is mainly down to discovering Fig Cafe bar. It isn’t all veggie so my meat addicted other half loved it, but there are so many brilliant veggie options. We went there a couple of times and I had the vegetarian curry with cucumber raita with grilled flatbread which was hands down the best meal of the whole holiday and also honey roasted root vegetables with hummus which was delicious. They’re famous for their pulled pork too and the boyfriend highly recommended it. It is tucked down a little alley and takes some finding but don’t give up, the staff are wonderful.

We also ate at Black Pepper which was yummy and in a lovely setting but you did need to book in advance. And Dalmatino too, which I’d also recommend. Just plan where you’re going to eat a little in advance as it’s a small island and places get booked up.

What we did…

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We swam in the sea at the beach in front of the Hotel Amfora, we learnt to paddle board, we island hopped and found ourselves on an exclusive resort, we climbed the hill and explored the castle, we drank a million cocktails. We honestly had the best time.

First up we hired our own self-drive boat and hopped from island to island. All of Hvar’s neighbours are so different but so magical in their own way. This was my favourite day, it was so chilled and sunny, and I was even brave enough to drive the boat myself! We ended up spending a lot of the day sunbathing on Milna as it was the quietest and most beautiful of the islands. The next day the weather wasn’t so good so we grabbed our umbrellas and set off to climb the hill to Hvar Fortress. I’m not the biggest history buff but it was fascinating – you could climb inside the old prison cells and even if that bored you the view from the top is stunning. On our third day we caved in for a beach day in the sunshine. We hired paddle boards from a lovely man who gave us one for free! I was worried my balance wouldn’t be good enough but after a slow start we made it all the way round the coast to the harbour and back again. I really want to go paddle boarding again, it’s much easier than it looks!

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Overall we just had the best time in Hvar, I would recommend a trip to anyone!

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Last week was a really bad week. Everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong. By Friday all I wanted to do was curl up in my bed and stick Netflix on, but then things just got worse. It really wasn’t much fun. But we’re on to a new week now and I know the best thing to do is to put it behind me, put on a brave, positive face and get on with it. So here’s my top tips for surviving a really bad week…

Remember this too shall pass 

Just remember that this time next year, these problems/mistakes/worries won’t seem anywhere near as bad as they do now. Yes they feel horrible, but they’ll pass, they’ll be forgotten and there will be something new to worry about soon.

Phone your mum

When a bad week happens, there’s only a few people that can make you feel better. And my mum is definitely one of them. In fact when I text to her to tell her what had gone wrong, she text me back with this gem: ‘Everyone makes mistakes Kerrina, look at the Queen and the government…’ She’s so right.

Drink a cocktail or ten 

This is what I did on Friday night, headed out for a meal with a mate and ordered all of the cocktails. I wouldn’t usually recommend turning to the bottle, but sometimes you just need to drown your sorrows a little bit and praline flavoured cocktails (I know, amazing!) seriously do help.

Hibernate

I think those little furry animals have got it so right. After drinking your cocktails, spend Saturday morning in bed with coffee, chocolate, candles and your fave TV shows/books. That’s exactly what I did and it worked like a dream.

Move on

The obvious final step, just keep thinking ‘next week will be better’. Say it enough times and you’ll convince yourself, I promise.

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As you read this I’m writing it one week ago. I don’t usually write this far in advance but it’s currently Monday evening and I’m thinking I wish I’d read this this morning. Does that even make sense? Anyway the reason for all that preamble is that some days are hard. I can write all the Monday motivation in the world but some weeks you’re just not feeling Monday (or any other day for that matter) and it’s a battle to get through. This is what happened to me last Monday. And I kind of knew this was going to happen on the Sunday night before. So next time I’m facing one of those days, because we all have them, I just want to remember to treat myself.

I started too late last week, I only made the resolution at the end of the day when the day had already got me down. But I have to admit I did make up for it – I went a bit crazy in the supermarket buying a naughty cannelloni ready meal (my fave), a whole garlic baguette just for me, an expensive juice, pudding and chocolate treats. Then I went home and hibernated while I ate it all in front of Netflix. Ran myself a bath full of bubbles and listened to the La La Land soundtrack at top volume. It did the trick, don’t get me wrong. But I wish I’d just decided to treat myself like this from the moment I woke up. Instead of knowing it was going to be a bad day and yet still forcing myself up early to exercise (when I really didn’t want to), giving myself a million extra tasks and beating myself up for eating an extra biscuit. Some days you just need to treat yourself.

So if it’s one of those Mondays for you right now, head straight to the coffee shop and buy the biggest drink you fancy and maybe a sneaky brownie for later. Because sometimes you just need it and damn it feels good. 

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It’s Sunday morning and I bet a few of you are thinking about brunch right about now? London offers you all the brunch spots under the sun, my home county Surrey doesn’t do too badly but I’m happiest when I’m in Brighton. They just seem to nail my favourite meal of the day every single time. It must be a combination of the vegetarian culture, the acceptance to serve brunch right into the afternoon and the commitment to quirkiness. All I know is if you’re visiting, make sure you make time for it and start the day right. Here are my top two spots to get your eggs benedict/avo on toast/bacon sarnie fix, and they’re at the opposite end of the scales…

Silo, Brighton: 

When to go: when you fancy a laid back brunch with a friend/boyfriend, perhaps with a Sunday paper or two.

I mentioned this in my Sunny Summary because I went last weekend for the third time. Silo is just fab. And it’s committed to a zero waste policy so you feel like you’re doing the world some good while you’re there too. You walk in and immediately get the industrial vibe. They mill their own flour for their bread, have a compost machine and ferment bread. Everything is silver, upcycled and simply designed. The atmosphere is buzzy and chilled, just what you want for a Sunday morning. I elected for a cappuccino served in the cutest little clay cup and then the veggie breakfast. It was so different to what is usually offered – the homemade baked beans being my favourite, they were so tangy. I wasn’t that keen on the seaweed but it was easily taken off and everything else from the homemade bread to the mushrooms was just scrumptious. Give it a go.

The Breakfast Club:

When to go: when you need to feel energized or your hungover and with a group of people with varying tastes.

Okay so not unique to Brighton, but one opened in the city just last year and I often like to drop in. It serves breakfast right through the day which is ideal if you’ve had a big night out ending up on the beach the night before. It’s pretty much the opposite of Silo, much more commercial, bright and childlike. But it’s got a great buzz, a brunch to share with friends. I always order a mug of Builder’s tea and then vary between pancakes and an eggy breakfast. There are so many good veggie options and the menu is surprisingly inventive. The staff in the Brighton restaurant are also my fave, quirky and lovely. But be warned, you may have to queue.

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I was so surprised by how few DIY terrarium posts I found on the internet, I thought I was late to the terrarium craze. So I thought I’d let you know how I made mine up last weekend, I love it and it’s got pride of place in my room. My boyfriend surprised me with the glass case for Christmas and a terrarium book too for inspiration, then I slowly got the bits to go inside over January and made it all up. Here’s a step by step of how I did it.

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  • Clean the glass with some tissue – I found so many smudges on mine.
  • I ordered this kit off Amazon to get all the basics, it took a while and came all the way from China but was exactly what I wanted.
  • Pour the charcoal onto the bottom of the glass to form the first layer.
  • The second layer is the pumice stone – the white forms a lovely contrast with the black.
  • Next up is the sheet moss, forming a layer on top of the stone. I found moss the hardest to get hold of and that’s why I bought the kit in the end.
  • Then take your chosen cacti and succulent and tease out the soil from the roots so they’re ready to plant.
  • Put a thin layer of soil over the top of the sheet moss and plant the cacti or succulents in that layer of soil, digging the roots as far down through the moss as they need to go.
  • I then used a tea spoon to pour small pebbles on top as the final layer, I bought this from a pets’ shop and it’s pond pebbles.
  • Finally it’s time to decorate and I used shells to bring a little bit of the beach to my room, laying them in the gaps between the plants. You don’t have to use shells, I’ve seen toys, crystals, bigger stones and shimmery glass too.
  • Ta da! You’re done. Step back and admire.