Dubrovnik, Croatia. You might have heard about it. A small Croatian town, "the jewel of Adriatic" that has turned into a popular tourist destination over the recent years? Or maybe King's Landing sounds more familiar?



It is a place where I was born and raised in, and the place that I still live in. That is why I decided to create this new series on my blog "A Local Guide to Dubrovnik, Croatia".

What is different from the rest of the travel bloggers is that this guide is local and that being said, I'll share with you honest and real information. I'll share with you myths, hidden gems and some bad sides of it as well.

For this first part of the series, we'll talk about - history. Because as you know; without history there would be no future. And Dubrovnik really stands after that quote. After all, it is a historic tourist destination.

Every Tuesday from now on, I will publish a new part. Make sure to stay tuned by subscribing to my blog HERE and receiving the notification of the next part in your e-mail.



Stradun

The Origins

The Republic of Ragusa was founded in 1358 by Slavs. But the area of the town was inhabited much before, in the 7th century. Around that time it is said that first Dubrovnik Walls were built, but after a few disasters over the centuries including many sieges and the infamous earthquake in 1667, the walls that we see today date from 12-17th century.

The inhabitants were Roman people who escaped the destroying of Epidaurum (today Cavtat), a great Roman town 25 kilometers south of Dubrovnik.

They settled on the small island called Lausa and hid from the Slavs and Barbarians who were attacking that area of the Roman Empire at the time. 

Next to the village of the Romans, were Croatian villages. In the beginning, the two peoples didn't like each other, but over time they got together, and in the 12th century they joined their villages. They filling the channel that previously divided the two places and created the famous long street.

The long street became known as Stradun and the united villages called themselves "Dubrovnik" meaning united nations.

Of course, that's all just a theory. There's also another one which could be even truer. It claims that Dubrovnik dates from the times of Ancient Greece. Thanks to the archeological founds of artifacts and the speculation that Dubrovnik was the perfect settlement for the Greek sailors, this theory might be true.

Orlando's pillar in front of the Church of Saint Blaise

Independent Dubrovnik and Venetian Reign

Until 1050, Dubrovnik only covered the area between the walls. Then, Croatian king Stephen I gave Dubrovnik a widening. Ragusa spread 16 km north to today's town called Zaton and other parts of land near Dubrovnik (Port Gruž, Župa Dubrovačka, Šumet etc.). 

But, there's more - it became an owner of Elaphiti islands including Lokrum, Koločep and Šipan, and other near ones.

This fact you have to know! Dubrovnik was the first to have a sewerage system while great cities like London and Paris did it hundreds of years later.

Another interesting fact is that in 1317, Dubrovnik had one of the oldest pharmacies in the world called "Male Braće" (literal meaning: Little Brothers).

The problem was that in the early 13th century, Venetians became a strong marketing force on the Mediterranean. Because of their power, from 1205 to 1358, they occupied Dubrovnik.

During Venetians reign, Dubrovnik wasn't as weak as it seemed. It got islands of Lastovo and Mljet, as well as Ston and Pelješac peninsula under their ownership.

Even though on paper Dubrovnik seemed as an occupied state, it wasn't. It was freer than the rest. All princes and institutions of authority were picked by Dubrovnik people. All they had to do was to pay a yearly tribute to the country.

Everything was solved when Venetia lost all islands and coast on the other side of the Adriatic with the signing of a "Zadar armistice" with Croatian-Hungarian king Ludwig I. 


Dubrovnik Cathedral 

Ottomans Power and the Golden Ages

But that's not all for the Dubrovnik Republic. In 1408, they have fallen under the power of Ottomans and thankfully, all they had to do was to pay a yearly tribute of 12,500 ducats to the Sultan and supply Ottoman colonies.

And as usual, they kept all rights to themselves. They had the right to be in relations with any other state and make agreements with them. And their ships sailed under Dubrovnik flags. 

But did you know that during this time, the Dubrovnik Republic became the world's first nation to abolish slavery? Yes, in 1416. While England did it in the 17th and the US in the 19th century. 

In the 15th century, Republic spread to the areas of Cavtat (Epidaurus) and Konavle. 

By the time of the next two centuries, this small Aristocratic country had its own marketing colonies all over the Ottoman Empire; in Constantinople, Solun, Belgrade, Bukuresht, Sarajevo and other parts of Balkan peninsula. They also had them in Italy (Florence, Ancona, Venetia...), Egypt (Alexandria and Cairo), and in the Middle East (Smyrna and Bursa). 

This gave a huge privilege to the Ottomans since the main path of the Florence-Bursa route was crossing in Dubrovnik. 

The result? Dubrovnik was the main threat to Venetians next to big powers like England, Spain, and Genova.


Dubrovnik belfry

The End of the Republic

But every great state has to come to an end, and with Napoleon's rise in the early 1800's and the weakness of Turkish power, Dubrovnik became an easy target. It surrendered to 1200 French soldiers and their commander on May 27, 1806.

On January 31, 1808, The Republic of Ragusa ceases to exist when the general Marmot dissolved the Senate, Dubrovnik government and abolished The Republic. From 1808 to 1814 Dubrovnik was included in the Napoleon's Kingdom of Italy and became one of the Illyrian provinces. In 1815, it became a part of the Habsburg Monarchy and was never independent again.

Conclusion

Today, Dubrovnik is a part of Croatia and the greatest touristic destination in the region.

This little state made a huge impact on the world and yet a lot of it is unknown. The moral of the story is; always have money. Well, joke aside, Dubrovnik people were very smart and they understood their worth. They didn't let greater forces to destroy them and kept their state alive for five centuries.



In the second part of the series, we'll get to the present more. I'll show you the best places to visit in Dubrovnik including food, art, drinks, theatre, and others.

The next part is coming up next Tuesday! In the meantime, there will be other posts in fashion, beauty, and lifestyle.


What do you think about this article? It's different than the rest for sure, but give me some feedback so I can know.

Are you visiting Dubrovnik anytime soon? Have you been there?

Tell me in the comments! In the meantime, follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Bloglovin'. You can also like my Facebook page here.

xx Nora


In today's post, I want to share something that will help my fellow bloggers/Instagrammers. These are apps that are must-haves if you have a blog on any platform. These can change your site game to a whole 'nother level - from photo editing to photo organizing and everything else that you need.

1. VSCO 



This is my number one favorite photo editing/social media app. VSCO is a place for editors, photographers, and models of all kinds. You can clearly see how better a photo looks after the edit. The exposure is better, saturation and filter. And what I really love about it is that it's also sort of a like-free platform, so there is definitely less pressure on it. But you don't need to post your photos there at all, just edit them in the lab and when it's done save them to your phone album. 

2. Spark Post



With Spark Post, you can create these wonderful images for your blog posts, just like the one below or create Instagram posts, Facebook page headers, Twitter post images or anything else that you desire for popular social media platforms. For almost every blog post, I use this photo editor. Even though many people suggest Canva app which is still great, I think this one is much better - it's simple, it has a gorgeous design and most importantly, it's free

3. StoryArt

Wanna make your Instagram story stand out? Use StoryArt, the name stands behind its abilities. You can clearly see how wonderful this photo looks with a caption and almost polaroid-like feeling to it. This app is the new game-changer in the life of an Instagram blogger or really, any Instagram account out there. By the way, if you like this design - you can follow me on my Instagram HERE. Btw. the photo is from my hometown in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Isn't it amazing?

4. UNUM



You feel like you want to post something, but not sure if that would fit your Instagram aesthetic? Download UNUM, this app allows you to plan ahead your Instagram posts. You can literally plan a dozen images ahead before publishing them. It's the coolest app in the world, make sure to check it out. My Instagram needs a better aesthetic and that is why this app helps so much.

5. MailChimp



Don't have a mailing list yet? Don't worry - MailChimp will create it for you. Set up an account and you can easily see your subscribers. And not just that, you can also create campaigns for a newsletter, so whenever you post on your blog, your subscribers will receive the post in their e-mail. Besides that, you can send them "Welcome" and "Thank you for subscribing" messages. You are able to create promo e-mails for your business if you are selling something or having a giveaway on your website/blog, announce all kinds of news of your business and anything else that your heart desires. Oh and if you still haven't subscribed to my account, then you're missing out - subscribe HERE.

6. Pocket



And last, but definitely, not the least app on this list. I love Pocket because it allows me to bookmark websites or links that I want to visit, but have no time to read at that given moment. And what's the best thing - it lets me save posts of other bloggers that I want to read! I don't know, but on Safari or Chrome on mobile, I usually forget the bookmark tool, that is why Pocket is a must for me. And since I have just created it, I have 0 following, so if you have this app - leave your username in the comment!


So there it is - 6 Best Must-Have Apps for Your Blog and Instagram. Will you download these? Or maybe you have any other useful apps on your phone? Share them in the comments!

**By the way, if you are a blogger or a Youtuber make sure to check out this Facebook group page that I created called "Bloggers Promotion", there you can share your blog post links or any other social media accounts that you have. Simply, ask to join!

You can follow me on my social media: Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest or like my Facebook page.


My last post was a reflection on the past month, as well as the topic of "How to set your goals". In today's, post I'll be covering some more material stuff - my July 2018 favourites.

The favourites come in all shapes and sizes, from a book I've been having a love/hate (but primarily love) relationship with to candles, shoes, clothes and of course, beauty products and even food.


1. Macadamia Oil - (Croatian: Kemig Oleo Therapy Ulje Makadamije Hladno Tiješteno)


This oil is life-changing, I've been using it to reduce the cellulite and just give extra health and glow to my skin. It's not too thick and that's what I love about it. It doesn't leave your hands oily afterwards either. I highly recommend you to get it. 

The one that I'm using is from a Croatian label Kemig but you can find any other brands that have this oil, the key is macadamia.

2. Maybelline Color Show 60 Seconds Nail Lacquer 6 Bubblicious 


Yep, it really drys off in 60 seconds (more or less). The colour I chose is pretty vibrant and that's what I love about it. It lasts for a few days on the nails, but who cares. It's good to change nail colour often and try new things.

3. Pina Colada Scented Candles 


I didn't know this was a thing, but apparently, it is. There is pina colada scented candles! Apart from being the most aesthetically-pleasing candles of all time, these smell so good. Whoever said there was no perfection, they were wrong. Coconut, brown sugar, rum and pineapple all in one and you're ready to get in the world of the Caribbeans and have an imaginative vacay in Punta Cana.

4. L.O.V The Fateful Lacquered Lip Stain No. 720 Vibrant Everglow


When they said it's lacquered, they meant it. It stays on your lips for a long period of time. I wore it for the night-out the other day and when I came back home it was still visible. I tried to remove it and I managed, but not fully. So if you are bored with matte, try lacquered! You won't regret it.

5. L'Oreal Colorista Spray 1-Day Colour Pastel Pink 


Okay, can I review something I haven't yet tried? I guess not, but I'm planning to make a blog post with my review on this and show you in more details with the photos of me and what it looks like on my hair. For a while now I've been wanting to dye my hair pink, so what is a better way to try it than with the 1-day lasting spray? 

6. Labello Vanilla Buttercream Lip Balm


In the previous post, I showed you that I use Labello Sun Protect SPF30. But I also told you that it's not as moisturizing as I would want it to be. That's why I bought a new one and guess what, this one couldn't be more moisturizing. It also has the most gorgeous scent of vanilla!

7. These shoes!


High heeled sandals are my go-to for the summer. These are the most comfortable high heels I have ever worn. I bought it at a local store Alpina, but I'm planning to sell them soon on my Depop. So be sure to check them out there! More of my clothing will be sold there as well pretty soon. 

8. The "Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova


I won't write details about this book yet since I still haven't finished reading it. The basis of the narrative is quite interesting. A father travels with his daughter and tells her the stories of his youth, more importantly, the stories of his experience with Vlad Dracula. So far, I've read about 200 pages and the book has 600 and something, so I still have no clue about what is going to happen. All I can say is that the book is really hard to read, but it keeps you going with all fascinating details and descriptions of the places they travel to, one of those places is Dubrovnik a.k.a. my hometown.

9. Wet n Wild Color Icon Glitter E353C Groupie


Sparkles everywhere, but worth it. I'll do a makeup tutorial which will include this item. It leaves your eyes with a gorgeous pink shine and the best thing is - you can really use this eyeshadow as a mono!



*The following items, I've already reviewed in another post. Click on the title to read more about them.

10. Maybelline New York Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Eyeshadow 65 Pink Gold 


11. L.O.V. Make-up Colour and Care Lipstick Love Potion No. 930


12.  Wet n Wild Color Icon Glitter E352C Nudecomer 



And there it goes - My July 2018 favourites. You can also read my post about my July 2018 reflection & August goals HERE or perhaps you'd like a look into my Makeup bag? Click HERE. Do you like any of the items, will you be trying any? 

What are your July 2018 Favorites? Tell me in the comments!

If you want to see more content like this and even better, subscribe to my blog HERE. You can get some free coupons, giveaways and much more!

Follow me on my social media: Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Bloglovin'.

xx Nora

I can't believe that this month is about to be over. If I dare to say, I'd say it was one of the best months of the year. It's not like something huge happened externally, but more internally. I've learned to be more myself (This is a process I'm still learning, though. If you want me to write more about this, tell me in the comments).

I've met some wonderful people, I worked, I had fun... I've partied, I've read some books, I listened to good music, I went to the restaurants and most importantly for you, I posted some blog posts that I'm very happy with. You engaged in my blog like never before. I've gotten a lot of comments and more views and that's why I want to say - thank you so much.

So from now on, every few last Monday of the month this Reflection blog series will be a subseries to a #MondayMotivation series that I've had on this blog for a while.

In it, I'll explain how I create my goals and stick to them, and I'll help you achieve the same.

Goals I had for this month:
  • Eat a pescetarian diet ✓ 
  • Get more comments on my blog✓ 
  • Get more than 5 subscribers on blog✓ 
  • Work out 3 times a week
  • Be more active✓ 
  • Post more photos on Instagram than usual✓ 
  • Work at the store✓ 
  • Be more creative✓ 
  • Post three times a week

Most are done. I worked out once and I didn't post three times a week, but once. But hey, now it's going to be twice a week. I decided to set a little more realistic goals. What I've realized from the past, I've been setting goals like lose 2 kg a month and I wouldn't make a good plan for it. 

"A goal without a plan is just a wish."

If you are about to set a goal, create a plan for it. Let's say, you want to lose 5 kilos in total (around 11 pounds), you need to; first - be realistic, and second - make a plan.

As you can see, I was realistic with my goal "work out 3 times a week", but I didn't make a realistic plan for it. Sure, I can work out for three times a week, but the questions are - How? When? And even why?

- How? - I'm going to work out in my room by watching YouTube videos for cardio exercises
- When? - Each day at 10 a.m.
- Why? - Because I want to be a fitter, healthier person.

Now it's time to see how realistic a plan is.

How? - realistic; I am able to work out in my bedroom at any given moment that I'm at home
When? - I can work out at 10 a.m. if I make myself to do it first thing in the morning since I would be waking up at about 9:30-10
Why? - this is a solid goal and the purpose of me doing this challenge.

And that's how you create a goal. If you need to, ask yourself even more questions to reflect more on it.

- How much time can I spend working on my goal?
- Is there anything else I can add to the plan to make it better?
- Is there any way I can speed the process up?
- What's my time frame for the goal?

etc. etc.

To improve my work out goal by answering questions above:

- I can spend three times a week working on it.
- Yes, I can add more willpower.
- Yes, I can add eating healthier to the table.
- Most likely forever or until I'm able to, but the work out regime will change over time as I get fitter    and better at it.

So working out is one of my August 2018 goals, let's see what are the other ones:
  • Wake up earlier than usual
  • Eat much healthier
  • Save more money in the fund
  • Publish three blog posts a week
  • Buy a professional camera
  • Publish three-seven times a week on Instagram
  • Do photoshoots for blog
  • Get more than 15 subscribers on the blog
  • Engage in other people's blogs and help them grow.

I'll spend some time reflecting on these.

Now it's time for you to reflect on your July and think about August. Ask yourself the questions above, add even more to the story and start taking action for them. Because truly, there are no achieved goals without action taken.

What are your goals? Do you find this post useful? Tell me in the comments!

Follow me on my social media accounts including Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Bloglovin', also like my Facebook page.

Today, I'm going to show you what I have in my makeup bag, but only the makeup I use for my everyday makeup look. I’ll show you the full makeup look in the next blog post.

So let's start.


Now, when you see what's in it, follow the numbers in the spiral way. Check the list below to see the details about each product and my opinion about them:

1. BH Cosmetics 10 Pieces Eco Brush Set & UBU No. 36 Brush



These BH brushes, I got at the Croatian site for makeup PinkPanda. If you're from my country, I recommend getting some makeup or brushes from that site. There are mostly affordable items. However, I'm not in love with these brushes, I've had better ones. I only use the one for foundation and the one for blush if I wear one (which is rarely). 

The UBU brush, I use often for contouring.

2.  Revolution Highlighter Golden Lights


I really like this highlighter. It doesn't make your cheeks too shiny which looks fake. It's really perfect if you prefer a little more natural look. Unfortunately, it doesn't last for 24 hours, but it can give a good 2-3 hours shine.


3. Ziaja Natural Olive Cream for Intensely Nourishing Dry and Dehydrated Skin


Not really makeup, but a beauty essential everybody needs to own - a moisturizer. I can't imagine applying makeup without one, it would feel so weird. If you have dry skin like me, I highly recommend getting this one. As the title of the product says, it's intensely nourishing and you must have it.

4. L.O.V.  Make-Up Colour and Care Lipstick Love Potion No. 930


This lipstick is a true matte one! It lasts up to four hours, if not more sometimes and I'm absolutely in love with it. It has a pinky tone and it's not the lightest shade, but those are my favorites.


5. Maybelline New York Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Eyeshadow 65 Pink Gold



It's a great eyeshadow in a gel. It has sparkles, but it's not too sparkly and the shade is pink bronze. I put just a little bit of it to add some pink tone to my daily eyeshadow look which you'll see tomorrow here on my blog.


6. Labello Sun Protect SPF30 Lip Balm


This lip balm doesn't give the greatest moisturization, but it gives a SPF30 protection which is important especially now during the summer season. I wear it daily and apply it before a lipstick or lipgloss.

7. S.he Stylezone Eyebrow Pencil 002


To me, an eyebrow pencil means nothing if you can't do your eyebrows right. That is why I bought this pretty cheap one at a drugstore. The pen that is used doesn't matter, the finished picture does. I just tried to sound intellectual, lol.

8. A ruler



You gotta sharpen the pens somehow. That's what a regular ruler is for.

9. Catrice Cosmetics Glam & Doll Volume Mascara


This mascara is a good one. Usually, they make your eyelashes either too sticky or too thin. This one makes the balance between the two. It doesn't make a huge amount of volume, but it does make your eyelashes pop and that's what matters.

10. A regular eyelash curler


An eyelash curler is a daily must for me. My lashes are not too prominent, so with this, I get the right volume I need.

11. Catrice Cosmetics Prime & Fine Makeup Transformer Drops Darkening


I love this darkening for contour. The most important thing when it comes to contouring is that the contour color doesn't change to orange after you blend it. That goes especially to those with paler face colors. This Catrice contour darkening does not do it and that is why I'm a fan. It's not gonna give a hugely visible contour, but for a daily makeup, that's exactly what you need.

12. Catrice Cosmetics Liquid Camouflage High Coverage Concealer 12HR Waterproof 010 Porcelain 


This concealer gives me a nice non-shimmery highlight as well. It's simple, pale and easy to apply. I love it.

13. Deborah Milano Soft Smokey-Eye Eyeshadow Palette


Out of the five shades of this smokey-eye palette, I only use the white and dark brown one. The grey-black one is too dark and those other two golden ones are too warm for my taste. Since I have blue eyes, I prefer colder eyeshadow shades. But, the palette is gorgeous!

14. Catrice Cosmetics Chocolate Nudes Eyeshadow Palette 010


I've had this one for a while now. The first in the line of the shades was the pure white one, but I literally used all of it. The one I'm using daily now is the fourth one in the row, the shimmery golden brown one. I love this palette and definitely need to buy a new one.

15. Rimmel London Magnif'Eyes Eye Contouring Palette 003 Grunge Glamour


For a daily use, I go with the first five shades (white, light beige, darker beige, nude brown and golden shimmery brown). The last three (the pink, blue and navy), I use for special occasions or if I want to do a different makeup look for that day. If you haven't figured out by now, I do brown smokey eye look every day.

16. Dolce & Gabbana The One Eau de Toilette


Now you must be wondering why do I have a Dolce & Gabbana in my "makeup" bag. Well, did you know that the way you smell makes you more attractive than the way you look? Or at least that's why I heard. I love this perfume, it has a fruity smell.

17. Wet N Wild Color Icon Single Glitter E352C Nudecomer


I took this photo the day I got the eyeshadow (that's why the background is different). I think it was last Thursday (?). Anyway, I didn't even want to use it because, after the first use, it lost these gorgeous sparkles on top. I love it, it gives a great shine to the smokey eye.

18. Catrice Cosmetics Kohl Kajal 010 Ultra Black


Just as I said for the eyebrow pencil above, which eye pencil I use doesn't matter to me. The only thing that matters is that it is long enough and black which this eye pencil definitely is.

19. Maybelline Affinitone Hydrating Tone-on-tone Foundation 16 Vanilla Rose


This could easily be my favorite foundation ever. With its vanilla rose shade, it blends perfectly on my skin. It's not sticky, it's not oily and the face doesn't feel heavy after you put it on.

20. Alverde Naturkosmetik Professional Magic Effect Rouge 


Although I don't use blush every single day, I wanted to show you which one I use, when I use it. This one is the liquid one. I bought it a month ago at a drugstore. The reason why I don't wear blush that often is because my skin has a pink undertone and therefore, I don't need it. But if I feel like wearing one, I choose this one. It had a shimmery tone to it and sometimes, I use it instead of a highlighter.

21. A blender 


I bought it God knows when and frankly, I don't care. I wash it frequently, just like all other brushes and that is why matters. 


We're done! Thank you for scrolling down so much. I know this post had a lot of photos, but I hope you found it useful and informative. I'd love to know what you think about my everyday makeup products, tell me in the comments below! 

In the next post, I'll show you everyday makeup on my face. Subscribe to receive notifications of all my future posts through your e-mail. Click here and subscribe to my mailing list!

If you'd like you can follow me on various social media accounts: Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Bloglovin'.

xx Nora


Hey, lovelies, it's Monday and that means it's time to be productive and start your week right. A month ago or so, I started (and unfortunately didn't continue), until now, a #MondayMotivation tag on my blog. I decided to bring it back and give you a close up into my morning routine which I started using recently and I've been loving, too.

1. Hydrate



The best way to start your morning right is to hydrate yourself. Every morning I start with a glass of lemon water. It helps me to improve my digestion and kicks starts my metabolism and it's pretty tasty, too. You should definitely give it a try.

2. Meditate



This one is life-changing. To meditate first thing in the morning gives you a sense of focus and understanding of what you will do on the following day. And it obviously relaxes you. Just take 20 minutes off of every morning, that's it, only 20 minutes and you can truly improve your life.

3. Plan ahead


After I drink water, I make tea (but you can have your wake up coffee if you'd like). Then, I get my bullet journal. And take 5-10 minutes off of my morning to plan my day, week or even a month ahead. I think setting goals in life is very important and writing it down gives you a sense of better knowledge on focus on what you want to achieve.

"The distance between our lives and our dreams is called action."


4. Have a healthy breakfast 



Today, I had this oatmeal. I just poured oats with 15-calorie coconut milk. I didn't expect it to be that low-calorie, by the way! If that isn't a reason for you to ditch dairy, I don't what is. Then, I put the oats with milk in the microwave and let it warm for about 1 and a half minutes, maybe 2. And when it cooled down, I was ready to eat it. Usually, I put fruits on top, but I didn't this morning because I didn't have any available. And to be honest, after a workout, I don't wanna rush to the grocery store so quickly. 

5. Put on your makeup, get dressed and get ready for the day



After everything, it's time to get polished. Put on your best dress or shirt, get your makeup on fleek and go outside, make this day the best day possible!


How do you spend your mornings? Should I add something to the list? Tell me in the comments.

If you want to see my makeup routine, let me know below.

xx Nora