My First Vlog is UP!

Hi guys! Just a quick hello to let you know that my FIRST Vlog is UP!!

The whole process of filming and editing was truly a blast, and I really want to thank every single person who watched my Vlog and gave me feedback, you really made my week 🙂

So here you can find the Vlog below:

Hope you enjoy it!

Don’t forget to show me some love by Subscribing to my channel 🙂

Lara xx

 

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My 2017 Resolutions

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It has been a tradition on this blog to share my new year resolutions and celebrate a new year on the blog (Fun Fact: I launched my blog on the 31st of January 2012)

For this year, I decided to keep my resolutions short and simple so here we go!

1.Set Monthly Goals

Instead of listing yearly goals, I decided for this year to set monthly goals without pressuring myself. One month I am in the mood to read books and other months I am just too busy or not really in the mood to read anything. That’s why I didn’t want to pressure myself, but rather have a few doable health, fitness, beauty, and career goals set for each month. Stay tuned because you will be seeing some pretty cool content in the coming few months related to setting monthly goals 🙂

2. Do Something Outside my Comfort Zone

Not that I am not a risk taker or a adventure seeker, but for this year I really wanted to do some things that I am usually scared of doing. I already have one plan in mind (something that I have been planning on doing for the past 3 years lol), but I will not share it until I actually do it!

3. Focus on my Well-being

For the past year, I felt I’ve neglected myself a bit and focused more on my friends and family and their well-being. This year that won’t change, but instead I want to dedicate more time for myself and my well-being.

All in all, I do believe 2016 was a wonderful year full of changes and new adjustments in my personal and my professional life. I managed awesome projects at work, discovered beautiful places in Lebanon & Europe, met some amazing people, and most importantly committed to yoga!

Hope you had an amazing holiday season and you’re off on a beautiful start for the new year!

Lara xx

Favorites 2016: Beauty, Skincare & Lifestyle

Hey guys! First, I wanted to start this blog post by wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! Personally, I had a super chill weekend; I watched Love Actually over 3 times, no joke!

Now that the new year is only a week away, I thought why not write a special post dedicate to my absolute favorite things of 2016. I usually really enjoy watching or reading these types of posts, so I hope you enjoy my version 🙂

B E A U T Y

I listed below my top favorite items that I used on a daily basis this year

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  • L’Oreal super liner : This is definitely my favorite eyeliner so far. It’s really easy to use especially if you’re new to the winged liner club. If you feel like tying it, head over to Feel 22, and benefit from a special discount using promo-code LARASPEAKSSTYLEFEEL22  by clicking here
  •   L’Occitane Neroli & Orchidee Perfume: Ever since I received this perfume in my        Pretty Little Box – L’Occitane edition, I really couldn’t stop wearing it. I feel like it  really suits me, and its perfect purse size makes it so easy for me to carry around  everywhere I go
  • Sephora Lipstain #13: If I could choose 1 beauty favorite for 2016, it would definitely be this lipstick. I don’t want to seem too dramatic, but ever since I tried this shade, I felt like I found my perfect holy grail shade for  life! If you’re based in Lebanon, you can find some Sephora products on Feel 22 here 
  • Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer: Sadly, this product is not available in Lebanon, so I had to ask my friends living abroad to get me a handful of tubes! I’ve already mentioned this concealer on the blog, but it has certainly been my everyday choice since it’s lightweight and covers just enough

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S K I N   C A R E 

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Ultra Doux Body Lotion: 

Ever since I received this new range of body lotions back in February, I couldn’t stop using them. They are seriously competing with my body butters from The Body Shop! They are all made from natural ingredients and they smell incredibly good. It is also important to mention that they are easily accessible and very fairly priced. I just really wish they add a Coconut scent

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  Bioderma Micellar Water & VICHY Thermal Water:

It is no secret that Bioderma makes my favorite makeup remover of all time. Truth is, you will definitely find this product in my all time favorites not only this year’s favorites (I feel like I am being too dramatic today lol).

My second favorite is actually a new discovery. I’ve never really had thermal water as part of my skincare routine, but I really like this thermal water especially when I need to refresh my face after a long day

S E R I E S:

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Yay now off to my favorite part! I finished Westworld only in 4 days last weekend, and I can confidently say that it is my absolute favorite series for this year, and definitely one of my all time favorites. If you haven’t watched Westworld yet, I urgently ask you to spare a few days and dedicate them fully to this brilliant show. If you’re not convinced yet, this show features A-list actors and actresses including the legendary Anthony Hopkins

Here you have the show’s trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eX3u0IlBBO4

P O D C A S T S 

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In 2016, I started getting into the world of Podcasts. I don’t feel I have enough background to mention my absolute favorite podcast for 2016, but it’s fair to mention one of my favorite channels, TED Radio Hour. As you can imagine, all the podcasts are informative and they cover interesting topics

M E M O R Y 

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I wanted to end this blog post with my favorite memory of 2016! Going through this year, I realized just how much I’ve been through with all my new experiences and adventures. If I have to pick one memory for this year, it would be in Budapest when I met my partner after a 6 hour ride from Prague, and a stop in Bratislava. I remember it was a long day filled with emotions, I was really anxious and excited to see my boyfriend after planning for this trip for so long. He couldn’t make it with me to Prague, but we met in Budapest and it was truly an unforgettable moment

Okay too much cheese for 1 post, what were your 2016 favorites?

Lara xx

Cities I Would Like to Visit

I decided to dedicate my 3rd post in my #NovemberBloggingChallenge to one of my favorite topics, travel! Thankfully, I’ve been managing to plan at least 1 trip a year and so far I am blown away with all the cities that I’ve seen so far.

In today’s post I decided to list my top 5 places that I would like to visit in the near future. I still have many other cities that I would LOVE to visit, but I decided to list the ones that I can realistically visit in the next 2 years (I hope)

Thanks to Instagram and YouTube (in my case), it is now much easier to plan trips and find hidden gems around the world. The down-side of this whole online travel frenzy is that “hidden gems” are no longer hidden, but there’s no harm in wander-lusting every now and then 🙂

If you’ve been to any of the cities mentioned below, please leave your tips and suggestions down below. I would love to read all about your experiences and the best places to stay at and visit in each of the cities below. You can also email me laraspeaksstyle@gmail.com 

1- Amsterdam, Netherlands

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2- Marrakesh, Morocco

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3- New York City, USA

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 4- Lisbon, Portugal 

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5- Cappadocia, Turkey 

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Where would you like to travel next?

Lara xx

What Happened With My 2015 Resolutions?

 

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Hey guys! December has always been the month where I look back and reflect on my year, the ups and the downs, and whether or not I stick to my resolutions.

For the first time, I am actually sharing with you guys what I actually did or didn’t do since I shared my 2015 resolutions last year. To be honest, I didn’t really complete my resolutions for many reasons, but looking back, I actually changed many aspects in my life without even realizing.

Working in the PR industry has really changed many things in my life, I met many people, more than I could possibly imagine, and I made many new friends. Friendship wasn’t really a part of my 2015 resolutions, but it really made my year happy and bright.

I will be sharing a special blog post for my 2016 resolutions, but meanwhile, I’ve shared with you guys what I was able to cross off my resolutions list!

 My 2015 resolutions:

– Read more books

– Continue with my newly YouTube obsession for hair and beauty tips

– Work on my Fitness routine

– Learn to ignore negative people and the negative energy around me

– Consistent blogging

– Record more video diaries

– Challenge my creative side

A bad habit I’m going to break:
Saying YES most of the time

A destination I’d like to visit:
Paris

I’m going to work harder at:
Making time for reading

A class I’d like to take:
Photography & Outdoor Yoga

I’d like to spend more time doing:
Road trips & Cooking

A food I want to eat more of:
Sea Food

What about your 2015 resolutions?

Lara xx

Managing a Work-Life Balance

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Recently, a friend of mine told me that he’s not being able to manage a social life and a work life together. I thought that would be such an interesting topic to discuss since I’ve been recently managing 2 part time jobs so it’s good to share my experience.

I do think many people fall under the trap or working too hard that they forget about their friends, family, and beloved ones. For that reason, I’ve prepared a list of things to do to be able to manage your work and your social life balance.

1) Emails

Now that’s a tricky part. Many of us continue answering their emails even after they have left the office. I have made it a rule to myself that I will not answer any email unless it’s urgent and needs to be handled immediately. Otherwise, I do think it’s okay to postpone things to the next morning and just try to enjoy a peaceful night.

2) Work

This might be hard, especially for people like me who work in public relations and community management. Part of my job requires me to do some social media updates beyond the working hours, but doing some updates that would take a maximum of 10 mins is okay. However, you need to make sure that your free time is dedicated to your friends and family,so try to limit the work to the office only.

3) Family

I am not married and I do not have kids, but for me family time is sacred!  Sometimes I have to work late, so I try to always spend my evening with my parents in the living room and not lock myself in my bedroom. Sometimes this means I need to watch their TV shows but that’s okay, sometimes you need to be selfless haha. I also make sure to spend every Sunday with my family.

4) Friends & Lovers

That’s a very tricky part. Sometimes, my friends start throwing hints that I am always super busy and that they never see me like before. What I try to do is to have them join me at the events that I need to attend for work, or I schedule dates ahead of time so that I don’t make fake promises. If you have a partner, you also need to make an effort to see him/her after work for drinks or bites even if you are tired.

5) Weekends

Always try to plan your weekends ahead of time. It’s the perfect time for you to see all your beloved ones and spend a good time to energize for the working week ahead. Ever since I started 2 jobs, I always make it a rule to enjoy my weekend to the fullest and avoid being lazy and so far it’s working.

6) Travel

Summer is just around the corner and that’s a perfect excuse for you to plan your summer trip. If you don’t have the budget to travel, you can have a weekend getaway somewhere in your country as an affordable alternative. It’s so important to take a break at least once a year to relax and get inspired to achieve more productivity later in the future.

The reason why I wanted to write this post is because I know that sometimes things get out of our hands and  we become workaholics. You need to ask yourself one thing, do you really want to look back at your life and think that all you did was work?

I hope you liked today’s post, and let me know how you manage your time.

Lara xx

Top 5: Ways to be Inspired

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The word inspiration has become in the past few years a very important concept in my life. Inspiration is not only what bloggers seek, but what all businesses and individuals chase now a days.

I do believe that inspiration enhances your creativity and your quality of life in general, since it pushes you sometimes out of your comfort zone, and motivates you to chase your dreams and aspirations. Now please note the difference between inspiration and imitation, i do believe inspiration is when you feel that you are mentally driven to do something special and creative, it’s when you pour your soul into something. On the other hand, imitation is just a copy/paste process.

Yet, I do think that it’s a wide topic that deserves more depth and discussion (maybe in the future), but today I am giving you 5 ways to be inspired that are based on my personal experience.

1) Online

Nowadays blogs are becoming a major platform for inspiration, and I really hope you guys find any source of inspiration from my own blog! Other websites include Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr, We Heart It, Instagram, and many many others. The images, quotes, and the words of other people all around the world can really be inspirational. I personally get mostly inspired online.

2) Books

Reading and being lost in the book you are reading can be a great source of inspiration. It might be in the characters, the setting, the era or the story itself! Not only does reading teach you  millions of things, it also opens your mind and soul to many sources of inspiration

3) Travel

I always make an effort to travel at least once a year, even if for 3 days! Travelling opens your eyes to so many new things and experiences, and it teaches you many things primarily about yourself!  The process of seeing a new place and new faces is a very good way to find inspiration and new ideas.

4) Meeting New People

If you feel you are seeing the same people over and over, try to stop that. Always talk to new people since you learn so much and discover so many things by meeting new people. Discussing new thoughts and ideas will bring fresh information and experiences to your life which is so important and enriching. It is not so complicated, talk to new people at the gym, work, class, or maybe your friend’s friends!

5) New Activities

I always write on this blog about the importance of doing new activities and going out of your routine. This was something I was really suffering from in the past, and I am gradually trying to always seek new places and new experiences. Change is really good when it comes to your activities, so try for example to always visit new villages in your country, try different restaurants, try different gym classes, and cook different food! This change can be an excellent way to be inspired & to inspire!

I hope you liked today’s post! I would love to know what are your sources of inspiration?

PS: This image was taken in Dubrovnik – Croatia (Summer 2014) 

Lara xx