The Palma Lockdown Diary | Week 3

And another week has passed… Spain has announced the extension of the lockdown until April 26th, so we have at least 3 more weeks to go!

Food, food and more food!

  • Cookioches (a mix between cookies and brioche)
    Original recipe here (in French). Recipe for 9 cookioches:
    – 180g of T45 wheat flour
    – 1 egg
    – 10g of sugar (optional)
    – 1 bag of baking powder
    – 100g of chocolate chips
    – 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
    – 2 ripe bananas
    Mix everything until the dough becomes sticky. Make 9 balls and put them on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 180°C. Enjoy!
  • Vareniki (Ukrainian raviolis)
    Our flatmate treated us with one of her childhood dish. Inside the ravioli are mushrooms and potatoes. And on top you can add cream and/or fried onions. very yummy! Here‘s the recipe.
  • Veggie curry
    Not a week goes without having this ahah. I just cook whatever veggies I have in the fridge, and I had coconut milk and curry paste.
  • More treats
    Lentils loaf (a great veggie option to meat loaf). And bread sticks (so YUMMY: made with pizza dough, Italian spices and seeds).

Palmapoly

We’ve finally finished our Palmapoly, but there will be another blog post to give you all the details. We played our first game on Saturday night but let’s say it didn’t end very well 😂 I actually think it was more fun to make the Monopoly rather than playing it, so might just make another one to keep busy during the next 3 weeks.

If you can’t travel, read about it

This week I’ve read Enjoying Mallorca, by Pamela Legge. I have mixed feelings about it. I think back in the time when Google wasn’t our best friend, it was quite a good resource to know about expat life on Mallorca. I liked to be familiar with all the places and events she talks about, but it was a bit long and sometimes boring… I quite liked the illustrations though.

It’s series time

We finished The Handmaid’s Tale on Thursday, and we are sad to have to wait for the 4th season (which will be postponed due to the COVID-19 situation).
On Friday, the 4th season of Casa de Papel (Money Heist) was out so I’ve spent the day in bed watching it…now just have to wait for the next one ahah. I like this series because it’s my Spanish practice: I watch it in Spanish (with Spanish subtitles).

Weekends are for ‘beach’ days

We are so lucky to have a rooftop terrace, and to be honest, it’s the first time we’re making a good use of it after more than a year of living in our flat. It’s our new gym for mornings bootcamps, and on the weekend we’ve decided to set up a little ‘beach’ and enjoy some sunshine ans sangria.

I hope you all had a good week! Do you do anything special on the weekends to make the separation between week/work days and weekends?

Adèle xx

Morning Stroll around Palma Cathedral

The best time of the day to go for a walk and watch the gorgeous cathedral is definitely at sunrise.

Sunrise cathedral Palma de Mallorca

I can’t get enough of the sky turning all shades of orange and pink.

Sunrise cathedral Palma de Mallorca

No one in the streets, just you and the beauty of nature.

Such a peaceful moment.

“Ô, Sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on Earth.”
― Roman Payne

And soon after, it’s Golden Hour…

Oh, I miss it. I can’t wait to go on a morning walk again when all of this is over (aka COVID-19 lockdown).

What’s the thing you miss the most about having to stay at home?

Adèle xx

The Palma Lockdown Diary | Week 2

We are entering the third week of lockdown in Mallorca. At the moment, we are supposed to get out on April 12nd, but let’s see how the situation evolves in the next couple of weeks.

Some photos of Palma empty streets during the lockdown, taken when I go to the shops:

This second week has been SO MUCH BETTER than the first one. For several reasons. Firstly, I’ve really decreased the time spent on social media. I tried my best to not check my phone before 12pm, and focus on other things in the mornings. Secondly, I’ve given myself tasks and goals for each day. Thirdly, I’ve made myself available for work and clients only between 1 and 6pm so I don’t have to be online all day long. So what do I do the rest of the time ??

Quarantine Activities

  • I’ve kept on doing workout bootcamp on our roof terrace every mornings with my flatmates: it’s really amazing to get some fresh air and exercise in first thing.
  • Doing some over due cleaning tasks in the house (you know like cleaning the shower tile joints with a tooth-brush.. SO SATISFYING!) Who else is becoming a cleaning freak ?
  • Cooking, of course. This week I’ve made: a veggie curry, a leek and cauliflower fondue, quinoa and brocolis balls, sweet potatoes fries; and crêpes. We’re taking turns to cook with my flatmates so I’ve also eaten a tofu and veggie stir fry, chocolate mousses, lime mousses, an apple and cinnamon cake…
  • Writing blog posts, editing photos and drafting the new landing pages I need on my website.
  • Cleaning my computer storage, ordering photos and transferring them onto my hard-drive because I’m tired of the Cloud telling me it’s too full! Never enough space…
  • Making a Monopoly, Palma de Mallorca edition. This is my flatmate amazing idea. It’s been our project for the past two weeks and are hoping to be done soon to be able to play! We are making everything by hand from cards to bills, and even the board. The tokens are a 2 cents coin with a piece of sea glass glued on top. I hope next week I can show you the final result! It’s been so fun. Work in progress…
  • Watching The Handmaid’s Tale (you can watch it on HBO, there is a 2-weeks free trial). We’ve finished Season 2 and are loving it! We’ve also watched Self Made on Netflix.
  • Reading! I’ve finished ‘Snowing in Bali: The Incredible Inside Account of Bali’s Hidden Drug’ by Kathryn Bonella. A very interesting book. And I’ve also read ‘The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy’ by Fiona McNeill. Super fun and easy to read.
  • Painting… I’m definitely not a good painter but having fun just doing some water colour paintings, and it made me able to decorate my bedroom a little bit more. I’ve also added travel memories and postcards to escape a little during the lockdown.

Small Accomplishments and Happy Moments

I’ve put on jeans for the first time in two weeks, and it still fits! Just the time to go to the shops but still… Quarantine Fashion on point! Thank God for pajamas.

Hearing everyone clapping every night at 8pm and seeing thank you messages around when going on the streets to go food shopping.

Kids finding new ways to communicate and play together: they’ve sending paper planes and balls from one building to the other (well most ending up in the streets ahah) and having so much fun doing so!

I hope you all add a good week! Remember that it’s okay to feel sad, to feel overwhelmed and to feel lazy! It’s good to have a routine, keep yourself busy and be productive but the most important thing is to keep sane! So if that means spending hours reading on the couch, then let it be!

Adèle xx

Discover the Cactus Paradise on Mallorca

You may think these pictures are from the Sonoran Desert in Arizona 🏜 or another far away place, but no, it is really from the most beautiful cactus garden of Mallorca.

Located near Ses Salines, Botanicactus is the perfect half-day getaway: bring your picnic and get lost between the hundreds of cactuses around you.

And of course, don’t forget to snap away

Opened in May 1989, Botanicactus is divided in 3 different zones:

  • The Mallorquin garden (25 000 m2) in which you can find typical plants of the Mediterranean climate, a flower garden, the picnic spot and a kid’s park.
  • The cactus zone, a 40 000 m2 desert with 8 000 different cactus species!
  • The humid garden with tropical vegetation and a lake.

The most impressive zone is obviously the cactus desert. There are many different paths, so the best is to just wander and enjoy the moment.

As a cactus lover, strolling in there was my kind of paradise! It’s quite impressive to see cactuses that are twice your size. And what a joy to discover the flowers…

Useful information

  • Price: 10€ pp.
  • Location: Carretera, 07640 Ses Salines, Illes Balears
  • Opening hours: Monday to Sunday
    January to February from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    March from 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
    April to August from 9:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
    September to October from 09:00 a.m. to 07:00 p.m.
    November to December from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • www.botanicactus.com

Be aware that in summer it gets very hot in the garden, so wear a hat and bring water! There are picnics tables so you are welcome to bring your own food – as long as you don’t leave anything behind you!

Let me know if you’ve been to the gorgeous cactus garden on Mallorca or if it’s on your list 🌵

Adèle xx

The Palma Lockdown Diary | Week 1

Disclaimer: photos of the city taken on Saturday March 14th, before the lockdown.

A week has passed since we got the news of Spain entering the state of emergency due to the current COVID-19 situation. It wasn’t a shocking news as we were looking at what was happening in Italy and we knew the lockdown was the only way to prevent spreading the virus more and more.

First days

On Saturday night, knowing that we wouldn’t be allowed outside for a long time, I went on one last walk by the sea to watch the sunset. It felt very strange, many people were outside enjoying their last moments of ‘freedom’. Who knows when we will be able to go to the beach again? …

Sunset on the beach with palmtrees

Sunday was quite a weird day. Many people were still going out as they understood the lockdown was starting on Monday, so the police already started to go around and tell people to go home. There was no running by the sea or exercising on the beach allowed anymore. That was it: everyone inside!

Before the official lockdown announcement, people went a bit crazy and did some panic buying, clearing the toilet paper shelves of the shops (we are all still wondering WHY TOILET PAPER ?!). Quickly, the shops became empty as everyone was stocking up on food. But a few days after the state of emergency announcement, it was almost back to normal.

Adjusting to the current situation

It took me time to adjust to this surreal situation: working from home most of the time, the idea of having to stay home and work remotely didn’t scare me as it’s already part of my daily routine. My main concern was not to be able to go outside for my daily walk by the sea, to get some fresh air and get my 10 000 steps in after spending the whole day sitting and working on the computer. Thankfully, I’m lucky to live with a former personal trainer so she’s keeping us fit during the lockdown as we can’t go to the gym. Every morning at 7.30am my flatmates and I are on the rooftop terrace to do our daily bootcamp: best way to start the day (even if some days I am grumpy and not really into it, let’s be honest!)

As the days went by, we noticed more and more policemen around our square, controlling the whereabouts of people walking: if you have to go to work, you should present your work contract or a certificate from your boss; if you are coming back from the shops, you have to present your receipts to make sure you really went food shopping. If you’re walking your dog, they might ask you the document of the animal to make sure it’s yours, as some dog owners are now renting their dog so people can go on a walk!!! No jokes!

What I should have done differently

I think my biggest mistake during this first week was to spend way too much time on social media: as many people found themselves without jobs, they were so much more active on Facebook and Instagram. I’m a bit addicted to YouTube and watching stories all day long, so content creator and influencers posting twice as much as usual didn’t help me to put my phone down. One week in, I’ve decided to not turn on my phone before 12pm every day, so I can concentrate on other things in the morning without watching the news nor everyone’s accomplishments during the quarantine.

Palma Cathedral and palmtrees

I don’t know how you felt when you started seeing everyone planning to make the most of it and taking the opportunity to do things they never have the time to do, but it made me feel super anxious, overwhelmed and sad.

Well yes: my life isn’t really different because I still have to work online part-time for my clients, and the other part of the time to work on my business, so really no more time than usual to start learning how to sew or learn a new language. I was feeling frustrated because I also wanted to be home and not work and have so much time in my hands to do so many different things.

And then I realized the problem wasn’t not having the time, but more not managing my time wisely. As every bit of ‘free’ time I had, I was spending it on social media looking at everyone living their best lockdown lives (because of course, most people are posting about the benefits and what they are achieving, no one talk about their mental breakdowns or their 3-days in a raw in the same pajamas ahah).

Crafts, water painting

Learning from my mistakes

My goal now is to work on my business in the mornings (writing blog posts, editing photos, planning my social media posts and do some online courses), work for my clients in the afternoon, watch a few episodes of The Handmaid’s Tales with my flatmates (we started it yesterday and omg it’s so good!), and read before going to sleep. And let’s not forget our daily morning flatmates rooftop bootcamp.

Focus on the positive

One thing I really love about being stuck at home is that it gives us the opportunity to spend quality time together: playing games, doing crafts and having home-cooked dinners. Food has become the thing we look forward to the most as we can’t go outside, so cooking and eating is becoming our number one activity. So far, we’ve made French toasts, cinnamon rolls, an orange cake, veggie lasagna, Brazilian risoles, beetroot humus, red pepper and Parmesan dip, veggie curry and fish cakes.

I’ve also loved noticing a rise of solidarity during this difficult first week: at 8pm, every night, people go out on their balconies and clap for all the medical staff and other professions doing such a hard job. As we are young and healthy, our elderly neighbour has been asking us to do her shopping and pharmacy runs as she’s scared to go out at all; and it makes us feel useful.

How did your first week of lockdown go ? How are you feeling ? I’ll leave you with an Instagram post that I really needed to see when I was feeling low and unproductive. Hope it helps!

Adèle xx

Almond Blossom Magic on Mallorca

The winter season has to be my favourite on the island: perfect weather to go hiking and the almond trees in the fields are blossoming. I just love the pink flowers growing on almond trees between January and March.

“When an almond tree became covered with blossoms in the heart of winter, all the trees around it began to jeer. ‘What vanity,’ they screamed, ‘what insolence! Just think, it believes it can bring spring in this way!’ The flowers of the almond tree blushed for shame. ‘Forgive me, my sisters,’ said the tree. ‘I swear I did not want to blossom, but suddenly I felt a warm springtime breeze in my heart.” ― Nikos Kazantzakis, Saint Francis

You can take part into Affordable Mallorca almond blossom photo contest by sending your best snaps at hello@affordablemallorca.com before February 16th. Click here for the rules of the contest and prize.

Is there almond blossom in your part of the world ? Share your photos with me on Instagram by using #yellothere

Unique Instagram-worthy Hotel in Mallorca

My friend Chloe from Pink Flamingo Marketing invited me to join her for a little drink by the pool at the most beautiful and unique hotel I’ve seen on the island: Ten Mallorca in Sineu.

This hotel is the perfect location to get some Insta photos (of course life is not all about Instagram but lots of us are guilty of choosing a place for the photos we can get there, admit it!).

I loved Ten Mallorca because every room is different and has its own character. They created different ambiance in each corner and everything looks amazing!

The pool is also a big hit! Who wouldn’t dream to sip cocktails and go for a swim in this dreamy location ? If you’re looking for a beautiful place where you can relax, this is the perfect one !

Chloe is organising a one-day marketing retreat at Ten Mallorca on February 28th, you can find more info by clicking here. I’m so sad I’ll miss it as I will be flying back from France on that day.

I can’t wait to go back there ! What’s your favourite hotel on the island ?

Bye 2019 – My Favourite Moments

As 2019 is ending, and a new decade is about to start, I wanted to take time to reflect and think about this past year. It’s been a pretty amazing one, full of surprises! Here are some of my favourite memories of 2019.

I started the year in France surrounded by my family. I was happy to go back to my beloved island and explore: I went many times to Banyalbufar, it became my favourite town on the island: mountain and sea, almond and palm trees, cactus and flowers; amazing terraces, breath-taking views…

End of January I met a very cool group of Belgian guys, we became instant friends and throughout the year we all went back and forth between Palma and Brussels; we’ve had so much fun!

In February I went back to France and it was lovely to spend time with my family, it was freezing but oh, beautiful!

March was the time for new flatmates, and I couldn’t have asked for better girls. I’m so grateful for them, we’ve created a little happy home.

April started in Finland! I was visiting a Uni friend in Turku and we had a great few days: sunrise on the frozen lake, typical Finnish sauna, barbecue on the beach because it was SO warm (14°C), exploring small towns and laughing a lot. Can’t wait to see where we will meet next time!

In May, I was lucky enough to have several members of my family – including my mum for the first time! – coming to Mallorca to celebrate my Godmother’s 50th birthday. It was so much fun to show them around the island, and for me it was very special to show my mum the life I’ve created in Mallorca. One of my favourite during that week was Botanicactus: paradise for the cactus lover that I am!

In June, I celebrated my 23rd birthday surrounded by my loved ones. I eel very blessed when I see the people I have in my life here on the island.

I also spent an amazing week with my friends visiting me in Palma, working in the morning and exploring in the afternoon: we hit so many places I was dreaming of discovering such as Calo D’Es Moro and Sa Calobra.

A must do in Palma: the rooftop of the Cathedral, find out more about it here.

We also made the most of Palma night life and tried a few rooftops. My favourite is Hotel Almudaina Sky Bar: love the view of the cathedral! And prices are quite reasonable.

After this, I spent a week in a gorgeous region of France: Ardèche, for the baptism of one of my cousin. It was so relaxing to be in a small village in the middle of the mountains.

August came, and back to France again! This time to show Paris to my God-daughter (5yo): it was amazing to see the world through her eyes! It was also great to see many of my friends from high school around a yummy dinner on the beach.

At the beginning of September, I’ve worked on my first Festival: doing the social media coverage during all the events: it was challenging, intense and tiring; but I got to discover many new places (including amazing restaurants) on the island!

Mid-September, end of summer, time for a boat party with Mallorca Girl Gone International. So much fun!

October started for me in Barcelona: my high school English teacher from when I was living in Australia came to Barcelona so I took the opportunity to visit her and rediscover this city.

2 favourites there: the Palau de la Musica Catalana and Alsur café.

I was invited on a boat cruise with Save The Med Foundation and I couldn’t believe my eyes when we saw dolphins! Such an amazing memory.

Mid-October, and still an amazing weather on the island. I joined my favourite Pink Flamingo, Chloe at Ten Mallorca hotel in Sineu: the ultimate Instagram hotel. We had so much fun with Chloe sipping Gin&Tonic by the pool, laughing and taking cool photos ahha.

October was definitely an amazing month, as I was lucky enough to go to the European Hot Air Balloons Championship that was taking place in Mallorca. You can read about the whole experience and see more photos by clicking here.

October was also the month I launched Palma Insta Tour, I’ll talk more about the concept in another blog post, but you can follow this project on Instagram and book on Airbnb Experience.

November: time to visit the island next door! Let’s go to Menorca. A weekend to relax and disconnect. Pretty empty at this time of the year, it was hard to find places to eat but amazing to not be surrounded by hundreds of tourists. We were gifted with the most amazing sunset and we had so much fun on wine tour and cheese tasting. More photos coming soon in another blog post!

The month ended with the visit of one of my lovely friend, who I don’t see enough. We went on the most amazing hike from Cala S’almonia to Cala Marmols. And we spent hours walking through town looking at all the Christmas Lights. It was such a chilled but full weekend, can’t wait to see her again!

December has been quite busy as I was preparing to take time off for Christmas, but seeing the Christmas Lights every time I’d cross the city at night was such a lovely feeling. I finally launched my website and started my blog, yay! I’m also so grateful for the amazing friends I’ve made on the island and who are part of my close circle, and for all the people I’ve met through the year: new clients, business partners and friends.

As I’m writing this, I’m on the plane flying from Dubai to Jakarta. My 2019 will end in Lombok and 2020 will start in Bali, how lucky! I hope you all had a great 2019 despite the many challenges. Bring it on 2020!

Adèle xx

A Magical Christmas Market in the Woods

Come along to the best Christmas Market on the island: local, eco-friendly and vegan artisans coming together to create the magical Countryside Christmas Fair, all orchestrated by Jada and Baran, the loveliest couple running the gorgeous B&B Spoon Full O’Moon in Costitx.

Walking through the woods, you could treat yourself to the amazing waffles by Mukka Coffee, try Totally Gutted’s truffle cheese, eat a mushroom pita by Max Campbell Catering, then taste all the flavours of Solstice Blends lattes, alongside with vegan treats by Eat Me by Eva, to finish with a tea made from olive leaf by Dos Alquemistas.

Once you’d tried all the goodies, it was time to find your newest natural beauty products by Gaia and the most amazing candles and bomb bath by E-oil Alchemy. After that, you could then try on the gorgeous dresses made by Sunvibes, or S de Socorro’s beautiful pieces; and find the perfect piece of jewellery by Dzerve to gift the women in your life.

At the end of the pathway, Ivan and Lara of Wine Industry were waiting for you with mulled wine. It was time to sip away while watching the different talented performers: Sofia DV Music’s students, Holly Jazz’s choral, Stina Jones and Merel Jansen.

And let’s not forget taking fun photos at the photobooth or chilling by the bonfire, a kids favourite!

Let me introduce you to my favourites.

Dzerve Jewellery

Sustainable, precious handcrafted jewellery inspired from nature. I love my wave ring made with love by Ieva. Handmade in Mallorca, she also delivers all around the globe if you order from her Etsy shop.

Sunvibes

Boho chic sustainable fashion designer, Eli, makes the most gorgeous and unique dresses. If you’d love to gift your loved ones an experience this Christmas, Sunvibes also offers sewing courses and workshops.

E-oil Alchemy

Natasha is a holistic health and wellness coach, and global essential oil Educator. Trust me, the pot-pourri, candles and bath bombs smell like heaven! If you need any advice on essential oil, she’s the one you need to speak to!

Mukka Coffee

Mukka Coffee is a vegan and gluten free café. For the market they prepared the yummiest waffles, cookies and donuts. You can find them in Palma: 12 Carrer del Carme, from Monday till Friday from 8-16h and Saturday from 9-14h.

Solstice Blends

Plant-based, vegan, superfood lattes: Solstice Blends is THE alternative to coffee. Each different colourful powder has a magic power. My personal favourites are the Pink Coconut and Blue Mermaid.

Totally Gutted

Newly opened in Santa Catalina (52 Carrer de Despuig), Totally Gutted is probiotic, pro-health shop! Libby offers hand-crafted fermented foods and beverages, and let me tell you her vegan cheeses are to die for!

Congratulations to all the local artisans who offered amazing products and delicious food.

Bravo, Jada and Baran

This market wouldn’t have come to life without the hard work of J&B. If you ever get the chance to stay at their amazing B&B Spoon Full O’Moon, just go for it as they are the most amazing hosts you could wish for. In the meantime, you can follow their every day adventure on Instagram @spoonfullomoon. Congratulations my beautiful friends for a successful first Christmas Market in Costitx, we all hope to do it again next year!

Watch this video to get an insight feeling of the countryside Christmas market in Costitx:

I hope you enjoyed discovering Spoon Full O’Moon magical Christmas fair in Costitx. All photos by me.

Merry Christmas !

Christmas Spirit in Palma

Oh, I love December in Palma: the sun is still warming us up most of the days, the sunrises and sunsets are colourful and the streets are magical as soon as the Christmas Lights are turned on.

Here are my favourite spots around Palma during the holiday season.

Passeig des Born: delightful during the day and magical at night; it was quite crowded on the night they were switching the lights on.

I love the stars on Plaza de la Reina.

I don’t know why, palm trees and Christmas lights make my heart jump: I feel so luck to live on this beautiful island.

Another of my favourite corner: Jaume III

There’s something so special about La Rambla during the holiday, I love seeing the flower shops along with the Christmas lights.

I love walking through Plaza Mayor at night, the yellow – my favourite colour – plaza is even more special all lighten up.

Last but not least, Plaza Cort and its sky full of lights.

I’m going away for the holidays so I’m taking all the Christmas spirit I can get before that! I still have a few Christmas events to go to: Santa Lucia at Palma Cathedral on Friday Dec 13th, the Countryside Christmas Fair organised by my beautiful friends at Spoon Full O’Moon on Sunday Dec 15th and a few Christmas drinks with my friends.

If you want to know more about how Christmas is celebrated on the island, check out this Ultimate Christmas on Mallorca Guide.

And you can check my video of the Christmas Lights as I walk through the beautiful city of Palma de Mallorca.

Happy holidays!