So at the time this post is published, I have just arrived at the airport (I'm terrible at directions so this is a great achievement - go me) and am checking in, going through security etc. from Barcelona to Edinburgh.

Where has the time gone! It's honestly crazy how fast my internship with Chouchou has felt. Buuuut I have had the most amazing time, experience and feel so grateful for this opportunity. I am so glad I just went for it and pushed myself out of my comfort zone - personally I have benefited in so many different ways. I will definitely write another more detailed post about what I got up to in the last few weeks (as my blog posts were noticeably lacking) and about how I found the whole experience but if you have any questions in the meantime just leave me a comment! And if you're swithering between taking on an abroad internship like this or not, I say go for it. Trust me.

This month's playlist has a few songs that I now associate with Barcelona, and some have strangely but definitely connected with how I've been feeling. I'll let you interpret that how you like!

My September Top 3

  1. Pony (& Pony) - Ginuwine (& Pretty Sister)
    1. This is the song I associate most strongly with Barcelona. Why? Perhaps not for the reason you're thinking. The studio where I worked looked oddly similar to the workshop in Magic Mike, and then some engineers turned up to work there, with no shirts on. So that's why. Just a little workplace banter. But also an excellent song (and remix by Pretty Sister).
  2. Ketto - Bonobo
    1. An old favourite of mine for when I used to have relaxing baths. Perhaps surprisingly, this song is instrumental. But it's just amazing. It's perfect for when I am feeling stressed out or just want some time to focus, breathe and reflect. I reckon you should give it a chance too.
  3. Cancer - Twenty One Pilots
    1. Have you heard Cancer by My Chemical Romance? Well then, prepare for something pretty mind blowing. You're welcome.

There are too many other amazing songs (in my personal opinion) so a special shoutout to Step Down - CRNKN remix by Elliphant for when I'm feeling down and need a motivational "shit happens" and everything-will-be-okay pep talk; Hurts so Good - Broiler remix by Astrid S for when I need to belt out my emotions and to Suburbia by Kilian & Jo feat. Erik Rapp for just being amazing and so intense.

September 2016 Mixtape

What have you been listening to in September?

September 2016 Mixtape and Goodbye Barcelona!

Imagine if you could click on a post on Instagram, then pinch, zoom and rotate to your heart's content and see the scene outwith the square frame. Admittedly you now can zoom in on Instagram photos, but what if you could zoom out? That would make a great YouTube video - let me note that down.

Perhaps this is the idea of the new Instagram stories - to provide behind the scenes footage of what you have posted on Instagram that day. However, for now, I'd like to explore this idea through a blog post with a few of my favourite recent Instagram images from Barcelona and why they are special to me.

A photo posted by Lifestyle Blogger πŸ’– Mairi (@copperpink) on

This building is the Palau de la MΓΊsica Catalana, a beautiful grand concert hall in Barcelona. This was a weekend where I really wanted to relax. I met up with some guys and girls from the Expats group I have found here for coffee, shopping and then we headed to L'antic Teatre - a secluded beer garden just down the street from Palau de la MΓΊsica Catalana. Feeling dehydrated I had a peach juice (my non-alcoholic summer drink) but I have since returned for an Aperol Spritz which was perfection. Now one of my new favourite alcoholic summer drinks - one of. I also rate a long island ice tea (preferably peach flavoured) and I have been converted into a mojito lover, much to my cinammon-flavoured toothpaste's disgust.

I took this photo during a photoshoot for my work. So behind the camera here is a model lying on the ground posing while a photographer stands above capturing a birds eye view of the beautiful Chouchou designs. This is a lovely square in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, and my heart honestly melted when I heard the cello. Such a pretty sound in such a pretty place. I began to learn the cello when I was in Primary 4 at school, so about 8 years old, and played until I left high school last year - till I was 17. That's a long time. Unfortunately the cello belonged to the school and not to me. And I do miss it. I miss experimenting and the freedom of the cello. I miss the sweet but strong sound of the strings and the notes. That's why I bought a slightly less expensive ukelele. But it's just not the same.

A photo posted by Lifestyle Blogger πŸ’– Mairi (@copperpink) on

This photo is special to me because I didn't know it was being taken. This occurred thanks to my aunt whilst visiting my holidaying family in Tamariu, Costa Brava. Read all about the weekend here. It was lovely to see more of Spain with a weekend getaway in the nicest accommodation I have ever stayed in, with a private pool. Very nice. One of my favourite things about pools and the sea, is the feeling of drying off in the sun afterwards. It's an incredibly serene sensation. I can't remember exactly what I was thinking at this time, but I know it wasn't worrying about how I looked in front of the camera. And that's why I like it.

A photo posted by Lifestyle Blogger πŸ’– Mairi (@copperpink) on

Finally, an uplifting story to finish off. I am a huge believer in always staying positive and believing that good things will happen. So this quotation really spoke to me. When I first moved to Barcelona, I was nervous about going for food by myself because I couldn't speak the language and everything was scary and mysterious and I would be alone. It honestly was so hard for me which may be hard to believe if you know me and my apparent carefree happy personality. But on this day I forced myself to brave lunch alone, and with a little confusion of languages between the waiter and I (who really was so helpful even in Spanish) I successfully ate my lunch, by myself, in front of this quotation. And that's why I decided to Instagram it, as a reminder to stay positive, as I do always try.

What did you think of this style of post? I might try and post some more in future so do let me know what you think! Do you have any interesting stories behind your Instagrams?

Be sure to follow me on Instagram @copperpink for pretty photos once a day 😁

P.S. just changed my blog header - what do you think? New signature coming soon!

Behind the Instagram: Barcelona

Hello there September, where did you come from??

So I guess that's summer officially over then isn't it? Hope you had a blast! However I am still in Barcelona till the 20th, and even though the locals are now wearing jeans during the day and cardis at night, I am always roasting. Fearing my return to Edinburgh to be hit by the inevitable blast of cold once off the plane. My winter wardrobe is currently non-existent.

But I guess I should enjoy the sun while I still can, and that's what I definitely will do.

Photos by Helena Willemijn - follow her on Instagram @yogielena

So: what happened to my goals for August? Well, that's a very good question.
  • Join a gym
    • Lol. I did not join a gym. I started to join the gym - I did get my free 7 day pass and I tried to phone to organise my first trip but no one picked up. And then I just didn't phone again. But I have been doing my daily stretches for preparation for cheerleading at university, so I am looking forward to getting back into the zone once I'm in Aberdeen. Barcelona is just too hot and has too many nice bars, beaches and restaurants for the gym. Que sera sera.
  • Improve my Spanish
    • Well I think that little phrase up there proves my Spanish has improved - by about three words. I definitely can understand people better now, but I have not put in as much time as I could. I guess it's hard since at my work I speak in English, and the group of girls I have made friends with all speak English, oh and my flatmates speak English, so I haven't been forced to speak much Spanish. Me gusta los frijoles however is a good sentence. Google Translate that. You're welcome.
  • Be brave
    • I feel I have been more sociable and just done more stuff in general since setting this goal. Of course there are still lots on my bucketlist but I know it will never be complete - however it does give me an excuse to return in future!
  • Stay organised
    • My Leuchtturm1917 is serving me well. A few days have been missed here and there where I was so busy with work I didn't have time for much else. But, if I ever am feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I just whip out my notebook and jot everything down in the Dump, the Vault or the Live List section. Click here if you have no idea what I'm talking about.
  • Go to the beach by myself
    • Since I am here to work, I haven't been to the beach as much as you would on holiday for example. However I did accidentally go to the beach by myself so I am counting this goal as completed. By accidentally, I mean I went to meet Helena at the beach to do yoga (follow her fab yoga Instagram here!), but I was very early so just lay on the sand reading for about an hour. It was lovely.

So although I technically didn't complete 2 or 3 of my goals, it's important not to beat yourself up about it. Of course I am a little annoyed I haven't been to the gym and I can feel the difference already. And it would have been great to have learnt some more Spanish. However all I can do now is look forward and be excited for the future, knowing I will join the gym again in Aberdeen and that if I choose to return to Barcelona in future to work or live then I can learn Spanish then. No ragrets. What's the point of being negative? Exactly, there is no point. Positivity only please. Hop on my bike of positivity and join me for the ride.

And now, for September. It looks to be a pretty crazy month.

September Goals 2016

  • Make the most of my last three weeks in Barcelona
    • Yes, just three more weeks until I return home. It is honestly so crazy how fast my time here is going. It's been intense and exciting and such a unique experience that I am so grateful for. For the rest of my time here, I want to go all out in regards to work, new places, new people, sightseeing and trying new eateries (and the beach once more would be nice too). Similarly to my August goal of being brave, I really just want to make the most of this amazing experience I have been given.
  • Settle into Aberdeen and university
    • If you didn't know, I am returning home to Edinburgh for about two days before driving up to Aberdeen to start university the week after. I am feeling a little unprepared in regards to decorating my new flat (bedsheets, cutlery, fairy lights etc. - the essentials) however luckily I am living in the city centre so have Oliver Bonas and pretty stores right next door. Although not Barcelona, I am honestly looking forward to starting my course again and seeing all my friends as well as living with Sarah and Biba who I'm sure will make my year unforgettable and absolutely hilarious.
  • Instagram every day
    • I have started to fall in love with Instagram again, and my aim is to post one image every day, usually around 8 or 9am. Be sure to follow me for updates and pretty pictures!
  • Start up the gym again - in Aberdeen
    • lol

How was your August? And what are your goals for September?

September Goals 2016

If you work from home, or if you blog or play hours of Club Penguin from home, you may sometimes wish you could work, blog or play Club Penguin out of the house. In Barcelona, I often work the morning in my flat. That is, my flat with no air con. It's hot. Like, thirty degrees hot.

Since I am wanting to explore Barcelona while I am here, I thought it would be a good idea to try out some cafes and coffee shops while working. I know how stagnant your days can become when you feel you are stuck in the house, even if it is doing work you enjoy. When the sun is shining it definitely affects me more, however even if you're not abroad, I know the feeling. I can feel a lot more productive in a public space. Not always, because then I can't belt out Dej Loaf sadly, but if you ever feel in a similar rut, then keep reading.

Available on Apple and coming soon to Android, the Work Hard Anywhere app has been a lifesaver for non-Spanish speaking me living and working abroad for the first time. The app, also known as WHA, is a platform which suggests the best public workspaces based on users' feedback and comments. The app takes into consideration factors such as Wifi speed, price (of coffee & snacks), parking space, seating options and noise levels. All important aspects for getting solid productive work done.

Think of it as a simplified TripAdvisor solely for work-friendly cafes, libraries and other public spaces. Its incredibly user friendly and aesthetically pleasing, just what I like.

My first visit using WHA was very encouraging. Discovering a cafe (or plant concept coffee shop) opposite my street about a 10 second walk away was a fab start. Espai Joliu is one of the most Instagram and Pinterest-worthy places I have visited. Hidden amongst the outskirts of Barcelona, its rustic and super creative interior charmed me - it was love at first sight.

Espai Joliu lived up to the expectations I had after reading tips and ratings from users of the WHA app. The coffee (and the cookie) was delicious and affordable, it was a quiet and welcoming space to work, there were plenty of seats and the WiFi was free and fast. The owner was also lovely and asked about why I was in Barcelona and what work I was doing that day, as well as saying he hoped to see me again soon. I should probably add this to my review on the app. I'll do that after this post.

And now I'm off to find another laptop and work friendly cafe using Work Hard Anywhere! Ensuring it has amazing coffee, of course.

Click here for more information about the app, and over here if you'd like to download it straight away - or search for "work hard anywhere" in the Apple Store.

Let me know if you find any great spots with the app, I'm hoping to add some myself to the map back in Aberdeen! Have you used Work Hard Anywhere before?

Remember to follow me on Instagram for Barcelona updates!

How to Find Laptop Friendly Cafes and Workspaces

I am very proud that I have managed to publish this on the 20th, as promised in my July 2016 Mixtape post. There have been a few times I have said "post coming next week..." like my non-existent university room tour (I did have a nice pinboard though), however my monthly mixtapes are something I am really enthusiastic about. So do honestly expect one each month. Seriously - they'll be here. I swear.

My August Top 3

  1. Hometown Girl & Working For It - ZHU
    1. If we get technical, these are two songs. However both from the same album, GENERATIONWHY, and WHAT AN ALBUM. Love. Beautiful and amazing. I just love ZHU's signature style ever since I heard Faded. Fangirling brb.
  2. Bacon - Nick Jonas, Ty Dolla $ign
    1. I have recently been having just a little obsession with Ty Dolla $ign (okay quite a big obsession) so this song is perfection. AND THAT BASS!
  3. You Don't Know Love (Cheat Codes Club Mix) - Olly Murs
    1. My Olly Murs fangirling days were a thing of the past, however this remix with my now beloved beats and synths has reignited my love.

So, basically, my top 3 songs are due to fangirling and obsessing. Judge me however you want. I'm happy and belting out all the words and that's all that matters.

UPDATE: One of my favourites, Leikeli47 has just released a new track, Money. So this is now my number one and has been added in. You're welcome.

August 2016 Mixtape

Remember you can follow me on Spotify for more amazing tunez. Let me know what you've been listening to in August!

August 2016 Mixtape

Lying by the pool, sipping wine on the veranda, playing countless games of ping pong. Not the main activities that come to mind when you think of busy Barcelona. Although I love the hustle and bustle of the city, it was great to have a break last weekend whilst visiting my holidaying family in Tamariu, Costa Brava. Coincidentally travelling to Spain whilst I'm living here; my aunt, uncle and cousins invited me to stay for a couple of nights to which I gratefully and excitedly accepted!

Shoutout to Robert, Melanie, Chris, Clidna, David and Lindsay ✌🏼

let's just ignore my uncle's feet sticking out the side of my head there eh

I arrived on the Friday afternoon, luckily managing to drive up (well, be driven up) with my family who flew into Barcelona airport. Arriving a little too early to get into the villa, we took a wander down to the bay of Tamariu - a stunning and serene space of nature as you can see above. I love the ocean.

For lunch I accidentally ordered a sharing plate of Catalan pa amb tomΓ quet (crusty tomato bread) with Iberian ham just for me. You know the ham I'm talking about, that ham, we all do 😏. Luckily I was starving so ate most of it myself. Give me pa amb tomΓ quet and Iberian ham all day, every day.

The rest of Friday was spent cooling off in and by the pool, trying out the beloved ping pong table and for dinner we made use of the beautiful veranda and had a barbecue, while sipping wine under the sunset (and just a few gin and tonics).

The villa was such a dreamy place. Definitely Pinterest-worthy. You may have seen a photo of it on my Snapchat, but unfortunately I forgot to save that photo. So the lesson here is, you should definitely add me on Snapchat right now so you don't miss other important and interesting happenings (@mairixlowe πŸ˜˜).

Here is a very chilled selfie of me (and a sneaky peek of the villa) after having managed to spend a whole hour stretching and doing yoga on the veranda at about 8am. In such a bliss state the time flew by. Yoga with the morning sun (warm but not hot) is amazing. Unfortunately I don't think the sun has discovered Aberdeen yet so I may have to give outdoors yoga a miss when I return for university.

Saturday was an incredibly chilled out day which was greatly appreciated. By the pool, I began reading a book from my self-confidence/girlboss reading wishlist (post coming soon) called You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. So far, it's quite an eye-opener. It has detailed ideas and feelings I have had but never really understood, and shown that there are lots of people who live happy and successful lives doing what they want - which I think is what I'd like too. I'm just not quite sure what that or those things are yet.

So after spending a deep philosophical day reading by the pool, falling asleep for about an hour and playing some more ping pong and watermelon ball ralley (new Olympic sport for 2020 by the way), everyone showered and glammed up for dinner. I even wore mascara. Pushing the boat out.

It was great to head out with my aunt, uncle and cousins as I don't see them an awful lot at home, despite living in the same city. Christmas reunions are always fun but a summer outing was also fab. The main differences I'd say are more heat and less turkey.

After quite a few games of cards and some 1am yoga poses, we slept off the gin and tonics and I didn't quite manage to get up at 8am for yoga unfortunately. More like 9.30, which is still impressive for me.

After a chilled morning and more deep philosophical reading of my new book; Chris, Clidna, David and I decided to take a coastal walk to a nearby beach. Although we got lost and ended up in non-treaded forest and someone's back garden, the scenery on the way was breathtaking.

The beach itself was a lovely beach, just not my favourite type. The type with big and small pebbles instead of the sand all Brits crave when abroad. Once you found your comfy sunbathing spot you couldn't move for fear of a rock in your back. I did want to swim in the sea but was feeling a little unwell so decided to give it a miss (very rare for me). However it was great to be in such an enclosed space of nature and it really was beautiful. Different from your usual dream beach, but just as or perhaps more charming.

Then I had about an hour bus journey back to Barcelona, and I was feeling relaxed and raring to get back to the busy city working life. That's not to say I wouldn't appreciate another beach day or weekend, but I am still enjoying my internship and can't believe how fast my time here has gone so far. I only have about one month left before I return to Edinburgh and soon after to Aberdeen. One month. That's less than I have been here already! So crazy. There is still so much more I want to see and do in Barcelona, and I know I will never complete my bucketlist, but that just gives me an excuse to visit again another day.

Where would your dream weekend getaway be?

Again, massive thanks to my family for inviting me down for the weekend - I had a blast!

One Weekend in Tamariu, Costa Brava

When I first saw my room in Barcelona, I thought YAS white walls, perfect for outfit photos! Actually, that's a lie, my very first thought was there are dirty cotton buds on the floor and an old pizza box. But that's another blog post.

Since I didn't know anyone in Barcelona before moving, I realised if I wanted to take photos of my summer wardrobe, I was probably going to have to take them myself. So that's why I brought my tripod. Actually, wait, I forgot my tripod. Great start Mairi.

For summer, I love to wear airy and light fabrics. This was particularly important to me for Barcelona, as I am working five days a week in a studio with no air con which tends to be hotter than outside. Which is rather hot. This is why I love this top with it's cooling open back, which also adds interest and a touch of flair. White is one of my favourite colours for summer and these shorts have been part of my summer wardrobe for a fair few years now. And, well, you can never really go wrong with stripes, can you? No, you cannot.

My lovely boss Silvia has offered to take a few photos of my outfit when we are working, but I am there to work and have decided to turn this seemingly disadvantage of not having a photographer on hand into an opportunity to improve taking my own outfit photos. Although my tripod would have been handy for this. Alas, I will adapt.

Additionally, part of the reason I wanted to come to Barcelona was to become more independent. What better way to start tackling this than taking my own photos. Challenge accepted.

Luckily, I am quite skilled when it comes to editing photos, and I'm sure I will improve through more practice (some of those edges are annoyingly a little dodgy). This means I can cut out the bloody mosquito remains on the white walls as well as the mattress I'm standing on and replace it with a pretty, although not very realistic, coloured background. A different style of ootd from pretty leafy streets in Edinburgh, but something to experiment with and make the most of. Maybe one day I'll muster up the courage to take some outdoors(OMG!!) outfit photographs, but until then, I'll always have my mosquito ridden white walls and my GIMP editing software at my disposal.

C'est la vie.

P.S. I can't WAIT to show you my shiny new white dungarees!

  • Top | Internacionale | around £4 in the sale (I think)
  • Shorts | Primark | around £5

  • Any tips for taking your own outfit photographs? I really would love to improve!

    Once I work out the best ways that work for me, a How to Take Your Own Outfit Photos post will be published :)

    Learning to Take Your Own Outfit Photos

    Hello August!

    July has just flown by. I can't believe I have been in Barcelona for now three weeks. It really has got me wondering where the time has gone. Luckily I am still enjoying my time in Spain; my internship is diverse and hence always interesting and I am loving wearing shorts and skirts every day. I recently discovered a group of expats in Barcelona through Facebook and WhatsApp and have met up with a small group of the girls for vegan tapas and drinks and am planning to meet up again soon!

    My first few days here I did feel a little isolated and overwhelmed. Understandable since this is my first time living abroad by myself. However thanks to my great boss Silvia, and the group of girls I have now met from all over the world, I am feeling a lot more settled, confident and excited.

    This being said, I decided to set myself monthly goals to make the most of my time in Barcelona (as well as a bucketlist of activities, eateries etc. which is in progress). Here's to a fun and fulfilling August!

    August Goals 2016

    • Join a gym
      • This was something I had meant to do within the first week of moving to Barcelona, but have simply not got round to it. I have been to Zumba once with Silvia though, so I guess that's a start. But this week, I am going to join a gym and get back into a regular routine. I miss it.
    • Improve my Spanish
      • I really do want to pick up the language but know I could be doing more than I did in July. I have been using my Duolingo app almost daily, but have been encouraged to take a look at BBC Languages in addition for grammar and more in-depth teaching. My goal is to spend at least 15 minutes per day on either Duolingo, BBC Languages or both. Once I feel a little more confident, I may attend a language exchange one night however I still feel too clueless!
    • Be brave
      • Recently I have been feeling a little down and that my mind is my worst enemy. I'm usually a very positive person - an optimist I suppose. However moving to Barcelona was a huge change for me and one I am still adjusting to. I am enjoying my time here, but I want to push myself to try more activities independently and just explore more without stressing out or over-thinking as I tend to do. I want to feel brave and not scared at things I know really aren't that scary!
    • Stay organised
      • Using the Strikethru organisation technique in my new Leuchtturm1917 notebook since moving to Barcelona has definitely helped me feel less stressed and on top of everything. I am still working out how best to adapt the technique for myself to be productive and happy without worrying all the time, however it definitely feels like a step in the right direction and I am looking forward to sharing my experience with you once I feel more settled with it.
    • Go to the beach by myself
      • Something I have been wanting to do since before I booked my flights here. The idea of going to the beach alone does seem a little daunting (see Be brave), but also something I really want to try. Just a little unsure how I would feel leaving my belongings on the sand when I go for a swim (I love swimming in the sea) but maybe I could even hire a locker? Or just not take any valuables. We shall see!

    If you have any recommendations on what I should get up to in Barcelona, please do email me or contact me via social media as I'd love to explore every little nook and cranny! If you'd like to keep up with my adventures, be sure to follow me on Instagram where I am aiming to post daily.

    What are your goals for August?

    August Goals 2016

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