colombo, sri lanka

I must admit that Sri Lanka wasn’t on my ‘must see list’, but it should’ve been, and I only visited Colombo and an estate in Bentota, and only for a weekend!

You can either get your visa online, or on arrival, depending on your nationality of course!
I always make sure I download the Triposo guide of the country I am visiting, the app is amazing, and you will have all possible information there, including maps, gps, sightseeing, restaurants, hotels,.. and all totally offline.

If you get a local SIM card, there’s an app like Uber in Sri Lanka, called PickMe, you have different types/sizes of cars, and it will tell you the rate etc, it’s super convenient if you prefer to use a car rather than public transportation.

There was an amazing architect in Sri Lanka, called Geoffrey Bawa, he designed some of the most amazing buildings, and is a reference for Architects and Interior Designers when we visit Sri Lanka.

We actually stayed at Bawa’s old house, Residence no 11, in Colombo. They only allow 1 group to stay there at a time, in the upper floor there are two rooms, one bathroom, and a big living study area, where everything is exactly where it was before.
In the ground floor, there are several small spaces, rooms, areas, all linked and all with its own identity. The whole house as an amazing link between the interior and exterior, which is a key to Bawa’s architecture.

The staff is super friendly, and prepared our breakfast in the dining area, and was super helpful to organize our trip to visit Bawa’s Summer Estate in Bentota.

The Lunuganga Estate, in Bentota is about 2 hours drive from Colombo, you need to book to be able to visit, and you can also stay there in one of the few Rooms they have available. The estate is gorgeous, near a big lake, it was Bawa’s attempt to recreate a bit of Italy’s Lake Como for himself, as he never managed to buy a house there as he wanted.
Every single building, water feature and tree, was meticulously planned and designed, nothing was by chance, and everything has its own meaning.

In Colombo, there is also Bawa’s old office, that is now a great cafΓ©/restaurant called Gallery House, the space is again amazing, and has the most FANTASTIC shop, with the best things for your home, or as gifts, not the touristic type, but the actual good things from Sri Lanka. As an Interior Designer I have to say that this place is both my death and paradise!

Last but not least, from Bawa, if you have time, spend one night at the Heritance Kandalama it’s 4hours drive from Colombo, but is supposed to be absolutely amazing.

A few other must see places in Colombo, are the Seema Malakaya Temple and the Parliament both also by Bawa. The Red Mosque, and the National Museum are other two must see.

We had lunch at the Tintagel Hotel, with a very cool colonial design and quite good food.
And of course — sunset at the Galle Face, in the outdoor bar, which has a beautiful view over the sea. We ended up eating from the Hotel’s buffet — I know, I know, buffet (!!?) I am not a fan of it myself, but this was surprisingly very good, and we tried all sorts of local food.

The people of Sri Lanka were absolutely amazing, and welcoming, I was stopped by the police when I was leaving the airport – because I was going the wrong way, and instead of telling me that I was going to a dead end, these officers started asking me a few questions, about where I was from (we talked about Cristiano Ronaldo of course), what I was planning to visit – very happy I knew Bawa (!), if I had ever been to Sri Lanka,.. and then with a huge smile, told me that the entrance to their country was on the opposite direction!


siem reap, cambodia

In 9 months i visited Siem Reap 3 times, so that should be enough to say: MUST VISIT!
Although Angkor is no longer the off the beaten track paradise it used to be, its still absolutely amazing and mesmerizing.

Cambodia’s history is nothing but simple. The country was influenced by several different cultures, such as India and other Southeast Asian civilizations that we now know as Thailand and Laos.
Its history is so complex that i don’t dare to try to explain, as i might mess up big time.

Instead i will just state a few historic facts about Angkor:

* The Khmer Empire was Southeast Asia’s largest empire during the 12th century.
* The center of power was in Angkor, which was the largest pre-industrial city in the world.
* The Ayutthaya Kingdom (also known as Siam) conquered several kingdoms and city-states, as well as Angkor, this affected the country’s economy, culture and older religions/faiths were eventually supplanted by Theravada Buddhism.
* France ‘adopted’ Cambodia as a protectorate in 1863
* A treaty between the French and Cambodia, helped starting the restoration of Angkor Wat in 1908.
* Cambodia gained independence from France in 1953 and has controlled Angkor Wat ever since.
* The works were interrupted by the civil war and Khmer Rouge control of the country during the 1970s ad 1980s.

(This info was gathered from some books and Wikipedia, unfortunately most writings are bias, so if got anything wrong, please do let me know.)

You can either get an eVisa at, or a Visa on arrival, but make sure you take USD and a passport size photo.
You can also use USD for almost everything, as the locals accept them willingly.

It really helps to have a good tuk-tuk driver, I found mine through a friend that visited Siem Reap before me. His name is ‘Ra’, and i really couldn’t have asked for a better guide in Siem Reap. He’s a young man, very hard working, very gentle spoken, and super friendly.
Otherwise, you can always get a motorbike, or a bicycle, just check the size of Angkor and how many days you have in Siem Reap before deciding.

Most of the times i went to Siem Reap, i would land in the early morning, stop somewhere for a quick breakfast, and then head straight to Angkor. Right at the entrance of the compound your driver will stop at the ticket counter, so you buy your pass, there are different passes – 1 day, 3 day, .., make sure you get the best for what you are planning on doing, and don’t forget that if in your last day you only do the sunrise, it still counts as 1 day.
Make sure you don’t loose your pass, as it’s quite ‘expensive’.

There’s no perfect order of visiting the temples, but there are some that have a special moment of the day when it’s most amazing. There will always be tourists around, so don’t expect to ever be alone in the major temples.

For sunrises, Angkor Wat is an absolutely amazing experience, i usually advise people to watch it from one of the Libraries, it has a great view, and when the sunlight starts coming through the Library its stunning. After the sunrise it’s still definitely the best time to visit the whole temple, it won’t be too hot, and it is quite a huge temple to walk around. If you go during lunch, there is a great restaurant before the entering the temple, where you can have the best chicken curry with potatoes and carrots inside a coconut, just THE best I have ever had.

For sunsets your guides will tell you to go to Bakheng, unfortunately the trees out grew the view to the temples, so now you can hardly see them, still beautiful and worth it, but not as stunning as it must have been. Nevertheless, you can still go to Angkor Wat for the sunset!

Ta Phrom, the temple featured in Tomb Rider, is still my absolute favorite, and every time I go there I feel like I still find new corners, and new spaces. Most of the temples where designed in a design that basically mirrors itself, which means there is a repetition of spaces, and you have 4 corners that are the same. Although Ta Phrom is no exception to that, the trees grew so much into the temple (or the temple over the trees), that nothing looks repeated, and you have completely different spaces. Make sure you take your time here!

A few other favorites of mine, are Bayon, Preah Kahn and Banteay Kdei. In the complex of Angkor Thom, Bayon’s smiley carved faces will make you take dozens of photos of every possible angle, with one, two, three, four faces, and repeat! Preah Kahn is for me one of the most amazing “”off the beaten track”” temples, Ra took us there the second time I was in Siem Reap, and it has a lot of the same characteristics of some of the main temples – some of Angkor Wat’s architecture details and Ta Phrom’s trees for example. It is much quieter than the other temples, and has a gorgeous ‘terrace’ where you have a great view of the whole temple.

Banteay Kdei was the first temple i visited in my first trip to Cambodia, I was solo traveling that day and it just blew me away, much smaller than all of the other temples I just mentioned, but it has a lot of charm.

And of course, depending on how much time you have in Siem Reap, there are so many other temples worth visiting.
In Siem Reap itself, you have the night market that is worth a visit, great street food, you can try the slimy delicacies – I tried snake for the first time in Siem Reap (!), and there are some amazing restaurants worth spending a few bucks. Such as Le Malraux and Amok Restaurant, just amazing local food, and the places are beautiful.
For drinks and clubbing you have Club Street, with lots of bars and cafes that you can pick from according to what you want.

I think after Bagan (Burma/Myanmar), Angkor is my favorite place ever, even though i had seen so many photos of the temples, every time I am there it’s still breathtaking.

bali & gilis, indonesia

I’ve been to Bali 3 times now, and it took me 3 times to fall love with this “small” island. Like we say in Portugal – a terceira e de vez (“””it happens at the third time”””).

And exactly because of that, i thought it was about time to re-write properly my Bali post.

[ I’ve just noticed – 10 seconds ago, that i fall in love with places a LOT more often than with men… hummm… ]

My first visit was with my now-ex-boyfriend, my second was on a girls-only-trip, and the third with my auntie and my sis – two Asia lovers. So three distinct kind of trips, that gave me three completely different experiences of the island.

I’m also pretty sure that the reason why my third trip was epic was because i learned a lot from the previous two. And of course – because i had full control of the trip, since my auntie and my sis had never been in Bali before, they asked me to just decide everything.
And so did i!

(by the way — i am not a control freak, but my way is just better! lol)

If you want to become a millionaire on an instant, exchange your money into Indonesian Rupiahs! 1.000.000 IDR = 274 RM = 66€ = 83$US. Its quite a challenge to actually know how much everything costs, so make sure you download some app that works offline, and can do the maths for you. I have XE currency, as i find it to be the easiest and most accurate of all.


It’s also important to know the size of Bali.
It’s not a tiny little place.
Bali is pretty big.
And because of its kinda “inverted number 8” shape, the volcano in the North, North to South rivers in the Center, and slim connection between the two sides of the island, the road system is not ideal, and usually you only have one possible way to go from point A to B.
The amount of motorbikes on the road is just insane! So i’m pretty sure the reason why the jam is a mess, is cos everyone is trying to stay alive and not kill anyone…
Although i have to say, this chaotic motorbike island makes us take the best photos ever!








In order to spare time, we went straight from the airport to Ubud. I thought it would be a perfect start to our 10 days trip, deep inside the rural part of the island.
I booked two nights in Ubud, but in two different hotels. The first night was in Mandy Private Pool, a beautiful place, super quiet, in the middle of the rice fields…



As we woke up for an early start of Day 1, we had breakfast in our own balcony,… just a perfect start of day!


We went straight to the Monkey Temple, right in the middle of the centre of Ubud. This temple is filled, filled with monkeys, so if you are afraid of these super cute pre-human-creatures, skip the Monkey Temple. They will jump on you, steal your plastic bags, and literally will eat on top of your head if you give them bananas!
But thats not all you have there, the jungle surrounds the ancient temple, bridges, animal statues, pathways, and huge Komodo dragon statues. If you manage to go there when there aren’t that many tourists, it will be one of the most stunning places you will ever visit, i promise.









After Monkey Temple, we went deep in Ubud town trying to find a driver for the rest of the day and the next. And we found the best, most amazing and sweet driver ever — Made ,spelled Madii (+62 (0) 817 4758734). The main goal of the day was Lake Bratan, and he gave us some more ideas where to stop, and it was just perfect.

We stopped by a Balinese Coffee Farm, were had a tasting of different kind of teas and coffees, and tried for the first time the Kopi Luwak!
Yeah yeah, thats the one that comes from poop!





We drove through small roads, passing by beautiful typical villas with their own rice field, just breathtaking landscapes, that i can’t find any more adjectives to define them.


Finally we reached the Pura Ulun Danu Temple, in the middle of Lake Bratan, in Bedugul… Stunning temple, in a gorgeous setting. The only problem with this temple is the amount of tourists. I would love to be able to be a lone tourist there, and experience its original state, in absolute silence. So try to check with your hotel, tour guide or local acquaintances when its the best time to visit.



That night we spent at Y Resort Ubud, another beautiful yet more modern hotel in Ubud. Too bad we didn’t have time to enjoy the garden and the pool…. next time!!





Early morning of Day 2 Made was waiting to pick us up, to take us to the centre of Ubud to get our tickets for Gili Islands, and for another day of road-tripping!
On the way to the tickets, we walked through this brilliant concrete street, that had been paid by the residents. And to remind us of this beautiful gesture, and their love for Ubud, each of them left behind a piece of them. Through words, drawings, hand or foot imprints, all on the concrete street they helped built.





We also found a beautiful temple right next to Starbucks Cafe, that its a MUST see in Ubud. The coolest thing about it, is that you actually are not expecting to find it in that place. You literally have a small entrance to the building that holds Starbucks, and as walk in you can see a glimpse of a reflection in what seams like a “small” water pond. When you approach that small “pond” you will find a temple entrance, with two water features, and a slim passage between the two of them, leading you into a staircase, that will bring you closer to the Temple entrance.


On this Day 2 we drove once more through Bali’s countryside, this time to go through the well known Telangalang Rice Fields. Again, we fell in love with the small villas, and the small rice fields, and by this time we were already planning with Made our strategy to buy a typical villa started and again: STUNNING. We stopped in a place by the road, had tea, and enjoyed the view!








Next was the Tirta Empul Temple (Holy Spring Water Temple) in Gianyar, that Made told us we should visit…. And we will forever thank him for the suggestion.
This was most possibly the most impressive temple i’ve ever visited.
You immediately understand how important this temple is, because instead of being packed with tourists, its filled with locals. There are different levels in this temple, and you must follow some rituals to be allowed into the next areas of the temple.
The first level, has a series of stone carved water sprouts, each of them with its own purpose and meaning. But i don’t want to ruin your own experience, so i won’t tell you more than this: MUST VISIT.
I advise you to get a guide from the temple, i usually prefer to go by myself, but our guide made the whole experience unique. Putu, his name, not only guided us through the different stages of the temple, but also allowed us to go into the prayer area, where only the locals are usually allowed inside.
This single temple made our day, but we still had a long way to go.








Our next stop was the outskirts of Bali’s active volcano – Gunung Batur (Mount Batur) and Danau Batur (Lake Batur), where we had lunch overlooking their stunning beauty.
There’s something incredible about being that close to an active volcano. As if you secretly wished that somehow you could see some actual “activeness” exploding from within that pre-historical peek.


We continued through the hills and rice fields, but with a more southern destination this time: Padang Galak Beach. A black sanded beach, that is used for the local hindu rituals and offerings. We didn’t find any tourists here, so it was quite a peaceful place. The sand is strangely very heavy, as one of its components is metal. Its the what you would call a beautiful beach, but you can feel how meaningful it is for the local community, and that alone makes it beautiful.



Next was Seminyak, off to our next hotel – Tony’s Villa, strategically located near Potato Head Beach Club.
We dropped our luggage, and off we went to watch the sunset at Seminyak beach. So far it was by far the best sunset i’ve ever seen in my life. The low tide at the time created this mirror effect, and duplicated the purple colored sky.



And as the best things in life must be shared… we made a facetime video call to our dad and brother that were in the other side of the World playing a round of golf!


We finished the night with a super chilled dinner at the Colonial House, where we had most possible the best steak of our lives…


Day three was chilling (yes, its still day three!) first by the pool of our AMAZING hotel! Tony’s Villa is just beautiful, calm and with the mood you always hope for in an hotel in Bali.








Then by Seminyak beach, which by-the-way, was a bit of a disappointment, maybe cos it was April, but not it was not all type of beach you are used to see in Southeast Asia. Either way, it was a lovely day, and after lunch we just went over to Potato Head for afternoon cocktails and sunbathing by the grass, at the sound of great music. Followed by sunset and dinner.
This Beach-Club-Bar-Restaurant-with-great-design-and-mood-kinda-place has a kind of Beverly Hills meets Miami meets Gold Coast vibe.
Design wise is gorgeous, really tasteful and carefully maintained, staff is quite friendly, and well… the view is stunning! Make sure you go there for the sunset as we did (again), cos its worth it.
Seminyak and Kuta are pretty good areas for fancy shopping, beautiful and mid-to-high end restaurants and bars, and full of expats and tourists.




Day four came really early, as we drove off to Padang Bay to get a boat to our final destination: Gili Islands.

It took me some convincing to add this destination to the trip, mostly because i was worried about the length of the boat trip, but also because i wasn’t comfortable with the fact that we didn’t had the tickets in advance. Which by the way, you can buy them before, but it costs wayyyyyy more than if you buy in Bali. As i said, Made took us to a travel agency, so we paid 500.000 IDR, with pick-up and drop off, so far i believe its the cheapest fee you can get.


And there we were.. Padang Bay. In the midst of loads of backpackers, young couples, elder couples, families, friends,…. All looking forward to go to one of the three super small islands between Bali and Lombok.

As we started approaching the Gili Islands, you could already sense that they were pretty unique. Very small, no cars, no roads, no motorbikes, no pollution, and then clear light turquoise water. Perfect for a get-away.

Out of the three, I picked Gili Trawangan, the biggest and more happening of them all. Either way, you can always stay one night in each, as you just need a fast boat to go from island to island. Although Gili Trawangan is the biggest, its still a 2-per-3-kilometers sized island.

Arriving to our stop, we had to jump out of the boat into the sand, then wait till our bags were placed on the beach, and look for our “tuk-tuk-on-an-horse” transport to take us to the hotel. This means of transport has its twerks, so just make sure you follow the driver’s instructions clearly, and keep the tuk-tuk balanced.

In the roads you will find: tuk-tuks, bicycles and barefoot people. Period.
The whole vibe turns you automatically into a chilled-backpacker/hippie/hipster/nomad, it just makes you want to stay in that little bubble for a lot longer than you planned.

The hotel i booked was going to be the best of the 4, i tried to book all the hotels so that the next was better than the previous, and this was just the absolute best!
Its right in the middle of the island, away from everything (at least as much as you can in a 2×3 island). As the tuk-tuk reached Villas Otalia, it was already surpassing all expectations. The reception is this opened porch, in the middle of a perfectly curated garden, with dozens of city-like-bicycles free for the guests.
And by the time we arrived in our room, correction: bungalow, the ladies were WOWed! As images are worth a million words…






The next days were spent in the main beach, overlooking the next Gili, as there are less corals in the beach (so you can walk into the water, instead of cutting your feet in the millions of bits and pieces of broken corals.









In the same side of the island, its a pretty cool area to snorkel, i wouldn’t say the best, as we didn’t do any snorkeling tour, and this area is pretty busy.
Our main goal tough was to swim with Sea Turtles. And we did it! It was an absolutely amazing experience to be swimming around these beautiful creatures, and one of my most treasured moments of my life so far.



There isn’t much to do in the island, but you can always “bike-around”. In one of those tours, we saw a local in the sea, playing around with his horse… Just magical to say the least.







Our “life in the island” would shift to the West coast at around 4/5pm. We would cycle to the other side of the island, and pick a bar to watch the sunset.
Sunsets in the Gilis are almost a law, i would say around 80% of the two-legged creatures in the island, gathers around to watch the sun ending an perfect day.




The rest of the days were spent in absolute chillness, in the same “”””boring”””” routine.
The weather was perfect every single day, and the clouds simply did not come to the Gilis once. They would hover over Lombok’s volcano instead, making the whole scenery even more stunning.

To finish these absolutely perfect trip, we were accompanied by dolphins on our way back to Bali…
Just perfect.




penang, malaysia

The first time i went to Penang, was in 2012, i hadn’t decided yet if i was going to move to Malaysia or not, so i needed to explore more before i went back to Portugal. There was also a very “American-expedition” going on that that weekend, but lets keep this PG and go on about Penang instead.

Penang is one of those places that i honestly don’t mind continue visiting. I still feel like a tourist there, even though in my past 3 visits I was the tour guide. You’ll start hearing about “Diana-GraΓ§a-Oliva-Tours” in no time!

I think of Penang as a mixture between Kuala Lumpur-Singapore-and-a-hippie-cafe-in-europe. You have a little bit of everything, the Malaysian vibe and beautiful hidden beaches; the heritage buildings and cafes properly redesigned as in Singapore; and the many-many-many boutique hotels, vintage shops, hippie cafes and proper street art as in Europe.
And i believe that it’s this weird mixture that makes Penang my TOP destination for a weekend in Malaysia.

As i’ve been in Penang many times, i think i finally found the best way to visit it, so that’s what i’ll be sharing with you today…

A few important things you need to know about Penang:
It is an ISLAND. I know it has bridges connecting it to the mainland, but its still an Island.
As an island, space is limited for roads and highways (in Penang?… lol). There is basically one road to go from the Airport to Georgetown to Batu Ferringi to Taman Negara. Therefore, the traffic jam is… lets say chaotic!
Taxis don’t use meter. It doesn’t matter how much you argue, or how much you think its not fair. They still won’t use it. And because no taxi goes by meter, the prices are usually standard. So try to agree to a good fee, but be patient. (60RM from Georgetown to Taman Negara)
The BUS in Penang, on the other hand, is great! Super cheap 6RM to do the same distance, air con, and it still goes through the same exact road as all taxis and cars.
So lets do the maths, one lane road for taxis, cars and BUS… Everyone is still gonna be driving behind the BUS. So thats what i always do – take the BUS from Georgetown to Taman Negara (and all trips within that area). Taxis just to go to the Airport, as there is a small “freeway” from outskirts of Georgetown to the Airport.

Given that you now know the basics… you will understand why i believe the best place to stay in Georgetown, actually depends on want you want to visit, and what you want to do.

I would say the best way to do this is to stay in Georgetown the first day/days, i’ve been staying in Boutique Hotels and its completely worth it. Armenian House has THE BEST location, and i can vouch for them. Khim is like the friendliest person ever, and i just need to whatsapp her and we’re ON! Another beautiful place is No 12 Penang Old House, a bit further off the historical centre, but totally worth it!
Another reason why i stay in Armenian House, or anywhere near Armenian Road, is cos you have it all in a walking distance.


For breakfast you should DEFINITELY go to ChinaHouse, its like—the most trendy, fantastic, amazing, blah blah place in Penang. You can go there for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, drinks… and they always have this AMAZING cakes and desert table for you to drool over. Did i mention they also have an Art Gallery on the first floor? Oh.. and a long tail piano in the bar……. This place alone is worth getting on a plane and fly from KL.


After breakfast, you should start your tour, get a map of the street art and go around to find it, go through Little India, the temples around Armenian Road – specially the Ancestral Temple, go to Beach Street, the Fort…..




Make sure you have time for yet another super cool cafe – Mugshot, great coffees and fresh juices, a nice open yard in the centre, and of course, the well known mugshot wall, so you can write your crime, and take the typical mugshot photo.


Once you’ve visited Georgetown and the South of Penang, you should move North, to Batu Ferringi.

The ideal is to book a different hotel, in Batu Ferringi, walking distance to Hard Rock Hotel, because this area has one and very dangerous road to be walking on, you won’t be able to walk around anywhere unless you’re near the Hard Rock.

Last time i stayed in Fifty Five Holiday Guesthouse, owned by a very friendly chinese girl. This is actually her family’s house, that she decorated and turned into a guesthouse. You can use the kitchen, the porch, living room… its like a home! Very close to the the best spot for food, drinks and sunset: Bora Bora Bar, right in the beach. So make sure you spend a sunset and night here.

The beach in Batu Ferringi in my opinion is not nice at all. Its fantastic for sunset, seriously, but not for sunbathing or anything like that. There’s too much boats, jet-skys, and overall not that clean. But sunsets are really worth it, and dinners by the beach. Batu Ferringi area had amazing restaurants and outdoor food-courts, so keep an eye out for that!


To go to a proper beautiful beach, you should take the Bus to the end of that creepy serpentine road, all the way to Taman Negara. There you either hike through the jungle or take a boat (150RM two ways per boat), and go to Turtle Beach.
Its about 10/15 min with a boat, but isolated, its not like Tioman or Phuket, but still beautiful. Its almost private, and its a beautiful place to spend the day. Just make sure you take food and drinks though, there isn’t much around there.


On your way back to the airport, make sure you have plenty of time to catch your flight, the traffic in the end of the day is CHAOS. In case you miss your flight…. Accidentally of course… Go back to ChinaHouse!


earth heir

I’ve been lucky to have the most amazing landlords, since the first apartment i rented in Milan.

… but my previous landlord just goes to another level of A-MA-ZING, as she is literally trying to make the world a better place, for some very special people.

Her name is Sasi Kimis, and it all started with a trip to Cambodia, and it ended in 2013 with the formation of Earth Heir, together with her sis Poomabai and friend Ee-Leng (all girls!).

Craftspeople have a huge importance in preserving the fading culture of any country. In many countries you can find beautiful handcraft pieces, with a quality that is 200 times better than any Louis Vuitton, Prada or Chanel. Not to mention the fact that you won’t find anyone with a piece like yours, as they are unique.

Now let talk about another thing: disabled people and trafficking survivors, that are living in simple and modest places, not in big fancy cities where there are programs and supporting groups. Places where finding a job is already complicated, but that any future will always be better than the past, or than no future.

Then along comes Earth Heir, uniting these two important elements. Making sure that these unique people are not forgotten.
Making sure that each piece has a story.
Making sure that you don’t just buy a scarf or a necklace, but the story of who made it.
Sasi Kimis knows the story of each piece, and will make sure you know too once you buy that piece.

And this is why, when i received an email from Sasi saying:

“Hey Di! This is a little out of the blue, but we are doing a photoshoot for our products.
We are looking for friends who could help us model the products. Please let me know if you are interested and available to help us? πŸ™‚ Thanks so much dear.”

I immediately said: “All in!”

Anyone that knows me, knows that i am very picky with taking photos, and that i have one smile for the camera.
Thats it.
My own Hollywood smile.
A smile that took me thousands of photos to the garbage, and years to find.
So i hate to see myself in photos where i’m not in my Hollywoodish smile.

But because it was for a great cause, i just said yes!

So there i go, meeting the girls at 8.45am (after working in the office till 6am), after a quick bite at Sasi’s, make-up time!
Sasi decided to go deep full black eye shadow (which its perfect as its the only shadow color i use), and most of us got in our black fancy dresses. Classic look that would turn any handcrafted scarf into a luxury handcrafted scarf.

We left for another of Sasi’s property, an old abandoned villa, and each of us (amateur models, but pro-friends!) had our own set of scarves prepared and separated.
Scarf on and shoot!

I have to say it was quite challenging when i was first asked to do my natural smile.
Whats natural? My Hollywood smile IS my natural smile!
There you go… issues.. i found out that apparently when i’m not doing my Hollywood smile, i look grumpy, angry or sad… Not good to sell a product apparently! After many tests, we found out that i have to do a half smile (as i call it).
Then it was just trying to remember that percentage of happy i needed to look. When i was actually really happy to be doing this, and constantly making fun of the producer.


So i learned that you have basically a million and one ways to wear a scarf. But if you’re African (you know who you are Liz!).. Then you know a million and two MORE ways of using it.

I have to say that the other ladies were AMAZING, not only they looked super good, but also super friendly and great to hang out for a whole day.
Different nationalities religions and age.
All friends of Sasi.
All girls.
All in all, the right way to do a photoshoot for Earth Heir.