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How to step out of a rut || Advice

I've been in a rut. I feel like every year when summer starts all I want to do is to spend the day by the beach (which is noticeable if you've been up to date with my Instagram and latest blog posts ). I feel like summertime is a great time to reconnect with my own body and soul, to watch that TV Series you've been meaning to watch for so long, to go on that road trip you've been planning or even to just be caught up with your sleeping schedule.
Recently I went camping with my mum and my boyfriend to the same place I used to go camping every summer when I was a kid. I was allowed to disconnect with the world and reconnect with myself. 
Spending my days by the ocean and my nights looking at the stars really put things into perspective. 
We are part of a generation that lives so obsessed with numbers and likes that we forget to lift our heads from our phones and appreciate what we have. 

I feel like looking around us and seeking inspiration the world itself is the first step when it comes to getting out of a rut. Most times we feel this way because we forget why we are doing things, we stop enjoying what we do in order to put it simply as another bullet point on our to-do list. We forget why we started doing it and why we love it and this can be anything from working out to writing a blog post or even eating healthier. 

Once you took time to appreciate the world and reminded yourself why you are doing whatever you are doing I can guarantee that the excitement will start to come back, but you might still not know where to start, which leads me to my next tip, look for people who inspire you. When it comes to blogging this is my best tip. I have a few bloggers that are huge inspirations to me, whenever I'm stuck in a rut and I can't manage to write a word without it feeling wrong I like to spend time reading some blogs, commenting on Instagram pictures and just being an active member of the blogging community. I strongly believe that we only get what we give back and by sending positivity and good vibes eventually the same feelings will be back to us when we feel content with ourselves and our positions in the world it is easier to feel inspired and to snap out of it! (don't mind me, still crying about not buying tickets to go see Arctic Monkeys)

Last but not least, my piece of advice would be to just wait. Life is not a race, even though we sometimes feel like we are racing through it,  always worried about what is next, in such a way that we forget to enjoy what is now. I like to sit by my computer writing, at the same time I love to shoot pictures and sometimes I just do it because I need to have a post ready. I don't try my best and I don't present my best content and, obviously, my audience can see when things are rushed. Things flow better when we wait for the right time and moment. 
Sometimes what we planned for the day isn't what we feel like doing so we should feel free to change things up accordingly and do what really makes us happy because even though life is not a race it is racing past us and we shouldn't waste time by doing anything that we aren't 100% passionate about.

Photos by: João Machado 

The hidden truth about blogging || Advice

 Advice posts go a bit like a two end stick I'm writing them here on my blog in hopes that it will help someone who sits on their laptop reading them, at the same time I find myself going back to them the most. It works as if I'm writing a personal letter to myself in which I'm giving myself advice and, when in the future, I find myself needing some wise words I always end up going back to them. 
Today I am going to talk a bit about being stuck in a root and about not evolving and how we sometimes feel that we are taking steps back when everyone else is taking steps forward, especially touching it from the point of view of my own blogging history.

I became a blogger in 2012 under the name Fashion Killer, back then, I blogged in Portuguese and I wrote mostly about makeup and beauty. I kept Fashion Killer alive for 3 years posting semi-regularly and then I felt like rebranding because the name Fashion Killer wasn't original enough and because I didn't blog about fashion. Then Anne's Perks was created. I still blogged in Portuguese for a little while but then I realized it was easier for me to write in English and that a simple change on language could make me achieve bigger audience and make my blog a worldwide platform (after all we all want to become as big as Zoella one day). I see the birth date of Anne's Perks as of 17th of May of 2017, the day I made a commitment to this platform and the day I decided what type of blogger I wanted to be. 
I decided that I wanted to blog about makeup and beauty as I always had and maybe talk a bit about fashion as well but that Anne's Perks, in opposition to what Fashion Killer was, was a virtual journal, something that I wanted the readers to relate with, something that I wanted other bloggers to read and find some kind of similarity. I wanted to be a real person that real people could relate too. 
The problem is, I've been blogging since 2013 and for that reason, and that reason only, sometimes I feel that it's unfair that I don't get certain opportunities or that I've never been asked to do a sponsored post by a brand. I'm sure that, if you are also a smaller blogger you can relate to this feeling. 

I then need to remind myself that I've only started seeing the blog and taking Anne's Perks to its full potential a year ago from now and see how much I've achieved in a year. I've grown my social media presence and I've fallen in love with this little corner of the interweb. 
I truly love the whole process of blogging, I love the planning and the writing of every post. At the same time, I love shooting pictures and editing them to their full potential.
I also adore the chats and the friendships I've developed with other bloggers from different parts of the world. It's amazing to feel like you have someone you can talk to in a friendly way everywhere you go. 
For me, blogging isn't about the numbers or about brand collabs as the industry has grown to make it seam. Of course, I'm not foolish enough to believe that the numbers don't count for anything but, they will come and they will grow as long as you present your best version of yourself. Blogging is, after all, a new industry and is as competitive as any other. Only the ones that truly love what their doing will succeed and as long as I keep writing my posts keeping myself as a reader in mind first and I deliver only the absolute best version of myself to my audience I really think that I will succeed one day, but by no means I'm in a rush.

 I'm here to tell you that you shouldn't be too.
Self-comparison is a successful woman number one enemy. It's not because another blogger has achieved something that you should feel jealous or pity yourself (believe me, I'm one to always see the glass half empty when most times it's half full), you should look at others achievements as a reinsurance that if they did it you can do it too and use the energy that would take you to self-pity to work harder and harder, the world is not made for people who give up easily and if you want to succeed (regardless of the area) you need to work harder than what you are, regardless of how hard you are working. Always give more of yourself, put more of your heart into what you are doing and you are sure to succeed at doing it. 

Photos by: João Machado 

Swimwear Picks for the Summer|| Fashion

I was lucky enough to be born in what Vogue US called the European California, The Algarve, Portugal. I live a 15min drive away from the beach and it's my favorite place to spend the hot summer days. Of course that with beach weather we also need beachwear. I got 3 new bathing suits to show you on this blogger post and I am equally in love with every single one of them.

For the first bikini, I just used my black bikini bottoms that I've had for a couple of years now (and I have no idea where they are from) then I paired them with this palm leaf print top that I got from the Calzedonia Outlet Store. I blame Kalyn Nicholson for my new found love for this pattern. I love the white top with the vibrant pattern and the way it looks on my tanned skin. Also, the bikini can be tight around your neck or you can put it into stripes. The top as a bit of a push-up effect (which I don't particularly love, but it's ok) and it looks really good on. The bra shape makes the cut of this bikini really comfortable to wear. 

I decided that this year instead of buying only bikinis like I always do, I also wanted to get a bathing suit. For me, it's a cool way to be dressed and beach-ready, while still looking pulled together. I love a good bathing suit as much as a love wearing a body when I'm out and about paired with some shorts. The shorts I paired this bathing suit with are from Quebra Mar and I got them from last summer collection. The sunglasses I picked are a pair of aviators from Villanova.

The baithing suit itself was a barging I found at Primark. I paid 6€ and it's already one of my favorite summer pieces. I love the fact that it says Vitamin Sea (which is the best vitamin you can get this summer). I also love the bright blue color.
I never thought I was going to be the type of girl to wear a bathing suit instead of a bikini but apparently, I am and now I really want to get a bright red Bay Watch Style one. 

Last but not least, I got this amazing bikini from Calzedonia. I always go for strapless tops and the cut of this part really reminded me of the shells Ariel wears in the Little Mermaid Movie. I'm a sucker for bikinis that are a little bit different then the regular triangle shape ones and if they allow you to get some pretty cool tan marks I'm all in. 
To go with it I picked the matching bottoms. When it comes to bikini bottoms I like the ones that cover your butt pretty well and I also like it when they don't have any bowties or anything on the side (I could tell you as a kid how many times I went to the ocean and the bowties would come off in a wave or something and I would have to run to my mum asking her to tie them back together...)

And this is it guys, all the clothes (or lack of them) that are keeping me cool in 2018. I hope you guys like the post and I can't wait to write a bit more fashion content here on the blog! 

The Problem with the Influencers Lifestyle || Lifestyle

Digital Influencer has become a term used in the modern years to define someone who has the power to influence people through their social media channels, that being Instagram, Twitter, Youtube or even a blog. I personally hate that term, I feel like it has been completely discredited due to social media platforms constantly changing their algorithms (yes, Instagram, I’m pointing at you), buying followers, likes and comments on various platforms and the lack of reality that some people bring to the game, damaging a whole group of hard-working people. 

We all follow them, and we all want, more than anything, have their lives, the free stuff, the amazing trips to paradisiac destinations, the making money over posting a picture on the Gram. Overall their lives seam absolutely perfect as if they have no problems what so ever. They are the type of person who wakes up at 6Am every day, works out, has an amazing perfectly balanced breakfast and goes on to live another perfect day in their perfect life. I’m here to tell you to SNAP OUT OF IT! If you go to my Instagram you will see multiple pictures from my trips, cool beach shots, and pretty locations. Keep in mind that this represents around 10% of my daily reality. I don’t post pictures of my endless study nights, or all the times I cry (believe me there are a lot of those). Like every other person, I use social media to show the very best, most perfect version of myself. 

I wanted to post twice a week during the month of June here on the blog, however I had exams, then I decided to take a week of to be with my friends and my cousin (who was visiting from France) in Lisbon and then, when I was about to post again I got a really nasty reply to a tweet which made me feel completely wrong as a blogger, like I didn’t have a place on the internet and I couldn’t write anything for a few days without feeling ashamed of myself. I, of course, didn’t share anything about this on my platforms but the feelings were there. Influencers are not a hologram or a clone without any feelings, they are real human beings, they laugh and they cry the same way all humans do.

I personally like to follow people whose work is real. I try to filter influencers based on how they present themselves on all of their platforms. I love to watch a video or read a post about failure and to see that the successful person that I’m watching as, like me, also had some experience with that. Vlogs became my favorite type of content to watch because we get an inside on that person's life. Normally YouTubers are more real when they are vlogging then when they are doing a full edited sit-down video because in a vlog they are opening a little window to their lives so that all of their subscribers can watch it. 

The problem with some influencers, in my opinion, is the lack of originality, they see a formula that worked for someone like Zoella and they try to mimic that formula for themselves. This obviously doesn’t work because we already have one Zoella. In my opinion, the key to success (and I am by no mean near said success) is hard work and personality, the more real you are, the more real your followers are going to be. And after all, that is exactly what matters as an influencer. Having the ability to built a real and strong following audience. 

Outfit: Shoes: Vans; Pants: Primark; Top: H&M; Sunglasses: Michel Kors

10 Things To Do in São Miguel, Azores || Travel

I've gone to the Azores for the 3rd time this month and I asked you on Instagram if you would rather watch a regular Travel Guide or a 10 Things to do in São Miguel, and the choice was obvious!
Here you have my master list to take with you when visiting The Azores. This post will include pictures from all my trips, once I've visited different places on every single one of them!

Swim at the Ponta Delgada Natural Pool - This is one of my favorite places in Ponta Delgada, it was a hidden gem that I found out on the last day of my second trip and that automatically made it to the 'must visit' list. The Ponta Delgada Natural Pool is free of charge (if you want to use the showers or the bathroom it costs 1€) and it lets you swim in the ocean under the supervision of a lifeguard. It's also a good place to relax and get a sunbath before. 

Drink tea and explore the plantation at the Gorreana Tea Factory - This is maybe one of my favorite things I've ever done. I love tea and I drink at least 3 cups per day, having the opportunity to go to an old school tea factory was one of the best experiences of my life. The Gorreana Tea Factory hasn't been industrialized so all the production is still done in an old-school kind of way, making it not only a tea factory but also a museum. You can visit the factory and the plantations and drink all the tea you want and it's absolutely free (I was shocked too)! I got a bunch of tea there when I went to visit and I still have some. You can buy the tea in the factory but also in many other selling points in the island.

Visit all of the lagoons (Lagoa o Fogo, Lagoa das Sete Cidades e Lagoa das Furnas) and be amazed by nature itself - One of the strong points of the Island is for sure the natural beauty that it brings. I love the feeling I have when I'm in a car and I look to my left and all I see is the blue of the ocean and then I look to my right and all I see is the green from the fields, trees, and plants. Being a volcanic island São Miguel has a lot of lagoons to visit. 
Lagoa do Fogo is for sure my favorite one, a bit less touristy than the other two. In my opinion is the perfect location for insta worthy pictures (if you don't believe me check the locations on my recent Instagram pictures). 

Lagoa das Sete Cidades is maybe the most touristic one. It's the image many associates immediately when they think of The Azores. I love how the water mixes in the lagoon itself.
Lagoa das Furnas it has a cost of 2€ to visit, but you can see the beautiful lagoon and the park created around it. One of my favorite things to see there was the crazy amount of baby ducks that they have there, it was the absolutely cuttest thing I've ever seen. If you want you can see the famous 'cozido das Furnas' being cooked which is basically cooked underground with the heat that is provided by the Earth itself.  

Go for a hot water bath at Caldeira Velha and Poça da Dona Beija - Remember when I said that the island was volcanic? Nature has created many natural pools with running water at a temperature that goes from 25ºC to 40ºC. Its one of the most relaxing things you can do. Let your body be immersed in the hot water and enjoy the therapeutical feeling. The experience is like going to a natural hot tub surrounded by trees and vegetation, absolutely wonderful. Both of these places have a cost of around 5€.

Spend a day viewing the flowers and swimming in 40º water at the Terra Nostra Natural Park - Everyone told me I had to visit the Terra Nostra Natural Park and now I'm here to tell you that you need to visit it too! Its the perfect place to spend a day and visit beautifully treated gardens and swim in really warm pools. The park has a recommended 5Km hike in which you will be visiting all of the different areas and plants and then you can go relax by the pool. I think it's a beautiful natural masterpiece and that the cost of 8€ is absolutely worth it. 

Eat a steak at Associação Agrícula - The Azores is known for its cows (they say that there is one cow per habitant of the island) and you can see the animals all around the island. I feel like the animal is really respected there and the beef there tastes like something out of this world. I recommend that you to go have the best steak of your life at the Associação Agrícula Restaurant. My favorite is the Steak with Passion Fruit Sauce. I really recommend it. 

Eat fish at Adega Regional - Being in the middle of the ocean is no surprise that the fish is amazing. Adega Regional, in the center of Ponta Delgada, became one of my favorite places to eat while on the multiple trips I've made to the Azores, becoming a mandatory stop. Being from the Algarve I'm used to really nice fresh fish and the fish I had at this restaurant didn't disappoint. Also, they probably do the best passion fruit semifreddo that I've ever tried!

Stroll around the beautiful streets of Ponta Delgada - Walking around the city of Ponta Delgada is totally worth it. You can see the beautiful and colorful building and at the same time a lot of blacks and white ones that seem designed to fit perfectly there. You can visit the marina and play a game of bowling at the Atlantic City Arcade. The city is full of things to do and to see and I think it's well worth the visit even if your hotel is not located there.

Go Scuba diving and discover a whole new world under the sea - Scuba diving was on my Bucket List for the longest time and I still can't believe I finally did it! I had decided that I wanted to have this experience on The Azores because it's located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and I couldn't recommend it more to anyone! I paid 90€ for the dive at Best Spot Center. You will see that the ocean truly holds another universe down there and you will feel an immense respect for nature and for biodiversity. 
Visit Ilhéu de Vila Franca for a different concept of a beach -  If you want to experience a different concept of a beach take the boat ride to Ilhéu de Vila Franca and visit a regular beach that was created on a rock. The water is cool and there are many fishes that will come near you once you truly are swimming in the middle of the ocean. 

And this is it, guys! I truly love the Azores. It's like Portuguese Hawaii in my opinion full of landscapes to see and fun activities to do all the time and I couldn't recommend it more! If this trip isn't on your bucket list be sure to add it because it's totally worth it!