Maria, mom, wife, website designer, graphic designer and illustrator currently living in Valencia. I am the author behind Ohla Living a lifestyle, travel and personal blog. Filipina by birth, British at heart I now live in the orange blossom coast of Spain with my little family.
When I’m not designing, drawing or coding, I enjoy yoga, gardening, cooking, painting and days out exploring the coast and quaint villages of Valencia. I am also a collector of anything quirky addicted to coffee, the beach, cocktails, and VW Kombis.
A little more about me…
Proud of my mixed background, I have always been interested in the bohemian and nomadic lifestyle, places, people and culture. Lucky enough to be brought up in a very diverse upbringing now that I am a mum, I at least try to give my children a similar childhood. Simple, with an open mind, out in the open air, and small adventures around the corner.
I lived and worked in the UK for 23 years until my husband and I decided that we have had enough of the rat race and would love to live somewhere with a slower pace of life. We are both self-employed and run our own business. We had nothing to lose so we packed up and moved to Valencia, Spain.
Why did I start to blog?
Ohla Living (formally known as Continental Fairy) started in 2008 as a family and mommy blog. Like many blogs out there, I started mine simply to jot down my thoughts and talk about what was happening at the time. Since then it has grown to what it is now.
What you can expect from my blog…
Since moving to Valencia, I have been writing about our experiences and new discoveries. When we are not working, we spend our free time exploring places around Valencia and beyond. I also enjoy writing about other aspects of our lives such as home life, kids, bilingualism, work, food, creativity, technology and anything else in between.
Why Ohla Living?
‘Ohla’ is a play on words of ‘Hello’ in Spanish. I wanted something fun and catchy that represents our lifestyle here in Spain. Therefore ‘Ohla Living’ was born. It is also a prefix for my work website Ohla Creative. When I’m not blogging and writing about our personal experiences, I am also a full-time web / graphic designer and illustrator.
What Is Valencia Like For Families?
Valencia is a marvellous city! We have considered many places in Europe before deciding that Valencia was definitely the place for us! With its amazing beaches, parks, lifestyle, history and food, it’s a great and safe city to raise a young family. Take a look at some of my posts about family life in Valencia:
- What to expect when raising kids in Spain
- So you’re thinking about living in Valencia?
- 12 weeks of summer holidays
- 16 Useful Facebook Groups To Join In Valencia And Around Spain
- Realities Of Being A British Family In Valencia
- Parent Like a Pro: How To Handle Back To School In Spain
When Is The Best Time To Come To Valencia?
Valencia is wonderful to visit all year round. Personally, my favourite times of the year is spring and autumn, where the temperature is ideal to visit the monuments, festivals and historic places that this beautiful city has to offer.
I would also recommend the Fallas Festival, this takes place between the 1st-19th of March every year. A word of advice, you must book your hotel as soon as you can because the city can get VERY full (and expensive), leaving it to the last minute is not advisable. But it’s definitely as MUST SEE. An impressive festival of fire and sound that the Valencians are very proud of!
Can You Recommend Hotels Around Valencia?
Of course! One of the best things about living in Valencia is that we have the best choices of places to stay. My husband and I especially love having staycations in the city (babysitter permitting)! I have written a couple of reviews on some of the hotels we have stayed in. Check out The Caro Hotel (luxury), Ayre Hotel Astoria (mid-range) & Antigua Morellana SH (very cheap).