Tuesday, 31 May 2011

army green.







Light, casual, comfortable. Yet me.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

weekly gratitude.


I came across these posts on Harija's blog, My Life, My Story. After doing some research, I found out that this initiative was created by the owner of the Love, Life, Lace blog. The concept of this caught my attention right away. I do realize that the feeling that I have towards this idea has a lot to do with the things that I am currently experiencing in life. Now, more than ever, I feel grateful for the little things. I feel thankful for every single word. In the end, this will be my chance of thinking about all the positive things that I have in my life. There will be something to be thankful for, no matter how gloomy life is. These will be my sort of emotive rambles on life. I will then write a post every Sunday on the things I feel grateful about (besides, I will also restart doing my life takes time posts, which will be weekly posts as well). This week, I am thankful to.


Mom, thank you for all the support. Thank you for standing my ups and downs, while never giving up on me. I know that it hasn’t been easy, I haven’t been easy. Thank you for everything.
Dad, thank you for being there, always.
Thank you to my brother for always trying to make me laugh.
Thank you to Maria for being there. We’re both going through some rough situations. I hope our lives get both on track quickly.
Thank you to my wonderful teacher, who always made sure I would stay strong through this experience. Thank you for the conversation that we had on Friday.
Thank you to my readers, who have always the most thoughtful words to give me. Thank you for your support.
Thank you to life for making me stronger. This week I had some tough challenges. Thank you for letting me overcome these struggles.
Thank you for all the comfort and love that I have received throughout last week.


Saturday, 28 May 2011

shopping.




One of my biggest obsessions is definitely rings, especially big and intricate rings. I spotted these two today at an ethnic sale that was occurring in the near my place. There were a lot of different designs and colors, which made hard to choose from. However, I was actually looking for a turquoise ring for quite a while. This one was exactly what I was looking for. The other one was love at first sight. It is a very detailed ring, which has quite a few patterns and designs. Besides, it looks like an armor when I am wearing it, due to its abnormal size. Each one of the rings was 5€.
I love this type of jewelry for many different reasons. I find it to be much more unique than the kind of jewelry that you buy at clothing stores. Usually, I can’t find this type of ethnic pieces at the regular stores. That is why I like street sales so much. In these places, it is easy to find diversity, yet unique items that are, in most cases, exclusive designs.


Friday, 27 May 2011

life.

Sometimes I ask myself if I ever did anything so wrong to deserve what I am going through right now. I ask this question multiple times. And even though I already know the answer, I keep pleading for more. I think to myself over and over again, You know exactly what this is. Life is testing me. And this time is making me overcome all the boundaries that I had established for myself. It is testing all my strength, which I thought to be weaker than it actually is. It is testing my heart, which is squeezed and shuttered by now. Will I be strong enough to the end?
I do realize that the biggest problem, which was the one that created all the others, is almost over. I just have to stand it a little more. In less than one month everything will be finished and I will forget it. I will learn from it, as I always do, and close it inside a box. And I will let it go as it never happened.
Apart from this, I am also dealing with a depression, which was something unavoidable. It is not my first time though. I have already dealt with this in the past. Back then, I refused to ask for help. And I was truly proud of myself, because I was able to overcome the problems all alone. Right now, I can’t do it. I have come to the very bottom. My last hope was to ask for help. Right now I am treating this as a simple disease, for which I am being medicated and followed by a doctor. It is quite hard for me to admit this, since this is a very resentful topic.
Regarding my breast, the nodule is benign. However, its size is worth consideration, since it has already 3 centimeters. This type of nodule is called juvenile fibroadenoma, which appears especially in teenagers and women who are aged below 30. Mine seems to be a fast growth nodule, due to its size and the way it has appeared. If it grows a centimeter more in the next six months, I will have to undergo a surgery. Even if it does not grow, the surgery will still be an option due to other complications, such as pain, discomfort and so on. Unfortunately, I am already suffering of all these. I am not afraid though. I know that a lot of people are going through situations far worst than mine. I need to be positive about this and everything will turn alright.
One of the significant things that I have learned from this experience is that life can get always worst. Even when you think that everything is already wrong, life will teach you once again a lesson. In the end of the day, your mission is to endure the pain. There will surely be times when you will feel that is no way out. There will be times when you will lay on the floor and simply cry. There will be times when you will give up on everything. I can’t promise myself to be the strongest. Because I know that I will also have my falls. The only thing I can hold on to is the belief that everything will be overcome. And that my joyful days are yet to come.

Monday, 23 May 2011

review.




Sigma sent me the F80 Flat Top Kabuki Brush for review purposes. I have received this brush through their Affiliate Program and as all of you know, Sigma has also offered to give away this exact same brush to one of my readers. This synthetic brush was designed to apply and blend liquid, cream, and powder products onto the skin.
I was indeed quite expectant to try one of Sigma's face brushes since I have heard so many positive comments about it. Besides, I was already thinking about trying out this type of face brush. I have always used a flat foundation brush (like this) but lately my foundation's application isn't as flawless as I would like it to be. It has obviously nothing to do with the foundation. The problem is the brush. This was the main reason why I wanted to try out this type of kabuki.
While using this brush, I was actually complimment multiple times on how flawless my skin looked. I obviously noticed the difference, while applying my foundation with it. Everything looks so natural that it seems like you aren't using any products on your face.
I have tried two different techniques with it. For a lighter coverage, I have tried buffing the foundation in circular motions. For a higher coverage, I have tried stippling the brush using short strokes. The second technique works best for me, since I have some imperfections that need to be covered. Other thing that impressed me a lot, was how small and almost invisible my pores looked like. In general, it is a very easy brush to work with, that makes your foundation's application effortlessly. Regarding the brush's characteristics, the handle is comfortable to work with and the metal on the front is once again quite strong. This brush is extremely dense, which means two things: first, it makes foundation application super easy; second, it won't absorb the product as other brushes do. Therefore, you will definitely save a lot of your foundation. Then, there is the softness issue. I was already in love by their brush's softness, but now I am even more impressed. Regarding the cleaning part, I have to admit that this isn't the easiest brush to wash. I guess it has a lot to do with how dense it is. In this sense, you will need to have a lot of patience until it is properly washed. My biggest struggle was getting rid of the shampoo. Even though I had applied just a tiny bit, it foamed a lot. But anyway, it didn't shed at all and dried pretty fast.
I am indeed amazed with the quality and performance of this brush. The price is also inexpensive, compared with other brands. It is available for $16.00.



Saturday, 21 May 2011

ballerina bun.




It has been so hot these days that I have just been using my hair in up dos. Sometimes, I like to vary between the regular ponytail and something more intricate. Today, this was my choice. I have decided to put my hair in a regular bun, inspired by the ones used by Sarah Jessica Parker (inspiration here and here), but in a version that is more wearable for day time. However, I have added my own special twist. I added the braid detail, using the loose ends of the bun. The result is an extremely elegant and girly updo, great for any occasion.

Friday, 20 May 2011

cool.



Today was such a hot day that I couldn’t resist having a little treat in mid-afternoon. I love ice creams, especially when the weather starts to get hotter. At home, this is our biggest addiction during summer. We probably have ice cream after every single meal. It feels so good and refreshing.
This is actually an ice cream cake, which has a layer of chocolate on the bottom and two layers of vanilla. I can’t really describe what the middle layer is, but it is quite sweet and crunchy. I guess that is the cake part. I added my personal touch by adding cream on top. It just made it even tastier and refreshing. Didn’t I say that I was addicted to cream? If I didn’t, here is the proof.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

organizing.



Today was the day for a major wardrobe cleaning and reorganization. I normally do this around April but this year, due to all the problems that have arisen, I simply forgot about it. Today, I gathered all my energy and cleaned not only my wardrobe but my entire room. It might sound strange, but I really enjoy these kinds of chores. For most people, cleaning and organizing is the dullest thing. Aside from decorating, these are my favorite tasks. I took everything out of my wardrobe, dusted its interior, selected the clothes that I wanted to donate, and then changed from winter clothes to summer clothes. I have also rearranged a lot of the places where the clothes were and divided things better, in order to have clothing zones. I am quite an organization freak. For instance, everything needs to be organized by length, color, fabric, and so on. I also like to have everything hanged since it’s easy to see what you have.
You can see I really enjoy this! That’s why I behave like a little kid every time I go to Ikea. When it comes to overall storage, Ikea is the best choice. They have innumerous options in different sizes, for different wardrobe’s needs. For non clothing storage, that I don’t really use, this is my pick. It fits perfectly at the top of my wardrobe and it can fit a lot of things (for instance, blankets or my baby old clothes and toys that I still keep). My best friends for overall storage that I keep at hand are these organizers, in which I basically store accessories or even some cosmetics that I want to keep out of sight. Besides this, I also like this other type of organizers, which are perfect for storing belts, boxes of jewelry and watches, etc. These are so versatile, that you can pretty much use them for storing whatever item you want.
For me, wardrobe organization is not only about neatness but also about how easy it becomes to get dressed. Imagine how is like to get dressed in the morning when your closet is a huge mess. The outcome would be disastrous. Besides, I really value my clothes and accessories, so that is basically why I like to store and organize everything so neat.



Tuesday, 17 May 2011

shopping.




Here are some of the purchases that I did over the last two weeks. To start off, I bought three more nail polishes, which once again were a total bargain (0.90€ each). And once again, the shades are absolutely lovely and ideal for spring and summer. I can’t wait to try the blue shade on my nails and rock it with some turquoise jewerly!
Didn’t I say that I would come back with more Essence stuff? This time I have also bought two items. The first one is, once again, a lipgloss. This is the Stay With Me Long-lasting lipgloss in the shade 06 Berry Me. I wasn’t really expecting to bring another lipgloss, since I really want to try the other different products from this brand. However, I fell in love by its color. It isn’t the perfect color for spring, since it is a little too dark, but anyway I loved it. Once again, this was only 2.49€. The other product that I bought was the Essence Kajal Pencil in the shade 01 Black. It is just a regular eyeliner pencil, nothing extraordinary. However, I wanted to try them out since the other shades are quite nice. Its price was only 1.49€.
I have also another shopping post to do, but this time with clothes and accessories. However, I am questioning myself on how to do it, since there are quite a lot of things to show. Do you prefer a simple post with photographs? Or do you want me to record a video and post it here? My opinion is that, when I do shopping posts containing clothes, it turns out to be a little difficult to perfectly photograph the items. Sometimes, the clothes details don’t appear as I would like and you can’t really see the design and overall appearance of each piece. I would really appreciate your opinion on this matter. So please, leave some feedback. Until then, I will also think of other alternatives.


Monday, 16 May 2011

the mistress of spices.


I have been thinking about doing book reviews for quite a while. It actually makes sense, since literature is one of my biggest passions. I ended up feeling motivated to do it by one of my fellow bloggers (thank you Harija), who ask me if I could do some posts about books. This won’t be a review like the ones I do for common products. It will be more of a commentary about the book, the plot and its characters. It will possibly resemble some of the posts that I did talking about dramas.
Today’s book will be The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. I read this book last year for an English class, since the class’s program focused on Indian culture. The author is an Indian writer who was born in Calcutta but moved to the United States in order to pursue her studies. By reading her novels or short stories, we can understand that she has a great interest in issues involving women and her own cultural heritage.
The main character of this book, Tilo, is an immigrant from India, who runs a spice shop in Oakland, California. She is the voice of this novel and the only one that let us enter this exotic and magic world. As the title of the novel suggests, Tilo is a Mistress of Spices, a woman who was trained in the art of spices. Her age, her appearance, aren’t real. She was born in another time. In order to become a Mistress of Spices she had to renounce to her whole existence and join a journey in other place and time. She takes on the appearance of an old woman, running a spice shop in Oakland, forever forsaking a woman’s vanities. Nevertheless, Tilo is not the ruler; the spices are the ones that control her. She is just a simple servant who takes advantage of these magical substances to cure and heal the people that visit the store. In each chapter, a new character is added to the plot. Each one of these individuals carry their own misfortunes and pains and the spices, those powerful remedies to the soul, originate the perfect blend between the characters and their own emotions and desires. In this sense, each chapter is the story of a certain spice: turmeric, the desire of rebirth; chilli, to clean all evil; fennel, to cool tempers; kalo jire, to reduce pain and suffering. Through the visits of these travellers, we are able to catch glimpses of the life of these Indian immigrants. To each one of these costumers, Tilo dispenses her own wisdom and time in order to find the right spice to cure their pains. However, the story suffers a twist the moment an American man enters the store, leaving Tilo confused by her own prohibited emotions. She cannot find the right spice for this mysterious man, touched by her forbidden desire of love, which if she follows will destroy her magical powers. However, she is willing to accept the punishment. The end turns out to be as unpredictable as it could be.
First of all, this book is a marvellous delight to the reader’s senses. It is almost like as if the reader could feel the scent of the cinnamon in the air, the taste of ginger in the mouth. This book is indeed a rich feast to our senses, letting us travel across time and space into the traditions and heritage of the Indian culture. This novel is exquisitely written and beautifully conceived. It’s absolutely fascinating how the author can describe, in a way that is so magical and powerful, the atmosphere surrounding this character. At a certain point, the reader can’t control his/her desire to enter this colourful and flavoured world, were spices rule upon all the rest. It’s indeed bittersweet. In the end, there was a part of me that wanted to know them all (the spices), to feel and smell, to see them vanish in the air while still feeling their presence inside of me, with infinite passion and fervour, as if I was a true Mistress.

Friday, 13 May 2011

review.


This Oriflame lip stain is from the Very Me line and its color is red. Besides this, it was also available in another shade, which was Raspberry. Once again, this product is from the Click It range, whose concept is all about two products in one.
It was actually my first time trying out lip stains and I am still a little bit divided. If I had to solely analyze the performance of this product regarding the color and duration, I would say it is amazing. This is just the perfect touch for your lips, if you aren’t looking for anything dramatic or too out there. It gives the perfect hint of color, giving a very natural appearance to your lips. What I love the most about this is definitely the scent and the taste. It is absolutely lovely! But when I analyze other aspects, it makes me doubt the overall quality. The sensation that I get every time that I apply this is that it dries and tightens my lips quite a lot. It becomes almost hard to move the lips. I don’t think that this is supposed to happen. Overall, it is not that comfortable to wear, at least for me. However, I have already tried to use it on top of a lipstick. In this case, I don’t have any problems at all. But well, a lip stain isn’t really meant to use on top of a lipstick. The reason why I bought it was because I wanted to add a natural hint of color to my lips, without seeming like I am wearing lipstick or gloss. In my perspective, the formula is kind of strange since it produces these effects. Even though the price is affordable, I don’t think that I would buy this product again.


Wednesday, 11 May 2011

temptations.



First, just try to ignore my smashed cupcakes. The lady at the bakery decided to shove them into a tiny box. This was the result. Anyway, I just had to share this little piece of heaven. The showcase in which these were displayed was actually filled with different types of pastry containing cream (and I love cream). It was extremely difficult to choose from such a selection of yummy things. I ended up bringing these, since I have never tried this kind of cupcake. I can’t even look at the pictures. It actually makes me want to bite the computer screen.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

award.

The lovely Amy gave me the Versatile Blog Award. Thank you so much Amy, I really appreciate it! Make sure to check Amy's amazing blog.


Rules:
1.) Thank the person who give you the award, and link back at them.
2.) Tell us 7 things about yourself.
3.) Nominate 15 recently discovered Blogger for this award.
4.) Contact these bloggers and tell them they received the award.

Things About Me:
1. Books are one of the most important things in my life.
2. I want to live in a different country, for a while.
3. I have a younger brother.
4. I am someone who really loves Nature and outdoor activities.
5. I love to travel and discover new languages and cultures.
6. I collect old coins, stamps, postals and bookmarks.
7. I am passionate about photography.

I give this award to:


Monday, 9 May 2011

giveaway. [closed]


I have to admit that I almost feel like Santa. It makes me feel so happy being able to give something back to you guys. Therefore, here it is the second giveaway of the blog. Once again, this giveaway is being sponsored by Sigma, that kindly offered to give away one amazing F80 Flat Top Kabuki brush to one of my readers. This make up brush is ideal to apply liquid or powder products. To know more information about this brush, visit this page.




GIVEAWAY rules:

1.You must be a Public follower using Google Friend Connect (GFC). I need to be able to verify that you do follow my blog.
2. Leave a comment below with your GFC name and email address (If you’re not comfortable leaving your email, you can always enter your twitter username).
3. For an extra entry, make a blog post about this giveaway or put it on your sidebar (On the comment, you should include that info).
4. For another extra entry, like the Facebook page of this blog here (On the comment, you should include your Facebook name).
5. The prize will be sent from Sigma directly to you. I will send them your address.

This contest is open internationally and will finish on the 30th of May 2011 at 11.59 pm (Portugal time). The winner will be selected via Random.org. After this, the winner will have 48 hours to respond.
Good luck everyone!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

shopping.


I am uber excited about these products. Basically, I wanted to try Essence for quite a while. For those of you who don't know, Essence is a really popular brand all over Europe because of their friendly prices and overall good quality. This brand is also sold in the United States. Here in Portugal, this brand is sold at some pharmacies in Continente supermarkets. However, I have never came across these products and only yesterday I realized that I had Essence available in my area's supermarket. I looked like a little kid on Christmas day! There were quite a lot of products so, at the beginning, I didn't know what to chose. I ended up buying two different things, just to try them out. The first one is the Essence Quattro Eyeshadow. This is a mini eyeshadow palette, which comes with 4 different shades. The name of it is 02 chic-ify. To be honest, it was quite overwhelming for me since there were so many different palettes. At first, I didn't know which one to chose but I ended up picking this one, which was only 3.49€. Then, I decided to bring a lipgloss. I have heard so many good things about these that I couldn't help bringing one with me. This is the Essence XXXL Shine Lipgloss in the shade 04 Rising Star. It is a beautiful frosty pink lipgloss with a gorgeous hint of shine. This was 2.29€. I am so thrilled about these that I will be surely picking some more things the next time.