Thursday, 28 July 2011

perfection.


I feel like I've been away for the longest time. And even thought my vacations were a little bit short, I've enjoyed every single moment of it. We've visited so many towns and so many iconic places. I have to admit that I was particularly excited about this trip. The main reason for such excitement was because I was somehow able to take you with me. And more important, being able to share with you all the beautiful places and landscapes that I’ve seen. As you can imagine, I have so many places to show and so many things to tell you about (and almost 500 photos). Therefore, this will take quite a few posts, since I’m not planning to post everything in a row. Basically, I’ll be showing you each place by the order I’ve visited it.
Without further ado, let me introduce you the Jardim da Sereia (or Mermaid Garden) in Coimbra. We were just passing by Coimbra, but we ended up visiting the town. Coimbra is mainly known for its academic tradition, being its University one of the oldest Universities in Europe and the oldest academic institution in Portugal. Coimbra was also the capital of Portugal between1139-1260. After its decline, it evolved into one of the most important Portuguese cultural centers, which is explained by the foundation of the University of Coimbra in 1290. Jardim da Sereia is just one of the many gardens that the city has, being the most famous the Botanical Garden of the University of Coimbra (unfortunately, I wasn’t able to visit it). In 1131, this space was given to the SS. Augustine monks, who started exploring the garden. I think that the most relevant aspect about this garden is definitely its architectural beauty, with the predominance of the Baroque architecture. This garden is also full of symbolism and you can find hidden meanings behind each monument. The first monument, which has three statues and a cascade, has its own meaning. To start off, we have the number three, which is already iconic, representing the Holy Trinity, but also the balance, the perfection. The three statues also represent three different values: faith, charity and hope. The second fountain, the Fonte da Nogueira (or the Walnut Fountain), has a statue with a Triton swallowing a dolphin. This has mainly to do with the name of the garden. This garden is indeed a beautiful meditational place, with a beautiful symbolic architecture.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

weekly gratitude.


In these two past weeks, I am thankful for.

I am thankful for all the support that I have received on this last stage. It was very important for me feeling that I wasn’t alone on this journey.
I am thankful for last weekend’s stroll in another town. It was very pleasant to rediscover Caldas da Rainha in a good company.
I am thankful for the patience that my parents had on the hours before my presentation. I was super nervous and grumpy. However, they were extremely patient and nice.
I am thankful for finally being on vacation and don’t having to think about college. This year was extremely stressful. Therefore, having a break now is all that I could ask for.
I am thankful for finally graduating this year. It was such a great journey, in which I was able to learn so much. I can’t wait to embark on another adventure and doing my Master’s Degree.  
I am thankful that things went smoothly. I was indeed expecting some final drama but luckily everything turned out to be ok.
Thank you to my wonderful teacher, who closely followed this stage of my life. Thank you so much for all the support and for all the kind words.
Once again, a huge thank you to my parents. These past months were not only stressful for me, but also for them. I saw my dad loosing is temper for the first time and saying that he would do anything to put a stop to that situation. Thank you so much for always caring for me!
I am thankful for the brighter future that is ahead of me. I now realize that this was just a temporary storm, which fatefully brought me down. However, I am glad that I had the strength to move on.
A massive thank you to my readers, for faithfully staying around. At this stage, I couldn’t imagine my life without this blog and especially without you. Thank you so much for always making my day brighter.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

eve organics.



Eve Organics is a mineral make up and organic skin care company. Their cosmetics, free of petrochemicals, sulfates, glycols, parabens, and other toxic chemicals, are formulated by using the finest ingredients that nature gives us. Their products are also free of talc and fragrances, substances which can cause skin reactions and allergies to a lot of people. Their products aren't animal tested, which once again extends the spectrum of people that can use these. One of the things that really impressed me was one of their goals as a company: educate the general population about the lack of regulation in the cosmetic industry by making ingredients information available to customers. You can see that this question is indeed important to them, and as a costumer you have fuller access to the list of ingredients, both on their labels and on their website. They have available a vast range of products, from mineral make up to organic skin care. Therefore, you can expect to find products like facial cleansers, toners, lotions, creams and scrubs. Besides this, they also have beauty tools, like make up brushes and other accessories. On their site, apart from the standard searching, you can actually search products by skin type, which is something really helpful.
I was sent two of their make up products. The first one was their General Neutralizer Concealer, which is just a neutral concealer. The second product, is one of their Natural Lip Glosses, in the shade Cool Nude. I've been experimenting with these two products for more than a month so by now, I can already do a precise review about these. Therefore, you can expect it soon.

Friday, 22 July 2011

it is over.

Another week, other battles. To start off, I would like to thank you all of you who calmed me down and gave me strength regarding my final presentation. I've never got to thank you for all the support. My final presentation was yesterday and it went smoothly. The jury gave me a lot of compliments regarding my report and the presentation itself. In the end, I feel like every tiny bit of the thins I went through, has indeed paid off. I didn’t give you a lot of details about the situation, but since everything is now over, I feel like I can clear things. As most of you know, I was an intern for these past 3 months. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as I was expecting and in the end, it was quite a traumatizing experience for me. I am not going to share a lot because, as we all know, this is a tiny little world and sometimes, things come around once again. However, I think that you all get an idea, just by these words. I don’t really know how I was able to gather all the strength to overcome this situation. Everybody around me keeps telling me that they wouldn’t even stand half of what I tolerated. I am glad I did it because yesterday I was rewarded for all my effort. All the words that I’ve heard yesterday made everything worth it. At the end of this experience, I’ve learned that I am a lot stronger that I thought I was. And as someone told me yesterday, now I am capable of anything, there isn’t a single thing that can let me down.
And since yesterday I am finally a college graduate. I am still trying to assimilate all this. But there is one thing that I am particularly sure about: I feel extremely happy and accomplished. Three years later, after 29 overcame subjects, everything is over. I feel the accomplishment, not only as a student, but as a human being. I know that there is still a lot to do and a lot to learn. But now I am closer to reach my own goals and my wishes.
To end this week perfectly, I am also going on vacation for 4 days. I’ll be out of town and I’ll be quite absent from the blog as well. I’ll leave some scheduled posts for the weekend. However, I won’t be able to answer to your comments, neither commenting back on your blogs.  Anyway, I know that I’ll have a lot to catch up as soon as I will be back. And I hope that all of you have a wonderful weekend and a great week as well.


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

countryside.


Last Sunday we gathered a big group of 13 people and went on a little trip to Caldas da Rainha, a Portuguese town. We had a reservation at one of the local traditional restaurants, just to eat Portuguese roast suckling pig which, for those of you who don’t know, is part of our traditional cuisine. However, we ended up visiting the town before lunch and we all went to a traditional market. I am just too sad for not taking that many photos of the market. Portuguese traditional markets are indeed worth seeing. There is such a perfect mix of colors, scents and sensations. Unfortunately, and since we weren’t alone, I wasn’t able to take as many photos as I wanted, since everybody seemed to be in a rush.
However, the moment I was able to freely take some photographs, I left the crowd and went alone to explore the surroundings. The restaurant was located near a beautiful and peaceful field. Besides the vineyards and some crop fields, there was just an immense ears field. I think I was able to effectively capture the quietness of this place. It’s curious how I feel so much at ease with myself at the countryside. The pace of life seems to be so much slower and you’re able to experience every single sensation to its fullest: eyes wide open, ears listening to every single sound, and a slow beating, tranquil heart.

Monday, 18 July 2011

hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.


Today my heart and my mind were both running fast. And while I sat on that room theater for about 3 hours, I couldn’t believe that 10 years had already passed since the first time. Janurary, 3rd 2001: I followed, with an avid enthusiasm, the first Harry Potter’s steps. December, 2nd 2002: 275 pages later I could feel the magic growing inside of me. And the years kept on flying until August, 25th 2007. Four years ago. Today’s day marks a closure of one of the dearest memories that I have from my childhood.  Today, while seeing the grown up Harry, the grown up Hermione and the adult Ron, I couldn’t help thinking how we all grow up so much. It has been ten years! And in some curious way, I smiled at the thought of going through the same fears, the same dark moments, the same insecurities. I hardly kept myself from crying during the entire movie. The sly tears almost caught me. However, it was when the final scene appeared on screen, with Kings Cross station as the background for the last time, it was only than that I gave in. And the tears flooded down my face, in a predicable emotional rush, just as they run now that I am writing this little memo. If there is one thing that I am really proud of, is belonging to the Harry Potter generation. I feel so blessed for being a part of it and for the chance of following this journey since its very beginning. Today’s day left in me an immense feeling of nostalgia. And even though today's day marked a closure, I know that it will hardly ever come to an end, at least inside of me. Today, sitting there, while my heart was beating as fast as ever, I thought about the future and how I want my kids to experience Harry Potter just as I did. I want them to feel the magic, in the purest way. I want them to feel the excitement, year after year, embarking on another adventure. I want them to feel as alive as I did, every time Harry Potter’s world was also mine. If there is one thing that I have learned during these ten years, is that magic is everywhere. We just need to find it, right inside our hearts. And year after year, I am positively sure, that Hogwarts will always be there to welcome me home.


Saturday, 9 July 2011

shopping.


I want to share this awesome deal with you because I know that some of you told me that you were interest in buying an eyeshadow palette like this. Therefore, I’ll be giving you all the information that you need to know to acquire one of these. Nowadays, a lot of different online websites sell these palettes. For what I have seen, some ask for more than others but you can always expect to pay at least 20€ for one of these. One thing that was stopping me from buy was exactly the price. If we consider the type of product, we may think it is an acceptable price. However, I knew for sure that these were available on the market for a much affordable price. And I was right! My tip for you is always searching on other sites before committing to buy something. And by other sites, I mean ebay.
This palette, containing 120 eyeshadows (with 2 layers), cost me £6.37, which corresponds to 7.37€. The transaction went smoothly and it took about 15 days to the palette get here, since this came from China. The packaging was nicely wrapped in bubble wrap and everything was perfectly sealed. Regarding the quality, I can assure you that it is wonderful. The pigmentation is phenomenal and these last forever. So by now most of you already know where these online stores buy these palettes. If you want to save money, I would advise you to get one of these, instead of wasting more money on something that comes from the same place. You can buy it from this seller, which is 100% legit. If you have any doubts, please feel free to ask me. And if you want, I can also do a video showing you the palette in detail. Anyway, I’ll be doing a more in-depth review really soon.

prom.

 
Yesterday’s night was admirably pleasant. It’s funny how time flies; and when we notice it, there’s no chance of going back. It’s seems like it was just yesterday that my brother was an elementary school student. And now he is going to take his first steps as a high school student. But the funniest thing about yesterday’s night, was how I was able to relate to him. He went to the same school as I went; he had the same teachers that I had. As you can imagine, it was a night of reencountering old and, in some cases, missed faces. There was quite a nostalgic feeling surrounding every single minute. I never thought that I would somehow miss those times, but I did. And as each moment was passing, I remembered the exact same night, six years ago, when I was the one standing on that room. I didn’t ask my brother how he felt, while walking towards the stage to receive his finalist sash. But somehow, by the look of his face, I was able to see that a part of him felt the same way I did six years ago: happy that it ended, happy for breaking with the old bonds. However, there is a part of me that whishes that he won’t let go. Because I did, and there is still a part of me that regrets it everyday.


Thursday, 7 July 2011

time is flying.

It seems like that lately the twenty four daily hours are never enough. I have so many things planned for these upcoming two weeks that I’ve been slacking this blog. To start off: college. My final presentation is coming and I can feel the pressure coming in. I’m already having trouble falling asleep at night and, to be honest, I’m just too much all over the place. I know that I need to stay calm and take it easy since there is still a week and a half until the presentation’s day. However, I can’t seem to control myself and this is already driving me mad.
Yesterday was actually my brother’s birthday. Therefore, as you can imagine, it was quite a commotion. And to add a little more of craziness to this week, tomorrow is my brother’s prom. So I’m already expecting a busy day.
Besides all this, I’ve been extremely busy with Cherry Blossom. I’m having the collection’s clearance sales at the moment and a new collection coming soon (so, as you can imagine, I’ve been going to the post office almost everyday). And in the meantime, the blog’s appearance is also going to suffer some changes (a new store template is coming soon), so I’ve been playing with HTML for the past days.
This is just to let you know how things are right now. I know that I’ve been a terrible blogger. I have tons of posts and videos planned, but I can’t seem to find the time to properly do these. Besides, I also have to catch up with most of your blogs. Thank you for being so patient with me. I promise things will be back to normal in a couple of days. Until then, please take care!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

weekly gratitude.



In these two past weeks, I am thankful for.

I am thankful for the nice days that I’ve been enjoying. Luckily, things have been better now and I’ve been also feeling better.
I am thankful for the nice walks that I’ve been doing and for the opportunity of photographing these places.
I am thankful for yesterday’s evening coffee with such a good company. It was nice to chat a little bit.
I am thankful that my breast nodule didn’t grow. Even though it had some oscillations during this past month (it seemed bigger and then smaller), the size didn’t actually change.
I am thankful for the end of this long journey. I’ve already finished my internship report and now it’s only a matter of time until everything is over.
I am thankful for being a finalist this year. Even though I'll be doing my Master's Degree next year, I feel that I have accomplished something big. It’s an end of a cycle and I’m glad I had this opportunity.
I am thankful to my parents for giving us all of these opportunities.
I am thankful for the family that I have, the friends that I have made, the situations that I have faced. I think that I need to be thankful everyday for being such a blessed kid.
Thank you to my mom for always being alert. She is indeed a very protective mother, who is always aware of anything related to us.
Thank you to Simba for being my companion and for always being able to calm me down.
Another week, another note of appreciation to my readers. Thank you so much for staying around.


how to.



Friday, 1 July 2011

the sun.



You have to feel thankful for being alive when a day ends as beautifully as this. No matter how big your struggles are, no matter how deep your wounds will be. If the day ends as bright as this, there is hope. 
And today, for this simple image, I am thankful.


and the winner is.

I can't believe that this is already my 3rd giveaway. I can't also believe that is almost a year since I've started this blog. It has been such an enjoyable journey, in which I had the honour and pleasure of meeting wonderful people. This is my humble thank you to all of you who have stayed around. For those of you who have joined now, welcome and thank you!
My giveaways are indeed my way of giving back. I am always so happy every time I am able to host a giveaway; I am just sad that I can’t give more to each one of you. Luckily, I've already a couple of future giveaways in mind.
Anyway, enough with the rambling! This time, we had a total of 275 eligible entries. Once again, the winner was generated through Random.org.
And the winner is:

Congratulations to Anorinha! I will be contacting you soon in order to obtain your shipping information. You have 48 hours to answer.