June 11, 2017

Clouds and Birds

As you might know already, whenever my boyfriend and I have a few hours to spend together we like to go out and take a walk around London. Lately our favourite places to visit have been parks, as we really enjoy taking pictures there and just generally walking around observing nature. Birds and flowers are the perfect subject to practice my photography skills as they usually don't care (or complain) about being photographed.

On Friday we went to Hyde Park after work and we hang out there for a while. Here you can see some of the pictures I've taken with my new camera.


This post was pretty pointless but oh well, I promise next time I'll do better.

Martina x

May 31, 2017

May in Books

This month I've read four books and a half, and I am really satisfied with the amount of time I spent reading.

The first book I want to talk about is Matilda. I went to see the musical earlier this year and soon after that I bought a copy of the book. 

I read Matilda when I was six or seven. It was my first proper novel, my first big kid book, and I loved it ever since. Re-reading it made me realise how similar I was to Matilda when I was that age. I shared her love for books and sometimes I felt like I was "a bit different than some of my friends", like I was older. My family was not so bad though, and I didn't have to pull pranks on them or my teachers to make things right.

I love Roald Dahl's writing and creativity and I think I will read some more of his books soon, probably starting with The Witches.

The other three books that I read were written by Arthur Conan Doyle. I have decided that I want to read all of Sherlock Holmes' stories, so this month I focused on The Sign of the Four, The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Valley of Fear. So far, the one I liked the most is The Valley of Fear, as I found its plot a bit more tangled and engaging than the others.

I will talk about the fifth book next month, as I haven't finished it yet, but I can already tell you that it is a very good one.

Book Challenge 2017:
Matilda: a book you loved as a child
The Sign of the Four: a book with an eccentric character
The Hound of the Baskervilles: a book with pictures
The Valley of Fear: a book that is a story within a story

Martina x

May 24, 2017

The Dior Trilogy, Part Three

Out of the various samples that the Dior lady gave me, the most interesting was definitely the combo of mascaras. 

I had already tried the Diorshow mascara in the past, because my mum used to have it and I always tested her makeup. I remember not being too impressed with it, but I was ready to give it a second chance. Plus, this time I had the opportunity to test it along with its primer, and as I had never used a lash primer before, it's safe to say I was curious.

The Diorshow mascara applied on its own makes the lashes longer and helps keeping them curlier, while keeping the look natural. It does not create a false lashes effect and does not make me go wow when I check myself in the mirror, but it's perfect for those days when I want a really natural look. I would call it a my-lashes-but-better kind of mascara. The downside that I noticed is the fact that it tends to wear out a lot during the day, with the result that in the evening you look at yourself in the mirror and wonder wether you'd even put mascara on that day. Obviously, this makes it easier to remove it, if you compare it to other mascaras, and that's a good thing.

The Diorshow Maximizer primer (which looks absolutely beautiful, I love the white packaging and white brush) helps the mascara last longer during the day and gives volume to the lashes. When you first apply it you can see a bit of white on your lashes, especially at the ends, where they are normally lighter and thinner. That shows the volumizing effect of it, I guess.  When I first opened it I hoped for a second that it would be fully white, but as I just said you can actually only see its colour on the ends of your lashes. I would love to try a full coverage white mascara one day.

All in all, I loved testing out these two products, but I don't think I'll buy the full version. If I did, I would probably just buy the primer, because it's supposed to help lashes grow stronger and because I would like to test it with other mascaras. Now that I think of it, I might save what's left of the sample and test it under some other mascaras sometimes soon.

Have you ever tried any Dior products? If so, what's your favourite?

Martina x

May 21, 2017

Unplanned Adventure in Brighton

Yesterday my boyfriend had to go to Gatwick airport, and I decided to go with him just to say goodbye. We were in a rush and while getting our train tickets Lorenzo accidentally clicked Brighton instead of Gatwick on the display, so we ended up with an extra ticket for Brighton that would expire that day. 

In that moment I decided to go to Brighton. I was not expecting to go on a day trip, so I only had the bare minimum in my bag, no snacks or water, and I was carrying a huge, heavy book, as I had planned to read on the train on my way back from the airport. The weather and the opportunity were too wonderful to pass though, so I decided to go anyway, and just have a chilled day by the sea.

As soon as I got to Brighton I visited Boots (I know, not the first place that would come to your mind), with the idea of buying a new mascara and a lip balm. After that, I walked down to the seaside and strolled in the sun for a while, looking at the small stands and shops that are on the beach.

For lunch I just had to go to Moksha, as I had been there last Summer and I remembered their blueberry pancakes like a dream. I ordered those along with a peppermint tea, and had a wonderful lunch on my own.

Then I visited the lanes, Waterstones (I got myself a book of poetry, you'll see more about it in a future post), a few shops (where I bought a dress and a top) and then walked down the seaside, all the way to the huts. I sat there to rest and read a few pages of my huge book, and then walked to the Pier, where I bought an Oreo milkshake.

I love how this pictured turned out, with that person standing there and staring at the colorful huts. 

Anyway, after the milkshake I decided to go back to London, as I needed to go to Sainsbury's and to pickup an Amazon order.

When I got home that evening every part of my body was aching, but it was so worth it. I was really happy with my unplanned adventure, happy that I had seen Brighton once more, happy for the weather and overall just happy. Having such an adventure on the day my boyfriend left made me feel less lonely, even though I wish I could have shared that day with him.

Did you go somewhere special recently?

Martina x

May 17, 2017

To Food or Not to Food

Lately I've been struggling on two opposite sides. One part of me doesn't want to put a limit to what (and how much, and how often) I eat in a day, the other half wants to get rid of the ever-growing belly fat (I tend to put on weight mainly in that area, and the result is that I look kind of pregnant all year round - sounds like life's way of making fun of me, since my biggest dream is to have a baby of my own).

During the day, I alternate moments where I tell myself that I can try to work out a bit and keep eating whatever I crave for, and others where I think I should just control myself a bit more, and stop indulging in biscuits and desserts three to four times a day.

I am still a bit confused and undecided about what to do, but today I have invested in a fitness and recipe plan by Danielle Peazer called 12-Week Body Plan and I think I'll try to follow that for a while and see how it goes.

When I first heard about it, it immediately caught my attention, simply because it focuses on both the topics I need to work on: fitness and food. I am always passionate about finding and testing new recipes, so I'm sure that that side of the plan won't disappoint me, and I like the idea of having a full series of workouts all written down and with pictures, as they are easier to follow than other workouts (I can take a book to the park, while watching a Youtube video might be a bit more complicated) and they're already organized week by week, day by day, so I don't have to figure out by myself which one is right for me or how many series of exercises I need to do.

The plan comes as a pdf, but I'm having mine printed because I want to be able to take it everywhere and I know that I'll more likely make a good use of it if I have it printed than if it's only a pdf on my phone.

If you are interested in this plan, you can find it on weheartliving's website. I applied for the Starter Pack and a few days later they sent me a discount code (I probably wouldn't have bought it full price, though the price is still definitely lower than a gym subscription).

I'll start working out between Saturday and Monday, and later this month I'll let you know if I managed to stick to the plan, if I'm loving it or not, and if the recipes are interesting. 

Martina x