August 21, 2017

I Met Rose

I am talking about my new razor, not Jane the Virgin's Rose, thankfully. I probably wouldn't be here to tell the story otherwise.

Hey, you can see me in the reflection!

Remember that post about my shaving issues? Well, my boyfriend checked out my razors and said that the reason I got cut so often was that they only had two blades, and they were really basic, not flexible and all of that. Following his suggestion, I started checking out razors on Boots' website, but all of them seemed quite pricey, and then I remembered seeing a picture of something called Friction Free Shaving. 


Friction Free Shaving is a subscriptions that allows people to receive four new blades every month, and the prices for the subscription go from 5 to 9 pounds a month. In the first box you get the razor handle and four blades, and the following months you just get the blades (at least that's what I have understood). You can also add a shaving cream to the subscription for an extra 6 pounds.

Now my legs will be less scratched than my boyfriend's desk

The two razors that they offer are the three-bladed Frankie and the six-bladed Rose. I obviously went for the second one because it's prettier because of the six blades and I added the shaving cream for good measure.

I ordered it about a week ago and it landed on my doorstep this morning, just in time for my weekly shaving session.

Let's start by saying that I love the packaging, the colours and the creativity that went into the creation of this product. Second, I really really appreciate the material and weight of the razor handle. It feels expensive and long-lasting. The cream looks pretty as well, and despite containing manuka honey, shea butter and coconut oil its perfume reminds me of peaches, which I love.


I tried everything straightaway (well, right after taking some pictures) and I can say it lived up to the expectations. Shaving proved to be quick and easy, and I didn't even cut myself. The blades cut the hair really close to the skin, so the result should last for a little longer than my previous razors, but the simple fact that I didn't cut myself is enough to make me say I love this combo and I will definitely not cancel my subscription soon.

I will update you at some point, in the meantime, I have got a referral code to share with you in case you decide to #meetRose as well. With this code (K4O1IU) you can get 25% discount on your first order. You are welcome.

Look at all those little blades

Martina x

August 19, 2017

They Melted My Heart

Quick update just to tell you something that happened at work today.

I was sorting out the shelves in the shop where I spend half of my working hours when I overheard a conversation between a little girl and her mum. The little girl wanted to buy some ink and a quill but wasn't sure wether she should buy them there or at the Harry Potter shop in King's Cross. I noticed that the parents didn't really know what to say and they didn't seem too keen on the quill, so I walked there and told her, "I believe you should buy that at the Harry Potter shop, it's more magical there" - partly because I truly believe that and I would want to buy my quill there and partly because I wanted to help the parents. She didn't seem too convinced at first, but after a few minutes came back and said, "Thank you for your advice" which sounded so grown-up from her, it truly melted my heart.

After I gave her my advice though, her brother (could have been eight or nine years old, not older) came up to me and asked, "Excuse me, do you work here? You know, the thing that you just said to my sister is not helpful for your business. You shouldn't tell people to buy things elsewhere." Then he went on saying that he had checked the prices of ink and quills on Amazon and that he might actually buy them from there, and that everything in our shop is a bit overpriced. Bless him. I asked how did he know so many things at such young age, and he answered, "I don't know, I just know that."

The older brother then came up to me with an item in his hands asking me, "Sorry madam, I don't remember where I found this, can you point the shelf to me so I can bring it back?" which, if you have ever worked in a shop, you might know that is something that no one does, ever. Everyone just abandons everything in random places, so the average day on an employee feels like an endless game of hide-and-seek. I was moved but still told him to leave that to me, that I would take care of that.

I honestly wonder how their parents managed to bring up such well-mannered and clever children, although this kind of personality has probably more to do with the child himself than the parents. Still, if they wrote a book about parenting I would definitely read it.

Unfortunately they left and I didn't have time to ask them to adopt me congratulate for their smart children.

This event is definitely the highlight of my working month. Do you have any story to share?

Martina x

August 17, 2017

Firsts

Today I visited Westfield White City for the first time. I really appreciated the building, though I found it to be a bit of a maze, but was quite disappointed by the lack of a bookshop (though maybe they do have one and I just couldn't find it). After walking through Westfield without buying anything I travelled to Foyles Charing Cross, where Lorenzo bought me Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton biography (#boyfriendgoals, right?).

Six years ago as of today I was flying buisness class to New York. Can you believe it? It was my first time in the US and my holiday extended to Annapolis, Washington DC and Orlando. Best family holiday ever. I've been wanting to talk about my US experiences for a while, so I might pick up this topic a little better in another post. 



In 2011 I visited the UK, the US, Belgium and Germany. Wish all my years could be like that. But I am not complaining, as right now I live in London and this has always been one of my major life goals.

See you soon,

Martina x

August 16, 2017

Favourite Major Food Chain?

Pret.

Pret a Manger is definitely my favourite food chain. I discovered it in London a few years back, as we don't have one in Italy, and since then I've started appreciating it more and more. Not only the food is good, various, healthy and with a good price, but the company is also all into charity and treating their employees well (or so I've heard), making it an ethically correct place. I also love their design - from the chairs and tables to the prints on the walls - and their theme colours - that red/bordeaux is really up my street.

I have a few favourite bits from them and I have already spread my passion with my boyfriend, friends and family. I can proudly say that everyone of them has tried the Brie, Avocado & Tomato Toastie - my absolute favourite - and loved it (well done Pret, now please don't discontinue that toastie or you might not see me again).

Their coffee is not the best, more often than not it tastes like it's been burned (and you can still feel that in drinks that contain a lot of sugar and milk) but since I'm not a huge fan of coffee and I don't drink it that often, this doesn't bother me too much.

I visit Pret almost everyday (the fact that my workplace is right next to one of their shops doesn't help). If I had to eat at Pret for a whole day, this is what I would get.

Breakfast

I would pick up a small Orange Juice and order a Chocolate & Hazelnut Croissant at the till. I might also get a Soya Latte, if I feel like I need a little caffeine or something to warm myself up.

Lunch

I would usually go for my favourite toastie - the Brie, Avocado & Tomato Toastie. If that's not available or if I prefer something cold I would opt for a Free-Range Egg Mayo or a Classic Super Club, and if I'm not extremely hungry I would choose the Mozzarella & Tomato Croissant, that - along with the Toastie - is on top of my favourites' list. As a drink I would either get Still Water or the Green Tea & Peach drink.

Snack

In the afternoon I would either order a Victoria Sponge and sit down to eat it or get one of their bars and eat it on the go. My favourite bars are the Choc Bar, Popcorn Bar and Chocolate Brownie Bar. For a drink, depending on the weather, I would either opt for a Soya Hot Chocolate or a Berry Blast. 

Dinner

For dinner I would pick up a bottle of Still Water and eat some Macaroni Cheese Kale & Cauli (that's actually what I had today) or some Chicken, Broccoli & Brown Rice Soup. I usually get the smaller one and pair it up with some focaccia or a fruit or dessert.

I generally tend to avoid eating out this much, mainly to save some money, but if I really had to eat out all day long I would probably really just go to Pret multiple times. In my opinion, Pret is one of the best food places where you can find a balance between a decent price and a healthy meal, plus unlike many other places there are many different things to choose from, even numerous vegetarian and vegan options, so even eating out everyday wouldn't be too boring, in comparison to most cafés.

What about you? What's your favourite food place?

Martina x

August 14, 2017

Six Years Ago - What?

Right now I feel like I've just come back from a weird dream. I was looking through the pictures I took the first time I visited the UK, back in 2011. For a moment I just lived in those memories. I was still in London (not only there though, I'll explain later), but in the London of six years ago. King's Cross was being renewed, the Shard was being built, the Olympics were yet to happen, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 was in the cinema. 

In July/August 2011 I spent two weeks in Stafford for a Summer school. During that time I also visited Liverpool and Stratford-upon-Avon, and on the last weekend before flying back to Milan we went to London. 

The whole experience has been fantastic, and it's something I would recommend to any student. During that time I also made many new friends (one ended up becoming one of my best friends - I'm talking about you Vava) and deepened my friendship with the people I already knew.

Here are some pictures. Welcome to my personal memory lane.

The campus where we were staying was really beautiful

The weather in Liverpool was magical - we had such a great day

As you can see I was already into artsy pictures

Stratford-upon-Avon looks like it came straight out of a fairytale
 

Finally in London! I had been waiting for all my life, I am not joking


 

The British Museum's building is stunning



I was so proud of this picture, I even had it printed professionally and kept it in my room

PS. I am so sad for my beloved Big Ben - they're going to keep him hidden for four years, that's such a shame, I will miss him so much.

Martina x

August 13, 2017

Today I Don't Feel Like Doing Anything

Soo, today I've got nothing majorly exciting to tell. I woke up feeling poorly (again), so I just decided to stay in bed all morning. I watched all of the Rhiannon Ashlee videos I still had to watch (I just love Rhiannon, her videos, her taste in colours/brands/items and her flat so much, and she has the kind of lifestyle I would like to have - work-from-home mum sort of thing, except she has a proper job and I wouldn't know where to start). In the afternoon I did the laundry, cleaned up a little bit, had a shower. After that my boyfriend came back home, so I spent some time with him. Now he's asleep next to me and I have just completed a couple applications and sent them to my hypotetical new workplaces (I wrote a great cover letter for one of them, so I hope it will bring me luck). 

This morning my managers called me to ask if I was available to work tomorrow instead of having a day off - a nightmare! Luckily they said they didn't need me specifically and they would have tried to contact someone else. Phew.

Now I think I'm going to prepare some tea and Nutella on toast - which is probably not the best option for me right now, considering I'm feeling meh, but I'm a tad bit hungry and today I haven't eaten much because I was nauseated, so I feel like the fact I'm craving Nutella might be a good sign. Maybe tomorrow I'll feel better and I will go somewhere with Lorenzo. We will see.

Have a lovely evening guys,
Martina x

August 12, 2017

To See the Beauty

Hello!

It's finally Saturday, and after five intense days of work my day off is approaching. Actually, I just found out I am going to have two days off in a row, which in this season is a treat that not everyone gets at my workplace (I work at a tourist attraction, so summertime means crazy long days and weeks that feel endless).

I have been feeling increasingly ill in the past few days. Without going into details, I'll say that I feel like I have zero energy and even the simplest things, like standing up or moving my head left and right, feel like an effort. Today I reached the lowest point so far, and after a few hours I contemplated the idea of asking my managers to let me go home early. 

Despite that I resisted, and after we closed down the office I decided to go for a walk. From an external point of view that might not sound like a great idea, considering my lack of energy and my other symptoms, but after spending a day in the same couple of rooms I really needed to see something different, I needed to see the beauty that surrounds me all the time since I moved here (I still can't believe that I can reach every corner of London that I love in just a matter of minutes).

I decided to travel to Piccadilly Circus and walk down Piccadilly towards Green Park. I really love that area (in fact I love pretty much every place I have visited so far, so you will hear me saying that of many and many places around London, but oh well). During my trip I stopped at Boots, Waterstones, Hatchards (I had never been there before) and Cath Kidston. When I finally reached Green Park, the sky was looking wonderful and I spent a few minutes looking at it before leaving to go home.

When I got home I was in pieces, so I spent the rest of the evening in my bed (I am still there, yay) but I am really, really happy for the short walk that I took after work. It helped emptying my mind from the past week's stress and worries and reminding me of how lucky I am. I am really proud of myself for all I have achieved in the past six months and I am always truly grateful for being in this wonderful city.

Martina x

August 11, 2017

I Am Not Throwing Away My Shot

I have become one of those people that can hold a full conversation by quoting Hamilton songs, and I am proud of it. 

I don't have many friends that are interested in Hamilton though, so most of the times I actually just quote said songs in my head and high-five myself or just smile.

Since English is not my native language, I naturally tend to learn and re-use sentences from books, films or songs in my day to day life. It's a learning strategy. This way sometimes I end up quoting Hamilton (or other musicals) without even noticing.

Lately I realised that I have started using the idea of "not throwing away my shot" quite a lot. It has almost become my daily life motto. I have always believed in the importance of doing whatever I am doing well and putting 100% of myself in what I am doing, especially if it's something that can really make a difference. In Italian there is a way of phrasing this, le cose o le fai bene o non le fai, which can be translated to do it well or not at all. I have used that sentence quite often when talking to myself in the past, but I feel like that way of phrasing the idea doesn't describe myself or my attitude towards what I have to do all the times, because while it's true that generally speaking I try to do my best even when I'm doing the simplest things - like cleaning or cooking or texting - it's also true that sometimes I sort of lose my patience or hope (like with this blog, or with diets and sports). I have started noticing that the idea of not throwing away my shot describes my views better, because it creates a distinction inside my head between things that really matter in one specific moment and things that can be abandoned halfway.

I am not throwing away my shot, so I am going to write a great cover letter to grant me an interview for my next job. If I just write a half-hearted cover letter I halve the chances of getting a new job.

I am not throwing away my shot, so if  I am going to write a post on something I really care about I will wait until I have time to write it well and have pictures to add to it. On the other hand, if I don't upload a great post tomorrow the world is not going to end.

As I type I can already see some loopholes here and there in what I am saying, I can hear voices in my head saying that if I just phrased things differently I could get a different meaning out of them and blah blah blah. Right now I don't care too much about explaining my point of view better than I just did - for once I am not asking for your opinion (ha), I am just typing down things as they run through my head.

It's quite late and I am tired and I still have to finish that damn cover letter so I will say goodbye here.

I have the honor to be your obedient servant, 
M. Can 

August 08, 2017

Benefit Gimme Brow

When the upgraded brows collection by Benefit Cosmetics came out last year, for a moment I was honestly tempted to buy all the products, mainly because they look so good when they are displayed all together. I love the attention that Benefit puts into its design, I find that I am more inclined to pick up a makeup product from my drawer if its packaging makes me happy as much as its content. Last year I ended up buying a pencil by Neve Cosmetics instead, and I didn't regret it, as it worked perfectly with my brows (and, believe me, finding the right colour for my eyebrows has proven to be a huge challenge).

Back in March, as you might or might not know, I won an EcoTools x Boots giveaway. As soon as I entered Boots that day I thought that I might end up spending all my money on Benefit Cosmetics products, since I like their design and colours so much. At first I didn't get anything though. I already had my ultimate Benefit product (the Cheekathon Palette) and I didn't want to buy something I didn't need.

A few weeks after I decided that I needed to change my eyebrows routine a little, especially because my brows sometimes tend to be a little unruly and curl up in the wrong direction. I visited Boots with the thought of getting some invisible wax or gel to keep them in place, but ended up buying a Benefit product instead.

The lady at the counter recommended me to try Gimme Brow in 03. She tested that on me and I decided to get it. 


I have been using it ever since, every time I am doing a full face of makeup, and I really like it. It completes the look without being too "in your face". It's also easy to use, it can be built up and it usually looks very natural, while at the same time keeping brows brushed in the right direction. Sometimes I pair it with my faithful Neve Cosmetics Manga Brows, while other times I just use it on its own. I still believe that it's quite expensive for the amount of product that you get and that there are some cheaper products that work just as well but, for a Benefit fangirl like me, knowing that it's a Benefit product and being able to appreciate the packaging are details that add value to the product, so in the end I consider it a good investment.

Have you ever tried any product from Benefit's brows collection?

Martina x

August 07, 2017

Negramaro: L'Immenso

This week I've had a couple of Italian songs in my head - Ti ho voluto bene veramente by Marco Mengoni and L'Immenso by Negramaro. I have already posted about the first one (you can read about it here) but I haven't talked about the other yet.

Negramaro is a famous Italian band. I have never been a big fan and I don't know that much about them, but they have written a few songs that used to be on the radio or TV all the time and that I really like.

My favourite, and the only Negramaro song I used to have on my iPod, is called L'Immenso. It was released in 2007. I find the lyrics really deep and the combination of music and words quite powerful.

If I could rewind the world
I would certainly bring you back
For a deep, eternal moment
In which everything seems to be real but nothing really is
I would keep the world tightly in my pocket
And one day maybe give it back to you
To you, who are not part of the infinite
It's the infinite that is just a part of you

You can listen to the song (and watch the video) here.

I don't know exactly what the authors meant to say when they wrote this song, so my interpretation might be all wrong, but the video always made me think that they were dedicating it to someone they really cared about that had passed away. I find the lyrics full of love and, somehow, hope, instead of the typical desperation linked to this kind of events, and I really like this way of seeing things.

Had you ever heard this one before? What is your interpretation?

Martina x

August 05, 2017

Another Side of Beauty

Today’s post is beauty related, but it’s not your typical beauty post. I’m going to talk about the hair removal techniques I have tried recently, as I have been struggling a bit with keeping up with my hair growth (of course I’m only talking about body hair, not hair-hair, that is just doing fine lately).

Anyway, I’ve always been an epilator kind of girl. I don’t find it particularly painful and I think it is a low cost, long lasting technique to keep body hair at bay.

However, since I moved to London I’ve found it quite uncomfortable to epilate, as there is no way to do it in the bathroom (as I’m used to) and there’s not enough natural light in my room to do it properly there. Epilating also takes a long time and most days I don’t have that time – or I don’t want to waste my time off work epilating. I have to add here that my skin is really sensitive, I am prone to cuts and bruises and broken capillaries (thanks mum), so while testing products I also had to keep that in mind.

I was looking for something easier and possibly quicker, so I decided to experiment with different hair removal techniques, to see if I could find something that could suit my new life better.

In the past few months I have therefore bought disposable razors, wax strips, a waxing kit and a bottle of hair removal cream.

The wax strips felt quite useless on me, although I know that a lot of people swear by them. I guess my hair just doesn’t want to come off easily. I decided to try with the wax, which was a more expensive option but supposedly stronger than the strips, but in order to make it work I still had to insist on the same spot for a long time, which is not good for capillaries and bruises. So I moved on to razors, but I just kept accidentally cutting myself - which is not fun, especially on the long run, when the number of cuts keeps increasing.

I have finally settled for a mix of hair removal cream and razors (trying to use them less often and really carefully) but I am still not a hundred percent convinced by this. I still have to try a few shaving creams or gels, to see if they can make a difference when paired with razors, and the shower hair removal cream (which looks expensive but might save me from the hassle of dropping cream everywhere around the room).

What is your go-to hair removal technique? Do you have any tips and tricks?

Martina x

August 04, 2017

West End Shows

Tonight I don't have much time to write because I'm looking for job opportunities and sending applications around London. However, my plan was to talk about the shows I've seen lately, so I will post about something that has to do with theatre anyway.

Soo, here's a list of the West End shows I’ve seen so far (plus one show I’ve seen in Milan) so I can remember them as time goes by. Consider this a preview of some of my future posts, because I'm definitely going to talk a bit more about some of these shows.

2013
  • Les Misérables
  • Wicked 
2015 
  • Les Misérables 
  • The Addams Family (in Milan) 
2016 
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child 
2017 
  • Matilda 
  • An American in London 
  • Wicked 
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time 
  • Half a Sixpence 
  • The Girls 
  • Kinky Boots 
  • 42nd Street
I feel like I might have skipped something, maybe I'll add some more shows later.

Anyway, you can write your recommendations in the comments if you have any. I’m always open to suggestions and so far I have liked all the shows I’ve seen, so I'm eager to see more. High up on my list right now I have The Lion King, Aladdin and The Book of Mormon.

See you soon!
Martina x 

August 03, 2017

Books I Read in July

Hello world! Today I am presenting you the four books that I have read in July. I really liked them all and I am really happy that I found enough time to read all of them. Reading relaxes me and makes me feel accomplished, so it’s something I’m always trying to add to my daily life, even when it’s just a few minutes on the tube.

Without further ado, let's introduce the first one.


Wilde Like Me 
by Louise Pentland

As soon as I found out that Louise was publishing a novel, I had to pre-order it. Especially as I found that out through Giovanna Fletcher's Instagram, and I trust Gi's opinion on books.

I didn't know exactly what to expect from Wilde Like Me, but I can assure you that I absolutely loved it. It made me laugh out loud, which is something that doesn't happen all the times with books. I love Louise's style of writing and her humour, and I found the plot quite original and different from any other girlish book I have ever read. My life is definitely different from the life of the main character, but that didn't prevent me from empathising and also learning something and seeing something of myself in her. 

If you are unsure whether you want to read this or not, I encourage you to pick it up. Personally, I am ready to read any other novel that Louise will publish in the future.



Dare to Dream
by Izzy Judd

This book might seem like an odd choice, since I am not a mother and I am not trying to get pregnant yet. The fact is that I love the McFamily (?) and I am always keen on learning new things about pregnancy, motherhood and fertility, as these topics really fascinate me.

Oddly enough, this book actually helped me sorting out a few things in my brain. I found it well written, complete, organised and useful for learning new things about said topics. Moreover, I got to know Izzy a little bit better, and I learned a few things from her that might come in handy soon, like the part where she talks about mindfulness, and the fact that anxiety can aggravate infertility, which is always useful to know.

I really hope that Izzy will publish something else, maybe about her experiences as a mother, because I would love to hear more from her. In the meantime, I wish all the best and all the happiness to the Judds.


Perdersi a Londra

My best friend G. sent me this little booklet as a surprise. It's really tiny and it looks a bit old. It contains two stories by Charles Dickens - Gone Astray and Night Walks. I really appreciated them, as they talk about two characters walking around Victorian London, and they made me want to find out more about the history of some places and also to read more stories by Dickens (I am really ignorant and I think I might have read only one of his books, but I am sure I can make it up easily). I always appreciate this kind of presents, and she knows it well.


Lullabies
by Lang Leav

I bought this one in Brighton in May, it was a total cover buy (plus I really wanted to add more poetry to my book collection). I was actually looking for a Walt Whitman (I keep hearing his name everywhere and I have never read any of his collections) book when I spotted this one.

I took my time to read it well and appreciate its content, and I must say I probably liked it even more than Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur. By that I don't mean to judge its quality but more the number of poems that spoke to me. I bookmarked a lot of them with some yellow sticky notes and I might take a few pictures of them sooner or later, so you might hear about this book again.

I really want to read more poetry books, I really really enjoy the feelings they make me feel.

Book Challenge 2017:
Wilde Like Me: a book about an interesting woman
Dare to Dream: a book that's published in 2017
Perdersi a Londra: a book recommended by a librarian
Lullabies:a book you bought on a trip
Have you read anything worth mentioning in July?

Martina x

August 02, 2017

Favourite Skincare Products

Hello! Today I'm going to talk a bit about my latest beauty favourites. These are products that I have recently discovered and that I am planning to keep using all Summer and beyond.



I was looking for a new roll on deodorant and I bumped into this one, I read the ingredients and decided I had to try it. I am quite particular when it comes to deodorants because I tend to develop bad irritations in sensitive areas, my skin is prone to spots and bruises and so on, but so far this one has worked as well as the handmade deodorant I used to apply up to a few months ago. It feels nice on the skin, smells great, lasts all day and doesn't stain my clothes. 

Before buying this product I had already heard good things about this brand, so I quite trusted it, and for now this first product has left me really happy and curious to test out other products from their range, so if you have any suggestions please let me know.



I use SPF creams all year round, so this Summer I decided it was worth splurging a bit on a good SPF 50 cream as I knew I would use it everyday and I would definitely get to the end of the bottle without throwing away any product.

About a month ago, after weeks of searches on Google (and after hearing Rhiannon Ashlee mention it in a vlog), I decided to opt for Kiehl's SPF cream. I had heard good reviews about this product and I had never bought anything from this brand, so I was pretty curious to find out if I would love it or not. Well, after using it everyday for the past month I can definitely say this product was worth buying. There are probably a million other creams I could have gone for and liked, but I am really happy with my choice. Plus, I find the shape and material of the bottle really satisfying to hold (which sounds really weird, but I'm weird like that). I'll keep on using this until I get to the last drop and then probably move onto something with less SPF and a smaller price for the Winter, unless I decide that I want to stick to Kiehl's - it's too soon to predict it, but I'll keep you updated.



I have been using this cleanser for over four months now, and I am still really happy with it. I usually get bored quickly when it comes to face products, and I tend to jump to one another and then go back to the previous one again. Despite that, every time that I use Liz Earle's cleanser I still feel as happy as the first day that I tried it. I had never used the hot cloth method and I had always imagined that as fussy, I don't know why, but it's actually quite comfortable - way better than having to wash away the product straight from the face as I used to do before.

If you have never tried this product I really recommend you do. The price might put you off at first, but if you consider the quality of it and how long-lasting one bottle is, I believe it's worth the investment. Mine is about to run out and I will definitely buy another bottle.

These are the three beauty products that have surprised me the most this year so far. What about yours? Do you have any recommendations? 

Martina x

August 01, 2017

August - Any Plans?

Guess who's back?

It's always me, yay! 

Lately I feel like I am failing at everything - I can't keep up with the blog, I can't find the strength to do any sport, I eat random food all the time, I have a ton of interests but I am never finding the time to pursue them, I still haven't started with my singing lessons... The only things that have been going kind of right (or at least that I have been consistent at) are going to work and reading books (which is still a good accomplishment).

I don't like to leave things unfinished, to make plans and then not to follow them, and I like even less when someone else notices/points that out… So, for the 1000th time, I have decided to make up a new life schedule and try to follow it, adding one thing at a time in order to see if I can manage every step, instead of rushing into everything at once. Who says January is the only time for new beginnings?

As my boyfriend suggested yesterday, I'm going to try and write a little everyday - art is like a muscle, you need to train it if you want to get some results. Maybe I won't be publishing one post every evening, but I will at least try to write down some bits and pieces everyday… Maybe 'forcing' myself to sit in front of a blank page for 30 minutes straight, writing down whatever is in my mind, and then if the writing flow begins I will just continue from there. Maybe I could actually try to do that in the mornings, to wake my brain up and start the day on a positive note. My job is helping me develop my sense of humour in English (thanks clueless tourists), and I've always quite liked my writing style anyway, so I'll try my best to put together posts I can be proud of.

The next step will be figuring out my fitness and food plans. Any recommendations? Foolproof meal plans anyone? Books? I would especially like to sort out my lunch breaks, since I'm eating at work five days a week, and I would like to start training again with my We Heart Living x Danielle Peazer Body Plan. I also found an interesting tap dance class for beginners but I don't know if I would be good enough for that.

If I manage to stick to my new schedule (my normal ability to schedule has been messed up by my job at the moment, but I'm trying to go back to my usual self) I might consider adding the singing lessons, but for now I will start from the rest. Also, my boyfriend says that singing lessons require a lot of discipline, so I need to train my ability to stick to plans for a while before I can jump into that.

Now, let's get down to business to defeat the huns writer's block. On this blog in the next month you can expect to read about the following topics:
  • Favourite beauty products
  • Books I've read lately
  • Hamilton 
  • Teas
  • Hair removal
  • Jewellery
  • Things I've purchased recently
  • One day trips to nearby places

Also, I would like to design a banner of the month. I am not a graphic designer or an amazingly talented person like MissCreamyCreamy (I've been watching her lettering videos lately and I feel like I discovered a new world) so I will just stick to Canva, let's see what I'll come up with.

Please, please, if you are reading this just leave a teeny tiny comment about any of the things I've mentioned in this post, because I would honestly love to hear some good suggestions, especially about fitness, food or blogging. Constructive criticims is also always welcome.

Feel free to leave links to your blog posts, videos or art pages as well, I will come to say hello and take some inspiration from you lovely people.

See you soon, 
Martina x

July 11, 2017

Struggling to keep up with everything

As you might have noticed, the number of posts I've published recently has dropped when compared to the previous months.

Lately I feel like I've lost my passion in blogging (and writing in general). I still come up with what sound like good ideas but when it comes to typing them down I just freeze and think they are just pointless and repetitive. This mood has hit a few other things in my life, right now the only things that make me feel happy and like I'm doing something are going to the theatre, reading a book and taking a walk somewhere beautiful with my boyfriend.

I still love my blog and I am proud of some of the posts I have published, I just feel like I never approach it with the right mindset anymore. Maybe if I came up with some sort of organized scheme I would be better at sticking to it, as I have noticed that the last post of the month, the one about the books I have read, is always the one I look forward to and knowing that I'll have to write and publish it makes me want to write down ideas about the books as I'm reading them, and also start thinking of how the pictures should look and so on.

I'll try to think of a plan, in the meantime just know that my posts will be sporadic and probably not that great.

Do you have any suggestions? Have you ever faced a moment like this?

Martina x

June 28, 2017

Peculiar Playlist of the Past

I listen to a lot of different artists, but I only have a few selected songs on my phone. There is no specific reason for that, the main reason is that I don't use it to listen to music too often and that I need those extra MB of storage for pictures and apps (#firstworldproblems, right?).

Anyway, I was washing the dishes earlier and I decided that I wanted to just listen to something good, but I didn't know what to pick. Lately I've been listening to Hamilton's soundtrack non-stop (no pun intended), but I wanted something a bit different today. So I just put my phone on shuffle and clicked play.

I want to share with you a selection of the songs that came up, because I like how random and old and beautiful they all are.

Let's start from Hank Green's bits. I have a couple of his albums and I know them by heart, I love his lyrics and the music is always really catchy. 

Strange Charm - I mean, how many other songs can actually save you during an oral examination in high school?

Shake-a-Booty - I challenge you not to dance while you're listening to this one.

A Song About an Anglerfish - I have always loved this one. The lyrics are quite weird but also really deep, and the tune just sticks in your head for days.
Because you can't hate the night
If you've lived your whole life without light
And you can't hate the dish
If you've only ever eaten fish
And you can't feel alone
If it's all you've ever known...
Let's move onto wizard rock music. My favourite bits are from the Ministry of Magic and Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls. Since I usually only listen to music from authors that I respect as human beings, I always wonder if it's morally correct for me to listen to Luke Conard's music after the scandal he's been involved into (especially because I love Kristina Horner a lot and she has been one of the girls that he mistreated). So far I have kept listening to my favourite tracks, although knowing that bad things happened behind the music makes me sad. 

Ascendio - This is easily my favourite track out of all the wizard rock songs I know. I find the music and lyrics really powerful, they speak to me as if I was Harry himself. 
I'll be a wizard, I'll be a hero
So much more than I
Could imagine with my mind
I'm not a burden
Not good for nothing
I am the Boy Who Lived
The one to save the world
My other favourites are Snape vs Snape and The Bravest Man I Ever Knew - in case you didn't know, I am a huge fan of Snape.

End of an Era - This is the only track I have in my playlist that is from Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls, and it's another powerful song, especially because I remember very well the time when what the song says was real.

The next group of tracks is just absolutely random, and for most of the artists that's the only thing I really listen to out of their discography - but all of them are songs that I absolutely love.

Jasey Rae by All Time Low
I hope the air will serve to remind you
That my heart is as cold
As the clouds of your breath
I Miss You by Blink 182

SOS (Save This Ship) by Ashley Frangipane - I still like Halsey but style-wise I preferred her previous songs, I guess.
Now I wonder what it's like to run my fingers through your hair, but I'll never know
And I wonder what it's like to come home late and have you there, but I'll never know
And I've memorized every line on your fingertips
And I've fantasized about what it's like to say goodnight to your kiss
Ever After by Marianas Trench
Don't you move
Can't you stay where you are, just for now?
I could be your perfect disaster
You could be my ever after
Jersey by Mayday Parade

Sentiments by Dr. Noise
Each one learning to find their own meaning
All the sentiments, all the life lessons
How to burn a bridge, how to make it right
How to love someone, how to make it known
How to run away, and to come back home
As you might have noticed, I haven't mentioned musical soundtracks. I decided to keep the playlist musical-free because I feel like I talk about musicals enough everywhere else.

Have a nice evening and enjoy some great music,
Martina x

June 26, 2017

Happy Potterversary

Happy Twentieth Potterversary my dear friends!

I am thankful everyday for the existence of Harry Potter. I wouldn't be the person I am without JK Rowling. All my childhood and teenage years have been influenced by those stories, and they are a huge part of what I am right now as well. If I had to describe myself with just one thing I would mention my love for Harry Potter. (If I could add a second thing it would be musicals, then travelling and family. These are pretty much the things that describe me the most).

Anyway, I am not a huge hoarder, but I collect anything HP related. Unfortunately my whole collection is in Italy (sigh), so today I decided to get myself a little something to celebrate the first book's birthday. I bought the brand new Gryffindor edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. I absolutely love it and I am so happy that I got it, and happy that I decided to do that on this day. It will be a beautiful thing that I will remember on years to come.

As I am writing this, End of an Era by Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls came up on shuffle on my phone. How appropriate.

I will end the post here, but I might pick up Harry Potter as a topic for more posts in the future, because there are so many things I could just talk about, and I could go on for hours as well.

I will add more pictures to this post soon, for now just enjoy baby Martina dressed up as a Hogwarts student in 2003.


Something just occurred to me while I was reading
Another book that I had heard could be the next big thing
I thought what would I give, if that could be true
If I could ever feel again the way I felt when I read you
I'd pay a million galleons
I'd dress up like I go to Beauxbatons
I'd tattoo my head with a lightning bolt
I'd pawn my wand and Firebolt
But no matter how many good things I'm told
Everything I read turns out to be leprechaun gold.
It's been so many years no matter how I try
To read more young adult fiction
I keep coming up dry
It's like water water everywhere and not a drop to drink
My frustration and my agony have pushed me to the brink
I keep tilting back the glass but I never taste the water
It seems no matter what I read I think, "This is not Harry Potter."
- Hank Green, This Is Not Harry Potter

Martina x

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