October 20, 2017

Let's Talk About Rings

And no, I do not mean onion rings, even though you could easily expect that from me since I am passionate about food. Here I am talking about jewellery. (And by the way, I don't like onions, just in case you wanted to know that.)

I have never owned many rings, in fact I only have two proper rings and a couple of cheap rings. I don't wear them everyday either. But I've always been into dainty rings and pearls and always been looking forward to the day I'll be able to wear an engagement ring or wedding ring (call me what you want, but I love traditions).

In February this year I discovered Maraismara on Instagram. I instantly fell in love with her creations and her ethic and I have set myself some goals, I want to buy a few of her pieces and also spread the word about her brand, as reading about her adventures opened my eyes on topics I had never thought of.

I have always wanted a knot ring. In fact, I have a tiny heart knot ring from Oviesse (think of a pretzel, it looks pretty much like that), but it was made of some cheap material and it looks really old and dirty despite the fact I've only worn it a few times. I really like Maraismara's Nodo Stretto Classico - both in gold and silver - and I think I'm going to buy the silver version for myself soon, either for Christmas or my birthday, as it's definitely affordable (it only costs €50).

Another Ring I really like is her Filo d'Oro con Luce. I believe this would be a perfect engagement ring for people like me, who don't like big, bulky, in-your-face rings and prefer tiny, dainty, everyday options. Her ring comes with a choice of moissanite (lab-made diamond) or natural Australian diamond (I would personally opt for this one as I like the idea of it being natural and Australian, sounds like a perfect combination), so it could really work as an engagement ring, as well as an everyday ring for anyone who likes diamonds and certified, fairtrade jewels.

I am not going to talk about all of her rings here, otherwise this post would seem endless (although there are more jewels handmade by Mara that I really like, for example the Intrecciato a Mano Diverso pictured here), but I recommend you check out her website and take a look at all her creations. I really respect the woman behind the brand and I think she deserves to be known more.

Beside Maraismara's rings, another thing that I really like are vintage, secondhand, hand-me-down jewels. One of the rings that I own belonged to my great-grandma, and that's the reason that makes it so special to me, no matter the price. 

I also really like pearls, as they have stunning colours and always make me think of queens and princesses, and I like twisted rings, so when I spotted the twisted pearl ring pictured above I just had to save the link to my favourites, although I doubt I'll ever buy it (it's from Etsy by the way).

You might be wondering where I'm going with this conversation, and the answere is nowhere. I just wanted to talk about rings, as I am trying to make up my mind on whether to buy the knot ring for Christmas or not, so I decided to share my thoughts with you.

Do you like rings? Do you wear them? Let me know in the comments.

Martina x

October 15, 2017

Alex Britti: Una su un milione

When I was in primary school I was friend with my neighbours' daughter. Our parents actually knew each other, so we would hang out a lot and travel to and from school together. Whenever her father would pick us up with his car for the school run he would play an album from Alex Britti, a quite famous italian artist, and we loved to sing and dance to a song called La vasca (The bathtub). It was a simple, silly, very Italian song, and just mentioning it brings back a lot of memories.

I haven't listened to Alex Britti much after those school mornings, but there is a song that I have kept on my mp3 player as I grew up, and it's called Una su un milione (One in a million). It's a really nice love song and I still like it nowadays. It reminds me a little of a lullaby and the lyrics are really sweet. It also makes me laugh a little bit because some lines are extremely Italian (at some point he says something along the line of "love is like tomato sauce on pasta").

I recommend you listen to it and maybe also watch the official video. I tried to translate it but it lost most of its magic, so I will only leave a few translated lines down here.
Accept me and you'll see, we'll grow up together
We'll grow a few metres tall and touch the sky
We'll be taller than giants, and stronger than Godzilla
We will travel on a yellow cruise ship
The destination is an island that looks like a painting
With huge colours and a parade-like sea
As far as I am concerned, I already have a ticket
Please don't leave yours next to a dream in a drawer
A "dream in the drawer" (sogno in un cassetto) is a typical Italian phrase. It refers to something that someone deeply loves and cares about and wishes that was real but might actually never turn into reality, most of the times because the person is too scared to pursue it and not because it is actually impossible. In my case, for example, it is singing and acting in a musical. In the case of the song, he probably refers to his dream of leaving for a journey/being in a relationship with the person the song is dedicated to.

Had you ever heard this song? Do you like it?

Martina x

October 13, 2017

20 Random Facts About Me

  1. I would like to drink some tea (and I am going to put the kettle on as soon as I finish this list)
  2. I am currently reading two books
  3. This week I am off work on Sunday and Monday
  4. I am 150cm tall (short)
  5. I don't have a middle name
  6. My old friends call me Emma
  7. I am proud of my surname but I wish I had my granma's because it sounds posh
  8. I love boxes, more specifically tin boxes of any shape and size
  9. I wish Rhiannon Ashlee and I were friends
  10. This year I am going to participate to my very first Secret Santa
  11. Also I have already planned out my friends' Christmas presents
  12. I love board games
  13. I love amusement parks and rollercoasters and I physically crave them
  14. I love Matt Sewell's and Nina Stajner's illustrations
  15. I wish I had a small dog
  16. I have never had a pet
  17. I got distracted like five times before finishing this list
  18. I should be washing the dishes right now
  19. And maybe have a shower
  20. Also my neighbour is noisy

October 07, 2017

Lush Shopping Cart

Last night I went out for dinner with my friend V. We were supposed to attend Cara Delevingne's WHSmith book launch but the event was suddenly cancelled, so we just ended up eating dumplings and chatting about our lives.

My friend is a bit of a Lush expert (she says she isn't but in my eyes she is) and since she'd been there in the afternoon I asked a few recommendations. I had already set my eyes on some products and wanted to visit Lush soon but was curious to hear her opinion first. 

After dinner I decided to stop at Lush before heading home. I took a look at all the shelves and sniffed all the shampoos (as you do), then asked one of the assistants some questions. I ended up buying three products that I had already seen online or heard of.

As I was looking for something to hydrate my scalp, I started from Superbalm. It's not the cheapest hair product but I have heard really good things about it and right now I definitely need something for my scalp. 

Then, following the kind lady's recommendation, I picked up American Cream for the length of the hair (I'd just emptied my beloved Davines OI Conditioner and was in need of a new product) and Ultrabland as a makeup remover (I have heard mixed reviews about this, I hope I won't regret it).

A few weeks ago I also bought Enchanted Eye Cream and I am currently loving it, although I find that the pump tends to get too much product out and I wish there was a way to change that.

I'm starting to collect a good amount of Lush products now. I've been into Lush for years but never really got around testing so many different products before. Apart from the ones mentioned, I am currently using a face cream called Celestial and sometimes I scrub my lips with my endless pot of Mint Julips lips scrub.

I'll let you know in a future post if my shopping spree will classify as successful.

Do you have any favourite Lush product?

Martina x

October 05, 2017

Nonna's Apple Cake

My holiday home back in Italy has an apple tree. When we were little, the apple produced by that tree were of a rare variety and were truly delicious. I still remember their sour, juicy flavour. A few years back that tree got sick and my grandma had another apple tree attached to it before it died completely (gardener's sorcery, don't ask), so now we still get some lovely fruits every year. The problem is, the new variety doesn't taste just as good, and we often end up surrounded by wishy-washy apples. To make up for that, my grandma has become the fastest apple cake maker ever, and she just bakes cake after cake until the apple season is over. She kind of makes up the recipe every time, as she is a goddess in the kitchen, but my mum has managed to write down her guidelines, and now I'm going to write them down on here, just in case you were looking for a simple but great apple cake recipe.
4 apples (more or less 800gr)
6 spoonfuls of sugar (more or less 100gr)
250gr flour
2 eggs
50/70gr melted butter
1 glass of milk
Baking powder
Lemon zest
Heat up the oven to 180°. Mix butter and sugar, then add in the following order: flour, eggs, milk, lemon zest, baking powder, apples. Keep mixing everything well as you add each ingredient. Then butter a cake tin and cover the butter in flour, scoop the batter in the cake tin, add some butter on top (I've seen her adding some sugar as well at this point) and put the tin in the oven for 40 minutes.

I followed this recipe yesterday but adapted it to the ingredients I had at home (no eggs, cashew milk instead of cow milk) and the result has been incredible, I couldn't believe my tastebuds. I am so out of practice with baking but still managed to get this right. Apple magic.

I believe apples taste really good when baked or cooked. Now that I think of it, I should probably eat more baked apples this Autumn. They feel like an autumnal dessert and are probably healthier than half of the desserts I usually dream of at night.

Do you know any great recipe with apples? Please let me know!

Martina x