Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.155

Hello gorgeous,

how are you doing today? I hope you’re having a lovely Sunday, and are ready to enjoy my random ramblings for this week:

6 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging

what I wish I knew before I started blogging

I was very naive when I started blogging six years ago. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I just wanted to share my passion for all things beauty with like-minded people, and thought that I wouldn’t need to do much apart from writing. Boy, was I wrong! It has been a bumpy, but very enjoyable, ride that has made me learn and grow so much, and connect with some amazing people. I just wish someone had told me a few things in advance, which would have made the journey easier:

1. You have to be a jack of all trades

You know the saying, jack of all trades and master of none. That’s only partly true. To be successful, you must become an expert in your field, and the narrower it is, the better chances you have. But writing and editing content is not enough. There are many other skills a blogger needs. Social media and marketing skills to promote your content and networking skills to connect with others bloggers, PRs, and influencers in your industry. Some design coding skills to create or tweak a theme to your needs. You also need to be able to analyze your data to find out what’s working and what’s not, and to recognize opportunities when they come your way. Some bloggers, like beauty bloggers, also need to be good at taking photos. And when you think you’ve finally mastered a skill, there’s a new one to learn. It’s tough, but also fun.

2. Be yourself

Be yourself, everyone else is already taken. It’s tempting to copy what successful bloggers are doing and conform to what you think a beauty blog should be about. But by doing so, you won’t be able to blog about what you’re truly passionate about, and it shows. Haul posts are very popular, and I wrote a couple in my first year, but that’s just not something I’m interested in doing, so I stopped. Now I just blog about what I’m passionate about, in my own voice. Readers want to know and engage with the real you, not some dressed-up, improved, fake version of you.

3. Pictures matter

A picture is worth a thousand words. How I wish that weren’t true lol! My talent lies in writing, not picture-taking or collage-making. I find these two skills very hard to master, but I’m doing my best to learn them. You don’t need a fancy camera, but learning how to use your point and shoot, and using editing programs like Picmonkey will make a great difference. Beautiful pictures enhance your post, engage readers, and help communicate what you’re saying. They also add a personal touch to the blog.

4. Quality is better than quantity

You don’t need to post every day. If you’re forcing yourself to write because you feel you need to publish something every day, chances are the content you’ll churn out won’t be very good. I should know, I’ve done it too many times in my first years of blogging. These days I’m posting less often, but the content is better researched, and, hopefully, more useful too.

5. Have a life outside of blogging!

Blogging is so time-consuming! I can’t tell you how many nights I spent working on my blog rather than going out with my friends. While I love blogging, and I couldn’t imagine a life without it, it’s important not to get too sucked into it. Work hard at your blog, but also find the time to hang out with all your loves ones, have some fun, and enjoy life.

6. Some days you will feel like quitting

You spend a lot of time working on your blog and it can be really frustrating when you’re not getting the results you want, growing as fast as you’d like, or noone is commenting on a post you’ve poured your heart into. When that happens, you will feel like quitting and throw your computer out of the window. That’s ok. Take some time off and think about why you’re blogging. Chances are you just need a break and, when you’re ready, you’ll go back to blogging full of enthusiasm and new ideas.

Do you blog? If so, what do you wish you knew before starting?

What I’m Reading Now

so you want to work in fashion
So, You Want to Work in Fashion?: How to Break into the World of Fashion and Design by Patricia Wooster
This is a wonderful resource for young people who are thinking of a career in fashion. It covers pretty much every profession in the industry, from the most well-known like designer, model, and photographer, to the often ignored, like fabric cutter and colourist. There’s even a section about fashion writers, PRs, and bloggers. Each section is short, but full of useful tips on how to get started, and interviews about teenagers who are making their dreams come true. The book also features quizzes and practical activities you can do to improve your skills. It is written in an engaging and colloquial style that informs while entertains. The tone is very positive but realistic. The author doesn’t hide the difficulties you’ll encounter on your way, but believes you will be able to overcome them with hard work and dedication. Available at Amazon.

The Links

1 minute contouring and highlighting technique – Makeup Geek

Top 5 highly moisturizing lippies that last – Ask Me Whats

21 secrets about Sephora that every makeup addict should know - Buzz Feed

5 strategies to help develop a positive body image – Lindsay & Lexy Kite @ Maria Shriver

How do skincare ingredients absorb into the skin? - Future Derm

Sunday Survey, Vol.223

1. Have you ever been stung by a wasp?
Nope, only by bees.

2. The last skincare product you finished down to the last drop?
Olay Total Effects Day Cream SPF 15. Love this stuff!

3. Are you watching any movies today?
Amazing Grace, a 2006 movie about the campaign against slave trade in the British Empire.

4. What do you wear more often: bracelets or rings?
I wear both a lot, but probably, rings.

5. Do you like citrusy colognes?
Love them! They’re so fresh and sparkling! I just wish they lasted longer on the skin.

It’s your turn now!
1. Have you ever been stung by a wasp?
2. The last skincare product you finished down to the last drop?
3. Are you watching any movies today?
4. What do you wear more often: bracelets or rings?
5. Do you like citrusy colognes?

Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.154

Hello gorgeous,

how are you doing today? Let me know in the comments, but first, take a look at my random ramblings ;)

New Layout

No, you’re not on the wrong blog. I just changed the blog layout. I’m finally on the Genesis Framework, and, so far, I’m loving it. There are many wonderful themes for Genesis, but, in the end, I chose to go with one from Pretty Darn Cute. I love their designs. They are professional, neat, and feminine. And their customer support is amazing! They answered all my questions quickly and were very helful. I’d definitely recommend you check Pretty Darn Cute out if you’re planning a redesign too.

I plan to customize the layout a bit, but that means learning some HTML and CSS, so please bear with me while I work on it. I hope you like the new layout. It works much better on mobile phones too. ;)

5 Reasons Why I Love My Kindle

kindle

If, when the Kindle first appeared, you had told me that I would one day own one and love it almost as much as real books, I would have laughed in your face. Back then, I was a book purist. I needed to have the book in my hands, to smell its freshly printed pages (that’s still my absolute favourite smell ever), turn its pages, and put it on the shelf once I was done. I loved the experience of reading a physical book, not some electronic device.

But over the years, I kept coming across several books I wanted to read that were available only on Kindle, so I thought, “fine, let’s try you out”. I bought the cheapest one available and it’s been one of my most prized possessions ever since. If my house were ever on fire, it’s one of the first things I’d save. :) Here’s why:

1. It saves a lot of space…

If I were rich, I’d turn the biggest room in my home into a library and fill it with all the books I could find. But as I’m not, I only have so little space to store books. My shelves and drawers are already overflowing with them. With a Kindle, you don’t have to worry about that. Mine can store up to 2GB. I have hundreds of books on there and they only take up half that space!

2. …And money too

Kindle books usually cost less than physical books, which saves you a pretty penny already. But a lot are actually free. It can be because their copyright has expired, or maybe their authors are offering them for free for a few days as a way to promote their works. Whatever the reason, you’ll save a ton of money, which you can then use to buy makeup (or is that just me? lol).

3. It’s portable

A Kindle is much lighter than any books, so you can easily carry it with you wherever you go. That means having an entire library at your fingertips all the time. You can use it to read any book, even those huge tomes that would be very heavy, and difficult to bring around with you in physical form, on planes, on the commute to work, at the doctor’s office. This way, you end up reading a lot more than you used to.

4. It’s convenient

I know you can get free books at the library or cheap deals on physical books online, but you actually have to get up and go there or place an order and wait for it to be shipped. Call me lazy, but it is so much easier to just buy the Kindle version. It gets download onto your Kindle immediately so you can read it straight away. Instant gratification at its best.

5. Better book selection

Thanks to self-publishing, there are many more new books available for Kindle than paper books in stores. This is great news for those who like niche topics and genres. It also gives writers more freedom, as they aren’t forced to pen a happy ending or using clichés that may be required by traditional publishers who want to play it safe. Plus, writers can update theirs books as often as they like to keep them current. This is particularly useful for nonfiction books about fast-changing topics such as technology and social media. When a book is updated, you’ll receive a notification from Amazon and will be able to get your new copy for free.

As much as I love my Kindle, I haven’t given up physical books completely. I still buy those, but these days I buy them only when they are released by a favourite author or I know I’m going to read them more than once. Those deserve a place on my already too crowded library.

What I’m Reading Now

better than perfect dr elizabeth lombardo
Better than Perfect: 7 Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love by Elizabeth Lombardo
Hello, my name is Gio and I’m a perfectionist. I set unrealistic goals for myself and beat myself up when I don’t achieve them. I tend to think in all or nothing terms. I rarely start something if I’m not sure I can do it perfectly well. I have created so many rules for myself about what I should and shouldn’t do and judge myself too harshly when I break them. I thought my perfectionist tendencies would help me give my best all the time, but they have the opposite effect. They stress me out, make me feel guilty when I fall short, and prevent me from having fun. I’ve been trying to change for a long while now, which is why I picked up this book. A perfectionist herself, Dr Elizabeth Lombardo provides 7 techniques that will, with time and commitment, silence your inner critic and allow you to create a happier, more fulfilled life. My favourite is choosing passion over fear (did you know that most perfectionists are motivated more by fear of fealure than love and passion for what they are doing?). The book is short, written in a simple and engaging style that flows really easily. Unfortunately, I can’t see many perfectionists buying it. They probably think they don’t need it. So, if you know someone who’s driving you crazy with their perfectionist tendencies, I highly encourage you to pick up a copy of this book and give it to him/her as a Christmas present. You’ll improve not just his/her life, but yours too!

The Links

Reimagining Barbie: villain or victim? – Adios Barbie

What does a cosmetic scientist do? – The Beauty Brains

How to tame fine baby hairs – Hair Romance

How to pronounce common skincare ingredients – Lab Muffin

Beginners’s guide to cruelty free perfumes – Phyrra

Sunday Survey, Vol.222

1. What posters or pictures did you have on your walls growing up?
Pretty much every inch of my side of the bedroom wall was covered in Boyzone posters. I had such a huge crush on Ronan Keating. I shared the room with my sister and she hanged Backstreet Boys and AC Milan footballer posters on her side.

2. Are you finding it hard to find your HG foundation? If so, why?
Yep, and that’s because I can’t find a shade that matches my skintone exactly. I found some that were so close to it that you’d hardly notice the difference once applied, but I’d like to find a perfect match.

3. I’m thinking…
Of what to have for lunch today. Don’t really feel cooking.

4. Super-skinny or very thick brows?
Something in the middle would be best. But if I had to choose, I’d say thick. I can always trim and pluck them if I feel like it. But if your brows are too thin, making them look thicker isn’t as easy.

5. What do you think of red eyeshadow?
It’s so cool, but also so hard to pull off!

It’s your turn now!
1. What posters or pictures did you have on your walls growing up?
2. Are you finding it hard to find your HG foundation? If so, why?
3. I’m thinking…
4. Super-skinny or very thick brows?
5. What do you think of red eyeshadow?

Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.153

Hello everyone,

how was your week? Let me know in the comments. In the meantime, here are my random ramblings:

Senigallia

Senigallia’s my home town. It’s a small town in the middle of Italy, on the Adriatic coast. The beach is its most famous and popular attraction. It’s called “velvet beach” because of its golden delicate sand and for the clear sea (it has been given the European blue flag since 1997). It’s also home to the Rotonda Sul Mare (Rotunda on the Sea), which had been built during the Belle Epoque to host musical concerts and other entertainments. After being abandoned for the decades, it was finally restored to its splendours a few years ago, and now houses mostly cultural events.

Every summer, lots of tourists, especially from Germany, come here to enjoy the beach and everything it has to offer. It’s a great holiday resort for families with young children, but for teenagers and adults, there really isn’t much to do at night. The rest of the year, when all the tourists are gone, is even worse. But if you like nice, quiet towns and don’t care about the nightlife, you may really enjoy Senigallia. It’s very pretty, and, like most towns here, you can easily see everything there is to see in one day or less.

The first stop should be the Rocca Roveresca, a medieval fortress named after Della Rovere family, which ruled the town at the time. The outer part of the Rocca was built to defend the castle, but the central, inner part was actually inhabited by the family. It’s in this Rocca that Cesare Borgia massacred his rivals, as described by Machiavelli in The Prince. Today, it’s mostly used for exhibitions and other cultural events. Tickets to visit it cost only €2.00.

Opposite la Rocca, you can see the Palazzetto Baviera, Palazzo del Duca (Duke Palace) and the Fontana Delle Anatre (Fountain of Ducks), both built by Della Rovere family too. This is one of my favourite places in the city. There is so much history to see in such a short space and, these days, the place has also become a playground for children. It’s a minute’s walk from the city center too, so you can do some shopping as well. There aren’t many shops, but one of my favourites is Fiona C. It sells pretty and trendy clothes made in Italy at affordable prices.

At the end (or the beginning, depending on whom you ask) of the high street, lies the river Misa. The palaces on one side of the river are called Portici Ercolani, from the name of the Monsignor who designed them in the 18th century. The colonnade is very pretty and provides great protection on rainy days. ;) Nearby you can find the Foro Annonario, a neoclassical circular structure with a doric colonnade built in 1834. Today, it houses the fish, fruit, and veg markets during the day and, on summer nights, concerts.

Near the city center, you can also admire the Roman ruins that emerged during works for the construction of the Fenice Theatre. Among other things, you can see the remains of an old house and a termopolium, a shop that sold food and hot drinks. If you’re Catholic, instead, you must visit Palazzo Mastai, the family home of Pope Pius IX. It’s now a museum dedicated to him. There are also many beautiful churches here. You can visit them even if you’re not religious, just because they’re so pretty.

What about your hometown? What places are a must-see?

What I’m Reading Now

neuroloveology
NeuroLoveology: The Power To Mindful Love & Sex by Ava Cadell
Do you think that discovering how the brain processes attraction, relationships, conflict and sex will take the magic out of romance? Well, it actually has the opposite effect. Drawing from her professional experience in her practice and the latest advances in neuroscience, Dr Ava Cadell explains how to improve your relationship both emotionally and sexually. You will discover, for instances, what activities release oxytocin, the “bonding hormone”, and how your partner’s brain (is it left or right? Introverted or extroverted?) is wired so that you’ll be better able to understand them. The book is full of exercises you can do both alone or with your partner to improve any aspect of your relationship you’re struggling with. Whatever is sabotaging your relationship – be it low self-esteem, routine, illness, boring sexual life, lack of communication, or anything else – is addressed in this book, together with strategies to fix it. But don’t be fooled. Some of the exercises are easy, but most require time, commitment, trust, and the willingness to be completely vulnerable and open with your partner. Making relationships work is a lot of hard work. Also, a lot of what is written here is just common sense, but it’s nice to have that backed up by science too. It may also give you that little incentive you need to put it in practice.

The Links


Why you should protect from UVA with sunscreen
– Lab Muffin

Vintage Beauty Ads – Lucky Mag

Is animal testing still necessary? - The Beauty Brains

How toners work, and are they necessary? – The Triple Helixian

Women are counting calories instead of changing the world - Beauty Redefined

Sunday Survey, Vol.221

1. What store would you like to see open in your town?
Oh dear, there are so many! I live in a small town and we don’t have many options here. Mmm, I’d say Sephora. And Primark too.

2. What’s your biggest eye makeup gripe?
The time. I love experimenting and creating bold and colourful looks, but they take so much time to do!

3. Are you wearing any jewelry right now?
Nope. I’m still in my PJs lol.

4. Pears or apples?
Pears, please.

5. Do you like waking up early in the morning?
I love it. I always feel like I’m missing out on things if I sleep in till late.

It’s your turn now!
1. What store would you like to see open in your town?
2. What’s your biggest eye makeup gripe?
3. Are you wearing any jewelry right now?
4. Pears or apples?
5. Do you like waking up early in the morning?

Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.152

Hello gorgeous,

here are this week’s ramblings. Enjoy!

Wishlist: Active Wear

wishlist active wear

I have never liked shopping for active wear. I’m into cute and feminine clothes and sports apparel just looks so masculine… Not my cup of tea at all. But since I started exercising regularly this year, I need some new sporty clothes and have turned to the web for some inspiration. And I’ve come across quite a few pieces that are both sporty and feminine. Here are my top picks:

Monreal London Mesh-paneled stretch-jersey dress: perfect for tennis (but can be worn for other activities too), this white stretch-jersey piece delivers great ventilation. The neon-pink and sky-blue mesh panels flatter your décolletage and waist while the adjustable drawstring tie to your perfect fit.

Nike Zoom Structure 17 Mesh Sneakers: performance meets design in this cute pair of shoes, which cushion upon impact and stabilize your stride. The blue and pink colour combo is pretty and fashionable too.

Nike Splatter Paint Sports Bra Top in Pink: I love the splatter print of this top. It’s so artsy but feminine. The bra is made from a sweat-wicking fabric that keeps you dry and comfortable, while the flat seam construction helps reduce chafing.

Asics Sports Jacket Pink: pink and yellow is one of my favourite colour combinations, so of course this jacket couldn’t fail to catch my eye. It is tailored, features a hood, drawstring hem, zip-up hand pockets, and adjustable velcro strap.

Sarah Summers Lace Sneakers: I am sucker for anything lace, so of course I’m lemming this gorgeous pair of sneakers. The colours and pattern are so delicate and pretty, adding a feminine touch to any sporty outfit.

L’Etoile Sport Argyle-knit Cotton And Cashmere-blend Polo Dress: I’m not too keen on the grey colour, but I love the chic and casual style of this polo dress. This soft and breathable piece has a flattering ribbed waistband and pleated skirt and is finished with pointelle detailing.

What I’m Reading Now

hrh prince philip escape from the palace
HRH Prince Philip: Escape from the Palace by Thomas J. O’Mara
This book doesn’t make any sense. If that bothers you, don’t read it. But if you like surreal stories, you might enjoy this. It takes place in the middle of the 1960s. A middle-aged Prince Philip feels trapped in a gilded cage. He doesn’t want to abandon his royal duties completely, but needs at least a taste of freedom every now and then. The opportunity comes when Jones, the butler, tells him he has found a hole in the Palace. The hole leads to an underground tunnel that connects the Palace to the outside world. With the help of the Duke of Buckingham, who lives underground to protect the royal family, Prince Philip uses the tunnel to escape on a regular basis. But soon the Queen becomes suspicious… To enjoy this witty and entertaining story, you must take it for what it is. A surreal tale that explore serious themes such as how much personal freedom it is right to give up to do our duty. Just don’t try to make sense of it. You’ll spoil the fun.

The Links

What causes sun spots on skin? - Dr Bailey Skincare

How to fix a bad haircut - Beautifille

How to pick a mild shampoo – The Beauty Brains

How to pastel hair tutorial - Zoe London

5 affordable mascaras you have to try - London Beauty Queen

Sunday Survey, Vol.220

1. Have you ever had your body painted?
Nope, and I don’t think I would do it even if I had the chance. It looks cool and all, but removing the paint must be a nightmare! Just think of the mess!

2. Who makes the best body butters?
Haus Of Gloi. Hands down! So moisturizing, and the scents are divine!

3. How do you feel this morning?
Exhausted, but happy.

4. Do you prefer doing your nails or your makeup?
My makeup! I hate having to wait for nail polish to dry between coats and I suck at nail art, so I can’t be as adventurous with it as I’m with my makeup.

5. What do you think of layered necklaces?
It depends. Layering a few simple pieces can be really chic. But it is so easy to go overboard!

It’s your turn now!
1. Have you ever had your body painted?
2. Who makes the best body butters?
3. How do you feel this morning?
4. Do you prefer doing your nails or your makeup?
5. What do you think of layered necklaces?

Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.151

Hello gorgeous,

ready for this week’s random ramblings? Lots of book musings today. I hope you enjoy them:

Favourite book genres

favourite book genres

I don’t understand people who say they don’t like reading. To me, that’s like saying, “I don’t like listening to music” or “I don’t like to watch movies”. Sure, you may not like pop music or romantic chick flicks, but there must be some songs and movies you enjoy. Maybe indie rock or horror pictures? There are just so many genres to choose from.

It’s the same with books. New genres are born every year, and, moreover, every author has his own distinctive voice, so it’s impossible not to find something you like, if only you look for it. And if you really hate the act of reading, well, try an audio book. You’ll miss out on some great stories otherwise. ;) Here’s what I like to read:

Autobiographies and biographies: these are some of the most inspirational books you can read. There are, and have been, so many amazing people in the world that have done extraordinary things, and reading about them makes you realise that everyone can achieve their dreams with hard work, dedication, and gratitude. I especially like to read autobiographies and biography or female historical figures and entrepreneurs. They had to overcome some incredible obstacles, which makes you realise how lucky we are today and how our path, however hard it may be, has already been made easier by those who came before us.

Classics: they are classics for a reason. My favourite authors are Jane Austen, Edith Wharton, and Charles Dickens.

Historical novels: I used to devour novels when I was younger, but after reading too many awful ones, I switched to mostly non-fiction. At least, even when they’re boring, you still learn something. If I read a novel these days, chances are the protagonist is a historical figure that has always fascinated me. Biographies tell you the facts of their lives, but novelists try to get into their heads and hearts, making them come back to life. If well-written, you feel closer to them afterwards.

History: you know by now how much I love history. We tend to take the society we live in for granted, but if things are the way they are and we behave and think the way we do, it’s because of something that happened in the past. Things that happened millennia ago are still influencing us today. You simply cannot understand our modern world if you don’t study the past.

Self-help: in this category, I place everything from psychology to money to motivational books. Even beauty and fashion books go in this category if they teach you how to look your best without making you feel bad about yourself. Basically, to me self-help is anything that can help you improve one aspect of your life you are currently struggling in. These books helped me change my mindset, start thinking more positively, and taught me lots of tips on how to manage my money, become more organized, and just live a better life. The trick, though, is to implement what you’ve learned straight away. Just reading the books won’t help. You have to practice what they preach (or at least some of it) as soon as possible or you’ve wasted both time and money.

What are your favourite genres?

What I’m Reading Now

jane austen's first love
Jane Austen’s First Love by Syrie James
I rarely read historical romances these days but, as a Janeite, I couldn’t pass it up. It didn’t disappoint. A 15 year old Jane Austen, together with her family, is invited to Kent to meet her brother Edward’s fiancée, Elizabeth Bridges, and her family. There, she falls in love with the dashing and devilish Edward Taylor, who returns her feelings. Jane is enjoying her stay with the Bridges until she decides to play match maker, with disastrous consequences. Sounds familiar? Young Jane is smart, witty, and a bit of tomboy, but still has a lot to learn about human nature. Her stay in Kent will teach her a few lessons and sow the seeds of what will become some of her most popular works. The story is delightful and beautifully written. If you’re a fan of Jane Austen, you just must read this.

The Links

Five affordable makeup brush brands you need to check out – London Beauty Queen

Back to school: favourite perfumes for fall – Bois De Jasmin

Rules for layering skincare products
- Chic Readings

Bumps under the eyes: causes and treatments - Dr Bailey Skincare

Three rules for clump free lashes – The Beauty Department

Sunday Survey, Vol.219

1. What’s the most surprising thing a stranger has ever said to you?
Mmm most people I meet think I’m much younger than my age. Just last week, someone said to me she thought I was about 16. I don’t think I look that young, but it felt good.

2. Have you ever given yourself a haircut?
Nope, I’d just make a mess. My mom used to cut my hair when I was little, though. She was quite good.

3. Breakfast beverage?
Orange juice.

4. French braid or fishtail?
French braid. It’s prettier and easier to do.

5. What do you think of selfies?
They’re fine when taken for a good reason, such as wanting to remember a particular moment or to ask your friends what they think of your new haircut. But it’s annoying when people upload one every 5 minutes.

It’s your turn now!
1. What’s the most surprising thing a stranger has ever said to you?
2. Have you ever given yourself a haircut?
3. Breakfast beverage?
4. French braid or fishtail?
5. What do you think of selfies?

Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.150

Hello everyone,

ready for a new edition of random ramblings? Here we go:

The A-Z Of Me

rhea 03

AGE: 32, and loving it. All the insecurities that I had in my 20s started to slowly but naturally disappear as I approached my 30s. Now I’m stronger, wiser, and enjoying life more.

BOOKS: you know how obsessed I am with books. Any books. They’re my favourite thing in the world.

CATS: they’re my favourite animals, after owls. They are cute and fairly independent. I’ve never had any, but I hope to get one some day.

DEPRESSION: I battled with it on and off since I was a child. It’s one of the worst illnesses ever because it robs of your life, and the stigma attached to it makes it so hard for sufferers to seek treatment. I’m much better now, and that’s partly due to this blog and all of you. You’ll never know how much you all helped me just by visiting, commenting, and just supporting me and my little blog, so thank you!

EREADER: I thought I would never get an ereader but I’m so glad I did. A Kindle will never be a substitute for real books, which I still read, but I love being able to take an entire library with me wherever I go and to read whatever I want wherever and whenever I want.

FEMINISM: I don’t hate men. I love it when they open doors for me. I love makeup and high heels. But I’m tired of the subtle and not so subtle double standards that exist in society and of being told to behave in a certain way just because I’m a woman. So, I’m a feminist.

G: I hate the letter g. It started in first grade. I found it very difficult to learn how to write gs, and then developed a dislike for its soft sound. It sucks because there are 3 in my name.

HISTORY: I love history. It’s a never-ending story of love and loss, hate and betrayal, friendships and inventions, kingdoms and plots, and everything else you can think of, that teaches us a lot about people and events.

ITALY: I have a love/hate relationship with my country. The weather is beautiful. The landscape, cities, and art gorgeous. The food is delicious. But the people are so rude and resigned. And bureaucracy makes it impossible to do anything. Well, not impossible. But you have to want it a lot. They’re testing you, I guess.

JANEITE: Jane Austen is one of the best writers of all times. Enough said.

KEATING: I had such a huge crush on Ronan Keating, the leader of Boyzone, when I was a teen. I collected everything I could find about him, and I actually started learning English so that I could understand what he was singing about.

LONDON: I left my heart in London the first time I visited it. It’s truly an amazing city with such a great energy, beautiful art, and interesting people. I hope I’ll be able to call it home one day.

MUSICALS: I love musicals. Everything is better when you sing about it. Some of my favourites are Sunset Boulevard, The Phantom Of The Opera, Moulin Rouge, and Wicked.

NAIL BITING: I used to bite my nails until my early 20s. Then, with the help of some awful tasting nail polish, I was able to kick this bad habit. Now I can wear all the nail polishes I want. :)

OWLS: I love owls because they’re cute and the symbol of wisdom. I have a small collection of them and they’re almost all pink cos that’s my favourite colour.

PHOTOS: I absolutely detest taking them and I’m crap at it, which is very unfortunate considering I’m a beauty blogger. I’m trying my best to learn to become better at it, but if I can use someone else’s or some other cute graphic, I so will!

QUESTION: Everything. Always.

RED LIPSTICK: for years I thought I couldn’t pull it off because I have pale skin. Then, I tried it. Now, I love it. It’s elegant, sexy, and timeless.

SENIGALLIA: my hometown. It’s a small town in central Italy, on the east coast. It’s a quiet, safe and great place for a child to grow up in. But for adults, there isn’t much. In summer, everyone goes to the beach, but the rest of the year there isn’t anything to do.

TEACHER: that’s what I wanted to be when I was a child. I love teaching, but I’m not sure I’d have the patience to work in a school, so maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t become one.

U2: one of my favourite bands. One is one of my favourite songs of all time.

VINCISGRASSI: that’s what we call lasagne in the Marche, the Italian region I come from. It’s the name of the general who is supposed to have invented it. It’s one of my fave foods, but it must be made from scratch, like my mom does. When you’re used to the real deal, the frozen or made with premade pasta kinds taste awful. I know, I’m spoilt!

WINCHESTER: team Dean all the way. By the way, how cool would it be if he went hunting with Eric Northman? I’d so totally watch that show.

XXX (as in kisses): in Senigallia, whenever we meet a friend or relative we haven’t seen in a while, or want to thank them for a present or for coming to a special event, we give them three kisses on the cheeks.

YOGURT: I have one every morning for breakfast, together with muesli.

ZODIAC: Virgo. I don’t believe in this stuff, but I have to admit that I have lots of traits that belong to Virgos: I’m analytical, reserved, loyal, cautious, critical, stubborn, and can seem cold because I don’t like to show my emotions.

What I’m Reading Now

love in the time of cholera
Love In The Time Of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

WARNING: spoilers ahead

Can someone explain to me why this is considered one of the greatest love stories of all time? Is it because Florentino Ariza waits for a woman he barely knows for most of his life, even though she has repeatedly told him she wants nothing to do with him? The way he follows her around, unseen, proposes to her the minute her husband dies, and is not able to leave her alone even though he knows she doesn’t want him speak more of obsession than love to me. He simply cannot resign himself to the fact that a woman has turned him down, and so waits until his rival is dead to get back into her life and seduce her. This is something he knows how to do well. During all those years he waited for Ferminia, he shagged everything on legs, including, in his 60s, a 14 year old he had been grooming for two years.

He also seems to think that every woman can’t wait to become a widow so that she can sleep with every man she meets. Everyone sleeps around with everyone in this book, and that’s not only condoned but expected. But with that, I could put up with. But with the romanticizing of rape, hell no. Here’s how a woman described the time she was raped: “When she was still very young, a strong, able man whose face she never saw took her by surprise, threw her down on the jetty, ripped her clothes off, and made instantaneous and frenetic love to her. Lying there on the rocks, her body covered with cuts and bruises, she had wanted that man to stay forever so she could die of love in his arms”.

This is one of the most offensive books I’ve read in my life. What bothers me, though, is not the promiscuity, the paedophilia, the stalking, the obsession disguised as love, or any of the disgusting things portrayed here. They happen every day and it’s important to discuss them. Literature can help us do that. No, my problem is that this is considered a great love story when it has very little to do with love, and that everything Florentino does is excused because he’s in love and suffering. Guy’s a jerk and he doesn’t deserve what he gets in the end.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts about it?

The Links


How to prevent that dreaded hat hair
– Beautyholics Anonymous

Love the skin you’re in: how hitting my 30s changed my attitude
- London Beauty Queen

Why I ditched the exfoliating scrubs
– Beautezine

38 things men can do to make themselves more attractive to women – The Frisky

The Ban on Animal Testing. Morally Right, Emotionally Appealing, but Dangerous? – Big Think

Sunday Survey, Vol.218

1. When in doubt, wear __?
Lace. It’s so pretty and feminine. You can’t go wrong with it.

2. What do you look for in a foundation?
Light to medium buildable coverage, a natural dewy finish, and impressive staying power. I don’t want to retouch it throughout the day.

3. Can you hear trains from your home?
Nope. Luckily, I live far away from the station.

4. Do you airdry or blowdry your hair?
Airdry whenever possible. I hate blowdrying, it’s so boring! I usually do it only in winter.

5. What do you think of brown eyeshadows?
I used to find them so boring, but as I get older I appreciate their versatility and wearability.

It’s your turn now!
1. When in doubt, wear __?
2. What do you look for in a foundation?
3. Can you hear trains from your home?
4. Do you airdry or blowdry your hair?
5. What do you think of brown eyeshadows?