Thursday, January 29, 2009

Things I love Thursday!

Another Thursday, thank godness the week is almost gone...
Here's what I am loving today:
  • Little niece. She's 12 days old today. She's so small and frail. And she does cry only if she's hungry. I can't wait for her to grow a bit, so that I can spoil her with presents!
  • Sunshine. It's the second day in a row without clouds. I was missing the sun so much! And on the same theme...
  • Walks at lunch time. Yesterday after lunch I went with my colleagues to take a walk around here, in via del Tritone. It was only half hour, but it was really refreshing!
  • Random dinners out once in a while during the week. We (bf and I) went last week to a restaurant we had talked about trying for months, near his place. Food was excellent, desserts too, and since we don't eat out often, it felt like a real treat.
  • Anticipation! Yesterday I bought two theatre tickets for Feb 12th. May be we can organize dinner in some cute (and cheap) place before theatre, so we don't go home at all after work?
  • The bus I take home from my PT job: it passes by the Colosseum and the Pyramid. Bonus: it's not too full, so I enjoy the view while sitting!
What are you happy about?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Week-end to-do list

May be I should separate what I NEED to do and what I WANT to do, but sometimes they coincide... so, here's the list.

Sat morning I need to:

  • call the seamstress and if she's available go bring some stuff to fix. May be this way I'll finally be able to wear my Banana Republic pants and skirt...

  • Go buy toilet paper and toothpaste, before I am completely out of them.

  • Go visit granma

  • Go buy bread

  • Clean the house, at least the floor

  • Do laundry

Good thing is I don't need to take the car to do any of this!

Sat afternoon - Sun:

  • Study for the EPO exam I'll take on Wed (PRIORITY!!!).

  • Prepare for the lecture to give on Wed (full day, this coming Wed, isn't it?)

  • Go to mom to give her back food boxes she lent me

  • Windowshopping!

  • See friends on Sat night (we don't really know where/when still, but it's pretty sure we are gonna meet them)

Of course the last two are WANTS, and the visit to granma too, but the rest is pretty much a NEED...

Now, if I just decided to get out of bed and start doing something...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Things I love Thursday

It's really hard for me today to find reasons to love the world... but here we go!
Today I am loving:

  • Progress and andvancement in medicine. And availability of medical care. We can go to hospitals, go out and buy antibiotics, go to the doctor and talk to him. It's not normal in other parts of the world. I feel very lucky to have all this possibilities available to me, even if I am used to this and don't appreciate it enough.
  • People who take care of me. Bf being the first who comes to my mind. He didn't think twice of going to buy me medicines and food, even if it was raining and he was on his bike. I can never thank him enough.
  • Amélie (the movie)! I saw some scenes last night (they were showing a TV re-run) and every time I see this movie, I realize how much beauty and magic we can find in our lives, as long as we are willing to see them.
  • Pistachio pesto, and the colleague who gifted it to me. I loved every bite of the pasta I made with it, and bf too. I could live on pesto for the rest of my life...
  • Buying new furniture and putting it in place. I spent last weekend just moving furniture and hanging pictures, and I am very satisfied with the results!
  • Planning for the future, in a way that is both dreamy and very practical. I love come up with possible scenarios, and study a way to make them real!

I did well, didn't I? Lots of love to everybody!!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dayly Horoscope

I listened to my horoscope during the news while getting ready to come to work.
It said something along the lines of - carefully plan your expenses - you'll be prepared and feel much more confortable.

How timely. May be they are reading my mind instead of the starts?
Unfortunately my expense for the day is planned: I have to go to the denstist after work. It's for a stupid thing, but not pleasant anyway...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Product review: Rilastil aqua hydrating mask

Disclaimer: I DO NOT receive money for writing about this product. I found it interesting and thought I could write a review.

A sample of this hydrating mask was given to me by bf's sister, who works in a pharmacy. I checked online and saw that it is available also in the US (, but it is a not cheap at all (87$). The brand is pretty famous in italy, and by experience, I'd say their products are very good.

I started using it about three nights ago because my face was red, scaly and flacky due to a bad case of cold. It is called "mask", but feels more like a thick hydrating cream. The instructions say to put a layer on the face and let it stay between 5 and 15 minutes, than remove whatever was not absorbed. I left it about 15 minutes, and it got almost completely absorbed. My skin felt immediately softer and much less flacky.

Due to the very bad conditions of my skin, I have been using it for the last three nights. I put a thin layer only on the dry areas of my face, and it gets adsorbed almost completely. My skin has shown a huge improuvement, even though my cold is not gone yet: it's not red anymore, and it almost got as soft as it is in normal conditions.

Is it worth 87$? My answer is: yes!

Only a very thin layer is needed, and about 1-2 times a week. So I'd suppose the ful size tub would last for months (I haven't finished my sample, yet).

Money matters.

I don't know if it is because of the state of the economy, or because I have for the first time in my life a good-paying job, but lately I have been thinking of ways to save money and be ready for emergencies. Probably these thoughts came out also from my will to visit NYC with boyfriend this spring, and from a conversation we had some nights ago about buying a new apartment, bigger than his, in a convenient area of Rome and WITHOUT selling any of our apartments. The idea would be to save enough money for a downpayment, rent out both our apartments, and use the money from the rents to pay the mortgage. It's not something that is happening tomorrow, but I think it's a nice plan for the future.
So, I'd have to save a good amount of money to afford all this!
Here is what I am doing now (I posted this also on my favourite forum, the stylethread forum - if you want to see the thread, the other girls there posted some useful ideas too - you have to go to the "general chat" thread and then to the "What do you do to save money?" topic):

  • I use public transportation whenever it is possible. I am lucky because I have a subway station almost across the street from work, and I work in the center of the city, so there is plenty of buses. But I try not to use the car unless necessary (gas here in Italy is something like 5$/gallon)
  • On the same topic: I bought a very fuel efficient car and paid in full when buying it - many thanks to mom and dad that helped me choose and gave me part of the money as a "welcome back" gift.
  • I don't like to watch TV, so I don't have cable or similar services. I'd rather rent a DVD.
  • I subscribe to the magazines I really love (one for now, but I'd like another one too) and try my best to avoid buying them on the newsstand.
  • I don't use hot water for my laundry, and let my stuff air dry.
  • When I turn on the heat, I avoid keeping doors/windows open.
  • I do groceries in a supermarket near BF's house (it's pretty cheap, plus it's walking distance, so no gas money), but buy fruit and veggies at the farmer's market or at another little store down the street, which is much cheaper.
  • I have learned to hold for things I need to buy (last one was a new pair of very good boots) until they are on sale, and in the meantime carefully check the prices of various brands I like, to make buying them quick and painless.
  • Cell phones calls are pretty expensive here, so I try to keep cell phone communications to a minimum. texts are cheaper, and either I use them, or instant messaging, or emails.
  • Both boyfriend and I love to cook, and don't really like to go out for dinner, unless it's a special place. So we can save a lot on eating out too.
  • We brown bag our lunch, often using dinner leftovers.
  • Also, we both love to entertain at home: I think you don't have to cook anything too fancy or expensive: people appreciate the effort, the company, the pleaseant evening, and usually contribute with a nice bottle of wine or dessert.
  • I have started the activation process for an ING account. Interest rates here in Italy are still higher than in the US.

I plan on putting 10% of my salary in the ING account when I get paid. Plus (but I am still thinking about this) I can put there whatever is left in my checking account right before I get the next salary. And for sure I'll put there what I get from my PT teaching job - whenever they decide to pay me!

Also, I should be less lazy about moving the money I have in the US accounts to my italian account: I have quite a nice chunk of money from the Research Foundation pension plan, which is still there: I want to transfer it to my savings, where they'd "grow better". Same things for what I have left in my US checking account. Too bad the change euro/dollar is not so favorable for converting dollars to euros right now.

The most important thing I am learning is to hold until I can afford things. Put money aside for what I want (but don't need) and for the emergencies. I still splurge on what is important to me: theatre tickets and once in a while (a loooong while), a nice dinner in a carefully chosen place. It makes everything more special!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Things I Love Thursday!

Time for some love... I haven't done this for more than two weeks, but I was having too much fun during the Christmas season to have time to sit a write!

Here is what I am loving today:
  • Wonderful boyfriend, who takes care of me when I get the flu, goes out to buy me magazines, checks my temperature, prepares lunch and dinner and even takes care of my entertainment by choosing a nice DVD to watch after dinner!
  • Shopping! I have been on a shopping ban for so long, due to lack of salary, that I was the happiest girl in the world when I bought my black boots last sat. I have been showing them to everybody since!
  • Walking around Rome during Christmas time. For the first time I went to see the Christmas tree and the Nativity near the St. Peter's Cathedral. I was so excited...
  • Seeing both my cousins on Christmas day. They live pretty far, one of them in London, the other in Venice ('till now, now she's relocating, she doesn't know where yet).
  • 1984 by George Orwell. Much better than I expected (and I had great expectations!). I think it should be mandatory read in school in every country!
Life is REALLY good!


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