Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Mani.






For the last installement of the July mani/pedi challenge I would like to talk about hands care.
I love a neutral manicure, either with a light pink or white polish, or a clear one. I find it very elegant, it requires less maintenance, and nobody notices if some solvent I am using at work takes off some of the nail polish.
But to wear clear polish I think one should take good care of one's hands.
I have oentioned already that I am a bit OCD about them. Here is what I do to try to keep them soft and presentable - even with my job, which requires a lot of washing and some accidental solvent spilling.

  • I wear rubber gloves when I do the dishes/clean the bathroom, to avoid even more chemicals on my hands (of course I wear gloves as much as possible at work too, but sometimes spills just happen).
  • I put a very heavy hand cream every night before going to bed. Right now I am using Glysolid, but I like the Neutrogena one too.
  • I pur a lighter hand cream in the morning before leaving and a couple of times during the day (I keep a tub at work).
  • If my nails show some sign of brittleness (it happens a lot in winter), I dip them in a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice at night before bed.
  • And when it's cold I wear my leather gloves, which protect my hands from the wind too.
Now for this week's mani. I just used my base/top coat from Bottega Verde:


And here's the result:


I would like to end this post by thanking the girls at Broke and Beautiful who had the fun idea of the July mani/pedi challenge. I found it an inspiration to write about the topic, and to better care of my nails. Besides, I loved reading other girls' entries!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday outfit.


Shirt - Azzurro
Pants - UC Benetton
Sandals - Geox
Bracelet - birthday present
Inspired by J's Friday flashback on white jeans, I decided to take my white pants out of the closet. I find white pants very summery, but I don't wear them often as I don't wear pants a lot during hot season. I wore this outfit to meet a friend for coffee and then to run errands. I think the look is really chic. I like wearing black and white and adding a shot of color with an accessory. 
Today it was my red Kuvé bag:



What do you think of white pants?

Lovely links


We have a  limited list of links, today, but very interesting readings!
Have a great weekend!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Visual FFBF - My Blogging Habitat!


For the second visual FFBF (there was a first one here, but I didn't participate because I didn't have enough time to prepare...), Suze of Miss Vinil Ahoy, this week's host,  is asking where we blog from.

Sometimes I blog from my home office. That is, when I feel prim and proper and I want to use a proper desk:


Most of the times, though, I blog sitting on my sofa, with my laptop placed on the sofa arm:


Here I have the company of my two stuffed animals (which you can kind of see at the bottom of the picture), can check what's happening on my balcony and on the street, and am guaranteed my daily dose of slack!

I am so excited to see other bloggers' pictures!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thursday outfit


Sweater - La Dolce Vita
Tank top - Tezenis
Skirt - Street Stand 
Shoes - Le Scarpe di Lou
Necklace - Steph's mom

I wasn't sure about posting this outfit, then I decided it is a nice example of remixing stuff I have in my closet. This is the first time I pair this sweater with this skirt. None of the is new, but somehow it never came to my mind that they could go well together.
Here is how I have worn this sweater, this skirt, and shoes.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Changes!

When I feel uninspired in my daily outfits, I go through old outfit posts: sometimes I can find combinations I forgot about, and I replicate them, often with some differences. Sometimes I am just startled by how my taste has changed. It's in small things: even if I wear the same clothes, there is a difference, which may be sometimes difficoult to point out.

Here are some examples.

My Project Dress:


Just a change of boots and some arm-warmers... It looks quite different!

My Conbipel floral skirt


The white cardi is too preppy to me... I definitely changed taste in my choice of tops.

Jeans!

No more boyfriend jeans: don't think they are really flattering on me...

My Sandro Ferrone floral dress


With different shoes it looks much more flattering...

Do you ever go through old pics and find the outfits appalling?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday outfit.


Shirt - Pimkie
Skirt - Kenzie 
Belt - JCrew
Shoes - Primadonna
Necklace - Steph's mom

Today I am wearing another skirt I brought back with me from the US. I bought this beautiful silk skirt in Toronto when I went for the first time, in 2004. I had this one tailored too. It's soft and shiny and elegant. I like its length and weight.
The belt is an american buy too, this time from the JCrew store in Rockefeller Center. It's a bit too long, so I doubled it around my waist.

Finally, the shoes. I almost forgot I had them. Just before getting out, this morning, I remembered and put them on. They are perfect for this outfit, I think. I recalled them more unconfortable, but I walked pretty well in them today!

My Monday outfit


Shirt - Promod
Skirt - Banana Republic
Sandals - Geox
Necklace - can't remember, somewhere in the US
I am so glad I finally got to wear this skirt. I tried it last week, and discovered it needed a trip to the dry-cleaner. It's a Banana Republic linen skirt I bought in 2003 somewhere in Manhattan, then had it tailored last year to fit me again.
It really gives its best when I am walking. It has a light swing that makes it really feminine, and got lots of compliments on it. And I really did feel pretty and frilly wearing it (except for the most part of my work day I had to wear work pants because I was working in production dept...).
And - these are my new sandals. I found a picture, but it's different colors. They are so comfortable, and I am very happy with my decision to buy them!


Do you have any clothes you feel pretty and feminine in?

Monday, July 25, 2011

About makeup.


In a recent post Sal at Already Pretty talks about her relationship with makeup. And it made me think about mine, since it has not been easy for me to reach some kind of balance, make-up wise.

It all started when I was about 13. Lots of my classmates had already their little makeup kits, and I begged my mom to buy me one. And finally when I was 14 she caved in. It was a beautiful trousse (we call it with its french name in Italy, it sounds chicher may be?) with shiny sparkly pinks and blues. It was the eighties after all!
Problem was, I didn't really know what to do with it, so it was left unused for a while.
Then, one Sunday afternoon, after lunch, the daughter of a family friend, who is about 10 years older than me, decided to make me pretty to go to the theatre with my classmates that night.
She did my make-up - and as of today, I still think she did a pretty good job. She used some soft shiny pink on my eyes and more soft pink on my cheeks. A bit of clear gloss, and I was set to go. I looked like myself, only more polished. And my classmates noticed it!

But I was too lazy, so I went back to my old, makeup-less ways. Throughout my high school years, I didn't wear any. I felt I was less of an intellectual type if I wore any, almost like cheating on my good grades and my literary interests!
Then something clicked on the last year and I started using it. I spent hourse in front of the mirror learning how to apply eyeliner!
My mom bought me a foundation for my sensitive skin, and I used it and eyeshadows. It was pretty simple.


After university, when I went to the US, somehow I got obsessed with lipsticks. I had any shape and color. Who knows why?
Then, upon return to Italy, I kept only 2 or 3 of them, focusing on my eyes, which I still think are my best asset.
My routine for winter was more or less the same: foundation, eyeliner, eyeshadow, mascara, lipgloss. I did a pretty ehavy smoky eye.
No foundation and eyeliner during summer. Last summer, I kept the eyeliner.
I got to a point when I was ashamed to be seen without makeup. Then something changed.

I remember one Saturday morning, last fall, as I was preparing lunch, I said to the man - I should put some make-up, I look washed out. And he replied that I looked beautiful as usual.

And about a month later, I had a my first facial at the place where I still go now. The girl took great care of my skin, then applied makeup. She chose a very light foundation. No eyeliner, a bit of shadow, applied with her finger, and a hint of bronzing powder. Barely noticeable, but it was there.
I looked fresh and well rested. That night I saw a girlfriend I hadn't seen for some months, and she kept complimenting me on how good I looked.

I was sold, and I have tried to keep that simple make-up routine since. Right now, since it's summer and my skin looks good from eating summer fruits (the best beauty secret I know about!) I don't need foundation.
Somehow I feel more confident, and I am not afraid to go out without anything but a good moisturizer on my face - I did last Saturday to go shopping!

I guess what I have learned during all this years is: taking care of your skin is the best makeup. As is confidence and happiness - skin literally glows when one's happy!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Heat Waves - IFB project #6

The new IFB project is about the heat wave. The question is: what do you do to escape the heat?
Well, the straight answer is - nothing. This year we had about 3 days of real heat, and we are in Central Italy, in July!

But I have accumulated years of experience, having lived in Rome too, so here's what I do:
  • Always have water with me. Always!
  • Avoid eating heavy, greasy foods. They don't settle well with me during summer. I usually have something that doesn't require much cooking, mostly in the form of salads. Pasta, or rice, or meat, or fish salads. I should do a summer salad series on my cooking blog, whenever I remember to take pictures of my dinners...

  • Eat lots of beautiful summer fruits! They'll show their goodness on your skin too!

  • Wear light pretty dresses and skirts! (I am lucky I can wear tank tops even at work, since I have to wear a lab coat and nobody is seeing my clothes...)



  • Ice cream!
  • When it's really hot I put my feet in a bowl full of water and ice cubes. It's really refreshing.
  • And I use some refreshing gel on my legs.
  • As soon as I can, I go to the beach! Never in the hot hours though. And I spend a lot of time in the water if it's really hot.
  • My drink of choice, besides water, is cold white wine.
Note - I drink wine about two or three times a week, and less than half a glass. Too much alcohol will make you suffer the heat more.

Sunday pedi!


Another entry for the July many/pedi challenge. Here I want to talk about taking care of my feet...

I have to admit, I don't really care for them during the winter. I mostly leave my nails bare, letting them breathe a little before summer, when I start painting them again. I try to get a couple of professional pedis during the winter, and one at the begginning of summer - just to kick off the season! Then I spend my weekends at the beach, doing lots of walks, and sand+water= the best scrub you can think of! And that pretty much takes care of my feet's skin.

What I always do is:
  • Every time I take a shower, I scrub the hardest part of my feet with pumice stone. Every. Single. Time.
  • I moisturize my feet at least every other day.
  • When it's hot, I use a refreshing gel on them, such as this one:


About once a week, more often during the hotter months, I do the following:
  • Remove my nail polish (optional).
  • Put lukewarm water in a bowl with quite some salt, and dip my feet for about 10 minutes. I usually have a magazine to read when I do this.
  • Then if I feel like I leave my feet for another 10 minutes in a bowl containing cold water and ice cubes, sometimes some good smelling bath gel.
  • I cut my nails if I need, and file them
  • I dry my feet and I apply some moisturizing lotion.
I either leave it at this, or go ahead to the next step:
  • Apply a clear base and let it dry.
  • Apply a nail polish I like and let it dry.
I usually put two layers on my big finger, one on the other ones.
If I am very productive, I add a layer of top coat.

So, to end this post, I am going to show you this week's pedi, courtesy of Wet'n Wild black polish (I didn't know we had Wet'n Wild in Italy too!)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lovely Links


This week I found lots of interesting posts I wanted to share. Here you go:
Enjoy, and have a lovely weekend!

Friday, July 22, 2011

On looking good and being with a man.


It's a bit of a rant here...
A couple of weeks ago I went to see my sister's belly dancing exhibition. An old friend of mine drove me there, a guy I have known for at least 15 years. We hadn't seen each other for some months, and he complimented me on the way I looked.
While talking during our trip, he made clear that he thought I was looking so good and happy because I was in a satisfying relationship.
He is not the first one making this comment. Actually, he is the last of a long series.

Now, my question is: why do people attribute my looking happy to having a man?
I have to confess: there is a man in my life I literally adore. He is kind, considerate, has the nicest thoughts for me, and I'd do anything to see him happy.

But he is not the only reason I look happy.
I have a job which is sometimes very tiring, but which I love. I like my colleagues. I do lots of fun stuff when I am not with the man: go out with my sister, trips with friends, art exhibitions and concerts. Plus, I love being alone, when I can cook read take pictures write lists or take care of my blog. What has a man to do with all that?

May be there is this concept of a woman being happy only when a man is beside her. But I think one should be happy with herself, and the rest will come!

I put a picture of Love is... just because those two are so cute!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday (controversial?) outfit


Sweater - Yes! Miss
Tank top - Tezenis
Skirt - Koan
Shoes - id
Necklace - Random street vendor

I wanted to wear this skirt, which I have remixed several times, with some different tops. So I tried this sweater, which I have worn other times too, only with a black tank top underneath.
I thought this orange top would complement well the orange on the skirt.
However, a couple of (male) colleagues asked me if I was blindfolded when I picked my clothes this morning. They say the black doesn't match anything in the outfit. I say they were probably thrown off by the abundance of colors. 
What do you say?

Song of the day

Today is Cat Stevens' birthday!

Thursday Love!



Time for some love...:
  • Blueberry muffins
  • Going out on Sat night upon request from my little niece
  • Walking on the small streets of the town - got to get out and take pictures on the weekend
  • Fresh buffalo mozzarella.
  • Design exhibition which inspire me for my home renovation project
  • New shoes!
  • My commute to work through the fields - gotta take pictures there too!
  • Half days off to spend with the man
  • Lots of books to read!
I actually quite like this exercise of writing my weekly love list. It helps me see how lucky I am. May be I should write a small list day by day...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Beach essentials.

In honor to summer, I want to show you my beach essentials:


  • A bag, of course - this one is a "gift with purchase" from Bottega Verde - I like its nautical theme.
  • A towel - mine is inside the bag. Noting special, just an orange one.
  • A bikini (or any other kind of swimsuit) - hanging on the bag. This is a polka-dotted number by Calzedonia.
  • Sunblock(s) - from left: Bilba SPF 15, Ambre Solaire SPF 6, Bottega Verde SPF 20, and a Rilastil lip protecion SPF 40
  • A hat - this is a baseball cap I stole from my dad
  • Books and/or magazines. I am reading the last from Banana Yoshimoto, and this is the magazine D
  • Not shown - a bottle of water. I actually conside this a life essential, not a beach essential.
You'll have noticed I don't bring any food. That's because I avoid the hotter hours of the day and go back home for lunch. If I plan on being hungry, I bring some fruits.
I try  to arrive to the beach very early - it's less crowded and the water is beautiful early in the morning.

Song of the day

Happy Birthday to Carlos Santana!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

July luxury

Remember when I promised to myself I'd introduce (budgeted) small luxuries in my life? Well, that's July's.

I went to the outlet mall with a friend who needs to find a dress for an occasion. She couldn't find anything, but I came home with this:



Let me show you a small detail:


Yes, it's from La Perla. And it was heavily discounted, otherwise I would never be able to afford anything like it - end even with the discout, I went about 10 € over budget. And let me tell you, the way it fits really explains the price - and it's well worth 10 €.
I am pretty satisfied with my July choice...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday outfit and new shoes!


Dress - Sandro Ferrone
Shoes - id
Necklace - Steph's mom

I have worn this dress several times before (I have had it for 2 years), it's a very versatile dress and I get lots of compliments when I wear it (a colleague asked me if it was from Custo Barcelona?) but this picture is to show you these beauties:

These are my new suede sandals I bought on Sat. I went in a very nice store and tried on four different pairs of shoes. Too bad I could only chose one (they were not cheap, even on sale!)...
These are a nice beige color, and I am sure they'll go with a lot of the stuff in my closet. Their color is the same as one of the flowers on the dress.
And because of the platform and the chunky heel, they are pretty comfortable!

And just for fun, this is my necklace.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday pedi - blushing rubies? And more crackle fun.

Hi!
Trying to keep up with my Jult mani/pedi challenge.


Here's today's pedi:


And here are the ingredients: a clear base from Bottega Verde:

and this nail polish from Sally Hansen:


in Blushing Bronze. I can't find this color on their website anymore - I think it got disontinued, since i bought it before coming back to Italy, which means more than 4 years ago...
I actually had forgotten how nice it looks, and left it on the couter, unused, for ages!

So, first I applied the base, then, when it was dry, the nail polish.
The color is more ruby or burgundy than bronze, in my opinion:


Now, a question for whomever has the answer: the "big nail" on my left foot always gets chipped after I put on socks. Always, no matter how long I let it dry.
Any suggestions on how to avoid it? TIA!

And just for fun, some pictures from last week. I put on the crackle top again, only this time I used a silver base and a pink top. Here's the result:

Saturday outfit. - BDIB



Shirt - Pimkie
Skirt - Indian Store
Shoes - Prendimi
Belt - random street stand
Necklace - ?

I wore this outfit on Sat to run some errands in the morning, go to an art exhibition in the afternoon - then some shopping. And at night to go out with my sister for a walk and a drink - didn't feel like changing clothes...
I love long skirts since I can remember, even when they weren't cool or trendy, probably because I have been influenced by an aunt whom I love dearly and who even looks a bit like me - and she used to wear hippy long skirts! Plus, they allow me to play my guitar comfortably. They are very breezy in the summer, and add a relaxed feel to any outfit.
I bought this skirt in a store owned by a really nice indian lady. I like the sparkly silver thread which run all over, and the white color for summer, especially paired with turquoise.
I have the rule to wear only flats with long skirts, so here I am wearing my gladiators. And this beautiful bag, which my sister brought me back from Tunisia many years ago:



I don't usually wear leather bags in the summer, but I think that's THE bag to be worn with this skirt.

ETA - I had no idea I could still enter the Bloggers Do It Better Challenge, and thought I was late when I wore this outfit. Apparently, I can, so I am in! If you want to see how other very stylish ladies have worn the maxi skirt, head here!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Lovely readings


Hello lovelies! I missed my weekly link love last week, so today's is very rich! Let's start:
Do you have any suggestions on anything else interesting on the web?
Happy weekend!

Friday outfit.


Dress - Sandro Ferrone
Shoes - Primadonna
Necklace - Steph's mom
Bag - Project for Upim


On Friday, I always try to wear something chic and simple, and this is this Friday's outfit. The dress is one of the three I wrote about here. It's actually the more appropriate for daywear.
I like the combination of browns and turquoise, a color I find very summery. I swear I ironed it, but it's linen, and it's always going to look like this...
These shoes are from last year. They show a bit the heavy usage they have undergone, but are still so comfortable.
And the necklace matches very well the colors of the dress:



Friday, July 15, 2011

My first Fashion Beauty Friend Friday!



Today I am taking part in my first Fashion Friend Beauty Friday, created by Katy Rose at Modly Chic. This week's questions were inspired by one of her posts.

1. As a someone who writes/blogs about fashion, have you placed yourself into some sort of blogging category?
Not really. I post outfits and sometimes some thoughts on fashion, but I think I am far from being a "fashion blogger".

2. What keeps you from or encourages you to label yourself as a certain kind of blogger? 
 I started this blog just to write whatever came to my mind, stuff that was happening, thoughts I had in a specific moment. A creative place to be myself, I guess. I still want this place to contain everything that is "me", whithout limiting it to a particular cathegory.

3. When picking blogs to read and follow are you drawn to ones that indicate a certain group or way of thinking/being? 
I find myself more and more drawn to blogs about "normal people" - which means, people I can relate to, who have lives comparable to mine, with whom I have something in common. I don't go seeking a particular cathegory, but I read a lot of fashion and cooking blogs, plus some "general life" ones.

4. Do you think there are benefits in labeling yourself or others? 
It's very comfortable: everything seems safer and under control if you can put it in a specific "box". But life and people are much more varied than a label, a label is limiting. I think nobody can really define his/herself only by one or several labels. We are many "things" at once.

5. Agree or Disagree - We're all just people; we don't need all the labels. 

Definitely agree. The world is more fun and free without labels!

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