Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!




Merry Christmas! What are your plans?

Tonight it will be a fish-based dinner at mother in law's place, and tomorrow we'll drive to my parents' town to spend the day with them, and at night I think we'll go listen to some live music.
And on the 26th, which is also a holiday here, we'll just relax.
Then on Saturday, we'll fly to Netherlands to spend the New Year's Eve with sister in law and family. So excited to see Netherlands in winter, and of course to spend time with them.

Happy Holidays to everybody, and stay safe!

PS - can't wait to open my presents...


Monday, December 17, 2012

This weekend...


We finally put up our tree! It is quite a big tree for my standard, and I find the process pretty tiring, but the result is well worth it, what do you think?

Another accomplishment of this weekend is that I finished my Christmas shopping. I braved the traffic and went to Rome to buy a very well thought gift for my husband. I am sure he'll love it.

I went in and out of stores looking for some Christmas-themed candles, but couldn't find any I liked. So I decided to decorate some candle glass we had around, using the same silver-blue thème of the tree. I put some tea candles inside, and they came out very well.

Went to buy (re-buy) the booties that were stolen to me. I considered buying something different, but I really really liked them, so...

How was your weekend?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday readings.


Hi everybody! As Christmas day approaches, I find myself busier and busier - it's normal, I guess... As if I didn't have enough to do, my nice booties were stolen at the gym, so I also have to go buy a new pair.
Yesterday it was a rainy and gloomy day, but at least I got my gift shopping finished and we did our tree! Finally! It's our first tree as a family, and this thought is so very exciting!
Now on to the fabulous readings:
 Enjoy, and happy Suday!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Music moment.



It's always nice to re-listen to this song...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday readings


Hi everybody. How was your week?
I am a bit under the weather, hope to feel better soon...
Here are some links to enjoy!
Have a great Sunday!

Friday, November 30, 2012

I love Drugstore makeup!



Inspired my this post from Jayme and Mendi about drug store makeup, I decided to share my drugstore favourites.


1. What is your favorite drugstore makeup brand?

Without any doubts, that would be Deborah, and inexpensive italian brand. The brand even has a cheaper line, Debby. Most of my nailpolishes are from Deborah or Debby. I also like Rimmel and L'Oréal.

2. What are your favorite face, cheek and lip products?

For the face, I have to mention Garnier BB cream in Light/Medium:

Garnier - Miracle Skin Perfector - Light/Medium



I bought it in Buffalo during my honeymoon last summer, and have been pretty happy with it. It has a light coverage, but it does its job. I think it might be a tad too heavy for oily skin types, but mine is pretty dry so I am ok with it. It's a nice alternative to a heavier foundation
For the cheeks, I have yet to find a blush that suits me.
For lips, Deborah Shine Creator lipstick: it is hydrating and has a nice coverage:

And Deborah Lipliner in 197
 

3. Least favorite product?

This:

Volum' Express® The Colossal Waterproof Mascara 





It flakes during the day, ending mostly in my contacts, and never comes off at night. I was really disappointed, especially because I usually like Maybelline mascaras.

4. What is the best makeup bargain?
It's "My Mascara" volume by Deborah:

 
It's very inexpensive, and really works. Love it!


5. What is your favorite underdog product? (Something you love that often gets overlooked?)

I tend to use everything I love, but I keep forgetting this:

KAJAL SOFT KHOL
Rimmel Kajal soft Kohl  in Royal Blue:

preview 

It's a beautiful blue that goes well with my brown eyes, especially in the summer - but I keep forgetting that I have it!

6. A drugstore product that is overpriced?

Foundations! They are so expensive, especially here in Italy, that I prefer to add some euros and buy higher-end foundations.

7. Show your best drugstore dupe(s)!!

I tend not to buy dupes. But let me show you something:

 
L'Oréal Super Liner Ultra Precision in Black. I have already talked about it here. I think this is the best eyeliner ever. It's better of all other brands I have tried, some of them very expensive.

8. Drugstore product that isn't worth the hype?

Don't know. Usually I don't buy stuff only because everybody is talking about it. I consider if/when I could use something, and especially if I would be able to use it. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Travel pictures: Urbino (& Marche)

About 10 days ago husband and I took a day off and spent a long weekend exploring the italian region of Marche, one I don't know well at all.
We spent a lot of time in Urbino. If you evr go there, don't miss the Palazzo Ducale - it's beautiful (unfortunately it's forbidden to take pictures there...).

It was a rainy weekend, and I took lots of pictures in black and white because they suited the weather better, I think.

Here are some shots, all taken in Urbino, except for the first one:







The food was great, really special, but I was too busy eating it that I forgot to take pictures...

I really hope to go back soon, may be with a better weather too!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday links


I hope evryone had a nice Thanksgiving weekend...
I actually was quite busy through the whole Saturday and Sunday, and just had time now (Sunday afternoon) to sit and relax.
Here are some interesting articles I found during the last two (!) weeks:
Enjoy!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving!

 





Today it's Thanksgiving in the US.
Thanksgiving brings back to me wanderful memories of evenings spent with good friends, great food, and lots of fun. 
I approached my first Thanksgiving (it was year 2000, and I went to my friend Daniella's parents, in Brooklyn) with curiosity and enthusiasm. I could finally see in reality what I had known only through books and TV shows.

In 2003 I was asked to cook the bird. It was daunting, but it came out very well. I am still proud of that accomplishment.

This year, I wanted to start a little Thanksgiving tradition with my husband. We don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Italy, and I miss this chance to give thanks for whatever happened in the past months.
I wanted to have a small Thanksgiving dinner for the two of us, and even bought some turkey legs to roast.
Unfortunately, today husband has to go to work at 9:30 pm, and I'll come back home at 8:30 pm. So, no time for cooking or feasting.
But I will try anyway to make some time to give thanks, and the turkey will be cooked some other day.
It's not the food on the table that is important, it's the meaning of the day, I whink...

Happy Thanksgiving to everybody!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

In my kitchen - Crostata di Ricotta


Sunday was a rainy day, and I found myself home alone since husband was at work. So I decided to use up a tub of ricotta cheese to make a ricotta crostata, since husband had been asking for one for months!
This is my variation on the classic recipe, and came out pretty good.

For the base I used Pasta Frolla. I took the recipe from a book husband had at home since before we met, and made half of it:
The ingredients are:
  • 250g flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 150g butter, kept at room temperature
  • 100g white sugar
  • lemon rind, grated
First I mixed butter and flour with my hands. Then I put the mixture on a wooden table (kind gift from Nana Iole to encourage me to make bread, pizza and cakes) and added the sugar, egg yolks an lemon rind. I made it into a pretty solid dough - it's soft but holds its shape. Put it in a covered container (to avoid drying) and left it in the fridge. It should stay in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. After that I flattened the dough and put it in a pie pan coated with butter and flour. I made some holes in the base with a fork ribs, and put it back in the refrigerator

The filling ingredients were:
  • 250g ricotta cheese
  • 100 g white sugar
  • cinnamon to taste (used A LOT!)
  • two egg whites
First I mixed the ricotta cheese with cinnamon and sugar, then added the whipped egg whites. Then spread it over the crostata base, and put it in the pre-heated oven at 180 °C. I left it for 30 minutes at 180°C, then took it out of the oven and let it cool.

The leftover pasta frolla (you'll have some) can be freezed and used to make a smaller pie base (try it with cherry or apricoat jelly) ot cut to make cookies.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday reads


Hi everybody!
I had a very busy week, which ended with a nasty cold. Right now I am home trying to recover as soon as possible to face this coming week...
Here are a few links I found this week!
Have a nice Sunday!!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday readings!


Small edition today... I was having too much of a good time relaxing on Thue, Oggnissanti  (= All Saints) holiday, and the days before...

Have a nice weekend!!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

November whishlist...

I have some major renovation scheduled for my apartment... so I should (must?) save as much as possible towards that... But there are three items I am missing from my wardrobe, and when I find some which I love I am going to buy them! Here they are:

  • White skinny jeans:


I have a pair of white jeans trousers, but they are not practical in fall/winter: they get dirty after about 30 minutes of wear. I want the skinny version because I can tuck it in my boots, and the bottom would stay clean even when it rains.

  • A denim skirt:


I can't find a denim skirt.!All I find are miniskirts! I didn't expect it to be so difficoult!

  • A wide belt:


I want a wide belt - this cognac color would be fine - but without spending too much money. or even, without spending more than 15 €. I haven't succeeded for now...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

In my kitchen - Prosciutto stuffed chicken breasts

Sunday was the first day which really felt like fall.
The sky was cloudy with some hint of sun from time to time, the wind was chilly and the air was cool - at last!

Since husband had to go to work in the afternoon, I couldn't plan a nice dinner for the two of us, so I decided to make a nice lunch. We went out for some errands and when we came back it was so nice to enter a warm home. I was even more eager to turn on the oven!

I decided to make something I had read in the last issue of Bon Appétit: Prosciutto stuffed chicken breast with mushroom sauce. As soon as I read the recipe, I couldn't wait to try it - but every time I was missing an ingredient!

You will find the recipe here. Aren't they gorgeous?



I substituted basil leaves with sage and rosemary - I prefer their flavors with meat. And since I didn't have time to make the mushroom sauce too, we just had a romaine lettuce salad as a side. They came out very good, and I think next time I'll make the sauce too. And it's a pretty easy and quick recipe.

Have you tried any new dishes lately? Please share!

My thoughts...


go to all people affected by Sandy, and to NY.
Please keep strong!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday reads.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Beauty shopping!

I know two consecutive posts about beauty products make it seem like I am obsessed with cosmetics and make-up, but I am not. I am actually very disciplined, never start a new product if I haven't finished the one I am using at the moment, never buy doubles and shop sparingly. It's just a coincidence I got some makeup last Saturday, and today some new cosmetics.
Husband needed to buy some new jeans, and we went to the nearby outlet mall. Since there is a store there which carries beauty products I like and use (Bottega Verde), I wandered in looking for some heavily discounted stuff. Here is what I got:







Makeup remover for face and eyes Quilaia
I had never heard of quilaia before buying this makeup remover for the first time. It's a tree from which natural detergents can be extracted. I loved it from my first use: it's very delicate but effective, doesn't sting, and LASTS FOREVER! The previous bottle lasted me something like 8 months - and I use it every day.






Mascara Volume in Extra Black.
It's probably the fourth time I re-buy this mascara. It's a very basic product: doesn't make me look like I am wearing false eyelashes, but makes my lashes darker and more noticeable, doesn't flake and comes off easily when I wash my face.




Crema viso effetto lifting.
There were several bins with face creams, but I picked this one because it contains hyaluronic acid and karité butter. Never tried it before, I'll use after I have finished my current face cream.

Plus, the girl gave me a sample - a pretty big tube - of another face moisturizer, which I'll probably put in my gym bag.

As for the rest of the shopping, I liked a shirt and a skirt - but the shirt was too big and the skirt too small. Oh well...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Product reviews - makeup

Hi there. How was your weekend?
My goal for these two days was to rest and relax as long as possible - which is what I did!
Between resting and relaxing, I had time to do some makeup shopping. Here we go:

Shine Creator Lipstick - Deborah Milano


I decided to buy this lipstick after seeing it in a magazine. I am not a huge lipstick person (unlike some years ago, when I had something like 15+ lipsticks, and I was using all of them!), but I decided to try it, since I liked this specific shade (n. 02),
I put it on as soon as I got out of the store (like a small kid) and am very happy with my buy. It goes on shiny, it's there but not too flashy, and the finish is very shiny, not as much as a gloss but more than a regular lipstick. I higly reccommend it! It was 10.90€, but it was on sale for 7.72€.

Super Liner Noir - L'Oréal Paris


This is an old love. I have tried lots of other eye-liners, including others from L'Oréal, but that's the best, I think. The thickness of the line is just the right one, it goes on smooth, lasts all day and doesn't flake off. Plus, it comes out very easily when I wash my face at night. Love! Price 16.90€, was on sale for 13.52€

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Weekend readings



I haven't done any weelend readings for a while...  Here are some links I have saved which I highly reccommend!
  • Office attire essentials from the Wardrobe Oxigen. I agree with everything, except the bit about walking to work with flats then wearing heels: I haven't been able to find a pair of pants that goes well with both. May be tapered pants work best for this?
  • Love the clean lines of Swedish style: I find it simple and relaxing.
  • How do you like this Autumn to do list?
  • And also, a fun October calendar from La Petite Fashionista.
Enjoy, and happy weekend!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Madrid


Yesterday I came back from Madrid (above, a picture of sunrise taken from my hotel room). I went for a work-related event, so I didn't have much time to really see the city. I could walk around a little bit at night, when we would go out for dinner. 
Buildings are beautiful, it looks nothing like Barcelona (which is the only other spanish city I visited) and the streets are incredibly large. I'd really love to go back just for sightseeing.
What I loved most, was that the city was so lively. Young people would be around eating tapas, having a drink, or just strolling until late, even on workdays. It was pretty warm, so I guess that helped too.
Food is delicious. I had some of the best fish I have ever eaten, and the wine was good too.

I did some shopping the day before leaving. I am at loss this time of the year, because it's too boring to only wear jeans and/or black pants. I am a dress girl at heart, but it's too early to wear boots and tights, and too cold in the morning to go bare-legged. So I focussed on accessories: a beautiful téal bag, and two belts: a hot pink one and a patent grey one - the pink one came with me in Madrid, and I find it to gives a nice unexpected touch to the most boring black-pants-black-blazer outfit.
Plus, I found a short sleeved white shirt and a beautiful floral dress I hope to wear soon.
I have to start taking pictures of my outfits again, it was fun!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Weekend!


My weekend started with a bit of shopping at Geox (yay!)...

MARIAN PLAT ST


Then after yoga class husband cooked flank steak with mushrooms (yum!)


  













Had 11 hours sleep...
Woke up to find a delicious whipped cream croissant husban had bought on his way back from work, in the morning...

Image source

And now I am off to the farmer's market!


Image source 

Great start for the weekend, isn't it?





Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday links

Hi there! It's almost sunny here, and I am almost planning to go to the beach, for may be the last time this season - after all it's still summer 'til next Friday, right?
In the meantime, here are some links if your plan is staying home and relax...
Happy Sunday!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My fall to-do list!

Well, I somehow cannot give in the idea that summer is coming to an end. And actually there are 8 more days of summer to soak in (beach on Sunday, anyone?). I asked husband to pick one last watermelon for me last Monday, and yesterday when he came back from work we went to have gelato in the best gelateria in town, before it closes for the season (I kind of love the idea of gelaterie closing for the winter: gelato is traditionally a summer food, and the fact these store close reminds us to follow the cycle of the seasons).

At the same time, I have been thinking what I want to do and accomplish this fall/winter, so here is my list:


Keep up with the yoga! It makes me feel so good!

Learn how to use a sewing machine, starting from basic things.


Start baking again - especially apple cakes and muffins!


Buy a beautiful pair of suede boots!


Spend a weekend with husband either in Umbria, Toscana or Abbruzzo, just relaxing, anjoying good food, great wine and beautiful scenery.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Bookworm diaries - White Girl Problems

 
I picked up this book on a whim in the Union Square Barnes& Noble during my honeymoon, and started reading it shortly after. 
It's a nice light reading. Very funny and witty. Babe could easily come off as entitled and snob, but she is so funny that you start loving the character from the first pages. Besides, at the end everything comes together (almost) and the girl is "redeemed" (almost)!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lovely readings


Another week is gone, and more interesting articles came up in the web!
Have a good Sunday!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Yoga!



























 No, it's not me in the picture.
But I started taking yoga classes today! It was my very first class ever.
It was fun, but very very hard.
And I am happy husband is coming with me. I bet he will be a great motivator for when I am tired...

Hope it'll become less hard with time...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Lovely links


Hi there? How was your week?
Happy Labor day to the American readers - hope you have lots of fun surrounded by family and good friends!
Here are some readings for your free time.
Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Summer's end



As I see everywhere signs that fall is approaching (colleagues are getting organized for their children going back to school, stores are full of fall clothes in darker colors and school supplies, and it seems like the entire blog world can't wait for it to be fall - which I understand, since fall can represent a new beginning), I can't help but feel a bit nostalgic.
I will miss my weekends - and after-work afternoons - at the beach, dinner on the balcony, long days and light clothes. There is something about summer that makes me feel relaxed even during a normal workweek, as if I was always on vacation.

Photo
 And don't even get me started on summer fruits. Peaches, watermelon, plums and red ripe tomatoes are just not the same during winter.
So, I have this bittersweet feeling, and I am trying to hung as much as possible to summer. The air is slowly getting crispier in the morning (although is still so hot during the day - and sometimes the night) and this makes me sad...

So, I'll keep swimming in the sea and dining on the balcony - and eating watermelon - for as long as I can!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Readings!


Hi everybody! Hope the week went well, and you are set for a great start of your weekend.
Here are some readings to waste some time...
  • Some lovely pictures
  • A review of several drugstore BB creams (I personally really like the Garniér one)
  • The What-if Game - something I should remember when I feel overwhelmend or worried...
  • Angie wrote a series of posts on closet review and editing. I especially liked this
  • Love this outfit!
  • And last but not least, a list!
Happy weekend everybody!

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