Sunday, February 28, 2010

Perk me up buys

Phew, last post in the month of February! I have to admit I'm glad it's over, it's been quite a difficult month for me: I had quite a lot of free time on my hands but didn't manage to do anything substantial, my health wasn't at its best, but most importantly, I felt rather lonely and missed hubs unbearably.

So, I'm really hoping March is going to be so much better. To match those higher spirits, I got myself some things that make me feel like spring is getting closer every day.

Those ballet flats were a total bargain and they match perfectly a brown beaded top I have for summer. Great shoes to pair with some simple, but bright colored clothes.

I also got this vest at H&M to wear with basic tees and jeans. It reminds of one of Serena's outfits from the first season of Gossip Girl and honestly, it was the main reason I bought it. I feel like it's one of those pieces that give a twist to a very casual outfit.

Last but not least, I brought this scarf from the mountains where I went with my family last week. Those of you who come from a Slavic culture will instantly recognize the traditional flowery pattern, which I think is absolutely beautiful. I love how these look paired with jeans, it's a combination of folk and modern elements. And those colors, they scream spring and summer!

How did you fare in February? Have you made any spring purchases? xxx

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Last fortnight has mainly been spent...

Juste encore une minute by ineedchemicalx

- away on a winter trip to Polish Beskidy mountains with my family, overindulging in caffe latte and various yummy desserts at reasonably priced cafes, as opposed to what you get in Warsaw, taking long walks and inhaling fresh mountain air
- furiously using up my Project 5 Pan products, which seem to refuse to go
- getting used to uni again after the winter break
- discussing the subject of the MA thesis with my tutor
- teaching my dad English, he made his mind after months of hesitating and I'm really proud of him!
- being slightly more optimistic about the state of my skin, maybe my new 'mystery' product has finally started working? Fingers crossed it's not just a temporary improvement...
- catching a cold and trying to fight a runny nose with lavender essential oil; I think I'm on the mend now
- planning a shopping Saturday with my mom
- thinking of upcoming posts for the blog; drop me a line in the comments if you have any suggestions, I'm experiencing a lil' bit of a drought, so your help will be much appreciated!

Have a fantastic end of the week everyone xxx

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Project 5 Pan update & Greasy Thursday

My Project 5 Pan isn't going quite as well as I expected and for a very simple reason. I'm having a school break and I'm mostly staying at home, which means going bare-faced most of the time. So, no make-up is being used up, not only the items nearing their drawer life...

I did manage however to tick the following items off my list: Wet n'Wild Megaliner in Plum as well as MaxFactor 2000 Calorie curved brush mascara. Both of these are far too dry to use for any longer. I didn't enjoy using the mascara too much; I thought it was just ok but have noticed no particular curling action. I did like the liquid liner though; the pigmentation could have been better, but I really liked the thin brush it came with which made the application very easy and even. In the photo you can also see my Coastal Scents mineral foundation with 2-3 uses left in it. So the total will come up to 3 items used up, 2 more items to go.

As for the post's mysterious title, no it doesn't refer to the state of my skin, it's something much more interesting, as you'll see below... Some nations celebrate the end of carnival by dancing samba, others by wearing masks and amazing costumes, but Polish people feast in the best way possible: we eat pastry, and lots of it.

So the last Thursday of carnival in Poland is called the Greasy Thursday (Tłusty Czwartek). Apparently in the past the feast extended to a whole week and our ancestors would drink litres of vodka and stuff themselves with meats such as bacon, hence the name; nowadays, the whole country is enjoying these little beauties; they're called pączki (singular: pączek [ponchek]) and the closest counterpart for you, English speaking peeps, would be doughnuts. The dough for pączki is slightly different though and they come with various fillings, usually of jam, the most classic one being rose jam, and they have icing and candied orange peel sprinkled on top. The depicted ones come from a famous Warsaw confectioner, Blikle; this family has been in the business since the 19th century, so if you happen to be in Warsaw, I strongly encourage you to check their stores out!

I'll leave you now, happily dreaming of pączki, and have a great end of the week!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Health kick strikes again!

Honestly, with shades outside the window ranging from grey to taupe I'm craving some color in my life, perfectly embodied in a 5 minute fruit salad I've been devouring recently. Plus, it has some serious Valentines Day benefits (not that I care this year... but you might, right? Right.)

All you need is:
1 orange
1 banana
1 kiwi
1 tsp honey
1-2 tbsp nuts: I prefer walnuts or almonds for this one

Cut fruit into not-so-neat pieces and mix with honey and nuts. Eat right away before someone else sneaks into the kitchen to snatch it.

Oh, and for the obvious health benefits... Did you know that banana has substances that stimulate serotonin secretion to boost your mood whereas honey contains bohrium, an element which enhances your sex drive? Better get yourself some of this salad before Sunday!

If you're on a diet, I found some great recipes for low calorie salad dressings here. Lemon Poppy Seed and Creamy Italian are right up my alley!

What's your favorite food for this dreary winter weather? xxx

Sunday, February 7, 2010

WANTED: Fashion advice

This time, instead of giving advice, I'm going to ask you, lovely peeps, to give ME a hand in a delicate yet difficult land of fashion...

So here goes the story. I was given this crazy purse by my brother 2 years ago for Christmas and I still haven't figured out how, when or where I could wear it. I can honestly admit that I'm not a huge fan of Uggs and I haven't got a faintest idea as to how on Earth one can make a tiny furry golden purse wearable. I mean, I like how different and quirky this is (that's precisely why my brother got it for me in NYC), so I'd love to make it work, but how? Ladies, I'm begging for your tips!

Actually, there's more to my brother's gifts. Last summer I was given this top, found in some vintage store in Williamsburg I assume, together with a matching shopping bag. No, scrap that, there's Jesus on the bag, and my bro searched the States high and low to finally find in New Orleans. He said it was a witty postmodern reinterpretation of the myth, or something among those lines.

However, no matter how long I look at it or how vehemently I'm trying to convince myself I'm being tolerant, it seems more like a... blasphemy to me. Besides, I'm living in a 98% Catholic society, I'm pretty sure wearing this would be simply suicidal. Certainly Poles don't envision Virgin Mary wearing seductive red lipstick and sequinned crown.

Still, I would have no problem wearing these Sacred Heart earrrings I found at this Etsy store. What is it then? Is it a matter of scale, obviousness, choice of particular religious symbol? Probably all of the above. What's your take on this? Do you ever wear religious symbols? Would it be ok for you to sport the top my brother gave me?

Have a great Sunday evening everyone! xxx

Friday, February 5, 2010

Well hello Ms. Spring!

Just look at this little dudette hanging around on my childhood photo!

I think she's been woken up by sunbeams coming through the window in my room... It's kind of cool realizing that she must have been sleeping tight somewhere for those couple of months, and now she's keeping me company :) This just totally made my day.

Have you seen any signs of spring already?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Storage Tip: Lush Pot Pourri

Certainly the idea of using Lush as a wardrobe perfume isn't very new, but here are my 2 cents on how you could do it. Basically, I decided to make a small string bag from some checkered fabric leftovers and red velvet ribbon I had laying around in the house. Then I popped my Lush 'Waving not drowning' bath bomb inside and buried it in my wardrobe for ylang-ylang smelling clothes. Simples!

The sewing project took me maybe 30 minutes and I was hand stitching it, so with a sewing machine it's probably a 10 minute job. First I just folded and stitched one end of the fabric to weave ribbon through later, folded the piece in half and stitched around 2 edges. Then I turned it inside out, weaved the ribbon into the fold using the old safety pin method (you attach a safety pin to one end of your lace/ribbon/string which makes it much easier to push through the fabric), worked on the little wholes at the ribbon's ends by folding the fabric inside and stitching around. Voila!

Here's the little baggy cosily wrapped up in my scarves. From now on they'll be smelling divine! The bag would also be handy for soaps or bubble bars, but I wouldn't recommend it for neither massage bars (too greasy) nor sugar scrubs (far too messy).

I'm planning on buying some more exciting fabrics and making more of those little bags. They''ll be great as unique reusable gift bags for b-days or Christmas. What do you think?

pot pourri - lit. 'rotten pot'. Originally meant "mixed meats served in a stew", the modern meaning of "mixture of dried flowers and spices" only appeared in the 18th century. The other meaning is that of "miscellaneous collection". From Online Etymology Dictionary.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Neutral Sunday FOTD

I haven't done one of those in a while because of my skin acting up, but finally got the courage to undig my crappy camera... Yesterday's look was slightly inspired by Leighton Mesteer's character in the Gossip Girl series which I'm currently watching - late, I know! I was going out in the evening but otherwise had a pretty lazy day, so it was fun to play with my stash a bit. Here's what I came up with:

Products used (I'm skipping the face part as it's always the same stuff):

Miss Sporty Mini Me eyeliner pencil in Grizzly (brown) as a base (determined to use it up!)
Annabelle 'So Foxy' (cool brown) on the lashline and blended up
MAC Patina eyeshadow on the centre of the lid and up
Matte black from the Sleek Storm palette on the lashline and slightly flicked up in the corners
Darker matte brown from the same palette through the brows
NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Cottage Cheese in the inner corners, on the browbone and lower waterline
MaxFactor 2000 Calories mascara

NYX Taupe blusher to contour
NYX Angel blusher on the apples of the cheeks

MAC Viva Glam IV Frost lipstick
clear lipgloss

Here's the close-up of eyes and lips:

I'm absolutely in love with this lipstick, the color is buildable plus it's a very versatile shade for me as it's just a tad darker than my natural lip color, I think it really suits any neutral eye make-up!

I went to see "Nine" by Rob Marshall yesterday with my mom and have to say that while I loved the imagery, cast and musical aspect of it, I was definitely not blown away by the plot. I really liked the atmosphere created and loved the song performed by Kate Hudson, which I feel is a bit like the whole film in a nutshell, i.e. illustrates how much Americans, and Hollywood especially, love Italian culture and spirit. Anyhow, I thought it would be interesting to see how it compares to the original movie by Fellini, which I'm ashamed to say I haven't seen yet.

Have you seen "Nine"? What was your favorite female character from the movie? And if you haven't, what is your favorite musical ever? I'd love to hear from you! xxx