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LacLeman_Montreux_SwitzerlandSorry about that… Yeah, over the past months I slacked off a lot in terms of blogging. If it wasn’t for my Instagram you could pretty much assume I was dead. I wasn’t. But it’s a pity days are only 24h long.

Time… It’s funny how day-by-day everything feels the same, but when we look back all’s different. Over the last 12 months my life changed enormously. From those 12, it’s been almost 9 since I left Angola. You’ve accompanied some of my ‘adventures’ there, but, when getting back I didn’t say much about it. “Why?”, you might wonder. Because I felt that loss as such a failure I couldn’t deal with it right away. I see now it wasn’t any kind of failure, quite the contrary. But it took me some time to realize it. It took me a while to understand how all that struggle made me a better person. How over time, I healed my wounds and feel now stronger (even wiser, maybe?) than ever before.

I’m not one to complain much. Never was. I’m the ‘suck it and let’s do this’ type. We all take validation from different things in life. I take it from being able to do things on my own. The why isn’t important, but I learned to live with it over the years. For me, being strong and independent while going after things that challenge me are things that make me more proud of myself. They come with downsides, but they are definitely a key part of who I am. I’m also a bit of a control freak. I like to be in charge of my life, so it bothers me tremendously when that does not happen. I feel trapped and impotent and kinda loose sight of myself. That’s what happened over time while I was in Angola, due to a set of reasons now irrelevant. I got stuck. And as I know my limits (and believe me, I’ve pushed them) I decided to leave and start over. So I came back, defeated. It was a Saturday. For a day and a half I cried in the dark in my room. On Monday, I stopped it and began again.

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WhatsInsideMyBag

Much like every other woman, I like big handbags and I cannot lie. I also feel like the content of such big part of a girl’s life may say a lot about her (ask any guy and he’ll at least tell you for sure how a woman’s bag usually translates to him: confusion).

Anyway, like I said before (this is an update to this post), there’s a little voyeur in everyone of us – I pledged myself guilty as charged! Due to this shameful tendency, I always find it curious to peak into other people’s houses, bedrooms, closets, make-up bags and yes, you guessed it, handbags. (Craaaazyyy!!)

Call this giving back if you will, but I believe in transparency (and even if the tone of this whole post is in mockery here I’m being very honest), and so, here’s my portable treasure and survival kit wide open for you to see!

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Hello everyone!
Hope you all set the right foot onto 2015, and let’s get this 365 days party started! 😉

One of the things I promised myself for 2015 is to make more of what makes me better and happier. One of those things is reading. I usually say I used to be a Library rat when I was a kid and it’s true. My mom actually got mad at me a few times for always having my nose stuck into a book. Over the years, though, things changed. Life changed, got more packed, priorities got mixed up and my reading habits became shameful. I read everyday plenty of blogs, but it isn’t the same thing as reading and feeling and diving into a book.

So, after a year I’ve only read an handful of books (shaaaame!!!), inspired by this 9GAG post, I decided to man up and challenge myself. Ladies and gentleman, my Reading List for 2015:

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50 new books (most of them already in my shelf, on queue, but I still had to make a proper list to get things in order). Funny enough, this is also one of my resolutions for my 30 by 30 Challenge (only that was set for 3 years)! To be honest I am more thrilled to start a few more than others, but still, this is serious and I’m going to behave!

However, union is key in these things. So, why won’t you take the Challenge with me? I dare you… 😉 (You can make your own list, of course…) I’m sure neither of us will regret it. 🙂

Day 1 is on: #1 – “Eat, Pray, Love”, Elizabeth Gilbert
(I already read the first chapter a few days ago… Shhhh! 😛 )
GO-GO-GO! 😉

I have deeply mixed feelings about 2014… I’m not sure if it was the best or worst year of my life. Probably both, but I am glad it’s coming to an end. 2014 gave me the strength to turn 2015 into ‘that one’ year so far, and I’m not planning on letting it down. (Yes, I am that confident!)

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2014 taught me I am deeply deeply flawed but also an extraordinary human being.
2014 taught me it pays off to do your best and the right thing in spite of whatever.
2014 taught me I don’t need that much to live and be happy.
(And life is much easier than we make it)
2014 taught me seeking for help is not a sign of weakness, quite the contrary.
2014 taught me I don’t have to understand everyone and everything, and acceptance is key.
2014 taught me life is full of surprises and the best thing to do is to enjoy the ride.
(Eventually it’ll make sense)
2014 taught me adventure really is the best way to learn. And grow.
2014 taught me life doesn’t bring you anything you can’t endure. And overcome.
2014 taught me people are better and worse than you think, and that’s just how it is.
2014 taught me being scared and vulnerable when you push your limits is normal.
(So you can learn to breathe and put things in perspective)
2014 taught me things tend to get worse before they get much much better. You’ll see.
2014 taught me believing in something really is halfway there.

2014 made me stronger, smarter, wiser, more tolerant, more sensitive, more proactive, more ambitious, more of the woman I want to be. Am I perfect? Not even close. I still make mistakes every single day and feel quite clueless about a few topics of my life half of the time; but I do learn from my mistakes and I do have (kind-of) a plan and a vision. I don’t have a map but I always liked trips with a margin for improvisation, anyway… 😉

A thank you note to every person part of my life this past year – the ones who made it better and the ones who made it worse. I needed everyone of them to be where I am now. For the good ones, I send you all my love and a kiss with the certainty I save you all in my heart. 🙂

As for you, my dear readers, I hope your 2014 was a great year too, and this upcoming one turns out be even better! Thank you so much for your support, even though I am not the best blogger ever.

Wish you ALL a New Year packed with success, love, health and the prospect of very good memories for the years to come! 😀 See you in 2015!

Last Tuesday I decided to get my ass out of bed earlier than usual to go with some friends to Feira da Ladra – the most famous open air market of my beloved Lisbon. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular… I wanted to get lucky enough to score a few major finds, but 1) I didn’t find that many things to strike me regretlessly (I believe Saturdays are better for this); 2) I really have to work on my bargaining skills to get good at this. Yet, I still managed to come home with a few things: a gorgeous (and pretty heavy) table mirror, a whole box of crystals to make a lot of statement necklaces, a lovely tin flower that serves only for decoration and nothing else but is still very cute, and finally a few comic books of my favorite mangas when growing up – Sailor Moon and Rurouni Kenshin (you know, my childhood called, I had to answer!). I’ll show you these in its proper setting in due time. Shortly before leaving I found this vendor with a giant collection of vintage jewelry. I ended up not buying anything because I’d spend enough money already, but I’m still hung up on a couple of silver rings I saw there… Which means I’ll be probably coming back soon (for that and for the VW Love Bug in 4th picture). 🙂 Meanwhile I leave you with some pictures I took with my phone, just because Lisbon is gorgeous and I could play tourist with it in hand all the time.

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I’m still quite ambivalent on wether I should’ve bought these sunnies or not… 

Where: Campo de Santa Clara, Lisboa
When: Tuesdays and Saturdays (Saturdays is better to arrive early; on Tuesdays 9h30/10h is fine)
Best finds: Vintage / 2nd Hand clothing, decor pieces, jewelry and acessories

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The new ZARA’s lookbook stroke me like a lightning bolt. It is just everything (ok, not everything but most) I love and crave when I open the doors of my closet and need to get dressed in the morning. The colors, materials, shapes, they all line up to the current Normcore trend that I am so fond of. I like the androgyny, the simplicity, the ease. The more time passes the more I realize I have less and less patience to dress for other people – the few times I did so I regret it – especially for men. What’s the point, anyway? Like Betsey Jonhson once said “Girls don’t dress for boys. They dress for themselves, and of course each other. If girls dressed for boys, they’d just walk around naked at all times”.

The problem in dressing for other people is that we loose focus on ourselves, I think. Of course in dressing for ourselves I don’t mean every woman should dress like a tomboy – not at all – nor disappear into the crowd by only making safe choices and actively strive for not being noticed. Not even close. After all, not a lot of women are born or built tomboys and probably never will be (and that’s alright). I, on the other hand, am, always been a little. And that’s why this aesthetics pleases me so. I like the gender bender attempt. I don’t like to be the princess, I’d rather man up and take charge of things (which doesn’t always work). However, I can – and like – to be feminine too, at times: with my sequins, furs, full skirts, chiffons, but never pushing it too far. To be honest, I find the basic sexy look most girls pull off boring, predictable and diminishing for themselves and women in general. Unfortunately, ‘femininity’ in its pure popular form (high heels, figure hugging silhouettes, short lengths, cleavages, etc) is still quite uncomfortable for any woman (don’t try to convince me otherwise) and even trapping, if you ask me. I find it sad that in order to look good in the eyes of men (and compete with other women), women feel the need to look like ‘this’ or ‘that’ so they can be perceived as hot.

I once dated a guy who used to say the amount of a certain ‘product’ in a room determines its value. This could sound quite nicely (and at the time it did because I wrongly felt it as a compliment), wasn’t the mindset already wrong from the very beginning: women are no product and shouldn’t allow themselves to be seen as such. Never. And I pledge myself guilty cause I’ve been sometimes that short minded. I can’t however, anymore. For me and for every other women. Because we’re more than that.

Anyway, I could be here all day long, and put in some #HeForShe and #SheForShe stuff, but I don’t feel like it, cause I’ve been a feminist from a very early age, even without realizing it, fighting my father as soon as I had the courage to do so. This whole subject is not only very old news for me but it also bugs me to even be a subject, as far as we’ve come. I’ve always defended that if women were given the same chances, opportunities, conditions and, above all, support from one another, we would rule the world (or at least make it a much better place). So feel free to dress as you want, talk as you want, think as you want, do what you want, as long as you do it for yourself and for yourself only.

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Angola changed me in many ways, I believe. Or perhaps it didn’t. Perhaps it just exposed things about myself that were there all along. Besides matters of work, heart, friendships, family, basic needs and the value all those things have in my life, one of the best things to happen was the enhancing of that Less is More motto I was trying to adopt for awhile. I realized I don’t really need that much to live, after all, especially stuff, as half of the things I brought along with me remain untouched  – clothes isn’t the case because well, things wear out, break, rip – also I lost weight – and eight months in a single suitcase isn’t that much indeed, so, as you can imagine, I can’t wait to give my now very few options a fresh breath. Yet, I intend to do this mostly with what I already have and left at home. I did a little shopping once MANGO dropped their prices up to 70% in order to resolve my shortcomings. Now, my new things will be waiting me at home so I don’t have to waste my very few days running the malls, distracting myself with things I don’t care about.

And then, when I caught myself thinking about what else do I want and need, I realized by cravings for this trip to ‘civilization’ are very few and I’m proud of it. Turns out, I don’t need 30 different bracelets, belts, necklaces or rings, because I always wear the same stuff. It is useless to waste money on new, more ‘fierce’ or whatever clothes I’ll hardly ever wear when I already know exactly what makes me feel comfortable and confident on a daily basis. Don’t even get me started on shoes… My style is much more clean and yes, I’m proud of that evolution. To be fair, by witnessing how little most people have in here, it almost feels obscene to think any other way. So, thank you, Angola, for showing me how little I need, and that my hard earned dollars should definitely be spent on much better and memorable things than a piece of fabric or another fancy pair of shoes. After all, I can’t be busting my ass for nothing.

So what do I want to buy? A nice pair of classic folding shades, a straw hat (after all here is mostly sunny all year long), delicate everyday silver jewelry and white button downs. And that’s it. Add to that a new bottle of my favorite foundation, concealer and BB Cream and my shopping is done. Uff! 😀