Thursday, April 27, 2017

52 Week Photo Challenge - Week #17


Life is like a book; some chapters are happy, some sad and others exciting. 
But if you never turn the page...You'll never know what the next chapter holds.
Week 17/52
"Chapters" - all 4 books on this photo are on my "To-read pile" 🙊
Last week I showed you my love for coffee, this week it was time to share another passion of mine: books!
Love them as far back as my memory can go.
The affection for book shops and libraries is just as big.

No wonder I have a large pile of books to read, but somehow, that does not disturb me; books are timeless and patient.
And never forget: even on the loneliest times, a book will be your best companion.

Do you also like books? Which is your favorite type to read?

Photo details:
Location: Home! 😊
Settings: Sony a6000, ISO50000, 30mm, f/5.0, 1/60s.

See you soon!

Next Post: May 1st @ 9am CET 

Monday, April 24, 2017

You vs Society : what is expected once you turn 30


Today, I am here with a very personal post, as you may conclude from the title.
Yes, I am over 30 years old, in case you did not know. Time is just flying by like an F16.
Still remember the day I turned 8 and told to myself, while at my grandparents living room: "only 10 more years to go until I can drive a car!".

But what's my point here?

Well, with me being over 30 years, I feel the pressure that society puts on me about what I should do or should have done by now. (see where I am heading to?)

But you know, being 30 (plus...) has shown to me that this is my life and I should do things that matter to me, the way I want/feel like and most importantly at my own timing.
A bit dramatic and self centered, I know...
At this point in my life, people frequently ask when I am getting kids, or getting married or whatever the hell they think is "normal for a person of 30 years old". But that is what others think I should do at this stage of my life, or that is somehow "normal".
Nothing wrong if other people have done these things at my age (or younger), but truth to be told, I am kind of tired of explaining my decisions to others.
I know they don't ask out of bad intentions or whatsoever, but it just gets tiring and repetitive.

One must understand, that even though I am a woman of 30+, does not necessarily mean I feel the same needs as others do, and vice-versa.
Lisbon's sunset | Sony a5100 
For me, at this point, I have the need to live my life, without too many "duties" (wake up early for work is already enough!).
So let's make a few things clear:
  • I am very happy with my life right now
  • I am not missing out on anything
  • I do not feel less woman because I do not have kids
  • I do not feel less loved because I am not married
  • I have many many many plans & dreams yet to realize
Now, please do not feel offended by what I just wrote; this my take on the subject without judging others on their decisions.
I just wished not to be judged me on mine.
Who knows, maybe in 5 years I change my mind on all these points.

In the end, what really matters, is that we live our lives the way we wish. Not the way society thinks we should!

Have you got tons of things to do before "settling in"? So do I! And not feeling any sorry about it, to be honest.

Do you also feel the pressure?
Share your feelings/experiences in the comments section.
Looking forward to hear from you.

See you soon!

Next post: April 27th 2017 @ 9AM CET


Thursday, April 20, 2017

52 Week Photo Challenge - Week #16


I wanted to show my love for coffee and this is what I came up with.
Love a good cup of coffee, espresso and as creamy as possible. 

How do you like your coffee? ☕
Week 16/52

Photo details:
Location: Home! 😊
Settings: Sony a6000, ISO640, 31mm, f/5.6, 1/60s.

See you soon!

Next Post: April 24th @ 9am CET 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Traditions | To keep or not to keep?


Did you all have a good Easter, in case you celebrate it?
Over here, it was sweet and easy!

Traditionally, Easter back in Porty-land (aka Portugal haha) would have included fish meal on Good Friday and a nice cut of lamb roast in the oven with nice potatoes on Easter Sunday. But when you are an expat, even the simplest traditions become tricky to accomplish.

We did not have fish for Good Friday neither Lamb for Easter. Actually, we did it the opposite. hahaha #sinners

What cannot miss on Easter, for me, is that super duper delicious Maxi Kinder egg! Oh man... I don't eat Kinder any other time of the year, but on Easter is sacred!
Are you familiar with these?
I mean, how can someone not be happy to have one of these XXL eggs to eat?! hahaha Mine was gone in no time...

Traditions are as important as we want them to be; should we keep them?!
Well, ever since becoming an expat I find myself giving them more importance then before. Perhaps because it makes me feel closer to home or keep me grounded or not losing my identity.
And the funny thing is that traditions are getting more and more linked to food/meals then ever before.

Are you a person to hold on to traditions or not at all?
If you are, which ones do you think are more difficult to keep up?

Talk soon!

Next post: April 20th 2017 @ 9AM CET

Thursday, April 13, 2017

52 Week Photo Challenge - Week #15


When the Sun sets for us, it rises for someone else...

Week 15/52

No one ever said that watching sunsets is boring, and I do agree with it.
There's something in it that eases my mind and makes me feel relaxed.

Are you a Sunset or Sunrise person?

Photo details:
Location: Netherlands
Settings: Sony a6000, ISO100, 16mm, f/7.1, 1/160s

See you soon!

Next Post: April 17th @ 9am CET 

Monday, April 10, 2017

REVIEW | L'Oréal Pure Clay Masks


Today's post is a review on the famous L'Oréal Pure Clay Masks.
For the past months, I have been trying these out and I can now talk about how my skin likes them, which ones I prefer and how I apply them.
L'Oréal recommends applying each, individually or in multi-mask style, 2-3 times a week, but I have been failing the target... badly! 😅
Perhaps I do it once a week, and in all honesty, not every week. #notetoself
Oh, I should add: these are suitable for MEN & WOMEN

L'Oréal came up with three different masks, each with its own purpose. Here are their claims:

Indulge in one of our clay face masks to transform your skin. Choose from Exfoliate & Refine, Detox & Brighten or Purify & Mattify to find the best facial mask for your skin. Our beauty face masks are easy to apply and remove. This at home facial treatment is simple, quick and delivers smooth and beautiful skin for every age.

Detox & Brighten Mask
This mask contains Charcoal and is designed to clear up your pores, detox and illuminate your skin.
After application, it takes about 15 min until it's dry; the dark charcoal dark color becomes a lighter gray once it's ready to be rinsed off.
My skin feels fresh and clean afterward. Sometimes a bit dry but that's because I've got a dry sensitive skin.

Exfoliate & Refine
This mask has Red Algae Extract, hence the red color, and tiny grains which help to exfoliate your skin once you rinse it off in circular motions.
It is meant to address rough skin and deeply clogged pores, leaving your skin with a smooth texture afterward, and free of dead skin cells and oil.

For me personally, it works best on my forehead, where I tend to have drier skin and on my cheek bones well. I like the roughness of it and the friction you feel on your skin while removing it. 
The skin does feel smoother on the areas where I have applied it.

Purifying & Mattify Mask
This one has Eucalyptus extract along with clay. It has more of a creamy consistency compared to the other two. It also dries slightly faster, in about 10 minutes.
My nose tends to be a bit oilier than the rest of my face so apply the mask on the nose area.
It feels sooo fresh while on and does leave the pores a bit closer after removal. Luckily, I do not have very large pores anyway.

How I apply:
Most of the times I reach for my Sigma F60 foundation brush; I found that the way the bristles are shaped and their density work best for an easy and even application of any of these masks.
Sometimes, I use the Bare Minerals Mask Essentials brush as well, though not my favorite; still need to get used to its shape.

My favorite:
My heart is torn between the Detox & Brighten and Purifying & Mattify Mask. They serve different purposes for the skin, therefore is difficult to select one, but the one I use the most is the Detox.

Price & where to find:
Here in the Netherlands, they retail for €9.99 and you can find them at any drugstore (Etos, Kruidvat...)

Do I recommend?   YES!!!

Do you do any mask? If yes, which one (or ones) and why?
Have you tried these?
Share your thoughts, experiences, and tips with me on the comments section below!
Looking forward.

See you soon!

Next Post: April 13th @ 9am CET 

Thursday, April 06, 2017

52 Week Photo Challenge - Week #14

Hello! - do Latim prima-vera "Primeiro Verão"

Week 14/52
Spring has sprung
It's not so difficult not to like Spring, especially, when you live in a country where rainy days and grey skies are in larger quantity.
Just wished for a bit warmer temperatures.... 😊

Photo details:
Location: some random garden
Settings: Sony a6000, ISO800, 23mm, f/5.0, 1/60s

See you soon!

Next Post: April 10th @ 9am CET 

Monday, April 03, 2017

The Future is Dark


When I first started writing this post, a few days ago, I had something else in mind, somehow related to what I am about to write.

Firstly, I intended to share with you how I felt about the 1 year "anniversary" (sounds to happy of a word for such an occasion, but you get my point) of the Brussels terror attacks and how these have affected me even though I had not been directly involved.

But you know, the World is constantly changing and so many things happen within 24 hours. A lot more happens that any of us ever realizes or will ever know. Because we simply do not have access to ALL information of what's going on.

To a certain point, this may not even be so bad. 

I don't like to sound pessimistic or whatever, but the truth is, these aren't happy times! The World isn't a better place now then it was some years ago.
Two options, in my perspective apply:
- Either I, or all of us, are more aware of what's going on, not just due to the huge amount of information we are constantly being bombarded with but also because we are grown ups now and see the World through different eyes;
-Or, the World is a really f*cked up place!

It upsets me that someone, no matter what his/her motives may be, feels in the total right to come and mess up with my (our) lives the way these people (whoever they are) do!
But that's what Terror is; it knows no reason nor true meaning. 

Every single day there is a Terror event somewhere in the World, some closer to us some further away.
Some happen in places we have visited, live in or know, and others just happen so far away that honestly, we just do not care enough. Oh, and what about those attacks in countries at war? Is there anyone really interesting in those?
I don't think so!
Never seen a "Pray for Iraq", "Pray for Afghanistan" or even "Je suis Damascus" or "Je suis" whatever... I think you get my point.

Now, with all this being said, everyone has the right to "pray for X" if they will, but honestly, unless it is seriously close to us, tomorrow, our lives will go on.
We will indeed forget and will dive into our lovely bubbles that our day to day lives are in. Sad but true.
I have done this. 
Except for that one time; the one this post was firstly about.


Why Brussels had such an impact on me, not just one year ago but still to this day is quite simple to explain. 
I will try to put it in bullet points to avoid an extensive text (as if it isn't long enough already...)
  • I lived in Brussels for half a year while finishing my studies. The city is somehow familiar.
  • Most of my flights back to Portugal are from/to Brussels.
  • When family and friends come visit, most of their flights are from/to Brussels.
  • I had a flight planned for March 22nd 2016 departing from Brussels; but then, I decided to change the dates and go home a couple of days earlier.
  • I had been siting at the Starbucks across the place where the bombs went off. Starbucks was gone...
  • My return flight to Brussels had to be diverted due to this event.
  • My car was at the airport.
  • Since that day, until this day, there is no single time that I am at Zavantem that I do not feel a weird vibe; get flashbacks of the shocking news or from the aftermath...
  • All the security and army at the airport, does not make it any easier.
And I was not even there! No one I knew was there at that time!
It was a lucky shot. 
Every single day can be "our lucky shot".
And those, unfortunately, are the times we live in.

Do I live in fear? No.

But I am more aware of the fact that, one of these days, myself or someone I care about, may be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Unfortunately, I can only think of one thing:

"The Future is dark"

A candle for this sick World | Sony a5100

Talk soon.

Next post: April 6th 2017 @ 9AM CET
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