Valentine's Day Outfit Ideas


Happy February!
Valentine's Day is quickly approaching, and regardless if you're spending your day with your other half, or with friends, you want to look fabulous, I'm sure.

I've gathered a few ideas, if you're lacking inspiration.

What are your Valentine's plans?
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Charity Shop Haul


Yesterday, Sunday, I wanted to enjoy the nice (?) weather, so although it was freezing cold, it was sunny and bright, and I really felt like going for a walk. I also felt like shopping, but since it's January, and after Christmas and the winter sale damage, I decided to go into my local charity shops. January is a great time to go, there are a lot of unwanted presents, usually still new, and people have a tendency to do a big clean around this time, so what others may consider "tat", you might consider it your little treasure. And that's what happened today. I had a budget in mind and I was really decided to stick to it, and this is what I ended up buying

Books - Ok, lt's start by my favourite part. I love checking out books in the charity shops, specially all the DK travel guides, I have a tendency to collect them, even if they are of places I know I will probably not go. Also, I like to check good coffee table and cookery books.
Monolo Blahnik book £3
Pocket posh hangman 75p
How To Be Parisien (a book I was longing for) £2
Behind the Wheel £2
DK guides - three for £2.50
Le Pliage by Longchamp £2
Nigella Lawson Feast £2
TOTAL spent in books £14.25

"Tat" - Right, who can resist a bit of "tat"? Well, I could resist to this mini whisk (50p) that came with the egg cup, a clove jar (£1) and a Cornwall Soapbox candle (£1.50). If you don't know this company, check it out, I love their stuff.
TOTAL spent on "tat" £3.

CDs and DVDs - And last but not the least, I've bough one Blondie CD for my car (50p) and a few DVDs (each one was 20p), and I'm particularly excited to watch "Broken Flowers" quite soon.
TOTAL spent on CDs and DVDs £1.90

TOTAL £19.15

So, in total I spent less than £20, and I'm really happy with my haul. I stuck to my budget and was able to get some things I really wanted, specially some of the books that I was considering paying full price for.

I wish you a very happy week, and if you did something similar, leave your link below, I would love to have a look at it.

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2015 in Retrospective


Instead of making a list of new year's resolutions, I decided to analyse make a retrospective of my 2015.  And why did I do that? Instead of starting the year with a list of resolutions that I know for a fact that I will ditch by mid January, this retrospective is a nice way to reflect on the past year, and to celebrate possible achievements, and to learn lessons from things that didn't quite go as planned.

January - It started great, with my parents spending New Year's in London, but who will forget the Charlie Hebdo tragedy? It's not a secret that I love Paris, and having those kind of barbarities happening in such a beloved country hurts.

February - Valentine's Day as a single woman, watching 50 Shades of Grey with my friends, finishing with a Mexican food feast to celebrate love and friendship.

March - March was a very flat month, full of reflective walks in my local park, since most of the pictures of this months are taken in this location. I start to miss the sun and nice weather.

April - Easter in Prague with my friends, had an amazing time during this month, weather started to improve and this trip was something I was longing for a long time.

May - One of my best friends got married, I went to Portugal for the wedding, spend an amazing week over there and had an amazing time. I was surrounded with happiness and good friends, and it was great to see my good friend having her dream day.

June - Trip of a lifetime to Egypt. Got to see the pyramids in Cairo, snorkel in the blue lagoon, have dinner with the beduins and quad bike in the desert. In June I also celebrated my birthday, which cheered me up even more.

July - One of my luxury dreams came true: brunch at The Landmark. Great time with friends, great weather, planning weekends away in August.

August - This was definitely the travelling month. Four weekends, four destinations: Edinburgh, Dublin, Copenhagen and Paris. Need to say more?

September - This was a great month. I was invited to attend London Plus Size Fashion Week, had an Indian Wedding, which was so much fun to prepare for. I got to buy some amazing clothes on sample sales, and re-started my blog.

October - This month I met my boyfriend, experienced a week in Istanbul, got into Uni to do my Masters, and I couldn't ask for more.

November - Things with my boyfriend are great, I feel loved and appreciated. On the negative side, this was the month I had a chest infection, which meant I was almost off sick the whole month. My energy levels were quite low, and unfortunately I left my blog on the side.

December - Festivities in full force. Spent Christmas in Portugal with my family, and New Year's Eve in London. Looking forward to a great 2016!

What about you, how was your year?

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What I got for Christmas 2015


I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and I wish you a very happy New Year.

I can't believe all the festivities are gone, they seem to pass by so quickly. This year I spent Christmas in Portugal with my family and returned to London on the 27th of December. I was lucky enough to spend 12 days with my family, enjoying my home town in all its Christmas splendour, and to admire all the changes that Porto has been through throughout the years, since it has become a much more cosmopolitan city. In my opinion, it's always nice to see your home town evolve, and see more and more people shopping in the high streets rather than in the big shopping centres (malls).

I decided to write this post, because it's one of the themes that I like to read and watch the most, and as a disclaimer, this was written with no intention of bragging whatsoever, so if this is not your cup of tea, feel free to close this window, but if you're a bit nosy like me, enjoy.

Stationary and bits and bobs - The white scarf you see on the picture was one of the gifts from my mum that she hand knitted, and I love all of her hand knitted work. I received an electric toothbrush, from work's secret santa, which made some of my colleagues quite envious (in a good way), as it was an extremely useful present. I also got a Despicable Me mug and lip balm, from a friend, and that's funny because I use to hate Minions, but I warmed up to them in time. One other friend of mine got me a 2016 diary and a very cute stand with a picture of me, her another friend, as we are known by the "travelling friends", since we do a lot of trips together.

Makeup and skincare - Everyone knows how I have a passion by this theme, and of course, some of my friends say it's the easiest thing to buy me. So I got a The White Company shower gel that smells lush, La Roche Posay micellaire gel, that I can't wait to try out, O Boticário (that's a brazilian makeup and skincare brand) body cream, Ted Baker lipstick and nail polish set, Mary Kay lipgloss and The Body Shop mini hand cream.

Jewellery - It's almost a tradition that my aunt gives me jewellery for Christmas, and this year was no exception, with this silver filigree earrings that I love, in a very Coco Chanel format. I also got this Pandora bracelet with the heart clip.

Luxury - My cousins always give me very original gifts for Christmas. And this year I was lucky enough to get a Louboutin lipstick, which is something I was craving for my makeup collection. The packaging speaks for itself, it's pure luxury and almost decadence.

Kitchen wear - I got this olive oil and vinegar set from my mum, it's from CorkWay, a portuguese brand and I'm collecting items from this set, having already the sugar pot, tea pot and two mugs.

Handbags - Right… One of my passions, that's not a secret for anyone. The first bag on the left upper corner is an OBag, which has a very interesting concept. You create your own bag, you can choose the body, the handles, the interior, trimmings, etc. I chose a bright orange with black rope handles, which I thought it looked very cool. On the right upper side is a Longchamp that I've been longing for one year, and I couldn't find anywhere, until I went to Bicester Village and found it on the outlet shop. Those two bags were bags I bough for myself, as a treat. The bottom left side is a Furla candy bag, with a beautiful basket detail on the bottom, and that was what my boyfriend gave me for Christmas. And last but not the least, with the money I got on Christmas I bought myself one of my dream bags, a Chloé Large Marcie bag, this one is lizard embossed, and I just fell in love with it. Can't wait to wear all of them in the upcoming year.

I also got a few things I didn't manage to take pictures of, such as chocolates (I believe those are long gone), and a rain coat that I'm waiting to be posted. I was very lucky indeed, and I can't thank enough my family, boyfriend and friends for all the amazing gifts.

What about you, what did you got for Christmas this year?
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Tips and tricks on how to beat a cold – part 2

Hi all, if you read my previous post, you can see some tips to make your life easier during the common cold season. This post will be more dedicated to beauty tips you can use, to make you feel more confident and comfortable.

1 - Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
I mentioned previously that our body loses a lot of water, so drinking it is important. But also moisturising plays a key part on making yourself feel better. If you want to skip makeup, feel free. But please always apply your moisturiser, day and night. This is what I'm currently using:
Day cream - Nº 7 Protect and Perfect Day Cream
I really like this moisturiser, it has SPF 15 and it's hypo-allergenic. It has a very rich consistency, and you feel your skin instantly hydrated. 
Night cream - Nivea Pure & Natural Regeneratig Night Cream
This is a cream made of 95% of natural ingredients, and it really suits my combination skin, since it's not too oily, but rich enough to make my skin feel comfortable after that tightness sensation that you might get when you wash it.

2 - Red and runny nose
I believe everyone experiences the red and runny nose when a cold comes. I have a little tip for you to cover it up (or at least, improve the appearance). Personally, I use Sudocream and I think it does wonders. Firstly, it's a cream very rich in zinc which has very strong healing properties, and secondly, you'll feel immediately relieved when you apply it. So, during the day, I tend to apply a very thin layer until it gets absorbed, and then at night, I just apply it freely and go to bed with it.

3 - Chapped lips
When your lips are chapped, there's nothing better than exfoliate them, to get rid of all that dead skin. After that, apply your favourite lip balm several times a day. At the moment, I'm using Lush Lip Scrub in Popcorn (yum), and then I either apply Lanolips (which I love), or Actibalm, which is made of 100% medically grade manuka honey, great by it's healing properties as well.

4 - Makeup
I believe you should go easy on foundation, chose a light consistency one with moisturising properties, and apply it lightly, just concentrate on the areas you need most. I would opt for a bright lipgloss instead of lipstick (avoid pale colours), just because lipgloss goes easy on the lips, and can smooth any unevenness that you might have, caused by dehydration. Your eyes will be probably slightly redder, so I would avoid any eyeliner or anything that could cause irritation. I would probably chose a neutral shade cream eyeshadow, with a coat of mascara carefully applied on the top lashes.

Monica, is there anything I can do to prevent a cold?

Although the answer is yes, it’s very complicated to prevent it, especially if you live with someone that is infected with the virus, since the actions don’t come from you. It’s so easy to catch it, here’s how it works: someone coughs or sneezes into their hand, they touch something (like a keyboard, a mug, a door knob, etc.), you touch that object within a couple of hours, you touch your nose or mouth, and voilà! It’s that easy. You can prevent it with very regular hands wash, or the use alcohol-gel if you come across someone contaminated.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask :)

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