Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wanderlust Wednesday: Montalegre, Portugal [2016 Edition] - Day I

Today is Wanderlust Wednesday, where I talk about awesome places I’ve had the pleasure to visit and explore, as well as share some photos of my experience. This time, I’m dedicating this post to my latest weekend trip to Montalegre in the very north of Portugal. I had already been there once, on an academic field trip in April 2011 and promised myself I'd go back one day (that's what I did!). I wrote two other Wanderlust Wednesday posts on that trip, you can see them here and here.

This weekend away was initially D.’s idea as, a couple of weeks ago, news sources were reporting lots of snow in the inland villages and mountains. As people who have always lived near the coast, he has never seen snow in his life and it’s been roughly over 20 years since I experienced it myself. He quickly suggested a weekend away in one of those places and I mentioned Montalegre. He ended up booking the soonest possible weekend in a local hotel.

We arrived the town of Montalegre around lunch time on Saturday. The bad news? There was absolutely no snow to be seen and D. was, obviously, a very sad panda. Even though I felt a little bad for him since I was the one who chose our destination, we did our best to enjoy our trip to its fullest even so. Apparently all snow in the country had already melted away, anyway. In terms of weather, Saturday was a lovely day with clear skies, even though temperatures were pretty low especially in the evening. We spent the afternoon wandering the village and paying a visit to a local museum, as well as the castle for obligatory pictures. The village itself is wonderful, located on top and the slope of a hill, surrounded by mountains of green pasture fields and forests of native trees. That was basically our view from the hotel room’s window. I can’t even imagine how wonderful it must be to wake up in a cold winter’s morning and find those mountains, fields and forests completely covered in white, like the news had shown just a few days before.

Second (and best) part aka Day 2 to come next week... :)
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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Life Lately | A Return

Hey there, everybody. It’s been a long while since I last wrote in Terra + Luna and I honestly feel pretty sad I’ve neglected this little blog and my jewelry making activities for such a long time. Even my Instagram account went completely silent all of a sudden. The truth is, there have been (and still are) tenfolds of things and projects on my mind and too little time for most of them. In one of my last posts, back in May, I wrote about a great shift in my life which has indeed brought me into a completely different reality than the one I was living in beforehand. My life changed. An year ago, I was working for free and really struggling in my day-to-day life, both financially and emotionally. This weekend, I was able to afford a weekend trip together with my boyfriend to one of the most magickal places I’ve ever been at in my short life. It’s crazy (and amazing) how things can change in the blink of an eye. It might not look like it day by day, but when we suddenly look back, everything’s different.

Of course, a few other things have happened in these past 8 months. Namely:

▲ I signed a 9-month contract for a paid internship (ending next March 1st);
▲ I got more involved in the gaming community by creating a Twitter account and blog on World of Warcraft content. Also hosted a WoW screenshot contest for Halloween/Samhain;
▲ I attended the second edition of Comic Con Portugal, where I saw John Noble and a few other personalities in person;
▲ I stopped working out for a few months because of my bad knee and quickly felt the effects on my body. I am now, slowly, pushing myself back up with a new workout plan;
▲ I developed my Photoshop skills a little bit and also got back to practicing drawing on a more or less regular basis;
▲ I started a Woodland themed Tumblr blog;
▲ between other minor things.

And for the next few months? As I said, a have a lot of things on my mind and I’m still struggling to find balance between adulting and personal projects. I guess I have always been some sort of overachiever as I tend to overwhelm myself with attractive ideas which warm my heart. So I’ll be doing my best to focus on one thing at a time from now on instead of trying to get all the things done simultaneously (aka monotasking). So yes, balance. I believe that is my main 2016 keyword.
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Sunday, May 31, 2015

New Moon Wishes #9

Hey everyone, and welcome to New Moon Wishes, a series where I share some of my intentions for the following four weeks. Every New Moon eve I'll sit down, meditate on my priorities, and share some of them here the next couple of days. These can be challenges or simply things that I wanna do of my life. I encourage you to do the same and push yourself to enjoy more of your life!

Again, this Wishes post comes a little bit late, but as you may find in my latest post, I've been busy with a brand new routine! This has been a moon of changes and new paths. Although I had to take a step back from a couple of things (blogging included as already mentioned), I'm pretty excited for the upcoming times. I can feel my life gradually changing, for the better. And yet, for the unknown.

But before I move on to the new future, let us take a look into last moon's wishes:

1. Show this blog a lot more love. Despite the latest routine changes and struggles, can't say I haven't! I gave this corner the graphic revamp I was craving for for quite a while and also improved my post frequency, although I wasn't able to meet my goal of two posts per week.

2. Improve my Etsy photography. Nope. I told this would be difficult and now with my new day job it's even harder because I'm rarely at home during the best hours of the day for photographing my jewelry. 

3. Eat more fruit. Done. Been eating an average of 2.5 pieces of fruit per day, although I was aiming at 3 every day. But this is the best time of the year to eat fruit as it's refreshing and there is a lot more variety! Curiously, I noticed that I tend to eat more fruit during weekdays and go lazy mode for the weekends...

4. Cancel my Oriflame Cosmetics dealer account. Well, they won't let me? I can't find the option in their website so I sent an email asking to close my account- and I never got an answer. One thing is for certain, I haven't placed an order in more than 12 months and don't plan to place a new one, ever again. (Nothing serious against the brand, I'm just moving towards a more natural path.)

5. Give hair henna a try. Done! The final result didn't come out exactly as expected but it was surely a very positive experience, which I'll share with you guys soon enough!

And this is what I wrote down a couple of weeks ago!

1. Improve my Etsy photography. This is crucial, although I need to find a better way to conciliate all my activities. But my shop really could use this, so I'm giving this wish another try!

2. Visit the local farmer's market. I've been hearing about it for ages but kept waiting for the chance to pay it a visit. This month the wait will be over. :)

3. Sign up at the municipal swimming pool. Because D. needs it to heal his back and I could use some swimming too, so we're signing up together as soon as we can.

4. Do a wardrobe detox. It's that time of the year again and I have a day job now, so I'd like to be more selective when it comes to my outfits.

5. Do a small compendium of natural cosmetics brands to watch- and try. And of course share it! I've already put lots of work into this, so be prepared. :)

Summer is almost there peeps. What plans do you have for the next few weeks?
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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Life Lately | A New Chapter

Some shots from the last couple of weeks, taken from my phone (yay, phone quality).
Yo there, long time no see.
There are no words to explain what I've been feeling these days. Two weeks ago I had my first day at my first day job. It all happened so slowly, yet so suddenly. I got my Master's degree in Landscape Architecture last year in September, so it was a good while until I found this opportunity. I can't express how much I was freaking out on the inside with being unemployed and seeking this opportunity.

But my life has changed now. I now have a new routine. New wanderings. New faces. New vibe. New responsabilities. New challenges.
This is why I had to interrupt my activities with Terra + Luna (again). I am now seeking ways to reconcile both activities, although I think it won't be so hard because this new job actually provides me with a friendly schedule. Just gimme a few days!

PS. There is a local funfair going on just outside my office's building for the entire moon. It's been utterfly difficult to resist all the amusement rides and farturas (typical portuguese fried doughnuts, similar to spanish churros). I repeat. utterly difficult.
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Saturday, May 2, 2015

My March & April in Instagram

1. Misha sniffing my breakfast-- corn flakes with yogurt, fresh strawberries and a drizzle of honey.
2. Boho stretch bracelets, some of my most recent additions to the shop.
3. Beautiful wysteria I found draping over a wall in the street.
4. Was walking around the neighbourhood and was captivated by this pretty azalea bed over a water mirror.

5. Pink trees, pink trees everywhere!
6. Terra + Luna's new turquoise and cocowood statement necklace.
7. A quick visit to the countryside.
8. Just Misha.
9. Working on a special piece for a special someone.
10. A later gram of a pretty clover meadow in the forest, from last autumn.

11. The current view from my bedroom window.
12. Another later gram, from Porto Botanical Garden's succulent garden. This is where our lookbook was shot almost an year ago.
13. Old houses from a local historical street.
14. Some of my precious tools of the trade.

Well hello May! Can't believe we're almost halfway through 2015, so crazy to just think!
For me, these last couple of months have been all about communing with nature, working for Terra + Luna and taking care of some important personal stuff in between. I feel like my life has almost stopped this year as I keep waiting almost tirelessly for a certain, very important opportunity (sorry I won't speak about it just yet). I am finally getting my usual spring vibes however, although not as strong as in previous years. But I do get a smile on my face everytime I walk beside a flowering bed or up the main street in my neighbourhood which is crowded by pink trees. So pretty!

How was your April? Anything you're looking forward to this month?
Feel free to share your impressions down below and follow me on Instagram if you liked this post!
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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My Favourite Products from Oriflame Cosmetics

I've been a Oriflame Cosmetics dealer for about 7 years now. Over these years, I've tried many of their products; treasured some of them and stumbled upon some not-so-good ones. Also traded lots of feedback with my clients, which was always a great experience!

However, as I have stated a couple of weeks ago, I am now moving towards a more natural approach when it comes to cosmetics... and Oriflame does not have a place in that approach. Although this brand offers many decent and lovely products and while these products aren't animal tested, they do contain many chemicals I personally came to dread, especially parabens. Thus, after I publish this post, I will cancel my Oriflame account permanently. We could refer to this blog post as my last task as a dealer-- to quickly summarize my experience with Oriflame and give my last reviews and suggestions. With no further delay here are my all-time Oriflame faves!
1. Oriflame Happy Relaxing Orange Scented Hand Cream (discontinued). This was actually a birthday gift from Oriflame Portugal themselves- and what a lovely one. My hands always get very dry during the winter and, until today, this has been the only cream that really helped me! It was quite rich, yet easily spread and quickly absorbed. A little always went a long way for me and the (very) small bottle actually took an entire winter to run out, even though I made use of it at least twice a day. Plus, the citrus smell was amazing! Refreshing and sweet, not sickening at all. I was sad this product was discontinued shortly after I received my bottle because it was such a good cream for very dehydrated hands.

2. Oriflame Optimals White 'Seeing is Believing' Multi Benefits Eye Cream. Thanks to my course and late night social networking, I came to develop dark circles and of course I wasn't surprised at all. While I cannot say this cream was miraculous, it does work, although at a quite slow pace. After a couple of weeks of regular use, my dark circles and puffiness did reduce a little bit, although we all know that daily sleep and good rest is the best medicine in this situation. :) The only bad thing I'd point out (besides the chemical ingredients of course) would be the glass pot that, although very cute, is a little unconvenient to use and unhygienic.

3. Oriflame Lip Spa Therapy Lip Balm. Like my hands, my lips also suffer a lot through the winter (if not the entire year) and this lip balm, although very limited in quantity, did an awesome job at keeping them soft and healthy looking. It's super hydrating, very lightweight on the lips and convenient to use as it comes in a stick. I like my lip balms that way. 

4. Oriflame HairX Summer Care Leave-in Conditioner. One of my current summer essentials. I use it most summer days and always carry it to the beach with me to hydrate and detangle my hair after going for a swim. I still have a bottle of this one, but I'm now looking towards a more natural alternative. Any ideas?

5. Oriflame Secret Garden Eau de Parfum. This was a blind buy but I instantly fell in love with this perfume! The fragrance is very delicate and feminine with floral notes being the most noticeable, although there are also some subtle green and milky notes. Overall, it's a very nice, unique and comforting scent. And while some people complain that it doesn't last throughout the day, this has not been my experience. Some of the notes do last the entire day, if not more. Even D., who is not much into perfumes, used to point out how lovely I smelled hours after I applied it.

6. Oriflame Beauty Smooth Definer. You guys should have been thinking by now, why the heck there is no make up in this list? Truth is, I rarely wear any make up. Yes, I'm lazy like that! It's been literally years since I've worn foundation, blush or concealer, but I do love a good mascara and black eye pencil on special occasions. And this pencil is probably one of the best I've ever tried in my life. I love the fact that it's retractable so no need for any sharping and wastage. The texture itself is very smooth and gentle on the skin. Plus, this pencil is waterproof and stays intact for hours!

7. Oriflame Feet Up Cozy Moments Cinnamon Foot Cream (discontinued). While this was a limited edition product, I'm so glad I put my hands on it. This cream has a lovely and comforting cinnamon scent which is awesome for after a long winter day. The texture is rich and it does take a while to absorb, but it leaves my skin super soft and well hydrated.

8. Oriflame Nature Pink Grapefruit & Ginkgo Body Cream (discontinued). One of the first Oriflame products I ever tried, this body cream had a great, light texture (more of like a lotion, but not too runny either) and a very refreshing effect on the skin. The scent was lovely and fresh and the cream itself absorbed quite quickly, which is always important when it comes to body creams, as noone wants to sit around for minutes before getting their clothes on. The price was also amazing considering how generous the amount in the jar was.

9. Oriflame Pure Nature Blueberry & Lavender Face Toner. Of course, I left the very best for last. This toner was my very first Oriflame product and my very favourite since then. The scent is so wonderful and soothing it actually made me sigh of happiness! The toner itself has a calming effect on the skin and really prevents eruptions. After all these years it is still available for purchase from Oriflame Portugal (not sure about other countries) and I truly reccomend it if you don't dread parabens like I do.

It's been a long ride with Oriflame but it now time to move on for me. New approaches and experiences await me, and I can't wait to share them when the time comes!
How well do you know Oriflame products? Have you tried any of these? And what are your favourite Oriflame products overall? Feel free to share it all down below!
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