Saturday, December 28, 2013

My Christmas celebration + New Year's Sale!

Hello my lovelies! :)
First of all I'd love to thank everyone who's come here thanks to the latest giveaway at Ester's blog, hoping you will enjoy your stay here. Thanks so much for following!
I hope you've had a great, joyous winter holiday. I personally had a wonderful time with my family, with lots of laughter and good food!

The portuguese Christmas celebration starts in Christmas Eve with a meal consisting of codfish with green veggies and boiled potatoes and eggs, followed by a rich mass of traditional desserts and cakes like Arroz Doce (rice pudding), Rabanadas (similar to french toast) and the famous Bolo Rei (king cake), as well as a few snacks such like cheese, dry figs, nuts and pinneapple.

Christmas trees are also common around here, which can vary from petite ones on top of a table to statement trees on the corner of the living room. Fortunately we do have the space for a two and a half meters tall artificial tree, which we decorate with almost-vintage ornaments that my Mom bought back when I was a little kid. (See my previous post for a peek.)

Of course, the most fun part about Christmas eve is the gift opening! Unlike most traditions around the world where gifts are opened in the morning, we open ours at midnight. But because my nieces and nephew believe in Santa Claus, we keep all the presents hidden until this hour. Every year my brother-in-law sneaks out the house, wears our secret Santa costume and knocks on our door. He will then leave some of the presents by the door and sneak again onto the apartment stairs while ringing a little bell and shouting the traditional ho-ho-ho! It's hilarious to hear him and watch the kids running like crazy to peek on him. Then, while the children are distracted, a couple of us grown-ups fetch the rest of the hidden presents and bring them close to the tree. They always get so excited about each of their gifts, it's priceless to watch.

Our party lasted until around 2am, but the next day we gathered again for a Christmas lunch, with a variety of roasted meats and also a little bit of smoked salmon (the only time of the year I get to eat it and I love it so much!). We then spent the rest of the afternoon tasting some more of the previous night's desserts and goodies while playing our traditional lottery game, usually called loto.

Now the Christmas 'madness' may be over, but 2014 is almost there. To celebrate the coming of the new year, I have a great sale going on in my Etsy shop. ALL items are 14% off for an entire month! :) To redeem your discount, just use the coupon code HELLO2014.

Also, if you haven't yet entered the giveaway at Drawing Dreaming, be sure to enter for a pair of my best-seller stud earrings. Only one day remaining!

How was your Christmas/Yule? And how are you celebrating New Year's? Feel free to leave a comment below and share your best holiday moments! :)
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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Winter Wishes

It's holiday time! I hope everyone has gotten into the spirit of Christmas/Yule and is enjoying it. While the winter solstice is more of a personal thing to me, Christmas is a tradition in my family (and pretty much the whole country). This one's a soaked one, tho. The streets are flooded but at least my home smells of cinnamon. I've spent the whole day running around to get all things ready for the family gathering. Alas, there is something about all these preparations... stressful yet delightful!

I would like to take this chance to wish you all happy holidays and an awesome rest of 2013, filled with joy and smiles! Hope you get all the best during these dark yet blissful days, including the company of all your loved ones - friends and family.

Merry winter holidays!
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Friday, December 13, 2013

Terra Mystique Owner's Birthday Sale!

It's my birthday!
Can't believe another year of my life has come and gone. When I look back and see all I have experienced during my great journey, I can't help to miss what I've lost, embrace what I currently have and look up for new, future possibilities. Many things have changed, but as a child of the great Archer I will never stop shooting my arrows upwards and fixing my eyes to the distant horizon. No matter how tough things look and how stressful and subdued I feel, I will never stop thinking about a bigger and brighter tomorrow.

Anyway, I wanted to celebrate this day with you guys, with a little sale! Everything in my Etsy shop is 10% off until Monday, 16th (20:59 GMT). To redeem your discount you just need to use the coupon code indicated in the image above during checkout. Enjoy and gift a loved one... or even yourself!

Alas, life is precious!
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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wanderlust Wednesday: Porto Botanical Garden - Part II

As promised, here are the other pictures of my last escape to the Porto Botanical Garden I promised to show you guys. Scroll down to see them all, as well as for some text! ♥

Yet again, this Wanderlust Wednesday comes a little out of time!
Last night I was finishing this post when D. called me for a trip to the mall. My birthday is coming up and apparently he was hoping for me to choose something nice as a gift. He suggested a pair of high heeled short boots, clearly stating he'd like to see me looking classy more often. The idea of aching feet makes me hesitate, tho. I already have a pair of high heeled long boots which I love, but I rarely wear them because I hate going through such discomfort just to look good. So I just wear them on really, really special occasions.

One thing I love about my man is the fact that he's always willing to accompany me to clothing stores and help me choose something pretty. Just like me, he seriously finds it ridiculous when we notice all those boyfriends and husbands waiting outside the store. So glad our relationship is such a good symbiosis.

After a couple of stores I did find a few nice looking pairs, but I was still so indecisive about the feeling and colors and materials that he told me we could just leave it for the moment so I could take my time and think better about it. I spy another trip to the mall later tonight. I wish I wasn't so indecisive, but on the other hand that's what saves me from buying too much stuff.

For Terra Mystique, I am planning a sale during the whole weekend for my birthday. Starting tonight! Make sure to look for all details later on. ♥

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

How to make: Yuletide Mason Jar Tealights DIY

So I'm going straight to it. Terra Mystique is now on Instagram!
Feel free to follow me for lots of sneak peeks, previews and some other fun. :)

Now, if you've taken a peek into my Instagram profile already, you might have noticed my first picture showing these three little cute decorated mason jars. I got into the holiday spirit last weekend and crafted these for my home as this will be our first Christmas since we've moved. I personally loved how they came out; so today I'm sharing this crafty tutorial so you can make your own too!

Yuletide Mason Jar Tealights Tutorial

- clear mason jars (size and style at your choice)
- tealights or small candles
- seasonal greens
- decorative ribbon
- hot glue gun
- scissors
- brush
- white acrylic paint
- any kind of artificial snow (I used simple sea salt)

First of all, I started by sorting all my greens and get them ready for the decor. I opted for a simple, naturalistic look using just some cedar branches (of the Thuja genus) and tiny conifer cones, but you can go for any kind of festive appealing greens and spices like holly, mistletoe, cinnamon sticks or even star anise. Your call!

For a more wintery look, I gave the cones some little touches of white using acrylic paint and a brush. While the paint took its time to dry, I added some ribbon around the top of each mason. I didn't glue them to the jars else the ribbon could get stiff; instead, I just wrapped the ribbon around and tied it, with only a drop of hot glue right on the knot to secure it. Then, I started adding my greens along the ribbon and just had fun!

As a last step, I added some of the leftover branches inside the masons, coiling them at the bottom and sprinkled them with some sea salt to simulate snow. You can buy artificial snow at a local store, or just do it like me and use simple, everyday stuff like sugar, epsom salts or baking soda. There are many possibilities to make this an easy, almost-free project.
Finally, place a tealight or small candle in the center. CAREFUL not to place them too close to any greens! Contact between both components should be avoided at all costs.
And voilá, super cheap personalized holiday decor to subtly boost that festive atmosphere! :)

Disclaimer: Never -EVER- leave your burning candles unattended. Especially if you opt to fill your masons with greens or other inflammable materials.
Other than that, enjoy your Yuletide/Christmas decor! Feel free to share pictures of your own creations by posting them on Instagram (@TerraMystique) - I would love to see them!
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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Hello, December

So December has come and I must say I'm pretty excited! Not only the Winter Solstice is almost there, but also, my birthday is coming. I'm not really into materialism, but there's something about the enchantment in the air of December and the mishmash to prepare a lovely holiday that keeps me heartwarming.

Also, I have started my college internship this week. So far, so good - most of the people in there weren't really strangers, so I instantly felt at ease, and the theme I'll be working on for the next half an year is rather interesting. And I get an office for myself! Well, except for a couple of colleagues who come and go. But occasional company in the office is always good.

Even though we're walking towards the deep of Winter, the days have been bright and clear. It's been cold tho, really cold. Not siberian-style of course, but enough to make me shiver when I get off the bed and change clothes as fast as I can after taking a couple of deep breaths right before the heater. I keep saying I'm cold-blooded. The sun at noon can be as lovely as cocoa although. Last Thursday, I took my lunch break to pay another visit to the Porto Botanical Garden and gather some greens for the holiday crafts I've been planning with my Mom. I'm not much into spending an entire day in the office so bathing in the Autumn sun felt so good and revigorating. As did feel the smell of moss and bark and dried leaves.

It's actually crazy to think that we're less than a Moon away from New Year's. I completely agree when they say that time seems to run faster and faster as we grow up and get older. But as we reach the apex of this dark half of the year, I try to enjoy every little piece of it, be it the sun subtly kissing my skin and the earth or the cold darkness embracing the world.

Bringing more news pretty soon,
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Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sale

 Good morning lovelies! It's Black Friday, and you know what it means...

To celebrate the arrival of the holidays, ALL the items in my Etsy shop are 20% off. All you need to do is to apply the coupon code above at checkout. This promotion is going all the way through the weekend until the end of Cyber Monday, Dec 2nd, so feel free to take a look at my shop... who knows you might find something to surprise your loved one(s) this holiday season!

Also, don't forget that tomorrow is Small Business Saturday. Even if you don't order anything from Terra Mystique, I highly encourage you to support local and small businesses this year.
Go handmade and happy shopping! ❤

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wanderlust Wednesday: Porto Botanical Garden, Portugal (Part I)

Oops, I did it again.
I had this post ready for publishing and forgot to click the orange button. Anyway...

When we think of Autumn we think of golden and crimson woods and crisp air. But that is not exactly the case here in northwestern Portugal. In fact, it's such a weird transition. One day you're sweating in shorts and tee; the next, the rain comes to make you fetch some warm socks and that coat you hadn't worn for at least half an year. It rains for almost an entire month, until you decide to forgive the heat and wish Summer to come back. Then, when it finally stops raining, the freeze comes. It's hard to get out of your oh-so-warm-and-comfy bed in the morning, and leaving the house without at least three layers of clothing is an invite to flu. And, when you step out the door and take a good look around for the first time in weeks, you notice the almost nude trees and only then you realize Winter is almost upon us!

These pictures were taken around a Moon ago. It was one of those rainy days, but I was craving for some pathwalking (not the shamanistic type of pathwalking but literally walking) and dozing away from my everyday life.

The Porto Botanical Garden was created in 1951 on the former manor of João Henrique Andresen. Andresen had acquired the property in 1895 and turned its outer spaces into a romantic garden, where the celebrated portuguese writer Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen spent most of her childhood. This is where she found inspiration for some of her books, like "The Bronze Boy" (O Rapaz de Bronze) and "The Forest" (A Floresta). The Bronze Boy actually came out from the fountain depicted in the fifth picture below.

In time, the property of the Porto Botanical Garden was greatly diminished especially due to urban development, but what I've showed today is only a very small part of it. There's still a rosary, an arboretum, a succulent garden, a small lake... you would need at least an entire morning to walk around and actually see all the amazing places of this Garden. It might not be the most spectacular green space in Porto, but it's indeed an enchanted place, so I'll make sure to bring some more in time! 
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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Getting ready for holiday season

Alas, the holiday season is upon us and as usual I'm still catching up on my own plans! My first semester is over and in just a few days I'll be starting my internship in Landscape Architecture. It's mindblowing that I'm almost finishing my studies after so many years. On the one hand I can't wait until it's finally over so I can start making a living. On the other, I don't know what might await me behind that door. It all feels crazy.

But at least all those deadlines and the daily 12h+ studying are finally done. Not saying that an internship is not a big deal, but it means that from now on I'll have more time to do other things I like and work on Terra Mystique. This is really important now that Christmas/Yule is coming, especially so I can keep up with orders and promotions.

Speaking of promotions, I'll be hosting a Black Friday Sale on my shop this year! Still haven't decided on the discounts but make sure to keep an eye out for it. :)

With a few days to rest before my internship starts, I have a lot of plans for the next few weeks. There are a lot of tutorials coming up, including holiday-themed. Me and my Mom have been brainstorming and got a few cheap-yet-special ideas to make our new home look pretty for Christmas/Yule. Alas, I'd rather start materializing all these thoughts before I find myself unable to finish it all on time again.

Anyway, there are a lot of things to do today. I'm still planning a new Wanderlust Wednesday for later, so stay tuned for more! ❤
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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"To Dance Among the Trees" Lookbook by The Bohemian Collective

Laura Mazurek from Roots & Feathers has released the new lookbook by The Bohemian Collective a few days ago and it mesmerized me so much that I simply had to share it. "To Dance Among the Trees" is a collection of bohemian clothing and accessories by various artists who sell their work online and are indeed extremely talented. And Laura, the head of this amazing collaboration, is so freaking beautiful!

"This collection of artists came together in such a striking way, calling forth the essence of Autumn.  As we dance our way into the winter months... "

All pictures by Laura Mazurek.

See the whole lookbook here, and don't forget to check the featured artists and show them some luv!
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