Saturday, June 28, 2014

New Moon Wishes #3

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 following day. 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!

For the last couple of weeks my activity in the blog and Terra has been dropping down, and for a reason; I am now finishing my academic internship, so there's too much work to do! This has been a very busy moon, perhaps demanding much more than I could handle. Hence, let me make a brief balance of my last moon's intentions.

☽◯

1. Finish my college final project. Around 90% done! This is a very complex project, so what was I expecting, really? In the last couple of months I had great progress, tho. 

2. Work on TM's summer collection. Sadly, too little. As time went by I realized I just couldn't focus on Terra and the end of my internship at the same time. So sad! I have only one day missing for my internship to end for good, which means I'll get to work at home pretty much everyday, and most likely have much more free time for Terra. Also, just posted this sneak peek on Instagram!

3. Push through with pilates. I tried the Blogilates June calendar as planned, but I guess I'm still not ready for that level. Man, that girl's hardcore. Also, practicing pilates every single day, although really pleasing and fun, was pretty time demanding and once again I wasn't able to manage it all. Of course I'm still doing pilates (aka of course I didn't give up) but I guess it's time for a plan B.

4. Eat more veggies. I failed to try at least 5 new veggies or fruits, but I did try 3: fava beans, brussel sprouts and avocado. I loved the first two even though my first brussel sprouts came out bitter, but I'm still getting used to the avocado. I first tried eating it plain, then with a pinch of salt on top, but somehow it wouldn't taste that good for me. Its flavour is completely different from everything I've ever had in my life. I'm now trying to combine it with other flavors (just had a banana and avocado smoothie for breakfast) because it's healthy and I found its texture really interesting.

5. Start a recipe compilation. Got just a few recipes for now, on an old notebook that I found in my bedroom. But at least I tried.

6. Reorganize my desk. I realized this will need more than a moon to complete, since it needs a little investment. But it's all coming together! I took an entire weekend to organize my jewelry supplies in cases, clean my drawers and mount a shelf. I might share it all here in the blog after it's all finished. :)

7. Get back to my star jar. Meh... I did write some stars from time to time, but I've been so tired at night that I would usually forget about it. I need vacation.


Now for this month's 
☽NEW MOON WISHES☾


1. Launch Terra Mystique's new collection. Because there will be no excuse now.

2. Finish and deliver my Master's final paper. Planning to deliver it somewhere in late July, so even though my project isn't completely finished I still have some time to make it great. Can't wait to finally finish it and take a deep breath!

3. Do a wardrobe detox. That is, a good cleaning and reorganization. Haven't done it in a while so I'm sure there's plenty of stuff I don't wear anymore inside that closet of mine.

4. Work on new packaging for Terra. Packaging is like the first impression you get when you receive a gift- or gift yourself. I've been brainstorming on new ideas to make my packages look neat and prettier; now I just need to purchase my supplies and make some experiments!

5. Execute plan B of Operation 'Sore Today, Strong Tomorrow'. Since I wasn't able to manage my time with 30 mins of pilates and cardio every single day, I am instead trying one intense hour 3-4 times a week. I might raise that number when I get more free time and feel physically ready for it.

6. Start going to the beach. Because I love summer too much for my own sake, and I can't wait to bathe in some sunlight in the morning before I head back home and work on Terra or my paper!


July is coming people! Do you have any intentions for the upcoming weeks? Feel free to share them down below! :)

Smiles,
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Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Solstice Sale!



"Summer is a celebration of the earth incredible bounty! Summer is a festival of this inner fire/power that makes abundance and nourishment grow from tiny seeds."
(from Mystic Mamma)


Hi, lovelies! I hope you had a lovely summer solstice. This is my favorite time of the year, when the days are longer and the sun shines more often. I can get outdoors longer, soak under the sun with a lovely drink in my hand and a book in the other, hang out in the nighttime more often and go for a beach walk under the stars...

So in honor of summer, I wanted to make a sale all over my Etsy shop. Yes, all orders will get a 10% discount, by just using the coupon code in the image above! Click on the same image to head over to the shop. Hope you have fun browsing. :)


Smiles,
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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Summer Wishlist


1. Frequent Use Shampoo and Conditioner by Bentley Organic. In an effort to lower my body's chemical exposure, I'm now starting this gradual transition from conventional cosmetic products to alternative, more natural solutions. I mean, have you ever actually stopped to think about all those unspellable ingredients in the bottle of your body lotion and face cream, that you're applying directly in your skin? Hair care products can be a lot creepy, too. Although Bentley Organic's products are not entirely organic (percentages vary between 70 and 75% of organic ingredients), it's still a huge difference from the almost-fully synthetic products, so they seem like a good choice for those going through the conventional-eco transition. These are available in many herb stores and their price is only a little higher comparing to popular brands like Pantene and Fructis, so they may be really worth a try.

2. Floral Tassel Kimono by Sheinside. I'm totally nuts for light, flowy kimonos. I believe they're becoming quite the addition for me. When I first saw this one, I fell in love! It's too perfect.

3. Full Moon Stud Earrings by PetiteCo. This renowned Etsy shop is from Portugal and sells really wonderful jewelry! I encourage you to take a peek into Vanessa's lovely work. I love it all but these full moon earrings really caught my eye.

4. Chakra Yoga Mat and Bag Bundle by Gaiam. Alright, this set is more of a little dream than an actual possibility, but Gaiam mats are just so pretty. Although I love all of their designs, if I could choose one, I'd probably go for this chakra mat.

5. Giupura Shopper Bag by Blanco. Just because a girl can never have too many bags (and shoes and bikinis and nail polishes and, of course, kimonos...). :) I love boho crochet patterns, and this bag looks perfect for a walk by the seashore.

6. Nike Free Run Shoes in Mint. I've mentioned these in my Spring Wishlist and I'm keeping them here because I really need a good pair of shoes for jogging and pilates. Okay, they don't really need to be made by Nike and mint green, but if I get the chance, I'll grab them for sure.

7. A dreamcatcher. I've always wanted a dreamcatcher since I first saw them being sold by natives in local funfairs and festivals when I was a kid. This gorgeous one is by Banjara Gypsy, although I'm planning to make my own(s).

8. 'A Clash of Kings' by George R. R. Martin. I finally finished the first volume (after an whole year)! I really, really want to collect and read the entire series. And hopefully I'll have more free time for the next books.

9. A jewelry organizer. I'm so tired of spending ridiculous amounts of time detangling my jewelry in the morning just so I can wear a specific necklace. Jewelry organizers made of print drawers look amazing on a wall and can hold lots and lots of pieces. This one is by Barbwire and Barnwood, who sells these in all sizes and formats. They are pretty expensive, tho. If only I could get a drawer and reupholster it myself.

10. Detox Water Bottle by Blogilates. What a great, practical idea for making and carrying our own homemade detox water! One of these bottles would make my life so simple. And they're so pretty and motivational!

11. Raspberry Body Butter by The Body Shop. The Body Shop has been known for their various campaigns and their friendly values which include animal testing disapproval, defense of human rights and waste and energy reduction. Although most of their products still include parabens in their composition, I still praise the brand's effort. I hear their raspberry line is irresistible.

12. L'Oréal Wild Red Ombré. Because I haven't given up on the idea yet. This is the only red ombré kit I can find out there, but if you know about other one (more natural, perhaps), please let me know! :)


Over the last couple of years, I've been in an effort to become increasingly less materialistic, even though there are some things I really cannot resist. On the other hand, I'm proud to say that I've been always able to control my spendings pretty well. It's part of us to desire what we don't have, but I always make sure that most things I buy may help in my personal growth, be it at intelectual, spiritual, creative, health or self-esteem levels. Never to clutter!

What sort of stuff makes you lose your head and your spending control?

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Saturday, June 14, 2014

25 Things I've Learned in 25 Years


Hiya, everyone! We're having quite of the summer weekend around here! Damn, this year's flying. Are you ready for the upcoming season?

Speaking of "time flies", I just remembered I'm a quarter of a century old, even though my 25th birthday was half an year ago. During these 25 years of life, I've come to fall in love with many things, one of them being learning and sharing stuff. Everyday I strive for new experiences and personal growth, and I feel blessed for all the lessons that life has taught me till today. So with this post I bring you 25 of these little yet important things, hoping they will encourage you in some way.


1. Doesn't matter how lonely you may feel, you are never alone.
2. The best things in life are those which cannot be touched. Namely awesome, unforgettable experiences.
3. Try to travel the world while you're young and mobile. Never think about waiting for retirement!
4. Being connected to the world through social media is great, but don't allow yourself to disconnect from reality by investing too much of yourself on them.
5. "Choose a career you love and you will never have to work a day in your life" (Confucius). Also, tomorrow's market needs may not be the same as today's.  Expand your horizons.
6. Bullying leaves a lasting mark, perhaps for the entire life. 
7. Never judge someone for what they look, for they may be truly special on the inside. By judging and repelling someone just because they look different, you might be losing a potential great friend.
8. Your body was the one given to you and the only one you will own in your entire life, so invest in your self-esteem and watch over yourself.
9. Doesn't matter how many awesome people you meet in your path, there is nothing like childhood friends. No one will understand you as well as those you grew up with.
10. Running away from your problems will only make the situation worse; they won't solve themselves.
11. Don't be afraid of making mistakes. They will happen hundreds of times in our lives, each one as a lesson to teach us.
12. That leads to a great popular truth: Failure makes you stronger.
13. We are not bodies with souls; we are souls with bodies. - C.S. Lewis
14. If you love someone, tell them.
15. Bad days do not last forever.
16. Not all stress can be avoided and I know it's easier said than done, but do not stress over situations which cannot be controlled.
17. Too much makeup doesn't make a woman prettier. No one is perfect, so learn to be at peace with your natural beauty. Your significant other (or potential, if you're single) will be happier- and so will you.
18. Raw honey is the best cough remedy.
19. Motherly and fatherly roles in education are the key to better generations. School doesn't teach everything.
20. You can't please everybody. Learn to say 'no', else you'll go crazy. In deeper words, always follow your own heart and passions, and not what others want you to do.
21. Human beings are a part of Nature, not apart from Nature.
22. There is always, ALWAYS, something to be grateful for. Learn to appreciate the smallest things in your life.
23. Life is pretty simple; we're the ones who make it complicated. Each one of us has the power to see life the way they want.
24. Things change over time. Anything is possible.
25. Happiness is not a goal to reach, but a whole journey to live.

With love,
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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wanderlust Wednesday - Bucket List Edition: Places to Visit in Portugal #2

Hey everyone! Time has come for another Wanderlust Wednesday. Weeks go so damn fast, geez. Anyway, I am still astonished at the success of my last week's WW post about a (very small) part of my wanderlust bucket list. Of places in Portugal, that is.  To see this post shared in Twitter and its pictures throughout Pinterest was more than simply gratifying. I am happy to make you guys know about the wonders of this small and often forgotten country... so today, as hinted last week, I am carrying on with my list of portuguese places I'd love to visit someday. If you haven't checked the first part yet, feel free to do so here. Happy scrolling! :)


Again in no particular order...

1. Buçaco Palace and National Forest (Palácio e Mata Nacional do Buçaco), Aveiro

Image sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

The Buçaco (formerly Bussaco) Natural Forest is a protected area with botanical species from around the world. It is located in the mountain range where the Battle of Buçaco was fought, in the early 19th century. Later in the same century, the Royal Palace (currently Buçaco Palace Hotel) was erected in the place of an old convent which was then partially demolished. This palace is considered the last legacy of portuguese kings.


2. Óbidos, Leiria




Image sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This lovely medieval-like town started as a Roman settlement, and its current name derives from the Latin word for "citadel" or "fortified city". And indeed, Óbidos is completely enclosed by medieval walls. It's basically a village in a castle! How cool is that? Streets are cobbled and most of the houses are whitewashed with bright blue and yellow borders. Plus, every July, the castle hosts a traditional Medieval Market, recreating the spirit of medieval Europe with flowing banners, a handcrafts fair, medieval shows... much like Santa Maria da Feira, I suppose. And I love Santa Maria's medieval fair, so I'm sure I'd go crazy with this one!


3. Côa Valley Archaeological Park (Parque Arqueólogico do Vale do Côa), Guarda

Image sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

These prehistoric rock-art sites are located along the Côa river as the largest open-air Paleolithic archeological complex ever discovered! This complex comprises thousands of engraved drawings of horses, bovines and other animal and human figures dated from 22 000 to 10 000 years BC. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the park offers guided visits by appointment. Last year I spent a weekend in Almendra, which is relatively close to the park, but since it was kind of an unplanned and short trip there wasn't time to see much. But someday! :)


4. Mafra National Palace (Palácio Nacional de Mafra), Lisbon


Image source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Once upon a time, a king made a vow to build a convent if his wife, the queen, gave him descendants. And when the princess Barbara of Braganza was born, the king (that would be John V, 1707-1750) ordered the construction of what came to be the Mafra palace and monastery. It was initially a small project, but when the gold started to flow from the portuguese colony of Brazil, the king changed his plans and. Today, the Mafra National Palace "is among the most sumptuous Baroque buildings in Portugal and one of the biggest buildings constructed in Europe in the 18th century" (in Wikipedia). What attracts me the most, however, is the palace's library, which is often considered one of the most beautiful libraries by various sources, and even the most awesome library in the world by Book Riot; not only because of its Rococo grandiosity and marble tiles, but also because of its really unique way of preserving the books against insects- bats!


5. São Miguel, Azores (Açores)

Image sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Although I've been to the Azores once in the past, I was only a toddler back then. I don't remember a single thing about that trip; I just know it because I was told about it. So of course this is on my list. This archipelago is composed of nine volcanic islands, however, if I had to choose one, I'd probably prefer to visit São Miguel, for it is the largest and most diversified island, in terms of both landscape and culture/activities. It's often referred as "The Green Island" for its verdant plains, wild mountains, lagoons and beaches. As for activities, the island offers outdoor hikes, bird watching, jeep rides, swimming and diving, sailing, fishing, whale sighting and even swimming with dolphins... in the wild! I mean, that's just one of my childhood dreams!


6. Tróia Peninsula (Península de Tróia), Setúbal




Image sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

This peninsula was once the place of a Roman settlement, whose ruins can still be found around the place. It was an industrial settlement back then, focused on fishing, fish preservation and its exportation. Today, besides the archaeological sites, there are many hotels, cafes, a harbour, a swimming pool and white sand beaches facing the Atlantic Ocean. (And there be dolphins, too!)


7. Caves of Mira de Aire (Grutas de Mira de Aire), Leiria

Image sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

As one of the seven natural wonders of Portugal, these grottoes must be such a must-visit. I think - think - I've been there once in a school trip back when I was a kid. If that's the case, then it's just like the Azores thing. I don't remember anything. Anyway, the caves of Mira de Aire are over 150 millions of years old, which dates to the Jurassic period, when dinossaurs roamed the local mountain range. Even though they're about 11 km long, only 600 meters of these caves are open to the public. But even so, right?


8. Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros), Sintra

Image sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

The medieval Moorish Castle (or Castle of the Moors) was built during the period of Muslim Iberia (8th-9th centuries) on the top of the Sintra Mountains. With its panoramic view over the municipality of Sintra, it was an important strategic point during the Reconquista after christians took the castle from the moors. It's classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And man, those views look breathtaking.


9. Diverlanhoso Adventure Park, Braga





Image sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

This is one of the biggest adventure parks in the Iberian Peninsula, accomodating around 50 different activities in nature! Outdoor hiking, treasure hunting, cycling, jeep riding, canoeing, rappel, climbing, archery and paintball are only some of the offers. Oh, the possibilities! There are also houses made of tree trunks for those wishing to spend the night, as well as many other services. Plus, it's pretty close to the Peneda-Gerês National Park, so the sceneries should be pretty outstanding.


I hope you've enjoyed this second part of my bucket list series of places to visit in Portugal. If you've been in any of these places, or have any other suggestions for me to add to my list, feel free to leave a comment below! That being said, stay tuned for more Wanderlust Wednesday, and enjoy the rest of your week!

Smiles,
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Monday, June 9, 2014

Easy, Cheap & Healthy Two-Ingredient Pancakes: Low Calorie, Gluten Free & Dairy Free Recipe


A week ago I posted a picture of these pancakes that I had for breakfast. This is a recipe that has been floating around for a while but it's so amazing that I thought I'd share it too. You know, to try and make it reach you because you deserve to know about it. When I first saw the recipe on Cassey Ho's Youtube channel I hardly believed it, so simple it looked. But when I decided to give it my own try (after all, it only costs a few cents to make them), I was surprised! They actually look really tasty, and I guarantee that a pile of these will fill you up. Plus, they are low calorie, gluten-free and dairy-free, which makes them a great healthier option to start out the day!

So, bear with me for a minute or two; it is all you need to read and get curious for this recipe.


Two-Ingredient Pancakes Recipe
Panquecas de dois ingredientes

Ingredients: Ingredientes:
(serves 6-8 pancakes) (serve entre 6 a 8 panquecas)
1 banana 1 banana
2 eggs 2 ovos

Optional: Opcional:
1/8 tsp baking powder 1/8 c. chá fermento
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon 1/8 c. chá canela em pó

...and that's it! ...e é isso!


First things first, get your ingredients and throw together into a bowl or blender. Mix and puree the components until you get a homogeneous batter (I use a magic wand immersion blender since I don't own an oster blender). If you want, this is the time to also add your baking powder and cinnamon, or even a few drops of vanilla extract. It doesn't need to get totally smooth, but make sure you mash it all well, else you'll end up with some banana-chunk-and-scrambled-egg-tasting goo instead. We don't want that.


Heat a non stick skillet at medium-low heat, adding a little bit of oil of your choice (I use olive oil). Then you cook them just like normal pancakes! Pour a circle of batter and use a spatula to flip them when the underside gets golden brown. It usually takes between 90 seconds to 2 minutes for each pancake.


They look just like actual pancakes! While the taste might feel a little weird at the very first bite, believe me; you just need to be creative. Add butter while they're still hot, syrup, agave nectar, raw honey, peanut butter, jam, fresh berries, nuts... whatever you like. Bon appétit!


I hope you've enjoyed this post on how to make healthy pancakes using only two simple ingredients. I'm positively sure that some of you might actually hate them, but others will certainly love them. I actually made D. a fan of these. Feel free to give them a try!

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