… I re-edited a paper for the 27th time. And it’s finally done.
… I travelled to Portugal for a pre-Christmas visit to my family and to my (their) dogs, Lola & Conchita. They are very cute and energetic. We say they should work in the circus because they jump a lot and can stand up on two legs for a long time!
… I bought and wrapped many, many gifts. (Honestly, this picture is just about one-fourth of them!)
… But Christmas shopping aside, I stayed at home with my family most of the time because the weather was really miserable. 7 days of rain and cloudy skies.
… I had to replace my Shiseido multi energising cream (which I liked a lot) and decided to pick up Chanel’s Hydra beauty gel creme at the duty free. I’ve used it for over a week now and so far so good.
… Also bought a new Hipanema bracelet (from here). Can’t wait to wear it.
…My mother organised a little pre-Christmas dinner with some of my close family while I was in Porto. Giacomo wasn’t there but we brought a little bit of Italy to the dinning table having pandoro with mascarpone cream (recipe here, in Italian) for dessert.
… I got several pictures sabotaged by Conchita
… I arrived with a suitcase full of English gifts and I left with a suitcase full of Portuguese gifts, Nestum (my favourite cereals) and other delicacies (Port wine, and lots of salted codfish, obviously, which is the ‘official’ Portuguese Christmas food).
…Back to the airport
…And ready to board back to London.
… where I fell sick with labyrinthitis. Absolutely horrible.
… As soon as I recovered a bit (and I’m still not fully recovered) I put on my new Flavia shirt. Finally, after months of lusting I got it and I love it!
… I also went to the Hollywood Costumes exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum with my husband. I really didn’t want to miss it because we booked the tickets several weeks ago and most of the dates are now sold out. Fortunately, I felt I recovered on time!
… And since we’re in the neighborhood, we took the opportunity to visit Harrods as well.
… I hardly ever go to Harrods. But I love their Food Hall! We got ‘inspired’ by it and ended up buying some fresh pasta and seafood while there…
…For a bit of home cooking!
… I sent out several Christmas cards and I’ve received a few. My favourite is this one, drawn by my 5-year-old friend Maria. (yeah, that’s me and her on the cover.)
… And I’m now ready for my very first Christmas in London. Just me and my husband. Exciting :)
Wish you all very happy holidays!
…was mostly spent working at home.
But it is OK. It’s too cold to be outside and working on Sunday (hopefully) means my week will be slightly more relaxed.
On the other hand, working on Sunday also means that all sorts of domestic chores I usually handle during the weekend (like tidying up my closet, ironing clothes and several other super-fun activities) will have to wait a few more days to be completed :(
A few snapshots from my afternoon…
• new favourite Dyptique scent – Choisya. I like light scented candles and this one has the most delicate orange blossom fragrance. If I have to work on a Sunday at least I make sure I work in the most comfortable and pleasant environment possible :)
• Love is sweet: rice muffins and my new apron. My friend Rosa (who besides being a stunning beauty – old-school Italian diva, really! – great cook and overall lovely girl, is also a talented amateur photographer and videomaker. Hi Rosa!) posted a picture of these muffins on facebook yesterday and I HAD TO get the recipe because I love rice and all rice-derivatives (and because I’ve a considerable surplus of rice flour at home that I need to use as soon as possible). The ‘Love is sweet’ apron was a surprise gift sent from Canada by the super-sweet (and also super-pretty :) Anabela, as a thank-you gesture for a tiny little help I gave her. Muito obrigada, Anabela!
• New batch for ebay (?): I have too many clothes. It’s a fact. Most days I live happily with it. Lately, however, it’s been making me feel uncomfortable (my husband will be pleased to read this...). I need to declutter. I’ve stuck to the 1-in, 1-out rule but it isn’t enough. These are the likely candidates for my next Ebay sale. APC, Whistles, See by Chloe, Vanessa Bruno. All lovely, all underused.
• Magazines, magazines: I’ve a small magazine addiction. I buy too many of them. I keep (collect?) them for too long. There are piles of magazines everywhere. To be read (I’m really behind. Still reading the September issues) and also to be thrown out. This is another area of my life where I also need to declutter. I’ve already decided I’m not going to renew some of my magazine subscriptions and I’ll stick to a maximum of 2 magazines/ month. The goal is to be more selective and to cut on the ‘disposable readings’. In the long run, less magazines, more good books. Hopefully.
• Makeup & jewellery boxes: I try to keep all my makeup and all my jewellery in acrylic Muji boxes… but I invariably end up with a very messy dressing table, with piles of makeup products, bracelets, earrings and necklaces everywhere, by the end of the week. How do you store these items? How do you manage to keep them all tidy and well organised?
Yeah, I guess you get the picture. I’ve been very much obsessed with organization and tidiness lately…
I’m so happy with my purchases in the market this morning: chestnuts, kaki fruit (for me they will always be called diospiros, its Portuguese name) and a pomegranate.
Three of my favourite foods. They remind me of my childhood and of how much I love this month. The crisp sunny days, the golden leaves on the trees, the huge kaki fruits from my grandmother’s tree, the baskets full of walnuts and chestnuts in the markets, the sweet new wine (‘vinho doce‘), my brithday, my brother’s birthday, the beginning of school (in Portugal, when I was a child school used to being on the 1st of October. Yeah… those were long, proper summer holidays) and the re-encounter with friends. Ahhh… so many good things squeezed in 31 days.
October, I love you.
Ciao from Rome! A quick post to share some bits of my day yesterday…
Sun and blue sky. How amazing! A little bit of summer in late September.
My breakfast always has to include bread, butter and coffee with milk (homemade jam is very much welcome too). Otherwise, it’s not breakfast. My husband calls it the “Portuguese breakfast” because my parents have exactly this same thing every morning. But maybe this not really a Portuguese thing, just my family’s.
My outfit for the day (didn’t wear the jeans shirt in the end because it was too hot). A nice dress to meet my husband’s grandparents for lunch.
A walk in the park on the way to grandparents’ house.
At the grandparents’
The most delicious red fruits tart for dessert.
Back at ‘home’ to do some work…
The floral dress came to Rome with me.
Ready to go out for dinner. Whistles silk shirt (from 1 or 2 yrs ago) and the usual grey jeans.
Roman “street food”.
Face-to-face. Giacomo and his friend Adriano. Adriano is our ‘sartorialist’ friend (I need to post a full picture of him here. Such a good style).
And Roman pizza.
Welcome to the Carbs Kingdom!
• I wore this APC Madras dress by Jessica Ogden
(I cannot pose for pictures. It’s a fact. I asked my husband to direct me but I just couldn’t stop laughing and making crazy faces. These are the best I could get)
• We had our lovely friends Luís and Diane over for lunch. They announced they are engaged and getting married next year. Yay!
I have to send them this little book – a must for any couple planning a wedding:
(Scenes of an Impending Marriage by Adrian Tomine – find it here or in any good comic bookshop)
• We ate a massive pasta dish cooked by Giacomo (sorry, no photos. We’re too voracious) followed by delicious sorbet from la Piccola Dely (an Italian deli near our flat) and this lime & yogurt cake baked by moi
(picture and recipe from This is Glamorous)
If you like baking you should definitely try this recipe. It’s very easy and the result is super yummy.
• I tried to watch Lord of the Rings (my second attempt). And I gave up, much to my husband’s disappointment. Yes, visually stunning. No, story doesn’t work for me. I know, I’m part of the minority on this :(
Yesterday me and my husband had a 1.30h cooking lesson at Jamie Oliver’s Recipease. This was a (very well-thought!) birthday gift for my husband from his Italian friends, who know about his enthusiasm for cooking. Luckily I was also contemplated as the gift voucher was a lesson for 2 people.
At Recipease you can choose from a wide range of lessons, including how to make fresh pasta, cooking Japanese or typical English dishes among others (see the current lessons on offer here). We decided to go for a South Indian curry as we thought we could learn a great deal from it, since Indian cuisine includes many techniques as well as ingredients we are not familiar with.
It was such a fun experience! Actually, a lot more fun than I’d expected.
To be very honest, we were not over excited by the prospect of spending 2 hours cooking & eating when we left our home yesterday… mind you, it was Easter Sunday and we’d spent the previous hours having (a big) lunch with friends. Fortunately, we quickly changed our minds once we were actually there (we went to the Clapham Junction branch).
All the staff was very friendly and the cooking lesson itself was very well organized. Upon arrival we are asked to leave our coats & bags in a locker and we’re given our aprons. We were then directed to the working stations (there are about 10-12 of those, each for 2 people as we cook in pairs) and offered 2 drinks of our choice to relax :)
The instructor then proceeds by taking us through the recipe in stages… and then supervises us and answers our questions while we work through it ourselves. And, once we’re done, we can sit down, relax and it our own food together with the other apprentices :)
Overall, the lesson was very clear and easy to follow. A great primer in south Indian cooking. It makes me feel a lot more confident to start cooking Indian dishes on my own.
for the weekend. Back to the old habits:
Vogue Portugal // Caras magazine for the essential cultural update *cough*cough* // My favourite porridge mix Nestum arroz & Nestum Bolacha Maria (let’s just ignore the fact that the box says “cereais para crianças”, i.e. cereals for children…)
Also got a new face cream after realising under the bright Portuguese sunlight how extremely dehydrated my skin is (why is that? Is it the permanent central heating everywhere in London? Or maybe I don’t drink enough water?)
Not exactly a Portuguese product, but I hope it’ll be my skin’s saviour…
It will join the stock of new beauty products. I know I’d promise not to buy any more makeup before using up my current stock. But, honestly, what can you do when you’re left alone waiting for almost 3 hours in an airport duty-free?
Benefit speed brow // MAC eyeliner brush no. 209 (a long overdue purchase, actually) // Chanel illusion d’ombre eyeshadow in illusoire
Given the circumstances I think I was actually pretty frugal :)
And that’s it for now. It’s almost time to head (back…) to the dining table for a sumptuous bacalhau à Zé do Pipo, one of my favourite codfish dishes.
Have a great Sunday!