5 things I stopped buying

The thing about living in a country with different seasons means that there are things that I store away for months till I need to use them. Sometimes I forget that I have them in the first place till I rummage through the closet.

Today, I was trying to find my bottle of WD40 (which has mysteriously disappeared) in the hopes to fix my car’s fuel tank which sometimes won’t release the key. And then I saw my heels that I haven’t worn out at all.

rinaz.net Mana Designs Italian black pumps heels

They are gorgeous, and I love them. But they are just not practical for walking around and I don’t last more than 15 minutes in them. (As a sidenote, I was watching this youtube video about this French lady who spent a day in her stilettos)

Personally I wouldn’t get these high heels for myself, but Cart got these for me as a gift and kept telling me that it’s useful to have when we go out for functions. But I really don’t see the day when we’d need to attend a fancy event. Oh well.

Looking through the amount of things that I already have though, got me thinking that I shouldn’t get more of them because I should use the things that I already have, at least once in a year.

So here are a 5 things at the top of my head that I’ve stopped buying (at least for 2017)  :

1. Magazines

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I loved magazines –  thumbing through the colourful pages, and looking at the stylish clothes. There was a time I thought that I could try to learn how to make my own clothes, using some sewing magazines. I stopped because cloth is ridiculously expensive here (20 euro per metre? Yikes!) As much as I like my magazines, they keep piling up and takes up so much space under the coffee table. And now, they are just collecting dust. I might just give them away in the future.

2. Sanitary Pads

I haven’t used a disposable sanitary pad since last September, now that I’ve been using my menstrual and reusable pads. I love them.

rinaz.net Things I stopped buying

I’ve been interested in using a menstrual cup for the longest time – so many women has been extolling the virtues, like how it’s better for the environment, how its saves you money …  but I haven’t had the courage to use one.

Now that I’ve used one, it’s not such a big deal. It can be a bit daunting to use for the first time, and a lot has never talked about cup “slaps”. But it will get better the more you practise and because I don’t flow much, I can leave it in for 12 hours and I don’t even feel a thing (not like tampons)

And when my flow gets lighter, I just use my cute reusable pads. I love them so much! If menstrual cups are too scary for you, I highly recommend these as they are so easy to care for. Once you’re done, rinse them, and then just pop them in the washing machine.

I still have some boxes of disposable pads … I don’t know what to do with them. People are going to be grossed out if I gave them away I think (even if they are not used)

3. Bags

I find a lot of bags in my closet. How on earth did that happen? There are so many –  Fancy tiny ones, sling bags, backpacks, some from freebie packs, some were gifts … I don’t even consider myself a bag person. But I won’t be getting myself new ones and figure out what to do with the ones that I currently have.

(I’m not even going to open my closet to take a picture of my bags)

4. Jewellery

As much as I love bling, funnily enough, I don’t think to wear them when I go out. They can be quite cumbersome and get in the way when I’m on my scooter or when I need to wear gloves. I’ve since given away many of my costume jewelries I had and I’m sticking to my gold ones.

rinaz.net Things I stopped buying

The irony is that I don’t see many (if any) Italian women use gold jewellery. I wonder why.

5. Makeup

rinaz.net Kiko Velvet Mat Lipstick 612

I like makeup, and how it can make me look a more polished version of me. Now that I’m on a plant based diet, I’ve been searching for vegan cosmetics – so far I’ve found a brand that I’ve been lemming for.

But for the moment, I haven’t even made a dent in the cosmetics that I currently have. These days I normally go makeup free, and use them only on special days like wedding anniversaries and birthdays. So it doesn’t make sense for me to get new ones.

There goes my chance of being a beauty blogger 😛

One thing that should, but I didn’t put on the list is clothes. I have a lot of them, which means that I shouldn’t get more of them but there are certain types that get worn out faster than others like my exercise clothes. So I’ll try to limit myself, perhaps a maximum of 12 pieces for this year?

And yes, that includes thrift shops too.

My arms are so big!

While I’m not a girly girl, there are days when I’d like to feel more attractive. The easiest way of doing that is by putting on a nice dress.

I’ve amassed quite a number of dresses that I’ve gotten for myself ever since I’ve lived here in Rome. Some of which I haven’t even worn out.

rinaz.net Mana Designs Italian black pumps heels

(And honestly, I don’t know if I ever will. I don’t like wearing stilettos) 

Which is probably why I haven’t been so excited about the sale season that is going on – I need to organise the clothes that I already have.

And looking through the pile, I find that there are dresses which used to look acceptable on me, it just doesn’t look right any more – for example, certain sleeveless ones accentuates my arms but not in a good way. I feel like I’m a man wearing a dress.

Man in dress

From fashionblah.Co.uk

On the other hand, there are some men who look good in a dress and I’m probably exaggerating about my arms. Nevertheless, my body has changed quite a bit since I’ve moved to Rome. I’ve gained  some weight, I’ve lost some weight.

I haven’t been running for a while since I trained for my last race in December, but I’ve continued doing quite a bit of circuit training  and aquagym which I guess has changed how my body looks like. I could see that my shoulders and arms look different. But I don’t plan on stopping because I like what I see and I want to continue to feel stronger. That’s what’s important right?

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(Who needs drugs when you’ve got endorphins?)

Nevertheless, while looking in the mirror, my eyes keep looking at my arms. To me, they look succulent enough to eat 😛

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Maybe I’m thinking too much about it?  Cart says that he doesn’t see the ‘manly’ arms that I’m talking about. Also, the way that you pose and angle yourself plays a big role on how the visual turn out.

But if the clothes doesn’t look right, it just doesn’t look right, regardless of how much self esteem one has.

Which is why I’ve been drawn a lot to halternecks these days – it has the right cut visually, I can expose my arms and shoulders, without thinking that they are huge.

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What do you think?

How I spent my birthday

As you know, I levelled up to a new level last Monday! Initially, I wanted to invite some friends over to my place but being August, the weather was already much too hot and I’m much too lazy to clean and cook and receiving guests.

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Nevertheless, I was already in the mood for buying a gift for myself and have decided on getting a new wallet. While I still like my old one because it was a present, it was getting a little bit worn …

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I refuse to spend a lot of money so I went to Ex Novo, my favourite “pre-loved” shop which I discovered some years ago during an event. They usually sell second hand items, but every now and then they’d have never been used stocks. Maybe I’ll blog about this place in the future.

Anyway, there was a wallet that caught my eye. It’s so gorgeous and colourful and a little bit eccentric like me. It’s a brand called Braccialini which is a brand you’d probably see if you’re in central Rome – the cute bags in the shapes of cars and houses.

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It’s a steal at 30 euro, don’t you think?

I just hope that I can keep it in good shape for several years at least. You know that I’m not a dainty girl. But what I find interesting is when I went to pay, the clerk put in a couple of coins inside. I knew of the superstition that when giving a wallet as  gift for Italians but I see it done for friends, so having a shop do that for me was unexpected.

Ex Novo also happened to have a lot of new stock on branded clothes that day and I tried one for the fun of it. Lavand is a brand that I’ve never heard before, but the fabric felt light and soft  and it fitted me so well when I tried it on. It’ll be a shame not to get it. It’s a timeless dress that I’d wear again and again. Besides, it was 20 euro something.

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(Do you like the rosebud I made for the bag? It’s easy to do!)

Anyway it was a lazy day, I didn’t have to work that day. Cart asked if there was any place in particular where we could have dinner at. I was happy to just eat veggie burgers but Cart was adamant for going to a nice place.  In the end, we went to Prati for dinner at a Vegan Restaurant called “Ma Va” which sounds quite tongue in cheek to me, almost vulgar like.

I’m familiar with this area as I passed by here often to go to my former job.  It’s not too far away from the stadium. Riding your scooter here during Spring is something quite romantic, but that could just be me.

The restaurant is interesting as it cooks traditional Roman dishes but vegan. I’ve never had the chance of eating a number of traditional Roman food so, it was an interesting experience.

The place looks cosy and definitely looks like any other Roman Trattoria. It was almost empty when we arrived at 8.30 but slowly filled up as the evening progressed.

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The hosts were extremely polite and a few minutes after we’ve seated, gave us some gazpacho con anguria as a starter. It was refreshing. light and not overly sweet with the watermelon.

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It was really good.

As an antipasto, I chose the tempura di verdure miste con composta di cipolle e maionese di zafferano.

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I thought it was a little bit on the salty side, but besides that, it was cooked well. The vegetables were crunchy and delicious especially when paired with the sweetness of the onion sauce which I’m a huge fan of.

Cart had the antipasto mediterraneo.

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There is caponata, hummus and tabouleh which I liked the best among the three.

We both skipped the mains – neither Cart and I felt like eating pasta so we went on to the secondo. I liked the idea of something cooked in coconut milk, so I had the spezzatino di soia al latte di cocco.

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Oh, this was good and mildly reminded me of rendang which I used to eat back in Singapore.

Cart had the seitan alla vaccinara.

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In the original dish, ox tail would have been used but it’s replaced with seitan here – it’s very soft, I suppose to emulate the hours of the ox tail stewing in tomato sauce. I really like the sourish, sweetish sauce by the way, which was delightful.

I enjoyed everything we ate that evening and to end the meal on a sweet note, I had the Torta cioccolata e pera while Cart had strudel con albicoca e crema di vaniglia as dessert.

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I would have preferred something softer like a sponge cake, but they were both quite decadent. Plus, a birthday with no cake doesn’t seem very birthday-ly.

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I had a lovely evening, with really good food, with the company of a sweet man. I feel attractive and I feel very blessed for the good things that has happened to me this year and I hope for many more to come.

Thank you all for the birthday wishes and thank you so much for supporting and accompanying me all these years in this humble little blog. Have a lovely day ahead! 😀

Ma Va’? Ristorante Vegano
Via Euclide Turba, 6/8

New Glasses!

It’s like each time that I go back to Singapore, I’d always get myself a new pair of glasses. This could be a new tradition.

rinaz.net Marina's New Pair Of Glasses

I prefer to use glasses as it’s more convenient. Sometimes I use contact lenses when I’m doing sports, but putting the lenses in my eyes, and then cleaning them afterwards is starting to be a chore.

rinaz.net Marina's New Pair Of Glasses

(Marina with Katy Perry)

I could have had a pair made in Italy, but I think glasses are quite costly here. So I made this pair at the optician near my parent’s house. I’ve been going to them for years, even before migrating.

rinaz.net Marina's New Pair Of Glasses

(Marina and Cart eating at Pizza Hut) 

And I love my new glasses! It’s slightly cat-eyed, and has a geek-chic look which I adore.

rinaz.net Marina's New Pair Of Glasses

(Marina with Leonardo Dicaprio)

The glasses, combined with my bangs seems to make me look younger, which is very appreciated 😛

rinaz.net Marina's New Pair Of Glasses

(Marina and Cart, with friends Jerrick and Michelle)

Sometimes I wish that I had taken better care of my eyes when I was younger. There was a time when I remember that I could watch TV from across the room. Now I can’t see anything further than a quarter of a meter – everything becomes really blurry.

Which isn’t fun when you forgot where you’ve left your glasses.

rinaz.net Marina's New Pair Of Glasses

(Marina and Cart with smurfy friends Xinyun and Ben)

The funny thing is though, I’ve always wanted to do lasik and be free of depending on glasses. But I happened to chance upon a video on how it was done and I quickly changed my mind.

Glasses are still okay for me, for now!

Natural Makeup Look with Kiko

I’ve always liked the natural make-up look, and I just couldn’t resist.

Natural make up might sound like a misnomer, but I like how we are able to look a better version of ourselves without having to look too artificial and overly made up.

After watching the video above, I was pining over getting a few more drawing toys for myself and so I went to kiko. I initially planned to get only a lipstick and an eye-shadow palette but in the end I got these :

rinaz.net Natural Makeup Kiko Cosmetics

If you’ve never heard of Kiko Cosmetics before, they’re considered the Italian version of Mac Cosmetics but at a high street price.  Last Monday, I spent about 37 euro in total, which was more than my initial budget, but oh well. I’m definitely going to use them regularly.

rinaz.net Kiko Rebel Romantic Eye-shadow Palette Fiery Rose

The first thing that I got is the Rebel Romantic Eye-shadow Palette in Fiery Rose (12.90 euro).

It’s a matte eye-shadow with a slightly pink hue which is great for a neutral eye look, but with the bottom shades, has an option for a smoky look if you wanted to.

I don’t find them extremely pigmented as my infinity eye-shadows but they can be applied wet which gives it a deeper colour, which I haven’t tried yet.

rinaz.net Kiko Rebel Romantic Contouring Pencil Set

These are the Rebel Romantic Contouring Pencil Set. (9.90 euro) It’s been said that pencils are good for those who are just starting out on contouring which gives you more defined features and a glowing look.

I’m not entirely convinced about these, and might give them away in time, but I’m giving them a try for now. I apply them more or less like in this video here.

rinaz.net Kiko Soft Touch Blush 111

This Soft Touch Blush in Rosa Antico Scuro 111 (7.50 euro), I absolutely adore! It reminds me a lot of Nars Orgasm in the sense that there is a hint of shimmer, only a darker shade of peach. Which is great for duskier skin like mine as it gives me a natural looking flush . It wasn’t in my list, but I just couldn’t help but to put it in my basket in the end.

For an actual dupe for the Nars Orgasm, Pesca Dorato 103 seems a very close match to me.

rinaz.net Kiko Velvet Mat Lipstick 612

Oh how much I love this lipstick! I’m not too fond of shiny lipsticks so the Velvet Mat Lipstick in Rosa Fragola 612 (6.90 euro) is just lovely.

As I wanted a Nude lip, I was torn between this and Rosa Naturale 602. In then I chose the one that the clerk recommended on me and hoped for the best.

I put it on as soon as I bought it. Ahaha! It’s a bit more pink that I would have liked but it looks so soft and pretty! It’s definitely my new favourite lipstick 🙂

rinaz.net Natural Makeup Kiko Cosmetics

I got the Rebel Romantic Colour Definition Eyeliner (5.90 euro) as gift for spending more than 25 euro.

There were different colours to choose from, but in the end, I chose the shade in butter as it’s something that I didn’t have. I think that it’s a better colour for lining the under eye rather than stark white which makes it look so unnatural.

I love how creamy it goes on. Maybe I should have gotten it in black instead?

rinaz.net Natural Makeup Kiko Cosmetics

And here is how I look a few minutes after playing with my new colouring toys. I love this look so much! I feel so pretty. 😀