Dolce far niente

Oh gosh. Where does the time go? It’s crazy how the day just pass by so quickly – I wake up, do stuff and the day is over?!

I’ve blogged about this before about ten years ago, but it’s still an amazement to me. I remember when I was a kid and had about an hour to play before dinner and that hour to me, felt like an entire afternoon. Gosh, how and when did it change to how we are now?

Perhaps it is because our perception of time changes as we grow older, in the sense that we have more tasks to achieve and when we are not able to do them all, time seems to go fast. But I also think that especially with the distractions of technology, time is stolen away bit by bit.

Perhaps we should just slow down and live in the moment, no matter how boring the present may be. I’d like to try for my senses be more present and be self aware of what’s around me – like admiring at the jackets the people who pass me by are wearing or smelling the coffee aroma as I pass by a bar.

Sometimes it’s nice to just breathe and do nothing.

My life is boring

My life is boring.

Each morning I wake up at about 6 am and I check the phone. Eventually I find the strength to get up to do my morning routine. It’ll be especially hard if I did gym the day before.

rinaz.net Vegan Diet

I unwillingly do a bit of housework. If it’s a Monday or a Wednesday or Friday, I’d normally go for a nice walk, playing pokemon go or Ingress along the way, to the market to get some fresh produce. By the time I reach home, it’ll be time for lunch and I’d usually make something simple with the ingredients that I just bought.

rinaz.net Vegan Diet

After lunch, I’d get ready with my teaching materials and then I’m off to teach English.

And then I reach home, and have a cup of tea. If it’s Tuesday and Thursday, I get ready for exercise and would get home exhausted. Cart will usually prepare dinner. The other days I’d lounge around before deciding what to cook. Finally Cart and I would watch something on Netflix. I’d always fall asleep on the sofa as soon at it turns 11 pm.

rinaz.net Using Chromecast with Netflix

Rinse and repeat for Mondays till Fridays.

(Weekends are the days where I completely slack around apart from my aqua-gym session and making my cartoon strip)

Yes my life is boring. But it’s okay. While sometimes I wonder if this is as good as it gets, I’m sure that there are greats things to come in time.

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.

Goodbye 2016!

Hi everyone!

2016 is almost to its close. Goodness, where does the time pass by? It feels that it wasn’t too long ago when we unpacked our luggage from our trip back from Singapore back in January.

So for the last post of this year, I thought that I’d write my reflections about the year and the things that I’m grateful for.

2016 has been quite an adventure and new experiences for me. Cart and I have been travelling more, and even though the trips has been short, it has opened my eyes to the magnificence and beauty of the different places in the world.

It’s like the game Diablo where the more you walk around, the more you reveal your map and for me, it was something like that. I loved seeing the colourful carnival in Viareggio. Walking around the parks in Vienna was breathtaking. Padova was charmed me with her vibrance and Cologne made me so happy because there were so many friendly faces.

It’s also incredible the opportunities that I’ve been given – like leading a team during an anomaly, participating in my first Obstacle challenge, even helping out with a Television Programme. Yeah, I probably am going to sound like a broken record because I mention these so often, but I’m still very thankful.

And I guess that with the more things that you see and experience in the world, it inadvertently makes you grow.

For me, I’ve noticed a change in myself in the sense that I feel that now I’m much calmer compared to before. Things which used to bother me, doesn’t faze me anymore. It’ll just take too much of my precious energy and in the end, leaves me burnt. Nah, there are other things better to focus on.

Maybe that’s what happens as one grows older, I suppose.

What’s in store for me in 2017?

Nothing much. Apart from visiting my family during the Summer, there hasn’t been any plans to travel as of yet.

I’ve never been one who makes resolutions but for now, I want to continue with my vegan diet, continue doing Cross Fit (and maybe join a spartan race if it’s not too expensive) and try to keep blogging of course. For the moment, I’m trying to get in the momentum of posting 3 times a week – Cartoon Mondays, Vlog Wednesdays and Random Fridays.

I also want to do merchandising with my cartoons, of course. I keep saying that I’ll start but I need someone to kick me in the butt give me motivation. I keep procrastinating. Why? -_-

What on earth do I cook for Christmas?

It’s just a few days till Christmas. You really can’t miss it. It’s evident everywhere. When you leave your house, all your neighbours would have a wreath on their door. There are fairy lights on buildings, trees decorated with baubles and decorations and wherever you go to, people would almost always greet you with an “Auguri!” or a “Buon Natale!”.

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While the sight is beautiful to see, but on the other hand, traffic is horrible these days. The streets are full of cars – be it the highway, or the regular roads. What would take me half an hour to commute, would take at least an additional 15 minutes more. I don’t understand why, especially for the path with no shops or commercial centres in it’s radius.

Cart and I don’t usually spend Christmas in Rome. Around this time, we’d normally spend time with my family and friends back in Singapore. I’ve never grown up celebrating Christmas, but no matter, I enjoy spending time with my extended family … mostly to eat good food.

What to say if someone wishes you Merry Christmas and you are not Christian

Although this time round, I’m a little confused at what to make for Christmas. Usually for Christmas in Italy, it is a tradition here to serve a lot of seafood like smoked salmon and tuna. And since this will be my first time spending Christmas on a plant based diet, it’s perplexing me. What on earth do I cook? Soy fish?

I want to help my in laws so that they are not encumbered in cooking diverse meals. But on the other hand, I don’t really know much festive vegan dishes.

rinaz.net christmas

Argh. Such a headache. In the end I think I’ll just cook stuff that /I/ like to eat. Problem solved.

Happy Christmas everyone! Have a lovely weekend with your loved ones and eat lots of food!