I am back in the swing of things with this amazing impromptu photoshoot that my friend partook in; you can find her on Instagram here. Later in the evening we went to the pool where there were some salsa and bachata classes, so I felt like this dress was necessary. I bought it on sale from a store called Nuna Lie, but I am unable to find this particular dress on their site.
I have never been one for colour, but I want this summer to be full of flowy dresses, both floral and not. Being able to feel the air and wind is phenomenal. Also, the colour scheme on this dress is lovely, with pinks and dusty pastels.
I also decided to do something different with my makeup. I do not normally use colours, but since I have a couple of palettes I wanted to give it a try. I used the “En Taupe” palette by Zoeva, mainly the purple and lilac shades.
And to top everything off, here we have a moment where I do not have my resting bitch face on. Surprise. That might be because I am happy as of late.
I hope you enjoyed seeing these photos as much as I enjoyed taking them. Thank you so much for reading.
Do not hate me, please. I know I have been absent for the past two months, but for good reason. I had my finals at high school and I mean my final finals. I graduated from high school! I am so happy and relieved and stress free it does not even seem real. I can finally read the books I want to read and chill and enjoy summer…until September comes along and UNI starts, but I am excited about that.
So here I am, back with another book review. This time I bring you The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I bought this book at the JFK airport in New York, on my way back in March. As soon as I saw it (the cover does attract attention) I wanted it. It cost $16 and it is worth so much more than that.
The genre it is part of is Business/Psychology and that explains half of it. Charles Duhigg decided to research why people do certain thing in life and business. He put together all the research done by scientists regarding habits and habit loops and cravings and served it to us on a pretty and understandable platter. I must say that the book is full of real life examples, also of pretty famous people (Michael Phelps was my favourite one). It is the kind of book that, if you take very seriously and practice what it preaches, could change your life.
It tells you how to recognise habits, how to re-wire them for your gain and how to apply that in every area of your life. I am very happy to have found this book and it is the first of its type that I read; I already have a long list of others like this to purchase.
This is the first poetry book I review and I must say I am proud of myself. I am proud of myself because I have evolved from the scholastic mentality of hating poetry because we were force-fed it for so many years.
We can say I started with a bang. “milk and honey” is one of the most famous contemporary poetry works and it sold over one million copies in order to make it to the top of the New York Times’ bestseller list. The author is a woman called Rupi Kaur who, in her works, decided to analyse hurt, depression, love, healing, femininity, and abuse.
This book is divided in four parts: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, the healing. All these parts are mended together by the awareness of the author of what she deserves, and that is the best. It explores all parts of being a woman, a person of colour, a heartbroken human, someone who wants to heal. She shares her past experiences of lost love and abuse and she lets us know that hurting in normal and that healing will come. Putting one’s soul on paper in the way that she did is admirable and reading these pages felt like getting to know somebody. Somebody who comes from a different cultural background than I, yet somebody who’s heart felt the same hurt I felt.
Talking about formalities, this is not the same poetry we were taught in school. There are not many rhymes and rather than musicality we find obvious meaning which hits you in the face.
If I were to give this book, or should I rather say soul, a score based only on the themes explored, I would give it a 10/10.
Unfortunately, personal taste comes into play, and I am still in love with Dante’s poetry, where you are embraced by rhymes and music.
This is probably one of the most annoying words in any language. Annoying, depressing, tear-worthy. I have encountered it few times in my life and I wish I had not.
Admitting I have failed at something makes my stomach turn and my brain get angry. Simply because failing is my fault and no one else’s. I cannot put the blame on my teachers for getting a bad or mediocre grade. I cannot put the blame on supermarkets for me gaining weight.
Saying “I have failed” is tiring and infuriating, so much that whenever it happens, I get cranky the whole day, until I have interiorised my failure and I am ready to move on. Admitting my failures is a process that has to happen in order for me to have mental clarity and sanity.
If I were to find the root of the problem, I would go as back as primary school. I was not used to failing. I always had top grades and was considered a nerd. That went on during middle school, getting admitted to high school with the highest grade possible. High school, on the other hand, was a low blow. Teachers expect more than average and they are not willing to give you more than you worked for; sometimes they do not even give you that. Of course, my behaviour changed too: I started working harder and smarter. I understood what they wanted and tackled the skills I lacked.
Unfortunately, no matter how hard I worked, I sometimes failed. Usually, that happened in math (surprise…not). It has never been my strongest subject and it still is not. I have admitted that, despite my pride, and I moved forward, doing what I can.
Failing, or getting a mediocre grade, at math is not acceptable, but it is not catastrophic either. What hurts more is getting a mediocre grade in a subject I usually am one of the best at. Not getting the maximum in Italian or History or Philosophy stings for two reasons: firstly, because it hurts my pride, secondly because people have high expectations of me. This last part is something I am still struggling with.
Hearing my teacher say “I expected more from you” hurts more than them saying “You sucked at this”. In the last case, something must have definitely gone bad, where I could not have done anything to mend it. In the first case, it is all my fault, because I have set a certain standard that people, and also myself, are accustomed to and now expect.
Failure and expectations go hand in hand, especially because when I fail, there are always people who cheer. When you almost always are the best, people start rooting for you to fall. Had you been less stellar, your fall would not have made so much noise.
I guess failure itself is not so bad; everyone encounters it in their lives and it is normal and part of being human. What matters is how we deal with it and what we take from it. I believe in the “You win or you learn” motto. That is what life is all about: progressing and learning, which most often than not, are quite the same thing.
In March I went on a trip to New York City, which lasted about 9 days. This trip was the culminating event of a course I have been taking since November. This course is called National High School Model United Nations (NHSMUN). It is a branch of the Model United Nations (MUN), aimed at high school students.
The whole course lasted from November until February and it focused on diplomacy, diplomatic language, modern history, geopolitics and such. We then did a simulation in Rome, in a parliamentary room, where students from Central Italy came together to work as one.
Finally, we had to go to NYC to take part in the big simulation, which brought together students from all around the world. I was part of the Economic and Financial Committee (ECOFIN) and I was representing Mauritania, alongside a girl from another part of Italy.
Let’s get started with the trip.
We left on the 13th of March from Fiumicino Airport, in Rome. All of our flights were operated by Iberia, so naturally we had layovers in Madrid.
The flight from Rome to Madrid lasted 3 hours and was uneventful. There we had about an hour layover, but since the gate was pretty far, we had to run there to catch our flight. The next 9 hours, strangely enough, passed quickly. I saw the film “Arrival”, which was neat.
Finally, we arrived in NYC at about 7pm. It was quite late, I had no internet on my phone, thinking that I could catch some wifi. That did not happen. It was very very cold as we waited for the car which would take us to the hotel.
We finally arrived at our hotel, Hilton Midtown. It is a very nice hotel and the room was cute, once you figured out how the heating worked. The elevators were also quite a challenge.
We were 4 girls in the room and let me tell you, it was such a mess that the cleaning lady refused to clean it. That was quite a hint.
That night we went out for McDonald’s in Times Square. It was so so cold that it started lightly snowing. We got back towards midnight and then we went straight to sleep, too tired to function.
The next day, on the 14th, we were faced with Snow Storm Sally. At the beginning it was cute and new, but then we had to face the cold and the metres of snow. We had breakfast at Joe & the Juice, near our hotel, where I had a protein smoothie.
We then tried to go to the Museum of Natural History, which was closed. I was on the verge of a nervous crisis as we walked through Central Park, in the snow storm, with our guide who was not a good enough guide and did not know where she was going. Fortunately, I made a new friend who I am still on touch with and we took a taxi back to the hotel, instead of walking.
I was so cold I felt like crying. We ended up just staying in the hotel for the rest of the day, since it was so cold.
On the next day, we actually started working. But before that, we finally visited the museum! As always, we had to hurry to make it in time for the Opening Ceremony, so we only had an hour. A friend of mine and I managed to visit almost everything.
After this, we got dressed up and we attended the Opening Ceremony, after attending a couple of briefings on the rules of procedure and such.
The 16th was the most intense work day, since we had to attend 2 sessions in the afternoon, while in the morning we attended a conference. That evening most people went to the Empire State Building, but I was not feeling well and remained in my room.
The next day we attended our last two sessions and we were finally free to go. We visited the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), that was close to our hotel.
That night we also attended the Delegate Dance, but I only stayed and danced for a bit, since my feet were killing me, having worn heels all day.
The next morning we left for the UN Headquarters and we attended the Closing Ceremonies. It was nice, being seated in the front row, and watching people make their speeches.
In the afternoon we visited the Guggenheim Museum. I liked the way it was structured on more floors and how there were little to no stairs.
On the next day we went to visit the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and then the Brooklyn Bridge. We had to walk quite a lot to get to the subway station, since there was a marathon going on.
Before going to the Brooklyn Bridge, we visited Wall Street, where I was excited to see the statue of the Fearless Girl.
After that, we visited the 9/11 Memorial. It felt surreal. All the names written there really gave it a spectral atmosphere, and despite there being hundreds of people, it was silent.
Finally, we arrived at the Brooklyn Bridge, and we walked all the way to Brooklyn. It was tiring, but it was most definitely worth it.
On the 21st of March we left. Unfortunately, our layover in Madrid lasted 6 hours and I fell asleep on the table. I was exhausted, both mentally and physically. We finally got home on the 22nd.
What I left out of all this diary entry, so to say, was a very deep emotional experience which saw its beginning and end in the same week, only to leave me heartbroken, then mend my heart and then break it again a couple of days ago. But this experience would not have been the same without my heart experiencing a whole array of emotions, from love to panic.
I finally gave in to the Game of Thrones craze and decided to ask as a gift the first book of the series, A Game of Thrones, and the special companion book, The World of Ice & Fire. I read the first one quite quickly and I am halfway through the companion book, but since it is full of “historical” events, I get bored easily and I prefer to only read a bit at a time.
Let me start this review by saying that if you have watched the first season of the HBO series, you already know what happens in the first book. It is 99% the same thing.
In case you do not know anything about this series, it follows the life and adventures of various characters, from various points of view, living in Westeros, a fictional land. I would say, if we were to collocate it chronologically, that it would be set in fictional medieval times.
The whole plot is based on games of power and the fight between various houses, especially Lannister and Stark, with a side of Targaryen. Telling you about the characters would ruin everything for first time readers, so I cannot reveal too much. I can only say that my favourite house is House Lannister and that my favourite character is Tyrion Lannister, a very intelligent, overall good, and witty man.
There are no bad things that I can say about this book, to be completely honest. Okay, it is very long, but it is extremely worth it. The length is proportional to how much information is contained and how many dialogues George R.R. Martin had the fantasy to conjure.
I have already gotten the next two books of the series and I promise I will review them as soon as possible.
I cannot believe it has taken me this long to make the second part of this post, but here I am and I have a lot to say. Here you can find part 1.
There are also photos taken at the beach that I posted on another post, right here, in a swimsuit review.
For the rest of our trip I took pictures of the scenery and of all the beaches we went to. For example, we went to a pretty private beach, called Golden Beach, with very little sand but great water. Unfortunately, again thanks to the jellyfish alarm, I was too scared to get in.
Another place we visited was a hill near Maleny from where we could see the Glasshouse Mountains, which are very dear to the people native to Australia.
We also went to Point Cartwright where I sunbathed a bit and then took some pictures of the ocean.
Our flight back was less eventful and I could not wait getting back home. It was an amazing and fun trip with family and if I ever am to come back to Australia, I would have to stay for at least a month to really enjoy it as it should be enjoyed.