Christmas Gifts 2015

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it! I am not a Christian, but I celebrate this holiday as a way of being with family and friends. I see it as a Winter celebration and a day to exchange gifts.

It is just my parents and I here in Italy, since most of our family is either back in Romania or somewhere in England or Australia. Therefore, we never have big Christmas dinners or lunches. On Christmas day my parents went to have lunch at some of their friends’ house while I went at my best friend’s house and had lunch there, with most of her family.

This blog post is titled “Christmas Gifts” because I wanted to show you what I got, since it is all very very useful. I never ask/wish for anything crazy, just things I can use whenever I want. I find it is useless to get a pink feather dress (for example), which you are only going to wear once, if you are a normal person.

So, from my parents (mainly my mum, since dad does not go shopping…ever) I got clothes.

I got 4 very basic and comfortable bras which I really needed, since I go through bras like crazy. They also get worn out at the gym so I have to change them frequently. They are black, white, baby blue and grey and even if they are from OVS, they look very nice and they have a very clean design. If you want to get them, they only ship to Italy (unfortunately) and this is their website : ovs.it.

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The white and the black ones are here and the grey and baby blue ones here

 

Then I got a couple of things from Sisley. I got a much-needed pair of black leggings, which fit so so good and they are not see-through (very important). Since I listed them as a basic piece of clothing in my post on basic bottoms  I can say that I can never have too many pairs of leggings. I couldn’t find them on the Sisley website, but you can imagine what a pair of black leggings looks like.

Then, also from Sisley, I got a very simple but unique shirt which has a very nice and fine type of knitwear, all black and asymmetrical. I actually wore it on Christmas day.

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I had to take the picture directly from the site, since it does not show very well on the iPhone camera. You can get the shirt right here (you can choose your country on sisley.com and search from there; you have to select knitwear and the colour black)

I finally got what I really HOPED for, which was a bathrobe. I know this might sound crazy, but I have had the same fuchsia old bathrobe for years and I really wanted a neutral fluffy one. And that is what I got and I am so so happy. It is from upim, another Italian supermarket brand.

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The only thing missing are the black Timberlands that I am going to go get myself, since I have to try them on. I will have to go to Rome, most likely after the holidays. But I literally cannot wait! I have wanted a pair for so so long and I will finally get them!

As I said, I went to have lunch and spent the day at my best friend’s house. Her, her twin sister and I exchanged gifts and I am really, really happy with what I got from them.

I got 2 KIKO nail polishes, which I wanted and needed. The first one is the most classic red; I had to throw away my old one because it dried up. Ironically, it is also my favourite colour to have on my nails, so feminine.

The second one is liquid bronze mixed with gold, literally. It is so beautiful that I will wear it on New Year’s Eve. I fell in love with it.

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The red one is number 238 and the bronze one is number 480. You can get them here. Again, you can choose your country in the bottom right corner.

Then I got something I actually told them I wanted. They said that they had no idea what to get me and I gave them a list of foreign-language books that I wanted and they respected my wish. They got me “Madame Bovary” by Gustave Flaubert. I am ecstatic and I cannot wait to read the books I have to in order to get to this one (I have a list and an order, yes). Something about the plot interests me, I think I have a bit of Madame Bovary in me.

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Well, this was it. I hope you have had an amazing holiday and that you will have an even more amazing 2016!

xx

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Favourite Books

I am a reader. I am a hardcore reader. I am a traitorous reader.

I love reading and immersing myself in life stories of other people, historical or fictitious. I tend to read about anything, whether it is a biography or a sci fi novel, although I very rarely read anything that has to do with romance; but on my very very long list of books I want to buy and read there are a few classics which revolve around the theme of love.

I used the term ‘traitorous’ to say that I am not extremely loyal to the art of reading, which means that I have periods of intense fanaticism and periods of no reading at all; and I hate myself for that. I know I can devour books in 3 days, but I get lazy and distracted. Don’t judge.

I also believe in the vital importance of reading the classics. I feel there is a reason why they are called that and that reason is because they have shaped the modern day mentality.

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This above is my library. It is not big, unfortunately, and there are some books that I still have to read. The titles are obviously in Italian, although I have decided to buy English books in their original language, to practise even more this amazing language.

I will now make a list with my favourite books of the lot, although each and every one holds a place in my heart. The list will not be a “top 10” sort of list, but a mere listing of the way they are arranged in the photos.

Harry Potter by JK Rowling

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Okay, do we even have to talk about this? This whole series was, is and will always be my childhood. From the books, which I devoured in two days, at the most, to the films, which you can see above the books themselves. I also own the three additional books and the Harry Potter Film Wizardry.

I cannot express my gratitude to Queen Rowling since I do not know words grand enough to talk about her creations.  This series will always hold a special place in my mind. Slytherin to the day I die.

The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown

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“It follows Harvard professor and symbologist Robert Langdon and the gifted French cryptologist Sophie Neveu as they investigate a murder in Paris’ Louvre Museum. They are stunned to discover bizarre riddles that lead them to a trail of clues hidden in the works of Leonardo da Vinci, seemingly left by the museum’s late curator, Jacques Saunière minutes before his death. Their race to discover the closely guarded secret held by Saunière uncovers a battle between the Priory of Sion and Opus Dei over the possibility of Jesus having been married to Mary Magdalene.” This was taken from danbrown.wikia.com

And not just that, but the whole series revolving around Robert Langdon, the symbology professor at Harvard, which includes “Angels and Demons”, “The Lost Symbol”, “The DaVinci Code” and “Inferno”. I still believe that the Code is the most interesting one, maybe because it revolves around the almost legendary figure of Leonardo, such an enigma even today. The way the plot is constructed makes you actually reflect and reason and every move is linked to the next, therefore curiosity will get the best of you. Always.

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

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This was Stephen King’s first work that I read and it was a cultural shock : I was not used to such an intricate and particular way of writing, having read very few books before this. The way he describes particularly gruesome scenes of slaughter or mental breakdowns is extremely cold and realistic at the same time. This is a collection of novellas, all centred around the figure of the Woman, who seeks revenge or justice, or is the reason why the action happens, in one way or another. My favourite is the last one, “A Good Marriage”, which was also adapted into a movie and I suggest you should watch it although, in my opinion, the novella is much better. It is better to imagine horror than to see it on a screen.

It by Stephen King

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Get used to Mr. King’s name, since he is my favourite modern day author. “It” is the longest book I’ve ever read (1000+ pages) and I even had to take a break from reading it, losing focus at times; it was all my fault, I agree, because the book is so intense and well written and could have no faults. We all know the plot :

“The novel is set in the fictional town of Derry, Maine, where a malevolent, shape-shifting, child-killing monster (referred to simply as “It”) lurks in the sewers and storm-drains.

In 1958, Bill Denbrough, Mike Hanlon, Ben Hanscom, Eddie Kaspbrak, Beverly Marsh, Richie Tozier and Stan Uris (who call themselves The Losers’ Club) each have horrifying encounters with the creature which takes on the shape of their greatest fears (but Its most prominent form is that of a sadistic, balloon-wielding clown called Pennywise).  The Losers decide to hunt down the creature and destroy It. The narrative jumps forward to 1985, when murders are once again taking place in Derry. Mike Hanlon, the only one of the Losers who has remained in Derry, is convinced that the creature has returned and calls each of the Losers reminding them of the promise they made as children. Each of the six other Losers have gone on to success and wealth, but had completely forgotten about their childhood’ s friendships and traumas. They all return and begin piecing together their hazy memories.” This was taken from stephenking.wikia.com

This is the kind of book I would call a classic and a must-read.

The Shining by Stephen King

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“Isolated for months on end Jack Torrance, an abusive alcoholic writer has been given the responsibility of caretaker of the famous “Overlook”. With his beautiful and strong willed Wife- Wendy and misfit son Danny, the three will come to learn that they are not alone in the Hotel which they reside in.-The Overlook is much more than a five-star resort. Discover the shocking scandals and gruesome truth, that haunts this Hotel so, in…The Shining!” Taken from stephenking.wikia.com

This is the last King book I am mentioning here, but at the same time it is the most intense and purely horrific in my opinion. Behind the apparent horror and mental troubles there lay much more important problems, revolving around family and love. At least that’s what I took from it. I do own “Doctor Sleep”, which is a continuum of the book mentioned above, and it is next on my list.

The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino

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This is an Italian must read. Its title (originally “Il Barone Rampante”) says it all : the story is about a baron who lives in the trees and decides to never get off; it narrates his entire life (from his brother’s point of view), from when he puts foot on his first tree to the day he dies. It has many underlying themes and it is, in my opinion, a quick read and also a fun one, from the very first page, which describes his unconventional family. If you want a piece of refined Italian literature, you should start with this.

Violent Life by Pier Paolo Pasolini 

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This is my most recent read and to be honest, I started with the wrong foot, since it was assigned by my Literature teacher, and therefore I adopted a hostile approach towards it. But I finished it and I felt like a piece of me got torn apart. The book narrates the post-WWII life of Roman 18 to 20-year-olds, and it is focused on Tommaso, a troublesome guy. It is written in dialect, so it will probably not have the same effect in English, but it is worth a try. It is excruciating and it is most definitely an eye-opener. There are also a lot of politics involved and even if, judging by the language used, it was written for common people, I think there are many important themes that should be analysed in this work of art. It was also made into a film.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov 

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“Humbert Humbert is a European intellectual adrift in America, haunted by memories of a lost adolescent love. When he meets his ideal nymphet in the shape of 12-year-old Dolores Haze, he constructs an elaborate plot to seduce her, but first he must get rid of her mother. In spite of his diabolical wit, reality proves to be more slippery than Humbert’s feverish fantasies, and Lolita refuses to conform to his image of the perfect lover.” Taken from amazon.com

This book was the hardest piece of literature I have ever had to read. Skipping the unorthodox plot, the way this book is written is chaotic but organised, clear but confused, all at the same time. I had to often re-read pieces here and there to get a general idea, but regardless, it is one of the classics and Nabokov’s style is unbeatable.

 

So there’s that. I will keep you guys posted on any new books I read.

xx

Basic Wardrobe – Bottoms

This is part 2 of my Basic Wardrobe series, aka a series containing fashion items that I believe to be necessary to build a solid and versatile wardrobe. Consider it to be the solid base to expand your wardrobe around. Last time we talked about tops and now I want to illustrate the bottoms that I think should be in everyone’s closet.

Bottoms

And more precisely

Pants

Let’s start with shorts, the best for hot summer days or to pair up with a pair of thigh high boots and a long coat. They are very versatile and depending on the fabric they are made of, they can be used for everyday life or for more special occasions.

I chose two denim models : they are both from Abercrombie and Fitch, while the third one, a classier model, in navy, is from Pinkqueen.
I chose two denim models : they are both from Abercrombie and Fitch, while the third one, a classier model, in navy, is from Pinkqueen.

Now we move on to typical and classic good old-fashioned jeans, a staple in every wardrobe and probably the most used (and uncomfortable) piece of clothing. I am not even going to lie, I hate wearing jeans, I love leggings and sweatpants, but they look cute.

The black pair is from Newlook and the darkwash pair is from H&M. I think that having two pairs of jeans is a good place to start.
The black pair is from Newlook and the darkwash pair is from H&M. I think that having two pairs of jeans is a good place to start.

I also think that you should have one pair of elegant dress pants, for any kind of occasion. Let’s just say that you will not always want to wear dresses or skirts, so switching to a more masculine item might be fun.

The black pair is from Theory Mitrana and the white pair is from Diane von Furstenberg. They're a little more on the pricey side, but investing in good fabrics is worth it.
The black pair is from Theory Mitrana and the white pair is from Diane von Furstenberg. They’re a little more on the pricey side, but investing in good fabrics is worth it.

Then, let’s move to one of my faves : leggings! Black is the only way to go in my opinion. Any other colour, and I am speaking for myself, does not look that good. They should be like second skin and NOT see-through! I mean it. It is just not cute when you can see Sponge Bob underwear right through them.

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The pair on the left is from River Island and they are high waisted and extra long, while the pair on the right is from Marks and Spencer and they are ankle length.

Next, the most comfortable category of them all…Joggers! I love wearing them, they are so versatile, to the point where you can wear them with Converse or heels, and still look fab. Messy bun, leather jacket and you’re ready to go.

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A grey and a black pair should do. The grey pair is from Zoe Karssen and they are a bit more pricey, while the black pair is from H&M.

Let’s move onto

Skirts

A staple in any woman’s closet; they can be long, midi or short and made of every fabric. Love them.

We can start with midi skirts. I do not particularly like short or denim skirts and I do not consider them basics, so I will skip them, but if you like them, wear them! I think a couple of neutral midi skirts are immensely versatile and can be worn either at the office or on a night out.

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Let’s get started. The ones that I think are essential are the second one (Doublju) and the fifth one (Kookai). The rest are optional : the leather one is a bit more daring but it looks soo good (BeautifulHalo), the army greenish one is third on my list of basics (Thanth), the light peach one is cute, with the slit and all (Maurie Eve Theron) and the white one is a bit more expensive, but white fabrics should be bought for quality (Jonathan Simkhai).

Then we have long skirts, which can be worn, just like the midis, in any kind of way and on any kind of occasion. I tend to wear long skirts more often, simply because I feel like they are easier to accessorise and, if worn during the day, look very casual, a bit more than the midis.

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The black one is from Lipsy, the grey one is from HouseOfFraser and the white one is from Alice+Olivia. You should expect long skirts to be slightly more expensive, simply because they are made with a lot more fabric.

I think this is it. This was a long post to make, it took me ages. I tried to keep all of the items reasonably priced and I hope I succeeded!

Thank you and see you next time.

xx