Thursday, 31 March 2011

The Benefit of wearing make-up

Today at lunch break I decided to be brave and go to Benefit to try on some make-up. As you all know by now, I don't wear make-up, never have. I can rock a bright red lipstick but that's all for me.  However, the idea of going completely natural on my wedding day is a bit scary; that day I should look as good as possible and my skin should definitely be flawless. They say make-up helps.

A very good friend of mine suggested I'd try Benefit, so I did. I was impressed by how professional and lovely the lady who helped me was. In ten minutes she applied all sorts of things to my face still making me look very natural and best thing of all, I felt comfortable wearing make-up. Long story short, I ended up spending 90£ in make-up, more than I have ever spent in make-up in my entire life.

She first applied this amazing eye-cream to brighten my eyes and fade these huge dark circles that have been with me every day and every night in the last couple of weeks. Then she used this gorgeous foundation faker, so light I didn't even realise I was still wearing it at 11pm in the night. Next was a light touch of concealer, a sugarbomb face powder, some mascara to highlight my eyes and a peachy lip gloss. I was very pleased with the results and I think I may have found another addiction: Benefit products!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Aperitivo Dress

My parents are organising a Welcome Aperitivo at their house the night before the wedding to welcome all the people coming from abroad. I really like this idea and I think it will help all the foreigners to feel at home and familiarise with all the other English speakers.

While I am quite relaxed about the organisation of this small event, in fact, it will be a very informal, court-yard style party, I am struggling to find the perfect dress.

This one would be absolutely spot on. Too bad with a price tag of 2,990$ I cannot afford it in this my next life I am going to be a spoiled socialite!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

First Time At Joules

It's the first time I buy something at Joules. Isn't this top amazing? I can see myself wearing it with skinny jeans or denim shorts while exploring the beauties of New Zealand on our honeymoon! Yes, we have decided to go to NZ and I can't wait!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

A meal NOT for a bride-to-be

I was hoping in a sunnier day today to stroll around the Southbank, cross the Millennium Bridge, walk around St. Paul's and then make it to a newish shopping centre, One New Change, that my friend Natalie mentioned to me just a couple of days ago. Instead, it was a quite gloomy and chilly day. This means that I haven't taken any of the pictures I planned to take. Next time. 

We originally intended to have lunch at Barbecoa, Jamie Oliver and American chef Adam Perry Lang's restaurant. However, on our way to Barbecoa we were attracted by a sleek burger place, Byron, and deviated there.
After a quick glance at the menu, I opted for a classic cheese burger and courgette fries. Both were delicious, although a bit greasy and heavy.
While devouring my meal, a weird thought hit my mind... as you know by now, if you read this blog, I am getting married in less than three months. I know girls who are getting married in Summer 2012 and are already starving themselves. My guests are on diet. So why on earth am I not concerned about what I eat one tiny bit? I may not put on weight but my skin gets heavily affected by greasy and fried food. In fact, I have a huge pimple on my cheek right now. Why am I not stressing over my weight and look? They say that brides loose a lot of weight in the months before the wedding, I can't say I am experiencing this phenomenon at all. Is it because I am relaxed about it? In fact, am I too relaxed you think? Should I "care" a bit more?
My dress doesn't allow any blemish, it's all silk and it's very thin. And if I won 't be wearing make-up (see previous post), I really cannot afford to have pimples on my face. I may need to add *bride's look* on the list of things to take care of until June 25th :)

Friday, 25 March 2011

Need an Occasion

I am loving this dress from BHLDN. I need an occasion to wear it and a couple of hundreds Pounds to spare!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Mum is the Word

I am excited to tell you that valeasc products will be displayed and on sale at The Create Mother's Day pop-up shop this weekend. Saturday the 26th and Sunday the 27th make sure you head to Bethnal Green for some mother's day shopping. Your mum deserves the best!  See you there!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Monday, 21 March 2011

Make-Up Disaster

They say brides should wear make-up and in all fairness, I have never seen a bride without make-up. 

I am thirty-one years old and I can say I have almost never worn make-up in my life. I may have applied the occasional eye-shadow in Summer every now and then but nothing major. Oddly, the only thing that I feel comfortable with is red lipstick. So, for me, wearing make-up on my wedding day is threatening, to say the least! Last week I had an appointment with a make-up artist and let me tell you it was a disaster. I explained to the girl that I don't usually wear make-up and most importantly that I don't like make-up. She understood and assured me that she would not mess my face up with a lot of products. She applied foundation and corrector first and then she started working on my eyes. Every now and then she would tell me what she was doing and my friend Ilaria diligently checked her work. Once done she gave me a mirror and that's when I screamed! I couldn't recognise myself. The eye pencil made my eyes look smaller, to me at least, and the whole face expression was different. I didn't like it one bit and I was quite vocal about it. 

What should I do? Can I really avoid to wear make-up on my wedding day?

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Date Night

Rob and I don't really have date nights but we appreciate going out for dinner from time to time and we realise how important it is to keep some sort of romanticism in the relationship. 

Last week Rob was away for work from Tuesday to Friday. On Wednesday evening I received a text from him that put me in a rather good mood. It said: Let's go out for dinner on Friday, wherever you want! So, I immediately went to consult my London file to look for the perfect spot. I chose Bistro K. We had never been there before but I trusted Glamour when it said that it is the best restaurant in town for privacy, just what we needed.
The French restaurant is in the heart of South Kensington, an area we don't go to very often. Housed within an Edwardian building, the decor throughout the restaurant is very clean and elegant making it a perfect venue for a relaxing dinner. As with every French restaurant, the menu was a bit difficult to decipher but both Rob and I managed to pick something good. I opted for the set menu (3 courses = £25) which I thought was a rather good deal. We both started with a lovely glass of champagne, we felt to celebrate! And then I had pumpkin voloute' followed by a delicious plaice accompanied with garlic risotto. Unfortunately, and this was a bit disappointing, the only thing that I didn't really enjoy was the dessert. A shame, since I always look forward to a nice dessert at the end of the meal. I had Prune and Armagnac Parfait, I ordered this without even knowing what it would be, exactly, My fault. Rob, instead, opted for pannacotta with rhubarb compote, a much better choice. 

However, even if my choice of dessert wasn't the best one, they immediately redeemed themselves when together with the bill, for Rob, they gave me a complimentary box of artisan chocolates. Such a lovely touch!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

New Project

I have just bought this Martha Stewart Doily Lace puncher and can't wait to work on my next project.
I want to make beautiful cards like these:

Ashley Pahl has an amazing esty shop, one of my favourite, full of cute and lovely items. Lots of inspiration there!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Sweet Dress

I would wear it while holidaying in my hometown, Pescara, Italy.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Spring Outfit #1

A couple of months more and I am going to wear something like this. Can't wait for Spring!

Either Way

Whether I will be sipping champagne in a winery in New Zealand or enjoying a cocktail at the poolside of the hotel in Santorini, either way I would be choosing this Temperley dress for the first evening out on our honeymoon. Love it!

Monday, 7 March 2011

Is it a sign?

The first thing I have seen in the blogosphere today. Is it a sign?

{from here}

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Honeymoon Dilemma

Rob and I are facing a serious *honeymoon-destination-crisis*. We have been discussing quite a lot about our dream honeymoon destination over the last few weeks, however, we haven't reached a conclusion yet. In fact, we seem more confused now than a month ago. When we first started looking at honeymoon destinations, neither of us had a specific destination in mind; we both wanted a nice location, a place where neither of us had been before and most importantly safe. We originally said "No Europe, No America", simply because we think we would have other occasions to visit these Countries. When the search began, it proved to be quite complicated to find a safe place in this world. Shame. So we found ourselves looking at Australia, New Zealand and the Fiji Islands. After a quick chat with a tour operator, we agreed that Australia wasn't perhaps the right choice for us. Too big to visit in just two weeks. We then opted for a mixture of relaxation and adventure in the Fiji Islands and New Zealand. Not wanting to stress ourselves too much, we then decided to consider New Zealand and New Zealand only. So we settled on two full weeks in New Zealand with a stop over in Los Angeles. Our tour operator worked on a provisional itinerary for us, made a couple of changes to accommodate our requests and then sent it to us. The itinerary is just lovely. However, Rob and I are now having second thoughts about New Zealand all together. It's a very long flight, there will be quite a bit of traveling involved in the two weeks we'll be there, we will need to wait at least until the end of October to wait for Spring/Summer time there (we get married in June!) and it's very expensive. We don't know what to do. We have spent the whole day thinking of options and let me tell you, it's not an easy task to find a place we both agree to visit.

Santorini, Greece, seems to be an exception. We both love it. Santorini has been on my list of places to visit for quite a while and I am surprised I haven't been before. I have been to Greece several times but I have never made it to the Cyclades. I know we said "No Europe" but we could reconsider that...

We have found an amazing boutique hotel, Grace Santorini, that looks exactly like what we are after. What do you think we should do? Two weeks in New Zealand at the end of October/beginning of November or ten days in Santorini (+ other small islands) in July? Otherwise, what else would you suggest?

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Manicure: A Five Minute Job

Last Saturday Rob and I decided to do some window shopping in our area, although, as you can image, window shopping is never window shopping with me, I always end up buying something, just to feel that it was worth the trip. At some point, we decided to check House of Fraser at Monument and as soon as we entered, a dark suited guy apporached me and asked: "Do you keep your nails natural"? I immediately got very concerned about how my nails looked, "he must have noticed that I bite my nails and cuticles," I thought. So, I laughed and answered affirmatively. He immediately grabbed my hand and started filing my nails. I was about to ask him to stop when I saw how shiny the nails were. I was impressed. So, I allowed him some extra minutes to talk me through the Gadi 21 Minerals Kit, while Rob started rolling his eyes, he knew what would happen next. Long story short, yes, I did buy the kit; in fact, Rob bought it for me. 
I have tried the kit at home a couple of days ago for the first time and it's magic: five minutes and you'll have amazing nails and hands. Perfect for me: I don't have time to get my nails done professionally and I don't have the patience to do a decent job on my own at home. This kit is just what I needed: natural but beautiful and healthy nails, you don't even need to apply nail polish, isn't it wonderful!?!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Liberty for Comic Relief

My contribution to Comic Relief this year has been this wonderful Liberty scarf. I am tempted to buy a few for next year's Christmas gifts!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

The Folly Bar

Tonight it was Girls Dinner Out. First of all, let me say, I love girls dinners out; I love hanging out with nice friends, having a drink, letting my hair down and chatting and chatting and chatting! We meet every first Tuesday of the month and we pick a different restaurant every time. It sounds like we have been doing this for ages while, in fact, we have just started. Tonight we celebrated our third girls dinner out and we could have not picked a better place. The Folly Bar, to put it simply, is just my cup of tea. The ambiance is amazing, a mixture of bohemian, shabby chic and modern all together. The venue is quite big and is furnished in a wonderful and quirky way, with a fantastic attention to detail. We were sitting at this very long picnic table with benches covered with bright pink cushions. The food was quite good too, I had a delicious lobster risotto but I want to go back to taste one of their burgers and fries, definitely fries, which they serve in terracotta vases. I will certainly go back.

One piece of advice: make sure you book a table as no matter how big this place is, it gets packed!