The Search For a Desk Chair

As a recent graduate, I technically “work” from home, so having a home workspace that’s comfortable and keeps me from my constant procrastinating is extremely important. Lately I have had one problem, though, which is finding the perfect chair for my desk. I need a nice mix between style and comfort, which is the hardest mix to achieve always, so I’ve been looking and looking and still haven’t found anything.

Oh, not to mention that I am on a budget, right? That doesn’t make things easier.

Anyways, here’s a little sampler of desk chairs that I like and what I feel are their strengths!  Let me know if you like any of them too! 

 

Kisses 

Marina 

Aging With Grace

If I like to say that less is more, to me that applies even more when it comes to aging. It seems that in a word with so many techniques and ways to keep yourself young all the time, people have forgotten how to age with style. After all, aging is still part of life, and if you can do it well, you got yourself a jackpot on your hands, because nowadays most people don’t seem how to do a well-mixed “naturelle” with a “I’m still taking great care of myself thank you very much”. It seems that those things just go one way or the other! 

So I chose, not by chance, as a first post of the year, inspiring women that to me have proven that time is ally, not an enemy, and that there is no shame in aging in the most gracious way possible! 

Hope you guys find those as beautifully inspiring as I do! 

Beijos!

Marina

Dress in White and Put Some Flowers in Your Hair!

I have recently found out through my husband that it’s not a big tradition everywhere to wear all-white during New Year. He had never heard about it before we started dating! But it is a HUGE deal here in Brazil. At this time of the year all the stores windows go completely white and it’s almost impossible to get a clothing piece of another color. It represents peace and the International Day of Peace, which is every year on January the 1st, and it is truly a tradition that I love. 

Of course here in Brazil we also have some other tradition that associated with wearing certain colors during the turn of the year (even the color of your underwear has a meaning for us, and it ALWAYS has to be brand new underwear). Do you guys from other places have traditions like these in your parties? 

We usually wear red to represent our wish for passion in the coming year, yellow to attract money, blue as a simple of calmness, green as a simple of hope, pink to represent love, purple to wish for more spirituality in our lives, and so on… It’s cool playing with colors like that and I’ve always loved it, but I can’t get myself away from wearing a good old white dress!

That’s why during New Year’s accessorizing is so important, and I love the idea of making yourself a flower crown or a piece of jewelry that has the complementary colors that you wanna bring into 2014! I am totally going to try this idea out and make myself a natural flower crown for this 2013-2014 New Years, and pair it with a airy white dress (it is super hot down here, after all!).

Hope you guys have enjoyed most of this floral inspiration, and if I don’t have time to make another post until the year ends, I wish to all my readers and to all the WordPress community a wonderful beginning of 2014, filled with happiness and love! May this next year be a billion times better than the one that has passed!

Tchau tchau, Feliz Ano Novo e Muito Amor!

Marina  

Risotto!

three chesse risotto

For anyone who knows even the slightest thing about me, one of the first things they will eventually find out is that I am a terrible cook. I don’t eat a lot of stuff either, since I hate red meat and pork and cold cuts of meat in general, so it just makes cooking for me a huge challenge. I leave most of that challenge to either take-out foods to partake or to my husband. He is actually an amazing cook, who doesn’t often enough give himself enough credit, probably because I am always in such an annoyingly strict “diet” that only revolves around the few dishes that I already like.

But if there is one thing I am crazy about, it is risotto. I don’t really know where the allure comes from, but I just love it to death. A well-made risotto can turn a shitty day of mine into the happiest day of my life in a matter of seconds.

As you can imagine, I don’t really cook my risottos myself. I’ve heard they are a fairly easy dish to master once you get the hang of it, but I don’t just wanna destroy the magic, I don’t know. Anyways, for this blog post I AM going to do something slightly different and actually post some amazing risotto recipes, so that you guys, my husband and my friends can feel inspired to cook for my me! Why not, eh?

The first recipe I got from Sheerluxe.com  and it looks amazing! 

roasted pepper risotto with goat cheese

ingredients

  • When a plate of food is based around an ingredient that leaks starch you have to balance it with light and vibrant ingredients and textures to avoid stodgy results.This version ,albeit a slight cheat with a blitzed-up jar of roasted peppers,sings the flavours of summer and, with the added bite and ooze from the rocket and goat’s cheese, you’ll have restaurant-quality risotto every timeServes 4
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Knob of butter
  • Risotto rice (250g)
  • White wine (250ml)
  • 1 litre of hot veg stock
  • Jar of roasted red peppers
  • Chunk of Parmesan, grated
  • Splash of cream
  • Handful of fresh rocket, washed
  • Wedge of goat’s cheese

preparation

  • Peel and chop the onion and garlic as finely as possible. Sweat them off gently in a saucepan with the butter for 5 minutes. Dump in the rice and stir to coat every grain in the buttery onions. Pour in the wine and bubble gently until absorbed. Ladle in the stock bit by bit, stirring continuously over the heat. Don’t add more stock until the last lot has absorbed. 
  • Continue for 10–12 minutes until the rice is plump and cooked. Drain the oil from the red peppers then blitz them in a food processor to form a purée. Stir the purée into the risotto with the Parmesan, cream and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. 
  • When you’re happy the rice is tender and you have a ‘relaxed’ texture (nothing too stiff and stodgy) then quickly pile on the rocket and divide into big bowls. Crumble over the goat’s cheese and serve.
Great, right? 
The second one I found in Volevofarelochef.wordpress.com, and it also looks awesome. 
preserved lemon risoto

ingredients 

  • Riso Carnaroli (or other risotto rice) 5 oz (140g)
  • preserved lemon, 1 small
  • saffron, 3 stigmas
  • shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 dry white wine 1/2 glass
  •  slightly salted butter (such as Lurpak) 1 knob
  •  vegetable broth, as needed
  • kosher salt and black pepper.
  • Serves 2.

preparation

  • Sauté the shallot in a little olive oil, when it’s tender add the rice and toast 1-2 minutes. Pour the wine, when evaporated add 1/2 preserved lemon, finely chopped (the lemon should be washed in fresh water before use, to remove excess of salt, you can only use the zest or the zest + pulp, I’ve used both to give a stronger flavor). Cook the rice with vegetable broth. Halfway through cooking add the remaining lemon, finely chopped. Stir the risotto, off the heat, with a knob of slightly salted butter (very very cold). Serve with a sprinkling of black pepper and julienne of lemon confit .
  • *preserved lemons are a specialty of North Africa – Middle East and give a very distinctive flavor to dishes. They’re obtained by preserving lemons in salt. Great with meat and fish in the typical moroccan tajines and also excellent in salads and risotto.

This thrid one is a Lemony Summer Risotto from Chefindisguise.com

lemon summery risotto

ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 8 cups chicken stock (recipe here)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 carrot cut into thin slices
  • 1 zucchini cut into thin slices
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • handful of mozzarella cheese
  • Small handful basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • Salt
  • Pepper

preparation

  • In a pot heat the oil and add the onions and garlic.
  • Stir for a couple of minutes then add the carrots and zucchini, continue stirring (You want to get the onions to soften to the point of translucent but not beyond that because  if you brown the onions this will affect the final taste.)
  • tir on medium heat untill the rice absorbs almost all the liquid.
  • Continue adding the stock one ladle at a time and stirring untill the rice on the edges begins to dry (the stirring helps bring out the starch and develop the creamy-ness)
  • It took me 8 cups and around 25 minutes to get the rice to the level of done-ness (yes that’s a word) that I wanted. It may take you a little more or less, when you have added 7 cups it might be a good idea to taste it and see if it is where you want it to be.
  • Peel the lemon and section the flesh of one half, chop it and sprinkle with sugar.Squeeze  the other half. Add the sections and juice to the rice followed by the cheese, herbs, butter.
  • Stir untill the butter melts and all the herbs are evenly distributed.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

And since my culinary skills don’t go that far, I’m gonna finish this post of with one of my favorites: the classic saffron risotto! This Recipe is from the very famous Epicurious.com!

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ingredients

  • 28 ounces chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • Large pinch of saffron
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus shavings for garnish (optional)

preparation

  • Bring stock to a low simmer in a medium pot. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat for 1 minute. Cook onion until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add rice and a pinch of salt. Sauté until rice is translucent, 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine and saffron; bring to a simmer, stirring, until rice has absorbed most of wine. Add 2 ladles of stock to rice; simmer, stirring, until rice has absorbed most of stock. Continue adding stock, allowing rice to absorb it before adding the next ladleful. Cook until rice is al dente and mixture is a little loose. Stir in butter. Turn off heat. Stir in grated cheese. Cover and let sit 2 minutes. Divide among 4 bowls. Garnish each with cheese shavings, if desired.

Hope you guys have enjoyed those few recipes! It is super easy to find lots more around, as I’m sure you all know! 

Tchau Tchau! 

Marina

Middleton Mania

No one, in my opinion, pulls off being elegant, but not over the top, being simple and gracious and just kind of even annoyingly perfect from every angle you look at it better than her highness the Duchess of Cambridge Mrs. Kate Middleton. 

I can’t even say I admire her, because it is so so much more than that. I wish suddenly all of the items from her wardrobe appeared in my closet! And I even love how she manages to be freaking royalty and repeat some outfits like us, mere “peasants”! Plus she is always so cute in all her public appearances, she just seams at ease, which is something refreshing to see in the royal family in general. 

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Not only she works that preppy style like crazy, her hair and make-up are always flawless, and she brings a modern tone to what british super-rich (not sure if that’s the official term, haha) living is all about. Doesn’t she look like she came right out of a real life Princess Diary‘s film? 

 

Plus, she got voted best dressed pregnant woman of the year! Which to me was perfect, because I seriously agreed with that title! Some serious inspiration for the (far away, OK?) future! 

Hope you’ve enjoyed seeing a little bit of her style. I’m sure you guys know that everything she touches or wears turns into sudden gold and disappears from all stores or places in general, but we can always use the vibe of the style as something to copy, right? I’m sure I always do! If only Brazil gave me more opportunities for thicker coats and maybe an eventual furry hat!

Tchau tchau!

Marina 

I’ll take one of each… in pink!

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Ok, we’re gonna have to talk about it. PINK! I know it’s a big no-no for a lot of people for some reason (I’ve met my fair share of pink haters along my life), but I can’t help but loving it, in all its shades! I like pink in my stuff so much I think there are very few reasons I don’t just leave my life as it is and start living it as if I was a character in Legally Blonde. Maybe it’s because I don’t enjoy studying law that much? Haha I kid…

But anyways, here is so pink inspiration, which always makes me happy, and I hope it can lighten you guys’ day too! I made it very concise! 

 

Lots of love! 

Marina

A little bit of inspiration

To celebrate the end of the coming year, I separated on this post some inspirational stuff that I really like, and that I believe we can all carry with ourselves into 2014 and in life in general! 

 

I do believe they speak for themselves, so there isn’t much left to be said! 

Tchau tchau! 
Marina 

All That Sparkles!

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It’s one day before Christmas and I don’t have much to say, except I wanna wish all of my readers from all over the world, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, a lovely evening surrounded by your loved ones, and a great day tomorrow! 

And to make it even better, I decided to top it off with an album of my favorite inspiration for shiny outfits, because we all deserve to sparkle a little bit, don’t we? 

Happy Happy Holidays! Feliz Natal! 

Marina 

Jet Black for Those Who Can Pull It Off

The other day I spoke in a post about my love for black clothes and how they are the color of all the key pieces in closet. Well, there is one other thing I absolutely love, although it is not easy for everyone to pull it off and still look good, which is jet black hair! 

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For the fair-skinned, it is a fine line between a beautiful snow-white look and a creepy not-so-wanted overly goth look. For those with a tan, it’s hard for the hair color to look natural, since sun kissed tones tend to blend better with darker skin in my opinion. So it is a look for few! But I do believe that when well-done, dark black hair can be a beautiful thing, specially paired with deep red lipstick (and why not dramatic eyelashes?) 

Here are some looks I love! 

Hope you guys liked them! I think all of those versions and many more can look amazing! 

Beijos! 

Marina

Really Good Posters, Even Better Films

Dancer in the Dark, by Lars Von Trier

I love design, illustration, and well, I’m a film major, so of course I love film posters. But what I really love is looking up the alternative versions of posters of movies I already am completely in love with. Sometimes you find insanely good designs in posters from Japan, or Russia, or Poland. Actually, for some reason, Polish versions of movie posters tend to be my all-time favorites! Hence the poster for Taxi Driver below, which is amazing. 

So from this really short list I separated (trust me, it is super short, I had to control myself to not post a hundred posters here. Maybe I’ll do a second post on the subject!), not only the designs are beautiful, but the movies are all must-sees. Those films are seriously my favorite things of all time, so if there is any from the list that you don’t know, get downloading! (or renting, buying, going to an alt. film theater, whatever is your cup of tea).

Click on the images for the full name of the film and name of the director! That way they are also easier to find. I tried putting all the titles I could in English, even though not all films are American or spoken in English, just because it usually makes finding them online easier. 

 

Hope these can inspire you guys in the middle of the pre-Christmas craziness!  

Tchau Tchau! 

Marina