Monday, 29 February 2016

Heidi Country II

Do you recall my "Heidi Country" post of last August?  Back when it was hot and the meadows and the mountains were lush and the sky blue and white. You could see the cows eating amid wild flowers and lavender....

Well here's what it looks like in winter:  equally magnificent when covered with its white blanket. B E A U T I F U L!!

Two weeks ago, it was the school holidays here, so we took the opportunity to take these pictures (with sweetheart's aging compact camera, a Sony VSC-1).

I hope you enjoy them. We adore this secluded little corner - it's so authentic. That is why I named it "Heidi Country".

Have a look at my August post also, then let me know your preference.

The view from the chalet.

The neighbour's cat.

The mountain hut.

The Swiss Alps.

The village.

The white horse.

A typical mountain chalet.

Typical mountain chalets.

The ski run.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

And the Oscar goes to...

I love to watch good films and this year we were entertained by a range of very good films. I had the pleasure of seeing all my favourite actors in the films listed below. It was a moment of pure delight to see the amazing performances of these great actors. I think of the metamorphosis of Redmayne in The Danish Girl. I think about Bâle in The Big Short and Dicaprio in The Revenant. I was blown away by Tom Hardy as the psychopath twin in Legend. I was moved by De Niro as a senior, wise, loving character in The Intern. Fassbender made me dislike Steve Jobs, so well he performed. Let's not forget Streep, Blanchett, Winslet, these stunning actresses who are simply the greatest.

So ladies and gents, the Oscar ceremony is tomorrow...This time my money is on Leonardo Dicaprio. I really wish and hope that this great actor will finally win after so many nominations. He is one of the rare actors whose movies I watch regardless of the plot or the director. I became a fan since I saw him with De Niro in This Boy's Life (1993).

For the moment, I thought I would share with you my recent viewing list in case you want to see them too. The text descriptions of the movies are credited to the IMDb movie website.

The Intern (2015) Directed by Nancy Meyers. With Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo.
70-year-old widower Ben Whittaker has discovered that retirement isn't all it's cracked up to be. Seizing an opportunity to get back in the game, he becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site, founded and run by Jules Ostin.

Secret in Their Eyes (2015) Directed by Billy Ray. With Chiwetel Ejiofor, Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman.
A tight-knit team of rising investigators, along with their supervisor, is suddenly torn apart when they discover that one of their own teenage daughters has been brutally murdered.

Steve Jobs (2015) Directed by Danny Boyle. With Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels.
Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution, to paint a portrait of the man at its epicenter. The story unfolds backstage at three iconic product launches, ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac.

Suffragette (2015) Directed by Sarah Gavron. With Carey Mulligan, Anne-Marie Duff, Helena Bonham Carter, Meryl Streep.
The foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State.

The Big Short (2015) Directed by Adam McKay. With Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt.
Four denizens of the world of high-finance predict the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s, and decide to take on the big banks for their greed and lack of foresight.

Legend (2015) Directed by Brian Helgeland. With Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, Taron Egerton, Colin Morgan.
The film tells the story of the identical twin gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray, two of the most notorious criminals in British history, and their organised crime empire in the East End of London during the 1960s.

The Danish Girl (2015) Directed by Tom Hooper. With Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander.
A fictitious love story loosely inspired by the lives of Danish artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda's marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili's groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.

Carol (2015) Directed by Todd Haynes. With Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, Kyle Chandler.
An aspiring photographer develops an intimate relationship with an older and classy woman.

The Revenant (2015) Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. With Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, Domhnall Gleeson.
A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team.

Friday, 26 February 2016

O Boticário...with fun from Brazil

Last June I spent a wonderful holiday in Portugal (Lagos and Lisbon). Mum and I went to the Colombo Shopping Centre and I felt intrigued by an attractive shop. The sales assistant invited us inside to look at their promotions. She had a lovely Brazilian accent and generously explained to us the benefits of their products. Since I was planning to create a blog, I took some photos to illustrate my article.

O Boticário is a famous Brazilian cosmetics brand, launched nearly 40 years ago. They use Brazilian and South American tropical fruits, nuts, herbs, etc. to create beauty products for men and women. Personally, I would say they have the same style as Body Shop, but cheaper.

I bought these four products on promotion, but I have only used two of them so far. I can tell you that I am loving them both and that is why I decided to talk about their products.

Nativa Spa Pitaya Exfoliating Sugar Scrub (290g)
Enables moisturising through the oil contained in the exfoliating sugar whilst also renewing the skin through its gentle exfoliation. Leaves the body with an oil filter and a sublime smell.

Nativa Spa Refreshing Lemon Balm and Rosemary Moisturising Hand Cream (75g)
Enriched with minerals that protect your skin from external aggressions and increase nail resistance, protecting them and leaving them stronger.

Nativa SPA Moisturising and Nourishing Flan with Açaí (250g)
Moisturise your body with the nutrients from açaí and feel your skin becoming soft and invigorated and all this with the delicious aroma of this exotic fruit.

Native SPA Vinotherapy Exfoliating Body Oil (250ml)
It has a formula rich in antioxidants with grape seed microparticles and 100% vegetable oils. In addition to eliminating dead cells, eliminating roughness and stimulating cell renewal, it deeply hydrates for up to 30 hours

O Boticário is present in 10 countries, namely Brazil, Portugal, Venezuela, Paraguay, Colombia, Mozambique, Angola, Saudi Arabia, Japan and the United States.

I have noticed that my dear readers are big should you go to Brazil or to Portugal don't hesitate to visit one of their shops.  Failing this you can buy online from Portugal at

Did you know that Portugal is in the top 5 most visited European countries? Check my July posts for tips.

Hope you enjoyed this little tropical tour.

Colombo Shopping Centre
Av. Lusiada Letras CC, Loja 1090/1092
1500-392 Lisboa
Tel.: + 351 96 390 4764

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

A Minimalist Beauty Basket

Bonjour ladies! This is a quick hello to present my beauty basket to you. Rummaging through my camera I found this series of photos of my minimalist beauty products which I took last April.

From the pictures you can tell that Clarins has won my heart. I am very familiar with this excellent brand of cosmetics. I must say that it's a love story that has lasted since I was eighteen, when I was a student in the country of Shakespeare.

However, some of these products, once finished, have been replaced by others. Maybe you still remember my product reviews - Elona snail cream, Chanel No 5 which replaced Diva by Ungaro... Elixir serum by Caudalie (the post is coming out soon).

It is obvious that I have clearly come out of my comfort zone. I do believe this is partly thanks to blogging... I am more willing to try new things and it has been a beneficial experience for me.

What about you? Are you faithful to a brand? Would you like to share a wonderful new discovery?

I wish you a fabulous Wednesday.

Monday, 22 February 2016

The Lover by Marguerite Duras (1984)

In 1929, a 15-year-old French girl is travelling by ferry across the Mekong Delta, returning from a holiday at her family home in the town of Sa Đéc to her boarding school in Saigon. She attracts the attention of the 27-year-old son of a Chinese business magnate, a young man of wealth and heir to a fortune. He strikes up a conversation with the girl; she accepts a ride back to town in his chauffeured limousine. A passion is born from this encounter. Thus, she becomes his lover, until he bows to the disapproval of his father and breaks off the affair. For her lover, there is no question of the depth and sincerity of his love, but it is not until much later that the girl realises her true feelings.

The Lover is an autobiographical novel by Marguerite Duras. It has been translated into 43 languages and was awarded the Prix Goncourt in 1984. A film adaptation was made in 1992: The Lover by Jean-Jacques Arnaud.

Author: Marguerite Duras was born on April 14, 1914, in Saigon, Cochinchina, a region of French Indochina (now Vietnam). She died of throat cancer in 1996 in Paris. Duras spent most of her childhood in Indochina, but at the age of 17 she moved to France to study at the Sorbonne in Paris, where she obtained degrees in law and politics. She was deeply marked by the landscape and the lifestyle of the former French colony, which often served as a backdrop to her work.

My thoughts: I read this book in one day in the Portuguese version; I loved it so much that I read it twice. This is without contest an erotic masterpiece: exhilarating, sensual, melancholy, truthful, modern and female. I quote below the most beautiful piece of her writing:

"Very early in my life, it was too late.
It was already too late when I was eighteen. Between eighteen and twenty-five my face took off in a new direction. I grew old at eighteen. I don't know if it's the same for everyone, I've never asked. But I believe I've heard of the way time can suddenly accelerate on people when they're going through even the most youthful and highly esteemed stages of life. My ageing was very sudden. I saw it spread over my features one by one, changing the relationship between them, making the eyes larger, the expression sadder, the mouth more final, leaving great creases in the forehead. But instead of being dismayed I watched this process with the same sort of interest I might have taken in the reading of a book."

Saturday, 20 February 2016

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them” - quote by Henri Matisse

For Valentine's Day sweetheart offered me nice gifts. This very cosy brown blanket to keep me warm when I read on the couch. This great bestseller book ordered in the UK because it was not yet published in Geneva. A Chanel gift because it is the essence of Parisian elegance....

and these beautiful flowers because I am addicted to them…

Even if a bouquet of flowers is ephemeral, it is a moment in life and every moment is precious when it comes to expressing feelings - friendship, love, gratitude, joy…

...and as they are my preferred subject to photograph, here are some pictures...