4.4.16

bit of everything ~ march favourites

hello dear, welcome to my embarrassing den of wonder, nice to meet you.

sorry i've been away for so long, life just kinda got in the way and i became super discouraged after first week without a post... i know, it makes no sense but that's just how i roll.

anyway, march ended, it's the first monday of april (one of my favourite months) so let's get down to my favourite things.

first things first, food. i'm a massive fan and easter is my jam but! there is something that stole my heart and it surprisingly isn't my 'one-hand brownie' (recipe coming this month). 

fig bar

this the actual bomb. imagine this. you're kinda hungry but there is still a couple of hours till dinner, you don't really like figs but you love raspberries though and the packaging is basically screaming buy me at you. that was me one afternoon 3 weeks ago. and here i am, buying this stuff by a dozen and eating it instead of breakfast (don't kill me please). 

what this basically is, it's a duo of small fig bars (15%) with addition of raspberries, blueberries or solo. they are made from wholemeal flour with some oats. and that's it, no gmo, no trans fats, no milk products, suitable for vegans. sounds really simple, and it kinda is, but i find myself reaching for that instead of chocolate which is really something, i like my cocoa.  

~~~
syoss ~ 10 in 1 essential wonder treatment

when i was travelling in february, i sadly forgot my usual hair oil and my hair was in dying need of something. i couldn't find my usual stuff (why do chain drugstores not offer the same thing everywhere?? isn't that the point??) so i opted for something new, it sounded kinda good. 

now, here's the situation about my hair. i've been dyeing, curling, bleaching it since i was about 13. it's even more damaged after bleaching it for blue-purple in december although now it's in a really good condition. anyway, since it's kinda poorly, every time i wash it, i treat it with oils and some keratin shampoo, masks and all that stuff. i don't really blow dry it but i try to use nice things after washing as well. right now i'm using this and it's basically magical. i haven't heard about it before, but then again i don't really read reviews ever, just used it. and it's so good! smells fantastic, makes my hair really smooth, fixed my cotton candy ends and my hair is finally manageable when dry! now the weirdest thing, writing this post i checked this product online. it turns out that it's not very liked at all! i assume that those reviews are from people whose hair is much healthier than mine used to be. i don't know if it's any good for a pick me up for nice hair but i definitely recommend it for dry and kind of hopeless hair.

~~~
origins ~ drink-up intensive overnight mask

i've been getting kinda into skincare a bit lately, there'll be more about this later, so when the brand origins came to our sephora i was very excited. i've heard a bunch about them, especially their facial masks, this and the charcoal one. the charcoal needs a bit more time for my review but this one is definitely worth the hype! i'm new to the whole overnight mask thing, but it's quite convenient, since you don't have to wait around, and turns out it's good for my skin. this one is very hydrating, as the package says, smells really good too. origins stands for all natural ingredients so this contains apricot kernel oil, plant glycerin and hyaluronic acid to bring moisture, avocado oil and mango butter to lock it in for the morning and japanese seaweed to prevent future dryness. it's very easy to use, just like a normal mask/rich night cream and the results are visible in the morning. the only downside to this is the prize, for now at least, but if you have a coupon, which is frequently, at sephora it's definitely worth it.

~~~
kitty collector

now something purely innocent and for fun. neko atsume. you've probably heard about it but if not, let me introduce you to this just wonderful app. neko atsume (kitty collector in japanese) is kids play but it brings me so much joy. i don't have a cat, and i don't think that i'll be getting one soon, so this is my outlet of being a crazy cat lady. in the game you have a back yard with space for food and cat toys. you leave the food out and cats come to you all on their own. when they leave they give you fish (which serve as money for more food and toys). the premise of the game is to have all the toys, all the food and all the cats! there are 53 cats, i think, they all have different tastes and needs. all you have to do is give them food and change your yard around once in a while. you can take photos of them and name each one differently if you want.

i know, it's kinda immature but let me have my adult fun. i never had a console, i wasn't very into sims (you know the drill, 4 days straight and then nothing for 4 months) so this is my tamagotchi in a phone. 

the game is free for ios and android, you can buy fish but it's not necessary, and it's just good fun.


~~~
meΔia meΔea

the last thing i want to talk about it media medea. this is a play being shown in the polish theatre in wroclaw. it's made by marcin liber and marzena sadocha. here is the info from the theatre site. 

my last couple of plays where very disappointing and since i haven't heard any praises of this play i wasn't expecting anything big. i went with one of my school friends, we were just curious really. but what a good decision that was! 

this is a very, very expressive play. there is a lot happening, there are about 4 stories happening at once, intertwining and connecting. each has two actors, medea and jazon. each touches on love, be it young, lost or burnt out. there is also some social commentary on refugees and the way we treat the history of things that are no longer there. there are pieces of betrayal, revenge, loss and being lost. i feel like every body can find something to relate to in this play, the stories of families, repeated archetypes, are universal. every character has a moment of realisation, a breaking point and it's very interesting to see those on stage, with a bang a lot of times.

the practical side of the play is really good too, the costumes are very modern and interesting but they don't take away from the action. same with the use of video clips. i don't know why but our theatre recently uses video in every single play, a lot of the times it doesn't make sense (cause it's a theatre right? live action things should be happening) but here it's quite well combined. the stage is a whole big space but it doesn't confuse the audience when difference scenes are happening. even the nudity is not very overused, which i feel like is an exception in modern plays (but that's a whole another post 'on nudity'). 

go if you want. just beware of quite a lot of smoke machine, and if you don't like cigarettes don't pick a seat in the front right. 

that would be it, it think. i'm sorry again, for not being here, forgive me.

~~~

sockabrate is really coming back, i'm just a total slacker. 

love you,

qofr

29.2.16

for your face and soul ~ february favourites

another month gone. 2016 is passing by quite fast for me, scary. but let's lighten up the mood instantly with some favourite products, that always cheers me up (you know those hours spent on youtube, looking up beauty gurus and trying to find a good enough reason to splurge on yet another red lipstick).

this month has been full of travels, i feel like a true adult, i have my own case and everything. my traveling hacks learnt from numerous times in london always come in handy, even with trains (pendolino is good stuff).

but here is some stuff i've been loving not only while traveling, although that changed my use of them.

~~~

magic cushion
ever since i became more interested in asian, korean especially, culture i've wanted to try cushion foundations. the girls there and in the west are all big fans since it's supposed to be super light yet longlasting and the formulas are usually very watery, moisturising. also... come on! it's such a fun application method!

the only thing that was not so great about those foundation was the fact that they were freaking impossible to find! i try to avoid buying products for my skin online, just because i'm so fair and pale that most of them are too dark or yellow, even if the photos say otherwise. in korea the trend is to be lighter then here so it probably should be fine but the shade ''light beige'' by etude house doesn't sound convincing to me.

but the patience paid off. the sephora brand came up with a cushion foundation probably like 2 months ago, it's available here for 79 zlotys, which is fine really for a bit of a higher end foundation. the colour range seems small at first but try it out, it fits both me and my mum and she's quite tan. of course i'm using the lightest 14 ''soft beige''.


the product comes in, surprise surprise, a cushion. when you open the compact you get a mirror and a small puff, the actual product is hidden inside the case. out the cushion on your three fingers and press it into the cushion. the trick is though not to press it hard, the product is there, believe me, you can always come back. once you have that just pat it into your beautiful face, starting from the center. don't rub, i know the urge, just pat. you don't need a lot in my experience, three pushes is more then enough for me.

the coverage is just what it says, very natural and delicate yet it unifies (is that the correct word?) the skin tone. the truly amazing thing though is the freaking lasting effect!

i touch myself a lot. ok, that came out wrong. i touch my face a lot during the day, like resting my chin on my hand and such. usually a bb cream doesn't last all day, i get just a tiny bit of colour on the cotton pad in the evening. but this! this is different! freaking all day running around the city and it didn't budge. set with just powder (which isn't a must really but i can get a bit oily in the t-zone) and it's amazing.

~~~~

mischievous grapefruit  
here i am being a bit of a bitch cause it's not available any more, but it's so good! l'occitane's ''pamplemousse-rhubarbe'' from their pierre herme collection. it was a limited edition during i think holiday time and i have the eau de toilette, shower gel and hand cream.

i'm not gonna go on about the actual gel or cream, you probably know l'occitane's products, if not, their hand creams have 20% shea butter and it's the bomb.

another thing is writing about the scent. i'm quite sensitive to smells but don't know the science at all. the things i found that can maybe tell you something:
top notes: rhubarb, grapefruit, lemon, cypress
heart notes: clove, nutmeg, lavender
base notes: cedar, vetiver
i don't really know if they are all here. what i can say though is that it smells citrusy, fresh with a bit of sweetness. it's a daytime perfume for sure, probably more summer appropriate but who cares. it's marketed unisex and i definitely agree, i would love a man to smell like that. the only downside is it's not so great lasting power. the gel and hand cream are good but the perfume itself i feel fades quite quickly. the one thing i found to be very good (i'm new to perfume so it's probably new only for me) is to spray it on your hair when it's almost dry, like one extra blow with the hairdryer. the smell doesn't overpower you and others really, subtle but i think that the rhubarb addition gives it a nice original touch.


i say that like you're gonna buy it or something. the only way i can think this information could be useful for you is if you want to know what i smell like. weird but now you know.

oh, and the mischievous part is a quote from the original description...

~~~

the only good thing about valentines
i feel like valentine's day is only fun for couples and since i'm not a part of one, it's not fun for me. but! a lot of shops and whatnot come out with special offers and things because of that and i'm sure you take advantage of that too. so now i'm willing to give up my already battered hipster card for your possible pleasure.

i love coffee, any pretty much. so when i noticed that starbucks here came out with new flavours i had to try. and what a good idea that was...

i've been obsessed with flower flavoured things for ages and rose, apart from the all mighty lavender, is my favourite. the starbucks coffee is rose and pistachio flavoured with pink whipped cream, wha?! cool, right? it's good, go try it, unless you're not a fan of starbucks which i get. 

~~~
tiny wonders
in january my favourites mostly included (or solely really) beauty products. in march i feel like i'm gonna have more of those cause i found a lot of new things to test, but in february it's mostly other stuff i liked. the last thing i really want to talk about but i'm not sure if i have enough info is an exhibition i saw in cracow. it's in my favourites cause among all the stuff and works i've seen this month this has been the best (and believe me, i've seen masterpieces).

this is a tiny exhibit by takayuki hara held in manggha (a japanese/asian arts centre) in cracow. the title is ''before we fall again'' and consists of around 30 works done in various techniques. most are drawings but there are also graphics and these crazy sculptures made from blown out egg shells.

his works are very intricate and detailed, he must have a crazy good pencil sharpener. or a mechanical pencil... duh... anyway. the works are centered around the darkness of falling/failing, the different stages of that, the changes we go through. it's also dedicated to the artist's uncle who passed away, which i think is saying a lot. the whole thing is showing the ideas of a man between his falls and the magical world in his head, i guess.

but the interpretation is to each his own, that's how i see it. the works are very valuable on an artistic level too, that's why it's one of my favourites this month. here are some of my faves in the collection:

innocence (detail)
blind embossing on paper

accumulator (detail)
graphite on paper

my friendly neighbour, jellyfish (detail)
watercolour, pen and ink on concertina book

this last cat is a part of this:
and this is absolutely magnificent

even the rooms were decorated with his characters

if you want to see this exhibit, it's on till 13th of march, the ticket is for the whole gallery for 20/15 zlotys.

~~~

hope you enjoyed that, i'm so proud of myself. 

this has been your monday dose of pure pleasure.

love,

qofr

p.s. sockabrate is coming back and coworking with new people is great.

26.2.16

premium polonia express

this is my throwback to waw-gd-waw polonia trip two weeks ago.
i decided to go cause, first of all, i have never seen the polish seaside, or any seaside for that matter, during winter time. 
other thing, the application processes had just started in my chosen schools so i need to send a lot of documents. fortunately it turned out that i can get them there myself so i thought that it would be a nice starting touch to show my face (other than the one on my photo, that one is hideous...).

so here are some of my things from those days:


these are really good places with food
food is really important to me

this was actually my first time trying a kinda real pho. i'm quite a big fan of asian cuisine in general, unfortunately near where i live the options are a bit limited and vietnamese is definitely not in them. if your'e in the area and have a big appetite for soup, try them out!

more on that here

ministry of coffee

ok, this is my absolute favourite place in the capital to drink coffee. i'm not saying a cafe because i get a different feel from those and here it is definitely all about coffee. they have every technique imaginable on point, a couple of different blends and lot's of options even for those who like the sweet taste of coffee shakes. they're located near pl. zbawiciela, check them out here

~~~gdańsk

view from the archeological museum
post here


we went to sopot one afternoon, visited the actual seaside, like walked the pier and all. i really recommend the gallery of art there, the exhibit was free, i got to know some new artists and was really inspired. oh, and the avocado restaurant just around the corner, fusion cuisine, if the bomb.

just the train system there is shit, i really hope you can figure it out yourself, i barely made it.



and here you have the dreaded shakespear's theatre and some better things. w starym kadrze cafe, they have really cool coffee combinations based on famous titles, they host showings of very different films and it gives a nice feel tbh.

milanówek is another great thing, so great. here you can read more about it, i bought a beautiful scarf, it's on one of my insta selfies, but i'm sure it deserves it's own outfit and post.

~~~


on our way home
xoxo from varsovie

so, i think that is it. i loved this trip, had been excited for it for so long. i got the stuff done, waiting for news (you're going to be the first to know). i hope you enjoyed all this, i think i'm haul some stuff from this and my current trip cause it's worth a look.

this has been your extra dose of travel inspirations.

love,


qofr

22.2.16

szemrany szekspir

i'm a big fan of shakespeare's works. i find classic british humour to be hilarious and roles like hamlet are just wonderful. i've read the major plays, both in polish and english, been to multiple stagings of different interpretations of the genius texts. but i'm not here to fluff around about my love about the guy.

as you know, i visited gdańsk recently and there is this thing there that got me seriously excited. a ''shakespeare's theatre''. sounds cool, right? in reality it's not really but we'll get to that later. 

the theatre is this whole investment and project which was started in the early 2000's and finished 1,5 year ago. it resulted in a building. good fun.

why shakespear? he hasn't even visited gdańsk in his times! it turns out that there was an old theatre (about the time the author was alive), where the new one stands, and they hosted various artists from all over europe. so here's why apparently. 

the idea is great. they built a theatre, designed by an italian architect, which is supposed to be a place for other theatres from all over the country to come and act on a very advanced stage, with amazing technology. 


the biggest thing about this building is the stage itself and the roof. the stage is entirely movable, made of parts that can change the pits hight and make the ''italian stage'' (which is the classic pushed back into the wall stage) into an ''elizabethan stage'' (traditional shakespeare's stage, pushed into the audience, actors can be seen from almost all sides). this poses so many opportunities! like there can be plays just for this stage, much different from the norm, watched from many angles! imagine that...
the seats are movable
italian stage, 
the dark parts can be changed

and here comes the first absurd. even though the stage has so much potential, the guide (he was kinda creepily in love with the whole thing) couldn't name one play that was newly written for this theatre. they don't want to invest in their own troupe (continuing the olden traditions) so the plays depend purely on the guest theatre. oh, and even the true shakespeare plays are on the italian stage! oh my god! such a waste! even the one produced as the first traditional play (they plan on having a premiere once a year of a new shakespeare play, since he wrote so many) wasn't on the full elizabethan stage!

~~~

another cool thing about this building, as mentioned, is the roof. you probably noticed that they have a roof, yet the original didn't have those. 
the pattern is really cool though...

i was really confused at first cause a sort of open air theatre gives a totally different feel to a play than a closed space (and the lighting is very different) but they sort of dealt with that.

they have a freaking movable roof! it weights 40 tonnes, although don't quote me on that, and can open in 3 minutes. because it was really gloomy, rainy and cold when i went, they didn't open it for us but you can see photos on their page. tbh looks interesting.

~~~

now let's get to the szemrany part. szemrany translates to dodgy or shady. 

so... the whole thing seems to be very dangerous, from a ''health and safety''. it seems that the architect was really stubborn with the concept but didn't take into account that this is a public use building. almost all the staircases are like 90cm wide, two people barely fit. we went on this terrace thing:
and when the guy was talking he kind of contradicted himself in the next sentences. firstly, he said that this is not available to the general public and they don't open it during performances, yet it's supposed to be a walking trail and he invited us to suggest projects that can happen in these areas... 

another thing. my mum and i bought tickets online to see a play that very same day, yet somehow they failed to inform us that it's canceled. we were there 3 hours earlier! oh, and they suggested we should keep an eye on their facebook page, tf...

to be honest, the last thing i think is the building from the outside. it is very controversial in the gothic architecture in the city center, i can totally see why. it looks like a burnt tomb to me... i even heard some architecture people discussing it in a cafe, to be gentle, they weren't happy. 

all and all, it was a weird, shady and not very enjoyable experience. and it's such a shame, damn it! 

~~~

now, i'd like to know what you think. i know you probably haven't been but what do you think about the building (it costed almost 100 milion zlotys, the bricks on the outside where hand made...). 

i really don't like it, and it looks terrible in connection to the whole panorama, shame...

~~~

okay, here it is. the travelog is coming on friday i think.

this has been your monday dose of architecture banter.

love, 

qofr

p.s. i'm sososososo sorry this didn't come out last week, my laptop refused to turn on and i had to deal with that...

thank you

12.2.16

pomorskie paciorki

i'm in gdańsk right now, typing these words from my very ''blogger-like'' position on a hotel bed.

first mention of gdańsk in ''vita prima sancti adalbertii in the 10th century

in pendolino (a fast train going from warsaw to gdańsk, and other places) there are these screens showing cool things in different cities. right there i read about the archeological museum and their jewellery exhibition.

view from the tower of the museum
~~~

''craftsmen or artists?'' is a small but very packed exhibit centered around jewellery made by pomeranian tribes in the first centuries ad. most of these where found in women's graves during excavations a couple of years ago. the premise of this whole thing is to, obviously, think about the difference and line between a craftsman and an artist.

even though the exhibit fills only one room, there is quite a number of pieces and a lot of information. mostly, you can find out what kind of jewellery making techniques where there 20 centuries ago, see the exquisite craftsmanship and attention to detail. and they did all this by hand, without any magnifying glass or anything!

remanences of a small workshop
examples of where the jewellery was worn, 
a lot of brooches served a practical purpose  
since we are on the amber trail, 
these are naturally found ambers,
 also used in jewellery
this is one of my favourites.
a necklace made of a mediterranean sea shell 
(brought over by trading)
and a bronze casing, very high fashion

~~~

now let's talk about the topic.

first of all let me say that i believe that craftsmen, workers in handmade objects, are also artists. these things were designed by them, they took hours and hours to make it. let's not even begin to talk about the effort it took to figure out the methods of forming and decorating every piece. all by hand. all in a freaking hot workshop. 

i, myself, always say that i do what i do because i'm first and foremost a craftsman (or a woman rather). i'm mostly interested in getting to know new techniques of making stuff, figuring out any improvements, making thing by hand by myself.

for me knowing the workshop is much more important than having a split of inspiration, jotting it down and not knowing what to do with it.

ultimately, i want to create for myself but doing things which require a lot of skill for somebody is also very rewarding. another thing is the need for highly specialised craftsmen in today's day and age. recently my cousin linked me to a post about a new college in the uk, a part of a ballet school i think, and their main goal is to train people to renew and make new costumes for ballet. the tutus are in terrible shape apparently and it turns out it's quite hard to just repair or make a new one.

~~~

i can't recommend the exhibition enough and i want to hear your thoughts, are craftsmen artists? what is even the difference?

~~~ 

this has been your additional dose of creative thinking.

love,

qofr

11.2.16

maria naucza

ok, this is major. i'm like tottaly awe-struck.

since i'm in warsaw, i might as well treat myself to a ticket for a play with a famous brilliant actress, right? good choice, good choice.

~~~

''maria callas. master class'' in och-teatr.

as the title would suggest, this play is about maria callas, a very famous opera singer in her times and until today. she is one of the most important artists, her voice was unique and she was truly an actress on stage.

she was born in america but moved to athens quite early in her life, greek decent. maria started off as a ''hippopotamus'' on stage, with pimples too. fortunately, her artistry was more important than looks, which greatly improved once she lost weight, btw.

la traviata, as violetta

the really sad thing is that her hard and heavy temper affected a lot of her life, thus her talent. even though she was an international star, in 1965, she got kicked out of her opera environment, after years and years of quarrels with her millionaire husband (he didn't want her to sing, she got in trouble with basically everybody because of that).

but... what about the play!

we meet her in 1971, at julliard school of music in new york. callas tried teaching a master class there. the whole performance is centered and played as a lecture with students presenting their works. maria listens but frequently interrupts. there are only 3 students, yet we are watching the stage, from both sides, for nearly 2 hours. it doesn't feel like it.

krystyna janda, a very famous polish film and theatre actress, plays the main role. she's in her 60s but that's not a problem, i feel like if she was younger (even though she already played callas, in a similar play, 10 years ago), you wouldn't see the truth.

i can actually believe she is callas, that's her, with jet black, pulled back hair, and short legs. the actual singer had a very difficult childhood, during war, she was very self conscious, needed love and hate. janda portraits that very well. her monologues are the most moving, her feelings towards her husband, her desperate need to act but not act. even if it is set in a class room, with students actually performing opera, her persona is so sharp that even when she leaves the stage for a break, callas is still there.

one of the most elegant posters i have ever seen

~~~

i know that you probably want to hear about costumes... but there really isn't that much to say. imagine an old diva with a very classy presence, a school accompanist, students who really don't know how to dress themselves and a grumpy janitor. that's it really. but it plays so nicely. 

~~~

i'm really sorry this is late, but the play... it was soooooo goooood. go see it if you have the chance, please. you'll thank me in unicorn tears.

this has been your monday (wednesday) dose of culture vulture.

love,

qofr