I also write for / Scriu si pentru

I also write for / Scriu si pentru

Revista Tango Romania

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Sapunuri naturale handmade din Romania

De curand am facut o comanda de sapunuri de casa, handmade, din Romania, de la un domn pe nume Paul Mocanu din Brasov care face sapunuri naturale grozave, prin metoda “la rece”. Nu stiu exact cum functioneaza aceasta metoda, stiu doar ca se foloseste in crearea sapunurilor naturale handmade. Eu si Paul Mocanu ne cunoastem de pe Facebook de mai mult timp, poate de vreo doi ani, urmaresc si o pagina Facebook dedicata sapunurilor naturale moderata de Paul Mocanu, si dintotdeauna i-am admirat sapunurile pe care le face si pe care le promoveaza pe Facebook. Sunt o mare amatoare de sapunuri naturale, handmade, organice, aromaterapeutice, si imi place sa incerc diferite sapunuri de la diferite branduri, ori de cate ori am ocazia. In baia mea vor fi tot timpul cel putin doua sapunuri naturale, dar de obicei am in casa mai mult de doua. Acum cateva luni am inceput o conversatie cu Paul Mocanu pe Facebook despre sapunuri, si am ajuns sa fac o comanda de 12 sapunuri, cu ingrediente diferite. De fapt eu am comandat sase, iar celelalte sase le-am primit cadou de la Paul. Unul din acele sapunuri poate fi folosit si ca balsam solid pentru par, iar un altul ca sampon solid. Am mai folosit acest tip de sampon si balsam solid in trecut, de la Lush, un alt brand de produse de ingrijire naturale handmade dupa care sunt pur si simplu innebunita.

Cand am plasat comanda, l-am rugat pe Paul Mocanu sa-mi trimita sapunurile la o adresa din Romania, la familia mea. Un prieten de-al meu din Toronto a mers in vizita in Romania anul acesta, si cand s-a intors la Toronto, mi-a adus sapunurile. Din cele 12 sapunuri, 5 le-am lasat familiei mele din Romania si 7 tocmai mi-au fost aduse la Toronto. Toate sapunurile miros si arata grozav, de-abia astept sa le folosesc. Si imi mai place ca sapunurile sunt ambalate in aceste saculete frumoase de organza. Paul mi-a spus ca pot sa le scot eticheta de hartie, sa tin sapunurile in saculet, si sa le folosesc asa in saculet, sunt bune ca scrub de corp. O sa incerc si aceasta varianta, cred ca va functiona la dus.
Photo credit: Victoria West
Acum ca am atat de multe sapunuri (si mai am cateva cumparate dinainte), acestea ma vor tine mai multe luni, si nu voi mai cumpara sapunuri naturale in urmatoarea perioada (a se citi: voi incerca sa rezist tentatiei sa mai iau altele, avand in vedere ca am o pasiune aproape incontrolabila pentru sapunurile naturale handmade, si sper sa reusesc). Sapunurile de la Paul Mocanu au valabilitate de doi-trei ani, si cele pe care le am expira intre august 2018 si ianuarie 2019.

Retetele sapunurilor au numere atribuite, asa procedeaza Paul Mocanu ca sa catalogheze sapunurile. Iata si descrierea fiecarui sapun:

Reteta 65: Sapun cu alantoina si lamaie verde.
Ingrediente: Alantoina pudra; ulieuri saponificate de cocos, masline, palmier, rapita, ricin, catina, avocado; Unturi de shea, cacao; uleiuri esentiale de menta, salvie, lamaie, bergamota, lamaie verde. 

Reteta 83: Sapun cu lapte, fulgi de cocos, spirulina, lanolina.
Ingrediente: Ulieuri saponificate de cocos, masline, rapita, lamaie, catina, ricin, amande, vitamina E, lanolina; unturi de shea, cacao, mango; uleiuri esentiale de lamaie, scortisoara, bergamota, iasomie, patchouli, lavanda.

Reteta 94: Sapun cu miere, lapte de capra, cacao, scortisoara, cuisoare, masala.
Ingrediente: Miere, lapte de capra, masala, anason stelat, cardamom, cuisoare, scortisoara, cacao; ulieuri saponificate de cocos, masline, ricin, neem, avocado, amande, lanolina; unturi de shea, cacao, mango; uleiuri esentiale de mosc, flori de tei, geranium, lacramioare, trandafir, tamaie, salvie, magnolia, liliac.

Reteta 99: Sapun si sampon solid cu piure de ceapa, usturoi, sulf natural.

Reteta 108: Sapun pentru copii cu shea si sofranel.
Ingrediente: Uleiuri saponificate de cocos, ricin, neem, amande, sofranel; ulei de shea; neparfumat. 

Reteta 106: Sapun cu miere si menta, fresh de primavara.
Ingrediente: Uleiuri saponificate de cocos, palmier, masline, rapita, ricin, neem, lanolina; unturi e shea, mango, cacao; uleiuri esentiale de menta, rozmarin, ylang-ylang.

Reteta 109: Sapun si balsam de par solid cu galbenus de ou, otet de mere miere de albine. Ingrediente: uleiuri saponificate de cocos, masline, palmier, rapita, ricin, neem, amande, sofranel; unt de shea; uleiuri esentiale de menta, bergamota, patchouli, cuisoare.

De-abia astept sa ma bucur de ele!

Friday, October 14, 2016

[GUEST STORY] Handpicked Fall 2016 Shoe Trends for Every Girl

Today's story is a guest post by fashion blogger Suzy Walsh, author of the blog The House of Elegance Fashion. Please help us welcome Suzy on our blog, and we hope you'll enjoy the story!


Every season, we have a fresh lease of trends and ideas, which are inspired from the past and promise to define the future of fashion. If you are someone like me, you probably take a look at the top trends and create statements of your own. That’s what fashion should be. It is about getting inspired and trying new ideas from the runways. After all, you have to interpret and create a style statement that’s extremely personal to you. To make that simple, we have enlisted the best handpicked trends from fall 2016. In short, these are the three most wearable trends worth trying.
Back to block: Let’s start with the first trend of the season, which is block heels. There was a time when stilettos ruled the ramp and beyond. Women would do anything and everything to own that one pair of high end heels, which is more like a classic for parties, events and even office. Thankfully, we now have flatforms, platforms and block heels as smart replacements. Fall 2016 mainly had block heels that created an instant impression, balancing style and comfort. Just add a pair of trousers, a nice top, and you can carry off your block heels sans any fashion misses. For amazing tights and tops, click here.
Stylish girl: Everyone loves that extra bit of element in their shoes, and that’s where you can get those amazing pairs that boast of embroidery, sequins, jewellery influences and much more. A lot of designers worked with the stylish ideas, adding more uniqueness even to the daily pairs we know. Such shoes look best when teamed with casual clothing, and if you have purchased something upscale, you can choose to store that for the next happening party. There are many options in embellished and decked up shoes on online stores, so you don’t need to spend a fortune.
Velvet for me: Well, velvet is easily the most picked and used material of the season, and it has been seen in clothing and accessories of fall 2016, as well. What’s great about velvet is the fact that you can experiment with minimalistic designs and extreme ideas at the same time. If you want your shoes to get all the attention, just choose a knee high pair of boots and team it with something low key to maintain a balance. Velvet shoes also look good when you choose a simpler but lush colour, and hence, it all depends on your personal tastes and preference.
Finally, before we leave, we would like to bring attention to mules, which were quite news on the runways. If you like simple slip-in shoes, this is the best bet you have in terms of comfort. Until we meet again, stay in style and keep the smile on!

Photo credit: Popsugar.com/fashion

About the author
Suzy Walsh is a fashion blogger and the chief editor for The House Of Elegance Fashion – a fast growing fashion blog. She is known for her amazing sense of writing about fashion trends and rules with the perspective of a commoner.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Coats, Trenches and Jackets for Fall from SheIn.com

Fall is here, the leaves are in all colors, and the air gets crisper every day. My favorite season of the year is summer, and every year when summer is gone and fall comes to town, I am sad and melancholic missing the hot and sunny days that are gone. But what I do love about fall is that I get to wear certain outfits that I can’t wear during summertime because of the hot weather, like colorful socks and tights, cardigans, sweaters, trenches, coats and jackets.

In today’s story we will be talking about trendy coats, trenches and jackets or fall. I was browsing the SheIn online store these days and I noticed some gorgeous coats and jackets currently available on the website, so I thought to make a compilation with a few styles for this fall which, I hope, will serve you as a good inspiration.
Color Block coat
Color blocking is one of my favorite long-time trends, regardless the season -- I am ready to wear color blocking any time of the year, be it the hot or the cold season.
Color Block coat
Another gorgeous color blocking coat that I have noticed on the website, which would add sparkle to any fall wardrobe.
Camel coat
A camel coat has always been a classical staple for fall. If you own one, you will be able to wear it year after year, without looking outdated or out of fashion.
Black and white checkered coat
Another timeless trend for fall is the black and white checkered coat. When I was in school, in grade 4, I remember my teacher wearing a black and white checkered coat for fall. At that time, when I was seeing her wearing that coat, I was thinking about her that she was very elegant wearing such a stylish and trendy coat. She looked awesome. Little did I realize then that decades later the black and white checkered coat would still be a staple in a woman's wardrobe; and it seems it's not going anywhere any time soon. Styles and trends of this staple coat may vary from season to season, but the basic concept of the checkered coat will be the same in 10 years as it is today, or as it was some 25 years ago when I saw my teacher wearing that coat.
White coat
I don't know how about you, but I do wear white after Labour Day. I love a good white coat, and the hot or cold season is not an impediment for me to wear white. I do own a white coat and a white jacket in my wardrobe, which I love to wear in the fall, so when I saw this coat on the SheIn website, it did draw my attention and I decided to include it in this compilation. I have no issues whatsoever to wear white for fall not only when it comes to outerwear, but also to outfits -- dresses, skirts, pants, denim, tops, blouses, shirts, cardigans, sweaters, handbags, all of it. When I feel like wearing a pair of white pants or white jeans outside the summer season, I just make sure the weather is dry enough as to not to ruin them. But other than that, "no wearing white after Labour Day" is a too restrictive fashion rule for my taste which I am more than happy to break. Rules, schmules. Fashion rules are meant to be broken after all, aren't they? This is a perfect rule to be broken.
Blue coat
This baby blue color is gorgeous, isn't it?

And a few jackets, some white, some black, some colorful, for every taste.
White jacket
Beige jacket
Black faux fur jacket
Embroidered jacket
SheIn.com currently has a promotion for fall sale.
SheIn promotion
The details of the promotion are as follows:


Take 40% OFF with purchases over US$55, use the code UV40;
Take 45% OFF with purchases over US$100, use the code UV45.
Check out the website for more details and to browse all the different styles!

Photo credit: Courtesy of SheIn.com

Friday, September 30, 2016

Instagram – Your Favorites for September

I joined Instagram about a month ago, and when I shared my Instagram profile with you, I also shared a few photos that I had taken and posted during an RV long weekend (see the story), when I just started my Instagram profile. In my yesterday’s story I did an Insta roundup for September, my first month on Instagram, in which I shared Top 10 my favorite photos that I have posted on Instagram this month.

For today I had another story idea – I would like to share your top 10 favorite photos from my Instagram profile, that is Top 10 photos most liked by my Insta followers, which are not necessarily the same photos that I chose to make my favorite collage in my yesterday’s story. :) Or at least not all of them.

Here they are, the most appreciated photos on my Instagram page, in the descending order of likes, your favorites for September.
This is the most liked photo on my Instagram profile, and it has been liked even by people from Paris. It's a drawing on the wall in my living room which I brought as a souvenir from a vacation in Paris in 2008. The photo is not perfect, as I am still improving my Instagram style (still work in progress), but I guess you liked it so much for its meaning. Thank you my dear followers.
I was just showing off my manicure from that week. :)
Another souvenir from Paris, from the same vacation a few years ago
And another one. The three drawings "reside" on the main wall in my living room, in a row one by another.
My bedroom. :)
I took this picture during my last road trip from this summer.
Downtown Newmarket, Ontraio, Canada -- a photo taken during my last road trip this summer
Another Paris photo -- John and I had these portraits done for us during our vacation in Paris, in October 2008, by two artists from Monmartre. The portraits are also on the main wall in my living room.
The morning of the Labour Day, the last day of this summer, before school started
This photo was taken during my last RV trip of this summer -- the weather was hot enough for a little pool party
Please follow me on Instagram here, and I will be happy to follow you back!

Photo credit: Victoria West

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Instagram – Pozele mele favorite din septembrie

De curand m-am alaturat retelei Instagram, de care m-am indragostit. Am descoperit cateva profiluri absolut superbe si pline de inspiratie pe Instagram, care m-au facut sa ma hotarasc sa-mi creez si eu un cont Instragram si sa devin activa in aceasta retea. Ceea ce am postat pana acum pe Instagram, intr-o luna de cand am creat contul, sunt poze facute de mine si nu pescuite de pe internet. Imi place sa postez pe Instagram fotografii care au focus pe detalii si nu pe scene mari, spre deosebire de pozele pe care le postez de obicei pe Facebook.

Am scris despre inceputul experientei mele pe Instagram in acest articol, unde v-am aratat de asemenea cateva din pozele pe care le-am postat pe profilul meu in primele zile petrecute in retea, din timpul unui weekend cu RV-ul.

Pana acum, in prima mea luna pe Instagram, am postat circa 60 de poze, si astazi as vrea sa fac un colaj cu Top 10 pozele mele preferate de pe Instagram in septembrie, si sa va spun cate o scurta poveste din spatele lentilelor care a acompaniat fiecare din aceste poze.
Dimineata ultimei zile de vara din acest an -- a doua zi a inceput scoala
Imi etalam manicura din acea saptamana. :)
Cateva din smacurile mele
Portretul meu si al lui John, pe peretele din livingul meu. Le-am adus dintr-o vacanta din Paris in 2008. De fapt al meu e portret, iar al lui John e caricatura, ca asa au desenat artistii din Monmartre de la care le avem -- portrete pentru fete si caricaturi pentru baieti.
Poseta mai mare din dreapta este vintage, anii '50, Spania, si am cumparat-o in aceasta vara de la un targ vintage si antichitati din Toronto. Poseta mai mica, din stanga, este de inspiratie vintage, thriftuita de asemenea in aceasta vara. Umerasul este un colt din casa mea, la usa principala a casei.
Turnul CN Tower, vazut de pe Front Street in centrul Toronto-ului; poza este din aceasta vara
Centrul Toronto-ului, o poza pe care am facut-o de la etajul 13 al unei cladiri din Downtown Toronto, septembrie 2016
Ultima iesire cu RV-ul in acest sezon estival, septembrie 2016
Ultima iesire cu RV-ul in acest sezon estival, in care am profitat de vremea buna sa inot la piscina, septembrie 2016
Cea mai draguta poza de piscina pe care o am in albumele mele. :) Ultima iesire cu RV-ul in acest sezon estival, in care am profitat de vremea buna sa ma balacesc la piscina. Septembrie 2016.
Photo credit: Victoria West

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Unboxing – Topbox Beauty Box, September

In today’s story I am unboxing the September beauty box, that I started to subscribe to with Topbox Canada this past August (see the August unboxing story here). Last month I got about four beauty products and a couple of coupons, however I haven’t used them all yet. I’ve used the Elizabeth Arden cleansing pads (which are great, I loved them) and I used my brow waxing coupon. I had my brows waxed and shaped at a Caryl Baker Visage salon in my area, and the girl from there did a really great job, I was thrilled. But I still didn’t make time to use the Joico hair product, the Smashbox foundation primer and the Manna Kadar bronzer, and that’s because I still have similar types of beauty products that I currently use, so I was in no hurry to try these. But I will get to them eventually. Also, my August box had a coupon for Mereadesso beauty products which I didn’t use, because I didn’t make any plans to buy any Mereadesso products, but maybe I will, or give that coupon to a friend.

I got my September beauty box in the mail a few days ago, and I was really thrilled to discover this month’s surprise. When the mail came, this was the package that I got, bigger than last month.
Then I opened the package, and this is what I found inside – a Unilever box, a cylinder (like the one from last month), and a Make Up For Ever coupon (valid until October 15th).
Then I opened the Unilever box.
I took out the content, and I found that there are 10 beauty products in my Unilever box.
Degree anti-perspirant body spray;
St. Ives apricot face scrub;
Vaseline lip balm;
Vaseline lotion for dry skin (I think I’ll use it for my hands this winter, because the skin on my hands tends to get very dry during the cold season);
Simple cleansing facial wipes;
Dove nourishing body wash;
TRESemme hair spray;
Nexxus hairspray;
Nexxus shampoo;
Nexxus conditioner.

Then I proceeded to opening the cylinder – what I found inside was a package wrapped in purple tissue paper and a coupon for Origins products (which I may or may not use, I’ll see).
I unwrapped the purple package and this is what I found inside.
B Spa Bon Vital body lotion;
Gorge leave in conditioning hair spray;
Joico temporary color hair spray (fiery coral);
Origins charcoal face mask to clear pores.

I didn’t have time to try and use all of them yet, only a few of them, specifically the Simple facial wipes, the St. Ives apricot face scrub, the Dove nourishing body wash, and all three are great, I love them. I’ll make time to try and test the other ones in the following days too.
I’m really excited about this month’s beauty box, it’s way more than I expected I would get, and I can’s wait to try all the other products that I haven’t tried yet. My monthly box from Topbox is only $13, so it’s a real bargain.

Have you tried any of these products? Any of them among your favorites?

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Photo credit: Victoria West

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Review: The Custom Cereal Mixes from Mixit.ca, a Montreal-based Cereal Online Boutique

Start your day off right with the new Mixit.ca’s healthy custom cereal mixes, delivered right to you! 

We all need a healthy start to the morning. No more pecking through the cereal box to find your favourite ingredients! Canadians are waking up to a healthy, delicious and customized blend of their favourite cereal thanks to the online boutique Mixit.ca. The Montreal-based company delivers stylishly packaged tubes, containing personalized cereal mixes from a variety of grains, nuts, seeds and unique freeze-dried fruits.

With a huge success and launch in Quebec just one year ago, Mixit.ca is now launching healthy customizable cereals delivered right to the customers’ door step to the rest of Canada. Cereal-lovers can customize their own breakfast bowls based on personal taste and dietary preferences and restrictions. With over 70 ingredients to choose from, mixes can be gluten free, low in sugar, high in fibre and always packed full of taste!

So when Mixit.ca team contacted me and asked me if I would like to test and review my own customized cereal mix, I gladly said yes! Customized cereals are a new concept to me. Like most Canadians, I have my usual cereal bowl from widely known cereal brands available in supermarkets like Kellogg’s Cornflakes or Cheerio every morning. I have never had the opportunity to try a customized cereal, like the ones available at Mixit.ca, so I instantly became curious about this new type of cereals and I agreed to review them.

The ingredient list from Mixit.ca includes quinoa, hemp, maple syrup sunflower seeds, dried strawberries and more. The website features a counter tool which displays the nutritional value of the ingredients as they are selected. Many of the ingredients are locally sourced, with a variety of organic choices available. Personalized recipes can be named and shared with the Mixit.ca community. Ready-made mixes are also available for those who prefer to try recipes made by the experts. All ingredients are carefully selected based on health benefits and great taste.

When I proceeded to create my own personalized mixed cereal to try and review it, I went onto Mixit.ca and once I reviewed the entire ingredient list, I could choose my favorite ingredients from the available list of cereals, dried fruits and seeds.

These are the steps that I took:

I went to Mixit.ca, specifically on the page where you can select and order your customized cereal, https://www.mixit.ca/en/mix-it/cereal, and I followed the instructions and steps on how to mix, create and order your own cereal.
On the far right of the screen users can see a little tube, they can name the mix anything they like, so I named it Good Morning Victoria. Cute, isn’t it? :) I’ve got my own personalized cereal with my own name. :)
Then I added one base from the Cereal tab, and I selected quinoa.
Then I selected different toppings from the Dried Fruits, Nuts & Seeds and Extras tabs, I could select 4-5 different toppings, so my final choice was mango and papaya from the Dried Fruits tab, sunflower seeds from the Nuts & Seeds tab, and also maple syrup sunflower seeds and white chocolate flakes from the Extras tab.
As I was making my choices, I could see the ingredients being added to the tube on the left with all of the nutritional information.
Then I clicked “Add to Basket” and I followed the next steps to complete the order.
I also could choose my favorite design for the cereal tube itself, and I selected an orange tube.
Once the order confirmed, I received an email with a detailed list of ingredients from Mixit.ca advising that my order has been placed, and it will arrive at my address shortly. I was very excited about the whole thing and I was looking forward to trying it!

A few days later I received my package by mail, and this is how my Mixit cereal tube looks like.
And remember I was mentioning earlier that I could give it my own name? I named it Good Morning Victoria. :)
I tried my new cereal the next morning. As I was getting ready to have breakfast, I warmed up a bowl of milk in the microwave, as I usually do every morning, then I opened up the tube.
Before pouring the cereal in the milk, I tried it just like that, dry, to get a taste of it, and it’s really delicious! That mix of quinoa, dried mango, dried papaya, sunflower seeds and white chocolate flakes that I have selected for my cereal mix has a really rich and enjoyable taste. Before I even got a chance to eat it as milk with cereals, I realized it’s pretty good to eat it as a snack too, just the way it comes in the package, dry.

Then I poured some in my milk, about the same amount of cereal as I do with my usual Cheerio or Kellogg’s Cornflakes cereals that I buy from massmarket.
Once I poured some Mixit into my bowl, I then saw that I actually poured about half of the content of the tube into my milk bowl. Hmmm, looks like this tube of Mixit is a sampling size, you get to eat milk with cereals two-three times out of this tube, and then it’s gone. The weight of the cereal in this tube is 550 grams. Anyway, I proceeded with eating my milk with Mixit cereals. The taste is awesome! Rich and flavored, with an intense presence of all those toppings – the seeds, the dried mango and papaya, the white chocolate flakes. The taste is not only intense, but also very consistent, and while eating it, I realized that I won’t be able to finish it, because it’s so consistent and nutritive, that the amount of cereals that I poured into my milk proved to be too much. I couldn’t eat it all, so I put the rest of it in the fridge and finished it later on during that day. Due to its consistency and nutritive value, as I came to realize, I didn’t need to put the same amount of cereals as with any other of my traditional cereals, but half of it. This way, while I first thought that this tube looks like a sample size tube, in fact it is not, and the content of the tube will give you more than 2-3 breakfasts. 

All in all, I love my new Mixit cereal, it’s really delicious! I warmly recommend it as a great breakfast and as an awesome way to start your day. Have a look at Mixit.ca and see what great mixes of cereals you can get!

And here’s some more information about Mixit.ca.

Packaging and pricing
Shoppers will receive a beautifully designed tube of cereal of their choice in the mail. Each tube contains approximately 20 servings, based on the recommended Health Canada portion size. Tubes can be customized with a special message for gift giving. All mixes are produced in Montreal. The price per tube starts at $9 and will vary based on the quantity and selection of ingredients. Shipping is free with an order of six tubes or more.

About Mixit.ca
The Mixit mission is to help individuals lead a healthier lifestyle, their way. It provides the benefit of customization, without being time consuming. The Canadian Mixit team of Stephanie Jackson, Oldrich Blaha and their son Alexandre is changing the breakfast landscape with healthier food options for the whole family, that do not sacrifice taste.

Photo credit: Victoria West