Well it’s not new. I bought it about two months ago but I have only opened it to have a play this week.
What you ask is this new toy? Well, it’s a sewing machine. It’s nothing fancy. Just a Tristar SM-6000.
I bought it because it had decent Amazon reviews and it wasn’t expensive. I paid something like EUR 56 for it (with free delivery).
On a whole I have found this machine to be quite easy to get used to. It’s a very simple machine. That is the reason I bought it. I did not want something with too many buttons that would confuse me. It is also very light and for a machine that is meant to be a normal size, it is actually compact and can be easily stored away. I think it saves on space by not having all the bulky bits at the bottom where a draw would be to store your things.
The reason I decided to invest in a sewing machine was a simple one, I wanted to be able to have my maxi dresses and jeans fit me. I’m short (5ft 1 if you’re wondering), so most things (unless purchased from the kids section) are too long for me. Paying someone to alter clothes is expensive! I had a friend who paid EUR 45 to alter a maxi dress that she only bought for EUR 30. With prices like that, I figured it’d be cheaper to buy a sewing machine and do it myself.
I know the basics of how to operate a sewing machine because my mom sews and ever since I can remember, she has always owned one. However, this is my first attempt at trying to have a go on one myself. So far I’ve broken two needles and bent two. I can’t even blame the machine. It was all on me, but hey ho! You learn from your mistakes.
If you want to buy this machine, check out Amazon.
Quick summary of the features
10 built-in stitch patterns
speed control via foot pedal
sew forward and reverse
9 tension levels
glare free lamp
stitched with twin needle
double spool winder
A friend of mine had mentioned a few months ago that she was going to a beer festival. Now I love beer, so obviously I invited myself along. Before you knew it, other people got wind of the idea and thought it sounded fabulous and should be turned into an overnight group cross-country event.
After what seemed like the longest countdown ever, the weekend of the beer festival finally rolled round. I was not too keen on the early start mind you. I would be lying if I said that I did not begrudge getting up at 7am on a saturday morning. However, I thought it was a small price to pay for a weekend of beer drinking. For anyone who does not know, Belgium has the best beers ever!
A couple of friends had kindly offered to drive to the train station in Arlon (small town in Belgium by the Luxembourg border), as that meant we could halve the cost of our train ticket. We got a 10 trip ticket and it worked out as EUR 15.20 per person. Our train journey was about 2 or so hours. We had to change trains to get to Leuven, but once you change it’s only half an hour to Leuven. You will know when you’re on the local train, because you will notice the “luxury” is non-existent.
For those who have no idea where Leuven is, it is in the Flanders region (Flemish speaking region) of Belgium. It is a beautiful little town.
I was very impressed with the level of English spoken there. I don’t think I met any local that did not have a good command of the language. So there’s no need to worry that you won’t be understood if English is your only language. You’ll be fine, I promise! The people are also super friendly and will be happy to give you directions if needed. We got lost on our way to the hotel and a lovely lady came over and asked if we needed help.
Speaking of hotels, if you’re looking for a good one, I recommend the Park Inn by Radisson. My friend and I paid EUR 111 for a twin room with breakfast. We could not fault it. We thought it was of a similar standard to the 4 star Radisson hotel we had stayed at in Sweden. We were particularly impressed with the breakfast selection. There was something to suit most needs.
The main purpose of our little weekend jaunt was for the Zythos bierfestival. So once we were all checked in, we decided we would head there to start our beer tasting. We figured as there were so many beers (529 to be exact!), an early start would mean we could try as many as possible whilst there. It was a good thing too because all the beers were so good!
We decided to maximise the number we tasted by having everyone get a different beer and then we could all have a taste. I think over the 2 days we went, I bought 14 beers and in total I tried about 50. I don’t think I tried a beer that was horrible out of any of them. Even if you weren’t a beer lover, you could probably find something to your taste. Honestly they had everything! I tasted cactus beer, coconut beer, mango beer, champagne beer, cookie beer and many more!
We were only stopping over for one night and after the beer drinking on saturday, we decided to head into town for some food. My friend knows the town very well. She went to school there and suggested that we should go to the Domus brewery for dinner. It turned out to be a very good recommendation. The food was superb!
We couldn’t decide on what beer to have, so we decided to order a couple of beer tasters. Whoever told them to do that is a genius! You get 3 half pints of beer for EUR 7.50 in a small rack. We got 3 to share amongst our table.
For dinner we went for the beer menu which came with more beer…..another two half pints! When they brought those out, we started to think maybe ordering so many tasters was not the best idea, but we powered through and finished them all.
The beer menu consisted of a starter and a main. As the name suggests, everything had beer as an ingredient. The starter was mushroom and beer soup. It sounds odd, but it was pretty good. The main was beer beef stew and frites. For those who don’t know what frites are, it is the Belgian name for fries. From what I gather, fries originated in Belgium. I believe it, because their fries taste like no other. I don’t know what they do but whatever it is, I like it a lot!
You’d think all that would have cost a fortune but it worked out to EUR 25 each when we split the bill. Pretty good value for money if you ask me!
After all the drinking and eating, we decided it was probably time to call it a saturday night to give ourselves some time to recover so we could tackle day 2 of the festival.
I won’t bore you with the details of day 2…..we drank more beer, won a couple of prizes in the raffle and then got our train back to Luxembourg.
I mentioned a few weeks ago that I bought some new lipsticks and would be showing them off soon. I’ve been a bit busy, so I haven’t had time to take photos of them until now.
My focus was pink. I wore a lot of red lips in winter, so I wanted to change it up a bit. So i went with different shades of pink. Plus, on me, I find that reds and pinks look best on me and are the ones I’m most comfortable wearing.
I’ll start with my Sephora purchases……
This is a lovely blush pink matte lipstick and is from the Sephora long lasting range. It looks nice on it’s own or with a small amount of lipgloss over it.
I tried to think of a way to describe this shade but I can’t. The best I can think of is that it’s closer to the brown, gold end of the pink spectrum. It’s got little flecks of gold glitter in it. Again this is a matte shade and long lasting wear. I’m not going to lie, on it’s own, this colour is a bit iffy on me. However, when I put a bit of lipgloss over it, it takes it to another level and I really like it.
I wanted a really vibrant pink and as soon as I tried this colour, I knew I HAD to have it. I cannot wait for summer so I can wear it. This again is a matte colour from the Sephora long lasting range.
This is a swatch of the colours. Colours L-R – No. 08 (2249B), No. 03 (2137A), No. 23 (3028C) and No. 12 (2241B).
And now for the MAC shades! I was very restrained and only bought 3. There were so many more shades I wanted to try though.
I was influenced to get this after watching a youtube video. The girl in the video was a similar skintone and I thought I should at least try it whilst I was at MAC. I think this will also be a summer staple colour for me.
I didn’t intend to buy this. The sales lady convinced me. It is a nude shade. It’s a berry pink shade that just gives your lips the slightest hint of colour. You can tell you have on lipstick but it doesn’t scream “LOOK EVERYONE SHE’S WEARING LIPSTICK!”. Which is what I like about it. I have worn it a couple of times to work and it does last pretty well, which is another plus point.
This is rebel. I’m sure you’ve probably heard lots of bloggers talking about it and as you can see from the fact the name is already worn off my tube. It is my favourite at the moment. It looks very scary in the tube, but when you put it on it is more a shade of pink that that deep almost black colour that stares back at you from the tube. I love wearing this on it’s own or on top of chatterbox.
This is a swatch of the colours. Top is rebel, bottom left is chatterbox and bottom right is capricious.
Luxembourg isn’t my first time moving to a country. As I mentioned in my about me section, I am originally from Jamaica. I moved to the UK when I was in my teens. So settling into a new country comes easily to me.
I know for some, settling in isn’t so easy. They worry about things like not getting used to the culture, making friends, being homesick etc. My advice to them is usually “to feel the fear and do it anyway”. It’s normal to be scared, but if it’s something you really want to do, then I say don’t let the fear stop you.
My friends always comment that they don’t think they’d ever have the courage to up sticks and move the way I did. They think that what I did was brave. If the truth be told, I was scared but I knew it was a good opportunity. I was not going to let a little thing like fear stop me. You shouldn’t either. If you are considering a move to a new country, these are my top 5 tips.
Research the country you want to move to
It is one thing to be in love with the idea of moving to a country, but it is another thing to live there. From my experience of living in Luxembourg, it is often the people who knew nothing about the country they were moving to that end up hating it. You know the old saying “to be forewarned is to be forearmed”…….
I would advise anyone to make sure they research their new country thoroughly before they move. Find out about the culture, what there is to see and do around. Do they speak your language? If not, how easy is it to get by with little to no knowledge of the language spoken in the country. Are the laws there different from what you are used to?
Find a job
I would always advise someone looking to move to find a job before moving. You don’t want to get there and find out that the job market for your speciality is non-existent. Or that it will take you months of searching to find something. Having a job will make the transition easier.
If you don’t have a job before you go, at least research the job market and send your CV out before you go to get the ball rolling, and to get some indication of how easy it will be to find a job once you get there.
Join an expat forum
An expat forum is a great way of making friends. If you’re smart, you will join before moving so that you can get real life experiences from people who already live there. If you’re lucky, you might even make a couple of friends who will be happy to take you under their wings once you arrive.
My forum of choice was Justlanded. This website was brilliant! Before I even arrived in Luxembourg, I had made plans to meet a friend for lunch, dinner with another and arranged to go to a concert. It was a great help for me in making friends. Without it and all the information it offered, I don’t think I would have gotten used to my new country so quickly.
Don’t forget the paperwork
I know it’s boring, but I’m always amazed at how many people here don’t seem to know what they need to do before they move. Things such as notifying the tax authorities that you are moving.
These things are very important. You don’t want to run into problems because you did not complete all the paperwork and sent it off before you left the country.
I found the checklist on this website, very useful when I moved.
Put yourself out there
You’re not going to make any friends if you keep saying no to things. If someone invites you out for a quick drink after work or a barbecue, say yes. If you don’t enjoy their company, you are not obligated to socialise with them again. Saying yes, will at least give you the chance at making a new friend, so put yourself out there!
Last week I went back to the UK for a few days. As is customary when I go home, I always make a list of things I want to buy. Things that I cannot get in Luxembourg because they don’t have a shop here.
On my list this time was one item….MAC rebel lipstick. However, as is usually the case, I never just leave with one thing! This is what I ended up with…..
I bought these in TK Maxx. I saw them and immediately fell in love. They’re a brand called Etnies. They are super comfy. I can’t wait to wear them!
Another TK Maxx purchase. They’re a brand called Circa. Again they are super comfy. I swear that shoes made by companies specialising in Skater apparel are the most comfortable sports shoes ever! So much padding in this and the Etnies one.
I also bought another foundation from MAC in shade NW43. It turns out that my face is both cool and warm tones, so I either need two foundations (one in NC45 and one in NW43) to get the foundation to match my skin, or I need to use NW43 foundation and NC45 concealer . Apparently that is why when I use NC45 all over my face, it gives a yellow finish to some parts of my face. I also bought a couple more lipsticks (L-R – rebel, chatterbox and capricious). I have a couple other lipsticks to show, so I’ll do a separate post where I swatch these ones again so that you can have a better look at the colours.
As I previously posted about storage ideas, I thought I’d show you guys how I store my makeup. Most of the things I use are fairly inexpensive. I used normal household items and not necessarily storage made specifically for makeup (except the makeup case of course).
This is all the makeup in all its glory.
The little tub has my lipsticks. It is just a plastic picnic cup which I bought at the supermarket for a couple of euros for a pack of 5. The lipsticks are turned so that I can see what colours they are, which makes the selection process easier as I don’t have to take them all out to find the colour I want.
This is a jewellery box that i have decided to use to keep small things like cotton buds in. I bought it from a local shop when I lived in the UK. I also store my hair pins in one of the draws. So not strictly makeup in that one.
I bought the silver desk tidy from Ikea. I thought it would be perfect to store my brushes.
The little black bag in between has my kabuki brush. It came in the bag and as it would get lost in the desk tidy, I thought it would be better to just display it as is.
Beside it is just another picnic cup with my lip glosses and lip liners.
At the bottom are two of my eyeshadow palettes that were too big to fit inside the makeup case.
My makeup case has all the other items I use (blush, powders, foundations etc.). This is probably the thing that was the most expensive of my storage items but it was definitely worth it as it’s perfect. It means I don’t have a dressing table full of products. If you want to buy a similar case, check out Amazon or ebay.