The Careful Editor

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The quizzical editor May 14, 2010

Filed under: TCE — raffydarko @ 2:02 pm
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Shameless promotion ALERT!

The Careful Editor loves words and books, yes, but also games and quizzes. Years ago, she worked on a huge database of crossword clues and it was one of the jobs she has loved most ever. Recently she’s compiled some crossword puzzle with pencil and paper, just for fun. A few months ago she happily discovered that Sporcle, the awesome and addicting quiz website, has a section for games contributed by the users, and the best ones can be published if voted by many and/or chosen by the regular editors. Fun! So she started contributing the quizzes you find listed below. If you want to play, please do, and you can also rate the quiz, comment on it and nominate it.

MOVIE games (my main passion along with novels)

a BOOK game, ‘course

games about ITALY and Italian



Save or Splurge? TCE edition May 7, 2010

Filed under: saving — raffydarko @ 4:50 pm
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Personal finance/frugal sites abound with comprehensive lists of the Save vs Splurge variety. I do have some personal guidelines myself and would like to share them – actually, my splurge is not an actual splurge, more like “choose well, buy good brands but find cheap ways to get them”. eBay in this matter is a good friend of mine! No need to ever break the bank.

Do you agree with my “rules”?

cotton tops: save

jeans: splurge – cheap jeans often are a sloppy fit, hems get “wrinkled” soon, the cotton is thin

wool sweaters: splurge – I’m extra-picky about winter sweaters, since I can’t stand itchy wool but also synthetics, also in blends; so I just own a limited number of sweaters and cardigans in cashmere and merinos which are lovely and last years

bra: splurge – small or big, your breasts deserve to be held and shaped by the best bras! A good one really makes the difference even under a simple T-shirt (wink wink)… and lasts long

panties: save

socks: save – hell, some of my best socks were bought at the supermarket

stockings: splurge

shoes: splurge – it’s a given, no? I’ve had my share of hurt, bleeding feet, something that can ruin anybody’s day. Not just flats and heels, but also cheap sneakers can hold bad surprises

makeup brushes: splurge – try applying powders using the softest and thickest brushes and see

hair brushes: save – I don’t think those overpriced, luxury brushes really make the difference. Or do they?

body lotions etc: splurge – no need to explain my cosmetic choices again

scrub: save – or do it yourself with salt and body lotion/oils!

umbrellas: who knows? I’ve had fancy umbrellas which broke soon, fancy umbrellas lasting forever, cheap umbrellas of poor quality, cheap umbrellas which just were indestructible…

eyeglasses: splurge – I’m not fond of designer stuff, but designer frames are just another world, and since eyeglasses have to stay on my face during all my waking hours, they better be the best


My beauty routine May 5, 2010

Filed under: green living — raffydarko @ 10:55 am
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Switching to natural cosmetics has deeply changed my consumption of beauty products. These are my current staples – organic products are in green. Most of them are made in Italy and can be bought on line – Lavera and Weleda on the other hand are German brands and can be found virtually everywhere.


  • Bjobj make-up remover and tonic all in 1 (very practical, and I use less cotton pads)
  • Bjobj cream for greasy skin (I don’t apply it every single night but the result is still good)
  • Bjobj eye contour cream


  • Tea Natura shampoo for greasy hair (I put some in a plastic cup and then dilute it – no need to use a lot)
  • Bjobj conditioner OR
  • Splend’or conditioner (very cheap – not labeled as “organic” but actually presents a good INCI. As I said in my previous post, always read labels!)

I haven’t used a hair-dryer in years – I just keep my hair wrapped up in a towel for an hour after shampooing and then let it dry in the hair. Also in winter, though of course I don’t go outside like this…)


  • Aleppo soap (a fantastic soap made of laurel and olive oils, makes skin soft, also does wonders for the problematic ones)
  • Cien intimate wash (again, a cheap product with a good INCI, available at German Lidl stores)
  • Weleda anti-cellulite oil
  • Bjobj sea water cream (for a more tonic skin)
  • Mineral deodorant, also known as alum crystal rock (which lasts ages) OR
  • a roll-on regular deodorant


  • waxing at the beauty parlour, THEN
  • regular retouches with Silk Epil at home (when hairs are still short and it doesn’t hurt much!)

tip: non-organic (silicone-based) lotions are said to stimulate hair growth. I don’t have proof for this, but I noticed that since I started using organic products, my hairs grow much more slowly…


  • foundation: mineral – I especially like the intensive f. by Everyday Mineral, which can be bought on line from the States
  • blush: mineral or by the Body Shop
  • eyepencils: Kiko, Rimmel, Urban Decay and others. Unfortunately I still haven’t found an organic eyepencil soft and pigmented enough
  • mascara: Lavera – very smooth and doesn’t clump

Confessions May 4, 2010

Filed under: TCE — raffydarko @ 4:54 pm
Tags: ,

In 2009 I’ve been really good. I spent 400 euros for new clothing, shoes and accessories – totally. Never been so virtuous before, considering that I really like to shop for clothes. In 2010 I’ve been… less good, since I’ve spent more or less 400 euros, again – but it’s only May the 5th! Actually 1/5 of this sum was spent on my new padded jacket alone, which was a great buy and a much needed one also – I found it on sale in an outlet. The rest were mostly tops and a pair of flats ’cause, well, I just needed something nice.

No shopping for now, just swapping – trying to hold on as long as possible. Ah, temptations…