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My On Going Battle With Mental Health || Personal


The main reason for my absence from the blog was no other than mental health. I’ve been having anxiety attacks for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been feeling awful about everything and making a huge effort to get out of bed in the morning. 

I don’t know what happened or what changed, but I have been struggling. I blame it on the huge pressure that University puts on you, and I blame it on myself for setting such high standers for me. The thought of simply giving up and go back home has been haunting me more than anything this semester, it’s the easy way out, and I’ve been thinking about it more and more every day. But now, and with two weeks to go, by far the hardest two weeks of the semester with multiple evaluations daily it seems stupid to give up, I’ve made it his far, it’s just another two weeks.


In this post I won’t be sharing any advice with you, this is more to myself than to anyone else, this is more to show people that regardless of how good you look in your Instagram pictures you can be struggling so hard inside, you can cry yourself to sleep every night and make an insta story in the morning super happy and energetic, it’s the art of pretending. 

I’ve been feeling better, I’ve started going to a pilates class in my gym.

 I realized that the gym was another factor that was giving me anxiety, I’ve changed gyms and the one I’m in right now is huge. Every time I went there I ended up feeling overwhelmed and lost, all I wanted to do was crying and at the same time, I felt like I was the person in worst shape there. There was a time in my life that I worked out around 6 hours per day, I did Volleyball, Gymnastics, and Trampoline all in the same day. I used to be in great shape and having no resistance or strength what so ever, especially when I was comparing myself to every other person that was working out there was just making everything much worst to me. So I started pilates because it helps me clear my mind, stretch my body and recover some strength and then in the new year I’m planning on doing cycling and just working out in the machines without being in a class. 



At the same time, I feel that the fact that this is my last year (sort of) in University is getting to me as well. I have no idea what I want to do with my life, besides being a full-time blogger (which let’s face it, I am not anywhere near making money with blogging, so thinking about going full time feels just plain stupid). I still have one year to decide what to do when I finish university but, one year flies by. In 2019 I have to find a way to start making money with my blog, to be more consistent with posting and to produce better content so that this can actually become an option for me. Right now, I see Anne’s Perks as my hobby, next year I am going to finally run it as a business. 


For me, the best way to battle my anxiety is to talk to someone, and it took me so long to realize this. That is half of the reason why I am writing this post, because it feels like I am talking to someone, even if no one is actually listening, the (bad) thoughts are getting out of my head. I have a really hard time letting people in. I’ve been hurt before and I am afraid to trust people because I might get hurt again. But it came to a point in which my boyfriend really couldn’t take it anymore, he was being affected by my problems, who had nothing to do with him, and I had to talk to someone, and talking only proved me that there are people you can trust and that they will appreciate the fact that you trust them. They are your friends for a reason. By all means, if you feel the need contact professional help, there is no shame in that. I am thinking about doing it myself. Believe me, when I say that took me too long to realize that I may need it and that that doesn’t make me anything, it doesn’t define me or label me as anything other than myself. 


I am not 100% fine, but I am good enough right now if I wasn’t I wouldn’t be able to write this and to put it on the internet to be read by anyone. Everyone that knows me can read this, they can judge me based on what I’ve written and make assumptions about me, however, I truly don’t care. I can deal with that. I know that this little blog post can help some who have been feeling the same way. Someone who just wants to give up and go to sleep (because when you sleep the problems aren’t there to disturb your mind) might be reading this and I want to take the position in which I say, I’ve been feeling the same way, I’ve been coping with that and I have been fighting it. I’ve been trying to book appointments in the morning so that I have a reason to get out of bed, I have been trying to eat healthier and to go to Starbucks to study (where I am writing this blog post), so that I have a reason to get out of the house. I haven’t been in the best place mentally but I am fighting harder everyday to get there. I feel like on the 21st of December (when I finish my finals) I will start feeling away better, specially when I am home for the Holidays with nothing to worry about besides food and family and friends and presents and good things. 2018 was a pretty shitty year (regardless of having some amazing stuff as well) and I am sure that 2019 is going to be way better. 
If you ever need someone to talk too, feel free to send me a DM on any of my social media, and I hope anyone reading this has a blessed holiday season and an amazing 2019! 
Love, 
Ana 


Photography: João Machado 
Location: Pink Street, Lisbon 

21 Lessons in 21 Years || Advice


For today's post and being that I turned 21 on Monday, I thought it was only appropriate to share with you all a list of things I've learned in the 21 years I have been living on our lovely planet. I am also taking this opportunity to share with you a few pictures of my birthdays when I was a kid (it's amazing to see how I am still friends with people that are in those pictures more than 15 years later).  This is going to be a long post but at the same time one that I am truly proud of it. 

(Me in the hospital after I was born, I was born at 34 weeks and had to stay in the hospital for almost a month)

1- Failure is a part of life, you grow from it, and you evolve: I have a full post dedicated to this, but I failed so many times while taking my drivers license that made me believe I was nothing more than a failure. Growing apart from it and using it as motivation to evolve was one of the greatest things I've learned, it the words of Winston Churchill Sucess is not final, failure is not fatal, is the courage to continue that counts. 

2-  The things you do don't define who you are: Following that train of thought I grew up doing a lot of extracurricular activities and in a way they defined me, it felt like I wasn't a human being first, I was a girl guide, then I was a gymnast, then I was a blogger, and only after all those things I was human being, I recently figured out that I am much more than a sport or an activity regardless of how much it shaped me into who I am. I am first a human being, I am funny and committed and always late for everything, I do a lot, but I am much more than what I do. 

3- Plans fail, and then the best things happen: I am the type of person that always had her whole life planned from step 1 to step 100, no room for error, I had plans A, B, and C premeditated in case any plan failed. When I changed my course at University I never felt more lost, I look at it as me taking a jump off a cliff, now, a year and a half later, I can see that I love the course I am taking, I know what I want to do with my life, and I've met the best people due to this change of plans.

4- People will hurt you, but if they are worth it, you will forgive them: I've been hurt many times by people who I considered friends, growing apart from toxic relationships, or solving the issues and move on, don't hold on to the pain, it will only hurt more.

(Me and my Mum at my preschool, I turned 5 years old)

5- Lose attachment from clothes, they don't have feelings: Something my mum gets surprised in me is how detached I am  from clothes, I don't order, I either use them or don't there is no in between, if I'm not wearing it I'm sure someone will give it better use. 

6- Your self-esteem can't depend on the makeup you are or aren't wearing: For so many years I refused to leave the house without makeup, I really felt unpretty without it, moving on from this was one of the best things I've done for myself. 

7-  Less and better, always: Not much to say about this one, but as you grow older you will realize that buying a lot doesn't better much, it feels a lot better to spend your money on one really good thing than in a bunch of crap that won't last a month, being clothes, makeup or anything else.

8- If it doesn't add anything to your life, unfollow: Something I feel my generation struggles with too much, we are too aware of our online presence and we forget to be aware of the real world. If someone that you follow makes you feel bad about yourself or you simply don't like the kind of content the person is putting up, unfollow that person, they won't care and you will feel a lot better.

(I think I turned 5 or 6 on this picture, I had a Tweety shaped birthday cake and I loved it)

9- If you won't no one will: This regards loving yourself, doing stuff or working on any goal, no one will do anything for you, the ball won't role until the moment you get it rolling. If you have a goal you work your ass off in order to achieve it, that will show people you are worth betting on.

10-  You are not restricted to one music genera: De15-year-old Ana, you are not a superior musical intellectual because you listen to Rock and nothing more than Rock, you are not defined by the music you listen too. There is good music that came out in the 2000s and you will fall for new artists and new songs, and they will get a place in your heart near Queen and Rolling Stones. 

11-  Invest your time and money on experiences not in things: You will learn that a traveling experience, like scuba diving, a good meal in a fancy restaurant, concerts, museums and going to the cinema are worth much more than a new bag or a new pair of shoes, these things will shape you into who you are and will shape the way you see the world, objects will just shape the superficial way people see you.

12- Surround yourself with people that are different from you: Don't be afraid to establish connections with people just because they are the opposite from you if you seek for something different you will learn that these human beings have much more to teach you than people that share the same views as you. As long as you are open-minded and ready to respectfully accept everyone else's opinion you will grow much more as a human being.

(Preschool, turning 6 years old, with my dad and my friend Rita which is looking at my cake as if she is in love)

13- My hometown is not the end of the world, is much more than what I see it to be: This is something that I only realized this summer, working in a café, surrounded by tourist all day, they would ask me about the main attractions in my hometown to visit and I would have so much to say, I only realized how much I loved it once I had to talk about it every day. I always looked at it with the wrong eyes and I've never felt luckier to be able to call that small peaceful place home.

14-  Getting lost in nature is the best way to find yourself: This one I learned mainly from being a girl guide and camping all the time growing up but also having a family that has picnics every Spring as a tradition, or that goes to the beach in the winter just to look at the waves. Nature has an extraordinary power over the soul and if you can try to get lost in it, at least once a week. 

15-  Stress doesn't make you a girl boss or a cooler person: Hollywood sells the idea that a crazy busy super stressed person is automatically a successful person. During a long period of my life, I truly believed this idea, I let the stress accumulate to the point of getting me to a hospital with an anxiety attack for no other reason than my body wasn't able to keep it in anymore. Nowadays, and even though I am still stressed 24/7 I managed to deal with stress in a much healthier way.

16- Cooking is the most rewarding skill you will learn: Not only because who doesn't love food? But because it's a creative outlet, that is super useful in the real world. I honestly can't wait to have my own house and to host dinners for my friends. 


17- Dogs can teach you how to love in a million ways you never knew you could: I have had my dog, Mozart since I was 6 years old, so I don't really know how to live without having a dog. Luna came later in my life and, maybe because I was older, I created a deeper relationship with her (I obviously love both my dogs more than life itself). There is no other being that is as happy to see me as my dogs are when I come home either from spending a month in Lisbon or from going to the supermarket to buy some milk. They cuddle me in the morning and give me pure love without expecting anything in return. I've had other animals, but I truly think that dogs are the purest of beings in this world.

18- There is nothing wrong with being in your twenties, listening to Disney Channel Classics and watching Disney Movies: If you still appreciate the things you did when you were a kid, believe me, there is nothing wrong with that, it does not make you immature, things don't have a label saying they are only to be enjoyed by an age group and realizing that is one of the beauties of life.

19-  A relationship is only as strong as the ability to fix its problems: There is no such thing as the perfect relationship and the way you fix the bumps that come along the way is what truly defines your relationship, not the happy times. As long as you both feel like there is something strong enough that you are willing to fight for it with every strength of your being is what makes a relationship as perfect as many aspire to achieve. 

20- It's ok to be a night owl instead of a morning person: I am much more productive at night than I am in the morning, to prove my point here I am writing the biggest post I've ever posted at 2h35 AM. Most of the content creators I follow make me feel like there is something wrong with being a night owl, I am here to tell you that this is absolutely fine. I could never get out of bed before 10AM without feeling that I am dying but I can study until the sunrise without having to have any coffee, the moment you learn that different people have different metabolisms you will stop judging yourself so hard, at the end of the day what matters is that you are still getting shit done, regardless of when. 

21- There is not much in life that I appreciate as much as reading a book: Living in an era that is so screen focused it feels truly amazing to do more things that disconnect you from your cell phone or laptop. You will feel more connected to the world and your surroundings. At the same time, by grabbing a book you will be able to travel to different lands, it will improve your ability to write and your creativity. Even though I don't read as much as I would like to or as I used to, this is still one of my favorite things to do, it works a bit like meditation, it helps me disconnect with the world and connect with myself. 


I truly hope you enjoyed this post. It took me almost 5 hours to write it, and I will be amazed if anyone managed to read the whole thing. I really hope you guys are enjoying the content I have been creating and I truly hope that the next year follows the line I've been creating here, with at least one post every week and with content that I am truly proud of. 

3 Things That Will Guarantee You Love The Content You Are Creating|| Blogger Tips


Lately, I've been seeing a lot of bloggers, Instagrammers, influencers or whatever you want to call them,  that in a way I feel are putting up content just for the sake of putting something up. I have also fallen under that trap once or twice before, but lately (and even though I know I wasn't the most consistent during the month of October) I've been totally and deeply in love with all the content I am producing, either that being for Instagram or for the Blog. 
I feel like if you are not 100% in love with the object of your creation is away easier to fall out of track, to stop wanting to post and to fall into a rut. Today I am going to share with you a few of the tips that I have so that you are passionate about the content that you are creating and that will make it easier to pass that passion to your followers. 


Question yourself: Why are you doing this? What is your main goal?: If your main goal is making money I don't think you are coming from the right place. I can talk from experience, never in my life was I paid to write a blog post, post a picture on Instagram or tweet about something and even though I would like my blog to become profitable in some way in the future, this is not why I blog (if it was I would have given up a long time ago). I blog because I want to share my vision and my thoughts about different subjects to the world, I want to help people who may relate to me in some sense. My blog, to me, is my creative outlet and I absolutely love it, it's my baby and it's the place where I can be 100% myself and where no one will judge me for it. Following this, all the content I produce has to show this in a way, has to be filled with passion and personality, if it shows that there is a 50% bigger chance of me loving the content I am creating. 

Produce content firstly for you, then for your audience: Would you read your own post/ like your own picture or retweet your own tweet? If the answer is no,  most likely your audience will feel the same way. You have to be pleased with whatever it is that you are producing, just drop it. In an industry like this one you have to your number one fan, you have to push through the lonely times, when brands said no to you and every single time you felt that you simply weren't good enough. Blogging is a lonely job even if you have an amazing community behind you that supports you and that is always there to cheer you up. There are no coworkers, you are building your brand and if your brand should be something is based on things that you absolutely love and would consume yourself, this includes not only products but also creative productions such as blog posts, photographies, art, web design, etc. 


Figure out what works and what doesn't: This step is very important and it can only be achieved based on a trial and error process. Lately, I've been narrowing my style of writing and shooting a lot more. I figured I love to shoot flat lays and more aesthetically pleasing images of products rather than simply more studio like photographies. I've figured I like to share my personal story with the products I talk about away more than simply reviewing them. I figured I prefer to shoot outfits outside and have my picture taken, instead of using a tripod for advice or fashion posts, however, I prefer to be my own photographer when it comes to beauty and makeup posts, because I can get a better angle and a better way to represent myself in a more personal and creative way. 
This, I repeat, doesn't happen overnight, you don't wake up one day having it all figured out, you learn from trying different options and different techniques, but believe me, once you do have it figured out you will be much happier and excited about getting anything ready.


And these are my top three tips on how I make sure I am always loving the content you are producing. Realizing these little things has helped me a lot when it comes to staying motivated to blog and if this post helps at least one of you it will truly make my day! I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject so feel free to drop me a comment so that we can engage. 

Photography: João Machado 

How to Style: Leopard Print || Fashion


Welcome to this week #SeasonalWednesday, today I join you to talk about one of the biggest trends this season, leopard print. A post highly demanded from you guys on my Instagram pool.

I have been a lover of leopard print for a couple of years now and I have quite a few pieces in my closet to confirm that, but sometimes I find it difficult to style them, especially the accessories, so today I decided to do a post sharing my best tips and four completely different looks so that you can get some ideas when it comes to incorporating this pattern in your wardrobe. 

Look number one: Above all things comfort


Look number one is all about being comfy. This is for sure a look I would wear to classes or on the weekends if I am studying and just GYSTing around the house. I paired a super comfortable sweater from H&M (that I got 2 years ago but I'm sure you can get something similar in store once this pattern is so trendy at the moment) with some black leggings and then all I had to do was to pick some shoes and a bag. For shoes, I went with my good old skool Vans that are for sure my most worn pair of shoes and that keep the chill and comfy vibes the outfit askes for. For my purse, I went with a camel tote bag that I got in a little shop in my hometown, I feel like having a huge bag in which I can fit everything is an absolute essential when it comes to an outfit like this once I can carry everything I need with me, being binders, notebooks or even my laptop. 
So, if you are looking for a cool way to start the leopard print madness I would 100% recommend you buy yourself some loungewear in the print, something warm and cosy that you can wear all the time. I also find that something as big of a statement as a jumper is a great way to start incorporating any colour or pattern in your wardrobe. 


Look number two: Looking effortlessly put together


When it comes to the second outfit I decided that I wanted to create a look revolving around this scarf that honestly I have no idea where it's from. I've had this piece in my wardrobe for a few years and I never wore it (until the day I shot this pictures, I ended up liking this outfit so much I left the house wearing it). I figured that the best way to style a print when you have no idea how to do it is to go all black. I started with a super simple black tank top from Pomod (I've had my tops for almost 5 years and they still look absolutely amazing) and paired it some black high waisted disco pants from H&M that I got last year on the winter sales. Then I put my favourite booties from last fall, these ones from Primark that give a super edgy vibe to every look and my go-to Zara chain bag
To give a pop of colour to the outfit (and to keep this Autumn appropriate) I grabbed my Tifosi long jacket I got last year and that is one of my favourite pieces in my wardrobe. 
I feel like accessories can by a tricky piece to style but, at the same time, are a great way to bring an outfit that otherwise would be boring to a super trendy side of the spectrum. Also, if you don't want to invest much money on a trend that will probably last a few months and never be talked about again these pieces are normally cheaper and do the job just fine. 


Look number three: The edgy rocker


If you know anything about me is that I love rock music, especially the classics (Queen, Beatles, Guns, Stones, Nirvana, you name it) and that I have a collection of band tees that would make any rocker jealous.  Leopard print is, in my humble opinion, one of the most Rock'n'Roll patterns out there and so to pair any leopard print item with a band tee is for sure a win.
To create this look I had as my centrepiece my leopard print sleep on Vans and I created a look that revolved all around them. I love to wear sleep on shoes with mum jeans, this light wash full of holes pair if from Pull and Bear (as are almost all my pairs of mum jeans) and I picked my favourite band tee which is this amazing one from Guns'n'Roses, I absolutely love the design of the logo and I've had it since 2013 when I went to Italy and bought it off a street seller. As far as accessories go I decided to wear my Zara fake letter bomber and my Primark backpack that is one of my favourite handbags to wear on the daily.
I would wear this look for almost any occasion but this qualifies for sure as my concert uniform, it's warm enough if the concert is outside and cool enough if we get too hot while dancing, the backpack can carry everything without a problem. 
When it comes to styling leopard print shoes my best tip would be to wear then when you are not wearing any other statement piece nor many patterns, let them be the star of your outfit and you will for sure look good.


Look number four: Smart professional with a twist


For my fourth and last idea, I decided to add something that would file under the pile of business casual clothing, something that is great to wear for a presentation in a class or if you work in an office. For this look, I picked up my best pick from the Autumn collections that are available. My beloved leopard print shirt. I picked this up from Pull and Bear when I was back to school shopping with my grandmother and I've worn it every chance I get ever since. To bring this look to the next lever I paired it with a black suit I got from Zara, I feel like this is an essential thing to any women in their 20s and if like me, you can't spend a fortune on a suit (which if you can I would totally recommend you invest) Zara has a pretty huge range very affordable options. 
For shoes, I went, yet again, with my Old Skool Vans but if you need to bring this look to the next level I would have paired it with some pumps (black, red, nude or leopard being my choices). To finish it all up I chose to wear my pearl gold necklace with it and my huge bag that works as a computer bag and it's amazing to carry this world and more inside, it's from Parfois.
This is a look I think is great for most occasions and I would (and have) wear it, you can bring it to be more or less formal depending on the situation and it's a more put together way to wear this trendy print. 


And this is it, guys! I must ask which look was your favourite and what are your favourite leopard print pieces?
Also, this is a blog post I am particularly proud of because I photographed it all myself, both the flat lays and the pictures of me wearing the outfits so all the comments and critics would be much appreciated!

Once Upon a Time I Wanted The Perfect Red || Makeup


The season of red and vampy lipstick as finally arrived, and I couldn't be more excited! However, red lipstick used to be a field I didn't venture in. I never thought I could be the type of girl that wore red in the same way she wore a nude. God, I used to own way more purple lipsticks than red, and if that doesn't explain how afraid I was of red, I don't know what will. 
I always found a certain magic behind a good red lip, I think it's the sexiest colour you can wear on your lips and I always wanted to be one of those girls that can't leave the house without it. This led me to a search, a search for the perfect red, as far from the orange bright ones as possible,, because God knows I was convinced they would make me look awful. Not too dark and not too light. With a neutral undertone, not too blue or not too yellow. It had to be the perfect shade.



It was my first week at University and on a trip to MAC I found what was the closest I had ever been to finding THE red, I found a beautiful vampy red with a brown undertone that made me feel exactly as I had imagined, sexy, bold and overall like a woman instead of a girl. 
The shade is Studded Kiss and the lipstick has a matte finish, something I would later find was an absolute necessity for the red to suit me, much more than the shade or the undertone.  
I've had this lipstick for too long now for sure and I absolutely still love it, when Fall comes around this is one of the first colors I pick up because it just goes well with the season. It lasts really well on the lips and as any other MAC Matte Lipstick is quite hydrating on the lips. 
From that point on, and being an assumed makeup addicted I started buying every variation of that MAC shade and every dupe I could find. 




Last year, however, things were about to change. My friend Jael gave me a bag filled with makeup products she didn't use anymore and among them, there was this little red lipstick from Mellow Cosmetics and brand I had never heard of but that made me instantly fall in love with their lipstick formula. If like me you had never heard of them they are cruelty-free, vegan and paraben free and have a huge range of products. Anyway, back to the lipstick. The shade is called Madness and that is how I felt for even thinking about using it.  It is a pretty classic old Hollywood, diva kind of red
 with again, a matte finish.  I did it, I used it and I had never felt better in a shade, it's like we were meant to be. I loved it. The formula on the Mellow lipstick reminds me a lot of the formula of MAC Mattes and their price point is really close. This shade is, in my opinion, is a more Christmassy red color and is for sure going to be my go-to holiday lipstick this year. 



Our story continues one afternoon in my godmother house, she had ordered a red lipstick from Oriflame that she didn't remember getting and it wasn't a shade she would wear (she is 70 years old, so a fire bright red wouldn't be my cup of tea either if I was in her shoes). Knowing that I love all things makeup she decided to give it to me. It was spring and I always like to use warmer and brighter shades when the warmer weather comes. By this point, my makeup taste had evolved quite a bit since the first year of Uni and I was bolder and ready to risk more. I did an Instagram pool asking if you guys thought it suited me, I received an overwhelming amount of messages saying that it looked really good and that I could rock whichever lipstick I wanted and it really made me feel empowered. If you follow me on social media you would have seen me wearing this shade in a bunch of different pictures I posted during the summer. It's the color Eternal Flame from the Oriflame The One Colour Unlimited Lipstick Super Matte (again, you see the theme with the finish of the shades). I truly love this color and it has grown to be my warm weather lipstick of choice. 
  


And this leads us to the last chapter of our story, this chapter places me in a drugstore and has me having the realization that I really needed a red liquid lipstick because it would last through dinners and drinks and nights out and parties and everything in between. Had prior read a bunch of great reviews of the Rimmel London Stay Matte Liquid Lip Colours I feel like the choice was already made for me. I ended up picking a shade that was super close to Studded Kiss (what can I say, there is no love like the first), named Plum This Show. The formula is great and it holds on to the lips for quite some time even if I'm talking, kissing or eating. The applicator is amazing and it really helps me define my lips a bit like a lip liner. 

This great addition to the family really made things full circle for me, from the girl who was afraid to buying lipstick and bought a cool brick color red to the girl that has been exploring all the colors in the spectrum and still is buying brick colored red lipsticks.  Moral of the story, look for safe ways to step out of your comfort zone because the best things in life lie outside the comfort zone itself.