La Bramasole

Human Interaction Specialty

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Royal Recap: Day 13

Here’s a Recap from the Royal Tour. So happy to share with you, there are not many days left! :)


Here is a video of Princess Kate getting into the Cockpit


Photo credits: Gettys Images via Twitter via HRH Duchess Kate Blog

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Royal Recap: Day 12





Photo credit: Gettys Images via via Twitter via HRH Duchess Kate Blog

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Life After a Breakup



Hello Dear Readers

I am substitute teaching today. It is so “fun” being in a high school. Friends get together, then they get significant others, then they break up; this person slighted that other person, this freshman is a-twitter because that Junior smiled at her; some students are juggling amazing schedules full of athletics, academics and after-school activities while other students putter along and do what is necessary to graduate. All along the backdrop of prom, senior projects, graduation this amazing vortex of young life pulses and whirls around any adult lucky enough to witness several teenagers put in one place to grow up together, and, in some cases, in spite of their circumstances.

As I listened sympathetically to some students and laughed in delight with other students, I thought about my own life, my own friendships, that even adults have seasons where they make friends, and then sometimes, these friends grow apart. Significant others come together or break apart. Sometimes a work environment can come together, grow apart, perhaps come together again. Sometimes it is because of the military that some families grow apart and have to find ways to keep connected. Sometimes it is because of poor economic growth that other families find themselves living in 2 different parts of the country, figuring out how to keep their lives joined despite the geographic separation.

The question, then, is how does one navigate the regular seasons of life? How does one grow through the twists and turns that a life will present and still function in the process?

I turned to some classic literature for guidance.

“Little Woman” by Louisa May Alcott suggests that when you have a loving family, nothing can keep you down forever (enter your definition of family here; personally I have adopted and biological family and ascribe to the philosophy that it takes a village to raise a child).

“The Three Musketeers” by Alexander Dumas suggested that teamwork, confidence in one’s one identity and faith were as necessary to surviving and thriving in uncharted waters as ambition and developing a keen eye to find opportunity.

“The Last Trail” by Zane Grey describes a village, carving its existence of what was then the Ohio frontier, protected by Bordermen, nurtured by their leader and the womenfolk, and tended to by the menfolk. It describes an entire village coming together, once strangers, but later tightly bonded because of the kinship which comes from shared experiences.

Sun Zu, in “The Art of War”, describes absolute confidence in oneself as knowing how to traverse the pitfalls of adult life. He opined that in order to be fresh and full of vigor, one must also be present, mindful and open to accessing information about the environment around you. In this way, he said, you can never be surprised, but will always be prepared.

Although it is not classical literature, I have recently become a convert to the “Twilight” series. I am not overly fond of vampires, however, I appreciate the the inclusion that was evident in the series. It described how teenagers (how difficult it is to be a teenager!) can come together, across centuries and across ethnic boundaries, to support and defend very concrete concepts: family, love, friendship, and fighting the good fight for a better future.

As I reflect on my day substitute teaching at high school, I appreciate our small town more than I usually do. That it is a village, and we do come around each other in times of joy and times of sorrow. Families connect, break up, and re-connect again, just the same as in other places. However, I feel that what makes our little village so special is the knowledge that if we need a quick pick-me-up, we need only go to the store and chat with the cashiers, or go to the post office or gym and visit with other nice people. It can certainly mean the difference between a day of crippling grief and a day that became tolerable.




Photo credit: Roltirirang via Deviant Art, Creative Commons Licence 3.0

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For Sale: The Most Haunted Island on Earth



Haunted House for Sale. Any Takers?

I couldn’t believe this when I saw it in my Facebook feed. So of course I had to share it with you. It has nothing to do with psychology and everything to do with just plain fun. If you like the living crap scared out of you.

Or, maybe that does have something to do with psychology. I mean, really, what is it about creepy, crawly stuff that we love to sometimes scare the hoolies out of us?

This is an old hospital located between Venice and Lido, off the coast of Northern Italy. In the mid 400′s people ran there to escape barbaric hoards who were ransacking the land in the wake of the fall of Rome. In the 9th century it began to be populated more densely, then later, it was attacked by Genoa and taken over as a fortification.

Later it became a checkpoint for Venice after they beat the Genoans out, and apparently that is when the “hauntings” began. Two ships filled with the plague (remember back then, they didn’t have vaccine to control such things, and whole cities were devastated due to plague) landed on the island as a quarantine, and most of the people on the island died as a result. This particular plague was the infamous Bubonic Plague which was said to kill 1 in 3 Europeans. Venice sent most of its citizens who had any symptom of the plague to this island, to live or die as they would, and since most of them had to scratch out an existence on their own as sick as they were, it was the same as a death sentence.

Later the place was turned into a hospital (there are conflicting reports on whether or not it was a mental hospital or regular hospital) and was described in a Mental Floss Article as a beautiful and anything except a “cesspool of dread”.

The author of that article says that the water is beautiful, the building is fortified but it had to be being built in the 14th century when everyone in Italy was at war with each other, and although the place needs a lot of work, it is certainly redeemable.

But what about those hauntings?

Think American Horror Story as the Time article said yesterday. Italy needs money to pay some debts, and thus this island is now up for auction. It includes the plague-caused burial grounds, the hospital, original hospital furniture, off limits to the public (so it is private) and apparently ghosts of all the people who were sent there to die still roam around.

Dumping ground?

According to The Travel Channel the sick persons who were sent to die on the island are said to haunt the island. Later, when the place was turned into a hospital (for the sick or the mentally ill as it were), it is said that a doctor was doing “strange experiments” on the residents (read: botched lobotomies), and then later went crazy himself and threw himself off the bell tower.

Do you think maybe the people he on whom he performed the bad lobotomies  became zombies? And they ran him off the bell tower? Maybe.

Now it is abandoned. In need of rehabilitation. And for sale.

Oh but just one thing. It is rumored that 50% of the soil is actually human ash, at least on the surface.







Photo credit: Chris 73/Wikipedia Commons licence


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Makeup Tutorial: Mary Greenwell

I love period makeup-but I like it done in a modern way. I thought that this tutorial by the amazing Mary Greenwell was fabulous. I have some great frocks ready for summer and I thought that this makeup look would complement them nicely, it spoke to the anglophile in me. Or very Snow White and The Huntsman, Kristen Stewart style  :)


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Royal Recap: Day 10 and 11 in Australia!

Here are some awesome pics of the Tour in Australia….adorable.




Photos via HRH Duchess Kate blog via Twitter via Gettys Images, @Katiemidleton, @DashRoyal, @ClarenceHouse

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$aving Money: Beauty Edition Vol. 2



Hello Dear Readers

This is a quick follow up to a blog post from last week about beauty and savings. I found an amazing website called and this website would have saved me almost $2000 by my calculations (over 10 years) trying to figure out what foundation I should use.

This is basically a website that calculates what precise foundation colors in exactly what most commonly purchased (both drug-store brand and high-end) foundations you should wear. The more you enter that you know suite you perfectly, the better the match.

If you would like to save yourself a pile of money and you are willing to invest a little bit of time, this is my best suggestion plan for you.

1. Get matched to at least three different brands. You can do this by going to a large store such as Ulta, Macy’s, Nordstrom, or Sephora and shop around (read: have fun!) and get matched perfectly. Ask to take samples home (watch the below Lisa Eldridge film) which you should be able to do.

2. When you are dead certain that at least 2 (three are better) brands match you in all different colors of light, enter them in at and you will have many different kinds of foundation recommendations for you. Everything from Revlon and Neutragena to YSL and MAC, all formulations, powder to liquid. It really is quite genius. You can purchase what you can afford, and the great thing is, when you are able to take advantage of online deals, you can be much more confident because you are almost guaranteed to be a match (reminder: check the return policy just in case).

3. Save money by repeating this process twice yearly: once in the summer and once in the winter. You will likely need two colors as your skin color changes with the seasons. As you age you will also likely need to change formulations, which can mean different colors as well. Change should be embraced.  :)



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