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Hello!

Hello!
Hi! I'm Shabana. I live in Bahrain. I'm a businesswoman by day and a fitness instructor by night. I believe that dressing up is the easiest way of loving yourself, and this blog is where I journal my outfits and my life. If you'd like to know more, click on the About Me tab on top. I hope you enjoy my blog!
                            
15/random posts
Home-Made Healthy Breakfast Muesli

Home-Made Healthy Breakfast Muesli



 

I've shared a picture of this home-made muesli that I have every day for breakfast, and a few of you asked me for the recipe. So here it is. 

This muesli will take about 10 minutes to make. The best part about this muesli is that you make it from scratch at home, in your kitchen. You decide what goes into it. The problem with most store-bought packaged muesli is that it has a lot of sugar in it, and it never tastes the way you want it to.

Note: In this muesli, there aren't any oat clusters, just oats. So the muesli will be soft when you have it. To get oat clusters, there's usually oil and sugar syrup added to get them to become so crunchy and stick together. If you hate soft muesli, this recipe is not for you.



My home-made muesli is super healthy, very easy to make, and has zero sugar. It has the goodness of oats, nuts, raisins, flax seeds and fruit, to start your day off well. Because it has all these great ingredients, I find that it makes me feel happy after eating it. 

Here's the full recipe:

1 tbsp of ghee/ butter
3 cups of oats
4 tbsp crushed almonds
4 tbsp crushed pistachios
4 tbsp crushed walnuts
4 tbsp coarsely ground flax seeds
1/2 cup raisins

In a wok or fry pan, add the ghee and stir-fry the raisins on medium heat until they bloat. Add the oats to roast them. Keep mixing the oats using a wooden spoon. Do this for 5 minutes, or just until you feel like the oats have become crunchier. Turn off heat and take pan off of heat. To these, add all the nuts and the flax seeds. Ta-da! Your muesli is ready.



If you don't like any of the nuts listed here, just remove them. You can also add hazelnuts if you like. Store the mix in a big jar.

I usually have 4 to 5 big spoons of muesli every morning with a sliced banana and milk, but you can add any fruit to it and any kind of milk. My mother has it with pineapple juice/ orange juice, or with laban sometimes. Since this muesli has no sugar, you might like to add honey or sugar to sweeten it. I like to sweeten it with only fruit. And remember, you can have this muesli any time of day.



That's it! Make your muesli and don't forget to tag me on Instagram. Leave me a comment here if you have any questions, or if you have any suggestions on adding more stuff to this one!

Until next time

xoxo
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Shabana Feroze
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Elizabethan Top and Skirt + Why I've Missed Posts

Elizabethan Top and Skirt + Why I've Missed Posts





This was not love at first sight. When I saw this top and skirt combo, I really didn't think it was for me. For starters, I don't like plaid or checks. And I didn't think the length of the skirt would look flattering on me. But when Sajida, owner of Saji's Couture asked me to try this on {she does home visits and shows you clothes she wants you to try in addition to what you're getting made from her/ buying from her}, I was head over heels.


The top is a soft cotton mix material, because of which the blouse looks flowy and feminine. The keyhole at the neck and the cute little bow adds some whimsy and a girly touch to an otherwise manly check material. There's ruching at the sleeve ends, which adds more interest to make the top stand out. 

The skirt, surprisingly, is a thick linen material. Usually, linen is thin and creases easily. But this one is a thick fabric. My favourite parts about the skirt are the paper bag waist effect and the length. The paper bag waist adds lovely flair to what would be just another black midi skirt. Since the material is thick, the pleats hold their structure and catch the eye. The skirt ending a few inches above the ankle makes for a very elegant and sophisticated length. 


Since the skirt is linen and the shape is A-line, it makes for a very comfy fit and it flows with you. As you can see from my photos, there was a lot of wind when I was taking these, but the skirt doesn't look unflattering even when it's plastered to my legs. The closure is a zipper on the side. As the blouse is slightly loose, it sits perfectly in the paper bag pleats. I think what really works for this top and skirt combo is that it's very simple, with some very interesting accents so it doesn't look altogether plain.

What I love about this outfit is that it's not a dress. It's two separate pieces. I'd love to try the top with other skirts and trousers, and the skirt with different coloured tops. Being black and white, they'll go with anything. It just expands your wardrobe when you have two separates that you can mix and match with your other pieces. 


The entire combo feels very retro and Elizabethan. It's such a different look. At least it is for me, who's so used to wearing colours and certain lengths in skirts and dresses. I love how Sajida always challenges my sartorial mindsets.


Since the clothes are black and white, I added colour with my accessories. I wore simple pear-drop earrings with red stones. I wore a gold ring on one hand. A pink bag and pink and orange peep-toe heels complete the look and add pops of colour to this monochromatic look. 



Top and Skirt combo: Saji's Couture, Earrings: Al Jasra Jewellery, Ring, Bag: Gifted, Shoes: Steve Madden.


In other news, I know I haven't blogged in some time. If you're a regular reader you would have noticed I didn't post my regular health and fitness post after the last outfit post. I've just been super busy with work. It's been hectic at The Silver Kick Company recently as we make our first foray into the Saudi market. Women being able to drive in Saudi is such a boon. I drove down myself last week {had my parents in the car. Didn't have the courage to drive alone the first time} and it felt so liberating. Finally, we ladies don't have to rely on men to take us there.

But it does take up half your day as you drive into Saudi and back. Which leaves me with half the day to catch up on all my emails and work. All the public holidays aren't helping either. Last Tuesday was a holiday for the new Arabic year and it just felt so weird. Having a day off in the middle of the week is so confusing. 

Anyhow. With everything going on, the blog had to take a backseat. And that makes me very sad because it IS something I love doing immensely- writing blog posts for all of you. I've been thinking about how to organize my time better so I can churn out my regular bi-weekly posts. Looks like I'll have to schedule blogging and set aside time for it so I don't miss posts.

What's your take on time management? What takes a back seat when your life gets busier all of a sudden? What time management tools help you keep life organized? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


Until next time

xoxo
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Shabana Feroze
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Beating the Heat With Pinks and Purples and Flowers

Beating the Heat With Pinks and Purples and Flowers



 

Pastels and florals in summer. It just makes dealing with the unbearable heat a bit more bearable. When there's blazing white sunshine, beige buildings, beige sands and grey roads everywhere, what other choice do you have than to bring the colour through your clothes?

I got this top made by a tailor in Bahrain. It's a copy of another top from Koton {which I have on in this post}, that I adore. My favourite part about the top is the fluted sleeves. I love how it's a small little flare but it covers half your hand. So elegant. You feel dainty while wearing it and the sleeve ends flap around cutely.

I'm a big, big fan of flute sleeves and bell sleeves. I'm sure I've said it before in previous posts, but I love that this trend came back, and how! More and more types of these sleeves are being explored by the fashion industry- balloon sleeves, lantern sleeves, flared sleeves. I love them all. And I want to wear them all! 

As I was saying, the sleeves on this top are what makes it so pretty, and the pleats at the neck add interest. The material is a cotton mix. I picked this material out for its colour. It's a lovely violet, but it's not too light and the colour looks rich. I knew it would be great to pair with lots of my bottoms such as this skirt.


You've seen this skirt before in this post. It was stitched by my mother. I am SO in love with the floral print of the material that I got a cushion made for my room from the leftover fabric. I'm crazy about florals on white, pink and blue backgrounds. This one with the mostly green floral print on a baby pink background looks fresh and soft. The fabric itself is a gorgeous thick cotton, so it's fabulous for summer and for an A-line midi skirt. 

The violet of the top goes beautifully with the baby pink of the skirt, making it a very soft, feminine outfit. Although there's no violet in the print, I wore it to contrast with the pink of the background. 

Remember that you don't always have to pick a colour from the print, it can be a colour that goes with or contrasts with the overall colour or backdrop of the print.

Keeping with the feminine colours of pink and purple, I grabbed a deep pink handbag for this outfit. The dark pink of the bag brings out the fuchsia colour in the flowers in the skirt. 

I accessorized with a floral necklace in silver that pops on the violet of the top. 


Since my hands are mostly covered by the pretty sleeves, I wore a ring on each hand, one in twirly silver and another with amethyst stones. 


With all the colour in my clothes, I wore nude heels. I recently got a couple of heels from Payless. I had sworn off the brand years ago when I had bought a pair of shoes and the quality was so bad that I couldn't wear the pair for more than a day. But after getting really tired of looking for shoes in my crazy-big size, I decided to give Payless a try again. To my surprise, I found a few good pairs, in sizes bigger than mine. Which I wanted. My size is 42, but I needed shoes in sizes 43 or 44. The extra room in the shoes means that they're comfortable and I can wear them for long. Try it out for yourself. Especially in heels. Go up one size to make them comfier. Celebs do it all the time.


Coming back to Payless, I realized they do have good quality shoes now. They have bad quality ones also, you just have to search for the good ones. These nude ones are great as they're something called "Comfort Fit" and the heel isn't too high. I can wear them all day. And I love that the nude is not a really light beige that makes my brown feet look washed out and grey. The closer nude shoes are to your skintone, the better they'll look and elongate your legs.


Top and Skirt: Own design,  Necklace: ?, Rings: Silver souk, Sunglasses: from Italy, Shoes: Payless.

Until next time,

xoxo
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Shabana Feroze
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Are You Too Old to Start Exercising?

Are You Too Old to Start Exercising?



This is the second post in my series on health and fitness. Check the first one out here, and all the earlier posts on health and fitness by clicking here. In these posts, I try to answer the most common questions and address the most pressing concerns I receive as a fitness instructor.

A very common question that I get asked  is:

I'm xx years old. I have never exercised in my life. Can I start now?

And when I say xx years old, it's usually 40+. 

The answer, of course, is yes. I'm not talking about a medical condition or an injury that's stopping the people who ask me this question. You need to consult your physician for getting his/ her approval on exercising when you have a medical condition or post-injury. But this is simply about age. Many students ask me if they can start an exercise based solely on their age. They're afraid that since they're a particular age now, starting an exercise program or joining a gym will be useless/ harmful to their health. This is so far from the truth. You can start working out at ANY age.

Let me repeat that: YOU CAN START WORKING OUT AT ANY AGE. 

Your previous lifestyle doesn't matter. Only your willpower and dedication matter. The body is an incredible machine controlled by an even more incredible power- the mind. Whether in fitness or in life, whatever you want to achieve, you can. You can start an exercise program at any age. It doesn't matter if you have never, ever exercised, ever, in your life before.

You can start working out at 23. Or you can start going to the gym at 56. You can become a gymnast at 60. You can become a yogini at 67. What's more, you can become completely fit and get rid of all your health problems even at this seemingly "advanced" age of yours. 

Don't believe me? Here are a few examples:

Ernestine Shepherd is 82 years old. She started exercising when she was 56. She used to be a competitive bodybuilder and holds the record for being the oldest competitive female bodybuilder. Although she doesn't enter competitions now, she still maintains her exercise regimen.


Johanna Quaas used to be a gymnast when she was young. She had to stop due to various reasons such as gymnastics being banned in the city in Germany where she lived, and dedicating herself to her three daughters. She started training again at the age of 57. She won the title for the competition that year. She holds the title of the oldest gymnast in the world. She's 92. And she still competes.


Jean Dawson lives in England and started going to yoga classes at age 67. Growing up, she was never interested in sports. Today, she's 100+ years old now and continues going to her yoga classes every morning and credits it to improving her health.


There are many more examples of men and women who started a dedicated workout plan after their 50s and became fitter and healthier. From personal experience, I've had a lot of 55 to 60+-year-old women in my Combat classes, throwing punches and kicking as best as they can. Their energy levels and positive attitudes are better than most young people I know. 

Don't think that your best years have passed by and you're too old to become fitter or to get that 6 pack. Whether it's weights, aerobics, or yoga, you can start any kind of exercise at any age. You might need to check with your doctor first if you have any condition that will get worse due to a specific type of exercise, but your age is not an obstacle to beginning a workout routine. Or starting to make your lifestyle a healthier one in general. You just need a positive attitude and willpower. 

If you have any questions, leave me a comment below or get in touch with me on my Facebook or Instagram. Or leave me a comment below!

Until next time

xoxo
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Shabana Feroze
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Golden In The Golden Hour / A Revelation About Jeans

Golden In The Golden Hour / A Revelation About Jeans





Okay, so... I think I'm falling in love with jeans again. And it's all because of this pair. Which is all because of this video I watched recently called What No One Tells You About Jeans. The video made me realize that I had been wearing the wrong type of jeans all along. I already knew that I was sick of skinny jeans and that I needed to get straight leg/ bootcut or flare jeans to balance out the length of my legs, but what the video showed me was that I was buying the wrong waist type in jeans all along. Plus it showed me a million other tiny details on how to select jeans that'll look flattering from all angles. The lady behind the video didn't pay me to write all this, I'm just telling you because it really did change my life. I just came upon the video randomly on YouTube and I had to pass on these life-changing fashion insights to you.

The Jeans


So with the advice from the video, I got this pair of flare jeans from H&M. Can I also just say how hard it is nowadays to find a pair of flare jeans or just straight leg ones? All jeans everywhere are either skinny or super skinny. ARGH! I chanced upon these flares, and even though they're a size big for me, I got them. Later I got my mom to add some sneaky tucks in the waistband at the back to tighten the waist. It's just the waist that was a bit big. The fit on the legs is perfect. I love that the flare is not too wide, just narrower than the thighs so it looks neat. I'm not keen on looking like a throwback from the 70s.

And what I realized is that because they're flares, they don't make me feel like peeling off my skin when it gets hot. Normally, skinny jeans make me feel really, really warm and sticky. They're just not humidity-friendly. But because the flares are, well, flared, and the fit on the thighs isn't a very tight, stretched fit, I don't feel icky in these. Even after wearing them the entire day. Yay!

This pair is a high waist, so it creates a curve for my straight body. All this time I was shunning high-waisted jeans because I thought they'd eat up my torso. Now I realize they're the only kinda jeans I should get. You're never too old to realize how stupid you've been all along.

The Top

I paired the jeans for one of my favourite weekend tops from Saji's Couture. The material is pure chiffon so it's sheer and whisper-light. You really feel like you're not wearing anything, it's that weightless. There's a camisole slip in taupe worn underneath as a separate piece, as the chiffon blouse would be see-through. The camisole itself is very light and a bit loose. It irritates me to wear tight spaghetti straps under sheer blouses as those always make me feel hot. This one is a cotton mix, making it light and airy. 

But getting back to the chiffon blouse itself. The colour is sort of a dusty burgundy, and I love the bold floral monochrome print. There's a rose print in metallic gold on top of the monochrome one, and that makes the fabric so unique and interesting. I love how the gold shines as it catches the light. This subtle bling makes the top a great choice for a party or occasion. The allure of the fabric aside, the cut is what sets this top apart, though. It's longer at the sides in a handkerchief hem cut because of which the material falls softly and flows with your body. The neck looks simple but has delicate gathers.

The sleeves are sheer and have elasticated cuffs, making them very comfortable. Being a blouson shape {or my favourite term for it- bishop sleeves}, they fall elegantly and look so dainty. It's always details like these that make a piece of clothing stand out, don't you think?

As the centre of the top just hits above the waist, it's the perfect pairing for high-waist jeans or trousers. I'll be pairing the top with formal pants as well, and maybe even try it out tucked into a skirt. 

Accessories

I wore intricate gold earrings from Al Jasra Jewellery in Manama Souk. On my hands, I wore a delicate amethyst bracelet and a gold ring on the other. Since the top is such an attention-grabber, I was minimalist with jewellery and kept it all gold to match the gold in the top. I grabbed my favourite mustard yellow shoulder bag for some brightness and finished with black pumps with laser cut-outs. I adore the look of pointy pumps peeping out from underneath pant hems. So chic.

Top: c/o Saji's Couture, Jeans: H&M, Earrings: Al Jasra Jewellery, Ring, Bracelet: Gifted, Bag: Parfois, Shoes: Marks & Spencer. Photos: Arif Feroze 

In personal news, I had a brilliant time during the Eid break. I did soooo many things, a few of which I've never done before. If you've been keeping up with me on my Instagram, you'll know that I've had a few indoor adventures, attended a local stand-up show, and attended a blogger event. For a little old introvert like me, to do all that within a week is HUGE. I think I've finished my quota of going out for the month in one go, haha. In addition to that, I spent lots of time with family and friends, which always makes any holiday wonderful. I was almost sad to see it end yesterday. But bills have to be paid, and shoes have to be bought, so it's back to work again from today.

How was your Eid break? Or if you're not in this part of the world, how was your week? Do anything new?

Until next time,

xoxo
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Shabana Feroze
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Finally Accepting Sneakers + the Dilemma of Holidays

Finally Accepting Sneakers + the Dilemma of Holidays



Okay, I'll admit it. I really didn't think the whole trend of sneakers/ canvas shoes worn with everyday outfits is for me. I mean, I love it when it's done well by other women, but I really didn't think they're for me. I always told myself it's because I love high heels too much. But more than that, it's because I find that they look very masculine, and also because my feet are the biggest size in the world, and sneakers make my feet look like clown feet.

I did have one pair of maroon Vans, but I only wore them on holiday. Even then, I didn't know if I was styling them right or not. And I really don't like having doubts about my style. I like getting dressed and feeling empowered in my outfits.

Until I came across these sneakers. I realized one thing can make the biggest difference between me hating sneakers and loving them: flowers. I fell in love with these sneakers because of the embroidery on them. {I'm realizing I'm becoming more and more of a floral freak as time goes on. And I'm okay with that.} The flowers embroidered on these shoes takes away the boyishness and makes them look super girly and super cute. It also cuts the length of the shoes so my feet don't look like a platypus'.



I'm completely in love with these shoes. But I'm not throwing away my high heels just yet. I love how these sneakers give a casual vibe to an outfit. They're great for the weekend or when I want to give my feet a break from heels. Otherwise, heels FTW.


The Outfit



Top: ASOS, Pants: Oasis, Earrings: Gifted, Sunglasses: from Italy, Shoes: American Eagle, Bag: Parfois.

This top is very light. Perfect for summer. It's made of a thin cotton and has buttons all down the back, stopping just above the waist. The fit is flowy and loose, great for wearing over jeans or pants. The main attraction of it is the bell sleeves that are nice and wide. The colourful floral embroidery is the second bit of interest. I love the unusual placement and style of it. On a very plain white background, the flowers are placed at the neck, falling downwards, and as an upward pointing triangle on the sleeve hems, making the bell sleeves more obvious.

I'm a huge fan of the whole new embroidery trend by the way. Embroidery done well looks so beautiful- classy and feminine. I'm loving that it's everywhere- not just on clothes but also on shoes and handbags. 

I paired the top with navy blue floral pants {I'm just realizing as I type this that this outfit has flowers on the top, the pants and the shoes. I'm taking my flower fetish to a new level} which are one of the comfiest pairs I own. The pants have a flat waistband in the front and an elastic one at the back. The pleats at the front make them look like formal trousers. The elastic at the back and the loose cut mean they're super duper comfy. The white of the top sets off the white flowers of the pants nicely. The bright colours in the top's embroidery match the pants. 



I wore earrings with multicoloured stones to match the colours in the top and one wide ring. A deep pink bag completes the look by bringing out the pinks in the flowers in the trousers. 

Altogether, I've tried keeping the outfit colours to pinks and blues, for a coordinated and understated weekend look. I'd love to try making this top look more work-friendly, maybe by pairing it with a pencil skirt or simply switching up the shoes to heels. This top is from ASOS but I wouldn't recommend buying from them as I've found that their sizes are very inconsistent and the clothes are not value for money. 

In other news, Eid holidays are flying by as fast as holidays do. I'm trying to make the most of them by catching up on my reading, movies, drawing and friends. These holidays start the mark of the holiday season in Bahrain, which usually comes by the end of the year. At this time I always wonder why we couldn't have holidays peppered throughout the year instead of getting five days off at once, then another five days. It'd be so much nicer to have a long weekend at least once every month, don't you agree?

In any case, here's to long public holidays and enjoying them!

Until next time

xoxo
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Shabana Feroze
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[name=Shabana Feroze] [img=https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Sg6SV98PZuI/WZVqixmSbyI/AAAAAAAAzS8/-Y24FbHuPfozAHBFDpi9P1XsTRqcHi-0ACLcBGAs/s320/Wider.jpg] [description=Shabana Feroze is the owner of advertising agency The Silver Kick Company, and co-owner of Lace Love, a lace business that she started with her mother. She is a Les Mills fitness instructor, teaching BodyCombat and BodyBalance classes. She is also a published author with her first book Loving Yourself In Style. She enjoys dressing up, chasing her passions, traveling the world, staying fit and encouraging people to do the same. She lives in Bahrain with her family of humans and cats.] (facebook=https://www.facebook.com/TheSilverKickDiaries/?fref=ts) (instagram=https://www.instagram.com/thesilverkickdiaries/) (twitter=https://twitter.com/SilverKick) (bloglovin=https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/silver-kick-diaries-3736366) (pinterest=https://www.pinterest.com/silverkick/)

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