Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Neutrals and red


Skirt, Top: Zara
Jacket: Mendocino
Ring: Mango
Watch: Fossil
Bag: Aldo
Heels: SteveMadden

Photos: Arif Feroze

Black and white are always chic for the workplace. But red.. ah, red adds so much energy and zest. In my last post I showed you 6 different looks with pencil skirts, but I realized I hadn't worn my red skirt in a long time. So I fished it out of the wardrobe. I paired the skirt today with a fitted black top, and wore this gorgeous lightweight white jacket on it. I love the fall of the lapels. It adds movement to the jacket and the soft material makes sure it doesn't look boxy.  Plus the material is thin- great for summer! I accessorized with this beautiful braided rope necklace from House of Aleya 1961, a new brand in town that I've fallen in love with. The colors of the necklace look great against the black and it adds interest to the entire look. For the rest of the accessories, I wore a statement ring in black on one hand, and a statement watch on the other, keeping jewelry to a minimum. I opted for nude heels as there's already a lot of color on my body. I love the way the color of these heels make my legs look longer. And lastly, I finished with a baby blue formal bag. 

For transitioning this look from day to dinner, just remove the jacket and add on a more sparkly necklace. And if you're feeling brave, swap the shoes for a pair in a color that contrasts with the red. 

Until next time.

Stay stylish.

xoxo

Shabana

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Sunday, 30 August 2015

6 pencil skirt looks for the office



Pencil skirts are awesome formal wear pieces. They're versatile, letting you dress them up or down. You can wear them with almost all your tops- t- shirts, flowy blouses, tank tops, button-downs, or layer with a jacket/ blazer. They look good on most body types, and are widely available.

They're definitely a staple in my wardrobe, and I have quite a few of them in different colors. Here are 6 different looks I've done with pencil skirts on the blog.



Look 1

I wore my black pencil skirt with a short-sleeved red blouse, and a mint blazer on top. Simple silver jewelry and black pumps completed this look.

Look 2
In this look I wore a long-sleeved olive green top with a white pencil skirt. I added a red belt for a pop of color and matched red pumps and an envelope clutch to it. I wore a statement necklace in white to set off the skirt.

Look 3

I kept it simple here by pairing a baby pink blouse with a black skirt. A statement watch and a bejeweled cuff keep the look smart. I chose blue pumps for another burst of color, and a statement bag keeps the look professional.

Look 4

In this look I went for blue on blue, choosing to wear a full-sleeved satin blouse in royal blue with this royal blue skirt. I toned down the color with a black clutch and black heels.

Look 5

I tucked a pink t-shirt into a white skirt in this outfit, and finished with royal blue pumps. I acessorized with a long colorful bead necklace and a gold cuff. A neutral statement bag completed this semi-formal look.

Look 6

Button-downs go great with pencil skirts and here I wore a navy blue silk button-down with my white skirt. I wore a thin black belt on top of the skirt to add interest. I accessorized with golden jewelry, wearing a golden necklace inside the collar of the shirt, and a golden bracelet, ring and leather watch. I finished the look with beige heels with gold embellishments, and a neutral bag.


Hopefully I've inspired you to try out different pencil skirt outfits for the office. They're even great for dinners and events. Get a few of them in basic colors, so you can mix and match them with different tops and create lots of looks.

 Until next time,

xoxo

Shabana






Wednesday, 26 August 2015

10 Signs You've Found Your Calling


Photo: Arif Feroze


How can you tell if you’ve found your calling? As a doctor who was called to medicine at a young age but then wound up disillusioned by the system, questioning my calling, I’ve asked myself this question a lot. It’s been a long strange trip—first leaving medicine, then feeling called back, then leaving again only to find my role in healing our broken health care system as a writer, speaker, revolutionary, and teacher of physicians. 

Along the way, I’ve learned a few things about how to know whether you’re on the right track.

1. You’ll realize you’ve been training for your calling since the moment you were born.
Even the gritty things, the disappointments, the regrets, and the screw ups, they were all prepping you for what you’re now being called to do. You’ll realize that the divorce, the bankruptcy, the death of your loved one, the failure, the rejection—it was just school, teaching you the lessons your soul needed to learn in order to be who you’re being called to be.

2. Mystical things will start happening.
You might be tempted to write them off as coincidences, only they’re too perfect, too exactly-what-you-need in that particular moment, too much like miracles to call them accidents. The synchronicities will fill you with a sense of wonder, because they’re proof positive that you’re being guided, that you’re not in this alone, that Someone is moving mountains to ensure that your mission is a success.

3. When you get off course, you’ll get redirected.
Doors you longed to walk through will slam shut. If you take the wrong fork in the road, your path will be littered with barbed wire and mustard gas and dragons and sharp knives lining the path. You'll get the hint that you’ve made a wrong turn, steering yourself off course from your date with destiny, when the journey becomes a relentless struggle. The deal will fall through. The money will run out. The mentor who’s been providing the magical gifts won’t follow you onto the wrong path. People won’t sign up. You’ll be rerouted just as magically as you were steered to your calling in the first place.

4. You’ll be guided by ease, even in the face of obstacles.
When you find yourself struggling to get through an obstacle-ridden forest, it can be hard to tell: is your commitment just being tested, or have you veered off course? Obstacles can be part of the growth process, the cultivation of your inner hero, a necessary part of your hero’s journey. But they can also be signs that you’ve made a wrong turn. How can you tell the difference? The guidepost you can trust is a sense of movement towards ease. If the challenges are mounting, things are getting worse, one hard struggle is piling upon the other, you’ve probably gotten seduced off-course from your true calling, and the Universe is just waiting patiently, twiddling Divine thumbs because you have free will, but never giving up faith that you'll find your way back to your calling, which will always lead you to your own holy grail. When you’re back on track, things start to flow again.

5. Magical mentors will appear just in the nick of time.
Just when you need it most, the right people will show up, with just the tools you’ll need to support you and your journey in an almost mystical way.

6. Your health is likely to improve.
A strange but welcome side effect of finding your calling is that your health is likely to improve. You may notice fewer cravings for unhealthy foods, you’ll have more energy for moving your body, aches and pains that used to plague you might disappear, you’ll feel less tired, and chronic illnesses you may be battling may start to get better.

Take Andy Mackie, for example. At 59 years old, Andy Mackie had undergone nine heart surgeries and was taking 15 medications to try to keep him alive, but the medicines left him feeling horrible, so one day, he told his doctors he wanted to stop the drugs. They told him if he did, he'd die within a year, so Andy decided if he was dying, he wanted to do something he’d always wanted to do. 

So he took the money he would've spent on his medications and used it to buy 300 harmonicas, and he gave them away to children, complete with harmonica lessons. The following month, he was still alive, so he bought another 300 harmonicas. Thirteen years and 20,000 harmonicas later, Andy Mackie finally passed away. 
  
7. You may find that money flows in just as you’re ready to throw in the towel.
I’m not suggesting that you won’t wind up in debt or staring at an empty bank account when you used to have a full one or even bankrupt. But if you’re on the right path, you won’t wind up living under that freeway overpass near what used to be your house, and you may find that money appears almost magically once you’re really right in the dead center of your life’s purpose. 
  
8. You may feel strangely peaceful, even when you have every reason to be anxious.
Everyone around you will likely think you’re crazy. A part of you will agree with them. But a wise inner knowing, that part of you I call your Inner Pilot Light, will be so comforted by the fact that you’re finally on the path to your purpose that you may feel unusually calm—until your rational mind kicks in.

Our souls long to express what we’re here on this earth to express, and when you finally fall into alignment with your calling, your soul does a little happy dance.  It may appear as if everything else in your life is falling apart, but you’ll have this sense of peace, a huge relief, that at least- finally—you know what you’re called to do.

9. The Universe will roll out the red carpet.   
When what you’re being called to do is what is needed for the highest good of all beings, the Universe will bend over backwards to hand you whatever you need on a silver platter. No request is too small. A copywriter may volunteer to help you just when you were thinking you needed to write a sales page. Someone will donate a printer when it’s time print a flyer. You’ll feel so supported, so lucky, that you’ll know you’re on track, even if you’re not quite clear what you’re on track to do.

10. Your people will find you.
Few can fulfill a calling alone. Most of us need a tribe to lift us up as we do brave, scary, world-changing things. But don’t worry. When you’re really on purpose, your people will find you, if only you’re courageous enough to be vulnerable about what you’re being called to do.




Sunday, 23 August 2015

Classic



Shirt: Old
Skirt: Urban Planet
Earrings, Necklace: Forever21
Ring: Gold Souk
Bag, Shoes: Aldo

First off, I must apologize for not posting an outfit post sooner. Since I came back from holiday I've been super-duper-busy with clients, meetings, classes and catching up with friends. Finally when the dust settled, I got the chance to take blog pictures.

I'm mixing something old with something new today with this blouse and skirt outfit. I've had this white button-down for ages now, and it still remains one of my favorites. I bought the skirt from Urban Planet in Canada, and I love everything about it- the color, the cut, the fall and the material. So today I decided to veer away from my usual colors and do a neutral outfit- white top, gray skirt and black heels. It's a simple combination that's perfect for work. Even though the pieces are simple, the fit of the top and skirt keep it looking elegant and chic. I wore a sparkling necklace and earrings to add some bling to this classic look, and a chunky white gold and zircon ring and a slim black leather watch on my hands. I finished with this statement filigree marsala bag, adding color and interest to the entire outfit.

Until the next post,

xoxo

Shabana

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Monday, 17 August 2015

3 Easy Steps to Finding the Best Exercise for You



A lot of my friends and family regularly tell me that they would like to be fitter, but they hate working out. They know that they should exercise, but they just don't have the motivation. If you find yourself in the same category, here are 3 simple steps to finding the best exercise for you:

Step 1: Find something you love doing:

Usually people don't exercise because they find it boring or like a chore. Walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes or doing 50 squats may seem boring. But if you find something you love doing, you won't even realize you're exercising. For example, find a sport that you like playing. Join a local sports club or find a group of friends who like the same sport. If possible, try playing twice a week. If you love shopping, walk around a mall or the local street shops and window shop. Make sure you discipline yourself to not spend money. Or maybe you can choose a pretty pair of earrings as a reward, which brings me to-

Step 2: Find a reward you love:

The mind works using habits. Habits are made up of three steps: cue, routine, reward. So for example, if I have a habit of brushing my teeth after waking up in the morning everyday, it's because of the Cue: Waking up, Routine: Brushing, Reward: Clean teeth and a minty tingle in my mouth. After you've put yourself through a grueling workout session, reward yourself with a smoothie or revel in the endorphin high. Soon you'll be craving that reward and even though you don't like the routine so much {the exercise itself}, you'll do it for the reward. And if you want to make doubly sure you stick to your routine,-

Step 3: Do it with someone:

We are social animals. Working out with a friend makes it easier, and fun. Plus you always have each other to rely on and to motivate you on days that you feel lazy. Whether it's going for walks with your best friend or a family member {or walking your dog!}, working out at the gym together, or playing your favorite sport in a team, you'll be getting fitter. And if you don't have anyone that you can pair up with to work out, join a class. Group fitness classes work in helping members reduce weight and get healthier because everyone is motivated together. It's much more effective to do a 1 hour class with a qualified instructor than to push yourself on the treadmill. The best part? There are many classes available nowadays so you can pick and choose whatever you love- whether it's BodyCombat, Yoga, Zumba, Aerobics, Boxercise, Salsa, BodyPump or Cycling, pick what you like doing best, enjoy your time and get fitter!

Until next time,

Stay fit!

xoxo

Shabana

Follow @TheSilverKickDiaries on instagram!




Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Toronto Part 2- St. Lawrence Market, Cathedrals and the city by night

In the next few days, we explored more of Toronto, starting with a visit to one of the oldest market places in Toronto, St. Lawrence Market. This beautifully quaint market started in 1803 and is full of old school style shops, stalls and great food.

{Click on pictures to enlarge}

St. Lawrence Hall
From the inside


We found lots of maple goodies, creative kitchenware, old vinyls for my dad, and the most amazing little French chocolatier called Aren't We Sweet where I found my beloved Felchlin chocolate in varying percentages of milk and dark, and a biiiig variety of South American dark chocolate. The Columbian 65% was so good we came back the next day to get more!

We walked on to St. James Cathedral and it's beautifully manicured gardens, run amok by squirrels and pigeons.

The Gardens


 The Cathedral 

We also came across the huge and intricately built St. Michael's Cathedral.

 

We went to Downtown Yonge, the vibrant and happening heart of the city.


And lastly, we saw Toronto by night.

 

Photos by me and Arif Feroze

 All the buildings lit up and the calm of the city felt amazing. It was lovely to walk the streets at night watching the city get ready to go to bed. And with that, our trip to Canada comes to an end. We'll be back in Bahrain by this weekend, ready to take on the world again.

Follow me on instagram @thesilverkickdiaries

Until next time,

xoxo

Shabana


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