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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
Baby Blue Ballooned Blouse and More Fun Things To Wear

Baby Blue Ballooned Blouse and More Fun Things To Wear




I hate following fashion rules of wearing deep, rich colours in winter. Bright colours make me happy when the weather is making me sad. Also, most winter outerwear like coats and jackets are in deep colours, like this black coat. So wearing lighter shades underneath makes for great colour contrast and the darker coat pulls the look together. 




This baby blue blouse {say that ten times fast} was made for me on request. I had looked through my wardrobe and realized I didn't have enough blouses in light shades, so I asked Sajida of Saji's Couture to make me a few. I got this one and another one in baby pink, because, you know, pink-crazy. As soon as I got the top I knew I had to wear it with this fuchsia pant. Blue and pink look so cute together and the soft powder blue of the top stands out against the brighter and deeper fuchsia of the pants.


This top is a soft crepe material which great for summer and very comfy. I had only one specification when I was ordering it- that the sleeves be dramatic. So Sajida made me these gorgeous balloon sleeves with a wide cuff at the end. Since the material is slightly thick, they really puff out. I always like it when my top has dramatic sleeves because it makes a really simple blouse look fabulous. Imagine this top with straight sleeves. It would look very plain. But with these sleeves, it stands out even if paired with plain bottoms. 



I decided to wear these pants because of the width of the balloon sleeves. They're straight in the leg, which balances the top out. This pant is one of the comfiest I own. The material is thick, with a bit of stretch. It's a cotton mix as well, which makes it wearable and durable. I've had this pair for over 2 years now. I've styled them with a polka dot top in this post, and with an orange shirt in this post. The most fun thing about these pants, of course, is their colour. A bright pant always makes the whole outfit bright because the lower half of our bodies is longer than the top half. So wearing pants and maxi skirts that are in bright colours and pretty prints always makes more of an impact than the same in your top.

Since the top has a simple V-neck, I wore these adorable pom-pom earrings that I stole from my cousin in India my cousin in India gave me from her collection. I love how the pom-poms cascade down in tiers and swing as you walk. So much fun! The black of the earrings makes it stand out against the blue, and because the earrings are so pretty, I tied my hair back so they could be seen in their complete cute glory. 


On my hands, I wore a big ring as the sleeves don't leave room for bracelets and a feminine floral watch.


These photos were taken when it was colder, which is why I'm wearing a big black coat. Like I mentioned before, the black coat ties the whole look together and also adds substance to the outfit. 


I chose a bag and heels in neutral shades as the clothes are vibrant. Pointed-toe pumps always look so elegant and powerful. The thin strap on these doesn't just make them look more elegant, it also makes them more comfortable because of the added support. A big structured bag is great for when you want to look professional and of course, carry your laptop/ tablet in and out of meetings.


I can't wait to style this top with other bottoms {and style this pant with other tops}. When buying new clothes and jewellery, I always make sure what I'm buying goes with everything else in my wardrobe. This takes out the hassle of pairing it when putting a look together, it makes your wardrobe so much more flexible, and you look expensive because you hardly repeat an outfit combo. Read more about my advice on putting outfits together to reflect your personal style and why it's so important for discovering and shaping your authentic self, in my book, Loving Yourself In Style. Available for only $10 online and BD 3.500 for the physical edition in Bahrain. In the book, I also talk about my life experiences and how they made me who I am today, and life advice I learned along the way.



Top: Saji's Couture, Pants, Coat: Zara, Earrings: Gifted, Ring: from India, Watch, Bag: Parfois, Shoes: New Look.

Until next time

xoxo
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Shabana Feroze
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Red Gypsy Dress & This Year Of Upheaval

Red Gypsy Dress & This Year Of Upheaval




Knowing me is knowing that I love red. I've always had red dresses that are structured and streamlined to the body, and usually in one solid colour. So this one is a bit unique. Not only is it printed, but the shape is so different than what I'm used to in a red dress. I love how it's a contrast between whimsical/ romantic, and bold/ dramatic. The gypsy skirt gives it a Bohemian, whimsical feel while the fire engine red colour makes it subtly fierce. Other details in the dress are a contrast as well. The neckline is a stiff Chinese collar-type high neck, and there are buttons down the front on the body of the dress. Both these two features give the dress a smart and preppy feel. That contrasts with the bishop sleeves which are made of just the outer material which is sheer, and so has a lovely fall and balloon effect near the wrist. The sleeves have elastic at the hem to enhance the balloon effect. 


And while the print of the dress is eclectic with its Victorian motifs in a bold geometric pattern in bright blue and yellow, the skirt is flowy with a high-low hem and a subtle frill, which takes attention away from the bold print and the bright colours. I love that the waist is cinched with a simple belt of the same material which you can tie as a bow or leave untied.

Even though all these things make the dress so interesting, my favourite part about it is the shape. Because the body is fitted, the flare and flow of the skirt stand out against it and flatter the body. I'm always a fan of opposites when it comes to style because it always makes everything eye-catching and attractive. A loose top with a straight pant, a fitted tee with a big skirt, round sunglasses on a long face, etc.  Remember that when you can't decide what top to pair with what bottom or even which shoes to wear with your outfit. Go for ones that are different in shape or colour to your outfit, for a fun addition and to make a statement.


Coming back to this outfit, I accessorized with a silver earring and necklace set in a teardrop shape. The pendant is one of my favourites because not only has little teardrops in a row {my favourite design in jewellery}, but the drops are threaded loosely so that they move and do a pretty little dance when shaken. With the neckline of the dress creating a long narrow V, this necklace was the perfect fit. 




An intricate ring and a leather strap watch completed the accessories. Since the dress has so much going on, I kept the accessories simple.


On my feet, I wore light grey slingbacks with an ankle strap. With this kind of hem, all the attention are on your feet so you've got to wear pretty shoes! 


I carried a big tote in black and white. A demo of how I carry it is shown in the photo below. ;)


I chose shoes and bag are in neutral shades to offset all the colours in the dress, and to pull the whole look together.


Dress: Saji's Couture, Teardrop Set: from India, Ring: Silver Souk, Watch: Fossil, Bag: Parfois, Shoes: New Look.

On another note, I've really been enjoying March and now April, what with all the rain and funny weather. There's also a personal event coming up, which has me busy planning for it with family. It's going to be a big change but I'm excited. A lot of people hate change. I've always happily embraced change because life would be so boring without it, and you never know where change leads you to. Even the bad things.

Thinking about it, I feel like 2019 so far has been a year of change. And not just any change. Big, abrupt change. But GOOD change. Changes in my business, my fitness classes and my relationships with friends and family. Things have happened suddenly and I've had to adapt to accommodate everything, review and alter plans for the future, and ultimately, change old thinking patterns. Which is always a good thing because if I'm not evolving my thinking patterns, I'm not growing as a person.

What do you think? Has this been a year of upheaval and change for you? Do you like change? Hate it? Leave me a comment after this post. 

Read more about change in my book, Loving Yourself In Style. I talk about my life experiences and what they taught me. The book is for BD 3.500 in Bahrain and $10 online.


Until next time

xoxo

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Shabana Feroze
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Frills and Polka and Giving Yourself Permission

Frills and Polka and Giving Yourself Permission



The only way I like polka dots is if they're really small. Because for me, that's when they look classy. This dress is made of a material with a tiiiiiny polka dot print. You can only notice the dots when you're up close. That's how tiny they are. But what I fell in love with instantly when I tried his dress on in Saji's Couture is the flow of it. The dress is so wide A-line it's almost a tent, and when Sajida of Saji's Couture asked me to try it on I didn't think it would look good. {Just goes to show you you should always TRY stuff on.}

But as soon as I wore it, I couldn't believe how amazing it looked, and felt. An experience I'm having repeatedly in Saji's Couture. It's always good to step out of your comfort zone and try new and different things. In personal style and in life. And it makes me so happy that I Sajida forces me to do that at Saji's Couture. 

The duck egg blue colour of the material is a complete winner for me, but as I mentioned, it was the flow of the dress that had me head over heels. It flows beautifully when you move because of the hi-low shape. The weight of the cloth and the frill hem in the back, makes it flare out when you walk. It's the perfect dress for when you want to make a dramatic entrance. 


Even when you stand still, the hem falls beautifully and the frill looks so pretty. I'm usually not a huge fan of frills because I've always felt they look too girly-sweet on me, but this frill I loved because it's on the hem and it adds so much to the dress. Without it, the dress would be too plain.


The neckline is simple and round, and the sleeves are short with a puff detail which makes them stick out. That adds volume at the top that balances out the volume of the frills at the bottom. The simple lace in navy blue on the neck and the frill accents the structure of the dress and is a pretty and defining detail. I love how the dress is monochromatic with the lighter blue background, darker blue polka dots and navy blue lace on top. Monochrome is such a great way to look elegant and put-together. I like doing it with separates and I love that this dress does it by itself.



Because the neckline is still clean and simple which gives me space to wear big earrings, I wore bold earrings in battered gold which catch the eye. 


 I wore a matching watch set in gold with flower patterns on my hands. The delicateness of the bracelets and watch match the lightness of the dress. Although I'm sure chunkier arm candy would also look good as the sleeves are short.


I added another colour with a small bag in mint green. I always love contrasting the shape of the outfit and the handbag, hence the boxy bag with this flowy dress. The mint of the bag pops nicely against the duck egg blue of the dress and the flower adds a nice touch. This is definitely one of my favourite bags that I picked up from Pune, India when I visited last year. It's so cute and small. I usually don't like small bags because I can't fit my organizer insert in them, but this one allows me to.


I wore chunky heeled pumps in black to finish the look. You have to have chunky shoes with such a big, billowy dress. Platform heels would also look great.

 It's such a lovely dress for the weekend when you want room for a big lunch. the comfort level of the dress is off-the-charts and it still manages to look very elegant. I'd definitely wear this to work as well or pair it with a short smart jacket to smarten it up.


Dress: Saji's Couture, Earrings, bag: from India, Watch set: Gifted, Shoes: Aldo. Photos: Paul Gomes

Giving yourself permission to be as beautiful as you want to be.

I've been realizing recently that I haven't been giving myself permission to be as much as I want to be. The commentary that runs in my head is, "That eyeshadow is too much. That top will look too grand. If I use those words, I'll sound too fake." and I realized what I was doing because I noticed a girlfriend doing it too. Too often we make ourselves lesser so other people can feel more comfortable. We know we could be happier, look better, be more successful, even earn more money, but we hold ourselves back because we think we're going to look like overachievers who are doing these things just to show off, and we're going to make the people around us uncomfortable.

But this has to stop. You can't keep checking yourself for the sake of others. You can't keep living life as if it's an apology. It's such a short life and you have to be WHO you are, unapologetically, and shine as bright as you want to. Anyone who thinks you're doing all this just to show off or that you are "too much" is definitely not the right person for you. 

So I put a stop to being too conscious of what others will think and I started doing what I wanted to. I started wearing more makeup and the clothes in my wardrobe that I wasn't wearing because I thought they're too ostentatious. A few weeks of doing this, I realised that most of what other people 'think' is just in my head. Because people didn't start behaving any different around me. If they did, it was that THEY got inspired to do the same. 

I realized that by looking at you walking, talking and living your life exactly how you want to, it gives others the courage to do the same. You set an example that you consider yourself worthy of shining as bright as possible without apology or any guilt or shame. Others will follow your example. And that would make such a wonderful world if people can just shed their fears of being all they want to be and lived boldly and looked as damn amazing as they wanted to.


Read more about being everything you want to be and looking the best while doing it, in my book, Loving Yourself In Style.

Until next time,

xoxo
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Shabana Feroze
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Bahrain's First Cat Cafe: Catopia

Bahrain's First Cat Cafe: Catopia





A cat café has finally opened in Bahrain and I am beyond thrilled. If you didn’t know, I’m a crazy cat lady. Unfortunately, I don’t house 10 cats but I am obsessed with the independent creatures. I’m the slave of one feline, Mili. We had two cats but our other cat, Snarf, passed away last year and we’re looking forward to getting a companion for Mili again, soon.
I {and my entire family} carry cat biscuits in my car, and I regularly TNR cats. Trap, Neuter, Release. This means that you trap a stray cat, take them to a vet who does surgery on them so they can’t have babies anymore, and then you release them back in the area from where you trapped them. This helps control the teeming population of strays so we don’t see more cats and kittens plastered into the roads on highways or dying because of the heat. Remember that cats and dogs are domestic animals and they’re supposed to be pets, looked after in a loving human home, not scavenging garbage cans for food.

Cookie checking out a cookie


So a cat café then is the perfect place where cats can live happily, and cat-crazy people like me can have their fill of quality cat time. I love cat cafés so much that I actively search for one each time I travel to a new country. And I always used to rue the fact that even though there are so many cats in Bahrain, there’s no cat café. Which is why I was so thrilled when I got to know that a cat café was FINALLY opening in Bahrain. I came to know in February and I had been waiting excitedly for it to open since then. Catopia opened last month. YAY!!!

Let me make it clear now in the beginning of this post that this is not a sponsored post. Catopia has not paid me to write this. I love cats and the concept of a cat café so much that I decided to write a post about it. I want more and more people to get to know these loyal, loving, intelligent creatures, change their thinking about them {CATS ARE NOT DISLOYAL! I’M SO TIRED OF HEARING THIS!!}, and adopt them so there are lesser cats on our streets.


Situated in Adliya behind Dessange, Catopia is a beautiful café that houses 13 cats who have all been adopted or rescued by breeders or families who have abandoned them or were found on the street in a bad condition. The café offers a coffee and a cookie to each customer visiting the cat area, included in the cover charge which is the fee for the first hour. There’s a nominal additional fee for every hour after.

Catopia is the brainchild of two best friends, Samiha Bashir and Hafsa Saleem, both 26-year-olds, hailing from Pakistan. They love cats and thought that the concept of a cat café was amazing, especially since Bahrain has so many stray cats but no cat café. Hafsa resigned from her career as a chartered accountant, while Samiha still works as a Digital Project Manager.

Samiha and Hafsa, the fab owners of Catopia


Both best friends put in a lot of work into this passion project, making sure the location was just right, that the kitties have enough space to move around and play, enough toys so they don’t get bored, nooks and crannies high up where they can go and sleep when they’re tired of human interaction. There are strict rules of the cat area which include taking your shoes off, sanitizing your hands when you enter and leave, no children younger than 3 years, etc. There’s also an outdoor space for customers and a non-cat area where people who don’t want to meet cats can sit and have coffee. Both women are thrilled that they opened the first cat café in Bahrain. I’m thrilled that the cat café is run by women. Because, you know, we do everything better.

Rules of the cat area 
I’ve visited Catopia a lot of times and I can sit for hours and hours because, for me, a cat café is the perfect place to let all your stress go. Even better than a spa or the beach. Just sitting and watching cats play, or stroking a cat, or having a kitten purr in your lap is enough to turn back the years. Which is why I love cat cafés so much and I love Samiha and Hafsa for opening one here.


Dawn sitting very uncharacteristically politely
So if now you’re wondering what exactly is the goal of Catopia {or any cat café}, let me educate you. It’s great for people who love cats but can’t keep one at home. Or for those looking to adopt one and want to familiarize themselves with their behaviours before they can make up their minds to get one. It’s great for people with cat phobia, as they can reduce their fear at this place. And of course, one of Hafsa and Samiha’s main goals is that Catopia promotes kindness towards cats and all animals.


But the ultimate goal is to get people to adopt cats from the café and take them to their forever home. This way, the café can keep rescuing more cats and letting them have a safe haven to live in temporarily until they find their forever home. The adoption process at Catopia is fairly simple- you pay for all the previous medical bills of the cat, and you take the cat home.


I love the mix of cats in Catopia. There are street cats, beautiful breed cats, kittens and older cats. The caretaker of the cats, Catopia’s affectionately termed “cat lady”, Nasra, looks after them in the cat area. This woman is such a powerhouse! Not only does she look after the cats in the café, but she’s the one who got all the rescued cats together and made sure all got along with each other before they came to the café. This is a very difficult job as cats are territorial and it’s very hard to make one cat get along with another. But Nasra did all of this for all the 13 cats that are there and will do the same for the next ones.

Nasra also makes sure no one mishandles the felines. She makes sure they’re watered and fed, she trims their nails and she bathes them. Whew! Not just this, she cheerfully and patiently answers all the thousands of questions that visitors throw at her about cats, myself included.

Nasra trimming the cat's nails. The expression on the kitty's face! LOL
A better pic of Catopia's Cat Lady, the incredible Nasra
 In addition to the cat area, Catopia has other exciting cat activities planned. They'll soon start a Cat Theatre where people can watch a movie while cats purr in their laps, Cat Yoga where cats can rub against your legs as you strike a warrior pose, cat board games, cat open mic events, and more! They have a special event area for all such activities and the area can even be booked for events in the future.

Couple goals
Feeding Nachos a treat. He's half Maine Coon!

Simba the mighty 


Dawn gobbling up a treat from my friend Nicole's hand
I keep asking them if they’re accepting donations as I’d like to donate money that will go towards the medical bills and care of the cats. {Other cat cafés around the world accept donations.} They tell me that hopefully, they’ll be accepting donations too, soon.
For more info on Catopia, check out their website, their Facebook and Instagram. You can also call them on +973 17 231412 or {mob} +973 3350 2726. They’re open every day from 1 pm to 11 pm. Now go visit!

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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