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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
The Results of My Year of Not Complaining

The Results of My Year of Not Complaining



One of my resolutions for 2019 was to stop complaining. In the last few months of 2018, I read several books on self-help and spirituality that said one needs to stop complaining, as complaining blocks all the good energy and everything good that the Universe wants to send your way.

I knew about the “no complaining” concept from back when I was in college and used to read a lot of self-help books. {I was away from home and depressed and severely homesick. Self-help books saved my life.}  Almost all of the really good self-help and motivational books concurred on stopping complaining to change your life from a negative to a positive one.


I had read all of Dale Carnegie's books and one of his quotes always stuck- “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain- and most fools do”. Which is why I already wasn’t big on complaining and didn’t do it often. I had learned that complaining is futile, and it’s better to take action instead of complaining. And if its something you can’t change, there’s no point in complaining. But that’s just it. As I read those books last year I realized that I was complaining about the things I couldn’t change. So I decided that I’ll reduce complaining drastically until I stop doing it altogether. And when I say complaining, I mean all types of complaining. Complaining, criticizing, ranting endlessly about things I don’t like, whining, retelling a sob story for pity, and even complaining to myself in my head so I could revel in my misery.




Once I made my mind up, it was surprisingly easy to stop. Whenever I complained about irritating clients or an annoying situation that happened to me, I regretted it after. Then I started catching myself before I complained. Soon enough, I realized that I wasn’t complaining about the usual things - clients, my parents, how tired I am, how little sleep I got, the traffic, and so on. It’s astounding that when you stop complaining you realize how much you complain, and especially about small, insignificant things.

Finally, it came to a point where I noticed that my complaining reduced drastically. It’s only been half a year since I started doing this and I can already see so many positive changes in myself and my life because of this. I’m not saying I’ve stopped complaining altogether. I still do rant about a few things, but I’m conscious that I’m doing it, and either I try to cut the conversation short or change the subject or keep in mind that I must not complain about this the next time.

Here are a few things that happened as a result of me reducing complaining this year:

  • The things that bothered me- the ones I used to complain about- don’t bother me anymore. Those petty, insignificant things remain insignificant to me now.
  • I feel happier than before. Because I’m not focusing on the negative occurrences and talking about them, I automatically focus on the happy things and feel more of the positive emotions.
  • I have more energy now. It’s amazing how complaining saps your energy but you don’t even realize it.
  • I notice people who complain a lot and instinctively, I want to stay away from them.


  • I feel healthier. I don’t know what the co-relation between complaining and feeling healthier is, but I guess that because I’m not in the negative mindset that one gets in because of complaining and ranting, I’m healthier and don’t catch a cold or get headaches.
  • I realized that people around me complain less because I complain less. They instinctively realize I won’t indulge them when they want to rant and whine.
  • I’m more productive. Since I’m not spending time complaining, I’m spending it being useful and getting more done.
  • I have become more solution-oriented than problem-oriented. Complaining makes you focus on the problem again and again. When you don’t complain, you automatically think of how to solve the problem.



  • My overthinking has reduced to almost nothing. I used to be the Queen Of Overthinking. But now because I’m not complaining to others about my problems and thinking about what they said, the same thoughts don’t go round and round in my head. I have found that my thinking has become more linear and I arrive at a solution very easily, or that I decide to not let the problem affect me at all.
  • I’m so much more relaxed. Because the small things that used to bother me before don’t anymore, I have very little anxiety and stress, and I feel much more relaxed all the time.



  • I am so much more grateful for everything I have now. I have always been grateful for my wonderful life, but lately, because I’m not focusing on the bad things in my life, it has brought a sharp focus on everything incredible in my life and I find myself feeling more grateful than ever before. I also notice all the little good things and occurrences and feel immensely grateful for those.
  • Lastly, I find that good things are coming my way. Happy coincidences, good fortune, pleasant surprises are all happening constantly. I meet the most amazing and positive people, and I have amazing experiences. I’m sure that this is not only because I stopped complaining, but I’m also sure that that has contributed significantly to the Universe becoming more generous towards me. Because when you think about it, why would the Universe be generous and good to you when all you do is complain about how miserable your life is?


These are all of the things that happened in less than 6 months of reducing complaining. I still have a way to go in stopping complaining altogether, but I know I’ll get there soon because the results of this have been so incredibly positive and freeing.

Dress: Saji's Couture, Earrings, Watch: Parfois, Ring, Anklet: MGD Lifestyle Jewellery, Bag, Sunglasses: from India, Shoes: New Look.

If you think that this is something that you want to do, or that you want to experience the positivity and happiness that I am experiencing now because of this, then give it a try. Don’t complain for at least 3 months. It will be difficult at first if you love complaining, but it becomes easier and then it becomes a habit. However, you start to see changes in yourself and in your life almost immediately. Also, there’s no harm in not complaining. So why not give it a try? Let me know if you do! Leave me a comment below!
Until next time,

xoxo
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Shabana Feroze
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Not Hating Twin Sets Anymore + My Ramadan Update

Not Hating Twin Sets Anymore + My Ramadan Update




This pure silk floral twin set is one of the new loves of my life. Up until this twin set, I actually didn't like twin sets. I find most of them boring. Why would you want to wear the same top and bottom? But this one changed my mind. It's probably because the top is so different from the bottom, and probably because the bottom is not pants. I think my prejudice is against pant twin sets. 


Also, I haven't seen twin sets that have such big blooming flowers on them. This twin set by Saji's Couture is made of pure silk, which is probably why I love it so much. Silk always extends elegance and sophistication to any piece. Especially when there's so much of it, the entire outfit looks classy and rich.


I love how the top is a crop top in a boxy, loose shape, but because of the handkerchief cut with its two ends pointing downwards, it doesn't look unflattering.  The loose shape makes it very comfortable to wear and the width of the kerchief hem makes the waist look smaller.


I like how the flower print has been included on the front of the top, the back, as well as the sleeves. The sleeves are mid-length and in a bell shape, adding an effortless and relaxed feel to the top. The entire top with its crop top cut is very effortless and casual, but because of the luxurious material it's made of, it looks tres chic and sophisticated. It's such great contrast.
 

The skirt is quite unique. It actually has a seam down the middle, so that the flower print is repeated in the front. It's the same at the back. The two panels are joined in such a way that it makes the skirt asymmetrical. I've recently started to realize my love for asymmetrical clothes and hems. It adds uniqueness and that je ne sais quoi that I love so much.



Because of the soft material, it's super comfortable and flows beautifully. The skirt's waist is elastic at the back so it adds to the comfort level. From a glance, you'd think I were wearing pants, but when I walk, you realize that it's actually a maxi skirt. So much mystique in one piece!



Apart from the material and the big bold blooms on this outfit, I love that it's in a deep, inky black. I don't have a lot of black in my wardrobe because I feel like it's a dead, soul-sucking colour. Yes I know, that's the exact reason why a lot of you love it, haha. I do like that black looks elegant and chic also, so I prefer it when there's more to it than just the shade. Like when a plain black material is used but interesting details are added to the stitching of the garment or the way there are blooming flowers in white and purple on this inky black background.



To accessorize this elegant ensemble, I wore long tassel earrings in white to bring out the white in the floral print, and to add the flow and richness of the outfit.



On my hands, I wore a watch and bracelets in rose gold, with rose patterns to match the print. Because the outfit has a bold print and an eye-catching cut, I kept the accessories to the minimum.



This silk twin set is great for a soiree or for a rendezvous at a beautiful restaurant. Because the top and bottom are separates, they can be worn with other clothes for a refreshing new look, and to get more cost per wear. It's always great when all the clothes in your wardrobe can be mixed and matched to create endless versatile looks. I'd love to wear this skirt with a white top for work or wear the top with jeans for an effortless weekend outfit.

In other news

Every year I think Ramadan will be a quiet year in terms of work. Every year I'm proven wrong. And I believe this year ranks the busiest of them all. We've been bustling so much at work at The Silver Kick Company this month, it's insane. Which is the reason why it has taken me so long to publish a post. But it has been a lot of fun because of my incredible team. Work is always fun when you have great people around you who bring out the best in you, and when you're churning out great work as a team. Although we've been crazy-busy, we've laughed our butts off in the office. And I think that's the most important thing.

On the home front, we're managing two cats who refuse to get along with each other {it's actually one cat and one tiny kitten}, because of which they need supervision 24/7. Kai, our rescue kitten is 9 weeks old and we're waiting for him to become bigger so our older cat Mili doesn't scare him so much. And of course, on top of everything, my fitness classes are on overdrive this month because a colleague had an accident and I'm covering his classes in addition to my own. It's amusing how Ramadan always makes me yearn for that long Eid break every single year. 


How has your Ramadan been so far? What do you love doing during the long Eid break? Do you like twin sets? Do you hate them?

Leave me a comment below.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for kitten shenanigans, my fitness classes schedule and outfits of the day. Check out my book, Loving Yourself In Style, by clicking HERE.

Until next time,

xoxo
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Shabana Feroze
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Finding Your Personal Style

Finding Your Personal Style



Personal style is so important. It makes an impact on anyone that meets you, not just the first time but every time, but more than that, it makes you feel amazing. You know who you are and you're not afraid to show it to the world. It's such a strong statement to make, just through what you wear. And of course, as I always say, it's the best and easiest way of loving yourself. In this post, I want to show you how you can find your personal style, or simply define it even more, through mine and Amy's style.

Although Amy and I are besties, of the same age and work in the field of marketing, {I run a creative agency, Amy is a director of a PR firm} we both have a very different personal style. I'm more of a professional, elegant and sophisticated look, and Amy is more rock chic/ rebellious badass. I prefer feminine and formal clothes like pencil and A-line dresses, flowy blouses paired with skirts and trousers in bright and pastel colours, and lots and lots of floral. I'm going to let Amy talk about her style in her own words but what I've seen of it so far is very edgy, rebellious, rock 'n' roll, with lots of sequins and bling, badass boots, crop tops worn under jackets, rich colours, and lots and lots of snakeskin print. I adore Amy's style because it is SO unique and makes her stand out. One unique trait about her style is that she ALWAYS has real jewellery on. Amy comes from a gold jeweller family and is always wearing accessories in real gold. She also has lots of diamond jewellery which she rocks with her casual rock chic outfits, which makes for a very unique look.

I'm going to explain my style and why I wear what I wear now, my life changes, and how my style changed as my personality developed. Amy will do the same, and at the end, I'll list a few pointers on how to find your own unique personal style.


Shabana's Style


My style has come a long way. If you've been following my blog from the beginning, you'll notice that although I wore professional wear {I was working in a big company when I started the blog}, it had an element of quirkiness and rebelliousness in it. It was similar to Amy's style with lots of boots and funky jewellery. I was also not making a lot of money back then {or let's just say I didn't have the heightened sense of quality-over-quantity that I have now}, so I had a lot of cheap accessories. My style was very badass because I was in a fragile place at the time and I wanted my clothes to make me feel strong. I always wanted to project an image of a badass rebel. And it worked because it at least put me in that mindset.


As time passed and I became stronger from within, I started to realize that I didn't need to show it through my outfits anymore. So my ensembles became non-rock chic and lost their edginess. There was a period where I was working in a managerial position and I was giving a lot of fitness classes as well. I had suddenly become very, very busy. Thus I chose standard officewear like button-downs, pencil skirts and trousers. And blazers. Lots and lots of blazers. This gave me more time to focus on my life instead of my outfits. I could pick any button-down and pair it with any bottom, throw on a blazer, and it would look good. Good, but not super-stylish or great.


I got bored with the button-downs and blazers after some time and I was trying to change up my style. Again my life went through a big change where I started my own company. Now I was the boss and had to not only dress like one but loved dressing like one. Which is how I dress now. I try to emulate powerful lady-bosses and love wearing flamboyant but sophisticated professional outfits. I'm 34 years old now {I started the blog when I was 25}, and I feel like my dressing sense reflects not only who I am, but WHERE I am in life, or rather, where I'd like to be. I've lost the taste for cheap accessories, standard workwear, and fast fashion. I prefer having unique clothes made from scratch to suit my body type and personality, hence you see me wearing so much of Saji's Couture. I'm willing to spend more money on fewer pieces as long as they're unique, great quality and very me.








Throughout my style journey, one thing has remained constant is that I always dressed for comfort. There is no point in being super stylish if you are not comfortable. Sure, I've worn my share of tight dresses and painful heels, but always learned the lesson that it's not worth it. Dressing for comfort {without sacrificing your style, of course}, adds so much to you feeling happy and less stressful in your day-to-day life. It's something we don't even think about, but it matters so much.


Amy's Style


I think my personal style has been through a few distinct phases. When I was in my early twenties, I worked as a flight attendant for Gulf Air and wore a uniform to work. This meant that there were only a couple of days in a week that I could dress how I wanted, and I had access to shopping markets all over the world to assemble my wardrobe. Very quickly I figured out that I liked dresses. My style was very feminine, very girly, and I could always be seen in a dress. I had dresses for every occasion, from formal to casual, with accessories to match. I had loads of pretty handbags, heels and hair accessories.

After four years, I quit my job and moved to Cape Town for university and dressed pretty much like any typical student… jeans and t-shirts with sandals and no makeup. Sometimes I even went bare feet, which was very much a part of the Capetonian vibe. It felt good to feel so free and I don’t think I ever thought much about what I was wearing.

When I came back to Bahrain I was so depressed about it for a while that I lost all interest in how I looked. Coupled with harassment at work, this meant that I stopped wearing my pretty dresses from earlier and started dressing every day like I was going to a funeral. I hated shopping, I didn’t even like going out. I went to the tailor with one of my favourite dresses and asked him to make five copies of it, which I wore to work every damn day. Let me tell you, it is NOT the same as wearing a uniform, and it got depressing very, very quickly. One of my friends was very concerned and asked me why I was doing this to myself. I had no real answer, but I knew I had to take an interest in my life and my appearance again.

Finally, I went on two major shopping sprees in Dubai over the course of a year, and I discovered a new style. No longer did I want to look ‘girly’. Instead, I felt the need to express a rebellious streak. I started wearing blue, black, and purple lipstick and I got many, many compliments on it. To me, it was a way of expressing my power, a way to say I really don’t care what anyone else thinks, this is how I want to look. I started going out barefoot again (yes, in Bahrain) whenever I felt like it. I bought ridiculously over-the-top sequinned outfits and faux leather skirts. I LOVE bright colours! I am currently rocking the crop top trend pretty hard! And you know what, these clothes make me happy.

I don’t know quite how to sum up my current style, but I think this is what it comes down to: I am in my thirties and the way I dress is a conscious rejection of what was ‘expected’ of me by this age. Many of the people I know already look dead and burned out, and I don’t want that for myself. I don’t set rules for myself as such, I choose pieces that evoke the same kind of excitement I felt about many things when I was younger. Even as we mature, it is important that we not lose our innocence and our joie de vivre.

                                                                                *****

As you can see, our lives and what we went through really made an impact on our style, as well as where we're living and our lifestyle.


Here are a few quick pointers if you are looking to find or simply fine-tune your personal style:


  • Learn your body shape. Your clothes should flatter your body, making it look the best it can look, according to you. I have a straight figure so I wear clothes that give me a waist. Amy has an hourglass figure so she shows it off through her clothes.
  • Get to know your personality and what traits dominate. then translate that into clothes. And you can always dress to reinforce feeling a certain way like I did by dressing like a badass when I was trying very hard to feel like one.
  • If you're really struggling to define your personal style, you can always get basic pieces like a white tee, white button-down, blue jeans, black skirt, etc., and show then let your personality shine through unique and funky accessories {hats, jewellery, shoes, bags}. Over time, you'll be able to pick clothes that are like your accessories.
  • Study a few celebrities, style mavens and fashion bloggers and find a few whose style you absolutely adore. {They can also be a fictional character. I LOVE Jessica Pearson's style, from SUITS.} Break down their outfits into separate pieces and notice how they put it together and notice what you like about it. Shamelessly copy.
  • Make sure your clothes are comfortable. This is key. 
  • Choose colours that compliment your complexion. You'll only know this by trying on a lot of clothes in fitting rooms.
  • Lastly, pick pieces that spark joy {yes, the KonMari way. I'll write a blog post on why you need to KonMari your wardrobe}.


Remember, you need to feel three key things when you dress up-

1) Comfortable,
2) Gorgeous and
3) POWERFUL. Like you can take over the world.

So do whatever it takes to feel that way because you'll be showing yourself so much love when you look and feel your best every goddamn day.

Let me know if you have any questions or anything to add. Leave me a comment below!

There are lots of style tips in my book, Loving Yourself In Style, and more on finding your personal style in clothes, jewellery, shoes and bags, and how to declutter your wardrobe. Unfortunately, I hadn't read Marie Kondo's books when I wrote mine, or I would have definitely written about why KonMari is the perfect way to declutter and make your wardrobe. More on that later.

Until next time,

xoxo
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Shabana Feroze
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Feminist AF Pink and Patterned + Pointers On Looking Taller & Thinner

Feminist AF Pink and Patterned + Pointers On Looking Taller & Thinner




If there's one thing I've learned about a pencil skirt, it's that it's a tricky piece of clothing. It's imperative that it's the right length and fit. If not, it will end up making you look fat even though you're not {pencil skirts have a wonderful way of highlighting your stomach} and look too trashy if it's too tight. If the length hits you at the wrong point of your legs, it'll make you look short and wide. And if it's too tight, you can't walk or sit comfortably.

But what I also learned recently is that a patterned pencil skirt is so much better than a plain one. 

This is because of many reasons-
1) Like I said, a pencil skirt shows the curve of your belly but a patterned one will hide it because the eye is drawn to the print and not the shape of your body. 
2) The print elongates your silhouette and makes it look narrower, so you look tall and slim.
3) It looks so much more interesting than a plain one!


I had given up on pencil skirts for a few years but decided to try them again, and I bought a cheap black one online just to try. I wore it in this post. When I was sure they still flatter my figure and I don't mind wearing them again, I asked Sajida of Saji's Couture to make a pencil skirt for me in printed material. 

She made this skirt for me and I love it! The zigzag design makes my legs look longer. Because the pattern is made up of thin lines, it takes away from the bulk of the shape of the skirt, which any small print does for any piece of clothing. Since it's only in black and white, I can wear any coloured top with it. The length hits me just below the knee, which is very flattering and again, very lengthening and slimming. 


I wore a fun tee with the skirt for a semi-formal look. This tee was gifted to me by a friend in LA, who knows just how feministic I am, haha. The soft pink of the tee stands out against the black-and-white of the skirt. Because the top is a basic tee with a round neck and short sleeves, it lends that effortless je-ne-sais-quoi-chic to the whole look. I love semi-casual ensembles such as these where a very casual item is paired with a very formal piece. Think t-shirt, pants and blazer, a very elegant and formal top worn with a pair of blue jeans, or even simply, funky boots with a sophisticated ensemble. These outfits give you a relaxed, laidback and fun air, but also look very stylish because putting such an outfit together needs a good fashion sense or it can end up looking mismatched and awkward.


The boots make up the third element of the outfit. Since the skirt is slightly longer and covers my knees, these knee-high boots were perfect. The hem of the skirt covers the top of the boots, elongating the entire silhouette even more and making it look very streamlined. If there were a gap above the boots and my legs could be seen under the hem of the skirt, it would make me look shorter as that would break the bodyline from the skirt down to the legs. 


So if you're wearing tall boots with a skirt, remember that it's more of a flattering look when you let the top of the boots go under the skirt's hem. Ankle boots would, of course, look very chic with such a skirt or even a shorter one for that matter, as then the length of your legs from the knee down adds to the overall length of the look. 

I chose these particular boots as they have a simple and classy- tan leather with a stiletto pencil heel, which makes them very sophisticated. They're a no-brainer for me when it comes to wearing boots with work clothes. The thin heel makes them (and me) look longer, while the folds at the ankle make them look relaxed and expensive, as only good quality leather will be supple enough to fold like that. 


Keeping with the lengthening theme of the outfit, I wore long tassel earrings. The dark green adds more colour to the outfit and contrasts with the soft pink of the tee. I finished with a structured rectangular bag in a pastel blue to match the pastel of the tee and to pop against the skirt. And of course, oversized sunnies will always help you add more of the effortless, mysterious flair.




T-shirt: Gifted, Skirt: Saji's Couture, Sunglasses: American Eagle, Boots: Aldo, Earrings, Bag: from India.


To sum up how to look tall and thin, here are my pointers again:

  • Wearing a small, busy pattern on the lower half of your body draws the eye down and makes you look slimmer. Small prints are also great to camouflage any part of the body that you don't want to show off.
  • A zigzag or diagonal pattern makes you look thinner by taking away from the width of your frame.
  • Skirts that are slightly longer than your knees will lengthen your legs and lower half.
  • Wearing tall boots with a longer skirt that covers the tops of the boots will give you a streamlined look.
  • Vertically long items such as long earrings, pencil skirts, tunic tops, V-necks, vertically rectangular bags and tall pencil heels, will all give the illusion of length and slimness to the body.
  • Don't "break" your body- don't have horizontal breaks in the outfit like a small gap of skin showing. 
  • Choose straight cuts over billowing and bodycon shapes.

I hope these tips help you the next time you want to look tall and slim or just want to feel taller for that extra boost of confidence. Let me know if you'd like me to include style pointers in my outfit posts. Leave me a comment after this post or on my Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

I give lots of helpful style tips in my book, Loving Yourself In Style, as well. I show you how to choose the best sunglasses, clothes and shoes for your face shape and lifestyle. The book retails for BD 3.500 in Bahrain {email nada(at)najlaqamberdesigns(dot)com for a signed copy} and $10 online


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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