Sunday, 27 July 2014

So many bloody annoying things... &*%#$!


Top & Skirt: Zara, Jacket: H&M, Bracelet: Debenhams, Handbag: Aldo, Shoes: Steve Madden. Photos: Arif Feroze.

Some days you just can't seem to get it right. Take this shoot for instance. Arif brought me to this crazy-beautiful location but there was something or the other going wrong when we clicked pictures. Either the sun was in my face, or there were too many people and cars behind me- and since this is a long road we had to wait for them to get out of sight before clicking- or I looked too annoyed {I hate those pictures where my lips are smiling but there's a frown on my forehead}. The weather was yucky and sticky- humid with a slight breeze which meant my hair kept sticking to my face. Ew. And finally, when the people and cars cleared, a fly starting bugging me! UGHH! 

It was so disappointing when I received the photos from Arif, because I realized that I really, truly, love the outfit I have on, I'm mad about the location, but the photos just didn't turn out the way I wanted them to be. Sigh. And the worst part- in all the annoyances, we forgot to take a pic of my earrings. And they're just so bloody lovely! Argh! 

But it happens. Life goes on. You gotta smile and tell yourself you'll do better next time.

Until next time, stay happy. xoxox

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Maison du Maillot: The House of Swim



I was recently invited to view the latest collection of online beachwear boutique, Maison du Maillot. I met Fifi, one of the owners, at her home where the viewing was, and got talking to her about the brand and how it was started.

Maison du Maillot {pronounced mayzo du mayo } is an online swimwear house started this year in March, by sisters Leila Faiz and Fifi Fakhroo. Having lived in LA and London the two sisters moved to Bahrain 3 years ago. They struggled to find fashionable swimsuits here even though they saw beaches and glamorously-dressed women everywhere. So they decided to bring a host of designer swimwear brands from all over the world to Bahrain, as well as ship them to the rest of the world, through www.maisonmaillot.com. 

The name Maison du Maillot translates to 'House of Swim'. And it completely is. I checked out the collection at their home and it was beeeyoootiful. They have all kinds of swimwear including bikinis {Bahrain so lacks in gorgeous two-pieces!}, gorgeous maxi dresses, kaftans and other beach cover-ups.

A few of my favorites:

  

What I really liked about this brand is that it's handled by Leila and Fifi themselves, and they really think about what their customers need. They take into consideration not just the looks of the swimwear, but also that it should fit different shapes and sizes of women, and it should last. They've also made sure their online shop has great features like worldwide delivery, free returns, delivery the very next day for GCC countries, and if required, private home shopping by appointment for those in Bahrain. What's more, 1% of all their sales go to a charity dedicated to providing clean water to the poorest of communities. So if you purchase from them you not only get gorgeous stuff delivered to your home, you're also doing your bit for the community. Fantastic!

Their website is www.maisonmaillot.com, or click HERE. Happy shopping!


Monday, 21 July 2014

Flowers, flowers, flowers!

Top: Zara, Pants: Own design, Necklace: Gold souk, Ring: F21, Bangles: from India,
Handbag: Debenhams, Shoes: New Look. Photos: Arif Feroze


I've said this before, and I'll say it again- it's amazing the kind of beauty you find in small nooks and crannies in Bahrain. And it's even more amazing when that beauty is captured in a photograph. I'm absolutely crazy about the three photos of the bougainvillea. The vibrancy and the colors makes those photos simply beautiful. Talking about vibrancy, these pants! This shade of yellow is so cheerful it lights up your mood. The deep wine of the top is great to offset the yellow and a simple pairing of wide pants and a top is sooooo great for this heat! With such vibrant hues in the clothes, the shoes and bag had to be neutral. A few matching bangles and delicate gold accessories completed this look. Elegant, effortless and comfortable. Ahhh.



Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Recreating 50s glamor and How To Dress a Pear-Shaped Body



Top: Zara, Skirt: Own design, Earrings: Gifted, Bangle: F21, Clutch: Aldo, Shoes: New Look. Photos: Arif Feroze.


A contrast between black and cream looks so great. {Told you I was being influenced by Ancy's blackness}. The skirt already looks very 50s, and I love how the boat neck and the three quarter sleeves of the top make it look like I'm wearing a 50s dress instead of two separate pieces. I love wide necks that show the collar bone. I find that sexier than showing decolletage. The clutch matches with the red in the skirt and the coral-pink of the shoes goes with the coral-pink embroidered flowers. A bangle here, dangly earrings there, a vintage gold ring and a vintage watch completed the look.

I recently wrote a guest post on how to dress a pear-shaped body for my good friend Anne Maven, on her blog Poems, Stories and Humanness. She had been struggling with how to dress her wide-hips-narrow-upper body, and she also struggled with under-confidence while picking out clothes. I've addressed each of her issues in a detailed post on her blog. Here's a preview:

So when I wrote my wishlist series, I put down a wish to be fashion forward. The stylish and motivated Shabana Feroze of the vibrant Silver Kick Diaries read my wish/rant. She said that she would help me wrap my head around concepts for my body type. We went about it in a systematic way. She asked me about what exactly bothers me about my body, what goes through my head when I attempt to pick out clothes, and what exactly the discomfort entails.

I wrote her a long email explaining many things. I am my own psychoanalyst (in jest...) and told her exactly what bothered my mind... continue reading.


Have a read and let me know if you identified with any of the problems Anne talks about. Let me know what dressing issues you struggle with by commenting below and I'll see if I can address them!


Monday, 14 July 2014

16 Things You Shouldn't Have To Justify To Anyone Else


Photo by Arif Feroze


Don’t change so someone will like you.  Be yourself and the right ones will love the real you.

Will the people in your life always support your decisions?  No, they won’t.  But you need to remember that life is not about justifying yourself; it’s about creating yourself.   Your life is yours alone.  Others can try to persuade you, but they can’t decide for you.  They can walk with you, but not in your shoes.  So make sure the path you decide to walk aligns with your own intuition and desires, and don’t be scared to walk alone and pave your own path when you know it’s the right thing to do.
Make this your lifelong motto: “I respectfully do not care.”  Say it to anyone who passes judgment on something you strongly believe in or something that makes you who you are.  People will inevitable judge you at some point anyway, and that’s OK.  You affected their life; don’t let them affect yours.
And when you need a quick reminder or a dose of encouragement, refer to this list of things you shouldn’t have to justify to anyone else:
  1. Why you’re putting yourself first. – During a 2011 television interview, Michelle Obama was asked if she thought it was at all selfish that she has openly admitted to making herself her first priority, to which the First Lady replied, “No, not at all.  It’s practical…. a lot of times we just slip pretty low on our own priority list because we’re so busy caring for everyone else.  And one of the things that I want to model for my children is investing in themselves as much as they invest in others.”  Spot on advice if you ask me!  There are only a few people in this world who will stay 100% true to you, and YOU should be one of them.  Prioritize your own needs into your daily to-do’s.
  2. The need to express your emotions. – Never apologize for being sensitive or emotional.  There’s no reason to be ashamed for feeling something or acting out on it if it’s real to you.  It’s a sign that you have a big heart, and that you aren’t afraid to let others know it.  Showing your emotions is a sign of human strength.  The people who judge you for being human, and not being modest, emotionless, and “in line,” are the ones who need to apologize.
  3. Your weirdness. – Where’s your will to be weird?  Where’s your resolution to be real?  Truth be told, it’s not weird to be weird.  Everybody is weird in some way.  You must celebrate your individuality and not be embarrassed of it.  If you’re lucky enough to have something that makes you different from everybody else, don’t be ashamed and don’t hide it. (Read The Gifts of Imperfection.)
  4. Being unapologetically YOU. – We are never more alive than when we are being brave, and we can’t be brave unless we are willing to take off our masks and be ourselves.  It’s about finding the courage to be real.  When perfectionism of any kind is driving us, shame is always riding shotgun and fear is the backseat driver.  Don’t do this to yourself.  Let go of trying to be “perfect” in the eyes of others, and just be who you are.
  5. Not taking things personally. – When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless worrying and suffering.  Some people may tell you it’s best to stand up for yourself and fight back, but the best offense is always a good defense.  Defend yourself from others by not taking the things they say and do personally.  Truth be told, if you take everything personally, you will remain offended for the rest of your life.  What other people do is because of them, not you.  Period.
  6. Deciding to forgive. – Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something.  Forgiveness, on the other hand, is for those who are confident enough to stand on their own two legs and move forward.  In order to move forward, you must know why you felt the way you did, and why you no longer need to feel that way.  It’s about accepting the past completely, letting it be, and lifting your spirit with good intentions.  Nothing empowers your ability to heal and grow as much as your love and forgiveness.
  7. Who you choose to spend your time with. – In the end, the best investment of your limited time on Earth will be to spend it with people you love.  Although it’s perhaps conceivable that you may lie on your deathbed someday regretting that you didn’t work harder and check every little thing off your to-do list, it’s doubtful that your work will be your biggest concern.  What’s more likely, however, is that you will wish you could have one more romantic night with your spouse, another long, heartfelt talk with your sister, and one last good hard laugh with your best friend.  Life is too short to be too busy for the people you love.
  8. Not perfectly measuring up to everyone else’s progress. –  Don’t compare your progress in life with that of others.  We all need our own time to travel our own distance.  In fact, two of the most amazing couples I know didn’t meet each other until they were in their late 30’s.  One of these couples just had their first child in their early 40’s.  The lesson here is simple: Great things in life don’t happen when society tells you they’re supposed to happen – they happen when they’re meant to be.  So remember, you don’t have to make excuses about why you aren’t married with children, or working a traditional 8-5 job, or making a certain amount of money, etc.  Our lives are not all meant to be scripted the same exact way.
  9. Why you have failed, and why you aren’t scared to fail again. – Failure is the opportunity to begin again, smarter than before.  Forget what others have told you.  Fail often, fail fast, clean it up, learn from it, move on, and then repeat.  Just because things didn’t work out for you today, doesn’t mean there’s not something big in store for you tomorrow.  Rest easy and get ready.  Don’t waste your energy justifying yourself to the naysayers.  (Read The Success Principles.)
  10. The young-minded, foolish things you once did. – I don’t entirely approve of some of the things I have done in my life.  But I am me.  And I would not be me if I hadn’t learned along the way.  The same is true for you.  All wise old people were once young and foolish; that’s how they became wise.  Don’t be ashamed of who you had to be to get to where you are today.
  11. Dressing down and not looking all fixed up every second. – Angel and I have helped thousands of coaching clients overcome self-esteem issues, and physical appearance almost always has something to do with it.  As a client we coached this morning put it, “Whenever I leave the house looking anything less than airbrushed and fashionable and then run into someone I know, I tend to feel the need to apologize for not looking a certain way.”  That’s ludicrous!  You don’t have to apologize to someone else for not looking a certain way; you have to apologize to yourself for feeling like you had to in the first place.
  12. Your healthy eating habits. – Too often our culture associates healthy eating habits with fad diets and weight loss marketing schemes.  But there’s also something called healthy eating as a means to actual good health, not weight loss, not some crazy diet, or anything else.  Why do we need to stand up for ourselves when we choose to eat healthy?  Because for some reason, people tend to be skeptical that a person would actually just want to treat their body right and not be perpetually concerned with their shape and size.  Eat healthy because it’s good for your health.  Ignore the critics.
  13. Working extra hard on your dreams. – When people try to inspire you, they’ll often tell you all kinds of sensible and heartfelt things like: “Follow your dreams.  Listen to your heart.  Find your inner voice and let it sing.  Change the world.  Make your mark.  Embrace your challenges.  Keep dreaming big.  Dream some more.  In fact, dream and don’t stop dreaming until all of your dreams come true.”  And all of this is fine and dandy, but the problem is a lot of people dream… and that’s all they do.  And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really remarkable, passionate, and powerful people, are busy doing something with their dreams.  Be one of them.
  14. Choosing to smile through your struggles. – Not every day will be good, but there will be something good about every day.  Notice it.  Ignore the negativity around you.  None of us know the exact paths we will travel or the trials that will come our way.  The secret is to find joy in the journey.  The more obstacles you overcome, the stronger you become.  Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving; you just get stronger and more resilient.  Smiling and appreciating each step you take is the smartest choice.  Your positivity will help you realize that sometimes the bad things that happen in your life put you on a direct path to the best possible things that could ever happen to you.  
  15. The things you hope for. – They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.  I couldn’t agree more.  We all do a lot of talking about the importance of the first two, but don’t forget to nurture your hope too.  And remember, hope isn’t the belief that life will always give you what you want; it’s the belief that life will gradually reveal what’s right.
  16. Why you feel completely justified already. – You don’t need a standing ovation or a bestseller or a promotion or a million bucks.  You are enough right now.  You have nothing to justify.  Care less about who you are to others and more about who you are to yourself.  You will have less heartaches and disappointments the minute you stop seeking from others the justification only YOU can give yourself.
Bottom line:  Constantly trying to justify yourself to everyone else forces you to miss out on the beauty of simply being yourself, with your own unique ideas, desires, and life experiences.  If you are led through life only doing and being what you’ve come to believe is expected of you, then, in a way, you cease to live… you merely exist.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…
Do more than just exist!  We all exist.  The question is: Do you live?

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

6 Outfits for the Office



Half the year is over already. And no, I'm not going to tell you that it went by super-fast and ohmigod-look-how-time-flies. It took the normal time that time takes. So since we're in July now, I put together the workwear ensembles I have posted since the beginning of the year. I know, I know, I don't do a lot of formal outfits and many of you have asked me to. Which is why I've put these together in one post for you. You can click on the image and save it to your computer or phone. All these looks are suitable for the office or for any formal meeting/ event / occasion. You'll also find a label called 'Workwear' under this post, which you can click on to show you all these posts together, or any future office-wear posts. Just keep track of the label.

What outfits would you like to see more? Formal? Casual? Semi-casual? Let me know in the comments!


Monday, 7 July 2014

Every colorful friend needs a black friend



 
 
On Ancy: Dress: H&M, Necklace: F21, Shoes: Debenhams. On me: Dress: H&M, Pearls: Vintage, Clutch: Gifted, Shoes: Bershka. Photos by Ancy and I. Editing by Paul Gomes. Location Courtesy: Block 338 Garden Restaurant and Lounge.

Now I know what the title sounds like. But I'm referring only to clothes. Even though Anceeta is my best friend and we do everything together, she has a style sense very different from mine. She loves black while I'm head over heels for colorful clothes. And I think that's perfect. She's always dressed in some killer little black dress with minimal accessories. She loves how black makes you look elegant and sophisticated, and that it's perfect for any and every occasion. {And you know me. I consider red perfect for any and every occasion. Haha.}

I love that she loves black and sometimes she tells me that that bright pink skirt I have would look great with a black top instead of the yellow or red or blue I keep pairing it with. So it's great to have her around to tone down my colorfulness. And sometimes my colors rub off on her and she'll wear something bright. And so, every colorful friend needs a black friend. However weird that may sound.