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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
Black and Bows + How To Get Over The Eid Food Guilt

Black and Bows + How To Get Over The Eid Food Guilt



I'm not a big fan of black clothes as they tend to look harsh. Unless they're a floral print. Which is why it was love at first sight when I saw this black floral top from Saji's Couture. The print on it has bright colours in reds and yellows, giving it a cheerful feel, but keeping it elegant and understated because of the black background. Florals on a light or white background tend to look fresh and summery, while a flower print done well on a black cloth looks serious and classy.

This top is made from a thick but breathable material, and the fit is perfect by being slightly loose. There's only a button at the neck for the pussybow and you can easily slide it over your head with minimum fuss. I love minimum-fuss work clothes, don't you? But what makes this top stand out are the details of the bows and frills. Talk about making something feminine even more feminine! I love it, haha! There's a pussybow at the neck which ties at the side. The sleeves end in the same black stretchy material as the neck, in long ribbons which can be tied as you like. Lastly, the same material is used for double frills at the end of the top.


I've always been a massive fan of the pussybow blouse, as I think nothing looks more professionally elegant than a bow tied at the neck, sitting daintily. I've had a lot of centred pussybow blouses but few with asymmetric ones that sit on the side. It adds a different kind of nonchalance to the outfit. The ribbons on the sleeves and the frill on the hem add that much more girliness. I love how the overall design is serious with accents of flirtatiousness.




In this look, I went for a contrast by pairing the top with very light pants. This way the top stands out more and can get all the attention it deserves. These cigarette trousers are one of my favourites on repeat. They're a stretchy material with a great fit. and just what you need for pairing with darker tops, especially when you don't have the courage to wear white pants. I love that the colour is a light blush pink, all feminine and soft. I accessorized with silver tear-drop earrings and finished with a matching bag and pumps in black. 


I'd love to try this top with pants in bright colours like fuchsia, to bring out the colours in the print, and even with a skirt, worn over the frills at the hem. 

Top: Saji's Couture, Pants: Zara, Bag: Gifted, Shoes: from Canada. Photos: Arif Feroze

In Other News

It's time again to get back to work after the luxury of 5 days of Eid holidays. It has been 5 days of eating, lazing, eating, going to parties, and eating some more. The worst part is, all that food is usually high calorie, high sugar stuff. And after it's all over and you're back to normal life, you're plagued by guilt and shame over all the overeating. As a fitness instructor, I can tell you that I go through the same thing, but I've just learned how to manage it better. So here's a few tips on how to get over the Eid {or any festival} food guilt:

How To Get Over The Eid Food Guilt

  • Don't feel guilty! You had the biryani and baklava and you enjoyed them at the time. There's no point in feeling guilty about it now. Instead, be happy that you got to experience these delicious festive foods.
  • Make a plan. So you've overeaten over the holidays. Now's the time to make a health and fitness plan if you don't have one already, or add a few extra gym hours/ classes to your routine. Also, make a plan to eat healthier by cutting down your sugar intake and processed meats and foods.
  • Don't overdo it. Having said the above, don't go crazy trying to lose the extra pounds or punishing yourself for the overindulgence. If you workout too much at once, you'll only injure yourself or fall sick by putting your immune system under too much stress by overexercising. Also, it doesn't work that way. Quality over quantity. The same goes for your food habits. Don't completely cut off your favourite foods or sugary items, or you'll end up bingeing on them after a week.
  • Limit sugar and heavy foods to daytime. If you're like me, you'll have lots of leftover biryani, chocolates and gifted sweets. Limit yourself to having them in the daytime, when your metabolism is faster. Also, don't overeat. Have only one chocolate and savour it instead of mindlessly polishing off the whole box.
  • Give it away! In our house, whenever we find ourselves laden with gifted sweets and heavy foods over festival times, we give away as much as we can. We give them to the housecleaners, the doormen, security guards, and friends and family. We only keep the foods we absolutely love but in a limited quantity. You can even take the sweets to work and keep them all in the office pantry/ kitchen for your workmates to enjoy. Just don't be the one to eat them all yourself.
  • Take your mind off your body. Don't be obsessed about how many pounds you've put on over the holidays, how tight your pants are now, or how fat you look. All that stressing will only make you reach out for a doughnut. Instead, know that you have it in you to get back to your fitness level, and to get back to a healthy food regimen again. If you put it on, you can burn it off. It's only a matter of doing workouts that make you happy and eating natural, nutritious foods that make your body happy. And you'll be back to your pre-Eid body in no time.
You can read more about my views on diet and exercise in my book, Loving Yourself In Style, in the chapter Health & Fitness where I talk about how loving your body is the easiest way to be happy and healthy. If you'd like to know more about my fitness classes, drop me a line on shabana{dot}feroze{at}gmail{dot}com or message me on any of my social media channels!

Until next time, xoxo
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Shabana Feroze
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Floral Maxi Shirt Dress + About The Silver Kick Company

Floral Maxi Shirt Dress + About The Silver Kick Company


This has to be one of my favourite dresses. Yes, I know I say that for every dress I wear. But what I love the most about a maxi dress like this, is its practicality of wear. When you wake up late on a hectic morning and just don't know what to wear, slip on a pretty maxi dress and you're done.



Style Talk


What I really liked about this dress is that it's very work-appropriate too. The collar and the cuffs on the sleeves make it look professional and smart. There are buttons all down the front of the dress, and they're functional, not just for show. You could call it a shirt dress since it's technically a shirt that's been lengthened. But because it reaches the ankles and not just the knees, it looks much more elegant and work-friendly. 

The material is a thin cotton so it's great for summer wear. You don't need to open all the buttons to wear it, of course, just slip it over your head. The fit is perfect: it's not too tight, and it falls around you and moves with you. I'm wearing a UK size 10. Obviously, the main thing that attracted me most to the dress is the floral print with its delicate leaves and flowers. 

 I actually didn't like this dress when I saw it {although I LOVED the print}. I thought it too prudish for me, with the collar and buttons closing all the way up. My mom picked it out for me and made me try it on and I was in love.



In this look, I accessorized the dress with a flowery gold ring and pearl earrings. On my feet, I wore black pumps with cutouts. These shoes are fast becoming a favourite because they're so comfortable. The insides of the shoes have a slightly raised arch which makes them very comfortable for someone like me who has high arches on their feet. 

I finished with a dark pink handbag to bring out the pink hints in the floral of the dress. I'm sure this dress can be styled with the buttons opened, as a long jacket/ coat. Maybe I'll try that look soon. I'd also love to try the dress with different belts. {It doesn't come with one.}

Dress: Koton, Bag: Parfois, Shoes: Marks & Spencer. Photos: Arif Feroze

Life Talk

The middle of Ramadan is over and we're sliding towards Eid. I don't know what that means to you, but to me, it means getting busier work-wise as we gear up to have our clients ready for the boom period of Eid. {I run an advertising agency called The Silver Kick Company.} It's an exciting, vibrant and creative time. You'd think I'd be exhausted running around all the time but being exhausted doing what you love is... really, really nice. 

It's been more than 4 years running my own company and I must say, it's been a lot of fun. I've learned so many things, been through ups and downs, and met some of the most amazing {and horrible} people along the way. I've grown so much by learning how to do new things by myself such as registering the company, getting my own corporate bank account, managing finances and dealing with clients. The best parts of the TSKC journey have been about forging and strengthening relationships with old and new suppliers, building a team of super amazing people, and making clients happy. If you've started a business or are planning to, my biggest advice to you would be to 1.) Make sure it's something you really, REALLY love doing, and 2.) Don't. Give. Up. 

I talk in detail about my career and how I came to start my own company after resigning from a good position in a big company in my book, Loving Yourself In Style. I also talk about other topics such as passion, education, fashion and style, health and fitness and money management

As usual, every Ramadan my sleep schedule gets totally messed up. I'm up all hours. I'm napping at weird hours. But that's just how it is. The annoying thing is that just when your body gets used to all the late nights and the sleeping in bits and pieces, it's Eid. And then you spend all of Eid catching up on your sleep. If this is you, leave me a comment below. Let me know I'm not alone. ;)


Until next time

xoxo
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Shabana Feroze
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Nice, Monaco and Cannes- A Travel Log in Pictures

Nice, Monaco and Cannes- A Travel Log in Pictures


Click on photos to enlarge

I recently toured Europe and visited quite a few cities. These included Rome, Pisa and Venice in Italy, which I have been to before, but also Nice, Monte-Carlo and Cannes, which I had never been to before. 

This post is about what I did and saw in my short time in Nice, Monaco and Cannes. In that order. 
I landed in Rome, stayed one night and the next morning I took a flight via EasyJet to Nice. I must say, the airline was very comfortable. A thousand times comfortable than my horrible Economy class seat in Etihad. 

Moving on.  

It was very, very cold which is why you'll see me swathed in layers and layers. Let's begin with Nice.

Nice

Nice is a small city located at the foot of the Alps, on the south-east coast of  France. I was given a ride from the airport to my hotel by a kind Argentinian lady and her daughter, in their Uber. She kept telling me that the main area of Nice is very small, and I can easily walk around the entire area. She was right. My hotel, Hotel 64, was located on the lane leading up to the Promenade des Anglais, and just a few minutes away from Nice-Ville Train Station. I loved the hotel as the lady at the reception was super helpful and the room was lovely. Spacious and decorated simplistically, with windows looking out onto the street. 

I was in Nice only for 2 days, but I managed to see quite a bit. 

The most important square in the city is Place Masséna. This is a colourful, historic and large square. It's a crossroads for the main boulevards and has lots of art and architecture that's very different from the usual historic places in Europe. The checkered floors, the men sitting and standing in different positions on top of the lam-posts, the coral facades of the buildings and their blue shutters. All these things make this square a visual treat like you've never seen before. 


In the middle of the square is a marble statue of Apollo in the middle of a huge fountain, called Fontaine du Soleil. The statue is 7 metres high and has other bronze statues around, on the fountain. With the #ILoveNice sign here, it's the perfect photo op!

On the way to the square, I passed by a beautiful, gothic cathedral with square towers. The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Nice, on Avenue Jean-Medécin.

Having a love for all old Roman Catholic churches, I had to take a look inside. It was magnificent on the inside, filled with rows of lofty arches and high stained glass windows. 

Just a short walk away from Place Masséna is the Promenade des Anglais, or 'The English Walkway' built overlooking la Baie des Anges or the Bay of Angels. This is where you can really witness the Cote d'Azur or the azure coast. There are many seats along the promenade, and the Nicoise come here for strolling, cycling, skateboarding, spending time with family or sunbathing on the beachfront. Indeed, there were people in bathing suits on the beach in this freezing weather... while I was wearing all the contents of my suitcase!

Behind me, in the distance is Castle Hill or Colline du Chateau. It's more of a hill than a castle. You can walk up the hundreds of steps for a breathtaking panoramic view of the Baie des Anges. Thankfully, there's also an elevator. Once you reach the top, on the hill's summit, you're greeted by a vast green park.

From all around the park, you can see stunning views of the bay, the boats and the hills. 

On a lower floor is a terrace on the castle hill is a terrace from where you can see a panoramic view of the promenade and the pretty town of Nice.

What I loved the most about Nice were its buildings. Everywhere you look, there are colourful buildings in pastel colours with contrasting shutters and pretty wrought-iron balconies. 

Monte-Carlo in Monaco

Monaco is a short train ride away from Nice, so I decided to do a day trip to this little country From Nice-Ville Train Station I took a train to Monte-Carlo. The train journey is only 45 minutes and on the way, you pass by some beautiful French towns on the Mediterranean Coast.

Monaco is one of the smallest countries in the world, with Monte-Carlo as its capital. The city is exactly as it's shown in Bond movies - all hills and shimmering waters, expensive cars and yachts. The entire city feels rich.

One of the places that is a must-visit in Monaco is Le Casino Monte-Carlo. The building is absolutely stunning with its pale yellow facade and intricate sculptures.

Once you step inside, it's even more stunning. The interiors are opulent, with gilded ceilings and walls, decorated with frescoes, paintings and a skylight. When I visited, there was an art installation called The Enchanted Garden, in the atrium area of the casino. The greenery against the muted gold of the decor made for a striking contrast.


Another place I wanted to visit was the Prince's Palace of Monaco, but unfortunately, it was closed on the dates I was there. 

The photo below sums up Monte-Carlo: sleek cars standing in a beautiful, modern, rich city set against the backdrop of the Alps.


Cannes

A short train ride from Gare de Monaco-Monte-Carlo is the French city of Cannes. It was almost sunset by the time I reached. The only place worth visiting in Cannes is the Palais des Festivals, where the Cannes Film festival takes place in May each year. 

Since Cannes is so close to Monaco, I took the opportunity to visit. In retrospect, I shouldn't have wasted my time as there's nothing else to see in Cannes other than the Palais des Festivals. Even when I visited, I wasn't allowed to go behind the building to the area overlooking the sea. 

Food and Drink in all 3 cities

A word of caution- food in all these cities is expensive. I was constantly appalled at the prices in every cafe and restaurant I went to. I've been to Italy before and I didn't remember the food being so pricey. But this is a very different part of Europe than good old Italia. All these 3 cities are for the elite and the jetsetters. I couldn't even find any street food, or simple cafes to eat in. Every place seemed posh and glamorous. C'est la vie!

If I could do it again, I'd definitely spend more time exploring Nice and its old fishing villages and quaint spots. Maybe even explore a few of the small towns on the coast that I saw on my train ride, which looked idyllic and sleepy. 2 days was not enough in Nice, so if you're planning a trip to this colourful French city, add a day or two more. Monaco can easily be done in a day trip, so you save on hotel cost. Hotels are cheaper in Nice, and there are many to choose from. There are very few hotels in Monaco and they're not easy on the wallet!

Next travel post coming up- the new sights and scenes I visited in Italy. As you know, I love travelling. If you're wondering how I manage to go to so many places while being an ordinary working woman, I've written exactly how in the chapter Money Management, in my book, Loving Yourself In Style.

I hope you found this post helpful. Let me know if you're planning a trip to these places and what you would do differently! 
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Shabana Feroze
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A Fashion Show for Charity

A Fashion Show for Charity





Photos: Tara Nofal 

Last week I walked the ramp in a fashion show for a charity event by Helping Hands. The event took place in the ballroom of a 5-star hotel. Every year the event takes place just before Ramadan and includes a sumptuous breakfast buffet and a chance for the attendees to socialise and have a fun morning. The money from the ticket sales and raffles goes to support the security guards at a local school, while sponsors fees go towards local societies for children with cancer, autism or Down syndrome as well as children who are orphans.

There's a different theme every year and this year’s theme included a fashion show featuring traditional Arab clothes from Plus 973 Artisanat Gallery. It also had a Fashion Bazaar with 30 vendors offering fashion, accessories, jewellery and various other items.

All of us models were from non-model backgrounds, and we did the fashion show for free. There were around ten of us from different age groups, cultures and careers. We were coordinated by Esky Girmay, who is the Honorary Consul to Ethiopia in Bahrain, a movie producer and multiple-business-owner.

All of us had a great time wearing the beautiful traditionally Arabic outfits and walking the ramp. 

Here are a few photos:



My lovely friend Valentina Simon who I asked to join the show and she immediately agreed










Helping Hands was started in 2015 when two working mums, Aniseh and Nancy, decided to raise some funds in Ramadan for the security guards at St Christopher’s School, where both their children are pupils. 

Aniseh and Nancy


I wanted to take this jalabiya home!


I really enjoyed the experience. I got to meet lots of lovely ladies, got to wear gorgeous clothes, and got a chance to do the catwalk. And thankfully, I didn't trip and fall on the runway!

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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