Saturday, April 30, 2011

Undersized.

   I mean the skirt. LOL. One of my purchases from the Ann Taylor 40% off sale was this navy blue pencil skirt:




     I purchased it in both 00P and 0P, just in case. Remember, the last time when I purchased the red AT skirt and I couldn't even zip it up all the way? That wasn't going to happen again. When the shipment finally came, I really couldn't decide which size was better, and after trying each skirt on three different times, I decided on the smaller one. But now that I look at these photos, I think it is just a touch too small:


Top: Jacob Sleeveless Tie-neck Blouse (Black/White Print, size XS).
Skirt: Ann Taylor Stretch Crepe Skirt (Navy Blue, size 00P).
Shoes: LAUREN by Ralph Lauren Amaya Pumps (Black, size 6).
Clutch: Le Chateau (Black).
Belt: Ann Taylor Patent Leather Skinny Belt (Black, size XS).


     I tried the 0P on again after these photos were taken and it just seemed too roomy in the hip  area for my liking and I don't really want to spend the extra money on alterations. They both just might have to go back. Unfortunate, because I was actually really excited about this skirt.


   As a forewarning, I would like to tell you ladies that this blog may slow down over the next little while. I know I've said this before, but it might actually be true this time.  I've found the need to take some time for myself and do some soul-searching to try to figure out my priorities and what I want to do with my life from here on in. I moved to the U.S. some time ago hoping to advance my career and to put myself in a better place for the future. Six years later, unbelievably, I've found myself in a worse place than when I started. For someone as ambitious as I am, it's just...unacceptable. Right now I just need to take a step back and re-evaluate things to try and decide if I want to take a giant leap and carve my own path rather than wait and hope that someone shows me one.  The path is not straight, nor easy.  At some point in your life due to the conscious or unconscious decisions you make or by uncontrollable external circumstances, you'll be forced off the main road. I have some big decisions to make that will probably change my life forever. Scary? Heck ya! They say good things come to those who wait, but sometimes you just have to forge forward and make things happen. You never know, you might just conquer the world. Don't worry, I won't totally disappear. I'll still try to post as much as I can, and if you really miss me, I'll still be hanging out on Twitter. :)

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Friend Friday: Fitness and Fashion

1. Do you keep some kind of fitness routine? Why? 


     Yes. I usually exercise six days a week. Three days strength training,  six days cardio (only 15 min on lifting days). Why? Vanity. Seriously. LOL. I first joined the gym because I wanted to be healthy and increase my endurance (weight was never a concern, if anything I was underweight), but after I noticed a physical change in my body, now (and I'm not embarrassed to admit it), it's more for aesthetic reasons. Of course, I still want to be healthy, and I feel better physically and mentally when I exercise regularly, but those things have definitely moved down the list of "WHY?"

2. Has working out, maybe training for a marathon or something of that nature, helped with your own perception of body image? 



     I'm not sure that it's due to the fact that I work out, but maybe getting more involved in online communities that focus on fitness and health, but I've come to appreciate very fit bodies, even if they aren't my ideal. I can appreciate that a woman has worked hard to get her body physically fit because I know from my own experience that it's not easy, whether you are a celebrity or have a 9 to 5 job with a family. We also can't control genetics and that's an important thing to accept. I will never have hips and I may never have a perfectly flat stomach, but that's OK. Of course, it doesn't stop me from trying and wishing that I did have washboard abs, and maybe if I work hard enough I will have them, but I know now that there's nothing wrong with me if I don't.


3. When you are hitting the gym or just going out for a long walk what do you wear? Is it about functionality or fashion? 


     Lululemon, mostly (hey, I'm from Canada). It's about both functionality and fashion. Cute clothes motivates me to go to the gym. And there's nothing wrong with looking cute even if you are sweating. Cute clothes give you confidence, why not have confidence at the gym too? The clothes also need to be functional. I can't stand it when my clothes don't wick sweat or when my top isn't supportive enough when I'm running. It's uncomfortable and makes me just want to stop and go home.


4. Do you feel there is a cultural perception of what you ‘should’ be doing for your own physical fitness? 


   Sort of. I'm not sure if it's cultural, but there's certainly a lot of 'shoulds' out there that shouldn't be, especially as a woman. Society promotes certain ideals for what the "perfect" body should look like, and as a result, it creates misconceptions about what we should be doing for physical fitness. For example, because you are thin, you don't need to exercise. Yes, we all need to exercise whether we are thin or not. It's good for the heart, the bones, the muscles, and the mind. Being thin is not an excuse to avoid physical activity. 


    Another? Because you are a woman, you should only lift light weights because you will "bulk" up like a man. Incorrect! I cannot emphasize this enough. Because you are a woman, you don't have the testosterone to bulk up like a man. Lift as heavy as you can with fewer reps and you will burn more fat, get stronger, have quicker results, and sculpt your body so it's lean and maybe even create more curves. I've been lifting heavy for over six years, and I use 15-20lb dumbbells, do I look bulky? Throw away those 5lb barbie weights, ladies, they don't do you any favors!




     A book that I highly recommend if you are just starting out with weights (or even if you aren't) is The New Rules of Lifting for Women. It gets rave reviews on many online forums. Get it here.




5.  Dream big… what would be your ultimate fitness goal. 


     Flat abs! And maybe a marathon. I'm a terrible runner, and I hate running (even though I do it anyway). But to be able to say that I conquered a marathon despite those challenges would be amazing.


     Want to see more answers? Check out ModlyChic!

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pocketchange.

   Hey...check it out!



   I'm featured on this great beauty and style blog called "Be In Style" found on Pocketchange, an all-in-one source for shopping advice! It has everything from pets to shoes, and I'm so, *so* excited to be #3 on their Best of the Web, week no. 36!

   Read the entire (short) interview here!

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mellow Yellow.

   My camera battery gave out on me mid-shoot, but I managed to capture a few decent poses. LOL:

Top: Jacob Elbow-length Drape Neck Tee (Green, size XS).
Denim: J Brand 912 (Grey, size 24).
Shoes: LAUREN by Ralph Lauren Jill Flats (Yellow patent, size 6).
Belt: ASOS Leather Belt (Yellow patent, size S).
Watch: Michael Kors Runway Watch (Silver).

     Grey and yellow is one my favorite color combinations. I love these yellow shoes. They were my most comfortable flats before I met Matt Bernson. I can wear them if I'm not walking much, but otherwise the backs tend to cut into the back of my heels (like most other shoes). I have my eye on another pair of yellow flats by Tory Burch. I've tried them on in the store and I think they could be winners.

    Did you notice my new watch? It's Michael Kors, and I absolutely *LOVE* it. I got it for a smashing deal of $9 from Endless! Thanks to a combination of price-matching, a $50 gift card, Amazon rewards cards, and cashback. I've wanted an oversized watch for a while, but when I hosted that wedding shower a few weekends ago, a bunch of the girls were wearing them and I knew right then that I had to have one...now (as long as I could afford it). So after a lot of research to make sure the face wasn't going to be too large for my tiny wrist, I chose the Runway. And it's absolutely perfect!



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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday Deliberations: The Slip, Not Your Grandmother's Underwear.

    OK. Actually it kinda is.  But it's best not to think about it that way.


    My mom used to make me wear slips under dresses when I was a little girl. I mean, it was one thing to make me wear a dress, but also another thing to make me wear a slip underneath. I mean, WHY?!! It made me feel like an old lady, and I would just give her this grumpy face. I think it would have helped if she explained to me exactly *why* I had to wear this old lady gear instead of just forcing me to wear it just because she told me to. I am assuming that I understood solid reasoning at this point in my childhood.


   It was only until I reached adulthood did someone tell exactly *why* a slip was necessary. You ever had your flowy dress or skirt get all clingy to your legs? Yes, well a slip actually prevents this! Uh-huh. Who knew? LOL. Here are the classic "grandma" slip (all photos via Barenecessities.com):


Commando Full Slip with Lace Bottom, $98.
Commando Half Slip, $48.


     Now, of course, slips have evolved since the days of the grandma slip and now we have things such SPANX and other similar shapewear:


Flexees Weightless Power Hi-Waist Slip, $38.
SPANX Slimplicity Half Slip, $52.
SPANX Slimplicity Strap Slip, $72.


     These are obviously great for "holding you in" and giving you a little extra help in those form-fitting clothes, but as to prevent help static cling like the classic slip? No experience there. I would imagine that it would, however. Can any of you ladies speak from experience? And how many of you actually own a classic "grandma" slip?

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Winner!

    And the winner of AFD's First Giveaway is....




...m (em)!  Congrats!!!




   Please contact me within the next few days so I can send you your prize!!

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Friend Friday: Inspiration

     My first FBFF post! Hopefully the first of many!


1. Which celebrity (celebrities) do you look to for fashion inspiration?


    Although  I don't really look to one celebrity in particular, I love Victoria Beckham.  She's usually more dressed up that I am, but she always looks amazing. For more a casual, every day style that's more suited to my own lifestyle I really like Halle Berry and Charlize Theron.


via The Vogue Diaries
Photo Credit: BauerGriffinOnline
Photo Credit: Fame Pictures


2. When it comes to your own personal style, what inspires you?


     Blogs, runway fashion, magazines, celebrity fashion. I take my inspiration from everywhere. Even though my own style is fairly minimalist and classic, I do like to look to other people with a different style to see how they put things together and then put my own little spin on it. Let's be honest. Minimalism can get a little boring and redundant if you don't mix it up a bit and style it in different ways. It always good to have a little jolt of something fresh and different.


3. How do you hope to inspire your readers?


     I hope I inspire my readers to try different things and look at my style and somehow make it their own.  It's always flattering to see someone else wearing what I'm wearing or style something exactly the way I've styled it,  but that's not necessarily the point. I want to see other's take on what I've done in the past. When I do, it's a really great feeling.

4. Outside the realm of fashion who/what inspires you?



     All the people in my life inspire me. They're all individuals and they've all done something different which what makes them who they are today. My family, my SO, my friends. They've all fought/fighting for what they believe in and for what they want. Life is a long struggle. And although we may not always get there or get to the place we want to be in the time we expected, it's the struggle and the challenges that makes us who we are. Those who don't give up and who've struggled their whole life, they are my inspiration.



5. And since Idol is ending… Which songs inspire you? 


    Right now, one song that inspires me is Firework by Katy Perry. Great motivational lyrics and very upbeat (perfect for running). It's a reminder not to give up no matter what your struggles are and how long you've been struggling.




   Want to see more answers? Check out ModlyChic.

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Review: Splendid Lycra Maxi Skirt

      So. One of the items I've been dying to try out this spring has been a maxi skirt. I'm a huge fan of the maxi dress, but I seem to be on the fence on the maxi skirt. The overall style of a maxi skirt, particularly one that is A-line is very boho-chic, which is not very typical of my own personal style. I was willing to try it though. It really had a lot of potential to be my staple piece this summer.


   There are three basic types of maxi skirts.


 (1) The A-Line:



 (2) The Tiered Maxi Skirt:
Loveappella from Piperlime.com, $44.


 and (3) The Column Maxi skirt:


from Express, $59.99


My first choice is the column maxi skirt. Very minimalist, and fairly fitted to the body. The other shapes, though somewhat appealing are my alternative choices mainly because I'm afraid that all the material would overwhelm my small frame. However, apparently it is impossible to find a column maxi skirt that is not black and is of fairly decent quality. That being the case, I decided to take my chances on this Splendid Lycra Maxi Skirt in Carbon (size XS) even though it had an A-line shape. And if I didn't like, I could always return it:




     It also comes in several other colors such as black, white, navy blue (which is what I had originally wanted) and Bermuda (an electric blue). One of the main reasons I chose this skirt was because of the fold-over waist, which meant that I could adjust the length to how ever long I wanted it. I could also unfold it completely and wear it as a dress, but I don't think I'll be doing that. The material is also a little bit on the thicker side, so it would be more forgiving than lycra skirts of lesser quality. And what did I get?


      Note, that I probably wouldn't tuck in the tank top for regular wear, but it is tucked in for the purpose of this review.


Size: The sizing was good, it helps that it is a foldover A-line skirt. Any bunching I can just sort of camouflage at the waist/hip area by folding over the top.


Quality: Pretty good. The material is thin, but not too thin. Just light enough to allow natural movement of the skirt.  Still very light and the material very soft.


Color: A nice medium neutral grey. Perfect for summer as I prefer not to wear so many dark colors in warmer weather.


Comfort: Comfortable, but not. LOL. It is comfortable in the sense that it is super light and I could just lounge around in it or wear it on a patio somewhere with a cold drink in hand or just walking about in the streets. But I am sort of uncomfortable and self-conscious because it is a long skirt and it's not something that I would typically wear. However, I usually feel this way when I'm wearing maxi dresses anyway. So that's not to say I wouldn't wear this on a regular basis.  In fact, I'm sure that I would wear it quite frequently.


     The regular price for this skirt is $83. Kind of pricey, I know. But I managed to get 25% by asking Revolveclothing.com to match the current discount at NationalJeanCompany.com (they will only match if it is a competing website that carries the same brand). You can also purchase the skirt at ShopLAStyle.com here. They have some 20% off coupons floating around. I have one here: MOSTLIKELY33355. They say this is one-time use, but I can't verify it. So whoever wants to use it takes their chances that someone else didn't use it before them. Good through the end of April. A less expensive alternative of the a-line style is this one from Express, as shown above for $59.99 and Express has coupons and sales quite often.


     I'm on the fence about the maxi skirt, but leaning towards the side of keeping it. The more I wear it around the apartment, the more I grow attached to it. I really like it, just a little self-conscious. What do you think of the maxi skirt? A keeper?


P.S. AFD's First Giveaway ends tonight! Make sure to enter if you haven't already! :)

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rule-Breaker.

    I'm generally not a fan of skinny jeans/pants with chucks, but I thought this photo from a J.Crew catalog was just too cute:




     My version (I know it's not a very "spring-like" ensemble):


Jacket: LOFT Cropped Jacket (Tweed, size XSP).
Shirt: J. Crew Button-Down Shirt (Black with White Pin-Stripe, size XS).
Pants: Jacob Twill Cargo Pants (Mocha, size 0).
Shoes: Converse (Grey, size 6W/4.5M).

     I did some major rule-breaking today. Not only did I pair skinny pants with chucks, I mixed two prints: tweed and stripes. I never do that. I think it turned out OK, though. Not my most favorite outfit in the world, but I've really been trying to style things a bit differently to see what works and what doesn't. I think the model pulls off cropped jacket and skinny pants look better than I do. 


      The J. Crew shirt I've never worn before. I bought it probably more than four years ago, but couldn't figure out how to wear it until now. It's a little bit on the larger side because it's not petite sizing, but I like the looser "boyfriend" fit of it. 


     As you can see, I did an outdoor shoot. Let me tell you, these weren't easy. Taking your own photo is one thing, but doing it outdoors is a whole other beast. The fact that I'm not well-versed in outdoor lighting (yet) and that I was probably out during the wrong time of day, didn't help any. The post-processing really left me scratching my head. I'm squinting a bit in some of these photos, but the sun was bright and as much as I tried, squinting was unavoidable. They are pretty terrible, but what can I say? First try.


     Jacket and cargos also seen here:




     P.S. Two days left to enter AFD's First Giveaway!

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Deliberations: Mehndi

      I find the beauty of the Indian culture to be absolutely astonishing. The clothing (especially the sari), the jewels, the art...the list goes on. One of my closest friends as a teenager and early to mid-20s was Indian, and that's where my love for all these things flourished...and let's not forget to mention my love for Indian food! But one of my most favorite things? Mehndi, also known as henna tattoos, a temporary skin decoration popular in Arabic, Pakistani, and Indian culture and is most commonly used as part of pre-wedding celebrations, but also during other cultural festivals, as well. It's origin is from ancient Indian culture and is usually done on the hands and feet. But in the the late 1990s, it became a popular form of body art in mainstream culture (think Madonna in her "Frozen" music video). 


     Henna paste is usually applied on the skin using a plastic cone or a paint brush, but sometimes a small metal-tipped jacquard bottle used for silk painting is used. The painted area is then wrapped with tissue, plastic, or medical tape to lock in body heat, to create a more intense colour on the skin. The wrap is worn three to six hours, or sometimes overnight and then removed. Initially, the henna design is pale to dark orange in colour and then gradually darkens through oxidation, over the next one to four days. The final colour is reddish brown and can last anywhere from one to three weeks depending on the quality and type of henna paste applied.


     Here are a few photos of Mehndi. They are just beautiful and the designs are so intricate. 


Photo credit: Jyothis.
Photo credit: SadiaKomal.com
Photo credit: SadiaKomal.com
Photo credit: SadiaKomal.com


     Personally, I've never seen it this well done. But from what I understand, the more talented mehndi "artists" can be  extremely expensive, particularly with very elaborate designs. I think it's all so stunning and beautiful, and one of the best parts? Only a two-week commitment and you can try something else. LOL.


   What do you ladies think of mehndi? Have you experimented with henna tattoos in the past? I'd love to hear about it!

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