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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Packing for a Sick Day

I apologize for the lack of posts this week, but I have been sick. I thought I would share with you a rather unusual but favorite tip on how I prepare for those days when you are not feeling so great. 

Packing for a sick day may sound ridiculous, but trust me it will be well worth it when the time comes, and you need it. It will especially be useful to those who live alone and have no one to help you out when you are feeling poorly. I can remember countless times, living in Europe and getting sick on the one day shops were closed, and feeling miserable and cold. When you are sick, you are suffering enough, why not have a pre prepared little kit to make the day less miserable? No more fussing around looking for warm socks, or anything else you may need. 

                                     SICK DAY OUTFIT

It is a pretty common fact that when you are sick you won't look so great. After all, who can care about fashion when your head hurts, your body aches, and the world looks fuzzy. Even the simplest decision gives you a migraine, and coordinating anything is the last thing you care about. However, don't kid yourself, it does effect your mood. Dressing awful, is only added misery on a already miserable situation. Preparing a sick day outfit that you love, will add a tiny glow to a very bad situation. 

Sick Day Outfit:
1. Fuzzy Pajamas
2. Sick Day Kit
3. Fuzzy Eye mask/relaxer, infused with lavender.
4. Fuzzy Slippers
5. hair clip
6. fuzzy socks
7. Fuzzy Hairband 
8. Hair scrunchie

                                    SICK DAY KIT

1. Tissues
2. cough drops
3. Lavender Oil
4. Molton Brown (bubble bath)
5.Pokemon (no real purpose. If you press a button his cheeks light up, and it is a guaranteed laugh)
6. Sexy Hair Dry Shampoo
7. Neutrogena Face Wipes
8. Harrods Rose Hand Lotion
9. Origins Moisturizer
10. Crabtree Rose Body Lotion

I pack all the items in this dust bag, but pillow cases also work well. I then place it somewhere clean, and easy to remember. Believe it or not, it brings a tiny smile every time I reach for the bag and open it. Everything within  the bag is picked especially to give you a bit of comfort. The items are also useful for pamper days of relaxation, or awful days of sadness, rejection or depression. 


Friday, November 21, 2014

Who is Little Miss Maya?

 Before all the nonsense of being taught to be everyone but yourself, there were those days, when it was simply enough to be you. Little Miss Maya, is the child that lives within me, and she is frightfully honest with all her opinions, loves fashion, full of life, and amazing at posing. lol. 

I was reminded of her today, when I came across this photo of me from a million years ago. It's amazing how clearly I can remember this outfit and how much I loved everything I wore.
 The velvet emerald dress had a fuzzy snowman, and the bracelet I wore was a plastic cluster of rainbow hearts. I remember tugging at the elastic rubbers holding the bracelet together and imagining they were somehow magical. My little pink sneakers, were my "sporty" dancing shoes. Everywhere I went, I danced. In my head, I was the prima ballerina for "Swan Lake" and the world was my stage. 

Do you ever wonder why fashion as you age becomes more about what others think verses what you think? I can never understand why people buy things because other people are wearing them. 
Some one picks a color for the season, and now you want it? What happened to our spirit, our creativity, and most importantly our individual minds? If we cannot think for ourselves, and come up with our own fashions, then what purpose does it serve? Perhaps, as humans we all find the need to be accepted, but at what cost? How much do we strive to blend while slowly losing our self, and the purpose of one's life? It's time to find your inner child, and ask her/him what they think and want. 

take care.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Fashion Diet

What is a Fashion Diet?
A fashion diet is not about being thinner or fatter, or depriving your body of anything. The goal is simply to maintain a steady weight that is true to your natural shape and preventing your shape from ballooning up or shrinking down. The goal is to find your true body form, and to build your wardrobe around it. 

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, and the Holidays fast approaching, what better time share with you some holiday tips and tricks I use, to prevent dreaded weight gain.

1.) INDULGE Days
The first thing to do is, to mark the days you know there will be a lot of necessary eating. Thanksgiving, holiday parties, or any dates that you absolutely cannot possibly miss out on, circle them.  I take those days, and make a mental note as my "INDULGE" days. On those days, I can eat whatever I want, and as much of it as I want. Make sure there are not too many of them, but work around them wisely. For example, the week of Thanksgiving, I start to eat more greens, less carbs, and no sweets. I add a bit more cardio where I can find the time.
 Pre-plan your meals. 
If you know you have a date with friends later in the day, and there will be holiday treats, make sure you eat healthy veggies and lighter meals earlier in the day. It is all simple math, and a healthy balancing game of food. Doing this will make you feel in control of your body, and it will allow you to enjoy your "Indulge" days rather than regret them. 

2.) Jeans and Belts
When I start to gain weight, it is rather remarkable how I can some how convince myself I am not. However, I do feel it, and I almost always fall in the same routine of wearing stretch pants, loose tops, and sweats. A trick I have picked up over the years, is to wear jeans or a belts at least 3 days per week. It is a great reminder of what your body shape is, and where it is going. It will also make it very uncomfortable for you to over eat, and remain a constant reminder to be careful. 

3.) Balance the Sweet with the Healthy
Ever since I can remember I have had a great weakness for sweets. During the Holidays it is a danger zone for sweets. I mean everywhere you go there are sweets, and who can stop at just one, right? Before grabbing for a plateful of Christmas cookies, have an apple, or some kind of fruit. The problem is, usually you do not crave a healthier option when your eyes are flooded by sugary glamour; however, remind yourself to do so. The hardest part is grabbing the fruit and eating it, but once you start your body naturally appreciates it. I always try to keep it 2/3 healthy, 1/3 unhealthy. The theory is simple. Fill your stomach up first with healthy foods, and finish off with a sugary treat. 


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How to Get an "A" in Holiday Shopping

With Black Friday just around the corner, and Christmas on our noses, its time to wise up, strategize and prevent another year of regretful purchases. 
The combination of large masses of people, small confined places, a short deadline, screaming children, long lines and so called "bargains", one can seriously suffer from a holiday brain freeze. 

What exactly defines a shopping fail?
To put it simply, if you end up with a pile of stuff, you do not need, you have failed. The goal is to find gifts within your budget that come from your heart and will be appreciated and kept for a lifetime.

Here are some easy tips to guarantee an A for your upcoming shopping excursions.

1.) Lists- 
I know, it seems excessive and overly prepared, but this is a must, if you are on a budget and you have a list of must buy friends, and family. Take at least 10 minutes the day before you go shopping to write down one or two gift ideas for each person, with price range considerations. Leave a box next to each name, and check off as you purchase each gift.

2.) Have a plan-
As much as I love to go Christmas shopping with friends and enjoy the festivities, I warn you, be careful. It is so easy for you to get distracted by the glitzy glamour of a holiday sale, mixed in with a good old chat. Have a plan, a budget, and an idea of which store to go to. If you just mindlessly walk around for hours, you will end up with sore feet,  a migraine, and bags full of things you really won't care about. 

3.) SALES are your ENEMY-
If you see the big bold words SALE, or buy one get two, stop, think, and back away. Alright, sometimes you get lucky and a product you normally use is half off, and this is the moment to stock up. However, normally during the holidays, they are the quickest way to fail. They are a distraction from your plan and should be observed cautiously. Holiday sales are meant to drive profits. They offer deals that attract you to buy by price and not by content. How many times have you purchased a buy one get one half off gift and given the exact same gift to 2 different friends? I know I have, and it really is not a heartfelt way to gift something to anyone. The reaction is always lukewarm, and forgettable. 

4.) A Gift is a Treasure Hunt-
Perhaps the most valuable tip is the intent of the gift. I personally search for little treasures that can be cherished and remembered for a lifetime. Maybe an antique ornament, a dainty necklace or a well made cashmere scarf. Try avoiding products that are meant for only a moment, and that end up in the trash pile for Spring cleaning. The world really has enough waste as it is. The holidays are about creating memories. Let your gift be a fingerprint in their heart that they will remember forever.


Friday, November 14, 2014

FH 7: How I Style Vintage

To read about Fashion-Heart click here: FASHION-HEART

This entire week has been filled with posts based on sustainable fashion, and finding style in fashion that thinks: past, present, future. 
Today's outfit features a top from my mom's closet. It is from India, and was worn when my mom was my age. Read abut the article here: Shopping in My Mom's Closet

 The sleeves were shortened into a  puff sleeve by me. Traditionally, it is a straight long sleeve. 
The royal  blue-purple, velvet top, is one of my favorites during the Fall season. The colors of the flowers are vibrant and bright, but offest by the deep darkness of crushed velvet, exists a level of somberness and darkness perfect for this season. I pinched the waist in by adding one of my favorite vintage belts purchased in Belgium. I then accented the entire look with a pink hat from NAF NAF and a vintage purse from SANDWICH. 

These bracelets are worn almost everyday, and I have featured them in my outfits before. The charm bracelet is from Harrods, London, and the Marie Antoinette cuff is handmade in London as well.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

FH 6: My Sustainable Style

To read about Fashion-Heart click here: FASHION-HEART

What is Sustainable fashion?  
Sustainable fashion is a philosophy of fashion that creates a system that can be sustained indefinitely to work with the environment and not against it. It is a new type of fashion philosophy that creates and produces products with absolute consideration to the environment and the its social impact. 

Fashion designers and brands supporting sustainable fashion create with eco-conscious methods, environmentally friendly materials, and ethical treatment during the production process. 

"At least 8,000 chemicals are used to turn raw materials into textiles and 25% of the world's pesticides are used to grow non-organic cotton. This causes irreversible damage to people and the environment, and still two thirds of a garment's carbon footprint will occur after it is purchased." 


This outfit is a bit of a "throw back Thursday". These pictures were taken a couple of years ago in France,in my favorite place in the world.
My outfit is sustainable, largely because most of it is Vintage. The materials are all natural fibers, and the cardigan is almost all hand made and hand embroidered. The dress is completely hand made, and quite a delight for me to exam what a vintage custom design looks like. 

Eco Age, is a consultant company specializing in creating ways for  businesses to achieve growth and add value to their brand through sustainability. It is a leading organization that promotes sustainable fashion and promotes the production of ethically made outfits.

Ecoluxe London, supports a biannual exhibition during London Fashion Week and specifically showcases eco-sustainable and ethical designers.

H&M, Levis, Lucy Tamman, Stella McCartney, Amour Vert, Shalom Harlow and  Summer Tayne Oakes, are just some of the brands and designers who have adopted sustainable practices.

 How about you?



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

FH5: Shopping in My Mom's Closet

To read about Fashion-Heart click here: FASHION-HEART

In the spirit of finding fashion that is friendly for the planet, let me share with you my favorite way to shop: raiding my mom's old boxes of clothes. I highly recommend for anyone to venture into your Mom's, Grandma's, or Aunt's old closets and search with an open mind for amazing treasures. (Of course always ask, and have permission)
 These three pieces are my most treasured Autumn pieces that I found in a box of my mom's old clothes. It is incredible to think that she wore these pieces around the same age as I am now. We are fairly similar in size but quite different in style. I personally, am more reserved than my mom, and tend to stay away from ultra bright colors. My mom's style is bubbly and bright, and it some how inspires me. I find great inspiration in the colors, and love the uniqueness of vintage fabrics and silhouettes. It is almost like a time machine, where you jump into her life, and imagine what her life was like before you existed. 

This dress is pretty amazing, and quite sexy. It flairs out to a beautiful A-line but it is quite tight on top. If I wear it out in the evening I will sometimes where a black shawl, green emerald drop earrings, purple wedges, and black clutch. 
If I want to wear this look casual I will throw on a black crop top sweater, black high boots, and a slouchy black bag.

This top is AMAZING! My mom got it from India, and the details, and craftsmanship is breathless. I wear this top a million ways.
Usually, I will have my hair in soft waves, with a couple of bohemian braids, and match the top with black leggings, black boots, and lots of fun accessories.

This blazer is so much fun to wear. It adds  life and energy to any look, and it is extremely well made. 
I usually pair it with a knit moss green, A-line dress, and matching pumps.
If I want to be more casual, I will wear it with a crisp white shirt, jeans, and brown leather shoes and belt. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

FH 4: Designing Winter Accessories with Recycled Materials


To read about Fashion-Heart click here: FASHION-HEART

"MIDNIGHT FALLING SNOWFLAKES", is a sweater necklace inspired by bittersweet memories of falling snow at midnight. Snowflakes flutter through the air, and touch you softly. No two are a like, and remain a constant reminder to the beauty of individuality. 
Made of 100% cashmere, all materials were recycled from previously worn items. Just as there are no two identical snowflakes, this wintery accessory is also one of a kind. A perfect accessory to wear with other knits, and a fun way to add textures to any winter look.

All beads come from a old bracelet, and the 3D effect is accomplished by the layering of beads on top of each other, giving the visual effect of falling snowflakes.

The cashmere portion came from my project which i featured yesterday. To read about it please click here OLD SWEATER MAKE OVER: CROP it!

Monday, November 10, 2014


To read about Fashion-Heart click here: FASHION-HEART

We all have those beloved sweaters that stopped looking attractive years ago, and yet remain so comfortable you cannot throw away. For me, it is this black cashmere sweater by Ralph Lauren. The shape has stretched itself out, and lost all feeling of freshness. The stitching on the neck has come loose, and the entire sweater just seems tired and overused. Should I throw it away like everyone says, or can it be saved?

SAVE! All you will need is scissors, thread, and a needle.

STEP 1- Fold the bottom half of the sweater up. Creating an envelope on both side. 
Take your needle and thread (same color as sweater) and stitch along the dotted line all around the sweater. 

STEP 2- Turn the sweater inside out. Cut off the excess fabric approximately one thumbs width above your stitch.

The part you cut off should look like this. (See tomorrows post to see what I make with it) 

STEP 3- After you cut the excess material you will be left with two thumb length flaps. In order to protect your sweater from unraveling, sew the flaps inward on each side. After that is done, sew the flaps together. 

STEP 4- After the flaps are sewn together, sew them along the dotted line along the front of the sweater. 

After completion, the inside should look as follows. With no seams exposed.

VOILA! A new stylish sweater is born. The flowers on the shoulder are pins I made. They are very easy and quick to make, and all of recycled products. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

FH 2: What is a Fashion Library and Why We Need More

To read about Fashion-Heart click here: FASHION-HEART

Considering the amount of clothes created and recklessly thrown away every second, wouldn't it be an amazing concept to find a good use for them? 
A fashion library, would do just that. Not only is the concept helpful for the environment, it provides  a new concept of accessible fashion based on creativity, not money. A fashion library should not be considered as typical charity shop, strictly for the poor. It is even useful for those who desire to try a new look, save some money, or desire a short term item. The concept not only reduces waste, but provides a positive community service. 
Just as a public library opens its doors to anyone who wants to read, a fashion library, allows ANYONE to freely experience fashion. The idea is still a rather new concept and only a handful of such libraries exist in the world. 

In Western Australia, BELMONT CLOTHES LIBRARY, is a volunteer run organization which loans out clothing for free. With most of the clothing donated, it helps all types of people. From people who may need a professional suit for an interview, or people who just want to save money or go green.

In Stockholm, Sweden, LANEGARDEROBEN, is a fashion library that is not free, but charges a yearly subscription.
The clothing at this library is higher end and allows women their dream styles, while reducing their impacts on the environment.  

In Hamburg, Germany, KLEIDEREI, customers purchase a monthly ticket of 14 euro, and can borrow a couple of pieces each month. The clothing must then be returned within seven days, dry cleaned.

Such fashion libraries have a hard time launching, for one simple reason, money. Fashion brands are already in high competition to sell their mass produced clothing, and the concept of accessible fashion is highly damaging to their profit margin. 
If ever I had the proper funding, it is a dream of mine to one day launch a clothing library. It would not be an ordinary library, but a beautiful boutique filled with gorgeous clothes donated from people and brands from all over the world. It would be strictly nonprofit, and provide an extraordinary experience of imagination. Anyone, is given equal opportunity to put an outfit together without the suffocating factors of costs. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

FH 1: How I Revive Old/Stained Shoes

To read about Fashion-Heart click here: FASHION-HEART

These boots are by CHARLES JOURDAN, and I purchased them many years ago in New York. However, the white portion is canvas and a magnet to stains. I had only worn them a couple of times but that was enough to completely ruin them. Covered in tiny dirt, coffee,and tea stains, I tried everything to get the stains out, but could never find a solution that really worked. 

For years, I held on to them, hoping to have a use for them someday. Most people could not understand why I could not just throw them away. We have all heard the popular rule, "If you have not worn something in over 6 months, throw it away". How incredibly wasteful! 
 However, thankfully I never listen, because last year, I was feeling completely inspired and painted all over the stains with fabric paint. Now they are one of my favorite statement pieces to wear during late Summer and early Fall. 


Reviving these boots was accomplished in three easy steps. 
1.) Wet a clean rag and wipe the desired area to remove any dust or particles. Let dry.
2.) Use fabric paint and begin to Create! (Dry)
3.) Seal with Shoe Protector Spray.

Some other ideas....
Adding buttons, gluing fabric, fur, beads, or dying leathers. The skies the limit. Keep an open mind to fashion, and who knows where it will take you!