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Is It Black, White Or Grey?

A simple question.

How do you set your standards?

 

How do you define your ethics?  Determine whether something is black or white?  And when does grey come into play?  Let me briefly explain.

SOMEONE TRIED TO SCREW ME OVER

Yeah. 

It had to do with that unholy triad.

You know, trademark, money, and, well, blatant stupidity.

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Anyway, that unpleasant incident led to a series of conversations between me, myself and I, as we extensively dissected ways and means in which we would could handle the protagonist whom I shall call PITA (pain in the ass).

The following thoughts were raised:-

>  PITA started out as a groupie.  A major fan.  So that means she must have a good heart underneath all that, well, nasty back-stabbing bitchiness.  Right?

>  Maybe she truly doesn’t know what she’s doing is illegal?

>  Yes, PITA acted in very poor taste.  She was unethical, to say the least, but perhaps, just perhaps it was unintentional?

>  Or, dare I say, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery?

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On and on went my internal debate.  I discussed at length, with myself, those things we coin as grey zones.  Loopholes.  Legalities.  Ethics.

I mean, perhaps what seemed to me as being an act of dishonesty may very well have simply been a misunderstanding?  Perhaps I misconstrued the intent?  Made much ado about nothing?  And, in the process, created a mountain out of naught but a molehill?

HAD I OVERREACTED?

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I thought the easiest way to put an end to this debate was to pose this question to myself, “Would I ever do to someone else what PITA tried to do to me?

And the answer was a resounding, “NO!

“Never!!  No way!!  Not!!”

Well then, I said declared to myself, this is truly unethical behaviour.

What PITA did.

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Black Lace Gown (Monique Lhuillier) | Colour Block Fur Coat (vintage) | Velvet Peep Toe Booties (Bakers) | Spiked Lip Clutch (Lulu Guinness) | Choker (Manic Panic NYC)

Listen.  Forget what society terms as the legal “grey area“.  Don’t be swayed for formalities or policies.  By the wide expanse of cultural or moral codes.  I say look behind the manoeuvre to decipher the intent.  And then call it out for what it is.  Tacky, nasty, greedy, desperate, vengeful, parasitic, shady, immoral, or just plain wrong.  According to who?  According to you.  And that’s the only voice that matters.

When you are in a position wherein you must question the motive behind someone’s actions, ask yourself, “Is this something I would do?

The answer will guide you forward.

And yes, this is what I wore to the debutante ball I talked about last week.

And now, on a far more lighthearted note, I am SO thrilled to be co-hosting Thursday Fashion Files with Jill at Doused in Pink and Carrie at Curly Crafty Mom.  I’ve long been fans of both ladies, and couldn’t wait to sign up to be a co-host.

 

Welcome to Thursday Fashion Files!

Welcome to Thursday Fashion Files with Jill at Doused in Pink and Carrie at Curly Crafty Mom! We are excited to have you here and would love to have you link up one of your latest outfits with us.

We are always looking for Co-Hosts for Thursday Fashion Files. If you haven’t signed up to Co-Host, but are interested, sign up by clicking HERE.

We now have a Thursday Fashion Files Pinterest board. We will be pinning our top two picks along with our own outfits for that week. Be sure to click HERE to join our new Pinterest board!

Thursday-Fashion-Files-650-graphic_Spring2016Follow Jill:

 

Follow Carrie:

Bloglovin’FacebookTwitterInstagramGoogle+, Pinterest, SnapChat: @curlycraftymom

Link Up Guidelines:

1. Feel free to grab our button to display on your blog sidebar. Help spread the word and share about our link up community.
 
2. Follow your hosts. Leave a comment letting us know you are a new follower and we will be sure to follow back.
 

3. Share the love by visiting and commenting to at least three other blogs in the link up.


Guest Co-Host:

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Sheela from Sheela Writes is our co-host this week. 

 

Now let’s get linking!

An InLinkz Link-up

Love, Sheela

Finally made the transition to AV and am now on YouTube as well as Snapchat (sheela.goh), would adore your support through subscribing to my channel/adding my snaps. 

Pretty please?

p/s my photos are by Sofia Touassa

I link up here.

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A Week In My Life 3 & A Link-Up

Peekaboo.

I see you, world.

 

So, after a brief hiatus (ish, my last life post was dated 18th November), I’m back again with a wee peak into the happenings going on in my tiny, not so eventful world.  That said, quite a few things have occurred since my update of 6 weeks ago, friend.

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First of all, remember Elliot?  My massage therapist?

Well, he resigned from the practice a few weeks ago.  Apparently, he had been paying off his ex-wife’s IRS debt (I don’t understand it either), and concluded he simply wasn’t earning enough with his current employer to be able to do that as well as afford a new sports car (huh?).  So he decided to leave and find work with The Joint (a chain of “fast food style” chiropractic outlets).  I don’t know about you but this guy has me shaking my head in bewilderment quite a few times.

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Then on Christmas Eve, we had our traditional family dinner at the nearby McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood and Steaks Restaurant (pictures here).  On a macro level, the food wasn’t too shabby but I think the taste of anything pales when one has to wait a long time for it to arrive, yes?  It was, in essence, an agonising waiting game for food.  I believe two appetisers appeared 40 minutes after our order was placed, the remainder another 15 minutes later. Entres showed up roughly half an hour after the last appetiser was served.  Our glasses were not refilled until about 90 minutes later (and by that I mean with water) which was is unacceptable.  And from a culinary standpoint, the appetisers were very good (perhaps they seemed tastier because, at that point, we were ravenous, and about to gnaw on the table), so too the desserts. The entres themselves, however, failed not impress.  They were bland, nothing spectacular.  Thankfully, the company was good (albeit a smidge cranky when tummies are rumbly).

After which, we headed home and eviscerated days of wrapping in mere minutes.

Why did we even bother to wrap them?

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Christmas morning dawned bright and beautiful (and warm, damnit).  And we found ourselves without food.  I am so serious.  I’d decided to take the weekend off, to not cook, and as such, there were no leftovers.  In addition, I was rather banking on making full use of Door Dash.  Alas, that was not to be since, it would seem, most restaurants decided it was (most erroneously) alright for them to take Christmas off.

Sheesh.

I don’t really remember all the details but I believe we ended up eating cold cuts and loads of Christmas candies (nougats and chocolates my mother-in-law had sent from Italy), and fried spam with steamed Jasmine rice.  I am truly not joking.

VIVA LA CHRISTMAS

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Fast forward to the 30th of December.

To my very first debutante ball.

You see, my second son, Gabriel’s girlfriend is from a very traditional Southern family.  Well, her mother’s side is, which comes with it, the customary coming out party aka debutante ball.  It was a really interesting experience as I’d never been to one before.  And living in Houston, I haven’t had many opportunities to dress up formally.  As in Black Tie Formal.  So I was quite pleased to be able do just that.  I’ll be posting more photos but here’s a sneak of the Monique Lhuillier gown I wore.

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New Year’s Day came, and this time, we were ready, I tell you.  We had a simple home dinner of Filet Mignon with Grilled Lobster Tail as well as Shrimp.  Sides included Grilled Broccollini, Scalloped Potatoes and Risotto.

We neither starved nor had to eat out of cans.

Like we did on Christmas Day.

Yay.

And that’s it.  For now.  But before you go, I have the most exciting thing to share.  I’m co-hosting with my Fab 40 friend, Jennie, in her first ever shared Fabulous Friday Link-Up.  I doubt it’s any secret just how much I adore Jennie, and the way she dresses.  And how her outfits are always the perfect blends of femininity with bohemian and/or preppy, with touches of edge.  I mean, I’ve never tried to hide my admiration for her sartorial choices.  If you’ve never before been, I highly recommend that you mouse over to Jennie’s blog right this moment.  It’s called A Pocketful Of Polka Dots (like how positively charming is that), and trust me when I say you shan’t regret it.

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Meet your host for Fabulous Friday, Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots. Jennie is a 40+ frugal fashionista who enjoys trying new trends, loves All the shoes, believes life is too short for boring hair, and never met a polka dot she didn’t like. You can follow Jennie here ∼

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And, as part of this collaboration with Jennie, I am picking, for the first time ever, my absolute fave look from last week’s Fabulous Friday Link-Up.  I spy you, Oby Grace!!  With that gorgeous poncho in rich, jewel tones.  And that flirty wide-brimmed hat.  And them kickass boots.

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Don’t forget to link up now.

Love, Sheela

Finally made the transition to AV and am now on YouTube as well as Snapchat (sheela.goh), would adore your support through subscribing to my channel/adding my snaps. 

Pretty please?

p/s my photos are by Sofia Touassa

I link up here.

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Self Love Is Effed Up

I’m not joking.

It can be seriously effed up.

 

Here’s a very important note to remember.  Loving yourself doesn’t guarantee that you will be loved right back.  How’s that for a curveball?

Indeed.  Self love?

IT'S A TRICKY TERRAIN, MY FRIEND

We can shout it out from the mountain tops.  I Love my curves!  I Love my crazy!  I Love my attitude!  I love everything unique and different about me that makes me, me!!  All the while, we’re looking out of the corner of our eye to see if everyone else is loving us for our curves, crazy, and attitude.

It’s as though if I love me, then maybe YOU will love me too, right?

Not necessarily.

And why?

Because humans are really screwed up when it comes to love.  BEAUTIFULLY, irresistibly, and understandably so utterly messed up about it.

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You can attempt to love yourself in spite of not being loved the way you want (note use of the word “spite”, not precisely the most empowering, positive phrase, right, and we’re already off to a bad start).

Or, “You don’t like me? Well, I’ll show you how awesome I am!

That’s somewhat effective.  But only just somewhat, because you still need to dig deep, to get past those rock solid layers of self disdain, before you even come close to the warm centre of true adoration.

What I like to call the Self Love Layer Cake.

It’s in there.

Somewhere.

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Thing is, eventually, you must love yourself just because of yourself.  Your beautiful, luminous, powerful, magnificent, unique self.  And not because you want crave others to love you.

You need to work on loving yourself because, let’s face it, the flipside of things is simply unbearable.  Hating yourself is utter and total hell.  I know.  I’ve practiced that art for a very long time, something I’m certain many reading this now, can empathise.

Extract yourself out of that hell hole, with tenderness and acknowledgment, and acceptance and respect, in full awareness.  And when you find your feet firmly planted on solid ground, throw yourself a good life party.  Every single day.  For the rest of your life.

You know, sometimes, we “act” as though we love ourselves so we don’t have to go through the painful process known as “change“.  Saying, “I love myself just as I am, completely, and no changes are required“.  And that’s often bullshit (albeit on varying levels).  Except, and this is the important bit, our soul so very much wants to change what’s not working.  But we’re afraid (and this is often misdiagnosed as being lazy or arrogant or complacent) to do what it takes to effect change.

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THINK ABOUT IT

Fake self love can turn into a cop-out for really growing.  Evolving.  Becoming.

I’m thinking that we feel if we love ourselves the way we are now, then we’ll become better, more loveable.  Now this is particularly mind-boggling because we’ll go do something tomorrow that’s an act of insecurity or less than awesome (often misconstrued as selfish or stupid or inconsiderate), and we’ll be thinking, “If only I were better at loving myself, I wouldn’t have f***** up so badly“.

The truth is we’re all (mostly) a bit twisted up about love.  Loving ourselves.  Loving each other.  Illusions, attachments, detachments.  Past experiences.  Soul contracts (which aren’t permanently binding, incidentally).  It’s incredibly complex and complicated.  Acknowledge and accept that,  and then move on.

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Imagine this (and I know this would be hard, because our practical side will rebel against it), imagine that YOU ARE LOVE.  Your soul, cells, the very fibre of your being.  It’s the stuff of LOVE.  You are original, you are you, you are LOVE.  Today.  Yesterday.  And all the tomorrows you have.

So, go easy on yourself (that includes you, Sheela).  Really and truly easy.  Celebrate yourself, no matter what.  Even if someone thinks you’re loud or tacky or terrible, too much of this, too little of that.  That’s their prerogative.  And you have the prerogative to disagree.  Make how you move through the world an homage to your beautiful, powerful, magnificent, loved self.

That same self who may very well still f*** up tomorrow but will continue to be made of love.

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SELF LOVE

And now, a super duper cool link-up with someone I’ve long been a fan of.  In this online world we call blogosphere, fakeness and plastic fantastic personalities abound.  So when you come upon a soul who is genuine and authentic and kind and nice, you definitely feel blessed.  That’s how I felt when I got to know Ada (thank you so much for having me).

In the past, I’ve been fortunate to have Ada as part of Project Sister Act, which is a clear indication of just how big a fan I am of her style, her colour choices, of her personality.  Do investigate her blog, if you haven’t yet, I promise you’ll be enchanted by all sartorial options you’ll discover.

Do join us in today’s link-up as we present our individual interpretations of outerwear.

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And remember this.

Self love can be a tough road but it’s one worth travelling.

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Love, Sheela

Finally made the transition to AV and am now on YouTube as well as Snapchat (sheela.goh), would adore your support through subscribing to my channel/adding my snaps. 

Pretty please?

p/s my photos are by Sofia Touassa

I link up here.

 

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I Resolve To

Not make resolutions.

It’s a recipe for immediate disaster.

 

I’m fully aware that this is all psychological.

And that calling a rose by any other name doesn’t make it any less than what it actually is, a rose.  That said, over countless years of drawing up list upon list of resolutions (and failing dismally to fulfill any), this MO seems to work better for me.  This renaming of resolutions as intentions.  Or desires.  Or to dos.  When I peg them as resolutions, my mind instantly conjures up the first day of a new year.  And that’s precisely how long those resolutions are remembered.  24 hours (if I’m lucky).  It’s as though if they’re called resolutions (or goals), they become more like, well, wishes.  And hopes.  Not focused, determined commitments to achieve or acquire (or rid oneself of) things that are of immense value, tangible as well as non tangible.

AM I MAKING ANY SENSE?

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Is it the very same with you? 

Or am I essentially writing a truckload of poppycock?

At times, I wonder, you know.

If anyone’s reading what I write at all.

Or am I regurgitating my thoughts to none but myself.

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Regardless, however you may call them, here are my intentions for the new year (and hopefully beyond).

Wellness

In my peak, two years ago, I was able to go from an hour of boxing or Muay Thai to an hour of intense Zumba and finish off with an hour of crossfit.  I want 2017 to be the year when I can reclaim that fitness level.

Lower my BMI by another 10 to 12%.

Shed those last 20lbs.

Add up to 35% lean muscle mass.

Go back to boxing and Muay Thai.  I’d been doing those for a steady three years before I had knee surgery in October 2014.

Stop seeing an elephant each time I look in the mirror, and celebrate that I’ve lost 55lbs in the last eight months, and acknowledge what a major accomplishment that was.

Recognise (and accept) that (the occasional) indulging in wheat and gluten and dairy and eggs is simply out of the question.  Having a wee bit of a sweet treat now then paying for it with a 9-day course of Prednisone is truly not worth it.

Cease griping about my food intolerances (gluten, wheat, dairy, eggs, most greens, many spices and condiments, several fruits, anything containing cow’s milk, nuts), and just deal.  And be thankful that I can still eat meat and seafood and spuds and rice.

Acknowledge that it’s quite alright to make myself a priority at times.

Learn to love myself because I am more than what I think I am.

I AM MORE THAN ENOUGH

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Family

Stop nagging them so much.  Stop nagging, period.  It makes life unpleasant for all.

Don’t just show them I love them.  Tell them I love them, and frequently.

Be a better stepmother to my two sons.  Work harder at being their friend.

Resist the urge to implode into a frenzied panic attack should the kitchen not be sparkling clean and/or dinner isn’t the sumptuous spread I’d envisioned.  Shit happens.  Life (and work) get in the way, and plans change.  It’s not the end of the world.  And it certainly doesn’t make me less of a parent/wife if I use Door Dash once in a while.

Resist also the urge to try and be what I think is the perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect person.  That doesn’t exist.  It isn’t real.  And it isn’t healthy.

Spend as much time with Eve as possible before she goes away to university in the Fall (sob).

Spend as much time with my husband as possible because tomorrow is not promised.

Appreciate him for the amazing man he is (snores, grunts, klutziness et al) who, for some unfathomable reason, loves me for what I am (faults, grumpiness, bitching et al).

Let loose a little.  Chill.  Relax.  It’s all good.

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Work (Blog/Day Job)

Stop being afraid of success.

Enough of the self-sabotage.

Embrace my strengths and use them.

Appreciate the independence my daytime job has given me to pursue my love of writing and the freedom to grow this blog.

Get better at working with others.

Learn to plan better so I don’t always have to fly by the seat of my pants.

Understand that deadlines are meant to be met, not missed.

And stop being my own worse critic.

And that’s it.

For now.

What’s on your list of “must accomplish” this year?

Love, Sheela

Finally made the transition to AV and am now on YouTube as well as Snapchat (sheela.goh), would adore your support through subscribing to my channel/adding my snaps. 

Pretty please?

p/s my photos are by Sofia Touassa

I link up here.

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Shine On

Twinkle, sparkle, and shine.

Shine like the brightest of diamonds.

 

As I was writing back to Ada, confirming my participation in this special collaboration (thank you for even thinking of me), I began mentally assembling my outfit, as I tend to do whenever embarking upon a shared project.

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A little bling here, a little shine there.  Perhaps velvet.  Or some sequins.  You know, how the concept of being festive and dressed up for new year’s eve seems to always be tied-in with those elements.  And that’s when the thought came into my mind.  That a woman shouldn’t sparkle only once a year.

That a woman should always sparkle. 

And shine. 

As bright as she could ever possibly be.

Every single day.

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In everything she does. Big or small.  Be it on her own, or with her fellow sister pioneers (Famous Footwear, you really knocked it out of the park).

Shine so bright that she illuminates every soul met along the way.

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Dispel the shadows.

Cast them aside.

Propel others into the beautiful clarity of a new day, a brand new dawn.

Particularly during these times of uncertainty and anxiety, her glow must light up the night sky, casting its bright warmth all around, like a cloak of hope and optimism.

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While I speak metaphorically, I also do mean this quite literally. We all have a part to play in shining light upon the dark.

In trusting that there is always hope.

FOR THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE

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Please, come join me and my fellow sisters, as we band together to shine and sparkle just that wee bit more, all in the name of a brand new year.

A fresh start.

After all, we already speak volumes with the way we dress, how we move, the way we portray ourselves.  Is this not the perfect occasion to make that message one about hope and optimism?

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There’s Ada in her blue sheath dress, looking ever so poised and serene, while both Lee and Linda evoke a sense of fun with those sequined pants.  Monica and her red plaid shirt bring such joy and gaiety to our line-up, and, of course, nothing quite compares to white in conveying the message of hope so thank you, Emily, for sharing that.

And there’s me, striving for playfulness in PJ sweatshirt and a ballerina skirt.

Here are some thoughts, from us, on how we hope to usher in 2017.

Emily from Darling Dearest

“Hi friends! I’m Emily from Darling, Dearest. The past couple of months have been the most hectic I’ve had, as I wrote my first book, a devotional! Because of that, I’m taking every second I can to rest, hopefully including New Years Eve! I plan on wearing a cozy, warm outfit like this one, perfect for a night in with my husband.  Happy New Years!”

Ada from Elegance and Mommyhood

“New Year’s Eve is usually a night I dress up a lot for: a cocktail dress, sequins, heels, velvet, fur, bold jewelry, lots of texture. The last time I wore a real fancy dress for New Year’s Eve was before I was pregnant, 5 years ago. Well, this year we will be ringing in 2017 at a fancy party dinner and I will be seen in a fun dress, for sure. I was trying different ones on and this teal, long-sleeve piece is dressy enough and has sparkly dots, especially perfect for New Year’s Eve paired with jewel tones and red lips. Happy New Year’s everyone!”

Sheela from Sheela Writes

“I was completely inspired by Jennifer Lawrence when she wore a sweater + ballerina skirt on the red carpet.  It was such an unexpected pairing that I had to give it a go myself.  Of course, it wouldn’t be a Sheela outfit without some tongue-in-cheek fun, now would it?  That baby blue sweater, you see?  That’s my winter PJ top 🙂 oh, and my tulle skirt?  A super stretchy waistband makes it perfect for that New Year’s Eve dinner we’ve got planned.”

Linda from A Labour of Life

“This year I am celebrating New Years in Nashville.  It is a huge outdoor celebration and sadly the temperature is expected to be cool.  I have searched my wardrobe for a party inspired outfit warm enough to watch Keith Urban ring in 2017.  I figure if I can handle the snow in Ottawa I can handle Keith in Nashville. This was my test outfit, I think it works.”

Monica from Jersey Girl, Texan Heart

Hey y’all, I’m Monica from Jersey Girl, Texan Heart.  This year for New Year’s I’m deciding to relax a little bit and wear a casual look.  I usually dress up, but this year has been quite the hectic year I think I need to finish it off by being casual and taking a breather.  I hope everyone has a great New Year!

Lee from Wine and Couture

“I love dressing up for New Years.  I get to wear all my sparkle and glittery clothing!  It’s the one time of year that going all out is expected.  These leggings are from Target last year and I have loved wearing them for over the top events.  I always pair my sparkle clothing with Brosway jewelry.  I hope you stop by my blog and see more of my fun New Years Outfit!”

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Serenity.

Fun.

Hope.

Playfulness.

If we all took these four words to heart, every moment of each single day, I just know that the light will never stop shining. Ever.

Happy New Year, friends. It is my sincere prayer that 2017 turns into 365 days of much love, laughter in abundance, and a neverending belief in the power of hope.

Be a light in someone’s life.

Love, Sheela

Finally made the transition to AV and am now on YouTube as well as Snapchat (sheela.goh), would adore your support through subscribing to my channel/adding my snaps. 

Pretty please?

p/s my photos are by Sofia Touassa

I link up here.

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The Fab 40s Take On Plaid | Sheela Writes

The Fab 40s Take On Plaid

Some say Plaid.

Yet others say Tartan.

 

However you call, that criss-cross pattern of horizontal with vertical bands in various palettes (red being most popular, regardless of season) is instantly recognisable by one and all.  And I couldn’t be more delighted that The Fab 40s is showcasing its unique spin on plaid for this month’s edition.

The Fab 40s Take On Plaid | Sheela WritesThe Fab 40s Take On Plaid | Sheela WritesThe Fab 40s Take On Plaid | Sheela Writes

I shan’t be writing much today.

Every now and again, a sabbatical is required.  To recharge.  Reboot.  Re-energise.  And that too is true where my brain is concerned because, as of Christmas Eve, it has been officially on hiatus.  I kid you not.

The Fab 40s Take On Plaid | Sheela WritesThe Fab 40s Take On Plaid | Sheela WritesThe Fab 40s Take On Plaid | Sheela Writes

So for today, please enjoy some truly pleasing eye candy from The Fab 40s and our guest, all in the name of plaid (or tartan, whichever floats your boat).  And let me know which is your fave out of the eight.  I know, it’s a toughie.

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Plaid Capelet & Bowie Top (thrifted) | Leather Culottes (Forever21) | Spiked Suede Booties (Make Me Chic) | Detective Trench Bag (Gaultier) | Sunnies & Jewellery (Poshmark) 

PRESENTING THE FAB 40S IN PLAID

Ann, Kremb de la Kremb

Kremb de la Kremb

How adorable does Ann look in all plaid?  Trust her to be in this print from head to toe and pull it off with much success.  I’m always in awe of how she takes a (seemingly) novelty theme, and then turns it around into something completely fresh.

Diane, Fashion On The Fourth Floor

Fashion On The Fourth Floor

This is my personal fave of the plaid lot.  I mean, an entire suit fabricated in tartan???  And those poet cuffs.  And metallic silver loafers.  Good golly, Ms Molly Diane.  You are my idol.  I mean, I’ve already been fan-girling over your outfits in the past but this takes the cake.

Jennie, A Pocketful Of Polka Dots

A Pocketful Of Polka Dots

Is anyone else envious of how Jennie is totally wearing Christmas colours and yet she doesn’t appear in the least bit gimmicky?  That she looks amazing in red and green with plaid and animal print all thrown into the mix?  Positively divine.

Mary, Curly Byrdie Chirps

Curly Byrdie Chirps

Mary looks picture perfect in this red upon red upon red ensemble.  So many pretty details to drool over such as the teeny ruching in the middle of her sleeve, creating a subtle voluminous effect.  The buttery smoothness of her suede MJs.  The obi belt.  Drool.

Sam, Fake Fabulous

Fake Fabulous

So I love that clutch.  Like seriously love lust.  And how that stunning obi belt is adding such a textural interest to the waistline.  Plus the glint on her fuchsia peep toes are beckoning to me like a siren song.  I’ve seriously never seen Sam wear anything I haven’t coveted.

Veronica, CID Style File

CID Style File

I would personally wear what Veronica’s wearing any time, any day of the year.  It’s such a cool, laidback look that speaks volumes of “I woke up like this” chic.  And the print of that scarf takes everything up a notch or three.  Beautiful pattern play here.

Please join me in welcoming Alison of Get Your Pretty On, our guest blogger for December.  Whilst her blog and style viewpoint are fairly new to me, I’ve no doubt I will be a new fan.  Understated though her aesthetics may be, I love that Alison gathers little details to add whimsy and fun to her outfit.  That leopard clutch, for instance, and the fuzzy fringe of that fabulous statement neckpiece.   She looks precisely like how I’d imagine an off-duty model would.  Poised, effortless, polished.  Thank you for being a part of The Fab 40s this month, Alison!!

Get Your Pretty On

And then, there’s me.  With my capelet and yes, culottes (I know, right, but at least they’re leather), and Bowie shirt (one needs Mr Stardust for some razzle dazzle), and spiked booties which have not made an appearance in a very long time (must rectify that). Oh and my Detective Trench bag because, well, just because it’s red.  And I like it.

The Fab 40s Take On Plaid | Sheela Writes

 How do you wear plaid?

Do you feel it’s something seasonal?

Or an all year long staple piece?

Love, Sheela

Finally made the transition to AV and am now on YouTube as well as Snapchat (sheela.goh), would adore your support through subscribing to my channel/adding my snaps. 

Pretty please?

p/s my photos are by Sofia Touassa

I link up here.

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Christmas Memories, Continued

Christmas is neither time nor season,

But rather, a state of mind.

 

Continuing on from my earlier recollection of Christmas memories in Borneo, there’s one big part of the entire Yuletide celebration that I’d like to share today.

THE CRIB

Which, in essence, means the nativity scene showing Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus, in the manger, surrounded by livestock, shepherds and the three Kings.

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Every year since I was maybe 8 or 9, my brother, Joseph, and I would decide on a theme, and then create all the figurines from scratch. We’d work with clay to shape and mould and create. Then the figurines would be laid out under the sun to dry, a process which could take up to several days for the clay to be fully hardened and sturdy. After that came the fun part, the painting.

Each figurine would be painted based on the chosen theme. I don’t remember all of them but two have stuck in my mind. One year, we had an Oriental theme going, complete with trimmings fashioned from Pussy Willow and bamboo. There was also that year we based the Nativity Scene on an African tribal theme (quite possibly my fave).

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Now when I say “we“, I mean Joseph, my brother. Wherein I tend to lean towards the written word (love you, Mum), his gifts have always been visually inclined. The man can draw. And paint. And create magic with a paint brush. He takes after my Dad who can whip up some spectacular images with oils.

So yeah, I was more of the “press and pinch” the clay to look as human as I possibly could while Joseph breathed life and personality into them.  And he was really good at that.

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Another memory strong and fresh in my mind is from childhood, yes, but Eve’s childhood, not mine.  From the time she could comprehend, we’ve implemented the tradition of naming our Christmas trees (yes, even the fake ones in Singapore were duly baptised).  Over the years, we’ve run the gamut from (in random order) Olaf to Pinkadoodledoo to Cat Woman to this year’s incarnation, Miu Miu.

YOU READ THAT RIGHT

Our big, poufy tree for 2016 has been named after one of Italy’s most opulent and luxurious couture women’s clothing and accessory brands, Miu Miu, which is headed by Miuccia Prada.  Incidentally, did you know Miu Miu was her nickname growing up?

When our families merged (and went from 1+1 and 1+2 = 5), we started a new tradition and that was the Christmas Tree Skirt.  I wish I had pictures to show you how the three children (who were aged 10, 7 and 6 at the time) were huddled together at the dining table.  Drawing and cutting out shapes from felt, decorating and trimming them with sparklies and baubles, and then pasting them onto this gorgeous and decadent piece of red velvet.

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There were stars and snowmen and fir trees and odd (unrecognisable) shapes and glitter.  Loads and loads and loads of glitter.  To this day, we’re still using that same handmade skirt and it sits proudly under the tree even as I write.

We have several smaller (but no less significant) traditions for Christmas that are equally precious.  Such as Christmas Eve Dinner with all five of us followed by Christmas Day Lunch with just Eve, my husband and myself after mass.  Stockings for the three children, stuffed to rival Santa’s girth with sweet treats and confections of every possible permutation.

Now that two of them have gone onto university (and my baby will follow suit come Fall 2017, sob), things are a little different.  That element of wide-eyed innocence has long since given way to Christmas wishlists and whatever fresh new IN thing marketing giants are throwing out into the market these days.  Sad but realistic.

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All things said and done though, I’d still like to believe our children have not forgotten how blessed they are.  How very fortunate their lives have been up to now, and that they will not lose themselves in the journey that lies ahead.  I admit, I often wonder if we’ve done wrong by them, in providing for their every need.  Should we perhaps have allowed them to struggle a smidge?  Taste failure just once?  In order that they may fully appreciate the value of life, of accomplishment (no matter the scale)?  And yet as parents, how could we have done otherwise but bubble-wrap them as tightly and snugly as we possibly could?  And hope for the best.

Sentiments and musings aloud, welcome to the last edition of Project Sister Act for the year (I just realised that Project Sister Act turns 2 in February 2017, wow).

Our story this month revolves around five women (spanning teens, 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s) and our interpretations of Victorian Romance.  I’m very certain that as you continue to scroll down and view our individual stylisations of this theme, you’ll witness just how varied a seemingly generic concept can actually be, when perused, dissected, and then put back together again, by so many different personalities with such varied points of view when it comes to aesthetics.  Come see for yourself.

Eve (the world according to eve)

The World According To Eve

Who would’ve thought such a dainty look could exude Victorian Romance so wholeheartedly?  I mean, when I think of Victorian Romance, I think something baroque and OTT and with a bustle.  Eve’s look is, at the one same time, fresh and feminine and charming and delicate.  There is, naturally, a hint of sass.  Just peer closer at the ring on her right hand.

Oby Grace (Oby Grace)

Oby Grace

Now this is what I would call a polished Victorian Romance ensemble.  Sleek and chic and veering on the minimalistic spectrum of things, and that in itself makes for an amazingly cool style contradiction, wouldn’t you agree?  The flirty pouf of her tulle skirt against that stark white turtleneck, and then those in-your-face animal print heels.  Divine.

Elsie (polished whimsy)

Polished Whimsy

Then we have Elsie who puts together her outfits with such imagination and whimsy (I had to) that if I didn’t seriously adore her, I would seriously hate envy her.  Her ethereal ballerina skirt goes wonderfully with those modern day granny booties.  Then you add in the classic pearls and that tweed blazer with delicate ruffles as well as zipper detail.  I heart.

Me (sheela writes)

Sheela Writes

Say the words Victorian Romance and I think bold red, dramatic black.  Ruffles and bustles, corsets and waist ties, granny boots and fascinators, mourning lace and jet.  Metal too. What can I say, I’m very much into a steampunk-based world when it comes to this particular period of style and so my interpretation involves several of those elements.  Clearly.

Dawn Lucy (fashion should be fun)

Fashion Should Be Fun

Anyone who’s been following The Fab 40s series knows this lady here.  She was one of our original members and I knew that the instant I could, she’d be right here as part of Project Sister Act.  Say hello to my friend Dawn Lucy who is such a shining example not only of how style knows no age boundary, but also how one can most certainly have fun with fashion and playing dress up, no matter how old one is.  Don’t you just adore how her Victorian Romance look is fashioned from pants???

And that, my friends, is Project Sister Act for 2016.  What a way to close an eventful year.  My sincere appreciation and gratitude to every woman in this month’s line-up, and to every woman who has ever joined me in propagating the message that style cannot be dictated by neither societal expectations nor “rules“.  That fashion is very personal, very individual, and must always be approached with a spirit of adventure and a healthy dose of fun.

Happy Christmas to all.

Don’t forget to link up.

Love, Sheela

Finally made the transition to AV and am now on YouTube as well as Snapchat (sheela.goh), would adore your support through subscribing to my channel/adding my snaps. 

Pretty please?

p/s my photos are by Sofia Touassa

I link up here.

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Christmas Memories Part 1

There’s more to this time of year,

Then sleigh bells and holly, mistletoe and snow,

Those things, they come and go.

 

My earliest Christmas memory is of when I was about 5.  We were somewhat nomadic at the time, moving frequently (for reasons which I cannot now recall, I must ask my Mum), and that particular year, home was a tiny spot atop this low-cost apartment complex built for government employees (my dad was part of the Marine Fisheries Department then).  We were on the very top floor (apparently my acrophobia hadn’t yet made its appearance known), the four of us crammed into the teeniest two bedroom apartment.

I remember sleeping on mattresses on the living room floor most nights because it was very warm.  The air often so thick and muggy you could slice through it with a knife.  And my ears tuned in to the soft rustling of the ceiling fan as it oscillated in a steady, hypnotic rhythm which would eventually lull me into the arms of Morpheus.

WITH "APACHE" FROM THE SHADOWS PLAYING IN THE BACKGROUND

My Dad had the coolest Open Reel Tape Recorder.

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I have many fond memories of “the flat“.

That time my brother and I spied something glinting, yes, all the way from our top floor (I believe the building had maybe12 floors in all).  Something that was clearly reflecting sunlight so we made our Dad go see, and he came back with this very sleek watch.  After we asked around the neighbours and no one claimed ownership, my Dad wore it (proudly) for many years.

Then there are images in my mind of me, my brother, and my Mum, all three of us seated around the tiny dining table in the kitchen area, creating Papier Mâché from scratch.  To be honest, I’ve no idea what we were making at the time, I simply remember it as being one of my happiest moments.

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We did all sorts of arts and crafts.

We read books.

We drew.

And then, of course, there was Christmas.

Now, finding a live Christmas tree in a country wherein one only has two seasons (hot/wet, or hot/dry) is a daunting an impossible task which, consequently, effectively explains the abundance of plastic versions littering both malls and stores as well as roadside stalls pop-ups.  We had them in all shades of green, some came pre-trimmed with tinsel and tiny gift boxes.  Yet others in their au naturel glory, awaiting one’s imagination (and budget) to bedeck and adorn.  White trees and gold-tipped white trees only became fashionable a few years later.

I really wish I could remember how the tree looked that year but I cannot lie.

I SIMPLY DO NOT

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Truth be told, with each passing year, the images blur and blend into each other far easier than I would like.  With a few exceptions, it gets harder for me to distinguish between which scene hails from my own childhood, and which was created while raising Eve, you know.

However, what I do remember, and ever so vividly, was the excitement of waiting for dear ole Santa.  Trying my level best to stay up, for even the briefest of glimpses of the bearded one.  Acutely straining my ears to detect any jingling of sleigh bells.  Wishing and praying we had a chimney because, hello, how else was he going to shimmy down into our living room, and leave pressies for us??

Inevitably, of course, my eyelids would droop, and sleep take over.  I was unaware of the powers of coffee at that age, or I would’ve put caffeine to good use.

I digress.  Christmas.  Waking up on Christmas morning was a glorious experience in itself.  Whilst we weren’t impoverished, we weren’t wealthy either so presents were reserved only for birthdays and the twenty fifth day of the last month of the year.  You could probably imagine how saucer-esque my eyes grew.  The big “O” of my mouth when I dashed to look under the tree.  It was such a treat to receive gifts.  Even at that age, I understood how hard my parents worked to save up all year long in order to afford presents to place under the tree for us.

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Christmas that year saw both The Six Million Dollar Man AND Bionic Woman Board Games under the tree.  I’m fairly certain I shrieked and jumped up and down, then died and went to heaven.  Or, at the very least, squealed my head off.  We also received a pair of roller skates, to share, and for years to come, my brother and I would use our single unit rather like a skateboard.

I realise that from a materialistic viewpoint, there really doesn’t appear to be all that much going on in my life that Christmas but then again, that isn’t the point.

Despite all the things I’ve gone through as a teenager, young adult, working woman, single parent, remarrying et al, my time spent at the flat was one of the very best ever.  Whenever I think of that period in my life, I smile and my heart feels full.  It was a time filled with joy and gaiety and love, and not only during Christmas.

Trims and gifts, they are but fleeting.  Family.  Memories.  Love.  They go much deeper than we know, and for as long as these things remain, there will always be hope and peace.

Love, Sheela

Finally made the transition to AV and am now on YouTube as well as Snapchat (sheela.goh), would adore your support through subscribing to my channel/adding my snaps. 

Pretty please?

p/s my photos are by Sofia Touassa

I link up here.

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Quick Update & A Link-Up

Keeping things easy.

Short, sweet, simple, succinct.

 

Per my Wednesday post, I’ve just had surgery.  And because it was for the eyes, I am, as you can imagine, typing with one finger, and blurred vision so please forgive me for (a) a short post; and (b) any typos.  Do also find it in your heart to ignore the fact that this post will be short on words, with photos in abundance.  I know, I know, I promised I would never become yet another glossy lookbook in this already saturated bloggersphere but it’s hard to create content when one is somewhat driving blind.  Literally.

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So without further ado, today’s post concludes my tri-part tweed collaboration with Jodie and her ladies, and Eve.  Our first post featured tweed in a ladylike manner followed by a punk interpretation.  To finish things off, we now present tweed in a fun fashion, which, obviously opens up many worlds in terms of styling.

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And yet I choked on this one. 

I couldn’t think of what would make tweed fun. 

I did my best 🙂

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Tweed Blazer (old) | Tank (my PJ top) | Leather Pants (Trouve) | Leather Boots (Bakers) | Rings (Alchemy of England) | Sunnies (Dior) | Velvet Scarf (Forever21) | Hat (gifted) 

YES, THAT'S TRULY MY PJ TOP

My element of fun.

Being tongue-in-cheek chic et al.

And now, behold, my fabulous ladies, all decked up in fun, feisty tweed.

Eve, Teens (the world according to eve)

eve

I’ve always associated fun with polka dots, do you do the same?  They’re just so giggle-inducing.  Although, in Eve’s case, they became legit cool (hey, if you’re surrounded by teenagers, you need to talk the talk).  I am (forever) loving the sassy vibe.

Sheela, 40s (sheela writes)

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This outfit is quite possibly the closest to my everyday wear.  I love wearing leather pants and if Houston would lower the temp down a tad, would be decked out in them all year long.  Oh, and I call those my Gene Simmons boots.

Jodie, 50s (jodie’s touch of style)

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How smart, Jodie, to place a fur vest over your jacket.  It completely changed the look and I love it.  Fun and fresh, with just a hint of grooviness in those flared jeans.  So cool.  And them patchwork boots.

Nancy, 60s (jodie’s touch of style)

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Meet spunky Nancy.  With the ascot and uber out-there top.  And are those grey sneakers, suede?  My fave bit about this outfit is how the lining of Nancy’s blazer complements her top so beautifully.  Such a well thought-out look.

Charlotte, 70s (jodie’s touch of style)

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Fun and fresh and definitely flavour of the day, Charlotte.  Those russet cords are gorgeous, and pull everything together to create a laidback, polished look.

And now, do please join my link-up?  I promise we’ll be back to regular scheduling next week wherein I’ll be sharing my Christmas memories as a child/teen/young adult in Sarawak.

Love, Sheela

Finally made the transition to AV and am now on YouTube as well as Snapchat (sheela.goh), would adore your support through subscribing to my channel/adding my snaps. 

Pretty please?

p/s my photos are by Sofia Touassa

I link up here.

More Tales Of Tweed | Sheela Writes

More Tales Of Tweed

He’s still my soulmate.

(Always) the better half of our duo.

 

I realise that within the contents of our first tweed post, I’d promised to share more about the rollercoaster moments of life with my man.  However, in true Sheela form, it had completely slipped my mind that I have surgery scheduled.  Yes, today, Wednesday.  As such, you’ll forgive me if today, I make it a smidge brief?  And to wait a wee bit for more tales from my hearth?

More Tales Of Tweed | Sheela WritesMore Tales Of Tweed | Sheela WritesMore Tales Of Tweed | Sheela Writes

Tweed Blazer (old, option, option) | Plaid Asymmetrical Dress (Free People gifted, option, option) | Spiked Vegan Leather Choker (Manic Panic NYC gifted, option, option) | Plaid Waist Cincher (McQueen very old, option, option) | Embellished Black Leather Glove (antique, option) | Steampunk Gear Brooch (gifted, option) | Sunnies (thrifted)

A POINT OF TRIVIA TO SHARE

I wore only black for the first 38 years of my life.

In a (predominantly) steampunk and goth manner.

Black.

Black with black.

Textured, grainy black.

Shades of black, if that makes sense.

More Tales Of Tweed | Sheela WritesMore Tales Of Tweed | Sheela Writes

Spikes.  Studs.  Tattoos.  Black lipstick.  Black lacquer.  Metal.  And leather.  Loads and loads of metal and leather.  So when punk was determined as part of this tweed project, I was, put simply, in heaven.

That said, over the last few years, my interpretation of punk and goth have changed a wee bit.  I’m no longer exclusively in mourning (as my mum puts it) black.  I’ve come to realise that there’s more than one way to achieve a specific style.  Neither punk nor goth need only be associated with black.  A focused approach to colour and print can achieve the same effect, if applied thoughtfully and strategically (tell me you hear Fairy Godfather Tim in those words too).

More Tales Of Tweed | Sheela WritesMore Tales Of Tweed | Sheela Writes

Punk can be lush.

Punk can be oh so glam too.

The devil’s in the details, after all, and I knew with dead certainty that I wanted to wear a dress t represent punk.  With that thought in mind, this asymmetrical plaid piece made complete sartorial sense.  The print.  The rich colour.  The waterfall drape by the side.

More Tales Of Tweed | Sheela WritesMore Tales Of Tweed | Sheela Writes

And what better to team it with than a waist cincher from the maestro of plush punk himself, McQueen (all hail).  It pulled the entire look together, quite literally.  All I had to do after that was add the spiked choker (hello, it wouldn’t be Sheela in punk without sharp edges, now would it), the antique glove, and, of course, that stunning steampunk brooch complete with watch gear, spider charm et al.

Now, take a look at what these other fierce women are wearing in the name of tweed meets punk.

Eve, Teens (the world according to eve)

The World According To Eve

Ripped jeans.  Dark lipstick.  Sassy, kickass demeanour.  And, naturally, spikes on her shoes.  This is the epitome of classy punk in Eve’s world, and I rather agree.  I do feel, however, that it’s her attitude which completes this outfit.  Wouldn’t you agree?

Sheela, 40s (sheela writes)

More Tales Of Tweed | Sheela Writes

When we went ladylike, I refused to wear a dress.  And when it was time for punk, I knew I didn’t want to wear pants.  So true to form, my rendition of punk comes with a maxi, a plaid corset belt, pointy spikes around my neck, and a lipstick named Dominatrix.

Jodie, 50s (jodie’s touch of style)

Jodie | Jodie's Touch Of Style

Anyone else see skater girl a la Avril Lavigne?  Look at you go, Jodie.  Them leggings, ooh baby.  And that beanie.  And that denim button-down (most unexpected).  Love how the tops of her boots are turned down.  And hello there pink sunnies (heart eye emoji).

Nancy, 60s (jodie’s touch of style)

Nancy | Jodie's Touch Of Style

I’m sorry, Nancy, but you look far too adorable to be really punk.  I mean seriously, isn’t that smile gorgeous?  I really like how her choker subtly echoes the dusky rose notes of the tweed blazer, and that graphic tee is, I repeat, adorable.

Charlotte, 70s (jodie’s touch of style)

Charlotte | Jodie's Touch Of Style

Like woah, Charlotte, leather skirt.  Baby!!  I don’t know how else to say this but you look pretty damn cool, and when I grow up, I want to be like you.  Composed, confident, chic, and very adventurous in trying out new styles #goals

Come back and visit on Friday when we add a bit of fun to our tweed.

Love, Sheela

Finally made the transition to AV and am now on YouTube as well as Snapchat (sheela.goh), would adore your support through subscribing to my channel/adding my snaps. 

Pretty please?

p/s my photos are by Sofia Touassa

I link up here.