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How I Dress My Inner Child

How I Dress My Inner Child


Hello there inner child,

Can you hear me calling you??


It’s so nice to be back writing on the blog (and jumpstarting things with a post on how I dress my inner child).  I honestly can’t even recall the last time I posted something (wait, I do, it’s been seven long months).  I could tell you that a million things have happened since we last spoke, causing my extended absence  but that’d be an excuse.  The truth is I simply haven’t been able to write. 

Each time I attempted to articulate my thoughts, I’d sit in front of my laptop and simply stare at the blank screen until I gave up.  I kept telling myself to step away.  To come back to it later when I felt as though I had something authentic to say.  And that was so wrong.  What I really ought to have done was to sit my ass down, and type away.  Yes, just that.  Type away, regardless of what nonsense I’d spew and allow the creative bits of me to rise up.

And that’s precisely what I’m doing now. 

Happily sharing the inner sanctums of my mind as I let my inner child out to play.  Actually, no, it’s the other way around.  I’m unleashing my inner child on the world and the intense sense of liberation she’s bringing is, in turn, unfettering my words. 

How I Dress My Inner Child


I feel so good right now!!!

Alright, alright, I digress. 

With that, I’ve also arrived at the conclusion that my inner child is still pretty much how Sheela rolls on the outside.  I still yearn for a magical place overflowing with spells and lore.  Wherein cohorts of fairy folk are merrily traipsing on cobbled paths and gold paved pavements (the one same freeway home to Toyotas and carriages alike).

A place in which words hold magic and enchanted lands exist just beyond that lamp post (or within a ginormous wardrobe).  Some far off land wherein boarding schools practically come alive with hushed whispers and giggles midnight feasts run rampant.  Right alongside silly pranks, prefect badges and lacrosse matches.

A glorious world where simple train rides could lead to encounters with delightful talking animals and heroic quests to save the land.

How I Dress My Inner Child

Now, how precisely does a grown-ass woman from Borneo dress her inner child without sacrificing poise and class?  Nor a certain joie de vivre that (only) comes with having lived through a certain number of years?  I mean, no one wants to look like a old little girl but we’re not going for cute or kiddish or childish.  No no no, we’re shooting for esoteric instead (love that word, makes me feel/sound so smarticle).  An acquired taste which, whether you love it or hate it, there’s absolutely no way you’d ever forget it. 

First things first. 

What elements of my childhood have stayed with me to this day and influenced the style choices I’m presently making? 

My list then included the colours red and black (yes, even when I was a young ‘un) and hardware (zippers and metal accents have always held special spots in this ole heart).  And hats and plaid and pants.  And my hair tied in twos (ponytails, french braids, you name it, but always in pairs because I felt imbalanced otherwise) and velvet.  (Select) sparkly stuff (think pins and collar clips).  And shoes, always shoes.

Stop press.

Did I just describe myself now or did I just describe myself now?

How My Childhood Fantasies & Likes Influence My Style Choices

Here’s a side observation.  I firmly believe my strict, ultra conservative Catholic upbringing (complete with convent all girls school from kindy all the way to ‘A’ Levels, and gory fetuses floating in jars as part of the nuns’ “shock anti-abortion” tactic) has influenced my sartorial picks.  I kid you not. 

Just take a look at the pussy bow ties and ruffled sleeves I tend to favour.  Pleated mini skirts (whether it’s a Lolita homage or urging Britney to hit me one more time, these scream prep school in spades, no?) and sneakers.

Dear lord.

It is true what they say about Catholic school girls.

Innocent-looking on the outside, wild child on the inside. 

Of course, this isn’t always the case with every girl who attends a Catholic school but I can tell you it’s somewhat spot on where yours truly is concerned.

How I Dress My Inner Child

How I dress my inner child.

Well, this is what I came up with.  Romantic White Shakespearean blouse with big ruffled neckline, dainty silk black ribbon tie and mega flouncy sleeves.  Over this, I wore a Green Velvet blazer, for several reasons.  One, I adore the texture and sheen of velvet, always have always will.  Two, I’m unbelievably besotted with the colour (think emeralds, Slytherin, money, matcha, weed).  And last but certainly not the least, the cut is ever so classically flattering yet the fabric gives it such a contemporary air.

Steampunk brooch on the lapel for that touch of hardware that sings my siren song and my hair in two low, loose, casual ponytails.  So here you have an outfit that is completely influenced by my childhood and by the things I loved, and how these two elements are reflected in my wardrobe choices today.

Now, come see how my ladies went about showcasing their inner child from a sartorial perspective.  So excited.  

Suzy, Suzy Turner

over 40s blogger

Both Suzy and I are lost in our literary worlds this month, hers being the magical world of Hogwarts and Harry Potter and the house of Gryffindor.  Absolutely nothing not to love.

Shelbee, Shelbee On The Edge

mental health blogger

Shelbee’s outfit just immediately brought Pretty In Pink and Molly Ringwald to mind, especially when paired with that denim jacket.  I heart so much.

Daenel, Living Outside The Stacks

photographer blogger

Clearly a bohemian, romantic gyspy has lived in this world for a very long time.  She’s all about lush, feminine colours while maintaining a practical sensibility and comfort that’s signature Daenel.

Dee, Dee Sayz

singaporean blogger

So cute, Dee, just so so cute.  (Stylish) dorks unite.

And then there’s me.

Making the most of the current situation to indulge in my obsession with fantasy backdrops and outlandish settings.  A fox.  A hare.  A swan.  And a cotton-tailed bunny.  Four creatures synonymous with tales and wonder.

preppy street style

Green Velvet Blazer, White Poet Blouse & Brown Pleated Tennis Miniskirt (all thrifted) | Hardware & Organza Steampunk Brooch from Etsy | Sneakers (a gift)

Would you wear sneakers with this outfit?

If you were to let your inner child style you for one day, what sort of outfit would you be wearing?

Until next time friends, do not ever EVER let go of that child within you.  She really does help you see the beauty in the most unexpected of spots.  She’s the one who encourages spontaneous activities such as running through the sprinklers (when they’re spurting fountains of water, yes); going to HEB after a couture runway show (wearing a dramatic red gown of a dress); and eating chicken wings with your bare hands (in public)!!!!

Love, Sheela

Wearing Shorts For Work Can Be Professional

Shorts for work?

Oh goodness!! Scandalous!!


Fashion has always been my favourite form of escapism.  Reading, writing, dancing, sketching.  They all come a close second.  But fashion.  Fashion has, is, and will always be the tabernacle upon which I worship.  Religiously.  Since I was 6 years old to be precise.  Since I caught sight of my very first Issey Miyake piece.  And then laid my hands upon a coffee table book cataloguing what goes into the creation of a collection, courtesy of the god known as Bruce Oldfield (shamefacedly I confess to pinching this from the British Council library).  From then on, I was fairly obsessed with all things style and fashion-related.  Mostly European, primarily British the likes of Zandra Rhodes, Jasper Conran, Vivienne Westwood, Arabella Pollen, Philip Treacy.

Life in Kuching was a bit of a bubble.

A complete style bore.  Yawn.

Far and away from the fashion world or cultural meccas like Paris, New York, Milan, London or Tokyo.  I used to think of it as a fashion wasteland.  And it is still rather much the same, to be honest.  But it forced me to be resourceful.

To create my own fantasy fashion world.

A place wherein my outfits represented the opportunity for me to come out of myself, play a part.  Enact a role.  Chronic rebirth.  Live a persona for that brief camera moment.  To thrust myself into adventure.  Characters from scenes in which I get to be someone else, just for a wee bit.  Being a clothes chameleon, if you like.

C H R O N I C    R E B I R T H    O F    A     N E W    M E

Taking risks.  Digging deep.  Digging into unexpected places and sources.  Finding things or ideas that encouraged me to experiment and express my own point of view.  No matter the number of raised eyebrows.  Or whispered mutterings behind my back.

Weeding through my wardrobe.

Rediscovering gems amongst what I already owned.

Think about it.

Fashion is far more interesting when you push the boundaries.  Balancing what’s typically viewed as controversial with what’s usually thought of as must-have staples.  Marrying something current with something timeless.  Putting them together in the most (delicately) perfect (and precarious) of couplings.  The perfect pairing.  That’s what fashion, nay, style is all about.   Balance.  Achieving balance.  Building a look which blazes a trail while simultaneously being mindful of the message you’re sending by showing up dressed in a certain manner.

As a grown ass woman, my thoughts on the matter haven’t changed at all.  Although, I think back upon my style experiments of then and shake my head.  With equal parts bewilderment and pride.  And remind myself that today, fashion is but the adult version of a childhood game of dress-up.

I certainly have a playful approach to fashion.

A T    T I M E S    B O R D E R I N G    O N    T H E    O U T R A G E O U S

In the past, black and total goth looks used to be my only leitmotifs.  But an improv for a style challenge completely converted me into a colour slut.  Everything from top to toe red (it’s always lured me with its sultry ways, the wanton) and making onlookers blink by wearing dazzling all-over colour, to modest jolts from small pieces.  I adore both basic bold black as well as parading around in the bright stuff.

Additionally, despite being somewhat restricted due to allergies from Lupus, I have an insatiable magpie eye for jewellery and trinkets and glitz, and wear the most opulent of pieces whenever, wherever I can.

Style for me is all about having fun and not being afraid to go over-the-top.

(waves to Eve)

Let’s talk about shoes.  Some shoes make me feel so great, I have the urge to kick up my heels in them.  From chunky boots to gladiator sandals, from sporty heeled sneakers to whimsical wonders, my favourite footwear can be a bit impractical as times BUT as long as it allows me to be happy and playful, I’m all for it.  After all, vanity very often trumps sanity.

All these mantras leading up to what I proposed as September’s Fab 40s theme – wearing shorts for work.  Just a scant years ago, that would’ve been cause for termination in certain verticals but today, very few people even blink twice.  Isn’t that insane?

I wanted to see how my ladies would go about interpreting wearing shorts in their respective professions and I am most excited to share them with you today.  Come have a look.

Suzy, Suzy Turner

Suzy Turner

It’s as though this challenge was made for Suzy, eh?  That’s because she works at a golf shop.  And I had absolutely no idea of that when coming up with the theme of shorts (but you’re welcomed, Suzy)!!  I like that easy, breezy vibe this entire outfit is exuding.  No fuss, no muss, just casual and comfy and utterly cool.

Shelbee, Shelbee On The Edge

I’d wear this look in its entirety in a heartbeat.  Well, except the fanny pack because, you know, me and fanny packs, there’s no love lost between us (right, Annie?). To work.  To play.  And everything in between.  There isn’t a single aspect of it that doesn’t sing to me.  If I had to single out a fave aspect, it’d have to be that beret.  Swoon, Shelbee, swoon.

Daenel, Living Outside The Stacks

As always, Daenel has infused a fabulous bohemian flair to the theme.  This time, it’s beautifully present in that vivid top and darling neckpiece (when you go over to her post, be sure to check out the other necklace she put on, the one with fringes which I positively adore). Be sure to also read what she wrote about that braless colleague 😛

Dee, Dee Sayz

Black + White = eternally chic but when you add in man-style brogues.  Woo.  That unexpected element of androgyny makes for such eye candy.  I mean, just look at Dee.  Yet another outfit I would happily wear, with my 5″ heels (but of course).  What really makes everything come together, for me anyway, is that bag with the cheeky colour-blocking.

And then there’s me.

Yes, I do actually wear this outfit to work.  In fact, I’ve worn it twice.  Once for a committee meeting with the Houston West Chamber of Commerce to discuss a cybersecurity panel for 2020.  And the second time around was a meeting with a partner.

On both occasions, I was taken seriously.

Pinstriped Shorts Suit (Forever21) | Heels (GX by Gwen Stefani) | Top (NY&Co) | Kate Spade Clutch, Sunnies, Pins & Ring (thrifted on Poshmark) | Leather Cuff (c/o Unearthed)

Would you wear shorts to work?  If you could?

Until next time friends, slay.


Love, Sheela

p/s I link up here.

Sheela | Sheela Writes, I Have Things To Say

Shirtdresses Are Always In Style

Sprucing up the shirtdress.

Making it fancy, schmancy, but still wearable.


I struggled with this month’s theme, shirtdresses.  I truly did, Dee.  Can’t lie.  And I don’t even know why that was so because I used to wear them.  All the time.  Perhaps the operative words, “used to” were a telling means to explain my conundrum.  Conversely, my mental block made no sense whatsoever given (1) the frequency with which shirtdresses had permeated my wardrobe in the past; and (2) their undeniable mega “slay” factor.

In my 20s, I practically lived in shirtdresses all the work week long.  Mostly in jersey so I didn’t have to iron them and mainly in blacks or browns.  Yes, I spent over three decades decked out primarily in black, channeling Mama Rei and bringing out The Crow in me.  As such, one would think I would’ve had an easy peasy time pulling together a look based on a button-down garment but that was not the case, my friends.

T I M E    T O    S H I R T    U P

Sheela | Sheela Writes, I Have Things To SaySheela | Sheela Writes, I Have Things To SaySheela | Sheela Writes, I Have Things To Say

Fact: I almost purchased five different shirtdresses for the #fab40s.  Fact:  I already own two shirtdresses, one brand new, and because of that (as well as the added expenses of settling Eve into her new apartment, love you boo), I refrained from clicking the Buy Now button.  Fact: I was so flustered by the theme that I couldn’t even assemble my outfit until the 19th, and even then, just before heading out for our photo shoot.

Faced with two shirtdresses on hand, one in white, the other olive green, I had to choose.

In truth, I was leaning towards the olive piece and simply because I hadn’t yet worn it (tags still merrily hanging from its collar) but I felt it was just a little too dark/heavy for August.

Which is why you now see this white number here.  I’ve worn it before, in its original state, in a six-way Yuletide #fashionfaceoff with Eve and Michael and Jodie (and her ladies).

Sheela | Sheela Writes, I Have Things To SaySheela | Sheela Writes, I Have Things To SaySheela | Sheela Writes, I Have Things To Say

Once I settled on the actual star piece, I knew how I wanted to present it.

Somewhat classic but still infused with my signature rock n roll somethin’ somethin’ extra.  In this case, the shirtdress with its crisp high collar is indeed immensely Grace Kelly-esque.  However, when buttoned only to the extent of maintaining one’s (bare minimal) modesty and then paired with ripped camo jeans, it’s instantly transformed into something a pop diva would wear.  Perhaps for brunch with Gaultier to review designs for our collaboration, or a meeting to discuss world domination.  Or to have a discreet private viewing of their latest collection in the nearby Bvlgari atelier.  Sipping rosé as tattoos on wrists and hands peek out discreetly.

At least, that’s how I see it GRIN

Sheela | Sheela Writes, I Have Things To SaySheela | Sheela Writes, I Have Things To SaySheela | Sheela Writes, I Have Things To Say

Despite the haste with which things came together, I think it went well.  I think.

I rather like the very blatant juxtaposition between my shirt(dress) and my scruffy skinnies.  Very much me, very much unapologetically flamboyant.

Come see what my ladies did in sprucing up their shirtdresses!!

Dee, Dee Sayz

Dee | Dee Sayz

They say that (at times) less is more, and in Dee’s case, truer words have not been spoken.  She’s letting the classic lines of her blue shirtdress speak for itself, whilst adding some equally elegant brown leather accessories to the mix.  Well done, lady.

Jennie, A Pocketful Of Polka Dots

Jennie | A Pocketful of Polka Dots

I can’t say which has caught my attention more.  The fact that Jenny had the genius idea to convert her shirtdress into something utterly completely transitional for Fall OR that divine backdrop she chose which is ever so reminiscent of Rome.

Suzy, Suzy Turner

Suzy | Suzy Turner

Sporty Spice. Hands down. Pure funk with that sassy animal print number, which is then infused with major dollops of street cred by virtue of her fire engine red kicks, Suzy is channeling her inner pop diva on vacay vibe.

Shelbee, Shelbee On The Edge

Shelbee | Shelbee On The Edge

Who else thinks Shelbee could give the greatest showman a run for his money?  The flamboyance and visual exuberance of her outfit this month is supreme eye candy, bar none. Such a fun rendition of how (else) to wear a shirtdress.

Daenel, Living Outside The Stacks

Daenel | Living Outside The Stacks

And then there’s me.

Completely dripping with sweat in these photos.  You have NO idea how many beads of sweat are dotting my forehead and my upper lip in these photos.

Sheela | Sheela Writes, I Have Things To Say

White Shirtdress (thrifted from Poshmark)  Heels (GX by Gwen Stefani) | Ripped Camo Skinny Jeans (NY&Co) | Hat (a gift from Eve) | Yellow Leather Cuff (c/o Unearthed)

Would you say a shirtdress is your friend?

Or foe?

Until next time friends, slay.


Love, Sheela

p/s I link up here.

pp/s all photos by Eve

My Heart & Soul Belong To Soles

Give a woman the right pair of heels.

Then sit back, and watch her conquer the world.


Amen, sista.

I never thought I’d ever credit something so insightful to Ms Monroe GRIN insightful and evergreen with a dose of such unexpected humour.

But it’s so true, yes?

The perfect shoe design equipped with an equally perfect heel height makes for taking the most empowered of strides, figuratively as well as metaphorically.  As Michael always tells me, I am my sexiest when I’m feeling comfortable.  After all, comfort begets confidence, and confidence is the consequent vessel to sire a sense of power, a sense of empowerment.  A sense of f*ck you, self doubt, not today.

T H E    P O W E R    O F    A    G O O D    S H O E

I’ll be the first to admit to being somewhat obsessed with shoes, I mean, I think the whole world knows that by now so it truly doesn’t behoove the situation for me to even pretend that 99% of my outfits are created from the soles up.  They really are.  It’s always been that way for me.  Pick the shoe first and then figure out the rest of my look.  I mean, if there was a mood board created to represent me, a solid pair of shoes would be right smack in the centre!!!

But I was also wondering where this shoe mania came from.

If I am to look back into my growing up years, I know with dead certainty that it wasn’t an influence stemming from my mother.  She’s far more practical than I when it comes to footwear.  No, in fact, my earliest memory of craving a shoe was a pair an aunt wore.  She was married to my dad’s youngest brother at the time, and had these faux suede black pixie boots that were just sooooo cool. Elizabeth, yes, that was her name.  I remember that she could tell how my 13 year old self was literally drooling over those boots and, well, gave them to me.  We both knew her feet were 2 sizes too small but I squeezed my toesies in, and away we go.

And so it began.

Over the years, I’ve had many a shoe.


When I lived in Singapore, I housed the over 500 pairs I owned into a dedicated shoe room.  Each pair carefully wrapped with tissue (or shoe bag), and stored within its original box, with a Polaroid taped to the front of said box so I could see at first glance which pair was inside.  True story.  Then, my purchasing decisions were a smidge random.

With time, my taste buds have become more discerning.  Or, I suppose, you could infer that I’m stuck in a shoe style rut.  However you look at it, my choice of sole support is most definitely well defined these days.  I like a good ankle bootie.  Heels of no less than 4.5″.  A slight platform support for the arch.  And strong graphic lines.

Suffice to say, I was rather over the moon when Daenel suggested we picked a fave pair of shoes for the July rendition of the Fab 40s.  HURRAY.  This particular pair I’m showcasing?  It’s SO me.  In every possible way.

And take a look at those worn by my fierce fashionista friends.

Oh oh oh and please say the warmest of welcomes to DEE!!  She is the latest addition to our group and joins us all the way from three continents away.  India, to be specific.  Welcome aboard, my fellow South East Asian!!

Daenel, Living Outside The Stacks

Jennie, A Pocketful Of Polka Dots

Suzy, Suzy Turner

Shelbee, Shelbee On The Edge

Dee, Dee Sayz

And then there’s me.

With my statement heels.

Graphic Ankle Booties (GX by Gwen Stefani) | Reversible Coat (Jagged Hanger) | Plaid Pants (NY & Co) | Lace Bodysuit (Victoria’s Secret) | Sunnies & Bangles (thrifted)

How many shoes do YOU have?

Until next time friends, go forth and conquer the world.


Love, Sheela

p/s I link up here.

The Style Icons That Inspire Me

Our muses.

Sources of sartorial inspiration.


It’s my birthday today.

The last time I’d written something on the blog on my birthday was three years ago, in 2016.  When I was talking about the wearability of animal prints and how we should all embrace its highly visual power with open arms.  What a tizzy the past few years have been, to say the least, but we’re not focusing on that today.  No, my friend, today, in honour of my birthday, I’m going to talk about the one person who has played such a vital part in not only igniting my love for clothes but who has also wielded such influence over how I look at style and fashion.

Denise Huxtable.

I’ll readily (and ever so happily) admit that I’ve had a ginormous fashion crush on Denise Huxtable since the sitcom I’d rather not name first aired in 1984.  The second eldest child who was free-spirited and rebellious with an eccentric sense of style which, I feel, can be best defined as wholly committed. Whether dressed in a power suit or in mechanic overalls or draped in pearls to the floor, she never doesn’t lean all the way in. The best kind of chameleon.


I mean, there are only certain people who can work a certain sense of style.

Not everyone can rock a head wrap, an unexpected hat, patterns on patterns on patterns, African-inspired accessories, a tulle skirt, the list goes on. It may look amazing on one person, and on another, you wonder if they looked in the mirror before leaving the house. Denise Huxtable, however, has proven that no matter how outrageous her outfit or hairstyle may be, she still looks good. How that’s possible, I’m not sure, but it is.

I would watch the show religiously and sketch down her outfits and try and copy her hair (still not sure if I should share that one photo). I remember hunting down an oversized tee, tied a knot to the side (more so to prevent myself from tripping than creating a style statement, if I’m being completely truthful) and wore it as a long tank dress (aka a jersey maxi these days, talk about precursors), over which draped a bunch of white plastic pearls around my neck that hung down to my knees., I thought I was the business, y’all.

The layering and the maximalism and the general refusal to toe the sartorial line aside, if you pay close enough attention, there’s a through-line of unbridled creativity.  An incredible attention to how eloquently we can speak through what we wear, a tool (I firmly believe) beautifully perfected by the late Princess Di (perhaps the most articulate of us all when it comes to speaking the language of fashion).

And that’s how I approach clothing and fashion in general.

Often with the preface of, “What else can I create with this?”

And always with, “How far can I push this?“.

Therefore, you can imagine where my mind instantly went to when Jennie announced that our theme for May would be Style Icons.  I was THRILLED.  I knew immediately that I wanted to really identify the muses behind my aesthetics. I mean, we all know I worship Gwen Stefani but did you know that both David Bowie as well as Prince have prominent seats upon my tabernacle of style?  These three influence the way I dress to such a large extent BUT distilling it even further, I knew without a doubt that Denise Huxtable was it.  My very first (and strongest) style icon.  And to this day, I continue to have very clear references and odes to the way Lisa Bonet styled the character throughout all those seasons.

And so, without further ado, my photos and my style icon since I was 11 years old.

And those of my fellow fabulous friends.

Jennie, A Pocketful Of Polka Dots

Jennie | A Pocketful Of Polka DotsJennie | A Pocketful Of Polka Dots

I wasn’t surprised at all when Jennie picked Audrey Hepburn as her style icon.  That timeless vibe.  A slight touch of tomboyish charm.  Elegant but still (always) playful and graceful.  An LBD was the perfect choice especially with those adorable floral court shoes, the iconic pearls, oversized sunnies and, ooh lordy, that bubblegum.  Well done, Jennie, well done.

Suzy, Suzy Turner

Suzy | Suzy TurnerSuzy | Suzy Turner

I intentionally positioned Jennie and Suzy’s outfits sequentially to demonstrate how two amazing women came up with such different looks based off of one same style icon.  While veering more towards the casual Riviera feel, Suzy’s top + pants garment exudes sophistication, ease, and infinite charm.  I think she’s beautifully captured that gamine mood.

Shelbee, Shelbee On The Edge

Shelbee | Shelbee On The EdgeShelbee | Shelbee On The Edge

No hollaback girl is my girl Shelbee!!!  She walks the walk and talks the talk, on just about every topic under the sky, and where fashion is concerned, is as maverick as they come.  Resplendent boho garbs one day, dominatrix full tilt the next, complete with hosiery and whip (ok, so the whip hasn’t made an appearance on her blog, yet). Today, she’s going glam rock n roll punk without batting an eyelid and doing it SO DAMN WELL.

Daenel, Living Outside The Stacks

Daenel | Living Outside The StacksDaenel | Living Outside The Stacks

I feel as though I should’ve seen it coming. That Daenel would channel Nicole Richie because it’s PERFECT for her. That easy, breezy laidback yet polished approach to layering. Pairing the slightly oversized with the form-fittting. The earthy tones. The headwraps.  Such a beautiful palette made even more striking with the rich texture of her kimono.  I adore how her jeans infuse a fresh, wearable everyday element.

Now join me in welcoming (and thanking) Sherry, our guest blogger for this month. I know her best for the amazing outfits she creates by era.  There is such thought and research which goes into everything she’s shared on her blog, such beautifully curated looks that leave me in awe. I am ever so happy to have her here, joining us this month, for my turn, and the fact that she chose Cyndi Lauper as her style icon is perfect testimony to how we must all view fashion as something to have fun with and to play dress up in and to take over the world.

Sherry, Petite Over 40

Sherry | Petite Over 40Sherry | Petite Over 40

And then there’s me.

A grownup version of Denise.  With heels (has anyone ever seen her wear heels on the show, by the way?).  And tattoos (although she got hers later in life).

Viva la Denise.

Tuxedo Stripe Blazer & Grey Beret (Agaci) | Plaid Canvas Joggers (Forever 21) | Bowie Concert Tee Shirt (thrifted) | Yellow Leather Cuff (Unearthed) | White Hospital ID Cuff (Jean Paul Gaultier) | Starburst Ring (Kate Spade) | Heels (JustFAB)

Please tell me, who’s YOUR style icon?

Or do you have several?

Have these changed to reflect the different stages in your life?

Until next time friends, have a good one.


Love, Sheela

p/s I link up here.

Matching Florals With Plaid

Pattern mixing galore.

Pairing seemingly disparate motifs.


I’ve come a long way from being petrified of the mere mention of prints.

There was a time when putting even a speck of red into an all Black garment meant utter chaos and disruption, let alone introducing anything remotely non solid into my outfit.   Even on those rare occasions when I was neither in Ebony nor Ivory, I would still pick one single block of colour to showcase.  I mean, I was perfectly comfortable with shine and glitz and colour on hair and/or lips (or on my feet) but somehow, on the body, it was just. not. me. 


When I began my foray into the world of patterns, I (naturally) began with my beloved B&W.

Sheela Goh | Sheela WritesSheela Goh | Sheela WritesSheela Goh | Sheela Writes

Cautiously, ever so cautiously, I ventured into two prints.  Just two.  Subtle ones.  Nothing too clashing, same family (or same colour story).  I even achieved one allover print.  Or does that not count because it’s, ahem, black with white?

2016 and half of 2017 were very colourless.  From every possible perspective.  And that feeling clearly translated itself into the outfits I put together.  There was barely any oomph let alone vibrancy or spark.  Slivers of rainbows and sunshine started peeking through in June, but slivers still.  Tiny, modest doses which vanished for the rest of the year. 

More than likely coinciding with my mental turmoil with the state of my marriage at the time.

I did, however, end the year with a pop of print!!

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Sigh.  Another lacklustre year wherein lines and prints and patterns did not quite make an appearance in my life.  Save for delicate touches here and here and here.

Accessories, on the other hand, made quite the appearance on this here blog.  Wore a Santa hat.  Even paraded around in my bikini bottoms during Winter (and gave quite a show to the factory workers across the fence, quite unintentionally, shrug).

Like before, I ended the year with a loud splash of patterns.

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(don’t mind Michael, he’s making a guest appearance on the blog today)

I began 2019 with a bang.

Pairing florals with florals, and plaid with camo (and unicorns thrown in for good measure).  Ooh twice apparently.  Saying it loud and proud just last month with that god-challenging print known as zebra matched alongside stripes.

So when Mary of Curly Byrdie proclaimed florals + plaid for March, I stayed calm and nonplussed and, frankly, excited.  How things have changed, huh.  What once would have completely thrown me into a flurry of fear no longer does that.  Quite the opposite actually.  Isn’t that how life is in general though? 

Shall we now take a walk in the flower garden?  And see what my fab ladies served up?

Mary, Curly Byrdie Chirps

Mary | Curly Byrdie Chirps

What a fabulous find, Mary, that coat is.  Pretty plaid with flirty florals all rolled into one glorious concoction, made even more stunning with that dress and those gold heels.  My heart.

Suzy, Suzy Turner

Suzy | Suzy Turner

This is most definitely a classic rendition of flowers with plaid, if such a term ever existed for the combo, and Suzy makes it look so effortless classy.  Especially with that scarf.

Jennie, A Pocketful Of Polka Dots

Jennie | A Pocketful of Polka Dots

Jennie looks damn badass and cool, with that delicate floral kimono duster speaking volumes about femininity, and those contrasting plaid trousers.  See the peak of polka dots too??

Shelbee, Shelbee On The Edge

Shelbee | Shelbee On The Edge

My miniskirt twin!!  A gorgeous blend of two different plaids (genius) beautifully offset with that crisp white shirt and then a touch of girly glam comes through in those darling boots.

Daenel, Living Outside The Stacks

Daenel | Living Outside The Stacks

The queen of delicate touches.  Daenel does it again with darling hints of the month’s theme, this time on her pretty ballet flats.  Note the plaid and flower combination.  So charming.

And then there’s me.  I had loads of fun with this one.  Clearly.  I wanted to challenge myself with creating nuances here and there to reflect the theme and that’s why if you peer a little closer, you’ll see that I’m wearing a sheer, chiffon floral bodysuit under my floral dolman sleeve top.  And that there are flowers embroidered on my newsboy cap too.  Truthfully, I really did mean to wear my plaid booties to finish the look but I couldn’t find them that day.  Sigh.

Sheela Goh | Sheela Writes

Rose Dolman Sleeved Top (tiny boutique in Schulenburg) | Floral Chiffon Bodysuit & Embroidered Rose Cap (Forever 21) | Gen Plaid Mini Skirt (thrifted) | Red Leather Cuff (Unearthed) | Snake Ring (Taylor Swift) | Ankle Booties (Bakers)

Have we somehow inspired you to look at florals and/or plaid differently?  Which of these looks would you go for?  Are you a floral on floral sort of woman?  Or does combining different types of plaids together get you all giddy with excitement?

Until next time friends, have a good one.


Love, Sheela

p/s I link up here.


Denim Dreams

Denim, Denim,

Wherefore art thou?


Do you belong in the workplace?

These days, that’d be an emphatic affirmative, I’m certain.  Regardless of the nature of what you do, and the environment of your workplace.  Be it on a daily basis or as part of Casual Friday attire, denim definitely has a place in your working wardrobe.  And isn’t that a lovely thing?  Yes, even for someone like me who discovered blue jeans very late in life (hey, I’m making up for lost time as we speak, case in point, this post).

And so, when Debbie and I began chatting about working together (the last time, it was a trifecta of velvet goodness), we decided on good ole jeans.

As is often the case, my mind immediately leapt to several points of irony.

Once upon a time (4 years ago, to be precise), I posted an anti-denim project (with Ann) which, soon enough, paved the way for denim to be seen here but conservatively, i.e., heels.  That, in turn, opened the door for this sighting and another here.

Since then, denim (in all its renditions) have made quite the regular appearance in my outfits (here, here, also here and here, here, and here).

Which is why, when Debbie and I agreed upon jeans, I was determined to find a way to wear my pair with as many unexpected elements as I possibly could.  To make as different a statement in denim as I possibly could.  Hence the varied textures (soft silk + buttery smooth leather + heavy plaid) and jeans tucked into, hurray, embroidered denim booties.  Visual as well as tactile impact.

I believe I achieved just that but guess what?  So too my cool, fierce friend.

Why, we ended up just about twinning.  And I love that.

Take a look for yourself.

Never before, in the course of collaborating with someone, have our looks turned out with such similarities!!!  And not once did we share what we were planning.  Nary a hint.  Has that ever happened to you?  I mean, I’ve done plenty a project with Jodie, worked with Patti and Linda and, of course, Eve, but to witness the sartorial styles of all collaborators crossing paths in such synchronicity?

What a visual treat.

One I hope you’ll enjoy as much as we did, putting it together.  Which, I wonder, is the look you’d want to wear most?

Come back next week when I’ll have yet another something to share.


Love, Sheela

I link up here.

Lord Animal Print, Meet Lady Neon

Staying grounded.

How does one do that these days?


A shared insight on one of Deb’s Instagram posts sparked an entire conversation around the topic of grounded.  Staying grounded.  How we strive to attain it in this mad, mad world.  What it means to each of us which, by the way, has had me pondering.  What does staying grounded even mean to me?  I know I use the phrase on occasion.  I’ve heard it spoken around me many a time and am (always) guilty of nodding my head in acquiescence without once asking the one who mouthed those words, what staying grounded really meant to them.

Are we talking about being spiritually grounded?  You know, all that warm, fuzzy feeling around the campfire (can you tell I’m a bit of a cynic?)?  Or being emotionally grounded (levelheaded, humble)?  Or are speaking in terms of experience, education, knowledge?  Lord.  So much to soak in.

Today, I choose to focus on living a grounded life, staying in touch with my emotions and thoughts, and, well, being as present in the moment as I possibly can.  The question is how does that translate into actionable steps I can take on a daily basis?

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I’ve broken down what I feel I can realistically do.

1. Live simply and live deliberately.  By choosing to do my part to slow down the rat race.  By choosing to spend more time to enjoy being alive.

2. Staying in touch with myself.  Some soul searching, meditation, and journaling.  Staying aware and learning as much as I can about my emotions, reactions, likes, dislikes, dreams, and fears.  Working towards gaining a solid sense of self.

3. Support others as often as I can.  Form connections with people.  No (wo)man is an island and all that is really rather true.  There’s being alone and there’s being alone, as most of us know.

4. Be judicious about what I read, see, listen.  The media bombards us with visions of hate and pain, biasedness and intolerance.  I must choose what I will allow into my being.

5. Acknowledge the beauty that resides around me.  No matter where I call home, beauty exists in every corner, just waiting to be discovered.

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6. Nurture my ties to my tribe (or tribes).  Be part of a circle. Its members will be a source of support, caring, guidance, and companionship in a world which can often seem isolating.

7. See the larger picture. Widen my perspective and remember that the way I choose to live is not the only way to live.

8. Embrace the challenges that life presents to me, and challenge myself often.  To never stop learning and absorbing knowledge, experiences, adventures.

9. Move my body.  It is oh too easy to be sedentary these days. Movement reacquaints me with my body, and connects me to it in a visceral way.

10. Make time for stillness, silence, solitude.  To reacquaint myself with my mind and thoughts.

I think 10 items is a decent, doable number 🙂

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On a much lighter (and far more random but not so random) thought, the Fab 40s.  This month, it was my turn (hurray!!).  I knew from as early on as last November that I wanted to invite alumni member Sam to be my guest blogger when February 2019 swung around.  And I did, shot her an email and all that, and was thrilled to bits when her response came back as a resounding yes!!!  

Being the gracious hostess that I was (ha, as if, I’m such an antisocial person GRIN), I asked Sam to pick the theme for this month and when she replied with, “Let’s do Spring 2019 Trends Zebra.  Or Neon.  Or both?“, I swear, my jaw dropped so low I could’ve built a railway track to the underworld.  After a spurt of sputtering and gasping, I asked if we could perhaps have a wee bit of middle ground?  That perhaps we could make it any animal print, because I honestly don’t think many of us have abstract brush stroke-like patterned items of clothing that are zebra print garments lurking in the confines of our closets.

And that’s how it came to be. 

The theme for this month. 

L O R D    A N I M A L    M E E T S    L A D Y    N E O N

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I confess, I did go out and purchase this neon number adorning the top half of my body but you must understand, I do not own a single neon item at all.  I’ve always shied away from that particular palette because I’ve been convinced it does absolutely nothing for my colouring save make me look like Grace Jones without makeup.  Everything else, I thrifted (so proud).

But enough of me.

Let’s begin the animal parade, shall we?  Don’t forget to put on your sunnies first.  I slay me.

Suzy, Suzy Turner

Suzy Turner | Pixie Chick in Portugal

Subdued isn’t the word I’d use, Suzy, I think you mean classy.  Not many of us would consider animal print as being something to be worn during the day, even lesser the number who’d pick neon + animal print, and pull them off together effortlessly as you have.  I adore your interpretation of this month’s theme and how you’ve made two very stroke accents work harmoniously together in something very pared down and wearable.

Jennie, A Pocketful Of Polka Dots

Jennie Lam | A Pocketful of Polka Dots

I knew there’d be something pink in Jennie’s outfit, I just knew it.  What I wasn’t expecting (which was silly of me given how she completely outdoes herself with each theme) was for an outfit that exuded such a polished, preppy vibe.  Clearly those adjectives aren’t typically what you’d associate with neither animal print nor neon!!!  But that she did, pairing a statement blazer with sleek top and well-cut pants, adding pops of bubblegum pink along the way.

Shelbee, Shelbee On The Edge

Shelbee | Shelbee On The Edge

I always expect the unexpected from Shelbee, especially this month, given the curve ball nature of the theme I’d chosen (profanities abounded on your end too, huh LOL), and she did not disappoint.  Serving up a buffet of saucy neon appetisers to whet the appetite for a sumptuous offering of exotic animal prints.  Love all that, love even more the adventures you traipsed through to create this look.  You’re welcomed GRIN

Daenel, Living Outside The Stacks

Daenel | Living Outside The Stacks

I was most curious to see how Daenel would go about tackling this theme.  Prior months have witnessed her adapt with a deft hand, artfully steering themes into her style, with panache but you know, animal print + neon is rather a different beast of its own.  Hasn’t she done it with absolute ease?  A bright splash of luminosity in her sweater, tempered with classic denim (such a signature piece) and then touches of the wild side with those pretty flats.  Bravo.

Now meet Sam (for those of you who don’t already know the inimitable Ms Fake and Fabulous).  She is, to me, a walking rainbow, with a matching spirited disposition.  An icon of all hues vivid and bright, both personality-wise and sartorially-speaking.  The patron saint of pattern mixology.  And my comrade in arms when it comes to saying it loudly, and most proudly.  I am ever so happy to have her here, joining us this month, for my turn, and I am even more happy that her outfit is such an authentic rendition of who she is as a strong, confident, sexy woman who wears what she enjoys.

Sam, Fake & Fabulous

Samantha Blair | Fake & Fabulous

And then there’s me.

Truthfully, this was hard AF for me too!!  But isn’t that the point?  To come up with something that would challenge us beyond anything we expected, in the most fun and tribe-bonding fashion possible???  I do feel sorry that some of us had to go out and buy stuff (I am contrite, I swear I am) but I feel that everyone had loads of fun putting their bits together in this delightfully naughty encounter which has Lord Animal meeting Lady Neon (think Lady Chatterly’s Lover, or Lord Byron), and both absolutely fawning over each other.

Sheela Goh | Sheela Writes Blog

Bright Lights, Big City, Neon Jacket (New York & Co) | Studded Navy & White Tank (Poshmark) | Zebra Print Palazzo Pants (worn tucked in, thanks to babe for the idea, and for the green zebra print bracelet, who knew, right?), Studded White Ankle Booties & Striped B&W Newsboy Cap (all thrifted) | Pink & Blue Bracelets (What Would V Wear)

I must also confess that I almost went super tongue-in-cheek rogue with a skirt that had teeny tiny zebras in a cute print, but I refrained.  I figured that staying grounded also translated into staying true to my style aesthetics, and having zebras prancing all over my hemline wasn’t quite authentically me.

That thought did create a new one (you know me) which was this – just how much does how we dress, what we wear, influence or impact upon how we stay grounded?

Until tomorrow then, when I have a special project with my fab fierce friend, Debbie.


Love, Sheela

p/s I link up here.

Decades Of Style & Fashion

40s, 50s, 60s?

Which One Spells You?


Lately my mind has been preoccupied with the concept of courage.  Daring to do things I normally wouldn’t because I’d be too afraid.  Be it something as rudimentary as swapping signature red for a softer pink on the lips, or walking up to a complete stranger at an event and saying, “Hello!! I’m Sheela, what’s your name?”.

Admittedly, accompanying that heady rush of adrenaline (aka bravado) is an equally powerful sense of nausea and wanting to throw up but still, courage and being courageous have been taking over my heart, mind and spirit these days.

The courage to speak my mind when I feel my needs are not being met or when I believe my opinions are not being heard.  Courage to reach out and ask for something I know I deserve and am fully capable of helping it realise its full potential.  And no longer allowing society to dictate whether I can or cannot based on some unfathomable parameters. 

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Most of all, the courage to recognise fear but refusing to let it cripple me, and hold me back.

Are you on that same path?

Keeping your chin up, above water level so you’re continuing to breathe even as you cautiously step forward into the deep end?

Isn’t it the scariest, most exhilarating thing you’ve ever done though?

E Q U A L    P A R T S    N A U S E A    A N D    B U T T E R F L I E S

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Afraid that you may be making the wrong choices.  Afraid you’ll fail.  Afraid that you aren’t going to make it?  That you’re just not enough?

When was the last time you told yourself you were enough?  That you are brave and fearless and fierce.  That you are mistress of your own destiny and that you (and you alone) gets to decide which turn to take at every crossroad.  Or not.

When was the last time you told yourself you were enough and that the world is yours to conquer?  That you have every right to live the very best life you can, with no apologies.  To walk boldly and ferociously, with pride and conviction.

When was the last time you told yourself you were enough?

That in spite of being broken and bruised, you are (and will always be) beautiful and perfectly imperfect in every possible way, shape and form. That you wear your scars like badges of honour.

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When you finally realise it’s time to let go and love yourself with all the strength and passion bursting from within every single beat of your heart?

When you believe that you are truly are so much more than you know?

When was the last time you told yourself you were enough and that the world is yours to conquer?  That you have every right to live the very best life you can, with no apologies.  To walk boldly and ferociously, with pride and conviction.

When was the last time you told yourself you were enough?

That moment is here, the time is now.

Sheela | Sheela WritesSheela | Sheela WritesSheela | Sheela Writes

I held close to that thought process when I put together my look for #thefab40s last week, the theme being “favourite decade in fashion” as chosen by Daenel

I knew I wanted to be brave, so to speak, and take a nose dive straight into the decade which has always been my go to for inspiration, and aspiration, and muses.  The 90s. 

To not be afraid to just do what I wanted, go wild with mixing different types of prints and textures and shapes.  To go braless (although it’s completely not evident LOL), why yes, taking ownership and responsibility that this is my body, and mine alone to showcase as I desire. 

Essentially, to be courageous and boldly go where I’ve never ventured before in terms of celebrating the 90s and all its eccentric, flamboyant sartorial wonderfulness.

Sheela | Sheela WritesSheela | Sheela WritesSheela | Sheela Writes

So thank you, Daenel for being the catalyst behind this epiphany of mine.

Onward and forward to what we’re doing collectively today, and that is to highlight an outfit inspired by a particular decade in fashion which has proved influential upon our aesthetics.  That one era which has left an unforgettable stamp on how we view garments, and how, consequently, we assemble them into outfits most reflective of who we are as fierce, fashionable females.

Allow me to begin with the purveyor of this month’s theme, Daenel.

Daenel, Living Outside The Stacks

Daenel | Living Outside The Stacks

If you, like me, have come to associate her style aesthetics with being a somewhat gothic interpretation of bohemian then I firmly believe you we have struck the nail on its head where Daenel is concerned.  Whilst this outfit of hers is inspired by the 50s with the silhouette and those Mary Janes, it’s that dark yet utterly feminine palette which beckons me so.  Charming but decidedly not Stepford wife girlish.

Suzy, Suzy Turner

Suzy | Pixie Chick in Portugal

Woman, you conquered this month’s theme.  You really did, with your fresh take on the 40s.  First of all, those colours (googly eyes).  They could’ve so easily gone Yuletide couture (or Halloween) but you artfully (and successfully) circumvented that cliche with a contrasting print pussy bow blouse and neutral bag.  I am so enthused over those palazzo pants to be honest, like seriously infatuated with them.

Jennie, A Pocketful Of Polka Dots

Jennie | A Pocketful of Polka Dots

No prizes for guessing which era takes Jennie’s cake (psst, it’s the 50s) with that body-hugging dress (wiggle, wiggle) and cardigan.  It’s clearly a time when womanly curves were celebrated with gusto and aplomb (and rightly so), when snug pencil skirts made for swaying hips, and the pointiest of heels created unforgettable impressions when she left the room.  You look amazing, my friend, this is most definitely your time.

Shelbee, Shelbee On The Edge

Shelbee | Shelbee On The Edge

There’s something about the 60s being free spirited that thoroughly spells Shelbee.  Out of all the styles I’ve seen her experiment with, this is probably my fave (ok, pin-up doll as well).  Her exuberance for life is beautifully expressed in the loud graphic print of that mod dress and them decidedly groovy fuchsia tights.  Then that fuzzy wonderland of a coat with its slightly exaggerated silhouette makes for the perfect bodacious touch.

Mary, Curlybyrdie Chirps

Mary | Curlybyrdie Chirps

Somehow, I did not think Mary would be picking the 70s as her time.  I had envisioned the 40s for her, you know, those hourglass peplum suits and pencil skirts.  Isn’t that the hallmark of a truly stylish woman though?  Constantly surprising everyone with her sartorial picks?  I adore everything on this woman’s body today, so many tiny little accents and details which instantly elevate Mary’s outfit from protestor to influencer. 

And then there’s me.

I don’t think the decade I chose came as much of a surprise to anyone, really GRIN

It’s Polished Punk for me this month.  Specifically, punk and rock n roll, with a healthy dose of ladylike badass boardroom babe (well, that was a mouthful). 

Sheela | Sheela Writes

Beaded & Embroidered Leather Jacket (Pinko) | Bustier Tulle Dress (Handmade) | White Blouse (Forever21) | Leather Boots (Bakers) | Rings (House of Harlow) | Belt (borrowed from boyfriend) | Beer Bottle (randomly found prop seen in other shots)

Tell me, which decade of fashion speaks to you most?

Which era is your utter fave?

Until the next post, I LOVES YOU.


Love, Sheela

p/s I link up here.


Now I’m ready,

To be extraordinary.



What do you do to turn the ordinary little things into extraordinary amazing things?  By that I don’t mean something divine or perched upon a lofty pedestal.  What I mean is that we need to take the time to see within the ordinary, its capacity to be a precious thing.  Something utterly extraordinary.  A gift.

Steering away from telling ourselves to strive for extraordinary lives.  That we can only be happy, only feel fulfilled if we lead extraordinary lives for while that might seem aspirational (admirable perhaps), it can also be rather lofty and fraught with unrealistic idealism.  All of which could very well be the path to setting ourselves up for disappointment.

Instead, we should be seeking to find the joy and marvel in living an ordinary, normal life.  Once we do that, the most mundane of things (nondescript even) will pulsate and come alive with magic and wonder.  The extraordinary will happen on its own then.

Take for instance the act of baking.

With Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s Eve just passed, there have been (far too) many scenarios wherein pulling out the ole mixer, bags of flour as well as sugar, eggs and butter have been called for.  Now, I adore baking up a storm but when you need to do it on a weekly basis (and in the instance of the 25th and the 31st, a mere six days), it gets very tiring very quickly.  In fact, it escalates into being a chore faster than you could measure a tbsp of vanilla.

I exaggerate but you know what I mean.  So, in order to turn this going-from-ordinary-to-killer-mundane activity into something extraordinary, I shared it with the people I love namely Eve and Michael.  In every possible way.  And by that I mean that essentially we baked an entire flourless chocolate cake together.

Perhaps assemble would be a more apt description.  Regardless, we each took ownership of one aspect of the cake-making process, enjoying every little aspect of it from melting butter with bitter chocolate (Eve claiming that she used her fire power to accomplish this) to Michael (gallantly) separating white from yolk, to my gently folding in the (almost flailing) meringue.

It was SO MUCH DAMN fun.

Rediscovering the joys of baking.

Making the ordinary come alive.

Letting the extraordinary happen.

Does that make sense?

As is the case with this photo shoot.

Allowing myself to really be in the moment with Eve, and thoroughly enjoy what we were doing.  The cold (it was 1 Celsius that day in Brenham).  The blustery wind (I’m certain we flashed quite a number of the townsfolk).  The giggles (I always ALWAYS have fun with mah boo but sometimes I get so caught up in documenting our time together that I forget to be truly present) (this time, however, I put my phone away).

My hope in sharing this story with you is to inspire you to sift through life, work, business, to identify what society would deem as the mundane, and then I challenge you to shift your perception of these ordinary acts.  Change your perception and change this “ordinary” activity into an “extraordinary” experience.

One that you will remember cherish for the rest of your life.

They don’t have to be complicated, or arduous.

Like reading a book out loud (Eve and I used to do this all the time, changing our voices and enacting roles, I need to start this again), or watching a music video together (we love you, Adam Lambert) (or TV show, we adore Once Upon A Time and Say Yes To The Dress).  Singing (or rather she sang, I cackled).  Car rides (we’d just drive around the neighbourhood with music blasting, or not, fly over the road bumps for the fun of it, and laugh hysterically).

Just simple things.

A final parting thought.

Imagine the freedom you will experience once you are able to shift those perceptions, and see the world through different tinted lenses.  Imagine how fulfilled your soul would be.

And I leave you with these words, “Extraordinary magic is woven through ordinary life. Look around!

Yes, look around indeed.


Love, Sheela

I link up here.