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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

roses are red, violets are blue ...

but dear colour red, i'm scared of you!

as a truly mediterranean woman, red could possibly be my go-to colour for all seasons.  my dark hair and eyes together with my light olive skin should provide a perfect background to a daring red dress. as the colour of passion, it goes hand in hand with our more expansive way of expressing our emotions.  it is attention grabbing, hence it being used in warning or stop signs across the globe.  it is among the top three favourite colours of all people.

but not mine. i tend to steer very clear of most things red.

the thing is, not all reds are the same.  reds come with either a yellow base, suiting those with a warmer complexion; or with a blue base, suiting those with a cooler complexion.  think tomatoes versus cherries to get the gist.  this colour spectrum also helps:

see how half of the spectrum is made up of colours which could fall under the notion of red; and yet, those on the 'blue' side appear cooler than those on the 'yellow' side.

my fear of red has been something that i've battled with for as long as i can remember.  mind you, i've always wanted to have the body and audacity to command a party with a body-con red dress, and the attitude to go with it.  but i can't seem to find it in me.  because red needs the right attitude to be carried off well.  you can't possibly be meek or shy away from the limelight in a red dress.

and what happens when more than one woman wears the same red dress in a sea of corporate greiges? 

truth be said, i've skirted around the colour red by going for deeper shades most of the time, somewhat sticking to my comfort zone. over the years, i've owned very few red items, the majority of which would have been in the form of an accessory or cosmetic, but hardly ever a block red dress or top - breton stripes maybe, hints of red in a floral pattern possibly, but never as a block colour alone.

the colour red seems to make a comeback on catwalks every year: the resort or spring/summer collections tend to use it to spice up nautical inspired outfits; while fall/winter collections use it to its full dramatic effect in meticulously ornamented or structured gowns. could red possibly
be as ubiquitous or 'safe' as black? i'm not sure.

what i know is, that i want to overcome this fear of red.  i've already invested in yet another red lip colour (could i have finally found the right shade!?) and my last bag purchase was a red tote (ok it has cow-hide side panels, but it's mostly red) so maybe i am on the right track ...

here's a few picks ranging from head-to-toe red for the brave and accessories for those who are still toeing the line like yours truly. 
Published with Monogram

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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

confession #000076

... or, beards please

i have consciously excluded any punctuation marks from this post's subtitle 'beards please'.  punctuation is so crucial these days, especially in social media where something read not as the writer intended can easily be misconstrued.  anyway.  anyone who sat for intermediate philosophy back in my days will remember that quip "time flies!"/"i can't they're too fast" which haunted us with reflections on whether we should look at 'time' as the noun or the verb.

model josh dane
my pretentious "beards please" follows this line of thought, sort of.  you can choose your own way of reading this: "beards? please!" with a certain disgust laid on the "please" or alternately by placing some glee in the "please".  or you can read it as a statement - a fact - much as i do.  because yes, beards please me very very much, thank you.
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Monday, 29 July 2013

autumn 2013 mood board

the temperatures may be soaring but my mind and heart are already a-flutter for the warm jewel tones characteristic of autumn collections.  

luxurious patterns and textures, subtly shiny materials and for once in my life, i'm craving animal prints! mind you, i'm favouring cow hide and python over the ubiquitous and dubious leopard print.  oversized necklaces and earrings and dramatic, somewhat 60s inspired hair and make-up complement the more minimalist looks i'm lusting after for daytime chic. 

check out my pinterest mood board for some inspiration ... and keep checking back as i add more loveliness to it! enjoy xx

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Saturday, 27 July 2013

confession #000075

... or, i am not a souvenir (but you will remember me)

this year is going to be my year of big emotions, artistically speaking.  starting the year with an andy warhol retrospective, whimsically flying off to london for the roy lichtenstein retrospective and now yesterday coming face to face with a banksy here in krakow.  i think there is only so much more my heart can take.  (oh, yes, there is keith haring at the musee d'art moderne in paris, but i'm afraid i have to give that a miss.)

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Friday, 26 July 2013

skinny eats #000001

being on a diet, it is sometimes difficult to come up with filling, delicious recipes which fit into the allocated calorific intake.  this has sort of been my mission for a very long time and seeing as this blog is partly dedicated to food (and my dieting hits and misses), i'm going to start sharing recipes of various meals every now and again.

today i feel like patting myself on my back for this concoction.  it's really simple to put together and perfect for summertime ... and, wait for it ... it's less than 200 calories! how's that for a light, yet filling lunch or dinner? it also follows the food combining rules i mentioned last time and it's suitable for vegetarians.

the ingredients are listed in the image below, together with their indicative respective calorific value. this is a screen shot of my personal myfitnesspal account.

as you can see from the numbers on the top of the screen, i can see how i'm faring against my goals at every moment of the day, including how many calories i've left for snacks and dinner - it's friday so i'll be out and about soon and i made it a point to leave a good share of my calories for dining out.

all i did was grill the aubergines, zucchini and peppers and layered these with chopped cherry tomatoes, creating a sort of vegetarian lasagna tower kind of structure.  i fancied myself a michelin 5* chef today so i glammed up the serving plate with a drizzle of balsamic glaze.  i sprinkled the chopped sun-dried tomatoes randomly across the plate while i placed the cucumber, olives and ricotta in a pretty way to make it more appetising. oh, of course, a sprig of mint just had to be included to finish things off!

so here's what the finished dish looks like ...

will you be giving this a try? do you have any skinny meals you'd like to share? let me know xx

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Tuesday, 23 July 2013

confession #000074

... or, let the magic begin

as you may remember from yesterday's post, i've decided (once again) to re-commit myself to my diet and fitness regime. in order to do this successfully, i felt i needed to look into the bag of tricks which had previously worked when i could - not long ago - actually wear a size 6.

i'm going to list these little tricks, both as a memo to self and also for you dear readers in case you find them useful should you also be embarking on or currently on a diet.  so here goes:

track it!

control is something that i find most important when dieting, so every single piece of food or drink that goes in my mouth goes down on a list first.  previously i used to jot down everything on a notebook and carry a calorie list with me wherever i went.  luckily, with apps like myfitnesspal and caloriecount, those days are gone.  their databases are incredibly updated and you can also add local products which the more american / continental markets wouldn't have.

work it!

exercise, exercise, exercise! now, i am not a fitness-freak.  lord knows i can't run for five minutes without gasping for life half way through.  but this is a time to say 'stuff it' and run - or jog, or walk, or box, or spin, or whatever your fitness drug is.  what's crucial is not to go in at the deep end straight away, but ease into it with some light cardio and then build up the exercise as your resistance and stamina levels increase.

plan it!

you can't play diets by the ear.  you have to meticulously plan what you're going to eat and how and when for it to be a success.  if for instance you know that you have a dinner at the weekend, plan a couple of light days before so that you can then enjoy the meal and not feel like an outsider.  also, if your culinary outing is at one of the global franchises, chances are you'll find their menus on the apps mentioned above and you can plan ahead even your calorie / fat intake and work the day around that.

box it! 

this goes hand in hand with planning.  if you're the type who leaves the workday lunch to chance, depending on what the cafe / bar next door to the office has on the day, you're just not going to manage.  take some time extra in the evening or early morning if possible and prepare a packed lunch. this is the only way in which you can be sure that the onions were sauteed in spray-oil not butter, that the mayonnaise is really light / low-fat and that all the fat has been trimmed off the chicken / bacon etc etc.  it may be a little extra work, but it will be worth it at the end.

play it!

keep yourself motivated and active through music.  whenever you're working out, listen to music which you enjoy and which inspires you to move about.  i'm not a big fan of r'n'b and clubbing music, but if i were to listen to alt-j, young the giant, the xx or arctic fire while working out, i'd probably not get much done.  this is pretty much what i listen to when i want to move about - even if i'm not doing any physical activity ... it helps as a little 'pick me up'.

combine it!

a few years back i had come across the hay diet or food combining diet which (in very simple terms) advises to avoid mixing carbs and proteins in the same meal because of the different way in which the body processes these two substances.  hence, in a nutshell, a greek salad (feta, salad leaves, onions, tomatoes, olives, peppers) would be fine but not a greek salad pita.  the minute you include the carb (pita) with the feta (protein), you'll have a little war going on in your stomach, leading to bloating and bad digestion.  admittedly, it takes a bit of time to get used, but once it becomes part of the routine, it is actually a pretty nifty eating system.

aim (at) it!

keep your eyes fixed on the goal, be it a special occasion - a wedding, a graduation, an anniversary - or a dress or pair of jeans you want to fit in, and don't let anything or anyone distract you from achieving that goal. you are stronger than all the temptations and excuses that will most certainly pop up, trying to veer you off your track.  this is your time to shine, and shine you will!

i hope you enjoyed this post; however, before i leave you i want to give you a word of warning: i am neither a dietician nor a doctor nor a physical instructor.  all of the above is based on what has / has not worked for me over the last 20 years or so of on and off dieting and exercising.  and therefore, before you decide to start any dieting or fitness regime, i urge you to please seek medical and nutritional consultation. there's nothing more harmful than following fad diets found on those intrusive online adverts or read about on celebrity magazines.  everyone is different and what works for one person, may not work for another.  so please take care of yourselves and seek creditable information before you try anything new.

keep well xx

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Monday, 22 July 2013

confession #000073

... or, mondays should be renamed diet days 

it's the start of a new week, and with every start of a new week comes the start of a new diet. or, at least, the renewed efforts of dieting, unequivocally triggered by guilt-trips from the weekend's binge. show of hands all those who are in the same place as i am! 

following my return to krakow last wednesday for my last month here (excuse me while i start the waterworks again) it's been a bit of a whirlwind time trying to catch up with all that there is to do or see in this city before i leave, while at the same time playing tour guide to a friend visiting from the motherland. this has somewhat wrecked havoc with the dieting efforts i sort of managed to keep while i was in malta. lunching and dining out most of these days, i couldn't calculate the number of calories or grams of fat i was ingesting. in all fairness, i could have controlled my choices: a greek salad would have been a wiser option than a zapiekanka ... but then again, i'll have to wait till my october holiday here to enjoy one again.  carpe diem and all that.
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Sunday, 21 July 2013

confession #000072

... or, time travelling is hard work

remember how yesterday i was debating whether or not to give my newly bought skort its first outing ... and if so how i would wear it? well, i actually did, even though i feel i do need a bit more practice in styling skorts to their best potential.

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Saturday, 20 July 2013

to skort or not to skort ...

to skort or not to skort

to skort or not to skort by tikkamars featuring velcro boots

i've finally succumbed to buying the zara skort which has been making the rounds of so many fashion bloggers around the world. the only problem is, with all my body issues, am i ready to make this a staple of my wardrobe? just before i start the day (where i planned on wearing the new skort), i'm trying to decide whether to actually skort or not with the help of polyvore and what do you think of the two options above?

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Thursday, 18 July 2013

confession #000071

... or, d is for drama

like most other maltese compatriots, there seems to be some sicilian blood running through my veins dating way over a hundred years back.  my surname is a bit of a give-away. as are the genealogy trees that my grandfather used to meticulously draw up with his blue, green, black and red staedtler pens and blue-green-black-red stained ruler.  so naturally, i'm a bit of a drama queen, i can be very loud, and i gesticulate quite a bit... a true mediterranean, you can say.

so naturally, when i saw dolce&gabbana's fall/winter 2013-2014 show a few months back and accompanying campaign, i somewhat recognised my roots and was immediately enthralled.

while the whole collection resounded of mediterranean heritage references, the stand-out pieces for me were definitely the statement cross earrings.  i seriously cannot stop lusting for them.  the pulled back hair with central parting, minimal flicked black eye-liner and plum coloured lips provided the perfect backdrop for the show-stopping pieces.

if crosses are not 'your thing' (or, like me, you're nowhere close to affording the real mccoy!) here's a few pieces available right now at mvintage which equally channel the same drama that dolce&gabbana's pieces bring to the stage.

d is for drama

during my last trip to malta, i got myself the oval pendant earrings featured in the set above from mvintage's kiosk at the point. but don't forget you can buy mvintage items while in your jammies, anywhere in the world as they ship worldwide.

i'm hoping to somewhat recreate the dolce&gabbana look above over the weekend - i made sure to pack my black lace dress to parade around krakow and even double checked it was there, together with the earrings, but still managed to forget my iphone charger! it just goes to show where my priorities lie!

dark drama

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Tuesday, 16 July 2013

spotted: mvintage does pretty little liars!

did i mention i got somewhat, suddenly obsessed with pretty little liars? i'm guilty of inspiring my outfits by the main characters' looks on a daily basis over the last couple of weeks.

most days i'm aria (by far my favourite, and as a petite lass, i can logically relate to her the most).  i have spencer days as well where i go all preppy.  i've yet to have emily days since i'm far from the sporty type (but hopefully that will change as soon as i start hitting the gym.  i will. i have to). occasionally i'm hannah ...
the pretty little liars (l-r): aria, hannah, spencer and emily
... admittedly, she's not my favourite character, and i'm not much in like with her 'popular girl', mostly figure hugging looks.  but i must confess i absolutely loved this outfit from season 4 episode 4.  i've an eye for detail and even though the images don't show them as well as i would have liked to, i simply loved the upside down triangle earrings with jewel detail on her.

imagine my surprise at finding a very close match while browsing the mvintage website! feast your eyes on these beauties!

i love the fact that these earrings are not 'regular' hoops. oh, and of course, me and my obsession with everything triangular does go into my falling head over heels on these gems.  if red is not your colour, you can opt for the blue or green version which are equally drop-dead gorgeous ... or why not have all three? at €9.95, they hardly cost an arm and a leg! me thinks i'm going to get them pretty soon ...

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Thursday, 11 July 2013

confession #000070

... or, i deserve a little break

those of you who may already be following my facebook page may already have come across my apology for not writing much at the moment. 

whenever i'm in malta, it's always a bit difficult to keep up with my blogging commitments  ... i'm always surprised by the amount of errands and "let's meet for a coffee" requests i get whenever i'm round ... mind you, i'm not complaining in the least! luckily, i always manage to make some time for shopping, even though with the shops closing at 7:00/7:30 here, it's not as easily manageable as in krakow where shops close at 10:00pm! 

but again, i'm not going to complain. back in krakow i wouldn't be able to head over to the beach straight after work! the closest communal pool is about 45 minutes tram ride away ... and getting to the beach would set me back about 5 hours by train, and a few hundred złoty ... so to make the most of my stay this time round i'm being (willingly) kidnapped by my parents for a little weekend break. it's a perfect compromise between spending quality time with my old folks and soaking up as much of the longed for sun as i can. 

so, once again dear followers, i'm sorry for not blogging much at the moment but  i promise to be back with a vengeance next week. please do miss me ... i like to think that you enjoy reading this blog as much as i enjoy writing it *wink*! toodles! 

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Monday, 8 July 2013

are you in or out?

read more here: 

Friday, 5 July 2013

confession #000069

... or, mariel and her technicoloured dream coat

i know i've been a bit quiet this week, and i don't want to give the usual excuse of having a lot going on but, well, that's quite what happened.  the mister's birthday celebrations, packing for malta next week, errands and so on and so forth ... oh, and spending every spare second watching pretty little liars.  it's safe to say i'm hooked and i'm kind of ramming four seasons in as little time as possible.  watch out for a post inspired by pll style in the coming days!

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Tuesday, 2 July 2013

confession #000068

... or, i don't think i'm ready for this jelly

let me see a show of hands here:  how many of you wore jelly sandals as kids?  you know, those clear yet colourful plastic sandals which our mums used to make us wear to the beach, to avoid getting hurt if stepping on sea-urchins, sharp rocks or even worse, broken glass from the previous nights' barbecues. how many of us used to have lattice-patterned tan-lines on our feet because of them?

i hated them.  with a passion.

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