3 tips for Incorporating Statement Jewellery into your Life

If you follow my Instagram account, then you’d by know that I’m obsessed with 2 things in my life. Maya and Jewellery.

I have a thing for big bold bright jewellery, and there is never such a thing as too much in my world when accessorizing.

I realize not everyone is as hardcore as me:-

  • When I have to travel I have a special case for my jewellery
  • When there is a jewellery sale my heart starts to palpitate
  • When I know there is a set to the ring I just bought, I go a little crazy and want it all
  • If I cant see it from a mile away I don’t want it
  • When I get dressed I choose my jewellery first
  • I think of jewellery as Art – of which I am an avid collector.

It wasn’t always this way. I remember during the London backpacking days, I wore the tiniest earrings and ring you ever did see. But when you’re living out of a suitcase with not much money to buy new outfits you start searching for ways to improvise. And so my jewellery obsession began.

I found it to be like anything else new, all you have to do is like it, want to wear it, put it on and get on with life.

So here are my 3 tips for incorporating statement jewellery into your life.

  1. Start with wearing only one bold piece to stand out and keep the rest minimal. You could wear a gorgeous statement necklace and keep your earrings/rings/bracelets small or wear none at all.

    starring maya how to wear statement jewellery
    Gorgeous Peter Lang necklace with stud earrings
  2. Pair bold jewellery with simple outfits. If you’re wearing a lot of prints and patterns, it can be hard to find something that goes if you are not a seasoned jewellery wearer. On the other hand if you are wearing, say a white shirt or tee with jeans, virtually any statement piece would look amazing. Keep it Simple.

    Starringmaya how to wear statement jewellery keeping it simple
    Alesha Dixon in a classic white shirt and jeans making for a great canvas for bold jewellery. Earrings and necklace by Peter Lang. Image of Alesha found on Pinterest.
  3. Choose jewels within your own personal style. If you only wear silver, then go for a statement piece in silver so you feel more comfortable. If you’re favourite colour is blue, try a turquoise piece. Or, if you’ve only ever worn earrings and no other piece of jewellery, then just start with statement earrings.

    starringmaya starter pieces
    Some great statement jewellery ideas to inspire you. All these beauties are from Peter lang.

I wear bold jewellery because I love looking at it, I love the way it feels. I love it period. I never for a minute ever wondered if it suited me or not, I just wear it because I like it.

Go ahead and try it. Do it with conviction and confidence. Take a selfie even!  No one will know it’s your first time anyway. They’re all too busy taking their own selfies

PS. I would love you to come and join my Facebook family for a bit more of Starring Maya fun. Or if you're more of an Instagram person then right this way 🙂 See you around! xxx Shereen

Getting Ready for Summer

Oh lord the sun’s out and the temperatures going up and up… which means taking off the layers I’ve been hiding under the last few months and belive me it’s not pretty.

God I hate summer. I’m always exhausted, dehydrated, sun stroked and my legs are always hairy when I want to wear a skirt. And there’s a reason why I’m always in a long sleeve shirt when it’s hot out…

As much as I would love to hide under a thick knitted marquee, I’m trying out this whole new thing where I actually practise doing nice things and pampering myself, all in the name of self-love and all. And also, it’s too damn hot.

At least I don’t have to worry about fake tanning, thanks Indian parents!

Anyway, back to the point of this post, I got asked a few weeks ago if I wanted to try out an electrical wax thingy. and being that I was in dire need of defuzzing and that I love my gadgets I said a big fat yes please!Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 12.10.24 pm

Veet easy wax – electrical roll-On kit. The contents.

If you’ve ever waxed your legs yourself, you know the mental and emotional torture you have to go through.

It’s been 3 years since I’ve waxed, but oh I do remember the ritual of torture. Dont worry, I did defuzz, I shaved where and when needed, with what time motherhood allowed me.

So I gave the Veet Electrical roll-on a go. I don’t know if it was childbirth but I swear this pain was about 80% less than the other home waxing kit I was using.

Basically, you just heat it up for 20 minutes, roll the wax on your skin, and wax off with the cloth strip provided.  I only used one strip for my entire leg because the wax goes on so thin, the cloth doesnt get clogged up and gooey.

No grossness, no mess, and actually so easy. You can also purchase small roller attachments to do bikini and other small areas . I cannot recommend this enough , I honestly love it.

Lucky because I plan to live in skirts all summer.

Which reminds me, better get on to doing a summer wardrobe cull. It’s such a good feeling only having lovely things you actually wear in your wardrobe! more on that soon.

DISCLAIMER: While this is a sponsored post where I got a free product to try out, I would under no circumstances put myself through waxing my legs if I wasnt already a waxer.  I’m not that crazy. Also, I don’t write about products that are rubbish, because I really hate reading reviews of products that are obviously only written for the sake of freebies.

PS. I would love you to come and join my Facebook family for a bit more of Starring Maya fun. Or if you're more of an Instagram person then right this way 🙂 See you around! xxx Shereen

How to Dress Like Audrey Hepburn in Summer

So a friend, who may I just say has JUST birthed her second child a few mere seconds ago, emailed me to ask the following.

“Hey Shereen! I want to start dressing like Audrey Hepburn. What kind of sandals / summer shoes do you recommend?

(And did Audrey ever wear bonds trackies? )” 

I have this image of her in the hospital, baby in one hand, wearing bonds trackies and black ballet flats turning this way and that in front of the tiny bathroom mirror.

So to answer her question, because one always does what a lady with a newborn asks, I have a few tips for her below.

Besides, Audrey Hepburn is my style icon too, so I loved writing this one. In fact I now have the need to go shopping…

How to dress like Audrey Hepburn in Summer

starringmaya audrey

Images courtesy of pinterest. Click here to go to source of each image.
  1. Wear mainly block colours. Apart from stripes and a few prints here and there, most of the time she was photographed in block colours and simple lines. A simple white top tucked into a black pant, or black head to toe. If you love and have loads of prints already then all you need to do is accessorize with block colours. A print dress with black shoes, black structured bag and maybe a little black jacket.
  2. Accessorize.Get yourself a pair of big black sunglasses, a large brimmed hat, small structured bag and a large straw tote.
  3. Wear all black with a defined waist. Whether it’s a turtle neck tucked into a pair of ankle grazing pants, or a black sleeveless vest belted with a below knee-length skirt.
  4. You have to master the art of the fitted white shirt worn casually. Wear it in or out but wear it with a pair of black pants or tucked into a 50’s style flare skirt.  Sleeveless shirts in whites, pastels and subtle prints are amazing tucked into jeans or ankle length trousers.
  5. Minimal jewellery. See, this is where Audrey and I part ways….I get dressed and then I become Elizabeth Taylor. It’s in my blood, I can’t help it. But, the gorgeous Audrey on the other hand almost always went for classic studs and simple jewellery. I do love the earrings she had on in the movie Sabrina though, and I confess, I bought a pair almost like it for the times I feel like being ladylike.
  6. Sort out your Audrey inspired capsule wardrobe which would include items such as:
  • Fitted shirts
  • Small neck scarf in cute prints
  • Black  tops
  • Black ankle grazer pants
  • Vintage style 50’s dress or skirt
  • A pair of black loafers or ballet flats and sandals.
  • A small handbag you carry on your wrist. (Useless information for mothers, I know).
  • Big black sunglasses. particularly good for mothers
  • Simple jewellery.
  • A fabulous hat with a big brim in either black, cream or neutral.
summer audrey inspired shoes starringmaya
These gorgeous shoes are all from Wittner Australia.
audrey hepburn summer sandals starringmaya
Images courtesy of Pinterest, Click here to go to source of each image.
  1. And last but not least, I recommend flat or low block/wedged heeled shoes. The lady knew how to dress without compromising style or comfort. I’ve put together a few ideas from one store, but there are plenty of options around in all price ranges.

And did Audrey Hepburn wear bonds trackies? I’m betting she did. Perhaps not bonds but trackies indeed.

Hope this helped! xxx Shereen

PS. I would love you to come and join my Facebook family for a bit more of Starring Maya fun. Or if you're more of an Instagram person then right this way 🙂 See you around! xxx Shereen

My top 10 Tips on How to Dress like Strong Confident Woman.

how to dress like a stong confident woman starring maya

I’m having one of those weeks where I just want to bury my head in the sand and deny that I have anything to do. If only I could go on strike for a day, but I don’t think anyone would care. My little boss Maya wouldn’t have a bar of it.

But anyway, I’d been trying to think of what style-ish posts I can write that might be useful and I had a vision of Maya as a young  woman going out into the world as her own. It’s a very, very strange and scary thought seeing as she’s only just turned two.

I like to imagine one day she will ask me how to know what to wear and how to put it all together. At least I hope she asks me, god help me if she buys one of those ridiculous girly fashion magazines to educate herself from and learn a hundred ways how she is lacking.

This is what I would tell her.

My ten top tips on how to dress like a strong confident woman.

  1. Strong posture. It doesn’t matter how you feel inside, how nervous you are, how much you wish a black hole would open and swallow you up. In nerve-wracking situations which could be anything from walking into a bar alone, to a job interview all you have to do is lengthen your spine, shoulders back, head up and smile like you know something no one else does. Technically that’s true anyway. Great posture, or carriage as they used to call it in the dark ages can make you look composed, confident and strong even if you’re a trembling mess inside.
  2. Know what you like. Ever since I saw Katherine Hepburn in a white shirt  in an old 40’s movie, and Audrey Hepburn in a black long sleeve top and pant, I’ve incorporated it into my everyday style . I love the simplicity of it. When I dress in what I love, I feel great. It doesn’t matter to me whether it’s in fashion or not. Black and white never lets me down. Your thing might be bohemian, or vintage, or the classic jeans and t-shirts. All that matters is that you love it and you own it.starringmaya audrey hepburn
  3. Dress for your shape. Knowing what suits you will help you find gorgeous designs to flatter you. I would love to be able to wear body con dresses but alas, my body doesn’t look good in them. Why would I make my poor body unhappy and uncomfortable? On the other hand a dress I recently purchased from Asos looks great on and I feel so damn good in it! The amazing Sophia Loren said that a dress should serve it’s purpose without obstructing the view, which is true of my lovely wiggle dress. Although, I don’t always follow this rule. Most of the time I run around in oversized shirts dresses and oversized tops with jeans. I love the feeling of loose fabric swishing around me but I also know that I’m tall enough to carry the extra volume off. So, know what suits you.

    starring maya asos wiggle dress
    Wiggle dress from ASOS
  4. .Choose one bit of skin to show. This one is simple, show off either your boobs or your thighs. Trust me you can look amazing even all covered up. As shown by Audrey Hepburn above.
  5. The ‘one fitted one floaty’ trick. If you have a two piece outfit a really flattering way to style is to pair a loose top with a fitted bottom or vice versa. For example a fitted top with an a-line skirt, tunic with leggings or fitted pencil skirt with a shell top.  This rule helps to show of your curves and always makes for a lovely silhouette

    starringmaya fitted floaty
    The fitted jeans and floaty top – one of my favourite looks. This look is from Asos.
  6. Make only 1 item the hero. It could be a statement piece of jewellery, a sequined jacket or an amazing print dress. Let everything else compliment that one piece instead of competing with it. Ofcourse I wont be following that rule when I’m a little old lady. I fully intend to wear all my big rings at once, huge necklaces and earrings, red lipstick and Chanel suits. Bring on the eccentricity of old age!
  7. Start and end your outfit in the same colour or theme. This is a really easy formula for instant polish if you feel like you need something extra. If you’re wearing a plain outfit of white tee and blue jeans, layer on a couple of long bohemian-ish necklaces (start of outfit) and a pair of bohemian sandals (end of outfit). Or, with the same outfit a black jacket (start) and black shoes (end). My favourite look at the moment is a gold and silver statement necklace with jeans and a tee, finished off with a pair of gold flats.
  8. Choose your shoes wisely. Do your back a favour and don’t wear heels that you can’t walk in. I always see impeccably dressed girls in their mega heels tottering precariously along. It doesn’t make you look confident or sexy when you are wobbling like a hunched unbalanced toddler. I used to only wear the super 10 inch heels when you know you’ll be sitting or standing in them for most of the time. For walking I used to carry flats. I knew my limitations.
  9. Shop well. Dont spend your money on clothes that look cheap. Even if you’re on a tight budget, there are ways to shop smart. Look for good fabrics that will launder well and always try everything on. Most internet shopping sites allows free returns in order to allow you to try on at home. Indicators of ‘cheap’ clothing are usually ill-fitting garments, puckered seams, baggy shoulders and sleeves, loose threads, uneven hemlines, blacks usually have a reddish our brown tint to them, and stretch fabric doesn’t bounce back after you stretch it. If you only get one wear out of it before it falls apart it’s a waste of money. Consider Cost per wear.
  10. Build your perfect capsule wardrobe. Meaning each item should be able to create many outfits. For example a fantastic jacket – one of the most versatile and worn pieces in anyone’s wardrobe. It can be worn with jeans, trousers, skirts and dresses. Nikki from styling you has just done a great example of creating a capsule wardrobe with 17 pieces creating 28 outfit combinations.

    capsule items via styling you - starring maya
    17 piece capsule collection via Styling you the blog.

.And please for the love of all that is good in this world, don’t hide yourself for the sake of fashion rules. If it’s a hot day and your arms don’t look thinner than a hungry catwalk model, go ahead and wear a sleeveless top because your comfort should always come first. Also because really, no one cares. Everyone is too busy with their own lives and their iPhones anyway. The people who look up and judge negatively are either secretly wishing they had your confidence or are just dicks.

Have I forgotten something? Do you have any more wise tips I can pass on to my child one day?

sophia loren quote starring maya


PS. I would love you to come and join my Facebook family for a bit more of Starring Maya fun. Or if you're more of an Instagram person then right this way 🙂 See you around! xxx Shereen

Wardrobe Tips – Cool Gadgets to keep your Clothes Looking Awesome

starring maya - cool gadgets to keep your clothes looking awesome

Welcome to another ‘Wardrobe Tip’ Post! I have so much fun doing these posts, I cant explain it. Give me some cool gadgets and some clothes and I’m a happy woman! I’m on a mission to try out everything ever made to do with clothes.

I figure if you’re going to spend a fortune on gorgeous expensive things, you may as well know what there is available to keep them looking as new and fresh as they did the day you bought them, for as long as possible.

Before I start, just a quick note — In order for me to write my ‘wardrobe tips’ posts, I needed to test and review a few products. I contacted the amazing Howard Storage World and they were only too happy to send me some things that I chose from their online store. Even though it’s a sponsored post, I only try out and write about the products I honestly love and would recommend to you. 

So here is my list of Cool gadgets to keep your clothes looking awesome:

  1. Use a pressing cloth when ironing. Ever notice when you iron linen or dark fabrics like navy or black you get shiny marks which basically ruin the look of a beautiful garment. Using a pressing cloth protects the fabric. I have this fantastic mesh pressing cloth I got from Howard Storage World, which unfortunately is all sold out, but you can also use a piece of thin cotton like muslin. starringmaya - cool gadgets for clothers - mesh pressing cloth
  2. A lint shaver is a lifesaver, especially during winter when wools and knits are in high rotation. You can either use a regular shaving blade and literally shave the pills off as you would your legs, or use this awesome lint shaver. This snazzy contraption does the work in a fraction of the time, is cheap and so much fun to use. I highlyrecommend it.
    Cedar Fresh lint remover - starringmaya
    Here is one I prepared earlier – the top sleeve is one I used the shaver on and bottom is how it came out of the dryer. Big difference!

  3. A sticky lint remover. If you don’t have one of these, you dont know what you’re missing! I swear it’ll change your life. Especially if you wear black a lot or have pets  (kids). Nothing says ‘I couldnt be bothered’ then wearing black with crap all over it all. Not a good look. Which is why I literally have one in every room and handbag.lint roller - starringmaya
  4. Dryer balls. Yeah I know, I was like WTF when I first read about these but I now see the light. Clothes go into the dryer as normal, and come out soft and fluffy. These little dryer balls basically just gently pummel and fluff up all the fibres in the cloth as it dries. Perfect for stiffish cottons/linens and bulky items like pillows and blankets.dryer balls, starring maya
  5. Damp rid. It drives me crazy when I’ve worked really hard putting my seasonal clothes away in storage only to open it up months later to smelly mouldy messes. If you live in a place with little circulation, these are fantastic for sucking up any moisture in the air, leaving your clothes nice and dry.damp rid - starring maya

That’s it for now folks. Hope you got something out of this post and if you have anything else to add, PLEASE let me know so I can go and check it out:)

PS. I would love you to come and join my Facebook family for a bit more of Starring Maya fun. Or if you're more of an Instagram person then right this way 🙂 See you around! xxx Shereen

My Favourite Go-To Outfits

A go-to outfit has saved me so many many time, especially when I’m running late, or when I’m just not able to get my shit together.

It’s the perfect ensemble in your wardrobe that is completely failsafe no matter what kind of mood you’re in, it always makes you look and feel like a million dollars. It’s something you can always fall back on.

Even though my wardrobe is predominantly black and white, I still get stuck when I don’t have enough time to get dressed and everything else is dirty.

There are days I’ll go a whole week wearing the same kind of outfit. Which is why I have about 10 black and white t-shirts that are always in high rotation.

There are 5 rules I follow with my go-to outfit.

  1. Keep it simple. Something that I can build on with accessories if there is extra time
  2. It has to be something I know without a doubt looks good on.
  3. Dont let it sit in the washing basket after wearing, get it in the wash as soon as you can
  4. I always have at least 2 backups for time when my favourite is in the wash or I wore my first choice the day before.
  5. I try to invest in good quality basics when I can. My favourites go through the wringer a lot so they need to be durable and made of good quality fabric.

My go-to outfits at the moment are:

  • Work: Jeans, white or black plain tee, Black long line vest and black flats. if I need to head into a meeting I might swap the flats for heels and throw on some more accessories.
  • Dressy work: leggings, an oversized knit with a long necklace and boots always, always saves the day.
  • Lunch or drinks with friends : It’s boring but I love an all black outfit, sometimes it’s a black dress with sandals and sometimes it’s black trousers with a silk drapy top. Always a huge statement necklace or earrings. Black is not boring when it’s a canvas for gorgeous jewellery – that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!
  • Taking my daughter out and about: Jeans,tee, scarf, and any flat comfortable shoes I’ve got lying around.

    My go to outfits starringmaya.com
    All images and thier origins courtesy of Pinterest

I can never resist putting on some bling on the way out, so I always have a tray of jewellery on the hall table I can grab on the go.

Here are some other ideas if you’d like to create your own easy go-to outfits

  • A midi skirt, soft knit jumper and ankle boots
  • Black leggings, Oversized anything on top with ankle or knee boots
  • Jeans, White tee, Black blazer, ankle boots or ballet flats. A classic style that always looks chic.
  • White men’s style shirt, dark denim, heels or ballet flats. my personal favourite.
  • Pencil Skirt, cute knit sweater, thick heeled shoes
  • A dress. I love an all in one outfit. I’m always on the hunt for the perfect everyday dress.
go to outfit inspo starringmaya
All images and thier origins courtesy of Pinterest

Do you already have the one favourite outfit you always resort to? I love reading your comments so feel free to tell me all!

PS. I would love you to come and join my Facebook family for a bit more of Starring Maya fun. Or if you're more of an Instagram person then right this way 🙂 See you around! xxx Shereen

Wardrobe Tips – How to Get Rid of Clothing Stains

I remember my first job as a wardrobe assistant at a television station.

It was a huge opportunity with lots of fun dressing Tv personalities but as the assistant, one of my responsibilities was to wash and iron tons of shirts everyday.

It wasnt so bad actually. I quite enjoyed ironing, even to this day.

The cleaning not so much.

The camera picks up the tiniest stray thread or stain so each clothing item had to be meticulously cleaned before it was worn.

There was always some kind of accident –Lipstick, foundation, pen, coffee, mascara, even blood from shaving.

I learned a few things.

The quicker you get to it the better your chances of getting it all off. If you’re out, at least wash as much of the stain you can with cold water and get it in the wash as soon as you get home.

I recently tried Exit spray from Howard Storage World, experimenting on silks, cotton and denim. I must say it’s become a go to product – especially with a chocolate crazy toddler in the house.

How to remove stains on clothing starring maya howard storage world

I tried it out on lipstick, foundation, pasta sauce and waterproof mascara,  about an hour after I applied the stain and they all came off like a dream.  The only thing I had trouble with was grease and oil stains but I sorted that out with a little bit of dishwashing liquid and hot water.

It’s really easy to use and comes in either a soap bar or a spray bottle. All I did was blot the excess off with a paper towel, spray with exit spray, leave for about half an hour and gently rub the area with warm water. Then I threw it in the washing machine and wash as normal.

Here are a few more tips I use to get rid of clothing stains.

  • For Food stains, like chocolate, pasta sauce or grease I use dishwashing liquid in warm water to start. rubbing the fabric gently. If the fabric care instructions allow for it, use hot water. dishwashing detergent was made to clean food and grease off your plates and works like a dream, especially on chocolate!
  •  Wine spills – if you can get your hands on club soda, the pour this on the stain. keep blotting with paper towel and soaking with soda until stain disappears. If there is boiling water handy, pour the water through the fabric until stain disappears.
  • OIl Stains – cover the entire area with talcum powder or corn flour and leave it overnight. Brush it off and if it’s still there try the dishwashing liquid or even shampoo in hot water to harness their oil destroying powers.
  • Makeup – Witch hazel is great for lipstick and liquid foundation stains. Just dab a little with a paper towel and rub gently. Then follow with mild laundry detergent. mascara and eye liner will come off easily in dishwashing liquid and warm water.
  • So to keep all your clothes stain free, always have dishwashing liquid, club soda, laundry detergent, talcum powder and exit spray in your laundry!

If you have any other tips, I would LOVE it if you shared. Tell me in the comments below.

xxx shereen


PS. I would love you to come and join my Facebook family for a bit more of Starring Maya fun. Or if you're more of an Instagram person then right this way 🙂 See you around! xxx Shereen

5 Ways to Style a Tunic this Winter

I thought my tunic and leggings phase was done with  until I was given a really lovely gift by the Australian brand Icelandic Blue.

This lovely tunic.  I love it so much it inspired an entire post. 5 ways to style a tunic.

5 ways to wear a tinuc starringmaya Icelandic Blue

5 ways to style a tunic feat icelandic blue tunic starringmaya.com
Wearing my lovely gift. I couldn’t decide with or without scarf, not that it matters as I’m clearly being upstaged by the little girl in Elmo shoes.

This beautiful jersey tunic feels like I’m wearing silk on my skin and is so comfortable that I don’t even care how it looks. Luckily it’s also incredibly flattering, looks great and is easy to style.

It’s a great addition to your staple winter wardrobe. Layer over a pair of leggings and knee-high boots topped off with a thick snuggly scarf. An even bigger bonus is that they cover all sorts of lumps and bumps that you don’t want to be showing off. Like my post baby/excess chocolate jelly belly.

Here are my 5 ways to style a tunic.

  1. Add a vest – the wardrobe item of the season. Long line vests are huge at the moment, and has a way of making any outfit look sharp and stylish.
  2. Layer on the textures and lengths. A tunic can be worn on its own, or layered over a turtleneck and leggings.  Experiment with different textures, lengths and colours. There are loads of long cardigans, jackets, vests and pullovers in stores to play with.
  3. Wear shoes in proportion to your tunic. If you have a lot of volume in your tunic like the one I have, you can wear chunky or high boots to create balance. On the other hand if your tunic is slim and streamlined, it would look fantastic with sleek ankle/knee boots.
  4. Keep your colours tonal for a sophisticated look. Tunics are usually the hero of an outfit, like a dress would be in summer, so keep your colour shades within the same family. For example all earthy neutrasl, all black or all pastels.
  5. Accessorize. A tunic is the perfect canvas for your statement necklace or thickly woven cable knit scarves. It has the length to carry off the largest piece of jewellery you own – go crazy.

Here are a few outfit inspirations with tunics from the Starring Maya Pinterest board ‘fashion – Tunics’.

5 ways to style a tunic this winter starringmaya.com
For more info on the origins of each image please visit my Pinterest Board.

Try these or play and create your own style. You’ll be hooked like me!

Whats your favourite go-to piece in your wardrobe that you couldn’t live without?



PS. I would love you to come and join my Facebook family for a bit more of Starring Maya fun. Or if you're more of an Instagram person then right this way 🙂 See you around! xxx Shereen

How to Wear Your Little Black Dress Casually

You probably know lots of way you can dress up an outfit from day-to-night right?

But what happens when you have a closet full of beautiful cocktail dresses and glamorous sequined jackets from a life long ago.

A life before you had kids where you had never heard of wet wipes. Where you only used your washing machine once a week.

Or perhaps a life where you worked in a job that required a formal wardrobe. Clothes that no longer fit into your new job.

I know I do. Plenty.

Some don’t fit on my body and some don’t fit into my life.

It would be so wonderful to wear your cocktail dress to the pub without looking weirdly overdressed.

Not like the time when my 2 crazy glamorous friends went to the roughest pub in the roughest town (by accident) dressed in their finest on the way to a wedding.

Too funny.

Here are my favourite ways to wear your LBD casually:

  1. A denim jacket fixes everything. Throwing one on over a cocktail dress instantly gives you casual chic status. A casual blazer or a Vest/gillet would work too. Speaking of denim, a pair of jeans with a white tee is a gorgeous way to dress down a sequined jacket or silk cape.
  2. Accessorize with fun jewellery like a pair of dangly bohemian style earrings or a stack of bangles to give your structured dresses a casual feel.
  3. Printed Accessories are so much fun. From stripes to florals to leopard print, your choices are limitless. A print scarf or a leopard print bag is a great way to break up the solid black of your dress.
  4. Ankle boots are so comfortable and practical but most of all they look great with almost every outfit. You can choose the safe route with black or experiment different looks with tans and greys.
  5. An oversized bag has a ‘casual just hanging out with my girls’ feel about it.

Here’s a fun example:

starringmaya how to wear your little black dress casually
Found on iheartmirandakerr.tumblr.com


Here is another outfit inspiration I found on Pinterest by a blogger.

starringmaya How yo wear your little black dress casually




PS. I would love you to come and join my Facebook family for a bit more of Starring Maya fun. Or if you're more of an Instagram person then right this way 🙂 See you around! xxx Shereen

7 Tips for taking Better pictures on your iPhone

starring Maya 7 tips for taking better pictures on your iPhone title

Claude, my husband who happens to be a brilliant photographer, is sick of me.

I’m sure of it.

Ever since I started this blog I’ve been bugging him to take photos for my posts, whether it’s pictures of me looking ever so casual while I work, or of our child.

It started out fine. He took the photos, and after a few days of nagging he’d email them to me. The result — a visually beautiful post.

Months on, he’s over taking them. I’m over waiting for them.

So when I asked him for photography tips, he was only too happy (albeit little a too eager) to help. But hey, at least I now have some tips to share with you.

Without further ado, Here are Claude’s 7 best tips for taking great pictures with your iPhone

1. Consider your background.

It’s all very well to have your friends smiling beautifully but pay attention to the background too. You can get a great background by either moving the camera a little or moving your subject to frame an image.

Look out for lamp posts, rubbish bins or power lines sticking out of someone’s head.

starringmaya photography tips - consider backgrounds
Pic on the left looks funny with pole sticking out of his head, Pic on the right was taking by camera moving slightly to the left.
starringmaya how to photography tips
Left: with bins Right: without bins


2. Compose your shot like an artist

Pay attention to composition.

Photographers and artists have a little secret called ‘the rule of thirds’. It’s where the main subject of your image should only take up one-third of the entire frame. It’s always a more interesting picture when a person or product or landscape is off centre.

If you’re shooting the ocean and a beautiful sky for example, the horizon shouldn’t necessarily be across the centre. Take the photograph with more sea or more sky so the horizon will be sitting close to the bottom or top of the frame.


starring maya how to take better pictures with iPhone
In this image the hero of the picture, the playground is centred.
starringmaya how to tale better pictures with your iPhone
The playground here is closer to the foreground making the Image much more appealing.


3. A good photo needs good lighting.

Ask any photographer, and they’ll tell you: it’s all about the lighting.

If you’re taking a shot of a friend in the sunny outdoors, take it in the shade where you will get a smoother cleaner picture on their face. The sun can create lots of nasty shadows and glare on your face and does anyone really need that?

starringmaya sun shade how to take better photos
Left: My darling stuffing her face in the sun. Right: A few steps forward in shade

If you’re indoors and you want to take a shot of a product for example, shoot with the light not behind you and the camera. If you point your camera towards the light your image will be dark and you’ll get a silhouette.

Sometimes, a silhouette can be quite beautiful.


starringmaya how to take better pictures ith your iPhone
Silhouette of Claude and Maya
starringmaya how to take better pictures with your iPhone
Silhouette of Maya
starringmaya sun shade how to take better photographs
1. camera facing the bright window. 2. camera slightly angled so light is on the side. 3. Camera facing outside from a shaded balcony 4. Camera facing into the balcont with light behind.

4. Use the iPhone focus feature

Once you have your picture composed, touch and hold your iPhone screen where you want the main focus to be and a little square will come up, that’s your focus point.

You can also adjust the brightness or darkness of your image by dragging your finger up or down anywhere on the screen.

starringmaya using focus on the iphone to get better pictures


5. Use ‘bursts’ to get multiple shots

If like me, you have a child that is always blurry in pictures because she wont stop moving, keep your finger on the button and it will take multiple shots as she plays.

The number of shots depends on how long you keep your finger on the button. Hopefully among the many pictures there will be one shot in focus.

starringmaya bursts photography tips
Left: A few seconds gave me 23 photos in one burst. Press select on the bottom to choose the good ones. Right: All photos from one burst


6. Taking pics at night

Taking a picture in the dark slows down your shutter speed. Basically your camera is trying to let in more light. But with the shutter open for longer, there’s a good chance your picture will be blurry because you’re moving the camera.

You can get around this by holding the phone still. Put it on a stable surface like a fence or wall (unless you go pro and get yourself a tripod).

If you’re photographing friends be sure to turn on the flash, this will freeze any motion and maybe you might get a creative blurry background too.

starringmaya how to take better pictures with your iPhone
An evening outdoor shot
starringmaya how to take better pictures with your iPhone
Night shot with iPhone

7. Use photo apps.

There are loads of apps that allow you to alter, touch up or add filters to your photos.

Pro apps are a little more complicated but there are apps that are easy to use.

My favourite apps are Vintique and Photoshop Express. Claude, who’s a bit more experienced, uses Filterstorm or Snapseed or even ProShot

Now that I am more informed on how to take decent pictures, Claude’s a happy man. He thinks I wont bother him anymore with requests.

I will.

Thanks to Claude for helping me out. He’s the best photographer I know, check out his Facebook page for his work.

Do you have any other tips or Apps that you like to use? I would love to hear your thoughts. Tell me in the comments below.


PS. I would love you to come and join my Facebook family for a bit more of Starring Maya fun. Or if you're more of an Instagram person then right this way 🙂 See you around! xxx Shereen