My week In Photographs

What a gorgeous last few days of Winter in Sydney this week has been right? 26 Degrees on Saturday, crazy!

It’s been another busy week, mostly groundhog day revolving around the kid’s sleep, food, entertainment and trying to get some work in between.

And so the story goes. Before I know it it’s another Monday again. I hate Mondays. Not because I have to got to work, but because I feel like I should make some kind of plans for the week. A to do list so that I can be more productive. Oh the pressure. Luckily it’s usually over in a blink of an eye and by Tuesday, well, it’s too late to make plans so I can just give in to the daily routine. Yeay for watching the Gruffalo again!

Here’s what my week looked like. It was an unusually full week, we hardly ever manage to fit so much in!

starring maya first burger

 

Started off with this little munchkin tasting her first burger and loving it. And that little screwed up face is her latest camera smile style.

starringmaya succulent babiesMy succulent babies seem to be doing well… cant wait to replant them in cute little pots…or maybe I’ll make a succulent garden…  if Maya doesnt destroy them before.

starringmaya dolls house

This is my very special project at the moment. Maya and I found a doll’s house in an ugly but very solid brown wood at a garage sale. I’ve given it a couple of coats with gloss white rustoleum spray paint and I love how it’s turned out. Now on to decorating and furniture making.

starring maya beach

We went to Manly Sea life Sanctuary to see Maya’s beloved Penguins followed by fun at the beach.

Jewellery starring maya

Got a lot of photographing of jewellery done for Instagram … Love doing this. The wizards at the Peter Lang studio have always been so generous letting me borrow whatever I like to photograph. This necklace found its way into my jewellery draw. Oops.

starring maya portrait

 

And lastly my favourite part of the week was a wonderful portrait session photographed by Claude. I wanted a beautiful portrait of Maya and I for the blog and for my photo wall at home. This is just a sneak untouched peek but I absolutely LOVE it. Cant wait to show you more once it’s finished.

That’s it for now, tune in for hopefully more exciting things next time. Have a wonderful week! xxx

 

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

Where I am right now – Taking Stock

It’s not often I take a moment and really think about where I am, but after doing this fun little exercise, I’m a convert. It’s a little bit of much-needed reality check, and a little bit of fun.

It’s a great idea and thanks to Pip and her blog (meet me at Mikes), I’ve got a list to go by.

Here’s what’s in my head right now:

Making : Tiny skirts for my tiny 2-year-old.                                                                           Cooking : Creamy chicken and mushroom pasta
Drinking : Water wishing it was champagne
Reading: A book I started 2 years ago and have forgotten what it’s called.
Wanting: A house with a backyard… so bad
Looking: at my daughter’s naked dolls strewn all over the living room
Playing: with my daughter
Deciding: what I want to blog about
Wishing: I had a fairy god-mother
Enjoying: being a mummy
Waiting: for the day that she’s not stuck to me like glue so I can do some work
Liking: that the winter days in Sydney are getting warmer
Wondering: when the dryer is going to finish doing its job
Loving: my cheap and cheerful homeware buys from Kmart
Pondering: whether to get more indoor plants
Considering: getting more indoor plants
Watching: The bachelor 
Hoping: there’s a fun movie on next
Marvelling: at my daughter’s cleverness.
Needing: a holiday
Smelling: washing liquid from the laundry
Wearing: Pajamas
Following: some good advice on how to get writing
Noticing: how many excuses I make to get out of it
Knowing: that tomorrow is another day
Thinking: I might take my daughter to the park to feed the ducks
Feeling: adventurous
Admiring: Other working mums who seem to have their heads screwed on
Sorting: through receipts for tax
Buying: a shirt-dress from Asos
Getting: excited for summer
Bookmarking: loads of articles on how to stop 2-year-old tantrums
Disliking: that Australia is so stupidly behind on legalizing gay marriage
Feeling: all gooey because my daughter told me I was beautiful tonight
Snacking: mandarin

Below is blank list for you to copy and paste if you feel like taking stock of your own life:)

Making :
Cooking :
Drinking :
Reading:
Wanting:
Looking:
Playing:
Deciding:
Wishing:
Enjoying:
Waiting:
Liking:
Wondering:
Loving:
Pondering:
Considering:
Watching:
Hoping:
Marvelling:
Needing:
Smelling:
Wearing:
Following:
Noticing:
Knowing:
Thinking:
Feeling:
Admiring:
Sorting:
Buying:
Getting:
Bookmarking:
Disliking:
Opening:
Giggling:
Feeling:
Snacking:
Coveting:
Wishing:
Helping:
Hearing:

Hope you enjoy doing this !

 

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 I blog

How I blog - starring maya

It’s Monday night, 10.15 and I’m sitting on the couch, bra less, makeup less, glamour less.

Kid has been sleeping since 7pm… I laugh in my head as I type that because she’s already woken up 3 times thanks to her fever and blocked nose.

It’s been a Panadol commercial in our apartment.

So here I am, trying to come up with cool posts. Fashion posts are out. It’s very hard to write stylish when you can see your reflection resembling a drowned street rat on the black TV screen in front of you.

I should be asleep. I should shower while my kid sleeps. I should clean the pasta hurricane remnants from the floor.

starring maya - messy home
not my actual home – but this is close

Instead, on the pretence of I’m working , contributing some valuable insights to someone, I am sitting here writing this post.

Oh but I’m not alone though.

starring maya = my little pony toy

I have Hoot the talking owl on my right, naked Elsa and Ana on the table behind my head, two teddy bear biscuits abandoned by my daughter on the arm of the couch and a couple of ‘my little pony’ things at my feet.

To get in the mood I also have some beautiful music playing – which is probably why my eyes are getting heavier by the second.

I really should sleep.

Blogging to music is amazing. It’s a new tool I discovered totally by accident. I should say rediscovered, because it’s not as if I am new to it.

Back in my pre baby days I used to spend my days on the road driving from shops to shop with music as my companion. Music always has a way of reaching deep into your memory vault for a few minutes to make you relive or experience something on another level.

I’d forgotten.

Not to say that the Wiggles and twinkle little star aren’t deep and thought evoking… After all, how else am I going to remember that I’m a mum now. I need reminding all the time. The early mornings, sleepless nights and non stop cooking ad cleaning after kid are not enough.

A few days ago I was driving on my own and I realized I hadn’t listened to the radio in a while. Usually when kid is in the car she demands I sing wheels on the bloody bus again and again and again. She probably sensed I’d forgotten I was a mum.

So a song came on, a song too embarrassing to name but lets just say that it was a teen favourite in the pop genre, and it made me reminisce hard about life. Suddenly all these profoundly intelligent sentences and stories started popping onto my head, I was so pumped I couldn’t wait to get home to blog.

By the time I got home, kid decided that I’d had enough time on my own so there was no free time. Who was I kidding right?

Which brings me back to tonight — attempting a beautifully articulated award-winning blog post. While fighting tiredness. And a bitch of a cold.

But instead you get a late night rant. Sorry.

Moral of this story my friends, is that when one realizes that one is not going to win the ‘free time’ game with a 2-year-old, the smartest thing one can do, in fact the only thing one can do is to just roll with it. 

Because you have no choice.

Tomorrow night I will be here again, same place, same time, same pajamas, attempting genius.

This is how I blog.

xxx

 

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

Melbourne Shopping Event – The Wild Collective

Starring maya the wild collective

Beautiful Melbourne is known as the fashion capital of Australia, and I completely agree. I know it’s sacrilege to say that being a Sydney Designer, but I fully acknowledge and applaud how diverse and imaginative Melbourne’s fashion is.

The first time I visited, I fell in love with everything– the food, the shops, the people… It has a certain kind of charisma and charm that you only find in European cities. I remember during my first trip, I walked and walked soaking up the atmosphere of cute little boutiques, inviting cafes and cobblestoned alleyways. I’ll never forget the pleasure of being lost in Melbourne.

Not only does Melbourne host some of the most gorgeous designers, they also host some fantastic fashion events and markets. Very jealous.

Next month Melbourne is going to be home to an amazing event that I’ve only read about but am seriously thinking of packing my bags and going down there for the weekend.

The Wild Collective is a retail event, part shopping, part exhibition.  Showcasing local artists, designers, food art, homewares, heavenly areas for kids and even a man cave.

 I’ve been checking out some of the exhibitors online, some I know, some I cant wait to find out more about.

Here a little roundup of what got me excited.

 For the kids (but really, for you as well):
 OOBI – Children’s wear. I could seriously buy everything on the website for my 2 year old Maya. They use the most exquisite fabric prints for the clothes. A little bit of old school romance and make-believe whimsey.
new_york
starring maya the wild collective oobi
FIZZY POP DESIGNS – Prints, posters, wood art. This place has the most gorgeous creations for your little one’s room. I’m a bit scared of shopping online, it;s one of those places where you have to have everything. Like this print, Maya’s song of the moment.
starring maya the wild collective fizzy pop designs
MY MAJESTIC BOUTIQUE – Children’s bedroom decor. Seriously magical with the most enchanting little creatures, toys and decor for you darling’s bedroom. I’m in love with this beautifu house and the tiny dolls.
starring maya the wild collective my majestic boutique
ONE TINY TRIBE – Cards, prints and tees. Stunningly simple and minimalist prints for either home or office with some gorgeous messages. I would totally buy this for Maya’s room.
starring maya one tiny tribe, the wild collective
ARLO AND CO – Dream catchers, plaques, garland, caketoppers and more. This place is like an Etsy store come to life with gorgeous sentiments on beautiful material like wood and stone. They are stylish, simple and best of all, hand-made. This sign is completely my message to my little girl.
starring maya arlo and co. the wild collective
For you:
HUMBLE – Natural organic skin care products. They are hemp based and made in Melbourne. I don’t know what it is about skin care, kind of like stationary, I have a need to collect and try everything. As someone with alligator skin on the legs, I’d try just about anything. Humble have special lotions just for dry and eczema prone skin. I could quite happily try everything in their range, looks heavenly don’t you think?
starring maya the wild collectie. humble body
LUX BITE – Desserts. Oh yeah, this is definitely for me! What do I love more than a full day of glorious shopping? Glorious decadent indulgence half way through to recharge the batteries. They specialise in tarts, pretty cakes and my favourite, macaroons. Yummy!
starring maya, the wild collective, lux bite
KITTY KAT – Women’s Accessories. Right after indulging in tarts and macaroons, this is where I’ll be — trying on these gorgeous shoes. Kitty kat have a very cute range of accessories including jewellery, scarves, belts, to die for bags and shoes!
starring maya the wild collective. kitty lat
These are just a few of many. For more info jump on The Wild Collective’s website. Plenty more where that came from.
Yeah, I think you’ll be seeing me soon Melbourne!
Are you going?
xxx
wild collective 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

The Awkwardness of a Costume Fitting

starringmaya - the first time I measured a man's inside leg length

There I was, on my knees, in front of a man in his jocks with no idea how to even remotely look cool and unfazed.

I was a very young 22-year-old, at a costume fitting of a feature film, and my job was to fit and measure out 200 male extras for suits.

As someone who was relatively new to the industry, ( and naked men) to find myself in this compromising position was hugely embarrassing.

Along with 4 or 5 other costume girls, we were armed with tape measures around our necks, safety pins, needles, thread, and scissors strapped to our bodies.

And a line of a lot of men–young, old, handsome and not.

I had never before measured a man’s inside leg length, or asked him which way he hung, so you can imagine the awkwardness of the situation. All of which we had to write down on a form so we could tailor alter the suits accordingly.

Incase you don’t know, a man’s inside leg length is measured by holding one end of the tape on the inside of his leg just under his bits and the other end where the hem would end.

I got through it pretending that this was something I did everyday, and using an unemtional tone while asking them questions. And never ever looking at them in the eye. Poor souls.  I did feel sorry for them. I’m sure it was worse for them than it was for us.

I consider myself lucky in my first introduction to inside leg measurements, because next to me was my co-worker with a man who got a little umm…shall we say excited?.. during the event.

AWKWARD!

It didn’t take long for me to get used to it however. Now during fittings, men and women strip off all around me and I can honestly say that all I care about is whether they look good in what I’ve selected and how long it takes them to change into the next outfit.

In fact, I am now so confident that I have no problems telling a man to adjust his balls during an underwear shoot as I hike up the waistband or straighten the hem of said underwear.

All in a day’s work.

So… have you ever found yourself in an embarassing but totally normal situation for work?

PS. I would love you to come and join my Facebook family for a bit more of Starring Maya fun. Or of you’re more of an Instagram person then right this way, but I warn you, I tend to post a lot of maya’s baby selfies 🙂

See you around!

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 Favourite Photograph

There’s a photo of Maya and I taken in our first few minutes together on the wall. Everytime I see it, it brings me straight back into the moment.

starring maya .. first day of maya
This. A few moments after Maya was born. Taken by Claudio Raschella.

You know what I mean by ‘into the moment’ right? I mean everything.

The labour pain and the relief when it was over. What I ate that day, what I wore and how many hours I’d slept during. Clenching my fingernails into Claude’s shoulders and making him bleed. How he just let me.

Most of all it brings back the crazy insane joy of the moment I got to look into my beautiful baby’s eyes. Of holding her wriggling little body in my arms. For the first time.

I felt like I was being given with the whole world on a gilded platter.

It’s crazy to think that a year before this picture was taken, I was just me. I didn’t have a baby to take care of.  I was still able to sleep when I wanted to sleep and go to the movies any time I wanted. I was free in a sense, roaming the world with no real purpose. When I spent my days being gloriously selfish, spending hard-earned money on frivolity, and wasting long hours procrastinating.

When having a child was a distant fantasy, something I would get to one day before my biological clock stopped ticking.

This photograph, It was the moment life changed forever.

Into a life where I get to kiss and cuddle the most beautiful kid I know, of hearing her call me mummy and tell me she loves me. Where I get to watch Disney movies (on repeat) and make up silly dances.. A life where sleep is a luxury as is a clean home.

And I love it.

Now when I think of what it would be like if I had never had Maya, it’s a pretty bland fantasy.

I love this photo most because it puts things into perspective. Reminds me of the most important things.

……

Anyway, that’s enough soppiness for the week. I cant help myself, my sweet baby girl is turning 2 soon and I need time to stop moving so fast!

Do you have a favourite photograph that takes you back somewhere?

 

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

Bollywood

Bollywood, filming on the set of "from Sydney with love" starringmaya.com
On set in one of India’s film studios in Mumbai. Filming ‘From Sydney with love‘ . Photographed by Claudio Raschella
Bollywood, filming on the set of "from Sydney with love" starringmaya.com
The crew of “From Sydney with Love” during filming, Mumbai, India.Photographed by Claudio Raschella
Bollywood, children love singing and dancing on the streets" starringmaya.com
The beautiful children of india. Photography by Claudio Raschella

The streets of India are always filled with music and dancing.

Everywhere.

All the time.

Children on the street dance and break out moves from the latest hits.

Walk into any store and I guarantee there will be Bollywood music on the radio or a movie playing on a small screen.

The rickshaw driver sings olde worldly songs as he hoons around.

Almost every wall and billboard  is plastered with huge colourful Bollywood posters.

I once met a Director of an Indian film once who told me he proposed to his girlfriend on the university campus by serenading a popular Hindi song.

That’s how big a part Bollywood movies play in the people’s lives, .

Indian Cinema, the largest film industry in the world, sweeps over the top and all around India like a warm, sparkly, glittery sunshiny blanket and makes the world look and sound more beautiful. At least to Indians who watch it.

It is a fantasy world where boy meets girl, falls in love at first sight, woos and wins her hand in marriage Throw in couple of tragedies just to spice it up and always, AlWAYS a happy ending. It is a 3 hour saga filled with glorious costumes and of course lots of song and dance — which is the heart and soul of all Bollywood movies.

They are the ultimate romantic musicals of love, heartbreak and melodrama.

Up until a few years ago on-screen kisses were taboo, even though there were some very heavy ‘wet sarees in the rain’ hints at all the sex that was going on behind the singing. Now, it seems that the modesty veil is well and truly out the door. There are some major kissing actions in almost every scene…Scandalous!

As for my experience? Lets just say that if it weren’t for Bollywood movies during my childhood, I wouldn’t be in the Industry that I am, and I certainly wouldn’t have been able to speak hindi as well (or as terrible) as I do.

I love it.

I grew up in Fiji where hindi films were a huge part of the 40 ish% Indian population. It saw me through my childhood and teenage years.  My favourite bit? The costumes of course!

If you havent seen one, give it a go. I promise you’ll be thoroughly entertained and you don’t even need subtitles.

There’s something in there for everyone, and to some people, its everything.

 

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