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

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

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

My First Adventure

starring maya the first time I moved out of home

Once upon a time, when I was about 23, a friend and I hatched a crazy plan to pack our things and drive to the Gold Coast to live for six months. My first adventure as an adult.

For fun.

(For non Aussie residents, the Gold coast in Queensland is a 12 hour drive from Sydney.)

This genius plan took about 10 minutes to come up so you can imagine how holey it was. We didn’t know where we’d live or how we’d actually earn money. We had a friend’s place to crash in for a couple of days and that was good enough for us!

It will work itself out I said to myself.

Three days later, my little red car half way packed,  I was enjoying my last cup of tea at home before picking up my friend.

I was so ridiculously excited and nervous at the same time. I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that it felt amazing to be doing something so crazy.

And then, I received a text from this friend that read “sorry, I can’t make it today, something came up”.

Just like that.

Like she was cancelling a coffee date instead of this major life changing event , no big deal.

Everything fell apart in my head as I stared at the phone completely stunned. I remember sitting in the living room and crying my eyes out… Scared and vulnerable. I didn’t want to go alone but I didn’t want to stay.

Deciding to leave wasn’t an easy feat. I am of indian background with strict parents, I was young and naive and had never lived out of home before. Indian parents would prefer that all thier children live at home forever, even after marriage and kids.

Clearly I was very unindian so I lied to them saying I had a job offer. A film for six months and the money was too good to refuse.

But, I didn’t have a job. Or a place to live. Or much money.

My safety net was gone and I was at a complete loss. And scared shitless

In my heart I knew that this would be one of the most important crossroads in my life. There was only one decision and I just needed to suck it up and make my mind up.

So I did.

I packed a few more things and started driving.

My first journey into a completely unknown future.

Just me, my music and my humble possessions.

Although, about 5 hours into the drive, in the pitch black night, with torrential rain obscuring the windscreen, I had a complete breakdown. I cried that loud ugly cry you can only do in private.

Dont worry, lucky this story has a happy ending.

On the way there I got a random call from an agency asking me if I was available to work on a film shooting in Queensland starting the next day.

Why yes, I believe I was available.

When I arrived at my friend’s place in the late hours of the night, she asked if I wanted to get a place to live together because her lease was up.

Hell yes!

I started work the next day, met and made some amazing friends who I still love today and moved to a gorgeous house with my lovely friend.

Trusting my gut instinct to keep going despite the fear that day set a pattern for the rest of my life. Best decision I ever made.

The end.

Have you ever done something crazy and taken a chance? How did it work out for you?

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

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

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