A new year

When I started blogging it was during the very early days of motherhood when it felt like I was being held hostage in my one bedroom flat by my adorable but very demanding breastfeeding baby.

Blogging gave me an outlet, a voice with which I could use to hold on to my professional life  and connect to other humans.

It’s been fun sitting in bed late at night after Maya has fallen asleep, researching and tapping away on my laptop.

If you are a regular visitor to this blog you’ll know my mish mash style of posts. From tidbits on Maya to the styling how to’s and of course my love of pretty baubles.

This year I feel the need to share more of my personal stories of life with my little family in our apartment. Not exactly sure why or if it will last long, but for now it feels right and I’m a big believer in going with ones gut instinct.

It probably will always be mishy mashy but I’m fast learning that that’s just the kind of girl I am and I’m just going to have to work with it.

So with that said, wishing you all, my lovely friends, a happy fabulous new year!!

xxx shereen

I leave you with my favourite images of Maya at work with me last year.

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Couldn’t resist this – there would be no blog without this sweet little bundle

 

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Choosing jewellery for a shoot at Peter Lang

 

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Destination NSW Screening of a Commercial I work on
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Shopping again with mummy
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My model for a teething necklace shoot

 

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Checking out filming on UNindian the Australian feature coming out next year

 

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 7 Step Wardrobe Makeover Challenge. Step 7: The finishing Touches

Whether you now have a fantastically organised wardrobe, or a bit fat proud mess, it’s all good. I may spout the merits of a perfect wardrobe but in reality, it will stay tidy for a few days at best and then back to mayhem.

Although it’s great having the extra space and beautiful storage products, my wardrobe is always, unashamedly going to be messy.

Always has been. always will be. And ive made peace with. It’s who I am.

At least now when I do tidy up it really does look like a very creative organised and intelligent woman’s wardrobe. Not really.

So now on to the last step of the wardrobe challenge – thank goodness it’s over because I’m exhausted!

To finish of your wonderful wardrobe challenge, here’s a few little tips to make your life easier:

 Create Outfits:

Play dress ups in your closet. Whether it’s for work or play, put together whole outfits that you know work really well and take a selfie in the mirror so you can see every item clearly.  Try on everything and create as many outfits as you can. You might even find that you can cull a little more.

Keep the images on your phone and on the mornings when you’re running late or your brain can’t compute what goes with what, go through your photos and choose an outfit. Easy.

Make a Shopping List:

While you are creating your outfits, you’ll realize that maybe a couple of singlets, a jacket or a fresh white shirt is a much-needed item to complete a look. Write down your wish list and whenever you have time or money, add these pieces to your wardrobe.

 Create a Check Station:

Have an area in your home where you keep just a select few basic bits of jewellery and makeup so that you can quickly sort yourself out as you’re leaving.

My check station is right by the front door where I keep a few earrings, a couple of scarves, lip gloss, sunglasses and perfume. Just enough to give me a little boost in 10 the seconds I have before little Maya pushes me out the door. Oh and a mirror helps… many a times I’ve had to suck it up and go back to at least brush my hair or get a clean unstained top. I may have  let standards slide in some areas but I still have a little pride left!

 Double Up on Basics.

This is of course a luxury, but if you can, I highly recommend having a downsized version of the check station like above in your handbag and car. In a little case keep basic makeup like powder and gloss, maybe a pair of earrings and a necklace, needle and thread, safety pins, hollywood tape, bobby pins and hair tie.

You never know a hem or button will rip, or a last-minute catch up with friends might pop up, i promise you’ll be grateful for the stash in the car!

 

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My bits of jewellery by the front door

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If you’re just joining in, check out all the posts on the Wardrobe challenge:

 

If you need any help or have questions please feel free to ask away in the comments section below or on Facebook.

If you feel like sharing your pics as you go along on Instagram or on my Facebook page, use hashtag #starringmaya so I can have a look too.

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 7 Step Wardrobe Makeover Challenge. Step 6 – How to Know your Body Shape and Create your Personal Style

Working out your personal style and what suits your body can seem quite daunting especially with so many fashion magazines, fashion shows, fashion blogs and of course social media.

Messages of what you should buy, confusing articles and tv shows telling us it’s better to be skinny but dangerous to be obsessed about it, love your body no matter what size but try to loose weight, be your own person but wear what everyone else wears and so on and so on.

Let me just say that the only thing that matters is your health and looking after the body that is keeping you alive. So as long as you’re healthy, you eat delicious food that hopefully nourishes your body and soul( im talking about chocolate here) and excercise to keep the old bones from falling apart, don’t worry so much about the number on your clothing.

When I was a size 1o, I never exercised, and I ate a chocolate bar and drank coke for breakfast most days. I was at my most healthiest when I was a size 12/14. I was toned, I went to the gym 3 to 4 times a week, I ate healthy most of the time with lots of naughty stuff too but I never dieted. Perfect score at my annual doc’s check up every year so I knew I was healthy.

Right now I’m pretty unhealthy and overweight, something which i need to get under control so I can keep up and play with Maya when she’s a little older and be around a lot longer. That’s another challenge I need to get on to as soon as I can.

Now, on to what you clicked on to read.

 Step 1: Work out your Body Shape

There are the 5 basic shapes with lots of variations in between. The easiest way is to either measure yourself or stand in front of a mirror and imagine yourself as a 2D outline.

For each basic body shape there are general Guidelines on what to wear and what to avoid.

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You are an Hourglass if your boobs and hips are around the same width with a narrower defined waist. This is the holy grail of shapes, picture Marilyn Monroe. Clothes always look fantastic when worn on an hourglass body because of the perfect proportions and balance. Play it up by emphasizing your waist, accessorizing with belts and  pencil skirts.

Triangle – this is where the top half of your body is wide,  narrowing down to a smaller hip and bottom. To balance out your shape, bring focus to the bottom half with prints, textured fabrics, A-line skirts, bright colours. Downplay the top half with darker tonal colours, minimal accessories and small prints.

Pear shape is the opposite – small boobs, narrow shoulders, wide hips and booty. Here you need to bring all the attention to the top half of your body by statement necklaces or earrings, print or bright colours, tops with gathers, pleats or as many sequins as you desire. With Your bottom half, An A-line silhouette will be most flattering, in plain darker colours or small prints.

Rectangle is a pretty common shape whether you’re slim or curvy. Its when chest waist and hips are almost similar in measurement. To give you some shape, the best and quickest way to do this is to accessorize with a belt. The idea is to give your waist some definition. Flared or A-line skirts are also flattering.

The Apple shape– is where the middle section  of your body is wider than chest and hips. Usually this would mean that you are short-waisted as well. Lucky me. Take it from me this is one of the hardest shapes to dress. To lengthen the torso and bring attention to the shoulder and chest area, wear statement accessories like scarves or chunky necklaces and earrings.  V necklines are great, and the tailored jacket or vest will be your best friend. On the bottom half wear body skimming straight or slightly flared/Aline skirts in darker colours or smaller prints. Emphasize the smallest area of your body which is usually just under the boobs (empire line), and show off your legs by wearing knee-length skirts.

 Of course, as I mentioned earlier, there are other variations like:

  • Long torso – balance this out with high-waisted skirts/pants and belts.
  • Short waist – layer your tops. Tops with collars add height and wear skirts/pants low on waist or hips.
  • lovely saddle bags – A line skirts or straight leg pants are best.
  • Big boobs – V or low scoop necklines, long necklaces and wrap tops/dresses are great for minimising.
  • Small boobs – you can wear high turtle necks, any high neck tops, tops with ruffles, gathers or chunky necklaces to add volume.
  • Short legs – knee-length skirts or  pants/skirts/dresses worn long to cover the heels of shoes.
  • Thick legs/ankles – avoid ankle or calf length boots, wear skirts ending at narrowest part of leg, usually just below or on the knee.

Hopefully now you have a little clarity over what body shape you are and the silhouettes you need to look out for when shopping.

Step 2: Work out your Personal Style.

Remember week 1 when you had to collect images and styles of clothing you like and create a mood board? This is where it come in handy.

mood board starringmaya

Pick out the essence of the style, it may be that like me, you like the tuxedo look which means that a black tailored jacket, and white shirt is the essence.

It may be floaty romantic dresses, or leggings and tees with leather jackets. Or it may be just the classic blue jeans or bohemian style jewellery.

Whatever it is, adapt it to your shape and you’ll not only have your open style, but you’ve made it your own by making it work for you and your life.

My personal style is relaxed loose fitted tops worn with jeans or skirts, blacks, whites and statement jewellery. I like to have a black jacket in tjhe closet for the days I feel like dressing my jeans up, and scarves are the ultimate winter accessory, not only good for upifiting outfours, but for covering up little finger prints of food left by cheeky 1 year olds!

Hope you enjoyed  this week’s wardrobe challenge.

If you’re just joining in, check out all the posts on the Wardrobe challenge:

 

If you need any help or have questions please feel free to ask away in the comments section below or on Facebook.

If you feel like sharing your pics as you go along on Instagram or on my Facebook page, use hashtag #starringmaya so I can have a look too.

Coming up next week: the finishing touches

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 7 Step Wardrobe Makeover Challenge. Step 5 : Organize your Space continued

As promised, here is the second part to organising your space.

Tip – If you are shopping for storage, don’t forget to think outside the square, you don’t always have to use a product for what it was intended for. Use a shoe rack to create a double shelf in your linen cupboard for towels or use clear shoe boxes for jewellery, or kid’s Lego/puzzles…etc.

Howard Storage World have so many ideas I feel like making over my entire home, and I think I will!

Here are the rest of my picks to transform your wardrobe:

Small and Large Acrylic Shoe boxes – originally I was going to get the clear plastic boxes but then decided on these because are sturdier and stackable. The draws slide in and out easily and I wanted to use them for things other than only shoes. They’re great for a lot of other items like clutches, chunky bangles,necklaces, scarves, or even arts and craft boxes for a budding little artist.

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Some times, or a lot of the times you need a bit of your wardrobe outside the bedroom for convenience. Our small couch used to be a dumping area for jackets bags and scarves and the hallway piled up with everyday shoes. For our lifestyle I realised it made things easier to have these things outside, so thanks to the following 2 brilliant products, our hallway is neater and couch is free!

Shoe Rack – This fits in perfectly under out hall table and on it lives our everyday shoes, leaving room for our 1-year-old to tear up and down the hall.

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Hat and Coat Rack – LOVE this product. It’s right by the front door, staring at us as we walk in, leaving us no choice but to hand in our coats and bags. I think it looks pretty good (and no, we are not this colour coordinated or neat:)).

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Hope you enjoyed this, stay tuned for a couple of great giveaways from Howard Storage world

xxx shereen

If you’re just joining in, check out all the posts on the Wardrobe challenge:

 

If you need any help or have questions please feel free to ask away in the comments section below or on Facebook.

If you feel like sharing your pics as you go along on Instagram or on my Facebook page, use hashtag #starringmaya so I can have a look too.

Coming up next week: Style yourself – creating your personal style and working out what shapes suit your body

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 7 Step Wardrobe Makeover Challenge – Step 5 – Organize your Space

Welcome to this week’s wardrobe challenge – Organizing your Space. I had a lot of fun with this one – 1, because it’s so much fun to shop online from the couch, and 2, I came across so many wonderful ways to make the most of my space.

The goal here is to make all your clothes and accessories, makeup and shoes easily accessible, and suited to your daily life.

Below are a few tips and ideas that I’ve incorporated into my home and because there are so many, I’m breaking it up, a little now, and the rest in 2 days.

3 Steps to get your wardrobe organised:

  1. Browse Pinterest or google images for ‘organising your wardrobe’. You will be amazed at how many great innovations there are for storing practically every item in your wardrobe.
  2. Decide what kind of look you want and how much money you can spend, if any. For me the most important thing was to have everything easily viewable and accessible. When you have a kid screaming for attention you really don’t have time to search for too long.
  3. Jump online and window shop. Usually you can find everything you need at one place, and look at as many options as possible. My go-to place has been Howard’s storage World for a long time, but never as much as with this wardrobe challenge and complete overhaul of my apartment!

When you’re searching keep in mind the following:

  • Is it easy to use and will still look good in a couple of years without showing too much wear and tear
  • Will it keep your clothing, jewellery or accessories in good condition
  • Do you have space for it (I’ve been known to get too excited and buy something because its pretty but only to realize I have nowhere to keep it)
  • Measure everything and make sure it will fit under your bed or in the closet.

Howard Storage World were kind enough to loan me a few things to try out , and i am so happy with how everything looks in my closet! Especially my jewellery. I’ve been wearing pieces I havent worn in a long time just because I can see it.

Here are a few of my favourite things that make a difference to how your wardrobe looks and feels. 

Non Slip Flocked Hangers are made to stop fabric from slipping off. Don’t you hate when everything ends up on the floor as your rifling through? These are great for silks, thin straps or wide necklines.

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Clip Hangers are the only way to hang your skirts and trousers, I am not an ironer so there’s no way I’m going to spend that extra few minutes ironing out the crease that folding over a hanger creates.

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Cedar balls and Drawer Sachets – Clothes, if unworn for a few weeks can start to smell a bit musty, and the moths and silverfish love to eat through natural fibres such as silks and wools. The cedar balls are great to put in the storage or garment bags of clothes you wont wear for a couple of seasons, and the sachets keep your clothes smelling gorgeous. you can either use them in drawers or put one on a hanger amongst your dresses.

starringmaya cedar balls

 

Over the Door Hanger – I used to live in the tiniest flat in Australia and these were such a great way to utilize space. They sit over any door inside your home and are great to hang scarves, long jewellery or bags. So easy to grab what you need when in a rush.

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Jewellery Pocket Oprganisers – There’s nothing more time-wasting than trying to untangle long necklaces or finding matching earrings, or worse, forgetting what you actually have in your jewellery draw. These are so great not only because you can see all your wonderful collection, but they keep the jewellery from getting damaged. I like to organise mine in metals – silvers, golds, colours etc…

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Acrylic jewellery Drawers – I think from everything that I’ve been working with, these are my favourite. They house my beautiful jewels, and they make me feel the same way as when I walk into a jewellery store and everything sparkles invitingly..’buy me’…’wear me’. I, sadly, love the way jewellery stores display their products, so I love the idea of displaying my precious pieces too. Why not?

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Jewellery Drawer – These fit all of my largest of large rings, something I’ve been searching for years!
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The 4 Drawer Jewellery Box
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The Deluxe Jewellery Chest – yes, this lives on my bedside table filled with special pieces.

 

 

Makeup Storage – A beautiful way to store all your makeup, you can keep all your everyday bits in this, it’s so easy to find brushes and powders. This has made putting on my face that little bit easier in the mornings.

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Love my wardrobe now, looks like a very organised person lives here. Right?

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And because there are so many things left to talk about, and you’ve probably decided that I go on a little too much about jewellery and moved on to another blog, I am going to stop now and bring you part 2 in a couple of days 🙂

xxx shereen

If you’re just joining in, check out all the posts on the Wardrobe challenge:

 

If you need any help or have questions please feel free to ask away in the comments section below or on Facebook.

If you feel like sharing your pics as you go along on Instagram or on my Facebook page, use hashtag #starringmaya so I can have a look too.

Coming up next week: Style yourself – creating your personal style and working out what shapes suit your body

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 Guilty Life of a Mum

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If we could hang out at the park like this every day with nothing else to do, life would be bliss!

I officially went back to my freelance work a few weeks ago carrying with me an oversized bag of mixed emotions.

The happy to be me that does something other than wipe butts and feed a hungry mouth. Happy to be creative and out at the shops spending other people’s money. Happy to have a break from the ground-hog days.

On the other hand I didn’t see how much I was going to miss my girl and how much she would miss me. How do I explain to a 1-year-old that, no my darling one, we are not actually attached, even though it seems like it. And no beautiful child, even though you make a lovely boss, I need to get paid some real money, and not hugs and kisses. Sweet as they are.

And though I’ve read about the guilt, I never did completely appreciate how hard it hits you. Like for example early this week, when from work I thought I’d do a quick face time chat. She took one look at my face in the phone and burst out crying, tears rolling down her woebegone face. Straight in the guts.

To all the full-time working mums, I now feel your pain. I get it and I salute you.

I guess no matter how much you and everyine tells you what a great mum you are, the guilt will always be there. Nothing one can do sp I’m just going to wallow in it and see it as yet another parenting challenge I have to conquer.

The only solution is to build my empire, work from home as a world-famous blogger and never leave my girl for too long. ha!

On another note, a thousand apologies to anyone who is following the wardrobe challenge, with the long hours at work I havent had the time to finish this week’s post, but I promise there’ll be a juicy one on Wednesday.  Followed by a special giveaway from the very incredibly generous and lovely people at Howards Storage World.

So excited!

xxxshereen

 

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

Im a Mum and I swear

When Maya was a tiny baby, I was driving along and stopped at the traffic lights behind a woman in a red car. She obviously hadn’t notice that the lights had turned green so I beeped to get her attention.

I didn’t think it was rude, I get beeped at all the time, I never get offended, I just wave an apology for being distracted and move on.

But this slice of heaven stuck her finger up at me. Lovely.

Then, as we pulled up side by side at the next traffic lights, she  gave me a bitchy smile and stuck her finger up at me, so what was I to do?

Like any normal, red-blooded, sleep deprived, exhausted, emotional mother in my place would do, I decided to use her an outlet to my frustrations.

I told her to fuck off, with a smile. (and I might have stuck my finger up)

She looked at the back seat, saw my baby and yelled out, “you should be ashamed at yourself, you’ve got a baby!”. She actually shook her head and gave me a disappointed disgusted look.

Ummmmm…..

Really?

Not many people render me speechless.

I’m sorry sunshine, just because I pushed a baby out doesn’t mean my brain exploded at the other end.

Just because I have a baby doesn’t mean that I no longer have the right to get angry and swear.

If anything I think it gives me more right. Its therapy.

If you think that makes me a bad mother then I am okay with that…. because honey (and I use the term loosely) your opinion means shit.

I swear when my baby is still screaming after 45 minutes of trying to put her to sleep, when my back is sore and my ears are ringing.

I swear when that same angelic baby is up for the 10th time in 1 night and I havent gotten more than 30 minutes sleep at a time.

I swear when I read ridiculous over the top articles on how I’m damaging my child in a hundred different ways.

And I swear with excitement when I see or witness something fantastic.

It’s a normal part of my vocabulary, one I try to contain when I’m around my child who is starting to talk, but I’m sure a couple will slip out accidentally.

I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

So, I’m sorry lady, hate to break it to you, but if you thought I was an easy target just because I have a baby in the back seat, you’re so wrong.

Cause I need people like you in my life to let out steam. And to teach my daughter what NOT to be like. So thank you.

Thanks for the therapy. You made my day

Anyone else have anything absurd assumed about them just because they’re a parent? Or am I the only blessed one?

In hospital maya and me staringmaya
Here’s Maya and me in the hospital after she was born. Head and brain still intact.
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