1. New Year, New Mindset

    Sometime in 2013, I started drifting away from my usual daily routine. Before, my mornings were devoted to this blog. However, due to the mixture of various changes in schedules and priorities, I started leading an unbalanced scheme and living an “ALL WORK, NO PLAY” disposition.

    This year, I want to change that! That’s my mission. This year, I shall find time to continue doing the things that I love to do. Be it, style blogging or simply writing about the things that I’m interested in. From deep subject matters like latest news up to mundane stuff like my latest fashion or beauty must-haves, I’d just go and put them into words and post them here. Besides, that’s how my blog was way back 2005, it was a place where I poured my heart out. I used to be content with the simple thoughts that I get to share in my small part of the World (Wide Web).

    Photo credit: briansolis.com


    This is not a New Year’s Resolution, this is a New Year’s Mission. My mission is to keep afloat and start giving time to pursuing things that would keep my life balanced, more fun, and more meaningful. Not saying that working hard doesn’t make my life balanced or meaningful, it’s just that too much of something is indeed bad. I’ve been thinking hard about it, and I’ve got to admit that I’m getting obsessed with the idea of earning. All I have in mind is just to work, work, and work because I’ve to earn more. But seriously, what’s the primary effect of this mindset? STRESS. A whole dose of it. Sometimes, I like to take a breather, aka sleep. But we all know that when we sleep, we lose seconds in life that should’ve been spent in doing more valuable things. In my case, these things may involve playing with my kids, or reading books, or watching TV series or movies.

    Now, how does that relate to my blog? Remember before when I’d emphasize that THERE IS ALWAYS TIME? I guess that’s the key to living a balanced life, to always find time to do things that make you happy and make your heart sing. Hopefully, by going back to blogging, I can bring back the mantra about always having time.

    So there, no promises, just high hopes for this year. :)

    xx, A

     

  2. Give Yourself The Love That It Deserves

    "We get the love we think we deserve." This line came from the book/movie The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I couldn’t agree more with this. For one, I’ve always been a firm believer that we get what we deserve in life. We draw the paths that get us to where we are. We create actions and visions that help us achieve what we want in life. As cliche as this may sound, we are the captain of our own ship. And this applies to love, respect, and trust as well. Respect begets respect. Trust must be done mutually. As to love, it will also be reciprocated, as long it’s given sincerely and whole-heartedly. 

    We all know that life will never be all rosy and smooth sailing. As we travel along the paths that we choose to take, we will meet different kinds of people. There will be an inspiring lot that will motivate us to become better version of ourselves. On the downside, we will meet people who will challenge us negatively. These people will shake the self-assurance that we have. Some will even go in a different kind of low and try to step on us, belittle us, and attack us on whatever way imaginable. 

    Life as such is but normal. Meeting these people - both those who become our friends and foes - come into our lives for a reason. We are then expected to make the most out of these  experiences. 

    There is no disguise on the purpose of meeting a great support system in the form of our friends. Are we to question why we become friends with our friends? And what will become of us if we become friends with our friends? 

    Yet various questions prevail when meet the foes, when the “challenging” people come into the picture. What do we make of the situation where we encounter these people? How should these people affect our lives? What’s the purpose of knowing these people? 

    I always consider my foes or people I’m not particularly fond of as people who help boost my self-assurance and authenticity. The more that people try to belittle me or step on my toe, the  more I become self-secure. I guess that’s the importance of loving yourself and of being sure of your capabilities, no one can bring you down no matter how hard they try. 

    At the end of the day, it’s knowing that you’re doing the right thing and knowing that you never shortchanged anyone by becoming your true self and by doing your best. 

    Unfortunately, others mistook delusion of confidence for self-assurance. There are those who wind up living in an illusion of grandeur - materially and skills-wise. But the thing is, if you are fully aware of your strengths and weaknesses, you can avoid committing these mistakes. 

    Self awareness may begin with acknowledging what you can and cannot do and embracing both your assets and liabilities. Recognizing your failures and successes is an important factor to become 100% sure of your authentic self. If people live with the wrong notion that they’re perfect, they would eventually end up losers in real life. 

    A well-examined life is the key to becoming self aware, and we can only become fully aware if our mind, body, and spirit are in sync. In other words, if we are self conscious

    We must never expect people to fully know or understand us if we don’t even fully know or understand ourselves. We cannot expect others to love us, if we don’t give ourselves the right amount of love that it deserves. 


    image


    xx, A


    (Written sometime in June.)

     

  3. Mommy Chronicles: Kids Fashion

    Seeing their kids all-dolled up is something that parents are ordinarily fascinated about. 

    In my case, I love seeing my kids in cute dresses. However, although I have this particular fondness for everything girly when it comes to my kids’ clothes, I still see to it that aside from dressing up to the occasion, feeling comfortable is top priority. 

    When choosing their clothes, I consider the place where we’ll go to. If we’re hitting the mall, I don’t mind dressing them up in dresses or actually in any kind of ensemble. But if we’re going somewhere else, say, a friend’s or relative’s house, somewhere without aircondition or somewhere where I know they’ll be running around like there’s no tomorrow, I dress them up in more comfortable clothes, let’s say leggings or shorts, shirt or tank top, rubber shoes or their crocs.

    Although kids, particularly toddlers, still don’t care much about fashion, parents can start giving them the liberty, fashion-wise, by the simple act of letting them choose the clothes that they want to wear on a particular day. 

    On weekends, even if we’re staying in, I let my kids choose their clothes. Aine loves her dresses. As a four-year-old, she loves to be in frilly, flowy dresses because it makes her feel like a princess. I suppose, every little girl wants to feel that way, anyway. :)

     

    No matter how weird their fashion sense can get at this point of their lives, providing them with the freedom to choose can make them feel good. In fact, whenever I let Aine choose her clothes, I can see her “working it.” :-) (See photos as proof, yes?)



    I also think it’s never too early to teach them the importance of presenting themselves well through clothes. 

    Whenever my kids choose shoes that don’t go well with what they’re wearing, I tell them straightforward why they have to choose another pair. They seldom complain about this. However, there are also instances when I just let them be, no matter how “off” their choices are. Besides, that’s the beauty of being young, you can be as carefree as you want to be. 



    I guess, the bottomline is, kids fashion should always be fun. Let your kids wear the clothes that they want to wear. Don’t be too strict on fashion rules, because what are fashion rules anyway? Kids should find “dressing up” as a fun activity. In fact, it is something that mothers and daughters/sons can bond over. 


    How about you, what’s your take on this? 


    xx, A


    Mommy Chronicles is a special section in Style Attempt that showcases tips and discussions about motherhood/parenting. If you have any topic suggestions, feel free to hit the “Let’s talk” button on top of this page.  

     

  4. It Has Come Down To This

    Based on experience, I believe there are really people who can label themselves as “bully magnet.” They are those who even if they didn’t intend to, even if they aren’t doing anything wrong, become butts of ridicule, subject of jokes, pranks, and assaults, which sometimes reach an extent when crying a foul isn’t even enough. 


    Image Credit: Reputation.com 

    When I was still at school, I’ve had my own fair share of bullying. I remember people grouping together to HATE me, spread humors about me, and make me feel isolated in every possible way. People called me names, they’d pick on me due to my weight, and do things that would make anyone feel really upset. 

    Thankfully, I have friends who supported me during those rough times. I don’t care if we were literally outnumbered, since bullies really have the capability to grow their posse over time. I was just very blessed to have people (one or two or three)  who I can share my emotions to, talk to, and cry to whenever the bullying gets too much. 

    Bullying, however, doesn’t stop at school. In the workplace, bullying can be taken up a notch, sometimes, with those in power doing the bad tricks. Although I only have a semi-experience of being bullied by an office jerk, I can say that it’s harder at work because it can truly affect your productivity. 


    Image Credit: Verifirst.com

    Now, with the rampant use of social media, bullying has taken a step further. I remember Chris Lao saying that it is the evil side of social media, and I couldn’t agree more. Cyberbullying is easily done by some people because the Internet provides a wide range of solutions to them.

    For one, the World Wide Web is easy to navigate and use. Opening new accounts in platforms like Twitter and Facebook can be done with just a blink of an eye. Setting up blogs for free is also very convenient. With this, no wonder people who like to ruin others reputation can now do so with just a click. People who don’t have anything better to do in life can open new accounts and start publishing malicious contents across various platforms about their bullying subject. Without even knowing it, the person being bullied may find him/herself being the new face of 9gags, memes, and other forms of trolling. If he/she isn’t adept on the works of the Web, s/he may find it hard to put the nonsense down and track the culprit. And that’s where the torture begins. 



    Social media is supposed to be a tool to help people connect with each other. It breaks boundaries and give people a chance to communicate with others with just a click. Blogging used to be just about expression. A person blogs because s/he wants to express her ideas or share a specific life experience. Now, blogging is even tainted with various hulabaloos. Even a simple blogger who just wants to blog for the heck of it gets criticized because it has become a business of sorts for most that when a blog doesn’t get “hits,” it can just be looked down upon. 


    Social media isn’t about stardom. It isn’t about getting and staying on top, cause again, social media is convenient. Eventually people will get to where you are, assuming that you’re in some stature based on blog rankings and whatnot. Quoting Tony Stark, “There’s no throne, there is no version of this where you come out on top.” This very much applies to “social media” power and bullying. Social media changes day by day. Those who think highly of themselves because they feel like Web’s superstars shouldn’t be too complacent, worse, too proud. And those who bully others, should think of what the upshot of their actions will be? Do they really think they’ll get to where they want to be by stepping on someone’s toes? 

    Social media should be used for it’s original, sincere purpose - to unite people. Bashing other people, making fun of people, and damaging other people’s reputation through the social media will always come to a halt because people will always think and people will always know. 

    xx, A 

     

  5. That Vicious Pair

    High heels are not the easiest and most comfortable shoes to wear. A pair of high heels, particularly those above three inches, can trigger pain that may go beyond the feet. In a study conducted in a university in Finland, scientists share that apart from pain, wearing high heels may have a lasting effect to women. According to the study, getting used to wearing high heels changes the way women walk in general. 

    That being said, both men and women question why some women choose to wear those towering heels despite the discomfort and probable lumbar spine injury that one can get if things get worse. Those who have a penchant for these vicious pairs of footwear - whether be it stilettos, wedges, platforms - probably have one thing to say, and an ironic one at that: wearing heels make them feel good. 

    I classify this as "vanity pains." Vanity pains are moments/instances/choices that you make because you like them, they make you feel good, they look good on you, despite the pain, wounds, blisters, awkward stares, and the like that you have to go through. 

    Although hard to walk in and can be extremely painful, heels can make any woman feel more confident. The extra height that it provides can make anyone feel ‘above’ others, if you know what I mean. 

    According to experts, not all high heels are ‘unhealthy.’ It actually depends on the shoes and the longevity of wearing it. Women are suggested to choose shoes that distribute their weight all over the shoes and not just on the balls of the feet. A good example of heels that has this capability are wedges or platforms. 




    (Leopard wedges - AsianVogue; Black platforms - Gold Dot (for sale!))

    These types of shoes give its wearer the much needed height without compromising the leg muscles because of its structure. I have lots of wedges that make me feel like I’m wearing ‘flats’ but only elevated because of how they give an even slant to my feet. 

    Aside from wedges and platforms, another type of heeled shoes that women can enjoy wearing are called “flatforms.” A type of footwear that said to originate from Ancient Greek, platforms are shoes with thick soles. They are also called clogs or disco boots. 

    I remember when I was younger, my mom and older sister would buy clogs. They didn’t look very appealing to me, but in a way, I felt a bit envious because I was a little teenager back then. I always wanted to look taller, but because of my physique and feet size, I didn’t get to wear the clothes and shoes that I want to wear. 

    Fast forward to today, I still have small feet (and I’m still small) but a lot of shoe shops now exist to cater to every woman’s needs. And for my first pair of platforms, I got it from one of the most recognized online stores in the Philippines - Virtual Mae


    I remember seeing this pair from Virtual Mae’s website and not minding it at first. I was never attracted to platforms, to be honest. But I decided to get this pair because I kind of visualized how it’ll look when worn. 



    And that visualization is the exact image that you seen in these photos. I love the feminine and ultra chic vibe that this tie-up platforms give. 




    Top - Dorothy Perkins
    Skirt - Thrifted
    Shoes - Virtual Mae
    Accessories - Bazaars
    iTouch in grey Speck casing 

    Walking in platforms needs some getting used to, though, but it’s definitely comfier than wearing a stiletto, in my opinion. 





    As a person who can’t run in heels, but love them to bits, I’d suggest to those who experience the same ‘struggle’ in wearing these lovely pairs to know the height that they can trot. Don’t go for super high heel height when you can’t even do a single step in it. Start with low heels first, say kitten heels, then when you feel like you’re used to walking and being kitten heels already, add up an inch to your heel height until you reach that 5-incher pumps! 

    Aside from practicing it, I would highly recommend knowing when to rest your feet. Yes it adds up to your height, it can make you look leaner, but wearing heels for a long period of time may affect your muscles and your lower spine area. Avoid triggering unnecessary pains by resting your feet after few hours of being in heels. It pays to always have a pair of comfortable flats in your bag in case your feet starts to feel tired. To those who are commuting to-and-from work (or wherever), experts recommend wearing flats when doing so and just wear the heels when you get to the destination to avoid common mishaps like tripping and prevent pushing your feet’s capabilities to the limits. 

    xx, A