Friday, March 30, 2012

An exciting feeling

There is something about making a new friend. It is a feeling that cannot be imitated. To feel a connection with another so different and yet so similar; to permit someone into your life, handing them a key to the doorway of your thoughts. It is mysterious and wonderful.

I believe the nicest thing I ever heard was "thank you for being my friend." Friends have a bond that is difficult to explain to others not in the relationship. They have their little jokes, their memories, their secrets. Someone becoming my friend means they are willing to be a part of my life and want me to be a part of theirs. The notion of becoming a part of someone's life story is quite flattering if you think about it.

Not everyone makes friends easily. Many struggle. They have trouble relating to people; they don't like the feeling of opening up and letting them in or they fear they may one day find themselves alone again, which is very difficult to deal with. Losing a friend can feel like losing a family member.

But to have even one person to talk to, even for a dash of time, is something worth cherishing and risking for.

To all my friends, thank you for letting me be part of your life story. Thank you for being a part of mine.

Blouse: Thift store
Jeans: Urban Behavior
Heels: Thift store
Clutch: Thrift store.
Belt: Jacob

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Things we don't have where I'm from

I wasn't born in North America, where I was born will remain a mystery (at least for this post) but I wasn't born in my current country of residence.

Although it seems judgmental, I like to sometimes compare cultures. Not just with mine but in general; I like to see how one differs from another and how they are are same. Being able to talk to people from around the world, experiencing a different culture and studying other cultures lets one see these differences and similarities.

For fun, I want to point out some of the things you won't find in my native culture compared to North American culture. These are generalization and it isn't to say that one is better than the other. It is simply an observed comparison. 

1. Popularity: North Americans care more about being popular than the people where I'm from.

 No one cares if you have a lot of friends back home; they don't see it as a special quality. You have your own friends; you pay attention to them and no one really stresses about being in the "out cast" group vs the "popular group." They're aren't any.

There is not a lot of social pressure to fit in. In most cases, being popular can be negative, because it simply means many people are talking about you and they probably aren't saying anything nice.

2. Excuses for everything: Living here made me see how easy it was to get away with things. Over here they have psychological analyses for everything.

Overweight people eat too much to suppress some deep pain, but where I'm from you're considered simply someone who can't control their appetite. A kid who can't sit still is ADD; back home you're just a restless kid.

We don't have fancy terms or medical classifications for everything. We don't try to label everything or package people's problems into sell-able remedies. The lack of excuses means we don't feel that odd "labeled" feeling you get here. Sometimes it's nice to know what's wrong with you, but sometimes having an excuse gives you a scapegoat.

3. The need to profit from everything: North Americans can cleverly sell and profit from just about anything. They managed to take "weight": a simple number of a person and turn it into a billion dollar industry. Clever. Where I'm from people don't look to capitalize on things.

This is almost a shame because there is a lot of way they could profit. But it's not in the culture. The resources are seen as nature's and God's, not for mass resale.

4. Romance: North American women are lucky in that North American men are trained by the media to buy them flowers on certain occasions or kiss them in the rain. The entertainment industry promotes love and showing your love in as many lovey-dovey ways as possible.

 The concept of "romance" is not common where I'm from. A man is not going to whisper sweet nothings in your ear in public; he won't surprise you with a gift out of the blue; he might not on your birthday either.

Oh the men are sweet, and they are caring. They also have the old school charm of courting a girl. But they are not over the top romantic.

5. Relationship obsession: I often find it hard to relate to girls who desperately want a boyfriend, because it is not common for a girl to complain about being sinlge where I'm from.

Where I'm from people date with marriage in mind. If you do not want to get married then typically you don't put yourself on the dating market.

In other words, if you were not dating it usually meant you had something going on in your life. Thus, unless you wanted to get married, and therefore date, and no one was asking you out, young women don't feel as if there is something wrong with being single.

But here I find young women discuss relationships a lot: being in one, wanting to be in one, no longer being in one. I thought all the girls here were boy crazy at first, until I learned it was a cultural thing to almost fantasize about being in a relationship.
6. Prolonged childhoods: The concept of childhood differs greatly where I'm from. People laugh when they hear a person in their 20s with no illness cannot cook and do basic household chores for themselves (or don't do it) back home.

The culture here is different. People are thought of as kids way into their late teens and are treated as such. I have friends in their 20s who don't do much at home. They are spoiled in that they have far less responsibility than someone their age in a different country.

By the age of 7, in my country, kids are becoming more responsible. 9 years olds can cook for themselves; they can do their own laundry; a 12 year old can sew her own clothes. By the time they move out they are self sufficient. I look at myself and feel embarrassed at how little skill I have compared to a 12 year old back home.

It is interesting to see life from a different culture. In many ways were are similar. And we have majority of the things (good and bad) that other countries have. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Blogging Evolution

For more than 5 years I've been a "blogger." A decade ago there were two types of bloggers, commercial bloggers who used their blog to drive traffic to their business or sold directly off their blog.

These people didn't usually get personal on their blog. You knew of their business, blogger name (which might not have been their real name) and possibly location. But they rarely went into tales about their family. It was considered news if a commercial blogger announced a marriage or even that they had a baby. Their blogs were for information about a service, product or industry and not much else. They often belonged to a niche and blogged consistently about that niche.

I started out as a commercial blogger. I needed to make money, so I started a blog about writing, affiliating with writing services and offering writing tips. I met my first ghost writing client as a result of that blog and have been a ghost writer ever since. It was a good thing that commercial bloggers didn't have to expose too much about themselves, because I highly doubt anyone would have ordered a book from someone that young.

The second blogging group were personal bloggers. These were the complete opposite of commercial bloggers. They usually blogged for themselves or their family and friends, keeping private or invite only blogs.

They were much more open, exposing their personal ordeals on blog platforms and they rarely sought to monetize their blogs. These people usually simply wanted an outlet or a holding ground for future inspiration.

Personal bloggers then were not in the business of attracting large hoards of readers. They were not seeking popularity. In fact, the invite only aspect made it special, like someone letting you enter their secret world of thoughts. There were a few popular ones and if you were reader you felt part of a club of exclusive nosy peepers.

By the time I got a personal blog all that "special secretiveness" was out the window. I started a personal blog because I noticed that unless I had a client I didn't want to write, and that's dangerous for someone who makes their living from writing. So, I started a personal blog where I could write random thoughts regularly to keep from neglecting writing all together.

Fast forward to today, blogging has really evolved. There is a melding of the two where "your life" is now a niche and all the products you use become of interest to others. Personal blogs are commercial, commercial blogs are personal. Popularity is everything. People will shut down their blog if they don't have thousands of readers and the idea of pure original content is no longer a factor in making a blog standout what with reblogging and all. There was no way you could put ads on a blog that had reblogged or even similar content several years ago. Now I visit blogs where less than 50% of the content is original, and they host ads and other monetizing techniques.

Blogging has become easier. There are more platforms, free and paid; there are more ways to promote your blog and get traffic, and there are many more ways to spice up the look of your blog with fancy themes, adding video and helpful attractive widgets.

 But the content has not improved in quality. In fact, it's gone down some. Unless you had a photography blog, where you posted your own pictures on a blog portfolio, taking a picture of your outfit with a list of the items was not enough to maintain readership years ago. Because unless you had something clever to say the idea of "you being the product" turned people off. You had to produce something. A creative piece of writing; easy to use tips; a physical product that could be used.  But the internet users got younger; attention spans got shorter, and a pretty picture of a pretty girl eating cake was enough to gain subscribers.

Blogging has become more about looks. Pretty themes and pretty pictures drive readers. We've become very visual. I don't think many people "read" blogs anymore; they "look" at them. In fact, if you made it this far I thank you.

As much as I love the ease of blogging today, I miss reading blogs by real writers. People who loved the art of styling words and stimulating your imagination or giving a new perspective. I miss blogs that were able to teach me something with simple to follow steps; I miss when commercial bloggers had to have some clue about the product and gave closer to honest reviews, instead of copying text from the manufactures website. I've been blogging for long time and I've seen a lot of changes but blogging itself, the need to share, hasn't really changed. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday Treasures

The shopping bug has bit me. I bought a new cellphone, some shoes, and Yesstyle is offering an EXTRA 15% off ALL shoes. Use the coupon code EXTRA15OFF at checkout to get the deal. I have to make sure I reign myself in. The end of March always brings sadness to my wallet because so many stores offer disounts.

J'ai fait des emplettes beaucoup. J'ai acheté un nouveau téléphone portable et les chaussures. YesStyle donne un rabais sur les chaussures. Le code est EXTRA15OFF. Je vais essayer de ne pas dépenser :)

Yesstyle shoe sale

Get an extra 15% off  on shoes until April 11.

Nexus S

Because of great promotion, I decided to get the Nexus S yesterday. So far I like it. It's easy to use, runs on android so it's very customizable and the camera/video are decent. On sale, it's a good purchase.

Cora's Surprise

Last weekend, my breakfast buddy and I went to Cora's again. Remember, we're going there until we try everything on the menu (excpet she ordered the same meal as last time). This time, I had Surprise! The meal is a ham, egg, and cheese sandwich on frenchtoast battered bread with a side, or rather mountain, of fruit. I was so hungry I gobbled it down quickly, but it was filling. The sandwich has a sweetness to it. Not too much, but you can notice it. Though it was not a great as some of the other options, it was tasty.

Monday, March 26, 2012

My non religious friends vs my religious ones

Majority of my friends are either non religious or of a different faith. It doesn't bother me. I see them for their talents, their support and the many ways they add to my life. But there is a difference between my non religious friends and my religious ones. My non religious friends talk about religion a whole lot more.

I always find it amusing when someone who has made it a point to not believe in any type of God, or follow any kind of religion, wants to discuss religion. But then people generally love talking about what they know nothing about. These discussions aren't sourced in curiosity, where they simply want to learn more about me and my life; they are rooted in a determination to prove that there isn't a God.

Besides this blog, I make it a point to never dicuss religion. It's too touchy of a subject. No one can fully understand why a person belongs to a specific religion or chooses not to believe at all. And those from the same religion always have different viewpoints about the "right" way to practice. So as a personal rule, religion is not something I bring to the table for conversation.

But my non religious friends greatly enjoy talking about it. They can sit for at least half and hour discussing God and why there isn't one and how religion is destroying mankind. I usually remain quiet, and let them repeat over used phrases that most non religious people use when they discuss religion, without joining in on the debate. There isn't anyway I can prove how much I love God to them, and to me our being on this planet is proof enough that there is a God, so arguing furiously the way they do is pointless to me.

However, one day I had had enough. Not only did I find it odd that people who claimed not to believe in God were saying his name like they were close friends with him, but I was tired of the unmasked insult of being foolish for believeing in something "unseen."

When a guy I knew mentioned how he hated people pushing religion on him and the world would be a better place if religion didn't exist I replied:

 "I agree that no one should force you to believe in something you don't, but you have no right to persuade someone to not believe in something. To you God is a manmade thing causing havoc, but to many it is the sole reason they even get out of bed in the morning. God is hope for many. He is what they have when all else is gone. Having him, and being able to practice worship, makes them happy and feel a sense of peace. If you don't believe what difference does it make if someone tells you you'll burn in hell. You don't believe in hell; you don't believe in God so the words hold no weight, but to sit there and make someone feel stupid for believeing in perhaps the one thing that gives them strengh is a big deal, because you at least have learned to live without religion; how do you plan to replace God for someone who has known him and was turned away. How do you plan to give someone back their source of strength, hope and faith once you have destoryed it?"

He was quiet and has not brought up religion in my presence again. The point is, regardless of what you believe you have no right to shun, mock, or be insulting towards what another person believes. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Thrifting my way to spring

Snow continues to fall from the heavens. While others speak of sunny skies and chirps from the morning robin, I'm still waiting for the weather to grant me some warmth. As I wait for spring to truly arrive here in my city, I thrift. I'm hoping mother nature will get the hint if I keep filling my drawers with springtime wear.

There are a number of thrift shops where I live, but there is one in particular that I think about first when I need something. These are my most recent purchases from there. I don't remember the exact price of the items, but I know that none of the items cost more than $5.00.

Ruffle Blouse

Red Leather Clutch

Jacob Trench Coat

Lace Detail Blouse

Light Blue Pleat Skirt

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday Treasures

The week is off to a charming start. I loved last week though. We celebrated all things green and in my mailbox were words from far away, gentle and uplifting. I hope you too get to hear sweet words from someone in your life this week. I also got the chance to interview a very stylish and nice guy: Francesco of Youth Against Fashion. You can read about him on my other blog

La semaine est un début de charme. J'ai adoré la semaine dernière si. Nous avons célébré tout vert choses et dans ma boîte aux lettres étaient des mots de loin, douce et tonique. J'espère que vous aussi l'occasion d'entendre des mots doux de quelqu'un dans votre vie cette semaine. J'ai aussi eu la chance d'interviewer un homme très élégant et sympathique: Francesco de la jeunesse contre le mode.

Youth Against Fashion Interview
Francesco of Youth Against Fashion was kind enough to let me interview him. He's a source of inspiration for me when it comes to style because he knows how to perfectly layer and combine unique pieces with basics. He is also a painter and his company INVERTED COMMAS offers simple totes with his creative paintings.

Green Drinks
My family normally doesn't celebrate St. Patrick's Day, except wearing the odd green thing. But we had a bottle of green sour apple mix and decided to have a mini family party. This mixer is declicious, but you have to dilute it with something because it is very sweet.

A Letter from My Penpal

My penpal Azed, sent me a lovely letter. Included with it was a postcard, and a splendid bookmark that she made herself. I love it! I wish I was creative in that way so I could make something equally as cute to send to her. I also wish I had more penpals, because I love writing and recieving letters.

I got a Liebster Award

Ayanna of was kind enough to include me in her liebster blog list. I was not sure what that was at first, but it seems it is an award bestowed to blogs that you find motivating and/or inspiring with under 200 followers. I'm thrilled and humbled by the idea of anyone thinking this blog is motivating.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Songs of Kabir LXI said, With the load of desires which you hold on your head, how can you be light?...Keep within you: truth, detachment, and love.

I take this quote to heart and try to make it part of my life. 

We are so full of want. So much so that we forget what we genuinely and deeply need. More so, we forget that we need so little.

I feel a need to want less. I am inspired to unload, detach and renouce claim over my vain desires...or at least remind myself to.

Dress: H&M
Sweater: H&M
Gloves: Etsy
Shoes: Thrifted
Bag: Thrift Store
Stockings: Ardene

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I won a contest!!!

I don't normally enter contests since I don't tend to win, but when a youtube subscriber invited me to enter hers I thought "oh pourquoi ne pas (why not)" Lucky me, I won! Check out the video to see what I won :)

Note: In the vdeo, I mention that one of the prizes is figs is leaves from lush but it is actually african black soap. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Spring Buds

 It is winter all around me, but my heart is full of Spring. There are green budding boughs where song birds perch, and a flower blossoming in my heart. I will sing along with the song birds, and plant more seeds of cheer as I wait for my outer garden to mimic my inner. Hurry Spring; the ladybugs and buzzing bees are waiting to be released from the hidden Spring nest I placed them and out into the world to be marveled.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mod Bob

Mod Bob

Blue shorts

Yves Saint Laurent gold plated ring
$440 -

Marc by Marc Jacobs heart earrings
£50 -

Tom ford sunglasses
€275 -

$29 -

Shu uemura makeup
$10 -

Comme des Garcons fragrance
$95 -

The Vatican Library Collection Two Tone Framed Patriarchal Cross...
$28 -

More than anything, I want to relax, curl up with a good book or watch 60's movies where all the girls had cute hair cuts. 


Friday, March 2, 2012

To bother or not to bother

Neither blogger nor Youtube are allowing me to share my video. If you would like to see it please visit the link. I actually really like the way the video turned out. The food looks delicious.

The Cora breakfast adventures continue. My friend Julie and I went out again to sample another item on the menu. I had to flip a coin for both of us to decide what we would devour. Still confused, I asked a young couple beside me if they had enjoyed their meal. The guy had ordered what I had intended and so I thought I'd get a direct review. They must have been surprised because the girl blushed and giggled with that, "why are you talking to us look."

 I personally don't find it odd to ask the next table for a quick yes or no answer to a question. I'm not one to fully interrupt their meal to make chit chat, but if I'm paying money for something and there happens to be someone beside me who has just bought the same item, I see no harm in asking, "would you recommend it?"

After they had left, an elderly woman sat in their place. She had bags with her and a newspaper. I presumed she was grabbing a bite to eat alone, while she caught her shopping breath. My friend continued chit chatting, but I noticed the woman glancing over at me occasionally. When she first arrived she looked over at my meal, and ordered the same thing. At first I assumed she was looking at me because I was filming Julie and I's hangout, which is not common to most people. But even after I put my camera away, she continued with the friendly glances. I smiled over and she smile back--a lovely smile. 

When I eat out alone, I often feel one of two ways: 1. Please don't bother me. 2. Please bother me. The general public cannot differentiate between the two demeanors, and so I'm usually bothered when I don't want to be or left alone when I'd like to be bothered. Possibly because I do eat out alone often I can tell the difference, and this woman wanted to be bothered. 

So I did.

My friend was discussing a root canal and I mentioned how it was one of my dreaded fears, looking over at the woman as I said it. She quickly joined the conversation and for the next half hour the three of us engaged in laughter and opinions. It was one of the best breakfasts I've had. My friend said she very much enjoyed talking to the woman and wished she could talk to strangers more often.

So often we ignore people when we are out. Possibly because we get the reaction the first couple gave me, which makes us feel bothersome. But even if you don't want to have a conversation, a friendly smile can make someone's day.