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  • June 11, 2014

    The Ultimate Work Wardrobe – Five Essentials for Every Gal

    The work wardrobe has always been a toughie.  We struggle with the term smart casual on a daily basis and this tends to be the attire for most businesses nowadays.  However, regardless of your work’s clothing requirement (albeit smart, smart casual or extremely casual) there are five essentials you should have in your wardrobe.

    Thanks to Motilo’s style tips, and a little imagination, you will forever be ahead of the fashion pack when it comes to your work attire:

    The White Blouse

    The white blouse is an absolute must!  Whether you team yours with boyfriend jeans and white courts or tucked it into your favourite floral formal skirt, it will go with everything.  So hassle free and a timeless classic, every fashionista should have the white blouse in her wardrobe, regardless of your work setting.

    women's button-front shirt
    image via glamour.com

    For curvy hourglass figures, aim for a fitted wrap style to accentuate your fabulous figure and for slimmer shapes – silk flowing fabrics look perfection.

    The Bold Accessories

    You can spend a small fortune on your work attire, and it’s an absolute minefield.  By opting for simple classic option like the white blouse, you can invest in some bold accessories to bring your outfits to life.  Chunky wood jewelry gives you an earthy look whilst jewels embody the vintage style.

    wood jewelry

    And it doesn’t stop at jewelry.  Mix & match your jewelry with other accessories to look like the professional you are.  We love teaming the bland white blouse/black pencil skirt combo with bright red accessories all over, including your nails.

    The Black Trousers

    We’re not talking about the boring black school trousers that do nothing for your shape or confidence, oh no.  The black trouser comes in many shapes and sizes, and you need the style best suited to your shape and attitude.  Cigarette style trousers are super stylish and super flattering too for summer.  Opt for ones that show off your ankles to elongate your figure and tick all that tricky smart casual box too.

    trousers trend

    The Loafer

    A cross between the sturdy brogue and the flirty ballet pump, the loafer has the smart formal look whilst being a bit of fun too.  Available in so many shapes and shapes, we love all the suede loafers on the market especially in fun summer colors out there at the moment like pastel pink and cool blue.  Remember to team your shoes with a matching top to complete the look.

    tods gommini

    The Chic Handbag

    To finish it all off, you need the ultimate handbag complete with your make-up essentials, ample stationary, notepad, mini perfume and business cards.  The designer brand of the moment is Micheal Kors and their bags are stunning.  Various sizes and just a handful of exquisite colors. However, you don’t have to be drawn in by the fashion phase of the moment.

    michael kors miranda voyager

    Mulberrys are still lusted over and Louis Vuittons have a fantastic fashion edge about them. However, we don’t all have the couple of hundred lying around for such luxury, try online.  Whether it’s a designer classic on EBay or an affordable gem form the high street, your work wardrobe needs one killer handbag!

    May 21, 2014

    For the Office and More

    Here is a really neat item I came across earlier at QVC (was on Today’s Special)  ~ the Aqua Flame Flameless Candle from Bethlehem Lights.  Enjoy two relaxing elements in one, water & light.  And yes, these belong in my office!

    water fountain flameless candles

    The soothing sound of water provides a tranquil mood as I go about doing my daily work while the candle light brings out a romantic ambiance on the dinner table at night.  Don’t you love the versatility of this candle?  I will take the lavender one please.

    Other items coming my way are these Pineapples with Flameless Candles to spruce up both indoor and outdoor decor this season.  Pineapples are always a sweet reminder of my family’s Kauai trip years back so very nostalgic for me.  These sure are a great steal compared to similar ones at triple the price.

    May 19, 2014

    Colored Pens – More Than Just Nostalgia

    This post brought to you by BIC 4-Color pen. All opinions are 100% mine.

     
     
    Although technology is bountiful in today’s world, I just have to create handwritten notes – with a pen.  There is something about the handwriting process that brings a creative and genuine appeal to me.  Like many of you, I had my share of pens, countless pens throughout my life actually.  The one that stands out the most is the multi-colored pen, BIC® 4-Color pen in particular.  Do you remember?
     
    I have been a HUGE & longtime fan of this pen since childhood.  I remember how much I enjoyed using it doing all sorts of writing and drawing at school.  Now the pen has become my daily office essential.  The metallic ones are what I’m using currently.  I grabbed these at a local Staples, but you can also order them online through Amazon.
     
     
    Through color coding, I can easily outline, highlight and categorize my notes and lists.  The BIC® 4-Color pen includes 4 Inseparable Colors in 1 Pen along with an old-school style that is quite nostalgic to someone like me.  
     
    Perhaps you have already seen their campaigns.  How quirky and funny!  Guys in spandex suits ~ hotness!  LOL.
     
     
     
    I was a serious pen spinner at one time, a master spinner in fact.  I feel sorry for those guys now after watching the video.  LOL!  Each of the 4 characters represent the 4 colors from the pen – the blue is the bossy type, green is a soft-hearted cat lover, red is a problem solver and black is a big dreamer.  Being a cat-lover and of nature in general, I must say that I’m closest to the green personality type.  
     
    Discover more about their latest pens on Facebook or Twitter!

    Visit Sponsor's Site

    February 27, 2014

    Factors that may be throwing off your work-life balance

    Living at your optimal potential often means walking the tightrope between constant, unrelenting work or catching up with friends and family.  When you devote too much time and energy into pure productivity, you’ll burn out pretty quickly and your motivation to succeed will fall rapidly.

    On the other hand, you won’t be getting any closer to your ambitions if you spend too much time on yourself and don’t take your work seriously.  Instead of adhering to one of these two extremes, you need to strike the right balance between your career and your non-workday life.

    balancing between work and family

    In other words, what you need is balance.  With a bit of strategy and compromise, you will be able to do your work well and have enough time to train for your 5K run, make your significant other’s birthday extra special, and help mom and dad get on Facebook.  To ensure that you make the most of your time, steer clear of the following traps:

    Unhealthy Sleeping Habits

    It’s no secret, we all need a healthy dose of sleep in order to be both productive and happy (recent studies suggest an average of eight hours is necessary for normal adults).  If you go through your day feeling tired and lethargic, you certainly haven’t been getting the optimal amount of sleep.  Not only will this affect your working habits (decreased productivity and increased errors), but it also effects your health and stress levels – one of the most important aspects of having a successful work-life balance.

    If you find you are getting into bed at a decent hour, but just counting sheep isn’t quite working, you may need to change your bedtime routine.  Instead of check emails right before getting into bed, do this an hour before you lay your head down, no excuses!  Get rid of the electronics altogether before you get into bed.  Instead of playing Flappy Bird on your phone, pick up a book. This has been shown to promote sleep.

    If changing your routine doesn’t seem to be working, your sleep environment may be the problem.  If your budget and space permits, change up your bedroom.  Rearrange your furniture, change your linens (cheap dorm room bedding here, more expensive Italian linens here), strip your wall decorations, and paint your room a cool, calming shade of blue.  These elements could be the only thing standing in the way of a great night’s sleep to rev you up for the next day in the office.

    Overworking to Pay for Unnecessary Spending Habits

    Working overtime during the holidays or when you’re saving up for a big purchase is a great thing – it not only shows your employer that you’re willing to work hard, but I also shows you have the ability to see long term.  However, if you’re overworking to pay for bad habits or pointless spending you can cut, this can not only be having an adverse effect on your bank account, but also your working life.

    Not only could the extra money be used for more important purchases or be put into savings, the time you spend working could be spent for some much needed “me time”.  Consider using apps or services like Mint to keep track of the extra money you make working overtime or odd jobs. Don’t spend the extra money you make and record the time it takes you to make that money. Visualize what that dollars could be used for or what you could do with the extra time over a two month period, and you’ll begin to see the potential in thinking twice of the extra spending.

    Failure to Set Boundaries with Co-Workers and Boss

    Are you constantly volunteering to take on new projects or help out co-workers?  While this may show that you are a dedicated and empathetic worker, you could also be sending the wrong message.  Having a reputation as the workhorse of the office could lead to having too big of a workload on your back, causing extra stress.  What’s more, if you are loaded with too much work and fail to meet increasingly difficult goals or deadlines, it will only make you look worse.

    DO offer help and volunteer to try one-off projects at work, but DON’T forget to set boundaries and make it clear that you can’t be constantly be responsible for areas outside of your expertise. Setting boundaries will ease stress at work and free up time to focus on your personal life and goals.

    Allowing Your Work to Follow You Around

    Are you still working after you leave the office?  Does your work follow you wherever you go?  If this is indeed the case, you it’s obvious that your period for rest and leisure is obviously tainted. Even though it’s important to keep track of what’s happening with your clients on the weekends, devoting your limited time off to emails does not make for a healthy work-life balance.  Try limiting looking at your email to once a day.

    If you’re aware there will be issues brought up during the weekend, devote a certain period of time to your work (for example, from 12 PM until 2 PM on Saturday), and commit to not exceeding this specified stretch of hours.

    No clear goals

    If your goals for the next year – or for the following few years – aren’t clear, you’ll get stuck in the rut of working aimlessly and to no purpose. This, in turn, will mean that you will be less energetic and not as ready to take on the day.  Concisely define what you’re working towards such that you have a driving reason to go to work – beyond just paying the bills and buying tickets for that football game.

    Consider these possible traps that you may have fallen into, and take the steps to escape from a work-life cycle that is negatively impacting your overall well-being.  Remember, if you don’t take the right steps now, you’ll keep digging yourself deeper in.  Keep in mind, too, that an optimal work-life balance will allow you to take in every moment and have a healthy mental attitude.

    February 23, 2014

    Sophistication Meets Classic Style

    If you look up the word “chic” in the dictionary, chances are you’ll find a photo of a French woman.  French women have an unmistakable sense of style.  And for women across the United Kingdom who have outgrown Topshop but don’t have the coin for full on designer wear, French fashions from Maje provide a salvation.

    french chic style

    The hottest French-influenced fashions are also available online, with names like Nicole Farhi now being a few clicks away instead of a plane ride away.  Click through to your heart’s content until you find that just-right style that speaks to your individual taste yet provides that sense of French chic you seek.  For spring 2014 many of the best French-inspired styles are especially popular.

    Why French Women Always Look Chic

    One reason French women always look chic is because they somehow instinctively know how to look pretty yet individual.  French women are not so much slaves to fashion as fashion adapters and innovators.  French designers create pieces that allow women to take the best aspects of each look and adapt them to their own tastes and wardrobes.

    French women also understand the importance of the right hairstyle.  Whether they wear their hair long or short, French women never allow their hair to go shaggy.  Whether they are sporting neatly coiffed curls or a sleek, side-swept chignon, hair for French women is truly their crowning glory.

    Color Coordination

    If you check out French women’s outfits carefully, you’ll notice something distinctive.  At first, you may not be fully aware of what you are seeing, but then it hits you.  Color coordination.  French designers play to that strength by creating outfits with matched separates such as a solid-color top that picks up one of the colors in a pattered skirt or pleated trousers.  Many French women take the designers’ look one better, purchasing three different blouses, sweaters or jackets in her closet, each of which picks up a different color in he same designer skirt or trousers.

    French women and designers are also frequently bold enough to push the envelope, mixing and matching vivid colors and look-at-me animal prints.  With many French women and designers, fashion is three-dimensional – as much about texture and fabric as color and cut.  Clothes are, after all, meant to be worn, not merely gazed upon.

    The French Take on Jeans

    Nearly everyone loves jeans, and French women are no exception.  However, it is almost unheard of to witness a French woman wearing holey or slouchy jeans.  French designers create jeans that caress a woman’s body and celebrate her womanly curves.  French designer jeans can be dressed up or down for work or for evening occasions.

    Just-Right Accessories

    When is a rucksack more than just a rucksack?  When it’s a designer rucksack that looks more like a proper purse than something to tote around schoolbooks.  For the French, ordinary is never good enough, especially where fashion is concerned.  Whether they are dealing with purses, jewelry, hats, gloves or scarves – French women and designers understand that the devil – and perfection is in the details.  Since many accessories are inherently very inexpensive French women frequently devote more of their budgets toward minor splurges for those just-right accessories that can make all the difference between a blah just-OK outfit and a to-die-for completely coordinated ensemble.

    Shoes, Wonderful Shoes

    Many women love shoes.  But few women have as much of a way with shoes as French women.  Although Paris is a walking city, you’ll hardly ever catch French women slouching around wearing trainers, which are practically part of a uniform in many sections of the United States.  Instead, French women wear stylish gladiators, flats and even pumps.  If their feet hurt, you could never tell from their facial expressions or body language.  In fact, many French women stride about as if they were born wearing heels.

    Pulling Off the French Sense of Chic

    It is not necessary to understand or speak a single word of French to fully comprehend the French sense of chic.  The rules – such as they are – enough.  Sexy does not necessarily equate with baring lots of skin.  Casual does not translate to a “rolled out of bed” thrown-together look. Mixing and matching can often produce a more coordinated look than a stiff matchy-matchy ensemble.  Most of all, fashion is meant to be fun.

    Article written by Francesca Rhode.  Francesca Rhodes is obsessed with innovative, wearable fashion. She loves blogging about chic trends that are fresh and classic on style blogs.
    photos via 1, 2, 3

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