Monthly Archives: October 2013

Memories from Paris

Spending the afternoon with my close friends yesterday, while enjoying sunny weather (a rare occasion in London at the end of October) and eating delicious food, slowly (previously unthinkable on a weekday), I realised how happy I was at that moment and how much I like my lifestyle. This made me think about the same time last year and how different I felt then – stuck, uninspired, unhappy with my lifestyle. Something had to change but I did not know where to begin. Luckily, the right opportunities come at the right time. I invested in a private coaching session and booked a ticket to Paris, my ultimate lifestyle inspiration destination. Despite that familiar voice of fear persistently saying this was ‘not sensible’ and going alone would make me sad and even less happy, I decided to take the risk.

I know this may sound a bit dramatic – going away by yourself for 3 days in Europe is not a big deal, when many people travel solo for months to remote parts of the world. But travelling alone,  even for 3 days,  seemed big at the time. After my more adventurous students years I got less comfortable with the idea of travelling solo, always preferring the safety of someone’s company. My main worry was how I was going to eat out by myself all weekend! I felt uncomfortable and self-conscious even imagining myself alone in a Paris restaurant.

But it was this step – pushing myself out of my comfort zone – that helped me to move from a (mental and emotional) place where I felt stuck. And I loved every minute of my trip.

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Recent conversations with a number of my friends who feel stuck one way or another prompted me to share my experience.

If you are looking for inspiration to create change in your life, whether it is in your daily lifestyle, career, relationship or personal style, and don’t know where to begin I really recommend booking yourself on a trip to your dream destination, even for a couple of days.

1. Why travel?

I truly believe that it is difficult to see the big picture when we are in our usual environment. Travelling (the actual going away) helps us to distance ourselves from our problem or situation and see it in a different way.

2. Going alone has its benefits.

Going by myself allowed me to do what I love without having to compromise. As I already explained, it meant I had to move out of my comfort zone, and this is the place from which we are capable to change something. We are also more open to opportunities, conversations and meeting people when we are alone.

3. Gift yourself the experiences that light you up. It is the fun and enjoyment that will shift your thinking and move you out of a place of stagnation, not actually sitting and doing the thinking.

For me these activities included exploring new areas of Paris, shopping, eating in local restaurants and cafes and connecting with people. I loved walking in streets of Paris by myself, enjoying the beauty of the city, taking photos, discovering new areas, popping into art galleries and cafes for inspiration without any rush. This really helped me to re-connect with my creativity.

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4. Try a new style

As a woman who loves fashion and style how could I not shop in Paris?? What I wear is a very important element of my lifestyle. Seeing myself in a new outfit that reflects my lifestyle aspirations helps me to first visualise and then create a new lifestyle. Shopping in stylish Parisian boutiques gave me more lifestyle inspiration than sitting at home thinking for hours about how to change what was not working in my life.

Even a year later, these lovely pieces help me to get into that chic Parisian mode each time I put them on.

5. Connect with people

In Paris, I wanted to eat delicious food and meet new people so I signed up for a private supper club called New Friends Table, hosted at a Parisian home. This experience completely exceeded all my expectations. Even though I was a little shy and self-conscious about the idea of going to a dinner party with strangers by myself, the promise of exquisite food in a real Parisian flat got me more excited that I had been for a long time. It had always been my dream to see the inside of a Parisian flat where real Parisians live. The food indeed was exquisite, the hosts very welcoming, the setting was very stylish, the company was brilliant and we had a truly engaging conversation around the table that only strangers can have, not being limited by the boundaries of common memories of the past or gossip about common friends. This evening was an incredible experience. Meeting people who follow their passions was most inspiring.

These are some of the many delicious dishes we were served at the New Friends Table
These are some of the many delicious dishes we were served at the New Friends Table
Good food, great wine to match every dish and wonderful company inside a beautiful French flat
Good food, great wine to match every dish and wonderful company inside a beautiful French flat

Surrounded by the beauty of the city and its inspiring people, I, without realising it right away, got what was missing – my ability to dream big again and see the lifestyle I desired. Knowing what our desires are is a first step in creating the life we want. Getting out of my comfort zone inspired my to do what I love more, even if it seems uncomfortable at first – travel by myself, host my own dinner parties, go to fun events alone and connect with more people.

If you are looking for lifestyle inspiration, style or travel idea, feel free to get in touch with me here.

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Style lessons from Rome

Last weekend I was lucky to spend time in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, the eternal city, also known as Rome. What a beautiful experience it was: the views were breathtaking, the food was delicious, the people were lovely, there was an abundance of style and aesthetic inspiration everywhere.

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But the most inspiring thing of all to me is the local lifestyle, la dolce vita. For anyone who wishes to reconnect with pleasure and enjoyment, a trip to Rome is a must. Coming from busy London, here I managed to completely slow down and savour the flavours, smells and views that this beautiful city has to offer. Sitting in cafes, sipping delicious Italian coffee, I spent the entire afternoon enjoying one of my favourite activities – people-watching.20131009-163325.jpg

And this is what I learned from observing the locals.

Style is important, even off-duty

The famous Italian sense of style is not a myth, people in the streets of Rome look stylish, yet comfortable. What you will not find here so much is the extremely polished glamorous style that is typical for Milan. The style in Rome is a lot more relaxed and casual. But going for casual and comfortable clothes  does not mean compromising on style or neglecting your appearance.

Here are some examples from the street of Rome showing how to do casual weekend wear stylishly and in a feminine way. Think asymmetric necklines, ankle boots, leather jackets, soft fabrics, such as jersey and wool, simple dresses with statement accessories and, if nothing else, beautiful handbags. Handbags and shoes make an outfit as Roman women prove.

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While how you look is important, it is how you feel about yourself that gives you confidence and allure.

Beyond style, I was really impressed with how comfortable women in Rome appear to be with their femininity. They do not hide it, as so many of us often do. Even though I have not met many local women, just by observing them I noticed that they give off a vibe of relaxed confidence and allure that can only be present when a woman enjoys her femininity and her style.

This made me think about what can women (myself included), who do not live in the environment where la dolce vita is a standard way of living, do to get into that vibe?

These are the ideas I had in Rome while sitting in one of the piazzas watching the world around me:

  1. Take time to enjoy small things daily. For example, I decided no more drinking coffee from paper cups on the go for me. If I want one, I need to take a break from I am doing at that moment, find a space that inspires me and enjoy my coffee, slowly.
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  2. Listen more to your feelings and senses, they are the key to reconnecting with your femininity and radiating confidence and allure. Is there a body cream that makes you feel beautiful? Buy it and apply daily. Does wearing a designer handbag make you feel confident and stylish? Invest in it. If putting red lipstick on makes you feel more feminine, find the right shade and wear it. I am now practicing going with what feels right rather than the ‘sensible’ option.
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  3. Enjoy the way you look, enjoy your style. Take the time to get to know your body and learn to love it from inside and outside. Learn what clothes make you look your best, your most confident and radiant and say no outfits that don’t fit or don’t make you feel great.

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    Me, enjoying dressing up in Rome

If you wish to discover how to enjoy your style and how to look and feel beautiful and confident, book a free 30 minute discovery session with me.

Style during transitional season

I have been enjoying warmer temperatures in London during the past couple of weeks. The only downside is I never know what to wear when I leave my house in the morning because one minute it is sunny and warm and the next minute it is cold and windy. The art of layering is essential: carrying a scarf or a cardigan to wear when it gets colder. This is one of the first things one learns after moving to London. But what are other ways to be stylish during the time when we have several seasons in one day?

I am getting a lot of style inspiration in the streets of London. I hope these photographs give you stylish ideas too.

A very well put together outfit: simple with one statement piece (skirt), great colours. Blazer and boots is an interesting idea...
A well put together outfit: simple with one statement piece (skirt), great colours. Blazer and boots is an interesting idea…
Classic style will always be in fashion. Trench is an essential item for any woman's wardrobe, which reminds me I need to go shopping for one.
Classic style will always be in fashion. Trench is an essential item for any woman’s wardrobe, which reminds me I need to go shopping for one.
I love the combination of different textures in this all back outfit. A leather jacket is an essential item for the transition season - easy way to be stylish
I love the combination of different textures in this all back outfit. A leather jacket for me is the item to have for the transition season – easy way to be stylish
Maxi skirts and dresses are not only for the summer season
Maxi skirts and dresses are not only for the summer season
Bold colours and smart layering. I am inspired by the combination of open shoe-boot and bright-coloured tights...
Bold colours and smart layering. I am inspired by the combination of open shoe-boot and bright-coloured tights…