Monday, June 15, 2015

The unquestionable comeback of the culottes are already floating upon us and so I thought it was only appropriate to turn it into a Sunday Inspiration post! Culottes are actually a fashion trend that was blossoming around springtime of this year, but I think that they carry such an awesome fashion statement that it should be considered acceptable for casual everyday fashion, regardless of what season it is.

Okay technically, they should probably be stashed away for winter, but other than that, I think culottes can be worn very easily and do have a way of making your outfit look very expensive. You can wear it with a good halter top, or a simple shirt, blouse, or whatever way works. It's quite easy to pull off, not to mention how awesome it is that it gives you the freedom of wearing pants, but the silhouette play of wearing a skirt.

I love this trend, and as I'm still on the quest of finding a good pair to purchase, it's no question that they create a very well-structured, put-together look. Effortless, yet very chic. Laidback, but stylish. Loose, but sophisticated. Old-fashioned (for it actually started way back in the 80s), but modern and sleek.

I think culottes are best worn with a widening silhouette towards the bottom, meaning that it would be best to choose a top that's quite simple, maybe form-fitting, a crop, or just loose with a normal length. Culottes should be the highlight of the outfit, because it takes up most of the room for attention. It shows off your ankles so you can wear it with any flexible type of footwear (although perhaps boots won't be such a great idea.) Sandals and heels would work best.

To wear this great fashion piece, you don't have to conform to a certain body type. It can hang perfectly from the waist of any body figure and flatters the legs quite nicely. Unlike flare jeans or pants, you don't have to be 6'1" to wear them.

Here are some links as references for the trend:

So this year, if you are trying to upgrade your wardrobe and step up your game with the everyday outfits, culottes are definitely a must-try trend. Frankly, this one simple item could actually make you look like one of those rich fashion bloggers on Pinterest. No, seriously, try one on.

*All pictures were taken from Pinterest

TRAVEL: Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Élysées

Thursday, June 11, 2015

This is another throwback post of my time in Europe last year. Paris was obviously a dream, and a while ago I already did a short little post of the Eiffel Tower. There were so many places that we got to visit in Paris so this time, I decided to do a post on the lovely Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Élysées.

I absolutely adore Arc de Triomphe. I don't know if it's just because my name happens to be Joanne and my mind kind of associates it with the Joan of Arc (my mind works in mysterious, complex ways sometimes) but I've always really loved the architecture of this great tourist attraction. Sometimes I like to imagine what it's like to just live in Paris where you could just casually drive past the Eiffel and the Arc de Triomphe everyday or something (although I highly doubt it since they are quite distant from each other.)

We were incredibly lucky because just like our day at the Eiffel, our day at the Champs-Élysées was beautiful as well. Blue skies, sunny day, making the whole thing quite picturesque! For a little while, we enjoyed catching a late lunch at one of the restaurants by the street (which was fairly crowded too), and we actually spent most of our time there shopping!

There were huge clearance sales happening in places like H&M, etc, that I felt like it was so heavenly. (We even managed to purchase two pairs of H&M pants for only 5 euros each!) Aside from spending a lot of time inside the stores, we also walked a bit more before finally heading back to the hotel. The whole romanticisation and idea of "shopping in Paris" kind of just made me love it even more.

Champs-Élysées was beautiful. It felt very Paris to me, although I do wish it wasn't so packed with tons of people while we were there, although obviously you can't expect anything much different while you're in Paris. And so, if you ever find yourself in Paris, I'm sure you don't need me to tell you to "stop by" this area because I'm sure you'll visit it nonetheless, but it would be a lot more glorious during sales season. I'm just saying.

The pictures I took really convinced me about how I felt about Paris: How I wish it never changes at all. The trees, the buildings, the streets, the people. As the lovely Audrey Hepburn once said, the city is always a good idea.

Many things to love about Paris, and many more to come on my blog, so be sure to stay tuned!

LIFE: Turning Sixteen

Monday, June 8, 2015

Disclaimer: Beautiful typography above done by my cousin.

It was my birthday last Wednesday and I just realised that I haven't actually written about it in a blog post so here it is: Ta-daaa. Birthday post.

So on June 3rd, I turned 16, in which I suffered a slight case of emotional attachment issues (which involved me being attached to being 15.) A lot has happened in my 15th year as a grown individual. Here's the recap:
  • I entered high school and realised that there are a lot of things to love, but also a lot of things not to love about it, and soon after realised that it was okay.
  • I went to Europe and traveled to 4 different cities, all of which I loved.
  • I created quite a lot of things, and made a few good stuff for my portfolio. Like this painting  that I'm quite proud of (which I actually finished the night before my birthday):

  • I moved into my own personal bedroom (finally not having to share one with my sister.)
  • I changed glasses (which made a huge transformation, actually, and changed my look entirely.)
  • I actually also bought contacts and learned how to use them without feeling so vulnerable.
  • I became a bridesmaid at my sister's wedding.
  • I welcomed into the world an adorable baby nephew.
  • I gained weight, then lost weight.
  • I started wearing makeup (and I actually enjoy it, ha!)
  • I learned that life is greater than relationships and your ambitions should revolve around greater things than just a boy who can make you laugh.
  • I gained a lot of confidence, learned a lot about how important it is to love and respect yourself. I also developed a much thicker skin, and I think became a lot better in interacting with people (despite my little social anxiety.)
  • I kind of figured out that I was a total, hardcore feminist?
  • I cried a lot, and laughed a lot too.
  • And now, I do not regret a single moment.
There are obviously also plenty of other things that came up among the time I was fifteen, but I guess that's all I could mention for now. Turning sixteen, obviously nothing has changed. My life is still pretty much going on at its progressive, rough, awkward phase. But I do feel the need to take responsibility over some things, and to start doing and looking at things differently. It's like a slight personality shift, like a brand new self-consciousness to just take it differently from here on out.

This year, my birthday went really nicely. I woke up in the morning, and I don't know if anyone else feels the same on their birthday morning, but I always feel that it's like Christmas morning except you don't want to look like you're too excited. (Is it just me?)

After waking up, I stepped outside my room and my mom hugged me and wished me a happy birthday, as usual, and so did my stepdad. After that, there was the long stream of messages and notifications coming from friends and relatives saying "happy birthday". Some of them had very long, sweet, thoughtful messages, some are actually pretty simple, but all of them really meant a lot to me. Ahh, very delighting.

I went to school that day to run some errands, and that's where one of my good friends, Jen, gave me this gorgeous bottle of moringa-scented body mist from the Body Shop. Have I been using it everyday now? Um, yes. It smells so good and it made me so happy. (Jen, if you're reading this, I love you.)

When I was home from school and chilling at home with my mom, my sister, and my baby nephew, one of my friends told me she was going to drop off a book she borrowed. I initially found that hard to believe but I went with it anyway. She asked me to come down and to come outside (which obviously left my senses tingling) and when I stepped outside my garage, all of my best friends were there forming this single row, singing Happy Birthday.

The whole thing was actually so thoughtful and sweet of them that I feel like it certainly made my life. They were holding a tray with some nice cronuts (croissant donuts, eh?) with candles poking out of it, and held letters forming my name. They yelled the letters one by one like cheerleaders and I have never felt so loved and special like how I felt in that moment.

And of course, after that, by the old tradition we have in our country, they showered me with eggs, soda, and other ingredients, leaving me cold and looking completely, completely pathetic. But hey,  those are just perks of being the birthday girl.

That night, my mom decided to take all of us out for dinner celebrating the special occasion. After a lot of consideration, we decided to go to the Shangri-La hotel, and eat dinner at Portofino, which is basically the Italian restaurant that they had in the Shangri-La.

It was such a stunning night. Not only was the food amazing (I got the Australian tenderloin steak  topped with BBQ sauce served with mashed potatoes and veggies on the side, and we also ordered margarita pizza which I didn't get to take a photo of, sadly) but it also felt really special because I had the whole family with me. That obviously meant a lot more to me than anything. 

My brother, who's still in college out of town, also managed to call and we got to have a little chat. He's coming home this Monday which I'm so thrilled about.

So overall, it was a very, very special birthday. I had so much fun and felt the love of those around me, and I am so incredibly blessed to have gotten the privilege to celebrate such a delightful birthday. I have a few plans for the time I'm 16, here are some that I can name:
  • Learning how to drive (the drivers' license is coming in next year, after all)
  • Planning out what to do on my 17th birthday (so here, the tradition is that we celebrate a sweet 17 instead of a sweet 16, so there are a lot of things we do differently. Although, I'm  still considering between celebrating a sweet 17 with a simple garden party, or just making travel plans to a nice destination with my friends.)
  • Getting better at my cello and piano, and at my art. Definitely my art.
  • Starting sewing lessons! Which is crucial for me to complete my portfolio for university.
  • Doing plenty of traveling.
  • Do a lot better in school. I don't do bad, but let's just say that it's been quite a tough semester.

And that's all for my super long birthday post! I hope you guys enjoyed reading about this and about how it all went. Overall, it was immensely special to me, and I thank God for the many things in my life right now, and also for the many things that are about to come.

Lastly, I hope you find that the life you're living now is a life that you're proud of, and if you find that it is not, I hope you find the courage to start over again.

From the girl who's now, apparently, sixteen,

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