Monday, May 2, 2011

The basic about basics

Now that we have fast forwarded into winter, we realize that warmth and comfort are key to survive this cold. Comfort foods , comfortable clothes, comfort surroundings....what else beats sitting around a fire place on your Persian rug, sipping something warm, surrounded with loved ones and good company? This ‘comfort’ need led me to briefly share our 6 human needs on a physical level:
Certainty - too much of certainty can lead to boredom, rigidness and inflexibility.
Variety – to be kept in balance as too much, can be overwhelming.
Significance – to feel significant we have this tendency to distinguish ourselves.....most cases we get so carried away that we lose ourselves in the ‘me and I’ syndrome which further leads to feeling unconnected.
Love and connection – the need to feel too much love and connection could lead to co-dependence and lack of self esteem.
Growth – one of the highest needs, we all need this!
Contribution – one of the highest needs, YES!
Can you think of a situation right now which is not going very well.....can you check if your needs are being met in this situation?
Rank your needs in order of importance.
Meanwhile some winter basics @ Harem............
angora and wool coat blend with leather detail R950

velvet duffel coat R950

hand knitted wool shawl R580

sheepskin boots suede and leather outer. handcrafted in south africa R950

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dressing the bottom half.....

Inevitable, that we this would be the next blog topic. After all the fuss about boobs, finally my child bearing hips will be getting some attention.
To use the words: voluptuous, curvy, pear-shaped and abundant is being very kind.  Usually it seems as if these parts are in constant mourning with all the black it is normally dressed in. So looking for variety or change is always a challenge. The garment has to cover me from waist to ankles as any piece of flesh showing would be suicidal. Love any stretch as it normally gets overstretched over the booty and then falls into shape straight over the thighs. Long pencil skirts, bootleg trousers to balance the hips and A-line skirts or dresses are best. Keeping the balance between the length of the top and bottom is important. A good way of checking is if you hold your arm straight down the side of your body, the point at which your thumb ends, is the recommended length, provided your pants or skirt is tapered. Length of trousers should be on your shoe as added length helps. Needless to say, a shoe with a heel best but if your body refuses to balance on heels, I find a platform does magic! Boots during Autumn and Winter is my best friend as it takes care of the bother of the absolute must of matching stockings and shoes. The other lazy trick I have is to wear slightly off-centre dresses, simple on top, and cut cleverly on the bias, hugging the hip and tapering a bit as it moves down towards a three quarter length. (see pics) I find it takes care of all the troublesome and wobbly bits but lends some much needed elegance.
So this is my favorite time of the year as it gives me the opportunity to clothe my cellulite infested thighs with warm and thicker fabrics, which will not leave any chance of a cellulite wave showing. My booty is normally wrapped firmer with fabric choices such as wool, viscose stretch and cotton knits  so the wobble is less.
Yes ladies at 40 plus, we can still be ambitious by lying on our beds, trying to close that zip over our favorite pair of denims or just gracefully wiggle our butts into a wonderful stretch pants, jodhpur style, as leggings as a main item a no-no!!! So with our tummies tucked in, butt sticking out, thighs skimmed, killer boots...... ready to kick butt anyone???
viscose and cotton dresses @ Harem from R550

Monday, April 4, 2011

Dressing the top half

Thought I would take you on my journey of dressing my top half with all of its flaws, after the age of 40!!First of all you have to lose the size label. SO there is no size 16 or 40. THere is judging with a naked eye and depending on cut and fabric I could still manage a size 36, maybe! So with my eye I can judge whether my size 36 DD boobs are going to be squashed or not. Most times Im sensitive about what the garment does to them, realizing lots of women pay to enlarge them to my size. Lucky for me after 5 kids of breastfeeding and I mean serious feeding.......they still able to talk to me, hello!!!!So if they sit pretty in a garment, Im good.

My next challenge is the neckline. Having adopted a modest style of dress and being the momma, the plunging neckline definetley a no-no. I find it tricky as have to get it just right, not too low, neither too high as Im not a nun after all. Now the funny part, what goes over the tummy? Nothing too fitted, else the muffin top starts showing, nothing loose else I might look like Im carrying the 6th and most unwanted child. The winner is everything cut on the bias, unstructured even uneven at the bottom can work. THis all deceives the eye as to the actual shape of the bodice.

No fancy sleeves, no bell sleeves, no sleeveless, no batwing, only a demure fitted three quarter or full sleeve.

And this is just dressing the top half????? Oh and did I mention, only natural and soft to the touch fabrics will do?

A few top ideas from Harem:

silk top R580
bamboo overtop R450

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

21 tips for more joy

This is taken from New Insights, Bill Burridge and thought it worth sharing:

  1. If you are ever inclined to think you got a raw deal in life, realize that you may have deliberately designed it that way yourself.
  2. Don't spend your time comparing your life to others. Their life is their life. Your life is your life. Make the most of it.
  3. Live in the moment. It's all you have. You can't change the past and the future only exists as a concept.
  4. Practice inner calmness. When you feel anger or rage building inside, do a mental count to fifty while thinking about how inconsequential your cause of frustration is when considering the bigger picture.
  5. Learn to see the funny side. Laughter is, very simply, the best medicine!
  6. If life feels tedious and the routine is getting you down, look up at the night sky, drink in the spectacular wonder of the cosmos and ask yourself whether your creator designed life to be tedious or whether it is of your own making. Then take action to change your life.
  7. Ask yourself what it is you need most from life right now. Chances are it'll be something you have least of. To be needy is to be out of balance.
  8. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
  9. When feeling fearful, uncertain or overwhelmed have the courage to take any small action. You'll immediately feel better.
  10. Don't pursue money without knowing very clearly why. Money is a wonderful commodity when you use it to bring more joy to your life. Money for money's sake is meaningless.
  11. Just as no two human beings have the same fingerprints, so each of us has a unique outlook on the world. Learn to tolerate and appreciate diverse perspectives.
  12. Live authentically. You cannot derive fulfillment from pretending to be someone you are not.
  13. When you encounter a problem think about how this represents an opportunity, embrace it and be thankful for it.
  14. When characteristics of other people annoy you, search to find where those characteristics exist within you.
  15. Take plenty of time to recharge and reflect. Frequent time-outs are what bring meaning and enjoyment to life.
  16. Your thoughts are the most powerful creative forces you possess. Don't waste them by focusing on what's not possible or undesirable in your life.
  17. If there's something you really feel like doing, do it, now, before the opportunity passes by.
  18. Trust your inner being and your inner voice. It is pure, unpolluted by the views of others, miscommunications, limiting beliefs and worst fears.
  19. Confront the fears that hold you back, head on and soon your hesitant, frustrated nature will give way to an adventurous, joyful nature.
  20. Put yourself first, not in a selfish way, but in a way that appreciates how much more you can be and do for the world if you cultivate your own strengths and abilities.
  21. Practice the three Gs: gratitude, graciousness and giving, to make your life a special one.
In my first blog you wrote down 50 things that make you happy. I do hope that  you reached at least 20 and that you are putting it into practise. 50 seems so many as we more focused on what we do not have instead of what is right in front of us and has been all the time!!!!

A great indulgence available @ HArem this weeK:

 SoyLites Moisturising Candle has been nominated as a finalist in the Fairlady Consumer Awards: Health & Wellness Category

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Awake in February


I guess I’m always slow when it comes to understanding new year and all the hype that goes around it. Perhaps it’s the denial or the disbelief that time is indeed going by so fast……or it can be procrastination, laziness, not living in the now etcetera. Phew we can be so hard on ourselves!!! Does it matter, we are here now and hooray for that. Happy February everyone!!!!
Yes this is the day I choose to start throwing and sharing ideas on paper…..or is it called blogging? Ok well the last time I attempted this I was very busy with my coaching diploma and was inspired to share my insights and findings with all. Life then happened and a few months down the line, I have my very own clothing boutique called Harem. This is a meeting place for women to come and try all beautiful clothes and textures with jewellery handpicked from various places of the world.  So this time around, I am going to attempt to combine fashion and coaching. Why? We have evolved to a state where we realize that it’s not just about how we look but also about how we feel.

We all want happiness and contentment. Is it the latest LOUIS VITTON handbag that can make you happy or wearing a pair of sexy Manola Blahniks? What about an experience? A walk in the park or a hug from a long last friend………….? I need for you to grab a pen/paper and jot down 50 things that makes you happy. Do not think too long about it as it can be real simple like taking a hot bath, reading a book or cooking up a storm. Stick it up some place visible and start ticking each day……..enjoy!!
Now, what are you wearing in all of these states....? I have a section of my closet that houses my ‘happy clothes’ and another that houses my ‘stay in bed not up to facing the world today’ clothes. So today, I share one of my ‘happy clothes” item with you from Harem. It is a Vietnamese silk tunic/kaftan, so soft to the touch, in fuschia pink that makes me feel all girlish and covers all the sins. It can be belted, worn over drawstring pants and donned with lots of interesting jewellery pieces. So whether I go for a look of less is best or load it with accessories, it works either way and I am also expressing my state of mind!!! What does your ‘happy clothes’ look and feel like?

silk fuschia tunics @ R650 for online ordering

we explore 21 tips to more joy in our next blog.........