(Nearly) 2 Years Later
I'm sure you are aware I stopped fashion blogging for most part because I don't have anyone to photograph clothes on me now and my home isn't exactly the most conducive place to do so due to its lack of natural light and space. BUT, I still wear beautiful clothes when I can - that part of me hasn't changed. Everytime I survey myself critically in the mirror, I think of the blog, think of you and think of all those other lovely plus size ladies out there who are still taking the world by storm by being who they are and not fearing to become who they can and want to be.
It is with this thought in mind that even on the most dreary day .. when I feel tired and want to just escape from the world that I put on beautiful clothes and dab on a wee bit blusher and step out confidently in strides again. All of you are my strength! The period of time I was gone from blogging, I developed a little bit more skills. I started to learn how to speak in public - starting out from an audience of 40 to an audience of 70 and most recently now to 90. I still get very flustered when I have to do presentations or speeches but I will always don my prettiest dress and try to look confidently and mentally stop my voice from trembling. So superficial as it sounds, how you look really plays a part in how you feel about yourself, around people and in front of crowds. I am very thankful today because with the internet and online shopping kicking off, it is so much easier to avail yourself to the plus size clothing out there as compared to maybe 5 years ago. Then, I had to bring myself to step into every shop that remotely spelt the possibility of having clothes that would fit me. I use 'fit' and not 'suit' because there were very limited choices then. Sometimes, you can count your lucky stars if they even fit, not to mention suit. Some stores had giant, ugly cut-outs that spell "XXXXL" on their grimy windows and they are distasteful but I couldn't give up the stores because they might hold clothes that .. fit. Fast-forward till today, plus size clothing has a category on its own on a few major websites and they strive to provide trendy clothing that are suitable for all occasions and I truly feel that I am given a chance to show who I can be in the best light. Clothes do not define me but unmistakably, they are integral to the image I would like to portray and it is not a woman in dowdy, ill-fitting clothes who is uncomfortable with what she is wearing but a smiling, happy face clothed by what she knows she looks good in and is ready to take on the world with that knowledge.
Thank you, some of you ladies (Rebecca and happynessmagnet), for sending me messages and missing me.
More recent picture of myself and more grown-up
An update on my life:
I still buy way too many clothes on a regular basis but recently I felt so tired at having to manage all those clothes bursting out of my wardrobe that I thought I'll be a bit more conscious with my purchases (I only just started this resolution). Also, my lifestyle has changed. I now work in a bigger corporation and in town so I tend to dress in more corporate-like outfits. I don't have to dress in power suits but I can now get a bit creative in mixing and matching a bit more staidly pieces. On weekends, I realize all I want to do is to dress in soft skater dresses and cross-body bags! That's my weekend uniform at this time. If you'll like to see my "curated" work wardrobe
, you can follow me on Pinterest.
Don't hold me to that but I want to come back to this space but the direction will be slightly different. Keep a lookout!
You Lose Some, You Win Some
Sorry for the long hiatus again.
For the last 2 months, my world took on a crazy spin and often when that happens, I blame it on the crazy nature of work that built up into an insurmountable wall. But this time round, it's the complete opposite. On the 24th of August, I was laid off. I was with the company for a good 6 over years - loved my job, served my customers well and enjoyed the relationships I had with every single one in the office.
On the 23rd of August night, the Boy and I stayed late in the office to have dinner before heading home but then he disappeared on me for a good half an hour and I sat down at his desk and played "Fruit Ninja" on my iPad. When he reappeared, his eyes were red and brimming with unshed tears. He led me to a quiet corner and told me gently that something really really bad is going to happen.
"We (Customer Service Operations) are going to be laid off tomorrow. Let's stay back and collect our things tonight. It's likely they are not going to let us into the office tomorrow to pack come tomorrow morning."
I was strangely calm and composed. We spent the next 2 hours backing up our data and I fervently dumped everything important into a travel bag and frankly made a mess out of my already messy cubicle. At 11 p.m., the privileged few who also got wind of the news came back into the office and started crying. Finally we left for home and I did not sleep the entire night.
Next morning, we were one of those earliest to arrive. True enough, there were security guards preventing us from accessing the office. We were directed to meeting rooms in groups and the Vice President of Customer Service Operations murmured his prepared speech in cowardice, his eyes not looking up into the accusing eyes of ours. We were then given our severance packages and that was it. We were officially no longer part of the company.
We lingered a long while in the lobby of the office building, saying our goodbyes, getting each other's contacts. Some still managed a smile, some wept and the mood was sombre. However I was proud that all of us conducted ourselves in dignity. All 140+ of us. Some of us met up regularly during the period of our unemployment. Some just texted each other. Some commiserated on FaceBook but all of us were encouraging to each other and genuinely happy when one of us found a job. That was more than a month ago.
I was told that the current job market requires a 3 - 5 months search before landing with something. I was one of the very lucky few who managed to get a job within a month and this being the only job who called me up for an interview. The process to eventually land with a job was arduous. Amidst the trauma of being laid off coupled with the fear of being unable to provide for the family, you have to grit your teeth to do a decent resume and modify it over and over again, meet up with recruiters face-to-face, talk to recruiters over the phone to promote yourself, trawl through the 1001 websites of job listings and filling up personal information on every company's career page. The most disconcerting after that is the endless day and night of waiting. Waiting to be noticed, waiting to stand out from the others, waiting to be called. Frankly speaking, it is an awful feeling.
But someone told me that when one door closes, another one opens and it is true in my case. In a case of serendipity, I now work for another Canadian company (previous being Canadian too) and I am into my 2nd week of work. There is a steep learning curve and I am working hard to catch up but at least I have a job and I am grateful.
I just want to let you all know what happened to me during this period of inactivity and I am truly apologetic as I also owe "We Love Colors
" a review for a pair of tights they had kindly sent my way. I will try my best to get that up soon when I can. I now no longer have the luxury of taking outfit posts as my photographer no longer works with me but I will strive to do so during the weekends when I go out with the Boy.
Thank you to everyone who reads The Merry Traveller
for standing by me. I wish you never have to go through what I had gone through and if you had, I salute you for staying strong.
I get to travel now to Canada twice a year - January and July.
Can any kind folks tell me exactly what I need to bear through a bitter cold winter and stay cute and plus sized? If you can redirect me where to buy winter clothing and how to choose my winter clothing e.g. coats, gloves and boots, I will be very grateful! I have never experienced winter and I have no damn clue!
Labels: Retrenchment, Unemployment, Winter
The Art of Being Foul-Mouthed
I woke up today to an email that I found quite hilarious and it is fitting that I share this with you:
"Somewhere in Paris, far, far away lies a beautiful atelier called LOCHER'S."
Sounds all romantic and innocuous and hey, it mentions Paris! Read on ...
"At first glance they wouldn’t look out of place in your grandmother’s wardrobe, HOWEVER these little creations are anything but sweet and naive with their prudently placed potty-mouthed sayings along the needlepoint blossoms and birdies."
At this point, I think I gave a muffled choke and imagined myself wearing one of them pieces to church or visit a stern older relative who will be staidly sipping her tea as she scrutinized me meanly before her razor sharp eyes finally zoomed in on what my accessories may say ...
I also imagine that the same stern older relative will not be too impressed but hey, if the rebel in you is looking to rack up a commotion, this might be it.
Or if it is too in-your-face, how about a little sneaky cheeky?
I've went through and picked out my 2 favourite jewellery which would go nicely with my dresses. I like my accessories to either make a statement or extremely delicate - 2 sides of a pole. These are subtle and the first necklace carries a little amount of playfulness I enjoy in the things I own. The bunched up blue flowers will be a lovely contrast against my navy blue dresses. It is just the sweetest thing!
I also have to say that I also found some really cute totes that I would love to have. These are the type of totes that would bring me out for coffee with magazines in it, to the library and filled up with books, to a picnic on a fabulous day. Of course, with most of Locher's items, these also have a little
extra dirty side to them. Have you spotted them yet?
is the brainchild of Nicole Locher who modernizes vintage elements she found in flea markets, hence creating unique little accessories that invokes mixed emotions (a smile to the Gen Y and a possible frown from the Gen X). What I found most fascinating about her is that her mother, herself and her daughter share the same birthday! To digress, the problem is whenever someone tell me his/her birthday, I inadvertently calculate backwards to the day their parents made love. Warped huh? Trust me, I know.
So if you are interested, you can get a 20% off the entire shop if you order before August 31st by entering the word DARLING
in the "coupon code" field during checkout. They ship worldwide!
All images in here are taken from the website of Locher's.
OOTD: An Orange & Nude Palette
I love serendipitous moments in Life. So the weather has been insanely warm in the afternoons and I knew for sure that I wanted to wear something light and cooling. I settled on the orange chiffon top and set about to steam it. To digress a little, I bought a garment steamer and I think it is the greatest invention of recent times! I no longer have to struggle with setting clothes on an ironing board and set about to iron creases painstakingly and flip them over to iron the other side, only to discover the first well-ironed side is now creased. I also never knew what temperature to set for what type of material especially with materials like chiffon, satin, silk etc. With the steamer, I just have to hang my clothes up and let the steam permeate through and it will be miraculously straightened to a wearable condition! I'm not very fussy so as long as I don't look like a slob, it works for me. I highly recommend this to girls troubled with ironing issues.
In case you are interested, I am using the Novita SS13 in blushy pink.
Now back to the outfit story. It was one of those days I knew that the easiest to put on would be to grab a black cardigan from the cupboard but that day, I refused. There had to be something else other than black cardigans! I turned the cupboard topsy-turvy but still could not find anything suitable and I was about to give up when I spied a hint of nude underneath a pile of clothes. I dragged it out and was very pleased with the colour combination. Of course the colour combination is old news and it had been done before
but hey, to not step back into the old familiar pattern of matching everything against black requires some thought process.
And as I was heading out of the door, I also made a grab for the new coral necklace that I bought lying about even though I already had a necklace on. Halfway through the day, I put it on and felt surprisingly complete!
Nude, Asymmetrical Cardigan: Topshop
Orange Chiffon Tank Top: Dorothy Perkins
Black Jeans: Anusa in Bangkok
Coral Gem Necklace: Forever21
Gold Necklace: Green Petals
Labels: Chiffon, Dorothy Perkins, Forever21, M)Phosis, OOTD, Outfits
OOTD: Mint Ice Cream
Wow I found some time to snap a few pictures of a lightweight blouse I truly love. I am head over heels with this unique shade of green, a colour I have never owned and its liberal sprinkles of lavender, cherry and orange flowers all over the blouse and it is a pussybow! You guys know how I like my pussybow blouses ...
When I lifted this blouse up from the rack, I prayed hard that I could fit in and when it went sliding down my body, I swore I gave a discernible whoop and did a war dance! Oh and it is a size 16 *beams*! I have in no way lost weight but the beauty of these blouses is that they are loose and I am able to wear a few sizes down.
Anyhow, this is a trying time at the office but I found myself missing this blog and dying to be back and so I will see what I can do to blog a lot more frequently!
Blouse: Miss Selfridge
Labels: Blouses, Forever21, M)Phosis, Miss Selfridge, OOTD, Outfits, Pussybow
Hello, how is everyone doing?
I just wanted to take the time to apologize for my long and continued absence while I get my life back on track. There is a whirlwind of activities in the office and made it inconducive for taking my regular outfit shots. The personal life also took on a toll and there were many ups and downs. Many of you sent me tweet love and even emails to check up on me in which I am very grateful for. We may be online friends across distant land but you bothered. I wish you to know I am doing well as I march towards my 30th birthday next month, something I've dreaded for the longest time but decided to try my best to embrace.View from the 26th floor of my hotel room.
Right now, I am in Shanghai on a work trip. I find it strangely liberating to explore the city alone yet filled with trepidation that I will lose my way. It is also boring to eat dinner by yourself so I ordered room service in for 2 nights in a row now. I expect things to get better as my Canadian friend will make his way down to spend some time roaming over the weekend with me.
I don't want to overpromise and underdeliver but I hope to update this space very soon again. Thank you for keeping me in mind and take care, every single one of you.
Labels: Shanghai, Travel, Wanderlust
Off To Taiwan
I know I haven't been around but my busy work schedule is still keeping me on my toes. I just want to let you guys know that I am taking a week off work to accompany my mother to Taipei to visit my aunties. The whole itinerary was determined by my uncle which means I don't have to do a scrap of planning and just get to go there and enjoy. I am hoping to eat up the local delights and take lots of pictures!
I am also excited about another upcoming trip in October. Originally, I toyed with the idea of going on a package tour to South Africa with some of my coworkers but I was kind of put off by the cost. Instead, I found myself a very sweet deal to go to Osaka, Japan instead! It will be my first time going Japan so I am mighty pleased about it. Looking at the Osaka Rail Map scared me (not for the faint-hearted
) but I am lucky to have an underground veteran who will be accompanying me so all's good!
2011 looks to be a fruitful year for travel!
I'll see all of you lovely people when I get back and hopefully, I'll be rejuvenated!
Lotsa of Love to all of you!
Labels: Holiday, Taiwan, Vacation