Saturday, 15 August 2009

Seeking Inspiration: We Won't be Seventeen Forever...

Picture from: Mark Brannan

Dearest Devotees,
This week has been terribly hard on the inspiration front. What with the constant hassles of the back-to-school period and the general drudgery of everyday existence, I have been hard pressed to find anything worthy enough to pass on to you. Thankfully though, I was hit by an inspiration star while going through the files of my computer and listening to the general hubbub of music in my home. As I looked through my collection of digital pictures, I found the file containing my all my pictures from my first digital photography course. My final album for the class was based on theme of solitude and just looking at these pictures transported me back to the time and places I took them. I was seventeen and feeling very overwhelmed and overstressed at the time, and when I was out these places I totally felt the stress melting away and the creative juices begin to flow. Good thing too, because I had several papers to write at the time. Anyway, I thought I would share some of them with you today.
















I honestly took all these pictures and the last one shocked me the most. An empty train station in the middle of the day?




Sometimes I feel like that swan.






All the above pictures belong to me. Copyright 2009.




Sometimes, in order for creativity to flow all you need is a bit of an escape.



Now, when I stumbled on these pictures, I heard the song Seventeen Forever by Metrostation and it just made me realise the importance of making the most of everyday. Even if you fill blocked, just try to work through it if you have to, or move on to something that might motivate you. In fact, I once read somewhere that there's no such thing as Writer's Block, and that it is simply a state of mind that people can will themselves out of. All you have to do is make an effort everyday.


So, here are a few of my favourite links of the week:

Walking Around The World- More Magic Always
Whether you've been on vacation somewhere exotic (lucky!) or have been vacationing in your own neighbourhood, this article helps you to imagine being somewhere new just by taking in a pair of new shoes.
A great source for fashion, interior decor and artistic inspiration.





And finally, it's Charade Blog Anniversary and Megan is celebrate with a free giveaway.




Love you all and Stay inspired,






P.S. Hope you enjoy the links and feel free to let me know what you think of everything in the comments below. Have a great week!
Thursday, 13 August 2009

How to Budget Shop: The Rules


Ah, the ever-present problem of the newly independent: how to make the money you got, stretch to cover the stuff you want. Ever since the first time we gain any kind of financial independence, be it a weekly allowance as a kid or a starting salary as a recent graduate, we are faced with the dilemma of finding out how to spend what we have to get what we need (and some of what we want). Whether you fancy yourself a bohemian babe that doesn't need much or an easy going guy with a laid back attitude to life, you really need to know where your finances go. And unless you discover the fabled "money tree" this will always be an issue. So why not learn to manage your money? Dearest devotees, I promise it won't hurt.

To me, budget shopping has more to do with approaching it with a goal in sight and a well thought out plan, rather than seeking out the latest bargain. And while this series will touch on bargain hunting and thrift store shopping, I believe the best way to shop wisely is to shop thoughtfully and consciously. Also, even though this series will mostly deal with clothes and accessories shopping, some of the rules can be applied to all types of shopping. After all, if you actually know that buying that $300 bag is going to leave you struggling to meet ends meet for the next couple of weeks, it'll be a whole lot easier to let it go. So, here are a couple of basic rules that I see as the foundations of successful budget shopping:


Make and actually use a comprehensive shopping list: It doesn't have to be written down on a little piece of paper or anywhere really if all you need is to get a few groceries (and if you know that you will be resist that lovely D&G bag in the window). Better yet have a running one on organising programmes like Evernote and OneNote. I will explain this more later on in the series, too.


Know how much you have available: In order to avoid those high stress days at the end of the month spent wondering where in the world all your funds went to, you need to note all your sources of income, their amounts and all of your expenses, too. Then you can actually know how much you can afford to spend without going overboard.
Always calculate cost-per-wear: This becomes hugely important when you start buying designer labels. Determine the worth of a particular item by dividing its price by the approximate number of times you'll use it, or how frequently you will use it. Also, avoid buying stuff just because its cheap. Chances are it won't last long and it still won't be worth the price tag anyway.

Spend money on investment pieces and classics: When shopping the trends of the season, the first thing you should do is look for pieces that have the least of the "trend" factor i.e. it suits you and your personal style fabulously, is in a colour that you love and that works with most of your wardrobe, and is of good quality. Examples: dark wash jeans of the latest cut, clothes in neutral colours or your favorite colour, etc.

Shop your closet: Know what you have and make it work. When shopping look to fill the gaps in your wardrobe. Try to avoid buying multiple copies of outfits. It may sound obvious but chances are if you liked it enough to buy it in the first place, you may actually buy it or something similar to it again.

♥Remake and Recreate: Simple things like changing the buttons of an old coat and adding accessories like a corsage to an old top can breathe new life into your wardrobe. DIY is all the rage right now, and if you can't bear to part with your stuff, why not hit the thrift and vintage stores. You could find your next signature piece there.
These are the rules that I feel are the basics of good shopping skills. In the next part of this series I will go more into detail on the concept of investment pieces, basics and classics. If you want to follow this series and be informed of the next post, subscribe via Google or FeedBurner or sign up to receive email updates.

Love you all and Stay inspired,

P.S. So let me know what you think. What are some of the things you keep in mind when you are stripped for cash? How do you stay out of the red? Feel free to let me know in the comments below.
(Pictures from: Daniel Y. Go and Skulled )
Monday, 10 August 2009

How to Rock: Over-the-knee Boots

Pictures from: couturesnob and chic chocolate

From the streets of New York to the runways of Milan, over-the-knee or thigh-high boots have been everywhere lately and are one of this seasons hottest accessories. Ever since they came out on the Spring/Summer 2009 runways they have been seen on everyone from Blake Lively to Sienna Miller. On the F/W 2009 runways, this trend held its own among the power shoulders and leather gear of the 80s revolution and now its going to be in all the major high street stores this fall.
Personally,I think thigh-high and knee-high boots have always oozed sex appeal. They've never really been girl-next-door kinda shoes and have practically always been associated with the more "exotic" industry (ahem).When worn right they can add inches to your height making anyone look like as leggy as a gazelle. But when worn wrong they can make you appear to have shrunk (not a good look on most). This style of boots were my first fashion love and it fills me with nostalgia just looking at them. Over the years, I've gone from ankle-length to knee-highs, calf-length and back. I know that one shouldn't allow the winds of fashion to influence your personal style, but this season's boots are so hot, its highly unlikely I'll pass up on this trend.


Now, how to rock these Fabulous shoes?


Like most accessories, these shoes can be highly versatile, you just have to know when enough is enough. Here are some tips to keep in mind when getting ready to flaunt your new boots:


With skirts: This is when the boot-to-leg proportion thing becomes very important. If you're wearing these boots with a skirt, it's best to wear the boots with matching tights so as not to
break your silhouette. Otherwise, use a long cardigan or boyfriend blazer without a belt to ensure that your legs are the focus of the outfit.


With tunics and dresses : Go all out Rocker Chic like Vanessa by teaming a dark studded or glitzy dress to stay on trend. Or you can go the other way and rock thigh-high boots with cute tunics and flirty dresses to channel your inner Bohemian. Its the perfect way to transition smoothly into fall.


With skinny jeans : This is practically my favorite look of the season! Just throw on one of the extra-hot-right-now plaid shirts or draped tops with bleached grey skinny jeans tucked into black thigh-high boots for a look that is totally fashion-forward. Or simply follow the lead of Blake Lively and tuck your favorite pair of skinnies into a complementary pair of thigh-highs to look catwalk ready.




Warnings and Words of Wisdom:
  • Be wary of stilettos to avoid veering into hooker territory.
  • If you are curvier pull-on boots and stretch skinnies might be enough to convince you to try out the last look.
  • Let a common base or colour pull the whole outfit together.
  • Work with textures instead of contrasting colours in order to create a flow.
These were just a few of my ideas on how to rock these boots. I hope I've inspired you to experiment with them and give them a shot if you haven't bought them or to actually wear them if you have.


Love you all and Stay inspired,









P.S So tell me what you think. Is this a trend you are willing to try? If so, what are your favorite ways of rocking it? And do you think it's an "investment piece"? Feel free to let me know in the comments below.


(last two pics from: flickr)
Friday, 7 August 2009

Seeking Inspiration: Show me what I'm looking for

Image From: Miss Yellow

Hello Devotees,

This Seeking Inspiration post is all about looking for that special something. Sometimes, you don't even know what is but you just keep searching hoping against hope that you'll find it. While searching for new sites to inspire me, I found a short trailer for the Time Traveller's Wife. The theme of the movie is one that is truly beautiful and touching but this song totally captured my attention because it portrayed how I was feel. It's called Show Me What I'm Looking For and it was sung by Carolina Liar. It truly captures the feeling of looking for something with your heart. Other sites and posts that have provided me with inspiration this week include:

- Because I can not emphasize enough how important it is to know who you are and be able to present that to the world.

-More closet inspiration.

Fashion Air
-After finding your personal style, it's a way to stay on top of it.
A cute, easy to make hairpin for those who wish to diy but just don't have the time (or skill) for a lot of them.
And to close with a gorgeous image:

Image from: Stuck in Customs





Simply Stunning.


Love you all and Stay Inspired,


P.S. So tell me what you think. How do the song and/or picture make you feel? Did the links give you ideas for your own wardrobe? Feel free to let me know in the comments below.
Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Life's a Debate: No Drinking, No Clubbing, No Tanning?


When I first heard that tanning beds had been declared a Group 1 Carcinogen or cancer causing agent (along with smoking tobacco, sunlight, asbetos and a few others), I just knew that this would lead to a huge press and political situation. And guess what? I wasn't disappointed.



Apparently, this information has led to serious talks about restricting and even prohibiting the use of tanning beds by under-18s. This is mainly because, tanning beds have been discovered to increase the risk of melanoma (basically skin cancer) by 75% if used before the age of 30. Therefore, these laws are being put in place in order to protect children and kids in their early teens. However, tanning beds are not only a risk to children ,as they can more than double your risk of skin cancer at any age. Because of this, many governments and health organisations are warning the general public against their regular use.

Despite all this information, the Indoor Tanning Association believes that this is a hype and have even released an ad claiming that people should not be give in to the hype. It claims that the UV radiation that it gives out is controlled and therefore not dangerous. In response to this, health specialists claim that the use of a tanning bed can be compared to using SPF 2 or 3 on a sunny day i.e. not much better.


In the end, people will do what they want. Governments can try their best to decrease the use of tanning beds through the under-18 bans and through warnings but the truth is that it is some people may decide to continue their weekly tanning appointments anyway. I personally wouldn't be willing to take chances on my health like that, but people aren't the same.


Love you all and Stay Inspired,




P.S. So tell me what you think. Should the use of tanning beds be banned for under-18s? Should other measures be used to restrict indoor tanning? Or do you think that the decision to tan should be left to the individual? Feel free to tell me in the Comments below.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Beauty Basics: My Top 10 Beauty Tips


Beauty tips, much like gorgeous antique jewelry, get passed on from generation to generation, sometimes tweaked, sometimes updated but somehow always present. I have no idea how many times in my life I've picked up a new one along the way but these 10 tips are the ones that have stayed with me through thick and thin and have even become a part of my daily routine. They are:


1. Cleanse every night without fail: I know its hard. Trust me, I would be the first person to admit that their have been times that I've just been too exhausted to bother washing/cleansing my face before bed. But every time I do, I always end up regretting it. If you can't bring yourself to wash your face (at least) every night before bed, then invest in wipes, or a good cleanser and some cotton (whether you use make-up or not). I love everything Clearasil but my favorite cleanser would have to be Clearasil Ultra Cleanser.

2. Foundation before concealer: Now I admit, I am a Style Network addict, so I can really can't say where I first heard this tip from. But what I can tell you is that it works. Basically, if you put foundation all over your face and neck before you put concealer under eyes, you will be able to use less concealer (and less time) to create a more natural effect. Perfect for the stylish college girl on the run.

3.Lip balm (or even Vaseline) on your lips before bed: Something else that has become a part of my nightly routine. It ensures that your lips are naturally soft and smooth on a regular basis.

4. Drinking fruity and carbonated drinks with a straw: Now, I'm not really sure if it's a beauty tip but it is important to keep your teeth healthy and your smile gorgeous. This is because carbonated drinks like soda and acidic fruit drinks like orange juice weaken the enamel and leave your teeth defenceless and more transparent.

5. Having a manicure, pedicure and facial regularly: I'm not even saying that you should have an expensive one. If you're low on cash or time and can only be able to do it at the end of the day on a holiday weekend, go for it! You can even make a party of it by inviting friends over and doing it together. You'll feel much better for it.

6. The Eyes/Mouth Balancing act: True style is all about balance: balancing the top with the bottom, the earrings with necklace and the eye make-up with the mouth. Always remember to emphasize one or the other, never both. So if your making up your eyes, keep the mouth make-up to minimum usually, a light, or colourless gloss depending on your look.

7. If you have acne, foundation/concealer is not going to help: I know it's highly tempting to just cover up every spot with concealer or foundation, but just think about it. The reason you have the spots is because your pores are blocked, more make-up is only going to block it more. If you must cover it up when you go out, make sure you cleanse as soon as you return.
8. Find your own scent and rock it: Your personal scent is apart of your personal style. It does not have to be come from expensive cream or perfume. It can come from anything and as long as you love it and it makes you feel good about yourself then its perfect.

9. Use Sunblock/Sunscreen: This goes for everyone, regardless of your age, sex or skin colour. Using SPF 15 sunblock goes a long way in preventing the effects of aging caused by sun damage and skin cancer.

10. Drink loads of water: It had to be said. I mean, even my mother would swear by it. The truth is water is a wonderful natural agent because of its many health and beauty benefits. Basically, it purges your system and apparently decreases the occurence of pimples leading to smoother skin and a healthier complexion. What's not to love?

These are my favorite beauty tips in no particular order. Some of them , I've only recently acquired and some of them I've used almost forever. There are other tips, like brushing every night before bed, that are important to me and my routine too but, that's for another day.

Love you all and Stay Inspired,


P.S. So let me know what you think. Are any of these tips among your top 10? What are your favorite beauty tips? Feel free to tell me in the Comments below.


(Image thanks to Sashamd)
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"Come with me,
and See this World,
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of an Ordinary Girl"

An Ordinary Girl's World is a blog for stylish and artistic teens, college students and young adults, creatively finding their way in this world. Its about expressing yourself through your personal style, your lifestyle, your relationships and friendships.
This site will feature articles on fashion, love and life in general, with topics ranging from the latest trends in fashion, beauty and lifestyle, personal style, artistic inspiration pieces and real life survival guides.
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Frannie
Hello! I am Frannie a.k.a Frances Anne and I am a 21 year old Catholic Missionary. I am Nigerian but have lived all over the world and I currently live and serve in the U.S. I love God, others and life in general. I bubble over with joy everyday and would love to share my joy with you.
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