Heels & Soul

Thursday

20

November 2014

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COMMENTS

OUTFIT: The Royal Blue Wrap Dress

Written by , Posted in Home, Outfits, Style & Fashion

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WEAR FROM: Necklace – J. Crew (Similar HERE) | Wrap Dress – (Similar HERE) | Tights – Urban Outfitters (Similar HERE) | Boots – Vince Camuto (Similar HERE)

I’m off to New York in a few days! My birthday always happens to fall on American Thanksgiving, so I figure that if I ever end up living here, at least all my loved ones would come over for the holiday season and by extension my birthday, but seeing that my family is back in Canada, American Thanksgiving has always been an extended week-long vacation I get beginning on November 22nd. I’m so excited to be back in my natural habitat underneath the city lights. I’ll be heading to my roommate’s house for Thanksgiving Dinner but for the rest of the week, I’ll be with friends from as far west as California and family friends from as far east as Vietnam. It will be a packed week full of loved ones over meals and many, many sweet treats, and it will be so good to be stimulated by all the sights and sounds. As much as I appreciate solitude, it is time to get back to movements.

Wrap dresses are a classic piece that are comfortable and a perfect example of aesthetic design meets functionality! There is nothing I love more in design than beautifully-made clothes that are functional and wearable. Diane Von Furstenberg brought us her iconic wrap dress in 1997 when she opened up DvF and I’ve always loved the elegant simplicity of her designs. I’ve been picking up quite a few necklaces from J.Crew lately. I realize that I only have a few simple necklaces and that the rest of my jewelry is all statement pieces. J.Crew is having a 30% sale on winter picks and their fall styles if you enter the code SHOPNOW.

Bis,

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Photos: Jo Exume

Wednesday

19

November 2014

0

COMMENTS

Wednesday Wishlist: Warm Scented Candles

Written by , Posted in Home, Style & Fashion, Wednesday Wishlist

 

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I burn candlelight every night. There’s something about soft, warm candlelight that puts me at ease. When I was growing up, we would light a candle in the kitchen every evening after supper to air out the last few wafts of what was for dinner that day. I’ve been a perpetual night owl since childhood (which may explain why I am a mere 5’2 when my Mother is a good 3 inches taller than me and my brother is a giant!), but since I was consistently always the last one to fall asleep, I’d blow out the remnants of kindling candles that had been forgotten to be put out before the household fell asleep.

Good candles make for good ambiance. Tell me who doesn’t look flattering and serene under candlelight? It’s a forgiving, calm light that is less harsh than the fluorescent light bulbs that we are accustomed to seeing one another under. As the days get shorter and greyer, I find that burning candles at night adds an extra oomph! of joy to my life while making the entire house smell utterly delicious or fragrant. While there is no everyday necessity for candles due to modern electricity, going back to one of the most basic forms of man-made light is organic in a way that is quite peaceful. Many of my favorite memories have been around candle-light: gathering family around candlelight during power outages and the excitement and fascination around darkness and small, flickering flames, conversations that extend late into the night over cake and tealight candles, walking into my parents’ room every night to catch a whiff of Lampe Berger’s eucalyptus essential oils, sitting in the living room on my couch reading books to the scent of garden rain, celebrating Christmas with dozens of candles at mass and on the dining table, lighting candles in paper lanterns that would sail down the river in Vietnam, watching the flickering shapes of candle wicks in Rome… I love candles.

Candles now feature soy wax, beeswax and vegetable wax options as staples in home design. It should be noted though that there is no standardized labeling regulations for soy candles, so do your research on what you’re buying because the benefits of soy candles may not be exactly what you think if only 5% of the candle is soy. Also remember to take a look at how many hours of life your candle has. I’ve also noticed a lot of articles popping up about whether or not paraffin-based candles (the majority of candles on the market) are toxic. With the increasing affordability of soy wax and beeswax candles, it seems better for the environment to opt for more eco-friendly and health-friendly candles!  For the winter, I prefer more muskier, seductive, deep tones such as the MALIN + GOETZ dark rum candle that has notes of bergamot and vanilla. Michael Aram, who is an alumni of Bates College, has some of the loveliest candle designs that I’ve seen over these past few years. The designs are inspired by his craftsmanship picked up from time spent in India and the influences of nature. Home design start-up One King’s Lane has an affordable eco-friendly soy candle from Barnaby Black that is lemon-gardenia scented which would be a wonderful citrusy zest to cold mornings.

Light a candle and surround yourself with lovely people and warm conversation this winter season!
Bis,

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Tuesday

18

November 2014

1

COMMENTS

All Endings Are Beginnings

Written by , Posted in Home, Ideas

All Endings Are Beginnings
I’ve said many goodbyes – some voluntary, some involuntary. There are faces I will never see again and moments will drift into memories. Laughter lingers and missed connections fade. It is the way life is.

It used to be so difficult for me to uproot and detach myself from people I cared for, but I’ve learned that goodbyes are merely a part of growth. They are not always permanent, but they are necessary for one to say to get to where one needs to go. If we never challenged ourselves and comfort, we’d remain stagnant.

Part of being human makes me wonder if restraining or moderating how much you feel allows you to survive better and remain sane because feeling too little is complete denial and feeling too much is at times, overwhelming. When we experience loss and endings: break-ups, death, trauma, fights and irreconcilable differences, it’s often when we start re-evaluating the lives we are living and our very finite time here in this world. When we try to take the ashes and rebuild, it often means small or dramatic changes in our lives which is an invitation to new beginnings and new layers to personhood.

We cut our hair to claim back identity and to let go of the past, we tattoo our skin to symbolically remember, we change our style to enter a new space, we lose weight or gain weight to reflect how we feel, we keep more to ourselves or go out more in an attempt to negotiate who we are as people. It’s fascinating how much we associate changing the physical traits having an impact on the emotional and mental spaces we occupy. By all reason, technically cutting 10 inches off your hair may have no impact on your emotional well-being or open-mindedness but we’ve so deeply engrained our physical outlooks with who we are internally that this sudden “lightness” in hair mass might equate to a “lightness” in heart and disposition for many.

Just like how when Summer exited and Autumn came in 500 Days of Summer, such is the way of life. We can’t live one in chapter forever, as much as we’d like to. Where’s the fun in that? We would never appreciate what we have in the present.

I’m slowly headed to an ending of my four years in the small city of Lewiston, Maine. What next is becoming a more and more pressing question with time, but although uncertainty can be daunting, it’s a blank slate ahead and you are the author of your own fate.

Let go, let flow!

Bis,

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Saturday

15

November 2014

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COMMENTS

Saturday Style: Comfy & Chic Oversized Coats

Written by , Posted in Home, Style & Fashion, Style For You

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It’s Saturday and I’m at a lovely house by the coastline of Maine with 23 incredible people from the Asian-American Students’ Society at Bates! This is one of my all-time favorite trips over these past four years. I definitely have my heart on building or buying a cabin at some point in my life. It’s so great to get away into the middle of nowhere and watch blackness be illuminated by a smattering of stars above. Nature is splendid and a lot of influences in style and fashion come from the Earth!

Oversized coats are my favorites on days when I want to leave the house without getting dressed. My Mother would throw on one of her many Cole Haan trenchcoats overtop her PJ’s and put on a pair of long leather boots and head out to the grocery store for a quick errand during the weekdays. I inherited the habit and if you catch me in the city going for a snack run late at night, I’ll be in knee high boots with a long oversized coat draping over my frame. They’re so simple, comfortable and chic! The great thing is that no one can see what you’re wearing underneath, so you look great walking down the street but little does everyone know that you’re still in your “going to sleep” tee-shirt. Not to mention, in winter weather, you can bundle up in layers of sweaters underneath and still throw an oversized coat overtop and have your arms fit in!

1. Find an oversized coat that suits your outfit color schemes

2. Think about materials that fit the climate you’re living in – 6 months of snow and 6 months of rain demand different fabrics

3. Knit scarves and a pair of knee high boots or cute sneakers will easily complete your look

4. Dress to flatter your shape (I’m 5’2, so I try to find oversized coats that are more tailored so I don’t look like I’m getting swallowed by this great heap of fabric)

5. Throw your coat on and head out the door!

Bis,

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Friday

14

November 2014

0

COMMENTS

OUTFIT: Splash of Blue

Written by , Posted in Home, Outfits, Style & Fashion

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♬ ✩ First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar ♬ ✩

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WEAR FROM: Shirtdress – Marimekko (similar HERE and HERE) | Necklace – J.Crew (Similar HERE) | Polka Dot Tights – LOFT (similar HERE) | White Trainers – LacosteBelt – ZARA (Similar HERE)

It snowed last night and in the early morning, I saw a vast blanket of white enveloped by a tranquil silence. Maine hasn’t made up its mind about whether or not its fall or winter because at 8:00 AM, red leaves were scattered atop of pure crystal snowflakes.

With all this cold weather on the horizon, I’ve brought out the shirtdresses! I’m a super simple person when it comes to getting ready in the mornings because I enjoy staying in bed for as long as possible under my pile of blankets. Alarm clocks kill dreams! I’ve made it a habit of leaving all my curtains open at night so that when the sun rises in the morning, I am naturally awaken by light. This morning, it was such a chore to get up and moving because our house was only 66F, and I was too cold to move out of bed and walk down the stairs to turn up the thermostat. Since I like to get ready under a time constraint, I need pieces in my closet that are versatile, polished and ready to wear without much ironing or primping needed in the morning.

On Saturday nights in London and New York, I would actually start getting ready at 10:00 PM, take a shower, draw a somewhat precise cat eye eyeliner, all while running through snapshots of my wardrobe in my head. By the time the last black line was drawn on my eyelids, I knew what I’d be wearing. Most people assume that I take awhile to get ready, but in all honesty, I’m just trying to sneak in a few extra minutes of sleep during the time when I’m supposed to be getting dressed. The key to procrastinating in the morning is simply to invest in solid, wearable pieces that are both functionally and aesthetically pleasing. A well-tailored shirtdress looks like you’ve got it together, even on mornings where you wake up, press snooze 5 times and have only 15 minutes to hop in the shower and out of the door. Shirtdresses tend to be on the more minimalistic side of design, are comfortable, easily cinched by a belt at the waist and with a statement necklace or a good pair of tights, you’re ready to go!

So:

1. Invest in a shirtdress that is both warm, tailored to your body shape and your style!
2. Invest in a good belt and statement necklace!
3. Let yourself sleep for another 5 minutes in the morning!

Stay warm, stay styling.

Bis,

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Photos: Jo Exume

Wednesday

12

November 2014

0

COMMENTS

OUTFIT: Lady in Red

Written by , Posted in Home, Outfits, Style & Fashion

 

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❤ ♬ Blank Space – Taylor Swift ❤ ♬

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WEAR FROM: Sugared Red Sheath Dress – Anthropologie | Shoes – Manolo Blahnik (Similar HERE) | Gold Coral Ring – Boutique in Greece

Red has always been one of my favorite colors because of a certain je ne sais quoi boldness that comes to mind when a woman walks into a room in a red dress. The dress can be a cherry red or a poppy red, and all eyes will turn to her. Red commands attention. It’s a powerful color than requires little to complement it and looks great on all skin tones. My gala and statement dresses have always traditionally been red because any hue of red photographs well and if you’re going to go somewhere, why not make a splash? I’m willing to speak the opinions on my mind and I want my clothing choices to reflect that fearlessness.

When you wear red, little is needed in the accessories department. The adventurousness of the color speaks for itself! Simple classics will do such as a strand of pearls or a more contemporary take on pearl necklaces. Sparkly drop diamond earrings or cubic zirconia costume jewelry necklaces will also do the trick.

I recently saw this dress on the Anthropologie website and I was drawn to its pretty lace patterns. I put it to use this weekend at the TEDxBatesCollege event that I co-organized! The event was a smashing success and I am thankful to all those who came to listen to eight incredible human beings share their narratives and messages. I’ll be posting up the videos of the event in a week or so. I’m on to my next few projects which include launching the Bates College Her Campus chapter and bringing a $10,000 Entrepreneurship competition to Bates with my best friend and roommate, Rokya, and the President of our Entrepreneurship Club, Mike. Stay in touch for some updates!

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Bis,

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Wednesday

12

November 2014

0

COMMENTS

Technista Thursday: Clean Up Your Email Subscriptions With Unroll.me

Written by , Posted in Home, Technista Thursday

 

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I have this perpetual problem of receiving dozens of emails every day that I simply can’t be bothered to read. Finally, there came a point where I realized that my email box was in desperate need of a massive upheaval. You know the show Hoarders? That’s what my inbox looked like, a landfill of emails waiting to disappear into the universe. It became unsustainable. I was getting emails from Norwegian Air, Jetstar, this grimy party production company in London, Burberry, a pro-bono law firm in Vancouver, Gilt, Nordstrom, petitions and the list goes on. Important emails were being misplaced because of the chaos in my inbox and every morning, it became a battle to delete as much of the unnecessary to make space for the necessary.

That’s when I discovered this GREAT app called Unroll.me that automatically allows you to see what email subscriptions and lists you’re on. How can you troubleshoot your problem if you don’t even know what you’re dealing with? Upon signing up (which takes two seconds), you have access to a list of all your email subscriptions and you can unsubscribe instantly from what you don’t want. Essentially, you can decide what subscriptions you want to see in your inbox, which ones you want to unsubscribe from and what new subscriptions you’ve recently signed up for.

Do it! Clean up that inbox and get things organized! Unroll.me!

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Bis,

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Wednesday

12

November 2014

0

COMMENTS

Remember, Remember

Written by , Posted in Home, Ideas, Soul Food

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Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

On this day, I have great thanks for all those who came before me who fought for my freedom to roam this Earth freely and for my ability to partake in the simple joys in life. I am thankful that I have grown up in a non-conflict zone and that war has never been in my backyard. Of course, I’m fully aware that this is a distinct privilege to wake up unafraid of whether today will be my last day due to the side effects of war. I have never been displaced or experienced the trauma of living in a wartime state. For the chance to have choice, I am appreciative. Our happiness is built upon the foundations of many sorrows and sacrifices. In Canada, we wear blood red poppies on our lapels to remember. I miss the tradition now that I am living in the US. The other day, I saw a man walking down the street with one on his suit jacket, and I immediately knew he was a fellow Canadian. I hope that we remember the atrocities of war and the bravery of ordinary people as we move forward as a society. Empathy is a beautiful thing.

♬ ✩ Where Have All The Flowers Gone – Joan Baez ♬ ✩

Thanks to my wonderful Father, a war veteran, for all his great service in Vietnam.

Bis,

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Thursday

6

November 2014

0

COMMENTS

Technista Thursday: Make wishlists and shop with LYST

Written by , Posted in Home, Technista Thursday

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When I was living in London, part of my reasoning for moving into one of the most expensive cities in the world was that I’d get some exposure and work experience into the fashion-retail sector that I was so heavily interested in but had no direct access to in the middle of Lewiston, Maine. It was a natural decision to have my mind set on London and attending UCL. I’d be getting the best of both worlds: a solid education compacted in a bustling and vibrant city full of things to do at all hours of the day and night. To this very day, I am still incredibly enamored with London and given the opportunity, I would gladly pack my bags and head back to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean and build a life there. I might just do that.

While in London, I was constantly looking for opportunities to work in fashion. I had a great opportunity and privilege to report during London Fashion Week with two of my girlfriends. What fun we all had, dressing up to go to head to Somerset House, finding sneaky ways to get into invitation-only shows and lugging around our cameras and purses all while trying to remain composure in pairs of alarmingly high heels. Oh, what people will do for the sake of fashion. There does come a point where functionality and design need to merge, and I think this generation’s attitudes will influence more comfort-aware designs.

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I wanted to introduce in this week’s Technista Thursday, LYST! I found out about Lyst when looking at emerging retail-fashion start-ups in London. Lyst is a great shopping platform based out of New York and London. In London, their office is nestled in Hoxton, one of my favorite areas to go on Saturday night for a drink and some good music. Launched in 2010, Lyst is a revolutionary way to shop for fashion online that’s used by millions every month. Lyst partners with the world’s top fashion brands and stores to provide people with a personalized way to discover the fashion they love. Essentially, all the favorite brands you wear are centralized into one personalized destination. Instead of having to go to H&M, Theory and ASOS websites – you’d simply go to LYST and everything would pop up on one interface. Not only can you shop on Lyst, you can also create wishlists to organize what you’re looking at and contemplating about buying over time. That winter parka could be $500 this week but in 5 weeks, $200 and using Lyst is a great way to stay on track of what you’ve been eyeing over the season.

Give it a try! Join Lyst!

Bis,

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Wednesday

5

November 2014

0

COMMENTS

TEDxBatesCollege

Written by , Posted in Home, Ideas, Soul Food

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I’ve been busy organizing TEDxBatesCollege over these past few weeks. What started as a mere impulse to apply for a license to bring TEDx to Bates last year grew into a team that is producing TEDxBatesCollege this Saturday, November 8th! The actual TED event was held in my hometown of Vancouver, Canada this year and word on the street was that tickets were extravagantly priced, which I find to be conflicting because the concept of disseminating information, exchanging knowledge and sharing ideas should technically be “accessible” to everyone regardless of social class.

That’s why I like TEDx events! It was an intention of mine not to charge for the event because having platforms to share stories and to have the opportunity to sit and listen is something that everyone should be able to appreciate and partake in!

We sold out on tickets for the events last night, but I have opened up an extra 30 floor tickets for anyone who may be interested but didn’t get around to the first batch that ran out. You can find tickets at: tinyurl.com/batesxted. After this, we’ll start opening a waitlist!

For news coverage and more information on who will be speaking:

http://www.bates.edu/news/2014/11/03/bates-to-explore-transformative-power-of-difference-at-tedx-event/

http://www.sunjournal.com/news/connections/2014/11/05/bates-college-students-share-their-stories-tedxbatescollege/1610593

Jalen Baker is a junior sociology major from Lancaster, Texas. In his discussion of the “transformative power of our differences,” he will draw on his personal experiences to underscore the importance of putting this concept into practice, and will examine factors that prevent us from being transformed by each other’s differences.

Julian Bardin of Madison, Conn., is a junior double-majoring in politics and studio art. Describing himself as “fascinated with working at the intersection between digital media and business to create products that positively affect people’s lives,” he will discuss the entrepreneurial ventures he has taken on and what they have taught him about engaging different people.

Allen Kendunga is a Bridge2Rwanda scholar and first-year student from Kigali, Rwanda, who plans to major in politics. Her TEDxBatesCollege talk, We Are All Rwandan: Lessons from Rwanda’s Post-Genocide Renewal, will offer insights from that nation’s history of ethnic division, the 1994 genocide and the civic transition of the past 20 years.

Olivia Krishnaswami of Seattle is a senior women and gender studies major. She was co-founder of a business, Sarifold, that empowers disadvantaged women in rural India by selling scarves that they make. Her TED talk will address the power of stories to shape behavior and culture, particularly around issues of race, gender and sexual trauma. This talk contains topics that may be triggering for survivors of sexual violence.

Akachukwu Obi is a senior studying chemistry and mathematics. Now a Lewiston resident, he grew up in Nnewi, Nigeria. After Bates, he plans to get a doctorate in chemistry and teach at the academic level. Exploring paths to self-knowledge through writing, his TED address is titled What childhood taught me about personal identity.

Phathutshedzo Rambau is a sophomore from Morebeng, South Africa. A 2013 graduate of the African Leadership Academy in Honeydew, South Africa, his TED talk will be about entrepreneurship and the challenges of bringing projects from idea to implementation.

Max Silverman of Tarrytown, N.Y., is a junior with an interdisciplinary major that combines sociology, politics and education. The founder of the Bates chapter of Active Minds, a national organization dedicated to raising campus awareness of mental health and stigmatization, Silverman will devote his TED talk to this topic, underscoring the importance of understanding mental illness as biological.

Cody Tracey is a senior Spanish major from Baltimore who is particularly interested in men’s engagement in feminist movements. He will discuss his summer 2013 experiences with the Men’s Initiative, a branch within the organization Jane Doe Inc., and his creation of a discussion guide — or “Guyde” — aimed to create thoughtful dialogue among boys and men around issues of sexism and hurtful behavior toward women.
Bis,

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