Thursday, September 26, 2013

Back to the base

Hey, guys!

Thank you for the continuous lovely feedback on my posts and hello to the new followers, I really appreciate that and I'm glad you feel like subscribing, that means a lot to me.

Today I wanted to give you a little more of an insight into my personal style and show you how I would style basically 8 outfits in total for totally different occasions using 4 simple basis. All of these I'd gladly own and wear, because with basis like this you have an endless spectrum of different combination varieties, but today instead of recreating the idea with my own wardrobe peaces, I'll be using sets I've made on Polyvore, which I will also link to, in case you'd like to check out any of the product details specifically, because I won't be focusing on it here.

Let's see, what we have!

Outfits #1 and #2 Autumn layering
In these outfits, I wanted to work with one of my favorite basis - a simple blue jean, a button up and a cozy, chunky, yet still pretty fitted knit jumper. I added the plaid scarf, because I think that's a great Autumn/Fall peace to have and in the first case, to the left, I paired it with a classic leather jacket, a brown satchel bag and some laced up gorgeous boots. This to me is the perfect, casual, laid back, yet a bit edgy and cool outfit, which I'd wear any day, where I want to be comfortable and still look good. The other option plays up the button up shirt a bit more and shows a slightly dressier way of wearing the same base. Pairing it with a classy trench coat, a simple black bag and some tanned booties, we get an outfit that's a little bit more "work appropriate" in case you don't work anywhere particularly formal, but still want to look put together. In both cases I kept the accessories to a minimum, creating very simple, effortless looks, but the possibilities are endless.

Outfits #3 and #4 The LBD

Having a classic silhouette, good quality, well fitting black dress in your wardrobe will last you years and provide a "safe heaven" for any "I don't have what to wear" occasion. It's an amazing base and a great canvas for multiple different looks. Today, I created a more casual, work appropriate look with a chunky cardigan (which is actually extremely cheap, if you like it - I'm considering getting it, because I love it) , simple and classy boots and the bag and silver accessories. Don't ask me why, but to me personally (on myself as well) silver jewelry looks more casual and everyday, while gold - more put together and dressed up. Maybe because most of my everyday peaces are silver, I'm not sure. But I think the look is perfect for an everyday wear, feeling comfortable and looking amazing at the same time. The second outfit on the right dresses the base up with some black heeled booties, gold accessories, a nice clutch bag and a light colored fitting blazer. I would literally be able to come home from work in the outfit on the left, change it up to the other one, refreshen my makeup and go straight out for dinner.

Outfits #5 and #6 Sailor stripes

These next outfits work with a classic striped top and some gorgeous navy fabric pants, which I love, because they are so easy to dress up and down, depending on the pairing. On the outfit on the left I created a very casual, comfy and almost a bit lazy outfit using converses, a nice monochrome bag, that ties in with the striped top, a light colored, chunky knit cardigan and some silver accessories. The watch is slightly more manly (which I love), but the stocked up bracelets are very cute on the contrary, especially the tiny pop of color with the evil eye bracelet. The outfit on the left is again something I'd take out for any social arrangement, dinners, parties etc., I love the gold accessories and how throwing on a nice blazer makes anything look polished. The clutch is amazing, I think and the classic black heels glams up the outfit that tiny bit more. It's still an easy look, it just looks more dressy.

Outfits #7 and #8 The white T

These last two outfits are both on the casual side. Having a simple, nice fitting white T is always a must, because it always looks amazing and I paired it with something that's on top of my wish list - some biker pants in a lovely olive green color.  Pairing that with very casual peaces like a plaid shirt, toms, leather arm bands, a brown leather backpack, a nice brown belt and a beanie (which I've never owned, but I love how it looks on people), creates the perfect lazy day outfit for running errands, studying downtown, meeting up with friends for a lazy chat and a cup of coffee etc., while the outfit on the right is still casual and a bit lazy, but I would definitely go out in it with some nice makeup and hair, throwing on a pair of chunky heeled booties, black accessories and an edgy jacket. I'd meed my friends for a drink in this for sure.

Okay, guys, let me know, what you thought of these, I'd love to hear your feedback in the comments below.

Hope you're all doing well and I will talk to you soon!

P.S. Looking so much forward to the weekend :) Hope you have some nice plans!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Being healthy

Hey, guys!

I actually had a bunch of other posts lined up (and still do - there's fashion and many others coming up), but recently I've been playing around with the thoughts in my head and wanted to write them down and share, what I've come up with today. Impulsive blogging - just the best, isn't it?

First, I'm a great advocate of the idea, that health is not simply the absence of an illness. Being healthy consists of multiple aspects, including physical, emotional and many others.

So far so good. Here is where I start to doubt myself. Firstly, there is so much information available out there and most of it contradicts. Moreover, should I even fill my head with these different theories or instead focus on doing things intuitively, because I've seen it work so well on multiple people I love? There are also so many different "levels" of being healthy. How healthy am I? For some people eating a chicken breast instead of deep fried, bacon covered, panned or mayo dipped fatty meats is a great step up. For some people, that chicken breast is healthy only when it's boiled and unseasoned with salt. For some - only organic (for some - only grass fed) is the way to go and anything less is unhealthy to them. Can you catch my drift?

I grew up in a culture, where food is not a great focus in regards to health. Latvians have always been hard workers and needed filling, affordable (or readily available) and energy providing meals. It's hard to find a good avocado in my hometown grocery shops, let alone organic avocados, compared to the wide range of organic products here in Denmark. At the same time, if you buy Latvian products from a shelf in Latvia, they will almost certainly be organic naturally, because that's what we have. You can't find unsweetened almond milk (easily at least), but you can always buy real, full fat milk, that's natural and that's not bad either, if you ask me!

My family especially is completely careless towards food and yet all of them are slim, healthy and happy. Here in Denmark people are much more... interested in food. Dinners are a social arrangement (menu of which are often discussed and planned at the breakfast table, for example), shops offer a variety of local and foreign products, people are curious in the new "it" health-stuff to try and people consciously exercise. My parents have had such a busy, physical working and home life, that I can't (for the life of me) imagine them using their energy on running (with no seeming purpose) outdoors for an hour. When they were younger, sure, they played ball, they swam, they biked, but not with the health factor in mind.I myself have gone through many phases in the last 5 years. I've gone from being a slim, intuitive eater to eating whatever I wanted, as long as it tasted good, from an emotional eater to an overweight compulsive eater, from a diet obsessed average twenty year old to an underweight unhappy victim of distorted eating, from a recovering overweight twenty something year old to a recovered average weight intuitive eater. Hmm. That's quite the ride.

At the moment I eat healthily (I think!) most of the time, but I'm also pretty careless. Sure, I'll have whatever's available at a restaurant, a dinner party, when I'm visiting someone without asking: "Is this meat organic?", "Is this skimmed milk?", "Are those cucumbers Danish?" and lately, even though I've been contemplating eating even more healthy, I stop myself at the thought of becoming a fussy eater and ruining a lot of things, that are simply so easy at the moment. Basically I've come full circle to how I was in high school with the exception of obviously having the baggage of everything that has happened to me in the last few years.

I'm very much aware of the benefits of eating whole, natural foods, but if I don't have them available, I won't panic. I also believe in seasonal and local eating, I believe that buying expensive, foreign berries in the middle of winter might not have the amount of health benefits we hope for and that mom's home made jam with berries from our garden (even though it's made with extra sugar) might last me better during the colder months. Speaking of sugar. It's not good for us, sure. But I also believe that at least our bodies know what it is...? This is the reason I always buy real Coke instead of the Diet or Zero one (twice a year, when the occasion arrives), because how can something so sweet have zero calories? That's cheating. And those artificial sweeteners is a chemical product, that's unnatural and I believe really mess up our bodies, when it gets in our systems. A real Coke will make me a bit jittery maybe, have a sugar rush (and subsequently a crash), but that's also a very natural reaction to plain carbs and I think that's... fair. Then you make that unhealthy choice and deal with the calories, the sugar spikes etc., but at least you're being semi-natural (even though I'm fully aware, that it makes little sense).

I've also been active in high school, I walked everywhere, I played volleyball, I danced, then I didn't do anything for a long time, followed by heavy cardio, anything that would make me sweat and lose weight, followed by no purposeful exercise, but a lot of biking, working on my feet, running around, walking etc., followed by a conscious exercising in the gym, with the intention of building muscle and being healthy, followed by doing nothing and now I'm walking considerably a lot, but I also feel like my body's itching for more.

What I'm planning is starting to exercise again, but it's hard for me, because I'm a very goal-minded person, I love to reach milestones, so I struggle with the idea of committing to exercising simply... from now on. No short term fixes, so set finish line. Just me and my body in it's most fit and maintainable form for the rest of my life. That's... almost discouraging!
I'm torn as to what to do now. I eat what we have bought, what we have cooked, what other people have prepared and I don't know if I'm being lazy or it's actually smart to be so flexible, especially as long as I can maintain a healthy weight anyway. Don't want to fix what's not broken, ya'know?

I know my boyfriend appreciates that flexibility. He loves to surprise me with dinner, he loves to take me places and to try things with me. He loves to get tipsy with me, because we always have so much fun when we let loose after a long working week with a bottle of wine and a few beers. He loves to take me out for cocktails and share desserts sometimes. And I do that. Not for him, but because I really enjoy that as well. I don't think my imaginary six pack would make me as happy as sharing an ice cream with him on a hot sunny day. But I also believe there's no black or white ways of living. We can be healthy most of the time and then also have something "bad", because it makes us feel like we're living, not just existing and life, sadly, is indeed short.
It's easy to be with my boyfriend. He prefers to eat healthy, he loves to cook, he gladly tries (and says he enjoys) everything I make and he's always up for us to have a "healthy week" when either him or I feel like we've gone a bit crazy on the "treats" for a while. But I also eat too much sometimes and have something I probably wouldn't by myself.

So, I don't know. I think what I'm trying to say is that I'd like to focus on it a little more for a little while. I'm lucky enough to live in a place with so many great options readily available - sweet potatoes, goji berries, coconut oils and milks etc. and the variety is what makes healthy eating exciting and doable and a long term solution.

I actually know quite a bit about nutrition by now, because I was so obsessed with it for a while. But I there are also many, many things I don't know. And I'm on the brink of diving into it once again, this time with the intention of being more healthy after doubting it for a long time, holding onto the "ignorance is bliss" idea, because it seemed to work so well for me and in many ways, it still does.

Perhaps, I will simply get more "disciplined" with myself and make more conscious healthy choices when I can and whenever I am in charge of what I'll be having, leaving me some room for treats and exceptions and the occasional indulgences, even though it's sort of what I do now anyway.

Lastly, I felt like I had to mention this, even though it's a bit embarrassing. When life gets challenging and grown-up and hard and I start to doubt my abilities, I tend to focus on the more achievable things such as health, beauty, fitness, fashion, it becomes my little hideaway and I feel safe. Thing is, if I put as much effort into solving the actual problem, I'd probably succeed twice as fast.

I'm starting my (dream) internship in a week, so I'm not sure if I genuinely want to be more healthy or I'm just trying to distract myself from how nervous I am by trying to plan a better diet and fitness routine.

However, I don't feel like I'm writing this in vain. I am hundred percent sure, that having a healthy diet and a regular exercise routine will benefit me immensely throughout the next few stressful months and therefore I am about to commit to an improved lifestyle.

Question is - are you guys with me? Would you be interested in recipes, What I Ate posts, my fitness routine and posts regarding health and wellness? I can make a mix and match between the usual beauty and fashion posts and the lifestyle posts, so I'm not changing what this blog is about at all, I'm just adding things to the menu, which I for one, find even more exciting and interesting.

I'm impressed if you actually made it through and read this, thank you so much, I mean it. I know I only do it, if it's some of my favorite blogs, favorite topics or something is well written. I will also love to hear from you with whatever feedback you might have and will, as always, reply to each comment.

Sorry, if this has been boring for you, but it means a lot to me, if I have this blog first and foremost to write about whatever's on my mind. And if someone's on the same page as me, that's even better.

I hope you're all well and I'll talk to you soon! :)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Introducing skincare

Hey, guys!

I've been on a pretty flexible schedule lately, which has allowed me to put posts out on regular basis, I've been really enjoying that and I hope you appreciate that too, because I'm going to try to keep it up when my routine packs full a couple of weeks from now. I have multiple posts in mind and I hope you'll enjoy seeing my hauls, outfits, makeup bits, updates, posts regarding confidence, food & fitness and many others, so stick around :)

I was a little hesitant about putting this post out at first, because I'm really not that into skincare and haven't ever been. Until now I've been living by "less is more" and apart from the absolute musts I haven't done anything excessive at all. I feel it's worked out fine for me and my big sisters and my mom still get by perfectly just by doing the simple necessities, but I also feel like 22 is a good age to start focusing on my skincare a bit more - adding a few extra steps, such as an eye cream and changing up some of my products for a higher quality ones.

But this is where I have to start at, this is what I look like now, this is what I do. Hope you'll enjoy and let's begin!

This was a pretty fun picture for me to see side by side. There's an exact 5 year difference between these two girls. See, what a Latvian summer looks like in comparison to a Danish one - my skin is tanned, my hair is sun lightened vs having darker hair and a paler face. You can also see what 5 years in front of a computer means, finishing a bachelor and waitressing night shifts at a bar for three years looks like (dark circles, anyone?). Some red areas have appeared, but that might also be because I'm paler, so it's more visible. All in all I think my 17 year old self and my 22 year old self still feels pretty okay with her bare face and rocks that 5 days out of the week usually. If it weren't for my dark circles, I don't think I'd bother too much with makeup anyway. I really would love to have those improve. But there doesn't seem to be water enough in the world for me to drink or sleep enough I could get to make them go away. Someday, maybe.

I've always had dry skin. Wanna know, how I know? When I was little, I loved water (still do) - I loved baths and showers and lakes and the sea and pools and... okay, you got it. And every time after I got out of the water I could feel my skin drying up, sort of... shrinking even! The hour long drive from the seaside home became the longest ride ever, if I (my mom, lets be honest) had forgotten to pack the good old Nivea. I remember the instantly calming feeling it gave me, when I finally put it on. Since then, I haven't stopped moisturizing and I haven't stopped using Nivea. It's brilliant. It's so rich and thick and soft and gentle and yes, I love it.

When I started using makeup, I started using makeup removers and face washes and now I feel like I have a very simple, very easy routine (with room for improvements).

I don't have (or used to not have) problematic skin. I get the occasional breakout, no doubt, but nothing major. In the past few months, though I've been having SOMETHING on my skin at all times. Just that one, red, annoying spot on my chin, above my lip, on my forehead... just one at all times somewhere. So I've been focusing on washing my face diligently and regularly and it has seemed to help.
When I get up in the mornings, I wash my face with a splash of cold water. It seems to wake me up and give my skin a bit of a pick me up. After that I use a cotton pad with the brilliant Bioderma cleansing water and pat my face dry gently with a towel. Then I'll put on the Nivea soft on days I don't wear makeup and on days I will - I'll use the Nivea makeup starter, which works as a light moisturizer and a primer for me. The Nivea Soft is way too thick to be worn under makeup, I've found it doesn't last at all and slides all over the place. The Nivea makeup starter works fine, but I think I'll invest in a good, yet light day cream instead. (Feel free to leave me your recommendations down below, I'd love to hear them!) And of course, I have to use a lip balm, otherwise my lips get very dry. At the moment I'm using the Oriflame tender care, which I got from my mom. It's light, but very soft and buttery and lasts a long time.
As for my body, I use the Nivea Express Moisturizing body lotion, which I have refilled in a travel bottle before my holidays, but I actually prefer it that way because the pump makes it very handy. At the moment I use the Nivea Pure & Sensitive 24h deodorant (I seriously don't get paid by Nivea, I wish though! I buy their stuff all the time anyway) and  with the weather getting colder, I keep the Cottage Garden hand cream in my bathroom and the wonderful Bulgarian Rose one in my handbag.
If I've been wearing makeup, I'll remove it with Bioderma, also my eye makeup, but if I have something heavy on, I'll use the Nivea (wow, I really just see a pattern now) Double Effect Eye Makeup Remover, which works really well, because it's very thick and oily and dissolves makeup well, without irritating my skin, I just make sure to keep the cotton pad with the remover on my eye for a while to soften up the makeup.
I'll then put on the Clearasil Wash and Mask with my hands and massage it in a bit. We had a rocky start and I thought this was what broke me out, but recently I've been having no problems with it. I don't think I'll repurchase it, as it would work better with oily skin, but I don't mind using it up. And then I'll use my Body Shop face sponge (which gets twice as big when wet) and wash my face with it until it's clean. It's very gentle and exfoliates my skin slightly. After that I'll sometimes use the Body Shop calming toner, but lately I haven't. Similarly, I sometimes use the Calming Cleanser instead of the Clearasil one, but haven't for a while. I just brought them out again to remind myself to finish up the products, so I can throw them away. (Being economic.)

After that my skin feels too clean and pretty naked, so I LOVE using the Nivea Soft cream to calm it down and put moisture back into my skin. I'm contemplating investing into the Bobby Brown eye cream, but before that I want to make sure I have the stamina to include this step into my routine, so I've decided to use up some of the eye cream samples I've been given and give them a go. This one, for example is Madara's eye repair cream and it's a Latvian organic skincare brand (can easily be bought here in Denmark as well) and I'm actually pretty proud of this line as a fellow latvian! (hey, if I like it, why buy a Bobby Brown one, if I can support a local brand, right?) They're doing very well and have become pretty international, so I usually buy presents from there for my international friends and Danish ladies I know here, it's usually a hit. It took me some getting used to, because the smell is very... natural. Like, literally, weeds. And meadow. But I think I'll try their cleanser and their deodorant and maybe a body lotion and maybe a shampoo... :) We'll see. Just letting you know, because I think it's a pretty unheard of brand and I happen to have tried it. And lastly, of course, a lip balm. And an earlier pictured hand cream. That's when I call it a night!

So, there you have it, guys! My skincare routine. Let me know, if you recognize, use, love (or dislike) some of the products I mentioned and if you have some great recommendations for me, I would appreciate it!

Hope to hear from you! And have a great weekend.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

The eyebrow post

Hey, guys!

Thank you for leaving me your lovely comments on my previous posts, reading them, replying and checking out your blogs is literally one of my favorite things about blogging. Thank you all for stopping by, hope you enjoy and decide to stay a bit longer :)

Anyway. Have you ever been so bored, you start to google photoshopped celebrity photos without their eyebrows?  Well, if you have, you'll know, what a surprising difference that suddenly makes to a face. I didn't always appreciate this.

On one of my recent posts I received a compliment on my eyebrows and flattered as I got, decided to dedicate an entire post to the topic! (what can I say - I love compliments?)

Seriously, though, I decided to show, that my eyebrows have gone through some pretty rough times and almost went extinct! So there's an entire story to how I grew them back and how I maintain them now (which is really easy, actually).

I'm really an advocate of thicker than thinner, because I used to make mine ridiculously thin and round shaped, so I walked around looking surprised at all times. No wonder, I could never make myself look good, when no matter how much effort I put into my makeup, it was ruined by the weird alien looking arch I had going on. That's another thing. I just simply couldn't manage my eyebrows. I had them very thick, but very fine initially. So they were sort of... grey, I suppose. Just sheer and wishy-washy until I had them plucked for the first time, before my middle school graduation (about 14 years old).

In high school they were pretty thin, but okay, because we had these unwritten beauty rules in my class - all the girls did the basic things - a nice tan, nails, eyebrows, hair trims, that sort of thing and I used to pluck them at a salon every other month or so, but then I moved away to Denmark to study and didn't do anything beauty related out of my home. First of all, it was very expensive and second of all, I was so overwhelmed by all the changes, that finding the beauty treatment sports simply wasn't my priority. Not having bushy eyebrows apparently was.

And in time, I managed to pluck them thinner and thinner until they sort of shaped into these round and thin arcs. And when I came home for a semester of internship, which I choose to take back home in Latvia, my sister (who was studying at the time and is now actually a hairdresser) looked at them and told me to never touch my eyebrows again :D So, every time I'd go to my home town and saw her, she'd adjust them. For a while they looked even more hideous, than before, because she made me grow them out. But after a few months, she managed to completely re-shape them and even make a small bending of it, which I love. The problem is, though, that my face is asymmetric and (as my sister laughs, I got one eyebrow from my mom and the other, from my dad) they have a completely different structure.

For a while after returning I was struggling to manage them a bit, when I was on my own again. I was afraid to make the same mistakes again, but in time - they gave me less and less trouble. I literally pluck out a few hairs here and there that are obviously out of place (always plucking only the bottom, never from the top of the eyebrow) and fill them in slightly on nights out. Still, every time I go home, the top of the agenda is getting my eyebrows fixed (she also darkens them, so I don't fill them in for a while after), because I swear, neat eyebrows are just a beauty crush for me. In the summer time, I can have my hair up and away from my face, no makeup, a nice tan and if I have my eyebrows just done, I feel extremely pretty. It's weird. But I think, it's just such a beautiful, powerful feature. On everyday basis I brush them out, sometimes I'll use a clear gel and the natural shape of my eyebrows have proven to be the easiest to upkeep and the most flattering to have. I wish I'd know how to do it better myself, though or to go home more often, because they're obviously thicker and not as beautifully arched as when done professionally, but in comparison, the maintenance is completely worry free.

Hope you enjoyed it! How do you take care of your brows? What's your routine? Are you satisfied with your brows or don't notice them that much at all? I'd love to hear from you!

Also, I have a few interesting posts in mind, simple things like skincare and daily makeup (daily, meaning, once a week, maybe, when I wear makeup), but I'm also thinking of doing something a little different and I would love to know, if you're interested in seeing stuff like that. I've changed a lot throughout the last 5 years and that has affected my self esteem a lot and the way I feel about myself and others, so if you'd like to know, what I've learned, let me know in the comments below and I'll gladly do it :)

Have a great early weekend!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Renate's closet diaries #1 Shoe collection

Hey, guys!

Whoa, you really make my day with your sweet comments and lovely feedback! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Since all of you were really supportive of my fashion reinvention and thought it was a good idea for me to share the process, but none of you helped me with the name, I went with my own, cheesy, embarrassing title of the series and I blame you. (Damn, lack of creativity. Damn you.)

I was in doubt about today's post, but since some of you appreciated the shoe picture I put up on my last post, I decided to roll with it. Hope you enjoy!
So this is basically it! Minus my boots, that were still in the basement at the time and what I'll just talk about now, since I have packed them away already, because summer is really over as it seems, are the sandals.

Last row, first pair from the left - a pair of H&M sandals - this year's buy. 170 dkk, if I remember correctly. I was actually very impressed by them, to be honest. They were surprisingly comfortable (sometimes completely flat shoes are even more painful and uncomfortable than killer heels, I swear), lasted really well and were quite soft and all around a good pair of summer shoes. I thought they were cute and I got some compliments on them, not the cheapest you can get, but in this case I think it made sense.

The almost invisible, black pair of sandals next to it are a toned down version of the gladiator shoe. Also an H&M buy a couple of years back, wore it once this summer, I think and don't think I'll keep it for very many years to come. We had our moments, though.

The pair next to them are my pride and joy... naaah. My boyfriend hates them a little, he's not the biggest fan. But I can't help it - they're damn comfortable and extremely good quality. They're like the nokia 3310 of shoes! Nobody's particularly proud to have it, but deep down you are! Because there's something about it that's just reliable and impressive... Ok, now I'm just being plain weird. I wear these when I travel, hike in the heat or have to be on my feel walking in the summertime for the entire day. They're really awesome. Not Victoria Beckham's first choice, I'd reckon, but I, for one, love to look like an overgrown child sometimes. (I don't.)

Continuing with the comfort we have the casual girl's reliable sneaker trio. From the left - my Nike free runs 2, which I've had for about a year now. Fun fact, I've worked as a waitress at a cocktail bar (meaning, night shifts and weekends only) for 3 years. I like to say, that Danish drinking habits put me through college! I also worked at a restaurant, so sometimes, if I happened to be double booked I was on my feet for 16 hours at a time. The restaurant's kitchen was downstairs, the restaurant - upstairs, we had to run with every single plate up and down every time. After a few painful shifts I noticed that all of the other waitresses wore running shoes. I decided to try and invest and, believe me, these babies saved my back. Great support, great comfort, cute also, so I'm very glad I got them. Now, I use them for exercise. I think they were about 600 dkk at Stadium

The Converses is a recent buy, probably a couple of months ago and a very long wish come true. I just think it's such a staple peace and I love how it goes with everything I have. I'm also one of those people who like it either way - brand new and really trashed, so I'm looking forward to wearing them in even more. 500 dkk from Maibom Eurowalk, but you can get them anywhere and the prices are pretty much the same either way.

Lastly, my Puma tennis shoes, quite an old buy, but trusty and very low maintenance - I've machined washed them a few times and they always come out looking brand new. They have a weird, tight fit, but before I got the Converses, I used to run around doing errands with them all the time. Sometimes I used to also exercise in them, but they're not the best for that, to be honest.

Still onto comfort - here you can barely see have my flats! From the left - a pair of brown leather granny shoes I bought in Latvia on my trip a couple of months back. They were less than 200 dkk and are soft as can be. They were discounted, because the lining inside is detached at the top, but I just arrange it before I put the shoes on and it doesn't bother me, although I should probably get it fixed. A cute, super comfortable shoe, which I'm glad I got.

In the middle we have another pair of in-Latvia-bought flats - I love them, because they're super comfortable and very flattering. They go with everything and I lived in them last summer, but I have to say, as soon as I find and buy a pair of good black flats, they'll go, because, unfortunately, they're not leather and they... stink. Yes, I know, its gross. I clean them very well and it's not like they stink all the time. Its just that my feet sweat in them and after a long day - I need to clean them, burn my socks.. (just kidding) I'm just saying - gotta hand it to my mom, who told me never to buy non-leather everyday shoes and boots, she was right. Not worth it.

On the right we have a very recent purchase from my visit to a second hand market this past Saturday. The girl had bought these Zara Woman's shoes online (for 900 dkk, she told me, but I couldn't find them online) from their website and found them too big. Thank God for my large feet! Because I fell in love with them the moment I saw them although I'm fully aware, that men's tuxedo inspired, long toed shoes are not everyone's cup of tea. I got them from 200 dkk, which I thought was still a bargain, although it was my most expensive purchase there. I have yet to wear these out and I look forward to it very much!

Onto heels, blacks first, obviously. From the left we have a nice pair of leather wedges, that I bought a couple of years ago in Denmark. I'm not a big wedge person, I don't think they're the most flattering shoe on me, but these were a very nice in-between flats and heels, that I have used a lot going out for dinners or drinks in the summer time, wore them with dresses and to a couple of my exams and school presentations. I haven't worn them in a long time, though, because (very weirdly) they got less comfortable in time and mostly because I've totally destroyed the brown heel - it looks very messy and I think I'll throw them out as soon as I repurchase something similar. They were quite expensive, as far as I remember, my guess would be around 400 dkk.

The middle heel is probably some good 3 years old and have (surprisingly) gotten MORE comfortable in time. It's very important to arrange my toes properly in the shoe while and after I put them on and that determines how long I can keep them on for. A nice, classic staple heel, very flattering and, what can I say - the boy loves it also. My feet - not so much :) They were 200 dkk and can still be bought at Deichmann shoes.

Lastly, a fairly recent H&M purchase, I think they were 250 dkk and seemed comfortable, but as I've discovered - the opening of the toe is a bit too big, compared to the height of the heel, so my big toe (and I mean it, my toe is noticeably bigger than any of my other toes and adds an extra size, I'm not kidding) slides out of the shoe and I got nasty blisters after a night out. Haven't worn them since. Maybe with stockings (I had bare feet) and some silicone pillows or pads under my feet would help. Anyway, they look nice and I like the chunky heel - prevents my legs from looking like carrots, when my fairly big legs suddenly end in a delicate, unexpectedly tiny shoe. Am I weird?
Moving onto to something lighter, literally. The nude heel is a staple in most wardrobes, I think and these I bought hours before my sister's wedding a bit more that a year ago, because my original option proved more and more painful as my feet swell up (summer wedding, crazy heat, what can you do).  They were the only ones that were available in my small town, could work with the dress and was something I was willing to use unexpected money on. They're Tamaris brand, which is my mom's favorite (for good reason, they have some quality shoes), most likely around 300 dkk, but the shoes themselves are not super comfortable for me. Despite the relatively low heel, the rounded toe part hurts my toes (they're big, I've told you) - especially the big one and the small one on the side - there's just no space. I have worn them only a couple of more times, but maybe I'll try to stretch them out soon using a bit of alcohol or whatever the method is. I'll look it up before, don't worry.

The middle shoes are relatively recent, a purchase from either April or May. I got them at Havana shoes in Aarhus for 300 dkk, I think and found them very comfortable and the first pair of heeled sandals, that had enough support for me to walk in. I figured, that I'll be able to wear them throughout the summer going out and they seemed stable enough to even walk in. I wore them to my high school reunion in June, but had stockings and found them impossible to walk in as my feet were slipping. My mistake for not foreseeing this and buying some silicone pads. I wore them out recently on bare feet and sprayed some hair spray, which did the job just fine. We walked considerably a lot that night, but I also have to say, that the heel is so chunky and so high, that it tends to lean backwards when I step on it, if you know, what I mean. Like, the middle part of my feet press down on the shoe and the sole bends, which makes the heel give in and not hit the ground perpendicularly. Gosh, this is difficult to explain. I hope you know what I mean. They're not the most delicate to walk in, is all I'm saying, especially walking fast, so I have to watch it, otherwise I look a bit like I'm hammering down the street.

On the right is also a recent purchase and a total steel. 95 dkk at Bianco shoes and the most comfortable heel I own. The heel is just the perfect height of being easy to walk in and high enough to be flattering. The color is so pretty and the design is very chic, I think. I even don't mind the golden heel and the shiny finish, with a very simple outfit like I had for my friends wedding, it's a very nice stand out peace and I can't wait to wear them more.
Moving onto some outerwear. The brown Chelsea boot on the left is also from Bianco and although I bought it before the summer, April I believe, they are still there in the shops, if that's interesting to some of you. Leather, I got them for a discount subscribing for a member's card, I think, 500 dkk, if I remember correctly. Have worn them a lot, very comfy, very simple, goes with everything and basically a very good staple everyday boot.

In the middle - another Chelsea boot, last Sept. or October from Maibom Eurowalk, 350 dkk as far as I can remember, still there, I saw it recently. A very good every day heel - gives me a bit of height (not that I need it, I'm pretty tall, I meant more so confidence wise), very classy, very comfortable, I've walked lots with these, long distances, been out, spent long hours wearing them - nothing ruins them, except my horrible handling. They're suede, so I usually just brush the dirt off and have a light hand with some water and a wash cloth, even though I know that's not exactly the ideal treatment.

Lastly we have my New Years 2013 shoes. I bought them at Havana shoes in Aarhus for 400 dkk, I think and although I love them, they're also quite uncomfortable (I did NOT dance all New Years night and wait for a bus barefoot, because I couldn't bear to have them on for a second longer). Every now and then I wear them out, when I know I won't have to be on my feet much, but even then its pretty sweet to come home and take them off.
Getting there, guys. Home stretch. Boots! On the left we have a few year old pair from Deichmann shoes (which are NOT held up by a wine bottle hiding inside), a last pair, partly leather, my size, I remember seeing them and putting them on just for fun (since it was my size unusually enough) and getting surprised by how comfortable they actually were. They were discounted 700 dkk from 900dkk and after a long and hard inner battle thinking I ended up deciding to go for it, as they are a classic, looked amazingly on and for once, I did have a job and the money on my account. Imagine my surprise when I paid 150 dkk for them at the check out. I have no idea, to this day, whether that was a mistake or luck, but since then I have worn them loads, as you can see from the ruined heel, they're trusty, relatively comfortable for a heel that high, super flattering and very elegant, I think. Not made for winters, though, because they slide easily. But if I figure out how to fix the heel, I'll gladly continue to wear them.

In the middle, another Deichmann shoes wonder (I used to really only go to that store in Denmark, I can see now!). But they're also real leather, last pair, my size, 200 dkk or even 150 dkk, I can't remember, bought it last Autumn and wore them religiously during the season, also in the winter (they can take a thicker sock as well, which is nice), comfy, classic, a bit of a pain to get into due to the non-existant zipper.

Lastly, a pair of second hand market finds - 50 dkk! I love these, because they make me feel so bad ass wearing them, they're comfortable, easy to wear with everything, a staple peace in my opinion and very versatile - I wore them out the other night downtown and the next day - watched a football game at the stadium.

So, there you have it, guys! My shoes! What do you think? Am I missing something? Which are your favorite styles? What do you consider shoe staples to be? What can you not live without? Leave me your input down below, I would love to hear from you!
On a side note, cheers to my boyfriend and I for being together for two years now :) I know some people say - time flies, I can't believe we're together for so long, I feel like I just met you yesterday! But I seriously feel like I've known him for my entire life and it's actually a bit surprising its only been two years, because it feels much, much longer. We've been though some hard times and I believe have come out on the other side and the best is yet to come. I love him more every single day and feel like the luckiest girl in the world.Hope you guys have had an amazing start of the week and I'll talk to you soon!Renate  

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Closet confessions and starting my fashion series

Hey, guys!

I feel like I'm starting every post out the same way, but seriously - thank you everyone for commenting, subscribing, reading and basically making something I love as it is (meaning, writing) into such an enjoyable and fun part of my day. I love to check out your blogs and read your comments, so, please keep going, because I appreciate it more than you know.

Okay. On to the point. Firstly, I want to cover a little part of the background story regarding my wardrobe and fashion (lack of it, let's be honest, Renate).

I believe there are two kinds of people in this world - ones that look polished and put together no matter what and no matter where you might see them and the ones who can and do sometimes or often look good, but you can definitely run into them on a bad day. Flat out, I'm the latter. I CAN dress up and look put together, but it just doesn't come naturally. Since most of my clothes are pretty basic I don't exactly risk ending up looking like a hot mess, but neither am I always ready to "meet my destiny", if you know what I mean. Maybe 2 days out of 7. The rest - I would probably call and cancel.

Want to know, what I mean? Here, some examples of  me dressing up from day to day.

I can also dress up on occasion.

Not THAT bad, huh? Yes, but I can also go about my day looking like this.

And I mean - unflatteting, illfitting, (pretty immature) and sometimes - male clothes (I'm looking at you, purple sweater). All of these pictures are at least a year old, I'd like to point out and most of the clothes I've since gotten rid of, but - it's in there :) So, you see, my series are not just about having the dream closet. It's about learning how to develop a personal style and about putting effort into my every day appearance without feeling like it's a hard job.

Anyway. I wanted to change something. I wanted good quality clothes I could rely on and look more classy without excessively dressing up everyday. Trust me, I've tried. I've dressed up for a week and then, exhausted, grabbed my sweatshirt, baggy jeans and converses.

Also, I've never had much money. Now, I don't think I had significantly less, than others. I just think I wasn't so good at managing it. I'm by no means better now, but I'm willing to change that. I guess I'm willing to grow up. (Holds back tears)

THEN, I used to prioritize quantity over quality (a big no-no regarding... everything, really) - I wanted to have lots and lots of options - so that I'd be able to get up in the morning and choose a new outfit every day, depending on the mood I'm in. Now, when you don't have a lot of money that means - buying cheap clothes to achieve the quantity factor. Which meant I often ended up with low quality, often ill fitting and semi-tacky clothes, that were accompanied with the occasional splurge of more expensive items.

Now, while all of this makes me sound like a pretty hopeless case... I'm not. At least, that's what I'm telling myself and been told by some very kind people (I love you, mom). I'm not.

I'm just trying to put down in words why during the past... let's say 6 months to a year I've been unhappy with my wardrobe. I felt like I have a different lifestyle now (I'm not going to school every day, I'm looking for a job - why would I need 3 sweatshirts and no pretty cardigans?), like I'm more comfortable with myself (I know my style better and don't feel like trying out different things every other day) and like I'm grown up (meaning I've stopped fluctuating and changing my shape and size for the most part, which means I am able to start investing into more expensive wardrobe staples).

What I did then was - look at every single item in my wardrobe, the good, the bad and the ugly, as they say. I was pleasantly surprised by how many basic peaces I already own (a good blazer, a leather jacket, a navy coat, a trench coat etc.) and noted everything I was lacking or things that were out of place. Things that were still in good condition, but ones I never wore anymore, because I've had them for years, for example.

I cleaned everything out and was left with about haft of what I had. I made a wish list and after that - a priority list. Let's say, even though I was missing a good pair of black flats, a pair of boots came first, because - that's what I needed right this upcoming season. And THEN I started keeping my eye out for good deals. I'm missing a lot of things, which means, there's a lot of work to be done!

Now, what I'm trying to say in this post is that although a lot of bloggers put out the "result" - the good outfits, the put together, thought through wardrobes, the "afters", I'm going to show you my journey towards... any personal wardrobe, to be honest, even if that might be way less glamorous and stylish.

I thought it could be really helpful for me to have this "project" documented and maybe it could be interesting for some of you, if I shared that process here. This is my journey towards discovering my personal style, revamping my wardrobe completely, changing my careless ways (I also don't tend to care for my more expensive items, unfortunately, especially shoes) and hopefully come out as a decent, young lady!

Maybe I'll make a post with what I consider wardrobe essentials to be and then let you guys know, how my updating process is going.

I can also do outfit and styling posts, hauls, wish lists, inspiration boards, tips and tricks (not many DIYs, though as I'm rubbish at it) etc.

Here's a preview of the upcoming shoe collection post - in case you'd like to see that.

Hope you'll enjoy these posts and I'll talk to you soon!

Please leave any feedback you have in the comments below - also if you can think of a good name for the series, I'd love to hear from you.