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Procrastination, thou art the Devil

Lately posts have been slow coz knowing how to get that work-life balance doesn’t seem as easy as it should be. The concept seems easy enough, but with a long work day that’s exhausted you physically & mentally, a work-life balance kinda seems impossible. particularly because my work involves quite a bit of writing, sometimes i just mentally shut down without thinking & stuff like this happens:

At the end of it all, procrastination is way easier than getting up to have a social life :( & it’s an addictive method of time wasting, i assure you.

so I look for interesting things that could spice up my life. Projects that aren’t that hard to accomplish & ones that could be really fun to do, you know?

Tada! An insanely simple way of making a pretty wrap that could be perfect for the office. The sleeves are missing, but getting a nice printed wrap could really spice up a muted work outfit, particularly if you’re meeting friends for a girl’s night out! :D Especially if most of your work clothes (like mine) are mostly made of muted colours or monochromatic ensembles. Here are a few prints I wouldn’t mind getting for this project: 

Geometric prints, animal prints, polka dots & flower prints.. these are a few of my favourite things! Too bad most of my work wardrobe doesn’t consist of such prints – so having a colourful & fun wrap would really brighten up my day :)

Another thing I’ve been thinking of doing is re-look at my eating habits. i.e. Eat more “negative calorie” foods, which are basically foods that take more energy & calories to digest than the amount of calories inside them! Smart way to diet without sacrificing on amount, eh?

Besides, looking at this list, I really do love quite alot of these foods, so it wouldn’t be a struggle to eat them, but I do have to make a more conscious effort / choice to eat healthily.

I love hush puppy shoes because they’re so damn comfortable, but the colours available are so bleah. I know it seems like a crime to vandalise a pair of $100 + pumps, but I’m seriously contemplating pulling a fairy godmother stunt to turn a plain pair of pumps into really pretty sparkly shoes

check out the glitter shoes tutorial on Pixie on Pump’s blog!

She used cheap shoes so I’m thinking I might practice my skills on a cheap throwable pair before trying it out on a pair of hush puppies. haha.

so yep! those are the few things I’m planning on doing! :D It’s always great to find inspiration. I just hope that I don’t end up like this:

HAHA. have a great week ahead everyone!!

Alleviating Heel Pain: Exercises on the Move!

I was never a fan of peeptoes until recently, when I purchased a pair from Mitju. Thinking that since it had only a slight heel I would be spared the horrific pain I experienced a few years back with my first pair of peeptoe heels, I was partially wrong. Though my narrow feet didn’t slide through the hole at all (as my feet tend to do with peeptoe heels, resulting in this ugly overhanging of my toes), I still experienced some foot pain, particularly at my toe area.

My solution? Google. There’s never something that cannot be fixed or made more convenient :)

Conventionally, when experiencing any type of foot pain whilst on the move, my first and immediate instinct is to find a clean place to get my feet out of my heels and stand on them – you have to use your own body weigh to “massage” the foot back from its uncomfortable contortion in your shoe, back to your neutral foot position. It’s even better if you can do several tiny jumps.

Of course, that’s far from elegant, particularly when you’re in the company of friends or at a sophisticated event. If privacy is an issue, then short of getting a foot massage, doing a few simple feet exercises will help to temporarily alleviate the pain, discreetly. Here are a few I can suggest, and you don’t need to do all of them, just those that help ease the pain at your desired areas:

  1. Toe Curling: best for pain at the ball and sole of the foot. Slip your foot out of the shoe, and curl your toes inward slowly, then outward. You may like to allow your foot to “curl” or bend with your toes as you do this exercise. Perfect for when you’re taking the train or just standing making small chit chat! (especially if there’s a long tablecloth). Do this slowly to fully appreciate it.
  2. Foot Rotation: For pain that comes from your arch, or discomfort from very high heels – slip your foot out of the shoe and rotate your ankle dowards, i.e. the back of your foot goes closest to the ground. Do it at medium speed.
  3. Toe Squeezing: Generally for moments when you experience numbness in any part of your feet. Squeeze your toes hard inwards, hold it and slowly relax them. repeat several times, wriggle your toes and soon your feet will feel like yours again :)

Of course, it would be ideal if we didn’t wear heels everyday – it’s been scientifically proven to greatly weaken the structure of the foot. But with it being the social norm in the working world, it looks like I don’t have a choice so daily foot exercise is the way to go! :)

Moreover, with my feet being the body part that I use the most, I wouldn’t want to have them deteriorate faster than I age. Walking is an essential part of life & I’m keen on keeping it easy for as long as I live!

Exercise your feet & you’ll get to wear those pretty heels longer every day with much less pain :)

ikea misadventure and shoe shopping!

Just the other day, my friend Claudia and I headed to Ikea at Alexandra Rd to do some shopping (hall life can be very lonesome so thankfully I have friends who visit me/take me out on shifts so I’m never lonely YAY) and while we were there, we had to eat meatballs, Diam cake and the $1.50 ice cream. I lament the days where the ice cream was just 70 cents. How I hate inflation.

Camera shy Claudia

We had a lovely spread but then as we walked towards the car park, disaster struck.

*Gasp*

Yes, as I was happily licking my icecream in one direction cos it was melting like crazy, the whole thing toppled out of my icecream cone and landed on the floor. I was super sad. Especially since the last time I went to Ikea, the icecream sold out. Just seems like I’m not fated to have my icecream and eat it. I barely had 10 licks and it went capult. Oh well.

And I dunno about you, but I have EVIL friends. When I posted this up on facebook, everyone laughed. They said stuff like, ‘oh I thought that only happens to kids in movies HAHAHAHAHA.’ No one showed any sympathy whatsoever. -_- Horrible people who call themselves my friends. Nyeh.

Anyhow, the next day was way happier because I went shopping with Claudia at Tangs. They had a private sale offering 12% rebate so a whole bevy of women were there to stock up on skincare and do abit of shopping. While I didn’t get anything at the sale, (though I was highly tempted at the Benefit and Kiehl’s counter), I did buy stuff at Muji and Mitju at Ion Orchard.

Everytime I go to Muji, I can’t help but stock up on my favourite marshmallows. You know the pink ones with strawberry jelly fillling? Those are the yummiest and because there was some promo, I bought 5 packs for $8.80.

So after that, Claudia and I headed to Mitju because she wanted to see pretty shoes and as it turns out, I ended up buying instead of her. Evil enabler.

Ok, I don’t have the daintiest feet (I wear size 39-40 depending on cut/design) and it’s really hard to find shoes in larger sizes here in Singapore much less comfortable ones. Claudia was telling me that she used to only buy Aerosoles which cost anywhere from $100-200 for a pair of shoes because it’s so hard to find comfortable shoes in size 40 and up at an affordable price. I can totally understand because I myself have experienced such disappointment at shoe shops like Mondo that carry pretty designs but at really small sizes. So it’s a huge thing for us to actually enter a shop like Charles and Keith and Mitju that carry sizes all the way to 41/42 AND the prices are below $40. This probably explains why I ended up buying 2 pairs.

Shoes #1

I saw this pair in grey and black and thought it was so cute yet so work appropriate. I decided against the grey though it looked nicer because black is somehow easier to match. I’m worried about the kitten heel though. Hopefully it’ll be stable and comfortable enough to wear for long hours.

Shoes #2

My second pair of shoes is like loafers meet moccasins and I absolutely adore them in navy. I’ve been meaning to own a pair of loafers for a long time because I love how it’s casual and they look really good with skinny jeans and boho skirts. I have to say, these are really super comfortable because the rim of the shoe isn’t made of some hard synthetic leather/plastic but a soft suede-like fabric. I wore these out for the first time yesterday and no blisters! I didn’t have to put foot glide or anything! And what I really love about these? They mould my feet which is really important cos though I have big feet, they are really slim and it’s hard to find a shoe that fits perfectly without actual gaps at the sides. And the beauty of it is that they cost only $29.90.

So for once in a very long time, I actually felt like Cinderella instead of the ugly step-sister. Hurray to brand new shoes!

Well-Heeled: Alleviating Pain from High Heels

As painful as they may feel sometimes, no girl can deny the instant oomph! of sexiness that comes with a pair of high heels. They instantly improve one’s posture and creates the illusions of longer, graceful legs and a slimmer silhouette. However, given how one’s feet can ache after barely a few hours strutting around in these heels, it doesn’t seem as practical to go out wearing these anymore.

view details of featured items here

I myself used to be one of those girls who would buy heels because they were so gorgeously pretty when I wore them in the shop, then wear them out only to find that they were obscenely impossible to walk around in after 3 hours or so, and then left them at home to gather dust – which is just an awful, awful waste.

So determined not to let my pretty shoes go to waste, I decided to embark on a research project to find out if there was a humanely possible way to wear heels and be comfortable, aside from the horrifying cosmetic surgery that seems to be the trend these days.

Basically there are three main areas that experience pain after wearing heels.

  1. The Achilles Tendon
  2. Plantar Fascia
  3. Ball of Foot

Depending on which you experience the most often, you should use different coping methods – everyone has a different style of walk and thus, should use different ways of managing and alleviating heel pain.

Beginning with the most common one, the Plantar Fascia is the soft band of tissue that stretches from the heel to the toe. Plantar Fasciitis (inflammation of this tissue) occurs when one’s foot is arched uncomfortably for long periods of time. After trying a variety of methods I found online, I decided that these two were the best:

  1. Exercising the foot prior to wearing heels, and whenever I experienced any stress on my feet. I also massaged my feet, using my two thumbs and starting from the heel, I used circular motions to massage my entire foot.
  2. Adding a foot cushion to the front of the shoe. As I dislike wearing open-toes, I simply added front cushions to my shoes to change how my feet arched in the shoes. Adding a front cushion means my plantar fascia was stretched less at an angle. For some, you might need to raise the height of your heel in order to feel more comfortable, it depends on your foot or the arch of your shoe. In that case, add a foot cushion to the back of the shoe.

Pain in the Achilles Tendon is often associated with your style of walking, as the pain occurs at the back of the foot. Mostly, it’s due to how your walking deteriorates as your feet begin to experience stress and pain. For some, once they experience pain at a certain part of a foot (e.g. ball of foot or plantar fascia), they tend to attempt to relieve pain by walking differently – this then leads to pain in the back of the foot, as the foot has to deal with an unfamiliar walk that is unstable. So all you have to do is ensure that your heels are comfortable, and that you attempt to walk as normally as possible despite any pain or discomfort :)

Lastly, pain at the Ball of the Foot mostly results from 2 factors:

  1. sensitivity to a poor shock absorbing sole
  2. pressure against the downward gravitational pull of the foot.

Both point towards your shoes having a bad sole. The first, meaning that your shoe is not built to absorb the impact of walking properly, whilst the second simply means that your sole doesn’t provide sufficient friction for your feet to stay in its elevated position, and you end up relying on the underskin of the ball of your feet to support. Invest in a good insole that is shock absorbent and not silky smooth, so that your feet are able to grip onto it and retain its elevation without any extra stress.

My Grand Conclusion?

Take Care of your Feet! I now give my feet a massage every 2 days or so – whether i’m wearing heels or not. This ensures my feet are kept flexible, and my plantar fascis is in great condition to meet the challenges of any new heels I might put in its way. Using a footcream also ensures the skin of your feet remains smooth and supple, reducing the possibilities of ugly bunions or various other skin growths. Insoles are now my favourite thing, and I have one for (almost) every pair of heels that I own, save the really comfortable ones :)

Love your feet and you’ll be able to sexily strut down the street with no pain at all :)

Printed shoes

Recently, I’ve been hunting around for a plain, simple and classic pair of black shoes that could match my wardrobe, as it evolves towards that of a working woman’s closet. Unfortunately, I keep getting distracted by printed shoes of all kinds, such as these incredibly cute sandals and wedges created in a collaboration between fashion brand Suno and shoe brand, Loeffler Randall.

In fact, with fashion brands beginning to have more and more printed shoes on their shelves, I think we might just be witnessing the slow and painful death of the plain black flat.

see details of featured items here

Designers are using anything from prints, to sequins, lace, appliques and new textures to amp up the “wow” factor of their shoes. It’s no wonder that the plain black flats are taking a back seat. Then again, I’m pretty sure that plain black flats are an essential wardrobe staple which will never go out of style, so I’m persevering on with a narrow-mindedness towards my search of the perfect black flat (that will last me beyond a year).

Sneakin’ it Up!

I’d love to do this the way Barney from How I Met Your Mother does it so well… but somehow “Sneaker Up” doesn’t have the same catchy sound to it as his famous line “Suit Up!” does. Or maybe I’d just let High School Musical alum Vanessa Hudgens hammer into you how cool sneakers could be.

i’m kidding. please stop the video asap before you ruin your ears.

Basically, that video above was just a horrible, horrible choice for Vanessa Hudgens to promote her album with at the time, which pretty much explains why she hasn’t been a roaring success since the end of High School Musical. Add on the fact that the voice in the MTV hardly sounds like hers…

But that aside, ditch those faithful Havianas of yours and put on some comfy, pretty looking sneakers. With the shoe market expanding to a wider target audience (i.e, they’re paying attention to girls too!), I’m falling in love with sneakers all over again :)

see details of featured products here

With the rainy weather these few days, sneakers are the perfect choice for girls who love their flat soles & comfort, without getting their feet wet. Moreover, after seeing Leighton Meester’s ads for Reebok’s range of sneakers, I’m quite willing to experiment with that pair of checked sneakers I got from Converse last year…

Hit the streets with some comfy sneakers! :) They’re great for your feet too!

Made to (Flat)ter

This season we’re seeing more and more flats for some reason, & as a girl who loves flats, I’m definitely celebrating! Comfort ftw :D Don’t get me wrong. I do love my heels, but for that 5-6 hour school day or shopping trip, a girl has to be in her comfiest otherwise it just isn’t going to work – remember Kayla’s pained photoshoot with her shoes that were a size too small? I’d rather have stumpier legs than going around with such a pained expression.

Flats now have morphed from their boring, plain selves to embrace texture and colour! I love the use of beads, use of tweed and use of illustrations here

Is your shoe rack looking monochromatic and plain? Go get yourself some patterned and textured flats. It’s in this season! :)

Socks with Heels

The schoolgirl-esque combination of socks + heels/ maryjanes never really appealed to me until I chanced upon Mayo Wo’s blog. She meshes urban chic with a sweet femininity – her cute bowler hat also adds to her charm. I also love the various vintage envelope bags that she accessorizes with for her outfit.

images courtesy of lookbook.nu

What I found most appealing was her sense of colour. She uses bold, strong colours for her thigh high stockings, but these do not detract away from her overall outfit. Rather, they complement the muted (most often, maroon) tone of her outfit. The manner in which she uses bold colours together (particularly in the last picture) is both unique and stylish without being too loud. her striped socks are also very cute! Plus they look light, which would be perfect for Singapore weather. Certainly, it’s far more attractive and appealing than my previous impression of the socks + heels combo

Looking at these pictures, they’re definitely different from Mayo Wo’s preferred sock type. She prefers thigh-high socks, which left me thinking that perhaps it was the length of the socks that were the problem. Until I saw this:

and that is pretty darn gorgeous. Unlike Mayo Wo though, strong colours aren’t utilized here. Instead, a softer, more muted and complementing colours are used.

Will I be trying out this on my own soon? Well, I can’t say for sure but let’s just say that I’ll be trying it out in the private comfort of my home & checking the weather report before venturing bravely out with this new look. I always believe that trends aren’t for everyone and it takes a discerning eye to know whether a style suits you or not… then again, what’s the fun in being safe? So I’ll “test” it out, & if it works, awesome. If it doesn’t… then well I definitely have a greater motivation to work out til I get slimmer legs, or I’ll find something else to obsess about (:

Tips for this style:

  1. Do pay attention to what colour socks you wish to pair up with your outfit. For a slimmer and muted look, go for darker colours. If you’re afraid of trying out colours, black would be a good start (as featured in the collage above & below)
  2. If you’re going for patterned socks, don’t accompany it with an outfit with too many details or print. This affects the visual appreciation of your outfit – too many lines and geometric patterns and designs will make you look like a confused dresser.
  3. Do experiment with folding, slouching and crumpling of socks. It’s pretty cute too!
  4. Unless you’re extremely comfortable with your legs, do wear heels when trying out this style, as it accentuates the shape and curve of your calves, bringing them to the viewer’s attention. For a simple gauge, think about how you look in skinny jeans (without heels) vs skinny jeans (with heels).
  5. Do look at the mirror to see which length of sock suits you best.

On hindsight, I am perhaps leaning far more towards the pairing of similar coloured socks + heels, as featured on the Burberry runway in 2008, & seen on celebrities such as Leighton Meester (of Gossip Girl fame) & Agyness Deyn

It looks like a great way to “recycle” shoes I’ve been getting tired of, & refreshing their look. Moreover, from the collage above and Mayo Wo’s outfits, it looks like this trend is pretty much wearable with almost any outfit. & hey, though it’s 2 years too late (well, almost 3 since it was the Spring collection), here at QuirkyChic we believe that personal style never goes out of fashion. Looking good, stylish and presentable never meant that one had to follow the waves of trend after trend. Is there a style you’ve been wanting to try for ages but thought it was “out of season”? Try it! Endless possibilities await (:

Fashion Friday: Hiker-esque Booties

Of all the shoes in the world, I definitely hold a soft spot in my heart for Booties. Chunky they may be, but they hold the foot so well and are extremely comfortable – plus I think that they look really cute on the feet.The only type of booties I dislike are the peeptoe ones, then again I dislike peeptoe shoes of all types, and by peeptoe I don’t mean the toes are simply exposed, I’m talking about the shoes with a teensy tiny holes at the tip. Exposing >half the toes is ok, less than that is just awkward and spoils the silhouette the shoe creates for the foot.

This season, designers such as Giuseppe Zanotti,  Alexander MacQueen, Moschino and Jimmy Choo have taken inspiration from the hiking boot, borrowing its metal hardware of buckles and eyelets and thick rubber soles. & they’re not sticking to the typical black-brown stereotype either. Below are my favourites at the moment – I’ve picked from a random assortment of brands to show different designer interpretations of this trend. Enjoy! :)

View details & prices of shoes here

Hauls: Charles & Keith + China Glaze

since today the bf had a day off in lieu of the weekend he was forced to work, we decided to troop down to the Charles & Keith + Pedro warehouse sale together, which was conveniently just opposite his house (: Given the awful haze and our lazy bums, we drove anyway, and were unexpectedly greeted by the traffic police who were camping outside the warehouse ready for any insane bargain hunters who wanted to illegally park! Lucky for us, we managed to find a lot behind the building, and it was about a 2 minute walk away from the sale. *happiness*

IT WAS AWESOME! Having missed every single Charles & Keith warehouse sale so far despite the close proximity of the warehouse to my place, I was super excited that I was able to go down today, & it truly did not disappoint. The shoes for women ranged from an insanely cheap $9 all the way to the rare $60+ (which no one really looked at LOL), whilst the shoes for men (Pedro) ranged from $30+ to about $79 (i wasn’t really paying attention to the dude’s section. can you blame me?)

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