Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ken il neige a Geneve -- Life under the snow ;)

It started snowing on Saturday morning, a beautiful sight that we kept glancing at from the comfy armchairs of our warm living room. It looked amazing, never stopping, like a real winter wonderland.

Then we left to see some friends and play some boardgames. My first grievance was that the cardboard boxes kept peeking out of my bag and getting wet. But soon I realized that was a minor issue. Public transport in Geneva was pretty nightmarish, though.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Leggings Aren't Pants -- well, most leggings... =)

Hi there. I'm one of those people who believe in diversity, the greater the better. I don't think fashion is in any way to determine what one wears or to prescribe one's style. From year to year, season to season it provides one with new ideas and inspirations and it should stand for freedom and not restrictions.

I also don't believe in fashion faux-pas, because in my opinion it's all relative. A look that might be avoided when going for one effect (e.g. extra mini skirts are not really the right choice for a sophisticated look) can easily become a must when striving for another (they're awesome for a wild night out) and might even work for the first on some occasions (I've seen minis with thick woolen tights that looked so good in the office). So saying that something is just not to be worn that way is really narrow minded.

That said, I have to admit that there are things I would never ever wear in some way or another. Most of the time it's due to my hourglass figure (which I'm not extremely fond of), which changes the overall look of anything I wear, meaning that I have to be more careful. But this doesn't mean that I condemn any looks, it's just that I would never wear them because they wouldn't have the desired effect. And this is the case with leggings.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pre-Holiday Diet ;)

Hi there. I'm posting this because I feel promises are easier to keep once written down. =)

I have to start with a disclaimer, before I tell you about the diet itself. First of all I'm not doing it to get thinner or anything. The actual "trigger" was that I just ate too many sweet things yesterday and felt really sick afterward.Sick in my case usually doesn't mean sick but with my really crazy blood pressure and blood sugar level, if I eat too much "quick" sugar in one go I just feel really queer and sometimes even pass out. So I try to avoid it. I can absolutely eat what I want weight wise. I have a totally normal figure and I don't often eat a lot, my stomach's pretty forthcoming about when it's full and I don't normally eat just for the fun of it. I used to be really weird about eating, but since I don't take any medicine that would influence my weight I'm just really normal about it. So I don't have a disorder, I don't think I'm fat or anything. So this diet is about health -- because I know I might not be such a good girl during Christmas time. =)

Well, the actual decision I made was
not to eat any sweets and "quick" sugars (white bread, pasta, pizza, etc.) till Christmas!

We'll see how it goes, I won't force myself, I mean if I'm really really craving that cake everyone's having then I'll have a bite or a slice. Normally it's better to give in a little than go on craving and cracking for something worse. So I won't go crazy but I really want to give my body some time to relax before I eat all that stuff my friends and family prepare.

So that's it, I hope this wasn't very boring. It might actually inspire some to eat healthy for a while before Christmas time. Though in many countries Thanxgiving might interfere. But it might be a good kick to start a healthy diet between the two holidays...

Have a very nice weekend! ;)

Cheers

Fleur

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Holiday Look #1 (OOTD)

So now that the holidays are getting closer I feel like wearing more glamorous and va-va-voom-ish outfits. Not that I'm drab otherwise but now I really feel I can pull off more accessories, etc. Like wearing bolder makeup, winter and especially the holidays allow you to wear "bolder" looks. I'm sure you know what I mean. So I thought I could share these with you all and maybe provide some inspiration, whatever. Not that I'm so savvy or anything when it comes to fashion but I do have my style and I do know what fits and suits me.

So here's the first one, which I wore today. I still felt the vibe of yesterday's fashion event and the flapper inside me roared for frills. This was the result:




OK, this is not the look, it's me sporting the Lanvin for H&M brooch. =) I'm sorry I just had to include this. (Though I could have smiled and stopped warming my hands in my coat pockets in such a weird way...) Anyway, the scarf is Promod from last years batch and the coat is H&M.

So this is an H&M dress (also bought last year) and I just love this powdery champagne pink color, I think it's awesome! Then I'm wearing a Pull & Bear cardigan (an oooooold find), H&M cotton leggings (you'll hear about these more, I love them!) and a Promod (CHF 9 on sale!) necklace. The shoes are from one of Budapest's many little shoestores, which I sorely miss in Geneva.

I hope you liked it!
Please rate it and tell me what you think. ;)
Should I do more of these?
Or you think my now-and-then kind of style sucks? =D
Let me know what you think. ;)

cheers

fleur

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lanvin for H&M : Take Two

And I don't mean take two dresses. =)

But I did go back around 2 pm to check for some of the remnants of the collection. All was gone (save for a couple 36 shoes and 42 dresses). But I got a lot out of all this, much more than the actual items. This was my first time and now I'm fashion rush savvy. Here's my experience.

Fleur < 3 Lanvin < 3 H&M

This love triangle will be legendary.

I'm home and ready to report on the magic I've just seen with my own eyes. If you're still queuing up, you can read this on your phone/iPad/iPod -- I know you want to! ;)))


 (The lipsticks -- ultimate pocket couture! ;) -- the brooch and the necklace that I will wear as a belt -- works awesome! -- aaand the 100% wool scarf we got as a gift as well as the little dress shaped gingerbread. This is Christmas 0.1! XD)

So I arrived at the store around 6.45 and I was like #45, which meant I was in group 3. I got the bracelet for 8.45 but I think I actually got in the shopping area a bit earlier. I was surprised to see how few people turned up before the official opening. I guess Lanvin is less well known among the usual customers of the store...

I'm planning to write a longer post on the actual collection and the individual items. For now I'll just say wow! and have a huge mug of tea. =)

Special thanx:

To my Mom, who bought me all the more expensive items a lot cheaper in Hungary. For this she woke up so early, traveled all the way to the store and fought her way through the crowd! She was in the 2nd group! She's so awesome that her fashionmoonstruck daughter can only keep thanking her.

To the awesomest husband in the whole world, who not only supported his wife in her crazy endeavor to wake up with the birds and go queue up in front of a shop while all sane people were still sound asleep, but also brought her a huge STARBUCKS mocha latte and an awesome caramel muffin while she was doing all this craziness! I would marry him again! LOL

OK, it's time for my tea and a bit of rest. ;)

Have an awesome day!
May Lanvin and the Starbucks latte be with all of you! ;)

Hugz

fleur


Monday, November 22, 2010

"Eeeeenteeeeern!"

This is what my husband calls me every time the topic comes up. He's just kidding and I don't mind (we never fight or anything and we're more like cronies so him calling me anything is not meant as an insult). But the question still pops up (and makes me interested): just how old can you be and still be an intern?

This immediately reminds me of that movie where Will Smith risks everything to get that trader job, a film I'll never forget. I could really identify with the general atmosphere of the movie, even years ago, for I've always been the person to leave bridges crumbling behind, fighting for new, glorious dreams. Except they never really crumbled, for all the wonderful people around me worked just as hard to keep the world from falling while I struggled for my dreams. But I could still feel for that guy and I always will. Could've been me.

Well, the thing is that I'm working part time now (I work as much a week as I was supposed to during a day, but that's fine) and I keep thinking that this means I could do something I've always wanted but never had the chance. Mostly because of those bridges but partly also because the opportunity never arose. Now it has. There are tons of interesting internships around and I fit much of the criteria. I've just finished my studies, I have the right qualifications, and even a little experience. This is my chance to become a researcher.

So I've applied and am looking forward to their response (or applying for some more). But people keep asking me whether or not this is a good idea. Well, I don't think being an intern is that different from any other job, but of course it depends on the way you do it or the way you look at it. I don't consider it in any way degrading and I don't think anyone should. Of course if you have a good job and you have a lot of responsibility, it might be annoying to be put in a simpler position. But for my part I would consider it easy to give up a job in one area for another. I mean I quite understand that if you switch fields your expertise doesn't necessary transfer to your new job. But you can take a lot with you, and you should. And internships are usually a way companies like to train their employees and give both parties time to feel each other out. Much like a probation period. Whether they're paid or not is a different question, but sometimes this is just another tool in the hand of the employer to find the most devoted and determined candidates.

Anyway, I'm planning to continue teaching anyway, because I like it a lot. But it seems in Switzerland this is much of a hobby and not necessarily something to live off. But I'm really excited about trying my hand at some professional research, as this is something I've been wanting to do for years. I hope I'll get that call soon. ;)

My best wishes to all
from gloomy Geneva =D
(only weatherwise, though!)

fleur

Good Quality Makeup from the Swiss Drugstore [Part 2 -- Lips]

I've been thinking about continuing this line of thought, but I've been delaying for a number of reasons. First of all, I haven't been buying a lot of makeup lately (erm, not so much as before anyway) and my application tricks  haven't changed much either. Second, I've been working a little more and that meant wearing makeup that is not too flashy or overdone. So I've been keeping to basics that work for everyone and every occasion, such as smokey eyes and gel eyeliners and light pink or beige lips. The last of the reasons is that now that my hair is a dark copper I can't wear so much makeup any more -- or rather I don't have to. =) I love dramatic looks but I find that with your hair a more defined shade less looks a lot more dramatic. Before, all my colors blended together, my fair shades one blur of a face. So I used lots of techniques to revive and accentuate my features, which I don't need any more. My eyes look bluer and my skin glowier, so I have to be careful not to go overboard with makeup.

But (and there's always a but =D) all this means that I had to find a way to wear my lips instead of my October favorite: the red lip. I can still pull off red lips but definitely not for a day teaching stressed out bankers. They need a soothing face to be looking at (comprehension relies a lot on facial movements) not something made up for a party. So I ditched my red lipstains for the day and went with these instead:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

OMG! OMG! [Fashion Alert! :D]

OMG! OMG! OMG! ... OK, I'll try and stop. But OMG! This is happening! I can't believe it!

What is happening? Lanvin! In H&M stores! Soon!

I'm no fashionista, never will be. I don't like fashion for itself, for being in any way up to date or trendy. Far be it from me. =] But I do consider choosing my clothes an important aspect of my life, just as I do make up. Not because I'm vain or anything or because I care too much about the way I look. For me all this is part of the world around me, its closest elements, things I can feel on my skin, see around my body, etc. So it is of huge importance for me to have them "right", which normally depends on my mood rather than any rule or anything.

I do have my own style, which has nothing to do with the latest trends. Most of the time the two clash (they did so continually in the 90s when one could only find glittery pastel colors everywhere) but sometimes a harmonious synthesis exists, which is what drives me to hunt down items, rush to stores and spend hours and hours browsing the racks.

The past two years have been like that. I don't know what's possessed the masterminds that have mostly been busy designing 80s inspired animal prints and piling color on color lately, but they have come up with a few looks based on much earlier trends that just put a spell on me and I can't stay away from the shop (window)s. Among retailers my shrine has been at the Italian brand Promod's stores and when I wasn't clearing the hangers there I was gauging at the looks a number of designers (the list would draw on too long) put on stage. Glam rock flappers flooded those stages and all I could do was sip on my pomegranate  juice and say ooooh and aaaaah -- and hunt for those trends among the racks of clothes (mostly glittery tropical colored leggings and shirts...).

And now a comet has appeared on the dark sky of 2010 fashion. Sure it's been a sky studded by stars but they were so far away from me (that is, my purse). But now, now this one will hit the earth (or stores to be more exact) very close and I feel it will be my Armageddon too.

LANVIN FOR H&M is hitting stores soon.

Sure the collection features a host of 80s inspired items. But look at those... those delicate colors and frills and those 40s-50s figures! Look at the flowers and beads and the coats and dresses that seem to be  leaping out of an Audry Hepburn movie or from an old old Chanel catwalk. Waving me forward, to get lost among their frills.

I'm not in love. No. Clothes would never have such a hold over me. But they do take me away, covered in lilac mist, floating above the smoking rooftops of Paris, London, New York, Geneva and even Budapest, the sparkles of these calm cities spread under my bare feet, musk and vanilla in the air, and yes, deep bergamot, and I'm wearing nothing but the mist and cheerful red lipstick and I know those houses are full of gentlemen and outrageous young women and some orchestra playing tango. And I want to float on like this forever. Not caring what time or age it is. For as long as I'm clad in frills and flowers, or riding boots and white shirts, I can feel that the world around me can never change so much in principles. Anything at arms length can be the most high tech and up to date. But my heart is covered in sweet vanilla and deep bergamot and what I wear should always reflect that.

So this is how I booked my first row ticket to the opening of the Lanvin collection, determined to sleep on the doorstep of our local H&M. Fortunately locals don't get up so early. =)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How do you say "Leave me alone" in a host of languages?

Well, it's time I was armed with a list like this.
I started toying with the idea back in France but I guess you might find it helpful in any multicultural environment.

The thing is that as much as I love multicultural cities, I have come to realize that there are annoyances. And what's really interesting is that they happen not because I am annoyed by someone else's culture but because they don't respect my own. I am not complaining, far be it from me. But it's still remarkable that while certain social groups demand the acknowledgment and acceptance of their culture or religion (uhm... minarets in Geneva, anyone?), they can just as easily go and ignore others'.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Jobhunting

It's been so long. I know. I don't really have an excuse, except that I didn't want to be writing disheartening posts full of complaints. I'm just not that type. I don't believe that there's any point to criticizing things, as what cannot be changed is simply not worth it, while if I can do something to improve things it just feels so sad to be complaining about them. So instead I set to work.

Well, work is a key issue here, because since my last little ray of hope has been drowned in the pessimism of the ORP people, I have been busy finding myself something to believe in. Teaching English to adults is not as easy in Switzerland as it might be in other parts of the world, as I'm planning to explain in a post as soon as I can bring it up without swearing (only to myself, of course ;-]). So that made me think about what I wanted. Did I really want to teach English or was it something I was just doing because it was convenient? Would I want to try my hand at something else, given the chance? Where did I see myself in 5/10/20 years?

Well, the answers were really interesting. The ORP people told me (during that fancy introductory presentation, right before slamming the door in my face) that sometimes it was important to look for latent or not so latent competencies that just haven't been exploited as yet. I really did like that idea and spent some time outlining my skills etc. Truth be told I can be quite frank with myself and I don't shirk from admitting my faults and mistakes. I guess it's all that psychology training I've been through, but I don't see any point to denials, for they might make one stronger momentarily, on the surface, they don't really help me. Having a good insight and being terrible at lying, I don't think I could actually fool myself. So I came to some conclusions.

First of all, I'm all competencies. =] OK, of course I'm not perfect or even close, but neither can I say that I am good for nothing. I just haven't decided how to use them - yet. And the funny thing is that though I don't think teaching would long be my primary occupation, I can still see why I love doing it. Its requirements fit much of my skills and qualities and develop them in a way. In the long run, of course, I can see myself rising higher than these requirements. But that just gives me higher goals to focus on.

I took that knowledge with me jobhunting. Much of what I've been doing is actually "passive job seeking", meaning cold calls and the world wide web. Although many claim that only a small fraction of the positions available are advertised, I believe that if you really look you can find the right one. Besides, while the Geneva market has been quite unfriendly (meaning literally unaccepting) to some professions, blaming that for a lack of success is a weak excuse. I do know that I'm sorely needed somewhere, I only have to find the place.

So I've been looking. And I know I'm getting closer. I teach more and more for my current employer. There are more and more positions that fit my profile. Sooner or later the pieces will come together. I know. Till then I'll just keep working and looking. And I'll keep reminding myself of all I've learned through these months. About myself and about my goals, both short term and long term. I'll keep them ahead, like guiding stars.