Who would have thought that I will go crazy over a colour that demands this much attention? It slowly became my favourite summer colour to wear and not only because the dress was made in Romania even though it’s Asos. Yep, another one! The first one I came across was a satin skirt with blue dots from River Island.
And I almost stopped here, but in the meantime I wore 2 more yellow outfits. I wrote this intro more than a month ago and since than, as you might know if you read my last blog post, a few things have changed. So this was supposed to be a post about a collection of outfits, not just one, like I used to do. However, since I decided I made my own rules, I find it kind of boring to write about a yellow outfit so I will tell you a story instead. Scroll to the end of the post if you are only interested in the outfits, though.
This is a story about how I failed to tell my girlfriends that I proposed to Paul. How ironic is it that one of the things that brings me most pleasure in life – writing (and reading for that matter) is also one of the ones I am sometimes terrible at? This is no modesty speaking, I promise!
I don’t seem to have a problem with longer texts, but I am rubbish at conveying short messages. Looking back at how I chose my words when I meant to tell my friends that I proposed to Paul – and that he said yes – I can see there was definitely a better route to choose. I went for the absolute truth…but we are not the most conventional people/ couple if you couldn’t tell already from the fact that I proposed.
Let’s just say that I did not choose the “do you want to be my husband? Yes or no” (gun at the temple- just kidding). I asked him if we wanted to join me on this journey that life is and a lot of other romantic blabber and took the ring out. So this is literally what I told my friends. The “join me on this journey” part…confusing much? We are still laughing about it…possibly in yellow outfits that I will mention again because my SEO seems to like it if I use the key word more often than absolutely necessary for any human being to notice it.
For more pictures of the promised yellow outfits, scroll down:)
Long time, no see… because of me, of course. I was feeling for some time like we are doing things out of routine without necessarily enjoying them as we used to when we started. So I took a naughty full month off from writing on the blog to think things out. And man, that’s exactly what we did.
For the longest time I was stuck in the habit of posting daily on Instagram. That is something that we’ll not do anymore. You can still expect to see 2 to 3 posts per week, but better thought out. I need more time to put more soul in them and you know what they say – quality over quantity. Also, you might have noticed that we started toying with the idea of doing videos. That is something that we enjoy tremendously and who knows – maybe I will get over the fear of talking to the camera and actually do it!
The truth about Miss Casual
Now, for the moment of truth. I would be very curious if you don’t know me, what is the impression that you have of me only from what you see on social media. Do you think that Miss Casual is something that I do full time? Because it certainly is not:D
Both Paul and I work 5 days a week – the jobs that pay the rent and everything you see is done in those 2 days off a week. And that is exactly what I want to focus on. What can an absolutely regular person do in those 2 days off?
For the longest time I was tempted to work even harder on those 2 days off, but then so many questions arose: when am I just enjoying life, when do I enjoy the company of my partner (without him being behind the camera)? So that very productive work-wise period has left me longing for a simpler life. I want to feel like I am resting, I want to travel, I want to make videos and actually have the time to edit them with a beer in my hand, not right before I go to work.
Buckle up, enjoy the ride
I was a strong advocate of working in your free time for the life that you want to have in a few years. I always said work smart, not hard…but 2 years later, it all back-fired – I was not working smart. As much as I wanted it to be a marathon, I was reacting as if it was a sprint. I felt like I lost myself and that I was starting to lose the passion that I had for Miss Casual.
So my new solution is so obvious that you probably figured it out a long time ago: enjoy the ride, not just the destination. While we are still thinking things out so change is probably still to come, ever since I took the decision to take it slower and enjoy it more, I feel much more motivated.
What can you expect from Miss Casual?
First thing that comes to my mind are videos. I want to make more of those and actually, the moment I make this post public, I will post a video to Instagram as well. We are going to share more of those 2 days off every week and within our possibilities, travel as much as we can. You will still see personal style content, of course – that is still the main theme of Miss Casual, but put more in a lifestyle context.
I promised that I will be dancing more. If that is something that you are excited to see, head to my Instagram – the video that I mentioned before is a dance one. A complete improvisation, shot in one on the most windy pier – Southend-on-Sea.
When it comes to the blog, I will set a very modest goal for myself – to post once a week. However, I will keep an open mind and in case something comes up that is so exciting that I can’t keep it for myself or an Insta Story, you will definitely see it here.
That being said, buckle up and let’s enjoy the ride together!
Raffia is in the air…hopefully not as much “in the air” as it is in my room, but you get what I mean. It is definitely the season for it, but even before it was hyped, raffia has slowly become my way of infusing a bit of summer into the box our room is. When you hear it, you might be thinking of hats, bags in all shape and forms and maybe even earrings and shoes, but my passion for it does not stop at clothes.
I can’t say that I’ve been into home decor because we are still renting the flat that we live in so we can’t do much to it. However, Paul and I recently discovered that when it comes to decor we are maximalists. Probably, we weren’t before but at some point we’ve put up a big board where I’d pin all my magazine cuts that I liked at that particular moment (I maybe change it once a month). The room started feeling so cosy and much more “us”. So we realised that we are that kind of people who need their room to have a personality. As much as I appreciate minimalism visually, I could not live in a minimalist place.
So where is the place where a maximalist can still find cute things in the budget? (except a flee market / Car boots) Ikea! So at the moment we have one big raffia cube and a few raffia plant pots that we’ve attached to the wall and I use them as makeup brush holders. On top of that, my eyes are doing the “Puss in boots” trick every time I see a ratan lamp shade…so there will be some changes coming forward. Can it be the summer fever that got me into this? Or is it really that my home decor instinct is starting to take shape?
Just like in the previous post, I will go back through our photos and attach the ones where I am wearing anything raffia, plus a few more inspo items that might make you feel you’re on holiday…even though you’re caught in traffic (and hopefully not driving and reading).
It’s the season to be…not jolly but attending weddings either as a guest or who knows, maybe it’s the year when you are “attending” your own wedding. So I thought, what could be more appropriate than a post about wedding guest outfit inspirations. Whether you’re looking to be the elegant guest, the floral bohemian type or the sexy chic, stay tuned for some ideas.
A few days ago, a friend of mine texted me saying that she is going for a wedding, where she doesn’t know the bride and groom too well and she was curious what ideas I came up with. First of all, it depends a lot on the wedding theme and even more, if there is a particular dress code. Also, the golden rule – never wear white as a wedding guest…only if you are going for an unconventional wedding where the bride is wearing something else.
There are a few safe options like a tailored dress, but if you are not the dress type of girl, than what? I actually made a Pinterest board entitled “Wedding Guest” where I pinned my choices for a conventional guest outfit, but something for those who like trousers and…I may or may not have pinned a few hipster options.
Now, are you ready to be bombarded by a ton of pictures?
I know that not everybody is into books and fair enough, so this is not a post for those who fall asleep when they try reading. I never understood that, but they probably don’t understand how come I don’t have the patience to watch every single movie that was released. Some of the 5 books that I am going to mention, I have read recently, but there is one that I read when I was a teenager and still stayed with me. That was a shock and a lesson to keep my mind opened to possibilities (4).
Kafka on the shore – Haruki Murakami
I will try to tell you what I liked about each book without spoiling it. This is one of the more recent reads but I knew of the author because my parents have almost his entire collection…well, the books that were translated in Romanian. I also knew that this is one of dad’s favourite writers, but he is a bit dark for mom’s taste. For me it is just perfectly interesting.
Especially in “Kafka on the shore”, but even more in 1Q84, he uses magical realism in the story. You never know what is truly from our day to day reality and what is not. Another thing that I like about this author: none of his characters is just “normal”. All of them are flawed in a really interesting way to read about, but maybe you would not have them as friends. All in all, a very good read!
James Potter – Norman Lippert
Surprise, surprise! This is not about Harry Potter’s father, it is about his son and it is not written by J. K. Rowling either. If reading Harry Potter was not enough for you and you want just a bit more of some of your favourite characters but a lot about your favourite world, you need to read this! The author has continued in the beautifully descriptive way that J.K. Rowling has so it is very rarely that you can tell that it is not by the original author.
Even though it is just as magical as the Harry Potter series were, these books, especially from the second one, have something for the SF lovers. Just a little spoiler: we might learn about the American version of Hogwarts and we might or might not breach the subjects of telepathy and time travelling. Btw, you can find all the ebooks online for free on the official site.
The Chemist – Stephenie Meyer
When I bought this book, I have not realised that it is the same author as the one who wrote Twilight. Even though I guiltily enjoyed the books when I was in high-school, I remember how one of my colleagues bought the book and then we all waited in line to read it…I am glad I didn’t make the connection. I was expecting a crime fiction and I was not sure she can deliver – Omg, judgemental much? But she did!
The main character is a woman, but has the abilities of a James Bond…I would personally say that she is even better trained and has better discipline like any of the James Bonds, but feel free to contradict me. I remember being amazed by the tools/ gadgets that she created even thought I barely remember the story line now. I just remember that I would read it again!
Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
This is a book that I read when I was a teenager and stayed with me all this time. I had to google it to remember the author so I saw that he was given the Pulizer Price for the novel and that it also features in Oprah’s Book Club. The main character is a teenager as well but what shocked me and educated me at the time was the fact that he was intersex. I never heard of it before at the time of reading, but the book is a good depiction of the anatomical changes he went through, as well as the challenges of a Greek family who moved to America.
I definitely need to read it again with the mind of an adult.
Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The moment I finished this book, I told mum that she has to read it as well. And she did and loved it. The main character is a Nigerian woman who moves to America for her studies but finds herself not fitting in. Her observations at how different these two cultures are, are both hilarious and smart. I remember laughing so hard at the blog that the main character is writing on this subject.
Does the name of the author sound familiar to you? She is the one that had that now famous Ted Talk “We should all be feminists” that you can hear in Beyonce’s song as well – Flawless. Also, when Dior appointed Maria Grazia Chiuri as their designer, the brand has gained a loud voice among the gender equality activists with the collection with the same name “We should all be feminists”.
And these would be the 5 books that blew my mind…at a first thought. I decided to write this posts and didn’t let myself overthink things, I just wrote the first 5 books that came to my mind as books that changed my way of thinking or simply made me enjoy a few hours of mental action.
I am so curious which are your choices for books that blew your mind and you think I should read. I am still in my devouring mode since the year started and I even set myself a challenge on Goodreads, but there are still so many books that I didn’t manage to get my hand on so next year I might write another post like this with the newly read 5 books that blew my mind.
What?! Say that again? This is not something you hear too often…to be honest this is something that I only heard once in my life and it stayed with me. This is a story that I don’t remember telling anyone else. Have you ever had the impression that certain people appeared in your life with a “purpose”?
Now I see how this might sound far-fetched and self-centred and it probably is, but there are certain conversations that you have with these people that are almost strangers that stay with you for years. These are the conversations that make something “click” in your mind.
I am telling you about that time, that only time when I was told that I don’t always have to do my best. There is a catch to this phrase of course, but before we get to that, I need to give you some background info.
Background – going back in time
A few years ago, if my blonde mind can calculate well we are looking at 5 years ago, I was just admitted into the University of Arts in my hometown. Right before that, I studied Environmental Sciences in a bigger town that is around 2 hours away from home and in parallel worked at a Dance Company in the same town.
Like all transitions, things get unpredictable, we still hold on to old ideals and in my case, I thought that my new Uni of Arts will leave me as much time for myself as the other Uni did. Because of this, I continued working with the Dance Company from 2 hours away from home. Let me explain: this meant that Monday to Friday I would go to courses in my hometown. On Friday, because the system was nice like that, we only had half day of courses so by 1pm, I was free like a bird.
By 2pm I would be on a bus and by 5pm in the studio, rehearsing. I loved my schedule! I was on a high! I did exactly what I wanted to do my entire life – dancing all day. So Friday afternoon, Saturday all day and Sunday until midday, I was in rehearsals and Sunday evening, back on the bus and then at home, ready for another week of Uni.
Does it sound like I am complaining? I am totally not! I loved what I was doing and how I was doing things it’s just…it turns out, even if you do something you love, apparently you get tired…that if you’re human like me.
A clock is ticking
I kept it up for a few months, September to December to be exact and right before Christmas we had the show at the National Opera – still love that place! Everybody loved the show, but I felt like it was a failure. Why? I was so freakin’ tired, I did not give it my best.
After a show, everybody is on a high so we would hug and congratulate each other right behind the big red curtain, still on stage. This time, the show was a bit more complex: we had the dancing part, but there was also a really well know Soprana singing and two Tango musicians who were in charge of the live music. The thing is, these 3 departments did not really rehearse together until the last week when we had access to the big stage at the National Opera so we didn’t know each other that well.
However, putting on a show together, going through the nausea before, the adrenaline boost, the enthusiasm – the catharsis – brings people together (I almost added like any other traumatic experience but then I remembered that this was my passion).
The words that you don’t expect hearing
This is when I got to hug the Soprana who made my whole body vibrate with the pleasure of listening to her…and then she asked me how I liked the show.
When somebody asks you this, it is a bit of a tricky one. You see, what we feel from the stage might be completely different from what you feel from the audience. There is a theory that says that if the show is constructed well, even if the artists that are putting on the show are not really feeling they are giving it their best, the audience will still enjoy it.
From being on the stage, we immediately feel it if somebody has low energy and is dragging the show down. You might call me crazy after this, but we feel if the audience is low energy and can even feel the switch when they start enjoying what they see. Ok, before you call me coockoo – I will go back to answering the question.
You don’t always have to do your best, but…
What the Soprana really asked me was “how did I feel about my performance in the show and of how the energy flow was”…just not in that many words. And that is when I started telling her that I don’t understand why, because there was nothing that any of us did wrong, but I did not feel like this was a good show. I did not do my best.
Now the answer: queue the Ta-da-da-da! It’s been a few years since then but the answer went like this: “You don’t always have to do your best. The trick is to rehearse and improve your art so much that even when you don’t do your best – it is still amazing”
This is a brand that I didn’t discover scrolling through Instagram, or seeing a friend wearing it. One day I was curious of the new brands that are sold on Asos and just happened to click on Neon Rose. The name seemed catchy and easy to remember so I looked at all the items that they were selling through the platform. I do this quite often and then I forget about the brand, but this time, the brand’s aesthetic was right up my alley so I returned constantly.
Preparing for my trip to Romania, I knew that we wanted to shoot some pictures that showed the natural beauty of the country and maybe some tradition village life. We ended up taking a real holiday and only shot 2 outfits, but both of them had at least one item from Neon Rose.
No need to believe me when I say that this is a brand with a feminine but relaxed, cool aesthetic that is as easy to wear on holidays as it is to wear in a busy city. Have I mentioned how cute their prints are?
I will now let the pictures do the talking, but do let me know which is the outfit that you like most. Before starting to add the pictures, I haven’t realised how many items I wore from Neon Rose. I told you that every time I go on Asos, I type the brand’s name as well out of curiosity 😀
It’s holiday time, baby! Well, it was for us, I know that the regular seaside holidays only start in July/ August, May is too cold for that, but we went to my favourite place, the place that feels most like home. Especially because it actually is home- Romania. I want to see the world and all, but I needed a recharge of my parents, my friends, my cats, that entire place! And man, did we receive it!
Even though we’ve only spent half of the month in Romania, the month of May is completely overpowered by the holiday. I can hardly remember what I did before that – actually I do, but it’s the same old routine : work, home, blog. I can hands down say that I now think of things as something that happened before holiday, and something that happened after – it was that good!
It was the month of catching up – not the Heinz type, but the one where you don’t know if your jaw is this sore from talking or laughing. It was the best idea to invite my friends over to our house, ready with beers and a ping-pong table. The rain came one hour into our game so we had to move inside, but even so, it was such a good catching up time.
At some point I felt like they do in the movies. Each one of your friends is already married and you are still climbing the ladder of success. Something similar happened – not all my friends are married, but half of them already have very charming children. I love it how we can have our own life, but once we get together, it feels like we are still schoolmates, like time has not passed over our friendship at all.
If you have ever met me, you know that I love cats. I grew up surrounded by cats and since my parents moved outside the city in a cute house, they have been a cat magnet. Living in the UK, and renting your flat, kind of keeps you from having a pet so I went home not only wanting to play with the cats, but needing it!
We knew at the beginning of May that the black cat that it’s pregnant, but we were surprised by another one of the neighbourhood’s cats who gave birth first – we didn’t even know she’s pregnant! Then, a few days into our holiday, the black cat gave birth to 5 kittens, as big as the palm of my hand. Can you imagine the high octane that I reached every time I played with them? Aawww!
It might be a little late to say, but if you don’t like cats, you might want to skip this whole bit of the post. The only cat that is actually my parents’ is the Siamese. Yes, this cat is as moody as you imagine it. We had another cat that we sterilised and became lazy and unhappy so our vet suggested that we give the Siamese their version of anti-contraceptive pills. Which we did for many years. Last month when my parents took the cat to the vet, he said that it is too old to go into heat so there is no point to giving her the pill.
Surprise, surprise! The cat is old when she wants to be old! As expected, she went into heat and miawed all day and night until she managed to lure in male cats. Then the male cats started verbally fighting for their territory – and entire cat drama. All in all, let’s just say that our old Siamese is not a maiden anymore.
Spa in the woods
This spa trip included some of my favourite things: roadtrip, pruning in a pool and laughing our posteriors off with my family…and a bit of unpredictable May weather. We went to a place in the Hungarian part of Romania that is known for their treatment baths. So that is exactly what we did – treated ourselves to a long bath, went into the different saunas that they were providing, my favourite being the Hungarian one where they had Christmas tree branches on the walls so you can imagine how good it smelt.
In between the hot saunas there was a small pool of cold water for whoever wanted to cool down quickly – nope, not my cup of tea. But it was the most entertaining sitting in the closest sauna to the pool and listening to peoples’ reactions. Did I mention that we saw 3 bears? Not in the zoo, but roaming around the touristic areas – we actually had to stay in the bus until a ranger came to “convince” the bear to go back into the woods.
All in all, it’s not even worth telling you about the part of May that we’ve spent in London. It has no spark compared to the half that we spent in Romania. However, I can tell you this: because we didn’t have an actual holiday since September, we were already so tired and stressed that we became worriers instead of warriors. This trip home helped us disconnect and come back with a fresh view of the world and much, much calmer.
I have been blonde for 5/6 years now…deep down, I have been blonde all my life, but it became visible for everybody to see only a few years ago when I started with a timid balayage and then I went a bit further and predictably, now I am completely blonde. At some point I was actually silver…and was called Khaleesi or Legolas – can you guess which of the two I preferred? A few months ago though, from over colouring it, it became like the kind of sweep that you find at the countryside (not the posh countryside) and I had to cut half of it off. So if you are experiencing dry ends, tangled hair that is really hard to comb when straight out the shower, or want to grow your hair as healthy as possible, let me tell you about the Moroccanoil treatment.
I have been using it for more than a year, but heard about it for much longer than that. Moroccanoil is called a treatment, but it might as well be a styling oil if you like doing braids, or even just add shine to your hair. I use it when my hair is wet, right before drying it or I would never be able to brush my hair wet, even though it’s much shorter now. It claims that it helps your hair dry quicker…I don’t know about that because I haven’t dried my hair without it since I got it – hihi
I have tried a few argan oil based products before but because I have really oily hair, I did not make sense to me to add more oil to it. Then, my ends were still quite healthy so it didn’t dawn on me that I can use the oil only on my ends, on top of that, I’m a blonde:P. So I didn’t use an oil for the longest time, and then I discovered this one. It smells amazing, there is no questioning that, but there is so much more that it can do.
I keep on saying that it’s good for blonde hair. This is not the only hair colour that it is good for – let’s put it this way: if you have dry hair or dry ends, Moroccanoil will help you a lot to make it healthy again. Whereas your hair healthy of course depends on your hair care combination of products and I am going to tell you more about my combo, this oil will add a bit of moisture and shine, regardless.
My bottle is close to an end and I will definitely repurchase it, but if you have another hair oil/ treatment recommendation, don’t hesitate to put it in the comments below.