Abida Mian's Blog

An outlier that's living, learning and being myself…

La Poubelle Vintage: 1960s Floral Print Wiggle Dress

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Abida   ©Patrick Anderson 2015

Description:

Vintage 1960s Dress / 60s Floral Print Wiggle Dress / Blue and Pink (XS)

Sweetest little ’60s wiggle dress done in a blue and pink rose print cotton blend. This charming dress features a surplice neckline with bow accent, pleats at the waist and sleeves, and a narrow “wiggle” skirt. A stiff partial lining under the skirt maintains the classic shape. Metal zipper closure in back.

Modern Size: XS
Materials: No label, but feels like a cotton-silk blend
Condition: Some very faint spots on the skirt near the hem.
Brand: None Listed

I love Etsy (etsy.com), and bought this beautiful vintage blue & rose wiggle dress last summer from La Poubelle Vintage. I was a bit worried in case it didn’t fit, as it was being shipped from the US, but it turned out fine, and I got a lot of use out of this. I love the midi length and floral print, looking forward to wearing this again this summer.

The Commander Porterhouse & Oyster Bar, 47 Hereford Road

 img_0966The second time we’ve had our office Christmas party at The Commander on Hereford Road. Both times we’ve had a general knowledge quiz, with everyone putting money in, both times, the winners were great sports and put it towards our food & drinks bill at the end of the night.

In the heart of Notting Hill, this bar is somewhere I feel suits me well. I’m not into crowded noisy bars/pubs, and whilst this undoubtedly gets busy, it’s still comfortable enough to relax in. The Commander has a private room, which we rented out for the evening, it’s always beautifully decorated. There are glass doors which we can shut so as not to disturb the rest of the bar goers when we start to get rowdy over who’s cheated on the quiz ;) The food and service was excellent.

This year our party also doubled up as a leaving do for my colleague Big Baby (James). The evening was both happy and sad, Big Baby (nickname just stuck) I’ve worked with for over five years. In that time, we’ve never argued or got on each other’s nerves. Not a mean feat given how small the office is. In nearly 11 years I’ve been there, I’ve worked with some many wonderful people. Big Baby though is my all time favourite. 

When the end of our party drew near, Big Baby and I had a bit of a deep conversation. He said it always struck him that he wanted to help me with work, but I would say I’m fine. Instead he would see when I was stressed and run across the road to get me a snack, or drive to my favourite chip shop, Georges on Portobello Road, and bring it back for us to eat. He did that he said because the office couldnt cope without me, it was nice to hear his words of respect. I will miss my little brother… 

Over all, the night was a success, enjoyed by all. I would highly recommend this bar.

Low self-esteem: what you seek is seeking you – the path to mending my heart in a broken world…

  • A question I often ponder on is even with all the will in the world can one overcome low self-esteem?


With time, I’m slowly beginning to mend those self-destructive thoughts of unworthiness. The change of path came from experiencing the death of my father. Two years ago, I got a call to say that the Dr’s couldn’t do anything more for my dad, it was his time, and that my family were waiting for me so that we could switch off his life support machine. I had time before I was due to travel, rather than sit alone in anguish, I went to my office late at night. I wanted to prepare the office for my departure, as I was worried how my colleagues would cope in my absence, they relied on me.

My colleague, Andre, saw me inside when he walked past, perplexed he wondered what I was doing. He could tell from my demeanour that something was up. I opened up, something I was never good at, and told him I would be taking time off to watch my dad die.Andre said that he was going to tell me something about myself that he thought I needed to hear, because he wanted to help me. Abi, you have almost everything going for you, apart from one major flaw, you don’t give your time to people, to let them see the real you. When we go out as an office, you’re the first one to leave early, for my birthday everyone turned up, but you didn’t. You’re not just my colleague, you’re my friend. Am I not good enough? He thought the complete opposite, it was me that thought I wasn’t good enough, I didn’t want anyone to see my unhappiness. Andre: Life isn’t about material possessions, how much money you have, it’s all bull s**t, while it’s laudable you put work first, people are what matters, do you want to die alone, because you have this impenetrable barrier that no-one can get through?

After I went through the grieving process of dad dying, coming to terms that I’d never see him again, Andre’s candour seemed to have resonated with me. Months later, my boss was leaving to start a life in Dubai, he took me to one side and said that I have so much to offer, stop being a servant to others, and work on making you happy, find someone decent, because you deserve it.

Suddenly those words of reassurance were helping me see past the years of self-doubt. If I could watch my father die, then I could face any fear of inadequacy face on, it really was trivial in comparison. I had to work, I mean really work on me. If I couldn’t love myself, how would anyone be able to love me? I went through a period of deep self-introspection. I had to learn to be open and honest, not to hide my foibles, if someone likes me great, if not then that’s ok too, because I now realise I have a lot to offer, I like who I am.

The path hasn’t been easy but I’ve learnt that you just need to push yourself out of the boundaries of your comfort zone. Express yourself, go crazy, this time I’m not the first one leaving, I’m the last one standing. One of the best nights out was a trip to a strip joint, I got a couple of dances (one woman stuck her tongue down my throat and got naked (I’m straight!)). I got home at 6:30am the next morning. I did what I could never do before, let go, my colleagues saw a completely different side to me, one they liked, a chilled out Abi. I’m still working on that self-confidence, but life’s too short not to right?…

How does one psychologically & emotionally prepare for death of parents?

The answer is that you can’t emotionally & psychologically prepare for your parents death.

When my dad was in intensive care, there were times I still held out false hope that by some miracle he would pull through, and I’d hear his voice again. If I was honest with myself, I knew in my heart that was his time, but I loved him so much, the thought of never seeing him again was too painful to bear. I choose to be ignorant to the reality of his condition.

Even when my mum called me, those words ‘the Dr’s said they can’t do anymore for your dad, it’s his time’ felt unreal. Once the gravity of the situation sunk in, my heart shattered into tiny pieces. I couldn’t stop crying, I had to hold it together whilst making the 3 hour train journey to the hospital, I can tell you that felt like the longest hours of my life.

I associated travelling home with joyful thoughts of seeing my family, how could I reconcile that I was having to say goodbye forever? In my mind, I was thinking, ‘please train, don’t stop, I’m not ready yet’ (the reality: no one is ever prepared for this, right?). My brother was waiting for me at the station, there were no words, I just needed a big hug.

The moment I entered my dad’s room, hands trembling with fear, I took whatever emotional strength I had left, held back the tears, and told him that I loved him very much. I’m not sure if he ever heard what I said, all that mattered was that I was there by his side, tightly holding his hand when the Dr switched off his life support, and he drew a few last breaths.

It’s two years now, I’ve gone through the worst of the grieving process. The idiom time’s a great healer is true. I still feel sad, but I’ve learn’t that death is just an inevitable part of life, we cannot seek to control it, however hard it is to accept, we just have to hope that we can be there with them at the end, and make the most of our time with our parents when they’re still alive…

iPhone 6s Rose Gold

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Updated my two year old iPhone 5s to the iPhone 6s a few weeks ago. Obviously when they had an option for pink (rose gold) I went for that.

I haven’t really noticed much difference between the 5s and 6s yet, but I took some photos of my nephews on the 6s at Xmas, and noticed that the images moved. I googled it, and it’s referred to as ‘live photos’. It makes my pictures look like they’re animated.

To protect my iPhone, I’ve invested in a wallet style case. Being a lover of all things girly, I chose Cath Kidston Provence Rose iPhone 6 cover, fits the 6s perfectly.

Estée Lauder Pleasures Eau Fraiche 

Product Details: Described by Estée Lauder 

For the sheer pleasure of it.

A lively, modern balance of Pleasures’ signature Lilies, Peonies, Jasmine, and Baie Rose.

The innovative spray creates an air-light mist, perfect for delicately scenting the body all over. In one glamorous gesture, airy notes are swept over the skin in a cool rush—like walking through a luxurious, fragrant cloud.

Top Notes:

White Lily, Violet Leaves, Green Accents

Middle Notes:

Black Lilac, White Peony, Karo-Karounde Blossoms, Baie Rose, Pink Rose, Jasmine

Base Notes:

Sandalwood, Patchouli

FEELING

Sheer, Spirited, Shimmering

Review:

Estée Lauder Pleasures perfume has been my favourite signature scent since my teens, it’s rare that I would stray from this. By chance, last year, I came across a different version of Pleasures, Pleasures Eau Fraiche. I could see that they only sold this in the US. 

A couple of weeks ago my colleague went to New York on holiday. He asked if anyone needed anything, I half heartedly said this perfume, not expecting he’d remember – men right ;) I was very happy to find this bottle on my desk when he returned. It worked out cheaper than if I was going to buy this off eBay. 

With scents it’s difficult to judge whether you’ll like it or not, without giving it a sniff test first. I hedged my bets on the five star reviews on the US Estée Lauder website. The bottle is pretty with a pink top. It smells like the original Pleasures but softer, it’s very light, you can only really smell it close up, which is good, I don’t like strong offending perfumes. The smell reminds me of walking in a park full of flowers in the summer, it’s gorgeous. 

I’m afraid my long-term relationship with the original Pleasures may have come to an end. Pleasures Eau Fraiche is a firm favourite, just a shame Estée Lauder don’t sell this online or in their stores in the UK :(

Hand-Made Cath Kidston Woodland Rose 50’s Style Dress

Hand-made in the UK - Cath Kidston Woodland Rose Dress

Hand-made in the UK – Cath Kidston Woodland Rose Dress

Hand Made Cath Kidston Dress

Hand Made Cath Kidston Dress

My first boss introduced me to Cath Kidston eight years ago, he said I’d like her designs, knowing that I love anything floral! He took me to their first shop on Clarendon Cross (Holland Park), which closed down, but relocated to Portobello Road. Ever since then, I’ve been a devoted fan :)

A few months ago, I was taken with their Woodland Rose print. Their cotton duck fabric is supposed to be used for making cushion covers, curtains, upholstering furniture, tea towels. It didn’t mention use for clothes making, but I thought I’d give it a go, and see what happens. I wanted to create a 50’s style dress, sweet heart neckline, circle skirt and a midi-length. I approximated 2.5 metres of fabric would be required, but given that you can’t purchase half-metres, I had to buy 3 metres (total cost £60).

I was worried that if the dress didn’t turn out as expected, that would be £60 down the drain! Luckily, the measurements I took were accurate, and I also took into account that this fabric can shrink slightly in the wash. I loved my own unique dress, with piping around the bodice, grey lining and elbow-length sleeves, although I should have made the sleeves longer (three quarters) that’s my only regret. In terms of washing, the material is fine and dries well. The print is gorgeous!

Woodland Rose Cotton Duck Print

Woodland Rose Cotton Duck Print

Cath Kidston Woodland Rose Cotton Duck Dress

Cath Kidston Woodland Rose Cotton Duck Dress

I wore it to work but it took longer to make than anticipated, so I needed to wear tights with it. This is more of a Summer’s dress, especially with the sleeve-length. My colleagues were impressed, although they didn’t like my choice of lipstick, Chanel Rouge Velvet in L’eclatante (42), it was far too bright for them, but I was trying to match the tiny pink flowers on the dress – men!

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