One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art—Oscar Wilde

Art and fashion has always had a nudge-nudge, wink-wink relationship. A quiet flirtation that never dies. Designer Elsa Schiaparelli is often considered the original architect who brought the two worlds together the first time in 1930s. In 1937, American socialite, Wallis Simpson wore the eponymous printed silk organza lobster dress created by the artist Salvador Dali and Schiaparelli for a Vogue spread. And since then fashion and art has often collided. Famous couturiers like Coco Chanel, Paco Rabanne and Yves Saint Laurent have often been inspired by art.

In 2012, fashion designer sisters, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, who have worked with high-street giants like Gap and target took artistic inspiration from Dutch designer Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers painting for their fashion canon. For last few years, this wave has also hit the high-street (and boy aren’t we glad).

When Fashion Meets Art: Van Gogh Starry Nights

The irony is that whilst art is seen as an erudite passion, fashion often is relegated as frivolous and time-waste. To me, style (the personalisation of fashion) is a form of art itself, the way we express our various moods and the way we speak to the world. It is a language that can really transcend the boundaries of race, region and class. And yes, it can be political, poetical, personal and artistic too.

My mantra really is to be a work of art or wear art. And wearing art has actually become easier than you think. When Romwe approached me to collaborate with them, I was happy and when I saw this skirt featuring my favourite painter Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night painting, i was overjoyed. Van Gogh painted this in June 1889, it depicts the view from the east-facing window of his asylum room at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, just before sunrise, with the addition of an idealised village.

When Fashion Meets Art: Prom Night

I will admit, I was a bit nervous about how I would style this skirt. But after a bit of freewheeling thinking, I realised that it is so versatile. It is natural that I wanted this skirt to be the centre of attraction, so I have opted for minimal look. I have paired it with a cut-out black blouse, a waist cinching belt and ankle booties. I have also kept my short hair in a bun and have worn dangling yellow statement earrings to coincide with the yellow of the skirt/painting. I would wear it this way for a lunch date or going out with my girl friends. 

When Fashion Meets Art: Van Gogh Starry Nights

But I realised it can also be worn with a simple black polo neck and brogues for work and yellow tube top/ sleeveless blouse and navy heels for a date night. See, versatile?

When Fashion Meets Art: Van Gogh Starry Nights

Skirt: Romwe, Blouse: New Look, Booties: New Look and Earrings: London designer 

So, how do you manage to make your style a piece of personal art? And do you really think that art and fashion/ style can go together? Because let’s not forget fashion really is in ideas.

Thank you Romwe for this post 

Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a great week ahead and do not forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

Northern Ireland is different. To be honest, I had not expected much from this place and dare I say I did not plan this trip so meticulously perhaps this is why I was beyond surprised with what Belfast and surrounding areas had to offer. Here, I take you through some of my favourite points from our last holiday.

Belfast:

Belfast and Northern Ireland must see places

City Hall, Belfast

Many are quick to dismiss Belfast as a place with a wounded past nothing much to offer beyond its conflicted history. But hold those thoughts as Belfast would pleasantly surprise you. I had imagined Belfast to be grey and gloomy but only one trip to the city centre is enough to convince you of its grandeur, rich architecture and quirkiness.

The City Hall screams of underrated sophistication where as Cathedral Quarter located a few blocks away is filled with places where you can eat, drink and make merry. There is something decidedly edgy and trendy about this walk which overwhelms you pleasantly. Time really slows down when you are exploring the various interesting nooks and corners of this city and you would want more and more of it.

Belfast and Northern Ireland must see places

Beacon of Hope, Belfast

My favourite spot, however, was the brilliant water front. There is something calming about that spot where you can forget the hustle-bustle of the city, your own restless mind and see the river meandering through. Two sculptures which stood out for me here were the Beacon of Hope and the Big (Blue) Fish each reminding me of never letting go of hope and always remembering the bigger things in life. Other must-see places of Belfast are the Titanic Quarter, Peace Wall and St. George Market.

Game of Thrones:

I will be honest, I initially started thinking of Northern Ireland only for Game of Thrones. The rugged castles, gnarled woods and its raw beauty makes this place perfect for many Westerns locations. There are several tour guides operating here and based on your requirements and budget you can tailor make a trip for you.

Belfast and Northern Ireland must see places

The Arya Stark Bridge

If you are a fan then this tour is unmissable (can be done independently too). You can check out Stark’s home of Winterfell, the bridge where Arya runs to save herself from Waif, the ghoulish White Walkers and the caves of Cushenden, where Melisandre gives birth to the shadow baby.

Belfast and Northern Ireland must see places Game of Thrones

Dark Hedges, on the route Arya Stark, masquerading as a boy, took when when escaping King’s Landing.

Game of Thrones is almost like a mini-industry in and around Northern Ireland. Don’t be surprised if you run into extras or members of crew from this hit show. Both our GoT tour guide and Air BnB host were part of GoT cast and crew and needless to say gave us some interesting stories about the show and its main characters.

Coastal Drive to Giant Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge:

National Geographic mentions this coastal drive as one of the most scenic drives in the world and one has to take this trip to believe that it is in fact true. The hundred mile stretch boasts of some jaw-droopingly spectacular scenery. It is centred around the nine glens (valleys) of Antrim and you turn any which way you will see magnificent valleys, sprinkling water bodies, lush greenery everywhere.

Belfast and Northern Ireland must see places

Giants Causeway

Giant Causeway, itself is so amazing, that no superlatives can do justice to its beauty. Apparently a result of a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago; the rock formations are surreal. They are near perfect hexagon shaped tubes stacked neatly resembling a giant puzzle. The Giant’s Causeway is also steeped in myth and legend. Some say it was carved from the coast by the mighty giant, Finn McCool, who left behind an ancient home full of folklore.

Belfast and Northern Ireland must see places

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

On the opposite side of Giants Causeway, is the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge an ancient rope bridge. This is another stunning experience that Northern Ireland has to offer. Walk along an exhilarating coastal path awash with grassy slopes and rocky outcrops. You will see flower-rich meadows, the occasional grazing cattle, the magnificent views of Ratlin Island and Scottish Isles amidst the vast azure blue waters before actually arriving the entry of the rope bridge.

The bridge links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrickarede and it spans 20 metres (66 ft) and is 30 metres (98 ft) above the rocks below hill Mountains. If you are brave enough to see you will notice the sea below you dancing, thriving and teasing you whilst the swaying bridge would almost give you a feeling that you can descend down anytime.

Cave hill Mountains:

If you have been following my blog, you would know that I never ever miss a chance to go for a hike. Fortunately, my hubby shares my passion and despite our toddler we go for hikes whenever possible. There is something really therapeutic to be amidst wild, unpredictable and unassuming nature that inspires you infinitely.

Cave Hill overlooks Belfast and is nearby Belfast Zoo. Characterised by its famous Napoleon’s Nose; as the profile resembles the famous emperor; Cave Hill rises to almost 370 metres (1200 ft) above sea level. Most of its lower east side lies on the Belfast Castle estate, which has as its focal point the imposing 19th-century Scottish baronial castle.

Belfast and Northern Ireland Must See Places

The Caves which inspired Chronicles of Narnia

As you probably are aware, Northern Ireland has a rich literary history. Many authors like CS Lewis and Samuel Beckett came from this small country. Cave Hill has been an inspiration for several legendary literary work.  Cave Hill is thought to be the inspiration for Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Swift imagined that the Cave Hill resembled the shape of a sleeping giant safeguarding the city. The Caves inside the mountains (which we climbed with some difficulty) are said to be the inspiration behind Chronicles of Narnia.

Belfast and Northern Ireland Must See Places

On Top and that’s the whole city behind me

We navigated through some tricky slopes and encountered so many drops and caves to reach on top and once you are on top; the entire city comes so tantalisingly alive. Locals say on a clear day, you can see Scotland and Isle of Man from the peak.

Silent Valley and Ben Crom Reservoirs.

The Silent Valley Reservoir located in the Mourne Mountains near Kilkeel, County Down in Northern Ireland can easily be the best-kept secret of Northern Ireland and had I not bothered reading posters in the city airport, we would have easily missed this gem of a place.

Belfast and Northern Ireland Must See Places

Silent Valley

Easily about two hours away from Belfast (after the Bronte sister homeland), you know you are entering the reservoirs when you see majestic mountains cleverly sneaking from mist laden clouds. This place really feels like you are walking right inside a magnificent painting.

Secluded, peaceful and truly an oasis of calm, the reservoirs offer plenty of scenic trail walking routes and whichever route you choose you will see the incredible Mourne mountains dotted with beautiful towns and villas everywhere. 

If you are in Northern Ireland and want a place where you genuinely can clear your head and rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit then this is the place. The beauty of this place will make any challenge you are facing inconsequential and small.

Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed this travel post. Have a great weekend and do not forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

The ironical thing about this parenting thing is that, till you become one you are happily in some sort of cloud #9, with absolutely no iota of reality to bring you down. Before baby, the hubby and I used to wonder how some parents just can’t get the hang of their own kids and how they allow them to “let go.”

Our bubble has been broken for good and now as parents we have understood and experienced that it is one HELL of a job. I no longer aim to become “mother of the century” and have no shame in admitting that sometimes I am absolutely rubbish at it and that occasionally (ok, ok regularly) commit some “classic” parenting sins. So, if you would like to feel better about your own parenting skills read on or maybe you would also like to plead guilty.

Image Via Google Images

Image Via Google Images

Pride:

I had promised myself that I will never be a pushy, tiger mum and that I will take no credit for my daughter’s milestones. But when another mum at rhyme time told me, “wow, your five month is crawling so well.” My joy knew no bound. I think I stood up feeling slightly taller, my nose slightly pointier and my little heart jumping of pure joy. I felt unashamed, pure sense of pride as though it wasn’t my daughter’s crawling but  I have won a Pulitzer Prize or something. Yes, I huffed and puffed till another mum came and shattered my pride to pieces by asking, “so she doesn’t coo in French yet?” Because obviously babies do that.

Wrath:

I am (fine, used to be) a totally Zen person. Even Tibetan monks could’ve learnt from me about being calm and content. These days, simple requests are enough to drive me to insanity. Like when my hubby asks me in the morning totally innocent questions like: “Have you seen my car keys/ wallet/bag?” ALL. HELL. BREAKS.LOOSE. Really, when did I become the treasurer of things? Or do you become one just because you pushed a tiny person out of foof? His nerve, just because he has to go to office and earn our bread and butter. Really, hell has no fury like a wife who is asked about “lost” things.

Gluttony:

When I was breastfeeding, every day I would make a pact with myself to stay away from junk but by 10 AM I used to feel ravenous. Totally natural considering I was being an all night buffet to my lovely little girl, I would eat one (or two, whatever who was counting?) slice of cake without a shred of guilt. So has things improved now that she has weaned off herself? Sometimes, I stuff my face with chocolates sneakily with fridge door still open while she munches on her fruits (ha!!).

Envy:

People think that most mums are envious of those stylish women and their jaw dropping amazing body. No sir. We don’t. I envy anyone who has had six hours of uninterrupted sleep or anyone who can go to the toilet without an audience.

Sloth:

The t-shirt I am wearing today was supposed to be washed yesterday. Ok, ok the day before. Fine, last week. Ever since becoming a mum, “sloth” has become my middle name. I used to be so shamelessly house proud. Needless to say, my cleaning standards have gone down. Considerably down (sob).

Lust:

Lust, really you got to be joking? (hahahah).

Greed:

I really have become slightly greedy ever since becoming a mum. Sometimes, I lock myself in the bathroom as soon as hubby comes home and pretend I am doing my business just to get five minutes to myself. I am amazed at my own greed. 😛

Bottom line is mums (and dads) are not perfect creatures. We all slip up sometimes. As long as you aren’t ignoring your children every single day you are probably doing a great job 🙂
Hope you enjoyed this parenting post. Thanks for reading. For more such hilarious and honest take on parenting follow me 🙂 

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Image via: google

Image via: google

Can you see that person buried inside the books? Well, that would be me. (not exactly, the image is via Google) I am going to take the next two weeks off blogging and social media as I’ve to prepare for an impending exam. This is a really important thing for my career and I no longer can study with half a brain after a tired day. Blogging has been my therapy but right now I do not have any other choice but to keep it aside and concentrate on what really matters. Trying to do everything and be a super woman was driving me insane.

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The good thing is I’ve so many interesting posts and things to share here. Travel posts, style posts and of course parenting things. But right now it has to wait. I will also be posting and commenting on all my favourite blogs as soon as I am back. 🙂

Please do wish me luck though and have me in your prayers as I really, really need it.

Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a great weekend.  Do show me your love with your likes and comments and don’t forget to follow me.        🙂

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I was recently featured in Huffington Post, UK and needless to say I was damn chuffed. It feels nice to be part of their amazing parent bloggers’ community. You can read my post here.

I started motherhood and parenting section on this blog to share my heartfelt thoughts, experiences, doubts, anxieties and achievements as a first time mum. Parenting is a tough task; a life-altering experience that completely changes your relationship with your partner, your friends, your extended family and even yourself.

Image Via Google Images

Image Via Google Images

During the initial days as a first time mum, I felt a range of emotions: anxiety, euphoria, inexplicable fear and even anger. Writing about those emotions and challenges here on this blog was a great way to let go, introspect and move on.

I just hope my readers are able to connect and even guide me through this roller coaster ride as a first time mum.

Thank you for reading J

Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a great mid week.  Do show me your love with your likes and comments and don’t forget to follow me.      🙂

You can also follow me on Twitter, FacebookInstagram and Pinterest