Welcome to my digital wardrobe filled with sweet temptations, likes, loves and inspirations. Here you'll find looks, style tips, fashion finds, pretty little things from my closet and snapshots of everyday life. Thanks for dropping in!
xoxo Faith Rodriguez
I’ve received several messages in the past year from people who follow my blog, about why I’ve stopped updating it regularly. I haven’t checked my blog’s inbox in about a year and as of yesterday, the unread email count is at 1946! It’s not that I’ve lost interest, I’ve just been happily spending my time in a mommy bubble with the sweetest little thing on earth, my son, Frey Skylar.
So when I could be sitting in the audience at a fashion show, attending a press launch of a brand’s latest collection, trying and testing a new product for an online review, or spending a couple hours at a photo shoot, editing photographs and writing an article, I’d really rather be at home with my little man after an 8-hour work day. It’s amazing how quickly he has grown, right before my very eyes, and I don’t ever want to miss a thing!
2015 has been the best year of my life: watching my son grow, developing skills every day, witnessing his first steps which turned into wobbly runs within a week, celebrating one year of his life in September and one year of motherhood, and filling up his closet (and mine, obviously)!
I’ll admit, I don’t fall into the category of moms who whipped themselves back to shape in the first year or less post-baby, and I won’t blame it on genes. I’m still holding onto a few extra pounds, call it lack of determination, or simply, it just doesn’t seem to matter all that much to me right now. Maybe tomorrow? :p
Don’t let the outfit posts fool you, there will always be at least one out of 50 photos that makes you look slimmer, and of course, that’s the one I’ll post. We’re not wasting film, are we? And there’s a function on iPhone called bursts…hahaha! Besides, does the scale impede your style? No, I didn’t think so.
So I’m wrapping up my 2015 with enthusiasm, good vibes, less stress, and a come-what-may outlook on life!
Top & Skirt – Shein / Handbag – Day to Day / Shoes – Marks & Spencer
Top – Shein / Skirt – Iconic
Dress – New Look / Belt – ASOS / Shoes – Forever21
Dress – H&M / Cardigan – Splash
Dress – New Look / Shoes – Charles & Keith / Cardigan – Lulu
Top & Skirt – New Look / Shoes – Matalan – Belt – ASOS
Dress – Guess / Shoes – Marks & Spencer
Top – News Look / Skirt – ASOS / Shoes – BCBGeneration
Dress – Guess / Shoes – Matalan
Dress – ASOS / Handbag – Charles & Keith / Shoes – SM Store
So, I’m a new mom, and even though I’d like to spend Mondays in my pyjamas rolling around on my living room rug playing with my 9-month-old son, I can’t, because mama’s gotta make money, so mama’s gotta work! And when I get home, I’d rather not sit in front of my computer and blog about what I wore that day every so often.
Here’s where Instablogging comes in. Instagram has quickly become a visual form of Twitter microblogging, except it doesn’t have a 140 character limit so it’s not so micro (though you’d never find me writing an actual paragraph on Instagram, there’s a reason why captions have a character visibility limit). It’s less pressure and takes under 20 minutes to take a quick snap on your iPhone, crop, edit and write a one-liner. It’s every style enthusiast working mama’s dream. I’m not completely bidding farewell to my SLR camera and website, but for now, Instablogging suits me just fine. So, yay!
Top – H&M / Skirt – ASOS / Shoes – River Island
Dress – DressLilly / Handbag – Koton / Belt – Forever21 / Boots – Marks & Spencer
Dress – ASOS / Shoes – Steve Madden / Cardigan – Splash
Dress – Brands For Less / Shoes – New Look
Top – Bershka / Skirt & Belt – Splash / Shoes – Matalan
Dress – ASOS / Handbag – Charles & Keith / Shoes – Marks & Spencer / Blazer – Shein
Top – New Look / Dress – ASOS / Handbag & Shoes – Matalan
Top – ASOS / Skirt & Bag – United Colors of Benetton / Shoes – Marks & Spencer
Skirt & Top – ASOS / Bag – Call It Spring / Shoes – Bershka
I’ve never attended an Indian Wedding before, and that might seem strange for me to say since I’m technically married to an Indian, so let me rephrase that: I’ve never been to a traditional Indian wedding before where the dress code called for a sparkly elegant ensemble.
So in the glory of new experiences, especially since this would be the first wedding guest appearance ever for our little man (and what parent doesn’t love dressing their kid up in costume?), we decided to splurge on our Indian attires.
I was absolutely in love with the intricacies of Indian embroidery and the rich diversity of aesthetic styles that would make any woman spoiled for choice. So clearly I went a bit insane shopping for a dress that spoke to me, since I was surrounded by a flurry of loud whispers and could not make up my mind!
In the end I opted for a gold embroidered bright orange anarkali suit and topped off my ensemble with a rhinestone headpiece or tikka, with a complementing ring and sandals. My son was cuteness overload from head-to-toe (though he kicked off his shoes in the first ten minutes) in an embroidered gold and red kurta and my husband kept it simple sophisticated in a blue and black kurta.
I wish it were that easy. There are some women who get as flat as a pancake in just a matter of weeks, but unfortunately I am not one of the lucky few. I still looked about four months pregnant after two months post-baby, primarily because I had a C-section so I could not really do any physical activity until after 6 weeks of recovery. And even then, I was in a baby bubble…I was sleeping (mostly trying to put my little one to sleep, then watched him sleep), breathing (babies smell sooo good), and eating (figuratively, not literally) my baby, so doing sit-ups were not really on my to-do list.
So when I started work again after two and a half months of maternity leave, since I couldn’t get into bodycon dresses and pencil skirts just yet without looking like I was in my first trimester, I had to dress strategically to disguise my post-baby pouch. Many had advised me to wear Spanx or a corset every day to help reduce the appearance of my belly, however, I get all hot and bothered because it’s so tight you can hardly breathe and with the weather in Dubai already feeling like summer, sweating makes me very irritable.
Hence, I keep to empire cut or skater dresses, high-waisted circle skirts, maxi skirts or dresses and flouncy tops to keep my tummy tucked under, without forcing myself to wear bodyshapers. The flat tummy will come eventually, but for now I have more important things to think about…the new man in my life…my son, my angel, Frey Skylar.
Dress & Belt – ASOS / Handbag – Charles & Keith / Shoes – Marks & Spencer
Skirt – ASOS / Top – Bershka / Shoes – Koton / Blazer – JollyChic
Dress – ASOS / Cardigan – New Yorker / Shoes – SM Store
Dress – Splash / Handbag – Koton
Dress – ASOS / Bag – Bebe / Shoes – New Look
Playsuit – Forever21 / Jacket – Jag Jeans
Top – Forever21 / Skirt – Splash
Blazer – Splash / Skirt – ASOS / Shoes – Bershka
Skirt – New Look / Shoes & Tights – River Island / Top – Shein
One of the things you don’t really look forward to as a first time mom are those dreaded stretch marks that are bound to creepy crawl across your belly as your baby starts to grow. You think to yourself, “I will never be the same again.” And really, you won’t. Even if you do eventually lose all your pregnancy weight and stretch marks, however long it takes, you will never be the same again. Because bearing a child will change you physically, emotionally and spiritually. And there’s no turning back. There’s only looking forward to the joys of motherhood.
So, now back to the topic of stretch marks. Soon after I officially announced my pregnancy, many women had recommended to start using stretch mark creams and lotions particularly with shea butter, along with the disclaimer that it may not prevent stretch marks altogether but may reduce the appearance of them. Though no one had ever told me about Bio-Oil until I got a complimentary package at my doorstep one day.
There are a lot of stories about stretch marks. Some assume it can be genetic, which means if your mother had little to none or plenty then you will most probably have the same. Others says that if you have a big baby, the bigger the belly grows, the more your skin stretches to accommodate your bun in the oven. Some advocate that applying stretch mark creams as early as when your baby bump starts to show will almost eliminate them.
But ladies, we must know that all women are different. Each one of us has a unique biological make and model, no two alike, even with identical twins. So what might be the case for one person, might not be the case for another. I started using Bio-Oil when I was 7 months pregnant. Prior to that I had not used any special creams on my belly. I guess I was too tired being pregnant during summer or too busy with work and moving into a new home that I didn’t have the time or the mind to add anything new to my usual beauty regimen.
As your skin stretches it’s important to moisturize the skin on your belly as it gets really dry and itchy, and scratching it will worsen the appearance of stretch marks. Bio-Oil kept my skin hydrated so that meant no dryness, no itchiness. Even though Bio-Oil is an oil which is naturally oily (excuse the redundancy) when you apply, it quickly gets absorbed by the skin as you massage it on so does not leave behind a sticky residue. And on the plus side, Bio-Oil also has a pleasant scent.
I did get stretch marks though, probably because I had a bigger baby than expected. The doctor who had done my 4D scan at 11 weeks had advised me that due to my petite frame I should not expect a big baby, relative to a woman with a taller stature, especially for my first. Asian babies also have smaller babies compared to Western counterparts. Moms I knew with a similar body type had told me that their babies, even their second one, were less than 3 kgs, but surprise, surprise my baby came out well over 3.1 kgs. So I eventually had to have a C-section because my pelvic bone was too narrow to deliver my baby naturally.
I started using Bio-Oil two weeks after I came home from the hospital, though not religiously, as life with a newborn has been quite an experience that there are days I even forget to shower. My stretch marks have not disappeared but are lighter now, and it keeps my skin moisturized.
Remember, if a remedy works for you, that’s perfect! But if it doesn’t, it isn’t the end of the world. Once you become a mom getting rid of stretch marks will be the last thing on your mind amidst the dirty nappies, the sleep time rituals, the amusing conversations with your little one where you make up almost every single word, the smiles and giggles that just make you tear up with overwhelming happiness.
Precious Lara Quigaman, Philippine actress and winner of Miss international 2005, is a fan of Bio-Oil and has endorsed the brand in this video.
As you all may know, I’ve been on a break from blogging for the past couple of months since I reached my third trimester of pregnancy. As much as I would have liked to keep up the pace, I could not do so physically or mentally in my current state. Especially considering that in the 2 months prior we had moved and settled into a new home, been preparing for our baby’s arrival, while still going to work, and the scorching summer heat only made matters worse.
But I am happy to say that I have succeeded in waltzing through my “Pregnancy without Maternity” challenge. All it took were stretch jersey frabics, empire cuts, and swing dresses, which I can conveniently still wear after the baby is born. If I had purchased maternity wear during my pregnancy, I would have had to store them in a box until the next one comes along, and that would have been a waste.
So as I welcome September, I shall officially be taking a mommy sabbatical a.k.a maternity leave from blogging until the New Year. Even after loving but mostly enduring the past 9 months, it only just begins after the little one is born. Though I can’t wait to get back on the saddle as I haven’t touched 80% of my wardrobe since my baby bump turned into a baby hill. And I have an exciting new baby fashion blog to boot when I return. But I can’t leave without one last photoshoot, shot by my one and only husband Sheldon Rodriguez. It’s a boy, by the way!
What: Dress – New Look
When: Maternity Photoshoot
Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, though at times it may not feel so beautiful. I’m not trying to scare prospective moms who haven’t taken the challenge yet, I’m just telling it like it is. It’s part of life, and life is a challenge. But it’s a beautiful life nonetheless. So now, back to the point. Your body is beautiful, whatever shape or size. But you have to admit, that sometimes you’d like a little bit of help in that department. That’s why we go for facials, get mani-pedis and wear make-up…to boost our ‘au naturel’ beauty. Do we not?
When you’re sporting a belly as big as a watermelon, you wonder how will you ever look good in dresses that hug the waist and hips even if they are specially made for maternity. And pregnant or not, I hate the appearance of visible panty lines, that’s why I turn to Spanx to smoothen out my silhouette when the need arises.
I didn’t know until I got a gift of Power Mama Spanx that they had them made for expectant moms. Not only do the Power Mama Spanx keep your figure streamlined so you can wear what you want without having to worry about little bumps on the road, it helps support your back and your belly reducing the strain of carrying the extra weight.
Dressing a big baby bump for work and during the summertime is quite a task as you would want nothing more but to wear a shoulder-baring, back-baring, breathable sundress. However, you do need to be mindful of the dress code even if your place of work allows you certain liberties. Make it work by sporting a sundress with a light cotton blazer for when you’re in the office, which you can take off as soon as you hit the road.
Now that I have past the big milestone of 30 weeks, I can stop counting up and officially start counting down the days. I’d be lying to myself if I didn’t admit to being anxious to lose the baby weight, but truly madly deeply, I’m just aching to see my baby and plant a million kisses all over his sweet little face. It’s a plus that I get to take time off work, but as many mothers have testified from experience, taking care of a new born is a much more tedious job. But I’m open to learning new things, so I’ll make it work!
Wear: Navy, White
What: Dress – Forever 21 / Blazer – SM Store
When: To Work
Summer has been killing it this year and we’ve just moved into a new home, so with my little baby on board who’s growing bigger by the week, it’s getting tougher to stay on my feet for too long or stand in the heat. Social gatherings, media events and outdoor photoshoots seem to be in the distant past for me, at least until I can literally get back on my (un-swollen) feet again. Right now I am anxiously awaiting the miraculous reward I get to wrap in my arms very soon!
With time to spare after work, we drove by a serene location and did a quick five-minute shoot amidst a beautiful pathway of trees. With my little parasol in hand, it was the perfect setting for a dreamy photo op. I love parasols as they look so dainty and romantic. I missed my chance at purchasing one in Venice (Italy) as I had only seen a black parasol at the last minute on our way to the airport, so when I came across this ivory parasol in Beijing (China), I knew I had to have it.
Wear: Pink, Ivory
What: Top, Skirt & Shoes – New Look / Bolero – New Yorker