Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Tao of Self Confidence- Ratnadevi Manokaran

I was invited to speak on a podcast by Sheena Yap Chan who runs a podcast where she interviews women on their journey to self-confidence. I was initially really fearful because it was my first interview but also because I was scared of messing up and saying the wrong thing.

I don't think self-confidence is something that you acquire immediately, but with time, and a lot of hardwork you keep getting better- just like with a lot of things in your life.

If you would like to listen to my session with her and my journey click on the link below.

The Tao of Self Confidence- Ratnadevi Manokaran


Thank you!

Love,
Ratna@ sapphiresplendour

Friday, February 10, 2017

Mon Voyage à Paris

If the year 2016 was a year of endings and 2017 a year of beginnings, I am so excited to see what the year has in store for me. I decided for myself that I was not going to wait anymore. I had always dreamed that I would visit my friends in Europe, but I had this grand idea that I would take me a few months to travel in some countries France, UK, Italy, do the whole European dream tour. 

That day never came and instead I just decided to go with the flow. I called my friend and asked what she thought about celebrating her birthday together and she just said Come over, Ma cherie. And so I did. 

I bought the ticket to Paris a day after speaking to her, with very little ideas of what to do, or see. I only knew that I was going to visit her and her son and also another friend in the UK. I turned out to be one of the best decisions I made this year. 

Customary shot

I took my first ever long-haul flight and I was so excited to be onboard and I was even happier that I did not experience jetlag when I reached. One thing I was not too happy about was not being prepared for the cold. I wore all the jackets I had brought with me and I was still freezing, then I was advised that this is the coldest it has been in three years. So the next day I had to go out and get this jacket to keep me from being frozen- this will be the only jacket you see in any pictures because winter was over and it was really hard to find a jacket that I liked that was warm and thick enough that came in my size. 
Le Petit Prince - Dying!!!!! 

Just cute little Patisserie stores all over Paris.




So I went with no plan. I read a little on trip advisor and kind of had a guide of what I wanted to do. I was sure that I wanted to eat a lot of good food and before the end of my trip I realised I only had croissants one day before I left. I made a joke before leaving telling my friend that I would eat croissants and macaroons everyday while I was there. It's all good, the food i had was far beyond my expectation.

Homemade chocolate mousse, FTW


I am so blessed and I am not sure what I have done to allow me to have these amazing friends who treat me like family. My friends allowed me a front seat into the intimate parts of their lives, dinners, sunday brunches, wednesdays girls only coffee- for that I will be forever grateful. I would say meeting my friends was definitely the highlight of my trip. I felt so loved and it was just beautiful. (I miss them so much too!)

Enjoying a nice cuddle at a local Pub.

I'm really a very laidback traveler that's why I choose to go to a place for as long as I possibly can. I remember staying in New Zealand for 7 months and really only travelling properly at the end of my trip! I'm just so lazy to wake up early in the morning, people! And if you see how long we have to wait in line- and in the cold! I could not do that to myself!!!!!

So I did see some of the things eventually- again I did not have a plan but i had an idea of what i wanted to do. And I am glad, I have no regrets at all, I am just looking forward to the next time I get to go back there and spend more time with my friends and also more time exploring.

Musee D' Orsay



Outside of Versailles 
I came back last week with a heavy heart because I know it would take some time before I see my friends again, but I also knew that I finally did something for myself, that I was willing to stay open to new experiences and to finally really learn how to love again. Because in all honesty, I had forgotten how to do that. I put my needs and my wants so far away I had forgotten that I had even had them. I am so blessed to be able to experience this and I am so grateful for all the friendships I've made over the years AND I cannot wait to go back, soon. 


Thank you so much for reading. I hope that you enjoyed this post and for those who commented on my pictures and my instastories- thank you so much for following me on the journey too. Love you all.


Friday, November 4, 2016

LOVE YourSELF fiercely

18 years ago if I knew this is how I would dress up , I would have laughed at the person who suggested it. I am pretty sure I would be mad at them because I would have thought that they were joking or being sarcastic. 





Today at 35, just the idea of not being able to wear something because of what someone else thinks or would say, seems ludicrous to me. Sometimes, the criticism comes from your own self and that is something I have been working so hard to deal with, to change that internal dialogue with yourself (myself).






So, when I first saw this dress, I knew it had to be mine. I am in love with the whole sheer trend going on right now and because it is lace, it gives this added sexiness to the entire look. 







I paired this dress with a choker detail bodysuit, a moto jacket and some black boots. I kept my make up very neutral and did not wear any accessories so not to take away the attention from the dress. 





You can also totally rock this look by wearing a slip underneath the dress, or even a bralette and high waisted shorts. 

Dress- Forever 21 Plus (similar)/ Jacket - Forever 21 Plus  (similar) Bodysuit- (similar)/ Boots (similar)


Just a note to add- you change your perspective not only in your fashion sense/ style but in many other aspects of your life. 

Today I celebrated my birthday and for the most of last week I was extremely excited, I had even already started buying myself gifts since late September, but two days ago, I found it so hard to even wake up and function. I was feeling so depressed and like I did not understand why I was feeling that way. 

I knew the problem lay deeper, I had not done anything to be self-reflective instead I had just been on a high from work, the recent deepavali celebrations and just random stuff. I had a really long conversation with a very knowledgable friend who put things in perspective for me. I am grateful for that, I am grateful to be here at 35 and learning, every single day. So, I may not be perfect and I may not know everything I know that I am a work in progress and that is perfectly okay! 

You know when people tell you to love yourself you think it's some cliche saying and you think maybe you are unloveable but really all I needed was some time to myself. I had been feeling really sad for the things I had done in the past, for the things I have not been able to accomplish and then discrediting myself and just putting myself down. I had to do an inventory and put myself in check, I started to see things clearly. I was not this person my mind said I was, I am a good person, yes there are some mistakes that I have made in the past, but no one is ever free from any mistakes, Also those things shaped me to be who I am today.

So when you decide to love yourself, you love yourself with all the love you can give no matter how shitty you feel, you be there, be kind and gentle and know that nothing is ever permanent. 



Photography @leontannerphoto

I want to say a massive thank you to Leon for taking these amazing pictures in the heat! He works from the UK (london) so give him a shout out if you need your pictures taken. He is absolutely talented and just all round amazing.


Sunday, October 9, 2016

How to Gift yourself the most beautiful presents you deserve

I will be 35 in a month's time. I don't know how many people can relate to this but when you are younger, you are more present with your life than to think about the future, at least it was for me. I rarely ever thought about what would happen in the future. I do that more these days.

Every year, I think of ways to celebrate my birthday. I loved birthdays when I was growing up, but not as a teenager, I remember going through a phase of not wanting to celebrate my birthday at all! I refused to even have cake (and boy do i LOVE cake). A few years ago, when I started learning about loving myself, and consciously doing things that supported that, I celebrated my birthday with gusto! 

This year I plan to gift myself with 35 gifts. I am not sure if I can afford all of this (a girl can only wish) or if I even need this many things, but I am really happy and proud of myself and I cannot think of a better way to celebrate my life- thus far. 

Yes I do understand that a birthday is also more than just buying material stuff but a girl can give herself a treat if she wants to! 

I hope this inspires you to celebrate your birthday or just to go out and give yourself something nice as a pat on the back!












                                     
                                       

                                                




       

                                                     
                                                
                                          
   


                              




























Sunday, September 4, 2016

My breasts and me

I think I only noticed and felt that I had bigger breasts when I was about 13 or 14 years old. I remembered hating them because not only was I usually the fattest girl in the class, I also had the biggest boobs among my class and school mates. 

To add to my frustration, I found it really difficult to participate in sport activities because I felt so uncomfortable. There were times I had to wear two bras very tight ones, to keep them in place when I went to school. I suffered from rashes, and boob chaffing. Those were the easy things to deal with, the harder things, were the constant staring at my boobs, the cat calling and the teasing and worst- the grabbing. 

Growing up with bigger breasts had made me feel so insecure with myself. I had always felt too vulgar and sexy. I tried to always cover myself and I walked with a hunch, so that it would never be in anyone's face. It never helped that my mother would also chime in and say not to show them off, and wear less revealing clothes, looser clothes, so that my breasts would not be noticeable.

To know where this bra set is from
I thought the tormenting and the breasts jokes would ease up when I went to college and started work, but it never did. Men made jokes, women would question me about why are my boobs so big, why does it sag, how does it feel? ...Someone very close to me even asked if I wanted breast reduction surgery, because THEY thought that I was uncomfortable. I realised then that my breasts made other people feel uncomfortable. I used to shy away from v-neck blouses because of how much it made my boobs look like what they were. I wore baggy t-shirts and really mostly dressed in black (did not help that I did love the colour) because I never wanted to offend anyone or worst to turn someone on. 


These things still happen to me, I get cat called, whistled at, stared at, and have also got feedback about how I should start wearing a proper bra, because people have taken the liberty to tell me that my breasts are not where they are supposed to be. 


One thing has changed-the way I view my breasts. You see, I use to feel so ashamed for having larger breasts, I also had friends who told me that no one would pay attention to me if I had smaller boobs and that my boobs made me look like I had a shape when infact to her I did not. I felt that because of how large my boobs were I was " too sexy", that anything I wore would get me the wrong attention. I also felt like they were so saggy, because I could hold a carton of pencils under my boobs, because i read somewhere that if you put a pencil under your breasts and if it fell down then you have the perfect breasts- I didnt.  I also then thought, if I did not have bigger breasts, maybe there was nothing interesting or sexy about my body. 

Link to my bra- Bra Marcepanowa Magnolia

When I look in the mirror now, I do not put my arms up and imagine what my breasts would look like if I had had the reconstructive surgery. I do not pick on my breasts and wish that they were different. I have learnt that yes, they are bigger and because they are bigger they sag, but all that does not make them ugly, and not loveable. They are like any other part of me, a part of me that I love. 

I love them for so many reasons now. They offer comfort, they are sexy, but more importantly because they are part of me. 




Blog pictures taken by the amazing Nunu Van Dijk

 Thank you so much for reading and I hope you liked this style of post, I find it extremely releasing to write something that is close to my heart. Please leave comments if you would like to also read a review on this bra that I am wearing.

A shoutout to my friend the amazing girl who took these beautiful pictures of me!