Friday, October 30, 2009

How to fight that afternoon slump

Ever hit that afternoon slump where you feel fatigued and unproductive? I know that I often do, but how do you prevent it or deal with it so can still be productive?

Here are a few tips to help prevent that slump and deal with it more effectively:

  1. Eat breakfast – eating a good breakfast will definitely make a different and set your blood sugar off to a good start for the day. If you, like me are one of those people who don't really like eating in the morning make yourself a smoothie. You can use fruit juice, yoghurt, fresh fruit, frozen fruit, ice cubes, nuts (soak overnight to help make a creamier texture), dried fruit or even powered vitamin drinks and flax seed oil to create a tasty and extremely nutritious mix that you can drink on the run. Other great options are minute oats, cereals, fruit salad, boiled/poached eggs on toast.
  2. Organise – deduce when your most productive time of the day is and schedule your most intricate tasks for then. Do all the things that take the most amount of concentration during those times. For me, I find that I am at my peak in the mornings, before one and in the evenings, after 5pm. Therefore I schedule my day around this starting with doing any assignments or work activities, cleaning and organising before 1pm then in the afternoons I get out of the house and do any errands I have leaving the evenings to study.
  3. Eat lunch – at this point you body needs more fuel to get through the rest of the day. Eat a good lunch in proportion to your appetite and make provision for a light snack later. Something simple like trail mix or dried fruit and nuts will do the trick to stabilise your blood sugar throughout the afternoon. The whole crux of the solution is the keep your blood sugar at an even keel and not to allow for sudden drops and rises.
  4. Take a lunch break – don't work through lunch. You need to take a break from your work/studies or you will get tired quickly. Even if it is just 20mins away from your desk, you need time to recharge and break away. Go chat to a colleague, read a magazine, have a smoke break outside.
  5. Change of scenery – go outside, get some fresh air, go to the bathroom and freshen up. Get away from your work for a just a few minutes. Let your mind rest and think of other things. Also, getting up and walking around will get the blood pumping once again and oxygen to all the parts of the body.
These are just a few ways that I deal with the afternoon slump. What are your tricks and tips to keeping you feeling energized all day long? Leave a comment.

Food for thought.....

Thursday, October 29, 2009


To the world you just may be one person,
but to one person you may be the world.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fear and Failure

Wishlist Wednesday

Wednesday Wishlist - November
Wednesday Wishlist - November by **eLLa** on

I have officially declared November as my no spend month as in keeping with my birthday list of 16 Things. This however does not mean that I'm still not lusting after loads stuff, sigh. This month I have focused on beauty products as I was in The Body Shop last week looking for a good daytime sunscreen that wasn't overly expensive but didn't make my face look like a grease pit. I was successful in my search and picked up the Aloe range SPF 15 for sensitive skin. While I was there a number of other products caught my eye. 

Here they are starting from the top:

  1. Macademia Nut Straightening Balm - the product info says it a humidity-resistant balm that gives hair a smooth and sleek look, perfect for use with heated styling products. Apply to towel dried hair. i have yet to find a product that really gives me that sleek look I long for. I have very fine hair so it easily gets weighed down with product and has tonnes of fly a ways. So Im eager to try and see if this is the product for me.
  2. Grape Seed Glossing Serum - this product is said to add great gloss and shine to hair without weighing it down. This is something that I would normally use when going to a fancy/formal even to add even more fabulousness to me look :P
  3. Billbery Colour Protect Detangler - this product is definately one that stands out for me. It is a light leaving detangling conditioner with a built in UV filter! The sun here is vicious so any product that has UV filters in it or SPF's gets my attention. A real must have item if you ask me, can't wait to try it.
  4. Amika Leave In Conditioner - this product is said to be good for dry, damaged and tired hair. It put back all that losst moisture for soft managable hair. Dry hair is something that I do suffer from time to time so really want to give it a test run to see if it can help my hair out.  
From the left we have a few items that I really should pick up:
  1. Polka Dot Shower Cap - I love the colours on it :) My main reason for wanting one is so that I can cover my hair up property when I'm in the shower and I don't want it too get wet. If I just tie it up it always fizzes because of the steam and I end up having to wash it anyway!
  2. EyeLash Curler - While I have been told my many a makeup artist that I have lovely long curly lashes there are still a stray lash or too that manage to stick out straight, aarrrggghh. I've seen the transformation that a lash curler can make. Amazing. Just remember girls, curl first, mascara second. 
  3. Pocket sized mirror - I really need a neat little mirror to stow in my hand bag. This one is not really my taste. The body shop has in the past had beautiful round jeweled mirrors. The ones that you open up. So I'm hoping that they get some more of those in soon :)
  4. A wide tooth comb - I really need to get a proper wide tooth comb for applying conditioner and stopping hair breakage. This one is great although I would also love to find one with a curved handle that allows you to hand it up in the shower for easy use :) 
Onto the skin care products:
  1. Vitamin E SPF 15 Moisturizing Cream - Because the unbearable heat here in summer it is imperative that I wear sunscreen each and every day. While it would be optimal to wear on SPF over 15, it is so difficult to find one that I can a.) afford and b.) that doesn't make my face look like a grease pit. So for the moment, the aloe version of this product is doing the job and I plan to try this Vitamin E one next.
  2. Vitamin E Face Mist - This product really intrigued me. I've read in the odd fashion magazine about using such a product but I have never actually come across one. Its is supposed to be a great pick me up for tired or dry skin. It is also supposed to be great for setting make up. I really want to give it a try also because it get so hot here that a face spritz would be a very refreshing thing to have around. 
  3. Lastly, Vitamin E Skin Care Kit - a really great way to test out a range to see if it is for you. It contains a face wash, toner and a pot of day cream and a pot of night cream. The main reason this caught my eye was the great travel sized containers. I'm always on the go and staying over a night here and a night there and constantly living out of a suitcase as I move between my place, my parents place, my sisters place and my boyfriends place, lol. And its really irritating when I have to lug huge bottles of beauty products for a night or two so these are great! I really want to get myself a pack for easy travel.
 Whats on your wishlist for the coming month? Have an of you ever used The Body Shop's  skin care lines? Leave a comment!


Monday, October 26, 2009

Thought provoking

Basics of investing

 - part of the Money Talks Series

This week I will be demystifying the world of investing. For me, this is the crux of the series and the very reason I started writing it. I wanted to know what I could do with my money that was different from just putting it into a savings account and so I investigated different investment options. Many of you maybe thinking but I'm only a student and I need lots of money to invest, this however is not true. While a large group of investments are dependent upon large sums of money there are very accessible options for you and me. 

Investing is a vast area and there are many options. As such, I will be touching on all the basics and defining all the different types of investments, whilst highlighting the low risk student accessible options available. I feel that now is a very important time to familiarize yourself and become financially smart, especially as women. These are skills that will carry you though life and allow you to be independent and successful.

The Basics

Put simply, investing is simply one step up from saving our money. You are making your money work for you by taking risks with it; it is earning you more money. The best perspective to have is not that of instant gratification but rather about long term rewards and can in some cases result in whats is called a "passive income".

There are three basic ways one can earn money on your savings:

 - Interest and rates: a fixed rate paid for the money you invest
 - Dividends: profit share that is paid to owners of a company
 - Capital growth: this is the money you make when you sell your investments (eg. shares) for more than you

There are two types of investments:

 - Lending investments: lend money to the bank (interest earning savings account) or a bond (lending money
    to the government)
 - Ownership investments: property or shares in a company

*You should focus on lending investments - these are student accessible options.

The risk involved

Investments are grouped into asset classes. This separates them into groups which reflect the type, the return, and the risk involved in a particular investment.

Asset class
- Cash: Bank savings, deposit accounts & money market = Low risk
- Property: Houses or business properties = Low - med risk
- Bonds: Loans to government or companies = Medium risk
- Shares: Companies listed/not listed on the stock exchange = Med - high risk

What are cash investments?

Cash investments are where you and I can participate. This is where you should begin and can grow your capital to make larger investments later on. They are a good idea for two reasons, theses are: as I just mentioned, they are a great way to build up capital to invest in bigger things like property and secondly, they don't tie up your cash  for lengthy periods of time. Basically a cash investment is where interest only is paid on your money. Theses interest rates are higher than just your normal savings account. The interest can often either be paid out into another account or you can choose for it to be reinvested thus earning compound interest - interest on your interest.

Cash investments include:

- Term deposits: or fixed deposits, where you lend the bank money for a fixed amount of time at a fixed
  interest rate. This interest can grow as you add more money to your investment. A usual minimum amount of
  R1000 to which you can add deposits of a minimum of R250 or more.

- Money market: your money is pooled with other investors and lent to big institutions. Here you will receive
  a higher interest rate. However, the starting sums are rather large with respect to what a student or graduate
  can afford. The minimum starting amount is R20 000

What are property investments?
 Def: a property investment is not only buying your own home, there are many types of property in which you can invest. Rental income and capital growth are two good reason to invest in property.


 - Residential: someone else pays rent to live on your property

 - Commercial/Industrial: a business pays rent for your property

 - Mortgage participation bonds: lend someone money to buy their own property

 - Life insurance endowment bonds: the basis is in property investments

 - Property unit trusts: where you invest smaller amounts in companies that specialize in property investment

 - Property syndicate: this is where you form a group (syndicate) of people who all buy a property together

What are bond investments?
 Def: a different way of saying you are lending money to a large institution.
  • they borrow your money and pay you interest for the time they are borrowing it from you
  • investing in bonds and the bond market is very tricky and traders spend years gaining experience in this area
What are shares?
Def: you are buying part of a company, essentially making you a part owner. 
  • as part owner you can expect to get part of the profit
  • when these profits are paid out they are called dividends
  • companies often sell shares when they want to expand/buy new equipment and need cash flow
  • as the prospects of the company go up so does the price of the shares, thus, you can make a capital gain by buying low and selling high
  • if a share has an upward trend (positive) it is called a "Bull Market"
  • if the share market has a downward trend (negative) it is called a "Bear Market"
  • the share market is also known as the equity market
 How do I start investing?

As a student, especially, investing often seems way out of your reach and even if you have the funds to do so it is a daunting undertaking and often people don't know where to begin.

Here are 10 points to keep in mind when you start investing that will lessen the risk:

Point 1 - Take your time
  • Never be rushed, take your time. There are loads of investments out there and just because you missed out on one doesn't mean you aren't going to make money somewhere else.
Point 2 - Think long term
  • Investing is a long term affair and you should never view it in the short term as you will often lose money this way, especially in bonds and shares.
Point 3 - Look around 
  • Always do a thorough job of investigating each investment you consider, don't just invest because someone else made money there. Always make sure an investment is legal - Financial Services Board
Point 4 - If it seems too good to be true....
  • Unfortunately it usually is, if you are offered an investment that is guaranteed an unusually large high return be warned that it is usually a scam. No one can reliably predict a consistency of high returns. There of course the odd legal investments which do have very high returns but these are far and few between so do beware.
Point 5 - Consistency
  • Be consistent, don't switch between different investments. This is a surefire way to lose your money with all the additional cost involved in the admin of switching. Also, your money never has the opportunity to grow to its full potential - THINK LONG TERM.
Point 6 - Stay calm

  • The markets are always constantly fluctuating so don't panic; stay with your investment. All you have suffered is whats called a "paper loss". The moment you with draw your money you suffer an actual loss so stay calm and confident. 
Point 7 - Never invest on borrowed money
  • Borrowing money to invest is very dangerous and a big no-no.
Point 8 - Nothing can be predicted
  • Don't believe those who say that they can predict with certainty what the market will do, if they really could why would they share their knowledge with you?
Point 9 - No such thing as a stupid question
  • None of your questions will ever be stupid, its your money. Always ask as many questions as you like and get the answers in writing. If the answers are not satisfactory, walk away.
Point 10 - Diversification
  • Avoid putting all your eggs in one basket as they say. Vary your investments across the asset classes. That way you won't lose all your money in one go. 
As student or recent graduates your best bet is a term deposit. Search you banks website looking under investment and look at the different accounts that they offer. I, for instance have what is called a "notice account". The minimum amount is R1000 and you can add to it at any time with amounts of R250 or more. Interest rates fluctuate depending on the amount of money in the account and are paid daily either into the account of your choice or reinvested thus earning compound interest. In order to access the money you need to give the bank 32 days notice this ensure that you can't make impulse purchases but allows you have access in an emergency or should you wish to make further investments with it.

Remember that each bank has a different portfolio aimed at different markets so chop around before you get your foot in the door!

Please don't hesitate to ask any questions should you want more info, I'm always ready to help. Have any of you ever invested? Do you have any thoughts on the subject? Leave a comment!


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Food Fundie

I love to cook! And I love to eat, hehe :) Food for me is all about fresh ingredients and strong flavours. My two favourite cuisines are Italian and Asian. Pasta, pizza, sushi, thai curry.......yum yum yum! So, I was asked by the lovely Leia of Hifashion to share my one of my favourite recipes: Roasted butternut, lentil and feta wraps.

1 packet of chopped butternut (you can get a whole and chop yourself)
2 cans of lentils
2 disk of feta cheese
1 onion finely chopped 
Olive oil
Basil pesto/olive tapenade - optional
Rocket/mixed salad leaves
Salt and pepper



  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees celcius. Chop butternut into even smaller pieces. Place the butternut and chopped onion in an oven dish. Season with a generous grinding of salt and pepper and coat veggies in olive oil. *I also add infused oils at this point, its my own decadent spin on the recipe, i add infused avocado oils of chilli and garlic. You can add chilli flakes if you like, have fun with it.* Place in oven for 45 minutes checking after 35 minutes. You want the butternut to be super soft and caramelized. Noting worse than crunchy butternut. Use you discretion as to whether it needs more or less time. 
  2. Drain the cans of lentils in a colander and rinse. Chop feta into blocks. Put both the feta and lentils in to a bowl and dress with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. 
  3. Get wraps ready by heating them in a hot dry nonstick pan for a few secons on each side. I usually use mini cocktail roti's as my wraps and i keep them in the freezer so they are always on hand and don't go off so quickly as opposed to keeping them in the cupboard.
  4. Add the roasted butternut to the lentil feta mixture and mix. Taste to see if you need anymore seasoning. Pour the hot roasting oil into the mixture for extra flavour, also keeps mixture nice and moist. 
  5. OPTIONAL: Smear a thin layer of basil pesto over the inside of the wrap. 
  6. Next put your selected leaves down the middle of the wrap, I use rocket because I love the taste and it goes so well with the mixture. Pile on spoonfuls of the mixture on top of the leaves.
  7. Fold the wrap up in your desired way and secure with toothpicks. Serve with a green salad and enjoy!
Interested in more recipes? Let me know, I love to cook and have loads of recipes to share! Any thoughts? Leave a comment!


Supporting the Dizzy Feet Foundation

All info was taken from the website DizzyFeetFoundation 

Dizzy Feet Foundation was founded in 2009 by producer Nigel Lythgoe, director Adam Shankman, "Dancing with the Stars" judge Carrie Ann Inaba and actress Katie Holmes to help underprivileged young people realize their dream of becoming professional dancers and to support, improve, and increase access to dance education in the Unites States.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


we heart

For todays *sTuMbLeD* I've decided to feature a few really cute and fun blogs I've discovered over the past few months, enjoy :)

Happiness is.....

The Cutest Ever...... :)

Trust Your Style

Lovely Little Things

Chicken Soup for the Dorky Soul

Down and Out Chic

Much Love

Our City Lights

Hope you enjoyed my new finds,


Friday, October 23, 2009

Blog Award

After thinking long and hard, I have finally decided who to pass my blog award on to. A little while ago the lovely Little Red of The Readhead Fashionista gave me my very first blog award! So, in following tradition I have chosen to pass this award along to........

**The Lovely Luinae of More Magic Always**

Thanks for all the support and for always providing us with great reading material :)


Shop **eLLa iNsPiReD**

For those of you that didn't know, I am a self proclaimed bookworm. I have always loved to read and I think it stemmed from the fact that my aunt always used to take me to the library with her every two week since I was quite young. Also quite possibly because my sister was quite competitive and wanted to show off so she taught me how to read those very simple childrens picture books by rote, haha. I still have the first book she taught me to read.

And so, to share my love of all things readable I have opened my own store on Amazon :) so all you lovely ladies can peruse my favourite reads. I do stress my not trying to make money off of you its is simply a way to expose you to authors that I love and want others to read. I love it if you all would share with us your favourite books and then I will add them to the store. I want it to be a reference place, somewhere for you to explore and meet new authors. A sort of Book Club space if you will. I will try my best add often and do post about my new favourites. I am also going to be doing research into different books so if there is a topic or type of book you are looking for let me know and I'll find something for you:). The link is in the left hand column, I'm still adding as I go and as I remember so don't worry if it looks a little scarce at the moment.

Hope you like it!!


What are some of your favourite books? Got any suggestions? Have you read any of the authors yet? What other categories would you like to see?Any books you are looking for? Don't be shy, leave a comment!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Im back

I'm back and so excited to share all the amazing stuff that I learnt.  It truly was a life changing experience!!! And more than ever it solidified that I am studying in the right direction. That combining my passions and my love for helping people into one is what I was put on this earth to do :) Its incredible. Also the support that I received from the other ladies on the course was also so inspiring and uplifting.

Can't wait to share my knowledge with all of you!!


Monday, October 19, 2009

These are a few of my favourite things.....

For this edition of "My Favourite Things" I have decided to let you get to know me better by listing "A Few Of My Favourite Things"......


......Dancing (I've done almost every type I've come in contact with)

......Gilmore Girls

......Bright colours

......Spots, stripes and stars



......Computers (Im a really technology geek :P)



......Cooking & baking


So, now you know me a little better :)

What are some of your Favourite Things? Leave a coment!


Monday, October 12, 2009

How to look high maintenance when you're low maintenance

A few tips anf tricks to achieve that high maintenance look when you're a low maintenance girl :)

Blow drt your hair every second day and use a great heat resistance/conditioning spray like Treseme. This way your hair in protected and you don't need to use special repairing hair masks once a week. Also, if you spray is a light leave in conditioner as opposed to a bootled version that one step you can leave out in the shower.

Face - invest in a good moisturizer, this is key. If you have great skin you won't need to pile on the make up. Try for one that has a built in SPF so you can skip that extra step. Use two in one make up products. Like a lip and cheek stain. Also, buy a toner that doubles as a make up remover, saving time and money :)

Body - Buy a loofah sponge, that way you are exfoliating your body while you shower and you don't need to buy expensive body exfoliating shower gels. Moisturize your skin with baby oil in the shower after washing and you can eliminate the extra step of applying body lotion when you get out of the shower. Its cheap and locks in moisture.

Instead of painting your nails simply trim and buff them. Nails always look neat and tidy when kept short. For a high maintenance look without the effort invest in a buffer. Each nail is done in three easy steps and the result is a smooth and glossy nail. This can be used on both finger and toe nails.

There are various different methods of hair removal. Waxing is the most low maintenance as you simply grow your hair go to the salon or use an at home kit and wait a month or so depending on how fast your hair grows. This is a much more low maintenance option compared to shaving every or every other day.    

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Brief disappearance

Just a message to let you guys know that I'm not going to be around the next two weeks. I'm going to be doing a two week practical course in Creative Therapies - specifically Play Therapy, which I am so super excited for!!!! I have a whole schedule of posts ready for you so do check in and see what I've got for you :) I will not however be able to reply to comments and emails in a speedy fashion so I ask that you be patient till I get back.

See you all soon!!


Friday, October 9, 2009

Blog Award

I received my first ever Blog Award this week from the lovely Little Red of The Redhead Fashionista and am so touched! Thank so much for the support :) I really feel like an official member of the blogisphere now.

I'm going to have a good long think about who to pass this award onto so keep your eyes peeled.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

16 Things

Inspired by the myriad of lovely bloggers out there with their "list of things to do before my next birthday" I have jumped on the bandwagon. Since I'm a little late to the game and my 24th birthday is now 8 months away and not 12, I have decided to make a list of 16 things (2/3 of 24) as opposed to 24. And here they are:

  1. Go on a wine tasting tour
  2. Go to a cheese tasting
  3. Visit the chocolate factory in Frachoek :)
  4. Read a classic novel like Emma or Jane Eyre
  5. Do a capsule wardrobe project for a month
  6. Shop at a vintage/second hand store and buy something
  7. Go a month without spending on anything but food and essential living expenses
  8. Go up Table Mountain
  9. Go on a bus tour of the city
  10. Visit the penguins at Boulders Beach
  11. Complete 6 months worth of Project 365 (I have unfortunately fallen horribly behind, oooops)
  12. Find and apply for a minimum of 5 bursaries for overseas study
  13. Start training to complete in Intervarsity (inter-university dance competition)
  14. Learn how to start a fire (for braai purposes aka a barbeque)
  15. Learn how to sew with a sewing machine
  16. Open an Etsy store
So, there they are. I am definitely motivated to complete my list along with all the other goals I have set for myself for the coming year. Wish me luck :)

Have any of you got a list of things to do before your next birthday? If so, what are they? How do you keep your motivation going for projects like these? Leave a comment! :)



Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ladies of the Blogisphere - Marta

The first young lady being featured is the ever lovely and totally adorable Marta of With Love....Gabrielle. Marta's blog is picturesque view into her amazing closet and fun filled life. You can't help but simply fall in love with her blog. So here is a peek into what inspires her both blog and life wise.....


Name: Marta
Age: 21
Hometown: Born in Lutsk, Ukraine. Moved to Toronto, Canada at the age of 10.


How did you choose your blogs name?
- My  blogs name (With Love... Gabrielle) pays tribute to my idol, Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel and just how much I adore the woman that she was and the ideals that she still stands for. 

How long have you been blogging for?
 - A little over a year.

What made you start your blog?
  - Honestly, I have no idea...I just woke up one morning, opened blogger and started a blog.

How did you come up with the concept of your blog, or did it evolve over time?
 - There was absolutely no concept and there still isn't. I just go with what I feel like. Some days I wake up and feel silly telling myself,  "Who cares what I write? Or post?" but at the same time I love to be able express myself and interact with so many wonderful people that share the same interests as I do. Everyday is something new and I never know what comes next. 

Your blog is somewhat personal, were you ever nervous about putting yourself out there in terms of posting photo's of yourself ect?
  - Nope! I am pretty naive when it comes to the dangers of exposing myself in such a public domain, because I have so much faith in people and their goodness. But then again, I honestly think that every time one steps outside the doors they are exopsed in the same way, if not more. 

What keeps you inspired to keep blogging?
  - I blog strictly for myself, there's no alternative motive or need to become an inspiration to others. It offers me a daily get away from my everyday life as a student. It is the escape that drives me to continue and enjoy every moment that I spend on it. 

Where do the ideas for your posts come from?
  - Observations, whether it is of my own images or others. I am a very observant and analytical person, ideas always flood my head. 

What are the three blogs that inspire you the most?
  - I love them all! Every single blog has something new and unique to offer. 

What have you learned from having your own blog?
  - This might sound cliche but this blog has really shaped me into the individual that I am today. My style has also developed quite a bit. Seeing myself in images really did give me a different perspective as opposed to a mirror, over time I learned what flatters me and what doesn't. 

What would you say is necessary for a successful blog?
- My goodness, I have no clue. I know one thing, and that is stay true to yourself and don't let anyone get into your head. 

Why do you think you blog is so popular?
- I had no idea that it was! I really do not pay attention to such insignificant things; stas really do not matter to me. In the end of the day, it is all about the people you connect with. 

What do your friends, family and loved ones say about your blog?
- My mom is probably my most avid supporter; she re-reads all of my posts a couple of times. My family, Andrew and Natalia were the only people who knew about my blog up until a few months ago...Even now only my close friends know (I have personally told them), I do not hide my blog or how much I love it...but at the same time I don't go telling everybody about it. My blog is very personal and close to me, therefore I do not promote it but rather have people discover it on their own terms. If they like it then thats awesome...if they don't well thats alright too. Because of it, I have made new friends...which is always a pleasure :)

Do you think you will continue blogging when you leave varsity and enter the working world?
 - Of course, why not? This blog is developing along with me, the journey continues :)


From your blog, we all know that you are a fine arts/architecture student, what made you go into that fied and what year are you?
 - I am doing a specialist in fine art/architecture at the University of Toronto and am in my 4th year if studies. I was accepting into the University for Criminology and was interested in studying law, but it took me about a week to figure out that it was not for me. I've always loved fine art but never considered it a career option. However, I eventually (after a variety of courses ranging in all sorts of disciplines) went on to take my first fine art course from then I went to explore architecture (and thanks to one amazing professor I was hooked on it) love and passion for both areas only grew and I went on to specialize. This was probably one of the best choices I've made in my life and definitely the best choice I've made in my academic career.   

If you could be anything in the world, what would it be and why?
 - I would love to run my own art gallery; it has always been my dream. Otherwise, I would love to share my passion for art/architecture by becoming a professor. Only time will tell...

Who taught you about style, fit, cut and quality with regards to fashion?
 - Hands down, my mother...I still think it is up to a mother to foresee how her daughter grows up. My mom was very keen on bringing me up as a young lady (hehehe :). My father also has a refined eye for quality and it is from him as well as my mother that I have adopted quality over quantity attitude. My parents have always played a huge role in my life as well as in the development of my style. 

What are you basic wardrobe essentials?
 - Skinny Jeans
 - Cashmere (scarves, dresses, sweaters, ect)
 - Leather Jacket
 - Black Pumps
 - Simple Ballerina's
 - Simple Blouses
 - Booties/Boots
 - Wool Jacket
 - A well fitted pair of trousers
 - Simple Tees
 - Cardigans 

What is your fashion "Mantra"?
 - "Quality over quantity"
 - "Women should be two things; classy and fabulous" (Coco Chanel)
 - "Always be paranoid about detail"

What are your top shopping tips?
- Buy only the items that you love. Never settle for anything less.
- Classics never go out of style (They are also easy to pick up on off season sales)
- Don't be a slave to trends; you will look like everyone else.
- Wear what you feel comfortable in.
- Be fabulous, because you are!  

You have such lovely skin, what is your secret?
- Thank you! :) There's no secret except for SPF 60, everyday! Having a good ermatologist is also very important. I visit him pretty often!

What does your daily make up routine consist of?
 - SPF 60, translucent powder (Chanel) Diorshow powder in Spotlight Peach (really makes your skin glow); after long nights of studying I wear concealer (Dior); Mascara (Chanel); Lipgloss (Givenchy). Also, the most important part is good eyebrows. I love threading; its amazing and very precise. 
What does your evening/going out make up routine consist of?
- Usually it is the same as it is for day. I don't really like wearing heavy make up, I often feel like I'm wearing a mask. Sometimes, I will line my upper lid with light brown pencil, but that happens rarely.

Aside from fashion what are you other interests/hobbies?
 - reading
 - ballet (watching as well) 
 - skiing
 - pilaties
 - swimming
 - rock climbing
 - rollerblading
 - shopping
 - sports, I played baseball for three years. I also love going to hockey games!
 - gallery/museum hopping
 - and many more

As an avid dancer myself I have picked up on several mentions of ballet on your blog, also your beautiful elegance and grace are a surefire give away, how long did you dance for and do you still dance at all?
  - Awww, thank you :) I danced ballet for about 8 years and jazz for only a year. I had to stop before university because of the overwhelming schedule but I still hope to go back just for fun. I really do love it!

What are you favourite colours?
- Blacks, Greys, Pastels (especially pinks).

As a lover of books myself I am curious to know what your favourite book is?
- That is a hard one. I have a few: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte; Leonard's Swans by Karen Essex; Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser; 1984 by George Orwell; and anything by Agatha Christie. I really love the majority of the books that I read, I think that classic literature can never be bad as it has withstood the test of time. 

What are your favourite foods?
  - My mommy is the greatest cook, so I will definitely say Ukrainian. I also love Chinese, Japanese and Italian. But I am always willing to try anything new at least once.

Of all the places you have traveled which is your favourite place and why?
 - No doubt, Ukraine. It will always hold a special place in my heart. Being born there and still having the majority of the family in Ukraine, it will always be my favourite place plus the history and beauty makes it incredibly interesting to discover everytime. 

Thank you so much Marta for taking part :) I just adore your blog. 

If you haven't yet discover Marta's blog With Love.... you should definitely drop by. What do you think of her blog? Are you as big a fan as me? :) Leave a comment.

 - Please note, all photos are the property of With Love... and cannot be copied without permission.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ask *eLLa*

Im going to be starting a new section on the blog called "Ask *eLLa*". This involves everything from asking me to write a post about a particular topic, to help with find websites, places to shop, how do something to more personal problems and agony aunt type questions. I love to help and am a wealth of useful information, so use me :)

You can leave a question in the comment section or email me ( with more personal requests which I will keep anonymous. Don't hold back, I love getting feedback from you guys!

Have a fabulous day and I cant wait to hear from you!


Monday, October 5, 2009

Debt and How to Deal

So now that you have learnt the basics of budgeting, banking and saving we can build upon these basic skills and move onto more advanced money practices like debt management, investing ect.

Today's Money Talk segment is going to be dealing with debt and how to manage it. There are many important principles and mounds of information however because the majority of you are still students I have decided to filter the information and concentrate on giving you what would be most applicable to your lives as opposed to rattling on about irrelevant concepts that have no place in your current financial life cycle.

Firstly it is very important to realize that there is both good and bad debt and that at some point in your life you are going to be in contact with both to varying degrees. There are always going to be people wanting to loan you money and get you into debt so that they can make money off of you. Banks and lending institutions get you by charging ridiculously high interest rated were by you can end up paying more in interest than the amount you borrowed in the first place. This also applies to store cards. Do not be fooled! Store cards are simply another form of debt. They lure you by saying that you can have anything you want and you only need to pay a small installment each month but again you can often end up paying more an the item price itself.

Good vs Bad debt
Good debt - this is when you borrow money for something for which you do not have the money but the item increases with value over time. This is called an appreciating asset. Examples are buying a home and getting an education.

Property, for the most part increases in value over time this means that you can sell it for more than you paid should you ever need to. Education is an investment in you, "you are making yourself a sellable commodity." Education is priceless and you should never underestimate its value.

However, good debt is still a form of debt and should be payed back as soon asd possible.

Bad debt - this is when you purchase items on credit which are consumable and/or which decrease in value over time. These are known as depreciating assets and should be avoided when possible. Examples of these are: food, clothes, furniture and cars.

Bad debt is not always unavoidable and when these things happen it is important to know your options.

Unavoidable Bad Debt
There are times when bad debt is unavoidable:
  1. Bad luck - car accident, medical problems, being unable to work for a period of time.
  2. Necessity - needing a car to get to and from work
  3. Interest rate fluctuations - a rise can cause you to pay even more on your debt
  4. Once in a lifetime experience - this can be a study abroad programme, educational trip, concert. These are often luxuries rather an necessities. 
What are my borrowing options
 The unthinkable has happend and you need to borrow money, what are your options. There are a few options at your disposal with varying interest rates and repayment schedules.

These are:
  1. Family and friends - This is often the cheapest option. Interest is low or sometimes nothing and repayment options are flexible. However, it is always best to keep it professional and keep to a repayment schedule.
  2. Study loans - These often have very favorable repayment schedules and interest rates as they are very keen to have your business as a successful graduate. 
  3. Home loans - These are normally the lowest interest rates of all as the bank has the reassurance that they can reposes the house at any point if necessary.
  4. Overdrafts - Interest rates here vary and are often well above the prime rate making them not a very good option in terms of paying back your debt.
  5. Hire purchase - This is for example when you borrow money to buy a car. Basically, you are renting the car until you have paid it off. The rates on such a purchase are very high.
  6. Credit cards - Credit cards are the easiest way to get into debt and the most expensive to pay off as the interest rates are astronomical. 
All in all, when borrowing money for any purpose it is also vitally important to read the fine print as there are often penalties for both paying late and paying your loan off early.  

What are your thoughts? Is this useful to you? Do you have any debt reducing tips? Are any of you studying by means of a study loan? Do any of you have store or credit cards? How do you resist temptation and keep yourself out of debt? Leave a comment :)

Have an inspirational day :)


Saturday, October 3, 2009

How to give yourself "The Ultimate At Home Facial"

I have had bad skin for many years and as I have gotten older and into my 20's my skin type has changed from oily to sentive, I don't which is more difficult to deal with. hehe. I have an at home ritual that I love to do which helps keep my skin under control no matter what.

I usually see it as giving my self a treat rather than a chore and I get much more enjoyment out of it that way :) So here is my Ultimate At home Facial.....

Step one - Steam

Make sure that you have remover all your make up with a make up remover and you have a bare face. Fill a  large bowl or a basin with boiling hot water. I like to add essential oils such as lavender and tea tree, both are excellent for the skin, to enrich the steam. Next get a towel and lean over the steaming water with the towel over your head. Keep your eyes closed and breath through your mouth. Don't put your face to close to the steam and stay there for 2-3mins, as long as you can.

Step two - Tone
After your steam you will notice that your pores have really opened up. Take advatage of this and carefully remover any and all pimples that are ready to come out. Place either a piece of cotton wool or toilet paper over your index fingers and gently apply pressure to either side of the blemish till all of it is out. Wipe the area clean so as not to spread the infection. When all of the blemished have been removed, using either a toner or rose water, swab your face removing all the steam and persperation and bacteria. This also helps to close the pores bit after being opened up by the steam.

Step three - Purify
Next, apply a purifying mask to any areas where you have enlarged or clogged pores. Common areas are the nose, chin and forehead. This will help to extract the dirt that has accumulated from everyday living. Leave it in for as long as the bottle/packet recommends. When the time is up gently rinse the mask off with warm water. Next using cotton wool and your ndex fingers gently apply pressure to the areas to empty the pores of the dirt and oil build up. Apply as much pressure as need ot remove everything. You would be suprised as how much of a difference it makes especially to the look of the nose when the pores are cleaned out. No more unsightly enlarged pores. Remember to wipe the area so the dirt and oil doesn't reinfect or clog your skin.

Step four - Mask

 I have sensitive, dehydrated skin that is totally unmanagable if I don't use the right products so always make sure that you use the products that are relevant for your skin type. At this point I apply a hydrationg moisture mask by Almay which has been an absolute life saver for me. However, you should find a mask that suits your skin type and needs. Apply the mask as instructed on the packaging and relax for 10-15mins while it works its magic.

Step five - Moisturize
Gently splash your face with warm water to the remove the mask and pat dry. After cleaning your skin you need to moisturize. If you want to have healthy plump skin hydration and moisture is key. According to your skin type use the moisturizer of your choice. Apply liberarly to the skin and massage in using upward strokes. I really believe that this is a beauty product on which you should spend time finding the best one for your skin and also be prepared to spend a little money.

Do yo have a facial treatment that you swear by? Do you rather go the extra mile and go to the salon for facials? What are your thoughts? Let me know by leaving a comment :)

Have an inspirational day 



Thursday, October 1, 2009

Investigating reader demographics

Please take part in the Poll below, I am in the process of gaining more information about you so that I can continue to make improvements and write articles that are directed at you.

Please take part, I will be using the information to create a better blog for you and aim articles to the specific niche that is dawn here. I really appreciate your help :)

Have an inspirational day 



There is nothing wrong with the world that a
sensible woman could not settle in an afternoon.

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