How to spice up an all white outfit

The pen is messier than the sword!

Everybody I know from when I was young, including myself, is very surprised about how ladylike I am now. When I was young, I was often mistaken for a boy. I wore my hair super short and usually had my brother’s hand-me-down clothes on. I also was a bit of a Tomboy. I liked to play and climb, just like the boys in my village. So much so, that even my teachers called me a little monkey. It didn’t get much better as I got older. All through grade school, middle school, high school and on to college I had a hard time to sit still. It was pretty much impossible for me to pay attention and stay quiet. Now that I know a bit about it, I guess I probably had ADHD. But of course, back then we just called it bad behavior! There were no medications for it, at least in China and when I was in college, I had never heard of yoga or meditation to settle your mood. But I did find one thing that calmed me down and that was to practice calligraphy.

How to spice up an all white outfit
How to spice up an all white outfit

The Chinese traditional culture is quite rich and goes back a very long way. Calligraphy and traditional painting are two art forms that require specific actions and a slow steady pace. They demand complete focus to make sure every stroke is perfect. When you see a well done piece of character writing it really can be quite beautiful. I’ve done a lot of calligraphy, but I’m still not very good at that or brush painting. Having these experiences when I was young gave me some sense about beauty and fashion. I always love the detail oriented approach to calligraphy and painting. I’m a bit of a perfectionist now so that aspect really fits my personality. The same applies when I’m creating an outfit or assembling my wardrobe pieces. One of the main ideas when creating a painting or calligraphy text is that it shouldn’t be too busy and should leave some space. You don’t want to look cluttered. I carried that concept into today’s look. I kept an all-white base for my canvas just as in painting. I wanted to keep this outfit easy and minimal so only added a little color with my beautiful turquoise and black silk scarf. A splash of red at the ends was the final welcome brush stroke. This crisp clean outfit is a calming breath of fresh air.

How to spice up an all white outfit
How to spice up an all white outfit

Nowadays gardening has taken the place of my calligraphy brush. Nothing calms me more than working with my flowers or pulling weeds. It’s both soothing and healthy. What has the same effect for you when your stress levels go off the charts? I hope you can leave some comments on what you do or where you go to take a break from the rat race.

How to spice up an all white outfit
How to spice up an all white outfit
How to spice up an all white outfit
How to spice up an all white outfit
How to spice up an all white outfit
How to spice up an all white outfit

Cheers!
Grace

春节快乐!(chun jie kuai le—Happy New Year!)

My husband and I met in Shanghai in June of 2004. Of course, it took a while before we became a couple, but we were definitely together when it came time for Chinese New Year in February 2005. By then, I had been living by myself in Shanghai for many years. I moved there from my hometown in northeast China to chase my dreams of big city life. When we met, I was living in a small apartment on the eighth floor, with no elevator. My future husband was NOT happy about that! I had almost no kitchen and didn’t really know how to cook much, especially a holiday meal. So I had another plan. I laugh a bit when I hear someone say Chinese food. To me, there is no such thing. China is a huge country, and every region has its own special taste, texture, seasoning and ingredients. In Chinese, northeast translates to Dongbei, and that style of cooking is my comfort food. Dumplings, fish, sweet potatoes, pork, flat beans and others are the taste of home to me. My husband was a bit surprised that I didn’t eat rice with every meal. In fact the food of my area is very much meat and potatoes.

春节快乐!
春节快乐!

So I felt lucky that just around the corner from my apartment was a small but authentic Dongbei restaurant. My plan was, we would have our Chinese New Year dinner there. I talked to the owners a few days ahead of time to arrange some special food and activities. In my home, the big tradition for the holiday was that everyone joined in to make dumplings. These have to be done just right, with the correct shape to signify the good fortune everyone hoped for with the New Year. The owners had a tray set up with wrappers and filling and utensils ready so we could make our own dumplings right in the restaurant. My future husband jumped right in and started to make some. Of course, they were oddly shaped, didn’t quite stay together like they should and maybe had a bit too much filling, but I didn’t care. I just thought it was great that he got into it and tried his best. He ate a bit of every dish I ordered and liked most of them. Other customers were staring at this strange foreigner and the restaurant workers tried to talk to him and were laughing at his work, but we all had a great time. My husband had done a lot of travel for his company and was always very respectful of other countries and cultures which made me so happy.

春节快乐!
春节快乐!

I remember it was raining that night, but after dinner, we still walked along the wet streets in my neighborhood. We bought some sparklers and stayed out until midnight so we could light them and wave them around while we watched and heard the huge fireworks display that always takes place that night. We were acting silly and giggling and I felt like a little girl again. I think that was the time I really felt I could have a future with this man. Here I was, 2000 kilometers from my home, family and friends but for the first Chinese New Year in many years, I didn’t feel alone at all. Everyone knows that holidays can be very difficult on people. If you’re alone they can make you feel even more by yourself. And even if you’re with someone, but maybe not the right someone the added stress and pressure around a holiday can make or break a relationship. I’m happy to say, that on that Chinese New Year 10 years ago, it was the beginning of my new life and I’ve been loving it ever since!

春节快乐!
春节快乐!

I hope you can share your holiday stories in my comment section. What were your hits and misses, your bet memories or those times you wish you could forget? Talking with and getting to know my readers is just about my favorite thing about having this blog so keep in touch, thanks for reading and Happy New Year!

春节快乐!
春节快乐!

Don’t forget to check out our amazing giveaway this week here from My Arm Charms. Good luck to everybody!

春节快乐!
春节快乐!
春节快乐!
春节快乐!

Cheers!
Grace

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Over 40s Petite fashion and life style blogger