What keeps you motivated to exercise?

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What keeps you motivated to exercise? For me, starting off on the right foot plays a major role. Those few minutes at home before heading off to gym are spent throwing on my favourite workout wear to get me feeling pumped.

I know it’s not about how you look when it comes to keeping fit – that’s not what this is about. Good gym wear is about feeling comfortable, enhancing your performance and shedding any feelings of sloppiness that comes from wearing slouchy, uninspiring clothes.

From my own experience, here are few things to look for in gym wear:

 Go for comfort: find your style of comfort, whether that is comfort in a cut or comfort in colour. Choose styles that flatter your body type, so that you’re not focusing on how your bum looks but instead on how much depth you’re gaining during a squat. Know your colour scheme. If you’re scared of colour, don’t jump straight on the neon bandwagon. Jumping onto trends too quickly, without entire confidence, can highlight any discomfort. If you’re experiencing any doubts, stick to colours that compliment your skintone, or just go for basic black, white or grey. And if the neon trend intrigues you, try it out with a bright pair of kicks first. They make you go fast. No, really.

Consider its suitability: think about the purpose of this item. Will you be predominately running? Kicking high? Executing elaborate yoga poses?

When you’re buying fitness attire, ask yourself –

“will this item of clothing hold up, enhance performance, and, ultimately, suit?”

My exercise regime is varied; however, I train in Muay Thai more than anything else. With all the high kicking and cardio intensive training, I need movability. For my top half, my Nike racerback tank is perfect for body twisting and punching – I don’t ever have to readjust my sleeves. Down below is my focus, as it’s where all the wear and tear happens. Nike’s Two-In-One shorts (the Adidas equivalent is shown in these images) have proven suitability through my first two months of training in side kicks and diagonal kicks. With the built-in compression shorts, I felt at ease flashing my modestly-concealed crotch at my opponent as I aimed for their higher regions with my leg. Plus, the gusseted sides allow plenty of give ensuring that there is no tearing from the sudden extension of my leg. If I had of chosen longer, standard shorts I would have restricted my kicks or worse, experienced embarrassing tears. Tights are good for flexibility, but I found myself frequently pulling the crotch down to avoid the ole’ camel toe. They’re best kept for kick less activities.

Keep it fitted but not tight: there’s nothing worse than pulling at your ill-fitted shirt between every third kettlebell rep as the excess fabric gathers around your moist armpits. Choose slim fit cuts that hug or skim over (not suffocate!) areas that experience a bit of friction during a workout. I find racerback tanks best. The fitted design allows a greater range of arm motion, eliminating any uncomfortable resistance and the need to readjust sleeves.

Opt for breathable fabrics: Nike and Adidas use fabrics that claim “dry comfort” and “climate control” properties. Blame it on the placebo effect of good marketing, but I swear these are the real deal. When I’m donning my ticked or punchy logoed Adidas pieces, there’s a noticeable reduction in sweaty-mc-sweat-sweat. From my understanding, it’s something to do with the “moisture wicking” properties laboring away by pulling the sweat from your body, keeping you dry and comfortable as you werkit.

By going for comfortable, suitable and well-fitted pieces that use breathable fabrics you enhance your performance and encourage an effective workout. And, if you feel good as you head to the gym, you’re going to feel motivated. Time.

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Melbourne highlights

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Not too much shopping, just a few purchases that work seamlessly with what’s back home.

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Fruit bagel, berry infused mascarpone and pistachio dust at Manchester Press.

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Watched Arj Baker, met Arj Barker, got a photo with Arj Barker and scored kisses. F yeah!

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Chin Chin’s “homemade” for dinner, followed by a cheeky dessert.

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Gargoyles guarding a bank.

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3 for $34 tapas – dalishus!

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Day 1

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Hotel chills

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Blocked out the Melbourne chill with the Real McCaul leather jacket.

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Alley way stranger turned into a friend.

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#tipsy

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It’s been great, Melbourne. Be seeing you soon. x

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The best mid-flight treats are La Belle Miette macarons.

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to check out my instagram @faridahmccaul

LE VERNIS

There’s something about Chanel’s nail colour collection that makes it more coveted than others. Perhaps it’s the lusted-after identity that one embodies with an effortless stroke of a brush? That taste for affordable luxury. Perhaps, whenever a new colour collection is released, the hype that surrounds justifies the price and exclusivity, which in turn, encourages you to take the plunge – indulge? I’m not too sure what it is exactly, but I must say, Chanel really creates colours that I WANT to be wearing, NEED to be wearing.

For example, when Particulière came out you could find comparable dupes everywhere – it was a taupe explosion! And yet, I couldn’t find anything nearly as perfect as Chanel’s version of a milky, hot cocoa for the nails and so the next minute I was spending $39 on a nail colour. The same can be said for June. During Summer, almost every nail company released their version of a sunny, fresh shade fit for toes that run across hot sand. However, none so, conveyed that perfect glow like June. A little bit sherbet and a whole lot of sorbet, June encapsulated (in a pretty glass bottle) the giddiness of eating citrus fruits and rockmelon on a sticky summer’s day. And so here I am: smitten, posting photos and declaring my love for this shade.

I can’t help but fall for the creative direction that goes into the development of a Chanel Le VERNIS collection. If I could afford it, I would attempt to own almost every colour of the collection and display them proudly on my dresser. In my opinion, they really hit the nail on the head by creating the most wanted nail colour of the season, each and every time.

it’s a classic!

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As I continued my long-time search for the perfect cardigan – not too warm yet not too cool, a blend predominantly made of wool yet not itchy, oversized yet thoughtfully draped, you get the idea – I climbed the stairs of the one-stop shop for all things classic, Country Road.

The moment you walk into a Country Road store, you feel at ease. It’s as though everything on your mental list of essential basics has been assembled and styled on racks, just for you. Countless hours of sifting through large department stores in search for that perfect white shirt have been saved for you. Instead, you’re presented with not just one great option of that ideal shirt but possibly three, in varying shades of white and cuts to suit the individual.

With the amount of coordination, style and flair that goes in to their collections, the process is perfectly complimented by the store layout. After an Autumn knit? Head towards the right where the customised warmer colour palette begins, and you’re presented with an array of knits: chunky, loose, fitted, light, textured, etc. And there it was. That’s where I spotted it. My perfect sweater, wooing me with its plush wool/cotton/cashmere blend, gentle drape and sexy navy colour. So simple, I could have almost not given it a second glance but the way it was sensibly styled back with classic black, straight-legged jeans, I immediately envisioned it settling in nicely with my current wardrobe, almost like it was always there.

That’s when I realised the beauty of my current wardrobe. It’s been so carefully culled from past years, when I’d weigh it down with fast-trends, nasty cuts and impulse purchases that nowadays, it’s just a quick ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a contending item of clothing. With my collection down to only the basics and a few pieces unique to my style, I am able to mentally calculate the value of a new item by how well it will go with what’s at home. If something doesn’t mesh well with my most worn items – black tailored trousers, ink-blue skinny jeans, white linen shortsnavy blazer, khaki jacket, white T-shirts, button-up long-sleeved blouses in unique but timeless prints, etc. then it definitely doesn’t have a place in my wardrobe, as these items are in for the long-haul.

I can safely say that my new navy sweater is here to stay. The colour is not quite as stark as the often opted for black, but deep enough in tone to transcend into the zone of sensuality and elegance. It works perfectly with every piece in my wardrobe as it softly drapes whichever way you tell it to – obedient clothing, now that’s an idea…Not to mention my boyfriend gave it the thumbs up, which is always a plus! And to top it off, I wore it for the first time today and somebody commented how lovely the colour was on me. Win!

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Daring, but I’ve been thinking of purchasing it in this lovely bright colour too:

the unpacking of a diptyque candle

There’s nothing more luxurious than indulging in a scented candle. It’s the perfect gift for the person that has everything, yet at the same time, as someone who wants a lot of things they can’t have, I’m finding it a very rewarding gift to one’s self.

After almost a year of deliberating over which scent to choose from Diptyque‘s extensive, yet finely-tuned range of scented candles, I was lucky enough to resolve my indecision by swiping up the last box set of these Limited Edition Winter Collection mini candles from my local Mecca store. With their smaller size, I can now burn all three (separately, of course – unless in combination they create something magical?!) until there’s no more wick, and by then will know for sure which one I will opt for in a larger size. That is, after a long year of saving my shrapnel as they are quite pricey – painful to buy but worth every penny.

After only an hour of burning Feu De Bois, I think I’m already sold on the idea of buying it in a larger size. It truly is wood fire in a glass jar. The kind of smell that surrounded you as a child during winter nights spent with the family, curled up and armed with some hot cocoa while daddy tells stories that cause everyone to giggle in song. While the flame licks the essential-oil-infused wax, the creamy smoke aroma conjures thoughts that warm your body and sooth your soul (heh heh). If magic were a candle it would smell like this.

I wanted to document the unpacking of these candles in a series of photos for you all, so here it is – the unpacking of a Diptyque candle, followed by its introduction and settling-in to my workspace.

Note: one must compliment a winter-themed scented candle with ginger nut cookies and tea 🙂

ph. taken by me / handwriting by me