Happy in my Blue Heaven

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Calgari shift dress from Jabong

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Accessorized the dress with a broad Black belt

Working in the Corporate World, I’m extremely used to wearing the standard Corporate colors like Black, White, Grey and Navy Blue. To make 2016 a gleeful year at work for myself, I’ve decided to experiment a little more with brighter shades, yet shades that will be accepted at the workplace.

For me outdoor shopping is truly a task as I do not have the patience to stop around, wait in changing room queues or bargain. Online shopping relieves me of all these woes. Recently while browsing through Jabong , I found this Calgari shift dress which looked smart, elegant and business like at the same time. I did a little reading of the description, made sure it fit my need and then went on to buy it. Here are the basics I usually check while shopping for clothes.

– Product material
– Cost
– Is it machine washable?
– Returns & exchange policy
– Reviews by previous buyers

Only after performing all these checks on this dress did I make a purchase.

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Here is my review of the dress and Jabong:

The color- Cobalt Blue looks rich and beautiful. The size is just perfect. As it is a shift dress (and shift dresses usually do not give shape as such), I used a belt to accentuate my waist.
If accessorized correctly, it’s kind of a desk-to-date dress. I’ve tried this dress with a blazer too and it looked formal enough to go to an official meeting.
Although for this post I wore black pumps, the good thing about shift dresses is they can be worn even with flat ballet shoes.

I ordered the dress on the 20th of Jan and the delivery time shown to me was on or before 29th Jan. As I needed the dress much earlier than that, I contacted the customer care and requested them to dispatch it as early as possible so that I could have it at least by the 25th. They promptly made a note of my request and had the dress delivered to me exactly on the 25th. So where delivery and service is concerned, they are fab. The return and exchange policy is note worthy too.

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Will I go to Jabong to shop again? Yes Of course!
Will I buy clothing from Calgari? Yes absolutely!

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Let me know what you thought about it. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram , I’d appreciate it!

Photography : Nolasco Alphonso

*This post is a sponsored post, but the review is completely honest*
For any collaborations, you may contact me at thesilenthummer@gmail.com

Lots Of Love,

The Silent Hummer
Franchua D’Souza

All I need is a miracle, All I need is You!

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Working as a Front desk executive taught me some things that I will keep in mind always.You may call these things the basics. The obvious points in my role would be looking presentable and professional, always maintaining a smiling and approachable appearance, making sure the reception area is tidy and of course being efficient in the other admin jobs given. I’ve come to realise that this is one role that may be neglected most of the time. In this role, there are high chances that you may be the last one to know if it’s someone’s birthday or if someone is promoted. You may even not get to be a part of certain office events, well because “If you don’t take those client calls, then who will?”

Like other jobs, this role has it’s own positives and advantages as well. For one, mostly it’s not a stressful job (which means your hair won’t gray as soon as others) and you will have suitable fixed timings . Also, you will be far away from office banter, office gossip and negative vibes. And then if you’re lucky with not too many walk-ins, you can click some selfies with no one watching (but first make sure you don’t have office cameras).

Office employees and colleagues will be busy with their work and their teams. But remember, whenever they need anything for office use, they will first think of approaching you. Generally in offices, you will have things kept in specific storage spaces like cabinets and drawers. But to save you some time, energy and effort, I’ve compiled a list of things that you can always keep handy in your drawer. After all, all they need is a miracle, all they need is you. Here it is:

Stationary Items

Stationary Items

1. Basic stationary: This is the most basic thing your desk should have besides your desktop, keyboard and mouse. Stationary will include pens, pencils, erasers, white ink, stapler, punch, pins, scissors, post it etc. Keep in mind, since it’s not your house, you will require a simple and professional looking pen stand to keep these things in order. I can assure you that even though every employee is given stationary, they will keep coming to your desk to grab a pen/ pencil before rushing to that meeting they are getting late for. It’s obvious that you need to have pens that work!

Tissue box

Tissue box

2. Tissue Box: Again, this is a staple. You never know when your cup of tea spills all around your desk and keyboard making you a nervous wreck. Also, you will have colleagues who even though they vist the fresh room before leaving office for a meeting, they will grab some tissues from your desk on their way out.

Band- aid

Band- aid

3. Band-aid: It’s not possible to keep an entire first-aid box with you at your desk, but whenever someone approaches you with that sad boo-boo look, pull out your band-aid and hand it over. Look at that face turn into a smile as though you’ve just saved their life. If you’re not as petrified as me, you can offer to help if possible.
Also, with women and new shoes, blisters are nothing new. Band-aid always to the rescue.

Needle-thread and pins

Needle-thread and safety pins

4. Needle and thread / Safety Pins: I swear I’ve seen instances where employees are strutting out for a meeting and suddenly the slit on their skirt goes farrrrr (roll the rrrr to get the sound I’m making). It can be the most embarassing situation for the employee and she may just not know how to fix the issue. Here’s where you pull these out and save their day. I assure you, you will be thanked profusely, and maybe you may even get a treat.

Handmade Flowers

Handmade Flowers

Teddy snowball

Teddy snowball

5. Some personal touch to your desk: A colleague made these little flowers for me. The pink one is out of stocking and the green one is out of a wasted courier envelope.Adding these personal little things help me remember there are days when you are appreciated for who you are and what you do. Also, while you may have colleagues waiting for someone at the reception or while waiting for that band-aid, these will initiate conversation. One of my colleagues, even keeps all post-it notes, even though none of those are reminders.

It’s also a great idea to have a folder containing all near-by restaurant menus, have some sanitary pads, and some loose change for someone when they desperately need it.
I also suggest, since these are the very few occasions that people may come up to you, be approachable and warm. Make conversation with them so the next time they see you around, they will acknowledge your presence. It’s equally important to dress right and have your hair and make-up in place, as professionally talking “You are the face of the organization”.

I’ve summed up all that I could think of. If you would like to add any points or give me your comments, I’d love to hear back from you.

Also for quick updates, you can now follow my Twitter handle @Thesilenthummer and follow me on Instagram, my username is franchuadsouza

Lots of Love,

The Silent Hummer
Franchua D’Souza

5, 6, 7, 8!

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The Silent Hummer Turns one today!

Exactly this day last year I started The Silent Hummer, and I am super thrilled for myself that I actually stuck to blogging. Evidently, it wasn’t just some random phase. I can’t wait for this blog to turn 5,6,7,8! Thank you for all the likes, comments, follows and appreciation. You may also congratulate me in the comment box and show some love.. Haha!

What else I’m excited about in life? Getting to be Bridesmaid once again!! Being a Bridesmaid is so much fun with the dress, shoes, the make up, hair do, the attention you receive etc. There are responsibilities too, but who’s complaining about them?

The first duty assigned to me as a bridesmaid was to shortlist dress patterns from the internet. I thought I’d do a great job considering there are like a million pictures available online. However directly googling pictures and patterns wasn’t worthwhile leading me to nothing but those trite patterns. I knew Pinterest would not disappoint. Let’s say, I wasn’t very pleased with my search, but none the less I managed to shortlist a few patterns. Duty one : ✔

Next I got a text stating we need to go for dress measurements. Not that we’ve selected the pattern but just y’know- measurements. Immediately panic struck! I’ve put on 6 kgs in the last 3-4 months and I don’t want to be a fat bridesmaid. Luckily there are still 4 months to go so I’ve requested for a months’s time to lose a little weight here and there. Kellogs Cornflake diet started. Duty two: ✔

Yesterday was the coolest part so far. Shoes shopping. Yay! The bride already shortlisted a few pairs and we just needed to go with the comfiest. So after I finished work last evening we planned to meet at one of the shoe shops at Bandra and after some major debating on color, pattern, size, what looked lose but felt comfortable against what looked perfect but was uncomfortable, whether to use the half insole or whole, we bought our pairs of shoes. Duty three: ✔

Remembering Cinderella

This reminded me of Cinderella.

Reaching Bandra before the others gave me enough of time to glance, and try on a variety of shoes at the different shops.It’s difficult to not give into temptation and buy some pairs for office wear/ casual wear or whatever occasion. I thought my will power was awesome yesterday. But now on second thoughts I should’ve gotten those flats that were on sale. Anyway..

The post got it's title from here D

Shoe collection 2

Looking at the collection of shoes in all these shops, makes you want to have them all, isn’t it?

Here’s a little thing I’d like to share. While trying on different pairs of shoes, there was this one particular pair I saw and wished was the one we settled for, given the fact that there are going to be long standing hours, some last minute running about, and lots of dancing to be done. Good news? The bride agreed that those were the ones we’d be wearing on her D- Day! I cannot share the image of that pair now obviously, but when the time is right you will get to see them.

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Bride and her maid

Vellena, the bride to be! Wishing her love and luck!

Lots of love,

The Silent Hummer
Franchua D’Souza

The Heat is on

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This is the song that instantly came to my mind while thinking of a name for this post. Though it was a long weekend, I did not have exciting plans except for the hair makeover I told you about, so I spent a lot of time resting and relaxing at home. On Sunday afternoon, I received my order from Fashion and you which was a colorful top by Mayara. Looking at it online, I thought it’d be alright for a regular friday at work or something, but now that I see it, it’s too casual. I decided I’d wear it that day itself and go out somewhere. Knowing it was hot and humid, a little after sunset seemed like a good time to head out. Turns out, it wasn’t as great an idea.

As soon as I left from home, the heat started getting to me.It made me grumpy, angry, thirsty and drained out!
I’m otherwise all excited while taking pics and all, but here I was in just no mood. Nothing around managed to cheer me, not the new top, or the new look, the bright flowers around me or the kids around. I did take a few pics, since that was my whole idea. Thankfully I managed to not look that grumpy in these shortlisted ones, in fact I’m actually happy with them.

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Accessories

Sling bag and meNew flats

With this kind of heat, I’ve decided I won’t do more outdoor posts until the weather becomes pleasant. I cannot wait for the rains to begin! Rain Gods hope you’re hearing me.

Top: Fashion and you, Blue Denims: Zovi, Shoes: Bandra, Sling bag: Gift from Dubai, Ring and Bangle: Mom’s closet, Necklace: Gift from Greece

Let me know what you think of the heat, summer, my posts, or anything! I’d love to know. Now can I get some chilled beer please?

Yours Truly,

Thesilenthummer
Franchua D’Souza

Paint my love

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Here my hair is my love. When it comes to pampering myself, I always look up to these- Hair style and a massage. This time I went with Hairstyle to celebrate.

Celebrate what you ask? Well, come 2nd May and I complete 4 years of working at the same International company. It’s quite a big deal looking at how many faces I’ve seen come and go.

In order to celebrate, I decided to treat myself to a haircut and hair color at the very stylish B Blunt at Bandra. I was pretty excited knowing what I was going in for and knowing I was in safe hands. I climbed the stairs to the Salon like a gleeful child after making sure there were no cameras around watching me. I looked with awe at the beautiful models in the frames put up at the reception. I even watched the fashionista-like male and female stylists parade up and down thinking – oh these guys must love their job. I grabbed a mint placed at the desk, so that the stylist wouldn’t know I ate prawns for lunch. And then I waited patiently for 40 mins.

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As the senior stylist Gayatri was discussing my hair texture and volume with another stylist, I overheard the other one say, “Great, She’s got Virgin hair”. Seriously that’s the term for hair that’s never been coloured before!

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Before

As Gayatri explained to me what look she thought would suit me, using all those typical “professional hair stylist words” I just replied with “I trust you”. Sure she knew she had some responsibility there.

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After a quick hair wash including a little massage, it went chop chop from there. I wanted to go with Mahogany brown, but she suggested some blonde streaks. Oh also, what most of us call highlights, they call it hair painting (that’s why my post title). After the painting was over, I waited for a little more than half an hour, and sipped on some coffee.

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After the final wash here’s what my hair looked like.

After

I never imagined blonde on myself before, but now I know it isn’t a big no no for the future. I’m happy with it as of now, I’ve been told it will get brighter with time.. Let’s see.. Not many have seen it yet so I’m still anxious about people’s reactions. Let me know what you guys think.

And that’s how my hair lost it’s virginity. 😉

Lots of love,

Thesilenthummer

Franchua D’Souza

If you just put pen(cil) to paper

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Working in a corporate environment, looking forward to Fridays is a very natural thing. But yesterday was one of the busiest I’ve had lately. I think it’s probably why my Monday was pretty chilled out.. In fact it was so chilled out, that I was able to make a decent phone cover for my phone’s almost broken case.
I’m not very good at letting go of things, even if it’s just a phone case. It was cracked a little, but somehow art and craft struck me when I saw this waste A/4 size sheet of paper lying around the printer at work. In fact it was there for days, probably just waiting for someone to put it to use. Everything needed to make this was at my desk.

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Apparatus:
Pencil, any paper you want as the cover, paper scissors, transparent cello tape and my cell phone case.

Method:
I immediately traced the case out on the blank side of the sheet, cut it out, got the tiny details cut out ( the best I could) , cut out long strips of tape and put them sticking to each other to give the paper a laminated look, cut out the extra tape around the edges of the traced paper, placed the sheet over the case and with some more tape I stuck it precisely on all 4 sides.

Time:
30 mins or less. ( I took much more time but that’s because I first made a matte one with matte tape which I didn’t quite like)

Observation:
If you look at it from a distance and do not directly feel it , you won’t be able to tell it’s paper. When I started doing it, it was just to pass my time. I didn’t realize it would look pretty decent 🙂

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Comments:
Some may argue it’s crappy but I’m partial to my craft work here.

People’s reactions so far are mixed really. Some appreciate the art and effort, some think the colors are too childish but I explain it’s from paper that was there already, my sister said she can afford to buy me a new case. My lunch pal at work realized why I kept my phone screen facing down. 😉

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All in all, I’m keeping it for a few more days until I think it’s time to change it with another print maybe 🙂
Will certainly keep you posted.

Oh also, the other day someone received flowers at work which is not a very common occurrence. Here’s a pic.

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Pretty, aren’t they?

Hope you all are enjoying weekend..

Yours Truly,
Thesilenthummer
Franchua D’Souza

Sugar, Oh Honey honey!

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Karen and I had been dilly dallying our churros plan for almost 3 months! It’s actually ever since she gifted me my Esbeda bag for my Birthday. I have this thing where in I feel this bag is just too good to be worn and torn by taking it to office! It deserves better places and occasions. Every single time she asked me if I used the bag or what people said about it, I’d be guilty of not even taking off the tag and papers pushed in it to make it look stuffy. Something had to be done about it. Karen's Aldo bagMy Bag

We together then came up with a plan of specially going to some place just so that we can get the bag out. Oh also, I’m not the only one who didn’t use a new gifted bag. Karen was equally guilty with her striking red Aldo bag! Can you imagine how we giggled and giggled on meeting with our respective new bags. Choco Tapas Strawberry Banana Split As both of us are biggggg chocolate lovers, we decided on trying Chocolateria San Churro, at Waterfield Road, Bandra. It had great reviews online, plus their menu boasted of chocolate this, chocolate that and everything chocolaty. The place was remarkably good, big and spacious. Having gone on a weekday, the place wasn’t too crowded or noisy, though I can totally imagine it being packed after college hours or on weekends. In my head I even imagined girls drooling and squealing over that amount of sugar and chocolate. The desserts on display looked oh-so-tempting. The gooey melted chocolate that accompanied the choco tapas platter was heavenly, we actually got the kind staff to add some more 😉 The presentation of their famous strawberry banana split was amazing and it tasted just as yum!! Oh also, special points to the café as I had forgotten my phone on the table and left the place, and before I could reach them back, the steward was already on his way out to return it. Numbered lollypops Display At the counter Karen and me Thanks to our new bags, we managed to have a wonderful evening after such a long time. We’ve been the best of friends since school really, and nothing has changed in that regard. We can go on talking, bitching, gossiping, and laughing for hours. It just made me realize we need to have more of these girly outings, they’re super fun. I’m already looking forward to the coming weekend with Karen’s family at a farm house!

Wishing you all a happy weekend too!

Yours Truly,
Thesilenthummer.
Franchua D’Souza.

Just another Manic Monday

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Hola!

As much as I hate Mondays (trust me I really do), there’s something that helps me get through it. It’s dressing up for work- oh and food off late, but let’s keep this post fashion oriented. I am not sure how the men will find this helpful, because they’ve got few options, especially in the corporate environment. But we women thankfully have a lot to choose from in the dressing department.

Though it may not help shaking off the grumpy/cranky/pissed off Monday mood totally, dressing up will actually make you feel a tad bit better. And this I say with experience. Here in Mumbai, with the current climate (heat + humidity), I find it easier to pick a dress/ skirt compared to trousers. If the dress is chosen correctly, it’s easy to make an impression, that of a serious-no-nonsense-smart-business-person. And no other colour does it better than black. Agreed black and the heat is a complete no- no, but the air conditioner at work does make it manageable.

Black dress

Black dress

Here is one of my black dresses that makes me feel all corporate and confident. It’s not one of those LBDs but is definitely a must have in any corporate woman’s wardrobe. A coat/blazer can conveniently be added onto it to give it a different look. Also those shoes are my staple shoes at work, they’re really comfortable. I haven’t accessorized much except for the black belt and a wrist watch. Make up is minimal with just an eye liner, some lipstick and nail paint (nail paint was really from the weekend before) 🙂 Black dress 3 Hope you liked the post, would love to hear from you. Would like to know how do you guys dress up to work on Manic Mondays, I’ll certainly give it a try.

Yours Truly,

Thesilenthummer
Franchua D’Souza

Friday Night and the lights are low

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Dressing up for the day and night I am humming the ABBA song- Dancing Queen in my head (and sometimes a little loud- Whoopsie). It’s Friday! It’s Valentine week! That’s enough of reason to celebrate I guess, especially for a young corporate woman!
This week has been crazy, both at work and otherwise. After office hours, I’ve been meeting with long lost friends, attending my regular choir practice on Tuesday, attending relatives’ B’days in the far off suburbs, meeting some friends with their office friends, even made some time for the ongoing Kala ghoda fest but hurried out in half an hour.. my point being it’s just been a busy busy week. Instead of letting myself be completely drained out as we reach the weekend, I decided I’ll do it differently.
So here I am, ready to party this evening as I’ll be meeting a colleague from my previous workplace after alomst 4 years! We’re heading to Elbo Room in Bandra. I’ve only heard of this place, but have never been to it, so I’m a little excited about it. Since I’ll be going there directly after work, I had to wreck my head and closet to know what exactly to wear. Initially I thought of carrying a pair of clothes to change from the regular corporate wear but then I decided I might as well just wear something that looks decent for work and the evening. I managed to put this together, take a look. Full pic To break the black and white monochromatic look, I added the bold red to my lips. I own a this brick red shade, but I think this is also a very good choice. Brick red lipstick Also I’m not much into accessorizing, in fact on a regular day you will see me with simple pearls or a fine chain around my neck, and just a watch. However today, I put on one of my favourite necklaces which I hardly ever get to wear, check it out. And don’t miss my mom’s black rose ring. Close up with accessories I’m sure I’ll have a great evening, Wishing you all have a great Valentine weekend. It doesn’t matter whether I’m a V’tine day fan or not 🙂 In the meantime that’s me getting back to to work. At work, on call Yours Truly,
Thesilenthummer

She’s wondering what clothes to wear

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This isn’t just a line in one of Eric Clapton’s song. It’s a phase that women go through at some point or the other! 

Recently I was keen on exploring what can be worn to work in this unpredictable season and so I started googling away. I was totally surprised when I came across various online “stylists” that recommend denim jackets, coats and over coats, scarfs, stoles and lots of layering to the regular wear. The reason I understood is because the weather can get quite cool at times.. 

Ok scarfs and stoles, I agree. But layering and denim jackets.. like really? Do they even know how long these take to dry once they get damp? Do they realize, instead of protecting you, these layers are the ones that can actually give you the chill?
Oh of course, they are stylists, and they “Never” need to repeat their clothes like you and me! Hmm, do they even get caught in the rain? Do they use the local trains to travel, day in and out?
Anyway leaving all my questions aside, I thought I’d just put up a few convenient options for the common woman. I’ve put together 3 looks, and they consist of skirts (and tops) and dresses. I believe they’re very chic, professional and also stay far away from that muck! These can even be worn with scarfs and blazers in the office.
In case skirts and dresses aren’t your thing, wearing dark colored trousers to work are definitely the next option. Just make sure they’re well tailored so they don’t sweep the floor. For casual days, cotton pants, slacks, leggings/ jeggings are so much better than jeans, don’t you think? True, they may not have pockets to keep your cell, money and handkerchief, but that’s when a sling pouch or tote comes to the rescue 🙂 It’s just as imp to choose the right rainy shoes!
Also, I’ve nothing against coats and blazers, it’s just not to be worn in the rains!

Special Thanks my friend TJ, who accepted my request to let me decide what she wore to work for 3 consecutive days 🙂 check out the pics!

Leopard Print Top with Pencil Black Skirt

Leopard Print Top with Pencil Black Skirt

For a more Formal look- just add a Blazer

For a more Formal look- just add a Blazer

Pink Polka dotted dress

Pink Polka dotted dress

Pink Polka dotted dress

Pink Polka dotted dress

Striped green and blue dress

Green and Blue Striped Dress

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Green and Blue Striped Dress

Which is your favorite? Let me know. 

Yours Truly,

thesilenthummer