Inspiration, Personal

    The Post-Grad Looking Glass

    hijabi, hijab fashion, turban style, hijab blogger, modest fashion, style

    “How do you stay inspired?”

    It’s a question I used to get a lot but never really knew how to answer. It’s probably because I didn’t fully understand what it meant to be uninspired. (You see, I have a habit of getting involved in too many hobbies at once. Keeps the brain busy.)

    That was before I finished school and entered the real world. You know, the one that everyone around used to talk about constantly. As if everything that happens prior to that is just for play, or has-beens for us to reminisce about when the responsibilities of the real world become too much to bear.

    But when your identity is shaped so much by the experiences that you collect pre-real world, it becomes so easy for you to get lost in the routines of working life. Things also get a little more complicated when you work in the creative industry – where do you draw the line that separates your professional space from your personal one? Is there a need for these spaces to be made separate? Can they coexist as one to become an even larger space that benefits both your career and personal development? Is work finally driving you insane?

    Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy what I do for a living. I really do. Crazy hours, crazier co-workers and all. But I am unsettled about how my sense of self got a little lost in the transition from Liyana the fashion lover/sometimes blogger/music person/aspiring creative to Liyana the copywriter and fitness lover. I think this is perfectly natural and not really a quarter-life crisis type of moment. Feeling the need to step back and reevaluate my growth as a person, and taking note if I’m really moving forward as best as I can.

    It took all of two years for me to realise that inspiration needs to be chased. So that’s what I’m doing now. A little self-recovery. Reconnecting with passions that I lost, and yearn to explore again. It’s not going to be easy, but if that’s what it takes to feel the exhilaration in creating once more, then I’m on board.


    Let’s start over.

    Hi there. It’s been about a year since I last posted, and if you’re still here reading this, then a big hug to you for staying with me for this long. I’ve thought long and hard about this space, about how far I’ve come and the type of content I’ve been putting up. So much has happened in the past year – graduation, stepping into my first legit job as a graduate, discovering my love for yoga. I’ve grown so much as an individual, and while I still love fashion, style, and beauty, I just can’t seem to bring myself to post about it as I used to anymore.

    This blog has grown so much in the years that I nourished it with love and attention, and I will forever be thankful for that. I’ve made internet friends, worked with brands I admire and reached levels of readership that I never thought I’d be able to achieve. But I guess I got kinda caught up in all that. My goals shifted, and I started prioritising the numbers a bit too much. It became more about “okay I need to post this because people are waiting for the next post” and I just couldn’t commit to that hustle.

    I started Rouge & Ruche when I went overseas for my exchange programme in university, and dedicated it to my thrift finds at that point in time. That gave me meaning, and motivated me to share this part of my life with you. I guess it got lost along the way, and I tried so hard to make up for that, but it never really felt the same. I do enjoy blogging though – it’s incredibly fulfilling to be able to put the mess in my mind into words and share it with the world. That’s one of the main reasons why I didn’t just take Rouge & Ruche off the internet – I like blogging. And I don’t want to stop. I think taking a year off was just what I needed to revive this space. I had to get everything down to (almost) zero and then build it up again, in a way that feels more personal and authentic for me.

    So let’s take it back to the beginning. And let’s take it slow. No ootds. No flatlays. Just me. I’ll start by writing about the things that inspire me – be it fashion, beauty, film, travel, etc. You’re welcome to stay with me for the ride – or not, your choice – and we’ll see where we go from here.

    Since we’re starting over, I believe introductions are in order. Hi, I’m Liyana. I love fashion, beauty, music and cats. I’m a copywriter, and I practise a bit of yoga in my free time.

    How about you?

    Blogging, Style

    The Blogger Awards

    blogger, blogger awards, singapore blogger, hijabi blogger, fashion blogger, style blogger, ootd, inspiration

    Happy Sunday! What’s everyone up to this weekend? It’s the end of my first week of internship since I ended uni a month ago. What a milestone! It’s been a good week meeting new people and getting settled in, though I did fall ill with the flu on my very first day (just my luck). I’m still down with the sniffles but feeling much better than I did earlier this week. Hopefully a weekend of recuperation will do me some good.

    About a few months back, Pam from Unapologetically Pam nominated me for The Blogger Awards. Similar to the Liebster Award and The Versatile Blogger Award, The Blogger Awards is by tag basis and is a fun way for bloggers to network and get to know more about each other, not so much a physical award. This post is long overdue (oops), but I hope that it’s a good way to allow you guys to get to know me better 🙂

    First off, here are the rules for the post:
    – Tag the blogger that nominated you
    – Answer the questions you were given
    – Nominate 10 bloggers
    – Create new questions for your nominees to answer
    – Inform the bloggers you chose that you nominated them

    Pam has chosen some wonderful questions for me to answer. Here we go!

    1) What do you do outside of blogging/writing? Or is this your full-time gig?

    I’m a graduating Communication Studies student. I’m no longer attending lessons, but my official graduation is in July, so I’m sort of in the awkward middle stage where I’m neither here nor there when it comes to university. I recently started a copywriting internship at an advertising agency, which was part of the plan for my after-uni life so I’m hoping for the best!

    2) How do you balance freelance writing with everything else in your career?

    This is a skill that I’m still working at. I think planning and scheduling is key, but also knowing how to give and take when other things in your life start taking higher priority.

    3) What’s your favourite way to wind down at the end of a long day?

    In bed with a face mask on, a candle lit and some good music playing. 🙂

    4) How has blogging impacted you, positively or negatively?

    I think blogging has allowed me to experiment a lot with my creative ideas, be it in terms of writing, content creation, styling or photography. Having a creative outlet is so important to me because it allows me to express myself and develop key skills, especially important for my preferred career options. I also love how blogging has allowed me to network with so many people from all over the world. This, in itself, allows me to be exposed to fresh perspectives and gain a wider understanding of the fashion and beauty industry.

    However, every experience comes with a negative side. I think a lot of times during my blogging years, I felt like I had so many expectations to live up to because I kept comparing myself to other bloggers. This didn’t give me much motivation, and instead, made me feel like I didn’t belong or I wasn’t putting up my best work.

    Now I realise that it was unhealthy and I’ve started going back to the reasons why I started blogging in the first place – because I wanted an avenue to document my thoughts on fashion and beauty. I also realise that it was an experience that lots of bloggers go through as well, so it’s great to know that you’re not alone and that there’s always pieces of advice available to you when you need it. The international blogging community is such a welcoming one, and I’m thankful that I found it through blogging ♥

    5) If a celebrity wanted you to write about their life, who would you want it to be and why?

    I would LOVE to write about Eva Chen! She has such an amazing career, a colourful personality and a wonderful outlook on life. I’d really like to discover more about her personal inspirations on everything from fashion to beauty to family… she connects with her followers so well and seems very personable. How amazing would it be to get the chance to work together with her?

    For the Bloggers Award, I’m nominating these bloggers:

    1. Eyman – Blankologie
    2. Liyana – Affordorable
    3. Zahra – Diary of a Deera
    4. Carina – Running White Horses
    5. May – The Mayden
    6. Sadiya – Sadiya Hearts
    7. Charisse – No Grace Kelly
    8. Pari – Fairy P
    9. Tania – When Tania Talks
    10. Taja – Shavae

    Here are the questions I’d like them to answer:

    1. How do you define success with your blog?
    2. Describe your top 3 blogging habits.
    3. Name something that you wish someone told you about blogging before you started.
    4. What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a blog?
    5. Where do you see your blog going in the long term?

    Looking forward to reading all the responses!