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Guest post by Garage’s Blogger of the Year winner, Kim Castro of LE PAPER DOLL.

Oh, hello! I’m so excited to be here, you guys! I’ve waited so long, but not as long as my wait for 2016 to be over. IT’S MOTHER FRIGGIN’ 2017! And to be honest, I can’t be happier. I don’t exactly believe in “new beginnings” just because we’re back at square one of the calendar, but the previous year was pretty crazy that looking at 2017 as a brand new slate feels relieving and utterly refreshing.

Turns out Kylie Jenner isn’t the only one to “realize stuff” last year, LOL; I realized a couple of things myself as well. One of them is that heartbreaks can creep in many, different, unexpected forms, and fortunately, there are more ways than one to make yourself feel better — and I’ve got a few favorites. And what better way to jumpstart your year than with everything that makes you feel good and grounded?

Here are the things I’m starting my 2017 right with — I call it my 2017 Starter Kit (because why not).

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A pretty notebook to write new goals in

I’ve stopped doing (and believing in) resolutions since I was around 10 — because why should we change ourselves just because the calendar turned? But it’s always good to set a few intentions for myself, so on Day One of every year, I set goals instead. The idea is to continue whatever’s already on my plate and make room for realistic improvement instead of attempting to make myself a whole new person who wakes up gleefully at 6AM every day (we all know I’m never going to be a morning person). And what else goes into the other sweet pages, you ask: new ideas, drafts, thoughts, inspirations and even inhibitions; a mishmash of everything that will strike and flow all throughout the next twelve months.

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A playlist (or two) to set the mood

If you’re like me, you probably have a playlist for everything — for every mood, every activity, every occasion, every season — and you’d agree that the new year is just the right time to concoct a spanking new one to set a new mood. The celebrations may be over but my current playlist-on-repeat is still filled with Shalamar, Jamiroquai, Madonna (don’t judge me) and a few more disco-funk jams. I’m also currently into Red Hot Chili Peppers’ The Getaway, the rising indie soul singer JONES, and Bruno Mars’ soul-and-funk-induced new album 24K Magic (who isn’t?).

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A fresh new outfit to strut around in

Last month, Garage invited me to check out and get a feel of their Winter Collection, which is basically a party of cool-girl winter wardrobe essentials and a nod to stylishly cozy holidays.

The campaign, in fact, is equally rad: besties squadding it out in the Alps and lazing around in cute winter getups and pastel loungewear, looking effortlessly cute AF regardless of the freezing weather. It’s amazing and cool, and all the while relatable. This is probably why I always have been and always will be a Garage girl; it’s rare to hit upon a brand that promotes the same philosophy I stand for — tight friendships, girl power, and a smart, tasteful and spirited culture, rather than just snobbery and superficiality.

The collection ticks off the ubiquitous street style trends and closet staples — bomber jackets, parkas, ribbed pieces, slouchy sweaters, velvet, lace and of course, denim! I picked my favorites through my Snapchat (this, this ,and this, in case you missed my snaps). I ended up putting together a totally different look, though, apt to the temperamental and relatively warmer Middle Eastern winter: an oxblood velvet top, a striped ribbed maxi skirt and a black oversized classic bomber jacket. I finished off the look with a dark, vampy lip, my favorite pair of aviators and a very interesting backdrop. We shot this look against a tiny fraction of A Retrospective, a modernist artwork by Arab artist Dia Al-Azzawi.

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Finally, as we speak of tight friendships, girl power, and what makes me feel grounded…

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My best friend to ring the New Year in with

Together forever, never apart – LITERALLY. I cannot wait to go on more adventures with my favorite person in the world! Here’s to making as many memories as possible within the next three-sixty-five days! *clink* 2017, I HOPE U R READY FOR US.


Photographed by Bianca Castro.

Kim is a fashion and lifestyle blogger from Doha, Qatar, and the winner of Garage’s international search for our Blogger of the Year! Kim is currently a fashion magazine contributor and runs her own blog, LE PAPER DOLL.

Follow Kim on Instagram at @lepaperdoll for more posts like this!