Thursday, October 31, 2013

October purchases and Halloween

Halloween chez nous isn't nearly as exciting as it is in Scotland (check out Bourbon & Pearls here to see how it should be done), but we try to make it a little festive for the children.
Back in England we never used to celebrate it. We have Bonfire night on November 5th, celebrating Guy Fawkes' failed attempt to blow up the House of Lords.

Anyway, in honour of the evening, the children made a creeper pumpkin (Creepers are from Minecraft, in case some of you don't have Minecraft-obssessed people in your family)

D dressed up as a creeper, too

While M went for a scary ragdoll thing:

I've decided to take stock of my purchasing each month, so I can see what I've bought, and perhaps change my habits in some small way.
This month has been excessive.
I did think I had been quite parsimonious, but in reality, I was deluding myself quite badly.
October purchases:
Gary Bigeni blouse
Gary Bigeni dress
Mid-life crisis shoes
But that's not all - I realised that I've also ordered a leopard belt and phone cover from J Crew that hasn't arrived yet - it was bought in October, but won't arrive till November. Does that make it a November purchase? I think not.
I also bought a leopard cardigan (I know, I know. Blue Booby's prediction that I will soon channelling Eartha Kitt is looking more and more likely to come true). The cardigan is courtesy of the lovely Ina, from Ina in Wonderland. I will model it once it arrives.

So, my October spending was rather high.
I will therefore have to rest for a while now.

Everlane silk blouse, J Crew Andie chinos,  Florsheim shoes

At any rate, the mid life crisis shoes are getting a lot of wear, as are the J Crew Andie chinos.

Hope you had/are having a good Halloween if it's celebrated in your area!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pirate party, weekend etc

Having been a bit bah humbug about dressing up for our friend's 50th birthday (Pirate theme), I'm very relieved that I did get my act together. It was a big party, and people had gone to a lot of effort.
It was held in his garage, which is about 3 times the size of our house!!!
He had rented lots of stuff to decorate it: old boats, canons and other pirate paraphernalia.
The costumes were amazing.... some people have a very impressive collection of Pirate clothing in their wardrobes....

I'm afraid that due to an abundance of Champagne and Rum punch, very few pictures were taken.
There was some very inappropriate behaviour from one male. I think he may have had a very slow and remorseful Sunday.

On the way to the party:

I wore a J Crew stripey top, old baggy pants, leather jacket, plastic cutlass and bandana. I also had an eye patch, but it didn't last long......

Pic of the decorated garage. There was a live band and an abundance of booze...

Yesterday was a write-off.

Pic from Friday. Equipment silk blouse, J Crew Andie chinos, v old random striped blazer in hand, NEW mid-life crisis shoes and orange J Crew bangle.

I'm a late starter to the whole leopard-is-a-neutral gang, but after all the positive feedback on the J Crew printed calf hair belt, I've ordered one, so my leopard wardrobe is growing!

Did you have a good weekend? I hope you didn't drink as much rum as I did.

Quick Update:
EEK! I think I need a leopard intervention!
I've just ordered this too:
iphone case from J Crew
In my defence, I have a new phone on its way and no cover for it yet. So it's not really so terrible, is it??!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bright colours and the leopard crisis continues

After a super hot week with raging fires and smoke, the weather seems to have cooled down. The fires are still burning, and many people have lost their homes, but only one person has died, so far. A pilot flying one of the planes that dumps water on bushfires crashed and was killed. So awful.

At work it's been busy, and to lift my spirits I wore my new spotty blouse (especially for Naomi, who advised me not to buy it!!)
It is a very statementy blouse, but I think it will get a lot of wear. I've worn it twice this week, once to work and on another night out for dinner with navy blue pants and cobalt heels.

Blouse, Gary Bigeni. Cardigan and skirt, J Crew. Sandals, L'Autre Chose

Another day, another bright colour:

Embarrassingly enough, I think the entire outfit above is J Crew, apart from the shoes!

And yesterday, J Crew Monarch skirt, Wolford top, J Crew Jackie cardigan and APC sandals.

This week there were also new arrivals on the J Crew website. I wasn't so excited by anything, really, apart from a couple of very wintery coats that I have no need of at all.
The one thing that did catch my eye is this bag:
It's called the 'Hughes' suede satchel.
I really like the origami style, and I quote from the website:
'Our designer literally made her own origami—Japanese paper-folding art—to create this satchel. Its complicated construction is based on the traditional Japanese "water balloon" pattern (named for its ability to hold water)'

It also comes in leather, in three colours
I really like the look of this bag. If any of you see it irl, I'd love to hear your reports. I absolutely don't need a new bag at all, but it is something to ponder... I am a sucker for navy suede.

While we're on the subject of things I want but don't need, my leopard shoe purchase has sparked a bit of an interest in all things leopard. I've been thinking a leopard belt or cardigan might be a good idea.
J Crew printed calf hair belt

I found this belt on the J Crew website in the sale section. It's still quite $$ though. Any reviews on this? have you tried this belt or seen it?
What do you reckon - worth the $$ or not?

This weekend we've got a friend's Pirate themed 50th birthday party. I am not so fond of costume parties, but will try to make an effort. I'm thinking of wearing some black pants and a striped top with a bandana and an eye patch…..

Have a great weekend wherever you are!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Mid-life crisis?

A strange and somewhat shocking thing occurred last Friday. I woke up feeling quite normal. I had taken a day off work in order to get some chores done, and needed to go into the city to run some rather dull errands. I got my errands done, and had some time to kill before meeting J for lunch, so lured by loud, red 50% off Sale signs, I went into a shoe shop I have never been to before.
It is called 'Florsheim'. I don't think I've ever really noticed it before, as it's on a street I don't usually walk along.
Anyway, in I went. It was full of bargains.

I didn't really spot much of interest, being a bit of a hard nut to please with shoes.
However, on a high shelp, almost out of my line of vision, were a pair of flat, calf hair shoes.

Yes. Flat. Animal Print.
Two things that I never really wear.

I picked them up. They looked well-made for the price. They were reduced by a significant amount. And, they were in my size (36), which is quite a rarity. I decided to try them on.
I was still very sceptical that they would fit, as often size 36 is too big, but in an almost bizarre moment of serendipity, they fit!

I didn't buy them.

I left the shop and went to meet J for lunch.

But, as I'm sure you'd already guessed, 45 minutes later, I was back in the shop and the shoes were mine!
Mid life crisis or sensible, useful purchase? you decide!!

They are comfortable, and as many people always say, leopard really is a neutral.
Florsheim shoes. $79.50 reduced from $159.

Worn with J Crew Andie chinos, Zara top and Gorman coat

In other far more important news, NSW is burning :-(. Please send a thought for all of those who have lost their homes and the courageous firefighters who are working very bloody hard to stop the fires.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Simple outfits

Some simple outfits during an extremely busy week.
I'm hoping that things will calm down soon, giving me more time to think and breathe. Thank god for yoga or I think I might have a total tantrum!
The weather has been totally schizophrenic. One minute it thinks it's the sahara desert, the next it's Antarctic. Madness. 
Stressful times and unpredictable weather mean I'm not too creative in my wardrobe choices.

Outfit for cold day: J Crew Andie Chinos, Country Road grey sweater, J Crew Monarch scarf and Repetto flats.

Outfit for a slightly less cold day: J Crew Drapey sailor top, Nudie jeans sourced from op shop (Free!!), Jenny Kee scarf and APC sandals.

Outfit for a warm day… I'm sure I blinded some people with my brightness!
J Crew cotton top, J Crew factory skirt, Fitflop sandals

The sandals are a bit daggy, but I really need sandals I can walk in for long distances, as I need to hike across campus fairly often to meetings.

Do your outfit choices reflect your stress levels? 
I find I become far more conservative and 'safe' when I'm feeling under pressure.

Fingers crossed for a nice relaxing end of week!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Very hot....

This week has been a week of mad weather. One day super hot, the next cool and raining. It's certainly  a lot warmer than it usually is at this time of the year.

Today it was as hot as a furnace and very windy. We retreated to a local pool to cool down.

M wore her new swimsuit for the first time. There's no chance of losing her when she's wearing it:

Other exciting things this week included scoring a pair of free Nudie jeans from one of my champion Op shopping colleagues. These cost about $200 new, so I was dead chuffed to get a pair for nothing.

We had a fabulous Thai feast at some friends' house on Saturday night, and as a result felt a little dusty today.

The sky has finally turned moody, so fingers crossed for a cooling southerly wind very soon.

Hope you're having a good weekend!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A photo shoot!

As you may know, I seem buy a lot of my clothes online from the US or Europe, probably because the choice and range of sizes in Australia isn't particularly good. In fact, that's not quite true. There are plenty of fantastic labels here in Aus, but a lot of them are not the right size or too youthful/bodycon for me.

Because I'm petite, I'm sized out of a lot of basics I would otherwise love to buy, hence my love of J Crew, with their petite size range and reasonable prices for basics, not to mention their quirky prints and colours.

However, there are a few places locally that I shop at. One of these places is a small boutique near my house called 'Pretty Dog'. It is owned by the most fantastic girl called Tanya, who has a great eye for both new and established clothing labels, and buys some fab pieces from both Aus and International labels.
Over the years I've bought some fantastic pieces from Pretty Dog, some of which are now in a box waiting for M (daughter) to wear when she's a bit older. Other pieces I wear regularly, such as Karen Walker suiting and cashmere knits from local Australian companies.

Tanya puts out a regular newsletter featuring her regular customers modelling recent pieces from the shop, and last week she asked me to model.

I was thrilled to be asked, and had a really great time playing 'dress-ups'. It was lots of fun wearing items I wouldn't normally try on, and also to add accessories to them.

Here are some of the pics Tanya took - she was a very patient photographer, as I'm really not a natural in front of the camera at all - I found it really hard to relax and smile in a genuine way!!

Gary Bigeni Burr dress, Loeffler Randall shoes and Lyn & Tony clutch.

I love this dress very much - it fits very well and is a lovely thick stretch poplin.

I would never normally wear animal print, so it was fun to try out the shoes and bag. If I had a massive clothing budget I might even get this clutch!

House of Holland dress, Pam booties and Jerome Dreyfuss bag.
This is way too youthful for me, but I love the colours and the fit of the dress.

Sretsis dress, Loeffler Randall shoes.

Again, way too girly for me, but fun to try!

Here's a link to the finished shoot, with several more outfits.

My cold is finally on the wane - I'd forgotten how miserable colds are.

Tomorrow is supposed to be 38 degrees C in Sydney. Mad weather for Spring, as it doesn't usually get over 30 degrees 'til Jan or Feb.

Thanks for reading and hope you're well.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Daylight saving and ramblings on skin care

Excuse the short post, it's been very busy at work and home this past week. Lots of good things, but hardly time to pause for more than a few minutes!
As a result, I've succumbed to a cold. I haven't had a cold for a long, long time, and was probably a bit too smug about this fact.... Anyway, I've got one now and I feel quit vile. Not vile enough to stay in bed, but vile enough to be annoying everyone with a poorly voice! 

Perhaps I've got man flu....

Anyway, this week I went to a conference and also took part in a rather exciting event which I'll post about next week.

In the meantime, a couple of outfits from Monday and Tuesday:

Paul Smith tweed skirt, black singlet and J crew Jackie cardie.

Grey American Apparel tee and J crew skirt:

The other thing I did this week before being overcome by snot was have a facial peel! I rarely have facials or other treatments, in fact up until quite recently I rarely bothered with much in the way of Skincare, apart from Cetaphil and sunblock.
However, my 45 year old face has started to fall off a bit, so I've gradually been adding a few recommended products to my arsenal of unctions:

Ocosmedics face peel, Embryolisse moisturiser (thanks Naomi for the rec) Estée Lauder Night Repair (gift from friend), Sukin rose hip oil, Emma Hardie cleansing balm and Sunday Riley Good Genes.

The above items seem to have made a difference in my skin, and the peel has made it feel very smooth and soft. There's no getting rid of the wrinkles, but I don't care much about them, I'm more concerned that pigmentation and sunspots are minimized. My inner sceptic thinks that most claims made by cosmetics companies are utter crap, but the Sunday Riley stuff and the Ocosmedics mask certainly make a big difference to my dry skin. The jury's out over the Estée Lauder stuff, though.

I have been reading Louise's blog 'Ingredients' avidly for months to find out the lowdown on chemicals in skincare, and I HIGHLY recommend a visit to her blog if you're interested in evidence-based science rather than marketing hype. Sorry no link to her blog, I'm on an iPad and it's just too hard, but here's the URL to copy and paste:

Do you buy cosmetics that promise (and cost) the earth? Or are you more minimal? I'm shocked how many things I now have - even 6 months ago I used just 3 products: Cetaphil cleanser and moisturiser and Hamilton sunblock!

In other news, daylight saving starts this weekend! Yay to longer days and more sunlight during waking hours. We're planning a picnic with friends if the weather holds and my snot isn't too abundant.

Hope your weekend is fab and snot-free!