Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

pleated poppy

Yeah! This week I did get a pic everyday! I know that there are a gazillion bloggers out there that manage that every week with absolutely no drama, but for me, it's quite an accomplishment.

Thursday was such a lovely day - the sun was shining, the sky was blue, just perfect for a day out and about with the kids. Black ponte pants and painterly silky top from Ann Taylor, with Dyberg/Kern necklace, Lambertson Truex tan bag and tan Lands End wedges.

I wore these Coach enamel bangles. You can't really see in this fuzzy iPhone pic, but the big bangle is gold, and the smaller one is silver, but I wasn't too fussed. I just love the multi-coloured stripes and how they picked up the colours in my top.

Friday was another lovely, warm day and I can almost feel summer in the air! Black cupro pants and black sleeveless long vest from Flower, with a black tank underneath. I wore a long art deco style bronze and black necklace from Ann Taylor, with a stack of gold bangles from Gap. Same bag as Thursday, with my super comfy Nine West black gladiator flats.

On Saturday I did not leave the house for even one second! So, no shoes, bags or jewellery for your viewing pleasure today! I spent the day doing housework, packing away most of our winter clothes, bedding etc, and making the house feel more "spring" like.

Sunday was spent doing my hour on the school fete stall, and then wandering around with the kids for a short while afterwards. Coffee back at my place with my parents and then a lazy afternoon, followed by fish and chips down by the beach for dinner. My kind of day! Navy layered tank custom made from Etsy seller ErinAlexandraKlym which also includes the necklace. I have a couple of pieces from here and will buy some more as my budget allows as they are very well made, totally unique in design and made to measure. I paired the top with dark skinny jeans from Ann Taylor and my favourite Nine West flats.

Monday I started my membership at Contours, a female-only circuit-style gym. I am planning to go twice a week when the kids are both at kindy. This pic was taken after going, hence the bright red face - I am seriously unfit! Basque black tank, Old Navy gym pants, Reebok Tone sneakers and Marc by Marc Jacobs tote, with my trusty Sigg water bottle. I came home and got stuck straight into housework, and then before I knew it, it was nearly time to go and pick up Stephen. I had a super quick shower, and then grabbed yesterday's outfit.

Tuesday and the weather took a turn for the worse. I know you have Indian summers; is there such think as Indian winters?  Because I think we are in the middle of one. We are back to full on winter - I'm talking rain, wind, cold. Tuesdays are mummy and me days for me and Irini. After dropping off Stephen, we go for breakfast at a local cafe, then to playgroup for the morning, followed by lunch with my parents in the city. Its just a nice day where the two of us get some one on one time. Black ponte pants and leopard cardigan from Ann Taylor, black tank and black loafers from Louenhide. The grey pearl necklace is from an old Etsy seller, Anneliese. I wish she was still around, because her jewellery was stunning.

Wednesday rounds out the week - I still can't believe that I managed to take a pic everyday! Today was another cold and blustery day - I'm certain winter is back! Navy sweater from Lands End Canvas, with dark skinny Ann  Taylor jeans. I felt like going for a French vibe (I just finished reading Ines de la Fressange's book, Parisian Style) so I went for black ballet flats, and my Louis Vuitton Alma bag. I think a bucket/duffle style bag would have been perfect, so I am putting one on to my wardrobe wish list.

Overall, I was pretty happy with my outfits and there wasn't much I would have changed. Here's to another week of pictures!

Also linking up to :

Momma Go Round

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

pleated poppy

Another What I Wore Wednesday, but this time I actually managed to take pics almost everyday!

Thursday was a glorious day; nice and warm but not too warm. I love this jersey dress from Jane Lamerton (one of Myer's house brands) - it feels so light to wear, and I can throw it in the washing machine, hang it up to dry, and it is ready to wear straight away, without even needing ironing. The perfect dress for a busy mum! I love the colours, too - teal, grey, black and navy.  Black Wittner ballet flats and Costume National bag, with a moonstone and silver pendant. 

This is what I started off wearing on Friday, since the forecast said drizzly, and a max of 22 degrees.  I know weather forecasters are not the most reliable people in the world, but I ended up wearing this outfit, as is, for about two whole minutes.

This is what I ended up wearing for most of the day, since it turned out to be a beautifully sunny and warm, almost hot, day. You can't see it well on the pics, but the jersey knit cardigan from Flower is actually a navy and grey mini stripe. The white drapey top is from J Crew, the dark denim skinny jeans from Ann Taylor. I'm wearing the outfit with same black flats and bag from yesterday, with a Pandora charm bracelet and my favourite silver necklace. I spent the day at home, and running a few errands so this was a nice and comfy outfit.

Saturday really felt like summer with temps in the high twenties. We spent the day looking for furniture (fruitlessly) so I wanted something comfy and cool but still relatively chic. This navy knit dress from Ann Taylor fits the bill perfectly. The draping across the front adds a nice touch and camouflages my mummy tummy nicely. Paired with my favourite silver necklace (again!) and tan and white leather flip flops from Lands End.

Sunday was a super hot day, especially for October, with temps over 36 C, so light layers were the order of the day. We tried to stay inside for most of the day, not venturing out until the evening for kebabs down by the sea. Cupro pants from Flower in a greyish sage colour. I love Cupro, which is a man made from natural fibre, that looks like silk but is machine washable. It is great in hot weather since it is so breathable. It's paired with a pale grey loose knit linen vest, and a black tank underneath. Nine West flats, Witchery snakeskin print scarf and black Costume National bag.

Somehow I missed taking a pic on Monday (even though I was sure I did...), but you didn't miss much. I wore an electric blue jersey underdress from Taking Shape, topped with an black overdress also from Taking Shape. I spent the day working from home and didn't venture out once, so no accessories or shoes!

Tuesday was the first day back at school after the holidays for Stephen, and playgroup for me and Irini. I also did some furniture shopping, or should I say looking, since I still can't find what I want. These black ponte knit pants from Ann Taylor are my new favourite. They are so comfy, like wearing yoga pants, but look polished like tailored woven pants. The silk leopard print shirt is also from Ann Taylor, over a black tank. Red shoes are from Tod's, and it just goes to show that some items you really can keep forever. I nearly didn't buy them 6 years ago, since I wasn't convinced that patent red high heel loafers would be a good buy, and they were expensive. But I really loved them, and after thinking about them for a month or so, I went and bought them. I've worn them a lot over the years, and now they are right back in fashion!

Today was spent running a few errands and then swimming lessons for the kids in the afternoon. This is one of my favourite outfits - it is really comfortable, but I still feel pretty stylish in it. Flower chiffon tunic over a black tank, with Ann Taylor skinny jeans. Horn cuff from Mai Tai, black cage heels from Urban Sole, and the same black Costume National bag I've used all week. Gold and silver pendant from Dyberg/Kern.

Also linking up to :

Momma Go Round

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Summer Shakes

I may be slightly optimistic talking summer, but the last few warm days have me in a summer mood! And when the warmer weather comes, instead of porridge or another hot breakfast, I am usually in the mood for quick and easy, but refreshing, breakfast, and this is where my summer shakes come in. Plus, bananas look like they are coming back down in price, so bring on summer!

Green Banana Berry
This is my favourite and the one I have most often. It's dairy free, and that means it is lacking in protein, but it is just so refreshing. So for a complete meal, I usually pair this with a cold boiled egg, or a small pot of homemade yoghurt. And if you are not used to using greens powders, start with half a teaspoon and build up from there.

1 peeled banana
1 peeled kiwi fruit
6 hulled strawberries
1/4 cup apple juice
2 tsp greens powder - I am using a blend of wheatgrass, barley grass and spirulina
1/4 cup ice

Breakfast Pina Colada
When drinking my breakfast pina colada, I can almost imagine that I am sitting on a tropical island. If that tropical island had screaming kids and a messy kitchen...

1 peeled banana
2/3 cup pineapple chunks (fresh is yummiest, but drained canned is good too)
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup plain yoghurt

Chic Mummy's Orange Julius
Bear in mind with my version of an Orange Julius that I have never had a "real" one, since I think they are a uniquely American thing, but even if it is not the same, this one is yummy! You may need to add some extra orange juice depending on how juice your oranges are.  For a sunset Orange Julius, add a handful of hulled strawberries.

2 peeled oranges, diced
1 peeled banana
3/4 cup vanilla yoghurt

PS: these are great anytime, not just breakfast! My kids love them as afternoon snacks.

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Irini's Dollhouse

I made this dollhouse for Irini for her birthday (which was in March) but it has taken me this long to get around to taking all the pics and posting it to the blog! I found an Imaginarium dollhouse on super-clearance at Toys R Us, simply because some of the furniture was missing. They usually retail for around $300, but they were selling it for $99. However, the dollhouse looked like this:

which is just not my style. at. all! On top of that, the furniture was huge (I think it is designed for Barbie-style dolls) and left no room for playing. So I donated the furniture to Goodwill, and set about "renovating" the dollhouse so it was more classic in style.  The first thing I did was clad the outside "walls" with wood cladding. I then painted all of the wood with crisp white glossy enamel, which is both hard wearing and easy to clean. I also added base boards, mouldings and trim throughout the house.

I then added windows and doors painted in hot pink gloss enamel and finished off with flower boxes and hanging planters.

To finish off the exterior, I covered the existing plastic roof with French grey coloured asphalt shingles. Next was the really fun part, decorating the interior. For the inside of the house, I really let my Shabby Chic inclinations take over. I really think this is how I would decorate my house if I had free reign and didn't have to worry about husband's or kids!

Starting on the top floor, we have the master bedroom, decorated with a pretty rose and green ditsy wallpaper on the top, and matching stripe on the bottom. The bed is a "vintage" (read second-hand from eBay!) Fisher-Price piece, and the rest of the furniture is a wooden set found at Early Learning Centre. The carpet is dollhouse carpet, and feels and looks exactly like plush pile carpet.

Next to the master bed is the bathroom, "tiled" with vinyl tile wallpaper. You would not believe how realistic the tiles look - people have actually asked me how I tiled such a tiny space! The bathroom set matches the bedroom set from the Early Learning Centre.

On the other side of the dollhouse on the top floor is the nursery. I originally meant it to be unisex, but it came out quite boyish with the navy carpet. The wall paper is a pink and blue stripe with a matching teddy bear border, and the furniture is more "vintage" Fisher Price. If you ever need kid's dollhouse furniture, then check out eBay. Gently used pieces are going for a song, and with a good wipe with disinfectant, they look as good as new.

Next to the nursery is the office, with a lavender and pink wallpaper, and purple floor made from modge podged scrapbook paper. The furniture is (are you sensing a theme?) used FisherPrice.

The middle floor is made up of only two rooms, and have sliding walls at either end. One room is the lounge room, and has a grey patterned floor made from more modge podged scrapbook paper. The wall paper is a lemon yellow and white diamond pattern above the moulding (real wood painted gloss white) and a blue, white and yellow plaid wallpaper below. I found the darling yellow and blue floral sofa and chair at a hobby shop, as well as the miniature rug. The "window" was a picture I found on the internet and printed off.


On the other side of the lounge room is the kids' bedroom. This is actually a real wood plank floor, made from tiny little planks sanded, stained and then poly sealed, just like a regular hardwood floor in a full-sized house. The wallpaper was picked to co-ordinate with the lounge room and is a yellow and cream stripe below the moulding and border, with a yellow and blue floral above (small scale on the main wall and a larger scale on the sliding wall). The window was another pic from the internet.

On the bottom floor is another 4 rooms, with this little piano room tucked under the stairs, with another wood floor, and a pink and cream striped wallpaper.

Next to the piano room is the dining room, with beige carpet, the same yellow diamond wallpaper as the lounge room, and a pink, green and yellow floral paper above the moulding. The furniture is a darling set from French company Le Toy Van that even comes with a dolls' sized tea set.


On the other side is the laundry, with a slate floor, and blue, yellow and white patterned paper on the walls. The border is a gorgeous pattern of laundry drying in the sun on an old-fashioned washing line. For some reason, the cat and the dog seem to spend most of their time in the laundry!


The last room is my favourite and is the darling kitchen, with crisp white cabinets and and island, and a white and black tiled floor. The wallpaper is yellow and cream striped on the bottom and a yellow and blue floral print on the top. I love the "view" out to the garden from the french doors.

Lastly, the two sets of dolls I bought. The first set took me ages to get as I wanted each doll to kind of look like our family. They are all used Fisher Price dolls, and mostly from their now defunct Hispanic range, since they looked the most like our multicultural family. Unfortunately I couldn't find a Hispanic boy, so the one I got was the closest I could find. There is also a baby doll, but when I went to take the photos it was, of course, missing.  The second set I had made for me by the fabulous Etsy seller, The Enchanted Cupboard. You send her photos and she will paint the dolls to match. If you look closely, you will see that the little girl doll has pink glasses just like Irini.

I had a lot of fun "renovating" this dollhouse, and I find Irini and Stephen playing with it almost every day, which makes the enormous amount of hours I put into it all worth while.  To be honest, this dollhouse ended up costing me a LOT more than if I had gone out and bought a nice one ready made. But Irini know that I made this for her, and I hoping it will not only give her years of pleasure, but maybe her children as well, and really, no amount of money can buy that.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

pleated poppy

This week was a big fail in capturing a week's worth of pics for What I Wore Wednesday at the Pleated Poppy.  I spent the week spring cleaning my house, so I literally spent most of the week dressed like this (or some variation):

Seeing this picture made me realise that this tank is definitely only for exercising and cleaning, and not to be seen out in public, which is a shame because I love the fabric. But, while I may love the fabric, the fabric clearly doesn't love me! The tank is a slub linen-blend from J Crew, and the work out pants are from Old Navy.

Yesterday I had a much needed break from housework, and went out for lunch with my MIL, SIL and the all our kids. I don't know why I didn't notice how blurry the pic including my bag was, so I've included this pic without the bag as well so you can actually see the outfit.

The black jacket is from Ann Taylor - I just bought this in their 40% off sale and I can see it being a great addition to my wardrobe. I love how a jacket can add polish to even a relatively casual outfit. Underneath I wore a black and white patterned shell (also Ann Taylor) and white jeans from Talbots. The horn cuff is from Mai Tai Collection - not only does MaiTai have an amazing blog showing a gazillion ways of tying a scarf, she makes some pretty fantastic jewellery. My bag is a fabulous tote from Kate Spade from a few years ago. I love the bright pop of colour, and its size means it fits everything. I even used it as a baby bag/diaper bag for a while!  My shoes are nude suede wedges from Pelle Moda. I tried something different with my hair, and straightened it and then tied half of it back. I quite liked it, and will probably wear it this way more often from now on.

I'm also linking up to: 
Momma Go Round

so make sure you check out her posts and the other outfit links there as well!

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Friday, October 7, 2011

Product Review: Skinny Shirts

I love the look of a sweater over a crisp cotton shirt, but as a busty, plus-sized gal, what I don't love is the lumps and bumps I inevitably get (maybe this is a problem for smaller, petite girls, too!) so it is not a look I wear very often. However, a while ago I saw an article about the Skinny Shirt, and right there on the page was a game changer. This winter, I have probably been in a shirt and sweater or shirt and dress combo at least once a fortnight.

So what is a Skinny Shirt? It basically takes the best bits of a cotton shirt, the collar (and neck yoke) and cuffs, and adds it to a smoothing undershirt. So instead of the bulk and bunching I get with a normal shirt, the parts under the sweater are wonderfully smooth. I bought a long sleeve version (in white) and two sleeveless versions (one black, one black/white leopard) and I have been really happy with all of them. They wear fantastically well, wash even better and are quick and easy to iron. My only complaint is that the long sleeved skinny shirt's cotton fabric is in a V-shape rather than across the whole chest like their sleeveless versions; I tend to wear wide v-necked or scooped neck sweaters, and the fabric around the neck isn't quite wide enough. But this is a pretty small complaint and not particularly noticeable by anyone except me!

I just checked out their website, and not only do they also offer shapewear and maternity varieties, they have a discount offer running until October 31, 2011. Use the code FALLFASHION to get 20% off any style.

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Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post, and I have not received any form of compensation, nor do they even know I am writing this post, I just love these shirts!

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