Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday

pleated poppy


Another week gone by, another week of What I Wore. Overall, I was pretty happy with these outfits, but I clearly wear the same pair of jeans way to much!



Wednesday: Ah, winter, how I love you! I know, it's technically autumn, but I'll take our cold (by Perth standards, anyway!) and rainy weather and run with it. Seeing this pic, I'm no longer convinced about wearing this top on its own, without a jacket. I bought it thinking that the cowl neck would minimise my bust, but judging from the pic and my husband's comments, I think it does the opposite.

Beige cowl neck sweater: Ann Taylor
Tuxedo skinny jeans: Ann Taylor
Camel handbag: Kate Spade
Chocolate loafers: Louenhide


Friday: Today there was nothing much exciting happening, except...my new haircut!!  I've been getting pretty bored with it, so off it came!

Purple jersey cardigan: Coldwater Creek
Purple and lilac ikat tank: Ann Taylor
Tuxedo skinny jeans: Ann Taylor
Navy denim and suede ballet flats: Lands End
Rose quartz necklace: new age-style shop


Here is a better shot of it...I like it, but it is definitely shorter than I asked for! I specifically asked for it to be below jaw length, and long enough to tie back, neither of which happened, and I even took in a picture. But, now that I am used to it, I am happy with it!



Saturday:  We were planning to go to the Australian Airforce's airshow today, but thank goodness Nick came home a little bit late. Apparently, the traffic meant that it was taking 3-4 hours to get in, and the gate shut at 2pm, so we would have sat in traffic for hours and then still would have missed out. So, instead, a day of much needed housework instead!

Snow leopard print cardigan: Basque by Myer
Black jersey tank: Abi and Joseph
Tuxedo skinny jeans: Ann Taylor
Sneakers: Converse







Sunday: Today we made it to the airshow in the nick of time. Even though we left at 11.30 in the morning, we got through the gates at about 1.58pm, with gates closing at 2pm. If we had been turned around, I would have been absolutely devastated for the kids. But, we got in, and it was fabulous! And the weather couldn't have been more perfect for a picnic on the grass while watching super fast jets fly over head.
 
Black merino sweater: Country Road
Tuxedo skinny jeans: Ann Taylor
Black loafers: Louenhide





Monday: Today was a typical "mum's taxi" day with the school run in the morning, speech therapy for one of the kid's during the day (involving picking them up from school first), school run in the afternoon, and then ballet for Irini after that! But more exciting than realising that all those years of uni and paid employment have culminated in me being an unpaid chauffeur was realising that I can fit into these pants again!!

Citron cardigan: Coldwater Creek
Ivory and citron printed blouse: Coldwater Creek
Grey plaid trousers: Sportscraft
Pewter embellished ballet flats: Witchery
Horn cuff: Mai Tai Collection

Tuesday: Another lovely and perfect Autumn day! Nice and sunny but nice and cold. And know that I was wearing my favourite new retro styled coat for most of the day, I just didn't have it on when I took this pic!

Navy embellished  tee: J Crew
Tuxedo skinny jeans: Ann Taylor
Camel angora arm warmers: Moon Halo on Etsy
Black loafers: Loeunhide



This is a close up of the arm warmers, my second favourite new thing after my coat! My hubbie thinks they look ridiculous; I love them so I'm wearing them anyway! What I love the most about them is that while they keep my hands toasty warm, i can still use my iPhone and iPad without having to take my gloves off. I love them so much I bought them in pink as well. Perfection!!




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Saturday, May 19, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday

pleated poppy


Welcome to another week of What I Wore Wednesday, a blog carnival started by the Pleated Poppy to make sure that we all try and make our weeks that little bit more stylish!



Wednesday: A nice and sunny but cool day (my favourite kind!) was the perfect excuse to pull out my new coat. As soon as I saw it in the store, I had to have it, and pretty much stalked it until it was on sale. The photos don't do it justice - it is a beautifully nubby, tweedy wool boucle in shades of navy, grey and taupe, and has a gorgeous retro shape to it. Its great for these transitional days, but will be great in our mild winters with a longer sleeve underneath.

Navy retro coat: Basque by Myer
Purple jersey cardigan: Coldwater Creek
Purple and white print blouse: Boden
Trouser jeans: Ann Taylor
Gunmetal python heels: Ann Taylor
Green amethyst and pearl necklace: Belle Bijoux

 Thursday: Another lovely day, but I have to admit that I spent the day absolutely freezing in this outfit. This jacket is still a touch small for me, so I can't do the buttons up, and even though I had a camisole underneath the blouse, I was still so cold!

Grey knit blazer: Ann Taylor
Neon yellow silk blouse: Old Navy
Skinny tuxedo jeans: Ann Taylor
Black loafers: Louenhide

Monday:  Today was cold, cold, cold, which meant I could bring out this coat again! As I thought, paired with a long sleeved sweater, it was just perfect!

Navy retro coat: Basque by Myer
Navy jersey sweater: Isabella Oliver
Trouser jeans: Ann Taylor
Gunmetal python heels: Ann Taylor



Tuesday: This is one of my favourite sweaters, custom made for me by Ureshii, a fantastic etsy seller. Unfortunately,  while out and about today, I noticed that it has been attacked by silverfish or moths. I saw at least 6 or 7 little holes, and I'm thinking it may be beyond repair. I really hope not, because I really, really love this top.

Black cowl neck sweater: Ureshii
Skinny tuxedo jeans: Ann Taylor
Black patent slippers: Talbots
Black and gold ring: House of Harlow






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Monday, May 14, 2012

50 Classics For Your Closet Part 4: Tops



Somehow I managed to let this series slip by the wayside, so it's time to get back on track! We've covered footwear,  accessories, and baubles so far, which are lots of fun, to be sure, but hardly make up the backbone of a closet. Today, we take a look at the category that probably makes up the bulk of most women's wardrobes; it certainly makes up the majority of the 50 classics for your closet.

Tops

  1. Cashmere V Neck Sweater
  2. Cashmere Cardigan
  3. Classic tee shirt
  4. Long sleeved tee
  5. Striped boatneck
  6. Cotton oxford
  7. Tunic
  8. Silk blouse
  9. Polo shirt
  10. Long wrap cardigan
  11. Dressy tank
  12. Silk camisole
 This is a big list, so today we will look at the first six, and next week, we will look at the last 6.


A cashmere sweater makes every must-have fashion list, and nothing is more classic than a v-neck. In my skinnier days I used to have a nice collection of cashmere sweaters, almost all of them v-neck and all of them from Lands End. Now, I have one. Firstly, since having kids, I seem to run "hotter" and so I tend to find cashmere too warm for anything but the coldest winter day here in Perth. For those in cooler climes, this is clearly not a problem. Secondly, I have been finding it harder and harder to find quality cashmere at an affordable price. While I used to love Lands End's cashmere, now I find it thinner and more prone to pilling, and I have heard mixed reports about J Crew's. The few quality pieces I have seen are well over $500, and thus, well beyond my price range, especially since I am in the process of losing weight.

Instead, I take the idea, and modify it for my circumstances. Instead of cashmere, I have purchased quality merino and cotton sweaters. As always, buy the best you can afford, and I think a top quality merino sweater for $200 makes more sense than a mediocre cashmere sweater for the same price. As for colours, you always hear black, but I say buy for your colouring and personality. Black looks good on me, but I prefer navy and charcoal. Ladies with lighter colouring may look best in oatmeal or winter white. Once you have your basic neutrals, then start adding in pops of colour - I like jewel colours for my colouring, but pastels and gelato colours look great on others.


Everything I said for the cashmere sweater goes for cashmere cardigans as well.  With the cardigans, make sure you are guided by your body shape. I love the little crew neck boxy cardigans like Jackie Kennedy wore, but there couldn't be a shape worse for my curvy, busty hourglass! Instead, my cardigans are almost all v-necks that hit at high hip. A three quarter sleeve is universally flattering, but for cooler weather a long sleeve may be more practical.


What makes up a classic tee shirt? I don't know! I am going to assume they mean a plain, unadorned tee in a "classic" colour. If you are a follower of my What I Wore Wednesday posts, then you will know that I almost never wear tee shirts, even with gym wear. I find tanks much more practical for layering in Perth's weather, and I have never been able to find a tee shirt I've found truly flattering. If you are going to wear tee's, and they can look great styled the right way, then make sure they fit (not your hubby's tee, please!), are a good fabric that is not too sheer, and have a neckline that suits your shape (the v-neck is again universally flattering). Know that an awful lot of tees have a cap sleeve - this is probably the sleeve that is the most unflattering for the most women.

Again, I am very rarely seen in a long sleeved tee, but pick a good one (use my tips above) and it can be a great addition to your wardrobe, especially if your style leans towards casual chic, or sporty chic. Again, fit and fabric is everything. When I used to wear tees, I loved the ones from J Crew; they washed wonderfully, didn't fade and kept their shape.

I love striped boatnecks, but on flat chested waifs! On the rest of us, they can look great if picked (and styled) very carefully, or absolutely terrible. Firstly, boatnecks are not great on most people with any sort of bust - it just makes it look even bigger, and not in a good way! Secondly, add in some horizontal stripes, and it is just a recipe for disaster. If you are a medium bust and under, then look for stripes that are thin dark stripes on a predominately white background. This tends to be the most flattering, and incidentally, the most classic.  If you are larger in the bust, the same type of stripe can look good, just try and find a more open neckline, like a scoop. Otherwise, a long necklace or a long, draped scarf can create an optical illusion similar to a v-neck, and make the boat neck more flattering.



The cotton oxford is another item that I think is marvellous in theory, and disastrous in reality. Think about it logically - this shirt was designed and cut for a man; feminine curves just throw it all out of kilter.  You can find ones that will flatter if you search hard enough, but they tend to be very pricey, and I still don't think they are the best look for most women. At home, over not very much at all, is a totally different story, and is even better if the shirt does actually belong to your husband and the kids are at the grandparents!!

Check in next week for the second half of the classic tops for your closet.

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mothers' Day Traditions

Happy Mother's Day everyone!  I hope you all had a lovely day, and were thoroughly spoiled by your children (and your other half!). I received some lovely homemade gifts courtesy of kindy and pre-school, and will be treated to a Mothers' Day Spa tomorrow at Stephen's pre-school, and a Mothers' Day afternoon tea on Tuesday at Irini's kindy.

My family doesn't have any Mothers' Day traditions regarding breakfasts or brunches, etc. Nick is usually at work until at least lunchtime, and for the last two years, and for years to come I am sure, soccer takes up most of the morning. A tradition we have started, however, revolves around the gift the children give me. While there is nothing wrong with nighties and perfume (the mum equivalent of socks and jocks), once given, they are used up and eventually finished or discarded. I wanted to start a collection; something that I can keep and treasure and know was built up each year on Mothers' Day. And so, my collection of Royal Albert fine china tea cups was started! Each year, I pick out one or two sets of teacups, saucers and cake plates, tea pots, or other tea paraphernalia.  I have purposely selected different patterns each year. I prefer the eclectic mix, and I hope that once the children are older, that they will pick out different designs and items themselves.  This year, I was lucky enough to receive two sets, the absolutely gorgeous Rose Confetti set on the right, and the beautiful Blue Polka Rose on the left.




These are lovely additions to the pieces I already have from previous years, all of which are from Royal Albert's 100 Years collection, reissued designs from each decade of the last 100 years. Mine are from the 1930's range, and are very similar to the Blue Polka rose, but in a lovely pale green.

What traditions do you have for Mothers' Day? What traditions would you like to create?

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Creamy Salmon Spread


I used this as a tart filling for Irini's Fairy Garden Party, but ever since then, I've kept a tub of it in the fridge for a quick, easy, healthy and tasty lunch. In general, I hate salmon. I can't stand the smell, so I never cook it and I never eat it, so I'm not even sure why I made it for the party, but it is absolutely delicious. So even if you, or your kids, don't like fish, try this recipe! I love it for lunch spread on crackers and topped with some slices of cucumber, and as I said, it is great as a tart filling, garnished with a paper thin slice of cucumber and a twist of lemon zest. Stephen loves it as a dip with veggies, and Nick likes it as a sandwich spread. It really is that versatile! Ignore my picture above - I literally had nothing in the house to garnish the Cruskits with!

Creamy Salmon Spread

1 pack (250g) cream cheese, regular or spreadable
210g can boneless and skinless red salmon, drained
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Beat cream cheese in a small bowl until smooth and creamy. Add remaining ingredients and beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Serve!!

This will keep in the fridge for about a week.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday

pleated poppy

This week had everything weather wise, from warm and sunny on Wednesday to full-on winter storms with weather bureau "wild-weather warnings" by Sunday and Monday.  It's nice to be able to bring out my cold-weather clothing from storage. Winter is definitely my favourite season for fashion!




Wednesday: I think today might have been the last of the warmer weather...autumn and winter may have finally arrived if the storm that hit late in the evening is anything to go by. But, I made the most of this last, balmy day!

Red print chiffon blouse: Old Navy
Trouser jeans: Ann Taylor
Grey suede heels: Ann Taylor
Stack of beaded onyx and coral bracelets: made by mum and me

Thursday: Today was one of my favourite types of days before I had kids - rainy and stormy and cold and windy. Love, love, loved it! Now that I have young children, the love has gone... 

Mauve cotton tunic: Flower
Mauve/grey wool/angora knitted vest: Flower
Skinny jeans: Ann Taylor
Black loafers: Louenhide


Friday: It is amazing how much more dressed up you look when you throw on a tailored jacket. The rest of the outfit is just basic jeans and a cardigan, but with the jacket, I had people ask me all day where I was off to (which was nowhere much!).

Black long jacket: Basque by Myer
Red cardigan: Coldwater Creek
Trouser jeans: Ann Taylor
Gunmetal python heels: Ann Taylor

Monday:  When you start pulling out the winter coats, you know that winter is well and truly here! I don't have a lot of camel coloured clothing, but camel and cognac has to be one of my favourite combinations. The only thing better than camel and cognac would be camel and winter white, but I don't think I will be wearing winter white pants anytime soon!

 Even without the coat, I still loved this outfit, but I think next time I will wear it with my trouser jeans rather than the skinnies.

Camel wool-cashmere coat - J Crew
Camel merino cowl neck knit - Ann Taylor
Tuxedo stripe skinny jeans - Ann Taylor
Cognac ballet flats - Lands End


Tuesday: Today I was meant to start a yoga course. I used to practice all the time, before kids, but a combination of laziness and lack of time put a stop to it, so I thought a refresher would be a good idea. However, after waiting (along with the 5 other women who had also signed up) for a good 40 minutes with no sign of the studio opening, I cut my losses, went for a hot chocolate, and then home to get changed for my afternoon meeting. I've emailed the studio for a refund (since no one was answering the phone) and now I need to find somewhere else to start another course. I hate it when I get motivated to do something good for me and then something out of my control derails me!

Thankfully, the afternoon went much better with the meeting going better than expected.

Black long jacket: Basque by Myer
Purple and white print blouse: Boden
Trouser jeans: Ann Taylor
Tan belt: Lands End
Grey suede heels: Ann Taylor




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