Sunday, February 23, 2014

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Just a quickie to let you know that I am now on Instagram! I know, early adopter I am not, but I am here at last. You can click on the link in the right upper corner of my blog to follow me, or head here:


Hope you are all having a great weekend!

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Pretty Aprons for Homemaking


Now that I have limited my wardrobe, I am extra careful with my clothes, not wanting to ruin them unnecessarily (although I should have been like this always, no?). However, I still like to look presentable at home for a number of reasons, but mostly for myself, my husband and my children, and homemaking can present a significant challenge to that. The answer, of course, is the perfectly retro apron. It certainly worked for out foremothers, and it is definitely working for me! Now, I am not suggesting doing heavy cleaning in a cocktail gown; for normal day-to-day housework and cooking, however, the simple apron solves all of my problems. On a tangent, while I wouldn't want a yellow kitchen, I am in love, in love, in love with that fridge! Why aren't fridges lined in shades of mint anymore?

There are a million aprons out there, ranging from pretty but pretty useless, serviceable but plain, to the sweet spot of useful and beautiful, which is of course where I was aiming for! If you are busty or curvy in any way, a lot of aprons are just not going to cut it. The bibs are cut so narrow that they spend the whole time slipping to one side, leaving half of your chest exposed to the mess.  Just like the women of the mid 20th century, I decided on two aprons - one for cooking/hostessing (even if I am only being a hostess for my family!), and one for housework. It just didn't seem right to use the same apron for both.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/120219401/plus-size-1x-flared-strap-bib-apron-with?ref=shop_home_feat_3



The first apron I decided on was this gorgeous Victorian-style apron from Etsy seller LCs Country House. She has a wide selection of handmade aprons, from simple to quite flouncy, in a range of colours, and I eventually chose this mid-blue chambray colour trimmed in white lace. The quality is impeccable - it is beautifully sewn, and I have washed it a number of times and it comes up beautifully. The best thing about this apron is that since Lori makes them up to a size 3X, the bib actually covers my whole chest. Also, the extra long straps cross at the back and then tie at the waist, so no more slipping apron straps.  I use this one as my cooking apron - it is so pretty it would feel totally comfortable wearing this if I were entertaining.

http://www.vermontapron.com/no-tie-apron-in-brown-flannel/

My second apron, which I use for housekeeping, is this one from The Vermont Apron Company. Another impeccably made apron, also handmade, this apron is made from a beautifully soft checked flannel, trimmed with lace at the collar. Two extra large pockets on the front are wonderful for keeping cleaning cloths etc close by as I make my rounds of the house, and the criss-cross no-tie straps means that the apron simply slips over my head. It is truly one of the most comfortable aprons I have ever worn. My favourite thing about this apron, and the deciding factor for making this my housekeeping apron is the coverage. My whole front, all down the sides, and most of my back are covered by the apron, completely protecting my clothes while I am dusting, wiping and cleaning. I could have chosen from 7 other gorgeous fabrics, but something about this plaid flannel just sang to me.

If you are interested in sewing your own aprons, I found some patterns that are simply to-die-for! Bear in mind, though, the cost of the fabric if you don't have a stash to pick from, and that I couldn't find any patterns for plus-sized aprons.


If you are into the Victorian style aprons like my first one, then Butterick B5509 has a whole collection of historical repro aprons in one pattern. I love the middle one (very Downton Abbey!), but the bottom two look very practical, and would both be so pretty made from a ditsy floral and embellished with a hint of lace.


These aprons (Butterick B5263) are more like my housekeeping apron with greater coverage (although not quite as easy to slip on or off). I can totally imagine this sewn up in a reproduction 1930's feedsack print, can't you?


So whether you are buying or sewing your aprons, I would love to know if you adore aprons for homemaking as much as I do.


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Disclaimer: I purchased both of these aprons and I'm simply sharing something I found that I thought you all may like.


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Hope In Every Season's Homemaking Party

Friday, February 14, 2014

Pure Glow Cleanse


http://pureglowcleanse.com.au/

I am very, very excited! Tomorrow I am starting a 3 day juice cleanse through Pure Glow Cleanse, a wonderful cold-pressed juice cleanse company started right here in Perth by two local girls! Why I am so excited? I think this is just the thing I need to re - kickstart my weightloss. I've hit a plateau, despite doing everything right, and I think 3 days of yummy sounding, clean and fresh juices is just what I need.

I did my own juice cleanse about a year ago, and it was ah-mazing! However, and it is big however, it was a huge (I am talking ginormously huge) amount of effort, and the volume of produce needed pretty much took over my entire kitchen. So, despite the great results (glowing skin, lots of energy, no more sugar cravings for ages after), I really just couldn't be bothered, and I was waiting anxiously for someone to open a juice cleanse business here in Perth so they could do all the work for me.

Thankfully, Annette and Jacqueline did just that, and I am now eagerly awaiting my juices. At $195 for the three days, it doesn't sound cheap, but when I added up what I spent on produce last time, not to mention the time and effort, it is definitely worth it. I spent a lot more than that when I did it myself. I decided to do the cleanse on a Saturday, Sunday and Monday, since I am planning to be home all weekend, and I really think it will be a great start to the week.

Since signing up, I have been cleaning up my diet to prep; as they say in their pre-cleanse tips, you don't head into a marathon without running around the block a few times. So, no more Coke Zero's (they really need to go, anyway!), no more coffee (I only have one a day), and no meat tomorrow.
With juices like Chai Vanilla Dream, Sunrise Elixir and Glowing Greens waiting for me on the horizon, I really can't wait to start, and to check in with you all over the weekend!



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PS: This is not a sponsored post, and I am paying for this juice cleanse myself.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What I Wore Wednesday

Its been ages since I did a true WIWW post, so I thought it was well and truly time to rectify that! The first week at school is always full on, and so, so, busy, but it is still important to take a tiny bit of time for ourselves, and dress in a feminine and flattering way. If I leave it to the morning, it is all too easy to reach for a pair of yoga pants and a tee, so the night before, I take 5 minutes to pull out my outfit, including accessories, for the the next day. That way, getting changed in the morning rush takes just seconds.

What I Wore Wednesday


As you can see, all of these outfits are using pieces from my 10 item and accessories wardrobes. If you haven't tried the method out for yourself, I highly recommend getting a copy of Jennifer Scott's book Lessons of Madame Chic, where she outlines the process. I don't want to sound like a groupie, but this book really did change my life!!

You may also have noticed that my tops are more covered up than in the past. For example, on Friday I wore a white singlet layered with the shirt open over the top. In the past, I would almost certainly have worn just the singlet, but as my children get older (both my son and my daughter) I have been thinking about what kind of lessons I am teaching my children through my conduct. The reality is I see teenage girls walking around in skinny jeans and tanks, and I think "I wouldn't want my daughter dressing like that when she is older", but if that is how I am dressing, am I not being a hypocrite? It is certainly something I have been thinking a lot about lately, and I would love your thoughts on the matter!


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If you want to know more about my 10 (18!) item wardrobe posts, check these out:

Can I achieve a 10 item wardrobe
10 item wardrobe versatility
Update to my Summer Wardrobe


Linking to:

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Style Elixir
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Monday, February 10, 2014

Thermomix: Damper Wrapped Hot Dogs


While my daughter only wants sandwiches for lunch (everyday!), I like to mix things up a bit for Stephen. I had a packet of hotdogs left in the fridge that only had a few days left and these super easy Damper Wrapped Hot Dogs made the perfect treat. Made in the Thermomix, they take only 5 minutes to prep, and with just 10 minutes baking, you have a yummy lunch or afternoon snack in no time at all.  I don't know what you call damper elsewhere in the world, but here in Oz, it is a simple scone-like bread that is usually cooked in a camp fire. While these ones are baked in a regular oven, the combo of the damper and the hot dogs still help to bring back memories of the holidays!

Damper Wrapped Hot Dogs


1 cup self raising flour
1/2 tsp salt
30g butter, chopped
1/3 cup milk
4 hot dogs cut in half, or 8 cocktail frankfurts
2 tablespoons shredded cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 200C/400C.
  2. Place flour, salt and butter in to Thermomix bowl and mix for 10 secs/speed 6. Mixture should resemble breadcrumbs.
  3. Set dial to closed lid position, add milk and knead for 20-30 secs/interval speed to form dough.
  4. Tip onto lightly floured surface and knead lightly.
  5. Divide dough into 8 portions and roll each one into a 8cm disc.
  6. Place hot dog in middle of disc, and pull two opposite sides together, pinching to seal.
  7. Place on a baking paper lined tray and sprinkle each with cheese.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden and cooked. Serve hot or cold.
  9. Store leftovers in the fridge.
Non-thermomix instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200C/400C.
  2. Sift flour and salt into bowl, then rub in butter until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Stir in milk using a round bladed knife or pastry blender until a soft dough forms.
  4. Follow above instructions from step 4.

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Linking to:

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Consider the Lilies





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Graced Simplicity
Wholehearted Wednesday

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Update to summer wardrobe

We are already two thirds of the way through summer, and even though summer officially ends at the end of Feb, here in western Oz, the heat will carry on for at least another month after that. My summer 10 item wardrobe has held out really well, and made life a lot easier, but I have felt the need to update it. I've packed away the Liberty print linen shirt until the weather cools down - although it is linen, it is simply too heavy for these truly hot days. I've also taken out the blue linen trousers and the blue and yellow print skirt as they are now too big, and are awaiting alterations. Since I am still losing weight, I will wait another month or so before getting them altered, as I might be better off selling these pieces if the alteration is too drastic.  Finally, I had a cull through my extras, and removed any tees and tanks that are now past their prime.

I've highlighted the new pieces in my list which I have purchased in the last month, all on sale, but all classic items that will last for the next few seasons.

update to summer wardrobe

 

For high summer, these are my 18 core items:

  1. white slim leg cropped jeans
  2. dark rinse slim cut jeans
  3. boyfriend jeans
  4. navy cropped trousers
  5. camel cropped trousers
  6. black print knit track pants
  7. print denim pencil skirt
  8. navy striped ponte skirt
  9. navy jersey sleeveless dress
  10. white, black and pink print cotton sleeveless dress
  11. grey and yellow print sleeveless silk blouse
  12. teal, navy and white sleeveless chiffon blouse
  13. black linen knit sleeveless top
  14. navy linen knit sleeveless top
  15. navy and white nautical sleeveless shirt
  16. flamingo print white sleeveless shirt
  17. blue, green and red Liberty print short sleeve shirt
  18. green geo print silk blouse
 and my extras:

Outerwear
  1. navy linen blazer
  2. navy stripe ponte blazer
  3. natural linen blazer
  4. coral blazer
  5. seersucker jacket
  6. aqua knit jacket
  7. denim jacket
  8. navy waterfall merino cardigan
  9. navy short sleeved cotton cardigan
  10. coral cotton cardigan
  11. aqua cotton cardigan
 Tees/tanks
  1. white, navy, coral, and teal plain scoop or v neck tees
  2. navy and white tanks
  3. navy and white stripe v neck tee
  4. navy, white and red striped tee
  5. coral floral print tank
  6. navy floral print tank
Summer wardrobe updates


As you can see above, this shirt goes with at least three of my original bottoms, the new navy cropped pants and I think it would also look good with my boyfriend jeans as well. The other three shirts also look great with almost all of the bottoms, and by utilising my accessories wardrobe, I can create lots of different looks.

OOTD


This is my outfit today, using the Liberty print shirt. I went all-the-way retro, with the cuffed jeans, cat's eye sunglasses and a slick of orange-red lipstick, and I have to say, this was one of my favourite outfits I have ever put together - I felt fantastic all day long!

If you want to know more about my 10 (18!) item wardrobe posts, check these out:

Can I achieve a 10 item wardrobe
10 item wardrobe versatility

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Linking to:

pleated poppy



Style Elixir
Grab button for The Mummy Chronicles

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