Favourites Unearthed

Favourites Unearthed - Page 001

How has your weekend been? We started with lots of plans, but they came to a halt last night with two sick kids. Temperatures, rashes and a bout of conjunctivitis to boot, right in time for the start of the school holidays! We’ll bunker down tomorrow on the last expected day of rainy Sydney weather – I am looking forward to some sunshine later in the week, and getting my washing dry.

I have discovered a few new bits and pieces during the past couple of weeks I thought I would share with you.

L’Oreal Preference Hair Colour

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The day after I used this colour I put a picture up on Instagram with the caption ‘It’s a big call but I think this may be the best at-home hair colour I have ever used’. It was incredibly easy to apply – there were no drips in my bathroom. The colour comes with a little tube of oil to add, which makes your hair extra shiny. The conditioner bottle has enough for six weekly treatments, and left my hair incredibly soft. So far, the colour is standing up well and my greys and perfectly disguised. I am dubious as to whether it will last eight weeks in my hair, as I normally have to re-colour it after about four, but I will let you know how it goes. An added bonus was that it also smelt quite good – I wasn’t left with the chemical smell in my hair for the days until I washed it again. At only $13 (on special) it was a definitely winner.

MacBook Pro

MacBook Pro

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I have fallen in love with this little baby since getting it two weeks ago. I have always been a PC girl, but have gradually transitioning to all things Apple with my iPad and iPhone. Using a PC at work, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have a different system at home, but I am so glad to have switched. I love the Mac. Being able to bluetooth my photos from my iPhone straight to the computer is so handy, and the fact that all my contacts are backed up makes me very happy. I feel like I have only touched the surface of what my new toy can do, and I am definitely looking forward to playing with it more during the holidays.

Natio Rich Colour Creme Gloss

Natio Lip Gloss

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I stumbled across this lovely lip colour in the Natio stand at my local pharmacy. My chemist has a great loyalty scheme, and every few months I find a $10 voucher in my mail box. Instead of keeping it for medicines or other boring bits and pieces I decided to treat myself to a little present.

 Serene Lip Colour

The colour I chose was Serene, which I picked as much for the name as I did the colour. While the above is the sample colour from the Natio website, it is a little more pink in real life. It’s a gorgeous colour which matches my natural lip colour. It is very glossy, but not drying at all. It lasted very well, and I only had to reapply it once or twice during the day. At $15.95 they’re very affordable, and like all other Natio products they are not tested on animals. Which colour shall I try next?

Kikki K Ballpoint Pens

Kikki K Pen

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I am a massive stationery nerd. One of the highlights of my first full time job was being in charge of ordering the stationery (and making sure I always spell it correctly after the first email I sent out requested everyone’s ‘stationary’ orders). Kikki K is one of my happy places. The staff of my local store know me now, and I could spend many a happy hour browsing in there. Their ballpoint pens are my favourites – they write smoothly and feel so comfortable in my hand. They also come in a wide range of cute designs, and they’re only $4.95 – what more could a stationery nerd want? I’m looking forward to next weekend when I will be attending my first Kikki K workshop. I will let you know all about it next Monday. If you’re very quick, Kikki K has 25% off store wide until midnight tonight (Sunday 30 June).

What did you get up to this weekend? What are your current favourite things?

Afternoon Delight – Cheese and Vegemite Scrolls

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Domestic goddess I am not, but last weekend (and every day since, thanks Sydney!) has been rainy, and this called for comfort food. Both my kids are dairy free, due to a cow’s milk protein allergy, so require special cheese. We had purchased a new block the day before, so I took the opportunity to make them a special treat I had been talking about for ages – cheese and Vegemite scrolls. Luckily, both small ones are a fan of Vegemite, but have never known the Australian right of passage that is cheese and Vegemite together. It was a staple sandwich filling for me as a child, occasionally with lettuce thrown in for good measure (thanks, Dad!). These were incredibly easy to make, and even the biggest small one leant a hand.

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I cheated and used some store-bought puff pastry from the freezer. Short crust is easy enough to make, but I have never tried my hand at puff. This one browns and crisps nicely. Doesn’t everything taste better surrounded by golden, flaky pastry?

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We used Notzarella cheese for our scrolls. It is a vegan cheese (no animal products) and melts very well. We also use the Cheezly brand more regularly, as it is easier for us to source locally. Since finding this cheese it has been so nice – even though it is not the same as dairy based cheese it still makes pizzas and lasagnes a lot more delicious.

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We defrosted the pastry, then spread the Vegemite on. Someone was a little heavy handed! Cheese was grated, sprinkled, and then we rolled the pastry pieces into scroll-like shapes.

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Being dairy free also means using rice milk. We used a pastry brush to spread a little milk onto the scrolls to help the pastry stick (and because the eldest kidlet had seen them do this on Playschool).

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Once the were ready, we popped them in the oven set to around 180 degrees. I cooked them for about 15-20 minutes, when they had browned and the cheese was nicely melted.

They may not have been the prettiest afternoon tea in the world, but they were salty, crispy and warm. We will definitely be making them again!

Do you have a go-to afternoon snack? What new recipe have you tried lately? Do you like Vegemite?

Home Unearthed – Porch and Entryway

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Neutral. If I was asked for one word to describe our home, this would be it. Like my wardrobe of old, my home decor is plain and dare I say it, a little boring. Our furniture is chocolate brown, bought from chain stores and now looking a little tired. Not wanting to replace things while the children are little, I am going to accessorise, disguise and detract! Our walls are the ever popular Antique White USA and Hog’s Bristle. A master piece waiting to happen!

We have lived in our current home for just over two years. It’s our forever home, and we love it’s high ceilings, huge backyard and masses of potential. The previous owners were not afraid of colour – reds, blues and greens adorned the walls. We restored it to a neutral colour palette before we moved in, which has left me with a blank canvas.

Like my wardrobe, I prefer a more classic look around the home. French country with a modern twist would be the best description of my style. Now that my wardrobe re-design is almost complete (for Winter, any how), I have decided to focus on the look of our home. The to-do list is quite lengthy so to begin with I have decided to focus on the entry way, and the lounge room.

The Porch

Our front door is covered by a car port, making the area quite dark. I have been thinking of ways to brighten up our entry way, and didn’t think any plants would grow there. Enter my lovely green-thumbed friend and neighbour who informed me that there are plants that thrive in full shade. Who would have thought? According to my research agapanthus are some of these plants, which is lucky as I love them (despite what anyone might say about their status as an unfashionable plant). Some pots and greenery will definitely make the space more easy on the eye. The other feature that I am excited about is a coloured front door. A few months ago our dog escaped and ripped our front door to shreds during a storm. It has still been secure, but looks awful. A new door, painted in a bright hue, will brighten up the area very quickly. I am thinking either yellow or blue, framed by white or the existing timber. A nice door mat might also be on the agenda.

Pale yellow front door

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Bright yellow front door

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I’m looking forward to venturing to Masters on the weekend to check out their selection of doors, and to pick up some paint colour charts.

The Entry Way

Our front door opens onto a long hallway, with a living area, bedrooms and bathroom on the upper level, and the other living areas and kitchen on a lower level. Currently, the only points of interest are a few family photos. I love the look of the batten attached to the walls, with a small seat and hooks for coats but I’m sure this would end up as a dumping ground in our house! While surfing Pinterest I have found what I think is a good compromise – a console table with baskets below, and some hooks hanging above for keys and things.

Hall Table

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Hall table white

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Hall table curved

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I have found these simple tables from Ikea, which could be painted or stained to suit the look that I want. I do plan on having a poke around a few thrift shops to see if they have any cheaper offerings that can be cleaned up with a little bit of love.

Ikea console pine

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Ikea console white

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I am looking forward to decorating the table, and have my eye on a beautiful pink enamel jug I found a while ago at Bed Bath and Table. For some incredibly odd reason, they don’t seem to have a website, so I will have to venture in store to take a photo of the jug. What a shame. I could spend hours in that shop – so many gorgeous bits and pieces. A few more interesting things (pictured below) were found at Hard To Find. Hard To Find is an Australian website I first discovered thanks to their gorgeous little catalogues placed inside various magazines. They have homewares, clothes and the perfect gift for any occasion. I haven’t ordered anything from there yet, so can’t comment on the service, but I know that is going to change very soon.

Key sparrow

I have fallen in love with this gorgeous little bird, and at less than $20 he is a bargain! He also comes in black. I think my keys will be very happy here, and I will never need to search for them on the kitchen bench again.

Tree

The interesting shape drew me to this tree. I like the bare branches, and the silhouette. It also would be quite unlikely to break if a certain little someone knocked it on the ground.

Vase

While I adore this vase, I don’t think it will be coming to live at my house any time soon. I would be too afraid it would get smashed! I have a gorgeous Murano glass vase my parents brought me back from their trip to Italy, and it currently lives on the top of my bookshelf, away from inquisitive hands. I love the colour of the vase, and it’s a bargain at $50.

So, this marks the start of my home re-design. I hope you will enjoy following the journey. I will still be posting lots of fashion and beauty content, but wanted to reflect what else is happening in my life and explain why the clothes purchases have slowed down. Here’s to unearthing my home style!

Does your home have a particular style? Would you consider a coloured front door? What is your favourite decorating feature?

 

A Welcome Weekend

* The photography tour with photography travel.net was gifted to me by Gift It Now.

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Life has been busy lately – family, work, house and work. I’ve been craving some ‘me time’, and finally found it this weekend. On Saturday morning I was up before the sun, and ventured into the chilly city for a photography workshop. Having a proper play with my digital SLR and learning how to use manual mode is something I have been meaning to do for a long time. When Gift It Now offered me the chance to choose one of their many experiences, I jumped at the chance to partake in a workshop with a professional photographer.

Catching the train meant I had an hour each way uninterrupted to read my book – such a treat to read without little voices interjecting. The view in the picture above can be seen as soon as you step foot off the train, and it is one of my favourites in the world. I paused to snap the first of many, many photos of picturesque Sydney.

I walked up to The Rocks, the original settlement of Old Sydney Town, and warmed my hands on a hot chocolate while waiting for my photography tutor and group. It started to pour with rain at this point, and didn’t ease up until the end of the tour. Fortunately this didn’t dampen our spirits! Despite the rain, tutor Alfonso Calero taught us lots of photography tips and tricks both technical and creative. We discovered alley ways, museums and tunnels which were great locations to complete our tasks, while staying mostly dry. We looked at different elements of photography, and discovered how to use the different elements of our cameras. Finally learning about aperture, shutter speed, and light settings was fantastic. I have been interested in photography since I was a teenager, but have never had the confidence to play around with these settings on my cameras. One of the things I enjoyed most was having three hours to spend taking pictures, and having a professional photographer’s extensive knowledge at my finger tips was a huge added bonus.

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The convict-built sandstone buildings were fun to photograph. We spent quite a few minutes dodging rain drops in this little courtyard, photographing line. I found that looking for certain elements to to take photos of made me really take in my surroundings, and I loved seeing my city in a new light.

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Sharing our photos and looking at everyone else’s interpretations was very helpful, and seeing what the other women had discovered about the same area was really interesting – so many varying perspectives.

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The rain did make for a great addition to our pictures when we were playing the with the aperture – I loved the droplets of water and the veins on the leaves outside a church.

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Shooting cars in continuous shot mode in a tunnel made me feel a little like a paparazzo – I was hoping no one would question what we were doing! The aim was to capture a shot with a blurry car and blurry background, which I need a lot more practice at. Alfonso even ran along the road in the quest for our perfect shot, but I think we were all laughing too hard to capture anything decent!

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The Sydney Heritage Museum was a great place to play with the light that came streaming in through their windows from the courtyard. The sandstone had a beautiful warm quality, and we were able to experiment with the light balance settings on our cameras.

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Our final stop was the Overseas Passenger Terminal, overlooking the ferries, Opera House and Harbour Bridge. I had fun playing with the Tungsten setting which gives a blue tint to the pictures and complimented the stormy sky.

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I took so many shots of the Opera House sails – the shape and texture is fantastic. Hopefully next year I will feel confident enough to go and take night photos when the Vivid Festival is on.

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My new friends, and fellow photography students posed for a few final pictures as a memento of our day. Thank you for making the course so much fun! Once our little party went our separate ways I wandered back into The Rocks and treated myself to a baguette and massive chocolate-topped choc chip cookie for the trip back home. More reading and a full tummy made for a very relaxing trip!

We ventured back in to the city as a family in the afternoon to have dinner with friends. The rain kept up, but it resulted in a good photo opportunity from the front passenger seat of the car.

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The rainbow eventually reached right across the sky. They’re always a thrill to see, and the kids loved pointing out the different colours. Our friends made a beautiful Mexican dinner, and  we had a fantastic night with good food, good wine and good friends.

Today has been lazy, and oh so nice. It was my turn for a sleep in, and I woke up to the smell of pancakes and maple syrup. Is there anything better on a Sunday morning? We spent the day reading books, watching DVDs and transforming gum boots into Iron Man boots (the four year old is a super hero fiend, at the moment).

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I decided to try out some of yesterday’s hints and take a few quick snaps of our backyard while the rain was falling – it turned out to be a very short lived session when the dog ran into the house with muddy paws!

Late this afternoon we decided to try our hand at making cheese (well, Notzarella in this dairy-free for kids house) and Vegemite scrolls.

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Apparently we’re the ‘best cooks in the whole world, Mum’. I guess they were a hit! I will pop the very easy recipe on the blog later this week, if you’d like to try making them as well.

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This is the last week of the school term, which means holidays next week. Hurray! I’m looking forward to some lazy days, lots of reading and a few day trips with the small ones.

How was your weekend? What did you do? Do you like cheese and Vegemite scrolls?

* Thanks to Gift It Now for the photography voucher for my session with photographytravel.net. You can follow Gift It Now on Facebook,  Twitter and Pinterest to keep up to date with all the new experiences they offer. You can download Alfonso’s free photography e-book that we used during the session here and see his photos on his Facebook page here. Alfonso was very informative and patient with us all. He has a very wide knowledge of cameras, and the technical and artistic elements of photography. His company run day and night time courses in five Australian cities, and if you’re feeling adventurous you can even take an overseas jaunt. Happy snapping!

Classroom Smart Casual Chic

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What is your work wear style? We’ve had a look at work wear inspiration before here, but I thought I would put together some looks that suit a smart-casual environment, like the classroom. The above outfit is what I wore during an excursion (or field trip, for my US readers) this week. I only wear jeans to school on casual days, but know others who wear them all the time. With dark skinnies, a Breton stripe, blazer and some loafers, my aim was to look casual, with a professional edge. Loafers are the perfect shoe for me when I’m going to be on my feet a lot. This pair from the Diana Ferrari Supersoft range are nearly five years old, but they still look great and possess slipper-like comfort. You can find a similar pair here.

Dressing for the classroom can be problematic. I find that while I want to present myself as professional, I don’t want to wear clothes that are too ‘good’ and might end up with paint or other spills on them. Sensible footwear also needs to be considered – heels and playground duty don’t mix, unless you want to aerate the oval! Jewellery is another thing to consider – dangly earrings can be a safety hazard, as can big necklaces.

I have put together a few collections to inspire your classroom or smart casual work wardrobe. They are all designed to work as layered outfits, with pieces that can be added and removed at your discretion.

Pink and Black Teacher Outfit

The first outfit features the colours of pink and black. The button down can be worn with or without the sweater. The pink necklace, shoes and stripes on the bag add a pop of colour. Pink shoes can be changed out for black if you want to be more formal. I love slim fitting pants, and black is a great colour for the classroom, as it does not show as much dirt. A teacher or worker travelling to work needs a large bag, in order to tote their marking, lunch, or latest reading material. This bag would be suitable for both work, and weekend play.

Cream and Green Teacher Outfit

This is the most casual look of the three, and may be best reserved for Casual Friday. The short sleeved pea cot adds a pop of colour, and could be worn with a short or long sleeved tee underneath. The patterned pants are fun, and on trend. I love the simple green ballet flats, and the jewelled head band. No one can go wrong with a bit of bling! Again, an oversized bag allows you to bring all your bits and bobs between school and home. It can be worn over the shoulder, or across the body for extra support.

Navy and Neutral teacher outfit

This is by far the dressiest outfit, which I would choose to wear for a formal assembly or possibly a parent/teacher interview. I love the structure of the dress, which can be worn with or without the blazer, depending on the occasion. The sleeves of the blazer could be folded back or pushed up the arm to show off a casual stack of bangles. I have always found wedges the best choice of heel for school – no worry about sinking into mud, with that extra level of support. The neutral colour allows the dress to take centre stage. The buttery soft tote compliments the shoes.

One of the best things about dressing up for school is when your students tell you that you’re beautiful – I’m sure it stops past grade two! Definitely a work place perk.

What do you wear to work? Which outfit is your favourite? Do you accessorise for the workplace?

My Style Evolution

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How has your style evolved over the years? My 29th birthday is fast approaching, and I thought I would take a look at my ‘style’ journey. I’ve been through many phases, the most notable (and longest running) surfer/skater girl stage which was inspired by beach holidays, body boarding and Chick magazine. Please join me while I raid my photo albums…

The above photo was taken when I was around seven years old, at an age when it must have been acceptable to dress in a matching outfit as your pet! My beloved Katy dog started a love for all things Dalmatian and spotty, but thankfully I no longer dress like a Cruella DeVil clone.

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Remember the bike pant phase of the 90’s? I do (as you can see!). They mostly came in psychedelic prints, or fluro lycra. My skinny little legs and knobbly knees never filled them out, so they always looked like unfortunate baggy shorts. Our round the world trip photos are full of me in various oversized t-shirt and short combos, just like this one. If only I had been sporting matching Minnie Mouse ears to complete my ensemble!

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At least at 14 I didn’t dress in matching spots, instead deciding to compliment Rosie’s coat with some stripes! I had always wanted overalls, but could never find any long enough as a kid (sensing a pattern of things to come, here?). This was my first ever pair and I wore them to death.

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The curse of the school formal dress. The big thing in Sydney was to go to the formal store ‘Harts’ and choose a dress. This particular trip was fruitless, and my dress was found at the very hip (said with my tongue firmly in my cheek) Noni B. Despite looking like a shop for the more mature woman, they did have a nice range of formal wear. Having the largest cohort of students to ever attend my high school meant several double ups of formal gowns, including mine. Despite that particular faux pax, I did feel very grown up with beautiful antique jewellery that I still own. The dress is in my cupboard, and I was thrilled to try it on a few months ago and find it was too big!

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By my year 12 formal I had gone blonde, and wore a black two piece outfit. Very plain, and understated. Looking back, I wish I had been more confident to step outside the box and have some fun with colour and shape.

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This look was my uniform for my university years. During my first six months of uni I didn’t have my licence, so had to catch two trains and walked a couple of kilometres. This meant that comfort was key. I loved surf and skate brands, and lived in my jeans. When I started wearing these brands as a child, they didn’t have girl’s ranges. Thankfully, that has now changed and surf and skate shops offer some great clothes and shoes, especially cute summer dresses, warm coats and casual sandals. While I don’t wear it head to toe anymore, there are still some key pieces in my wardrobe.

Whale Watch Cruise

This picture really describes my style prior to the wardrobe re-design. Tops of some description and shorts or jeans. Nothing adventurous, always purchasing from the same chain stores, and buying things because they looked kind of okay instead of great. We were a young married couple with a mortgage and not a lot of spare money for clothes, and while now we’re a young family in the same situation, I have become a lot more discerning about what I buy.

Races outfit

My wardrobe re-design started with this dress. It’s the first item of clothing that I bought in a smaller size. I have worn it several times, and have been given compliments which is lovely. I’m looking forward to getting plenty of use out of it this Summer.

I hope you’ve enjoyed joining me on my walk down my fashion memory lane – thanks for indulging me!

How has your style changed over the years? Did you have any distinct phases?

Favourites Unearthed – Five Fashionable Apps

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I bought my first mobile phone when I was 17. My casual job as a checkout chick kept me in phone credit, and I loved the endless text message conversations I had with friends. I eventually graduated to a phone with a futuristic coloured screen and polyphonic ringtones (remember when they were the big thing?), a flip phone, and then my beloved BlackBerries. Last year, I finally made the leap to the smartphone (my phone of choice is the iPhone), and I have never looked back. Sometimes being connected all the time can be a problem – it can be hard to switch off. However, being able to find out information at a whim, connect with friends at any time, and have a still and video camera in my pocket can be all kinds of wonderful.

One of the things I love most about having a smart phone are the range of apps available. Games, social media, sports, books and magazines – the opportunities are virtually endless. One category I have started to explore since my wardrobe re-design is fashion. There are so many fashion apps out there, some I have recently discovered and others I have been using for a while. I thought I would share five of my favourites with you.

Stylebook

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Did you ever watch the movie Clueless and wish that you had Cher’s closet? Now you can have it. On your phone! Stylebook will let you photograph all of your clothes, and will organise them into categories. You can put outfits together to see how they would look, and even create packing lists if you’re preparing to travel. It is also wonderful to have on hand when you’re shopping. It will help you remember what you already have in your wardrobe, and whether your new potential purchase will match your existing clothes.

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One of my favourite features is the calendar. It will track the outfits that you wear and place them on the calendar for a quick reminder. That way, you won’t double up on outfits if you’re seeing the same people. It’s also handy to make sure you have enough outfits if you’re planning a trip. The app is available from the Apple App Store, and retails for $4.49.

Polyvore

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My love affair with Polyvore has been no secret lately. I really enjoy putting together looks easily, and from a range of sources. On the Polyvore app you can easily follow people, and even put together outfits on the go. It’s perfect if you’re waiting for an appointment and have a few minutes to kill. It came into its own yesterday when a reader commented on the Style Unearthed Facebook page and asked where a certain dress on an inspiration board came from. I was able to look it up while I was in the middle of a shopping centre and answer her. The instantaneous nature is fantastic. The Polyvore app is free.

Pose

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Pose  is like Instagram for fashionistas. You can take pictures of your favourite outfits, and upload them to share with friends and followers. Bloggers, celebrities and other fashion types post their outfits, and can be followed for inspiration. If you find a new favourite outfit, handbag or pair of shoes they can be grouped together into specific collections of your choosing. The Pose app is free from the Apple App Store.

Style.com

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This app is an extension of the website by the same name. It lets you stay up to date with the latest fashion news, red carpet events, and style videos. It has been created by Conde Nast, publishers of Vogue, so you can rest assured that their fingers are on the fashion pulse and you will be kept up to date with all the latest news. Style.com is a free app.

Trendabl

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Another fun app where you can follow all your favourite designers and brands, to keep up to date with all their latest products and new designs. Find the people that inspire your wardrobe (including your friends). It will even give you tips about how to wear different looks.

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One of my favourite parts of this app is that it tells you the price of various garments, and links directly to an online store where it can be purchased. No waiting around to find a computer, or even trawling the shopping centre. Up to the minute shopping, right in the palm of your hand! Trendabl is another free app.

The above apps are all available from the Apple App Store. I am not sure if they are available on Android platforms, but a quick search would give you the answer. Have fun playing with a new, or rediscovered app!

Which apps are must haves on your phone? Do you have any favourite fashion apps?

 

Dressing for Your Shape – Hourglass

Hourglass body shape

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An hourglass body shape, with a larger bust, small waist and curvy hips can be lots of fun to dress. Like all body shapes, it can also be a right royal pain! According to the Westfield Body Calculator, I have an hourglass shape. I am slightly dubious about this – while I have the waist and hips, I most definitely do not have the boobs! I suppose two out of three attributes ain’t bad. There are many suggestions about how to dress certain body types, so I have decided to start a little series unearthing styles suited to a different body type each week.

Tips for dressing an hourglass figure:

  • Dress like Joan – 1950 and 1960’s fashion can thankfully be a go to for those with an hourglass figure, and Mad Men has brought a resurgence of this particular look. Pencil skirts, high waisted everything, and fitted tops suit a curvy figure. You can play up your curves, all while hiding lumps and bumps. 
  • Wear fine accessories – chunky belts never fail to accentuate my hips, however a small belt at the waist can break up an outfit. It also highlights a small waist.
  • Balance it out – try a pair of higher waisted pants with wide legs will play down thighs and bottom, if you’re not a fan of these parts. They accentuate the curve from the hip, which will balance your shape. Try them in a dark colour for work, and white or cream for play.
  • Try something new – draping or the ever popular peplum will accentuate curves, while hiding areas like your tummy (if you want to disguise it). Perfect for a dinner date!

I had a play on Polyvore, and put together a variety of outfits for different occasions that would flatter an hourglass figure. Will you join me in stepping out of your comfort zone and try something new?

Monochrome

 

Monochrome is a very popular look at the moment. Try mixing black, white and a bit of silver or gold. I loved the skinny black belt and black and white striped shoes. The belt on the dress will play up a small waist.

Hourglass Pencil Skirts

 

The ever popular pencil skirt. I can’t choose my favourite – the leather is very on-trend this Winter, but I love the detail on the blue skirt, and the ombre look of the green.

Hourglass DressesThese dresses all feature belts which highlight the waist. Wrap dresses especially are fantastic for hourglass figures. Diane  von Furstenberg makes gorgeous dresses, and I promise myself that I will own one, one day! The pale blue dress above would be perfect for Spring, with some nude wedge peep toe shoes.

Hourglass Casual

 

Last but not least, the ‘me’ look – casual with flat shoes. While dressing up is fun, it’s not always practical. Being a mum and a teacher, I favour flat shoes. Jeans are comfortable, and skinnies suit so many body types. I loved the grey ones on the right. The blue top is quite drapey which may not be to everyone’s taste, but I like larger tops this season, especially when paired with skinny jeans.

I hope you have found some inspiration from the first post in this series. I will be back next Saturday with the next installment.

Do you know your body shape? Do you dress by the body shape ‘rules’? Which shape would you like me to cover next?

* All outfits created using Polyvore. You can follow me here.

Food Unearthed – Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry

Curry in Bowl

A cold, rainy Winter day was the perfect excuse to bring the slow cooker out of the cupboard. Wednesday means a gym session for me, and grocery shopping for Mr Style Unearthed and the small ones, which really means not much time for dinner preparation. I decided to unleash my inner Martha Stewart (it doesn’t happen often!) and prep a dinner of vegetable and chickpea curry at lunch time.  Normally dinner is cooked during the arsenic hour rush. This recipe was full of vegetables, and super easy to make. It also made the house smell delicious. I stuck to the recipe quite closely as this was the first time I had made it, but you could use up any vegetables that you had left in the fridge, and play around if you felt more confident.

Squash

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I didn’t use this, but should have as I burnt the pot – chef I am not)
  • 1 large brown onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed (I used just under a table spoon of fresh garlic from a tube)
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder (I used a little under one tablespoon – I don’t like spicy food, and it was also being served to the littles)
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin (I omitted this as I didn’t have any)
  • 800g can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced (equates to two tablespoons)
  • 300g can chickpeas, drained, rinsed
  • 150g orange sweet potato, peeled, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, diced
  • 1 small red capsicum, diced
  • 250g cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 100g button mushrooms, halved
  • 4 small yellow squash, halved
  • 250g broccoli, cut into florets
  • steamed jasmine rice and natural yoghurt, to serve (I omitted the yoghurt as the biggest small one has a dairy allergy).

I used sweet potato, pumpkin, carrot, yellow squash, broccoli, cauliflower and chickpeas as that is what I had in the fridge. They softened beautifully, and were full of flavour.

Curry

Method

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring often, for 2 to 3 minutes or until onion is soft. Add garlic, curry powder and cumin. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic.
  2. Stir in tomatoes. Simmer for 3 minutes or until sauce thickens. Add 1/2 cup cold water, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, chickpeas and vegetables. Increase heat to high. Bring to the boil.
  3. Spoon curry into slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 6 hours. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon curry over rice. Serve with yoghurt.

As I said before, this was super easy to make and didn’t take much time at all. I stirred it in the slow cooker every now and again to make sure the veggies were cooking evenly.

I served it over Jasmine rice, and you could also add papadums or Naan if you wished. The whole family cleared their plates, including the 20 month old. It was definitely a hit, and I’m sure it will feature on our meal plan a few more times before the Winter is out. If you would like to road test this recipe, you can find it here.

Do you have any surprise dinner hits in your house? What are some of your favourite recipes?

* I hope you liked the first Health Unearthed recipe. I will feature delicious recipes as I make them, but I must warn you that I’m of the ‘quick and simple’ dinner camp! I’m also vegetarian, so most recipes will be sans meat.

How to Measure Your Body for Successful Online Shopping

Tape measure

I have long been a fan of online shopping, but one of the things that deters me is not being able to try on clothes to determine whether they fit correctly. Knowing how to measure your body will help you shop online successfully. All clothing brands that sell online have sizing charts – they’re mostly a standard chart, with variations for tall, petite, plus size or maternity options. Measuring your waist, hips and bust will give you a fair idea of your size in that particular brand. If you’re tall like me, you should also pay attention to the inseam size of trousers to make sure they will be long enough.

A size chart from Country Road

How to measure your body for successful online shopping

Use a flexible tape measure designed for sewing. It will easily wrap around your body, and will allow you to view measurements in both centimetres and inches. This will make for easy shopping from countries such as the United States – no messing around with conversion tables or websites.

Hold the tape measure firmly, and make sure the side with the measurement system you require (metric or imperial) is facing out for you to easily see.

Wrap the tape measure around the largest part of you bust. Make sure it is flat and not tangled to record an accurate measurement.

Bust

Next, measure your waist. Waist measurements are taken around the belly button.

Waist

Lastly, measure your hips. These are usually measure at the widest part of the hip, just above the joint to your leg.

Hips

These measurements will then give you a good indication of your size for a particular brand. Be sure to check each brand individually unless you’re very confident of your fit, as sizes vary greatly from shop to shop.

Body Shape calculator - Page 001

Westfield Body Shape Calculator

The shopping centre chain Westfield has a fun service on their website to calculate your body shape and find clothes to really suit you. Once you know your shape, you can read do and don’t tips, view style inspiration, and shop for your shape. According to the calculator, I am an hourglass. I should highlight my waist, embrace the 1950’s look (lucky I love Mad Men!), and steer clear of flouncy tops that add too much extra weight to an outfit. While the body shape calculator may not be perfect, it will give you a good idea of looks that may suit your shape or body. At least you might get some inspiration for next time you’re shopping!

Tips remember for successful online shopping:

  • Measure, measure, measure! Make sure you are taking your measurements accurately, and have someone else double check them for you if you’re unsure.
  • Make use of sizing charts. Every brand has one, and while they’re not all as comprehensive as one another, they are still incredibly useful in helping you determine the correct fit of the piece you are interested in.
  • Measure yourself when wearing underwear (including a well fitting bra). This will help you be more accurate.
  • Use a service like the body shape calculator to assess your body type and find some clothing that should look great on you.

Do you shop online? Have you taken your measurements to buy accurate sizes? Which body shape are you?