Archive of ‘Lifestyle’ category

10 Fashion Must Do’s Before The End Of Financial Year

With the end of financial year looming, it’s often a great time to invest in fashion pieces that may be on sale. But I wanted to share some fashion must do’s before the end of financial year which have helped me save money or make it. While the title can be a bit misleading – you don’t have to do anything – these tips are things I do or have done in the past.

10 fashion must do's for end of financial year

1. Declutter and sort out your wardrobe.

This tip should be done every season. Be ruthless with your culling. If you don’t wear it because it’s too tight, stained or doesn’t fit right, it’s time to get rid of it. Keep a pile of clothes for donations and keep the designer pieces to sell online.

2. Buy a 10 pack of 500gm Australia Post satchels

Generally, Australia Post will announce when they increase their prices, but before June 30, I buy a 10 pack of 500gm Australia Post Satchels. Buying them in a pack of 10 means you get one satchel half price and I get them before Aus Post decides to increase the postage prices. The reason I have satchels on hand is for when I need to return online sales that haven’t fit me or suited my shape. I have peace of mind knowing I’m sending a trackable parcel back, even if I’ve lost $9 in postage. It doesn’t happen often as most times I’m pretty good at picking the right sizes, but there are the odd occasions when return postage may be at my cost and I want to send it the most affordable way I can, with tracking.

The other reason for the bulk buy of satchels is to use them when I sell pieces online.

3. Sell designer pieces you no longer wear

I usually sell designer pieces I no longer wear online on Ebay. But Andrea from Sublime Finds shared how she made $1500 by selling her pieces via buy sell swap groups on Facebook. I haven’t done this, but this is a great way for fans of the label to purchase your pieces. It may sound unusual to sell your designer pieces in June, but many people will wait until June to purchase that piece they couldn’t afford at full price.

If it is on sale, it may be best to hold onto it. But if it’s sold out, you may get more for your designer piece. I once sold red, sparkly Peter Alexander slippers for over $100 because they had sold out Australia wide. Even though they were worn, I had a bidding war on the slippers and they ended up selling more than the retail price. A big win for me.

4. Sell winter clothes now.

Sell your pre-loved clothes in the season you’re experiencing. So winter clothes in winter (now for Australia) and summer clothes for summer. When it comes to selling your clothes, sell brands by themselves like Witchery, Review, Sass & Bide, Country Road and etc.
If you have pieces from retail stores like Sussan, Katies, Rockmans, Target and etc, try and group pieces together and sell as a bulk lot.

5. Make all eBay listings to end on a Sunday afternoon or night.

This is peak time for the website and you will most likely sell everything and get the highest dollar for your wares.

6. Really consider if it’s worth your time selling your pieces.

Consider having a clothes swap or donating to causes like Dressed for Success or initiatives that help clothe those in need for winter. Sometimes the time it takes to do the photos and write the listings may not amount to much money.

7. Invest in pieces that will fill a hole in your wardrobe.

If you need a new jacket or some basics, now is the time to purchase them while the sales are on.

8. Buy replacement uniforms.

If you work in a job where you have to wear a uniform, buy replacement uniforms before June 30 so you can claim them on tax. When it comes to corporate clothing, the logo of the business must be on the clothing before it can be claimed on tax. Check with your accountant on what can and can’t be claimed. They will tell you how to purchase so you can get the benefit.

9. Start an End of Financial Year slush fund.

Open an online savings account and get a small amount deposited automatically into the fund so you can use the money to buy your fashion pieces next EOFY. Five dollars per week will accumulate to $260 (plus interest) and $10 per week can accumulate to $520.

10. Check your local op shop for designer finds.

If people are decluttering their wardrobes for winter and donating, now is the perfect time to grab a bargain at your op shop. Some op shops in high end areas can have amazing designer pieces for a small price.

Not all the tips will relate to your situation, and some may be considered common knowledge.

The end of financial year is only two weeks away. Plenty of time to declutter, shop and buy some satchels.

What fashion must do’s would you recommend to do before the end of financial year?

It’s Never Too Early to Teach Our Daughters They Look Fabulous

Since learning about fashion styling, I have always put an effort into my outfits and how I look.

I do it because it makes me feel good and I find myself more productive when I look somewhat put together. Funnily enough on the days I feel like I’m a bit untidy, I may get the odd compliment on what I’m wearing. I don’t dress for others, but simply dress for myself, yet I take the compliments graciously and try not to wave them off. It can be a hard thing to do.

Last night I headed to a Kindy fundraiser at my Maggie’s Kindy for a ladies night. I started to talk to one of the mums who relayed a cute story to me and it offered encouragement and a big lesson for me about influence and how far it can reach our younger generations.

For the purpose of the story, let’s call the mum Catherine* and her three-year-old daughter, Laura*.

I can’t completely remember the context of the situation, but Laura was getting dressed and told her mum, “I look absolutely fabulous!”

Catherine thought and asked Laura, “Where did you learn to say that?”, expecting the answer to be something she watched on TV.

Laura told Catherine, “Maggie always says it whenever she plays with the dress-ups at Kindy.”

tell our daughters they look fabulous

I told Catherine how I write this blog and take a photo of my outfit everyday, which I share on Instagram or on here.

Catherine told me how it all made sense to her, as she always envied my outfits when dropping Maggie off to Kindy. This gave me the opportunity to encourage her, and with her being a mum to three little ones under three, clothes are the last thing on our minds as mums with children so little.

It wasn’t until late late last night, I thought about Maggie’s influence on her friend Laura. I have told Maggie she looks fabulous many times simply to build her up and because she really does. She has an eye for putting outfits together. Her tan ankle boots are the first shoes she reaches  when it’s time for us to go and they literally add spark to all her outfits.

Teach Our Daughters They Look Fabulous

I also make an effort to tell my girls they are beautiful, no matter what they wear.

Even their grandma compliments them on their outfits when they head to church.

My girls watch me as I get dressed in the morning and will sometimes help me choose my outfit. I allow them to do the same with their outfits for the day and they will either take my photo to share on Instagram or they will see Jacob take it. I’ve never really understood the impact this has had on my girls, but when they ask for me to take their photo and share it, I can see it building their confidence and pride in appearance.

Teach Our Daughters They Look Fabulous

It’s not my intention to teach them vanity, but I do want them to know they look fabulous and they are perfect the way they are. I want to fill their confidence bucket so they know they are special and beautiful before the world lies to them and tells them they need to do this, this and this to look beautiful. I want them to understand how clothes can make them feel and how important it is to choose their clothes wisely and enjoy the creativity of putting outfits together.

Teach Our Daughters They Look Fabulous

I never expected something I’d say to my daughter would travel and influence another child, but this story shows how we can all impact our younger generations, and how they in turn can positively influence those they interact with.

How do you build confidence in your children? Do you compliment your children on what they do or what they wear?

*names have been changed

West Village: A New Shopping Precinct For Brisbane

This post has been written in collaboration with West Village

The way I shop these days has changed quite a bit from when I shopped pre-kids.

In those pre-children days, I loved nothing more than to spend a couple of hours in the city and browse all the shops from the top of the Queen Street Mall, making my way down to Edward Street.

I loved to shop. I still do.

I will never forget the week my husband and I had in when we flew to Melbourne and shopped a storm buying new clothes and shoes. Melbourne was a hub of brands and designers I had never heard. They certainly weren’t in Brisbane, because if they were, I would have known where they were located.

In the last decade, the shopping scene in Brisbane has changed. Queen Street mall has had its share of refurbishments with the QueensPlaza and Wintergarden. Boutique store hubs have also been added in parts of Brisbane like James Street, Emporium in the Valley, Portside and the Barracks. Those designer stores that I discovered in Melbourne, started to open in Brisbane.

Of course my lifestyle has changed quite significantly in the last ten years. I became a mum to three children and as a result, my choice of shopping destination relies on a number of factors including availability of car spaces, cost of car parking, how many shops are located in the one building so I can shop in the one spot and how family friendly is the centre – is there a playground I can bribe my kids to play on if they behave so mummy can do her shopping errands?

These days I’m spending more money on groceries than my wardrobe. But slowly the tides are turning and I’ve been able to re-establish some old shopping habits – but not all of course.

With the change in shopping and even the dining and lifestyle scene in Brisbane, I’ve felt a little left behind because I’ve been in hibernation of early motherhood. I felt a little chuffed to discover and write about the new West Village development at West End.

West Villge development

While the new development offers residential living, West Village will be a city precinct, providing a residential neighbourhood for those that don’t want to leave the city but still want to have the best dining and shopping options on their doorstep. West Village also offers a world class design destination for those of us that want to visit and experience the culture.

west village

West Village will be the shopping precinct you can park in, but shop like you’re in the laneways of Melbourne. It’s the place for families to bring their kids, where the kids can run around the park and parents can enjoy a much needed drink or alfresco coffee.

west village alfresco

Five major precincts will ensure there is something for everyone, available in the one place, but three of the precincts will offer cafes, alfresco dining options and boutique shopping precincts.

Each precinct is inspired in equal parts by the best global destinations, and what makes the local area special. Alfresco dining, cafes and boutique designer shops will frame the Mollison Green, making it a place to meet friends in a modern location, to catch up for coffee or brunch.

Factory Lane is the place to go for night time entertainment and drinks with inspiration being taken from Jazz Bars in New York. Relax and unwind to music while drinking a cocktail or two.

If you love fresh produce and market delights, Peter’s Square will offer provedores, artisan delights and fresh produce so you can take the best tastes and flavourings home with you.

West Village won’t be just another option on your list to visit when you want to go out for dinner, it will be the first place think of when considering a place to meet and eat.

If you’re excited about this new development and want to make it your home, visit the Display Centre at 97 Boundary Street West End. The phone number for all enquiries is 1300 985 465

In the meantime, I look forward to taking the kids to the awesome free art program currently on offer at West Village, and a little serenity for me at the first café in the precinct – Arista.

Disclosure: This post has been written in accordance with my disclosure policy.

We Weren’t Created to Wear Mud

At the beginning of 2002, I headed to a business college to get a Diploma in Business Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations. I didn’t know anyone at the college, but I was eager to learn and get a job so I could earn some money to save for a house.

I remember the first day, there were a group of girls similar in age to myself, waiting to enter the first classroom.

No one made eye contact, and I couldn’t stand not knowing who I’d be in class with, so I broke the ice and said hi. I told them my name and asked everyone to introduce themselves. There were 4 girls who were like me and had recently graduated from school the year before. We found out we were studying the same Diploma and we became instant friends.

I hung out with these girls after our first day by heading to a café. From there, we hung out at college throughout the year. When our classes were together, I would sit with them in class and we would always do group assignments together. Sometimes I’d join them for lunch, but most times I’d race to Post Office Square to meet Jacob for lunch. Those were the days of our young love.

I got to know the girls well enough, but not enough to be best friends. They knew how Jacob and I got together, how we went to church on Sundays and they were generally nice to my face.

But apparently, unbeknownst to me, they talked about me behind my back. I had no clue because I was in love with Jacob and focused on my studies.

The girls talked about how I met Jacob at a cult and various other weird stuff that they assumed which was incorrect.

How did I find out about this gossip?

At the end of the year, one of the girls in the group (let’s call her Mandy) told me about it. She apologized, because she herself was a Christian and knew what church I went to, but couldn’t help but join in on the fun of gossiping about me. She never told these girls that she went to church herself in case she got mocked.

I didn’t get upset by the revelation. Instead I thanked her for telling me and I understood why she did what she did. I felt compassion for her and was encouraged when she told me she was inspired by the way I lived my faith publicly and how I never cared what people thought of me.

To be honest, I did care what people thought of me, but I had assumed these girls had just accepted me.

I was wrong.

Despite the mud thrown my way, behind my back, I was oblivious to it. And it didn’t stick because Mandy knew the mud wasn’t true and the true mud wearers were the friends she hung out with who flung untruths my way.

While I’m by no means perfect, living true to my beliefs and values is important to me. And sometimes that can rub people the wrong way.

That experience all those years ago, always serves as a reminder to me that it’s easy to throw mud at others.

How many discussions can you reflect on that have happened in private where there’s outrage of someone else’s behavior?

‘I can’t believe she does that/did that/ she said what?!’

And often what is said about another person is only one side of a story. It’s one person’s truth.

But the sad reality is, if you throw mud at others, you yourself get muddy first.

We Weren’t Created to Wear Mud

don't wear brown mud

None of us were designed to wear mud. We were never made to throw it and we were never made to wear it.

But women are notorious for getting muddy. I’ve had a few mud fights myself. I didn’t come out pretty and I felt bit dirty afterwards. (pardon the pun!)

On reflection, my view of those girls dimmed because of what I learned. It made them less appealing to hang out with.

I haven’t seen them since.

But sometimes when I know my life is being judged by others – whether fairly or unfairly, I know that people watch for a response and the best response is to keep living to my values and not give in to what is being said behind closed doors. Silence is sometimes the best response to these situations.

So while I write this blog to inspire you with fashion advice and tips, I think it’s important to deal with the matters of the heart and soul. Because no outfit can hide a wounded spirit and style can’t camouflage a hidden agenda that pulls others down.

I don’t want to wear mud and I don’t want to be the one throwing it. Brown is honestly a difficult colour to wear. It doesn’t suit me and I don’t think it would suit you either.

Let’s leave the mud where it belongs and always believe the best in others even if they are a little different.

Ever been the subject of incorrect gossip? How did you deal with it? Do you wear brown?

How to Read Fashion Blogs and Stay Within Your Budget

How to Read Fashion Blogs and Stay Within Your Budget

In an attempt to not buy unnecessary clothes this year, I’ve had to put a plan in place to ensure I don’t sway from my budget.

The reality is, when I read fashion or interior blogs, I do get tempted to buy. In fact blogs are my biggest weakness when it comes to buying clothes because they do the hard work for me.

I don’t have to trawl online or through bricks and mortar shops, when I can read a blog post that will show me where and how to wear an item. With a few clicks I can instantly buy that item. But it’s not always good for my budget. And if I’m honest, the clothing purchase is not always what I need, it’s usually what I want.

There is nothing wrong with buying what I want. It’s good to indulge every now and then. But what are the little purchases costing me? A purchase here and a purchase there… if I add up the sales, the money could have been put towards an experience rather than something else to hang in my wardrobe.

Yet I don’t want to give up reading my favourite fashion blogs either because I enjoy them and for those of us that understand the business of blogging, it’s good to read and comment on similar niche blogs.

So how do you read fashion blogs and stay within your budget?

how to read fashion blogs

Here are some strategies that I used last year and will do again this year to prevent a fashion blowout.

1. Know my favourite blogger’s posting cycle. I know that some of my favourite blogs share their outfits or a ‘what I wore’ type posts on certain days. I also know that often the day they share about their new outfit, it often gets sold out within a day. So I read these posts a day or two later so I don’t get tempted to buy straight away.

2. I withdraw money from my paypal account so I don’t have money to spend. This one can be counteracted if you have your credit card. But it’s a good habit to keep limited money in your paypal account so there isn’t much money to spend on random clothes you may not necessarily need.

3. Make a wish list. If there is an item that I have to have (or need to have), I put it on my wish list. Right now I am wanting some new Bohemian Traders jeans. I won’t be wearing them till Autumn so I have a bit of time to get them. They have been put on my wish list. This gives me time to save to make my purchase.

4. Only buy what I need. Fashion blogs are great for recommendations. When I read a blog post offering outfit suggestions, I ask myself is it something I need or want? Visualising where I could spend that money also helps curb my purchases.

5. Sell something.  If I really have to have something that I read in a blog, I have to choose one item in my wardrobe to sell to make room for the new purchase.

I guess the easiest strategy is to avoid reading fashion blogs altogether, but reading them is one of my hobbies and I can’t not read them.

Each week when I do share different clothing options, they aren’t there to tempt you to buy (although of course it’s good if you do buy an item), they are there to show you options and save you time researching yourself.

Some of my best clothes have been bought on the recommendation of a fashion blogger. Yet it can be hard to not buy if you can be easily swayed or have the means to buy something new.

Before you spend your money, why not see if you could imitate the outfit with clothes you already own?

So tell me, do you find it hard to read fashion blogs and stick to your budget? What kind of fashion posts do you enjoy reading?

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