Archive of ‘Lifestyle’ category

If You Had $1000 to Spend on Yourself, What Would You Buy?

If you had $1000 to spend on yourself, what would you buy?

I was thinking recently about all the things I wanted, and some that I needed, and I calculated they’d all come to $1000.

I realised, it doesn’t take long to spend $1000 on yourself. Here’s a break up of my needs and wants list.

$200 for Frankie4 Shoes (cause my last pair of sandals broke and it’s time to start buying supportive shoes that last longer than 1 season)

$50 for a Dress (this is a want, not a need)

$250 for new make-up (a need as I had run out of everything. I only buy once a year at the Malouf Pharmacy sales)

$120 for an hour long facial ( a want. Haven’t had for years. But would like. Will wait till holidays to have one.)

$40 for a Pedicure ( a want. Recently had and only have one every couple of months.)

$100 to get hair done (a need. Hadn’t had my hair done since… July!)

$260 for a new leather handbag (A need. My only handbag broke. Had it for over 4.5 years)

$30 for new earrings (a want. Fell in love with the design as soon as I saw them.)

All this comes to $1050!! See how easy it is to spend $1000 on yourself? Any wonder people head to op shops to buy their clothes. It would be interesting to see what you could walk away with for $100. (On that note, look out for a future blogpost on this)

I don’t actively spend $1000 on myself in one sitting. I will spread the costs out over time and usually make a big once-per-year purchase that will last me for a while (ie handbag and shoes).

My new handbag will hopefully last me a few years. As will my new Frankie4 Shoes.

For most of us, having a spare $1000 to spend on ourselves is pretty rare. Bills and family needs usually come first. Or the $1000 may saved towards a holiday.

While it’s true, we don’t need more things. It’s still a need to replace things when they are broken and are no longer useful.

But after reading the Barefoot Investor, having play money is important so you’ve got the money to spend on things you want. And it stops you from feeling guilty about using your credit card to purchase. Because there is no need to use it.

Thankfully, I’ve been quite proactive in selling a lot of stuff from our garage on Facebook Marketplace. The money made has been put to good use. With most of it saved, some of it has been put towards new purchases I’ve made in the last few weeks which have included:

Frankie4 Maddie Black Spot Sandals $199.95

Frankie 4 Maddie Sandals

Unfortunately Sold Out

Lovisa Earrings $27.99

Lovisa Earrings

Tropical Print Maxi $50 and Airflex Florida Tan Shoes (I got mine for $64.99 on sale, in store)

Tropical Print Maxi Dress

What have you been saving to purchase this Spring? Got your eye on a dress or some Frankie4 shoes?

Disclosure: I bought my Wardrobe 22 dress with a discount. There are affiliate links on this post. Should you choose to purchase an item, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

What to Remember When an Unflattering Photo of Yourself is Shared on Social Media

Since becoming a blogger and someone who shares their daily outfits on Instagram and Facebook, I know a few tips on how to make myself look good in front of the camera.

I never stand side on, I sweep my fringe over my eyebrow and not behind my ear and early to mid-morning is the best time to get a photo as I look fresher and my eyes look brighter.

Whenever I share my everydaystyle photos on Facebook or Instagram, there are no filters. I don’t edit my images. The only editing you see is if I’ve applied BB cream, mascara and concealer for under my eyes and on the pimples that I have seemed to acquired in my 30’s. (I thought my pimple days were behind me!)

I can control what images I share on social media, but when I go to events and photos are taken, I have little control on what gets captured and how I will be seen.

On Wednesday, I had the privilege of attending a breakfast at Parliament House for female plumbers and apprentices. If you’ve only started reading this blog now, I best mention that I am a plumber, but I write for various other online websites, including my plumbing blog, The Plumbette.

Anyway, The Master Plumbers Association of QLD shared photos that were taken at the breakfast on Facebook. And the most unflattering photo of myself was shared where I was talking to the Minister of Housing and Public Works, Mick de Brenni, and John Salmon of Salmon Plumbing (who is also the treasurer for the MPAQ and a great guy to chat to about plumbing).

my unflattering photo

I cringed when I saw the photo.

This was what I looked like earlier that morning – face on.

flattering image face on

But the photo that was shared online showed a side on view of my body that was a little confronting. My hair looked bent from where I didn’t put the hair straightener through. And my double love handles can’t be unseen.

My first thought was ‘ohhh… eww’. And then I thought, ‘I may need to stop my kid-free Tuesday bakery and mocha treats’.

But like most unflattering photos I’ve seen of myself on the internet, I scrolled on and didn’t allow it to make me feel negative about myself.

what to remember when you see unflattering photos of yourself on the internet

I reasoned in my head, how lucky I was to have a bit of extra weight after losing a bit this year because of two bouts of gastro. I much prefer to fill my face with delicious food and add some extra curves to my body, than be throwing up from gastro or even worse – hungry because I don’t have any food.

The negative thoughts were replaced with positive ones. But it also prompted me to think about my current lifestyle. I have been making a bit of an extra effort to eat less processed and sugary food. But I will not give up my Tuesday child-free day treats. Or chocolate.

Body image is something I think all women deal with at some point in their lives. If we don’t control how we think about our body, it gives the devil an open door to get inside our head and tell us terrible things about ourselves because of our weight or appearance.

No one should be defined by their weight or their body.

I have a healthy outlook on food and my body. It puts weight on and I can lose it gradually with good eating and exercise. But I’m in no rush to lose my curves.

I’ve seen plenty of unflattering photos of myself on the internet. But I’ve also seen some really flattering photos too.

I’m more than just my body – and love handles.

I look at this picture and think – how amazing is it that I had the attention of two influential men in the trades industry?

So if you see an unflattering picture of yourself online, don’t let it define you. We need more ‘honest and real’ photos on the internet, than edited and filtered shots.

*And just to reiterate – if you find an unflattering photo that has been used WITHOUT your permission, this is not OK. Report and make contact with the company or person who has shared the photo. And if you upload unflattering pictures of friends and family on social media, think before you post.

How do you react to unflattering images of yourself on the internet? Has the photo ever prompted you to think negatively about yourself?

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.

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