Sunday, September 7, 2014

My Love Affair With Society6

If someone had told me three months ago that today I'd have a mortgage and no longer renting my little ol' unit on the beach, I would have laughed. There's no way I could have predicted the whirlwind of the last few months! 

While living so close to the beach was nothing short of a dream come true, being in a new house feels like being on holiday. There are luxuries I've never had before. Ducted heating/cooling. A dishwasher. A gas stove. A detachable shower head. And did I mention wi-fi?

Oh, I know I'll be missing the proximity to the beach when summer hits again, but the unit was a real terror to live in during winter. Those gusty ocean winds and tall ceilings. Power bills past a thousand dollars trying to keep the place at a reasonable temperature (never warm, mind you).

And so, Jeff and I realised pretty early on that we'd need to get some new furniture. The most urgent things needing replacements were the hand-me-down couches from my parents and the dining table, which didn't actually belong to us. 

Suddenly all that fashion passion of mine transferred over to furniture and home decor. I had to decide on a colour scheme and style. There were countless trips to Ikea, Freedom, Harvey Norman, Classic Timber, Nick Scali and Amart. Jeff started losing his patience with me, so I'd go on my own. I'd have the whole house picked out, and then change my mind.

I realised that there were a lot of styles I liked. After house sharing at the unit for so many years, the decor became this odd, eclectic amalgamation of styles, ranging from retro to new and shiny - to plain-old-falling-apart. I didn't actually know what I liked. I didn't know what was me.

It wasn't until I spotted this page in an old issue of Cosmopolitan that everything came together in my mind.


Perhaps it shouldn't have been a surprise that in the end, it was fashion that inspired me to "dress" my house. I had been toying with the idea of turquoise for a while, but I'm attracted to warm colours and was hesitant to have such a cool colour palette. When I saw this page, I realised the answer was to bring coral into the equation.

After spotting this turquoise couch in Nick Scali and Jeff pretending he was Kate Winslet posing for her first nude sketch ("It was the most erotic moment of my life...up until then at least") we really, really wanted it.


As you can see to the left of the couch, there's an extensive range of colours to choose from. Initially we had wanted a more neutral colour, but my mum was there and talked us into being bold. "Everyone goes for neutral. You're decorating in turquoise anyway! Make it your statement piece." With the wide, flat arm rests (perfect for resting your laptop on) and adjustable head rests, it wasn't hard to be persuaded into believing this was the ideal couch. The annoying thing was, everything I wanted was already picked out in my mind at Freedom. I'd even purchased their membership card so I could get all the discounts. After splurging on the Nick Scali couch, the dining table and buffet I wanted were just too expensive. Luckily we were able to pick up a 12-piece set from Amart (dining, coffee table, buffet, etc) which was fantastic value for money, and wasn't too far off what I wanted anyway.

Enter Society6. I can't remember exactly how I found this website. I'm sure it must have been through home decor blog hopping. What I do know is that I lost hours of my life searching the prints. The artwork on the site is created by hundreds of thousands of artists from around the world. Every time you purchase something, you support the artist. The products are made using high quality materials and are shipped to you on behalf of the artist, who keep control of their rights.

Not only can you buy prints in a variety of sizes, but the artwork is also available as clocks, rugs, shower curtains, quilt covers, t-shirts, mugs, phone covers, laptop covers, and so on. You can search art according to colour (very handy) and there's also a lot of fan art on there. For example, type in "breaking bad" and watch the prints of Walter White and Jessie fill up your screen.

After searching on Houzz for a few hours (fantastic resource for getting ideas), I knew I wanted to do a group of prints on the main wall in the lounge. I finally selected twelve prints and three stretched canvases (with Jeff's input), ordered them in various sizes and impatiently awaited their arrival. I knew it would take several weeks for them to be delivered from the US. When they arrived, they were breathtaking. I laid them out on the dining table.


I shot over to Ikea to get the frames and set to work. Using a print hanging tool from BigW, mum helped me to arrange them on the wall.


I ordered the illustrated recipes to go over the buffet.


The three matching Back To The Future prints we hung over the television on the opposite wall.


Ikea didn't have the right sized frames for these ones, so we had them professionally framed.

I then decided to order another print for the entrance, to go over the record player. I decided to pay extra and ordered this one framed. You can choose from a variety of frame colours, but I just went with white. The framed prints are acrylic, not glass, but I think it still looks fine.


Next, I ordered cushion covers! Once again, I headed to Ikea for the cushion inserts. I bought the feather-filled ones, which cost $9 each. The foam ones are $3 and are fine too. It just depends on what you prefer. Personally, I wish the feather cushions were more full. However, this is how they turned out.


Links to cushions:

The plain coral cushions are from Freedom, so I did get some use out of my membership after all! The rug is from Rugs A Million which I love, but had to get a non-slip underlay to stop it from sliding around. My mum picked up this orange striped chair for $20 from a car boot sale, woot!

The table-runner was an eBay find, as were the two white DVD bookcases. They cost me approximately $100 each, flat-packed. 

It's been exciting to see our little living space come together. Society6 made it so easy for us to personalize the space, which made it such a joy. Jeff was skeptical at first (he'd be happy living off milk crates), but now loves how everything has turned out.

I'm also currently waiting on a clock and a quilt cover from Society6....teehee.

Thanks for reading x
 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Aussie Curves: Everyday Style

For some reason, I interpreted this week's theme "Everyday Style" as what I wear to work. With that in mind, I set up my tripod to take photos of my outfit after work on Monday. The outfit captures the essence of what I've been wearing lately. Leggings or stockings with a dress and blazer. 

My workplace does not have a dress code. A lot of schools adopt a no-denim policy, but the only instruction I've heard on the matter is, "Don't dress like you're going to a family barbeque" and a few subtle hints about my tongue piercing - which luckily I was happy to take out anyway. As a result, teachers cover a wide spectrum of styles and "effort". You get your PE teachers who saunter into school wearing trackies and a t-shirt (like, seriously).  Women who wear a lot of purple. Beautiful, pressed suits. Lots of blazers. Pretty scarves. Unwashed hair. Thrift shop basics. One grey dress (or grey suit) worn everyday of the week. Beautifully styled hair. Short, low-maintenance pixie cuts. Spats, sneakers, sandals (sometimes with socks). Freshly shaven. Biblical beards. No make up. Bright red lipstick everyday (me). Teachers who don't wear make up to school are pretty smart, as it becomes your "norm" and that's how people expect you to look. If I turn up to school without makeup - or even just a bit of BB cream and blush - I get odd looks all day and "Are you okay? You look tired". 

Over the years I've worn hundreds of styles to work. The librarian suggested I start a fashion blog. So I did. Having said that - my style has toned down a bit. A mixture of wanting to appear a bit more "professional" and dare I say it - more "mature" so that others would view me more seriously, perhaps. Don't get me wrong - I still wear lipsticks that are ridiculously bright and choose the pink stockings over the black every now and again - but I've definitely become more boring and value comfort equally to style these days.


dress ASOS CURVE || blazer CITY CHIC || stockings CITY CHIC || shoes Dr MARTENS

Thanks for reading!

Recent Posts:
5 Tips On How To Deal With Your Wardrobe After A Weight Gain





Thursday, July 24, 2014

5 tips on how to deal with your wardrobe after a weight gain



I've put on weight. There, I said it. I don't know how much because I don't own scales, but I feel it in my clothes and see it in the photos. Call it winter weight, too much booze or just too-damn-cold-to-want-to-leave-my-couch. It's happened. 

The past few months have been a bit tricky in regards to navigating the wardrobe. I've had to really think about how my weight fluctuations were going to affect the organisation of my clothes, my pretties. I know I'm not the only one who's faced this situation; the terrible stream of emotions that course through your veins when suddenly there's a muffin top when you pull on your favourite skirt or jeans. It can by soul destroying. 

So in response to this situation, I'm going to share the tips that have helped me to get through it unscathed. 

1. SORT

Pull out every item of clothing that no longer fits you and arrange them into piles on your bed: 
Ditch, Donate, Sell, Store. 

Why? Because it's very important not to have your ill-fitting clothes within your sight everyday. If you have to stare daily at a dress you love, but no longer fit in, it will create negative emotions before you even start your day. Ain't nobody got time for that! Even those of us who love our bodies at every size are not immune to bad days, when it's like there's a neon sign in your wardrobe flashing "FAT = FAILURE!"

The clothes in the "Ditch" pile are the ratty tatters that aren't even fit to donate. I'm talking knickers with holes, t-shirts stretched out of shape, singlets with rips that you wouldn't bother to repair, bras with broken underwires. 

The "Donate" pile is for all the clothes that are good, but not clothes that you paid a fortune for and could get back some extra cash if you sold them. For me, these clothes are good, but I originally didn't pay much for in the first place. Think last season's Target/Kmart/BigW stuff. 

The "Sell" pile is for the items that were pricey at the time, but you've fallen out of love with. There is eBay and Facebook buy and sell pages for that stuff. If you can't be bothered taking photos of the items, uploading them and arranging postage, think garage sales and car boot markets. 

The "Store" pile is for clothes that you still adore, but don't fit in. Box them up carefully and find a dry, safe place for them. There's a chance you might fit into them again one day, or maybe you'll simply want to fondle and touch them because you love them so much and there are sentimental memories attached. But you don't want them staring you in the face everyday screaming, "You're too fat for me!"

2. BUY

You need to feel excited about your wardrobe again! You may be fortunate enough to have the money to do this. If not, use the money you make from the "Sell" pile. Start building up a collection of beautiful clothes that fit you. Op shops (Savers!) and ASOS are my main go-to, which aren't pricey.  City Chic is great for a few standout pieces if you don't have the extra cash to splurge. And of course the many, many other plus size online and in-store places.

3. EXPERIMENT

With the changes in my body, I've found that some of the styles I used to love now don't look quite right. As a result, I've been experimenting with other looks, and loving it! I've actually bought two pairs of jeans which I wear regularly. I never used to wear pants unless they were trackies! Sometimes you have to play around with fashion before you feel like you own it. There were a few times when I felt a bit helpless, like I'd lost control, because my body had changed and fashion wasn't working for me like it used to. I suddenly felt uncomfortable in things I used to live in. I had to shift my thinking and try new things. 

4. GET INSPIRED

Find fashion blogs by people who are the same size as you. While I like to find inspiration in all kinds of places and from bloggers of all shapes and styles, it's also important to see your body type represented in ways that you can visualize and connect to instantly. It's also great because sometimes we tend to think that we will never be as happy or as stylish as we were when we were thinner. Seeing smiling fashion bloggers of your size, experimenting and loving their bodies, is enough to pull you out of your despair and see things from a different perspective. 

5. EMPOWER YOURSELF

It's easy to love your body when it remains the same, or you're losing weight. When you are gaining weight, it is an act of absolute courage. You are not alone and there are resources for you. There are body-positive books, blogs and videos at your fingertips. It might be just the thing to get your joy back and unlock some happiness. Check out my Body Love Book Reviews for some ideas. This video might be a good place to start too:



I'm going to finish up with a quote from @honorcurves. She said in a post recently, 

"As they say, never look back, unless it's to check out your own beautiful butt in the mirror. Mine has gained a few inches recently and I love it nonetheless. Love yourself through every fluctuation. Loving myself as much when my pants don't do up as when they do is a huge piece of the learning journey for me. I have to smile at myself and love myself after a gain because that is what will help me to move into healthier ways of living my life and just loving myself as is, always. If I can't see my beauty or I feel like I've failed, that's when I often really put the boots to myself in terms of decision-making. I don't want to put the boots to myself when I've gained some weight. Ever in my life again. I want to accept my gains and losses as natural parts of life. As an ever-fluctuating human body, I am going to have weeks where I eat more and work out less and vice versa. I'm as beautiful on whatever week it is, and wherever my body is in that week."

Thanks for reading x

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Aussie Curves: Blue

Scouring the ASOS standard sizes like a rat looking for a cheeky nibble paid off when I found this striking crochet jumper. Love at first sight. She popped right on over to the shopping cart - plonk - and onto my doorstop within the week. Yay! Considering the ASOS warehouse went up in flames a few weeks ago (oh the despair in my heart), they sure got up and running again quick smart!


You may have noticed the different background. This is my new lounge, in my new home - and I am using my new tripod! By the time I'd gotten ready, the sun had gone down, so I thought I'd see how the photos would turn out inside. Heck, it just felt so good to be taking photos of an outfit again and getting back into these Aussie Curves challenges. Since I participated last, I've noticed different girls on the blog hop, so I'm looking forward to discovering some more blogs too. 

Aside from the Doc Martens, the entire outfit is ASOS today. 

Thanks for reading! x

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