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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Birthday Thoughts and Dreams

It’s that time of year when you naturally feel compelled to think about things, where you are, what you are doing and where you are going. Yep, it’s my birthday and it has me going over my thoughts and dreams.

Does it make me weak if I would rather have champagne than real pain? They say “no pain, no gain” but I don’t agree with that, not when it comes to life. I get that a little pain in life helps you to appreciate the good times but I don’t think it is necessary to have pain in your life…unless it is champagne of course!

I grew up in the USA but moved to Australia just over 10 years ago. You see, I had always wanted to live in another country, travel, experience other places and cultures but I was getting older (late 30s) and hadn’t done any of that, other than a trip to Mexico when I was 19 I had been nowhere. Well that’s how it seemed anyway.

Now you may recall, I don’t have children, so when I started thinking about where my life was going and dreaming about the future, I came up with myself in a nursing home. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being in a nursing home and as a woman without children it is quite likely where I will end up, BUT I don’t want to be sitting in a nursing home wondering what life would have been like “If Only”. I want to be the grey haired old chook who can sit for hours remembering the fantastic life she led.

Which meant I was going to need to change some things about the life I was currently living.

I set a goal. I wanted to fill as many passports as possible before I died. And I intended to start immediately!

Off to the post office I went to get my first passport. I booked a trip to Australia, because it was the other side of the world from Denver, Colorado. I spent three weeks traveling alone. I liked it.

When I got back to the US, I decided to sell everything and move to Australia. Six months later I landed on the shores of the Lucky Country, temporary resident stamp in my passport.

10 years on, I have filled one passport and started on two more. Two more, because I am now a dual citizen and travel in and out of Australia on an Australian passport and in and out of the US on an American passport. I have been to Hong Kong (several times, love it!), Macau and a few other parts of China. I have also been to Egypt and Jordan. Jordan is an amazing country. I found it very peaceful there. I have also been to Singapore, Fiji and Ireland. Dublin is one of my favourite cities in the world (Dublin, Melbourne and San Francisco – not necessarily in that order). And of course there have been numerous trips back to the US to see my family and the upcoming trip to Spain.

So on my birthday this year, when I think about setting goals and following my dreams, I know I am already on that path.

I freak out sometimes, just like everyone else. The thing is, once I have a good little chat with myself, I realise I am living my dream and am truly lucky to be doing so.

My present to myself 10 years ago is the amazing life I am living now. Man I give great presents!

Tonight, when I’m out to dinner with the Fashion Mister and I have my birthday wish, it will be that all of you have the same opportunities to fulfill your birthday thoughts and dreams.

Cheers,

Laura

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Complete Your Look with a Scarf

One of my favourite ways to complete a look, is to add a scarf.

In fact if I don’t have the right necklace to complete an outfit, I just grab a scarf instead. I can pretty much complete any look with the simple addition and have mastered a fair few options in how to tie or wrap a scarf a number of different ways. As you may recall, I can even turn some of my scarves into vests! Of course all of this is made easy because I have a great collection of scarves.

Spring/Summer Scarves: This is a photo of about 2/3’s of my Spring/Summer scarves. These are certainly the ones I wear most often. So you can see I’m likely to have a scarf to go with any outfit! The most expensive one is the Chanel one on the far right. I’ve told you that story before, it works really well in the summer as a head scarf when driving ChaCha Diva with the top down. The next three in from the Chanel have been with me for about 15 years and are gorgeous silk scarves I brought with me when I left Denver. Same with the cotton-candy yellow one. There are a fair few vintage ones I have collected via op/thrift shops or Etsy.com and three newer ones, the orange/taupe/black one, the leopard print and the pink and orange one next to the red white and blue one.

Finish with a Scarf: Here are just a few looks that have been completed by the addition of a scarf. It doesn’t matter your age or size, a scarf will help you to complete your look polished, chic and sophisticated. It can tie (pun intended) a group of what seems like unrelated pieces together as in the bottom left corner, add a pop of colour like the top left corner, provide warmth or add intrigue. A scarf can be worn on your head, around your neck, made into a vest, used as a top or a sarong. Is there a more versatile accessory?

Finished with a Scarf – My Way: Here are just a few ways I have styled some of my looks with scarves over the last 6 months. I certainly will be making more selections from the Spring/Summer collection now that the weather is starting to warm up. I also have currently flagged 4 scarves to make the trip to Spain because they will change a look by their addition and add colour to a neutral palette, as well as provide some versatility to a small holiday wardrobe.

Here’s a little tip, buy silk scarves from the op/thrift shop or in bulk on Etsy.com when you find them. If they aren’t in your colour palette, use them to wrap a gift for a friend whose colour palette they are.

Do you wear scarves? Any tips on how to wear one? How do you complete your look with a scarf?


Melbourne Spring Fashion Week 2012 – Runway Day 2 and 3

As I said yesterday, next week I’m heading to Melbourne for a couple of days for a major fashion fix at Melbourne Spring Fashion Week 2012.

I’m really looking forward to taking in the city and it’s style during the day and on Tuesday night attending the Runway 2 show.

The major reason I opted to go on Tuesday night is so I can see the Scanlon & Theodore collection live and up close. I have checked it out online and love it! Simple, clean, modern and elegant. perfect words to describe this collection! Metallics, prints, intense colour and peplums all help to define a new femininity brought to us by this amazing Australian fashion house.

How could you not love these?!

Day 3 of MSFW 2012 is certian to be inspiring!

Three of the talented designers who will have their shows on Wednesday the 5th, are LIFEwithBIRD, Jayson Brunsdon and Thurley. All of them will be providing beautiful, feminine looks for Spring 2012. These designers are the reason I am attending at the middle of the week! Simple, classic and chic styles that look amazing on all women, with options that can be worn for any occaision.

LIFEwithBIRD and Thurley are already offering their Spring 2012 collections online to either order now or pre-order. Jayson Brunsdon is not yet available on his website, but I know he’ll be fantastic, he always is.

You know, most of what I like about these three designers is that they design for women who know who they are, and what they want, but who don’t have to prove anything to anyone. You know, those clothes that are just amazing to wear, they ooze chic and make you feel a million when you wear them…that’s what these three do so well.

As you probably have noticed, I’m a little excited about attending these shows, and I can’t wait to share the two days with all of you!


Be Inspired – Melbourne Spring Fashion Week 2012

Next week I will “Be Inspired”! I am taking two days, on my own, in Melbourne to enjoy Melbourne Spring Fashion Week 2012. I would love to be spending more time…perhaps the whole week…but unfortunately, I have to work so that I can pay for my mad passion for fashion.

However, for two days I intend to spend as much time soaking in the fantastic city of Melbourne, it’s lane-ways and fabulous fashion sense. During that time I’ll also be trying my hand at a little street style photography, shopping, dining and catching some of the runway shows.

Absolute heaven for any girl who loves fashion.

I’m heading down on Tuesday morning to catch a bit of the city and shopping, all with camera in tow. Then attending the runway show on Tuesday night. If I can brave the after-party on my own, I will. I’ll then have all day Wednesday to catch events, do more shopping and a little more happy snapping the city I love before meeting the Fashion Sister From Another Mother to attend the Wednesday night show.

I promise to provide some updates!

More tomorrow on the designers from the shows I’ll be attending.

Melbourne Spring Fashion Week 2012. I plan to “Be Inspired”!

Cheers,

Laura


Womens Equality Day – 26 August

August 26, Womens Equality Day and although I could use this time to get all deep and meaningful about equality and the struggles, I’m afraid I am going to use the time to talk about something I like.

Fashion.

But first, I’ll tell you a funny story…

The Fashion Mister is pretty funny, and very witty and likes to stir up trouble sometimes. Ages ago when we applied for our frequent flyer cards he thought it would be amusing to put the title Dr. in front of my name. He did this because when it precedes my sir name it is a brand of shoes…not a very girlie brand mind you but still shoes…famous ones.

So when we travel, everything has that title on it. He laughs when the airline attendants greet me with Dr. ______.

When we were in China, every one looked at him when they said Dr.________. Because he is the man, they expected him to be the doctor. I guess Womens Equality hasn’t quite caught up there.

Anyway, back to fashion!

Seems like the perfect time to talk about the masculine vs. feminine trend. Not male vs. female, but the how of taking a look and spinning it either way, the more tailored masculine side vs the softer feminine side. I have pulled all these images from my boards on Pinterest.com.

The Suit: I love both of these suit looks. You would be more likely to find me wearing the one on the left, the masculine version. Mostly because I worship wide-legged tailored pants and all the classic tailoring, but also because at my age, I just don’t have the body to wear that cute little bra top and nothing else under a blazer! But if I could, I would! I think it is that bra top that really makes the difference in these two looks and what makes the white top more feminine. Okay, the black stilettos help.

The Pencil Skirt: Just in case you thought a pencil skirt was a pencil skirt and nothing more. From these two photos you can see that it’s quite easy to play up either the feminine side or the more masculine side of a pencil skirt. The colour and print paired with the strappy sandals on the left lead the look to the feminine, where the neutral colours, button-down shirt, blazer and closed toe shoe keep the look on the right more masculine. Again, I’d most likely be found in the look on the right because my wardrobe is full of those pieces, but I love the look on the right and hope to move more that direction over the spring and summer months.

Layers: And what about looks for you in the Northern Hemisphere. How can you embrace either the feminine or masculine sides of your wardrobe in the upcoming cooler months? Why with layers of course! This time on the right, we have the more tailored masculine look with the wide-legged pants, button-down shirt and the added layer of a jumper/sweater. All kept conservative and business-like in neutral and plum. On the left is a softer, flirtier look in similar colours that leans more to the feminine side. Why? Just because of the ruffled  skirt. Pretty much everything else in the look is masculine but the skirt is just enough to push this layered look to the feminine side.

All White: Again a look that the simple change from tailored pants to girlie pleated skirt makes the difference. Note that in both pics the ladies are wearing a simple white shirt with pockets. In fact to me it would appear the one on the left is more a chiffon or silk where the one on the right is likely to be cotton. If you were just looking at the shirts you would think the opposite of what the overall looks are doing.

The Leather Jacket: You know how much I love my leather jacket and in fact I love both of these looks. However, this is one time where I am more likely to be wearing the more feminine look. Because I love the juxtaposition of hard and soft and the look on the right is exactly my aesthetic. Although I will admit that there is a fair chance I will borrow from the look on the left. Wearing my leather jacket, Ralph Lauren black wide leg pants and probably adding a white t-shirt…just because I can.

It seems a fine line to tread between the masculine and feminine lines. Both sides can do tailoring and fabrics can be mixed as seen in the All White look. But predominately the differences seem to be in fabrics, prints and pairing softer touches to take the edge off the more tailored/masculine pieces.

Oh, and by the way…I don’t think women have to “prove” they are equal…I just believe we are. Unfortunately there are plenty of people out there who haven’t caught up with that thought yet.

Hope you don’t mind that I did finish off my celebration of Womens Equality Day with a little something that wasn’t just about fashion.

Cheers,

Laura


Me vs. Victoria Beckham

Sorry, but the thought of Me vs. Victoria Beckham has brought an evil smile to my face.

It shouldn’t be there. I should be terrified of the thought. After all, how can I compare to Posh Spice?! I like spicy food and I love posh things (even if I can’t afford them) but that would be about as close a contest as it would get…right?

Actually, this is all about a dress.

The Dress – My Version: Yes, it really is a dress. I know it looks like a tube of fabric with some holes in it. But it’s a dress. Back when I did my 90 day shopping ban followed by the lust-have list and haul, this was one of the items from the haul.

The Dress – Victoria Beckham: Being a lover of classic items and lines, I actually do like many of the dresses by Posh. But you know that I tend to be tight with my money so it’s not likely that I will ever buy one unless I can find it greatly reduced in price. After I bought my dress, I saw this dress by Victoria Beckham, and it made me think of my dress and the similarities.

Hang in there, stick with me, there really are similarities…you just have to look beyond the funny looking tube with the holes in it that I bought!

My Dress – Styled: Once my dress gets sorted out with the collar folded down and the styling completed, you should start to see the similarities. Besides just the colour, my dress can be worn as a cowl neck (the way I prefer to wear it) or the cowl can be slid down over the shoulders and it can be worn with open shoulders. It can even be worn pulled out to the shoulders similar to the Beckham dress. And because of the cut it is a bodycon dress that looks equally well with my brown suede boots or my snake-skin wedge heels.

Styling My Dress: The chain belt came with the dress so I decided to use that as my jumping off point in styling this look. It meant gold accessories and things chain related or inspired. Besides the snake-skin Jessica Simpson wedges, I used a vintage alligator skin handbag, a vintage scarf with a chain print (in the style of vintage Hermes), and the gold statement necklace also from my lust have list.

This look can be changed up by how the neckline is worn but also by changing the accessories. In cooler climates it can be worn with a blazer for work and boots as I mentioned above. It could also be worn with gladiator sandals or little beaded sandals while on holiday. I think I would also like to give it a spin with either my leather jacket or maybe even make it casual with my denim jacket. Once again lots of options…just the way I like it!

So in the contest of Me vs. Victoria Beckham, I think I get the win on this one!

What do you think?


Kiss and Make Up Day

 

 

Did you know that August 25th is Kiss & Make Up Day?!

I thought I would put my own spin on the Kiss & Make Up concept. Make-up posts aren’t really my thing as I am pretty set in my ways and tend to stick to the items I like. However, for today I thought I could share with you the items I use every day and those that are in my make-up bag for special occasions.

We may as well start with the preparation.

Preparation: This photo looks a little like an ad for Lancome. The reason for that is that I have been using Lancome for about 20 years and I like that they have a variety of products for the different “ages” of your skin. So as I have aged, I have been able to modify the products that work. Not in this pic is a Lancome cleanser that I use to wash my face (I need to get to the shops today to buy more as I ran out this morning). So the foaming cleanser in the shower. Followed by the toner (big blue bottle), then the Renergie eye serum (purple), the Genifique Youth Activator (no mean comments please…I am about to turn 49 after all!), and I finish the prep with the Visionnaire skin corrector.

In my 20s I would not have believed that I would be using all these products on my face. It’s a bit of a ritual and my skin does look better than expected. Most of my colleagues think I am about 5-10 years younger than I actually am!

The Make-Up Essentials: These 8 items are my current make-up essentials. Sometimes the colours of the eyeshadow changes depending on what I am wearing and my mood but these are the go to items for most days. The foundation is Lancome Teint Renergie in o-01 (I have pale skin and this shade evens out the freckles and other imperfections). The silver rectangle is a soft brown brow shaper, it helps to provide definition to my brows and provides a great frame for my eyes.

Then it’s on with the Neutrogena blush. I always use at least two colours on my eyes, a pale shade for the lid and a dark shade that I use to line my lower lashes and the top outer half of my lashes finishing by filling in the outside third to half of my upper lid and sweeping inward along the crease. Next I am currently using a liquid liner from Sephora to line my upper lash only. The eyes are completed once the Lancome Doll Eyes mascara is applied in So Black. Usually just one coat is enough for my everyday look.

The Lipstick: I rarely wear actual lipstick as it is very hard to find colours that don’t become too pink or too coral on me. So mostly I wear tinted gloss. For years it was only Juicy Tubes by Lancome but now other companies are starting to make great colours that last and don’t leave your lips feeling waxing. Lately I have also become fond of Napoleon Perdis “Barely Beige”, and Model Co.’s “Strip Tease” and Lip Duo in “True Red”.

Added Sparkle: For those times when I need, or want, a little WOW in my look I will trade out some of my standards for these items. The top two are glitter eye liner by Sephora. My sister introduced me to these when I was visiting the US. She wear the silver almost every day and it looks fantastic! The second row is a number of sparkle eye shadow colours, a peacock-blue, silver and a peach. All are great for night-time looks but sometimes I use the silver or the peach to provide a little shine even during the day.

The bottom row is one of the few lipsticks that I can wear that doesn’t turn a shocking colour after ten minutes. It’s by Estee Lauder and is called “Divine Wine”. I bought about 5 of these nearly 10 years ago and am on my last one…I hope they haven’t discontinued the colour!

There is also a bronzer to make sure I have a little colour in my face…especially important as we have had such a grey winter this year. Last is a bright blue eyeliner pencil used when I want my eyes to look more blue than green and if I want to make sure the white in my eye is particularly bright.

Those are the items I currently have in the make-up bag. Most of them are items I have been using for a very long time and will likely continue using.

That’s it for Kiss and Make Up Day.

Remember, “Don’t go to bed mad at each other, stay up all night fighting it out”!

 


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