Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wardrobe Wednesday - a time for change

Sorry no link-up today ladies.

After a wonderful holiday period, and a much needed break to recharge, I've decided that it is time for me to take a indefinite break from blogging (and therefore Wardrobe Wednesday).  In addition to my Management Consulting business, Success Formula and role in the Naval Reserves (not to mention managing the house-hold and having two young children), this year will also bring two university papers and unfortunately something needs to go for me to retain my sanity.

Luckily the very talented and enthusiastic blogger Kim-Marie from Kimba Likes, has happily accepted the mantal of hosting Wardrobe Wednesday from now on.  I'll be back to remind you all again, but from Wed 22nd January, please head there to continue to be part of this wonderful community that we have all created.

I hope that one day soon I'll have a few spare moments to come back and join you all!  Thank-you for all being so wonderful and don't worry, I'm sure I'll still have time to read all your blogs even if I can't contribute!  Who knows, one day I may even take up the pen again xoxo

"To a future filled with colour, self acceptance and celebration of the real us however we dress it :o) "

Monday, December 23, 2013

Wedding Anniversary

What I Wore: Kmart pink pencil skirt, Zalando black wedges, Portmans black t-shirt, thrifted grey waistcoat, Matalan silver cocktail ring, thrifted grey leather handbag

Added to my son's birthday and low key Christmas celebrations (see here), December also brings another special day in our house, my wedding anniversary.  As my husband and many of our friends (including members of the bridal party) were serving Naval Officers at the time, we choose to have our big day late in December to ensure that they would all be present.

It was the most magical day, and although we were young, and working to a very tight budget, it was a wonderful weekend in the Bay of Islands.  Husband thought he was so clever this year to get in first and post on facebook his love (and get 41 likes), but he was thoroughly trumped when I asked the air hostess on our flight to Christchurch to read a message out!

To celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary this year, and the last day of work before we headed off on our summer mini-break, we headed to the Belmont treasure, Little and Fridays for a gourmet lunch!  YUM... hmm should have taken pics after stuffing myself!  If you haven't been, please make this cafe (or it's sister in Newmarket) a priority on your next Auckland adventure!

PS. here's a quick selfie I took of my 5 min make-up and hair effort before I left the house - just to prove that contrary to my Top 5 Make-up post, I do care a little bit (and yes I was going for windswept and effortless!).

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Low-key Christmas

We don't do a big deal at Christmas in my family;

  • The day starts with breakfast and then a lengthy one-by-one gift sessions followed by chocolate consumption, toy playing, etc.  
  • The meal is often a bbq and usually something simple (but always with a large trifle so as to have enough left over for Boxing day breakfast).  
  • The weather in NZ... often a bit rainy.
  • And with my youngest son's birthday in mid-Dec, we don't get into it until after his special day, meaning even the Christmas decorations are low-key.

Spare decorations left over from decorating small fake tree with just the silver, white and neutral ones (sorry no good pics of actual tree).  I thought they might look good hung all over my clear perspex jewellery tree.  As you can tell, I have an affinity for NZ themed decorations and I can't wait to add my new 'secret santa' present - a sheep with santa hat - thanks Jenni!

Worlds most simple white mantle display.  Lights, Mr & Mrs decorations (also shown here all year round!), and a few candles, including my favourite candle powered merry-go-round from the London Christmas markets 2011.

Lego Santa courtesy of the Lego Club (if your kids like lego and you live in Australia or NZ and have not joined them up to Lego Club, I highly recommend it - best $20 life membership ever).

And finally a Christmasy entrance to our house complete with weighted santa hanging over our home-made hat stand (see Mocka for real version - on special at $60).

A low-key holiday it might be, but every year is special with lots of friends, family and way too many treats. Hope you're all having a great week gearing up for the holiday season, however you do it!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wardrobe Wednesday - Tobacco Coloured

What's your base or favourite neutral?  Black, brown or navy?  Or maybe grey or none of the above.  I've always been a black fan myself (and adamantly against brown), but when I saw this floaty tobacco brown coloured top, I just had to take a second look.  I've frequently admired how Lily at Fifth Freedom Fashion mixes her colours (and channelled her on the blog before too!), in particular tobacco with vibrant pinks and blues.

In the spirit of Wardrobe Wednesday, I thought it was time to try out this new top, gently.  If you're new to Wardrobe Wednesday, the idea is that we make an effort once a week (or more), to get out of our comfort zone, get in front of the camera, and celebrate who we are.

What I Wore to work: thrifted black pants, Hannahs heels, Cotton On sleeveless blouse, thrifted earrings.

With the weather getting hotter here in NZ, this was an outfit I wore to a client meeting.  Although I normally steer clear of sleeveless things for work, the fact that it was a short meeting, late in the afternoon, on a particularly warm day, meant that exceptions had to be made!

This week is going to be the last for this year of Wardrobe Wednesday.  I look forward to seeing you all again next year (from Wednesday 8th January) , fulled with inspiration and great ideas to share after a fun and restful holiday season.  I'll probably still be posting over the break as hopefully the holidays will bring some breathing room - optimistic?  Probably!

Thank you to all of you who support the blog; as readers, linkees or contributors.  Happy holidays to you all!

Linking up today with Style Elixir, Transatlantic Blonde and the Pleated Poppy.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

My top 5 Makeup Products

Yes you read that post title correctly: I am posting about makeup. Now most of my friends (and in reality anyone who has every looked at my blog) know that I am a late bloomer not only when it comes to fashion, but also to makeup and hair.  But I'm never one to step aside from a challenge, so Kimbalikes - this post is really for you xoxo

I don't wear makeup regularly - just a spot here and there for client facing work days and special occasions. Honestly, I wasn't interested in makeup in my teens and by time my twenties came, I was too busy with Navy life, travel and kids to give it much thought. So apologies for those that know what they are talking about, but these are my top five makeup products (mostly because they are what I'm using right now!).  

Be gentle with me in the comments please - remember I'm a beginner and can use all the tips you might have (as long as they are simple, cost-effective, fast and easy).

1. Garnier Oil Free BB Cream. 

Firstly, this isn't strictly makeup but I use it every day instead of moisturiser or foundation so I think it counts.  You may not know, but I have really problem skin (and is the top thing I would wish to change about myself). Thanks to over active hormones I regularly break-out in deep hormonal pimples resulting in mostly unavoidable scaring, particularly around my chin area. My solution to this over the years has been fastidious skin care (using beauty therapist recommended products) - from age 15, a reasonably healthy diet, exercise and water plan, and finally.... tinted moisturiser everyday (or now as it has evolved - BB or CC cream).   And most of time that keeps it in a manageable condition - although I might be the only one you know that cleanses, treats, moisturises, exfoliates and masks like it's a religious schedule!

This year I changed from using Dove's tinted moisturiser, to Garnier's Oil Free BB Cream and I am loving it.

In the transition stage I tried a variety of different brands of BB cream, none of which I felt gave the same even yet natural coverage of my old fave Dove.  This one however has; great coverage, SPF 15, blends into my natural skin tone easily, lasts for ages, doesn't look ridiculous if I do a sweaty workout at the gym, is available in the supermarket (quick and easy), is reasonably priced and doesn't clog my pores making the spots worse.

Overall WINNER!

2.  Bare Minerals Foundation
I was introduced to this product by the ladies at my beauty therapists office, where I buy my exorbitant skin care products and it is wonderful.  For work days when I'm seeing clients or special occasions it is my favourite foundation product ever.  Easy to apply, non-pore clogging, SPF15, impossible to get wrong and coming with it's own brilliant brush - what's not to love!  This stuff lasts for ages too so it's cost effective.

3. Benefits Porefessionals

You're probably sensing a theme by now, but product number 3 is also great for problem or combination skin.  As we get older (or just always if you have an oily t-zone), our pores tend to be enlarged and our skin tends to be less even.  Porefessional is a brilliant little makeup bag tool for smoothing, de-shiny-ifying, priming, and even touching up our base.  This one is a brilliant thing to pop in your bag on a special occasion to top up your skin half-way through the event (after you've got all sweaty rushing to it because the babysitter was late, and you've had a couple of wines to calm your nerves/stress and your of course made your skin is a bit shiny and peaky).

4. Rimmel London Lipstick

I own four lipsticks (pink, red, maroon and natural pink) and three lip-liners (maroon, red and coral).  And they are all different brands....  Once again this is partially because I don't care that much, and partially because my approach to makeup to date has been similar to my pre-blogging approach to clothes - wing it and hope for the best.

Out of all the lipsticks I've ever owned/used however this Rimmel lipstick in Sugar Plum has got to be my favourite.  No flavour, excellent stick-ability and fun colour.  I will definitely buy this one again.

5. No7 Lash Adapt Mascara

I am not a stupid person.  I realise that different brushes and mascara's do different things to your lashes.  I'm just lucky to have very thick, dark, long lashes naturally, so I don't really pay any attention (the thing I like the most about my face).  My top pick is to get them (and the lash line) tinted but aside from that I think every occasion can be made more professional/beautiful with a lick of mascara.  No7 just happens to be the one I buy.

Now although my final point in this top makeup product list isn't a product per se, it is my top makeup tip....  PICMONKEY.  I confess that on the days that my skin is at it's worst, and I either don't have time or can't fix it with makeup, I use the picmonkey 'blemish fix' feature.  Whew I feel so much better for getting that confession off my chest!  It's not really airbrushing though is it.

Love to hear your top makeup products?  Are you a makeup and hair girl, or beginner/non-conformer just like me?
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