Thursday, April 30, 2015

Musings of a Plus Size Thrifter

On the weekend, my cousin and I went to the "Wardrobe Warriors" market at Mt Gravatt show grounds. I understand some enterprising plpeople organize this every few months and I certainly applaud the idea. Anything that gets consumers considering shopping secondhand is a good thing in my book as you know, dear reader!

The focus was on high-quality, designer clothes and accessories and certainly there were some lovely pieces. The problem was as I wandered and poked into racks, I didn't see a single thing over a size 16. I had been hoping an entrepreneurial plus size lady or two might have set up a stall but it was not to be. 

Now, this is not the fault of the market. The stalls in the day depend on the people who a) hear about it; and b) want to sell. 

So what do larger ladies do with their unwanted clothes? I can only conclude they give them away to friends, have private clothes swaps or give to op shops. I know in other cities there are plus-sized themed clothes markets but alas here is BrisVegas I have not heard of any at all lately. Who wants to organize one? Just kidding. Or not...

And so I guess I will continue to trawl op shops looking for the occasional 16+ gem. They are out there, I know because I've found then. You just have to be persistent. 

What do you do with your unwanted clothes?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Aspirational Overload

I was watching the Lifestyle Channel's "Inside Tatler" last night when I realised that although there is something to be said for aspirational media, it often just makes my heart sink with the realisation that some things are not within my reach.

What I mean is, although I do enjoy a good mag about lovely homes, and often indulge in a short daydream about having All White Everything, I usually have the good sense to realise that it is probably something that I will never achieve personally.

Barring winning the lotto, or suddenly becoming a voracious and ambitious wildly successful entrepreneur, I am never going to have the money required to make some of my lifestyle dreams come true in my lifetime. A reality check brings one up short before you can get too carried away with fantasies about shopping sprees in New York, private jets and live-in domestics.

Pinterest is another great source of life inspiration and while I do find it fun, I usually reach my perfect loungeroom/impeccable street style saturation point within half an hour.

Harsh reality crashes back in as soon as you close the browser window, or shut the magazine. A life where there are always dirty dishes in the sink, somebody has to take out the rubbish and tomorrow you have to go to work but you haven't done the washing so you have to put a load on at 10pm.

I have also learnt to look economically downwards not up all the time. To practise some gratitude for the lovely things I do have that some people don't. A good husband. A house. A job. A car. 

So, thank you, Tatler/Home Beautiful/Marie Claire/Country Style/Rich Kids of Instagram. I'll use your beautiful things as inspiration, with a pinch of aspiration; but I do need to keep my feet on the ground and head out of the clouds.

But it won't stop me keeping a mental file of lovely things I desire - for that day that I do inherit a fortune from a long-lost relative.

Do you love or hate aspirational media? Is it a motivator or a source of frustration for you?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I Do... Love a Wedding

I was never a girl who spent hours mentally planning my dream fairytale wedding. I went to a lot as a young child, having lots of cousins tying the knot as I grew up. I always appreciated the aesthetic pleasure of a pretty party as well as the romantic symbolism of marriage itself.

I still adore weddings. The main things I love about them are:
a) traveling, a wedding is sometimes a little holiday!
b) dressing up, always a good excuse to roll out the accessories
c) free food and booze, who doesn't?
d) catching up with family and friends

Recently a friend from uni, who along with her fiance has become one of C and I's best "couple friends", finally got married. They decided on the Gold Coast for their venue and the bride being a lady who knew what she wanted from the start, had planned a beautiful day and night for their nuptials.

The wedding was at a church in Southport. The bride arrived in a vintage car and of course, looked stunning in her beautiful ballgown dress. 

We then retired to Palazzo Versace for the reception, which was a bit of a show-stopper of a venue. The reception was lovely, and the champagne flowed easily.

We took an apartment at Main Beach for the night, and in the morning I wished we could have stayed a few days longer! Coast living really appeals to me. I had a cup of tea on the balcony in the morning and was just seduced by it all.

It has left me wondering... when's the next wedding please??

What was the last wedding you went to? Do you love them as much as I do?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Paint it White - upcycling a bookcase

When I was on annual leave recently I had lot of grand plans for cleaning and decluttering the house. Most of these didn't eventuate. I had, however, mentioned to my husband I'd like to paint our pine bookcase white.

Well, he wouldn't let me get out of it then. I was bundled up and taken to Bunnings, where I chose some paint. I went with Dulux Natural White. Out of all the shades of white, why this one? Well, somewhere in the back of my mind I thought I remembered a fave interior style blogger saying it was the main colour she used. The nice man in the paint department had to mix it up for me as he didn't have it in the right size (which is why the tin says "Vivid" instead of "Natural").

We got 2L, which was far too much, but we figured we can use it to paint some other things (I have some bar stools in desperate need of a facelift).

I had also bought two paintbrushes and a set of three sanding blocks and away we went. We dragged it out onto the patio and put down an old sheet. Tip for beginners - wear your old clothes. You're going to get paint on you!

We gave the bookcase a light sanding all over - there wasn't too much varnish so didn't take to it with the orbital sander like we thought we might need to.

I must admit, hubby really drove the project. I spent about five minutes resenting his involvement because I had wanted this to be my "baby" but honestly, that dissipated as soon as I realised how much work was in it!

You see, I like things to be done quickly. I'm a little into instant gratification, and even though this wasn't the world's largest painting project (like, say, A HOUSE, which is also on my future to-do list) I was glad of the help of a second pair of hands.

Then we just started brushing on the paint.

As you can see, we were a bit slapdash. But I figured this wasn't the Sistine Chapel, and I do like things to look a bit rustic. I love the word "rustic", it covers so many imperfections doesn't it?

We let the first coat dry for a day, then attacked it with a second one.

Sorry about the poor quality photo here. My poor iPhone really cannot cope with interiors. I am extremely happy with the end result however! I even ended up moving its location to the dining room.

Have you ever painted furniture? What should be my next project?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


I'm currently in my second week of leave from work. Like most of my work "holidays", I'm not actually "going away" on holiday, just hanging out at home. I believe the trendy word is "Staycation".

Actually it is more what I told my new big boss - a "mental health break". I strongly believe that too much 9-5 Mon-Fri work takes a toll on me so I try to have at least a week off at least every 6 months. This time I took two because I had a lot of leave accumulated, and I had intended on visiting hubby in Townsville, but now he is home.

So what did I intend to do with my free time? Of course I wanted to be "productive", and "get stuff done". You know, all those things you never seem to have time to do when you're working full time? I wanted to declutter the house, work on my blog, take naps, do all the things I love to do (eat all the things I want to eat!).

Some of that has happened. I've op shopped, painted a bookcase and slept in a lot. I even scrapped a bit, making a card. The decluttering hasn't really happened but I have also had two wonderful nights away at the Gold Coast, one for a Hen's Night and again for a wedding.

Today I am sick. Yesterday I woke up with a sore throat and by last night I was fully blown ill. So I have been lolling about on the coach, trying to watch a ton of shows that are clogging up my Foxtel IQ (which I am always in trouble for!).

The rest of the week is open. I think I'm going to do more of the same - whatever I feel like. Just for a few days, until I have to go back to the work grind.

What do you do with your time off? Are you into the "Staycation"?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Save dollars with Op Shopping

I haven't had much of a chance to go op shopping lately, but yesterday I hit up four local shops on a mission to find some wedding outfit accessories. 

Although I wasn't successful in finding exactly what I wanted (note: op shopping is not great for this kind of thing) I did find some great bargain items. 

I thought I'd share with you because by my calculations, I saved at least $110 than if I had shopped retail!

The first item I bought is a red TS dress. I'm guessing it's part is the TS14+ range but the tag just says "TS". I usually do not like this label at all due to the tendency to have everything cut on the oblique but I tried this on and thought it was nice. TS14+ dresses retail for anywhere between $89-$200+, on sale for about $60. I got this for $6. Saving? I'm going to say ballpark $50 at least. 

The handbag is Basque, a label from Myer that I adore. I have a few pieces of their plus size label Basque Woman that I have picked up op shopping and they are always great quality. Their handbags retail for $89-119. On sale the smaller ones are about $59. I paid $10. It has a tiny, nearly invisible pink mark on the front. Saving? I'm going to say about $50. 

The gold chain is of mysterious provenance but it's pretty solid and heavy. I've seen similar in places like Colette or Lovisa retailing for $15-20. I paid $4. I reckon I saved at least $10. 

So by my calculations, I got a great versatile dress, cute bag and chunky chain for a song, saving approximately $110 overall. 

I'm really sorry about my dusty mirror!

Another op shopping win in my book. And I left behind an Olga Berg clutch!

Have you got any major bargains lately? 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sarbi the War Dog

Do you remember the story of Explosives Detection Dog Sarbi? In 2008 she was lost, presumed dead, during an action in Afghanistan. 

14 months later, an American noticed a dog following a citizen and tried some military commands. It was Sarbi! She has now been awarded the RSPCA Purple Cross for Bravery (the only other recipient is Simpson's donkey). 

On the weekend, we heard that Sarbi Park was going to be dedicated at Warner Lakes. A large part of the estate is made up of Defence Housing and a sculpture of Sarbi had been commissioned. 

We decided to go down and take a look. There were so many people! I think we were the only ones there without kids or a dog. Or both. 

Sarbi seemed pleased by her statue. She happily posed for pictures and got lots of pats. 

It was a really lovely morning. Great animal story for the local news too!


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