Thursday, April 23, 2015

Why I Hate Yoga



I want to like it. So badly.

I'd tried various classes over the years and either found them too easy, too hard or not accessible (I think you need to do it at least once a week).I recently made my bestie buy a 10 class pass with me so I wouldn't be able to back out.
But even that didn't work. The woman teaching the only class we could make was decidedly odd (and birdlike in a bad way). The classes at this particular studio were more for the 'zen' and enlightened, while we wanted exercise in the form of gentle stretching. Not that I have anything against Tibetan bowl singing, it's just that it's not my style and always feels a bit...exclusive. Alternate nose breathing just confuses me too.
I think that's the major drawback with yoga for me. There's not many beginners classes and I always feel overshadowed by the throng of yogis. I'd be proud if I could bend myself like a pretzel too, but it can be a bit daunting for newbies.
I guess you could say I don't like it because I'm not good at it. But I want to be! The health benefits are amazing and so many advocates can't be wrong!
And there's so many choices: Bikram, Vinyasa, Hatha, Ashtanga... help! How on earth am I meant to know which one is right for me?! I couldn't even tell you which types I've tried over the years...
Saying that, I enjoy the limp, calm feeling after a really good session, but I just can't get this from a home practice with YouTube; I need a class for that and to make sure I'm doing it right.
I've even looked into the gear to feel like part of the yoga club. These custom yoga mats are enough to make me not want to give up on yoga!

Do any of you have any amazing tips on how to love it?! Give me links/advice/options!


Monday, April 20, 2015

How To: Style Suspenders

Suspenders (the brace kind not the sexy lingerie kind) are such an old school accessory but I firmly believe they can be made modern! They'll add a tonne of personality to any outfit and actually help keep things in place. You can pick up some great pairs in vintage stores or op shops, but you will find some cute pastel ones on eBay or  ASOS.
The key to any of these looks is to keep it playful. There's no point in pretending you're wearing a business suit or you're a grandpa (so avoid any socks or flat brim caps).
Let's talk options!

1. Monochrome with a Full Skirt

Full skirt's have gone from strength to strength in the fashion stakes because they really are so versatile. Black and white is the easiest way to start and pair it with a couple quirky or fun accessories, leaving the clothing itself plain. 

Suspender Style 1

2. Mob Boss 

The neutrals in this look tone down what would otherwise be a harsh look and the gold accents add a spark of 21st century flavour and a bit of girlishness to a boyish look. The tailored pants are balanced with a loose top to keep it in proportion and matching the suspender colours with your pants ties it together.

Suspender Style 2

3. Crop Jumper and Boyfriend Jeans

Super casual and softened even more by the grey palette (rather than black). Keep it easy and breezey and trust me on the hoop earrings!

Suspender Style 3

4. Pop Art

A little more dramatic then the other looks. Cuter than cute polka dots and heels with personality are toughened up with a leather jacket and boyish suspenders. Adding in the blue keeps the look from being too matchy-matchy (and looking like you're wearing a costume).


Suspender Style 4

5. Bonus Round!

Your first thought was "That's a dress though!" wasn't it? And you are correct! Which is why we're attaching the suspenders to a simple waist belt, creating a makeshift harness (also a neat trick for over t-shirts). Keep the look funky by adding dainty heels and a grunge beanie.

Suspender Style 5


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Shoe Review: Jeffrey Campbell, Shriver


After a couple rainy days in Sydney I realised I was in desperate need of a new pair of everyday black shoes. Squelchy noises and sodden feet prompted me to invest in a good quality pair that would last more than a couple months. There were three things I wanted:
1.  Something with a heel because I seem to always wear my shoes out quickly (I must walk a lot).
2. A loafer style because that's my jam.
3. Good cushioning, because I want to be comfortable (der).

In my intense internet searches I found Nasty Gal had a pair of real leather, low heeled, loafer style shoes. Enter: Jeffrey Campbell, Shirver.
You may recognise Jeffrey Campbell's name. This brand is the genius (or madness) behind the Lita boots and these other... unique... designs. I love a company that doesn't take itself too seriously and their adorable shoe boxes are basically collectors items; so I decided to give it ago.
And they were too big. Chaos ensued.

Let me say that I had never ordered US sizes before and I am usually a 7.5 and everyone (the internet) said that an AU 8 was a US 8 and I buy an AU 8 so I went... okay!
Wrong. It is much bigger and I slip out of them enough for me to consider sending them back.
That's where the problems started.
I'd never ordered from Nasty Gal before so didn't know that I had to ship the shoes back to the States. That would roughly cost me $30. Hmmm.
Then I read a bunch of reviews on Nasty Gal and their return policy online (It's like Googling a medical problem, just don't do it) and I saw nothing but negative comments on their shipping policies and mistakes they make when getting returns. I was worried,
I contacted their customer service and it took me a few attempts to get a straight answer about what precautions I could take.They said that if the item went missing then I wouldn't get my refund. After spending $200+ that did not sound good. Naturally they said get tracking, get it signed for etc. Postage was now $60 and I still had the bad reviews sitting in my mind about Nasty Gal not signing for packages.
So I decided to keep the shoes!

Luckily I loved how they looked and they are OUTSTANDING quality. The cushioning is pretty good (although one shoe has a leak which makes hilarious squeaky noises every step I take...grrr!) and the suede/textured two tone on the front is very chic. They really were everything I wanted in a shoe, just too big!
I bought some heel grips (these Mister Minit ones) and it improved the fit considerably. I've also put a couple cotton wool balls in the toes and now I don't slip around as much.
I was planning on styling them with some cute socks so it hasn't been an end of the world situation (but I would not recommend buying from Nasty Gal if you're outside the USA unless you are 100% sure you want the item).

All in all, I give the Jeffrey Campbell's 8/10.
Nasty Gal I give a 5/10. Sorry guys, I love your instagram still though!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Who's Your Stripe Icon?

Besides my damn self you mean?!
It's no secret I adore wearing stripes so when Farfetch sent me this stylish infographic I just had to share it with you all!
My first thought was that I was clearly an Audrey Hepburn, being a vintage lover from way back, but after reading the descriptions I realised I'm actually a Francoise Hardy.
I hadn't really noticed my style evolution but now that it's staring me in the face I realised I haven't set foot in a vintage store in over a year! The 5 Piece French Wardrobe challenge is so heavy in modern French glamour too, it's a wonder I didn't notice the change in my tastes sooner. I guess these things sneak up on you slowly... might be time to sell some of my clothes on ebay!

Who

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Easy Recipes: Greek Yoghurt Bread

Patience is not one of my virtues and cooking is not one of my skills. This results in a need for recipes that are quick and easy. Making dinner is honestly a one pan and 5 ingredients or less deal for me or it's baked beans on toast. If I can be bothered to get the toaster out. 
Which is why this recipe for the simplest bread you will ever make is my new best friend.

This Greek Yoghurt Bread is:
  • Only 2 ingredients
  • Moist (I know it's a bad word and I'm sorry)
  • Healthy
  • Fine without you; no kneading or waiting for it to rise 
  • Within the abilities of a monkey
Even I can't fail at making this. And if you've ever experienced my cooking then you will know what a feat that is.
I personally feel my kitchen adventures are wonderful cooking hacks! For instance, I've never waited for water to boil in a pot... I just boil the kettle and pour it in. I do it for steamed vegies too because I am just too impatient. And while hardly ground breaking, a lot of people think it's weird. 
Try this recipe out and let me know what you think!


Recipe

  • 2 Cups Greek Yoghurt 
  • 1.5 Cup Self-Raising Flour (substitute for wholemeal etc. for extra brownie points)

The How Part

  1. Mix the yoghurt and flour in a bowl real well. Do you want lumps of flour in your bread? Then keep mixing, I know it's sticky and hard. 
  2. Spray or line your chosen tin/cooking receptacle with oil, butter, baking paper, the tears of your enemies (just kidding, water won't stop it sticking) and put your batter in.
  3. You should probably have pre-heated your oven but you forgot like I always do, so just leave it in the oven for 45 minutes at 175 degrees. 
  4. Check on it throughout and don't be too shy to stick it with a knife to see if it's dead ready. 
So far I've made it in a muffin tin for easy portion control (cooking hack!) and in a ceramic pot with garlic and chilli (yummy but it didn't rise as much as I'd have liked and was more dense). I've also made a sweet 'muffin' version with pears and cinnamon which was divine!
I recommend Jalna Greek Yoghurt but some of the flavoured varieties could make tasty, tasty muffins. Just make sure it is Greek yoghurt as it is usually pot set and the enzymes or what-have-you must be the magic that makes it become bread.
Disclaimer: I am neither a scientist nor chef but if I can do it, you certainly can. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

My Top 5 Shopbop Sale Items

Do you sacrifice your dreams of owning your own home to buy those amazing shoes? Or do you scrimp and save until sale time so you can hope your size is left and splurge?
Like you, I'm torn between two worlds. On the one hand, if it's new and shiny I want it now! On the other hand, I don't want to waste my hard earned dollars on something I won't love or won't last.
And that is why my friends, I will be indulging in the Shopbop 25% Off site-wide Sale. Yes. Everything (well almost!).
It's the perfect time for me to buy the next piece in my 5 Piece French Wardrobe! I can get something good quality that I might have shied away from because of the cost.... now I just need to choose...quickly, because the sale is only on for 3 days. Eeeeek! Luckily I have my top lust items already bookmarked (what did we do before the internet, honestly). 

Here are the top 5 sale items, as curated by yours truly. Happy shopping!

1. Equipment Slim Signature Blouse
Everyone wants an Equipment blouse in their wardrobe. 100% silk and a huge range of colours... this could be considered a basic though right?!



2. Soludos Leopard Smoking Slippers
I've been looking at Soludos for a while now and their designs are the right mix between fun and practical. Plus, a bargain at the best of times... they look extra good right now!



3. Tory Burch Silk Square Neck Dress
Wow. The moment I saw this dress I was blown away. It's so classy, yet it could easily be dressed down for the weekends!



4. Rebecca Minkoff Avery Cross Body Bag
Mini bags have been gaining esteem in my eyes for the last month. Even the most notorious over-packer can't fail to be charmed by Rebecca Minkoff's collection of teeny, tiny, baby bags!



5. Carven Long Sleeve Sweatshirt
Get in ma wardrobe! It's getting colder in Australia and I personally feel each and every one of us should have something mermaid inspired in our closets. Carven is a brand that has been missing from my life for too long...







Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Weekender goes on a Girls Weekend

Because I'm so obsessed with my Kate Spade Saturday Weekender bag I've decided it deserves to star in it's own mini-series!
Also, my feet are so itchy (no athlete's foot I swear!) that I can't resist imagining what I'd take on my travels. First up we have a Girl's Weekend!

Girls Weekend



Since we're with our friends a.k.a 'hoes' we can relax in comfort. We only have room for a couple days worth of clothes so keep it tight in a grey and black colour scheme so everything can go together. Minimal fuss = more time for laughs.
  • Always pack a hat so you don't have to worry about bad hair days.
  • A pair of sneakers will never go astray. I hate being the one grouching along in thongs when we all go for a walk. 
  • Heels that resemble sandals are perfect for fancy and casual dressing.
  • T-shirts, cut off shorts and loose dresses (that won't crease) are your go-to clothing items. Extra points if your dress can tuck into your shorts for another outfit.
  • Sunglasses; 'nuff said.
  • Keep the makeup minimal (your girls love you anyway) with BB Cream instead of foundation.
  • A fresh, sweet perfume since the car ride might be long...and hot. 
  • A little bottle of nail polish in a shade everyone would wear for bonding manicures!
  • And don't forget your phone for all your group selfies!