Monday, October 14, 2013

Wardrobe Rut

I know, I know. All women look at their closet sometimes and think they have nothing to wear. Sometimes it's an easy fix, buy a new pair of jeans, shoes or a cute top and you're sorted for a little while longer.

Not me, I have to be difficult. I don't know what it is, maybe it's because I'm getting older, my lifestyle is changing, maybe it's because I moved to the other side of the world and we actually have seasons here and I don't really know how to dress for them... who knows. All I know is that I have a closet full of nothing.

I have been obsessing over the Women's Fashion category on Pinterest, thinking everyone looks so cute and ooh I like that outfit - why can't I look like that? So then I try and find the exact item or a cheaper replica, and it sits in my closet because I have no idea what to do with it. 

I have felt this nagging feeling for awhile now, like I don't know how to dress myself, and I just blamed it on the fact that I've never really been 'girly' or good with fashion.. or hair or makeup.. or nails. ok, nothing girl related. But, as mentioned in my previous post, I was dreaming about our possible Europe vacation, so I was reading lots and lots of packing lists and I wondered what I would do and what I would pack. The plan is to only take a backpack or carry on and bring versatile items that can be worn several different ways. 

For further information on this style of packing head on over to Travel Fashion Girl - they have tons of packing lists and ideas.

Sounds easy, right? Except I don't really have a lot of items like that. So, I started to accumulate them. Black maxi dress? check. Gray jersey dress? Check. Various colour V neck tees? Check. Chambray shirt? Check. But, now what do I do with them?

I buy most of my things on eBay or at thrift stores. Sometimes I order online and once it arrives it doesn't fit, has a stain or other issue. The black maxi dress? I don't love it, and the elastic around the bust has snapped - not a problem right now, but it will be after a few wears. The gray jersey dress? Said it was a size medium, and there was nothing medium about it. A medium child, maybe. Chambray shirt fits (kohls) and so do the V necks (target). So... 

Anyway. I am rambling and not making my point. Basically, my closet sucks and I don't know how to shop for myself anymore.

I stumbled across Putting Me Together whilst pinterest-ing travel outfits, mainly regarding re-mixing the same piece. Since I found her, I have been intrigued. How do I get more out of my wardrobe? Why do I have so much, yet nothing to wear? What do I need to get rid of, and what do I need to buy?

First off - I took everything out of the closet and my drawers. Apart from underwear etc.

I tried 95% of the clothes on. It takes a lot of time and energy, and someone to help with decisions you are on the fence about (thanks husband). I had several pairs of jeans, dresses, and a million t-shirts. I vetoed a lot of it on my own, but jeans and dresses hubby helped with. A couple things I wasn't sure about, he nudged me either way. Some things he said get rid of that I kept, and some things he said keep that I got rid of. sssh, don't tell him.

The worst part of all this? When I moved to the US (early 2012) I came with 2 suitcases. Seems like a lot, but when you are packing for a year (and then end up staying) and you have to pack everything - jeans, pants, shoes, boots, bikinis, childhood teddy bears, jewelry, dresses - you run out of room fast. So I made sure and only brought my absolute favorites of everything. I only brought 3 pairs of jeans - all nobody - a couple of dresses, all the necessities like tank tops and pajamas, etc etc. So how did I end up with all of these clothes I don't like, or don't fit? Mum sent me a few things, brought me things when she visited, and I shopped. I shopped a lot. You can see above how well I shop sometimes, so this, my friends, is how I ended up with a closet full of nothing to wear.

Anyway. This is what I am left with. 

It still looks like so much! 

This is what I am going to try and sell on eBay - recover my losses and hopefully not have wasted too much on clothes I don't like. I listed almost 80 things!

I also have a large garbage bag full of things to go to goodwill - pointless to try and sell, but someone may get some use out of it.

This was all done yesterday, and today I went through my closet again with more scrutiny. Should I really keep this? Will I wear it? Does it fit, or look good? I was able to list another 20 things. Seriously, why do I have all of these things?

Now I need to work on getting a closet I love and that works for me. My worst issue is that I see things on other people - pinterest, celebrities, even my own friends - and I want the same thing. But (obvious point coming) I am different from everyone else, not only do I have different tastes but my coloring is different and so is my body. I need to stop buying things just because they look good on other people.

So I googled a bunch of 'wardrobe essentials' and 'basics' etc. Putting Me Together was super helpful with this - she points out that everyone's lifestyle is different and there cannot be a one size fits all list. Take the white button down, for example, it's on pretty much every 'essentials' list, but she hasn't found the need for one yet. Me, on the other hand, pretty sure I could wear that almost every day. If I had one. I work in an environment that is not very business-y (I don't have to wear a suit) but not casual (no jeans, boo).

This blog post was super long! I am just rambling, trying to get my thoughts out. That's what a blog is for, right?

Here is the plan for now:
1. sell all the things that suck.
2. find all the things that are awesome.

Easy peasy.

On my shopping list:
1. More blouses; polka dot or other patterns. These are great for work, but can be easily remixed into more casual settings. Currently all my work shirts are boring and cannot really be worn elsewhere.
2. Accessories. Another thing I am no good at. But I am determined to get better. Earrings, rings, bracelets, necklaces, scarves - easy ways to change up outfits, but they sit in my closet and never come out. I buy things that I think look cute, but I don't actually like them and they don't suit my lifestyle or personality.
3. Skirts. I really want skirts in my wardrobe. I always disliked skirts I owned because they were too short. I'm only 5'9 so not extraordinarily tall, but it took me awhile to realize mini skirts or even 'above knee' length don't work on me. I need longer, or ones that actually sit above the knee - like lower thigh rather than mid thigh.
4. A denim jacket. I want one. That's all.
5. Longer cardigans. I have all these cute cardigans but they are too small and short. I need longer ones that go past my waist so they look better with outfits. You always see outfits with longer -like hip length - and not the shorter ones I have.

Here are some 'one piece different ways' from Putting Me Together that I am getting my inspiration from.

Polka Dot Blouse Remix
I LOVE this polka dot blouse - and look how awesome all of those outfits are. Perfect for work and for play. Definitely on my shopping list. Normally I am guilty of buying things that aren't my style or suit me well, but I love polka dots and know a simple black and white blouse will be a great addition to my wardrobe.

Lace Tee Recap

Seriously, see how awesome she is? I love this lace tee and I want one. Its great because its casual but doesn't look like a t shirt, so I could wear it to work. On the list.

Mustard Cardigan Recap

Olive Cardigan Recap

Here is where my previous shopping mistakes will come back to haunt me. I love these remixes of these cardigans. They look great on her. But, normally I would run out and buy an olive cardigan and a mustard cardigan. Then I would realize how bad they looked on me, or how uncomfortable they made me for whatever reason, and they would sit in my closet until I purged again.

I am pretty sure the olive green cardigan would look great, mainly because its a pseudo-neutral according to Audrey. But the mustard... as much as I like it on her, I don't think yellow is my color. I know it would look great on a certain friend of mine,but me? I don't think so. I will keep my eye out, maybe try one on in person, or maybe look for an alternative pop of color cardigan - like a blue or purple.

Lastly, this is possibly my favorite little collage - how to style a basic white tee. Doesn't she just nail it on the head? I have 2 white v necks (why do I have 2?) and I would throw one on over shorts or jeans and scrunch my nose up at how boring and not put together I looked. Now I know how to style it better, I can't wait for the next time I can wear one!

Styling a white tee

Audrey has a great series on building a remixable wardrobe here that is well worth checking out if you haven't already!

To end this post on a different note, a bunch of us went up to Hubers for a bit of Fall fun on the weekend and sat around drinking wine and eating bad food and having a grand ol time. I love my 3 besties. And my hubby ;)

That's all for today folks!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Vegas Honeymoon: Recap

If you would like to see all my travel posts, including recaps, tips & recommendations and packing guides, please visit my travel page.

I had been to Vegas before (once with Trek America, once with my mum), KC had not. It was also our first vacation just the two of us. We have been on vacation together before to Disneyland, London, DC & Gatlinburg but never just the two of us, and we'd also never flown together. So, I was super excited. Also, was curious to see how the seating would work... I'm a window girl, KC is all about the aisle...

We stayed at The Signature at MGM Grand. Fanciest place we've ever stayed! It was amazing. The front desk lady was so friendly, she upgraded us to a penthouse with a view of the strip when she found out we were on our honeymoon. I was not expecting that from Vegas - I bet they get a lot of newlyweds there.

We arrived late afternoon, and our first trip was to Target - we were there for 8 nights and wanted to get some groceries so we could eat some meals in the hotel. Mostly to save money, but also with my gluten free issues, and both of our aversions to eating too much fast food, it was just going to be smarter to do so. We do this on pretty much every holiday - I like having breakfast in the hotel, having snacks on hand and not eating junk the whole time. I'm all about treating myself, but I don't want to feel like a truck ran over me whilst trying to enjoy my holiday!

After groceries, we walked up and down the strip and grabbed a drink from Paris Las Vegas.

The next day, we got up bright and early and walked from our hotel to Circus Circus where Adventuredome is. I had read about it and was super excited to let my inner child run free at the indoor amusement park. The walk was a bit over 2 miles and we made a couple stops to get inside air conditioning, and to take photos. We weren't worried about the walk, though we probably should have been. 2 miles is nothing to walk for either of us, but in the middle of Vegas summer with little to no cover for most of the walk - it was hot, and we both got a little sun burned from it.

If you are considering going to the Adventuredome (whether you walk or take a taxi!) my advice would be to skip it. It was $30 each, there were only a handful of rides appropriate for adults (who like to act like children) and they just weren't that good. I love Disneyland and Disney World, so I really do enjoy acting like a child, but this was just not a fun time. I was very disappointed. We were probably there for 2 hours, max. We rode the roller coaster 3 or 4 times to get our moneys worth, as each ride is $8 each if you don't get the day pass. 

That night, we went to see Penn & Teller at the Rio. We bought our tickets from and saved about $50 each. Well worth checking out that website for shows and things if you are heading to Vegas. The show was hilarious, and I will admit, I was super excited to see them both after being a die hard Sabrina the Teenage Witch fan back in the day!  I definitely recommend adding Penn & Teller to your entertainment if you're visiting Vegas. Also, they both hang out in the lobby after the show, and you get to meet them! Its not an organised line, you just kind of swarm them and wait for your turn to take a photo. But they are both super professional and obviously do this almost every night, so I don't think we were waiting very long at all. I would have waited much longer - this is Penn & Teller, people! How awesome is it that they hang out after the show - can you name anyone else that does that?

The next day we wandered around again, no real purpose. Then we went to see Absinthe at Caesars Palace. This was, by far, our favorite show. If you see one show in Vegas, make it this one! I totally stole that from somewhere, but there is no better way to say it! It was entertaining, hilarious and just all around a fabulous show. I was worried KC wouldn't like any of the shows, but he was almost falling off his seat laughing and enjoying it as much as I was. Although - please be aware this is 100% not meant for children, or those with a more mature sense of humor. Read the reviews on Yelp for more information.

The next day we caught up on laying by the pool before the Matchbox 20 & Goo Goo Dolls concert at Mandalay Bay. I was soooooooo excited for this show, you have no idea. I loved both of these bands (still do) when I was a teenager, and was never able to see them in Australia. So when I found out they were going to be in Vegas the same time as us, how could I pass it up? And they did not disappoint. They were both fabulous! It was so much fun to sing along to songs that took me back to those years - ten years ago, though it doesn't feel like it! I even teared up a bit when the Goo Goo Dolls played Here Is Gone - seriously my favorite song of theirs, was obsessed with it as a youngen, and it took me back so hard and fast - no other way to explain it. It made me so happy and sad at the same time. I didn't have the best time in high school (who did?) and I am so much happier than I ever thought I would be, which is fabulous, but sad to think I was such a debbie downer at such a young age. If I could only go back and tell myself to lighten up, high school is so easy compared to the rest of life. But I digress. Concert = amazing.

We definitely slacked from taking photos for the next couple of days. We went shopping, relaxed and indulged our lazy sides (it rained the night of the concert and the next day), went to see Jersey Boys (aahhhhmmmazzziiinggg! we were easily the youngest people in the audience, and the loudest sing along-ers!) and Zumanity (very good, hilarious, much like Absinthe in adult humor, but a bit more 'sensual' than Absinthe).

So that's it, our honeymoon! We had such a good time. I think Vegas is such a fun destination. Neither of us are gamblers or big drinkers, we were probably in bed by midnight each night and played the slot machines a couple of times whilst waiting on a show. There is so much more to do there than get drunk and gamble - unless that's what you want to do, if so - go for it! Also, I saw so many people with kids and babies - Vegas can be such a family friendly place and we are definitely going to take our future kidlets there. I just don't think that some of the shows are kid appropriate, but there is so much more to do - they might even enjoy Adventuredome more than we did.

On another note, I have been bitten by the travel bug again. I want to see the world so much. Europe is next on the list, and of course, Australia so KC can see my 'hood and my family. 

Until next time..

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Our Wedding

Well, here it is. The 'Our Wedding Post'. Before we were married, I would search for and read wedding blog posts allllll night. I just loved seeing the different ways that people did things, seeing beautiful brides, and sharing in their special day whilst trying to find ideas for our own day. So, in case there is anyone out there like me... here it is. It was an amazing day, and we could not have asked for more wonderful people to share it with. Thank you to everyone who made the day as perfect as it was.

My hair was done by Jennifer Cook, who was also a bridesmaid.
My make-up (and everyone else's) was done by Cassie Young.
Make Up & Tanning by Cassie

The finished product. MOG, MOH, MOB, Bride, BM & BM

My gorgeous dress with a good ol Aussie flag. 
The Boys. Their tuxes are from Rebecca's Black Tie

The handsome Groom (if I do say so myself..)

I am so lucky to have such amazing friends. 

The bridal party. 
My best friend made the boutonnieres, corsages and put together our bouquets. Can you say talented? Not only did I love what she did, she saved us a ton of money by using silk flowers and the hydrangea bush in her backyard.

After the ceremony - we're married!

After we were announced and came dancing in, the bridal party surprised us with joining us on the dance floor.

this was probably the most fun I had all night. I literally jumped up and down I was so excited and happy.
Our first dance was to Someone Like You by Van Morrison. Looovvve.

party time! what we were waiting for!

KC loves to boogie.

representin' yo.

we had such a fun time.

And that's all folks. Seriously, we had so much fun, partied till late and danced our little tushies off. Couldn't have asked for a better night, or better friends. 

Now that the wedding is over and we have been married for almost a month, I wanted to share my expertise on the whole wedding thing.

1. Do what you want to do. Oh my goodness. Seriously. Everyone will have an opinion and you will offend most of them. I don't mean you should piss everyone off by going against their wishes, but if it doesn't sit well with you, don't agree to it. Weddings are a family affair and people get very invested in them because they love you and want it to be the best day ever. That's great and all, but things can get carried away. Numero uno tip of wedding planning and remaining sane is to make yourself and your fiance happy.

2. Remember this is just one day. It's not about the wedding - it's about your marriage. If you aren't as excited for the rest of your life as you are for the wedding, something is wrong. I was excited to have a wedding and a celebration with my friends and KC's family, but it was not the most important thing. We had a great time, but it was over in the blink of an eye. I do not think that some of the stress and frustration leading up to the wedding was necessarily worth it, but I didn't know any better. I got so stressed about things that just did not matter and worked themselves out in the end.

3. Utilize everyone you can. My best friend did the flowers, lent me her veil - my bridesmaid was our hair stylist and recommended our makeup artist. Everyone was so unbelievably helpful with everything leading up to the wedding and the day of. Living in a different country, this helped me so much to be able to ask my friends for advice and recommendations.

4. Leading up to the wedding, drink lots of water and avoid crappy food. This really just made me feel better, not bloated and not yucky. I read a lot of advice about avoiding salty foods, but salt doesn't really make me bloat as bad as just plain crappy food does so I tried to be mindful the week or so before the wedding. On the morning of the wedding, eat as much as you possibly can, even if you don't feel like it. Because time will get away from you and one too many champers will reveal you didn't eat enough!

5. Enjoy your guests, and remember to have fun! After dinner, we went around to chat with everyone, thank them for coming and have some photos. It was awesome to spend a little time with our guests and we have a lot of great photos we may not have had the chance to get if we didn't make the effort. In regards to speeches, KC did a little thank you speech, I did a teensy 'mother daughter instead of father daughter dance' speech, but other than that, we just wanted to get to the party. After the parent dances, we partied and danced until about 1am and had a fantastic time.

I hope your day is as magical as ours was. Now for the rest of our lives!