I’m not a resolution maker; I like to question myself all the time. I’m also a hoarder, a dreamer, a hedonist and an impulsive decision maker. Some of these things are good, some are not.
As a vintage lover and collector, it is so hard to let go of anything in my collection. Every piece comes with an imagined memory and is part of a romantic tale I have made up for it somewhere in my mind. Each piece of ceramic or pink poodle adds to the nostalgic landscape that requires constant dusting. Days are spent scouring shops, markets and rummaging in dusty old containers all in the name of treasure hunting. What a wonderful time it has been.
Remember I told you that when I went away on this last trip to Dubai and New York, that I had come home a different person? It was while I stood watching the sunset across the Dubai desert that a thought occurred to me.
Here I am, a vintage collector of more than twenty-five years, with closets full and shelves overflowing. Yes, I have this wonderful little blog as a visual testament to many of the beautiful finds in the last few years, but I have something that not many vintage collectors do and I have barely let it see the light.
I have the ability to tell stories.
Where fabrics may perish and lustres may fade, I know I have the untapped ability to tell the stories of these pieces, their owners and their context in words that won’t grow old. I am able to tell these tales from every culture I visit, from the past to the present, each of them clothed in their unique fabrics of love, loss, adventures and bravery.
All of the things I first sought to express when I began writing this blog way back when, centred on my own experience of life and art as expressed through fashion. Of wearing on the outside the way I felt on the inside. Nothing has changed there and I continue to use style as both armour and a pair of wings. I’d just like to do more.
I want to be able to share with you all of the stories and the moments that may hold a nugget of inspiration for you, things that will help to make us all braver. From the day to day to the big life changing moments, I want to be able to share with you more of what makes this life possible for me.
I hope to give you more insights into how I see the world and how I’m able to live with confidence and freedom. Not that they are always unwavering, but they are qualities that for the most part, a prize I keep my eyes on. I’d like to share more time “behind the curtain” with you, and why I still struggle with having thirty-something towels in the closet.
None of this means I’ll be changing the sorts of posts I share or all of my outfit creations; it simply means I hope to write more for you and to chat together. If you’ve never met me in person, you may not know how much I love a good chat, which is one of the reasons I need to write more for you. I’ve realised that when given the chance to speak, I can hardly stop for all the things I want to share and I should do more of that here.
So while it seems that the Internet is being over run with flashy statements, bright lights and everyone talking at you; I’d really like to avoid that noise and instead just invite you in to spend some time and share our stories. It’s nice to meet you.
Like every year, this year seems to have taken place at warp speed. Barely a moment to pause and reflect, barely a moment to take stock of where life is taking you.
Over the last month I have stopped to ask myself one question; are you headed to where you want to be? And it seems so many of you are asking the same question.
Every day I am again on Pinterest, seeking things that excite and invigorate my creative self. It is when I see so many of the quotes I’ve pinned being liked and shared around with gusto, that I realise we are all in the same boat. The boat that is trying to stay the course, to avoid the rocks and to often even find the map in the first place.
Do you remember where you were going, or has your map become dusty and torn, missing the ‘X’ your soul so deeply needs.
How easy it is to distract ourselves from what really matters, from finding ways to express ourselves or from having the bravery to express it in the first place. This is the 2015 I want us to have. I want us to find that part of ourselves that makes us better, that inspires and changes others for the better. That energises and fulfils us. That we have silenced for fear, for insecurity or for simply not knowing how.
Maybe it seems odd to you that as a lifestyle blogger, these are the things I care about; but truly it is at the heart of it all. I blog because I need to create. I blog so I can talk to you through all these different ways, about the things I find joy in and hope to share with you. I blog to find those who can expand my understanding of the world, my perspective and my appreciation of what we have. I blog to find others who give a damn.
There is strength in numbers you see, and the more we join our thoughts and experiences across this little corner of cyber space, the braver we become.
I lost my bravery for a while there. I began to think that no one actually cared beyond a pretty picture or a nice new dress. That everything I wrote or thought would only open me up to criticisms, barbs and antagonism. I forgot about all of the times you did care, that those of you who have been here from the beginning, understood the story and it helped you to tell your own.
Here, red lipstick is not just another fashion statement; it is a red badge of courage in a sea of grey. Here, the travel story of an afternoon in a Middle Eastern souk is not just another log, it is my hearts song. Everything I write for you, photograph for you and even hope to humbly share my skills through, is an act of bravery. It comes from a place that is uniquely me; my authentic self who believes in romance, dreams and the impossible.
And this is what 2015 will be for us. It is the year of living bravely, in which we shall take this journey together and find your long buried treasure map.
Happy Holidays my friends!
While it seems the year has passed almost too quickly (once again), it has been a particularly memorable one. One in which I’ve learnt a lot about myself, about how we all see each other and how much farther we all have to go in finding common ground, love and respect. It is so easy to live in bubbles; bubbles of our social groups, families, cultures or even loneliness, forgetting that everyone experiences life so differently. We become wrapped up in busy, in commitments and deadlines, not giving our hearts and minds enough pause to hear themselves. These holidays my wish for you is the gift of reflection and paying it forward.
So many of my friends have found themselves without loved ones this year, losing the most important people in their lives. Other friends are a world away from those they care about most, not knowing when or where they may see them again. Then there are those who despite being surrounded by people, feel their most alone at this time of year. If you, like me, have an abundance of love to give, this is the time to spread it around.
If you’re not sure where to start, these ideas should help you.
- Help someone carry their groceries to the car.
- Offer to drive elderly neighbours to the mall.
- Make a holiday meal for a single parent who could really use a break.
- Organise play dates for friends children to give them the day off to connect with each other.
- Pick up the phone and hear the voices of faraway friends and relatives.
- Think of all the pictures we post on Instagram and print some out for your grandparents so they too can get a look into your daily life and what you love.
- Put your hand up to host a get together for online friends who may have no one to share the Holidays with. Organise a picnic, a coffee catch up or something else where you can make real connections.
- Ask your local refugee advocacy centre how you can help struggling families in your neighbourhood.
Once you put your mind to it, opportunities to pay it forward present themselves all the time, so make sure your eyes are open.
For me, I’d very much like to share my Holiday time with you. Especially those of you who read this blog but never comment, those who feel alone or isolated, those who’d just really like to hear a friendly voice and some crumby jokes. So I will be hosting a Google+ Hang Out!
Join Me for a Holiday Get Together!
Yes, all you need to do is log into your Google+ account and you’ll be able to join this live hangout. You can send in any questions you have for me prior to, or during the event, or you can even request and invitation to join the video call! You’re welcome to come and chat, just hang out and listen or view the hangout later on on our YouTube channel. But really, I’d love it if you came and joined my little party, everyone is welcome!
You’ll find the details for the Live Hangout listed here and I’ve scheduled it at I time I hope many of you are able to come along. Feel free to wear ugly sweaters, glitter, antlers, or other festive accoutrements. You’re also welcome to leave me any questions or special requests in the comments section of this post.
Happy Holidays my Friends!
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It is quite possible that what I have to tell you may be the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me. It has been on my “Life List” for quite some time and I didn’t know if or when I’d be able to make it happen, but now I can tell you….
I am going to Dubai!!
In fact, the whole Nuffnang Bloggeratti team and I are headed off to Dubai together! This is the very first time that such a large group of bloggers have been invited to take part in a huge getaway campaign, and I’m honoured to be amongst them. We’ve become a close-knit group of Nuffnang bloggers from across Australia, all writing about different things but sharing the same blogging passion. Having the opportunity to work on something this exciting and spend time with ‘colleagues’ is just incredible!
The whole group of us cover a diverse range of topics, so the stories you’ll be able to see will have something for everyone. We are fashion, parenting, style, interiors, food and craft bloggers. Can you imagine how differently we’ll experience Dubai?
We will be working with the #MyDubai initiative, created by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council. Yes, that’s right and I can hardly believe it myself, we’ll be working on a project initiated by Royalty!
Dubai is a land of dreams to me; not only do they have the biggest shopping mall in the world, but is a wealth of culture, history and tradition. There is so much I want to see and experience. The tastes and sounds, the early morning sunrises and the beauty of the desert plains will, no doubt, provide the perfect backdrop to my stories. The aquariums, ice rinks, fountains and markets all fuelling the imagination and creating exquisite memories.
The passionate people watcher and archaeologist in me is beside herself with excitement. I feel like a child presented with the dessert buffet and only a tiny plate to hold it all. I know I will be a glutton for experiences on this trip and these are the souvenirs I plan to bring home.
Already I am planning the wardrobe needed for this adventure, imagining floaty silks, golden trims and leather sandals. The possibility of what awaits on the local Dubai fashion scene is simply too much to comprehend. The luxury, the choice, the scale; all like I’ve never seen before. I am fascinated to sit down with tea and explore the stories of traditional dress and the subtleties of style in Dubai.
As my fellow vintage lovers, I know you will understand completely when I tell you my minds eye sees all these images with a tinge of Hercule Poirot and a Khaki clad adventuress. My pulse is already racing.
It is not only me who should feel the excitement of this tough, as I have an announcement for you too.
As a part of this spectacular Dubai trip, Nuffnang has the opportunity for YOU and a friend to WIN and come with us!!
All you have to do is tell us via your social media platforms “What do you dream of in Dubai?” and make sure to add the hashtag #NNDubaiDreams and #mydubai.
Please note that you must remember these things for your entry to count:
- Must use the two hashtags #NNDubaiDreams and #mydubai
- Can upload an image, text or video
- Shared on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram
- Entries can any format as long as they’re publicly visible and include those hashtags.
Here is the official Nuffnang blog post with all the competition details
What can you win?
- The winner and your +1 receive flights from their nearest capital city, accommodation, and activities in Dubai. They’ll be traveling in part with our group, but not included in all activities. Includes flights, accommodation and activities.
Terms & Conditions
Do not let this one pass you by!! Enter as many times as you like and share this with all your friends who may end up winning for you!
A few months ago, the team at Thread Den here in Melbourne ran a sewing challenge. The idea was to create your own outfit inspired by Grace Kelly, in recognition of the movie’s release.
As an enthusiastic sewer myself (more enthusiasm, less doing), I knew just how challenging this competition was going to be, so I offered to sponsor a prize for the winner.
When Dani from Thread Den sent me the snap shots of Adele and her creation, I was just stunned. Not only was her gown the most beautiful creation, she was even a blonde Grace Kelly look alike!
Through our vintage hair and makeup salon here in Melbourne, I offered to spend a day with the winner, transforming her into a classic hollywood vision. After all the incredible effort these ladies had gone to creating their masterpieces, I wanted to capture and share the winning dress with you too.
Adele and I chatted away about our families, our shared loved of classic films and the intoxicating detail of costume. There is the most wonderful sense of understanding you find almost immediately through a shared love of vintage. Comparing childhoods, we were amazed and amused to find out how much we had in common; from the books we read to the imagination games we played. I think perhaps that all my vintage loving friends, yourself included, may fall under these same spells.
A huge thank you goes to my wonderful friend Helen McLean Photography and her trained eye for vintage glamour. Helen met Adele and myself in the salon, were we were able to capture these stunning images.
It was such a pleasure spending the day with Adele. A far cry from her usual stay at home mum attire, she thoroughly enjoyed her time playing old hollywood with us, and I think she looks absolutely born to it!
If you fancy spending a day with Helen and I creating images like this, simply drop her a line via her website. And if you’re in Melbourne, you can always book in for a private lesson with me in the salon or book to join our Beautiful Day workshop on November 15th.
Monday mornings can often be the hardest part of the week. Whether that means the end of a weekend, back to school or simply feeling like your time is not your own again.
My foolproof method of starting the week on the right note, is to include little luxuries in my Mondays. This morning that meant taking time to have my breakfast in the Spring sunshine outside.
Often the things we reserve for weekends or time off, little luxuries go a long way to helping create a sense of indulgence and serenity in the midst of our work a day chaos. They needn’t be expensive nor time consuming, just small treats that we often over look in our hast (or reluctance) to get the week going again.
To help you start your weeks on the right note, we’ve created a whole lot of tips and tricks to help you feel a little sense of luxury and remember how much you deserve it. Of course, luxury is subjective and often circumstantial, so we want to invite you to share your own little luxuries.
You’ll find our Little Luxury tips here on the blog every Monday, but also on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook; all with hashtag #LittleLuxuryMon. Perfect for sharing your ideas with friends, seeing how we all like to indulge, and of course, just how differently we do it the world over!
Every month we’ll be choosing a winner to receive their own little piece of luxury to help boost your spirits! It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you too can join in. Just make sure to tag your pics, then we’ll contact the winner so we can send you a very special gift box!
It’s not a big thing, just a #LittleLuxuryMon that put that spark of decadence into your day, and remind you just how important you are.