I’ve always been terribly afraid that I could “waste” my life being comfortable, by not making hard decisions and simply going with the flow of what’s expected of me.
I often think of my life in chapters, as if I’m reading my own memoirs, wondering if I want to be part of the story that’s unfolding. This outlook helps me keep clear goals and stops me from floating along comfortably into oblivion.
Yet sometimes I struggle to stay in control of my own narrative and keep the story moving in a direction that I’m at peace with, throughout the ups and downs.
That’s why last year, I declared that for me 2015 would be The Year of Living Bravely — a prediction that was 100% accurate, as I changed my life’s course in remarkable ways.
We all encounter our own highs and lows, and many friends have faced major life changes in recent months. And sharing our stories always helps us feel less isolated. So I wanted to share with you a few of the biggest challenges I faced last year and how that’s shaping the year of growth ahead …
Left my comfort zone
I took a three-month journey in the USA with the express purpose of making new professional connections, determining how I could grow this website into something much more than a personal blog, and learning critical skills from industry leaders in the field of digital commerce.
This meant three months away from my children, my family and my hometown. The trip was huge in a personal sense, and it made me even more determined to pursue new ways to expand my business.
Ended my marriage
I’ve always kept my personal life fairly much to myself on this blog. While I do occasionally talk about or show glimpses of my family, it’s something that I’ve purposefully kept to a minimum. After all, my reasoning is that I opted in to writing this in 2008, they didn’t.
With that said I won’t go into detail here, but I will tell you this has been the most monumental decision of all and it touches every facet of my life.
It has made me re-evaluate just about everything about myself and why I do what I do. It has also shown me the incredible friendships I have developed through these pages, and just how strong and supportive they are.
Learned to live with less
For years I’ve struggled with clutter and being a “vintage collector” had become a catch-all excuse for living with too much stuff.
I read every book I could get my hands on in an attempt to understand why I wasn’t succeeding at getting on top of the mess.
I knew that all of these things were acting as a security blanket of some kind, a type of anaesthetic, but I didn’t know what from.
I began the long and sometimes painful process of getting rid of many things in the last half of 2014 and carried over into 2015. When it came to crunch time and I had to fit all my possessions into a storage locker, I realised just how little I actually needed.
When I packed a single suitcase, with two pairs of shoes for my three-month journey in the USA, it became clear that less truly was more.
Fell madly in love
I fell completely and utterly in love with a man who makes the term “other half” a reality for me. He was the missing piece of my puzzle.
Together we’ve begun a new chapter in our adventures, goals, creations and relationships. He has changed my perspective in many ways, bringing a new sense of purpose and verve to my days.
Made huge strides with my offline business
My Candice DeVille vintage styling business found a new home in a gorgeous little 1950s house! Our new Melbourne salon is all set up with my collection of vintage hair and beauty supplies, with plenty of room for bridal parties. We successfully launched Hen’s Party events, Ladies Days and Mother Daughter styling days, to much excitement.
In the media, my styling work was featured on the cover of the “Just Married” wedding styling book, a cover story for Glory Days magazine, in Glamour magazine and coming soon in a feature story for Complete Wedding magazine.
Our Vintage Events have been a growing success, with the 2015 Camperdown Cruise Glamour Central being the most commercially successful to date. And in 2016 we’re launching a massive Vintage Marketplace with the Ballarat Heritage Weekender (May 7th & 8th).
I’ve also started to take on digital media clients, including a huge national real estate firm, developing content and marketing plans, social media strategies and helping businesses thrive online. Speaking at General Assembly, the Public Relations Institute of Australia and Newscorp, I had some great opportunities to share my knowledge and build key relationships. I even got to hold a million dollars!
Lost a large part of this blog
In an attempt to create a superior version of Vintage Current over the last months of 2015, an unrecoverable error occurred: We lost every image from 2008-2014 with the updated blog design.
I had always thought if something like this happened I’d be devastated. But I wasn’t.
Perhaps in light of the previous months it felt like a blip of the radar, perhaps I’ve learnt to deal with crisis much more productively.
What this means is that 2016 sees Vintage Current starting afresh with our best pieces and building from there.
It also means I have hours upon hours of work to do to recover the best bits and focus on creating the kind of resource that becomes an essential part of your personal vintage journey.
Set even bigger goals for Vintage Current 2016
With all of the above in motion, this year is going to be a huge challenge for us in terms of creation and community.
Vintage Current is evolving into something bigger than this blog. I am passionate about our vintage community, bringing us together through our mutual loves, sense of adventure and shared knowledge.
For me, 2016 is time to act — to step away from the drawing board and into the driver’s seat.
Now I need your help to take our vintage community to the next level.
One thing my USA trip reaffirmed was the importance of staying connected to your peers and community. And while the past year’s big moves and changes carried over to the blog post rhythm, as the new adventures unfold, I’d like your input and feedback to help chart the course.
Please join me on this new journey by subscribing to my Vintage Current updates!
We’ll keep you apprised of new posts, videos and resources, and preview our forthcoming projects. Vintage Current subscribers will be the first to know about (and be a part of) exciting initiatives, and be eligible for special email-only giveaways and contests.
“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” — Chinese Proverb
This post is bought to you by Nuffnang and VicSuper
Have you ever felt as if finance was a game for maths wizards and genius “grown ups” – like an exclusive club you’ll never be invited to join?
That’s how I felt for years, until just recently. I finally realised how dysfunctional my relationship was with money.
I’m not talking about over spending or shopaholic behaviours. The real problem was believing that I didn’t control my financial future.
For years, I felt as if my money wasn’t “mine” and that, as someone with a dubious grasp of mathematics, I’d never be able to win at finance. Instead, my financial future would always reside in someone else’s hands.
From the outside this sounds ridiculous. How could a 38-year-old entrepreneur who’s launched and grown two businesses believe finance was beyond her skill set? And yet I did.
There’s been a seismic shift in my life this year. One that has given me an immeasurable sense of control, both of my own destiny and to make smart decisions along the way. How I will live in the future is a direct result of the choices I make right now.
In my early twenties I read “Rich Dad Poor Dad” with stars in my eyes and mental images of myself aboard a yacht counting my stacks of money. Then I went out and bought more shoes.
Numbers on paper can seem so unreal. The $1 million I wanted to make was an abstract concept, but the $100 in my wallet was real (and so were the killer heels I bought with it). I could feel it and use it right away.
Every time I got a pay cheque and saw the deductions for super, I’d cringe, feeling my pockets empty. Why couldn’t I get my head around what that money really was? It was the savings I wasn’t doing every time I reached for my purse and a shiny pair of shoes.
Over the years I largely forgot about my super, the neglected child of my financial family. I thought about my property and my bank balance, and even joked about my vintage collection being my real super.
Even when I started my own business, I kept telling myself I had to take charge of my super, but it still seemed rather ‘beige’ at the time. It didn’t have the instant gratification appeal of going to the ATM and getting that High Roller thrill on payday.
Have you ever held a million dollars?
No? How about $800,000?
And it’s all mine. (Or at least it will be.)
As I stood there weighing the heavily stacked piles of notes in my hands, I had one thought: I want more.
That $800,000 was the reality of the cash I could have in superannuation by my retirement. I just need to care about it.
And there are no shoes, no fancy dinners and no bargains I want more than that pile of cash.
I’ll be honest with you. I’ve let my super become something quite off putting in my head. Something that’s for grown ups, and there’s this weird feeling that if I somehow started to give a damn about it, then I must be old, boring and I’d need to know a heck of a lot more about finance.
It’s amazing where your mind goes when you have that much cash in your hands. How intensely my inner Monopoly competitor arises and wants to win.
In a simple game of “How many pairs of shoes I don’t need”, I realised I could transform life for future me with one simple act. Saving a few extra bucks here and there, not losing fees to multiple funds because it was “too hard” to find all the paper work, will mean the difference between living on cat food or caviar. (I joke… maybe?)
How crazy does it sound that the biggest pile of cash I have right now, the biggest investment next to my property, is one that I’ve been ignoring?
I don’t even have a handbag big enough to carry that much cash.
What’s next? I’m selling most of the shoes that would have left me a hobbled old lady anyway and adding that cash to the pile. I’m proving to myself and my daughters that winning at the finance game isn’t nearly as hard as we’re often led to believe.
From today, VicSuper are giving YOU the chance to physically hold you superannuation balance in your hands – head to www.getsuperactive.com.au to see your super as cash and for more info
The beginning of Spring brings with it the beginning of party season, and that awful fear – the fear of missing out.
Dealing with the fear of missing out (FOMO) can be a real problem. The more we see of our friends on social media, out hitting the town while we’re left behind, the more it seems to induce all kinds of paranoia. Maybe you’re at home because you’re studying, your wallet is a bit too light or you’ve chosen to spend your Friday night on the sofa with the kids.
It can happen when there’s a cool conference we’ve wanted to go to, or just a simple weekend BBQ, FOMO can raise it’s head without warning.
Even when we actively choose to do something else, there can be a nagging feeling that cool stuff is happening and we’re not there.
So how can you tame this beast and get over the fear of missing out?
Despite marketing tactics to the contrary, not everything is a must see must do, moment. What is it that you’re racing towards?
Simply telling you to stop feeling like this isn’t going to help anyone. Instead, you need a concrete action plan that will help you get the good stuff and none of the anxiety that goes with it. Here’s some of the tricks that I’ve found useful.
At the heart of FOMO, is the assumption that where you are not, is better than where you are. It’s a vicious cycle when you consider the ridiculous nature of the concept.
There is always something happening, somewhere, and it becomes impossible to truly enjoy the experience you’re in when all your mental energy is spent constructing the ‘what if’s’ and imagined scenarios of where you aren’t.
So much time and emotional energy is spent pining away for what we don’t have, we neglect to nourish what we do.
- Enjoy the perspective of distance.
I simply love this quote from Alexa Chung;
“If anyone’s Tweeting that they’re like, “Oh, I’m having the best time at this party!” know that they’re standing in the corner of a party, tweeting.”
- If you wanted to go that conference but can’t make it, determine why you would like to be there or what you think you could gain from the event. How else can you gain a similar benefit?
Break down your event goals into a few dot points. Did you want to meet people, make connections, learn a skill, be inspired, have fun? Understanding what you feel you’ll gain from such an event helps you to determine which emotions and what kind of drive is coming into play for you.
Maybe you feel the need to be ‘seen’, perhaps you think what you learn will give you ‘the edge’. Whatever drives you is important to acknowledge, then you can determine how to achieve a similar benefit even when you can’t be physically there.
- Set aside specific time to check in on social or follow the event hashtag.
It’s all about control. Do you control the information or does it control you? Sure, there might be lots of valuable information /contacts / friends that you could make at this event, but scheduling time to “meet” them is super important.
Think of it this way. If you were to host a meet and greet cocktail party to make these connections, would you schedule that time into your calendar or would you make it an open house event from the moment you wake up to the moment you close your eyes?
By constantly checking in on an event hashtag, social feed or (worse), having all these set as push notifications, you’re doing exactly that.
Instead, schedule a window of time where you can interact directly with the social feed, learn more, make notes, swap details and then say goodnight.
- Be present where you are.
When you’re mindful of the moment you’re in, its value (or lack of) becomes clear. For example, just kicking back and watching trash tv can be a total waste of time, something that is simply mind numbing and killing off the hours before bed.
Conversely, this same activity, done mindfully, can be an excellent way to relax and unwind. It can be the comfort at the end of a frenetic day, cuddled up with your dog / cat and a hot chocolate.
When you are present in that moment you have the ability to enjoy just how wonderful and luxurious it is to have the time and the comfortable place to do that.
Now stop watching, waiting and get out there and do something yourself; or don’t.
Remember the key to getting your FOMO under control is realising that your time is your own and how you actively choose to spend it is your decision.
Don’t let fear of missing out be the thief you keep inviting in.
I was Cat Called and I liked it.
It began like any other Monday, fighting with the snooze button and responsibility. I dragged myself out from the warmth of my flanelette sheets and headed for the bathroom. A quick morning ritual of coffee, lipstick and a once over in the mirror. Nothing too fancy, just a pair of black swing pants and a cardi, cats eye glasses and a red scarf at my neck. I grabbed my handbag and headed up the road to the trams stop, fighting the chill in the morning air. Then I hear “Hey!! Hey honey!” and my head spins around to see who’s shouting in the traffic. Windows down and a huge grin on her face, a lady waves at me, “Honey, you look fantastic!” “Thanks so much!” I call, waving back to her. The smile is contagious.
As I continued walking to the tram I made a mental note to write about this happening; how unusual and fabulous it was. How on a cold Monday morning this one simple act gave me a brilliant boost of self esteem that warmed me for the rest of the day.
There have been many articles doing the rounds of late talking about the negativity and objectivity of cat calling, and I certainly see their point. But it also makes me think how gun shy we’ve become in giving (and graciously receiving) compliments. Now, hanging out the window at the traffic lights and verbally high-fiving some one for their choice in shoes may not be your style, but there’s sure to be one that is.
The more we think about complimenting people in our day, the more aware we become; looking for opportunities to lift someone up and give them their dues. There are so many opportunities that present themselves to us each day, not just an outfit that catches our eye, but actions, words and other talents that could do with some kudos.
Oddly, it seems that the more we’ve come the rely on social media as a means of communicating with each other, the more the art of the real world compliment has died. It’s become to easy to “Like”, to comment ” Fabulous”, much of the sincerity has been lost. The effort to notice and make contact with another human being to deliberately lift them up, is worth it’s weight in gold.
As I continued my walk I was deep in thought, deconstructing which simple practises I use every day to boost my own sense of self confidence.
Here is my very simple plan to improving your self esteem; immediately!
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Yep, no Facebook or Twitter compliments count here. No “Like” buttons either. Only the real world, face to face exchange that comes with being aware of your interactions and surroundings. Tell your Barrista how much you appreciate their coffee art skills, compliment a co-worker on their great idea or the chap in the park on his choice of tweed walking cap. It’s all about being in the moment, feeling it and the law of reciprocity. You can’t help but feel better about yourself when you have lovely things to say to other people.
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Comparison to others is the enemy of a healthy self esteem. The more we sit on social media, comparing our real lives to other’s edited versions of their own, the more dents we put in our self esteem. But sometimes, there is an honesty in putting ourselves out there with others, that helps to break down our mental barriers.
When it comes to body image and putting things into perspective, I’ve found no better remedy than hitting up a burlesque class and revelling in the glory of other women in all shapes and sizes. It pays to ensure that whatever class you’re planning to attend is at your skill level, but outside of that there are so many options for this kind of experience, you just have to look. It might be belly dancing, tap classes or if you’re game, even a visit to a life drawing class. As women we are particularly cruel to ourselves and our bodies, forgetting that they are the only ones we have. There is nothing quite so normalising, and simultaneously self esteem boosting, as filling your visual landscape with other real, fabulous women having a blast, instead of hyper produced glossy pages of fantasy.
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A win is a win, no matter how small. Teaching yourself to celebrate the little wins you have encourages you to think more positively about your goals, your abilities and ultimately, your self worth. Sure, we all have big goals on our plates, big projects to attend to and huge To Do lists that look like they’ll never end. Taking the time to break down the big scary stuff into smaller pieces, then patting yourself on the back when you’ve done them, is hugely helpful. For some, especially suffers of chronic illness, something as seemingly small as getting out of bed in the morning is a great achievement. Through recognition and celebration (yes you deserve to bust out the good coffee this morning), you are making a great investment in your mental health bank.
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None of us are born “perfect”. We’re learning to become our best selves every day, and being wrong is all a part of that process. Fear of failure, fearing not getting it right, or thinking we’ll be perceived as stupid, is a crippling way to live. Sometimes this works its way out in the little things, like being too afraid to wear red lipstick for fear of getting the shade wrong, and missing out on that joy altogether. Sometimes it’s bigger things that stop us from achieving our goals, hobbling us before we’ve even begun.
Being wrong or “failing”, is your friend. Quite often our idea of wrong is subjective, playing into the rules that others seem to set for us. When you see achievements made by people you think of as brave, outlandish or daring, these things all came about from the peace they have with being “wrong”. Start small and train yourself to see what you’ve learnt along the way. It may be as simple as having a few friends for dinner when you’ve never really hosted, or it may be putting a pitch to a new client.
Seeing success for what it is, a string of lessons learnt then acted upon to find improvement; does wonders for your self esteem.
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I’m always working on the way I talk to myself. Owning my thoughts, and then the actions that come from them, is a constant process we need to be aware of in order to effect the positive change we want to see in our lives. There are all kinds of things I’ve realised I have very little confidence in and I’m actively applying these techniques to see real improvement.
The gift of good self esteem is one only you can give yourself.
Image by Nina Friday – Available on Etsy
I’ve been in a bit of a hole lately. It happens like clockwork every winter when the clouds roll in, the rain starts and the social life drops right off. When you have grand plans of hibernating in knitted socks by a fireplace in Pinterest worthy glory, but all you can muster is a cup of tea and a book in bed, exhausted from the day. When your wardrobe seems dull, lifeless and overused; and nothing says “oh how fabulously jaunty” the way it did in Autumn.
I’ve also been without proper internet and t.v for weeks and weeks, something which should soon be remedied, but means that none of the usual visual feasts or binge watching has been there to light that fire. Even Game of Thrones finished! Yes, they are such first world problems but we all have our slumpy times. I am excited to report however, that my groove has been sighted in a few places.
Inside my suitcase of lingerie where I had packed away my favourite corset; it’s laces and firmness like a perpetual hug always makes me feel instantly better. It peeked out from a large delivery of Blinc cosmetics this morning, full of new eyeliners and potential.
I’m fairly certain I saw it wink at me as I cruised through some of my woman crush Pinterest boards too. It perked up when I took out a box of coloured pencils and a sketch book, something I haven’t done in years, then it even stretched a sleepy arm when I unpacked an envelope of vintage dress patterns I hadn’t opened yet.
When it realised I’ll be hopping on a flight to Sydney for a few days this time next week, it even started to shimmy a bit thinking of the party plans and catch up with friends. It began to think about all the fabulous things on the horizon for Spring and the joy of planning; planting new flowers in the garden, pruning roses so their blooms are full and heady. It started to think about this year’s Camperdown Cruise, all the fabulous cars, music and dancing. Then it turned a corner and began to think of all the cool things I haven’t yet tried with my hair and how much I love to experiment with new techniques.
Suddenly my groove was there, waiting to get dressed, meet up with friends and hit the town to watch a fellow vintage lover and burlesque beauty perform in Shake this evening.
If your groove has been hidden away in the cupboard with mine for a while, let’s send them an invite to a mid winter get together and see if we can get them dancing in the kitchen again.
Landing back in Melbourne I was deceived by the balmy late Autumn night. I gathered my things into the cab at the airport proclaiming, “Oh this isn’t so bad, perhaps I just don’t feel it anymore now that I have experienced a little of the US cold.” Foolish woman. By 10.30pm I was rugged up like a marshmallow, thick scarf over my cable knit cowl sweater, rubbing my legs for warmth. Immediately I began making a mental list of all the things that need to happen this week, and this morning I embark on my quest.
Recover all my Winter clothes from storage and check them for suitability
Over the last twelve months I have attempted to streamline just how much I keep in the wardrobe; not enough though to keep it all in the wardrobe at any one time. Things still have to be stored seasonally. When I pack away my winter clothes, I try to ensure that everything is extra clean and use lavender to keep any bugs at bay. Now is the time to pull it all back out, check and see what I’ll still wear as opposed to what I want to donate or sell. Then I give them the once over for condition, ironing where needed and using my favourite fabric softener to freshly launder pieces, filling the house with the scent of warm washing.
Check the heating situation
If you haven’t already turned your heating on for the season, it’s important to check that not only is it in good working order, but that it is dust free. Vacuum out the vents and save yourself the scratchy eyes. Make sure that your efforts aren’t wasted and that you are keeping that heat inside where it belongs. Some door seals from the hardware store or even a few fancy door ‘snakes’ to stop the draught make a big difference. I plan on heading down to Savers today and seeing if I can score some heavy curtains to layer over the windows in the area that doesn’t hold the heat so well.
Freshen up your bed room
The 1st June is the beginning of End of Financial Year sales here and the perfect time to snag a bedding bargain. Yesterday we popped out to grab some luxuriously soft memory foam pillows (2 for $25 – nice!), a new doona and a rich slate grey cover to echo the winter tones. A thick shag floor rug and a winter spice room fragrance will add the more sensory elements.
I love this piece from Fresh Home 10 affordable ways to make your home look like a luxury hotel
Pick a project
Winter nights are the best for staying in, not having to over socialise and just hibernate for a bit. The temptation though, is to spend far too much time watching TV. Instead I’ll be sitting down to plan out personal projects I want to work on of an evening. I’ve almost entirely given up on the idea that I may one day be a knitter (just no patience), but instead I’d like to get back to drawing, more reading and actually doing some of those digital projects that are always on the ‘to do’ list. Things like scanning all my important documents, making photo books with highlights of my trips over the years, reorganising my digital filing system, and most importantly, digitising all the photos from when I was growing up to make sure they are never lost. I will of course, by having movie nights to indulge in the classics, but I’d hate to loose my evenings to whatever rubbish just happens to be on because I didn’t have anything planned.
Right now however, I think this miserable weather calls for some home delivery Thai food and a lovely bottle of wine.
I’ll be productive tomorrow.