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Sunday, 18 August 2013

Moodboard Monday - DIY Floral Centerpieces

DIY Floral Centrepieces

This is the first round of Moodboard Mondays hosted by the lovely Lisa at Life as we know it. The premise is that you put together a collection of images based on the week's theme. You could include anything from DIY tutorials, fashion, parties, food, craft, home decor, music...anything that inspires you and fits in with the theme of the week.

The first theme is FLORAL!

As soon as I saw this link up I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I love doing Aussie Curves, but was also looking for another link up to inspire me. This on is perfect as it allows me to be a bit creative, and will be a great way of sharing some interesting things I see online.

 I knew right away what I wanted this week's moodboard to be about - Flower Centerpieces. 

I love parties and having people over for dinner, but am sometimes a bit unsure of what to decorate the table with. I love flowers, but never seem to have a knack for arranging them. So I decided to put together a few links that will help me, and you, out.

Make Your Own Floral Centrepiece or Bouquet

1.This super simple arrangement just uses a bowl and some tape to assemble.
2. A very effective vase arrangement that you can use cheap garden blooms such as Hydrangeas and Carnations to make. 
3. A simple but elegant way to arrange roses. You could put them in a clear vase or give them as a gift.

Simple Flowers in pretty pots

4. This is a pretty arrangement using cheap flowers and a terracotta pot. This would look great in small pots down the middle of a table for a summer party.
5. Perfect for a Kitchen Tea or High Tea, place flowers in a tea pot. Make extra impact by stacking on top of a tea cup!

Make your own flowers

6. Who says you have to use real flowers? These crepe paper flowers are cheap, easy, and can be made to fit any colour theme.
7. Or you can use pretty cupcake wrappers to make look alike carnations

Think outside the vase

8. Wrap a vase, or any other glass container, with rope for a rustic, nautical look.
9. Put 5c coins or maybe some buttons on an old tin and spraypaint for a simple, effective vase. 
10. Or add a bit of wow factor by painting tins with band of glitter!

Hopefully that gives you some floral DIY inspiration! Come back next week and check out the next theme GEOMETRIC

Aussie Curves - Work

This week's theme was work. I decided to keep it 'authentic' and take pictures of what I put on just before I headed off to work. I only work 3 days a week, so I have 3 outfits to share with you.

I am a High School Teacher, and so I would describe my attire as smart casual. I don't believe that teachers need to dress in corporate attire. I don't believe the nature of our working environment is suitable for this type of dress. However, I also think that teachers should not dress too casually. We are in a position of authority, and need to dress with that in mind. Even amongst teachers there is a lot of discussion about what you should and shouldn't wear.

There are a few 'rules' that I keep in mind when dressing for work

  • Must be comfortable -  Nothing too tight or restrictive. I need to be able to write on the board and move around.
  • Wear flat shoes or low heel- My classroom and staffroom is at the top to two flights of stairs. However, all photocopying, toilets and duties are down stairs. This basically means lots of walking up and down stairs through the day. I may also have playground duty or sport depending on the day. Plus, I find the mostly concrete surfaces are not very forgiving for heels.
  • No Necklaces or Big earrings - This is mainly due to the fact I carry my keys around my neck on a lanyard. I find they just get tangled with and necklaces and earrings, and I kept finding myself pulling them off through the day, so now I don't bother.
  • Layers - I work in an area where it can get very cold during Winter, and very hot through summer. I am INCREDIBLY blessed that my classroom is air conditioned (a rarity in the public high school system). However, due to how much I move around through the day outside my classroom it is best to be layered up.
  • Modest - Necklines can't be too low, clothing not too tight and skirts too short. Not that that is my personal style anyway.

This does mean that sometimes I feel my outfits are quite bland. I do love a good scarf though. It is something I have especially picked up from the school I am working in now. Accessorizing with a good scarf really lifts the whole outfit and can add a bit of colour.

Day 1

Day 1 
Dress - Big W - Maternity
Cardigan - SES
Shoes - Rivers
Scarf - Big W

 Hi Lo Top - Crossroads
Ponte Pants - Target Moda 
Wedge Shoes - Joanne Mercer
Scarf - Stall (not a brand/shop)

Peplum Blazer - City Chic
Striped Tee - Big W
White maternity singlet - Big W
Dark Denim Jeans - Autograph
Flat Shoes - Rivers

Get more work inspiration from the ladies below!

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Aussie Curves - Feminine

I had the perfect opportunity this weekend for the feminine theme, for I had a wedding to attend. I just adore weddings. I love everything about them, The flowers, the dresses, the cake, the ceremony. I love watching people make a commitment in front of all their beloved. Since being married, I also find myself reflecting on my own wedding, and our marriage. It is a wonderful time of self reflection and so beautiful to see other people embarking on (hopefully) the same path. I have a wonderful Husband, who is truly my life partner, so I love to take a moment during the festivities to recognise how blessed I am.

Husband and I on our wedding day. I didn't wipe the grin off my face all day.

When the invite arrived I was a little anxious as the dress code stated formal attire This usually means floor length gowns. At 6 months pregnant I knew I would have a definite bump by that stage. I went in search of a dress, but had some trouble finding anything quite right. I did order one from Dorothy Perkins. Sadly, when it arrived it was simply too big in the bust area, so I was back to square one. I decided to have another dig in my wardrobe and pulled out a dress I have worn a few times to similar events.

Dress - City Chic
Shoes- C'est Bon
Pashmina - Unknown
Necklace - Stolen from my Sister!

When I put it on it fit like a dream. It was empire cut, so it flowed from just below the bust. The dress had enough stretch to flow over my baby bump, but was still fitted enough to not make me look frumpy. It is a dress that never fails to make me feel good. It definately makes me feel feminine, and the baby bump just upped my 'feeling like a woman'' factor.

It was a sunny day, but still a little chilly so I wrapped a pashmina around my shoulders for a bit of warmth. Later that night I wore a black satin elbow length bolero from City Chic. I put on a silver crystal necklace to play up the silvery threads that run through the dress. In person it actually shimmers slightly from silver to purple in certain directions.

For makeup I went for a classic red lip and neutral eyes. I did apply a couple of individual false lashes (after much swearing and many wrong attempts)

What makes you feel feminine? Do you have a never fail formal dress?

Friday, 9 August 2013

Best & Less - Plus Size fashion

There has been much excitement in the Australian Plus Size community regarding an announcement by a local retailer that they will be offering more items that go up to a size 26. Even better, they will not hike up the price simply because it is in a 'plus' size.

Best & Less have had a plus size range for a while, Lily & Lou. It is a bit hit and miss, but it is still encouraging to see a retailer that is offering affordable items that are (mostly) in fashion.

This latest range looked really encouraging, so I decided to go check it out'

I decided to try on  the sheer/pleather tunic top that is shown above, as well as a chambray shirt and a floral tunic dresss.

First up, the black tunic top. I was not expecting to like this, as it is a cut that I usually find doesn't flatter me. However, I ws pleasantly surprised. I did go up a size to the 22, in order to allow for my expanding baby bump. The top slightly gathered on my hips, but otherwise looked quite nice. The quality is good considering the $20 price tag. I loved how they looked with my DP wet look leggings. I would say try both your normal size, and a size up, to see how it looks on you.

 Next I tried the floral tunic. The print is really beautiful, and it is made from a stretch knit, with a pleather sash. Normally the sash would go around your waist, but obviously it worked better for me above the belly at the moment. The only downside would be that I would need to remove the belt loops if I wanted to wear the sash where I have. Again, I went up a size, but mainly because I felt as I get bigger it will be less tight across my bottom. In the picture I am wearing the 20, but I bought a 22.

I was very close to buying this chambray short. It is on trend, and well cut. The 22 was a little tight in the arms, while the 24 was to big in the bust and back. I hesitated because of the arms, but I suspect they will loosen up with wear. I posted this picture on the AC facebook page and have had so many compliments I suspect I will go back and buy it next pay. Again, it was a steal at $20 and is very on trend.

My one criticism would be a lack of colour. They still offer a greater range of coloured items in the 8 - 16 range. This is frustrating, because there are items that I want, and they only offer it in black in my size, yet offer the same item in a variety of colours in the smaller sized range. I really wish retailers would offer items in a better variety of colours, yet I suspect that perhaps not all of the plus size community is embracing colour as much as the Aussie Curves ladies.

Head out to Best & Less and have a look. Let's support the retailers that are catering more to the plus size community.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Aussie Curves - Celebrate!

As I dressed this morning I realized that the outfit I was wearing was perfect for this weeks AC theme. Not because I was heading out to a party, I was just going shopping. I realised I had different reasons to celebrate.

Let me explain.

I have spoke quite a few times about how wonderful I have found participating in the plus size fashion blog hop. I have seen my style evolve. I try on things that I never would have looked at twice, and I am opening up to a whole heap of different brands I never would have known existed.

So, what is there to celebrate about this outfit? (Yes, I realised later i needed to clean the mirror. Damn toddlers and their grimy fingers)

Leggings - Dorothy Perkins
Boots - Target
Cardigan - Millers

Firstly, the leggings. These are 'wet look' leggings. I the past I would NEVER, EVER have looked twice at them. I would assume that my tree trunk legs would look awful in them.

 Truthfully, I definitely need to wear them with a tunic, as they look less than flattering on my bum and upper thighs. However, the fact I bought them in the first place is worth celebrating. They are a symbol of how much I am evolving. They show that I am open to trying new styles. I also tried on a few other tops while shopping today, and was delighted to see they looked great wit the leggings.

Then there's the tunic. I am a little in love with this tunic. I picked it up on the weekend at some local markets. It is handmade, designed in Australia by a business called Belle Chemise . The lady, Jean Hines, had actually only just made the design that week, and had sewed them ready for the market. It is sleeveless, with a cowl neck, and is made from a  sheer fabric.

 I am celebrating the fact that even market stalls are embracing the plus size figure. I am proud that I saw the tunic, decided to try it on, and when I saw it looked exactly as I wanted, I bought it. In the past I would have assumed it would not fit, would not look good, and also would not spend the money on myself, because it was $50.  Instead, I have learnt that you must try things on. I also knew that this was worth the money. It is an unusual item, but offers versatility. Plus the colours were amazing. The tunics are not loaded on her website yet, but if you like it I urge you to send her an email. There were a heap of different fabrics and colours ( I am wearing 'Free size - plus').

So, I am celebrating Aussie Curves. I am celebrating the Plus Size community, and I am celebrating another wonderful year where I am inspired and challenged each week :)

What have you go to celebrate this week?