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Monday, 27 May 2013

Plus Size Maternity Wardrobe series - #2 The basics

Now you have checked your own wardrobe and sorted out any clothing you think you can keep wearing, it might be time to buy a few maternity pieces.

There are a few staple items that I think you should have

Maternity Basics

- Maternity Jeans - Wide leg and skinny leg
- Long stretchy singlet tops in black and white
- Belly band in Black and white
- Plain tops with ruched sides ( Short sleeve if during summer, long for winter)
- Stretchy straight skirt
- Black Tunic dress
- Maxi Dress

If you have these basics then you can pretty much put together a number of lovely outfits by mixing and matching pieces from you existing wardrobe.

For Example

Maternity casual day look

Maternity Jeans
Plain Top
Chunky colourful Necklace
Ballet Flats
A Cardigan

Maternity Work Wear

Black Tunic Dress
Collared Shirt worn under the dress (You don't have to do it up from the bust down)
Low Heel
A necklace

Maternity night out

Maxi Dress
Low heels
Chunky necklace

Maternity COld Weather

Skinny leg jeans
Long singlet top
Tunic top
Long Cardigan
Skinny Scarf

Hot Weather Maternity

Straight Skirt
Plain Ruched top
Long necklace or big earrings

Much of the items shown are the types of things you would already have in your wardrobe. With a few basic maternity pieces, and some items you already own, you are well on your way to having a fashionable maternity wardrobe.

Are there any particular must have maternity basic item you think is needed? Share your tips!

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Aussie Curves - Green!

Many people often do not notice that my eyes are, in fact, green. Hazel green to be exact. Well.. to be really precise I would call them a khaki green.

One of the few photos I have that actually show my eye colour. Damn my hooded eyes!

It actually perturbs me a little when someone I have known for a while suddenly exclaims ' Oh! You have green eyes!' (you would not believe just how often this happens) as I wonder how often it is that they really 'saw' me, and looked me in the eyes while speaking. One of the reasons that I fell hopelessly in love with my Husband from our first meeting was that he noticed right away the colour of my eyes and commented on them. I knew that it meant he really saw me, and really looked at me.

I really love wearing the colour green, and do find that it brings out the green tone in my eyes.
I recently purchased a jacket from Millers in a jewel green shade. It is not the type of jacket I would usually buy, as it was a rather casual looking jacket. However I loved the colour, and had a feeling that the elasticated back would work well.

I find it difficult to find well fitting jackets, because I am short waisted, so they always seem to be too saggy in the small of my back, and then too tight over my bum. I felt this jacket would be perfect to throw on with a pair of jeans and some flats, or with a denim skirt, looking casual but polished.

Jacket - Millers
Top - Kmart
Jeans - Autograph
Shoes - Rivers
Jewelry - Diva

It was nice to jazz up such a simple, casual look with a really lovely necklace. I love the colour of the jacket, so rich and bright, and can see that it will get quite a bit of use through winter. 

Do you have a feature that people fail to notice about you? Share in the comments below! 

This post is a part of the Aussie Curves weekly blog hop. Check out what some of the other lovely curvettes are wearing in the shade of green.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Cherishing special moments

A few weeks ago my Mother, Father, Sister, Nephew, Husband and Daughter went on a cruise around Sydney with my Mother's parents. In the past year my Grandfather's health has started to falter. It has been sobering to realise that he is getting old, and that he is entering into the twilight of his life. I know I am blessed to have grown into adulthood with my Grandparents. However, watching them age has not been easy.

The hardest part is that in my head I still picture him as he was when I was a child. This means that each time I see him I get a shock. I notice his eyes have lost some of their vibrancy, his hands shake, he struggles to stand and his memory is failing. My Grandpa is a man that prided himself on his exceptional memory, so this is perhaps his biggest blow.

It is with his failing health in mind that my Mother purchased tickets for a cruise. We are all starting to understand that we need to keep creating memories, and cherish the time that we have.

It was a beautiful day. We traveled into the city and boarded the boat. We were lucky to receive a table directly next to large windows. The boat was rather full (perhaps a little too full) and had been mostly booked by Asian tourist groups. We were also lucky enough to be invited up first to get our meal. The food was nothing flash. A pasta, stir fried noodles, spring rolls and Curry puffs, stir fried vegetables (mainly cabbage), cold meats, salad and prawns. It was filling, and tasted good.

The main event was really the view, and time with family. We were kept entertained by my daughter and nephews cries of delight and wonder. It was rather special to see the city through their eyes, with delighted cries of ' Look! A boat! Look! Water!'.

Sometimes we just have to take time out of our busy lives and spend a relaxing day together. These are moments we remember. Before we know it, life will pass us by, and we will never get that time back.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Aussie Curves - Sequins

Top - Kmart (Very old!)
Skirt- Autograph (old)
Stockings - Moda (Last Season)
Cardigan - Millers
Wedge Boots - Target
Bangle - Purchased second Hand

If you haven't seen already, I am posting a Plus Size Maternity series on the blog. I remember from my last pregnancy how difficult it was to find nice maternity clothing, that didn't cost a fortune. Being plus size made this task even more difficult. Although maternity clothing seems to have expanded in the last 3 years since I was last pregnant, I am still conscious of not buying a lot of clothing that will be worn for a year at most. It is with this in mind that I tried to shop my own wardrobe before I purchased any maternity wear. 

This weeks theme was done with this in mind. The sequined top that I am wearing was worn a lot through my last pregnancy. It actually isn't a maternity top at all. But it is long, and is made of a soft stretch material, that makes it pregnancy friendly. It is the perfect top to add a bit of glamour to a 'dressy casual' outfit.

One item I did want to buy for this winter was a pair of wedge ankle boots. I was delighted to find this pair at 40% off at target. I have so far found them very comfortable, although I am yet to wear them for a full day. I feel like ankle boots are very fashionable, and having a low wedge heel makes them pregnancy friendly. Many pregnant women have problems with their feet swelling, and also tend to be more clumsy given that your body naturally loosens up in order to allow the baby to grow. Also, carrying extra weight in front means extra weight your feet need to carry. All these things are not exactly 'heel friendly'. This is where I find wedge shoes very handy. They give you a little height, but are more comfortable and more sturdy.

Get some more sequin inspiration from the rest of the Aussie Curves crew

Friday, 17 May 2013

Freezer Meals - Make Ahead Ultra Rich Bolognese

Lately I have been so tired by the time I get home from work, that I can't even begin to think about what to make for dinner. I am blessed to not have many pregnancy side effects, but one that I do get is overwhelming tiredness. I actually find I often need to have a nap after work, I am that exhausted.

Last time I was pregnant, it meant my Husband and I resorted to lots of take away. This time I want to ensure that I am prepared and have a few easy meals on standby. I am going to share with you a series of freezer meals that are great to make ahead, freeze well and taste just as good as made fresh.

One freezer staple I have is ready made bolognese sauce. If you have some of that in the freezer you have the main ingredient for many fast meals. Here are a few ideas I can think of right now

- Spaghetti Bolognese
- Maltese Pasta Bake (Recipe coming soon)
- Chilli Con Carne (Add a can od beans and some chilli)
- Baked Zucchini  (Zucchini filled with a bolognese mixture)
- Bolobnese Bread Bowls

That is only a few. It really is very versatile.

Everyone has their own go to recipe. I decided I would share mine. It is one that I have perfected over the years. I like my sauce to be very rich, thick and tomatoey.

I usually just make this recipe 'on instinct' so it was a bit unusual to have to stop and take notes so I could tell you how much of everything I use.

This recipe makes a large pot. I usually divide it into about 4 to freeze. Adding the celery and carrot really stretches the sauce, whilst also making it healthier. It also enhances the flavour.


750g Minced meat ( I like to use a 1/2 mix if low fat beef mince and pork mince)
2 stalks celery, leaves removed
1 large carrot
1 large onion  ( I used red onion in the photos, but i usually use brown)
2 heaped teaspoons minced garlic
1 700g jar passata
1 400g tin diced tomato
1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
1/4 cup Wine ( I use whatever i have on hand, white or red, doesn't matter. If you have no wine use water)
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 tsp sugar (Or more to taste)
Olive Oil
Fresh Basil (see notes)

All the ingredients ready and prepped.

Finely dice the onion and celery. Grate the carrot (don't worry aout peeling it, the skin has extra fibre). Heat a large pot on the stove and add some oil. Once hot, add in the onion, celery and carrot. Cook this until the vegetables have softened. Set aside in another bowl.

Cooking the vegetables 

Add a little more oil to the pot and let it heat up, then add the mince. Brown the mince, ensuring that there are no cunks. Once mostly browned add in the minced garlic. Then add the vegetables mix back in. Give it all a stir and until all the minced has browned.

Browning the mince

Add in the passata, tin tomato, tomato paste and salt and pepper. I use the wine to 'wash' the inside of the passata jar and pour that in. Give it all a good stir.

    Washing the jar out with wine                                  All the tomatoey goodness

Put the pot on the back heat and turn it down to a simmer. I now let it cook for at least an hour, preferably two. I cook it until the sauce is really thick. I give it a stir every now and then.

Time to simmer down

Once the sauce is near the end of coking (About 10 - 15 minutes to the end) I will taste the sauce and add some sugar. I will usually dd 1 teaspoon, taste, then add moe if needed. I then will add more salt and  pepper to taste. Add the finely chopped basil. ( See notes).

So thick you can run a path through it

You now have a rich, luxurious sauce that you can eat right away, or let it cool and then put into freezer containers. I put mine into sandwich sized snap lock bags. and flatten it.


You use the sugar to counteract the acidity in the tomato. I always add sugar before I add more salt, because I often find that you need to balance the acidity before you make it saltier, or you can tend to over salt it.

I use fresh basil if i have it at home, otherwise i use dried basil or parsley. I do not use Italian herb mixture because i find the thyme in that is often too overwhelming. I also add in 2 - 3 bay leaves if I have them, and pull them out before serving.

Feel free to add some extra vegetables if you want to. I will often finely grate in some pumpkin, sweet potato or zucchini if I have some in the fridge. Mushrooms are a great addition.

If you want a smoother sauce, or have fussy eaters with eagle eyes that may spot the veggies, i sometimes give my sauce a very quick blend with a stick blender. I really only give it 2 - 3 quick bursts. It gives it more of a 'restaurant' texture.

This batch of bolognese made 3 packets of sauce (approx 1 1/2 cups each) and 2 pasta bake dishes.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Plus Size Maternity Fashion Series - #1 - Work your wardrobe

I am currently expecting my second child, due mid November. Maternity fashion can be challenging, with your body expanding and your old wardrobe rarely working well with your changing body shape.

Being Plus Size and Pregnant  Even more difficult. It can be hard for a plus size lady to find nice maternity clothing that fits. Many Maternity brands only go to a 16 - 18, so if you are a size 18 + before falling pregnant it can be difficult to find maternity clothing that fits.

However it isn't impossible. Over the coming weeks I am going to share with you my own maternity wardrobe and share some tips and tricks that I am learning along the way :D

he very first thing you should do is have a good look at your wardrobe and make a list of what clothing you have that you think will be able to be worn through the pregnancy, or at least until the third trimester.

Things to look for are:

- Maxi dresses in a stretchy fabric
- Empire line dresses that are stretchy or have a full skirt

Maternity 1

- Maxi skirts that have stretch
- Pencil skirts that have stretch
- Pants that have a fold down band or elastic waist
- Jeans that are elastic, stretch or are able to have a belly belt attached
- Leggings - Especially full styles that may go up to your belly or higher.
Maternity Bottoms

- Look for tops that are flowing from under the bust
- Tops that are stretchy and long
- Tops that may have ruching on the side or under the bust
- Any tunic tops

Maternity Tops

Can we see a pattern here? Check if it has stretch!! If it is stretchy, you will get a bit of extra wear out of it. If you have some (or all?) of these items then you are well on your way to building a maternity wardrobe. You can extend the wear of some items by doing some of the following

Turn shorter dresses into a tunic/top. Sometimes your dresses appear to be shorter on you because more fabric is being taken up by your expanding belly. Sometimes you can then wear that dress as a tunic instead. Try seeing what it looks like with some leggings or skinny leg jeans.

Use a belly band. You can undo the buttons/zip on a pant or skirt, but then add a stretchy belly band on over the top. I will keep the item from falling off, while giving you room for your expanding belly.

Undo the first few buttons of a button down top and wear a singlet underneath, or open the top up completely and wear it like a jacket.

Shopping your wardrobe will definitely help you keep costs down when you are trying to put together a maternity wardrobe. After all, you only really wear it for about 6 months (given that the first 3 you can usually squeeze into your normal clothing) so you don,t want to spend a fortune on it.  However, you DO want to feel and look good. It is an exciting time, but your body goes through so many changes, feeling like you LOOK good definitely helps.

Do you have any cost saving tips for maternity fashion?

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Aussie Curves - Timesaver

This week's theme on Aussie Curves is all about time saving tips. We all lead such busy lives that we can fall into rushing with our appearance and feeling like we don't have time to put together an outfit. I know I sometimes feel this way. In fact, lately I have felt so time poor that I stopped blogging altogether. I just kept forgetting to put the posts that I created in my head onto 'paper'. I also felt like I had lost my inspiration. I wasn't 'feeling' my clothing and didn't feel like I had anything to contribute to the challenges.

With that in mind, this weeks theme of 'timesaver' is really fitting. I am trying to find my groove again and having a few time saving tips will definately help. So here are my top tips for how to look and feel good, even when time poor

1) Know your 'go to' outfits

It is really handy to have an outfit that you know you can throw on and look good, no mater what. These usually involve a few basic pieces, that you can then throw on some accessories and run out the door.

For me I have one for Summer and one for Winter.


Maxi dress
Flats or sandals
A crop denim jacket/cardigan

This outfit is so simple. A maxi dress is so easy to throw on. It covers your legs, so it's great if you are in between shaves/waxing ;). They are also so simple to accessorise.  Whack on a necklace (You can't go wrong with a simple silver one) and maybe a bangle or some earrings and off you go!


Tunic top or knee length dress
Long cardigan

This outfit is great for winter. The same accessory rules apply as summer, a simple necklace and earrings, or if it is really cold you can pop on a scarf for added warmth and colour. or a belt for some definition.

2) Have a simple make up routine

There are some days you are either too rushed or can't be bothered to put on a full face of makeup. On these days having a simple look that you can pop on to freshen up and go is great.

I think for those days it is easiest to wear a bit of lip colour but keep your eyes simple. I just pop on a bit of colored lip gloss,usually a red or a pink,  some mascara, a bit of blush and off I go.

If my skin is looking really healthy I might be able to forego any foundation and concealer.
However, I tend to have darker circles under my eyes. It's hereditary, so I find I often do need a bit of concealer otherwise I just look tired! If I am lazy though I pop on my under eye concealer and some BB cream.

3) Dry Shampoo!

I have hair that tends to get oily roots after the second day, but the rest of my hair is fine. I recently tried a sample of a dry hair shampoo spray, and I haven;t looked back. It works so well, even on my darker hair. You just spray onto the roots, then run your fingers through your hair. It takes away the oily roots, making your hair look clean. I do find it is better to then put my hair up, rather than leave it out and I will usually put it into a high ponytail, or a low bun.

4) Plan your clothing the night before

I often do this for work, or if I know i have a special event to attend the next day. I found since having my daughter that time can run out very quickly when you are trying to pack up a child, get a bag ready and dress them on top of getting yourself ready. The last thing you need is to then run around trying to find what you want to wear for the day.

I will often choose an outfit the night before and lay it all out on a chair we have in our room, or hang it off the linen press door handle. I will ensure that I have everything I need, right down to the underwear and jewellery. It makes me feel put together, and means I don't have to rush around the house trying to find that elusive shoe!

What is your ultimate time saving tip for getting ready on those days when time seems to be running out?

Be sure to check out the great tips from the other Aussie Curves Bloggers