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Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Aussie Curves - Double Take

I was eagerly awaiting this week's theme because I had the perfect 'double take' in mind. Anyone on the Aussie Curves Facebook page will recall my excitement at finding a great bodycon dress at Supre. I have already worn the dress with a Kaftan in the last Aussie Curves challenge. However the dress had so much more potential, so I decided to show how I plan in making the most out of a simple, black bodycon.

In fact, this is more than a double take, Six - take!

Dress - Supre

My excitement in finding the body con was that I knew I had several tops that I wear in limited ways because It didn't always look good with other items. I knew I was going to be able to extend the wearability of items in my wardrobe with this one item. On it's own? This one is not really wearable. It is too thin and clingy, but worn as a base for other wearable pieces? Perfect!

Top - Moda (Target)
Shoes - Target
Necklace - Millers

Peplum - City Chic
Necklace - Lovisa

Kaftan - Virtu
Belt - Kmart
Tunic - Belle Chemise

Skirt - Autograph
Jacket - Crossroads

Maxi - Millers

So how is that for one versatile dress? This id definately a wardrobe staple, so go hunting for a great body con black dress and start experimenting!

Check out how the other curvettes are styling their items

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Berry and Lemon Sangria

New Years just isn't quite the same once you have children.

We have found the last few years New Years has been very low key, often spent at home with a plate of antipasto, and a quick kiss before we head to bed at midnight. In fact, most times we snooze before midnight and only wake just in time to watch some fireworks on T.V.

This year, we went to my Brother In Law's place, which is only one block away from our home. This meant we were able to load the kids up into the pram and walk over. This also meant we both could indulge in a few drinks, providing we could still walk (stagger) home later on.

I decided to make some Sangria to share with everyone. I had a look through my cupboards and came up with a berry and lemon flavoured Sangria. I have learnt that the main elements of a Sangria just needs to be wine, juice, soda and fruit. Sometimes it also has some brandy or Cointreau added. I had plenty of red wine in our cupboard. We are not bit wine drinkers, and only really drink very sweet wine such as Moscato. However, we are often given bottles of red wine as gifts. Which means I have a cupboard full of red wine that we will never drink. So making a Sangria was going to be a useful way of using up some of that wine. I also had a homemade jar of Lemoncello. I fell in love with that sweet liqueur while in Italy, and I discovered it was very easy to make! I decided to replace Brandy with my Lemoncello, and use a bottle of Apple Blackcurrant juice I had in the cupboard. Then I just added lemonade, frozen berries and lemon slices, and my Sangria was ready! Yummo!

1 bottle Red Wine
1 1/2 bottle Apple Blackcurrent Juice
1/2 cup Lemoncello
1 bottle Lemonade
1 Cup Frozen Berries
1 Lemon, Thinly Sliced

All the drinks into your punchbowl/Jug/Drink dispenser and give a stir to mix.
Add in the berries and sliced lemon
Serve poured over Ice with some of the fruit

If using a beverage dispenser you could have some chopped fruit in a bowl next to the Sangria, so people can add some fruit to their drink. Alternatively, you could also freeze some fruit into ice cubes and have that on the side.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

- Our Hydrangea and Apple Themed Garden Wedding The Ceremony and Reception

In my last post I shared the finer details of our wedding. In this post I am sharing pictues of our ceremony and reception. I'm going to let most of the pictures do the talking ;)

One secret feature to my dress was that I had fabric from my my Nanna's wedding dress added to the inner lining of my dress. It was a surprise, and she was so delighted on the day when I showed it to her.

So that's it

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Aussie Curves - Breaking the Rules

Rules are made to be broken, right?

 I was unsure at first which rule to break, because as I have participated in Aussie Curves most of the 'rules' I used to have i've already broken. I now happily wear sleeveless tops, I purchased my first pair of shorts just before Christmas, I wear whatever colour and pattern combination I like, and I think we have well and truly shown that plus size ladies CAN wear stripes.

 So, what rule do I have left to break? For myself it is more about self imposed rules, especially what shops NOT to shop in. One shop I avoid shopping in is Supre. After all, we all know it's only for skinny girls right?

Dress (Worn underneath) - Supre
Kaftan Top - Supre
Sandals - Target
Bangles - Diva/Lovia/Equip
Belt - Kmart
Earrings - Upcycled from an old necklace


I have been hunting for a while for a tight, bodycon black dress. I had the idea that it could be a very versatile item, as it could be worn as a slip, as a skirt, and just generally be layered up to create different looks.

I had popped into Supre because I had seen some amazing Kimono shrugs there, and knew they would fit me. I was correct, and I picked up a very generous shrug in a XS. While I was in there I spotted some stretchy dresses. I decided to take a gamble and try one on.

Sure enough, it fit. The dress is VERY clingy, and I would not actually wear it as a dress because it is too tight on my tummy. However, it does work as a great slip that smoothes me out nicely.

I tried on a flowy kaftan top with it and that also looked really good.

So for the first time in YEARS I walked out of Supre with a few purchases.

I wore this outfit to a friends 30th at a hotel pub on in the Northern Beaches. I knew it would be the perfect mix of summery, casual and comfortable. I used the belt to cinch the kaftan in a bit to give me a bit more shape. Instead of putting it over the top, I actually ran the belt through the inside of the top, and bought it out through the extra wide sleeves to cinch it in. It meat the top was still flowy at the back, but gave me definition at the front.

I am very excited about the dress. I have already tried it on with several other items in my wardrobe and can see it becoming a bit of a wardrobe staple. My only complaint would be that I find it moves up when walking, so it sits just above my knee. All tight, straight skirts do this to me though, so it is not too big of a deal.

I will be featuring this dress in next week's theme of ' Double Take' so stay tuned! I have quite a few ideas of ways i'd like to style the dress and can't wait to share them with you.

Rules are made to be broken, what 'rule have you broken lately? Check out the 'rules' the other AC ladies are breaking this week. Rebellious bunch we are!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Our Hydangea and Apple Garden Themed Wedding - The details

Yesterday was my Husband and Mine 5th wedding Anniversary. I can honestly say that I love that man even more today than I did the day we were married. When we got married he was my best friend and true love. He is still those things, but now he is also the father of my children. Watching him become a father has been such a joy.

I am a very spoilt woman. My Husband does the lions share of the housework in my home. He does the laundry, vaccums, stacks the dishwasher. He is also the one who cleans the baby bottles and fills them ready for the day. He makes my Daughter's lunch for Pre School and often does the bed/bath routine. I am thankful that I have such a wonderful man in my life. He is not prone to huge romantic demonstrations of love. I have received 3 pieces of jewelry from him in the 8 years we have been together, one of them being my engagement ring. However, I don't need those things because he shows me he loves me every day through the small gestures. He make me the perfect cup of tea or coffee and he tucks the sheets around me if he gets out of bed before me. We do not have a romantic love, but it is a deep, true love. I think I prefer that over all the flowers and jewelry in the world.

In a purely indulgent move i'm going to share the details of our wedding over 2 posts. This post will look at all the details - dress, flowers, venue. The next post will look at just the ceremony and reception. Tis ris really just a chance for me to indulge in my photos and the day all over again.

Our Wedding day is definitely one of the happiest of my life. I loved every aspect of wedding planning. I was married long before Pinterest (a fact that I now lament, oh.. the things i could have done with that little resource), but I used websites such as stylemepretty.com and wedding magazines to plan my day.

My wedding planning started with my dress. I had my eye on a particular dress for a number of years. I had come across the designer by accident when I was still in high school and was searching for my formal dress. It was far beyond my budget at the time, but I vowed that when I got married I would buy a dress of this designer. She specialised in making coloured dresses, and often used Japanese or Indian fabrics for an added twist.

Within weeks of being engaged I book an appointment and went to look at my dream dress. To make sure It was the right one Lisa Merton, the designer, had me try on a few of her other samples first. Then she put on the dress I wanted. Even in the too small size I tried on we could see it was the perfect dress.

Once I had my dress everything else went from there. I had my bridal headpiece custom designed from an etsy seller Twigs and Honey. She has actually gone on to become very popular and now has her own website and her designs are stocked in some major stores in America.

 I found my perfect venue, where I would be married in the gardens then have the reception in the same venue. It was open, had lots of natural light and was a 'blank slate'.

 I had decided on a garden themed wedding, with a soft colour palette of blue and green. I was very determined NOT to have any pink or red in my wedding.

My flowers and table centerpieces were the genius work of a talented florist, who happens to be a close friend and the wife of our Best Man. I did not pick out any designs or inspiration for flowers. I knew she was amazing and could come up with something better than I could imagine. My one request was to do something different, something that she would want to put in her portfolio. I was not let down. She came up with the idea of using hydrangeas and apples. Using fruit in the place of flowers was a new concept at the time, but I had faith she would make it work.

On the day our venue was filled with flowers, and the tables had vintage looking lanterns that I had found at Homeart.

My bouquet was also amazing, filled with Juila Roses, Apples, Hydrangeas and Mulberries.

I am a bit of a hobby cake decorator, so I had a firm idea of what I wanted for my cake. I did surprise myself though, as I always thought I would choose a fancier cake, with sugar flowers. However, I kept finding I was inspired by a lot of Faye Cahill cakes. We had cake included in our wedding package so I requested a cake with a rough, buttercream finish. The cake ended up being more than I had imagined. It tasted amazing too, with the flavours Cherry Ripe, Marbled Caramel and Chocolate and Banana Mud.

I had a few other personal touches in the wedding to make it personalised for us.

I had a photo of each of our Grandfathers. They had played important roles in each of our lives, but sadly had both passed away before we our marriage. We wanted them included in our day so we had a framed picture of them at the wedding. I also walked down the aisle to a recording of my Grandfather singing a Latin hymn, as he was an amateur Opera singer when he was younger.

For our place cards we had a wishbone attached. There is a story with these, as the wishbones had been collected by my Father for a number of years. When my Parents were married they had wishbones at their wedding, and my Dad recalled having to eat numerous chicken meals before had in order to collect enough wishbones. So he started collecting them when we (my siblings and I) were little so we would have some when we were married. I must admit, my Sister and I were less keen to use real chicken bones in our own wedding, but who can say no to tradition!

My pride and joy at our wedding was the biscuit buffet! Sadly, I only have one photo of ne of the jars. I had 4 large jars filled with biscuits, Chocolate Chip, White Chocolate Macadamia, ANZAC and Maltese Almond. ALl except for the Almond were baked by me - I made over 500 biscuits in the lead up to our wedding!

So there are all the little details! I really love everything from our wedding, and I would do it all again in a heartbeat. There is nothing I would change.

Tomorrow I will share details of our ceremony and reception, with lots more photos to share!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Aussie Curves - New Years

Just putting it out there - New Years just isn't the same once you have young kids!The last few years Hubby and I have mostly stayed at home. Our New Year tradition seems to be to hang at home in our PJ's eating antipasto.

This year, we actually did have plans. We went to our Brother In Law/Sister In Law's place, which is one block away! The best bit about this arrangement was that we could walk over. My Husband drove over in advance and dropped of the food we were bringing, and Esky of drinks, and 4 litres of Berry & Lemon Sangria that I had made. Then we loaded up the kids into the pram and walked on over.

The day before I had been shopping and found this beautiful dress as City Chic. It was perfect for New Years because it was casual but still felt a little special, was super comfortable and was colourful.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the small fit me, given that i'm usually a medium in City Chic. However, the full skirt and ruched elastic back meant the samll fitted nicely.

Dress - City Chic
Denim Jacket - Crossroads
Necklace - Given to me by my Sister
Sandals - Kmart

I also painted my nails just for New Year. I am trying to look after my nails, so I borrowed my Sisters gel nail kit and did a little nail art. I loved the fun pop of the hot pink, and a bit of sparkle from the glitter polish was also perfect.

We had a great, low key New Year, talking to family and friends,playing scattergories and just generally relaxing.

I can't wait to see what 2014 brings. It is looking like it will be an exciting, and busy, year. Several friends are having babies around April/May so there will be a flurry of baby showers and births. The babies that were born last year will be turning One, and I will be a Stay At Home Mum this year while on Maternity leave.

I hope you have a wonderful New Year, I look forward to sharing my adventures with you this year!

P.S If you like the sound of the Berry Lemon Sangria I will share the recipe later in the week so be sure to check back!

Friday, 3 January 2014

Overnight French Toast Recipe

For Chrisrmas breakfast this year I wanted something quick, minimal mess and nothing too heavy. We were hosting Christmas Day lunch at our house, so we had enough things to prepare that morning, without having to also put together an elaborate breakfast However, I wanted something special, because it is the one time we will sit together as our immediate family. 

I had seen in Pinterest a number of overnight French Toast recipes and decided that would be perfect. I was able to whip it up the night before and pop it into the fridge. The next morning, while we were opening presents, I had this baking in the oven. I chopped up some fruit, and put out some jam and syrup. That was as labour intensive as it got.

This tasted delicious. My Husband doesn't usually like sweet breakfasts (he puts Vegemite on his pancakes!) yet he went for seconds. It was just what we wanted, and I suspect this will become a Christmas breakfast tradition.

Serves 6**
cup (4 Tablespoons) butter, melted
cup packed light brown sugar
loaf Scone Bread (You could swap for any Thick Cut bread)
eggs, slightly beaten
cup whole milk
Teaspoon vanilla paste
teaspoon salt

** I halved the recipe to make enough for just Hubbie, myself and our daughter.

  • In a small bowl combine brown sugar and melted butter and pour on the bottom of a rectangular baking dish.
  • Arrange slices of bread in the baking dish overlapping if necessary.
  • Combine milk, eggs, vanilla, salt in a bowl and pour evenly over bread slices.
  • Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 4-12 hours.
  • In the morning, take the casserole out of the fridge while you are preheating your oven to 180 degrees.
  • Bake casserole for 30-35 minutes. If top starts browning too quickly place a foil loosely over the top of the casserole for the last 10 minutes or so. You want it to cook long enough to make sure the bottom part is cooked but don't dry it out completely.
  • Remove casserole from oven and let it cool slightly before serving. Serve with jam, fruit & maple syrup.