Finding My Style: The Christmas Party

So… I have a confession. Remember when I was all “I don’t panic buy anymore“. Well, I did it. I went out and did a panic buy! I didn’t even realise it at the time, it just kind of snuck up on me. I thought I was beings so smart – it just goes to show that I’m still learning about all this personal style stuff. I’m proud to say, though, that I have since learned my lesson and returned my panic buy items, in favour of the awesome clothes I already own. It feels so good – there’s nothing hanging in my wardrobe that doesn’t fit or doesn’t suit me or that I’m not going get lots of wear from. Let me tell you the whole story…

Every year, at Christmas time, I have at least two Christmas parties to go to. And every year I run around looking for an outfit to wear. This year, once again, I somehow convinced myself that I had NOTHING to wear or that what I had wasn’t suitable. Next minute I’m running around the shops and trying on some gorgeous clothes. I congratulated myself on a shopping job well done, thanks to my BOSS knowledge. Aren’t I clever?

Finding My Style: The Christmas Party Season

The Shopping Trip (L-R):

1. this skirt a is a bit too “hello, this way to my vagina”, so that got a no. Yes to that necklace though!

2. Jumpsuit. N.O. The black is too heavy on me and the cut is not flattering (scoop necks suit my oval face better).

3. Love, love, love this skirt. Great print, great length, interesting cut.

4. Love the skirt even more with navy.

5. Lovely dress but a bit tight and not accentuating my best bits. Hot, hot, hot shoes!

$$$$ Cha-cha-ching $$$$ I walked out with the skirt in pics 3 and 4, the shoes, the first necklace and the navy top. Phew! Wasn’t I such a clever little stylista? Wasn’t I?…

But wait. I went home and a few days later I watched another BOSS Module. The final module. The kinda important module about… shopping. I learned something pretty important. That skirt? It’s a feature skirt. Which is fine, but it takes work to wear it over and over without it being the main attraction in an outfit. If I want to get lots of wear out of this it could be tricky. Also… honestly? It was a tad…snug. I KNOW. I’m 36 years old and still buying clothes that are too small. Will I EVER learn? *sigh* But I did hang on to it, until the parties were done, just in case. *face palm*

Then there’s the shoes. Nude shoes are not the best, they just leave your outfit trailing off to nowhere. A shoe in my hair colour is really best, or a shoe with a statement colour or print (blondes can wear a nude shoe much more easily than brunettes). This nude shoe, especially with my dark hair, just doesn’t give the outfit that WOW factor, I look unfinished. Also, nude suede? Really? Four inch heels? Ok, who do you think you are? Certainly not a mama of two young children *face palm* I switched them for a cheapie pair of neon and snakeskin heels that WERE a new purchase but at less than $30 are going to earn their keep. I’ve already worn them to four events!

I kept the navy top, because it’s a hard worker in my wardrobe and navy loves me. The necklace is AMAZING and in my colours and shiny, which I know my skin loves. And it has an adjustable length, so I can wear it with lots of different necklines. It stays (see, I have learned something!).

But now what? The night of one of the dinners had arrived. What was I going to wear? Maybe the skirt? Maybe something I already own? Let’s see what I had to work with (be warned, post-shower pics are coming up – apologies for the rushed photo job!).

Finding My Style: The Christmas Party Season

Narrowing Down Options (L-R):

1. The skirt. Which is still snug. It does look good, but will I be comfortable? Will I feel awesome? Hmm, probably not.

2. The favourite feather dress that I wore to Problogger. I had shied away from wearing this for Christmas parties because it’s very short, and work dinners aren’t the place to put your wares on display. But I do love it, and it loves me.

3. A safe oldie: monochrome, statement shoes and necklace. I can’t lose (unless I spill red wine on myself!).

I packed all three and made the decision in the hotel room on the night. I decided that the print skirt needed to go. Bye bye skirt! It is gorgeous, but right now I can’t afford to have skirts hanging around that don’t work hard for me. It’s a cut throat world in my wardrobe! Because I’m the BOSS!

It was much cooler on the night of the dinner than I had anticipated, so my old friend the off-white blazer, came out to play. Yay! Everyone needs one of these in their wardrobe. Ultimately the decision came down to “will I be standing or sitting during the evening” ie. what will people see most during the night (thanks for this question, Tatum! x)? The answer, most of the night I was to be sitting at dinner, so any impact from the high contrast monochrome is totally lost. Hello, we have a winner! The Blue Feather Dress!!!!

Finding My Style: The Christmas Party Season
The final contenders
Finding My Style: The Christmas Party Season
We have a winner! And my prize is this hot man :D :P

Now, I didn’t do all this figuring out on my own. My AMAZING MILEistas came through for me on the MILE High Club. I shared photos with them along the way, right up to the night of the party, and they shared all their knowledge and opinions with me. It’s like having a posse of mini-stylists and besties right there in my phone, in the private Facebook group. Seriously: Best Thing Ever.

Round 2 of the Be Your Own Boss in Your Wardrobe is open for registration NOW. Don’t forget to Make it Look Easy on Facebook and sign up to their newsletter so that you’ll be the first to get the latest advice for ….making it look easy!

You can catch up on my previous ‘Finding My Style’ posts here:

This is my final official Finding My Style post. Thank you so much to Nat and Tatum for all that they’ve taught me, they’ve truly changed my life. I can’t recommend their services highly enough. If you’ve been thinking about becoming a MILEista now is the time.

Disclaimer: I was offered the Boss In Your Own Wardrobe at not cost in exchange for sharing my honest experience with my readers. All opinions are my own. And my opinion is DO IT!

Finding My Style: Being The Boss of My Own Wardrobe

Be the BOSS of your own wardrobe with Make It Look Easy

I have a confession. I have spent YEARS being a panic clothes shopper. If you don’t know what this is about then picture this: you have an event coming up, maybe a party, maybe just a catch up with girlfriends, and YOU HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR. You hate everything in your wardrobe and you just NEED something new. You zip out to the shops and try on as many things as you can. You don’t really love any of it but you buy five things anyway. Repeat. for. every. event. in. your. life.

I’ve been on the panic buy cycle since the day I started earning my own coin. I spent my first pay packet on a striped, ribbed Portman’s tee for the high school social in 1992… if only you could see my braces. Hello almost-grown-out spiral perm!

Be the BOSS of your own wardrobe with Make It Look Easy

Fast forward to today and it’s a completely different scene. If I have an event coming up on the weekend (probably one of my many niece-phew’s birthday parties!). I think:

1. what’s the weather going to be like (cos I’m a grown up now and that matters to me).

2. what are the practicalities (will I be playing with kids and/or have kids hanging off of me)

3. what combination of awesome pieces will I put together so that I feel comfortable and look great.

Notice the lack of shopping involved? I could never have gotten to this happy place by myself. I am singing the praises of my stylist duo wherever I go. The fact is that Nat and Tatum from Make It Look Easy have changed my life. They just have. There’s no buts about it. Since my wardrobe cull and shop with these awesome ladies I am a different woman. And the changes keep coming.

Right now I’m just finishing their FABULOUS Be the Boss in Your  Own Wardrobe online course. It’s BLOWING MY MIND. And yes all those capital letters are necessary, ok? Imagine that someone handed over the holy grail of information to help you successfully shop for and dress yourself so that you looked and felt fabulous every day? IMAGINE THAT? Imagine dressing with confidence, knowing that the cut, colour, shape, print, and style of your clothes suited not just your body but your personality too? Imagine knowing how to rock your favourite crazy shirt, but that you know it’s quite right for you? This knowledge is GOLD.

I love that the whole ethos behind Nat and Tatum’s business is about finding YOUR style and making it look easy. Not following old fashioned rules. Not telling you what to wear. They hand the power to YOU to be the boss in your own wardrobe and to rock your style with confidence. They are also big on community and the private Facebook group for BOSS learners gives you access to an awesome bunch of women who support each other as they learn about finding their style too.

Below is a little video of me 8 months ago, just doing my own thing in my wardrobe before Make It Look Easy…

Now here’s a collection of outfits from the last month or so, since my makeover with Make It Look Easy and the BOSS course.

Being the Boss of My Own WardrobeFor me, the biggest change has been my increase in confidence and acceptance of who I am and my own style. That is HUGE. I’ve also gotten rid of the MANY outfits that made me look 4 months pregnant. Note: empire lines and floaty waisted outfits only make things worse, ladies! Learn to tuck and flounce and you’ll never look back (you’ll notice lots of tucking in my most recent pics).

The BOSS course has helped me understand and embrace the science behind what Nat and Tatum did for me at my wardrobe cull and shop. Now I can hit the shops and know what’s going to work and what to avoid. I’ve saved so money with this knowledge!! I buy way less clothes now and everything that I do buy, I LOVE.

I just adore these talented ladies and what they do so much! But don’t take my word for it. Check out what some of my BOSS alumni have to say:

Be the BOSS of your own wardrobe with Make It Look EasyBe the BOSS of your own wardrobe with Make It Look EasyBe the BOSS of your own wardrobe with Make It Look Easy Be the BOSS of your own wardrobe with Make It Look Easy Be the BOSS of your own wardrobe with Make It Look EasyThe first round of the Boss course is about to wrap up but Round 2 is opening soon. If you’re keen to take control of your wardrobe then follow Make it Look Easy on Facebook and sign up to their newsletter so that you’ll be the first to get the news.

You can catch up on my previous ‘Finding My Style’ posts here:

Disclaimer: I was offered the Boss In Your Own Wardrobe at not cost in exchange for sharing my honest experience with my readers. All opinions are my own. And my opinion is DO IT!

Finding My Style: Fitting In To My Pants {Peanut Butter Choc Chip Chia Slice}

Peanut Butter Choc Chip Chia Slice

Peanut Butter Choc Chip Chia Slice

I’m still trying to change my ways with food and sugar. It’s a long process after a life time of eating lots of sweet things, always eating dessert and constant yo-yo dieting to fight the impact of all the sugar, fat and large serves. I will admit that last weekend I made a proper, hardcore, old school chocolate caramel slice. I made it to take to my nephews birthday party because it’s my very favourite party food. I ate about three six eight squares in one day. Small squares! Party sized squares! But still. That’s a lot of sugar and butter in one go. I felt like I had a hangover the next day. And now my pants are a little tight. Ugh!

With the support of my friend and nutrition super star, Tatum, from Make It Look Easy, I’m trying to quit with the dieting, stop overeating and follow an 80-20 style of living. 80% of the time is all the good stuff, 20% of the time I enjoy socialising and sipping a champagne or sharing party food or a sweet-something after dinner. Perhaps eight slices of caramel slice is a little more than the 20% accounts for… but baby steps, right?

With this health focus in mind (and inspired by the blogging adventures of Katie 180) I’ve been playing with recipes to see how I can modify them and pump them with a little more nutrition. That’s how this Peanut Butter Choc Chia Slice was born! Here’s the low down on the ingredients:

  • I love oat-y things – porridge, muesli, oat biscuit and slices. So it makes sense that any baking I do includes oats. They are packed full of goodness (go Google ‘oats nutrition’  if you want nutrition info, I’m no nutritionist).
  • I only have white flour in the pantry at the moment, so I used that but it’s such a small amount in this recipe that that’s all good. If you have any in your pantry you could substitute with your flour of choice (wholemeal, almond, coconut etc).
  • I have been given some organic rice malt syrup to try out, thanks to Pureharvest, and decided to throw that in instead of sugar. But if you’ve got sugar, use sugar! Just use a little less of it than a traditional recipe calls for (eg. the half a cup in this recipe is fine).
  • I had coconut oil in the cupboard, and used that instead of butter, but again, butter ain’t bad. Just steer clear of your vegetable oils. Yuck!
  • I used natural, smooth peanut butter, which is awesome for baking. It gives a fab peanuty flavour. I will admit it’s not going to give  you that stuff-of-your-childhood-sugar-salt-peanut hit on your toast in the morning, but my taste buds are adjusting to it.
  • I used 70% dark chocolate and cut it up into small pieces, instead of my usual milk chocolate chips. The more intense flavour of the chocolate is delish against the peanuty oaty goodness of the slice.
  • Chia seeds! Cos they be a super food, yo! Um, yeah, go Google ‘chia seeds nutrition’ for more info on that.

Peanut Butter Choc Chip Chia Slice Peanut Butter Choc Chip Chia Slice

Peanut Butter Choc Chip Chia Slice

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 (150g) cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 (75g) cup plain flour
  • 1 (3g) teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 (15g) Tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 (180g) cup rice malt syrup
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup (200g) natural peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon (3g) vanilla extract
  • 70g dark chocolate, cut into small pieces

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F). Grease and line a medium slice tin. Mine is 30cm x 15 cm and 3cm deep.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir in the oats, flour, baking powder and chia seeds.
  3. In a separate microwave safe bowl, melt the coconut oil in the microwave until it’s runny (but not hot) then stir in the rice malt syrup, eggs, peanut butter, vanilla and chocolate. Combine with the oats and flour mixture.
  4. Press the slice mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until golden.
  5. Allow to cool for five minutes before removing from the tin and cooling completely on a wire rack (or stuff some in your face while it’s still warm!). Cut into bite sized pieces and store in the freezer for healthy baked treats on demand (dude, defrost that before you eat it).

The good news is that if you eat more of this stuff and less of the gooey, sugary caramel slices you will fit in to your pants. And that’s important for wellbeing and happiness and a reduction in wardrobe tantrums. It’s a proven fact.

Finding My Style - Fitting In To My Pants

You can catch up on my previous ‘Finding My Style’ posts here:

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Finding My Style: Conference Confidence

In two days I’m going to be on my way to the Gold Coast for my second Problogger conference and I. Can’t. Wait! Last year I came away feeling so inspired and it was just the best feeling ever to give my blogging mates a hug in the flesh. There are even more of my blogging buddies going this year, it’s going to be a lot of fun – and I’m going solo! No kids! Last year I was still breast feeding, so Rocky came along for the ride with Grandma in tow (thank goodness!!!!).

This year I’ll have time and space to really talk to people, I’ll be able to go to the networking events before and after the conference and I’ll get some SLEEP! I’m also feeling really excited about this year because I’ve been putting some time in to ME and finding my own style again, with the help of Nat and Tatum from Make it Look Easy.

I look back at pics from last year and remember how I was lacking in confidence and felt really… mumsy. Of course I felt mumsy – I’m a mum! At the time a breast feeding mum who had to dress to get easy access to her breasts all day and night. I was also carrying a little more baby weight than I am now (let’s just call it baby weight, cos that sounds better than block-of-chocolate-for-lunch weight, mmmmkay?).

Finding My Style: Conference Confidence

Meeting Nat and Tatum has helped me focus on positive self talk, feeding myself nourishing foods and, of course, dressing with confidence. Since my wardrobe makeover it’s never been easier for me to get dressed every day. I’m not going to say I don’t have those days where everything in the wardrobe ends up on the floor – I still do. But maybe one or two in the last four months. Not one or two every single week! I’m also learning that it’s not the clothes that are the problem, it’s my mindset. They’re still the same clothes I wore last week, so what’s changed?

Today Nat and Tatum came over to play dress ups with me and pull together some kick arse outfits for Problogger. How cool is that? Packing for Problogger is a bit different to packing for a family holiday. I need outfits to go from day to night and can afford to put a few extras in my suitcase because I’m only packing for me. If you want to read more about how to maximise your wardrobe and minimise what you need to pack then get yourself the ‘How to Pack for New York (in summer)’ ebook. It’s mind blowing. Seriously! I’ll never have a ridiculously full suitcase again.

Here are the outfits that I’m wearing for Problogger this year. I’ll be keeping cool, comfortable and stylish. I just love seeing how Nat and Tatum pull together outfits from my wardrobe. I’m getting so much better at it but I still have a lot to learn (psssst…. have you seen the ‘Be the boss in your own wardrobe’ ecourse?).

Finding My Style: Conference Confidence

1. Big W Street sneakers, Katies harm pants, Sportsgirl grey tshirt, Rockman’s jacket (second hand), Serafina necklace.
2. Just Jeans Skinny Crop Ankle Jean, Just Jeans paisley top, Big W sandals, necklace (thanks to Nat for this amazing gift! xxxxxx), assorted bracelets

Finding My Style: Conference Confidence

3. Just Jeans boyfriend shorts in rich blue, Jo Mercer booties, Sportsgirl grey-T (yep, I have two!)
4. Katies Blazer,  The Iconic feather print tunic, Betts booties

Finding My Style: Conference Confidence

5. Freez Miami shrug, JAG tee, Serafina necklace, Target sandals, Just Jeans skinny crop ankle jean
6. Target blouse, Just Jeans skinny crop ankle jean, Bett’s booties

You can catch up on my previous ‘Finding My Style’ posts here:

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Finding My Style: The Wardrobe Collection

Finding My Style: The Wardrobe Collection

Now for another update on how I’m going with the Make It Look Easy girls, Nat and Tatum. You can catch up on my previous posts here:

So, you know about selfies, right? Maybe you’re so over selfies. But what about taking selfies that are just for you? Taking Nat’s advice, I’m now a daily wardrobe selfie lover. Well, maybe not daily. I don’t take photos on those days when I’m just in my PJs haha! But when I’m making an effort to go anywhere, even if it’s just to the supermarket, I take a snap as I rush out the door. Then I pop it into my ‘Wardrobe Collection’ album. I use Google+ to do all of this on my phone, it’s just takes a sec.

I can’t tell you how useful this little collection of photos has been. You know those mornings when you don’t know what to wear? I just flip through the album on my phone and choose something that makes me smile. It’s also great for weeding out those not so awesome outfits. Sometimes I look back at a pic and think ‘bleuch’ and either never wear that combo again, or decide it’s time to retire something from my wardrobe altogether. It’s really interesting looking back and seeing how my style has changed since I first met Nat and Tatum and had my Make It Look Easy consultation.

Finding My Style: The Wardrobe Collection

Finding My Style: The Wardrobe Collection

The result is effortless dressing every day, in clothes I feel great in! You can’t get much easier than that, right? That’s what Nat and Tatum do. They Make It Look Easy.

I know that some of you might be cringing at the idea of taking a selfie. It can take some getting used to. Ok, I’m not gonna lie – I’m a blogger and a poser from way back, so taking pics of myself comes naturally haha! Trust me, though, with a little practice you’ll get the hang of it, and you don’t have to show anybody.

Me? I like to show my selfies off. Not to the world, but to my new friends in the MILE High Club Facebook Group. It’s a private group, only members can see posts. When I’d like some feedback on a new outfit, or even something I’ve tried on at the shops, I upload a pic. It’s really inspiring seeing the wardrobe combos of other members, too. Find out more about the MILE High Club (and no, it’s not THAT kind of mile high!).

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