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!

Glittery White Chocolate Christmas Trees

Glittery White Chocolate Christmas Trees

Yo, this is how I do Christmas! Whatever is easy and fun, that’s my gig. Like these GLITTERY white chocolate Christmas trees. Pebble only eats white chocolate (personal preference, strange child), so she thought these were fabulous. The kids had fun stirring and pouring and licking and sprinkling. Here’s how to make these cute glittery trees (though they barely need instructions!).

Glittery White Chocolate Christmas Trees

You will need:

  • 250g good quality white chocolate (I buy it in blocks and break it up, but it’s up to you, melts are good too)
  • edible gold glitter
  • Christmas tree chocolate mould

Method

  • Melt your chocolate using your chosen method. I am a bit old school and put the chocolate in a metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. I’ve had mixed results with the microwave!
  • Pour the chocolate into the chocolate molds* and leave in the fridge to set. Or if you’re super impatient, like me, put them in the freezer.
  • Pop the set chocolates out of their molds and onto a plate then sprinkle them with the edible gold glitter.

Glittery White Chocolate Christmas Trees Glittery White Chocolate Christmas Trees

* I totes confused myself about the correct spelling of ‘molds’ and I hate getting spelling wrong. The internet says ‘mould’ and ‘mold’. Who knows? Help a girl out, please!

Note: if you’re thinking of colouring the trees green, like I was, be careful with water based food colourings. I used the squeezy bottle kind and we had to throw away a whole block of chocolate because it seized. Boo hoo! I hear that gels work well but I haven’t tried it. Good luck!

Don’t you think these would make a super sweet Christmas gift?

Christmas Shopping Secrets

Christmas Shopping SecretsThis post is sponsored by Ozsale.com.au

I’ve been let in on a little bit of a secret that’s going to save you big bucks and lots of time and hassle this Christmas. Consider this post a bit of acommunity service announcement, ok? If you want to get your Christmas shopping done without the pain-in-the-butt of actually going to the shops (yes please!) and have access to fabulous sales, then I’ve got the shop for you. Pop on over to Ozsale.com.au and have a clicketty click around. They’ve got stuff for kids, women, men, home, beauty and even a clearance section for extra awesome bargains.

Ozsale.com.au gave me some spending money and let me loose in their online shop. Of course I clicked straight on ‘kids’ and found some awesome stuff. We were in dire need of some new pencils, crayons and chalk, as ours gets were looking pretty either lost, dried up or broken. I have always loved Crayola and there was an awesome sale on their products at the time. I snapped up one of everything, including some window crayons which the kids LOVED. Just check them out having a ball with this stuff!

Christmas Shopping SecretsChristmas Shopping Secrets

I even got a sweet crayon caddy for Pebble just like the one we had when we were kids. Oh and this tub of air dry clay which makes it so easy to make sculptures, Pebble made some to decorate her new desk. The final score was some phonics workbooks for Pebble who is asking me to do ‘school work’ with her every. single. day. Bless!

Christmas Shopping SecretsChristmas Shopping Secrets

The Ozsale.com.au specials are different every day, you never know what you might find. Right NOW you can grab Dermalogica for a steal, Redken up to 65% off, Ben Sherman gear from $9, Typo goodies for the Christmas stocking for next to nothing, Scanpan up to 75% off…. I could go on, but that would be taking up your precious shopping time! Go and get some presents organised, what are you waiting for?

Have you started Christmas shopping yet? I’m always a late starter :) 

How to have a Merrier Christmas (a letter to my future self)

How to have a merrier Christmas

How to have a merrier Christmas

Christmas is a crazy time of year and one that makes me a little … Grinchy. In December everything seems to become a big blur of frantic shopping and catch ups with every person we’ve ever known in our lives and the to-do list explodes with Christmas necessities. I find myself struggling to keep up every year. I never seem to be able to enjoy Christmas until the actual day has arrived. This year was tougher than usual, I was more disorganised, less ready to think about Christmas, anxious about facing the day without Ryan. And that’s ok. That’s reality. But I thought I’d take a moment to write a little letter to myself. A letter to the Mrs Grinch I become in December every year. I hope this letter helps calm the Grinch that threatens to overtake all of us at this time of year.

Dear Mrs Grinch (aka me)

Here are some things that you need to try and remember, so that you can enjoy Christmas and stop getting so stressed and shoutey.

  • everyone else is just as busy as you. If not more. So shut up about it.
  • stop and enjoy Christmas craft and play with the kiddos, especially Pebble, who adores it. Do all glitter craft OUTSIDE. Or enjoy some Christmasy chill out time in a tinsel tent. There are lots of fun Christmas ideas to try, pick a few and have fun with it.
  • go and see some Christmas lights. Don’t stress about the kids being too tired or cranky or out of routine. They’ll be fine.
  • visit Santa, but try not to plonk the little ones on his lap right after they’ve woken from a nap. It kinda freaks them out.
  • it’s ok to say no to ridiculously overpriced helium balloons in the magic cave. Isn’t there a helium shortage, anyway?
  • yes… it’s awesome to enjoy every moment and not get sucked into spending time on taking photos. But maybe take a few more pics of the kids at Christmas time. Every year you wish you’d taken a few more.
  • do some amazingly kind things as a family. That’s what Christmas spirit is all about.
  • round up the collection of Christmas books at the beginning of December and enjoy them all month long. Pebble (and hopefully Rocky by now) soak up the magic of every word and image and it all adds to the magic.
  • watch lots of Christmas movies as a family, the cornier the better.
  • don’t panic if the house isn’t spotlessly clean. Nobody is coming to visit you to check out your shining floors. And if they are you really shouldn’t give two jingle bells about that!
  • the practical stuff – get Christmas prepped well before the last week before Christmas:
    • get the presents organised early. PROPERLY ORGANISED. Remember how you planned to give lots of movie gift boxes (kinda like these… but not quite as awesome), which was super simple and easy? But then you left them to the last minute and were organising it on Christmas Eve when you had 6,876 other things to do? THAT.
    • make sure you’ve got wrapping paper (and sticky tape!)
    • start wrapping before Christmas Eve… sure it seems all romantic to imagine wrapping presents together while watching ‘Love Actually’ and sipping egg nog. But Paul hates ‘Love Actually’. And wrapping presents. And you’ll be too full from Christmas parties to drink egg nog. Not to mention so exhausted from Christmas pre-season that you’ll want a good nights sleep before the big day!
    • stock up on batteries for electronic gifts
    • make a Christmas e-card
    • write Christmas cards for the nanas and others who don’t have social media and can’t read your e-card (are there still people out there like that?!)
    • unbox, construct and power up any super tricky gifts that you know the kids will want to get stuck into straight away. Spending half and hour on unpackaging/constructing/fitting batteries is not very fun when you just want to enjoy playing with the kids and help them to enjoy their presents..
    • remember that after Christmas is birthday season for you – seven birthdays of close family and friends in just a few weeks. And that’s ok. You’ll be fine! Busy, but fine. Buy the pressies while doing the Christmas shopping and don’t moan about how busy you are (and get Pebble’s birthday invites out before Christmas).
    • plan to take delicious, festive foods to share when you need to ‘take-a-plate’. Yes, it’s extra work and time but there is much love to give through sharing a plate of lovingly prepared treats. If all else fails, a platter of shop bought goodies does the trick. Or take something you’ve made before that people loved.

Finally:

  • remember that the build up is more stressful than the event. You always enjoy the day when it comes.
  • Laugh. Breathe. Hug the kids a little more. Kiss your husband twice as much.Be kind to yourself. Remeber what’s really important and don’t worry so much about the small stuff.

Much love.
Me x

Christmas Tree Card

Easy Peasy Kid Made Christmas Tree Cards {Octavia and Vicky}

Easy Peasy Kid Made Christmas Tree Cards {Octavia and Vicky}

Do you need a super quick and easy homemade Christmas card to give? Or something to keep the kiddos quiet for a few minutes? Let’s be honest, you probably just need a good lie down before CHRISTMAS is here tomorrow. But I can’t resist sharing these cute cards we made for Pebble’s teachers this year.

Easy Peasy Kid Made Christmas Tree Cards {Octavia and Vicky}

Tree Christmas Card

You will need:

  • Green card
  • A4 Red card
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Star sequins

Prepare these bits before giving to little fingers:

  • Fold and cut the A4 card in half.
  • Fold each half to make two small red cards.
  • Cut out two triangles from the green card – did this without measuring or ruling, just cutting free hand, but you could draw the trees first if you prefer.

Now hand over to the kids:

  • Stick the tree to the front of the card.
  • Stick the star sequins on the tree.

Tips:

  • older children can fold and cut their own cards and trees.
  • if you don’t have star sequins you could use glitter, empty the back of your hole punch and use up the little round coloured bits of paper, or children can draw on their own decorations.

As you can see, Pebble was quite enthusiastic with her use of stars :)

Easy Peasy Kid Made Christmas Tree Cards {Octavia and Vicky}

Did you make your own cards this year?