Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Pipsqueak Paparazzi at O'Connell Park on the Gold Coast......

As the school holidays were coming to end late last week and much of the sickness that had weighed down the family for two weeks had passed, it was finally one of our first proper chances to get out of a day of play.

The kids had been in desperate need of a huge park play session and using all those big muscles of theirs and I had also been wanting to scourer more parks, alleys, street art and buildings of the Gold Coast for interesting places for style shoots and other new journeys I'm embarking on.

So Thursday morning I told the kids to get dressed for a day out, as we were off to have a big morning of fun. After a post office run to send Etsy orders off we headed to a park I have traveled past hundreds of times over the years but have never stopped at. I have always noted it for having a lot of trees with shade, grassy areas to run in, along with it having always appeared quiet whenever I have driven by.


O'Connell Park on Morla Ave of Runaway Bay (Gold Coast) is literally a street away (or a five minute walk) from a change of scenery to local canals or to a local coffee spot at Cafe on Bayview that I have on good authority boasts wonderful service, great coffee and generous affordable meals.

Cohen, Sarah and I spent several hours enjoying the park and investigating different areas for little natural treasures and fun.


I snapped pics as the kids swung, slide, climbed and walked. Being my kids and mini stylist and style lovers they wanted fun and responsibility with my camera, so I let them go and my style pic is a credit to Cohen.


I wear
Navy Cotton Tank Dress & Blue Lace Detail Shirt: Op shopped $1 each
Felt Hat: Kmart retail 
Shoes: Have had them for years, bought on clearance
Silver Cuff: Christmas Gift
Colette Bag: Christmas Gift from Ben


Being their mum naturally I love to snap pictures of them and appreciate their forever changing and experimental styles.


Sarah Wears
Chevron Shirt: Kmart bought retail
Polka Dot Tiered Skirt: Kmart op shopped
Straw Hat & Tooled Leather Bag: Vintage and thrifted
Necklace & Watch: Presents from family and friends.

Why did you choose this outfit? Because it's nice and matches and goes together.
What did you like most about the park? Going on the swings.


Cohen Wears
Denim Shorts & Shirt: op shopped
T-Shirt: Kmart retail
Thongs: Kmart retail
UV Activated Colour Cap: Gift from friends (United States)

Why did you choose this outfit: Because I like to smart and sharp.
What is your favourite thing about this outfit: My denim shirt, because it's cool.
What did you like most about the park: Climbing trees and swinging in the playground.

Style and my pipsqueak paparazzi aside let us tell you more about this park if you're looking for quiet park location for a visit of fun or perhaps for style shoots, as this quiet corner park is large check it out here for yourself and has some fun stuff going for it. 

All your basics a ticked off with small shaded playground area for kids, BBQ, water fountains (for dogs as well), toilets. The park is dog friendly with dogs allowed of the lead away from the playground. 


However you're more interested in some of the cool backdrops for photographs here, the trees, grass and greenery are just the start. O'Connell Park also has a service building on it. Whether it be its dark green brick walls, metal doors or the odd bit of illegal street art that pops up on it from time to time, it certainly presents some fun photo opportunities.




This is my favourite.

Oh and I should mention a curved stone wall perfect for climbing and walking along for little ones, and a chance for you to snap sweet moments.


The kids and I would love to share my more fun spots with you around the Gold Coast and surrounding areas and they tell me they would like to play with my camera more. So stick with us and we will see where this Pipsqueak Paparazzi" features go. 


Thursday, April 7, 2016

A Journey with Style and Soul....


You know that feeling of a new pair of shoes that are perfect? They're kind of exciting aren't they? With those shoes you feel as though they could take you anywhere. With those shoes you stride with comfort and confidence, as time goes on they are natural and an easy choice each day. But one day, further down the track you notice some wear in your shoes and you start to think about that wear and the fit of those shoes and what you will do about them. 

You ask yourself does the wear in those shoes need to be repaired? Can the shoes be revamped in some way or is it time to ditch them altogether and find a better fit and something new and wonderful?

I don't know about you, but I'm someone who often finds messages and symbolism in things I come by and encounter as I journey through life. I'm also a big believer in what you think you create and that we have the power to nudge or dreams into actualization through positive attitude and gratitude. 

In the last few months I have have been in deep thought about how I am travelling through life, about my hopes, plans and dreams. I've been in thought a lot about my blog and business and about moving forward, and what I want to do and share with others. 

One thing I have always wanted to do is help others, but the how to help others has alluded me for some time (despite having many ideas). You see I tend to let my life unfold organically and I'm happy to be lead by my gut and heart along with my everyday journeys to whether or not something is a good fit for me......much like shoes.


The symbolism of shoes has been something that has been with me for a while now whilst I've been in thought about life's travels in recent months. In fact for the last year personal style, uniqueness and confidence have been themes that have been playing out in my day to day life and encounters with people on and off line, but it's been with a deeper niggling feeling there is more to all of this.

Last year you might remember I was publicly told in front of many others;


My reaction at the time was confident because the truth is that, I dress for me and not for others. This very public opinion giving episode, didn't break my stride, but what I didn't realise at the time was that the exchange was the impetus for new ideas and motivations in my travels with my blog and business.


You see for the longest time now when people have commented on my style they also go on to say that they wish they could do the same, they wish they could wear a certain look or style or express themselves more truthfully and uniquely or how they wish they could afford to be stylish, I have always, always told those people that they can, they really, really can.

I truly believe it's possible for everyone to achieve these things, and I want to help those people who long to do just that. I want to be the one that helps them find their inner unique style that is a true reflection and expression of their personality and who they are. 

Alongside this desire I want to continue to support my own children in their expression of who they are in their personal style and in turn other children. My hope is that over the years they won't lose their drive to express themselves with their style and bow to conformity for others ideals, trends and desires.

Getting more serious about this, it's especially important to me with an Autistic child that unique self expression in all forms is something that we should all be trying to strive for in our journey to acceptance.


So as I have been walking this path with all of these thoughts etching and wearing their way into my consciousness, I've found myself arrive at a place where I look at my shoes, they are loved, worn, fun and funky, and still have a lot of sole on them for walking this journey - with my blog and business.

My interests and passions remain strong but it's my intention and desire that are sprinting out of the gate. I want to help others find their unique personal style and confidence to express that. I want to support children in their self expression through style and I want us all to appreciate and admire each others uniqueness. But most of all, I want us all striving for acceptance of who we all are as unique individuals rather bow to conformity. 

It's no surprise to me that in recent weeks as my thoughts have reached a point of clarity to express them as a cohesive thought, that the universe has had her way of sending me tokens to show and confirm to me that I am walking the right path. In my travels to find vintage treasures and stock recently there has been a theme popping up over and over again. 


All the shoes pictured throughout this post have called to me in recent times and have made their way home here. Some are destined to stay (Converse All Stars thank you very much) and others are destined for new adventures and homes where they might be symbolic to someone and a journey they are on. 

In coming weeks and months you will see, feel, hear and read about what I'm doing in addition to what I already do, to start making these things a reality for me and for others. I hope you've got plenty of sole on your shoes to walk this path with me too. 




Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Style: Want to try the plaid trend? Hit the Op Shops....


I'm going to start out by saying that I personally don't see plaid or tartan as fashion trend because it's something that I have always enjoyed styling. In fact this post was originally published in June 2015 and it's being revived and updated because what do you know plaid is still having it's moment. If you play with current fashion trends you'll already be well aware of this fact.

The word is that plaid is hanging out with stripes and a look at Westfield's collection and trend round ups shows there is plenty of inspiration for you to interpret into a look that is uniquely you.

Trends aside, as far as I'm concerned plaid and tartan patterns are classics and they've been around FOREVER, but as fashion and trends go it's one that rolls around in many different forms through the seasons and decades.

Simple Sheer Print White Long Sleeve Tee: Retail
Plaid High Waist Shorts: Op Shopped ($1 how cheap is that to try a trend?)
Fishnets: Retail
Brown Suede Ankle Boots: Hand me downs from a friend
Beads: Op Shopped

For me there has always been tartan and plaid patterns throughout my wardrobe ever since I was a kid and on the blog I have even sported crazy yellow plaid and funkiness. However if you're someone who would like to give the "trend" a go and aren't sure about it working for you, let me give you one piece of advice.

Hit the op shops!

Scope out plaid and tartan pieces at the op shops, I swear there is never a shortage of all sorts of variations of tartan and plaid items in op shops from jackets and coats, wool skirts, suits, pants, golf shorts, ties and scarves and more


Don't be scared to check out the men's section too at your local op shops for tartan and plaid pieces they often have some wearable pieces that women can wear with some interesting styling and a play on the masculine feminine look.

The shorts pictured were purchased early Autumn of 2015 for a $1 and love them as they have a high waist.

Last year I was excited to style these further and try some sexy looks with sheer blouses and other pattern mixing and adding some stiletto heels. These all still fell like great options to keep playing with, however I'm also considering shortening these pants by a few inches and playing with some other style options. Anything is possible!!!!

Are you a plaid lover?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Life & Style: Go With What Makes You Happy the Basic Key to Defining Personal Style.....

Oh gosh how I love colour, it truly brightens my day and how I feel and when it comes to my personal style and wardrobe colour and pattern dominate whether it be vintage or not, I always, always have colour and pattern to play with.


I op shopped this simple long t-shirt dress in aqua last week mainly because it is an easy wear for lounging around at home with the kids. It's certainly not a colour I wear a lot of nor is a go to preference but it is a colour I love teamed with other colours, so this is a dress that will serve me well as a base for layering with other pieces and for $2 why not?

Teamed with my thrifted cobalt blue pleat top, denim vest and my lovely thrifty find of the chest plate necklace (thrifted last year) which has complimentary colours to my outfit, I feel colourful, bright, happy and put together with very little effort.


Why am I talking about loving colour again? I know I do it a lot! It's because it's one of the things I love and makes me happy when it comes to style and fashion.

Wearing what makes you happy and bright within your spirit is one of the most simple places to start with in defining your own style and using trends as inspirations open to your own interpretation or rejection.

My spirit is brightened by the play of colour, pattern and florals and are the basic elements of what I am attracted to in representing my personal style whether I buy vintage, thrift or retail.

What makes you happy? Do you know what makes happy or do you struggle to answer that question?

Before you even look at a garments size, what are the very basic elements that grab your attention to take a further look regardless if you end up buying it or not? The answers you come up with hold a lot information for unraveling and revealing the basics for helping you find your personal style, even if you find your answers don't match what your wardrobe currently looks like.

I'd love to hear what it is for you.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Top 4 Expensive Children's Clothing Items To Always Thrift & Save.....


All my children have a mix of vintage, modern and thrifted clothing and accessories in their wardrobe and in the time I have been a parent clothing them has been far less expensive then you would think. In fact in the nearly seven years since Cohen was born I have spent a fraction of what most would think to cloth three children in clothes, shoes and accessories.  I  always accept an offer to look through hand me downs, I shop bargains and I always, ALWAYS look for clothing for them when op shopping.

So I'm going to let you in on what my top four op shop clothing buys for children are that are traditionally pricey items when bought retail.


Denim 
Denim is durable and lasts especially with rough and tumble kids. Denim children's items are always in supply at op shops and generally in great condition because of its durability.

My kids always have a base of four to five denim shorts in their drawers. They last longer then cotton or sports shorts and can be worn casually or dressed up. I also nab jeans and denim jackets for the kids each year if I come by them. Jeans and jackets are pieces that will be grown out of far quicker than denim shorts with children. Jeans and jackets will generally become too short in the the legs or arms before shorts become too small in the waist. Hence I would rather pay op shop prices on denim jeans and jackets than retail prices for a piece that will essentially only be worn for a season and be grown out of by next year.


Quality Brand Name Children's Shoes
Kids and their growing feet, need I say more. If there is one thing I've heard a thousand times over about kids and their growing bodies, it is how quickly kids feet grow and how much and how often parents are having to fork out money for new shoes.

When kids are growing so rapidly they can leap shoe sizes in a few short months to our amazement. Hence if you have an eagle eye out when visiting your local op shops it's very common to find baby and children's shoes that look almost unworn. If you're lucky to spy renowned brand names like Clark's (pictured on the right of above pic), with a reputation of topping reviews over the years for children's school shoes be sure to grab them quick because some other thrifty parent will if you don't.


Party Dresses
If you have daughters and they are girly girls who like dresses to twirl in like my daughter, pretty party dresses for special occasions and parties can be expensive. Sure children's prices aren't as expensive as women's retail prices, but when you're looking at cost per wear on special occasion pieces, it seems crazy to spend a fortune on a stunning little piece for your girl who may only wear it a hand full of times if she is lucky.

Having a daughter who likes dresses and follows in my footsteps somewhat, of making any old day and excuse to dress up, I always have have an eye out when op shopping for pretty special occasion dresses and at op shop prices I can afford for her to have several and wear them for more than just special occasions.......like her just because days.


Knitted Goodies
I am nuts for hand knitted baby and children's clothing when thrifting and why not they are often unique and made with love and when they have been looked after are a durable cheap investment in children's winter wardrobes. Knitted baby goods in good condition when thrifted also make for sweet baby gifts for family and friends who have welcomed new bundles of joy to their families.

There is no limit to the types of items and garments I thrift for my children's wardrobes as I always have my eye out for suitable items for play and fun whilst supporting their own unique style and tastes that they are constantly developing. By avoiding retail when I can with them, it allows me to afford for them the opportunity to experiment and take risks with their style and not crush our budget, clothing our constantly growing and developing children.
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