Thursday, February 28, 2013

My 5 favourite smells and a few shockers

I love smells. They take you back in time, make you remember, feel happy or content. Smell also has the ability to make you sad, dry retch or hold your nose.

My 5 favourite smells
1. The rain on the road. I love that you can smell it before the rain hits.
2. Lemongrass. You can't go wrong with Lemongrass. I love it in melts, oils, perfume, cleaning products and cooking.
3. The beach. Sand, salt, sunscreen, these are the smells of happiness.
4. Florabotanica. This is my favourite perfume at the moment. I think it's perfection.
5. Bacon. Even a lifelong vegetarian like me can appreciate the salty, smoky scent of bacon on a barbecue.
The Bad
1. There aren't many things as bad as heavy body odour. There is no excuse.
2. Stinky feet. I once had a friend with the worst foot odour and she would insist on driving without her shoes on. I was like a labrador with my head out the window, trying to stuck up every drop of fresh air I could. I would make all sorts of excuses to avoid hopping into her car in winter
3. Rotten potato. There is nothing like it.
4. Over ripened blue vein cheese. It smells a lot like #2
5. Giorgio Beverley Hills. The worst perfume ever. A had a boyfriend that bought me a bottle for my 16th birthday. I had to break up with him. Opium is a close second.
Image source - my own. Feel free to steal.
What is your favourite smell? Even more important, what do you hate?

"I hope heaven smells like Chanel and money" - Mimi Wernicke 7yo

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


I came across this in my Bali travels. I'm fairly certain it must be a genuine Apple Store :)

I am joining up for Wordless Wednesday with My Little Drummer Boys

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Eyebrows: Wax, pluck, thread or ignore?

I have long been a waxing girl. I get my eyebrows waxed every couple of months and pluck out the strays with tweezers in between. Sometimes I might even grow them out for a few months to give my eyebrow artist something to work with. I prefer my brows not to look overdone but a natural, neaten version of their natural state.
I am a wee bit obsessed with eyebrows and I have seen some shocking brows lately. These have totally convinced me that I am on the right track. Overdone brows can make a person look dated and older. If in doubt, just neaten and comb into place. In the long run, the thicker (and maintained) your brows, the younger you look. I am not blessed with thick but I work hard with what I have.

Recently, I decided to give threading a go. I understood threading was good to pick up fine hairs and accuracy. What I didn't know is that it would feel like a little, rusty, razor blade, tap dancing across my brows. It hurt a lot! My eyes watered and I was pulling ugly faces.

So, threading does give a nice affect but the pain is greater than waxing or plucking. My advice, take a friend and don't let her know about the pain. Be prepared, brace yourself, hold in the ugly face and then have a good laugh at her expense. It'll make you feel so much better.

PS: Men, trim the length of the eyebrow hairs and maybe subtle between the brow work. If you are worried about stray hairs, then focus on ears, back of neck and nasal hairs. Maintaining these will have a greater affect.

On Tuesdays I link up with Essentially Jess

Monday, February 25, 2013

Tips for Upcycling furniture

I have the wonderful and clever Catherine from Paisley and Polka Dot Threads guest posting today. She is sharing her tips for upcycling furniture. I love her work.  

Hi Redcliffe Style readers, 
On my blog I share my love of all things craft and DIY, with a bit of the chaos of home life thrown in. I have a passion for upcycling furniture, and love being able to find an old, worn out piece of furniture, and renovating it to become a gorgeous one-of-a-kind piece. All this needs to fit round being a stay at home mum of two, which is sometimes successful and sometimes not!
When I moved into my new home two years ago I realised there was no way my budget would stretch to the get me the look I wanted for my home. So I’ve been op shopping, doing the curbside crawl and DIY’ing to get it. (You don’t know the curbside crawl?? During bulk garbage collection I do a recognisance past any likely piles of junk, just in case they are throwing away something I can makeover! Yes you have to put any feelings of embarrassment aside!)  In case you don’t believe me that something on the roadside can be beautiful, take a look at this…
This is one of my most popular makeovers and it was just sitting there on the curb side waiting for the rubbish truck. If the curb side isn’t your thing, op shops are absolutely the way to go. Whatever your style you can find something amazing, and transform it with a bit of soap and water, paint and varnish.

My top tips - 

* Fake it till you make it. We're all working to a budget, but instead of waiting till you have that fabulous piece of art, amazing couch or gorgeous coffee table, work with what you've got. I have a scrabble board, a Frankie poster and some postcards as artwork in my entry, and I think they work.

* When op shopping, if at first you don't find anything, keep looking! There are some days when I visit an op shop and find absolutely nothing. Other days I hit the jackpot. The trick is to drop in when you can and scout around.

* If you're going to paint a piece of furniture make sure you give it a good two coats of undercoat (unless you're using DIY chalk paint, but that's another story). I always use Zinsser - and no I don't get paid to say that! It sticks to almost everything and covers all sorts of sins.

* Go on, give it a try!! Sure, painting a piece of furniture can be daunting to some. I'd suggest you don't start on the family heirlooms, pick up a piece an an op shop to try out. Or if you're like me, try it out on something you already hate, like something your husband had before you were married :) and see how you go. It could be
a massive improvement...
So if you're keen on home decorating on a budget, I'd love you to come visit me at Paisley and Polka Dot Threads. Thanks Rachel for having me :)

And thank you Catherine.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Redcliffe Style does Bali

I have just spent a week in Bali with my husband sans children. This was our first time and it was a wonderful adventure. I won't go on about it because I find other people's holiday snaps boring and don't want to put you through it. So I'll race through the highlights.

The hungry, little fish that nibble at dry skin. They were very tickley and seemed to vibrate. As butch as my husband is, he giggled like a little girl.
We hit Sarong for cocktails and dinner. This was on the recommendation of Mrs Woog and Nikki Parkinson. It was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. We rolled out of that place very content and a little tipsy.
Water Blow at Nusa Dua. No one told us about this place and we stumbled upon it on an adventure. It was mesmerising watching the ocean drain out of a narrow gap in the cliff and then come gushing back in, bursting into a bubbly tower of water. The trembling and rumbling created by the water was fantastic. We got absolutely drenched but didn't want to leave.
Spa day. On a rainy day, we found a spa and planted ourselves in it for the day. Massages, facials, cream bath with a mani and pedi. It was only $80 for the two of us and was an excellent way to relax after a few busy, adventure days.
Visiting the ancient Uluwatu Temple. We climbed a old, stone staircase along the cliff face to reach the temple. We had a guide/monkey tamer/photographer led us around but you are not allowed inside the temple. We were constantly warned about the hundreds of cheeky monkeys that reside there. I saw plenty of monkeys but, to my disappointment, no cheeky ones.
The requisite elephant safari at the Bali Elephant camp in Ubud. Our guide was completely devoted to his elephant Marcella.
The highlight of the trip was definitely the bike ride down the volcano Mount Batur. This was 28km through villages, temples, rice paddy fields, jungles and more. This was an incredible experience. It started raining half way through our ride and this only made it more fun. We finished the ride in our tour guide's village, at his home and his wife made us an amazing feast. If you visit Bali you must contact Made from Celebrity Cycling Tour Bali. We ended up calling on him a few times when we wanted some local assistance and he was fantastic.
Have you been to Bali?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

An artist...

A local artist Charlotte Hellawell recently sent me this image and told me it was inspired by Redcliffe Style. I thought it was so kind and clever I wanted to share it.

I love it a little more because it reminds me of last Monday night. My husband and I went out to a swish restaurant in Bali, I actually did my hair and make up, then we drank cocktails and cheered each other all night.

Thank you Charlotte xx

Charlotte Hellawell
Facebook, Charlotte Hellawell Artist
ArtAbandon  is on 

I am joining up for Wordless Wednesday with My Little Drummer Boys

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Travelling light: 11 Make up necessities

I have been whisked away to a tropical island and I like to think I pack light(ish). So what do I take?

Daytime: I only wear sunscreen, sunglasses and lip balm. Plus, Garnier BB for combination to oily skin just in case. 

Night time: I prefer to go light on the makeup but I like to be prepared. I can create almost any look with this collection.
Arbonne Perfecting liquid Foundation, Makellos eye primer, Clinque eye shadow duo in Strawberry Fudge, Maybelline Turbo boost mascara in Black, Mirenesse eyeliner in Black, Revlon colourstay eyebrow liner Blonde, MAC blush Dainty, Napoleon Pro palette correct & conceal, Chanel Rouge allure Emoi, Lucas' Pawpaw ointment and a soft brush. 

Plus a gorgeous perfume.
Done and ready to hit the town.
What does travelling light mean to my husband?
How are you at travelling light?

On Tuesdays I link up with Essentially Jess

Monday, February 18, 2013

Trying Vintage Style without feeling like a try hard

Today I have the charming Trudie from My Vintage Childhood guest posting. I was thrilled when Trudie took up my offer because I don't know a thing about wearing vintage but I have always loved it. 

One of the comments I get a lot from friends, acquaintances and strangers, when I’m complimented on a vintage item or ensemble I might be wearing, is how they too wish they could wear vintage without looking like a try hard. Usually their second comment is when they suggest that they lack the ability to find vintage items that are suitable when op shopping. So with Rachel asking me to pop in to do a guest post, I thought I’d help those who would like the idea of wearing vintage or would like to give it ago, with a few tips and pointers.

Wearing vintage isn’t an all or nothing way of styling. Millions of people have been wearing vintage well before “vintage” became the popular term to refer to anything from a few seasons ago. When I refer to vintage or retro I’m generally referring to anything that is greater than 20 years old. Although I prefer items from the 1950’s – 1970’s, it doesn’t have to be about dressing in head to toe vintage, you can be selective.  So I hope these tips help a little:

Tip 1
If you’re not sure that “vintage” is something you will embrace fully or it will even work with your current style, start small, start with jewellery.  Scope out your local op shops, antiques centres and nanas jewellery box for old bangles, pendants and brooches. You don’t need to spend a fortune; costume jewellery can be picked up inexpensively from op shop and eBay like these brooches and pins that cost me only a few dollars each. I have interesting pieces in my collection and on further investigation of my favourite pieces (which is on loan at the moment to a friend), I discovered it was a 1950’s piece from a costume jewellery designer in Melbourne.  So you truly can pick up genuine, unique pieces that are decades old by searching around. The great thing about jewellery is as women we all like to check out each other’s accessories and complement each other on interesting pieces. So my hottest tip is to give vintage accessories a go first.
Tip 2
·         It goes without saying that if you’ve tried jewellery and you’re feeling brave why not give; bags, belts, scarves and shoes a go. There are few things I love more in this world of vintage then gorgeous bags (frocks come first). But a bag is a great investment piece to making an outfit pop. This tooled leather 1970’s bag, sure gets the compliments and works with a modern boho or full fledged vintage hippy look. So don’t be scared, give it ago, mix modern ways of styling with vintage pieces and that way you can still look relevant and on trend but a little unique.
Tip 3 
·         So if you’ve given the jewellery and accessories ago and you’re feeling confident that you can mix those pieces you now have with the modern aspects in your wardrobe, the next step is try some clothing. I would always suggest that you try a dress, there is so much variance in dresses in the world of vintage you can try, and dresses are so easy and versatile. From maxi dresses, houses dresses, day dresses, formal; and more from retro prints to high end vintage designer pieces spanning all the eras, you will surely find something that peaks your interests. Spend some time thinking about the colours, length, fit and prints you like. I’m a flower power lover so I rather fancy the bold colourful prints from the 1960 – 1970’s as well as some retro geometrics. So give some consideration to what you already have in your wardrobe to give you a hint towards the prints and colours you might like.

But now you’re probably asking but where do I find all these items, you’re suggesting Trudie. In fact you’re probably saying you’ve tried op shops and they don’t turn up anything but everyone else’s rejects from last season. If you’re new to trying vintage I’d suggest trying vintage boutiques, antique centres and reputable online dealers. In these situations you know that these business owners are well versed in the world of vintage and curetting a selection which you can be assured is genuinely vintage. Yes you will pay more than op shop prices, but it is a great place to start, even just window shopping to develop an eye for indentifying what you like and what is and isn’t genuinely vintage.  Once you’ve developed your eye for vintage you will be able to spot potential vintage greatness in an op shop at a quick glance.

So there you go I hope that gives those wanting to give vintage a go a starting point to what undoubtedly (at least in my opinion) can become an obsession.  Finally for those in the greater South East Queensland area if you find yourself in Brisbane, a great place to immerse yourself in a world of all things vintage and retro from jewellery, accessories, clothing, home wares, memorabilia and so, so, so much more is the Woolloongabba Antique Centre (otherwise known as the WAC to us crazy vintage lovers).

Thank you so much Trudie for sharing with us. You can find Trudie at My Vintage Childhood

Friday, February 15, 2013

Redcliffe hits the big time

As you have heard, Redcliffe went off yesterday. Barry Gibb came to unveil the new Bee Gees statue in the newly renamed Bee Gees way. I knew who Barry Gibb was and I knew the Bee Gees were popular. I had no idea how huge they were. I have never seen so many people, police or security in one place.

Before I knew how huge this was going to be, I contacted the organisers to request a Media Pass. I thought it was a nice thing to happen in Redcliffe and I would like to be in on it. Fast forward to the day. There were people in trees, people hiding out in buildings trying to find holes in security, people telling sob stories to the organisers. Everyone trying to get closer to the man. I was initially oblivious to the importance until two close friends nearly came to blows fighting over who should accompany me on the day. Then I really appreciated what an honour it was. Anything that makes people sick with jealously works for me.
I swanned passed security to stand beside the rest of the world media.

I listened to the Barry talk about his love of Redcliffe, his memories and how thrilled he was to be honoured. Just before the unveiling, I had to toss my pass to my assistant and rush off to collect my children. I may have missed the unveiling but I got to watch the rest of the excitement from the front row became a new fan. As soon as I got home, I downloaded and played the songs. What a talent!

Barry's family was there too. Talk about style, this is his mother. I love that her nails match her glasses and check out that ring.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Bee Gees hit Redcliffe in Style

Happy Valentines Day!!

I have decided to celebrate the day with Barry Gibb instead of my husband. I imagine waking up to Barry running his fingers through my hair whispering 'How deep is your love, I really need to learn because we are living in a world of fools'. Then he'll make me a breakfast of warmed croissants, humming 'You don't know what it's like, to love somebody, to love somebody, the way I love you....'

Actually, this might not be true, but I am off to see The Bee Gees statue unveiling in Redcliffe today. I have managed to get a media pass and are hoping I get close enough to meet and talk to the awesome Barry Gibb. I know I'll be fighting off film crews from around the world but I can get pretty scrappy when necessary.

Are you a Bee Gees fan? What questions would you ask him if you got the chance?

image source

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


I love this photo taken by my 7yo. She staged, arranged and snaped. Unfiltered.

I am joining up for Wordless Wednesday with My Little Drummer Boys

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Shopping Centre Peeves

Sometimes, I might not be the most patient person. Sometimes, things drive me completely crazy when normally I wouldn't even notice. Yesterday was one of those days. Here are 6 things that drove me nuts at Westfield Northlakes:

  1. A slow moving, shoeless family were hogging the entire aisle. Even a polite 'excuse me' did nothing
  2. I saw someone I sort of knew, smiled and said hello. Then came across then in every aisle and had to do the awkward nod smile about 11 times
  3. Someone smacked their child. I didn't think the child deserved it or the tongue lashing she got after it
  4. They hadn't stocked the shelves with my Monday Magazines yet
  5. I couldn't find coriander anywhere and I forgot to buy chives
  6. In Myer, I hunted high and low for bargains and didn't find anything. Not a scrap

Now a few cool things:

  1. I ran 10km with easy. Yes, this 40 year old body still has it
  2. I received a gorgeous present in the mail from the way too kind Kimba from Kimba Likes
  3. My husband came home early with champagne
  4. My Corn Fritters still tasted awesome without fresh coriander
  5. My birthday vouchers will last until another shopping trip and I am sure there will be amazing bargains then

Have a great day!

On Tuesdays I link up with Essentially Jess

Monday, February 11, 2013

Blogger Basics: So you've written a post, what now?

Back when I started blogging, I would write a post and let it sit there. I would hope someone would somehow find it, read it and hopefully remember to come back again. What I have learned since then is...

Make it easy for people to find you.

After publishing a post these are the steps I take to help people find it:

1. Minimise the URL in Bitly and tweet it from there
2. Use the new URL to add tweets to Buffer for later in the day
3. Share the post on my blog Facebook page
4. Add it to a linky party if relevant
5. Mention it on Instagram
6. If I have reviewed a product or event. I'll email the necessary people with a
    thank you and a copy of the link
7. If I have written about certain brands, I'll tweet them to make them aware of the
    shout out, and
8. Share it on Pinterest. You need to make sure your post has a photo to do this.

If no-one finds it after all this, I'll pour a coffee, ponder and start all over again.

What steps do you take to help people discover your blog?

PS: Also, SEO helps with people discovering you via Google. This is more detailed and another post.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

What I wore: My 40th birthday party

Last night I celebrated 40 with a bang. Burnt Orange served endless plates of delicious Tapas and we were bursting at the seams. There was lots of loud laughing coming from all ends of the room and too much champagne poured.

I completely loved my Kitten D'Amour dress. It was so fun and playful. I teamed it with a strutting pair of Pinkinc heels. I found these at Myer reduced from $189 to $28. The price made me love them even more.
Thanks to the lovely Mrs BC's House of Chaos for the centre top photo.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The 20s, 30s and 40s

As you probably already know, my 40th birthday is only days away. It has got me thinking about the last few decades.

The 20s - The Selfish Decade
The twenties were all about me. I broke off an engagement with my teen sweetheart. I met my love, I worked long, long hours for law firms that didn't give a rats. I wine and dined clients, lost nights in nightclubs with friends and ate too many rich meals in restaurants.

My heart was broken when my father died suddenly at 49 years old. This was my first taste of death and the biggest shock of my life.
I got engaged and married.
The 30s - The Mummy years
I had a miscarriage shortly after I turned 30yo. It was only then that I realised I wanted children. I had my first later that year and my second when I was 32yo. 

First there was Stompy...
..then there was Mimi.
I discovered that I enjoyed running and I wasn't complete crap at it. I competed in fun runs and even won a medal.
We bought and sold a few houses. This was our first house and it was barely bigger than a shed. We were so proud of it.
My girls grew up a little, started school and found their own personalities.
 We holidayed and partied
 With my gorgeous niece on Coronet Peak in New Zealand

(Pretending to be JLo and Marc Anthony but not quite pulling it off)
And spent a lot of time with family.
I can't begin to tell you how much I am looking forward to the next decade, because they seem to keep getting better.