Thursday, September 20, 2012

Finding inspiration

New York Fashion Week has been written about and drooled over ad nauseum. But I am still finding Spring-time inspiration from some of the stunning designs.

Like ....

Lots of bead necklaces piled on over a bright shirt. Definitely this whole scenario will be happening for me this summer. This is from Ralph Lauren Spring 2013.

Like this happy bunch of beads from etsy seller 3DivasStudio.

Boxy Asian-inspired shirts - this one is from Cynthia Rowley.

This one from Max might do the trick.

Bright colours! This dress is just one of the gorgeously bright outfits sent down the runway by Stephen Burrows. I always love brights :)

Metallics are so cool in the warm weather. Don't they just add a sense of chrome cool-to-touch? Cesar Galindo's Spring 2013 collection featured mettalics and so shall I.

In my dreamy metallic summer I'll be wearing this lovely skirt from Lisa Ho.

I hope you are feeling inspired this Spring as well. We could all do with a bit of a warm breeze blowing through our wardrobe, banishing the black and whooshing in the colour :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Spring in my step

Winter, winter go away!

Three days of sunshine in a row and I declare it time to get some new Spring clothes. Well, more like time to dreamily surf the web looking at what I could wear if I had the right budget and the right occasion.

Having said that I do have a couple of items that are definitely on my radar and I hope to bring them into the warm and loving arms of my wardrobe STAT.

I'll have this entire outfit from Marcs thanks. Love the mix of stripes and floral - two of my favourite things.

This perfect peplum top from Country Road - I can imagine it with jeans as well as dressed up with a skirt for work.

This beautiful dress, surprisingly from Ezibuy.

Gorgeous and versatile shirt from Anthropologie - of course! No lust list of mine would be complete without at least one thing from my favourite shop :)

That should see me through cool mornings, warm days period nicely.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Casual Friday

It's casual Friday today at Fortify Yourself. So I have asked all of the lovely celebs to dress down for the occassion.

I have a full weekend ahead of meeting friends, attending two kids birthday parties and dinner out with hubby (plus shopping for Father's Day presents! Argh! Father's are the hardest to buy for!). I need cute, casual and comfy clothing ideas to get me through all of that activity so I asked the World Wide Wardrobe for help.

And look at what Ms WWW found me!

Olivia Munn is wearing my dream almost-Spring weekend outfit. She looks so super stylish and gorgeous here. Even though I don't have my ears pierced (I know - the last of my breed) those hoop earings make me want to get them done.

Jennifer Lawrence has chucked on a pair of jeans with a white t-shirt and has made the concept look fresh as a daisy. Those cool sunnie and that straight-out-of-the-surf hair certainly help as well.

I need to get a well cut denim shirt - not a boxy one, a slim fit one. They are like gold dust and I know because I have tried on many a bad one in my time and have yet to find one that fits me like this one fits Christina Hendricks. Also, those red lips!

Amanda Seyfried is catching a plane in comfy style.

Give Sydney's crazy weather at the moment where it's sunny and warm during the week and windy and freezing on the weekends, this is probably more like the outfit I'll end up wearing. Mila Kunis is wearing a pair of wedge heel boots that looks just like a pair I bought recently. I like the rolled up leg of the jeans - nice touch.

Have a good weekend - make it stylish!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Orange you glad it's almost Spring

I bought this beautiful t-shirt off ebay last week mostly because of the colour. I have discovered that orange suits me. Who'd have thought?! But when I wear orange people always comment about how good it makes my skin look so I'm going with it. Orange all the way!

I'll be wearing this beautiful shirt (which is a Torretta Tee by Meadow Rue from Anthropologie) with white jeans and dark jeans and a blue and white striped pencil skirt that I love. It's going to get out and about a LOT!

Of course, now that people have flattered me about my kinship with orange I have been on the look out for other orange items that I can add to my wardrobe.

Yes please! I'll have this beautiful necklace and bracelet from etsy seller DivinaLocura.

Orange pants from Ruche.

I want this Lucky Brand bag soooo much!

And, of course if you are going to go orange you need some awesome wedges from Anthropologie. Naturally.

Just to be clear - I won't be wearing all of this orange at the one time :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Daily inspriation - Kristen Wigg

I don't think I'm alone when I say "Kristen Wigg makes me laugh!". Really laugh.

She's funny like I want to be funny. She's not mean or crude, just funny.  And, she's really beautiful and stylish. That's too much in one package but I forgive her because she's just so amusing.

Did you know she did the voice-overs for characters in two of our family's favourite movies - How to Train Your Dragon and Despicable Me? What a woman!
So surprise surprise - she's my style inspiration today. I have to say the girl doesn't get out much because it's pretty hard to find recent photos of her.

If I was going out to a Dress Like Your Favourite Comedian party I think I'd go as Kristen - Billy Connolly doesn't have such a good look ;) Going to this make-believe comedian party I'll be the one wearing this beautiful dress from Alberta Ferretti ...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

If supermodels can age, so can we!

I'm really looking forward to seeing this documentary by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders - About Face: The Supermodels, Then and Now.

A quote from  Isabella Rossellini, 60 had me nodding my head in agreement. “My social status has diminished you grow older, you don’t count anymore.”

It's true. Sometimes I feel like I am just the Mum tagging along with my daughters, while they live their lives and I just support that life.

Ridiculous really because my girls are still very young, and I am guessing that the 'support act' feeling will only increase with time.

Although I was never a super-model (do dreams count?) I think these ladies who are 'past their prime' probably have a the best sense of what it is like to be overlooked for a younger model.

Isabella Rossellini is still one classy looking lady, and in my books that counts for so much more than a dewy complexion and flat abs.

Paulina Porizkova is still DIVINE!

And, Carmen Dell'Orefice is still my favourite!

PS. I think we now know why Kristen Stewart was looking so unwashed and haggard in the photo below.
* Pics of the lovely ladies are from Getty Images.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wednesday what!?

This is my new tradition in which celebrities around the world will tremble in fear. They won't be able to sleep on a Tuesday night wondering if they will feature in my "Wednesday what!?"list.

You might have guessed that I am going post pictures of weirdly dressed celebs ... because I am being far to positive of late. I have to rein that back and join the internet in being bitchy. Plus it's fun.

This is inspired by my failed attempt to mix patterns yesterday. I would show you a picture but I didn't take one! No way! I tried to mix a floral shirt with green jeans with white dots ... small and subtle white dots, but dots. And those dots were my downfall because they were just the straw that broke this camels back. Apparently I can't pull of dots and colour and florals. Lesson learnt, moving on so that I can teach others to prosper from my mistake.

No Miley, no. Get back in the house and try again.

Lara Bingle metallic midriff tops are not your friend.

Nina Zilli wears some ridiculous shoes. They make my ankles hurt just looking at them.

Selma Blair is only stopping at the servo probably on her way home from some on-the-side belly dancing. I hope so 'cause those pants should never leave the tent.

Rebecca Ferdinando is a 27 year old English actress, but I think she'd rather be 17. Look at this horror! Please put some clothes on.

Kristen Stewart at the 2012 Teen Choice Awards. Her blazer is fine but it's her lack, greasy SIDE SWEPT 80s hair that is burning my eyes.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fun with fabric

I am a pattern freak - I love gorgeous patterns and loads of colour. However, you would not know that by walking into my home because my husband does not share my passion for colour, and because he does share my house, I have had to tone down my 'personal flare'.

Having said that, there is only so much colour and pattern repression I can take! Our living room cushions are looking shabby so my time has come to replace the white and blue boring cushions with something with a little more pizzazz.

I've looking for hand-printed fabrics and am seeing some beautiful stuff.

These fabrics from Kelani would look fabulous together. I want a skirt made from that green ikat!

These from Modern Retro are fantastic!

I have some serious thinking to do. And hubby had better get ready for a wave of colour.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Designer lust and white out

If I could own one designer dress this summer it would have to be this work of art for Collette Dinnigan. It's so beautiful and flowy it just looks like a summer party on your body. In fact Ms Dinnigan's entire Resort 2013 collection is a dream. Must start saving, stat!


I am currently on the hunt for the perfect white shirt to go with the brand new 7 for all Mankind jeans that arrived on my doorstep yesterday. They are really just what I wanted - funky pattern without being too over the top. So, all that pattern down below needs a simple top and I have a cream/white shirt in mind. My top three so far are:

Artist blouse from American Eagle. I've ordered from AE once before and the package arrived within the week! And postage was less than $10. Why can't all US retailers ship to Australia like that?

Of course, Gap has a great white shirt on offer. Classic.

ASOS top with a pleat detail.


On the home front - we spent the weekend in the Hunter Valley with six other couples on our annual Christmas in July weekend. It was freezing and very windy so we spent a lot of time inside basically cooking and eating 24/7. Well, we did take some breaks to visit a few wineries and drink the finds.

I made caramelised onion tarts for lunch on Saturday and they were really good. Here's the recipe if you want to try it yourself (it's a Bill Granger recipe so you can't go wrong). Enjoy :)

Caramelised Onion Tarts with Goat Cheese (or Feta)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lb 4 oz (1 kg) onions, sliced finely
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 13 oz (375 gr.) puff pastry
  • ½ cup (25 gr.) parmesan, grated
  • 1 cup (150 gr.) goat cheese, crumbled (original recipe: feta)
  • 2 tbsp rosemary (original recipe: oregano)
  1. Place olive oil and onions in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and caramelized. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 F (220°C.
  4. Roll out pastry to a 8 x 16 inch (20 x 40 cm) rectangle on a lightly floured surface. (Or make individual servings, like I did). Trim edges with a knife and place on a lined baking sheet.
  5. Score a 0.5 inch (1 cm) border around the edge of the pastry, taking care not to cut all the way through to the bottom. Prick pastry with a fork and sprinkle parmesan within scored edges.
  6. Place tonion on top of pastry base. Bake in the oven for 15-25 minutes, or until pastry is puffed and golden brown. (Note: begin checking after 10 minutes, depending on your oven)
  7. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with goat cheese (or feta) and rosemary (or oregano).

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Am I over the fashion hill?

Is it true? Are fashion bloggers (or clothes wearers for that matter!) past their prime when they turn 35 as the folks at Lucky Style seem to believe? Read this and weep anyone who is soooo old that their sense of style no longer counts -

I'm right behind  when she says her style now is better than it was in her 20s. I wish someone had tapped the 20-something me on my shoulder and told me the Princess Di look did NOT work for me.

But there is more too this than just whether or not someone can be in style in their "advanced years'' its about us still being worth seeing and hearing from.

I don't care if you like how I dress! Couldn't care two hoots! But I do care if you think I'm a person who shouldn't be seen at all.

I sometimes spend too much time thinking about whether or not I am dressing my age .. but then I think - Eff it! There is no stop watch that says you should limit yourself, let alone your wardrobe, at any age. So I boldly go forth and wear leopard print skinny jeans even though I am ... em hem ... past the age of 35.

My choices are mine and why should I have to make them based on the ideas of other people who think women past a certain age have no style.

So I have these 7 for all Mankind beauties flying to me as I type courtesy of the obliging people at Piper Lime... even thought they probably didn't have a Mum in her 40s in mind when they designed them. I think they will look great with a white shirt and will suit my work-from-home lifestyle to a T. I am not one to work in my pjs just because I am at home!

I don't think I'll be wearing floral jeans though.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy birthday Gina

Gina Lollobrigida is 85 years old today! As I love the effortless look of the 50s and 60s I am using that as an excuse to post some old photos of her looking European and elegant.

That face! So beautiful.

That waist! No wonder everyone is ogling her.

That hat! Sooo gorgeous in Venice.

That cleavage! She's making signing autographs look elegant.

(*All photos of Gina are from Getty Images)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Back to basics

Sometimes I get so caught up in my love for colour and patterns that I forget I also need basics in my wardrobe, you know, to balance out all of that stuff going on elsewhere. If I could I would wear patterns and colour head to toe, but I might be hauled off the streets and locked up ... so I don't.

Basics aren't very exciting though, are they? So I tend to not spend update those I already have. But even I have to admit that my white long sleeved t-shirt and it's black counterpart are looking shabby.

But salvation is near! Hubby is heading to the US next week , that land of cheap but quality basics. So I've been hitting the WWW (World Wide Wardrobe) and filling up a couple of baskets with purchases that have proved to me basic doesn't have to be boring.... so long as you can buy it from the comfort of your computer.

These delightful items will be returning to Australia in Hubby's luggage ... I just hope my other t-shirts can wait two weeks befor they decide to fall apart.

These are all from Loft - a great place to shop for well priced, good quality clothes. Sadly they don't ship to Australia (maybe soon, Loft people??) but they do cut their clothes very generously so I am an XS in their sizes. Woo hoo! And, um, is a purple dress a basic? Prehaps not but it is fun :)


This afternoon I have some friends and their kids over (thanks to the NSW teachers strike no-one is at school) so I have made this DELICIOUS blueberry muffin bread. It's really, really good - you must try it. And don't skip the streusel bit because that is the best part - all cinnamon crunchy yummy-ness.

Oh yeah! We will be enjoying our afternoon tea today. This stuff is my new drug of choice ... replacing my previous coconut cake addiction.

Blueberry Muffin Bread

makes one 9×5 loaf

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, tossed in a spoonful of cornstarch

1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a loaf pan liberally with non-stick spray or grease with butter. In a bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and baking powder, then set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk egg and sugar together until smooth. Whisk in vanilla extract, then add in milk and mix until combined. Add in dry ingredients slowing, mixing with a spoon until batter comes together. Add in melted butter and mix until incorporated, then stir in blueberries.

Mix together the streusel ingredients, bring it all together with your hands. Sprinkle over the bread evenly. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until bread is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm with butter!