Although I think the world of Jill, I did hesitate for a split second when she asked me. I’ve been a bridesmaid a few other times and it can be stressful! Especially if you have small children and you’re trying to juggle work and study at the same time.
But so far, so good - since we’ve already found the perfect shoes.
This is no small feat, considering there are three other bridesmaids and we’re all different shapes and sizes!
Billini in Parramatta was the first store we walked into and the last. We found everything we wanted there. This is my dream come true, since I actually loathe shoe shopping with a violent passion. But we had so much time to spare; I even found a pair of gorgeous suede boots. I plan to wear these with two cute dresses I purchased from Fresh Soul Clothing (also in Parramatta, conveniently).
Jill told us all we could choose different shoes (as long as they’re a nude colour) but we ended up going for the same shoe that suited us all perfectly. It has an open-toe and isn’t ridiculously high. I felt comfortable walking around the store, although I could probably use some more practise, since I don’t often wear heels. The last thing I want is to trip down the aisle!
How to choose the perfect high heel:
I’m no expert on shoe shopping, which ironically makes me the perfect person to tell you what to look out for, since I love to feel comfortable.
If you’re buying heels for a special occasion, chances are you’re looking for shoes that compliment an outfit you already have in mind.
A pair of simple black or nude coloured heels works best with clothes that have a lot of colour or embellishment, so that your outfit stands out, instead of competing with your shoes. But if you're wearing all black, or something simple, you have more freedom to choose bright colours and patterns.
Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and buy a vibrant heel that you wouldn’t normally choose. Having said this, it’s always handy to know how to match different colours to your outfits.
A good tip is to bring a photo (or even the outfit) into the store, so you can see how the colours work together.
Practise makes perfect
High heels may elongate your legs and add the final touch to your outfit, but there’s no point buying a pair if you look like a baby giraffe learning how to walk while wearing them.
It’s important to make sure you can actually walk (and stand) in your heels, before making the commitment.
There are a few tricks to finding the perfect fit:
Practice walking around the store while wearing the heels. Close your eyes and focus on how your feet feel. Can you feel slight pinches or any discomfort? If so, these are not the pair for you.
Look for quality
If you’re planning on getting a lot of wear out of your new heels, you may want to spend more on options that last longer. Shoes made out of leather or high-quality vegan materials last for years and mould to your foot shape (which prevents chafing), while synthetic materials (like nylon and plastic) fall apart a lot quicker.
Wear your new pair of heels around the house before taking them out for the day, so you can break them in.
If the soles of your new shoes are smooth, then rub them against sandpaper or rough surfaces to boost traction and reduce the chances of slipping and falling.
You can get insoles to reduce the pressure on the ball of your feet, if your shoes don’t have enough cushioning.
Other things I need to do before the wedding:
Organise the hen’s night!!!
This will be in July, but we can’t decide what to do. Tiffany (maid of “honour”) is pushing for male strippers and novelty straws that make grandmothers blush. I’m going to suggest a night of Latin dancing at a Sydney club instead.
Going to the beauty salon is pretty expensive! The bridesmaids and I are organising a “spa treatment” day at one of our houses. We’re going to have facials and paint each other’s nails. I’ve also ordered a wax kit, so we’re going to have a go at waxing our legs from home. I hesitate to do this, because it seems messy, but Catherine (one of the other bridesmaids) swears that you can’t go wrong with the Auswax kit.
Prepare my body for a night of dancing
I recently injured my lower back while shovelling mulch in the garden (nothing major, but still). My friend swears by her physio. Considering I’m going to be in Sydney so much over the next few months, I’m planning on having a few sessions before the big day. Hopefully I’ll be able to dance the night away, without worrying about making my back worse!
Go for our final fittings
Jill found an awesome dressmaker to design our dresses and we have two more fittings to make sure everything is looks perfect. I can’t wait to see the final results!
This article was first published on March 22, 2018 at 07:55PM at http://www.corelmag.com/2018/03/my-surprising-shoe-shopping-adventure.html
New year. New me. New home? I've been thinking about some styling changes to our home. In this post, I've decided to compile the best resources I've found online for DIY home styling advice for wanna-be interior designers like myself. I hope you find them as useful as I did!
How To Have A Harmonious Home by MAKE IT SHABBY
This article is to encourage you to use the energy of the New Year to get your home in ship shape condition… and offers a four-step process to create a harmonious home environment for you and your family:
Quick And Easy Ways To Add A Touch Of Luxury To Your Home by skirtgirlie.com
Adding a splash of luxury to your home can be a quick and easy way to give yourself a little something to look forward to at home after a long day. Below are some ideas for the more regularly used rooms in your home.
Turn Your Bedroom Into A Relaxing Retreat by SARAH JAYNE POTTER
Our home should be a relaxing and refreshing place to come after a long day or week in the office. It should be a calming retreat for you and your family to enjoy each other’s company and entertain friends. Arguably, the most important room in your home is your bedroom. It is where you spend at least a third of each day, and needs to be the most relaxing place in your home.
USING LUXURY HOME TOUCHES TO ADD AN ELEMENT OF CLASS by LAUREN RONEY
With the likes of Pinterest and the many home magazines that we all browse through on a regular basis, it’s all there for the taking. But sometimes, it’s just too much. So much so that you find yourself overwhelmed when it comes to creating a look that you love. But when this happens, you need to forget the clutter and stick to something that counts - class. And to create an air of class in your home, you’re going to want to add the right luxury touches.
Simple Bathroom to Luxurious Spa in 4 Easy Steps by mumswinehq.com
When you get back in after a long day, the idea of visiting a spa is a dream come true for many people. Unfortunately, this isn’t a realistic option for most of us, mainly due to the practicality and expense. The ideal solution to this problem would be to transform your bathroom into a spa room. And you can do this without spending vast sums of money - you just need to think of ways to engage all five sense and get yourself feeling calm and relaxed.
5 Essentials You Need For A Luxury Bathroom by Istin
Luxury means different things to different people. For some luxury might mean opulence and extravagance. For others, luxury might refer to the feeling you get when you’re surrounded by high-end features and facilities. A bathroom that is built to a very high standard could be exactly what you’re looking for. Add some carefully selected details, some high-tech facilities, and a touch of opulence, and you might be enjoying your very own luxury bathroom.
2018 Interior Design Trends by Lauren Kinghorn
This article explores some of the most popular trends we can expect to see in 2018… but in all honesty, particular as a busy mother, it can be very time consuming and expensive to always stay on trend, and when it comes furniture fashion is always changing.
and there you have it! 8 of the best home design and styling articles from around the web in 2018. I hope you've found them as entertaining as I did.
This article was first published on March 12, 2018 at 06:02PM at http://www.corelmag.com/2018/03/8-luxury-home-styling-tips-for-mums-in.html
To become a real estate agent, or not to become a real estate agent? That is the question.
I’m not really sure what I want to do with my life anymore. Even though everything is going so well for me, and I’m pretty content. Have you ever felt like that?
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the flexible admin work I’m currently doing and nothing beats being a mum. It’s pretty amazing, even when I’m forced to moonlight as a referee whenever one kid (usually the younger one, surprisingly) declares war on the other.
And yet, I desperately crave a change of pace and new challenges. Especially now that the Little Miss is spending two days a week at preschool and one day with my sweet mum.
I know what you’re thinking. Corel, honey, what could be more challenging than juggling school pick-ups with cooking and cleaning. Not to mention, wiping vomit off the floor when the tiny humans are sick?
Yup, that’s quite an achievement. And one I’m very proud of, especially since I’m currently doing some admin hours from home as well.
But I really want to put myself out there and work with adults, face to face. I’ve always been a people-person and quite the talker. My husband tells me that I could persuade a wall to divulge its secrets, if given the chance
Real estate could be my future...With that said, I’m thinking about becoming a real-estate agent.
I’ve read a few articles lately about the anticipated growth for Sydney’s property market. It seems like a decent time to enter real estate, as far as I can tell.
I understand that real estate can be a difficult industry to crack into. There seems to be the perception that you need to be a bit of a “shark” who knows how to make things happen. You have to be self-motivated, good at problem-solving AND have an engaging, honest personality. It also helps to be determined and passionate about what you do.
Not to toot my own horn, but I feel as though I already have many of these traits. The rest, I hope, would become polished on the job. There’s nothing like being thrown into the deep end to remind you of your capabilities (after all, it’s sink or swim out there).
The idea of helping others find their dream home also appeals to me. I used to help people in crisis find sustainable employment, as a full-time job, before the little Mister came along, so this doesn’t feel like too much of a stretch.
So how does one go about becoming a real estate agent?According to my research, it’s not too difficult to become qualified at an entry level. In NSW, you need a Certificate of Registration to be able to sell or lease property. Before you do this, you need to complete at least four competence units:
Right now, I’m really intrigued by the fact that I can complete this course from home. This would fit so perfectly with the part-time work I’m currently doing, and my duties as a mother.
So far the positives are:
This article was first published on March 05, 2018 at 02:32PM at http://www.corelmag.com/2018/03/becoming-real-estate-agent.html
First step, launch a new career in real estate.
Second step, get another body piercing (location yet to be determined).
Third step, redecorate the home!
And not necessarily in that order either.
Right now, I’m obsessed with restyling my home. This process reminds me that small changes can make the biggest difference. I’ll wait until the kids are a bit older, before launching a major overhaul, but I’m currently making tweaks here and there. This is actually transforming the space in my house (as well as my head) in surprising ways (more on that later).
Part of this process has involved rethinking the picture framing in each room. After taking the time to clear out useless knick knacks, neglected toys and tattered objects in every room, I couldn’t stand to look at my old picture frames any longer. They looked glum, in comparison to the clean and fresh rooms.
One frame even had shattered glass in the corner, and I’m ashamed to say it stayed that way for over a year. It finally came crashing down one happy day, when the children were “singing” along to the Mamma Mia soundtrack while jumping enthusiastically on the mini trampoline (all captured on video, thankfully).
I interpreted this as a sign from above that it was time to get some new picture frames.
In case you don’t know this about me already, I believe in synchronicity (I can sense you rolling your eyes). After the Mamma Mia incident, I was flicking through the channels and saw Artform Living pop up on TV. Two days later, my friend told me she was on her way to pick up some frames she’d ordered from that very company, as we wrapped up our coffee date.
Usually I wait for three synchronistic strikes before I listen to the heavens, but I figured that two out of three “messages” is pretty good.
Anyway, I love my new picture frames. They really do our family pictures justice. Last year we had some beautiful photos taken by a photographer on the Central Coast, so I was pretty excited to see them in the new frames.
It may seem a bit unnecessary, but I also asked the installers at Artform Living to hang up the frames for me. After going to the effort to buy new frames, I didn’t want to lose another picture to enthusiastic trampoline dancing. They did a good job. I’m pretty confident that even a hurricane couldn’t shake these frames down (don’t take me up on that challenge, Universe).
By the way, I love this idea for framing treasured objects. How good does it look?
Now that I’ve done some basic restyling of each room, I’m itching to “feng shui” the entire house. Clearing out all the junk that we no longer use has lifted a burden off my shoulders. I actually feel lighter, mentally and physically. I want to take this feeling to the next level. My neighbour recently had a Feng Shui expert fix up their home. He swears that this entire process simplified and improved his life.
Maybe that can be my next project!
This article was first published on February 27, 2018 at 01:04PM at http://www.corelmag.com/2018/02/never-underestimate-art-of-picture.html
What's more, you don't need to be a specialist on your topic in order to have a successful blog. For instance, readers of a cooking blog would prefer not to read a textbook from a food scientist, they need to hear the experiences of individuals who have really cooked some genuine suppers, and had slip-ups.
Furthermore, what keeps you going as a blogger is your passion. To become successful as a blogger, there is really just one requirement that is enthusiasm for your niche.
What is a Blog, anyway?A blog is a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group that is composed of a casual or conversational style. To make it clearer, a blog is a kind of site that focuses mainly on written content, also known as blog posts. Generally, we often hear about news blogs or celebrity blog sites, but as you’ll see in this guide, you can begin an effective blog on pretty much any theme possible.
Examples of Great Blogs I've Found
When I was starting my blog, I researched the blogs and websites businesses that I've worked with or used in the past. This helped me learn how to format my content nicely and make it as engaging as possible. Here's some that I recommend:
I've been trying to track down a good deal (because as you know, I've been in the market) and I came across THIS:
Not bad, right? I don't getting $100 off for nothing!
A friend of mine was actually interested in the franchise opportunity after they retired from service, so that's how I first heard about the company.
Here's how he broke it down to me:
We want you to take ownership of your store, and lay it out in a way that will suit your clientele. We understand that one size doesn’t fit all, and every square metre in your store needs to generate revenue. Our job is to support you by helping you get the best bang for your buck.I think he should do it! They're after a lifestyle of independence and from the numbers and everything we ran comparing the different franchises, this looked like the best. Better than a lot of the alternatives that we talked about... I don't even want to go there.
Anyways, I'm off to enjoy my $100 discount!
This article was first published on January 21, 2018 at 08:07PM at http://www.corelmag.com/2018/01/what-great-idea.html
I recently came across the art of wood-fired pottery on a trip to Perth, Western Australia, I was in awe of the process that transformed a molded piece of clay by days of wood firing into a beautiful pot. Here's a video that illustrates this beautiful process of a jug being molded by hand to being hardened by fire.
Pots are placed in the kiln, where they best fit. Gary Hootman explained to me that glazed pots are placed in the back of the kiln, whereas bare clay pots are placed near the front of the kiln or near the fireboxes.
It's truly amazing that this process can create everything from Whiskey Cups to Teapots, Platters and Pitchers, and Vases that as tall as I am! Some of the more exquisite pieces reminded me of the types of luxury Italian designer furniture you'd see in a 5 star hotel in Sydney.
The kiln gets incredible hot - lucky for me I need to take the kids to swimming lessons, so I might take a quick dip myself while they're in their lesson! With weather like we've had the last few weeks, I'll taken any opportunity I can to submerge myself in any body of water I'll fit in ??
This article was first published on January 15, 2018 at 02:25PM at http://www.corelmag.com/2018/01/what-amazing-process.html
Another long day, followed by an exhausting cooking session. Instead of singing along to carols, I’ve been listening to the little Miss and Master whinge. I think I'll pass (out), wouldn't you? There are one hundred other ways I’d rather spend my night. Cooking is definitely not one of them.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy cooking when I’m feeling relaxed, but not when I’m tired and grouchy (though I still do it
Let’s face it, I’m no Nigella Lawson (sadly my husband would agree, she’s his number one celebrity crush). But even if I was a culinary goddess, I never look forward to entering the kitchen after a tiring day, unless it’s to get a glass of wine or block of chocolate.
Frankly there’s nothing better than coming home and putting your feet up, without worrying about cooking. As a family, we aim to eat out once a week, though this doesn’t always transpire.
When in Sydney, do as the Sydney-ians do and head to this restaurant in Crows Nest
Occasionally J and I get to
The Monte Alto cafe transforms into a restaurant and bar at night. If you enjoy modern Aussie cuisine, their menu is a perfect fit. Their food is pretty damn good and their drinks menu never fails to give me a buzz. They’re actually known for having one of the largest gin and whisky selections on the North Shore (I can attest to that).
I’ve taken the little Master and Miss to Monte Alto for lunch during the day, on a number of weekends. Surprisingly they sit down long enough to finish a good portion of their meals.
They’re major fans of the french toast, which they beg me to make at least once a week. They seem pretty happy with my efforts, but Master usually asks why it tastes so different at the Crows Nest cafe. I think by “different” he means “better”, but he’s too sweet to say. Thanks for sparing my feelings, little man! I raised you well.
As far as other restaurants in Crows Nest go, I haven’t been to many. But if they’re all like Monte Alto, I’m willing to step out of my comfort zone and experiment a more. If there’s one thing I hate about dining in Sydney, it’s that so many restaurants feature that expensive “art on a plate” nonsense that barely scrapes the surface of my hunger.
You shouldn’t have that problem at Monte Alto though. I’m pretty impressed by their variety of reasonably priced dishes, which are made from fresh ingredients.
They also have a great selection of indulgent desserts, which is a must for chocoholics like me. My usual go-to meal is the Atlantic salmon - which is filled with flavour yet healthy at the same time. Although I confess, when I'm feeling extra hungry, I'll go for a bowl of the chicken and mushroom fettuccine.The Belgian chocolate mousse cake is amazing by the way, I’m salivating at the thought of it right now.
Do you have any favourite restaurants that you recommend? Particularly in Sydney? My troops and I will be spending the Christmas and New Year period with family in Redfern, and we want to try some new places!
This article was first published on December 21, 2017 at 11:20PM at http://www.corelmag.com/2017/12/good-food-is-everything-but-cooking.html
I would not hesitate to recommend these guys to anyone. If you're in the Newcastle area and looking to buy carpet, flooring or blinds, check these guys out:
Probably the best flooring store in Newcastle. Once I stepped into the store I was stunned with the numerous flooring options available. Gone are the days when kitchen flooring meant some cheap and ugly lino. There's some seriously impressive options here for affordable prices.
Factoring my budget into the decision truly helped me find the right match without breaking the bank. Price is obviously an important factor for a family like ours on a tight budget, but I really had to consider all options, meaning the lowest price for the floor that fit our home and lifestyle the best.
They were also extremely knowledgeable about shutters and blinds. I have somewhat of a unique setup at home with different window types, angles, etc (i'm no window expert, but hubby helped me get some measurements) and they were very helpful.
We have some timber venetians at the moment which are fading from the outside sunlight (these windows draw a lot of sunshine during the day) so I wanted something that will last. Dual roller blinds are extremely popular in my circle of friends. The bonus is that if you purchase from a reputable company like these guys, their fabrics are covered under warranty – so this helps minimise the risk in fading. Talk about a lifesaver!
We also discussed fabris of the different types of blinds. I hear that darker colors do give good vision, however lighter colored fabrics reflect more light and thus provide limited vision through them. Pretty cool, huh?
Check out their range of shutters and blinds in Newcastle. I'm thinking venetians for our living spaces, and maybe splurging on some automated shutters too!
After discussing it all, the idea of these dual roller blinds sits really well with us. Does anyone else have experience with them? My only concern is the cables around the kids, but other than that they look pretty good too. Decisions, decisions!
This article was first published on December 18, 2017 at 07:17PM at http://www.corelmag.com/2017/12/lovely-people-highly-recommended.html
Ok, raise your hands if you’ve had a difficult experience with dry cleaning?
I have, and sadly I’ll never be able to wear one of my favourite outfits again.
I once had the misfortune of smudging wedding cake frosting on a PERFECT dress (alcohol may or may not have been involved *cough*). I won’t name and shame, but the fabric was never the same after my previous dry cleaner got his hands on it. I don’t know what he did, but honestly, it looked better with the cake stain!
I’m ashamed to say I didn’t even insist on getting my money back, because I couldn’t muster the energy to argue with the man at the time (it had been a long day, which is a poor excuse, I know).
And I probably won’t get the chance to exercise my assertiveness muscle any time soon, because I’ve changed drycleaners, after my cousin sang the praises of Maria’s Ironing Services in Sydney.
Dry cleaning isn’t really a topic that would excite the average person, but I’m pretty satisfied with the service they deliver. I figure this information could be useful to others who’ve been burnt by clumsy operators (yes Mr Dry Cleaner, I’m talking about you).
So far I’ve taken a few items to Maria’s for altering and they’re now the only service I use if I need delicate fabrics pressed or cleaned. They’re really good at fitting you in at the last minute and having your clothes ready in time. The prices are fairly reasonable too!
I generally drop-off and collect the clothes myself, but I’ve used their pick-up and delivery service once, which was a godsend on that particularly hectic day.
Have you ever had a disastrous dry cleaning experience, or is there an excellent service you recommend? If so, please leave a comment below!
This article was first published on October 12, 2017 at 01:52PM at http://www.corelmag.com/2017/10/putting-your-clothes-in-good-hands.html