Thursday, 22 March 2018

My surprising shoe shopping adventure

One of my closest friends (Jill) is getting married in August, and I’m one of her bridesmaids!

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:

  • Assess how your toes feel in the shoes - is there enough wriggle room or are they squashed? If it’s a bit cramped in there, go up a size or opt for a different style (unless you don’t mind blisters!).
  • Cushioning in the shoe will lower the pressure on the ball of your foot.
  • Choose a pair of heels with a platform under the toe area to minimise the angle and reduce pressure.
  • Go for chunkier heels if you know you’ll be doing a lot of walking or dancing, since they give you more stability.
  • Heels between 3 cm and 9 cm tend to be most comfortable to walk in.

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.

Other tips:

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.

Personal grooming

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!

Monday, 12 March 2018

8 Luxury Home Styling Tips for Mum's in 2018

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!

Forget New Year New You, Give Your Home Your Full Attention by EVE MORGAN 


It can be so overwhelming in January. Everyone is going on about losing the holiday weight, not drinking for a month while they detox all of the lovely beverages and cheese they ate for weeks on end blaming the festivities and Christmas. But while a little self-improvement and love is not a bad thing at all, I also feel that this time of year is the perfect opportunity to get your home in order and organised. 

 How To Have A Harmonious Home by MAKE IT SHABBY

Interior details
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

 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.


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

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

2018 Home Decorating Trends

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.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Becoming a real-estate agent: should I take the plunge?

To become a real estate agent, or not to become a real estate agent? That is the question.
I think I may be having a midlife crisis. Or rather, a quarter-life crisis, since I hope to live past my sixties (“God willing”).

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 (though I’m not certain he means this as a compliment).

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:
  • Work in the real estate industry
  • Identify legal and ethical requirements of property management to complete agency work
  • Identify legal and ethical requirements of property sales to complete agency work
  • Communicate with clients in the property industry
There are also other courses, which aren’t compulsory, but could be useful further down the track (if I decide to go “all out” with this).

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:
  • As a career, there’s room for growth and I’ll be challenging myself
  • I could probably work flexible days
  • I’ll be working with other adults
  • Studying from home is an option (RETS offer a hotline support 7 days a week)
  • I’ll get to put my negotiation skills to the test
I haven’t decided yet, I need to think about it and do more research. This isn’t something I want to go into lightly, but I’m excited by the possibilities.