Saturday, 23 May 2015

Cleanse your wardrobe for the season change.

Well there has certainly been a season change here in Melbourne and the lemon print playsuit in my wardrobe has taunted me too many times so it has been banished!  I know its awful trying to drum up the motivivation to 'gut' your wardrobe but trust me I do this twice a year (usually spring & autumn) and it is the most refreshing/rejuvenating thing you can do to your wardrobe.  Yes it will more than likely take you the best part of a day but it's almost cathartic and I promise you will feel virtuous at the end as you sit back with a well earned glass of vino.

{benefits of the cleanse}

  • clears space which means you can find things quicker
  • allows you to see what you actually have thus giving you more outfit options
  • lets you get rid of things you no longer love
  • motivates you to fix items that require mending
  • allows you to make sensible choices on things you might need to buy to supplement your newly cleansed wardrobe.

{be honest with yourself}

This is your opportunity to be really honest with yourself about your style and what you actually really love in your wardrobe.  There's alot of reading out there on how to choose what to keep and what to throw when it comes to your clothes.  I do alot of clear outs and some things I just don't have the heart to say goodbye to even though I know I'll never wear again.  I keep these in a small vintage suitcase as I wonder if maybe Poppy will wear them one day (or atleast dress up in them).  I find it quite easy to be honest with myself and ask 'have i wore this recently?' if i haven't wore it this summer I doubt I will wear it the next summer so I'm usually brave enough to donate or recycle.  If you need a bit of help in making choses like this maybe do some prior reading try  "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever" by Mari Kondo  (click here to buy nowand also research into what you'd like to evolve your style into (hello Pinterest for outfit inspiration!)

{so, lets get our cleanse on}

This is what you will need:

1. a messy wardrobe
2. some vaccum pack bags
3. a really big cup of hot tea (and potentially a biscuit or two)
4. 'helpful' three year old assistant (optional)

Start sorting through your things and make 5 piles of the following:

1. Things for storing (so the things highly inappropriate for the next two seasons i.e. said lemon print playsuit/bikinis/etc)
2. Things that may be worn in the season transition period
3. Things to wear for the next 2 seasons (season appropriate and basics for layering)
4. Things to donate/recycle (more on recycled fashion here)
5. Things to mend (and get them mended!)

I usually try to make the most out of the warmer days in the season change by layering my dresses up with jumpers and tights/boots here's a few examples of how you can do it.  Get creative it you can make your overall wardrobe more capsule you will need less clothes in total. Give it a try. Be brave.

Denim is pretty versatile but you can make this work with lots of different kinds of dresses/skirts here's a similar idea with a more summery dress.  I'd wear this one with a neutral/grey tight and grey boots.  Just because I'm going into winter I refuse to wear only black!

So, you're almost there! All that's left is to bag up your clothes for storage and organise your hanging rails.  I usually 'bunch' by garment colour and try to arrange by similar colours as well which makes it look a bit nicer and more aesthetically pleasing.  As I don't have a huge amount of hanging space I have also chosen to bag and store my occasion dresses for extra space.  You can do the same principal on shoes, children's wardrobes, coats etc.  And the plus is it feels like Christmas on the next cleanse when you get all your lovely storage bags back out.  Couldn't resist including a pic of my little helper that Princess Elsa dress will never go out of season for this one :)

Are you a hoarder? Or do you love a good clear out? Let me know in the comments if you will attempt the cleanse! Please note this post contains affiliate links.  Thanks for reading, Amy x

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Collins St

Does Collins St, Melbourne have under floor heating? Max Mara, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Dior?? I swear I'm not feeling the cold anymore!

Thursday, 30 April 2015

What to do when you lose your self confidence...

...from someone completely not qualified to provide proper advice.


This is purely my story.  I am not really qualified to provide this kind of advice other than what pops into my head and I finally decide to listen to it after drowning it out for a few weeks/month or so, if you truly want/need reliable advice perhaps consult an actual psychologist.  Anyway so here we go with a little 'heart on my sleeve' ditty.... 

If you don't know I moved to Melbourne with my husband and 2 kids about 4 months ago and I came here in the mindset that I was taking a break from work.  I've worked pretty much every weekend since I had my little darlings (now 3 & 5) and I just felt while I had the opportunity I would take some time, we could have some time, to just be a family at the weekends.  Well that was great but the time has come that comes to all that I must go back to work.  I say I must but no-one is making me but I'm ready and its about time I made it happen.


The thing is, I have become to realise, without my work I've taken a real blow to my confidence.  I've realised that for me to be doing 'something' is what makes up a very important part of me, and that I'm not content not fulfilling that part of me.  I went for my first coffee morning meeting at Ollie's new school, the experience was daunting, not that the mums weren't lovely and welcoming, they weren't the problem.  The problem was mine, a problem of confidence.  My husband phoned me afterwards and asked me 'How was it?', 'Did they like you?'.  I suddenly realised I, all of a sudden, have became a person that I don't particularly like much or maybe a better way of seeing it is 'Do I admire myself much right now?' It left me thinking how can I expect these new, uber confident, and established women really like and identify with me if I don't feel myself and feel happy in myself as a person of worth.


I wrote a whole post once about how being 'just a mum' (my words) just wasn't enough for me, I never hit publish because when I read it over I realised what I had written was probably quite offensive.  Offensive to lots of people, in all different situations and to people in those situations who I have as friends. To those of you who have decided to devote all of your time to your gorgeous kids (hats off and I mean that), it was probably a kick in the teeth to those of you who have struggled to have a family and may well give up everything to be 'just a mum', to the mums that have no choice but to work full time and often doing it all and all on their own, well I thought you'd all probably want to drop kick me.  I'm not judging anyone here and I hope the feeling is mutual.  What I am talking about is me in my situation and I would never judge anyone else so if you are offended by what your reading I promise I'm not talking about you, it's all about me (as usual).

{decision time}

As I walked away from that coffee morning, I made a mental decision.  Not to go home via the bakery and buy myself a big bun and latte to drown my sorrows in, but to take action and get on with it.  After you've worked hard at a successful business and left it all behind its quite daunting to go backwards.  Back to 100ish facebook followers, back to trying to establish a name for myself in an already saturated market, to be the new girl, to work hard on my blog for not many people to see it.  However and anyway, so that's where we are!

If you're reading this and feeling the same way I urge you to take action, do something to change the way you're feeling.  Don't let it infest your thoughts and take over your thinking because trust me it will.  Even if it's baby steps decide your plan of action and stick to it.  We should all be on a journey of self development in this world whether its as a person, a parent, an employee, a manager because we've been given a bloody great opportunity in this life and we actually owe it to ourselves to just go for it.

{made over ladies} can see my first baby step here on the blog I've made a new page dedicated to my new Made Over Ladies make up services here in sunny Melbourne (look up at the top or click here).  If you have had any interaction with me in a wedding/makeover/lesson capacity please pop a comment here (scroll down to the little pencil icon) and let people know your thoughts...give me a hand up this steep little ladder back up to my own standard when I can say I've got it back and I'm feeling good because you know what, I miss it and I will get it back.

Soundtrack today was 'Beneath your Beautiful' by Labrinth I too have built my walls a little bit too high x

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Making it Happen with Heather Masterton

Today we meet Heather Masterton for our #MAKEITHAPPEN series.  Much like myself Heather carved out a working life to suit her family life and, most of all, her priorities.  Want to know how to do it all? Read on...

My name is Heather, I’m a 29 year old first time Mum with a 9 month old daughter. I’m the editor of a Scottish wedding blog which features real weddings with real stories, styled shoots and advice on the overwhelming process of wedding planning. I like to champion weddings in Scotland and small Scottish businesses. I do this by running a small networking group of wedding suppliers; we meet up once a month, big each other up on social media, and work together on styled shoots and most recently a ‘Wedding Workshop’

I’ve been writing Braw Brides since January 2013, after getting married in May 2012 I just couldn’t leave the wedding world behind and saw an opportunity to work with and help some lovely businesses who had helped me create the wedding day of my dreams, and I wanted to continue to network with people in this creative industry. I am a qualified Graphic Designer and after spending 6 years in the print trade and another year as an events co-ordinator, it was already time to do something different.

{the journey}

I’ve tried a few ‘business’ opportunities… I’m an all or nothing personality and found I never wanted anything enough to give it my all (apart from in my running career, but that’s another story), until I fell pregnant. I want to spend all my time with my child so much that there there was no way on earth I was going back to full time employment.

I’m going to make a bold statement but it is honestly how I feel; working a full time job and raising a child is not an option for me, we would not have started a family if I had to go back to work full time. End of. I know some people do it and thats fine, I couldn't and won’t, and I’m willing to sacrifice things for that time with my child, for example, doing up our house quickly, or going on holiday, or on a personal note, my gym career has taken a dive, as has my wine drinking career. Who cares, we’re together.

I just want to be the best woman I can be.

Braw Brides is giving me enough of the ‘me’ time I need, but the be all and end all is raising our baby.

I’m goal orientated so working on Braw Brides is just an endless list of goals to hit, which is what drives me. Seeing people motivated and passionate about what they do is something else that I love, and that’s where my small networking group comes in.

{support along the way}

I read a lot of articles, I didn't think I did until I say things to people and it always starts with ‘I read online that…’ I read, or start to read, a lot of books… recommendations being ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’, ‘How Not to F*** them Up’, ‘How to be a Hip Mama Without Losing Your Cool’ ‘How to Start a Business from your Kitchen Table’ ‘Born to Run’ ‘Bounce; The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice’

I keep an open mind; I’ll literally try anything. If someone suggests it, or I read it, I’ll give it a go. Attachment parenting, okay, I get that. Slings, yep. Breastfeeding, one of my biggest achievements. See that placenta tablet thing, I’d try it, and I’m not afraid to say it (told my husband that yesterday, he didn't look so impressed). Barefoot running, that’s cool. 

Yoga is one of the best things; I try to keep doing it. Bikram yoga, even better.

I’m from Glasgow; not a lot of folk do the above stuff ^^

My Dad is one of my resources, he’s the most open minded person ever.

{how to achieve the goal}

Know your own mind. Make decisions quickly. Don’t question them. Make lists.

If it goes wrong, accept it (I’m still learning that one)

Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks (Reaaaalllly still learning that one).

{words of wisdom}

Never say ‘I don’t really have a choice’ because you do.

{days off are important} 

Oh how this has changed from only a year ago… yoga, swim with the baby, play with my Mums puppy, laugh with my husband before falling asleep.  

{an inspirational woman is...}

My daughter inspires me every day to be the best woman I can be. Her tiny personality amazes me already and I want to do the best I can to nurture her and help her grow. "Strong Women, may we know them, may we be them, and may we raise them." 

"It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default.” JK Rowling

You can find Heather at which features real weddings with real stories, styled shoots and advice on the overwhelming process of wedding planning. It really is a go to if you are planning a wedding wherever you are in the world it's jam packed full of gorgeous wedding inspiration, looking for an insight into Heather's mumlife pop over to her instagram for an adorable dose of #daisybaby isn't she gorgeous? 
Connect with Braw Brides here:

If you are reading from anywhere other than Scotland here's a little FYI from Amy...

  1. fine, good, or pleasing.
    "it was a braw day"

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Making it happen with Sharon Fitzmaurice

Today we meet Sharon Fitzmaurice for our #MAKEITHAPPEN series in honour of International Women's Day that I am continuing throughout the month of March.  Sharon's journey shows how its possible to overcome adversity, a truly inspiring woman.

I am a 44 year old woman, married to a wonderful man and have two beautiful teenage children, a boy and a girl - a gentleman's family in Ireland! Along with my role as a wife and Mother, I also work as a Meditation Teacher/facilitator, Angel Reiki Therapist/Teacher, Happiness Coach and Psychic Medium, just to name a few :-) I am so blessed to be able to work around my family and choose my own hours of business and being able to take 'time off' when needed, I only have me to ask.

{the journey}

In 2004 I miscarried my third child and it broke me, I fell apart. I relaise now it was the best thing that ever happened to me asI finally started to question myself and what I really wanted from life. I started to count all the blessings in my life and work from there. As a result of my mind being so confused I started to meditate, through this daily practise, I started to find calm and peace in my life. I had a place to go where I could find clarity and guidance from my own inner strength, strength I never really truly believed I had inside of me. The more clarity I got, the more I could see myself and where my strengths and abilities lay. I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life apart from still being a great mother to my kids, I knew there was more!

{support along the way}

The resources I used came from deep within, it was a pushing of myself to continue to get better and to go out into the world with my message that I could do anything if I set my mind to it and believed, this was a message I wanted to share with all others, especially women. When I started out there was only text and email, social media was still unknown to me so I relied on weekly emailing to my contacts and asking them to spread or share the word. I gave weekly hand-outs to my groups with tips on to help them on their journeys and shared stories of my own daily struggles and achievements to encourage them and also remind myself what we can do even through our challenges.

{how to achieve the goal}

Firstly be realistic when you start off, don't try and do everything at once. When you set a small goal for yourself and achieve it, you will be more determined and motivated to reach your next goal. The more you achieve the more you want to do, the more strength and self-belief you have in yourself and your business. Feeling a sense of achievement is amazing as you start off, but you must stay focused and grounded in what your initial goal was, you may build on it as it and you grow and develop. There is no limit to your potential but don't try to do everything at once, one thing at a time, one day at a time. And most of all, keep enjoying it. 
{words of wisdom}

We all need support and trying to do everything is just not realistic or practical. Ask for help and assistance when you need it, don't be afraid to fail, just get back up and try again. 

{days off are important} 

Yes it's important to keep your priorities in your mind but remember to give yourself some fun and downtime. Try and schedule in hours for your work and stick to them. With all the social media at the moment, you may feel as if you have to be constantly online and this eats away at your downtime. Keep everything in balance and you will be a healthy, successful and very happy person :-)

Sharon Fitzmaurice is a Spiritual Channel for Healing and Guidance. Sharon works as a Reiki & Seichem Master, Teacher & Practitioner in person and also distantly. She facilitates meditation groups, workshops & retreats in Ireland and abroad if requested. Sharon works alongside your Angels, Guides and Loved Ones in Spirit in helping you heal yourself. You can connect with her on the following links.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Making IT Happen with Michelle Gregory

Today we meet Michelle Gregory for our #MAKEITHAPPEN series if you are reading this thinking I wish I could do something like that let it be can!  Keep reading for Michelle's tips that she has picked up along the way.

Michelle, I’m an accountant but not your run of the mill accountant. I love working with small businesses, especially mumprenuers and in the salon industry, to make a difference in their lives. Most of my clients come to me because I am approachable, unintimidating and just a little bit right brained in a left brained industry (I would use the word creative but that’s not a good word to use in accountancy). 

{the journey}

For years I wanted to set up in practice but never had the confidence to do it.  Then I became a Mum at 40 years old and my whole world changed.  After a wonderful year at home with my daughter I felt obligated to go back to work. While my work supported my flexible working on paper it just wasn’t working in practice. I hated feeling torn between work and my daughter when she was ill. My daughter always came first but I just felt guilty when I got back to work. I was constantly tired because I hated my job and feeling like I was failing at work, my daughter was still waking regularly at night and I had zero time to myself.  I made a promise to myself, and my daughter, that I would be self employed by the end of the year.

{support along the way}

Having a business degree and a management accountancy background meant I could draw on my knowledge and experience to work up my business plan.  Since I’ve been in business I have found some amazing mentors and resources, especially as a woman in business. Leonie Dawson and Claire Mitchel are two online resources I have used. I also had some great business coaching from Beverly Anderson (the Business Boost Expert).  

{how to achieve the goal}

Firstly, make sure you know what are your most important goals. You don’t have to be a wonder woman and achieve everything. Niche marketing is very important as it is impossible to be all things to all people. Confidence and belief in yourself is very important. I have gone from someone with little confidence and needing reassurance to having a great self-belief.  Working on my own I make my own decisions and I love it.  

{words of wisdom}

Talk to people.  Go to some local networking groups and get on to some Facebook groups such as “The girls mean business” and “Mindful Directions”.  Once you start talking to people about what you are thinking of doing you will find amazing support out there.  Get Leonie Dawson’s workbook “2015: Create your shining year” and start formulating what you want to do and how to do it.

{days off are important} 

Cycling, running, being a child with my daughter – I just love being outdoors.  I ran the Glencoe Marathon last year. Before I had my daughter I cycled over a lot of climbs in the French Alps and Pyrenees as ridden by the Tour de France.  I also used to do a bit of high altitude trekking too. Might not be what people think of as fun. I’ve done my fair share of partying but I love the buzz of pushing my body in the outdoors…and treating myself to wonderful food and drink afterwards.  I also love music, especially going to gigs. I went to a concert every month during my pregnancy. 

{an inspirational woman is...}

My mum, Ellen Orr. My mum started her own auction business in 1997. She saw a gap in the market in Tauranga, New Zealand and went for it! The business is still going strong despite my mum having a major set back. Five years ago my Mum was diagnose with an aggressive form of Melanoma. She was given a 20% chance of survival and had most of her scalp removed and replaced with a skin graft. Last year Mum was given the all clear but she is permanently bald. While most will say she is lucky to be alive I know it is hard for her. The most amazing thing is that she was back to working in her business after major surgery and radiotherapy within weeks.  

{final thoughts}

Going into business has been the most amazing experience in my life.  Working in a corporate environment where people are a bit despondent, and some try to destroy your confidence, you think this is just life. But working with other small business owners, who really appreciate what I can do, has been an uplifting experience. And networking with inspired, enthusiastic, happy business owners is just a buzz. Yes you get tough days and weeks but it’s like living a different world.

Michelle's passion lies in helping mumprenuers, freelancers and small business owners get control of their business finances and helping them achieve their dream business. With 20 years of corporate accounting, a chartered management accountant qualification, an International business degree and soon to be qualified in business coaching we think you will agree Michelle is doing everything she can to Make it Happen.  Michelle is finally realising her dream of working with small business.  She specialises in the salon industry and working with small business who want to get to a six figure income...perhaps she can help you make it happen too?

You can contact Michelle here  
LinkedIN -

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Working up to a statement lip with a wearable lip stain

After the fun lip stick quiz I posted a while back, what does your lipstick say about your personality? (Click here if you missed it) I had lots of ladies telling me they wished they could wear a statement lip but it just feels weird or foreign on them.  This is the thing with trying different make up you might really love it but are just not used to seeing it on yourself. Its all about working up to it.  

This is a lighter, more translucent version of a statement lip which is more wearable, requires less maintenance, and is a good way to start getting used to colour on your lips.  Follow these instructions to create a stain for your lips, be prepared for some funny faces! 

{the diy}

This is all about getting your lip product really into your lips top create a stain.  
1. Choose your lipstick or product, opt for a pigmented lip product, so something that's quite rich in colour (not translucent)
2. With a lip brush apply a coat of lipstick all over your lips (this can be quite a generous coat as you will be working it in)  start from the centre of your pout and work the brush out towards the lip lines so you can use your brush perfect the lip line
3. Keep working the product in with the brush back and forth really getting the pigment deep into the lips
4. Do a bit of lip smacking and blotting with your finger (cue funny faces)
5. Voila! A wearable and low maintenance pop of colour for you to go about your day with! I usually top up with a tiny bit of lip balm just to take away any dryness and give my lips a bit of shine and comfort.
{shop the look}
If you are a non lipstick wearer I dare you to try this 3 times this week just to get yourself used to it join me later in the week where I invite you to transform this into a statement lip!

*This post contains affiliate links*