Pyjama Dressing.

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 Equipment silk signature shirt in Rosewood, Country Road leather loafers, IKEA sheepskin rug.

Life has been so overrun with work and other things lately that I haven’t found a chance to properly update you all on my behind the scenes (other than The Meltdown) until now. I woke up this morning with no rush to be anywhere aside from a trip to the post office and breakfast with my sister. And it made me realise that sometimes the littlest things can mean so much.

In preparation for the house move, my husband and I have been busy packing up our life in a series of cardboard boxes knowing that we probably won’t be opening most of them until 2016 when our new house has (hopefully) been built. I’ve been pinning like crazy (check out the pseudo-progress here) and so far we’ve decided on these kind of floorboards and this kind of kitchen with a black subway tiled feature wall with these light fittings. I couldn’t be more annoyed/exhausted by it all but I’ll try to keep documenting our progress along the way!

I’m also in the process of another online venture (more on this later!) and embarking on my first styling/photography job later this week.

In the meantime, I’ve also started to take on a bit more marketing work which has meant leaving the house in things other than sweatpants and three-day-old-hair. Though the work is decidedly more corporate than creative, everything else has been so refreshingly casual and chill, making getting dressed in the morning so easy.

I’ve been living in silk Equipment shirts (best places to shop for them are The Outnet and ForwardForward) and a pair of perfectly worn-in patent loafers. Now on the hunt for the perfect pyjama jacket/shirt (similar to this) to take my definitive guide to lazy dressing to a whole new level.

Photographs by me.

My #VOSN Wishlist.

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Given 80 per cent of my wardrobe comprises items I’ve purchased with a glass of wine in one hand and a credit card in the other, I was recently asked to put together my top 5 buys from #VOSN – an event otherwise known as one of the biggest online fashion happenings of the year - Vogue Online Shopping Night which kicks off today from noon until midnight tonight.

You can read my post over on Vogue.com.au.

P.S. I’ve included things I’ve already purchased and/or tried on to give you more of an in-dept ‘cheat sheet’ to sizing and fit to take the hassle out of buying something sight unseen. Happy shopping!

Love love love.

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Fuji Instax camera, a beautiful basket from Robert Gordon, Dieppa Restrepo oxfords, and week-old baby’s breath.

I spent the weekend doing only things that make me happy, and it was the best ever.

For those of you who missed my sale on Saturday, I’ve listed a few things on my Tictail store. To those who dropped by the markets and said hi, it was so lovely to meet you all! Hope you are all enjoying your Monday!

Vogue Spy Style: La Mer.

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Don’t get me wrong: I’m into technologically-advanced Japanese mascara and anti-blemish masks as much as the next Glossier-obsessed girl; but I suppose I’ve always shied away from beauty-oriented posts simply because 1. Having the camera so close to my face makes me break out in a rash, and 2. Most of the time I have no idea what I’m doing or talking about, anyway.

With warm weather around the corner though, I’m hoping to go make-up free over summer (ok, maybe I’ll start with just foundation-free) – which has been almost impossible after suffering from unsightly eczema all my life. But, after being lucky enough to be given the collaborative opportunity recently by Vogue Australia and La Mer to road test their legendary essentials skincare range, I jumped at the chance to improve my morning and evening skincare regime in the lead-up to summer.

I’ve documented my La Mer experience on Vogue.com.au which went live today – read the post here.

And yes, I know what you’re thinking. Yes, it is a little on the expensive side (I only have my husband – a qualified chemist  who mixes his own potions and lotions for his patients – to remind me). So far though, I have had such a positive experience with the range. And by that, I mean, today I went foundation-free for the first time in a long time!

I hope to follow up this Spy Style post with one on this blog in three months’ time to give you a more comprehensive overview of what it has (or hasn’t) done for my skin. In the meantime, check out my latest Spy Style post and let me know what you think, particularly those of you already using La Mer or are thinking about upping your skincare regime.

The Daily Edit.

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A happy and lighthearted post today!

My weekend started yesterday, and the brief time off from working three weeks’ straight without a day off has been just what the doctor ordered. These are a few of my favourite things at the moment – a beautiful saffiano leather monogrammed notebook from The Daily Edited, my new business cards which I’m so proud of because I’m painfully hopeless at things like that, a little luxury via La Mer (more on this soon…) and a classic silk shirt.

Speaking of, I’ve added some Everlane silk to my stall at tomorrow’s @many6160‘s blogger market. If you’re in Perth, come by and say hi – you’ll find racks of Lover, Scanlan, Karen Walker, Alexander Wang shoes & bags, Acne, Celine, Givenchy & tons of high street bargains! Basically half my closet as we’re moving house in five weeks . It’s cash only but I may also accept instant bank deposit if you’re with CBA & use the iPhone app. Doors open 10am. First in, best dressed!

The French Girl Effect.

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I know things have gotten a little quiet around here.

And maybe a little stale.

I guess I’m missing the old me. And in some ways, my old life. Weekends spent just the way I like them to, instead of making friends with shadows on the wall on a lonely Sunday afternoon, with the screen of my laptop staring back at me. Talking about my day without worrying if it’s ”on-brand” (yes, that brand thing). Knowing what I want to do with my life, instead of worrying about what tomorrow will hold. And most of all, coming home from a long day at work and falling into bed without feeling an ounce of guilt about it.

They say doing what you love is a great to earn 30K a year, and it couldn’t be further from my truth. When this blog suddenly became a means to put food on the table and a roof over my head (I’m still not letting my husband pay my bills), I think my passion for it died along the way. Because when you’re working until 3am in your Paris hotel room, it’s hard to love your job.

In all honesty, I could see it coming. My husband keeps reminding me why I chose this path. But when it hits you like a bus, it gets hard to dust yourself off and keep moving. I’ve spent the past few weeks in a state of there’s-more-to-life-than-taking-photos-of-myself. Because right now, I’m grappling between setting the world on fire without sending this blog up in flames. I gotta keep moving. Keep hustling. Stay humble.

Or, I could go just buy a burger after this.

Photographs by me.

It’s always the next dream.

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For weeks now, I’ve been thinking about penning a “Career lessons I learnt in my 20s” kind of post. It just seemed more purposeful than telling you what I’ve been wearing lately (which, by the way, can only be described as a heavy rotation of stretchy leggings and a tank top with holes in it).

I would never usually do this, but since my thoughts truly capture the spirit and cornerstone of the aforementioned post, I thought I’d share my reply to a comment I recently received from a reader that stopped me in my tracks tonight.

Michelle,

When a young woman has the opportunity to get a University education do you think that writing a blog at the end of all that effort and work would inspire them to bother [if] you were in the position of advising/mentoring a teenager now? It is disheartening that those who have been granted intelligence in life do not take full advantage of what has been given to them. Would your husband be satisfied, I wonder, to only write a blog on Pharmacy after he completed his education and gained his qualifications? You could do SO much more than this!

- J.J.

 

Wait. What? You mean there’s more to life than taking photos of yourself? There are more meaningful things to do in life than Instagram what I’m eating for breakfast? There are actually more intelligent things to write about than the nine types of shoes every girl needs in her wardrobe? Damn. I actually thought I was onto a good thing here with my glorified sweatpants and my Rockstuds…

J.J., whilst I can kind of see the thinly disguised point you’re trying to make, consider this: Mark Zuckerberg is a Harvard dropout. Forbes compiled a list that encompasses self-made billionaires who never bothered to get a uni degree. The late Steve Jobs – also a dropout but better known as an inventor – who singlehandedly replaced compact cameras with an iPhone. He did this with little more than a fervent entrepreneurial spirit and his parents’ garage, no less. Heck, Einstein barely finished high school before his balls could drop. And I think he turned out just fine.

My point is, “Intelligence” doesn’t always come neatly packaged up as 200gsm ivory parchment paper affixed with a crimson wax seal.

An oft-glorified university degree is not the be-all and end-all.

Nor should it validate one’s intelligence.

I also kind of think it’s insulting, judgmental, short-sighted, snide, and rude to make an unapologetic mockery of what people (university-qualified or not) choose to do for a living, whether it’s blogging or bookkeeping.

I am the first to admit that a Bachelors’ degree has its place and its value in an ever-increasing competitive job market. But I’m also one of few to admit that so can a blog: something that says to all the smug, social media-phobic Baby Boomers out there: “Rather than spend my free time channel surfing on the couch, I’m building a website and getting my name and my work out there because – to be perfectly frank with you – a uni degree will only take me so far”.

I think, first and foremost, it’s so important to consider that everyone (“writing a blog” or not) lives a life with differing priorities, goals, and pathways as to how to get to where they want to be.

And let’s be real here; we can’t all be the next Amal Alamuddin (sorry, Clooney). Last time I heard, there are more graduates then there are jobs. So what can us mere mortals do?

Stand out from the masses of black mortarboards and take your qualifications further – do as I have done and use a blog as a means to build your personal brand online; to showcase your work; as an “online CV” to give future employers a reason to recruit you, as if to say, “Hey, I can be good at something other than my day job, too, you know.”

When I landed my first “real” marketing role eight months after graduating with a degree in Finance and Marketing (back before Facebook even existed), I will freely admit it were my formal qualifications and a handful of work experience that got my foot in the door. No doubt about it. But it has been this very blog that has given the edge. This blog led me to co-write two published books (one of which has gone on to receive an international award); I currently have the honour of contributing to Vogue.com.au. This blog is the very reason I’m currently spending my days as a part-time freelance marketing strategist. And it has given me the absolute privilege of presenting training workshops, which in turn, gives me a chance to inspire people to make a positive difference in their lives.

And you know what else a HELP debt and Commerce degree hasn’t bought me? #friendsforlife.

In other words, I blog to help get me to where I really want to be – to build a meaningful, gainful, and purposeful future when I eventually do “retire” from the blogosphere (I’m not so naive as to think my blog – and potentially every other blog out there – doesn’t have an expiry date). So whether I’m blogging to help me establish a small business, engage new clients and employers, embark on a new career, or to simply meet new people; is that such a disheartening thing? In my humble opinion, that is the epitome of taking full advantage of what life has thrown at me.

But I can only speak for myself. Fact is, I don’t blog full-time. I spend 90% of my life off the interwebz.

So in light of my version of War and Peace in reply to your comment, what’s my advice to the next generation?

Everyone has his or her own story. But it’s no one else’s business as to how they choose to write it.

Here comes the sun.

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This weekend has been all crisp, fresh sheets, window sill light, and things I’m looking forward to wearing this summer.

1. A pair of worn-in vintage 501s

2. A crisp white carry-all tote

3. Creased button-down shirts

4. Summer slides

5. A new wardrobe hero

If you happen to be in Perth later this month, my friend S from Hello Parry and I will be doing a spring clean and setting up shop at Many 6160′s Blogger Market on Saturday 25th October. There will be a treasure trove of things from our own personal (and overflowing) wardrobes including Celine, Alexander Wang, Givenchy bags and shoes. I’m moving back into mum and dad’s soon (another story for another day – my husband’s coming with me, in case you were wondering) so I’m hoping to find a lot of my clothes, shoes, and bags lovely new homes! Save the date and see you there!

Photographs by me.