We’ve Moved!

August 31, 2011 at 10:46 am (Sweet Nothings/Ramblings)

Just a quick note to redirect you to our brand spanking new site over at http://dreamdelightinspire.com

Those super wonderful people that follow using a reader (Google Reader/Blog Lovin’ etc) will have to change the address of your feed to: http://dreamdelightinspire.com/?feed=rss2

I hope you love the new design as much as I do – I’ll see you there! xx

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Makeup Bag: Winter

August 23, 2011 at 9:29 am (Beauty) ()

Inspired by Jess’ fabulous post here, I’ll let you all into the wonderful world of my winter skincare and makeup essentials that have kept me from looking like a dried up old hag this winter. Products that I love and swear by – the Top 16.

Cleanser: Origins Checks and Balances Cream Cleanser and Shu Uemura Skin Purifier Cleansing Oil
Moisturiser: Ella Bache Hydra Gelée Fraîche Matité
Serum: Origins Plantscription
Mask: APIVITA Revitalising Face Mask with Orange

Primer: NARS Makeup Primer with SPF
Foundation: Clinique Redness Solutions in Calming Alabaster
Concealer: MAC Studio Finish
Blush: NARS Powder Blush in Orgasm
Bronzer: NARS powder bronzer in Laguna
Eyeshadows: Clinique Milly Pretty in Prints palette, Stila Eyeshadow in Storm
Mascara: Benefit BAD gal lash
Lip balm/gloss: Lanolips in Rhubarb
Lipstick: NARS Matte in Carthage and MAC in Ruby Woo

What products have saved your skin this season?

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Turning Your Dream Into Reality: The Job (Part 2)

August 18, 2011 at 10:24 am (Quarter Life Crisis, Turning Your Dream Into Reality) (, , )

I was thrilled by the interest in the first post in this series – thank you to everyone who posted it on Facebook, retweeted the link and sent me messages and questions.

Going back to those 4 questions we looked at in Part 1:

  1. What is it about your current role that pushes you towards self-employment?
  2. What would be the main reason for your transition?
  3. What areas do you have valuable knowledge in (be specific)? 
  4. What are your marketable skills? 

If ‘more money’ was included in your answers for numbers 1 and 2. Do not quit your day job. Being self-employed does not mean that you will magically earn more. In fact, you’ll probably earn less (at least in the first few years). What you can do if money is a driving force, is supplement your day job income with creative income. Or go part-time in your current role and utilise your newly free time to work on creative projects.

Take a long hard look at what you have written for numbers 3 and 4. Write them out side by side as a list and link knowledge based answers with skill based answers. Not all of them will partner up with something else and some of them will be able to be connected with multiple skills.

Here’s an example of what someone’s Creative Knowledge and Skill Set might look like (examples inspired by some lovely, talented friends of mine):

Now comes the slightly trickier part. How to create income streams out of your knowledge and skills.

Put the groups you have created on separate sheets on paper. Start writing possible products and/or services that you could offer if you combined these sets of knowledge and skills. Underneath each product and service write what you would need in order to be able to produce or offer it (equipment, extra training, office space etc).

Hopefully it is a pleasant surprise to see all the possibilities that come out of what you already know and how easy it would be to start the wheels in motion on some of the projects.

For the example above, I would suggest that the person has a lot that they could started on right now.

  • Start to do some logo designs for friends/acquaintances for free to grow a portfolio and get feedback on designs. Then you can start a website aimed at small businesses that require low cost, professional looking logos.
  • You could also write a blog post/eBook on how to teach yourself Photoshop. Research top graphic design/photography blogs/websites to see if they’ll host it as a guest post which would generate traffic through a link to your logo design website. It’s all about free promotion and visibility people!
  • Start to create a theatre/film makeup portfolio. There are a lot of models and photographers needing to build theirs, so aim to find people who are willing to trade their time for shots of the completed work.
  • You could upload tutorial videos on YouTube, linking to a blog on theatre makeup techniques or a website offering your services. Eventually, down the track, you could create a workshop targeting makeup artists that would like to get into this specialised field.
  • In terms of your knowledge of art history, you could start small tours of your city, focusing on the outdoor art and the background behind the pieces and the artists.
  • Tutoring kids or adults in Spanish one on one is a no-brainer.
  • Of course throwing amazing dress up parties is valuable knowledge. Create a website for boutique event planning, specifically themed parties. Make sure you keep them small initially and only take on one or two projects at a time. You could start by writing guest posts for lifestyle bloggers in your city/country on specific themes or ‘things that commonly go wrong and how to avoid them’, linking to your website and therefore your services.

What projects could you get started on right now?

What have you got to lose by setting these up?

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Inspiration Station: Sandra Suy

August 17, 2011 at 11:13 am (Inspiration Station) (, )

Here are a few gorgeous illustrations to get you through your Hump Day by Sandra Suy, an illustrator based in Barcelona. Sandra studied fashion design initially but really loved the drawing aspect and decided to focus solely on that. I’m really glad she did! You can find her work on her website and available for purchase on her Etsy store.

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10 Health Rules I (Try) to Live By

August 16, 2011 at 10:44 am (Health)

There is an overload of information on the web, in magazines, on television and from self-proclaimed health professionals out there that it is hard to know what to believe and what to follow. The mountain of contradictions frustrates me. One “health and fitness” (read diet nut) website will say don’t eat any carbohydrates or do any cardio exercise. Another will say fill up on wholegrains and run your little butt off. *sigh*

I am a student of the Keep-It-Simple and Everything-In-Moderation schools and that seems to work for me. The last six months of my life have been about finding a balance and focusing on what my body needs.

Here are the 10 rules I try my hardest to live by:

  1. Eat 4 different vegetables every day. Preferably different, rich colours too. Why not get the maximum nutrients you can every day? Mix up your vegetables throughout the week too.
  2. Move every day. It doesn’t have to be a lot or high impact, but make sure you move that body every day. Walk, bike, yoga, dance, skate, run, skip or row. Every day for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Only eat when hungry. It took me a while to get used to this. We tend to eat when it’s “lunch time” or when dinner is served, but if you’re not hungry, why eat? Don’t leave it until you’re famished, but wait to hear that little hungry signal before you eat something else. I tend to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with two snacks in between.
  4. Make the right choices 80% of the time. This really is about maintaining balance. I hate the word diet with a passion (as most people do). It’s about choosing healthy, fresh foods over the sugary, processed ones MOST of the time. I mean, if you never let yourself have that scoop of ice-cream, you’ll eventually end up going crazy and eating seven tubs of the stuff. Relax 10 – 20% of the time and allow yourself a few treats.
  5. Limit alcohol and caffeine. I know, I know. A glass of vino or a coffee in the morning is fine (and lovely), but alcohol is empty calories and a lot of them. Both drinks dehydrate the crap out of you too, so make sure you substitute them for water every now and then.
  6. Include strength work into your exercise. Most women are scared of bulky, large muscles and therefore avoid weight training to focus on burning calories with cardio exercise. The truth is that you want to transform that fat into lean muscle to boost your metabolism and burn more fat more efficiently. Start off lightly and ask a trainer to assist you with exercises to try.
  7. Learn to love cooking. I used to be a very lazy cook. I would jut throw a chicken breast with a can of some kind of simmer sauce and a few vegies and call it dinner. Now I concentrate on making as many things from scratch as possible. This way I control the sugar and oil levels and start with a base of fresh food. When you have the time, investigate new healthy recipes and testing different herb and spice combinations. No time? Cook up a bunch of meals on the weekend and freeze them for weeknight dinners.
  8. Listen to your joints and muscles. My boyfriend is terrible at this (you know you are T!). He’ll have a sore back and keep pumping heavy weights, ignoring the pain until it becomes so bad that he can barely move without wincing. Stretch often. Yoga classes are great, but if that’s not your thing, stretch by yourself. Make sure you target all your main muscle groups to avoid any pain or cramping. Also regular visits to an osteopath, chiropractor and/or massage therapist do wonders.
  9. Stop eating when full. Self explanatory, no? I was always brought up to eat everything on my plate, it  was considered rude if you didn’t (or, even worse, you wouldn’t get dessert). But servings at restaurants these days are enormous and a much larger serving than most of us need. My aunt throws her serviette over her plate when she is full so she doesn’t keep picking at the rest of her meal.
  10. Be grateful. When you are feeling healthy and energetic – be grateful for it. Every time I get sick I pine for the days when I felt healthy and realise that I always take it for granted. If your legs are okay – run. If you’re cold-free, take a walk and take big breaths of the fresh air. Don’t take your health for granted.

What health rules do you try to live by?

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Mix It Up

August 10, 2011 at 10:43 am (Mix It Up)

Feel like doing things a little differently this week? Here are a few suggestions to inject a little pizzaz into your world.

Let me know some of your own ideas!

Wear some bright, chunky jewellery or start to learn a musical instrument.

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Dare to leave your phone at home for a day or stop traffic to show someone you love them.

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Share ice-cream (or gelati) with a friend or jump in the ocean with your clothes on.

How do you like to mix up your routine?

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Turning Your Dream Into Reality: The Job (Part 1)

August 9, 2011 at 8:59 am (Quarter Life Crisis, Turning Your Dream Into Reality) (, , )

I have been asked “how I did it” numerous times. People send me messages about how brave or inspiring I am – inspiring maybe (thank you) but brave, no so much. My decision to work for myself wasn’t born from bravery but rather from fear. Fear of what my life would look like if I worked 9 hours a day (and commuted for 2), at a desk, in a job I didn’t love.

I was afraid of what I would become after years and years of this.

So I had to try something different. Sure, I could try a new role in a new organisation and see how that felt, but somehow I knew that wouldn’t be a good fit for me either. It was the long hours, the restricted work environment and the lack of flexibility that made me cower every Monday morning.

I am in the middle of writing an e-book about making the transition from employee to self-employed and will hopefully release it here on Dream. Delight. Inspire. in the next few weeks. I’m pretty excited about it – it’s taken a lot of hours and coffees already, let me tell you.

But so that I don’t leave you in the lurch until then, here are some things to consider TODAY:

  1. What is it about your current role that pushes you towards self-employment? Long hours, poor management, lack of flexibility for holidays, feeling under-utilised…?
  2. What would be the main reason for your transition? More money, flexible working hours, working from home, creative control…?
  3. What areas do you have valuable knowledge in (be specific)? Song writing for flute, knitting baby garments, teaching tap dancing, organising large scale volunteering projects, creating floral arrangements for weddings…?
  4. What are your marketable skills? Report writing, illustration, sound engineering, building client relationships, sewing, computer programming…?
Write down as many ideas as you can for numbers 3 and 4. You may be surprised at how many subjects you know a lot about and how many marketable skills you have under your belt already.

Discovering what your dream really looks like is the first step in the planning process. People may say “I love to draw so I want to be a full time artist” – okay but in reality, a full time artist may not earn enough to support your current lifestyle. If you want to work for more creative control and money isn’t a factor, then this may be possible. Perhaps you move back home or flat with 3 others in a cheaper area.

OR you plant enough seeds in different areas that you have several potential income streams. One might be selling your paintings on Etsy, one might be creating art for cards and selling these in small local bookstores, one might be teaching art history or giving guided tours of the outdoor public art in your city.

EXPLORE ALL POSSIBLE AVENUES.

I’d love to hear your answers to the questions above – post them in the comments if you’re willing to share.

You may also have some questions that you’d like answered around this topic, please feel free to comment or email me (kimberleyms@gmail.com).

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STYLE SNAPSHOT: Parisian Street Style

August 8, 2011 at 10:54 am (Style Snapshot) (, )

Photo by Phil Oh for Street Peeper

Now that our Parisian accommodation for our European travels in 2012 is booked, the Francophile in me has been re-released. Although I will again be travelling with only carry on luggage, I intend to buy  few stylish pieces during my time in France. There is something about the aesthetic of Parisian women. One part sophisticated, one part quirky, one part effortless and another part perfectly preened. I love the sharp tailoring, unique accessories and lack of fear they seem to have when styling their outfits.

What do you love about Parisian style?

Photos by Tamu McPherson for Harper’s Bazaar

Photo by Courtney D'Alesio for Elle

Photos by Phil Oh for Street Peeper

Photo by Phil Oh for Street Peeper

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Inspiration Station: Beautiful Braids

August 4, 2011 at 12:26 pm (Beauty, Inspiration Station) (, , , )

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I have always loved creating interesting hairstyles and it’s one of the reasons I can’t bear to part with my long hair. Braids or plaits used to be worn mainly with school uniforms, but have the ability to be so much more fascinating. I hope you find something interesting to try in the pictures below (even if you have fairly short hair).

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Things I Learned This Month: July

August 2, 2011 at 8:36 am (Sweet Nothings/Ramblings)

One month older and a little wiser (I hope)…
    1. Allow yourself at least 4 hours to apply fake lashes. 40 minutes won’t cut it.
    2. If you want something, you need to grow some balls and ask for it.
    3. I am terrible at putting on a Russian accent.
    4. Do not sit near the front in an aisle seat of a burlesque show (unless you want to be playfully harassed all the way through).
    5. Helping someone achieve their goals is incredibly rewarding.
    6. Fudge is extremely easy to make and even easier to eat.
    7. There are always areas close to your suburb you have left unexplored. Explore them.
    8. It is hard to meet new friends in your twenties – friends do appreciate it when you throw little social events/dinners for them to meet other friends of yours.
    9. Spending time with your grandparents is important, not just for them but for you.
    10. One of the best feelings is chuckling in the sun with a good book, a coffee and a guilt-free sweet treat. Fact.

Oh and how cute is the idea of sending little fabric hearts with lovely messages around the place?

What did you discover this month?

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