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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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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Good Morning

July 26, 2011 at 8:46 am (Sweet Nothings/Ramblings)

It’s been almost six months since I left the corporate world to work for myself at home and it has taken this long to figure out what works best for me in terms of a morning routine. I love to be organised but am hopeless at sticking to a rigid schedule in which I have 42 minutes to complete this and then it’s onto the next thing. That’s just not how I operate.

I do have a few things that I try to incorporate into every weekday morning which help me with my productivity or energy levels or just my sanity.

  • Waking up at the same time every day (where possible)
  • Drinking a cup of green tea
  • Exercising
  • Reading with a coffee
  • Finding some sunshine
  • Writing a to do list
  • Messaging/talking to a friend

On weekends I like to wake up after (hopefully) 8 hours sleep, go to a quiet cafe and (try to) order something nutritious (and a coffee). If I’m lucky, I get a lift out magazine from the paper (Sunday Life is my favourite).

I love going out for breakfast on the weekend. Everyone has that lazy morning vibe and is calmer, more content. They slowly sip away at their hot drinks rather than grabbing them to takeaway in a hurry and smile at screaming children rather than sighing and muttering under their breath. Breakfast on the weekends, in my opinion, is to be savoured and enjoyed.

How do you like to start your mornings?

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A Week o’ Love

July 24, 2011 at 6:53 pm (Cyberspace Gems, Sweet Nothings/Ramblings)

It’s Sunday again! I have had a fairly laid back weekend which has been great (they’re rare these days). Here’s the Week o’ Love post with a few things that I have loved doing, seeing, reading and lusting after in the last little while. Let me know what you’ve been loving – comment below!

LIFE

Credit card elimination. The day finally came on Thursday. It was at ZERO! A more joyous day than my birthday and Christmas combined.

Hitting the 10kg milestone. I can’t believe I used to carry that much extra weight. Feels absolutely amazing.

Finding THE perfect Parisian apartment. See Places.

Little extras: Making hundreds of lists and ticking things off, helping friends and posting them “just because” gifts, reading in the sun, dancing to the Beatles, dry shampoo, Max Brenner hot chocolates, romantic dinners, cabaret festival shows, fudge (need I say more) and new clients.

PLACE

This Parisian Apartment. I was barely able to sleep after I found this apartment in Paris’ St Germain. T asked me not to get my hopes up, it might not be available (despite me enquiring 11 months in advance). But it is! We are planning our “last hurrah” trip (before we start knuckling down and saving like adults for apartments of our own and “rainy days”) for next year. We’ll be travelling around Northern Europe, returning to Paris for its music festival Fête de la Musique and Bastille Day, using the apartment as a home away from home over the 7 weeks. It’s described as an artist’s loft and I am officially in love.

CYBERSPACE GEMS (mostly about food)

What Katie Ate serves up some amazing birthday recipes. I am drooling over the Chocolate Truffle Tarts.

Jess from The Belle Lumiere reviews one of her Holy Grail beauty products, Ultraceuticals Even Skintone Serum.

Over at The Happiness Cocktail (one of my fave blogs ever), Yaz has given us the recipe for a seriously tasty chia seed parfait.

10 Ways To Find That Grown Up Feeling is a guest post by Ashe over at Yes and Yes.

Carly shares her chicken and lentil stew secrets at Smaggle.

On The Freedom Experiment, Marthe is talking about over-estimating your obstacles and under-estimating you.

Merowyn adds a delish berry smoothie to Blithely Unaware (and love her crazy drawings).

Life is about creating yourself – Sandi reminds us over at In The Thick Of It.

STYLE AND BEAUTY

An all Australian cast today in Style and Beauty. Clockwise from left:

♥  Autumn Leaves earrings by birdofplay (on madeit.com.au)

♥  A’kin Pure Radiance Rosehip Oil

♥  Love Bird print by Billy and Scarlet (on madeit.com.au)

♥  Miss Orchid dress by Sydney-based label Khamoda

What have you been loving recently?

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Unplug

July 18, 2011 at 7:16 pm (Health, Sweet Nothings/Ramblings) (, )

I don’t know about you, but my life seems to rely on online connectivity more and more. Or I seem to think that it does. Sometimes being “connected” in the way of social media and constant email messages starts to stress me out a little. There’s too much information being thrown my way and it seems to sap so much of my time and energy trying to wade through it.

But how do we gain back some control over our “real lives” while staying involved in our online ones?

Here’s what I’ll be trialling over the next few weeks:

  • Don’t check social media/email first thing in the morning. I always wake up, roll over and immediately check my email. I’m barely awake, yet already need my fix of connectedness. Now I am going to wait until I have gotten up and done something else first – make a cup of tea, have a shower, have breakfast. Something. Anything.
  • Schedule specific sites into your daily routine. I find it hard to stay on top of my Google Reader. I follow (too) many blogs, but I’d hate to miss out on a really fabulous post by skipping it altogether. Now I’ll schedule blog reading and commenting time into my day to start getting on top of the backlog without anxiety. Set a timer to ensure that you don’t lose hours of your day to hilarious animal videos on YouTube.
  • Block time waster website from yourself for a few hours a day. LeechBlock can do this for you if you find exercising self-control difficult (pfft, who doesn’t?). Having a program block certain websites between times you have specified will allow you to get on with being productive.
  • Turn off the computer 30 minutes before bed. I am horribly guilty of watching a DVD in bed with my boyfriend and checking Twitter/Facebook/email all the way through. Terrible I know. In order to let yourself relax, unplug yourself from the Internet half an hour before bed time (and ideally, the television and computer too). Use this time to unwind or prepare yourself for the day ahead.

Do you worry about how much time you spend online?
How do you force yourself to unplug?

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That “Blah” Feeling

July 13, 2011 at 1:23 pm (Sweet Nothings/Ramblings)

Yesterday I had one of those days. I just felt… off. I didn’t have my usual dose of positivity or much energy for that matter. How did I manage to wake up in such a funk?

When you find yourself in one of these “blah” moods, it’s so easy to crawl back into bed, watch back to back episodes of your favourite show and hide from the world until it passes. But who wants to waste an entire day in a ‘zombie-with-a-hangover’ state? Not me.

So I did the following:

  • Went for a walk in the fresh air
  • Ordered a coffee (and smiled at a small child)
  • Read a book (about happiness in fact)

And yes, I felt mildly better (my status had perhaps upgraded to a dehydrated zombie). Then I remembered the last thing I had done to get a sudden rush of glee. I had cleaned out our junk cupboard.

Wow Kim, you’re thinking, how exciting. I know, it’s not the most thrilling way to get out of a funk, but it works. Achieve something. Preferably something you’ve been putting off doing for a while. I find that physical clutter can bog me down just as much as mental clutter, so clearing it away has the same effect.

So I cleaned my desk, throwing away anything I didn’t need. I took photos of garments to put on eBay to further clean out my closet. I deleted a dozen draft emails that were sitting there with reminder links and articles that I could easily have saved onto my desktop or adding to my bookmarks but had been too lazy to. I sorted out my tax receipts and did a load of washing.

And I felt better. I had achieved something in my day and not given in to that “blah” feeling (nor had I eaten a pizza while watching Pretty Little Liars which is what my inner zombie had been craving).

How do you turn a “blah” day around?

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Things I Learned This Month: June

June 30, 2011 at 5:31 pm (Sweet Nothings/Ramblings)

    1. Creating a gorgeous smokey eye doesn’t have to be incredibly difficult (Zoe Foster shows you here).
    2. You can get a cut on your face without having even felt it (how weird is that – very similar to foreign bruises).
    3. I can not be trusted with a fresh batch of Anzac cookies.
    4. Your oldest friends can hurt you the most.
    5. Downgrading three jobs to two feels awesome.
    6. Arrange as many get togethers with your close friends as you can. They are so much fun.
    7. Sometimes you need to reward yourself for things you have achieved and throw away the associated guilt.
    8. Losing yourself in little bookstores is a great way to spend an afternoon.
    9. Remember how awful being sick feels when you are well so you can appreciate it.
    10. Sometimes you need to reward yourself for your achievements and throw away any associated guilt.

Oh and these snow leopard cubs have a cute factor of about 6 million.

What did you discover this month?

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A Week o’ Love

June 5, 2011 at 7:35 pm (Cyberspace Gems, Sweet Nothings/Ramblings)

It seems that yet another weekend has crept up on us! The Week o’ Love posts capture things that I have loved doing, seeing, reading and lusting after in the last little while. I hope they make you smile and think about what has made your week special. Let me know, comment below!

LIFE

Reading. Oh my God how I have missed reading. I didn’t realise it until I became totally engrossed in a book this week (for the online book club I have joined). As a child I used to spend whole weekends in bed reading, devouring the pages but now I don’t seem to indulge in that pleasure anymore. Adding it to my to do list every week.  Très awesome.
The book was Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson for those interested.

Being my own finance fairy. While I can’t say I’m in love with reviewing budgets and doing my taxes, I can say that I love knowing what I have to do to be in control of my finances. It is a little sad knowing that I won’t be able to splurge on a new wardrobe any time soon, but paying off my credit card, the tax man and saving for our Bali trip will have to do!

Little extras: A 17 degree day in winter (practically unheard of in Melbourne), killing it at a tough workout, vintage musicals (especially ones that contain amazing tap dancing scenes), lovely students that are making progress, learning fashion illustration from scratch (wish me luck), sorting out the best birthday present ever for my boyfriend, clearing writer’s block, beach walks and delicious muesli.

PLACE

Chez Dré. I hadn’t been able to find the perfect macaron since Ladurée in Paris until now. Chez Dré is a gorgeous little patisserie/boulangerie in South Melbourne which does fantastic food and a good cuppa (always important).

CYBERSPACE GEMS

Sarah Wilson tells us the scary truth behind our cosmetics.

Alexandra from The Art of Afternoon Tea shares a great Cinnamon Doughnut recipe (check out her cute food illustrations while you’re there).

Look at these gorgeous bow ties that Tania over at Fashionising found. French of course.

Sarah from Yes and Yes fame has a great guest post called Hobby to Job: Business Advice for Non-Business Types. Creatives, check this out.

Zen Habits explains The Really Simple Way to Get Work Done.

And introducing a cute little blog called loving at the moment …, penned by Jessica. Very sweet.

STYLE AND BEAUTY

♥  I still do not own a proper handbag (I know, what kind of a woman am I?), but one that has seriously tickled my fancy is Mimco’s Orbit Day Bag. It’s on sale if anyone would like to purchase said bag as an I love you gift. *wink*

♥  How gorgeous are these coasters by Anna Pernilla?

♥  I am convinced that I am in dire need of a fuschia lipstick and Funny Face by NARS may be just the one.

What have you been loving recently?

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Things I Learned This Month: May

June 1, 2011 at 3:00 pm (Sweet Nothings/Ramblings)

I thought I’d start doing monthly posts on the little tidbits of knowledge that I have picked up along the way. Some you will read and stimulate an Oprah “AHA!” moment and others will seem about as useful as… well, something fairly useless. Either way I hope you enjoy (as usual).

  1. An expensive hairdresser is no better than one half the price.
  2. Clearing little repetitive stresses equals a huge relief.
  3. David Attenborough is incredible. I must watch more documentaries.
  4. You can have a great gig despite being sick. Codral is a wonder drug.
  5. Shopping for jeans doesn’t have to be as painful as having a tooth extracted (thank you Levi’s Curve ID).
  6. A great breakfast can keep me happy for an entire morning.
  7. Everyone should listen to more live jazz in the sunshine.
  8. You are never too old to lick the beaters/spoon after baking.
  9. Window sills need to be cleaned more often that twice a year.
  10. It is possible to bake brownies and not devour 60 – 100% of them.

Oh and pugs look cute in everything. 

What did you discover this month?

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How to Survive a Spending Ban

May 24, 2011 at 12:56 pm (Quarter Life Crisis, Sweet Nothings/Ramblings) (, )

I knew this day would come. The day I would have to get serious about my finances and enforce a spending ban. It’s not that I’ve been spending up big on a new wardrobe or lavish nights out – I’ve just added the occasional breakfast or coffee here, the odd piece of home decor there and it has added up.

I was charged interest on my credit card this month. I haven’t had this happen in over 3 years. Sometimes you need to be kicked into action and that is what did it for me.

So here are a few things I’ve implemented to help me over the next few weeks:

  • Learn to make all your favourite foods at home. That way you won’t feel the need to buy them elsewhere.
  • Go through your wardrobe thoroughly. You may find garments that haven’t seen the light of day in months – BONUS: it almost feels like you’ve bought something new.
  • Sell anything you haven’t don’t need, use or love (and I mean LOVE. Oh but I kind of like this doesn’t cut it).
  • Put your gym membership/hobby classes on hold or ask to switch from weekly to fortnightly sessions. Remember, it’s only for a little while (make this one a maximum of a month otherwise you may go stir crazy).
  • Unsubscribe or filter any emails you get from fashion labels, ticket sites or shops of any kind. You don’t need the temptation.
  • Similarly, do not read any magazines. They have too much luxurious advertising for your fragile state right now. Remember books? They’re a great alternative.
  • Spend in cash only. It has become so easy to swipe a card and distance ourselves from the pattern of earning before you spend. Doing this will make you more aware of how often you are making transactions. Question yourself before you hand over that note – is this a necessity? What will happen if I don’t get it?
  • Put a time limit on your spending ban. A few weeks at a time is probably best so you can commit fully to the cause. At the end date, reward yourself with a little (cheap) gift.
What tips do you have to help survive a tightening of your purse strings?

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