Beep Beep

My, my, it’s been a while! I’ve been working all week at my new job and I gotta say.. it’s a dream come true. I can’t stop talking about how much I love my job. Everyone at my workplace is super cruisy and happy to see me all the time and I feel so bright and chipper every time I walk into the office. I’ve gotten a little taste of the work inbetween all the orientation presentations I’ve been attending all week and it seems like exactly what I was looking for all these months with an excellent balance between web development and graphic design.

As a side note, they even have fruit baskets delivered twice every week for the team and three-ply toilet paper in the toilets (everyone laughs when I say this, but I don’t know anyone’s workplace toilets that have the good toilet paper!). Their thoughtfulness towards the employees astounds me – it’s brilliant, no wonder everyone’s so happy!

I’ve hit the jackpot, literally and figuratively. Well, maybe not literally, since I’m a good few thousand dollars poorer since last Friday and the picture you’re starting at is the main reason why!

I. Love. This. Car. From the beginning, I had it narrowed down between a Mitsubishi Mirage, a Hyundai i20, and a Holden Barina. The Barina was trailing behind initially because fuel economy was a big deal to me and it had the least amount of fuel economy out of the three choices. But taking it for a test drive (and also taking the Barina Spark for a test drive too) really made me fall in love with this baby. A big thank-you to Crystal over at Zupps Holden Mt Gravatt for being so patient with me and a big thank-you to my parents who took me there to take a look at it (and haggled it down 5k or so from their asking price.. thanks mum). Now I have my very own metallic velvet red 2013 Holden Barina, and it’s all mine! Beep beep!

This car (and now it’s my turn to sound like a commercial) has everything that I ever wanted in it. I used to roll my eyes at the Barina “Can your car save your relationship” ads on television but now I’m a true believer. This car is so awesome that I don’t doubt it has powers necessary to save relationships. If only it came along a few months earlier, ah, ha.. Okay, sore spot, moving on..

Throughout the last two days that I’ve had it, I’ve been so impressed with the features and I’ll tell anyone who’ll listen about one of a million features that I totally loved.

Firstly, the key folds down and flicks up at the press of a button. Too cool. Secondly, when you press the button to unlock the car, it only unlocks the driver’s side. Coming from a hyper-paranoid mother, this was a big selling point. No more super villains sneaking into your car from the passenger side or back seat when you unlock your car from a distance! Upon the second press of the button, the rest of the doors open and the boot unlocks. Thirdly, while you’re in Park, the doors stay unlocked until you change the gear into Drive, where all the doors lock automatically for you (and unlock once again when you go back into Park).

On that note of safety, it has like a bajillion airbags in the front and a five star ANCAP safety rating (whatever that means. It does sound good though). Fifth, while we’re on the vein of things that work automatically, the windscreen wipers will periodically switch on when it senses too much water on the windscreen. This has been pretty good for the last two days considering the weather! The lights will also come on when the sensors detect that it’s getting dark. Those lights will stay on for a set period of time after you leave the car so if you get home at night, you can see the way to the front door. The radio will also keep playing even when the car is off and the key is out of the ignition, up until I open the door and step out.

This car has my back, yo.

I also love that it has a digital speedo and cruise control. Super handy for someone like me who tends towards having a lead foot while I’m driving. Now I can just set it to a speed I don’t want to pass and the car will handle the rest for me. Don’t forget the steering wheel dials that let me pump up the music and change my playlist over while I’m driving, yeah! I’ve ordered a spare iPhone charger so I can charge my phone in the USB port is has inside a second glovebox. If I need to use anything that requires electricity, well I have an outlet for that too. I kind of felt like Homer Simpson in that episode where he figures out he can plug anything into his car’s cigarette lighter.

It also has Bluetooth of course, but at a red P plater, I’m not allowed to use it anyways, which didn’t worry me too much since I’m no Miss Popular – ain’t nobody gonna call me while I’m driving, ha.

Anyways, enough about my car and my job, my gosh it’s going to get repetitive for you all soon, trust me! Here’s the outfit I wore to my first day of work:

This is the best dress ever. I didn’t even pay a cent for it! The lovely folks at Mission Australia who have been helping me with my job search have been brilliant assets for me this year. Not only did they provide a good 10 hours of driving lessons for me, they also gave me money to put on my Go Card and a gift voucher for Target so I could buy some things to buy for interviews and work. They gave me enough for a couple of pants, shirts and skirts, but ever the frugalista, I rationed the amount they gave me so that I could afford this dress too. It’s my favorite work-related piece in my wardrobe! Makes me happy just looking at it.

 

Here’s the total rundown for you:

Luxurious Statement NecklaceAliExpress, $4.50 (J Crew replica/fake/copy – now a little bit more expensive)

City Dressing Ponte DressTarget, $49 (on sale for 30% off), though technically free for me

Double Collar BlouseAliExpress, $8.50

Gold Mirror Belt (w/ patent pleather back) – eBay, $6.40

Sheer Black Pantyhose – Target, 25c

Charvonne Black Patent HeelsWittner, $35 (Now they only have nude and red left)

Total: $54.65 (or $103 if you include the free dress)

I know I’ve written a lot, but in summary, I’m having an awesome time, and awesome life, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been.

Being a frugalista isn’t entirely without its perks, let me tell you.. less money spent on clothes means that this car is officially 100% mine – no finance required. I could even afford to get comprehensive insurance despite my red P-plater status, ha (though it was somewhat stupidly expensive). So I’m starting my new life henceforth as a happy career woman with a clean bill of health and no financial debts. Dream job, check; sexy car, check. Up next – an apartment (and a man?).

But who really knows where tomorrow will take me?

Addicted to ASOS

I’ve done it, I’ve finally spent over $150 on a single order at ASOS. Ever since I got the job (or should I say.. CAREER??) I posted about earlier, I’ve been running around like a headless chicken trying to find some nice clothes to wear to work.

Yesterday was my first day at my new work and I was so excited, even though we were doing rather dull things like induction and learning how different avenues of the business works. I just can’t wait to get stuck into web development and graphic design roles. I wore some clothes that Mission Australia kindly gifted to me from Target’s City Dressing line (I’ll take a photo of my outfit later.. maybe.. if I have time.. gulp!). I am also excited to report that I’ve been given my very first cubicle. I. Am. So. Stoked. I always wanted to have a cubicle. I’m already mass ordering matching stationery supplies from eBay to fill it up! Not sure how much I can/should/will talk about my job on here, but I have to warn everyone in advance that I may not have very much time to keep this blog updated, because I’m typing this at 9pm right now very.. aware.. that I should be going to bed. I barely had time to walk Hugo after work and go to dinner with mum and here I am in my pajamas ready for bed! No more idle shopping trips mid-week anymore (maybe late night shopping on Thursdays if I feel up for it)!

Anyways, as far as dressing for work goes, I’ve seen that they have a pretty casual work environment but I’m not sure that my casual Princess-y style will mesh very well with the corporate image I’m trying to uphold. So off to ASOS I go!

ASOS have been terrible with June 2013 discount codes. There’s been absolutely no codes for sale items for weeks now and coupled with the Australian dollar dropping to an abysmal low, I find myself more and more reluctant to buy anything from ASOS. Still, they recently had a promotion where you could save $50 off a $200 and I reasoned to myself that with all the new things I need to buy for work anyways, it’s practically a 25% discount off anything I buy! If I don’t go too high over $200, that is. These are the things I bought last weekend..

These blouses are coincidentally the exact styles I’ve been searching for–for months. I know that the beige one is technically a maternity shirt but it was a lot cheaper than the non-maternity version and I tuck all my blouses into skirts anyways. Should the stomach prove too roomy regardless, there’s always the ol’ sewing machine.

Maternity Blouse With Peter Pan Collar (Cream) – £17.50 -> $29.28 = $22

Vila Blouse with Lace (Black and White) – £18.00 -> $30.00 = $22.50

I am digging jacquard pants this Winter. If it’s textured and floral, I want it! They’re still a bit pricey for my liking, but hey.. they’re for work, I love them, it’s fricking freezing and I need more than 3 pairs of pants in my closet.

ASOS Pants in Floral Jacquard (Mint) – £31.50 -> $52.70 = $39.50 (Now further reduced, ugh)

ASOS Pants in Floral Jacquard (Tapestry) – £27.00 -> $45.17 = $34 (Also further reduced, urrrrrgh!)

Everyone needs a mustard jumper. Especially if it’s 100% cotton and cable-knit.

ASOS Aran Jumper (Mustard) – 19.50 -> 32.62 = $24.46

All in all, I spent about $140, thanks to the currency trick and the SAVE50 discount code! All total bargains–that I’m totally looking forwards to getting my hands on soon.

Please ASOS sizing, for once, just don’t be predictably unpredictable..

Forever Shopaholic

I tried the whole “spending ban” movement, I really did try. But when you’re facing any emotional crisis and you don’t know what’s worse–overspending or overeating–you tend to go for the one that hurts your waistline less (shopping also burns calories, which is just as well because I eat like a pig when I’m out and about). Retail therapy leaves you feeling safe and secure for the meanwhile but can undoubtedly pose a crippling threat to people who have no idea how to manage their money. (Lucky for me, I’m not one of those people)

So as the days get increasingly frosty and I’m layering up like a famous “Walmart shopper” (or maybe just a very cold homeless person) and therefore unfashionably unfit to show my face on this blog, I’ll instead be showing off some of the recent bargain buys I’ve nabbed and where I’ve gotten them from. I hope you don’t mind!

Me and my bestie Louisa recently took a trip to the Forever New outlet in DFO. I knew it was time to visit when they started advertising their “50% off sale items” sale, and since everything in their outlet store in on sale, well, that just means massive bargains. The lucky duck she is, Louisa picked up four pairs of ridiculously discounted leather heels/boots on our visit to DFO (damn all of you with size 5/6 feet, you don’t know how lucky you are!) and all I managed to get was clothing that I wasn’t really sure that I needed in the first place. Ah well, you live and you learn..

This is my favorite buy of the bunch. I saw it there hanging by its lonesome on the damaged items rack (gah, I have an addiction to those kinds of racks, seriously!) in my exact size and I couldn’t stop myself from taking it to the dressing room and gently trying it on. Swoon!

There was a lot of things wrong with it though. One shoulder had come apart at the seams, the tulle was separating from the bodice at the back and several beads were missing in several places. Well, as my mother says, “Anything worthwhile having requires hard work” and so I went to work. I took the little packet with spare beads that most dresses like this come with and I started filling in the gaps where the beads were missing, opened my sewing kit to find similar beads to sew onto the dress (it was missing a few pearls that the packet didn’t provide) and I firmly sewed the shoulders up and re-attached the skirt to the body. I also resewed some of the beads that were close to falling out for some extra security.

What you see in front of you is the result of a few hours hard work–but so worth it because now it’s perfect! I haggled this dress down to a measly $25, down from a crazy RRP of $100!

 

This pale pink top was also in the damaged items rack for similar reasons. I haggled it down as well so it ended up costing me $18, down from the RRP of $80. Half an hour of elbow grease later, it’s perfect again. The pants weren’t in the damaged items rack but I had been lemming them for months since they came out, and this was my prime time to buy (especially with needing pants for the new job and all that). They were $30, down from $70.



 

Then, just as I thought I had seen enough of the store.. there was the belts rack. Oh boy. There were a lot of belts. I bought the silver one up top to match with the dress (I don’t have many silver belts–you know I’m a gold girl) and it was kicked down to $6.50 down from $17. Then I got two tassel belts (white and gold) at $6 each (also down from $17) and the pink patent back hammered metal belt I got for $8.50, down from $35. Kind of regretting that last one, I don’t really *love* it, I guess.

Still not done though. Also hanging on the damaged items rack was this clutch. I had been lusting after this one for quite a while (I’m not sure why, I don’t really have anything to wear it with, it’s just SPARKLY!) but I was totally unwilling to spend $60 on it (are you people insane?!). It had a few missing beads on it which I replaced when I got home and the clasp was partially broken (nothing a little blob of superglue won’t solve) but now it’s perfect, it’s mine, and I only spent $19 on it.

Asides from the beret below, that was pretty much my haul from Forever New! Phew! Here are a few other things I bought on my shopping trips lately that I’ve been wanting to show off..

 

Oh, hats. I’m still a hat person. The pink beret with little flowers I believe I bought from Temt for $10 down from $15. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and 50% angora wool! Also 50% angora is the embellished cream beret from Forever New that I bought for $7.50 down from $25. I kind of laugh when I think about Temt having the same quality items for lower RRPs than the massively overpriced Forever New.

 

I also bought COATS! In addition to the navy coat you may have seen in a recent lookbook post, I also bought these two absolute beauties from Temt and Valleygirl respectively. Neither pictures do the coats justice, they are amazing and absolute steals. The burnt orange wool-blend man-style coat was a bargain $20 down from $60. I blame the price on the fact it looks utterly horrible buttoned up sitting on the coat hanger. In fact, I remember the first time I spotted this coat was when I was with Ellen and we were joking about how hideous it looked but when I tried it on (unbuttoned of course), it was actually rather magnificently manly chic on me and I loved it.

The purple coat I also found with Ellen and it was so marvelously beautiful  that I was obsessed with it. Such a gorgeous soft, yet thick fabric in such a lovely classic colour–Valleygirl have 50% off all coats at the moment so I practically dived into stores and purchased this one at a neat price of $25 (down from $50). I think I’m set for Winter, guys.

This obscure little beauty is probably one of my favorite purchases this month. I’ve always wanted to have a tapestry dress but could never find the “right” one at the “right” price. I saw this in SES and fell in love when I tried it on. I absolutely love the fruity floral tapestry fabric, it’s so thick and warm, and it poofs out magnificently when worn. Not too short, either! A total steal at $13 (down from $25).

If you’ve noticed, I’ve taken all these photos on my brand new mannequin! Mannequins are really hard to find at a cheap price but I found a seller on Gumtree that has a few of these in storage (but he totally listed them under a weirdly obscure title which is why nobody’s buying them, haha) and I got this beauty for $21 (mostly everyone was asking for $50, can you believe it?)! I’ve been using this mannequin lately to sell some of the items that I really want out of my closet, and I’m sure it’ll be a great asset to me throughout my life. Everyone needs a mannequin!

Anyways, if you incidentally wanted to have a peek at some of the things I’m selling, head on over to one of my Facebook albums and have a browse. Most items are brand new, never worn, some still have tags. Leave a comment on the picture of what you’d like to buy (if you’d like to buy) and I’ll send you a FB message and we’ll work stuff out. Easy!

Just no Facestalking me, ‘kays?

Moving Castles



I don’t even think I can express how much I love my new duffle coat (more correctly known as a duffel coat, but Target calls it “duffle”, so “duffle” it is!). The way I’m wearing it totally reminds me of Howl’s outfit in Howl’s Moving Castle, so that’s where the title came from, har har. That, and I’ve been watching a lot of Studio Ghibli movies lately and that’s probably where I subconsciously got this outfit idea from in the first place. I love those kinds of animated movies! Just watched Spirited Away last night and was blown away again by how amazing that movie is. Blown. Away. Anyways, I digress..

I’ve been looking for the perfect navy coat for a while, and I always have fond memories of Target sales in these sorts of areas, so off to Target I went. I saw this one and it didn’t look too impressive on the rack–not too impressive at all, that is, until I tried it on. It was a magical coat that slightly dipped in at the waist and flared out as it reached my knees. Pockets are also an important addition to any Winter coat, and this one had two giant ones on the side–perfect for a pair of freezing cold hands.

I showed my friend Ellen this same coat and she loved it so much that she wanted it too! This was back when the coat was $79, so I begged her to give it a little time and trust my judgement about upcoming sales. She did–we did–and a few weeks later, all Target coats were reduced to $39, including this beauty! We both immediately snapped one up. This style in particular was sold out months ago online, so don’t take the online listings as an indication of what’s in-stores, they have heaps of stock! Carindale has a couple in all sizes (with the majority in larger sizes, of course) and in red and orange, so it’s well worth a look.



 

As a cold Winter chill spreads through my town, I’ve been looking for warmer ways to dress myself and have been uncovering more gaps in my wardrobe than I’d like to admit. This is my third woollen (blend) coat, and these are my fourth pair of pants. This won’t do at all for the upcoming Winter!

I have itchy trigger fingers when it comes to ASOS stock–they have exactly the kind of pants that I like and I’m just longing for a sale code to come out soon–it seems like months since they last had a discount code out for sale items, though! Never mind, I have such weirdly specific styles in mind that it’s unlikely they’ll get sold out any time soon. Or at least, here’s hoping!

Here’s the rundown of today’s outfit:

Navy Toggle Closure Duffle Coat – Target, $39

Pussybow – ASOS, free with these shorts

Heart Print Blouse – eBay, $8 (but you can get yours from AliExpress for $10)

Belt – AliExpress, free with a dress (It had a weird leather bowknot hot glue gunned to the front but I ripped it off because it was stupid and definitely wasn’t the right size to be a waist belt.. bastards)

Wine and Gold Bangle – Rubi, $2

Houndstooth Jacquard Cropped Pants (Cerise) – Target, $15.86

Hush Puppies Black Patent Oxford Heels – Myer, $25

Total: $89.86

The coat does bump it up a bit, but nonetheless, it’s still a very affordable price for a coat, I reckon. With this outfit, you may have noticed me carrying another bow bag–I can’t help it, I go ga-ga for this style of bag and that’s why I have three of them now. I bought mine for $15, but it’s gone up to $25 on AliExpress now. If you’re looking for cheaper options, just search for “bow bag” and trawl through listings like I did, haha, they’ll be there somewhere. Keen to own more of them at some point, they get compliments all the time, the latest of which came from an lovely, enthusiastic sales assistant from Myer. She may be reading this now, and if so, hiiiii sales assistant from Myer!

Anyways, that’s enough out of me. How are the rest of my readers braving the Winter this year?

DIY Belt Storage Ideas

I think my friend Ellen best described it when she gently told me that I have a bit of a belt problem, or a “crazy belt obsession” as she put it. As an hourglass figure, I try to do my curves justice by emphasizing them through the use of belts, and I quickly found that they became one of my most useful accessories. I don’t think I’ve ever left the house without one! If they’re not cinching my waist, they’re keeping my damned pants up–it’s not easy finding pants that will stay up on their own accord.

But I soon noticed that I was buying a little too many. I had a shelf in my wardrobe that I usually put all my 50 or so-strong collection of belts on, and since I’m always in a hurry to leave the house, I’ll try on a few belts before stuffing the rejects messily back onto the shelf (I don’t have time to roll them up neatly and figure out where they belong!) and so it progressed until I had a jungle of polyurethane pythons tangled up on my shelf, with some on the floor, and a few with their tails hanging over the side. It all just made a shocking mess and I hated looking at it, so I was in denial about it. “Oh these? I have just a few belts, it’s not as many as it looks, really..”

That was the reality, until I came across these useful binder rings in the newsagent! Unlike the spiral rings you’d put on your keychain, these ones are much bigger and come with hinges so you can snap them open and closed. I bought the first one from the newsagent from about three years ago and kept it in my stationery drawer, but I couldn’t find them anymore when I went recently so I had to order the next two from eBay. Turns out they’re exactly the same and much cheaper than what I paid here, too! They’ll set you back about $2 each. You can fit about 10 belts on each ring, and my rings are categorized into neutrals, blacks, and brights.

As for where to hang them, I’m currently using my over-the-door hangers from Target that I picked up a few months ago for the photos, but I generally hook them onto the hanging rails in my wardrobe and unhook them every time I need to use a belt.

For other belt aficianados out there, don’t scrunch/roll up your belts like I did and shove them into your closet! Keeping them hanging straight like this dramatically improves a polyurethane belt’s longevity and will prevent weird looking kinks in the pleather. It will also take up much less room, and you’ll always have them organized and ready to grab when you need them.