Friday, 31 January 2014

It's all Katy Rose's fault, and an addition to the *need to buy* list

I follow quite a few blogs, some I have been reading for years, and others are quite new.  The mainstay of my blog roll seems to be style blogs, I love seeing how other people style their clothes.  Many of them are by people with styles that, in 2 million years, I could never pull off, but I have found one whose author wears clothes that I not only envy her having the flair to pull off, but I actually want.

That would be Katy Rose, of Modly Chic.  Damn but she has a fine wardrobe, although she can keep the weather she is shooting it in at present.

The other day, she posted about how versatile a basic dress can be, and damn, now I need a flowy basic dress!  I'd actually take the one in her post in every colour if I was rich, but if I had to choose 1, I'd go the black.

I already have 1 basic dress (the grey structured on I paid $4 for - must take a picture), but I think I need a flowier one too.......... no, I do need a flowier one.  And when Sheldon appears confused by the need for 2 basic dresses, I will refer him to Katy Rose.  Excellent deal.  For me anyway..........

Now, onto the more boring business of a need.  I need new walking shoes - as in 5 minutes ago.  My current pair are now unwearable (they have been dying since winter), but I haven't found an acceptable replacement as yet.  The dead shoes are Rivers' Airforce Rockers, a cheaper version of the Masai walkers, which are brilliant for me, as they keep the pressure off my big toes (issues with the bone in the right one causes agony).  Problem is, Rivers have gone out of them, Payless have closed (they had similar) and I can't find the Skechers version anywhere here.

I cannot justify the price of Masai shoes, even if they are good for my feet, they are just too damn much money.  I may yet bite the bullet, and buy a cheap pair of sneakers that don't kill my toe too much and then grab a pair of Skechers when we hit Melbourne.

Now that's a plan - sneakers, a flowy basic dress and possibly some more flats (Dotti had 3 pairs for $30 last trip - no such thing as too many backups when you kill shoes like I do) when we hit Melbourne.  Oh, and my Maui Jims, and maybe my boots.  I can't believe I am actually looking forward to a shopping trip!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

And having said that..........

I spent money.  Not a lot of money, and it was on things I need, but still.........

I haven't had times to take pictures yet, because we have been moving from Dodge to Tombstone.  But I will add them to this post, as soon as I get sorted here.  Being the Australia Day long weekend, I have plans to relax, so probably not til next week.

Anyhoo, the grand total was $8.50 for 2 dresses.  1 is reminiscent of the sailor dresses of the 70's, only with added cleavage.  I suspect it is made of silk, but I can't be sure, all tags have been removed.  It is almost certainly of an older vintage, and I am super-pleased it fit - I loved the look of it on the rack, fell head over heels with the fabric, but was worried it would look dicky once on.  It didn't, although I am not in love with the sleeves; they are a bit too - flouncy for my normal taste, but everything else about it overruled that minor issue.  Plus Sheldon liked it, so that helped.  It's not something for going to buy groceries, but it will see lots of wear.

The other is a grey, fitted sheath dress, mid-calf length (the other stops just above my knees), from, of all places, Rockmans!  It is almost certainly an out-of-town import, as Rockmans here has nothing this classy (it's all skank or granny), or of this quality fabric.  It fits very nicely, but has enough room underneath for me to wear long-sleeved tops underneath in cooler weather.  Myself, Sheldon and the lady in the shop all thought it looked good, so I got it.

The thing of it is, I got these in a tiny, grotty looking little op shop, the bigger, lighter (and cleaner-looking) one over the road had nothing, except a pair of shorts for $6 (Yeltour), and a top (Supre) for $9 that caught my eye at all - one was an interesting fabric, the other a nice colour.  I thought them overpriced (especially the Supre) so I walked out.

These dresses were necessary purchases; apart from my sarongs, I have no dresses, and sarong dresses are not appropriate for every occassion (I'd never wear one to lunch with my in-laws, even though they are super-laidback).  The silk one is a more 'dressy' dress (lunch-appropriate), and the other one is of a style and colour I could wear anywhere.  Including job interviews/grad programs if I ever get motivated in that direction.

Feeling very pleased with myself............

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

My 2014 Purchase Wishlist

Now, I live a pretty minimalist lifestyle - purchase-wise.  I buy only what I actually need, and usually the cheapest I can find.  Or rather, the cheapest reasonably quality/fit I can find.

That being said, I have plans for 3 big splurges this year.  Two of them are replacement items, for things that are cactus; the other is a want, pure and simple.  But, it's been a want for over a decade, so I think I can allow myself to acquire it.  That would be these:

I love, love the pretty colours here - in the packaging and the beads.  These have been a whishlist item for myself and my friend GlossQueen for several years, so we feel we are both justified in acquiring them this year, although we have both set ourselves very specific life goals before we will allow ourselves to get them.  Now we will move onto the replacement items, which I will not only dream about, but buy.

Replacement 1 - sunglasses.
I wear sunglasses year-round.  No matter the season, or the weather, I have sunglasses on.  I have done for the past - let's say couple of decades (closer to 3, but anyway) ....  For the same period of time, I have paid no more than $20 per pair, and replaced them only when they are truly past it (arm busted off, lens cracked).  And for at least 15 of those years, I have been promising myself that once all 3 boys left home, I was buying myself a pair of Maui Jims.  3 years since the last one jumped ship, and it is time, not least because the ones I am using have cracked frames on 1 side, and the lens on the other tends to pop out at odd moments.  I have the ones I want picked out, Sandy Beach, with the bronze lens and tortoiseshell frames.  A mighty AUD$208 - Sheldon agrees these are a worthwhile purchase (too bad if he didn't: I NEED sunglasses, and I have promised myself a good pair for a long time).  I may get them here.

Replacement 2 - boots.
7 years ago, I bought myself a AUD$200 pair of Homyped boots, 3 inch heels.  I wore them 5 days out of 7 through the first 4 winters, including to some loooooong nights of bar work.  They then retired to 'out of the house' days, as I headed into my degree, which I studied mostly online.  6 months ago, I wore them for a day, and spent 4 in agony; my feet, ankles, knees, hips and back screamed 24/7, painkillers or no.  I nursed my sore body parts through to the end of the yuck weather with careful footwear selections, and then retired the boots to the charity shop.  Cost per wear came out to no more than 5 cents, when spread over the 7 years.  So a worthwhile purchase.

In light of my (apparently rapidly) advancing age, I now need to wear flat shoes.  Even boots.  So that is my 2nd replacement, a pair of boots.  Not the ones here, but similar.  They MUST be/have the following:
  • Leather;
  • Black;
  • Knee high;
  • Rubber-type, flexible soles;
  • Flat, or with a .5" heel maximum;
  • Almond or round toed.
And the toe of the boot must be where my toes are - I cannot walk in shoes with the toes 2 inches from my actual toes. Surely not too much to ask, right?  I quite like these.

I will also be acquiring a non-replacement, non luxury item; the Olay Regenerist Advanced Cleansing System, which is a cheaper version of the Clarisonic.  As my skin ages, it needs more specific care, and from all reports, these kinds of things (most people I know have the Clarisonic, but the saving I can make will buy me 1 boot, or 1 side of my sunglasses, or .5 of my Meteorites) are brilliant.  Sheldon is happy for me to get the Clarisonic (it comes in pretty colours), but I am stingy, so will get the Olay.  To see what the buzz is about, go here.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Reductionist Thinking

I have often seen, in the blogosphere, posts on reducing one's wardrobe, makeup, skincare, jewellery collection, or using it better (30 for 30).

These often occur at change of seasons, or New Year.  The general premise, so far as I can see, is that we have so much stuff, we don't appreciate it, and so accumulate more.  This is something I am very familiar with, having had to do a massive reduction in recent times.

Sheldon and I moved from a 3 bedroom house, with a shed, to a 21 foot caravan.  Let me tell you, there is nothing like a dramatic reduction in space to make you reassess your attachment to 'stuff'.  If we are honest, I personally didn't get rid of a lot, I am a fan of regular purges, so it was mainly household items, or items our sons had asked us to store, that I had to deal with.  Sheldon had (and has) far more to sort and decide on.

I have a 53 litre tub which contains my 'treasures', my great-grandmother's blanket, some books of family members, the cake plate and server that Nan got on her wedding day, and a display book of cards/pictures my kids made me.  Also a doona cover my mum made for B when he was a toddler, which served N as well, the shawl all 4 of us came home from hospital in - stuff like that.  These things I will never part from.

As for the rest, it's pretty minimal.  I have very little make-up (6 eyeliners, 1 mascara, a palette of 12 eyeshadows, 1 blush, 3 or 4 brushes, and 1 nailpolish), which I am making the effort to use (I bought it, so to not use it is a waste of money), 5 pairs of shoes (2 pairs of flats, 1 black, 1 leopard print, 1 pair of totalled sneakers for gardening/cycling,  my 'camp' shoes and a pair of flip-flops for errands), 8 sarongs for summer wear, 3 skirts (1 doubles as a strapless dress) 6 tshirts (2 for gardening/cycling/grotty work), 1 pair of shorts, 1 pair of trackies, 1 hoodie (as for the 2 tshirts), 1 pair of dress pants, 2 long sleeved tops for grott work on cooler days, 4 turtlenecks, 2 pairs of leggings, 2 long tops to wear with leggings, 2 short-sleeved tops, 2 button-down shirts, 2 belts (black & tan), 2 handbags (black & tan).  And a backpack for cycling.  Oh, and a bathrobe, and a pair of slippers.  That's it.

My skincare routine is equally minimalist, although I am leaning towards getting a Clarisonic (or the cheaper Olay version); Coles unscented baby wipes, and homemade moisturiser of an evening.  Exfoliation is with a flannel.  Mornings is a wipe and sunscreen.  We make our own soap, toothpowder, laundry powder, mouthwash and deodorant.

I also own a laptop (5 years old) a mobile phone ($99 on prepaid): my jewellery collection is a watch, my silver earrings, wedding and engagement bands, and on special occassions, Nan's pearls.  We make our own muesli, and a bean mix (think McKenzies soup mix, but better).  We rearely eat meat, and dine out (Thai, $12.50 per person) once a month.  We see Sheldon's parents every 3 or 4 months, and have lunch and a bought coffee.  Our big luxuries are Jarrah white chocolate latte (him) and hot chocolate (pure cocoa powder, no sugar) for me.

I have found, particularly since we moved from the caravan to the converted bus that, even though I have less *stuff* than a lot of other people, I am happier, healthier and far better off - in many ways I am richer.  I sometimes find myself wishing I could justify a random splurge (hello Strandbags sale), but I usually get over it quickly.  I am heading into my 2nd degree, and just the other day, I read that Australian houses will grow by something like 150% by 2020 - that's 1.5 times more house than in 2010 - WHY??  Think of the crap that you can accumulate, and the cleaning you have to do!

 I think I will stick with my 'miserable' (someone actually called it that) life, with little space, little stuff, and send them a picture of something like this on a regular basis, as Sheldon and I wander the country, stopping where we please, and taking in the views.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

*Stolen* from Modly Chic - Taking Stock

Making: a start on my Uni readings for Semester 1
Cooking: nothing, Sheldon is the chef
Drinking: green tea
Reading: 2 bios, 1 on John Hawkyns, Elizabeth 1's slave trader, and another on Mary Boleyn, as well as a text on public policy
Wanting: a new pair of dress pants, and a pair of boots
Looking: into where to go when we get out of here
Playing: Jewel Quest Solitaire
Wasting: time, on here, and on JQ
Wishing: I still had my dog
Enjoying: the peace and quiet
Waiting: for the sun to come out
Liking: Facebook chat
Wondering: if we'll catch a lucky break this week
Loving: sarongs
Hoping: that all goes according to plan this week
Marveling: at thow fast time flies
Needing: not much of anything at the moment
Smelling: roses and honeysuckle I picked from the garden
Wearing: old sweats, gardening and housework to be done.  Also motorhome repairs.
Following: the cricket - 3rd ODI today
Noticing: the amount of *stuff* Sheldon has in his wardrobe, which has to be sorted
Knowing: I am going to miss my family when we get going
Thinking: that I should get back to doing actual work, rather than skiting off on the blog
Feeling: excited about school, and getting on the road at last
Bookmarking: sites for school
Opening: way too many tabs on Firefox
Giggling: the things Sheldon's gamer mates say on chat (it's audio, and he doesn't have headphones on)

Friday, 17 January 2014

Welcome to the Life of Riley!

So, here we are.  I'm Riley, married to Sheldon (not his real name), living in a motorhome in Australia.  At present I am in Tasmania, getting ready to hit the road.  Where we will end up is anybody's guess.

I am currently working on my second Bachelor's degree at the University of Tasmania, having graduated from my first last year.  Sheldon and I have 3 grown sons, (J, B & N), and 1 granddaughter (S), and 2 grandsons (K & B).  Sheldon is on a disability pension, due to a degenerative bone disorder which is eating his spine away.

Now we have that out of the way, let's get down to what this blog is about.  Or rather, what it isn't.  It is not going to be a soapbox for political, religion or any other majorly divisive issues - I may talk about them, but I'm not going to come out guns blazing.  Not that I don't, and won't go boots and all on rants, I will, but they will likely be limited to things like "Why can't I find clothes/shoes that fit me?".  I'll talk about the journey to getting on the road, the journey once we get on the road, things I wonder about, clothes and beauty.

The latter two make up the majority of my blog list for daily perusal; actually, I only have one beauty blog in the list, and even that isn't purely a beauty blog; it's a life and beauty blog.  Truth be told, all of the blogs I read have a fair bit of 'life' in them, none are restricted to just one topic.

Posting is going to be sporadic - some weeks there may be no posts, and then I may post 2 or 3 times in a day.  It will all depend on what takes my fancy on any given day, and what my internet situation is.

So, get comfy, buckle up and hang on - it's going to be a long ride...........