The 11 months of 2017 soared by at warped pace, with assignments and research and events and travel and fash-un and laughs and friends and family and fundraising and work and progress. 11 busy months. 11 amazing months. 11 months where I stayed true to my inner over-committer. 11 months where I kept it together… just.
And it seems as if my body has had enough, done enough and is boycotting December.
I was struck down by a migraine last Friday, barely 12 hours after signing off from the final 2017 event of the not-for-profit industry association I’m involved in running. Wiped out, two days. I dragged myself into work on Monday and went downhill, seemingly succumbing to the head cold that everyone in my office had this year – except for me… until now. I’ve been in bed since, a congested ball of germs. I swear this sort of thing didn’t last this long when we were kids? Why am I five days in and still thick with lurgy?
I have an assignment yet to complete this month, I’ve sought an extension to buy me some time. Who on earth decided it was appropriate to run university during December? This is my 36th university subject and I’ve despised every occasion I’ve been required to bunker down in the books during party season. This subject will be no exception.
This is clearly a ranty germ-addled post from someone who’s seemingly got some cabin fever setting in. And let me acknowledge my complaints are mild ones, I know there are scores of people dealing with very real issues of a whole range that make my whinging look like a picnic in the park on a sunny day.
The point I want to make is this: I know I’m not the only one running on end-of-year empty. Maaaybe we need to be a little kinder to ourselves, a little more inclined to say no, plan in a little more roses-smelling time and find some marker for a life-well-lived that isn’t doing All Of The Things.
And maybe, perhaps, possibly, kinda I’m really trying to make these suggestions to myself.
Wherever you’re at as we reach the end of the year, my very best non-germ-infested vibes to you. Four years in, this space on the internet still brings me so much joy, which comes through sharing it with you. Thank you x
Christmas season is upon us and if you are wracking your mind on what to purchase for the women in your world I have some ideas for you! In a year of #metoo’s and Trump, I figured it couldn’t hurt to give a little lady-themed joy to brighten the sparkle of the women (and equality-campaigning men!) in your life. So this year the Sublime Finds gift guide is 25 entirely girl-power-themed pressies! I hope it may inspire the feminist in you!
1. SHE: Muses, Visionaries and Madcap Heroines by kate spade new york
There’s so much to love about this exquisite coffee-table book by kate spade new york. Perfectly styled, packed with women equal parts inspiring and fashionable, SHE: muses, visionaries and madcap heroines celebrates the women whose bold personalities and styles play an important role in the lives of women today. With rich photography, spirited quotes and profiles, amusing anecdotes, words of wisdom, personal essays, and signature kate spade new york “she” statements, every page of SHE is a feast to devour. One of my absolute favourite gifts of the season.
The Leaders In Heels Phenomenal Woman planner is on my Christmas Wishlist this year and this is why: it’s beautiful (comes in three finishes), mongrammable, packed full of pages promoting planning and intention setting plus structured prompts to make 2018 a super meaningful year!
8. Rules of the Game: Women in The Masculine Industries by Teagan Dowler
An essential read for any women interested in or currently working in the masculine industries of engineering, construction and mining in Australia. Following her own experience and interviews with more than 50 women and Teagan Dowler reveals the realities of life for women working in masculine industries. The good, the bad and everything in between, Teagan’s writing style has you turning pages. Rounded out with a dose of excellent suggestions for women finding their way, this book is a comforting friend for any woman finding herself among the minority, or wanting a better picture of what life is like. A great gift for the enlightened bloke in your life too!
What’s a snapback? I have no idea, but I sure do love this one from Wild Feminist. Plain black up top and adorned with Feminist under the brim, this is becoming a bit of a cult item popping up on well known peoples around the traps.
‘I need a wife’ may be a common joke among women juggling work and family. But it’s not actually a joke. Having a spouse who takes care of things at home is a Godsend on the domestic front. It’s a potent economic asset on the work front. And it’s an advantage enjoyed – even in our modern society – by vastly more men than women. In The Wife Drought Annabel Crabb dissects the domestic and workplace inequities that serve men and the status quo. Rich with research but as witty as ever – a must read for every Aussie feminist.
If Julia Gillard’s famous parliamentary misogyny speech had you fist pumping in the air, capture this little piece of history with it in full on a tea towel. If the irony of the tea towel is a litte too much, you’ll also find a poster in the Emily’s List shop.
Personally, if I’m going to be reminded of my patriarchy smashing responsibilities, I’d quite like it to be via a set of sparkle pens. I also think these could make for quite interesting ‘could I borrow a pen’ scenarios!
I loved this book SO much I bought seven copies when it was released earlier this year and gifted them to the girls in my life. Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls is the brain child of Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo who started what went on to become the most successful book go-fund-me in history, raising over $600,000 against their $40,000 target to write a storybook telling the tales of incredible women throughout history. Packed with gorgeous illustrations and inspiring stories, it’s a book girls of all ages (yes, including your age!) should know the contents of.
The perfect gift for the lego-enthusiast or aspiring astronaut in your life (male or female)! Making both a great lego experience and a fantastic bit of history, this set is a fabulous gift fo ages 10+.
The perfect accompaniment to the lego set, the Hidden Figures movie tells the story of three brilliant African-American women at NASA — Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe). Moving, inspiring, and memorable – hold the mascara.
Lucky for us, there’s no shortage of excellent feminist memoirs to devour, but if I’m going to recommend only one, it has to be Tracey Spicer’s The Good Girl Stripped Bare. For several reasons: Tracey is equal parts intimidatingly clever and down-to-earth hilarious. Her memoir is honest and as objectively told as one could possibly expect when reading an autobiography. But most significantly, I’d go as far as to suggest it paints the tale of a generation of women, pushed to the limit of what they’re willing to endure as a result 2of their gender. This is the background story to the history playing out in our media now in the post-Weinstein world, why Tracey Spicer was the one to ask women with stories of sexual harassment to contact her and why she is at the centre of the investigative journalism into claims against 65 men, the first of which was Don Burke. And that is also the final reason that you should buy Tracey’s book – because she is undertaking incredibly difficult work that will benefit all of us as women and it’s the least we can do in return. As I said to Tracey when I met her at a signing earlier this year and I say again now: thank you for everything you are doing.
There you have it friends! 25 girl-power gifts. If you’re looking for more I thoroughly recommend popping across to femeconomy.com to purchase from a business at least 50% owned or 30% managed by women.
Yours in festive girl-powered goodness!
Do you give girl-powered gifts? Spied a good one, not on this list? Let us know in the comments!
It’s that time of year again: the festive season is upon us! Our favourite stores are filling to the brim with gorgeous gifts, yet few products will fly off the shelves as quickly as the 2017 beauty advent calendars!
For the uninitiated, beauty advent calendars provide a calorie-free way for Christmas enthusiasts to embrace the festive season. Just like the chocolate version you may have experienced as a kid, each day in the lead up to Christmas has the opportunity open a new window or box. Within lies a coveted, mini beauty product from a brand of your choosing making a fun and indulgent way to enjoy the festive season! Additionally, it often provides the opportunity to sample the best products from a beauty brand at a fraction of the retail price for full-sized products. That’s not to say all beauty advent calendars are a steal; they range broadly in price from novelty to the truly luxurious.
Whatever your budget, I have an option for you below! It gives me great pleasure to present the 2017 Beauty Advent Calendars available in Australia… for a *strictly* limited time!
2017 Beauty Advent Calendars!
1. The Body Shop: 25 Day Ultimate Advent-ure calendar
We’ll kick off with the Body Shop who has totally spoilt us this year with FOUR different advent calendars!
Filled with a mix of The Body Shop’s all-time favourite beauty and makeup products, the 25 day ultimate advent-ure calendar is arguably the most coveted in The Body Shop’s collection. In addition to the luxurious goodies, this calendar also includes a feel-good action to complete every day! Plus once you’ve opened box 25, your calendar transforms into a trivia quiz to play on Christmas Day. (I LOVE this!)
2. The Body Shop: 25 day game-changing advent-ure calendar
The 25 day game-changing advent-ure calendar gives you body care, skincare, makeup and accessories and like it’s big sister above, also contains feel good daily suggestions and a trivia game to complete in the end!
Bodycare, skincare, tools and accessories – this version has a little something for everyone. Also get your feel-good fix with daily suggestions and a trivia game to play after day 25 with the whole family!
Beauty advent calendars need not only be for the ladies – including your man-friend in the action with The Grooming Advent Calendar from Asos featuring plenty of products to keep your hip man friend in check.
I received a Ciate Mini Mani Month calendar a few years ago and it was a very fun way to become a bit more playful with nails (including some options for statement nails)! If manicures are your thing, it’s hard to go past this pick which in years gone by has been hard to source in Australia!
The products inside Look Fantastic’s annual beauty advent calendar are a fairly closely guarded secret, but the reviews on the site speak for themselves year on year! There’s also a number or products exclusive to Look Fantastic – think well known brands partnering with Look Fantastic to develop exclusive shades. Apparently valued at over 300 pounds, the value is good at only $120 Australian. I took a little sneak peek at the contents on a youtube video – I think it looks…. (yep I’m going there) fantastic!
The team at The Beauty Advent Calendar have delivered on their mission to compile the first beauty advent calendar with only Australian beauty products! In 25 drawers you’ll find 26 products including 14 full sized items. It’s also 100% cruelty-free. A great way to sample some of the gorgeous products on the Australian beauty market!
24 of L’Occitane’s most coveted products in mini-sizes for an indulgent December. The luxury version appears to have a bit more skincare and a bit less bath and body. I think the packaging is beautiful!
Diptique truly takes out the title for Australia’s most luxurious beauty advent calendar this year! Featuring best selling fragrance, candles and skincare. No doubt an incredibly indulgent December treat with the most amazing smells!
There you have it, friends, there are 21 x 2017 Beauty Advent Calendars available in Australia this year! Unfortunately, Benefit and Estee Lauder do not appear to have released their calendars in Australia this Christmas. However, we have some great options to choose from! I am most tempted by The Body Shop’s offerings – the ideas for joy and trivia game bonuses sound fantastic to me. My curiosity on Look Fantastic is growing each year too.
Are you indulging in a 2017 Beauty Advent Calendar? Have you had one in the past? Have you spotted any 2017 Beauty Advent Calendars available in Australia and not on this list? Whatever your thoughts, I’d love to hear them in the comments below!
p.s. this post contains some affiliate links. Affiliate links provide me with a small commission if you purchase the product, but you don’t pay anymore.
Well, friends, it’s 31 October and after 31 days straight of wearing the Leina Broughton Amelia dress, I have hung her up for the last time (… for a while at least) and am reflecting on an amazing Frocktober campaign for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation!
If you read my post at the start of the month, you’d know that I wanted to take on the challenge of wearing one dress all month to 1) raise money for the OCRF and 2) test out a little minimalism and prove you don’t need a huge wardrobe to navigate different events and express who you are through personal style.
There’s been some style theories confirmed and a few surprises too, and tonight I’m sharing my lessons from a month of one dress with you!
1. Wearing a uniform wouldn’t be that bad…
I’ve always felt like fashion was a form of self-expression and variety has brought me joy. But there are lots of ways to bring personality and variety to your styling world beyond your core pieces. I have worn 31 different looks this month for different moods and different occasions and vastly different dress codes. Better yet, it’s made deciding what to wear a super quick process in the morning and travelling enabled me to pack light!
2. Nothing will work as hard in your wardrobe as good quality, versatile pieces.
All points from lesson #1 are only valid in circumstances where your core pieces are good quality and versatile! The Amelia dress was designed by team LB for ultimate levels of versatility. I can firmly attest that pieces that can transition with your life are so worth the investment.
3. Navy is the ultimate colour for summer
I’m a little black dress gal at heart, but opted for navy this month for a slightly softer (and more royal?) hue and I’ve loved it. In the day navy can be paired with light and bright colours for fresh summer feels, in the evening it can team up with metallics and jewel tones to add a bit of glamour. In terms of colour psychology, navy has also been shown to be the best possible colour to wear to a job interview so giving it five stars on the work front, too!
4. Add a pop of colour and add some brightness to your day!
Nothing makes me want to twirl quite like a load of colour. I was lucky enough to pop along to Ruby Olive’s recent customer shoot – I am having MAJOR feels about their Carousel range! Rainbow of colours that go with everything. Skye sent me home with the Carousel sideshow bloom necklace, it’s going straight on high rotation! See it up close here!
Frocktober day 24: add a pop of colour!
5. Big hair makes for casual day looks
A big hair experiment went terribly wrong on Frocktober day 7 and had to be quickly spun into an updo, but by Frocktober day 8, I had perfect Sunday hair! Note strategically placed sunglasses act as hair-tamer!
Frocktober day 8! Sunday vibes for casual hangs.
6. A blazer will sharpen any professional look
Instant credibility! Proof is in the pudding with this one!
Frocktober day 16: work vibes!
7. I could probably be washing more regularly than I do…
A mid-week wash hasn’t been on my radar until Frocktober! Apparently, I can do a quick load in the evening, after all? #WhoEvenKnew?
8. Sparkle and lashes add glamour in spades
Add a set of lashes and everything gets dialled up a notch! A beauty hack that takes 5 mins but makes you look and feel like there were major levels of effort involved. Double down with some sparkles on your jewels and you’re on the way to max glamour in less than ten minutes.
9. There’s plenty of fun to be had in thinking outside the box with layering!
Frocktober day 27: creative layering with a broderie top from country road, belted for a cute peplum shape! Feeling kinda genius in this one!
Frocktober day 13: a casual friday look with a polka dot button down tied at the waist.
10. A neutral trench goes with EVERYTHING
See lesson number 2 – good quality, classic pieces!! This trench keeps delivering and makes me feel polished and warm to boot!
Day 28: adding a trench for cool climate travel!
11. A denim jacket and a pair of sneakers makes the world feel like an adventure
Tourist adventures call for comfy shoes and layers. I am an enormous fan of the FRANKiE4 Nat sneakers who, as promised, have saved my soles when exploring on foot! Teamed with a denim jacket, crossbody bag and some fun (but super light) earrings from Ruby Olive – this was a super practical outfit with a dose of style and versatility.
Day 29: people to see, places to go! Headed off to explore!
12. Your generosity has been beyond what I could ever have imagined
I set out to top last year’s fundraising tally of $1,706 and aimed for $2,000. I would NEVER have imagined we’d reach $4,478 on the Frocktober fundraising page at the time I’m writing this! THANK YOU for doing this with me. Thank you for your generosity in donations and support of me through this challenge, I’m so grateful!
13. We’re giving the OCRF some help they really need.
In Australia, we lose one woman every 10 hours to ovarian cancer. The symptoms are vague and often diagnosis is received too late. The OCRF are working to develop an early detection test to help save women’s lives and I’m proud we’ve helped them along this month. When that early detection test is found, we’ll know we each had a teeny part to play in helping create positive change.