The 10 x 10 challenge

The 10 x 10 challenge

Just before Easter I decided I was going to try and undertake an experiment with my wardrobe.

I learnt about the 10 x 10 challenge initially through Lee and Caroline’s blogs.  Essentially it’s about taking 10 items from your wardrobe and wearing them, and only them, for 10 days.  Lee created the challenge in 2015 during a month long shopping fast, as a way to garner a new appreciation for what you already own.

I’ve followed numerous challenges (held quarterly) online and always been super impressed at what you can do with just 10 items of clothing, and finally plucked up the courage to give it a go myself…

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I succumbed to the white sneaker trend and now I understand what all the fuss is about

I succumbed to the white sneaker trend and now I understand what all the fuss is about

As a kid growing up in regional Queensland in the 90s and early noughties, the cardinal fashion sin among my group of friends was ‘joggers and jeans’. It was what dads wore at weekend barbecues and certainly had no place in the life of 13 year old school girls who were trying to plan their weekend outfits for group outings.

Over the last few years though, sneakers and specifically sparkling white ones, have become a mainstay. I’m a sucker for classic, basic clothing pieces – good jeans, white shirts and always a few Breton stripe tops- so I generally avoid trends and stick to what I know I like.  I kept seeing pictures though of classic, basic white sneakers paired with my classic, basic wardrobe staples, and the more I looked the more I liked…

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The travelling wardrobe, at home

The travelling wardrobe, at home

When Adam and I moved to the U.K. I took with me a carefully curated capsule wardrobe, which I hoped would provide me with a solid sartorial base for the months ahead.  It served me remarkably well and apart from a few purchases for work, weather and special occasion purposes, I didn’t deviate far from my ‘travelling wardrobe’.

I’ve been back in Australia a little over a month now and I’ve been a surprised at what I’ve been reaching for time and time again in my wardrobe…

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Jean genie

Jean genie

Before I moved to England I created for myself a capsule wardrobe – a curated collection of tops, bottoms and shoes that would mix and match.  On the whole it’s served its purpose. It’s been so easy to put together outfits, that feel like ‘me’ and apart from a few purchases for climatic reasons, special occasions or work purposes I’ve spent little money on clothes this year.

As I was putting away clean laundry the other day, I spotted a pair of jeans I brought with me from Australia. They made the cut as they were comfortable, fitted well and tucked easily into my Bean boots (which have proven to be probably the hardest working item in my wardrobe this year) . While I’ve worn them a little bit, their slightly faded shade hasn’t felt ‘right’. In Australia in the warmer, brighter days they felt perfect with light, airy tops. In England with the cooler, greyer weather I’ve been gravitating more towards darker colours and time and time again, those jeans have been rejected for my darker wash pair.

So I started doing some research…

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Hello pixie!

Hello pixie!

For the majority of my adult life I’ve enjoyed regular appointments at the hair salon.  My mother and her mother always had their hair ‘done’ and it was a little treat I always made sure I had money set aside for.  I love the whole experience – the mindless flipping through dozens of magazines, the chit chat with the stylist and luxury of having your hair washed and properly blow dried.

I popped into my mum’s regular salon about a week or so before Adam and I flew to England, knowing it was probably the last time in a little while that I’d pamper myself. Then life sort of happened, and moving abroad, setting up a new house and travelling became my priority.  Then a few weeks ago I had the realisation I hadn’t had a hair cut in eight (!!) months and decided it was time to treat myself once more.

So I did some research, asked girlfriends for recommendations and made an appointment at new a local salon.

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The suitcase guide: Latvia

The suitcase guide: Latvia

This weekend Adam and I will fly to Latvia for our next mini-break of 2017. Latvia is one of the Baltic states in Eastern Europe and has a long and conflicted history, including being invaded by Nazi Germany and occupied by the Soviet Union in the last 100 years. Part of the capital Riga has a UNESCO World Heritage listing and close to half the country, which is part of the European Union, is forested – a unique mix that allows for varied holiday experiences.

Small suitcase and Australian passport.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Eastern Europe was a region we started investigating after returning from Gibraltar last month, due to its easy accessibility from the U.K., the exchange rate and the fact it was a little ‘off the radar’.  When well priced flights to Riga came up at reasonable times on the dates we wanted from our first choice airport, Adam and I decided Latvia needed to be explored.

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The suitcase guide: Gibraltar

The suitcase guide: Gibraltar

A couple of weeks ago Adam and I sat aside a few days in February for a mini-break. Our first getaway in the Lake District (read about it here and here) seemed a distant memory and we were itching to go exploring again.

Due to only having three days spare we decided a city break was the best option.  We found super cheap flights to Gibraltar (£35 return!) and booked an Airbnb apartment right in the city centre.

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