Friday, February 28, 2014

Girl Talk | Bra Fitting - Find Your Bra Size

Time for some girl talk, sorry guys! Bras. Love 'em or hate 'em, they're bound to be something you have to deal with at some point as a female. In a past life, I was (and still am, I suppose) a certified, qualified, gold stamped bra fitter. Every male that finds this out will inevitably raise his eyebrows and wonder out loud how I managed to snag the best job in the world. I probably don't need to tell you that the reality is nowhere near as... what? sexy? exciting? I don't know what they think it's like. There are boobs. They are never in bras that fit. I fix(ed) that. The end.

Here's a step by step guide for finding out your correct* size. Make sure you take your measurements while standing up straight, relaxed and wearing a bra, but no extra layers. Keep the tape measure firm against your skin, not too tight and not loose. Exhale before measuring! For the cup measurement, you can use a slightly looser measuring technique. If you are in between measurements, it's best to round up to the next size. All measurements are in cm.

It's important not to use the "size" in inches (in the USA/UK row) as the equivalent of the band measurement for inches. They don't match. Use the dark grey row - and if you measure in inches, either check the other side of the tape measure for a cm measurement, or you convert your inches measurement to cm online.

Finding your correct size is a step in the right direction, but it's only the beginning. Part 2 is going to be about troubleshooting, and finding the right style of bra to suit your specific needs. I'd love it if you could leave any comments with your specific issues, so that I can make sure I cover them in the next post.

*This method works well for regular sizing. Ladies with a more generous cup size than a 'D' might need to take some additional advice from this chart which lists major manufacturers, their sizes and cup size equivalents to measurements. After a D cup, different countries and brands use different cup descriptions, in Australia we use D, DD, E etc, but the USA and Europe are different. I've listed the Australian cup sizes so they may not align with the sizing in your country for the larger cup sizes.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Work Your Way | Time Management

Since I started working from home, I'm more accountable for my own time. There isn't someone standing over my shoulder checking how many hours I work (good), but there also isn't someone there to leave the office and remind me that my day is done (bad). There is also the distraction of just about anything... oh, look, is that a dirty sock? I might do some washing... or, hm... a coffee would be nice right now. So. Easily. Distracted. It's one extreme or the other with me!

I needed to figure out a system fairly quickly, but I don't think I've perfected it just yet. I'd love to know how my fellow designers, working from home folk, or organisational freaks in general get sh*t done.

What gets in the way of your super organised day?
  • Clients | Ha! Ironic, right? That unplanned conference call? Other things that are a normal part of office life seem to throw me right off track at home. It's hard to re-focus and get back into the zone.
  • Obligations | Working from home allows you the freedom to schedule things during the day, which is awesome. But it can become easy to fill up a day with Dr. appointments, trips to the post office, bank, supermarket, hairdresser, cooking a feast for lunch... you name it.
  • Chores | I have a great view of the rest of my house from my desk. I can see if there are dishes that need washing, clothes that need folding, sweeping that needs doing, cats that need cuddling (not that that's a chore!) It's easy to drift onto the menial tasks that need doing instead of tackling that difficult problem blinking at you from the computer monitor.
  • Freedom | Nobody is stopping you from taking a long lunch break, or heading out to the beach for the afternoon. It's dangerous.
How do I avoid distractions?
  • Willpower | That's a big one. You have to be professional even when nobody is watching. Don't check personal emails or surf Pinterest during work time, it just slows you down, and you pay for it later.
  • Schedule | If I have more than one client on the go, this is essential for allocating time and sticking to a strict schedule in order to fit things in. I use Google Calendar, but that's a whole other post!
  • Pomodoro Method | I use the desktop app from TeamViz (it's free for the lite version). You enter tasks for the day, double click on the number next to each task to increase the number of "pomodoros" expected to complete the task (I have them set at the default 25 minutes), and run through the list. Every 25 minutes I get a 5 minute break, which I use to stretch my legs, check emails, and rest my eyes. If I'm going really well with a task, I simply skip the break so I don't interrupt my train of thought. It's been working really well. The app runs a little stopwatch on your desktop, so you can see the minutes ticking away.
  • Plan | If I have to go out to buy supplies for lunch, or to an appointment, I make sure that I start an hour earlier on that day, or allocate the time elsewhere. Try to set appointments during a time that would be your lunch break, or before/after the working day where possible, to avoid unnecessary disruptions (It's amazing how many things I could find to do every day if I don't treat this rule seriously)
  • Don't be too hard on yourself | What's the fun of working for yourself if you're a jerk boss? I allow myself to linger on lunch, with the understanding I will work a little later that evening. If I need time out to think, I might come back to work after a couple of hours. Afternoon nap? No problem. As long as I get in my hours for the day, I'm cool with it. The only problem with this is, a work day can stretch from 9am until midnight. It's best to try and stick to some semblance of 'normal' working hours in order to give yourself a good chunk of time off each day, instead of bits and pieces all over the place.
There's something else I'm wondering about, and this might be an Australian thing (despite our reputation as beach bums, we work long hours and do lots of overtime here). Whenever I pitch a job, I'm generally asked what my 'day rate' is. When I tell people, they respond with "Is that a 10 hour day? Or an 8 hour day?". I am really strict on this. It is a standard 8 hour day. You do not get 2 free hours a day (10 free hours a week, 520 free hours a year!) If there's a deadline, or I'm just having a productive day and I'm on a roll, sure, I can work 16 hours or more if I have to. But the expectation that a standard 'day' at work is 10 hours is not cool with me.

Do you work a 10 hour day? Am I living in some 1950's utopia, putting my foot down and demanding 8 hour standard working day? I'd love to hear your tips on staying focussed and managing your time as well!


Monday, February 24, 2014

Meet My Fab February Sponsors!

My February sponsors are a lovely bunch! Take a moment to learn a little more about those folks you keep seeing on the sidebar, and if you would like to know more, please visit their respective blogs and shops. This month I asked: ☁ What is your dream job?

Twentieth Street is a lifestyle blog focused on finding balance and happiness in the little things in life. You'll find posts about photography (session recaps and tutorials!), travel, recipes and my recent adjustment to gluten-free living, our sweet little guinea pigs, and life in San Francisco - all with a good dose of humor and humility mixed in. My hope is that Twentieth Street inspires others to pursue the things that make them happiest and celebrate the in-between moments that make life worth living.
☁ I have a lot of dream jobs! I'm living one of them as a photographer but in another life, I'd like to be a either a baker or a zoologist.  (Hmm, maybe I should explore food or wildlife photography...!)
my favourite post // Twosday | Hands

Victoria's Class is a mum-owed shop specialized in unique hair accessories for ladies and girls. We strive to provide accessories with superior quality and with classic, yet timeless styles. Although it is hard not to find something you love in our shop, we can also offer customized designs if you have a special requirement. Come check us out in our website and social media!
☁ I think I have got the closest I can get to my dream job, designing my accessories and being creative everyday! However, I have always wanted to be a furniture upholsterer! I think it is because I love doing my own home projects upholstering little old things and getting them back to their splendor. I love to re-use, re-cycle and re-purpose things.

Hey, I'm Kate, the Vegan Gluten-Free Feminist that runs Clear the Way. I'm a total gemini which means I have extremely varied interests/tastes and a whole lot of creativity. On Clear the Way you'll see everything from home decor and recipes to fashion and photography. Stop by and say hello!
☁ While being an astronaut has always sounded so enticing, I will be perfectly happy teaching Feminist Studies at the University level. =]
my favourite post // Warm Wood and Color
discount // 20% off sponsor packages with the code kbuck

Diana is a web designer from Los Angeles. She recently opened Glitter Web Analytics to help bloggers keep track of their site statistics in a super fun, simple way.
☁ Already living it! :)

I'm Kristen. I'm an Indiana girl living in Hawaii with my boyfriend and two dogs. I am a professional dabbler and my talent seems to be curiosity. My blog is all about living the HI life on the Big Island of Hawaii!
☁ I'd love to be a writer one day. Writing has been one of my passions for as long as I can remember. In fact, I was attempting to write my own (very bad!) novels when I was in primary school.
my favourite post // Living The Hi Life: Ho'Okena

Hunting Bears is a place for me to document my craft and printmaking adventures, share my experiments in creative living and generally wax lyrical about all things art and craft.  I also geek out over birds and nature, share regular craft tutorials and the odd travel story.  Grab a cup of coffee and come say hi!
☁ I'd love to be a full-time artist... one with the means to travel regularly! I'd also like to run workshops teaching others about art and craft and the positive effects it can have on your life.
my favourite post // In Flight: I

Hi! I'm Kyla, a boring corporate designer by day and freelance illustrator and blogger by night. I love sharing design projects, freebies, fashion, and lots of pretty things. 
What would your dream job be? (no boundaries, astronaut, florist, UN ambassador - whatever!) ☁ ...or an Astrophysicist!
 my favourite post // Fashion Illustration: Red Valentino

I am a little lady with a big personality that loves vintage, anything creative, and life. I own a vintage etsy shop, and have a fashion/lifestyle blog where I share yummy healthy recipes, and bits and pieces of my everyday life.
☁ I would love to be a fashion stylist for famous people in New York City!

Shadylane Blog is full of inspiration and real-life ways to celebrate the everyday. In my experience it is so true that even though every day may not be good, there is something good in every day, and I try to capture, preserve and share those small moments that add up to a beautiful life.
☁ My dream job...hmmm... some days I think I've found it and then other days I just want to go back to working a 9-5! lol. I love what I do now, though. I'm a Project Administrator for a non-profit organization that focusing on safety training and compliance. I work the back end on the computer most days and do lots of coordinating and scheduling. I get to work from home a lot, and each week there is something new to learn. This job, plus my blog designing and photography combined make me a pretty busy and happy girl. 
my favourite post // Transformation Tuesday

I hope you love them all as much as I do :)
If you're interested in advertising on Kitty & Buck in March, simply head over to my sponsor page, or email me.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Colour Me... RED

I'm really excited to be collaborating with my friend Kyla over at Kyla Is Inspired for a new series called "Colour Me..." (I'm sure her version is called "Color Me..."!) We'll be choosing a colour prompt, and finding an artwork or illustration in that colour, along with some extra goodies to create a nice moodboard. Since it's February, we went with red for Valentines. Head on over to Kyla's blog to check out her selection, too, I'm looking forward to seeing what she comes up with!
Daily Dishonesty - I'm Not Jealous The Catcher In The Rye Chicwish - Heart Cutout Dress Lianna Raine Popsicle Recipe Modern Vice Jett in Lipstick Red Kate Spade Red Scallop Ring Retro Ponytail Tutorial on Sea of Shoes Image Map

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Freebie! Desktop Wallpaper

high-res | standard | iPad | iPhone5 | iPhone 3-4
(free for personal use only - not for distribution or sale without written permission from Kitty & Buck.)

I'm sticking to my promise for another month. Here's some coffee cup wisdom* for your desktop, available in a few devices if you'd like it on your phone or iPad as well. Feel free to pin or share, but please link back to the original post if you do. I hope you find some magic this month :)


*C pointed out to me after I made this wallpaper that we do have a coffee cup with this exact quote on it. I guess my brain does absorb something before I drink my coffee, albeit sub-consciously...

Kikki-K Stationary Pack Giveaway

It's time for the monthly sponsored giveaway! This month, we have a beautiful prize pack up for grabs from Australian stationary suppliers, Kikki-K. This Swedish-influenced, Aussie based company makes such a lovely selection of planners, stationary, paper, pens, anything stationary-related. I love their Gel pens :)

One winner will receive the pictured prize pack, which contains:
1 x Gold polka-dot Black leather clutch
1 x Pink Leather bound notebook
1 x Pink Leather snap bracelet
1 x Pink Leather Heart keyring
1 x Metal rollerball pen
1 x Metal Ballpoint pen

All of this is valued at $149.95! (RRP)

This giveaway is made possible by my February sponsor team, please visit them to say thanks!

To enter, simply follow the entry instructions on the widget below and good luck!
*Open worldwide. This giveaway has no affiliation with Kikki-K, I just love their products

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Found # 86

We don't celebrate Valentine's Day. The holiday feels a bit forced. There's no reason why you can't show the person you love how much you love them every day (and you should! Our time is precious). Today is just like any other day, right? Despite this, I thought I'd do an ever so slightly themed Found this week, just because I do love an excuse to have a cohesive theme running through my selections.

Beth shared a her story of love, along with some of her (always) evocative photographs of food. In this case, a Red Velvet cake made with natural ingredients (no food colouring in this one!) If you're after any last minute "I need to impress someone" ideas, may I suggest the cake?

RossLab creates such beautiful ceramic works, this little ring dish is so cute! A perfect nest for a couple of special items.

via: RossLab

More heart shapes, this time from my favourites, Tumbleweeds Handcraft. I love the confetti range that they make, they're so unique and pretty.

If you're feeling especially Valentines-y, or you just love cute dresses, this heart cut-out dress from Coincidence & Chance is so pretty!

You could probably use some red velvet lip stain to match the cake... How about some of this super-pigmented stain from Lime Crime?

via: ModCloth

I'll leave you with a love song. I saw this song performed live by Daniel Johnston in Sydney a couple of years back. I'd been looking forward to the show for a long time, and since he's not a 'well' man (he has many health issues), seeing him play live was never going to be a sure thing. While we were patiently waiting for him to come onstage, there was a power outage and the entire venue had to be evacuated. We stood on the street for a good hour (or two?) before they finally restored power and thankfully, did not cancel the show. The recorded version maintains the raw emotion of the live version, I think.

If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend the documentary, "The Devil and Daniel Johnston" It's tragic and touching, a fascinating glimpse into the world of music, religion and mental illness.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Interview and DIY over at How.Do

In the interest of creating something special and handmade for your loved one this Valentines Day, How.Do approached me to contribute one of my DIY projects for their app. You can check out their interview with me over on the How.Do blog, where you can also find a link to my DIY project for creating a paper book cover (Japanese style). It's slightly different from the version that you can see here on the blog, because the images are accompanied by a voice telling you what to do. I was really nervous to record my voice. Like everyone I've met, ever, I hate hearing my voice recorded. But I think it came out okay!

Let me know if you have a listen, and if you think hearing a DIY like this is more helpful than just reading words with pictures. I really enjoyed the process and I think it's a great way to share a DIY project - you can sign up for the How.Do app and find many more DIYs, recipes and other tutorials as well (it's free!)


*This is not an affiliate post, I just think this app is great fun!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Creative Ladies: Chelsea from Sketchy Notions

Hello! My name is Chelsea and I am the eccentric artist and maker behind Sketchy Notions! 
My favourite thing about my job is being challenged and inspired by my clients and the things they ask me to create. It's a pretty incredible and lucky job to have. Being able to sit and watercolor for hours on end is a nice perk too.
If I wasn't an artist, I would love to explore stunt driving! It's kind of a family tradition.
If you knew me in real life, you would know that I'm a recovering procrastinator and yet very detail oriented. I also tend to hoard art supplies, I know I'll find a use for it all one day...
People are always telling me that I am ...honestly, no one tells me much. I tend to be a homebody, I'd have to leave my art bubble for someone to tell me something! 
If I had to choose one place to live for the rest of my life, it would be Carpinteria, California (with regular visits to Italy!) When I'm not working, I love to cook and bake, I'm trying to be more ambitious with my cooking this year. Chances are I'm plotting or daydreaming my next adventure too.
In 2014, I will be fearless and finally self-publish a book, no excuses this year. I hope that I'll be able to knock off everything on my to-do list this year and I know that I'm going to have to hustle like no other to pull it all off!
If I could give one piece of advice it would be always say yes to traveling! (and for fellow procrastinators, no Netflixs before noon! )

I hope you enjoyed learning more about Chelsea, she's such a great gal! If your interest is piqued, please head on over to her store, Sketchy Notions, and check out more of her beautiful work (plus some gorgeous Valentines Day cards). You can also find some behind the scenes action on her blog. Sketchy Notions is also on Instagram and Twitter

Thanks so much for joining us today Chelsea, it's been great having you!


Pinterest Persuasion #6 - Itoyoshi

Pinterest Persuasion is a selection from the boards of my favourite pinners. Feel free to share your account, and any of your favourites in the comments below. You can see my previous Pinterest Persuasions in the archives.

Today's account comes from Tokyo, Japan and it has some of the best pattern collections I've seen on Pinterest. Aside from the patterns, there is plenty of inspiration. Here's some of my favourite boards and pins from Itoyoshi!


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

WIW - Geo Tropicana

Remind me again why I thought it was a good idea to go to the beach on a hot, sunny Sunday? I'm usually tuned in to these things and manage to avoid throngs of people, but my radar of sensible must've been broken on Sunday. Somehow we managed to snap some photos in the middle of the highest traffic area with a massive audience. Talk about awkward. I feel uncomfortable about having my photo taken at the best of times, so this shoot is an exercise in exposure therapy! At least I had some cool backdrops to distract me from their burning stares ;)
I'm always reading about bloggers finding it awkward having their photos taken. I wonder why we do it to ourselves? For me, I've always been really shy, so I started taking photos to try and get comfortable in front of a camera. I couldn't believe when I read Kate Moss talking about having "facial tourettes". I'm not sure that's exactly the most sensitive or accurate description, but I understand what she is getting at. I thought it was something that only my family suffered from. Try to take a family portrait and 100% guaranteed one of us will blink weirdly with one eye, open our mouth in a bizarre rictus, or something equally unattractive. It's something I'm working on. (so damn slowly)
On a completely unrelated note, this particular street art installation caught our eyes. We think it's a deranged Bart Simpson feeding on the quivering bodies of some thwarted alien invaders. Whatever it is, it's Blood Hungry. It's awful good.

Geo Print Cardigan | c/o Oasap (currently on sale!)
Tropical Print Crop Singlet | Revival (no longer available - boo!)
White Wedge Oxford | Urban Outfitters (similar)
Color-Blocked Hair Clip | Vintage from Katoomba, Australia
Blue Cuff | Gift
Banana Necklace | Gift (made by C.)
Sunglasses | Gift

Friday, February 7, 2014

Instagram Challenge - February Colour Announcement!

I know you've been eagerly awaiting the new colour for February, so here it is! In case you missed January and you're wondering what this is all about, it's simple!

If you'd like to join in, there are no rules, other than using the hashtag #kittyandbuckcolor and taking a snap (or multiple snaps) that predominately feature each month's colour. You can create a scene to photograph, or walk around your town and find new places that show off the colour of the month. Just use it as an excuse to exercise your creativity and photography skills!

February is RED. GO!


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Film Style: Heathers

Do ever watch a film and just gawp at the styling? I'm going to try and choose some of my favourite films that have distinct style and re-create an outfit from the film aas well as chat about the film itself.

Have you seen Heathers? It's one of those fabulous 80's high school movies that I've seen a million times. The three most popular girls in school, all named Heather, befriend Veronica, a cynical former nerd played by Winona Ryder. Veronica soon tires of the Heather's petty, mean behaviour and sets her sights on a mysterious bad boy, J.D., played by Jack Nichols... I mean, Christian Slater. Heathers is a cynical observation of the futility of teen angst. As J.D. and Veronica set out on a murderous rampage, making their popular and nasty classmates deaths appear as suicides, the biggest question is: Who will possess the red scrunchie?

If you're not familiar with the film, I'm sure it's enjoyable for anyone who likes dark humour, cynicism and memorable quotes. This is one of those 80's gems that speaks to Veronicas everywhere :)

Heathers has a really distinct style, with each Heather sporting a specific colour palette. Blazers, ankle socks over tights and mid length skirts are the go-to fashion of a 1988 teenager. And how could we forget scrunchies? (no matter how hard we try?)

I have a big list of favourite 80's high school films. I'd love to know your favourites!


Monday, February 3, 2014

Instagram Challenge - January Recap

Thanks so much to everyone who participated in the January colour challenge. There is such a lovely collection of photos already, I'm really looking forward to seeing what you all come up with over the coming months.

Here are some of my favourites from January (it was so hard to narrow down, they were all great!)

◆ @pulpsushi
◆ @wildflwrliz
◆ @sketchynotions

◆ @juliastrawberry
◆ @apurplerat
◆ @thebeckie10

◆ @ahoymiss
◆ @aubinthomas207
◆ @melindadiorio

10 ◆ @jessiedmeece
11 ◆ @begoodnatured
12 ◆ @hayley_jean

I hope you join in on the new colour for February, too! I'll be announcing it in the next week or so, until then, feel free to add any more white themed images to the hashtag #kittyandbuckcolor.

If you'd like to share your participation (and encourage your readers and friends to join in) you can use this button on your blog:

I was asked a couple of times if you can share more than one image. Of course! Take as many as you like, it gives you a good opportunity to keep searching for interesting subjects and fun ways to shoot them. Don't forget to let me know your username if your profile is private, I'll follow you along once I know (if you want me to see your #kittyandbuckcolor shots!)

Which shots were your favourites?


P.S. I recently changed my commenting system to Disqus. There were some major problems happening with Intense Debate and I could not reach anyone (after months of trying) on tech support. I know you loved CommentLuv, so please feel free to link to your blog in the comments, I will still check out your links!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Caturday! + Clearing The Air

We've been painfully enduring a lot of Nico cuddles lately ;) This cat. While she has loved a good (and constant) snuggle from day one, and constantly nags you to get into the bed so she can cuddle you, she's been even more demanding lately. (Once she even propositioned the cable guy). We are all too happy to oblige, as evidenced on the @KittyandBuck Instagram this week.

Today we ventured out to the nursery and purchased some indoor plants. It's been a long time coming, but I've always been extra cautious about what is and isn't ok for cats. A good thing I checked too, because the instant the plants were inside, Maggie attacked them like they are her very own salad bar. It already feels great, there's something about having plants inside that clears the air and makes everything feel more fresh (and lets be honest, just a little 1970's).

I should remind you to enter any final {white} themed images into the #kittyandbuckcolor Instagram Challenge. Even if you don't join in, check out the hashtag, there's a bunch of amazing photos. I'll be sharing my favourites next week, so be quick!

Finally, I forgot to do a sponsor call this month, I got too caught up in the excitement of launching my new blog design! If you'd like to advertise in February, check out the advertising page here. In less than a week, there is an opening for one of the XL ads, so if you'd like prime position, get in quick! There's some other sizes available as well, whatever floats your boat :)

I hope your weekend is going well, I finally started my calligraphy class, and I'm staining some bookshelves and doing some macramé. I feel oh so productive!