Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Girl Talk | Bra Fitting - Troubleshooting

It's been a little while since I posted Part 1 - how to find your bra size, so feel free to look back on that post if you missed it. Today we're going to chat about trying bras on, and things to look for to get a good fit.

Here is the process I recommend if you are completely in the dark about what kind of bra fits you best, or you are changing sizes or just acquiring a well fitting bra for the first time.

1. Take 4-6 different styles of bra, in different brands into the fitting room

You may have a preconceived notion of the kind of bra you 'like' or think one style is right for you. I challenge you to think outside the box and grab a variety of styles, from push-up bras to sports bras and anything in between. You might be surprised. Also, the fit of a bras varies dramatically from brand to brand. I find a couple of brands fit me really well (Elle McPherson Intimates, Bendon and Berlei) and other brands, as much as I love them, just aren't for my shape (Pleasure State, Lovable, Calvin Klein).

2. When you try on a bra, the VERY first thing you should do is loosen the shoulder straps

You'll find when bras are on the rack, the shoulder straps are tightened to make them as tidy and 'short' on the rack as possible. You'll want to loosen those straps to halfway or 3/4 way depending on the bra. You'd be amazed at how many times I've had to help a lady out of a torture device with tightened straps.

3. Try on a bra on the loosest hook and eyelet setting

When you hook it up at the back, make sure it's on the loosest setting. Because bras are elastic, they stretch over time. If it fits you only on the tightest hook when it's brand new, it won't last long at all. You need to buy a bra with the option for tightening it as it ages, so it fits well for a longer period of time.
*tip! If you are in between sizes, and the loosest hook is too tight in one size, but the next size up is too big, you can always buy an extender for the smaller size. Most underwear shops will sell the hook and eyelet on a roll, so you can extend the back of the bra slightly. This is not commonly needed, but sometimes it's helpful.

4. Try on the bra properly

I feel like a nanna saying this, but you can't just slap it on and hope for the best, especially if you have a generous bust. The best way to put your bra on is to position the band (under the bust) at the front, holding the ends of the band, bend from the waist slightly and let your bust fall into the cups. Hook it up, straighten up and adjust as necessary. Make sure everything is contained inside the cup and you're not being squished out the bottom, sides or top of the bra.

Now it's the time to assess if a bra fits you or not. Let's look at the band - it should sit firmly and horizontally across your back. If you can't breathe (!) it's too small. If it rides up at the back, it's too large.

How about the cups? If you are spilling out of them, the cup size is too small. If the cups are puckered or have room inside (padded bras) they are too large.

Remember, the band size and cup size work independently of each other (to an extent) If your band is correct but the cups are wrong, you only need to adjust the cup size and vice versa.

Additional tips:

 If you are getting a small amount of 'double decker' cup spillage at the top, consider adjusting the shoulder straps slightly. Sometimes that's all it takes and you don't need a larger cup size (if it's minor)

◆ Some styles work better than others. If you are looking for comfort and support, look for a bra that has wider shoulder straps, a triple hook/eyelet and a sturdier fabric.

◆ If you do any kind of exercise, I cannot stress the necessity for a good sports bra enough. They have been scientifically developed to reduce bounce (by a lot) and they are the most supportive and comfortable bra for when you'd rather be concentrating on exercising  and not being smacked in the face by your boobs ;) Also, when you're older, your breasts will have a better chance of being less saggy, if that kind of thing bothers you (not withstanding child bearing and breast feeding, which is a whole other kettle of fish).

◆ Flesh coloured bras show up less under a white shirt than white bras.

◆ Find a bra that works for your shape. Certain designs will not work for you. Some people can wear spaghetti strap bras, others: impossible. A bra with a half cup might work for one person, others need more coverage up top for proper support. Maybe you need a bra with more structure on the sides, or maybe a bra with a good solid panel in the middle works best for you. Look at the subtle differences when you try on your variety of bras (see step one) and notice the features that do and don't work for you.

After awhile, you'll begin to find a style that suits you, and probably a brand that you like as well. From my experience as a bra fitter, I can suggest that these two bras are a great starting point as they are versatile, comfortable and good quality for basic, everyday use. Plus, they are both available in a bunch of colours, so they don't get too boring.

                         ◆ Bendon Damask                                               ◆ Berlei Barely There

If you have any questions at all, or specific issues you've come across, let me know in the comments below. Everyone is different so I can't possibly cover every issue in one post, but hopefully this helps set a good foundation of knowledge so we can banish poorly fitting bras forever!


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April Desktop Wallpaper Freebie

(free for personal use only - not for distribution or sale without written permission from Kitty & Buck.)

Here's this months desktop wallpaper download for you, enjoy!


Monday, April 28, 2014

Colour Me... Plum

Each month, Kyla from Kyla Is Inspired and I work with a specific colour theme to come up with a post based around an illustration or design piece. This month's Colour Me... is Plum! You can visit the previous posts under the Colour Me tag. My chosen artwork this month is from the talented Mr Baker.

Main image | Purple Mystique by Mr Baker
1 | The Curious Bartender
2 | Orchid Tablecloth
3 | Plum & Gold Long Prism Concrete Necklace
4 | Modern Chai No. 1
5 | Zodiac Glitter in Libra
6 | Octopus by Ryo Takemasa


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Mother's Day is coming up fast! I've gathered together some lovely handmade and vintage gift ideas for you. I like the sentiment of mother's day, and even if you don't have a mum, I think everyone has a lady they look up to and respect.

1 | The Sydney Clutch in Gold/Linen
2 | Vintage Large Glass Apothecary Jar
3 | I Love You Mom Card
4 | Organic Pampering Body Care Gift Set
5 | Modern Pastel Hardwood Serving Bowl
6 | Mini Air Plant Pod Set of 2
7 | Gardenia In The Snow Soy Candle
8 | Personalised, Custom Made Paper Dolls
9 | Mountain Blossom Furoshiki


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Instagram Challenge | April Colour Inspiration

There are only a few days left in April, so here's some colourful inspiration to help you build up the courage to submit your {blue} images before the May colour is announced. There's no rules (other than sticking to the colour) and no pressure :) Just tag your image with #kittyandbuckcolor and I'll feature my favourites right here on the blog each month.

1 | Chimek - This Tibetan lady always has the most vibrant colours in her feed
2 | Hideaki Hamada - Amazing Japanese photographer based in Osaka - with super adorable kids too!
3 | Natalie Off Duty - Gorgeous lady who is always having an adventure
4 | Megan Morton - Stylist Extraordinaire and boss-lady of The School ❤ in Sydney
5 | Kitiya Palaskas - Kitiya is full of colour, craft and inspiration, always happy and bright in Melbourne
6 | Unleash Creative - Melbourne based Craft-Enablers


Found #93

I quite like anatomical jewellery. I've had this bookmarked for a long time and rediscovered it today. It's name, Hold My Hand, offsets it's slightly creepy realistic vibe.
via: Of A Kind

These photographs of "Salt" by Emma Phillips are amazing. I'm always fascinated by the manmade landscapes that are created by industry (in a wow, uh-oh, why, kind of way)

If you could only use two words to catch my attention, I'm pretty sure "Blanket Cardigan" would be very close to the top of the success list.

I want a 3D printer so bad. How amazing is this Minimalist Incline Top ring from Mind Over Minimalism?!

There's something about the contrast of pretty hand created patterns on a functional item that just work. Loving this Wild Fern Leaf sunglasses case.
via: Kertis

Tara and Holly of Tara Victoria and Holly Marie Designs have been chatting about growing your blog and social media. You can read what they have to say here and here.

Does anyone have any interesting plans for the weekend? It's been another long weekend here in Australia, so we got off to an early start. I did a bit of spring cleaning (in Autumn) today. I have a birthday celebration to attend tomorrow and then on Sunday, perhaps there will be some kitty snuggles and reading... As always, the Japanese grammer book is never far from my side these days.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wish/Want | On Missing Out

I'm going to take a break from the scheduled feel-good talk that is so prevalent in the blogosphere and talk about reality for a minute. Not because I want to crush your dreams, or tell you that they aren't possible. But because sometimes you (and I) need a dose of reality.

Have you ever wanted something so bad that you'd do anything to get it? I've been there, and you know what, I didn't get it. I could say it was for the best, and things happen for a reason, but to be honest, I'm still not sure that is true. Some things in life aren't for the taking, and sometimes you don't get what you want.

Back when I lived in London, there seemed to be a whole new world before me. I thought that I could waltz into one of the largest cities in the world, with no experience and land on my feet. And while there were many new opportunities and experiences, competition is fierce. It's expected that people starting out in the film and graphics industries work as an intern (read: unpaid). Sadly, my parents forgot to water the money tree they received when I was born, and working for free was not in the realm of possibility for me. So I got a job. Not a graphic design job mind you. I got a job selling t-shirts. It involved standing in the doorway of a store to deter thieves from ripping whole racks of clothing to sell. It involved folding 100's of t-shirts every day. It involved smiling to rude customers. I tried to upsell shitty accessories and shivered in the doorway of that shop in my t-shirt with a silly slogan on the front. All for around £4 per hour. Not exactly the glitz and glamour of an exciting new design career. To put it into perspective, my monthly wage (working 6 days a week) was LESS than the homeless man that I befriended who sold the Big Issue.

After months of t-shirt slaving, I started to pick up the odd freelance design job here and there. C was gaining interest, connections and momentum in his career as well. Things were getting better. Despite the hard working conditions, we had a great circle of friends with similar interests. The opportunity for success in creative fields is so much greater than in Australia. It was a land of opportunity for our chosen fields. As you already know, I love to travel, and London is a fantastic base and much more conducive to travel than Australia ever can be. It just seemed right and I felt at home for the first time in my life. I was finally at home.

We returned to Sydney for family reasons. Somehow I landed a pretty good design job while we were in transit between London and Sydney. I figured I would work for a little bit, get some decent experience and return to London with better odds at employment in my field. My working holiday visa expired and since I had a Bachelor's degree, I planned on applying for a Highly Skilled Migrant visa. I found out that this visa relies on a complex points system and while education and age were in my favour, my earnings were not. I missed qualifying by one point. The only way to raise my points was to earn more. But pay-rises usually come with time, and that was one thing I didn't have. So I did what seemed logical. I worked more. I worked like you wouldn't believe. I took on double shifts, so I would do one job Monday to Friday 9-5 and then I would also work weekends and 3 nights a week until midnight or 2am. I did this for an entire year. It almost killed me. But I was reaching my target. C took on a (horrible) corporate job, to gain his visa in a 'desired' industry (they don't need more musicians in London, go figure). The unhappiness, stress and despair of this situation took it's toll on both of us.

We were one month off breaking the income threshold and gaining our visas when the financial crisis hit London bad. To try and secure their economy, they tightened immigration laws. My Bachelor degree was no longer enough, I needed a Masters degree. It was impossible. I couldn't keep working like that (to keep my income up) and study for a Masters Degree. I didn't even want a Masters degree. It broke me. I made a few last-ditch efforts to get sponsorship but it was hopeless. A company had to prove that nobody in the UK could do the job first, then nobody in the EU. If there were no suitable candidates, then they could sponsor a worker. Graphic Designers are a dime-a-dozen and I was at a loose end.

I accepted my fate and decided that I couldn't ever consider living in the UK again. I grew bitter toward people who could, but didn't want to. I was angry at my parents for not applying for me to have German passport when I was a child (when I was able to get one). There were so many paths that led to a broken down bridge. So many "too late" moments. It still hurts that I couldn't fulfil that dream. It was not through lack of determination or hard work.

I learned something valuable from that experience though. Swimming against the current is exhausting. Sometimes you need to come up for air and make a decision if it's worthwhile. What are you hoping to get out of this goal or dream? Is there another way to achieve it? Are you doing it the hard way? Should it be this hard, is it a lost cause? I'm still sad that I never made it back to London. I can't say that it was 'for a good reason' or that anything 'special' has come out of me not going back. I have new dreams now, a different direction that my life might take, and perhaps it will have all been worth it one day.

While I can get caught up in the 'follow your dreams' talk just as much as the next person, I think we need to realise that not everything is possible, or right for you. I do believe that hard work and determination will take you far. But sometimes you need a healthy dose of luck thrown in too.

I'll leave you with this thought. I do believe that your dreams are possible - but be flexible with them. If you have a rigid plan on how things will be, it allows no room for magic and chance, and you will miss something along the way. Be prepared to work hard, your dream is unlikely to show up in the form of instant gratification.

I encourage you to talk about your failures or wrong turns. It can be completely overwhelming to hear only the success stories. It generates an expectation that things should be easy, or if you want it bad enough, you will have it instantly. I think you will find that most successful people have stories of failure. Life takes unexpected turns and you may reach a different outcome to what you expect. Embrace this and don't you ever give up. Sometimes the lesson is in the journey.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Meet the April Sponsors!

It's time to formally introduce you to my lovely April sponsor team. This month I asked the question "what is your favourite social media site or app?" You might discover something new, or take a different perspective on something that you use everyday. If you enjoy this little snippet, be sure to visit these fab ladies at their blog/shop/social media pages and share some love.

Hi! My bit of the internet is all about being your unique self, embracing simple pleasures, inspiring each other to try something new and making the normal girl in all of us feel extraordinary and accomplished. There are things to read and contemplate, plants to grow, projects to make, free downloads and, of course, things to eat! It'd be lovely if you stop on by. :)
My love affair with Pinterest is everlasting. I can keep everything all in one place and it's far more portable than the 23 binders full of magazine clippings and articles that I used to have. :)  Plus, talk about inspiration! The world is filled with SO many talented people that express themselves in so many different ways. It's happiness and inspiration all in one little package.
my favourite post // Freebie Download: Love Notes

Amy Grace is a petite blog about life and the joys that come with it! I'm twenty and a lover of all things beauty! Come join my little world full of makeup rambles, life adventures and a junkies stash of cookbooks ♥ 
Instagram! Its probably a little cliché but I find it so much easier to express my love of something in a photo then with words, and when you go back through all your photos it brings back beautiful memories and special times!
my favourite post // Weekly Catchup
I am a wanderer at heart with a gypsy soul. I love coffee, books and Sex and the City. I'm dating the love of my life with the sexiest smile. This blog is about my wanderlust, my travels and trying to make my own mark on this world.
I love Facebook, how easy it is to use and connect with other people.

my favourite post // Prague

Kyla Is Inspired is a blog about fashion, design, illustration, and pretty things. I like to post about anything and everything inspiring.
I LOVE Dribbble - it's such an addiction of mine, to go and see what everyone is up to! It's like twitter (which is my second favorite) for creatives. It's such a great inspiration resource, and I find so many new illustrators and designers to follow every time I visit. 
my favourite post // Product & Print

My name is Maria, I blog about a healthy lifestyle and fashion inspiration! I also sell vintage goodies on etsy :)
I am recently loving spotify. It's a great place to feel inspired by music, and start my day!

my favourite post // Relieving Stress

If you're interested in advertising on Kitty & Buck, simply head over to the advertising page and check out the details! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to email me. Oh, and just because, have 20% off any large or XL ad with the code: damnfinecoffee


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April Sponsor Giveaway - Win $50 for Ban.Do!

April's giveaway is fabulous! Especially if you're fond of bright colours and shiny things. We are offering one lucky lady (or gent) a $50 store credit to spend at Ban.Do. My personal favourites are the sequin heart clips, suitable for shoes, or anything else that needs a little extra something. Aside from that there are goodies galore including zippered cases, headbands and bits and bobs to dress up your gadgets. All you need to do to enter is tell me your favourite colour! Easy, right?
This giveaway is made possible by my April sponsor team, please visit them to show your appreciation!

To enter, simply follow the rafflecopter widget instructions below. There is one compulsory entry and a bunch of bonus entires to give you more chances to win. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Weekend Links v.01

Get schooled at the Akademie Zubrowka (I finally saw The Grand Budapest Hotel - it's a winner).

Are you a Bruno or a Michel?

Blogging tips and advice from a lovely group of ladies.

I'm making a half-assed effort to be somewhat healthy this easter - get these in my belly!

This is an issue that I am really passionate about. Talking about the clothing manufacture business in a really interesting way with an interactive documentary style website. Suddenly that chain store bargain item doesn't seem worth it.

Bezier curves with HVBH's. I feel enlightened (via Karli Ingersoll).

Maggie's lookbook for "Patina" S + S '14 preview is gorgeous!

Typeset in the Future looks at typography in sci-fi films. The breakdown of the type in "Moon" is fascinating.

This recipe box would make a great mother's day gift (or you know, a nice treat yourself gift).

Even if you don't manage to be a perfect 1950's lady with a spiffy home, pressed underwear and freshly baked pie cooling on the windowsill, you can still dress like one.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Found #92

Spotted this week: (see what I did there?) these cutie-pie polka dot socks from Odd Pears. You get a 'pear' of socks, which is actually 3 socks, so you can mix and match, providing you (if you're anything like me) with hours of sock-entertainment. Plus, $1 from every pair, sorry - pear, sold goes to charity.

After a conversation with an 80 year old war veteran, photographer Tom Hussey was inspired to create this series of images showing the present day subject with a reflection of themselves from the past. It's a confronting study on the passage of time and the reality of ageing.

This terrarium necklace was inspired by the mountains of Kerry, and I have to say, that's enough for me. But even if you don't have fond memories of those green mountains of Ireland, I'm sure you'll agree that this is one special piece of jewellery.

These stoneware bowls are handmade on the lovely Gold Coast right here in Australia. The texture on the glaze looks so touchable. They would make a lovely addition to any kitchen, don't you think?

There is no sign that I am going to tire of handmade, rustic jewellery anytime soon. This cuff from Break A Stone is incredible!

What are you up to for the long weekend? I'm choosing to stay at home unlike every other person in Sydney who has decided to drive somewhere in a massive traffic jam, to get away from it all (except other Sydney-siders) I'll save my weekends away for when everyone else is staying put, thank you very much. I envision baking, BBQs and perhaps some reading on a picnic blanket. Oh, and you know, maybe some work here and there too.

I hope you have a lovely Easter, don't eat too much chocolate, ok?


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Creative Ladies - Jessica-T

Jessica-T is a Brisbane-based accessories label that supplies and develops fashion products for some of the biggest names in Australian fashion. The label's retail collections are stocked in over 100 stores around Australia and internationally. I first encountered Jessica-T when I found this gorgeous hourglass necklace. Since then, Jessica-T products have been featured a bunch of times on Kitty & Buck.
The company founder, Jessica studied Fashion Design at QUT (Queensland University of Technology) after high school and graduated with honors. After cutting her teeth working with a major Australian retailer as a fashion buyer and then a product developer, she branched out on her own and formed the Jessica-T label. For a young company, Jessica-T has already gathered an impressive collection of accolades, including Jessica being a Queensland Finalist for the Telstra Young Business Women's Awards!

I selected a few of my favourite items currently in stock, you can see the full range over at the Jessica-T website.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What I Wore | Glittering Black

It's been a long time since I posted an outfit, a combination of rainy weather and lots of work on meaning I haven't had the time nor inclination. This outfit post brings exciting news, though! Over the weekend I attended my very first blog event, a blogging masterclass followed by a cocktail party which was put on by the Kidspot Voices of 2014 folks. And the reason why I was there? Kitty & Buck has somehow managed to land in the top 40 Australian Beauty & Lifestyle blogs for 2014!! How exciting is that? I'm so flattered and grateful to be in the running, after being selected from over 1000 nominations. It's totally mind boggling! I met so many new Aussie bloggers, and caught up with a few that I haven't seen in awhile.

The masterclass covered topics from the best ways to utilise Facebook and social media, to privacy issues and my favourite, how to create a successful side project to your blog - It was exciting to see inspiring ladies like Luisa Brimble, Pip Lincolne and Jaclyn Carlson share their experience and ideas.
Since the dress code was 'casual' for the masterclass and 'cocktail' for the evening party, I thought I'd try something outside of my usual comfort zone and donned this sparkly number. Plus, it was a serious experiment to see if I could be 7ft tall... Not my usual style at all, but it was fun to get dressed up for the night! Besides that, you can flip the sequins around to make crazy patterns. That in itself should sell this dress to you ;)
C and I decided to stay near the venue for the evening and booked a room in the Medusa Hotel. I was sold when I read reviews comparing it to New Orleans! It was definitely a little more modern than anywhere I visited in NOLA, but still had the spirit, with a definite Sydney flavour. These crazy colours lit up the courtyard outside our room, giving it a very Darlinghurst (ahem, Darlo) vibe.

The overall winners won't be announced until later in the year, I'll keep you in the loop. You can check out the full list of finalists here.
jacket // borrowed from C!


Friday, April 11, 2014

Found #91

Cute tote from Scout and Lilly - "I Got This"

This tree is just... incredible. It's thought to be around 3200 years old and this is the first time it has ever been captured in it's entirety a single image. It took 32 days and 126 photographs to create this stitched image. Prepare your scrolling finger...

Ah, flowers. If you can't send real flowers to someone, how about something that lasts a little longer? A always, Oana has created beautiful work with this Peony Postcard.

Never let your phone battery die again! Super cute mobile chargers for when you're on the go.

via: Ban.Do

Think you're pretty good with the old baking, do you? Do your cookies have embossed cats? Huh? These engraved rolling pins are amazing! You can get a custom design or choose from the patterns in the shop, I'm pretty sure you'll find something you love.

image via: Studio 404 | Type by the lovely Minna May

Angel collected a great roundup of creative folk - including some of my favourites Kristen Drozdowski and Minna May. There was a few new faces for me to look into as well. Check out the gorgeous illustrations, lettering, design and photography in this post!! Ahhh.

I hope you have a great weekend - and I hope it stops raining, just a little bit... please?