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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Make ironing a pleasure

 'Woman Ironing'  Armand Desire Gautier (French 1825-1894)
Put a little of your favourite fabric softener into a spray bottle and use it as ironing aid.
Not only will it make your clothes and ironing area smell beautiful, but it'll make the ironing easier.
Alternatively, add a teaspoonful of Lectric Soda and a few drops of your favourite essential oil.
It'll perform the same task.
Have some music playing. Use your iPod or other techno gadget, or just have a battery operated radio in your ironing area.
Iron near a window, where the breeze can blow over you and you can look at the view outside, no matter what it is.
Take pleasure in knowing that no matter what you wear, it will always look better ironed! Even the most threadbare or aged clothing is more wearable when fresh and pressed.

Custom scented shampoo and conditioner

Todays tip is to have beautifully scented shampoo and conditioner with which to wash your hair.
And by that, I don't mean expensive.

I mean something that you love, whether it's Green Apple, Peach, Coconut, Berry, Lemon, Honeysuckle, Frangipani, Jasmine, or something else.

An easy way of having shampoo and conditioner that is scented exactly the way you like it, is to buy unscented shampoo and conditioner from a health food supplier, or online, like this...

...remembering that the more you buy the cheaper it is, so find a friend who wants some luxury in their life too, and go halves :)

You can buy the most divine essential oils online with which to scent your shampoo and conditioner, and my current favourite is either Jasmine or Frangipani and those in a shampoo and die for.

Decant it into glorious embellished bottles (being careful with glass in wet areas of course!), and see if it doesn't make you feel like a Princess.

Be your own Lady-in-Waiting

The truly wealthy or blue blooded, all of them have someone to perform the more menial tasks for them.

I suggested recently, putting your towel out on the end of your bed or the edge of your vanity, beautifully folded with toiletries tucked inside.

You can extend that idea to much of your daily routine.

The trick is to think 8-12 hours ahead.

What will be happening eight hours, twelve hours, 20 hours from now? What can you do NOW to make that run more smoothly or make it more luxurious?

For me, it will be dinner time. So I've just prepared a green salad in a pretty bowl and set the table with placemats, dinner plates, polished cutlery and linen serviettes. I even had time to iron the serviettes at this time of the day. Not essential but a nice touch. I've put a vase of greenery in the centre of the table too.

The gluten free Chicken Parmagiana is sitting in the fridge ready to pan fry and bake for a few minutes, and the potatoes are peeled, diced and soaking in water ready to be roasted.

Likewise, lunch is ready. It's my Quinoa Salad, and it's all ready to go, in the fridge.

Twelve hours from now, we'll be heading off to bed. Our towels and toiletries are already laid out and fresh pyjamas are floating on the line in the sunshine, lightly scented with homemade Sunlight (Velvet) soap laundry detergent. They'll be neatly folded and snuggled inside the folds of our towels too.

Twenty hours from now, we'll be heading off to breakfast at a friends house, so our clothes are already ironed and ready, and I've done a Bircher Muesli in a crystal bowl to take with us.

Blueberries need to be purchased at some stage today to add to the top of the Muesli.

So here I sit now, the next 24 hours pretty much under control, and now I just have to find that cleaning lady to do the dusting, polishing, mopping and vacuuming. Mind you, with home made Jasmine scented furniture polish and Eucalyptus cleaner, that task isn't all hard either.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Colour branding....

My Five Star Frugal strategy today, is to use colour to create an illusion of luxury.

I'm a Coco Chanel fan. I've read about her, watched docos about her, and I find her fascinating.

Alas, I cannot afford Chanel in my life, apart from this wallet I got at the oppy for $8, which isn't a real one, but it is a very nice copy, thankyou.

I can though, incorporate Chanels' distinctive black and white branding, into my life.

So white dinner plates and black serviettes with beautiful serviette rings...pearl if you please...homemade.

Black and white striped cushions on my sofa.

Coffee cups with black, white and gold accents.

A quilted white bolster cushion with black tassels and gold ribbon trim.

A little bit of the Chanel feel, for no cost...or very little at least.

If you're a Tiffany lover, then go for mint and black, Dolce and Gabbana perhaps over the top gold chain embellishments and more gold, Hermes would be some restrained tan and equestrian motifs, and Dior, well...I'm thinking black lace.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Always have something beautiful close at hand...always...


Always have something that feels beautiful close at hand.

For me, things that feel beautiful and luxurious can be:

Solid, heavy, smooth, like the beautiful paperweight my husband gave me for Christmas a few years ago that sits on my desk, or the silver pen my daughter gave me for Mothers Day, that sits near the computer.

Soft and silky, like Johnsons Baby Lotion, or my faux fur rug, or the baby pink yarn I'm using to crochet a rug for a new baby in the family.

Flowing and floaty, like the op shopped $1 real silk scarf I have tied to the handles of my handbag.

Glittering and bling-ey like the red ballet slipper keyring my daughter bought me at a fundraiser. It has Swarovski crystals all over it and makes me smile every time I pick up my keys.

Thick and glossy, like my stash of Vogue magazines snaffled at a garage sale recently for 50c each.

Organic and authentic, like the bamboo bristle and wood dishwashing brush I got last week.

What speaks luxury to you?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Luxurious passwords make you smile!

Todays idea is one that will make you smile, but it really is effective.

We all have passwords for so many things these days.

Why not change them, or some of them at least, to reflect your luxurious life outlook.

I've just changed some of mine to something that I think reflects my idea of living luxuriously for free.

Some suggestions (without giving mine away of course), might be:

The name of a favourite or dreamed of holiday destination and the year you'd like to visit it again.
A favourite pastime like 'Balletandtheatreeverymonth4me'.
The name of a luxury car you admire or want to own and the year you'd like to own it.
The name of your favourite luxury designer bag, scent or makeup.
A reminder to yourself like 'Dressupforme247'. In other words, make an effort to look nice for yourself all day, every day.
A goal like 'weigh64in6'. Or weigh 64 kilos in six months time.
Even something general like 'ilovediamondsandpearls', is fun and just makes you feel a bit spesh.

Go on, laugh.

But just try it.

I bet it makes you smile every time you type it in.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Living five star at home

Each day when you make your bed, do the following:
Fold a bath towel or bath sheet in to a neat square by matching up the corners carefully.
Place the squared up towel on the corner of your bed or vanity.
Fold the two top layers down and square the point up with the opposite edge to create a pocket.
Into the pocket, insert everything you need for your bath or shower this evening.
For me, that's exfoliating gloves, facial serum and cotton ball for applying toner, a lavender scented towel sachet with ballet pink ribbon embellishment, deodorant, and body butter.
In the shower or tub recess, I keep my favourite supermarket shampoo, liberally scented with Sandalwood essential oil. Just because I love it. Sometimes I'll use Jasmine or Frangipani Absolute too.
 I use my own home made Goats Milk soap exclusively for facial and body cleansing. That is a true luxury and one recipe I will share with you very soon.
You don't need money to live Five Star. You just need imagination.
Keep it up. will know you're broke.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Wallow in luxury for the price of a drink..

I enjoyed this mocktail, spending several exquisite hours soaking up plush, for just the cost of the drink.

My husband and I enjoyed this sublime coffee and petit fours for less than the cost of a pizza.

This incredible sunset was enjoyed with just a glass of champagne and a bowl of crudités and aioli.

And these camellias came with tea in English Bone China and fine antiques and linen.
You can't live Five Star Frugal, unless you're willing to seek out luxury and abundance in other ways.
So go on. Put on your heels, your best five star face and hair, and an ironed dress and heels and see where it takes you.
Shopping Malls and suburban cafe's do not a luxury make.
Loitering in five star hotels costs nothing although it's gracious to at least order a coffee. Take a book or a glossy magazine and picture yourself waiting for Johnny Depp. You'll be less likely to be asked to move on.
Many antique stores now multi task and offer delightful teas and exotic treats within. I love that. It's like degustation on a movie set.
And sunsets and sunrises are always free. Drag yourself away from your usual routine and soak them up with a coffee or a sparkling wine.
Expect more from your life.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Home made French inspired Bralette with bandeau ties and frilled straps.
Fabric: Recycled bedsheet, offcuts of continuous curtaining, thrifted lace.
Home made French Knickers, also known as Tap Pants.
Fabric : Recycled bedsheet, recycled doona cover, recycled ballet ribbons and vintage buttons.
Leg openings left loose in preference to elasticised in the Coletterie instructions.
Time to make: 3 hours, including downloading the pattern, piecing it together and taping it, cutting it out, then cutting the fabric, sewing, and embellishing.
Cost: Nil.
More to come.
Live the Dream.
Shhhh.....they'll never know you're broke.

I want it all!

Paris. 2008. Riverboat luncheon with my beloved.
I want that.
I want the good life, but I don't want to spend all my time working to pay off a credit card, or earning a living in a high flying, and equally high blood pressure inducing job.
I want the nicer things in life but don't want to eat sausages and noodles for a week just so I can afford them.
I want a beautiful home, and I want to swan around in it, dolled up to the nines. Every. Single. Day.
I can do it.
Watch me.