MONEY CAN’T BUY THIS

With my new NO SHOPPING policy firmly in place, I am celebrating all things that happen to be fabulous and totally free. None is more incredible than the country we are blessed to live in. I love living next to the ocean but sometimes get so busy with being busy, that I forget to just stop and enjoy the beautiful sights right on my doorstep. I think a lot of us are guilty of that am I right?

It feels like life is constantly excellerating, so it is more important than ever to literally stop and smell the roses. The power of nature has been long been documented, with studies showing it has important stress reduction and restorative effects. We can all do with more of that!

For me, living near the ocean has always made me feel calm and content. When I was living in Christchurch and going through a very challenging time, I swear my daily early morning walks along Sumner Beach and up Clifton Hill saved me thousands in therapy.

Now living in the Bay of Plenty I’ve loved discovering new favourite places. One of my sure fire ways to instant happiness is to walk around the base of the Mount. The gentle waves, ocean sounds and dappled light dancing over the walk way are just beautiful.

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mount walk black and white

Another amazing spot is walking up the Papamoa Hills, the more huuuuuge the trees are, the more tiny my problems seem.
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Recently I went on a weekend away to Tairua in the Corromandel and found a new favourite place – Sailors Grave Beach. A quiet spot that forces you to stop and just take it all in. Trees bent down over the beach creating magic spots to sit in their branches. The sand is littered with beautiful rocks, hidden amongst them are agate gemstones waiting to be spotted.

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Just a few minutes from Sailor’s Grave Beach I found the ‘Twin Kauri’s, they were so magnificent I actually hugged a tree. Literally.

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Writing this post has inspired me to take advantage of another stunning spot, the view from the top of the Mount. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never been, but that’s changes this morning, I’m off now to conquer it!

FASHION: GET SHORTY

With December just a few days away, it’s well and truly time to start thinking about your summer wardrobe. One trend I’m really loving is print shorts. I found this pair at Moochi recently, the fabric is an abstract animal print in neutral black and grey with a pop of vibrant neon yellow. I’ve worn them several times already (trying to get the cost-per-wear price down!), with a plain tee and converse for a casual look, to heels and a dressier top for a night out. One styling tip I think is very important if you are showing a lot of leg, keep your look balanced by covering up more of your top half, think more tee’s and shirts rather than a strapless or low cut top.

Recently on a date with my husband I wore the shorts with a sheer Shell Tee and Crop Top both from Moochi (it was an expensive day prior to my shopping ban!) and black gladiator sandals from Loeffler Randall.
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A new feature I’m going to showing on the blog is ‘Jane vs Jane’, presenting shopping options from both sides, Sensible Jane will show affordable options and Label Lusting Jane will show the most fabulous she can find regardless of the price tag .

First up Sensible Jane has put together this selection of print shorts from New Zealand chain stores and all but one pair are $50 or under!
sensible jane short guide
Top Row: Spotted Waffle Shorts, $50 from Glassons | Ikat Double Layer Shorts, $44 from Dotti | Print Shorts, $25 from Jay Jays
Second Row: Wrap Shorts, $44 from Dotti | Lace Trim Shorts, $88 from Witchery | Stripe Shorts, $38 from Glassons
Third Row: Flirty Short, $25 from Cotton On | Spliced Print Shorts, $44 from Just Jeans | Print Shorts, $25 from Jay Jays

Label Lusting Jane is like usual, acting like money ain’t no object and has put together a selection of stunning but pricier shorts from some of the country’s top designers. I’m pretty obsessed with the Juliette Hogan floral pair personally!
label loving jane's short guide
Top Row: Sports Shorts, $240 from Moochi | Bill Culottes, $275 from Twenty Seven Names | Raven Shorts-Secret Garden, $249 from Juliette Hogan
Second Row: Cub Shorts, $250 from Moochi | Feather Silk Shorties, $199 from Superette | Raven Shorts-Jagged Silk, $289 from Juliette Hogan
Third Row: Palm Beach Culottes, $299 from Twenty Seven Names | Camilla & Marc Lorenzo Short, $190 from Sisters & Co | Julian Danger Lucy Shorts, $175 from Sisters & Co

What’s your favourite pair?

TWO JANES SHOPPING WISH LIST

Here’s a wee round up of what I would LOVE to be buying at the moment. But I can’t. I thought mortgages and children were bad enough at eating up my money previously destined to purchase designer digs. Well they ain’t got nothing on three little letters, three VERY expensive letters. IVF. We are currently busy saving for IVF but the mountain we need isn’t being built fast enough, so it’s time for drastic action. Two Janes will just have to live vicariously through others shopping fun, because for at least the next few months there can’t be ANY fancy new purchases, NONE, no amazingly crafted justification will cut it. Hopefully by saying this out loud it will help force me to stick to the rule. I will still post about fancy new things I can’t buy though, so never fear!

twojanes wishlist for home
From Bottom Left: Kara Rosenlund Print from Indie Home Collective | Wildfolk Candle from Paperplane | Our House in the City from Paperplane | Turned Wood Candlestick from Flux Boutique | Concrete Pots from Superette | Madam Stoltz Wire & Wood Basket from Superette

get in my closet
From Top Left: Spur Stud Earrings from Meadowlark | Dresden Jumpsuit from Juliette Hogan | Converse Dainty Whites from Stirling Sports | Stripe Tank Dress from Bassike | Cascade Gunmetal Sandal from Chaos & Harmony | Violet Frill Top from Twenty Seven Names | White Girlfriend Jeans from Glassons

HOMESTYLE MAGAZINE DECEMBER ISSUE

Homestyle is without a doubt my favourite New Zealand Home & Interiors magazine. They seem to get the balance just right with homes that are inspirational and garner copious amounts of ooh’s and aah’s, yet are still realistic enough for most to be able to actually recreate aspects in their own homes.

Homestyle’s December issue is out next Monday and it’s a goodie people! Here’s a little sneak peak…
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This amazing home was built in the Auckland suburb of Titirangi. For those not familiar, Titirangi is filled with amazing mature trees leading to many homes feeling more like tree houses. If I were to live in Auckland, I think that would be the spot for me.

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At just 120sq, this home shows perfectly that smart design can make a relatively small house feel spacious and abundant.
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The mix of timber with pops of bright colour create a fun, yet relaxed environment to raise a family.
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We have a subscription to Homestyle (perfect Christmas gift!) so enjoy each issue a few days before it goes on sale. I get so excited checking the mail box in the days leading up to its release date, yes I know, its the little things.

RENOVATION: BATHROOM

After the kitchen, the bathroom renovation was definitely what excited me most! Any of you who have lived somewhere with a low pressure, dribbly shower would have dreamed of the bliss of a spa like experience each morning instead.

Our bathroom is tiny (you will see from the photos I couldn’t even get a proper shot of the whole space as it’s so poky!), and unfortunately we had no room to extend so we had to make the most of the existing space. I was a wee bit gutted we couldn’t have a separate shower and bath, but seriously – first world problems. We did swap the positions of the bath and vanity to allow a mirror to sit above the vanity, that helped the room be as functional as possible. I chose a timeless palette of white walls, grey/stone floor and black joinery, softened with wooden accents. As we are planning on being in this house possibly forever I needed to choose a look that wasn’t necessarily my favourite right now, but that wouldn’t date as we won’t be redoing it again.
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Size Matters
The major issue was how tiny the bathroom was, so creating illusion of space was paramount. With this in mind we tiled the walls floor to ceiling with 300 x 600 Easy White Gloss tiles. I was a bit overwhelmed with tile choice, however one of my favourite bloggers, Michelle Harford of The Design Chaser used these inexpensive tiles in her recent home build and it helped create a polished, timeless look, so I totally copied her. We chose a floating vanity which helps give extra space on the floor and added smart storage solutions to eliminate the clutter; from baskets under the vanity to a mirror covered cabinet. My favourite tip to help keep clutter at bay is to store all your shower needs out of sight (shampoo, conditioner, body wash etc) in a drainable plastic storage container. I just pop it on the window sill when needed, otherwise it is out of sight in the vanity draw.
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Flooring
I would have loved to have had polished concrete floors throughout our home, but settled on large concrete tiles in our bathroom and toilet. These 600 x 600 Textured Grey tiles were perfect.
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Future Plans
I’m on the look out for a really stunning hanging plant to go over the end of the bath. I pretty much believe you can never have too many plants, they are such a beautiful and inexpensive way to add colour and soul to any space. I would also love to get one bright piece of art to put above the towel rail on the back wall. I’ve been looking for a while and haven’t found anything just right, so if anyone has a suggestion that would be fantastic!

Any Regrets?
In hindsight I would have loved to have a reclaimed timber vanity top, maybe if I ever get my dream ensuite I can put it in there instead!

Get The Look
Bathroom Reno Polyvore 1Clockwise from top left: Timber Hooks from Paperplane | Plants from Freedom | Kip&Co Freckles Bathrobe from Letliv | Wooden Pendant Light from Green With Envy | Baskets from Citta Design | Ashley&Co Candle and Handwash from Paperplane | Tolix Replica Stool from Cintesi

Renovation Suppliers List: Tiles – Bay Tiles, Paint – Resene Black White, Vanity – Michael Cesar, Basin – Roca Terra, Tapware – La Torre, Lighting – Green With Envy

MY STYLE: DOUBLE DENIM

Disclosure Statement: I have been a little apprehensive (actually totally chicken) about writing fashion posts featuring myself for obvious reasons 1) I am not a model and 2) I am not a fashion blogger. But then I thought ‘get over yourself!!’, many of my readers can probably relate to 1) not being a model and 2) not being a fashion blogger, so maybe seeing a ‘normal’ woman in ‘normal’ clothes is not a bad thing right?! Currently I can only offer novice smiles, but in time I hope to graduate to advanced model moves like smizing while looking deep into the camera and maybe even looking out of shot with aloof concentration.

Double denim, it’s so wrong, but it feels so right. I actually ‘borrowed’ this denim shirt off my teenage daughter a month ago and it’s been on high rotation every since. The secret to making double denim work is to make sure you wear contrasting coloured denim. I love wearing this light blue denim shirt with either my dark blue, black or white jeans. This weekend I finished the look with my Steve Madden leopard print flats and a little bit of lace courtesy of Cotton On Body.

Double denimanimal7I love the look of touch of lace peaking out from a singlet or shirt, especially when the rest of the look is so casual. Local designers Lonely Hearts have a stunning range of underwear, or for the budget conscious Cotton On Body have just bought out $15 lace triangle bralets that are really pretty. If you are lucky enough to require more support simply wear the triangle bralet over another plain bra you already own in the same colour, the lace trim will still give you the effect you want but you’ll have all the support you need.
animal5animal4A great friend introduced me to this nail colour, OPI Mind Your French Quarter and I just love it! It’s neutral enough to wear with almost anything but still adds a bit of an edge to a look. I bought my Deadly Ponies bag eight years ago and still wear it most days. Yes Deadly Ponies Bags are mostly around the $400-$700 mark, but they really are a fantastic investment. The New Zealand brand have a large range of stunning designs, all beautifully made, and will last long enough to make your purchase a very wise one.

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THE LITTLE THINGS – INTERIOR MAGAZINE GOODNESS

We all have those little things that put a smile on our face right – a new issue of your favourite magazine, getting a pedicure, eating your third piece of chocolate mud cake, an awesome old-school beat surprising you on the car radio (90s hip hop is my jam)….this is a celebration of those small moments that can brighten your day, here’s another hot little tip for you to add to your get happy arsenal.

It’s not exaggerating to say I am obsessed with Interior Design Magazines. I feel like Carrie from Sex & The City when she realised she had spent a house deposit on shoes. My two favourites are without a doubt Inside Out Magazine from Australia, and New Zealand’s own Homestyle Magazine. I actually squealed when Inside Out started publishing monthly recently. Here’s a wee look at some of my favourite looks from the current Inside Out November Issue…
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This stunning 1930’s Californian Bungalow sits just minutes from Bondi Beach and has recently been renovated into a spacious four bedroom home. I love the abundance of natural light, large windows/doors and scandinavian inspired palette.

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Up next this newly renovated Melbourne home is all kinds of amazing. Just look at this dining room, my dream Wishbone chairs right there! Swooning over the white floors, but could never get my husband to ok that look in our own home. The high ceilings throughout are stunning and I love the black touches in the children’s room.
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Although the interior style of this Victorian Terrace in Melbournes’s Albert Park isn’t exactly to my taste, I love way they have bought the outdoors in through large windows overlooking greenery in their kitchen and bathroom. You can never have too much natural light.
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The November Issue of Inside Out is available through all bookstores now, it takes a couple of weeks to get the new issues here in New Zealand and sometimes when I just can’t wait that long I buy a digital version hot of the press from Zinio. Are there any other Interior Magazines you love that I just need to know about?

CREATE YOUR OWN PHOTO WALL

Sometimes life gets busy, who am I kidding, life is always busy. It can often make me a little complacent and I forget to appreciate the most important things. I’ve recently created a photo wall in our dining area, I love that being surrounded by memories of special moments with those I love the most puts a smile on my face throughout the day, even if I’m in the middle of folding my third pile of washing. Here’s a guide to help you create one of your own…

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1. Choose Photos
Choose 10-12 photos that remind you of special moments, I included ones from our wedding, our honeymoon in Greece and a family holiday in Bali. I also added a great print – Blacklist ‘Forever + Always’, from Paperplane. You could even add some of your children’s favourite art into the mix, it’s really just whatever makes you happy. Choose images that everyone in the family is happy with. I wish my mum had followed that rule, I remember rushing inside when bringing my now husband home to introduce him to the family and hiding all the super embarrassing photos on the wall. No one needed to be reminded of my spiral perm, monobrow and braces. No one.

2. Pimp Photos
There are so many free photo editing programmes these days, my favourite would have to be PicMonkey. It’s so easy to use and can really transform your images to rival professional pics.

3. Choose Frames
To help your photo wall look cohesive choose frames in the same colour, or colour palette. I chose black and natural wood which went with the atheistic of our home. If you are going to purchase all new frames, it’s worth finding a framing wholesaler as you will get a high end finish at a great price point. I used Harrison Framing Factory Shop in Mount Maunganui, their customer service and knowledge was outstanding. I bought 10 frames for just under $300.

4. Print Photos
It’s definitely worth getting your photos professionally printed when wanting large prints rather than using the self service machines. Because I had chosen some custom sized frames, having someone help make sure the photos fitted perfectly was fantastic.

5. Design Layout
I love photo walls that look balanced, but not too uniform. The easiest way I found was to lay them out on my lounge floor and have a little play until I was happy. Take a photo once you have chosen the best option.

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6. Hang Photos
I learnt a new word from my husband ‘eyeometer'(I actually thought he had just made it up!), basically it means calculating sizes and shapes using only your eyes. Using an eyeometer we replicated the layout I had previously designed and photographed onto our wall. We used a spirit level to make sure each frame was straight. The staff at Harrison Frames had advised against using hanging strips (that was music to my ears as they are ridiculously expensive), and instead suggested sawtooth picture hangers. They also sold me little discs to place on the bottom corners of the frames so they sat level against the wall.

7. Enjoy Your New Photo Wall!

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When going through all my photos I found it so hard to narrow it down to just ten, in fact I had about a hundred I loved! So I decided to get the framers to make a large plain white frame with no glass and basically used it like a pinboard covering it with photos. I love the end result and it has really brightened up our all white hallway.

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MONEY AIN’T NO OBJECT JANE 1, SENSIBLE JANE 0

Usually I am very well behaved. A reformed shopaholic. But every now and then it all gets too much. The urge to spend is overwhelming. This is my latest confession…

I have always been a brilliant debater. My husband has long given up the fight. When shopping, I use what I call the justification process. I can manage to turn any seemingly pathetic, meanial reason into a completely logical, rock solid argument for purchasing something I want. I’m so good I actually trick myself into believing my spin.

Recently I went to Auckland, a reason in itself to shop, but instead of stopping there I got on a roll and kept up my spree on my return home to the Bay. There are no excuses (but there are plenty of justifications).
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Ponsonby Plant Shop
Hidden between countless designer boutiques and organic/paleo/gluten free/grain free/flavour free cafes sits a plant lovers dream, filled with cute cactus, hanging plants and cool pots. Plants are a fantastic cheap way to add colour and some soul to a space, I just loved the hanging cane plant holder and how could I say no to sweetest shop owner in her 70s, complete with silver-blue ringlet set hair. Cheap house interior solution plus a happy old lady, how can that be wrong?

Junk & Disorderly
I have loved this place since I discovered it back when we lived in Auckland many years ago. They have an incredibly large space filled with an eclectic mix of new, used and repurposed furniture. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough room in my car to take home any furniture, but these accessory updates for my kitchen were pretty budget friendly, did I NEED them? No. Will they make me do a little happy dance? Yes!

Paperplane Store
I actually don’t think I’ve been into this store without leaving with something. And this time the loot haul was pretty major. I’ve been looking for some bedside tables for our master bedroom for a very long time and these American Oak small coffee tables from Citta Design are less than half the cost of the ones I was going to get custom made. That basically means I’m saving money rather than spending it.

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Rooms To Love is the latest interiors book by LeeAnn Yare and photographer Larnie Nicholson, I love supporting Kiwi creatives, surely that should be applauded. The last purchase from Paperplane this time was a bright, striped hand towel for bathroom – a perfect way to add a bit of colour to our white bathroom, and there were full size bath towels for over the twice the price that I could have chosen instead, how restrained of me.

Republic Home – Bonnie and Neil Cushions
Can I consider it progress if I spend the same amount of money on a few cushions as I used to on a designer dress? Surely! Plus if it were a dress I’d calculate the ‘cost per wear’, and as these cushions are used everyday, and by everyone in my family, that must work out to be a bargain! These stunning cushions from Bonnie and Neil are 100% linen and hand screen painted.

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Blakchaos combines the talent and collections of two amazing New Zealand brands, clothing label Blak and my favourite local shoe designer Chaos and Harmony. This visit I walked away with a couple of French inspired items from Blak. A girl can never have too many stripes, I love this cropped tee, perfectly matched with this full skirt with sweet velvet heart cutout waistband. Instead of focusing on what I spent, shouldn’t I be congratulated for not snapping up a new pair of Chaos and Harmony heels?! Have you seen this seasons range?!

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These festoon lights give a little New York loft rooftop garden feel to my alfresco area, surely that’s all the justification required.

There is no heartwarming moral to this story, sometimes the house just wins. Hopefully Money Ain’t No Object Jane is satisfied for a while and Sensible Jane’s winning streak is about to start.

STYLE VS FASHION

Style vs Fashion – but aren’t they the same thing you may be thinking?

Being fashionable is defined as ‘conforming to custom, fashion or established mode’, it’s following temporary trends, dressing for others. Whereas style is enduring, it comes from within, it’s personal. Like I mentioned in my post ‘How to Fake Being a French Girl‘ – French women dress to feel good, they dress for themselves and no one else. This is a rule we should all follow, it will help develop our own style, one that makes us feel our most confident and beautiful.

As Coco Chanel aptly put it ‘Fashion fades, only style remains the same.’

A few people commented after my post about the huge fashion comeback of the Birkenstock, they totally disagreed with me and in fact loved their Birks. And good on them! Just as important as not wearing something because the fashion world says you should, is wearing what you love regardless of other peoples opinions. If I didn’t truly believe this I certainly wouldn’t own four pairs of drop crotch / harem pants.

Although I haven’t always been so unconcerned about others fashion views, if I’m honest, I have spent much of my life choosing what I wear based on the image I think it will portray to others. In high school all decisions were label based, the bigger the better. I was so concerned about what the ‘cool kids’ would think of me! In my 20s I worked for many years in the fashion industry, from owning my own clothing boutique to managing sales and marketing for fashion designers. And you know what – I was still worrying about what the ‘cool kids’ thought! I was desperate to wear the latest designer threads, perfectly curating up to the minute trends head to toe. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve stopped caring so much about what others think about the way I dress. My love for fashion certainly hasn’t wained, however the difference now is I am choosing what I have in my wardrobe by what makes me feel good.

Think about your favourite items in your wardrobe. Is there any themes you can see about the looks you love to wear the most? If you’re a little lost about what your style is, go onto pinterest, start searching women whose style you admire. Pin whatever you are drawn to. What you will soon find are trends, colours, styles that you gravitate towards. You now have a fantastic template to start building a wardrobe that truly reflects your style, because it will be filled with items that you love, that are all about you and no ones else’s idea of what you should wear. Style inspirations for me are women like Emmanuelle Alt, Tash Sefton (specifically her shoes!), Julie Sariñana, Alexa Chung and Anine Bing. (You can see more of my fashion inspiration on my pinterest fashion page.)
my everyday style, two janes.com

Lifestyle is also going to shape your style. Currently I’m home with my kids, so my day to day wardrobe is all blue, black, grey and white skinny jeans, well cut shirts / tees and some kind of flat shoe. I choose quality over quantity every time and try to pay attention to the smaller details like accessories, hair and makeup (when my crazy toddler allows) to help my casual day to day look more polished. Obviously when I go back to working this will be reflected in my wardrobe – I’m so excited about that, getting the excuse to dress up a bit more and having a very valid justification to shop!

Hopefully this post will motivate you to think a little about your own style. Just remember there is no way you can go wrong if you are dressing to make yourself feel happy and confident, regardless of whether it’s ‘in fashion’ or not, to hell with the cool kids!