CAN WE HAVE OUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO?

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This is something I think all women, especially mothers have asked themselves. Can we have it all? Damn right we can. But only if we all choose what’s really most important to our health and happiness and that of our family’s and simplify our lives by letting go of anything that doesn’t move us directly in that direction.

On that note I am going to be taking a break from Two Janes for a while. With my husband working overseas most of the year, and having two children by myself at home, another due in a few months and now studying towards my diploma in Interior Design, the time I spend on Two Janes needs to be spent studying. Gone are the days I can pull all nighters doing an assignment, I’m lucky if I make it till 10.30pm without crashing on the couch! (Especially when my nights will soon be full of two-hourly feeding!)

Yes we can have it all, but we need to be real with ourselves, sometimes we can’t do it all. Two Janes will be back, hopefully when I can share what’s going on in my dream career in interior design! Until then, thanks for being part of the fun xxx Abbie

(photo credit: yesterday’s afternoon tea, Ava’s left over birthday cake. Yes I made it, yes I’m kinda showing off, how good does it look!!! One of those moments you stand back and think, damn I’m a good mother! ha)

INSPIRE ME

Red lips, boho vibes, black lace, NYC, lavender blooms…
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(all images via my pinterest page where original sources can be found)

DREAMS ARE FREE

Just because I don’t have the bank balance to buy everything I fall in love with, a girl can still window shop right! Here’s what I’ve been dreaming would suddenly appear in my life…

Two Janes Wishlist June 13

Shades of black, white, dark navy and grey are my go to for my winter wardrobe. Country Road has 25% until midnight tonight, so this grey sweater and cute beanie are like every item on sale, a lot easier to justify! The dark navy slim line coat from ASOS would give a lift to my otherwise monochrome daily looks. Dark navy goes with everything, but is a nice change from a black or grey coat.

I’m already daydreaming about cute baby things, these booties from Superette are so adorable! Although my two year old may find it a little unfair that I stick her in $8 Kmart kicks and the baby gets these flash digs!

And finally on this cold Sunday morning, I could think of nothing better than being cozied up in bed in the gorgeous linen Jaimie Kay Duvet (in my dream I’m still lazing in bed after a sleep in, so far from my 6am wake up call reality!) and checking out some interior inspiration from one of Paperplane’s many amazing books.

DOES YOUR DRESS CODE MATCH YOUR AREA CODE?

Soon a good friend of mine is heading on an amazing trip to Italy and Greece, making me reminisce about my own honeymoon in Greece a few years ago. As I was looking through photos of the trip, I noticed that every outfit I wore mirrored the landscapes palette of white through to varying shades of blue and green. In all honesty I do vividly remember packing for the trip and only taking outfits I thought in my mind suited the ‘honeymooning in Greece’ atheistic I was going for!
final greece 111It got me thinking, have I always matched my outfit to my location? I’ve lived a in several cities around New Zealand, and on reflection my fashion sense has certainly changed too.

When living in Christchurch I certainly felt I dressed a little too over the top at times. The norm felt a little conservative, like people wanted to blend in with the crowd for fear of standing out or getting it wrong. I would sometimes get stared at, and not necessarily in a good way for what I was wearing.

In contrast when I lived in Auckland everyone wanted to stand out. It was quite freeing, I could wear anything I wanted! Of course a lot more emphasis was put on your personal style choices, designer threads were a lot more apparent, the words “who are you wearing” heard often (a little too often for my comfort).

Now living in Papamoa in the Bay of Plenty I find many have mastered the ‘polished casual’ style. Colours often reflect beach side living. There’s certainly less emphasis than Auckland about your appearance, but no judgement if you want to step outside the norm. (Although perhaps I’m just getting older and care less about others opinions!).

Some may say it’s more lifestyle that dictates your look, but when living in Auckland I worked in Sales and Marketing for a clothing designer that was stocked in boutiques throughout New Zealand and very obvious themes emerged each season as orders came in from around the country. In the deep South orders favoured black, dark tones and lots of layers, Christchurch was still quite dark, a little conservative, but with the odd pop of personality and colour, Wellington chose the more dark, edgiest pieces of the collection, the Bay of Plenty was quite casual and didn’t shy away from colour and Auckland wanted everything and a lot of it, showing it’s diversity and willingness to invest heavily in designer threads.

I’d love to know your experiences. Have you noticed a shift in your wardrobe when changing cities, does your dress code match your area code?

INDIE HOME COLLECTIVE

One of my very favourite home stores in New Zealand is Indie Home Collective, an eclectic mix of vintage furniture, incredible lighting and art, on trend interiors and lush plants all set against a raw, white backdrop. I think I could happily transfer the entire contents to my house and not want to change a thing. Until now I could only get my fix when I made a rare trip up to Auckland, but happy days are here with their online store now live.

Owned by husband Nell Girl and his talented interior stylist wife Claudia Kozub, what makes this store so breathtaking isn’t just the products it houses, but the styling by Claudia is incredible, you really feel like you’ve walked into a live version of a Vogue Living.

On the top of my wish list is a stunning Ay Illuminate light, a print from the Pampa Horse Series and one of their larger vintage wooden cabinets in black or white.
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20 FACTS ABOUT ME

I had been nominated by The Bubble to share twenty interesting facts about me, here goes! (eek I hope I’m interesting enough to get to 20!)
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1. I have never been an adult without being a mother. I do wonder what that would be like? I became pregnant with my oldest daughter at just 18! (cue total scandal throughout my Catholic High School).
2. I was a single parent until my oldest daughter was 8. Looking back I don’t know how I did it all by myself. It did help having a super fantastic family and an awesomely kind, witty and chilled child though!
3. I have an unhealthy obsession with cake. Oh how I love cake. And ALWAYS with extra cream on the side. Sometimes when it was just me and my oldest daughter we would have pre-ssert before dinner instead of after, bad mum I know.
4. I stalked my husband for months before he agreed to date me, there was no playing hard to get from me, I wore him down, this skill of debating until I win has fared well for me throughout our marriage.
5. My favourite overseas destination is Greece, I went there for my honeymoon and felt like I was in a dream the whole time, like I had stepped into a scene from ‘The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants’ (if you haven’t seen that movie, do it, trust me).
6. I have an amazing group of girlfriends of over 20 years, we all met in third form at high school, bonding over braces, perms (mine specifically) and a love of 90’s hip hop. Now scattered around the globe, time and distance doesn’t change a thing, they are like family and so many of my favourite memories involve them.
7. My favourite wine (and I am so missing it right now) is sweet Riesling, a seriously undervalued variety in my opinion! My top pics would be Main Divide, Millton and Pegasus Bay. A positive to no one else liking Riesling is at party’s or BBQ’s, I never have to worry that someone’s going to finish off my bottle.
8. My favourite TV programmes are Scandal, Homeland, The Goodwife, Orange is the New Black, The Block Australia and any trashy reality that happens to be on. I love how reality TV distracts my brain enough to relax, but doesn’t challenge it, it’s almost like meditating really, right?
9. When I am 40 and my oldest is 21, we are going to New York together. Just over 5 years to wait. The countdown has well and truly begun.
10. I feel a little like Carrie from SATC, when she worked out she had spent the equivalent of a deposit for her apartment on shoes, except for me it’s interiors magazines and maybe a deposit for a car.

Jeepers only half way! Hang in there…

11. I love sleep, can’t get enough, naps especially, how good is feeling of dozing off on the couch in the sun. I don’t understand why children don’t click onto its goodness.
12. I am a list person. Have a to do list everyday. Love them, so satisfying to cross off. Sometimes I write things I’ve already finished just so can cross them off immediately. When we did our Home Reno last year I had the the most amazing excel spreadsheet of to do lists for everybody. It was really a thing of beauty.
13. My absolute dream job would be to buy and renovate houses within a couple of months, before selling them and blogging about it. I day dream about it often.
14. I watch cooking programmes on my laptop every night when I make dinner, Masterchef Australia is my current thing, some how I feel like their skills are transferring onto me through osmosis or something.
15. Throughout the seven or eight years I’ve been with my husband, we have never lived with each other for more than a few months due to his work. Eeeek I hope he still likes me when he is around me all the time!
16. My daughter Ava is three in August and suddenly is having full on conversations with me. It’s so adorable. Yesterday as I buckled her into her carseat in the pouring rain, she started singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, I couldn’t move it was so damn cute, so my butt and legs got saturated with rain while she finished two full rounds complete with hand moves.
17. I would absolutely love to travel to Italy with a group of girlfriends, stay in a villa, take cooking lessons, wander along the Amalfi Coast, take thousands of photos….whose with me???
18. I love the beach, don’t feel at peace unless I’m living very close to it, but hate swimming in the ocean.
19. Although I live in Papamoa, in the Bay of Plenty my very favourite place in New Zealand is Sumner. A stunning spot in Christchurch with the best wee community. If only I could manage to transport it up to the warmth of the Bay!
20. My sister and I found out we were pregnant on the same day. I was 18, she was 21. I fainted. Literally. Neither of us were married, our committed Catholic parents were incredible, stayed strong and said everything would be ok. And it was. Not until many years later did I find out that later that night they had gone down to their best friends house and balled their eyes out. Best lesson of parenting I have ever got, love your children through EVERYTHING, always tell them you it’s going to be ok and hug them tight. And then freak out if you need to when they can’t see it.

Wow, that’s 20, hope you managed to make it through! xx

Wondering what I’ve been up to recently?

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My heart has been so warmed by how many of you have messaged me to ask where I have disappeared to and hoping Two Janes will be back soon!

The last couple of months have been an extremely challenging time for our family and I’ve been pouring all my energy into focusing on that. Fortunately some how amongst the cloud of this time, a wee miracle has burst into our lives.

We have been trying for another child for quite a while and were very surprised to find out we had more chance of winning lotto than having one without help. My head knew we were so blessed for the two children we already have and I should just be happy, but my heart hadn’t quite got to that place yet. We didn’t qualify for funding and could only afford to do IVF privately once. After all the fun of countless tests, mood swings, daily injections and a raft of intimate procedures we managed to get one embryo. Just one. All our hopes of having another child rested on a single chance. All our eggs were literally in my basket. Fast forward 15 weeks and some pretty intense morning sickness later and here we are with my big puku stretching everything I own already. I’ve actually been about this size since I was only 6 weeks pregnant?! I think my body was so damn excited to be pregnant that it grew to my usual five months pregnant size overnight, as if to shout to the world “Look!!!! It worked!!!!”.

I have learnt something very important over the last few months, although as mothers I know our first instinct is to put our selves last and pour every ounce of our being into our children and family especially in hard times like we are currently having, I noticed as that spark, fulfilment and happiness I got from doing this blog stopped, I had less to pass onto my family, not more. I think we have to be our best self to be able to give our best, so back to Two Janes I go and a very big thank you to each of you that takes time out of your day to read my posts because it’s all of you that fills me up with that spark.

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NEW YORK STYLE THROUGH THE EYES OF TOMMY TON

Although I love seeing the amazing collections at New York Fashion Week, I’m actually much more interested in what’s happening outside. There is one person that can magically transport you to the fashion capital, amongst the hustle in the streets, feeling the breathtaking chill in the air and that’s Tommy Ton. Street style photographer Tommy Ton is the best in the business, his ability to capture candid moments rather than the traditional rigid head to toe fashion shots give his images a life of their own. He created one of the very first fashion blogs I ever followed- Jak & Jil, American Vogue even declared it to be ‘as much essential viewing during the collections as the shows’. Let’s not argue with Vogue.

Here are some of my favourites of his from New York Fashion Week
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Follow Jak & Jill or Style.com for the best street style from Tommy Ton.

NEW HAIR, NEW ME?

Apart from an ill advised Posh Spice inspired pixie cut in the late 90’s, I’ve always had really, really long hair. It’s kind of been my thing. But more and more recently I’ve been feeling like I’m a bit too old for it. Does that make sense? I’ve got a daughter who is 15 this month, and I don’t want to look like I’m trying to be ‘one of the girls’ with her (the fact we both wear skinny jeans and converse everywhere already has me at high risk of that).

The Inspiration
I’m really love the ‘lob’ (long bob) style a lot of people are wearing, they look chic yet edgy and I like still having a bit of length so you can wear your hair up. This is vital as I’m pretty sure like all busy women, my go to hair style is a two second top knot. Two of my favourite fashion bloggers have hair styles I’ve been coveting – Julie Sarinana of Sincerely Jules and Sara Donaldson of Harper and Harley. Both have the length and style I love, and Julia’s colour is just stunning.

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The Hair Stylist
Armed with these pics I went to visit my hairdresser of a few years, Fiona Clare. Fiona moved to Auckland last year, where she is working as a hair stylist and makeup artist, as well as blogging and filming hair and makeup tutorials for her youtube channel (all links at bottom of post). I nearly had an anxiety attack when I heard she was leaving, but thankfully she still visits the Bay every few weeks to keep her clients happy. This girl is incredible, her talent is matched only by her gorgeous personality.

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The Result
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Fiona has described the methods used…
Colour – I used the back combing technique applying lightener to the hair that’s not brushed upwards and once combed out you get a gorgeous soft gradual lightness to the hair with no visible lines, this is where the term ballayage comes from. I focussed the placement of colour mainly underneath and higher up around the face to enhance the length in the front and give that sun kissed look.

Cut – I kept the length very blunt to achieve a real fullness about the style which is also what gives it an edge. I ever so slightly gave the front pieces more length to draw your eye down, showing off the lighter pieces more. To add a little texture and lift to the top layer only (so the hair doesn’t fall too flat) I textured the top layer on the ends to create lift and body.

Now what do I really think?
I love it! It’s the shortest I’ve had my hair since that awful Posh Spice moment, it has given so much health, volume and movement to my hair. I felt instantly mature and classy, it got me thinking, can a change of style give you a change of personality? Or perhaps it’s just when you’re ready for a change, it inspires you to alter your hair style to match the new you?

Regardless, I’m off now to check the stock markets while sipping on herbal tea, because, you know, I’m all mature now.

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To see more of Fiona’s incredible work you can find her blog at
http://fiona-wright.blogspot.co.nz and her youtube channel full of inspiring tutorials here.

WHO ARE THESE TWO JANES?

After more than a decade of working, mainly in fashion sales and marketing, I have left the 9-5 behind and am now mama of two. I’m still crazy about design – from fashion to interiors and trying to stay stylish amongst the mayhem of endless laundry while renovating our beachside home on a non-designer budget. This blog is a way to keep my creative side alive and hopefully give others like me a little escape from the daily grind.

Who are these two janes you ask?

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Well, there is a constant battle in my head between the two sides of me; one is a money is no object, head to toe label loving, New York loft living, fashion PR force to be reckoned with; the other is a super busy super mama, budget conscious, sneaker wearing, hair in a two second top knot, cleaning sticky toddler fingers off my t-shirt, driving the same Honda for the last decade kind a girl. Despite only one of us actually living in the real world, the two janes often debate – especially when it comes to my two loves; fashion and interior design.

Follow my attempts to balance the designer loving freak in my head, with the reality of a not so fancy bank balance. Mostly sensible Jane wins, but other times label lusting Jane is unstoppable and I find myself leaving a store with two pairs of ‘so amazing they will change my life’ shoes, a serious dent in my wallet and an unimpressed husband as I was meant to spend that money on a water blaster. Oops.