Take a walk on the wild side

 

cheetahphoto

Me and a cheetah (Namibia circa BK* 1999)

I can officially prove that my animal print obsession is real. Check out the above photo dated BK*1999 (*before kids) don’t let the backpacker outfit of reef sandals and sarong attire detract from the beautiful animal. There is something to be said for the Big Cats, they are powerful and strong yet majestic and beautiful, a little how I envision myself or how I hope my boys envision me.

As the only woman in the house, I am constantly trying to leave my mark amongst a clutter of sports equipment, nerf guns, star wars merchandise, wimpy kid books and under armor gear. I already wear animal print so why not decorate with it in and really  mark my territory. Say hello to animal print throw pillows. I actually think my plan is working, as yesterday I purchased a leopard print water bottle and my youngest asked ‘is this yours mum?’ I believe my look gave him the answer he was looking for and he put it down. I wonder whether anyone makes toilet seats in leopard print ?

Below is a roundup of my favorite animal print pillows available online, there is something for everyone’s price range and  style because I do believe that everyone can rock these prints. Don’t think you can rock the tan look?  No worries,  you can rock animal print in any rainbow shade, just like the cute print on number 10. Go take a walk on the wild side!

animal print pillows

When leopard print sparks joy

Hot of the mark from organizing my pantry in an attempt to eat my house clean (Looking for Accountability Coaches …… Eat your house clean challenge), I decided to tackle the closet. I had heard recently that on average woman only wear 20% of what is in their wardrobe. Could that really be? I’m sure that I am not alone in thinking I’ve nothing to wear as I stand there looking at a wardrobe full of clothes. Mind you this is the same woman who claimed to have nothing to cook up a meal with whilst her house was full of food. Yet I think there are those that can relate to this phenomenon that seems to afflict woman of all ages.

About two years ago when everyone was talking about the life-changing KonMari method of tidying I also jumped on the bandwagon, after all I had always enjoyed a little origami, so why not update my skills by folding clothes using intricate folding patterns? The fundamental basis behind Marie Kondo’s method is quite simply ‘joy’. The item if you are to keep it must immediately generate warm fuzzy feelings whilst holding it, if the opposite is true then the item must be discarded. In order to speed the process Marie Kondo does insist that one should not try on the hundreds of pieces of clothing you have stacked up in a pile approaching ceiling height on your bed. Instead one must hold the item firmly with both hands and wait to see if our internal self is radiating yellow beams of joy. 

Unfortunately, two years on and I find myself in need of another major overhaul. Marie Kondo I failed you, though I have to say I am still practicing my origami skills folding my T-shirts. As I began to gather all my clothes on the bed today, I noticed an abundance of leopard print, had I subconsciously tried to connect with my primal state and taken it to far? It was at this point that I deviated from the KonMarie method and rather than organizing by item, I decided to organize by print. I was certain that by using her tried and tested method of holding items to see whether they spark joy would help to whittle down my leopard print collection. I was wrong, holding each item filled me with so much joy that it generated enough warm fuzzy feelings to heat my whole apartment. 

animalprint

Animal print is either something you hate or love. My boys are fascinated by it and always ask if its real and can they touch it? My husband on the other hand takes one look and asks, are you really wearing that out? I on the other hand can remember buying each and everyone of the items above, where I bought them, who I was with, what special occasion I wore them to, how discounted they where, how I felt when I purchased them, I can tell you that and more. I’m not sure Marie Kondo would consider my efforts at tidying a success today, given my wardrobe still has that overwhelming presence of leopard print. However the efforts did reinforce how much joy leopard print in any shape and size sparks in me. What can I say other than I am woman hear me ROAR!

 

 

 

ZARA Fashionista

I first came across ZARA in my teens when I was visiting family in Spain. I can recall everything about my first experience as if it was yesterday and not 25 years ago. I remember the frenzy of “Las Rebajas” (Spain’s famed sale period) my grandmother had insisted I buy a coat for winter and sent me shopping with my cousins and aunt. I remember the dark grey woolen coat we purchased, and I remember feeling cool, grown up and sophisticated walking out of the store with my shopping bag. It didn’t matter that I was boarding a flight back home to Australia and the coat wouldn’t see the light of day again, in that moment I felt fabulous and that’s all that mattered.

It is safe to say that 25 years on and in my 40’s I am still an avid fan of ZARA clothing. I struggle, or should I say I fail, to walk past a ZARA store and not walk in wherever I am in the World. Unlike other stores, ZARA gets new collections in every week so there are always new styles to check out. They also don’t tend to restock items and when something sells out that’s it. So if you see something you like it, don’t wait until later to buy it. They do have a 30 day return policy for those like me that suffer from impulse buying followed by buyers remorse.

Yesterday I was on Newbury St in Boston for an appointment and on my way back I just so happened to walk past ZARA. I honestly had no intention to stop in, and was trying to stay focused on not shopping…“Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200”. However the SALE signs hanging in the window pulled me in. Another thing that ZARA does well are their SALE’s. They are always worth checking out and who doesn’t like a bargain! If I am honest with myself I didn’t really need anything, especially as I could be wearing Haute Couture but with the current New England Weather all you would see are my snow boots and big puffy winter coat.

The first item that caught my eye was a leopard print coat, I love leopard print and hence could not walk away from the coat. I have been coveting one all season and just haven’t been able to justify the price until I saw the $69 price tag!! This coat has sold out online but if you are lucky you can still find it in stores. My second favorite find was a plush dress with a raised design for $15.99. I’m thinking of pairing it with some leggings and snow boots….Après ski here I come. I’m still not convinced on the blue embroidered shirt (also $15.99) as it is quite long at the back and my height might be restrictive. Already thinking of pairing with white skinny jeans and wedges once the weather thaws, the birds sing and the flowers bloom once again. Last but not least was a green frill neckline blouse ($22.99). I’m thinking black coated jeans and black over the knee boots….drinks anyone?

UntitledI walked out of the store yesterday with my ZARA shopping bags and those same feelings I had after my first purchase 25 years ago, cool, grown up and sophisticated.  Now I just need the weather to cooperate!