Manicure Fiesta


I have never been a “girly” girl – there was never any nail polish in our house growing up. It wasn’t a thing we were into. I am terrible at nail painting due to a lack of experience, talent, and skill. I probably could become good at it with a lot of time, effort, and learning to use my left hand as well as I use my right hand. But realistically that is unlikely to happen.nails7
In late 2016 I was having a Good Nail patch – thanks to my daily hair skin and nails vitamins, they were growing stronger and healthier than ever before. I was using Hard As Nails by Sally Hansen which I would paint on every few days to make the nails shiny and slightly more protected from breakage. nails2
I had wanted to try getting a proper shellac – or gel – manicure for a while but I was very wary. I had heard tales of woe, of unsterilised equipment, of fungal nail infections UGH. I did some serious research and asked around, and one local place kept popping up in the conversations. After a bit of umm-ing and ahh-ing, I bit the bullet and made an appointment.
So what is a shellac manicure? This excellent post tells the story of shellac better than I probably could. The photos do not really do these justice, it is hard to get a good photo of these nails.
To summarize it quickly for you, after each coat of nail polish is applied, your nails “cure” with the help of a UV lamp. When you walk out of the salon you do not have to worry about wet nail polish.
The other benefits include much stronger nails and the polish lasts for 2-3 weeks – and sometimes 4 depending on what you get up to hand wise. Since I started getting the gel nails I have not had a single nail break, and I don’t baby them, they do what they have always done.

I have occasionally done a bit of damage to the manicure but you have to work pretty hard to damage it. Most times when I have damaged a nail it has involved metal coathangers, the ones you use to hang up jeans etc. Gel works for me but it does not work for everyone. In particular it would not work well if one had their hands in water a lot.
Until I did this, I never realised how having great looking nails can improve your mood. It makes sense now, given that during any day you look at your hands more than any other body part.

I prefer the French tip style manicure because if you have colour down to the bottom of the nail you notice a gap as your nails grow. But the French manicures are no longer just white tips, as you see from my many examples here. You can choose a colour, you can add some glitter on the top, and probably my favourite manicure so far was black tips with red holographic glitter.


I also loved the ones with electric blue and the pastel but very sparkly green. One appointment I arrived early and sat down with the colour charts and made a memo in my phone of all the colours I wanted for future manicures, so I usually know before I arrive what colour I want to try this time. I’m thinking gold is coming up this week but The Other Half loved the black with red glitter, so I see a repeat of that in my near future, as well.

My manicurist thinks I am strange because I always ask her to trim the nails back, she said everyone else wants to keep the length. I don’t need my nails to be long. I just want them to be neat, shiny, and sparkly. If I let them get too long I begin to have trouble typing.

Fashion, Vitamins

The Clothing Chronicles – Part 3


I mentioned in my first post how sizes are never the same across stores and how I always pick up the wrong size automatically – this time I am going to talk some more about the mental change that you need to make once you have lost some weight.

A few weeks ago I let the chooks out, and Rosie took off like all the foxes in Australia were chasing her. It was so funny, I took note of the time – it was dead on midday. I said to the other half when he got home he should look at our cameras so he could see Rosie, and what I saw actually shocked me. I could not believe that person on the camera was me.

The “I’m much larger than I actually am” mentality is part of the reason why I reach for the larger size automatically. I’m now less than one kilo from my goal weight of 70kg but in my mind I am at least 10kg heavier than that.

I went to Rockmans recently specifically to look at the “Long Sleeve Dressy Shirt Hem Sequin Knit” you see above. I’d been looking for a top with some sparkle that I could wear under my leather jacket. I love mixed media pieces and this chiffon hem thing seems to be a big trend here this year, though I bought several pieces like this on my Hawaii trip in 2013.

This chiffon hem is just that, literally a hem added on to the bottom of the jumper. The jumper itself can be a little scratchy because of the sequins in the knit, just so you know. But it was exactly what I was looking for and there is such little sparkly out there in the shops this year.

Recent experiences have taught me to take more than one size into the fitting room and in this case I took in the small and the medium. I tried on the small first and was shocked when it fit perfectly.

The small size.
The medium size was just too big this time, especially as I wanted to wear it under a jacket. But my mind tried so hard to convince me to get the medium. It said quite clearly –

“Won’t you be more comfortable in the medium?”

“You like having room to move in your clothes, I think you should get the medium”

“If you get the medium you can wear another top underneath”

To all of this I said SHUT UP I am getting the small because it fits better. And so I did, plus BONUS it was half price so I got it for $30 and here it is in an outfit.

That inner voice trying to tell me incorrect things is one reason why shopping can be an exhausting experience. In this case I had specifically gone to try on this one thing so it was a little easier and this was the only shop I went to, so it was less tiring than usual.

Picking out things you want to try on before you even leave the house is a great way to go about this task, I have discovered. The obvious problem can be it might not be in stock at your store in your size but some stores now have the ability to tell you whether an item is in stock at your store.


Rockmans is one of the stores that can do this.

After my recent shopping adventures I now have quite a few new loyalty cards and some of these shops now send me daily emails which can be great if you are wanting to get something specific when it is on sale like I did with this top. I have a number of items bookmarked for future purchase when they are on sale or on clearance, if I miss out on them in my size then it is not meant to be.


The Clothing Chronicles – Part 2


Not long after the Millers shopping trip I mentioned in part 1, I was about to head out for the day and picked an outfit. I was unhappy to find that my mesh top which was part of this outfit no longer fit me. Mesh tops are something those of us who do not love our upper arms depend on, to enable us to wear sleeveless tops and dresses. They can also turn a low cut top into something less cleavage-tastic.

All of mine were from Ezibuy. Over the past 15 years, I had bought that top in blue, red and white, plus several black ones, all in size 16.

No problem, I thought. I will just go back and order some more of those mesh tops in a smaller size. Only one small obstacle – the Ezibuy top was now sold out. So I put aside a day for wandering the local shops in the hopes I could find one. HAHAHHAHA. I would have better luck finding a unicorn. In desperation I went into shops I would never have thought to look in, and not only did I not find my mesh tops, I did not find anything in those places that I liked at all.

A few times I thought I had found them – or a lace version – only to find on closer inspection that the bodysuit is back, baby. I can’t even understand why. On one later shopping trip I was in a bathroom and heard the girl next to me having a lot of trouble, eventually saying I can’t undo this bodysuit, Mum! Her Mum had to go in and help her undo the bodysuit. It brought back memories of times when I could not undo them myself. Why do we wear things that cause such problems, ladies? And why has not technology solved that problem? ;)

Ok then, let me search the online shops. HAHAHAHHA. After a couple of hours of fruitless searching, I was getting very cranky. Then I remembered one of my old school reliable backup online shops – TVSN.


Happily they had this one, and unsure what size to get but knowing mesh tops can often accommodate more than one size, I bought the 10 and 12, figuring I could either send back the one that doesn’t fit quite as well. When they arrived they both fit well but the 10 was better overall and that is the size I would order next time. I kept the 12 as well.

When I bought it only the black was available, however they have a range of other colours that go in and out of stock and I was tempted to invest in a few more this past weekend, until I clicked on the size button to find red was the only colour left in my size. These tops are super popular and with good reason. I like the Boo Radley one more than the Ezibuy one, it has a slightly higher neckline.

The other must have layering item for those who do not love their arms is a shrug cardigan. I had to pack away a few after winter last year because they were way too big. Now, two of my most favourite shrugs in teal green and pink no longer fit me. This means I am left with two shrugs that work – these are a lurex glittery stretch fabric which will work for me at most sizes.


It seems from all my searching, the shrug is out, and longer cardigans are in. Sometimes even ridiculously long! That photo is the purple floor length cardigan. Zulily is a site I have never shopped at yet but I do browse it quite often and get their daily emails, it has a lot of stuff which is my style mixed in with a lot of stuff that is not.

I did manage to find a couple of shrugs in my travels but they are both black, I could not find a shrug in a colour at all. I will keep looking but I am not very hopeful.


Just to give you an idea of how much of my wardrobe relies on these mesh tops and shrug cardigans – here are all my sleeveless things. There are more than 30 items here.


The Clothing Chronicles – Part 1


Sometime in November 2016, we made a trip to Shellharbour which is the largest of the nearby shopping centres. We being my parents, the other half, and myself. Mother loves Millers and I am not adverse to the place because I find a lot of great shrug cardigans there. In fact all the shrug cardigans I own originated at Millers.

Sometimes Millers have stuff that works for me – it can also skew very “Queen Mother” from time to time, mixed in with stuff you might find in the wardrobe of Duchess Catherine.

They had these dresses which had silver foil metallic printing on them, plus these round metallic spots which are kind of sparkly. I’m always on board for sparkly, in fact one of my nicknames is sparkles. So I grabbed a size 16 off the rack without even thinking about it, tried it on, and it was far too big. The 14 was brought to me – still too big. Then the 12 – which fit.

I tried on a shrug cardigan in large – way too big. Medium, still too big. I ended up with a small that fit perfectly, and after purchasing both of these items with glee, I left the store somewhat in shock. The last time I bought shrug cardigans at Millers, I bought the EXTRA large. XL – L – M – S. That is a huge change for me.

Sizes are never the same across stores. You can be a 10 at one and a 16 in another. Over the years I learned not to let the sizes concern me greatly. When everything that fit was XL, that was actually pretty easy.

My body might be smaller now but my mind is still stuck in XL, it seems. I cannot look at a piece of clothing and know whether it will fit or not – and if I try, I end up with something way too big. Now I just keep trying things on until they actually fit which means a visit to a store can take 30 minutes to an hour.


The bottom line is – I am smaller, fitter and healthier than I have been for many years – and this means much of my wardrobe no longer fits me well. Some of my most favourite clothes which have been reliable wardrobe staples for years are now way too big. Most of the stuff you see in that photo up there is 2-4 sizes too big.

This meant it was time to do some shopping, and over the past few months I have tried to do that with limited success. You would think it would be fun, right? NO. Especially when you already have things you love in your wardrobe, like this Alfani asymmetrical tunic from Macys which has little black sparkly crystals all over it and cost me something like $10. I have had this for 5 years.


Or like these style and co tops from Macys which I loved so much I bought in every single colour they had, for the huge price of $15 each once they took off all the discounts. These I have had since 2010. They have a little sparkle, they were perfect for work or going out. The amount of wear I got out of these.. and they are all still wearable, for someone else but sadly not for me. Just too big.


Fashion runs in cycles, and right now walking into any “trendy” store is like walking into my closet in the late 80’s early 90’s. It is fashion deja-vu. Velvet bodysuits. BODYSUITS WTF. Hotpants. Cropped bomber jackets, some in velvet, one of which I did buy. Floral dresses akimbo – some of which I swear I actually owned back then. STIRRUP PANTS. Need I say more?

Given that we are listening to 90’s tracks in the car a lot right now, walking into those shops after driving there listening to the music I would have been listening to back in the 90’s feels about right. And sometimes I will see a thing and it takes me back to a moment in time or an outfit I used to wear, and I am right back there. What I am trying to say is, this fashion time warp is really freaking me out.

In order to find anything worthy of adding to my wardrobe, I have had to pick through an incredible array of Shiznit I Would Never Buy Or Wear In A Zillion Billion Years. I have had to walk past a lot of plus size shiznit which I totally WOULD buy but cannot get in my size anymore.

I know who I am fashion wise – it would be described as quirky, eccentric, unusual. You can’t just find that anywhere, though it is easier to find that in the plus sizes than in the smaller sizes. I like bright colours, metallic accents, foil prints, crystals, animal print and plays on animal print. I like to layer.

Actually finding those things, well, that is another story. It requires patience, time, effort, and a willingness to hunt through the junk to find the gold OR finding a store that is full of stuff you like in sizes that fit you.

Out of all the “shopping mall” stores in Australia right now, the one that is probably closest to my style is Noni B. They also have some stuff that can skew very “Queen Mother” but in between that, they have some stuff which seems to have been designed with me in mind.


Like this Billie dress – this is exactly me, in dress format. I did not buy it because Sephyroth just brought me a bunch of great dresses from the USA when he visited back in October.

Next week in part 2 – using layers to expand my options.


Carter Models Again


I found this years Winter Knit! YAY. It is a gorgeous knit from Millers. It cost the enormous sum of $15. It is a long cardigan – or perhaps a coatigan – which reaches around my knees. Wearing it is taking some getting used to, especially getting into the car. :)


This is a closeup of the fabric which has a gold metallic thread running through it.


I found this years knit at Wollongong on a recent shopping excursion. As part of Wollongong Central, they have opened up a new shopping centre across the road from the Crown Street Mall which contains such awesomes as Grill’d, Max Brenner, Guzman Y Gomez, to name a few. There is a new food court up the top with things like Schnitz and an amazing salad place called Soul Origin with a huge range of delicious fresh salads.


I also picked up this lovely poncho. Many happy moments were had by all on this shopping trip. :)

Carter, Fashion, moving forward

Millers Knits


Carter modelling a Millers Knit.

Millers is a weird store. It has gorgeous maxi dresses and sparkly things, but mixed in with that, there are some Clothes Reserved For Older Ladies. It has quite a bit of what I can only call “Fluffy Wear”. Which is sometimes exactly what you want when you are looking for your one great knit.

At least three of my past winter knits have originated from Millers. This purple and black fluffy knit has been a lot of places with me and was my first ever “hunting season” knit, which I bought in the winter of 2007. I can still wear it now, but mostly I use it around the house and wear my most recent knit for going out. It is still going pretty well for an 8 year old knit.

I have already dropped into Millers this season and I can tell you two things – they have some gorgeous long line cardigans at incredibly reasonable prices. The one that caught my eye in store was this Taupe Stripe Cardigan – it is much better in person and it has a metallic gold stripe.

It is entirely possible I might also go back for this Textured Coatigan which seems very Duchess of Cambridge.

And they have plenty of fluffy wear, too. For example this gorgeous popcorn coatigan.

Carter, Fashion, looking back

Carter The Knit Model


Leah over at Just Me, Leah, posted this post – Pattern Mixing – a little while back. It inspired me somewhat, and I left a comment accordingly, because Autumn has just begun here and I’m on the lookout for that *one* great knit.

Every year in autumn, I declare Knit Hunting season open. I only want one knit for each winter, and sometimes it takes me all of Autumn to find it.


I thought perhaps Carter could model some of my past season knits and I could share the photos with you here on the blog. Carter is a little on the stick thin side whereas I most certainly am not..

I think the worst part of Carter is his bony shoulders. Sadly I do not have any 80’s shoulder pads handy in order to bulk them out a little. Also, it is super hard to put his arms into things. So we’ve gone for a cardigan draped over the shoulders look with these outfits.


This particular knit was found one Autumn in Canberra, just when I had almost given up looking for that years knit. It has a gold thread that runs through it which is difficult to see in the photos. It has been one of my favourite knits of all time, even after it lost the buttons. It drapes and sits beautifully on me – and also on Carter, as you see in the above photo.

Carter, Fashion, looking back

Favourite 2014 Fashion Moment


Lupita Nyong’o at the BAFTA awards. If you click on that link you can see it from a few different angles. It also changes colour a little under different lights..

It is a fabulous colour – and you’ll note that it fits in with my blog color scheme so I might be a bit biased – that has always been a favourite shade of green for me. The gold belt, the gold wrist cuffs.. it was such a fashion moment in a year of massive Lupita fashion moments, plus she picked up an Oscar.

There was the stunning red cape dress, the gorgeous blue Gucci which competed with the green goddess number for my favourite Lupita look in 2014.

The Fug Girls have a great post put together with many Lupita fashion moments from 2014, both good and bad. Mostly Lupita (or her stylist) picks weird shoes that don’t really go, so the better outfits are mostly the floor length gowns, except this KILLA outfit she wore on Letterman which contained Coat Porn, to boot.

FYI – seems We’re not quite done with 2014 yet here on the blog. A few posts about the place have inspired me to post a thing or two about 2014 things I saw, watched, read, or did.

About Snoskred, Fashion, Happy Snoskred, yay

Shoe Sunday – Oprah Said So.


I love Oprah. I just adore the woman, hate on me if you will. :) For me Oprah was incredibly influential and important in my upbringing in so many ways. She was the first female non-stick-thin person regularly on my teevee as a child turning into a teenager.

So, when Oprah told me in 2006 on her shoe that Cole Haan shoes were super comfortable, I wanted me a pair of those shoes SO BAD.


The Cole Haan “Gilmore” Ballet Flat
Some colours are still available on Zappos for $99.99 a pair

I first spotted the Cole Haan store in Hawaii in 2011 but I had shopped up a storm by that point and was low on funds. My mother would not even go into the store, she said it looked too fancy to her. And I said But MUM, Oprah told me to shop here. If Oprah shops here, you can shop here too! But my Mum, when she gets a notion, that is how things are gonna be.

We are talking about my mother, the same woman who refused to go to David Jones in Adelaide because they had a live piano player and that was far too fancy for her liking.


When planning our 2013 trip, I was determined. I am getting a pair of Cole Haan ballerina flats, no matter what happens. I even budgeted for it. To buy them here in Australia is crazy expensive, and I did not want to spoil myself for the experience by looking at the shoes online before we went, so I budgeted $500 for one pair.

Imagine my shock when I tried on a pair to find out they were just $120 USD. I was so thrilled I bought two pairs. This is one of them. Somewhat hilariously, Gilmore is the electorate that I live in! Clearly it was meant to be.


Imagine my complete and utter NON shock to discover they were the most comfortable shoes I ever put on!

Oprah told me they would be.

Fashion, Shoe Linkup

Where Do Your Shoes Live?

Sometimes the best ideas come to you as a surprise via the blog posts of other people. Suger from Suger Coat It wrote a post called – The triumphant return of the sneaker – and I commented – This inspires me to start a weekly feature about sneakers. I have so many pairs!

But then I thought, why limit it to one kind of shoe? Why not have a weekly shoe post? Each pair of shoes will receive a good cleaning in preparation for being posted – and the other half is Building Me A Photography Box especially for this project.

But before I begin this new blog feature – which will start on Sunday next week, I want to show you where my shoes live – and invite you to join me and show the world where your shoes live.


I will like to take you inside my Accessory Room.

Before you even open the door, there is a Scarf Bar –


This is a simple thing to create – some over the door hooks and you too can have a scarf bar. I got mine from Aldi but a lot of places stock over the door hooks. Some of the hooks are holding more than one scarf which is super handy.


If you don’t have a lot of room but you do have a lot of scarves, this is a simple yet great way to store them, all you need is a door and some over the door hooks.


The door to this room is usually left open because this is also Paper Goods From Costco Nirvana. I am not running out of toilet paper, paper towel, or tissues anytime soon. And to this I say, Jesse Pinkman Style, YEAH BITCH, COSTCO! because if there is one thing I hate, it is running out of essentials like that. ;)


On the back of the door there is a Jewellery Organiser which also holds spare phone cases. Spot the Swarovski one for my old iPhone there? It is sparkly. :) I also have a Swarovski one for the present phone.


Inside the room there is a Jewellery Cupboard – which also doubles as a Handbag Storage Unit, and holder of the Super Holographic Duct Tape. Yes, I like it when things have more than one use. It is extra useful! And here is a sneak peek inside.


And now we arrive at the Shoe Cupboard. It is usually closed, to keep Dust away from The Shoes.


The big green bag on the outside is a Kipling backpack – I have a matching suitcase which also resides in the Accessory room.


And now, back to the shoes. Let us open the Shoe Cupboard.


Before we get an overview of the shoes, I will take out the Handbags, which have found a home in between two shoe racks.


That is a lot of shoes. Many of which do not get worn as often as I would like.


Rack one – there is no order in which they are stored, it is just wherever they fit they ended up.


And there are still some shoes in Other Places because they did not fit in this cupboard –


And, a bag’o’shoes which I am contemplating giving away.


There are enough shoes for a full year of shoe posts, so this will become a weekly feature and I invite other bloggers to join in as well. Everyone is welcome to join in. Just add your link by clicking on the blue add link button – I’ve also put a quick how to guide together below if you have never joined a link up before.

Add your link here!

get the InLinkz code

A quick how to guide –

In case you have never done a blog link up before, I have created a how to guide and I have also made a page for the Shoes Link Up..

Join in & show us where your shoes live!

About Snoskred, Fashion, Shoe Linkup