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How To Be the Queen Of Tropicana

by Penina

Guest Post: A vacation at a tropical destination, oh what joy! The sun, the cocktails, the warm wind tangling your locks – there are only a few things in life that can top that. As you take your pick of the numerous tropical destinations, there are many factors to consider when it comes to the items that will make the cut on the packing front, such as the vibe of the place, the harmony between the colors of your surrounding and your outfits (highly important for photo ops and Instagramability), but also practical issues like fabrics and footwear. For this purpose and this purpose alone we have come up with a list of essentials for a number of different destinations that are bound to make you the queen of club Tropicana.
Be the Queen of Club Tropicana.jpg

Bermuda, Bahama, Come on Pretty Mama

The soft pink-sand beaches of Harbour Island call for a variety of swimsuits, as a true queen of the tropics will never be seen on the same beach wearing the same bathing suit. As retro swimsuits are making a comeback, you can prance around the beach in a polka dot one-piece and even make an updo in the pin-up style for the cocktails by the beach bar. Another option are of course two-piece suits with boho-inspired prints, such as those from the Spice Temple line by Seafolly. These are, of course, made complete with a light caftan or a kimono that the light breeze can just lift up gently as you stroll by the water. In this case, a pair of metallic sunglasses is a total must and so is some bohemian jewelry, especially ankle or wrist bracelets, even several of them.
Bermuda, Bahama, Come on Pretty Mama  1 Collage.jpg
The evenings are meant for light, maxi dresses with strong and colorful prints. You are in the tropics, so you can afford to be bold with as many colors as you want! If your regular lifestyle does not leave room for hair accessories, and your flower headband has been sitting watching you, well, it is time to put it in the suitcase and embrace your inner hair goddess.
Bermuda, Bahama, Come on Pretty Mama 2 Collage.jpg

Someone Up for Some Dirty Dancing?

If Cuba is the destination you have been eyeing and exploring online, it is high time you took the plunge. There is food to taste, vintage cars to rent (and photograph to death), heavenly beaches to visit and of course, feet that need moving.
Nobody puts Baby in the corner, right? So, a flaming red dress should be mandatory when you go out dancing, there is just no substitute for that one. Ruffles, plunging neckline, bodycon dresses that show off your figure, everything is fair game on a Cuban club dance floor. Cuban girls are all about color and passion, so your dresses (midi and maxi) should be in bold and flaming hues. Platform sandals are very popular there, so if you want to feel like a local, you have got to get elevated, literally. Tiny bikinis, simple Lennon sunglasses are the minimalistic perfection you want for the beach.
Someone Up for Some Dirty Dancing Collage.jpg

The New Middle East

If an upscale, ostentatious vacation in Abu Dhabi or Dubai is on your wish list, you have to pack with glitz and glamour, but also with clothes that are somewhat modest and non-revealing. Floor-length breezy strappy dresses in bold colors paired up with big golden-rimmed sunglasses and classy platforms are perfect for lunches and drinks by the hotel pool. If you wish to pull a Sex and the City and go camel riding, white cotton and linen caftans coupled with wide, breathable long pants are essential, as well as a good hat.
The New Middle East Collage.jpg
Due to the heat and humidity, natural fabrics and white/beige combinations are the best heat repellants, and they look super classy as well. Bathing suits should be one piece, as a sign of respect, and try to minimize skin exposure, for cultural as well as sun exposure reasons.

The Different East

When talking about Vietnam, earthy is the word that first comes to mind when it comes to the color palate that should be gracing your suitcase. Straw beach hats, beige and brown caftans, linen trousers, sensible flat sandals or espadrilles are the way to go.
The Different East Collage.jpg
Since Vietnam is a beautiful, modest and earthy place, these simple items are the best possible choice. One piece bathing suits in neutral colors, such as navy, sarongs in a complementing hue are the best choice for this location. If you want to visit the market, you simply cannot go without a woven straw basket. You will look like a down-to-earth vacation goddess, but a goddess nonetheless.

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Us women love a great necklace. We’re never short of great places to wear jewellery. Whether you live in a beachside suburb (like me!) or the high-end part of town, you’ll love these simple tips on how to wear necklaces. Break the rules – I dare you!

Simple tips for wearing necklaces

When it comes to necklaces, start with long pieces of jewellery and then place shorter pieces above that. So always start long and go short. Place them about three inches apart. This can be slimming because it draws the eye long and down.

Source: Glamradar.com

Source: Glamradar.com

If you are wearing a large chunky necklace make sure you keep your earrings small and vice versa. If you are wearing large earrings, don’t over accessorise with a big necklace.
Source: 4.pb.blogspot.com

Source: 4.pb.blogspot.com

You can wear jewellery on the outside of your outfit too.
Love wardrobe tips? Game changing ways to organise your wardrobe
Source: Cliqueimg.com

Source: Cliqueimg.com

You can break the rules.
Both earrings don’t have to be the same! You can mix up earrings. The new trend is ‘anything goes.’
Source: Bollywoodreplicasaree.in

Source: Bollywoodreplicasaree.in

Play with your jewellery

Use a mirror and play with your jewellery. You’ll know immediately what looks good or not. My rule of thumb is – if you hesitate don’t do it. You will know exactly what looks good. Go with your gut. Let your style be completely yours.
Tip: You can pick up awesome tips from popular online jewellery shopping store‘s as well as secure your jewellery there!

Be confident

The biggest tip for wearing jewellery is not to second guess yourself.

Source: data3.whicdn.com

Source: data3.whicdn.com

Statement necklaces and how to wear them

These can really jazz up an outfit. A statement necklace’s best friend are simple diamond studs. They are classy and go with everything. Note: These can be fake! Not everyone has diamond studs that are real!

Look at your necklace. Figure out what tones and jewels are in the necklace and then try to pair items to the necklace. For example, if your necklace has pink in it find some nice colours to go with it. If you aren’t good with colour consider even using a palette.
Source: Trend4girls.com

Source: Trend4girls.com

Choosing colors

For example, say your earrings have pastel green as in below. I googled ‘Pastel Green Palette’ to find these cute ideas. These are some colours you can wear with your earrings or necklace so you totally coordinate.

There are plenty of different metals you can pair. Yes – you can mix silver and gold since there are ‘no rules.’
Personally – I wouldn’t wear gold with silver because I’m a true blue silver girl. Try and stay in the same sensibility or ‘vibe’ when accessorising. E.g. Elegant. Make sure all the items look elegant to you.

How to match a necklace to a neckline

Basic principles:

  • The necklace and neckline shouldn’t ever compete.
  • Look at your body and make sure your necklace doesn’t exaggerate any flaws. For example, if you have cleavage choose a higher necklace.
  • Larger women with big frames should wear larger looking jewellery. Smaller women with small frames should wear smaller jewellery.

Here are some other great ideas for matching necklaces to your neckline:

  • Tank or strapless: Choose a necklace up close to your neck. Statement necklaces look really cute with a rounded statement necklace. Make sure there is ‘space’ between the necklace and your top or dress. You can also wear a longer necklace.
  • V-Neck: Match with dropdown necklaces or necklace that follows the ‘V’ shape. E.g  A cute charm that falls right just above the V.
  • Collared shirt: Same as the V but you can choose a larger necklace that shows up underneath it.
  • Collared button-up shirt: Try a cute pendant poking out under the collar. Make sure your accessory matches the buttons!
  • Crew neck top (curved): Make sure the necklace follows the line. E.g Don’t have a V-shaped necklace.
  • High neckline: These are a perfect opportunity to wear a statement necklace.
  • One shoulder necklace: Do not wear a necklace! This will just look awkward. Wear a pair of statement earrings instead.
  • Sweetheart neckline (with smaller v-line): A simple V-line necklace.
  • Turtleneck: Stick to longer necklaces
  • Cutout neckline: These are a statement anyway. Wear some statement earrings instead. Make the earrings small and understated – especially if your dress is a bold colour!
Source: s-media

Source: s-media

Biggest tip:

Only have ONE statement item, whether a necklace, earrings or other.

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I love a great summer dress and I’m on a big hunt again for cheap dresses. Last year I spent months trying to find a dress with short sleeves with a preference for cotton. Was it simple? It wasn’t. I found that for a woman at 40+ summer dresses in stores just didn’t seem to have what I wanted. So I came up with a great idea to order from China and got busy sending myself fab looking dresses.
Parcel-by-parcel they arrived in the mail and with each packet came another disappointment. The problem was that every dress I purchased was too short and more like well… a t-shirt! They sure looked great on the models in the picture. So this year I need to find another way to get the perfect summer dress and for cheap!

Here’s my wishlist for perfect cheap dresses for summer

  1. Cheap
  2. Fits well in AU sizing
  3. I want to shop from my couch while watching the telly
  4. The garments arrive in a timely fashion
  5. I trust the suppliers
  6. They are fashionable and suit my style
  7. They wash well and last longer than a season
  8. Designer brands welcome!

Well, I love what I do, because just as I’ve been spring cleaning and popping my winter gear away while thinking about ‘what to wear’ this summer – I heard about an awesome new website. It’s called Fashion Lane and is where users can find the best fashion on sale from over 100+ online fashion stores!!! Yey!!!

Designer gear at super cheap prices

Fashion Lane gathers cheap dresses and designer garments from a wide variety of well-known fashion stores such as ASOS, The Iconic, SABA, SurfStitch, Sportscraft, Seed Heritage, Florsheim and more. This savvy new site monitors product price drops daily and also allows shoppers to quickly find the best sale that day or week instead of searching sale sections of each store’s website. Note: Time range is adjustable.

Save time using Fashion Lane’s sort feature

Now you know how much I love saving time, so this is a fantastic feature of Fashion Lane. Products are also automatically sorted by discount so shoppers can easily find the cheapest product. Further, new stores are added every week and product prices and availability are updated daily. There are automated and manual checks to ensure product information for each item is accurate.

How to find the perfect garment at FashionLane

Fashion Lane works best when you have something generic in mind that you want to buy. For example if you want to purchase an item, which is in my case a summer dress. If I go to FashionLane I just have to mouse over Women at the top menu, then Clothing, then click on Dress. And this site isn’t short on choice. There are over 40,024 dresses from which to choose from!
If you are a mummy on a budget like I am, you can punch in the maximum price; say $10. Using this feature I found 289 products from 9 stores. Another great way to search Fashion Lane is to simply use the price filter above the garments. I also love the discount feature. The first dress I looked at had been marked down from $84.90 to $9.95!!!
From that selection here are my pics for the cutest summer dresses on sale today, right now.
The hunt is over – yay!

Cute summer dresses for under $50

My pick: Dress for under $10

Sally Neon Asymetric Shift Dress $10 (Reduced from $50)
Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 10.03.56 am

My pick: Dress for under $20

Capture Cotton Dress $19 (Reduced from $69.99)
Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 10.08.28 am

My pick: Dress for under $30

Glamorous Cotton Chambray Swing Dress with Crochet Sleeve $30.00 (Reduced from $75)
Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 10.10.34 am

My pick: Dress for under $40

Firefly Kaftans Kharma Cotton Dress
Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 10.17.35 am

Found a product that you want to buy but price is too expensive?

Fashion Lane has a price alert feature which notifies you when product’s price has dropped. Simply mouse over the product, and you’ll see the price alert link appearing on top right corner of the product.

Just want to see what’s currently on sale?

Fashion Lane monitors product prices closely and detects when a product’s price has dropped. The “Today’s Sale” page displays any prices that have dropped within 24 – 48 hours. (This can also be changed to the last seven days.)

Coupons and deals

Fashion Lane looks out for any coupons and deals from stores. They are displayed at the top of the page when single store is selected, or when you mouse over products, a coupon / deal link will appear if there are any.


If you are a lover of affordable dresses or fashion generally but are too busy to hunt each week, the best way to keep up with sales is to sign up to Fashion Lane’s newsletter. Newsletters are sent 1 – 2 times a week.
Found some great cheap dresses at Fashion Lane? Share them on our Facebook page or comment below.


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How to get
Winter is a fabulous season for fast and frugal fashion and putting together a new winter wardrobe. There’s no better excuse than being ‘freezing’ (renovation story coming soon!) to pop on the latest and greatest fluffy earmuffs (with inbuilt headphones) to keep the cold in while you get your groove on. But before I give you a visual of those earmuffs I thought I’d jump straight to my two unusual ways you can pay for your winter wardrobe!

Drum roll….here’s where the magic money happens

How to get your winter wish list for FREE!

  1. Find an extra $400 a week by shaving down your expenses. Read my article and video on how to find an extra $400 each week without working!  The savings will blow your earmuffs off!
  2. Invest in great car tyres! Yes, this is truly thinking outside the square. Did you know that a good set of tyres like Goodyear TripleMax Tyres can save you both fuel and money? Actually you can save up to $500 because these babies have been especially designed to use less energy. Technology sure has come a long way. And because I keep my ear to the ground daily to help benefit my readers, you may want to cash in on their current offer, which is a fantastic 4 for the price of 3 on Goodyear’s Assurance TripMax Tyre range. Goodyear is also currently running a competition on their Facebook page giving readers the chance to win the $500 you would save on TripleMax tyres.

Who would’ve thought that the beast that gets you from A to B each day can get you a whole new wardrobe?
I love a win-win!

OK, so here’s a visual of those earmuffs, why I love winter and my wish list this season…

Winter Wardrobe

Fluffy earmuffs on eBay – On my wishlist!

Winter benefits

Winter delivers the added bonus of permitting an individual to slob it up a little and hide ‘what’s beneath’ those clothes for an entire season. Yes! You can put ‘layer-upon-layer’ on (just like the making of a great studel) until you are as toastie as a teapot in a cosy.

Here’s another reason winter can be good to you

Unlike summer, winter is good because you don’t have to hunt down a beach to make it all better. You will also NOT scare your neighbours by walking past a window in your undies while sucking on a slurpie to stay cool. No. In winter there’s no need to go to extreme lengths like these to regulate something as simple as your temperature. You just need to be prepared.
Finally, in winter you get an excuse to have a rest from the many social gatherings that are a part of summer. Yes, you get to sit peacefully by a fire or a heater with a hot water bottle or blanket on your lap or both! If you are really lucky you might even get the opportunity to dive into a novel (if the kids aren’t nagging you) and you can sip hot chocolate until you fall into a blissful sleep while your tongue turns a chocolate-coated furry.
And then there’s knitting! If you really want to do be ‘hip’ like your Nanna – you’ll want to do it how she did it and take up this craft…

Blogging fun

This week I’ve had the luxury of some mindless online shopping while researching this article. I’ve been digging around on eBay checking out all the latest and greatest gear for winter 2014.

So here’s the big warm and woolly winter challenge I’ve set myself:

  1. The goal: I want to get myself a snazzy new winter wardrobe that’s impressive
  2. The challenge: I don’t want to pay for it

Is this possible – and how you may ask?
Read on to discover how I plan to do it.

Firstly, here are the items I’ve added to my winter wish list

1. Puffer Jacket: $17.26

Let’s face it. Despite all of the wonderful benefits I’ve listed above about winter, that drab cold and rain can be downright depressing. So I like this jacket for it’s uplifting, in-your-face and other-people’s-faces color – hot pink!
You go gurlll grrrr…..

Winter Wardrobe


Or you could get your yellow parker on. The key message here is ‘bright.’ Don’t be afraid to make a statement. Life is short. Play hard! Wear colours! Make confident choices!
Yellow Parker


 2. Christmas Sweater: $9.99

I’m not usually into Christmas sweaters but I like this one for it’s bum-warming ability and the way the vendor has matched it with earmuffs.



Just makes you want to sing Jingle Bell Rock doesn’t it?

3. Faux Fur Vest: $30

Faux fur vests are not only warm but people will want to cuddle and hug you more, especially the kids!
But be warned.:
Some of the vests out there will really make you look like a wild animal and a big wild animal. Be sure to go for a tasteful one like the one below and pick one with a wool back as these will make you look less like a wild beast and more like well – you. Plus, you still want to be able to eat your soup without all that fur coming between you and your mouth.  Not a good look. Trust me.



 4. Grey Fleecy Hoodie: $22.41

I’m a sucker for a great hoodie. OK. This chick is going to freeze her knees off but she looks warm from the thighs up at least. Go for an oversized one like this with a high neck so when the wind hits your mouth and eyes you’ve got a way to keep those babies warm.



Or these are great…
A Really Cool Hoodie


5 . Vans – Old Skool Sneakers $77.95

OK. I shouldn’t have started looking at shoes because I stayed in that little section of eBay for hours. I’m loving these Vans for a go-with-anything run-around-like-the-mother-I-am shoe. These are great for looking cool and understated at school pickup or doing the housework with my fluffy headphones on.



Note: I really don’t want to pay for these so read how I plan to avoid the pain of acquiring my new cool Vans.

6. Nike High Sneaker $65.29

I’m also loving these Nikes. I’ve always wanted to dress like Justin Bieber. It’s the eccentric-in-me at 40 plus. These Nike’s will be  great for helping me achieve my dress-like-Bieber goal and a pair of Nikes for $65? These are a steal!



7. Quinn Pink Beanie $26.95

Keep that head warm and that brain from freezing with this cute little beanie. You will liven up any trip ‘up the shops’ just by sticking a hat on your head. I’m planning to wear this with my Nike’s above so when I’m pushing a trolley at the supermarket and my kids are screaming at me, at least I’ll look fashionable while I’m fighting with them in the lolly aisle about who gets the caramel Freddo.



8. Dragonfly Scarf $29.95

I like this little scarf. It’s the kind of scarf people just comment on. It’s a little pricey but I reckon it’s a keeper for jazzing up a plain outfit. It’s a summer scarf but great for work when your boss turns up the heater up so high you feel like you are working in a sauna.



9. Simple Tote Bag: $12.82

Invest in a bright and happy tote bag for winter just to brighten up your day. If it’s raining outside a tote bag like this will just make you feel better. You can even wear glasses like the chick in the picture if your heart wishes to reflect a sense of intellect with that look.



Or scarf it up like this…
Nothing beats a great looking scarf flung around your neck like you are some kinda rock star. Wear with confidence and a great pair of sunnies. Invest in one large wool scarf and a less bulky scarf like the dragonfly one above. Different moods and days will call for different scarves so don’t be afraid to have too many. Plus – they dress up any outfit!
A Good Variety of Scarves


10. Batwing Cardi: $12.00

I love a super comfy cardi. Us mums need comfort when hopping in and out of cars and braving those fierce winds to hug our kids goodbye at the school gate. Pair one of these with a pair of leggings, some boots and an oversized scarf and you are good to go!
Oversized Batwing Cardigan

11. Moustache Beard Purse $4.85

Oh and finally – I can’t go past this moustache purse for its intrinsic quirky quality. There’s nothing like a pretty moustache purse to get you unlimited comments from people, associates and cashiers.



So that’s it! Hope you enjoyed my little winter 2014 fashion show and my hot tips for getting your wish list for FREE!
Have you got ideas on how you might get your winter wardrobe for FREE?
Submit them in comments below.



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Without compromising luxury, it’s possible to own glamorous and exotic pieces without paying a small fortune. The following four tips may serve as a guide when you are searching for gems, diamonds, precious metals, and discount prices on gorgeous jewelry.

1. Buy semi-precious gems rather than precious gems

Rubies and emeralds are known for their timeless beauty, yet garnets and amethysts are equally lovely, and priced at just a portion of their counterpart. The same holds true for other semi-precious stones. Citrines, blue topaz, amethysts, peridots, and garnets, are gems with luster that equals that of emeralds, sapphires, and diamonds. The major difference is that the colour of semi-precious gemstones may differ slightly. White topaz is a clear stone that looks like diamond, but costs much less. Reputable online jewellery stores like Michael Hill provide some wonderful options. This stunning jewellery looks a lot more expensive than it really is; you can buy larger gems and stones with greater clarity without destroying your budget.

2. Purchase cubic zirconia and diamond-cut gold

Cubic Zirconia is the man-made version of naturally formed diamonds. Although this synthetic stone weighs a little more, it serves as a beautiful substitute for expensive diamonds. Tiny diamonds clusters in jewellery can also be pricey.   However, jewellers achieve a similar look by placing white-gold around a central gem then cut the gold to create the appearance of tiny diamonds. Only when you look very closely does it becomes apparent that the stone is not surrounded by minute diamonds. Both cubic-zirconia and diamond-cut gold are great alternatives to real diamonds.