Monday, January 31, 2011

New French Connection In Store

We have a few new French Connection designs at Shimi's Amazon store to show you.  As usual French Connection produce great casual dresses through to cocktail frocks.  French Connection is such a popular brand because the designs give a beautiful line to ones figure.

31 Year Friendship

I think it is fair to say that given Rowena and I meet at start of the school year at Kindergarten (3 years old) we have been friends for approximately 31 years now.   Although we only ever attended school together for about 3 years, we somehow managed to maintain a very close and loving friendship throughout these 31 years and have been there for each other through some very trying times and some really wonderful times.

We have even lived together, which is a sure fire way to kill any friendship.  I think we have had all of one argument in our friendship, and even that was via email (terrible medium for sorting out differences) and we ended each email with "sent with love".

We both have a strong group of friends that we can count on in a second, but our friendship is something special and enduring.  Row has been a constant support to me through various tumultuous times including three miscarriages, which most friends in my experience, find very hard to relate to and end up saying just the wrong thing.  Thank goodness for Rowena who has listened to me cry and rant and rave and have crazy ideas and always supports me.  We have gone months without contact and can get on the phone (Row and I live in different states) and it feels like we just chatted the day before.

So thanks Row for 31 years of a beautiful friendship, and I think we have at least another 50 in us.  We will be the two little old ladies with our cups of tea who after 81 years of knowing each other, still can chat non-stop.

Luv Ya


Saturday, January 29, 2011

The First Birthday Party

Maybe I am setting myself up before the parties even begin, but I really dislike 1st Birthday Parties.  Any other year, I'm there with bells on but the 1st Birthday Party has a definite theme.  (I had to attend one today).

It is full of a mish mash of people - relations, close friends, neighbours and the "mums group" friends.  All different groups of people standing around making small talk trying to get excited about Mary's first doll.  There are always the group of people who don't have children who I feel for the most.  At least when you have kids you can sneak away from the "small talk" to entertain your child.  The childless have to try to act interested in toilet training issues, and the like without falling asleep whilst drinking their cordial and eating their fairy bread.

I am as guilty as the next parent as I have held now two 1st birthday parties, and I understand exactly why we do it.  It is a momentous occasion and we want all and sundry to celebrate our child and it is a god given right to bore everyone else with their amazing achievements to date.

We seem to settle down a little bit after the 1st birthday and only invite those with children who actually play or spend time with the birthday child.  Family members are usually kept to a minimum or a separate party is held to celebrate the said birthday.  Thank god.

Please note, I am nine months pregnant and hugely intolerant of many things in general.  I am actually usually a very nice person that coos over babies and doesn't whinge and bitch about a 1st birthday party.


Friday, January 28, 2011

My son the photographer

Can't believe my little 4 year old took this photo of our very lazy cat Harry.

Art work on the "cheap"

A few years back we moved into our house, which I love.  Single story with lots of open living, and only a year old, so nothing to do.  After living in a tiny townhouse, which we renovated, then moving to an even tinier 50 year old house, which we did a complete overhaul on,  I am over renovating.  So moving into our "new" house was really a wonderful day for us.  No more weekends working 6-6 with paint brush or a hammer in hand.

However after living in older houses that undoubtedly had a lot of character, we found once we had settled into our new home and had a chance to "look around", that it felt a bit sterile.  Lots of white is a wonderful look, but it needs to be balanced with great accessories or artwork (I think anyway).

However, after buying a new home, like most young couples with children, spending lots of money on art work is the last thing on the list of things to do.  So, taking one room at a time, I have set about de-sterilizing our lovely house.  So far kids rooms done, living and dining area almost done, and big hallway done.  Just a few more rooms to go....

Most of the artwork I have put up is just great material covering canvasses.  I have attempted a few paintings myself and am happy enough with them to put them in a few discrete corners, but all in all we have created a much cosier environment.  This small canvas I covered with remnants I had left.  I loved the fabric but never had enough to do anything much with it, so this was a great compromise.

Although I am getting some gorgeous artwork very soon from my beautiful friend Sarah who is an artist and interior designer (You can follow Sarah on twitter :!/Sarahidmentor for lots of great design advice).  I am really excited to put them on the wall, as I love a home full of art.

My aunt and uncle have a similar house - completely white along with most of the accessories white as well, however every wall is filled with artwork.  Fortunately for them my uncle is a very talented oil painter, so he spends his retirement painting and filling their walls with art.

The few images you see here come from a gorgeous blog .  They capture that beautiful light feeling lots of white gives but the importance of colour to make it homely and lovely.

Lots of lovely ideas - one day I will put them into practice.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

What a Day...

I had the most fun today just hanging out with my little man (4 years old). It has been quite a long holiday for us, and now that school is back, as much as it is nice to have our eldest around, over the past twelve months my son and I have slotted into a nice relaxing routine and I think we were both missing a bit of Mum/Son time.

Freakishly my son likes to go to the shops (or thops, as he says) much more then my daughter.  So those dreams of wandering around shopping and doing lunch with Miss G are being dashed away.  Mr C and I went back to our normal routine of Library, shops and morning tea before we go home for the afternoon and peruse our library books until it is time to pick up Miss G from school.

The day started out questionably though with both kids refusing breakfast, which bought about a new rule in the house.  No eating whilst the TV is on.  Most mornings we go through the same thing, me nagging the kids to eat breakfast for at least and hour and a half, then our normal rule is when everyone is ready to walk out the door for school, etc, the TV can be turned on until it is time to go.  Subsequently as soon as the TV goes on one of the kidlets is telling me they are hungry and going through the pantry.  With much protest the new rule was enforced this morning.

So the day wasn't looking positive, however we arrived at the library, and I found no fines on my card (Yah) and I actually found a magazine to borrow that was new - A February 2011 Issue - it is not a fable, it can happen.

Then off to the shops to buy a baby monitor and sensor mat, which I was expecting to set me back at least $600 between the two of them.  Well I managed to find a two in one combination for just $275.

Then we headed to Myers for a wander before said Milkshake and Coffee, and I came across a rack of 75% off the sales price clothes.  Got me 4 shirts for $30 and one was reduced from $100 down to $13, love a bargain, even if I can't wear them for a while (must have a baby first and then lose 15 kilos).  Milkshake and Coffee was delicious and then our afternoon of reading books went a treat.  Although Mr C dragged out his cars to play with, thankfully he was content to let me lounge on his bedroom floor and read my new mag, with the occasional "That's pretty awesome Buddy" or "Wow" thrown in.

After some really up and down days of late, it is the little things like this that make a day so wonderful, and I got lots of cuddles from Mr C, so who can complain about that.


Fabric Wallets from Hart and Soul

We have had these wallets for a little while now, and haven't yet shared them with you on our blog for some reason.  I absolutely love them but haven't bought one myself simply because when it comes to my handbag I normally have all sorts of things rolling around in it due to two small children.  The last time I cleaned out my bag I found half a choc chip biscuit that my youngest had dropped in my handbag for "later".  Needless to say a fabric wallet would look nice for about two minutes when combined with my handbag.

However if you don't have that problem, this would be a great addition to your accessory wardrobe.

This gorgeous everyday clutch wallet fans out when open giving you loads of space for notes, receipts, credit, loyalty cards and more. The unique design closes with a wrap around tie and features: 4 credit card pockets which easily accommodate 2 or 3 cards each standing length ways. 2 larger divisions either side of card holder for notes, receipts, check book etc. Separate/removable long fabric coin purse which fits neatly either side of card holder. Fine Cotton fabric cover with soft internal wadding and stiff PVC body to maintain structure; it will not lose shape. Large enough to use as a clutch to hold mobile, lipstick or other essentials. Lightweight and very sturdy design. Expandable design gives you easy viewing and access to everything you carry. Length: 20cm - Height: 10cm - Width: 2.5cm

Beautiful, unique and handmade with absolute care.    I actually had to invest in a new wallet just the other day as my gorgeous Designer Wallet was on its last legs.  I found a really cute and cheap red one with birds (my latest obsession) embroidered on it.  Within one week the insides started to come apart and now two months down the track it looks like I will have to invest in a new wallet.  

There is something to be said for buying quality of quantity.

Happy Shopping
Jen & Row

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Blog of the Week - Karin's Style Blog

I stumbled across this blog the other day looking for Danish fashion and have fallen in love with it.

It is a mixture of all things beautiful.  Fashion, home wares, photos, and the light, bright design of the blog drew me to it straight away (I love a blog with no advertising!).

I have personally found numerous links to some really great stores that I have subsequently bought from, from Karin's Style Blog, and absolutely love her style.

A couple of my favourite Blog Entries:

Hope you enjoy Karin's Style Blog as much as we do.

Jen & Row

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New Apparel at Shimi

Whilst I posted last week that we would not be getting any new Women's clothing in for some time, we came across this lovely dress and had to add it to Shimi's collection.

This gorgeous, flowing dress is the ultimate in summer essentials.  Cool, comfortable, chic and feminine this will take you from the home to the beach (think bikini cover up), to lunch out.  Great with a pair of thongs, or equally lovely with a great pair of wedges, this is so cool and comfortable you will not want to take it off.

At only $55 this dress is great value.   It is to be taken care of though, hand washing it in cold water for at least the first few washes (and add a couple of table spoons of salt to be on the safe side as it is tie dyed) and then only washing it on delicate if you must deviate from hand washing.

This is a "one Size" dress, so it will fit anyone from size 8 - 14 and will look beautiful.

Happy Shopping
Jen & Row

Monday, January 24, 2011

Pregnancy Weight

Well after eating really well all pregnancy and putting on only a sensible amount of weight, I have now blown it in the last month.  I have put on at least 5 kilos in 3 weeks and I am not happy about that.  However I cannot seem to eat enough to sate my hunger.  Even though I am trying to eat well I still cannot seem to fill up....

Thank goodness it is summer and there is so much lovely fruit around or I think I would be stuffing my face with Magnums.  I have been pretty lucky with my first two pregnancy.  Whilst I put on an obscene amount of weight, with lots of exercise, sensible eating and breast feeding I got back to my normal weight within about 12 months.  However being in my mid 30s now, I am a little worried about how long it will take me to lose the weight and how hard it is going to be.  For me the only thing that really works is lots of exercise,  so looks like I will be putting myself through excruciating pain very soon.

I was also thinking about ordering my breakfasts and lunches from a weight lose pre-made delivery service.  I still want to maintain a normal routine for dinner to teach my children the benefits of eating well and that we all need balance nutritionally, however breakfast and lunch is where I fall down, so any help would be good.

What are your weight loss tips?  What has worked for you?

Jen & Row

Escape Novel, what is your favourite?

I have a love hate relationship with reading.  I love it, but I find when I get a good book I have a lot of trouble putting it down and end up neglecting things like husband, children and work.  I have become a bit more disciplined in the last few years, only reading when the kids are otherwise occupied, or before bed at night.  I must admit though, although I miss the characters when I finish a good book, I also breath a sigh of relief because I don’t have that pull to grab my book and ignore the world anymore.
I joke though.  I love reading, and so do both my children.  My husband not so much, in fact I think he has only read one novel since I have known him.  Business books he  has read many, but I can’t convince him of the magic of a great novel, which I find very frustrating and I can’t help feel a little bit sad for him that he is missing such wonderment in life.
Currently I am making my way through the Sookie Stackhouse Novels (by Author Charlaine Harris).  They are pure entertainment, filled with mythical creatures and far fetched plot lines but I am so enjoying them.  Harris has made the characters extremely likable and endearing, even if they are blood sucking vampires.  If you like a bit of fantasy these are your cup of tea, and they are an easy read as well.  
I have mentioned to a few friends that I am currently devouring these novels and have been meet with surprise that I would read something of this nature.  I guess I should be reading intellectual novels that challenge ideas and thoughts.  Hmmm, no thanks.  By the end of my day after caring for two kids and a husband that likes a chat about all things business, I am ready for a bit of pure entertainment.  Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing again the more robust novel and have enjoyed many of them, but I find now I have kids I really have to pick and choose my novels.  Tiredness is major factor for me, and if a novel can’t hold my attention within the first two pages, I will move on, so anything that needs a lot of lead up to get to its point is not for me at this stage in my life.  Also subject matter can make or break a novel for me.  Now I have children I have a lot of trouble reading anything with abuse (towards children) or environmentally terrifying subject matter (I am still trying to bring myself to watch Al Gore’s "An Inconvenient Truth".   I know I should and I want to but it will consume me for weeks and bring on anxiety that I just don’t want to deal with at the moment).  A favourite author of mine is Jodie Picquolt, however there are a few of her novels I have had to put away half way through, My Sister’s Keeper being one of them.  I guess my empathy towards the family in this novel  about a child dying of cancer was just too great.  All of her novels are fantastic, however I often need a breather in between reading her novels and move onto something a little lighter (the “Twilight” series was great for this).
I think as long as you are reading something that you enjoy it is beneficial and such a great example to children.  My six year old has a great grasp on language and I put it down to her intense interest in books, and my son is proving to have this same interest.  Let’s hope number three is the same.
What is your favourite escape Novel?

Jen & Row

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Free Stork Motif Pattern

As a thank you for following our Blog we are giving all current followers and any new Blog Followers our very popular Stork Motif Pattern for T-shirts FREE.

This is a really cute pattern and has been the most popular in our range.  Unfortunately we no longer produce the Stork T-Shirts, however this is a really easy pattern to follow and a great way to use up any remnants of material you may love but don't know what to do with.

Our pattern is very easy to follow, however if you have any trouble, please don't hesitate to contact us at

Warm Regards

Jen & Row

school starts tomorrow

And boy I am excited.  I actually really love holidays with the kids at home, but this one has been a doozy. My daughter is going into grade 1 and so excited to be going back to school that everything else in comparison is "boring".  So I don't feel so guilty about looking forward to having some child free time.

My son is starting Kindy, so that is only 2 days a week, but 2 days that I will be putting my feet up until baby number 3 is born.  Although I am a little worried about how I will react when he is at Kindy.  The first day with my daughter I was fine.  The second day it was like a wall of depression hit me and I was a blubbering mess ALL DAY and was at the gates waiting mournfully for her way before the day was supposed to end.

Anyway after weeks of rain and floods, I am exhausted after trying to fit in all our holiday fun into one week of sunshine.  I have one more day of exhaustion to endure - the cleaning of the house once kids are out of it.  I officially gave up last Thursday.  I kept the living area tidy and ignored the kids rooms.  However I also ignored any cleaning of bathrooms or floors, and I being an insane 8.5 month pregnant woman am getting twitches looking at the grime building up.  So no matter my state tomorrow I won't feel settled until I get the job done.

Then Tuesday - to lie on my couch uninterrupted for at least 4 hours.

Jen & Row

Friday, January 21, 2011

Baby Sling

I found with my second child a baby sling invaluable.  For those short trips you always have to make with little ones, I found it far easier to pop bub in the sling rather then struggle to get the pram out or carry that god awful baby capsule around.

The first one I bought was a little small and Mr C did nearly fall out a couple of times as her got bigger, so this time round I invested in a really great sling.  I bought this pretty sling from Serena and Lily and although it was a hard choice between the styles I finally decided on the Catalina Market Sling.  My first choice was the Peacock sling, but after really looking at it I decided it didn't look quite sturdy enough to carry a larger child.

So the Catalina it is.  It has a very deep pocket which is lovely for a new born to snuggle into, but will also ensure that baby will fit into it for many months down the track.

Also the service was very prompt and was delivered to me in beautiful packaging.  Just go to to check out more styles.

Happy Shopping

Jen & Row

Sun Cover Ups

A friend commented today on how brown I was looking, which I found quite alarming because I apply sunscreen constantly.  I actually really like looking tan, however after having two grandparents pass away from cancer which we believe to be from a melanoma, I am vigilant in keeping my and my children's lily white skin just that.

I was mortified on Monday when after a day at the pool my kids and I both came home slightly pink because the sun was so hot and after weeks of rain, we were soaking up the sun in a not so positive way.  Lesson learnt, must not forget to re-apply sunscreen.

Anyway, since I can't seem to find a rashie for a heavily pregnant women, I have to find a Sun Cover Up to fit over my belly.  We have found them.  These gorgeous Swim Cover Ups from Joie are perfect.  Looking chic and stylish with sun protection.

We have just added them to our Amazon Store, so be sure to check them out, as it seems we are in for a long hot summer.

Happy Shopping.

Jen and Row

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mobile Phone Pouch

I recently lost my phone in a water bottle incident : at the part, back packed with food and water for my poor starving children.  Of course the water bottle was put back in my bag which contained my phone and the rest is history.  Although my 6 year old takes great pride in telling people I dropped it in the toilet for some reason.....

Since then I have gotten an IPhone, which I LOVE, but I am diligent with keeping it safe from all water based activities.  I recently got a Rabbit and The Duck wallet which I now keep my phone but Rabbit and The Duck have added some gorgeous Mobile Phone covers to their collection.

Check out these great designs now at

Happy Shopping

Jen & Row

I just realised I detest cooking.

I, tonight, finally came to the realisation that I really do not like cooking.  It is quite strange to admit that as I come from a family, most notably my Grandmothers, that love to cook or bake to be more precise.

Truth be told, I don't mind cooking dinners if they are simple, but baking, it is just not my thing.  I can bake, I just choose not to.  I do think this is something that has come about since I have had children as I don't think I had the same level of dislike prior to children, however I don't think I actually baked to much prior to kids, so that would explain that.

So why have I found this admission so embarrassing?  I am not sure to be honest.  I don't claim to be a great cook and if you come to my house for a coffee, that is all you will get unless I can rummage up a few store bought biscuits, and my friends are aware of this.  I love cooking shows, enjoy eating, can appreciate others that do cook, but basically can't be bothered with it myself.

How unfortunate that my husband doesn't like cooking either.  That is not to say we live on takeaway, in fact it is a rare occasion in our house.  If ever the kids and I are having a night to ourselves, I still prepare them a dinner of greens, protein, and carbs but I have to say my dinners can swing anywhere between cereal and a pasta made of whatever I can find.  I must admit in my student days I did make quite a good pasta out of not much more then tomato sauce and cheese (I know, sounds horrible, but its not bad when you have very little money, and who was going to waste money on ingredients when there was wine to be bought?  Ahh, the distant memories of actually having a glass of wine.)

So when my 6 year old shows interest in being on Junior Master Chef, I will be encouraging it all the way.  My husband and I are pinning all our hopes on our children loving cooking so we don't have to endure the nightly ritual.  At the moment they are more interested in cooking anything "chocolaty" (not sure if that is a word) and abandoning ship when the chocolate part is over.

Jen & Row

*Rowena does not endorse this blatant disregard for the art of cooking.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Do We Love ? Opinions Please...

We are thinking about getting some of these gorgeous bags in at Shimi.

What do you think??  We would love your opinion.

Under six weeks to go.

With under six weeks until due date I am in full "crazy" nesting force.  I just received my new pram, baby bag, change mat, bottles and bottle holder (in the hope that baby number 3 will feed from a bottle occasionally unlike babies 1 and 2) from our wonderful friends at

I told Leanne my needs in respect to a pram - and she came through with the goods.  I need one that is a great traveller as I endeavour to walk, walk, walk, once baby is born (we will see how that ambitious plan goes), and of course I needed a Buggy Board for child 2, who we regularly call Mr Lazy when it comes to walking.

So now to just sit and wait for the big day, although I am slightly nervous.  Living away from my family I don't have a big support network of people on hand to help with the children when I go into labour.  We have lots of wonderful friends, however most work and have their own commitments which of course means they won't be available at the drop of a hat.  And after child 2's birth being only 4 hours from start to finish - slightly anxious.  I'm sure it will all be alright on the day though.

In the meantime I am drooling over these gorgeous baby things displayed in the December edition of Marie Claire.

Happy Shopping

Jen & Row

Miranda Kerr's Baby Pics

It is very sweet this picture, and looks extremely natural although Miranda looks as beautiful as ever.  I must admit I was a little taken aback when I first saw the photo, simply because I didn't expect a breast feeding photo.  But it is the most beautiful image.

If only our first new baby photos could all look that good.  My first one after my daughter was born, I looked puffy, bloated, sleep deprived, sick and huge, and I had even put on a bit of makeup and tried to make myself look presentable.  That is all by the by because my husband spent a lot of time in the delivery room snapping photos prior to the actual birth, so I was partially naked and strapped to machines and again looked bloated and tired, and this time with no makeup or hair done.  To make matters worse, we got double exposures printed and gave copies to my mum, who divided them into two piles - the pile to show her friends and family and the pile that I didn't want anyone to see (and I dare say no one else wanted anyone to see).  However she promptly forgot which pile was which and spent the first few months handing around the "PRIVATE" photos to family and friends.  They saw much more then the should have.

I'm sure Miranda at least one or two unflattering photos!!!!

Jen & Row

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Path for

You may have noticed lately that has changed a little.  We have decided that due to the popularity of our gorgeous clutches, handbags and wallets and of course our beautiful Skincare Range by Jewell that we are now going to focus all our attention on these products for 2011.

Along with the current product stocked in our store we are currently sourcing even more beautiful bags from around the globe.  All our products will remain unique, chic and out of the ordinary so you can be assured that when you are looking for something that you won't see duplicated in various stores, will still be the place to go.

In the meantime our gorgeous designer from Rabbit and The Duck has just launched some new designs which have a very modern Scandinavian feel.

However we know that the clothing lines we original had were a favourite with many of you, which is why we have added our Amazon Store to Shimi.  The Amazon Store has given us the ability to bring you great brands like Nine West and French Connection to you at amazing prices.  Although these pieces when ordered do come from the US, the postage time usually doesn't exceed 14-16 days.

Happy Shopping

Jen & Row

Summer Is Here

Wow, so hot today, I was melting.  Of course I have strange children that will spend the day complaining if I even look like putting on the air conditioning, and to date I have refrained, but those days will be over very soon.

Thank God for friends with Pools.

So of course the only footwear for this time of the year is sandals and thongs.  So we have trawled through what Nine West have to offer and have just added some very cute summer shoes to the collection.

Great with Maxis, shorts and summer dresses, how can you go past them.

For the casual thong or flip flop look I really love these ReWired Sandals by Nine West.  Black with a touch of tan, these will go with almost any colour.  Whilst they have lovely detail they are plain enough not to take over the outfit.  You will wear these with everything.

However for something that is a bit of fun, and will take over your outfit the Ira Ankle Strap Platform Sandals are fantastic.  Lots of candy colours, high high heels and an ankle strap - so much fun.  These would look great with a plain white dress on a summer day - or jeans, always jeans.

Have fun looking through the collection, shoe shopping is always a delight.

Happy Shopping
Jen & Row

Monday, January 17, 2011

New LBD Laundry

Everyone needs a little black dress.  They are a life saver in most situations.

We just added this little one from LBD Laundry, very cute, very simple and stylish, but with a little bit "more".

Happy Shopping
Jen & Row

Exhaustion Takes Over

Well I am at the pointy end of my pregnancy with only just under 6 weeks to go.  I went from one day feeling great to the next day waking up thinking I am totally over this.  Good news is I thought I had 7 weeks, so yippee on that front.

I am suddenly huge, exhausted, my eyes are washed out, and the discolouration of my skin on my face is out of control.  And of course my skin has broken out.  Although as usual instead of using my Jewel Mud Face Mask regularly, I bring it out to cure the skin condition rather then prevent it.  So tomorrow I am going to make some time for myself and put on a face mask and try to block out the sounds of children arguing for at least 15 minutes.

The last stages of pregnancy as any woman knows are nearly as hard as the first stages of pregnancy if you suffered morning sickness, although the debilitation tiredness of the first trimester is I think actually worse then the last trimester.  In my first trimester I was asleep with the kids by 7pm every night.

Oh well, the count down begins.  I am looking forward to next week when child 1 is back at school and child 2 starts preschool (although there could be a minor freak out on my part when he takes his little bag in the gates and starts unpacking, not liking the idea of losing my little ones to school just yet).

So I will be requiring lots of tips on how to bring bub on early (at 5 foot 2 and a small build, I have no more room for baby, and apparently he is a big one).  I know about the chili, and of course I keep getting reminded by husband about the doctors advice of lots of "foolin around" but any other tips would be much appreciated.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

What a Community!

I have to say as a Queenslander how very proud I feel of Anna Blight, Kevin Rudd and Lord Mayor Campbell Newman.  Whilst we would expect nothing less of our fearless leaders, I think they have come to the party in so many ways and they are touched many people and have handled this awful disaster in the best way they possibly could.

However, they are not the only ones.  Today my husband volunteered and unfortunately was turned away, simply because of the vast number of volunteers already there.  He will of course try again next weekend, as it will take months to clean up this great city, however it really warms ones heart that our community is so committed to helping those less fortunate that they have to be turned away.

One other person that I think as touched so many people is the comedian Meshel Laurie.  I follow Meshel's tweets and she has been going hell for leather on the old Twitter with requests for all sorts of help, no matter how small or big.  Well done Meshel, you are an inspiration and a truly special person.

Whilst our husbands were off (trying) to volunteer, my friend who is also very pregnant, and I sat together lamenting about how useless we feel.  However from a physical sense there is little two very pregnant women with small children can do.  So rather then moan about it we have been trying to come up with ways to aid.  The first thing we have decided to do is turn our baby shower into a fund raiser.  Not being effected by the flood, we still have all our old baby things and don't have to rebuild our lives, so anything we need, we can purchase.  We have asked all our friends to go through their baby goods that are no longer used and bring them along to the baby shower to donate, and rather then give us a gift, put the money they would have spent towards the flood appeal.  Just between the two of us already we have two huge bags of baby clothing, a stroller and a pram, and I have no doubt there is much more to come.  As most of the charity stores in our area can no longer accept goods due to space issues, these goods will be put on truck and taken to one of the inland towns that was so devastated by the flash flooding they experienced.

A few other ideas we came up with for those of us who are physically not able to help:

- Offer to babysit for any friends or family so they can volunteer.
- Cook some meals for those volunteers or families that have been effected (and have their power back on of course).
- Tell everyone you can that your partner, mum, dad, brother, sister, etc are volunteering.  Nothing like a little competitiveness to get people out there helping.
- Offer to look after pets for friends or family that have been effected.
- If you are planning an event of some kind, incorporate it with a fundraiser for the victims.  It is amazing how much you can raise just between family and friends.

Last but not least is giving those effected emotional support.  Whilst we can all see the devastation and feel the loss, it probably won't hit many people until the physical work stops and they have time to take in what is lost.  Depression is an awful condition, and anyone that suffers it needs all the support they can get.  Just being available to those you know going through this terribly time is sometimes enough to help them through it.

Jen & Row

Thursday, January 13, 2011

BCBGMaxAzria Body Conscious Dress

We just added the BCBGMaxAzria Women's Body Conscious Dress to our Shimi collection.  A very stylish and chic dress, this is something that I would have thought only suited women with a body like the model showing it.

How wrong I am.  I know this because up until 6 months ago I worked in a boutique that specialised in women's clothing with the focus on the 40 - 70 year old.  The clothing was still very stylish, which is why it was and is such a popular boutique, no old ladies clothing in there.  One of their most popular designs is a dress in a similar vein to that of the BCBGMaxAzria Body Conscious Dress and I can say that most of the ladies who tried on this dress, then bought it.

The material is a jersey, so it is quite thick and drapes beautifully.  Whilst you would think in the 40-70 age group most women's bodies would have some signs of what a wonderful life they have had, the lumps and bumps are hidden in this dress.  I was consistently surprised that this is a dress that would suit almost any body shape.

I think maybe mine (8 months pregnant) is about the only body shape that wouldn't do it justice.

Happy Shopping
Jen & Row

The day that was.....

I think most of Brisbane woke up this morning with the anticipation of seeing real disaster - and we did.  Homes completely engulfed by water, businesses lost and unfortunately some more lose of life.

Again my family and I are very fortunate that we are fine, but the emotional toll and worry is still there.  I have been feeling very depressed for the last couple of days which is very unlike me, and I haven't been able to work out why.  I suddenly realised this afternoon that I feel "survivors guilt".  It is a strange sensation - but one I think anyone who was lucky enough to avoid any problems is probably feeling.  It is heartbreaking to watch the news and see all of our fellow Brisbanites and beyond sifting through mud which was once their belongings.  Until the water recedes somewhat, there is not a lot we can do to volunteer our help, but there will be plenty to do once the water does recede.

I pulled myself together a bit today though and tried to focus on the children.  So after a day of scrabble, snakes and ladders and drawing up our dream boards (mine and my daughters consisted solely of a pool - to which my daughter remarked "I would like a pub beside my pool thanks Mum" - she is only 6, and we hardly drink.... honestly), we took a quick trip to the shops and bought ourselves a treat.

My husband then came home early and we both sat on the couch and had a little weep for our city, then again pulled ourselves together and went for a drive to see the Brisbane River.  It is an amazing site.  After a stressful day we then treated ourselves and the kids to Mexican and came home.... all in all feeling a little better with the news that relatives that we thought would loose everything have made it back to their unit to the amazement that they escaped any water damage.

On a better note, it is amazing to see our community pull together as it has.  All Queenslander's should feel very proud of themselves.

Jen & Row

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Not the best day

Well it has been a sad day for Queenslanders with probably most of us knowing someone who is being or has been badly effected by the flood.

We are very lucky that we have and are not likely to see any rising water in my suburb, but my poor cousin lives in one of the worst hit areas by the Brisbane River and whilst her partner, herself and her beloved dog are safe, along with some important personal effects, she will no doubt lose most of her furniture, and the damage to her unit will be severe no doubt.

Whilst I stress how lucky I know we are, it has been a tiring few days just worrying about what will happen and our loved ones, so I will sign off tonight, not in the chirpiest of moods to say the least.  However I will share one last link with you that I found beautiful amongst the devastation:


Peter Alexander Sleepwear Collection

I have just bought the latest Marie Claire for the first time in many years.  I used to read it religiously every month, but as children have appeared, it is another luxury I have forgone.

However for some reason this one caught my eye and I bought (December Issue, 2010).  I have seen so many things I want in it, so if I babble on about the issue for the next few posts, please forgive.  First though is the latest Peter Alexander Collection.  I have always loved his designs, and admire his label, but this particular little number struck a cord with me.

It reminds me of nights at my late Grans.  She was a hoarder, however a very organised hoarder, and of course I was drawn to her collection of clothing, bags and sleepwear that she had put away from decades before. The sleepwear was always a treat, because on impromptu sleepovers I got to choose from her collection.  Yes, they were a bit musty smelling, and yes, they had a few holes, but they were satin and chiffon and gorgeous and I felt like a princess in them.  (I must add, my Gran was so tiny that her adult clothes fit me when I was 12).

This 'Oh So Chic' Nightie from Peter Alexander reminded me of those nighties straight away.  Soft, simply and comfortable, but as he says "Oh So Chic".   (You can see it at - we are not plugging it, just big fans, and it is always nice to share).

I had lots of fun dressing up in Grans clothing and it was such a thrill when I found her wedding dress.  It was a very simple light peach slip to the mid calf with a small amount of detail.  I imagine she wore it with a little pair of court shoes, a simple clutch and a little cocktail hat.  So simple, yet so chic - which defined my Gran.  As I said I was 12 when I was fitting into her old clothes, but I myself didn't get much bigger, so when my beautiful husband asked me to marry him, that was the dress I was going to (lose weight to fit into) wear.  Alas, it vanished somewhere and none of the family know to were (I suspect a very organised Aunt came in and packed up a whole heap of stuff for charity and that was part of the donation).

Not to worry.  Do you have something vintage that is more then just a "piece of clothing".  Share with us, we would love to hear from you.

Jen & Row

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Vintage Baby Shoes

Amid all the tragedy that is surrounding us in Queensland at the moment, life still must go on.  My family and I are very lucky that we are not in the low lying areas and should not be effected by the floods, however we have opened our home to the few people we may be effected, however so far for them so good.

So in the middle of watching the news, having my six year old teach me Chess (she is good) and trying to teach my 4 year old how to play Connect 4, I managed to set up our baby to be's room.  Cot and change table up, baby hammock up although not to sure if I will feel comfortable using it, maybe just for those sort naps during the day.

We know we are having a boy this time so we are organised with only boy clothes hanging in the cupboard.  With 7.5 weeks to go, I am finally feeling organised and now I am just at the stage of buying things because they are cute (more clothes that he won't need), not because I need them (baby monitors).  So the next thing on my list to indulge in is some of the cute Vintage Baby Shoes from Lisa Renee Vintage.

Lisa Renee Vintage designs these baby shoes to stay on your baby's feet.  Made from vintage material, these are very original and very cute, and will keep your baby's tootsies nice and cosy.  They are available in a range of colours and styles to suit both boys and girls with sizes from Newborn to 14 months.   

Available in two styles:
Mary Jane baby shoes: High cut at back of ankle with elastic across the top of the foot.
Full shoe baby shoes: Full fit shoe with elastic around the ankle to hold baby's foot in securely. 
I have never managed to buy a pair of shoes for my babies that are easy to get on, and then will stay on.  However these little ones are a dream because not only are the soft but they have the elastic to hold the babies ankle and keep them in place.
I think for my little guy the Jardine Star is the ticket!!
Happy shopping
Jen & Row

Monday, January 10, 2011

Structured Play or Free Play

With the devastating floods hitting Brisbane there has been little me and the kidlets can do but stay in doors at home.  I think everyone with kids is in the same position of having cabin fever, but as I said in my last post if that is our biggest worry, then we are doing just fine.  Our hearts go out to those families who have lost lives, houses, cars and all personal possessions in this natural disaster - I am sure that they would love to be sitting in a nice dry house with a little cabin fever.

But after 3 weeks of rain we are running out of things to do (kid wise, I on the other hand have a million things that need doing).  Last night I happened to catch a documentary about the Structured Play vrs Free Play for children. I must admit I was watching this in between comforting my 4 year old who was experiencing night terrors so I could be better informed then I am, however I found it very interesting.  Basically this study indicated that too much Structured Play was detrimental and children need Free Play in order to learn how to interact socially and take considered risks.  It did reveal that children that engage in Structured Play regularly are more likely to achieve in the workforce, however like anything, too much of something is not great.

I thought that most of it was common sense - the old Balance of Life was what I got out of it.  Some structured play is important, some free play was important.  The thing I did find odd about the documentary is that they were basically reporting that if we let our kids have "free play" they will be in danger of predators, meaning that free play equaled no adult supervision.  This I don't agree with, as I think children can still experience free play whilst having a parent watch and monitor them from the sidelines. It is a fact of life these days that the days of jumping on your bike in the morning and return for lunch after exploring everywhere are long gone.  We have had to adapt to the dangers of the world, but I think I spend half my life watching my children play happily in the park, or even at home without my interference and I do see that as important.

I guess whatever path we choose as parents will be wrong to some people and right to others.  The best we can do is following our heart and do what is right for OUR family.


New Clutches by Myoriginalsin

We are always excited to receive new designs from Myoriginalsin.  These gorgeous clutches are completely original, hand crafted and very stylish and feminine.

The latest designs added to the Shimi collection are the Silver Silk Ruffle Clutch and the Vintage Damask Clutch.  These clutches are very compact and perfect for those special events like weddings are cocktail parties.  I actually give these clutches as gifts quite a lot because they are so sweet but the designs are quite neutral so you can be sure that the receiver will love them.

These clutches are all fully lined with complementing material, so it gives these clutches an extra touch of class.  Myoriginalsin clutches also have a little hidden compartment inside for your lippy or cards, and at 25cm x 13cm it is the perfect size for those nights out.

Myoriginalsin is a very popular brand at Shimi, not only because of the beautiful craftmanship or fabulous materials, but because they are original and pretty, and not the same old thing you will see in your nearest department store.  And at $40 the price is amazing.  Shimi normally carries 7-8 different Myoriginalsin designs, but popularity is so high, we cannot keep up with the demand, so if you see a design you love, don't delay.

Happy Shopping
Jen & Row

Rain, rain go away

I am sure everyone in Queensland is feeling the same way.  Enough with the rain already!!  Apart from the fact this it has created devastation throughout the state, I think kids everywhere are going stir-crazy and in turn driving their parents crazy.

But to be serious the families affected by this constant rain have been left with literally nothing.  Insurance may or may not cover these events as flood is a exclusion on most policies unless the consumer specifically requests flood cover, and in turn pays the premium to ensure this cover.  So now is the time to donate people, just go to this website to make your donations.

At Shimi we will be doing our best to donate all we can, however personally we have also pledged clothing and furniture, rather then sell them at a garage sale as originally planned.    I also have a bassinet and a pram that I was planning to ebay, but if you have a friend or family member in need due to the flood devastation, please contact me at and I will gladly pass these items along.

On a less serious note, the children are driving me mad.  I have always heard mums talk about how much they are looking forward to their children going back to school, and I have never personally felt that way.  Don't get me wrong, I have had my bad days, but all in all we usually enjoy our holidays together.  Not so this time.....  The few days that we have managed trips to the park or pool have been great days, but the days we have been couped up inside are downright miserable.  One child (who is way to smart for her own good) teasing ruthlessly and the other child (who at four already has too much testosterone in his little body) letting his anger get the better of him.

Oh well, there are far worse things that could happen - so much make the best of it.  Actually I have just watched the news and there are numerous towns in Southern Queensland that are having houses and cars washed away in these devastating floods, so I have absolutely NOTHING to complain about.

Jen & Row

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Diesel Tanks for Women

There is something to be said for plan old t-shirts and tanks.  I must admit they are a staple in my wardrobe and I wear my plain clothing more then I do anything that I have in a print.

We have just added some great tanks and t-shirts (and dresses) from Diesel, which is a great brand for the casual look.

I really love this bright blue tank, because it is a really strong cut with lots of detail but still just a flat colour, which is easy to mix and match.

Blue must be their theme this season because this Drusti dress is also very popular, again in a strong cut and block colour, but lovely detail.

I am also a fan of the Caasty Shirt, which looks so comfortable.  Maybe that is because comfort is my first and only option at the moment and it is a great cover up for a huge baby belly.

All these and more in store today.  Something in a brand we carry that you can't find?  Send us an email at and we will try to track it down for you.

Happy Shopping
Jen & Row

Saturday, January 8, 2011

New Baby for Miranda

So Miranda Kerr and Orlando Bloom are the proud new parents of a baby boy.  Woohoo, and congratulations to them.

Now, whilst I will no doubt by the latest rag with photos of the bub in it if Miranda and Orlando choose to go down the route, what I don't want to see is snaps of Miranda walking out of hospital in her skinny jeans!  Or having coffee next week looking well rested, well groomed and back to her normal size 6.  Lets be realistic though, she has amazing genes, and probably a team of professionals to get her looking her best, but it still does nothing for my self-esteem when 6 months down the track I am still struggling to brush my hair in the morning.  However I am sure a lot of hard work goes into keeping oneself looking so gorgeous and if I had the means and new that I would be snapped by the paps every time I left my house, I would employ any means necessary as well.

At 8 weeks to go until my baby is due, I know without a doubt I will not be in my skinny jeans for at least another 12 months.  Partly because I don't own any skinny jeans (no one needs to see my bum tightly encased in denim) and partly because it normally takes me 12 months to get back into shape.  Although I get very frustrated by this during this period I know that if I lose the baby weight slowly and healthily that it is more likely to stay off.

So congratulations to Miranda and Orlando and I hope they have a wonderful experience as new parents.  Lets hope the the gorgeous Miranda (whom we are all fans of in my house - my husband for different reason then I obviously) doesn't do a Giselle and start making silly statements now that she has joined the world of motherhood.  Remember the "It should be law that all women breast feed their child for at least 6 months".  Obviously she had no trouble breastfeeding and hasn't had to deal with the guilt, frustration and anxiety that occurs when breastfeeding doesn't come easily, or doesn't happen for them at all.  But that is a whole other discussion.


Friday, January 7, 2011

New Eight Sixty designs at today

I can't seem to go past Eight Sixty designs.  They are the essential summer fashion with great prints, simple yet stylish designs are great cuts.  Not only do this season Eight Sixty embody great summer fashion, they are versatile enough to go from day to night, just change your shoes and bag and you are good to go.  I love that the designs are not skin tight, and although aimed at the younger generation, I would feel quite comfortable wearing most of their items (lets skip the mini shorts and dresses at the moment though thanks).

We have just today added some amazing numbers.  A couple of my favourites are the Ruffle Knit Tank - gorgeous with jeans and a great pair of heels, and the Solid Silk One Shoulder Dress.

Unfortunately some of their earlier designs are all but sold out with only a limited size range available.  Normally we would take these designs off because we know the frustration for our shoppers when you find something you love and find the store doesn't have your size, however these dresses are so gorgeous I cannot bear for you to miss out.

First is the Geo Zig Zag dress, which is at the moment half price at an amazing $60US (approximately), however we only have this one available in a medium (please not all amazon stock is in US$ and US sizing, please see Size Chart for the conversion or check out the Amazon Size chart).  The second we have is the Cheveron Leaf Dress which is pure silk and again half price.  This is only available in Extra Small and Large only.

Be quick, because these designs will go quickly, and you deserve to treat yourself.

Happy Shopping
Jen & Row

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wedges - Summers must have

I really love a good Wedge.  I feel taller (obviously) and they give the legs a slender look without being overdressed, which in Queensland is not hard to achieve.  In fact in you live in Far North Queensland (my home town) you are overdressed in anything but shorts and thongs - stylish thongs but nevertheless thongs.

So I am relishing the resurgence of Wedges this season and have picked some great ones from Amazon to show case to you.  Some of course are a more corporate or evening look, but many are of the sandal variety, so great with maxi dresses or skirts, cute dressy shorts or a flirty summer dress. 

Wedges are far more easier to walk in then traditional high heels (although if you do fall it is from a height!) and seem to be more comfortable.  You can get that good 5 inch height lift from a wedge with only an include of maybe 1 or 2 inches with is far easier on the legs.

We have just added some great Designer names like Guess, Dollhouse, Ed Hardy and Kelsi Dagger and the prices are amazing, much reduced from buying in store.

Happy shopping
Jen & Row

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Great Luggage - what to look for, Our Review

I am NOT the intrepid traveller unfortunately.  I would like to be but at this stage in our life we have other priorities, however we do of course try to take a holiday a couple of times a year, even if it is just to the Sunshine coast for a week.  Needless to say my need for good luggage has never been overly great, but now that our family is growing, the days of stuffing everything into a duffel bag are over, and appropriate planning is essential.

Given this, and the possibility of a holiday this year that involves more then just jumping in the car for a one hour drive, I have started researching luggage.  My first thought was to look for something a little different, because as most people do, we have black luggage at the moment and tie a ribbon of some sort to the handle to tell that it is ours - which again everybody does.  So I came across the Travellers Choice Two Piece It is probably the cheaper of all the options I have looked at also at around $60US, however it is polyester so it's lifetime would be limited as compared to other products.  However it does expand giving you more room and has a padded front section for extra durability.  It has also received many great reviews from Amazon, so that is always promising.

I really love this suitcase and it would be my choice at this stage.  Bright pink, although it does come in blue or black, I love this one because it is standout and won't get lost among the sea of black and it is a hard side Samsonite suitcase.  The shell material is made of injection molded polypropylene, a highly impact-resistant plastic that is strong, lightweight, flexible, and moisture resistant.   It is large, and therefore has a great capacity to store (essential ladies!!) and although heavier then the polyester brands, still quite light and price wise very reasonable at about $300US.

This is my favourite, and of course the best of the best, however if you are a big traveller you can't go past this Samsonite Hard side Suitcase.  It is extremely durable and has a TSA Lock system, which is important if you don't want your suitcase to be unlocked at airports.  It is quite heavy, but you have to expect that when buying a suitcase in a hard material, however it glides very well on it's wheels.  It is expensive, with prices ranging from $300US to $600US, however with price brings quality.

It all depends on your travelling needs I guess.  For myself, we are not at the stage of travelling overseas very much so I would probably go for the less expensive Samsonite luggage, however WHEN (and it will happen, one day) we do become those country hoppers and see the world, I will be investing in the Samsonite Hard side Suitcase without a doubt. 

Happy Shopping
Jen & Row