Online Store of the Week: Nasty Gal

826ca1940c7380bc8e8f568ecb1ce397In lieu of my recent #GIRLBOSS review, I decided it was time to discuss Nasty Gal as my online store of the week. Its achievements in such a short time are impressive – what started off as an eBay store selling vintage clothes from thrift shops has now become a multi-million dollar business, styling girls from all over the world.

Nasty Gal is one of the first online stores I ever shopped at. I have bought two pairs of denim shorts, a knit, a jumper, a bracelet (see below) and Jeffrey Campbell heels. Quite an array of clothing and accessories. Unfortunately, when I bought my first pair of shorts, I was confused by the sizing. I compared myself to the models (who all wear size S) and the size guide. I took my measurements and ordered a size 27 in shorts, but to my disappointment when they arrived they was too big, particularly around the waist – a common occurrence for me and oh, so frustrating. Note to self: know your size before you buy.

imageNasty Gal is based in the USA and in my experience it has taken between 10-14 days for items to arrive. I never returned the aforementioned shorts and just made-do by wearing a belt because I didn’t want to wait the shipping time. This was lazy on my behalf, because Nasty Gal’s shipping is definitely fast and reasonable compared to other stores. If you live in Australia you will get free shipping on orders $175 and over. Nasty Gal has also improved it’s delivery time and shipping prices to Australia. It now takes between 4-7 business days for standard shipping (AU$9.75) and 2-3 business days for express (AU$29.75). I consider the express postage price to be too expensive, but it may be worth it if you need an outfit in time for the weekend or a special event. Luckily, I had more success with the rest of my purchases, and learnt from my mistakes when I bought my second pair of shorts.

The items themselves have always been great quality and I have gotten a lot of wear out of everything. One thing I would recommend when shopping at Nasty Gal (and all online stores) is making sure you aren’t just impulse buying and consider the different ways you can style your purchase before you click “check-out.” This is particularly important when you are buying something that is a little out of your comfort zone or doesn’t suit the rest of your wardrobe. Trust me when I say Nasty Gal has a lot of edgy, unique and vintage items that you won’t find at every store. You don’t want to be spending your precious pay-check on something you will never end up using, no matter how beautiful it looks on the website!

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 4.50.20 pmIn the few years I have been following Nasty Gal, their website has undergone many changes and each time it has been made to look more aesthetically pleasing and responsive for all devices (mobile, iPad etc). One of my favourite things about Nasty Gal is the app, which you can download from the app store. You can browse through all categories and items and purchase them via the app. Hello, online shopping convenience! Another venture by Nasty Gal has been the introduction of their own clothing and shoe lines – “Nasty Gal” and “Shoe Cult” respectively.  Each line is filled with gorgeous clothes and shoes that rival designer brands, at prices which are far more gentle on your hip pocket. On my wish list at the moment are the Take The Plunge Dress and the Perception Heel - among a tote-full of other lovely items.

Nasty Gal began selling vintage clothes and it has continued to do so, whilst evolving to also stock new and designer items. Not only do I love the products that Nasty Gal sells, but I also love the idea of supporting a business that has worked from the ground upwards to find success. Read #GIRLBOSS (written by Nasty Gal founder and CEO Sophia Amoruso) to hear all about Nasty Gal’s rise to power. Yes, I know I’ve been raving on about it all over my blog and social media but I loved it THAT much.

Whether you’re looking for something simple and classic or something edgy and out of the ordinary – chances are you will find it on Nasty Gal.

xxxxxx

Disclaimer: images of models found on Nasty Gal and Pinterest

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Check in on a friend in need

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Do you have a friend who suffers from anxiety or depression? It can be hard to know what to say. #TheCheckIn app is a great initiative from Australian organisation Beyond Blue.

Beyond Blue is working to reduce the impact of depression and anxiety in the community by raising awareness and understanding, empowering people to seek help, and supporting recovery, management and resilience. Although you may feel like nothing you can do or say will change the way another person feels when they are in an anxious or depressed state – the truth is there is no harm in trying. It can be daunting when you have never been in the same state of mind as the person suffering – so this app has been developed to assist young people in talking and helping each other.

The Check In app can be downloaded from the app store by typing “check in” into the search bar. It provides a step-by-step guide to approaching a friend who is affected by their mental health, beginning with the first conversation. Each step has a variety of options/suggestions to choose from, complete with a detailed description. For example, imageyou may choose to meet your friend for a walk in the park and start by saying “Are you alright? You don’t seem yourself lately.” There may be some things you have noticed which contribute to your worry, so you can follow up with these before asking what you can do to help or simply offering them a hug. Once you have set up your check-in plan, the app provides you with some tips to keep in mind for a variety of situations. For example, if your friend denies there’s a problem or if you are worried they might hurt of kill themselves.

The app also gives you the ability to review your check-in once you have spoken to your friend and figure out what else you can do. It also provides tips for the conversation and resources about depression, anxiety and helping someone who is suffering from mental health issues. Spread the word on social media and download the app! Not only should people be aware of anxiety and depression and it’s prevalence in society, but also of the resources and help available for sufferers, friends and family.

Head to the Beyond Blue website for more information and great resources for people of all ages, genders and ethnicities.

Follow @beyondblueofficial on Instagram

REVIEW: #GIRLBOSS

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 4.44.29 pmI’ve always been a reader. It comes and goes in phases because I don’t like reading just anything. I LOVE to read books that evoke something inside of me – whether it be my imagination, emotions, self-confidence or anything in between. #GIRLBOSS, written by Sophia Amoruso (founder and CEO of Nasty Gal), did exactly that. So, without further ado…

Sophia Amoruso is a representation of the 1%. Nasty Gal is worth more than a $100 million dollars, yet the first thing Amoruso ever sold online was a stolen book. You could say her chances of success were a hundred to one. But with a #GIRLBOSS attitude, anything is possible, and that’s exactly what this book is all about.

If you aren’t much of a reader, don’t fret. #GIRLBOSS is an easy read despite the life lessons within its pages.  It is written in a language relatable to young women with the world at their feet. Perhaps you need a reminder that the blood, sweat and tears are worth it for the end result – or maybe a push to take that first step (or leap) towards becoming a #GIRLBOSS. If you believe you fall into either of the above categories – this book is for you.

It is so common for young people to be afraid to take the path less travelled, for fear of failure or being an outsider. This book celebrates being an outsider and takes a different approach to success – one which doesn’t necessitate higher education or formal training, but instead can be created by hard-work, instinct and resilience. After all, Amoruso went from living pay check to pay check to having $1 million dollars in her savings account before she turned 30. Oh, and a Porsche.

Each chapter begins with an illustration and quote accompanying it’s title. Some examples:
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“The only thing I smoke is my competition”
“A #GIRLBOSS knows when to throw punches and when to roll with them”
“Bet on yourself”
“The straight and narrow is not the only path to success”
I love quotes so a book filled with them is definitely my cup of tea. Even when you can’t remember a book word for word, a quote will stick in your mind and remind you of the message. Another lovely part of the book are the Portraits of #GIRLBOSSes at the end of some chapters. They are small features on other entrepreneurial, bad-ass ladies who are leaving their mark on the world in their own way. It leaves you thinking – “Hey, look at all these people going out and getting what they want. I can do that too.”

The book transitions from Amoruso’s rocky and rebellious young adulthood (with many adventurous tales and mundane, “shitty” jobs) through to her rise to power and Nasty Gal’s success. Accompanying her autobiography is advice on everything from resume writing and saving money through to having a positive, #GIRLBOSS attitude towards life. But what does it mean to be a #GIRLBOSS?

“A #GIRLBOSS takes her life seriously without taking herself too seriously. She takes chances and takes responsibility on her own terms. She knows when to throw punches and when to roll with them. When to button up and when to let her freak flag fly.”

In other words, don’t let anyone tell you who you should or should not be, what you can and cannot do. If a woman who didn’t go to college, has been caught shoplifting and has eaten a bagel out of a dumpster can create a multi-million dollar business with no experience and no debt whatsoever, why shouldn’t you dream big and make your way to the top, following any path you see fit.

If you want to live life a) loving what you do b) being happy and c) being a #BOSS – READ THIS BOOK! You may not be an entrepreneur, but it doesn’t matter. A #GIRLBOSS way of thinking can be applied to just about anything.

Buy #GIRLBOSS here
Visit
nastygal.com
Follow @nastygal and @sophia_amoruso on Instagram

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July Favourites

This month I’m happy to have finally gotten around to buying and trying some things I’ve wanted for a while. Therefore, I thought I’d compile them into a neat, little post dedicated to my favourite things from the month of July.

1. Bondi Sands

If you’re a regular fake-tanner and you haven’t tried Bondi Sands yet, you must be living under a rock. Personally, I’ve never been an avid user of instant fake tan but I have used some gradual tanners in the past. I wasn’t very impressed with them as they either had a strange smell or took forever to dry. When I tried Bondi Sands Everyday Gradual Tan, I fell in love! It smells like cocoa butter and dries fast, meaning you don’t have to wait around semi-naked in the cold until you feel ready to change into your clothes. I recommend photoapplying it after having a shower and exfoliating your body. The best part? It’s never orange and always looks natural! If you live in Australia you can find Bondi Sands at Priceline and selected stockists.

Follow @bondisands on Instagram

2. #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso

I’m half way through #GIRLBOSS and with each new chapter I can’t help but feel empowered. It’s filled with so many inspirational messages and great advice courtesy of Sophia Amoruso, founder and CEO of online retailer Nasty Gal (featured in my Top 3 online stores). I’m planning on a more elaborate post dedicated to the book once I’ve finished but I’m already confident in recommending it. I found it for $30 from QBD - a bit expensive for a book, I know, but worth it.

Follow @nastygal and @sophia_amoruso on Instagram

3. Pandora

Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 5.40.28 pmI love rings from Pandora, and I am keen to add another to my collection. Up until the 27th of July, if you buy any two Pandora rings you can get a third sterling silver ring for FREE. I was also offered a free Pandora ring holder with this deal, however I’m not sure whether this is available at all stores or just David East Jewellers (customer service in there is amazing and you can get 10% off if you’re a member). I’m not one to part with my money easily BUT upon discovering this deal I’ve decided I deserve to spoil myself.

Follow @theofficialpandora on Instagram

In conclusion, looking for an easy, D.I.Y tan? Go for Bondi. A new book to read? #GIRLBOSS gets my tick of approval. Love a good deal? Go to your nearest Pandora store and see if they’re running the “three for two” deal.

Tell me about your favourite things this month in the comment box below and enjoy the rest of July!

xxxxxxx

Choosing a name

Before the mothers-to-be of the blogosphere get their hopes up, this post does not contain advice about picking the perfect name for your unborn child. The naming decision I’m talking about is for anyone on the verge of creating their own blog. In my previous post I discussed deciding what you want to write about and what platform you will use, completely forgetting the importance of giving your little piece of the internet a name.

Sometimes I worry that “The World by J” is too generic. There are quite a few blog sites with similar titles, but I decided to stick with my choice. Why? It means something to me. Every individual on the planet is wrapped up in their own world. They see it from their own perspective, just as I see the world through my eyes, thoughts, memories and influences. I selected the name “The World by J” because I wanted to emphasise the idea that this blog is a piece of me. I’m writing down the world as I see it. I’m creating this blog with meraki, which, according to the world wide web, is a Greek word for doing something with soul, creativity or love and putting something of yourself into your work. With all the effort I’m putting into it, I didn’t want the name to be meaningless.

In saying that, the name of your blog is extremely important. The name should be relatively short and easy to remember so readers can return to your blog without thinking too hard about what to type into the browser. Some of my personal favourite blog names are Song of Style, Sincerely Jules and A Pair and a Spare. Two out of these three have put a piece of themselves into their title (which I love) and the third has used a neat rhyme to grab your attention. All three are successful blogs!

UntitledIn my opinion, a great blog name should be; unique, meaningful, succinct, memorable, interesting and relevant. Keeping these elements in mind will help you create an awesome title or domain URL. It’s also important to try and choose a name that you will be happy with for a long, long time. I highly recommend sticking to the name you have chosen for the life of your blog, especially if you have a following of readers who have become familiar with your title and could be confused by a change. Now that I think of it, choosing a blog name does seem remarkably similar to selecting a baby name!

I hope you have enjoyed the second post in this series about blogging for beginners. I’d love to hear from you all – tell me how and why you chose your blog name!

xxxxxxx

Problem solving

ff994f0bf9988593c9c843f401b7f960Problems in life can feel so overwhelming that we doubt our ability to fix them. It is during these moments of doubt that the issue we are facing seems to triple in size, intensity and danger. This causes us to feel trapped in a corner, unable to escape. Often, the problem stays the same, but our perception changes. The longer the problem remains unsolved or the more failed attempts at removing it – the more we perceive the situation to be helpless.

The problems I speak of are everyday problems. Trouble at work, lack of money, school exams, friendship and relationship disputes to name a few. The type of problem which you have a level of control over. Remember – millions of people all over the world are experiencing the same issues as you and many are worse off. When faced with a difficulty, think of it as an opportunity to prove how well you can adapt, resolve, succeed and find happiness during the tough times.

I wanted to share this post to remind everyone that you have the power, even when it feels like you’re at your wit’s end and there’s nothing you can do. Just remember…

“The size of your problems is nothing compared with your ability to solve them. Don’t overestimate your problems and underestimate yourself.”

xxxxxxx

Clear your space, clear your mind

One of the simplest ways to declutter your life is to begin by having neat and organised surroundings. This post may seem like common sense, but how many of us ignore our parents pleading with us to clean our rooms? That’s what I thought. Up until the last year or two, my room was always a mess. Clothes on the floor, bed never made and I never used a calendar or diary. I’m not tidy and organised 24/7 (working on it) but I have noticed that when I am, it’s easier to think clearly, get things done and plan ahead.

P1020421A teacher once told me a person’s bedroom is a reflection of themselves. When my room is a mess it’s harder to concentrate on tasks and I find that I am more inclined to stress. Definite reflection of my state of mind! If you want to clear your mind, take a moment to ensure your surroundings are clear. Put everything in it’s place, throw out unnecessary items and make sure everything is set in a way that will make you feel happy and comfortable when you walk into you room. I love it when my bed is made perfectly because I know that at the end of the day I’ll be able to get in there, be super cosy and fall asleep in comfort.

If you have a desk or workspace in your room, having that area kept neat will create a productive energy. There is no better feeling than sitting down and actually getting work done because you feel motivated in the spot you are studying. On my desk I keep three important things. My diary, my to-do list and a notebook – all of which were bought from the lovely stationary shop Kikki-K. Although it’s more common for people to type things into a phone or laptop these days, I find that physically writing things down and placing them somewhere visible makes it far easier to keep track of everything.

In my diary I write down the dates and times of work, homework, assignments, tests and
exams. I’ll also write in any outings or events if I deem them exciting or important. At the
start of each week (usually on a Sunday night) I write down everything I want to get done during the week on my to-do list, and add to it as new tasks arise. I use my notebook to write down more in-depth goals and plans, like saving money or ideas for this blog. Having everything written down allows me to empty my mind and focus on whatever it is I want to be doing – writing a post, relaxing or finishing an assignment.

There are many things you can do to clear your mind. Personally, I think tidying your surroundings is one of the easiest and quickest (depending on how messy you are) ways to relax and revitalise yourself. Once you’re done, your mind will feel far less cluttered – and it’s a great excuse to purchase some pretty organisational tools!

xxxxxxx