Tutu Tuesday

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Shirt: Bohemian Traders, Skirt: Zara (similar here), Boots: Rubi Shoes (similar here), Bag: X Nihilo

Autumn Shmutumn. We are having The craziest weather in Melbourne at the moment. First it was an extended summer with about three weeks of heat and now the rain and humidity has set it. This kind of cool-then-sticky-then-hot-then-wet weather makes getting dressed in the morning incredibly challenging, but luckily for me, I usually just ignore the weather and wear whatever ‘speaks to me’ ;).

This morning my pink tulle skirt practically jumped out of the closet so I paired it with this mid weight denim button down and my trusty Chloe-esk studded ankle boots from last season. Now as you can probably imagine, rain and tutu’s don’t really mix. We were super lucky to get these pictures before the rain poured down again this afternoon. Its safe to say that as soon as I got in from picking the kids up from daycare, this outfit came off and the trackies went straight on, haha. Who else does that??

I am so happy to be back to regular programming this week as hubby is finally home and VAMFF is finished. I will blog about my experience working at the Fashion Festival later this week but the short version is, it was amazing and I am exhausted :).

Hope you all have a great week. Talk soon.

Caitlin xo

Summer In The City


Gosh I love this time of year in Melbourne. For one thing it’s almost a relief that all the hoopla of Christmas, New Years and everything in between is over but it also doesn’t quite feel 100% ‘business as usual’ just yet. People slowly drift back into work and the promise of the Australia Day long weekend  helps to dampen the post holiday blues. 

Melbourne starts to have a little bit better (aka more consistent weather) and of course the January sales are always a good thing, but believe it or not, one of my favourite things about January in Melbourne is the tennis!! I’m not a die hard sports fan by any means but there is something about the tennis that I really enjoy. It is one of those rare sports that is equally enjoyable to watch live or on TV, and I love watching the classic traditions start to give way to modern culture without losing any class. 

Fashion is a big player in this as the strict dress codes of all white and long shorts ect are now being replaced by athletic gear that mirrors some high street trends and comes in all colours of the rainbow. I think the tennis subconsciously influenced the above outfit. All items are old favourites from my wardrobe but you can easily replicate this look by simply adding a cool pair of whie sneakers to your favourite dress or skirt. 

What about you? Any fellow tennis fans out there? Xx

A Break From The Madness

Top: Global Desi (similar here), Jeans: Topshop, Sandals: Zara

Phew! Today has been a good day. A good day in the sense that for the first time, in what seems like forever, it felt like an easy day of parenting.

It’s no secret that the past 5 months have been challenging on all fronts but especially from a mum life point of view. I came to India with a toddler and a ‘baby’ but I well and truly have two toddlers now and boy is that exhausting!! 2 times the tantrums, 2 times the energy, 2 times the love, 2 times the fun, 2 times demands and ¬†2 times the quest for independence but the ultimate dependence on me. It’s also been especially tough because l don’t have a support network here and I have a husband that literally works night and day (all for his family).

I’ve mentioned a few times that my son, my youngest is not a great sleeper but he is also the biggest boundary pusher; something I was totally unprepared for because my first born is so naturally cautious I never even had to baby proof the house with her. Xander climbs on tables, pulls things off benches, runs everywhere, pull plugs out of sockets, draws on the floor, puts everything in his mouth and has an obsession with throwing things in the toilet. So as you can imagine most of my days are spent literally chasing after him, entering into long negotiations with my daughter, cooking, like 7 times a day and fielding fights, tantrums, nappy changes, toilet stops etc etc.

I know I’m not saying anything new and I am certainly not doing anything that every other mum doesn’t do, but the reason why I’m saying it, is that today was not like that. Today the kids played happily and quietly, they ate what I made them for lunch and dinner. They didn’t fight or try to throw themselves off something high. They let me sit by myself for a few minutes and didn’t cry or pull at my leg. Today felt a little bit easier and I was able to catch my breath.

Being a mum is 100% the best thing I’ve ever done and I love my kids more than I will ever be able to explain but that doesn’t mean that it’s always easy or that I don’t need my space too. Who knows what tomorrow will be like or even how much sleep I’ll get tonight but I’ll tell you what, today’s good day will get me through a few more rough ones now ūüėä. ¬†x

Diary Of An Expat: Week 14

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Hi everyone! Thanks for all your comments on last weeks craziness, it was a bizarre week that’s for sure! One of my friends actually said to me that it was good that I was in India during such a momentous time cause it will make a good story in future :). So let’s get into this week!

Highlight: Well the issue of the discontinued currency is still making waves across the country. Every morning we drive past tremendous queues at every bank and we hear stories of people we know struggling to feed their children or to send money to their families in the village. We still haven’t been able to get to a bank ourselves but we are very fortunate that it’s mainly by choice and a decision to wait until the rush dies down a little. We have however been able to help out a few people that we know are struggling and it feels really great to know that even small gestures like providing milk for another family, or giving the security guard at the kids school enough money to buy himself a chai each morning, really makes a difference during a time like this.

What I am loving:¬†As I mentioned last week, going back to Melbourne means that I’ll be picking up some Personal Styling clients again. Given that it’s the party season I have been talking to a few people back home who have asked me to bring back some jewellery and accessories to pep up the outfits they already have planned. I have so many statement pieces from India that I love and shopping for finishing touches is one of my favourite things to do.

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See anything you like?

What I am missing:¬†I didn’t miss much this week actually. I think I hit a sweet spot with knowing that it’s only a few weeks until we are heading back and hence I was able to enjoy what’s going on here and just take it all in as an experience. Anyone else find that as soon as you make a decision to make a change in your life, your current situation suddenly seems fun and like new opportunities are happening? haha, maybe it’s a grass is always greener scenario‚Ķ

The biggest thing that I am missing in my life in general is SLEEP! My son is nearly 18months old and STILL doesn’t sleep through the night. He’s never been a great sleeper but the past two weeks have been tortuous. Multiple wake ups in the night, unsettled unless I’m with him then up for the day by 6:30am at the latest. I was really at my wits end but this morning I found another little tooth making its way up through his gums, so hopefully that is the explanation for the ‘worse than usual’ sleeping patterns.

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Permanently attached, lol. 

What I am looking forward to: Christmas!!! We’ve gone Christmas mad here as Hazelle is finally old enough to really get into it. Every afternoon we watch a Christmas movie or talk about Santa etc and it’s making me feel like a little kid again too. For the past two years we have had our picture with Santa at Chadstone Shopping Centre and I can’t wait to get another to add to our collection. Fingers crossed that this year the kids are happy enough with Santa and hubby and I don’t need to get in on the picture too haha.

Your questions:

Over the last two weeks I’ve had a mixed bag of questions, some of which don’t necessarily pertain to living in India but I love an ‘open forum’ so I’m just going to answer them all here.

“Do your in-laws live there with you? Will they move back as well?”

My MIL lives here in India and she will stay here but when we go back to Melbourne we will be staying with my parents for a little bit until we can find our own place. So we are going from one set of in-laws to another ;).

“Do they celebrate Christmas in India?”

Many Christians in India will celebrate and thanks to a more ‘westernised’ world there is much more acknowledgement of the holiday but it definitely isn’t recognised as much as it is in other parts of the world. There is a short break from school and businesses but it is only about a week or so.

“Do you catch public transport in Delhi?”

No! haha! Although to be honest, I don’t even take PT in Australia lol. ¬†I wouldn’t want to take a bus here but I’ve heard that the train and newly installed metro systems are quite good.

“Your family is so cute, are you going to have anymore babies?”

haha! well thanks :). I guess my answer depends on how hard of a day I’ve had with my two ;). No, I think a third is on the cards, yes, but seeing as Hazelle and Xander are SO close in age (14months), the last 2 years have been crazy busy and we definitely need a little breathing space before we think about number 3.

“Can you help me find a dress for my work Christmas party?”

Yes!! ūüėČ Email me: themummystylefiles@gmail.com x

“Do you think you have to wear red or ‘festive’ colours for Xmas and New Years events?”

No absolutely not! Whatever the occasion I always recommend wearing something that you are comfortable in first and foremost. If red is not your colour or you REALLY aren’t a sparkly sequin kinda gal than forget it. Wear that killer LBD or a perfectly tailored pair of pants and blouse. If you are attending an event or function you DO have to adhere to the dress code to make sure you get the standard or dressing right. Other than that though, don’t feel pressured into gimmicky or ‘festive’ attire that is going to sit in your wardrobe for the rest of the year.

“You mentioned ‘hard water’ on snapchat. What is that?”

Here is a proper definition :¬†Hard water¬†is¬†water¬†that has high mineral content (in contrast with “soft¬†water“).¬†Hard water¬†is formed when¬†water¬†percolates through deposits of limestone and chalk which are largely made up of calcium and magnesium carbonates.

So I was talking (aka complaining) about hard water cause the tap water in India is considered ‘hard’. That means that you can’t drink tap water but it also means that when you shower you are using hard water which can be really hard on your skin and hair. I always notice when I’m in India that my skin breaks out a lot and I put that down to the pollution in the air and the salt and minerals in the water. Even after washing my hair it still feels salty and crunchy. I can’t wait to go back to ‘soft water’.

and I think that’s it! If you sent me a question in the last 3 weeks and I didn’t answer it today please just send it again and I promise to include it next week. I hope you didnt mind me going a bit off the ‘expat’ track today but a few of you seem to be curious about my life in general, which is totally fine with me :).

I hope you all have an amazing week and enjoy the downhill run to the end of the year; seriously where does time go? xx

Diary Of An Expat: Week 11

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Hi Friends! Happy Diwali as everyone is saying here. Today is Diwali which is the Festival of Lights. It is kind of like the equivalent to New Years Eve in Australia. Tonight we will light fireworks (yes we light our own on the rooftop terrace, eek), have some wine and just spend time as a family. Its been really fun to see all the goings on this week and to see how all the locals celebrate. Most of the houses in our community are lit up with fairy lights and have strings of marigolds hanging from their front gates. There are parties every night and my mother in law has been sent boxes of sweets, fruits and little gifts all week.

The kids had an early Diwali celebration at school as well and now they are on school holidays for a week.

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These Diyas are little clay pots used to hold candles on Diwali

Highlight: As I previously mentioned, all week there are various Mela’s (markets) all around Delhi where you can buy Diwali gifts, handicrafts, jewellery, traditional clothing etc. Most locals shop at these markets for everything they will need to decorate their house with for the holiday. One of the largest and most popular mela’s is put on by a local blind school and all of the proceeds go back into the school. I really wanted to attend this Mela so I was really happy that we were able to go on Wednesday. We decided it would probably be easier for everyone (mainly me) if Xander stayed home and so it became a bit of a girls only day out.

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I didn’t do too much shopping but as you can see there were heaps of wonderful things available and Hazelle scored a new handbag so it was a very successful day out in her book!

What I’m looking forward to:¬† Before we even left Melbourne a few months ago I was already hoping that we would all be able to go back for Christmas. As you know, I have a wedding on the 23rd of December so my tickets have been booked for months, but due to my husbands work schedule we weren’t sure if he and the kids could come back too. Well this week we finally settled on a date and booked tickets for the four of us to come home. I am so happy and can’t wait to see my parents and celebrate Christmas. This week has definitely put me in the festive mood and it will be so fun to keep that going back in Australia.

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Melbourne – we are coming for you!

What I am missing:¬†You know, this week hasn’t been too bad in terms of ‘missing home’. We have a pretty good rhythm happening and I’m either getting used to the food and how things are or maybe the countdown to Christmas is getting me through, but all in all it’s been a pretty good week. I will say though, I am getting massive FOMO seeing the Spring Racing Carnival start in Melbourne. My stylist fingers are itching to pull some looks together ;). Next year I’ll be there for sure!

Your questions:

Do many people speak English? Do you find it easy to communicate? English is spoken by much of the population, and it’s the language of education, the professional workplace and politics. Most of the children will learn english at school too, no matter what kind of school it is. I still find it a little bit difficult to communicate however because most Indians have very thick accents and they feel the same about me. My dry / sarcastic sense of humour is definitely not a crowd pleaser either haha.

Can you wear shorts and mini skirts?¬†If I really wanted to, I could. There are no laws or regulations about showing skin and in fact I see many Asian and Western foreigners wearing shorts or short dresses but out of respect I choose not too. I already command a fair amount of attention for being fair and tall, and female, so showing a lot of skin would only get me more attention. We don’t tend to go out at night much and I rarely go out without my husband so I never feel unsafe but for any young girls travelling alone or in small groups I would definitely advise against dressing skimpily at night.

How tolerant are the locals in New Delhi of foreigners? Is it easy to make friends? Making friends is just like anywhere else in the world, it takes time and good judgement but overall there are a lot of social opportunities and activities to get involved in if you want. Family is huge so if you find a good family to mix with then they will often introduce you to their connections and so on. Overally Indians seem to be quite tolerant of foreigners ¬†however they only want to hear good things about their country. If you start a conversation listing all the things you miss about your home country, you can bet the conversation won’t last very long!!

‚Ķand that’s all I’ve got for you this week! Sorry I missed a few blog posts again this week, time went by so fast but I will make sure to catch up with all my scheduled posts next week. For now though its almost time to light those fire crackers! Have a great week everybody xx

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What I Wore Wednesday

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Tee: Zara, Jeans: Paige Denim, Shoes: Marks and Spencer, Bag: Zara

Happy hump day friends! Firstly I just want to thank you all for the lovely and supportive comments you sent me after last weeks rocky expat post! I am happy to report that week 10 is already shaping up to be a good one :). So lets get to today’s post! Is there anything better than a classic pair of jeans and a crisp white t-shirt? I know that it is very Jennifer Aniston, circa early 2000 but really, you just can’t go wrong.

I am so happy that the weather is slowly starting to cool down here because I am a denim girl through and through. Although I am on the ‘minimalist’ side when it comes to my staple wardrobe, I do love a pop of colour in accessories and this red cross-body bag was the perfect exclamation mark for my outfit. To be honest, I really wanted to add a burgundy / red felt fedora to this outfit but there is absolutely no place for a felt hat here in India, no matter how good you look in hats lol!

I know that some people are a bit funny about ‘mixing metals’ but it doesn’t bother me at all. My necklace is silver and the chain of my bag is gold. I usually wear a gold bangle everyday as well as my platinum engagement and wedding rings so I am definitely ok with a mixed bag of jewellery :). However, I will admit that often sticking to one metal either silver or gold, will create a more cohesive look over all!

I’m sure my fellow mum’s out there will agree that jeans and a tee are a major staple in the ‘mum on duty’ wardrobe, but next time you pop on your go-to pieces why don’t you try to add a little bit of interest somewhere too? Things like a bright bag like mine, a metallic sneaker, bright lipstick or a statement necklace will help take your jeans and tee to the next level and I guarantee that it will add a little extra pep in your step too!

Enjoy the rest of your week everyone. See you on Friday x

What I Wore Wednesday

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Dress: Fabindia (sold out online, similar fabric¬†here and similar colour¬†here), Shoes: Marks and Spencer. ps YES my son is wearing crocs. I still maintain that they are not an attractive shoe, but omg are they comfortable (I’m assuming) and practical for little kids. I’m just sad Fashion Blogger 2.0 in the background wouldn’t have a bar of them, cause they are amazing.¬†

Hi Friends! As you can see the kids well and truly crashed my photos for todays post but that’s mum life for you isn’t it? I bought this dress over the weekend thinking that it would be perfect for a Kitchen Tea I’m attending in December (with different shoes of course), but me ‘saving clothes’ is like that experiment where children are tested for self control. You know the one? The kids are set in front of a bowl of lollies and told not to eat any but then the parents walk back in the room 5 minutes later and most of the kids have sugar all over their lips and an empty bowl in front of them. Me wearing this dress only three days after I purchased it for December, is the equivalent to having sugar on my lips, lol!

But, how could I not? It’s 100% pure cotton and feels super soft thanks to the natural die used to make it this cornflower blue. It is ridiculously easy to wear with the right amount of classic class and a little bit of interest with the twisted knot in the back. Its from a store here called¬†Fabindia that sells clothing, food goods, natural beauty products and manchester. It really is fab! Whilst there are quite a few traditional Indian outfits sold, I can always find something that is the perfect balance of ‘modern ethnicity’ for me. By that I mean, something that I could wear anywhere in the world and not feel out of place but also not feel generic or boring. They have a great selection of jewellery that you could add to a simple outfit and immediately lift it, or like my dress, ¬†which doesn’t look particularly ethnic but has the highest quality of cotton thanks to the Indian suppliers. Everything is great quality and interesting.

Anyways, of course I paired it with my slides, because I love them and they are so easy but I would love a pair of tan leather slides, or ¬†strappy metallic heels to go with it too. You could also do a statement necklace but I just opted for my usual delicate gold jewellery because we weren’t doing anything too special and Xander is a nightmare with pulling and tugging at all my jewellery lately.

Sorry that I was late with this post this week and that I’ve been quite on social media, I’ll explain it all in my weekly recap on Sunday but for now I’m just happy to be back up and running, talking to you fine people and enjoying my babes being on ‘school holidays’. I’ll see you all on Friday xxx.