Moon in her mirror, chasing Northern lights

Yes indeedy, we took the bus like normal people to go to an afternoon tea party at Jo's in Lyttleton!

It was really rather civilised!

With lashings of tea based cocktails and all manner of delicious nibbles!

I wore:
Frock-made it myself with a 50's pattern and fabric received in a swap with lovely Max, ages ago!
 Cape-60's, opshopped
Tights-sheer coral ( from Sarah) underneath musky pink lattice ones from Trade Me
Shoes-Trade Me
Handbag-60's, thrifted in New Mexico
Beads and headpiece from Sarah the Sublime, made the pendant myself, and earrings from the sexacious Desiree
Sunglasses-retail, Melbourne


So, as promised, how we bought and paid off our house!

Firstly, I should say that the house market was an entirely different kettle of fish when we bought.
Our house would sell now for 3 times what we paid for it!
How fecking bizarre is that?

We went in with a smallish deposit and the added security of a parcel of land we'd bought on the Banks Penisula some years earlier, when we thought we were going to be all hippie-ish and self suffcient....
We were able to do that because we had no car; we cycled everywhere, I made our lunches for work rather than buying them, we didn't even have the phone on. 
When we bought the house, we had a flatmate for the first 2 years.
We still cycled everywhere, I still made (and still do) our lunches.
We have never  bought coffee on a daily basis, we make an occasion of going out for dinner, rather than a regular thing of it. We very rarely get take outs, as we both enjoy cooking.
I have never been one for going to the hairdresser, or getting my nails done, and everything in the house was secondhand; mostly still is!
We did get the phone on, and eventually bought a cheap secondhand car.
(We only run car, and not daily, even in Winter we cycle when we can)
We sold off the parcel of land and were able to put that onto the mortgage, making a huge difference!
We paid over the minimum weekly amount required and managed to have a holiday overseas every two years.

We weren't exactly frugal, but we didn't spend money wildly!
It was, and is, very important to both of us that we have a great lifestyle, and we never skimp on food, booze or entertaining friends.
Or opshopping!

Owning a house has been frigging brillant!!!
My parents never did, and I never thought I actually would; I thought only rich people could own a house.
My Mama was thrilled to bits, and able to visit 3 times before she passed away.
Daddy was too far gone with dementia to know, but it would have made him very bloody proud!

Nice to see some of you lovelies have also succeeded in paying off your homes!
I'd love to know how you did it!



Radostin said...

Your outfit is positively delicious, and the story of your house-ownership is lovely, thank you for sharing it.

Sue said...

You and G should be the poster peeps to prove you can have a life and be mortgage free! Well bloody done you two! Oh, and you looked lovely once again :-)

two squirrels said...

Oh sweet you always look so amazing in a the pattern of the dress. Mr G looking very dashing too.
You guys should be super proud of yourselves......being mortgage free changes everything. The story of how you did it is truly's about making a commitment.
Much love V

Georgia Rose said...

Dear god, that dress is excellent! Well done! Your lifestyle is an inspiration to be honest. Good on you for being mortgage free, it must be an amazing feeling. God knows if me or really anyone else of my generation will ever be able to own a home.

Carina Rosenholm said...

Yeah -great to own your house! Love that . I do own my little cottage but i got the land from my father but im not rich Girl...

Trees said...

How lovely and civilised!! Thanks for the home ownership hints....we are really hoping to get a home our our own next year and we do live a rather simple life (apart from travel) eg: new and fancy isn't a think in this place!! So perhaps we can pay off our own place too. You are fab!!

Ulla-Marie Nilsson said...

We still have a few (quite a few) years of payment, but unlike many Swedes, we try to amortise and not only pay interest (and borrow more to renovate our kitchen). This might seem very pessimistic, but all Europeans and our loans ... It's not good, but now I'll stop being so political and state that you are so right in that you should never being stingy on the booze , food and to feed spoiled cats and lovely friends.

Frocktasia said...

Fab get-up and awesome cape action going on. I love your civilized tea party and those cakes look scrummylicious. If I had been able to hold down a job for more than five minutes (before getting bored) then we might have been able to consider getting on the property ladder but as my mum puts it "I've always had ants in my pants" and the thought of having to stick a job in order to pay off a mortgage has always put me off the idea. The house buying market in London is completely bonkers too with skanky sheds selling for unreasonable amounts of mullah, even if a sizable bundle of cash fell out of the sky and into my bank account I don't think I'd ever consider buying property here. Your house/home looks fab, may it bring you both happiness for many years to come :)

Kelly Jackson said...

Afternoon tea, how lovely. I love it that you and the lady in the hat dressed for the occasion, though I know you are just being you! I'm lusting after the cape and the ice cream colours you're wearing are yummy. Congrats on your home ownership. We rent at the mo as housing prices in Annecy are craaazy - plus we never know where we're going to end up. :)

Sara said...

You look amazing, that cape is wonderful! I have been dreaming of owning an old wooden house someday with my sweetheart, I don't want to live in an apartment building for the rest of my life. I need space, my own garden and peace. :)

Helen Le Caplain said...

Congratulations on the house! You look fab in that ensemble :)

Melanie said...

Either this house had a mezzanine or you grew 3 meters tall or you taped your camera onto the end of long stick or you were wearing really, really high heels to take these photos. You are the swingingest couple alive. Your tea is so swivelized. You look gorgeous. And congratulations on OWNING your OWN home. Prudence and indulgence, the yin yang of a successful existence.

Hannah said...

Aahh you look like a pastel dream in all those gorgeous colours. Its so lovely and encouraging to hear how you've managed to own your own home. We never thought we could but managed to get a 5% deposit mortgage so we have a rather high rate for first couple of years, I wish I could cycle to work but would take me a day ahah xxx

Indigo Violet said...

Well done! I am hopeless with money, but managed to pay off most of my mortgage by not having a fridge or TV for several years, buying second-hand furniture, and not even op-shopping until recently.

OP SHOP MAMA said...

Ruddy hell you are a legend!!! I am always totes impressed when I see peeps owning their own home outright. Most likely having no sprogs may have helped (i've blown that one!!) So we are unlikely to pay off this house (our 3rd) for many years, if ever!

Ho hum..

Any hoo - is that refined afternoon tea party in honour of Queenie, or what? Very noice indeed. And loving the Crown Lynn cups! Just watching the Great Brit Bakeoff conincidentally.. Fecking love that show!

Joy and happiness to you for the week. x

Max said...

The dress you made looks fantastic h, as does all that grub and your friend jo. I nodded my head all the way through your 'how we paid our mortgage' spiel, very similar to us; bike riding aside-we bought a wreck that had been lived in by druggies which had good bones for cheap and renovated everything ourselves over 10 years and ALWAYS tried to negotiate the price down on materials (which worked about 80 per cent of the time). We always paid loads more than the required payments and had a second hand lifestyle. Great training too for life with kids on one salary!

Maria said...

well done, i am genuinely chuffed for you both, you look delicious and tea parties are sooo civilised, although tea cocktails sound yum - am hoping my comment appears once unlike my other which appeared 4 times??!! must have been a little over excited x

Brooke F said...

Your tale of house ownership is inspiring and it is wonderful to hear how you did it. Am adoring your outfit- the tights, the spotty dress and most of all that fabulous cape. Love it all!

Anonymous said...

I'm always dazzled by your outfits, but this one is one of the most wonderful creation I've ever seen!!!
The frock you made is divine and I adore the candy colours of the accessories you choose!!!G looks divine too, especially in his Elvis sunnies and suit!!
I live in a house bought by my parents, I'm very lucky to have them to help me, Italy is in the middle of a serious economical crisis that would last for years.
But I'm getting used to a frugal life, it's a really clever way to live and a better way to find the happiness in the little things.
I don't need any fancy clothes or stuff if I have enough fantasy to create my own perfect living.
Love xxxxxxxx

Vix said...

I hear you, sister! That's almost the same as us. Enjoy life but don't fritter your cash away on crap - designer shoes & clothes, posh make-up, pampering, take-out coffee and sandwiches - might as well set fire to your pay packet.
You look mighty civilised and ladylike at Jo's do! I adore that frock and cape combo! Love you! xxxxx

Vintage Bird Girl said... & green, the perfect combo. How cute it that bow in your hair. I love all of the little details. And G is looking fine all clean shaven too. He's such a rockstar! Thanks for sharing your home owning story. I still dream that we won't be slaves to our landlords forever. Xx

Sacramento Amate said...

Wouldn´t it be grand to get together for your next house party???
Looking glorious, my dearest friend.

Rose&Bird said...

Fabulous outfit and a tea-party - how civilised! Fab that you're mortgage free - think it will be a distant dream for us for now. That said, another 10 years and things could be very different!

seƱora Allnut said...

love your so pretty civilised tea party outfit, you look fabulously slocombesque!, that cape is amazing and love that beautiful pastel shades, such a pretty color combo!, love how your tights and shoes match!!
Glad you're mortgage free, it's a real luxury these times!. We've been living in rented flats for years, and it's ok for us!, we're mortgage free too and enjoying it!
besos & adulthood!

Anonymous said...

you are a divine caped wonder and the G man is looking snazzy (miss the 'chops-o-wonder though)

Awesome house story. We have less than 10 years left. Our house payment is far far lower than what we would pay for rent for a crappy apartment.
We actually got a mortage when we brought this house to help with tax-write off. If we didn't we would get killed on taxes.

I wish I could cycle to work. The 25 miles and TWO MOUNTAINS put a crimp in that!!

Krista Gassib said...

What a cool tea party to think I have never been to one where the tea was spiked, must fix that stat! You are G both look rather respectable as do all the other guests! Jo is like a character out of a Tim Burton flick and I mean that with the highest regard for her style!

I love your story about paying off the house. I really think our Golden years can only be so if we don't have a house payment to worry about. Chris and I quit buying coffee out most days and have saved hundreds of dollars there and we really only eat out once a week or twice if I'm feeling extra lazy. I see light at the end of the tunnel and that makes me smile.

Fiona said...

Still got a way to go with my mortgage but there is only one of me paying it although I am overpaying and am frugal where I can be.
You'd make a fab caped crusader.

Franca said...

I love all the uber civilised pictures!

well done on the mortgage! Must be so satisfying! We were almost mortgage free in our old flat (though mainly due to an inheritance, i can't really take the credit), but now we are starting again with a huge amount. I don't mind though, I am very houseproud, so property is a good thing to spend money on!

Mariela said...

You look wonderful as always. G looks very dapper. It's great you won your house. I bet there's no better feeling than being able to do whatever you want in/with your house and not worrying what the landlord will do.

Anonymous said...

We are so nearly there with ours - on one wage too! Interest rates are so craptastic over here, better to throw extra at your mortgage than put it in savings. And yes, you have to have some goodies on the way - no good putting your life on standby (its like saving things for best). Also - everything feels like a super-treat when you do go out for coffee or have an early-bird cheap dealio at the local Italian :)

Tilda said...

I think this is one of my favorite outfits I have seen you wear!!!

Your mortgage-free story inspires me! We bought our house at the height of the housing bubble here in the US, when they were handing out loans willy nilly. We survived the bubble bursting, have never borrowed against the house, and pay monthly extra towards the principle. I would love to have this place paid off in the next several years!

Anonymous said...

Look at you two tea sipping lovelies. You look utterly divine and I am smitten for your cape, just glorious. Thank you for sharing your story about paying off your house in full. What a wonderful achievement to you and G and now you just get to enjoy it.

P.S - sorry o haven't responded about the buttons I've had a flat out few days. I'll have a rummage through and let you know, never fear I'm on it. X

pastcaring said...

Oh I do love that elegant shot of your peering up the road for the bus, almost like a normal person - nah, not really, you're fare more fabulous than that! Great frock, loving the cape, and is your hair especially and even more perfectly Titian than usual? I think it might be!
Doesn't Jo look divine? A very civilised do, I hope you behaved all ladylike, G included...
Being mortgage free is still a way off for us. We're reasonably frugal in many ways - no car, no expensive holidays, secondhand shopping, etc - but we do like our food and drink and meals out, and the kids kinda blew the budget! Good for the two of you for being sensible with your money, yet still enjoying a really good life!
Love ya! xxxxx

freckleface said...

Look at you pretending to be normal people! I was a bit perplexed by the pictures of you out socially drinking tea. I can tell you I felt a certain amount of relief when you said the words, 'tea-based cocktails'. Suddenly I feel on solid ground again.

Now I am fascinated by your story of home-ownership, thanks so much for sharing. We are so nearly there. I used to be there when I owned my own little house, but we traded up and that meant a small mortgage. Hopefully the end of this year or beginning of next sees us mortgage free again. I get a bit angsty about owing money, hate debt. I'm so touched by that bit about your parents and how thrilled your mama was by your house. So glad that she got to see it. xxxxx

Tami Von Zalez said...

Sooo, not only are you a fashion divinasta, you are a brilliant money manager. Where do your talents end?

Misfits Vintage said...

Thirty sixth, motherfuckeeeers!

Darling - you are EXQUISITE in your amazing handmade frock. I ADORE the colours and as always, your accessorising makes me weak at the knees. I had forgotten about that funny old headpiece!

Tea based cocktails sound FABULOUS and I LOVE Jo's gorgeous dress. G-star is a total rockstar, as usual.

You really should have your own tv show with style, house, design, DIY, financial, domestic, cooking, cocktailing and music advice for us all!!!

Love you more than any frock!

Sarah xxx

Janice Tutone said...

Not only are you a beauty, but brains as well!!! Great job on paying off the house! XXX

Sheila said...

Ooh, I love the idea of a grown-up tea party (with boozy tea cocktails, fabulous).

We got a fairly substantial amount for downpayment when (sadly) my dad and two grandparents died 16 years ago. My husband worked in a very volatile industry but was paid well, so always knowing it might not last, we aggressively paid down the mortgage. We made it, even though I lost my job (a few times) and he lost his (once). We didn't skimp too much, but didn't waste money either.

Maureen said...

Congratulations! We had our lightbulb moment WAY too late, but when we did we did pretty much what you did. Because we were nearly 60 we went into a massive frugal way of life but achieved our goal and we had £9,000 over when the pay off day came.

So, I know how much you have achieved. I wish we had our lightbulb moment much earlier - but we didn't. Glad we actually had it even though it was late. It just shows that it is never too late!

wardrobeexperience said...

aaaaaah, wonderful outfit. the cape and the purse are my favourite pieces here ... gal, you alweays have the best vintage finds!

BellaBean Vintage said...

The tea party looks lovely as do you and G. Well done on a free hold house and such a styley house too! - that is fantastic!

Rhia said...

Oh my goodness! That cape is just fabulous! I think I definitely need cape for Autumn, don't you think. Preferably plaid :D
Greetings from Finland!

My sister is Margaret said...

This is a so nice post and party too :)
You look amazing, that cape is wonderful and I always like your outfits!!

Anonymous said...

This is one of my all time favourite outfits on you! Thata cape is wonderful and the pattern on your dress and stockings are so soft and full of mellow colour. I'm very curious about tea based cocktails....???

Ofelia said...

Helga, you look amazing and the tea party looks like a great time among friends with good tea and even better sweets!
Your story really touch me, as a divorce mami of two I struggle to deal with so much and at times I think that almost impossible to obtain my goals and this post gives lots of hope.