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December 20, 2013

Smocked

This is a scheduled post; I'm currently travelling in Europe! Here's to hoping it's been published properly.

So here's my Whitepepper smock dress in action; yes, I decided to jump on the smockwagon. This had been on sale at ASOS for a while, but I was dithering about buying it because even though I liked the style, I wasn't sure if it'd look good on me (I mean, if smocks can make willowy models look kind of pregnant...). I ended up taking the plunge, and I love it so much! Yes, my mother did think I'd bought a maternity dress, but on the flip side that very characteristic makes it the perfect dress for going to a buffet.

whitepepper smock boots
So if you're thinking about getting one and not sure if it's right for your "body type", I say screw that and go for it. I feel like "what to wear for your body type" tips just continue to reinforce that women's bodies need to look a certain way (e.g. make your waist look thinner, your legs longer, and your chest bigger, but not too big you strumpet). By all means wear what you feel most confident in, but don't let "the rules" hold you back!

whitepepper smock boots
It also has pockets! This dress is really well cut (The Whitepepper obviously knows what they're doing). I got my normal size and it fits perfectly; I was also worried that it might be too short but the hem dips down at the back to give adequate coverage of my behind.

whitepepper smock boots
Dune boots and Evolution tote bag. I'm excited to layer this up when the weather gets cold. I'm thinking my favourite gingham shirt, black tights and Docs... or red tights and loafers. With a trench coat on top.

December 14, 2013

The picnic and the evil kookaburra

This is a scheduled post; I'm currently travelling in Europe! Here's to hoping it's been published properly.

On the Tuesday before I left, we went on a picnic in a bit of bushland near YY's place. We had actually planned a roadtrip to the Blue Mountains that day, except a certain someone had partied a little too hard the preceding (Monday!) night and wasn't feeling up to it, so we've had to postpone it.


I'd picked up some Almdudler and Manner wafers the previous day, just for Austria nostalgia. YY made popcorn and quinoa (which she made me try) and Vivien and Eunice brought an entire roasted chicken.



The evil Kookaburra in question. It swooped down and tried to steal food from us twice (terrifying) and when I tried to shoo it away it just looked at me disdainfully. I used to think they were cute but close up they're reasonably large with really sharp looking beaks, so I'm seeing them in a new light. I'm going to be twitchy whenever I hear kookaburra laughter from now on.


YY's new heavy-duty camera and lens (her post is here). Alas, we are no longer camera buddies. But I will enjoy stealing it when I can to take extreme close-ups of people's faces.


She also won five pairs of New Balance in a giveaway and now wears them completely inappropriately (kidding, love ya).



This place sort of reminded me of the arena in Catching Fire, if I squinted... no? I'm just on a Hunger Games kick right now, how good is the new movie?



I sat by while the others went hunting for the little crabs that were scuttling around on the sand.


All in all, a good day borne out of a hangover (this wasn't mine, just to clarify).

December 9, 2013

Brunch times three

This is a scheduled post; I'm currently travelling in Europe! Here's to hoping it's been published properly.

On the Monday before we left, Wai Lam (who I'm travelling with) and I went for a last brunch with Jenny. What was supposed to be just a quick morning meal turned into an extended food outing.


We started in Clipper Cafe in Glebe. It's a really cute place, but everything on the menu is way too healthy and egg-y. When I think brunch, I think of a fry-up plus possibly pancakes. I probably got the junkiest thing on the menu - crumpets with bacon and maple syrup - but I couldn't finish it because it was too sweet.


We then ambled our way up Broadway to check out the new mall across from UTS. Mainly its foodcourt. Guzman y Gomez, specifically. We ate on the balcony overlooking the new park.


Thinking that we might as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb, we decided to seek out some dessert and ended up at Oliver Brown chocolate cafe in World Square. Typical.

December 4, 2013

Packed again

So we're leaving tomorrow! I'm sort of freaking out, I'm always really nervous and stressed while travelling (each week probably takes a year off my life). At the same time, I definitely wouldn't be happy not being able to travel. Because I like to torture myself. Anyway, like I said in the last post, we're going to Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Munich, Paris, London, and Edinburgh over the next month or so. I've packed similarly to last year's US trip, but I didn't feel right not doing a final see-you-later sort of post. I hate that these pictures are terrible quality but I didn't have the time to take nicer ones.


My standard clothes, plus a merino thermal underneath (not shown) and my mother's down parka, which has been a lifesaver.


Sneak peek at my carry-on. Everyone raves about The Book Thief and since the movie's coming out I thought I'd give it a read.

I'm starting to regret choosing to use a backpack over a suitcase. A backpack's probably most practical for us, but right now it's almost full and I don't know how I'm going to fit all the shopping I'm planning to do in there. I might end up having to buy a rolling suitcase in London or Edinburgh.

As for around here, I've got a couple of backlogged posts queued up so it won't be too quiet, and I'll probably do some clumsy updates from my phone when I can. See you when I see you!

December 2, 2013

Here and there

First order of business - new layout! It took me ages cause I hadn't touched CSS for two years, as I loved my old layout so much. But it was definitely time for a change, so here it is. I spent about 5 hours working on the stupid sticky navigation bar up there, I still don't entirely understand the code. Hoping it works for everyone, it would be great if you let me know if there are any problems (is the font too hard to read?).

Secondly - thanks for all the well wishes for exams. I could have done better, but I think I did enough, and it's over now anyway. I've (finally) replied to the questions in the last post and will sit down tomorrow and have a massive comment-returning session.

So here are some phone photos of what I've been up to following exams. I'm actually more tired than I was while studying from running around trying to catch up with everyone (don't know what that says about the quality of my studying). To be fair I've been off my feet with work and trying to organise everything for Europe!


Dinner at Grill'd with really nice Rekorderlig slushie (served with popping candy?).


Walking back to the city / desserts.


Is it weird that I've always loved the QVB bathrooms? I've been trying out the side-pony.


QVB Christmas tree. Okay, now that my exams are over everyone has permission to look forward to Christmas.


More QVB Christmas.


On the ground in the city / Tacos at El Loco.


Basically everyone who sits in this park is eating gelato Messina / dug out my long-abandoned red jeans.


Martin Place Christmas tree.

I'm leaving for Europe on Thursday so I've been madly trying to get everything organised. We're going to Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Munich, Paris, London and Edinburgh. Suggestions for what to do and see in those cities will be much appreciated :)

November 19, 2013

In the mail

I get such a kick out of waiting for and receiving packages in the mail. Perfect way to brighten up exam season. Here are some things that have come through recently.

  • Whitepepper smock dress which I am in total love with and will do a proper outfit post on sometime.
  • NYX eyebrow powder kit because I always go too far when I try to fix my forever-asymmetric brows. I'm not sure I got the right colour. Apparently I'm not supposed to use black to fill in my eyebrows so I got the Ash/Taupe one but my eyebrow hairs really stand out? I don't even know...
  • La Sardina Camera courtesy of Soph's giveaway with Set That! I haven't had the time to play with it yet but I'm pretty excited about it, because I've never shot film aside from school photography. Watch this space.
  • A new bag. I prefer backpacks and canvas totes to handbags, but I wanted a crossbody one for travelling so I can keep a better eye on my things. This is a nice cheap one from The Iconic, I know there's an argument for investing in a proper leather handbag but I haven't found one I've liked for more than a year (it's also a pain finding one which fits my DSLR).

Somewhat less photogenic but more exciting is the backpack I bought for Europe in December (in less than three weeks!!!). It's a Highlander Ruckcase with straps that zip away (nifty for checking onto planes), the 45L one. I might have overreached because it's bigger than my torso. I'm going to have to pack extra light so I can shop like mad! Also a cable lock, I thought I would include it for completeness.

I'm going to bow out of here until my exams finish next week. See you on the other side! I'm a loser and I will say that I am extremely excited about having time to change the layout here...

November 10, 2013

Purples

I'm not that into the whole springtime flowering thing (mostly because I have hayfever) but I can always appreciate a jacaranda tree in bloom. They look like normal trees for most of the year and then bang, suddenly all purple. They're never around for very long, though. Here are some pictures I took when I was out jogging the other week.





November 5, 2013

What are you wearing?

This is what the hot weather drove me to wearing last week. This skirt is the only one I own with pockets (and I needed pockets because I've been in clinic), and this t-shirt is the only short-sleeved top I have that is a little bit appropriate for clinic. My summer wardrobe is woefully inadequate! I'm on the lookout for more striped tees and a pair of denim shorts I can actually sit down in.



Ralph Lauren t-shirt, old skirt from random store in my shopping centre which has since closed, Bass loafers.

My end of year exams are coming up in three weeks and I'm freaking out. I feel like I'm always studying but not getting anywhere (might be the online procrasti-shopping). So that's the reason for the lack of exciting things on the blog. Thanks for sticking around though, really appreciate everyone who reads and/or comments :)

October 27, 2013

Skincare overhaul

What? A skincare post? I'm surprised as well. I don't even have a category for this. Anyway, about 3 months ago I started on a course of isotretinoin (Roaccutane/Accutane) for my acne. I think I'll do a proper post on the whole Roaccutane thing and why I went on it once I'm nearer to the end, but for now these are all the lotions and potions I've had to buy since starting it.

accutane skincare
One of the major side effects is that it really, really dries out your skin and lips, so I had to do a complete 180 from acid-based cleansers and treatments to more gentle products and focus a lot more on moisturising.

Lush Ultrabland cleanser - an oil based cleanser which you smear all over your face and then wipe off, taking makeup with it. It's a bit messy, so I use it before I shower so I can use warm water and a facecloth to take it off (then I have to wash the facecloth). It's expensive but it works for me, and I'm on my second tub.

Cetaphil SPF50+ facial moisturiser - I use this under my makeup when I'm leaving the house. Another side effect of Roaccutane is that you get really sun sensitive, so I picked it specifically for the sun protection. It does what it says - protects and moisturises - but it's a bit thick and hard to put on, so I'm keeping an eye out for another.

Vichy and Chapstick lip balms - I like to use stick balms when I'm out and about and can't wash my hands (I feel it's more hygienic). I'm almost out of the standard Chapsticks so I got some of the fancy Vichy ones to try out. They're a bit different, they don't leave a layer on top of your lips and kind of sink in. They have a weird smell which I sort of like.

Cetaphil face and body moisturiser - my face didn't like this at all (I got this itchy rash), so I'm just using it on my body.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar H moisturiser - apparently it's made specifically for people on Roaccutane. I've only been using it a week and I like it so far. It's nice and thin and goes on easily so I don't have to injure myself trying to drag it out over my face.

Vaseline - I don't know why I included it, this is gross and no one here needs to know, but the dryness includes the skin inside your nose as well, so you start getting nosebleeds (and when I was sick, really painful nostrils because I kept blowing my nose). So I have to use a cotton bud to put a bit of Vaseline up there morning and night.

accutane skincare
These two get a special mention because they've been complete lifesavers.

Lush Ultrabalm - it's a balm sort of like Vaseline, I bought this to use on my lips at home but it's been a lifesaver for soothing and healing the random eczema patches (another side effect) that have sprung up on my arm. I had this weird red scaly patch of skin on my hand, but since it didn't itch I wasn't too bothered by it; when it hadn't faded after a month, I started using Ultrabalm on it and it was gone within a week.

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast skin recovery accelerator - this stuff is my saviour. My dryness was under control until I got sick a couple of weeks ago, when I suddenly got all this flakiness out of nowhere. It was so bad, I looked like a furry animal and I was actually finding bits of flaked-off skin on my clothes (ew?). I couldn't even wear makeup to cover it, I looked horrendous. Anyway, this stuff (which is apparently made for using after chemical peels) on top of moisturiser works wonders and stopped the flakiness right away.

Tip for fellow Australians, passed on from my skincare-fiend friends - I got the Vichy and La Roche-Posay off Escentual, which carries loads of skincare brands for a lot less pricey than you would find here. Shipping's about £5 (it's UK-based) but it still works out cheaper (especially if you have aforementioned friends to split shipping with). They're doing 1/3 off French pharmacy products until the end of October.

I apologise if I've bored and confused you with my veritable essay about moisturising... what do you guys like to use on your beautiful faces?

October 20, 2013

Some Girls

Hello strangers! It's taken me a while to recover from my illness (I think I had glandular fever) so I haven't been doing much, hence the lack of posts. I'm almost all better now, but while I finish recuperating, here's a post about my current favourite show: Some Girls on BBC3.



It's a British sitcom and I love it so much. I love it more than Game of Thrones, more than season 1 of Gossip Girl and just as much as Misfits at its peak (I'm not saying all these shows are similar, just where they all are on my love scale).



It's about four girls and set in high school, so it's been compared to The Inbetweeners but I reckon Some Girls is way better. I like its positive portrayal of female friendship and the fact that there's diversity in the cast. Oh and it's also hilarious.



It's currently halfway through the second series, but they're only 6 episodes long so there's not much to catch up on. Go! Go watch it!

Any TV shows you guys are enjoying right now? All the shows are back and I can hardly keep up with them but I think I could squeeze in another one or two...

October 5, 2013

Blues

When I put this outfit together in my head, all the shades of blue matched up perfectly. This didn't turn out to be the case, but that's okay - blue is chill, it doesn't mind! I think it's replaced red as my favourite colour for clothes, because it works for any situation, and it's so easy to mix and match (red is still there as my favourite colour blue goes with).


Nike Free 5.0 v4 sneakers - I think this was the first time I've worn these casually since I started running again.


Dress via Modcloth, Fjallraven Kanken backpack.

fjallraven kanken nike
Should've worn my favourite blue-and-red strapped Daniel Wellington watch but at the time I thought it was a bit excessive.

So this post is about... two weeks late, because the weather this week (apart from today) hasn't been mini-dress weather! I was really busy trying to finish an assignment, and I've been pretty ill for the last few days. I had a fever and was practically bedridden, and with the worst sore throat in the world - it hurts just to swallow food, so I can't even comfort eat McDonalds, which is what I usually do when I'm sick. And my long weekend plans for catching up with friends are totally ruined. At least I've got a bit of time to recuperate (minus an hour, don't forget to set your clocks foward! If this applies to you...).

September 28, 2013

Three books

Three books I've read recently (by recently I mean in the last two months) that I've been meaning to post about for a couple of weeks. I should talk about books on here more often, so I seem more intelligent and less superficial...


The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith. I tried to buy this the day after the news came out that it was actually JK Rowling who'd written it under a pseudonym, but it had sold out everywhere. I pre-ordered and managed to survive the wait. This is her second non-Harry Potter book (I talked about The Casual Vacancy here) and it's a crime novel. The Cuckoo's Calling is more action-packed. I quite liked it, even though it got a bit slow in the middle; I'm re-reading it right now and I'm enjoying it more, now I know how it ends. In terms of the plot twist, it's a pretty good one and it wasn't too predictable or cheap. She also really nailed the characters in this, I did find myself rooting for the flawed-hero type protagonist. Overall I enjoyed The Casual Vacancy more but I don't regret buying this book, I know I'm going to come back to it on my bookshelf.


Don't Look Now and Other Stories by Daphne Du Maurier (in a snazzy green). Since I read Rebecca, I'd been wanting to check out more of her work (she wrote The Birds, which the movie was based on). This one is a collection of short stories/novellas, and I loved them. I'm really into short stories with spooky, unsettling twists and these are perfect. In fact, I barely read this book properly because it was so suspenseful and I just wanted to find out what was going to happen. Definitely going to read more from her.


In A Glass Darkly by J. Sheridan Le Fanu (I folded back the cover because it's really really ugly). I first read Carmilla, a novella included in this book, a couple of years ago and I really liked it (it's about a lady vampire and inspired Dracula). These are all gothic horror and pretty disappointing, to be honest. The best one is Carmilla, and The Room in the Dragon Volant is good but predictable. The first story is about a guy who drinks too much green tea and starts hallucinating a monkey... so...

What are you guys reading right now? Any suggestions?

September 20, 2013

Pugsley

These pictures were from Monday, I have been trying all week to put this post up but I have just been so busy! Anyway, the weather here has been crazy - it was raining this day, and the next day it was hailing where I live while it was sunny at uni. Not a very spring-appropriate outfit, but at least it's sort of relevant for my northern hemisphere readers.


This wasn't a special otufit or anything, I just decided to take these because I was feeling good about my hair that day.


Title of this post is referencing Pugsley Addams, because this top reminds me of him. My mum actually bought it for $5 from Big W for my little brother, but I liked it so I swiped it. It actually fits me so well... time to start shopping in the boy's section?


And my beautiful Dune boots! I love them... sometimes when I'm wearing them I'll just reach down and stroke my foot...

I have been so busy yet unproductive this past week. I'm behind on returning comments, I know it, bear with me!