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December 28, 2014

2014

2014 was a bit of an unusual year for me. I was doing a research project all year, so I had a lot of free time (hence all the blog posts). I've gotta say, it's been my best year in a while, so here's a bit of a recap.


Started off the year in rainy London, on one of the best trips ever.


I wasn't back from Europe for long before I headed off to China in February.


I turned 21, and got a new set of wheels for my birthday.


It was a Biennale year: MCA & Cockatoo Island / AGNSW and Artspace.


Vivid Sydney is now firmly in the yearly tradition category, if I miss a year in the future I'm going to be unreasonably sad about it.


As usual, I was OBSESSED with the World Cup when it came around. Next January, the Asian Cup is going to be in Australia and I've got tickets for the Australia vs. Oman group match in Sydney.


We pulled off a NZ road trip in the winter, and it was amazing. NZ's South Island has the most beautiful scenery I've ever seen.


I did have to do some work.


Also saw a bit more of my own state in the form of the Blue Mountains.


Finally saw Sculpture by the Sea again after a few years.


Before I knew it, summer rolled around again and it was time for the beach!

I hope everyone's having an amazing holiday season! Happy new year, and here's to 2015!

This is a scheduled post, I'm currently overseas. I'll be reading all your comments via email but won't be able to reply until I get back. If you have any burning questions, you can email me.

December 22, 2014

Sun's out, guns out

How long have I been planning that title for? A very long time.



ASOS top / watch c/o Daniel Wellington* / UNIQLO trousers / Bass loafers
*Use the code holidaydeluminators for 15% off on the DW site until the end of December / DW instagram / #danielwellington.

"What are you wearing?" asks YY as I walk towards her in this outfit. Slogan tees aren't really my thing, but I got this top for free at the ASOS stand at Fashion's Night Out last year, so I thought I might try to wear it (as most of my clothes had been haphazardly dumped in my suitcase). Why are the armholes so big? Why is the neck-hole (?) so small? I also think it's the first time I've worn these trousers which I bought in China, oops.

This is a scheduled post, I'm currently overseas. I'll be reading all your comments via email but won't be able to reply until I get back. If you have any burning questions, you can email me. Hope the holiday season is going well for everyone!

December 18, 2014

Test run

uniqlo drape pants
uniqlo drape pants
UNIQLO t-shirt and pants / Nike Free sneakers.

This what I'm planning on wearing in South America, so I took this outfit on a test run for errands in the city. At the time of writing I'm still not sure whether I'm going to pack my Docs or these Nike sneakers. The t-shirt is another UNIQLO men's one - it was only $7.90, one of their packaged "Dry" shirts (77% cotton, 23% polyester). I usually go for 100% cotton tops but I'm hoping for the better sweat wicking promised with this t-shirt. I notice that there's no equivalent product in their ladies range, because apparently ladies don't sweat. These kinds of loose pants I've recently started liking (shout out to Deb for being my pants twin). They are so comfortable and breezy for warmer weather, I feel like I am literally wearing my pyjamas in public. The only con with pants like these is that 100% rayon doesn't have much stretch. These have a drawstring, but I just tuck the ends away.

This is a scheduled post, I'm currently overseas. I'll be reading all your comments via email but won't be able to reply until I get back. If you have any burning questions, you can email me.

December 14, 2014

Travel first aid kit


I like to be prepared for everything and that's amplified x1000 when I'm overseas. This is what I pack as my first aid kit in my suitcase just in case, and I carry a mini version around with me during the day.

  • Band-aids, pain killers, travel sickness medication - pretty self explanatory.
  • Antihistamines - I get really bad allergies, not just in spring, so I try to take enough to last the whole trip.
  • Gastro-stop - I feel like it's always a risk of eating anything overseas, but I've never actually had to take these; fingers crossed my luck doesn't run out.
  • Sports tape - bit pointless but just in case I want to tape my dodgy knee for anything. I'm more likely to use this to fix other objects, it's really sticky.
And also other first aid-y sort of things, like hand sanitiser, sunscreen, insect repellant, and of course, your personal lady products if you need them. Do you guys do a first aid kit when you travel? Or do you wing it and buy things as you need them (which is probably more sensible...)?

This is a scheduled post, I'm currently overseas. I'll be reading all your comments via email but won't be able to reply until I get back. If you have any burning questions, you can email me.

December 10, 2014

Spring/summer







A roundup of photos from late spring/early summer before I left, involving flowering trees, eating pomelo while sick in bed, drinking lots of Starbucks Christmas drinks (the iced version of the peppermint mocha is so much better!), IKEA meatballs, braving the Christmas crowds while shopping and a crazy kitten at the pet store.

This is a scheduled post, I'm currently overseas. I'll be reading all your comments via email but won't be able to reply until I get back. If you have any burning questions, you can email me.

December 6, 2014

Packing...

I leave on Monday (!) and this trip has been crazy hard to pack for. I've become really good at packing for the dead of winter - temperatures below 10C, a bit rainy, maybe a bit snowy. But this time, we're going from Argentina, to Brazil, to Peru, and then to the US - summer to winter. My usual rule is to halve the amount of clothes I want to take but I've regressed and I'm packing quite heavily. This is an extremely optimistic and stylised view of the contents of my suitcase:


The main thing I've been agonising about is what shoes to pack. I'm being sentimental but I want to take my Dr Martens because I've always worn them overseas, but I'd expect they'd be too hot to wear in Argentina and Brazil at least. My other options are my Nike Frees, but they're not waterproof, and my Chelsea boots, which are good for city walking but not rough terrain (and wouldn't be good in the rain either). The struggle is real, I know...

I've been pretty busy running around doing last-minute things, including scheduling up a bunch of posts so you guys won't miss me too much... although I'm betting you guys will be too busy in December to be doing that much blog reading anyway! So this is the last you'll hear from me in real-time until I get back in January. Hope everyone has an amazing December!

December 4, 2014

Bounty ice pops



Coconut-cream ice cream on the inside, home-made chocolate ice magic (magic shell) on the outside! I thought these up when I was experimenting with making dairy-free ice cream with coconut cream (I've come to accept that I'm slightly lactose intolerant). These are vegan (I think). I used this recipe for the coconut ice cream (basically coconut cream and sugar, whipped) and this one for the coating (cocoa powder and coconut oil, but I think melted chocolate would taste better), which solidifies right away when it comes into contact with the ice cream. You would obviously need to like the taste of coconut to like these.

I've been having fun with this IKEA ice block mould I got the other day, it's been a bit too hot here to drink my usual after dinner coffee so I've converted it into dessert by just freezing some of it up!

November 30, 2014

Seaside Saturday

icebergs bondi beach
My first beach day of the season yesterday - here's your cliche Bondi Icebergs pool shot.

fjallraven kanken beach
We sunbathed at Tamarama for a bit, and then walked back to Bondi so we could go in the water (Tamarama was closed due to rough conditions). I set out hoping for a nice tan but all I got was patchy sunburn.


In the afternoon, we hit up Bills at Bondi Beach. I hadn't been to any of the Bills cafes yet, but I'd been wanting to try for ages. (This isn't the same as Bill's in the UK, but I believe it's from the guy who owns Granger & Co. in London). They're famous for their ricotta hotcakes and sweetcorn fritters but I was starving so I went in for the full Aussie breakfast, even though it was 4pm.


Ever since I learned how to scramble eggs (embarassingly recently) I've hated ordering full breakfasts out because I feel like I can just make them myself, but all the components in this one - even the tomatoes (which are usually so soggy and pointless, in my opinion) were good.


It's located conveniently right next to Messina so I got myself a sneaky mini scoop of mandarin sorbet to finish things off.

November 28, 2014

Thursday 3

Hmmm not really a fan of the Christmas Cookie Latte at Starbucks.

daniel wellington oxford Wore the exact same outfit as yesterday... could've done with a jumper. Watch c/o of Daniel Wellington (use holidaydeluminators for 15% off on the site until the end of December). I changed the strap back to the NATO one in record time this morning, my fine motor skills have definitely improved.

A Lego Christmas tree has sprung up at Pitt St. Apparently the "lighting" of the tree was tonight.

I ended up wondering around Pitt St mall and buying a bunch of things, my brain must've short circuited because most of it isn't anything I wanted/needed so I'm going to have to make some returns...

November 25, 2014

See through

uniqlo silk shirt
uniqlo silk shirt
UNIQLO silk shirt / watch c/o Daniel Wellington*.

I made my friends buy this shirt for me in the US last year but hadn't worn it until last weekend, oops. I didn't realise it would be so sheer, and that coupled with the fact that it's white/cream and silk (i.e. hard to clean) has made me too afraid to wear it. I'm still not sure what the etiquette for sheer shirts is but I went for the yes-I-know-you-can-see-my-bra route which probably is only okay for a drinks-with-the-girls sort of context. I will probably want to get a camisole to wear underneath for all other situations, although I hate buying new clothes just to make existing clothes work.

Also I really should get myself a hip print to replace that one of the three picnicking bears shouldn't I? My parents chose it decorating my room when I was little...

*Use the code holidaydeluminators for 15% off on the DW site until the end of December / DW instagram / #danielwellington.

November 23, 2014

New in


Three things I have bought recently. I've had this wild urge to buy things lately so this is probably just the beginning.

  • UNIQLO striped tee. Yes, I guess I do already have a striped t shirt exactly like this one but I rarely see striped shirts that I 100% like at a suitable price point, so I thought I'd buy a backup. It's actually a men's small, but the cashier told me that a lot of the girls who worked there got one for themselves (there isn't an equivalent in the ladies' range, for some reason).
  • The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. I talked about it here, I read it as an e-book and liked it so much I wanted a hard copy for re-reads. Plus, it's a pretty cover.
  • The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I also read this on the Kindle and wanted a copy for my shelf, I really enjoyed it. The premise of the book made it sound like it was going to be really pretentious but it didn't turn out to be. It's about a group of college students and it starts off with a murder - the story is about why it happened. I got really sucked into the setting, characters, and relationships. It's not a happy book, it's pretty tragic actually, but enjoyable to read. Apparently it's never been adapted for the screen, I would love for a movie or mini-series (for The Luminaries too, actually).
P.S. Thanks for all the book recommendations in the last post, working through them now!

November 20, 2014

Classic Sheffield

I love my Daniel Wellington watch to death. The red/navy Classic Oxford is perfect and goes with almost everything I wear. They kindly let me choose something else from their range, and I picked the Classic Sheffield strap. Just the strap, because all the straps are interchangeable, so you can switch up looks without getting an entire new watch.

daniel wellington oxford sheffield
daniel wellington oxford sheffield Watch and strap c/o of Daniel Wellington. It's actually pretty easy to swap the straps, even for a butterfingers like me. So now, on the rare occasion that a navy/red watch doesn't work with my outfit, I can put on its black leather disguise.

You can use the discount code holidaydeluminators for 15% off on the Daniel Wellington site until the end of December.
Find them at danielwellington.com / @danielwellingtonwatches / #danielwellington.

November 18, 2014

Reading round-up


(I love my Kindle for how much reading I've been doing but it's just not as photogenic as books are!) One of my favourite ways to spend an afternoon is lying in bed, reading, with a cup of tea - and now that uni has finished for the year, I've been doing quite a bit of this. Here's a round-up of some of the books I've read in the past few months.

Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne. This is a super fun book! It's not hard to get through at all. The glorification of the British Empire and racism in the book is uncomfortable to read though (it was written in 1873). I may or may not have put my own around the world in 80 days trip on my bucketlist.

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray. Oh man, it was a slog getting through this one. The subtitle is "a novel without a hero" and yes, I ended up hating all the characters in the book.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I enjoyed it! Pretty gripping. I finally saw the movie the other day and it was as good as the book, I was on the edge of my seat even though I knew most of what was going to happen.

Wild Swans by Jung Chang. A family history/autobiography set during the rise of communism in China, told through the stories of the author's grandmother, mother, and then her own. I'm trying to learn more Chinese history, because I sadly know very little of it, and I'm going about this through reading memoirs and historical novels. I found this book really gripping and interesting, but if you're reading it without the intention of trying to understand the politics of this period in China, it might be a bit heavy or dry.

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. Jennie had mentioned this as one of her favourite books along with Harry Potter and Rebecca, which I love, so I trusted her recommendation of The Luminaries. And oh man, it's a good book. It's very long, about 800 pages, and it actually look me about a fifth of the book to really get into it, but when I got there I was hooked. It's a Victorian era mystery set in New Zealand - in Hokitika, in fact, where we'd stayed a night on our NZ road trip this year (we'd rolled into town after dark and it was so quiet we joked that it felt like a "murder town" - how fitting). Not only was the plot really intriguing, reading this was an amazing experience in itself, I can't describe it. Usually I read for a good story, to relax before bed, or to pass time during a commute, but I was reading this to read. I'll probably buy the hard copy so I can have it on my shelf. It's one of those books I wish I could unread so I can read it again for the first time.

And right now I'm reading The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Anyone have any book recommendations?

November 16, 2014

Lemon curd doughnut muffins

The other day I was thinking about this amazing lemon-curd filled doughnut I had from a small-town bakery in New Zealand, so to get my lemon/doughnut combination fix, I gave an old sugar doughnut muffin recipe a lemon curd spin.


For the curd, I used this microwave lemon curd recipe, which turned out really well (and makes a lot of curd). For some reason I'm usually suspicious of cooking with eggs when I'm not scrambling them or baking them into something. Eggs are just really dodgy to me (don't ask).


For the muffins, I used this recipe that I came across years ago, and I've baked several times just as is. I put a tablespoon of muffin batter into each cup, topped it with a teaspoon or so of lemon curd right in the centre, and then covered it up with another tablespoon of batter. (The recipe makes 12, I could only fit 6 onto this tray for presentation purposes).


I thought it would be a good idea to dip the tops into melted lemon curd and then into sugar. It was way too sweet, I'd skip this step next time.

I haven't baked all year but I've been on a baking kick lately. To be honest I don't really enjoy the process - I'm only really in it for the end product, which is why I never really post process photos (my cooking/baking process is extremely unphotogenic). Next up I think I'll give Rachel's 3 step brownies a spin.

November 14, 2014

Click these, everyday makeup, & next stop...

I acknowledge I'm the worst at doing these links out posts, by the time I manage to link them up most things are a bit out of date (in terms of the fast-paced internet world). Nevertheless, here's the roundup from the last couple of weeks.


I feel like this blog is varied in topics covered, but I've generally stayed away from beauty. This is why - check out my guest post on my everyday face over on Daisybutter.

Click these And speaking of being a tourist... I am going to be imposing my tourist self on another two continents this December: South America, and North America! Until about August I'd had plans to go to Tanzania, but after those plans fell through, I had a conversation with my friend that went something along the lines of....

Jenny: Come with me to the States then.
Me: Sure, but can we hit up South America on the way?
Jenny: Ok.

You know when you make plans that are all hypothetical and then suddenly you've bought one-way plane tickets to Buenos Aires and they're not hypothetical anymore? Yeah. We're visiting Buenos Aires, Rio, and then up to Machu Picchu (!!!), and then going to LA and San Francisco. It comes up to a bit less than a month, which I know is a short amount of time to squeeze all that into, but I don't have a long summer off this year. We also realised (a little too late) that we'd actually have to, you know, pay for all this... Packing is going to be hell. Tips for any of these places appreciated!

November 12, 2014

Biking in



Polo Ralph Lauren t-shirt / Glassons pants / Bass loafers.

Yesterday felt like a good day to have an awkward photoshoot with my bicycle, so here you go. I hadn't touched my bike all winter, but in the last few weeks I've been biking to placement as it's near to where I live. I'm still a bit clumsy on it, but I've worked out loafers are safe to wear, and trousers with a bit of stretch are best. I haven't tried wearing a skirt while riding it yet, I feel like the slightest gust of wind would mean a disaster...

I've been recovering from my illness this last week and I've spent most of it in bed, super lethargic. I'm getting dangerously used to browsing blogs while nestled in my blankets all day and taking afternoon naps, oops.

November 6, 2014

Sculpture by the Sea

Sculpture by the Sea is an outdoor exhibition that happens once a year along the coastal walk between Bondi and Tamarama beaches. I love it, but I never seem to be able to get there around this time of the year, since it's always exams (the last time I went was in 2011). I think it's the perfect setting for an exhibition - almost too perfect, because it kind of outshines the sculptures. I went to check it out with Deb today.


Gosh, look at that water. We regretted not bringing our swimmers.


Onwards!


These little creatures were adorable (not sure how I'd like it if there were insects that large though).


A lone man. I loved this one, didn't even notice it until I looked back.




Hi to Deb and her ever-present orange laptop case.


Thanks to Deb for her artistic direction on this picture ;)


Tamarama Beach and that water.


The sand felt so good under bare feet.


We couldn't resist any longer and went to dip our toes. Cue lots of squealing about how cold it was (so that's why no one was swimming).


Here I am, stepping out of the frying pan (into the fire?).


I really liked this one, it was spooky nestled in amongst the bushes. Loved the detail at the base too.




I thought this one was hilarious.

It was such a good afternoon! Being by the sea is so calming (even if it involves navigating crowds). I've been quite ill the past few days, the sun and sea air perked me up a bit. I believe this ends on Sunday, so check it out if you're in Sydney and have the time!