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December 29, 2016

2016

Is that another year over? Completely insane. 2016 was hard, my last year of med school, but it was one I enjoyed.


December 27, 2016

Midi, take three



Uniqlo t-shirt / Topshop skirt / Evolution tote / DW Watch* / Dune boots.

This skirt has been hanging in my closet for about three years, getting very little love. I've discussed how difficult I found it to wear before. I decided to give it another try the other week, since most of my summer clothes were packed for my trip. And you know what? It works for me now. Previously I'd thought it made my legs look short and my upper half look boxy in most of my tops, but over the last year or so I've been trying to let go of my hang-ups regarding my body and "flattering" clothing (see rule #2). Although a skirt like this is a bit off brand for me nowadays, I think I'm going to be welcoming it back into semi-regular rotation, especially because it's work appropriate too.

When this post goes up I would've been in Cancun for a few days now. Hope everyone's had a good Christmas!

This is a scheduled post. I'm currently overseas and reading your comments via email, but won't be able to reply immediately.

December 22, 2016

Tromsø

Last of the posts from February/March this year. After Oslo, we went up to Tromsø, above the Arctic Circle. Yep, we wanted to see the Northern Lights! It's also a nice town in itself. Even though it gets a lot of tourist traffic, it still felt really regular-people-going-about-their-lives.


December 20, 2016

Oslo

More backlogged travel posts! After my London elective in February this year, my friend and I went to Norway before finally going home. We only had about a day and a half in Oslo, as more of a stopover before heading further north. I found Oslo much quieter and smaller than I expected. It was less touristy than Copenhgen and Stockholm.


December 18, 2016

Summer accessories


The bits and pieces that I've been wearing with my summer outfits. Unfortunately, only the sunnies are packed for the trip - none of the others made the cut, so I'm showing them a little love in this post.

  • Sunglasses. They're cheap no-name sunnies I bought from MD Ranking, one of those Asian imported goods stores along George St. I think they're Gentle Monster knockoffs. Despite that, these are actually the best-fitting sunglasses I've ever tried - they actually sit on my nose and not my cheeks. If I were ever to splurge on sunnies I'd definitely want an Asian brand.
  • Daniel Wellington watch*. I have this thing where I need to match leathers, so I'm glad I have a strap which matches my sandals now.
  • Saltwater sandals. I can't believe I used to make myself walk around in boots in hot weather. Despite the fact that they're not work appropriate and not practical enough to take travelling, I don't regret buying these at all because I've been living in them these past few weeks.
  • Evolution tote bag. I bought this on a whim on my last trip to NYC, four years on and it's still going strong! I should probably wash it...
This is a scheduled post. I'm currently overseas and reading your comments via email, but won't be able to reply immediately.

December 15, 2016

Stockholm

Another extremely belated travel post. I visited Stockholm over a weekend in February this year, when I was doing my elective placement in London for the month (I still can't get over how quickly you can fly to other countries in Europe). I was comparing it to Copenhagen the whole time. Stockholm is more fun to wander around as I preferred its architecture, but I felt like Copenhagen had a younger and more fun vibe. However, Stockholm is marginally less expensive and I could actually afford a cup of coffee there.


December 13, 2016

Copenhagen

I'm finally finishing off the posts about last summer's trip! These photos are when we visited Copenhagen in January this year. Copenhagen is a seriously cool city, everyone's really well dressed and there are a lot of hip restaurants and bars around. Unfortunately, it's also a really expensive one. A coffee was about $8AUD, and we paid about $16AUD for ordinary Thai takeout. And for some reason, our hostel didn't have a kitchen to make our own food. Being about two months into my trip, I was really feeling the expense, and we both felt like the city may have been better experienced if we had more money.


December 11, 2016

Toiletries in a carry-on



The hardest part about packing for carry-on only was trying to get my toiletries into an acceptable clear resealable bag. What made it even harder was that basic toiletries apparently hard to come by in Cuba, where I would be at the beginning of the trip. After a lot of deliberation and decanting, I whittled my liquids down to these.

General hygiene
3-in-1 bodywash/shampoo/conditioner(purple top). I actually use this everyday, so it's not a huge concession. Deodorant and toothpaste are self-explanatory. I just need enough to last until after Cuba, which is just under two weeks into the trip.

Keeping healthy
Hand sanitiser, sunscreen and insect repellant (pink top). Again, needing these to last until I get back to Mexico.

For the face
My cleanser decanted (blue top), travel-size of my usual Mecca sunscreen, and full sizes of my night moisturiser and Effaclar Duo. I usually also use a retinol cream and a BHA treatment on my face, which I think I can do without for a month. I couldn't manage to squeeze my tube of benzoyl peroxide spot treatment into the bag. I may still go and buy a smaller tube of a spot treatment, as I don't trust my skin to behave. I'm assuming I won't be able to buy these easily until I get to NYC.

Vanity
For makeup I'm just bringing concealer (in addition to my eyebrow pencil). I really wanted to bring hairspray as well but I felt like that was excessive.

Fingers crossed they let all this through security. If I had to ditch something... it would probably be the body sunscreen. Terrible I know, but I only usually use sunscreen when I sunbathe at the beach and I'm not planning to do that in Cuba. (Don't take my advice, sun protection is important.)

This is a scheduled post. I'm currently overseas and reading your comments via email, but may not be able to reply immediately.

December 8, 2016

El Camino

I stumbled upon this place online when I was looking for a place still taking bookings for dinner last Saturday. I think it's only a couple of months old. It serves tex-mex food and sounded reasonably priced despite being in The Rocks, so we went to check it out.


It's massive (several big rooms) and has funky decor.


The menus come as a vinyl in a cover! This place also has unlimited free corn chips and dip.


I had three tacos. The steak and fish weren't that great (my gold standard fish taco is at Barrio Cellar). The al pastor taco is the only one I'd get again. My friends were happy with their quesadillas and enchiladas.


Massive frozen margaritas which are really good, not too sour. I would come back here for these and the free corn chips! Might be a good happy hour haunt.

So this is the last post you're getting from me in real-time for the rest of the year! I'm leaving on my trip tomorrow, and I'm definitely feeling those pre-trip jitters. I'm not taking a laptop so I won't be able to post as I go, but I've queued up a bunch of posts (including the long overdue ones from Scandinavia early this year). Hope everyone has an amazing holiday season, see you on the other side!

December 7, 2016

Summer in sandals

Some more summer outfits. I've pretty much been living in these sandals - I'm kind of worried that my feet have expanded from all this foot-freedom they're getting, and that my other shoes won't fit anymore...


December 4, 2016

Mushroom pasta for people who can't cook


It's only this year that I've developed a thing for mushrooms (I used to pick them out of my food). I especially like mushrooms in pasta sauce, and after YY pointed out how easy it would be to make mushroom pasta, I decided to give it a go. And it was a mistake, because it is basically crack and way too easy to make. I'll never have to buy another jar of pasta sauce again and will probably die from all this butter I'm going to be eating. I hesitate to call this a recipe because I kind of just wing it with the ingredients, but trust me, if I can do it you can too.

Ingredients
  • Pasta (however much you need)
  • Mushrooms (however many you want based on your preferred mushroom to pasta ratio)
  • Butter (about 2-3 tablespoons for one serving)
  • Garlic (I use crushed garlic from a jar cause I'm lazy, but you can use fresh garlic if you're motivated)
  • Lots of cheese
Method
  • Melt some butter in a pan on medium heat (I start with two tablespoons when I'm making one serving).
  • You can start boiling the pasta in a separate pot at this point.
  • When the butter is melted, throw in a heaped teaspoon of crushed garlic.
  • When it starts making that sizzling noise, add the mushrooms and turn the heat up to medium-high.
  • If it looks like you need to, add another tablespoon of butter (but you should probably stop there).
  • When the mushrooms are cooked (it will start smelling delicious and mushroomy), turn the heat off, drain the pasta (which is usually done by this time) and add the pasta to the pan with the mushrooms.
  • Mix everything up and then add way too much cheese.
And that's it! I guess you could add cream at some point to make it a creamy pasta (we never have any cream on hand), and I think it would taste good with some spinach and chicken if you want to make it really nutritious. I should probably also try and do this with less butter...

December 1, 2016

1 month in a backpack

I'm off on my summer trip in a week, so it's time for me to wax lyrical about my packing again. I'm headed to Cuba (via a day in Mexico City), Playa del Carmen and Cancun in Mexico, Antigua in Guatemala, and then up to NYC, because I just love to torture myself with temperature extremes.


Image sources at Polyvore. Note these aren't the exact items I have.

When I need to consider packing for several seasons on one trip, I generally plan for the most contrasting weather/situations I'll be in, and then mix and match in between. This time it's the warmth and humidity in Cuba vs. really cold and possibly snowy in NYC. Packing has been a lot easier than last time, as I won't have to dress as conservatively in hot weather, and I don't have to pack smart clothes for hospital.

Outerwear
These worked for the last trip, so I'm packing the same. My friend is actually bringing my wool coat over from Sydney when I meet her in Cancun, which is really helpful. I know it would be more practical to get a down jacket that packs small to wear under my parka, but what can I say? I'm vain.

Bottoms
Skinny jeans for cooler weather, rayon drape pants for hot weather. I considered denim shorts, but I find them kind of uncomfortable and they're heavy for what they are.

Tops
Two t-shirts to wear for warm/mild weather, and one long sleeve top for NYC. I'm taking a risk here, but I'm banking on the fact that I'll be wearing my merino thermal underneath and I won't have to wash it.

Dress
A dress! The main lesson I learned from last time was that I needed better clothes for hot weather, and my smock dress is my best outfit for it. It's pretty short but neither Cuba nor Cancun call for more modest dressing, so I don't think I'll offend anyone.

Shoes
The #1 enemy of light packing. I deliberated over taking any number out of four pairs: Chelsea boots, sneakers, sandals, and Doc Martens. I'm only going to take the Chelsea boots, which I'm a bit nervous about. I ruled out the sneakers because they didn't really give me that many benefits over the boots, as I'm not doing anything too active and also because they're not as waterproof. I did want to take the sandals for the beach in Mexico, but I figured flip-flops (which I always pack, if only for shared showers) would do the same job. Docs I really strongly considered taking for NYC, but they're not worth the weight/inconvenience at airport security to just wear for a quarter of the trip (I learned the hard way to not wear them in hot weather). While my Chelsea boots hold up to wet weather well, I'm a little concerned about how cold my feet are going to get. My plan right now is to wing it, and if the cold becomes unbearable, buy a pair of wool socks in New York. Fingers crossed I come back with my feet still attached!

Accessories
Scarf, gloves, and hat which I'll need for New York. Even though they'd be easy to buy once I get to there, I dislike the idea of buying more winter accessories that I never even have to use in Sydney. Sunnies and watch self-explanatory.

This is probably the most brutal I've ever had to be with packing, because I want the first part of my trip (before I get my coat) to be carry-on only, and airlines flying out of Australia are pretty strict on carry-on weight (7kg). I'm actually going to be wearing the cardigan, one of the t-shirts, jeans and the boots on the plane, so it's not a lot of clothing to pack (although my bag always ends up filling up with random bits and pieces). Trying to get my liquid toiletries into a sandwich bag was even harder, I'll probably do a whole other post on that.

November 30, 2016

Summer is coming

Whitepepper dress / Saltwater sandals / Evolution tote / DW watch*.

For a Sydneysider, I'm really bad at dressing in hot weather. I overheat and get sweaty really easily. This outfit is the only one I have for when it's more than 30C and I have to walk around outside. The style of this dress allows for maximum air circulation. I bought it on a whim three years ago, and it's been a summer staple since then, so impulse shopping does work out sometimes.

November 28, 2016

An overcast picnic

Every time in the last few weeks we tried to plan a beach day or a picnic for what was predicted to be a sunny weekend day, the weather forecast would immediately turn to rain. So we would cancel the plans, to find that it wouldn't rain at all on the day. We'd finally had enough of it, so we decided to risk a picnic on Sunday, despite the 40% chance of showers.


I'm yelling "look candid!" as I take this shot.


We were in the Botanic Gardens, where we always go for a picnic.


Over-ate as usual.


While it was overcast, it only briefly sprinkled very lightly, so it was a good call.


After a while it did get a bit chilly, so we packed up and moved on.

November 23, 2016

Reading spree


I've been on a total book binge since exams finished, since I'm finding it easier to concentrate on new books now I'm not that stressed anymore. I have this thing for reading in cafes, which is costing me a lot of money, so I'm going to have to try and do it more at home or in food courts...

Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta. I've enjoyed most things Melina Marchetta has put out, so when I saw it was detective-in-London themed I went and bought it, no questions asked. It's really good - if you've read her other books, you'll know she does twists well. As with most of her writing, it also deals with teens and cultural identity. The romantic relationships in the story didn't quite click with me - they seemed a bit forced.

Fight Like a Girl by Clementine Ford. A rare non-fiction book. Clementine Ford's articles always make me thump the table and exclaim yes, thank you, so I wanted to support her book. The book is good and full of zingers, although dare I say the pop culture references got on my nerves a bit. I agree with everything she says so it would be interesting to hear the opinion of someone whose feminist views differ to mine.

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. Set in 19th century Iceland, it's about the last days of a woman to be executed for murder. The plot was a bit predictable, and I wouldn't read it again, but the writing was very atmospheric and I liked the setting.

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh. This one was Booker shortlisted this year. It's from the perspective of a young woman who works at a juvenile correctional facility, and she's definitely one of those characters who are supposed to repulse you. The plot gets almost bizarre, actually. It's a good character study type novel.

Hot Milk by Deborah Levy. Another from the Booker shortlist. It's about a young woman who's travelled with her ill mother to southern Spain for treatment. It gets really weird and surreal, I'm sure there's a lot of symbolism I'm missing. Not really up my alley but I can see how it's objectively well written.

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue. Set in the 19th century, an English nurse is called to Ireland to monitor a child who is supposedly surviving without eating. Straightforward but I enjoyed it, it was pretty gripping. It also had interesting views of Irish Catholicism through the lens of an English character.

The House of God by Samuel Shem. I've not really read those books people tell you to read if you're going to be a doctor - this one is my first. It's a satirical and sarcastic fictional account of a doctor's intern year. A lot of it rings true, including unfortunately the way that the more jaded doctors talk and think about patients. But I found it hard to keep track of the characters and it went around in circles, so I was kind of bored.

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. It was almost set up to be a potential new favourite book. Dracula/vampire themed, dark atmosphere, travel scenes (Eastern Europe has now been bumped up my list), a historical mystery... at 75% of the way through I thought it was going to join my list of top books. But the twist and resolution ended up being kind of lame. I would still re-read it for the first part of the book, though.

Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl. An academically gifted but socially awkward teen and her professor father move into a new small town for her final semester of high school. The book has an interesting structure. There are "visual aids" (drawn by the main character) and the writing is littered with in-text citations for her references (not all of which I got). It spends a while setting up its mystery, and then everything is crammed into the end of the book. It gets weird, but it was enjoyable to read overall.

November 21, 2016

Wear to work

Last of the hospital outfits of the year! Next year I can finally start referring to hospital as "work" and stop worrying and confusing new visitors as to how sick I am. I'm aware the sunlight reflecting off the ground in these makes me look like a jack-o-lantern.

November 18, 2016

Life lessons from med school


I've finally come to the end of six years in uni... Six years! That's more than a quarter of the time I've been alive. I went into an undergrad medicine program straight from high school, lacking life experience in the extreme, and here are some of the things I'd tell my seventeen year old self if I could go back in time to meet her.

1. Keep in touch with your old friends. My gang from high school (and some from even earlier) have stayed friends through uni, even though we studied different things. They've kept me grounded and have made sure I can still hold conversations about non-medical topics.

2. You can't do this alone. For a long time, I thought having an external support group was enough. But as well as my non-medical friends know me, it's hard to convey what a bad day on the wards feels like to people who haven't been there. Having people in the same situation as you to debrief with lightens the load a lot. Also, I would not have got through these last two years without study-slash-gossip sessions.

3. Prioritise, then balance. The idea of "balancing" studying, social life, and other things came up a lot but no one actually told me how to go about it. Before you can balance, you need to be able to prioritise what's more important to you. Is the difference between a mark of 70 and a mark of 80 worth it if I'm miserable because I'm never seeing my friends? Is taking half an hour off to go for a run really going to be the difference between a pass and a fail? My first couple of years were horrible because I couldn't figure this out. I was studying all the time and getting good marks, but I hated my life. I spent the last two years studying less, but making sure I was seeing my friends at least once a week, and I was way happier.

4. You'll get through this. There were so many times when I thought I would never get the hang of something. There were so many times when I thought I wasn't going to get through an exam, or a rotation, or even a week. But I did. And I've started to keep a mental list of all those times, so whenever I face down something daunting, I can remember that I survived and sometimes even gave myself something to be proud of.

5. Shake it off. One of the best things I've learned to do in these past few years is to laugh at myself. I can't even count the number of stupid or embarrassing things I've said or done in front of relatively important people. I'm a really awkward person (one of those people who think of an incident from years ago and cringe for five minutes) and pretending I'm in a sitcom (hello Scrubs) or some sort of dark comedy movie actually helps a lot. Doing recaps and re-enactments for your friends from #1 and #2 works well too.

And thus closes another chapter! Let's see how well I can remember these lessons when I start work as a doctor in late January. I'm terrified.

P.S. Check out my interview at Blog Socks! It's a great concept and I've found a bunch of new bloggers to follow through it.

November 15, 2016

Shortcuts for packing lightly


I actually love the challenge of packing and trying to pack as light as possible. When it comes to cutting down on the clothes I take, it helps that I don't mind wearing the same thing for weeks on end, and also because my activities don't veer into very fancy or very outdoors-y. The following items help a lot when it comes to packing lightly.

Merino wool thermal
Mine is from Icebreaker. I wear it under my usual clothes when I'm travelling in cold climates. That way I don't need to wash my shirts as much, so I can get by with two long-sleeve tops for pretty much any length of winter trip. The thermal itself doesn't need to be washed often because merino doesn't hold odours - I've gone a month straight wearing this daily! If you do want to wash it, it's machine washable with your other regular clothes. It's not itchy either (and I have sensitive skin). So basically this thermal is my favourite thing (I promise I'm not getting paid to say this).

Quick drying t-shirt
I find hot weather is harder to pack light for, because I need to wash my clothes more often. If I still want to keep the number of tops I take to a minimum, I find quick-drying clothing is the best bet. The t-shirt is from the men's section in Uniqlo (the packaged Dry ones) and is on regular rotation in my everyday wear as well. It's 75% cotton and 25% polyester, and even though I'm supposed to hate synthetic fibres, the polyester helps it dry quickly overnight after a wash in the sink. I bought a Uniqlo Airism tank last year in hopes of using it as the warm weather version of my thermal, but I didn't find it particularly cooling. When it comes to replacing this I might look into a lightweight merino version for a t-shirt that can go longer without a wash.

Travel towel
I can't believe I only thought of buying one of these last year. These towels fold down to about a third of the bulk of a regular towel of the same width and height. They also dry more quickly. They don't dry you as efficiently as regular towels do, but they do the job. I got mine for $5 from Kmart, but you'll find them at other travel/camping stores as well. I keep it in a perforated/netted zip-up case that I can clip onto the outside of my backpack if we're on the move while it still needs to dry.

Menstrual cup
Saves you from packing months and months' worth of sanitary products if you're going somewhere you might not be able to get the kind you like! I talk/rave more about it here. The only thing is I'm still a bit apprehensive about emptying it in situations where I can't do ideal hand hygiene.

If you liked this post, you might like the one on my travel first aid kit!

November 13, 2016

Getting formal (again)





Grana silk shell and pants / Daniel Wellington watch and cuff* / Saltwater sandals.

There was another opportunity to dress up last Friday for our clinical school grad dinner, so the silk two-piece I wore to grad ball came out to play again. I'd actually been planning on wearing my white silk blouse, collar open, with these pants, but I had a mishap at the beach the other week (sunburn) and my chest is in no condition to be exposed (bright pink, skin peeling). The dress code was cocktail, and I think the more casual dresses I own (like this one but without those tights) could have worked. But I liked the idea of subverting the expectation that women should a) wear dresses to look formal and b) continually come up with new outfits even though men are allowed to wear the same thing over and over again. I did step down my accessories since it was technically a more casual occasion than the ball. Anyway, despite it being almost the exact same outfit I thought it'd be nice to have some photos of it with my head attached (sunny afternoon lighting is the worst though)!

November 10, 2016

All over the place

Just a good old couple-of-snaps-from-yesterday kind of post!


In the morning, we had a critical care simulation skills session and I took the rest of the afternoon off.


I took the train to the city and had lunch. I'm addicted to the burritos from GYG.


Then went to check out the White Rabbit Gallery, which is just behind Central Park. I'd been meaning to visit since I saw the Hanging Bodies piece from the outside during BEAMS fest. The gallery is focused on contemporary Chinese art and I'd recommend it, it's really good.


Went to browse the shops (gift-hunting) with a Starbucks break (I hate that I love their Christmas drinks). I read my book while concurrently keeping an eye on the US election results. I think a lot of other people there were also watching the horror unfold.


Met up with YY and Wai Lam in the evening. We meant to go to this grad exhibit, but we went to the wrong place twice and ended up traipsing all over Kings Cross and Darlinghurst in the pouring rain. I was wearing comfortable and (relatively) waterproof shoes so I found it hilarious; the others not so much. We ended up giving up and going to dinner.


We ate at NaruOne, which is a Korean place. It's cosily decorated and their barbecue exhaust things are a trendy copper, but their fried chicken wasn't that great.

November 6, 2016

Post-exam life outtakes

All the miscellaneous photos from the last few weeks on my phone - mostly food, as usual.


November 1, 2016

Sculpture by the Sea '16

The plan on Sunday was to take advantage of 30C weather to go and get a tan. Unfortunately, when I arrived at the beach, it was actually too breezy to lie around in a swimsuit. Luckily, since I was kind of expecting the weather to be fickle, I'd chosen to go to Bondi so I could see Sculpture by the Sea instead.


October 30, 2016

Skeletal


Muji dress / Dune boots / random tights from Ebay.

Happy Halloween! I'm not going to any Halloween-specific events so no costumes for me, but it's the only appropriate time of year to wear these tights. I bought them years ago and they aren't quite my style anymore, but given the time of year I wore these to dinner with friends last night. I ended up having to keep pulling the knees up over my knees throughout the night. Anyone got good costumes planned for this year?

October 27, 2016

Spring blues

This is supposed to be my almost-annual Night Noodle Markets post, except I can't really call it that because we didn't spend much time or eat a lot there! It's just generally expensive and overhyped, the lines to the popular stalls are all really long.


The light at just the right angle.


The only thing I had from the market - a cup of Pimms, which was weirdly warm despite the ice cubes? YY's was cold, so I don't know what was up with that.


We ended up decamping to Caffe Tiamo for more food. Nachos and haloumi fries, anyone?

The word blues in the title is because all my photos came out blue toned, not because I've been down. Spring has been good! I'm back on the wards at hospital, and now I don't have exams hanging over my head I'm happy to spend more time there than so I can learn all the jobs that will be mine in just a few more months. It's kind of weird not having to study any more, I don't even know what to do with myself. Hopefully this idleness translates into blog productivity, I feel like I've slacked off here for the last few months.

October 25, 2016

Throwback


Uniqlo sweatshirt and shirt / Jeans West jeans / Saltwater Sandals / Daniel Wellington watch*.

This outfit was only from the other day, but for some reason I feel very 2012 in it, with the collar poking over a jumper. I still like that look, but none of my button downs felt comfortable under any of my jumpers until I tried this silk shirt under the sweatshirt. I know there's the trick of wearing a cami or bra on top of the shirt to hold it down, but that's too much fuss in case I want to whip the jumper off - although I try not to do that, as I've mentioned before (I can't believe that post is more than two years old now, I feel like the quality of my outfit posts has actually declined).

P.S. You can use the code DELUMINATORS for 15% off on the Daniel Wellington site.

October 23, 2016

Bay of Fires

The last of the Tasmania posts.

The Bay of Fires is a famous scenic area with white sand beaches and more orange lichen-covered rocks. We spent the morning exploring it, before driving to Launceston in the afternoon for our final night.


October 19, 2016

Wineglass Bay

Continuing the Tasmania posts from the quick trip two weeks ago.


October 16, 2016

Getting formal

So my graduation ball was last night, and this is what I ended up wearing. Disclaimer that I actually shot these this morning, because the photos I got a friend to help me take beforehand ended up a bit blurry (thanks anyway Jenny). Which is also why they're headless, because it would have just been my morning-after-a-party face.


Grana silk shell / Grana silk pants / Bass loafers.

I mentioned earlier that I'd been having trouble working out what to wear to the ball. I'd been thinking about buying a black dress I could wear again to various other formal-ish situations, but the only kinds of dresses I like are very casual ones. I then considered a jumpsuit as Nina suggested, but despaired of being able to find one that would actually fit properly all over. Then Meg's comment about passing off a top and skirt as a dress reminded me of Grana's matching silk separates, which I finally settled on. One of the main reasons I liked this idea was that I would be able to mix and match the top and pants into the rest of my wardrobe, so I would get more uses out of the set than I would a formal dress. I ended up going with navy because it looks more dressy than black (which I felt was more of a hip store assistant kind of look).

A note on the sizing, because reading other people's reviews really helped. I usually wear M or L in tops and got the silk shell in the M. It fits perfectly, definitely more on the M side. It's a boxy fit which I like, and hits right at the top of my hipbones which is the perfect length on me, but may a little short on anyone taller (I'm 5'3"). For pants I usually wear an S, but I initially ordered them in M based on the measurements. They turned out to be too roomy, so I ordered the S which fit perfectly. So just order your usual size! They have three different pant lengths too (thank you), and I got the shortest. In terms of service, ordering at Grana is generally painless; they have detailed measurements of each individual piece on their site and their shipping/returns fees to/from Australia are actually amazing in comparison to other international stores.


Fossil bag / Daniel Wellington watch and cuff*.

As for the accessories, these will be familiar. I'm so not into heels. I did order a pair of low block heeled sandals in an attempt to look more dressed up, but the bottom of the shoe was literally half the width of my sole so I sent them back and decided to just stick with comfort. The bag is my every day hospital bag which I took the strap off of and carried as a clutch. I don't wear or own much jewellery, so I went with my new Daniel Wellington black classic watch and the cuff to accessorise (by the way, you can use the code DELUMINATORS for 15% off on the site).

Anyway, it all worked out well! I didn't feel too casual or out of place and I was really comfortable all night. I did feel some pangs of envy over other people's beautiful long dresses but I think this will give me more long-term satisfaction. This was more about the outfit than anything ball-related so an actual post about that might come when I've gathered the photos.

October 13, 2016

Hobart ii

Part i here.

On the second day, I hopped on the ferry to the Museum of Old and New Art. MONA is a relatively new museum but I'd heard a lot about it. You can drive, take the bus, or catch the MONA ferry, and I'd figure I'd go for the last option for the chance to see more scenery.