MMXII: Reviewed

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To celebrate the beginning of a wonderful new year, I’ve rounded up some of my best lookbook posts from the previous year–there’s quite a few of them! They’re mostly chronological too so you can see how my style has changed through the seasons.. Am I getting braver with fashion or is it just my imagination? If you’ve been following me from the beginning during the plague of the selfies in the mirror, you’ll also noticed that I ditched a favorite accessory of mine–the hairband!

Since starting to experiment with fashion for this blog so I could bring frugalistas new content and new ways of wearing things, I’ve started to be able to recognize what does and what does not suit me. Hairbands, similar to my bucket hat obsession of ’99, just weren’t me. Neither was the middle part in long, dull, unlayered hair. I’ve gone through a whole stack of changes throughout the past year–met some amazing people, stepped out of my comfort zones a lot, and obtained some hella expensive pieces of paper to frame on my wall.. It might not seem like much but this year was an eye-opener for me. Since the start of this blog, I feel like a new woman–My confidence has soared and now I feel like nothing’s holding me back.

2013.. I welcome you with open arms!

Instagramification VII

James’ 21st Cluedo-Themed Party! | Big brands selling cheap Chinese wares? Check | Started experimenting with my hair | In the stands during graduation! | Lining up outside with my best friend | Two degrees. Boo yeah. | Pretty pastel sandals from Wittner | Mary Janes from Jo Mercer! | Strappy red heels from Wittner again.. another pair of shoes not pictured. Omg. | The most expensive dress I’ve ever bought, legitimately. $50! | Sarah’s gingerbread house | Karlo’s Lego-Inspired birthday cake!

You are just never prepared for life, are you?! I’ve had a busy couple of weeks since you’ve heard from me last. Since my graduation, I’ve kicked a minor shoe addiction (pun very intended) and put away some serious sweets during the holiday season. Know where I put them? You don’t want to know..

It’s no secret that I’ve been neglecting this blog in favor of the good life (chillaxing, eating, shopping, and so on), but I plan to have much better self control next year. I considered having “blog at least twice a week” on my list of New Years Resolutions but you know what? There’s nothing stopping anyone from starting on their NYR’s right now. This very instant. Life is short, it’s passing you by, and no miracle date will help you achieve your goals if you’re not committed to them. So with one night to spare (trust me, I would have started earlier if the idea didn’t just occur to me today), I’ve written up a list of pre-NYR’s that I plan to start up right now, today and tomorrow, and hopefully continue next year and for the rest of my life. This is my list, as follows:

  • Blog twice a week
  • Start up a blog shop and sell clothes I don’t wear! Minimalism for the win? (Oh, who am I kidding?)
  • Get on that exercise bike at least 5 times a week, 21 minutes at a time, with 8|12 second intervals for maximum effectiveness
  • Finish driving lessons and get a damned car! (Almost achieved, actually!!)
  • Attend dog shows with Hugo (one of the many benefits of owning a purebred, hehe) and train him up to Champion level
  • Love and forgive my mother more often while she’s still with me
  • Go to bed before midnight and wake up while it’s still the morning (aiming for 9am starts–more time to be productive!)
  • Fall in love

That’s my list! I’m hoping to at least score 5 out of those. We’ll see what happens. To some, ’13 is an unlucky number, but I have a good feeling about this upcoming year, don’t you? No fancy plans to punctuate the end of this year for me–just going to haul myself and a few friends/fruitboxes up the top of my hill and watch the fireworks over the Brisbane River while blasting out those beats over Pandora Radio…

What are your plans and resolutions for New Year’s Eve? Are you looking forwards to 2013 or dreading it?

QUT Graduation Ceremony

Yesterday was legitimately the best day of my life. I had such a blast at my graduation and everything went perfectly. You ever have one of those days where any change you could have wished for whatsoever wouldn’t have improved the day at all? Yesterday was one of those days. I graduated top of the cohort, with a Bachelors in Information Technology, a Bachelors in Visual Arts (Interactive and Visual Design) with distinctions for both degrees! Here’s hoping those two little pieces of paper lead to a long and prosperous life for me. The chancellor who shook my hand at the ceremony certainly seemed to have a very high opinion of these humble degrees!

During the day–Breaking free from my anti-makeup stance, I asked my mother to tint my eyelashes for me and I wore some lip stain to top off my look. I’ve started to dip my toes into a cheap Target makeup brand called “Essence”, and with mostly everything on the shelf there under $5 each.. it’s not a bad find. Also for those who are having trouble finding pink-tinted foundations/concealers (like me), “Essence” is perfect, because their makeup comes in both yellow and pink tints! And they also sell $3 quick-dry nail drops, which is about the most useful invention ever, especially since my Ulta3 collection is 80 bottles strong and steadily growing.. Anyways, blah blah, where was I?

I went to my graduation with my uncle, mother, and Michael. It was good having a strong group behind me, and super fun hearing the “WOOP WOOP WOOP” from them as I walked onto the stage to grab my certificates. I’m glad I brought my camera on that day as well and took hundreds of photos of the whole proceedings, because I seemed a hell of a lot more photogenic yesterday than I usually am (I’m guessing it’s because of the camera-friendly makeup)! I was freaking out a bit the night before with what I could wear,  but my fears were alleviated during the day as I watched girls in butt-skimming tube dresses and hooker heels prancing around in their regalia, so I figured that a pinstripe Summer dress wasn’t a bad choice after all. Actually, here’s the rundown of what I wore:

Freshwater Pearls Necklace – Aldi, $12 (These actually belong to my mother, they also came with earrings but alas, no body modifications for me so far)

Pinstripe Summer Dress – Glassons, $25 (In a 50% off sale last week! I shortened the straps just the night before because the chest was ridiculously loose on me.. talk about last minute modifications!)

Silver Pearl Ring – Wallace Bishop, $?? (It’s my mothers, again, haha)

Revlon “Oh My Magenta” Nail Polish – GroceryRun, $1 (I bought this for my mother but it matched so perfectly with the magenta regalia! Kudos to the Essence Quick Dry Drops because I put them on at 2am on the day and didn’t wake up with sheet marks on my nails–amazing!!)

Skinny Patent Belt – Target, free with another dress

Jo Mercer “Hooch” Mary Jane HeelsThe Iconic, $60 (Uh-maaazing shoes, so comfortable with a thick chunky heel and soft leather inside and out.. not sure why they got bumped up to $70 recently..)

Total:  $98!

Still fantastically frugal, even on fancy occasions. We’re not going to count how much the regalia hire cost me because that was essentially highway robbery at $75 for the hat and robes! I tried not to cry and think about how many dresses I could have bought with that money as I entered my debit card details on their website..

Pastel Princess


How long has it been since I last made a lookbook post?? Months, probably. As the weather heats up in Brisbane, I’m sure that everyone cannot think of a better thing to do than to stay indoors under the ever-vigilant air conditioner. I can literally feel the perspiration rising up to the surface of my skin the very second I step outside, and I’m always conscious of my hair slowly beginning to flatten and stick to my scalp. Not a good look. But still, that’s hardly an excuse for keeping my readers in the dark. Yes, it’s hot; yes, I’m lazy, but I have a duty to fulfill–a duty towards my readers and their wallets in this economic climate of ours!

Okay, enough ranting and raving.

This is one of my favorite outfits as of late. As you know, I like pastels; they just perfectly mesh with my skintone and hair so I find any excuse I can to wear pastel ensembles while gallivanting around town. Boy, have I bought a lot of pastels for Summer.

Here’s the rundown in front of you:

Chain NecklaceAliExpress, $2

Flower Embroidered Blouse – Valleygirl, $15

Lemon Polka Dot 3/4 Blazer – Chicabooti, $16

Triple Ring PackASOS, $5 (Oh my GOD these rings are to die for, they go with everything)

Pink & Gold Bow Belt – Colette, $5 (I absolutely love this belt, it has a faint sparkle in the sunlight and you know I can’t resist sparkle)

Pink Flower Embroidered Scalloped Shorts – Valleygirl, $15

“Joy” Nude Bow HeelsNovo Shoes, $35 (I call these flats because these are about as flat as I can wear my shoes. These have a squishy soft leather lining!)

Total: $93.

Yeek, I’m cutting it fine with my own rules! It’s the shoes’ fault, they’re too damn expensive. I wouldn’t have even bought them if I wasn’t for the fact that I needed a cute, neutral pair of low-heeled shoes and no matter where I looked, these were the best that fit the bill and didn’t display an obscene amount of toe cleavage. Hate toe cleavage, especially because I have absurdly high arches so it’s bound to happen with most of the “flats” out there…

Anyways, I digress. Throw in a mint bowknot handbag (AliExpress, $15) and you’re styling! I actually have an interesting story about this bag.. I saw suspiciously similar bags on display at Dangerfield and Kitten D’Amour. I was caught off-guard, thinking that I must have bought a cheaper replica of some sort, but no, they’re all made out of the same PU material, have faults in the same places, and even the hardware was the same.

(Pictured: My bags on the left, then Dangerfield on top, followed by Kitten D’Amour)

They’re all from a similar “line” produced in China, except that buying directly from AliExpress, I paid $15, and anyone who buys from those two stores are going to be paying upwards of $60 per bag! Absolute insanity. Oh… and here’s the exact same red Kitten D’Amour bag from AliExpress, if you were interested (it also comes in bright yellow, orange, and black, from the listings I’ve seen floating around). So there, to all the haters who look down their nose at me because I refuse to go to those high end stores and buy the same product for 500% more because it suddenly has a brand name attached to it.

More notes about my purchases: I’ve been looking for a pale yellow blazer for what seems like forever. I found the aforementioned one at Chicabooti for $16, but it was in a very small size 8, and I was so torn! The sleeves were crazy tight on my arms and I couldn’t button it up at the front, but I bought it anyways and chucked it in the DIY pile. Only last night did I get around to letting out the arms and the darts in the back with my sewing machine and it fits perfectly now. If it comes unstitched though, I might just.. die. Because it’s taken me a whole year to find something like this and I don’t wanna let it go! Only now I’m feeling like I should be cautious about how often I wear it because realistically, when is the next time I’ll ever grab a score like this again??

Are there any items you own that are a one-of-a-kind and you’re too scared to wear out? I used to scoff at people who do this with brand name handbags and I feel sort of pathetic that I’m doing it over a $16 blazer, but oh well..

Keep cool and wear sunscreen, frugalistas!

Carbon Copies XII

If this post was accurately titled, it would probably be called “Ugly Shoe Trends You Shouldn’t Waste Your Money On”. I do like some of these shoes, don’t get me wrong–the kitten flats are adorable and the strappy sandals are ridiculously high but manage to look good on most feet, but as for the majority, I hate them, they look awful, and I would never be caught dead wearing them or any replicas.

I’ve never really been a fan of shoe trends. It’s like designers are trying to trump each other on the weirdness scale, and I don’t do “weird” with my outfits–I’m no Lady Gaga. But these shoe trends are so prevalent throughout the blogosphere nowadays that they’re a hard thing to ignore. So here’s a list of the shoes I see cropping up often enough nowadays on blogs that I follow, and where you can get them for cheap if you’re so inclined.

Jeffrey Campbell’s Lita, $160 | AliExpress, $28 (Just search the site for different styles like denim, lace or American flag.. they’re out there)
The Lita. What can I say about the Lita? Way too much, but let’s keep this brief; If I wasn’t so adverse to platform shoes in the first place, I would still think they were hideous. But they’re everywhere, with evil spawns now coming out in bastard styles such as denim or “wookie”. I understand pastels, I understand neons, I understand peplums, I understand a hell of a lot of trends out there, but I don’t understand the Lita.

Chloé Susan Studded Ankle Boots, $1345 | eBay, $65
Ladies, if you didn’t already have huge feet to begin with, never fear. Helpfully, Chloe made us these boots to give people with small feet the illusion of big feet and people with big feet the illusion of a size that can only be described as clown-like. I seldom ever see any blogger or celebrity pull these off, and I’m even more shocked by the claims that they can be “worn with anything”, because their detailed, blingy, modern-cowboy style clashes with every outfit I’ve seen featuring them.

Vivienne Westwood Lady Dragon Pumps, $252 | AliExpress, $26 (In many different colours and styles.. AliExpress has so many jelly shoes; it’s kind of insane)
I don’t know what the appeal is with jelly shoes this season. Could it be the superior quality of the materials (lol)? Or maybe you didn’t get enough of the 90’s and you’re looking to relive your childhood? Do you like your shoes being ideal fungal breeding grounds, or perhaps you like the feeling of sweaty feet on a hot summer’s day?

Christian Louboutin Bis Un Bout, $795 (sold out) | AliExpress, $19 (Also in pink and black)
Somewhere deep within the history of the United Stripper Union, a consensus was once reached that clear shoes were henceforth going to be the stripper trademark. Apparently CL didn’t get the memo. The aforementioned rant about jelly/PVC shoes set aside, I have been personally battling toe cleavage for many years, and what does CL do? They come out with a shoe that guarantees it.

Isabel Marant Bekket High-Top Sneakers, $725 | AliExpress, $35 (Many different colours) | Target, $50
Don’t know what’s more appealing here, the velcro closures or the camel-coloured rubber sole. They look clumsy and chunky and kind of remind me of those Sketchers Shape Ups or any other platform sneakers the overweight buy in their plight to lose a few pounds. If you wanted to go for comfortable shoes, buy a pair of Crocs–they don’t look any more respectable than these babies do.

Zara Strappy Sandals, $46 (sold out) | AliExpress, $21 (black, orange and pink available) | Target, $32
These heels are the most bearable of the bunch. What I like about them is that they’re a relatively plain, classic style with the potential to go with most things. These are shoes that say “I’m simple and it’s okay”.

Giuseppe Zanotti I26115 Sculpted Ankle Strap Wedges, $775 | eBay, $45
Would you like some horse shoes for your hooves? Enough said.

Charlotte Olympia Kitty Cat-Embroidered Suede Slippers, $595 | eBay, $27
These babies are pretty adorable, I have to say. Just wish I could wear flats!

What do you think about these blogger-favorite shoe trends? Do you love or hate them? I won’t judge you, I promise. ;)