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Getting a bit obsessed with this colour scheme, aren’t I? That’s the sort of thing that I seem to do–when I find a new set of colours that I love, I wear them out at any opportunity–and this situation is no different. It just so happens that these colours are also quite on-trend for Winter 2013 anyways, so who’s complaining? Not me!

This is also one of the first times I’ve had the opportunity to wear the badges that I bought from AliExpress. As you know, I’m big on the coordinating. The jewel is in the same tonal range as the pants and the (brown) giraffe is wearing a blue suit. Perfectly matching, just the way I like it. These badges are also useful because it felt kind of weird wearing a necklace with this top (I blame the asymmetrical buttons to the side of the neck), but at the same time, my chest felt kind of empty without any sort of accessory whatsoever. I had to make-do with badges, and I think they suit perfectly.

 


Anyways, without further ado, the rundown:

Striped Breton Shirt (Cobalt) – Mix Apparel, $10

Giraffe & Gemstone BadgesAliExpress, $1.60 (80c each)

Wine and Gold Bangle – Rubi, $2

Mouse Ears Watch – ASOS, $12.50 (Had a 20% off code for it!)

Tan Leather Belt – Myer, $5 (In a “take a further 75% off reduced items” sale. I have a brown one too, as seen in an earlier lookbook post.)

Bamboo Handle Gatsby BagDotti, $10

Houndstooth Jacquard Cropped Pants (Cerise) – Target, $15.86 (At first I bought them at $35 but then I realised they were selling very slowly so I returned them and waited for them to go on special, and they did! Just goes to show you folks–never pay full price for anything!)

Low Heel Tan Oxford Shoes – AliExpress, $20

Black Sockettes – Target, $1 (Not visible–well, maybe a bit in the below picture..)

Total: $78

This isn’t a bad total, would be cheaper if I didn’t include the bag but I thought I may as well, seeing since the total is way under $100 anyways and I really love this bag. It hasn’t had many opportunities to make an appearance on my blog, but ever since I bought these tan oxfords from AliExpress, I’ve been wearing it heaps because it just goes with them. And you know how nuts I am about the matching, and all that.

On a side note, I really desperately need to sew belt loops into all my pants and shorts. (It kept slipping up all day on these pants and it was annoying the carp out of me. I just want you to sit down if that’s okay with you, Mr Belt??) I love wearing belts almost as much as I love wearing cute jewelry and my collection is a bit crazy. As soon as I get a few bits and pieces from eBay to help me organize my belt collection, I’ll show you–and then, and only then, will you know the true extent of my belt-related madness.

P.S. How many times can you spot Hugo in these photos?? He was being a real smoochy-bear today and just wanted to hang around me while I took photos. Bless!

Lady Darling



I had a job interview today! While I couldn’t shake off every ounce of my “cutesy” style in my outfit today, I did have to tone it down a bit–I wasn’t applying for a retail job after all. I still tried to keep it very lady-like and true to my style. I pretty much wore this exact outfit except with my black mermaid skirt and a black jacket (minus accessories of course–felt a little bit more “proper”, anyways). I’ve got a few interviews lined up this week which is very exciting business for a freshly-graduated designer trying to find her “home”. Fingers crossed for me!

 

I really adore this outfit. One of my favorite combinations of colours is navy and pastel pink (as you know) and as you’ve probably guessed, I wore my pink bow bag with this outfit, too. (The best bag in the universe, clearly, as I bought three) I would link you to it but it seems to be sold out everywhere I look for it! For the super-desperate, just go through 50 or so pages of “bow handbag” (between $15-20) searching on AliExpress and you’ll be sure to find it somewhere.

Anyways, totally digressing here.

Here’s the rundown:

Pastel Pink Jewel Headband – Forever New, $6

Pink Diamonte Zebra Necklace – AliExpress, $5.20

Flower Studded Pattern Blouse – Temt, $10

Gold Mirror Belt (w/ patent pleather back)eBay, $6.40 (I’m like a magpie with shiny things, yeesh)

Bunny Ring – AliExpress, free (Seller gave it to me as a gift with my Kigurumi order! Stay tuned for that, too..)

Pink Flower Bunch Ring – Lovisa, $3.30 (Close enough–3 for $10)

Navy Skirt – Vintage, mum’s

“Choo-Choo” Pink Patent Pointed PumpsWittner, $65 (Oh what fabulous alliteration!)

Total: $95.90

Yikes, am I cutting it close nowadays! It would have been even closer if I had bought the hairband in Carindale instead of Indooroopilly. Can you imagine that despite being situated in the sale jewelry section at the time, they didn’t want to give me 50% off (as advertised?). They claimed that it wasn’t “technically” jewelry. Pfft. PFFT. PFFFFFFFFFFT. I was quite annoyed because $6 was already more than I wanted to spend on it, despite it being absolutely gorgeous and beautiful. I had to have it–! But, sadly, not for that price. So I left it alone and ventured to Indooroopilly some time the following week.. Found the same hairband at Forever New over there and it scanned the same price as it did at Carindale, except the sales assistant said that it must have been a mistake since it’s clearly jewelry so she put it through at 50% off. Muaha. MUAHAHA  (I actually did an evil laugh while typing that and continued on in a mad frenzy of cackling, but I figured you’d get the jist of it).

I really need a hobby, counting pennies like an old woman is clearly sending me barmy.

Frugal Feeds: Chicken/Veggies

This post is the first of its kind on Carbon Chic! I don’t know if it’ll be the last, it depends on the interest, I suppose. I also just wanted to be able to share the sort of things that I’ve been cooking and eating recently.

I’m a very fussy eater and it’s become quite a burden on my life. It always plagued me how hard I made it for my social life.. and my dating life. Before I go to a restaurant, I always have to check online to see what their menu is and if I can eat anything on it–If there was fancy garnishes or weird sauces, forget about it! Onions? Chilli? Seafood (that’s not out of  a fish and chip shop)? Blerghhhhh. It complicates my life a lot, so I’m hoping to expand my palate by cooking for myself and experimenting with flavors until I can open myself up to something more complex.

Today, I’m going to show fellow fussy eaters (and just lovers of food in general) how to make my mother’s classic chicken and vegetables. Since I’m a novice cook, I’m going to make this super easy for you, too. Whether you’ve cooked one meal, a hundred meals, or burned boiling water before, you’ll know how to make this.

Get your ingredients and equipment prepared. You’ll need a large knife, a peeler and a chopping board. You’ll also need some plastic tongs, but I forgot to include them in this picture here, so just pretend they’re there, next to the carrot. For the first stage of this recipe, you’ll need a carrot, two potatoes, an onion (doesn’t matter what variety, red, brown, anything goes), and a clove of garlic.

You’ll want to peel your carrot and potatoes first. Chop the carrots roughly 1cm thick and the potatoes in rough pieces no bigger than a matchbox or they won’t cook, but not small enough that they fall apart in the pan. Just slice the onions into six or seven circles–it doesn’t really matter. Onions are icky as well so we won’t be eating them. (Unless you like onions, I guess.) Finely chop the garlic or use a garlic crusher or whatever.

We’re going to combine everything in a bowl and separate the onion rings. Now we take out two very important elements to this dish–olive oil and Vegeta. I don’t think it matters what variety of olive oil you use, whether it’s normal, virgin, or extra virgin (or super slutty). Put your large pan on the oven and turn it onto medium heat and add enough oil just to coat the bottom, but not enough so that the vegetables will be broiling in it when you add them, then go back to your bowl and add a dash of olive oil and sprinkle some Vegeta over the vegetables. You kind of have to do this by eye, there’s no exact measurement. Mix the ingredients around by hand or just use the bowl to toss the vegetables around if you’re good at that sort of thing. Add some more Vegeta if you think you need it, toss some more, and then toss into the pan.

Shuffle some stuff around with your tongs, make sure that there’s only one layer of vegetables sitting in the pan and all the potatoes and carrots have contact with the bottom of the pan. I move the onions to the top at this stage because I’ve found they always stick to the pan afterwards if I cook them underneath. At this stage, you’ll want to sprinkle your garlic above everything, put a closed lid on top of the vegetables, and turn the heat down to low. Set the timer for 20 minutes.

While that cooks, you’re going to want to prepare the rest of your vegetables and your chicken. Cut a breast piece lengthwise in two pieces and add some Vegeta on top for flavor. Slice up a few pieces of broccoli and 4 mushrooms. I know a lot of people don’t like mushrooms, but you haven’t tried them the way I make them. I didn’t like mushrooms either, but I’ve found a way to tolerate them quite well and actually enjoy eating them now.

Anyways, when your timer goes off, lift the lid and place your two chicken pieces in the middle of the pan, seasoning side down. Turn some of the potato and carrots if you feel so inclined, and add your broccoli wherever. Put the lid back on and put your timer on for 7 more minutes.

At the 7 minute mark, lift the lid, turn the chicken, turn up the heat a little bit to get a bit of a golden burny colour on your vegetables and a light sear on your chicken, and put the lid back on. At this stage, you’ll want to start making your mushrooms in a small, separate pan. Add some olive oil to the pan and set the stove to medium heat. If you’re not particularly health-conscious, a bit of butter tastes way better than olive oil for cooking mushrooms. As soon as the pan gets hot, throw your mushrooms on and sprinkle Vegeta over them. Just mix them around while you’re waiting for your timer to go off. When it does, everything should be ready! I sometimes turn up the heat at this stage while I’m unloading everything onto my plate because I like the little crispy bits on my potatoes (so I lift them out last), but it’s not necessary, they’re cooked through.

Voila! Dinner for one, for less than you’d pay for a Happy Meal. There’s quite a lot of potatoes here because, as Michael puts it, I eat like a horse, but if you can’t eat this much, you can easily lower the quantities of food.

I hope you enjoyed this rather unusual Carbon Chic post today, and I hope it inspires other fussy eaters  as well! As for my other readers, don’t worry, we’ll be going back to the fashion-related posts in a snap.

Adventure in Suburbia



I’m in love with this outfit! I had only worn the horse blouse a couple of times because it developed a hole in the armpit (HOW, HOWWWWW??) but I had my sewing machine out today, and while the thread was the completely wrong colour, I decided to stitch it up anyways. Nobody is any the wiser..

Why was my sewing machine out? Because I have a chronic problem with buying shorts off the Internet.

I bought these shorts from ASOS months and months ago, but I never had the opportunity to wear them. Apparently, I’m supposed to buy size 8 shorts because of my narrow waist, but whenever I do that, something bad always happens and it turns out I can’t wear them after all because of my ample badonka-donk (Look closely at the below picture. But not too close). So since you can always alter something smaller and letting things out is a huge pain in said badonka-donk, I always buy size 10–just in case.

Sometimes it works out well, for example, the pink lace shorts I’m too lazy to link to that I wore in an ice-cream-themed lookbook post and also a pair of mint Bermuda shorts that make me feel somewhat breathless when I wear them because they’re so ridiculously (and we’re talking like size 6 or something) tight around the waist (I can barely get away with wearing them), but sometimes it doesn’t. It’s taken me a while to alter the huge collection of shorts that I bought that are too big for me, but I’m getting there! These ones were second on my list, and I think I did a good job.

I’m briefly toying with the idea of making a post to show you different methods of altering shorts that may be too big for you, but would anyone except for me really find it of any use? Please tell me if you’d like to see it!



 


 

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the rundown:

Felted Wool Hat – Dotti DFO, $10

Amber Elephant Necklace – Mum’s

Gold Watch – Present from Mikey

Zara (replica) Horse Print Shirt – eBay, $11

Wine and Gold Bangle – Rubi, $2

Brown Leather Belt – Myer, $5 (In a “take a further 75% off reduced items” sale–you know the ones!)

ASOS Belted Shorts With Turn Up (Berry)ASOS, $27 (Using a 20% off code + currency trick)

Sheer Nude Tights – Target, 25c

Low Heel Oxford Shoes – AliExpress, $20 (They gave me a partial refund because they forgot to send the package out until I asked them about it a month after ordering! WTF?!)

Total: $75.25

I paired this outfit with an old canvas backpack I bought from eBay a while ago (not available there anymore, but available on AliExpress for $14–the graphic at the top is a stupid typo, argh!) because I needed something practical to carry groceries in. I was slightly concerned about the state of the bag (pretty poor when you look at it up close–it’s been to hell and back, my friends) and whether it would hold the half a dozen kilograms of vegetables I stuffed into it, but to everyone’s surprised, it actually survived the trip! Can you say P-H-E-W?

A little note about the shoes: They’re actually quite wonderful–so soft and very comfortable to wear! I ordered up to size 40 on their chart (I’m an 8.5, or 39 in regular sizing) and I didn’t do too badly. They’re slightly roomy but I’m not sure if I’d want a tighter fit in a polyurethane shoe. At least you can stretch leather, you’re kind of stuck with plastic shoes. Until I find an affordable pair like these in leather, these will be my go-to brown shoes.

For followers on my Instagram account, you may have noticed that I’ve been putting up some pictures of my dinners. I’ve been cooking for myself and learning to become a responsible adult–I’m doing quite well! Would any of you be interested in reading about some recipes? I’m a horrendously fussy eater, so my knowledge of recipes is quite basic so far, but you never know, my palate may change one day! (I hope)

Daiso Japan

Would you believe that I actually went there with my best friend Ellen on opening day two weeks ago to take photos and be all productive and on top of cheap trends and all that and it’s taken me this long to upload photos?? What kind of blogger am I??

I was really excited about the opening of Daiso Japan. I told Michael, “Daiso Japan is coming to Brisbane! It will be awesome! I will get so many things!” but you know what.. In an attempt to stop being so wasteful with my spending habits (a shopaholic fashion blogger.. how clichéd), I only walked out with one thing. No doubt I will come back later at some point and buy things here and there that I really need and see the value of, but until that time, I’m good with my possessions as they are.

For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, a Japanese convenience store has opened on the top level of the Myer Centre in Brisbane, and people are going nuts over it. Cute things are an easy sell, and Daiso is stuffed with adorable–and everything costs a mere $2.80. Why $2.80? I have no idea!

This store seems best for people who have a color theme going through their house and want everything to be colour coordinated.. There are lots of items in bold, punchy colours such as bright pink, green, blue, orange and yellow. This suited me just fine, having a bright green and bright blue theme going on in my room. I was tempted to buy many things but the only thing I purchased was a bright blue pillow with bright green trim for my dilapidated office chair. It’s seen better days, and to put off buying a new chair altogether, I’m just going to let the pillow do its job of hiding the giant rip in the fabric right on the seat. Don’t ask how it got there, because I don’t know..

Anyways, hold onto your potatoes, because this post, I’ll be going through some of the cool stuff you can buy from Daiso Japan!



 

As stated, everything is $2.80. Everything! Apparently, the staff gets asked how much something is multiple times a day–can you seriously believe that?

Daiso has everything you’d expect a convenience store to have, it even has a few Japanese food products. Bathroom supplies, lotions and potions, cosmetics, homewares, clothing, stationery, tupperware, gardening supplies and cooking utensils–all of these things can be found within these colourful Japanese walls.



 


  


 


 

Isn’t the variety amazing? When me and Ellen went there during the grand opening, the line to the checkouts snaked throughout the entire shop and the store was packed with wild-eyed, purple basket- wielding citizens scrabbling for items and just generally making a mess, and these were the only some of the photos from that day! The rest of the photos are blurred from being constantly knocked into (Have you ever been knocked over the head with a purple plastic basket full of cat figurines? HAVE YOU?) or people stepping in front of the camera, but I would say that this is only about half the range that Daiso currently offers. To see a small sample size of the different things they stock, check out the Daiso Japan (Australia) website.

I have to offer you these few words of advice for newcomers to bargain shops such as these–don’t walk in expecting to buy out the whole store. In the scheme of things, $2.80 isn’t that cheap. For one of many examples, the cotton ear buds for $2.80? You can find these in Aldi or Woolworths for $1. A small pack of pens for $2.80? You can undoubtedly get similar for $1 in Officeworks. This goes for many, many other things in the shop. Four items in your cart is already over $11, and it’s easy to stock up on things you think are cheap, or you think you desperately need, but are really neither of those things. Before you pick anything up to buy, think to yourself–Can I buy this elsewhere for less than this? Do I really need this or do I just want it? Will I use this?

That should do enough to curb any excessive spending you wish to do in Daiso. Cheap is cheap, but if you’re paying a couple of dollars more than you need to spend, that’s another couple of dollars out of your wallet you could have spent on something else, and it’ll add up very quickly once you get caught up in the magic that is Daiso Japan!