Archive for ‘Spendings’

December 15, 2010

What you should spend your money on

Do you have a spare $30?


Then hie thee hence to ClearIT Online, at which these belts (in cream, black or navy blue) are available for $19 + $10 express shipping. I’m pretty sure I paid a hell of a lot more. (Maybe $29 + $10 shipping, but when you have to count every silver cent in the way I do, $10 is an awful lot.)

Thar it be! I have it in navy blue and black, and I want it desperately in cream but, alas, I am terribly broke and it’s either a cream belt (which will probably just be used when I don’t feel like using my other cream belt) or dinner next week, so. Fashion fades but starvation feels eternal.

These belts go with a huge amount of things and I imagine they fit most sizes. A belt is hugely important when you’re mixing and matching unpredictable colours and patterns — they’re the transition item that marks the change, without necessarily drawing a flat boundary.  The grey in your outfit of black and white that suggests a movement between pieces rather than just a lot of unrelated layers. I don’t know what I’d do without mine.

If you’re quite petite, the ties might be a tad too long but I can show you a tricksy way to wrap the belt around your waist so that it fits. (Leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you.)

Just for the record, I’m not affiliated with ClearIT Online, Factory X or Alannah Hill (though I certainly wouldn’t mind a job offer…), just the usual happy customer/big fan who wants to share the love and little hearts.

And this belt has it, times three.

November 20, 2010

There be dragons in that castle!

I’ve decided that Lazy Days are balanced out by Seriously Hectic Days. Today was meant to be a stroll in the park: an early visit to the Philippino Lantern Festival in Parramatta, and (perhaps) home to gobble all the food we brought. Indeed, the only hiccup seemed to be the fact that Valerie intended to go out in her pyjamas (a shirt with pictures of sheep). This exchange happened over chat this morning:

maybe you shouldn’t?
Valerie: I SAID I WOULD DO IT AND I’M ALREADY WEARING IT XD. Because i wore it to bed ^^
Andrea: LOL
Do you want to?
(Better question: why do you want to?)
Valerie: Yes
I do
wearing it now ^^
have an outfit of sorts
Andrea: you nutter
Valerie: they’re pyjamas? XD
Andrea: I can’t believe you’re trying to explain it to me.
Valerie: But I dont’ think they look as pyjama-y as my other pyjamas
which aren’t even fun looking. Also, i don’t have any other shirts like it XD
Andrea: yeah, you don’t. Because they’re pyjamas. No one makes shirts to look like pyjamas.

To be fair, when she arrived this morning, she looked rather cute. I unfortunately didn’t get a picture, but I’ll get one soon. Brown-khaki pants with brown knee-high boots, the sheep shirt (which is quite loose-fitting, has thick brown and white vertical stripes, with a sheep at the hem on the right and another near the neckline on the left), a brown hat and a black little square scarf around her neck. This is what I was wearing:

The skirt is a cheapie from Hong Kong; the argyle vest and cream blouse are from Valleygirl (bought a good four years ago and still looking pristine! Handwash all your cheap thrills and they’ll last a good while yet); the leather blazer is from BCBG Max Azria and is one of my favourite jackets, bar none. It was a bit hot for today’s weather but I thought I’d wear it out before it got too unbearably hot to wear again.

My accessories: Twitter stockings, which I’ve shared before, from Etsy; champagne pearl necklace; champagne pearl earrings; my beloved Sretsis glass bird ring; red hair bow.

So, even though Valerie was wearing her pyjama top, I suppose we didn’t cut too bad a figure.

Unfortunately, we left the festival almost as soon as we came. Valerie seemed to have an allergic reaction to something she ate and felt rather nauseated. (The poor thing hasn’t had an allergic reaction to anything before, and nausea is something quite rare for her.) It ended rather messily (won’t go into the details!) with me rushing up four shopping centre levels in search of antihistamines — I’m not familiar with Parramatta Westfield and the place is huge when you’re looking for something very ordinary! We went home after Valerie’s nausea passed and she felt well enough to move.

Let it be known now that if you are a worrier, a fretter, a mother hen of sorts to sick people, Valerie is not your ideal patient. After seeing her looking pale, flushed and dazed, I was quite understandably rather worried about her state of health after the episode had passed. I was quite content to tuck her in bed and simply sit at home all day. But Valerie wasn’t.

Two cups of tea later, she piped up, ‘let’s go to Top Ryde City!’

‘Why?’ said I.

‘Because we haven’t been there yet!’

(I still don’t know why ‘because we haven’t been there yet!’ is a reason to go to a shopping centre. Shopping centres are, by and large, all the same. Myer and David Jones may be on one side in Shopping Centre A and on opposite sides in Shopping Centre B, but this does not erase the fact that Myer and DJs are in both shopping centres and will more than likely have similar things.)

So off to Top Ryde City we went.

It was, like many shopping centres… like many shopping centres. I don’t think there’s much more to say about that, besides that it is brand new and the travelators are still bafflingly clean.

And like many shopping centres, it had Aldi, which is the usual grocery store to normal people but a haven of undiscovered treasures for Valerie. The girl collects Aldi catalogues as though they’re vintage baseball cards in mint condition.

I’ll concede Aldi has some weird and wonderful things at especially wonderful prices. Their Halloween fairy floss goes unrivalled and as someone who eats the stuff on a regular basis, this means that it is really awfully good. They had a fog machine for $40, which was so terribly tempting but let’s face it, what would I do with a fog machine?

This week, they have wooden building blocks for $15. Stuff of childhood, for $15! Nostalgia doesn’t get any cheaper!

With a bucket of blocks in our hot little hands, we scurried home to Bring Our Imaginations to Life.

First, we made a train. It was going to be a car, but it became a train. Such feats of engineering can only be accomplished with brightly coloured blocks, y’know.

Our brilliance led us on to more ambitious dreams: an aeroplane.

A picture tells a thousand words but this one is quite reticent. It just says: it failed miserably.

I’m not really sure where the aeroplane ends and the ‘just pile the blocks on!’ begins.

Eventually, it became a dragon:



If you think it looks innocuous, you are sorely mistaken. Any dragon that can BREATHE FIRE (and all dragons can) while being made of something that catches on fire at the drop of a hat, and yet not die, is seriously a force of immense and awesome power.

So awesome, indeed, that it invaded and took over this castle:

This elegant architecture-designed castle sits on an expanse of land not the size of a postage stamp but, rather, a reasonably sized ‘you have a parcel waiting at the post office’ card — a great beginning lot for a first-castle buyer or a good investment for those looking to break into the retail block market. This castle boasts views of the rolling green hills on the right and a busy bubbling blue stream-cum-moat, with a sturdy yellow-block bridge. Castle does come with dragon, so be prepared.

The lucky inhabitants of the castle will be able to live a pseudo self-sufficient life, as they will be able to seize all their foodstuffs from the neighbouring farm:

Our idyllic farm

And when you’re sick of hearty, homecooked food, you can dine at the Generic Conglomerate of Asian Food restaurant, which is designed to look suitably ‘oriental’ without being anything at all:

The restaurant is flanked by the Twin Pillars of General Exotic Mysticism and has an Inverted Triangle of Balance for some extra pizzazz.

Good, huh. You know you want it. Go go go to Aldi and make your own wonderful lands of wonder, all for $15. You won’t regret it.

November 13, 2010

Feathering the nest

I suspect this is one of my final years with a completely disposable income. Next year, I’ll (hopefully) be on a PhD scholarship — which does mean more money than I usually get, but it also comes with quite a few expenses, which I haven’t yet tallied up. I’ve been trying to save here and there but, quite frankly, I suck at saving. The thought of having less money drives me to stock up my wardrobe and my other non-essential collections (ink, pens and notebooks XD). I’ve been pretty good since the beginning of November (which I’ve just realised was really only last week. Um.) and then my pre-ordered Sretsis bird ring arrived.



Yaaaaaaay ^^! I like it a great deal. It sits on my finger and tells me sparkly stories so that I don’t have to listen in class. It’s almost better than Facebook. This is the tiny version, but I’m tempted to get the bigger one, and another one in the blue/pink colourway.

I tried to capture the amazing detail in this photo, but failed spectacularly. A photographer I am not! It’s made from multiple tiny glass beads fused together — terribly fiddly work, I imagine. There’s also a gleam of red at the under the beak, like the pink blush that birds have at their breast and throat.  I love little details like that. (Really wish I could get a good photo of it. May try later.)


I’m tempted to say, ‘I’ll be wearing it with floaty dresses and lovely scarves’ but really, I have no restraint AND I WILL BE WEARING IT WITH EVERYTHING BOOYEAH.

What I do need to work out is what nail polish to pair it with. The Sretsis lookbook models are wearing pale pink polish, which I love but I have yet to find a neutral pink that suits my skintone (NC30, if anyone has any suggestions). I’ve got it with Ulta3’s Wild Berry at the moment, which is a dusty blue-grey — nice,  but it doesn’t highlight the light bouncing off the beads as well as pink could.


Purchased at

November 6, 2010

Dentistry dramas

I was going to have ice cream for breakfast today, but I have an appointment with my dentist at noon and I can’t help but think that she will be able to detect minuscule traces of ice cream in my mouth and then I will get in trouble.

This seems to be a bit of a theme, doesn’t it; this fear of getting into trouble? Probably because I do things that I know I shouldn’t do (like eating ice cream for breakfast or going to bed past midnight and waking up at 6am) and then someone inevitably finds out and I get a talking-to. Not really a talking-to, more like a ‘you shouldn’t really do that’, but I don’t like it when people tell me what to do, even if they’re right. It’s a terrible fault and I will fix it one day, so long as you avoid telling me to fix it.

Because let’s face it: ice cream at any time is brilliant, even if it’s bad for you. In fact, knowing it’s terrible for you makes eating it at breakfast even better. Hedonism at its student budget best.

I’d take a photo of what I’m wearing, but I’m half dressed, ungroomed and sporting fluffy pink bed socks. I may con Valerie into taking a photo this afternoon, if I see her after seeing the dentist. Here’s a stock photo of the stockings I’m wearing, though:

They’re Twitter stalkings (geddit? Ahahaha… no, okay, lame), and probably one of my favourite pairs. They’re from post on etsy — amazing range of ‘tattoo stockings’ for quite a good price. I think these cost me about US$25, including shipping. I’m going to buy some backup pairs when my finances permit (I’m the Jack the Ripper of hosiery) because I can see myself wearing these rather often.