Saturday, January 31, 2015

Aussie Curves - Active Wear

Hi, I'm Michelle, and I'm a couch olympian.
My favourite sports are internet browsing and channel surfing. I abhor summer, and I used to not like any activity that includes a lot of sweating. I think this was partly because I lived in a humid tropical country for most of my life, though. As I find it very enjoyable to walk here - but still not during summer.
If I were to wear the outfits I wear while engaging in my favourite "sports", I'd be wearing a singlet and shorts shorts with my legs up in my IKEA table while typing away, or watching my current BBC flavour of the month, Stella. I have a deep love for British TV series and documentaries.
I can sit in the couch the whole day watching mostly British TV - and no, I'm not depressed, the registration for healthcare professionals just really takes a looooooong time.
I watch Stella on Stan, Australia's answer to Netflix. We got the free one-month trial, and so far, it's been awesome.
So for this week's Active Wear challenge, it's not a surprise that I did not really have much of a choice.
I have a grand total of two sets of Active Wear. Three, if I count the set that I can't wear anymore because it's too big. The other set is cuter (pink and purple), but it's one of those thin Adidas breathable shirts and leggings set that's only really comfortable when the weather is hot - it's currently 16C in Melbourne.
Heres's the set I wore today:

Sideview to show you details of my shoes (and my huge arms)

Hoodie and sunnies from H&M, jogging pants and running shoes from Adidas. Under the hoodie, I was wearing a white padded singlet from Valley Girl. Location: Melbourne Emporium second floor toilet.
I bought the pants from Marshalls, a US discount shop back in 2007. It's in a size US14 - my size back then. It's big for me now, but I can still wear it because of the drawstring. It has a matching top, but I left that back home. It's very comfortable, and obviously lasts ages. Granted, I wear this maybe 5x/year tops, but it's still in great condition after seven years.
The running shoes were purchased on a discount from my friend who ordered the wrong size from Japan, 3 or 4 years ago.
The hoodie was part of the recent H&M Boxing Day sale - I got it for $5. It's from their Conscious - Sustainable Style line. Size says Medium, and looking at it, I really did not think it will fit but I bought it anyway thinking if it does not fit, I will just give it to my mom. It fits snugly, and shows my back fat/backwings, but I don't really care - they're part of who I am. For $5, I should have bought the other one.
Hopefully, if the weather continues to be this nice, I will get to invest in more sets of sturdy (and cute!) Active Wear because I plan to do regular brisk walking as my exercise. I am fortunate to live very near the Royal Park. It would be such a waste not to put it into good use. Also, this will be in line with my "Less Internet, More World" goal this year (aside from Frugal 2015 - I've since bought some pairs of shoes since I made that pronouncement, but hey, I'm allowed to buy basics - and Doc Martens are basics, right? Especially on discount.")
Here's to a happy and healthy 2015! <3 data-blogger-escaped-p="">

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Here They Come, The Beautiful Ones - A Photobomb (Heidi Klum in Melbourne Part II)

Ok, so I knew that I was a part of a selfie but I did not know the owners of the camera used. Well, actually, more like I photobombed a selfie - I saw myself in the camera when it was being taken.
I had a strong feeling it was going to be posted in Instagram so I've basically been waiting and checking #HeidiAtMyer since yesterday. Heidi posted a picture and I saw my hair, the video with my hair/backpack at 1:25, but not the picture I was waiting for.
Today, when I clicked the #HeidiAtMyer hashtag I saw Heidi's selfie with two asian girls and I immediately recognised them to be the owners of the cellphone used.
Lo and behold - there I was! Well, ok, my lips, hands, parka, and nose, but still!

So I left an IG message to Lyena_FHL and asked if I could get a copy of the original picture and gave her my email address. Lyena immediately responded and emailed the pictures to me.
So I was minding my own business while they were taking a selfie...

But then I looked up and was surprised to see myself in the phone's screen

Thank you very much, Lyena_fhl!

And again - Auf Wiedersehen!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Here They Come, The Beautiful Ones (Heidi Klum in Melbourne)

WARNING: Picture-heavy post. Mostly Heidi Klum's, though, don't worry.
So Heidi went to Melby today.
I was there in the crowd, at 1:25. You can see my black hair, a little bit of my sunnies, my military green hooded parka and light blue backpack.
I don't really follow supermodels' careers, so before I became aware of the wonder that is Robyn Lawley, I only have one favourite supermodel - and that was because of Project Runway.
I was a huge fan of the early seasons of the show, and I was ecstatic when I randomly chanced upon Season 1 Winner Jay McCarrol in the now defunct lesbian bar in Philly one Winter night back in 2008.
Why I was in a lesbian bar with my proudly bisexual model friend Kevin is a story for another time. Ah Winter 2008 - too many memories.
So I found out that Heidi is coming to Melbourne through the Myer Instagram page. They were running a contest - I didn't win. But it's ok, I still got to see Heidi in flesh.
I arrived at 12:10pm, 20 minutes before she was supposed to arrive. A thick crowd was already in position outside Myer.

I accepted my fate and stood at the back, just hoping to at least get a glimpse of Heidi. Suddenly, the security created a barricade to serve as Heidi's walkway - in front of me.

There's my Dr Martens waiting for Heidi to arrive.
Then at 12:40pm, this happened...

Conversation behind me:
Boy: There's Heidi!
Girl: *sarcastic tone* Yeah, she's gonna arrive in a tram....
Tram opens.

Well hello, Heidi.
I sent this picture to my (another) proudly gay friend, and he replied, "I don't care about Heidi, take a closer picture of the guy's muscles!"

Yes, I was that close.
I could have grabbed her golden hair, but I am not (yet) a crazy stalker fan. :P

Heidi with the girl who won the Instagram contest.
My battlegear:

Parka from H&M. Black top from Emerson at Big W (I have multiple pieces). Random black belt. Tie-dye jeggings from Forever 21. 1460 Nappa Boots from Dr. Martens. Taken in Emporium Melbourne ladies toilet.
After the event, I went to H&M to return something, but ended up with another something - story of my life:

Accidentally discovered the secret to looking thin in pictures - take it this way! Of course, that shot made my hands looked really huge in comparison, but small price to pay. ;-)
My second to the last stop (last was Coles) before heading home:

Dr. Martens 8065 Mary Janes.
Even my legs looked giddy. ♥♥♥
In the words of Heidi Klum, Auf Wiedersehen!
By the way, Heidi was in Melbourne to launch her underwear line, Heidi Klum Intimates. I almost forgot to mention this!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Oh My Dreams, It's Never Quite As It Seems

I used to cringe at this word, lemming. It was used in the movie Never Been Kissed by Aldys, the character played by Leelee Sobieski, in reference to high school kids who had not originally and who did what they were told. I just didn't like the sound of that word.
Another definition of lemming which started in the late '90s is, in the words of Urban Dictionary, "a purchase/wished-for-item which results from reading an enthusiastic post about a new fabulous product. Overcome by compulsion, readers follow like lemmings diving off a cliff."
So this is my lemming list for the week. Just because I want to annoy myself.

ASOS Curve Top with Hoes Before Bros Print
Not to wear outside, but for lounging around the house this will be perfect!

Forever New Pria Belted Full Skirt Coat
Incredibly pretty, but I need another coat like I need a hole in my head.

Forever New Tammy Parka. It comes in stone, too.
Full disclosure: I have the Tammy in navy. I know, I know, FRUGAL 2015, but I had store credit, and a 15% off new season purchase voucher.

Dotti Red Check Frill Hem Dress
What's worse than a sleeveless dress? A cap-sleeved one! I mean, yeah, that helps me hide my arms. *rolls eyes* But the peter pan collar and the plaid haunt me. I'm a sucker for anything tartan.

Dr. Martens 1461 Classic Oxford Black
I don't have oxford Dr. Martens. This is $128 down from $170. Yes? Please say yes.

Dr. Martens Yellow Vintage Daisy. Image from Schuh.
This one I might get if the price goes down further. Or do I get it now? It's on sale for $198 from $250. I have the Mini Tydee, and right now, it does not get the love that it deserves. Maybe one pair of floral boots is enough. #Frugal2015

ASOS Curve Exclusive Swim Dress in Grafitti Heart Print
This looks like a regular dress! I love the heart print! So annoyingly cheesy. ♥♥♥

Friday, January 23, 2015

Kebabs, Cheesecake, and Aussie Curves : Clashing Patterns

For this week's Aussie Curves, I was supposed to wear

A striped Dotti top, floral Valley Girl skirt, Chuck Taylors and a beat-up Jansport backpack.
But then I decided against going to the library yesterday because of headache and ended up wearing another pattern-clashing outfit at home

Striped singlet and shorts with geisha print from Target.
Today is the start of the long weekend, and I have The Guru all to myself. I had a clear agenda in mind: Mediterranean Wholesalers.
Melbourne is amazingly beautiful, but if I were to choose one place that I consider dearest to my heart, it will have to be this. Or maybe Queen Victoria Market, non-peak tourist season. But this is a close, close second. I can spend hours just browsing! I always end up buying the same things, though - jars of anchovies (because The Guru really likes his caesar salad), olives, pizza sauce (0.99/can!), tomato puree, sopressa salami , dried herbs, gnocchi, capers, olives, artichokes, and my favourite snack, gherkins.
Yes, I eat gherkins for snack. And sometimes jarred artichokes. I'm weird like that.
Today though, we had another plan: the coffee shop. I have been craving for cheesecake the past few days, and I read that the best cheesecakes in Melbourne can be found in the suburbs with a strong Italian community. To stave off my craving, I had the brilliant (I think so!) idea of melting a block of Philly cream cheese and mixing with strawberry Jelly Lite melted in water and chilled for several hours. It turned out yummy - even The Guru said so. So yummy I should not make it regularly as a block of cream cheese every few days won't really do our expanding waistlines a favour.
But I digress.
So because the store closes at 2PM, and it was already past 12PM, we decided to go there first. In the words of one of my favourite bloggers from back home, dessert comes first - especially when they look like these:

Yummy baked goods, and inexpensive too! But we had a mission:

Baked berry cheesecake, Ricotta nutella tart, flat white (mine) and Espresso (The Guru's)

I've had better coffee (Market Lane ruined all other flat whites for me), the tart was nice, but what made my heart sing was the baked berry cheesecake. It was everything I dreamt of - and more. The only flaw I could think of was that it came in a small-ish (relative to my intense craving) slice. :P
Of course, we remedied the situation by taking away another slice. Plus a slice of baked lemon cheesecake. Sssssh....The Guru ambitiously announced that he would make the cheesecakes last two days - in an attempt to assuage his guilt.
Of course, I just rolled my eyes at him.
After getting our Italian staples (now that I think of it, we don't even have Filipino staples - went to a Filipino store a grand total of ONCE in almost a year of living here!) we proceeded to (still) our favourite kebab place.
We first heard of Town Hall kebab when The Anthony Bourdain featured it in No Reservations. We've been back three times since. We tried another kebab place (can you tell we like kebabs?) last week, but it was just ok. Another place in the area we like is Tibas, where we had glorious lamb chops and where we were served pita bread to last us a year. :P

Our chicken kebab and lamb kebab, and a close up of my lamb kebab. Still yummy and huge - and that's never a problem with us!
While eating, we also saw a blond kid who looked like he could someday follow the footsteps of the gorgeous Hemsworth brothers. I should have asked for his contact number and applied to be his Hollywood agent! Hey, there is a dearth of good-looking blonde kids in Hollywood today - instant ka-ching/career change!
The happy fat kids on our way home

And oh, for this week's Aussie Curves Pattern Clash, I changed into a cropped floral scuba top from Kmart which I got on sale for around $3 and retained the jeans and sandals.

Scuba floral top from Kmart, bold cloud wash jeans from Forever 21 , animal-print sandals from Portmans. Oh, and watermelon headband from Kmart! How's that for four prints in one?

Not in picture but could have been fifth: printed shopping bag from Topshop used as tote.

Happy Australia day, mates!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Flat Lay Friday

Cardi and striped halter top from Valley Girl. Jeans from American Eagle Outfitters. Herschel Market Tote XL from Glue. Sandals from Payless Shoes. Sorry for the blurred photo! We were rushing due to an 8:40am ophtha appointment. :)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Dream Dress

I saw this dress somewhere - I can't remember which site. Maybe Ozsale but I'm not sure. And it was sold out.
I still can't forget it.

The cut, the print, the's VERY ME.
If you see this on sale somewhere, please, please, please do give me a heads up.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

I'm a ShoeWhore - hopefully not a TLDR post

You know how they say a girl is either a bag hag or a shoe whore, right?

I am, without an iota of doubt, a shoe whore.

Sometimes I'll have a passing fancy for a certain type of bag (like my satchel obsession - I used my red satchel a grand total of three times until I retired it to gather dust - it was pretty to look at but didn't hold all of my things; or my Longchamp Le Pliage bags) but usually I'd be content with one bag I'd use for several months until it breaks down. Right now, I use my Herschel market tote (shopping or if I need to return an item), the ubiquitous Dangerfield sling bag you always see in my OOTDs (running errands/grocery/market), and my beat-up eight-year old Jansport backpack (for the library).

But my fascination for shoes overshadows bags by leaps and bounds.

I was deprived of shoes growing up - I have size 10 feet in a land where women wore 6s and 7s (and weigh 100 to 120 pounds, but that's another story). There were not that many options for "freaks" like me, so I grew up wearing my school shoes everywhere. Big, clunky Gregg shoes. Those shoes you could throw against the wall repeatedly or run them over by a truck and would still survive the trauma - unscathed.

Imagine my delight when foreign brands carrying extended sizes started coming to the country - finally, shoes that fit me! Pretty shoes that did not look like they belong in construction sites! Dainty (well, as dainty as a size AU9/US10 can look) ballet flats with little bows!

I remember the first ever pair of shoes I seriously lusted after, and begged my parents to buy: 14-hole Doc Martens. It was the mid '90s (yes, I'm that old), and I was an angsty teenager who really did not have anything to be angsty about. I wore black band shirts (which I filched from my kuya - older brother), wanted multiple ear piercings (which I eventually got in uni), and listened to angry music. Naturally, I wanted Docs - hard.

My mom eventually caved and bought me a pair, but to this day, I still am not sure if my first pair was the real deal. Quite frankly, I'd be surprised if they were - there were no official Dr. Martens store back home that time. Then again, she bought it in a store in Angeles City, where most imported goods could be found.

I guess I will never solve the mystery of the authenticity of my first Docs. All I know is I took care of them like they were my offspring and treasured them like my life depended on them.
And I wore them to my senior prom.

My entire high school batch probably thought I was a douchebag - an overweight, towering (I was 5'6", everyone else was under 5'3") awkward teenager with long wavy unruly hair, in a black shapeless dress, wearing lace-up boots - when everyone else was dressed up quite glamorously. (Prom was kind of a big thing in my high school - the order of business was to blend in.)

If my little hick Philippine town were a person, he would have had a heart attack right there and then.
Never mind that the rest of the seniors were garbed in pretty cocktail dresses and heels - in my mind, I looked cool. Ah, to be young and oblivious.

Fast forward 2015, and I am living in the most livable city in the world. When I moved here, I brought maybe 15 pairs of shoes - a black pair of heels, the nude sandals I was wearing during the flight, grey Steve Madden hilights, a pair of Adidas sneakers, my one and only pair of Yosi Samra flats, and the rest were my Payless Claire crunch flats - they feel like you're walking on clouds, I kid you not. I left most of my clothes, but I couldn't bear the thought of leaving my favourite shoes. I still have around 40 pairs back home, waiting for me to return to visit.

I was fine until Fall came (we moved February). Suddenly, I wanted boots. And not just any pair - I wanted Doc Martens. It was like an old love resurfaced, and made me feel things I have never felt in a long time - I obsessed over it, thought about it over and over, looked for sales, tried to convince myself I didn't need it (I bought cheapie boots from Payless supposedly to tide me over), but eventually, like any great love story, gave in.

Not in picture: 1914 14-holes and Pascal 1940s. which I bought on sale. Actually, I purchased most of my Doc Martens on sale in the Glue clearance outlet.

So you see, I didn't just fall - I plummeted. Hook, line, and sinker.

I wore those babies all throughout Winter - especially the first pair, the black 1460 Nappa. It took a while for me to decide between Nappa and Smooth leather, but eventually went for the Nappa because the leather was softer, therefore, not so painful to break in. Truth be told, though, sometimes I still dream of the Smooth - maybe get a pair this Winter?

Summer came, and my Docs literally became too hot to wear. I needed lightweight sandals I can use while waiting for weather to cool down and I can be reunited with my babies. But I was too cheap to buy sandals I don't love full price. So I lived in my Forever New Thump Footbed sandals - you're probably sick of seeing them in my outfit posts by now. I wore them to death, day in, day out. They're so beat up the sole started splitting already and I just tried to resuscitate them using shoe glue.
But there was still no way I was going to buy shoes I don't love full-price. And we all know how expensive shoes can be, right?

Thankfully, Boxing Day sale came...which I initially ignored. But then the sale got extended.

And extended.

And extended.

It was like the sale wouldn't stop until it's done bleeding us dry.

So I got to buy these:

Grace Double Strap Sandals from Portmans. Bought them for $13/each, now they're down further to $9.95!

Rihanna sandals from Portmans. Bought for $21/pair. Now magically up to $29/pair.
And these ones I mildly obsessed on, but didn't love enough to purchase full-price:

Chunk sandals from Windsor Smith, bought 40% off. I actually returned the white pair and had it exchanged for another pair because the leather was already peeling - quality control issues? Plus, the staff who attended to my concern in the Bourke St store was not accommodating. Probably she was tired from the sale chaos, but hey, come on - it wasn't a favour she was doing me by agreeing to exchange - it was an inconvenience for me, the customer, to have to go back to exchange a defective product.

Alright, /rant off.

I guess you could say I went overboard (read: hoarded), but I really did not have footwear fit for this hot Melbourne summer days (especially when it goes up to 42C, OMG!)

Deep in my heart, I know I want this. But I am waiting for the price to go down further.

2015 is the year of me being frugal, remember?


TLDR stands for Too Long Didn't Read, a popular acronym. I just seem to be extra chatty these days.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Myer Dressing Room Adventures + Dorkiest Picture Ever...Or So Far!

So one of my goals this 2015 is to be frugal - that means no shopping unless necessary! Good thing Valley Girl Emporium's 50% sale off everything promo is finished! I bought heaps of plain singlets in different colours, padded singlets, and coverups last month! While I don't really think their flimsy stuff are worth it if I have to purchase them full-priced (the quality of the items reminds me too much of 168 Mall stuff, which I could get back home dirt-cheap), but at 50% off, sure, bring it.

I am holding my favourite Valley Girl find - a striped top with sunflower design for $9.99! The fabric is thick (yay!) but the design is not digitally printed and looks like it will fade after a few washes. So what did I do? I bought back-ups! I know, I am weird. But when I find something I like, and I can afford to (well, in this case, it's not even $10), I buy a back-up.
Jacket and sandals from Forever New, AU14. Skirt from French Connection, AU14, op-shopped for around $13 (pretty much the most expensive item I ever bought from an op shop), plain black shirt from Big W, headband from Colette Hayman.
But I digress.
Yesterday, on my way to the library, I passed by Myer. Now Myer is not among my favourite stores - I think their prices are too steep. The few times I bought from them, they were usually discounted items which I ended up returning - awesome 30-day return policy, by the way. I think I only kept one - a heavy lined Winter short skirt from Piper which was so heavily discounted (I think I got it for $15, down from $100+) I couldn't walk away from it. Plus, I fit into a size AU12, when at that time, I was probably AU16! Yes, size is just a number, but sometimes, it makes a girl feel good. Suffice it to say that the people who invented vanity sizing is sheer genius.
The clearance rack - so conveniently placed near the Myer-Melbourne walkway caught my eye. Especially this dress from Cooper St, which was reduced from $159 + take 30% further and came down to....$59.
This is called the Never Stop Skater Dress from Cooper St.
A closer look at the floral print - and my massive arms! Don't worry, I plan to wear a coverup with this dress. :P

So I debated with myself (like always) whether or not to buy it.
Pros: I like the fit-and-flare skater style. I think that flatters me. Halter neck is fine, since I'm going to be wearing a jacket or a cardigan. Huge discount.
Cons: It's floral - I normally don't like floral. It's in a size AU10/US6 - by no stretch of imagination (and fabric) can I be a size AU10! Eventhough the fabric is stretchy, I still couldn't zip it up. But goal dress, maybe?
So what did I end up doing?
Well, I took it home, figured I have a month to decide (and then check if I can finally fit into it!), and then just return if it still won't fit after a month. Yay for Myer's 30 day return policy!
By the way, I know I'm always in awe at how easy it is to return a product due to Change of Mind here in Australia. Back home, the item could be damaged, and you'd still get dagger looks if you try to return or exchange it!

Here's another dress I tried, but didn't like because it made me look all sorts of weird (droopy flat boobs - an oxymoron, really; wrong length; weird neck cut)

I've always wanted to try Hi There by Karen Walker because of the fun, feminine yet quirky style but I can't afford it. Now that I can probably afford one (after heavy discounts!) it made me look like I was in a house dress. :P Oh well, maybe someday. ♥
Here's what I wore - it was a cold Melbourne day. A welcome respite from this heatwave we've been having (42C, seriously?!)

Striped long sleeved top from Bossini HK. Jeans from American Eagle Outfitters. Sandals from Forever New.

Oh, and as promised, the dorkiest picture so far:
I wanted to show my friend how the jeans I bought from the recent Mango sale look like ($40/pair all jeans!) and I did not have a full-length mirror, so I stood in a foot stool so my reflection could reach the bathroom mirror. :P Can you see me?

Closer look:

Long post - once upon a time, an American boy told me I can talk for Asia - I think he was right. :P

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Aussie Curves - Airport....and Penguins!

For this week's Aussie Curves challenge, the theme is: airport.

When I hear of airport, the first thing that comes to mind is comfort - an outfit I can move in. Breathable soft fabric. Warm non-bulky jacket (depends on the destination, of course). Footwear I can put on-and-off in a jiffy. Bag that can free up my hands. Fabric headband to control my usually unruly hair.

Comfort over fashion is the name of the game.

Here's my interpretation of this week's Aussie Curves theme airport outfit - with my very obvious holiday weight gain (puffy cheeks, yo!)

Jogging Trouser from Mango, size L, Denim Stretch Jacket from Uniqlo, size M, random black singlet, H&M sunglasses, Dangerfield sling bag, and Thump Footbed Sandals from Forever New.
I've flown several times in the past, and each time, I wore different permutations of this outfit - distressed skinny jeans instead of the jogging trouser, my uni jacket instead of denim, plain black shirt instead of singlet, etc. but essentially the same formula. Basic functional pieces sans fuss.
Because I'm not flying anytime soon, I wore this outfit last December 26, Boxing Day. Instead of fighting tooth and nail with what seemed to be the whole population of Melbourne last Boxing Day, we decided to just go to St. Kilda to see penguins.

But before that, we had dinner.

Arepas with chicken and avocado ♥

Ala baja tacos ♥

Broschetas de lomo ♥♥♥

Mojigato (mock/alcohol-free mojito) ♥

And then on our way to the breakwater, we passed by this shop

So, so apt. :p

We finally reached our destination.

Background: Melbourne CBD, St Kilda Pier and Breakwater.

And saw this penguin that really, really liked the crowd's attention - unlike the other penguins which hid under the rocks, he was strutting his stuff the whole time we were there! ♡♡♡

Before leaving, The Guru had a hankering for something from home.

Happy 2015, everyone! Here's to 365 amazing days of fun, love, happiness, and fabulous outfits! ♥♥♥