Friday, October 13, 2017

༺ A Tropical Garden: Thoughts on Invisible Illness ༻

Tropical retro style for summer and travel | Lavnder & TwillTropical retro style for summer and travel | Lavnder & TwillSimple, casual vintage fashion | Lavnder & TwillTropical flora in Thaiand | Lavender & TwillTropical retro style for summer and travel | Lavnder & TwillSimple, casual vintage fashion | Lavnder & TwillTropical flora in Thaiand | Lavender & TwillErstwilder Pink Lemonade Brooch | Lavender & TwillTropical flora in Thaiand | Lavender & TwillRetro floral print for summer | Lavender & TwillSimple, casual vintage fashion | Lavnder & Twill

We went out this weekend and had a lovely time at the movies, {we saw Ninjago: A Lego Movie}. We don’t get to visit the cinema much unless it’s a family friendly feature ~ would you believe we left all our babysitters behind in Australia? Haha…

As luck would have it, a parcel had arrived on my doorstep the morning before, so I got to pick a new dress to wear! I really love this one with cheerful flowers, and it went perfectly with a simple scarf and my Erstwilder Pink Lemonade brooch.

We arrived home from the shopping mall just in time for me to drive to the park that’s in our Moo Baan and snap some quick photos before the light completely disappeared. The ground was so soggy, my platforms just about sunk in the mud all the way over the top of my shoes!  (○ _ ○)

It has been raining a lot recently, they don’t call it the rainy season for nothing. I don’t mind it all. It means I can stay inside.

Admittedly, things have taken a turn for the worse regarding my health. It’s like the last of the strength I had gained on my supplements has finally depleted, and my body has checked out.

You can see it in my acne troubled skin, my extremely puffy face and body {guess who’s back, dun-da, back again – dun-da, bloating’s back – dun-da, it’s bought a friend – aching tum-my!}, and in my belly which, due to insane levels of inflammation -no joke-  looks like I’m six months pregnant most days…

Am I exaggerating?

Sadly, no…

I think I’ve been asked at least three times when my baby is due over the last few months, and the other day an older Thai lady said in rather broken English that I looked “extremely pregnant” and that I was about to have baby number four any day! Colour me mortified. I think I flushed redder than my lipstick.

There’s nothing worse than trying to explain to someone who doesn’t really speak or understand English, that no – you are not fat, or pregnant. Just really, really, really ill. Even though you are somehow standing {swaying sometimes, when it’s really bad} on your feet, not looking completely like something the cat coughed up thanks to the modern miracle of makeup and a pretty dress.

Honestly, it’s amazing what a dress does to your look. Even without the makeup, or my hair done, I’m immediately way more presentable if I wear a dress. It’s an instant glamourous transformation, though it doesn’t help you to be any less ill.  Which is an important point that I was discussing that the other day with my friend on Facebook.

It’s interesting to me how there’s this perception in society that in order to be ill, you need to LOOK ill ~ literally, you can feel like you are dying bit by bit each day, but it doesn’t count unless you LOOK like you are on death’s bed to society… Which I can only imagine is a look something like a cross between what the cat coughed up and a zombie?? I guess? *shrug*

Anyway, unless you LOOK like you are ill, CLEARLY you aren’t. Somehow. Like, somehow everything worth judging a person by is only visible on the outside…. and if you are chronically ill, clearly it should be flashing like a neon light on your forehead… And if it’s not, maybe you are just imagining it all in your mind, and you should stop being so lazy and just get up and get on with it…. Right?


Needless to say, this kind of guilt is an extra burden that is really difficult to cope with when you have a chronic illness. It’s hard enough to believe what your own body is telling you at times, let alone having to convince everyone around you that you are literally too tired to get out of bed, and no, you are not just being lazy. I think that’s why a lot of people with these invisible illnesses don’t say anything, they just keep quite and suffer alone.

It’s too hard to explain, when we most often don’t understand it ourselves.


That got intense.

Where was I? Oh, dresses!

Man, speaking of ~ chronic illness brain fog has set in so hard I can barely remember what day it is, let alone anything important ~ like oh, food. Or moving. Or how to English, coz bad I does it…

But pretty dresses save the day again, and help me to feel a least a tiny bit better, even on the days when I find it hard to smile. {Seriously, it’s too much effort. I’m too tired to smile…}

And if you are struggling for words to explain what you are going through; I have found that even something as simple as reading a blog or a website where other people explain what it is that they are experiencing can really help… Please don’t just leave it, and suffer with the belief that you are alone. Even if you are just on the internet, there are others out there who are facing the same things you do to some extent. See if you can find them, and maybe you won’t feel so alone with your invisible illness.

For thyroid disease sufferers: this blog has been extremely helpful for me. Endo sufferers may resonate with this lady’s journey, and there is a range of stories of many chronic illnesses on this site that I also found helpful.

And that’s one part of my story for now. Another day to get through, but we will make it.  ʚ♡ɞ



༺ ♡ ༻

Vintage Nylon Hair Scarf in Petal Pink | eBay
Floral Picnic Dress | Sisjuly
“Pink Lemonade” Brooch | Erstwilder
Tan Virginia Leather Sandal | Miss L Fire

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Friday, September 29, 2017

༺ Lemon Leaf ༻

Retro 50s summer style & a lemon print dress | Lavender & Twill

Retro 50s summer style & a lemon print dress | Lavender & TwillTraveling the back streets of Chiang Mai, Thailand | Lavender & TwillRetro 50s summer style & a lemon print dress | Lavender & TwillSimple retro style for every day | Lavender & TwillSimple retro style for every day | Lavender & TwillTraveling the back streets of Chiang Mai, Thailand | Lavender & TwillSimple retro style for every day | Lavender & TwillErstwilder "Mississippi Marvel" Magnolia White Flower Resin Brooch | Lavender & TwillSimple retro style for every day | Lavender & Twill

Last Saturday, I spent the last minutes of fading light cautiously navigating back streets of Chiang Mai. We haven’t spent much time thoroughly exploring the different areas of the city yet, there’s so much to see everywhere you go, even just driving down the main highway shows you a ton of sights.

In Thailand, everything seems to have sprung up in a tangle. The buildings, water tanks, power lines ~ all these man-made structures grow just like a concert jungle, and yet the real jungle never seems to go far away either. It all blends together in a massive labyrinth of lush leaf and bright, cheerfully flaking paint.

Unique to Chiang Mai are the towering mountains that surround the city, overlooking the bustling streets. They are untouched by civilisation, as the government wisely made them a nature preserve. Wherever you are in Chiang Mai, you can see them dominating the horizon, often shrouded in mist and rolling clouds as the thunderstorms come and go. They are my favourite thing about the city, always present, silently stretching high above all the noise and chaos. Serene and unmovable, the mountains remind me just to take a moment to stop and breathe.

Life has been rolling along with the usual daily routines ~ you wouldn’t think each week could slip by so fast, but here we are! Two months gone since we moved in our house, and only two months more before we are flying back to Australia to spend Christmas with everyone.

It seems too surreal for me as I type that out, but it’s true and I must say, I’m really looking forwards to seeing everyone again.

I have been loving our life here in Chiang Mai, but what has kept me going through the sharp attacks of homesickness is knowing that we will be coming back soon for a visit. It will come very quickly, and I can’t wait!

I’m even more excited for Christmas this year than I have been previously. Which sort of seems not possible, but is totally true.  (ᵒ̤̑ ◁ ᵒ̤̑)৹ᢄᵍᵎᵎ

Though, it will be strange to see so much brown after all this endless green I’m sure… Haha! You don’t see as much of the sky here as you do at home, and I miss the infinite blue, and the golden stretches of rippling grasses.

I find it interesting that with all this green surrounding me, and the jungle rising high above, Thailand has really forced me to change my style of photography. So far it’s been a lot of experimentation, trying things that I end up not liking, and others that I do. Over all the pictures are turning out richer and darker than I used to do. I will always and forever love pastel hues, but you just can’t do that here! A least, if you can, I don’t know how to do it… (⌒_⌒;)

But the light is different, it’s trickier to work with as more often than not it’s either way too bright and harsh for photography, or it’s cloudy and dull.

I’ve been learning to embrace more saturated hues ~ I’ve had to because basically everything here is either bright green or dark green but it’s almost always green!

Maybe that’s why Thai people love to paint their houses such brilliant hues? A bright blue, rose pink or lilac purple house is not uncommon around here, and they really do pop against the swathes of verdant green, green, green everywhere!

I also find it interesting that my wardrobe colour palette has changed a lot. I don’t think that’s because my taste has changed so much, as more like I just find certain colours work better over here? An example being yellow.

Normally, I don’t like yellow. I don’t have any of it in my wardrobe at home, except in accessories {I think there’s one exception ~ but it’s a creamy, pastel, butter yellow dress...} But over here, I have the very yellow lemon print dress I’m wearing in the pictures, and that I find myself wearing all the time. I love it! I have a yellow skirt with black swans on it that I bought in Malaysia.

And the other day, I picked up a dusty gold skirt at a second hand shop. It’s a colour I’d never wear as a dress or top as it makes my skin swallow and jaundiced. Not a good look! But as a skirt, it pairs wonderfully with blue, so it’s slotted in quite neatly when worn with my blue blouses and tops.

I’m wearing a lot more green than I used too, and I have found myself shying away from pink and red like I never would have before. I am also choosing darker colours, like navy or azure blue to wear, whereas previously in my mind, navy and dark, saturated colours where for winter only! Certainly not a tropical summer…

I find it all interesting because even though those don’t seem like big things, overall it adds up to a definite change in my style. I’m embracing more colours, {though white and pastel will always be my preferred aesthetic} and I’m exploring different shades which was harder for me to do at home. I know what I like and it takes a lot to break me out of my instinctive choices ~ both artistically and fashion-wise!

But I guess if anything will do it for me, a move overseas to a whole different place will!

I’m wondering if you find it hard to change up your style or do you just make up your mind and do it? I think that might be one of the draw backs of having such a strong sense of what I like, I tend not to explore other things that could be good too, but make the same choices over and over again.

Not that I’m bored with my choices, I just think it is fun to have the chance to explore other looks and styles too. I definitely get to do right now though, so that’s nice. I wonder whether or not it will change my taste in the long run? I guess we have to wait and see!



P.S. ~ After these photos were posted to my blog, I realised that they are being heavily compressed by Blogger and they look absolutely terrible! It has taken me wayyyy too long to realise this, but hopefully they won’t look as bad this time round as I changed the size of the photos beforehand. Let’s see if it makes a difference!

༺ ♡ ༻

Glamour Sunglasses | Zenni Optical
Lemon Leaf Dress | Zaful
Erstwilder “Mississippi Marvel” Magnolia Brooch | Erstwilder
Fresh Lemon Rilakkuma Handbag | Big C
Rose Petal Mary Janes | Friendly Panda Shoes

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

༺ Why I am Dedicated to Vintage Style {Even While Traveling} ༻

Tropical palm trees and summer vintage style | Lavender & TwillWearing a 1940's inspired outfit in the tropics | Lavender & TwillWearing a 1940's inspired outfit in the tropics | Lavender & TwillPalm trees and park benches in Chiang Mai, Thailand | Lavender & TwillPalm trees and park benches in Chiang Mai, Thailand | Lavender & TwillWearing a 1940's inspired outfit in the tropics | Lavender & TwillTropical palm trees and summer vintage style | Lavender & TwillWearing a 1940's inspired outfit in the tropics | Lavender & TwillWearing a 1940's inspired outfit in the tropics | Lavender & TwillPalm trees and park benches in Chiang Mai, Thailand | Lavender & Twill

When we decided to leave Australia and travel in South East Asia for the next two years, I must confess one of the immediate concerns that crossed my mind was: how on earth can I manage to wear vintage for the next two years? {Closely followed by, what am I going to do without all my sewing and crafting supplies?!?!}

Despite the fact that we were going to the tropics, where it’s so hot and humid all the time, and despite the fact that we had initially planned to travel for two years with carry on luggage only {yeah, that did NOT last long!}, I KNEW without even having tried any of that, and without ever having visited a tropical country, that I would not be happy if I had to forsake my vintage style for the next two years...

Long before I’d fallen in love with vintage, and how much I felt like “me” wearing it… It’s story time!

Many years ago {Feeling old here…. Haha!}, I travelled to Europe with my sister. We had a trip planned out where we were spending a lot of time on farms volunteering our work in exchange for board. So we did the practical thing and only packed jeans, boots, old t-shirts and jumpers ~ clothes that you really didn’t mind if they got completely wrecked and dirty.

What we didn’t account for where our days off and the latter part of our trip where we were traveling with sightseeing tour. I can tell you though, by the end of our five and half months away we had both replaced the entirety of our packed clothes with new ones ~ right down to our very expensive boots that where supposed to last the whole trip as our “walking shoes” {but had started falling apart anyway after days spent working in the stables}.

It was an amazing experience, but something that really stuck with me throughout that trip was how much I hated wearing clothes that I didn’t feel suited me or my style, or that plain didn’t fit in with the places we were going too. Beautiful art museums, stunning old churches, decadent palaces that where breathtaking in glittering gilt and lush ruby velvets, and I? …I was wearing such basic, boring clothes. I felt ugly. It was like pins where prickling into me, and I hated it. Like, really hated it.

I felt awkward and uncomfortable walking around wearing jeans and t-shirt when I should have just been enjoying all the awe-inspiring vistas before me. It didn’t help that we were traveling through Europe, where everyone was fashionably dressed pretty much all of the time, but it was also became clear that I didn’t like wearing jeans and t-shirts. 

Some people would, and that’s perfectly fine of course!

But for me, I was miserable.

So when my husband delicately asked if I might just be able to just “drop the vintage” for a couple of years, I looked at him, shook my head emphatically, and told him the above story. I had already learned the lesson that while it might be “easier” to travel with jeans and a t-shirt for simplicity’s sake, for me, sacrificing my personal style for simplicity doesn’t make me happy.

So here we are now, and while sometimes I do think I’m crazy for trying to maintain a fashion style that sticks out like a sore thumb in a land where clothing and fashion entirely revolves around looking as cute as possible with the minimal amount of fuss and stuff on your body {think light, floaty, short and bare, or plain and simple, with minimal makeup of a fresh face and soft, just-been-kissed lip stain}, I also think it’s been worth it.

I still love my vintage dresses {though they are all reproduction or vintage inspired these days}. I still love a bold red lip, and I will forever be enamoured with hats and hair flowers! (• ᴗ •❁)  Undoubtedly I’ve had to adjust my preferred vintage looks to suit the environment, and the traveling, but it can be done, so I do it.

And it’s still just as fun to dress in vintage style as it was back home!

Plus, you can find some very cute vintage appropriate clothing in South East Asia. They love their gingham, and folk-esque style of fashions as you can see in this cute seersucker frock I picked up at a local Thai market. I thought it was a great vintage appropriate piece ~ very 1940’s teen on the beach or on summer vacation!

Which is absolutely perfect for where we are, so I went with it. Sweeping up a quick poodle, and grabbing my floppy hat from the the cupboard near the front door, I took the children to the park and they played while I snapped some photos.

Palm trees and vibrant green {wet!!} grass, everything is a vivid shade of emerald in the mountains, and you can’t escape the cheerful, brilliant tones that stretch as far as the eye can see.

Traveling in the tropics is definitely an adventure in colour! It is different to what I am used too, and sometimes I really do miss the golden hues of our “wide, brown land”, but wearing vintage wherever I may end up, suits me and makes me happy.

What do you think? Would you, or have you ever, changed your style for traveling? Or for the sake of simplicity? Let me know ~ I’m keen to hear why you would/wouldn’t wear vintage, and for that matter, any other fashions traveling!



P.S. ~ First blog post from Chiang Mai! Yay!! ◝( ′ㅂ`)و ̑̑✧

༺ ♡ ༻

Giant Floppy Straw Hat | Ebay
White & Red Blooms Hair Flower | Daisy Jean Floral Designs
Blue & White Embroidered Seersucker Dress | Local Thai Market
White Gladiator Sandals | Zulily

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Friday, August 25, 2017

༺ 18th Century Shades of Blue ༻

Cheong Fatt Tze - The 18th Blue Mansion, Penang Island, Malaysia | Lavender & TwillCheong Fatt Tze - The 18th Blue Mansion, Penang Island, Malaysia | Lavender & TwillCheong Fatt Tze - The 18th Blue Mansion, Penang Island, Malaysia | Lavender & TwillRetro inspired style featuring Sisjuly | Lavender & TwillVintage 1940's summer looks for traveling | Lavender & TwillRetro inspired style featuring Sisjuly | Lavender & TwillCheong Fatt Tze - The 18th Blue Mansion, Penang Island, Malaysia | Lavender & TwillVintage 1940's summer looks for traveling | Lavender & TwillRetro inspired style featuring Sisjuly | Lavender & TwillRetro inspired style featuring Sisjuly | Lavender & TwillCheong Fatt Tze - The 18th Blue Mansion, Penang Island, Malaysia | Lavender & TwillVintage 1940's summer looks for traveling | Lavender & Twill

It was our last weekend in Penang a month ago, and I knew that I had to go out and do some historical sightseeing before we left or I’d really regret it!

We had spent some time wandering around fun interactive museums, and hitting up allll the shopping centres {actually, we didn’t even get through half of them I don’t think…} but dragging small children around for a“don’t-touch-don’t-run-don’t-break-it(!!)” kind of outing is not really… fun… for anyone.

The children hate it, and the adults end up questioning their sanity and hating every moment of it as well as trying to enjoy it, so talk about conflicted and…Yep. So I left the little people with the Mister, and caught an Uber into Old Georgetown to visit the Cheong Fatt Tze, or The Blue Mansion.

Listed as one of the Top 10 Greatest Mansions in the world to visit by Lonely Planet {One down, nine more to go… Haha!}, the 18th century building is an absolute masterpiece in eclectic architectural style. Restored with traditional methods and materials to retain all of its charm and the unique vision of Cheong Fatt Tze ~ the man who moulded his business place and home into an ‘Indigo’ work of art.

The mansion functions as hotel and restaurant, so much of the building is restricted from public access, but there are guided tours inside a small portion of the building and the grounds are absolutely stunning. Completely surrounded by modern and old Penang, I really enjoyed the experience of such decadent luxury from centuries ago.

While I ramble on about luxury though, I do have to say, I absolutely loved the dress I was wearing that day! Another affordable, yet gorgeous offering from Sisjuly, this stunning 1940’s inspired dress felt fantastic on. Even in the humid, sticky and hot Penang weather!

The fabric is really lightweight, and reminds me a lot of a vintage rayon or viscose ~ the hand and drape of it works perfectly for a vintage reproduction piece. It’s honestly my favourite dress from Sisjuly that I have tried so far. It all comes together in this dress for a really pretty, wearable frock!

I mean, it has pockets!! Besides that, I love the square cut neckline, it’s one of my favourite neckline shapes. I love the dainty floral print. I love the colours with the aqua background, peach flowers and navy foliage, and again, the material they used ~ it’s just perfect. Needless to say, but I’m going to say it anyway, I am a huge fan of this dress.

And of blue houses. Haha, it’s nothing really alike at all, but the Blue Mansion sort of reminds me of our Blue House that we had back in Australia. (*• ᴗ ᵕ*)∠☆  Ah, good times.

But speaking of houses ~ we left Malaysia the day after I visited the Blue Mansion, and we have now been located in Chiang Mai for a month.

We found a house to live in, we are beginning to learn our way around, and I have even been driving myself around! Which is really nice to be able to do actually, as you can’t always expect to be able to drive yourself around safely when you are overseas! I would not drive in Penang, and probably many other countries around the world.

All that aside, we have really been enjoying the city and now that we are starting to find our feet here, I am looking forwards to going on more adventures and really exploring our new home town. I can’t wait to show you Chiang Mai! (‐^▽^‐)



༺ ♡ ༻

40's Aqua Floral Me Away Dress | c/o of Sisjuly
Caramel Crush Soft Wedge | Local Shop, Malaysia

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Friday, July 28, 2017

༺ Currently: Islands of Adventure ༻

‘Currently’ posts are a series of memoirs, featuring snapshots of one small life story by briefly touching on events that are occurring in my day-to-day journey. These episodes feature photos from my Instagram, do come and say “Hi!” if you are around. Also, if you would like to participate in this feature yourself, please feel free! I’d love to read your posts, so don’t forget to leave a link.  ♡



Some Terry Pratchett! It’s slightly problematic as I have to wait to buy new books on my Kindle, and I usually finish a Pratchett in a day, so I’m having to pace myself a lot. Sometimes I miss my giant bookshelf of books!



Not much actually. I’m too busy doing, thinking, and concocting plans. I’m not really wondering much about what’s going to happen as I have too many things occurring in the meantime for the head space.



For a LOT of things! Right at this moment, I am thankful for the opportunities for change, and the chance to create new paths for our family. Also for the opportunity to try things I’ve been wanting to do all my life. It’s amazing to see dreams becoming reality.  ✧*。(ˊᗜˋ*)✧*。



LOADS of yummy foods! Highlights: Vietnamese pork noodles, Pad Thai, Papaya salad, Chicken and Ginger, Tom Yum, Laska, Fried Pineapple Rice ~ anything super fresh and tasty!



DC’s Heroes of the Future. I’m a bit meh about it ~ I feel like everyone keeps making really dumb mistakes, and that drives me batty. I can not stand watching stupidity unfold. But that being said, it does seem to be improving slightly, and it does have funny moments.



Teacup Girl! Ohmygoodness, I’m so thrilled as we are in the beginning stages of starting a business! I am working at designing and creating my own brooch company. Which is super exciting, and it combines my two loves ~ art and vintage inspired fashion! And I can’t even… ヾ(≧∇≦)ゞ



The pool! The beach!! All the cute stationary. Exploring new places. “Ah-bencha!” as Lottie says! Showing our children exciting new things to see and do. The good food. Shopping ~ hehe. The chance to follow our dreams. Old Town White Coffee, it’s the best coffee ever! Air Con ~ do not underrate it… The stunning scenery of lush jungles, and islands in a shimmering aqua sea. The wild animals ~ monkeys! And the tame ones ~ cats everywhere.



Find the balance for our family in South East Asia. Yes, we are enjoying our time here, but there are certainly days that don’t go well, where the children are cooped up all day inside, or I’m feeling too tired to cope, or we are feeling too stressed out about food. For the most part, we are making it work ~ but we’d like things to operate more smoothly. Especially the important things like getting my supplements on time so I don’t run out of my medications.



To keep having amazing adventures, exploring whole new worlds and cultures with my family, and to see Teacup Girl get off the ground and become what I am dreaming it could be!



Life. Good life.


(‘Currently’ post inspired by Danielle of Sometimes Sweet and Kaelah of The Clueless Girl's Guide!)



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