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!

xox,

bonita

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! (‐^▽^‐)

xox,

bonita

༺ ♡ ༻

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.  ♡

penang

READING:

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!

rainbowsky

WONDERING:

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.

Cliff-adventures

FEELING THANKFUL:

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*)✧*。

New-paths

EATING:

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!

Squitten

WATCHING:

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.

pastel-gingham


WORKING ON:

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

Golden-sunset

LOVING:

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.

Family-Adventures

ATTEMPTING:

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.

aquamarine

WANTING:

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!

IMG_1357

DOING:

Life. Good life.

blue-crush


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

xox,

bonita

༺ ♡ ༻
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Friday, July 21, 2017

༺ Miami Beach ༻

Miami Beach, Penang Island, Malaysia | Lavender & TwillTraveling with vintage style, Anello Mini Backpack | Lavender & TwillMiami Beach, Penang Island, Malaysia | Lavender & TwillTraveling with vintage style, Anello Mini Backpack | Lavender & TwillBeach side vintage style with Voodoo Vixen | Lavender & TwillBeach side vintage style with Voodoo Vixen | Lavender & Twill
Beach side vintage style with Voodoo Vixen | Lavender & TwillBeach side vintage style with Voodoo Vixen | Lavender & Twill
Miami Beach, Penang Island, Malaysia | Lavender & TwillBeach side vintage style with Voodoo Vixen | Lavender & Twill

It seems crazy to me that our time in Malaysia is coming to an end already… This weekend we are supposed to be jumping on a plane and flying back to Thailand. But we haven’t booked our flights or accommodation yet, so we need to do that stat!

For all our time island hopping the last few months ~ {it’s only been three months, but it feels like years already!!} I think we are all ready to find a more permanent base of travel, and settle down for a while.

Over the course of our journey, we would move to our temporary place, discover what works for our family, and would just be getting into the swing of things ~ only to have to pack up, move, and figure it all out again!

Being able to explore new places is super exciting for me, but we have found that our family definitely requires more familiarity with our surrounds to figure out a good routine for our day to day life. Exploring is best kept to the weekends for all of us, but that being said ~ I still have fun going out by myself during the week as well!

I’ve been walking through a lot of shopping centres here in Penang. There is so much development, so many tall condominiums and giant malls that are eight stories high! It’s a crazy change of pace from tiny Koh Lanta, but I still feel like there is an element of that lazy, sun-kissed island life underneath all the high shine, and the veneer of society.

We catch Ubers everywhere, and I love seeing all the old historic buildings in Georgetown, I wish I could take photos of them, but we whizz by so fast {or sometimes slowly. The traffic here is definitely… Intense… People don’t follow the lines on the road, or the road rules much. Here the motto seems to be – “They are more like guidelines anyways…” Bonus points if you know the quote!  (¬ ᴗ ¬) }

I haven’t had much chance to blog, but I hope that will change going forward.

Silly of me, but I didn’t bring a tripod for my DSLR with me. I didn’t have the space and I thought, “Oh well, I can just shoot on the weekends.” I found out pretty quickly that that idea wasn’t any better than it was back at home in Australia!

We just can’t juggle blog shoots and keeping the children happy at the same time, so I really haven’t had the opportunity to shoot much. However, the other night I went, “I need a tripod.” So I went and bought one and that was that!

Now when I go out exploring by myself, I can stop and take some pictures too. So I walked down to the tiny beach at the end of our street, and hung out under the trees by the surf.

I was wearing this awesome Voodoo Vixen dress, which I have been loving. It’s been fabulous for wearing out and about in hot, tropical weather. Plus, the pockets are just fantastic! You’d think it would get a bit dirty being such a pale coloured fabric, but it really doesn’t which is super great.

I also picked up this Anello backpack very early on here in Penang, {our first full day here, when we were in Queensbay Mall actually!}. It’s been absolutely brilliant!! It’s not only the most elegant backpack I’ve seen, it’s also designed so well, and it is extremely functional.

There is a back zipper for access inside the bag without having to go in at the top, and my bag organiser inside keeps everything neat and tidy.  The top handles are great if you want to just loop it on your arm and carry it for a short while, or if you need to open it up. 

It’s the best backpack I’ve ever had, and I love it so much! ❤  It’s very comfortable to wear, as well as having a really classic, vintage look. I highly recommend one if you are looking for any kind of stylish backpack that functions beautifully. Oh! And it also fits my Surface Pro perfectly, so it can definitely carry a small laptop if you want to bring one.

The backpack has been a key part of figuring out a slightly different version of my vintage style for tropical weather.  But I think I shall save the details of tropical fashion for another post, maybe I’ll do a “Vintage style in the Tropics” guide?  For now though ~ I’ve already rambled on long enough. Haha!

To sum up the last few months ~ these islands of adventure have been amazing, with so much beauty just waiting to be discovered… But we are off to the mountainous jungles next. See you on the north side! 

xox,

bonita

༺ ♡ ༻

Navy Mini Backpack | Anello Bags
Ocean Treasures Dress | Voodoo Vixen
Floral Pearl Bracelet | Gift from Royal Old Town, Koh Lanta
Caramel Cream Wedge | Gurney Plaza

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Monday, June 12, 2017

༺ Vintage Girl Around the World ༻

Sisjuly Cherry Dress ~ 50s inpired style | Lavender & TwillThe Chinese Shrine at Royal Old Town, Koh Lanta, Thailand | Lavender & TwillThe Chinese Shrine at Royal Old Town, Koh Lanta, Thailand | Lavender & TwillSisjuly Cherry Dress ~ 50s inpired style | Lavender & TwillSisjuly Cherry Dress ~ 50s inpired style | Lavender & TwillSisjuly Cherry Dress ~ 50s inpired style | Lavender & TwillSisjuly Cherry Dress ~ 50s inpired style | Lavender & TwillSisjuly Cherry Dress ~ 50s inpired style | Lavender & Twill

Today I am so happy to be showing you some amazing dresses from Sisjuly, a new retro and vintage inspired brand.

For the first dress, we were out at Royal Old Town on the East Coast of Koh Lanta. We had a lovely time exploring ~ I’ve been there a few times now, but every time I love it!

This particular day we got to take a closer look at at the Chinese Shrine that has been standing in the heart of Old Town for well over a hundred years. Koh Lanta’s Royal Old Town is such an interesting place ~ once a major port for boats running the China and Arabia to Malay routes, Old Town became a busy place of trade.

Many of the original structures and Chinese long houses can still be found in the area. When the trade increased, further settlers came too and this is the reason for why Koh Lanta has such an eclectic mix of cultures on such a relatively small island. With Chinese, Arabic, Muslim, Thai and Sea Gypsy influence, it is a melting pot of rich traditions.

The Western side of the island wasn’t developed until much later, and the middle of the island is mostly untamed jungle!

You can get a lovely taste of wild life down further south on the island, with monkeys and more! Which brings us to the next location ~ the lighthouse at Koh Lanta’s National Park.

Sisjuly 40s Inspired Nautical Dress | Lavender & TwillSisjuly 40s Inspired Nautical Dress | Lavender & TwillSisjuly 40s Inspired Nautical Dress | Lavender & TwillSisjuly 40s Inspired Nautical Dress | Lavender & TwillKoh Lanta National Park, Stony Beach | Lavender & TwillSisjuly 40s Inspired Nautical Dress | Lavender & TwillSisjuly 40s Inspired Nautical Dress | Lavender & TwillSisjuly 40s Inspired Nautical Dress | Lavender & TwillSisjuly 40s Inspired Nautical Dress | Lavender & Twill

Fairly old and crumbly, I honestly couldn’t tell if the lighthouse was working at all except that there still seemed to be some sort of generator outside with cables running into the top of the lighthouse.

And yep, that’s a giant hole in the concrete platform! Also, there was no real way to get up to the lighthouse without scrambling up a rather steep and rough cliff hill!

So imagine me in my white dress, climbing up that hill super carefully so I didn’t slip or get dirty… Haha! ( •̀ᄇ• ́)ﻭ✧

But I must say, the dress handled the hike very well, I was so happy to get up there without any incidents!

Between the two dresses, I can’t really decide which one I like best ~ the cherry print is super fun, but I’m also such a fan of the white and navy nautical print… And both styles are really nice, I love the 50’s feeling of the cherry dress and the 40’s impression from the second frock, so??

I have been really impressed with the quality of the Sisjuly pieces, as I hadn’t heard of the brand until they reached out to me last month. When I went to have a look at their shop I was so excited to see a huge range of retro and vintage inspired pieces!

The dresses come in all kinds of prints and styles, and I was keen to try them out and see how they looked.

The fit has been good for the pieces I ordered ~ I think that it is as it has been as described in the sizing charts, which is always important when purchasing online. It’s probably exact, so if you were to fall in between a size I would definitely suggest sizing up to allow for wearing ease, or if you like a looser fit.

The fabric also comes in a variety of finishes. Some of the dresses have very thick fabric, which is perfect for cooler months, and others have been lighter. As we are traveling through tropical countries at the moment, obviously I am a huge fan of the light weight fabrics! But even while the two dresses I am wearing in these pictures are on the thicker side, they still where quite comfortable to wear on cooler, cloudy days.

The quality of the make is great ~ I absolutely love the longer, vintage appropriate lengths of the skirts, and when they are designed as a full style, they come as a full style which is very important to me!

I get so excited when a new clothing brand comes onto the scene that has a wide range of vintage inspired pieces, and it’s great when they are super affordable!

I have found their customer service to be really friendly and helpful, as Sisjuly are passionate about their vintage and retro style, and their service reflects that. I was also very pleased to hear that they really care about how the dresses are made ~ from dedicated in-house designers to fair pay for all their workers.

If you want to find out more ~ Sisjuly have a Facebook page where you can follow along for more updates on their latest releases and vintage inspiration.  In the mean time, I hope to share more from this brand in the future, so keep look out for further vintage inspired styles!

Also, can you help me decide which dress I like best? Haha, such a problem to have ~ I think it’s a good one… ♡ ~(○゜ε^○)

xox,

bonita

༺ ♡ ༻
Outfit 1:

Vintage Polka Dot Scarf | Thrifted
50’s Cherry Dress | c/o of Sisjuly
Tan Virginia Leather Sandal | Miss L Fire

༺ ♡ ༻
Outfit 2:

Sun Parasol | Thailand
”Treasures of the Deep” Brooch | Erstwilder
40’s Nautical Dress | c/o of Sisjuly
Tan Virginia Leather Sandal | Miss L Fire

༺ ♡ ༻
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