Tuesday, November 21, 2017

༺ Currently: When Time Flies ༻

‘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.  ♡

blueskies

READING: LISTENING:

I haven’t had the time to pick up any books recently, but I have had the chance to listen to a few podcasts ~ mostly with my Mister as he is a big podcast fan. I’ve really enjoyed recent Tropical MBA episodes and The Startup Chat, but those are entrepreneur pods. If you are looking for a vintage-centric podcast ~ check out This Retro Life as they cover a really wide range of interesting historical topics.

sunset-on-the-moo-bann

WONDERING:

Not much actually! To busy doing…

curls

FEELING THANKFUL:

That I have family and friends that support me in so many ways.

gate

EATING:

Pho! Yummy! Grapefruit, and lots of vegetarian dishes. Mushrooms have really great anti-inflammatory properties I’ve discovered, so I’m eating a lot of those too whenever I can. 

gold

WATCHING:

All the Youtubes. Haha, art videos are my jam at the moment.


lemon

WORKING ON:

Packing. Life. Teacup Girl. Getting healthy… That’s a long road back.

pool

LOVING:

The pool at our Moo Baan! All the sunshine and flowers. Webtoons. Squishies. Washi tape. New art supplies. Watercolour paints. Tiny bebe cacti I bought to sit on my desk. Date nights at the movies. Caramel butter popcorn….MMMM….. Sleepy after nap cuddles with my girls {Like most mothers, I still can’t get over how big they are getting!}, and bed time snuggles with all my babies. Iced Coffee. My new camera lens. Soap & Glory “What a Peeling!” Face Mask.


lily

ATTEMPTING:

To get back to Australia all in one piece without forgetting anything vital. Haha!

rainbows

WANTING:

To see family and friends. Yay for holidays!

set

DOING:

The packing. Only one and a half days and we fly out! Whoo!

cat

xox,

bonita


༺ ♡ ༻
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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

༺ Roses in the Park ༻

Retro dress and summer vintage style | Lavender & TwillWearing vintage in the tropics | Lavender & TwillLanna City Park, Chiang Mai, Thailand | Lavender & TwillHearts and Roses London Dress & Fancy Lady Industries "Florence Brooch" | Lavender & TwillLanna City Park, Chiang Mai, Thailand | Lavender & TwillRetro dress and summer vintage style | Lavender & TwillHearts and Roses London Dress & Fancy Lady Industries "Florence Brooch" | Lavender & TwillCasual vintage style for travelling | Lavender & TwillWearing vintage in the tropics | Lavender & TwillFancy Lady Industries "Florence Brooch" | Lavender & TwillRetro dress and summer vintage style | Lavender & TwillCasual vintage style for travelling | Lavender & Twill

I’m not going to lie ~ I’m slightly okay, majorly, in love with this park we found last weekend. Is that a weird thing to say?

If it is, I’m going to say it anyway!

We haven’t really had much of a chance for sightseeing yet, I’ve been way to exhausted and there’s just been too many other things to deal with. Sort of like what happened in Malaysia, we’ve spent our time in Chiang Mai mostly exploring all the shopping centres trying to find what we need/what’s available to us, rather than just looking around for fun.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, the shops can be fun {hehehe} but I really just love exploring a city and seeing all the landmarks and beautiful spots. I’ve been aching to do that here, and now I have the perfect reason too!

For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you would have already seen this, but my Mother-In-Law flew over from Australia last Friday. It’s mostly an “emergency” trip ~ she came bearing gifts ~ namely my desperately needed supplements, and help in the form of looking after the little ones while my body adjusts to being in a more balanced state. Which is actually a fairly rough ride {at the moment I’m on a quarter dose and I’m still dealing with fatigue and all the usual, plus a new symptom ~ nausea… Yay.}.

But it should be over in a few weeks, if it follows in the pattern of my previous experience with this treatment. At least I’m sleeping better at night, and actually feeling somewhat refreshed in the mornings!

Anywho ~ now that my Mil is visiting, I hope that we will have a chance to explore more of wonderful Chiang Mai with her. The Night Market is so much fun, the Old City is really beautiful and interesting, and I’d love to show her the botanic gardens as I think she will really love them!

The weather at the moment is absolutely fantastic for outdoor explorations. The rainy season has finished now, and the days are mostly filled with sunshine and cool breezes to whisk away the majority of humidity. It’s really the best weather you could ask for when sightseeing, so I absolutely want to make the most of it.

We did stumble on this park a bit by accident, we had some time to kill before attending church, but not enough time to go all the way back home and out again. So I searched for the nearest park on Google maps and this is what we found!

It was soooo much better than I was expecting, it was a stunning garden with gorgeous old bridges, pavilions, man-made lakes and canals, flowers galore and tree lined avenues. But best of all, there was really great play equipment for the children!

Yes, I really wanna go back there again….. Haha!

Something else I also love, and that I just have to mention, is my new brooch by Natalie of Fancy Lady Industries.

There’s been a ton of new makers and brands pop up in the brooch scene recently, and it’s really exciting to see all the talent and creativity each brand brings to their designs.

I ordered a bunch from a few different makers, and most of them are still back in Australia, as I get all my mail *cough*online shopping*cough* sent to my mom’s house.

However, my Mil kindly slipped a few of my recent purchases in her suitcase and now I have some new pretties to play with!

I have to say, I was really impressed by the solid workmanship of Natalie’s pieces. The lines are clean and everything fits together beautifully which makes the final piece look so polished and professional. Her artwork is beautiful too, and she has some great designs available!

I really love it when a maker puts a lot of care into creating their pieces, and I adore seeing all the new brooch designs coming out. It’s amazing to see quite a large community of brooch lovers continue to grow, and to know I’m not the only one with a serious brooch addiction…. (。> ౪ •。)  Brooching is definitely something I’m enjoying a lot at the moment. I love collecting wearable, miniature pieces of art! I could write a whole essay on brooches, and the art in fashion, but I think I will leave that for another time.

xox,

bonita

༺ ♡ ༻

Peach Peony Hair Flower | Old
"Florence” Japanese Flower Brooch | Fancy Lady Industries
Navy Rose Dress | Zulily
Tan Virginia Leather Sandal | Miss L Fire

༺ ♡ ༻
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Sunday, October 22, 2017

༺ Poolside Pineapples ༻

Summer vintage style, tropical retro fashion | Lavender & TwillCasual vintage style for traveling | Lavender & TwillCasual vintage style for traveling | Lavender & TwillCasual vintage style for traveling | Lavender & TwillTropical style in Chiang Mai, Thailand | Lavender & TwillTropical style in Chiang Mai, Thailand | Lavender & TwillTropical style in Chiang Mai, Thailand | Lavender & TwillSummer vintage style, tropical retro fashion | Lavender & TwillSummer vintage style, tropical retro fashion | Lavender & TwillTropical style in Chiang Mai, Thailand | Lavender & TwillTropical style in Chiang Mai, Thailand | Lavender & TwillCasual vintage style for traveling | Lavender & Twill

You guys! I’m so excited! It was my birthday this Monday past, and I was so lucky to get a new camera lens for my present!

I’ve been longing for a new lens for years, but never got around to upgrading from my kit lens {trust me, I’m seriously kicking myself that I didn’t do this sooner, but oh well…}. Darling Mister gave me the Cannon STM 50mm f.1/8 lens ~ for people that don’t speak camera speak ~ it basically means that the lens lets in a lot more light, creating crisper colours and clearer details. That is balanced out with a very shallow depth of field which gives you a bokeh-licious effect in the background by essentially blurring it out!

I could go on and on about why I love this lens, but mostly it just comes at the perfect time as I was really struggling with my current lens and the lighting situation here in Thailand. I’m not sure if it’s because everything is so lush that the light is absorbed more and might also reflect more darkly than it did at home ~ here in these photos it was so bright there in person, yet they actually turned out quite dark compared to what I saw!

As well as that, those lovely high mountains surrounding Chiang Mai also affect the low light a lot. Because they are so high, when the sun starts to sink, it disappears much faster and you loose most of that “golden hour” because all of the delicious light is blocked by the hills.

So you can see how my new lens is so exciting ~ it deals with low light situations so much better and I can’t wait to thoroughly test it out.

The second exciting thing I want to write about is that Sisjuly is having a big sale on tons of their summer dresses, and this gorgeous tropical pineapple dress is one of them!

I have never been a big pineapple girl in the past ~ don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love eating fresh pineapple! And those pineapple lollies in the Starburst party mix are my favourite of all the Starburst lollies ~ second favourites are the “cherry grapes” and the strawberry jellies…

*ahem!* 

But back to the dress ~ I like the simple cut of this frock as it allows this awesome pineapple and tropical leaf print to shine.  The fabric is really light weight and breathes well, but it doesn’t crush easily which is always a giant plus in my books. It paired beautifully with my peach double rose from Daisy Jean Floral, and also matched the giant checked tote bag I had with me.

I really enjoy this dress, it’s easy to wear and comfortable ~ perfect for travel or a day out. One of the great things we are enjoying in Thailand is this gorgeous swimming pool in our Moo Baan, so right after we took these snaps I changed into my swimsuit and jumped right in!  Ahhhh… It was so good!

A perfect end to a lovely day, I couldn’t ask for anything more.

In the mean time, don’t forget to hop over to Sisjuly if you want to pick up some great end of season bargains. I know it’s autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, and everyone’s obsessing over knits and pumpkin spice {Man, if there’s one thing I am sad about missing out on autumn besides the gorgeous leaves, it’s my knits! I really miss wearing chunky cardigans and knit tops…  I didn’t know this could be a thing, but it apparently is for me!}…

However, I do really love a good sale, so maybe you will too!

xox,

bonita

༺ ♡ ༻

Signature Double Rose in “Peach”  | Daisy Jean Floral Designs
Pineapple Blues Dress | c/o Sisjuly
Rose Check Tote | Local Thai Craftsman
Black Strap Clogs | OPERA, Malaysia

༺ ♡ ༻
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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?

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 quiet and suffer alone.

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

Wow.

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

xox,

bonita

༺ ♡ ༻

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!

xox,

bonita

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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