Thursday, 26 February 2015

Scary Rides & New Friends: Hong Kong Travel Vlog #4!

I've already talked about how I was lucky enough to meet up with some really cool people in Hong Kong - and one of them was Maddy! She showed me around a couple of places in Hong Kong, one of them being Ocean Park, an amusement park on Hong Kong Island. I snuck my camera onto a couple of rides (not the heaps dangerous ones, I was too scared haha) and I made a little vlog! I hope that you like it :)

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Saturday, 21 February 2015

DIY Daisy Boobs Tee | Make Thrift Buy #14

My sewing machine and overlocker were the first thing that I hugged when I got back to my house after a month away (my boyfriend came to pick me up from the airport - so don't worry, he was actually the first thing to be hugged!). Getting back into making clothes after a month away felt SO good - I think that I was having DIY withdrawals overseas, and even all the amazing thrift shops in Hong Kong couldn't satiate me!

So I started with a fairly simple tutorial to get back into the swing of making things - nonetheless, I hope that you all enjoy this video!

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Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Tiny Waists, Slender Legs & Body Policing

Contact lenses make me look like a terrifying half-human half-cyborg-doll lady, and I love it ;)
While I was at an amusement park in Hong Kong last week, waiting in line for a scary-looking rollercoaster, a ride attendant walked up to me, pointed at my belly and exclaimed, "no baby! No baby!"

Yep. She was telling me that I couldn't get on the ride because she thought that I was several months pregnant.

Horrified as I was, I assured her that I wasn't in fact pregnant and probably just had a bit of a food baby going on. The ride attendant grumpily walked away without offering an apology or looking even the slightest bit remorseful.

Now, I'm not posting this here for reassurance - I know that I do not look pregnant and any suggestion that I look like I am is somewhat ridiculous. And sure, maybe I was just standing in a relaxed position with my hands clasped over my tummy, which could possibly have led to the mistaken idea that I was well into my third trimester.

But this experience led me to what I think is a much more problematic and deeply-rooted issue involving the policing of women's bodies: the idea that if a women doesn't have a perfectly flat stomach, she shouldn't wear a tight-fitting dress (likewise, the idea that any woman over a size 6 shouldn't wear leggings). If women have any fat on their stomachs, they are expected to hide it - leading to situations like mine wherein any women showing off her little belly is assumed to be pregnant rather than merely having fat deposits on her abdomen.

Think about it. Have you ever, ever seen a model with a belly wearing a bodycon dress?? Even brands that use plus size models make sure that those models are curvy in all the "right" places. We're now being told that it's okay to be curvy and to love your curvy body - as long as those fat deposits decide to reside solely on your bust and your buttocks, giving you the perfect hourglass figure.

And I'll admit that I was still sucking my stomach in while taking these photos. I also tend to only wear clothing which flares out at the waist in order to hide my stomach. Because I am a product of this oppressive thought, and part of me believes that I'll be taken less seriously and that my photos will be less liked if I show that tummy off.

This needs to change.

I want to be able to wear anything that I want, regardless of whether it suits me or looks "flattering" on my body.
I'm fitter and healthier than I've been in a long, long time. And yet, I still have a little pot belly. And this is okay and perfectly, perfectly normal. So this is my pledge: I'm not going to automatically shy away from wearing dresses which show it off. I'm going to wear dresses that aren't "right" for my body type. I'm going to dress in the clothes that I like, and focus on what my body can do rather than what it looks like - regardless of what society thinks.
And I encourage you all to do that same, whatever that may be for you. Grow your body hair long, wear leggings, singlet tops, tight pants and short skirts - do something that makes either yourself or other people uncomfortable, and then realise how much it just doesn't matter. Forgo make up, cake on make up, dress up, dress down - do whatever the hell you want. Because it's your body, and your body can do amazing things.

Outfit details:
Dress is thrifted (originally Asos)
Shoes are from Asos 
Necklace is from Tash Tash Jewelry
Tote bag is Lazy Oaf 
Headband is from Hong Kong
Lenses are GeoMedical (Magic Color Violet)


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Sunday, 15 February 2015

Closet Cleanout
So I really need to make space in my wardrobe, and I also have to stop holding onto items which no longer fit me. That's why, with some regret, I'm selling a bunch of my favourite dresses. I am really sad about letting them go, but I need to make space for clothes which actually fit me!

Things that I am selling include this gorgeous dress, which isn't ever going to fit me again thanks to my damn boobs:
And these ;__;
Yep, all of these too:
Please give my clothes lovely new homes!

Oh - and if you live in Australia, I've made the shipping rate super cheap to compensate for the sucky exchange rate, because unfortunately Storenvy only lets me process payments through US dollars.

Here's the link to my store! Happy shopping :D

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Saturday, 14 February 2015

♥ Self Love ♥

I wasn't planning on doing a Valentine's Day-themed post, but then I kinda did. Oops. But let's talk about the kind of love that's usually overlooked on Valentine's day - self love!

I spent most of the 14th of Feb. hanging out with myself and enjoying my own company (my partner and I don't celebrate Valentine's day because our anniversary is shortly after!). I think that it's really important to remember (or relearn!) to spend time with yourself, whether you're unattached or in a long-term relationship.
This morning I decided that I was going to learn how to do make up. This is the first time I've ever successfully done contouring and applying false lashes, aw yeah! My eyes look HUGE O_O
Going out on my own to a cafe, dinner or the movies used to be something that I was absolutely terrified of doing. Along with a good ol' dose of social anxiety ("Omg, everyone is looking at me wondering why I'm here on my own"), it was almost like hanging out with myself was somehow invalid, as though if I was the only one experiencing it, it didn't really happen. Having been in a long term relationship for nearly 4 years, it almost becomes a habit to constantly have someone else around to validate your experiences. Even without a significant other, how many times have you been on your own, seen something cool, and just *had* to upload a photo of it to facebook, to validate that you were really there?
And yes, I recognise the irony of what I'm trying to say here when I'm also a blogger and have a very active instagram account - taking selfies and documenting what I'm doing is a big part of my life. But that's different to learning to enjoy your own company and still having experiences that are yours alone. By starting to spend more time with myself, I no longer feel the need to share every single thing that I do on my own - I can go out to a cafe with a book and sit there for hours, or lock myself away for days just sewing, and simply enjoy being in my own company.
That certainly doesn't mean that I (or anyone else, for that matter) can't still enjoy taking selfies and sharing them! For me, this is a big part of my own self-love. This blog and taking regular outfit pictures plays a major part in being positive about myself, my abilities and my own body. So much of today was spent playing with make up, dressing myself up in a silly Valentine's-themed outfit, grabbing my tripod and taking a whole load of pictures.
Self-love is also occasionally treating yourself! Yesterday, this tote bag featuring artwork from the amazing Kat Blaque arrived in the mail.
I doubt anyone would remember this, but Kat illustrated me back in 2012, and I recently rediscovered Kat's amazing artwork and youtube channel after she left a comment on one of my videos. I'm so happy that I did, because 1. her videos rock and are super educational and 2. this tote bag is going to be absolutely ~*perfect*~ for University this year.
Dress is thrifted | emoji badge is from Hong Kong (argyle centre) | socks are from markets | shoes are Naot (Kedmas) | headband is from Hong Kong (new town plaza) | bag is from Kat Blaque's society6 store

Now because it's Valentine's Day, it's totally appropriate for me to post some science-related valentines puns, right?
By bluespecstudio, available to buy at Redbubble

The #sciencevalentines hashtag is a glorious corner of tumblr to wander into.

Our bond is so strong, it don’t need oxytocin.
We’re woven together like a corpus callosum.
The love we impart, though it’s felt in our heart,
Is more of a limbic-type notion.
- Joe Hanson, writer and host of It’s Okay To Be Smart

Honestly, if I were single, these would be the ultimate way to win my heart.

May our atomic orbitals overlap for I would love to bond with you. Be my valence valentine.
- By this person's grandpa

Check out more #sciencevalentines posts here (they're amazing).

Much love to you all!

p.s. I keep forgetting to mention - I was interviewed on the radio last Monday! The audio was uploaded to the radio's website, which you can now listen to here!

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Friday, 13 February 2015

Hong Kong Travel Vlog #3 - Island Life

^ That's totally going to be my album cover one day.

Well, I'm safely back at home in Sydney! I was very sad to leave Hong Kong, with all its glorious food and shopping and temperate winter climate, however I think that it's the islands that I'm going to miss the most!

I made a vlog that shows this side of Hong Kong which many of you probably don't know about - the chilled out, laid back, tropical paradise that is the Hong Kong islands.

Enjoy, and subscribe to my youtube channel to keep up to date on any new travel vlogs that I make (the next one is hopefully going to be all about Hong Kong's famous fabric district!)

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Sunday, 8 February 2015

Farewell Hong Kong! & Winning at Rock, Paper, Scissors

I can't believe it, but I only have 3 days left in Hong Kong until I fly back home to Sydney! I'm already feeling nostalgic and I haven't even left yet.

These photos were taken on our last night staying in Tsim Sha Tsui, around 2 weeks ago. When we first arrived at this particular apartment, exhausted from our plane trip and in a new, strange place, we absolutely hated this area - because as soon as you descend into the street you are assaulted by hawkers trying to sell you suits and fake watches, and on a Friday and Saturday night you can't shuffle more than 2 steps without crashing into someone. But the place grew on us, and when the time came we were actually sad to leave! On our last night here, we took photos, drank wine on the rooftop and then did my favourite thing in the world - tipsy nighttime shopping!
However, the next place we stayed at ended up being this rural island jungle paradise, in a place where water buffalos roam down the street every now and then - so, leaving Tsim Sha Tsui didn't seem too bad after that.
The one place that I was sad about leaving behind for the island life, though, was the Mee & Gee on Granville road (vlogged about in this video!) - because it was there that I bought this dress! It just fits me perfectly, flatters my curves in all the right places and is the perfect vintage length.
And I also got these super cute socks from a shop that was also a 5 minute walk from our apartment, called id:c. You can't tell because I have shoes on, but they're actually toe socks, with cute sheep and smiley clouds and other characters on the toes! I've decided that toe socks are one of my new favourite things. You can't be unhappy in a pair of toe socks.
Dress is from Me & George | necklace c/o Eclectic Eccentricity | socks from id:c (Hong Kong) | shoes are Naot

Leila also got this incredible vintage dress from Mee & Gee, and so I convinced her that both her and her new dress needed to make another appearance on my blog, and took these pretty photos! Everything about the dress is pretty much perfect - the print, the bright colours and the gorgeous buttons on the cuffs.
Dress is from Mee & Gee | various rings and watch are all thrifted

For all you statistic-loving, psychology-minded people out there, or if you're just super competitive (I'm both): I watched this really cool video from Numberphile the other day that shows you how you can always win at rock, paper, scissors, and wanted to share it.
But hang on Annika, isn't rock, paper, scissors just all about chance?
Nope, not when human minds are involved.

Follow these rules and always ask to play for best out of 3, and you're pretty much guaranteed to always win (unless the person you're playing has also watched this video - soo, fingers crossed that none of my friends read my blog!):

I hope that you've all had a wonderful weekend! Love, 

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Friday, 6 February 2015

Being an Ethical Shopper & Peng Chau Pier / Ten Percent of the Brain

dress is Liz Lisa | cardigan is from Hong Kong (id:c) | socks are from market stalls | shoes are Naot | necklace is handmade from Hong Kong (HKID gallery)

I'm actually amazed that I ended up with enough decent photos to make this blog post, because it was SO cold and windy while we were taking these photos on Peng Chau pier that 90% of the photos ended up like this:
Good look there, Annika.

I had such angst about purchasing this dress. There were many pros: it's the cutest damn dress I've ever laid my eyes upon, from one of my favourite Japanese brands who own a store in Hong Kong AND it was half price! 
But the angst was caused by a number of cons, which included the following: one, it's made out of really thick material and is NOT suitable for Sydney summer. Two, I'm pretty sure it's actually a top because it's hella short - although I can always wear it with cute shorts underneath, and pretend that it's a dress anyway. However the most troubling thing about this dress, and the thing that stopped me from buying it immediately, was that I had no idea where it was made - which could have meant that it was made in a sweatshop.

Cue 4 long hours of research to find out where the dress originated (that entire saga is documented on my instagram feed). Basically, though, I'm 99% positive that this dress was made in a decent factory, and 100% sure that it was NOT made in a sweatshop. Same goes for the piano cardigan. And I am so happy. Because this dress is now the cutest thing that I own and I can't wait to wear it all winter long in Sydney!
Also - location shot! These photos were all taken on the gorgeous Peng Chau island, just south of the busy city. Peng Chau has the most adorable villages with kitsch buildings and gardens galore, and many small, secluded beaches! If it hadn't been so cold, it would have been paradise - but it was still a fun place to explore, nonetheless.

So I'm both very excited and nervous to share this all with you - myself and my partner Luci (who has appeared on my blog exactly once previously) have started a podcast! The podcast, called Ten Percent of the Brain, is all about examining popular misconceptions in science, biology and the body. We really enjoyed making this and want to do more in the future! Have a little listen to our first episode (or subscribe in iTunes!) and please let us know what you think of it - as this is a new thing we're just trying out, your feedback would mean the world to us! And if you have any pieces of received wisdom that you're a bit suspicious about, then please feel free to suggest them as a topic for a future episode.

Much love, and I hope that you're all having a gorgeous day,

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