Tuesday, January 31


I am pretty sure I'll wear this dress a lot more often if I just get my act together and take up the hem a little. It's just at that akward spot where my calfs are at their widest.

Reminds me of a song by Hubert von Goisern:

"Koa Hiatamadl mog i ned,
hot koana dickn Wadln ned,
i mog a Madl aus da Stod,
was dicke Wadln hot."

which roughly translates to:
"I don't want no shephard girl
got no big calfs
I want a girl from the city
who got big calfs"

What, you weren't expecting lyrical wisdom, were you?
I guess I'd prefer the shepherd girl approach myself, so I think the hem is coming up a tad.

February is coming :) I am excited for warmer weather, shopping for a car and casual glances at the property market. Bring it on 2012!

cardi: primark
brooch: present
buttons: etsy
dress: Bettie Page
crochet tights & olive tights: welovecolors
brogues: office

Sunday, January 29

Matryoshka doll

Just four more days with a plain, pasty white right lower leg. After that it's going to be pretty colourful for the rest of my life.

Getting a tattoo does bear some resemblance to marriage, no? Okay, it's a pretty poor comparison considering the only similarity is permanence. I am really looking forward to getting my second tattoo, but my mind does do little loop de loops every time I try to evaulate what sixty year old Stef might one day think about twenty-nine year old me's more permanent choices.
See, if fourteen year old Stef met with my current self I know she'd be outraged at what she's turned into. I was a Little-Miss-Know-It-All back then (some might argue there is no change there, but I sure got rid of the inconveniently placed stick).

Isn't it intriguing how swiftly we feel estranged from our own past ideals, goals, reasoning and decisions? When I think back to my school days all I can do is shake my head and console myself that it led me where I am now. My early twenties on the other hand I am pretty pleased with (they were fun at the time and hold up well on internal replay too). Even so, these recollections feel just as distant as glimpses of that persnickety, prudish teen I once was. Like watching highlights from an old movie with the volume turned down.

Well, I guess I'll just have to wait and see where life takes me from here ;)

This whole sentiment that our selfs are variable is what inspired this tattoo I am getting on Thursday in the first place.

If you ask me personality is not singular, unchanging, set in stone. I am not only thinking of personal growth over time but also different aspects/parts/ego-states of yourself that co-exist and when combined make up all that is You.

I am a home body who wants to explore the world. I am an introverted extrovert. I am laid back and confrontational. It just depends on the situation and the frame I am in.

You can catch hints of what I am getting at by thinking about what defines you as a daughter, a mother, a professional or a friend. The situations we find ourselves in bring out different sides to us and sometimes you might find that you're not merely adapting to a particular role but that these different aspects of yourself even extend to seperate hopes and dreams, wants and needs. Well, I am over simplifying a little but it gives you a rough idea of what I mean.

Subpersonality theory is a straight forward enough concept but it can be hard to feel your way around, not least because it just seems silly to think of yourself in the plural.

As odd as it appeared at first glance, this framework has really helped me to feel more at home in myself. It's a big enough deal for me to inspire a tattoo, even.

*Linking the subpersonality theory article on wiki just gave me a right giggle. There is a picture of nesting dolls on the page. It took me months to feel my way towards a non-creepy, pleasing visual representation of the concept and there it was right in front of my nose all along. In wiki we trust.

hat: primark
jacket: tulle (modcloth)
brooches: etsy
violent pink crop sweater: h&m
dress: tara starlet
orchid pink tights
boots: present

Friday, January 27

Old Saint John

Vicky and I explored St. John's College one January weekend with the North wind stinging our faces and sunshine drying the puddles left by the incessant rain that had been drenching Cambridge the previous week.

I adore that little apple brooch :)

This is how I find out my clothes need mending. Check out the missing and droopy button.. or wait - don't. Better just ignore all that ;)

In the background you can see the Bridge of Sighs built in 1831 by Henry Hutchinson. Myth has it that it isn't named for the covered Venice bridge but for the sighs of students crossing it before exams.

Nearly the weekend you guys! I can't wait :D

Wednesday, January 25

Stag Beetle Love It

Unfortunately (you already know where this is going..) our visa application was unsuccessful. An error in one of our forms led to our visas being denied for clerical reasons. Doh!

As a little pick me up I made an appointment to have my tattoo done (Anna & Mara of Dutch Door Press gave me the go ahead to use their print :)) and on the way home we stopped at the Chinese Supermarket for a bag full of sweets that will probably not survive the day. The Strawberry Yan Yans pictured are already gone but I showed enough restraint to snap a quick picture first. Squirrel your best friend.

What might be

As this post goes live the husband and I are in London for our Diversity Visa Interview at the US Embassy. No doubt we'll be feeling light headed as we cross the threshhold into the sovereign territory of the U.S. right in the middle of London, England :)

Unless it is a flat out NO! we probably won't know whether our application for a permanent visa was successful for another four to six weeks but after today it really is out of our hands.

I swear, over the past couple of weeks I've wanted to tell you guys about my visa butterflies Every. Single. Day. but with some difficulty I reigned the urge in until now.

Eversince we found out we'd been selected for further processing last July I've been trying to play it cool. I made every effort to convince myself that our application would most likely be rejected and frankly, it might well be but then again.. and it has been getting harder and harder to shake this thought over the past couple of weeks: It might not. We might be moving halfway across the globe within the next six months. Starting over from scratch. Finding our bearings not only in a new country but on a different continent.

Butterflies have taken permanent residence in my stomach. Quite like a sore tooth you can't help but keep tonguing, the thought of  what might be  has been on my mind almost constantly. Only it is a joyful, bubbly, scary-exciting kind of sore.

Of course I would like nothing more than to succceed and get my hands on a green card but whatever the results, going through this process has been beneficial for me in a myriad of little ways.

It has reminded me that I am not bound to the direction my life is currently headed. That even the most extreme of life changes are never out of the question. Not that I dislike my life right now - not at all. It's just that I've gotten a little myred in routines. I am a creature of habit me. It is all too easy to forget that while a well played-in, secure day-to-day routine is reassuring,   just every once in a while you need to get out of your comfort zone to feel alive.  Jump into the unknown head first. Take opportunities as they arise, go out on a limb every once in a while.

From taking a different route to work, over trying out new foods to.. well, taking a chance on the Diversity Visa Lottery.

The whole process has also brought home to me that  the things you own really do end up owning you.  I know, I know - this quote is getting old but it is true. Ridding myself of accumulated trinkets, thinning out our tightly packed book cases and burrowing our way through reams of old paperwork wasn't easy but with every paper shredded, every box of books and dusty keepsake carried to the charity shop we felt a weight lift off our backs (well, literally too I guess - hardbacks are hea-vy). But seriously: I feel lighter, so much lighter now.

If we do leave for the US this summer we've got a lot more stock taking ahead of us and I bet I'll be feeling like a helium balloon by the end of it ;) I can just about imagine getting to a point where I can fit my life into a couple of suitcases now. That would have been an impossibility a year ago. Frankly, we could hardly fit all our stuff into our tiny home and at the time we didn't even realize how suffocating that really was.

And last but not least, the prospect of escaping future loooong, grey, damp winters has made it ever so much easier to keep a  smile  on my face through this one. I hope I can keep that positivity up if we stick around for the next English winter ;)

I can't deny we'll be inredibly bummed if our application falls through but there will be much excitement ahead whatever happens: If we don't find ourselves venturing across the pond we'll be moving locally, buy a car for weekend trips and go on a holiday abroad this year.

So here goes.
Keep your fingers crossed for us ;)

earrings: present
dress: heartbreakers (modcloth)
cardi: primark
brooch: decoylab (etsy)
scarf: present (pass me down)
belt: h&m
pale yellow tights
boots: eBay

Monday, January 23

Tangled in those dreams..

I am reading The Steel Remains (more from Richard Morgan - fantasy this time) and listening to local radio stations of places I may never visit - but that's a story for another day.

I've been fighting the urge for an extreme spring clean. I find myself appraising everything in our house that isn't bolted down and assigning it to one of three categories: sell, give away or throw out. Apparently there is little space for keepsakes in my mind right now. Don't worry - I am not acting on the impulse just yet ;)

I came across Beach Fossils the other day and I was immediately hooked on this Brooklyn based band's lo-fi sound. Desert Sand is my current favourite and the post title is from Daydream. Mind you, I actually enjoy everything I've heard so far.

It's a habit of mine to keep new finds on repeat for days.. weeks sometimes. Thank goodness for headphones, right? If it weren't for my musical earmuffs I'd be driving the neighbours crazy with my repetitious listening.
Beach Fossils by Stef on Grooveshark

Got any recent musical finds you care to share?

hat: supermarket (tesco)
mittens: primark
denim jacket, sweater & skirt: vintage/second-hand (etsy & eBay)
brooch: decoylab (etsy)
sky blue tights
brogues: office

Saturday, January 21


This is all Kaylah's fault!
No, not really. But I did see this cat skirt on The Dainty Squid first, which by the way is a firm favourite of mine and a frequent source of wardrobe-and-brooch-raid longings. When Kaylah featured this skirt in her Friday Favorites last November I decided I'd been good for long enough and splurge went my interwebs. I reckon if impulse shopping made a sound it would be gooey just like spluuurge.

Erica of vamosthreads was kind enough to add a little extra length to accomodate my tree trunks. Check out the pretty parcel it was mailed in too:

I came across Australian born/UK based comedian Brendon Burns on TV the other day and ended up spitting the coke I was just about to swollow right back into my glass (gross, I know - but when it comes to stand-up I guess it's a mark of distinction). His act is incredibly offensive in a manner not unlike South Park: Insightful, brash and a little crude while all the while poking fun at bigotry in particular and society in general.

Remember how I've been rolling the thought of getting a second tattoo around my head eversince I got my first one last September?
I knew where I wanted it to be placed, what I wanted it to signify for me personally and that I wanted it to be colourful. Other than that I didn't have the faintest what I was looking for, but I figured I'd recognize it when I found it. And I think I might have. Found it that is. I've asked the artists' permission so if get a positive response from them I'll tell you more about all that :)

Happy weekend everybody!

hat: primark
earrings & sweater (JUMPER! ;)): present
skirt: vamosthreads
boots: present (corral)

Thursday, January 19

Carbon Dioxide

The post I drafted and scheduled yesterday has disappeared from my dashboard and I can't face rewriting it right now. Words don't exactly come easy to me so I feel the loss keenly. (In other words: It's my pity party and I'll cry if I want to)

Instead of my ramblings, here is a double outfit shoot with Vicky I'd squirrelled away :)

Mind you, there is one quick story I just have to share:
Strange smells have been reported by some of my colleagues, so facilities have been searching for a gas leak in my work area for over a week now.
I am crazy about Mama clear rice noodle soup and it's been a working brunch staple for me recently. It was only today, as the Carbon Dioxide Sensors were beeping all around me while I scooped up a noodle, that I put two and two together and realized the "gas leak" is really my soup. :D
I dare you to top my crazy story. I dare you! ;)

Back up your blogs regularly guys - and have a most awesome Thursday!