Mostly Me, But Mostly You

1I love me a good op shop find! I had a big thrift haul about 2 weeks ago and have so much more cool stuff to work into outfits, so far I’ve only shown you the gorgeous 60s style orange dress I wore in this post, but I’ve got so much more. One great find was this ‘oh-so-nineties-by-way-of-last-year-and-already-at-the-thrift-store crushed velvet dress. I decided to go full 90s with the look and wear my spiky shoes and continue the spike theme with my cacti crown. You can’t see it perfectly here because of the background – you can see it well in my PASANCANA & QUEHUALLIU post. To complete the look I went with my triangle sunnies and my Fixed on Drama MAC lipstick. There is something so 90s grunge about this, it reminds me of being 15 and I guess my Riot Grrrl post rubbed off on me more than I realized. I’m going go listen to Bush now.

2 4 3 5 8 9 7Dress: thrifted Shoes: Windsor Smith Cacti Crown: handmade Necklace: borrowed from my sister Sunnies: Wholesale CelebShades

So, happy Tuesday everyone – go nostalgic and hunt down some crushed velvet!

xox Jacqui

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Aussie Curves – Pattern Clash #3

2You might be hollering ‘hold up Jacqui, you’re already done AC Pattern Clash this week’ but see, clashing is a hell of a drug for me and I wasn’t satisfied with earlier clash because I knew I could do better. In my mind I’d been trying to construct a clash of something with one common colour, but a fuck load of different shades and patterns of that colour. This pink dress (wore as a jacket) coaxed me to use it as a starting base – you’ve seen the dress before in my On Wednesdays We Wear Pink post for a winter look and it must have somehow stayed in my mind as a good contrast to blue because I wore it with my bluebird jumpsuit in my Pretty Kitty Sunday post. Then I realized I could clash it with my skirt from the pink two-piece workwear set Tran made me in Hanoi. I don’t think I’ve shown the two piece together on my blog (except here where I wore the top backwards ha!) but I do wear it to work here (and I did in Hanoi too) together and I think perhaps people may kind of think I look like Business Barbie, but, don’t care – love those three work sets I got made (the teal set is here worn together and the purple set here). Anyway, I was brainstorming a pink top to clash with this outfit and realized this oversized sheer shirt that I had as one of the first things Tran made for me would fit the brief perfectly.  Obviously pink shoes and sunnies added to the overall effect, but the icing on this outfit is the wig! I have it for an art exhibition PHO sizzle is having at the Brunswick Street Gallery in mid feb for part of Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, and we’re going to eventually turn the wig into ‘starting hair leading to tentacles’ for the mannequin for the exhibition, but, until that happens, it’s clearly mine to play with. HA!

So, yes, here is my 100% commitment outfit for pattern clash!

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5 1 7Dress worn as jacket: thrifted Skirt: custom made in Vietnam Top: custom made in Vietnam Hat: Cotton On Glasses: Jay Jays Shoes: Target Wig: Neon Blue Starbright Long Wavy Blue Wig from Costume Supercentre AU Name Necklace: Byron Bay Names

So, yes, I feel at peace with the earth now that I’ve done an outfit challenge as best as I can. Ha! Don’t forget to check out the other AC babes with their clasheriffic looks too!

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Beaches and Coffee

1One of the joys of being a small business owner and blogger is the wonderful other industry people you meet. In the past year I’ve met so many other cool small business owners through markets and events, and also through instagram. The Wooden Circle was one such business that contacted me through instagram. Laura had seen my frolicking joyous beach photos (posts with links to many of them here) and I had seen her gorgeous earrings – especially these massive ones! She happily said I would be able to review a pair, which is awesome because I love these types of earrings. Laura added a hand written note in her parcel which explained a bit about her business – she sounded a lot like me! Just starting out and doing it on her own because she needed a sea change – I read those words and went YEP! She also noticed that it was hard to get these intricate wooden jewels here, so decided to fill a clear market gap. As I have said before, I am becoming more and more conscious of trying to support small businesses everywhere I can (even down to coffee shops or shampoo) because I know how much it benefits the businesses themselves, but I also like to think it’s supporting the Australian Independent Market and cutting down the whole ‘big brands like us own the world, biatch’ mentality.

Anyway, about the earrings – they were perfect for this beach excursion Ant and I had to Torquay earlier in the week! I paired them with my thrifted dress and loved the brightness of this outfit. We had just arrived at the beach at this time and were scoffing second coffees and doing some “pretty rock/beach posts with coffee” – It was actually hard for me to put it down to smile for photos, that is where my coffee dependency is at now. These great earrings are MASSIVE and really reasonably priced. Laura has some great and interesting designs – you should check out her stock and consider supporting a small business like hers next time you need beautiful wooden jewels.

3 5 6 4 2Earrings: The Wooden Circle (gifted) Dress: thrifted 

Big thanks to Ant for taking these pictures and being a great companion on our ‘excursion’ days!

xox Jacqui

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Aussie Curves – Pattern Clash #2

1So, the thing with bad news is it doesn’t disappear, it stays, and the news moves from being a shock into a realization. I’m trying to keep blogging without talking much about my feelings about my fiance’s visitor visa refusal (I talked about it here) because I don’t feel it’ll do me much good. We can’t change anything, we can’t give up at least until we have word about the spousal visa decision, but, it means everything is harder, like looking into my future and realizing I’m in a dead zone right now and perhaps him and I are both wasting our time believing we could live together in the same country as my family. I didn’t realize that was such an unrealistic ‘want’ when I fell in love with him, but, maybe it is. Maybe it was also really naive to think that I lived in a place that would allow me to marry whoever I wanted to… Anyway, enough about that, I don’t want to dwell on something that I can’t actually do anything about.

This week is Pattern Clash with Aussie Curves, last year for this theme I went with this look but since then I’ve done some insane clashing that I’ve now accepted I won’t be able to top. I reached my clashing PEAK with this outfit and I’m woman enough to admit I can’t do any better ;) . The legendary Alex from Jet Georgette even referenced my peak clasherrific outfit in her post for this week. So, because I couldn’t do any more super clash, I went back to my tips on mixing prints and went with a basic colour throughout the outfit (in this case black – don’t even start with that ridic ‘it ain’t a colour shite’ cos I’m at a point where I’ll lose my shit at anyone that irritates me in the very slightest)  and also went with mixing stripes with florals, and of course, throwing different textures of fabrics in there too to mix it up more :) Oh, also, I’m looking for work to bring in extra $$ for PHO sizzle‘s next collection plan and to visit my fiance since it’s apparent he won’t be visiting me any time soon…so, if you know of any work, I can DO anything. :)

2 3 5 4 6Jacket: Black Friday Pants: Caroline Morgan ( a long time ago) Top: Coco Latte (also a long time ago – I’m not buying clothes atm unless they are thrifted) Shoes: thrifted Glasses: Wholesale Celeb Shades

Anyway, don’t forget to check out the other AC ladies this week for clashing inspo, and thank you to all my friends, family and blog readers for their kind words. x

xox Jacqui

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If I can’t have you…

1You know you’re in a bad way when If I can’t have you by Kim Wilde makes you tear up on public transport and you watch an obvious tear-jerker on TV by choice…oh yeah, that is me today, and in fact, I couldn’t even work yesterday and spend most of the day receding back into black dog habits of sleeping all day as a way to escape reality because in my sleep I didn’t remember what had happened.

My partner and I received some bad news – his visitor visa result was delayed for ages and we waited and grew increasingly frustrated as we heard nothing from the department and they failed to reply to our emails. Finally, yesterday we got word that his visitor visa (in which he wanted to come here for one month to have a holiday with me) was denied. The reasons for denial seemed to me to be filled with inaccuracies and at least one pretty major assumption – the kinds of things I teach  NOT to do in academic writing to ESL EAP students and yet here it was on a government document with a clear note that there is no grounds for appeal. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know this is the second visitor visa application he’s had knocked back and we’re in the midst of a difficult spousal visa application too – for ‘high risk’ (their words, not mine) countries the process can take from 12 to 15 months.  Oh, another cute factoid about spousal visas – as of 2015 the price has increased by 50%, which I think makes it come out at $4500 to apply? Not for it to be approved necessarily, that’s an application fee! For us we paid less that that as we applied last year. Anyway, madness but we are determined to make it. We feel pretty sad about what has happened but recognize that we can’t lose hope yet – if the spousal visa isn’t approved, well, then I leave this country and don’t return out of disgust, but we’ll cross that bridge if it happens.

I’m still pretty raw about it (obviously if I’m crying to Kim Wilde) but I’ll do what I have been doing for 13 months – throw myself into work, skype, viber, call and gchat my love and try to keep our hopes up. I’ll push myself to keep going to the gym, seeing positive friends and influences and enjoying my jobs. Another way to keep my hopes up is to Op Shop! Seriously, I love finding bargains and found both this hat and dress this week!

3 6 9 2 7 8 5 4Cloche Hat: thrifted $5 Dress: thrifted new with tags from Forever New for $7 Shoes: thrifted Name Necklace: Byron Bay Names

By the way, if you are after a name necklace, I met River of Byron Bay names last week when I was at Rose St Artists’ Market – he’s an awesome guy and these necklaces are sterling silver, hand made and really lovely. He’s got free postage in Australia too.

FInally, I want to say thank you to everyone who has given my kind words over the last few days, I’ll pass them on to Seydou too and it’s lovely to feel that so many people commiserate with you.

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Riot Grrrl Heroines: Alternative Curves

3Wow, I have never gone down a wikipedia binge as much as I have these last few days trying to unravel the mysteries of this month’s Alternative Curves theme – Riot Grrrl Heroines. I read a great blog which did a nice summarizing job, but honestly I still felt uneasy about trying to replicate a look. When I originally looked through the wikipedia list of Riot Grrrl bands, the only one I knew was Hole – and even Courtney Love’s inclusion in the riot grrrl list is greatly contested. I’d heard of others, but not any of their music. I liked Veruca Salt, Portishead and Skunk Anansie when I was teen, I didn’t even particularly like Hole. All these bands seem too late for the main wave of Riot Grrrl and I haven’t really delved into 80s music that much. That was until I started this wiki binge.

After looking at various pinterest boards, goggle searching and reading the blog I mentioned above, the term Kinderwhore kept coming up. Images of Courtney Love immediately popped into my head as she is the one that popularized the look, but, it was apparently earlier grrrls that started doing this look onstage. Kat Bjelland from Babes in Toyland was one of these legends. I then listened to Babes in Toyland youtube play lists and google searched Kat Bjelland google images.

So, the images in this post are my take on Kinderwhore fashion and hence a loose connection to Riot Grrrl. I can’t really articulate why I picked the kinderwhore look over the other riot grrrl fashion, it was partly because I knew I could pull it off and partly because this is a more genuine outfit for what I would wear. If I suddenly wore an outfit that I didn’t feel comfortable in or that wasn’t in my realm of what I would wear… I don’t know, I just couldn’t do it…this is a similar feeling I had when Aussie Curves had their ‘hipster’ week – something about trying to pinpoint fashion into a lifestyle and doing it in a way that isn’t parodying the lifestyle is quite hard. The wikihow (does anyone else find them hilariously simplistic and not useful at all?) I stumbled upon here seemed to push that people knew being a riot grrrl isn’t about fashion (obviously) and without knowing the bands well, I picked a look I knew I could replicate easily and have probably touched on before in other 90s posts, but a little more extreme… I hope this is an okay interpretation of the theme?

1 6 8 4 7 2Jacket: Black Friday Pants: Cotton On Top: thrifted & cut nightgown Shoes: thrifted

Anyway, I’m going to listen to the rest of my Babes in Toyland playlist now. Don’t forget to check out the other Alternative Curve babes when they get their looks together! Also, I have to say, I really enjoyed the challenge of this theme and post. It pushed me to do something new and made me do one of my favourite activities – wiki binging!

xox Jacqui

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Aussie Curves – Swimwear

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You know me- almost every post recently I’ve been in my swimmers in some way or another! Most of my swimwear is blue or in variants of  and I think the only piece I haven’t show you before in posts is the high waisted bottoms, dubbed by my aunt as ‘big girl pants’. Love it! They are also blue! I bought them from an online store in China knowing full well that the red polka dot top wouldn’t fit me (lived in Asia long enough to know my boobs are bigger than an XL according to their sizing) but was more lusting after the bottoms anyway.

 I don’t reaaalllly know how I accumulated so many pairs of blue-ish swimmers, but it works a charm as I mix different tops and bottoms to my hearts content! I do know I used to have more bikinis in different colours, but, they’re slowly and surely being replaced by blue. Picasso’s blue period is coming.

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CHOOSING SWIMWEAR:

My main needs in swimwear is for me to be able to fight waves, go over rapids and generally run around madly without too much of an issue of ‘uh-oh, i’m naked,’. Now, obviously, a couple of my triangle bikinis really don’t meet that criteria, but, you know, when a wave has just dumped you after body surfing it, your nose is full of salt water, your head is lodged in sand, and you see another wave fast approaching just as you open your stinging eyes and attempt to gain some composure, well, a bikini top around my neck exposing nips is the least of my worries tbh! The wave monster is a far greater concern. I’ll deal with that dastard bikini after the waves have spewed me forth onto the shallows. Aside from functionality, they need to look cute and probably have some kind of print or little feature that makes me squeal. That isn’t only how I choose swimwear, I think I choose all things in life by this mantra. HA!

Also, I need by swimmers to be able to mixed and matched with my other swimmers flawlessly, however, my concept of ‘matching’ may not be the same as everyone else’s, my sister said I have a panache for clash and I totally agree with her. I do love clashing patterns, colours and fabrics, so maybe it doesn’t matter so much if I start buying swimmers in non blue shades? HA! I’ll wait until the current bikinis I have do eventually die though because why buy more when I’ve got so many already? Oh, in case you are wondering, yes I do have a one piece too – I just haven’t blogged in it and I rarely wear it – it makes going to the toilet SO HARD!

‘BIKINI BODY’? 

I think I realized I was happy enough to pose in a bikini in the photo below which is from Thailand in 2010 – long before I had a blog but when I was starting to feel more comfortable in my skin. I’ve written about my body acceptance and then, body love journey here in a four part series, so I won’t go over it again, but I do think that this photo in Thailand is when I went ‘yeah, bikinis, yeah!’  – then my sister and I subsequently went and bought about 5 pairs each! Hehehe. Only 3 pairs remain, and the checkered ones featured below when I’m in the rainbow tyre are close to dying… the doggie print itsy weeny bikini is still going strong however! Ha! Survival of the bluest!

I don’t get particularly self conscious when wearing swimwear in an environment where everyone else is also in their swimwear because, well, human nature means they are too worried about themselves looking okay to even notice others, and if they do, well, whatever. But, I do also swim in highly deserted places – rivers with no one else, miles and miles of surf beach with a few random people intercepted at different junctures. I have swum a lot in pools, especially in Hanoi, but to be honest I didn’t even worry about whether my body with ‘fit’ enough to wear a bikini, I just got on with it and had fun with my friends. This confidence  probably does have a lot to do with my blog and the journey I had before I started it that is outlined in that four part series I was waffling about.

SWIMWEAR POSTS

The posts below are some of the posts I’ve done where I’ve featured swimwear on my blog – as you can see, I often wear that blue halter top as just a normal top, but it is good to swim in as it isn’t as precarious as the triangle bikinis. I didn’t want to just show you all my different bikinis, but more how I’ve worn them and worked them into outfits in this blog. I love the ‘porcelain Ming vase’ set as it makes me feel delicate or like a flower child hippy – it is paisley after all, and obviously the doggie triangle bikini is a favourite because the print is so unique, even if it is precarious to wear.  Just click on a photo to be taken to the original post with many more photos.

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3 4

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toomuchcamel

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So, there you have it – a whole lot of swimwear photos of me – and with all the blue togs I have – the possibilities are endless!! :D I hope this has given you some style tips as well as proven that I’m addicted to blue bathers!

Also, THE MOST EXCITING NEWS I HAVE is my interview about PHO sizzle and last fashion show we did is up on youtube! HUZZAH HOORAH! Check it out here - it’s fun and really well done :D

Don’t forget to check out the other AC ladies swimwear posts when the the link code is up!

xox Jacqui

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Insouciance

17These are the last of my vacay pics – and a big thank you to Jim for taking the pics of me in the tyre and Evie, Imogen and Ollie for helping me with this shoot and allowing me to use their amazing floating devices!  아싸 !!!!! As the Koreans would say…aight so Assa! in Korean means ‘awesome‘ – just a nugget of wisdom I picked up eons ago when I taught English there to little children. I also know colours and animals. :D  So, me reckons this outfit has a bit of a Jodie Foster/Taxi Driver vibe – I think it’s the hat? It was hot as satan’s balls during these pictures, hence only having four and then diving back into the cool enveloping arms of the Indi River.

Man, this year I had dreams of holidazing with my beloved, but, in a twist of evil fate, we still have not even heard whether his visitor visa has been approved – the spousal visa’ll take a gazillion months yet, but this one…well, let’s just say it’s well over the time limit of when they were meant to give us a result and yet we still wait… blerggghhh. #hiss

All that hideousness aside, I found the exact word for my holidazing – insouciance! :D YES!

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18Shorts: Smooth Sailing Shorts by PHO sizzle Sunnies: Wholesale Celebshades  Hat: a shop on Brunswick St that has closed down Top: Thailand

Anyway, if you want to see my other posts from this vacation (and the same one I did in 2013/2014, they are:

Beach & Pool:

Indi River/Biggara:

I’ve been at the market all weekend selling PHO sizzle and chat-chat-chatting with customers and stall holders. It’s such a great market and the other people there are so effing talented! It’s important to support small businesses as a blogger (and as a general consumer) and I’m planning to do more posts showing the awesome stuff available at Rose St through the friends I’ve made there… you know, it’s a novel concept, but, hey, how about being a brand ambassador to brands that actually need it, not some huge-arse corporation…that being said I do have a lot of clothes from dem huge-arse corporations- mainly basics. I am actually trying to not buy anything that isn’t supporting a small business because, quite frankly, I know how important it is to them/us. Obviously this is going to be a tough one, but I will endure to do it, and honestly, I don’t buy a lot of new clothes anyway.

Hey, have you seem my interview and latest fashion show? It’s on youtube here! Yay!! I don’t really like the end bit where they asked me to declare myself and say ‘i’m a fashion designer’ but, that’s cos I’m not a fan of boxes -hence that cray-cray caffeinated rant about identity a few posts ago. Anyway, bisous and I hope you had a grand weekend!

xox Jacqui 

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Aussie Curves – Shoes

2I haven’t done an AC challenge for a few weeks cos I’ve been too busy having a fun vacation filled with outfit posts in (mainly) PHO sizzle clothes at fun locations – so much BEACH! Also, after reading yesterday’s post I realized I needed to be a bit more structured in blog posts and perhaps NOT do them when I’m all hepped up on coffee. I was actually going to save these shoes for a Fugly Monday post, but I may as well show them off now. These shoes were a unicorn find at the op shop. I actually found a bunch of coolness that day, but these babies took the cake! Obviously someone loved them a lot as they’ve been resoled, but don’t look particularly worn. Intriguing… I can imagine some old Don wearing them with a white Havana suit and matching white wide brimmed hat, smoking a cigar and drinking an espresso from a tiny cup… Sadly I don’t have any of those things on hand, nor am I a Don…well, fuck it, I kinda am in my mind… Anyway, I think I was feeling remorseful about missing Sacramento and Rosy’s  Masculine Share In Style theme and thought I’d quickly whip up a masculine look – with a itty bitty homage to classic, clean Italian fashion of jeans and white shirts. :) I could have gone down a La Strada rabbit hole and tried to look like the beautifully quirky Guiliette Masina, but, that would be a tad too off topic of shoes, plus, I kinda like her in Nights of Cabiria more, such a wonderful film…6So, yeah, shoes… I don’t actually have that many. I have cool shoes that I got tailor-made in Hoi An, but, not that many pairs… usually I would go down to Hoi An from Hanoi once a year and get all the possible shoes I’d need for that year, cos, remember, ain’t no way you’d get size 9 in Hanoi, not pretty shoes anyway! But, I certainly don’t have much of a shoe fetish. I like comfort and practical, and shoes that match a lot of outfits…and of course, insane ones like these babies that I could not leave in the Op Shop.

4 5 1 7 3Shoes: thrifted Jeans: Jeans West Curve Embracers Black Top: Cotton On White Shirt: totally nicked it from my Dad’s wardrobe Headband: a shop from Brunswick St that’s closed Suspenders: $5 bin from Jay Jays! Ha!

Don’t forget to check out the other AC ladies shoe-tastic posts! And if you haven’t watched La Strada or Nights of Cabiria – get on that! Guilette Masina was amazing!

xox Jacqui

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“Without a sense of identity, there can be no real struggle”

1Yes, I’m really reading the book below. I found it in my parents’ bookshelf and was attracted to the ‘oh so seventies’ font and the title. After reading the synopsis, I figured I could read it. Slowly. And interspersed with easier reading material. So, I’ve been swapping chapter for chapter between Paulo Freire‘s influential book and Fitzgerald‘s The Beautiful and the Damned – it may end up in a huge confused heap in my brain as I combine late sixties approaches to education with Jazz Age opulence with the New York elite. That, my friend would be an interesting book!

Anyway, in a year from now when I finish Freire’s book, I’ll let you know what I think but I already agree with the basic principles he’s outlined, and obviously the quote in my post title is great. If we remove it and flip it from the context Freire was using, we can see it can be applied to almost anything in a positive way (alright, so yes, I haven’t mentioned philosophy in my blog like this since perhaps my review of Baby Face so bear with me). For example, if our identity is fluid, without the rigid perceptions of who we are, who we are ‘mean to be’ or how we ‘should’ behave holding us back, well, we are weightless and able to drift to wherever we want. The tethers of obligation applied to us by ourselves and society can mean nothing when we realize they are often self imposed under the guise of identity. Just a thought, I’ve had a fair bit of coffee so the thought freeway is pretty busy. I just think that there are a lot of people struggling to find their identity, to neatly fit themselves into a box, but, if you step out of the box, disregard it, perhaps chop it up into tiny pieces, well, then there is nothing left for you to hold onto – you are truly free to do whatever you wish and float to wherever you desire, without struggle.

… Should I even have another coffee?

6Funny story about these photos. I took them up at Lakes Entrance (as a break from the numerous beach & bikini posts) and was editing them in my down time. Suddenly my lovely pink computer Princess Ly decided to have an epic hissy fit and shut down post editing. I had already removed the images from my memory card on the camera, and when I finally was able to turn my computer on, the whole folder with these images was gone! I called up PHO sizzle’s IT guru Tomi Oi and had a sook to him and we tried to find them again, but, no, nup, gone. I gave up and went to the beach. After more than a week I turned Princess Ly back on and voila! There is the folder sitting on the desktop when it wasn’t there before! Weird, but, yay!

4Oh, also, I’ve had a couple of questions about my tattoo on my side. Yes, it hurt quite a bit! It is the Arecibo Message. If you don’t know about the binary code that was sent out into space in ’74, you should do some wiki reading cos it is pretty interesting, particularly interesting that it’ll take 25,000 years to reach it’s destination and kinda funny that they projected all of earth’s information and human weaknesses out into space for any space alien to get – if they know binary. Hmm. Anyway, I got this tattoo as my sister and I had often talked about it, she told me she wasn’t going to do it so I got it as a homage to her. I already had a Bristol Freighter for my Mum and a Rainbow trout for my Dad, so my awesome sis needed some ink love.

So this outfit is very nautical isn’t it? I’m wearing my brand’s high waist shorts you’ve seen before and our Lantern Fish loving sailor top! I also love adding pops of red to dark blue, as you’ve probably noticed in other posts (cough cough, here, here and here)

2 3Top: Deep Sea Sailing Top by PHO sizzle Shorts: Smooth Sailing Shorts by PHO sizzle Bikini: bought in Thailand Glasses: Pink Fashion

Big thanks to Ant and his parents for letting me stay at this glorious house for New Years, and thanks to Tomi Oi for spending time helping me find these pictures again. Right! Enough procrastinating, there is work to be done and another coffee to be got. Gotten? Ugh. Past Particles can get fucked right now… ;)

xox Jacqui

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