OOTD: Leaves

Hey reader! Thanks for stopping by.

So I finally have an outfit to post!  It’s been really difficult to get any photos lately with my cycling to work (i.e. I get ready at work almost every single day, so I can’t snap a quick photo before I leave the house like I often used to).  I spent some time this past weekend organizing some outfits so took some time to grab a photo of an outfit that I wore recently and felt quite good in.

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top: aliexpress, bag: aliexpress, trousers: uniqlo, shoes: dune london

The top is from aliexpress.  I loved the print – however the fabric is much shinier than I like – though with aliexpress there isn’t much to be done.  The armholes were also absolutely ginormous so I sewed them up quite substantially.  However, I still think it’s quite wearable.  I like the boxy shape and think it will also pair well with jeans, and maybe even a high waist skirt.  We shall see.

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back view – please disregard the wrinkles…?

Anyways, it’s one of a number of printed blouses I’ve been incorporating into my wardrobe  – at least 3 of which are from aliexpress because….  cheap.

I’m also loving the shoes and would love to pick up another pair in black.  They were also a bargain from Dune London – who are well worth a look – their sale prices are fantastic and their shipping reasonable.  The quality isn’t absolutely the best, but it’s not bad and if you like genuine leather (which I do) they might suit.

Happy Shopping!

Love/Hate LOFT

LOFT: Love the clothes, hate the store policies.

Or, yet another way I’m being punished for living overseas.

So I got an email the other day saying LOFT was having a sale.  I’m not supposed to be shopping but had a look anyways.  I like to browse, fill up fantasy shopping carts, pin stuff to my pinterest board, etc.

But I couldn’t work out why the sale prices weren’t actually showing up.  I had to live chat them, and apparently Loft online sales are only valid in the USA.  WTH?  Why bother shipping to foreign countries, promoting on your website that you ship to over 100+ countries…  and then not offer the sale to those other 99+ countries?

I actually got into it with the live chat person, who gave me some B.S. line about how it’s in accord with their policies and regulations.  When I asked specifically what regulations they need to follow, of course they weren’t able to answer and promised to follow up via email.

Also, typical, when I went to save the chat transcript so I could share with you their exact wording…  it crashed.

Loft is one of the brands I love – their stuff is so cute.  But I will not be paying full price ($70-100+ AUD for a shirt?  No thank you).  So apparently I will not be ordering at all, because sales do not apply to me, being a dirty ex-pat and all.

Great business model, LOFT.

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How adorable is this skirt?!  I love it so much I could cry.  It’s also $90 USD.  😦

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This top.  Is perfect. $44 USD

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And this fabulous collar-less blazer.  $127 USD

So Loft, I love you.  But why must you hurt me so badly?  You know I almost never pay full price for anything, and I certainly won’t be starting with you, not with your attitude towards foreign customers.  It’s as if you don’t want my money.

[Why can’t everyone just be like ASOS with free international shipping and returns?!]

Ex-pat life: Each overseas move is different

Hi All.  I’m sorry I’ve been really bad at keeping to my “1 post a week” goal so far this year.  In fact, I’ve been really bad about blogging in general since the Australian move.  I haven’t really had the motivation to blog.  And as previously stated, sometimes I have received a lot of negative comments on any post not related to fashion, so I feel posting more honest, personal posts aren’t safe.

But today I feel different.  I want to share my feelings.  Because in all honesty, this Australian move has been hard.  Much harder than I thought it would be.  Much harder than my original move (which was 10 years ago, by the way.  Yes, I’ve been an ex-pat for 10 years.  And no, it doesn’t get any easier).

This time has been much harder, and for 9 months now, I’ve felt super isolated and homesick.  But now of course, I feel homesick for two places.  Luckily, NZ is very close and I’ve gotten to see a lot of our friends at least a couple of times over the last 9 months (especially over Christmas).  But I’m still incredibly homesick for the NZ mountains.  I know there are other people out there who know “once you live near the mountains you can never live anywhere else” and ohmigod have I found this to be true.  I firmly believe I will never be happy living away from the mountains ever again – and yes, even though I am close to some of the world’s best beaches – I’m a mountain girl through and through.

But more importantly, I am incredibly homesick for my friends and family in Minnesota.  You might be wondering after 10 years, why I’m so homesick right now?  When I was looking for new jobs back in 2015, I was concentrating mostly on the USA.  D and I planned to move back there.  That was absolutely 100% the plan and I was telling my family and friends that we would be back!  Well lo and behold, I didn’t get any job offers in the USA, and instead got one here in Australia.  So here we are.  So in a sense, I am still mourning the life that I’ve given up yet again – being closer to my family and friends in MN – and yes, I do feel a profound sense of loss.  That is not to say that we don’t have friends here in Australia – we do!  But I don’t have any friends in the city I that I actually live in yet.  All of D & my friends still live an hour away, and at most we see them every few weeks.

Soooo… the last 9 months I’ve felt isolated and alone.

That’s not to say I’m not glad we ended up in Australia.  With everything that is happening in the USA, I’d say I’ve dodged a bullet.  Also, it’s hard to say to my family and friends that “I have a much better life as an expat” than I ever could have had in the USA.  But I’ve had to give up all of my closest connections (which, as a functional only child growing up in the middle of nowhere rural MN who had almost no friends from the age of 5-12 – aka, my childhood was also profoundly lonely – seems a little crazy).

Being an ex-pat isn’t easy.  Each move is different.  Even when you move with a spouse, it can still be hard!  And as this certainly won’t be the last move for us, I can only imagine how different the next move will be (because again, who knows when or where we’ll end up.  Welcome to being an academic).  I just vote that next time we end up a little bit closer to my family and the Mountains.