Monday, January 30, 2012

cutouts, culottes and colour combos

I'm constantly on the hunt for good basic tees/tops and I have got to say, I found some really great ones at valleygirl yesterday for less than a tenner each! Not only did they have a good range of cuts, but also an amazing selection of colours - my personal faves were the marle grey, mustard yellow, rust and navy. And the fabric was surprisingly good - light, thin, breathable, and just that bit slinky.

Today - relaxed pretty with a bit of height. Cut outs & culottes & unexpected colour combos - comfortable, effortless cool.

getting things done.

I've been meaning to set a facebook page for iamVinhdicated for a while now, and tonight I finally got 'round to it. So go on peeps, get liking here. And spread the word. Not only will you get updates on my blog, but I'll also be downsizing my wardrobe through the page - so keep an eye out for some major bargains!

I'm enjoying having free reign of my wardrobe again, but at the same time, it has been pretty overwhelming trying to pick an outfit out of it, especially having gotten used to living out of a suitcase. Not to mention the insane Sydney weather.

On Saturday I felt like being a bit more ladylike, so I donned a pretty pleated dress, pulled my hair into a bun, slapped on some earrings and did something I rarely do - applied some make up (just a bit of mascara, eye liner & lippy for funsies). I actually think I look weird with eye liner on. Not really ladylike come to think of it...maybe a bit...tarty. Hahaha. I broke up the prissy-ness with some chunky cut out wedges:

Dress, belt & bag purchased in Vietnam, earrings from diva, shoes from Zu, (ring was a gift).

And today, I went for a more relaxed look (excuse my gross feet!):

Singlet by Junk, Skirt from Sportsgirl, Sandals from Freelance

Now back to the tennis! Haha I'll write again soon. x.

Friday, January 27, 2012

I'm baaaaackkkk!

Did ya miss me? No need to answer, I know you did. Don't try and deny it. You were checking constantly to see if I'd posted weren't you? It's okay, I did the same. On my own blog. And got busted by my sister. Yes, I'm a bit of a luvo. Don't judge me. Haha

I just got back from Vietnam two days ago, and I'm missing it already! It was such an amazing experience - everything from the weather, the people, the culture, the shopping, and, of course, the food, was incredible!

In the city we'd wake up, gorge ourselves on buffet breakie, then go out and explore the many markets (Saigon Square and Ben Thanh markets were favourites, although they both required lots and lots of bargaining), grab lunch, go back to the hotel, rest, (and gorge on copious amounts of fresh tropical fruits), go out to dinner, and then head back to just outside Ben Thanh for the night markets (which would go on until around 11pm at night - again, plenty of bargaining required).

Visiting the countryside, albeit slightly less glamorous, was still a great experience - and it was awesome getting to know the family normally separated from us by such great distance. The family, the friends - the home, that my parents left behind so many years ago. It's amazing how you can just meet someone and just instantly feel that warmth that you have with people you've known your whole life.

The resort leg of the trip was absolute bliss - with most of my days spent lazing by the beach or the pool, sipping on cocktails and coconuts, or going for joyrides on motorbikes & scooters (and getting laughed at by all the locals along the way). Mui Ne is such a beautiful place, and a week definitely was not long enough.

Needless to say, my sisters, cousins and I spent some serious Dong during the trip - having to buy a whole extra suitcase to house our goods. Think dirt-cheap nikes & tigers, amazing girly pleat dresses, cute traditional outfits (like pjs, ao dai, ao baba, and kung-fu style outfits) for the kids, leather bags & wallets, countless souvenir magnets, key rings and tshirts, polos, sunnies, and hats made from cans lol. All I can say is that I've fallen in love with the country, and I'll definitely be back one day.

I've only been back for two days, but somehow I've already managed to go shopping. Twice. I seriously have a problem. But...sales! Two days work left me with 3 dresses, a sequin top, 3 pairs of sandals and a pair of glittery pumps, a maxi skirt, a playsuit and a bag - but only $165 poorer! ONLY! And that includes labels such as valleygirl, freelance, sportsgirl and leona edmiston (not to mention some amazing vintage finds).

This is what I wore today. I got asked by someone if I'd gained weight, and when I replied, 'yeah, a kilo', she said 'yeah, you can tell'. What an ego boost. Lol, time to start exercising!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Saigon, so good.

Hellloooooo from sunny (okay, so, not that sunny through the clouds of pollution...but definitely hot and sticky) Saigon!

I've been here for a week now, and I've got to say, I'm enjoying being back in the motherland much more than I expected to. The hotel we're staying at is roomy and clean (well, before we got to it anyway lol)
and pretty much in the middle of the city, about 3 minutes walk to ben thanh markets (one of the biggest indoor markets in Saigon, although prices there are quite dear and lots of places are now 'fixed price' so we won't be shopping there much anymore). Wifi is free at most hotels here.

The food here has been amazing, and amazingly cheap - with the best meal so far being from a restaurant called nha hang ngon (literally 'restaurant yummy') - banh xeo (Vietnamese pancakes), banh beo (Vietnamese rice cakes with shrimp), banh coc (small round rice and turmeric cakes with shrimp topping), rau muon (morning glory), bun thit nuong (grilled pork vermicelli), tamarind mud crab, rice and more, plus two rounds of drinks (including fresh guava juice, fresh coconut, soursop shakes, a beer) for 5 adults and 3 kids for $60! And the atmosphere and service was top notch to boot!

The outside seating area of nha hang ngon. The place gets absolutely packed at night - this is the line to get in.

Rau muon. I was too busy eating to take pictures of anything else lol

The poor waiter kept apologizing about everything even though there was nothing wrong...he even came and cut up our food and when we told him not to worry about it he told us he was scared because some customers were a bit difficult and he couldn't risk getting complaints. We felt terrible for him, knowing how much he would have valued his job. People here, the ones with proper jobs in restaurants or hotels, work all day for 30000-60000 dong - the equivalent to $1.50-$3 a day. And they're the ones doing well. It really puts things into perspective - we complain about having to work for $20 an hour, and really, dealing with a few grumpy customers is nothing like being on your hands and knees scrubbing floors.

And this is in the city. We don't head to the country until next week, and I hear that's where shit gets really bad.

Another terrible thing is that tourists are told not to give money to beggars, because if you give to one person, they swarm to you. Its so difficult, especially with my problem of not being able to say no. We have just been overtipping and letting people keep change. Not much to us, but days wages for them.

In saying all of this, though, I'm a little ashamed to say that in the past couple of days we've been indulging in some shopping - yesterday after dinner, we wandered through a night market, where we picked up everything from kids polos, to rings, toys and dolls, dresses, and leather wallets. Vendors here drive a hard bargain, and even though relative to prices back home, everything is cheap, you still have to bargain as they'll try to charge tourists double or triple the normal price for items.

Yesterday I picked up two cute polka dot pleated dresses for 650000 dong ($16.50 each), bargained down from the asking price of 760000 dong, which was still definitely a rip off as we saw the same dresses a few stalls down for the STARTING price of 250000 each ($12.50, meaning there was still bargaining room). Rationally it's still cheap, but it's annoying how convincing the sales people are when they tell you that it's the lowest price and they're hardly making a profit. I know, when you put it like that I sound really naive, but it's really hard in the moment, really! I also grabbed a full leather wallet, and this gorgeous silver stone ring.

Today, we went for a walk throng Saigon square, another indoor shopping centre/market, where just over $150 got us 10 authentic ( if they're fake, they're really high quality, but I'm pretty sure the authentic stuffs made here anyway) old navy/baby gap girls dresses, 2 girls jumpsuits, 2 pairs of puma shorts, a pair of dress shorts, two pairs of boys baby gap shorts, two baby gap collared shirts, and two really good quality pleated chiffon dresses with matching belts. I haven't got pictures handy but I'm sure you'll see them when I get back!

For now though, here's what I wore today, one of the polka dot dresses from last night, zahara cutout belt, betts sandals, and my new, $2.50 ring.

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