Firmoo glasses on

I was contacted a few weeks ago by Antonio from to see if I’d like to participate in their free glasses offer. Well duh!

First stop was Specsavers to get my eyes checked. It had been a couple of years but thankfully my eyes have only deteriorated a small amount. Specsavers Cuba Mall was fast and super friendly for a check up. They even use cool machines to take a picture of the back of your eyeball (which my optometrist let me see on his iPad) to check for cataracts or glaucoma . I told the optometrist I’d like a copy of the prescription so I could order glasses online and did not hear a single word of protest! Big change from my last check up (not at Specsavers), and all this excellent service for free with my AA membership. So good that I’ve thrown in this review without prompting or subsidy.

Anyway, Firmoo. I usually wear thick rimmed rectangular glasses so this time I went for a rounder frame, fairly straight across the top and not too large. It’s always a risk buying new styles when you have a face as big and square as mine and I’m not convinced the risk paid off; the way the frames taper at the bottom really emphasises the size of my cheeks and the top of the frame hits exactly below my eyebrows making me look a bit Groucho Marxy.

The service from Firmoo was excellent though. Fast response, fast shipping, and the prescription is perfect. As long as I keep my hair tied up while wearing this pair I think I can live with the style, it’s not like it’s unusual for me to look like a dweeb anyhow.

Firmoo glasses on

Everything else Melbourne



I’m no expert on vintage brands or styles. I don’t even know much of anything about current brands and styles. But I like what I like, and I like what Melbourne has to offer.

While there we stayed in the heart of Melbourne’s gentrified bohemian scene – Fitzroy/Collingwood. The area is dominated by excellent cafes and vintage shops. I spent $100 on a second hand dress from Vintage Garage in Collingwood, mostly because I loved the pattern and it fits perfectly, but also because I really loved the shop. It’s curated by a number of collectors and arranged beautifully with rows hanging clothing racks and glass cabinets displaying all manner of accessories and collectibles.

Vintage Garage really was a delight to shop in and we were left to explore the store as long as we liked.

A few streets over in Fitzroy is Brunswick Street’s Red Cross store. It stood out enough that I made a note on my phone to remind myself of the great selection, cute staff, and good music.

You really can’t go wrong if you just spend a day exploring everything on Smith and Brunswick streets.

The majority of my Melbourne purchases were made at a couple of Savers stores. Savers is a long established warehouse style recycled clothing chain with most of its branches in Melbourne. I first visited the branch in Footscray and found a blouse that I’ve worn a lot since. But one of the Kiwi staff from the Proud Mary cafe suggested I catch a tram to the Brunswick branch. (Note that Brunswick St and Brunswick are completely different areas. Every fucking name in Melbourne is duplicated at least once and it can get very frustrating and confusing!) I’m so glad I did! I picked up a huge amount of swag, including 2 pairs of shoes.

National Gallery of Victoria

I do like art, but I can’t spend a long time staring at a single painting or a small collection. I get bored. But the National Gallery of Victoria has free entry and once inside I realised I do actually love art, mostly 19th century, mostly dark.
While exploring the National Gallery I fell in love with the salon style Victorian Room. In a top corner hung Anguish by August Schenck, one of the most beautiful and distressing paintings I’ve seen.



The Queen Vic Market is a must visit if you haven’t been before. The food is excellent and the trinkets will make you appreciate just how much crap you could possibly have in your life. If you’re looking for cheap clothing you’ll find it here. And at $5-$10 off inner city prices (for the exact same item).

For something more special you should check out the Rose St Artist Market. It’s a handmade market open on Staurdays in Fitzroy. We left with a Carey Potter painting and a Write to Me stationery brochure.


  • If you like movies then you have to see something at Astor Theatre. It’s big and old and beautiful and has a resident cat.
  • Olympic Donuts at Footscray Train Station cannot be beaten.
  • The pho at Hien Vuong (Pasteur), 146 Hopkins St, Footscray is excellent. The large size bowls are ridiculously HUGE.
  • Dumplings from Shanghai Street Dumpling, 342 Little Bourke St are worth waiting in line for.
  • Rooftop Bar on Swanston St is moderately priced and has excellent views. The novelty of being so high up without being pushed around by the wind was not lost on this Wellingtonian.
  • The State Library of Victoria is quite stunning if you’re into architecture. We didn’t look at any of the books but spent some time looking at the exhibitions.

Girl and Elephant graffiti
Yarn bombed
St Kilda
Roller Coaster
Luna park and wolf
Baby dino
State Library of Victoria
Birdman Eating
Burgers and Fries
Train Station
Sunrise in Collingwood // Fitzroy // Vine covered house // Bars in alleyways // Graffiti // Yarn bombed bike // St Kilda // Luna Park // Melbourne Museum // State Library of Victoria // Birdman Eating // Alleys // Sebastian // Burgers and Fries at Rooftop Bar // St Paul’s Cathedral // Flinders St Station

Fiddler on the Roof

I met Sebastian around 2 years ago at Kate and Jason’s wedding. He’s a loud crazy guy, obsessed with Richard Nixon and Judaism. As I met him he was due to move to Melbourne so despite being close friends with Brendan and Jason I haven’t spent much time with him.

He was been back in New Zealand over xmas though so Brend and I got to spend a couple of days with him drinking coffee and discussing future travel plans.

Pre New Years, Seb showed up to our house in one of his standard outfits. I really love his style, it’s hipster with a hasidic bent and was only made better when the sun forced him to roll up his suit pants and jacket.




Aro Art

Walking Cliche

I found this in my drafts last night. A post I wrote in April 2010, and yet not much has changed. I lost a bit of interest in clothes but still dress pretty much the same. I wore the mentioned glasses with photochromic lenses all over Southeast Asia, but my newest pair were scored free from one of Clearly Contacts facebook deals.


If you started reading Cupcakes and Mace last year when I actually wrote you’d know I’m a t shirt fiend. Also a sneaker fiend. (I also love cake and movies but we’re talking about aesthetics right now ok.)

A while back it was suggested on twitter that I probably have about 45 black t shirts in my wardrobe and while I thought that was a bit hyperbolic I wasn’t sure what the real number was.

It currently sits around 25.

Note that that does not include t shirts of other colours, or black shirts in other styles. It is purely black t shirts with prints. The kind you get from Threadless and 1-day tee, and I have no intention of stopping. It’s a shame I don’t have more amazing skirts to wear them with, but that’s another value the tees add – a great excuse to buy skirts!

The sneaker collection has not grown much. I found a bright white pair of high tops with blue gingham around the top and yellow straps, they were on sale too! How could I resist. And my chucks are worn in enough now to wear regularly without needing plasters every time I put them on.

Add a new found addiction to buying glasses online, and a recent upsizing of my tunnels and you can see where all the money I don’t spend on food goes. Goggles 4U and Zenni Optical are online glasses retailers I can recommend first hand. Buying glasses in New Zealand is an expensive and slow business. Go to optometrist > pick glasses > pay around $600 for glasses > get glasses a few weeks later. If you have your prescription though, you can pick from hundreds of awesome frames, pay around $40 and have them delivered to your door in less than a week, even though they’re coming from somewhere like China or Pakistan. Carazy. Most recently I got this red amber pair from Zenni Optical which sit and fit perfectly.

zennioptical red

And this grey pair with grey photochromic lenses (they get darker in bright light) which are winging their way to me now.

goggles4u grey

You can also see that I have turned into one of those stupid hipsters everyone hates. I have tattoos, 1/2″ ear lobes and big nerd glasses; I pair t shirts and pencil skirts with tights and high top sneakers; I act like an adolescent even though I’m in my mid twenties; I don’t have a real job and instead spend my time going for coffee and listening to pop music covered by metal bands.

I’m a walking cliche. And I’m awesome.

Watch Out

This post is sponsored by Time2 Watches.

Colour, colour, colour.

If I’m going to wear a watch I want it to be an accessory, not just a functional time telling device. Something a bit different to the usual; colourful; not too big or tacky, but maybe a little tacky. I love watches with coloured faces.

Taking a look at Time2 Watches I found more than a few fitting my needs. I tend not to wear watches in everyday life. The ones I’ve owned in the past have been good enough, I suppose, but for some reason I try to buy what I think a watch should be and it never quite fits me right.

I do have one watch I like, which was stupidly spoiled by a leaking pen in my bag! I wore its bright pinkness all over Asia. So necessary for travel when you’re used to pulling out your phone for the time!

I really like all the Oasis brand watches! (plus they are cheap!!) The solid bright colours that cover even the face really appeal to me, and the deployment clasp would keep it from falling off my wrist. As my watches seem to love doing.

Yellow is slowly creeping into my wardrobe so I would not be disappointed if the Oasis yellow bracelet showed up in the post!

Making Fetch Happen

Sponsored by

I’ve never been one for designer clothing, but I think that has a lot to do with the fact I never know where to start. Catwalk looks are so freaky and it’s all just a bit intimidating. I couldn’t tell a Rick Owens from a Givenchy if my life depended on it.

I’ve been playing around a bit on though and finding some pretty sweet stuff (and some pretty crazy stuff). There’s a bunch of fancy designer clothing from the big names, but there’s also a heap of stuff from emerging, experimental, and casual contemporary designers. My faves are the contemporary designs obvs.

Clothes used to be so exciting to me but a lack of money and places to be, plus three months spent in Asia in my grungiest duds have sent me back to skinny jeans and t shirt territory. With the odd bright blue tight and dress combo. Maybe I’m losing my edge now I’m almost 26?!

Here’s a few looks I conjured up to get me back in the mood.


FarFetch Casual

I’ve been wearing a little more colour lately, and I love love love sky blue. That top though! If only I had that much to spend.


FarFetch Birthday

I don’t normally dress like this, but I really really want to. Lace dress, pinky purple brogues, skull covered clutch, spike necklace, and the pièce de résistance a glorious Alexander McQueen ring.

Look at the ring!

Beachin it

FarFetch Beach

We’ve got a bach booked for our new year holiday and I really cannot wait. The sun has got me so excited for beaches, and barbecues, and cider. And then I spotted this wolf swimsuit. Wuuuuuuuttt. I want to own it and parade it on the beaches of Raumati.

I would definitely wear this outfit on holiday with bright yellow sandals for day, and fancy fish sandals for night.

Low maintenance. No, really. Stop laughing!

I like to think of myself as down to earth, low maintenance, easily pleased. I’d rather eat a sausage in bread by the beach than a $60 steak meal in a fancy restaurant, and apart from my over abundance of t shirts the majority of my wardrobe is op shopped or clothing swapped.

My real problem is just having too. much. stuff! You may remember me talking about wanting to pare down my belongings last year, right around the time I thought I would be moving to Canada in the one one. We’re not moving overseas any more but we did move house and left a lot of things in the tip on the way. How do I still have trouble walking around my room due to all the junk then?

Now that my 3 month back pack around Asia is only a couple of months away I’m thinking about the need to pare down again. Soon everything I own needs to go back in to boxes and I need to carefully select a very small amount of things to take in my backpack. Solid shampoo and medication is a given, but what about clothing? How will this seemingly low maintenance girl deal without her double wardrobe full of clothes or her dresser full of underwear and tights?

For practice and experiment I’m taking Ginger’s advice and participating in the Six Items or Less challenge. I’m only planning for a week at the moment (or I might freak out), but I’ll keep going as long as I can.

The basics I’m wearing are boring, comfortable, and things I wear often already. A plain black t shirt, a straight plaid skirt, a black button down dress. Things that can surely be jazzed up with accessories. Or not.

Three days down and I’m feeling uninspired by my clothes, but finally making use of my huge box of costume jewellery.

How would you handle a month of the same few pieces of clothing?

5 Style Trends of the Decade – The Great and The Ghastly

At the start of the decade I was 14, just starting to get a few curves despite mums constant assurance I had no ass to speak of.
It was easy to see that girls were supposed to use their bodies to provoke and that I’d need to start dressing more feminine. After my wigga stage in the late nineties I bought a pair of tight baby blue corduroy pants with my own money. I began to experiment with op shopping and pushing the boundaries, trying to find a personal style when the concept was still quite foreign. I tried to see how far I could push it without embarrassing myself. I didn’t like wearing revealing clothes, but I did like to grab attention.

It’s strange trying to coming up with my favourite and least favourite styles of the decade because it’s like coming up with the favourite and least favourite styles of my life. There was nothing before this. I’ve done all of my experimenting this decade, I’ve gone from wigga, to mish mash op shop girl, to young adult trying to fit in with all of the other young adults that actually look a bit skanky so I actually feel really uncomfortable, to trying to look like a respectable employed person, to dabbling in the goth, to deciding I didn’t give a shit and if I want to wear sneakers and a t shirt with a skirt suit then fuck you if you tell me I can’t.

So without further a do. These are the trends I’ve loved and loved to hate from 2000 – 2009.

The Great

The Great

Leggings In general I’m not very confident about my skin tone or texture so when leggings hit the shops around late 2007/early 2008 I was quick to take them up as a staple. Previously I’d worn woollen stockings as pantihose only last an hour around me before I put a hole in them. Unfortunately I’m sensitive to wool so wearing woollen stockings was never very comfortable.
Leggings are now available in many colours and sizes, and makers even cater for people taller than 5’3″ on occasion! Makes dresses bearable all year round and scandalously short skirts seem demure.

Body Mods This decade has seen body modification not just pushing the boundaries, but also becoming acceptable, and even mainstream. You’ll find tattooed, pierced, and stretched employees in most workplaces these days.
Having access to communities of people, via the internet, who appreciate body mods has flared my interest and made me an addict.

Blazers Easy to chuck on with whatever you’re wearing blazers always make you look a little more polished.

Wide Leg Pants As an owner of thighs that are one size larger than the rest of her proportions I rely on wide legged pants to balance me out. These pants look as though they fall straight from my hips and don’t place any extra emphasis on exactly how I curve.

Mixing Styles Many think pairing sneakers – street shoes that is, not runners – with business suits is tacky and lazy. Not me though. It’s my favourite look of the decade. I like to be comfortable and just polished enough so a t shirt, blazer, dress skirt or pants, and sneakers is the best.

Extras for experts – Androgyny, socks as an accessory to an outfit, chucks, nerd chic.

The Ghastly

The Ghastly

Boho – This style rarely looks good outside of an ethereal looking editorial with horses.

Leggings as pants – Despite my big love for leggings as an accompaniment to a skirt or dress, a pyjama bottom, or a comfy alternative to trackpants, like trackpants I don’t think they should be worn out of the house as pants unless you’re doing sports. The material leggings are made from is usually thin and unforgiving. But most of all, it just looks like you forgot the last step when you got dressed in the morning.

Daisy dukes – At least if you’re wearing leggings I don’t have to see your ass. I’m sure you have a very nice ass, but I don’t really care for having it almost naked in front of me as I’m walking down the street.

Boob tubes – If you’re wearing one you end up spending half the night pulling it up to make sure you’re not exposing yourself. You can wear a bra with them. And worst of all they squish your boobs down at the top. What is the point? Just wear a singlet.

Crocs – I saved the worst for last because WTF?! I can almost understand your reasons for wearing them if you’re a nurse, or if you’re doing a spot of gardening. But really why are they so ugly? Crocs makers have proven they can make shoes that are comfortable without looking like the original hideous chunk of plastic so why do they even make the ugly ones?

Extras for experts – Ugg boots as shoes, fake tan that is too many shades darker than your natural colour, huge sunglasses on girls with tiny features, Paris Hilton.

What did you dig on this decade?

Daily Outfits

First up is my roller derby outfit! New Zealand had its first intercity bout on Saturday and it was with our 2 most rival cities – Auckland and Wellington. The extra few years practice Auckland has on us were very evident as they whooped our ass 174 to 88! Not once did the crowd become discouraged though, we screamed our lungs out in support till the very end. It was SO great.


Welly’s colours are orange and purple so I wore every piece of orange clothing I own – a tie that came free with a shirt, a corduroy skirt from when I was at high school, and socks. I made my bow at Jo’s fascinator/banner making session the day before, it’s stuffed with paper, that’s how I roll.


I totally guessed how to tie my tie and got it right first time! Stoked.

ootd 1

My usual staples – a tee, skirt, sneakers. But this time it’s minus the leggings! Behold the glorious whiteness of my legs.
The grin is courtesy of free rum cocktails.
If you look closely you should be able to see that my t shirt features a punk version of Bambi. She’s very cool.

ootd 2