Wednesday, 23 December 2009

My nod to Christmas

Unsurprisingly, with everything that's been going on lately, I've been feeling a bit like the Grinch that stole Christmas this year.

However, I *have* unpacked my mini-Christmas tree at home, and I *have* completed my Christmas shopping. So it's not all bah humbug over here.

And yesterday and today I decided to go festive to work.

Festive outfit

What the hey, it made me happy anyway!!

Festive outfit

Friday, 4 December 2009

It's not my birthday

It's not today....actually it was 3 days ago (bonus points for anyone who spots the They Might Be Giants reference!)

The actual birthday started off ok but ended up overwhelmingly sucky. When they found out at work it was my birthday my boss went and bought a tray of cakes and biscuits. Yum! He scared the beejesus out of me by luring me into the tearoom by telling me he needed to talk about a patient complaint though! However later on I had a very sick patient that I was looking after and was basically told by the cardiologist that it was on my head to stay back and make sure she was seen by the surgeons. Took me 4 hours after my shift ended to make sure that happened. So I missed out on my own bithday dinner and trivia with my parents and brothers. Boohoo!

But yesterday I bought myself 2 birthday presents, so it's not all bad. A lightweight short-sleeved cardigan from Target (Target always comes through for me) and a pair of gladiator sandals from Aldo.

2 new things

Please excuse the hair (haven't combed it for over 24 hours). There's also a few stains on that singlet top that thankfully didn't photograph well!

This summer I really wanted to get a pair of sandals-slash-booties. I found a few pairs that I liked online, but dithered around too much and there's none available in my size anywhere. Australian shoe stores have a few options, but none of them jumped out at me.

Yesterday I saw these babies at Aldo. They're really just gladiators, not booties, however the combination of different textures, braids and studs won me over. I'm in love.

Aldo gladiators

For any North Americans reading this, I'm curious: did US stores stock these same shoes during your summer? Aldo stores are a rarity in Australia (only 14 in the entire country) and I wonder if we just get your leftover end of season merchandise? I totally love these, so I'm not complaining!!

Friday, 27 November 2009

And now for something completely different..

Time to shake things up a bit and defunk myself - body, mind and wardrobe.

First of all, a big thanks to Angie from youlookfab for recommending this ruffled singlet earlier in the year. I struggle with buying tops, especially summer tops. This is my first day wearing this top, but I already love its light fabrication (hello 30° weather) and the way it skims over the lumps and bumps in my tummy. Now I wish I'd bought 2 different colours!

To cull or not to cull?

But the real reason for this post? I need to move house, and my wardrobe into a much smaller space. Most likely some of it will end up in storage as well. So it's wardrobe cull time. I need help!!

To start off with: 3 blazers (pictured both buttoned and unbuttoned).

The brown and minty green ones I have not worn for at least 4 years. Not because they don't fit my body. Maybe they just don't fit my lifestyle? I always err on the side of under, rather than over dressed. Initially what appealed to me about them was how the linen fabric made them more casual. However I still can't get over the fact that they are a blazer. I always seem to reach for a cardigan or a different cut of more casual jacket first.

I can't wear them to work either, because the sleeves would get in the way too much. The sleeves are too tight for scrunching, but I was wondering if shortening them would work? Worth it or not?

Or maybe its the colours. I love the minty green, but maybe the lighter shades just don't work on me?

To cull or not to cull? To cull or not to cull?
To cull or not to cull? To cull or not to cull?

This final jacket is less summery. It's a black velvet jacket I bought in Egypt. The quality is not amazing - it's not even lined. The loop-through front closure is very forgiving however. This is the only time I've worn it in the last 3 years.

To cull or not to cull? To cull or not to cull?

As ruthless as I am tempted to be, I half wonder whether if I move to Melbourne I would be influenced to smarten up my wardrobe a bit. Especially in the cooler months. Maybe I shouldn't discount the blazer look as too stuffy after all?

What do *you* think - keep or cull?

Click on each picture for a larger version.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Sometimes the job is worth it

I've been whinging a lot about the fact that in the first 5 weeks of this term I have been rostered on every single Saturday bar one, and every single Sunday bar none.

Truth is it's probably a blessing in disguise, because weekends can be a lonely time to be at home with too much spare time on your hands. I know all about that from weekdays, heh.

Anyway today my last patient made missing out on a gorgeous nearly-Summer Saturday worthwhile.

A gorgeous 18 yo girl came in with stomach pain. Simple complaint right? I thought it would be a cruisy patient to end my shift with. She was haemodynamically stable, not pregnant and with no sign of infection or anything else too nasty physically. However it did turn out that she may or may not be bulimic, and most definitely is harbouring suicidal thoughts.

To not just see the tears, but to palpably feel her relief at hearing someone say that it's good she came in for help, and that it's okay to talk about these things brought tears to my eyes. Literally.

I don't know what conclusions to draw from this, other than to say I really don't hate my job all the time.

Friday, 20 November 2009

And just to kick me while I'm down

Other not-so-nice occurences in the preceding week:
  • My mobile phone carked it. It simply won't turn on. Tried plugging it in. Removing the battery and putting it in again. None of it works. And the killer? I can't find the frackin' receipt. This little baby is worth $800. I paid about $400 on eBay only a few months ago and I am still spewing.
  • $200 parking fine. Didn't even see the feckin' minature sign saying Bus stop. I have never seen a bus anywhere near that street either. Tried pleading against it, but no go.
Bus stop
  • My toaster broke. It was the first appliance I bought well over 10 years ago when I first moved out of home. Never a squeak of a problem, until the other day one of the metal inner trays just snapped. Now I'm resorting to cooking my morning toast under the eletric grill which takes approximately five hundred years and increases my chances of not watching and accidentally burning the toast thousand-fold.
So sure I've been moping around and barely leaving the house. But with shit like that happening, wouldn't you?

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Floating adrift

2009 has been a shit of a year for a number of reasons. A mere three weeks ago, however, things were looking up. I was away in China, cycling through countryside and walking The Wall.

But I was looking forward to returning home.

Plans were being made for the future - maybe Melbourne, maybe elsewhere. Regardless, I was looking forward to a relaxed summer down by the beach. With a lighter workload and some spare time on my hands I was planning on finally growing a decent herb garden, getting back into cooking and back to the gym.

Coming back was a nasty shock. To hear that things that I thought were resolving over the past 6 months really weren't resolved at all. That things truly can never go back to how they were. The misery of May was rekindled and relived all over again. That 11 years together is no guarantee of forever.

For the first week I barely stopped crying and I barely left the house.

I'm not crying now (at least not all the time). Now I'm just lost.

I don't know what to think of the future. How do you begin about devising a new future, without the one person that you thought was going to be a constant beside you?

I've got to make a major decision well before December 17 when our lease here expires. Do I stay in this city and find somewhere else on my own, or do I go down to Melbourne alone? (I have a job offer there that starts early Feb). And if I do go, where do I live in between December and February? The logistics of it all exhausts me, when its struggle enough to just drag my body out of bed in the morning.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

An awesome quote

A beautiful quote from Busy Bee's blog:
Please understand God not only in the traditional, perhaps narrow minded context, but in a freer one, where every human been may believe in every God he / she chooses to. I understand God as goodness, generosity, but also truth, self - reflection, admitance of mistakes and a c t i o n s towarding changing things. I consider God to be inside of us, and this can be expressed by being the best people that we can be, for ourselves first and then for others. God is also a teacher, expressed in the everyday lessons life brings. We can all be little gods by realising, doing and acting out our dreams. Time is precious to be spent just in dreaming. Let's all DO.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

An atypical Saturday night

This was what my Saturday night consisted of:
  • Inserting a pigtail drain into a patient with a large pneumothorax - instructed by the surgical reg step by step of course!
  • Assisting in a C-section (it was a boy)
  • Arrest call #1 - patient ended up ok-ish but needing multiple blood transfusions for Hb 64 with ongoing melaena who is not a surgical candidate
  • Arrest call #2 - actually we were there pre-arrest while he had no radial pulse and unmeasureable BP. After he crashed he was brought back after 20mins of CPR with several cracked ribs. He ended up getting a femoral line and more CPR and was even about to be transferred to ICU until he arrested again and didn't come back. RIP. I got to do some bag and masking, some CPR and and course filling in the death certificate (interns job is always the paperwork!)
  • Being told to "piss off" by a patient who had chest pain prior. Noice!
I can't wait to have a nice quiet Saturday night (or any other for that matter) at home in front of the telly again. Still, all those events were interesting and I learnt heaps...well except the last one of course!

4 nights down, 3 to go (and counting!)

Wednesday, 16 September 2009


For yesterday's exercise, I went and did a beginner's yoga class.

That doesn't sound like much of a big deal, does it? But to me it was, for several reasons.

It's now, what, September? That means it's been 9 months since we moved here. That means its been 9 months that I've been thinking "I REALLY need to go and check out the yoga place just around the corner". You know how it goes. The longer you leave something, the bigger deal it seems and the harder it is to get off your butt and do it.

I'll admit it, I was also SCARED. Yep I am a wuss. Entering a brand new studio with a new teacher and new other students is a daunting thing. Plus this is an Iyengar class, which I don't know much about, so I wasn't sure what to expect.

And guess what - surprise surprise - but IT REALLY WASN'T THAT BIG A DEAL. Sure I felt self-conscious entering the room and not knowing what to do. I also had to deal with my usual claustrophobic tendencies when someone set up their mat so close to me and wedged me into a corner that for some of the poses the instructor asked them to move it a bit away.

But all up I am so glad I went. The different style of class was interesting. It never really twigged to me that this is what a non-Vinyasa class would be like. The props were a bit scary at first, but we only used pretty simple ones so it wasn't too bad.

Will I go back? DEFINITELY. Once my muscles recover. My back and shoulders are feeling it today baby!

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Up up up!

I really need to get exercise back into my daily routine. To kickstart this process I'm challenging myself to do some form of exercise every day for 30 days. Today I got a few friends over and walked up and down the Sublime Point track.

It sure was steep: in 1km you ascend 415m! Breathtaking views from the top however, so well worth it!

As of Wednesday I am working nights for 7 days straight (10:30pm-8:30am). That's really going to muck up my schedule and knock about my exercise plans. I'm going to do my best to do at least a walk or a bike ride every day though!

One small step for man...

One massive step for me: I have a bike!

Would you be at all surprised to hear that I based my choice of bike in wanting a red one? Seriously there were way too many options in the store and I know zero about bikes to make an otherwise informed decision.

New bike

The guys at the shop were very patient and helpful, and didn’t make me feel like a ditz. Even today when I called them saying I can’t move the front gear up. Speaking of which, I better go test out their suggestions just to make sure it is user error and not something wrong with the bike!

Here’s where I went for my first ride yesterday (8km). Such a gorgeous track with great views.

Bike ride 001

After about 15 rides I need to take the bike back to the shop for a free service. And I want to get a front basket so I can go shopping with it. And maybe a pair of proper bike pants so my a$$ doesn't fall off in pain.

Can you tell I’m excited!!!

EDIT: just went and tried their suggestion of pressing on the gear longer. Guess what it works. DOUBLE OOPS!!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

An understated description of the last 8 months of my life

This article a friend showed me from the Readers Digest is a surprisingly true-to-life depiction of the first few months of this year for me. Although really, it understates how terrifying and how satisfying things can be if you ask me!

Intense moments of pure panic....check
Getting asked questions by patients and family you just can't answer...check
Failing miserably at cannulas...check
Dying patients....check
Wanting to faint in surgery....check
Still really liking your job for some strange reason....check

Let's hope that last point continues to be true!

Monday, 20 July 2009

A culinary challenge

In honour of the season finale of Masterchef Australia last night, A and I decided to host our own Masterchef challenge.

We decided each of us should cook a recipe featured on the show for dinner. We flipped a coin, which decided I'd do the main, and A would do dessert. Then we promptly swapped, since my ever-present sweet tooth demands I "specialise" in dessert and he is all about exotic mains.

True to form, A cooked up a storm, deciding to do and entree AND a main.

Masterchef challenge

For entree, he made Natural Oysters with Thai Dressing. Simple and delicious. Makes me wonder why we don't have oysters more often at home, especially in summer.

Masterchef challenge

Talk about presentation!!

I scored this dish 7/10. It was light, tangy and delicious but lacked the chilli I demand in pretty much every dish to make it complete.

Between the entree and the main, A sat a while and enjoyed the fruits of his labour.

Masterchef challenge

The main was Baked Lilydale Chicken Breast with Moroccan Spiced Vegetable Stew.

Masterchef challenge

I adored this dish. The stew was perfectly spiced: flavoursome, warming and nourishing, but still light and fresh. The chicken soaked up the yummy flavours of the stew. The chickpeas and all the veggies made it a really healthy dish. 10/10!!

To counteract the healthiness of the dinner, I had to go all out with dessert: Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce & Almond Praline.

Masterchef challenge

Both the pudding and the sauce were simple to make and tasted divine. The praline didn't set properly because I was scared of overcooking it and took it off the heat too early. Freezing made it look presentable for about 1 minute, but the heat of the pudding and sauce soon melted it into a gooopy mess. A delicious, goopy mess, but still a mess. Overall score 8/10.

The most exciting thing: experimenting with some new dishes. Each of these was delicious, not too difficult and tasted amazing.

I'm dead keen to try some more Masterchef pieces now. What a shame the show is over. I miss it already!!!

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Reworked work outfits

I didn't have time to take any new photos this week, however since I'm so behind in posting, I do have new photos to share. This first picture was taken a few weeks ago, but I wore this exact outfit again this week, so it's not really cheating.

Don't die of shock, but apart from my yellow watch, this outfit is all neutrals - a rare thing for me indeed!!

Reworked work outfit

This is a subtle variation of an outfit I previously posted, simply swapping out the boots and necklace. I now need to try and think of some other way of wearing this top. Any suggestions?

Despite really liking this dress, I didn't think the outfit I first wore it with worked 100%. I felt a lot better in attempt #2.

Reworked work outfit

Not sure if its the lighter boots, the tights, or the coloured top, but it feels a lot more *me*. I'll have to keep on experimenting with this dress to see what else does and doesn't work.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Down to the pub + bonus old outfit

Here's what I wore to the local pub last night. It's a very casual place, where anyone not wearing a flanno shirt, faded jeans and not drunk by 7pm is out of place.

Going to the RSL

They do a mean burger and chips, and for $8 too! I had the Mexi chicken one, next time I'll go for the lentil. I wish I had taken a picture it was that yummy.

I had to rug up on the way there. Winter has officially struck around these parts. This was my first proper coat outing of the year (in Australia)!

Going to the RSL

Weirdly enough I just compared our forecast to both San Fran and Toronto. In the midst of our winter we are only a few degrees below you right now in your summer. Are we wussy or what!!!

And now for the bonus: catching up on an outfit I wore way back on March 2nd but never got around to posting. Clearly it was a lot warmer then! What do you think of these pants? They are stretchy and comfy, but don't excite me in any way. I'd never wear them anywhere other than work.

Work outfit

Friday, 12 June 2009

Bye-bye crazies

Today was my last day of psychiatry. I am *really* *really* going to miss it. For now, psychiatry is definitely right up there as a career option for me. I am going to miss the patients and the people I worked with there like crazy (gedddit?)

I'm also experimenting with posting daily outfits here as I wear them. Saving the whole lot for the end of the week just makes me dread putting together one long post. Be prepared for an inundation of short posts if this method turns out to be easier!!!!

Here's what I wore on my last day. This top is a supremely comfy dress/tunic from Target. On me, its so short that I don't think I could wear it with leggings. Overall this outfit scores a staggering 11/10 for comfort!!!

Byebye crazies

- Target grey striped knit tunic
- Portmans black skinny pants
- Red Wittner boots
- Turquoise necklace from Hoi An, Vietnam

A perfect night in

Nasty cold weather....CHECK

Coming home from work with a headache after getting only 6 hours sleep because I worked till 11pm the night before.....CHECK

Having three separate patients screaming right at my face this afternoon.....CHECK

Coming home to a glass of wine, candle, warm bath and a good book......DOUBLE CHECK

A perfect night in

Life could be worse.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

What I wore this week: #4

Another partial week's worth of outfits. Tried to mix in some new and old items this week.

1) Sailor shopping

I wore this when A and I went out to the closest mall last weekend. I think this tshirt didn't get the ylf approval on its own, but with the vest hiding its wider stripes, it somehow works better. Extremely comfortable, thanks in no small part to the amazing Me Too Swanns.

Sailor shopping

2) Casual Sunday

Drove several suburbs down to a beachside cafe for brekkie. It was packed. The food was good, but not as good as some of our locals!

Casual Sunday

3) Copying Angie's look

This look is a complete rip-off of an amazing dress Angie sported recently on ylf. When I saw a similar shaped dress at Target made out of t-shirt fabric I snapped it up faster than you can say ARGH! It's impossible to see on the black fabric, but there's gathers on the front similar to Angie's. I love the shape!

I even copied her idea of wearing pearls underneath, and tried unsuccessfully to copy her lovely poses too!

This outfit was comfortable beyond belief. It felt like I was wearing pajamas all day!!!

Copying Angie's look

It was a bit cold out, so I added the Ben Sherman houndstooth jacket I bought not-so-long ago.

Copying Angie's look

4) Turquoise knit top, take 2

I wore this knitted top from H+M again, deliberately pairing it with lighter colours. I think it works better than last time I wore it. I *really* wish I had bought the CM microchecks I tried on whilst away. I think their light colour would work really well with this top.

Behold in this outfit: the only item of yellow clothing I own!

Turquoise knit top, take 2

5) Yet another dress from Target

OK it's official. My name is Tamara and I'm a Target addict. In the last few years I'd say a large percentage of my clothing, and pretty much ALL of my tops have come from Target.

I love the pattern and feel of this dress. It's a light, stretch cotton. However looking at this picture I don't feel it flatters my apple shape too well. Ooops.

I do love it though. Do you think this outfit is channelling the schoolgirl look too much, however? How else would you wear it?

Yet another dress from Target

Whew that's it! I'm glad I didn't take photos of *every* day now - that was exhausting!

Click on any image to be taken to for a larger view.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

What I wore this week: #3

First up: a confession. These outfits aren't *all* from this week. I've clearly been terribly slack with both taking photos and with posting here. I'd like to blame it on the fact that its winter here, and lighting is just bad for photo-taking.

But really, I'm just a slacker.

It's a shame, because I have managed to sport a lot of the clothes I bought whilst away. I'll just have to try and wear them again soon huh? Anyway enough with the explanations and excuses.

First up this outfit features a top I bought at H&M in SF & another pair of Me Too Swann's that I bought in SF as well. Both looking at the pic, and on the day I felt it was too dark. I didn't have any lighter colour pants that I thought would work. Kinda gave me some buyers remorse about not having bought the Club Monaco microchecks I tried on in SF after all - they may indeed have worked!

Turquoise knit top, black shirt, black pants

This is one of my more dressy work outfits. I had to present a couple of patients to the Mental Health Tribunal this day so wanted to look somewhat professional so they'd believe I knew what I was talking about. These are one of only 2 pairs of pants I own that need to be worn with heels (1.5 inches!) because they are TOO LONG!! My fault really as I got them custom made in Hoi An. The novelty of wearing too-long pants just hasn't worn off on me though.

Brown vest and pants w white shirt

Here's a close-up of the textures. Plain brown vest with funky bottons, silver and white striped shirt and brown and black plaid wool pants.

Brown vest and pants w white shirt - closeup

Finally today's outfit. I liked it, and as always when I wear these boots got several compliments on them. However I did also have one patient walk up to me and told me "you look like a hooker in those clothes". I have to admit I was somewhat taken aback, but having other people remind me that she was the one in a psych ward, made me feel better about things. Does this outfit say hooker to you?

Black dress, blue cardie and red boots

Friday, 10 April 2009

Maybe I should have increased my credit card limit

I'm heading to San Fran tomorrow!! Then onto NYC, then Toronto for a cousin's wedding. 2.5 weeks holiday - yeeha!!!

Sitting at home procrastinating on packing, it's just starting to feel real.

I am getting inordinately excited about the the potential shopping in America. I love US department stores! And I have so many more than 5-year-old clothes that need replacing it isn't funny.

I've spent the last hour mapping out the stores I want to visit in San Fran. Here they are on a map in relation to where I'm staying.

Did I mention I'm going to be packing *very* lightly? Muahaha!!

Of course this could all backfire and I'll end up wearing the same pair of jeans, converse and cardigan for a fortnight, so cross your fingers the shopping gods are smiling upon me please!!

Saturday, 7 March 2009

What I wore this week: #2

You can tell summer is over. It's getting darker and darker in the mornings. As a consequence these photos are getting fuzzier and fuzzer. Blah!

I'm a week behind posting these pics. They are now from 2 weeks ago. Oh well!

1) Monday


I'm not sure if I like these colours paired together. Even with a skirt this shirt is too short to wear on its own without a singlet underneath. A new red shirt is now officially going on my shopping list.

2) Tuesday


I felt unbelievably comfy in this outfit. I am loving this Target shirt! Unfortunately one of my bosses commented on my Cons - he thinks canvas shoes are unsafe. And yet they provide more foot coverage than ballet flats which he has no problem with. Blah!

3) Wednesday


Loving these pants and shoes. I wore them without socklets for the first time today and they were even more comfy!

4) Thursday


It's difficult to see in this poor quality pic, but the shoes I'm wearing here are brand new Me Too Swann's. For their first wear, they passed my 16 hour workday with flying colours. I am in love!

Me Too's

5) Friday


A dark and gloomy morning. I love this dress on hot days. For a cooler day it worked well with tights too.

6) Sunday

Going shopping

A very casual day, going shopping and for a pedicure at Miranda.