Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sunny Day Savings

Dress: Vintage, Belt: Sass & Bide from Balmain markets, Sandals: Very very old from Zara, Cap: Urban Outfitters

This is one of the first outfits I've worn in recent memory that mostly came from the dusty back pockets of my closet, or from the musty depths of thrift stores and markets. Living in New York and facing the high cost of stepping out on the street and living day to day life has opened up a whole world of cheap thrills. Meals are (relatively) cheap, but tips are high. Sneakers are cheap, but gyms are costly etc. etc. Living on an entry level salary in a place where talented buskers make you lose a few dollars every three seconds, and Trader Joes sells $3 wine and bunches of flowers, it all adds up. A few of the ways I've been living cheap in the big city:
  • Free comedy/cheap entertainment via The Skint - My boyfriend and I usually check this website on a weekday or Friday night - it's a daily listings blog that collates all the cheap/free things to do in the city - from festivals, to free movie screenings, to awkward nights of free comedy at the back of empty bars. The last free night we went to was actually at The Stand, and it was a Monday night at 10pm. The general quality of free comedy performances varies from politely and tolerably awkward, to aggressive and angry. This one was cruising along at snail's pace, saved by the tater tots that were served with my cheap $10 burger and whiskey shot combo. My next mouthful of tater tots came with the sudden and supremely delightful blow-in of Louis C.K. There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing an incredibly talented and probably incredibly expensive comedian. FOR FREE.
  • Thrifting. Lots of it. - I mentioned in a previous blog post that NYC has invigorated the second-hand clothing bug within me, literally lighting it on fire, taking hostile control of my body and throwing my lifeless self like a honing missile into every consignment store that exists. Buffalo Exchange, Beacon's Closet, Tokio 7 and Tokyo Joe have been my favourites so far - I walk down to the Buffalo Exchange in Brooklyn every weekend and always seem to walk away with an amazing piece bought with spare change. This dress in particular cost $8. Yes, I do still take glee in yelling the price of my clothes at people when I receive compliments. It's like my version of 'thank you'. #humblebrag
  • P90x and cheap yoga - I'm avoiding having to make the decision of finding a gym for as long as possible by doing home workouts, lots of HIIT and tabata, and cheap $8 bikram at Yoga to the People. The gyms are a mess here, they're either $200 a month with built in protein shake smoothie bars and mechanical surfing classes, or they're $20 a month with a single treadmill in a corner and a line stretching around the block to use it. I'm also considering trying Class Pass, which gives you access to lots of different studios around NYC for $10 a pop.
  • HelloWallet and Level - Easy money management app - you enter your bills, your monthly income, and the amount of money you want to save and it does some crazy techno app magic and does the rest for you.
Cutting corners hasn't been as hard as I thought it be - between the lack of gym membership and the free comedy nights, I probably have enough money to make it rain on some cashew milk ice cream (it isn't cheap).

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Relearning exercise with Lenovo

I previously posted with Lenovo about my move to New York, and this time around, I'm finally going to get around to answering a few other questions you guys seem to love asking - about fitness and health.

Do you have any tips for staying healthy inside and out?
I have always been a weights and yoga girl. Getting into a regular and steady weights routine changed my body, it changed the way I perceived exercise and it changed the way I ate. I started lifting two years ago, and over time, I've been able to make pretty big gains in terms of strength (and also size). It has altered my perception of what I want to look like. 

I usually do a three day split - so one days chest, shoulders and triceps/legs/back, and then one day of yoga and one day of HIIT/tabata training. I stick to around 5-8 reps depending on how I feel and adjust how heavy or light I'm doing.

For the next two-three months, I pretty much just bring my Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro downstairs and do random yoga or p90x every day (which is making me die).

What’s your favourite healthy meal or snack?(can you share a photo or the recipe?)

A regular day would be eggs and whole wheat toast, lunch will be a meat-heavy salad or sandwich and dinner will be meat and veggies. I wasn't very strict with my diet - it involved a lot of flavoured yoghurt, dried fruit and whole entire blocks of dark chocolate after thinking I have enough self control to limit myself to a block.

Now I'm trying to cut out sugars just to see if I can do it. True story - the other day I walked around the supermarket and just stared longingly at the fruit section, slowly falling apart inside.

What are the biggest changes you have experienced moving from Sydney to NYC? How has that impacted your health and fitness routine?
Keeping an exercise routine up in New York was especially important, considering the mass amounts of incredible treats available at arm's length. I can literally walk down the road and just walk into mountains of donuts and cute gelato scoops on waffle cones (at least that's how it happens in my head). My gym trial ended, and in a bid to save money and to uproot my exercise habits that have probably plateaued my progress by now, my boyfriend challenged me to start P90X.

I'm not a huge believer in DVD workouts, especially ones that involve a dude yelling things at you like "FEEL THE PAIN. I HATE IT...BUT I LOVE IT!!!!!", but so far it's been unbelievably tough (one hour daily - first day involved just a full hour of pushups and pull ups). I've been trying to curb my sugar intake to see if I can look JUUUUST like Tony by the end of these three months. 

The Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro has been super helpful with home workouts - the laptop has an inbuilt yoga instruction program, and my boyfriend and I usually prop it up on 'tent' mode at our home gym and jump around angrily as Tony Horton instructs us. The other way I've been using it is with help cooking - the 'tent', 'tablet' and 'stand' mode makes it easy to refer to recipes without greasy keyboard finger marks. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Block shorts suits with animal print and oversized wooden necklaces purchased for a dollar are probably not outfits that you wear to work, but you wear to strut around and feel a little sassy and important. Which was the exact purpose of this outfit - taken what seems like a million years ago in front of my apartment back in Sydney.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Blazer by Jaggar the Label; Custom Cons by Converse; Skirt by Alice + Olivia; Crop by Cameo the Label; Clutch made by Tara Milk Tea

An old outfit post I've been meaning to get up here mashed up with a terrible verbal diary of my 4th July weekend. My camera decided to cark it over the last week and I've been cruising the world of low megapixel, terrible low-light performance happy snaps. 

My boyfriend, a few of his friends and I drove up to Finger Lakes - correction, they drove, I had no part in the driving. This is not because I am a selfish useless sack of nothing (well, kind of) - I still don't have my license. The drive was about five hours and we ended up in this strange world where American flags are hung above every doorstep, people leave their doors unlocked 24/7 (I woke up at least twice on the first night terrified there would be a man in overalls with an axe standing by the foot of the bed), and where pancakes are served with bacon in a non-ironic hip way and they cost a total of $4.

I tried Wendy's for the first time. Wendy's in Australia is a combination of terrible ice cream, donuts, smoothies and hot dogs. Wendy's here is like McDonalds on crack. I bought a CUP of ice cream for $1. AND nuggets for $1. I'm not entirely sure how they make money because they were practically giving away food for free, and I can see why America has a weight problem because I had a problem stopping myself from engorging myself on $1 nuggets.

The other life changing food experience was having breakfast at a diner for the first time - I'm talking unlimited $1.50 cups of pour over drip coffee with half 'n' half, massive pancakes and servings of ham/bacon.  For our actual 4th July celebrations, we cooked up burgers with a side of corn, put on a Spotify playlist of sweeping American anthems and had a bit of a BBQ in the fading afternoon sunlight. It was wonderful, and exactly what I imagine the 4th July in America is supposed to be like. The next two days were a combination of major lady boners for nature (Watkins Glen state park and Niagara Falls) and more terrible lip-smacking American feeds and long car rides.

 Leaving NY for a few days made me forget that it existed and made me just a little homesick - the ride home really did feel like I was returning to Sydney. It was pretty fantastic to see nature again, it's almost as if living in this city has made me forget that there are places that aren't just rubbish bags, honking and strange smells emanating from seemingly nowhere in particular.