Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"The soul forms its own horizons; your soul is darkened, and consequently the sky of the future appears stormy and unpromising."
            - The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas was a wise man... Positivity is important.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


As I listened to the Melbourne rain, the trams rumble by and my flatmates chatter in French and Italian, I looked back on the beginning of this blog. I used to be funny. I used to be candid. I used to be more me. And maybe I feel something has changed because I'm in a different physical place. Or maybe because every time I open Keep Warm and notice that I've lost a follower my heart gets a little crushed. I remember when I first started this blog I didn't really care and could barely hope that anyone would want to read it. It was a way for me to do something creative everyday: photos, writing, remembering. It was meant to help me keep up with my life and have something to look back on. Then I started to get followers and maybe with that change I started writing more for them (for you?) than for myself. I haven't been posting lately because I'm not wearing anything other than a work uniform. And I'm not doing anything other than working. And I was pretty sure that no one would want to read anything that I say. Maybe I could let go a bit and write what I want and live life with a bit more play in it.

This is where I work. Elvis and Marilyn are everywhere.

Today a customer asked me who Marilyn Monroe was. Like if she was a dancer or a singer or what. And if she was still alive. I think he was serious. All I could really do was say "umm, an actress? an icon?" He then told me that even though Elvis was a bit taller than him it was ok because he had more muscles and he could do the dance moves. It wasn't really a conversation that I wanted to engage in. I backed away in search of another customer I could bring food to. Or anything really.

Monday, February 27, 2012

What's in a name?

When I was young some family friends wanted to call me Dani. My Dad gave an adamant no to that idea. He liked my full, feminine name. When I was about 12 and was going through that stage of trying to assert my independence and wishing to shape who I was becoming I wanted to change my name to Danie because it was cute and strong and maybe, it could be me. As most nicknames that you create for yourself, it didn't stick. Consequently, I never really had any nicknames until I was in late high school and university. I've pretty much always been just Danielle in most circles.

So when one group of friends started calling me Sidekick D and another Dilly, I was pretty esctatic! I was like everyone else! I had a nickname! In England people called me Daniellabella. A friend even booked a flight under the name Daniella because he thought that was my name!

Now here I am in Australia and working as a waitress. To them, I am Dani. I've worked there for about a month and a half and I'm just now getting used to being called that. I've never associated myself with that name so I had to train myself to respond. It's still strange to hear myself answering the phone by my new name. 

The website Kabalarian Philosophy believes that your name can define your personality. I plugged in both of my current options to see...

  • Your name, Danielle, gives you a friendly, poised, affectionate nature with a quick, discerning mind.
  • You enjoy working with and organizing the efforts of others, but sometimes, a lack of confidence, indecisiveness, and even idleness can spoil your initiatives. 
  • However, you depend upon others for support and encouragement. 
  • Appreciating quality and knowing the value of money, you desire to be financially successful and to enjoy life's comforts. 
  • You want to make money in easier ways than through arduous work.
  • While the name Danielle creates the urge to organize and work with others, we point out that it causes an over-emphasis on material things that frustrates higher humanitarian qualities. 

  • Your first name, Dani, creates an independent, determined, and persevering nature.
  • You desire to work on your own or at least where you are making your own decisions.
  • You enjoy working with your hands and can be resourceful and inventive along practical lines.
  • Being much focused on your pursuits, at times you overlook the personal considerations and attentions that create understanding and companionship with others.
  • This name causes you to suffer with self-consciousness in new situations and an inability to be diplomatic when situations warrant.
  • You are loyal in friendships and express candidly.
  • You enjoy outdoors activities with a few close friends.
  • Although the name Dani creates the urge to be creative and original, we emphasize that it causes a blunt expression that alienates others.
I'm not sure which one is more accurate. I'm not sure if I am a Dani in my heart, but that's my name for the moment. 


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Shoes: Steve Madden Bow Heels

As I was cleaning out my apartment I discovered I have a rather lot of shoes. Miss Sal from Already Pretty has a series called Sunday Shoes. I've decided to share them to remind myself why I love them, the stories behind them and as an archive of the ones I've had to say goodbye to.

Steve Madden

These shoes have the cutest bow on the side... right on top of an unexpected little peephole!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Shoes: New Look Wedges

As I was cleaning out my apartment I discovered I have a rather lot of shoes. Miss Sal from Already Pretty has a series called Sunday Shoes. I've decided to share them to remind myself why I love them, the stories behind them and as an archive of the ones I've had to say goodbye to.

New Look, Norwich, England

In the winter of 2011 I went to England in hopes that it would cheer up a long and doldrummy winter. I bought these shoes on a day out with my friend, her soon to be sister in law, and a bunch of bridesmaids. The best part of these shoes? Inside they say "Your feet look gorgeous!"


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Emerald Peacock

I might have done something bad...
Something shoe-related...
But after drooling over these babies for ages and having a dream about them what was a girl supposed to do?
Hello my pretties!
Waiting for the tram

I feel more like myself in this outfit and these shoes than I do most days. Since I am waitressing at an American diner I mostly wear an unflattering shirt and some variation of black bottoms. And since I only get 1 day off a week I don't wear much else. I changed into this after my shift today to wear my shoes to drink a glass of wine on a patio.  

top: Target
tank: Big W
shorts: Ricki's
SHOES: Wittner Vilette
necklace: gift

Today I am thankful for my job. I don't have a lot of money but this job gave me the opportunity to HAVE THESE SHOES!!!


Friday, February 10, 2012

Facets of Personality

I was at a party with people I don't know very well. One guy started talking about facets of personality. He wanted to know what were 5 facets that informed every decision you make, that are the backbone of who you are. At the time I couldn't really think of anything but the question really stuck with me. 

1) Compassion - I do want to help people. I feel like that might be part of my purpose. To help people and make their day brighter brings me joy. That is a good day. If I can get paid for it - even better

 2) Recognition / Respect
I want to be noticed and ideally adored :) (let's be honest). I want people to recognize if I'm doing a good job. I want them to tell me because I'm never really sure. I don't want to fade into the background. My biggest fear is being forgotten. I'd like to be the kind of person that does things because they are right and never want to be known for them. But I'm not. I don't want to be forgotten. 

3) Searching
A few years ago I might have said discontented but I want to put that in a more positive light. I'm always looking for something more. To learn more about the world, about myself, about becoming healthier, more whole, a journey of self-growth. I hope to be in a state of Santosha but that's a struggle in itself. In my Psychology of Yoga class in University Santosha was described as contentment with where you are while still looking for something more whole, better, real in the future. 

4) Community
I want to feel a sense of belonging and, when I'm at my best, I'm able to create community. I feel like I've been a tying in factor for friends, acquaintances. I want that sense of family with friends. I want to know that everyone I love knows how special they are. I want to make people feel like they belong. I want to feel like I belong. I miss my family and friends who I feel totally at ease with. 

5) Silliness / Humour
Nearly everything can be seen as funny. Life is more fun when you embrace silliness rather than being stressed about trying to fit into a proper social structure. Humour can diffuse a tense situation. And because I'm usually ok with looking like an idiot or playing the fool, I'm not so worried about that kind of ego. I like being silly. It's fun. And it's better when people underestimate you. 


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chill out

Days off should be spent renewing your soul.

Reading a book by the river (complete with fruit candies)

And a delicious lunch accompanied by a glass of cold wine

And, if we're being honest, probably a nap... 


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Shoes: Penny Loves Kenny "Madison"

As I was cleaning out my apartment I discovered I have a rather lot of shoes. Miss Sal from Already Pretty has a series called Sunday Shoes. I've decided to share them to remind myself why I love them, the stories behind them and as an archive of the ones I've had to say goodbye to.

Penny Loves Kenny "Madison"

These gold and silver disco shoes are perfect for going out dancing!


Friday, February 3, 2012

Feeling Exposed

A while ago I was talking about my difficulty finding my groove in terms of clothing in Melbourne. The always delightful, insightful Chelsea left this comment: 

I think I might fall apart a bit if I moved somewhere with drastically different weather, since I've grown SO ACCUSTOMED to dressing for cooler temps year round. Layers, layers, layers. I went to Hawaii on vacation a few years ago, and just melted into a puddle of self-consciousness, though I'd felt empowered and like a body image warrior before I left. But leaving behind my sweaters and tights and leggings left me feeling so exposed and vulnerable! I wasn't able to overcome the icky feelings while on the trip, and they lasted through when I got home, but I think if I went again now I'd be better prepared mentally to tell myself that I'm feeling exposed because I am literally exposing more of my body, and allow myself space and time to adjust to that and get my body embracing groove back. So, thanks for posting about this topic, because it really resonates!

As always, she hit the nail on the head. I did feel pretty awesome about how I looked and how I clothed myself back in Canada, even though my body wasn't in it's ideal state. Then I arrived here and didn't know what to do. I looked wrong. I felt wrong. Nothing I brought suited the weather and nothing in the shops suited my style or my body shape or my budget. As soon as I read the bit about feeling exposed because I was exposed I was like "Well! Of course! Silly Dilly!" 

The summery dresses I brought are much too short for me to feel comfortable with. Leggings are too hot but without them I feel like I'm all thighs. And sometimes, I am (this is a very windy city!).  I want to feel comfortable in my skin and it appears that a higher percentage than I wish of that is based on how I feel in my clothes (The Gentleman Caller has taken to calling his clothes that he wears out to work his "armour").  

The solution? Cycle Bloomers. 

I bought these from American Apparel (boo hiss) even though I don't support anything about that store. I had been looking for something like this for ages. They are basically stretchy cycle-type shorts with lacy edges. Now I feel like I can wear my shorter dresses without fear of sneaky wind and flashing the neighbourhood and the dreaded chub rub (TMI? What? It's a thing!). And the lace even looks pretty cute when it pokes out the bottom of my dresses. This invention has made me more confident about wearing the clothes that I have to wear for the weather. 

Propping my rounded edge camera on the headboard of my bed doesn't make for excellent photos. Oh well. 

dress: Big W, $15 
bloomers: Americal Apparel 
thongs: Havianans

Today I am thankful for readers who leave amazing comments that make me think about how I'm relating to my clothes, to my surroundings. 


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Australia Day!

January 26 was our first Australia Day. 


Knowing what I know of Australians in general I knew that it wouldn't be like Canada Day with my family. I knew that it would involve a few more beers and maybe less onion rings. 

The Gentleman and I had a very leisurely morning of swimming in the pool and wandering through South Melbourne in search of breakfast. 

I wanted to wear something that represented the Australia flag without being over the top Bogan by wearing just an Australian flag bikini top and booty shorts. 

dress: H&M
belt: from Target dress
leggings: Target
cardi: Ricki's
thongs: Havianas
necklace: tiny shop on coast of England

We then took a long train ride out to a new friend's housewarming / Australia Day BBQ. Naturally we brought lamb because we didn't want to be unAustralian. I was a bit nervous because we didn't really know anyone there very well at all. But as soon as we walked in we were welcomed by a group of people I had met in December. We planned on only staying for a few hours but had such a good time we stayed significantly longer. Which is why these pictures were taken after midnight, outside a McDonald's. 

Today I am thankful for bravery. It's scary as an introvert to make an effort to socialize with people I don't know. I'm happy that we went and made friends.