What I bought & Wardrobe diaries: August 2019

New in

I did make some online orders that I kept, but they were from overseas so didn’t arrive until September, hence I’ll save them for the next post. I did fail to mention two other clothing items I received in July. They were gifts that were picked for me so got missed when I was going through purchase receipts (though not a good excuse).

Massimo Dutti cardigan (beige, S) – It’s a very nice cotton, silk and cashmere blend, though after an initial wash, is not as soft as when new. It’s a bit brown-toned, which makes me nervous as I don’t like brown. As the arms are quite fitted, I think this will end up being more useful to wear in warmer months when I’m not wearing anything with sleeves. I’ve never tried Massimo Dutti before.

Cactus-print T-shirt from Red Bubble – SUPER ADORABLE present!!! It’s quite fitted on me and the material is very thin, so I’m not sure how often I will wear it, but looking at it makes me happy and it’s not the first “collector” T-shirt I’ve got.

Considered or tried

I happened to be looking at Nique dresses on The Iconic which were on sale. After ordering from The Iconic I discovered they were cheaper on the Nique website. I emailed customer support to request a refund of the difference, but they seemed to struggle with understanding the concept that I had A) ordered the last of the size for some dresses so I couldn’t just place another order with a discounted code they were providing me; B) I didn’t wish to send anything I wanted to keep back for a refund and re-order it with a discounted price (what a waste of time and resources!); C) it was signalling to me that in future I should check all other websites before ordering from The Iconic. After over half a dozen emails, one representative finally got it and said that they would refund the difference for any item I kept. Overall, the service was good but they were too quick to provide the same solution (over and over) and clearly hadn’t read my emails properly. As it turned out, I didn’t keep any of the items. I’d been interested to try Nique because they are a Melbourne brand and have very clean silhouettes and designs. Overall I was not happy with the quality.

The Nique Fumiko midi dress (6) was overwhelmingly long on me, which was not surprisingly. At 50% linen 50% cotton, I was really disappointed with how thin, crinkly and transparent the fabric was. The fabric did not feel like good quality cotton and linen. I think the dress would only look nice if the dress held its shape like in the stock photos. I also couldn’t make the belt work on me.

The Nique Fumiko mini dress (6, 8) is a shorter version of the above dress but in 100% cotton. I only tried on the 8. The silhouette looked quite strange on me and I could see the dress looking quite tatty when it wasn’t pristinely ironed. The cotton was thin and I’m sure it would get instantly wrinkled after wearing it and sitting down or doing anything other than posing for a stock photo.

Finally the Nique Eriko dress (6) was also in a disappointing fabric. The linen was scratchy and sheer, even in black. I didn’t think the cut of the shoulders worked for me either.

My ongoing compact wallet saga continued as I have been planning to make a purchase during our upcoming trip to Europe. I finally got around to the Loewe store because I had my eye on the small vertical wallet (embossed calfskin raspberry, embossed calfskin navy and soft calfskin wild rose/raspberry; the latter was what I went in specifically for). I wasn’t interested in the embossed calfskin until the sales assistant talked me into it. I don’t like embossed or monograms but I don’t actually mind this. The leather is much more pliable and so light. I really like how much it fits and how compact is it, and that the bill compartment is the whole length. This is my preferred compact wallet of choice but as Loewe doesn’t do navy or raspberry with gold hardware (barely anything comes in gold hardware from Loewe, which is really a hurdle for me and this brand), I am leaning towards just waiting to see if future seasons will bring out gold hardware. I don’t want to settle and I certainly don’t want it in ivory. On the other hand, I’ve been desperate to downsize for a year now so I don’t know how much longer I want to wait…!!! Maybe I will cave?

Other considerations were the popular Louis Vuitton Victorine (either black or the fun marine rouge empreinte leather. I must say that in comparison the Loewe wallet, it is not as efficient with the real estate. The bill compartment only spans two thirds, and there is a more “space waste” for the dimension of the wallet. This is also significantly more expensive but I think the Loewe wallet feels nicer. I also went to look at the Lady Dior lambskin mini wallet because of the gorgeous amaranth colour. Again, the wallet didn’t feel as space efficient and rather bulky. It may even fit less than the other two. They didn’t have the colour in stock so I couldn’t see the colour (looks gorgeous online, though). The lambskin leather felt pretty average, and I would probably want to take off the key chain entirely. This one is in distant third place.

I finally tried on the Loewe small Puzzle bag in midnight (it has gold hardware!) since this colour and hardware combination got released. I think the medium is too big for me. I like that it’s heavy (not too much “extra” hardware and leather), though I certainly would give it extra points if it was lighter still (I am sooo picky about bag weight). It may be a little boxy on me. The opening is not ideal but I don’t think it would bother me. I wish they had kept the metal feet but mostly I wish they had kept the thicker shoulder strap. Knowing these changes puts me off the Puzzle bag somewhat, but it is still a beautiful bag to look at.

Other updates

I passed on a Jigsaw navy 100% merino jumper to my Mum. The quality is brilliant, but the long fluted sleeves are lined in silk and I can’t handle having to fold them up every time it was in my way (very often). I don’t really have the patience for these impracticalities, especially when I’m at work. The side slits also meant I couldn’t wear them with mid-rise jeans/pants at work.

Money Diary #6: A more typical week

This Money Diary follows on from the fairly abnormal week prior.

Monday

I pack my breakfast of a hard-boiled egg sandwiched in a slice of bread with sriracha. Lunch is a poke bowl inspired situation with rice, tuna, edamame, takuan, black beans, and baby spinach that I put together in the morning for T and myself (I cooked the rice and black beans the night before). I also take a banana.

I train to and from work.

For dinner, I am intent to use up the last of the expiring milk so I make a blitzed potato soup for T and add milk but I severely underestimated how much milk was left. The soup is a lot more liquid-y than I had planned but T says it tastes fine. I bake some vegan patties we got to try and toast some slices of bread to make little sandwiches with baby spinach and cheese. They’re not spicy as labelled though, so I add some of T’s mum’s homemade chilli sauce and almost die. We also share out some stir-fried yam bean T’s mum gave us (I was introduced to it after meeting T’s family and love it sooo much so she always tries to make some/a lot for me). I also eat a slice of a roasted purple sweet potato instead of the potato soup. On the side, I cook some egg, potatoes and green beans so T can eat that with leftover rice and a beetroot soup in the freezer for dinner tomorrow. I am all about preparing ahead so we don’t eat out (and I know T tends to make less healthy meals when on his own). I enjoy cooking and he doesn’t so I’m happy to plan and make meals.

Tuesday

It’s tutoring day. I made sandwiches (it was super inconvenient having a tupperware lunch last week so from now on it’ll be sandwiches on Tuesdays) with baby spinach, egg, ham and cheese for us both. I also bring a banana and apple just in case. My breakfast is another hard-boiled egg sandwiched in a slice of bread.

I get to work and then leave at 11 for the university. I eat my sandwich without drama and tutor for three hours (12 to 3). I do leave my trusty water bottle behind though and the unit coordinator doesn’t see my message to locate it when all the workshops finish at 6pm. I’ve been using that bottle at work for like five years now and I’m quite sad. (I locate it in the same spot I left it at a week later – hurray!)

After I finish at 3, I drive to my parents’ house to work (they are roughly halfway between the university campus and the city). I eat dinner with mum – fried fish, japchae, stir-fried green beans and potato, and a tofu dish that is way too salty. She pays me back for the sim card and a phone holder for the car I got her, minus what she paid for some Costco goods I asked for. I set up the sim card for her but it is problematic and she ends up without a working sim for almost 24 hours. I pick up the two Sephora Favourites (skincare) boxes recently released that I shipped over to my parents (I despise that Sephora does not ship to parcel lockers) and am horrified by the size of the parcel box compared to the actual boxes of product, which themselves are enormous compared to the actual products inside. I give my Mum some of the products that I’ve already tried or don’t see myself using. I also order some gardening thing from Germany on eBay that my Dad tasked me to buy on a piece of paper. It’s about $200 and half of it is shipping, LOL.

Wednesday

I make an egg with two falafel balls to pack for breakfast and also bring a banana and apple. I make T the same sandwich as yesterday.

I train to and from work today.

Our department goes out to eat lunch because one of our members who works for us overseas is here for two weeks. I have a chicken and avocado toasted sandwich. $12

For dinner I make Malaysian-style udon (similar to hokkien mee except swapping the noodles) with chicken, green beans, carrot and a dark sauce concoction. I also roast cauliflower. With the leftovers, I pack three lunches with udon and cauliflower and another portion for dinner the next day!

Thursday

I noticed that avocado ripened quicker than expected. I pack a quarter of an avocado and some falafel balls for breakfast, the udon for lunch, an apple and a ruby raspberry Kit Kat.

I train to and from work.

It’s a super full on day and I pretty much have to eat my lunch in the middle of a meeting. We also have birthday cake for a colleague in the mid afternoon.

For dinner, we eat udon with cauliflower, finish that purple sweet potato which I roast up again, and have Korean soybean stew with wombok and zucchini (I add kimchi to mine). After I also eat an orange and the last green tea ice cream mochi. I also roast orange sweet potato and some falafels for lunch the next day.

Friday

I pack some crackers, cheese and a quarter of the avocado for breakfast. Lunch is a salad with sweet potato, the remainder of the baby spinach, half an avocado and falafels. I also pack a banana and a banana Kit Kat. T’s lunch is the last container of udon.

I train to and from work.

T’s parents invited us and his brother-in-law over for Ipoh Hor Fun, which is one of my favourite Malaysian dishes. There’s also curry puffs (I have one) and fried chicken (I pass), then fruit for dessert. Delicious!

Saturday


For brunch we go to Breakfast Thieves. I order the “fried rice” chilli scrambled eggs on toast, sambal, bacon, peas, corn, spring onion, parmesan, puffed rice ($21); T orders the crispy potato roesti, grilled smoked ham, sauerkraut, poached eggs, apple hollandaise; and we both get a latte (2 x $4). I am quite creeped out by my dish because the charred puffed rice looks like grubs. $51

For dinner we are invited over to T’s parents place again. Because T’s brother-in-law is back, they are going to town cooking Malaysian food. We usually don’t eat with them so often in a week! Tonight T’s mum is making another of my Malaysian favourites – po piah. We all fail at wrapping our po piah but who cares because it’s delicious. She reheats some of last night’s soup and we also have a small helping of Ipoh Hor Fun (with choose-what-you-want inside, so I only have soup, noodles and chives). We have fruit after dinner.

Sunday

In the morning, I take the train to the suburbs and meet my Mum and we drive to Chadstone for a spot of window shopping. I want to look for a new foundation. I have been trying for years to find a foundation as good as my discontinued favourite foundation. I get a bunch of samples from Lancome and YSL in David Jones. I am also looking for a new compact wallet and we check out the ones I’m interested in at Loewe, Dior and Louis Vuitton. I also hopefully walk into Celine just in case but of course there’s no OldCeline small leather goods (I found a handful of Old Celine wallets at Marais just one/two months ago but sadly none were in the size or combination I vaguely wanted).

I don’t even realise how hungry I am when we are about to leave. I didn’t have breakfast and it’s already passed lunch time! We have nachos and a taco each at Fonda and I pay. $32

We go back home and my Mum heads off to her singing club. Dad and I drive to my apartment because he is helping me to move two pieces of Ikea storage units that I want to keep and my parents will kindly hold onto for me. T drives to the apartment as well to help. Luckily we are able to fit one set of drawers in Dad’s car and the cabinet in our small car. As there’s room, Dad also takes the TV that I’m giving them. I hang around the apartment to take pictures of all the other furniture I want to sell.

Back at my parents place, we wait for my Mum then go out to dinner at Koi Ramen Sushi Don. We share gyoza and a soft shell crab roll, Mum has udon, Dad has a beef bento, T has a pork katsu bento and I have una don. We pay because my parents paid for the last meal we ate out together. $79

Time for our weekly grocery shop. We buy: broccoli ($2.54 at $3.50/kg), cauliflower ($2), mushrooms ($6.86 at $12/kg), 450g tomatoes ($2), 200g cherry tomatoes ($3), 120g baby spinach ($3), bananas ($0.65 at $3.90/kg), 20-pack L’or coffee capsules ($8), 95g canned tuna ($1), ham ($4.03), 700g sliced bread ($3.40), 1L ice cream ($5), 2 packs of 500g sausages ($14 at $7 each). $55.48

Total spend: $229.48 (joint account)

Money Diary #5: An atypical week

I did two back-to-back money diary weeks and this is the first (highly atypical) week because I auction my apartment and we eat out so much.

Monday

I wake up at 6am with a sore throat and email work to say I will work from home unless I get more sick. I sleep for a few more hours.

Working away. I make a spinach and ham omelette and coffee for breakfast. I also pay off one of our credit cards.

I realise the prepaid 12-month sim I wanted to buy is sold out since it got discounted last week ($300 to $200). What a rookie mistake. I decide to drive out to the shops and get carrots (because they were over $2/kg at Coles when we did our grocery shop the night before and I know they are $1.20/kg at Woolworths, hmph!) and to get the other 12-month prepaid sim that is on sale this week that my Mum wants to switch to. Prepaid sims are ridiculously competitive now!

The sim card is sold out at the one supermarket I try. I walk passed a Tattslotto and cash in a winning ticket (T’s family sporadically buys us lottery tickets and I am wondering if it is their way of worrying about our finances, haha). (+$13 gift). I also get 3 1kg bags of carrots ($3.60) and another zucchini because they look so nice and are on sale $3.90/kg), even though I bought two the day before. After 5% discount using prepaid gift cards, $5.11

Back home, I heat up the hokkien mee I had packed for today’s lunch.

Around 4, I start cooking Japanese curry (I always used Curry House roux) with beef chuck, potatoes, carrots and mushrooms. I get it finished up to the point of boiling (sans roux) at about 6 (at which point I had stress-eaten a bag of delicious Japanese gummies), when T gets home to drop off his bag. Then we take a tram and walk to my real estate agent for a catch up before Wednesday night’s auction of my apartment. It’s a little depressing because he is not expecting any active bidders on the night, but it is what it is and I trust his next strategies.

We get back home and I finish off the curry. I started the rice before we left. I also make a clear soup with wombok and zucchini on the side. There’s heaps of curry leftover so we put the whole pot in the fridge. I also eat a green tea ice cream mochi which T agrees is good – he can’t even tell it’s vegan.

T’s parents source that sim card that my Mum wants for me – legends. They drop it off. It cost $140 and I’ll pay them back later when I have cash ready.

Tuesday

I get up and feel much the same as yesterday morning. I want to get in early today so my alarm is set earlier than usual. I make an egg with some zucchini and pack it for breakfast. I also take hokkien mee for lunch. I drive to work because I am also heading to my first session as a teaching associate further away at a university campus. Last week I drove there for a meeting and it took me 1 hour.

I leave work at 11 to get to the University campus, where I use the parking permits I was given. I go to the teaching lounge to catch up with the other tutors and unit coordinators, and eat my lunch with a fork I find in the kitchen drawer because my fork fell into a dark abyss in the car.

I’m taking two workshop sessions (12:00-1:30 and 13:30-3:00) in group teaching style (120 students in a large teaching room and each tutor is assigned three small groups to alternate between). I’m really glad I took this on because it’ll be a great experience, I enjoy teaching, and the money is so SO good. It is totally going to be worth putting in some extra hours for my normal job. I almost wonder if I should have just agreed to do all four workshops over six hours since the commute is pretty long for me to and from the city.

I make the long drive back home. My usual plan is going to be driving to my parents’ house and working there and then having dinner with my Mum every Tuesday, since it’s halfway between campus and the city and I don’t have to struggle with peak traffic. However today I have dinner plans in the city. It takes me over an hour to get home and I work two more hours. I stress-eat the rest of a packet of spicy Korean chips (not that good).

It’s T’s dad’s birthday and we go out for dinner at SPQR. His Mum pays. We go back home for cake (pear tart from Le Petite Gateau) and give him his birthday present.

Wednesday

I set my alarm early again (gotta make up those hours slowly), but I have bad cramps all early morning and don’t sleep well. I decide to just let myself sleep a bit longer. After getting up, I make an egg with spinach and zucchini to pack for breakfast. I also cut up a nashi pear and pack the last of the hokkien mee for lunch, a banana, and some Chinese rice cracker snacks.

I train to work.

I eat the banana just before leaving work and hope I won’t be too starving tonight. I train back into the city and head to my real estate agency office. My apartment is going on auction tonight at an in-office auction (last of three lined up). I have a quick chat with my agent and sign my reserve price. He is not expecting any bidding today. Afterwards we sit with the crowd and watch the first two auctions. There are (non-alcoholic) drinks and snacks. I take a lollipop for later but don’t feel like eating anything. When my property gets auctioned, I leave the room and sit in a private office.

Surprisingly one person is bidding (against himself… such is the auction process in Australia!). It passes in under reserve and my agent spends the next hour and a half negotiating. I totally didn’t expect it to happen but the buyer ends up agreeing to my final counter offer. It works out similar to if I had gotten my actual asking price because he does not get a subject-to-finance cooling off period and he wants a short settlement period. It’s not a great result, but I’m at peace and relieved it is over.

It’s passed 8:30 when we leave the offices and T convinces me it is too late to eat at home and we should “celebrate”. We settle on going to a nearby ramen place but eating their side dishes instead (the full side dishes menu starts at 8:30 so we’ve never actually been able to before). We order some homemade citrus sake, oden, fried mackerel, gyoza and a seaweed salad. $52.90

Thursday

I make egg, spinach and zucchini and pack it for breakfast, make a coffee to bring, take rice and curry for lunch, and a banana.

I train to and from work.

For dinner, I make some pasta sauce with chicken, spinach and carrot but I don’t eat it because there’s one more serving of curry left so I eat that on its own. T’s dinner is pasta with my pasta sauce. I pack the same for him for lunch. I pack the remaining pasta sauce with zoodles for my lunch. We also have some clear soup with wombok and enoki. After dinner I eat another green tea ice cream mochi!

Friday

I make an egg with zucchini and a slice of ham to take for breakfast, take a coffee, my zoodles and pasta sauce, and a banana. I train to and from work.

I wish I had cut the zoodles because they are infinitely long and difficult to eat. Lesson learned. I also don’t end up eating the banana and have to take it back home!

T is going to Sydney for almost a week for a conference in mid-September. I decide to also head up with him for the weekend for the free accommodation. I buy expensive return flights with Virgin (why did he have to leave it so late?!) so it is the same flight departing from Melbourne. With the reimbursed accommodation and his reimbursed flights, it’ll still be worth it. $294.63

For dinner, I roast a broccoli and a purple sweet potato, and make non-spicy tteok-bokki with pork, fish cake and wombok. I had some leftover pasta from last night and make T a quick pasta salad (just added ham and Kewpie mayo) to eat while I’m making all of the above. In the end the sweet potato takes too long and we are pretty full so we cut off only two end segments of the sweet potato to continue roasting to eat. T finishes that banana I brought back home because I think it’s turning black. I eat an orange instead and another green tea ice cream mochi.

Saturday




We are taking T’s parents and his grandmother to lunch. We head out to Chadstone Shopping Centre, where parking is a nightmare, for lunch at Shanghai Red. Luckily they got the last free table and we don’t need to queue. We get kao fu, xiao long bao, Shanghai fried noodles, sheng jian bao, stir-fried beans with olive leaf, and fried barramundi. $83.80

We go for coffee/something sweet next. It takes ages to find a table in the food court. T heads off for three coffees (for himself, his mum and grandma) from Little Sparrow ($12.60) and I get an iced sencha with matcha syrup and pearls (for myself; $5.50) and a matcha and houjicha swirl ice cream (for T’s dad; $4.30) from Kyo Tea House ($10.80). $24.40

We stop by the amazing fresh food market in Chadstone for daikon, sweet potato (orange and purple) and fresh udon noodles. $8.73

T also runs off when he sees an ATM to get us some cash and to pay back his parents for that $140 sim.

We had back into the city and I make a small coffee at home.

For dinner we eat galettes at Roule Galette. $35.50

We aren’t really full and Roule Galette is closing so we can’t have sweet crepes there. We get a chocolate fondant and a pear and raspberry cake from Brunetti ($16.70), then one of the new caramel dougnuts from Krispy Kreme ($3.60). $20.30

We go home and watch a movie and episodes of The Black List. I end up unable to even eat one third of the desserts, sigh.

Sunday


We are meeting my cousin and her partner for lunch. We are a bit early so detour to one of our favourite Asian grocers. T grumbles because he finds a new Japanese Kit Kat flavour (peach and mint). $6.95

We eat at Krimper. We are celebrating my cousin finishing her last assessment for her Master’s she’s been doing part time, and to have a good planning session for their upcoming Japan trip. I have been drafting and revising their itinerary and this is a face-to-face session to continue revising it. I have the salmon scramble (pretty blah), the others have burgers and bacon and waffles. Four coffees are ordered. We pay. $93.84

We head home and drive out to do our grocery shop. I’ve activated an offer to received $10 worth of points back for spending over $50, but it really means we are aiming for $60 in order to get two Coles Mini collectables that I am collecting, haha. T is in charge of the shopping tally. We buy: 4 apples ($2.52 at $4/kg), 2 oranges ($1.63 at $2.90/kg), 5 bananas ($3.64 at $3.50/kg), 2 pears ($1.79 at $2.90/kg), 1 avocado ($1.90 – so cheap!), 500g green beans ($2.50), 120g baby spinach ($3), 700g eggs ($3.95), 425g tin tuna ($4.50), 95g tin smoked tuna ($1.15), flat tissue pack (for the car; $1.20), 2kg dishwashing powder ($18), chicken wings on clearance ($2.99; in the freezer and can’t read the sticker but it was probably half to a kg) and chicken thighs ($13.07 at $12/kg). $61.84 (and getting $10 worth of points back)

We have dinner with T’s parents and his brother-in-law who has just flown back for a month (wedding and work). We’re having hot pot at their home. There is way too much food and even fruit for dessert. I take home a big loot of Coles Mini collectables from the Aunty network (T’s mum’s friends).

Total spend: $688 (joint account)

What I bought & Wardrobe diaries: July 2019

Oh boy, another big shopping month because of some very generous cash gifts for my birthday and purchases my Mum ended up paying for as a gift.

New in

IRO cropped belted cady tapered pants (FR 34, 36) – As you can see, my hunt for pants/trousers continued. Though I was only in the market for practical pants, I really wanted to try these out when The Outnet had their 20% off sale and I ended up making three HUGE orders. These pants look amazing though the tie at the front will be annoying. The 34 was a bit tight in various places. The fabric is mid-weight and sturdy but also incredibly smooth and comfortable – really excellent quality. Unfortunately I haven’t worn them yet and hope they won’t sit around gathering dust. My Mum kindly bought these for me for my birthday. $580 down to $278 – 20% = $222.40 (gifted)

See by Chloe cropped crepe tapered pants (FR 34, 36) – And this is the practical pant. My legs are so short these are actually full length on me though, haha. The fabric has a nice texture to it and has been really easy to care for. For some reason the zip and button direction on the fly is the “wrong” way around (male way around), which is quite difficult to get used to. Also unfortunately I slightly regret the size I kept because I tried all the clothing in my The OutNet orders after a very big dinner and I do now find these pants loose, though there’s no risk of any wardrobe malfunctions (I think). My Mum kindly bought these for me for my birthday. $320 down to $158 – 20% = $124.80 (gifted)

Uniqlo Heattech x 3 – I bought another crew neck long sleeve (S), turtleneck long sleeve (S) and a really nice dusty pink fleece turtleneck (S), which is sooo cosy and I’ve been wearing it casually all the time. I’ve been layering these base layers all winter long and loving them! $19.90 down to $14.90 x 3 = $44.70

Ziera Topaz sandals (38) – I already own these exact sandals but gosh sandals get grubby and disgusting during summer. I have to wipe them down almost every week if I’m wearing them. I wore them to USA and all through late spring, summer and early autumn. Initially I got these sandals last year the weekend before we were leaving for USA when I realised it was going to be super hot in October so I needed comfortable walking sandals which I didn’t have… I paid $219.95 (!) last year but they have been nothing but comfortable from the get go and got me through the whole trip so I had zero regrets. Because they went on sale (with a promotion for a second pair half price) and I was given a voucher, I decided to get a backup pair because I know they are great for my feet and I really like to stick with what works for my problematic feet. $219.95 down to $143.96; though it is now $139.95. See Ziera order total below.

Ziera Uja sandals (38) – Because of the above pair, this pair goes down to half price and it was already on sale. I’ve tried them on before so I was okay to order them. I thought it would be nice to have easy slip-on sandals sometimes, since I don’t have any without straps which makes it hard to quickly run out the door. The copper pair look so nice but I wasn’t sure by the description if the upper was leather or not so I went with the safer black option. $179.95 down to $97.97. Total Ziera order: $241.93 – 50% off second pair – $30 voucher – $7 loyalty credit = $155.94

Christian Dior Miss Dior Promenade Pouch (black; preowned via eBay) – By the late 2017, the Celine Trotteur and Dior Miss Dior Promenade were the two bags at the top my wishlist. Of course they were both discontinued around the time I decided they were the next bags I wanted to purchase. Everything I like always seems to end up discontinued! I wonder why that is. I cannot believe they discontinued the Miss Dior Promenade! I think this local seller had listed it many months ago and I saw it but it was priced closer to $2000 at the time and ideally I wasn’t after black. But since it’s been long discontinued and still expensive on the resale market (where I usually find black or colours I definitely don’t want), by the time the price for this dropped to $1550 when I searched again in June, it was looking quite attractive for the price, condition and having all the original receipts. I was very generously gifted a lot of money for my birthday, which I used for this bag with a 5% off coupon. I had asked the seller a lot of questions and received a lot of extra photos and comments during our exchange, had it looked over by The Purse Forum’s authenticators, and was happy with the seller’s history of selling preowned designer goods. The Miss Dior Promenade’s leather is simply DIVINE and the most luxurious leather I’ve ever felt (ahem, probably even Chanel). The leather feels like the leather on the Lady Dior, which is far superior to other Dior small leather goods including clutches and WOCs. $1550 with free shipping – $77.50 (promotion coupon) = $1472.50 (gifted)

July 2019 total: $200.64 + $1819.70 gifted = $2020.34

Considered or tried

AKA the rest of my The Outnet orders…

Tibi herringbone wool coat (US 2, 4) – I’ve been eyeing this coat since the start of the year because I love longline blazers and this seemed like a nice in-between of a thick woollen coat and a traditional blazer. I was always a bit put off by the ring at the back though. Anyway, I don’t have much impression on the fabric (I remember it was quite soft rather than structured) because both sizes were too big! The sizing must be really weird with Tibi. I may add the size 0 next time I make an order during a promotion to try on, but I’m unsure how much I want this now and whether there’s anything else on my watchlist I want to try. Courier delivery and returns are enough of a pain that it is a deterrent to order from The Outnet.

Diane Von Furstenberg cropped wool tapered pants (US 2, 4) – These pants were really big and overwhelming on me. I think probably my legs are disproportionately short.

Theory Karenia silk-blend sweater (S; antique rose) – There was absolutely nothing special about the fabric or fit of this jumper.

Victoria Beckham cropped Prince of Wales checked wool tapered pants (UK 6) – Again, maybe because my legs weren’t long enough, the fit was not cropped and tapered enough to look as cool as on the model. The waist fit but the rest looked really large on my lower half.

Travel: Japan Trip #4 2016 (Day 12 – Kyoto [Kinkaku-ji, Soujiki Nakahigashi])

See: Travel: Japan Trip #4 2016 itinerary and intro

Day 12: January 29

This day was the worst weather all day. It rained nonstop and heavily. I changed our itinerary slightly (given the weather) and we visited Kinkaku-ji in the morning instead, which is one of the most iconic sights in Kyoto. It was my third visit and I’m still never sick of it, though it’s always ridiculously crowded! This is one of those sights where it’s absolutely worth making an effort in planning itineraries to avoid weekends/holidays and to be there at the start or end of the day.

We took a subway to Kitao-ji then a bus to Kinkaku-ji. On my way out of Kinkaku-ji, I saw an purchased my first goshuin-chou and two goshuin. It was all very emotional and I actually cried, LOL.

We didn’t really have any time to find food, especially as the area around Kinkaku-ji is pretty quiet. We had some nibbles (including dango, of course) from those tiny eateries that serve takeaway food and have some small ledges or seats inside/outside.

The rain was pretty rough by now, so we took a taxi to the Kyoto Imperial Palace (my first visit). Back then, access was only with guided tours that needed to be booked in advance, but it seems now entrance to the palace grounds is permitted without joining a guided tour.

To be honest I had never been in such heavy rain for so long. My knee-high boots were spattered with mud at least three quarters of its height. It was hard to pay attention to the tour guide or hear her over the rain and the large number of people in the group while being so miserably wet and cold, so I admit I wasn’t really present. I think we would have made better use of our time skipping it and doing something else indoors.

After the tour, we took a subway back to our hotel for a break to dry off and change clothes. T had to change shoes too because they were completely soaked through! Then we took another subway to Shijo to visit the Kit Kat Chocolatory in Daimaru but left empty-handed as there was nothing there we didn’t already have.

The main even of the day was dinner at Michelin-restaurant, Sojiki Nakahigashi. I wanted to book a meal at a Michelin restaurant in Japan as a surprise for T. Australia doesn’t use the Michelin system, so although I don’t think awards are a representation of the kind of food I enjoy, I thought it would be a cool experience since we love Japanese food. Although chef’s menus stress me out a bit (because I am not adventurous), T is very adventurous and open to new food experiences. I think I made my booking around 3 months in advance (usually that’s when bookings open for most restaurants, off the top of my head). I think this was my second or third preference from my Kyoto Michelin restaurant shortlist, but the others I rang first would not accept my booking (as I was calling from overseas). I know usually tourists would ask their hotel to make the booking for them, but I wanted to bypass the middle man/woman and risk of miscommunication to make sure I got the date, time and set menu I wanted. The staff at Sojiki Nakahigashi were very lovely and since I didn’t have a number they could contact me on for confirmation prior to the date, they just asked me to ring them the day before to confirm. I was able to use a pay phone in the hotel the night before to ring, but I wasn’t really knowledgeable about how much phone calls cost, so the first coins I entered rang out too quickly meaning I accidentally disconnected with the lady at the restaurant. That was pretty mortifying!


We picked our own cup from a selection of all unique ones.


Charcoal grill.


Cooking rice throughout the meal. When we were served rice towards the end of the meal, everyone got a share of the crispy rice.


I couldn’t drink the coffee because I didn’t drink coffee at this time. It was incredibly embarrassing.

Soujiki Nakahigashi serves kaiseki and I had opted for the most expensive omakase set, which was more courses than the fingers I have. Everyone is seated around the kitchen, where a surprisingly large number of people are situated, cooking (using an astounding array of methods of cooking for a small space) and serving. Nakahigashi Hisao, the owner and head chef, is VERY passionate about vegetables (particularly root and mountain vegetables, from my observation) which he picks fresh every morning in a field north of Kyoto. While certainly using a lot of technique, care and amazing produce, there is only so much wild mountain vegetable in its purest form (think unwashed) I can take. Some ingredients I simply couldn’t eat and I had to really make an effort to sneak them to T without being seen by anyone (not eating the food served to you is HIGHLY rude). T thought the food was good and it was a great experience though. One of the chefs was the designated English-speaker, and he would explain each of our dishes in English when placed in front of us. Nakahigashi himself was friendly to us and chatted in Japanese. Other diners appears to be regulars (and work colleagues) and they were all chatty with Nakahigashi too. I can’t remember how much the most expensive omakase set was in 2016 (current prices don’t look too familiar and I’m sure they’ve increased), but I want to say it was around the ¥20,000 mark per head, give or take ¥20,000. We also had sake. At the end, one of the ladies handed me a tiny piece of paper with the bill amount handwritten. I was also aware that they were cash-only so I had brought plenty of cash along.

At the end of the meal, they also called us a taxi and walked us to the car holding umbrellas for us.