Tit for Tat

Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Top: City Chic

Skirt: Target

Shoes: Carla Milani

Tonight we ring in a new year, hoo-bloody-rah! It’s a good time to take stock of the previous twelve months, to gird your loins for another year, and to set yourself some resolutions if that’s your thing.

My friends R, JC and I have always preferred to set a theme for the upcoming year rather than individual goals. Themes like “Expand Horizons”, or “Take Chances”.

My theme for 2013 was “Survive”, 2014 was “Rebuild”. I’ve done both of those things, and I’m in a much better place today than I was twelve months ago. My sister is well, I’m surrounded by a network of incredibly loving and supportive people. I have a home that I love and a job where I feel challenged and valued. New people have come into my life who are enriching it every day. I’m happy. Hopefully 2015 will continue on the same trajectory, so my theme for the year will be something along the lines of new growth, building momentum, having direction.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that a few months ago I gave myself something to remind myself to value the person that I am.

I call myself Lilli, but most of you know by now that the name on my birth certificate is Lian. It’s a Chinese name in honour of my Chinese grandfather, and it means “The Graceful Willow”. This is a bit of a running joke with me, because I’m not particularly graceful, and I’m certainly not willowy. At the start of this year I discovered a Chinese constellation called The Willow and it inspired me to research what my name actually symbolised.

It turns out my Mum got it right. In Chinese mythology the willow tree stands for strength, but it’s a strength that comes from being able to bend without breaking. It’s a tree that can withstand great storms and survive. It also symbolises resilience, because it has deep roots that allow it to recover even after it’s been cut back.

I thought about it for a while, consulted some friends, did a few preliminary sketches, and then finally handed everything over to the talented Melanie Knight at Forgotten Son who designed and inked this wonderful, permanent reminder of something I should be very proud of having: Strength and resilience. An abiding and unwavering sense of self. Deep convictions. A strong network. The ability to withstand challenging times and recover from setbacks.

constellation tattooSo. That’s the serious stuff done, now on to the fashion! Do you like my top? I somehow missed it on the City Chic website, and it wasn’t until I saw it being worn by someone on the Aussie Curves FB page that I spotted it. It reminds me so much of this Marlies Dekkers bra that I couldn’t resist. It’s sexy and strappy, and a bit edgy, and not something I thought I’d be able to pull off, but I really like it.

Frocks and Frou FrouI’ve worn it today in an all-black ensemble with a floaty skirt from Target and some great new Carla Milani flats that I bought en-masse from a little stall that had set up shop in Melbourne Central.

Carla Milani FlatsThe guy who served me was a total riot, and I ended up walking away with three pairs of ballet flats, but they’re soft, leather, kid-lined (no socks required), cheap, and he promised they wouldn’t give me blisters (which they haven’t) so I don’t feel too guilty about it.

My bangle is very important to me too. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to talk about why yet so I’m just going to put up a photo of it and let you admire it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHappy New Year, my lovely readers, and here’s to a wonderful and fulfilling 2015 for all of us.

Love, The Graceful Willow.

Bernadette-style

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Dream Of The Crop Cardigan: Modcloth

Dress: City Chic

Regina Shoes: Comfortview

Glasses: Vision Direct

I don’t watch a great deal of TV, but after growing up in a big house with lots of kids I’m not great with silence so I often have the telly on in the background in the evenings for a bit of ambient noise. (Yes, I know I could listen to music – but it does tend to leave one’s mind free for ruminating. And podcasts require me to actively listen, which can result in some terrible culinary disasters.)

At the moment the TV seems to be playing All Big Bang Theory, All The Time, and I’ll be honest; I don’t mind it. It’s been known to make me laugh. I think Sheldon’s hilarious.

My outfit today was inspired by the character Bernadette who always seems to wear cute full-skirted dresses with cropped cardigans. Like me she’s short and bosomy and I like that despite her pronounced curves she’s not hyper-sexualised.

I bought this little bunting-print dress last year from City Chic, and the sweetheart neckline was a revelation. It doesn’t dip so low that I feel exposed and overly cleavagy, but it’s definitely a showcase for, um, the ladies.

It’s hard to be busty and modest at the same time. Everyone tells you that you shouldn’t wear high necks because it just makes you look bigger (quelle horror!) but when you’re further along the alphabet in cup size (F, represent) lower scoop and v-necks can often expose you a bit more than you’re comfortable with.

A sweetheart neckline seems like the perfect compromise: it defines and enhances the shape of your bust without dipping too low or pulling too wide… I’ll definitely have to add a few more to my wardrobe.