Blood clots and The Pill: my story

Blood clotsIt all started after a night spent curled up on the couch in front of the TV. I turned it off, stood up, and immediately felt a sharp cramping sensation in my right leg, towards the top of the calf. I put it down to being unfit and figured it would be gone by the morning.

The next morning, the pain was worse. I managed to hobble around school as usual for most of the day, waiting for the pain to go, but it didn’t. I was also bothered by the strange sensation of “pins and needles recovery”: that feeling in your legs after you’ve been sitting on the ground for a while and one of them has gone numb, but then stand up and the feeling slowly pours back into them.

The following day was just as bad, but I refused to let a leg cramp stop me from going to play laser tag with a group of friends that evening. As I raced around the maze, I had to keep stopping to catch my breath. I was struggling to breathe. Continue reading

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What I’ve learned from ‘no new clothes for a year’

What I've learned from no new clothes for a yearAbout a year ago, I wrote that I was going to buy no new clothes for a full year. My motivations were to save money and to move towards a more sustainable, ethically-minded approach to fashion. So how did I go?

Well. I, uh, still bought clothes. So, I guess that didn’t work out like I’d hoped.

I could tell that my grand plan probably wasn’t going to work too well when I still hadn’t broken old habits a month into my self-imposed challenge. It was a steady downward slide from there on.

However, I was definitely much more conscious about what I was buying, particularly when my wardrobe space shrunk and so did my available spending money. I made far fewer purchases over the past year compared to my previous habits. I’ve also shifted my focus towards retailers who scored favourably on the 2015 Australian Fashion Report.

So what exactly have I learned from all this? Continue reading

How to change your name after marriage

change name after marriage

Keen to escape a lifetime of having my previous surname misspelled, I took the traditional route and took my husband’s surname. Which, of course, meant that I then had to go and update all my official documents.

I was surprised at how difficult it was at times to find the information I needed to update various documents. For example, my passport – there was no clear information available about how to actually change my name (where to go, what form to fill out, etc). So I thought I’d write about how I did it.

Keep in mind I live in New South Wales, Australia, and I changed my name in early 2015. Some of this information may not apply to your state (or country), or there may be a brand new process involved. But here’s what worked for me. Continue reading

How to test your new marriage (and where I’ve been for the past six months)

test your new marriage

If you regularly follow this blog (or just glance through the dates I’ve posted stuff), you might be wondering why there have been no new posts for many, many months.

The good news is, I haven’t died. Nor have I relegated Lace & Feathers to the land of permanently abandoned blogs languishing in various corners of the Internet wasteland. It’s just been, uh, resting. Which is exactly what I haven’t been doing.

If you’re looking for a way to test the strength of your new marriage, I have been personally road testing a pretty surefire method over the past 3 – 6 months. All you need to do is follow these steps to place you and your marriage under a reasonable (but not completely unbearable) load of stress in order to bring any simmering tensions to the surface for examination: Continue reading

Sydney property prices are too damn high

sydney property prices too high

It now takes more than nine times the average salary to buy a house in Sydney. Just a single generation ago it took three.

I don’t know about you, but as a “young person” currently living in Sydney, I find that statistic depressing. It’s becoming increasingly close to impossible for people my age to find somewhere decent to live in this city. Most of our friends in similar situations (twentysomethings, often still studying or recently finished and in their first jobs, many of whom are married or living with a partner) have taken one of the following all-too-familiar paths to living in Sydney suburbs: Continue reading

What’s in your handbag?

what's in your bagLook at this. A bag of mystery. What’s inside it?

Apparently, women posting about the contents of their handbag (or “purse”)(it’s not a purse, it’s a handbag) on the internet is a thing. And I’m okay with that, as trivial as it seems. I lug this thing around with me everywhere, every day, and it’s full of everything from essential items to utter crap. There’s a small part of me that is curious to know what other women are lugging around with them.

So to kick start a new year of bloggistry, I figured why not pick something completely pointless to talk about, yet one that’s strangely voyeuristic? Something other equally curious types might find interesting? Continue reading

Wedding stress

wedding stress girlUp until about three months ago, we weren’t feeling stressed about the wedding at all. Things were going smoothly, we were a picture of organisation (spreadsheets, lists, and spreadsheets of all our lists…), and it just wasn’t a big deal.

But then, as it started getting closer to the actual day – we became stressed. And now, with less than two weeks to go, I’m practically a walking meltdown in progress.

See, it doesn’t matter how organised you are. In fact, being more organised can make things worse, because you’re acutely aware at all times of the sheer volume of things that you need to to. All the little details that need to be arranged, purchased, decorated, sorted, transported; the people who need to be contacted and asked to help out; the contact numbers and exact times to put in the run sheet for the photographers. Continue reading

How to find ethical fashion in Australia

how to find ethical fashion australia

Updated July 2015 to incorporate the latest ‘Behind the Barcode‘ report from Baptist World Aid Australia

It’s not easy to figure out where to shop for clothes in Australia if you want to be ethically-minded about it. There is no single resource to tell you which companies have traceable and transparent supply chains or are paying fair wages to garment manufacturers. The closest resource is website Good On You, which gives a simple rating of many clothing brands.

I was curious to know how all my favourite clothing stores stacked up when it came to ethics and social responsibility. Well, they’re not all my favourites (there’s quite a lot), but I decided to go through and list pretty much every store where I’ve made more than one purchase before. It’s by no means a comprehensive list, and is simply my attempt to track down as much information as I can find on the Internet about each clothing store where I have shopped in the past, or am considering for future purchases. Continue reading

Why I’m getting married

vintage peacock wedding

To a lot of people, it probably seems very strange that my fiance and I have decided to marry each other. We had our first date in the middle of August 2013 and will be heading down the aisle in December 2014. We’re both young (I’m 24, he’s 23). We don’t even live together, and each of us has only been in one brief prior relationship with someone else. Crazy, right? Like we barely know each other! We’re so young and haven’t even played the field!

And yet here we are, making a lifelong commitment to each other and actually, genuinely intending to honour that commitment by staying together for the long haul. Even if we “fall out of love” with each other. Even if things “aren’t working out”.

In a world where there are so many different views on relationships and marriage, I just thought I’d offer up my own thoughts on why I’m getting married. Continue reading

What it’s like writing personal stuff on the Internet

cat at computer

A little over a month ago, I pitched a feature story to a website that I’m a fan of, Hello Giggles. It’s a women’s lifestyle website with plenty of interesting, first-person stories about the highs and lows of life for women of my general demographic, mixed with op-ed style pieces about current affairs that relate to women, and lighter, fun, humorous articles reminiscent of Buzzfeed (but with more depth). Anyway, I really like the site, and as an aspiring writer seeking a little bit of exposure, I was over the moon when they agreed to publish it.

Despite my impending Internet fame and glory, however, I couldn’t really tell many people about it – because I didn’t want them to read it. The story I sent to Hello Giggles was about what it’s like to have your first kiss in your twenties. Continue reading