Bikkie Day Fundraiser for the New Zealand Blind Foundation

Guide dogs are so important to so many people in New Zealand, and they aren’t cheap to raise or train! Blind Foundation guide dogs give freedom and independence to New Zealanders who are blind or have low vision.

Bikkie Day is on 2 July 2018, and of course I’ll be participating! I’ll be selling cute doggy-shaped biscuits during the week of 2-6 July in and around Christchurch for a minimum of $3. All funds raised will go directly to the Blind Foundation. Your support will make a huge difference!

  • $30 could buy soft toys and tug ropes for guide dog puppies to aid their development
  • $50 could pay for a guide dog puppy’s first eye check
  • $100 could pay for all vaccinations for a guide dog puppy
  • $200 could pay for a working guide dog’s special harness
  • $500 could pay for a starter kit for a new guide dog handler and their guide dog. The starter kit includes: harness, food bowl, whistle, brush, toys and much more.
  • $1,000 could help cover the vet care costs of a guide dog puppy in training

If you’re not local to Christchurch, or you don’t like biscuits (?!?!), you can still donate through my fundraising page here. Please help me help them by giving generously — guide dogs are absolutely life-changing to so many people. To spread the word, please help by sharing my page with your friends and family.

Thank you in for helping me raise lots of dough this Bikkie Day, it means a lot!

Vienna xxx

Brand Review: Laurina Jean Retro

Note: I haven’t been paid, cajoled, bribed, or gifted anything for this post. I’m just in love.

I’m not a brand purist when it comes to clothes, the way I am with shoes. If it’s pretty, and it suits me, I’ll buy it. But I looked in my wardrobe yesterday and realised there’s a whole lot of Laurina Jean Retro staring back at me, and figured that must mean it’s time for a review!

I have to say that I raised an eyebrow when I first saw the prices of these clothes. At $90 NZD for a dress, Laurina Jean runs far cheaper than a lot of other retro brands. But the pricing is deceptive — they are great quality and made in really good working conditions. Most of these dresses run from a size 8 all the way up to a size 26, and they look great on ALL those sizes!

A note on the sizing — these do run small, and you will probably have to size up. Kabella Baby is the exclusive New Zealand stockist for Kabella Baby, so if you’re in Christchurch you’ll be able . to try out the sizing.

A really cool feature on a lot of the dresses is the adjustable straps. They have buttonholes on the straps and buttons in the back so you can wear them as normal straps, crossover at the back, or tie the straps up as a halterneck. One thing I’ve found is that with a few of the dresses, I’ve had to add another buttonhole to the straps as my shoulders are quite low, so the straps were too loose wearing them normally. But a buttonhole addition is pretty simple if you know your way around a sewing machine, or a very quick and cheap job for an alterations place to do!

Laurina Jean has a new range coming out on Wednesday that I’m super excited for! (My credit card is less excited.) She’s put a few sneak peeks on her Facebook page already, so head over there if you want to see what’s coming up, including FLAMINGOES!!

But enough gushing—here’s just a sample of my amazing Laurina Jean Retro outfits! If you want to see more, you should definitely make sure you’re following me on Facebook or Instagram 🙂

Product Review: SugarPOP shoes

Note: I haven’t been paid, cajoled, bribed, or gifted anything for this post. I’m just in love.

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll have seen the same thing over and over again on my outfit of the day posts: “Shoes: Popping Candy from Kabella Baby”. There’s a reason for that.

I’ve always struggled with heels. When I was 14, I dislocated my knee skiing and made the extremely bright decision to strap it up and finish out the last six weeks or so of the football season. I do not recommend doing this. Needless to say, my knees have been dodgy ever since. I’d pretty much given up on being able to hear heels apart from sitting at my desk at work when the wonderful Kaye at Kabella Baby insisted that I try a pair on.

I swear these must be the most comfortable heels in the known universe. I have worn my SugarPOPs to Christmas in the Park, on multi-hour shopping trips, dancing, to Orana Park and Willowbank, and just all day around the house when I’m doing chores. The bows can be bought separately and can be switched out or removed entirely, for some very cool looks!

And… there’s a chance I’ve gotten slightly obsessed with them:

Image: My SugarPOP shoes, surrounded by petticoats. In order: Dragonglass (black), Redrum (red), Reign (purple with paisley on the heel), Salute (navy), High Tea (pink with white polka dots), Spotted (black with white polka dots and a solid white heel) and ChaCha (gold glitter with a solid non-glitter gold heel). With a bonus pair of Habana Chocolaticas at the bottom for those extremely rare occasions where flat shoes are required!

The sizing is reasonably roomy—I’m normally a 9.5-10, and the size 9 in these fits really nicely. One of my friends wears a 6 where she’s normally a 7, while another is an 8 in everything including these. So if you’re able to get to a stockist and try some on in person, I would definitely recommend it to save yourself potentially having to sort out a return! New Zealand stockists include: Kabella Baby in Christchurch (which is where I bought all of mine!), 19 Black in Hamilton, Vintage Honey’s Parlour in Dunedin, and Vintage Addiction in Auckland. Alternatively, you can find Popping Candy at their website or on Facebook. They are a very reasonable $120 NZD ($100 AUD for my friends across the ditch).

But enough gushing—here’s just a sample of my amazing outfits that have been totally jazzed up by these incredible shoes! If you want to see more, you should definitely make sure you’re following me on Facebook or Instagram 🙂

Lydia (or Vienna) the Tattooed Lady

It says a lot about my upbringing that when I wrote that title, I wasn’t thinking of Groucho Marx… I was thinking of Kermit the Frog. My mum is a huge Muppets fan, okay?!

Anyway, it’s no secret that I have a few tattoos. Just one or two. Okay, maybe more than one or two… closer to two dozen. I love them to bits.

Which is why I got two new ones today! “Nevertheless, she persisted”, which was a fundraiser for Shakti Women’s Refuge, on one arm, and “Well-behaved women seldom make history” on the other. My angry feminist arms 🙂

Both tattoos were designed by Chelsea Brink and tattooed by Jake at The Gallery in Wellington, and they look amazing!

Rainbow Tresses

I travel a lot for work, and when I’m meeting people at the airport, or in a public place, or whatever, I have an easy way to meet up — “I’m the one with the [whatever colour it currently is] hair.”

I know a lot of people with crazy hair colours like to pick a colour and stick to it, but I’m far too fickle for that (says the girl with 17 tattoos…) Instead, I pick a new colour every time, which means my hair changes colour about every three months, as I get two rounds of dye out of one bottle.

My favourite brand is La Riche Directions. The colour stays on amazingly and it’s easy to mix colours up if they don’t quite have the shade you’re after. I buy mine from Glamore in Invercargill. They also sell the Directions Hair Lightening Kit, which I 100% prefer to supermarket blonding products (though those will do in a pinch).

My husband actually dyes my hair for me — he’s a handy man to have around! Changing hair colours is usually an all-weekend production, doing the bleaching one day and the actual colour the next. So I spend one Saturday evening in every six looking like Draco Malfoy. It’s very attractive. I try to leave the colour in for at least four hours, but basically the longer I can leave it in the better.

The colour lasts a good six weeks — in fact, my undercut usually grows out before the colour washes out. I wash my hair 3 times a week with a colour-protecting shampoo, but this is a semi-permanent dye, so colour does come out every time I wash it.A trick my friend taught me is to put a bit of dye on with your shampoo, which really locks the colour in! She adds hers to her shampoo, but sometimes guests use mine, so… I’d better not. 🙂