Saturday, March 31, 2012

You could change lives!

Hello gentle reader,

I have to be honest with you, I have tried to write this blog numerous times over the past week but have never quite been able to find the words. Here goes...

I work in a children's hospital. My job description is "To brighten the lives of sick and seriously ill children and their families". I have been asked many many times if my job is hard, and I have always made it clear that it isn't hard when you see the smiles on the kids faces and the relief in the parents eyes. Until recently that is. I have had a rough few weeks with the shock passing of a long term patient, and the subsequent contradiction I faced when trying to deal with my emotions. I interact with patients as Captain Bounce, and yet here I was feeling all these things as Emily. I understand that it may be hard for people to comprehend, and to someone not working in the same capacity death may seem like the nature of the job. But for me this was my first experience of death (within the parameters of my job) and the shock and absolute desperation I felt was crippling. I found it really hard to pull myself out of bed and go to work. How was I meant to make children at the hospital smile when I couldn't even smile? It was and still is a really hard thing to reconcile.

Two things you should know:
1. A donated heart gave this patient precious extra years with her family and friends.
2. The patient's family donated her eyes, which gave sight and a new chance at life to two people.

I was inspired to look into Organ Donation and what it really means to be a donor and be the recipient of a donation. I wanted to know what it was that inspired people to be donors and I also wanted to know how it affected the lives of the donors and the lives of the lucky recipients. In doing my research I discovered that Australia is the world leader in successful transplant outcomes, but that Australia has one of the lowest donations rates in the developing world. Because of my job I am interested in the research and organisations that keep people (namely children) alive. I discovered DonateLife and many other transplant organisations (listed below) that helped me in my search for knowledge about donating and transplants. It astounded me to know that 6 babies everyday are born with heart disease.

Today in the hospital I met a patient waiting for a transplant. We dressed up in crazy costumes, and filmed a film clip for her song that was recorded professionally last year. Her eyes were bright and she was laughing. I met another young lady who hadn't walked in days and together we walked down her ward parading her new fashions (also crazy costumes). She smiled, and all the nurses joined in. Every few days I will graciously lose a game of Scrabble to a teenage transplant patient. Last week, while I was having a really tough time, I heard a young patient practically screech "Captain Bounce!" across the room as she ran over to me requesting the exact same face painting I had done a few days before. A few days after that I was told by a Mum that I was her child's favourite because we play Just Dance together, which helps with her physio and movement. All of this is why I do my job. All of these beautiful stories and so very many more are why this job is so important to the lives of sick children. I am important to these kids.

You can be too. Above everything else, what brought me out of my funk this week was that I made the decision to become an organ donor. Not just, say that I want to donate. But actually join the national registry. In 2011 alone 337 organ donors brought a chance at new life to over 1000 people. I implore you to do your own research and come to your own conclusions about organ donation. It is so important to the lives of little ones and big ones nation wide. You could give new life to 10 people when you pass. There are so many options, and so many myths that are just untrue about organ donation. Go to the DonateLife website and discover for yourself. Above all, talk about it. Talk to your family and friends and find out what their wishes are, because as it stands in Australia your next of kin can still overrule your donation wishes even if you are on the registry. Do you know what your families wishes are?

Please give that they may grow.

E x

Please use these websites to help you.

An amazing story: 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Frocktober: The End

It's over.

I am almost pleased that I get to write about the end of my month of dresses. When I say almost pleased, the thing I am going to miss most about Frocktober are the self-indulgent photos everyday, discovering new and interesting ways to wear my clothes, the slightly more frequent op-shop visits and the sheer joy wearing a dress can bring. Things I am not going to miss about Frocktober? Well... to be honest, I think I have discovered that I not that creative a dresser. I would get so frustrated on those days when all I wanted to do was spend the whole day in house pants or pyjamas, and I would have to stand in front of my wardrobe and wonder what the least offensive dress/skirt outfit was for that non-dress day. They were the worst. Other days, it was absolute mayhem in my wardrobe, as I couldn't even decide which dress was the best! I will also not miss having to plan ahead for almost a month of events. If I knew I wanted to wear that dress for that event, it couldn't be worn beforehand. That was annoying.

I will admit that I did cheat a tiny bit. I never wore pants or anything like that, but I did take 2 photos on a few days. Days when I would be wearing a new outfit, and then have another new outfit for an event. They were 2 photo days, but I claimed the dresses for different days. I always wore a dress, but it meant I could repeat an outfit or two, without having to show you, dear reader. I am entirely proud of my efforts as a dress wearer, and this month I have added a few new op-shop finds to my wardrobe that I consider to be amazing finds for a size 14 lady such as myself.

These are a few of my favourite outfit from the month.

I always forget how much I love this dress. This was bought in Washington DC, so it has lovely memories too.

I like this dress because it is the only shift dress that I own, and it is different to most of my other dresses. I also love these shoes. Mustard heels should go with more things.

I haven't worn a T-shirt under a dress in a while, it used to be my uniform. This is my new favourite T-shirt.

This is my current favourite dress. I found it at a Vintage shop (also my new favourite shop in Perth - Bluebird Vintage), and it wasn't a million dollars. It fits like a dream, and has this fun tie that looks good undone like in the pic, or in a big bow.

Halloween at work. I had to put this up because a costume on a costume is so much win.

Readers, I would love it if you could donate. I am currently sitting on $280, just under half way to my pledge of $620. I am going to keep my page open for another month, and if you feel like donating please do. Don't forget that you are donating to help saving hundreds of live every year by finding an early detection test for Ovarian Cancer. You are donating to your ovaries.

E x

Ps: I didn't wear pants today. I might tomorrow. It's almost too hot for pants now!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Frocktober: Week Two-ish

Hey there folks who read my blog! There is not many of you, but you are an excellent breed.

Well, it is over half way through Frocktober and the dresses and outfits are slowly depleting in my wardrobe. I am still enjoying creating new outfits for each dress/skirt. I have had quite a few excellent outfits, and on most days the outfits number two or even three, but all are still dresses and skirts. Take Saturday for example. I was working as Captain Starlight at en event, so I dressed to get to the event and I wore my Captain skirt. But it was also the closing night of my show. So there is three outfits! I haven't been getting a photo of each outfit, just the best one from each day. Sometimes I am just throwing on a dress for decency purposes when going to the shop. Being not naked is good when in public, or so I am lead to believe.

Here is an overview of what I have been wearing!


This is my Captain Starlight costume. I wear this 3 - 4 times a week. It is in fact the best job ever. Do you have an awesome work uniform?

In my frocking travels I have discovered a few things about myself and my wardrobe:

  • I have a uniform of black tights, cardi and shoes that seems to accompany many bright dresses. I am definitely ok with this. It is comfortable, and you can't judge me. 
  • I own too many things from, and while I am ok with this, it is a very expensive obsession.
  • I own more op-shop/vintage clothing then I thought I did. This new found information actually excites me a lot, because I do not have a body shape that traditionally fits vintage clothing. Perth has been fabulous for vintage finds.
  • I really need to downsize on the unwanted items in my wardrobe. I love them all, but don't wear half of them, and they need to go.
  • I have re-discovered outfits and am excited about wearing them again.
  • I am struggling to get over the fact that I can't wear my favourites more than once this month. There are so many times when I just want to throw the old favourite on, but can't.
  • Dressing takes longer when you are not repeating. 
Anyways, I am still only sitting on $155.00 for my fundraising efforts. Ben has promised to donate some, if I wear an outfit of his choice, and I am still to donate myself. Please, please donate your spare change if you can. The more I find out about ovarian cancer, the more I need to help.

UPDATE: I am now at $205.00 thanks to a donation from Mum and Dad Adams. x

Love and frocks,

E x

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Frocktober: Week one

Hi Everyone!

So October is through with it's first week, and I have had a ball. This week as been great. Ben has been on holidays, so we went vintage shopping and both picked up a few flash things, and found a whole bunch of things that we desperately want! Think marble based rotary telephone, suitcases to create a bookshelf/bedside table out of, endless expensive clothes, and masses of things we would put in "our house" should it ever exist.

I have had so much fun putting together outfits, and hopefully I can make it through October without a double up. I wasn't sure if I could but a quick count of my dresses/skirts and I discovered that I owned 30 skirts and dresses (three of which don't fit but I am keeping for the day that they do again). This does not include the skirt I wear as part of my Captain Starlight costume, and the skirt (my favourite) I am using as my costume for the show I am in. All things considered I think it is going to go well.

Here is a quick look at what I have worn so far.

I'd also like to be a bit proud of the fact the skirts in photos 1 and 6, as well as dress in photo 4 were all thrifted! Amazing. Well done me. If you want a closer look at any of the outfits, head on over to my Facebook page and the photo album Frocktober.

Outfits you can look forward to seeing this month:
- My Captain Starlight costume in full
- My Dympie costume from the show I am in
- This amazing blue retro dress. It fits me like a glove and I am saving it for closing night
- My cleaning ensemble, complete with 50s rag in hair
- Many many more dresses

My fund raising has been going well. That is to say, I am sitting on $155 of my $620 target. Which is amazing. I would like to thank my Mum for the $155. Please if you feel the impulse to donate to anything this month, help me out and donate. It will be going towards Ovarian Cancer Research, and the eventual discovery of an early detection test.

E x

Saturday, September 24, 2011


I have always wanted to raise money for a good cause. Now I know that sounds naff, but being able to do something or say something that will encourage others to support not only me, but also a worthy cause has always been a small dream of mine. I thought about running a fun run, but seriously... who runs? (This lady does, and does it with style and an excellent flair for writing). I also contemplated making things to sell, and donating that money, but that was WAY too much effort on my part. 

I'd all but given up hope (really? Mostly I was getting on with my life), when I discovered Frocktober. Frocktober is about raising money for ovarian cancer research and awareness. They support the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. Ovarian Cancer is not something I know a great deal about, but considering I have ovaries, I felt it a good opportunity to learn. Did you know that ovarian cancer affects over 1200 Australian women each year, with almost 800 of those cases being fatal? I didn't, and this number shocked me. I also didn't know that most cases of ovarian cancer are not discovered until the late stages, where it becomes about short term treatment and not prevention. There is currently no early detection test.

Early stage ovarian cancer may not have obvious symptoms but the following may occur:
  • Vague abdominal pain or pressure
  • Feeling of abdominal fullness, gas, nausea, indigestion – different to your normal sensations
  • Sudden abdominal swelling, weight gain or bloating
  • Persistent changes in bowel or bladder patterns
  • Low backache or cramps
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Unexplained weight loss                  (From the OCRF website)
While women who present with these symptoms don't always have cancer, I can see that there is a massive need for an early detection test, especially when many of these symptoms are often associated with normal "girly time". 

"Frocktober aims to help improve the outlook for women with ovarian cancer by supporting the quest for a suitable early detection test through fundraising for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation."

According to the OCRF "one woman dies every ten hours of ovarian cancer in Australia." I need to help lower this number. 

All the grisly statistics aside, Frocktober is about fun. For me it is about doing what I do best; wearing dresses/skirts. I would say that nearly 80% of the time I am wearing a dress, so why not kick it up a notch for October, and raise some money while I'm at it. Besides, and Spring gets into full swing the Perth weather seems to be warming up to just the right dress temperature! My aim is to wear a dress everyday of October, blog about my outfits, and most importantly raise $20 for each day in October. Now if you are not a maths nerd, then all that amounts to is 31 people donating $20 each. Doesn't seem that hard to me. My target for the month is $620 and I would really like you to help me out.

If you have been inspired already to donate, then please head along to my fundraising page, and donate till your little heart is content. If you would like to wait until you start to see the outfit blogs, you are more than welcome. Please help, I, and countless Australian women would be so very grateful. 

Thank you in advance. 

E x

Saturday, July 9, 2011

My ideal comfort food is...


I vaguely remember being asked to teach a few people this at a mass learn to cook session in January. But Brisbane flooded. Well now you can learn!!

This is the simplest thing, but also the most nommy. You will need at least 45 minutes for cooking time, and you need to be standing over it the whole time.

You will need:
100g of rice (long grain or Jasmine is fine)
1 Litre of milk
3 tbs of brown sugar
Nutmeg to sprinkle

Step One:
Wash the rice, to remove any excess starch. Put in medium size saucepan, and just cover with water. Place on stove on a medium heat, and cook off the water. Keep stirring or it will stick.

Step Two:
Add 1 cup of milk to the pan, and bring down to low heat. You want the milk to simmer and not boil. Keep stirring, until the milk starts to look like boiling (a rolling simmer?).

As soon as the milk looks like the picture, add half a cup of milk. This will bring the boil back down, and it will slowly start to thicken. Continue to bring it to a rolling simmer, and adding half a cup of milk until the full litre is in.

Step Three:
Continue to simmer the mixture until the rice is cooked through. Taste test should do it. Make sure that the mixture is thickening. Do not leave the kitchen or it will boil over or burn, neither of which tastes nice.
Stir in the brown sugar when you decide the mixture is thick enough for you.

Step Four:
Pour into bowl, and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Step Five:
Allow to set, so it is not sloppy (refridgeration not required). This is a good time to do the washing up. This saucepan left out, will be 11 kinds of hell to clean. Clean it straight away!

Step Six:
Devour straight from the bowl. Rice pudding is better hot, in my opinion. But will keep for a few days in the fridge.

This is definitely the face you will make. 

PS: Apparently my kitchen outfit is always the same.

PPS: I made this before my hospital stay, I am yet to stomach dairy successfully, and so wish I could!

E x

Thursday, June 30, 2011

End of Financial Year Adventure.

For those that don't know, I was in hospital last weekend and am still recovering. This is what happened.

Last Friday I woke up with severe abdominal pain.
Rang Mum, phone call went like this:
Me: Morning. What side is the appendix on?
Mum: I think it's on the right side, why?
Me: Because I have pain on my right side. Do you think I should go to work?
(It gets hazy here, but the conclusion was that I would shower, eat and go to work. Surely that would make me feel better.)

After 3 ish hours of work, the decision was made by my Co-Captain Starlight's that I should go home. Walked to my car, nearly fell over cause of pain, and was worried about driving because I was in so much pain. Once home I called close to 15 GP's in the local area to see if I could get an appointment, but being Perth they had either gone home for the afternoon, or were not available till the following morning.

Rang Mum, phone call went like this:
Mum: How are you feeling?
Me: Arfh haynmgdlisd,knihds
Mum: That good huh?
Me: Thinking about going to hospital... Thoughts?
Mum: Get in a taxi now and go. Ring me when you get there.

I hopped into taxi mumbled the closest hospital I knew, and cried my way there. As I walked into the Emergency Department a big red sign flashed at me saying that the ED was streamlining, and people would be seen within 4 hours. I contemplated curling up in the corner to die. But I was seen by the Triage nurse within 20 minutes of getting there, and seen by the Hospital clerks after another 20 minutes. I was in the Emergency Department within 50 minutes of getting to the hospital.

I changed into my sexy open back gown (secretly put on two so that my arse wouldn't be hanging out). And then within another 10 minutes a Doc had poked me and told me it might be appendicitis. The following happened very quickly:
- Spontaneous tears
- Phone rings
- Blood pressure and pulse things attached (Doc said, "Wow your pulse is high"... You think!)
- Canular (thing in the arm) put in, and drip attached

The phone call went like this:
Mum: So what's happening?
Me: Arghs,,,, odyfjbdf;oidsuf Appendix... *sob* arghmksdkfuans dcfb;oeriuy;fdkfn fuck
Mum: I'm putting Dad on, I am going to book a flight over.
Me: You don't have to do that.
Mum: *Laughs* Yes I do!
Dad: Hi Em, your appendix huh?
Me: Dad, can't talk.... needle in my arm. Keep talking though.
Dad: How are you feeling?
Me: ......
Dad: Em?!
Dad: Oh sorry.

I spent around half an hour waiting in the ED, when I was told that I was going to have an Ultrasound. I was taken into the depths of the hospital, and given an Ultrasound. When your abdomen hurts as much as mine did, an Ultrasounds is the most painful thing in the world. They have to push so hard to get clear images. I thought I was going to explode.
Back in the ED, I began calling anyone to see if they could come hold my hand. Ben was up north, and I knew my housemate Althea was busy until 5.30pm. The messages I left on her phone descended in clarity and sanity by the hour. Finally got hold of Althea, and my knightess in shining armour said she was on her way, and would bring any essentials from my room. Dad also rang and told me Mum was on a plane, and my sister asked me if I had had the Green Whistle. I enjoyed this. Doctor came and saw me, poked and prodded and asked all the same questions that I was sure I had answered, and told me they were admitting me, and my room would be ready soon.

About 6.30ish, after only 3 and a half hours since getting to the hospital I was moved to my room. The next three days went like this.

Night One: No sleep, 3 litre drip bags. Peed a lot. Fasted.
Mum arrived, best thing ever.
Day Two: Doc poked me again, told me it was either a serious Urinary Tract Infection, or Appendicitis. Asked me the same questions again. Continued fasting. Now haven't eaten for 24 hours.
Mum's are the best aren't they?
Night Two: Potasium drip attached, they hurt like all buggery. Few hours sleep.
Mum not allowed to stay.
More antibiotics.
Beginning to think my pain is scared of the dark.
Day Three: Now haven't eaten for more than 48 hours.
Different Doc gives me more info, and tells me to eat something and if it gets better I can go home tomorrow.
Mum is again the best at all things...
I eat. (for a few hours)
Dave and Sian visit.
Night Three: Fasted again.
More drips. (I had a total of 8 litres pumped into my body, may as well have set up camp beside the toilet).
Feeling like home would be a better place to be.
Day Four: Doc invites team of 6 into my room, I welcome them, and Doc pokes me, and tells me to go home.
Thing in arm removed. (Plastic needle is fairly cool)
Moved to "Transit Lounge".

I was diagnosed with a Urinary Tract Infection in the tube between my bladder and my kidneys. This might sound harmless, and many people get Cystitis which is a mild form of this, but I can tell you it was the most painful thing I have experienced (worse than the ovarian cysts incident). I was told that if I hadn't come to the hospital I may have ended up with an infection in my kidneys. Pretty sure avoiding that was a good choice.

I am now home, trying to deal with the pain as well as an uncooperative digestive system. Turns out, being fasted for more than 60 hours creates havoc in your body. I haven't stomached any more than chicken and bread so far. Dairy was the worst choice. I am also struggling with the muscles in my abdomen, because for 4 days it was more comfortable for me to sleep/sit upright than lie flat. The muscles have shortened, and it is now tough for me to sleep properly, or sit in front of the TV/Computer for long.

I am fine, and enjoying having my Mum here, and Ben home.

I know this is a long and complicated blog, but if you take anything out of this I hope you will not underestimate anything your body is trying to tell you. Go to the Doc, but if in doubt go straight to the hospital. You will be in good hands if it is a minor thing, and if it is major you will be exactly where you need to be.

E x