14 April, 2015

I'm Completing A Marathon

 
I'm completing a marathon. Ok I'm not. I doubt I ever would. It's not that I doubt my ability, it's just not something I want for myself. However, it is something I need to remind myself of from time to time. This is not a sprint. I can't just go like the clappers and then think I'm done. It doesn't work like that. I have to pace myself, make it sustainable. Ever since I made the commitment to make this year MY year, my year to care for myself in all the right ways, I also made a commitment to myself that part of that would be to embrace health and wellbeing through fitness. I joined the gym. I've been working with a personal trainer.
 
Although I know I've lost weight and changed shape since I started out, I'm not where I was hoping to be by now. I'm starting to feel discouraged because I'm working hard, but I don't feel my results reflect that. This is the longest I have exercised consistently. Yet I've not made the progress I was aiming for. I know this is an important moment. This is the point. It would be easy to give up and say that despite my best efforts nothing was changing so why bother? But I know that this is the point where it's most important that I stick at it. I know about the plateau. I know it happens. This is it. But I can't give up. I can let myself lose focus or stop caring. There are plenty of things in my life that got hard and I could have given up on. Goals, relationships, people. But I valued and cared about them enough not to give up. I need to show myself that same care and value.
 
That's not to say I don't need to change things. If something isn't working, it needs to be re-assessed. A new game plan formulated. Something I pride myself on is my adaptability. So here it is. Use a strength to improve a weakness. A new approach, new motivation. So what if others are lapping me? I'm not running this race for them. I'm running this race for ME. My health, fitness and weight have always been a bit of a struggle for me. I've certainly come a long way, and it's important not to lose sight of that either, but I still have a ways to go. But that's ok, I've just got to keep at it. I just need to be kind to myself at this juncture. Break my main goal down into smaller goals. Tick them off as I go. Use that to motivate me and feel a sense of achievement.
 
Sorry if this has been a bit of a brain dump, but I think I just needed to remind myself.
 
I hope it's a timely reminder for you too, whatever it is you're working towards. We CAN do it!

31 March, 2015

Get Naked

With her upcoming visit to GreazeFest, Cherry Dollface has been on my mind lately and last week I was both thrilled and inspired to see her post a short but sweet video of herself 'unmasked'. An internationally renowned pin up model and You Tuber, Cherry Dollface posted an endearing video of herself that went from full hair and make up to none at all. A fresh and natural face was presented to us, after some smudging, wiping and removing to remind us all that behind all the make up and filters, there's just a human being. A real person with real feelings. For Cherry, that's obviously also real confidence. Her message was simple but powerful - don't be afraid to just be you. If you haven't seen it, I suggest you watch below.
 
 
I loved this video for so many reasons. I love the fact that although Cherry is known for her looks, she’s not afraid to be completely real with the world. That’s something that I really aspire to. But aside from that, reading the comments on this video, it’s clear that so many women still saw her as beautiful, if not even more so, without her make up. Although it might be easy to pass it off and say ‘well that’s easy for her, she’s a MODEL’ I think it’s important to remember that we all have our own insecurities and we often look upon ourselves with the most critical eye. When seeing someone a la naturale from the outside, we still see beauty.
 
This was the perfect reminder for me. I tend not to leave the house without make up. Sure I may not wear a full face of make up at all times, but I almost never go out in public without at least wearing a BB cream, mascara, eyeliner and eyebrows. It’s funny, because it really isn’t necessary. Even I know that. But for some reason, it’s just a habit I’ve developed. So this was the perfect reminder. I’m going to try to wear less make up, to not be afraid to be my natural self, because I know that my natural self is beautiful too. It’s nice to decorate yourself, but it’s even nicer to love yourself for the real you. Even with just basic make up on, I can look at myself in the mirror and think ‘I am pretty’. Now, I want to be able to look with no make up on and think the same thing.

I challenge you to do the same. I challenge you to just be you.
I challenge you to love yourself as you are.

I challenge you to get naked with me! #getnaked

24 March, 2015

Palm Springs Swing Collection

I first came across The Oblong Box Shop at last year's Tiki Oasis. The gorgeous blonde manning the stall was super friendly and I drooled over her amazing line of printed skirts but with 3 weeks left of travel ahead of me and having already spent quite a bit over the festival I decided I better not go crazy. Still I didn't want to lose track of this fantastic shop, so I followed along on Facebook. Fast forward about 9 months later and owner and creator Denialle Von Fitch was looking for someone to help her write descriptions for the items on her website. Of course I stepped right up, and the rest as they say, is history.
 
 
Enter her latest creation, the Palm Springs Swing Collection. Be still my beating heart! I've been to Palm Springs twice now and have loved it every single time. The prints in this collection are reminiscent of the city's incredible mid-century modern design as well as memories of Tiki Oasis. Featuring everything from tiki's in space to shrunken heads, John Waters flamingos, sneaky tiki's, moai's, mid-century pads and even puffer fish, this collection truly offers something for everyone. Just like the novelty print skirts of the 50s, each skirt uses more than 2 yards of fabric, for easy fullness without a petticoat if you wish, which is perfect for the warm Queensland climate.
 
 
The medium weight 100% polyester gives the skirts a soft, comfortable feel and best of all - they don't crush or need ironing! Featuring a size zip and button, the waistband also offers an extra inch of room, allowing you to move the button for a custom fit. With a total length of 26" there's still plenty of room for a petticoat if you're looking to achieve maximum fullness. There's also a hidden right side pocket ideal for your compact and lipstick and large enough to fit a smartphone. Skirts with pockets? TOTAL win in my book!
 
 
But perhaps what sets this line and The Oblong Box Shop apart is that the designs on the fabric are handcrafted by Denialle herself. That's right, the beauty and brains behind the brand illustrates the designs you see on the garments herself! Having greater control over the whole creation process allows Denialle to ensure all her products are perfect. More than simply recreations, The Oblong Box line offers unique pieces that are sure to be a highlight of your wardrobe.
 
Denialle has plans to expand the line to also include dresses, tops, purses and anything that makes a woman feel special, beautiful and unique. Creating the #hellobeautiful movement, Denialle is passionate about reminding her customers every day that they are beautiful. If you're lucky enough to be headed to Viva Las Vegas next week, The Oblong Box Shop will be there. If like me you're simply drooling over your keyboard, get your orders in! Unsurprisingly these skirts sold out within minutes of launch, but you can join the waitlist to grab one as soon as they become available again.
 
 

19 March, 2015

Girl Interrupted

Things have been pretty light around here lately, content-wise and frequency. Nothing to really sink your teeth into. I’m sorry about that. But I’m also not really that sorry. Usually if things on the blog are feeling light, it’s usually because I’m not. Which isn’t to say that things are bad. Things have just been a bit different lately. Busy and yet not at the same time. Since the end of last year I feel like I’ve been playing catch up with life. I haven’t been going out as much, so when I do go out I choose to relish the occasion, rather than going out ‘on duty’ so to speak. In saying that, I miss bringing awesome content to this space. So this is my commitment to you, to get back into it.
 
Although I’ve felt a little loaded at times, it’s not really a bad thing. You see I ended last year and started this year with the intent of making it my year to shine. My year to learn about myself and take care of myself. And I’ve been doing that, which is great. But it also takes time away from other things. But honestly, it’s about time I did that. For so long I’ve tried to spread myself too thin doing all the things but I wasn’t properly caring for myself. One of the biggest changes I’ve made has been starting at the gym. Like, REALLY starting. I’ve joined gyms in the past but have never really stuck to them, just made excuses and ended up wasting money.
Since joining the gym in January I’ve been going 4 times a week, every week. Usually I do two 1 hour cardio work outs and two half hour weights work outs a week. This is the most committed I’ve ever been to my fitness, even having regular personal training sessions! I guess I just realised that I’m not getting any younger (I know, don’t roll your eyes, I know I’m not old) but I figured the longer I left it and the older I got before I committed to these lifestyle changes, the harder it was going to be to achieve. I haven’t had some kind of miraculous weight loss. In fact, the scales haven’t really changed that much yet. But my physical abilities have increased so much and my shape has certainly changed. My clothes fit better and best of all, I feel great!
 
The best part about doing it this way is that I know that it’s REAL. No dramatic weight loss, just a steady increase in my fitness and small but noticeable changes in my body. That means this is a sustainable habit, a lifestyle change that I can easily maintain. That’s the really important part. This has become a habit now. Going to the gym is simply a part of my day. Something that’s factored in like work, lunch or grocery shopping. You just do it. Even on the occasional days where I don’t feel like going, I’ve pushed myself to go, just to prove to myself that I can do it.
Don’t worry, this isn’t going to become a health and fitness blog. And I still love a cocktail and a juicy burger. I don’t think I’ll ever lose my love affair with food. But I’m learning more about nutrition and understanding what my body needs while balancing that with the things that I enjoy. And that is the absolute key here. Balance. Which brings me back to the beginning. Part of restoring that balance to my life is getting back into things here. I’ve missed you guys! Even when I’ve been here posting, I haven’t REALLY been here and I do feel bad about that. You guys deserve so much better than that.
 
So I’m sorry for being a naughty blogger, but I’m really glad to be back and super grateful to you for sticking around. I’m looking forward to bringing more fun your way! Which starts next week with a post on an AMAZING new clothing line launched this week that I had a small involvement in. You guys are going to lose it!!
This Saturday I’m off to the Rods& Rockabilly Festival at Hamilton where I can’t wait to wear something from said new clothing line.

I hope to see you there!

10 March, 2015

Tattoo Tuesday: There's No Place Like Home

Two Tattoo Tuesday's in a row? Geez I spoil you guys! And myself apparently haha Today's tattoo comes from a childhood obsession of mine which I suppose has morphed into an adult obsession of mine - albeit in a slightly different way. You see, when I was little I was in LOVE with the movie The Wizard of Oz. So much so that I would watch it multiple times a day pretty much every day. It must have driven my poor mother mad, but she was such a good sport she even replaced the video tape (yep, video) when I wore it out. As an adult, I'm in love with shoes so I thought this one was perfect!
 
 
Done by Chris Vilches of Old Skool Tattoo and Barber Shop (get a haircut while you're there), Dorothy's ruby slippers are not only a reminder that there's no place like home, but that Dorothy had the power to get home all along, she just had to believe in herself and try! I think that is such a wonderful reminder for all of us, too often we forget just how powerful we really are and find excuses or distractions as a reason not to try something, for fear of failing. I said at the start of this year that 2015 was going to be all about me, finding myself, my strength and my power. And you know what? It's working! More on that in another post, but this tattoo is all about honouring and reminding myself of this shift within.
 
 
Not to mention - SHOES! Duh! Haha After seeing Wicked with my Mum and my sister a couple of weeks ago, I knew it was time to get this one done. This tattoo is on my left leg, just underneath my knee wrapping around to the inside of my leg. Also, (and I never even realised this) as someone pointed out, it matches with my tattoo perfectly, creating a bit of a 'yellow brick road' effect! Pretty cool huh? Chris is a fantastic artist who whipped this out in no time. It's healing beautifully and his choice of design (it needed more sparkles he said - what a guy!) and colours is nothing short of perfect. I am so happy with this tattoo!

24 February, 2015

Tattoo Tuesday: I'm A Fan Of Japan

I must apologise for how long it's taken me to post this Tattoo Tuesday. This tattoo was done almost 3 months ago when I was in Japan but I kept forgetting to ask The Man to take a picture of it for me and every time I tried to take one myself, it just ended up looking all weird and distorted. I guess trying to get a good photo of your own hip while hunched over will do that. Anyway, it's certainly about time I shared this with you all. My own little inked memento of my trip to Japan, not to mention even more incentive to go back.
 
 
Balancing out my two stem of cherries which were my first ever tattoo, this stunning little piece by Chihiro is on my left hip and was done by Stroker Tattoo in Yokohama. I wanted something lovely and feminine that as soon as you looked at it, you knew it was Japanese. Cherry blossoms seemed like the obvious choice, but I wanted something more than that. The stunning oriental fan is super feminine and what could be more Japanese than gorgeous Mt Fuji? Although we didn't have time to go up Mt Fuji, we saw it from a number of vantage points around Japan and it truly is a stunning sight to behold. The next time we go to Japan, visiting My Fuji is at the top of my list.
 
 
Now I must admit, for all the tattoos I have for some strange reason this one KILLED! Why is still a mystery to me as I already have a tattoo in the same spot and it didn't hurt anywhere near as much as this one did. I'm not sure if they use a different technique or different inks or needles or what but I was seriously nearly crying getting this done and I was SO close to telling her to stop and not finish. I'm not ashamed to admit it. It seriously hurt more than my chest piece! But the pain was totally worth it, don't you think? I may have needed a little 'medicine' once it was done HA!
 

10 February, 2015

A Close Shave with Johnny Voodoos

To kick off the New Year, I did what every girl loves to do, I had a hair makeover! Something completely new and different. Something fun and exciting. I posted a picture of my new ‘do on Instagram but I’ve been meaning to go into a little more detail on here, but with catching up on my Japan trip, I just hadn’t got around to it. But I had my new style freshened up the other day and I have some exciting news about that so I thought what better time to share!

I felt like something a bit different, and what could be more different for me than shaving my head!? Of course, not my whole head, but I’ve really been enjoying my new look with the side shaved in. Lots of people have told me it really suits me, but best of all I really love it! I love my purple hair too, so I decided to keep that going. But like all vibrant colours, it needs a little extra TLC. Enter Jay and Hayley, from Johnny Voodoo’s Barbershop Springwood.

Carrying on the excellent work of the original Johnny Voodoo’s Barbershop in Camira, these two are now manning the new shop, located in Old Skool Tattoo Springwood. This is very good news for me for two reasons. 1) This is just down the road from my work, which makes popping in super easy and 2) this barbershop not only does some of the best quiffs and flattops in Brisbane, but they’re also doing ladies hair now!!
I’m so excited about this! For ages, I’ve been watching The Man get his hair done in the super cool confines of the Johnny Voodoo’s Barbershop and wishing that there was a place as cool as this for women. Now there is! Covered wall to wall in Kustom Kulture artwork, skate decks and oddities, you can recline in an old school barber chair and let Jay and Hayley work their magic on your hair. Forget about boring gossip magazines and Top 40 radio stations, here you'll find cool tattoo and kustom culture magazines and catchy rockabilly and psychobilly tunes. Not only that, but you can also enjoy a cold beer – now THAT’S service!
Specialising in crazy colours and styles, Jay and Hayley offer a super fun and friendly environment to relax and enjoy yourself. At the moment, you can go and visit them from 10am to 6pm every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and from 1pm to 9pm every Thursday. Much cheaper than many city salons, it’s just $70 for a style cut and $85 for a full head of colour. Of course, if like me you need multiple services, they’ll do you a deal.
 
So while I enjoyed an ice cold Corona, Jay got to work bringing my new ‘do back to its former glory. Look at that re-growth and old, washed out colour – I’m ashamed! But by the time Jay was done with me I felt like a new woman and left the shop feeling a million bucks! First we bleached my roots, then applied the colour which was a custom mix Jay created just for me from those beautifully vibrant Manic Panic products. After plenty of processing time for colour vibrancy and longevity, it was a nice wash, quick trim and shave and a blow dry that left my hair feeling light, silky and shiny.
I think the results speak for themselves. It’s so awesome that there is finally a place as cool as this for women to get their hair done! The boys have been having all the fun for far too long. In saying that, Jay and Hayley are still right on top of mens cuts as well. In fact, with Valentine’s Day fast approaching, they’re offering a mens and ladies cut combo for $80 plus 20% off all colour!! What could be more romantical than getting your hair done together!?
Walk-ins are welcome, but it’s best to call to book for colours so that they can make sure they have the perfect colour waiting for you. For bookings call 3219 8702.