23 December, 2014

A Christmas Reflection

I know I’m yet to do the wrap up of my Japan trip but I’ve decided to save that for next week or maybe even a little later. I wanted to share my Christmas message with you first. I would have posted about my Japan trip last week, but after the events that unfolded in Martin Place in Sydney it just didn’t seem right.

A week later and unfortunately there has been more tragedy. The unthinkable up in Cairns as well as some sad news a little closer to home. Perhaps I’m just hormonal and emotional, but I have really been feeling this sadness. I guess everything seems amplified at this time of year. It’s a time that focuses on happiness, togetherness, friends and family and to see these awful things happening now, they just seem so much worse.

But that isn’t my point. I don’t want to depress you. It’s almost Christmas and we should be happy, not sad. This time of year can be difficult for people for all kinds of reasons. So whether you’re apart from your family, are struggling financially or just find the expectation of the celebration a bit overwhelming, I just want to say that the best gift of all is to be kind to yourself.

Tis the season to be jolly. And that doesn’t just mean making everyone else happy at the expense of your own. You have to care of yourself in order to be the best mother/wife/sister/brother/friend you can be. Start small. Allow yourself some quiet time. Even if it means walking out to the letterbox to collect the mail by yourself, taking your time and noticing the lovely gardens of your street. Or treating yourself to something you really enjoy. It could be as simple as a coffee and cake or even a dress or new pair of shoes.

That’s all well and good but that doesn’t put food on the table or presents under the tree I hear you say. And right you are. If you are struggling financially this Christmas, there are lots of places that can help. Check with local churches, community groups and charities for a hand when it comes to Christmas dinner. But remember, your love and care and attention is what really matter most to those you love. And love is free.

There are plenty of things you can do and gifts you can give that show how much you care about someone, without having to spend money. The Bloggess has some excellent ideas including making them a YouTube ‘mixed tape’ of songs that remind you of them, making a Pinterest board just for them or even just borrowing some of their favourite books from the library and reading to them. That’s something they will remember and truly treasure long after the batteries wear out of whatever new toy is out.

Christmas doesn’t have to be a religious holiday. It doesn’t have to be an expensive holiday and it doesn’t have to be a stressful holiday. Quite the opposite in fact. It should be a rewarding holiday that gives you a chance to re-connect with those you love, spend quality time together and remind you of everything in your life to be grateful for. And in case you need a little help remembering all those things to be grateful for, I recommend volunteering with a charity.

Whether you’re serving up Christmas dinner to families who can’t manage their own or delivering presents to families who would otherwise have nothing under the tree come Christmas morning, it will truly make you appreciate what you do have and will remind you of everything that is good in the world. Which despite what we can sometimes tell ourselves, far outweighs the bad.

It’s certainly been a year of ups and downs, but I have achieved so much this year and I truly am so happy with the direction my life is heading. Most of all, I’m so grateful to everyone who has stuck with the blog and supported me so much this year.

An extra special thank you to Stars and Swallows, Megan Rizzo Photography, Western Wac, and Atomic Cherry for their sponsorship and continued support of the blog. Without them I wouldn’t be able to bring you some of the fantastic content and giveaways I’ve had this year. It also just means a lot that these guys are in my corner, backing me up, saying ‘I believe in you’ and the same goes for you reading this.

So thank you, and here’s to a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015. Much love to you and your families.

Merry Christmas

02 December, 2014

Turning Japanese

The countdown is well and truly on! Well actually, it's almost over! Tomorrow is my last day at work and then Thursday morning I fly out for Japan!! I am SO excited! Even though we are only going for a week, I'm just buzzing with anticipation about what this trip will hold. I am really excited about travelling somewhere so different, so out of my comfort zone. A non-Western culture, a non-English speaking destination. Different food, different customs, different everything. What an adventure it's going to be!
Originally we were going to go next year and go for 2 weeks but its highly possible that this year will be the last year that the Mooneyes Hot Rod Show will be held in Yokohama so we had to get in this year, just in case. It means we'll miss a little of the sightseeing we originally had planned such as Mt Fuji, but true to form we're still cramming heaps of stuff in. It just means we'll have to come back again another time to see the rest. What a shame, right?
This year's theme is Enchanted World of Colour and I cannot wait to see the amazing paint jobs! I am especially excited to see Iron Orchid in real life! That's the glorious blue and purple 1934 Ford 5-Window Coupe by Galpin Auto Sports you can see up the top of the poster there. I know there will be plenty more jaw-dropping cars to check out, but I've drooled over this baby in magazines for a while so to see her in person is going to be amazing.
Our main sightseeing is Kosoku-Ji Temple and the Buddha Statue at Kamakura, the Enoshima Shrine and Dragon Island Caves, Shibuya and the 'Biggest Intersection in the Universe', the Robot Bar, a Tiki Bar, Hamamatsu, traditional markets, Electric City, Harajuku, a Samurai Ship cruise of Tokyo Bay, Sakuragicho, Sankei-en Garden Kanagawa, China Town, Imperial Palace, Odaiba, Bullet Train, Odawara and of course, Mooneyes in there as well! It's a demanding schedule but you can bet we'll make the most of our time there!
I've got my awesome new coat ready to brave the cold and I've been brushing up on my Japanese. I've got my passport ready and all my money converted to Yen and I'm all ready to go. I've got a tattoo booked while I'm over there as well, which was an interesting experience in itself, but I've seen the design and it's so pretty. Will be interesting to see what it's like actually getting it tattooed.
I'm packed. I'm ready. I'm excited!

25 November, 2014


Well my head has finally stopped hurting from my trip to Melbourne on the weekend. If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen a number of snapshots over the weekend of my journey to Melbourne and, the whole reason I was there, the Suck Em Up Melbourne Mai Tai Crawl 2014. Created by Melbourne Tiki-o-phile Careless Navigator, this was the second annual Mai Tai Crawl but was to be my first. Lots of the Unholy Rabble Queensland Ohana made the trip down, as did the Sydney crew and the local turnout was also fantastic. It was like a little Tiki Oasis reunion!
Beginning at The Beaufort with a bit of a sip and shop, the festivities kicked off at 12 noon. The atmosphere was awesome with so many happy faces and friends being reunited. Some of the local and interstate tiki creative were selling their wares including tiki mugs, pendants, hand carved statues, bracelets, aloha wear and even some vintage vinyl. Not to mention the official crawl t-shirts, mugs and other ephemera. Zombies, Mai Tais, Jerry & Cherry's and whole host of other delicious tiki cocktails were consumed to the exotic sounds of the sitar which just managed to make itself heard over the cacophony of happiness and fun. I had to remember to pace myself to ensure I'd make it to the 2am finish time. Yep 12 noon til 2 am drinking Mai Tai's, now you know why my head hurt!

Image by Paul Fiddes
Side Note: This is the first time I'd ever been to The Beaufort and it was awesome! The area we were in featured cute wooden tables and chairs and astroturf! It was like a cute little beer garden in the comfort of the indoors. We also ate here and the food was amazing!! Great wings, awesome pork ribs and a beef rib that is to die for!! It's so hard to find good ribs (in Brisbane anyway) so I was really impressed! The place had a great vibe and the staff were wonderful, very friendly and somehow managed to stay on top of things despite all the people and craziness. The next time I'm in Melbourne I will definitely be back!

Image by Paul Fiddes
At about 5pm we wandered on down to The LuWow, a firm Melbourne favourite of mine. Despite all my travels in the USA, The LuWow still remains one of the best tiki bars I've been to in my opinion. Run by Skipper Josh, the guy is amazing! Him and his wife Babs have lead such interesting lives and have been responsible for a number of killer bars here and overseas including Deville's Pad in Perth (although no longer run by them). We started in the Island Village to refill our mai tais, grab a booth and nibble on some pupu platters that were very generously put on for us. Then it was time to move into the Forbidden Temple for Skipper Josh to deliver the talk he also gave at Tiki Oasis. Having been lucky enough to be there the first time, we floated between the two.

Shortly after, the Nuholani Wahines welcomed us with a hip shaking performance before the Tiki Pop movie was screened. After DJ Jumpin Josh spun some tunes, a burlesque troupe called the Itty Bitty Titty Committee also performed. I was in the Island Village when the burlesque was on but many of the men in the crowd reliably informed me it was good. Next the GoGo Goddesses took to the stage to keep things pumping. Not that the crowd needed any encouragement! It was about 10pm by this stage and we were all well on our way to drunk town haha The headline act was INTOXICA a fun band that blended surf music with a bit of rock, blues and rockabilly for a thoroughly good time.

The rest of the night was a blur of mai tais, DJs and silly photos. Although there was one other cool thing that happened...My friends Danielle of Black Lagoon Designs and her man Evan of Johnny Voodoo's Barber Shop GOT ENGAGED!!! How exciting! It was so wonderful and they are such a perfect couple, I am so happy for them. It's rare to see two people who so clearly adore each other so much and who are just made to be together. They are the best couple! I will admit, I may have teared up a little.
I have to say a HUGE thank you to Rohan and Tan for putting together such a fantastic day. It was my first time meeting them in person and they are just such lovely people! I know they put a lot of work in to organise everything, just so that we could all have a great time. I'm also super grateful to the staff at The Beaufort for being so cool about everything, it really was the perfect place to get things started and line our stomachs. And of course, a big thanks to Skipper Josh for being such a cool cat and making sure we were all looked after and everything went so smoothly. I can't believe how lucky I am to know so many fun, generous, talented, super cool people. I also want to say a big thank you to Tiki Dylans Idol Hands for being super sweet and gifting me a beautiful wooden bracelet that he hand carved. I don't, however, thank him for all his attempts to stick his tentacle up my nose haha 
You can bet your sweet bippy I'll be back for this again next year! I only wish it wasn't so far away!

11 November, 2014

Tattoo Tuesday: Pink Elephants on Parade

Yep, it's that time again and boy do I have a Tattoo Tuesday for you! This one has been in the works for a while. This tattoo really is a culmination of a number of life influences, beginning way back in my childhood to collide with a number of vintage and current lifestyle influences. You see as a child, I had an elephant stuffed toy that I just LOVED. Not just any elephant stuffed toy, but a PINK elephant! Man, I loved that thing so hard. Since growing up, my fondness for elephants remains (in fact there is an elephant safari lodge in Bali that I really want to visit, where you can help bathe them, take them on walks, etc). But I digress.
As I grew up and became interested in the rockabilly and kustom kulture lifestyle and began searching for vintage items and collectibles I started to come across glasswear and kitsch little serving trays bearing adorable pink elephant patterns. Pin Up Girl Clothing even released dresses made from a pink elephant fabric for goodness sake! And then, one of my very favourite artists, Shag, began a whole collection of artworks based around pink elephants. THEN I actually got to meet Shag at Tiki Oasis AND I bought a pink elephant tiki mug from Tiki Tony. The signs were adding up!

Shag - Pink Elephants

So, what's the significance of pink elephants you ask? Well, pink elephants are a euphemism for drunken hallucinations. Lets face it, we all know I like a good drink. Think back to your childhood, do you remember that psychedelic scene in the Disney movie Dumbo, when the wee little elephant drinks from a bucket of water spiked with champagne? Let me refresh your memory.
So with all this swirling around in my mind and some of the pink elephant fate yet to come, I asked The Pizz to draw me up something while he was out here in June for Cooly Rocks On. The life of a travelling artist is a busy one, so it was only last week that my artwork arrived but I booked in for my tattoo straight away.
Artwork by The Pizz
I knew fellow Beatnik Mark 'Suicide' of Voodoo Tattoo would do a great job and I certainly wasn't wrong. He banged this out in just an hour and a half yesterday and (I've said it before and I'll say it again) his shading is AMAZING! I changed a couple of colours here and there so there wasn't TOO much pink, but I absolutely love it!! The colours in it are amazing as it is, but I can't wait to see how they come up once it's all healed. I contemplated waiting until it was healed to post it, but I'm so in love with it I just couldn't wait to share! I'll be sure to post a pic of it once it's all healed though.
Isn't it just perfection!? It's on the outside of my right calf and is a great size, while still leaving plenty of room for more tattoos - yay! She's so pretty and I love that she is holding a tiki mug! I must admit I've seen my fair share of pink elephants after spending too much time at the tiki bar.
So, what should I name her?

30 October, 2014

Jungle Rum Tease

Last Thursday night Jungle played host to it's first ever Rum Tease - a burlesque night with a tropical tiki twist. I was lucky enough to be invited along and I couldn't wait to get back into some of Jungle's tasty cocktails. Being a Thursday night the bar wasn't as packed as a weekend, which was good because it offered the perfect, intimate atmosphere for a night of hip-shakin wahines.

With performances by Miss BB Le Buff and Frankie Mae Felon, the cocktail menu featured a refreshing summer-inspired cocktail in honour of both ladies. The 'BB Le Buff' was a delicious tiki take on a summer slushy that featured fresh blue berries and was as creamy as the skin of the lovely lady herself. The 'Frankie Mae' proved that good things come in small packages or in this case, glasses, with a sweet yet punchy passion fruit flavour.

As usual, the bar was spinning great tunes in between acts, playing everything from traditional Hawaiian sounds to psychedelic surf, rockabilly and even some classic 50s hits thrown in to the mix. The crowd was welcoming, with strangers quickly becoming friends and I managed to enjoy the company of some friends both new and old. It was the perfect prelude to the weekend, and that was even before the burlesque started!

But onto that, the performances began with Miss BB Le Buff where things got a little weird, in the best possible way. Bumping and grinding her way from restless native to flower bedecked honey, Ms Buff got the night off to a cheeky start. Getting her tiki torch on, Miss Frankie Mae Felon wrapped things up with an enchanting act that incorporated fire breathing! Draped in thin cloth and with a midriff that set the room on fire, Ms Felon gave us what we wanted, but left us wanting more.

That's where I stand on the new Rum Tease nights at Jungle. Wanting more. It's the perfect way to get your weekend started a little early and is lots of fun, whether you're drinking or driving. I managed to enjoy a couple of excellent cocktails despite the fact I had to drive but I urge you to find a Designated Dave if you can, the cocktails at Jungle are simply too good to deny.

Great for a girls night out, a fun date night alternative or just to get the gang together, Jungle's new Rum Tease events are a tantalising way to spend your Thursday night and I for one can't wait until the next one! I'll be sure to keep you updated on any future Rum Tease events. Better yet, why not like them on Facebook and keep track for yourself? Aside from Rum Tease, they host a number of other regular events like Tiki Halloween this Friday! Unfortunately I can't make it so you'll just have to tell me how much fun it was!

 I'll see you next time at the bar! 

05 October, 2014

Danger DeLux - What's In My Make Up Bag

Today I'm being featured over at Danger DeLux talking about what's in my make up bag. Natasha is the brains and beauty behind this Canadian Rockabilly and Pin Up Lifestyle blog. I've been following her blog since it's very early days and it's been such a pleasure to see her grow and evolve into the classy little space on the interwebs that she's carved out for herself. She's a total go getter and I find her drive and motivation really inspiring. She also owns a gorgeous little French Bulldog called Cherry and I love seeing all the beautiful pictures of the two of them together.

Photo by Hello June Photography
The make up bag feature is such a great idea! I'd been mulling over doing something similar on my blog here when Natasha got in contact with me to ask if she could feature me - talk about WIN WIN! I put a lot of thought into it though, so I think I might have gone on a bit. Oh well, I wanted to give plenty of info on the products I use, I always find that type of thing handy when I'm looking at buying new cosmetics.

Anyway, go check it out! Don't forget to follow Danger DeLux

02 October, 2014

Head V Heart

I try to live in my heart, but I must admit I am also a bit of an over-thinker, so I often spend a lot of time in my head, mulling things over and thinking about the what-ifs and the what does it means. Most of the time this isn’t a bad thing as I have a fairly naturally positive attitude and tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. But occasionally something will get to me and I become a bit of a Negative Nancy, at least in my own head anyway. I’m not one to lay it all out on social media or post cryptic status updates hoping someone will see it in a passive aggressive attempt at gaining sympathy.

But that’s not to say that sometimes in my head I don’t rail against everything and stand on a mental clifftop, shouting out into the ether. In fact, I was doing this just the other day as I was working out, using the anger and hurt I was feeling to push myself harder physically and get rid of all that pent up emotion. You see, I was feeling angry and hurt by someone who purports themselves as my friend but lately hasn’t been a very good one. Ignoring me, leaving me hanging when it comes to plans and just generally being crappy and selfish. I had been left hanging that very day without so much as a word from this person and I was PISSED. So I took myself off to blow off some steam powering up the hill next to my street.

Although the physical release had made me feel a little better, the time spent in silence on my own also had me disappearing into my own head and thinking thinking thinking. I had gone from anger to hurt (which is where anger usually comes from) and from there, rather than thinking of this persons actions as a reflection of themselves (which it is) I had internalised it and in my mind, made it a reflection of me. I was not worth their time. Not worthy. Ouch. It stung. And as I trudged home up my street, I was feeling pretty low. Lost in my thoughts, I almost didn’t notice two little girls playing on their drive way until I was upon them. They were two Muslim little girls, a younger one and a slightly older one. They were speaking in a language I didn’t understand and as I crossed their driveway they stopped playing and fell silent. I thought to myself I must have looked a sight with my pink and purple hair and tattoos, red-faced and puffing my way along.

As soon as I was off their drive way, the younger one turned to the older one and said ‘she’s beautiful’.  My heart almost burst! I almost burst into tears. It was such a lovely little moment, and it completely brought me out of my head and out of my mood and back into my heart, where I knew that things would sort themselves out, that it was in no way a reflection of me and that some people are just like that you have to either learn to live with it and adjust your expectations accordingly or cut them out of your life. This person is just one of those people. Always has been and I dare say always will be. So for now, I don’t expect much from them and I won’t be disappointed. However, I’m so greatful for the kind and innocent words from that little girl for completely turning my day around. It was such a great reminder of how easily we can twist things in our heads and lose ourselves in negativity.

How do you remind yourself when lost in negative thoughts manufactured by your own brain?