18 December, 2012

Deck The Halls With Rockabilly

Ok, so yesterdays post was way too down to leave as my final post before Christmas and possibly for the year. Sorry about that! Feeling a bit better today (only 3 more days til holidays!) so I just wanted to stop in and pick this place up a little bit. Sadly I've been lacking a bit of Christmas spirit this year. Which is very unlike me as I LOVE Christmas and am usually on the countdown from late November (yes, one of THOSE people :P).
 
But between moving house and my new housemates not celebrating Christmas (they're Chinese) there's been no tree, no decorations, no christmas carols and barely even any Christmas shopping. Most of my family want vouchers and envelopes just aren't quite the same as pretty wrapped up presents. I didn't even get to watch Love Actually when it was on TV the other night! And it's like my favourite Christmas movie ever!!!
 
SO.
 
I am making myself be more in the spirit. I'm planning menus and fun things to do. Christmassy outfits. All that jazz. And it's actually helping! I'm feeling much better. You know what else is helping? This! Try and bahumbug this. JUST TRY! Oh Brian, you still make me swoon!


I'm also looking forward to Christmas itself, my big sister's birthday on the 27th, an awesome gig at The Joynt on the 27th as well - some super awesome surf tunes to suit this steamy summer - and Lori Lee's End of Year Rockabilly Party at Morningside on the 29th. It'll be a great chance to catch up with friends and just relax and enjoy some rockin tunes and a few dances. That, and it leaves just enough time to recover before the BIG new year's eve tiki party at The Hills. I can't wait! Going to be SO. MUCH. FUN! A pool with a slide, an adult jumping castle, great friends, good food, no doubt plenty to drink and lots of good times!



Just what the Dr ordered I'd say! Are your holidays shaping up to be a big one?

17 December, 2012

Tis The Season

Tis the season for what? To be jolly? I've got to be honest and say I'm struggling with that a little. Friday of this week I start 2 weeks holidays and they can't come quick enough. I LOVE Christmas. And I'm really looking forward to spending time with friends and family over the holidays. But for right now, I feel the weight of the world.
 
Last week I thought I had problems. I was anxious, stressed and a little whingey. This week I am feeling for everyone else. It should be a time of happiness, excitment and celebration but all I am seeing is heartbreak. We lost a friend and bearing witness to the suffering of her husband over that loss is so difficult to see. My heart just aches for him.
 
I am watching someone I care deeply about go through one injustice after another. The potential to lose everything they've worked so hard for for so long through no fault of their own is not only compeltely infuriating to me, but the distress I know it is causing them also pains my heart.
 
On the other side of the world, families have lost loved ones, children, just days before Christmas. A senseless tragedy. The pain it has caused, the weight of it, the unimaginable gut wrenching, soul tearing heartbreak these people must be experiencing, it tears at my heart too.
 
I can't wait for next year. This year has been so hard on so many people. I have a really good feeling about next year. I hope it's true. I'm really looking forward to some time off surrounded by those I love and reconnecting with all of the blessings in my life. Soaking them in and truly appreciating them.
 
I am already in wind down mode. You know the one. You already feel like you're on holidays. Your motivation is low. You just want it to be time already. I may not post much more over the next few weeks. I REALLY need this break. If I have something I feel I want to share then I will post but otherwise, I need time to rest. Gain new inspiration, new motivation, see the good and fun and fascinating in things again.
 
Just in case I don't post again until after the holidays, I just want you all to know how much I appreciate your support. This year has been a big year for me and this blog. So much has happened and I've been given so many fantastic opportunities. This place wouldn't be what it is without all of you following along and sharing your stories and kind words on here.
 
♥ So thank you, from the absolute bottom of my heart ♥
 
Enjoy your holidays and make sure you spend time with and treasure those you hold dear.

14 December, 2012

When Life Gives You Lemons...Wear A Cute Outfit!

I've had a bit of a rough week the last week. I'm not gonna go into the whingey details because that's not what this post is about. But it's safe to say I've been VERY stressed and feeling on the verge of throwing up or bursting into tears at any minute. So what's a gal to do? Put on a cute, colourful outfit and a happy face of course!
 
   Collectif Florida Palm Blousewas $45 now $20 {Your One Stop PinUp Shop}
Collectif Baby Blue Fabienne Trousers - was $60 now $25 {Punkabilly Dolls}
JayJays Pink Lowline Sneakers - was $15 now $5 {JayJays}
Retro White Cateye Sunglasses - $10 {Ebay}

Bad feelings and stress begone! You cannot penetrate through my hawaiian shirt sheild of happiness!
 
Best part about this whole outfit? I got EVERYTHING on sale and saved a bunch on their full price. That means this whole outfit came in at only $60! What's not to smile about huh? I've been lusting after these pants for ages so to get them in time for summer and at such a cheap price, that certainly made me happy.
 
Even though their length is a little longer than what you'd expect from 'summer' pants, they're made from a lightweight linen/cotton blend with a hint of spandex for form fitting yet comfortably stretchy pants. The top is also really lightweight and is made of a soft, silky almost crepe-like material. Perfect for the warmer weather!
 
What do you think of this outfit? I LOVE it! So colourful and such a mood lifter!

13 December, 2012

Distance

Distance can be a good thing. It gives you a new perspective on things. Can help you to appreciate the greatness of something in its entirety. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder. I have recently discovered my need for distance. Perhaps need is a strong word, more like want. I find myself wanting some distance between this blog and my personal life.

A hard balance to find when you write a personal blog, don’t you think? It’s a hard concept to explain (I’m sure my family still don’t get it). The need for privacy at the same time as splashing the goings on of your life all over the internet for perfect strangers to see. It’s difficult that’s for sure. But it has come to my attention that my 'online life' is lacking a little bit of personal privacy and this does concern me. After a few little 'issues' with people, I think it's time to protect myself a little bit.

But, just like the redesign of the site added some extra oomph to the blog, I’ve decided my approach to my blogging strategy needs a bit of a redesign too. I want to see this blog grow. The more it grows, the more I can give to it and to you guys in return. And I want to give to you guys so badly. Whether you’re a relatively new follower or have been here from the very beginning, your presence here makes this place what it is.

So, in an effort to be a better blogger for this space and to maintain a level of professionalism and integrity, I have decided there needs to be a more defined separation between my online blog life and my personal, ‘real’ life. Quite a few of you who have followed this blog have since not only become a fan of the Facebook page but have also gone on to add my personal page on Facebook. I’ve decided that unless I actually know you, like know know you, you won’t be making the cut to my personal page.

That’s not to say that I won’t be opening my heart to you on these pages. Quite the opposite in fact. I’ll still be personally replying to all your comments and my email address is listed right here on the blog so if you ever want to contact me directly or privately, you can always just shoot me an email. But to take the blog up to the next level, I want to stop being that ‘lil operation out of the backyard’ and give myself the kick in the pants I need to become someone, something.

I hope this doesn’t offend anyone. Please, PLEASE don’t feel like I’m retreating from you. This is not the case at all. I simply want the perspective to fully appreciate you.

Besides, if you saw what I dork I am on my personal page it would totally ruin the illusion I’ve created here of how cool I am :P

11 December, 2012

Tattoo Tuesday: Down In Mexico

Sunday I went and got my first tattoo from Dave at Sacred Skin in Stones Corner and damn is his work good! Dave is a friend of mine and he did well to put up with my sooking because this one DID hurt! It's not finished yet but I thought it would be fun to document the stages, plus it looks amazing and I'm pretty excited about it so I couldn't wait to share it with you!


Obviously it still needs colour and there'll also be some clouds and light rays for the background blending into my existing roses to fill out the whole piece. What do you think? I LOVE it! It's definitely a sweet spot though. Ouch!
 
The image of the sacred heart is a pretty enduring symbol in tattoo culture and although it has religious connotations, that's certainly not the meaning behind this tattoo for me. The roots of the sacred heart are linked back to both early France and Mexico and by the time this piece is finished, it will certainly be looking more Mexican than anything. The Sagrado Corazon stands for sacrifice and devotion and, for me at least, also represents passion and loyalty through the flames and crown.
 
By the time the piece is finished, it will be a symbol for me, of love, sacrifice, devotion, passion, loyalty, light, strength and endurance. It's also a nice little marker of my impending visit to Mexico, somewhere I have wanted to travel to for a very long time. I have been fascinated by the art, culture and symbolism of Mexico since learning about it in school.

I can't wait to see this finished, it's going to look amazing! I just have to steel myself for the next session HA!

10 December, 2012

Epic Weekend

Ho. Ly. Crap! What a MASSIVE weekend. Huge. I considered taking the day off work today just to recover and unpack a little but decided against it. Still, I'm feeling completely exhausted from the last 3 days.
 
It began on Friday which was mostly an emotionally exhausting day but also started a bit early. Friday was the day we farewelled our beautiful Vanessa. It was a bittersweet day as we tried to balance our tears and grief with the good humour and vibrant spirit which Ness always had, and would have wanted us to have. It is the best dressed funeral I have ever been to and the wake was nothing short of perfect for our girl. The band played, we drank and sang and danced and cried a little more as we honoured our vivacious V and gave J and Kath all our love and support.
 
Saturday was moving day and that was an epic in itself! You forget how much stuff you have until you have to move it and what I thought would only take a few hours turned into 2 days worth of tooing and froing. Don't even talk about moving the fridge! I thought we were all going to die! It also happened to be 35 degrees. Ugh! Although a BIG thank you must go to The Man, Turtle and Paulie for all their help and heavy lifting!! We moved all day until about 3pm when we had to stop and rush to get ready for Bernie & Kerryn's Luau Tiki Party. Great fun, lots of awesome outfits and we scrubbed up ok considering if I do say so myself. However I wasn't drinking and was pretty beat from the move so it wasn't a particularly late one. Besides, I had a lot going on for Sunday as well!
 
Sunday I got up early and did another load from the old place to the new place before heading to Your One Stop PinUp Shop where I've picked up some shifts to help Bek out during the Christmas rush. I did 4 hours there on Sunday and although my legs and feet were already killing me (did I mention my room at both the old and new places is upstairs??) it was nice to get dressed up, hang out and be surrounded by pretty dresses while helping people. After my shift I headed to Sacred Skin to see my mate Dave (more on that tomorrow, ayyy...ayyy) for a few hours of pain and then did another load/huge clean up at the old place before heading home to the new place and falling into bed.

PHEW!

I have to go back to the old place tonight and do one last check/rubbish dump/lock up for handover tomorrow. Sigh.

Now do you see why I'm so beat?? How was your weekend?

04 December, 2012

Tattoo Tuesday: Hard News To Swallow

I'll apologise in advance for the lack of personality in this post but I am currently reeling from some sad news and the shock of a loss. Interesting timing for this tattoo though, as you will see...



Done on Saturday for $40 at the Brunswick Tattoos open day on the inside of my right ankle. It's a little more delicate than a lot of my other work but I like it, it's quite feminine and the placing looks great, especially in high heels.

In tattoo folklore, swallow tattoos not only signified that a sailor had sailed 5,000 miles, but they were also deeply rooted in the concept of 'return'. This symbolism is associated with the famous migration pattern of the swallows who always returned home to San Juan Capistrano. It was also a widely held belief that if a sailor died at sea, the swallow would carry his soul home to heaven.

Your beautiful soul is gone too soon Nessa ♥

03 December, 2012

Work It

I've done a few fashion and outfit posts in the history of this blog but most of them have revolved around casual wear or my more flouncy, dressy frocks. However, I know some of these looks can be a little intimidating to try and replicate, especially if it's not really in your regular repertoire. They usually also require an appropriate occasion to wear them to. It seems a lot of you are looking for a look that channels the retro/rockabilly style in a way that you can wear often. A lot of people have also asked me if I dress this way for work and if so, how? Well the answer is yes I do and THIS is how I do it.


Switchblade Stiletto - Black Waist Belt Skirt $65 (size XL)
Collectif - Vera Top $40 (size 12)
Bolero Shrug - Black $15 (one size fits all)
Music Legs - Lace Top Thigh High Fishnet Stockings $10
Lila-Jo Hair Accessory - Black & White Rose $10
Hi Fallutin - Small Chrysanthemum Earrings $10



The skirt size does run a little small but in saying that, once you wear it the fabric relaxes and stretches a little, which makes it one of the comfiest high waisted pencil skirts I've worn. The stretchy belt also cinches in your waist for that perfect hourglass silhouette. The top is simple yet SO stylish and the black and white colour scheme is very classic. The oversized collar brings a modern, high fashion feel to it and the shirred back makes for a comfortable and perfect fit, ensuring the top remains firmly tucked into the skirt, even when moving, bending and sitting. The bolero is really soft and stretchy making it really comfy and unrestrictive and the clingy fit means it stays perfectly in place while you work, meaning you won't have to be tugging and readjusting.

Step into my office HAHAHA


The stockings add a touch of corporate attitude and the hair flower and cutesy earrings add some personality and mean the transition from office wear into a more relaxed atmosphere for after work drinks or socialising is effortless. I. LOVE. THIS. OUTFIT! Everything about it is perfect, it's super comfortable and practical but looks SO awesome! I wish it was my uniform! The top just gets me every time, so funky! Pair the top with a pair of black high waisted capris and you're good to go for casual Friday as well! And those red heels, well they're just a bit of fun aren't they!? Of course you could always go for something a little more low key if your workplace isn't quite ready for that much sex appeal.

Could you rock this look at work?

29 November, 2012

Am I A Tattoo Snob?

I think I had a revelation the other day. But I’m not sure. I need you guys to help me decide. I can’t tell, but I suspect that I may be a tattoo snob. It’s not that I judge people by their tattoos. Sure, not all the tattoos I see I like and there are some that I wonder why anyone would want to get tattooed but in saying that, I’m sure not everyone likes my tattoos. It’s not that that bothers me.

The thing that really gets me is when someone with very few tattoos (I’m talking small tattoos in not very visible places) go about dramatically proclaiming their frequent persecution for being tattooed. I just can’t help but roll my eyes. It’s not because I think I’m any better than them because I have more tattoos. It’s just that for how tattooed I have become and how visible those tattoos are, I am rarely discriminated against, looked down upon or persecuted for being tattooed.

And I’m not just talking amongst my family and friends. Of course they don’t care. But I’m talking employers, prospective landlords, religious people, old people for goodness sakes! Sure I catch people having a bit of a look, but they never look disapproving. Most of the time I figure they’re either trying to figure out what the tattoos are or are simply just admiring the art. Either way, I’m yet to encounter anyone who treats me badly or even differently at all because I am tattooed.

Perhaps because these people aren’t particularly heavily tattooed their smaller, less visible tattoos seem like a big deal. Of course any tattoo is a big deal. It means something to you and it’s exciting to get one. Maybe because it’s the first splotch on a blank canvas it stands out to them more. I don’t know, I’m trying to be forgiving here but everytime I see/hear this it just makes me roll my eyes, cringe a little and wonder if they know how ridiculous they sound.

Maybe I’m just a tattoo snob? Please, be brutal and tell me. Do I just need to be put in my place?

26 November, 2012

A Holiday From Change?

Remember when this place looked like this? Change is good. HAH
They say a change is as good as a holiday but I have a lot of both going on right now! Not only will I be moving house (and areas, goodbye my beautiful HP *sob*) in 2 weeks time, my role at work is about to change, we have a new person just added to our team, I've got two weeks holidays over Christmas and then before I know it I'll be off the US for a month for one of my most life changing experiences yet. Phew! It's hard to keep up.
 
I am usually pretty resistant to change. Without sounding too OCD, a simple change to my regular routine can sometimes really throw me off and freak me out. What can I say, I'm a creature of habit and if those habits get interrupted or altered I can get a little frazzled. In saying that, I'm going to take a big deep breath and say...I am glad so much is changing.
 
Woah. There. Can't believe I just said that. So not like me. BUT. I am telling myself, it is all good things. It all means growth and new experiences and excitement and unknowns. It means confronting my own preconceived notions of how I think things should be and showing me just how strong and resilient and calm and on top of things I can be. It is showing me just how capable I am.
 
Lets face it, there are FAR worse changes I could be facing. For them all to be either positive or only minimally challenging is a massive blessing. The timing is also a blessing. Imagine if I'd have to move right before or even heaven forbid DURING the month I'm away in the US!? So as The ReChords and my front left forearm say, coulda been worse.
 
I am actually looking forward to the changes. This surprises even myself. But they will just shake things up a bit. Make everything old new again. Allow me to declutter and simplify my life a little. It's all good. I'm excited to see how everything pans out. In saying that, the next couple of weeks are going to get a little crazy with packing and moving and organising things and continuing to prepare all our documentation for the US and gearing up for Christmas and all that fun stuff.
 
I'll need my 2 weeks Christmas holidays to just catch my breath! How do you deal with change?

23 November, 2012

UPDATE: Holiday of Awesomeness

Soooo something really exciting has happened. EVERYTHING WE CAN POSSIBLY BOOK BEFORE WE LEAVE FOR THE STATES HAS NOW BEEN BOOKED AND PAID FOR!! Ermahgerd! Excuse me while I just wee a little! This is so great on so many levels. Not only does it mean that all monies from here on in are for spending (yaaay, spending!) but it also means that it's REALLY happening and we now have a pretty good idea of where we'll be and what we'll be doing for most of the time. Sah excited!
 
As it stands, the general plan is to depart Brisbane in the morning on Friday 22 March and arrive in LA before catching a quick flight over to Las Vegas where we'll check in to our hotel at The Orleans, hang out for the day and probably say OMG we're in Vegas! OMG we're in America! about a billion times. On the Saturday we've just booked and paid for our tickets to Monster Jam, the monster truck world finals. Redneck fun here we come!! I have a feeling Saturday night will be a big night so Sunday we'll take it easy, recovering, shopping and exploring. Then Monday we're doing an amazing bus, boat and helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon which we also just booked and paid. I am ready to be blown away! Tuesday and Wednesday will be more shopping and exploring with maybe some shows and shooting thrown in. Then Thursday to Sunday it's all about Viva Las Vegas baby! Our 'main' reason for being there, the biggest rockabilly festival in the world. Bring it on!
 
Monday 1 April we depart Vegas and hit the road heading through Arizona to Flagstaff and on to Phoenix where we'll probably spend the night. That's a 6 hour desert drive to soak up the scenery then on Tuesday we'll leave Phoenix and cross the border to California to visit Palm Springs where we'll probably stay for the night. Wednesday we'll leave Palm Springs and head for San Diego where we'll set up shop for a few days to visit the zoo, explore the local area and cross over the border into Mexico for a day trip to Tijuana.
 
Sunday 7 April we'll hit the road again and travel up the west coast of California stopping in at Huntington Beach, Long Beach, Pomona and Santa Monica before heading back to LA on Wednesday 10 April for 5 days. We'll spend 2 days at Disneyland, a day at Universal Studios and spend the rest of the time shopping and exploring before departing LA to head back to Brisbane on Monday 15 April. Due to length of flight and time differences, it'll actually be Wednesday 17 April by the time we actually arrive back in Brisbane.
 
So there you have it, the basic run down of what my time in the US will entail. I am beyond excited but at the moment is also feels very surreal. This is the biggest overseas trip I've ever been on and I can't believe it's actually happening. Not that long ago, this felt like a huge, amazing but slightly unachieveable dream. I can't believe I'm really going to do it!!

Do you remember your first big dream trip? Where was it to? What was it like?

22 November, 2012

Summer Essentials

Everywhere I looked on social media lately, it seems everyone was either lusting after or squealing about the arrival of fashion and accessories from ASOS. I had no idea who this new fashion retailer was or why everyone was so excited. I thought I'd check it out, but when I got to their site I was a little disappointed. Not only did I not think they'd stock anything that would interest my fashion and style tastes, but they were also based in the UK. Just as I was about to click away I saw banner stating FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE!! Errr, better just have a little look then I thought.
 
I was really pleasantly surprised to find that not only did they stock some great peices that totally rock my style, they also have this really cool feature where you can save items as you're browsing then come back to them later. A little wishlist builder if you will. Now excuse my ignorance if you already knew all about this but I had no idea! So I got a little carried away and starting saving items here, there and everywhere. I was having fun creating my very own little summer essentials list. So I did what any blogger would do. Of course I turned it into a post! So here you have it, my summer essentials list from ASOS.... 
 

DRESSES


            One Teaspoon                        ASOS                             ASOS                               ASOS
       Tiger Moth Kimono        Dolly Skater in Floral       Skater in Green Spot          Summer in Floral
                $204.00                              $85.00                            $37.40                         $29.75 SALE

Now the leopard kimono is a bit out of my price range and a little over the top but it's so fantastic and I cuold just see myself lazing around the pool in Vegas next year rocking it. The skater floral is a really cute cut and lovely pattern ideal for dressing up or down and those inevitable garden parties summer brings. The green spot skater is such a beautiful colour and the little keyhole detail at the bust is just too cute while the summer floral has a great tropical print that would be ideal for the two tiki parties I have coming up. 
 

BELTS


              Moschino                    Paul Smith                           Pieces                                  ASOS
          Chic Heart Belt        Yellow Skinny Belt          Enya Leather Slim Belt        Metal Keeper Skinny
              $314.50                         $117.30                              $27.20                                 $10.20
 
These belts are all about the colour! I'm so in love with colour this season which is actually a bit unlike me. But it's all just so pretty I've found myself gravitating toward it, what can I say I'm a changed woman? I love these belts because they make such a statement and can turn an average outfit into something special. Some of them are a little exy but they're SO cute and serve as great inspiration if nothing else. 
 

BAGS


        Cambridge Satchel Co           Cath Kidston                 Cath Kidston                   Cath Kidston
        11" Red ASOS Exclusive        White Large Zip           Black Shoulder Bag                Travel Bag
                     $170                                $51.00                          $81.60                             $127.50

Can you tell I'm in love with the Cath Kidstone stuff? Bags are an important part of summer as you're usually gallavanting off somewhere. You won't see any beach bags here (I have an aversion to sun, sand and salt water) but any of these are ideal for heading off on a little picnic or, you know, as carry-on for a flight to LA if you so happen to be heading over there. The satchel is handy with all its pockets and you'll never lose that red colour, while the antique rose prints are stunning with the floral trend this season and also give a bit of a 'vintage' feel if you're that way inclined. 
 

WATCHES


             Accessorize                                      May28th                                        May28th
     Spot & Flower Watch                     Yellow Spot Watch                         Pretty Floral Watch
                 $50.92                                            $42.50                                             $42.50
               
 Colours and floral and spots, oh my! These watches are a whole lot of fun and an easy way to accessorise an outfit. They say the devil's in the detail and I love the depth these watches would bring to an outfit. They may not be your 'statement' piece but when someone notices how cute they are they'll squeal with delight and think you're a total fashionista for going to the trouble. In saying that, they could easily be a statement piece if paired with a more casual outfit. No doubt you'll smile everytime you check the time.  
 

SUNGLASSES




              Missoni                                          ASOS                                             Moschino
   Large Lense Stone Arm              Cat Eye with Cut Away                          Heart Sunglasses
              $180.20                                          $17.85                                              $127.50

Could there be anything MORE essential to summer than these!? Eye protection is very important, particularly in our rather sunny tropical climate but there's absolutely no reason why you can't do it in style! I love 'bigness' of those Missoni's, total paparazzi hiders and those cat eyes are just PERFECT! Such a vintage flair! Even though the Moschino's are a little pricey, they're still easily in the ball park of most brand name sunnies are SO cute. How can you resist tortoiseshell AND a heart cut out??
 
Well that's my recommendations this season. I'm loving colours, florals and anything that indulges my fantasies about the US next year.

Have you ever bought from ASOS? What are your summer essentials?

20 November, 2012

Top Ten Tips For Losing Weight

After my post on Friday about my progress in losing weight and getting fitter, it seems a few of you wanted to know what my secret was. I definitely have not discovered the secret but I have found some ways that are working for me. Now I am by no means the poster child for weight loss, I sometimes fall off the wagon and there are plenty of great programs out there that you can follow. But for me, I'm finding ways that work for me personally and that I feel a realistic for me to maintain from here on out. So without further ado, here are my...
 

Top 10 Weightloss Tips

 
1. Be Prepared!
 
This is probably THE most important one for me. Dedicate some time to sit down and think about your meals for the week. What will you eat? Do you need snacks? What can you subsitute for a healthier option? Then go do your shopping, come home and PREPARE what you'll need to keep you on track that week. Whether it's making sure you've got a banana in your bag, some carrot sticks to snack on complete meals cooked and frozen ready to go, it'll save you from yourself when you're busy or tired and don't feel like going to much effort. Having everything ready and on hand will make it very easy to stay on track.
 
2. Eat Smaller Portions
 
Are you listening, self? This used to be one of my main problems. I ate man-sized meals. Too much and it only made me feel overfull and bloated. Yet for some reason I continued to eat like this. Gradually cut down your portions, you may feel slightly less satisfied in the beginning but you'll be surprised how quickly you notice a difference. Not only will you start shrinking along with your portion sizes, but you'll find your appetite totally changes and you won't even be ABLE to eat as much as you used to. I'm amazed at the difference, and I wonder now how I EVER ate as much as I did. Not to mention, you'll feel much nicer after eating and not weighed down, full, bloated or just ick.
 
3. Eat Slower
 
Sometimes you keep eating without realising that you're full and then all of a sudden out of nowhere it hits you and feel like you've just ambushed the buffet at Sizzler. Eating slower not only gives you time to really enjoy what you're eating, it also gives your body time to catch up with your mouth and realise when it's getting full. This means you can stop eating, even if you haven't completely finished what's on your plate (although you should be able to if you're eating smaller portions).
 
4. Drink Lots of Water
 
I know you probably hear this all the time but it really is the best thing! There are so many reasons why water is great for you. Drinking lots of water will help you to feel full and keeps you well hydrated throughout the day. It helps to flush toxins from your system and is also GREAT for your skin, which is important especially when you're changing your diet and increasing your exercise as your skin also goes through an adjustment period and can develop some minor issues. Drinking lots of water can help combat some of these. It also just makes you feel great! Although be warned, you might be up and down to the toilet a lot. I'm sure my work colleagues think I have a bladder problem.
 
5. Cut Down on Alcohol
 
This may be a simple to non-existent issue for some of you. But for those of you who know me or have been reading this blog for a while, you'll know this is a BIG one for me. In fact, it's something that I STILL need to work on because to be honest, I haven't really cut down as much as I should. In saying that, I have cut back a little and I've also been trying to be smarter about what I do choose to drink. For instance, if I'm going to have a beer I opt for a low carb option. I've also been choosing spirits which don't need to be mixed with sugary soft drinks to be enjoyed. My favourite is gin and tonic with fresh lemon but I know vodka with fresh lime and soda is also a popular choice. If all else fails, volunteer to be designated driver! It means you'll have no choice but to cut down on the drinks and your friends will love you forever!
 
6. Incidental Exercise
 
I am sometimes guilty of neglecting this tip but mostly I try to embrace it. Incidental exercise is the best kind because it's generally quick and painless. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park further away from your destination and walk the remaining distance. My most favourite incidental exercise is dancing! It's an amazing cardio workout but it's SO. MUCH. FUN! The best kind of exercise is the fun kind because you're more likely to do it for longer and stick to it so find something that you enjoy doing that requires you to be at least moderately active and go for it! Even if it's walking the length of your local mall shopping. Tough right? There's also that 'other' *ahem* incidental exercise that you can enjoy with a special friend.
 
7. Have a Goal
 
The most important thing about getting to where you want to be is to have something clear and tangible in your mind. What is it exactly that you want to achieve? It might be your dream weight, your ideal measurements, completing a fitness challenge or just fitting into an amazing dress. Whatever it is, identify it. Clearly. Down to the very last detail. Keep it in mind, maybe you'd even like to put some motivational pictures or words somewhere prominent in your room? Track your progress and make adjustments to your regime if need be. As a side note, I tried on my 'goal dress' over the weekend and I am SO much closer to fitting it!! This has served as great motivation for me.
 
8. Be Accountable
 
I'm lucky, I've got this blog to bang on about everything that's going on with me but if you don't have a space like this to tell the world about your undertaking, then it's as simple as telling someone else. It could be your mum, your sister, your best friend, your boyfriend, even a colleague. Or you can broadcast it over Facebook for maximum effectiveness. However you choose to make yourself accountable, telling someone else who will be invested in your progress and results makes you own it. Everything. The good and the bad. It gives you someone to celebrate your successes with as well as someone to support and encourage you when things get tough. This may be one of your most important tools for success. You can even tell me if you want!
 
9. Don't Be An Enabler
 
Just when you think all Dr Phil is good for is crazy southern proverbs, occasionally he comes up with a gem. This is one of them. Don't let yourself sabotage your efforts. Everyone has moments of weakness and you don't have to give up all earthly pleasures but removing temptation means you don't have to rely on your willpower so much, especially in the beginning when you're still trying to re-train your mind and body to not want these things. Don't keep 'bad' food in the house and if there's something naughty in the lunch room at work, don't go in there. Don't look at it, don't even think about it. Removing these temptations makes it easier to say no in the beginning and soon, it won't even be hard to say no. You can look at that cheesecake and not even want to eat it. Sounds strange I know and as a real sweet tooth, I never thought this would be possible but the proof is in the pudding! Mmmmm did someone say pudding? Doh!
 
10. Don't Think About It
 
It's a brave new world once you make the decision to make a change to your lifestyle. And you have to fully embrace it if you really want it to work. Have a clear set of 'rules' in your mind and just stick to them. That's that. There is nothing else. Don't think about the what ifs, the potential to fail or how difficult it might be. We are creatures of habit and we actually enjoy directions. Create your recipe for success and then just follow the steps. Don't think, just do it (Please don't sue me Nike, it's just a figure of speech!) By not thinking about it, this removes much of the pressure that we often put on ourselves and puts you in a much happier and stronger place. It's simple cause and effect. If I do this, this and this then this will happen. Easy!
 
♥♥♥♥♥
 
The only thing left is to find an eating plan and exercise regime that works for you. Start small and gradually increase the intensity. The sense of satisfaction you get from not only succeeding but being able to increase your threshhold is a fantastic motivator.

Stay tuned for more tips on diet and exercise. What would you like to know?

16 November, 2012

I've Changed

Me 6 months ago V me about a month ago
I've changed. Thankfully for the better. While we're on the topic of self-image I thought I'd give you an update on how my weightloss and getting fit crusade has been going. I'm pleased to say I can definitely see a difference. Not only am I now wearing a size down, the actual shape of my body is changing too. Things are firmer, more shapely and defined. Don't get me wrong though, I've still got a ways to go.
 
But it is nice to see a difference. To know that I'm seeing results from the effort I'm putting in. In saying that, I could probably put more effort in. On the exercise front anyway. That damn exercise. Gosh I hate it. But it must be done. Not just for weightloss but to remain healthy and keep my body strong. I still hate it though. I wish I didn't. It would certainly make this whole process a lot easier and more enjoyable.
 
Probably the biggest change I've noticed in myself is my eating habits. As it was before, I still ate relatively healthily but I definitely ate too much and also indulged too often. Now not only am I able to feel full with smaller portions, I'm not indulging as much as I used to and in fact, I don't even crave those naughty foods like I used to. Yay! That makes being good so much easier.
 
My fitness regime basically involves jogging up and down the staircase in my townhouse 40 times as well as some toning exercises that range from low intensity 3 second crunch holds to a more intense and comprehensive toning regime of sit ups, lunges, push ups and laying leg raises. I try to do this at least 3 times a week although unfortunately lately I've only been making it once or twice a week. Need to step it up!
 
Other than that, dancing is FANTASTIC cardio and great for toning your arms and back and I do that for about 2 hours at the very least once a week but more often than not it's more like 3 times a week. I've also found foods that I enjoy, are quite nutritionally sound and filling or low GI meaning I don't feel hungry and are also low in fat. Putting all that together, I'm slowly shrinking and changing.

I hope to be ROCKIN my 50s Jantzen swimsuit for the pool party I've got on New Years Eve!

15 November, 2012

On Plastic Surgery: A Controversy

An article in the UK's Daily Mail has been doing the rounds on the internet this morning. About 21 year old Ukranian model Valeria Lukyonova and her quest for Mattel-like perfection. This living doll has undergone extensive plastic surgery to turn herself into a 'human barbie'. Unfortunately the article didn't give too much detail on the young woman, her career or the procedures she has undergone to create her look, rather reserving the mere 350 words to make a mockery out of her lifestyle and her beliefs. As has much of the vitriol that accompanied the article as is circulated the internet.

This is Valeria.


When you look at her, what do you see? A beauty? A freak? A person?

Now her look is not for me. Aside from the fact that I'm not really keen on the idea of plastic surgery in general, the unnaturalness of her look does not appeal to my own personal asthetics.
 
However.
 
I don't feel like I can sit here and criticise or ridicule her. I have seen so many nasty comments in regards to her looks. But where do we draw the line on 'body modification' and who gets to decide? More to the point, who has the right to pass cruel judgements on someone because of the way they choose to look? I thought, as a diverse society, we had come further than that.
 
Some people suggest that she has ruined her body. I have tattoos and I'm sure some people think the same about me. Do you dye your hair? That causes damage to your natural hair yet you are not judged for doing so. Have holes in your ears that were painfully put there by a needle piercing through your skin in one quick, forceful motion? Wear make up? See where I'm going with this?


So you don't like the way she looks? Guess what, she didn't do it for you! Think of all the pain she has gone through after countless operations and recovery periods to modify her body. It obviously means a great deal to her to put herself through all of that. I know at times some of my tattoos have been quite painful and the only thing that stopped me from yelling 'STOOOOP!' at my tattoo artist was knowing the beautiful piece of art that would permanently adorn my skin was the end result.
 
People pass judgement far too quickly these days. You're too fat. You must be anorexic. She's unhealthy. Too much make up. Geez girl make an effort. I heard she sleeps around. She can't get a man. WTF is she wearing? Seriously, what's with that hair?
 
It has to stop. Take a long hard look at yourself. I guarantee you you're not everyone's cup of tea. But I'm sure you don't expect to be berrated about your appearance. Generally, you are comfortable with you. Happy with your appearance. Adhere to a semi-defined personal sense of style.

You have your own look. She has hers. It is what it is. Let it be. Why do you even care?

12 November, 2012

My First Geek Con

I'm pretty lucky. This writing gig opens me up to some pretty awesome opportunities. Like getting to meet someone I've been a fan of for quite some time! Thanks to Femme Fatale Magazine I got to go to Supa Nova on the weekend and not only meet but get the autograph of and a photo with the one and only Mistress of the Darkness, Elvira! If you don't know who she is - why are we even friends!? Kidding!! Seriously though, look it up. Here in Australia as a guest of Supa Nova, a pop culture expo, it was so exciting to meet Elvira. I even gave her my business card! She was really lovely in person and DAMN she still looks good for her age!



Supa Nova itself was an interesting experience. As I said, I've never been to anything like it before and to be honest I don't think I'd want to go again. The place was PACKED, the crappy weather didn't help but the event just seemed quite unorganised not to mention EXPENSIVE! The place wasn't well-signed so it was difficult to find what you were looking for, particularly trying to make your way through the crowds. There weren't many staff around to ask for help and those that were around didn't seem to know much anyway.

Entry was $30 but then to meet any of the special guests it was $30 for a signature and $40 for a photo and unless you had bought tickets for either of these things, the staff made sure that you weren't even getting near them. I'm really not sure how I feel about this. I understand the special guests have their own appearance fees etc but considering how many people were through the gate at $30 (more if you wanted a VIP pass) they would have made a killing. It seems wrong to be charging such an exorbitant amount of money for autographs or photos. I mean, you don't pay to get into a gig and get to see the support bands but then have to pay extra to see the headlining act. I dunno, it just doesn't sit right with me. In saying that, I didn't actually have to pay for anything so I guess I can't really complain.



Anyway, it felt like all we did for most of the day was wait. Stand in lines and wait or get jostled by the crowds. Probably because generally this wouldn't be my thing I didn't fully appreciate the expo because it seems like there were thousands of people there having a great time. That being said, there were plenty of interesting costumes to keep us entertained as we waited.

All in all it was a really cool experience getting to meet Elvira and it was kinda fun to do something new and a bit different. Again, a big thank you to Femme Fatale Magazine for sending me on such a cool assignment!

Have you ever met an idol? Was it everything you thought it would be?

09 November, 2012

Are You Confident?


I have always thought of myself as a confident person. You have to be have a blog right? We're totally up ourselves! Hah. Seriously though, I've always considered myself confident. Well, not always ALWAYS. When I was younger it was a bit of a struggle but we're all like that until we find our place in the world. But since my uni days, I've always felt happy with who I am and how I look. It may not be 'perfect' but I'm happy with it. I own it proudly.
 
However, a recent post series I've been following along with has started to make me question all the things I thought I knew about myself. Long time big sister to this blog, Suger Coat It has created the #ConfidentYou post series for the month of November, posting each day with little tips and exercises to work your way to loving yourself just a bit more and building up your confidence no matter what stage you're at.
 
Day 6 was the one that hit home with me the most. It was about making eye contact with people and showing them who you really are. Now I am dynamite at doing this when need be. Professional situations, the need to impress etc. But when it REALLY matters? I tend to look over people's shoulders or look at the environment just around them rather than looking into their eyes. It's not because I don't care about them or what they have to say. In fact it's the opposite. I am scared of them seeing too deeply into me. I know that what's inside me is worth seeing. But the scary part, the part I don't like saying out loud or even acknowledging really, is that what is inside me is fragile.
 
I also happen to be quite transparent. Can't hide who I am or how open, honest and caring I am. I care so much. Maybe too much. I sometimes wish I didn't. But then I don't. Because I wouldn't be me. I know the caring is a good thing. A quality people admire in me. But sometimes it can backfire and I end up getting hurt. Sometimes people take advantage of it. Sometimes I just can't stop caring about someone, even when I know it's not getting me anywhere. 
 
So that was my revelation for the week. And I slowly am working on and will continue to work on facing that fear. That age old quote about feeling the fear and doing it anyway sticks in my mind. That's living. Life is scary. There are feelings and decisions and consequences. That is the thrill of being alive. So suck it up princess. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Look into those eyes. Be seen. All the way in there. Just let it happen. Trust that you are smart enough to keep yourself protected. Be brave enough to be a little vulnerable.
 
It's only Day 9 and already this series has me thinking so much. Like how often girls (mostly) can get sucked into being in competition. And how that leads to inner criticism and comparison. Which inevitably leads to negativity, low self-esteem. Confidence doesn't come from being better than someone else. It comes from being strong enough to acknowledge how much that person has to offer. Don't compete. Be strong enough to say, I don't need to put you down to feel better about myself. In fact, here's a compliment because you deserve it and because maybe it might make you feel good. 
 
Honestly, complimenting someone else, whether it be someone you know or a complete stranger is really uplifting. I remembered today in the toilets at work when I complimented a lady on her shoes. They were AMAZING! And so I told her so. And her whole face lit up. And I remembered what it felt like to light up like that. How great a compliment from a stranger can feel. And I felt great for giving her that feeling. Feelgoods all round guys!
 
Follow along with me, I'd love to hear your stories too. Confidence can be hard sometimes but it's so valuable. You all deserve to feel happy with yourselves. I hope you do.
 

08 November, 2012

Introducing Stars & Swallows

It's not often that business relationships turn into friendships. But when you strike up a connection with someone for business purposes to find that you also get on with them like a house on fire, well I consider that a massive win. So please give a very warm welcome to the newest sponsors to the blog, Stars & Swallows. You may remember the name from the pair of original Don Featherstone lawn flamingos they so kindly donated to my big Christmas giveaway (which you still have time to enter). May I just say, get used to hearing their name and not just from me! As a long time reader of the blog, I couldn't be happier to partner up with the brains and beauty behind this brand, Tracey.


This lovely lady runs the brand with her rather tatted up hubby and with such lovely people behind the business, you'll be as impressed as I was with their service. And after hearing the story of how Stars & Swallows began, that really sealed the deal. Tracey was a rockabilly lovin' gal with a definite sense of style but was frustrated with the lack of product available, the high postage costs for overseas brands and the sinking feeling of showing up to an event only to see someone else wearing the same thing. So what's a girl to do? Start her own business of course!

Stars & Swallows are on a mission to bring quality, affordable clothing, beauty, jewellery, homewares and accessories to rockabilly kats and kittens. All items are in stock, so there's none of this pre-order and wait 3 weeks nonsense! Place your order online and receive it promptly and with all items sent registered or express post, you'll never have to worry about Australia Post 'misplacing' an item ever again! As an online shopping afficionado, this is music to my ears!



Because Tracey is so passionate about the need for quality, low prices and originality you can be sure that all your favourite brands like Heartbreaker, Hell Bunny, Sourpuss, Collectif, Rock Steady, Folter, Lucky 13, Fluff, Besame and more are available. Not to mention, Tracey personally sources all of their stock to offer a more diverse range, not just the usual fare you see popping up in all the usual shops. Which means avoiding that awkward moment of spotting someone in the same dress as you.

New products are constantly being added to their range so check the website regularly. Also, these guys are so friendly that if there's something in particular you're looking for and they don't stock it, you can just send them an email and they'll do their very best to source it for you. Now THAT'S customer service!



Stars & Swallows offer a great range of mens and womens clothing and accessories as well as some stuff for the kids and a range of homewares and knick knacks. Best of all they're a small local business so they're well worth supporting.

Go shopping and spoil yourself and feel good while doing it!

06 November, 2012

Tattoo Tuesday: Drunken Ass

FINALLY! A new Tattoo Tuesday! Trust me, I'm as happy about this as you are because it means I got a new tattoo! Yay! It may come as a bit of a surprise though, it seems I've been keeping a few things from you guys lately. Naughty naughty. Still, this one was a little more spurr of the moment to be quite honest. But it doesn't mean I love it any less. In fact, I ADORE this tattoo!



Done by the lovely Tilly Lace, Trailer Trash Tattoo's apprentice, there is absolutely nothing amateur about her work and I'm absolutely thrilled with the result. A lil drunken donkey. Or a self portrait as I like to call it. Heh. I've been thinking about getting a cute little donkey for a while. Then I saw some Sailor Jerry style flash that gave me the loose idea.

Also, I've had this song in my head ever since - hah

When I spoke to Tilly about it, she already had some original artwork that seemed to fit the bill. I just decided to make the donkey drunk. And that was that. It's so cute and I loved Tilly's idea for the heart-shaped rope border. It's adorable and I'm so in love with this tattoo! Tilly is also progressing in leaps and bounds and her skill and speed is only continuing to increase since the last time she tattooed me. If you're thinking of getting some of her art on you, get in quick - I sincerely don't think she'll be an apprentice much longer at all! 

Don't worry, I'm already planning my next...it's a sickness, really.

05 November, 2012

BrizVegas Kustom Karnivale

Yesterday was a HUGE day at the Acacia Ridge Hotel - Lori Lee must be very proud of how it all came together. I had a fantastic time and the warm sunny day was the perfect way to enjoy the glinting rods and kustoms in the car park. It was so great to see the car park packed with all manner of hot rods, rat rods, bikes and kustoms as well as Mimsy's iconic Trailer Trash Tattoo trailer park set up.



After checking out the cars we headed up to see Almon Loos in sharp shaving action as he barbered gents into bay rum scented and pomade perfection before moving into the air conditioned luxury of the sprawling range of stalls. Selling all manner of vintage, repro, accessories, homewares, western wear and mexicana, I was on my best behaviour and headed down stairs to the band room before I could spend too much money.



We just missed local lads West Texas Crude but we were just in time to see Almon Loos taking a break from his pop up barber shop to rock out with some tunes performed with Brissie band staples Dan Dualtone, Jon Flynn and Mark Stephens. A somewhat short set, Almon made the most of his time in the spotlight and had the dancefloor moving with a sea of people.



After a short break to catch our breath, Charlie Hightone took to the stage for a high energy set of jump blues inspired rockabilly. He set the pace (fast!) for the perfect dance beat and this little dame couldn't help but dance her little butt off for practically his whole set. What an afternoon! The band room was set in an underground, basement style area of the hotel that made you forget what time of day it was, made you forget about everything except workin up a sweat to these rockin tunes!



The Kitten Katwalk was next up but we'd worked up such a sweat to Charlie that we needed to catch our breath and grab some fresh air before The Go Getters took to the stage for a thunderous set that the crowd really got into. There was plenty of dancing and lots of cheering and hollering. This Swedish trio make a helluva lotta noise for just three guys but again, there were some great dances and all round just a lot of fun.



The day came to a roaring close with a full throttle set from The Jim Rockfords. These guys (and gal) were no wind down for the night, their loud and pounding style was truly appreciated by the dedicated rockers that stayed around to enjoy it. They also performed a cover of The Runaways classic Cherry Bomb which of course we turned into the words Sheri Bomb and involved a lot of pointing at me by my friends. There may have been a tad too much alcohol consumed at this point but it was an absolute riot and a great way to finish a fantastic day!

I have to say, as a new type of gig and new venue for the Robot Productions crew, the day was a huge success and the size, scale and layout of the whole shindig just worked perfectly. It was big enough (in size and acts) to feel like a real treat but not so big that you felt like you were missing out on anything. It really was an outstanding day and I can't wait for the next gig on March 10 with the Los Straitjackets (and another big name to be announced)!


Oh yeah, what do you think of my new hair!?

30 October, 2012

Are You A Gifted Gift Giver?

Christmas is just 8 weeks away! Really. It kinda snuck up on me too so I've started making my lists. Checking them twice if you will. And I've started thinking about what kind of presents those on my list would like. Sometimes that's the hardest part. So while I've been shopping around for my gifts this year, I thought I might share a thing or two with you.


Burts Bees: Sweet Kiss $24.95
For a pout that shimmers with softness, this collection of goodies will keep your lips looking supple and lush well into the new year. The gift pack includes the pink grapefruit lip balm, strawberry lip shimmer, hibiscus tinted lip balm and a bonus geneine honey compact mirror. This one would be lovely for mum, teacher or even big sisters. With all that hibiscus I know mine would love it!

Benefit: High Flyin Glosses $49
For the little lady in your life, this luscious range of 6 ultra plush lip glosses feature a silky formula that drenches your lips in luxurious moisture and colour. This limited edition gift pack includes CORALista in sheer coral, Dallas in dusty rose, Bella Bamba in sheer bright watermelon, Hoola in shimmering golden nude, Sugarbomb in shimmering pinky nude and Dandelion in soft pearly pink. Perfect for little sister, cousin, bestie or just to spoil yourself!


Stars & Swallows: Don Featherstone Lawn Flamingoes $55
The perfect gift for anyone! Whether your a vintage lover, kitschy keen or just like to freak out the postman, these high quality plastic lawn flamingos are a lot of fun and bring a pop of colour to any front yard. They come in a pair so they'll never be lonely and can be proudly displayed on your front lawn, around the pool, inside in a pot plant - anywhere your little heart can dream of really!

 
Bluebird Retro Rags: Men's Shirts $74
The online store has HEAPS of designs to choose from (and not just men's either ladies!) but I've hand picked these two as some of my faves. The Steady Clothing Sun Records tee features an old school cool design with a manly, vintage feel about it while the Piston Apparel Shakespeare County Raceway tee is sure to be popular with the rev heads. These regular fit, 100% cotton, pre-shrunk, double needle, top stitched shirts are great for dad, brother, uncle, cousin - any stylish gent really!
 
Tattooed Zombie Accessories: Novelty Pack $92
Ideal for the man in your life, a stocking stuffer or that ever-awkward secret santa, this collection of manly must-have's and novelties is the answer to your gift giving prayers. Pack includes Tiki Hut Tin Sign, Art Print, 4 x Pin Up Postcards, Monster Hold Uppercut Deluxe Pomade, Delinquents Switchblade Comb, Macho Tissues: XL, XStrong Tissues for Manly Men & Juvenile Delinquent Mints.

 
 Bexterity Pin Up Photography: Pin Up Photoshoot $495
Perfect for splashing out and really spoiling yourself or a very special lady in your life, be transformed into a pin up for the day. Including hair and make up, clothing and accessories, a number of scene changes, your choice of 6 edited images and 6 6x4" prints. Every woman should experience this at least once in her life and the amazing images that you'll come away with are just part of the experience, it's the memories you create and the amazing surge of confidence that comes with it that will have you walking on air for weeks.

Now I have a proposal for you. How would you like to have half your Christmas shopping done without braving the crowds of the shopping centres or spending a cent? Well you can because I'm giving all of the above away!

That's right, you can WIN:

Burts Bees Sweet Kiss Gift Pack
Benefit High Flyin' Glosses
Stars & Swallows Pair of Original Don Featherstone Lawn Flamingos
Bluebird Retro Rags Men's Shirts
Tattooed Zombie Accessories Novelty Pack
 $100 Bexterity Pin Up Photography Gift Voucher for new Brisbane studio opening in Jan 

THAT'S A WHOPPING $400 WORTH OF PRIZES!
 
Just leave a comment telling me:
What's at the top of your Christmas list?

You can also share this link for an extra entry,
just make sure you tag me so I can enter you twice!

Entries open til midnight 13 November 2012. Overseas entries welcome however must cover postage if drawn. Winner will be announced on Facebook and Twitter. Please leave your email address so I can contact you if you win. Winner will have 48 hours to respond otherwise another winner will be drawn.

A big thank you to all the above businesses for gifting me these prizes to give away. Tiny Tim loves you.

So tell me, what IS at the top of your Christmas list?

Me? Money for the US. Or a pug. Always a pug.