28 February, 2013

Mindfull-ness

I used to think I was quite mindful about a lot of things in my life, but now I realise it was more a case of mind full. My mind was full of too many things. Places to go, things to do, people to see, outfits to wear, upcoming events, blog posts – everything! It was just a swirling sea of information, but I thought I was keeping track of all the important stuff and doing a good job of it too.

What I didn’t realise was that I wasn’t being mindful, of myself and my mind and my body and what they all needed. Since exercising more, eating cleaner and generally taking better care of myself, I have become more mindful about my health, both mental and physical. I have become more mindful about my needs and now I’m really taking notice.

It’s important to listen to your body. It tells you important things. Truth be told I’ve known this all along, but I think I was ignoring it. Naughty girl. These days I’m listening to the needs of my body and I’m feeling SO much better for it. When my body tells me I’m hungry, I eat. When my body tells me it’s full, I stop. When my body tells me it’s tired, I go to bed earlier. When my body tells me it feels ick, I start eating clean.

My body is now feeling the best it’s felt in years! All this clean eating, care and exercise also has my mind feeling far more ordered and restful, instead of the constant chatter of unimportant things. I’m more focused and more in control of all aspects of my life. I don’t push myself as much as I used to and I certainly don’t beat myself up for it like I used to either.

Earlier in the week, I had plans that, by the end of the day, I just did not feel like doing. I felt tired, physically exhausted, sore from my work out and all I really wanted to do was go home and relax, preferably in bed. I thought about the plans I had made, and if cancelling them would make me feel guilty. Slightly, but only slightly. I knew if I stuck to the plans, there’s no way I would exercise that day, opting for a little rest when I got home before I had to head out again. There was no way I wasn’t going to exercise, so I cancelled the plans, went home and did my work out then fell into bed to rest.

Sure, it was a bit of a challenge to get my bum into gear at first, but once the exercise was done, it was all over with and I had the rest of the night to just rest and relax. Not to mention, I felt great for exercising even though I didn’t feel like it. It’s important to listen to what your body is telling you, what it needs. I never used to, but now that I am I understand why I used to feel so icky, run down, tired, exhausted and emotional a lot of the time. When you’re pushing yourself to the limit all the time and ignoring your own needs, what else can you expect?

Think about whether you would expect someone else to be able to do everything you try to push yourself to do? Would you look down on them if they couldn’t do it all? Or would you understand that there are only so many hours in the day and that looking after yourself is important? We all want to be the best partners/parents/friends/employees we can be, but that starts with taking care of yourself and making sure that when you are fulfilling those roles, you’re at your optimum. And you can only be at your optimum by taking care of yourself in every way.

Don’t be so hard on yourself. There is always tomorrow.

26 February, 2013

I Dreamed A Dream

We booked our tickets to Disneyland this morning! That marks the very last thing that could possibly be paid for or taken care of before we hit the States. There are just 23 days to go. I am beyond excited! It will be here before I know it and I just can't believe it. I can't believe it is actually happening. As excited as I am, it all still seems a bit surreal. This kind of trip has been a dream of mine for a long time, some parts of it for longer than others, but I never expected to actually be doing it, epseically not this soon.
 
Dreams are called dreams for a reason. They're those amazing, fantasy what-ifs that feel like some distant mecca. Almost a mirage on the horizon. A motivator for working hard, putting your mind to things, trying. But more often than not, they have this air of unachieveability about them. Whether they're considered 'big' or not, a dream is always big to you. That's why it's a dream, and it's a big deal.
 

Growing up, my family never had a lot of money. We weren't destitute, but there was little spare money for luxuries and even the food we ate was based around its affordability. Clothes were more often than not hand-me-down's with the occasional cheap newbie here and there. My parents worked hard to provide a life for my sister and I, my Dad often working away and my Mum taking on 2 jobs and a TAFE course after their divorce, just to keep afloat as a single mother.
 
While we never really felt like we 'wanted' for anything, I always knew that I could never keep up with all the cool new stuff that the other kids always had. Mostly I was ok with that. It wasn't so bad. But I do remember sitting down on a Sunday evening to tune into the Wonderful World of Disney. It ran for a long time, so I'm sure we all have our own family memories of this. But we loved it and we used to watch it without fail, right after our baths, all scrubbed clean and wrapped up warm and cosy.
 
It really was a wonderful world. Everything children's dreams are made of. I remember marvelling at this place, thinking it just couldn't be real, even if it was where Mickey and Minnie lived and where all these cartoons and movies I loved were made. It was just too good to be true. But it's not. It is true, it's the happiest place on earth. And I remember when 2 of my classmates went there. I couldn't believe it. It was SO far away. And such a big place. And I thought they had won the childhood lottery that their parents would take them there. I knew it cost a lot of money.
 
But that's ok, I thought. I will get there one day. Some day. In a long time. I thought that I would probably have children of my own before I would make it there. But that was ok, I would still get there eventually and then they would be the lucky ones. It was a dream that just seemed too big to ever come true, at least not for a long time. But everything seems so big when you're little I guess. I still can't quite believe that I'll be going there in just a few weeks, but I'm very excited. And even a little proud too I guess.
 
I know my family are all so happy for me and it makes me feel so good to see them that way. It really means a lot, to see them so excited for me. Encouraging me. Feeding my excitement. Celebrating this opportunity with me. And not just for Disneyland, but for everything. This entire trip, is made up of bigger and smaller dreams from all ages and stages of my life. And here they are, about to come true.

I'm only 24 and already I believe that anything can happen. What would be your dream come true?

25 February, 2013

What A Difference A Week Makes


This time last week was a tough time for me. I’m not going to go into here. There is no need and it’s a personal thing that’s not for public consumption. In saying that, given I’ve been silent for the last week, I felt the need to say something. But the thing that stands out for me at the moment is not how bad I felt last week or the fact that I hadn’t blogged, but how fantastic I feel right now.

Sometimes it takes a little speed bump in the road to shake things up a bit and make you realise how good you’ve got it. There’s nothing like a bit of stress and upheaval in your life to make you re-evaluate the yardstick you use to judge how life is going. I’m very lucky that my yardstick is generally pretty good to begin with. It’s levels generally range from ‘freakin fantastic’ to ‘a bit meh’ and nothing altogether bad in between.

Lucky me! But it does mean that sometimes you take for granted how generally good things are. So when  something rather stressful and upsetting happens, you suddenly realise how much things could suck. But then they don’t, things get sorted out and life returns to normal. Except suddenly now everything looks shiny and new and beautiful. Because it is. And you enjoy a wonderful weekend that almost feels like a dream cruising for burgers in a hot rod, getting a bit DIY and creative, over-eating in the best of company surrounded by your friends, relaxing and a delicious dinner out.

A weekend full of love. And happiness. And excitement. And laughter. And giggling babies. Like a big deep breath and sigh for your soul. And everything is right with the world again.

How was your weekend? Was it as dreamy as mine?

15 February, 2013

I Got A Puppy For Valentine's Day!

I bet you got really excited when you read that didn't you? Hehe Sorry, but I fooled ya! Well, sort of. I DID get a puppy for Valentine's Day. But not a real live one. Not quite as good as the real thing I know BUT it doesn't poop everywhere, I don't have to feed it, it still gives good cuddles and I still love it to bits.
 
 
Look how cute that smooshy face is! I'm still struggling to come up with a name. For now he is just 'smooshy baby' and other nonsense names like that. Which is kinda fine by me, but any name suggestions would still be appreciated. And look at that little butt! How cute is it!? LOVE!
 
In other news, I am the best Valentine EVER. Check what I'm giving out. Aside from my good looks. Ner. I made the 'card' myself, even the writing is in a tyre tread font. I'm such a dag! Haha I won't be giving this baby out until tonight so The Man is under strict instructions not to look at my blog today or INSTANT DEATH! Or he'll be chastised as a very naughty boy at least. Or I'll adopt the Christmas 'present goes to your brother/sister/cousin' principle.
 
This is just a bit of fun, but I can't wait to see his face when he gets it tonight. We are going to the Monster Jam World Finals in Vegas you see, and we have been watching it on TV and we love Grave Digger! This lil guy looks cool, does some flips, you know the usual silly fun boy toy (which I may steal and play with for a time also).
 
Given it's exactly 5 weeks today until we're headed to the US, we decided not to do anything too full on for Valentine's Day. Not that we normally do anyway. But I think it's still nice to do something, even if it's little or cheap or free. Whether it's a sweet note, a foot rub (I'm still hoping), doing the dishes...whatever. It's nice to just do something nice.
 
A lot of people are down on Valentine's Day, saying it's just a consumerist dictatorship but honestly, it's about doing something nice for someone. Who cares if it's a designated day?! While I do agree we should always do nice little things for people, it doesn't hurt to show your appreciation on Valentine's Day either. Some people find it hard to express their romantic side so V-Day is sometimes a good excuse for them to let it all out.
 
Even if you don't have a 'significant other' doesn't mean you can't make it an excuse to spoil a friend, mother, sister, puppy. Or even yourself. Because you deserve it, you gorgeous thing you!

However you spent your Valentine's Day, I hope you had a good one!

14 February, 2013

Valentine's Special: Bexterity Final Edits

Just in time for Valentine's Day, I got all my edits back from my Bexterity PinUp Photography shoot and I am VERY happy with the results. There's not much to say really, other than what an amazing job she did and what a difference some hair and make up can make! So without further ado, enjoy a bit of eye candy...
 
 
 








 
What do you think? Are you booking your shoot right now!?

12 February, 2013

How Outfit Photos Saved My Life

Ok, so that title may be a little over dramatic. Perhaps they didn't save my life but they sure have changed it. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed an influx in outfit photos from me over the past couple of weeks. Now it's not that I've never posted #ootd type shots before, but they were pretty few and far between, uploaded on the occasion where I was feeling fab and had the opportunity to somehow get a full outfit shot (not having a full length mirror in my old place). 
Meanwhile, my feed was full of fab looking ladies showing their ensembles off the world. I really enjoyed seeing these, even if their style wasn't something I'd wear for myself, I just loved seeing everyone looking lovely and feeling great enough about themselves to show it off to everyone else. Coming back from holidays after Christmas, I was feeling very much the opposite. Up until Christmas, I'd been doing really well with diet and exercise and had lost some weight. I'd been feeling really good and was excited about looking smokin for my trip to the US.

Like a lot of people, I enjoyed my holidays a little too much and stoppped exercising altogether and also over indulged in too much of the wrong stuff over the break. By the time I came back to work, I'd put on weight and lost much of the toning I had achieved and was feeling pretty bad about myself. Not only did I feel guilty about the situation, but I was so angry with myself for ruining all of my hard work. I felt disgusting, hated the way I looked, avoided looking at my body in the mirror and was dressing in jeans and baggy t shirts or loose, flowy dresses in order to try and hide myself.
I was sad, because that's not the person that I am. Even when I was a bit heavier, I was usually always pretty happy with myself and still felt confident. To be at the point where I was feeling ashamed and my wardrobe was reflecting that was a pretty low point for me. I just could not feel happy. Even things that would normally make me happy, my friends, The Man, music, doing things I enjoyed, even then I just couldn't fully enjoy myself because I felt so badly about myself. I knew something had to change.
My insides were feeling pretty yucky from all the bad food so I started with eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables to get my insides feeling good again. Of course, that did help me to shift some of the weight along with light exercise. I started to feel a little better about myself and began getting back into my usual wardrobe of nice clothes that I take pride in styling and wearing. But without a real 'dress code' or uniform with work, it was pretty easy to slip back into daggy, comfy clothes. But not if everyone else is watching, right?
 So, in an effort to make myself consistently dress in a way that makes me feel good about myself, I started doing outfit photos most days. By putting myself on show, I wanted to show you all the best version of me and so I went back to dressing in way that truly represents me. Because you lot are so wonderful, you really embraced it and continuously gave me great feedback. From clothes coveting and tricks of the trade to just downright lovely compliments, it put me in a positive frame of mind. One that was more motivated and wanted me to be the best version of myself.
 
So yesterday marked my first week of a personal training regime that will see me to my trip to the US. I eat fairly well as it is, but admittedly I'm still fairly uneducated when it comes to nutrition, something I want to change. I want to know the best foods to eat at the right times of day to give me the best results. So thanks to the lovely Laura Anne, my friend, pin up girl, motivator, nutritonist and trainer, I plan on being happy, healthy and fit in no time.
 
Initially I was dreading the session, particularly on the drive there, running over in my head how unfit I was and how much I was going to embarrass myself. But Laura was very kind, encouraging and non-judgemental. She was also very motivating and I ended up really enjoying the session. I already feel so great just from getting back into it. I'm a bit sore today, I think I'm walking funny HA But it's strangely satisfying and I'm already looking forward to our session next week. In the meantime I'll be keeping things up at home and hopefully I can impress her with my improvement next week.

♥ Thank you, to everyone that follows me and always has kind words for me, it means more than you'll ever know ♥

08 February, 2013

I’m Ready For My Close Up Mr Demille!

So as most of you would have seen on my Facebook page, Tuesday night saw me in the new Bexterity PinUp Photography Brisbane studio for a shoot that’s been a long time coming. Without knowing much about what we would be doing, other than some instructions to bring a couple of things along, I arrived at the studio full of excitement wondering what I was about to be transformed into.
 

As the lovely Bex (also the owner of Your One Stop PinUp Shop) led me into the studio I was greeted with eye candy that had me oohing and ahhing. First I was chuffed with the sweet little blackboard welcoming me to my shoot – such a lovely and personal little touch that instantly had me feeling special. Then I noticed the canvas of some of Bex’s previous work – a beautiful tattooed lady just like me! This put my mind at ease as I had been secretly wondering if my tattoos would affect the period cheesecakey-ness of Bex’s beautiful work. And then there was the props and wardrobe! Be still my beating heart! It’s like walking into your fantasy dressing room. There was so much to choose from, but I wanted to let Bex work her magic so I left most of the choices up to her.

But before I got too carried away, first I had to be transformed into pin up perfection! Bex really knows her stuff and relies on immaculate hair and make up and correct lighting set ups to get the best out of her images, rather than photoshop so I was sat in a pink cuddly robe in a comfy make up chair for the next hour while I had my hair and make up done. The mirror was also strategically hidden so I couldn’t sneak a peek until I was completely done and boy am I glad because the grand reveal was so exciting! My make up looked AMAZING and my hair was absolutely stunning and so different! It was really exciting to have a different style, especially one that didn’t include my bangs. It really made me feel like a new woman.
 

Then it was time for outfits, posing and of course snapping those pictures! It was lots of fun, Bex gave excellent direction without making me feel like I was ‘doing it wrong’ and there were lots of laughs. No pressure to be something you’re not, just the best version of yourself, exuding confidence and the beguiling beauty of the glamour girls that have gone before us. Bex was also very patient with my poor balance in towering high heels and my escaping boobs trying making a break from the girdle. HAH It was so much fun and it really is easy to just relax and enjoy the experience without feeling like you have to pull your best ‘blue steel’ – your genuine smiles and laughter make for beautifully natural images.
 

In less than 3 hours I’d been completely transformed and had shots done in 4 different outfits, not to mention had the time of my life! I’m so grateful to Bex for allowing me to enjoy this experience!
 

I’m SO excited to see the finished images, I hope you’ve enjoyed these teasers!

07 February, 2013

Rockabilly Madness!


In an effort to save money for the US, I've been going out a lot less lately and I have to say I've really been missing it. Sure it's been nice to have relaxing weekends with no hangovers and to spend time just chilling out with friends but live music and the atmosphere of heading out to a gig is what makes me feel most alive and in love with life so to be missing out on that, especially when I've watched everyone else having fun vicariously through Facebook, well it's just left me longing.
 
BUT this Saturday night I'm heading to a cool little venue to see some of my favourite local bands and imbibe in a drink or two (or few). I can't wait!! Looking forward to dressing up a little and soaking up the music in this funky little venue and catching up with everyone. It feels like I haven't seen people in so long! It's really not that long, but it feels like it!
 
So if you feel like listening to some awesome music, kicking up your heels and enjoying a drink come join me for The Ten Fours, The SugarShakers and Men Into Space at The Beetle Bar on Roma St.
 
If you're not coming here (why not!?), then what ARE you doing this Saturday night?

05 February, 2013

Tattoo Tuesday: Holy Corazon!


IT'S FINISHED!! Oh I'm so excited, it looks amazing if I do say so myself. Which I do! Dave has done an amazing job and I'm just so happy with it. I love it so much and the shading and cloud work are just beautiful.

A pretty big change from just the outline and a bit of grey shading, huh? Do you remember what it looked like before? You can refresh your memory and the meaning of the tattoo here. No point going over it again.

I'm just happy to bask in its amazingness. I went back on Sunday to get it finished. I sat for two and a half hours and although by the end of it I was pretty over it, I'm so happy to say that it didn't hurt as much as the first time and I was much braver this time. It's still a pretty sweet spot though.

But, as I always say after getting a bit of a painful tattoo, at least it's over and done with now and I never have to get that spot done again. HA. I really couldn't be more pleased with it and I know it's going to look just as amazing once it's all healed. The blue will chill out a bit and the colours in the corazon will come out more.

I wanted to give myself plenty of time for it to heal properly before my trip to the US so that I can really show it off while I'm over there. I have no doubt it will hold its own on American soil and I anticipate a lot of love for this piece. There's certainly been plenty from me and mine!

It's still a little tender, but it's getting better. Thank goodness. Ha. What do you think? You like?

04 February, 2013

Django Unchained

This weekend I finally had to opportunity to get out to the movies and see Django Unchained, the latest offering from Quentin Tarantino, my favourite director of all time. OF ALL TIME. Normally Tarantino stays in the realms of badass bikers, mean Mexicans, femme fatales, wicked westerns, sinister samurais and heinous hit men so for him to make a ‘period drama’ taking on the serious historical issue of black slavery was an interesting idea for me.
 
 
I’ve come to expect a lot from Tarantino and he consistently delivers, so I knew Django Unchained would have his style rubber stamped all over it but I was interested to see how he would go about this. All I can say is I LOVED it!! I loved it so much that I would watch it again, RIGHT NOW. I can’t wait for it to come out on DVD because I will be buying it straight away! God I love Tarantino! The way that man’s mind works just makes me SO happy!

Considering the movie goes for almost 3 hours, it certainly doesn’t feel that long when you’re watching it. In fact, I was a bit sad when it ended as I was enjoying it so much I could have kept watching for hours. In saying that, for the 3 hours of final cut we were treated to I couldn’t pick a single thing that could have been edited out to make it shorter. There was nothing unnecessary included and no scene dragged on. It was a relatively fast-paced tale allowing you just enough time to enjoy each moment before rocketing off into the next exciting instalment.
 
 
Interestingly, this film injected far more emotion into the story than most of Tarantino’s other films but still had plenty of Tarantino’s trademark dark humour, badassedry and violence. In fact, I had seen comments about how bloody this movie was before I saw it and throughout the movie I was thinking to myself ‘why yes, this is all rather bloody isn’t it’ but that’s not what they were getting at. You’ll know it when you see it. It makes for a completely epic climax to the movie.

No one can make you enjoy cringe-worthy gratuitous violence like Tarantino can and no one could make me laugh at the Klan but him. His quirky style and knack for kick ass soundtracks come together in Django, juxtaposing anachronistic sets and costumes with big bass modern gangsta rap in some scenes. It all makes for fantastic viewing and an exciting, hilarious and emotion fuelled film with characters you love to love and of course the ones you love to hate. Jamie Fox, Sameul L Jackson and Leonardo Di Caprio are fantastic and I enjoyed Christoph Waltz as Dr King Shultz immensely.

I haven’t had this much fun in a movie theatre for a long time. Tarantino is the master!

01 February, 2013

The Greatest GreazeFest Yet


Well, I know I say this pretty much every year (and for good reason too!) but this year's GreazeFest really is looking like the biggest and best yet! Yesterday marked the first on the GreazeFest announcements and it sure has got the punters buzzing! There are a couple of little secrets that I was keeping under my hat but the biggest surprise of all has now been revealed and boy is it a doozy! The Paladins will be performing a once-only reunion show with their original line up, exclusively for GreazeFest!
 

All the way from San Diego, The Paladins are renowned as one of the hardest working live acts in the world. Breaking up in 2004, the trio have kept fans waiting for almost 10 years for more of their countrybilly blues…UNITL NOW! This is massive news for rockabilly fans all around the world and will no doubt see punters flocking from all corners of the southern hemisphere to witness history in the making. I’m so excited and proud to have such a dream come true at our GreazeFest. Lori Lee Cash, you are a miracle worker!

The other big news to be announced is that the Hot Rod Show will now run over TWO DAYS! That’s right, no more missing out on shopping, car-ogling, bands or the art show, now running from 11am to 5 pm on the Saturday and 9am to 5pm on the Sunday, you will now be able to soak up all of that greazer goodness over two days and then stick around for the night time entertainment, perhaps with a wardrobe change you purchased throughout the day?
 
 
More exciting news is that Susana of Vestige Photography USA is headed to GreazeFest to conduct her eye-popping pin up sessions. Having worked all across the US and Europe, Susana is one of the world’s premier pin up photographers and has captured some of the most iconic modern day pin ups including Heidi Van Horne, Dayna Deluxe, Bernie Dexter, Sabina Kelley, Masumi Max and Mosh. Offering photographic, modelling and hair and make up workshops as well as private studio or outdoor car photoshoots, this is your chance to make magic with a master. For booking information, email vestigephotography@hotmail.com.

Rounding out the first announcement is a blistering line up of bands including The Detonators, The Satellites, Hanks Jalopy Demons, The Flattrakkers, Kieron McDonald Combo, Scotty Baker and Matt Dwyer’s Little Big Band. HECK YEAH! Some of my FAVE interstate bands! I’m definitely hanging out to see The Dets and Hank again and I can’t wait to see who else rounds out the line up! If The ReChords feature in there too, well I’ll just have died and gone to heaven!

Even though Vegas is just 6 weeks away, I’m still busting with excitement about this year’s GreazeFest! Having invested in some stylish yet comfortable and practical dancing shoes, I’ll be completely prepared for a rip roaring Fest in August, no doubt decked out in some of my best US purchases!
 
For more info, visit the GreazeFest website or sign up for the Robot Roundup to be first in the know when tickets go on sale!

Oh be still my beating heart! Better get in quick and book your flights, this won't be one to miss!