How’s the Serenity?

13Having friends that are non-Australians often means I am reminded of things I would have otherwise forgotten – the cultural significance of Bonnie Doon in Australiana film being one of them.  I’ve seen The Castle, but wouldn’t remember or even connect the idea that Bonnie Doon is in it, and that to others they might be surprised it is a really place at all. So, around a year ago my friends and I drove to Bonnie Doon for a day trip and they were excited about seeing the desolate landscape of Lake Eildon. That was one year ago, but this year we got our shit together and brought tyres to float on. It’ll be a yearly tradition now for sure.

I’ve actually been to Bonnie Doon once before in this blog with Ant when it was winter – you can check out the pictures here.

Thanks to Ian Ackerman for taking some of the pictures below – they capture the mud and summer heat well.

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I love having friends that are keen for road trips – it’s perfect and makes me appreciate the work/life balance I have. I’m also happy that I’m sharing more things that outfit posts – I know I made a deliberate decision to stop circle posts  but I do like adding more than just outfit posts into my blog. That might explain why I have been adding and will continue to do more than just OOTD – in case you’re wondering!! <3

 xox Jacqui


Circles # 33 (Melbourne)

(Me and my friend Nikkolai from this post at Retreat in Brunswick)
Oh hi there! First up I want to say I’ve been circlefying (new verb) my photos since very early on on this blog and have been lots over the years, hence, this been called number 33, but since everyone else and their pet llama are making things into circles (instagram, google plus etc) I have decided to make this my final circle post. I might come back with another shape, (diamonds, rhomboids, dodecahedrons who knows) cos it is a nice update ‘what i have been doing‘ feature, but fuck these hip cats getting all circlish!
I love this picture of my sister, heavily pregnant and beaming in her backyard.
And as I have mentioned in a couple of my outfit posts since I’ve been back
my sister and her husband have had their baby.
At the hospital.
Staring at her auntie wondering what the hell she is doing. She better get used to Auntie Jac-Jac shoving a camera at her, she is so darn photogenic, I can’t resist!!
Walking around Moonee Ponds with a friend and noticing things like this beautiful church that I never really saw before.
Having a quiz night at The Rose with some very old friends.
Bonnie (Mum and Dad’s dog) has been in my blog a lot before.
Here she is again playing with most Border Terrier‘s fav toy: the humble tennis ball.
A new addition to my parent’s house is this little fellow. Hugo. He managed to sit still for this photo, which was amazing! He mainly enjoys terrorizing Bonnie and causing trouble, but, he’ll grow out of it. (Insallah!)
Hanging out at Section 8, one of my favorite CDB haunts is a must do when I get back to Melbourne, and it always remains the same; relaxed with good music.
Another haven of relaxation, my parents backyard. I realized I’ve used this yard a lot in outfit posts over the years, but the native trees and green grass just look very pretty in photos.
Catching up with old friends at The Imperial on Cup Day, and wearing my scarf as an actual scarf (as opposed to a skirt! ;) )
Hilarious shenanigans with my BFF  in her backyard with rum and lots of Jack Sparrow quotes. 
So, that pretty much sums up my time in Melbourne so far, as mentioned here, I leave for Senegal in a week, and may do a new kind of ‘what I’ve been doing’ shape, cos, circles are passe! ;)
xox Jacqui

Circles #32 (Hanoi)

I realized I hadn’t done a circle post in a really really long time, like since I was in Shanghai! So, I thought I’d do one summing up the last couple of months in Hanoi before I moved back to Melbourne. The above photo was taken outside my friends apartment and spawned some amazing portraits of my friend that you’ve probably seen before here. 
A goodbye dinner at a Korean restaurant with some of my favorite students up the street from where I worked was a great way to spend my last Saturday in Hanoi.
I managed to squeeze in going to Hanoi Social Club a few times before I left and I already miss the cool atmosphere.
My friend Bee came to visit from Shanghai and we tucked into some Sangria at the Red River Tea Room.
I went to a friend’s Oktoberfest party at his house and had a rip roaring good time, and took photos of his neighbours’ roses.
I stumbled upon some beautiful Graffiti in Ba Dinh that I used as a backdrop for this outfit post.
Just some advertising, Vina style.
Finally got around to going to the museum on Doi Can street even though I used to live, like, next door to it.
Also, finally, visited B52 Lake too!
saw some pretty orchids at Picnik Electronik and had to capture their beauty.
Just the general crowd at Picnik Electronik at sunset.
I honestly cannot remember what we are doing, or what event it was, but I know it was at Madake.
 a friend somehow acquired bunny ears… at that same night at Madake.
I somehow got my hands on a weird looking rose that same night…
In the last couple of weeks in Hanoi, there was a lot of cardboard boxes and moving that happened, this is my good friend posing with said box.
I got rid of a lot of things from my house before I moved home, and one of them was my mannequin Ken, who’d been with me for quite a while. I found him again at Carnival of the Dead at Hanoi Rock City. I was happy he was being put to use. :)
Halloweening it up at Carnival of the Dead.
aaaand that’s what I was doing for the past few months!
xox Jacqui

Circles # 31 (Shanghai)

For this Circle post, I’ll be showing you some of things I got up to in Shanghai, even though I have mentioned it in several outfit posts, I thought I should show you some touristy stuff too.
The view above was from the SWFC Observatory. It was cool, but pretty scary to be 490-something metres in the air.
In the shopping district of Tian Zi Fang, very beautiful area with small boutiques selling unique, and expensive things where lots of Chinese (probably not from Shanghai) pose for pictures next to pretty alley walls.
A trip to the crowded Yuyuan Gardens with Bee made us both confused at the different areas and compartments of the gardens with no maps. It would be a scary place to be at night, without another soul, I doubt you’d ever get out.
Making friends with a lion/dragon in the Gardens
In Shanghai Old Town. It was very crowded and lots of hawkers selling bags/wallet/etc, or just people asking for money. It reminded me of Sultanahmet… I really don’t like crowds.
At Bar Rouge on my birthday night having a wonderful night with Bee.
At the Botanical Gardens having deep deep thoughts and trying to sort out my life among some of the wisest souls of our earth.
Many, many dumplings were consumed on this trip, but these, from Lost Heaven were the best.
With my friend Fei on top of the world at the Hyatt’s bar with Pudung behind us.
The view from Bee’s apartment’s garden.
Attempting the Precious Artifact Pose with partial success, me and Bee happened to mosey past a Turkish restaurant and order some snacks and some amazingly delicious Efes. Sarcasm guys. It’s the most generic tasting beer in the world.
Now, this is more like it! A delicious Tequila cocktail at Cantina Agave after getting a manicure.
At Kartel Bar  posing while Bee snapped the camera at me.
So, that summarizes my week in Shanghai pretty accurately, I didn’t quite do everything in my list, but I had a wonderful time.
xox Jacqui

Circles #30

This circle post is going to be similar to every other one I post during Hanoian summer, lots of Piknik and joyous parties. The above shot was one weekend recently when the rain was beating down on softwater, but the electronic music played on.
With my wonderful Vietnamese teacher, (not that I study anymore ; P) who now runs an awesome English school with a fun way of learning. We were at Madake, but somehow my camera likes to make it look like we were at the gates of hell, which thematically suits my shirt quite well.
At the Metropole Plaza for a friend’s birthday Yum Cha buffet. Expensive, but worth it.
Continuing my flower crown beautification project, and my fetish for posing seductively with beer bottles :) (that post is planned to come up in a Throwback Thursday in a few weeks time) in one fell swoop. I’m at Piknic.
At my friend’s Yum Cha buffet, I befriended the balloon man and got a my friend a free tiger balloon for her birthday!
At Cama ATK and asked a very drunk man to take a picture of us. We all ended up looking like spirits of the night.
Some Bun Bo Nam Bo always brightens my day.
sunshine, flower crowns, beers, tunes, photos = must be piknic electronik time
Some particularly frothy nuoc chanh (lemon/lime juice)
Had a photo challenge with my friend to see who could do the better vampire, I scoffed at the idea cos people with translucent skin will generally win these kinds of photo challenges – I won predictably. Added baby fangs on photo shop to prove a point. ;)
Some adorable ‘bear’ masks the students at my university (from the Environment Club) had made to promote their trip to Tam Dao Bear Rescue Centre. I liked the pirate bear the best, but he is almost cropped out of the frame in this circle.
And that sums up my life in circle form.

Circles # 29

I’ve been doing a lot more outfit posts recently, but am still trying to do a circle post at least once a month. The above picture is of the construction on a road right near my house.
Pretty picture of Ba Dinh on a sunny day
Houses around the corner from me in Ba Dinh.
I have a feeling they may be tearing them down now cos I walked past and they are doing some kind of construction.
patterns inspire me
trying to look tuff by stealing someone’s glove at Piknic Electronik
forcing other people to steal said tuff glove and pose with it at Piknic Electronik
Sunny days
Beautiful Lotus
Beautiful lady at Piknic. Also features from my Hanoi Piknik Style post from more than 2 years ago.
new Piknic Electronik friends
Beer, Flowers, Smiles = Happiness
I’m trying to beautify everyone one crown at a time
My Dinh skyline
the lotus fields near Tay Ho
beautifying (well, adding beauty to) everyone one crown at a time
Mojitos at 21North
And that has been my sunny, summer, and rather beautiful life at the moment.

Circles # 28

I’ve already posted a lot about my recent trip to Sapa, but I mainly showed you outfit posts, not some of the touristy pics I took. If you are friends with me on FB, you would have already seen these pics, just not in circle form. Ha! Look at this lil baby buffalo? I had to go around it on the path on the way to Cat Cat Village. I gave it a good pat on its ears as I went past. I like buffaloes cos they have big ol’ pretty Egyptian eyes like jersey cows which makes ‘em cuter.
Chau Long Hotel, where I stayed, looking like a castle!
On my easy hike through Cat Cat village. I’m bent into a weird pose cos I had to balance my camera on a tree for this selfie. It’s one of the drawbacks of traveling alone I guess. But, at least I got to make friends with the tree.
(Sorry, couldn’t help myself)
 This rooster was sitting outside the hotel on a branch for most of the day, he would crow occasionally.
Coffee is the first thing on my mind in the morning. On this day is was cold enough to wear long sleeves, thankfully I had packed my hipster lion sweater. I haven’t worn long sleeves in Vietnam since… March?
I love me some vines! Especially ones that have taken over electricity wires to the point where you can’t see them anymore! lovely.
The day after my eye surgery, chucked on some pink lippy, and turned UP the contrast on my phone. I like photos of me where the contrast/brightness is so high I lose my nose in the process, maybe I have a deep seated affiliation with Voldemort... I’m not sure.
Sapa Bakery provides me with some low blood sugar solutions.I love cà phê sữa chua da
(the drink) but when I describe it to people that have never had it, they kinda think it would be gross, but no, coffee, yogurt and ice is AMAZING!
Buffalo just chilling in one of the main streets of Sapa.
Getting braided up for my epic braids night from S.M
A delicious brunch of Bánh xèo that I treated myself to in Sapa.
Sundaze (Sundays) in Hanoi in Summer means I spend my time at Piknic Elektronik on Sunday evenings.
a very good friend who is going back to Poland and I chill out at Piknic.
Arty fan pic of a friend at Piknic.
Shisha? Yes please!

Circles #27

Well, I haven’t done a circle post in a frightfully long time!
Which is great, cos it means I can tell you all the things I’ve been up to.
Firstly, my friend from Finland came to visit me. (I was on student exchange in Finland 14 years ago, and it was great to see my host sister again after such a long time)
I decorated my balcony with some green boxes from Uma. Since I spend so much time out there, and there are bars across most of it, blocking the view, I decided to make the view on the green wall interesting. Buying and looking after plants also always cheers me up. Most of them are still alive.
I also went to Halong Bay when my parents came to visit, it was nice to get away from Hanoi, and even though it was too cold to swim, it was still lovely.
Chilling on the deck of my boat in Halong Bay.
The wonderful Sara and I celebrate 4.20 in style at Hanoi Rock City.
A BBQ at my friends house, shown here in cups and beer cans.
Having fun at CyberKulture’s Club Night.
Dancing and merriment at HRC during club night.
Showing just how many colors my hair has been at the one time within the last couple of months.
The Lotte Building pushing it’s way up into the skyline of Hanoi on a cloudy morning
King of the Bia Hoi chairs
just show casing my ridiculously diverse current reading material…
teee heeee….
The Hanoi Opera House‘s wonderfully decorated roof when I went to see  Gulliver’s Travels.
No Scrubs! I’m all dolled up in medical clothes about to get laser eye surgery. It’s done now, and yes, it was scary as all fuck! But, it’s #5 off the list and I’ll never need glasses again, unless I choose to be a hipster…which I may.
This rooster was being a cock (see what I did there) at our local Bia Hoi and making all kinds of noise. I imagined if I could speak Chicken he would being saying to all the men drinking beer “Leave! What are you all doing here! This is my turf!” 
The clouds rolling into Hanoi for the almost daily 4pm shower.
 Hanging out in Bar Betta and loving the ambiance.
And that’s what has been going on Circle wise in my life.

Circles #26

Well, this is a pretty packed Circle post cos I have been doing a lot.
Firstly, I have a fair amount of delicious vodka at my house because I have been making lemoncello because I had so many limes.
Because of the influx of limes, I also made a lime pie.
It was an amazingly delicious pie, and no, I don’t have the recipe cos I totally combined about 6 different recipes.
In exchange for pie, I made Ben pose for photos, and he looked damn hot.
Motorbikes inside the house is a normal site for Nam.
Jen and I having delicious food at Hanoi Social Club
the most amazing pumpkin salad at Hanoi Social Club
Cat in a cat box at Hanoi Social Club
Soddom and Gomorrah themed art on the walls of Hanoi Social Club (Artist’s name is Tunni Kraus, you can check out his work here.)
A red whiskered Bulbul a’fluttering about at a local cafe on Doi Nhan street
been salad-ing up a storm recently, as it’s #19 of my 30 before 30 plan. This is a simple salad that can be whipped up in about 5 minutes. chick peas, feta, avocado, sunflower seeds, sun dried tomatoes  raisins and some onion. YUM
gorgeous princess dresses being sold on Kim Ma street made me want a small child to play dress up with…
Ben proving he can eat the extra large burger at Ete
my friends’ cat being subjected to paper hat silliness
new rainbow trout tattoo means I’ve crossed off  #20 from my list.
trying on a turban headband that my tailor made for me and taking a selfie
cat love at Ete
Tea Pot
new year of the snake picture adorning my wall.
and that’s all my circles guys, that’s my life right now.

Circles # 25 (Mui Ne)

So, I’m in Saigon again after a lovely week in Mui Ne  and  I spent the time relaxing, eating seafood and exploring. This pic is from the Fairy Stream, a lovely place to visit.
Some lovely contrasting sand at the Fairy Stream
mini water lillies at Fairy Stream
This amazing old house was almost in the centre of Mui Ne surrounded by huge resorts and ritzy looking buildings, İt’ll probably be torn down soon.
After a Free bucket of rum at Ladies Night at Dragon Beach bar
I love how they have made all the snakes for Lunar New Year look cute! İt’s hilarious!
Sunset from my resort
palm fronds!
about to go for a dip outside my resort
artsy Beer Saigon photos
going on a motorbike trip around Mui Ne
White Sand Dunes outside Mui Ne
Chilling in Red Canyon
Shadow games on White Sands
Red sand!
And these pics sum up my week in Mui Ne. İt really was lovely and I can’t believe Tet Holiday is almost over and I have to go back to Hanoi and work!

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