I don’t really do Easter. I’m not Christian and I feel silly celebrating something that has no connection to me except for my love of chocolate. But, if you are into Easter and buy chocolate gifts for people, please consider buying a chocolate Bilby from Pink Lady. For those of you that aren’t Australian, you might be asking ‘what the actual eff is a Bilby?’ and that’s a fair question. Bilbies are a type of noctural bandicoot found in semi-arid areas of Australia. They are classified as endangered and one of those reasons is because of feral, introduced rabbits competing with them for food and burrows. I also, personally, think they are so so so cute! Look at the one above smiling at you! You can read more about bilbies here.
At Easter time in Australia there are campaigns to buy bilbies instead of chocolate bunnies, and I strongly support this, however, only Pink Lady directly support the Save The Bilby Fund, so please buy from them! You can identify the Pink Lady chocolate Bilby by it’s green tag. If you wonder or are concerned about the biblies that have to live in poverty the rest of the year when they don’t get chocolate money handouts – you can also donate to the Save The Bilby Fund by any of the methods described on their page.
I hope everyone has a fun Easter break with their families and celebrates in whichever way they feel is right for them, but if you are buying chocolate gifts, do please consider supporting a great lil animal who needs your help while you do it.
Having 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.
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
I love going to the threatre, but I don’t go enough. Each year I promise myself I’ll go more, but honestly I run out of time, and oftentimes money. The last theatre productions I saw was Gulliver’s Travels, and before that I saw a version of Carmen that was set in Vietnam, which by the way was pretty awesome – there’s some youtube footage of it here.
So, a few weeks ago I was lucky enough to score tickets to see Baz Luhrmann‘s Strictly Ballroom The Musical and I jumped at the chance. My sister and I met up after work, went to Yamato (cutest Japanese place in Chinatown) for dinner and then headed to the theatre. If you remember the movie Strictly Ballroom, you’ll surely remember the catch phrases that me and my sister were bouncing back and forth, and even though we were both exhausted (I’d just started a new job and she was getting ill) we had a great night!
The show was hilarious and I often times was chortling into my jowels at the great way the actors brought out the time period the film was made in. Yes, the sequins would have always been there cos it’s a film about ballroom dancing but the particular late 80s vibe that permeated the non ballroom costumes was perfect! As was the occa ‘straya’ accent. All the leads did a great job but I was also really impressed with the back up dancers. They were in so many of the songs and not only danced but sung really well whilst energetically dancing – wowza!
If you get a chance, I’d strongly recommend you go see this musical, it’s a chance to see Baz and Catherine‘s sparkly vision in the flesh and to thoroughly enjoy this iconic Aussie film – and to dance on the stage at the end!
So yay for musicals, hilarious dialogue that you remember from your childhood, outstanding costumes and a great story line! As Fran says, “A life lived in fear is a life half lived.”
So, YAY! I’ve finally finished my #childrenoftheweek series based on the poem Monday’s Child. You’ve probably seen all these looks separately, but I thought I’d pop them together for one post. Just click on the link to be taken back to the original post!
Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go,
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living
But the child who is born on the Sabbath day,
is bonny and blythe and good and gay.
I had so much fun with this series and I’m happy I finally finished it! 7 looks for 7 different days and 7 different children! xox Jacqui
Now, as someone that truly believes you can wear anything and rock it if you have confidence, obviously I find this question troubling cos I wanna shout, “wear it with ANYTHING, it’s YOU that makes the outfit, not what you pair it with!!!!!” and then whoop like Zoidberg and run out of there sideways. But, I don’t know if that answer is really what people are looking for, and I realize they probably aren’t be down with the stall owner hollering clothing mantras at them so early on a Sunday, so, I answer, “It usually works with denim”. And THAT answer is what made me write this, to show the good people of Australia, and in fact, the world, what they can wear African Wax Cotton with easily and without much effort, without being intimidated by its bright and bold colours, and certainly without buying anything new to go with it.
So, here’s a run down of what I’ve worn African Wax Cotton with so far in my blog, most of it is obviously PHO sizzle, but not all of it. Just click on the picture to be taken back to original post.
By far the easiest thing to wear African Wax with is denim. If you’ve got a colorful top, pairing it with a neutral denim skirt or jeans will place emphasis on the top as being your key piece, which in many cases is why you bought it – as a feature piece, so let it shine by having denim to compliment it. Also, if you have a colorful wax cotton skirt, pairing it with a denim top, vest or jacket has a similar effect. This look is simple to achieve, and honestly it manages to look casual, fun and fresh at the same time.
Similar to denim, another surefire way to compliment something as bright as Wax Cotton is to wear it with black. Black goes with everything and it again makes your African Wax piece the centre of attention. However, If you feel like the wax piece you have is too bright and you don’t want to actually bring more attention to it, I would suggest denim instead of black. Denim seems to counteract while complimenting the brightness, black basics just make the brightness more noticeable, so it depends what look you are after. Also, if you find black is too dark for a summery look, plain white tees or white cotton works in exactly the same way but makes your look instantly summer and vibes of beach! Finally, if you’re looking for a more formal way to wear your African Wax Cotton, then, black is the way to do it.
To elaborate on the ‘pair wax with black’ tip, I would suggest finding clothes that are similar colours to your African Wax piece and working them into your outfit. Amazingly, by adding more colours of similar tones into your outfit, you are drawing attention away from the brighness of your wax piece. In two of the above posts, I’ve paired wax cotton with a black crop and then added other colors which have similar tones to the cotton. In the third outfit directly above, I’ve picked out the complimenting color of the top and worked it into my outfit (in this case my shoes) and then used fawn to tone down the bright yellow of the top. If you’ve got a vast array of colours in your wardrobe, it is relatively easy to do this maneuver, and makes a change from the denim, black or white basics tip.
Most of the African Wax cotton that PHO sizzle sells is actually in a matchy mc matchy twinset! Why? Cos twinsets rock! And when you wear it together, well, you can truly stop traffic! Ha! Obviously I’d only suggest the full set if you really like being noticed, which is why i divided everything up to sell separately (and cos ppl like me who are a size 16/14 don’t like having to buy 2 sets of everything just to get sizes to fit my different sized top and bottom) cos, man, the two piece African Wax sets are rather bright, but perfect for a beach party or summer look.
WEAR IT WITH WHATEVER THE EFF YOU WANT
You didn’t seriously think this post wouldn’t end with this heading, did you? Hahahah. Obviously, wear it however you bloody well want and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t! I just thought I’d provide some helpful tips, but in the end, any way you wear it will look amazing when you exude confidence. Pattern clash the shit outta that African Wax if that is what you wanna do, the more colors, the more patterns, the more amazing it’ll look!
So, I hope this has been useful if you are trying to figure out how to wear your super bright African Wax piece you bought and are now staring at scowling and hissing. Ha, funny image right there. My tip – start with denim or black and work it up from there.
Well, I told you I’d come back with the second installment of how my actual hypnotherapy went, and explain a bit more of the process to you. So, to catch you up, I saw Wendy, a friend I know from business school, and also a certified hypnotherapist at Make Changes about reaching my ideal weight. In case you missed my first post about it, you can read it here. So, last week I visited her and spoke about many things, and this week I went to actually get hypnotized and to discuss how I was going to reach my ideal weight and the goals and habits I needed to set in place.
During the week between appointments, I’d already made some positive changes and was glad to report I’d already gone down 1 kilogram on the scales. These changes included walking more (with the dogs and also skipping catching the tram to the train station and walking instead) . These walks helped because I’d used the stepometre Wendy had given me as a present and it was kinda fun seeing how many steps I do a day, and then try to beat it! As well as that, I had finished doing the 30 Day Squat Challenge but had decided to keep doing approximately 150 squats a day whenever I’m bored ( eg- 50 squats while waiting for the kettle to boil, 50 squats while watching the dogs eat their dinner so the big one didn’t steal the little ones food, etc) .
As well as the exercise, I had been more conscious of the food I eat and was trying to wean myself off eating sweet foods after dinner, but I came to the conclusion that I’m not going to do that 100%, and nor do I want to. And, as Wendy had said- it’s all about balance. I can eat that slice of cake, and of course I can! But I shouldn’t be doing it all the time, etc. I had been toying with organic chocolate for a while and decided to bite the bullet (or the chocolate in this case) and buy some more natural chocolate brands, that are Australian owned and not connected to GMO. The upside of this is the fact they are delicious, super rich (can’t eat too much of them) and super expensive so you actually can’t buy too much cos you’ll break the bank! I went with Emma and Tom’s Life Bar in Cacao & Coconut and Pana Chocolate with nuts. During the week, these were my foods I would turn to when the craving for chocolate would kick me in the face. And, it was bloody delicious! Finally, I had decided not to drink alcohol for a while, not only because I’m trying to eat more healthily, but because I felt I should somehow support my fiance during Ramadan, and giving up booze for a month was the closest I’ll come to fasting.
I’d also been saying the affirmations that I’d chosen the week before and, actually, even though it sounded a bit dubious when Wendy told me about it, it has made a difference in the way I view what I’m putting into my body.
You Are Getting Sleepy:
First up, Wendy never said this! Haha! But it is what I think of when I think of being hypnotized. We talked about hypnotism for a while and the misconception of people behaving like chickens, and also a bit about regressive hypnotism (mainly cos I’m interested in it) and then Wendy walked me through some small hypnotism activities to show me what the main part would be like.
Then I got to sit in the comfy chair, wrap a blanket around me, take off my shoes and listen to Wendy’s voice. She told me I was relaxing and relaxing more and more, and 100 times what I originally thought was relaxing and so on until I felt like a big ol’ puddle of goo. She told me I was so relaxed that even if I wanted to, I wouldn’t be able to have energy to open my eyes, and she was right! It was way to hard, so, I just chilled like a gooey blob on the comfy chair while she talked to me in her soothing voice. I’m a pretty visual person and at some points my conscious brain (which was grey) was relaying the questions Wendy was asking about my future habits of eating/health/exercise and self esteem back to my unconscious brain (which, apparently is bright pink with some kind of crown/headband) and then informing my body to give Wendy the answer. To answer yes or no questions under hypnosis Wendy asked me to lift my pointer finger for yes and my middle finger for no, and I gotta say, the process of Wendy asking me a question, my grey brain asking the pink brain the same question, them having a bit of discussion about it, then my grey brain relaying the answer to my finger and my finger having to lift to say ‘yes’ felt like the looooongest process in the world, however I really couldn’t tell you how long it actually took… When the session was coming to a close, Wendy told me I would be feel refreshed an energetic when I came out, and I was. She tapped me on the wrist and I was awake, feeling good and feeling positive.
Overall, I thought I had been under for 20 minutes, but, it was closer to 50 minutes. I felt good and chatted a bit longer before being on my way.
I had been given a DVD on meditation and exercise, and the information on accountability ( I have to report my process and feelings every day for a month and then every week for a year) but already i feel my taste and cravings have changed. For lunch at work on Thursday and Friday I went into the health shop nearby that serves big bowls of pumpkin soup instead of wanting something with pastry and I haven’t wanted many sweet things. I’ve been still saying my declarations every day and sitting outside in the green of my garden (something I used to do a lot, but now I look forward to it) and just relaxing. I do honestly feel that I can break the patterns that my unconscious brain had formed towards health and exercise and can start to build and work on forming new habits that are more in line with the way I want to be in the future.
Everyone would have their own reasons for wanting to reach a weight they feel comfortable with, and for me it was much more about instilling exercise and healthier eating into part of my everyday life before I have children (so I can hopefully maintain these habits more easily once I have kids and am lacking time) and also because I actually have more energy and happiness which combats my depression when I am exercising regularly and eating food that are make my body happy.
One thing that Wendy said that really struck with me during this whole treatment was when she said, ‘well, you know what a tim tam (for example) tastes like, you’ve tasted it before, it’s still going to taste the same when you eat it again’ and, she’s right. I do know what many foods I was eating taste like, and, they aren’t going to be better or more amazing than they were before, so, why do I eat them? Yes, they taste nice, but, they’ve tasted nice before…it seems merely about the habit of having a nice taste, and not even about trying something new… Overall, I feel that now is the time that I stay focused on my goals and work towards what I want.
Also, if you are in Melbourne and interested in meeting Wendy for a consultation (remember she does sessions about anything but specializes in quitting smoking and getting to the weight you want) I have some gift vouchers which will give you $50 off your session. The sessions range in price depending on the subject, for reaching your ideal weight the price is $600. Contact me in the comments if you are interested and I’ll email you then send it to you.
Also, if you are interested in asking Wendy any questions or learning more about hypnotherapy or NLP, you can check out her website here.
So, I’ve been a bit busy this week, and mainly with doing an amazing four part series style book for PHO sizzle. I wanted to show everyone that even though our colorful African Wax designs are best suited in summer, that doesn’t mean they can’t be worn in Winter, and I created four unique looks with my favorite cousin Leah to show just how many possibilities there are with pattern clashing and winter style. I’ve linked the images back to the style books on PHO sizzle‘s blog page called LOVE. But, without more blabbering, check out these clashtastic looks I created, with a little help from my extensive Vintage closet and, of course, PHO sizzle’s stock.
Thanks to my Mum and Dad for having such amazing vintage clothes, my cousin for being a willing model and allowing me to dress her up in the ‘crazy’ outfit, my glorious sister for lending us her extensive jewelry collection for these pictures, and for looking after the bae’s while I stole Leah for photos.
And so, if you think our clothes can only be worn in summer – WRONG! <3
Well, I told you last week I had visited my friend Wendy from Make Changes, who happens to also be a hypnotherapist, to discuss getting treatment for reaching and maintaining your ideal weight, and I had my first session today. Usually Wendy does 1 long session but I asked if we could break it up over 2 weeks and have the discussion and predominately therapy part in one week, and work on the hypnosis and NLP in the second week. Wendy specializes in hypnotherapy for quitting smoking and reaching your ideal weight, but has recently moved onto doing treatment for others things too. It seems the steps in the program, and finding out the ‘why’ (or reasons) of our habits can help us solve many problems. Before I continue I do need to point out that I am receiving a discount from Wendy in exchange for reviewing her treatment, however the views expressed here are certainly mine, and I wholehearted encourage people to consider hypnotherapy and NLP (and Wendy) if they want to reach their ideal weight. To explain more about my personal motivation is pretty easy, I am feeling a bit unhappy about my weight, and am generally more energetic and happier when I am about 10 to 15 kilos lighter than this, so after trying with diets and losing and gaining weight on and off for several years, I have decided to look at the habits and thought processes behind why I eat what I eat, and try to break and change some of these patterns. I am also thinking about my future and wanting to get into habits now, particularly with exercising, that can hopefully stay with me for a long time. Losing weight is certainly part of why I am doing this, but I also want to exercise more for my mental well-being and to respect my body a teeny bit more after years of being pretty mean to it. – The amount of soju consumed in South Korea alone makes me shudder at what I’ve put this bag-o-bones through.
Anyway, let me give you the low down on what happened in today’s session:
Wendy had asked me to keep a food diary for a week before our first session, I had a very opulent week, but I was real in what I wrote and didn’t omit the copious amounts of chocolate and cheese that I had at a games night over the weekend – I figured going into a life changing, habit breaking process, well, it is generally better to be 100% truthful with yourself, and with the person helping you. I also had to fill out some consent forms and answer some basic questions about my weight, and even these questions actually got me thinking about some things, like, I think one of them was “at what age did you become overweight?” and it really kinda hit home for me, because there was an age when I went from thinking I was overweight (as an insecure teenager girl) and actually becoming overweight in my late teens/early twenties. Hmmm.
The first thing Wendy does when you get there is give you a bit of talking to. This is done in the nicest possible way but it is pretty much saying that nothing will change unless you actually want it to. She quoted Einstein’s thoughts on insanity at this point (doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results) and linked it back with what I am planning to do as a life changing move. She said that reaching your ideal weight is not losing weight, because, you don’t want to find it again but more about creating and maintaining new habits that will help you with your weight.
In this section she also mentioned the ‘ker-ching’ (money baby!) factor of being overweight for many years verses the cost of doing something about it with results that will last a lifetime, if you are prepared to keep at your goals. Finally Wendy talked to me about my food diary and we drew a diagram of where the foods I was mainly consuming were, and how to shift the patterns to ensure that most of the foods I will be eating will be in the healthy corner. Wendy also pointed out that this type of treatment isn’t about not having the foods you like and enjoy, but about better understanding why we like these foods, and how to enjoy them in moderation
Today we talked about the seven steps within this program and will be moving back to them next week with the hypnotherapy. These included discussion about why I felt I had issues with my weight, and what I felt my biggest triggers were and then talked about my motivation for wanting to become my ideal weight. We tried to narrow these motivations down into three easy and clear ideas which would help me later when I reminded myself about what I am doing. Next we talked about declarations and how important it is to constantly remind your brain about your goals and by repeating words or affirmations – we begin to believe those words, if said enough. There was a long list of declarations to choose from and I found some I could manage to tell myself everyday. Next we talked more about the importance of healthy foods and physical exercise. Particularly, physical exercise is something I really want to do more of as I believe it is building good habits for me for the future when I’m not as young and nimble (Ha!) as I am now, and also I know how important exercise is as natural ‘happy feeling bringer’ and, as someone that has battled with pretty severe depression at times in my life, I want to be able to rely on my body’s natural way of keeping me feeling level headed, instead of pharmaceuticals. The fifth step was talking about meditation and visualization of the ‘ideal’ you. I don’t actually know much about meditation as I consume far too much caffeine and think too quickly to even contemplate sitting still for 5 minutes, but, for the sake of this lifestyle change, I will certainly be doing the recommended amount of meditation. Step 6 was a bit of merged step that talked about the importance of a positive attitude and having the courage to keep going, and step 7 discussed the accountability of the treatment. When Wendy said ‘accountability’, she meant being accountable for myself and my choices, but also to her as my specialist. With this program, once I’ve done the hypnotherapy, I will need to report online everyday for a month to do a check list to make sure I’ve been doing all the parts of my plan. Part of the reason they make you do this every day for a month is because new habits take some time (I think it’s 21 days?) to form, and by checking in and forcing you to get into these new habits, and having to report to someone, it is making you feel more accountable for your own actions. After 1 month, Wendy asks that her clients do the online quiz once a month, or more if you want, for at least a year to check and remind yourself of your long term goals. Finally we talked about my milestones and came up with realistic ideas about how much weight I want to lose in 30 days, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 1 year.
Totes a sucker for presents! Wendy gave me a stepometer (I already love it and am prancing round the house figuring out exactly when it decides i’m doing a step, as opposed to a lunge, a squat or a plie) to track how many steps I take on a day when I exercise verses a rest day and also gave me two gorgeous jars with marbles inside one of them, and the other is empty. These aren’t just pretty, but serve a purpose. For every kilogram I lose, I move a marble into the other jar. I really like this idea and think it is a way to positively enforce what I’m doing and something that visually reminds me of my goals. She also gave me a notebook and will also include a meditation CD and exercise DVD in next weeks session.
Well, this kind of therapy really resonates with me in general and Wendy is fun and easy to chat with. I’m glad I have a week in between sessions though as I honestly think I wouldn’t have been able to take in everything we talked about today, and I have many things to prepare and think about before next week.
So, you’ll have to tune in next week for my adventures on the couch.
I don’t usually do wish-list type posts, but I stumbled upon these shoes and from then on I was constructing 90s all-black looks in my mind. Channeling The Craft and other 90s movies, but with a modern twist, I was loving where my mind was going, and man I wish I had some extra cash to spurge on some of these. How cool are mesh tops? I’m not really into Sports Luxe, but these shoes and the fact some of my favorite bloggers seem to be able to pull off this look makes me wonder if I should give it a test drive. If anybody wants to sympathise and send me anything on this list, feel free to do it – I won’t object. Hahhaha!
I pulled a few pieces together from the usual online shops: Top Shop, and Etsy. For an even cooler pair of sneakers, get a load of these customized ones! For alternative pieces similar to the ones I show above,One Stop Plus has some great options for curvier women to imitate similar looks with the sports lux, all black, 90s movies trend.
I mean, with this mild winter we are having, shopping their Spring looks seems totes normal. Ugh, can’t believe I just said totes.
If you have somehow missed the fact I have quit my day job as an ESL Educator last October and have been doing a business class and preparing to open an online boutique clothing shop, now you know. I have been designing and planning my brand for a while, with the help of some other amazing friends too.
Now, I need to let you know, at the moment I only have two products. Hilarious right? But, there was method to my madness; it was my ‘test run‘, my ‘teaser‘, my ‘can I actually fucking do this?‘ trial. So, I ordered small amounts of pretty fabric and got small amounts of each size, which was the smartest decision to make when starting a small business. So, we do only have 2 products in our teaser range, with more wintery stuff coming on the way, which will hold us over until September when I introduce my big spring/summer collection. baby steps. BABY STEPS! We have Australian sizes 8 to 16 (we have a sizing chart on the website) and free shipping within Aus and a flat rate of $15 for overseas. Anyway, by now you are probably wanting to see what my two products are, so: first up:
The Imogen Skirt
This high waisted skirt is made from 100% African Wax Cotton and has a blue trimming and scalloped hem. The unique heart pocket and feature buttons make it stand out, subtly, from the crowd.Inspired by and named after the blogger Imogen from Tia Cherie, it is totally multi-seasonal, with very limited stock! It costs $65 AU. Check out more pics!
Our second product is…
I Heart Parasols Dress
Yes, this figure hugging dress is certainly a show stopper! Even when my friend was wearing it for these photos, she was getting all kinds of attention and envious looks! It’s also made from 100% African Wax cotton, has a heart cut-out on the back and brown contrasts on the front. Very multi-seasonal as you can wear it over tights and a turtleneck. It’s pretty tight, and I am recommending people check their measurements on our sizing charts and consider sizing up, just cos it is so va-va-voom! We have pretty limited stock of it, and it’s selling for $79 AU . Check out some more pics!
So, there are my two teaser items to open our amazing website! Apologizes for blasting our brand all over these images, but I don’t want the thiefers (student once said that to me, I like it) to take our pics. And, I think, as far as a ‘teaser’ is concerned, these two items clearly illustrate what I hope PHO sizzle is about.
PHO sizzle, for me, represents fun! It hopefully will be the type of clothes you want to wear season through season, regardless of the weather outside. I am trying so hard to get the ‘fit’ right, but I don’t have the resources yet to do a huge amount of market research into sizing or get fit models… I am really focusing on having clothes that make my customers feel comfortable, proud and sassy all at once! We will be sourcing fabric inspiration from West Africa, Sapa, and only Zeus knows where else, as well as designing our own t-shirts with Vietnamese inspired images. And you know what? Nothing is perfect yet! I can see spelling mistakes, things of the webpage I am unhappy with and everything else in between, but we are still opening today cos I will never be happy!
And also, none of this would be possible without all the people who support us! So, thank you, and I hope you love our teaser range, and our brand as much as we do.