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My Life

Japan: A Quick Summary

May 28, 2015
Japan, Life, My Life, Nails, Nerds and Geeks, Parties and Fun, Travel

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Hello friends! Ben and I are officially back from our 3-and-a-bit weeks in Japan and we’re already back at work! No time for rest ever, apparently! We had an AMAZING time on our trip, we barely stopped until close to the end and only because we were totally exhausted.

Our first stop was Tokyo where we spent 10 days. The first two we stayed with our friends Anekie and Iain who have been there for four years and are both teachers. They took us around a few of the days we were there including a huge day in Harajuku, to an Oktoberfest (yes, in May) in Odaiba, to a traditional street festival with lots of drunk people carrying shrines, karaoke, maid cafes and much more. On our own we explored places like Shinjuku (where we stayed), Nakano Broadway, Roppongi, Akihabara and Shibuya. We visited the Ghibli Museum, took a day trip out to see the plum blossoms in the shadow of Mt Fuji, went to the Robot Restaurant and both Disney parks.

The 2nd stop was Osaka where we stayed for one week. We discovered Ame-mura for fashion, music and pinball arcades. We explored Dotonbori and it’s many touristy sights. We wandered through rose-filled parks and visited excellent looking shrines (not all of which were open, damn 5pm closing times). We took a day trip to Nara to pat deer, look at massive shrines and then sneak into abandoned theme parks. We made friends with the owners of an awesome toy shop who happened to be famous Universal Monsters collectors, who took us out and about and made us feel incredibly welcome. I even got my nails done and we spent a day at Universal Studios.

The 3rd spot was Hiroshima where we had four days, which turned out to not be nearly enough. We met a heavily tattooed man named Potty who’s famous for being the #1 fan of the Hiroshima Carp baseball team and his sweet wife Misa. They took us out to dinner and were fabulous hosts, though I got stupidly drunk at the BBQ we all went to (possibly the drunkest I’ve been in many years, but gosh it was fun). We went to the Hiroshima Peace Museum which probably would have been a lot more moving were it not for the 200 or so school kids crowding the place and being rowdy. We went to Miyajima Island to pat more deer (much nicer than the ones in Nara) and admire the floating shrine. We spent a day traveling to and on Okunoshima Island (while I was stupendously hungover) which is overrun by wild but friendly bunnies who were more than happy to climb all over you for the perfect photo. No amount of hangover can withstand the power of bunnies!

Our last stop was Kyoto because we knew we’d need a place to wind down after so doing so much. We still managed to visit a number of shrines and temples, walk through the bamboo forest and got halfway up the Fushimi Inari Shrine walk. We even stumbled upon the delightful Kyoto Arashiyama Orgel Music Box Museum which we highly recommend! We did manage to find a decent amount of time to wind down, relax and get acquainted with the fact our trip was ending. We’d done so much that we were actually pretty ready for it, plus we missed our dogs :)

I won’t be so bold to suggest I will get around to posting more detailed accounts of the trip (we all know how badly I did with my US trip in 2013) but I’ll definitely post a bit more about some of my favourite days, such as the time spent in Harajuku and our Nara day trip.

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Supanova Gold Coast 2015

April 28, 2015
disappointment tuesday, Fashion and makeup, My Life, Nerds and Geeks, Ruby Kawaii, What I Wore

Last weekend was Supanova on the Gold Coast! These days we don’t get much time to do markets for Ruby Kawaii but we still keep up with pop culture conventions. I’m a little bit sad to say it was our last Goldnova though. It was just not worth our time to be honest. This was the first con we’ve done where we didn’t get stressed out as we still had a lot of bows leftover from Brisnova last year (it was a little bit slow too) and we even had somewhere to stay on the Gold Coast so we didn’t have to drive the 90 mins to and fro each day. But despite all that we just didn’t make enough sales to justify doing it again next year. Other stallholders said they were disappointed too, so it wasn’t just us having a bad weekend. I guess that between a dozen other stalls also selling bows (grrr) and the fact it’s so expensive to go to Supanova now (after paying to get in, buying food and getting a celeb autograph or photo, who has money for trinkets?) I think people have to be more careful with where they spend their cash. Ahh well, we had a good run. We’ll keep doing the Brisbane ones (I will hopefully also start doing nails at them) and leave the Gold Coast ones to go as a regular patron.

Here are some photos from the weekend. I just want to say I did a pretty big thing on the Sunday by wearing a crop top to match my sister. My body image is a bit shite and I am forever envious of my sisters (mostly) effortless, slim figure but I decided I needed to stop being so negative about my body and start practicing some body love! I actually feel like I made a significant difference to my self esteem that day, I’m starting to be less critical of my perceived flaws and

  
 
  
 
On the Saturday I wore the A Whole New World scoop skater dress from Black Milk Clothing.
On the Sunday Erin and I wore the matching Little Lovers crop and skirt set, also from Black Milk.
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Guess who’s engaged?!

March 23, 2015
Feminism, My Life, Parties and Fun, Wedding

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Well I guess it’s time to spill the beans… Ben and I are engaged! It actually happened last Monday but we didn’t tell anyone except family and close friends as it was very much out of the blue and not exactly a traditional marriage proposal. But Ben was too dang excited about it and posted about it on facebook while at work last night and well, now the world knows!

So I’m not a traditional kinda girl at all, in fact I’ve never been that into marriage and have only come around to the idea of it since meeting Ben (not because he talked me into it, but it was the first time I felt like I actually wanted to marry someone). I was actually kind of steering towards a commitment ceremony instead of a wedding since I wasn’t going to be taking his name and mostly just wanted a cool party with my friends and family and to wear an awesome dress. But last Monday evening we somehow got on the topic of engagements and I told Ben that I didn’t believe in them and thought it was preposterous that women felt like they had to wait until their partner proposed to them when it’s something they really, dearly wanted. In some cases having to wait years and years! Nope, that’s not for me. Ben was a bit surprised, apparently I hadn’t really mentioned this to him before, just that I would say no if he ever did one of those big, public proposals. So he asked what I wanted to do about marriage then and I admitted I thought it made much better sense that we as a couple who both want to marry each other should discuss it together and just mutually decide on a wedding date and skip the engagement nonsense altogether! We kept discussing it and at the end of the conversation we agreed that it made perfect sense for us to get married on Halloween since it falls on a Saturday this year anyway (and admittedly I’d been entertaining the thought of a Halloween wedding since talking to a friend who’s having her wedding in October this year).

So that’s it! It’s not particularly romantic but it’s exactly how I wanted it. I love Ben to death and want to marry him and only him, but I am also a proud feminist and I wanted it to be done in a way that made me happy and not just the way it’s traditionally done which I find is often oppressive and/or redundant these days. The wedding will be Halloween/Haunted Mansion themed so it won’t be super kitsch Halloween, but a bit more classy and gothic horror (without going full goth because… nah, that’s not for me). There’s so much to plan but we’re also keen to make this a very chilled out affair and just a great big fun day for everyone who attends!

In case you haven’t been to any of the Disney parks, here’s a walk-through of the attraction which gives you a pretty good idea of the look we’ll be going for :D

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Super Quick Melbourne Trip

March 17, 2015
Feminism, Kawaii Klaws, My Life, Nails, Travel, Wonderful Weekend

Last weekend Ben and popped down to Melbourne very briefly, in fact we only had two days there! The main reason for our visit was because some friends of Ben’s were getting married, but I was also fortunate enough to coordinate a nail art gig for a feminist fundraiser event for the same weekend! It was my first ever interstate nail art event too so it was all very exciting.

We flew in early afternoon of the Saturday where we pretty much had to get ready for the wedding right away (well I did, Ben only took 10 minutes to get ready, the chump). It was held at Collingwood Children’s Farm which is a fully operational farm right in Melbourne City. Amazing! It was such a lovely venue for a wedding and I got to pat/stare at a bunch of animals :D


How good does Ben look in a suit? It’s the one he had made in Thailand last year and this was his first time wearing it! My dress is from Dangerfield and stockings by Black Milk Clothing.

The next day we took it easy die to some hangovers from partying hard at the reception, stuffed our faces with vegan fare at the Cornish Arms, went home for a nap and then headed to the Tote for my nail art event. A friend on Facebook approached me to do nails at her event because local nail artists wanted to charge a booking fee which she was unable to do as it was a fundraiser event, so I was delighted to offer my services. It was called Y LISTEN and was held on International Women’s Day and was raising money for YWCA Victoria. There were lots of bands and musicians playing, all female-dominated and it was a really cool night. I was shocked by just how stylish the women of Melbourne can be, Brisbane has a long way to go.

 

We flew out the next morning feeling somewhat worse for wear, but it was fun to have such a whirlwind trip to Melbourne and get back to our regular schedule again!

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VLOG: The long awaited return

January 30, 2015
My Life, vlog

Well I told y’all I’d get back into blogging and so I did! It’s nothing particularly special but I wanted to smash one out quickly while I was excited about it and to get back into the swing of things! So here you go:

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Happy New Year! It’s 2015!

January 7, 2015
Body and Soul, Life, My Life, Nails, Parties and Fun, Random Thoughts

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Can you believe it’s 2015 already? Not to sound like an old fart, but holy moly, where is time going? I remember new years eve 1999 so vividly, I’d finished high school and had just turned 18 and spent it with a couple of my best mates and our families at Southbank. Ahhh such innocent times when I had no interest in drinking and wore handmade “Go Millennium Big” shirts.

This new years was a pretty cruisy one. Normally we make specific plans but we didn’t this year and decided kind of last minute to go to one of our favourite bars for the night. Beforehand we were invited to a friends picnic on the river to watch the sunset which was absolutely magical, until the mosquitoes came out in force!

2014 was a pretty interesting year for me. I was still coming down from the high leftover from our US trip, something that took months to subside. I was feeling incredibly unsatisfiedwith my work life, I knew I couldn’t keep working for “the man” and office works was bringing me down more than ever. After much thought and after a particularly bad refill at a cheap nail salon, I decided to bite the bullet and get a Certificate in Nail Technology. I get pretty nervous over big life decisions and so I was scared as hell about this one, but the course made me very excited about the prospect of a career change and by the end of it I knew this was what I needed to do! I set up a nail salon at home and have gotten to a point where I’m getting pretty darn good at it, especially the nail art! We also got a new dog, the sweetheart known as Midwich who has enriched our lives greatly. Shiro has changed a lot since we got her, for the better. He’s more affectionate than ever and luckily they both get along really well. We also went to Thailand for a week! I never planned to go there as I have a bunch of other countries on my to-visit list, so it was fun to have an excuse to go and see a very different part of the world! I celebrated Halloween for all of October with my 31 Days of Halloween challenge on instagram which was a LOT of fun! And I become a better feminist, learning about intersectional feminism and all that goes with it.

Not everything was hunky dory though. A week into my nail course I fell down a step on the way to work and fractured my ankle. It took months to get better and even now still hurts on occasion. Fortunately I didn’t need to get surgery though! The bit that is the most annoying though is how it stopped me from being able to exercise, I was already a bit slack on that front (but I still went to gym a few times a week), and once the routine has broken, it’s so damn hard to get back into it! So I’m pretty much at my biggest and am not too happy about it. As I’ve posted on here before, I struggle with my own body-image so it was something I worried about a lot in 2014 and was a little bit powerless (and perhaps more than a tad unmotivated) to do much about it.

My plans for 2015 so far are as follows:

  • Do nails full time! I am very likely to be doing this in the next couple of months thanks to an opportunity with a fantastic company who’s expanding to Brisbane soon. I’d like to open my own salon but that’ll probably be more for 2016.
  • Lose weight, get fit. It’s a cliche but I was too busy in 2014 to focus on this so it’s time to change things for 2015! I miss my fit, healthy body which, in retrospect, was actually bangin’. If only I’d realised this back then!
  • Sort myself out blog-wise. I know I will never get back into posting like I used to, and I’ll admit I’ve considered packing it in a couple of times lately. But I don’t want to quit and I feel like I should be able to post more often if I just committed to it. I also want to start vlogging again. I love both of these things and it’s a shame I’ve slacked off so badly in the last couple of years.
  • Travel! We’re actually going to Japan in May but I want to get myself sorted so that we can afford to travel more often, both overseas and domestically. We’ll hopefully visit a few other cities within Australia this year, including ones we’ve not been to like Perth!
  • Be a better friend. I am such a slack friend! I need to fix this! I have no excuses except general laziness, and it’s gotta stop before I have no friends left at all :( Going out of my way to plan stuff with mates, invite people over or just meet up with them for coffee or a beer is on the agenda for 2015.

I am excited about this year, I reckon it’s going to be a BIG one full of adventures and positive life changes :D

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Supanova Brisbane 2014

December 12, 2014
My Life, Nerds and Geeks, Ruby Kawaii, Wonderful Weekend

Supanova was on again last weekend and as usual we had a stall for Ruby Kawaii! Brisnova is a good one because it’s not only very convenient, it also goes for three days which works well for is as the Friday is a bit quiet and if you forget anything you don’t have to stress too much. Win win!

There was a pretty stressful lead up to the weekend though as mum and I left things til last minute, as per usual. But we got it all done and had a good time as per usual. It actually didn’t feel as busy as previous years but sales-wise we did fine and they apparently had record crowds so I think it might have been because of the new venue which was much bigger and easier to get around (instead of being in various halls across the RNA showgrounds).

Here are a few photos I quickly snapped over the three days, including some of our stall and the people I saw over the weekend!

  

Day One: Manning the stall, with Emma of Emetic Art and with my longtime friend Sarah as Burlesque Poison Ivy!

Our stall, with new set up. I think we’re the cutest stall in Artist Alley by far! Shame we forgot to iron the curtains though!

 

Day Two: Cheryl helped us out on the Saturday (such a gem) and mum made me pose with this rather handsome Captain America cosplayers that had her all a tither ;)

 

Day Three: Erin and I at the stall and with the super lovely and gorgeous Amanda Hartley.

Erin and I got a photo with Aussie actor John Jarratt who’s most famously known for his terrifying character Mick Taylor in Wolf Creek. He was super flirty and hilarious, we were glad we decided to go get a pic with him!

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A Week in Melbourne

November 16, 2014
Halloween, My Life, Nerds and Geeks, Travel, Wonderful Weekend

Last weekend Ben and I went to PAX AUS, the gaming convention. Unlike last year though we decided to make a little holiday out of it instead of just flying in and straight back out again (seriously, that was such a bad idea last year). We left Brisbane bright and early on what was obviously going to be a very hot day (in fact it got to 38 degrees which it stayed for three more days, yuck) to arrive in Melbourne on the tail end of an enormous thunderstorm. On ya Melbourne!

We spent the week staying with our awesome friends Josie and Tom in Brunswick East which meant we were nice and central (and didn’t blow the budget on accommodation, yay). Apart from PAX, we didn’t have any solid plans and just decided to take it pretty easy, catching up with friends and having good food and drinks, which we did in abundance.

As it was the lead up to Halloween and I was almost at the end of my #31DaysofHalloweenChallenge (I’ll be posting about it soon), things were distinctly Halloween themed for the first five days. In fat we had a Halloween party to prepare ourselves for! Josie is actually completing a PHD in Monstrology (not even kidding) with her focus being on Australian Monsters. She’s even started up a publishing company and wrote an awesome article on the Australian way to do Halloween. As a result the theme for our costumes was “monstralian” which was challenging but very fun (even though I didn’t manage to get the pieces for my costume until the afternoon of Halloween itself).

Instead of boring y’all with a wall of text, here’s a photo essay of our trip :)

First beers of the trip with Josie!

We surprised Caz with a visit to her work, All Star Comics. That is how a comic book shop ought to look. No wonder they’re award winning!

I got to catch up with Mia who was about to embark on a massive trip of the USA. Sahhh jelly.

 

Found some hilarious boob-things while costume hunting. Ben contemplating his vegan double down.

 

We caught up with a bug bunch of mates at the Catfish where Dave Callan and I were creepy in doorways.

Hanging out at I Scream Nails who I’ve been a fan of for a while now and get a lot of my nail art inspiration from.

Halloween day was a good one, not only did I get cool nails but  I got another Halloween tattoo! This was done by Shell Valentine from Dangerzone Tattoo. How cute is it??? Many thanks to Danella who drove me around town to get all my Halloween stuff done!

Ben and I ended dressing up as the Babadook and Lola from the Loved Ones for Halloween, two excellent Aussie horror films.

 

Imitating the poster from the Loved Ones and hanging out with Tom (were-dingo) and Josie (the siren from her book).

 

Day one of PAX with Josie and Tom where I saw a couple of seminars and tried out the console and indie games. Later on we had dinner and coffee dates with Caz and Liam in the city.

 

Day two of PAX was spent playing lots of tabletop games with Ben. We even tried out a miniatures war game which was surprisingly good fun! We also learned a few indie boardgames before heading home, exhausted from our week.

It was a really lovely week full of catch up’s with friends, delicious beers at cool venues, Halloween adventures and good ol’ fashioned geekery. Considering how jam packed our holidays tend to be, it was lovely to have a laid back week in another city for once. Until next time, Melbourne!

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Fright Night at Movieworld

October 25, 2014
Halloween, My Life, Nerds and Geeks, Parties and Fun, Things I Like, Wonderful Weekend

Last Saturday night I went to Fright Night at Movieworld with my mum, sister and Ben. All through October Movieworld has special events on Friday and Saturday night for Halloween. They’re very reminiscent of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal which Ben and I happened to go to in LA last year.

I wasn’t sure how good it was going to be as I was sure I’d be disappointed compared to Universal’s version but I am happy to say it was AWESOME! We all had an absolute blast and while it didn’t quite compare to Halloween Horror Nights in some ways, in other ways it was actually better. Yay! I am so damn excited about how Australia is finally embracing Halloween properly. Until the last few years it’s always just been some silly American thing, but now lots of shops sell Halloween products and supplies and places like Movieworld are going all out.

 

When we arrived the place was packed, the night had sold out days beforehand and the car park was overflowing (I’ve honestly never seen that at any Gold Coast theme parks before). As we walked in (chuckling at the poor suckers who thought they could just go in with their annual passes) we were greeted with an unexpected and enormous burst of flames from above the gates and then total chaos as we entered the main square. There were dancers in cages and an array of scary characters scaring people or just looking menacing. It was super dark with dim red lighting punctuated the random bursts of flames and lots of eerie smoke. While nothing will compare to being chased by chainsaw wielding maniacs like at Universal, there were lots of scarers pouncing unexpectedly from the shadows to give us all a fright. There were also ghostly women in black on stilts and even some creepy looking creatures on stilts too that gracefully and silently stepped past you.

Knowing there were going to be crazy lines, we rushed to the first maze called “Cannibal Clowns” but realised right away there was going to be a good hour line up per maze and ride. Ben wasn’t having any of that and disappeared briefly, reappearing with fast track passes. Our night was becoming expensive but being able to go to the front of the line and skip the queue sure is a good feeling! The clown maze wasn’t that scary (so glad we didn’t line up for an hour for it) so we went to the next one called the Ripper which was based on Jack the Ripper, which wasn’t very scary either but we all agreed the set design was at least quite impressive.

 

On our way to the next mazes we stopped for some snacks and drinks. This is where Fright Nights kicked arse, it was all themed and was totally amazing (and quite cheap too). There were pus donuts where you squeeze the pus (aka custard) in yourself with a oversize syringe, specimen jar desserts (choc pudding = poo, lemon meringue = wee), blood bags (full of red soft drink) and jelly shot syringes. We went to the bar to sample the blood/pus bags (vodka cranberry / malibu pineapple) and the alcoholic jelly shot syringes. Talk about a sugar overload!

We then visited the last two mazes which we were hoping were going to be better than the first two. Fortunately we were not disappointed as they were TERRIFYING. The first one was based off the new game The Evil Within and the other one was based on Wolf Creek 2. The set designs were excellent and some of the characters were mortifying (particularly the one playing Mick Taylor, holy shit did we all scream), so we left both feeling quite hoarse indeed. I was delighted by the fact a couple of the scarers even managed to get Ben, the horror aficionado, to scream too! We were especially grateful for our fast passes by the end as the lines for those two mazes were so long, I wouldn’t be surprised if they took two hours to get through. No thanks!

Our plan was to then jump on some rides as they were meant to shut down at 9pm but we quickly discovered the lines had closed at about 8.20pm which means we missed out. While we understood there were noise restrictions on the outdoors rides, we were pretty disappointed about it, especially since there’d been no signage about when the lines closed. Luckily we’ve all been on the rides plenty of times before, it would have really sucked for those who don’t get to go to the theme park much. So we did some more wandering, ate some more snacks, people-watched and bought some merch before we made our way home for the night.

It was an excellent night which we plan to do again next year, but will go the whole hog and get fast track passes for both the rides and mazes and may even try the VIP tour too! I only wish I’d had time to go again this year :)

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Homesick for the USA

September 19, 2014
My Life, Travel, USA Holiday

I have been having a hard week but I’m really ashamed to admit why. I have been feeling very, very sad in an almost homesick kind of way, about the USA. It’s honestly the only thing I’ve been thinking about, and knowing I have no plans to go back any time soon is actually kind of heartbreaking. I can think of a few reasons why this is, I have a few friends in the US right now and their instagram feeds have been absolutely fantastic to watch. We had our American friend Tony and Renae stay with us this week for work/fun reasons who are both very happy to talk about America with me, and are going back to the US for a holiday over Halloween. I am so jealous! They’ll be celebrating Halloween in Chicago, where I’ve always wanted to visit. Then two girls I know from instagram who happened to be in the US the same time as we were last year are both going back again! Then on top of everything I follow a bunch of Americans on instagram who keep doing awesome things (like The Simpsons Take the Bowl, going to Disneyland, buying Halloween stuff etc). So yeah… I’ve been feeling kinda blue about it!

It really does feel like a “first world problem” (a phrase I usually loathe but can sometimes be apt) because it’s been less than a year since we went… which is probably another reason why it’s been on my mind so much now I think about it. I mean it’s not like we don’t have more travel planned! We’ve already been overseas this year when we went to Thailand in April, and we’ve booked a three-week trip to Japan in May next year! I’m so excited about that and am planning to make this trip 1000x better than the one in 2009 because my travel companion was crap and we only had a week there which wasn’t nearly enough. I’m actually hoping it’s coming up to that-time-of-month so I’m just extra emotional, I don’t wanna feel like this any longer!

So I’m writing this to vent and try to get it out of my system, and also mention that I am going to finish my posts about our US trip which I only did two of! Out of six! I’m not sure if you guys like reading them but I sure loved writing them and reading back over them (very therapeutic this morning) so I’ll try to get them done in the next week or so. Please bare with me in this difficult time (lol) and enjoy my America-trip musings!

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Current Mood: (anxious) anxious