Setting goals for 2018

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Happy New Year! 2018 is here.

I don’t like to confine myself to ‘yearly’ goals, however as I look back on the past year and think of some of the things I’ve experienced and done, I can’t help but realise how incredible 2017 was.

Full disclosure and honesty here – in the latter half of the year, I was severely depressed and honestly thought it was the worst year of my life. But it was also a year of growth and change and knowing myself better than ever before. I went overseas three times – Bali (Indonesia), Tokyo (Japan) and Atlanta/Orlando (US). I attended an international music therapy conference. I worked as a registered music therapist, my dream for the last few years. My band, The Shifties, recorded their debut album. I moved to rural Alice Springs! I got engaged to the love of my life, and he moved to Australia to be with me. (!!!!) Woah that’s a lot.

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I’ve realised…sometimes, it’s important to think in ‘yearly’ terms because it gives you a tangible time period to examine and reflect on. And it gives you a time frame to set realistic goals, plus new year’s always feels like I’ve hit the ‘refresh’ button and I feel a sense of empowerment that I’ve got a fresh slate to start over again.

So this year…I guess I’m making some yearly goals. Read on if you’re interested in what I’m hoping to achieve this year.

  1. Smile more. Do I need to explain this one? I have always been that ‘serious face’ kid, teachers used to ask me what was wrong but I’d just be daydreaming. Smiling more has been something I’ve had to learn, and I hope to continue that (in blog photos and IRL!)
  2. Go vegan. I am one of the healthiest people I know as a vegetarian, and now I’m ready to take the next step. I’m doing Veganuary this month but plan to continue past that too! For a long time I’ve been environmentally and ethically conscious of the impact that meat/dairy/eggs consumption has, but I’m finally ready to live my best life this year!
  3. Green-ify my life. I’d already started this one last year when I decided to try and buy natural skincare and makeup without toxins and bad ingredients. I’m also trying to cut down on the waste I produce., and buy clothes more sustainably. Expect to see a lot more posts about this on the Insta!
  4. Spend less time on social media. This is a biggie. I am setting some boundaries around my social media usage – Insta, Facebook, Youtube etc and really setting aside time to connect offline and to nature more 🙂
  5. Keep blogging, authentically. This last one I’ve been debating for a while. But I know taking photos and writing stuff makes me happy so I am going to continue this platform of sharing my life, for my own enjoyment and not to try and compare myself or live up to any expectations!

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There you have it. 5 goals that I’m sharing with you all, in the attempt to keep myself accountable. Hopefully by the end of the year I can look back and see progress in all of these areas of my life.

What are your goals for this year, or for the future? I’d love you to share, either in the comments below or on Insta!

Stacy x

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1, 2, click! (how to shoot your own blog photos)

Hi everyone! Welcome back to my blog…can’t believe it’s December already!

So. This post has basically been inspired by all the bad-ass bitches who take their own blog photos. I have always wanted to try self-portraiture because, you know, it isn’t practical to always have Ken on hand to take my photos. And also, he’s not a photographer so he just clicks the button and hopes for the best. I dreamed of having the freedom to take pics at my own pace, pose without the pressure of the person getting sick of taking photos, and of course just having 100% creative control.

I’m going to explain below what you need to take your own photos and then some tips & tricks I’ve picked up while doing self-portraits. This shoot is the very first shoot I did in public with the self-timer and I’m excited about how they turned out!

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WHAT YOU NEED TO TAKE YOUR OWN PICS:

A wireless camera remote. 

You need something that you can use to click the shutter and focus your photos, without running back and forth between the camera and your position. Ideally small and easily hidable. Ken bought this Amazon Basics Wireless Remote Control for Canon Cameras ($8.49) while he was in the US but if you’re in Australia you can get the Canon Remote Wireless Control RC-6 ($35) at JB-Hifi or Digital Camera Warehouse or probs just your local camera shop. I can’t believe how expensive it is to get it here…but it’s 100% worth it!!

A tripod.

A good tripod will hold your camera up nice and steady, and also allow you to adjust the angle, height and position of your camera to get the exact shot you want. I’ll link another Amazon.com one for your people that can access Amazon (lucky!) – this Albott 64 inch portable tripod with carry bag ($29.99) is fantastic and such an affordable option. Otherwise you’ve got the ATF Clover Tripod ($39.00) and the Manfrotto Compact Light Tripod ($109) – I’ve heard great things about the Manfrotto. There are so many options online, it’s probably worth having a Google search to see what suits your price range and camera 🙂

COS stores striped apron dress // Mode Collective eyelet heels // Lyla&Bo black bag

Top tips for taking your own blog photos:

i. Choose a location where you feel comfortable. Make sure it’s a relatively safe place, with good lighting and a nice backdrop that suits the photography you want to do. It’s not always possible to avoid passers-by, but I try to find places with low foot traffic so I don’t get awkward.

ii. Use the manual settings on your camera if possible. Adjust the aperture, shutter speed, ISO etc to get the look you want. Make sure the photos aren’t over exposed or to dark. This minimises the amount that you need to edit. I try to get the lighting right straight away for that reason. If you don’t know much about your camera, read a few articles online. There are heaps of tutorials! Or else just have a play and you’ll figure it out soon enough.

iii. Have an answer to the question “What are you doing?” This is my worst nightmare – someone actually approaching me. My one is “I’m just doing a project for photography class.” It’s simpler than explaining that you have a blog lol.

iv. Don’t be afraid to experiment, and make mistakes (as I did in the shot below where I’m out of focus!). Do different poses, sit down, stand up, smile, frown, try close ups and far off shots, see where your creativity takes you. And most of all, have fun!

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Hope this helped you guys, I’d love to know if you take your own photos and what you think of the process. Feel free to ask more questions down in the comment box or on insta too!

Stacy x

Slowing down my ‘fast fashion’ wardrobe

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Lately, there’s been a lot of soul-searching and thinking going on in my lil brain. One of the big topics I’m thinkin’ bout is sustainability. This covers stuff like reducing my waste output, making sure I try my best to use cruelty-free skincare, considering the animal products I consume, and of course the whole sustainable fashion thing. Being a shopaholic and total slave 2 fashun, I own A LOT of clothes. I also own A LOT of clothes I don’t really wear. And I buy A LOT of cheap, nasty, low quality things that fall apart. I bought this cute little Kmart tee recently (top pic), after debating in my head whether or not I should buy in to ‘fast fashion’ and the high turnover of clothes going into the bin, and also whether I should support the factories that produce ‘fast fashion’.

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I’ve thought of a few little tricks & tips which are gonna help me to a) keep my wardrobe somewhat minimal, and b) make sure I’m not contributing to fast fashion, which is making tonnes and tonnes of landfill per year.

STEP 1: Clear out wardrobe every few months.

So I recently did a huuuge clean up where I was brutal and honest and culled 5 bags of stuff that didn’t fit well, was too old, I didn’t like or hadn’t worn for over a year. I felt so damn good afterwards that I’m going to try and do this twice a year.

STEP 2: Stop buying bucketloads of crap.

So I’m going to work with what I have, and allow myself a few new purchases every season (let’s say a season is 3 months). If I can buy 2-3 new things that are ‘trendy’ and in season and mix them in with my existing wardrobe, and also just make or find some cool accessories to update my look, I think I’d be fine.

STEP 3: When buying clothes, look for high-quality, easy to care for, ethically-produced and sustainable options – aka ‘slow fashion’.

I want things that are hand-washable, and I’m looking for natural fibres like linen and cotton, and factories where workers are paid properly. I want environmentally friendly, easily recyclable or reworked things.

STEP 3A: Look, I get it. Clothes are hecking expensive.

It’s not practical to always buy slow fashion. Occasionally I cave and buy something from H&M, or Kmart. But in that case try to only buy things you TRULY love and will get good wear out of! Try to remember that if you won’t wear it 30 times it’s not worth it. Anyway, maybe if you’re looking for that perfect party outfit you can rent it!

STEP 4: Try to establish what kind of style you like, and stick to it.

That way, you can mix and match all your pieces easily and get more wear out of stuff. I’ve figured out that personally I love tailored garments with lots of neutral and cool colours, basics in blacks and whites, and pretty printed skirts and dresses so that’s what I’ve been keeping my eye out for!

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Kmart eyelet tee // MINKPINK shorts (old) // Vintage scarf

If anyone else is interested in streamlining their wardrobe, trying slow fashion and saving the environment that lil bit, I hope this gives you guys some ideas or inspo! I’m thinking about starting a 10 in 10 challenge for myself where I pick 10 pieces to wear for 10 days so stay tuned for that!

Would love to hear about anyone else’s experiences with the whole fast fashion thing and your thoughts. Let me know below, or on insta!

Stacy x

Black on black on black.

A humble opinion: black is back (and it never left, in my books).

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I wear a lot of black, and as a Melburnian that’s pretty standard. We are known for our dark wardrobes. However I also am an avid pattern lover, a new-found pink advocate, and a Gorman-obsessed hoarder of things like a pineapple printed skirt. But I’ll always come back to black, and I own quite a bit of it. Lately I’ve been thinking that there is more than one reason why I like to wear black.

I’ve compiled a little list for you, right here.

Reasons that I wear black clothing:

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1. Black matches EVERYTHING. Literally 99% of my wardrobe can be worn with black jeans, or a black jacket. It makes things so much easier when you’re getting dressed. And also, if you don’t wanna thing about matching at all? Just wear all black.

2. Black is slimming and makes you look sexy. Like duh, we all know that. A black skinny looks so much better on me than a yellow one. It just hides any bumps and lumps.

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3. Black camouflages stains. Coffee stain? What coffee stain? Legit, I am a super messy person, and I often spill food on myself. That’s why I sadly rarely wear white.

4. It works for every season, which means it’s anti-fast fashion! This one is legitimately my fave. I mean, firstly, the black clothes you buy will not date. You can outfit repeat them like there’s no tomorrow! But also – in a world where were buying more and more clothing and creating so much trash, black clothing that is timeless can be worn again and again, meaning you don’t have to buy a new jacket next season! Save your wallet and the Earth and never be out of style.

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5. Black is hella cool & I f***ing like it. Aside from all the above reasons, I don’t feel like I need a reason besides this one hehe.

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So there you go. If anyone tries to tell you not to wear black, or that you’re mo, or that you should wear more colour, tell them to kindly pls stahp coz black is the new black, babes.

Stacy x

Shop my favourite black pieces below:

This post contains affiliate links.

Skincare Review: The Ordinary

As I enter my ‘mid-twenties’, I’m becoming more and more aware that I am actually (shock, horror!) ageing in more than one way. For example, my metabolism is definitely not the same as it used to be in high school when I did athletics and was on the school Tennis team, I mean honestly I stayed stick thin no matter how much toast and ice-cream I ate. But my main concern comes down to my skin. While I was INCREDIBLY lucky to not have acne or bad skin in my teenage years (pls don’t hate me) I now have quite dry skin that is prone to little lumps and blockages in the pores, and it often looks blotchy without make up. So I’ve started looking into ways to boost my skincare routine, and learn more about how to care for my skin, which is, if you didn’t know, the body’s largest organ.

I’ve lucked out and discovered an amazing brand called ‘The Ordinary’ – I first saw their products splashed on Instagram. I tried to find their Instagram but turns out they don’t have one. Since using these products, I am a total convert. I guess when the products speak for themselves why bother with social media, right? I’ve discovered a fairly easy routine morning and night that works for me, and I can also sleep easy knowing these products are mostly under $20, and totally cruelty-free.

The Ordinary

When I wake in the morning I usually shower, unless I’m running late. I use a gentle non-drying cleanser every 2-3 days, and have been following the shower with the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum on my clean skin. I find that the Hyaluronic Acid (HA) serum is quite thick and sticky so I usually don’t end up wearing any heavy make up, just a light layer over the top. If I don’t wait for it to dry it sort of ‘peels’ when I apply my foundation, but otherwise it’s an amazing product. HA has been found to attract up to 1000 times its own weight in water, hence being a great ingredient for dry skin. I’ve definitely found it to help hydrate my skin especially throughout winter.

I top the serum with the Moisturising Factors + HA cream, as a surface moisturiser. It contains 11 amino acids, phospholipids, alpha/beta/gamma fatty acids, triglycerides, sterols and sterol esters, glycerin, saccharides, sodium PCA and hyaluronic acid to name a few ingredients – I googled some of these and though I cant claim to understand it all it seems this recipe is legit! It’s so smooth, totally non-oily, with a tiny pea size being enough for my entire face. It’s one of the few moisturisers I’ve used that doesn’t feel heavy or irritating, and doesn’t have a smell. For under $10, you can’ go wrong.

My night routine has been a little more complicated, as I alternate between different products. Two or three times a week, I use Rosehip Oil (not pictured) after cleansing. I find it’s quite potent and I can’t use it too much, but it is extremely hydrating and feels so great when it sinks into my skin. I then alternate between the Hyaluronic Acid + B5 serum and the “Buffet” serum, and occasionally I apply both (Buffet serum with HA serum over the top!). The Buffet is an anti-ageing product which has peptides in it as well as Hyaluronic Acid. It tackles hydration but also meant to target fine lines, wrinkles and textural irregularities. While I don’t really have wrinkles yet, I find this product really helps to smooth out my skin and makes it feel quite ‘glowy’. It sits a bit sticky on the skin but the morning after I’ve used this, I wake up feeling hydrated, at least by my dry skin’s standards. My fiancé Ken has also been using the Buffet on my recommendation, once or twice a day. This is the most expensive product, coming in at around $25. But its’s still so cheap compared to a lot of other comparable products I’ve seen.

Overall I’m really pleased with the results of using these products since August, and will definitely be re-purchasing these as well as trying some new products. I have a chemical exfoliant, the Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%, on its way to me right now and I have also looked into buying the High-Spreadability Fluid Primer as I’ve heard great things about it giving a smooth, dewy finish underneath make up!

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Links to all products I’ve mentioned are below. Has anyone else had success with this brand of skincare? Let me know what your experiences are!

Stacy x

Skirts = the new Pants

Hello Spring!! I’m mighty glad the Melbourne weather has been warming up. And my legs definitely agree. I’ve always been a jeans gal, but over the last year or so I have somehow been gathering a larger number of skirts than ever before in my wardrobe, and perhaps with that a growing confidence to show my legs. (I have to say this new found skirt-wearing confidence + collection is gonna be hella useful when I move to Alice Springs in a few weeks because it’s gonna be way too hot there for jeans!)

Anything buttoned, embellished, frilled & asymmetrical etc. has been my latest obsession. Who needs boring straight hems and pencil skirts when you can have wrap over sides and raw edges and eyelets and high-low hems and heaps of fun bits & bobs!? Here is specimen A in my new fav skirt ft. cheesy ass posing:

Shiny gold buttons. FRILLS. Where more could you want 😜

Atmost&Here Sienna Button Frill SkirtThrifted striped turtleneck top – Karen Walker sunglasses – Country Road Natasha Earring

If you wanna get in on the bare-legged, button-happy, frivololity-ness, here is the link to my new fave skirt and a couple of other picks of mine from The Iconic:

Hope everyone is off to a great start this week!! Get those legs out, and soak up that sunshine!

Stacy x

Zero Waste Beauty Australia

As a ‘blogger’, (clearly not a very famous one, but I do some social media influence), I’ve been really taking a step back to look at my consumption habits and whether they align with my values. I am often preaching to my family and fiancé about recycling, and I try to bring my own shopping bags, often striving to reduce waste. Recently, I’ve discovered the ‘zero waste’ movement which aims to live without rubbish and excess trash. This is something I e seriously looked into, as well the concept of living cruelty free.

Zero Waste Beauty Australia is a small beauty business that’s ticking allll the boxes. Thalia is a young 20-something year old who started making all of her own beauty products after being unwell and seeking a way to help her body recover, and hence ZWBA was born! She hand makes and packs all of her orders, which are in recyclable glass jars packed in cardboard, with biodegradable tape! Super impressive imo.

I tried out their chocolate face scrub – check out the pics below.

Not only did the face scrub smell AMAZING, it felt really nice on my skin too. It’s was quite dry so I had some bits of the scrub fall off my face, but it was gentle and soothing on the skin, and not rough or grainy like a lot of other scrubs I’ve tried. I absolutely love Zero Beauty Waste Australia and its concept, so I’m definitely looking into trying some other products, definitely the hand made toothpaste is on my hit list.

I honestly believe in reducing the amount of waste we as humans produce, as the figures are very scary. I want to look after the planet, and it may seem like a small effort but it all adds up.

If you want to check out ZWBA you can visit them at their website or on Instagram @zerowastebeautyaustralia 💘🙌🏼

Stacy x