JORD Wood Watches: A Stylish Tree-t!

Okay well straight off the bat, sorry about the pun in the title #sorrynotsorry. I couldn’t help myself, I’m just acorn-y person 😀

So, I have had the opportunity to work with JORD wood watches and I am thrilled! I have recently gotten back into wearing a watch, and have a shiny silver and a pretty pink, but I’ve never owned a wooden watch before. I had a huge selection to choose from, but decided on the ‘Frankie’ style in dark sandalwood and emerald. It gave me dark, sultry, masculine vibes and I’ve been digging jewel tones coming into Autumn (for those of us in the Southern hemisphere!)

jordpost (2 of 9)jordpost (9 of 9)

This watch, when it arrived was packaged beautifully. It looks high class and is obviously made to last. I was pleased to know that JORD watches uses natural wood, without the use of any nasty chemicals to treat the wood. The clasps are also stainless steel. I do have sensitive skin to jewellery sometimes, but I’ve worn this watch a few days in a row now and haven’t had any issues.

With Mother’s Day coming up, I was thinking about making a gift guide and these beautiful wooden watches would definitely make the cut as a ‘good daughter’ gift. I’m super excited that I’ve actually got the opportunity to host a giveaway for a $100 gift voucher to go towards your very own stylish JORD wood watch (or even one for a special mum or grandma)! Every person who enters will also get a little sneaky discount off their purchase just for entering, so hey, nothing to lose 🙂

Without further ado, CLOCK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

(You know I meant click but that was actually a typo that I decided to keep in there…)

This giveaway ends on the 6th of May, so get entering!

Check out JORD’s Women’s Wood Watches | Men’s Wood Watches to pick a fave!

Happy browsing, and if you woodn’t mind, also check out my unboxing video I made for my JORD watch – YouTube link right here 🙂

Okay okay no more puns…

Bye for now!

PS. Here are some bonus snaps ft. my kitty princess Cookie!

This post was sponsored by JORD watches, but all opinions are my own.
Wooden Wrist Watch
//www.jordwatches.com/widget-article/sneak-peek

Advertisements

William Ricketts Sanctuary

Hey everyone! This (belated) post is mostly about a super cool place that I discovered with Rachel from @small_soy at the start of this year, but also it’s about how cool the internet and my Instagram friends are!!

Rachel and I had been DM-ing each other for a while and decided to meet up while she was in Melbourne. I knew she was outdoorsy and liked nature, and was trying to think of a cool place we could go and hang out. By chance, a link popped up on my Facebook feed about a place called William Ricketts Sanctuary, and so I decided that this is where we were going on our first friend date.

I was nervous, as I’m shy and usually pretty anti-social. BUT it turns out, Rach is an amazing human who has lots in common with me and we got along just fine. Also, if you live in Melbourne (or you’re visiting), get your ass down to this place because it’s a very unique place that I feel is not very well known.

 

William Ricketts was a guy who spent a lot of time with Aboriginal communities in Central Australia, and he believed that Australians should adopt Aboriginal philosophy and respect mother nature and the Earth. He created this sanctuary, which contains over 90 sculptures depicting Aboriginal people, by carving at the rocks and trees throughout the property. Anyway, the pictures speak for themselves I think.

 

Rachel and I had a great time exploring and taking photos together in this tranquil, green place. We’ve since caught up again in Adelaide when I passed through and I hope we get to see each other again soon 🙂

 

[outfit deets: nice martin celine jumpsuit // decjuba t-shirt (old) // converse hi-tops]

What’s the coolest place you’ve been lately? Let me know!

Stacy x

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Travel Guide

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, or know me IRL, you’ll know that our outback adventure has come to an end. It was a bit of a messy ending, but the silver lining of this whole situation is that we got to have a mini roadtrip holiday!!

IMG_2395

Sad to say ‘bye’ to Alice, but not to the flies… and hello to:

AYERS ROCK RESORT / ULURU-KATA TJUTA

Accomodation

There is really only one place to stay when you visit the big rock, and that’s the Ayers Rock Resort. This resort is around 15km away from the big red rock itself, and is not one resort, but a variety of accomodations you can choose from. We chose the most budget option at the campgrounds, where you can camp, or rent a small cabin. We chose this option because we were traveling with our cat, Cookie, and the campground was the only pet-friendly place. We stayed two nights, but I wish I’d stayed longer!! It takes a while to get your head around the large resort and its various museums, shops and restaurants.We enjoyed our stay at the campground, as we can pretty much sleep anywhere 😛 You can of course get a hotel, even a 5-star one if you want, but be warned – it’s not cheap. There’s no competition so prices are high. Check out what’s available on the resort’s website (here).

Despite the fact that the Ayers Rock resort holds a monopoly over tourists, there are a few things I’m impressed by.

Firstly, the resort reached a milestone of 40% Indigenous employment in 2017. They are aiming for that number to reach 50% this year. They also have an Indigenous Traineeship Program which places trainees in their preferred area of work, and upon completion, offers them full-time work at the resort or assists them to find employment in the tourism & hospitality sectors elsewhere in Australia.

Secondly, Tjintu (‘sun’ in local Pitjantjatjara) is the name for the solar powered field on the resort, which produce’s around 15% of the resort’s energy needs. In the sunniest part of the day, it can produce up to 30% of the resort’s peak energy use. The resort has made a commitment to sustainable tourism practices and this is a great step!

Field Of Light – Bruce Munro

I had been looking forward to seeing this amazing artwork, made of thousands of beautiful frosted glass spheres. There are many ways to see Field of Light – at sunrise, over fancy dinner, sunset, by helicopter, by camel…you name it! Ken had booked us in to the ‘Star Pass’, which is an experience including watching the sunset on a hill, drinking sparkling or juice and eating canapés, then walking down the hill and seeing the Field of Light exhibition itself. I couldn’t eat any of the food but I had a couple of glasses of juice, and took heaps of sunset pics with Uluru in the background.

IMG_6922

As darkness fell, we wandered down a pathway into the Field of Light, and boy, it was STUNNING. We were on a tour, so we were worried about getting through it quick to make the bus, but then we realised that a few people were lagging behind taking pictures so we leisurely strolled through. I’d recommend spending a bit more money on the Star Pass like us, or even one of the other experiences, as friends of mine who’d just done the Field of Light by itself didn’t get to experience the wonder of watching the sun go down and the lights come on, and they were disappointed by their experiences. (BTW, these pictures don’t do it justice. You have to see it IRL, trust me.)

IMG_6999-2

IMG_7028

Last thing about seeing the Field of Light at night…don’t forget to look UP. Ken and I had been excited to move out bush for the beautiful unpolluted night sky – we love stars and the Milky Way and the scene at Field of Light was truly amazing. Lights on the ground, and a smattering of milky stars spread across as far as the eye could see. It was a DREAM! I tried my best to take a picture with my DSLR, but it was impossible to capture the creaminess and depth of what I could see. Sorry, very nerdy. But true. Astro-gasm!

Photo at sector 1894528-2

The National Park

Okay, onto Uluru itself. Uluru is situated in the Uluru-Kata-Tjuta National Park, with the entry fee being $25 for three days (entirely reasonable!). My recommendation is that you hire a car, or drive there with your own car. Why? Well, the park us huge, and there are many things to see. From catching the rock at sunrise, to various walking trails, lookouts and a cultural centre, I found there were so many options. It felt easy for us to get recommendations from the tourist info desk and then have the freedom to spend more time in the places we were interested in. It’s also much cheaper than joining tour groups and sitting on a bus.

We spent a full day in the park. An early 5.30am start meant that we got to ride camels past Uluru with Uluru Camel Tours. I did my research and they don’t breed camels, but take them from the wild, where people are currently trying to send them back to the Middle East anyway. Did you know? Camels were first imported from Afghanistan as horses couldn’t survive in the outback! The camels are treated like a big family, they don’t have bits placed in their mouths, and lots of money is spent on ensuring each camel has a custom, comfy thick saddle. I was reassured as our camel, Darcy, was super enthusiastic, loved meeting us and genuinely was so sweet. I loved giving him a cuddle.

Camel Ride 35

Camel Ride 75

After the sunrise, we drove our car into the park and visited Kata-Tjuta (Many Heads) which is 36+ large rock formations, looming majestically over you. We stopped at the ‘sunset viewing; platform for some pics, before heading on the Valley Of The Winds walk. The lady at the info desk recommended we walk this ’til the 2nd lookout and then turn back, as the section after the 2nd lookout was just more of the same (see map below). We decided not to do the Walpa Gorge (the easier and shorter of the two) as we didn’t have enough time to tackle both.

Kata-Tjuta-Map

The Karu Lookout and the Karingana Lookout on the Valley of the Winds track are both worth getting to. The Karu is relatively easy trek but the second lookout is a tough, steep and difficult trek so wear good shoes!! It’s also slippery on the rock when it rains. We were lucky the weather was mild, as the track is closed if it gets over 36 degrees. Unfortunately Ken accidentally deleted ALL our Kata-Tjuta hike photos (WAH), but it was honestly the most stunning part of the park, for me. People often forget about Kata-Tjuta bc, well, ULURU DUH!, but these formations are so under-rated. Well worth the tough hike up!

IMG_7220-2

Before heading on to Uluru itself, we stopped at the Cultural Centre where there are many informative posters, exhibits and recordings which tell of the history and culture of the area, as well as info about the flora & fauna that live there. We also grabbed a quick lunch – a roasted vegie sandwich thing, fruit salad and a regular green leafy salad.

We then chose one of the shorter walks on the South side of Uluru – there are a few more tracks here, and you can walk all around the base. We were INCREDIBLY lucky that it rained when we were at Uluru, as you can see amazing silver waterfalls off the side when it rains. It wasn’t heavy rain so we saw small trickles of it. It seems so strange that there is so much water in the area – it’s surprisingly a more lush area than Alice Springs.

Photo at sector 3963136-2Photo at sector 3218304-2

We decided to head back to the campgrounds in the afternoon as we were both exhausted, and then headed back out to see the sunset from one of the viewing points in the park. The park closes at 8pm, and there is no where to camp in there, but it gives you ample time to watch the sun go down and then drive back to Yulara and the resort.

Photo at sector 954816-2

Tips and other activities

If you visit the official Ayers Rock Resort website, you can browse through many many activities. There are free bush food tours, and other free activities you can book into. You can see Uluru by segway, do an astronomy night time viewing, King’s Canyon day tours, even sky-diving experiences! Check it all out here, I’m sure there’ll be something that captures your attention. You can also buy a ticket for a hop on-hop off bus which means you have a bit more autonomy, but there are also plenty of tours for if you want to be guided through it all.

Tips:

#1: Don’t come in the middle of Summer! IT’S REALLY HOT. We caught it right at the tail-end of Summer and were lucky it was stormy and had cooled down a lot right as we arrived. But sometime in the cooler months will mean less flies on ya back and less heatstroke opportunities too

#2: Please, please please. Don’t climb Uluru. It’s extremely disrespectful to the Indigenous owners of the land. The climb is officially going to be closed next year, but I would urge all tourists to respect the wishes of the owners of the land. It’s also an incredibly dangerous climb, and it was closed the day we went anyway due to forecast storms.

#3: Be careful what you photograph. There are areas around Uluru that are culturally sensitive, and Aboriginal people have certain beliefs around what happens to people’s spirits when they pass away. When I worked in Alice Springs people would get distressed seeing images of deceased peoples. Read all signs and ask for consent/permission before taking someone’s picture.

#4: Spend as long as you can at Ayers Rock Resort – two nights was not enough for us and we definitely need to get back. There is soooo much to do and learn and take in. Not to mention that it’s incredibly confusing there as to where is good to eat, and restaurant opening hours, and how to get around.

I hope this guide was useful, and helps you in planning to get to Uluru and surrounds!! If you have any more questions ask me down in the comments below, or hit me up on Insta. Or hit the resort up on Insta @exploreuluru 😀

Cheers,

Stacy x

 

January Reflections

Wh-wh-what? It’s the end of January already? I have had a super busy first month of the year. Between moving my pets and my belongings interstate, the 4 day road trip, finding a more permanent housing situation, starting a brand spankin’ new job and just adjusting to and exploring life in Alice Springs, I’ve barely had a moment to take a breather. I set myself some goals for this year, and I thought I’d check in to see how it’s all been going.

IMG_5523.jpg

Sometimes when I get busy, it becomes an excuse not to stick to goals and challenges I set myself. But surprisingly, I have mostly stuck with my guns and have made good progress in three areas of my goals.

LIVING VEGAN

Deciding to go vegan was a totally awesome decision that I’ve really enjoyed so far. I’ve been really motivated to cook and eat healthy, vibrant, nutrient-rich, high energy foods and fuel my body. As Ken said the other night “Every night is veggie night!” and it’s absolutely true. We’ve enjoyed cooking a variety of cuisines and trying new things like veggie dimsims, lentil burgers and various curries and flavoured rice dishes. The next step I need to make is to continue to be aware of ingredients in things – so many snack bars and muesli that I am used to buying contain dairy or honey. And I’m also making sure my fashion purchases and ethical and aren’t made from animal fibres too. But all in all, Veganuary has been a success.

IMG_3544

CUTTING DOWN ON WASTE

I’ve been really conscious about buying things online, as often I used to just do a big ‘haul’ and buy multiple items that I may or may not need. This month I have purchased two pairs of linen pants (secondhand from a BSS page) that I can wear to work, a breezy pink jumpsuit off eBay, a denim dress and some nude underwear. It’s probably still more than I would like to have bought, but I bought each piece with intention, considering how it will fit in my wardrobe and also its longevity. I might make a separate post about my wardrobe goals and shopping habits later on down the track, as reducing waste and buying more sustainably is something that really matters to me.

20180111-_SBT5831.jpg

SOCIAL MEDIA

My two main focuses were to a) spend less time on social media and b) keep on blogging and making content.

a) Well, at the beginning of the year I put some guidelines in place for what I should post on Instagram, what I want to take photos of, and rules about it such as – if a shoot is not working out just ditch it, instead of trying to get through it when I’m not in the mood. This has helped me to be more efficient and not stress about posting, plus I’ve managed to post almost every day this month which is awesome. HOWEVER, I still find myself scrolling through too many newsfeeds and wasting my hours of following things that don’t have anything to do with me – so that’s a work in progress…

b) I haven’t blogged since that first post (oopsie) but I have been working on a Youtube vid and blog post about my relocation and roadtrip from Melbourne to Alice Springs. I’ve been taking my time on it because I know very little about video and want to make it watchable and not just 20 minutes of weird footage of us driving, so bear with me!

aa1 (2 of 11).jpg

Basically in a nutshell, January was ace!! I’m still trying to figure out what niche I fit into, and it may take me a while but I’m keen to keep on keeping on 🙂 Let me know what kind of posts you enjoy, whether it be fashion, mental health, fitness, vegan stuff or whatever else is in my life like music and living in the bush! Would love some feedback.

Hope you all had a good first month of the year, and lived with intention. How did you go sticking with your 2018 goals?

Stacy x

Setting goals for 2018

IMG_3555

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.

IMG_3685

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!

IMG_3614

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

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!

stripe1 (4 of 4)stripe3 (5 of 5)

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!

stripe3 (2 of 5)

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

IMG_1365

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’.

IMG_1376

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!

IMG_1364

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