Running for Showgirl: sashes, speeches and woodchopping

At my parents’ place with Dad’s Clydesdale horse, Cruiser

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Since my last post, I’ve been busy running for Miss Showgirl in my country hometown – a few weeks of wearing a sash and floral dresses, answering questions about current affairs issues, chopping wood, getting valuable small talk practice. I’ll throw in a spoiler alert and say I’m proud to have been named runner up (hence the red sash), but here’s the story on how all of those things are related, a brief explanation of what ‘Miss Showgirl’ is (nothing to do with sequins, pin-up or burlesque!) and how it ties in to all of my talk about comfort zones on Instagram 😂

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June So Far: Eight New Firsts

vivid sydney 2016

When was your last “first time?”

I’ve been at my new job for nearly two months now, and life has definitely slowed right down. I’ve actually managed to chill, and spend time on the low-key things I enjoy – blogging, reading, playing video games.

So now more than ever, I’m making an effort to mix things up – because holy wow I’ve learned to relax and isn’t it amazing?  If I don’t get out and about I might become one with my couch and cat (joking – Scout doesn’t like me that much).

If there’s one thing that will throw a spanner in the works it’s doing, eating, or trying something brand new – no matter how small. I’ve said it before – if you feel like your life has gotten a bit same old, same old, doing something for the first time can be the difference between routine and rut that will stop your brain turning to mush.

Here are a few things I’ve done for the first time in the last two weeks:

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Things To Do On The Gold Coast: iFly Indoor Skydiving

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Activewear, activewear, indoor skydiving in my activewear 🎵 … sorry

Getting High: iFly Indoor Skydiving

A little over three years ago, I went tandem skydiving. A sign on the wall said “WARNING: skydiving is a high risk activity which may result in loss of job, spouse, sobriety, virginity, vast amounts of money… and oh yeah, you can die.”

Brandon, my brother and I all went together, and we all swore we’d go back to get ourselves on our way to an A license. And then we never went back. Largely because a) it’s expensive (worth it, but not really an every week or month activity for most of us) and b) you can die. The sign is pretty spot on.

But luckily, there are geniuses out there who decided to put epic wind machines indoors and give you the chance to play on air in total safety at a fraction of the cost.

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7 Affordable Things To Do In Port Vila, Vanuatu

Things to do in Port Vila
Blue Lagoon, Port Vila

7 Affordable, “Off The Beaten Track” Things To Do In Port Vila

7 of my favourite things to do in Port Vila, brought to you by a few too many very short trips.

I have a confession to make.

I have an embarrassingly high number of Captains Circle points for someone my age. Or in other words, I have somehow, through the influences of my grandparents and B’s family, become a “cruiseling.”

Reputation as an oldies way to travel aside, cruising gets a bad rap for not allowing you to truly “experience” the places you go, but I’ve actually found that it gives me a better appreciation for the time I spend in each port – even if I do that by running around like a headless chook. With plenty of time to drink cocktails and lay by the pool when you’re on the ship itself, you become an expert in pushing past the “island resort” face of the places you visit and seeing as much of the culture/architecture/food as possible in your 12 (or less) hours on land. One place where I have managed to nail this thanks to repeat visits (and to B’s dad, who has cruised there umpteen times and lived there for a while) is Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu.

The beaches, the underwater post office and the always-packed Mele Cascades are all well worth a visit, but there is so much more to Vila than people realise. So if you’ve got a day in Vila lined up on your cruise itinerary and want to get away from the other 2,000 passengers, or are staying for a week but looking for a break from the resort, here are 7 of my favourite affordable, mostly off the beaten track things to do in Port Vila.

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Introducing the 2016 Bucket List


Hi guys!

I’m not entirely back on the blogging bandwagon (will be making my proper return very soon, promise), but I am temporarily coming out of the woodwork to share my ‘bucket list’ of things I want to achieve in 2016.

These lists have become a bit of a tradition for me. I’m one of those people who LOVES New Year’s Eve and the thought of starting fresh for a year, but have realised over time that when I decide I want to make a change in my life I generally just do it – no need to wait for January 1 or even a Monday – so even though I still make them, new year’s resolutions lost a bit of their shine, and this list took over, giving me adventures and achievements for the year to come (as long as I get off my ass and do them).

If you haven’t been following me long, you can click here to find out more about why I write a yearly bucket list. If you have, you will probably recognise that most of this year’s list has been recycled from 2015. I’d like to be able to say that the reason so much of my 2015 bucket list is making a reappearance is because I loved it all and want to do it again, but it’s actually because I achieved very little from the list.

As annoying as it is to know I set out to complete a list and didn’t even get halfway there, I’m actually pretty OK with it, as I still did a lot in 2015.

I didn’t climb Mount Warning, but I did climb to the top of Mount Vesuvius above Naples. I didn’t jump around any of the trampoline parks that popped up last year, but I did jump off a boat into the Aegean Sea off Santorini. I didn’t go to see a movie at the drive in, but I did see AC/DC in concert. I didn’t get anything from Etsy, but I did get a (slightly feral but very cute) cat. All of those things are much cooler. Plus, I did still tick a few things off the list, like ensuring I made it to GOMA at least once per season, and finding an excuse to dress up as Sailor Venus.

Anyhow, click here to see my slightly-recycled-but-also-sort-of-new 2016 bucket list, and stay tuned for updates on my progress. And please let me know if you’re working your way through something similar, I’d love to hear about it!

x J

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Santorini in Too-Few Hours


I’mma be upfront with you all.

You know all of those beautiful cliff-top images of white washed walls and blue domes that we all expect from Santorini? Yep, none of that here. We didn’t make it to the village of Oia – pretty much a traveller’s sin, if the guide books are to be believed.

BUT GUESS WHAT! You can still find stunning views, cute stray cats, overpriced glasses of wine and opportunities to take awesome photos of yourself looking out over a cliff (i.e. have an awesome time) all over the island. Read on for photographic evidence of this, as well as a few of our volcano-hiking, sunset-viewing, donkey-dodging adventures in our 8 short hours on Santorini.

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Photo Diary: Rome


And here it is, the first instalment from my recent getaway!

My time in Rome was really special for two reasons:

  1. I hadn’t mentioned it on the blog, but B had been working overseas, so we met over there after 5 months apart. Going on adventures with your favourite person is always amazing, but the reunion added to it, and there was something romantic (if cheesy) about being able to say “I’ll see you in Rome” and then meeting up on a cobblestone street.
  2. Until B arrived, it was my first time travelling alone overseas, and I loved exploring and wandering at my own pace. Even if the first day I was stupid enough to head straight out from the airport in jeans – no one told me Rome would be so hot!

We weren’t in the eternal city for very long (and we didn’t lug around the camera, so excuse the image quality – the rest of the trip was done properly!) but I did learn to always dodge ladies with budgies, that badly speaking Italian will still get you extra gelato just for trying, and that I have an impeccable knack for travelling to attractions when they’re under maintenance. I’d also like to note that these photos make it look like B didn’t change his shirt but I promise he did!

Below are some images of the incredible Piazza Venezia, failed selfies, Colosseum, a big ass seagull, Roman Forum, food and other loveliness, and below those are some quick details on what we saw, where we stayed, the food we stumbled on and more.

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Life Lately – My Month MIA

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So apparently today is exactly a month since my last post – whoops!

It’s not that I’ve had nothing to say – more that I’ve had a million things I’ve wanted to say, but every time I try to type or write something out, I either mental blank, or get sidetracked and write 1000 words no one wants to read.

Maybe I’ll gradually make it back to the long list of drafts I have on the go, but in the meantime, the only way I was going to get anything out was a good old “Life Lately” brain dump. So here’s what’s been happening since my last post!

We've temporarily said goodbye to the eternal city and are now somewhere in the Mediterranean aboard the @celebritycruises Reflection - ship internet is very exxy so you may not hear from me very often, but I've just found out i have an extra day in Athens, so please hit me with suggestions!        Sorry I dropped off the radar for a while lovelies! I haven't been taking many photos on my phone because my wonderful boyfriend (don't tell him I called him that ) bought me this gorgeous Sony RX100 III when we were in Athens. Currently at a cafe in Rhodes (hence the frilly tablecloth!) but I'll share some shots from my last few days in Athens and Kusadasi soon!

1.I’ve been overseas! If you follow me on Instagram you might have noticed I spent two too-short weeks trotting my pale Australian self around Italy, Greece and Turkey. This could be a few months worth of posts on its own (and a couple are definitely in the works), but for now I’d just like to say UGHHH TAKE ME BACK.

2. I got a new camera! B bought it for me while we were in Athens (OK, B mostly bought it for himself, but he already had a DSLR so it may as well be mine). It’s a Sony RX100 M3, I’m in love with it, and you can (hopefully) expect my blog quality to improve over the next few months.

Guess which is me?

3. I got super nostalgic, as yesterday was 4 years since my high school graduation.

4. I’ve joined the party a few years later and become addicted to Entourage.

5. I’ve started selling my old clothes online for the first time – listing my Black Milk felt like selling my 2012 self.

6. I lost the plot momentarily. As I’ve vaguely mentioned before, I work in marketing for the hospitality industry, and once August hits you’re looking at a 6 month blur of posters and social media campaign for Melbourne Cup, Christmas parties, actual Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Australia Day, that only finishes in February when Valentines Day is done and dusted. Combine all this with being behind because you missed the first two weeks of it while on holiday – not good! This post by Carly at Smaggle just about sums up how the last 10 days have gone for me – luckily I snapped out of it yesterday with a gym session and long sleep.

7. I’ve started house hunting again – B and I are on the move! In a couple of months we’ll be clearing out of our first ever apartment together, and into something that isn’t such a ridiculous drain on our finances.

Today's adventure: hiking to the top of Mount Vesuvius, high above Naples. Also, pizza. Lots of pizza.    Selling a few things in my wardrobe, and getting a bit nostalgic - I feel like I'm selling my 2012 self!

8. I’m feeling much healthier and happier in the last month or so, so 2015 Resolution #1 is well on track. I still miss boot camp and group fitness, but yay for not being even a little bit self-conscious in the gym anymore! I’ve also gone back to reading more often, so Item #1 on my 2015 bucket list (very different things, promise) is picking up.

I’ll have my travel posts up very soon, but in the meantime I’d love to know what else I’ve missed! Leave me a link to your favourite post from the last month and I’ll check it out!

Jessi sig


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June Recap: “Reality”

There’s been a lot of talk lately on the difference between real life and blog life, and whether we portray ourselves as another person entirely.

Everyone is at least slightly different on their blog compared to the “real world,” even if that’s only because your blog lets you backspace until you’ve found the perfect witty words, or fine tune your photos. Most of us are a little less polished in reality – no one flat lays unless they’re taking a photo. But all that doesn’t mean you’re being fake.

So to break down the wall a little, I’ve decided to do my June recap by revisiting all of the photos on my personal Instagram, rather than the one attached to this blog – prepare for fewer photos but a lot more dodgy filters, and the weird realization that I’m possibly more interesting in real life than on the blog (there are reasons for this – will do a post on it soon).


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