Wall to Wall Festival 2017

Art and culture aren’t things that one typically associates with country towns.  But that couldn’t be further from reality when one considers my hometown of Benalla, Victoria.  Benalla not only has an awesome art gallery and a stellar performing arts centre, but it is the home to the annual Wall to Wall street art festival.

 

Now in it’s third year, Wall to Wall is responsible for some incredible pieces of artwork that are dotted around the town.  Last week, artists began staking out their spots and sketching.  On Saturday I took my camera for a walk to take a look at the works in progress.

 

This year’s offerings are varied and colourful, with a number of amazing 3D pieces included in the mix.  If you have the means to travel to Benalla one weekend, I suggest you do so and take a long walk and gaze upon the amazing works of art that are dotted around the walls and pavements of this town.

 

As part of the festival, The Wall to Wall committee organized a giant community paint-by-numbers.  Everyone was invited to come along and join in to create an amazing painting.  Sadly, I’d forgotten that this was taking place and I was a tad too dressed up to muck in with the painters.  I wish that I’d worn jeans instead so that I could have joined in the fun.

 

 

Do you have a favourite piece?

 

 

 

Going braless

The end of each work day always looked pretty much the same.  I’d come home, feed the kitties, then race to my room to kick of my shoes and peel off my bra.  Removing my bra was the most relief-infused moment of my day.  It occurred to me that every day I put on an item that causes me so much discomfort that I can’t wait to tear it off the moment I walk through the door.  And I wondered, is it possible for me to forgo that feeling of discomfort by not wearing a bra at all?

 

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My relationship with bras is kind of complicated. I have small boobs, and I always have.  I started wearing training bras when I was eleven, not because I actually needed one, but because I thought wearing a bra was “grown up”.  When I was fourteen I purchased my first padded bra and it was a revelation for me.  I’ve felt self conscious of their small size since I started puberty, and padded bras were a way for me to enhance the size and shape of my breasts.

 

It was this relationship with bras and boobs that really gave me the push to try going braless.  When I started to consider the idea of ditching my bra, there were a number of worries that surfaced.  But the vast majority of them had to do with me feeling concerned about how my breasts would look without a bra.  In the past few years I have started feeling more confident about my boobs, but I’ve come to see that what I’m comfortable with is the way my boobs look in a bra.  A padded bra, with a tonne of underwire to push them up and make them look impossibly round and perky.  I wanted to give myself a chance to get used to my boobs without  a mound of padding on them, and get comfortable seeing them as they are.

 

So I went cold turkey, ditching my bra at lunchtime on a work day.  I went back to work sweating with anxiety, positive that everyone would be able to tell that I wasn’t wearing a bra, worried that I’d be called into my boss’s office for a dressing down about my decision to dress down.  And y’know what, I survived.

 

The first thing I noticed is that my boobs don’t behave very differently when they aren’t harnessed in a bra.  As I mentioned earlier, I have tiny tits.  Also, I’m fairly fit with strong pectoral muscles.  My boobs don’t really bounce even when they aren’t restrained, so their movement alone isn’t enough to give away the fact that I’m free-boobing.

 

One thing that did act as a bit of a red flag were my nipples.  I have very reactive nipples that go hard as marbles the second there is a cool breeze.  Add to this my cold-blooded body temperature and you’ve got a recipe for some stares and self consciousness.  I tried a variety of methods to combat my blueberry-smuggling boobs.  I bought a set of those silicone nipple covers, thinking that they would be great for wearing under white tops.  But unfortunately, they are light in colour but still not as light as my skin.  So somehow, they make my nipples look huge and more noticeable.  I bought a few bralettes which were a godsend under tops where I needed a little coverage.  Camisoles and singlet tops were another valuable go-to for my nip slips.

 

A month has passed since that first day of going braless, and I have only worn a bra once in that time. I have no intention of going back to bras in the foreseeable future.  Not only is it a million times cooler and more comfortable without one, but I’m starting to appreciate my breasts as they are.  I’ve noticed that bras make all boobs look the same.  But when breasts get to go au naturel, they have so much more personality.  My little boobs are cute and perky and I’m learning to love them.

 

Do you wear a bra?  Would you consider going braless?  Do you have any questions about ditching the bra you’d like me to answer?

Oz Kink Fest haul

This past weekend I was lucky enough to attend the Oz Kink Fest Expo at the Fitzroy town hall.  It was like a cornucopia of amazing sex toys, bondage gear, lingerie and sex positivity.  Needless to say, I had an absolute blast and bought a stack of new goodies.  I thought I would make a video to share my sexy treasure trove with you.

 

 

As I mention at the close of the video, I was completely blown away by how inclusive and open the expo was.  There were people in various states of dress, some in full fetish gear and some in street clothes.  There were a myriad of gender expressions, body shapes, relationship types and kinks represented and I didn’t hear a single nasty or creepy remark.  Every person I spoke to was incredibly open and respectful and it was truly fantastic.  I felt so proud and happy to be in such a sex positive space.

 

I bought a lot of toys at the expo.  Online shopping good and all, but there’s nothing like shopping in person for sex toys.  It’s wonderful to be able to touch the toys. to decide if you like the feel and weight of them.  You’re able to press buttons and you’ll know right away if a toy is horribly buzzy or emits a noise that sets your teeth on edge. Best of all, you can talk to people who know exactly what they’re talking about and get lots of great advice when choosing your toys.  The prices at OzKink Fest were insane, and I got a lot of things super cheap.  There were toys in my haul that have been on my wish list for years, but this weekend I saw prices that I just couldn’t pass up.  I’m very pleased with everything I got and I can’t wait to review them for you.

 

I hope you enjoy checking out what I bought.  If you have any questions, please feel free to leave it in the comments or shoot me an email.

 

Celebrating my 30th birthday.

This year, one of my resolutions was to celebrate my 30th birthday in style, and I feel as though I can tick that off my list.  I had agonized for ages over how to ring in the beginning of my 30th year, and in the end I decided that the best way would be with some awesome food, my favourite people and plenty of down time.

 

I ended up taking the week of my birthday off work.  I wanted to have a chance to relax and recharge as well as loads of time to plan fun celebrations with my family and friends.  Having a whole week where I didn’t have to get up and go to the office has been amazing.

 

My 30th birthday fell on the 9th of June, 2016.  I started the day by cuddling in bed with the cats before getting up and slipping into a vintage Pendleton wool skirt and this adorable cat jumper that I bought from Nerd Burger’s  closet clear-out sale.  I accessorised with my favourite black cat earrings, my grandmother’s eternity ring and this rad Deadpool necklace that my boyfriend David gave me.

 

My parents had very kindly purchased tickets for the three of us to see the Marilyn Monroe exhibit at Bendigo Art Gallery.  So we all traveled to Bendigo by car to check it out.

 

I’ve admired Marilyn Monroe for as long as I can remember.  My first memory of her is a black-and-white portrait that hung in our local pizza cafe.  The portrait is the ever-famous shot of Marilyn standing over the subway grate in The Seven Year Itch, with her skirts billowing in the updraft.  So it seemed fitting that we were greeted by this seven-metre sculpture of that exact moment as we pulled into the Bendigo CBD.

 

The exhibit itself was incredible.  It featured a wealth of personal items of Marilyn’s, including the beauty products from her dresser, her personal camera, her collection of gossip magazines and some jewellery.  There was also a huge collection of costumes and items from her personal wardrobe.  For me, these items were the highlight of the exhibit.  I am so inspired by Marilyn’s personal style, and to see her clothing in person was just amazing.  I was quite shocked by how small her clothes were.  She always appears so voluptuous, and yet some of these items were absolutely teensy.  The beading and detail on the costume pieces was breathtaking.  I was also struck by how ordinary many of her day-to-day outfits were.  Although there were many furs and gowns, the display cases featured twice as many plain day dresses, knit sweaters and simple shirts.  It really brought home the fact that although she is known as one of the most glamorous women in the world, Marilyn was also just a woman, who wore regular clothes in her downtime.  I spent a great deal of time looking at those simple day-to-day items, trying to imagine how she might have worn them.

 

I was utterly spoiled with presents.  I got a stack of new books, including a colouring-in storybook version of The Wizard of Oz. I’ve gotten really into colouring lately and I’m so enjoying working my way through this book.

 

My parents also got me a gorgeous set of Derwent pencils, something that I’ve wanted since I was a child.  These are just wonderful for colouring, and I expect I’ll get a lot of use out of them

 

My brother showered me with awesome gifts, but my favourite was this tee shirt, which I expect I will wear often.

 

The day after my birthday I travelled down to Melbourne to catch up with my friends.  I had booked myself a room at The Hotel Windsor as a very special treat.  This was my first time staying in a five-star hotel, and it was an incredible experience.  Upon arrival, my bags were whisked away and taken to my room.  The room itself was utterly luxurious, with a king-sized bed, a stunning bathroom and a kitchenette.

 

I was also delighted to discover that the staff had placed a birthday cake in my room as a special surprise.

 

I had organized a dinner at one of my favourite Japanese restaurants.  It was a great night, eating delicious food with my friends and my brother. By the time David and I got back to the hotel, I was ready for a bath and bed.

 

I think I definitely celebrated in style, and I’m extremely excited to see what my 30’s will bring.  My 20’s was a massive decade, and I know that I’m much happier with myself and my life than I was on my 20th birthday.  Fingers crossed that my 30’s will be filled with awesome opportunities and fantastic adventures.

New year’s resolutions 2016

Regular readers of my blog might recall that I didn’t make new year’s resolutions this year.  I started a new job in January and I figured I had enough to worry about without heaping a bunch of new goals onto my plate.  So now that I’m settled into work I thought it would be a great opportunity to make a few resolutions for the year ahead.

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Get my to-read list down to seven pages

My to-be-read list is out of control.  It’s currently eight pages long and threatening to spill over onto another page.  In the past year I haven’t made a lot of time for reading, but I’d like to change that in 2016.  I would really like to carve out a bit of time a few times a week to lose myself in a book and really chip away at this list.  If I could whittle it down to seven pages, that would be great.

Finish off a few niggling spring-cleaning jobs

I have a couple of spring-cleaning jobs that have been hanging over my head seemingly forever.  These include fixing my reading lamp which has been broken for the better part of a year, picking up some prints that I took to the framers six months ago and taking all the bags of clothing that I’ve cleared out of my closets to the donation bin.  This year I’d love to stop procrastinating and just get these things done.

Visit a teppanyaki restaurant

I think this goal was on my resolutions list a few years back and I never ticked it off.  But this year I want to book in and eat a fabulous Japanese meal that’s cooked right in front of me by a talented chef.

Make at least three vlogs this year

I really enjoy vlogging, but it’s been such a long time since I made a new video.  I have plenty of ideas, but I just never get around to actually making the vids.  In 2016, I want to put at least three new videos up on my channel. If you have any ideas or requests, please let me know!

Buy less

My spending habits went a bit feral in 2015.  Working full time meant having more fun money, and as a result I went a bit silly buying lots of things I didn’t need.  Now that I’ve gotten over the novelty of earning a full-time wage, I’d like to spend more of my time enjoying the things I have rather than acquiring more, and being more discerning about what I spend my cash on.

Review some products for my blog

It feels like forever since I last reviewed a product on my blog.  And I’ve found some sensational things that I want to share with you all.  Hopefully by the time the year grows to a close, I’ll have had a chance to tell you about some of my favourite beauty products, some sensational gadgets and (if I’m feeling brave) maybe even some sex toys. And, as always, I’m open to requests.

Try one new recipe a week

The top of my fridge is currently littered with recipes that I’ve torn from magazines and newspapers.  My Pinterest is overflowing with things I want to make.  I will occasionally try something new but mostly I’ve just been sticking to the old favourites.  This year I want to really make a big effort to try some of those mouth-watering recipes, and if I could manage to do one a week, that would be sensational.

Get my eyes tested and possibly get some new glasses

I am woefully aware that my eyesight has deteriorated, and it’s been at least four years since I last got my peepers checked.  This year I vow to make an appointment with the optometrist and get some new glasses and contacts.

Start planning an overseas trip

I have never been overseas, but with many of my friends making trips to far-flung lands this year I’m feeling inspired to change that.  I don’t see myself actually having a chance to go overseas this year, but I’d like to at least begin planning in earnest.  I’m thinking either the US or England for my inaugural trip.  What do you think?

Celebrate my birthday in style

I turn *gasp* 30 in 2016 and I want to make sure that I celebrate it properly.  I’m not really sure what I want to do for my birthday, but I know that I want it to be fun and memorable.

 

I’ll be sure to keep you updated on my progress with these goals as the year goes on.  I don’t really expect to do every one of them, but it sure would be nice if I could tick most of these things off my list.

 

Are you making resolutions this year?  What are some of the things that you’d like to achieve in 2016?

A year behind me and another ahead.

When the year begins to draw to a close, I start to get a little introspective.  It’s natural to look back at what has happened over the past twelve months, and this year when I peer in the review mirror at my life it’s hard to believe that so much could have happened in just twelve short months.

 

dscf0673_zps92xbbhanHere’s a very short run-down of some of the big things that happened to me this past year:

  • I started a new job in January.  It’s been very challenging and different to any job I’ve had before.  But I’ve learned so much and I’m loving my work.  I work with a fantastic group of people and I feel so pleased with the progress I’ve made this year.
  • I came out as bisexual to my family and friends.  While I’ve known for a long time that I was bi, I had never felt the need to bring it up.  However, when I began dating more widely this year I felt like it was time to tell people.  The reactions I’ve received have been a bit of a mixed bag, and some have been hard to swallow.  But I’m so glad that I’ve been open about my sexuality as I feel that it’s given me more scope to explore it and I’m happy that I’m living more authentically.
  • I had my first (and probably only) polyamorous relationship.  While it was fun and I still care about my ex boyfriend and girlfriend, it simply wasn’t built to last.
  • I was present when a co-worker had a stroke at work and it was one of the scariest moments of my life.  Amazingly, she has now recovered completely and is back at work.  The whole experience made me feel extremely grateful for all that I have, and also showed me how strong I can be when needed.  I always expected that I would be a wreck in an emergency, but when the time came I was frighteningly calm and capable.  I’m proud of how I managed that day and so darn relieved to have my colleague safe and sound.
  • I started online dating and met loads of awesome people (and a few not so awesome ones)
  • I met and began dating my lovely girlfriend, Jac.  It’s been so wonderful getting to know her and I’m excited for all that’s yet to come.
  • I began attending classes at my local gym and met loads of great people.
  • I got an article published in Wellbeing Magazine which touched on two of my favourite topics: yoga and depression.
  • I ran my first craft fair stall in April and then did it again in August.
  • I shaved the side of my head into a sidecut, and I’m still so chuffed with this style.

As you can see, it’s been a massive year for me.  It’s also been a year with not a whole lot of blogging.  I’ve been debating lately whether I want to continue with my blog.  When I first started blogging, I was diligent about posting daily.  Then as my schedule became more hectic, I started posting only on weekdays.  And this year it was my goal to post three articles a week.  But that just hasn’t happened.  My life has gotten so big and so full that there isn’t always time to do all the things I want to.  I sometimes feel guilty when I don’t have a chance to blog regularly and I wondered whether it would be better to just shut down my blog.

 

But I really don’t want to do that.  Blogging has brought so much joy into my life.  I adore sitting down to put together a post and I have met some of the most amazing people through my blog.  So instead of trying to work to a blog schedule and posting a certain number of times a week, I’m going to be a bit more relaxed with my writing.  I’m hoping that this year I’ll be able to put up lots of great posts, but I’m not sure how frequent my posting will be.  But rest assured that I’m not going to bail on this space or the amazing people who continue to visit regularly.  I’ll still be about, living and loving, and I’m going to make a big effort to fill this space with tales of my adventures, funny stories, fashion, advice and geekery.

 

I hope your year has been as full and challenging as mine has.  What did you get up to?

What’s going on around here?

So my blog has been pretty quiet for the last few weeks.  Over the past month I’ve ended one relationship and thrown myself into another one and then had that abruptly blow up in my face.  On top of that it’s tax time, and this has meant an extremely busy time at the accounting firm I work for.  So most days I have just enough energy to keep myself fed and clean, and blogging has kind of fallen by the wayside.

I found this awesome “Taking stock” prompt on Meet me at Mike’s which I thought would be an excellent way to get back into blogging and catch you up on what I’ve been doing lately.

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Making

A big effort to keep in touch with my friends.  So far this month I’ve caught up with Natalie, Miss Fairchild and Katherine and I’m hoping to have time to see more mates before the year is out.

Cooking :

Incredible vegetarian lasagna.

Drinking :

Many, many pots of Earl Grey tea.

Reading:

Warlock by Wilbur Smith which is the second part in an awesome trilogy that I started at the beginning of the year.  It’s kind of like Game of Thrones but set in ancient Egypt.  Also thumbing through Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince by Lisa Hilton which is a biography of Elizabeth I that focuses on how she defied gender roles during her reign.

Wanting:

A holiday.  I don’t even particularly want to go anywhere, I just really want some time off work to recharge my batteries.

Looking:

At possibly buying a house in the near future.  No concrete plans as yet, but I’m starting to put my feelers out and think about what kind of house would suit me and working out what’s affordable.

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Playing:

Outside with Miss Jelly.  Now that the weather is getting warmer she’s really excited about having outdoor time and loves to climb trees.

Deciding:

To speak my mind more.  I’ve come to realise that I’ve stayed in unhappy situations in the past that could have been remedied if I’d only spoken up and made my needs known.  I’m working harder to use my words and tell the people around me what I need rather than expecting them to guess.

Wishing:

That Spring would start in earnest.  We’ve had a few lovely days but it’s still pretty chilly.  I’m so looking forward to proper Spring weather.


Enjoying:

Shaving my own head.  I bought a pair of clippers as a special treat and I’ve been shaving the side of my head myself.  It was going to cost about $50 each time I went to the hairdressers and the clippers cost $30.  I have taken to keeping it quite short so it’s more economical to do it myself.  It was pretty nerve-wracking buzzing around my ear the first time but I’m getting better at it and it’s so nice to run my hands over my freshly-shaved head.

Waiting:

For October to kick off so that I can jump into all my Halloween movies.

Liking:

The feeling of slipping between clean sheets.

Wondering:

About love.  After getting dumped twice this past month I’m beginning to think that maybe I should just give up on dating for a bit.  I’m starting to get disillusioned.  Also feeling like a bit of a failure in the romance department.

Loving:

My daily yoga practice.  I just feel so much lighter and calmer when I step off the mat.

Pondering:

What makes relationships work, why people fall in love and stay in love, whether I’ll be lucky enough to find that again.

Considering:

A new piercing.  I really want to get either my tragus or another hole in each earlobe.

Buying:

More books than I can possibly read.

Watching:

Dr Who from the beginning again.


Hoping:

That my friends get through the rest of the year unscathed.  So many of them have had rough travels lately and I just hope that the year goes smoothly for us.

Marvelling:

At how quickly this year is passing.  2015 will be over in a blink at this rate!

Cringing:

At the snippets of The Bachelor that I’ve seen.  Good Lord, that show is freakin’ terrible!

Needing:

Cuddles and kisses on the couch.

Questioning:

Whether it’s a good idea for J K Rowling to continue to add bits to the Harry Potter universe.  While I respect that it’s her world and she can do what she likes with it, and I relish the new bits, I worry that it’s going to turn out like Star Wars all messy and clunky.

Smelling:

The cup of coffee I’m sipping while i write this.

Wearing:

My TMNT hoodie far too often.

Following:

Henry VIII on Twitter.  One of the most hilarious Twitter accounts I’ve come across.

Noticing:

That my ancient mobile phone is becoming ever slower and that the time to get a smart phone is drawing nigh.

Knowing:

That once I get a smart phone I’m going to wonder why it took me so long to take the plunge.

Thinking:

About my Halloween costume.

Admiring:

Miss Fairchild’s incredible new luggage.

Sorting:

My wardrobe.  I’ve been decluttering and feeling fabulous.

Coveting:

Beautiful vintage dresses.  I’ve bought a couple lately and I only want to beef up my collection.

Disliking:

That so many of my clients are getting scammed by douchebags calling them and pretending to be debt collectors for the Australian Tax Office.  I can’t stand scam artists.

Opening:

My heart once again, even though it’s still a bit broken.  Because to me it feels like the right thing to do.

Giggling:

At the noises my cats make while they’re sleeping.

Feeling:

A bit flat but mostly pleased with the way things are unfolding in my life.

Snacking:

On snow pea crisps.  I’ve been trying to eat a little more healthily and I came across these yummy snacks a few days ago.  They are so tasty and have a lot less fat and salt than potato chips.

Helping:

The team at work to reach our quota for this month.  We have been beating our five-year average every month so far this financial year, and I’m keen to keep doing well.

Hearing:

A lot of fun covers of songs I adore.  In particular I’ve been listening to a lot of Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and The Baseballs.

 

What have you been up to lately? Fill me in on what’s been happening in your world in the comments.