Dear New Zealand, I owe you an apology

Dearest New Zealand,

I’m sorry for all the times I called you boring.  You are a magnificent bastard of a country.

Thanks for the chocky fish.

Love Stacey x

I grew up in New Zealand from the age of 10 – 21.  I will call these my least appreciative and some what ungrateful years.   Perhaps I was too busy thinking about school, boys and what my career will be, to appreciate the beauty of my surroundings.

People would say ‘Oh New Zealand, its beautiful, so many sheep and the landscape is spectacular.

I would tell them, ‘it’s boring, there are no cool animals like pandas and the isn’t everyones greenery, well green?’

After 31 years on this planet,  Ive had an epiphany that no, not everyones greenery is green.

I travelled back to NZ last week for a family wedding, and took some time to explore the country I had taken for granted a decade ago.

For the first time, I truely saw the natural beauty.  The country side previously slated as boring, is so lush it was mesmerising.

The rolling hills looked like scenes from a movie, I had half expected King Kong or a hobbit to stroll past.

The beaches and mountains in New Zealand are world class, perhaps it took a few years and some travel abroad to realise that.

The stand out from my brief trip was Cathedral Cove, Coromandel.   A short hike, a climb over a keep out danger sign and navigating some missing stairs had us arrive at a beach so stunning, I thought would only exist in a far off exotic island.

I now look back at my old home of New Zealand with a heart full of appreciation and a tummy full of chocolate fish.

 

 

 

OH GOSH, I’m a statistic!

That awkward moment when you find out you are in fact a statistic.

And, not the good kind, like when you read an article telling you that as the youngest sibling you are statistically smarter and funnier.  (Actual fact*)

I’m talking about the kind of statistic where you are one within the over 70% of women who wear the wrong size bra. *gasp*

How could this happen?  I’m a smart, funny (statistically remember), 30 year old woman.  How did I get this wrong for so long?  Why didn’t I ever get properly fitted?

Actually the reason I never got fitted, is I always pictured a well meaning older lady would be man-handling my boobs with cold hands, under some unflattering light.  This assumed experience wasnt high on my priority list.

I had just accepted that wearing a bra came with a certain level of discomfort, that inspired many internet memes.

However, this changed when I met Carys Martin of Intimo a couple of weeks ago.  My goodness, she is the ‘Bra Whisperer’.   Having been a professional in the bra fitting world for over a decade, Carys took one look at me, and expertly ‘hakuna-my-tatas’ into the most perfectly fitting bra.

No cold hands, no man-handling, and very acceptable lighting … all in the comfort of my living room.   Why didn’t I do this years ago?

The Intimo range has a good array of sizes and styles, from classic pieces to some gorgeous lacey numbers with the AhhhhooooooGaaaaaah effect.   The products are simply beautiful.

What I especially connected with during my styling session, is Intimo’s approach to social responsibility.  The intimate nature of their service enables the Stylists to communicate the vital importance of regular self-checks and early detection of breast cancer.

This is reinforced by a breast check instruction card coming attached to every Intimo bra.

As the Intimo Stylists come in contact with over 3,500 women every week, that’s over 7,000 ‘tatas’ a week, and a one heck of a lot of awareness.

This is just one of the many ways the Intimo brand works with and gives back to the community.  Which is something I look for when I consider working with a brand.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go organise a sacrificial burning of all my old ill-fitting bras.

Editors note: This post is not sponsored, all views expressed are my own.  A piece was gifted for editorial consideration.  

*Smarter funnier statistic may not be an actual statistic, more-so a personal study conducted, from personally being a younger sibling.  Peer review pending.   

‘Get Bucked’ – Osher Günsberg’s Bucks Party with Hit105

Apparently the concept of a bucks night dates back to ye olde England, where Henry VIII would host these bucks nights by getting the party started through a Town Cryer.

For media personality Osher Gunsberg’s bucks night, our Town Cryers were in the form of breakfast duo Stav & Abby on Hit 105.

If you wanted to attend, you just had to win your way there – which I did by sharing on national radio a fairly terrible Tinder date story.

As far as Bucks parties go, this wasn’t my first rodeo having attended two bucks parties previously (one of which as the best (wo)man).

Upon entry at the iconic XXXX brewery we were greeted by a unicycle performer, which really set the mood for what was coming.

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Photo cred: Hit 105

It was reality TV star studded event with contestants from previous series of the Bachelor and Bachelorette in attendance.

Funny girl Heather Maltman made us all wish we hadn’t skipped leg day, rocking up in a lust worthy red jumpsuit.  Drew Woolford disappointingly showed up sans his trademark Owl, but when asked nicely, did allow me to put his hair in a man bun.   Michael Turnbull brought smoulder, all the smouldering, smoulder.

The top floor of the XXXX Brewery Ale house had stands set up to ensure guests were looking their best with Jimmy Rod’s providing ‘Osher do’s’ for the lads, and VR Mobile Beauty Therapy providing manicures for the ladies.

Whether you were participating in ‘Pinning the hair on Osher’ competition, having your photo taken at ‘The Hangover’ themed photo board or getting yourself a Mike Tyson temporary tattoo, there was no shortage of activities.

Guests were treated to a great selection of  canapés from vegan sushi to sausage rolls (and my absolute favourite arancini balls), naturally accompanied by XXXX Gold.

Stav and Abby were dressed to impress as they took to the stage to introduce the man of the night, Osher. A highlight of the night though were the numerous video messages left by Oshers colleagues throughout his media career.

Osher had the honour of ‘Tapping the keg’, before Hamish & Andy truely got the party started, strutting out on stage in blonde wigs, midriff tops and short shorts as ‘Hot Girl DJs’.

Photo cred: Hit 105

They entertained the crowd with their exceptional quick wit, humour, twerking and somewhat dubious ‘actual’ DJing ability.

Hot Girl DJs finished their 40 minute set by flinging their sweaty bras to the crowd.

All of the nostalgia came out to play when Australian Idol runner up and National Treasure Shannon Noll stepped on stage to perform.   He closed the formalities of the night by inviting Osher on stage for a duet of ‘What about me’.

As we said our goodbyes and just prior to all the die hards of us pushing onto the after party in the Valley, we were handed anti hangover goodie packs from our thoughtful Hit 105 hosts – what a life saver… 1000 x thank you’s 👌

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In summary what an Incredible night of all the fun – A huge thank you for having me Hit 105.

What have I gotten myself into – Hit105 SHIP N SLIDE competition

Saturday night one of my best friends Craig calls me to tell me he’s been selected to participate in a competition with Hit 105 Brisbane on Sunday morning.  A competition to win a 4 night cruise with P & O Cruise lines, BUT he can’t get back to town in time.

He called the only person he knew, whom he could pitch such a ridiculous question too…

Craig: Stace will you be my substitute in the Giant Slip ‘n Slide competition. 

Me: Ummmm, 1,000 times yes… You had me at ‘slip’.  In the wise words of Enrique Iglesias ‘I will be your hero baby’  well subsitute.

He had no details, just a location and a time.

I rocked up to the Brisbane State High School the next morning with 3 outfit selections in tow because A) I’m a fashion blogger and B) A Girl Scout* whose always prepared

I had my swim suit, active wear and a teenage ninja turtle costume.  I had such little information about what the competition involved, and I felt that covered a spectrum of competition possibilities.

Hit 105 Brisbane set up a great festival with music, complimentary coffee, fro-yo and fish n chips.  Slip and Slide Competitor or Spectator, everyone was having a great morning.

Competition time loomed and 10 competitors stood around the metal industrial size slide, awaiting our heats to be called.  I was quite relieved it wasn’t a swim suit event, and felt competitive in best active wear.

My heat was called, as I began climbing the metal stairs to the top of the slide for my first race, I realised this competition wasn’t for the faint hearted.

The slide was high, wind was whipping my hair against my face, and the hessian bag was itchy on my tooshy.  But there was a 4 night cruise on line here, and I still had the taste of free cruise victory from joining Hamish & Andy on the Peoples Cruise last month.

My competitor and I laid our hessian bags on slide side by side, and waited for our count down.  It was a tight race, my competitor brought some great sliding form, however I had prepared my whole childhood for this moment, and those skills and knowledge in aerodynamics were serving me well.

I slid across line in first place hessian bag clenched between my butt cheeks, and smile across my face.  I had made it to the semi finals.

For my semi final race I was matched against a solid sized man.  He was definitely a crowd favourite with even my friends having put their money on him to win.  He had the weight / gravity advantage, and was a dad, so a seasoned slider.  He had me beat.

My free cruise dreams were over, for now, until the next competition.

I had a heap of fun, and pushed myself out of my comfort zone as well as walking away  with a $25 Westfield gift voucher for participation  (which I’ll be promptly using for my subsequent osteopath appointments).

Thanks a million Hit 105 for the fun times.

|| Tights: Active Truth {gifted} | Kicks: Converse | Top: TS 14+ | Jacket: Dotti | Sunnies: Seed Heritage ||

*I was never a girl scout.

 

 

Single Mixers on the Hamish & Andy Peoples Cruise

From 27,000 applications, I was over the moon to be selected as the first of 100 ‘Peoples’ joining Hamish and Andy on the Carnival Spirit, for ‘The Peoples Cruise’.

My application to the Producers of the Hamish and Andy show was along the lines of “Single unlucky in love, aspiring humorist (female version of ‘Hamish’) seeks her Andy on the high seas’.

Being selected, I was a bit excited at the prospect of meeting new people, new friends and hey… maybe someone special.

On the second night onboard, I noticed an advert for singles mixer that evening at Alchemy Bar.  I hit up the producers to see if Hamish Blake was free to join me as Australia’s Ultimate Wingman, however he has a commitment with the captains over dinner that night.

It’s 7pm, I’m dressed to impress and strutted into Alchemy bar whilst humming ‘The Love Boat’ theme song.  I was fascinated by The Love Boat as a child, growing up I wanted to be Julie the Cruise Coordinator.  I secretly also had the biggest crush on ship purser and sometimes bartender ‘Gopher’.  It’s going to be just like The Love Boat I tell myself.  With an Espresso Martini in hand, and my most sailor appropriate pick up line on the tip of my tongue, I scan the bar for fellow singles .

…Unfortunately the options are slim, two likely very lovely 70 year old gentleman give me a friendly smile.

It’s the three of us.

There is a glint in their eyes as if they have won the singles mixer proverbial lotto…  or proverbial bingo if we are making age appropriate analogies.

I sip my martini at the bar and continue humming the Love Boat theme song.  Daniel the bartender slides me some olives and asks me for the second time to stop calling him ‘Gopher’.  I tell him ‘shuuuush, you are ruining the moment’, as I press my finger to his lips.

45 minutes and my entire martini is consumed, I lower my standards and give the room one last scan.

It’s… still… the… three… of… us (and Gopher behind the bar).

I look the less grey gentleman or the two up and down, and rationalise to myself ‘Well … the actual ‘Gopher’ actor must be in his 70’s now).   NO, NO, NO, it’s not my time yet, it’s not my time of 5pm dinner dates of soft foods and calling AM talkback shows with my opinion about kids these days.  Nope, Nope, Nope – not yet.

I stop humming the theme song, and park any hope of romance for now.  I bid my reluctant Gopher farewell and join the rest of the ‘Peoples Cruise’ winners for dinner.

Maybe if there is no potentials on the cruise, there might be a nice boy on the islands instead.

Watch this space for a new blog post ‘Mystery Island, Snorkelling guide Marriage Proposal’.

Editors note: Fredrick Lawrence “Fred” Grandy is an American actor best known for his role as “Gopher” on the sitcom The Love Boat and who later became a member of the United States House of Representatives from the state of Iowa.  He is 67. (Wikipedia)

 

“How much for Sex” – Tales of illegal black market T-Shirt selling on the high seas with Hamish & Andy.

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Never have I ever chanted the words ‘Fast and Loose, Fast and Loose’ so often in my life as this week on the Hamish & Andy’s People’s Cruise.

For those who aren’t familiar with the chant, ‘Fast and Loose’ is Hamish Blakes life motto. Structured and organised is not his forte, and he embraces ‘Fast and Loose’ as he arrives at Port of Sydney for a 10 day cruise with just a couple of underpants stuffed in his jacket, a tooth brush strung around his neck and a positive attitude.

Living ‘Fast and Loose’ had me running from dinner to an illegal black market T-Shirt sale. T-shirts featuring Hamish riding Andy as a human surfboard, with the tag line: Andy says ‘Surfs Up’.

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Hamish & Andy Tee

Not only was the sales of the shirts illegal on a cashless cruise line, they were only on sale for 10 minutes at a specific deck safety muster point location – which made them a hot commodity.

Standing on a dark cold deck with the wind whipping at my face, I stood with $250 cash… Ready to negotiate.

Andy was sorting through shirts, Hamish was managing the small crowd…. I, ready to negotiate a bulk purchase and with slight kiwi accent, leaned into Hamish ready to enter the shady world of black markets.

STACEY: “How much for SEX” ………….. (Six)

HAMISH: WHAT?! …….. “SEX!? I think you’re at the wrong muster point?

*ME REALISING IT’S MY DAMN KIWI ACCENT LEADING ME TO PROPOSITION HAMISH*

STACEY: “SIX, SIX, SIX …. How much for SIX SIX!

*holding my hands in the air with 6 fingers extended.*

STACEY: ”It’s my kiwi accent”

It was cloak and dagger, the occasional ship employee would walk past oblivious as to what was taking place in a dark Muster Point deck.

Hamish was quick to deflect by telling us made up history of the ship or by loudly welcoming the first meeting of the ‘Carnival Cruise Line Accapella group’.

The sales are done and dusted, post my awkward proposition, the boys weren’t busted by Cruise Line security – and we all part ways.

I returned to dinner before we were rapping up the evening with live magic show and stand up comedy.

Watch this space, more to come – including Stace attended the Cruise singles mixer and a snorkelling excursion and wedding proposal from my Vanuatu dive master

 

You’ll have to speak up – I’m in a Hammock.

This hammock is overlooking the Pacific Ocean along with a girl who is reflecting on the past 24 hrs.

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Tops & Pants: Surafina | Sunnies: Rayban | Shoes: Frankie 4 Footwear {gifted}

Bags packed, we flew from Brisbane to Sydney identifying our fellow ‘People’s Cruise’ cruise mates by the array of novelty hats. There was no memo advising a requirement of novelty hats , yet when Hamish & Andy are involved, novelty hats are just assumed.

 

Friends are fast made and laughs are shared as we sip cocktails from novelty puffer Fish glasses, sitting on the pool deck as Hamish & Andy broadcast their drivin’ / cruising’ you home show.

 

 

We’ve been on board 2 hrs and I’ve anointed myself ‘Single Stace’. All 100 The People’s Cruise crew mates are my wingmen. A signal ‘the friendly peacock’ has been created to alert me to eligible bachelors.

 

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Dress & Scarf: Surafina {gifted] | Bag: Sportsgirl | Shoes: Frankie 4 Footwear {gifted}

 

Welcome drinks provided me an opportunity to obtain some Stand up comedy advice from Hamish as I implored him to dust of his Ultimate Wingman skills.

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That’s a highlight reel for day one, a whirlwind day of so much excitement, we lived fast and loose, and have 9 more fun filled days to go.

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Cred: The Hamish & Andy Team