HAPPY NEW YEAR!  If you're in Melbourne and looking for something to do over the holiday break, I highly recommend The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria.  As someone who did an Introduction to Visual Merchandising short course over the last few months and is the proud owner of a mannequin (who will be replacing me in my outfit posts), JPG's exhibition was visual candy.

Jean Paul Gaultier has been closely involved with the exhibition, which features some 140 garments alongside photographs, sketches, stage costumes and excerpts from runway shows and films.  Organised around seven themes, the exhibition traces the designers influences, passions and obsessions, but it also boasts extraordinary exhibition design in the form of 32 custom mannequins that incorporate high-def audio visual projections of various personalities, including the man himself.

On my birthday I spotted JPG on Collins Street and after a rather uncomfortable amount of "excuse me's" to get his attention, he was kind enough to have his photo taken with me (here)!


Xmas is just around the corner!!  I've been extremely unorganised as I quit my full time job on return from our trip of a life time and have been temping until a couple of weeks ago when I started a brand spanking new and exciting role.

I'm really looking forward to the break so I can relax without the stress of job hunting and get back into some sort of routine (exercise and healthy eating has fallen by the wayside).  I'll be thinking about a new corporate summer wardrobe and a couple of other bits and bobs I'd love to see under the tree.

My list:
1. Chic Empire Safari loafers (for slipping around the house in) // 2. Prada fragrance // 3. Glasshouse scented candle
4. Grace A Memoir // 5. Dr Martens Candice heels // 6. Hip Hop Hooray 2015 charity calendar from Ask Alice 
A frame for our fabulous Angelique Houtkamp print (main).


Monument Valley is the place of old westerns and once in a lifetime adventures.  We took the non-tourist route and camped overnight on private land with a Navajo guide.  Duffy from Monument Valley Safari picked us up from the visitor's centre and navigated rocky terrain to the Hunts Mesa, our home for the evening.  We set up our tent, then while Duffy cooked our dinner on a cedar wood fire, we sat and took in the sounds, smells and view of our surroundings.

Never in my life have I seen so many shooting stars (or eaten such delicious baked beans)!  With the tiny bats and giant moths, night time is a whole new level of adventure, especially when nature calls (literally).  Earlier talk of snakes, scorpions and coyotes makes it a little bit terrifying when you have to navigate your way to a bush far enough away from the campsite, so you can imagine the perils of needing to do a number two in the wilderness...

Duffy hollers at the crack of dawn the next day, making sure you're awake to take a short drive to watch the sunrise over the valley (whilst eating Clif Bars).  After stopping and having a stare off with a herd of wild horses, we packed up camp and were returned to the visitor's centre in the afternoon, tired, dirty, but very happy.


In the car park I swapped long pants for shorts to go with my summer tee, a bargain discovered while walking to Andy's work one afternoon.  I came across a sneaky sale up some stairs on Smith Street and found it in a $10 bin.  Cheap indeed!  My trusty Nike's competed the look.

Shoes - Nike // T-shirt - Cheap Monday // Shorts - American Apparel


After a morning spent "experiencing the impact" at the Meteor Crater near Flagstaff, AZ, we made our way in the ridiculously changing weather to the Grand Canyon.  When we first arrived I was miffed that there was so much cloud cover obscuring the view, but it lifted while we were there to reveal the canyon in all its glory.  People doing crazy things to get a good photo gave me heart palpitations, there's a girl taking a selfie in the pic below and I witnessed a guy nearly kick his tripod over the side whilst setting up a shot.

Back in 2005, Andy and I couldn't find a place to pull over in time to witness a spectacular sunset, so on this trip we left in plenty of time and found a secluded rock to sit on and watch the magic happen.  Alas, 9 years later, the sun is in a different spot and it set behind us.


Hiking through Joshua Tree Park is hot stuff, I wore a singlet I bought at the markets in Thailand.  I'm not a smoker, but it's Johnny Depp looking, well, smokin'!!  I accessorized with the sunnies and backpack I won in the VAMFF Windows by Design instagram comp, and a hat from a souvenir shop in Palm Springs.

Shorts - American Apparel // Bag - Leonard Street // Sunglasses - Alpha 60


Sometimes it's the food joints you stop at out of necessity that can be the best discoveries, like Joshua Tree Saloon, our last chance for lunch before heading into the national park.  I had worked up quite the appetite stalking a desert iguana for a close up, so the mahi mahi fish tacos and an ice cold coke really hit the spot.

Joshua Tree Park has a special feel to it when you're hiking amongst the Mojave yucca and Joshua trees, making it one of my trip highlights.  We were very cautious when climbing amongst the boulders as they're the perfect place for snakes to sun themselves, fortunately our creature encounters for the day only included lizards, squirrels and a shifty looking donkey.

I nodded off during the long drive from Skull Rock to Lake Havasu, but at an intersection in the middle of nowhere, Andy woke me up and we got out of the car to look back at the setting sun.  While there was still light in the sky, I made a wish upon the huge shooting star that I saw.