I’m Gonna Pop Some Tags.

(I have less than $20 in my pocket TBH).

Since I’ve started my #newcorporatejob I’ve discovered I don’t have as many corporate clothes as I have “lazy day every day” clothes. And since I’ve been out of work and not yet been paid, I’m also a bit low on the fund$ to go out an revamp my wardrobe. When I moved apartments recently I threw away (donated) about half my clothes that didn’t fit, didn’t need, and didn’t want, to Vinnies & Salvo’s.

SO, whilst spending our house deposit money on smashed avo and coffee, we planned our attack on thrift shops in our vicinity. We had a list, we had a car, we had coffee in our veins, we were ready to go! (By this point in the story, it’s 1 o’clock in the afternoon – we don’t move fast on weekends..)


$90k avo on toast. $40k coffee. Bye, bye, house deposit.


Being thrifty is fantastic. It’s a great way to give back a little to your community whilst you and your gal pals going on a shopping spree that doesn’t break the bank. Win! And to be honest, if we’re going to spend a bunch of dough on breakfast, we can’t afford to buy off the runway outfits. It’s all about balance, am I right?

We hit up a lot of great places. The first was a quaint little church* with darling old sisters running the store. I’ve also come to the resolution that I in fact NEED a record player. If only to buy all the old classics and play them in my house all day long for background noise. I would then also need a long black cigarette holder, a chesterfield, and a few great hats. Classic.


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I picked up a few amazing men’s t-shirts that will be re-purposed as some of my corporate day-to-day shirts. If I can look good the morning after in them, I can certainly make it work with a blazer and cropped black pants. #workappropriate. Steph picked up two pants, which needed a little nip/tuck to fit just right, but at $2.50, the threads were well worth the stitch.

Don’t get me started on getting out of that carpark. It’s a tiny little entry and I swear there was only a hairsbreadth between my car and some obnoxious SUV who swerved into the driveway.

We hit the next closest Salvo’s in Red Hill**. I’m certain the guys out the front had a bit of a laugh at the two chicks with some music banging out the car window. It’s OK, we had a giggle at you too.

I tell ya, if you move out of home or just need to get a piece of furniture or anything for your house, don’t go to K-Mart. As fabulous as it is, you will find everything you never knew you needed at a Salvo’s or Vinnies***. These are gold mines for anyone setting up house. Save a buck, be eclectic, have some fun history to that side-table.



For some truly amazing wardrobe pieces though, we found the independent thrift shops to be the best. They are also a WHOLE LOT CHEAPER than the bigger places. There’s a reason Macklemore won 2012 Triple J’s Hottest 100. SH*T, it was 99c! Everything we picked up was from two or three smaller shops. 10/10 would go again.

Yesterday**** offered up some great sundresses, excellent vintage pieces, and a small jewellery collection (a watch that I already seemed to have misplaced..). The ladies in there were amazing. They were just chatting away about a some quirks their beauty therapist has. The creaking floorboards tracked out steps through the old house. The faint smell of musk hung in the air.


Yesterday, all my troubles seemed to far away…


What I love the most about thrift is they only stock things in good condition. When we were kids we used to go to the dump shop (second hand store, I think?). There was so much stuff! But a lot of it was useless or broken or stained and in no way “pre-loved”. Certainly “pre-worn” and trashed, but definitely no love went in to selecting these items for the racks.

We had the best day and are planning another attack in a few weeks. Steph’s mum and a few workmates want to come too. Share the love, I say. So that was our little weekend adventure. I highly suggest you all checking out what your locals have; it will be a good time, and a cheap time. Who doesn’t love shopping? Who loves shopping and not having to refinance their mortgage to pay off the credit card debt?!


This is a little list of the places we popped into.

* Quaint Little Church

**  Salvos Stores Red Hill

*** Vinnies

**** Yesterday’s Thrift Shop




Feels like Home To Me.

I find myself sitting on the couch after a long week of sitting on the couch. Yesterday I went for an interview, and I received the follow up call this morning. “We thank you for the time you’ve taken to come and meet with us, unfortunately on this occasion we won’t be proceeding to the next stage.” I can feel the tears welling behind my eyes. I can feel my throat tighten. Now as I sit here on the couch scrolling through Seek.com.au and any other job opportunities I’ve been referred, with The Lord Of The Rings playing in the background, I feel my heart aching for home again.


On Monday it was my Grandad’s 80th birthday. Much like Bilbo Baggins was saying, we have a love of peace and quiet, and good tilled earth, a love of things that grow (I dunno, maybe we are Hobbits). When I’m feeling worn down, out of spoons, and out of luck, home is the place that fills me up again. I flew down on Friday night and back again on Sunday afternoon. How I wish I had known before the flights were booked, I would have spent the whole week there.


My brother called my on Friday afternoon, and said to get dressed ready to go out when I got there. My friend and roommate Steph had caught an earlier flight and was waiting for me to arrive. So I change out of my jeans and sweatshirt into something less “aeroplane attire” and more “party all night”. The rest of the passengers were all a little taken aback I can imagine. But, I’ve always said, better to be overdressed for any occasion. #OwnIt.  “The eagle has landed,” a quick text to my brother and he was waiting to pick me up. So, out in town we go. I lived here for a few years before moving away. I remember why I left..


Early on Saturday morning I am up and ready to go. The drive back home is an hour down the highway, lined with bushland and canefarms. Everything is saturated green and blue. They’re the most vivid colours I’ve seen all year. I think to myself “this is the road home, every time, for my whole life, this is the road home.” This is the bridge I will cross every time. There is no way around it. This in the only crossing on this river unless you drive 6 hours inland to detour. This bridge means I’m 5 minutes from home. You can see my Grandad’s farm on the from the other side.

Burdekin River Bridge, the “Silver Link”

Turning into our driveway is one of the best feelings in the world. Walking across the yard, through the gate and into the house – retracing my own steps from a thousand times before. Grandad is already here with my older brother. Mum welcomes me at the door. Dad isn’t far off. We are all sitting out under the back roof, overlooking the backyard, the chicken pen beyond the fence, the canfields past that, and up into the blue horizon. Steph is already allergic to the place, covered in bites and rashes and dog scratches. You can take a girl out of the city..


There’s a 1945 resorted Jeep Willy in the shed that I’ve been telling Steph about. I’m pretty sure actually this is her main motivation for coming here in the first place. So we take it out for a ride around the farm. Crikey. The breaks aren’t good, and power steering didn’t exist in the 40’s. It’s a tough drive. We may have got it bogged in some mud on the headlands too, but the important thing is, we got it out. 3 dogs, 2 girls, 1 jeep. We did alright. We made it back to the farm with time to wash the mud off our legs and get ready for the night.


Soon the family starts arriving, coming in twos and threes, until I am encompassed by a feeling of love like a warm blanket in the cold night. Grandad is wandering around his party taking photos with his phone, I can already tell every single one of them will have his blurred finger shadow in the corner. Bless. He is capturing his legacy – a happy family. I wish I could say we are all here, but we’re not. There are 2 cousins missing. Sisters. They didn’t make the trip. I guess they are too young or too stubborn to appreciate the significance of tonight. I can see it in his eyes, if only they would have been here, they would have been forgiven. Love is all my grandad has to give, there is no capacity for malice in his kind heart.


It’s time for the speeches. My Dad gets up to say some kind words, my Aunty also does as well, the only daughter. My younger brother has nice things to say. Our youngest cousin says she loves her family. They all look to me. I’m drunk on Pimms and high on dopamine. I stand next to him in front of our whole family. I tell him that I love him, and between him and dad, you’ve shown me the measure of a good man. I don’t know if it was enough, but it was the truth. After the cake was eaten and the dessert was cleaned up, the celebrations for the night are over, but not the fun. Steph is sitting in her chair curled up on her knees, “Why don’t you go to bed if you’re tired honey? It’s been a big day,” my mother says. I know why she’s still here. We’ll be damned if we let any 80 year old party goers outlast us.


The next morning is something special. The family comes around for leftovers lunch today, and it’s much more relaxed. I soak in this time just listening and being near them. One uncle has flown in from Perth with his daughter, another from Brisbane with her husband and daughters. Even the ones that live just down the road from our farm, I hardly see them too. I look around and count the many ways I am happy to be here. But it’s over too soon. Steph and I have a plane to catch so we have to pack and leave much too prematurely. Saying goodbye is always the hard part. “When will you be back?” “You can always come and visit us in Perth” “Be sure to drop by whenever you like” “I look forward to seeing you here again”. Then all too soon, we are back in our apartment with our bags dropped on the floor thinking how quickly that weekend went.




The Misadventure of Mt Beerburrum.

We’re going on an adventure!

Today is ANZAC Day, a day where Australia and New Zealand remember the sacrifice and mateship of our Aussie heros at Gallipoli in World War II, and the lives that we given to ensure our freedom today. Aussies love a day off too, so if you’re not at a BBQ, at the beach, fishing, camping, doing something, then you’re reallllly missing out on a beautiful day away from work. Steph and I got up ridiculously early (ahem, 7:30am) to start our day. We planned do go for a bit of a mountain climb on Saturday last week, but the weather was a bit iffy, and we chose sleep over action. But hey! public holiday a few days later, up and at em to climb a mountain. Off we toddled, down to the car and on to the highway and drove for about an hour North to the Glasshouse mountains. /insert picture of mountains here/ OK!


Our destination: Mt Beerburrum. Yep. Beer. mmmmm…. could go for a cold one.

Steph was navigating (this should say it all, really). When we pulled up to the track, I wasn’t 100% sure this was the place we should be. My little car hasn’t been on a dirt road in many a year. But hey, adventures is what we do. “We’ll just wing it”, me, about something we should definitely not wing.



We’re on a road to nowhere
Come on inside
Taking that ride to nowhere
We’ll take that ride
I’m feeling okay this morning
And you know
We’re on the road to paradise
Here we go, here we go

(thanks, Talking Heads)


Nevertheless, your fearless wanderers, Shan & Steph, carried on. What we stumbled on at the end of this little dirt road to nowhere was a beautiful old cemetery for the families and soldiers of World War I. Now I didn’t go to a Dawn Service for our fallen men, but it was so special to happen upon this place on a day so important to our country’s history. I’m comforted in knowing that these soldiers and families out in a tiny little corner of the world were remembered by me and Steph today. 20170425_140421-COLLAGEOnwards and upwards. After a short interlude, we hit the trail. The only trail. The Soldiers Settlers Track. Today was surely fate. Sign says “stay away fools, cuz love rules” “3.5km one way” which means 7km round trip. Which means at least over an hour through the bush. Guy’s it was a bushwalk, and not a super easy one. Plagued with cobwebs, things that scurried out of our path, bushes with needles for leaves. About halfway through our little misadventure, we met another wanderer. He was dark and handsome and very friendly, and even decided to walk with us for the rest of the way. Tell ya what, us two girls alone on in the bush didn’t mind the company. Meet, Brown Dog. Yes. That’s what is says on his collar. Imaginative parents….


Our bushwalk turned into a mission to return the dog home. He just didn’t want to leave us. Not that I minded. We would have happily kept him if our apartment balcony was big enough. What a mission. It took us away from the trail and onto the dirt country roads. It took us up to a Macadamia tree farm, dotted with different properties. But it didn’t take us to Brown Dog’s home. We stopped to chat over a fence with a neighbour to ask if they knew where Dog belonged, and they offered to take him home. #gooddeeddone. Mr Neighbour was also kind enough to point us back in the direction of the path and to our car, because by this time, we were hopelessly lost. Google Maps I’m sure even whispered “What the fuck..” a few times. I definitely heard it. Definitely.

Back into the bush we went. Finally back on track, literally. We found the track. Dodging THE BIGGEST COBWEB YOU’VE SEEN IN YOUR LIFE and shrieking at the worlds smallest snake (TBH it could have just been a baby legless lizard), the car was suddenly in sight. WE MADE IT. Phew. For a minute there, two gals on a bushwalk in the middle of nowhere. Geez, all we needed to do was split up and it would have been a horror movie plot right there.

We made it. We went in and came out the other side. We didn’t die. We did get lost. We certainly didn’t escape unscathed. We had a great little adventure.

Hot Tip #58, wear Aeroguard. Those mozzies are killers.

We hit the road again, went up the main highway less than 100m and behold, Mt Beerburrum Lookout, Turn Here. 

Maybe next time.


They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old; 

Age shall not weary then, nor the years condemn. 

At the going down on the sun and in the morning

We will remember them. 

Lest we forget.