The Strangest Massage

Over the years I have had many massages, but none as strange as the one I had in Korea.

With my plane arriving late into the city of lights, I just assumed normal business trading hours were 24 hours in this ‘interesting’ city and ventured into this random massage palour at 11.00pm (nothing odd about it at this stage, with the shop front looking quite normal)

Upon entering the massage palour, a woman at reception greeted me with limited English. I showed her with sign language that I wanted a back massage. She nodded and said ‘ok, that will cost you $80 won (Korean currency)’ I said that was too much and as I was about to walk out, she grabbed my arm and said ‘ok, $2 won’ (At this stage I was paying pretty much 99% less then what she originally quoted, warning bells should of rang there and then but I said ‘ok!’)

Next minute, I was directed down stairs to this underground area to change into a bath robe. I was then greeted by another woman who got me to hop into a sack and crawl into this medieval looking oven! I was in there for 10 seconds before I thought I would pass out from the extreme heat so I quickly climbed out and told the woman I only wanted a back massage.

She said ‘ok’ and directed me to this dark room with no windows and told me to go to sleep, by this stage I was freaking out a bit. As I was on my way up to the reception room, two other women grabbed me and undressed me and shoved me into this huge room with 50 other naked women all bathing themselves in brown water and getting water & cream splashed on them on surgical looking trolleys, I thought I had entered some kind of cult group!

Thank goodness I got out of there alive and like I said, that was definitely one of the strangest massage experiences yet!

– Shirlene Lai Allison xo

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Modelling Moments

Fashion modelling has played a big part of my working life for the past 8 years and to think my ultimate goal throughout high school was to be a school teacher, its funny what life throws at you! I went into the industry not knowing at all what to expect after receiving numerous business cards from photographers and agents in my final year of high school. Always one for a good challenge, I threw myself in the deep end and made sure I was represented by a reputable agency.

So here is a post dedicated to some of the more memorable modelling moments:

• Project Runway Australia, Foxtel TV Series.                                                                             I was lucky to be cast for this tv series as one of the regular runway Models, what made it a great experience was the fantastic cast & crew I got to work with, there was always something to laugh about with the other Models backstage! The amount of work the crew puts in behind the scenes, just makes me appreciate how much effort goes into tv shows before they air.

• Press conference in Tahiti.                                                                                                             As I was holidaying in Tahiti one year, the major newspapers held a press conference for me as I was giving support to the girls entering the Miss Tahiti pageant. They had also organised a position for me to be one of the judges if I had wanted to extend my travels there for the week. The funny thing was, as English was very limited there, my hubby had to translate everything to the press in French for me.

• Representing Victoria in the Miss Universe National Finals.                                                 Perseverance paid off. The fist year I entered, I made it through to the final 10 in the state finals, I thought this was too close to give up so finally I made it to the National finals. We were flown up to Sydney and stayed at the Hilton Hotel were we had some intense media training & choreographed runway sessions. I was also impressed with the number of girls from diverse cultural backgrounds representing their states in the Australian National Finals.

• MX Cover Shoot.                                                                                                                               I remember this day being freezing cold and the three of us girls booked for the shoot were posing on one of the busiest streets in Melbourne, mind you, I was in lingerie! There was a massive crowd around & a tram full of Japanese tourist taking our photo. The great thing about this job, is that our agent booked the right girls as the three of us just clicked and are still the closest of mates after all these years.

The best things about this industry would have to be the creative people I have had the chance to meet, the feeling you get when you book a great job & the randomness of it all!

For more images, please visit http://shirlenelaiallison.blogspot.com/

– Shirlene Lai Allison xo

My Baby Bump :)

* Last month of pregnancy pics

I cannot believe how quick time has flown, by next month we will be parents, not only for a short time but for the rest of our lives. I’m not sure you can truly ever be ready for the changes in lifestyle dynamics with a baby on board but I am looking forward to the challenges and joys of parenthood.

As this is my final month of pregnancy, I thought I would share my little journey. I must admit, I went into it not realising how many obstetrician appointments, pre-natal classes, blood tests, monitoring glucose levels and strict dieting I would have to endure due to gestational diabetes, but its all been worth it. Being pregnant really does make you appreciate the wonders of what a woman’s body is capable of.

The most wonderful feeling is when you can feel your baby move inside you, it truly is a sensation like no other!

A beautiful quote I read today: “A mother holds your hand for a while, and your heart forever.” Happy Mothers Day to all the beautiful mums out there for this Sunday!

– Shirlene Lai Allison xo

 

Top 5 Travel Hot Spots

I admit… I have always had the travel bug and aim to see as much of this unique planet as I can in this life time. I’m sure there are a few of you out there with this itch too, its contagious! 

Sharing is caring, so here are my top 5 travel hot spots…….

* Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort & Spa

Magical. This part of the island is isolated away from the touristic area, you need a boat to get there. Once you are there, you are seriously in paradise, surrounded by the resorts private beach, an infinity pool with pool bar and overlooking the spectacular Andaman Sea.

* Villaggio Mall, Doha – State of Qatar

Unique. It is the shopping destination for luxury brands, all located in a mall that imitates an Italian village, running right through the mall is a canal with floating gondolas, street lamps, an ice skating rink and the illusion of blue skies on the ceiling. Check it out if you ever get the chance!

* Yasawa Island, Fiji

Paradise. This beautiful island is situated about 8 hours by boat from the mainland of Fiji. Swimming with wild manta rays is something I will never forget and having no electricity and sleeping in open air bungalows for the week was the best thing for the mind & soul.

* Sofitel Hotel, Hanoi, Vietnam

All class. If its customer service you are looking for, this 5 star luxury hotel has it all, by that, I mean, every single staff member has been trained to greet you by your name and have the doors open for you on arrival and exit. That is a total of 364 rooms worth of guests to memorise! I also appreciated the personalised handwritten welcome letter from the manager in our room on arrival. Talk about attention to detail.

* Avignon, South of France

Magnificent. If it is history, art and architecture you are looking for, then this charming part of France is worth the visit. Famous for its annual performing arts festival, medieval fortress and the Palais des Papes.

Hope this has made you want to pack your suitcases to see more of the world!

– Shirlene Lai Allison xo

Super Man

(l to r) Uncle Paul in his early days training his brother Jimmy and celebrating a birthday in the family.

 

My first post was always going to be about my Uncle Paul, Dad’s younger brother.

He has inspired me to make the most of life and most importantly, to appreciate the small things that we all take for granted.

In his early thirties, Uncle Paul had a young family, a business to run and was an extremely athletic man who suffered from a brain tumor. Having undergone surgery to this area was always going to be risky business, which led to a neurological disorder which has impaired both his physical and mental capabilities. 

For the past 14 years, he has lived with this condition, unable to do the most basic human things that we all take for granted. It was especially hard on my wedding day, knowing that if Uncle Paul was well he would have been there. As kids, he would take me and my sister out when our parents were busy working, that will never be forgotten.

In the words of his son, Steven Lay (18) who is a talented golfer and has just commenced his first year of uni:

“I don’t often dwell on the past, because there is nothing you can change or do about it, however if someone in the future invented a time machine of some sort, I’d make sure that dad didn’t go to surgery”

“My dad will always be my father figure. No matter what, he is my inspiration, my drive, my will to succeed. Although dad isn’t one who can walk, talk, teach me how to shave, give me lectures on studying or there to say goodnight as I was growing up, I know he would have if he could. I love my dad and there are no ifs, or buts about it. The life of Steven Lay hasn’t always been a smooth ride, but it’s the life chosen for me.”

On that note… Before you decide to complain about having a bad day, it is never going to be as tough as what others are going through on a day to day basis. See yourself as lucky.

– Shirlene Lai Allison xo