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Saturday, 20 December 2014

Sneaky magazine: Gabi Grecko - nude walk. VIDEO + PHOTOS

I have no idea what's going on here.

But I guess you'd like to see what many will be talking about in 3, 2, 1…

Gabi Grecko. Naked. Walking around the streets of Melbourne.

Sneaky magazine was there to capture it all:

Gabi Grecko Strolls Around Melbourne CBD Naked by sneakymag

Um, that's all I got.

Photos here all from Sneaky magazine too (by Juliet Taylor).

To see more pics and read (not much) more on it all, go here.

Elle Australia January 2015: Jessica Mauboy cover + new hair PHOTO

The new Elle Australia magazine cover for the January 2015 edition is… something else.

Jessica Mauboy looks stunning, and that's in no small part thanks to her big, beautiful chop:

The bob - created by renowned Sydney hair stylist Renya Xydis from the famed salon Valonz - is a swishy, follicular dream! Even Jessica says so, as posted on her Instagram page:

Friday, 19 December 2014

Jergens Australia - Cheyenne Tozzi, Max May, Georges Antoni: VIDEO + Giveaway

Take a look behind the scenes on shoot with supermodel Cheyenne Tozzi, celebrity makeup artist Max May, and fashion photographer Georges Antoni. See why Jergens skincare is the number 1 body moisturiser in the US. Yes, number 1.

This from the recently launched brand - it has just entered the Australian market (available at Priceline only) and devotees who had to travel to the US to stock up on the inexpensive but very effective cult brand are thrilled. Watch the sexy video featuring Cheyenne below:

And here is the Australian ad campaign for the brand:

Cheyenne Tozzi for Jergens

Yet to trial the fabulous brand?

How lucky are you? Jergens and Josie's Juice are giving away gift packs of three of the Jergens product range! The pack contains:

- the famous Jergens Natural Glow (choose Fair To Medium, or Medium To Tan)
- the new Jergens BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream
- the Jergens Daily Moisture

Here is all you need to do go in the running to win these three products:

- Share this competition link on your Facebook wall, so others can see it and enter too (this step must be followed too)

- Follow me on Instagram and follow me on Twitter and re-post the photo I have posted on Instagram. Also use the hashtags: #competition and #giveaway

- Comment below on why you'd like to win a Jergens gift pack, AND email me at josiegags@optusnet.com.au so I can contact you in case you are a winner (so many people forget this step and don't enter a valid email address below, and I spend lots of time trying to track you down, or simply give the prize to the next person - not fun for anyone!)

(If you find it hard to comment below because your device won't let you - sometimes that happens on an iPhone, for example - simply send me your entry via email at josiegags@optusnet.com.au)

*Competition open to Australian residents only.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Lisa Wilkinson interview with Tori Johnson's partner Thomas Zinn

The partner of Tori Johnson, the Lindt cafĂ© manager shot dead in this week’s Martin Place siege, has remembered him as “humble, generous” man who always put family first.

In an exclusive interview with Channel Nine's Lisa Wilkinson from the Today show (I know that Lisa wouldn't want this post to be about her, but I am not surprised she was chosen to speak with him; that woman is compassion personified), Thomas Zinn, Tori's partner of 14 years, said: “I would like him to be remembered as a humble and very generous person."

Tori was one of 17 people taken hostage and held at gunpoint by self-proclaimed ‘sheik’ Man Haron Monis in Sydney’s Martin Place on Monday.

He added: “He made it very clear that family was the most important thing in our lives and that we have to cherish that and spend enough time with our families. That was an absolute priority.”

Read more and watch the preview clip here, and watch the Today show tomorrow morning (Friday) for the Lisa's full interview with Thomas.


This blog post will be updated with the transcript from the exceptional interview with Lisa.

First, this is the special message from Thomas Zinn to Australia:

"As you can imagine, this is a very difficult time for our family.

We are experiencing unimaginable grief but when we look at the sea of flowers with all the heartfelt messages and the crowds of supports at Martin Place, we know that this grief is shared by the whole country and the rest of the world.

This tragedy will remain with us forever. But the uniting effects of this week only have galvanised our city, our country, and makes us even more prude of Tori and Katrina, and proud of all Australians.

We would like to extend our love and condolences to Katrina's family. To her children, husband, and loved ones. We stand beside you through this difficult time.

We also send our love to the other hostages and their families. We hope that you can recover swiftly from this traumatic experience. We want to thank all of the brave people who were present at the event. In particular, we would like to thank the NSW Police and crime commission, the Australian Federal Police, paramedics, and all of the emergency services that worked tirelessly through the night and made sure that we and all of the other families were taken care of.

We are incredibly moved by your patience, empathy, and dedication. We also want to thank the many people that have supported us, and continue to stand by us through this tragedy. From close friends to complete strangers, the outpouring of love, kindness, and generosity has been overwhelming. The people of Lindt chocolates as well as the people of the Intercontinental Hotels Group have been very supportive. We cannot undo the events of December 16, but it has made our diverse community even stronger and more unified. From the bottom of our heart, thank you all immensely."

Here is the transcript with Thomas's interview with Lisa:

Lisa: Just looking through these photos you can see he's a man very quick to smile.

Thomas: Yes, he is. Probably the most positive human being I've ever met.

Lisa: Everything that we hear about Tori, people just say what an incredibly kind person he was. And he really was. It was no fluke that he was a manager.

Thomas: He was just somebody that people really looked to for guidance. He has been absolutely amazing with his staff. He would always support them, he would coach them. He is always there for them, whether if it is a personal matter or professional matter, and he was the fairest person.

Lisa: If he could see the flowers there at Martin Place right now, do you think he'd be amazed?

Thomas: Yes. Tori… Tori loves flowers. And this is probably the most beautiful thing you that he - and I am sure that he can see it - that he has ever seen. And when I was down there yesterday, I could smell the flowers through Sydney. I think it's just amazing that he has been able to make our city smell like flowers. I think that there is no more beautiful thing that he could have imagined

Lisa: Tori's mum was telling me that when she was at Martin Place yesterday she was looking at all the beautiful messages and the flowers, and she saw in particular one note, one drawing, and it was from Katrina Dawson's daughter. Do you get the feeling she was meant to see that?

Thomas: You know, Katrina's family is as affected as us, and we haven't obviously had contact with them directly yet, it's still early. But we know that they feel exactly like us and we wish them all the best.

Lisa: How would you like him to be remembered?

Thomas: I would like him to be remembered as a humble and very generous person and he really made it clear that family is the most important thing in our lives and have to cherish that, and make sure we spend enough time with our family. That's absolute priority.

Lisa then acknowledged that Thomas was grateful that the campaign - kicked off by the Today show, and specifically by Lisa, although I am sure she'd be loathe to take the credit - to #savethenotes of the kind messages left with and in amongst the flowers will be kept and passed on.

Lisa then added: "And Thomas talked about how incredibly moved he and Tori's family have been by your desire to make sure hat all those messages that have ben left there in Martin Place do get to both Katrina's family and to Tori's and he wanted to say a huge thank you for the love and support that they continue to feel. there's some very difficult days ahead but with what's coming through they know that are greatly strengthened by all of your messages."

Tori's family also released a statement two days ago about their beloved Tori:

“We are so proud of our beautiful boy Tori, gone from this earth but forever in our memories as the most amazing life partner, son and brother we could ever wish for.

We feel heartfelt sorrow for the family of Katrina Dawson.

We’d like to thank not only our friends and loved ones for their support, but the people of Sydney; Australia and those around the world for reaching out with their thoughts and prayers.

Our deepest gratitude to the NSW police, armed forces and paramedics for their tireless efforts.

We ask that the media respects our privacy in this difficult time. Let us all pray for peace on earth.”

The funeral for Tori Johnson will be held on Tuesday, one week after he sadly lost his life.

Tori Johnson's dad Ken: interview with Lizzie Pearl, Nine News

In a Nine News story this evening, reporter Lizzie Pearl conducted an exceptional interview with Ken Johnson, the father of Tori Johnson at the site of the huge flower memorial at Martin Place, and the words this man says are nothing short of inspiring.

Lizzie asked Ken what's is like being at the memorial site the second time in two days: "Same as it was yesterday: powerful. It's the beginning of something brand new that's going to extend throughout the world as a motif, I think, as we might want to call it. It's going to be something that's going to grow hopefully all the way down to Central station," he laughs. "I'm not going to promise anything but it's a good start on the concept.

Ken adds: "It ignited the flame that's going to go forever. And I think Australia is starting to pave the way for tolerance and cultural diplomacy I think. And I think they show a wonderful homogeny of spirit because basically everybody from everywhere in the world is here and we are the most multicultural place in the world, and we get on and that's what we want, we want to keep that flow going."

Lizzie talks about Ken's new friends, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Christian religious leaders (he spent more than an hour with the leaders – Rabbis Levi Wolff and Zalmen Kastel, Hindu priest Pandit Ramachandra, Reverend Bill Crews and Sheikh Wesam Charkawiwho have come along from different religious denominations and how important it was for them to to do that today.

"It was very important; I want solidarity, you know. I don't know where this is going to go, I m making it up as I go along. They came and here they are, and that's what counts."

Asks Lizzie: you would like this memorial to get bigger and bigger, wouldn't you?

"Yeah, I mean what I want to say is that my son's love is immense and his bravery is immeasurable, that's the way I read it. I'm his father, I want to do something for him now, beyond what I may have done for him as a child."

What a man. What an incredibly insightful and respectful man. It's clear: Tori had an exceptional role model in his father Ken.

Rest in peace, Tori. Forever young.

Woolworths Gold Christmas Range: Competition - WISH Gift Card

You guys, it's Christmas and I am obsessed with the Christmas food choices out there. My nature is that I will try ANYTHING once when it comes to food… I am truly a food marketer's dream.

And then go back to it again and again and rave to all who will listen.

The selection from the Woolworths Gold is so, so impressive I feel a little bit fancy each time I buy anything from the range.

Woolies were kind enough to send me a lovely selection of goodies to sample, and sample we will on (or before, I can't guarantee I can hold out) we will on Christmas day. I also mentioned that my daughter has a fascination with the 'turducken' after seeing the movie 'Free Birds' (watch it and you will see), and they sent me one along to trial. I am so excited about that (we have frozen it and will cook it up on Christmas day).

This new Gold range features festive gourmet foods with the freshest produce from Australian growers, top quality meats and seafood, exclusive products from Jamie Oliver and the most deliciously indulgent puddings, desserts and confectionery, including:
    • Woolworths Gold Turducken – an enticing hand rolled trio meat combination, infused to provide a succulent eating experience, complemented with a fig and Pistachio stuffing core, topped with a bacon lattice and garnished with fresh Rosemary for a unique premium roast
    • Woolworths Gold Hand Finished Chocolate Hazelnut Pavlova (RRP $16) – hand finished to form peaks on the pavlova and drizzled with chocolate sauce and finished with chopped, roasted hazelnut pieces
    • Woolworths Gold Almond Panettone – using traditional baking techniques and made in Italy by the acclaimed Corsini family, especially for Woolworths
    • Woolworths Gold Free Range Leg Ham – Premium quality made from 100% Australian free range pork that has been cured, traditionally hand netted and smoked with beechwood
    • Created with Jamie – new summer range is perfect for entertaining and includes delicious Jamie Christmas Turkey,  Tutti-Frutti Lemon Meringue Pie, Asian Leafy Salad, Jamie's Favourite Slaw and tender meats to throw on the BBQ 
    • Decadent and affordable Puddings – Gold Ultimate Christmas Pudding (with Courvoisier Cognac ) and our most popular "Hidden" product is the Hidden Cherry Christmas Pudding
    • Mince pies – Woolworths Select Fruit Mince Pie 6pk (most popular product), Woolworths Gold Fruit Mince Pies (with a dash of single malt 10 year aged Scotch Whisky from Glenfarcla) and Gluten Free Mince Pies
    • Jamie Oliver gifts for adults and kids – Junior Jamie Gingerbread Family Set (RRP $15), Junior Jamie Paint your own apron (RRP $15), Junior Jamie Mini Muffins & Chocolate Moulds (RRP $20) and Jamie Oliver Mezzaluna and Acacia Board (RRP $25), Jamie Oliver Slate Cheeseboard with Cheeseforks (RRP $20)
Here are the photos of some of the said products, above.

Um, you are drooling…

Oh, oh… wait. I have a $50 Woolies gift voucher WISH card, just for you, so you can go indulge on any of the below. Merry Christmas, readers (see below for how to enter):

Now, the comp!

Here is what you need to do to be in the running:

- Share this competition link on your Facebook wall, so others can see it and enter too

- Follow me on Instagram and follow me on Twitter

Repost the photo of the Woolies goodies I have posted on my @josiegags Instagram page and tag with #josiesjuice and #competition and #giveaway

- Comment below on why you'd like to win a bottle the $50 WISH gift card, AND email me at josiegags@optusnet.com.au so I can contact you in case you are a winner (so many people forget this step and don't enter a valid email address below, and I spend lots of time trying to track you down, or simply give the prize to the next person - not fun for anyone!)

(If you find it hard to comment below because your device won't let you - sometimes that happens on an iPhone, for example - simply send me your entry via email at josiegags@optusnet.com.au)

*Competition open to Australian residents only.

Good luck, foodies!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Martin Place Memorial Flowers for #Sydneysiege: PHOTOS

Tonight, I went to the memorial set up early today to honour the innocent victims of the Sydney siege, which only ended less than 24 hours ago.

I was compelled to go there, propelled to head into that part of town, almost magnetically pulled. I had just finished celebrating a launch event, very much aware the city had changed earlier that day, and tasting a freedom I knew that two lives could never taste again.

And so, I found myself steering towards Martin Place, not knowing what to expect, starting with road closures. I found that… no roads were closed off. I parked across the road from the Channel 7 studios and began the sombre walk. I could feel an eerie quietness, despite the easy flowing traffic noises.

I arrived at the scene of the flower memorial and was truly overwhelmed. Barricaded and heavily supervised by police and security guards, when I realised I could easily enter into the arena where all the flowers lay (ALL the flowers - a seemingly unending quantity of them), I slowly walked in, and suddenly found… I could not speak. Either could anyone else. Everyone who gathered around the shrine of blooms did not utter a word. Some read the prayers, some took photos of the sea of flowers, most simply stood there. Many came in pairs or groups, and some came solo. Some people openly but quiet wept. All were silent. Not a single word. I heard someone say something like: "Princess Diana had this many flowers, too."

I can't emphasise enough how I went mute. My heart was suddenly heavy with sadness, and that sadness began the moment I was in that barricaded zone. The barricades were only put up as a means to contain the lines that form throughout the day, with people displaying a huge desire to leave flowers, pot plants, even teddy bears. The notes were the most poignant, the element of the memorial which kept people there to linger longer. To read the heartbreaking, beautifully honest words, some in handwritten adult writing, some in lovingly written kiddie-font. 

Everyone was respectfully quiet and at the hour I went - at 10.30pm - there was plenty of time and space to just stay there, to just be. To take it all in. To give each other enough personal space to breathe and think about what they had seen, and what had been here in the early hours of that same morning.

I snapped some photos, just as everyone else did. And like everyone else, we did it respectfully, quietly, swiftly - we took our shot, and… just stayed there and pondered more. There were a few camera late night camera crews, getting set up. And a very visible police presence. These are the photos I took:

I didn't plan on interviewing anyone when I was there, but I was compelled to after I saw a young woman get on her knees and pray. I asked if I could keep a photo of her I took and if I could interview her. Her name is Kay, and she was more than obliging. Here is the photo I took of Kay:

She was there with her friend Anna, and they are wonderful human beings.

Here is what Kay, 35, said when I asked her why she felt compelled to be here:

"For me it was a measure of respect and honour, to the people who not only gave their lives to try to protect other people, but were victims of this as well. It's hit me a lot more than I thought it ever would, because these are our people, these are… you know, I am a hairdresser and I rang a client today who was near here when it was all happening and I said, 'I know you are okay, but I was worried about you and I wanted to know I care.' And I guess for us coming down here I can't speak for Anna, it's a measure to show respect for the lives lost. And support for the families and to let them know we will stand united ins supporting the Australian people. it's man to be a gesture of honour and respect and sorrow and grieving, outs; all we can do."

I explain to Kay that I wanted to ask why she came along to the memorial, and why she felt compelled drop to her knees and pray.

"Anna is very strong in her faith and I myself am not so much and I've called myself a proud atheist for 10 years, but I just prayed, I prayed to God, I pray that he show us His way and that He help us to keep the peace without us vilifying. It's not about vilifying anyone or anything but it's about keeping our standards and keeping our way of life. And we don't let anybody or anything take that away from us. And if I need to turn to God and reassess my faith because of it, then that's what I'm going to do because I tell you what, that's the first time I've got down on my knees in ten years."

Such powerful, powerful words.

I then ask Anna what she would like to say.

"This is a nation of religious and political and personal freedom for everyone. and I am here to pay respect for the people who lost their lives, to pay respect to the men and women who put their lives on the line, to keep our country safe. When I get down on my knees and pray for the souls of those that have lost their lives in this horrendous event, I also get down on my knees and pray for the terrorist and I pray that when he encounters our Creator, that he will know the truth. And the truth is that God created one race, and that's the human race and he designed us to live in peace and love and joy. And we won't bow down to terror. We won't be afraid. We won't be divided. The enemy is not the person with the beard or the person with that flag and thpeons with the veil. the enemy is the enemy of God, and in my eyes, its' thedevil, it's one enemy. Pitting man against man, we are brothers and sisters, one family, one creator, one world. We don't bow down. That's it."

Kay adds: "This is also about a measure of respect for the police and the armed services, too. They have my full support and gratitude for the way they handled everything I can't fault them, I just thank say you for putting their lives on the line."

Anna, 36: When one is taken hostage, we are all taken hostage. It's for everyone who is pro-life and pro-humanity and pro human rights, veiled or not. I don't care what colour you are, who you pray to, what your name is. You stand up as one for peace, for freedom and in solidarity, for life. We are not designed to kill. We bring life, we don't take life. i just encourage people not to vilify, not to turn on people. Everyone is a victim.

Muslims are born into their religion, it's a part of their identity. They have varying views but they are humanists; they are respectful people, some of these friends I have who are Muslim I would consider family. We just don't turn on each other in this situation. The only person responsible is the person with the gun who did the action. If Kay commits a crime, we are both blonde and fair-skinned, I didn't commit that crime. She is responsible. We are all responsible for our own actions."

Such incredible words from women I happened to meet by chance. Thank you, universe.

I also bumped into my friend Leesa, who I had not seen for three years, and is now a reporter for Australia's The Daily Mail. We chatted with some guys of Muslim faith, and here is a photo of them praying, below. Youseff and his mate were aged 19 and 18 and from La Perouse, and felt compelled to come, as they had the night before. Their hearts were broken too. They said they were a little hesitant to come: would they be harassed? Would people understand why they were there? They wanted to be there for the victims. It was in their hearts to be present.

Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson - this is all for you. Sydney loves you and our hearts are broken. Katrina, this is for your husband and three young kids. Tori, this is for your beloved partner of 14 years, and your parents.