These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: NOVEMBER 2019

Seriously… it’s December?! How on earth is there only a few weeks until Christmas, a few weeks until a new decade, and a few weeks left of work until we get to relax and play! Wow

🌅Terrigal getaway

There’s nothing quite like a little weekend getaway. When life gets so crazy and you’re living hour by hour, sometimes you need to remove yourself from reality and explore somewhere unknown. Despite growing up in Port Stephens, I’d never ventured to Terrigal or the Central Coast. So when Soph and I finally had a free weekend that lined up, we knew we wanted to getaway. So why not somewhere only 2 hours away with gorgeous beaches, national parks, great bars and even better restaurants. Terrigal really is a holiday town and nothing says ‘relaxed’ more than fish n chips, 3 hour dinners, lolly shops, and soaking up some sun and getting lost in a book. Reset and refreshed.

🎓 Soph’s grad

The day finally came that we got to celebrate Soph’s graduation! My girl is a clever cookie, and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce – Bachelor of Arts (Distinction) earlier this year. Graduation is such an exciting time and it’s important to recognise (and adequately celebrate) the hard work and dedication it takes to complete a degree. I’m so damn proud of Soph for all of her hard work. I know she’s going a long way and I can’t wait to see the path she forges for herself.

🏙️Sydney sesh

If anyone knows me, they know I’m a huge fangirl of Shameless Podcast. So when I heard there was a live show in Sydney, I knew I had to go! So my friend Vanessa battled for some tickets (these are some popular gals) and we were heading to the show. Us, along with 800 strangers, gathered that rainy Sydney night, to engage in a similar conversation we’ve been listening to every Monday morning for nearly 2 years. I must admit, it was pretty damn exciting. Zara and Michelle have done an incredible job to build their company and a highly engaged following. It was awesome to soak up some strong female vibes.

And what’s a night out in Sydney without sharing cocktails with my beautiful friend Tishia. We went to a sneaky gin bar that played smooth jazz and sipped on fancy cocktails. We got delish woodfire pizza and giggled the night away. The next day we headed to Burwood to go shopping and eat bulk Chinese food. Chinatown there is next level and we found ourselves some delicious treats. It’s weekends like this that I live for. Running from one event to the next, soaking up all the good vibes, good food (and good alcohol), and even though I’m left absolutely exhausted, they’re amazing!

📷Work

This month I was lucky enough to do the socials for the Fellowships and Alumni Awards Dinner. I was working with a great group of people who are talented, driven and so damn nice. I also got to meet some incredible people (check me out on Linkedin for more), and it got me thinking about how lucky I am to work with people who are working to connect one another and make the world a better place.

🎧Podcasts

Inside the Big Day Out
This mini series is a must for all music fans! It will leave you looking up Pearl Jam’s greatest hits and want to jump around in a mosh pit. This is an incredible insight behind the scenes of one of the world’s biggest music festivals that defined Australian culture and music. Pretty devastated that I didn’t attend one of these festivals myself – I was busy being punky at Soundwave – but wow, Big Day Out in the 90s would have been incredible!

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📚 Books

Conversations with friends, by Sally Rooney
Yes yes yes! I loved this book so bloody much! I picked this up from the university book shop, and found that it was prescribed reading for an English Literature subject. So I figured it would be alright, but boy did I underestimate how incredible this would be! I smashed it out in a few days and I am so stoked. I was intrigued, hooked, angry, wanted to shake the characters through the pages, and be invited to the parties… I loved it and would absolutely recommend it!

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🎥Flicks

Flying the Nest
I know I’ve mentioned them on the blog several times before, but…. OMG they’re having a baby and I’ve never been more emotional watching a baby announcement vlog! I love their videos, their relationship and their outlook on life. And I’m so excited to see their vlogs leading up to having the baby, and watching their journey as a young travelling family!

Season 3, The Crown
I’m sure I’m not the first to admit that I was a bit skeptical about this season with a new lead actress, but OMG wow, get onto it asap! It’s much like season 1 with big, historical events unfolding throughout the season. Olivia Coleman is incredible and I’ve loved having a spare few hours to binge a few episodes immersed in the world of the royals.

🎵Tunes

Old School Arctic Monkeys
So after taking a deep dive through rock history by listening to ‘Inside the Big Day Out,’ I became consumed by old school Arctic Monkeys. I’m not going to lie, I first got into them in 2013 with their AM album (yep amazing album) and I never really went back through their old stuff. So I’ve lately become obsessed with old school Arctic Monkeys and wow… I’m even more in love. Seeing them at the start of the year was amazing, and I’m so glad they’ve a band that continues to grow, evolve and produce bloody good music.

📝Quote

The law of attraction is something I truly believe in. You get what you give. The universe doesn’t owe you anything, so you might as well treat people with kindness, radiate happiness and keep a positive outlook on life, because you may just get exactly what you want. A frame of mind is one of the most powerful things we can possess. So why not try being happy and see what happens.

OK, so December will disappear before our eyes, and we’ll suddenly be in 2020! So I’m going to try and live in the moment, soak up the beautiful sunshine we have, enjoy the festive season and make the most of what’s left of 2019!

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: OCTOBER 2019

Well well well…. October what a ride you’ve been. It started with a bang, also known as the Sullivan wedding. It took me interstate to beautiful Perth to live out my young professional dreams. It took me to Sydney where I had a wholesome and soulful weekend in Manly with my sister. And the weather finally started to warm up and treat us. I love this time of year… the days get longer and hotter, and everyone is working their asses off to get them to the end of the year. Lucky for me, we’re not quite there yet, so for now I get to soak up the sunshine and good vibes. Let’s take a look at the crazy month of October.

💍Wedding time!

It finally arrived! The wedding of the century and indeed the best wedding I’ve been to between the beautiful Haidee and handsome Chop! Seriously though, why get your makeup done before the ceremony when you’re just going to cry and be an emotional loved up mess? This was basically a 5 day bender and I’m so glad I got to be involved. From getting all dolled up with my hair and makeup done (and wearing a fabulous outfit where I felt like a superstar), to meeting the big Washington and Sullivan family, to dancing and drinking all night… it was an event that I’ll never forget. Plus, did you see how freakin stunning my girlfriend is?!

👭 Wholesome weekend

When you’re feeling a bit blue, there’s nothing that brightens your soul than a wholesome weekend with your sister! Elly and I went to Manly to eat, drink, swim and soak up some sunshine. I’m so lucky to call my sister my best friend and I can honestly say that one of my favourite things is to get all dressed up, drink cocktails and chat and gossip all night long. P.S – How bloody amazing is Manly?! I haven’t spent much time there before and wow! 20 minutes to circular quay and meanwhile it feels like you’re living in a bustling sea side town! Thank you and love ya sis!

🏖️Perth

I was lucky enough to head to the other side of the country to Perth for a conference. Wow, what an incredible experience! I attended the Australian International Education Conference (AIEC) and met some incredible people. It was inspiring, overwhelming and an incredible personal and professional experience. I spent an extra two days in Cottesloe at a cute little Airbnb and I am so glad that I had that time and space to myself. It included a full on day trip to Rottnest Island and wow! I can honestly say that I have not felt that adventurous and relaxed in a very long time!

There was a moment where I was riding a bike around the island and pulled up at a stunning little beach. There was hardly anyone else around and I whipped my towel out, dove into the crystal clear water, soaked up some sunshine and took a deep breath. I remember laying in the sun (with a lot of sunscreen on of course) and letting my imagination run wild. Seriously, spending time with yourself is so underrated and I would totally recommend booking in some rest and relaxation time to recharge and reconnect. Oh – and I also hung out with my second cousin! That was rad! Thank you Western Australia!

🎵 Tunes

Lime Cordiale
So maybe I was hiding under a rock but wow Lime Cordiale are bloody amazing! I’ve been listening to their Like A Version cover on repeat. Their album is serious goals and I cannot wait to catch them on tour some time very soon!

🎥 Flicks

Shrill

I cannot recommend this series enough! It’s on SBS On Demand and free for your viewing. It’s a miniseries (which I hope will continue on to more seasons) about a self-identified ‘fat’ girl who is finder her way through life and learning to put herself first. It’s an incredibly wholesome series about knowing your worth and learning to love yourself.

Fleabag

I watched the whole series on a recent flight and holy shit I was nearly laughing out loud on the plane! OMG it is hilarious! It’s about an awkward single/taken woman struggling through her life in London. There’s awkward sex scenes which highlight the reality of dating, there’s family conflict, friendship and a whole lot of hilarious one liners. Wow. Get on it as soon as you can.

Broad City

The latest and last season of Broad City is AH-MAZING! I was seriously crying so much in the last season. As weird and quirky and twisted as that show can be, there is seriously no better show that accurately represents female friendship. The finale had me thinking back to all of my incredible, life-changing friends who I’ve had to see goodbye to at some point. In France, in Canada, in London, there’s really nothing quite like that sisterhood bond between two friends who don’t know when they’ll see one another again. I’m not crying, you’re crying.

The Final Quarter

Every Australian should watch this documentary. I distinctly remember when this embarrassment unfolded on our screens. I honestly couldn’t understand why someone who has demonstrated such leadership, such pose and pride in the sports world, and on a national scale, was dragged under by the Australian media and public. As white Australians, it’s important to listen and sit in the confronting nature of this documentary, and learn how to be a strong and supportive ally. Adam Goodes is such a role model and it’s such a shame and embarrassment that his football career ended the way it did.

 📚Books

The Testaments
Yes yes yes! The long awaited sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale is finally here! If you were a fan of the book and the incredible TV series, you will love the much awaited sequel! I read it in a matter of days and wow! It’s honestly amazing!

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📸 Bloggers, vloggers and podders

Tiddas4Tiddas
If you’re looking for a podcast recommendation I would highly recommend Tiddas4Tiddas, hosted by Marlee Silva. Marlee is an incredible young woman whose podcast aims to share the experiences of young Indigenous women in Australia. Wow! Subscribe, check it out, these are voices that need to be heard and we need to listen.

📝Quote

This month, I’ve really been reflecting on attitudes and mindsets. And I’ve found that when I get in a bit of a rut, it’s a bit of a downward spiral. I say something negative and by the end of the conversation I think ‘what’s the point, everything is fucked, why bother.’ And I leave feeling awful. But one of my amazing friends recently reminded me about the law of attraction and how we attract the energy we put out in the world. So in the past few weeks, I’ve made a conscious effort to be positive and emulate positivity. I’ve noticed that I’m more present, less worried about the small things, and attract more positive energy. It’s hard, and it takes time and effort, but life is better this way.

Thank you October. You were challenging, exciting, shaping and you taught me how to take time for myself and how to realign with what I want. We’re at the pointy end of the year and let’s bring it in, in style.

The subtle art of saying no

Have you ever been asked to do something that you really don’t want to? And you spent hours, if not days, trying to conjure up an excuse as to why you can’t do it? And not just any excuse, but a plausible excuse. Family events, a friend’s birthday, a reunion, a prior commitment at a prior venue that you simply could not skip on. Alternatively, we begrudgingly say yes and complain that we have to participate in this random thing that we’ve been asked to do, so that we don’t offend the person asking us.

We’ve all been there. Making up excuses, searching for excuses, before finally giving. But to be quite frank, I’m pretty sick of doing things that I don’t want to do. What better excuse of not doing something than simply, ‘I don’t want to.’

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I think from a young age, we are programmed to please people. Especially as a woman, we’re expected to be obedient, to play along, and do whatever it is to please the people around us. It means sacrificing our time, energy and effort to keep the peace and keep everyone happy. Whilst this isn’t the end of the world, and saying yes can be a great thing, there’s something terrifyingly empowering about saying no.

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This is not only apparent in our personal lives, but also in our professional ones. As a young professional, I have been brought up in an environment where I feel the need to prove myself. That I couldn’t possibly have earned my position because I’m too young. So I find myself holding incredibly high expectations of myself, pushing myself and putting my hand up for everything to prove how deserving I am of having the opportunity to have this job. This is a pretty self-destructive notion that will quickly lead to burnout and feeling unrecognised for the extra work you’re pushing yourself to do.

I used to think that saying no was saying no to new opportunities, to miss out on growing, to limit yourself and ultimately hold yourself back. And whilst sometimes saying yes to things that make you feel uncomfortable is freakin awesome and does facilitate growth, saying no doesn’t mean you miss out on that opportunity.

I’ve recently come to understand that time is one of the most precious things we have. And it’s important to protect it at all costs. As our lives get busier and busier, our weekends get booked out months in advance and seeing friends becomes a series of cancellations and rescheduling, the last thing you want to be doing is spending your precious time doing things that you don’t really want to do.

I’ve found myself asking, how the heck do I say no? To a friend, a family member, a colleague, a boss, a partner… so here are some little phrases and sayings.

  • That’s not really my scene
  • Thanks but there’s other things I’d rather be doing
  • That’s not really up my alley
  • I’m going to have a ‘me day’ instead
  • Can you elaborate on why you need me to do it specifically?
  • Can I think about it and get back to you?
  • I can’t commit to this at the moment

At the end of the day, saying no is an empowering thing. Saying no can set new boundaries. It can challenge people and get them to seriously think about what they’re asking you. It is self-care by honouring and respecting your time. And at the end of the day, you’re just one person. You can’t possibly do everything for everyone, and if you can, then maybe it’s time to start putting yourself first. Say yes to saying no!

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: SEPTEMBER 2019

Do you remember… the 21st night of September? Well I’m not sure, but it seems that Earth, Wind and Fire do! How the heck is it October already?! We’re on the home stretch of the year, Christmas is right around the corner, and soon I’ll be trying to recap 2019, half way through 2020! Before it gets away from us, let’s take a look back on the month that was. This month I decided to do a dry month. Dry July just doesn’t suit my whole birthday schedule, so I opted for a sober September instead. A whole blog post will be coming on this topic, but upon reflection, maybe it meant I didn’t go out as much, but it gave me some much needed clarity and ‘me time’ to reflect on where I’m at, and where I’m going.

🏃 Blackmores Bridge Run

When was the last time you got to run across the Sydney Harbour Bridge? No not on the sidewalk for plebs… on the road, on the bridge? That’s right… probably never! That is by far the coolest thing about running 10km at 8am on a sunny weekend. Luckily I had the company of my sister as we ran, walked and talked our way through Sydney. It was an absolutely smashing day, and we enjoyed a well deserved pub feed at the end of it! I’ll definitely be signing up for this next year and I would totally recommend you do it too!

🏠 Home

Sometimes you just need a little trip back home to put everything in perspective. Whilst it was a whirlwind trip, and I managed to read a whole book on my epic train ride, it was totally worth it. Seeing friends and family is so important. I don’t do it enough but I soak up every second and am very grateful to have such supportive people around me. Oh and I saw my cute dogs… what else could you want?

💪Standing up for myself (without the guilt)

This month has been pretty hectic. More hectic than usual. I’ve been feeling stress and pressure in every avenue of my life. That feeling of being helpless in watching things around you collapse and bend under pressure is horrible. In times like this, I strip it back to basics. Back to my core values, respect and honesty. There have been several instances this month where flash decisions and things have been said without my consultation and in a brazen way. Well that just doesn’t fly with me. So, I took a deep breath, I took a moment, and I summoned up the courage to speak up and say that I’m hurt and don’t feel respected. Wow. By setting those clear boundaries, and summoning the courage to speak up about it, invited a conversation about best practices and how we can respect one another more often.

So even when it’s scary, and even when it might be easier to not say anything, I’d really encourage you to stand up and speak up for yourself. In any aspect of your life, it’s important to draw the line, and then call someone out when they overstep that boundary. I am so here for this! So here’s a nice little quote that really resonated with me.

🎥 Flicks

The Big Short
Yes it has taken me until now to watch this movie… and wow! And if you, like me, have been putting it off, well there’s no better time than the present! This movie is amazing and I can’t believe it took me this long to watch it! Dad, you’ll really enjoy this one!

📚 Books

Mama Mia
My love for reading is back thanks to Mia Freedman! WOW! Once I picked this book up, I seriously could not put it down. I think I mistakenly judged Mia Freedman too early, it’s funny how other people’s opinions can tint your perspective of someone. But this book smashed down all of my preconceived ideas of Mia and gave me a beautiful insight into her world. I was enthralled reading her chapter about emotionally abusive relationships and heartbroken reading about her challenge to fall pregnant and her experience with miscarriage. Plus it was a bonus that she is all things communications and media (right up my alley). I seriously adore this book and can’t wait to check out her other books!

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📷 Bloggers, vloggers and podders

Eva zu Beck
If you love YouTube and travel vloggers, you haven’t seen anything until you check out Eva zu Beck. She travels to all the places that you ‘shouldn’t travel.’ I’ve been watching her videos in Syria, Pakistan and Yemen and all I can say is WOW! Watching her videos makes me want to pack up my suitcase and book a flight to Yemen – who would’ve thought?! This is what travel is about. Breaking down barriers, meeting locals, trying new food, getting out there and exploring undiscovered lands. Not about Instagram pictures. I’m in absolute awe with her content and could not recommend her enough.

Rewilding, by Ella Grace Denton
So I’ll firstly admit that I basically love this podcast because I’m in love with Ella’s beautiful voice, but once you move past that I love the open and honest conversations she has. She recently posted an episode with her now ex-boyfriend about their breakup and how they’re moving on and what it all means to them. I found it honestly so compelling to listen. It was intimate, raw and open, and I fell in love with her authenticity. I would strongly recommend checking out her podcast for some positive female energy and to connect to people spiritually, sexually and emotionally. Ella, please write a book and make it an e-book, your voice is angelic!

🎵Tunes

I’ve been throwing it back and had Nao on repeat this past month! There’s nothing that makes me more chill than her sexy beautiful voice, and it’s put me in a good mood each morning before work. Nothing like some smooth rnb to get you in the right headspace.

❤️ Product

Mecca Cosmetic, To Save Face Supersunscreen SPF50+
I have a life saying… ‘sun safety is sexy.’ And nothing is better than an oily, grease free SPF moisturizer that you can use EVERYDAY! Shout out to my sister Elly for recommending it, and accompanying me into the store to buy it (makeup stores terrify me). This is seriously the best $40 I’ve spent on skincare. I apply it to my face, ears and neck everyday, and can’t believe I wasn’t using it earlier!

📝 Quote

Ok so this isn’t technically a quote, but it sure is some good advice to listen to and protect your vibe. Sometimes setting strong boundaries is the best way to show yourself and others what you’re willing to accept and the lengths you’re willing to go to to stay true to yourself.

So I may be writing this post when it’s mid-October…. oops. Time gets away. But September, you were great. Thank you for giving me clarity, space and challenges that are attempting to strengthen me. Life doesn’t always make sense, but when you have a sense of purpose, it doesn’t really matter.

I’ll be there for you: What friendship looks like to me

Friendship isn’t about who you’ve known the longest. It’s about who walked into your life, said “I’m here for you” and proved it.

While listening to the Shameless podcast, the girls were discussing performative friendship on social media. And it was only last weekend, when it was another friends birthday, I thought to myself ‘do I really need to post another photo?‘ It’s not that I don’t like that friend or that I didn’t have any nice photos together. It was that I felt an overwhelming duty to do so. And as I’m describing this, I’m sure you know the exact social phenomenon I’m referring to. It’s your friends birthday so you post an old picture of the two of you on your stories, or if you really love them, on your feed. Or, going one step further, making a collage of photos and posting on their Facebook timeline. Wow. And whilst I’ve enjoyed doing this for friends over the past few years, I can’t help but think… why? Apart from a few seconds of humour, embarrassment or entertainment, it disappears in 24 hours. Which got me thinking… what does friendship look like to me?

This inspired me to reflect. And I thought about what I value in friendship and what friendship means to me, how it has shaped me and if I’m a good friend at all! Interestingly enough, I feel that my values around friendship (and I guess in life more generally) begins with my star sign (yep, basic bitch right here, but hear me out). I’m a cancer and strongly identify with being a cancer. Emotional, creative, an extroverted-introvert, I wear my heart of my sleeve, I’m an empath, sensitive, sometimes unpredictable, but if we form a connection and relationship, I’ll fight for it to the death. These attitudes transfer to my friendships, I believe I can make friends with nearly anyone, and that no matter what others think, I will always know the true value of our friendship.

High School: BFFL

When you’re at high school, you think your friends are friends for life. They’re your crew and you ain’t ever leaving their side. Until you do, and you grow, and you meet new people, and you make new friends, and you realise that some of your high school friends no longer serve you in the way it used to. The friendships that last, and surprise you in ways you could have never expected, are the ones that will grow and continue to serve you in the best way possible. The others will drift off, usually without you even knowing.

University: Soulmate

Then you get to uni, you make a whole new family of friends and you think these friends are ‘the ones.’ As a friendship group, you go through so much together, and get a real taste of adulthood. You ‘love’ your friends, you can’t imagine your life without them and that your crew that goes out to sing karaoke and heads to the beach for a hungover swim will be like this forever. And just when you think you’ve found your crew for life, you graduate, people continue to grow, they move away, you grow apart and you figure out, again, that friendship is an ever changing force that will continue to challenge and support you.

Professional: Still figuring it out

And then you adjust to full time work. Your friendship circles become a little smaller, and it becomes a little easier to spend a night in, than heading out. And I am completely guilty of this. I need a lot of ‘me’ time and down time to reset. Adjusting to full time work is pretty exhausting, and that’s why I find myself bolting straight to my room after work and throwing myself on the bed to stare at the ceiling for 30 minutes. It’s my little after work routine and I seriously love it.

Nomadic, true friendships

When I think about my best friends, the people I would have at my wedding, fly across the world to be with if they asked for my help, give my left arm to, they’re the people that I don’t see or speak to everyday. And I think it’s because loyalty is something that doesn’t require constant maintenance. It’s like the Great Wall of China, built on a solid foundation and it will stand the test of times. I think these deep feelings of loyalty and friendship began when I was quite young.

Growing up, my family and I moved several times around Australia. Moving schools, saying goodbye to old friends and working up the courage to make some new ones. Back then, I’d write long letters to my old school friends about my gross new school uniform, what the popular girls looked like and how the snacks at the canteen compared (serious stuff). So over time, I became accustomed to my friends not always being physically close, but knowing that at any time, I could send them a letter with a life update and I’d get one in return about the boy they liked or how annoying their little sister was. I knew they were always there for me, as I was for them.

Adulting: Relationships that serve one another

Fast forward to my adult life, I enjoy moving, meeting new people, trying new things and making new memories. I know that not everyone will be around forever and that friendships change. And for me, the most successful friendships I have, are the ones that are a little like that beautiful little cactus on my window sill. It doesn’t take much to keep a strong friendship alive, because it’s tough af. Unlike the needy succulents sitting next to it that often require a lot of love, attention, water (but not too much. Those suckers are temperamental). Sure, those friendships can serve a purpose and help me grow, but at the end of the day, they’re not going to flourish on their own.

I like to think about life in retrospect. So, when I’m 30 what do I hoped to have achieve? And when I’m 60? On my deathbed? The thing that is reoccurring throughout all of these milestones, is that I want to be surrounded by positive, exciting, challenging, genuine and brave people. And for me, I want there to be as many people in this group as possible. People who bring out the absolute best in me, and in return, hopefully I can help them become the best version of themselves. I don’t believe there’s such thing as too many friends. There’s such thing as too many succulents that’s for sure.But the end of the day, I just want a few soulmates, far and wide, who will catch me when I fall and give me boost forward when I’m heading towards the stars. Oh and to share a cocktail or coffee with every so often.

Thankyou to the people who make me ‘me.’ I love you.

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: AUGUST 2019

August! Thank you for coming! This month I was professional Adelaide and out in full force! I went on my first ever international business trip (which was freakin awesome), I’ve been killing it at work, I’ve been getting active and sweaty, and having a great time with friends! What more could you even ask for?! August was such a wholesome month and I honestly felt on my absolute A game! So let’s have a look at the month where I killed it! #humblebrag

🏍️ India

Hello country number 30! And what an adventure it was! India is somewhere I have always wanted to go but thought it was a ‘one day’ country. Never would I have thought I would get the chance to go on a business trip to three cities in 12 days. I visited Mumbai (or Bombay as the locals still call it), Kolkata and Delhi. I was totally in the zone and have honestly never felt more confident in my work. And being, the adventurer I am, I needed to get out and about and explore the cities I was in. This meant, 6am starts, late nights, lots of food, lots of staring out windows and lots of ‘wow’ moments. Seriously India, I cannot wait to come back

🎉Parties!

It was my best friend cyclone Erica’s birthday! The one thing I love more than my birthday, is celebrating my friends birthdays! We went on a double date to Kneading Ruby and hello fancy pants, it was a lot of fun! No party is complete without a night out at the Harp, a bottomless brunch at Dagwood (margaritas YUM!) and finishing it off with a Sunday Sesh at North Gong!

🐤 Haidee’s Hens

The first time I ever went on a hens night out, I was 18, living in London, and somewhat crashed a hens. The hen herself took a firm liking to me and proceeded to buy me tequila shots all night until I was throwing up in the street (yep – I’m glad I’ve left that girl behind). So for my first proper hens party, for my gorgeous friend (and Soph’s big sister) Haidee, I was tremendously excited to celebrate her soon to be marriage!

🍷 Fam time

Those who know me, would know that I don’t see my family very often. It’s a combination between being way too busy, distance and travel. So when my family come to spend the weekend with me, it makes me pretty damn happy. It also coincided with a Fathers Day weekend. So we took Dad to a winery, out for burgers, pizza and cocktails. Us Haynes’, we’re silly and loud and don’t make much sense, but we know how to have a good time!

🎥 Flicks

Animal Kingdom
You better believe we smashed over all 4 seasons. Whilst this is filled with way too much testosterone, there’s something just chill and encapsulating to watch a young group of guys steal stuff and bash stuff up. Is this really entertainment? I don’t know, but I came to view Smurf as the ultimate badass.

🎵Tunes

Smith Street Band
I know there’s been a lot of controversy around this band lately, and in music more broadly (can you separate the man from the artist, and still appreciate their music?) And whilst I don’t have the answer, the inner rock goddess within me loves this song! I want to listen to it loud, I want to thrash around and kick something in my connies.

Thelma Plum
Woah!! Her new album is AMAZING! I have had it on repeat and wow it is an absolute banger! I was lucky enough to see her in concert this month and WOW! Her voice is so powerful and her voice is honestly better in real life (how that is possible I have no idea!). Oh and she is STUNNING! Mega girl crush!

📷 Vloggers, Blogger and Podders

Larissa DSa
Whilst I was India, I stumbled across this India YouTuber. And I was lucky enough to see her video on Kolkata, before I arrived in Kolkata. Whilst some might argue it can ‘spoil’ a city before getting there, I can honestly say it enhanced my experience and made me so much more excited to go, and happy to be there. Plus it was nice to discover another YouTuber (who I think is very talented and super likeable!)

❤️ Product

Phisohex
OK not the most glamorous recommendation but a worthy one at that! When I cam back from India, my chest was covered in tiny red sweat pimples (thanks 95% humidity). But after a week or two they still hadn’t disappeared. Naturally, I consulted my expert ex-pharmacy assistant who recommended good old Phisohex. Wow! I honestly reckon within a day it started to clear up, and now my chest is completely clear! I’ve since incorporated into my skincare routine, and if you suffer from persistent acne, I would totally recommend it. It’s not a miracle wash (nothing is) but this really helped my skin and I saw excellent results!

Image result for phisohex

📝 Quote

The magic happens in the process! I cannot stress this enough, and cannot seem to remember it enough. I’m always worried about producing excellent, perfect, ‘ready to publish’ work. And I’m so hard on myself that I often don’t get very far, or I’m so completely unmotivated by the fear of failing, that I don’t even try.

Well this is not the person I signed up to be! This has been a beautiful reminder that I can create work that isn’t perfect, the most important thing is that I’m creating, getting my hands dirty and giving it my all.

Thank you August! I am so grateful I got to experience such an incredible breadth of activities, pushed myself and made a lifelong dream of travelling for work, a reality. Dreams can come true! September, I’ve set the bar high so watch out!

How to push your comfort zone in your mid-twenties

By the time you reach your mid-twenties (yes, I’ve just turned 25 and I’ve reached the next life stage of mid-twenties), you’re in a good swing of things. In your early twenties you tried new things, failed, succeeded, you figured it out and now you’re steadily moving through life quietly killing in. Your comfort zone is well and truly formed and you’re living in it. Not that there’s anything wrong with this, but I’m not one for stagnating.

Earlier this year, whilst intoxicated at the pub, I somehow got caught up in a conversation where I signed up to play touch football. To many people, this may seem like a pretty normal conversation. But for me, I was immediately riddled with doubt, anxiety and fear. I had never played touch football before, I didn’t know the rules, I didn’t know all the girls on the team, basically I didn’t know what I was doing.

I guess working in a full time job, you get in a bit of a monotonous routine. Plus I’d noticed myself becoming a bit lazy. So in that moment at the pub, I thought this was the perfect way to get fit, make some new friends, but most importantly, try something new.

The whole day before my second game I was riddled with anxiety

About 20 minutes before our first game, I was frantically watching YouTube videos of how to play touch footy, the rules and how it all works. The first game I spent most of my time jogging up and down the wings, seeing how the game worked and observing/participating/scratching my head/panting.

The whole day before my second game I was riddled with anxiety, thinking about the 7:15 kick off and how I was absolutely terrified to go. All of these negative thoughts flooded my head. ‘The other girls think you’re shit. You don’t know what you’re doing. You’re too unfit to play. You don’t know the rules. The other team is targeting you because they know you suck. Why are you even trying.’ I somehow made it to half time before I started to freak out. I was on the sideline and was honestly on the verge of tears. Why was I putting myself through this?

As I ran back onto the field, trying to bottle up these feelings, my team mate threw me the ball and I ran. To my absolute surprise, I dodged the other team and ran through several players. I continued running, not quite knowing what had even happened. Before I knew it, I put the ball down on the ground (that’s called a try), I turned around, and my team mates were cheering for me. Holy shit, I just scored a try!

People are just stoked you turned up

Whilst I didn’t score a try for the rest of the season, my anxiety reduced dramatically and by the end, I was actually looking forward to our touch games. And I’m so glad I pushed through the feelings of being uncomfortable and being filled with self-doubt.

Isn’t it funny how I tried something new and I immediately expected to be good at it? Like hello….. people train and learn rules of games for YEARS! It’s your first time ever playing, people are just stoked you turned up! And this is the part I’m trying to work on. The voice in my head doubting my ability and telling me to take a step back. I think back to all of the times I supported my friends trying new things, and how supportive, encouraging and patient I was. Why would I expect my friends to turn around and not reciprocate those thoughts?

At the end of the day, you can’t be good at everything, and you certainly can’t be good at something the first time you try it! I think in our twenties, we’re so used to being good that we’re so afraid to fail, we’re afraid to even try. That’s why I think it’s imperative that we try new things, we fail, we learn how to learn again, and be kind to ourselves.

You may even surprise yourself and score a try!

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: JULY 2019

I was recently reminded that I begin each of these posts with ‘omg where did this month go?’ so, I’ll begin this post in a different way. JULY IS MY FAVOURITE MONTH BECAUSE IT’S MY BIRTHDAY MONTH AND YAY WHAT A GREAT MONTH IT WAS! Excitement much?! But seriously, there’s something extremely exciting about birthdays and officially turning one year older. And for me, that number is now sitting at the ripe old age of 25! Yep! 25! I know that my skin care routine is good enough that I don’t look 25 but yes, 25 years of experiences making me the wise young woman I am! So you know sooner or later there will be a ’25 things I’ve learnt in 25 years’ blog post coming, but for now, here’s a recap on the month of July!

🍷Adelaide

No I’m not talking about myself, I’m talking about the amazing long weekend that Soph and I had in the city of churches, Adelaide, South Australia! There’s nothing like taking a long weekend, and there’s nothing better when that aligns with you 25th birthday, a music festival and prime wine season! For four nights we partied our way around Adelaide and had the best freakin time! If you’re getting itchy feet and feeling like an escape, then I’d strongly recommend getting out there and exploring our own back yard. It’s simply beautiful!

🎉 Birthday shenanigans

When you turn 25, I think you’re entitled to a birthday month right? Well I am super grateful for all of the amazing people who showed up for my 25th birthday bash, drank way too much with me, and stopped by to give me a cuddle, share a dance, take a polaroid picture and eat burgers!

💼 Amazing work environment

July means, mid-year celebrations. I am incredibly lucky to work with such amazing people (who also happen to enjoy lunch and a good time!) Whilst in both of my teams we celebrated the mid-year point in different ways, it’s amazing to be surrounded by strong, driven, motivational, fun, intelligent colleagues who also happen to be wine enthusiasts.

🎵Tunes

Banks
She’s back! YES! Finally! I’m telling you, when she comes to Australia, I will be there with bells and whistles on! I have completely been in love with her music since she started out and yes! This album is life!

Soon by Angie McMahon
Yes! Finally an album from the one and only Angie McMahon! And girl does she have some incredible new music!! Soon is an incredible song and I have listened to it literally on repeat, feeling heartbroken, loved and motivated each time I listen to it! I can’t wait to see her on tour soon!

🎞️Flicks

What If
Wow. Renee Zellweger you evil, beautiful thing! I was absolutely addicted to this show! Public service announcement, don’t watch the first episode late on a Sunday night because you will be distracted all day on Monday and race home early to binge watch as much as you can!

❤️ Product

Sukin rosehip oil
Lucky for me, my girlfriend has an amazing skin care routine and introduced me to this product. I use it every night before bed and feel that my skin has dramatically improved, not as many dots and softer skin. Side note, I absolutely love all Sukin products and I would totally recommend jumping on board!

📷 Vloggers, Blogger and Podders

Johnny Harris
I’ve watched Johnny’s videos as a presenter on Vox borders. Finding his YouTube channel has been amazing! I love his style, I always feel smarter after watching his videos and I love the sense of adventure he has. It’s incredibly infectious and makes me want to book a one way ticket!

📝 Quote

So I guess turning 25 has brought on a little ‘quarter life crisis’ joke that doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon. With a huge business trip ahead of me, and definitely feeling the pressure, it’s easy to question and doubt what you’re doing. But as I like to say, if it doesn’t scare you, then you’re not pushing yourself. I’ve got this and each day I’m becoming more of the person I’m meant to be. And in all seriousness, I am wildly capable, I’ve got this and I can absolutely do it.

Well July, you were by far one of my favourite months! For a month that was so jam packed, I feel like I don’t have a lot to show for it compared to other months (um hello where are all my pictures), but I think it’s because it was spent with amazing people, creating amazing memories and just making the most of being alive! Bring on August!

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: JUNE 2019

Um excuse me but where the heck did June go? It disappeared in a heck of a lot of good times I’ll tell you that much! This month has been pretty full on. Work is crazy, I’ve been juggling a lot and killin it, whilst also feeling pretty unmotivated. I think the short days and cold mornings have really got to me. I don’t feel on my A game lately. But something I’ve learned this month is that you have to be kind to yourself. You can’t keep beating yourself up and holding yourself to high expectations. You’re allowed to have down time, you’re allowed to sleep in and you’re allowed to take it easy. It’s a marathon after all, not a sprint.

🇦🇺Canberra

Ah yes, the capital of Australia known for… well not much else than being the capital. But despite the stereotype of Canberra’s boringness, my little brother happens to be living there, filling it with lots of life and a reason to go and visit. My Dad, Elly, Soph and I headed down for a night to visit our fave lil Haynes. He took us out on a night around Canberra, drank some delicious cocktails, ate some amazing Indian food and got to enjoy one another’s company (without freezing to death).

🌊 Newcastle

There’s nothing quite like an impromptu trip home. Especially when it involves a girls night out, whale watching and delicious lunch dates. We were treated to gorgeous weather giving us ultimate summer vibes. Whale watching in Port Stephens this time of year is bliss. There were dozens of whales out and about, so many that one stealthily snuck up on us and the boat nearly hit it! Catching up with my family is always a joy and I’m glad I got to enjoy a weekend with them.

🍷The Opera House

I’ve been obsessed with Sigur Ros since forever! So when I saw that Jonsi and Alex were playing at the Sydney Opera House, during VIVID, I knew I had to go! So what better date night then to head up to Sydney with my girl and enjoy a fancy night together. We had a super delicious Italian meal before heading to the Opera House. An 18 piece orchestra and 12 person choir, wow I have never felt music so strongly before! I’m so glad I got to share this very romantic, pretty adult moment with Soph!

🎬Flicks

Centre Stage
Talk about a blast from the past! This was my absolute favourite movie when I was in high school. I used to dance three times a week and dream of being scouted from my ballet class. Whilst those dreams have well and truly died, my love and passion for dance and the arts has certainly not. So it was pretty great to relive all these good memories through this movie!

Handmaid’s Tale – Season 3
It’s back! It’s finally back! And shit it is horrible, yet amazing! Seriously, this show is incredible and terrifying. Especially with everything happening in the US and across the world to do with women’s rights, abortion bans and safe access to healthcare… I’m starting to think that this isn’t so sci-fi…

🎼 Tunes

Make Damn Sure, Taking Back Sunday
16 year old Adelaide would be laughing that I’m having a moment getting back into all of her fave punk rock music. Nothing takes me back like this absolute banger by Taking Back Sunday. I’ve also been revisiting Escape the Fate, All Time Low and The Used. Wow. OK excuse the throwback, but hey, brutal honesty is what you’ll get from me here.

Cellophane, by FKA Twigs
Wow. Just wow. This is absolute art. The film clip is so mesmerizing and the song, captivating. If you follow FKA Twigs on Instagram, you’re in for more of a treat as you’ll know she often shares her pole dancing training and sequences. Ah she’s so bloody talented and I absolutely love this tune!

❤️ Product

I thought I would introduce this section because I think it’s always important to be a good samaritan and pass on the good word about products I’ve been loving.

Face halo
One of my friends recommended getting onto these, and whilst I must admit I was pretty skeptical, especially considering the big ‘influencer’ PR movement surrounding them, I got myself some Face Halo’s and boy am I impressed. I honestly reckon my skin has improved because I’m getting rid of all of my makeup every time. Plus, it saves me using heaps of make up wipes and cotton pads. Good for the environment, good for your skin, I’m happy here!

📷 Vloggers, Blogger and Podders

💌 Morgan Harper Nichols daily email
If you’re not already in love with Morgan Harper Nichols, you will absolutely fall in love with her when you sign up to her daily emails. It’s seriously a beautiful way to start my day (especially at work) to take five minutes to read some poetry, reflect and feel wholesome. I received the below image and poem on a pretty stressful day at work. Needless to say, it helped a lot!

Sailing La Vagabonde
Aw man the travel envy is real watching these two sail the seven seas (and with their cute newborn). They’re an Aussie couple who have been traveling the world for the past few years on their catamaran… yep… what a life. They’re videos are actually really cool and it’s made me rethink and question our accepted lifestyles, way of eating, living and travelling…mmm

📝 Quote

It’s hard to know you’re on the right path. Sometimes we feel like we’re being pulled in a million different directions. That’s why I fully believe that you have to always hold your values close to you to steer you in the right direction. There’s only one ‘you’ and you bring your unique magic into this world. Sometimes you have to fight through other people’s expectations and hold on to that magic.

The things no one tells you about finishing uni

When it’s 1am and you’ve had too many coffees, too many toasties from Panizi and you’re tapping away at your politics essay, graduation feels like a distant dream. Slowly but surely, every presentation, essay, report and participation mark add up and you’ve finally completed your degree. But there’s a few things that no one tells you about that magical moment you’ve been dreaming of. As someone who’s finished two degrees and is still trying to figure it all out, here are the things that no one tells you about finishing uni.

There’s no minions hiding in your laptop ready to celebrate the moment you hit submit on your final assignment

I remember submitting my last every essay. I was sitting in one of the computer labs in building 17. I pressed submit, took a deep breath, then looked around. Where were the balloons, sparklers and celebrations? I thought the day I submitted my Honours thesis, people around me would break into song and dance. Yet you’re sharply reminded that life goes on, people will continue to nap in South Wing, and sadly, it’s just another day (but for your – a really successful day).

Meeting new people becomes a lot more difficult

I never would have thought that those people I did a group assignment with in my first year would turn out to be my best friends, even now. And I never would have thought I’d still be in touch with the French exchange students I met through the French society. Whilst I like to consider myself a social person, it’s pretty difficult to meet new people once you’ve finished uni. In the professional world, there’s no lunch time uni bar sessions, no starting at 11 after a night out at the Illa, no awkward ice breakers with 25 other students in your class. But one thing uni taught me, is that new friends come from very unexpected places, you just have to make the effort.

What do you call yourself now?

After several years of putting ‘student’ on forms and applications under ‘career,’ you’re now a bit stuck. The most unique species of uni graduate are those who know exactly what they’re doing. This usually applied to those who studied teaching, nursing or engineering, they’re going to be a teacher, nurse or engineer. But what do you become when you study Communications and Media? International Studies? Arts? The beauty, and also the curse, is that there’s no one career for you, and no single career you can put on that form. The best thing about becoming a ‘communicationist’ or ‘international studies person’ is that you can be whatever you want to be.

Comparison-itis is not useful at all

When you finish uni and move in to the real world, and you don’t really know what you’re doing, you will find yourself looking around at your peers and freaking out a little. One of them has a grad position at a big corporation, one’s moving to Spain to teach English, one’s doing a Master’s degree, one’s moving to Melbourne and one’s getting married and starting their own business. Yep, there’s a lot of talented people graduating from UOW. And you’re one of them, even if you don’t have a plan or have it quite figured out, it’s important to stop comparing yourself to others and know that you’re on your own path. Chances are, your peers are looking at your achievements and questioning their own as well.

Fake it til you make it

After several years of being a student, adjusting to life without timetables, tutorials, research projects and Friday afternoons at the unibar, it’s pretty normal to be feeling a bit lost. At the end of the day, people everywhere are faking it til they make it. I’m lucky I’m working in a role that I enjoy, with people who are kind, supportive and inspiring. Am I in my dream job? Not yet. Am I changing the world? Not quite. But am I enjoying the ride? Absolutely! It’s scary and overwhelming finishing uni, always second guessing whether you’re ready, capable or if it’s right for you, but as the saying goes, fake it til you make it!

The thing no one tells you about uni, is that uni is truly a special time in people’s lives. If you belong to the UOW alumni group, we’re some of the lucky people in this world, to obtain a tertiary education at one of Australia’s finest institutions, and privileged to pursue further education. So when you get to wear that royal blue cap and gown, know that you’re leaving something amazing, but you’re more than prepared and capable of moving into the big wide world. Because one day, you won’t have to fake it anymore!