These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: FEBRUARY 2020

Wow – what a time to be alive. Things are a mix of business as usual combined with casual panic and stress. Despite everything that has been going on, I really believe it’s important to practice gratitude and take time to reflect on what’s important to you. So – this month’s Favourite Things is to achieve just that – to say thank you to the people in my life who make me feel loved and apart of a community.

🌆Melbourne

I started off the month with an absolute bang! A weekend in Melbourne with the one and only DJ Dicko! We had the most jam packed, awesome weekend. From sweltering our way through the city to see Chicago (OMG it was flipping amazing!), to bar hopping our way through Fitzroy, and soaking up all things T-Swift.

Plus I caught up with my amazing kiwi friends, Hannah and Sophie. And what better way to do that than with a drink in hand.

Chloe, I’m so bloody grateful for that weekend away and I’m already looking forward to the next one!

🐿️Losing some wisdom

So the time finally came. I had my wisdom teeth removed. Yay to paying way too much money to be in immense pain, look like a chipmunk and be unable to eat solid food for two weeks. As much as it hurt physically and financially, I can honestly say that I’m really grateful for our amazing health care here in Australia. I’m also grateful for my body in being able to heal itself and for my general health. It’s important to listen to your body and give your body what it needs. Sometimes, it’s to sleep, watch trashy movies and do nothing, And I’m also incredibly grateful for Soph for still taking me home when I had an ice pack strapped around my head, and for making me jelly.

Here’s an accurate and funny representation of what I looked like for about 1/2 of the month.

💕All loved up

February is a pretty loved up month for me, because, A: It’s Valentines day and who doesn’t love some red and pink helium balloons and a red rose, and B: It’s Soph and mine’s anniversay! Yep. We made it to two whole years. How freakin exciting! For Valentines day we went out to one of our favourite Thai restaurants and ate til our hearts were content. And for our anniversary, we bar crawled our way through Sydney. Finding some very funky underground bars (literally) and eating the most divine Spanish tapas I could’ve dreamed of. To top it off, the next morning we caught up with Soph’s fam who made me cry from laughter over some ‘teeth’ lollies. Let’s just say I’ve been like 😍🥰💕

✨Mardi Gras

This year, Mardi Gras fell on the incredibly special 29th February, the leap day. Whilst there was no parade or huge celebrations for us – I did pop on a glittery purple dress and drink a hell of a lot of cocktails. What else could I really ask for?

🎥Flicks

Parasite
If I’ve seen you in the past month, I’ve most likely told you about this movie, and how you absolutely must watch it. Wow! It’s unique, it’s gripping, it’s a little bit scary and the whole time you’re rooting for…. well I guess you’ll have to wait and see.

In the famous words of Bong Joon Ho “once you overcome your fear of a one inch subtitle, it’s amazing the world of film you’ll be opened up to.”

Fleabag Season 2
She’s back, she’s genius, she’s twisted. I think I know how I will always answer the question “if you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive who would it be?” As if you wouldn’t want to have dinner with Pheobe Waller-Bridge? Chances are you’d steal some art, get drunk and have a bloody good story to tell.

1917
Ooooh what a great film! War movies get harder and harder to watch not only because my brother is currently serving in the army or because our world seems to be on the brink of World War 3, but because I think about these wars shaped us as a society. This movie is cinematic, it’s beautiful, and there was a particular scene of a soldier floating down a river with cherry blossoms falling around him like snow that I don’t think I’ll be forgetting anytime soon.

📚Books

Such a fun age, by Kiley Reid
There’s nothing quite like jumping on the bandwagon, and this was an interesting one to jump on. This book was highly recommended by the girls at Shameless podcast, and whilst I love a good recommendation, once a book has been labelled as ‘book of the year’ let’s just say my expectations skyrocket. Was it a good book? Yes. Was it a page turner? It was interesting enough that yes I wanted to find out more. Is it book of the year? I don’t think so. So, now that I’ve crashed your expectations down to the ground, I would still recommend it. It is an important discussion about race, class and gender.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman
Opposed to Such A Fun Age, this book had received many mixed reviews, so I didn’t dive into it for a long time, put off by whether it was the best or worst book ever. I finally picked it up and WOW! INCREDIBLE! It’s not often that you read a book where the main character unsettles you, and you can’t quite put your finger on it. The thing that kept me captivated was Eleanor’s journey of self discovery and acceptance, you were secretly rooting for her and knew that she had some huge barriers to overcome, without even knowing what they were. LOVED IT!

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Everything I know about love, by Dolly Alderton
If you’ve ever lived in London, this book will resonate all too well. Not only with the context of navigating dating in and around London, but also the experiences you open yourself up to, the situations you get yourself in, and the person you end up becoming. This is everything I would love to create in a book and more (dammit now I have to think of a new idea). It’s funny, it’s light and I would absolutely recommend it!

🛍️Product

Benefit Gimme Brow gel
Woooo what a great little addition this is to my beauty bag! I picked up a little gift set from the airport that included this gel, their bronzer, primer and mascara (look out for a good deal at an airport near you because I saved so much money!) And I have become obsessed with this little thing! I use the colour 3 and it gives my brows the shade and depth I want, while using the pencil to fill in any gaps. Couldn’t be happier with this new addition!

Gimme Brow+ Brow-Volumizing Fiber Gel 3 Medium

📝Quote

See good in all things. It’s simple, yet difficult. Believe that people are trying their best. Trust that things will work out the way that they are meant to. Look on the bright side of sometimes challenging and dark times. Embrace the strange beauty of life and take it one day at a time.

Stay safe, stay brilliant, be kind, we’re in this together.

Finding your voice and racing to learn

There’s not many people who can get me panicked that I’ll miss a train at 6:30 in the morning, except for my friends. And on Sunday 8th March, International Women’s Day, I spent some quality time with some strong women that I’m lucky enough to call my friends.

Zina and I had tickets to the All About Women Festival in Sydney. It was our second year attending so I think this is the start of a new and exciting tradition for us.

Race to learn

We attended a session featuring the deity Flex Mami and iconic Clementine Ford all about ‘finding your voice,’ especially in the digital sphere. Just two seats away was my amazing colleague and I knew we’d have a lot to talk about when we returned to the office.

The conversation ebbed and flowed between why we may or may not need to find a strong online voice for ourselves, where our voices develop from and what drives us to voice our opinions and experiences.

“We always race to speak, but we don’t always race to learn and understand.”

Flex Mami

I thought that the biggest take away for me was that some of us are lucky to have a platform, my blog is one of mine. And that with a platform comes a responsibility.

My colleague asked me yesterday at work what was my purpose in life – I know, just small talk.

After thinking about it for some time, now, in the stage of my life I’m currently in, I replied, ‘to learn all that I can.’

I believe, what Clementine and Flex showed was vulnerability in not knowing things, in making mistakes and growing and evolving their ideas and values.

“No one finds their voice or comes into this world as a perfectly politically correct person.”

Clementine Ford

We’re all on this journey together, and this International Women’s Day, with the theme being Each for Equal, is really resonated that we’re all trying to do our best and understand this crazy world and our position in it.

So, what about my voice?

At 25 I know that I’ve got a voice. I know how to use it. I’ve perhaps used it irrationally before. And I’ve said things that I perhaps regret or shouldn’t have said.

But I’m aware of this. I feel so aware of my views, values and voice and I’m always questioning why I think, react and behave this way. I think what’s next for me is refining my voice. Cutting out all the shit, all the nonsense, all of the stuff that does not spark joy, and use my voice wisely.

I want to race to learn, rather than race to speak. Because I think when we learn and take our time, is when we grow and create magic.


A huge shoutout to the incredible women in my life who have shown me the way, and played a pivotal part in me finding more voice. To my family, friends, colleagues, role models, acquaintances… to the people who listen to me, support me and lift me… thank you.

This world is a better place with you in it.

Seeking discomfort

Maybe it’s Mercury in Retrograde, but maybe it means that something exciting is coming… I just have to find my way through it all.

I think it started at the turn on the new year. Entering a new year, a new decade, I felt myself starting to yearn for something big. I am very happy in my life right now don’t get me wrong – I guess it was more of a realisation that if I don’t do all of the things I want to do now, then when will I do it?

For example, I have said I’ve wanted to go to Tasmania for the last three years. I keep talking about it, imagining it, researching it, making plans, and guess what… I still haven’t gone to Tasmania. And if I don’t make my wants and needs a priority, maybe I’ll never go.

I feel like 2020 is a big year and that it’s the year for saying yes to something that scares the shit out of you. I feel that I’m in a great spot, a comfortable spot. I’ve created an amazing environment in my workplace, I’m friends with my colleagues, I’m good at what I do and I’ve been getting coffee from the same guy nearly everyday for 6 years, I live in a nice place with amazing people, I know all the good coffee spots around town… but I am afraid.

I am afraid of becoming too comfortable. I never want to take this comfort for granted, but I’m also not ready for my ‘once in a life time’ comfortable life. I’m 25 years old. Yes I could be engaged, saving to buy a house, heck, even popping out a kid or two. And while maybe that’s coming for me one day, I am currently seeking discomfort.

So this year I decided to throw my hat in the ring. Well, in several different rings. In several different locations, and industries, and positions… let’s just say there’s a lot of hats floating around with my name out there.

And maybe it’s asking too much to expect those hats to land perfectly aligned, perfectly timed, and in preference of where I would like to wear those hats… yep – I know I’m dreaming.

I guess in my current quest for discomfort, I’m bloody uncomfortable. I have to make hard decisions to make and need to dig deep to think about what I really want in life. Seeking discomfort doesn’t mean I’m not grateful and completely in love with my life as it currently stands. It just means that I’m ready for the next challenge, and maybe it’s time for me to step up.

Sometimes, all you can do is throw your hat in the ring and bask in the discomfort of not knowing where it will land.


In the spirit of seeking discomfort, this is the first in a new blogging series. I want to write more, be more open and connect with people who might be experiencing similar challenges, experiences in life.

So make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss out on an update.


Recommendations

🎧She’s On The Money
Their latest episode ‘I see it, I like it, I want it, I got (credit card) debt,’ is a brilliant and important conversation about our society’s view of credit cards. It was a bit scary because they said several things that I have explicitly thought myself like ‘I’ll pay it off,’ ‘I only put necessary items on credit,’ etc. but the truth is, personal debt in Australia is crazy. We have one of the highest rates in the world and I have one. I don’t know if it’s me just trying to justify my use, but…. they’re not evil, I think it’s just a wake up call for me to reflect on my spending habits and think about what I buy on credit and how I could navigate my spending in a smarter way.

📺Liar
Whislt this TV series isn’t the most gripping, best acted show I’ve seen, the framing of this show is incredible. It will make you think about your biases, and turn them on their head. In the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein verdict, I think this is incredibly important. The end of Episode 3 will have your mouth wide open in disbelief.

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: JANUARY 2020

Hello twenty-twenty!! Wow what a crazy start to the new year and new decade. I think I can safely speak for many Australians when I say that the new year has been off to a bit of a rocky start. Bushfires ravaged the country causing waves of loss and devastation. Being within close proximity of the South Coast, it was especially difficult. But if this has taught us anything, it’s that the power of community will always win. People will band together through tough times and overcome the most awful challenges. Feeling inspired by the strength of our communities during this difficult time, it encouraged me to be grateful for the people around me and make the most of everything that came my way. January has been a crazy month and we’ve finally made it through. So before we move onto February, let’s take a look back at the month that was.

🎭 Opera antics

There’s nothing quite like a fancy night out at the Opera, and who better to take than your Mum. We saw La Boheme at the Sydney Opera House and it was simply amazing! The power of their voices was absolutely breathtaking and it was a beautiful night to take in such talent (and spend a night out in Sydney!) And to top it all off, we grabbed brekky with the lovely Miss Tishia. Thanks for such a special night Mum! I love you!

🔥Hottest 100

Grab your coolest mates, crack open some tinnies and pump up the jam! My favourite thing about the hottest 100 weekend is grabbing some friends enjoying some beers and getting up to a few antics. Thank you to my beautiful friends for getting around a good time and rocking out to the best music of the year!

🎥Flicks

The Circle
This show is ADDICTIVE! Wow. Schedule this for your next hangover day and it will satisfy your every trashy desire. It’s oddly wholesome and will have you questioning all of your online relationships, and have you thinking about what your profile picture really says about you.

Sex Education, Season 2
Yasssss! The long awaited return of the fabulous Sex Education has arrived! I was seriously laughing out loud in the first episode and found myself laughing, crying and completely invested in these characters. I love the raw awkwardness and authenticity of this show, and if you love to cringe at sex encounters, then you’ll love it too.

🎧Bloggers, vloggers and podders

She’s On The Money
It’s back baby! It’s pretty exciting to listen to a podcast targeted towards young women who, really for the first time and delving into finances and what our financial goals are. The biggest thing I’ve learnt from this podcast was to have what I call, ‘an adult account,’ which came in handy when I had to pay $5000 to have my wisdom teeth removed (more on that in next month’s post). Bottom line, if you want to learn more about money and what you want to get out of it, this podcast is for you.

📚Books

The Pearl Thief, Fiona McIntosh
This is a nice read, a fictionalised history book that tells the story of a woman recovering from atrocities of WWII. It’s a little bit cliche, but if you’re interested in WWII, a mystery and a precious family heirloom, this is for you.

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Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee
Wow, wow, wow! This is an incredible book and I CANNOT get enough! I absolutely smashed through this book, despite it following several generations over its generous 500+ pages. Additionally, this book and sparked my absolute obsession with South Korea! I have been looking up flights and I tell you, it’s now number one on my bucket list! I can’t wait to go (hopefully some day soon). Such a great book and I would absolutely recommend it!

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🎵Tunes

Dominos, Northeast Party House
This has been my pump up song for the past few weeks, and I love it! It makes me want to get out

🛍️Product

Drunk Elephant – Whipped Cream
For Christmas I was treated to a mini pack of drunk elephant products. And wow this moisturiser is AMAZING! It’s a shame that the full size is a whopping $92 (I thought about it and then thought, what the hell am I doing even thinking about spending $90 on moisturiser!) but wow! Maybe if I’m lucky Santa will hear my wishes and bring me the big bottle next Christmas!

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📝Quotes

Stepping into a new year can be daunting. With lots of new opportunities comes a lot of new options. And it can be overwhelming, but you can’t make plans for things that haven’t happened yet. You can only do what’s in front of you, and take one step at a time. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do everything at once.

Take one step at a time

January, thank you – you seemed to go on forever, but I hope February brings equal excitement and opportunities!

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: DECEMBER 2019

Well well well… the end of a decade, the end of an era and the end of 2019. It’s crazy to think that at the beginning of the decade, in lovely little 2010, I was in year 10, stressing about my exams, was about to get my first taste of travel and complete a study abroad in Palmerston North New Zealand. In 2012 I graduated high school and in 2013, I packed my bags with a one-way ticket to London. In 2014, I moved to Wollongong to start my degrees. In 2015 I got my first grown up job, and in 2016 (in true Adelaide style), I packed up my bags (yet again) and headed to La Rochelle, France and Montreal, Canada to (yet again) study abroad. In 2017 I decided to squeeze in one more study abroad trip to Mexico, before commencing and finishing my Honours degree in 2018. And 2019, as you may have been following, I landed my dream job and moved in with my girlfriend. And what better way to finish off this decade, than with a great month, which was December. So let’s have a look back at the month that finished off the decade!

🎉Fairgrounds Festival

I love a good festival. I especially love a festival that’s local and encourages a balance of food, beer, chilling out and good music. Fairgrounds is just that. Located only 40minutes away in beautiful Berry, Soph and I cruised down the highway to this family friendly, hippy paradise music festival. We strolled in to the country twang of the one and only, Kasey Chambers. We were treated to hearing the beautiful words of Julia Jacklin, swayed around the Meg Mac, rocked out to DMAs, and pretended to know the lyrics to Liam Gallagher’s songs. Each musical interlude was complete with trying a new kind of food, finding a bar close by, and seeking some shade #sunsafetyissexy It was such a fun day spent with Soph and I’m so glad I got to spend it with her.

🎄Famous Haynes’ Christmas Party

Everyone knows that Christmas is a crazy time. So my Nan has decided to outsmart everyone and celebrate Christmas early! It also coincided with Pop’s 85th birthday (what a legend). Soph of course came along and she met my big, beautiful family as we tucked in to some delicious food, enjoyed a beer or two, and reminisced about the simpler times when we were young kids running around Nan’s house! It was such a great evening and I’m so grateful for my lovely fam!

🏡Christmas at home

As they say, there’s no place like home. And there’s no better place to spend Christmas, than beautiful Port Stephens. The tradition in Port Stephens is to head to the Country Club on Christmas Eve. Before you get too ahead of yourself, the Country Club is not a classy establishment so don’t go thinking we’re at all fancy. The best thing about this tradition is that you get to see all of your friends in one place, having a grand old time. The downside to this tradition, is that you’re usually a little hungover when it comes to Christmas morning. Just put a Christmas hat on and you can bluff your way through anything. I had such a great time at home seeing friends and family. I felt so freakin grateful that after all these years, I can still go back to the good old country club, and see some mates that I will always love, and that my family are forgiving first thing in the morning!

🌊South West Rocks

On Boxing Day, Elly, Mum and I road tripped our way up to South West Rocks. It was my first time visiting this beautiful little holiday paradise and wow! I’m a firm believer that all you need in life is a good beach and a good cafe. And I can tell you that South West Rocks has both. Our little escape was filled with early morning walks, parkrun (of course), coffee, yoga, finding nice little beaches, setting up umbrellas, soaking up some safe sunshine, binge watching ‘You’ and having a great time with my fam!

 📚 Books

Over the Top, by Jonathan Van Ness
This book landed in my hands in a rather unusual way. Of course, I’m a huge Queer Eye fan, but I’m also a fan of reflecting on personal experiences in order to inform your future decisions. Whilst I was chatting with my psychologist, she actually recommended this book. I never would have thought I would have much in common with JVN, but it turns out that worrying you’re ‘too much, too big, too little, too this, too that,’ is a pretty common experience. I loved this book and I actually learnt a lot about his life and what he did to overcome a vast number of challenges to be the fabulous self JVN is!

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Normal People, by Sally Rooney
Wow! Yes! Wow! Three words to sum up this book, enough said. I’d heard a lot about Sally Rooney and read her incredible book ‘Conversations With Friends.’ So I was lucky enough to get this from Christmas from the lovely S Washington, which was pretty short lived because I finished it in about 3 days! Love love love this book and I would absolutely recommend to anyone who’s had a complicated, painful and lovely crush.

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🎶Tunes

Flicks

Years and Years
Wow. Black Mirror meets the front page of your average right-wing newspaper. Seriously, this show is incredible! It’s set in a not-so-distant sci-fi future. Events unfold that have underlying truth and plausibility. There were moments I was genuinely scared, sobbing my eyes out, heart broken, and inspired. I stupidly watched it when only one episode was released at a time, though it was probably for the best. Binge watching this may lead to sadness and anxiety, but it has beautifully constructed characters and touches on big issues that we as a collective society need to address.

Marriage Story
Well it stars Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, need I say more? Side note, they are literally my celebrity crushes so I basically melted watching them on screen together. Though this is not a romance. It’s a story about romance dying and a couple navigating the messy world of divorce. It’s raw and captures the awkward moments when families fall apart. #relatable It’s not overhyped, it’s totally worth the watch and finally…. ahhhh Adam Drive and Scarlett Johansson, what babes!

🛍️Product

Diva cup
For anyone who’s been considering getting a Diva cup, now is your time! I myself had considered it for about 12 months before finally biting the bullet and buying one and after now 2 months of using it, I would absolutely recommend. I seriously feel like a better human because I’m not contributing a hell of a lot of waste to landfill. It’s actually super comfortable and easy (once you get the hand of it). Plus I’m excited for the money I won’t be spending on tampons, pads and liners! Woo!

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Sol de Janeiro, Bum bum cream
This smells absolutely delicious! I cannot get enough! I had heard about this cream, and of course the name is pretty unforgettable, and just had to try it out. I bought myself a little gift set with a body spray and body wash. YUM! This cream is so delightful, I’d put it all over my body if it wasn’t so damn expensive. Top tip: I always put a little bit on the back of my hand because you can smell it all day! Seriously obsessed.

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📸Vloggers, Bloggers and Podders

Kold
This is one of the most stunning YouTube videos I’ve ever watched (especially from about 8:10… WOW). His story telling just keeps levelling up and his shots are seriously awe inspiring! I seriously got chills in this video and made me want to jump on a pirate ship and set sail to Indonesia!

🎶Tunes

Boy and Bear
Sometimes you just need some chill music to get you through a pretty stressful time over the holiday period. Boy and Bear completely delivered. Soph actually got us tickets to go and see them in May (yay) and I cannot wait!

📝Quote

During the crazy holiday period, I was lucky enough to receive some pretty amazing advice. Take what’s in front of you. Sometimes there’s no point making plans for things that haven’t actually happened. It usually leaves you feeling stressed out and helpless. All we have is now, is a gentle reminder to take a breath, take one step at a time and not to stress about things that haven’t actually happened yet. Seems obvious but I assure you it isn’t.

What a month, what a year and what a decade. I think I’ll have to do some more reflecting on 2019 as a whole, but now it’s time to look forward to all of the opportunities that 2020 promises. I hope you had a safe and enjoyable holiday period and are already kicking goals in 2020! x

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.’

Image result for i'm busy gif

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.