These are a few of my favourite things: MAY 2020

So it seems we’re getting in the swing of things? Are we? Kind of? I think we’re doing ok. It’s crazy to think that (in another life) I would have been heading to Mongolia to live and work for several months. Alas, the universe had other plans and the lounge room is proving to be pretty damn exciting. Nonetheless, we adjust, we adapt and we keep going.

This month has been a month of me putting up boundaries and standing by them. This has meant movie days, reading books, cooking food, going for long walks, taking it easy and going slow. And wow – going slow is pretty damn nice. I think I’d like to hold onto this way of life for a little while. One where my weekends aren’t always booked, where staying in my pjs all day is acceptable and putting myself first is always acceptable.

Home

Working from home is an interesting premise. Home becomes work and work becomes home. And when work becomes a bit too much to handle, it’s challenging to escape it all. So I thought I would take this working from home business, well, home. So I headed up to Newcastle and Port Stephens to visit family and work from home. I can’t say how refreshing it all was. Just to have some space and distance between everything going on. To reconnect with people I love and haven’t seen in a long time has been incredibly healing and therapeutic and I feel reset and ready to bring on the rest of 2020.

Fresh air and good times

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, when you’re in a rut, feeling down, feeling overwhelmed, anxious or just you know, living through a pandemic, get outdoors, connect with friends and loved ones. Be silly, be curious, take a moment and just feel it. Life isn’t always easy, it’s not always clear and it’s confusing af, but good people, good energy and good attitudes will take you a long way. And I’m forever grateful for the good eggs around me who I absolutely love.

BookS

Dear America, by Jose Antonio Vargas
This book is one of my favourite books I’ve ever read. I would completely recommend this for anyone who doesn’t quite understand what it means to be undocumented or is interested in immigration policy in the US. Jose is a journalist so the style of writing is easy to understand, it’s intriguing and takes you right into the life of someone who is American in every way, except by citizenship.

Dear America': Jose Antonio Vargas Documents His Life - The Atlantic

The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett
I bought this book on an impulse off of Amazon – it was $8 and was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for fiction and I thought… why not? Well this did not disappoint. It’s a beautiful tale told from the perspective of

Fall Book Preview – Modern Mrs. Darcy

Flicks

Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Oh my goodness, if you watch one French film this year make sure it’s this one. It is simply stunning. It’s so captivating, delicate and intimate. There’s not too much dialogue so it’s not an overwhelming amount of French to take in. Those eyes have stayed with me since watching the film and every time I see page 28 my heart skips a beat.

Bombshell
With a star studded line up, I usually like to be critical about it. Margot Robbie is an absolute babe and if that’s not reason enough, the scene that illustrates the disgusting abuse of power of men – I held my breath for the entire scene. It shows the subtle ways in which people with power abuse that power and manipulate strong women. It’s heart breaking but overall a big fuck you to ‘the man.’

Normal People
Yep, like every other basic bitch I jumped on the Normal People train and damn! Of course I read the book (and what a stunning book it is) but this series is absolutely gorgeous. I love how raw and real it is an wow, the on-screen chemistry is incredible! Apart from the fact that it made me want to runaway to Ireland, it’s a stunning watch.

Harry Potter
Wow – if like me, you were OBSESSED (and I repeat) OBSESSED with Harry Potter growing up, then do yourself a favour and re-watch these golden flicks! The first few are actually amazing! They’re so fast paced and you’ll be laughing and anticipating every line. Plus it will just make you happy! We all need a little bit of that right now.

Bloggers, Vloggers and Podders

Lone Fox
I don’t know why, but I have been addicted to watching DIY and renovation channels. I love Drew’s channel and it is seriously leaving me with the urge to paint a wall a vibrant colour and experiment with wallpaper! Plus he does some really cool DIY projects which I’m yet to try, but I bloody love watching!

Dying For Sex
This. Podcast. Is. A. MUST LISTEN! It’s about a woman, Molly, who is diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. She leaves her unhappy marriage and ventures on a series of sexual escapades to feel alive. It’s a beautiful yet harrowing story of life and death, but most importantly of friendship.

#BlackLivesMatter

What’s worse than watching the world burn is the fact that we let it get to this in the first place. Inequality doesn’t just happen over night, it happens every single day and is embedded in systems, institutions, policies, actions, attitudes and values. I have done nothing to deserve the life that I was born into. Yet by mere luck and chance, I was born into a loving family, in a safe country, with access to education, healthcare and was encouraged to pursue my dreams. I was able to navigate life relatively seamlessly. And the fact that our friends, due to the mere colour of their skin, are denied the same human rights, are hunted in our streets and are deemed less valuable, is simply no the world I want to live in. It’s f*cked up and seriously, the system, the attitudes, the everyday choices that we each make that lead to this, need to change. Black and Indigenous lives matter.

A really inspiring quotes from Maya Angelou to close this board. (Critique) Education is KEY! You need to learn

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: MARCH + April2020

Wow, what a crazy few months hey? Congratulations on getting to this point. Seriously what a huge achievement it is just getting out of bed each day, signing onto your work emails and trying to get on with it. These past few weeks, months, have been mental and it sure hasn’t been easy. Though, I’m grateful for the health of my family and friends, my thoughts go out to those who are truly suffering in these dark times. I’m so very grateful for the people around me who have made the past few crazy weeks possible.

Whilst I’m taking it one day at a time right now, I thought it was important to reflect on the month or two that have been, and most importantly, share some recommendations. Because I for one know that I have been looking for content to completely dive into and try to take my mind off of the current situation.

Pre-COVID

I know it’s hard to remember what life before COVID looked like, but looking back on early March when it was safe to go to Sydney, go to bars and hang out in groups, I had a lot of fun doing so.

Zina and I got inspired at the All About Women Festival at the Sydney Opera House. I love that this has quickly become ‘our thing.’ We saw the incredible Flex Mami and Clementine Ford, and enjoyed some beers and a much needed catch up.

My sister came to visit on the coldest, wettest weekend of the past few months. Nonetheless, a mixture of stubbornness and adventure led us to Minamurra to go stand up paddle boarding. Little did we know it would be our last weekend we could enjoy cocktails out at bars, so we made the most of it. I’m so grateful for Elly coming to pay me a visit and having some fun together.

In the midst of it all

We’re all trying to figure out how to get through this. And there are several things that have been helping me get through.

Surprisingly, I’ve been getting up at 6am most days and going for a long walk, swim and adventure down the street to get a coffee. How beautiful has the weather been? The sunshine has seriously been giving me life and energy. The water has been absolutely incredible and getting out and about has truly kept me sane. Plus being able to go for a socially distant walk with a friend every now and then has really made this all bearable.

It seems that staying connected with friends and loved ones has never been easier, but I’m seriously awful at it. I’ve always been one to be independent and create relationships around me that keep me going. Making the time that I actually spend with them even more special. But with that being basically impossible now, I’ve jumped on the Zoom and Facetime bandwagon. Yep – I have been loving the occasional phone call and Facetime with friends. It’s even allowed me to reconnect with people I haven’t spoken to in years. Is it crazy that during this time my friendships may be doing better than ever?

📚Books

Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
Wow, what an incredibly moving book. I’d say this is one of the best books I’ve read in recent times. It takes you on a sensory journey where you can nearly smell and feel her surroundings. You can almost feel her loss and loneliness and you are taken on a beautiful journey of self discovery, growth, independence and taking life into your own hands.

The Woman in the Window, by Gillian Flynn
I don’t usually read thrillers or books that are on the scary or suspenseful side. I read this book in a matter of days and loved it. It’s due to be released as a movie later this year starring Amy Adams and think it will be an incredible movie. Loved it!

My Dark Vanessa, by Kate Elizabeth Russell
Wow. What a page turner. I read this book in two days and seriously, wow. Just from reading the blurb, you know this book is dark. A forbidden relationship between a teacher and student told from Vanessa’s perspective. It’s haunting, mesmerising and tells an important story about consent, power, love and self-worth. As you could imagine, it can be quite triggering so make sure you’ve got someone to talk to afterwards.

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell | 9780008342258 | Booktopia

🛍️Product

Clinique turnaround overnight moisturiser
So I’ve been looking for a night cream for a very long time and I’ve finally invested in this Clinique product. What’s wrong with me? Spending $65 on a nightcream… I have to admit it feels so incredible putting something so divine onto your skin each night, but I think when this runs out, I’ll resort to my sukin $25 night cream.

La Roche Posay’s hyaluronic acid
So upon doing a lot of research, I discovered that hyaluronic acid is one of the best things for your skin to help it stay hydrated and fight ageing. I use it morning and night and have found that my other products stay on my face better, and longer, plus my skin feels plump and amazing! Get it from Chemist Warehouse for $60.

Buy La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Serum 30ml · Australia

Tunes

Violent Soho’s ‘Everything is A-OK’
Yes yes yes! How did these guys know what we need right now? I swear good music is the only thing getting me through this crazy time. The only thing that sucks about this album is that we’re going to wait however long until we can see it live at a gig but wow that will be ever so satisfying when that day comes! Thanks lads for providing the goods!

Mysterious Girl, by Peter Andre
It’s scientifically impossible to be sad while this song is playing. I went down a weird rabbit hole recently in the reggae genre on Spotify and all I can say is thank you Spotify gods. Seriously, play it, sing the chorus and you will feel so damn good!

Spacey Jane
I have been loving this band and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t catch them earlier this year at unibar.

🎥 Flicks

Jojo Rabbit
I’m quickly realising that life is too damn short to watch shit movies. We recently got a Chrome Cast so I thought I would rent a YouTube movie, and get among all the good films that have come out in the past 12 months. Jojo Rabbit is a quirky fun movie and would definitely add it to your next Friday night in.

Little Women
I’m so happy I finally got to watch this! It’s such an iconic movie and the cast are just absolutely spectacular. Jo is the badass I aim to be and it was such a lovely, nostalgic moment. Though I must admit, I’m a sucker for the 94 version with Wynona Rider and Christian Bale, but this certainly hits all the love strings.

This has been ‘unprecedented times’ as everyone likes to keep putting it. I’ve stopped watching the news because I don’t have the mental capacity to take it all in. I’ve been taking every day one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time. I’ve been stumbling over small talk when ordering food because it feels like a lifetime since I’ve held a non-work conversation. I’ve resorted to dying my own eyebrows and I wore jeans once and felt a sense of pride.

These times are tough. They don’t have to be productive, reflective or opportunistic – just something to survive. As much as I have come to resent the word unprecedented, this time truly is, and we should be proud that we’re getting through this.

Stay strong. Stay brave. Stay safe. Keep trying your best.

The best of the best: recommendations to get you through isolation

Well if there’s ever been a good time for quality content, it’s now. And before you think I’m about to recommend watching the basic bitch ‘Tiger King’ or try and convince you to ‘get on TikTok,’ (though you really should), this is the creme de la creme. The best of the best. This is what you need to get through isolation. This is, the ultimate recommendations post you’ve been waiting for!

Books

Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens.

In isolation, we’re all wanting a little escape. We’ve explore the extent of our bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and want to be transported elsewhere. This book will truly transport you back in time and to a sensory stimulating setting. I was hooked and it made me fall in love with reading again.

For one more day, by Mitch Albom

I absolutely adore Mitch Albom and this book is particularly fitting given the challenging time we’re all facing. It explores the idea of having the chance to spend one more day with a loved one. It’s a gentle reminder for us to seize the day and reach out to loved ones because one day, we may be longing to have one more day, one more hour, one more conversation with someone we’re no longer able to.

Burial Rites, by Hannah Kent

Maybe there’s a theme with these books but it follows the story of a lonely young woman charged with murder in the 19th century in Iceland. If you love nature, are intrigued by the mysticism and historical fiction, you will love this. Based on the true event of the last execution in Iceland.

Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee

I’m not usually one for a 500+ page book but I assure you this one is totally worth it. Taking you back to Korea in the 1920s, this book spans several decades, several families and several beautiful stories. It explores themes of class, race, migration and I walked away from this book feeling that I had truly learnt something and that a part of this book and story will stay with me forever.

Podcasts

Dying For Sex

This 7 episode series tells the story of Molly, a 40-something woman who is diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. So, she leaves her unhappy marriage, goes on a range of sex-capades and faces her trauma. The host is Nikki, her best friend and their relationship is so beautiful and felt so deeply throughout the whole series. It definitely tugs at the heart strings but i’s such a beautiful deconstruction of life, death and all things sex.

The Flight of Fancy

The closest thing to international travel we have, a podcast by some travel experts who share their tips, tricks and favourite experiences from their jet setting. I always wondered how a travel podcast would work when it relies so heavily on visual cues. But I think these guys do a great job of capturing the essence of travel from their adventures around the world. It’s certainly helping me plan and daydream for my next adventure – whenever it comes.

Flicks and movies

Parasite

There’s a reason this movie won best picture at this years Oscars. I assure you it’s one of the most gripping movies I’ve ever watched. Yes it’s in Korean and no that should not deter you from watching it. It’s a movie I keep thinking about and just wow. It’s pure joy, mystery, horror and shocking. And it’s now on Stan so there’s no excuse! You will be transfixed.

Sex Education

I freakin love this show. It’s such a vibrant, quirky, feel good, cringey series that revolves around, you guessed it, Sex. I just absolutely adore Eric and I want him to have his own spin off show or something because I honestly cannot get enough. It will make you laugh out loud and rethink your awkward sexual experiences. An. Absolute. Must.

Before Sunrise

If you’re daydreaming about travel and serendipitous encounters, this movie has you covered. Two strangers meet on a train and decide to get off together in Vienna. It beautifully captures those chance encounters when you’re young and you think the night will never end. It’s gorgeous and stars Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, what’s not to love? There’s also two more films that follow the same couple 10 years on, ‘Before Sunset’ and ‘Before Midnight.’

Modern Love

I was so skeptical at first. I thought it would be an awful rendition of crossover love stories that would just be cheesy tacky. Oh HELL NO! This series is stunning. With 6 stand alone episodes, it explores a variety of relationships in New York City and wow I was gripped from the very first episode. It’s unique, it’s raw, it’s real and it left me in tear. If you want a good cry and a reminder of why we love love, then this is for you!

Dead Poets Society

One of my favourite films of all time. It’s poetic, it’s beautiful, it’s enchanting and it will stick with you forever. This movie is why I got my carpe diem tattoo back when I was 18. It shaped me in ways I could never have imagined and you just absolutely need to watch it.

Anastasia

BEST. MOVIE. EVER. Enough said.

Products

Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Anti-Ageing Serum

I’ve recently introduced hyaluronic acid into my skincare routine and I honestly feel like I’ve already noticed a difference. A product that is designed to help your skin absorb and store moisture, this product by La Roche-Posay is gently, soothing and extremely hydrating. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone new in the skincare game (like me). Use morning and night. Oh and grab it from $60 at Chemist Warehouse.

Anti Drama Face Mask, Frank Body

I’ve been using this super hydrating, soft, gorgeous for over a year now and my face loves it! I use it on Sunday nights as part of my pamper me prep for the week routing and it’s so gentle, soft and gorgeous! Order it directly from the Frank Body website or pick it up at Mecca for $21.95

Gimme Brow Gel (mini)

In isolation, it’s all about the brows. I don’t care if I never wear makeup again, but I do not feel human if I don’t have my eyebrows filled in. This little beauty has worked wonders during isolation and wow, I can’t get enough. I use shade 3 because I’m a red head and basically don’t have eyebrows, so I like to really define my eyebrows. Plus it’s so tiny you could fit it in your pocket if you feel the need to fluff and fill your eyebrows on the go! Grab it from Sephora for $24.

Facial spray with aloe, cucumber and green tea, by Mario Badescu

My gorgeous friend Tishia gifted me this face spray for Christmas. And at first I didn’t think I would use it, but it has become a staple in my skincare routine. I use it every morning and night, and sometimes several times throughout the day. It’s soothing, hydrating and an essential in my collection. Pick it up from Mecca for $19

Activities

Coffee

I’ve come to realise that I simply cannot live without barista coffee. Yes I have a French press, no it’s not the same. Yes I’m a coffee snob, no I’m not sorry about it. I have come to treasure my morning outing to grab a coffee and waltz down the street! Treat yourself to a barista coffee – you deserve it!

Photo by Ann H on Pexels.com

Puzzles

Wow I don’t know if I’ve ever encountered something so meditative. If you need to unwind, be present and accomplish something, get yourself a puzzle. I’ve smashed through several in isolation and found myself completely transfixed.

Photo by Elly Fairytale on Pexels.com

Stretch. Move your body. Get your blood pumping! It feels so bloody good.

Photo by Ann H on Pexels.com

Journaling

I don’t know about you, but my mind is kinda all over the place right now. Journaling gives me a sense of clarity, release and expression in a healthy way that I struggle to get anywhere else. I would absolutely recommend it if you’re feeling a bit frazzled, overwhelmed and lost.

Photo by Li Sun on Pexels.com

Organise and declutter

I’m kind of the queen of collecting sentimental things, and those things tend to… spread. So I’ve come to fucking love cleaning, organising and sorting bits and pieces of our house. When we lose control over most things in our life, organising your clothes or tupperware cupboard is completely satisfying.

Walk and talk

We’ve all been living for our morning walks right? I have been LIVING for my sunrise walk/run/swim + coffee combo. Add in a friends for a socially distant walk or give a friend a phone call and enjoy the old walk and walk.

Reminisce

Look, sometimes you can’t quite bring yourself to get out of bed. So why not scroll back through all the good times you’ve had. Find your fave travel experiences and write about them in your journal. Share them on socials or send them to your travel buddies. In all honesty, there’s nothing I love more than flicking through old photos and taking a trip down memory lane.

So now you know my absolute favourite things I watch, listen to, put on my face and lose track of time to. Now I want to know yours! Please share your ultimate recommendations with me in the comments below or on socials! Happy escaping!

This is not business as usual

So unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would know that ‘the disease that shall not be named’ is posing a much bigger threat to society than initially anticipated. COVID-19 has shown us how connected our world is and has shown that borders, policies or political leaders, cannot stop it.

And while we’ve been stumbling our way through it all, panic buying toilet paper and pasta, we’ve all been acting like business as usual, with a side of panic. The stats and data are there, this thing is dangerous and threatens the vulnerable. THIS IS NOT BUSINESS AS USUAL.

This means that we can’t keep doing what we’ve always done. We need to be critical, creative and caring. We need to think outside the box, make sacrifices and ultimately adopt a level of discomfort and uncertainty for the foreseeable future.

So I’m interrupting business as usual with some ideas and tips on how to navigate this difficult time without losing your mind, with realising there’s enough toilet paper for everyone, and holding on to what’s left of our humanity.

The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats it’s most vulnerable members

Gandhi

There are many people around the world who are doing it tough in this difficult time. Everyone is struggling to adjust and adapt to this new reality, no one was prepared.

Be kind and patient. Assume that everyone is doing their best. Talk to loved ones and reach out, even if they seem fine, remember, this is not business as usual.

It’s OK to turn off news notifications and block alerts from social media. This doesn’t mean you’re being ignorant, it means that you’re trying to preserve yourself. This is a marathon.

Take care of yourself and the people around you. Wash your hands. Drink plenty of water. Invent a new way to give your housemate a hug.

Practice gratitude for the things you do have. Internet, access to information, clear blue skies (for the first time in months), a community, clean water, Netflix.

Remember that your inconveniences and hurdles, could be saving lives. Though I must admit, stressing about toilet paper is extremely inconvenient, I’m reminding myself that the world will not fall apart without it. Yes it sucks that your travel plans are affected, that party, festival, wedding is cancelled, but it will come when the time is right.

It’s normal to be anxious and concerned. Whilst no one knows what the next few months will bring, we all need to realise that we’re in this together. We will figure it out, we will respond, we will learn and we will grow.

We will get through this, but let’s keep our kindness and humanity in tact.

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!

Image result for eleanor oliphant is completely fine

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!