GRADUATING: The Tears & Beers

On the 27th October, I submitted my final assignment of my undergraduate degree (woah!). As I pressed the submit button, my eyes nervously scanned the room for the little guy about to pop confetti all over me and carry me out of the library on a throne. I received my email receipt saying my assignment had been successfully submitted, yet the confetti and throne didn’t come. #confused. So I walked home, texted my Dad saying I’d finished and listened to the mysteriously good Demi Lovato album. I got home, got changed and sat on my bed… now what?

Naturally, I needed a beer. I hopped on my bike and rode the Dan Murphy’s, treated myself to a 6-pack of craft beer (I’m officially not a poor uni student anymore), and went home. I cracked open a beer, flung open my laptop, and chucked on some documentaries about gun violence in America (cheerful right?).

After about 3 beers, my Dad called me to congratulate me. It was then that I began to feel pretty stoked. I felt this overwhelming feeling that I’d actually made my Dad proud. He asked me what I was doing and I told him abut my depressing gun violence documentary. He then replied with ‘Adelaide, you’ve finished studying, you don’t need to pretend to be smart anymore.’ Haha thanks Dad… I’m just actually this much of a nerd that I celebrate not studying, with watching some intense docos but not feeling guilty about it.

A few beers later, I had some flowers delivered to my house. My Mum is pretty talented at getting flowers delivered (she somehow even managed to be able to deliver flowers to my hotel room when I was in Mexico!). They were stunning and made me well up. Even though my parents weren’t there with me, I could feel their pride and hugs from miles away.

My phone was inundated with messages from friends and family, congratulating me on my achievement. I was so overwhelmed with love and support, that it suddenly felt real.

I had finally finished my Bachelor of Communications & Media Studies – Bachelor of International Studies (Deans Scholar) Majoring in French & Global Media, Minoring in Global Sustainable Development and the Environment – phew that’s a mouth full!

That evening Mitch came over and we went out to dinner at the ultimate place to celebrate anything…. His Boy Elroy. Some burgers and espresso martini later, it was the perfect ending to an amazing and emotional day.

Does it feel real? Nope. Do I know what I’m doing next? Hell no. Do I care? Absolutely not. For the time being, I’m going to jet off to Thailand to my sister (who also graduated – congrats girl) to eat, drink and soak up some sunshine to fully embrace our graduation success.

This post is dedicated to my friends and family who have unconditionally supported me throughout my epic university journey. Without you guys, I really don’t know where I’d be. They say it’s not about the destination, but the journey. And I’ve had one heck of a ride.

To all of you out there about to graduate, studying for final exams, or have still got a few years left… you can do it. One step at a time. It’s not easy, no one ever said it would be. But I promise you that those celebratory beers will go down even easier once you finish. Work hard, party harder and make sure to take a break, relax your mind and remember it’s all going to be OK. You got this!

🎓🎓🎓

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23 Things I’ve Learnt In 23 Years

Last week I celebrated my 23rd birthday in Mexico City – meaning tequila, tacos and some serious reflection. And this has got me thinking about all of the things I’ve learnt, and still have left to learn about love, life and how much beer I can actually drink. In the famous words of Blink 182 – “nobody likes you when you’re 23, my friends say I should act my age, what’s my age again?”

  1. You’re a Queen – girl you’re killing it, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
  2. Respect & Honesty – it’s what you should receive, but most importantly give to everyone.
  3. You won’t learn your limits – with each hangover I ask ‘when?! when will I learn?!’ The answer is yet to be determined.
  4. You will make the same mistakes twice – You’ll fuck up and fuck up again. Forgive yourself, learn and know that everyone fucks up and life goes on.
  5. Trust yourself – Trust your gut instinct and follow it. It somehow always knows what’s right for you.
  6. Friday nights in are just as good as – if not better than going out. Enough said.
  7. Travel is the best investment I’ve made – OK I may not have any other investments at the moment, but from all the travel I’ve done, it’s the thing that helps me grow, learn and understand this crazy world a little better.
  8. Adulting is a misconception and no one actually know how to do it. Not even your parents.
  9. Life is bumpy – Not everything goes according to plan. The route is a bit bumpier for some more than others. Just know that you’ll get through it.
  10. Taking time for yourself is not selfish, it’s essential.
  11. Be excited about everything you do – have a positive attitude and get excited by life.
  12. I have to change the world before I settle down – I know that there’s so many things that I want to do and achieve before I settle down. And I’m not going to let anyone stand in the way of that. Watch out guys, I’ve got a world to change.
  13. The thought of having children is still the most terrifying thought imaginable. Sorry Mum.
  14. Trying new things is important – push your comfort zone, learn something new, make a fool of yourself and challenge yourself.
  15. Surround yourself with people who positively contribute to your life – Don’t let negative people pull you down or cast a shadow on your light. Surround yourself with people who push you, help you, are there for you and believe in you.
  16. Have mentors and people who inspire you.
  17. Be thankful and show it – Life is nothing but chance and luck. Some are much luckier than others. Be appreciative of what you have and acknowledge what others don’t have. Do something about it and show your gratitude.
  18. Family is actually so important – I’m so lucky that my family are so supportive of my decisions and accept me for who I am. I wouldn’t be half the person I am today without them.
  19. Acknowledge your privilege 
  20. Give back to the community – commit to something, make connections, make a difference, offer your skills and experience and be apart of something bigger than yourself.
  21. Education is one of the most powerful weapons you can arm yourself with
  22. Happiness is the key – a smile can change your day
  23. Be proud – hold your head high, back yourself, be proud of your accomplishments, your ambitions, your hobbies, your passions and don’t let anyone ever try and take that away from you.

At the end of the day, turning 23 isn’t a big deal. But the things I’ve learnt along the way have shaped my very core. The people I’ve met, the places I’ve visited, the things I’ve learnt, the opportunities I’ve experienced, have challenged, inspired and motivated me to be the very best person I can be. And it’s my goal in life to spread happiness, encourage acceptance, make a difference and be a fucking queen!

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Did I Achieve My New Years Resolutions for 2016?

For anyone that knows me, I love making lists, writing my goals down and using it as inspiration to work towards achieving them. That’s why I always make New Years Resolutions and set myself goals for the year. And as 2016 sadly comes to an end, and I start trying to make sense of and work out the complications I’ve already got of 2017, it’s led me to wonder what’s in store for me. But I don’t just believe in letting fate happen. I believe in encountering fate, then telling it exactly what you want to do so you can achieve your goals. So, here were my goals and my New Years Resolutions for 2016 and my thoughts and reactions on some of the challenges I set myself.

You can see my original post of 16 Things I Want To Achieve in 2016 HERE

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1. Watch less TV shows, read more books

I’d say this one is somewhat accomplished. I don’t think I necessarily stopped watching TV shows. I just found more time to read and instead of watching TV shows, I made the transition to the wide world of YouTube.

2. Limit my coffee spending.

DID NOT HAPPEN AT ALL… maybe I need to buy a coffee machine?

3. Buy my lunch a max of once a week.

ALSO DID NO HAPPEN! In Australia I was good.

And this is probably the point where I should address that this year was split into two parts… Australia and exchange life. Obviously exchange life isn’t ‘reality’ where I have a job and responsibilities so it therefore impacted my ability to achieve these goals. None the less… I ended up buying food out a lot… oops.

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4. Be a vegetarian. 

I did this in Australia. I quickly discovered that when travelling and staying with friends and family overseas, it’s very difficult to maintain this diet. So I just decided that whilst travelling, I’d ditch the veggo diet. However, the only time I eat meat is when I eat out. I eat vegetarian at home and buy tofu as a source of protein over meat.

5. Ride my bike more often.

Yes in Australia. Yes in France. No in Canada. Sadly I didn’t have access to a bike in Montreal… and to be honest, I think I’d be a bit scared to ride my bike around the streets of Montreal. Drivers here are kinda mental. But I’m soooo looking forward to going home so I can ride my beautiful bike absolutely everywhere.

6. Maintain and improve my French.

Oui, absolutement. After a month of intensive French study in La Rochelle, and 6 months in Quebec, I think I’ve managed to improve my French skills.

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7. TRAVEL! 

This one was kind of cheating because I knew I’d be doing a lot of this on exchange. I’ve been lucky enough to travel around France, Spain, Iceland, Canada (Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, Kingston, Niagara Falls) and the US (DC, Boston, New York – and soon to be California) and I’m so freakin grateful and happy that I had the opportunity to do so much travel during this time.

8. Volunteer.

I did volunteer at the beginning of this year but as soon as I started travelling and moved to Montreal that totally died off. Definitely something that I want to get involved with in 2017.

9. You can’t play hard until you’ve worked harder.

This was all about doing well at uni and I think I managed to do this in Australia and in Montreal. With 2 Distinctions and a HD at UOW for Autumn, and getting the top mark in my mid term for one of my classes at Concordia. I think I’ve deserved those beers.

10. Try something new

I experienced lots of new things, but I don’t think I really tried something new. I guess my intention with this goal was to really put myself out there and try a pole dancing class, learn to play a song on piano, a skill or something just completely out of the ordinary. I did try a lot of new things, but I’m all about pushing myself so I’m going to leave this unachieved and I’ll definitely be carrying this with me into the new year.

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11. Say Yes!

Absolutely smashed this one. There’d be nights where I’d be in bed, winding down for the evening, and then suddenly get a message from a friend inviting me out. It’s really easy to make excuses. In fact I think I realised just how hesitant I can be to making plans. Exchange definitely encouraged me to put myself out there and say yes to opportunities and I’m so grateful for that experience.

12. Be thankful, and show it.

One of the biggest things I learnt this year was just how privileged I am and I never want to take this privilege for granted. I want people to know how much I appreciate their friendship, their kindness and love. Actually, I don’t want them to know it, I want them to feel it. That I’m completely grateful for everything that has happened this year and nothing has passed by unnoticed.

13. Couchsurf.

Maybe next year.

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14. Eat. Sleep. Blog. Repeat. 

Mmmm kind of. Whilst I may not have been blogging as much as I would have liked, I launched my YouTube channel and have been making videos every week. I’ve also written content for Twenty Something Humans and Thought Catalog which has been an incredible experience and something I definitely want to continue into the future.

15. Stop comparing myself/Stop with the negative thoughts.

Everyone has insecurities and has periods where they feel down about themselves. This is something that I’ve wanted to combat this year because being negative is not productive or helpful to anyone, in any situation. So I’ve really been focusing on loving myself and owning my flaws. This has pushed me in a really positive direction and I feel that I’ve grown so much as a person because of it. YAY progress!

16. Own It!

Hells yea I ‘owned it.’ I feel that this carries on from my last point, to love myself, accept myself with my flaws and strengths. I’m really proud of everything that I’ve achieve this year. From improving my French, moving to Canada and putting myself out there to make such amazing friendships and connections with incredible people! I feel like I’ve been able to re-evaluate my values, goals and ambitions to work towards what I really want to achieve and who I want to be in life.

So… do New Years Resolutions work? I achieved 9 of 16 goals so yep – I think that counts as mission accomplished! I’m already thinking about things I want to achieve next year so stay tuned for more!

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How To Survive Christmas Away From Home

So you’ve got an epic trip planned for the summer break. Firstly, WOOO! You’re going to be travelling, adventuring, meeting new people and learning about this big and beautiful world. Unless you’re on a Contiki trip, in which case you’ll be binge drinking your way around Europe. Good luck! Secondly, you’re going to be travelling or binge drinking on Christmas! WOOO-WAIT-WHAT?! And being a twenty something human, you realise that you’re not quite prepared to spend Christmas away from your family, friends and home. You’re in that awkward phase of being independent and wanting to create your own new traditions, experiences and badass memories. But at the same time you also want your Mum to cook you food, do your laundry and watch The Grinch with your little cousins whilst digesting your food baby.

Well luckily for you, this year will be my second Christmas overseas, so I think I know a thing or two about surviving that jolly time of year where it’s apparently socially acceptable to wear candy cane earrings and play Christmas carols for the entire month of December.

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Make Plans

The first time I spent Christmas away from home was when I was 19 and living in London. My housemates and I cooked a huge feast and got ridiculously drunk. We bought a little Christmas tree and decorated it with tinsel and beer bottle caps, classy I know. I was lucky I got to spend that Christmas with such dear friends. But wherever it is you find yourself, whether it be a hostel, a hotel, a tent or a flight… make some epic plans. Do something wild, or crazy or out of the ordinary. Not only will it keep you busy and your mind occupied, but you’ll then remember that wild time you did a nudie run in Switzerland, made a giant snowman in Canada, or swam through a waterfall in Indonesia on Christmas, for the rest of your life.

Buy Alcohol… lots of alcohol

Ok, I’m not going to lie, alcohol definitely helped me through that Christmas in London. If you put a group of young Australians together, with no parental or adult supervision, you’ve got a recipe for a wild day and night. Honestly… alcohol… enough said.

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Plan a Secret Santa

Secret Santas aren’t just for middle aged ladies working at your local grocery store. Secret Santa is the cheapest and easiest way to recreate Santa’s visit to your house. You don’t even have to go through the stress of organizing who has who as a Secret Santa. Just plan for everyone to bring a gift, chuck it under your Christmas tree, and after a few drinks when someone rightfully puts on a Santa hat and beard, the gifts can be randomly distributed. Plus, you don’t have to put out milk and cookies for Santa. Those cookies have your name on it.

 Embrace local culture

Did you know that in San Francisco and New York City, they hold an event called ‘SantaCon’ where everyone dresses up as Santa Claus and takes to the streets to partake in an epic pub crawl? Or that in Ukraine they add spider webs to their Christmas trees? And did you know that in Japan, there’s lines out the doors for KFC on Christmas day? Yes… KFC! Christmas means different things to different people across the world, it may be a day to celebrate with friends and family, a day to eat, a day to rest or just another ordinary day. Wherever you are in the world, get amongst the local culture to celebrate Christmas the way the locals do!

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So Merry Christmas wherever you are in the world. If it’s filled with laughter, alcohol and inappropriate gifts, you’ve done Christmas right.

What LIVING IN FRANCE Taught Me About FOOD

So as you probably already know, in July I was lucky enough to live in France for the month where I did an intensive language course whilst getting the unique opportunity to live with a host family (you can read about my experiences in La Rochelle here). And thanks to this program and this opportunity, not only has my French improved tenfold, but I think the French perspective towards food has rubbed off on me a little.

Luckily for me, Delphine, the incredibly French woman I was living with, is an amazing cook with a passion for food and French cuisine. At the time of course I was grateful to eat such incredible food, but I think it’s only now that I’m truly coming to realise just how much living in France changed my perspective towards food. And here’s how I think it’s changed…

*note to the hungry* maybe go grab a snack and then read…. because some of these pictures might inspire tummy grumbling!

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Eating 1.5kg of moules caught that morning!

Freshness is key

To cook good food, you need to start with quality products. And that means fresh. After you eat truly fresh food, it will make frozen food or week old food taste like flour. I’ll never forget the time that Delphine bought 3kgs of mussels (moules in French) that had been caught that very morning. They were so fresh that they even had tiny little crabs in some of them!

And as for your bread and baguettes, if you have ever had a crispy warm baguette that’s just come out of the oven…. you will understand. If not, you are missing out and must embark to your local bakery immediately to change this.

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One of our favourite restaurants in La Rochelle. The Cave! Unlimited bread and the best rosé around!

Local

Unfortunately you generally can’t buy super fresh food from large chain supermarkets. If you want the freshest, juiciest, plumpest, ripest, most colourful produce, you need to buy local! Buying local means that the food hasn’t travelled as far, meaning less energy required to transport it. Buying local means you’re also supporting local businesses, people and their families.

This also applies to getting your morning coffee. I try to avoid going to Starbucks, Tim Hortons and Gloria Jeans. These huge companies already make enough money as it is. And this whole fair trade thing they advertise… I just don’t buy it. Instead, I’ll opt for a little cafe or street vendor. They’re usually cheaper, nicer, give better service and is all round a better experience.

Keep it simple

I think a lot of the meals I used to make in Australia were very ‘busy.’ I’d make pasta and need to put everything in it, I’d make pizza and need to put everything on it. I think it’s in our culture that we’re taught to believe that no meal is complete without meat, vegetables, potatoes. Or something along those lines.

In France, our meals would be very ‘deconstructed.’ And I mean that in a good way. We would have a bowl of tomatoes, a bowl of lettuce, a plate of steaks, goats cheese and of course some bread. I found that these meals were the most delicious! It purely relied on the quality of the produce and the flavours just did their thing on your tastebuds.

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Macaroons are a must. They’re little and filled with flavour. The perfect treat yourself treat!

Quality not quantity

In France, it’s all about quality. Our meals that we ate generally weren’t huge and didn’t leave you feeling full. But I hate that feeling anyway. Where you’re so full that it hurts to move. The meals we had were all about the quality and you were left feeling so satisfied that it didn’t matter that you weren’t full. And if you felt a bit peckish later, we would have a piece of fruit or some strawberries with mint and yoghurt!

It’s an experience

The whole journey of preparing a meal, from buying the produce, pairing it with some wine, preparation, serving and eating is a beautiful experience. It also made me realise the importance of sharing these meals with special people. Some of the best nights were spent at our dinner table sipping wine, talking about life’s problems and devouring a whole block of goats cheese (I’m looking at you Laura 😉 ).

Oh – And there’s always room for Ice Cream! (Inspired by Elly)

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Ice cream is essential!

The cons however are…

That every baguette you ever have after France is merde! 

I’m trying to carry this perspective with me. That you need to have a healthy relationship with food. Food is there to bring people together, bring pleasure, experiences, happiness and health. We need to put the best food into our bodies so we can get the most out of us! If anyone knows me, they know how much I love food and I’m a strong believer in balance. Because in a balanced diet, there’s room for icecream and macaroons… and who doesn’t want that?

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The epitome of Frenchness – baguette under arm and no care in the world

 

 

 

I was VEGAN for two weeks and it FCKN SUCKED

A few weeks ago, I took on a challenge of being a vegan for two weeks for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition’s (AYCC) fundraiser For the Love Of.  The objective is to give up something you love for two weeks and raise money to go towards educational schemes run by the AYCC. Generally, people gave up things like beer, chocolate or coffee (for those of you that gave up coffee – I applaud you). So obviously I wasn’t going to give up coffee, and I felt like giving up the others were a bit too easy.

Then I discovered that they had a 3degree challenge. Where you give up sweets, wheat and meat. It is these industries that largely contribute towards CO2 emissions and degradation of our environment.

The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report said we could see a temperature rise of between 3 and 4 degrees by 2100.

I’ve been a vegetarian since the beginning of the year (you can read about my experiences here). So I’d already done the meat thing. How could I challenge myself even further? Become a VEGAN for two weeks. Easy! (Or so I thought). As much as I respect people who are vegan, it’s just definitely not something I could adopt as a lifestyle. So here’s my pros and cons of being a vegan and why my two weeks as a vegan fckn sucked.

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First rule. Source

CON: Shopping takes twice as long

Going grocery shopping takes forever because you’re constantly reading the ingredients list on every product! It’s not always obvious that an item is going to have milk products in it so you’ve got to get our your magnifying glass and actually read the label. I’m sure that after a while you become familiar with products you can and can’t eat and the whole experience is much easier.

PRO: You actually know what’s in your food. 

Because you read the label on everything you’re buying, you actually know what you’re putting in your mouth. Something I rarely did before hand. Being a vegan meant that I reduced the amount of processed foods I would usually buy and opt for fresh food.

CON: It’s expensive

So I only did this for two weeks and couldn’t accurately compare the differences in prices, but I definitely blew the budget on my grocery shopping for those two weeks.

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Yummy smoothies! Source

PRO: You discover new tasty and healthy foods

Because you can’t go to your usual breakfast of skim milk with Weet Bix, cheese melt for lunch or pizza for dinner, you are forced to think outside the box. Especially when it comes to replacing items. Three things that I’ve continued to buy is Almond milk, Coconut milk and the Oats and Chia. I’ve never been the biggest fan of milk so switching to almond milk has made me feel a lot lighter and my tummy a lot happier. The Oats and Chia is absolutely delicious! I have it for breakfast with a banana every morning and it keeps me going for ages. And coconut milk is perfect for curries! Where have you been all my life? This is something I never would’ve discovered if it wasn’t for being a vegan for two weeks.

CON: I literally felt depressed

For these two weeks, I literally felt depressed. Not seriously, but I really didn’t feel myself. It could have been a mixture of other things, but I also think that my diet heavily contributed towards feeling pretty down. One of my friends told me that it was a type of withdrawal experience. Whatever it was, it really sucked.

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Stir Frys are delicious and really easy to make vegan. Source

PRO: I felt healthy and ate yummy foods

Because I was so limited on what I could eat, it forced me to think outside the box and create new dishes. I found that I ate lots of fresh veggies, fruits, rice and beans. There’s nothing nicer than cooking a meal from a recipe you find online and it actually turns out to be amazing! Pinterest will have you covered for all of your vegan recipes!

CON: YOU CAN’T EAT CHEESE!!!

OK so this was the breaking point for me. I love cheese. It goes on everything and with everything. And I love all types of cheese. And telling me I can’t eat cheese for two weeks, well damn I don’t think I’ve ever been so hangry for something before.

VERDICT

I raised nearly $100 dollars for an amazing cause and I’d like to thank everyone who donated! Climate Change is happening and adopting a plant-based diet is definitely a way to reduce CO2 emissions. For those of you out there that are vegan – good on you! I tried it and it just wasn’t for me. I’m a vegetarian for the time being but with my travels to France coming closer and closer, it may be something I give up whilst I indulge on cultural traditions of eating the finest French food ever (and that involves meat).

But it’s not all doom and gloom! The following TED Talk is BRILLIANT! He talks about how we don’t necessarily have to sacrifice milk or meat, but we just have to reduce the amount we consume. I believe that our actions can make a difference and that we should be mindful that our actions and the food we eat can have negative effects on the environment around us. But I also believe that we have to be in it together and we all need to realise that we can’t keep consuming the amount of meat we are at the moment.

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When It’s OK To Say No

Whilst one of my New Years Resolutions for 2016 was to say YES to more things, I’ve come to realise the power and importance of doing the opposite and actually saying NO. Now before you brush this off as a close minded perspective, hear me out.We live in a day and age where all we’re trying to do is schedule people into a busy lives, but at what cost? Of course I’m open to new experiences, being spontaneous and making the most of every day, but some days, you can’t do everything. It’s not humanly possible. At the end of the day, all we have is ourselves and it’s important to listen to our minds and bodies to ensure that when we say YES, we can make the most of it.

So in my books, it’s totally OK to say NO when…

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My idea of a lazy Sunday. Source. 

You’re low on money

Sure, we all love going out for dinner and drinks. But these days, a dinner and drinks combo will cost you a minimum of $30 (and let’s be honest, as if you’re only going to have 1 drink). Whilst it’s nice to do it every now and again for special occasions, if you’re on a tight budget like me, it’s not a feasible option to always be going out for dinner and drinks. It’s definitely OK to say no.

Alternative…

Of course you don’t want to miss out on friend bonding time. Instead, you could suggest buying a cheap bottle of wine and making some delicious home made food and going for a picnic. Or you could suggest going out for coffee instead. Because money spent on coffee is money well spent.

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Coffee with friends is always a good time! Source. 

You’ve got a deadline

Whether it’s work, assignments, study, blogging… they don’t call it a deadline for nothing. You’ve got to get it done. Sure you’d love to stay out for that extra hour, have that extra glass of wine or watch that extra episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians (don’t judge me, it’s the best thing ever!), but at the end of the day, you need to get your work done.

Alternative…

Prioritize your work and as soon as it’s done, you’ll be ready to go out! Just get in and get it done, no one wants deadlines hanging over their shoulders. Just think of how much better that glass of wine is going to taste knowing that you’ve got everything up to date?! AMAZING!

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If this doesn’t motivate you, I don’t know what will?! Source. 

You’re feeling under the weather

You know that feeling when you’re not sick, but your nose is a bit stuffy, you’ve had to take a few Panadol that day and your bodies a bit sore? Being under the weather or run down sucks. The last thing you need to do is push yourself! When you start to feel this way, this is your body’s way of saying ‘hello, up there… your brain is working overtime and I need a break!’ To prevent it getting any worse, make sure you tuck yourself into bed nice and early, drink lots of water and eat some fruit.

Alternative…

Fulfil 12 year old you’s dreams and deck your lounge room out with mattresses, blankies and pillows and have a Harry Potter marathon. Spend a night in sipping on tea and your body will thank you for giving it a bit of a rest. And the best thing is, if you’re too sleepy, you can just fall asleep. Just make sure you remove all permanent markers from the house to avoid becoming a canvas at midnight!

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Blanket fort goals! Source

When you just don’t feel like it

Let’s be honest, sometimes you just don’t feel like doing anything at all. You don’t need to justify yourself, or make up a lame excuse. Just say you don’t want to and leave it at that. Everyone needs time to themselves so be brave enough to say ‘No, tonight I’m doing whatever the hell I want to do.’

Alternative…

None. Because you do you!

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Love yourself. Source

I’m definitely not suggesting you should never go out, never spend money, or never spend time with your friends. These are some of my favourite things to do! But I think sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in going places, seeing people, catching up, being places and getting stuff done. Sometimes, we just need to take some times to ourself and say “nope, I’m going to sit this one out.” As the quote above says “happiness is an inside job,” so it’s ok to take time to ourselves. Because that means that when we say yes to awesome adventures coming our way, it’ll all be worth it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making a PROMO VIDEO 101

When my ridiculously talented housemate at the time, Chantelle, came to me with an idea for her major work for uni, she was beaming with excitement. And as soon as she said she wanted to make a promo video for A Worldly Addiction, I was beaming even more. At first I thought ‘are you crazy? Why would you want to make a promo video for my blog?’ But then she told me her fantastic ideas and I was hooked. She’s the person I go to to run my ideas by -the closest thing to a personal manager I’ll probably ever have, of course I agreed. Every blogger or vlogger has a highlights reel or promo introductory video. And this was my attempt of starring in a promo video.

*Thanks Chantelle for your amazing talent*

Step 1: Find A Place

Obviously you need to find somewhere to film your promo video. Luckily we started the day looking for some food. So where else do you go? But your favourite cafe… Humber! It’s even better when your favourite cafe has an awesome rooftop and even better owners who let you use the closed off section of the bar to get some good shots. All you need to do is ask and you never know what you’ll get.

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70s-esque vibes of the 1st floor in Humber.

Part 2: Showcase Something You Love Doing

The people who are subscribing, liking or invested in your blog are genuinely interested in what you do and what you love. So make sure to showcase that. For me, luckily, it’s writing and exploring… something that we did all day.

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Flicking through Frankie & Future Perfect whilst writing away.

Part 3: Showcase Where You Live

I’m lucky because I live in a beautiful part of the world. Surrounded by stunning beaches, mountains and trees, it’s hard to focus on just one part to showcase. Chantelle and I ended up adventuring up to Stanwell Tops, about 20-30minutes north of Wollongong. Everytime I go here I’m absolutely blown away by how beautiful it is. This place makes me extremely happy, so only naturally, I wanted to share this with everyone else. Showcase your happy place and your part of the world because people will want to see the world through your eyes.

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Stunning Stanwell Tops. On top of the world!

Part 4: Showcase Something Interesting

Something that a lot of people probably don’t know about Wollongong is that it has quite a strong street and cafe culture. And something I absolutely love about it is the street art hidden down random ally ways. And this little known fact is something not many ‘outsiders’ know about. Try to look at your home town like you did for the first time. Showcase something that people don’t know about and get them curious!

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Vibrant street art in a back ally way.

Part 5: HAVE FUN!

The most important part is that you enjoy the whole experience and have fun. This day was one of the highlights of my year! Not only did I get to spend the day eating amazing food, wandering the streets of Wollongong and adventuring up the coast… but I got to share this experience with my best friend. And the best thing about this whole experience is that she made me feel so comfortable with something I’ve never experienced before. I must say, I don’t know how Chantelle put up with me breaking into laughter every few seconds whilst in the recording study recording my voice. But being with your best friend makes laughing fits and being silly in front of a bright red wall even more hilariously fun!

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Being silly.

Et Voilà

Mix it all together and you have a rad promo video! Hopefully there’ll be many more videos to come in the near future! Let me know what you think in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So… You’ve Had A Bad Week?

We all have bad days. It’s just a fact of life. And sometimes those bad days turn into a bad week. It’s not like anything in particularly bad happens, but in general you just feel a bit flat. Now I’m definitely not complaining, I am absolutely blessed and appreciate everything I have. But there’s no denying that sometimes, it can all build up and you just end up having a bad week. And I’m not one for bad weeks at all. So after a hectic few weeks of work, uni and more work, I had my plate pretty damn full.

And last week, I was just completely… flat. And it sucks when you have a bad week or two. And having finally kicked my slump, I thought that I would share this with you guys. I think it’s important to share those tough times as well. Life isn’t exactly smooth sailing. But by writing it down not only means I can share my thoughts and experiences with you, but also means I can take a chance to reflect and work on myself.

So, here is how I got out of my bad week and a reminder as to why we should always take some time to ourselves.

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Feel the emotions

When you try to suppress feelings of sadness or anger, it only makes it ten time worse! Of course you don’t want to take it out on your friends or family, but you certainly don’t want to explode into a puddle of emotions. If you feel like crying, cry. If you feel like punching something, punch your pillow. Or better yet, exert that energy into something productive. There’s no way we can overcome our emotions until we have firstly accepted them.

Take some time out

When I’m feeling this way, I really can’t stand being around people. Mostly because I just don’t have the energy or motivation to engage in discussion or activities. But I also don’t want to bring them down or give off bad vibes. I also don’t want to accidentally take my issues out on them. I guess maybe a part of me also doesn’t want them to see me in this kind of state (when I’m definitely not ‘me’ or at my best). If you feel any of these things, taking some serious ‘me’ time will help you re-touch base with yourself. If you’re all up in your head with your worries, it definitely doesn’t help to have other people’s voices in your head confusing you.

Don’t be alone

Now I know this directly contradicts what I just said, but I mean, don’t go through rough times alone. Of course, take your ‘me’ time, but let your friend (someone you love and trust) know that you’re just dealing with some stuff at the moment and are choosing to take some time out. They’ll most likely just hug you and say ‘I’m here whenever you need me.’ This is not only reassuring, knowing that once you’ve processed your emotions, you’ve got someone to talk to, but it’s also good to communicate your feelings and just let someone else know. Plus, your friend was probably already about to throw you an intervention to find out what’s going on because after all, best friends know what you’re thinking before you even think it. There’s always someone out there to listen, hug, support and be there for you and that’s the most important thing to know!

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Get some fresh air

I find great happiness in the ocean, but at times when I get stressed out, I forget how much it makes me happy. Especially if you’re taking some time out to yourself, it’s easy to just settle for Netflix alone in your room. And whilst that’s totally fine, it’s not a cycle you want to get into. Instead, put on your running shoes and go for a walk around the block, run as fast as you can, ride to town, walk to the beach, walk to a park… just get outside. I promise you’ll instantly feel better just by getting some sunshine and some fresh air.

Get to the root of the problem

If you’re still feeling a bit weighed down, write a list of the things that are stressing you out. Do you have an assignment to do? Working too many shifts? Concerned about a friend? Whatever it is, no matter how big or how small, write it down. Then brainstorm how you can alleviate these stresses. Obviously there’s some things in life we can’t control. But something like getting an assignment done or being worried about a friend is achievable. Take some time out and get that essay done.  Call your friend and arrange a coffee date. Take proactive steps to getting rid of these worries.

Seek Help

Asking for help isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s a sign of how strong you are to stand up and admit that you need some assistance or guidance. There are so many people out there to offer a helping hand. You don’t need to struggle or suffer in the shadows of your room.

***

If you or anyone you know needs assistance you can refer to the following sites

Beyond Blue

Are You OK?

Or… prescribe a coffee, a dose of sunshine and a best friend hug!

This one goes out to all of my friends and family who have had to put up with me this past week and helped put a smile on my face! Love you guys.

 

 

 

 

5 Reasons I’ve Started Keeping a Journal, Again

“[Journaling] is like whispering to one’s self and listening at the same time” – Mina Murray – Dracula 

Ever since I was in fourth grade, I’ve kept a journal. Now let me tell you, these fourth grade journal entries weren’t exactly sonnet worthy pieces of work. It usually went a little like ‘omg, my sister is soooooooo annoying,’that cool boy at school talked to me today!,‘ ‘my sister is my best friend,’ ‘ah, my sister is so weird.‘ (Sorry sis). On Christmas, I would always look forward to unwrapping a journal so I could welcome the new year with a fresh start. Keeping a journal is just something I’ve always done. At my parents house, I have a collection of about 10 old journals and that collection is one of my most prized possessions.

Last year though, I just stopped. It had been months since I’d written anything and I kept thinking, I’ll do it later, until I stopped writing altogether. I thought ‘ok, it’s just something I’ve grown out of’ and didnt’ think much of it. Then last month, as I was doing some shopping, I saw a journal at a store and thought about how much I used to love keeping a journal. There was no hesitation, I bought it and wrote in it that night.

I may not write in my journal every night, but I’ve started writing again, and it’s something I didn’t realise how much I’ve missed. I feel like we all need a little journal by our bed to write in. I’m sure the world would be a much better place if we did. So if you’re thinking about starting a journal or keep one yourself, here are my 5 reasons why I love keeping a journal and why I wish I never stopped.

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My journal for 2016. 

1. You can express your true feelings

One of my justifications for quitting my journal writing, was the fact that I planned on blogging more, and blogging more real experiences and emotions. And whilst I believe I’ve done this to some degree, there’s some things that you just don’t want the world to know. And no matter how close you are to your best friend and while you might tell them everything, sometimes it’s nice to have private thoughts that you keep to yourself. You can express your deepest anger or frustration, sadness or joy and the pages will soak it all up. It doesn’t have to make sense and it doesn’t have to be sophisticated. It just need to come from you.

2. There’s no judgement

A journal is a friend. There’s no evil eye staring back at you as you write. Like I said, its pages will listen politely to you. Sometimes it’s just nice to express how you truly feel about something and knowing that you’re not going to be criticized or judged for it. It gives us the freedom to be ourselves and explore ourselves a bit more, which is a pretty exciting thing.

3. Disconnect from technology

Think about it… how often do you write with a pen and paper? Personally, I work in an office and spend 9-5 at a computer. When I take notes for uni… I do it on my laptop. And when I write/blog… again, on my laptop. The only things I usually write with a pen and paper is a shopping list or a reminded note on my hand. It’s so relaxing and unwinding to sit down with a journal, a pen and your thoughts and just write for ten or fifteen minutes before you go to bed. There’s no notifications to distract you, or likes to evaluate your work. Just put some calming music on in the background and let your words carry you away.

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Some cute little tips I’m trying to adopt. Source

4. Reflection

Let’s be honest, in our busy lives, how often do we get to take 15 minutes to ourselves and really reflect on what we’ve been doing, how we’ve been feeling and how we can improve ourselves? I believe the answer might be along the lines of ‘what, you get time to yourself?’ I really value my ‘me’ time and writing in my journal is a way I talk to myself and listen to myself at the same time. It’s like the quote above ‘whispering to one’s self and listening at the same time.’  And I truly believe that by taking the time out to be alone with our thoughts, to take a moment to ourselves and reflect is a great way to move forward in a focused and re-energized way.

5. Future is looking bright

By writing down where we’ve been, naturally we’re prompted to write about where we’re going. By physically writing down our goals, our hopes, our dreams, we’re sharing it. And once you share it, it only encourages us to keep on going. Checking in with these goals and values every now and again, is a great way to ‘stay on track.’ And even if we veer off track, we might even create a new path, with new goals and new ideas. Our journals don’t dictate our path or tell us where to go, they simply show us that we have the potential to go wherever we can dream.

Do you keep a journal? Is it something you would like to do? Let me know in the comments below!