These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: JANUARY 2018

There’s nothing like a new year (new me) and a fresh start. I wrote some goals for the year and published them online for the world to see (you can read them here).¬† This month has been hectic with moving, work and getting my shit together to smash out another year, I’m convinced I’ve blinked and January has disappeared. So let’s look back at the hectic month that was.

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ūüĎ™¬†Family Visits

I love when my family comes to visit me in the Gong. I love taking them out and about to my latest and greatest cafes, restaurants and discoveries. This was no exception. I took them rock climbing and tortured them with a climb of sublime point. We went to some lovely cafes and all round had a great time! Thanks fam.

ūüŹ†¬†Moving House!

It’s that time of year again! The time where I pack up my life, sign a new lease and get some brand spanking new keys and house mates. I’ve just moved into a beautiful apartment with two beautiful people and I am so so so excited to be living where I am! Close to the beach, town and the station… I feel like the world is at my fingertips! Unfortunately I haven’t taken a visually aesthetically pleasing photo of my room yet but I sure will soon and I sure will let you guys know!

‚ėÄÔłŹ¬†Port Stephens Tour

I’m pretty lucky to have grown up in Port Stephens. And there’s nothing quite like taking someone I love there to show them around. So I took Mitch to see the sights. Of course including Tomaree mountain, Murray’s Brewery, a romantic dinner at The Deck, and a cheeky dip at the nudist beach.

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ūüé∂¬†Tunes

Cloud Control – Rainbow City.¬† Wow have I had this on repeat! It’s grungy, funky and I’m in love! They’ve had a few really great singles out lately that I’ve been loving, so make sure to add this to your Summer hit list asap.

Winston Surfshirt – Be About You.¬†It’s sexy, smooth and funky… what more could you ask for in a song. It’s the ultimate Sunday sesh tune to kick back, bob your head and sip your beer to.

Ocean Alley – Holiday.¬†I don’t know what took me so long but damn am I in love with these guys! Their whole album is on point! They played recently at the uni bar and I’m devo I missed them. I get some serious Sticky Fingers vibes from them which is always fantastic. Their song¬†Comedown¬†is another banger I’ve had on repeat!! 10/10

ūü镬†Flicks

L’asenscion (The Climb)

ūüď∑¬†Bloggers and Vloggers

Damon and Jo

Oh my god I have literally watched them for hours and thought they are the funniest, brightest and more awesome people alive! I’ve only just come across their channel and I am honestly in awe. They speak something crazy like 6 languages and produce videos in French, Portuguese and English (WHAT!!!) It’s so contagious watching their fun friendly chemistry and really puts you in a positive mood! For anyone that loves travel and language… these guys are for you!

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Woman of the Hour – Lena Dunham podcast

So I’m a huge fan of Lena Dunham and am slowly getting more and more intrigued into this mysterious world of podcasts. I found Woman of the Hour on the music streaming app ‘Deezer’ that I use (it’s like Spotify but better). I’ve laughed, cried and been incredibly inspired by these podcasts and is an absolute must for all!

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ūüď̬†Quote

This speaks to me. Happiness is something that I value SO MUCH! It is core to who I am as a person and my values. One of the hardest things is acknowledging and accepting those moments when you’re actually not happy. It’s not a bad thing and it’s nothing to feel guilty about, but instead, should act as a reminder to check in with yourself, look after yourself and ultimately make changes that will lead to your happiness. And there’s only one person in the entire world that can ensure that happens… YOU.

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February, please be kind. I’m not sure I can handle another crazy whirlwind month. The grind is real and the work is hard, I just need to remember to love myself along the way.

What Would Samantha Do? Ultimate Beach Essentials This Summer!

Summer may be coming to an end in Australia, but it doesn’t mean we have to give up the beach just yet. As many of you beach lovers already know, we’re pretty lucky here in Australia and can go to the beach pretty much all year round. Yep – even in Winter (on a nice sunny day). Regardless of when you’re heading to the beach, there’s a few essentials I’ve come to realise I absolutely cannot go without. Getting some blogging inspiration from Tripping.com – I thought I would put these together into an ultimate beach survival guide for wherever you are in the world. If you’re by a beach, then you’re pretty damn lucky.

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Sunscreen 

Being a red head with very pale and sensitive skin, I absolutley cannot leave the house with SPF 50+ To some of you, this may be a bit excessive, but with my skin, I just can’t risk it. Even if you’re not prone to sunburn, you should¬†always¬†slip, slop, slap! Because let’s be honest, you don’t want to be one of those ladies who’s skin looks like it’s turned to leather now do you?!

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Fabulous Hat

Think Samantha from Sex & the City, in this case, bigger is definitely better. Not only do hats look¬†tr√©s √† la mode,¬†but (again) they’re perfect for sun safety. It’s a win wine. And just think, you’d make Samantha ever so proud!

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GoPro

If you’re more into an action packed beach visit, then you absolutely must pack your GOPRO! I got my hands on a GoPro Hero+ last year and every time I go to the beach I love to take it. It’s such a fun way to capture photos and moments without stressing about ruining your phone. Plus, you never know what you’re going to see under the water!

Here’s a little clip of when I took my GoPro rock hopping with some friends.

Water

If you’re planning on spending a big day at the beach, you’ll get warm, sweaty and extremely dehydrated. I always take a huge bottle of ice cold water with me to quench that thirst. Plus, you’ll be able to get rid of that sand when it inevitably gets everywhere!

Super cute swimsuit

OK let’s be honest, the best part about prepping for beach season, is shopping for swimsuits. I picked this one up in Santa Monica right before my Hawaii trip (because Hawaii, enough said). I absolutely freakin love the colour, it’s a beautiful deep green which makes my hair look super red. The cut really flatters my body and I love the cut out and low back. If you’re looking for some new swimmers, you can check out Urban Outfitters where I got mine from. Another place I love to look is on ASOS!

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Urban Outfitters swimsuit. You can find it here. 

Book

If someone asked me to describe my perfect afternoon, it would be laying under an umbrella, on soft warm sand, with some watermelon, a coffee and a good book. There’s honestly nothing quite like sitting on the beach and burying your mind into the pages of a good book. At the moment I’m reading ‘I wouldn’t start from here’¬†by Andrew Mueller, an Australia/British war correspondent who shares his experiences from across the world. The pages are absolutely filled with sand (and sorry to my friend Dylan who kindly lent it to me), but I’ve read the majority of this book on the beach. It’s absolute bliss!

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So what are you waiting for? Get your ass down to the beach this very moment! Is there anything else that you have to bring with you? Let me know in the comments below

 

Why ROAD TRIPS Will Always Be The Best Type of Travel

I was lucky enough to recently be sent on an epic road trip for work (I know… what a job?!). Whilst we did work really hard during the days, leaving me absolutely exhausted by the end of my trip, it was also a great experience to see some pretty epic places. My little road trip took me to¬†Tamworth, Newcastle, Maitland, Port Stephens (home), Port Macquarie & Coffs Harbour.¬†I was lucky enough to travel with two awesome guys that I also work with, along with eating amazing food at amazing places, belt out some great songs and take some awesome pictures. This little adventure reminded me of¬†why road trips will always be the best type of travel!

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Abdul and I on the first leg of our road trip. Wollongong –> Tamworth.

You get to see all of the sites

You can just see so much more by road! Sure – highways aren’t that exciting, but as soon as you take an exit, you drive through towns you’ve never heard of and see the landscape change as you rack up the kilometres.

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Seeing the sites of the Golden Guitar at Tamworth.

There’s nothing holding you back

Unlike travelling by plane, train or bus, you don’t have to worry about timetables or schedules, worrying about where or when your stop is or making sure you arrive early…. not with a car! It’s as simple as grabbing the keys and hitting the gas!

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Not holding back those yoga skills 

You choose the music, and you choose the decibel you want it at!

By far the best thing about road tripping is the music you choose as the soundtrack to your adventures! Whilst Triple J will get you a long way, it’s one of the commandments of road tripping –¬†‘thou must provide solid beats.’¬†There’s nothing better than cruising down the highway and belting out some bangers!

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Attempting to surf in Coffs Harbour. 

You can alternate drivers 

If you love a good nap but don’t want to fall victim to prying, judgemental eyes when you fall asleep in public, then snoozing off in the car is perfect for you! You can put the seat back, cuddle up to a pillow and have the snooze of a lifetime. Or, if you’ve got stuff to do (hello uni work!) you can sit back and get your reading/essay/blogs done!

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Friends you make whilst on the road! Enjoying lunch in Maitland.

Road trips make the ultimate friends

At the end of the day, the people you road trip with become pretty awesome friends! You have to put up with each other’s bad singing, confusing directions, snoring in the car and downing take away coffees on the go – that’s a recipe for some ultimate friendship bonding right there!

Road trips will always inspire spontaneity, motivate you to get up early and just go! I can’t wait to have many more road trip adventures to come.

You can check out the highlights to my road trip here! 

 

Running the City2Surf

Fitness and sports has never really been my thing. I love and value being fit and healthy, but my GAP year in London somewhat destroyed any ‘fitness’ I had. And then I came to uni and decided I needed to get back into it. I started playing netball, joined the gym and did yoga classes at least once a week. And then in August last year, my Dad (who’s in his 50’s) ran the City 2 Surf. And this was the point where I decided that I would add this 14km run from St. Mary’s cathedral in the city, to beauitful Bondi beach with UOW.

The determination is real
The determination is real

And today… I did it! Honestly, my only goal was to finish without dying. I was lucky enough to race with one of my friends, Liam. It was a beautiful sunny day, the atmosphere was incredible and there’s nothing quite like that burning feeling in every muscle as you stumble towards the finish line. So, here’s some of the thoughts, feelings and words of advice that I’ve come up with/I experienced whilst running (beware, when I was approaching 9kms, I was getting pretty delusional).

Beautiful Bondi
Beautiful Bondi

Have a running buddy.¬†I ran with one of my friends Liam,¬†and I’d definitley recommend it because they push you along when you feel like you can’t take one more step.

Thinking to myself *this is the longest kilometre ever* Enough said.

Motivation, inspiration and determination is a magical thing.¬†I didn’t know I was capable of running 14kms in one go (OK so I walked some of it, but you get my gist). The music that’s pumping from DJ decks, the people cheering, clapping and shouting you on, the amazing sign that said¬†‘run like Channing Tatum is at the finish line…’¬†It pushes you beyond any physical boundaries. And it made me realise the true power the mind possesses and how important it is to believe you can do it.

At the finish line soaking up some sunshine
At the finish line soaking up some sunshine

Train, train, train…¬†This was probably my biggest problem. I’m great at procrastinating and managed to make up 101 reasons why I didn’t need to go running after work, or uni, or whatever else I was doing. Definitely make sure you work on your stamina and your core strength. It will make it a lot easier I assure you.

Make sure you arrange a specific point to meet people afterwards.¬†I was lucky that I ran with my friend, but when I tried to meet my Dad last year, my gosh it’s merely impossible!

Make a good running playlist.¬†When the music isn’t blasting from onlooking houses, make sure your running playlist is on point. You want bangerz to keep you pushing through the pain. Any song that would be played at retro night will get you in the mood.

Liam and I finished the race
Liam and I finished the race

But the most important thing is to make sure you have fun. It’s a rare chance you get to run through the main streets of Sydney with 80 000 other people. I know it sounds cheesy, but it really inspires you to train more, push harder and make the most out of every opportunity life throws at you.

xxx A

Summer Lovin’ (The Best Things About Summer in Australia)

It’s officially Summer here in Australia and I couldn’t be more excited! There’s parties to go to, people to see, food to eat (and lots of it), places to go… it’s just three months of sunshine and good times! I missed out on an Aussie Summer last year (instead, spent the majority of it Eastern Europe and Iceland in the middle of Winter), so here’s the things I’m most looking forward to this Sun Season!

Taking some Australian traditions to London
Taking some Australian traditions to London

Fresh and Delicious Fruit –¬†Mangoes, watermelon, honeydew, grapes, bananas, pineapple, strawberries… with a bit of muesli and a drizzle of honey, it makes for the perfect summer snack! And speaking of fresh fruit, try cutting the top off of a watermelon and pouring in some Midori and Malibu… perfect for an afternoon spent on the beach with a few drinks. Hey, at least it’s healthy!

The Beach –¬†What is Summer without spending the majority of it at the beach! My hometown is the perfect place to do this, with over 10 pristine beaches located within a 10 minute drive from my house (and one across the road). Just remember to Slip, Slop, Slap, drink plenty of water and be prepared for sand to be EVERYWHERE!

Australia Day with mates
Australia Day with mates

Christmas –¬†Yes, in Australia Christmas is in the middle of Summer, and it’s brilliant! A typical Christmas day for me involves being woken up at some ghastly hour by my younger brother and sister, opening presents, giving presents, snacking on some chocolate, and saving our stomaches for a big lunch at Grandma and Grandad’s house with the whole family! After our food babies settle down, we duck down to the beach and soak up the sun. It’s a pretty brilliant way to spend Christmas!

It’s hot –¬†OK so sometimes this can be the bad thing about Summer. I’m a red headed girl with a pale complexion, I was not made for 40+ degree days. A nice 28-30 degrees is perfect for me!

Never gets old
Never gets old

Minimal clothing is totally acceptable –¬†When you’ve got a scorcher of a day, it’s completely acceptable to walk around in your bikini everywhere. Minimal clothing is great, especially when checking out all the hotties at the beach, until some 60 year old men decide to¬†wear their speedos and your eyes a permanently scarred.

I get a tan –¬†Ok, by tan I mean all my freckles come out. Even though I’m constantly reminded of how white I am, I can see I’ve got a fair bit of a tan going on (if I squint really hard and don’t forget to apply my tanning moisturiser).

Sunsets are beautiful
Sunsets are beautiful

New Years Eve –¬†I love New Years Eve in Australia! Don’t need to take a jacket out, everyone’s drinking ice cold beers, we go out on a friends boat, watch the fireworks and then go for a midnight swim.

Australia Day –¬†Australia Day is on the 26th of January and is generally celebrated at the beach or a friends house with a pool, listening to Triple J’s top 100 countdown, drinking beer and hanging out with good friends!

Everyone’s happy –¬†It’s Summer, what’s there not to be happy about!

xxx A