These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: AUGUST 2019

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

🏍️ India

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

🎉Parties!

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

🐤 Haidee’s Hens

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

🍷 Fam time

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

🎥 Flicks

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

🎵Tunes

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

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

📷 Vloggers, Blogger and Podders

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

❤️ Product

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

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📝 Quote

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

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

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

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: JULY 2019

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

🍷Adelaide

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

🎉 Birthday shenanigans

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

💼 Amazing work environment

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

🎵Tunes

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

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

🎞️Flicks

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

❤️ Product

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

📷 Vloggers, Blogger and Podders

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

📝 Quote

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

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

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: APRIL 2019

See ya later April! You were pretty awesome if I do say so myself! With some epic strings of public holidays, I was able to take my first even paid leave (wow the perks of job security) and have a little holiday. With work swinging into full force (and absolutely loving it) things are going really well. I’ve started back at yoga and taking some time to reflect and reset towards focusing on my health and wellbeing. With the weather cooling down, I’m determined to keep things active and interesting! Before we jump into May, let’s take a look back on the month that was!

🎈Soph’s Birthday

I love birthdays and I love it even more when I get to help celebrate other people’s birthdays. Especially when it’s your girlfriend’s birthday, well it kinda feels like Christmas. I seriously had THE BEST weekend with Soph! On Friday night we went to see Cub Sport at the Enmore in Sydney. We went with Jayno and CMO and boogied the night away. On Saturday, we went on an adventure down to Berry to hike the Drawing Room Rocks track. After a little smokey car incident, we decided to hike the track while we waited for the NRMA. On our run up the mountain, we stumbled across a snake, which completely highlighted my paranoia of snakes apparently. We got to the top, took it all in, then ran back down just in time to meet the NRMA. We topped it all off by enjoying a burger at the Hungry Monkey in Kiama. After a night of bar hopping all over Wollongong and ending up the Harp, even backing it up with a Sunday sesh at North Gong, I think you could call Soph’s birthday weekend a huge success! I love you Soph!

🏖️Byron Bay

Just in case I didn’t get enough Summer, Mum, Elly and I headed to Byron Bay over the Easter break to soak up the last of the beautiful rays of sunshine. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Byron Bay several times before and absolutely loved it. Though I must admit, something felt a little different this time. It’s very busy with lots of tourists (us being some of them). A holiday to me is chillin, eating icecream, going for brunch and drinking all the coffee and beers you want. I didn’t exactly feel those relaxed vibes in Byron, but we had an amazing time around it. On the beach in the sun, relaxed. Swimming in a waterfall, relaxed. Sinking beers at Brunswick Heads, relaxed. Eating fish and chips in Lennox Heads, relaxed. Waiting 45 minutes in traffic driving down the main street of Byron, not relaxing. But thankyou to Mum and Elly for putting up with me and encouraging me to eat ice cream!

🏘️Home for Easter

There’s no place like home. For the Easter long weekend I headed home to Port Stephens. Not only was the weather amazing, but my amazing girlfriend came with me and we got to enjoy some sunshine together. We went to the beach, went walking, grabbing coffee, caught up with my amazing cousin Mel and found some cute but embarrassing photos in old photo albums. It’s nice to smell the familiar scent of home and go to your favourite cafes, and waking up in your very own bed. I may not go home near enough, but I love every second of it when I do.

🎶 Tunes

Slowly Slowly
Aw damn I have been loving these guys! Their Like A Version was incredible and I’ve since been digging deeper into their album! Damn it brings back all my teenage angst by rocking out to this grungy sound. Love love love!

Beyonce and Beychella
Ok so this one straddles music and film. Call it what you want but wow! Really, what a goddess! I seriously got emotional during parts of her performance. Especially during ‘Flawless.’ You don’t have to be the biggest Beyonce fan to recognise the immense impact she’s made on the music industry, in popular culture, and especially for young women of colour. I feel so strong and empowered listening to her music but I know that what she represents is not targeted at me. I can’t even begin to imagine the impact Beyonce has made on the lives of people of colour in Australia and across the world. I am in absolute awe and I think this is an incredible work of art.

🎥Flicks

Made In Dagenham
I absolutely loved this film! Based on a true story of the fight for equal pay during the 60s in England, this film is a great reminder of the fight for gender equality and the struggle to have women’s work recognised as skilled work deserving of equal pay. A part of the film that particularly stood out to me was when a woman who held a First Class Honours Degree from Cambridge in History and Political Science, was only respected by her husband when she was cooking and cleaning.

The Green Book (March)
So I forgot to add this to my March Favourite Things, but I actually went to the cinema to watch this film (yes cinemas actually exist). OMG I absolutely loved it! And it wasn’t because of the fact that I got the popcorn all to myself. It won the Oscar for best picture yet received a lot of criticism for ‘white saviourism.’ Whilst there’s no denying the complexities of race in this film, taking it at face value, it was brilliant. On a deeper, more critical level, I think the ‘Western white’ gaze is used to portray the South and Dr Shirley, but nonetheless, I would strongly recommend this flick.

📚 Books

No Friend But The Mountain, by Behrouz Boochani
Wow. This book is absolutely incredible and when you find out how it was written, curated and leaked from Manus, you will find it even more incredible. I am a passionate advocate for refugees and asylum seekers. It is not illegal to seek asylum. But it is illegal to detain these people indefinitely. Due to the secrecy of the offshore detention centres run by the Australian government, receiving information about what actually happens in these prisons has been very limited. Behrouz’s story is important. It is the story of many and it is a story that should never be allowed to happen again.

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
This book is so powerful. Whilst it claims to be a fictional book, it is too close to reality for too many people. It tells the story of Starr who is the only witness to the murder of her friend by a white police officer. After being disgusted with the treatment of people of colour around the world by police, this book is aggravating, frustrating but reality. I smashed this one out in a few days because it’s very visual, easy to read and in the end, you just want the justice that the main character wants.

Any Ordinary Day, by Leigh Sales
I’m pretty skeptical when a book becomes ‘mainstream.’ Are we all just reading the same thing, forming the same opinions and becoming a herd of the same people? It took me a while to jump on board with Leigh Sales’ new book, but I am so grateful that I did. I smashed this one out in three days because I was absolutely hooked by the stories she was sharing and the message she had to convey. I really do believe the universe has our backs and has a plan for us, but at the end of the day, we are stupid to think we are special in being spared the pain, suffering and tragedy we see on the news every night. The one certainty we have in life is that we will die. My mission is to make sure it’s all for a reason.

📸 Bloggers, Vloggers and Podders

Sexism and the City
I absolutely love Jan Fran and am literally obsessed with everything she produces. When I found out she had this podcast, I absolutely binged it. WOW. I have the biggest crush on Jan Fran and it’s so inspiring to deep dive into the ways in which gender inequality affects women around the world. If you’re interested in travel, pop culture, politics and feminism, this is for you!

Roeqie
I absolutely love following this account! Her artwork is so bright, colourful and joyful. I love seeing when it pops up on my feed and I feel instantly brighter and lighter. I need more of this on my Insta feed and in my life!

Chessiekingg
Speaking of brighter and lighter, I am loving Chessie King’s Instagram account. I just stumbled across it and love the positive body vibes! Her videos are fantastic and I know it may sound superficial but it’s so nice seeing a real body with rolls, flabby bits, curves and cellulite. We put so much pressure on ourselves based on the ‘perfect’ bodies we see on Instagram, but they’re not so real afterall. Chessie is sweet, fun, sexy and a great addition to my Insta feed ‘sparking joy’ all over my life!

📝 Quote

Given the book I just finished I guess this quote has just really resonated with me. Like I said, there’s no guarantee for tomorrow. And life is one big crazy rollercoaster. My main mission in life is to firstly enjoy it, and secondly, make it matter. Be grateful for what I have and continue to grow to be the person I want to be. Whether that’s meeting new people, trying new things, pushing my boundaries, travelling or simply taking in a sunrise, I want to keep growing and enjoying the ride.

April, wow. What a whirlwind. I am so grateful for the amazing times I’ve had with some amazing people. May, bring it on!

My 24th Birthday in Photos

My Birthday. 19th July

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My birthday party. 20th July

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My birthday weekend away. 21st July

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Thank you so much to everyone who wished me a happy birthday and helped me celebrate in style! I’m beyond lucky to have such incredibly inspiring, caring, kind, gorgeous and silly friends and family! Cheers to the next solar year!

 

What I’ve Learnt in 24 years

So it’s my birthday month which means I am queen and center of attention (as if it’s not like that every other month). So whilst I’m on my high horse feeling all wise and regal like Beyonce (one can only dream), I have done a serious amount of reflecting on my past 24 years on earth. I’m turning 24! 24!! What the heck?!

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Aren’t 24 year olds meant to have their life together? Aren’t they meant to have acne free skin and know what they want to do with their career? Aren’t they meant to be saving for a deposit on a house and know how to bake cakes from scratch? Well maybe I’m not your average 24 year old and I’m more concerned with where to find the best espresso martini, adding new stamps to my passport and spending an afternoon sinking beers. But believe it or not, I have come to learn some valuable lessons during my 8760 days on earth and I thought I’d share them with you.

✈️ Travel far and travel wide

I am SO incredibly privileged to have had the opportunity to travel to 24 counties in 24 years (wow that’s a coincidence!). It’s something that I hope to always be able to do and cherish. Travel has taken me skiing in Austria to diving in Belize, I’ve immersed myself in French culture and became somewhat fluent in the language, I stayed with Mayans in Guatemala and learnt sewing, hiked a volcano in Iceland, partied in Prague, got a tattoo in Mexico, road tripped around California, called Canada home, sipped Sangria in Spain and survived toilet troubles in Thailand. These experiences have shaped me as a person. They’ve influenced my ideas, values and aspirations. They’ve taught me that the world is a beautiful place and has inspired me to learn as much as I can about it. They’ve confronted me with the harsh realities on inequality, poverty and political instability. And they’ve most importantly made me realise that I am a global citizen. I care about what’s happening in the world and I want to create a better one for us. Travel is the best education and I hope to keep on learning.

🔑 Honesty and Respect are key

For nearly as long as I can remember, there’s only been two things I’ve ever asked for from anyone; honesty and respect. And the two are interconnected. They’re the two basic things I try to show everyone in the hope that they return the favour and go about our lives peacefully. I’ve found that this has taken me far in life. It’s kept me grounded, kind, cautious and compassionate. I’ll always carry these values with me and maybe you might even try it out for yourself. Along the way you’ll find you’re more honest with yourself and in turn, have a new found respect and love for yourself.

👋 Don’t waste your time on people that don’t value you

How many hours, days, weeks have you spent worrying about texting someone, not getting a reply or tip toeing around a delicate situation? If you’ve ever played the dating game, then I’m sure you’ve experienced this situation before. I cannot tell you how liberating it is to simply reject this notion altogether! It’s pointless! If someone really won’t text you back, are they really worth your time? Hell no! You deserve to be with someone who wants to text you, see you, hang out with you, kiss you… not someone who is ‘too cool to text.’ Fuck that life is too damn short.

🍸Tequila shots are never a good idea

I thought maybe by now I would have realised that tequila is the devil hidden at the bottom of a shot glass. Alas, I continue to indulge in the devils games and wake up with a killer hangover. On that note, hangovers get WORSE! Worse I tell you! Does this mean I’ll stop drinking or doing shots of tequila? Nope. It just means the complaining will increase – I warned you!

On the topic of alcohol, espresso martinis are always a good idea and beers are your friend. Maybe I’ll learn one day!

💋 Being sexual doesn’t make you a slut

I remember growing up thinking that sex was an inherently shameful, dirty thing. That if you had sex you shouldn’t be proud of it or talk about it with people. Maybe that’s why I love talking about all things love, relationships and sex because I feel a little bit cheeky doing so. But in my 24 years, I’ve come to realise that sex, nudity and being sexual is a completely natural, beautiful thing. It’s a shame that we live in a society that still places so much pressure on people (especially girls) around these topics.

For me personally, I feel incredibly empowered by my naked body. I feel stronger as a woman once I’ve taken the time to understand and enjoy sex. And once I embraced my sexuality, I became an even better version of myself. Sex doesn’t make you a slut. Society gives people that label and I say fuck that label. There’s nothing more sexy than a woman who is confident in herself.

❤️ Look after yourself

Listening to yourself,  is an art form that we’re always trying to perfect. Listening to your gut instinct and following your heart is SOOO important and I wish I started doing it earlier. That way you can never let yourself down.

Looking after yourself means being brave enough to say, hey – I think I just need a night to myself. Or to cook a nice hearty meal for yourself, take yourself out for lunch, buy a new dress, something that is for you and no one else. It’s being selfish every now and again to reset, realign and remind yourself just how amazing you are.

👗 Yes, not all men but yes all women

As a woman I’m often painfully reminded of the inequality, discrimination, assault and fear experienced by all women at some point in our lives. Whether it’s walking home from work after dark, going for a girls night out, waiting for a bus, women experience sexual harassment on a daily occurrence. The sadder reality is the number of women who experience violence, assault, rape and abuse. Gender inequality is entrenched in our society.

From a young age we are taught to believe that men are stronger, more powerful and more important. For decades women have been frightened into line. Until one badass realised just how strong, powerful and important women are and said that we have had enough. While we continue this important fight for equality, I have sadly heard far too many stories of women remaining silent, scared and afraid. I don’t want to live in a world where I see powerful women reduced to a statistic. I want my sisters of the world to be able to go to school, play sport, get paid the same as a man for the same job, travel safely on public transport, not be called ’emotional’ when calling someone out and be believed when she states someone has violated her body. But most importantly, I want a future where we can live without fear. Yes, not all men do this, but yes ALL WOMEN have experienced this and it’s time it changed. It’s a sad thing to learn, but it sure is powerfully motivating not to sit still.

😨 Do things that scare you

I think I’ve come to realise that this has an entirely different meaning to what I originally thought it meant. I thought it meant go skydiving, bungee jumping or backpacking around Europe. All of which are pretty awesome and pretty scary. But now I interpret this as everyday choices and decisions that challenge you to question yourself and your abilities.

This year I’m doing my Honours thesis in International Studies and damn am I scared. I’m scared I’m not smart enough, I’m not capable, scared I will let my supervisor down, let myself down, scared I have no original thoughts and scared that I know nothing.

This year I’ve also started a new relationship, which is hella scary. I was scared that people would think it was too soon, that I wasn’t serious, that I was lost.  I’m scared of getting hurt and betrayed again, I’m scared of loss and I’m scared of loving someone so much.

These things are scary and yes there is the possibility that I might get hurt or might not get the mark I want. But don’t you think it’s worth the risk if you instead produce a thesis you’re proud of, or end up falling in love? It’s hard, heck sometimes impossible to get those negative voices out of your head. But those negative voices aren’t going to get you that mark, or help you fall in love. It’s these everyday scary choices that allow us to find something pretty damn magical (and I’m not talking about my thesis here). Life is scary because tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to anyone. You have to listen to your heart, take that leap and hopefully you’ll fly.

🌊 The Ocean is nature’s medicine

If I’m ever feeling down, worried, sick, anxious… I go for a walk or a swim and nature has a magical power of taking it all away. It’s so reassuring to know that no matter what life throws at me, I have my own personal therapist right out my window. It’s something I’ve tried to make more and more time for lately. Being at one with the earth, taking a deep breath, feeling the sun on your face and realising your place in the world. Sometimes there’s not better feeling.

🌞 Happiness really is the most important thing

You light up the whole room when you’re happy. Your energy is contagious, your smile infectious and light unstoppable! It’s easy to get caught in the trap of work, study, work out… ticking things off your list to earn money. And whilst money is important, it’s true what they say, it really can’t buy happiness.

Happiness comes from real, unbreakable connections with people. It comes from sharing intimate moments, thoughts or emotions. It comes from taking the time to clear your mind, look up at the sky and smile. Whether it’s little or big things, investing in your happiness is the easiest way to guarantee your life is fucking amazing.

💪 Be fierce and unapologetically YOU

There’s only one of you on earth. Yep, just 1 in over 7 BILLION! You’ve been given this life, this body, this mind, and this chance for a reason. Make the most of it! Carpe fucking Diem! Live every day with as much energy and excitement as you can give it. Take risks, believe in people, believe in yourself! Do you really want to spend your precious s wanting, wishing, longing for something you don’t have or can’t have? If you can change it, go and grab it. And if you can’t change it, embrace it, flaunt it. Show the world what you’ve got and don’t hold back for anyone. The biggest thing I’ve learnt is that I am Adelaide, red hair and all, and I will live a purposeful, passionate life.

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I’d love to hear your thoughts…. let me know in the comments or on social media!
Until next time – Ciao

 

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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Paris Is ALWAYS A Good Idea

Ooh la la… I think this week has been my favourite so far! It’s hard to believe that so many incredible experiences can even squeeze into just 7 days?!

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Saint-Martin on Île de Ré

Mon anniversaire! (My birthday)

Yay! It’s my birthday! And how lucky I am to get the chance to spend my 22nd birthday in beautiful La Rochelle! And I think that all of my stars aligned because scheduled for the date of my birthday, was a day trip to Île de Ré (meaning no class, and wonderful exploration times around a beautiful island). We all met at the station and hopped on a bus to Saint-Martin, one of the most picturesque and renowned towns on Île de Ré . We met our tour guide, Frédérique, for the day in Saint Martin before we started our little scavenger hunt. Between answering questions and taking photos… the first hour flew by. Then we went to le marché (the markets) to buy some food for lunch. Everything there is fresh and local produce and I had some of the best salmon I’ve ever had. We had a cute little picnic under a shady tree just relaxing and enjoying some sunshine. Actually, it was 34 degrees so A LOT of sunshine! After lunch we got on a tuk tuk (yay) and were chauffeured around to three interesting places, a soap making warehouse, a salt flat where they make salt and la piece de resistance… a chocolate factory! That one was definitely my favourite! After our long hot day, we spent the afternoon cooling down at a very cold yet beautiful beach.

After a quick shower and an espresso for some energy… we headed into La Rochelle for some dinner. It was really special to spend my birthday with my new friends at a beautiful restaurant in a beautiful part of the world.

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The view from my window watching the sun rise.

 

 

Cooking Class

As part of our gastronomy programme, we had two cooking classes in a local restaurant. Now I’m definitely not the best chef around, but the chef who guided us through the recipes that she created was very patient and provided a lot of guidance. The best part was when we got to eat what we created! And it was magnifique!  Then we had Joel from our Oneologie class join us to assist us match wine with the food we had created. As you could imagine, the best food with the best wine made for a match made in heaven!

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Aubergine tarte and chocolate cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meeting a French Blogger

Because my host mother – Delphine – is the coolest person in La Rochelle, she set up a dinner date with one of her friends, Anne-Laure who is a travel blogger for her website Nana Voyage. Not only was Anne-Laure incredibly friendly, interesting and gorgeous, but we talked in French the entire time! I’m so glad that I got to meet someone as lovely as Anne-Laure!

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Paris

For the weekend, I decided to go to Paris with my American friends from class. Sadly, they were flying out on Sunday afternoon so it was great that I got to spend as much time with them as possible before they flew out. After finding a cheap hotel and train ticket, I thought… paris is always a good idea. My weekend in Paris was one of the best weekends of my life! The five of us went on a bateau mouche which was a 1 hour river cruise down the Seine at sunset. I felt extremely blessed to be able to spend such a beautiful evening with my friends. We wandered around Montmartre and even went to see the end of the Tour de France on the Champs Elysée. It was a pretty memorable experience.

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The Sacre Cœur has my heart 

I can’t believe that time has flown by so fast and that I’ve only got one week left! This week truly has been so special and I’m so grateful for all of the people who have helped make it that way!

This is a little teaser from my time in Paris…

 

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: JULY

July is personally my favourite month. Not only because it’s my birthday, but because it’s the middle of winter. And before you jump to ‘you actually like winter?’ let me give you this. Winter in Australia is beautiful! We’re blessed with crisp, cold yet sunny days and whales migrating up our coast. And of course, the minor factor that it was my 21st birthday. So quick recap on one of my favourite months of the year, July.

The Swans Game at the SCG. No AFL game is complete without beer and good people to watch it with. I watched the game with my little brother and my Mum and then spent the next morning exploring Newtown. A must for anyone visiting Sydney for a weekend.

Watching the Swans beat Port Adelaide at the SCG
Watching the Swans beat Port Adelaide at the SCG

Hiking Mount Kiera. This has been on my to do list for over a year and I finally did it! Just over an hour of sweating and reconsidering life, I was breathtaken by the stunning view of Wollongong and the ocean. A must for anyone living on the South Coast.

Hiking Mount Kiera, Wollongong
Hiking Mount Kiera, Wollongong

How To Be Parisian- Wherever You Are. I received this book as a birthday present from one of my best friends and it’s one of the most beautiful little books I think I’ve ever picked up. A must for anyone who dreams of Paris a little too much.

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Miguel’s New Ablum. Give it a listen. You definitely won’t regret it!

My 21st Birthday! So someone, somewhere at some time apparently decided that once we turn 21, we are mature, an adult, responsible etc… and then it’s your 21st birthday party, there’s beer bongs, Jager bombs, jelly shots, vodka and an epic hang over the next morning. I had friends from far and wide come down and it just meant every so much to me that I got to share such a special day with such special people.

My friends Morgan and my sister Elizabeth helping me celebrate my birthday in style
My friends Morgan and my sister Elizabeth helping me celebrate my birthday in style

MELBOURNE!!! I cannot express how much of an awesome time I had in Melbourne with my bestest friend! To see all of the amazing shenanigans we got up to, read here.

Tishia and I exploring the Great Ocean Road
Tishia and I exploring the Great Ocean Road

The Rocks Aroma Coffee Festival. A Festival. Dedicated. To. Coffee. Enough. Said.

Coffee festival with my amazing friends
Coffee festival with my amazing friends

My awesome retro Electra bike. Because I have the coolest parents ever, they bought me this beautiful bike for my 21st. When most people get latops, money, holidays, whatever…. I got this wicked bike! And I’m not even being sarcastic at all! Watch out for me around Wollongong.

My beautiful blue Electra
My beautiful blue Electra

And these are some of the things that made my month awesome. Until next time!

xxx A