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!

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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!

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: SEPTEMBER 2017

If only there were 2 of me.” That’s what I used to say when I was young and wanted to be a ballerina and an astronaut. Now I say it as a way to have a successful academic and professional career plus a thriving social life with my friends and loved ones. This month has been full on. I’m beginning to doubt that there’s enough hours in a day and days in a week to get everything done. Yet somehow, I’ve managed to get through it. And I’m pretty damn proud of myself. This month has honestly been hectic and next month is my LAST SEMESTER OF UNI! OMG! But before I get too ahead of myself, let’s have a little reflection time on the month that was.

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❄️ Snow

I started the month in the snow! Yes Australia has snow and I finally got to experience just how amazing it is. My dad, my sister and I headed down there for a long weekend, including three days of skiing and three nights of stuffing our faces with amazing food and beer. I got to see my sister have a hilarious temper tantrum on the side of the mountain, reminiscent of our childhood days (haha sorry Elly), saw my dad accidentally ski backwards unable to stop, my dad pushing me off a TBar, drinking steins of beer, carving up some fresh snow and tobogganing downhill in a blizzard. It was a pretty damn awesome long weekend!

 

 

 

 

💌 Friends and Shenanigans

What’s a month without some wonderful shenanigans with some wonderful people? I’m so so so blessed to have such a supportive group of people around me and I constantly feel lucky to have them in my life. Whether it’s for the parties or hangover’s…. I’m in love.

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🎵 Concerts and gigs

Wollongong has been delivering the goods when it comes to music this month! And all around this month has just been filled with epic music. I went and swooned over Gang of Youths with my bestie in Sydney, rocked along to Camp Cope and was blown away by Meg Mac. That’s a lot of extremely decent music right there! And to top it off this weekend was Yours and Owls Festival! Damn what a music overload. I’m just lucky I have amazing friends and an awesome boyfriend that’s into cool music and we can go drink some beer and make a night of it.

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🌴 Byron Bay

Sometimes you just need a little escape, and I spent 3 days in beautiful Byron Bay with Mitch. I wrote a separate post titled ‘A Romantic Weekend Away In Byron Bay’.

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🎒 My Little Brother Getting School Captain!

OMG shameless plug but damn I am so damn proud of my little brother Isaac! He’s going into Year 12 and just got nominated as school captain! Not that I ever doubted his ability to achieve such an amazing honour, but I just can’t believe it’s real. Because, another shameless plug, myself and sister were school captain of our highschool. So poor Isaac the pressure was on. But I honestly can’t think of anyone more kind and deserving of the title! Dude – I’m freakin proud of you!

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My grandparents there to watch Isaac’s inaugural speech.

🕺 Yours & Owls

Let the photos speak for themselves. There was glitter, beers, double blacks (who ever thought that was a good idea?), crepes, bread and just all round good times.

🎶 Tunes

Angus & Julia Stone. Ahhhhhh this song is BEAUTIFUL! I’ve had it on repeat and it just feels like love and adventure. Can’t wait to get my hands on their album.

Camp Cope. What babes?! I was lucky enough to see these guys at UniBar and they were absolutely AMAZING! Their music is different, funky and raw. Plus I think they’re now mine and Mitch’s band so I’m pretty down with them.

Miguel. MY MAN IS BACK!!! Oh my lord is this not the sexiest most amazing thing your eyes have seen? I’m absolutely in love and can’t wait for his album!!!!! Anyone who knows me knows the significance of this man and damn am I excited.

🎥 Flicks

I have been getting into docos lately and damn it is good for your soul! I’ve been getting in to States of Undress, a documentary series you can watch free on SBS on Demand. It examines the interaction between fashion and politics. Some of the shows I’ve seen so far take us to France, The Democratic Republic of Congo and Russia. This is binge watching worthy and your brain will thank you for it.

📷 Bloggers and Vloggers

I usually don’t like to repeat bloggers and vloggers from month to month but these guys well and truly deserve it. Flying the Nest have really upped their game lately. Their style and personality is gorgeous and they’re travelling to some really cool places; including The UK, Israel, Jordan and Japan! I’ve also just discovered their BLOG! I’m in love and realise just how much work they put into their brand #impressed

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Jess and Steve

📗Books

Child Migration & Human Rights in a Global Age – Jacqueline Bhabha

What a compelling book. It’s academic and based on primary and secondary research. At times the language can be quite technical, however it’s presented clearly and draws on personal stories and encounters which really add depth to this book. It covers various issues like Trafficking, Child soldiers and international adoption. For someone researching potential thesis topics, this book really sang to the part of me interested in researching migration.

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📝 Quote

The following quote/idea has really captured my attitude towards life lately. You may never be ready for what you’re about to do. The timing may never be perfect. You just have to do what’s right for you and not measure this against others. And that’s it’s always worth the risk when you’re truly excited about something. You can’t live your life questioning if you’re ready, instead you should ask yourself if it feels right. You never know, you may end up feeling more alive than ever before.

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Well well well…. September you were bloody hectic. Next month is my LAST MONTH OF MY DEGREE!!! Woah! Before I know it I’ll be submitting my last assignment and hanging up my student cap (well at least for the time being). So watch out October, I’m going to take you by storm.

 

 

 

 

A Romantic Weekend Away in Byron Bay

Byron Bay… the ultimate escape from the stresses of reality. Not only is it a hippies dream but it is simply the dream getaway. Add a dose of romance and Byron suddenly becomes magical. This weekend I was lucky enough to escape reality for a few nights with my boyfriend, Mitch, and we had THE best time. So I thought I’d share a bit of what we got up to, where we ate and where we drank. So Voila! My first ever Romantic Travel Recommendation for BYRON BAY! 

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🚗 Road Trip

Byron is the perfect road trip destination. And it’s not some little road trip, this is the creme de la creme of epic road trips. It’s about 11 hours north of Wollongong so pack your snacks, get the tunes loaded and make sure you’ve got your comfy pants on. We stopped several times for food, water and toilet breaks, but you absolutely MUST stop at the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour. As lame as it is (and yes – it’s extremely lame) it’s absolutely necessary to stop and capture this iconic photo! What a gem!

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🛏️ Airbnb

Nothing says romance like a little cute Airbnb. Mitch absolutely nailed this one. It was in a quiet street not far from the main street. Having your own space really makes it feel like you’re on holidays; couch, TV, kitchen… luxury! As you can see below; there’s plenty of cute and affordable options!

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👀 See & Do

There’s an abundance of things to see and do in Byron. It’s on the coast with stunning beaches and mountains close by. Though in 3 days we kept pretty busy seeing and doing lots of fabulous things!

🐚 Beach

Who goes to Byron without going to the beach? Despite the wind, we found a sheltered spot at Tallow Beach, and boy was it paradise. The water was still a bit chilly but it didn’t stop us from going for a quick dip and sunbake.

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View of Tallow beach from the Lighthouse

🌊 Lighthouse 

This iconic lighthouse marks the most Easterly point of Australia and has spectacular views of surrounding beaches and mountains. If you get up early enough, you may be able to find a park towards the top of the hill, otherwise prepare for a bit of a hike. Park at the bottom and make sure you’ve got your active wear on point. We took out coffees up, took some photos and were lucky enough to even see whales! Hands down an absolute must. Plus it’s pretty cute up there.

🐷 The Farm

I had never heard about this place until Mitch insisted we go there. Long story short, it’s a farm (duh) with a beautiful cafe/restaurant/flower store you can dine at where all the produce is locally sourced. The best part is that you can wander around and look at all of the animal! They even have Highland Cows! I repeat… hairy cows!!!! Such a cool and pretty random thing to do. The food and coffee was amazing and overall made for an epic morning out and about.

📚 Book Shop

My brother would kill me if I didn’t put this on my list of places to go in Byron Bay. This book store has so many amazing finds! It’s basically tradition to go there and buy a book. Plus, when you buy a new book, it means you can chill out and read it on the beach, in the park, on the couch… Just make sure you drop by and pick up a book to power that brain of yours.

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🍴 Eat & Drink

Byron Bay has some INCREDIBLE bars, restaurants and cafes. We were only there for 3 days, yet I feel that we definitely discovered some amazing places to eat and drink!

🥐 Top Shop

This place is an absolute MUST! Located at 65 Carlyle St, this corner cafe attracts all types (and their dogs). Their coffee is to die for and their brekky options are delicious! I’d absolutely recommend the mushrooms on toast (the bread is so fresh, crispy and delicious). Plus, make sure to grab a freshly baked croissant before you leave!

🍇 Folk

Located on 399 Ewingsdale Rd, next to the caravan park, is every Veggo and Vegans dream. We stopped here for some lunch and I can honestly say it was one of the tastiest things I’ve eaten! Chilled vibes, healthy and yummy food, what’s not to love?

🍷 St Elmo

This one is definitely for a special, romantic night out. This little tapas bar is located on 22 Fletcher St and is not to be missed. It’s a stunning wine and tapas bar with mouth watering food and probably the best wine I’ve ever had. The low candle lighting, beautiful wine and extraordinary food makes this place extremely special and perfect for date night.

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🍸 The Bolt Hole 

Looking for a sexy bar for the perfect Espresso Martini? Then look no further than this stunning little bar. Found on 9 Fletcher St, this is perfect for an intimate drink. Great vibes and honestly the BEST ESPRESSO MARTINIS EVER!!!

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🍝 The Balcony

This is iconic Byron Bay. Honestly, you can’t miss it.  On the corner of Lawson St & Jonson Street, you’ll find the perfect spot for some happy hour beers, to watch the sunset and the world pass by.

🍻 The Northern

One of the most iconic pubs in Byron, and maybe even Australia. You’ll hear the hustle and bustle before you find it on 35-43 Jonson St, and there’s good reason. Great location, great beer, amazing food. If my smile below doesn’t give it away, I was having a pretty damn good time with that beer!

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To top it off, Byron Bay really just has this lovely and relaxed atmosphere to it. Which makes a little romantic escape absolutely perfect. Coming back to work after a holiday is hard. But coming back to work after a holiday as amazing as this one is even harder, and I can’t thank Mitch enough for being an ultimate travel companion, beer drinking buddy and freakin amazing human.