These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: AUGUST 2020

Well see ya later August and hello Springtime! What an interesting month August turned out to be. Adjusting to an immense physical and emotional emptiness has been a huge adjustment. But it’s also given me a lot of time and space to think, reflect and dig deep about what’s important to me and why. I think I’ve seen more sunrises this month than I have any other. I’ve probably also drank more than I have any other (hello sober September!) It’s been a bit of a blur but I’m so damn proud I made it through.

Canberra

So I realised it had been an awkward amount of time since I’d seen my (not-so) little brother down in Canberra. So why not make a weekend of it and tag along with your fam and bestie. Why the fuck did I go to Canberra in the middle of winter?! Damn it was freezing. Lucky we had some good food and good beer to keep us occupied. Note to self – Isaac, next time you’re coming to Wollongong!

Hiking and nature vibes

Sometimes you just gotta get out into nature and soak up some damn sunshine! Luckily around Wollongong we are #blessed with some gorgeous hikes. Even better, when you’ve got your Dad and besties with ya, it makes it even more enjoyable. The one i did with my Dad is called Drawing Room Rocks (not far from Berry) and the other is the Wodi Wodi track (just down from Stanwell Park). They both have amazing vistas of the ocean and surrounding valleys. Top it off with a coffee and feed at a cool lil cafe and you’ve got my heart!

Playing touch

It’s touch season! I somehow got roped into/volunteered myself to get involved in playing on a mixed touch team this season. Gosh I forgot how much I love team sports. I’ve played a few games to date and I haven’t had a panic attack (#winning). I’m getting better and more confident with each game, and it’s so great to get out and about with a bunch of awesome people. Ticks the social box and get physical box which is a win win for me! Go Illawarriors!

Palmerston (NT) - Touch Football Australia

Flicks

Why Women Kill
Lucy Liu, need I say more?! This show is epic! It’s a slow burn that tells the stories of three different women across three different decades, connected by the house they all lived in at their respective time. Following the 50s, 80s and teens (guys what are we calling 2010-2019?!), this show unpicks some incredible storylines and develops the characters beautifully. It’s a dark comedy (don’t worry – not slashy at all) and the storylines just hook you in where you have to keep watching to find out how it all plays out. You can watch Season 1 on SBS On Demand.

Salisbury Poisonings
Did the world just somehow forget that the most toxic substance on earth was loose in an English town in 2018?! Damn, this show is epic! With only 4 episodes, you’ll easily smash it out over a weekend. I remember when this happened and was it felt like a real life spy show was unfolding in front of our eyes. Watching this show and they way they recount what happened is so intelligent and gripping. It’s also funny how ‘normal’ it all looks after our response to COVID-19. In 2018, full body hazmat suits, masks and public health, really wasn’t widely talked about. Wow – watch it on SBS On Demand.

Books

The Dictionary of Lost Words, by Pip Williams
I absolutely adored this book. Set in the late 1800’s early 1900’s, it tells the story of a young girl who grows up on in the shed they compile the first Oxford English dictionary. It’s so fascinating to be transported back in time and think about how people communicated, what words meant, and how exclusionary they were/are. If you love a book about an underdog, love, curiosity and words, then you will love this book.

The Dictionary of Lost Words | BIG W

Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown
Ah good old Brene Brown? Where would I be without her wisdom and ability to easily communicate complex concepts? I think I could have highlighted every other page. Honestly it’s jam packed filled with so much great content, wisdom and advice that it’s almost too much to soak in at once. It’s certainly a book I’ll be referring back to often. Thank you Tish for the recommendation. If you’re looking for how to dig in deep and confront your feelings (rather than hiding from them like I tend to do), then this book is for you.

The Gifts of Imperfection – Bethel Store

Tunes

The Killers
Do you ever have those moments where you literally forget a band exists? And then, out of the blue, one of their bangers comes on and a whirlwind of goodness just flashes right back to you? That’s what happened the other day when Glamorous Indie Rock and Roll came on and wow I was TRANSPORTED! So my recommendation is to go back 10 years ago and listen to those albums that you used to lose your mind to. Another reminder why music is good for the soul.

Podcasts

The Cut
The Cut is back baby! Hallelujah! This was one of my FAVOURITE podcasts last year and then they, well, cut it. I’m so glad they came to their senses and decided to revamp it. Two episodes in and I’m loving the new host, the topics they’re covering are awesome and – ah I’m just really excited that this podcast is back in my life!

The Cut Returns With a New Weekly Podcast

Product

Hawaiian tropic
This product smells AMAZING!!! Honestly their sunscreen makes you want to put it everywhere at all times, because after all, sun safety is sexy. Plus, if like me you’re basically incapable of tanning, be sure to pick up their gradual tan lotion too. It feels so good on your skin and again, smells amazing! Anything that promotes protecting your skin, hydrating it and getting your tan from a can (or a bottle), then I’m about it!

Buy Silk Hydration Lotion SPF50+ 180 mL by Hawaiian Tropic Online |  Priceline

Well August, what a ride. I’m very much looking forward to September and taking it easy. I’m looking forward to taking a step back from drinking and challenging myself to set new goals and kick them too!

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: JUNE 2019

Um excuse me but where the heck did June go? It disappeared in a heck of a lot of good times I’ll tell you that much! This month has been pretty full on. Work is crazy, I’ve been juggling a lot and killin it, whilst also feeling pretty unmotivated. I think the short days and cold mornings have really got to me. I don’t feel on my A game lately. But something I’ve learned this month is that you have to be kind to yourself. You can’t keep beating yourself up and holding yourself to high expectations. You’re allowed to have down time, you’re allowed to sleep in and you’re allowed to take it easy. It’s a marathon after all, not a sprint.

🇦🇺Canberra

Ah yes, the capital of Australia known for… well not much else than being the capital. But despite the stereotype of Canberra’s boringness, my little brother happens to be living there, filling it with lots of life and a reason to go and visit. My Dad, Elly, Soph and I headed down for a night to visit our fave lil Haynes. He took us out on a night around Canberra, drank some delicious cocktails, ate some amazing Indian food and got to enjoy one another’s company (without freezing to death).

🌊 Newcastle

There’s nothing quite like an impromptu trip home. Especially when it involves a girls night out, whale watching and delicious lunch dates. We were treated to gorgeous weather giving us ultimate summer vibes. Whale watching in Port Stephens this time of year is bliss. There were dozens of whales out and about, so many that one stealthily snuck up on us and the boat nearly hit it! Catching up with my family is always a joy and I’m glad I got to enjoy a weekend with them.

🍷The Opera House

I’ve been obsessed with Sigur Ros since forever! So when I saw that Jonsi and Alex were playing at the Sydney Opera House, during VIVID, I knew I had to go! So what better date night then to head up to Sydney with my girl and enjoy a fancy night together. We had a super delicious Italian meal before heading to the Opera House. An 18 piece orchestra and 12 person choir, wow I have never felt music so strongly before! I’m so glad I got to share this very romantic, pretty adult moment with Soph!

🎬Flicks

Centre Stage
Talk about a blast from the past! This was my absolute favourite movie when I was in high school. I used to dance three times a week and dream of being scouted from my ballet class. Whilst those dreams have well and truly died, my love and passion for dance and the arts has certainly not. So it was pretty great to relive all these good memories through this movie!

Handmaid’s Tale – Season 3
It’s back! It’s finally back! And shit it is horrible, yet amazing! Seriously, this show is incredible and terrifying. Especially with everything happening in the US and across the world to do with women’s rights, abortion bans and safe access to healthcare… I’m starting to think that this isn’t so sci-fi…

🎼 Tunes

Make Damn Sure, Taking Back Sunday
16 year old Adelaide would be laughing that I’m having a moment getting back into all of her fave punk rock music. Nothing takes me back like this absolute banger by Taking Back Sunday. I’ve also been revisiting Escape the Fate, All Time Low and The Used. Wow. OK excuse the throwback, but hey, brutal honesty is what you’ll get from me here.

Cellophane, by FKA Twigs
Wow. Just wow. This is absolute art. The film clip is so mesmerizing and the song, captivating. If you follow FKA Twigs on Instagram, you’re in for more of a treat as you’ll know she often shares her pole dancing training and sequences. Ah she’s so bloody talented and I absolutely love this tune!

❤️ Product

I thought I would introduce this section because I think it’s always important to be a good samaritan and pass on the good word about products I’ve been loving.

Face halo
One of my friends recommended getting onto these, and whilst I must admit I was pretty skeptical, especially considering the big ‘influencer’ PR movement surrounding them, I got myself some Face Halo’s and boy am I impressed. I honestly reckon my skin has improved because I’m getting rid of all of my makeup every time. Plus, it saves me using heaps of make up wipes and cotton pads. Good for the environment, good for your skin, I’m happy here!

📷 Vloggers, Blogger and Podders

💌 Morgan Harper Nichols daily email
If you’re not already in love with Morgan Harper Nichols, you will absolutely fall in love with her when you sign up to her daily emails. It’s seriously a beautiful way to start my day (especially at work) to take five minutes to read some poetry, reflect and feel wholesome. I received the below image and poem on a pretty stressful day at work. Needless to say, it helped a lot!

Sailing La Vagabonde
Aw man the travel envy is real watching these two sail the seven seas (and with their cute newborn). They’re an Aussie couple who have been traveling the world for the past few years on their catamaran… yep… what a life. They’re videos are actually really cool and it’s made me rethink and question our accepted lifestyles, way of eating, living and travelling…mmm

📝 Quote

It’s hard to know you’re on the right path. Sometimes we feel like we’re being pulled in a million different directions. That’s why I fully believe that you have to always hold your values close to you to steer you in the right direction. There’s only one ‘you’ and you bring your unique magic into this world. Sometimes you have to fight through other people’s expectations and hold on to that magic.

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: JANUARY

A new year, a new adventure and a whole heap of new things that I’m absolutely in love with. So if you’ve been as busy as I have, then you’d agree that January has been an absolute blur! But it’s been pretty damn incredible! So here are a few of my favourite things for January!

Fun For Louis

I don’t know what rock I’ve been hiding under but O M G! This guy is awesome and absolutely living the dream! I’ve nearly made it my daily ritual of watching his videos every morning for inspiration. I can’t imagine the time and effort that goes into making a travel vlog each and every day and I have sooooo much respect for him! And I love watching his vlogs about Youtube and business. It’s so interesting to learn so much about someone living the ultimate adventure!

Home Sweet Home

It was so good to get home for a weekend! And even better to enjoy some sunshine with my family!

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Soaking up some sun in beautiful Port Stephens.

Australia Day Shenanigans

What more could you ask for? A pool, beers, friends and Triple J? I had such a fantastic day getting a bit too much sun, and drinking a bit too much beer. I must admit that this year, the awareness of what Australia Day means to our First Australian people has been incredibly disturbing. It’s something that I believe needs to be addressed seriously and not just a ‘trend’ on social media. We can do so much more as a nation to improve equality between people in our nation and it’s time that it happens.

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Adventuring around the countryside

I did get a fair bit of road tripping done. I was lucky enough to borrow my family’s land cruiser for a month so I just had to take advantage of this! I made it down to Canberra, Broulee/Bateman’s Bay, out to Bowral and back up to Port Stephens.

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My awesome car for the Summer at Minamurra Rainforest

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Beautiful Broulee

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Reunited with my bestie in Canberra.

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Soaking up the sun at Bald Hill.

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Getting lost in the clouds at Tomaree Mountain, Port Stephens

21st Party

It seems to be the year for it all! And what a banger to start it all off with! One of my best friends 21st birthday parties. And with plenty more to come, the parties won’t stop there.

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Tunes

I am absolutely obsessed with this song! I’ve been listening to it on repeat and this has definitely been the sound of my January.

Flicks

So over Summer I’ve actually been studying an Australian film class at uni. And what better excuse do you have than to watch films as study?! And I decided to watch as many Australian films as possible and I came across Tracks. It’s based on a real story and it’s one of the best films I’ve seen in a long time. And if you’re interested in films about travel, adventure and self discovery – you will LOVE this film.

Blogs

Journal By Assia. A travel and lifestyle blog written by Assia. Her photos are absolutely beautiful and she frequently posts about her new favourite book or her latest weekend adventures, which makes her blog fresh and exciting. I love following her journey and always look forward to reading what she’s up to next. If you’re after some inspiration and motivation – then look no further!

Simplicity Relished.  I’ve only recently come across this blog and I’m absolutely in love. It’s all about living simply and minimalistic lifestyle. Her photos are gorgeous and with a touch of travel in there – it provides for hours of light reading.

Books

Escape From Camp 14. So I actually haven’t finished this book – I’m really close I promise! But it’s so dark, depressing and insightful that I find it difficult to pick up but impossible to put down. I don’t know much about North Korea and the camps there, so reading this personal book about what happens there is pretty confronting but extremely important to learn about.

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Quote

“If you’re dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.”

This quote has really pushed me this month. To think and act bigger, take a risk and be daring with the decisions I make and the dreams and goals that I set. I wouldn’t say I’m scared by them, but I’m definitely taking a deep breath before attempting to tackle them! Let’s do it!

 

Well that just about sums up my January. Sorry this post is late again. As you can see I’ve had a pretty crazy month! But I’m keen for even bigger and better adventures to come my way and share them with you guys much more frequently!

 

One Night in Canberra

Canberra, the capital of Australia. Home to Parliament House, National Galleries/Museums/Universities, The War Memorial and also my best friend in the world! Never knowing how long she’ll be in Australia for, I jumped at the chance to spend 27 hours with her! So here’s some pictures of Australia’s beautiful capital city!

I caught the bus from Wollongong to Canberra with Murrays Coaches costing about $50 return (not bad), taking 3hours and 20minutes to reach the capital. The first exciting/nerve wracking part of my adventure was going through Macquarie Pass, an 8km stretch of steep and incredibly windy road! I’m normally absolutely fine with roads like this, but at some points, I must admit I did grip the seat. The road is so windy that on one corner, the bus had to reverse and then continue to take the corner. After that (ordeal) was over, the view was quite spectacular and the rest of the journey was smooth sailing.

The ocean views from the top of Macquarie Pass
The ocean views from the top of Macquarie Pass

I arrived at the Jolimont Centre in Canberra at 3:40pm where my friend Jess was there to pick me up. It had been around 9months since we’d seen each other and it was just like it was yesterday we were galavanting through London. That’s something pretty amazing about meeting incredible people whilst travelling, they become incredible friends. Regardless of where you are in the world, the moment you call/skype/whatsapp/viber/facebook/facetime/meet them, you realise just how incredible they truly are and how lucky you are to call them a friend.  Obviously we had much to catch up on and we did so over pizza, How I Met Your Mother and coffee.

Jess and I checking out Lake Burley Griffin and views to Parliament House
Jess and I checking out Lake Burley Griffin and views to Parliament House

We had the whole next day to spend together and explore together, (the 3rd capital city in the world we’ve been to together). We had a lovely brunch followed by some awesome cruising around Canberra and all the hot tourist spots. Some of the must see places for tourists are Old/New Parliament House, The Tent Embassy, The War Memorial, The Corillian, CSIRO Discovery Centre, The Australian National Museum/Gallery and walk around (part of) Lake Burley Griffin. I have been to a lot of the museums a few years ago with my family and Jess showed me the rest of the sights whilst we were crusing. We then did some shopping and had some (more) coffee, where I then lost my shopping 😦 We cruised around some more, realising our love for Ed Sheeran, Kygo and our guilty pleasure, Taylor Swift.

City Centre of Canberra
City Centre of Canberra

War Memorial-Parliament House, view from Mount Ainslie
War Memorial-Parliament House, view from Mount Ainslie

After a few more episodes of How I Met Your Mother, it was time to head back to the bus station and head back to the Gong. Departure time was 6pm so we went down Macquarie Pass when it was pitch black! I tried not to focus on the sheer cliffs we were passing and read my book. I don’t know when or where I’ll be back in Canberra or see Jess (like many of my amazing international friends), but true friendship perseveres distance and time. So I excitedly anticipate the next time we meet!

Note for Tourists: To get around Canberra, invest in hiring a car! There’s no way you can walk around and see everything. Unless you have too a best friend that lives there that can double as a personal chauffeur! 

xxx

A

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