These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: FEBRUARY 2020

Wow – what a time to be alive. Things are a mix of business as usual combined with casual panic and stress. Despite everything that has been going on, I really believe it’s important to practice gratitude and take time to reflect on what’s important to you. So – this month’s Favourite Things is to achieve just that – to say thank you to the people in my life who make me feel loved and apart of a community.

🌆Melbourne

I started off the month with an absolute bang! A weekend in Melbourne with the one and only DJ Dicko! We had the most jam packed, awesome weekend. From sweltering our way through the city to see Chicago (OMG it was flipping amazing!), to bar hopping our way through Fitzroy, and soaking up all things T-Swift.

Plus I caught up with my amazing kiwi friends, Hannah and Sophie. And what better way to do that than with a drink in hand.

Chloe, I’m so bloody grateful for that weekend away and I’m already looking forward to the next one!

🐿️Losing some wisdom

So the time finally came. I had my wisdom teeth removed. Yay to paying way too much money to be in immense pain, look like a chipmunk and be unable to eat solid food for two weeks. As much as it hurt physically and financially, I can honestly say that I’m really grateful for our amazing health care here in Australia. I’m also grateful for my body in being able to heal itself and for my general health. It’s important to listen to your body and give your body what it needs. Sometimes, it’s to sleep, watch trashy movies and do nothing, And I’m also incredibly grateful for Soph for still taking me home when I had an ice pack strapped around my head, and for making me jelly.

Here’s an accurate and funny representation of what I looked like for about 1/2 of the month.

💕All loved up

February is a pretty loved up month for me, because, A: It’s Valentines day and who doesn’t love some red and pink helium balloons and a red rose, and B: It’s Soph and mine’s anniversay! Yep. We made it to two whole years. How freakin exciting! For Valentines day we went out to one of our favourite Thai restaurants and ate til our hearts were content. And for our anniversary, we bar crawled our way through Sydney. Finding some very funky underground bars (literally) and eating the most divine Spanish tapas I could’ve dreamed of. To top it off, the next morning we caught up with Soph’s fam who made me cry from laughter over some ‘teeth’ lollies. Let’s just say I’ve been like 😍🥰💕

✨Mardi Gras

This year, Mardi Gras fell on the incredibly special 29th February, the leap day. Whilst there was no parade or huge celebrations for us – I did pop on a glittery purple dress and drink a hell of a lot of cocktails. What else could I really ask for?

🎥Flicks

Parasite
If I’ve seen you in the past month, I’ve most likely told you about this movie, and how you absolutely must watch it. Wow! It’s unique, it’s gripping, it’s a little bit scary and the whole time you’re rooting for…. well I guess you’ll have to wait and see.

In the famous words of Bong Joon Ho “once you overcome your fear of a one inch subtitle, it’s amazing the world of film you’ll be opened up to.”

Fleabag Season 2
She’s back, she’s genius, she’s twisted. I think I know how I will always answer the question “if you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive who would it be?” As if you wouldn’t want to have dinner with Pheobe Waller-Bridge? Chances are you’d steal some art, get drunk and have a bloody good story to tell.

1917
Ooooh what a great film! War movies get harder and harder to watch not only because my brother is currently serving in the army or because our world seems to be on the brink of World War 3, but because I think about these wars shaped us as a society. This movie is cinematic, it’s beautiful, and there was a particular scene of a soldier floating down a river with cherry blossoms falling around him like snow that I don’t think I’ll be forgetting anytime soon.

📚Books

Such a fun age, by Kiley Reid
There’s nothing quite like jumping on the bandwagon, and this was an interesting one to jump on. This book was highly recommended by the girls at Shameless podcast, and whilst I love a good recommendation, once a book has been labelled as ‘book of the year’ let’s just say my expectations skyrocket. Was it a good book? Yes. Was it a page turner? It was interesting enough that yes I wanted to find out more. Is it book of the year? I don’t think so. So, now that I’ve crashed your expectations down to the ground, I would still recommend it. It is an important discussion about race, class and gender.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman
Opposed to Such A Fun Age, this book had received many mixed reviews, so I didn’t dive into it for a long time, put off by whether it was the best or worst book ever. I finally picked it up and WOW! INCREDIBLE! It’s not often that you read a book where the main character unsettles you, and you can’t quite put your finger on it. The thing that kept me captivated was Eleanor’s journey of self discovery and acceptance, you were secretly rooting for her and knew that she had some huge barriers to overcome, without even knowing what they were. LOVED IT!

Image result for eleanor oliphant is completely fine

Everything I know about love, by Dolly Alderton
If you’ve ever lived in London, this book will resonate all too well. Not only with the context of navigating dating in and around London, but also the experiences you open yourself up to, the situations you get yourself in, and the person you end up becoming. This is everything I would love to create in a book and more (dammit now I have to think of a new idea). It’s funny, it’s light and I would absolutely recommend it!

🛍️Product

Benefit Gimme Brow gel
Woooo what a great little addition this is to my beauty bag! I picked up a little gift set from the airport that included this gel, their bronzer, primer and mascara (look out for a good deal at an airport near you because I saved so much money!) And I have become obsessed with this little thing! I use the colour 3 and it gives my brows the shade and depth I want, while using the pencil to fill in any gaps. Couldn’t be happier with this new addition!

Gimme Brow+ Brow-Volumizing Fiber Gel 3 Medium

📝Quote

See good in all things. It’s simple, yet difficult. Believe that people are trying their best. Trust that things will work out the way that they are meant to. Look on the bright side of sometimes challenging and dark times. Embrace the strange beauty of life and take it one day at a time.

Stay safe, stay brilliant, be kind, we’re in this together.

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: MARCH 2019

Wow, what a crazy month! The year has been flying by but somehow March seemed to go on forever! Perhaps it’s because it was so jam packed with amazing events, incredible people, some ups and downs and a strong reminder of my strength, determination and resilience. The temperatures cooling down and we’re making our way into April (I flippin love April!), but before I get swept up in the whirlwind of life, let’s have a look at the magic of March.

🙈 Arctic Monkeys Australian Tour and Sydney Mardi Gras

When it happens, it all happens at once. And on one magical night in March, I was graced by the presence of the Arctic Monkeys and the dazzling Sydney Mardi Gras. It seems that the Arctic Monkeys have received some mixed reviews from their most recent Australian tour, plus their new album. But I can honestly say that it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to! Even their new stuff, which yea, we all know it’s no AM, was incredible. We watched them in Qudos Bank Arena and we were even seated, and I can tell you, we were rocking out to the Monkeys! So. Freakin. Awesome. Alex Turner, you look great on the dancefloor.

Source.

Then, it was out to the crazy streets of Sydney, covered in glitter and ready for a boogie. We ended up in Oxford St in the heart of it all. There really is no time like Mardi Gras. Everyone is so happy, accepting and loved up. My favourite part was ending up at a quiet little bar with espresso martinis in hand and watching the world go by. And of course, followed by a kebab! What a great time to be gay.

👗 All About Women Festival

I’ve been wanting to attend this festival for years! And each year it’s seemed to slip right by. But this year I was determined to soak up some female power. It came at the absolutely right time in my life and my feminism journey. I wrote all about my experiences in a post because I felt like I learnt so much and was really challenged in my beliefs and place in the world. I would strongly encourage everyone to attend events and meet new people that challenge you. It’s so easy to get comfortable in our ways, so bring on being uncomfortable and getting out of the comfort zone!

🐚 Jervis Bay roadtrip

Top of my go-to places for this year has been Jervis Bay! And we finally went! There’s nothing like a little day trip to get away from the chaos of life. We stopped of at Gerringong for some brekky, Hyams beach for some white sand and tropical water, Huskisson for some fish and chips, and of course, Berry for some famous donuts! I feel so lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world! Let this be a reminder to get out and explore your own backyard!

❤️💛💚 One Love Reggae Concert

Yep you read that correctly, I spent my Friday night at a reggae concert! There’s nothing like being a little spontaneous and I can definitely agree that a reggae band is probably the most random, but most awesome night you will have! I wasn’t drinking, and despite all the dreadlocks around, wasn’t smoking, but felt high off life, music and the good vibes everyone was vibing! If you ever get the chance – go to a reggae concert! You won’t regret it.

🎶 Tunes

Pasta by Angie McMahon
Angie’s back and she’s brought her A game. I always love some kick ass female rockers, especially with a cool little video clip! I’m hoping this means a new album is on the way!

Old Man by Stella Donnelly
Wow! What an awesome album! I saw Stella Donnelly perform at A Day On The Green last month and was seriously blown away by her stage presence and live show. And now falling in love with her album, gosh I have so much respect for her, her music and what she stands for!

📚 Book

The Trauma Cleaner, by Sarah Krasnostein
I can honestly say that this book was incredibly challenging to read. Not in the way it’s written but the raw nature of the content. As the reader you’re very confronted by your own privilege. This book follows the story of Sandra, a trans woman cleaning up after other people’s mess. This book isn’t just important because of the experiences she shares during her transition to a woman, but her experiences as a sex worker, and a woman during the 80s and 90s. It also shines a light on poverty in Australia, a topic that I personally feel there is little discussion about among the Australian public. You’ll be challenged, but it’s absolutely worth it.

🎥 Flicks

Russian Doll
I smashed out this series very quickly and thought it was smart, provocative and super interesting! Natasha Lyonne plays her character so well and I was totally hooked! Your curiosity will keep you hanging around until the end!

📷 Bloggers, Vloggers and Podders

Bobo and Flex
Yes. Yes. A million times YAAASSS! I absolutely love this podcast! These two gals have opinions and they want us to hear them! They dive deep into sex things that you think you’re not allowed to think. They make you evaluate your sense of self, your spirituality and your hotness. I love how candid their conversation is, and most of all Bobo’s reactions of ‘I am dead. Literally crying.’ (If you listen to the show you’ll know the exact voice she uses!) Absolute must for those independent women out there!

The Guardian’s Longread
This may reveal my inner nerd but I have fallen in love with The Guardian’s Longread podcast. Because unfortunately, I’m a busy gal and don’t always have time to read in-depth investigative journalism. And this podcast reads it to me! It’s a great way to feel informed, educated and in the know with leading issues.

One of the most interesting episodes I’ve listened to is called ‘White Gold: The Unstoppable Rise of Alternative Milks.’ Seriously I cannot stop talking about it so you should go and listen to it right now!

📝 Quote

Something that I kept coming back to this month was being strong and believing in myself. By having faith that I was in the right place, at the right time. I started a new job (a permanent one – what?!) and really believe that this is where I’m meant to be. It’s scary seeing friends move on and move away from their life in Wollongong. It’s even scarier thinking about your future in a place that you love so much, but think there’s maybe more out there for you. That time will come, but it’s funny how I have to keep reminding myself that I’m 24 years young. I have literally my whole life ahead of me. And there’s nothing wrong with taking your time, making the most of what you currently have, and making the most of the opportunities that present themselves to you.

Woah March, you were pretty hectic. Moving in to April, I think I need to make sure I’m constantly checking in with myself and see how I’m doing. It’s so easy to get caught up in life that you forget to take a step back, take a deep breath, and just be. I’m excited for all the awesome things planned for April, but I’m also looking forward to some down time and focusing on me!

My Sexuality

Gay, bi, lezzo, dyke, straight girl… let’s face it, sexuality is far from straightforward.

But up until this year I thought it was. If you’ve known me for a few years or been following my journey throughout life, you would know that I’ve been pretty boy crazy. My first ever crush was Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean which perhaps foreshadowed my questionable choices in men. Nonetheless, I identified as straight because I had only kissed and dated boys.

But this wasn’t to say that I wasn’t equally attracted to Keira Knightley in Pirates of the Caribbean. I thought she was super attractive (but then again it is Keira Knightley so who doesn’t?!) but this was different. I just never mentioned it out loud. There had always been a part of me that noticed girls in a romantic and sexual way but in this hetero dominated world I kind of just pushed it aside.

Why did I push it aside? You could analyse this until the world ends, but in my mind, it seemed a simpler choice to be with boys. Honestly – boys are predictable, they play games and I knew the rules. It also meant that I didn’t have to have another identity crisis or deal with confronting questions that I perhaps wasn’t quite ready to face. It was what everyone else was doing and I just wanted to fit in like them.

This isn’t to discount my previous partners or the relationships. They are what they are and I wouldn’t change anything. The experiences shared and memories created, both good and bad, are there to stay. I don’t regret anything and wouldn’t change a thing, because otherwise, I may not be where I am today. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and the moon or some other spiritual entity is guiding us through life for a very specific reason.

And I think I found it. I now find myself in an amazing relationship with the most incredible woman I’ve ever met. I feel like I’m the best version of myself when I’m with her. She’s intelligent, hilarious, has a wicked sense of fashion, she’s sexy, kind, considerate and humble. She’s like sunshine and makes me see the world in a new light. For that, I don’t think I’ll ever really be able to thank her enough.

Feeling these things in a relationship is pretty magical, and for me, gender really doesn’t play a big part in it. Whilst other people may look at us and see two women holding hands down the street, I see two souls intertwined.

So does this mean I’ve been turned off men forever?

I still think Miguel is HOT AF. But I also think there are an endless amount of women that I think are hot as well, ahem, Scarlett Johansen, Rihanna, Sophie Washington… there are some beautiful people in the world and I can appreciate a lot of them.

Does this mean I’m a lesbian now?

Call me what you will. The most important thing I’ve come to realise is that labels are just labels. They may help some but for me personally, they don’t add value to who I am and who I love. I think people can get really caught up in this label game (myself included) and you might just find that it’s more destructive than it is constructive. So why spend your time, energy and worry on whether you’re this or that, when you could just focus on what makes you happy. Call me what you will, but call me happy.

I’m pretty stoked I’ve been able to have this genuine experience and connection with someone but also with myself. It makes me sad to think that I could have easily gone my whole life suppressing this part of who I am. Completely rejecting something that is embedded in my heart. I feel so lucky and honoured to be able to freely express my love for someone and people across the world should feel safe and free to do the same.

I know there’s no need for me to write about this and address my sexuality publicly. But I wanted to. Firstly because I blog about nearly everything else in my life. And secondly, because I think it’s important for me to tell people my story from my point of view. Just as I would encourage others to tell their stories for themselves. We live in a wacky world and the only way forward is through human connection, understanding, and love. I know there’s a million other blog posts and videos about coming out and probably titled ‘My Sexuality,’ but this is my story which makes it special in its own way. I’m not doing this for attention, or likes, or validation. I’m doing this for myself.

I may be in love with a woman, but there’s a lot more to me than that. I’m also a red head, a student, a dancer (and a good one at that!), a blogger, a writer, a storyteller and fellow human being, and my story is for me and anyone who might find joy in it.

img_9423
Soaking up good vibes in Montreal’s gay village, 2016

*

I want to say that I acknowledge my immense privilege in being able to post this. I am extremely fortunate to have a supportive and understanding family and friend group. They have been so accepting along my journey and I know that not everyone has the same luxury. In addition, I am a white, university-educated, middle-class Australian woman and I realise that with these traits, I possess a lot more privilege than others. This is why I am motivated to share my story to inspire others to do the same.

Whilst feeling that I belong in the LGBTQI community in one way or another, this is not to say that my experiences are universal. Other people may intersect with this community and that itself has various associated challenges. Being a person of colour, Indigenous, transgender, undocumented, a migrant… all of these factor into someone’s experience of being queer and I acknowledge and want to learn more about these people’s journey.

Additionally, by referring to myself as gay, I completely acknowledge that it’s pretty easy for me to waltz on in and declare myself as gay or bi or whatever I want to call myself. I understand and respect the joys, obstacles, challenges, and celebrations of being gay and all that may come with that label. I in no way wish to appropriate decades of struggle for recognition and equality as my own. But I am a part of this group and I have and will continue to fight for equality because not only because it affects me, but it affects fellow human beings and that just ain’t right.

And finally, I acknowledge that even having the opportunity to write about this on a public platform and share it for the world to see is incredibly privileged. It was only last year that Australia legalized gay marriage. Being gay was illegal in Australia until 1997. Across the world today there are dozens of countries where being gay is criminalized and illegal. Whilst I am lucky I have the opportunity to share my experiences, I acknowledge that many others do not and cannot.

Whilst I am confident and proud of myself for putting this post out into the blogosphere, I can’t deny my anxiety about its reception. Whether it’s from friends, family, colleagues or acquaintances. It’s scary being vulnerable but I’d rather be true to who I am if people don’t understand then they can kindly move along.

*

IMG_2217
Happy being me!

Mardi Gras ~ The Happiest Place On Earth

Happy Mardi Gras! And what a happy occasion it was! It was my first ever proper Mardi Gras celebration, and it wouldn’t have been complete without a tonne of glitter! This day is about equality and celebration of people from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning and Intersex Community.I enjoyed this magical day with my two good friends  Tishia and Dylan and these are some of my observations/conclusions from one of the biggest Mardi Gras Festivals in the world!

I felt incredibly happy. I’m not sure if it was the glitter or the ecstatic energy from the buzzing crowd but I felt so HAPPY! In fact, I felt like a real life fairy, skipping around everywhere and sprinkling glitter on everyone. This euphoric state got me questioning, ‘why can’t I feel this good everyday?’ And I guess I have no legitimate reason at all! And everyone seemed happy and thus everyone was absolutely beautiful. Whether you were wearing hot pants, leather, sequins, had glitter on your eyebrows, lips or breasts, jeans and a t-shirt or basically nothing at all, everyone looked absolutely FABULOUS! And not only were they fabulous but also lovely people. Walking up and down the parade, we talked to and met some incredible people.

All this colour and happiness and loving acceptance got me thinking about everyday life. When we’re not covered in glitter or listening to doof doof music, what happens then? I honestly believe if we lived everyday of our lives like we were at Mardi Gras (yes, glitter included), the world would be a much better and much more peaceful place. Wearing what we want to express ourselves and not being slut shamed. Talking and accepting our own and others sexuality and not be labelled as a derogatory name with associated stereotypes. Meeting new people without fear of being judged. Dancing in the street and listening to great music. And most importantly. BE OURSELVES! Why is it that for only one day we let our guard down and flaunt what we’ve got? And every other day we embody prejudice, we discriminate subconsciously, or judge others? Equality is for everyone! But unfortunately for some, they wipe their glitter off with a conservative and close minded wet blanket. We all have the right to be our own unique being on this planet, some of us just prefer a little more glitter in our lives.

Here are some photos of my night and all the sparkles!

Tishia, Me and Dylan
Tishia, Me and Dylan

IMG_2406
Eyebrow game on point!

Clothes are definitely optional at Mardi Gras. Glitter is compulsory!
Clothes are definitely optional at Mardi Gras. Glitter is compulsory!

We are FIERCE
We are FIERCE

Celebrating with a view
Celebrating with a view

Street Parties should happen every weekend
Street Parties should happen every weekend

Dancing all night with my best friends
Dancing all night with my best friends

xxx A