These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: DECEMBER 2019

Well well well… the end of a decade, the end of an era and the end of 2019. It’s crazy to think that at the beginning of the decade, in lovely little 2010, I was in year 10, stressing about my exams, was about to get my first taste of travel and complete a study abroad in Palmerston North New Zealand. In 2012 I graduated high school and in 2013, I packed my bags with a one-way ticket to London. In 2014, I moved to Wollongong to start my degrees. In 2015 I got my first grown up job, and in 2016 (in true Adelaide style), I packed up my bags (yet again) and headed to La Rochelle, France and Montreal, Canada to (yet again) study abroad. In 2017 I decided to squeeze in one more study abroad trip to Mexico, before commencing and finishing my Honours degree in 2018. And 2019, as you may have been following, I landed my dream job and moved in with my girlfriend. And what better way to finish off this decade, than with a great month, which was December. So let’s have a look back at the month that finished off the decade!

🎉Fairgrounds Festival

I love a good festival. I especially love a festival that’s local and encourages a balance of food, beer, chilling out and good music. Fairgrounds is just that. Located only 40minutes away in beautiful Berry, Soph and I cruised down the highway to this family friendly, hippy paradise music festival. We strolled in to the country twang of the one and only, Kasey Chambers. We were treated to hearing the beautiful words of Julia Jacklin, swayed around the Meg Mac, rocked out to DMAs, and pretended to know the lyrics to Liam Gallagher’s songs. Each musical interlude was complete with trying a new kind of food, finding a bar close by, and seeking some shade #sunsafetyissexy It was such a fun day spent with Soph and I’m so glad I got to spend it with her.

🎄Famous Haynes’ Christmas Party

Everyone knows that Christmas is a crazy time. So my Nan has decided to outsmart everyone and celebrate Christmas early! It also coincided with Pop’s 85th birthday (what a legend). Soph of course came along and she met my big, beautiful family as we tucked in to some delicious food, enjoyed a beer or two, and reminisced about the simpler times when we were young kids running around Nan’s house! It was such a great evening and I’m so grateful for my lovely fam!

🏡Christmas at home

As they say, there’s no place like home. And there’s no better place to spend Christmas, than beautiful Port Stephens. The tradition in Port Stephens is to head to the Country Club on Christmas Eve. Before you get too ahead of yourself, the Country Club is not a classy establishment so don’t go thinking we’re at all fancy. The best thing about this tradition is that you get to see all of your friends in one place, having a grand old time. The downside to this tradition, is that you’re usually a little hungover when it comes to Christmas morning. Just put a Christmas hat on and you can bluff your way through anything. I had such a great time at home seeing friends and family. I felt so freakin grateful that after all these years, I can still go back to the good old country club, and see some mates that I will always love, and that my family are forgiving first thing in the morning!

🌊South West Rocks

On Boxing Day, Elly, Mum and I road tripped our way up to South West Rocks. It was my first time visiting this beautiful little holiday paradise and wow! I’m a firm believer that all you need in life is a good beach and a good cafe. And I can tell you that South West Rocks has both. Our little escape was filled with early morning walks, parkrun (of course), coffee, yoga, finding nice little beaches, setting up umbrellas, soaking up some safe sunshine, binge watching ‘You’ and having a great time with my fam!

 📚 Books

Over the Top, by Jonathan Van Ness
This book landed in my hands in a rather unusual way. Of course, I’m a huge Queer Eye fan, but I’m also a fan of reflecting on personal experiences in order to inform your future decisions. Whilst I was chatting with my psychologist, she actually recommended this book. I never would have thought I would have much in common with JVN, but it turns out that worrying you’re ‘too much, too big, too little, too this, too that,’ is a pretty common experience. I loved this book and I actually learnt a lot about his life and what he did to overcome a vast number of challenges to be the fabulous self JVN is!

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Normal People, by Sally Rooney
Wow! Yes! Wow! Three words to sum up this book, enough said. I’d heard a lot about Sally Rooney and read her incredible book ‘Conversations With Friends.’ So I was lucky enough to get this from Christmas from the lovely S Washington, which was pretty short lived because I finished it in about 3 days! Love love love this book and I would absolutely recommend to anyone who’s had a complicated, painful and lovely crush.

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🎶Tunes

Flicks

Years and Years
Wow. Black Mirror meets the front page of your average right-wing newspaper. Seriously, this show is incredible! It’s set in a not-so-distant sci-fi future. Events unfold that have underlying truth and plausibility. There were moments I was genuinely scared, sobbing my eyes out, heart broken, and inspired. I stupidly watched it when only one episode was released at a time, though it was probably for the best. Binge watching this may lead to sadness and anxiety, but it has beautifully constructed characters and touches on big issues that we as a collective society need to address.

Marriage Story
Well it stars Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, need I say more? Side note, they are literally my celebrity crushes so I basically melted watching them on screen together. Though this is not a romance. It’s a story about romance dying and a couple navigating the messy world of divorce. It’s raw and captures the awkward moments when families fall apart. #relatable It’s not overhyped, it’s totally worth the watch and finally…. ahhhh Adam Drive and Scarlett Johansson, what babes!

🛍️Product

Diva cup
For anyone who’s been considering getting a Diva cup, now is your time! I myself had considered it for about 12 months before finally biting the bullet and buying one and after now 2 months of using it, I would absolutely recommend. I seriously feel like a better human because I’m not contributing a hell of a lot of waste to landfill. It’s actually super comfortable and easy (once you get the hand of it). Plus I’m excited for the money I won’t be spending on tampons, pads and liners! Woo!

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Sol de Janeiro, Bum bum cream
This smells absolutely delicious! I cannot get enough! I had heard about this cream, and of course the name is pretty unforgettable, and just had to try it out. I bought myself a little gift set with a body spray and body wash. YUM! This cream is so delightful, I’d put it all over my body if it wasn’t so damn expensive. Top tip: I always put a little bit on the back of my hand because you can smell it all day! Seriously obsessed.

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📸Vloggers, Bloggers and Podders

Kold
This is one of the most stunning YouTube videos I’ve ever watched (especially from about 8:10… WOW). His story telling just keeps levelling up and his shots are seriously awe inspiring! I seriously got chills in this video and made me want to jump on a pirate ship and set sail to Indonesia!

🎶Tunes

Boy and Bear
Sometimes you just need some chill music to get you through a pretty stressful time over the holiday period. Boy and Bear completely delivered. Soph actually got us tickets to go and see them in May (yay) and I cannot wait!

📝Quote

During the crazy holiday period, I was lucky enough to receive some pretty amazing advice. Take what’s in front of you. Sometimes there’s no point making plans for things that haven’t actually happened. It usually leaves you feeling stressed out and helpless. All we have is now, is a gentle reminder to take a breath, take one step at a time and not to stress about things that haven’t actually happened yet. Seems obvious but I assure you it isn’t.

What a month, what a year and what a decade. I think I’ll have to do some more reflecting on 2019 as a whole, but now it’s time to look forward to all of the opportunities that 2020 promises. I hope you had a safe and enjoyable holiday period and are already kicking goals in 2020! x

What Would Samantha Do? Ultimate Beach Essentials This Summer!

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

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Sunscreen 

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

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Fabulous Hat

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

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GoPro

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

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

Water

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

Super cute swimsuit

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

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Urban Outfitters swimsuit. You can find it here. 

Book

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

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