These Are A Few of My Favourite Things: FEBRUARY 2018

For the shortest month of the year, February sure did deliver a lot. I think I can positively say that this month has been the most tumultuous and testing month of my life. And it seems like it wasn’t just for me but a lot of people in my life. In the 4 weeks that were February I found myself single again, moved houses, have experienced incredible stress around our previous tenancy and landlord, found out more about myself than I ever thought and been offered a new job. Maybe chaos attracts chaos. But one thing I do know is that strength attracts strength and I sure have been inspired and motivated by all of the wonderful people around me. The people who have helped lift me up, push me out of my comfort zone and help me find strength in some pretty challenging times, and it is these people I am eternally grateful for. Alas, February is over and finally a much awaited March arrives.

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ūüíÉūüŹŅ¬†Bangarra Dance Company

I guess you could call it Christmas in February, because for Christmas I bought Mum tickets to see Bangarra Dance Company’s show at the Newcastle Civic Theatre. It was such a gorgeous performance and I was absolutely in awe. Wow! I cannot recommend seeing them enough! Thanks Mum for being the ultimate date to the theatre!

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ūüé®Museum of Contemporary Art

So I finally made it to the MCA’s incredible exhibition by Pipilotti Rist’s ‘Sip my Ocean.’ I had seen several Instagrammers check out this exhibition and damn their photos were incredible…. so I wanted to check it out for myself! Chloe and I headed to Sydney dressed to the 9’s and damn it did not disappoint! It was an incredible experience of light and sound! Plus we got several pretty awesome Instagrams so I’m pretty content.

ūüéĻ¬†RAD Bar

For those of you who don’t know… RAD is (as the name implies) a super rad bar in Wollongong that is home to some incredibly live music. Showcasing local and incredible acts, I constantly forget how awesome RAD is!

ūüíē¬†Date Night

No matter how rough and tough, or exciting and wild life gets, it’s so important to take a breather and catch up with the people around you that you love. I had a little date night with Chantelle,¬†and it felt so great to go out and just spend some quality time together. I also spent Valentines day with the one and only Miss Tishia! We ate way too much food together and hatched our plan to take over the world. Watch out friends, date night is coming to a night near you.

 

ūüď∑¬†Polaroid Camera

For Christmas I was spoilt and my sister bought me a polaroid camera. And I wasn’t sure how much I would use it, but surprise surprise, I love taking photos and this is no exception. These are just some of the pics that I’ve snapped and I absolutely love it! I think my favourite thing is my reaction when I photo turns out well!

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ūüé∂Tunes

Steele Syndicate. I was lucky enough to randomly catch these guys at RAD bar this month and DAMN I have not danced so much! Their vibe is so funky and uplifting! Add a few beers and you my friend, have a good night filled with dancing and good times ahead of you.

Odette.¬†OMG this song! I’ve heard it so many times on Triple J but I never picked up on who the angel behind it was! Finally I’ve tracked her down and wow she’s amazing! Her other work is amazing and she is definitely one to keep on your radar!

 

Vallis Alps

These guys!!! Her vocals are so astounding and the beat has wicked good vibes! I’ve been listening to this EP on my way to work and I assure you I’ve been arriving in a great mood! Get around it!

ūü镬†Flicks

Breakfast at Tiffany’s¬†

Audrey Hepburn you mega babe! There’s nothing quite like re-watching an old classic with some amazing company. Whilst I must admit I get quite lost and caught up in the plot, it’s so joyful to be whisked away back in time to the golden ages. This movie is a constant reminder to keep it classy but just a little nasty.

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ūüďö¬†Books

Chapter One by Daniel Flynn.¬†So there’s this company called Thankyou. I’m sure you may be familiar with it. They’re basically a social enterprise where money goes directly towards a project in another country. You may know¬†Thankyou water.¬†When you buy a bottle of water, proceeds go towards providing clean water to a community in Vientam for example. This book is the business behind it and I must admit is it very captivating, interesting and inspiring. Whilst I have some pretty big critiques of the company and the execution of their mission, the one thing that cannot be faulted is their determination to get in there, be taken seriously and make a difference. It’s an easy read and for anyone interested in start ups, business and development, then this one is for you!

The world doesn’t need another book, it needs an idea.

You can find out more information here. 

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ūüď∑¬†Bloggers and Vloggers

Bryce + Hailey

Uh what is it with cute couples and YouTube?! There’s something about these two that are so adorable that I can’t help but fall in love with their videos! Their style is funky as and they seem like the sweetest most genuine humans. I particularly loved their video from around Europe so make sure to give these guys some love.

ūüď̬†Quote

So as you can imagine, this month was a little rough. It’s OK, I’m OK and I know that everything is going to be OK. But it takes time to come to that realisation. Not even the realisation, but to truly feel and believe it. It’s too easy to convince yourself that you’re alright when you’re not, and (sadly) too easy to fake a smile. What is difficult is acknowledging you’re lost, confused, sad, lonely, optimistic, excited, relieved…. confronting those feelings is difficult. But once you do, and choose to surround yourself with people who are ‘loving, nourishing, kind and authentic,’ you’ll realise how amazing you are and how much you deserve!

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I can honestly say that I feel like a stronger person now that the month from hell is over! With each ending comes new beginnings, some in the most unlikely of places. March, I am excited for everything to come, I’m committing to working hard and playing even harder… just please be kind. I’d really appreciate it.

Valentines Day? Newly Single? Take Yourself Out!

Valentine’s Day sucks. Especially if you’re newly single and trying to piece back together the fragments of your heart and remember who you are without a man in your life (woah dramatic right?). But this isn’t a depressing post. This is a fucking happy post. Life has been crazy recently and I’m sure yours has been too (I’m suspecting there’s something in the air). I feel like maybe it’s February, just as you’re getting settled into 2018, February comes to slap you in the face and say ‘wake up bitch, don’t you dare get comfortable!’

Well after my ‘Me Day’ I am wide awake and refreshed, in love with myself and proud of who I am.

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I thought there might be a few others out there who may be having a rough time at the moment, and I get it, it sucks. But it’s not going to last forever, and it certainly isn’t the end of the world. So I wanted to tell you about my day and hopefully inspire you to do the same, and love yourself that little bit harder in your time of need.

“Hi, you’ve reached Adelaide. Sorry I can’t take your call right now. It’s ADELAIDE DAY today and I’m out taking care of myself. Leave a message and I’ll get back to you whenever I feel like it.”

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Cancel Work

I work casually, however lately, work has consumed my life. It’s good though, with so much craziness in my life it’s been a great distraction. I love my work and my work mates. But my¬†Adelaide Day¬†meant not coming in to work. I emailed my boss and was completely honest.¬†Hey, I know I’m supposed to work tomorrow, but my life has been a bit crazy lately and I really just need a day to gather my thoughts and look after myself. Do you mind if I have an Adelaide Day?¬†Because I work with such amazing and supportive people, she said yes and just like that, my day was free.

Sleep In

I’ve recently been converted to a morning person which means that if I wake up after 7am I feel like I’ve wasted my day. I love waking up early, watching the sunrise and getting a head start on my day. But this is Adelaide Day, and Adelaide required a sleep in. I slept until 9:30am and honestly, felt so rested. It was simply glorious waking up without an alarm, with sunlight shining through my window.

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Beach & Sunshine

There’s nothing that says ‘I love you Adelaide’ like a dip in the ocean and a nap on the beach. I headed down to soak up some rays with Dylan. There’s something so medicating about the ocean that instantly washes away your problems and invigorates you with energy and life. I laid in the sun just a little longer than I normally would and felt so relaxed. When I got home and looked in the mirror, I felt like I’d been at a spa treatment all day. I felt sleepy, relaxed, smelled of coconut and my hair was a mess.

A Bite To Eat

I love going out for lunch and I love going out solo. I went to one of my favourite cafe’s, ordered my favourite meal, with my favourite coffee and wrote in my journal. You’ve gotta look after your taste-buds and caffeinate.

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Retail Therapy

Nothing says treat yourself like a new outfit or two. Even if it’s just trying on clothes to get some ideas, I love a little window shopping. And I love it even more when I find gorgeous clothes that make me feel like the Queen I am (or think I am – depends if you get me on a confident day or not). I bought some gorgeous flowy pants, some crop tops and some sparkly underwear for Mardi Gras (which I’m way too excited about). Sometimes you just have to tap your card and not look at the total – that’s future you’s problem.

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Cooking

A little known fact about me is that I absolutely love cooking, I just rarely find the time or inspiration. But on my Me Day, there was no excuse. I made some delicious burritos for Tiger and Chloe. Plus we had an extravagant cheese board with a few too many beers. Cutting, chopping and creating something delicious and nutritious for your body and tastebuds sure is rewarding.

Sex & The City Marathon

Did you know that Sex & The City can cure anything? Yep. Fact. By chance, a SATC marathon was on TV. Naturally, we stayed up til midnight watching it. One beer per episode. By the time it reached midnight, I was pretty tipsy and feeling pretty damn amazing.

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I know it’s not always possible to have an extraordinary Me Day.¬†There’s work, prior commitments, homework…. the thing is that in our crazy lives, these things will always be there. Sometimes you just have to cancel your day and show yourself a little love.¬†Maybe I just didn’t do this enough when I was in a relationship. Take some time for me. But hey, at least I won’t forget it any time soon. And I think it’s something we have to do every now and again. Plus, who doesn’t love a SATC marathon?!

Be strong. Be kind. Be kind to yourself. And have a break. You deserve it. 

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: JULY

July!!! One of my favourite months of the year! Always because‚Ķ well, it’s my birthday in July. Usually it’s always cold on my birthday because at the moment in Australia it’s about 10degrees (even colder). But this month, July in France has been sunny and superbly spectacular. I can’t believe how quickly the month has gone and how much I’ve squeezed into just 31 days! Voil√†, here are my favourite things from this month!

THE UK

It feels like a lifetime ago now, but at the beginning of the month I was still in the UK. Those last few days were so special because I got to see some very special familiar faces. First was James & Beth in Leeds. I met James in 2013 at a Green Day concert in London and we kept in touch. In 2013 I visited him in Harrogate and was introduced to his friends and his (now girlfriend) Beth. 3 years later I was staying with them at their gorgeous place just outside of Leeds.

Then I went to a quaint little town called Yarm which is home to one of the greatest Englishmen I’ve ever met‚Ķ Khal!!! Khal was my housemate in Wollongong last year so it was very special to be able to meet his family, his twin Jaz, and see his home town. I can’t wait to see him again in Australia one day soon!

After a few nights up North, I ventured back to London and out to Essex to see Jack, a guy that was in my Politics class in Wollongong. It was cool seeing a new part of the country, and one of the oldest parts of England. His father and him kindly dropped me off at the bus stop in town the next day so I could get to the airport.

I’m extremely grateful to all of these people who put me up and went above and beyond to make me feel at home. If you even need a place to crash and a friendly face in Australia, you know where I am.

La Rochelle

La Rochelle was the place I called home from the 3rd of July. La Rochelle is probably one of the most picturesque places I’ve ever seen in my life and to be able to call that place home and live with an absolutely incredible woman. It was definitely an experience I’m never going to forget. I blogged each week in La Rochelle and you can read them here.

Week 1 

Week 2 

Week 3 

Week 4 

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PARIS

Hands down, the best weekend here in France was when I went to Paris for the weekend with my American friends. We stayed in Montmartre and just wandered the streets, drank cocktails and wine, went to the Sacre CŇďur and just enjoyed the beautiful weather and atmosphere that Paris has to offer. The highlight was when we went on a river cruise at sunset. It was one of the most spectacular things I’ve even seen and I’m so glad I got to spend it with such special people.

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Île de Ré

√éle de R√© is an island just off the coast of La Rochelle and one of the most unexpected surprises of living in La Rochelle. It’s connected by a huge bridge which makes getting there extremely easy. If you have a car, you can venture further around the island and get to more secluded and beautiful beaches. My first weekend in La Rochelle, Delphine took me to Ars-en-R√©, La Flotte and some secret beaches. It was at this moment that I realised that I was kind of on holidays.¬† I also went to √éle de R√© for Bastille Day, one hot afternoon, my birthday and with my Dad to Saint-Martin.¬† It’s such a beautiful place which screams √† la mode and chic! It’s definitely one of my favourite places I got to discover.

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My Dad Arriving

On Thursday the 28th July, my Dad arrived in La Rochelle! It was so cool and I still don’t think it’s really sunk in that we’re actually in France together! On the 29th it was his birthday and we went out to dinner with Delphine to one of my favourite restaurants in La Rochelle The Cave. We had beer, wine, wine and more wine, along with cheese, cheese and even more cheese! It was such a lovley evening and I hope I was able to make his birthday a memorable and special one.

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Delphine, me and my Dad

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FRIENDS

Now I’m all for solo travel etc, but sometimes, there’s just nothing better than sharing a special moment with the people around you. And I’m so lucky that I got to meet some absolutely incredible people from all over the world! Let the pictures tell you our stories, but all you need to know is how grateful I am that I can call these people my friends.

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TUNES

One of the hardest things about travelling is trying to keep on top of your music and making sure you’re up to date on the latest tunes. So when in doubt, just bulk download and then you can spend all of those hours on trains and buses discovering the music you’ve downloaded.

This month I’ve been loving Vallis Alps. They’re just super chilled and also work perfectly for Youtube videos. (you can check it out here).

Chance the Rapper! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! That’s the best thing about long bus/train rides, it gives you time to discover some of those tunes you downloaded but haven’t got a chance to listen to yet! My fave songs are ‘same drugs’ and ‘no problem’

 

FLICKS

Because I’ve been so busy, I haven’t actually had a chance to watch any movies (except for Finding Nemo in French – that was pretty cool). But I did watch Season 4 of Orange is The New Black!!! If you’ve seen this season let me know because I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ABOUT IT!!! It’s killing me not being able to grab someone’s hand and say ‘OMG!” Legit one of my favourite shows out there and I’d recommend it to anyone!

QUOTES

This one comes from the beautiful Delphine. Pr√©sent. It’s a reminder that every day is a new day. That there’s no use worrying and stressing over what’s to come or what has been, because we just need to focus on the now. On today. And trying to make today as good as it can be. And if it’s not good, then that’s ok. Because tomorrow is another day, and there’s a new pr√©sent to live in.

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July – you have been incredible. I’m so excited and kinda scared by how excited I am to see what August has in store for me. Whatever it is – I know it’s going to be spectacular.

√Ä Bient√īt La Rochelle

So I can’t believe that it’s our last week already?! Just when you’re getting into the swing of things, finding a good coffee spot, riding your bike to class every morning, learning more and more phrases‚Ķ it’s time to pack up and go. But before we get to that, let’s recap on my last week in beautiful La Rochelle.

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Class

Monday was quite different because a group of American students (the ones I went to Paris with) had returned home which left us 8 of us in the class. Monday morning we had our 20minute presentations as well! It was quite daunting because initially I thought (how am I supposed to speak for 20minutes in French?) however I chose to do my presentation on Fran√ßois Mitterand who was a charasmatic French President. So it was pretty cool learning about someone who made such a positive impact on the France that we know today! For those of you who didn’t know (like me) he commissioned the glass Pyramid at the Lourve! Pretty cool!

On Wednesday we got our exams back and I could immediately tell how much my French really has improved. Whilst I still have a long way to go, this program really has given me the immersion into French culture and language and has really inspired me to continue to expand my knowledge.

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The best meal I had in France! Freshly caught mussels home cooked!

Activities

As always, another busy week with our after school activities. We went to Musée du Nouveau Monde, (the  Museum of the New World) where we wandered through a stunning old building learning about the discovering of Montréal and Quebec.

On Wednesday afternoon we went to an Oyster and Mussels farm‚Ķ and anyone who knows me, knows how much I LOVE seafood. We learnt about their family tradition of farming oysters and mussels and then she leant down into the water, grabbed an oyster, cut the top off, squeezed some lemon on top and handed it to me. I think my idea of ‘fresh seafood’ has forever been altered.

Friday was our last day of class‚Ķ (sad face) and our teachers treated us to a little scavenger hunt/questionnaire around the city. Whilst we tried our hardest to answer all of the questions, for some reason all of these beautiful little boutiques, cafes and patisseries kept getting in our way. It was a great end to our 4 weeks of intense classes. When we returned, we received our certificate of completion and our marks. I passed everything, and scored 17/20 for my oral skills! I’m definitely very proud that my speaking skills are my strongest and most improved!

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After the program

Unlike the other girls on the program who have to return to Australia as soon as possible to start university, I’m actually going on exchange for a semester in Montreal. And because university doesn‚Äôt start there until September, I’ve got some time to kill which means‚Ķ TRAVEL. And luckily for me, my Dad is joining me for 3 weeks as we venture around France, Spain and Iceland!

So on Thursday afternoon my Dad arrived in La Rochelle! It was so surreal and special for him to see the place I’ve called home for the past month. On Friday is was his birthday and Dad, along with my host mum Delphine went out for a beautiful dinner! Later on the Australian girls joined us and we drank lots of beautiful red wine and ate way too much cheese!

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Delphine, me and my Dad

Saying Goodbye

Saying goodbye to the people I’ve met here has definitely been one of the hardest things I’ve done. The Australian girls became my sisters, the American students, some of my best friends and Delphine, one of the most inspirational women I’ve ever met. Let’s just say that I had to wear my sunglasses all day to hide my eyes. The most special part is that I will always have these incredible memories with the most incredible people. Maybe one day I’ll return to La Rochelle, or maybe I’ll see my friends in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Paris, London, D.C or Sydney. Wherever it is, these memories will definitely last a lifetime and I’m extremely grateful for being given such an amazing opportunity.

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Saying goodbye to these girls was incredibly hard

Merci et √† bient√īt!

Bienvenue √† La Rochelle

The time is finally here! I’m fulfilling a life long dream of spending Summer in France! So let’s rewind a tiny bit… I just finished my French minor at university, and whilst studying French for two years was of course useful, I found it really difficult when it came to speaking with French people. After talking to some friends and doing my research, I realised that the only way to really improve my French skills is to go to France myself and fully immerse myself in the language, culture and lifestyle.

And that’s where¬†AIM Overseas¬†comes in. They are an organisation that provide unique study abroad opportunities for students to gain academic credit in their field of study in amazing parts of the world. And whilst scrolling away, I came across an intensive French program in a seaside town in La Rochelle. I first thought,¬†where the heck is La Rochelle? And secondly, where do I sign up? This all happened in December, 2015. Fast forward to the 3rd of July 2016 and I was touching down in the beautiful town of¬†La Rochelle.¬†

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Le port de La Rochelle

ARRIVING

I managed to get a super cheap flight from London to La Rochelle and it was a huge piece of mind knowing that my host-mother would be there to pick me up. Through this program, we have the unique experience of living with a host family (a way to really put our French skills to the test). My host family consists of Delphine, my host mother, and Laura (but more about her later). There was absolutely no messing around when it came to speaking French. I could basically hear the cogs in my brain frantically churn as I tried to remember conjugation, vocab and expressions.¬†Ooh la la…

We threw my huge suitcase in the car and were off to her apartment, located in the centre of La Rochelle. I have my own beautiful room, in a beautiful apartment, with beautiful flowers, beautiful photos and two beautiful cats. Basically, I spent the whole evening saying ‘c’est beau!’ Delphine and I get along really well! Not only has she lived an extremely interesting life, but she’s¬†super helpful, patient and encouraging when it comes¬†to my French. That evening she showed me where to catch the bus from and around the port. I’m so grateful that Delphine showed me around and made me feel so welcome on my first day because the first day is hard, I’m not going to lie. There’s so many words and thoughts running around your head, but it’s reassuring to know that your host family is there for you!

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Le pain et un grand sourire

CLASSES

Before you start classes, we took a little test so that we were put in the class that corresponded with our level of French. I’m glad we did have that exam because I was worried I would struggle with the content. In my class, there are students from Virginia and Washington DC, China and Oklahoma. I’m the only Australian, but it’s great because I get to meet people from all over!¬†Classes start at 8:30am and go until 12:45pm (with a 20 minute coffee break in the middle). Our teacher is also very patient and supportive. In class the activities we do vary from grammar, reading, listening, watching news clips, doing small presentations or playing hangman.

LUNCH

Probably the most important part of the day is LUNCH! This week varied from buying crepes by the port, to making sandwiches at home, to hitting up the supermarchés and buying food for a little picnic. We get about 2 hours for lunch which is a perfect amount of time to enjoy some to die for food and soak up some sun.

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Les autres étudientes australiennes 

ACTIVITIES

The best thing (so far) about this program is that it’s not just all about learning the language. It’s about the culture, history, food and people as well. On our first afternoon, we toured the university to get our bearings. Then we had an early mark and went on a mission to find ice cream! (The ice cream here is amazing!)

On day two we had a guided tour of La Rochelle – all in French. The best part is when you actually understand what the guide is saying… it’s how you know that you’re already starting to get the hang of it. It was great to learn about this complicated and fascinating history of this place! And even better to snap lots of photos!

Throughout the week I also watched France beat Germany in the Euro 16 and saw just how much France LOVE their football, spent every afternoon at the beach, ate at least 3 baguettes, hired a bike for the month, ate 1 more baguette, went exploring the town and improved my French tenfold!

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Mon vélo pour le mois

GASTRONOMY

So when I said this program is also about the culture, history, food and people…. I mainly meant food. Another girl in the AIM program and I are taking the¬†‘gastronomy’ course, where we learn about the art of French cuisine, wine, cognac, cooking….. do I need to say more? It’s all centred around food. We had a bit of an introduction to our Gastronomy class this week where we talked about ‘the art of setting a table’ and also discussed various regions in France and their famous products. We then got to taste¬†Galette,¬†which is a simple yet delicious cake like dessert which is special to the region of La Rochelle! If I return to Australia 10kgs heavier, I will have no regrets because everything here is DELICIEUX!

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Le centre ville

OTHER EVENTS

On Sunday, Delphine took me on a cute little picnic to Île de Ré, a quaint island about 20 minutes from La Rochelle, connected to the mainland by a huge bridge! We went swimming at two beautiful beaches, went exploring a little village called Ars-en-Ré, and the markets there. We then had a magnificent picnic on the beach complete with 2 different types of baguettes, 2 types of cheese, melon and hot coffee.

That evening Laura arrived, (remember the girl I was talking about earlier?). She’s from Columbia and she’s studying French at another place in La Rochelle. She will be living with Delphine for 2 months so I’m excited to get to know her over the next month while I’m still here! And maybe learn some Spanish!

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Delphine et moi allons mangé une pique-nique

This first week has absolutely flown by! My mind is exploding with French but I feel myself improving bit by bit and day by day. I make lots of mistakes but my confidence is growing and that’s the most important thing! Can’t wait to see what this week holds!

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: JUNE

Well June you’ve been well and truly CRAZY! Finishing up with uni, finishing up at work, moving out of college, packing my life into a bag and heading off to LONDON! June has absolutely flown by, and as I sit on a bus heading up north to Leeds, it feels like a perfect time to reflect on the month that’s been.

(If you haven’t read about my awesome plans for the next few months, read here so you know what I’m talking about)

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Finishing uni for Autumn session

Damn, what a session! I can’t believe that session has already come and gone! It’s actually mind blowing! This session has probably been my best session yet. Whilst my results aren’t released for another week, I’m feeling pretty confident. I felt really engaged with all of my material, pushed myself to try new things, and made awesome friends in my classes. I’d call that a pretty successful session if you ask me! (I got my results the other day… 2xD’s and 1xHD!!!)

KB End of Session Formal

One of the best things about finishing uni for the session, is having a massive party to celebrate! And what better way to do that, than with your bestest friends that you’ve called family for the past few months. We had our KB formal which consists of a three course meal and an open bar. Yes, that’s right‚Ķ an open bar. For uni students‚Ķ. If that isn’t a recipe for disaster I don’t know what is. But it’s amazing. Everyone gets super messy and you drink and dance the night away with everyone you love! Plus you get to dress up all fancy and just have a fab time!

Finishing up with work

It was quite bittersweet finishing up at work really. Whilst I was stoked when 5pm on that Friday afternoon finally rolled around, I was also quite sad. I’ve become really close with my work colleague and saw her basically every day for the past year. I feel that I’ve grown a lot in that position which has not only been personally rewarding, but I feel that the work I was doing was contributing towards a positive work environment. Hopefully when I return from my travels, I can get my job back, or get another great job with the uni! Fingers crossed!

Moving out of college

That was a sad day indeed. Not only was I leaving but my other housemate was venturing off to Italy for a month and at least 4 of my close friends are also going on exchange for second session all around the world. I moved out on the Monday of the Queens Birthday long weekend and had the biggest weekend! 21st parties, picnics, clubs, bars, drinks, drinks and more drinks. You could imagine I was not in tip top condition on that Monday. Plus, through in the emotions of leaving, it was a pretty rough day. Thank you to everyone who made that last weekend in the gong so special.

Spending time at home

I don’t get to make it home often, so getting to spend 10 whole days at home was absolutely delightful! The weather was superb and I got to spend quality time with my family and my two cute little dogs. It really was so lovely and I’m so grateful for everyone showing me so much love and kindness before I head off on my big adventure!

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A beautiful Sydney sesh

It’s kind of a tradition in my family that the night before you fly out, you spend the night in Sydney and¬† go out for a special dinner and drinks. I spent the day in Bondi with my Mum and sister. It was an absolutely stunning day and it was so lovely to spend quality time with my family. For dinner, my best friend Tishia and her bf Mark joined my Mum and I for a cute little pub feed. Again, I’m so grateful to these people for making me feel so loved and special. You definitely made leaving Australia much more difficult.

Being pleasantly surprised by Manila

On the 24th of June, I heard the best words I think I’ve ever heard come out of an air hostesses mouth‚Ķ ‘you’ve been upgraded!’ Not only was I going to the Philippines, but I was going to the Philippines in style and comfort! You can watch the experience of my flight and my stopover here.

Re-falling in love with London.

London was my home for 12 months in 2013, so it was beautifully surreal going back. There’s really not many words at all to describe how it felt being back. But you can check out some of the videos I’ve made about my time in London.¬†

Visiting old friends

Again, it’s difficult to describe how amazing it was to see some friends that I haven’t seen for nearly 3 years! And it’s even better when it feels like no time has passed at all! I’m so so so grateful for everyone who made my time in the UK so special and who went above and beyond to show me a good time.

Tunes

BASTILLE

They’re back!!! Thank god! I’ve waited way too long to hear Dan’s beautiful voice! Such a catchy and just damn awesome song!!! Now I just need to patiently wait for their album!

MUMFORD & SONS

Holy sh*t I’m absolutely in love with this song! It’s full of soul, it’s uplifting and it’s just AMAZING!!!! I used it this month as my¬†‘take off song’¬†(a song you play when your plane takes off and you feel an overwhelming feeling of ecstasy).

Quotes

This quote says so much to me. This month I’ve been so blessed to be surrounded by people who love me and who are there to encourage me to pursue my dreams. I really and sincerely grateful for every act of kindness. It is these people around me that inspire me to be the best I can be and spread this kindness around the world. Especially in a world where love, kindness and acceptance seem to be fleeting, it is now more than ever that we need to stand together, to support one another, in solidarity and strength. Love is love is love is love is love…

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July – you better watch out… because I’m coming for you!

Why Your HOUSEMATES Are A Special Kind of Friend

We all have those special friends that you share everything with. But you seem to share everything and more with the people you live with. And because of this you’ll either end up loving or hating them. Luckily for me, I’ve had the best run of luck with housemates throughout my time sharing houses and apartments. Honestly, ridiculously lucky (I hope the streak continues overseas!). But there’s just something about housemates that makes them a special kind of friend, and after just having moved out of another shared house, I’ve come to realise why your housemates are a special kind of friend.

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Nicola & Tiger, my 228 apartment housemates

They see you in every light

They’re the¬†first to see you¬†in the morning when your hair is a mess and you’ve got drool running down your chin. And they’re the last to see you before you go to bed, when you’ve got a facemask on, rocking your trackies and trying to hide how many biscuits you have to go with your pre-bed tea. Regardless of what time of day, your housemates are there to see you, so it’s only natural that when time’s up and you have to move out, that you feel ridiculously comfortable in front of each other.

They see you at your best and worst

Not only do your housemates see you in every light, but they see you at your highest, proudest and most excited, along with maddest, moodiest, saddest and sassiest moods. They’re there to hug you when you’re upset, laugh with you when you’re an idiot, laugh at you when you’re drunk and listen to your rants. Regardless of how you’re going, your housemates will see it all. It just goes to show how compassionate, patient and understanding your housemates are, and they’re pretty damn good qualities to have.

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Khal, Steph, Chantelle and Luke. My housemates from Unit 10 for 2015

They put up with your messy dishes, room and bathroom

Some say that the walk of shame is walking home in the morning after an all nighter. The real walk of shame is darting from your bedroom to the kitchen with a pile of dirty dishes you’ve stashed away. And regardless of whether or not you think the coast is clear, there’s always someone there to see it. Your housemates also witness the following; your underwear hanging on the balcony, your hair in the sink, your pile of dishes you’ve been putting off doing for a week and your bedroom floor becoming a wardrobe. Regardless, your housemates are there to see it all.

The walls are thin

Enough said…

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The gang

Their friends become your friends

One of the best things about moving into a house with a bunch of new people, is that there’s so many more new people to meet through them. Suddenly you’ve got your housemates friends coming over for dinner, going out for drinks together and ending up at house parties with them. It’s pretty awesome because you get to meet so many new and exciting people that you’d never normally meet.

 

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Family photo at Clarendon 9, London. 

They’d do anything for you

The best thing about becoming friends with your housemates is that they’d honestly do anything for you. Whether it’s picking you up at 3am while your friend is vomitting, listening to your stories for the 10th time, lending you their milk when you’re out, or surprise cooking you dinner, dropping you off in town, taking you grocery shopping or getting drunk with you… your housemates will always be there to do anything for you.

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Harbour cruise with the girls from iHouse 

So I’m flying out in a week, about to live with many new housemates. This post is to thank each and every person I’ve been lucky enough to live with. Our friendship means more to you than you could probably ever imagine! xoxo

Why ROAD TRIPS Will Always Be The Best Type of Travel

I was lucky enough to recently be sent on an epic road trip for work (I know… what a job?!). Whilst we did work really hard during the days, leaving me absolutely exhausted by the end of my trip, it was also a great experience to see some pretty epic places. My little road trip took me to¬†Tamworth, Newcastle, Maitland, Port Stephens (home), Port Macquarie & Coffs Harbour.¬†I was lucky enough to travel with two awesome guys that I also work with, along with eating amazing food at amazing places, belt out some great songs and take some awesome pictures. This little adventure reminded me of¬†why road trips will always be the best type of travel!

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Abdul and I on the first leg of our road trip. Wollongong –> Tamworth.

You get to see all of the sites

You can just see so much more by road! Sure – highways aren’t that exciting, but as soon as you take an exit, you drive through towns you’ve never heard of and see the landscape change as you rack up the kilometres.

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Seeing the sites of the Golden Guitar at Tamworth.

There’s nothing holding you back

Unlike travelling by plane, train or bus, you don’t have to worry about timetables or schedules, worrying about where or when your stop is or making sure you arrive early…. not with a car! It’s as simple as grabbing the keys and hitting the gas!

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Not holding back those yoga skills 

You choose the music, and you choose the decibel you want it at!

By far the best thing about road tripping is the music you choose as the soundtrack to your adventures! Whilst Triple J will get you a long way, it’s one of the commandments of road tripping –¬†‘thou must provide solid beats.’¬†There’s nothing better than cruising down the highway and belting out some bangers!

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Attempting to surf in Coffs Harbour. 

You can alternate drivers 

If you love a good nap but don’t want to fall victim to prying, judgemental eyes when you fall asleep in public, then snoozing off in the car is perfect for you! You can put the seat back, cuddle up to a pillow and have the snooze of a lifetime. Or, if you’ve got stuff to do (hello uni work!) you can sit back and get your reading/essay/blogs done!

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Friends you make whilst on the road! Enjoying lunch in Maitland.

Road trips make the ultimate friends

At the end of the day, the people you road trip with become pretty awesome friends! You have to put up with each other’s bad singing, confusing directions, snoring in the car and downing take away coffees on the go – that’s a recipe for some ultimate friendship bonding right there!

Road trips will always inspire spontaneity, motivate you to get up early and just go! I can’t wait to have many more road trip adventures to come.

You can check out the highlights to my road trip here! 

 

When It’s OK To Say No

Whilst one of my New Years Resolutions for 2016 was to say YES to more things, I’ve come to realise the power and importance of doing the opposite and actually saying NO.¬†Now before you brush this off as a close minded perspective, hear me out.We live in a day and age where all we’re trying to do is schedule people into a busy lives, but at what cost? Of course I’m open to new experiences, being spontaneous and making the most of every day, but some days, you can’t do everything. It’s not humanly possible. At the end of the day, all we have is ourselves and it’s important to listen to our minds and bodies to ensure that when we say YES, we can make the most of it.

So in my books, it’s totally OK to say NO when…

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My idea of a lazy Sunday. Source. 

You’re low on money

Sure, we all love going out for dinner and drinks. But these days, a dinner and drinks combo will cost you a minimum of $30 (and let’s be honest, as if you’re only going to have 1 drink). Whilst it’s nice to do it every now and again for special occasions, if you’re on a tight budget like me, it’s not a feasible option to always be going out for dinner and drinks. It’s definitely OK to say no.

Alternative…

Of course you don’t want to miss out on friend bonding time. Instead, you could suggest buying a cheap bottle of wine and making some delicious home made food and going for a picnic. Or you could suggest going out for coffee instead. Because money spent on coffee is money well spent.

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Coffee with friends is always a good time! Source. 

You’ve got a deadline

Whether it’s work, assignments, study, blogging… they don’t call it a deadline for nothing. You’ve got to get it done. Sure you’d love to stay out for that extra hour, have that extra glass of wine or watch that extra episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians (don’t judge me, it’s the best thing ever!), but at the end of the day, you need to get your work done.

Alternative…

Prioritize your work and as soon as it’s done, you’ll be ready to go out! Just get in and get it done, no one wants deadlines hanging over their shoulders. Just think of how much better that glass of wine is going to taste knowing that you’ve got everything up to date?! AMAZING!

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If this doesn’t motivate you, I don’t know what will?!¬†Source.¬†

You’re feeling under the weather

You know that feeling when you’re not sick, but your nose is a bit stuffy, you’ve had to take a few Panadol that day and your bodies a bit sore? Being under the weather or run down sucks. The last thing you need to do is push yourself! When you start to feel this way, this is your body’s way of saying ‘hello, up there… your brain is working overtime and I need a break!’¬†To prevent it getting any worse, make sure you tuck yourself into bed nice and early, drink lots of water and eat some fruit.

Alternative…

Fulfil 12 year old you’s dreams and deck your lounge room out¬†with mattresses, blankies and pillows and have a Harry Potter marathon. Spend a night in sipping on tea and your body will thank you for giving it a bit of a rest. And the best thing is, if you’re too sleepy, you can just fall asleep. Just make sure you remove all permanent markers from the house to avoid becoming a canvas at midnight!

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Blanket fort goals! Source

When you just don’t feel like it

Let’s be honest, sometimes you just don’t feel like doing anything at all. You don’t need to justify yourself, or make up a lame excuse. Just say you don’t want to and leave it at that. Everyone needs time to themselves so be brave enough to say ‘No, tonight I’m doing whatever the hell I want to do.’

Alternative…

None. Because you do you!

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Love yourself. Source

I’m definitely not suggesting you should never go out, never spend money, or never spend time with your friends. These are some of my favourite things to do! But I think sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in¬†going places, seeing people, catching up, being places and getting stuff done.¬†Sometimes, we just need to take some times to ourself and say “nope, I’m going to sit this one out.” As the quote above says “happiness is an inside job,” so¬†it’s ok to take time to ourselves. Because that means that when we say yes to awesome adventures coming our way, it’ll all be worth it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

So… You’ve Had A Bad Week?

We all have bad days. It’s just a fact of life. And sometimes those bad days turn into a bad week. It’s not like anything in particularly bad happens, but in general you just feel a bit flat. Now I’m definitely not complaining, I am absolutely blessed and appreciate everything I have. But there’s no denying that sometimes, it can all build up and you just end up having a bad week. And I’m not one for bad weeks at all. So after a¬†hectic few weeks of work, uni and more work, I had my plate pretty damn full.

And last week, I was just completely… flat. And it sucks when you have a bad week or two. And having finally kicked my slump, I thought that I would share this with you guys. I think it’s important to share those tough times as well. Life isn’t exactly smooth sailing. But by writing it down not only means I can share my thoughts and experiences with you, but also means I can take a chance to reflect and work on myself.

So, here is how I got out of my bad week and a reminder as to why we should always take some time to ourselves.

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Feel the emotions

When you try to suppress feelings of sadness or anger, it only makes it ten time worse! Of course you don’t want to take it out on your friends or family, but you certainly don’t want to explode into a puddle of emotions. If you feel like crying, cry. If you feel like punching something, punch your pillow. Or better yet, exert that energy into something productive. There’s no way we can overcome our emotions until we have firstly accepted them.

Take some time out

When I’m feeling this way, I really can’t stand being around people. Mostly because I just don’t have the energy or motivation to engage in discussion or activities. But I also don’t want to bring them down or give off bad vibes. I also don’t want to accidentally take my issues out on them. I guess maybe a part of me also doesn’t want them to see me in this kind of state (when I’m definitely not ‘me’ or at my best). If you feel any of these things, taking some serious ‘me’ time will help you re-touch base with yourself. If you’re all up in your head with your worries, it definitely doesn’t help to have other people’s voices in your head confusing you.

Don’t be alone

Now I know this directly contradicts what I just said, but I mean, don’t go through rough times alone. Of course, take your ‘me’ time, but let your friend (someone you love and trust) know that you’re just dealing with some stuff at the moment and are choosing to take some time out. They’ll most likely just hug you and say ‘I’m here whenever you need me.’ This is not only reassuring, knowing that once you’ve processed your emotions, you’ve got someone to talk to, but it’s also good to communicate your feelings and just let someone else know. Plus, your friend was probably already about to throw you an intervention to find out what’s going on because after all, best friends know what you’re thinking before you even think it. There’s always someone out there to listen, hug, support and be there for you and that’s the most important thing to know!

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Get some fresh air

I find great happiness in the ocean, but at times when I get stressed out, I forget how much it makes me happy. Especially if you’re taking some time out to yourself, it’s easy to just settle for Netflix alone in your room. And whilst that’s totally fine, it’s not a cycle you want to get into. Instead, put on your running shoes and go for a walk around the block, run as fast as you can, ride to town, walk to the beach, walk to a park‚Ķ just get outside. I promise you’ll instantly feel better just by getting some sunshine and some fresh air.

Get to the root of the problem

If you’re still feeling a bit weighed down, write a list of the things that are stressing you out. Do you have an assignment to do? Working too many shifts? Concerned about a friend? Whatever it is, no matter how big or how small, write it down. Then brainstorm how you can alleviate these stresses. Obviously there’s some things in life we can’t control. But something like getting an assignment done or being worried about a friend is achievable. Take some time out and get that essay done.¬† Call your friend and arrange a coffee date. Take proactive steps to getting rid of these worries.

Seek Help

Asking for help isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s a sign of how strong you are to stand up and admit that you need some assistance or guidance. There are so many people out there to offer a helping hand. You don’t need to struggle or suffer in the shadows of your room.

***

If you or anyone you know needs assistance you can refer to the following sites

Beyond Blue

Are You OK?

Or… prescribe a coffee, a dose of sunshine and a best friend hug!

This one goes out to all of my friends and family who have had to put up with me this past week and helped put a smile on my face! Love you guys.