These are a few of my favourite things: MAY 2020

So it seems we’re getting in the swing of things? Are we? Kind of? I think we’re doing ok. It’s crazy to think that (in another life) I would have been heading to Mongolia to live and work for several months. Alas, the universe had other plans and the lounge room is proving to be pretty damn exciting. Nonetheless, we adjust, we adapt and we keep going.

This month has been a month of me putting up boundaries and standing by them. This has meant movie days, reading books, cooking food, going for long walks, taking it easy and going slow. And wow – going slow is pretty damn nice. I think I’d like to hold onto this way of life for a little while. One where my weekends aren’t always booked, where staying in my pjs all day is acceptable and putting myself first is always acceptable.

Home

Working from home is an interesting premise. Home becomes work and work becomes home. And when work becomes a bit too much to handle, it’s challenging to escape it all. So I thought I would take this working from home business, well, home. So I headed up to Newcastle and Port Stephens to visit family and work from home. I can’t say how refreshing it all was. Just to have some space and distance between everything going on. To reconnect with people I love and haven’t seen in a long time has been incredibly healing and therapeutic and I feel reset and ready to bring on the rest of 2020.

Fresh air and good times

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, when you’re in a rut, feeling down, feeling overwhelmed, anxious or just you know, living through a pandemic, get outdoors, connect with friends and loved ones. Be silly, be curious, take a moment and just feel it. Life isn’t always easy, it’s not always clear and it’s confusing af, but good people, good energy and good attitudes will take you a long way. And I’m forever grateful for the good eggs around me who I absolutely love.

BookS

Dear America, by Jose Antonio Vargas
This book is one of my favourite books I’ve ever read. I would completely recommend this for anyone who doesn’t quite understand what it means to be undocumented or is interested in immigration policy in the US. Jose is a journalist so the style of writing is easy to understand, it’s intriguing and takes you right into the life of someone who is American in every way, except by citizenship.

Dear America': Jose Antonio Vargas Documents His Life - The Atlantic

The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett
I bought this book on an impulse off of Amazon – it was $8 and was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for fiction and I thought… why not? Well this did not disappoint. It’s a beautiful tale told from the perspective of

Fall Book Preview – Modern Mrs. Darcy

Flicks

Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Oh my goodness, if you watch one French film this year make sure it’s this one. It is simply stunning. It’s so captivating, delicate and intimate. There’s not too much dialogue so it’s not an overwhelming amount of French to take in. Those eyes have stayed with me since watching the film and every time I see page 28 my heart skips a beat.

Bombshell
With a star studded line up, I usually like to be critical about it. Margot Robbie is an absolute babe and if that’s not reason enough, the scene that illustrates the disgusting abuse of power of men – I held my breath for the entire scene. It shows the subtle ways in which people with power abuse that power and manipulate strong women. It’s heart breaking but overall a big fuck you to ‘the man.’

Normal People
Yep, like every other basic bitch I jumped on the Normal People train and damn! Of course I read the book (and what a stunning book it is) but this series is absolutely gorgeous. I love how raw and real it is an wow, the on-screen chemistry is incredible! Apart from the fact that it made me want to runaway to Ireland, it’s a stunning watch.

Harry Potter
Wow – if like me, you were OBSESSED (and I repeat) OBSESSED with Harry Potter growing up, then do yourself a favour and re-watch these golden flicks! The first few are actually amazing! They’re so fast paced and you’ll be laughing and anticipating every line. Plus it will just make you happy! We all need a little bit of that right now.

Bloggers, Vloggers and Podders

Lone Fox
I don’t know why, but I have been addicted to watching DIY and renovation channels. I love Drew’s channel and it is seriously leaving me with the urge to paint a wall a vibrant colour and experiment with wallpaper! Plus he does some really cool DIY projects which I’m yet to try, but I bloody love watching!

Dying For Sex
This. Podcast. Is. A. MUST LISTEN! It’s about a woman, Molly, who is diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. She leaves her unhappy marriage and ventures on a series of sexual escapades to feel alive. It’s a beautiful yet harrowing story of life and death, but most importantly of friendship.

#BlackLivesMatter

What’s worse than watching the world burn is the fact that we let it get to this in the first place. Inequality doesn’t just happen over night, it happens every single day and is embedded in systems, institutions, policies, actions, attitudes and values. I have done nothing to deserve the life that I was born into. Yet by mere luck and chance, I was born into a loving family, in a safe country, with access to education, healthcare and was encouraged to pursue my dreams. I was able to navigate life relatively seamlessly. And the fact that our friends, due to the mere colour of their skin, are denied the same human rights, are hunted in our streets and are deemed less valuable, is simply no the world I want to live in. It’s f*cked up and seriously, the system, the attitudes, the everyday choices that we each make that lead to this, need to change. Black and Indigenous lives matter.

A really inspiring quotes from Maya Angelou to close this board. (Critique) Education is KEY! You need to learn

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: SEPTEMBER 2019

Do you remember… the 21st night of September? Well I’m not sure, but it seems that Earth, Wind and Fire do! How the heck is it October already?! We’re on the home stretch of the year, Christmas is right around the corner, and soon I’ll be trying to recap 2019, half way through 2020! Before it gets away from us, let’s take a look back on the month that was. This month I decided to do a dry month. Dry July just doesn’t suit my whole birthday schedule, so I opted for a sober September instead. A whole blog post will be coming on this topic, but upon reflection, maybe it meant I didn’t go out as much, but it gave me some much needed clarity and ‘me time’ to reflect on where I’m at, and where I’m going.

🏃 Blackmores Bridge Run

When was the last time you got to run across the Sydney Harbour Bridge? No not on the sidewalk for plebs… on the road, on the bridge? That’s right… probably never! That is by far the coolest thing about running 10km at 8am on a sunny weekend. Luckily I had the company of my sister as we ran, walked and talked our way through Sydney. It was an absolutely smashing day, and we enjoyed a well deserved pub feed at the end of it! I’ll definitely be signing up for this next year and I would totally recommend you do it too!

🏠 Home

Sometimes you just need a little trip back home to put everything in perspective. Whilst it was a whirlwind trip, and I managed to read a whole book on my epic train ride, it was totally worth it. Seeing friends and family is so important. I don’t do it enough but I soak up every second and am very grateful to have such supportive people around me. Oh and I saw my cute dogs… what else could you want?

💪Standing up for myself (without the guilt)

This month has been pretty hectic. More hectic than usual. I’ve been feeling stress and pressure in every avenue of my life. That feeling of being helpless in watching things around you collapse and bend under pressure is horrible. In times like this, I strip it back to basics. Back to my core values, respect and honesty. There have been several instances this month where flash decisions and things have been said without my consultation and in a brazen way. Well that just doesn’t fly with me. So, I took a deep breath, I took a moment, and I summoned up the courage to speak up and say that I’m hurt and don’t feel respected. Wow. By setting those clear boundaries, and summoning the courage to speak up about it, invited a conversation about best practices and how we can respect one another more often.

So even when it’s scary, and even when it might be easier to not say anything, I’d really encourage you to stand up and speak up for yourself. In any aspect of your life, it’s important to draw the line, and then call someone out when they overstep that boundary. I am so here for this! So here’s a nice little quote that really resonated with me.

🎥 Flicks

The Big Short
Yes it has taken me until now to watch this movie… and wow! And if you, like me, have been putting it off, well there’s no better time than the present! This movie is amazing and I can’t believe it took me this long to watch it! Dad, you’ll really enjoy this one!

📚 Books

Mama Mia
My love for reading is back thanks to Mia Freedman! WOW! Once I picked this book up, I seriously could not put it down. I think I mistakenly judged Mia Freedman too early, it’s funny how other people’s opinions can tint your perspective of someone. But this book smashed down all of my preconceived ideas of Mia and gave me a beautiful insight into her world. I was enthralled reading her chapter about emotionally abusive relationships and heartbroken reading about her challenge to fall pregnant and her experience with miscarriage. Plus it was a bonus that she is all things communications and media (right up my alley). I seriously adore this book and can’t wait to check out her other books!

Image result for mama mia by mia freedman book

📷 Bloggers, vloggers and podders

Eva zu Beck
If you love YouTube and travel vloggers, you haven’t seen anything until you check out Eva zu Beck. She travels to all the places that you ‘shouldn’t travel.’ I’ve been watching her videos in Syria, Pakistan and Yemen and all I can say is WOW! Watching her videos makes me want to pack up my suitcase and book a flight to Yemen – who would’ve thought?! This is what travel is about. Breaking down barriers, meeting locals, trying new food, getting out there and exploring undiscovered lands. Not about Instagram pictures. I’m in absolute awe with her content and could not recommend her enough.

Rewilding, by Ella Grace Denton
So I’ll firstly admit that I basically love this podcast because I’m in love with Ella’s beautiful voice, but once you move past that I love the open and honest conversations she has. She recently posted an episode with her now ex-boyfriend about their breakup and how they’re moving on and what it all means to them. I found it honestly so compelling to listen. It was intimate, raw and open, and I fell in love with her authenticity. I would strongly recommend checking out her podcast for some positive female energy and to connect to people spiritually, sexually and emotionally. Ella, please write a book and make it an e-book, your voice is angelic!

🎵Tunes

I’ve been throwing it back and had Nao on repeat this past month! There’s nothing that makes me more chill than her sexy beautiful voice, and it’s put me in a good mood each morning before work. Nothing like some smooth rnb to get you in the right headspace.

❤️ Product

Mecca Cosmetic, To Save Face Supersunscreen SPF50+
I have a life saying… ‘sun safety is sexy.’ And nothing is better than an oily, grease free SPF moisturizer that you can use EVERYDAY! Shout out to my sister Elly for recommending it, and accompanying me into the store to buy it (makeup stores terrify me). This is seriously the best $40 I’ve spent on skincare. I apply it to my face, ears and neck everyday, and can’t believe I wasn’t using it earlier!

📝 Quote

Ok so this isn’t technically a quote, but it sure is some good advice to listen to and protect your vibe. Sometimes setting strong boundaries is the best way to show yourself and others what you’re willing to accept and the lengths you’re willing to go to to stay true to yourself.

So I may be writing this post when it’s mid-October…. oops. Time gets away. But September, you were great. Thank you for giving me clarity, space and challenges that are attempting to strengthen me. Life doesn’t always make sense, but when you have a sense of purpose, it doesn’t really matter.

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.

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!

Screenshot 2016-05-29 18.59.28.png
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.

Screenshot 2016-05-29 18.59.46
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!

Screenshot 2016-05-29 19.00.03
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!

Screenshot 2016-05-29 19.00.34.png
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!

Screenshot 2016-05-29 19.00.17.png
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 Will We Learn?

The recent violent storms which shook New South Wales, claimed lives, destroyed property, communications crashed and more or less shut down the state. While the state prepares to clean up and carry on, a bigger problem emerges. The C word. Climate Change. 

Image from
Image from here

Climate Change is real. There’s no denying it and there’s definitely no avoiding it. It will affect each and every one of us. But the poor, helpless and the people who contribute least to to climate change will be affected first.

The Kiribiti Islands are being claimed by the sea, Australian rural areas are in serious drought, ice caps are melting, glaciers are retreating, we’re cutting down forests, causing extinctions, polluting our oceans and our air, sucking, drilling and digging out natural resources and it is believed that World War 3 will be over clean water and food…. and why? For money. But at what cost? We sacrifice our time, soul, patience, kindness, happiness, respect, excitement, passion and love… is it really worth it?

Image from
Image from here

Don’t believe me? Don’t believe the science? Don’t believe reality? Then I have a challenge for you. Go to the sea. By yourself. And sit in the sand. Immerse yourself in the water and float. Water blocks your ears and you can heart your heart pumping blood through your chest. Your weightless as the ocean supports you, slowly moving up and down. Feel that? Freedom? That is the immense power, beauty and tranquility of nature. If you can’t believe in that, then I guess there’s no hope.

tumblr_static_skyrim-dragons-water-ocean-sea-waves-close-wallchan-1071395

But what can I do? I’m just one person in this world of over 7billion people. One person may not be able to change the world, but one idea can. And the idea of healing the environment is one that we must believe in, in order to make the world a better place.

For more news and information about the NSW storms, click here

The Love of My Life… Coffee

Coffee, the golden brown bean that ignites your energy, gets rid of morning breath and warms your belly. Silky milk glides down your throat and reflects the sparkle in your eye.  The chocolate powder on top tickles your nose and sometimes gives you a cute little moustache that you are just saving for later. The cup and plate are mismatched, bright colours which secretly make you happy. The love hearts and patterns in your coffee show how much coffee loves you, and even though you knew it would be there anyway, you’re still pleasantly surprised. There’s interesting artwork covering the walls and when conversation fades, you’re still both thinking the same thing. You talk about current events, what you did on the weekend, and how you feel about your life. You dream and confess, listen and open up, knowing that in the sanctuary of a good cup of coffee, you need not fear judgement. Have you met coffee’s partner in crime though? Nothing is more irresistible than golden butter melting on warm yet slightly crisp banana bread. The waiter is kind of cute and he smiles at you as he takes your order, brings you your coffee and makes a little inside joke that leaves my cheeks flushed.

Coffee understands. Coffee is there for you. Coffee is nice, and warm, and caring, and gives you energy. That’s why when the little teacup is empty and you return to your life, you take with you the happiness it gave you. And you know you’ll feel the same way again tomorrow morning.

xxx A (can you tell I’m addicted?)

In the zone at my favourite café in Newcastle
In the zone at my favourite café in Newcastle