These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: OCTOBER 2020


Thank you for coming October, what an absolute smash hit of a month. Daylight savings is here, the days are getting longer and warmer, and everyone seems to be running around with some extra spring in their step. This is the first month things have started to feel ‘normal,’ and I say ‘normal’ in quotations because I recognise the immense privilege that comes from being able to work from home and not be under a strict lockdown. We still have a long way to go in this global pandemic and complacency is the enemy. I’m so lucky to live in a safe environment and I’m so damn grateful to have the opportunity to meet up with friends, travel regionally, and figure out what this ‘new normal’ looks like.

I think our world, or if not, our psyche has completely altered after the events of 2020, and it’s still not over. I ran into a friend this morning getting coffee. I hadn’t seen her in several years and when retelling what I’d been up to this year, I realised that I had gravitated towards comfort and cosyness. And I realised a lot of my turmoil is a result of being frustrated with myself that I’ve accepted comfort in my mid-twenties. But this month has taught me that there’s ways to push your comfort zone to keep growing, while operating within a space of comfort and safety. I don’t think I’ve quite figured it out yet, and I’m certainly still on that journey – but you know me, I’ll let you know how I go.

But before we jump into the unknowns of the future that triggers an existential crisis in all of us, let’s have a look at this comfortable/push the comfort zone month that was October.

October Long Weekend

Hallelujah – thank you for blessing us with a long weekend topped with AMAZING weather! I had honestly been looking forward to this long weekend for months and honestly, it was everything I wanted (and needed) and more. I spent the weekend with my long time best friends, in Newcastle and Port Stephens, exploring rock pools and caves, drinking beer and soaking up sunshine. I was absolutely exhausted by the end of it, but seriously couldn’t have been more happy and grateful to spend a weekend with amazing people.

A Solo Vacay

If you missed it, I spent three nights at an airbnb on the Central Coast on my own. It was just what I needed, do some soul searching, It was so refreshing to go slow and put myself first. Do what I wanted, when I wanted – which mainly consisted of getting up early for a run, grabbing a coffee, spending hours by the pool, drinking wine and reading books. If you haven’t been already, I would absolutely recommend checking out Ettalong Beach and Palm Beach (you can get between the two via a quick 30min ferry), the perfect destination for a little getaway.

Blue Mountains 2.0

Back to the mountains we went! After our last visit, with zero visibility at the three sisters, it was a pretty amazing sight on the Friday afternoon when we arrived, to head on down and take in the amazing view. After a picnic with pizza and beers and a good nights sleep, we headed off on a 13km hike. There’s nothing quite like being out in nature, having some good old chats and exploring more of what this beautiful country has to offer. To top it off, we spent our afternoon drinking and eating pizza. I always appreciate the balance I get from a weekend away with my fam.

Shenanigans

It’s imperative to have shenanigans each and every month – so here’s to the shenanigans we got up to this month. From countless sunrise swims, to eating pizza watching punk bands in Sydney, from North Gong schnitty’s to dog walks, from hikes to nights out in Newcastle, this month has been pretty damn awesome. I’ve never felt more myself and whilst I’m not exactly thrilled that all of my weekends are literally filling up weeks in advance, I’m so grateful for the good times with old friends and new ones.

Books

So I somehow read 6 books over the course of the month; The House of Spirits, by Isabelle Allende, Rules of Civility, by Amor Towles andThe Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid were great reads and I thoroughly enjoyed reading them. But these three books are my, as this post goes, my favourites.

Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier
I saw the trailer for Rebecca on Netflix and it looked epic. So I ran down to the book store and picked up this beauty. I absolutely loved it – I read it in a few days and honestly couldn’t put it down. The writing was stunning and the character development was incredible. I was so gripped and absolutely loved it. I watched the Netflix movie and while it is visually gorgeous, I feel it missed the grit that this book captures.

Book Club: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier - Henpicked

Call Me By Your Name, André Aciman
This book was the Summer holiday whimsical read I needed. I read it in a day and I honestly was transported. It felt like I was in Italy, I could almost feel the sweat drip down the back of my neck. It perfectly captured that feeling of Summer romance and holiday flings. That feeling of lust, curiosity, desire, intensity, getting to know someone, exploration and connection. I couldn’t recommend this more and I absolutely loved it.

Call Me By Your Name eBook: Aciman, Andre: Amazon.com.au: Kindle Store

The Dry, Jane Harper
I picked this one up from the local library and wow. Something I loved about this book was the pace, which may sound a little strange, but it just flowed so organically. I loved the themes it covered and it was great reading a book about regional Australia. I read it in a few days and it was absolutely awesome. A movie adaptation is due to be released this year and I cannot wait to watch it!

The Dry (Aaron Falk, #1) by Jane Harper

Flicks

Season 4 of the Good Fight
Yes yes yes! It’s back baby! This show is seriously AMAZING! I’ve been looking forward to this coming out for AGES! It’s on Stan and thank me later.

The Good Fight' Season 4 Review | IndieWire

Tunes

Middle Kids
Sometimes you just have an album on repeat for weeks on end, and all of Middle Kids’ albums have been soundtracks to my months. Honestly, I have nothing to say but how damn great are they?! Bring back gigs and festivals – I cannot wait.

Cigarettes After Sex
Ooft, this album is so sensual and gorgeous. I’ve recently adopted a pretty great night time routine than involves diffusing lavender oil, reading my book and playing this album until I fall asleep. Add this one to your list when you want some zen.

Product

Lanolips, mint
If I wasn’t already obsessed with Lanolips, enter the minty version. Seriously I cannot leave the house without lip balm – it’s an addiction I know – but damn this feels and tastes amazing all day long. You can pick it up from Mecca.

Lanolips 101 Ointment Multi-Balm Minty - Lanolips | MECCA

October has been one of the best months of the year. It feels amazing to feel a little more like myself, a little more adventurous and a little more sure of what I want and where I’m going. And I’m fucking blessed to have amazing people around me to support me on the way. November, let’s see what you’ve got.

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: SEPTEMBER 2020

Wow, what a month September has been?! It was absolutely jam packed with weekends away, shenanigans, soul-searching, mischief and good times. The weather is slowly warming up, the sunrises are getting a little too early and the hope and optimism of Spring has well and truly settled in. As I write this, I am utterly exhausted. I feel like my uterus is attempting to escape my body and take my soul along with it (I love being a woman sometimes), my hips are killing me, my hayfever is at an all time high and I’m honestly surprised my eyes aren’t square after the intense amount of hours I’ve been putting into work.

Needless to say, I’m pretty damn excited for the upcoming long weekend and the following week where I’m actually taking leave. I’ve been so overdue for time off and a break that I feel like I’m literally staggering to the finish line. It’s just around the corner… one last push and we’re there baby! But before we welcome October, let’s have a look at this crazy wicked month that was September!

Port Stephens

If I’ve talked to you in the past month, you would know I LOVE JUMPING OFF THINGS INTO WATER! Honestly, is there any better feeling in the world?! I recently spent a weekend back home and my brother and sister were there (which is a rare occurrence to get us all together). We went adventuring around some rock pools and honestly – I just have a new found appreciation for my home town. The weather totally put it on for us and we spent our afternoons jumping off rocks, swimming around and sliding over seaweed. I’m already so excited to head back to the Bay over the October long weekend.

Sydney

Wow, who would have thought that heading for a night out in Sydney would seem so trivial?! So what better excuse than Chantelle’s 25th birthday?! We got a hotel room in Sydney, I put on a fake tan, heels, and headed out to spend too much money on cocktails! We ended up at a karaoke bar at 1:30am and damn, what a great time! There’s nothing quite like getting dressed up and heading out with great people!

Blue Mountains

Wow – I cannot believe it’s been so many years since visiting the Blue Mountains which are literally on Sydney’s doorstep. I hopped on a train after work to head to Wentworth Falls. The train trip up was spectacular and when I rolled into Wentworth Falls, there was a thick layer of fog settled on the town which gave me creepy Harry Potter vibes – I kept checking to make sure there were no dementors behind me. I met up with Dad and Elly to head to our cute little house with an cute enormous garden.

After an incident with a tick (oh Elly), Dad cooked up a big ol BBQ before we headed to grab a coffee and off to Hanging Rock. An 11km round trip, this hike was AMAZING! Honestly – despite a confronting weather forecast, the weather literally shone through and delivered the goods.

I was completely blown away by how jaw droppingly beautiful it was. The rock faces were glowing orange and the sheer drop was utterly terrifying. To add to the terror, Dad and I decided to literally jump across to Hanging Rock to terrify ourselves further (ok – it was just me – but hey I did it).

After our death defying jump, we headed back to munch into some wine and cheese. It was such a lovely way to spend an afternoon. With the heaters on, red wine, BBQ lamb and veggies and good old giggles. Very grateful to have been able to take the time away to get out in nature and spend some time with my family.

Shenanigans

There’s always room for shenanigans. From sleepovers to drag queen bingo, to sunrise swims, from grinding at work to an attempted sober September… I’m grateful for everyone who made this month so lovely and special.

Touch footy

Illawarriors what an unexpected, challenging and fun season. As I mentioned in last month’s post, I started playing on a mixed touch team. It was certainly one of the most challenging and anxiety inducing things I’ve done in a long time (check out my blog post from last year when I started playing and freaked out because I didn’t know how to be bad at things) but after every single game, I felt elated! Our last two games we actually won which led to this cool little victory shot. I absolutely love being able to get out and about, get sweaty, play as a team, learn something new, push myself, and hang out with some awesome people!

Books

The Radium Girls
My lovely friend Dylan gave this to me for my birthday and I’m so glad I got to sink my teeth into a book and a historical event I knew absolutely nothing about. This book tells the story of dozens of young women who worked in factories who used radium to paint the dials onto watch faces. They adopted a technique called the ‘lip, dip, paint’ which saw them putting the unknowingly toxic substance into their mouths hundreds of times. The worst part was that the company knew of the risks and health effects of radium, and put the company’s profits above the safety of their employees. Devastatingly, dozens of young women’s bodies literally disintegrated. The story is absolutely horrific but tells the fighting tale of them battling for justice and employee protection in the workplace.

The Space Between
Hello my name is Adelaide and I am a basic bitch who is obsessed with the Shameless Podcast and everything Michelle and Zara touch. It was really a matter of when I was going to read it, so I was pretty stoked when Chantelle came home with it in hand – I quickly put my hand up to borrow it. I smashed through this book in 2 days and yes it really is as good as it’s hyped up to be.

There are a lot of fantastic essays in here, but I was really drawn to and inspired by the section on careers and jobs. I feel that there is so much pressure, especially on twenty-somethings to know what they want, hustle, grind and sacrifice everything to pursue those dreams. I loved this book and would certainly recommend it to anyone trying their best in this big bad world.

Tunes

Sea Girls
Oooh this album is so damn good. I’ve had it on repeat this past month, especially their song Shake. Do you ever picture yourself standing on a stage with a microphone in hand singing to hundreds of thousands of people? haha yea me either…. but if I did, I would certainly be rocking out to this song!

TV Shows

How To Get Away With Murder, Season 5
Oh, my, god! I can’t remember ever watching a show that made my heart race so fast. Season 5 is a smash hit if I might say. By now, we know how it works, someone is dead and you spend the whole time praying that it’s not Oliver! But seriously, these characters are so well developed and I’ve never been so emotionally invested in whether or not someone is alive or not. Now – how the heck do I watch Season 6?! You can watch Season 5 on Netflix.

How to Get Away with Murder Season 5 Trailer (HD) - YouTube

On the sauce
Shaun Micalleff – otherwise known as Australia’s George Clooney – looks at Australia’s drinking culture in this hilarious and somewhat concerning three part documentary. As someone who attempted sober September (I blame you Chantelle and you’re too-many-cocktails-birthday-event), I couldn’t have watched this at a better time. I would absolutely recommend, it’s eye opening, insightful and will certainly make you think twice before you reach for that next glass of wine or bottle of beer. You can watch it on ABC’s iView.

Flicks

Mary Shelley
So gothic literature was one of my favourite topics in my high school English class. I think I convinced myself that my English Extension 2 class would be to me what the Swiss Alps were to Mary Shelley and I would write the next masterpiece to shake the world (I wonder how that turned out?) I remember learning about this incredible 19 year old who wrote this book and was fascinated by her. This movie is a really beautiful insight into her painful and difficult life. There are so many incredible themes I could dive into – but the biggest takeaway for me was this immense sense of loss, loneliness and guilt that Mary carried around with her from when she was a baby. You can watch this on SBS On Demand.

Snowpiercer
On the topic of light and optimistic films (hello sarcasm) enter Snowpiercer. Set in a dystopian future where the climate has killed off all human beings except those on a train, circling the world and stuck in their carriage and class. Directed by Oscar winning Bong Joon-ho, this is a terrifying look into class and the structure of our society. One of the most terrifying phrases is that “we must occupy our preordained positions and we must keep in our places.” You can catch this on Stan.

On The Basis of Sex
Given the global grief felt after the passing of Ruth Bader-Ginsberg, it seemed only fitting to watch this film. If you already know a thing or two about RBG, then this won’t be a surprise to you. Instead you will feel inspired and motivated by her determination and relentless efforts to stand up against the way things were. One of my favourite lines was when she cited “the Court should never be influenced by the weather of the day but inevitably they will be influenced by the climate of the era.” And what an era and climate RBG set, let’s hope that the next Supreme Court Justice upholds this value…

Bloggers, podders and vlogger

The Hookup
Talking about all things love and f*cking. Seriously this podcast is probably my dream job, to talk to interesting, diverse, confident people about topics that society has somehow determined is too taboo or too risque to talk about. I loved their recent episode titled ‘I think I’m bi, what next?’ I love how their episodes dive deep on topics and really get you thinking about why you think certain ways.

The Hook Up Podcast - ABC Radio

Product

I’ve tried my fair share of clay masks but this one certainly takes the cake. The Origins Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay is not only affordable (yay) but I’ve noticeably seen improvements in my skin since using it weekly. It feels absolutely divine and tightens as it dries. Certainly a great product to go with your Sunday night pamper sesh. You can pick it up from Sephora here.

Original Skin™ Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay | Origins

The recommendation you didn’t ask for, but you needed to hear

Red cabbage
Yes – welcome to my TED Talk about why red cabbage is the absolute bomb. I apologise to my housemates who have literally heard me go on non-stop about this delicious ball of goodness for the past month, but seriously – is this the most underrated vegetable on earth?

Here are 5 reasons red cabbage is the best thing you will put in your mouth this month;

  1. It’s pretty af (adds a bright pop of purple to each plate)
  2. It’s crunchy af (makes you feel healthy and full)
  3. It’s versatile af (put it in a salad raw, chuck in in a stir fry with soy sauce and honey, or drizzle some vinegar on it, red cabbage can take your taste buds around the world)
  4. It’s healthy af (it’s packed with Vitamin C and is a great source of fiber, vitamin A and potassium. You can read all about why purple foods are better for your brain, but in short; it helps reduce inflammation, blood pressure and can improve connections between neurons in areas of the brain associated with learning and memory)
  5. It’s cheap af (pick up a red cabbage from coles for a few dollars and watch it last you all week).

In conclusion – get some red cabbage!

Sweet and Sour German Red Cabbage Recipe | SimplyRecipes.com

So what an exciting month it’s been – red cabbage and all. I am sooooo looking forward to October and a few weekends away, some time off, smashing some books, getting in the ocean, getting out and about running, and saying yes to some fun things along the way. Bring it on!

Port Stephens: The most magical place on earth

There’s few places on earth I would refer to as truly magical. The South of Iceland, the mountains of Guatemala, the South West coast of Australia, the turquoise waters of Belize… they’re all pretty magical. But one place that I was lucky enough to grow up in, and somewhat call home to this day, is Port Stephens… and let me tell you, it’s pretty damn magical.

Located three hours north of Sydney, this peninsula is the perfect destination for your next weekend away. Here’s some reasons to add it to your next weekend getaway!

Summit Mount Tomaree

Hands down one of the best views I’ve ever encountered. At the end of Shoal Bay beach is this great little hike that is sure to get your blood pumping. The reward is totally worth the sweat, plus your Insta game will be poppin! Top it off by running down via the World War Two gun emplacements and going for a quick dip on Shoal Bay beach #thedream

Murray’s Brewery

If you’re looking for a place to spend a sun soaked afternoon, while discovering some of the tastiest beers you’ll come across, then look no further than Murray’s. Most weekends they have live music and their pizza’s are an absolute must! My go to is either the Angry Man or Whale Ale.

Little Nel’s

If you’re looking for an epic place for brunch, then look no further. The coffee is superb and their menu instantly induces saliva. Be sure to get in early, it gets pretty busy – and for a good reason!

Spot some wildlife

You are spoiled for choice when it comes to wildlife in Port Stephens. You’ll often spot a koala up a tree and kangaroos on the golf course, but where Port Stephens is really lucky is its sea life. There are over 100 resident dolphins that cruise the calm bays, and in winter there are dozens of whales that grace the coast. You don’t even have to head out on a boat to experience the beauty of these creatures. From a headland or beach, you just might be lucky enough to catch a tale or flipper of some of these beautiful animals.

Bannisters

If you’re looking for a place to spend your afternoon sipping cocktails and snacking on some tasty food, look no further. Complete with a gorgeous pool and elevated in the tree tops, this is the place to take a group of friends and watch the sky change colour as the sun sets. For kick ons, head down to Cheeky Dog for a more relaxed, pub vibe.

Birubi beach

Home to the Southern Hemisphere’s largest moving sand dunes, the 32km beach connects Port Stephens to Newcastle. It’s a stunning place to watch sunrise and pick up a coffee at Crest. There’s some gorgeous rock pools to explore and if you’re adventurous, you can venture into Tin City, across the dunes and even check out the shipwreck. 4WD and a permit are a must!

Country club

After you’ve finished jumping off the jetty, head to the infamous Country Club for a few cold brewskies. After a recent renovation, it’s become a little Coogie Beach Pavillion. It was always a cult favourite of ours in high school, and let me tell you, there’s no where else I’d rather be on Christmas Eve. The CC is certainly where it’s at.

View this post on Instagram

Sit back, relax and stay a while ✨

A post shared by Shoal Bay Country Club (@shoalbaycountryclub) on

Samurai Beach

Who doesn’t love a good nude beach? The suitably named Samurai Beach is certainly one to add to your list. You can get their via 4WD through a pretty hectic track or you can walk along One Mile Beach, climb over some rocks and strip off. With any nude beach, comes the couples in their 50’s who are too confident, but if you can look past that, then you’re in for a good time!

I guess the age old saying is true, sometimes, there really is no place like home.

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!

Image result for over the top jvn

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.

Image result for normal people

🎶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!

Image result for diva cup

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.

Image result for bum bum cream

📸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

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: JANUARY 2018

There’s nothing like a new year (new me) and a fresh start. I wrote some goals for the year and published them online for the world to see (you can read them here).  This month has been hectic with moving, work and getting my shit together to smash out another year, I’m convinced I’ve blinked and January has disappeared. So let’s look back at the hectic month that was.

Capture

👪 Family Visits

I love when my family comes to visit me in the Gong. I love taking them out and about to my latest and greatest cafes, restaurants and discoveries. This was no exception. I took them rock climbing and tortured them with a climb of sublime point. We went to some lovely cafes and all round had a great time! Thanks fam.

🏠 Moving House!

It’s that time of year again! The time where I pack up my life, sign a new lease and get some brand spanking new keys and house mates. I’ve just moved into a beautiful apartment with two beautiful people and I am so so so excited to be living where I am! Close to the beach, town and the station… I feel like the world is at my fingertips! Unfortunately I haven’t taken a visually aesthetically pleasing photo of my room yet but I sure will soon and I sure will let you guys know!

☀️ Port Stephens Tour

I’m pretty lucky to have grown up in Port Stephens. And there’s nothing quite like taking someone I love there to show them around. So I took Mitch to see the sights. Of course including Tomaree mountain, Murray’s Brewery, a romantic dinner at The Deck, and a cheeky dip at the nudist beach.

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🎶 Tunes

Cloud Control – Rainbow City.  Wow have I had this on repeat! It’s grungy, funky and I’m in love! They’ve had a few really great singles out lately that I’ve been loving, so make sure to add this to your Summer hit list asap.

Winston Surfshirt – Be About You. It’s sexy, smooth and funky… what more could you ask for in a song. It’s the ultimate Sunday sesh tune to kick back, bob your head and sip your beer to.

Ocean Alley – Holiday. I don’t know what took me so long but damn am I in love with these guys! Their whole album is on point! They played recently at the uni bar and I’m devo I missed them. I get some serious Sticky Fingers vibes from them which is always fantastic. Their song Comedown is another banger I’ve had on repeat!! 10/10

🎥 Flicks

L’asenscion (The Climb)

📷 Bloggers and Vloggers

Damon and Jo

Oh my god I have literally watched them for hours and thought they are the funniest, brightest and more awesome people alive! I’ve only just come across their channel and I am honestly in awe. They speak something crazy like 6 languages and produce videos in French, Portuguese and English (WHAT!!!) It’s so contagious watching their fun friendly chemistry and really puts you in a positive mood! For anyone that loves travel and language… these guys are for you!

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Woman of the Hour – Lena Dunham podcast

So I’m a huge fan of Lena Dunham and am slowly getting more and more intrigued into this mysterious world of podcasts. I found Woman of the Hour on the music streaming app ‘Deezer’ that I use (it’s like Spotify but better). I’ve laughed, cried and been incredibly inspired by these podcasts and is an absolute must for all!

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📝 Quote

This speaks to me. Happiness is something that I value SO MUCH! It is core to who I am as a person and my values. One of the hardest things is acknowledging and accepting those moments when you’re actually not happy. It’s not a bad thing and it’s nothing to feel guilty about, but instead, should act as a reminder to check in with yourself, look after yourself and ultimately make changes that will lead to your happiness. And there’s only one person in the entire world that can ensure that happens… YOU.

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February, please be kind. I’m not sure I can handle another crazy whirlwind month. The grind is real and the work is hard, I just need to remember to love myself along the way.

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: MAY 2017

The end of this month pretty much signals the end of my semester at uni. With the submission of one more assignment due this Friday 2nd June, I’m out for Summer!!! Yes I know it’s actually winter here in Australia but nuh ahhhh – I’m off to a Mexican Summer next month and I cannot freakin wait. But before I get too ahead of myself and get all caught up with the month that will be, let’s look back on the month that came and went all too quickly.

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🏠 Home

I spontaneously decided to go home for a weekend and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I may not have made it back home until late on the Friday night, but when welcomed by my two beautiful and excited dogs and a piping hot bath, it was easy to see why. I loved spending quality time with my Mum, brother and grandparents, all whilst taking a deep breath and trying to reset some of the stresses that were getting to me in life.

☮️ Volunteering

This month, I was quite involved with some awesome organisations and I’m trying to commit more of my time and energy into these. I was a mentor at AIME (Aboriginal and Indigenous Mentoring Experience) where I worked with several awesome year 12 students. We talked about school, goal setting, aboriginality, hopes, inequality and practical tips and tricks for job applications and interviews. In all honesty, I think the girls inspired me more than I inspired them.

I’ve also completed and induction and basic training for some volunteering I’m hoping to do in the very near future with SCARF (Strategic Community Assistance to Refugee Families). From what I can already tell – they are an incredible organisation who makes a real difference to community members from refugee backgrounds and I can’t wait to get involved.

📚 Uni Final Project (DIGC335)

It’s not often that you get to say you’re super proud of a uni assignment, but this semester I am! I just uploaded my mini talk show, chat, investigation (thing – whatever we want to call it) onto YouTube. I’ve just about finished my website as well. It’s titled The Secret Life of Travel Vloggers and I uncover some of the misconceptions about what it means to be a travel vlogger and some of the behind the scenes stuff that goes on. So I’d really appreciate it if you checked it out and let me know what you think.

You can find my website here

💪 Rock Climbing

So I thought I’d try something new this month, and I’ve tried out rock climbing with my awesome friend Dylan (you may remember him from last months post). So I’m definitely not at the stage where I’ve taken photos yet – in fact, I’ve only been several times and I consider getting to the top the biggest achievement of my week, but it’s sooooo awesome and I already feel stronger! It’s such a great activity and it’s something I want to do more frequently once I’m back from Mexico. So until I get a picture of me doing it, here’s some rock climbing inspo.

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📚 Books

The Martian, by Andy Weir. Ok so I haven’t actually finished it yet (uh I know… LAME!). But I had to include it in my favourite things because this is SUCH A GOOD BOOK! My little brother recommended it to me and I’m so glad he’s a book worm. It’s funny, entertaining and gets you thinking about the ultimate question of what it means to exist in this world. You know – real chill stuff.

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🎥 Flicks

Dear White People. This is an absolute must for all of us privileged white folk out here. Some call it controversial, others call it reality, but one things for certain, we need to educate ourselves about the injustices that affect people of colour every single day and show solidarity, speak up and make change.

🎶 Tunes

Lauv. AHHHHHHHH YES! So I low key fell in love with this band last year when I discovered their song ‘The Other.’ And they’ve finally released an EP (hopefully with an album to come).

Gang of Youths. Let’s be honest, there’s no reason why these guys shouldn’t be on this list. I’ve had this on repeat, plus been addicted to their old stuff as well. I just honestly can’t get enough of them.

Despacito. And thanks to Justin Beiber, I discovered this sexy as song and it makes me so excited to be in a latin country in a few weeks salsa dancing (hopefully with sexy men like this).

📷 Bloggers & Vloggers

Danielle Carolan. This girl is positivity galore! She’s so bright, bubbly, motivated and go getting I love it. She’s just finished school and I can’t believe someone so young is already making such a mark in the YouTube world. She’s recently started daily uploading (not exactly daily vlogging) but damn am I happy I finally have someone I can watch and follow every day!

ME. This month I wrote one of my favourite articles I’ve ever written. I wrote it for Twenty Something Humans and you can see the original here. Y’all know that I’m passionate about being a red head. And it was so much fun to put into words so many thoughts, feelings and experiences I’ve had over the past 22 years of my life.

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📝 Quote

When I saw this quote I smacked my friend on the shoulder and said… this is me! A wise guy once told me that I’m a Queen, and that Queen’s deserve to be treated with respect and kindness. However, Queen’s too treat others with the upmost respect, understanding and kindness. And I realise that it may sound a bit self centred… but I’m a freakin Queen! Oh yea – and plus the bit of savagery… you know, necessary.

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So holy shit guys – next month is JUNE!!! And I’m finally off to Mexico! I cannot freakin wait! Make sure to subscribe to all of my socials, especially my YouTube channel for regular updates for all my stories from Central America! Woo

Theses Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: JANUARY 17

Woo Hoooooo. Welcome to 2017! And aren’t we off to a flying start?! Where the hell has time gone?! I swear I blinked and suddenly I was back in Wollongong chilling with my friends, looking back on 2016 like it was all a dream. Luckily for me, it wasn’t a dream and I fortunately experienced so many wonderful things. So without further adieu, let’s recap on the start of 2017 which I can just feel, is already going to be a freakin awesome year.

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California: SAN FRANSICO / LOS ANGELES / ROAD TRIP

To get the full scope of everything we did in California (there was a lot) I’d recommend checking out my YouTube video here. But beyond the video, CALIFORNIA IS FREAKIN AMAZING! I can’t wait until I get to go back again.

 

HAWAII

Absolute paradise. I don’t know if there’s anything else I can really say about Hawaii except the fact that it’s just honestly beautiful. It was so lovely to be back in the heat again! Hawaii was pretty much non stop swimming, eating, exploring and swimming. You can check out my YouTube video here. 

DISNEYLAND 

OMG…. enough said.

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Euro Disney, Paris, 2013

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Disneyland, California, 2017

BACK HOME: AUSTRALIA

So I’ve returned home after nearly 7months. It was so amazing seeing my friends and family. You know once you return home after a long time away, and your headspace is just so positive? It was so awesome to apply my new found outlook on life to life back in Australia. I think it makes me much more excited and grateful for everyone I know and everything I have here in Australia.  At the moment I’m currently looking for a place to live in Wollongong, so hopefully by the next time you check into this blog, I will have found one and I’ll be showing you around!

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Beautiful Port Stephens – lucky to call this home

TUNES

Amy Shark – Adore. The first time I heard this song was on Australia Day while tuning in to the Hottest 100 on Triple J and OMG I’ve had it on repeat ever since.

 

Ed Sheeran – Castle on the Hill. The ginger ninja is back! Let’s be honest, this guy kills it every. single. time. And I’m absolutely loving it! I can’t wait for his album to be released!

Films

War Dogs. I watched this film on the plane back to Australia and damn was that actually made my 10 hour flight enjoyable.

Please Like Me. OK So this one isn’t a film, but it’s a freakin addictive Australian show on Netflix! It is millenial comedy/drama at its best! I actually can’t get enough.

Books

I’m happy to say that I actually finished a book this month… and damn was it a great read. I’m a huge fan of Mitch Albom’s after having read his book ‘Tuesday’s with Morrie’ and ‘Five People You Meet in Heaven’ whilst I was at school and I loved them. I picked up this book at the airport in Hawaii and I read it in a week. For anyone who loves music, books and a great story being unravelled in front of you, then this book is for you!

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Source

Blogs & Vlogs

Lost LeBlanc. Man, this guy has been killing it lately. His Bali vlogs were on point, his Philippines vlogs were on point and his Panama City vlogs….. DAMN. Honestly, this guy is definitely on his game!

Sawyer Hartman. I’ve been following this guy since I met him at BufferFest in Toronto. His drone shots and cinematography is superb! Plus, when I was in Venice in LA I actually ran into him. It was so cool to meet him and have a chat. PLUS I MADE IT IN THE VLOG! You can check out his video and my cameo below.

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Quote

So I’m doubling up this month. The first one is be excited about everything. It honestly changes your perspective on everything when you get excited about things you’re doing or people you’re going out with! I’d recommend it.

And the second one is definitely related to the first, but also to always remember to be inspired and grateful, but to surround myself with people who share the same values.

Alrighty, so that’s my month wrapped up. Watch this space for some exciting things to come!

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! 

 

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: MARCH

March Madness. March really was a bit of a mixed bag. Ups and downs, exciting nights out and boring essays to write. I guess that’s to be expected with uni kicking off, working 30hours a week and trying to maintain some sort of ‘normal’ social life. Overall, it was pretty damn good. However I have to admit, I had a week or two where I was completely flat. It was a good reminder that I need to be taking more time to myself and allowing myself some time off every now and again. (you can read about how to overcome a bad week here). But, over to some good news… this post celebrates 1 year of ‘These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things.’ How exciting! If you’ve missed my previous few, you can read them here. Et voila! Here are my highlights from March!

Mardi Gras

Ah Mardi Gras – the happiest day of the year. I wasn’t sure I could top the excitement of Mardi Gras 2015, but I have to admit, I had a pretty damn awesome time! You can read all about my experience here!

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My awesome housemates embracing the Mardi-madness

Garden Party

So by now, most of you would probably know how much I love my music. So when I saw the tickets to Garden Party at UOW Unibar were only $30, I bought one straight away. It was such a good night with such a good crowd. Dune Rats were amazing, but I must admit that Mansionair stole the show!!!

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Front and centre for Mansionair.

Home for the long weekend

Because uni’s kicked off again and I’m working ever spare hour I’m not at uni, I usually can’t justify making the 6hour journey home just for a weekend. And then God gave us long weekends (or should I say Jesus?). I had such a lovely weekend at home. Sunrise walks, swimming at the beach, spending time with my friends, playing with my dogs and chilling out watching nature documentaries. It was so good to just switch off for a day or two and relax. Something I’ve really been needing to do for a long time.

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Let Them Stay Rally

A few weeks ago I attended the Let Them Stay Rally. Not only is it about the refugees currently hospitalised on mainland Australia from Nauru, but about all refugees. Letting them know that they’re welcome. That we’re all the same, and we all have the right to live without fear of prosecution or abuse. I’m so glad that I went to the event because I felt apart of a wider community who genuinely cared so much about this massive issue. And then we held the Let The Stay Banner on the beach and there I am holding the banner above the L.

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Let Them Stay: Wollongong

Netball

This session, we’ve started up our awesome KB Banditos team again. We’re only in week 3 and we’ve already won a game! (I’m not the best netball player out there and we’re in it for the fun, so for us to win… that’s a big deal!)

Tunes

I’ve been playing this song on repeat!!! My housemate introduced me to Urthboy’s music and for that, I will always be grateful!

Plus… Violent Soho’s new album came out this month WACO, and I’ve been listening to it on repeat! I’ve been waiting for them to release this album for a long time coming!

Blogs and Vlogs

Tiphaine Marie

I am absolutely loving this girl! She’s a fashion/travel vlogger from Switzerland and has such a cute and chic sense of style! Her videos are short and sweet and I always enjoy watching them of a morning! Definitely one to subscribe to!

You can check out her blog here.

Lives Abroad

I also stumbled across this cool blog. It’s focused around education through travel. I absolutely love the concept and have spent many hours reading through the content!

You can check out her blog here.

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Quote

“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.”

I’ve been loving this quote this month, because I definitely had a few rocky seas to get through. But it’s reassuring knowing that these setbacks, these challenges and these fears are actually helping me become the person I’m supposed to be.

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Fin!

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: JANUARY

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

Fun For Louis

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

Home Sweet Home

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

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Soaking up some sun in beautiful Port Stephens.

Australia Day Shenanigans

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

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Adventuring around the countryside

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

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My awesome car for the Summer at Minamurra Rainforest

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Beautiful Broulee

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Reunited with my bestie in Canberra.

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Soaking up the sun at Bald Hill.

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Getting lost in the clouds at Tomaree Mountain, Port Stephens

21st Party

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

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Tunes

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

Flicks

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

Blogs

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

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

Books

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

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Quote

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

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

 

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