These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: NOVEMBER 2019

Seriously… it’s December?! How on earth is there only a few weeks until Christmas, a few weeks until a new decade, and a few weeks left of work until we get to relax and play! Wow

🌅Terrigal getaway

There’s nothing quite like a little weekend getaway. When life gets so crazy and you’re living hour by hour, sometimes you need to remove yourself from reality and explore somewhere unknown. Despite growing up in Port Stephens, I’d never ventured to Terrigal or the Central Coast. So when Soph and I finally had a free weekend that lined up, we knew we wanted to getaway. So why not somewhere only 2 hours away with gorgeous beaches, national parks, great bars and even better restaurants. Terrigal really is a holiday town and nothing says ‘relaxed’ more than fish n chips, 3 hour dinners, lolly shops, and soaking up some sun and getting lost in a book. Reset and refreshed.

🎓 Soph’s grad

The day finally came that we got to celebrate Soph’s graduation! My girl is a clever cookie, and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce – Bachelor of Arts (Distinction) earlier this year. Graduation is such an exciting time and it’s important to recognise (and adequately celebrate) the hard work and dedication it takes to complete a degree. I’m so damn proud of Soph for all of her hard work. I know she’s going a long way and I can’t wait to see the path she forges for herself.

🏙️Sydney sesh

If anyone knows me, they know I’m a huge fangirl of Shameless Podcast. So when I heard there was a live show in Sydney, I knew I had to go! So my friend Vanessa battled for some tickets (these are some popular gals) and we were heading to the show. Us, along with 800 strangers, gathered that rainy Sydney night, to engage in a similar conversation we’ve been listening to every Monday morning for nearly 2 years. I must admit, it was pretty damn exciting. Zara and Michelle have done an incredible job to build their company and a highly engaged following. It was awesome to soak up some strong female vibes.

And what’s a night out in Sydney without sharing cocktails with my beautiful friend Tishia. We went to a sneaky gin bar that played smooth jazz and sipped on fancy cocktails. We got delish woodfire pizza and giggled the night away. The next day we headed to Burwood to go shopping and eat bulk Chinese food. Chinatown there is next level and we found ourselves some delicious treats. It’s weekends like this that I live for. Running from one event to the next, soaking up all the good vibes, good food (and good alcohol), and even though I’m left absolutely exhausted, they’re amazing!

📷Work

This month I was lucky enough to do the socials for the Fellowships and Alumni Awards Dinner. I was working with a great group of people who are talented, driven and so damn nice. I also got to meet some incredible people (check me out on Linkedin for more), and it got me thinking about how lucky I am to work with people who are working to connect one another and make the world a better place.

🎧Podcasts

Inside the Big Day Out
This mini series is a must for all music fans! It will leave you looking up Pearl Jam’s greatest hits and want to jump around in a mosh pit. This is an incredible insight behind the scenes of one of the world’s biggest music festivals that defined Australian culture and music. Pretty devastated that I didn’t attend one of these festivals myself – I was busy being punky at Soundwave – but wow, Big Day Out in the 90s would have been incredible!

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📚 Books

Conversations with friends, by Sally Rooney
Yes yes yes! I loved this book so bloody much! I picked this up from the university book shop, and found that it was prescribed reading for an English Literature subject. So I figured it would be alright, but boy did I underestimate how incredible this would be! I smashed it out in a few days and I am so stoked. I was intrigued, hooked, angry, wanted to shake the characters through the pages, and be invited to the parties… I loved it and would absolutely recommend it!

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🎥Flicks

Flying the Nest
I know I’ve mentioned them on the blog several times before, but…. OMG they’re having a baby and I’ve never been more emotional watching a baby announcement vlog! I love their videos, their relationship and their outlook on life. And I’m so excited to see their vlogs leading up to having the baby, and watching their journey as a young travelling family!

Season 3, The Crown
I’m sure I’m not the first to admit that I was a bit skeptical about this season with a new lead actress, but OMG wow, get onto it asap! It’s much like season 1 with big, historical events unfolding throughout the season. Olivia Coleman is incredible and I’ve loved having a spare few hours to binge a few episodes immersed in the world of the royals.

🎵Tunes

Old School Arctic Monkeys
So after taking a deep dive through rock history by listening to ‘Inside the Big Day Out,’ I became consumed by old school Arctic Monkeys. I’m not going to lie, I first got into them in 2013 with their AM album (yep amazing album) and I never really went back through their old stuff. So I’ve lately become obsessed with old school Arctic Monkeys and wow… I’m even more in love. Seeing them at the start of the year was amazing, and I’m so glad they’ve a band that continues to grow, evolve and produce bloody good music.

📝Quote

The law of attraction is something I truly believe in. You get what you give. The universe doesn’t owe you anything, so you might as well treat people with kindness, radiate happiness and keep a positive outlook on life, because you may just get exactly what you want. A frame of mind is one of the most powerful things we can possess. So why not try being happy and see what happens.

OK, so December will disappear before our eyes, and we’ll suddenly be in 2020! So I’m going to try and live in the moment, soak up the beautiful sunshine we have, enjoy the festive season and make the most of what’s left of 2019!

23 Things I’ve Learnt In 23 Years

Last week I celebrated my 23rd birthday in Mexico City – meaning tequila, tacos and some serious reflection. And this has got me thinking about all of the things I’ve learnt, and still have left to learn about love, life and how much beer I can actually drink. In the famous words of Blink 182 – “nobody likes you when you’re 23, my friends say I should act my age, what’s my age again?”

  1. You’re a Queen – girl you’re killing it, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
  2. Respect & Honesty – it’s what you should receive, but most importantly give to everyone.
  3. You won’t learn your limits – with each hangover I ask ‘when?! when will I learn?!’ The answer is yet to be determined.
  4. You will make the same mistakes twice – You’ll fuck up and fuck up again. Forgive yourself, learn and know that everyone fucks up and life goes on.
  5. Trust yourself – Trust your gut instinct and follow it. It somehow always knows what’s right for you.
  6. Friday nights in are just as good as – if not better than going out. Enough said.
  7. Travel is the best investment I’ve made – OK I may not have any other investments at the moment, but from all the travel I’ve done, it’s the thing that helps me grow, learn and understand this crazy world a little better.
  8. Adulting is a misconception and no one actually know how to do it. Not even your parents.
  9. Life is bumpy – Not everything goes according to plan. The route is a bit bumpier for some more than others. Just know that you’ll get through it.
  10. Taking time for yourself is not selfish, it’s essential.
  11. Be excited about everything you do – have a positive attitude and get excited by life.
  12. I have to change the world before I settle down – I know that there’s so many things that I want to do and achieve before I settle down. And I’m not going to let anyone stand in the way of that. Watch out guys, I’ve got a world to change.
  13. The thought of having children is still the most terrifying thought imaginable. Sorry Mum.
  14. Trying new things is important – push your comfort zone, learn something new, make a fool of yourself and challenge yourself.
  15. Surround yourself with people who positively contribute to your life – Don’t let negative people pull you down or cast a shadow on your light. Surround yourself with people who push you, help you, are there for you and believe in you.
  16. Have mentors and people who inspire you.
  17. Be thankful and show it – Life is nothing but chance and luck. Some are much luckier than others. Be appreciative of what you have and acknowledge what others don’t have. Do something about it and show your gratitude.
  18. Family is actually so important – I’m so lucky that my family are so supportive of my decisions and accept me for who I am. I wouldn’t be half the person I am today without them.
  19. Acknowledge your privilege 
  20. Give back to the community – commit to something, make connections, make a difference, offer your skills and experience and be apart of something bigger than yourself.
  21. Education is one of the most powerful weapons you can arm yourself with
  22. Happiness is the key – a smile can change your day
  23. Be proud – hold your head high, back yourself, be proud of your accomplishments, your ambitions, your hobbies, your passions and don’t let anyone ever try and take that away from you.

At the end of the day, turning 23 isn’t a big deal. But the things I’ve learnt along the way have shaped my very core. The people I’ve met, the places I’ve visited, the things I’ve learnt, the opportunities I’ve experienced, have challenged, inspired and motivated me to be the very best person I can be. And it’s my goal in life to spread happiness, encourage acceptance, make a difference and be a fucking queen!

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Why can’t you turn your life onto Aeroplane mode?

Your Facebook messenger is filled with notifications that you haven’t got around to replying to yet, your next three weekends are booked up with birthday, engagement and ‘any excuse’ parties, your alarm is going off persistently to remind you to get off your arse and go to the gym, you’re trying to secure a date, catch up on ‘Girlboss’ on Netflix, finish those assignments and get more than six hours of sleep, all whilst remembering that pasta and cheese is not an adequate diet….. HOLY SHIT! Apple, where’s the aeroplane mode for life?
Now I don’t consider myself to be overly popular; I know I ain’t Regina George. However for the past few months nearly every hour of every day has been completely planned out for me. I do enjoy being busy but I also enjoy not wearing pants, listening to 90’s music and just taking some serious me time. Not wearing pants is an essential part of life that, quite frankly, I’ve really been missing out on lately.

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When did we all get so busy? Trying to organise a simple lunch with a few friends turns into making a spreadsheet to find out everyone’s availabilities, only to find that you then can’t decide on a cafe because one of your friends is vegan, and you’re craving a double beef burrito. Even staying on top of all those Facebook messages becomes a tedious task (curse the handy yet exasperating advent of the ‘group chat’!) You think that you’re going to reply properly, with time and thought put into your response, only to wind up replying two weeks later with a shitty response like ‘hey sorry – was super busy! How’s life?‘ And if someone was to ask you ‘how’s life,‘ you’d probably roll your eyes at their attempt to make conversation and think to yourself ‘my life is too fucking hectic to deal with this small talk‘ but instead craft a tactful response of, ‘busy, but good thanks, how’s your cat?’

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 Part of me thinks that as young people trying to figure out this whole ‘adulting’ business, we have no idea what we’re doing. We look at our friends, colleagues and peers and immediately compare ourselves. We see them going to the gym, so we sign up to yoga classes. We see them learning how to use Excel, so we watch YouTube tutorials. We see them travel, so we open a savings account to book that ticket, only to remember that bills are due this week so there goes that idea.

 We’re constantly connected to others through our phones and when we get a life update from them it’s usually in the form of an Instagram post with a beautiful Valencia filter (the Valencia filter is bomb). It’s their little way of saying ‘omg my life is great and look at all the amazing things I’m doing,’ and even if we don’t realise it, we feel the pressure to do more and be more. What ever happened to just being who we are?

 So, can there be an aeroplane mode for life? To shut off that phone, turn off notifications, pick up that book, those pencils, and paints, get outside, get messy, get dirty, start a conversation, smile, eat and sing at the top of your lungs, make plans to not make plans and put your life on aeroplane mode, just for a weekend. Oh and absolutely take those bloody pants off as you tune out!

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I originally wrote this piece for TWENTY SOMETHING HUMANS. You can check it out here. 

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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… 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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: OCTOBER

October… I’m glad you’re over. With the wrath of university taking it’s toll, it was a tough one… but I made it. So… recap on the month that I’m glad is over.

Do It In A Dress

This month, myself and an awesome group of young leaders participated in the One Girl campaign Do It In A Dress. We raised over $8000 to go directly towards educating girls in Sierra Leone. If you want to learn more about this amazing campaign working hard to fight such a huge social injustice we have in this world, you can read here. 

Doin it in a dress at uni
Doin it in a dress at uni

Fox and the Hound

So I may be a bit biased because my friend is in the band… but they’re honestly great! I love supporting local talent but I know it won’t be long before these boys make it big internationally.

Speaking of music….

This SONG!!!! Sia you’ve done it again. I’ve listened to this song probably a billion times and I just can’t get enough. Her vocals are absolutely incredible! If you need to get pumped or inspired… blast this on repeat and I promise you’ll feel ready to take on the world!

Netflix

What else are you supposed to do when you’re tied down with uni work? Procrastinate!!! And Netflix offers endless opportunities for procrastination. This month I finished watching Narcos  and Sense8. I also started watching Orphan Black (I know, I know… I don’t know how I do it, I just do). Such quality shows and I’d definitely recommend them all!

Making my promo video

So I have this friend. She’s ridiculously talented. And she made a promo video for my blog. Whilst we’re still fine tuning it and super excited to release it as soon as possible, I still can’t get over the amazing fun we had shooting it!!! We spent a whole day galavanting around Wollongong and the South Coast. It was a beautiful, sunny day and I couldn’t of asked for anyone better to spend it with!

Promo video fun
Promo video fun

Halloween Formal

Every session at college we have a formal. Sometimes we get fancy, and other times we get freaky. My best friend and I went as an angel and devil duo. There was glitter EVERYWHERE!!! Had such a great night!

Zina and I rockin the classic duo
Zina and I rockin the classic duo

Oxfam Presentation for Global Climate Change Week

This month I was lucky enough to represent and speak on behalf of Oxfam at the University of Wollongong’s Global Climate Change Week regarding the relationship between Climate Change and Food Security. It was such a great opportunity and experience to speak in front of nearly 60 people who are all concerned and passionate about Climate Change and creating change.

Map displaying the countries most vulnerable to the effects of Climate Change. Extreme weather = extreme poverty. Let's be the change we want to see!
Map displaying the countries most vulnerable to the effects of Climate Change. Extreme weather = extreme poverty. Let’s be the change we want to see!

Home

For the first time in months, I finally made it home for the October Long Weekend! And home definitely provided me with the goods. Sunshine, family and adventure!!!

Beautiful Port Stephens
Beautiful Port Stephens

Room Decorating 101

Bedrooms should give you inspiration, should allow you to relax, motivate you to get out of bed and welcome you to a sound sleep at the end of the day. I’ve tried to take on advice of DIY magazines, stylists, blogs by sticking to a theme, a colour scheme, a purpose etc, but it always felt forced and unnatural. And now I’ve figured out the way to decorate my room which makes me never want to leave my room!

Current pictures on my wall
Current pictures on my wall

When I’ve got a big blank white boring wall, I feel dull, boring and uninspired. So, I print off my favourite photographs from the past year, of friends, family and places, take a trip down to the travel agent (or a few), rip out some beautiful pictures, scramble through my box of memories from the year (I keep anything from concert tickets, maps, foreign currency, to business cards) and pick out my favourites. Once I’ve collected bright beautiful things, I get to blu tacking and stick everything to my wall. The end result is very rewarding, colourful, inspiring and beautiful!

Don’t be afraid to get messy with it, stick up anything that makes you happy, because what’s the point in having photo albums filled with beautiful photos hidden away in a cupboard, when you can have them on display that will leave guests and yourself hypnotised!

My room in London
My room in London

Organising pictures! (a lot of them)
Organising pictures! (a lot of them)

The Hardest Things About Packing (and Moving on in Life)

As the year draws to a close, so does this chapter of my life; living at a university residence. Whilst I’ve met some incredible people, done some awesome things and drank and awful amount of goon, I’m glad to move onto the next and currently unknown chapter. As I lay on my bed, walls cast with the shadow of my travel photos that lined them, bags, clothes and mess everywhere… this is not the first time I’ve packed my life into bags. Yet the same questions, uncertainties and feelings overcome me. So here’s the hardest things I’m confronted with whilst packing up my life yet again.

Create the most beautiful life you can imagine! ~ photo from http://dearcrissy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/quote-about-the-future.jpg
Create the most beautiful life you can imagine! ~
photo from http://dearcrissy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/quote-about-the-future.jpg

What does the future hold?

Whilst not even tarot cards can accurately tell me this, it’s a bit unsettling having so many options and decisions to make for my immediate and distant future. Where will I live? Who with? Do I need to start looking for a house now? Or maybe just a room? What about my job? How am I going to afford Christmas presents? Can I go to this party? Or will I be working? What do I want to achieve? Countless questions flood my mind. The thing that gives me hope is that I’ve experienced this before (when I was leaving London) and I know that if you make the most of every opportunity, learn and grow from every experience and refuse to give up, then wonderful things will happen. You just need to first believe and then do it. The present and future is in our hands.

Is this the end?

The end of some things… yes. And thankfully, goodbye single bed, see ya later noise/alcohol bans, adios cookie thieves and au revoir to the thousands of lizards! The hardest thing, particularly leaving London, is imagining your life without certain people, places and the little things you’re used to, and the saddening fact that you don’t know when you’ll see them again. A big thing that I dealt with leaving London was the fear of losing the new London Adelaide. I was proud of everything I achieved and had become and was scared that it would disappear when I moved back to Australia. Sometimes I still feel like I’m dealing with an identity crises, however over time, you adjust. It’s almost like you get to recreate yourself again. The picture below shows how much I changed last year and even comparing myself to the photo from last year, I’ve changed a lot from that girl too. We have to create the life we want and inevitably we’ll change. Yet some things will never end, the unique and special friendships (especially those that cross borders), the memories, the lessons learnt and the feeling of creating a home.  With every ending, comes a new beginning, and they are always exciting (and your friends will want to hear all about it).

February 2013 & December 2013 (St. Andrews, Scotland) More than just my clothes changed
February 2013 & December 2013 (St. Andrews, Scotland)
More than just my clothes changed

How am I going to move all of this stuff?

I don’t know how, but I just accumulate so much stuff! It’s not until you start packing and thinking about transporting everything you own, you truly realise it. Luckily, my parents are helping me do this (thank god). When I moved back to Australia from London, I had to fit my life into 30kgs! (miraculously I did it). And with all the of the stuff you accumulated over your time somewhere, attached to each thing is a specific memory that you just have to hold on to!

My best friend trying to pack all of her stuff. Proved to be challenging yet possible.
My best friend trying to pack all of her stuff. Proved to be challenging yet possible.

Reflection, reflection, reflection 

Maybe it’s just me, but I take forever to pack because I look through things, I reminisce, I decide if I want to keep it or not, I organise things, toss thing and look at things a bit more. While I pack, I can’t help but reflect on the year that has been, how I’ve changed, grown and learned. I then listen to sad and soppy music and look at photos, thinking back to all the good times. And once I’m done reflecting (and sobbing), I think forward to next year and how I want to change, what I want to achieve, fix, excel at, get involved in. Once I do this, I get a buzz of excitement and just want to get it all started!

What gets me through?

Even though packing up your life and moving on can be difficult (and you will no doubt need an adjustment period), the thing that gets me through is hop for the future, that I can make each year, month, day, bigger and better than the last. Knowing that my friends and family love and support me (and will even help me move all of my stuff). Knowing that I have goals and dreams to aspire to, and that the actions I take now are a step towards those dreams. Knowing that each night the sun will set and each morning the sun will rise, shining new light on a new day. I know it’s incredibly clichéd, but it’s true.

xxx

A

After each sunset, there will be a sunrise
After each sunset, there will be a sunrise