These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: MARCH + April2020

Wow, what a crazy few months hey? Congratulations on getting to this point. Seriously what a huge achievement it is just getting out of bed each day, signing onto your work emails and trying to get on with it. These past few weeks, months, have been mental and it sure hasn’t been easy. Though, I’m grateful for the health of my family and friends, my thoughts go out to those who are truly suffering in these dark times. I’m so very grateful for the people around me who have made the past few crazy weeks possible.

Whilst I’m taking it one day at a time right now, I thought it was important to reflect on the month or two that have been, and most importantly, share some recommendations. Because I for one know that I have been looking for content to completely dive into and try to take my mind off of the current situation.

Pre-COVID

I know it’s hard to remember what life before COVID looked like, but looking back on early March when it was safe to go to Sydney, go to bars and hang out in groups, I had a lot of fun doing so.

Zina and I got inspired at the All About Women Festival at the Sydney Opera House. I love that this has quickly become ‘our thing.’ We saw the incredible Flex Mami and Clementine Ford, and enjoyed some beers and a much needed catch up.

My sister came to visit on the coldest, wettest weekend of the past few months. Nonetheless, a mixture of stubbornness and adventure led us to Minamurra to go stand up paddle boarding. Little did we know it would be our last weekend we could enjoy cocktails out at bars, so we made the most of it. I’m so grateful for Elly coming to pay me a visit and having some fun together.

In the midst of it all

We’re all trying to figure out how to get through this. And there are several things that have been helping me get through.

Surprisingly, I’ve been getting up at 6am most days and going for a long walk, swim and adventure down the street to get a coffee. How beautiful has the weather been? The sunshine has seriously been giving me life and energy. The water has been absolutely incredible and getting out and about has truly kept me sane. Plus being able to go for a socially distant walk with a friend every now and then has really made this all bearable.

It seems that staying connected with friends and loved ones has never been easier, but I’m seriously awful at it. I’ve always been one to be independent and create relationships around me that keep me going. Making the time that I actually spend with them even more special. But with that being basically impossible now, I’ve jumped on the Zoom and Facetime bandwagon. Yep – I have been loving the occasional phone call and Facetime with friends. It’s even allowed me to reconnect with people I haven’t spoken to in years. Is it crazy that during this time my friendships may be doing better than ever?

📚Books

Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
Wow, what an incredibly moving book. I’d say this is one of the best books I’ve read in recent times. It takes you on a sensory journey where you can nearly smell and feel her surroundings. You can almost feel her loss and loneliness and you are taken on a beautiful journey of self discovery, growth, independence and taking life into your own hands.

The Woman in the Window, by Gillian Flynn
I don’t usually read thrillers or books that are on the scary or suspenseful side. I read this book in a matter of days and loved it. It’s due to be released as a movie later this year starring Amy Adams and think it will be an incredible movie. Loved it!

My Dark Vanessa, by Kate Elizabeth Russell
Wow. What a page turner. I read this book in two days and seriously, wow. Just from reading the blurb, you know this book is dark. A forbidden relationship between a teacher and student told from Vanessa’s perspective. It’s haunting, mesmerising and tells an important story about consent, power, love and self-worth. As you could imagine, it can be quite triggering so make sure you’ve got someone to talk to afterwards.

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell | 9780008342258 | Booktopia

🛍️Product

Clinique turnaround overnight moisturiser
So I’ve been looking for a night cream for a very long time and I’ve finally invested in this Clinique product. What’s wrong with me? Spending $65 on a nightcream… I have to admit it feels so incredible putting something so divine onto your skin each night, but I think when this runs out, I’ll resort to my sukin $25 night cream.

La Roche Posay’s hyaluronic acid
So upon doing a lot of research, I discovered that hyaluronic acid is one of the best things for your skin to help it stay hydrated and fight ageing. I use it morning and night and have found that my other products stay on my face better, and longer, plus my skin feels plump and amazing! Get it from Chemist Warehouse for $60.

Buy La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Serum 30ml · Australia

Tunes

Violent Soho’s ‘Everything is A-OK’
Yes yes yes! How did these guys know what we need right now? I swear good music is the only thing getting me through this crazy time. The only thing that sucks about this album is that we’re going to wait however long until we can see it live at a gig but wow that will be ever so satisfying when that day comes! Thanks lads for providing the goods!

Mysterious Girl, by Peter Andre
It’s scientifically impossible to be sad while this song is playing. I went down a weird rabbit hole recently in the reggae genre on Spotify and all I can say is thank you Spotify gods. Seriously, play it, sing the chorus and you will feel so damn good!

Spacey Jane
I have been loving this band and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t catch them earlier this year at unibar.

🎥 Flicks

Jojo Rabbit
I’m quickly realising that life is too damn short to watch shit movies. We recently got a Chrome Cast so I thought I would rent a YouTube movie, and get among all the good films that have come out in the past 12 months. Jojo Rabbit is a quirky fun movie and would definitely add it to your next Friday night in.

Little Women
I’m so happy I finally got to watch this! It’s such an iconic movie and the cast are just absolutely spectacular. Jo is the badass I aim to be and it was such a lovely, nostalgic moment. Though I must admit, I’m a sucker for the 94 version with Wynona Rider and Christian Bale, but this certainly hits all the love strings.

This has been ‘unprecedented times’ as everyone likes to keep putting it. I’ve stopped watching the news because I don’t have the mental capacity to take it all in. I’ve been taking every day one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time. I’ve been stumbling over small talk when ordering food because it feels like a lifetime since I’ve held a non-work conversation. I’ve resorted to dying my own eyebrows and I wore jeans once and felt a sense of pride.

These times are tough. They don’t have to be productive, reflective or opportunistic – just something to survive. As much as I have come to resent the word unprecedented, this time truly is, and we should be proud that we’re getting through this.

Stay strong. Stay brave. Stay safe. Keep trying your best.

The best of the best: recommendations to get you through isolation

Well if there’s ever been a good time for quality content, it’s now. And before you think I’m about to recommend watching the basic bitch ‘Tiger King’ or try and convince you to ‘get on TikTok,’ (though you really should), this is the creme de la creme. The best of the best. This is what you need to get through isolation. This is, the ultimate recommendations post you’ve been waiting for!

Books

Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens.

In isolation, we’re all wanting a little escape. We’ve explore the extent of our bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and want to be transported elsewhere. This book will truly transport you back in time and to a sensory stimulating setting. I was hooked and it made me fall in love with reading again.

For one more day, by Mitch Albom

I absolutely adore Mitch Albom and this book is particularly fitting given the challenging time we’re all facing. It explores the idea of having the chance to spend one more day with a loved one. It’s a gentle reminder for us to seize the day and reach out to loved ones because one day, we may be longing to have one more day, one more hour, one more conversation with someone we’re no longer able to.

Burial Rites, by Hannah Kent

Maybe there’s a theme with these books but it follows the story of a lonely young woman charged with murder in the 19th century in Iceland. If you love nature, are intrigued by the mysticism and historical fiction, you will love this. Based on the true event of the last execution in Iceland.

Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee

I’m not usually one for a 500+ page book but I assure you this one is totally worth it. Taking you back to Korea in the 1920s, this book spans several decades, several families and several beautiful stories. It explores themes of class, race, migration and I walked away from this book feeling that I had truly learnt something and that a part of this book and story will stay with me forever.

Podcasts

Dying For Sex

This 7 episode series tells the story of Molly, a 40-something woman who is diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. So, she leaves her unhappy marriage, goes on a range of sex-capades and faces her trauma. The host is Nikki, her best friend and their relationship is so beautiful and felt so deeply throughout the whole series. It definitely tugs at the heart strings but i’s such a beautiful deconstruction of life, death and all things sex.

The Flight of Fancy

The closest thing to international travel we have, a podcast by some travel experts who share their tips, tricks and favourite experiences from their jet setting. I always wondered how a travel podcast would work when it relies so heavily on visual cues. But I think these guys do a great job of capturing the essence of travel from their adventures around the world. It’s certainly helping me plan and daydream for my next adventure – whenever it comes.

Flicks and movies

Parasite

There’s a reason this movie won best picture at this years Oscars. I assure you it’s one of the most gripping movies I’ve ever watched. Yes it’s in Korean and no that should not deter you from watching it. It’s a movie I keep thinking about and just wow. It’s pure joy, mystery, horror and shocking. And it’s now on Stan so there’s no excuse! You will be transfixed.

Sex Education

I freakin love this show. It’s such a vibrant, quirky, feel good, cringey series that revolves around, you guessed it, Sex. I just absolutely adore Eric and I want him to have his own spin off show or something because I honestly cannot get enough. It will make you laugh out loud and rethink your awkward sexual experiences. An. Absolute. Must.

Before Sunrise

If you’re daydreaming about travel and serendipitous encounters, this movie has you covered. Two strangers meet on a train and decide to get off together in Vienna. It beautifully captures those chance encounters when you’re young and you think the night will never end. It’s gorgeous and stars Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, what’s not to love? There’s also two more films that follow the same couple 10 years on, ‘Before Sunset’ and ‘Before Midnight.’

Modern Love

I was so skeptical at first. I thought it would be an awful rendition of crossover love stories that would just be cheesy tacky. Oh HELL NO! This series is stunning. With 6 stand alone episodes, it explores a variety of relationships in New York City and wow I was gripped from the very first episode. It’s unique, it’s raw, it’s real and it left me in tear. If you want a good cry and a reminder of why we love love, then this is for you!

Dead Poets Society

One of my favourite films of all time. It’s poetic, it’s beautiful, it’s enchanting and it will stick with you forever. This movie is why I got my carpe diem tattoo back when I was 18. It shaped me in ways I could never have imagined and you just absolutely need to watch it.

Anastasia

BEST. MOVIE. EVER. Enough said.

Products

Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Anti-Ageing Serum

I’ve recently introduced hyaluronic acid into my skincare routine and I honestly feel like I’ve already noticed a difference. A product that is designed to help your skin absorb and store moisture, this product by La Roche-Posay is gently, soothing and extremely hydrating. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone new in the skincare game (like me). Use morning and night. Oh and grab it from $60 at Chemist Warehouse.

Anti Drama Face Mask, Frank Body

I’ve been using this super hydrating, soft, gorgeous for over a year now and my face loves it! I use it on Sunday nights as part of my pamper me prep for the week routing and it’s so gentle, soft and gorgeous! Order it directly from the Frank Body website or pick it up at Mecca for $21.95

Gimme Brow Gel (mini)

In isolation, it’s all about the brows. I don’t care if I never wear makeup again, but I do not feel human if I don’t have my eyebrows filled in. This little beauty has worked wonders during isolation and wow, I can’t get enough. I use shade 3 because I’m a red head and basically don’t have eyebrows, so I like to really define my eyebrows. Plus it’s so tiny you could fit it in your pocket if you feel the need to fluff and fill your eyebrows on the go! Grab it from Sephora for $24.

Facial spray with aloe, cucumber and green tea, by Mario Badescu

My gorgeous friend Tishia gifted me this face spray for Christmas. And at first I didn’t think I would use it, but it has become a staple in my skincare routine. I use it every morning and night, and sometimes several times throughout the day. It’s soothing, hydrating and an essential in my collection. Pick it up from Mecca for $19

Activities

Coffee

I’ve come to realise that I simply cannot live without barista coffee. Yes I have a French press, no it’s not the same. Yes I’m a coffee snob, no I’m not sorry about it. I have come to treasure my morning outing to grab a coffee and waltz down the street! Treat yourself to a barista coffee – you deserve it!

Photo by Ann H on Pexels.com

Puzzles

Wow I don’t know if I’ve ever encountered something so meditative. If you need to unwind, be present and accomplish something, get yourself a puzzle. I’ve smashed through several in isolation and found myself completely transfixed.

Photo by Elly Fairytale on Pexels.com

Stretch. Move your body. Get your blood pumping! It feels so bloody good.

Photo by Ann H on Pexels.com

Journaling

I don’t know about you, but my mind is kinda all over the place right now. Journaling gives me a sense of clarity, release and expression in a healthy way that I struggle to get anywhere else. I would absolutely recommend it if you’re feeling a bit frazzled, overwhelmed and lost.

Photo by Li Sun on Pexels.com

Organise and declutter

I’m kind of the queen of collecting sentimental things, and those things tend to… spread. So I’ve come to fucking love cleaning, organising and sorting bits and pieces of our house. When we lose control over most things in our life, organising your clothes or tupperware cupboard is completely satisfying.

Walk and talk

We’ve all been living for our morning walks right? I have been LIVING for my sunrise walk/run/swim + coffee combo. Add in a friends for a socially distant walk or give a friend a phone call and enjoy the old walk and walk.

Reminisce

Look, sometimes you can’t quite bring yourself to get out of bed. So why not scroll back through all the good times you’ve had. Find your fave travel experiences and write about them in your journal. Share them on socials or send them to your travel buddies. In all honesty, there’s nothing I love more than flicking through old photos and taking a trip down memory lane.

So now you know my absolute favourite things I watch, listen to, put on my face and lose track of time to. Now I want to know yours! Please share your ultimate recommendations with me in the comments below or on socials! Happy escaping!

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: AUGUST 2019

August! Thank you for coming! This month I was professional Adelaide and out in full force! I went on my first ever international business trip (which was freakin awesome), I’ve been killing it at work, I’ve been getting active and sweaty, and having a great time with friends! What more could you even ask for?! August was such a wholesome month and I honestly felt on my absolute A game! So let’s have a look at the month where I killed it! #humblebrag

🏍️ India

Hello country number 30! And what an adventure it was! India is somewhere I have always wanted to go but thought it was a ‘one day’ country. Never would I have thought I would get the chance to go on a business trip to three cities in 12 days. I visited Mumbai (or Bombay as the locals still call it), Kolkata and Delhi. I was totally in the zone and have honestly never felt more confident in my work. And being, the adventurer I am, I needed to get out and about and explore the cities I was in. This meant, 6am starts, late nights, lots of food, lots of staring out windows and lots of ‘wow’ moments. Seriously India, I cannot wait to come back

🎉Parties!

It was my best friend cyclone Erica’s birthday! The one thing I love more than my birthday, is celebrating my friends birthdays! We went on a double date to Kneading Ruby and hello fancy pants, it was a lot of fun! No party is complete without a night out at the Harp, a bottomless brunch at Dagwood (margaritas YUM!) and finishing it off with a Sunday Sesh at North Gong!

🐤 Haidee’s Hens

The first time I ever went on a hens night out, I was 18, living in London, and somewhat crashed a hens. The hen herself took a firm liking to me and proceeded to buy me tequila shots all night until I was throwing up in the street (yep – I’m glad I’ve left that girl behind). So for my first proper hens party, for my gorgeous friend (and Soph’s big sister) Haidee, I was tremendously excited to celebrate her soon to be marriage!

🍷 Fam time

Those who know me, would know that I don’t see my family very often. It’s a combination between being way too busy, distance and travel. So when my family come to spend the weekend with me, it makes me pretty damn happy. It also coincided with a Fathers Day weekend. So we took Dad to a winery, out for burgers, pizza and cocktails. Us Haynes’, we’re silly and loud and don’t make much sense, but we know how to have a good time!

🎥 Flicks

Animal Kingdom
You better believe we smashed over all 4 seasons. Whilst this is filled with way too much testosterone, there’s something just chill and encapsulating to watch a young group of guys steal stuff and bash stuff up. Is this really entertainment? I don’t know, but I came to view Smurf as the ultimate badass.

🎵Tunes

Smith Street Band
I know there’s been a lot of controversy around this band lately, and in music more broadly (can you separate the man from the artist, and still appreciate their music?) And whilst I don’t have the answer, the inner rock goddess within me loves this song! I want to listen to it loud, I want to thrash around and kick something in my connies.

Thelma Plum
Woah!! Her new album is AMAZING! I have had it on repeat and wow it is an absolute banger! I was lucky enough to see her in concert this month and WOW! Her voice is so powerful and her voice is honestly better in real life (how that is possible I have no idea!). Oh and she is STUNNING! Mega girl crush!

📷 Vloggers, Blogger and Podders

Larissa DSa
Whilst I was India, I stumbled across this India YouTuber. And I was lucky enough to see her video on Kolkata, before I arrived in Kolkata. Whilst some might argue it can ‘spoil’ a city before getting there, I can honestly say it enhanced my experience and made me so much more excited to go, and happy to be there. Plus it was nice to discover another YouTuber (who I think is very talented and super likeable!)

❤️ Product

Phisohex
OK not the most glamorous recommendation but a worthy one at that! When I cam back from India, my chest was covered in tiny red sweat pimples (thanks 95% humidity). But after a week or two they still hadn’t disappeared. Naturally, I consulted my expert ex-pharmacy assistant who recommended good old Phisohex. Wow! I honestly reckon within a day it started to clear up, and now my chest is completely clear! I’ve since incorporated into my skincare routine, and if you suffer from persistent acne, I would totally recommend it. It’s not a miracle wash (nothing is) but this really helped my skin and I saw excellent results!

Image result for phisohex

📝 Quote

The magic happens in the process! I cannot stress this enough, and cannot seem to remember it enough. I’m always worried about producing excellent, perfect, ‘ready to publish’ work. And I’m so hard on myself that I often don’t get very far, or I’m so completely unmotivated by the fear of failing, that I don’t even try.

Well this is not the person I signed up to be! This has been a beautiful reminder that I can create work that isn’t perfect, the most important thing is that I’m creating, getting my hands dirty and giving it my all.

Thank you August! I am so grateful I got to experience such an incredible breadth of activities, pushed myself and made a lifelong dream of travelling for work, a reality. Dreams can come true! September, I’ve set the bar high so watch out!