These are a few of my favourite things: July 2020

Welcome to my birthday month! Yep, I think in 2020 I’m entitled to a birthday month, so here we are. What a rollercoaster of a time. I went for a little weekend away to Terrigal and Newcastle to visit my family, celebrated my birthday over a week or two, went for numerous sunrise swims and lost myself in a delightful book. This month was not without it’s downs. As some of you may already know, Soph and I are going our separate ways, so as you could imagine, it’s been an uncertain, emotional and challenging time. But as I sit here, soaking up the winter sun, looking forward to a casual beer or two tonight, I can only look to the future with optimism, positivity and hope. I mean, surely this year can’t get any worse? Right? (touch wood).

A Central Coast Adventure

Just before things took (another) turn for the worst, I was able to get away to Terrigal and Newcastle to spend a few days with friends and family. We were treated to some glorious weather and my sister even convinced me to head out and about for a swim. For a moment, I think I was even able to trick myself into thinking I was in France. Mum, Elly and I were window shopping through the streets of Terrigal when we stumbled upon a restaurant that was basically screaming at us to take a seat on their patio, order a bottle of wine and spend a few hours at. So we gave in to the pressure and did just that.

Wow! We had an absolutely glorious afternoon enjoying our wine, snacking on chippies and just chatting. Hello Euro-Summer vibes.

Then it was up to Newcastle where I set up my work from home station at Dad’s place. I caught up with one of my mates from high school to hear about his recent engagement(!) and enjoyed (suffered) some early morning runs (so early that it’s still pitch black outside).

A South Coast Adventure

I somehow picked the perfect weekend to go down to the South Coast for a little birthday getaway. With myself and 13 friends, we packed our cars (literally – jam packed them) and headed for Narrawallee. We booked an incredible Airbnb across the road from the beach. Filled with gin, beer, champagne, sunrise swims and way too much laughter, I had THE BEST TIME! What a way to bring in 26! (and yes can you believe it? I’m freaking 26 y’all!)

I even mysteriously woke up without a hangover! Hello maturity. But in all seriousness, I am so grateful for the people who made my birthday so special. The people who make me laugh so much until it hurts, the people who I haven’t seen in years and the people I live with. My friends are seriously out of this world and I’m so grateful to all of you – near and far – who make me feel loved each and every day.

Birthday shenanigans

What is a birthday without a few shenanigans. As I mentioned, my birthday consists of a whole month. So here are some pics of some good times shared with friends.

Quick aside – how frickin cool is my pearl satin shirt? I totally splurged to treat myself for my birthday and I seriously have no regrets at all!

Books

A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towls
So in my mission to read books from around the world, I picked out this not so little beast. At a mighty 450 pages, this is well above my usual 300 page novel, but wow was it easy to rip through it. The writing is like nothing I’ve ever read. It’s mischevious, it’s poetic, it’s witty and it’s observant. By observant, I mean you are taken into the thoughts and perspectives of ‘the Count,’ a Russian aristocrat who is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol hotel in Moscow. If he steps foot outside, he will be shot. Spanning decades, this historical fiction takes you through the inner workings of the Count in a deeply personal and hilarious way. Would absolutely recommend if you want to feel as though you’ve made a best friend at the Metropol hotel.

Gentleman in Moscow Book Club Questions: 10 Questions That Are ...

Tunes

Total eclipse of the heart, Bonnie Tyler
Not exactly a new release but it certainly has been on repeat for the past few weeks! How flipping good is this song?! Such a great way to let out all those emotions by belting out a banger. On another note – 80s power ballads are such a vibe and are absolutely essential during a rough emotional time.

Folklore, Taylor Swift
Yes I am a basic bitch and totally lost it when I hear the new Taylor Swift album was dropping. What an indie, heartbreak, chill album it is. I’m considering it like an additional birthday gift from Taylor to me!

Flicks

Before Sunrise series
Before sunrise is one of my FAVOURITE movies ever! The series starts in 1994 when Celine and Jessie meet on a train in Europe. Celine is heading back to Paris, and Jessie is jumping off the train in Vienna before flying back to the US. Taking a chance, Jessie asks Celine to get off the train with him and so begins one of the most whimsical love stories I’ve ever consumed. We smashed through watching the series (set 10 years apart from eachother) and each time I watch it I get something new out of it. The dialogue feels completely organic and unscripted and it just makes me fall in love with storytelling, connection and wander.

Traveling Scene to Scene in the Streets of Vienna, Before Sunrise ...

The Girl In The Fog
If you’re ever looking for an interesting and left of centre movie, check out SBS On Demand! They have such an amazing selection, especially of foreign films. One day while searching for a movie, I cam across The Girl in the Fog – an Italian movie. I have to admit, I usually lean towards French films so I decided to go crazy and test out this Italian one. Wow. It’s a slow burn but it really got me thinking and I was really invested in the cinematography – plus was trying to figure out what happened to the teenager who went missing in a small village in the north of Italy.

Bloggers, podders and vloggers

The High Low
I’ve been loving this podcast so much! I’ve been tuning in and out for several months, but an episode that talked about the Greenland Shark absolutely won me over (I’d highly recommend looking up the Greenland Shark – it’s awesome and groww). Hosted by Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes, they chat about the highs and lows of life, pop culture and news. Firstly, I flippin love their accents. I am completely engrossed when they speak and I forget to listen to what they’re actually saying. But most importantly I love their perspectives, their vocabulary, the breadth of the content they consume and talk about and the issues they raise. Ah! I just love it!

Say Hello to The High Low | Papier

Product

My Mum absolutely spoiled me for my birthday and she treated me to this Sunday Rile C.E.O Glow Vitamin C + Tumeric Face Oil. Wow hello luxury! I’ve been experimenting with Vitamin C serums lately and I love them! They leave your skin feeling so dewy, glowy and honestly, fucking radiant. This face oil is next level though. It sits well under makeup, it smells delicious and feels incredible on your face!

If you’re looking to treat someone to something fancy, I would add this one to your basket.

Sunday Riley C.E.O Glow Vitamin C + Turmeric Face Oil

While this month certainly has been bittersweet, it sure was good. I’m truly grateful for all that I have and the people I have around me. Sure, I’m scared, confused and I’ve never been so unsure of uncertain about the future (thanks COVID) but maybe this is the fresh start, the new leaf I needed to challenge me to dig deep, keep growing and get shit done.

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!

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📝 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!

My 24th Birthday in Photos

My Birthday. 19th July

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My birthday party. 20th July

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My birthday weekend away. 21st July

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Thank you so much to everyone who wished me a happy birthday and helped me celebrate in style! I’m beyond lucky to have such incredibly inspiring, caring, kind, gorgeous and silly friends and family! Cheers to the next solar year!

 

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!

 

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: SEPTEMBER

Ok 2015. You can slow down now. But seriously, how quickly has this year flown? Well I guess if it’s just going to keep on flying by, it’s important to have a quick look back on the month that was September 2015!

I’m on a BUS!!! Not sure if anything else can ever beat this one! One minute I’m on a flyer at uni, next minute… a bus! Move over Carrie Bradshaw! I’m coming for you!

Representing UOW on  a BUS!!! Carrie Bradshaw style!
Representing UOW on a BUS!!! Carrie Bradshaw style!

Welcoming Spring with a Sunrise swim. I love the fact that this is a thing! Starting a new season on the right foot by getting up early and watching the sunrise from the ocean! And if you’re with friends, it makes the freezing cold sand almost bearable!

Worth the 5:30am wake up
Worth the 5:30am wake up

Volunteering with OXFAM. For the next few months, I’m lucky enough to be involved with Oxfam, campaigning against Climate Change in support of food security and sustainable development. I’m really excited to be given such an amazing opportunity like this to become more engaged in the community and make a real difference to the world.

Hit Record TV. Firstly, i’s got Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Secondly, Joseph Gordon-Levitt! But seriously this show is soooooooo good! If you love music, art, creativity and just all round amazingness… then this is the show for you!

Glamping on the South Coast. Ok so we were planning on going camping and then we stayed at a friends holiday house so I’m going to call it glamping. It was such an awesome weekend, spending time at the beach, playing drinking games and just spending some great time with some great people!

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ASLA’s S4S Leadership Conference. I was lucky enough to attend a National Leadership conference at the University of Wollongong. I had the best weekend meeting people from all over the country, focusing on what we’re passionate about and what purpose we have. It was absolutely awesome to meet such inspiring people and really focus on what it means to be a leader.

At the S4S Conference doing our army leadership rotations.
At the S4S Conference doing our army leadership rotations.

Just generally enjoying time with great friends. This month I’ve just been so grateful for all of the wonderful people I’ve met and who are in my life right now. Whether it’s watching the Bachelorette, drinking coffee, going crazy in a study room, ordering pizza and just being there for a hug, you’re all amazing and I’m so grateful for all of your support and love.

Some of my fab friends
Some of my fab friends

Well I hope you had a fabulous September and I hope October is splendid.