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!

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: SEPTEMBER 2019

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

🏃 Blackmores Bridge Run

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

🏠 Home

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

💪Standing up for myself (without the guilt)

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

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

🎥 Flicks

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

📚 Books

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

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📷 Bloggers, vloggers and podders

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

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

🎵Tunes

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

❤️ Product

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

📝 Quote

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

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

These Are A Few of My Favourite Things: FEBRUARY 2018

For the shortest month of the year, February sure did deliver a lot. I think I can positively say that this month has been the most tumultuous and testing month of my life. And it seems like it wasn’t just for me but a lot of people in my life. In the 4 weeks that were February I found myself single again, moved houses, have experienced incredible stress around our previous tenancy and landlord, found out more about myself than I ever thought and been offered a new job. Maybe chaos attracts chaos. But one thing I do know is that strength attracts strength and I sure have been inspired and motivated by all of the wonderful people around me. The people who have helped lift me up, push me out of my comfort zone and help me find strength in some pretty challenging times, and it is these people I am eternally grateful for. Alas, February is over and finally a much awaited March arrives.

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💃🏿 Bangarra Dance Company

I guess you could call it Christmas in February, because for Christmas I bought Mum tickets to see Bangarra Dance Company’s show at the Newcastle Civic Theatre. It was such a gorgeous performance and I was absolutely in awe. Wow! I cannot recommend seeing them enough! Thanks Mum for being the ultimate date to the theatre!

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🎨Museum of Contemporary Art

So I finally made it to the MCA’s incredible exhibition by Pipilotti Rist’s ‘Sip my Ocean.’ I had seen several Instagrammers check out this exhibition and damn their photos were incredible…. so I wanted to check it out for myself! Chloe and I headed to Sydney dressed to the 9’s and damn it did not disappoint! It was an incredible experience of light and sound! Plus we got several pretty awesome Instagrams so I’m pretty content.

🎹 RAD Bar

For those of you who don’t know… RAD is (as the name implies) a super rad bar in Wollongong that is home to some incredibly live music. Showcasing local and incredible acts, I constantly forget how awesome RAD is!

💕 Date Night

No matter how rough and tough, or exciting and wild life gets, it’s so important to take a breather and catch up with the people around you that you love. I had a little date night with Chantelle, and it felt so great to go out and just spend some quality time together. I also spent Valentines day with the one and only Miss Tishia! We ate way too much food together and hatched our plan to take over the world. Watch out friends, date night is coming to a night near you.

 

📷 Polaroid Camera

For Christmas I was spoilt and my sister bought me a polaroid camera. And I wasn’t sure how much I would use it, but surprise surprise, I love taking photos and this is no exception. These are just some of the pics that I’ve snapped and I absolutely love it! I think my favourite thing is my reaction when I photo turns out well!

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🎶Tunes

Steele Syndicate. I was lucky enough to randomly catch these guys at RAD bar this month and DAMN I have not danced so much! Their vibe is so funky and uplifting! Add a few beers and you my friend, have a good night filled with dancing and good times ahead of you.

Odette. OMG this song! I’ve heard it so many times on Triple J but I never picked up on who the angel behind it was! Finally I’ve tracked her down and wow she’s amazing! Her other work is amazing and she is definitely one to keep on your radar!

 

Vallis Alps

These guys!!! Her vocals are so astounding and the beat has wicked good vibes! I’ve been listening to this EP on my way to work and I assure you I’ve been arriving in a great mood! Get around it!

🎥 Flicks

Breakfast at Tiffany’s 

Audrey Hepburn you mega babe! There’s nothing quite like re-watching an old classic with some amazing company. Whilst I must admit I get quite lost and caught up in the plot, it’s so joyful to be whisked away back in time to the golden ages. This movie is a constant reminder to keep it classy but just a little nasty.

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📚 Books

Chapter One by Daniel Flynn. So there’s this company called Thankyou. I’m sure you may be familiar with it. They’re basically a social enterprise where money goes directly towards a project in another country. You may know Thankyou water. When you buy a bottle of water, proceeds go towards providing clean water to a community in Vientam for example. This book is the business behind it and I must admit is it very captivating, interesting and inspiring. Whilst I have some pretty big critiques of the company and the execution of their mission, the one thing that cannot be faulted is their determination to get in there, be taken seriously and make a difference. It’s an easy read and for anyone interested in start ups, business and development, then this one is for you!

The world doesn’t need another book, it needs an idea.

You can find out more information here. 

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📷 Bloggers and Vloggers

Bryce + Hailey

Uh what is it with cute couples and YouTube?! There’s something about these two that are so adorable that I can’t help but fall in love with their videos! Their style is funky as and they seem like the sweetest most genuine humans. I particularly loved their video from around Europe so make sure to give these guys some love.

📝 Quote

So as you can imagine, this month was a little rough. It’s OK, I’m OK and I know that everything is going to be OK. But it takes time to come to that realisation. Not even the realisation, but to truly feel and believe it. It’s too easy to convince yourself that you’re alright when you’re not, and (sadly) too easy to fake a smile. What is difficult is acknowledging you’re lost, confused, sad, lonely, optimistic, excited, relieved…. confronting those feelings is difficult. But once you do, and choose to surround yourself with people who are ‘loving, nourishing, kind and authentic,’ you’ll realise how amazing you are and how much you deserve!

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I can honestly say that I feel like a stronger person now that the month from hell is over! With each ending comes new beginnings, some in the most unlikely of places. March, I am excited for everything to come, I’m committing to working hard and playing even harder… just please be kind. I’d really appreciate it.

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: AUGUST 2017

August, damn girl you hit me full speed! Where did you come and go? This month has been absolutely hectic. Uni has well and truly kicked in, I’ve been working like crazy, and had my weekends booked out all month! It’s kinda terrifying as we head into September… before we know it I’ll be graduating! WTF?! But for the time being, let’s have a look at what August has delivered.

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🇧🇷 Andre!

My amazing Brazilian friend Andre came to visit for a few days. I met Andre 6 years ago, way back when we were in year 11 Earth and Environmental Science class! I remember being completed amazed that he was from Brazil… the other side of the world! As good friends do, we kept in touch, skyped from time to time, and when it came to him planning his trip back to Australia, of course he had to come and visit the beautiful gong! Next time I see you Andre, it’ll be in Brazil I promise!

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HELLOOO ANDRE

🎤 The Last Frost

Wollongong has been delivering the goods lately when it comes to gigs. And this month it held an awesome little festival featuring Violent Soho! So for those of you who know me, they’re one of my fave bands ever and this was the 4th time I’ve seen them. It was so so so much fun! That was until my boyfriend Mitch got whacked across the head with a flying chair (yep – there’s flying chairs in a Violent Soho mosh pit) (and yep, I have a bf, that’s a new thing. But more on that later). Regardless of the blood, sweat and tears (literally), it was an awesome night!

 

 

 

 

🏆 Fitness

I’ve been trying to keep up with my friend Dylan, and have been rock climbing from time to time. As you can clearly see, I’ve got huge guns and am therefore an expert rock climber (hahahaha nervous laugh….).

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This month I also survived the CITY 2 SURF! Considering I did absolutely zero training, I’m pretty proud of my efforts. I ran with my friend Chloe (though she sped ahead Lightning McQueen style) and with my dad and sister. It was such a fun day! This is the second one I’ve done and can honestly say (hopefully) that next year I’ll actually train for it! I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in fitness/wants to enjoy a nice day out in Sydney!

 

 

 

 

🌸 Grounds of Alexandria

Really? Need I say more….

 

 

 

 

🌅 Watching the sun rise

One of the perks of having your boyfriend wake up at 5am everyday (yep, this boyfriend thing is pretty great), is that you’re up and starting your day before the sun has even had a chance to rise. Which means over the past month I’ve seen some pretty beautiful sunrises. I’ve always wanted to be a morning person… much to the disbelief of my Mum… but I think I may be getting there. Just check out these 3 beautiful sunrises I saw this month! Watch this space for more!

 

 

 

 

🎶 Tunes

Tired Lion – Fresh. I first heard this song on Triple J and I desperately tried to Shazam it. Luckily for me, this song is such a great one, that it’s been played multiple times as of late and I’m absolutely in love! They’re kick ass and I have had this song on repeat!

Meg Mac – Low Blows. With the release of her new album and an upcoming Australian tour (which I have tickets for – eep!!!), I’ve been freakin loving Meg Mac! She’s got such an amazing voice and her sound is so unique and fabulous.

Nicky Jam – Hasta el amancer. Because it’s winter and I’m soooo over this cold weather, I’ve been reliving my Central American vibes by listening to Nicky Jam. What tunes he has! Honestly if you want a pick me up and

🎥 Flicks

So I just got Stan (an Australian version of Netflix) and ooh la la there’s some pretty great shows! And one of them is Younger. Um hello Hilary Duff is in this show!! But it’s actually a super cute and funky show that is perfect watching for those of you who have been looking for the modern version of Sex and the City.

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The Other Guy is another show on Stan and it’s some of the best TV I’ve EVER SEEN! If you’re a young Australian, this show will actually make you laugh out loud it’s tragically hilarious.

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📷 Bloggers and Vloggers

My blogger friend Journal by Assia has been producing the goods on her blog. Some of my favourite posts have been from Bulgaria and at the moment she’s in Palestine and I cannot wait to see her content from her travels there.

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📗Books

Bad News – Anjan Sundaram

I borrowed this book from my friend that studies Journalism and damn this book in incredible. It’s about dying journalism in Rwanda, a country that to the Western World, is seen as progressive country. It highlights the incredible importance of free press and high quality journalists to hold governments accountable.

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📝 Quote

This month I’ve really been trying to focus on the positive in life. It’s so easy to get caught up in drama, in negativity and in stuff that just adds pressure, stress and shit to your life. Of course life sometimes gives you a shit hand, but your attitude is a powerful thing you can control. Once you decide to be happy, you will notice that other negative parts of your life tend to slip away and you’ll feel more free and fabulous enough you’ll wanna shake yo booty everywhere.

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Well I have absolutely zero idea where this month disappeared to, and before you know it, I’ll be recapping on the entire year! It’s been a whirlwind and looking at my diary, September won’t be any different! Peace and love.

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: JUNE 2017

What a freakin whirlwind of a month! I started stressed out of my mind about submitting my final project for the semester at uni, and now I’m en route to Mexico City. And the craziest thing is that this time last year, June was the epic month where I jet setted across to Europe about to commence my French program in La Rochelle. I remember feeling super excited but equally nervous. And I think that’s how I’m feeling right about now, sitting in Cancun airport with an overpriced salad and burnt coffee. But before I get too ahead of myself, let’s throwback to the epic adventures had this month!

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💕 Friends

What’s a month without some epic memories with some amazing friends of mine. Everything from house parties, gigs, dinners, library study seshes, and even my friend Max visiting all the way from Montreal! I especially loved going to my friend Pete’s gig at Rad bar (plz don’t forget me when you’re famous) and going out in Sydney with my besties and family before jetting off. I’m so lucky to have such amazing friends who show me such kindness and support and I’m always grateful to have them in my life so huge shout out to y’all.

❤️Family

Mum you get a special shout out here because I’ll always be grateful that you come to the airport with me at 6am just to make sure I’m all checked in and to give me one last hug and kiss goodbye. It’s probably the sweetest thing ever and one of the many reasons I love you.

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🎆 VIVID

My favourite time of year in Sydney! Winter’s finally kicked in which means boots, coats, scarves and the need to galavant around Sydney Harbour. I actually didn’t take my camera so you’ll have to settle for this iPhone shot of the Opera House, but I had such an amazing time taking in all of the beautiful lights of this city.

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🇺🇸LA

Woo! Back in LA baby! Words really can’t describe how happy I was to be back in LA. Despite horrible jet lag and forgetting my PJ’s (how do I always forget my pyjamas!?), it was amazing to be back in some sunshine and back in Santa Monica. I went into full holiday mode – taking myself out to lunch, long walks on the beach, shopping at Brandy Melville (yay!) and catching up with friends, it’s easy to see how this place is loved by so many.

🇬🇹 🇧🇿 🇲🇽 Central America

Now this is where the whirlwind starts… 17 days of exploring, drinking, hiking, jumping off of waterfalls, 10 hour long travel days, going to a rave in an empty swimming pool, sailing in the Carribean sea, swimming with sharks, countless boats, eating so many tacos, getting sick, staying with a Mayan family, learning Spanish, meeting the most amazing people, swimming with turtles (I’m in love with those turtles), and getting the most sunburnt ass I’ve ever had….. doing the Mayan Sun tour with G Adventures from Guatemala, through Belize and to Mexico has definitely been one of the best experiences of my life. I felt challenged, inspired, motivated, educated and a little slimmer because of getting sick, but I honestly wouldn’t change a thing about it (except maybe the sickness part). Watch this space for more posts about the specifics of the trip!

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My amazing German roomie on the G Adventures trip! #iminlovewiththoseturtles

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Our awesome G Adventures crew in Antigua

🎥 Flicks

Moonlight. The best thing about long plane rides, is that you get to watch a fair few movies. And when I saw this on the list I couldn’t press play fast enough. After winning best picture, damn I was so intrigued. It’s an absolutely beautiful film with some honest, raw and incredible scenes that really stick.

Lion. Note to self – when watching this on the plane – prepare the tissues! Dev Patel is absolutely outstanding and this incredible true story will have you in tears and filled with love. Honestly can’t recommend enough!

What If. Daniel Radcliff is slowly stripping away his Harry Potter label and I’m loving it! This film literally had me laughing out loud, cringing and just really enjoying this cute, artistic and creative film.

🎶 Tunes

MØ – Nights With You. Ah I’ve literally had this on repeat and I’m addicted. It’s just so damn catchy and I can never get it out of my head!

Chronixx – Here Comes Trouble. This song just takes me right back to Belize…. enough said.

📷 Bloggers & Vloggers

I really haven’t been watching many vloggers lately! GASP! But the one guy that I keep going back to, and keep absolutely freakin loving… is my man, Logan Paul. So here’s a cute photo of him that I’m in love with…. ah.

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@LoganPaul

📝 Quote

Again, because this month has been so hectic and so fast paced, I haven’t exactly had a quote or motto to get me through. I was just taking it one day at a time and doing the best I could with it. When we were travelling around Central America, a lot of the time we didn’t have access to wifi, or functional wifi so I never took my phone out with me. And as ridiculous as it sounds, it was so refreshing turning off.

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So… that’s done. I can’t believe how quickly this month flew by. And I’m afraid July is going to do the exact same thing! I’m so incredibly grateful for the incredible experiences I’ve had, especially in Central America with the special memories created. This July, I’ll be spending 4 weeks in Mexico City studying Immigration, Human Rights and Mexican Society. It’s an AIM Overseas course (and if you remember correctly, I studied in La Rochelle with AIM – so you already know how amazing their programs are and you can certainly expect lots of blogs and posts from Cuidad de México!

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

Travel Anxiety #KeepingItReal

Travel is scary, nerve racking and gives you ridiculous amounts of anxiety. These are probably not the first thoughts that come to mind when you think of travelling the world. We are completely saturated by images of beautiful people standing in front of beautiful sites in beautiful places. Despite the carefree looks on their faces, I can assure you each and every person who’s journeyed overseas has felt some sort of travel anxiety.

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I consider myself pretty adventurous and I’ve been lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel before. Despite this, as I was in the uber on the way to the airport with my Mum this morning, I didn’t quite know if I needed to sing with joy or vomit. It’s a fine line really and I’m still not quite sure what I needed to do, but I’m glad I didn’t throw up in the taxi.

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I think it’s only natural to feel this way. I’m heading off on a 6+ month adventure. Goodbye friends, family and the familiar. It’s even harder when the past few weeks with your friends and family have been among the most exciting and fun weeks you’ve had in a long time. I guess this is what travel is all about, creating new memories and forever expanding your ‘familiar’

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Plus, the date completely crept up on me. How the hell is it actually the end of June?! I booked my adventure at the end of January. Way back when June felt like a life time away. I guess I’ve always had something to distract me and keep me busy. Uni does a pretty good job at that. I finished uni at the beginning of June and suddenly, I’m packing my bag and heading to the airport about to vomit in an uber.

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That anxiety is kind of put to rest when your Mum is snapping photos of you on her phone as you wave goodbye in departures…. (I love it). But then you’re wacked in the face with passport checks and security screenings. Next thing you know you’re barefoot and trying not to look suspicious so you end up looking suspicious af. Then you need to find your gate and my god it’s easy to get lost in an airport!

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That anxiety is then put to rest again when you see two of your friends at the airport both embarking on their own adventures as well. Both equally as nervous, excited and ahhhhhhhh as you.

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Then there’s the added anxiety of landing somewhere completely unknown… somewhere like Manila for example. Having no idea how to get to your hotel, how much money you should be spending on taxis plus the added nerves of reading horror stories of tourists experiences in Manila… it’s pretty damn overwhelming.

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not complaining. I’m just sharing that feeling of butterflies/needing to throw up that we all experience at some point in our travel journeys. It’s totally normal and totally real. Just remember to take a deep breath, have a drink of water and think about all the amazing things you’re about to experience. It will totally be worth it. That travel anxiety will quickly be replaced with travel excitement and adventure. 

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When you get upgraded to Business Class, it definitely helps with those pre flight nerves!

Mardi Gras 2016: Glitz, Glamour and Glitter

“We cannot all succeed, when half of us are held back.” ~ Malala Yousafzai 

Mardi Gras 2016. What a magical day and night! After the amazing fun I had last year – I wasn’t sure that I could top it again this year. (You can read about my experience here). But lone and behold, 2016 delivered! It was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time! I dressed up as a pirate, complete with fishnet stocking, frizzed hair and glitter galore. We went to Sydney in a massive group and it was so great to spend time with some amazing people.

The amount of acceptance, love and joy shown at Mardi Gras exemplifies the absolute urgent need for equality. This is not a political, religious or moral issue. It is about love. Self love, loving others and accepting and respecting the love that others share. Australia, let’s stop being a international embarrassment. How are we supposed to grow as a nation when we can’t even grant a human need like love to all.

So I thought the best way to show you all of the love felt is to show you some of our bedazzled photos!

Happy Mardi Gras!

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Happy Mardi Gras!

Sculptures by the Sea

You know when you have those weekends when you know you just need a change of scenery? Well what better scenery to immerse yourself in, than Bondi Beach’s Sculptures by the Sea. This is a beautifully unique ‘art gallery’ which has gorgeous sculptures dotted along the coastal walk from Bondi to Tamarama. Even without the gorgeous sculptures, the coastal walk is stunning, but the way of incorporating art into this magnificent landscape is purely stunning.

I already CANNOT wait until it’s back in 2016!

Have you been to Sculptures by the Sea? What was your favourite sculpture? Let me know in the comments below!

Running the City2Surf

Fitness and sports has never really been my thing. I love and value being fit and healthy, but my GAP year in London somewhat destroyed any ‘fitness’ I had. And then I came to uni and decided I needed to get back into it. I started playing netball, joined the gym and did yoga classes at least once a week. And then in August last year, my Dad (who’s in his 50’s) ran the City 2 Surf. And this was the point where I decided that I would add this 14km run from St. Mary’s cathedral in the city, to beauitful Bondi beach with UOW.

The determination is real
The determination is real

And today… I did it! Honestly, my only goal was to finish without dying. I was lucky enough to race with one of my friends, Liam. It was a beautiful sunny day, the atmosphere was incredible and there’s nothing quite like that burning feeling in every muscle as you stumble towards the finish line. So, here’s some of the thoughts, feelings and words of advice that I’ve come up with/I experienced whilst running (beware, when I was approaching 9kms, I was getting pretty delusional).

Beautiful Bondi
Beautiful Bondi

Have a running buddy. I ran with one of my friends Liam, and I’d definitley recommend it because they push you along when you feel like you can’t take one more step.

Thinking to myself *this is the longest kilometre ever* Enough said.

Motivation, inspiration and determination is a magical thing. I didn’t know I was capable of running 14kms in one go (OK so I walked some of it, but you get my gist). The music that’s pumping from DJ decks, the people cheering, clapping and shouting you on, the amazing sign that said ‘run like Channing Tatum is at the finish line…’ It pushes you beyond any physical boundaries. And it made me realise the true power the mind possesses and how important it is to believe you can do it.

At the finish line soaking up some sunshine
At the finish line soaking up some sunshine

Train, train, train… This was probably my biggest problem. I’m great at procrastinating and managed to make up 101 reasons why I didn’t need to go running after work, or uni, or whatever else I was doing. Definitely make sure you work on your stamina and your core strength. It will make it a lot easier I assure you.

Make sure you arrange a specific point to meet people afterwards. I was lucky that I ran with my friend, but when I tried to meet my Dad last year, my gosh it’s merely impossible!

Make a good running playlist. When the music isn’t blasting from onlooking houses, make sure your running playlist is on point. You want bangerz to keep you pushing through the pain. Any song that would be played at retro night will get you in the mood.

Liam and I finished the race
Liam and I finished the race

But the most important thing is to make sure you have fun. It’s a rare chance you get to run through the main streets of Sydney with 80 000 other people. I know it sounds cheesy, but it really inspires you to train more, push harder and make the most out of every opportunity life throws at you.

xxx A