These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: APRIL 2021

So somehow it’s May… when did that happen?! I think I lost track of time between long weekends, stressful work days and smashing some personal bests with my running. This month I’ve been really proud of the way I’ve been able to step up and take initiative and stand up for myself. I’ve been having a pretty challenging time at work, adjusting to a new workplace culture, new management style and a new role (all in a new city). I’m super grateful for my incredibly kind and supportive colleagues, but I’ve certainly been questioning my capabilities which has taken a toll on my confidence. It’s hard not to spiral when your confidence falls, questioning why you’ve made these decisions and questioning where you’ve ended up.

I’ve been really grateful for the incredibly supportive people who have reminded me of who I am, what I contribute and how I am valued. While it may sound like a cry for validation, positive reinforcement, it’s so much more than that. It has meant the world being able to reconnect to my values, my skills, my experiences and what makes me special. I am special and so are you – if anyone makes you feel like you’re not special, you’ve really got to consider whether you need that person in your life or not.

While the past few weeks have certainly been challenging, I’ve dug deep, been brave and stepped up so that I can get through these challenging times. I feel like I’ve grown an exponential amount, being able to communicate clearly and confidently to attempt to resolve conflict, while also making the concious effort to not take certain things on, because it doesn’t fill my cup.

At the end of the day, there will always be people out there who do not want the best for you, question your intentions and attempt to bring you down. As the beautiful Michelle Obama said, when they go low, we go high. So higher and higher I will strive to continue to fly.

Easter adventures

Hands down one of the best things about April is the number of public holidays we’re able to squeeze into the month! So over the glorious Easter long weekend, John and I headed up to Port Stephens to enjoy some sunshine and celebrate my Mum’s birthday! It’s always nice going home and even nicer to celebrate such a special and beautiful woman like my Mum.

Some of John’s friends joined us at Murray’s Brewery for a much needed beverage in the sun and we spend the evening on the balcony eating cheese and drinking beer. On Sunday we were treated to some glorious weather and we went exploring to our secret island, and honestly is there anything better than jumping off a rock into the water? I love love loved it and love brining people to enjoy the beauty of Port Stephens.

After our weekend in Port Stephens we headed to Sydney to spend time with John’s family. We headed to Manly for lunch and soaked up the beautiful vibes of being by the beach. It was such a lovely day out spent with John’s family – I even got a few cuddles from little baby Jack!

Yours & Owls

The festival we never thought would happen finally happened! Scheduled for October of 2020, I think I bought tickets over a year ago and with all of the cancelling and rescheduling, I’d considered my ticket a donation to Yours & Owls. Despite countless challenges, the legends at Y&O managed to pull off NSW’s first COVID-safe festival and boy oh boy was it great! Two days of back to back bangers was so much fun! Big shout out to Elly for letting us have pres on your front balcony. I had my first chip on a stick (I don’t know what I’ve been doing with my life) and we boogied away to Lime Cordiale, Smith Street Band, Hayden James, Tones and I and Slowly Slowly – oh and Blue was obviously the superior section!

ANZAC Day long weekend

And another long weekend rolled around. ANZAC Day is always a special day in our family, not only with Isaac currently serving but with a lot of family members having served. Our family came down to Canberra so we could go and watch Isaac march out in Captain’s Flat. It was so lovely to have everyone over – including my beautiful Grandma – for brekky and dinner. Then I discovered my new favourite pub, the Old Canberra Inn. We headed there (with a bit of an embarrassing detour of my behalf) to play two up, eat some schnitty and down some pints! An absolutely epic long weekend and I couldn’t be more grateful for my family for coming together and enjoying eachothers company.

Celebrating our 30th

While I’m not quite 30 myself, the organisation I work for celebrated its 30th birthday! I was respsonbile for pulling off our 30th birthday (which, if I say so myself – went pretty damn well!). It’s always hard starting a new job, let alone being handed the responsibiltiy of delivering a milestone event. While it was certainly a bit of a whirlwind, I’m so proud that I not only pulled it off, I kinda nailed it! Shoutout to my awesome colleagues who got me across the line and helped me make the magic happen.

Colours of Autumn

Just thought I’d share some of these gorgeous photos of the beach, the river, the lake and the trees I’ve been soaking in. Isn’t Autumn just the best?!

Flicks

The Serpent
You know that I’ve been loving shows that satisfy the travel bug within me. The Serpent certainly does that (but in a bit of a messed up way). It’s a bit of a slow burn but absolutely worth it! It’s an epic show based on the true story of a French serial killer throughout the ‘hippie highway’ in the 70s. 110% recommend!

A Fantastic Woman
I bit the bullet and tried out my first bath in my new place – despite the lukewarm water (seems we’re having some hot water issues… not ok as we are about to enter winter!), I lit a candle and set up with my laptop to watch this gorgeous movie soaked in bubbles. This took a turn I really wan’t expecting and thought was beautiful and heart wrenching. It tells the story of a trans woman who experiences severe isolation after the passing of her secret boyfriend in Chile. It’s in Spanish but hey – I think you’re brave enough to overcome the subtitles for this incredible film.

Tunes

deja vu, Olivia Rodrigo
Yep, basic bitch status has been achieved. But seriously Olivia girl who hurt you?! At such a young age she is absolutely killing it and producing absolute bangers. I’ve had her songs on repeat and believe she’s about to release an album… she’s certainly on my radar!

R U High, The Knocks and Mallrat
I have had this banger on repeat. Such a good tune to listen when you’re on your way home from work on a Friday and getting pumped for those after work drinks!

Books

What Alice Forgot, Liane Moriaty
So I was a bit slack on reading this month (oops) and I think it’s because I got stuck on this book. For 400 pages it just didn’t really do it for me. Nonetheless, I persevered. It was nice. That’s all I really have to say. I’ve got some much better books on my to read pile, so check in next month for those updates.

What Alice Forgot eBook: Moriarty, Liane: Amazon.com.au: Kindle Store

We Are All Burnt Out, The Cut

I have been recommending this episode of the Cut to everyone and anyone who will listen. I was listening to this episode on a drive up to Sydney and I honestly felt like it was specifically addressed to me. It is a MUST listen. It talks about identify and who we are when we place so much value on what we do (our jobs), how toxic workplace culture can affect you and why it’s so important to have things outside of your job that spark joy!

Product

It’s actually an oldie but I’ve never had so much appreciation for it – my Garmin watch! Ever since getting it I’ve been getting super into my running and think that I can finally call myself a runner. My goal this year is to run a half marathon (21.1km) and this month I smashed my longest run of 10kms! Despite the below zero mornings, I’ve been dragging myself out of bed to run to the lake and get my heart rate up and get sweaty. I’ve also beat my parkrun 5km PB and I’m nearly at my goal of doing it in under 30 minutes.

Might be a strange one, and also may not be entirely because of my watch, but I’m so proud of myself for pushing myself and really dedicating the time to improving my style, strength and endurance. So Garmin if you’re reading, I’m happy to be sponsored by you!

I picked up my Garmin from Rebel when it was 50% off so keep an eye on their website for some pretty awesome deals!

Forerunner® 735XT

Well, April what a month you were. I feel stronger, professionally, mentally and physically, and I’ve never felt more connected to the people in my life who matter the most. The next month is pretty full on with LITERALLY every weekend booked out for the month. But hey, I’m going to take it slow, take time for myself and take it easy.

I hope May is kind to you, I hope you’re kind to yourself and remember to make some time for fun and joy!

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: NOVEMBER 2020

Can you believe it’s December?! We made it! Who would have thought we would finally be graced by the good vibes of Summer kicking in, daylight savings, and that sweet taste of optimism as 2021 approaches. November was an absolutely awesome month! With weekends filling up, people wanting to get out and about and the good vibes rolling in, I’ve been feeling like one of the best versions of myself. Surrounded by friends, family, getting outdoors, getting sweaty, I’ve been trying to enjoy everything as much as I possibly can – what else is life for?

On the 1st of December (yes I know this is a November favourites post but bear with me), I got two tattoos. I had been wanting some new tattoos for a long time now and had been putting it off for my next overseas adventure (I’ve got both of my other tattoos overseas – Ireland and Mexico – and was looking forward to adding Mongolia to that list). Suddenly three years had passed since my last one waiting for the right time, the right moment and the right adventure. I realised I don’t want to wait for this perfect situation to arise because as it currently stands, we won’t be jet setting anytime soon. And I guess this translates into so much more, why wait or delay what you really want? Perfection and the ‘right time’ may never come. So I took this as a sign to be proactive and chase what I want, create and control what I can. Which took me to a tattoo shop in Corrimal with my (amazing) boss where we got inked up.

I got a beautiful little swallow on my arm and the French word ‘insouciante.’ I absolutely love them and as I sit here typing, looking after them to make sure they heal properly, it’s a nice reminder that we have the power to take steps to create the life we want each and everyday. It starts with an idea so follow through, make that inquiry, ask questions, figure out what you want and run with it. I don’t want to waste my time waiting for my dream life, dream tattoo, dream [insert anything you want here]. Life is messy, unplanned and we’re all just winging it – now I’ve got some beautiful wings on my arm to remind me to take off and chase it.

Before we launch into the festivities of December, let’s have a look back at the month that was November.

Blue Mountains

Another month and another adventure to the beautiful Blue Mountains. With so many incredible hikes and adventures on its doorstep, each visit makes you feel like you’re entering a new world. This time we went adventuring down Wentworth Falls, complete with an icy swim at the bottom (I have literally never been colder in my life – be prepared). It’s always a joy spending some time away, especially with my sister and Dad. We survived the Valley of the Leeches (be careful if you decide to hike after a storm and everything is wet) and our legs were only half dead from the dreaded stairs!

Ocean Alley – the return of the gig

Sweet jesus, hallelujah! Gigs are back baby and what better way to ease back into it than to see Ocean Alley with my bestie Tish. While I may have completely sprung it on her, we had the best freakin time! Despite the sitting down and buying an ugly beer cooler (thanks Tish hehe), it was so incredibly amazing to see live music again. We both had a really profound moment of appreciation for all the gigs we’ve moshed around at prior to COVID, but also immense gratitude that we were able to actually go to a gig in 2020! Bring on more in 2021!

Shenanigans

Basically I just wanted to share these photos that make me so damn happy. I’m so fortunate to have such beautiful people in my life. This year certainly hasn’t been easy but it’s meant the world that I can be silly, be fun, be adventurous and have legends to share it with!

Bloggers, vloggers and podders

Stuff the British Stole
Marc Fennell can do no wrong and this podcast is no exception. If you’re a history nerd then this podcast is definitely for you. I know it’s a bold call with only two episodes out, but they are a great two episodes! I love that it makes you think about the British empire and the ‘contested history’ behind some of the most iconic artifacts now sitting in museums in the UK and around the world.

Music

Omar Apollo
Ooft hello Omar – thank you for bringing this beautiful album to my ears. While exploring Spotify I came across this album and dayum it is good. The perfect kind of album to listen to when you just want to chill out, feel a bit sexy and take it easy for the evening.

Clairo
And also, hello there Clairo, why has it taken me so long to fall in love with your music?! It’s the perfect chilled afternoon album when you’re tidying your room and makes you feel like the ultimate protagonist in the story of your life.

Tired Lion
As if I needed more good music this month, Tired Lion did a number on me and released this badass album. I’ve been playing their album when I’ve been going for my morning runs and it always motivates me to push harder and channel any negative emotion into my running. Singing this out loud will also just make you feel amazing!

Flicks

The Odyssey
If you’re looking for a cinematic French film then look no further. Based on the true story of Jacques Cousteau and his boat the Calypso, it tells the story of Jacques quest for adventure, exploration and money. Jacques invented the aqualung, whose invention took him to the depths of the ocean to explore a new world under the sea. It’s absolutely gorgeous and would highly recommend (there’s not too much dialogue so it’s not overwhelming in its French-ness). You can watch it on SBS On Demand.

Enola Holmes
If you’re looking for a light, adventurous, wholesome movie to watch then look no further. I absolutely loved this movie and thought Millie Bobby Brown was an absolute delight in this. I love a spin on a classic story, especially when it has a badass lead woman!

Season 4, The Crown
I have been waiting patiently for this season to come out and man can I tell you, it was certainly worth the wait. Like every other twenty-something, I’ve fallen in love with Princess Diana. I was also fascinated to learn more about Margaret Thatcher (of course, do your own research on the facts) and the way Gillian Andrews played her was so remarkable (your majesty). I loved the imagery of the Queen, Diana and Thatcher and thought they did a wonderful job and comparing and contrasting these dynamic women. Cannot wait for Season 5!

Books

No is not enough, by Naomi Klein
In the midst of the US Election, I felt compelled to find out how we got in this mess. I was drawn to Naomi’s book because of her incredible expertise and insight into climate change and policies, and brand superpower. The themes she touches on in this book are pretty incredible and paints a crystal clear image as to how Trump was elected in 2016. I may have been pessimistically trying to prepare myself for a world where his reign would continue but thank the lord Biden won. A fascinating look into capitalism, the climate crisis, the rise of brands and ‘super marketing,’ and how it intersects with 21st Century politics.

Naomi Klein | No is Not Enough

Believe Me, by JP Delaney
My sister has been raving on about this book for what feels like years, so I finally picked it up and read it. To her credit, it is actually quite interesting and certainly keeps you on your feet. I’m not usually drawn to suspenseful books so it’s not something I’d usually go for, but I’m glad my sister insisted. It was easy to read, had me questioning how it was going to turn out and I quite enjoyed it – thanks Elly!

Believe Me by JP Delaney - Books - Hachette Australia

The Coconut Children, by Vivian Pham
I’ve heard so much about this book and when I was looking for an Aussie fiction book to read I just couldn’t go past it. Set in Cabramatta, it tells the story of young Vietnamese-Australian teenagers navigating high school, family, relationships and culture. I absolutely loved it and would LOVE to see this turned into a Netflix miniseries! Plus Vivian Pham wrote this book while she was still at high school! THE TALENT!

The Coconut Children by Vivian Pham - Penguin Books Australia

Product

Fujifilm Instax Polaroid camera
Honestly this little beauty continues to deliver the goods. I know a lot of people seem to save it for special occasions but honestly, whip is out at your next dinner/drinks/walk/thing you’re doing, and snap some pics. They’re such a lovely way to capture a moment, share them with friends, and pop them on your wall. Can’t get enough and I can’t stop taking little snaps with this beauty!

Well November, what a month you’ve been. Let’s keep the good vibes going into December. Let’s go slow and calm, let’s seek joy and happiness, let go of the stress and anxiety and let December be the best month yet! I hope you all stay safe, happy and healthy over the festive period. Go easy on yourself, take the pressure off and just enjoy the end of the craziest year!

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: MAY 2019

What a month?! We were blessed with beautiful weather which kept everyone smiling and happy. In the last few days winter has well and truly arrived, and now we’re scrambling for our jumpers. It flew by in the blink of an eye, some wild nights were had, some delightful hikes were hiked and good times were enjoyed! Let’s have a look back at the delightful month of May.

👠High School Friends Reunion

OK so it wasn’t a formal reunion, but it was close enough. It was our beloved Mitchell Wilson’s 25th birthday which called for mega celebrations. For anyone who doesn’t know, Mitch and I were high school captains back in the day. We had such a tight friendship group and I was lucky enough to laugh my abs into existence with our friends Matt and Nikki. We all went out in Surry Hills along with a group of Mitch’s friends. I had the best night! Not just because we were out and about in Sydney, but because it made me realise how lucky I am to have such a special friendship with people from school. I guess my ‘friends’ experience is a little different because I moved out of home when I was 18 and didn’t look back. I moved somewhere where I knew no one and had to recreate my whole network from scratch. And whilst I successfully did that, I think I forgot the special friendships I had with these beautiful people from high school. High school friends are pretty damn special. There’s not many people that remember the awkward, nerdy Adelaide from 2010. And for that, I’m pretty damn grateful.

☀️Hikes

Everyone knows that I love a good hike. There’s nothing quite like taking an hour or two out of your weekend to soak up some sunshine, hike to the top of a mountain, take some cool piccies then go find some coffee or beer. I headed up one of my favourite hikes, the Wodi Wodi track. The weather was ‘absolutely amazing,’ and to top it off, we enjoyed some lovely coffees and beers afterwards!

💪Sporty spice

This month I’ve been really focused on my health and wellbeing. I’m well and truly back into the swing of yoga which I am absolutely loving! Who would have thought once a week I’d be waking up at 5:30am, but I’ve been absolutely loving it. Hello flexibility! I’ve been plugging along with netball as well, and #shamelessplug been killin it with my shooting! And, just this week, I somehow got talked in to taking up touch footy! I’ve never played a game of it in my life, and don’t even know the rules, but playing with a group of legends, what have I got to loose? I’m super excited to be trying hard and having fun with my fitness! #fitspo

🎉Shenanigans

What’s a month without shenanigans? Some of these pics are from last months favourite things, but the lovely Jayno just got her film developed, so they were worthy of an inclusion. But seriously, I’m super grateful for all my beautiful friends and family for your unconditional support and love. 2019 is a pretty wild ride and I’m glad we’re in it together.

❤️Wellbeing

This month I’ve also begun to see a psychologist. I never thought I’d be admitting this, but after attending for several sessions, I realised how chill and ‘normal’ it is. We go to the doctors when we’re sick, even for a check up. We spend money on waxing, eyebrow tints, gym memberships… why not for our mental health and wellbeing? I think this is leading to a bigger blog post, but I thought it was important to include in my favourites because I’m so damn proud of myself for going and I want to encourage each and every one of you to to take care of your wellbeing! It’s serious business and your mind and soul will do a little backflip of joy for acknowledging it.

🎥Flicks

BPM
Do you ever have those nights where you’re craving the rawness, intellectuality and joy of a French film? Well I had that recently, and the only place I go to find good French films online is SBS On Demand. I’d apparently shortlisted BPM a few weeks ago and I’m so glad. Wow. This incredibly raw movie follows a group a HIV/AIDS activists in Paris in the 1990s. All based on true events, I can’t help but see a strong resemblance between this nonviolent activism and the nonviolent vegan activism we see today. I was deeply moved by this film and can honestly say that I never truly understood the severity of HIV/AIDS. It’s insane to think that politicians weaponised this disease to further their own agendas, but the courage of these young activists perseveres. Wow!

🎼Tunes

Monday, by pinkiscool
Do you ever listen to a song and you can somehow play out the video clip or a scene from a movie? As soon as I heard this song, I could see myself walking confidently through a crowd with hand in hand with my love. Get among it.

Mansionair
We went along to their gig at UOW’s unibar and wow were they amazing! There’s nothing quite like rocking up to uni bar with all your mates, sinking a few beers and dancing along to some amazing music! These guys were absolutely awesome and I would totally recommend getting along to one of their gigs! Best $25 I’ve spent all year.

📚 Books

big little lies, by Liane Moriarty
Isn’t this a little page turner? This is my first encounter with Liane Moriarty and I really enjoyed it. I’m all about books that are easy to read because you can’t put it down and just keep churning through the pages. Nothing like a bit of mystery, a bit of drama and a bit of whodunit.

📸 Bloggers, Vloggers and Podders

Danegar and Stacey
I am really loving these two NZ vloggers. I actually ‘met’ them when we were in Bali last year. And by met I mean, Soph and I were waiting for our ferry back to the mainland of Bali, and I saw these two with a huge vlogging camera. I didn’t know at the time, but I saw the camera and thought… vloggers. Haha! But I’ve since discovered their channel and I’m absolutely loving their content! Check them out.

📝Quote

Carrying on from taking care of yourself, is this quote. I don’t know about you, but I feel a lot of pressure to ‘look after myself’ in the right way. I’m always comparing myself to my friends, peers and colleagues. But this year, I’m taking my journey of self-care seriously. I’m all about the self-love, patience and compassion. Knowing that I’m on the right journey for me.

Also, I thought I’d leave you with the following. Be a nice human. It’s simple.

My 24th Birthday in Photos

My Birthday. 19th July

IMG_51217516543808_IMG_44827516543616_IMG_4480IMG_5152IMG_5150

My birthday party. 20th July

IMG_5159

Capture.PNG

My birthday weekend away. 21st July

7592038688_IMG_47427589974848_IMG_46237526987040_IMG_46227592048720_IMG_47327526986656_IMG_47257592053568_IMG_47387583689536_IMG_46377529153168_IMG_47097592041616_IMG_47497529148128_IMG_46527592029760_IMG_46657591999184_IMG_46767529146688_IMG_46697529041232_IMG_46487591998512_IMG_47007529039888_IMG_46857529146544_IMG_4656

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 2018

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

Capture

👪 Family Visits

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

🏠 Moving House!

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

☀️ Port Stephens Tour

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

IMG_1917.JPGIMG_1904.JPGIMG_1908 (1).JPGIMG_1909 (1).JPG

IMG_1850IMG_7234

IMG_1855 (1)

🎶 Tunes

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

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

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

🎥 Flicks

L’asenscion (The Climb)

📷 Bloggers and Vloggers

Damon and Jo

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

Capture.JPG

 

Woman of the Hour – Lena Dunham podcast

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

Capture.JPG

📝 Quote

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

00912511ff1c4c56b57446fd70ff6eb7.jpg

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

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: JULY 2017

What a freakin whirlwind! I spent most of July in Mexico City for my program with AIM Overseas (if you’ve missed what’s been going on, you can check it out here). Retuning to Australia, starting back at uni and being able to drink the tap water has been a bit of a change (an extremely grateful change). But July has been a truly incredible month. I not only had my eyes ripped open to the reality that refugees and migrants live through in Mexico, but I discovered what really set my heart on fire, plus I turned 23, the dreaded age of being somewhat an adult. But before we jump too far ahead of ourselves, let’s look back on the month of July!

Screenshot 2017-08-06 20.07.20

🇲🇽  Mexico City

What a crazy city? Over 22million people, an altitude of 2500m and a city of extremes. The rich, glamorous, hipster and the poor, dirty and poverty somehow live together in this city. Mexico City is A LOT. You can catch up here for specifics of what we got up to on our program here. My program in Mexico was honestly one of the craziest, most educational, inspiring, challenging, overwhelming and incredible experiences I’ve ever had. I’ll truly cherish the time I spent there and the people I met. I don’t think I can ever forget the feeling of doing something I’m truly passionate about. It helped me realise my passions, my goals and how I really want to make a change and help share the stories of some of the bravest people I’ve ever met.

🎶 Catfish and The Bottlemen

When I found out that one of my absolute favourite bands were playing in Wollongong the day before I was due to land back in Australia, I looked into changing my flights. After serious consideration, I realised ‘wtf I’m 23, my fave band is playing at home, that’s it I’m changing my flight!’ And I can honestly say that it’s one of the most spontaneous, crazy and freakin awesome things that I’ve done. I went with my friend and we had such a good night! Considering I managed to sleep for about 9 hours on the flight, the beers went down an absolute treat and my ears were treated to the sweet sounds of Catfish!

71FEB44A-A404-4ADA-883A-7FEEFA5C2044.JPG
Catfish and the Bottlemen at UOW

📷 THIS PHOTO

IMG_7798.JPG

❤️ Home

One of the best things about spending time away from home, is returning back. I was so excited to see my friends and family again. And lucky for me, semester 2 was just starting back so everyone was down for a beer or three!

IMG_7828
My sister and I at home in Port Stephens

IMG_7849
My brother, sister and I out in Newcastle

🎶 Tunes

HAIM. These lovely ladies just released their new album and GOD DAMN IT’S AMAZEBALLS! I’ve honestly had it on repeat and I’ve been singing along like there’s no tomorrow.

The XX. Another great band, another great album. Holy shit am I thankful to have new music from these guys grace my ears.

Bob Marley. OK maybe a bit random but after being in Belize and embracing those Caribbean vibes, Bob Marley just makes me feel freakin good. If you’re feeling stressed of anxious, simply play some of his music and I promise you’ll instantly feel happier.

🎥 Flicks

Frida.  I was lucky enough to visit the house of Frida Kahlo whilst in Mexico City. And before going I watched this film to get some background info on her life. And damn I would honestly recommend this to anyone. She had such an interesting, painful and flamboyant life and it was even more incredible getting to visit the house she grew up in and went through so much in.

Gangs of El Salvador – VICE. If anyone knows me, they know that working for VICE would be the ultimate kick ass job. And after spending time in Mexico and learning about the extremely violent gangs that govern Honduras and El Salvador, watching this documentary was incredibly educational and informative. An absolute must if, like me, you had no idea about gangs in El Salvador, or even where El Salvador is!

📷 Bloggers and Vloggers

Flying the Nest. I’ve only just stumbled across this cute Aussie couple and I’m slowing falling for their chemistry and excitement. They just got married in Greece so if you’re into that you’ll be obsessed. Me – I’m just really into all of the coffee they drink!

📗Book

T2 Trainspotting. This is definitely not for the faint hearted. It’s difficult to read (mostly because it’s written in a Scottish accent) and it’s all about porn, sex and drugs. Now I just can’t wait to watch the movie!

maxresdefault

📝 Quote

I have to admit, going to Mexico was definitely one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. Not because I thought something bad would happen to me or go wrong, but because I’d never travelled anywhere like it before. Everything was new, scary, overwhelming and exciting. It was both terrifying and amazing and one of the most defining experiences I think I’ve ever had. And I think in life, when you’re faced with experiences that are both terrifying, scaring, exciting and amazing, then what do you have to lose by pursuing it? Sometimes you just have to take risks, and I’d hate to live a life thinking ‘what if?’ So dive in, be brave and embrace it.

51243394f15c78434932e6f80bb05cb7

What a freakin amazing month! I learnt and discovered more about our beautifully complicated world, I turned 23 and apparently people still like me, and I’m back into semester 2 ready to smash out my last semester at uni! Things are looking up!!

 

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.

Screenshot 2017-05-30 22.09.53.png

🏠 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.

0be5a2c09adf704023d911a19d7d894c.jpg

📚 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.

The_Martian_2014.jpg

🎥 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.

img_1819

📝 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.

a50cb5d278c488df013b17275dfdb568

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

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: FEBRUARY 17

Ok, so I get that February’s a weird little month. 28 days, 4 weeks, 672 hours, and damn have they disappeared. My first full month back in Australia and in Wollongong. And it’s been a freakin amazing. Let’s get to it!

Discovery Days

Let’s be honest, I have one of the best jobs on earth! And the best time to work as a student ambassador is definitely the annual Discovery Days. Not only is it a heaps of fun for the kids, but it’s fun overload for us as well. And this year was no exception, pouring rain and sweltering heat… nothing could stop us from having an incredible time. I’m so lucky to work with such an awesome team of inspiring people.

17093962_1592537010761308_1126602057_n.jpg

My Montréal Video

So I FINALLY put together my Montreal video. It took hours of gathering footage, editing and then re editing (because my original upload got muted due to copyright – oops) but it’s finally alive and chillin out there on the internet! I’m so proud of this video. It makes me so freaking happy to watch!

[If you haven’t yet subscribed, click here to subscribe so you don’t miss a thing! I’m nearly at 100 subscribers and I’ll have to do something epically awesome when I reach 100]

Finding a new HOUSE

If anyone knew me during the beginning of the month, they would’ve known how freakin stressed I was looking for a place to live. Khal, Rhys (my two amazing friends) and I were searching for a house to rent in Wollongong and damn is that market competitive. However, this goes to show how far positive thinking can go. I told the universe that I would have a house by Sunday the 5th Feb, and on Friday the 3rd Feb we got a very exciting phone call confirming this!

80s Prom Party

It was one of my beautiful friend’s 21st Birthday party and she decided to have it as an 80’s Prom Theme. OMG. First of all – why can’t I wear puffy pastel dresses around all day every day?! Secondly, damn it was so much fun! It’s always so nice going to a good house party, catching up with people you haven’t seen in forever and meeting new people. The night ended with a swim in the pool, me ripping the petticoat out from under my dress because I could barely breathe, and then crashing in an awesome van for the night. Top night!

Speaking at Orientation Week 

I know I’ve included a few little speech related moments through these posts, but every now and then, you gotta show yourself some love and be proud of what you’ve achieved. I was asked last minute to give a 10 minute presentation of a ‘Uni Survival Guide.’ I had prepared my slides but hadn’t really prepared much else. Yet I was able to get up there, smash out a great speech and speak confidently and calmly. I’m super proud of yet another speech I’ve made at UOW. It was even better when a student approached me afterwards asking me about my degree and uni experience, saying that I inspired her to look into doing exchange. (Awww).

17036069_1592537214094621_189083950_o.jpg

Tunes

Maître Gims. Yep, this whole French major thing has really got my head because now suddenly everything is in French. Regardless of whether you’re into French music, this song is actually freakin awesome!

Benjamin Clementine. I’ve only just discovered this guy and I’ve been listening on repeat. His music is so unique, the piano is enchanting and his vocal range is huge! Plus this video clip is just so stunning, I had to include it in my faves for this month.

Childish Gambino. So somehow last year I lived under a freakin rock and missed his amazing album that came out! Urgh it’s soooooooo good I’ve had this on repeat all month!

Flicks

Call My Agent. Netflix, you’ve done it again. This is a brilliantly dramatic yet light hearted TV show about agents and their crazy actors that they manage. It’s in French and I’ve been opting to have the French subtitles on to work on my French. It’s soooo worth the subtitles though! C’etait magnifique.

La La Land. Ooooh la la I’m in love. Emma Stone has been my ultimate girl crush since Easy A when I could finally relate to an awesome red head on screen being awkward and somewhat cool (at least, that’s what I thought I was). The soundtrack is amazing, it’s simple, beautiful and just so damn lovely to watch. Though I would recommend letting your friends know that it’s a musical before going. I somehow failed to mention that and they weren’t too happy! haha

la-la-dance
Source

YouTubers 

RayaWasHere. I’ve been following Raya as long as I’ve been following Louis, but it’s not until recently that she’s really won me over. I think it was the video below, that really pulled me in. I feel that she has a very genuine and beautiful way of capturing her friendships and connections with people and I’d love to see more content like the one below! You go girl!

A Worldly Addiction.

I’m going to give myself a little plug here but I feel like this month I’ve really produced some great content. One of my favourite videos I’ve ever made is absolutely killing it and it’s received over 1300 views so far! WHAT?! I’ve been feeling super proud of myself and my drive to put myself out there, live life to the fullest and create beautiful moments, so why not do yourself a favour and chuck us a subscribe. If you go to my channel from here make sure to comment “Shameless Plug” on one of my videos. OK let the blog continue as per usual.

Books

I haven’t technically finished it (I kinda got caught up in Season 3 of How To Get Away With Murder ((OMG))! But it’s so so good! ‘I wouldn’t start from here’ by Andrew Mueller is a reflection on his career and experiences as a war and conflict correspondent. I love in each chapter you’re taken somewhere completely different and never quite sure where he’s going with it. From Kosovo, to  Palestine, London to Lichtenstein, it’s a fascinating take on ‘the 21st Century and where it all went wrong.’

9781846271519.jpg
Source

Quote

The quote below has really helped me through this crazy month. It reassures me that if we want something, if we want to be something, then we must accept the change that inevitably comes with growing, learning and evolving. It reminds me to let go of things that are no longer important and embrace the new, the scary and the exciting.

423cafa57c4ca6fd5001bc3f34a3e005.jpg
Source

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well those 4 weeks just absolutely flew by! March is going to be absolutely hectic. I’m organising another overseas trip (can you guess where?!), uni will hit with it’s full blow, my little sister is turning 21 (HOW?!) and the adventures will continue as always! I hope March treats you well and you treat life even better! xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making a PROMO VIDEO 101

When my ridiculously talented housemate at the time, Chantelle, came to me with an idea for her major work for uni, she was beaming with excitement. And as soon as she said she wanted to make a promo video for A Worldly Addiction, I was beaming even more. At first I thought ‘are you crazy? Why would you want to make a promo video for my blog?’ But then she told me her fantastic ideas and I was hooked. She’s the person I go to to run my ideas by -the closest thing to a personal manager I’ll probably ever have, of course I agreed. Every blogger or vlogger has a highlights reel or promo introductory video. And this was my attempt of starring in a promo video.

*Thanks Chantelle for your amazing talent*

Step 1: Find A Place

Obviously you need to find somewhere to film your promo video. Luckily we started the day looking for some food. So where else do you go? But your favourite cafe… Humber! It’s even better when your favourite cafe has an awesome rooftop and even better owners who let you use the closed off section of the bar to get some good shots. All you need to do is ask and you never know what you’ll get.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 8.27.22 pm
70s-esque vibes of the 1st floor in Humber.

Part 2: Showcase Something You Love Doing

The people who are subscribing, liking or invested in your blog are genuinely interested in what you do and what you love. So make sure to showcase that. For me, luckily, it’s writing and exploring… something that we did all day.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 8.28.05 pm
Flicking through Frankie & Future Perfect whilst writing away.

Part 3: Showcase Where You Live

I’m lucky because I live in a beautiful part of the world. Surrounded by stunning beaches, mountains and trees, it’s hard to focus on just one part to showcase. Chantelle and I ended up adventuring up to Stanwell Tops, about 20-30minutes north of Wollongong. Everytime I go here I’m absolutely blown away by how beautiful it is. This place makes me extremely happy, so only naturally, I wanted to share this with everyone else. Showcase your happy place and your part of the world because people will want to see the world through your eyes.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 8.28.52 pm
Stunning Stanwell Tops. On top of the world!

Part 4: Showcase Something Interesting

Something that a lot of people probably don’t know about Wollongong is that it has quite a strong street and cafe culture. And something I absolutely love about it is the street art hidden down random ally ways. And this little known fact is something not many ‘outsiders’ know about. Try to look at your home town like you did for the first time. Showcase something that people don’t know about and get them curious!

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 8.30.04 pm
Vibrant street art in a back ally way.

Part 5: HAVE FUN!

The most important part is that you enjoy the whole experience and have fun. This day was one of the highlights of my year! Not only did I get to spend the day eating amazing food, wandering the streets of Wollongong and adventuring up the coast… but I got to share this experience with my best friend. And the best thing about this whole experience is that she made me feel so comfortable with something I’ve never experienced before. I must say, I don’t know how Chantelle put up with me breaking into laughter every few seconds whilst in the recording study recording my voice. But being with your best friend makes laughing fits and being silly in front of a bright red wall even more hilariously fun!

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 8.30.24 pm
Being silly.

Et Voilà

Mix it all together and you have a rad promo video! Hopefully there’ll be many more videos to come in the near future! Let me know what you think in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Five Cafes in WOLLONGONG

If anyone know’s me, they know how much I love coffee. And if there’s somewhere that knows how to make a good coffee, the Wollongong aka. the Gong. This is my third year living in the Gong and through my time here I’ve consumed my fair share of coffee. So after a while, you come to discover the best places to grab a good coffee or two. So, here are my top 5 favourite cafe’s the Gong has to offer. 

IMG_0206
Rush. 

1. Rush

Conveniently located at UOW, where I work and study, these guys deliver quality beans quickly before your shift or class. Rush 1 is my ‘work coffee,’ where I usually settle for an extra hot skinny cap. My standard for a day at the office. Rush 2 is where I experiment with my coffees. The staff there are beyond awesome and are always playing amazing tunes.

Coffee of choice: Single Origin Long Black

IMG_7148
L&M

2. Lee & Me

L&M as it’s also known, is a cute little cafe/boutique located at the bottom of Crown Street. On a weekend you’re lucky to get a seat on their cosy balcony. But once you do, it’s worth it. And when you’ve finished with your coffee, you can browse through their cute boutique store. If you can’t afford one of their lavish leather bags (which, by the way, I’m in LOVE with), you can settle for a cute little succulent.

Coffee of choice: Skinny Cap (with a side of a cute succulent). 

IMG_3927
Latte at Diggies

3. Diggies

And the award for the best view whilst indulging on an even better coffee goes to…. Diggies. Primly located on North Wollongong beach, this beachy, breezy cafe boasts beautiful views looking out at the surf. If you’re not up for a coffee, I’d also recommend their coconuts or fresh juices. This place is divine in summer after a nice long swim at the beach. Just remember to bring some clothes to cover up in.

Drink of choice: A latte or cocount (depending on how hot it is)

IMG_4840

4. His Boy Elroy

Ah, the infmaous His Boy Elroy. It’s got your night out covered with their craft beer and sexy ciders. Plus, it’s there for you in the morning when you have a filthy hangover. Opt for sitting outside and watch the world pass by as you caffeinate your hangover away.

Drink of choice: Skinny cap (classic)

IMG_3844
A pretty in pink skinny cap

5. Humber

And last but not least… HUMBER. My favourite cafe in the whole Gong. The vibe downstairs is awesome. People are always running in and out, trying to get their hands on a coffee or some of their awesome food. The first floor takes you back to some serious 70s vibes with some brightly coloured stain glass windows and funky carpet. The la pièce de résistance… the rooftop bar. I absolutely love rooftop bars, and as far as they go, this one definitely delivers. Sure – the view is nothing spectacular (hello Port Kembla Steel Works), but the chairs are super comfy, the tunes are on point and the coffee is to die for! The picture above is a pink cap that my fave barista made me, and it’s this type of service that keeps me coming back for more!

Voilà! My top 5 cafes in the Gong. Whilst Wollongong embraces a great cafe culture, these are my favourites. Are there any I missed? Have you been to any of these before? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy drinking!