Sunday, 31 January 2016

My Favourite Things: January

Hi everyone!

I have never done a favourites post, simply because I didn't think anyone would enjoy them as I don't wear makeup and all these sorts of posts seem to be centered around beauty. But I've decided screw it - 2016 is the year I share my favourites with you all. I'm sure there are some of you out there, who like me, don't actually wear make up!

1. Face Wash: Garnier Pure Active Daily Cleansing Gel Wash
I say I'm not doing beauty, and yet my first item is a product... But there's a reason! My Mum and I have been using this facewash for quite a long time and I promise you it is the most amazing face cleansing product you will ever use. I went a week without it recently, and it was immediately spots galore which tells me it has been doing its job! I use this facewash every night in the shower by lathering it between my hands and then giving my face a good scrub. You can feel that your face is cleaner straight away and I love it. To mix it up, Mum and I tried the grapefurit "energising" one recently, but it was no where near as good and spots started to appear. I can't tell you about the chemicals or anything, I can't say I've looked into it and I honestly don't mind that much - I love this product.

2. Perfume: Meow by Katy Perry

Someone sprayed this in maths class once and from across the room I could tell that it was incredible. Now, I'm not even a fan of Katy Perry but her Meow perfume is sooo amazing. I'm not sure how to describe the scent, but it is pretty strong and more of a sweeter sort of scent. I use this most days and I love it. Plus the bottle is really cute, which is an added bonus.

3. Book: Game of Thrones

Anyone who knows me will know that I love the TV series Game of Thrones. So of course, with me being the avid reader I am, I decided to read the books thinking I would love them just as much. And I really really do! Although I know what happens because of the show, I still feel all the emotions that George R R Martin wants me to feel, and I am still shocked and sad when people die (okay but I didn't realise so many died all at once - book three was a little crazy). It's definitely different to anything I have read before and I love it. I think my favourite book so far is the second part of the third book, A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold.

4. Mug
This is going to seem very random but this is a list of my favourite things and I have been loving this mug. I picked it up from Aldi of all places for $3 or so and I cannot get enough of it. I mean, I don't drink tea or coffee so it's probably weird that I love mugs so much, but I will continue to drink my juice from them quite happily. But seriously guys, its Disney on a mug. Isn't it cute?

5. Movie: City of Ember
The movie I loved this month is a very random one and that is City of Ember. It's basically a middle grade Dystopian story that centers around to children. Hundreds of years ago, the whole city was sent to Ember because there was a so-called apocalypse outside. So they built this city which functions because of a giant generator - their only source of light is electricity. But they've been down there too long and everything is beginning to fail and these to kids think they have found a way out. I enjoyed myself a lot while watching this movie and I couldn't help but sit on the edge of my seat hoping everything turned out okay for these two kids. I've also found out it's a book series so I definitely want to get onto that.

6. Food: Jalna Yoghourt Pot Set
These tubs of yoghurts are so so so amazing! Mum randomly decided to try them to take to work, and they turned out to be incredible. They aren't too sweet like most yogurts are - I think it's actually Greek yoghurt. They have little bits at the bottom too of the flavour; the passionfruit has little bits of the fruit and the coconut flavour has small shavings of actual coconut and it's just the greatest thing ever. They're also the perfect size to fill me up so it's a win win here.

So there you have it, just a couple of things I have loved over the month of January. I hope you enjoyed this post and I look forward to writing more in the future!

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Italy: The Lead-up and Flights

Hi everyone!

Recently I have been absolutely desperate to travel - I want to get out and see the world, explore new cultures and countries and better understand the world around me. I've planned out many a trip, but unfortunately I'm a poor student, who needs to save to get through uni.

Because of this want to travel I've been reminiscing about my time in 2013 when I was lucky enough to travel to Italy with my best friend and the school. I've never actually told you guys about that trip and what better time than now? This is a very exciting series of posts for me and I cannot wait to share some amazing memories with you all!

This was the very first picture from our trip as we were driving to the airport. You can tell we were super excited! I can remember that we had waited months and months for this day to arrive and it felt sort of like a dream when we actually got to go.
Suitcases had been packed, passports organised, and we'd done our best to work on our basic Italian conversational skills.

The international departures at Brisbane airport - there was excited smiles all around from everyone but several tears from the parents! A note on the clothes: a lot of people wear fancy stuff to the airport but I wasn't up for that. I like to be comfy. So I wore my comfiest closed in shoes, a pair of soft, baggy pants, and my Superman shirt (and a jumper in my carry on!)

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Book Tag: Unpopular Opinions

Hi everyone!

I'm doing something a little bit different today, I hope you don't mind! But basically, I watch quite a few "Booktubers" on YouTube and decided that I really wanted to do a tag video in spite of me not having a YouTube channel.

I am going to be doing the Unpopular Book Opinions Tag, which is basically get to share the thoughts and opinions you have of books that you might not share most of the time. I find this quite interesting because we don't always talk about the books that we really don't like, nor do we admit to liking books that every one seems to hate!

This particular tag was created by TheBookArcher and you can find that video here.

1. A Popular Book or series that you didn't like.

I would like to begin by saying there aren't a lot of series that I have outright disliked. There have definitely been many that I've preferred over others, but I am pretty good at choosing my books so that I will like and enjoy every singly one of them. But, that was not the case for Gone by Michael Grant. I mostly picked this up because so many people had been raving about how fantastic it was, but this is one of the few books that I have not actually finished. For some reason, I just could not get into the book. I didn't connect with any of the characters and I wasn't that big of a fan of the writing style.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

The Year Ahead

Hi everyone!

Today I am here to share some very exciting news: I GOT INTO UNI!!
Basically, through all of Year 11 and Year 12, those of us who wanted to get into university straight up worked towards getting the best possible OP, with 1 being the highest and 25 the lowest. We had to do a test, and our class grades held weight in the calculations as well. I ended up with a 6 which was better than I expected, and the degree I want to study at uni had an OP of 8. Even though I was definitely above the threshold, I was still very nervous that I wouldn't get my first preference.

But I did and it's all very very exciting right now, picking my classes for the coming semester and enrolling, sorting out orientation and buying my supplies.

For those of you interested, I will be studying a double degree at the University of Queensland, which is four years long and is a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts, where I'm majoring in International Relations and French.

I'm not sure how frequently my blog posts will be in the coming year as this is all obviously very new and very different but I will try my best. Perhaps I might even do some uni posts after a while? Who knows!


Saturday, 16 January 2016

Beach + Movies + Books = Perfection

Hi everyone!

It's been a little while since I have seen some of my friends, with a hectic work schedule and our lives all taking very different paths following graduation. But we set a day and a few of us met up at Cotton Tree to spend the afternoon lazing around on the beach. We are very lucky that where we live has some amazing beaches and the weather was perfect.

We swam out to the sand bank, through the ridiculous current, and it was a very serious workout (I skipped yoga that night...)

Obligatory selfie with terrible lighting

We also went to the movies and saw The Fifth Wave. It is based off a book by Rick Yancey, which I have yet to read (I really want to now) and we thought looked like our best option. Little did we know that we were seeing it on the opening day and ended up right down the front... 
I enjoyed the movie a fair bit, it kept me on the edge of my seat and I was so anxious for the characters the entire way through. Definitely an entertaining movie and it has made me want to read the book. My only complaint was that it was slightly too predictable - I was able to guess almost all the twists and turns, and there were several plot holes. (Hello, did anyone else not realise how convenient some of their situations were?) Still enjoyed it though. OH and Evan was not bad on the eyes at all... 

QBD was having huuuge sales and I went a little crazy in the book store. I have to admit though, I am very proud of how much self control I had. But I'll be doing a whole book haul post soon (waiting for a couple from the Book Depository and then it will be up) so keep your eyes out!

I had a great day and look forward to hanging out with some good friends again next week.


Monday, 11 January 2016

Formal Photos!

Hi everyone!

I have finally finally bought my professional photos from formal and I'm so excited that I cannot help but share them all with you. I love every single one of these photos and I love the memories that they bring.

This is one of me on my own which I am actually quite happy with 

My sister Kiara, myself, and Mum

These are the lovely people I spent most of my lunch times with

My closest girl friends
Some more good friends (there's a lot of us)

The other School Captain's and I

And here we all are - it's a pretty big group of friends and I love every single one of them

So as you can see the photos turned out amazingly and I am so so pleased! 

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Clothing Haul!

Hi everyone!

Anyone who knows me will know that I love Boohoo. Half my wardrobe is from there and I'm not embarrassed to admit it. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, Boohoo is an online website that sells clothes for reasonable prices and I absolutely love it. There's also free shipping to Australia for orders over $40, and that is an absolute dream. Shipping is normally outrageously expensive. So, the other day I went a little crazy with the sales and bought some really great stuff that I want to share with you.

First up was these pair of shorts. I've needed a new pair for a long time and I love the high-waisted style. I really like that these are corduroy, a material which I did not have previously. They sit slightly to big at the back, but other than that they are perfect.
You can find them here.

I also got these pair of shorts and they are so so comfy! I love the colours and the pattern, and I definitely think they could be used to lounge around at home or for a trip into town. (Sorry about the wrinkles!)
They can be found here. 

I got this crop top, which is very different to anything I own. It has cut outs in the top, one of which goes quite low, but I think it looks very flattering. I needed a white shirt to go with the dark colours I have been purchasing recently. 
You can find it here.

I also got this shirt, which is again very different to any others I have. I am always on the lookout for nice shirts and I couldn't resist this one! It is also my first petite purchase off of Boohoo, and I am very happy as the shirt actually sits where I like shirts to sit. 
You can find it here.

I of course got this cardigan which featured in a blog post a couple of weeks ago. It is very soft, and very comfortable, and also keeps me quite warm! I did not have a short sleeved cardigan and so I am very happy with this purchase. 
You can find it here.

I got this gorgeous dress as well, which I wore to my trip to Les Miserables. (I'm on the left, although the other dress is also from Boohoo).
I've never had a bodycon dress before so this was definitely a new experience. I really liked how it sat and I think it looked really good. No one ever told me how much they ride up when you walk though! 
I love this colour of this one and will definitely be looking at more bodycon dresses in the future.
You can find it here.

I love skirts, so when I saw this one in my favourite colour at the moment, I couldn't not get it. It has a line of mesh along the bottom which I love - it looks really good on. I find that the skirts from boohoo all sit at a really nice length and look quite flattering.
You can find it here.

As well as Boohoo, I also shopped at an old favourite of mine, JayJays. My local store was having a sale and I got a bargain.

I adore this shirt (hello, Disney) and it was on sale for $10 which made it all the more better.
But the jeans are honestly my favourite purchase in a very long time. It may seem a bit ridiculous to buy jeans in the middle of summer but they were fifteen dollars, so I could not pass it up. I tried on a size smaller than I normally would and I'm so so glad, they fit amazingly. Honestly, I cannot describe to you how great these look on. The best bit though, was since I'm quite short I always have to roll up the bottoms, but on these I don't! I've since realise they are ankle biters, so they are supposed to sit way shorter than they do on me, but that's okay. I just wanted a pair of jeans that fit me and I got it. (I'm really excited about them)
You can find the shirt here.
I couldn't find the jeans, but keep an eye on this page and you might find something you like.

I also went to Big W, and bought a bargain pair of flats, because after the trauma of Les Mis (I have so many blisters) I think I'm just going to build up a really nice flats collection.

Have you made any exciting purchases recently?

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Do you hear the people sing?

Singing the song of aching feet...

Hi everyone!

For Christmas this year, I bought my sister and myself tickets to go see Les Miserables that is currently showing in Brisbane. It is my absolute favourite musical and I was ecstatic to be able to go, and I know my sister was thrilled and surprised to open up that ticket on Christmas Day.

So, the two of us an a couple of friends set out in the morning ready for an incredible day. Apparently, the public transport gods didn't like us very much as the express train we were planning on catching was cancelled. Then, there was work on the rails between Caboolture and Northgate, so we had to fluff around and work out which bus we needed to take. We got a little disorientated looking for the train station in Foritude Valley, and then we had to walk from Roma Street station to South Bank. It was a nightmare and I did it all in a pair of heels.

When we actually made it to QPAC to see the show I was so grateful to sit down, and I was dreading the trip home because we would have to do it all again.

The show, in a very stark contrast, was absolutely phenomenal! I had never seen Les Mis live before so this was an absolute treat. The sets were all fantastic and I loved the scenes they did using the screen behind them - I thought it was so clever and it was beautiful to look at. I was a little unsure of Jean Valjean at first, simply because his way of singing was definitely not what I had pictured for him, but I very quickly warmed up to him. The actresses for both Eponine and Fantine were incredible and I loved little Gavroche. The Marius I saw was definitely not my favourite but I think that is mostly because I absolutely adored Eddie Redmayne in the movie and I think he's ruined it for me for anyone else. All in all, it was brilliant and I wish I could go again.

Here is Kiara and I, with feet covered in blisters

I was fangirling so hard and behind me is the merch stand, and they actually had posters! (Wicked, I'm still mad)

Ignoring the public transport nightmare, I had a great day with some great girls and I cannot sing the praises of this musical enough. (I'm writing this listening to the soundtrack from the movie... I'm obsessed right now) Definitely go see it if you get the opportunity!


Friday, 1 January 2016

New Year's Resolution

Hi everyone!

As it is now the New Year, this is the time when people begin to think of resolutions, and commitments they want to make in the year that never really get stuck to. I personally have never been one to make a New Year's Resolution, but this year I thought there was something very important that I needed to address and commit myself to and that is individuality.

2016 is the year when you need to live your life un-apologetically as yourself. There is an important Dr Seuss quote that I think sums it up very well:

"Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!"

There is no use living life to please others or conforming to the demands of society.  Because at the end of the day that is not what is going to make you happy and you are not going to get the most out of your life. We have limited time on this Earth, and I hate to say it, but we do only live once. If you want to wear something - wear it. Did someone make fun of your taste in music? Who cares - it is what you love and no one can take that away from you. Live your life without shame and live for yourself and both your attitude towards life and your happiness will raise. Hell, if you secretly love Twilight, embrace it!

Be yourself and be an individual.

So this is my resolution of the year and I invite all of you to join me.

My Year In Books

Hi everyone!

As a child I was definitely an avid reader - there was a stage where I was reading almost a book a day. But as I've gotten older I have had less and less time to participate in my favourite past time as the assignments piled up, the hours at work got longer and my social commitments grew. But, I do try to make time and while I have not read very many books this year, I have thoroughly enjoyed (almost) all of them. So, as the list is quite small this year, I thought I would share with you what I read and my thoughts on each book.

My very first book of the year was Anna and the French Kiss by Stephenie Perkins. I had tried years ago to get into this book, and found that I just couldn't connect with the characters or the storyline. This time however, Anna and Etienne had me enraptured. I thought that it was a quick and easy read and I loved every second of it. The fact that it was set in Paris instantly had me hooked, and immensely enjoyed reading the descriptions and adventures she had in the city I hope to visit someday. The romance was cute and sweet, as you would expect from such a gorgeous looking book, and if you are looking for that romantic fix than this book is for you!
My rating on Goodreads: 4 stars

The next book of the year was vastly different to the sweet love story - I was instead reading an action-packed Dystopian/sci-fi book. The Death Cure by James Dashner is the final installment in the Maze Runner series, of which I have absolutely loved. I found all three books to be fast paced and so full of action that you won't want to put the down (I didn't, each of these books were read in four hour sittings if that gives you any indication of how gripped I was by them). I love Newt and I don't like Teresa, but these books are great and I definitely recommend them. I say ignore the bad stuff you've heard - don't knock it until you've tried it!
My rating on Goodreads: 5 stars

I had to read a classic this year in English, and we all know how much of a pain they can be. I sometimes have issues reading classics where I can't get past the first couple of chapters (The Catcher in the Rye, I tried) or I somehow finish the whole entire thing, no matter how long it takes, and enjoyed the time I took to read it (A moment please to appreciate the mammoth task it was to read Les Miserables). So I had no idea which category 1984 by George Orwell (Apparently that was only a pseudonym as I learnt in class, his name was Eric Arthur Blaire - I think). 
I will tell you straight up that I struggled through some parts of this book - Goldstein's absolutely horrifically tedious book for one. But no matter how much I complained, I enjoyed it on the whole. This book makes you properly think about the world around you, the meaning of truth and it makes you ask questions.
I think the two assessment pieces I did especially helped me to fully comprehend the depth of the novel and I am glad I read it during school, as it allowed me to talk to others who were reading it and talk to my teacher who has read the book cover to cover many times. 
So thank you school, that was a compulsory reading done right.
My rating on Goodreads: 5 stars

Here's something you may not know about me: I absolutely love the TV show Game of Thrones (I know, I know, slightly different to my beloved Disney movies). I think the acting is great, the story lines are so detailed and deep and it's just all round fantastic. I didn't think I wanted to read the books though, simply because of how daunting they are. It's an absolutely colossal series and I was intimidated by them. But, as I was browsing my local bookstore, QBD, I stumbled across the series and I could not help myself; I bought the first book.
And holy hell, it was incredible! I love the detailed writing and intricate plots where every single detail matters in the grand scheme of things. The language George R R Martin uses is fantastic, and he can perfectly suit the tone of each and every character. I know many people wouldn't like it for the exact reasons I love it, but I saw give it a whirl - you'll never know until you try it!
My rating on Goodreads: 5 stars

I think after the heavy book of Game of Thrones I needed something a bit more lighthearted, and so I decided to pick up Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery. It was a very sweet book and I found myself identifying with Anne more and more as the book went on. She has such a vivid person that it's hard to believe she wasn't actually in the room next to me! It was this book I read during some tough times at school and Anne and her friends definitely cheered me up with their adventures. (Why had I not read this book before? It's so good!)
My rating on Goodreads: 5 stars

I don't like Shakespeare, so of course when I found out that we had a whole unit on him at school (complete with a soliloquy and exam essay) I was not happy. 
I find it difficult to get through the writing and I don't always understand what is happening. Literary genius or not, Shakespeare is just not my cup of tea. 
The class read the whole thing aloud, and it was hilarious when people tried putting on accents or our teacher explained the dirtier jokes to us, but I don't think that I could sit at home and read a play by Shakespeare. 
My rating on Goodreads: 3 stars

I read another Song of Ice and Fire book!
This one took me a bit longer to get through than the first, but it was just as fantastic. It was an amazing read and a great break from a the craziness of my life throughout the year. 
We are slowly learning more about the characters and their motivations and I look forward to reading the next books.
My rating on Goodreads: 5 stars

If you have not read The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, you are missing out. It is a fantastic series and I absolutely loved it. So of course, when I found out about it being made into a TV show, ( I had to reread the book. I'm so glad I did because the book is just as great and I would like to finish rereading the series in 2016..
My rating on Goodreads: 5 stars

This was a very random pick that I had picked up ages and ages ago on a whim. It's basically about a girl named Tuesday who has had all her memories wiped and she has been lost from memory. I thought it was an interesting premise and I was willing to give it a crack. Lucky I did because it is a gorgeous little book which I was utterly engrossed in. I found the ending very predictable having guessed it very early, but in spite of this it was a very enjoyable little book which I thoroughly enjoyed.
My rating on Goodreads: 4 stars

I have never seen the movie, but when I saw this book at a second hand book sale I couldn't resist. (The cover anyone?) As I'm sure many of you know it follows a girl fresh out of college and her struggles with an awful boss and what happens when work begins to take over your entire life. I quite enjoyed the story, although it took me a very long time to read it. I just found it nice to pick up randomly and read a little bit more about Andrea and her life. It was often difficult to connect with many of the characters, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
My rating on Goodreads: 4 stars

When I read Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, I adored the "fanfiction" that Cath wrote with Baz and Simon. I was absolutely thrilled when my sister handed me this book telling me it was the fanfiction come to life. It follows Simon, who is, in all honesty, the worst "Chosen One" ever. He can't seem to do anything right and his magic doesn't work the way he wants it to. He has an old rivalry with his roommate Baz and I just loved this whole book. The romance was great, I loved the plot, and the ending was a total surprise! It may seem a little Harry Potter-esque but Carry On is a magic book of its own right, with very witty spells and simple but delightful world.
My rating on Goodreads: 5 stars

My last book of the year was yet another book from the Song of Ice and Fire series, and this time it is Part 1 of Book 3. It is, of course, just as fantastic and enthralling as the previous books and I've already started to read the next part. In this book I have begun to feel sorry for and empathise with characters I disliked and they are all very grey right now, rather than the black and white sides I had initially drawn them into so I am interested to see what my opinions are like by the time I reach the last book that is out. (Yes, I've seen the show but the books are such a different experience that in spite of knowing what is happening I can't help but feel the emotions the author wants me to feel),
My rating on Goodreads: 5 stars

So, as you can see, I have not read too many books this year but I think the ones I have read should give me double points or something. It was a hectic reading year and I've enjoyed it a lot.