Friday, May 11, 2018

Five Friday Favourites

Well I am finished with my classes! It's so bittersweet to be finished and I will be sad not to see my lecturers weekly, I loved picking their brains and hearing all their life experience from the varied areas they have worked in. Now its onto 5 weeks of prac followed by half a day on campus and I am done. I have a placement for my prac but the final details are just being dealt with so I am hoping to start it mid next week. I'm only doing 3 days a week as that's all I can handle but I may increase it depending how things go and how my anxiety is.
I've also officially been accepted to do my Diploma in Community Services starting next semester which I am looking forward to doing. Today I actually got to meet the lecturer in charge of the diploma which was great and I am looking forward to learning from him next semester.

Onto Friday Favourites:

Smiggle 15th Birthday Personalise Pen - so I have a slight stationary addiction and when I saw this pen I couldn't resist :) It writes really nicely and it's so pretty too.

MOR Perfume Oil - I got a tube of this for Christmas and I am really loving it. As it's an oil it has great staying power and you only need a couple of rolls to get a beautiful scent. I just roll it on my pressure points and I am good to go :) I have this in marshmallow which is a sweet musky scent perfect for winter and blood orange which is more uplifting and the perfect pick me up.

Esma flats in gold - I already have these in silver but I couldn't resist buying these in gold too. As I will be working in an office environment for my prac and with my ankle I can't wear heels (can you imagine a moonboot on one foot and a heel on the other that would be a recipe for disaster haha!) I figured it made sense to buy them to add into my shoe rotation. They add the perfect amount of sparkle to any outfit and don't give me blisters either.

Olivia Burton Watches - my sister showed me these watches when we were out shopping the other week and I can't stop thinking about them! I want to buy myself something nice once I officially finish my Cert. 4 as I had such a rough start and I am leaning towards buying one of these watches. I just love how classic they are and something I know I would wear for years to come. I am currently leaning towards buying this watch as I love the subtle lace detail but I also love this one though it is a bigger watch face and this one, decisions decision!

Philips Vibes Gel Headphones - I've had quite a few issues with headphones over the past few months after my last pair died and both of the replacement pairs I bought were hopeless. These headphones are actually highly rated on Amazon (I got mine from Target to avoid paying postage) and I've had no complaints since I bought them. They are great quality, comfy and actually stay in my ears! For the price you can't go wrong and I am planning on buying another pair to keep as a spare.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Diploma and God's timing

The email sits in my inbox staring at me congratulating me on getting accepted into the Diploma of
Community Services never mind that I have yet to finish my Cert. 4 in Community Services or that the thought of committing to another year of study terrifies me.
At the start of this year my aim was to get another qualification and then get a job instead I found myself loving what I was studying and realising that this is what I want to do for a career long term. I then found myself having zero desire to go back to unemployment when my course ended and I knew if I wanted to give myself the best chance of getting a job a diploma would be valued.
I wanted to say that this was an easy decision and to many it seemed I made it easily but it was one I wrestled with over many weeks and prayed about. I didn't want to commit to another course let alone one that goes for a year but deep down I knew it was what needed to happen.
The concerns I had in my mind about money and whether I could continue to support myself financially was met with the reminder that God provides and that I will deal with the expenses as they come up with faith.

If you had asked me when I was 18 what I would be doing by now (almost 6 years later) I would've said working in an admin role, married and thinking about starting family but here I am single, not working and finishing off one course in 7 weeks and going onto the next. It's strange as I know people who are living the life I would've thought I would have by now and while some part of me is jealous about it, I have never doubted that this is where I am meant to be.
For so long I felt like I couldn't be in a relationship as the first few weeks of a new job are not fun for me with anxiety so I refused to let myself even think that I could date while unemployed. Then a friend told me it shouldn't matter if I was employed or not and that if a guy couldn't handle me at my worst he didn't deserve at my best. I wrestled with what she told me but other people confirmed this so I slowly started to open myself up to the possibility. It's taken me so long for me to go yes I can date and it shouldn't matter about my employment status because if its the right person they won't care so nor should I. What I do know is that will happen in God's timing and his timing is more important than our ideal timing.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Five Friday Favourites

This was meant to be posted last week but I got a bad cold which of course means the cough goes to my chest and my asthma flairs up which meant I had no energy so nothing got done like I had planned. I have spent this past week doing assignments, doing some baking and mostly just relaxing at home.

This week has been a bit emotional though if I am being honest, I'm not a huge fan of change and there's a lot of changes happening around me so I've been struggling with that and just letting the tears fall. I guess it doesn't help that I am feeling isolated from some friends due to the changes happening either and just feel like I am at a different life stage to the people I hang out with on a weekly basis.  I'm reminding myself that while I don't have like change I do have to accept it and that along with praying is helping.

I also bit the bullet and got a moon boot for my ankle last Monday, I was so hoping I wouldn't need
one but my ankle just wasn't healing at all. It's been a fun experience getting used to it to the say the least and I'm looking at using it for a minimum of 3 weeks if not more depending on how it goes. I do take it off when I am driving and at night but the rest of the time it is on. It's definitely fun manoeuvring through shops and other obstacles without trying to take anyone out haha!

A5 Mini Light Box - I love light boxes and I have quite a collection of them, I use them a lot for ReachOut stalls and events but also as décor around my room. They are great ways to make a personal statement at events too. I of course needed this one to add to my collection and love how small it is so you can take it anywhere. I also ended up buying the Tiny Light Box (there was a sale and I had a voucher to use) because I knew I could find a use for it.

Klutz Tiny Stitches - I am a huge fan of Klutz and was thrilled when I saw this on special at Aldi the other week. It's such a fun cute book and I have been wanting to get into embroidery (I know the basics) but never gotten the chance. It teaches you all the basic stitches then gives you templates and ideas to sew some cute pendants. I can imagine this being a great gift for a tween girl or someone who just likes to craft.

Pitch Perfect 3 DVD - my sister and I saw this at the movies before Christmas and it was a must to buy it when it came out on DVD. I've already watched this twice and I am planning on watching all 3 movies back to back in the near future. It's such a funny film and Rebel Wilson's one liners are hilarious as always. If you haven't seen it (or any of the Pitch Perfect films) its a must watch and perfect for a girls night.

A5 Bonded Leather Journal - this was an impulse buy but it's such a nice journal and one I know I will use. It just feels and looks so nice and I am trying to document my life more this year so I have no doubt it will help me write down memories as they happen.

Brooklyn Nine Nine Jake Makes the Criminals Sing - this video is currently doing the rounds on Facebook and it's hilarious. I love Brooklyn Nine Nine and this video sums up Jake's personality perfectly plus its such a well performed song.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Five Friday Favourites

The word to describe these past 2 weeks is Assignments, I have had so many and while I am feeling overwhelmed at times I am slowly getting through them and I will be relieved when break starts at the end of next week! Of course the break will be filled with a few assignments but it will be nice not going to class :)
I'm also seriously considering continuing to study once this course ends in June, I'm really loving it and I just don't think I have the energy to go back to the unknowns of unemployment at the moment. At the start of the course my plan was to look for work for 6 months after I got my Cert. 4 and if I hadn't gotten a job then do my Diploma in Community Services the following year but the more I think about the more it makes sense to just continue studying. It's a year course compared to 6 months and a few of my classmates are wanting to continue to study it too so I will already know people, along with the campus and all in all it will be much less anxiety inducing if I just go straight from doing my Cert. 4 to doing the Diploma.
I don't need to enrol for a few months so for now I am praying about it and focusing on finishing my Cert. 4.

I've finally booked in to the see the physio next Monday about my ankle, so hopefully I will get some exercises to do and I will see some improvement.
For those wondering I have tiny (pin prick) avulsion fracture, the treatment is the same for a sprain; keeping it strapped, staying off it as much as possible (so my morning walks are out for the time being) and doing some exercises from a physio. So while it is technically broken its so small, so its the best case scenario for a fracture. I do notice a huge difference in how it feels on the days I keep off it, last Friday I was baking all afternoon and that night it really hurt, compared to Monday when I kept off it and the pain was minimal.

I've also been watching bits and pieces of the Commonwealth games, mainly focusing on the Gymnastics! I am always in awe of what gymnasts are capable of and just how effortless they look when you know it must be super hard.
Moving onto Friday Favourites:

Rylee Luxe Stripe Batwing long sleeved top - I can't believe I am already thinking about my Winter wardrobe. I always like Autumn and Spring as its not too hot or cold and I get away with jeans, tops and flats but come Winter I break out the long sleeves! I always have trouble finding nice long sleeved tops but when I saw this top at Jeanswest it was love at first sight. It's such a flattering print and fit plus the fabric feels amazing.

The Detail - this show is so good! Its from the people who did Saving Hope and it's so nice to see a crime/police show based around 3 strong women. The first 2 episodes have been amazing and I know it will only get better and better.

Over My Head by Echosmith - music always makes doing assignments less boring and Echosmith is often on repeat. I loving all their new music of course I manage to have their new song Over My Head stuck in my head throughout the day but I'm not complaining.

Raise Dough 2018 - this is ReachOut's newest fundraising campaign and it combines 2 of my favourite things baking and ReachOut :) so of course I signed up for it and I wanted to encourage everyone else to sign up for it too! You can either do it in person or online and there is no limit to what types of baked goods you can sell :)

Kikki K Everyday Gen Pen Cat - this is my current pen of choice for assignments and study, I love the gel ink and it rolls so smoothly. I actually now have 4 of these pens because I love them so much. The cat print is super cute too and it's a great way to show your love of cats when you're studying.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

ReachOut's 20th Celebrations recap

I ended up being over east for a grand total of 36 hours (excluding the 10 hours combined of flight time) which was crazy but I had so much fun and packed a decent amount in!

I arrived Wednesday night and checked into the hostel, the flight itself was uneventful and I just watched movies and tv shows on the inflight entertainment to pass the time. As I was the first person arriving (and the only one arriving that night) I got my own private room which was really nice. The hostel room felt more like a hotel room, as it had it's own ensuite and was nice, bright and clean. I also got decent views which was pleasant surprise. I unpacked and tried to go to sleep but the time difference (3 hours ahead) made things hard.

Thursday morning I had free time until 11.30am when the others (a mix of youth ambassadors and forum mods) would arrive, so I grabbed some toast for breakfast and decided to explore. I left the hostel at 7.30am, not realising that most things in the area don't open until 9.30am or later! But I decided to explore the area and go for a long walk (ignoring the advice of my Dr to take it easy!), I was walking past a café and decided to call in to get a second breakfast of Belgian waffles (with ice cream and chocolate sauce) which were amazing. I walked down laneways, saw some tourist spots (and admittedly felt like re-enacting some of my favourite scenes from Dance Academy haha!) and just took the area in. I grabbed a lemonade and people watched for a while before exploring a few hole in the wall shops that were finally open. I then headed back to the hostel for 11.00am and changed before meeting up with the others and heading to the RO office.

The dress code was smart/neat casual so I took an everyday outfit for me and glammed it up with the
sparkly shoes, make up, wore black jeans instead of blue and picked a more dressier top.

At the office we had lunch, before doing some afternoon workshops and meeting the CEO who was super nice. I got to catch up with the staff I had met during my last trip there and was almost tackled to the ground by J who works in fundraising (I'm pretty sure I'm her favourite volunteer!), it wasn't super intense which was nice and a lot of fun. We then had 15 minutes to finish getting ready before going in taxis to the party venue.
All of us were allocated jobs to do and mine was going around and asking people if they would like to record a piece of advice that they would tell their younger selves. I was chosen for the job because I love to talk, though it was still nerve wracking it was great meeting people who had all been connected to ReachOut in some way.
The rest of night was spent catching up with people, chatting to staff, eating and drinking. It was a beautiful venue and everyone was enjoying themselves. All current staff members and volunteers wore a special ReachOut pin which was a way for people to identify us as those currently involved with ReachOut. I'm currently loving pins so to get a ReachOut pin was amazing and I intend to wear it with pride everywhere.

We all ended back at the hostel and went to bed after a very crazy day. I rang my family up as due to the time difference it was early evening at home and then tried to sleep. I will be surprised if I got a combined 8 hours for both nights as I felt like I was existing on minimal sleep the whole trip.

Due to the various flight times we were separated into two groups who left at different times the next day. I was lucky enough to have an 8.25am flight which meant I got to leave the hostel at 6.00am along with 5 others. At the airport I sat with 3 others who were flying on the same airline but different flights (once again I travelled the furthest!) and we each grabbed something for energy, and chatted for a while. My flight was the first to board and I was thankful that breakfast was included which was nice. After a long 5 hour flight I arrived back home and met my dad at the airport and headed home to put my ankle up and relax after a full on past few days.

There is honestly not much I would've done differently this time round, I think it helped that I knew kinda what to expect this time round and it had been less than 6 months since I had flown over for the Mod Workshop. I got to see more this trip (despite it being shorter) and made sure to document it, I tried to be flexible and go with the flow and I just embraced every experience I could. Yes I had minimal sleep but I had prepared myself for it and made sure to get decent nights sleep leading up to the trip.
The only thing I would've changed was not having a sprained (well technically a minor fracture) ankle which was annoying more than anything else!

I had a great trip and I hope to return next year to help ReachOut celebrate their 21st :)

Friday, March 23, 2018

Five Friday Favourites

After a whirlwind trip over east (full recap coming soon!) for ReachOut's 20th, I am back and ready to get back into life or mainly assignments!

I spent Monday doings some window shopping and assignments, the due dates of which are slowly looming! I am loving my course but I am convinced some of these assignments will be the end of me haha!
Tuesday I finally saw my doctor about my ankle, I figured I should get it checked out before my trip as it wasn't improving and wanted to make sure I was doing all I could do. I ended up needing an x-ray which turned what should've been a straightforward appointment into a somewhat complicated appointment. Thankfully it was a quick in and out for the  x-ray but I am kicking myself for not seeing my doctor earlier and walking around on a potientially broken ankle!
I also finished binging The Night Shift, I always find its bittersweet to finish a show you really enjoyed watching.
Then Wednesday until today I was over east and I have just gotten home and doing lots of self-care :)

Also for those wanting to know I did actually fracture my ankle but thankfully I just need to keep it strapped and stay off it as much as possible over the next few weeks along with seeing a physio. So its the best case of a worse case scenario.

Quite a few of this weeks Favourites are linked into to what I wore over east, I found myself needing a distraction from studying so what better way than to focus to what to wear to such an awesome occasion?

Now for Friday Favourites:
Esma flats in silver - I really wanted a new pair of shoes to wear for ReachOut's 20th celebrations. The dress code was neat casual so while I was thankful not to have to pack a dress and wear heels (especially as I had sprained my ankle 2 weeks prior!), I still wanted to look nice. For some reason I had it in my mind that I wanted super sparkly glittery flats preferably in silver and when I saw these online I was thrilled. Of course I find with flats I need to try them on (I have love/hate relationship with how flats fit) but thankfully when I tried them in the store they fitted perfectly. They were a great shoe to wear to the event and really glammed up my outfit (I wore black jeans, a nice top, dangly earrings and completed the look with glitter eyeshadow) a bonus is that they didn't take up much space in my luggage. Also for those wondering I did wear a pressure bandage with the flats to help my ankle and I had no issues.

Lush Knot-wraps - I got given a lush gift pack for Christmas and it was wrapped in a knot-wrap which I really liked and found myself using to add some extra colour into my wardrobe. With Winter coming up the bulk of my wardrobe is black and grey I figured I should buy a couple more to throw into rotation. I tend to use them to just add colour when I style my hair (I tie them round my ponytail) but there are so many uses for them. I ended up buying two limited edition ones, Psycheggdelic and April Showers  both of which are bright and fun.

Coin Drop Earrings in silver - dangly earrings really suite me I am told, so I have quite a collection which I wear regularly. These were an online impulse purchase one night and I really love them, they are quite long but really delicate and light. I can only wear sterling silver or gold due to a metal allergy so these earrings were a steal for the price and quality. I ended up wearing these for ReachOut's 20th celebrations and they complimented my silver flats perfectly.

Life Sentence - what if despite being told you were dying you weren't? This is Stella's (Pretty Little Liars Lucy Hale) life after being diagnosed with terminal cancer and living each day like it was her last she is cured of cancer (thanks to a new experimental medical treatment) and now has to face a future she never thought she would have. I'm really enjoying this show mainly because the concept has never been done before (though it does have a bit of a Chasing Life vibe) and it's a great new perspective on life. It's done by the creators of Scrubs (Bill Lawrence) so you know it's good and I'm interested to see where it goes.

Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink - I've struggled to find a long lasting matte lipstick that I like until now. Every matte lipstick is either too dry, doesn't stay on for long, or is impossible to put on without painting your face in the process. I was really hesitant to try this lipstick but I knew I needed a lipstick for over east that would go the distance so I wouldn't have to reapply every few hours, I took the plunge last Wednesday and bought a tube (I bought it in Dreamer which is nice neautral pink) and I'm impressed! I decided to put to the test last Thursday morning, I applied it at 8.00am, went to class, had a snack, drank water, had pasta for lunch and it still looked decent after lunch. I came home, had dinner (meat and salad) then went out for San Churros with friends and had ice cream, after all that it was minimal wear (just on the insides of my lips), it then came off with only a bit of scrubbing (micellar water really helped). I will say you need to let dry after you apply it and if you are like me who applies lip balm before lipstick to leave at least an hour before you put it on so the balm has time to sink into the lips.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

What I've been reading lately

I've been reading up a storm lately so rather than just share my thoughts on the books spread out in different posts I decided to one big post with 3 reviews. Two of the books are from authors I enjoy and one is a author that I was pleasantly surprised by.

A new heart saved her life—but will it help her find out what really happened to its donor? Seventeen-year-old Leah MacKenzie is heartless. An artificial heart in a backpack is keeping her alive. However, this route only offers her a few years. And with her rare blood type, a transplant isn’t likely. Living like you are dying isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But when a heart becomes available, she’s given a second chance at life. Except Leah discovers who the donor was—a boy from her school—and they’re saying he killed himself. Plagued with dreams since the transplant, she realizes she may hold the clues to what really happened.
Matt refuses to believe his twin killed himself. When Leah seeks him out, he learns they are both having similar dreams and he’s certain it means something. While unraveling the secrets of his brother’s final moments, Leah and Matt find each other, and a love they are terrified to lose. But life and even new hearts don’t come with guarantees. Who knew living, took more courage than dying?
This Heart of Mine is a haunting, poignant tale about living and dying, surviving grief, guilt, and heartache, while discovering love and hope in the midst of sadness.

I really liked this book and couldn't believe I hadn't read anything else by the author before! The characters were likeable and the story was full of twists and turns. I liked Leah and found her to be brave but scared, she wasn't expecting this chance at life and while she wants to embrace it she is hesitant of what could happen in the future. I really felt sorry for Matt as he had been dealt some bad cards in life but at the same time he was trying to move forward while also dealing with these what if questions. The two characters together were an unexpected but loveable pair and I liked reading how their story grew throughout the book. This book also really advocated for organ donation and in this day it's not something people think about often so it was great to see a book covering this topic.

This Heart of Mine is available now where all books are sold.

I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Foreman - the blurb reads:

A powerful story of empathy and friendship from the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of If I Stay.Around the time that Freya loses her voice while recording her debut album, Harun is making plans to run away from everyone he has ever loved, and Nathaniel is arriving in New York City with a backpack, a desperate plan, and nothing left to lose. When a fateful accident draws these three strangers together, their secrets start to unravel as they begin to understand that the way out of their own loss might just lie in help­ing the others out of theirs.
An emotionally cathartic story of losing love, finding love, and dis­covering the person you are meant to be, I Have Lost My Way is best­selling author Gayle Forman at her finest.

I read a lot of Gayle's books and really enjoyed them, so I had high hopes for this book and while it wasn't bad I just didn't enjoy it as much as I had enjoyed her prior books. The characters were likeable and each had their own personal struggles but this made the book hard to follow at times. I did like how diverse the characters were and how you could see a lot of different cultures along with how certain experiences shaped them. The story flowed nicely and I enjoyed how the story mostly took place over less than 24 hours with flashbacks added in to give depth. I did find that the book ended really abruptly and while this worked fine in If I Stay it didn't fit with the flow of this book and there needed to be an epilogue or another chapter to tie things together. If you liked Gayle's other books you will like this one but go into it with an open mind and be prepared to leave with questions.

I Have Lost My Way is out on March 27th.

Honeysuckle Dreams by Denise Hunter - the blurb reads:
After Brady Collins’ ex-wife dies, he receives devastating news—his nine-month-old son Sam isn’t his son at all. And Sam’s wealthy maternal grandparents want custody of the child. Brady knows he’s in for the fight of his life. But regardless of what any blood test says, Sam is his son, and Brady will go to any lengths to keep him.

Brady’s attorney tips him off that one major life change would virtually assure him of winning guardianship of baby Sam at the final hearing: an impending marriage. And his friend Hope is willing to step in as the loving and devoted fiancee.

Local radio celebrity Hope Daniels has been driven by a solitary goal her entire life, and after a happy accident she’s finally offered her dream job. But if the truth comes out about her arrangement with Brady, she may miss the chance of a lifetime and stand in the way of a dear friend’s dreams.

As Brady and Hope make sacrifices to help each other in their times of need, they risk uncovering a truth neither of them expects to find.

Every book I read by Denise Hunter is amazing and this book was no exception! It was such a fun book to read and the story was beautifully written. I loved the characters and just adored Hope and her history and how much she valued Brady's friendship and was willing to step up and go beyond to help him. Brady was someone who owned up to mistakes and wasn't prepared to step down when the going got tough. These two really complimented each other despite their differences and challenging histories. The story was really enjoyable and just when I thought I knew it where it was going it took another turn. I also loved how Denise was able to incorporate characters from the other books in The Blue Ridge Romance series and make them a part of the story but without taking away anything from the main story As with all of Denise's books it's not a requirement to read the first 2 books in the series before this one, as all the books can be enjoyed as standalone stories and each focuses on a different pair of characters. This book is a great read and once you start reading it you won't be able to stop.

Honey Suckle Dreams is out May 1st and available to pre-order now.

Hopefully your to-read pile has just gotten a bit bigger and you've found some new books to read next.
***Please note that I was provided with an advanced ebook copy of each book in exchange for an honest review.