Friday, June 30, 2017

Five Friday Favourites

Another week another Friday Favourites, I meant to get this out last Friday but life got in the way and I somehow got roped into baking for the youth group and joining them for croquet (yes you read that right!). So my day just got swept away from me and by the time I remembered I needed to finish this post it was Saturday so I figured I would just wait a week.

For those who haven't read this post, I finally have a job interview on Tuesday! My anxiety of course has made itself at home and I am overthinking every little thing to do with the interview (What will I wear? How will I do my makeup? What if I say something stupid?...) but I keep reminding myself that it's all in God's no matter what happens. Though I would appreciate your prayers regarding it if you remember :)

Now onto Friday Favourites for this week:

Osiris Envy glasses - a couple of weeks ago my glasses came! I am loving them so much, but I am finding it hard to wear them most of the time. I have always just worn them for computer work, but with these I can wear them all the time if I want/need and while I do notice a huge difference when wearing them it just takes effort. I live in sunglasses when I am outside (my eyes are super sensitive to light) so it just takes a bit extra to switch them over and remember to do it. They are also bifocal (so along with not being covered by insurance) which means that they are taking that much more time to get used too. I love the frames and have gotten loads of compliments on them by friends and family, I think the dark blue brings out my eyes and the shape really works with my face too.

Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh - I really enjoyed this book and found it a great read. Once I started I could not put it down.
Ryan and Lane are great individual characters and I loved reading about them both alone and together as they restarted their friendship together. I really related to Lane with how she saw herself and it was great to see Ryan break down the walls she had put up.
Ryan is struggling to break free of his past, but he can't let go of it no matter how much he tries as he is such a caring guy. I loved reading about his relationship with his sister and nephew and you could tell that he didn't want his father or his messy upbringing to define him.
Both Ryan and Lane don't have perfect pasts which adds another layer to the story and the more you read it the more you love them and want them to follow their hearts.
The story wasn't really fast paced either so by the end of it, I felt I really knew Lane and Ryan well
It did not go in the direction that I thought it would and the story had so much depth to it.

The description reads:
 After tirelessly climbing the ranks of her Chicago-based interior design firm, Lane Kelley is about to land her dream promotion when devastating news about her brother draws her back home—a quaint tourist town full of memories she’d just as soon forget. With her cell phone and laptop always within reach, Lane aims to check on her brother while staying focused on work—something her eclectic family doesn’t understand.
Ryan Brooks never expected to settle down in Harbor Pointe, Michigan, but after his final tour of duty, it was the only place that felt like home. Now knee-deep in a renovation project that could boost tourism for the struggling town, he is thrilled to see Lane, the girl he secretly once loved, even if the circumstances of her homecoming aren’t ideal.
Their reunion gets off to a rocky start, however, when Ryan can’t find a trace of the girl he once knew in the woman she is today. As he slowly chips away at the walls Lane has built, secrets from his past collide with a terrible truth even he is reluctant to believe. Facing a crossroads that could define his future with Lane and jeopardize his relationship with the surrogate family he’s found in the Kelleys, Ryan hopes Lane can see that maybe what really matters has been right in front of her all along—if only she’d just look up.

If you are after a new read to help get you through Winter, Just Look Up is it you will be surprised with how much you enjoy it and just how big an imprint it will leave on your life well after you've finished reading it. Just Look Up is out on the 4th of July and its a must add to book to your 'to read' piles.

Despicable Me 3 - last Tuesday I had no energy so I thought I would to the movies because why not? I really enjoy going the movies alone as there's no preassure to talk to anyone, you can pick the movie you want to see and no one will judge you for eating a whole pack of M&Ms. I have enjoyed all the Despicable Me movies so it was a natural choice to see Despicable Me 3. I really liked the film and it was funny, fast paced and just a feel good movie in general. I loved seeing Gru, Lucy and the girls return and the minions were a scene stealer too (I will say you do not want to mess with the minions in jail as while they look cute and innocent they can be evil/terrifying in their own right!). I also found the music was really well put together and made the film. If you are after a fun movie and loved the first 2 films Despicable Me 3 is must see.

Scunci braided elastics for thick hair - my hair is thick and fine so when I want to wear it up I have 2 options 1) use 3 elastics to hold it up which takes forever to do and not may not give me a good result or 2) use one of these elastics. I go the latter and since discovering these guys years ago I refuse to use anything else. 1 elastic lasts for months and is really strong and can hold my hair with no problems. I have never come across any elastic that is even half as good and they look really cute and stylish too.

Pitch Perfect 3 trailer - they're back and after loving the first 2 movies, I am looking forward to the 3rd (and final) instalment. The trailer looks like it should be a funny film and I can't wait to see more of Rebel Wilson's (Fat Amy) one liners!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A step in the right direction

Being unemployed is hard, being unemployed in this job market is harder. I have applied for so many jobs and when you get no response it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. So many people have their opinions on what I should be doing to get a job and it's hard when no one knows what you are going through or what its like to have to be picky when applying for jobs. I have always said that God has the right job out there for me and no matter what I will trust him with this stage of my life. A few weeks ago I started praying that God would guide me in the right direction and show me that I am doing the right thing with continuing applying for admin jobs (I've also expanded to applying for retail jobs but its been a dead end there).
Last Wednesday my phone rang, I didn't recognise the number and was surprised when it was from a company about a job I had applied for at the start of the month. I had been shortlisted and they were chatting to all potiential interviewees to find out if they had what they were looking for and they would call me on Friday with the results. I was pretty sure I had made a fool of myself and would no way get called back for an interview but it felt like an achievment just to get a call.
Friday moring I was in the car with a friend (and her two adorable kids) and had just finished telling her how I was finally feeling confident in my job hunt and had applied for a few potiential jobs that I felt I had a chance in getting an interview for and I might have a potiential job interview which was a huge deal for me. When my phone rang, I recognised the number from Wednesday so answered it and could not believe it when I was told I had an interview for the 4th of July if I wanted it (I was free but I would've cancelled anything because an interview in admin in this job market is unheard of). I told my friend who shared my excitement and wanted to know all the details. Having someone who knew my struggles (and whom I had confided in) celebrating with me made it feel more real.
It's not a job but it's an interview and that is something amazing, being able to tell people that I have a job interview when asked how the job hunt is going and the feeling of knowing that I have beaten out hundreds for the chance to sell myself is the best. I have no idea how the interview will go but at the end of the day it's a step in the right direction and I know God will guide me through this next step, no matter what the outcome is.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

An update on coping

Thought I would just do an update on how I am going since this post. Nothing has changed on the job front which is hard, but I am keeping on praying and I know God has the right job out there for me. I have been chatting to lots of people and using their skills to help me. I recently reformatted my resume after talking to some people at church who gave me some advice and I am really happy with it and feel that it's so much more professional now.
I am currently walking the fine line of wanting to apply for any job possible but also realising that I have to be picky. I am applying for a much broader range of jobs, not just admin and customer service. If a job is part time, in a supportive environment and I have the skills I apply for it. I applied for a job last week that looks promising so I am praying that that leads to an interview. My employment agency has also been putting my name forward for a few jobs that also look promising, so praying that they lead somewhere too.  I have no idea when I will get a job but I am trying to do everything that I can to land a job soon.
I do feel as though I am coping better, but I do have my moments, I also find I have these moments filled with anxiety for no apparent reason which are challenging and I never know how long they will last for. I am trying to get more in a routine with my sleep and along with regular exercise I am hoping these anxiety moments decrease.
I am realising that I am just in a time of my life where I need to take it one day at time and if I have days where I'm not coping then that's fine, things will eventually get better even if only God knows when that will be.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Five Friday Favourites

I have decided that every second week is always crazy for me and it was this week for sure! Sunday and Monday I reformatted my resume on the advice of some friends, while it took me a while I am hoping the improvements will be worth it and I will hopefully get some interviews soon.
Wednesday I had a long overdue optometrist appointment and then proceeded to spend $200 on a new pair of glasses. I hadn't had a new pair since I was 14 and my prescription had changed majorly (as you would expect) so I figured I had better get a pair that I really loved and would actually want to wear (I got these). I wanted something a bit different than what I had previously had and these just made me feel myself. I tried on a heap of different pairs but kept coming back to the first pair I tried on. Apparently I have trouble focusing my vision plus the stigmatism I have always had (which means I will always wear glasses to some degree) means I will be looking at wearing glasses 60%-80% of the time depending on what I have going on during the day.
The rest of the week has been just as busy, with employment agency meetings, baby sitting and running errands, I would much rather have a busy week than a quiet one though!

Moving on to Five Friday Favourites:

Sadie Robertson - Be You - Scripture Cards (here's the link for an Australian seller)- On Tuesday I made the drive to Koorong, the only Christian bookstore around. I maybe go 3 times a year if that as it's out of my way and a decent distance to drive for just a bookstore, also its a dangerous place for my bank account! I walked in there with a list and left with a few additionial purchases (all good I had money set aside from doing a few odd jobs so the damage wasn't too bad) these cards were one of them. If you recall at Christmas time I got given a Sadie Robertson calender which I love and it makes me smile whenever I see it and when I saw these cards I knew I had to get them. They are great quality and its such a cool idea how you attatch them to the stand with the gem magnet. I also couldn't resist getting 2 packs of these (photo here) to put on gifts and give to people.

Fairy Bread Cheesecake - I had a bible study dinner on Wednesday night and I brought dessert (which is no surprise if you know me), I wasn't sure what to take but when I came across a recipe for Fairy Bread Cheesecake in the latest copy of Super Food Ideas magazine I knew I was onto a winner. It looked and tasted amazing plus I have no doubt you could leave out the sprinkles for a plain baked cheesecake or mix in some melted chocolate for a chocolate cheesecake. I swirled through some melted white chocolate just before baking which added a nice element to it. Then with the remaining chocolate spread it on some baking paper and sprinkled on some sprinkles before leaving it to set and breaking into shards which I put on top.

Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter book review - if you are after a book to read that's perfect to curl up in front of the heater then this is it. I loved this book and highly recommend it to anyone who is after a good read. Check out my review for more details and info.

NIV Pocket Floral Notebook Bible - I've never been a fan of huge bibles, they are just hard to carry round, heavy and I find them hard to handle (don't get me wrong I own a large bible but I rarely use it) and when my Grandma got me my first backpack bible for my birthday many years ago I haven't looked back. Recently the time had come for a new bible and I wanted the replacement to be a similar size, I had seen this bible a while ago and I loved it so when the time to retire the bible that my Grandma had given me (the Soul Surfer backpack bible) I knew this would be the one. It's small but the font isn't too small, had a ribbon bookmark, back pocket (I am always storing bits of paper in my bible!) and it doesn't look like a bible. While I am sad to retire my current bible I am happy to start a new journey with this one.

Rainbow Brolly by Smiggle - with Winter upon us, it means we will soon some get some rainy days which I love but I also seem to get stuck in rain showers so I always make sure to have an umbrella with me. I love the colours of this one and think it adds a pop colour on an otherwise grey day. It's small and compact so it can fit in your handbag for those moments you get stuck in showers and you need to run from the car to shops, race into work or fill up your car with fuel (the other week I got drenched filling up my car as the shelter at the petrol station was useless). Plus Smiggle umbrellas really hold up well, I have one that is 4 years old and still going strong. I can't wait to use this umbrella this Winter.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Book review: Sweetbriar Cottage

I have a list of Christian authors that I will read every book they publish without question Denise Hunter is one of those authors and I find her books are really good reads. She tends to write series but her latest book, Sweetbriar Cottage is a standalone novel and it's an amazing read.

The description reads:
When Noah and Josephine Mitchell discover their divorce was never actually finalized, their lives are turned upside down.
Following his divorce, Noah gave up his dream job, settling at a remote horse ranch in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia, putting much-needed distance between himself and the former love of his life. But then Noah gets a letter from the IRS claiming he and Josephine are still married. When he confronts Josephine for the first time in months, they discover that she missed the final step in filing the paperwork and they are, in fact, still married.
Josephine is no happier about the news than Noah. Maybe the failed marriage—and okay, the botched divorce—was her fault, but her heart was shattered right alongside his, more than he would ever believe. The sooner they put this marriage behind them, the better for both of their sakes.
But when Josephine delivers the final paperwork to his ranch, the two become stranded in his cottage during the worst spring snowstorm in a decade. Being trapped with Josephine is a test of Noah’s endurance. He wrestles with resentment and an unmistakable pull to his wife—still beautiful, still brave, and still more intriguing than any woman he’s ever known.
As they find themselves confronted with each other and their shared past, old wounds surface and tempers flare. But when they are forced out into the storm, they must rely on each other in a way they never have before. Josephine finally opens up about her tragic past, and Noah realizes she’s never been loved unconditionally by anyone—including him. Will Noah accept the challenge to pursue Josephine’s heart? And can she finally find the courage to trust Noah?

I really enjoyed this book and loved how it jumped between the past and present, it really gave the story some added depth. It was also good how it jumped between Josephine's view and Noah's view so you could see the story from all angles instead of one sided.

I liked Josephine from the moment I met her in the book but it was clear that she felt she didn't deserve to be loved. It was great seeing her develop and realise that her past didn't affect her future or her happiness.
Noah took me a while to warm up to and it was clear that he had isolated himself from people and distanced himself from the ones he has loved since the divorce and that the last thing he wants is to be stuck with his ex-wife. You get to see varying sides of him throughout the story and just how much he doesn't want to let go of Josephine despite what he has convinced himself to think.

This book isn't a typical love story like I am used to reading, but a story about forgiveness and healing. It's about how you can think people will judge you because of your past but sometimes once they know the full story you will not only receive forgiveness but also healing. At times I wasn't sure where the story was going but everything worked out in the end as should happen in all good stories.

Denise knows how to write a story, I finished this book in 2 days and was on the edge of my seat for most of it. I loved every minute of reading it and it was everything and more I hoped it would be.

If you are after a good read that will stay with you long after you've read it, I highly recommend Sweetbriar Cottage.

Sweetbriar Cottage is out June 13th from all leading book stores