Friday, September 29, 2017

Five Friday Favourites

It's been a crazy couple of weeks! Last weekend was the annual inter-church sport competition which was full on but loads of fun, I also only got hit by one flying object which was a record! I've been applying for jobs, recovering from yet another cold (which wiped me out for a few days) and starting my next ReachOut fundraising activity.

I went shoe shopping at the outlet shopping centre on Wednesday to find some shoes for my cousin's wedding in December and ended up buying 2 pairs (there was a buy one get the next pair 40% off) from Wittner. I got these silver wedges and these white block heels and ended up spending just over $110 in total for both pairs (my budget was $100 for one pair so I am thrilled!). I am unsure which pair I will choose to wear but figure I have 2 months to wear them both in and will see what I am feeling on the day.

Onto Five Friday Favourites:

Swatch Colorush watch - I had it in my head that I wanted a watch for my birthday from my parents and I love Swatch watches. I spent ages looking on the website trying to find one I liked and I eventually settled on this one. It's such a different fun watch, while still being classic and having the metal band which I like (it also means its easier for me to get on). I've gotten loads of compliments on it.

2018 Sadie Robertson calendar - call me organised but I have already bought my calendar for next year! I got given the 2017 one for Christmas last year and I loved it, even now it makes me so happy when I see it so I couldn't resist ordering it for 2018 (I had a 25% off code for Koorong). I am obsessed with Sadie Robertson's range (these cards are on my bedside table and they are so encouraging) and just love the messages behind everything, plus the water colour style is so pretty.

Kikki K 2018 Weekly Diary Small: Cute - I like to think I am sorted for 2018 now! If you're a member at Kikki K you get a $10 voucher for your birthday each year and every year I like to use it to buy a diary for the following year. I always go for the same diary as it's the perfect size for my handbag and I am a creature of habit. I just can't get in the habit of using my phone for a diary and like to be able to write dates down far in advance where possible. Plus it's the cutest diary and it's perfect to use for work and study.

Dear World by Echosmith - this is a song that I think everyone needs to listen to at the moment and its so beautifully written and sang. Also Echosmith's EP is released today so go download it now, you won't regret it :)



Taylor Swift VS Ed Sheeran Mashup
This popped up on my Facebook feed and I loved it. I tend to get sucked into YouTube holes quite easily and I spent my Wednesday night watching a lot of videos but this one came out on top by far. The way the songs flow, its just a fun video plus you can't deny that these guys are talented.

Bonus entry:

Greenhouse Academy - I must say that Netflix is killing it on their original stuff and Greenhouse Academy was amazing! I won't give too much away but it's one of those that will have hooked from the first episode and it's a new concept with a relatively unknown cast too.

Friday, September 15, 2017

22 things I have achieved my 23rd year

 No Friday Favourites this week as I am 23 today! I am feeling a bit old today, I have heard from
various people that once you turn 23 you are officially an adult and I am starting to agree with them. This past year hasn't turned out how I would've hoped but at the same time I have achieved so much (I have also binged quite a few TV shows! Parenthood, Friends, The Office, Every Witch Way, Good Witch, The IT Crowd ... I will stop now!) and done things I never in a million years thought I would do. I realised that my self worth wasn't in the fact whether I am employed or not, having a job shouldn't give you an identity or self worth when so much else shapes you. While I don't currently have a job and I have no idea when I will get one, I am not just my job status and if people can't see that then they don't deserve to be in my life.
I have no idea what this year will hold but I do know that whatever happens God is in control and I will be ok with whatever happens.

I thought I would write a list of things I have achieved in my 23rd year, so I can remind myself that despite still being unemployed it hasn't been a disaster and I've done so much.

  1. Survived 3 months living alone while the rest of the family was overseas. 
  2. Had multiple articles published on The Mighty.
  3. Catered (and did d├ęcor for) a quiz night for church with only one weeks notice.
  4. Attended a ReachOut Youth Ambassador one day intensive/refresher course.
  5. Continued to be a ReachOut Youth Ambassador.
  6. Gotten off my P-Plates which means I have my full drivers license!
  7. Started doing regular exercise and kept it up.
  8. Been stabbed 2 times by my doctor to get a mole (which I thought was cancer but turned out it wasn't) and a cyst removed (which turned out to be pre-cancerous). Which means I now have 2 new scars.
  9. Saw The Next Step in Concert (this was exactly a week after I turned 22) with Megan.
  10. Did a speech (twice!) at a mental health expo about exam stress.
  11. Closed some doors that needed to be closed.
  12. Continued to stay on top of my anxiety despite having a few 'life traps' (as is the correct psychological term for them).
  13. Learnt how to stand up for myself and be assertive when the time has called for it.
  14. Baked an amazing 3 layer cake for my parents 25th wedding anniversary.
  15. Learnt how to really trust in God and rely on him through some really hard times.
  16. Helped organise a car wash for missions at church (despite not being able to actually wash cars due to having stitchers in from a cyst removal).
  17. Did 2 terms of mentoring at the local youth centre, which got me out of my comfort zone while also being really rewarding.
  18. Grown more as a Christian.
  19. Gotten hit by a flying gym matt and Frisbee (I was spectating our team warming up and got hit in the eye!) all on the same weekend!
  20. Shared more of my story.
  21. Continued to serve my church doing various things including: projector, young adults and ALOT of baking!
  22. Started to stop believing the lies my anxiety tells me and believing that I am worth something.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Mental Health Expo - ReachOut Stall and Exam Stress Presentation

After a lot of hard work and the mental health expo is over! This is a long post so you have been
warned, mainly because I want to document it but also so it can be used as a resource for other ReachOut Youth Ambassadors if they ever get the chance to do something like this.

How the expo ran was that there was a morning session between 9.00am and 10.30am then morning tea followed by breakout sessions (where I was presenting) from 11.10am -12.20pm (with a 10 minute break in the middle), then lunch and the afternoon session between 1.00pm-2.30pm. All stall holders were welcome to join in any sessions they wished but I didn't do the morning session so I could focus on my presentation, though after lunch (and after I had packed up) I went in to the afternoon session which was good (though the first half was on sport so I kinda switched off for that). I was asked to be there for a 7.30am set up and to expect people before the morning session, recess and lunch. I was thankful that a forum moderator (the only one in my state) could be there to help for the bulk of it which was helpful. I had to set up in the theatre for my presentation during recess which was really busy so it helped to have her man the table while I did that.


The Stall - I kept it pretty simple once again with my light box (best $20 I have ever spent!), a blue tablecloth, lollies (I buy mentos and mini chupa chups in bulk from The Reject Store as they are cheap and individually wrapped), brochures and bookmarks with the Caption Game (see below) in the middle. Thankfully table and chairs were provided though the table was narrow but I made things work, I also took a freestanding banner. I find that the light box and banner makes everything seem more professional and once again I got confused as a staff member from ReachOut!
As I was catching the train in, I found it make sense to pack everything (including my laptop and food for the day) into a small roll along suitcase which made things so much easier. I think from now on I will do this for stalls rather than carrying everything in a crate.

The Presentation - the irony of this was that it caused me a lot of stress and it was about exam stress haha! I spent a good amount of time writing my talk and powerpoint to go along with it, I also rehersed it on and off for 2 weeks leading up the expo.
For the content I just picked and chose what would work in well from this page. This meant that I could use it as a point of reference at the end of the talk and direct people to check it out.
I did the presentation during both break-out sessions and I will say that the second presentation did go a lot more smoothly which was expected. Despite me thinking that both talks should come close to 30 minutes they came in at 20 minutes which was fine. Including a video was a good idea and it was something that they could all related to and tied in with the talk perfectly (Rahart Adam's your 'There's Life After' video helped make my talk!).


Caption Game - I always find it helps to have some sort of interactive element on stalls, to get people talking and act as an ice breaker. I have previously made a memory game but from experience at last years expo I knew it wouldn't work so instead I made a caption game. The concept was based on the game What Do You Meme where you match captions to memes but I wanted this have to have a mental health twist and the captions not be so long. Instead I had some basic captions (some mental health related) and a variety of images and people could match them as they pleased and leave them in the middle of the table for other people to see them.

Captions -  I used a variety of captions all kept to one sentence. I just typed in a text box on Word keeping the format the same. Some captions I used included: what a good day feels like, what a bad feels like, me and my friends, words of advice, when I try to explain myself to people. how people react to mental illness, how people should react to mental illness, when I realise I have responsibilities, how I feel today, when your favourite song comes on in the car... I had a total of 22 captions but that included some repeats.

Images - I found these over a week (when I took breaks from writing my presentation) and printed them off every time I had a couple of pages of them. I tried to use a wide variety of images and made sure that the bulk of them had some wording on them (as in quotes from tv shows) rather than just images. I also included some quotes from popular young adult novels including: Harry Potter, Tomorrow When The War Began (which is common book high schoolers read in school), If I stay and Everything, Everything (as the movie has just come out).
Images I used included: Friends quotes/memes, Degrassi: Next Generation Quotes (I had a heap saved in my images that had to do with mental health), movie characters (including Big Hero 6, Inside Out, minions and a Princess Bride quote), Parks and Rec quotes, The IT crowd quotes, Brooklyn Nine Nine quotes, a pic of a celeb ambassador (Rahart Adams) for ReachOut wearing a ReachOut hoodie and a few other random images. In the end I had a total of 41 images.

I then printed out the images and captions in colour and the tedious work began! I really wanted to make sure the game lasted, so after I printed them out I cut them out and stuck them on white cardboard, then cut them out and laminated them and finally cut them out again! You could totally skip the laminating part but I am lucky enough to have access to one and figured that it will make them last. I do suggest at least gluing them onto cardboard as paper isn't going to handle much wear and tear.

I was able to do the cutting out while watching Netflix so it wasn't too bad and its nice to have access to another game when it comes to stalls.

This game went down really well and a lot of teachers were impressed by it (one even took a photo it so she could recreate something similar), some kids also liked flicking through the images and having a laugh.

All in all it was an extremely successful (but tiring) day and I am thrilled that I get opportunites like this because of ReachOut.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Five Friday Favourites

2 weeks until I turn 23! Can I just say I am feeling a bit old? I honestly felt that by now I would have my life somewhat together but God has other plans and I'm learning that it's ok.

It's been a crazy-ish couple of weeks with doing a lot of prep for my ReachOut exam stress presentation and ReachOut stall at the mental health expo next Thursday. I like my stalls for ReachOut to have an element of interaction with a fun game, last year I made ReachOut memory cards (which are laminated) which went down really well at past stalls but found they didn't work at the expo last year so I have been printing off a variety of images and captions to do a simpler version of What Do You Meme game. Which has been tedious but will be worth it (again I will be laminating it so I can reuse it) and its coming together nicely.
My talk has been written, and I think I am happy with my PowerPoint presentation but knowing me I will keep changing it until the day before! I printed out my talk and its been in my bag so when I get a spare moment I can go through it. My aim is to mostly speak from memory but have my speech printed out for reference.
I will be a doing a recap on the expo next Thursday/Friday depending how tired how I am after it all (did I mention I am giving the presentation twice as it's meant to be so popular!).

I also thought it was time for a change regarding my hair so I got it cut ... really short.  This was a
different style to what I normally get done but its more adult and I am loving it being longer in the front.

Moving onto Five Friday Favourites.

A Cinderella Story if the Shoe Fits - I love all the modern Cinderella remakes and A Cinderella Story is one of my all time favourite movies, so when A Cinderella Story if the Shoe Fits appeared in the new release section of Netflix I had to watch it. I really enjoyed it and loved Sofia Carson in it, it's a good Friday night chick flick and a must watch if you love the previous Cinderella Story's.

Echosmith Future Me - I really liked this song and while it was faster paced compared to their other songs it was really good and the video clip (below) was really well done. I can't wait until their new album is released in a few weeks time.

How Volunteering Helped Me Own My Anxiety and The Lies My Anxiety Tells Me at Night - my fourth and fifth articles to be published on The Mighty! Both articles are close to my heart and the latter was really big for me to write as it had been in my head for so long but I didn't have the courage to write it until now. I highly recommend that you read them if you haven't yet and let me know what you think.

Every Witch Way - I was sick the other weekend and needed something I could relax and watch. I remembered this series as it had Rahart Adams in it who is celeb ambassador for ReachOut and thought I would give it a go. I have actually really enjoyed it so far and its been a great series to just chill out and watch. It's a bit predictable and the acting isn't the greatest but it is a Nickelodeon series so I wouldn't expect it to be a masterpiece.

Liptember Beauty Box - I ordered this box last year and I loved it. For $40 you can buy a beauty box filled with amazing products with all proceeds being donated to Liptember. Which is an event to raise awarness of womens mental health and raise funds for womens mental health research. Last years box was filled to the brim with goodies, so not only do you get beauty and health products you know that the proceeds are going towards a great cause.