Wednesday, December 4, 2019

2019 Christmas Gift Guide

Once again Christmas is almost upon us and with that comes the pressure to find the perfect gifts for everyone. I am the type of person who tries to get Christmas shopping done long before December if possible as I find December to be a really anxiety filled month and anything I can do prior to make it less anxiety inducing I will. This year I am really trying to spend less and use the resources I have on hand, so gifting people things I have made and baking things.

***apologies for not including any photos in this guide, I ran out of time and really wanted to get this out!

If you're like me and you want to keep your bank account happy here are some helpful my tips, that will help you not go overboard:
  • Have a budget and stick to it - when I start buying presents for people, I come up with a dollar amount I would happy to spend on them and I make sure not to spend anymore.
  • Shop the sales leading up to Christmas - so many stores have good sales on leading up to Christmas and take advantage of those sales.
  • Sign up to be a store member for further discounts and deals - most stores have free membership programs which allows you access to deals and other reward points programs. There are some stores where you have to pay a small fee but most of the time you get it back in store credit and the discounts make up for it. 
  • Shop at markets and support small businesses - my mum, sisters and I are all market fanatics and it's so great to buy something unique and not what you would buy in the store while also supporting small businesses. There's always quite a few markets around leading up to Christmas and I highly recommend checking out a couple. 

Gifts for her:

Kikki K leather monogrammed items - my sister bought me a purse with my initials monogrammed on it for Christmas last year and I love it. It really adds a nice personal touch and I find the items are all great quality too.

Kikki K gift packs - Kikki K has brought out a great range of gift packs that range in price and are really good value. I am eyeing off a couple of these packs for myself.

Tilly and Type prints - these prints are so pretty and they make me happy looking at them. Buy a cute frame (I got mine from Kmart) and frame them and it's a super easy gift.

Dusk Soy Candles - I love these candles so much and find that once lit they fill the house with yummy smells, they also burn cleaner if that make sense and I love the cute jars they come in. You can buy a set of 3 and then separate them as gifts.

The Body Shop Body Wash - I use this body wash daily, I love the strawberry scent but the shea butter is also a really nice scent too.

Jeanswest Scrunchies - scrunchies are so in right now and I am loving all the cute prints they come in. What I love about Jeanswest ones is that they are made from offcuts of fabric that would otherwise be thrown away.

Gifts for him:

Tile Mate key finder - we got these for my dad for his birthday this year and they have been a life saver. No more trying to find your keys or wallet, just pull up the app and it will tell you where it last was.

Fun shirt from Redbubble - find a fun print by an independent artist and order it on a shirt (or mug or coaster or anything else they have) and it's done. You can find something unique that will be shipped to your door, plus most guys need a new tshirt.

Hot Rod (movie) - all my guy friends love this film and I have to admit that it does have it's funny parts. Andy Samberg (of Brooklyn Nine Nine fame) stars in and the rest of the cast has great chemistry plus the storyline is different and not what you expect.

WD-40 Limited Edition Mighty Car Mods - I swear every guy needs a can of WD-40 and this has such a fun print on it. The guys from Mighty Car Mods (the popular YouTube show) are huge supporters of ReachOut and actually auctioned off a can of this to raise funds for ReachOut and raised $800 which was amazing.

Happy Socks - I know socks are boring but Happy Socks have fun and colourful socks which are anything but boring. There's loads of patterns and prints to choose from so you are bound to find something that suits your guys personality.

Gifts for kids:

Duplo Submarine Adventure - Duplo is such a great gift as it grow with the child and lasts forever, we have a box of it where some pieces are over 20 years old and you would never tell by looking at it. I love this set as it can also be used in the bath and it has a good amount of pieces in it to get the fun going.

Lego Olaf - with Frozen 2 hitting the screens, it seems that Frozen stuff is everywhere and this Lego Olaf is seriously cute with his pencil and notebook.

Smiggle Double Decker Lunchbox - these lunchboxes are great and keep things cold while also bringing some colour to lunchtime.

Sunnylife Pool Ring Glitter - Summer is here and with that comes beach and pool days, I love inflatables and this one looks so fun with glitter and won't take forever to blow up.

Lush Rainbow Mouldable soap - make bath time more fun with this soap, it smells great and kids will love getting creative with it.

Sculpey Premo Sampler Classics Clay - I use Sculpey all the time and love using it to craft. It makes a great gift for the crafty kid in your life and the sky is the limit in what they can create.


Gifts for everyone:
Baptist World Aid Gifts - this year I have bought people goats, bees, veggie gardens, soap and chickens all from the comfort of my own home and knowing that these gifts won't take up any space and instead are given to people who need them. The cards are really cute and would look great framed plus it's a meaningful gift that you can buy from your couch.

Central Perk Lego set - Friends is such a popular TV Show so why not recreate your favourite scenes from the show in your own living room with a Lego set of the popular café Central Perk.

Lego Gingerbread house - I bought this for Christmas for myself this year and I am early awaiting to put it together. It's something I can see myself putting out on display each year and maybe even buying some other Lego Christmas pieces over the years to come.

Fisherprice Nativity scene - this is a great keepsake for the family and is really detailed and well made, for so long you had to order this from overseas and pay huge amounts but there's finally an Australian seller which is great. We put ours out each year and kids always love it, this one also lights up and has music too.

Streaming service subscription -  a subscription to a streaming service makes a great gift and it allows them to have some down time finding a new show or watching a good movie. If they already have the service then they get a few months without paying for it so it's a win win.

Avanti Reusable coffee cup - these coffee cups are so good and both my mum and sister swear by theirs. It keeps things super hot and super cold, comes in a range of cute prints and fits in most cupholders.

Insulated metal drink bottle - I love my insulated drink bottle and use it daily, for someone who likes drinks super cold I am extremely happy. You can never have too many drink bottles and they make great gifts for the person who is always on the go in your life.

Jigsaw puzzle - when it get's super hot sometimes it's fun to hibernate inside and work on a jigsaw puzzle and there's always a load of fun images at a variety of difficulty levels (I personally find 1000 pieces or less to be more than enough for me to handle).

Board games - I enjoy playing board games with friends and the following games all make great gifts and will bring hours of entertainment:

  • Hive Pocket Travel Size - similar to chess but without a board and with bugs
  • Funemployed - this will bring loads of laugh and it's great to see people try to sell themselves with a unique range of skills. Note I removed a stack of cards as they weren't appropriate for a family setting.
  • Smart Games IQ Puzzler Pro - a one player game that will challenge your mind and can be taken anywhere.
  • Bananagrams - a classic game that will challenge both your mind and competitiveness. 
  • Codenames -  it's a great game that combines teamwork and how well you can link things with one word. 

DIY gift packs - these gift packs take no time to put together and can easily be adapted to suit anyone.
  • Christmas spirit -  include a Christmas movie (like a cheesy Hallmark one or a classic one such as Elf), candy canes, fun Christmas jewellery, a cute Christmas decoration.
  • Movie night - include a  classic movie, popcorn and something sweet.
  • Gardening - succulent or pack of seeds, cute pot, watering can.
  • Self-care beauty pack - nail polish, face mask, fun magazine, chocolate. 
  • Stationary addict - fun pens, post-it notes, highlighters, stickers.
  • Baking - patty pans, spatula, sprinkles, cake mix, vanilla essence (or another type or essence such as strawberry), tea towel. 
  • Beach fun - beach ball, towel, sunscreen, sand tools. 

If in doubt and you have no idea what the person will like these are easy foolproof gifts:
  • Movie tickets
  • Tickets to the museum/zoo/science museum/aquariam
  • Gift vouchers to their favourite stores
  • Baked goods
  • Chocolate 

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Green Team Recap

Another Green Team done and I am so exhausted and ready to sleep for a week. Green Team is a ministry of the Baptist Churches that run a safe space for school leavers that are celebrating the end of their exams. They run a fun and safe zone for them to come and party and they require volunteers to make this happen, I think there was around 135 of us give or take.
Last year I did it for prac  - you can read the recap of that here and this year I did it for fun.

I was worried how I would go this year as I was still experiencing side effects from my iron infusion, but I had anti nausea medication (the best of the best) which I had decided not to take during the week and use it for Green Team (there was only 4 tablets in the box) as nausea is more easier to manage at home as I could take is easy and wasn't on the go. I ended up taking the meds two of the four nights but I should've taken one on the final night as I struggled with nausea and had to power through it. 

I was planning to drive down myself but I was so thankful that my friend E offered me a lift - we actually met last year down at Green Team and we have become good friends. Especially as these side affects from the iron infusion are refusing to leave me and I'm not a fan of driving long distances alone. We left at 9.30am and got down there at around 12.00pm as E was 2IC and needed to help set up. We helped put some signs up at the zone before checking in at the resort.

I was first in my chalet to check in and despite being told there would be 6 of us in the chalet there was only 4 of us which meant I got my own room which was great. My chalet mates were great and I had some good conversations with them, saying that I didn't spend a heap of time in the chalet as I was chatting with people and enjoying the social activities that were planned.

Sunday after settling in we all went to the Baptist campsite for dinner with the other services which was fun and it was great to meet some of the people we would be working alongside.


Monday my body clock woke me up at 7.00am and I spent the morning relaxing and reading, I had downloaded Jenny B Jones latest book which I had been saving to read down at Green Team and over the week I managed to get about halfway through it. Lunch was pizza followed by a pool party at the pool at the resort and I didn't go swimming and just put my feet in the water and chatted with some of the other Green Teamers which was nice. My cousin was also on the team this year (as he had been last year) and he managed to get me half wet which was great (not).
That night I was on rides which was mostly crowd management and making sure people didn't jump the line, I also kept an eye out for any leavers dealing with drug and alcohol effects. It was very full on and I pretty much just stayed in one area, we also didn't have enough barriers which made things more challenging though the next night they had more barriers.

Tuesday I slept in until 9.00am and just hung out in the chalet and read my book. I then had lunch and chatted to some people before I did the social activity which was garden games. They had 2 big connect four sets, ultimate frisbee and bocce set up on the lawn area just outside the resort. I was extremely proud that I beat E in connect four 3 times and bocce twice (I think). Of course my dear cousin managed to hit me in the head with a frisbee (let's be honest it was bound to happen).
That night I was on toilets which was crazy and super full on and about 3/4s in I was transferred to the lounge/movie tent as my team leader was worried about me. I had spoken to her about the iron infusion side affects and that I wasn't sure if I would cope or not on the toilets as its really crazy. I did enjoy it but I felt like I was hearding cats at times when I was on line management as the leavers didn't follow my directions where to go to the empty stalls and then when I was on showing the leavers to the empty stalls they often liked to have two of them squeezed into an already tiny cubical which meant I had to bang on the door until one of them came out (sometimes they didn't though).

Wednesday was a lazy morning and then after lunch I chilled in the indoor pool area on the lounge as the beach activities were moved due to the windy weather
That night I was on the lounge/movie tent or as I liked to think of it the make out tent. I pretty much just needed to do laps of the tent and keep an eye on the leavers who were taking a break and either watching the move, sleeping or making out. We had one drug overdose which required first aid but apart from that it was really chill. I found that by the third night I needed a break and this was a fun but low key zone.

Thursday we had a BBQ breakfast for the social activity which was fun and then after lunch E and I heading to my favourite ice cream place to refuel before the final night (it's always a must for me to visit when I am down south!), we also checked out a hippy shed market on the way back to the resort.
For the final night I had decided to do a silent disco which was loads of fun and I was able to just ignore the voice in my  head that says I can't dance and just let loose. I also got a croaky voice from yelling at the leavers who kept jumping the line and weren't moving up the line but all in all it was a fun area of the zone and the perfect way to end the week. We then rolled up the carpets in the area and picked up rubbish as it was the final night before heading back to the resort.

Friday we were fortunate enough to get an additional hour to check out which was great and E and I ended up leaving at 10.30pm. We had a pretty uneventful drive home and stopped once at the RAC stop and then at a petrol station for lunch, I think I arrived home at 2.00ish.

I really enjoyed this week especially compared to last year, I mean this week had a few low points. Including getting an email saying I hadn't been successful in getting a job I had interviewed for two weeks prior which was hard. But at the same time my mind was focused on so many other things that while I did feel confused and a bit upset I was able to move on from it and just go 'ok God you're in control, let's keep moving forward and focus on the final night'. Don't get me wrong I am still processing it and I am planning on ringing up for feedback from it next week but as far as timing goes it was great as it meant I had built in distractions and had people there with me when I received who shared in my disappointment and were able to listen to me vent my feelings.
I also found I wore the worst shoes (note to self skechers are not good shoes to wear  for longer than an hour) and my feet were killing me within a couple of hours each night as they had minimal arch support. I should've just worn my rainbow gumboots which I was thinking about doing and was worried they would hurt my feet due to minimal support (though they probably have more than my skechers did) but they would've been way better! I'm also going to see if I can get some better insoles for  my shoes so I can wear them longer.

I can honestly say that God willing I will be back next year and it will be worth taking annual leave for (as I am praying I will get a job soon). It's crazy, you will feel like a zombie afterwards and question the next generations judgement but it's so rewarding and you will make new friends and catch up with old ones and by the end you will feel so proud of yourself of what you have helped achieve.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Gingerbread Man Wreath

I LOVE Christmas and if I had it my way I would start putting decorations up in November, thankfully Christmas crafting is acceptable in November (and earlier!). I craft a lot throughout the year but there is something extra special about doing Christmas crafts.

This wreath was inspired by a few things, one being a wreath my aunty has in her house that was made out of felt gingerbread shapes and the other being this Lego gingerbread house that I am dreaming of making come December. It's also a relatively easy and cheap DIY and it's a great one to get the kids involved with too.

You will need:
Wooden wreath base - like this one 
Air dry clay (I bought it in brown)
Acrylic paint in brown and a variety of colours (I used red, blue, yellow, green, white and gold)
Glitter and/or small gems (I used superfine glitter and some small gems I had in my craft stash)
Super glue
PVA glue
Ribbon in a matching colour - I used some medium sized red ribbon
Permanent marker - I used a fine tip marker for outlining and a thicker tip for the faces.
Gingerbread man cookie cutter and any other Christmassy shapes such as stars, angels, hearts etc along with the gingerbread man I did candy canes to go between them.
Other embellishments - I had some candy cane hearts leftover from another project.
Varnish

  1. Taking the gingerbread man cookie cutter roughly measure how many shapes (measuring hand to hand) it takes to fill the wreath then add 3-5 to the number (for some spares). This is how many gingerbread men you will need to cut out.
  2. Roll out the clay and cut out gingerbread men, it doesn't matter if they aren't perfect you want them to look like cookies. I also cut out some candy canes using a small cutter I had to go between the gingerbread men. Let dry according to instructions (about 24-48 hours)
  3. If the clay isn't brown or not gingerbread coloured enough paint brown, in my case despite the clay being brown I decided to paint them a darker colour - I found a sponge was great in helping get around the edges and give a smooth finish.
  4. Once dry, paint in the details such has bowties, buttons and scarfs using a variety of colours (I found for some of the details it was better to paint them on with white paint first then go over them in a colour). Draw on the faces and outline the areas if needed with the permanent marker - I also took a toothpick and dotted on a tiny amount of white on the eyes.
  5. Using a tiny amount of super glue, glue on the gems and add glitter, I used small gems for the buttons and middle of the bowties and used glitter on the red stripes of the candy canes. For the glitter I find it often less messy to mix in the glitter into PVA glue and then paint it on.
  6. Arrange the clay shapes and other embellishments on the wreath base and work out if you want to paint the base if its showing through (I ended up  doing a coat of white followed by 2 coats of gold), once you're happy with how the shapes are positioned super glue them on. As my wreath had holes in it I made sure that the bulk of them were covered up by the shapes so this affected where I positioned them and the spaces in between. After the glue has had a chance to set (a few hours) give the wreath a coat of varnish and let dry overnight.
  7. Attach ribbon to the wreath and tie a bow.
  8. Step back and admire your wreath.


I did this over the course of a week due to drying time and wanting to take my time, this was my schedule:
Day 1 - cut out shapes and left to dry on a lined baking tray.
Day 3 - painted shapes with a base coat.
Day 4 - added detail to shapes and once dry added gems, glitter and final touches.
Day 5 - Painted wreath base letting dry between coats.
Day 6 - stuck the shapes to the wreath base and varnished.
Day 7 - attached ribbon to the wreath




Saturday, November 9, 2019

What to expect with an iron infusion

When I went to my doctor regarding tiredness/exhaustion, random nosebleeds and vertigo spells I figured my iron might be a bit low and he would just tell me to take a supplement after testing it. I do
not like blood tests in the slightest I have tiny veins that bruise easily and no one can get blood out of and lets be honest I hadn't had a blood test in over 5 years because of it.  You also know there's an issue when your doctor pokes at your veins quite a few times and he is concerned about getting blood out of you (I guess this means I'm safe against vampires...). Thankfully the pathologist/nurse at the pathology place at my doctors was a miracle worker and got the blood first drawer which was amazing and I had barely any bruising as a result.
Well it turns out my iron was very low and an iron infusion was needed. I waited just over 3 weeks from the blood test to when I did the infusion and during that time I noticed the symptoms a lot more (though thankfully I didn't get any nosebleeds) and found by about 3.00pm each day I just wanted to do nothing. I was also using sugar as a way to get me through the day and give me a much needed boost when my energy levels dipped.

Once you get told you will need an iron infusion you need to get a script filled with the infusion liquid (I picked up two vials of brown liquid), I ended up going to my pharmacy a few days before to fill in my script just in case they didn't have it in stock but thankfully they did. You then take that when you go to the doctors to have the infusion. I was told quite a few times to make sure my doctor was the one giving it to me and I wasn't going to do it myself and I assured them that I had an appointment on Friday booked to get it done. When I mentioned this to my doctor he laughed as he had never had a patient get told so many times not to do it themselves and he is wondering if there is a market for DIY iron infusions or something.

My appointment was at 2.30pm and I was told to keep my fluids up and eat a decent lunch beforehand. I drank around 3 glasses of water a hour or so before my appointment and a chicken and salad roll for lunch (and a bag of chocolate covered pretzels too, I needed a sugar fix ok?). My sister came with me and she drove me home afterwards as I feeling wiped, my doctors is actually 25-30 minutes away but had it been closer I would've been fine to drive myself.

Normally they try to do the infusion in your non dominate arm but after 2 attempts it was decided to try to my right arm which was thankfully successful. They did a flush of saline and then hooked me up to a bag of saline, once that is flowing they then fill the bag with the infusion liquid which takes about 30 minutes to empty. Throughout it, my blood pressure and pulse were checked, about halfway through I started to feel wiped and kinda faint, I also experienced some dizzy spells but honestly I have been experiencing them for a while so I don't think it was directly related to it and I had a metallic taste in my mouth which is completely normal. I thought I would feel the liquid going in but a part from a bit of coldness at the start I didn't feel anything. While it was happening I just played around on my phone and chatted to the nurse, I was just trying not to focus on what was going on and get through it all.
After it was complete I then had to stay in the doctors surgery to make sure I had no major side effects and was allowed to go after 30 minutes. I was at the doctors for 1.5 hours which wasn't too bad. I was given a page of possible side effects to keep an eye out for within the next 48 hours and getting told I will probably feel worse and then eventually get better over 2 weeks.

Since coming home I have been trying to take it easy and just being aware of how I am feeling, of course the possible side effects are also what I have experienced over the past few weeks so honestly I have no idea what is a side effect and what isn't!
I have to go for a blood test in 4 weeks but as I am seeing my doctor in 2.5 weeks to get a script I will pick up the referral then and book in an appointment to get my follow up results too. Here's hoping that it works!

***this is my own experience with having an iron infusion I am not a medical professional nor will I ever be one (though I do watch a lot of medical drama shows).

Update 13/11/2019: I have found that I am still dealing with side affects almost a week later and this has included a sore arm where the infusion site was. I was told that the side affects I was experiencing would go away with 48 hours but they are lasting a lot longer. I ended up ringing my doctors surgery on Tuesday and speaking to the nurse who advised that due to the site of the infusion being sore I needed to come in. Thankfully my doctor managed to fit me in and he said the site was looking fine and nothing seemed to be causing the issues, but that for some people they last longer. He gave me a script for anti nausea meds and told me to take it easy, which is what I have been doing. For me personally I have been experiencing the following after the infusion:
  • Metallic taste in mouth - I thought this was go away but is has continued to stay and got quite strong on Monday, but has since started to reduce. Apparently this means that the infusion is working though, I find certain foods can mask but other times it returns stronger than before. 
  • Nausea - this comes and goes in waves and I never know if it will be severe or not. I have been prescribed some anti nausea medication to take if I need to. 
  • Dizzy spells - this is like the nausea in that it comes and goes in waves and sometimes it comes with the nausea which is fun. 
  • Site of the infusion being sore - apparently this is looking great and if anything my left arm should be sorer as that's where I got stabbed a few times. My theory is that the actual veins are bruised due to the trauma and being on the smaller side with liquid getting pumped into them. 
  • Headaches - not major, but I do find if I push myself too much I get a headache afterwards. 
I am praying that these side affects go soon and I am taking it one day at a time. Everyone reacts differently to iron infusions and I have heard of so many who have no reactions to them, unfortunately I seem to be in the few that get them and in the fewer where the side affects last longer than 48 hours.  



Friday, November 8, 2019

Five Friday Favourites

I am posting this in the morning as this afternoon I have my iron infusion and I have no idea how I will be. I have been super exhausted this past week and also experiencing vertigo so I am praying that the infusion will help and I will soon have my energy back.
This past week has been busy just with things happening every day and having to work my life around various appointments and commitments. Thankfully next week is quiet and I am going to try and do nothing as I have G Team from the 17th - 22nd the following week and I know it will be full on and extremely crazy.
I had the induction a couple of weeks ago and it went well and it was great seeing a lot of familiar faces at the induction. This year we also had to choose what areas we wanted to be in over the week I am doing the following areas - rides, toilets, movie tent and silent disco. I'm happy with what I ended up getting and I think it's a good mix of areas.
Onto Friday Favourites...

Kikki K Porcelain 3D Ornament Cat - the moment I saw this ornament I knew I had to have it and it's even cuter in person. I just love how classic it is and it would fit into any Christmas tree theme. It does appear fragile so be careful where you do hang it.

Coral by Sara Ella - this book surprised me in a good way and if you love fairy tales then you will
love this book.
The blurb reads:
Taking a new twist on Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved—yet tragic—tale, “The Little Mermaid,” Coral explores mental health from multiple perspectives, questioning what it means to be human in a world where humanity often seems lost.
There is more than one way to drown.
Coral has always been different, standing out from her mermaid sisters in a society where blending in is key. Worse yet, she fears she has been afflicted with the dreaded Disease, said to be carried by humans—emotions. Can she face the darkness long enough to surface in the light?

Above the sea, Brooke has nothing left to give. Depression and anxiety have left her feeling isolated. Forgotten. The only thing she can rely on is the numbness she finds within the cool and comforting ocean waves. If only she weren’t stuck at Fathoms—a new group therapy home that promises a second chance at life. But what’s the point of living if her soul is destined to bleed?

Merrick may be San Francisco’s golden boy, but he wants nothing more than to escape his controlling father. When his younger sister’s suicide attempt sends Merrick to his breaking point, escape becomes the only option. If he can find their mom, everything will be made right again—right?

When their worlds collide, all three will do whatever it takes to survive, and Coral might even catch a prince in the process. But what—and who—must they leave behind for life to finally begin?
I honestly didn't expect this book to be about mental illness or how well it showed it and it was pleasant surprise to see the theme in the book. I like how it shows mental illness in a different way compared to other books and it explains it really well for those who haven't experienced it. I like how it was 3 stories intertwined with each other and while it was confusing to start with once you got into the book things became clearer. I loved the character of Brooke and how she struggled with finding her place above the water. It was a great reimagined tale of The Little Mermaid and it's definitely not your typical fairy tale.
Coral is out on the 12th of November

Lake Season by Denise Hunter - another great book by Denise Hunter that I highly recommend reading.
The blurb reads:
When their parents die in a tragic accident Molly Bennett and her siblings pull together to fulfill their parents’ dream: turning their historic home back into an inn.

Adam Bradford (AKA bestselling author Nathanial Grey) is a reclusive author with a bad case of writer’s block. Deadline approaching and desperate for inspiration, he travels to a North Carolina lake town, the setting of his next novel. There he immediately meets his muse, a young innkeeper who fancies herself in love with his alter ego.

When Molly finds an old letter in the walls of her inn she embarks on a mission to find the star-crossed lovers and bring them the closure they deserve. But the guest she invites along has secrets of his own—and the answers Molly finds may not be the ones she was looking for.


I enjoyed the book and found all the characters likeable but I did find it harder than Denise's other books to get into. The storyline kept me interested thought it was a bit predictable in areas. I liked the characters of Molly and Adam and enjoyed seeing their romance blossom throughout the pages of the book. I also liked how they were both dealing their own issues, but never did the book seem to dwell on them and make the book full of tragedy. It was a strong start to a new series and I look forward to reading the next books in the series and see how the Bluebell Inn goes.
Lake Season is out on the 12th of November.

***I was provided with both these books thanks to Netgalley all opinions are my own.

Atypical Season 3 - I have really enjoyed Atypical so far and getting to see Sam's journey as he struggles with autism and trying to work out where he fits in in the world. Season 3 was a great watch and I enjoyed getting to Sam manage college and make new friends. I also enjoyed how he continued to relate his behaviours to the penguins and put what he was feeling into terms he could understand. I love the character of Zahid and how he see's Sam for Sam and helps get him out of his comfort zone. Zahid also has some great scenes that make the show and provide some comic relief.

Greenhouse Academy Season 3 - I liked this season but I feel that season 1 and 2 had better storylines and there were different actors playing a couple of key characters which made things not feel as smooth. Also the character of Jackie was absent and it was a really weird response as to where she was, whereas they could've written a much more realistic response to what they gave. It also only had 8 episodes compared the prior seasons having 12 episodes each, I found that when season 3 ended it was just finding it's footing. Thankfully there is a season 4 coming (they filmed season 3 and 4 back to back) and I am looking forward for the cliff hanger to get resolved.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Five Friday Favourites

How can we be 2 months away from Christmas?! I am slowly getting all my Christmas shopping done as November and December always seem to be super crazy for me and anything I can do now to lessen the anxiety is much welcome.

Last Wednesday I went to my doctor as I have been felling exhausted, experiencing dizzy spells and getting random nose bleeds. Growing up I used to get the worst nose bleeds ever and when I was 13 I had a whole week of them which led to the blood vessels in my nose getting cauterised. While I have still experienced nose bleeds it was maybe like 1 or 2 small ones a year, but recently I have been getting 1 or 2 a month and they have been slowly getting worse and they leave me wiped. So my doctor sent me off for a blood test (which was a given) to see what was going on. I have the worst veins ever, they are super small and bruise easily, all my blood tests have been a horrible experience and my doctor even had his concerns when he saw them. Thankfully pathology is in the same building as my doctor and my doctor said if anyone could get my blood with no problems they could and first try they found a vein! It was the most painless blood test I have ever had and I know if in the future I need anymore blood tests I will be going back there (even if its a 30-45 minute drive). The results said my iron was low and in two weeks I will go to get an iron infusion and I should see a huge difference in my energy levels.
Then this Wednesday I got stabbed in the back my doctor, I had a lump on my back which I had previously gotten an ultra sound on (last November) and was declared a cyst which was great but it had grown and was in an annoying position. With cysts there's a chance that they can turn into cancer and as I couldn't really see this cyst, I decided to take the plunge and get it removed. I had to do it either now or wait until after G Team as the stitchers have to be in for 2 weeks and my movement will be limited (it's right on the shoulder blade) so I have 3 weeks to recover from it. Thankfully my doctor knows his stuff and it wasn't a huge deal, just a bit painful and now I'm trying to take it easy and not cause too much discomfort.
I will go and get the stitches out in just under 2 weeks, which means I will actually see my doctor twice in one week due to how things have worked out. Thankfully I like my doctor and the stitches shouldn't take to long to remove.

I had a phone interview on Tuesday and I felt hopeful that I would get an actual in person interview but it wasn't meant to be. I am happy that I even got a phone interview but I also feel silly for even getting my hopes up that I would land an interview. I know God has a plan for regarding this whole situation and I'm just praying that it all gets sorted out soon.

Thankfully this weekend has a few distractions including G Team induction on Saturday and having to pick up Jocelyn from the airport at 5.30am on Sunday (apparently you can't tell your sister to get an Uber...).

Onto Friday Favourites...

Central Perk Lego Set - I love the tv show Friends so when Lego was bringing out a Central Perk set I knew I had to have it, unfortunately I didn't get in quick enough the first time it was released but I did get it when it was brought back in stock. It's a great set and super detailed but I will say it can be tricky and it took me around 4 hours to build over 2 days. It probably also didn't help that I am currently exhausted all the time so I would need to read the instructions a couple of times per section. Once you get into building it, it get's easier and I will say building the base from scratch was the hardest part (also section 1 has 2 bags which is mentioned nowhere so you freak out as you can't find the parts and then realise that there is in fact another bag labelled 1). Safe to say I am not dismantling it any time soon and I will find a way to make sure it stays permanently on display in the house.

Echosmith Lonely Generation - finally new music from Echosmith! I was so happy when I got an email in my inbox the other day saying that Echosmith is having a new album out in January and the first song was already available, I immediately pre-ordered it and downloaded the new song. I am really loving it and enjoying the lyrics.



Every The Next Step Season 6 Extended Dance - you can't deny The Next Step dancers are super talented and I found myself watching all the Season 6 dances on the weekend. Even if you haven't seen the show you can definitely appreciate this talent.


Nude by Nature Moisture Infusion lipgloss - lipgloss is becoming a must have make up item this season as it's all about the healthy glow with makeup, I've had some issues with lipgloss being sticky and it's taken me a while to find one I like. Once again Nude by Nature has made a great product that adds a swipe of sheer colour and moisture and doesn't feel sticky but still having that gloss that's in this season. I have it in Dusk and it's great for swiping on when you don't want to worry about lipstick but still want a bit of colour and shine.

Kikki K Porcelain Gingerbread dish - I love all the sparkle and shine of the Christmas decorations that are coming out in stores at the moment and I couldn't resist buying this cute dish when I saw it in Kikki K. In my experience you can never have enough trinket dishes especially ones that are as cute as this and will add Christmas cheer wherever it is placed.



Friday, October 11, 2019

Five (well four) Friday Favourites

This past fortnight has been busy, our friends with the triplets left last Friday and the house has become much quieter. I have recovered from the interchurch sports competition though I was feeling really wiped from it. Then we did lots of touristy things with our friends and the triplets and throw in a psych appointment and I felt like I didn't have a day to do nothing and just recover. I also had a friends 18th birthday party on the Saturday night where I was given 48 hours notice to come up with a cake.
This past week has been fun but busy, on Monday I babysat some friends kids which was full. Tuesday we had Jocelyn's 21st birthday but we didn't celebrate it until Wednesday as she had exams on until Wednesday, and Megan and I went to The Next Step concert. Wednesday I had an employment agency meeting which was uneventful as usual and we went out for dinner to celebrate the end of Jocelyn's exams and her birthday. Thursday Megan and I went to see the new Dora the Explorer movie as I had won tickets and I can honestly say it wasn't a bad film and I enjoyed it. Then today I went to the shops and did some retail therapy before relaxing at home. 
Next week is thankfully looking quiet except for my usual support work on Monday afternoon and a doctors appointment next Wednesday, but the following week is busy with giving a speech for ReachOut (which I am currently writing), taking and picking up various family members from the airport and G Team induction. 
I will say one good thing about being busy is that I haven't had time to dwell on waiting for the phone to ring regarding job interviews and I fill out an application and it doesn't cross my mind again. I am hopeful that I get at least one or two interviews soon but all I can really do is trust in God and know that he is in control. 

Onto Friday Favourites (also I totally left Friday Favourites until the last minute which is why there is only four this fortnight)...

The Next Step concert recap - I'm still reliving the concert and can honestly say it has been a highlight of October and possibly the year for me. I finally wrote a recap of it yesterday and my experiences of the concert.

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea High Tides and Good Vibes eyeshadow palette - I have been wanting this palette for a while but couldn't justify the cost but I had a birthday discount voucher and it happened to be free shipping so I ended up buying it. I am really loving it and find as with all my Tarte palettes it's super pigmented and goes on really well, the glitter also has great staying power which I was concerned about but haven't had an issue with. The colours are great multiuse shades and I've been enjoying playing around with lots of looks. The case is also really fun and I love the turtle and liquid effects.

Safi Petal Sleeve Blouse - I am loving florals at the moment and the bolder the better. Thankfully Jeanswest has brought out some fun prints and I couldn't resist this top when I was there the other day. It's the perfect summer top and it's flowy and the print makes me smile, it fits well and while I wouldn't normally go for the petal sleeves I actually love them. I'm looking forward to adding it into my regular wardrobe rotation once the weather gets warmer.

Tilly & Type selfcare stationery - I was after a positive print to gift a friend who is going through a tough time and I did quick search on Etsy and came across Tilly and Type. I fell in love with the prints and especially it being a small Australian business which is promoting mental health and selfcare. I put in an order for a few prints because I figured if I was going to buy one, I should also buy some for myself and when they arrived on Tuesday I found myself smiling from the moment I opened the package. The box they arrived in was a piece of art in itself, included in it was a hand written note and the prints were beautifully packaged in tissue paper . I ordered the You Are Not Alone print, two You Are Stronger Than You Think postcards and a Step Outside Your Comfort Zone postcard, I also got a Cheer up Buttercup postcard as bonus which was lovely surprise and then bought some frames from Kmart and they've turned out really nicely.