Shop Small Businesses this Christmas: Australia 2020

No surprise, we all know this year has been the actual definition of shit. It’s been a shitty year and a lot of people have struggled emotionally, physically and financially. That’s why I’ve created this post for people who want to reach out and help out Australian small businesses.

Little Patch Creations

I just want to say that this gal is the queen of festival wear with cool fabrics and designs. It’s all customisable as well which means you get to pick which fabric you want for the item and the event. Which just makes it sooo much cooler in my eyes. Who doesn’t need a pair of groovy flares? I know I do and I want about five pairs.

Off the Book Pages

As their Instagram bio says it’s Australia’s first and only online bookstore for independently published books. I don’t think I need to mention anything else because that’s pretty cool.

Tina Maher Art

I’ve followed Tina on Instagram for years now, literally ever since her son told me to look at her art. Tina is based in my hometown of Townsville and I love her Townsville inspired stuff but she also does other really fun and colourful artworks. I know I’m doing a terrible job at explaining her artwork but all you need to know is it’s colourful and fun and you should hit the link to see what I mean.

The Oopsy Daisy Co

How can I explain The Oopsy Daisy Co prints? Fun, colourful, and very groovy. In my opinion these prints are perfect for a little bohemian home or nursery. I also want to mention that they do really cool wedding invitations as well.

Buck Wild Country

All I have to say is this bohemian country brand is really cool. In my opinion their designs are perfect for travelling, Rodeos or the 2021 CMC festival. I can just see myself road tripping through Australia wearing their designs and, honestly, what I’m picturing looks really cool. Also the kids collection is called little bucks and that’s just too cute.

Crystal and Stone

Crystals are cool ’nuff said. Jokes but also seriously. I feel like crystals are taking the world by storm at the moment and Crystal and Stone have an amazing collection of stones and styles. They have a beautiful Instagram page and a beautiful store in Western Australia. Plus they sent a really cute crystal sticker with my first order.

**Disclaimer: There are hundreds of small businesses throughout Australia that deserve to be a part of this post, however, these are businesses I have followed on Instagram for years. If you know of any other businesses you feel should be mentioned please feel free to link them below in the comments ūüôā

What have I been up to? Watching/Reading/Doing

I love sharing things I love so I just figured I would start a new segment on my blog sharing what I’ve been watching, reading and doing. Kind of like a monthly favourites but more and somehow… better? You tell me

Watching:

The Bold Type

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The Bold Type focuses on 3 girls who work for the same magazine living their best, and not so best, lives in NYC. Long story short: 3 cool girls with beautiful friendship live the cool NYC lifestyle (cool bars included) while working for a cool progressive magazine called¬†Scarlet.¬†I think it’s pretty popular in the LGBTQ community as well. As you can probably tell over all- it’s cool. In Australia you can check it out on Stan.

The Office

Well this is more like re-watching but if you haven’t seen The Office (US of course)… why? It’s on Stan in Australia.

The Innocence Files

Really good if you’re into true crime. Based in America The Innocence Files documents 8 different cases that each led to an innocent man being put away in prison. This series is truly eye opening and I would be lying if I said I didn’t cry at least once. Thank god for the Innocence Project doing everything they can to help people who truly need it. This is a Netflix series.

Reading:

Disclaimer- I’ve mainly been searching through Apple books sale section and I’ll just show you what I found

The First Wife by Jill Childs

Two childhood friends who haven’t seen each other in years reconnect when Caroline invites Sophie to stay with her. The second Sophie arrives she realises something is different with her old friend. On top of this her friends daughter has stopped speaking and acts terrified of her mother.¬† Overall, this was interesting enough with two point of views and a couple of plot twists. I think the only thing that let the story down was that the ending felt rushed but over all not bad for like $3.

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle50093704. sy475

The story starts with Dannie being newly engaged and scoring her dream job. She believes she’s living the perfect life until she has an extremely vivid dream in which she wakes up in a different apartment with a different man and the date on the NEWS is five years later. THEN SHE MEETS THE GUY. From reading the blurb I thought I knew how this was going to end so it took me a while to actually purchase it but I was wrong. As the book progressed it became clear what was happening but I was way too invested in the characters to let it affect me. This book hit me in the feels big time and for $5 (I think) it was worth it.

One day in December and The two lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

One day in December focuses on Laurie who makes eye contact with a complete stranger but she swears she knows him somehow. By his reaction she swears he felt the same thing and from this she’s instantly in love. She truly believes they’re meant to be and will find each other again but, will the time ever be right?

The two lives of Lydia Bird focuses on (surprise) Lydia. Lydia’s fiance dies on her 28th birthday, which is obviously terrible but her doctor prescribes her sleeping pills that give her the opportunity to see Freddie in like an alternate universe where he didn’t die and things are as normal. The story focuses on Lydia trying to deal with her grief and seeing her fiance in this different life.

Both books were like $4 each and I have very different opinions on them. I read One day in December first and it had potential to be a cute love story but I have to say it… the writing was sloppy. To be honest I googled if it was a published fan fiction (like the After situation..) so when I realised I had already purchased another one of Josie Silver’s books I was thinking for fuck sake. So I started The two lives of Lydia Bird and it’s, in my opinion, a lot better. Why? Because this is her second book. I mean, I’m pretty sure that’s why. I might also relate to this one better as I have a long term partner and was literally on the verge of tears for the majority of the book. I’m not sure but they’re like $4 each so check them out ahah

Doing:

Nike Training Club

The Nike training club has been a lifesaver. Completely free and has workouts for different training types, different muscle groups and with or without equipment. However, I think the best feature is that you can set up plans for yourself and it’s so simple! You just pick what kind of plan you want, fill in some details like how often you want to train and how often you currently train then it’ll sort it all out for you. If running is more your thing the Nike run club app can also generate plans for any events you want to enter. I have both apps as they work alongside together.

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Fallout Shelter 

I genuinely cannot believe I am even writing this. My boyfriend is trying to get me into gaming so he downloaded Fallout Shelter onto his iPad in what I think is an attempt to get me to want to play the actual Fallout game. Anyway, it hasn’t worked but I did get addicted to Fallout Shelter. Basically in the game you get the beginnings of a vault and a few dwellers and you have to keep them alive and create a thriving vault community. You send the dwellers into the wasteland to explore or on quests plus you need to keep them alive from raiders and keep up supplies. Overall, it’s a lot more addicting than it sounds

 

 

I started a YouTube Channel

So, I’ve done something a little out of character and kind of crazy… I’ve actually filmed, edited and posted a video to my YouTube account. Honestly, it’s not the best however, my friends and I went on a small road trip and I thought why not film it?¬†If you’re interested in small time youtubers, travel style vlogs or are considering travelling through Australia you might want to check out my video

As always, I would love to know what you think and if you have any advice let me know in the comments!

Four books that will make you Cry

It seems pretty weird recommending books that make you cry. Buuuut, I’ll be honest sometimes it’s exactly what you need and want. Now, my disclaimer for this post is that each of these books actually made me cry. Like, proper tears. So maybe don’t read these in public.

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Breathing Under Water, Sophie Hardcastle

Just by reading the blurb you can form an idea of what the book’s going to be about. I mean there’s twins involved and foreshadowing of doom. There were a few things I really loved about this book though. Firstly it’s set in Australia, which makes the story feel that bit more relatable to me. Secondly, I love anything and everything to do with surf culture, beach culture and the ocean. That’s what originally made me pick up the book. However, what I think really makes this book stand out is Hardcastle’s portrayal of grief. It’s raw and it’s real.

If I stay, Gayle Forman

Firstly, this was the first book that ever made me cry. The blurb on goodreads doesn’t give too much away so I’ll try the same. The books main character is named Mia and one day Mia’s family goes for a drive and there’s an accident. Essentially, the story is focused on Mia’s out of body experience where she is trying to choose whether to live or die. This book becomes even more heartbreaking when you realise Gayle Forman’s inspiration for this book comes from a family she once knew.

All the Bright Places, Jennifer Niven 

In All the Bright Places, Jennifer Niven has done an excellent job of writing about mental illness. As I was reading the reviews of goodreads I noticed a lot of people thought the book was too similar to The Fault in our Stars. You know, two teens meet, fall in love, sadness ensues. However, I would argue they are two very different stories. While yes, they fall in love and sadness ensues, Niven has explained both characters different point of views. You can start to understand how it must feel to be overcome with mental illness, such as depression. Most importantly though, Niven has written about how the  decisions we make will impact family and friends. Because, unfortunately, not every story has a happy ending.

I was Here, Gayle Forman

This book is about two best friends from two different worlds. As the blurb mentions Meg commits suicide and Cody is left wondering why her best friend would do such a thing. This book documents how the people left behind, although they may not understand, are forced to make peace. The main message I got from this book was that it doesn’t matter how close you are to someone, you can never really know what they’re feeling inside.

Things I would tell my 16yo self

Sometimes, I find myself thinking about all the things I wish I knew, or, did differently when I was about 16 years old. So, here’s a list of them. But first let’s start with a comparison. Here’s a photo of me now:IMG_0380

and below is¬†a photo of me aged 16 at my school formal: She may look similar but she’s a completely different gal to the one in the top pic. You can just tell, she’s so naive about the world. Here’s the shit I wish I had of known.

  1. 16yoMeformal¬†School is so easy. Yes, it’s so boring and it’s the same routine for an entire year but, damn, a 6 hour day with 2 lunches is bliss.
  2. Please stop doing cheerleading. Honestly, you’re not very good at it. You’re much better at more traditional sports like netball and soccer.
  3. For the love of God, pleeeeaseeee start saving your money. Seriously, at the least just save up enough to buy a decent car.
  4. Which reminds me, yes, mum’s crazy when you’re learning to drive but just get your license ASAP.
  5. Dump that twit of a boyfriend, he aint worth the time.
  6. Start practicing make up now. It’s a lot easier to experiment and make mistakes with your make up as a kid opposed to a young adult.
  7. Start the YouTube channel. You’re 22 and you still haven’t done it.
  8. This is a big one. TAKE A GAP YEAR. Yes, you feel like the right step after school is to go to university but do not do it. Rachel, you don’t want to be a nurse.
  9. Please stop feeling like you don’t fit in. Most of it is in your head and you’ll meet a lot more people outside of school. They’ll get you.

 

I think that’s just about it. What kind of things would you tell yourself if you had the chance?

Magnetic Island, Australia

For those of you who don’t know, I’m from a town in North Queensland named Townsville. It’s a 4 hour drive south of Cairns and isn’t too well known on the tourism map. You’ll often hear of tourist driving straight through Townsville en route to either Cairns or Brisbane. However, those people probably don’t know about Magnetic Island. Affectionately called ‘Maggie’ or ‘the island’ by the locals. Only a 20 minute ferry ride away and you’re on island time surrounded by picturesque scenes and beautiful beaches. Surprisingly though in my whole 22 years of living in Townsville I can count the amount of times I’ve visited Magnetic Island on my hands. So I made it my mission to visit the Island as many times as possible this year. I’m up to a total of 3 trips so far and decided I would share some of my piccies with you guys. Enjoooooy and if you have any questions don’t be afraid to ask

 

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Let’s Talk: My Decision to go back to University

This has taken me a while to write, simply because I didn’t know where to start and how not to sound like a bit of a Debbie downer. So, basically, I’m just going to type it out like I would as if I was speaking to you guys and edit it a bit when it’s done.

After I graduated from school I went straight to University to study nursing, my first year was 2014. I enjoyed the course but I was a terrible student. I would procrastinate like you can’t even believe. Because of that I had to repeat two first year subjects the following year. I also learnt from my practical experience placements that although I loved learning about it I didn’t like the job. So, I tried to finish my second year, but I really had no passion at all, which is funny because that’s when I learnt what study and assignment techniques worked for me and I started passing with pretty good grades. But anyway, I dropped out and I had no idea what I wanted to do. None. So I worked full time.

Working full time was alright for the first few months. It was the first time I’d had proper Saturday/Sunday weekends for 3/4 years, which was cool. Having a good, steady income was cool too. The same thing 5 days a week, every week with no break in sight killed me. It was the same thing I hated in high school. The same routine, every week for a whole year. It’s funny because there was a point where I thought I could be happy working full time in retail or an office job if I would be able to travel or have a family. Except then, I started getting depressed. (Not clinically depressed, but I was on a downwards spiral). All of a sudden I couldn’t wake up in the morning, I was getting mad at people for nothing. I started going out drinking more than I normally would. To make matters worse my relationship felt like it was getting hit with the brunt of that. So I started looking into degrees I might like. I thought about midwifery, because it’s something I’ve always loved learning about, but it’s too similar to nursing. I thought about marine biology, another topic I was really interested in when I was younger, and I thought about primary education.

It took me months to finally decide that 1. I did want to go back to uni and 2. primary education was what I wanted to study. I would seriously make a decision and then I would talk myself out of it. Just over and over again. Then it took me a while to actually apply and then when I did get accepted I started freaking out again. To be honest, I’m still freaking out but I’m just taking one day at a time. So, now I’m back at uni at the age of 22 feeling like I’m 18 again but a whole lot more focused this time round (thank god).

 

Have gone back to uni or started uni a little later in your life? Let me know how you went, I’d love to hear your stories

My top 3 Favourite Travel Blogs

As you may have gathered from my blog, I like to travel. So, I thought it might be fun to share with you guys the blogs I gain inspiration from.

 

1 . World of Wanderlust

World of Wanderlust was actually one of the first blogs I ever followed. Brooke is an Australian from Tasmania and is a massive advocate for solo travelling. You’ll find major travel inspo matched with easy to read posts and beautiful photography on her site. Plus she’s extremely relatable and down to Earth. I literally recommend her blog to everyone.

2. Flying the Nest

There’s a few things I love about these guys. They love sharing tips on how they edit, they’re a cute couple from Australia, their photography is bloody amazing and they’re massive advocates for volunteering abroad. Which makes for really interesting reads and a lot of inspiration. Also, as an added bonus, they had the most beautiful wedding in Greece. So, if you’re interested in volunteering and destination weddings (or just love love), this is definitely the blog for you to check out.

3. Travelettes

Travelettes is a blog written by a group of female travellers sharing their stories and tips. They’ve got posts on luxurious travel,¬† adventure travel, tips on travelling to the country side, the beach, the city, solo travelling and how to reduce your environmental impact while travelling. That’s just to name a few, they’ve got just about everything.¬† If you’re in the process of planning a trip this blog is definitely worth a read.

Do you have any travel blogs you enjoy and would like to share? If so, please let me know in the comments I’d love to check them out

What They Don’t Tell You About Moving Out

I moved out of my parents home when I was 20 years old. I was beyond excited. I think most women look forward to picking furniture and styling their own home. Which, seriously it’s fun but I don’t think I fully understood what moving out was all about. And, I don’t think anyone can tell you about it, you just have to do it and get through the first few months. Or, in my case a bit longer. I’ll be honest, I struggled when I moved out. Like, bad and here’s the reasons why…

Routine is thrown out the window 

Whether you know it or not you’re in a routine. It’s kind of hard to explain because it’s not your routine you’re in, it’s your parents. And when you move out it’s gone. There’s no set dinner time, no one waking you up (my mum hates when we sleep in) and no one telling you to clean up. You just have to grow up and start your own routine.

It’s lonely

I’m not sure if everyone experiences this but this really sucked at first, and sometimes still does. My family is pretty close. Like, I hang out with my family for fun. So when I moved out and it was just my boyfriend and I, I would get pretty lonely. I wasn’t used to not having multiple people in the house to talk and hang out with.

It’s so so expensive

You know how everyone tells you moving out is expensive? They’re right. They’re so right that what ever amount you expect it to cost, double it. It often feels like you can’t quite get your head above water. You will get better at budgeting though, so that’s a plus.

Furniture shopping isn’t that fun

Actually shopping for furniture isn’t as fun as walking around the store looking at all the stuff you like. Mainly because you have to pay. And not only do you have to pay but it has to match the rest of the stuff in your house. Then you have to figure out a way to get it home. Which, sometimes, you have to pay more money for.

…Cooking…

Really this only sucks for half the population. The half that don’t like cooking (me). This actually sucks, you don’t realise how much you take your parents cooking for granted until it’s gone. And, for those who don’t like cooking, when do you start liking it? Like I actually feel kind of sorry for my future kids

 

What do you guys think? Is there something you didn’t realise until you moved out?

 

20 Things That Make Me Happy

*Sing* These are a few of my favourite things….

 

  1. A Saturday morning sleep in
  2. My dogs and cats
  3. Winning a game, whether it be soccer, futsal, netball or anything
  4. Finding someone who likes the same books as you so you can finally talk about them
  5. The Beach dscn0368
  6. Musicals
  7. That feeling when you book flights for a trip
  8. Singing in the car
  9. How well I dance when I’m drunk
  10. Coffee
  11. Rain
  12. New episodes of Brooklyn nine nine
  13. Going on road trips
  14. When my online purchase finally arrives
  15. Going out for Breakfast
  16. Finishing work for the week
  17. Coming home from a trip and laying on your own bed
  18. When the plane lands
  19. When I totally wing something and it totally ends up working out
  20. Setting a goal and finally achieving it

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