Monday, November 25, 2013

How to survive a not so exciting gap year

2013 was my first year out of high school. I deferred my university course so I could spend a year living with my parents and younger sister in our rural town, working and saving some much needed money. At first I was excited at the prospect of a whole year free of exams and late nights hunched over my laptop drinking mug after mug of tea and writing essays about Roman emperors.

But a few months into the year, with most of my friends starting university in capital cities or heading off overseas to nanny tiny children with adorable British accents, the menial nature of my nine to five administrative job started to sink in and my gap year wasn’t looking so crash hot anymore.

The year has nearly ended, though, and I somehow managed to get through days of photocopying and stapling and listening to (really, really bad) on hold music. If you are also intending to take a gap year that doesn’t involve the typical gallivanting about the globe, here are some tips to help you survive. 

It is best not to follow your friends/acquaintances/anyone your age really who is overseas on Instagram. You will most likely find yourself sighing over pictures of them posing in front of the Eiffel Tower, swimming in Santorini and riding round on double decker buses in London, whilst scoffing down a block of Cadbury chocolate and feeling sorry for yourself.

Sometimes it is ok to call in “sick.” Go ahead. Really. Sit on the couch all day and have a Harry Potter marathon. You deserve it.

Remind yourself of the savings you will have to help you through the years ahead. You should be chuffed that you will not be penniless and living on packets of Maggi chicken noodles whilst you are at university.

Get yourself a hobby. This is important as you will probably have a lot of free time and there are only so many TV seasons you can watch. For me, it was running. When I was at school there were not many things I hated more than PE lessons. I remember running around the oval and pondering whether anyone would notice I was missing if I hid in the change rooms next lesson. But after this year I can run the distance of a half-marathon and enjoy doing it, which is pretty sweet.

Be happy when exam time rolls around at uni. Find joy in the fact that your Facebook newsfeed is clogged with statuses complaining about studying whilst you are cocooned in your doona making your way through an embarrassing number of Buffy episodes.

Enjoy it. Sure, you might not be off on some crazy Contiki tour like your friends or learning new and exciting things at university just yet, but you get to come home at the end of each day to your family and your pets and maybe a nice cup of tea made by your mum. And I’ve realised that those things are another kind of great.  

{Photo (of where I really, really wish I could have been this year) by voldy92}

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Words of wisdom for the weekend

I discovered this C.S. Lewis quote a little while ago and I had to share it, because, well, it's pretty perfect. Though I think it is applicable to me all the time, it is particularly relevant to me at the moment. I've just started a new full-time job, so I've had a pretty hectic week, and I am looking forward to fitting as much me time as I can into this weekend. This means that sitting down with a big cup of English Breakfast tea and a nice fat book is at the top of my to-do list! I am also planning to do lots of other nice relaxing things, such as:
  • Making caramel slice 
  • Snuggling up in bed with my Glasshouse vanilla caramel candle burning (it smells so good I feel like I could scoop some of the wax out, pop it in a bowl with vanilla ice-cream and eat it...hence the caramel slice making)
  • Going for a couple of long runs 
  • Watching too many episodes of Castle and Bones 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Roald Dahl mugs

I think I may be a bit late in discovering these Roald Dahl mugs over at McLaggan Smith Mugs, and I am so glad I finally did! The mugs feature illustrations by Quentin Blake, each from a particular Roald Dahl book, along with a quote from the book on the reverse side. I'm a big Roald Dahl fan and a hot beverage lover, so I think I am going to have to ignore the fact that I am on a saving-up-for-uni-and-must-purchase-only-necessities-budget, and get myself one. I have my eye on The BFG mug, as The BFG was my absolute favourite Roald Dahl book when I was little. 

If you want to nab one for yourself too they are available here

Monday, February 18, 2013

That time I finally got to see Kate Miller-Heidke live

{Photos from here}

A few months ago my cousin called me to tell me she'd gotten free tickets to see my favourite singer Kate Miller-Heidke, and asked if I wanted to go with her. I was absolutely, ridiculously over the moon! I've loved Kate Miller-Heidke ever since I was twelve, but thanks to 18+ concerts, school etc, I've never been able to see her live.

Kate played at the Melbourne Zoo on the first of February as part of their Zoo Twilights program. The program started in January and runs until March, and features wonderful live music (like, Missy Higgins and Lisa Mitchell wonderful) every Friday and Saturday night. Everyone just sat on the grass in front of the stage, or on rugs and fold out chairs they had brought along. It was basically a mass picnic, which was cute. Definitely the best atmosphere I've ever experienced whilst listening to live music. 

I don't think I can find the right words to describe Kate's performance. She really is an astounding, beautiful singer and I was mesmerised throughout the whole show. She is also super funny - there were lots of great anecdotes between songs and I doubt you would find another singer whose dance routine included moves such as the shopping trolley, the sprinkler and the lawn mower.

Basically, I had a really really great night. I could've sat there for hours more listening to Kate sing. I can't wait to see her perform again and may have possibly been googling "Kate Miller-Heidke 2013 show dates" on my phone whilst I walked out of the zoo...

For those of you who haven't heard of/listened to Kate Miller-Heidke before, you should definitely check out the clip below - the music video for one of my favourite songs by Kate. You'll be hooked, I promise :). 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

D.I.Y: Doily bunting

This year quite a few of my friends are moving away for uni, so lately I've been thinking about what I should give them as a going away present. Yesterday I made doily bunting for my friend Saasha (it's ok, she doesn't know about this blog!), which I hope will help her to pretty up the typical university student shoebox accommodation. I was really happy with how it turned out, so I thought I would share how I made it on here!
You will need:
 - Doilies (of course). I have a lot that my grandma gave me but I most definitely did not want to cut them up, so I went and bought some with zero sentimental value from an op shop. They were really cheap too.
 - Twill tape or ribbon. I used just over two metres and was able to fit nine "half doilies." 
 - Scissors
 - Pins 
- Thread
 - And finally a sewing machine and an iron!
Step One: Cut all your doilies in half. 
Step Two: Lay the tape out along the floor and roughly arrange the doilies to your liking, so you can determine how much tape you will need to use. Once you're happy with how it looks, cut the tape.
Step Three: Fold the tape in half and iron along it to ensure that it doesn't unfold.  Then lay the tape out on the floor again and pin the doilies into place between the two halves. Make sure the tops of the doilies line up with the crease of the tape. 
Step Four: Sew along the bottom of the tape, close to where it meets the triangles. You can tuck in the ends of the tape to neaten it up. 
And ta da - you're done! Happy crafting :).

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My beach substitute

One of my favourite things about summer is visiting the beach. Unfortunately, the beaches that are closest to me are about a four hour car trip away. As a result, this summer I have been spending quite a few days at what the people in my town affectionately call "the weir" (even though it's actually a lake formed by a weir). My time there is usually spent chatting with friends, swimming, reading and eating ice-cream that begins to melt as soon as you step out of the shop. Yesterday I even managed to drag mum with me and she sat in the shade and knitted - she's the cutest person ever.

Next year, however, I will be able to head to the beach whenever I want! I found out a few days ago that I've been accepted into my dream journalism course and dream university, which means I will be moving to Sydney :). I've deferred starting my course for twelve months so I can work and save, but I'm already itching to get to uni. I also can't wait to meet new people and explore the city properly! 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Australian coastal home

A very colourful family home I found over on Homelife. I am in love with the blackboard walls and doors, the bedrooms of the children and the pink stools in the kitchen.

I'm also quite fond of the yellow chairs at the dining table. I've been seeing that style of chair around quite a bit recently. Does anyone know if the style has a particular name? I would really love a similar chair to put at my desk!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Clean White Love: Part II

A bit over a month ago, I did a post (my very first post, actually) in which I wrote about my love for white spaces with splashes of colour. I thought I would do a bit of a follow up post since there have just been so many picture of white interiors floating around on Tumblr that are too good not to share!

{Sources: One, Two, Three, Four and Five}

Monday, January 14, 2013

Nan Lawson

Wonderful illustrations by Nan Lawson which I discovered via the Frankie blog a couple of days ago. Nan describes her artwork as "cute, quirky and nerdy" and her Etsy shop is filled with illustrations of characters from Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Star Wars and more. I have my eye on the three prints above since I am a huge Harry Potter and Doctor Who fan!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Bunad Blankets

Even though it's summer and boiling hot at the moment, I really would not mind having one of these Bunad Blankets by Norwegian designer Andreas Engesvik on my bed. Launched only last September as part of the London Design Festival, the blankets draw inspiration from the 'bunad' - traditional Norwegian folk costumes and rural clothes that date all the way back to the 18th and 19th centuries. The blankets are based on bunad motifs from different regions in Norway, which I think is really cool.

To read more about the blankets, you can pop on over here. Various websites have told me they're available for purchase, however sadly I cannot find any online store that sells them!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Reasons why I love summer in Australia

At the moment the weather where I live is hot. Really, really hot. For the last couple of days the temperature has hovered around 43 degrees celsius, which means all I want to do is sit in a bath filled with ice cubes and eat chocolate Paddle Pops. Unfortunately I can't do that, so instead I am going to make a list of my favourite things about summer. Hopefully it will help in curing my 43 degree woes.

1. Going to the weir with my friends and eating dripping ice-cream and swimming.
2. Pretty dresses and swimmers.
3. Pretending I'm five again and running around under the sprinkler with my cousins at Christmas, like in the photos above (taken way back in 2010 with a disposable camera).
4. Banana smoothies.
5. Listening to Josh Pyke's song The Summer more often. It's pretty perfect. If you haven't heard it before you should most definitely fix that!
6. Visiting the beach and collecting shells.
7. Road trips to cute country towns.
8. Summer berries. I could eat them all day. Oh and berry picking! I've only done it once but it was so much fun.
9. Peter Alexander summer pyjamas because they are always so adorable. I've bought three sets this year and had two given to me. Oops.
10. The fact that Australian summers usually feel something like this:

What do you love most about summer?
Also, to everyone in Australia - stay cool and be safe over the next few weeks! 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Pretty workspace

How wonderful is the office of fashion stylist Catherine Sheppard? I love the all the splashes of colour against the white. Ever since I found these photos a few months ago I've really been wanting to paint my desk white, however my desk is made from varnished timber and I have been deterred by the prospect of a lot of sanding. Does anyone know of another way to do it? 

You can check out the rest of Catherine's home (which is equally as envy invoking as her office) here

P.S. Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all have a great 2013 :). 

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