february

  1. A surprise scrapbook I received in the post from some special humans I had to leave behind in Australia. I’m a sentimentalist so it goes without saying this is one of the best presents I’ve received.
  2. Make-up. A foreigner to my skin, which has had a very lovely year of sun kissed freedom. I like nude by nature, it’s cruelty free, mostly vegan and this foundation is the sheer sort which still lets my imperfections shine through (It’s the Luminous Sheer foundation which I can’t source on the website). I don’t like full coverage, just enough to keep me confident but also keep me, me. The powder is nice too but I don’t really use it all that much.
  3. Coffee Dates with my best friend. I had to go a year without them so this month has been all about filling those missing spaces and investigating what awesome cafe’s my city has to offer. Pictured is Pink Lane Coffee a creative little nook, with a menu and vibe that has me reminiscing about Australia (can you tell I miss it?) I’ll be sure to do a little review of it soon!
  4. A Book and a cup of tea. I don’t really enjoy regular tea (terribly un-British of me I know) but I’ve developed an addiction to green tea as of late. I’ve also been re reading my favourite books to encourage more words and less telly in my life. Hush hush is just as heartbreaking to finish the sixth time around. Yes this is a young adult fantasy, yes I’m a twenty two year old woman, what of it?
  5. Instagram – My favourites this month have been my friend Jody’s – She’s a photographer so her feed is always perfect shots of beaches and travel fun. And also Tia Hendricks for style inspiration and empowering captions.
  6. I have too much time. I HAVE TOO MUCH TIME. With too much time comes too much youtube so here’s a bundle of joyessness to fill your time, if you have too much time, like I have too much time. Time, ya know?
  • Meghan Hughes – specifically the Pizza Talks, her one with Arden Rose just recently was delightful, go Check it!
  • Negative Feedback – I’m Miss. Amateur everything so I’m trying to use this space in my life to learn things. I super love photography so this little Youtube channel is expanding my mind (even if some of it is a little too smarty pants for me). P.s. give me money so I can afford this hobby.
  • Neverland Boys. Co – I like adventures, they do adventures. I like the sea, they film the sea. I like Australian accents, they have Australian accents. It’s win, win, win. Also checkout their blog and instagrams for insane pictures of insane places, it might hurt your wanderlust a bit!

So there we have it, a couple pieces that made my month, inspired me and kept me busy during too many lost days of moping around. How about your favourites? Any book, music, instagram recommendations?

N x

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23.01.2017

Last hugs, last Jetty trip, last supply coffee, last poolside chats, confusion at the airport, deep travel chats, a vague plane journey, the frightening reunion with the city, loud traffic, busy streets, skyscrapers, pollution, clouded skies, cement instead of sand, tarmac instead of ocean, reunions and surprise meetings with old new friends, drinks in secret bars, maze like laneways, rum, rain, exhaustion

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24.01.2017

Alone in the city, anxiety, yummy coffee from the quirkiest cafe’s, sitting by the river looking out to the skyline for the third time, feeling like a new person for the third time, uninspired by familiar store names, cute chats and photoshoots in the Botanical Gardens, skyline views from the top of the memorial building, the first lord of the fries in four months, drinks in overpriced hipster bars, honest chats in tipsy whispers, heavy emotions, stranger sadness.

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25.01.2017

More Coffee missions, acai bowls, bonding more with friends when you didn’t think it possible, art galleries, laughs, Hosier lane, buying new clothes and feeling like an alien, printing boarding passes for flights you don’t want to board, persistent anxiousness, getting ready in the air bnb with the girls, packing up the remainder of my belongings for the last time in Australia, ABC bar, $8 jugs of beer, more reunions, pure uncontainable happiness, selfies, lots of selfies, singing, dancing, a cheeky air grab or two, memorising my favourite smiles, walking the streets, bottle shop blues, too many bodies in our too small flat, crying…a lot, saying goodbye’s…

N x

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Now that I’m stuck home for a few months before the next adventure, I thought I’d work on introducing a few new bits and bobs to the blog which inspire me. Making playlists is one of my favourite things to do, I fit them to different feelings, memories and situations. This specific playlist reminds me of beach days in Australia, busy surf at Bondi and chilled tanning and swim sessions in Coffs Harbour. These tunes have a beat and feel to encourage a sunny disposition and put a skip in your step, if you’re having a gloom day I promise these tracks can break through with some rays. I’m a bit of a fangirl for the oldies too, so I’m sorry if some of these make you cringe a little!

Hope you enjoy these suggestions and if you have any of your own be sure to comment below. I’m always up for discovering new jams.

N x

Visuals: Byron Bay

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Any “serious” traveller would chastise me for what I’m about to type but I genuinely think Byron was my favourite place I visited in Australia (though that isn’t very many places at all). The beaches, the boutiques, the chilled out vibe. Blue skies, frothing waves, the most perfect sunsets. There was even this strange but consuming tribe like celebration for the New Moon, which I regretfully didn’t capture on camera (it was this fiery ball sinking into the ocean, I felt all trembly, my energy was so wayward and I thought maybe it was the apocolaypse). Every person you pass on the street, every view you catch from the car window is some special kind of creative energy. On the interwebs there is many a photographer, fashion guru, artist who I follow who reside here and I can see why. It’s balance and vision and sunshine tones. The buskers, the cafe’s, the store’s are all art. It’s the beach town of my dreams, if only it weren’t so busy I’d probably settle there for a while.

Nx

Also be sure to check out my first ever, very amateur but a little bit fun, Youtube video, following my adventures around Sydney for a day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5C9rNaeWgX4&t=3s

A Magical place called Coffs…

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Sunset at Sawtell Headlands
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View of Coffs Harbour from Muttonbird Island
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Jetty Beach
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More of Jetty Beach
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and again…
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and again…
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and again
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Frothing…

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Supply Coffee feat. vegan carrot cake
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Park beach
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more park beach
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Hike to sea dolphins…Boambee Beach
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Emerald Beach

Coffs Harbour is a little beach town somewhere between Sydney and Byron Bay. Maybe I’m bias because I called this magical little piece of the East Coast home for four months, when even four days would be more than enough to see everything, but I really think you should stop to check it out if you’re given the chance. Many of the popular East Coast tour companies skip it out, take you from Port Macquarie to Yamba without so much as a nod at Coffs. But you gotta stop bro!

Dem Beaches:

The beaches were my sanctuary after brutally hot days blueberry picking. Jetty beach is a haven, rarely busy unless it’s a school holiday, mostly sheltered from the wind and the waters are clear and still. You get the chance to jump off the jetty or even swim with the wild jetty dolphin if you’re lucky. For waves the surfer types prefer Boambee beach (Gallows) or Park beach, they stretch out longer and the ocean is wilder. Still picturesque and brilliant for tanning and swimming but definitely wavier. A little further on you’ll find Emerald beach with it’s wild kangaroo’s too!

Shopping:
The jetty was my stomping grounds so I’m familiar with that area most but there are fair shopping opportunities up in Coffs town centre, the palms shopping centre has bigger stores like kathmandu and franchises like Boost juice, whilst the surrounding streets are home to more local treasures like the wholesome Happy Frog cafe where you can grab THE BEST vegan friendly smoothies and organic local produce. You’ll also find Wrecked vintage here, a young independent vintage store, with some unique finds as well as home grown designs. Further afield you’ll find the plaza, a bigger mall where you can find chain stores like Cotton on and JB HiFi. And if you have a little more time to spare try out the surrounding area’s for more trendy, aussie style digs. Sawtell and Belligen are home to some nifty spots to grab coffee and mooch in local boutiques and if you plan your visit you can even catch the Bellingen markets which happen on the third Saturday of each month.

Eats and Drinks:

Around the Jetty area you won’t find shops but you will find hipster worthy cafe’s and bars aplenty. By the Jetty, on the Harbour there is a small row of restaurants including an ace burger joint called ‘Attitude Burgers’ amongst other little eateries. Further up by the train tracks you’ll find Fiasco, a little Italian restaurant and bar with the BESTEST staff. I worked here a few evenings a week, enough to notice the familiar faces of happy regulars and to sample one of each cocktail from their extensive, slightly unique, list. It’s great for wines and the manager Al will help you out if you’re a little overwhelmed by their catalogue. Oh and their pizza’s are pretty good too! If you carry on again you’ll come to a strip of nooks, among them you’ll find the cool Coffs locals chilling at element bar, a city type, industrial styled space with hard working kitchen staff (my friend Riva smashes it as a chef there) and super friendly waitresses full of helpfulness. Again you can find yourself an awesome cocktail here and live music on a Sunday night. There are other little gems dotted around element, try Sakura for tasty Japanese food or Old John’s cafe on a Wednesday night for slider’s. Best of all, all of the places mentioned recognise what vegan means and are more than happy to help you out with their menu’s.

Coffeeeeeeeee:

If you’re in need of coffee then Supply on Orlando street is where it’s at. A very new, trendy coffee shop, with fresh white brick walls and lots of open space, you can catch a whiff of ocean breeze from the seating outside or keep cool inside with wifi access. They do the most delicious vegan cakes…like the best I’ve tried. The raw snickers bar is bomb and the tiramisu so indulgent and they’re also made with whole food ingredients so technically they’re healthy…right? I always opt for an iced latte made with their in house mooless milk, a combo of almond and coconut milks, lighter than soy and not as invasive a taste.

A place to call home:

So again this little tidbit is slightly bias but I would full heartedly recommend the YHA as the place to stay. With options of private, family, four bed and six bed rooms it’s a great place for families and backpackers alike. Despite the branding it’s family run so you’ll often catch Bret or his wonderful daughter Rory at reception. The night manager Kate is the loveliest girl alive and if you have a spare minute you should definitely stop at the reception desk for a chat because they’re all more than capable of making your day with a good convo and a giggle or two! The longterm backpackers who work for their stay do a spiffing job of keeping the place all clean and tidy and it’s one of the nicest hostel environments I encountered. It’s also a two minute walk from both Jetty and park beach as well as being in amongst all those cafe’s and restaurants I mentioned. So get excited and book your stay there!

N x

Words on my mind: Destiny…

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I believe in magic, I believe in the mystery of the world, in the light that shines through emotion and acting on honesty. I believe in the stars and the moon, the sun and the ocean, that nature is above us and science just a way to deal with the abundance of unexplainable chaos that parades through every day life. I live by karma and creating my own luck and when it all goes to shit I think of it as a lesson to be learnt, that it was meant to happen to put me back on the right path or to change my direction. This time last year you could say I believed in destiny that there was some big masterplan pieced together by infinite atoms of energy in the universe, that everyone had their purpose and their outcome and we were all just doing our best to get through to the end goal. Now? I don’t believe in that one bit.

I bought my way out of my restless rut with a plane ticket that I worked tirelessly for, I didn’t have a clue where it would lead or how it would pan out but destiny had nothing to do with where I am now. All through the year decisions made themselves priority and walls shot up to hinder my progress at the most unexpected of times. None of it seemed preprogrammed like my struggles through university or finding a job. Nothing slotted nicely into place, it was all jagged pieces I had to persistently jam into too skewed places. There were times where nothing would go right and despite how hard I pushed the piece just kept popping out. I’d twist and turn it, hoped with everything that I had that my end picture would be a perfect one but it kept pushing back at me. I didn’t give up, I knew what I wanted, needed and I kept at it. I manifested my own destiny despite advice against it and despite what the universe seemed to be telling me. I ignored it. Against the authoritative voice in my soul telling me to flow with it and let it go. Destiny is the inevitable future painted for you against what you might try and achieve. Destiny sucks.

You have this one life right, it’s super short. The older I get the quicker the years fly by, I still feel seventeen despite being twenty two and I often meet people so cemented in the belief that this strict life plan is the one for them. Even travellers experiencing these phenomenal experiences still are devoted to the path of family, career and mortgage. Like destiny now has nothing to do with some spiritual plane out of our control and more to do with the hands of society. The thought of anyone or anything dictating what I do with my time here makes me angry. This isn’t a game and yet every aspect of humanity is playing at one. Destiny has been put in the hands of governments and religions and individual worlds all accumulate to this master world. Destiny sounds magical and once it was all I needed to believe in. Not getting into my chosen university wasn’t the end of the world because it was “meant to be”. You know? Oftentimes, yeah it does work out but you can’t give in to shit happenings because you think it’s supposed to be. You got to fight and make your voice heard in your life because living for other people or other higher powers will not make you feel fulfilled.

Destiny sounds like a beautiful word, an easy way of life, a way to be and live without hardship but you have to talk back if it’s making you do something you don’t want to. Don’t be bullied, make your destiny your own and feel how freeing that is.

Melbourne NGV: Viktor and Rolf

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When in the city you just gotta go see some art. Fashion isn’t my forte in all fairness, I recognise it as art and love experimenting with styles but ask me about designers and I can tell you the bare minimum. Thankfully two beautifully stylish Belgian ladies have come into my life lately and under their influence I ended up visiting the Viktor and Rolf Fashion Artist’s exhibition at The National Gallery of Victoria. I rarely spend money on art exhibitions but for $18 this one was super worth it. Like literature and photography, these designers hold this creative mystery of their own. It’s always the creator I find most fascinating over the product, getting into their heads and understanding the passions and inspirations. I never would of guessed that Viktor and Rolf were such independent minds, rebelling against what the fashion industry wanted and instead creating these worlds for their runway shows that are so statement and relevant to current affairs. One concept in particular in which each model donned her own set of lights and speakers, as a nod to having her own private show, snapped my attention. Another line saw garments missing pieces as a nod to the economic crisis and another was made using pieces from past shows as a reaction to recycling. One of the most statement of all was a collection in which the silhouettes of their creations created the shape of a mushroom cloud as an echo of the fear instilled by looming nuclear threats. Their pride in their collections is evident in the little (pretty creepy) Russian dolls they had made wearing their favourite piece as a memory from every show. The thought put into the collections and the outside influences inspiring them makes the dresses you look at less confusing and more awe inspiring. So if you’re around in the city and looking for an activity to maybe stretch your mind a bit or if you’re into fashion definitely check out this exhibition.

N x