Study Tips From Someone Who Is ACTUALLY Studying

Hi friends, 

So holy shit it’s nearly the end of March (and probably will have been and gone once this post goes up)! A quarter of the year already passed. Holy fucking shit. Does anyone else have these moments where they realise how fast the year’s gone by and then can’t actually remember anything they’ve done so far (chewing through your Netflix list doesn’t count)? 

Well, join the club. We too have long to-do lists, lots of things we “want” to do on our days off (i.e. the days off where we actually can be bothered to venture from the couch and not feel completely flooded with life admin) and are generally just a little over-caffeinated. Oh wait, did I mention that we also attend university. Or doing a course. Whatever. 

In this club, we’re students which means life is 1000x more hectic, and it doesn’t take much to knock our scales out of balance when we’re not on our A-Game. Falling off the “I’m going to be the perfect student” wagon usually happens a few weeks after term starts, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Workloads increase. Life happens. People start having birthday parties again. Our dream schedules start slipping and suddenly we can’t remember the last time we ate a piece of fruit.

For me, this week (Week 5 of 12) has been a killer, and not in the productive way. I don’t know what’s gotten into me, because I’m feeling super creative and inspired, but also totally fucking lazy when it comes to reading those i-mags. So in light of this little side-step, I’ve decided to put my procrastination to good use (before getting back to the hustle tomorrow) and write up a big old blog post with some super realistic and useful study tips. 

I initially wrote these down a couple of weeks ago (during another avoidance spell) and probably should print them out and hang them above my desk or something. At least then I’ve got something to physically guilt trip me into working, right? Hm, stay tuned, and until then, enjoy!

Tip #1: Start at the beginning of the week 

Whether that be your Sunday night or Monday, it’s totally up to you. Not only will you feel good by starting your week off right, but you’ll find that when Friday rolls around you’ll be feeling way less pressure to cram everything into your weekend and dig a grave for your previous(ly social) life.

Tip #2: Something is better than nothing 

Even if you only do an hour’s work of study at least you did SOMETHING. You’ll feel much better knowing that you put your head down for an hour before ducking out for Happy Hour, and if you’re a list maker like me then you can successfully tick yes, I read 2 chapters of that totally boring textbook, and yes, I spent way too much during 2 for 1’s.

 

Tip #3: Do a bit every day

This kind of follows on from #2, but it’s a good strategy to implement early on. Breaking your homework/assessments down into manageable daily chunks will make the whole thing a whole lot less daunting, and if you set time frames or study blocks for each specific day it will be easy to stick to/schedule in. 

Tip #4: Pick a slack day – and stick to it

Okay, okay, I know this isn’t very studious advice to hand out! But I’m trying to be realistic here, and the truth is that we’re not going to be feeling like our super stellar selves every single day. Hell, even knowing that I’ll be doing uni work for 5 days a week makes me wanna cringe, so after monitoring how long I take to complete the weekly readings/activities I decided I could get it done in 4 days (if working productively).

It’s not going to work for everyone, and kind of goes against Tip #3, but basically I like to think of it like this: you can either pretend that you’ll make time for study/assessments sometime during a stupidly busy day, but not commit to a specific time. Then, the day rolls around, shit’s hectic and suddenly it’s 9pm and you don’t have the energy to even blink anymore. You end the day feeling exhausted, unaccomplished, and lazy.

The alternative: you look at your calendar for next week, realise that Monday is just going to be way too busy to realistically commit to anything else (work all day, Pilates class, then dinner at in-laws, etc.) so you’re going to resolve IN ADVANCE that you won’t be doing any study that day. The day rolls around, you’re swept off your feet, your muscles ache and you had to go through another round of “why I don’t eat meat”: the 3rd interrogation. You get home and collapse on your couch feeling exhausted but accomplished, and ready to get your nerd on tomorrow. 

Doesn’t that just sound so much nicer? 

Of course I’m not advising you to do this everyday – if you can get away with it, this should be a strictly one day a week Get Out Of Jail Free card, and you should only pull it if you know you can make up for lost time later. But my god, is it a handy card to have. 

Tip #5: Be Realistic

Sometimes life  just gets in the way of our meticulously planned schedules, and not even the most expensive daily planner can stop that. So it’s important that we learn to adapt, reschedule, and then possibly adapt last minute again when the back up plan goes awry. I recommend scheduling in activities and tasks in smaller time blocks (e.g. 30 minutes, 1 hour) so they are easier to move around in the day, and can be swapped with something else if necessary.

Tip #6: Pick something you enjoy and do it for 20 minutes each day

This can be anything from reading a book to listening to a podcast to checking your horoscope. Whatever it is, just make sure that it’s something that gives you joy, and you’re doing it for that reason only. That way, you can always feel like you’ve had ‘me time’ at some point in the day, and if you can manage to leave it till before bed you’ll feel like you’re ending your day on a high note. [NOTE: Of course, leaving it until the end of the day can be somewhat torturous, so feel free to mix it up, and use this free time as a reward if necessary. Anything to keep us going, right?!]

Tip #7: Distinguish your leisure activities from your procrastination activities

C’mon, we all them. Those things that we justify as “just taking a break” or “it’s something I do need to do” or the best one: “I’m expanding my knowledge”, even though they are 100% just an excuse to avoid the books. Yes, it’s totally important to find out what bacteria is in our food (clue: a LOT) but does it really need to happen right now with 3 assignments looming? Probably not. 

On the other hand, there are other activities such as exercise, hobbies, cooking, meditation, etc. that are not only good for your soul but will help keep you sane in these crazy times. You just need to make sure you don’t inadvertently use them as a procrastination tool. Otherwise you’ll end up feeling guilty about carrying out those as well, and that’s just not healthy. 

So when you’ve got a real spare moment, sit down and write a list of all the things you enjoy doing, and all the things you find yourself reverting to in times of boredom/avoidance/lack of inspiration. Decide if the procrastination tools are actually making you happy or benefiting you in any way, and if they’re not, or at least, not in the amounts that you’re using/doing them, then it’s time to cut back my friend. I know that’s easier said than done, but knowing and categorising your different responses will not only help you be more productive with your studies, but increase the time spent doing the things you’re truly passionate about. 

 

I could go on (hell, I always can), but I think that’s a pretty good starter list. Condensed. Informative. Varied. Practical (my new favourite word, ICYCT). Well, I hope so anyway. I hope these tips have helped you in some way, or if it doesn’t apply to you, then you can subtly drop the link into your friend’s inbox (let’s face it, we all have that friend) to give them a bit of a mid-term pick me up.

Till next time,

Viv   x

 

 

 

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2017 Goals

It’s a funny thing, isn’t it, turning another year older? Since my birthday falls on New Years Day, I often find myself reflecting on the past year and whether or not I feel any older on the day. And the truth is, I never do. I don’t suppose anyone really does, not immediately anyway. Because to me January 1st is just another day in our lives, and yet it is so heavily romanticised to be “that fresh start” and giving everyone hope that “this year will be better than the last” (even though I quite enjoyed 2016 anyway). 

Yet despite these conflicting thoughts, I sit down at the end of each year and write out my goals in attempted seriousness and assume that I will stick to them if they remain in a random notebook on my beside table (this never works) and feebly attempt to “exercise more” and “not let things get to me” (it doesn’t happen) and by the end of February I’ll be grateful if I’ve managed to water the plants once a week and not splurge every time a cute dress appears on Princess Polly. 

 A little dramatic? Maybe. But I think I can speak for a lot of people when I say that having BIG yearly goals just doesn’t cut it for me. I thrive on ‘To Do’ lists and ticking off tedious tasks, and am much more inclined to do something when I have to look at it on my wardrobe door everyday until it’s been accomplished. This is partly why I’m so excited to begin my Happiness Project this year, and although I am already a little behind, I’m excited to see how monthly/daily checklists will impact how well I still to the resolutions. I’m planning to do a whole other post relating to this, and the life-changing book by Gretchen Rubin that has inspired it all.

But in the meantime, I still wanted to have some overall goals for the year. Things that aren’t monumental or particularly hard to do, but things that I often overlook when I start getting busy. Some of them are really simple reminders, whilst others are skills I want to develop or habits I want to create. I’m planning to type these up and make them look cute enough to stick up on the old wardrobe door, with another copy in my planner, so I’m being constantly reminded of the things that I want to achieve because I’m passionate about them.

So without anymore blabbering, here are my goals for 2017, which are quite heavily creativity-based – something I don’t mind one bit.

 

On the blog front:

  • Become more organised and have content scheduled in advance
  • Look at getting a custom layout & a custom domain name
  • Use my blooming graphic design skills to spice up my posts 

And the rest:

  • Get back into film photography & post more photography on the blog (if Kmart ever finds my Rubens snaps)
  • Continue on with my Graphic Design course at full speed and 100% commitment and passion
  • Practice meditation & gratitude daily
  • Get back into weekly yoga classes
  • Collaborate!
  • Create for fun
  • Read EVERY DAY
  • Write more
  • Learn to make/edit videos
  • Learn to skate
  • Save for big ticket items & always put away some money for a “rainy”(catastrophic) day
  • Cook more at home and have lunches organised for each week 
  • Look after my plants
  • Get my ideas down straight away
  • Be more organised with “life admin” stuff

 

Like I said, it’s not an extensive or extravagant list, but they’re realistic goals that I can incorporate into my everyday life, which is how I think they’ll best get achieved. None of these can be ticked off after one attempt, which is probably why they work best as yearly goals, as I will constantly have things to work towards that will make me a happier little human. 

 

Wishing you a happy, full & adventurous new year,

Viv  x

22 Things I’ve Learnt After 22 Trips Around The Sun

  1. Not everyone is going to like your music –  but fuck em. They don’t have to.
  2. A good pair of Converse will get you a LONG way.
  3. Always tie up your docs extra tight, and wear bandaids on your heels if it’s been a while.
  4. Make the first move, ESPECIALLY if you’re a girl. Boys these days aren’t as tough as they seem.
  5. Everyone wants friends, but doesn’t mean they’ll go to the effort to stay as one of yours.
  6. If you think someone is cool, ask them out for coffee. It’s surprisingly not that hard to make friends when you share common ground, even if you are complete strangers.
  7. Stop expecting things to be like they are in the books and movies. Refer back to THAT scene in 500 Days of Summer when necessary.
  8. Sometimes the girls you didn’t know in school become some of the best ones you know as an adult.
  9. Never regret buying art.
  10. There is no greater feeling than seeing your favourite band play your favourite song live.
  11. It’s important to have girlfriends, but seriously hard to find good ones. But don’t give up looking, because they probably live in Brisbane.
  12. Attending Groovin the Moo is one of the few traditions that I actually have (aside from watching Love Actually at Christmas time, of course).
  13. Sitting at a desk/table with a cup of tea and a nice candle burning will instantly make you feel more motivated. 
  14. NEVER give away that band shirt that you once really liked, because you’re guaranteed to fall in love with it again later on in life.
  15. Boys shirts are always better.
  16. Watercolour painting and listening to music is very therapeutic.
  17. Sometimes you’ve just gotta get in your car and drive.
  18. Fisherman’s caps are great for all occasions.
  19. Be friends with people who encourage your creativity.
  20. Really LISTEN to what children say – they are actually the most fascinating people you’ll ever meet.
  21. If you ever feel cranky or pissed off with your partner, just take a pause and hug each other PROPERLY. It’s crazy what a good hug does to your mood.
  22. Loving yourself doesn’t just happen straight away; so don’t feel bad about making splurges on clothing that makes you feel good, because every little bit of self-confidence helps.

 

I like these so much, I think I’ll stick them on the wall.

 

Till next time, 

Viv  x

The 2016 Round Up

For me, 2016 was a year of some pretty big changes, and thankfully they were all for the better. I went from being single to having a boyfriend, I went from being the eldest of 7 to the eldest of 8 and I became a student once again – juuuuuuust to name a few. I don’t know why there are so many memes on Facebook about 2016 being rubbish, because aside from the whole Brexit/U.S. election disaster, I didn’t really notice much difference in the overall ‘vibe’ of the year. But that’s just me.

So in light of actually enjoying 2016, my 21st year around this sun, I decided to do a round up post of all the notable moments, faves and general cool things that I loved in 2016. Enjoy!

 

Notable “Moments”

I got a baby brother!

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Soren being born was actually the greatest gift we could receive. He’s the most adorable baby and so well behaved, and despite being a surprise he has fit into our giant family so well and it feels like he was always destined to join us. Everyone always comments about how clucky I am around him, when in fact it’s just him I want, not some other baby, not right now. I just love the kid so darn much and it’s actually so amazing watching him taste things for the first time, and reach milestones and listen to songs that he’s never heard before (Clair de Lune by Flight Facilities was the first song he ever heard btw – courtesy of his fab big sister :P). Babies are actually a bucket load of fun if you don’t mind the spew.

 

James officially became “my boyfriend”!

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Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m sappy and lame. Getoverit. After such a disastrous first serious relationship, I can’t deny that I was cautious about how this one would work out, or more importantly, how we would handle living an hour away from each other. But 7 months in, it’s been great. It just feels so easy and good and it’s nice to know that we can be happy together and apart and still have our own interests, but mostly it’s just great having someone to spoon you at night ❤

 

I started a Diploma of Graphic Design!

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And whilst I’m writing this I’ve just completed my first trimester of the course, and couldn’t be happier with where it’s taking me. It’s bloody hard work, and you’ll often find me moaning about how guilty I’ve felt when I’ve chosen an episode of Criminal Minds over studying, but all in all I’m loving it. It’s so nice to feel like you’re actually learning each week, and that even the assessments are furthering your skills in the field. I still have days when I doubt myself, and get disheartened when I see that my work isn’t up to the same standards as some of the other more practiced students, but then I remind myself – 12 weeks ago I’d barely touched Photoshop. Now I can fumble around Illustrator, InDesign and Ps, along with having gained a world of knowledge on the business side of being a graphic designer, so it’s only good things to come. I’ll be trying to post more of my projects/creations on here in the future to continue with my momentum.

 

I FINALLY visited Melbourne!

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Another bucket list item was officially ticked off in September. I still can’t quite believe that I did it, but also I’m so darn proud of myself for biting the bullet and doing a solo trip to a place I’d never been to with no one there to guide or house me. Melbourne was everything I expected it to be and more. Everyone I know who’s visited have always commented how much I would like it and suit it down there, and boy they weren’t wrong. I became instantly obsessed with the people and the architecture and the food and the gardens and the public transport and the food options (except how no one in Fitzroy seemed to sell soup in 10 degree weather, but that’s another story). Despite the cold, I really did feel at home and can’t wait to make another trip back, hopefully with more time and warmer socks.

 

My family’s house was FINALLY built!

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If I could add the celebratory party popper emoji on here, I would. After nearly 2 years of delays and planning and more delays, we finally have a beautiful new house for my family to live in. It’s up in the rainforest, has huge windows throughout and a kitchen that I could’ve conjured up in my dreams. My parents were definitely put to the limits with their patience, but now we have a lovely home for my two little brothers to grow up in. And a comfortable trundle bed for me to regularly crash on. 

 

I got a fringe!

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Not that exciting to some, but pretty flipping exciting for me. After debating for years, I finally just threw my worries to the wind and got a nice full fringe cut in just in time for MMVAF in September, and since then I’ve had to get it cut fortnightly to avoid it engulfing my eyes. I’m not gonna lie, it requires a lot more effort on the hair front than I’m used to (i.e. none) but I still like how it looks and that it makes my face seem more interesting (if that makes sense). I’m yet to see how friendly we remain during summer, so fingers crossed it doesn’t break us up.

 

I moved my room around – and finally got a desk!

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There’s a lot of “finally”s being mentioned in this post, and that’s because I feel like this year was the year that shit got done. Not everything, but a lot of things that slipped through the cracks last year were tied up during 2016, and there’s nothing I love more than ticking items off a list. I’d been contemplating moving my room around for a while, but didn’t know how it would look any other way (my bed is heavy af so it wasn’t a quick task), but once I started uni again I quickly realised how valuable a functioning workspace would be (sitting on my bed was nice…for a while). I had decided that the desk wasn’t a priority over other things, but one Friday afternoon I remember cracking the shits and calling Kmart to see if they had the desk I wanted in stock. Well they did, so cue the next 4 hours of room rearranging and feeling better than ever. Not only is the desk decorated super cutely, but now it makes my room look a lot more spacious than it is. Winner!

 

I got 3 more tattoos!

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A wave for my 21st birthday in Bali
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For Amity, one which was long overdue
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Still a newbie, for Catfish and the Bottlemen 

 

Favourites

Band: Not including my forever faves, it was definitely Trophy Eyes. I decided to give them a listen to when I realised that they were opening for an Amity gig back in August, and I instantly fell in love with Chlorine. And when I say instantly, I seriously mean it. I played that song over and over again until I knew all the lyrics, and lost my shit when they played it live in Brisbane. Following the gig they released the album, Chemical Miracle, which has been heaven to my ears ever since.

Album: Chemical Miracle by Trophy Eyes & This Could Be Heartbreak by The Amity Affliction

Books: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (full post on this life changing book to come!), Pieces of Sky by Trinity Doyle, The Younger Man by Zoe Foster Blake (there were more but I can’t remember what I read last year vs. this year. I really must start a log).

Films: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Doctor Strange, How to be Single, Captain America: Civil War

TV Shows: Stranger Things, Narcos, The Wrong Girl

Foods: Acai bowls

Gigs: The Amity Affliction @ The Tivoli, Bring Me The Horizon @ Riverstage

Music Festivals: Laneway (Feb), Groovin the Moo (May), MMVAF (Sep)

Place I visited: Melbourne (are you surprised?)

 

Things I wish I’d done

I added this section in when I initially drafted up this post, but now can’t really think of anything. Obviously, I wish I’d been more organised and went to more local gigs, and I wish I was able to go to Splendour again, but as always you can’t realistically do everything each year. So next year will be full of different adventures again. I guess I wish I’d been more organised on the blog front, and was able to maintain my weekly posting schedule, but again, sometimes things like that can’t be helped. This year seemed like such a giant blur, and when you reflect on a year at the end of it it’s easy to forget about all the amazing things you’ve done, and how much you’ve grown. Hell, I started out the year in Bali! How do I keep forgetting about that?!

I guess that just serves as a lesson for 2017: work hard, set your goals, have fun, document, and enjoy things in the moment. Our brains are expected to retain so darn much information as it is, so it’s understandable when we forget how it felt in a certain moment, or forgot what day it was every now and then. 

 

All in all, 2016 was great. I felt much better mentally, and feel like I’m finally on the right path career wise. Although I’ve still got another 18 months to go, it’s good to know that by the end of 2018, nearly turning 24 (eek!) I’ll be finally able to start a career that I’m passionate about. Of course there were some shit times, and there’s always going to be, but thinking back over the past 12 months, I honestly can’t think of any that were too dramatic. So that’s gotta count for something, right?

I hope you all had a lovely year, and by the time you’re reading this Christmas would’ve come and gone, so I hope you got to take time to relax and enjoy being around family and friends. And watched Love Actually, of course.

 

Till next time,

Viv   x

 

 

My Summer Reading List

Hello friends!

Now that I’m finally on study break I suddenly have all of this time on my hands…and a big stack of unread books to go with it.

One of my resolutions (that I started when I wrote them down, instead of waiting until January and most-likely losing interest in the meantime) was to read for at least 20 minutes a day, which isn’t much to some people (and not usually much to me) but when you’re working and studying with a pretty hectic schedule, it can be hard to cram in. So now it’s my “summer” break and I’m caught up on all of my TV shows, so there are no excuses as to why I can’t do some (a lot of) reading. 

In light of this, and having a literal stack of books sitting on my bedside table, I decided to share with you all my “summer reading list”, which was put together completely randomly and consists of books I’ve been buying over the past year or so that have gone unread. The genres I usually go for are Young Adult, Mystery, Crime, Thriller with a bit of Sci-Fi and Fantasy thrown in here and there. I hope this inspires you to get reading over the Christmas break (you’ll usually find me curled  up with a book on Christmas afternoon after a giant roast lunch), even if it’s just a catch up with your favourite magazine (something I also desperately need to do!).

 

 

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Just finished this one yesterday and I absolutely loved it! I can’t imagine anyone who won’t swoon over Henry or relate to Rachel or wish they lived at Howling Books themselves. 

 

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I started this one back in September but it regretfully got put aside due to my lack of enthusiasm for reading after a long day of well, reading for my course. Picked it up again tonight and finished the second half off as quickly as I could. A really great read that transported me back to Australia in the 1990s and makes me wish even more that I had more of a childhood during that era. 

 

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I’ve already read most of this series, so I can confirm that this is a great book and one of my favourite book series EVER. Which is why I’m re-reading it, obviously.

 

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The 3rd book in the Firebird series and I am SO FLIPPING EXCITED to read this one. I’ll also stop making these little comments now because the rest I honestly bought because I like the authors/they had interesting blurbs :p

 

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Coming to the pile soon (thank you James!)

 

I’m sure I will unintentionally (intentionally) add to this for, well, forEVER, but hopefully I can get through a decent chuck of these – if not them all – by the time uni starts again in February. 

 

Happy reading!

Viv  x

 

 

*Cover image by Lorenzo Basile Photography

Monthly Favourites: June

Aloha, friends!

So I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon to discuss my monthly ‘favourites’. Although to be perfectly honest, when something becomes a favourite of mine, I am obsessed with it every month. But alas, we shall give this a whirl, and hopefully it can give you guys some inspiration or help you (re)discover something groovy. To start off, I’ve just picked a bunch of random categories that I like reading/watching about when other people do favourites posts, so hopefully they are interesting for you too.

P.S. Let’s all just take a moment to appreciate that time when I dyed my hair pink with food colouring and actually had Photoshop. And had time to take ‘arty’ photos for ‘fun’ and to ‘experiment’. Ah, those were the days!

Enjoy!

 

Reading:

I’m a pretty avid reader, and try to be reading SOMETHING every couple of days – whether that be a book, a magazine or one of my favourite blogs, but with how ridiculously crazy life has been lately, I’ve slowed down a LOT. 

 

Mag: Collective Hub

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Honestly, this is my favourite magazine EVERY month. It provides such a unique mix of business and the creative industries, and has tonnes of relevant advice, stunning ‘Artist Takeovers’ and down right inspiring content.

 

Book: Skullduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy

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I decided last month to re-read this badass series, partly because I had hit a wall in what to read next, and also because I am not allowing myself to purchase the last book until I’ve read all the others. So ultimately it’s a win-win for me. If you haven’t read it, then DO. The 10 part series follows the adventures of Valkyrie Cain, a girl unexpectedly thrown into a secret world of magic, and Skullduggery Pleasant, her witty partner in (solving) crime who is a) magic b) dead and c) a walking, talking skeleton. If I haven’t convinced you then you’ve probably got shit taste or I’m just rubbish at summaries (most likely true) so head on over to your local bookstore to check out the radness for yourself. 

 

Blog: Fashion Slave by Sophie Milner 

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I have quite a few blogs that I regularly check and read (for which I shall do another post on soon!) but for the last few months in particular, I have been LOVING Fashion Slave. Sophie’s blog is a cleverly curated mix of on-trend yet personalised fashion posts and genuinely interesting and witty lifestyle posts (many topics of which we have all thought about but hardly anyone has had the guts to write about). She’s based in London, and regularly makes me want to pack a bag and jump on the next plane to the UK (despite how un-summery their summer may be). Definitely take some time out to peruse her site – you’ll find yourself laughing and nodding along in no time.

 

 

Music:

 

Band: Catfish and the Bottlemen 

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I have been absolutely melting over these Welsh babes lately. I’m absolutely shit at describing the genre of a band, or how their music sounds, but I will say this – Van’s voice is just as dreamy live as it is on record. I have been playing ‘Cocoon’ over and over and over (both the album version and the live piece they recorded on Triple J’s ‘Like a Version’ last year), ‘Soundcheck’ (from their new album, which I am literally listening to as I type this – and loving every bit of it. Well done, lads!) and their acoustic cover of The Killers’ ‘Read My Mind’ (also from their session on Like a Version)

 

Other Lovely Songs:

Fill the Field feat. Jolie – Tinker (which is also available for free download on their Soundcloud – bonus!)

When Everything Was New – Flume (actually, his whole new album ‘Skin’ is just magical)

‘So Into You’ cover – Childish Gambino

I Bring The Weather With Me – The Amity Affliction

The Girl – City and Colour

Hoops – The Rubens

Follow You – Bring Me The Horizon 

Shine On – The Amity Affliction (always Amity <3) 

 

OK, I better stop before I rattle off my entire playlist, haha. 

 

Artists:

My instagram feed is about 40% artists (many whom are Australian and I have bought pieces from – which is kinda one of my favourite things to do. Support local artists is a super great thing to do, and believe me, the quality of the prints are worth every extra cent!) so I’m regularly stalking their pages and trying (not so successfully) to resist buying their prints. Again, I need to do another post on this (because I could go on FOREVER), but here are a couple of artists that are giving me heart eyes during this cold and rainy month.

 

Joel Birch

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I have been obsessed with Joel’s work for as long as I can remember. Not only is he the lead singer and songwriter for my favourite band, The Amity Affliction; but Joel is a ridiculously talented film photographer, graffiti artist and typographer. He is best known in the ‘art world’ for his typography prints, many of which are his own song lyrics, that come in limited numbers and are hand-screen-printed right here in Aus. He’s a pretty busy man so his prints are rare yet well adored, but you can regularly find new scribbles posted on his instagram, along with adorable pics of his family and groovy film shots. 

 

Rik Lee

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Rik is another Aussie I’ve been following for quite a few years, who is pretty much living a creative’s dream, living and working in Bali. All of his prints are handmade on recycled paper in Bali, and I can personally say that they are an impeccable quality. His signature style is portraits of cartoon females in a variety of vibrant settings, usually with hair to die for. Not only does he sell top notch art prints, but card sets, colouring books, lapel pins and so many other cute knick nacks. Rik’s instagram is also one of my faves, with plenty of #wip pics and snippets of his clothing brand Rik and Reg.

 

 

Fashion: 

So it is FINALLY becoming cool enough in Australia to wear JUMPERS and LONG SLEEVED SHIRTS without absolutely DYING of heatstroke in a matter of minutes. And yes, capslock is necessary because I am SO FRIGGING EXCITED. 

Since it’s not actually cold, I’ve just been wearing my ‘summer wardrobe’ (i.e. high waisted shorts, sneakers and a band tee) with either a giant mustard yellow cardigan thrown on OR one of my cozy pullover knits on top. 

I’m also taking advantage of being able to wear my longer overalls without melting, as well as some much loved long sleeve tees (think Flume, Sea Shepard and stripes). But the clear winner this month has been my very Babysitter’s Club-esque outfit (which I am racking up quite a wear count): a basic black long-sleeved turtleneck from Kmart ($10 and was exactly what I wanted!) and a super cute dark blue denim overall dress from Valleygirl. You can kinda see it in this pic, in which I am proudly showing off my gorgeous new baby brother (yay for him finally arriving safe and sound!), and it looks rad with sneakers/boots/Docs/basically anything because it is the best outfit in my closet, possibly ever.

I should probably do an honourable mention to my new glasses from Specsavers (also pictured) which are a completely different style to any of my previous pairs, but I’m really glad I took the leap and got something a little more quirky this time. 

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And presto – the post is actually finished! Big thanks if you managed to get all the way through, and I’d love to know what things you’re loving this month – or in general – as I’m always on the hunt for new music/reads/artists to follow.

 

Till next time, 

Viv x 

The Funk

And no, I’m not talking about that creepy blob thing from The Mighty Boosh. I’m talking about the shit kind of funk (yes, there’s such a thing). The one that you get into and feel trapped and blah and totally uninspired.

Well, that’s been me for the last good while. My posting schedule went completely out the window – adios weekly Sunday night uploads and regular writing. I quit ANOTHER course that I started – but at least this time I got in before the census date so my HECS fees are at at a temporary standstill. I’ve been feverishly planning for the future, yet not making any real commitment to these plans (i.e. booking flights or accomodation or even tickets). I guess you could say I’ve been feeling lost… again. Sure, there are some external contributing factors that I know have been bringing me down (boy troubles – ah, they happen to the best of us) but mostly I’ve just been half-assededly searching for a purpose. And by searching I mean sitting on the couch or bed, watching TV shows and feeling like I should be doing something more productive and useful with my 21-year-old life.

But this is normal, right? We’ve all been here. Life just kinda feels like its floating by with plenty of laughs and good times thrown in, but nothing overly significant is happening.

To be honest, I know that I’m just being indecisive and lazy. I’ve got all of these dreams and ideas but I never take any action to pursue them or bring them to life. Sometimes I think that a sea change will fix that – literally moving somewhere to be closer to the sea (hello, Sunshine Coast) but I know that a big move won’t magically solve all of my creative problems.

So here’s a little list that I’ve decided (just this minute) to compose for myself to follow to get the creative juices flowing. Who knows, maybe it will help or inspire one of you if you’re feeling the same way.

 

  • Start writing everyday – even if it’s just utter bullshit in my journal or a poem or a piece of a story. If I’m not going to study to be a better writer (yet) then I need to at least PRACTICE.
  • Try to read at least one book a week. This might sound impressive, but I read relatively fast in general, and when I’m engrossed in a story well… I finished Maximum Ride Forever in around 5 hours, so I don’t really have any excuses on that front.
  • In addition to reading a book, also regularly buy and read my favourite magazines. At the moment I’m loving Tracks, Frankie and Collective Hub (who in particular has inspired me to get my ass into gear and start doing something productive). If I ever want to work for any of them one day, and I do, then I need to start familiarising myself with their content, writing styles and brand aesthetic.
  • Paint more. I only use watercolours to write whatever comes to mind (usually song lyrics or things I want to say to people but don’t know how to) but sitting down on the floor with the fairy lights on and my favourite songs playing and messing around with my total of 3 brushes is one of the most therapeutic activities that I do. Whiiiiiiiicchhhh is why it needs to happen more.
  • If I can’t find a job in an area that I like (very, VERY likely in Cairns. There’s hardly anything going, let alone anything half decent and exciting) then look at interning for a company/small business owner. Or I could volunteer at one of the galleries. Anything to get me out there and learning things hands on.
  • Start networking. This used to be my biggest fear as until I get to know someone, I’m generally a pretty quiet person. I don’t even try to be, it’s just my brain literally comes up with NOTHING to say. It’s actually quite frustrating, and often leaves me feeling and looking like a fruit loop, so it’s time to get over that fear and start sending out emails and PM’s and getting to know some other creatives around me. Because I’ve found that once you take that leap, even if it just means messaging an old school friend for coffee, you feel heaps more confident about talking to general strangers and new co-workers/potential employers and yes; I’m still shit at job interviews, but at least in the real world I’ll have some cool friends.

 

5 Ways to Get Creative (without having to be good at art)

 

Creativity. noun.

  1. the state or quality of being creative.
  2. the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination.

 

Feeling creative or inspired is my absolute favourite feeling in this world. It’s impossible to describe, and often isn’t noticed by others, but my god; when it’s happening, absolutely NOTHING else is able to capture my attention. Well, nothing as amazing, anyway.

In school, creativity is generally associated with art classes, theatre or dance, playing an instrument or more recently, digital photography and media. These are all fantastic avenues to use to express yourself creatively, HOWEVER, some of us just aren’t interested or particularly good at them. It sucks, and it’s more common than you think (despite what you may see on instagram), but just because you can only produce shitty self-portraits and sound absolutely wretched on the recorder (guilty!), it doesn’t mean you have to completely give up. There are PLENTY of other ways to release some of those unharnessed creative juices, and here are 5 creative outlets that I’ve learnt to love whilst I still master the art of creating ‘tone’ and ‘depth’ and ‘anything half decent’ with acrylics. 

 

1. Fashion

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Image via Pop Sugar

I’m sure you’ve heard this one a million times. “Fashion is the ultimate form of self-expression” and all that jazz. But you know why it’s preached? Because it’s friggin’ TRUE! You can be the epitome of lazy or go out of this world with how you dress, and it’s all totally up to you. There are no rules or guidelines for fashion (despite what Vogue might ramble about in their style section), which makes it a fabulous way to express yourself creatively without having to actually make anything (jusssssttttt potentially spend a lotta $$$).

And for those of you who are actually capable of making their own clothes and designing, my hat goes off to you – a hundred times over. I used to dream of being a fashion designer all through my childhood, but because I am shit in the design side of things, I wistfully swept that one under the rug. 

But yes, fashion – go nuts. Wear that vintage hat that everyone thinks is bizarre but you absolutely love. Cover everything in buttons and sequins and patches promoting bands and peace. Sure, you might get a few confused looks (especially if you live anywhere small or remote – I feel your pain!) but as they so rightfully say in Skins, ‘fuck it!’ Do what makes you happy and yada, yada, yada. 

 

2. Interior Decorating  

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Image via House to Home UK

And no, you don’t have to apply for the Block to make this one a reality. It’s essentially just taking the time to decorate your room. Or your house. Or if you want to get really clever, decorate your backyard and call yourself an expert in exterior and outdoor decorating *insert coolsunglassesface emoji*. 

Believe it or not, decorating your space is not only ridiculously satisfying when it’s done, but you also get to spend money on odd things like ceramic, salmon-coloured cacti and skateboard decks that you have no intention of using and say “but it’s going to look great in…” as a totally legit excuse. I personally love shopping for homewares, but more specifically decorative pieces (you can only own so many vases, you know) because that’s where you can really inject your personality into the space. I actually have a never-ending pile of artwork that I keep buying and needing to hang, which is lovely to look at, but not lovely to try and find odd-shaped frames for.

 

3. DIY Projects

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Image via doityourselfproject.tumblr.com

The best thing about DIY projects, is that you can literally create/make ANYTHING you want, and you get to slap the DIY tag on it because you did in fact, do it yourself. Some popular DIY projects include terrariums and succulent gardens (always a winner), refurbishing old furniture, sewing whatever you can get your hands on, and my personal favourite, spray painting/regular painting random things to make them look prettier.

Okay, so those suggestions kind of suck, but you get the idea. If you feel like you’re lacking creative ideas, but still want to FEEL creative and artsy, then there are a million and one DIY blogs who’ve got your back. Usually they are way more organised than me, and instead of just writing about it, they actually show you specific ideas and step by step instructions with pictures (yay!). DIY projects can swiftly turn into DIY presents, and no matter how dodgy the end product is, the receiver has to love it because you made it and put craploads of effort into it JUST FOR THEM. So you get to be creative and tick that person off the gift list. Or you can just keep it for yourself and incorporate it into your rad interior decorating plan. Either way, it’s creative and hitting two birds with one stone. Done and done.

 

4. Writing

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Image via Tumblr

Writing is my favourite creative outlet. Not only because it’s free to do (although that gives it some serious brownie points), but because actually getting out whatever you need to say on paper makes you feel 58687 times better afterwards. Along with this blog, I keep a regular journal and like to write fiction when I am feeling particularly inspired, which is great for me because I’m always bloody thinking and no matter how much I talk to people about the random shit that comes into my head, THERE’S ALWAYS MORE. 

Creative writing is simply great. You can write whatever you darn well please, and make up fictitious worlds or write people you know into ridiculous scenarios or create a whole novel from your cat’s perspective. The only boundaries are the ones you create for yourself (*cough, lame* I know – but true!) and because you’re doing it for fun it doesn’t matter if you never finish a particular story or make the characters as in-depth as your English teacher likes to read. Just have fun with it, and write down whatever comes to mind. Even if it’s just some song lyrics and random scribbles, it’s a nice way to relax and take your mind off things. 

Obviously if you’re some sort of word wizard then you don’t have to stop at creative writing. Write a poem, or an article, or a song, or interview someone who fascinates you and explore what strand suits you best. And if you think it’s shit, you can simply hit the delete button or chuck your paper in the bin. Although I do recommend stashing it away in a folder for a good laugh at a later date. You won’t regret it. 

 

5. Typography

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Print by Joel Birch

I guess this one is kind of an extension from writing, except that before you start a piece you will usually choose a specific word/phrase/set of lyrics/whatever to use. It’s a passion of mine that I don’t invest enough time into, which is dreadful because the only way I’m ever going to get better is by PRACTICING!!!! But you don’t need to be good, it just needs to make you feel good. Plus, if you do become fantastic at it, you can join the rest of the rad typography artists and sell your prints/design logos for companies/create kickass graffiti/take over the world.

If I’m feeling more whimsical and spontaneous, I like to sit down with blank A3 sketch book and some watercolour paints, because you only need the tiniest bit of paint to write a word and it always seems to look pretty, no matter how dodgy your writing is. For the days when I want to put a bit more thought and effort into a project, I again get out that sketch book and some lead pencils and black marker pens. Unlike with my watercolours (in which blue, purple and red are my favourite colours to use), I like to keep my handwritten (?) pieces in black and white. A style which has been heavily influenced by my idol in the this field, Joel Birch, but also something that I feel that suits me best. I might invest in some of those pretty pastel Sharpies eventually, but for now, keeping it monotone is the way to go. 

 

 

So there you have it – 5 obvious but still cool ideas to inject your creative energy into! I hope this has given you some sort of inspiration, and if not then you can have a giggle at another one of my strange takes on advice & idea posts. 

Until next time,

 

Vivienne x

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Go-To Items That Every Girl Should Have In Their Wardrobe

For days when you have “nothing to f***ing wear!”

 

Ladies, we’ve all been there. It’s Saturday morning and you’ve got a few errands to run, a late lunch to attend and maybe a movie date thrown into the weekend mix. You’ve let yourself have a sleep in – because it’s the weekend and that’s the only excuse you need – and you’ve been leisurely sipping on tea and scrolling through instagram when – crap! If you don’t get your shit together now then you’re going to be running late, and although your Peter Alexander set is cute, it’s not really appropriate to be seen in public before sundown.

You open up your slightly chaotic wardrobe and stare at the contents for inspiration and NOTHING is jumping out at you. You want something cute yet casual, that in no way looks like the work attire that you’ve been doomed to wear every other day this week so far. You begin experimenting, and think maybe today you’ll become a bohemian goddess or a rocker or go for a preppy chic look – but nothing is working! You are officially RUNNING LATE, and you are no longer feeling daring or creative but desperate and trying to brush your teeth and find a decent bra at the same time.

Insert your ‘old faithfuls’ or ‘back up plans’ or in my case, ‘the only clothes I don’t have to think twice about throwing on’. We all have them, and if you’re lucky enough then you have a couple of outfits on rotate that you shamelessly resort to when times get tough. If not, then read ahead my dear friend.

Being someone who can be pretty darn body-conscious at times, I know how hard it is to find clothes that you can thoughtlessly chuck on without worrying about if they are bunching in the wrong spots or if you’re boobs look good in it and blah, blah, blah.

So here’s 6 clothing items that have saved my ass on countless occasions, and prevented quite a few wardrobe-related meltdowns.

 

1 x Pair of comfy, high-waisted denim shorts

It took me a little while to find a REALLY good pair, but when I did, holy shit they changed my life. And that’s not even an exaggeration. I’m so glad that high-waisted things have been back on trend, because for gals that like to accentuate their waists but also have their bellies and hips covered (i.e. me. You will never catch me wearing low rise jeans – EVER), high-waisted shorts are your best pal. You can wear them with literally any kind of top or shirt, either tucked in, out or cropped, and they also look fab at the beach when you want to run around in your ‘kinis but still feel covered.

My personal favourites are the ‘Stevie’ style by Factorie, which are sadly  discontinued (the other day I found them on a rack plastered with clearance stickers. I’m not gonna lie, I mourned the end of an era), so it was a good thing that I bought FOUR different colours when they were popular. I actually lived in them for all of last year, and they were the first thing I added to my packing pile for Bali.

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Elephant approved.

1 x 2 sizes-too big boyfriend-esque button up

I always thought that wearing baggy shirts were only flattering on girls with slender arms and visible collarbones, who somehow could look fab and effortlessly cool without looking swamped in fabric; but boy was I wrong. It turns out that literally ANYONE can rock a button up shirt, and the key is to upsize. Having a button up that fits well is always handy to have around (cue job interviews or fishing trips where you need a long sleeve shirt) but it somehow always seems to look more business than casual (at least that’s how it’s always been for me!), especially if it is a stiffer fabric.

It took me a while to find the perfect boyfriend button up (and yes, like those infamous jeans, I’m calling it a boyfriend button up because it’s supposed to look like you just stole it from your lover’s floor and dashed off without a second thought – pants not always included), with a few satisfactory candidates found before settling my eyes on a denim-wash blue number from Cotton On. Again, I found this one on the clearance rack  and got a size 14 (I’m usually a 12 in tops), even though I wanted a 16 for extra floopiness. Thankfully, it was designed as a loose fit, so I can wear it to the beach sans pants or half tucked into my trusty high-waisteds for that cool ‘on vacay’ vibe. Add a pair of Birkenstocks and some cute sunnies and you are good to go, no tears necessary.

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15 bucks in the pre-xmas sales. Not bad at all.

1 x Day OR night appropriate dress

This one kind of used to be viewed as the Northern Lights, you knew it was out there, but you just hadn’t seen it yet. For years I was easily able to find dresses that were cute for the day, but not really appropriate for dinner or parties or nights on the town. OR I would find a totally killer nighttime number that was way too glam to pair with sandals and a cafe lunch.

Enter, Spell and the Gypsy Collective, a brand that I have been drooling over for nearly 3 years who only keep producing better and more dreamier products (and completely obliterating my savings account). As the bohemian trend skyrocketed, so did Spell’s exposure, and the fact that it is born and raised in Byron makes the sister-run company that much cooler. I could easily write a whole post on how much I adore Spell, but what I love in particular is their dresses. Yes, you are paying a little more (either that or eBay becomes your best friend), but their stock is worth every penny and I have NEVER seen someone look bad in a SATGC frock.

Being a shorty, I am a big fan of their Playdresses, which are released in a new pattern/slightly tweaked style at least twice a year. My fave is the Desert Wanderer Playdress in Sunset, which I have worn more times than all of my other dresses combined, both during the day and at night clubbing. It’s just so darn flattering! And cool, and can be paired with any type of shoe imaginable and still look rad. Just keep your eye out and Buy.One.Immediately. You won’t regret it.

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One of the many times I busted this baby out in 2015. Wearing a size Medium.

1 x Figure-flattering black skirt

With every gal having a unique figure and taste, it’s hard to recommend a specific style with this one. But having a classic black skirt that’s not too short and not too long, is seriously a blessing. I bought this baby from Dotti back in 2012 and haven’t found a better one since. I wish I was as forward-thinking as I am now and snagged 2 or 3 to have some other colours (I also have it in mustard yellow which is a tad trickier to style for an everyday look) but I’m just grateful I have this baby. It’s basically my go-to for town when I don’t feel like wearing a dress. Or pretty much any occasion where I can’t wear shorts and don’t want to wear a dress. So start hunting far and wide, because putting in the effort to find the perfect black skirt is SERIOUSLY worth every second of trawling the shops.

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It looks rad with any top, thank god!

1 x Killer leather jacket

This is something you can go as basic or as all-out as you like. I know girls who have found their dream leather jacket from Jay Jays for $40, and others who have fallen in love with a Boda Skins baby for $700. My dream jacket has always been a classic almost cropped black number, and again, I searched far and wide and tried on endless styles that were ‘okay’ and ‘could work’ but my heart wasn’t committed, so neither was I.

Last year, the fabulous online boutique Somethin Somethin granted my wish and started stocking this magical little thing, and for $89 I wasn’t going to complain (in fact, I clapped and cheered when it arrived in the post). In the cooler months I looked for any excuse to wear it, and it instantly punked up any outfit I threw together. Absolutely a must.

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Paired with my trusty high waisted shorts. What a surprise, haha.

1 x Band shirt

Now this option may not appeal to everyone’s tastes, so you could easily swap it with a classic and comfortable (very important) black, white or striped t-shirt. It doesn’t really matter, as long as you have one shirt that you always feel good in and will work with your staple bottoms. For me, this is a men’s size medium Milestones band shirt. My friend and I picked up one each at a gig that they were a support act for back in 2012. Taylor unfortunately lost hers, but mine has been glued to my side ever since. It’s the kind of shirt that I love SO much that I won’t even lend out to friends. Terrible, I know, but I’m just too darn attached. So much, in fact, that I’m wearing it right now as I type this. If that isn’t proof of how valuable a good band tee is, then I don’t know what is.

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Shameless bathroom selfies because this shirt is life.

And there you have it folks! As always, I hope you enjoyed this extensive, overly-detailed post, but as least you know I genuinely love these items and I’m not just recommending you the same list of crap that I saw in Cosmo last Tuesday (not that I read that magazine anyway, but you get the point!). To compliment the ‘everyday’ look nicely, I would suggest investing in a pair of classic black sneakers. I’m current living in my beat up Converse, and they have been so loved that there are holes in the sides and the soles are about to fall apart, but they’re way too comfy to give up yet.

Happy shopping/hunting!

 

Viv  x

2015: The Year of…

Man, where did the last year go? It was a complete and total whirlwind of adventures, laughs, big decisions and darn good times. I know I’m a little late to doing a recap post, but for the last week of 2015 and the first of 2016, I was abroad in dear old Bali (posts on that to come very soon!) so I guess you could say I was a littttllleeee preoccupied (i.e. too busy reading or nursing my sore feet).

I know a lot of people have said it, but 2015 really was my year. I changed and grew so much and did a ridiculous amount of things in a short span of 12 months. Obviously this means I’m only more excited for 2016, because I’ve declared it ‘the year I get my shit together and work out what I really truly want to do, and then work towards getting there’. Sounds like a lot of thinking and hard work, right? Well I’m sure it will be, and for once I’m ready to hunker down and put making a career first (at least until the Splendour line up comes out).

So in honour of the Magical Year That Was, I’ve decided to become one of those wankers that brags about how fab their year was and how darn grateful I am that I had the opportunities and funds to be able to do such kick ass stuff. On the 6th of January, whilst driving from Ubud to Kuta, I decided to jot down my 2015 highlights and realised that there were a LOT. So, to make this post a little easier on the eyes, I’ve decided to break down into sections (because by now you know how much I love my bloody lists and such) to cover all of the main stuff, but I’m sure after posting this I’ll have remembered even more rad things that made 2015 well, rad.

 

Music-related goodness

Holy shit, if my 2015 could be summed up into 3 words, it would probably be gigs, gigs and more gigs because that’s literally what I had my calendar planned around. I’m even going to go ahead and say that I possibly saw more bands/went to more gigs in 2015 (I keep going to say “this year” but alas, I cannot) than I did every other year combined. Music is my biggest passion, despite being a mediocre singer at best and absolutely rubbish at any instruments, and seeing it live is easily my favourite thing to do. In the entire world.

2015 was a glorious year for live music, and thanks to my interesting prioritising (who needs a savings account when you can have life experiences, right?) I managed to get to nearly all of the gigs I planned to go to. I don’t know if I had a favourite act/band, but seeing The Amity Affliction and A Day To Remember last month in Brisbane was a pretty unforgettable experience. Two of my favourite bands, touring together, putting on an absolutely amazing show with set lists that could kill. Man, I was a happy gal that night, despite running off 1 hour’s sleep and nearly getting into a fight with a significantly larger male standing in front of me. But that’s all part of the fun, right?

Musically, my year went a little like this:

  • John Butler Trio @ Kuranda, March
  • Groovin the Moo @ Townsville, May
  • Splendour in the Grass @ Byron Bay, July
  • In Hearts Wake @ Cairns, September
  • The Rubens @ Cairns, October
  • Fleetwood Mac @ Brisbane, November
  • The Amity Affliction & A Day To Remember @ Brisbane, December

Looking at in in order like that is pretty amazing, because that means that for 7 of the 12 months of the year I was somewhere in Australia, immersed in a crowd seeing acts that I love. Shit, how am I supposed to top that now?!

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Dylan Frost of Sticky Fingers @ GTM
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Splendour Snaps
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En route to In Hearts Wake (we were dancing/drooling too much to take any pics of the band)
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Sam Margin of The Rubens
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Mum and I @ Fleetwood Mac
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Girl Gang @ Amity/ADTR

 

Travel 

I kicked off the year by moving to Cairns, which turned out to be the perfect location to set up a home base for all of my spontaneous travelling needs. Despite making a nice little home for ourselves here, I felt like I spent soooooo much time away from it and out doing shit, which is perfect because that’s exactly what I like to do. I made a promise to myself that when I had the opportunity to travel and do things that make me happy, I would jump straight in, no questions asked.

Sure, that meant a lot of money spent of flights and a lot of time worrying about how much spending money I would have for each different adventure, but I managed to get through it pretty comfortably with minor damages (RIP Kmart suitcase).

Aside from my countless trips to my parents (1 hr 20 minutes away) and the Tablelands (1 hr away) and Palm Cove (20 minutes in good traffic, which doesn’t really count as ‘away’ but feels like a totally different world down there, so it’s making the list!), I had clocked quite a few hours in the sky, and on buses, and trains, but mostly in the car.

I drove 3 different ranges, all for the first time in 2015, and man that alone was an accomplishment. Going from someone who liked to avoid windy uphill roads at all costs to a girl who could conquer any of the 3 with minor road rage was a pretty big jump, and one that I’m glad I finally made. I also did my first solo road trip to Townsville and back (4 hours each way) back in April and booked my first holiday out of state without my parents.

Not only was I lucky enough to be able to tick Byron off the list, but I was also given flights to Bali as killer 21st present, so I finished my year on a rooftop bar, dancing under the stars and endless rounds of fireworks. Anyone who knows me knows that Byron and Bali were ALL I could talk about travelling to, so I am pretty darn chuffed that I got to experience both of their beauties in one year.

I also made 2 cheeky trips to Brisbane, and went back to the one place I thought I’d never return to for one of my best friend’s 21sts. In total, I had 9 flights (man, it felt like a whole lot more!), endless hours clocked on the road and a helluva lotta memories that I can look back on and smile.

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Dreamy afternoons in Cairns
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Hidden treasures in the Tablelands
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Beach shack hunting in Cardwell
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Byron putting on a show
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The Beach House with my Harry
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BBQ Corn on the beach, Legian, Bali

 

Other badass shit

As I mentioned earlier (way earlier now – man I write too much), 2015 was a big year for me. I had a lot of learning and growing to do as a person, and turning 20 really helped me grow into my skin and become a lot more confident with the person that I am.

I made a lot of cool new friends, and reunited with a lot of old ones, which was pretty darn special because now I have my second family back and our bond is stronger than ever. Having great friends also meant a lot of hectic nights out, and a LOT of money spent on alcohol (but let’s not waste time mourning over that one) and plenty of hilarious snap chat stories to wake up to.

We also found out that my parents are having a (surprise) baby, which has definitely turned our worlds upside down, but in the best possible way imaginable. Come June I will be the eldest of 8 kids (not all to the same rents, thank goodness. Having us all under one roof would be absolutely mental) which means that I have another human who I get to teach about the importance of Star Wars and overalls and Harry Potter and all of the other groovy things in the world.

Other honourable mentions go to:

  • Visiting the family beach house/reef far more often than I ever used to
  • Swimming in the ocean whenever I wanted to
  • Finally being able to hang up all of those art prints I’ve been collecting over the years
  • Tapping back into my creative side, through typography, writing and a new found love of watercolours
  • Decorating my own unit (yes I share with my brother. But I have a lot more decorative things than he does, haha)
  • Having the freedom to just get in the car and DRIVE
  • Being single with significantly less boy drama than previous years (hallelujah! Let’s hope for even less this year)
  • Being in the best mindset I’ve been in, possibly ever
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New found love

 

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The ocean and I are very good friends now

 

I probably could keep raving on. Since I’m yet to go back to work and still in holiday mode, I’ve been feeling pretty  nostalgic and reflective this past week. I really am so darn grateful about all of the things I got to do and experience in a short 12 months, so I can’t wait to see what 2016 has to offer.

2016 is also going to be the year that I get this blog into action. I’ve got a tonne of ideas lined up, and I’m hoping to turn them into the sick content that you all love and deserve.

 

Sending good vibes for the year to come,

 

Viv x