Tuesday, November 7, 2017

When things don't go as planned

My life isn't going as planned and that's ok -  is what I want to scream from the rooftops when people
ask me how I am going. Maybe because I want to reassure or convince myself or maybe because I feel the need to let people that sometimes when things don't go as planned that's ok.
I never in a million years thought I would maybe going back to study next year, but I'm ok with it.
I thought when I was 23 I would be married by now or at least have a boyfriend, but I don't and I am seriously ok with it.
When I was younger I thought medication would 'fix' my anxiety but it doesn't alone, so I see a psych and do regular exercise and try to eat a high protein diet and I've never felt better.
I used to think volunteering was overrated and I could never find time to volunteer regularly or find an organisation I would be so passionate about. But then I discovered ReachOut and it's been almost 3 years of being a Youth Ambassador and I have no desire to stop anytime soon.
I didn't think I was a good enough writer to have anything published other than this blog, but I took a chance and submitted an article to The Mighty which got published and I am so proud of myself. I have since had multiple articles published and it's been a great confidence boost.
This past week things have started to go as planned, I got a job interview (it was only a first round interview but it was something!), I got accepted into a ReachOut program which seemed like a far fetched dream when I applied, I got a certificate recognising that I had raised $380 for ReachOut with my last fundraising activity along with an encouraging letter from them, I bought two cute tops from Jeanswest that made me feel confident and life in general seems great. But I can't help wonder how long this will last, sure life seems to be on the up but when will it start to crash down around me again? I am a planner by nature yet when things do go as planned I can't help but question when they won't. Over this past year I have shed many tears and felt hopeless too many times too count but I have gotten through it. I questioned what was going on and there were times I just wanted to give up (and nearly did) but through it all God had a plan and he helped guide me through it.
Yes things haven't gone as planned and I have no idea why, but I've survived it and I now know that when things don't go as planned that it's ok because at the end of the day God has a plan for me and he will guide me through it all and that's pretty amazing to think about.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Five Friday Favourites and why I'm maybe going back to Tafe next year

What a strange fortnight! I've had both busy days and quiet days, but nothing to really write home about. I had a stall for ReachOut at a school last Wednesday and while I knew it was happening I wasn't fully focused on it until the night before it hit me. Thankfully it came together despite the wind and my lack of focus and I got to speak to lots of kids about ReachOut.

I've also been looking into doing some study at Tafe, as the job market just isn't improving and I'm feeling very trapped by it all! I would love to work in admin but if I can't land a job in that area then maybe it's time to do something different. I had my heart set on doing a Certificate in Mental Health but after looking into it I realised that it wouldn't lead anywhere and at the end of the day I need a job and it's pointless doing study that won't help me get a job.
So I thought back on what I enjoyed studying in high school, what lead me to wanting to do admin and most importantly what would lead me to getting work. I realised that maybe I should look into studying something computer related, I enjoy computers and it's an industry that is booming, plus being a girl means that I'm an minority so more places are likely to hire me. I rang up my local campus and chatted to someone regarding the courses offered to do with computers, the course I had in mind (Cert.4 in Computer Systems Technology) seemed like a good fit and having done a Cert. 3 in business I wanted something that would compliment that. In the end she agreed with me and said that I just should apply and I can always refuse my enrolment if need be for whatever reason. So I sat down and applied to do a Cert. 4 in Computer Systems Technology which will not only lead me to getting a job, it's also a course that is subsided by the government as it's a skill that they want and if I do one additional unit I can also complete my Cert. 4 in IT at the same time. A bonus is that by also having a cert. 3 in business I am more hireable as I know how businesses work so the course compliments that well too (plus my previous employment is also relevant too). I soon got an email saying that I qualify for a place in the course and to wait further information on my enrolment. The campus I have selected to attend is also 2 minutes down the road which is great as it's local and means I won't have a big drive each day.
I have no idea whether I will accept it or not (I have until mid January), but its a step forward and something to fall back on. I am still going to apply for jobs and I'm in no way giving up, I am just going a different route and seeing where that leads me. If it was up to me I would be working part time in admin environment being a typical young adult but nothing in my life has been straight forward so why did I think finding a job would be?
I have always said that God is in control of this journey and maybe what I want isn't what God wants, maybe doing another course is a step in the right direction. For now I am going to continue to pray and take it one day at a time.

Moving on to Friday Favourites:

Bed Bath N Table Christmas Range - I LOVE Christmas and if it was acceptable I would decorate the house in November and every year I have to restrain myself from buying all things Christmas from Bed Bath N Table. This years ranges are really cute and there is something for every decorating style. This is currently on my to buy list, I also think this one is cute and I'm tempted to buy this one too.

Blue Ridge Sunrise by Denise Hunter - the blurb reads:
Former free spirit Zoe Collins swore she’d never again set foot in Copper Creek or speak to the man who broke her heart. But return she must when her beloved Granny dies, leaving the family legacy to Zoe--a peach orchard nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
When Zoe returns home with her daughter and boyfriend Kyle, she finds that she’s the only person in town who doesn’t expect her to give up the life she’s established far away from Copper Creek. Everyone believes she was born to run the orchard, but how can she make it her home after so many years?
Cruz Huntley never quite got over his first love Zoe Collins, the little sister of his best friend Brady. Not when she cheated on him during their “break,” not when she took off to parts unknown with good-for-nothing Kyle Jenkins, and not even now—five years later.
As life-changing decisions and a history with Cruz hang over Zoe’s head, tensions rise between her and Kyle. Even as she comes to terms with the shifting relationships in her life, Zoe still isn’t sure if she can remain in Copper Creek with her new responsibilities . . . and her first love.

I love all of Denise's books and Blue Ridge Sunrise did not disappoint! It's a story of redemption and of living in the present while also dealing with the consequences of the past. I wasn't too sure what to think about Zoe at first but I soon grew to love her and realised that she felt broken and unsure how to handle the challenges she was facing. Cruz was someone who had been hurt deeply in the past and pretended like he was over Zoe and moving on with his life but in reality he wasn't. It was great to see these two characters reconnect and see what God had in store for them. Life rarely goes to plan and this book showed it perfectly and how sometimes where God leads us can be better than expected.
The story was a delight to read and I loved how Denise incorporated the past with the present so you could see the whole story. I wasn't quite sure where the book was going at times but it was a great read and left me wanting more!
If you are after a page turner filled with surprises and love then this book is for you!

Blue Ridge Sunrise comes out on the 7th of November.

Best Ever Loaded Brownies - everyone needs a good brownie recipe and this is mine! I probably make these once every 2 weeks as they are popular and easy to bake. Unless its a special occasion I normally just put in choc chips but it's fun to go crazy with mix ins too. For an easy dessert I serve them warm with ice cream and hot fudge sauce for a brownie sundae which is a crowd pleaser.

The Engagement Plot by Krista Phillips - the blurb reads:
Six months ago, William stole Hanna’s heart and shattered it in front of millions of people on a reality TV dating show. And now the big-wig CEO is back on Hanna’s home turf in Minnesota and wants her to forgive him? Fat chance of that. But life is swirling around faster than snow in a blizzard, and despite her objections, teaming up with William seems like the only option to rescue her reputation.
William has never regretted anything more than the day he gave that ill-fated interview for the reality show, The Price of Love. But while he can’t change the past, he’s determined to fix the future. He just needs to convince Hanna to forgive him—and pretend to be engaged with him. Simple, right?
When the media erupts with even worse accusations, teaming up and pretending to be engaged seems to be the only way to salvage their reputations. Despite the media frenzy that swirls around them, an attraction neither of them can fight off begins to surface. Could this love run deeper than a scandal, or will old wounds tear them apart once and for all?

This was a fun read and if you love watching the Bachelor or Bachelorette then you will love this book! At first glance it seemed like a typical girly read but it was filled with faith and once I started reading I couldn't put it down. Hanna is someone who every girl can relate too in some way and who just wants her happily ever after. William is a business man who has turned his back on God and thought that by going on a reality dating show would make the people around him happy. Somehow both of them get sucked up in a scheme that should help both of them, it seems fool proof and what could go wrong? Of course God has other plans and the more you read the more you get to know about their pasts and what the future could hold.
If you want a light read with some faith filled moments then this book is for you.

The Engagement Plot is out on the 1st of November.

The Good Doctor - I have been trying to find a show that will fill the void Saving Hope left in me (but I am still not recovered from that final episode!) and came across The Good Doctor. Its about Shaun Murphy, a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome who relocates from a quiet country life to join a prestigious hospital's surgical unit. Alone in the world and unable to personally connect with those around him, Shaun uses his extraordinary medical gifts to save lives and challenge the scepticism of his colleagues. I've only watched the first few episodes so far and I'm really enjoying it. It's great to see more disabilities shown on tv and it's really clever how they show what is going on in Shaun's head.  It's due to start airing on channel 7 soon so give it a shot and you might be pleasantly surprised, like I was.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Five Friday Favourites

Another fortnight means another Friday Favourites. I walked into Big W the other day and Christmas stuff was already out which is crazy when you think about it! I have to admit that I LOVE Christmas and I have a feeling once I get my own house I will start decorating in November just because I love the lead up to it. I have also started my Christmas shopping, I find its best to spread it out over a long period of time so it doesn't destroy my bank account.

I've applied for a couple of jobs this past week so praying that I see some results soon. There's not been much out there in the job market so for me to apply for two jobs this past week is good, when I've been lucky enough to apply for one in previous weeks. But at the end of the day it's in God's hands and I know in his timing I will get a job.

Onto Friday Favourites :

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolour in Metallic in Gleam - I bought this the other week and really like it, the staying power is decent and unlike some matte lip colours it doesn't dry out your lips. I really like the colour and its a more subtle pink than my go-to lip colour so perfect when you want something minimal which isn't a nude.

Greenhouse Academy - I know I mentioned this last fortnight but since finishing the series I am watching it for the third time it is that good. Its a about a private boarding school for gifted future leaders, mysterious events draw kids from both competing houses into a secret investigation. They uncover a deadly plot to destroy the planet. Only by joining forces, will they be able to save the world. It's such a different show and I can see a lot of people loving it, I can't wait for season 2 and what it will hold.

Riverdale Season 2 - there is a reason so many people are hooked on this addictive show, its dark (but not too dark), mysterious, the actors are amazing and there are so many layers to it that leave you wanting more. It's one of the only shows my sister and I both watch which can be tricky when only one of us has seen the latest episode. Season 2 has just started and so far so good, if you haven't started to watch it I highly recommend you do!

Booko.com - being a big reader of books I buy a lot online (yes I have an e-reader but sometimes hard copies are best) and it can take a lot of time to shop around to find the best price. Booko is a site I use often, you type in the title and/or author and it comes up with the cheapest options INCLUDING POSTAGE (which can be a killer with online shopping). You can select the format if you want it in hard or soft cover or even in ebook form and it includes where you can buy the book second hand if that's an option, it evens shows you price trends. It even does it for DVDs if that's more your thing. I have a few books to buy for people for Christmas and this site will be getting quite a workout.

The Giving Keys: Classic Key Necklace - keys are one of my things and I was gifted with a bronze key necklace stamped with 'inspire' and I love it. I recently discovered The Giving Keys an initiative in LA that aims to help the homeless by employing them making this awesome key jewellery. There's such a huge range and you can pick from a range of words to get stamped on (including breathe, love, hope, inspire, faith, create, fearless, let go, brave... just to name a few!) or choose a custom word (up to 9 letters) for an extra $5.  I couldn't resist ordering one for myself (me and online shopping are never a good combination!) and a piece for a Christmas gift for someone. It was a hard decision to make but I got a classic key necklace in silver with Faith stamped on it and I can't wait for it to arrive. You can view the full range here and if you want to purchase one for a Christmas gift for you or someone else I recommend ordering one now.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Not Caring

Still unemployed and nothing has changed, no jobs on the horizon and it seems at every employment
agency meeting I feel like they are doing nothing, but I don't care. But two months ago I was in the same position and feeling really annoyed and angry, I have no idea what has changed but my mindset has changed.
There's been very few jobs I can apply for, I haven't applied for a job in almost 2 weeks because there is nothing out there and I don't care. I want to care but that won't change anything and I check Seek every day and a few other sites on a regular basis but nothing has popped up and that's ok.
I would love a job but if I am doing everything I can, why should I worry?
I'm a planner by nature and a bit of a control freak (mainly due to my anxiety), so for me not to care about this unemployment situation is a big deal. I used to think that once I got a job other things would fall into place but why should I put my plans on hold due to not having a job? I am lucky to get money from the government and while its not a lot, its enough to live off and save a bit. I would do anything to have a job but maybe I should just stop worrying about it all and let God deal with it?
I still pray about getting a job and it's still a huge prayer point for me but at the same time I know God has a plan for me and while being unemployed isn't fun I know there must be a reason for it. So maybe not caring at the moment isn't a bad thing?
Image from 2017's Sadie Robertson calendar you can order 2018's here

Friday, September 29, 2017

Five Friday Favourites

It's been a crazy couple of weeks! Last weekend was the annual inter-church sport competition which was full on but loads of fun, I also only got hit by one flying object which was a record! I've been applying for jobs, recovering from yet another cold (which wiped me out for a few days) and starting my next ReachOut fundraising activity.

I went shoe shopping at the outlet shopping centre on Wednesday to find some shoes for my cousin's wedding in December and ended up buying 2 pairs (there was a buy one get the next pair 40% off) from Wittner. I got these silver wedges and these white block heels and ended up spending just over $110 in total for both pairs (my budget was $100 for one pair so I am thrilled!). I am unsure which pair I will choose to wear but figure I have 2 months to wear them both in and will see what I am feeling on the day.

Onto Five Friday Favourites:

Swatch Colorush watch - I had it in my head that I wanted a watch for my birthday from my parents and I love Swatch watches. I spent ages looking on the website trying to find one I liked and I eventually settled on this one. It's such a different fun watch, while still being classic and having the metal band which I like (it also means its easier for me to get on). I've gotten loads of compliments on it.

2018 Sadie Robertson calendar - call me organised but I have already bought my calendar for next year! I got given the 2017 one for Christmas last year and I loved it, even now it makes me so happy when I see it so I couldn't resist ordering it for 2018 (I had a 25% off code for Koorong). I am obsessed with Sadie Robertson's range (these cards are on my bedside table and they are so encouraging) and just love the messages behind everything, plus the water colour style is so pretty.

Kikki K 2018 Weekly Diary Small: Cute - I like to think I am sorted for 2018 now! If you're a member at Kikki K you get a $10 voucher for your birthday each year and every year I like to use it to buy a diary for the following year. I always go for the same diary as it's the perfect size for my handbag and I am a creature of habit. I just can't get in the habit of using my phone for a diary and like to be able to write dates down far in advance where possible. Plus it's the cutest diary and it's perfect to use for work and study.

Dear World by Echosmith - this is a song that I think everyone needs to listen to at the moment and its so beautifully written and sang. Also Echosmith's EP is released today so go download it now, you won't regret it :)

Taylor Swift VS Ed Sheeran Mashup
This popped up on my Facebook feed and I loved it. I tend to get sucked into YouTube holes quite easily and I spent my Wednesday night watching a lot of videos but this one came out on top by far. The way the songs flow, its just a fun video plus you can't deny that these guys are talented.

Bonus entry:

Greenhouse Academy - I must say that Netflix is killing it on their original stuff and Greenhouse Academy was amazing! I won't give too much away but it's one of those that will have hooked from the first episode and it's a new concept with a relatively unknown cast too.

Friday, September 15, 2017

22 things I have achieved my 23rd year

 No Friday Favourites this week as I am 23 today! I am feeling a bit old today, I have heard from
various people that once you turn 23 you are officially an adult and I am starting to agree with them. This past year hasn't turned out how I would've hoped but at the same time I have achieved so much (I have also binged quite a few TV shows! Parenthood, Friends, The Office, Every Witch Way, Good Witch, The IT Crowd ... I will stop now!) and done things I never in a million years thought I would do. I realised that my self worth wasn't in the fact whether I am employed or not, having a job shouldn't give you an identity or self worth when so much else shapes you. While I don't currently have a job and I have no idea when I will get one, I am not just my job status and if people can't see that then they don't deserve to be in my life.
I have no idea what this year will hold but I do know that whatever happens God is in control and I will be ok with whatever happens.

I thought I would write a list of things I have achieved in my 23rd year, so I can remind myself that despite still being unemployed it hasn't been a disaster and I've done so much.

  1. Survived 3 months living alone while the rest of the family was overseas. 
  2. Had multiple articles published on The Mighty.
  3. Catered (and did décor for) a quiz night for church with only one weeks notice.
  4. Attended a ReachOut Youth Ambassador one day intensive/refresher course.
  5. Continued to be a ReachOut Youth Ambassador.
  6. Gotten off my P-Plates which means I have my full drivers license!
  7. Started doing regular exercise and kept it up.
  8. Been stabbed 2 times by my doctor to get a mole (which I thought was cancer but turned out it wasn't) and a cyst removed (which turned out to be pre-cancerous). Which means I now have 2 new scars.
  9. Saw The Next Step in Concert (this was exactly a week after I turned 22) with Megan.
  10. Did a speech (twice!) at a mental health expo about exam stress.
  11. Closed some doors that needed to be closed.
  12. Continued to stay on top of my anxiety despite having a few 'life traps' (as is the correct psychological term for them).
  13. Learnt how to stand up for myself and be assertive when the time has called for it.
  14. Baked an amazing 3 layer cake for my parents 25th wedding anniversary.
  15. Learnt how to really trust in God and rely on him through some really hard times.
  16. Helped organise a car wash for missions at church (despite not being able to actually wash cars due to having stitchers in from a cyst removal).
  17. Did 2 terms of mentoring at the local youth centre, which got me out of my comfort zone while also being really rewarding.
  18. Grown more as a Christian.
  19. Gotten hit by a flying gym matt and Frisbee (I was spectating our team warming up and got hit in the eye!) all on the same weekend!
  20. Shared more of my story.
  21. Continued to serve my church doing various things including: projector, young adults and ALOT of baking!
  22. Started to stop believing the lies my anxiety tells me and believing that I am worth something.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Mental Health Expo - ReachOut Stall and Exam Stress Presentation

After a lot of hard work and the mental health expo is over! This is a long post so you have been
warned, mainly because I want to document it but also so it can be used as a resource for other ReachOut Youth Ambassadors if they ever get the chance to do something like this.

How the expo ran was that there was a morning session between 9.00am and 10.30am then morning tea followed by breakout sessions (where I was presenting) from 11.10am -12.20pm (with a 10 minute break in the middle), then lunch and the afternoon session between 1.00pm-2.30pm. All stall holders were welcome to join in any sessions they wished but I didn't do the morning session so I could focus on my presentation, though after lunch (and after I had packed up) I went in to the afternoon session which was good (though the first half was on sport so I kinda switched off for that). I was asked to be there for a 7.30am set up and to expect people before the morning session, recess and lunch. I was thankful that a forum moderator (the only one in my state) could be there to help for the bulk of it which was helpful. I had to set up in the theatre for my presentation during recess which was really busy so it helped to have her man the table while I did that.

The Stall - I kept it pretty simple once again with my light box (best $20 I have ever spent!), a blue tablecloth, lollies (I buy mentos and mini chupa chups in bulk from The Reject Store as they are cheap and individually wrapped), brochures and bookmarks with the Caption Game (see below) in the middle. Thankfully table and chairs were provided though the table was narrow but I made things work, I also took a freestanding banner. I find that the light box and banner makes everything seem more professional and once again I got confused as a staff member from ReachOut!
As I was catching the train in, I found it make sense to pack everything (including my laptop and food for the day) into a small roll along suitcase which made things so much easier. I think from now on I will do this for stalls rather than carrying everything in a crate.

The Presentation - the irony of this was that it caused me a lot of stress and it was about exam stress haha! I spent a good amount of time writing my talk and powerpoint to go along with it, I also rehersed it on and off for 2 weeks leading up the expo.
For the content I just picked and chose what would work in well from this page. This meant that I could use it as a point of reference at the end of the talk and direct people to check it out.
I did the presentation during both break-out sessions and I will say that the second presentation did go a lot more smoothly which was expected. Despite me thinking that both talks should come close to 30 minutes they came in at 20 minutes which was fine. Including a video was a good idea and it was something that they could all related to and tied in with the talk perfectly (Rahart Adam's your 'There's Life After' video helped make my talk!).

Caption Game - I always find it helps to have some sort of interactive element on stalls, to get people talking and act as an ice breaker. I have previously made a memory game but from experience at last years expo I knew it wouldn't work so instead I made a caption game. The concept was based on the game What Do You Meme where you match captions to memes but I wanted this have to have a mental health twist and the captions not be so long. Instead I had some basic captions (some mental health related) and a variety of images and people could match them as they pleased and leave them in the middle of the table for other people to see them.

Captions -  I used a variety of captions all kept to one sentence. I just typed in a text box on Word keeping the format the same. Some captions I used included: what a good day feels like, what a bad feels like, me and my friends, words of advice, when I try to explain myself to people. how people react to mental illness, how people should react to mental illness, when I realise I have responsibilities, how I feel today, when your favourite song comes on in the car... I had a total of 22 captions but that included some repeats.

Images - I found these over a week (when I took breaks from writing my presentation) and printed them off every time I had a couple of pages of them. I tried to use a wide variety of images and made sure that the bulk of them had some wording on them (as in quotes from tv shows) rather than just images. I also included some quotes from popular young adult novels including: Harry Potter, Tomorrow When The War Began (which is common book high schoolers read in school), If I stay and Everything, Everything (as the movie has just come out).
Images I used included: Friends quotes/memes, Degrassi: Next Generation Quotes (I had a heap saved in my images that had to do with mental health), movie characters (including Big Hero 6, Inside Out, minions and a Princess Bride quote), Parks and Rec quotes, The IT crowd quotes, Brooklyn Nine Nine quotes, a pic of a celeb ambassador (Rahart Adams) for ReachOut wearing a ReachOut hoodie and a few other random images. In the end I had a total of 41 images.

I then printed out the images and captions in colour and the tedious work began! I really wanted to make sure the game lasted, so after I printed them out I cut them out and stuck them on white cardboard, then cut them out and laminated them and finally cut them out again! You could totally skip the laminating part but I am lucky enough to have access to one and figured that it will make them last. I do suggest at least gluing them onto cardboard as paper isn't going to handle much wear and tear.

I was able to do the cutting out while watching Netflix so it wasn't too bad and its nice to have access to another game when it comes to stalls.

This game went down really well and a lot of teachers were impressed by it (one even took a photo it so she could recreate something similar), some kids also liked flicking through the images and having a laugh.

All in all it was an extremely successful (but tiring) day and I am thrilled that I get opportunites like this because of ReachOut.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Five Friday Favourites

2 weeks until I turn 23! Can I just say I am feeling a bit old? I honestly felt that by now I would have my life somewhat together but God has other plans and I'm learning that it's ok.

It's been a crazy-ish couple of weeks with doing a lot of prep for my ReachOut exam stress presentation and ReachOut stall at the mental health expo next Thursday. I like my stalls for ReachOut to have an element of interaction with a fun game, last year I made ReachOut memory cards (which are laminated) which went down really well at past stalls but found they didn't work at the expo last year so I have been printing off a variety of images and captions to do a simpler version of What Do You Meme game. Which has been tedious but will be worth it (again I will be laminating it so I can reuse it) and its coming together nicely.
My talk has been written, and I think I am happy with my PowerPoint presentation but knowing me I will keep changing it until the day before! I printed out my talk and its been in my bag so when I get a spare moment I can go through it. My aim is to mostly speak from memory but have my speech printed out for reference.
I will be a doing a recap on the expo next Thursday/Friday depending how tired how I am after it all (did I mention I am giving the presentation twice as it's meant to be so popular!).

I also thought it was time for a change regarding my hair so I got it cut ... really short.  This was a
different style to what I normally get done but its more adult and I am loving it being longer in the front.

Moving onto Five Friday Favourites.

A Cinderella Story if the Shoe Fits - I love all the modern Cinderella remakes and A Cinderella Story is one of my all time favourite movies, so when A Cinderella Story if the Shoe Fits appeared in the new release section of Netflix I had to watch it. I really enjoyed it and loved Sofia Carson in it, it's a good Friday night chick flick and a must watch if you love the previous Cinderella Story's.

Echosmith Future Me - I really liked this song and while it was faster paced compared to their other songs it was really good and the video clip (below) was really well done. I can't wait until their new album is released in a few weeks time.

How Volunteering Helped Me Own My Anxiety and The Lies My Anxiety Tells Me at Night - my fourth and fifth articles to be published on The Mighty! Both articles are close to my heart and the latter was really big for me to write as it had been in my head for so long but I didn't have the courage to write it until now. I highly recommend that you read them if you haven't yet and let me know what you think.

Every Witch Way - I was sick the other weekend and needed something I could relax and watch. I remembered this series as it had Rahart Adams in it who is celeb ambassador for ReachOut and thought I would give it a go. I have actually really enjoyed it so far and its been a great series to just chill out and watch. It's a bit predictable and the acting isn't the greatest but it is a Nickelodeon series so I wouldn't expect it to be a masterpiece.

Liptember Beauty Box - I ordered this box last year and I loved it. For $40 you can buy a beauty box filled with amazing products with all proceeds being donated to Liptember. Which is an event to raise awarness of womens mental health and raise funds for womens mental health research. Last years box was filled to the brim with goodies, so not only do you get beauty and health products you know that the proceeds are going towards a great cause.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Five Friday Favourites

I have managed to survive Winter without a cold until now, it's not uncommon for me to get at least one major cold a season (plus being an asthmatic it can mean once it goes to my chest it never leaves!) and I was so hopeful that I would escape the sickness trap but it wasn't meant to be. Colds are never fun but on the bright side it means I can spend all my time watching Netflix and not feel too guilty.

Still quiet on the job hunt front but praying that will change soon, though on Monday I was at the R U Ok day convoy representing ReachOut which was interesting. I had no idea what to expect but I think I did ok and had some fun chatting to people about mental health and why you should ask R U Ok.
I am also giving a presentation on Exam Stress at a mental health expo on behalf of ReachOut in a few weeks. I am busy writing that and trying not to stress too much about it myself. I actually enjoy public speaking and doing oral presentations at school was an assignment was something I could do and always got top marks in. I am so thankful that ReachOut has a load of awesome resources regarding Exam Stress so it means writing the talk isn't too hard and it will be a fun experience (I hope!).
The week after the presentation I have a ReachOut stall at a local school which will be fun. I love school events as they are more laidback and it's nice to chat to the students about mental health and any issues they are facing.
I sometimes joke that ReachOut is my job during this time of unemployment and recently I feel that it is true but no complaints as I love every minute of it :)

Moving on to Five Friday Favourites:

Pumpkin, Spinach, Feta and Pine Nut Quiche - I made this last Monday and I am still thinking about it! It does take a while to make but if you spread it over a day or two its not too hard to make. The cheese in the pastry really makes it for me as does how deep the actual quiche is so you get a good pastry to filling ratio which can be off in some quiches.

ATypical - I watched this last weekend on Netflix and really enjoyed it. It's about Sam (Keir Gilchrist who played Craig in It's Kind of a Funny Story) as an 18 year old high functioning autisic boy who decides he should get a girlfriend and what happens along the way. I loved how it gave you a look into his mind and his daily struggles along with how it affects his family and friends. I liked the touch of Sam's friend Zahid who didn't see him as an autisic person just his friend who is struggling with getting a girlfriend and it was great to show that people with autism can have normal friendships. I highly recommend this series if you are after something a bit different and will get you to think.

Papyrus Cards - I needed an anniversary card for my parents and could not find anything I liked. I was close to giving up when I found one, of course it cost a small fortune but it was a lovely card (I can't find it on the website to link) and very them. I love Papyrus cards and while I do find it hard to justify spending a heap on a card when it's for a special occaision or event I do feel that it's worth it. I could've spent ages looking at all the different designs and styles and they are really beautiful cards.

Diary of a Teenage Jewel Thief by Rosie Somers - this was my latest read and it was a fun read. It reminded me a bit of Ally Carter's books and while it wasn't up to her standard it was still an enjoyable read. It did take me a while to get going and was a lot slower paced that I expected but Mari was a great character it was great to see her come to life in the pages.
The blurb reads:
Most sixteen-year-olds shouldn’t know where museums keep their rarest jewels (the basement) and they really shouldn’t know that vans make the worst getaway cars. But for Marisol Flores, a life of jewel thievery is a birthright handed down from generation to generation, even if she didn’t ask for it. So when a rival thief targets Mari and her mother, Mari’s more than happy to flee to the anonymity of bustling New York City.
Blending in is a dream come true for Mari, but keeping her former thieving ways a secret gets way more complicated when handsome Will Campbell sets his sights on her. She can’t help but like his terrible puns and charming grin...but when her past catches up with her, it’s not only her life—and her anonymity—that’s at stake.
Will could be the next target

If you like Ally Carter's books then you will like Diary of a Teenage Jewel Thief which is out now.

John Crist UberChristian - I have never used Uber ever in my life but maybe I would be more inclined to if they brought out a Christian version? This video is so funny and if you haven't checked out John Crist then you are missing out!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Pumpkin, Spinach, Feta and Pine Nut Quiche

Everyone has their own types of comfort foods, for some its carbs - hot chips, rice, bread and pasta,
others its sugar - chocolate, ice cream, lollies and sweet treats and for others something completely different (cheese? meat? a mix of everything?). I'm in the sugar camp for sure when it comes to comfort food and am always up for a baked treat. But if I want real comfort food then I make this quiche, which is no doubt a surprise to all. Maybe it's the story behind it or how many steps there are so it gives me something to focus or just how good it tastes.
Across from my psych's office there was this café/retro and vintage gift shop, I used to regularly visit it and eventually got in to a routine of buying this amazing quiche for lunch before my appointments. It was a place where I could relax and I loved chatting to the owner and looking around the shop. Unfortunately the café shut down 2 years ago when the owner was expecting her second child and couldn't do both.
A while ago I was craving this quiche and attempted to recreate it, and I believe after many tries I have successfully managed to recreate it, which was no easy challenge. I was making it from memory, but I knew it was made in a deep dish and a spring form tin seemed like the perfect tin (though I am sure you could make it in a typical quiche pan but you would only be able to do one layer and not use as much egg mix). I started with the base which I knew had cheese in it as it wasn't a typical pastry and had little luck finding a cheese pastry recipe until I found Donna Hay's recipe which I have adapted. The filling was thankfully a lot easier and found that layering the ingredients gave a great result. The original version didn't have onion in it and while I think its a nice addition, though I am told it tastes better without it, so its up to you if you add it or not.
It does take a while to make (roasting the pumpkin, blind baking the base and over 1 hours baking time) it but it is well worth it and is great for dinner and lunch served on its own or with a light salad. I even made it on Monday night and served it with crumbed chicken which was a great meal.
It tastes amazing warm out of the oven but still nice cold. I would make it the day you need it but you can make the pastry and roast the pumpkin (and onion) in advance.

Pumpkin, Spinach, Feta and Pine Nut Quiche

1/2 a (medium sized) pumpkin, peeled and cut into cubes
Garlic granules
1/2 red onion slice thinly (optional) - Jocelyn says to leave it out
block of feta (approx. 150/200grms)
1/2 cup pine nuts
120 g baby spinach
8 eggs
1/2 cups milk

Cheese Pastry
150grm butter
2 cups of plain flour
3/4 cup grated cheese
1/4 cup parmesan
1/2 cup milk

  1. Grease a spring form tin with cooking spray.
  2. In food processor combine butter, flour and cheeses blitz until it resembles breadcrumbs and slowly add in milk until a ball of dough forms (you may need more or less milk). 
  3. Roll out between two sheets of baking paper adding more flour as needed to prevent it from getting sticky. You want it to be between 1-2cm thick.
  4. Place pastry in tin. You can either drape it over the tin and press in or cut around the tin and press in, before cutting strips of remaining dough to line the sides.You want it to overlap it the sides by a little bit to stay up while blind baking it
  5. Blind bake it for 30 minutes by placing a piece of baking paper over the dough and placing a smaller size dish in the tin (I used a glass bowl) and using rice to fill the gap or just using rice or beans. 
  6. Grease a tray and spread the pumpkin out evenly, sprinkle with garlic granules if using. Place in moderate oven for 45 minutes turning over half way through baking. If using onion 10 minutes before the pumpkin is finished baking spread onion over pumpkin to cook.
  7. Take out the base and remove baking paper.
  8. Cut  3/4s of the feta into smallish cubes setting aside to crumble on top for the final layer. How much you use depends on your preference.
  9. Layer the filling going: Pumpkin (and onion), feta, pine nuts and spinach repeat once more finishing with extra crumbed feta.
  10. Beat eggs, milk and pepper (I don't add salt as I find the feta is salty enough) and pour over the filling.
  11. Bake in a moderate oven for about 1 - 1.5 hours until its set (depending on the depth of the tin it may take longer)
  12. Serve warm or cold.
*You can make mini quiches just don't blind bake the base first and only bake for 30 minutes.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Five Friday Favourites

Another fortnight means its time for another Friday Favourites! Winter was in full swing this past week, with a strong weather warning on Monday resulting in storms, followed by the coldest minimum this year on Wednesday which meant ice on my car. I am thankful that we don't get snow here and our Winters aren't really bad compared to some parts of the world.

The job front has been quiet and on Thursday after a disappointing employment agency meeting I struggled to keep it together. Last year I thought I would surely have a job by my birthday this year (mind you I was thinking more March which has long gone) and with exactly 6 weeks until I turn 23 that's looking more and more less likely. I know God is in control but it's still hard to wait and trust in his timing.
I have applied to a couple of jobs recently and I am praying that one of those comes through with at least an interview, but again it's all in God's hands.

I am off to a Christian women's convention tomorrow which should be interesting, I haven't gone to one before though my Mum has been going since they first started and thinks it will be a great time. This coming week is a bit busy, with catching up friends and family along with psych and doctors appointments thrown in (#anxietylife). I like to have all my appointments booked in the same week if possible as it just makes things easier and I'm less likely to forget something at them as I'm in the correct head space.

Onto Friday Favourites:

Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason - I received this book to review and while I enjoyed it, it didn't quite live up to my expectations. I'm not a huge fan of crime fiction but I just found this book too busy and it had a lot of storylines which made it hard to focus on the main storyline. It was still an enjoyable read and Haley was a likeable main character, but it wasn't the book for me. I will say if you enjoy crime fiction with a strong female lead you will enjoy this book.
The blurb reads:
Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan may be in South Carolina, but when a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, her life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she’s made a career out of taking care of others. But after an uncomfortably close call, Detective Steven Rothwell takes it upon himself to stay with her–and the young client she has taken under her wing. A protector at heart, he’s not about to let Haley fight this battle alone.
In a sweeping plot that takes them into long-buried memories–and the depths of the heart–Haley and Steven will have to solve the mystery of Haley’s past while dodging bullets, bombs, and bad guys who just won’t quit.

Chasing Secrets is out now

Backstage - I was after something to watch this past weekend that was fun and didn't require much attention and Backstage fit what I wanted perfectly. It's another Canadian show (are you really surprised?) and is like The Next Step meets Dance Academy meets iDream (if anyone remembers that show). There's 30 episodes and I am 2 thirds done and really enjoying it. If you are after something mindless to watch this show is it.

The Two of Us by Victoria Bylin - I really enjoyed this book and once I started I could not put it down. I loved the character of Mia and loved seeing her story play out throughout the book. Jake was someone who had clearly struggled and was questioning God with how his life was playing out. With both Jake and Mia they were convinced God wanted something completely different for them than what he had planned. The additions of Lucy and Sam were a nice touch and it was nice to see their story playout along side Jake and Mia's. I highly recommend reading this book if you love Christian fiction.
The blurb reads:
After two broken engagements, nurse practitioner Mia Robinson is done with dating. From now on, she only trusts herself and God, and she's focused on her eighteen-year-old sister, Lucy, and caring for patients. Just as she applies to work for an international aid organization, a phone call from Lucy, who's pregnant and running off to marry her twenty-one-year-old boyfriend, throws a wrench into all of Mia's plans.
Jake Tanner may have recovered from the physical injuries he sustained on the job as a police officer, but his heart has yet to heal from losing his former partner in the tragedy. He's poured himself into starting a camp for the sons of fallen officers and mentoring Sam, the adult son of his deceased partner, who's asked him to be his best man at his wedding.
Mia is expecting a mess when she arrives to sort out the situation with Lucy, but she wasn't expecting Jake. And Jake, who can't help envying Sam and Lucy, doubts he'll ever experience their happiness for himself. But maybe Jake's courage and Mia's caring spirit are just what they need to bring them a lifetime of healing and a forever kind of love. . . .

The Two of Us is out on the 8th August.

LOQI bags - there's been a lot of talk about banning the plastic bag and many of my friends were doing plastic free July. I am hopeless at taking my own bag so I decided as an incentive I should buy myself a reusable one I love and would actually use. I saw LOQI bags and knew that I had found my answer, not only are these cute they are practical, are able to hold 20kg and long lasting, they also weigh nothing which means in my bag where space is a premium I don't notice. There are many ways to fold it and roll it too (I like to fold it flat and stick it in the matching pouch provided) which means you don't need to have any origami skills to fold it. I got this cute one with cats on it but there are loads of designs, this one is fun and I would love to buy this one for my aunty who loves tulips.

You and Me - I watched Descendants 2 last week and really enjoyed it, I loved all the music numbers but my all time favourite was You and Me. It just looked so fun to shoot and I loved the song, which has been on repeat ever since!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Weekend retreat recap

Well I survived the weekend, despite being concerned that my anxiety would flare up it actually stayed in the background for most of the weekend.
Every year my church aims to do a young adult retreat and this year it was decided that we would have it with a country church to build some relationships. The numbers from both churches were equal and we had a good mix of people come which was good. We stayed at a resort down south in chalets, (I think there was a total of 5 or 6 chalets each sleeping 6) which had indoor and outdoor pools, gym, games room and squash courts when we retreat we do it right!
I was so thankful to get a lift down to the resort with a some of the other young adults from church, I'm not the biggest fan of driving long distances alone and rain was also forecast. We did end up driving through some big showers so I made the right choice with choosing not to drive and I found it made the retreat sooner rather than later. We got down there at around 6.30pm and then got dinner with the others who had already arrived. Friday night after dinner was spent settling in and meeting the young adults from the other church, this had been a concern of mine and a huge issue with my anxiety thankfully I got along with them all really well.
Saturday morning we did a devotion then after lunch we could do whatever we wanted, so a group of us went to the wineries and hung out, I'm not a huge drinker so I came along for the social aspect more than anything else (we did stop at some no wine places to taste the local produce too) . The rest of the young adults hung out at the chalets, some went 4WD-ing  (and got bogged because taking a Yaris 4WD-ing is a good idea haha?!) and some went caving. We then all met at the local ice cream place at 4.00pm as is our churches tradition when we are down there. Dinner was a busy fun affair with all of us crammed in 1 chalet enjoying soup and pasta followed by dessert (I made my famous caramel slice as if I didn't I was convinced I would be disowned my bible study group haha!) and then we played board games, chatted and hung out.
Sunday morning was spent packing before another devotion then lunch, we had a 12.00pm checkout and a few of us decided to play mini golf before we made the drives back to our homes. I'm normally against anything sporty but figured I would give it ago, I came last but still had fun and didn't injure myself or anyone else (yay!).
Today I crashed and if I hadn't needed to run errands (get fuel and buy blue paint while it was still on sale) I probably would've stayed in bed all day, which I think is a sign of a good fun weekend!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Five Friday Favourites

I am going away this weekend, I haven't been away in so long so I am excited for this brief break with my church friends. My bags are packed, new books have been downloaded, caramel slice has been made and my anxiety has been locked away in a box (I wish that were possible! So instead I am just doing my best to ignore it and put it out of my mind for the weekend).

The past couple of weeks have been highly emotional so last Sunday I just crashed and pretty much stayed curled up on the couch watching Chesapeake Shores. I saw my psych on Tuesday which was perfect timing and I found it was great to get her thoughts on a few things including the job hunt. I find with my anxiety I can dip at times and it takes me a while to get out of those dips so it's something I am working on and hoping that any more dips won't take me as long to get out of. My psych gave me some reading to do regarding negative thinking and just coping in general, which looks like it will be helpful.
My anxiety has been running rampant lately regardless of what I do and I am overthinking every little thing, plus feeling jumpy and just wanting to hide. A big part of me wants to just give up on everything and hide for the rest of my life but I know that isn't practical, so I am giving it all to God and taking it one day at a time.

Moving on to Five Friday Favourites:

Chesapeake Shores - I came across this series on Netflix last week and I really enjoyed it, it was good wholesome viewing and I loved getting to know all the O'Brien clan. It reminds me a bit of Parenthood but set on the coast and with a bit less drama. It's really nice getting to know all the siblings and how they each have their own struggles and where they fit in with the families dynamics. It's done by the same people as Good Witch so if you loved that you will love this.

Goodbye by Echosmith - Echosmith have finally released some new music and it was well worth the wait! I love Echosmith (Cool Kids, Safest Place and Bright are some of my favourite songs of all time), so I downloaded the song the moment it came out and it will now be in heavy rotation on my iPod. I can't wait for their new album to come out (29th September) and if this song is anything to go by it will be an amazing album.

Once and For All by Sarah Dessen - this is one of the books downloaded on my Kobo ready to be read. I love Sarah's books and find they are perfect holiday reads for when you want something light and fun. I first read Sarah's books in high school and I still love them, they are all standalone novels too but set in the same settings. If I need a break from the craziness of this weekend you can find me curled up reading this book.

Nokia 6 - yesterday I finally got a new phone! You know how some people are loyal to iPhones, Samsung's etc I am loyal to Nokia. My old phone was Nokia Lumia 520 and it was still going strong (despite being dropped multiple times) after 3 years but it was 2g and as of the start of August that would be switching off so I needed a 3g phone or higher to keep getting decent reception. I was thrilled when it was announced they would bringing out new Nokia's that would be android (my 520 ran on Windows which was not fun!) and for $400 outright for the top model I could actually afford a new phone. It's a great phone and with it being a Nokia I know it will last (though I have ordered a case for it), my parents already have their eyes on buying themselves one. I will say it uses a Nano SIM but some googling showed me how I could cut my micro SIM into a nano and I have had no problems with it.

Descendents 2 - so I was minding my own business out and about and I spotted this poster on the side of a building. It was so funny to see it (and unexpected, apparently putting posters up on buildings is still a thing?) and I sent the pic to Megan (who is obsessed with the movie and even insists on getting called Mal at times!), it made her day. You can also download the complete soundtrack and if that's anything to go by the movie should be amazing.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Book review: The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck

 Today is a very special day as its the release day of The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck. Rachel is
one of those authors who once I discovered her I read all the books of hers I could find, she has also been the only author to ever get me to read (and enjoy!) historical fiction. She is also an amazing person all round, who is very active on Twitter and will respond to tweets, she even sent me a book when I tweeted that I couldn't justify buying it at the moment even though I wanted to read it. I don't know many authors who would do that and I have no doubt if I met her in real life we would be friends.
The Writing Desk is written in the same style of The Wedding Dress, The Wedding Chapel and The Wedding Shop as in the story is based round an object and it's history and links two very different stories together. I am not a fan of historical fiction but I love how these books jump from past to present and vice versa easily, you get a better view of the story and just how important the object was to people.

About the book (taken from here):

Tenley Roth’s first book was a runaway bestseller. Now that her second book is due, she’s locked in fear. Can she repeat her earlier success or is she a fraud who has run out of inspiration?
With pressure mounting from her publisher, Tenley is weighted with writer’s block. But when her estranged mother calls asking Tenley to help her through chemotherapy, she packs up for Florida where she meets handsome furniture designer Jonas Sullivan and discovers the story her heart’s been missing.
A century earlier, another woman wrote at the same desk with hopes and fears of her own. Born during the Gilded Age, Birdie Shehorn is the daughter of the old money Knickerbockers. Under the strict control of her mother, her every move is decided ahead of time, even whom she’ll marry. But Birdie has dreams she doesn’t know how to realize. She wants to tell stories, write novels, make an impact on the world. When she discovers her mother has taken extreme measures to manipulate her future, she must choose between submission and security or forging a brand new way all on her own.
Tenley and Birdie are from two very different worlds, but fate has bound them together in a way time cannot erase.

Where do I get started with this book, the characters were all amazing and the storyline was complex but easy to follow, with these types of books its easy to get lost amoung the different stories but I never once felt like I was.

I loved Tenley and how despite having had a somewhat broken childhood she was using her potiential to be the best writer she could be and wasn't letting anything get in the way of it.
Jonas had had his recent share of struggles in the past and was trying to get back on his feet. He is extremely loyal to his family and is willing to do whatever it takes to help them out, even if it means putting his own dreams and desires on hold.
Tenley longs to have what Jonas has in terms of his family and the stability that it brings, as while she had a loving father he has since died and she is now trying to get to know this stranger who is her mother.
To see how Tenley and Jonas relationship forms is really fascinating and it kept me on my toes throughout the whole book!

Birdie was an intriquing character and I loved getting swept up into the Gilded Age with her. She was full of fight and as the story goes on you get to see just how strong she really is. She never sat around and felt sorry for herself instead she realised that there was more to life than just being a housewife and marrying someone of status and got to work proving herself.

The story had lots of twists and turns and I loved seeing just how important the writing desk was to everyones stories throughout the book. It was a book that got me thinking and comparing the differences between the Gilded Age and current age. Overall the book was very enjoyable and I wouldn't expect anything less from Rachel Hauck.
If you are after a great standalone book to read then this is it and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Spoiler alert! Interview wasn't successful.

I guess this was to be expected and if I am being honest I know this was for the best. I didn't get the job I interviewed for last Tuesday. I was one of ten to be interviewed so the odds weren't in my favour at all and the more I thought about the job the more it made my anxiety levels rise. For starters the whole one week training on the otherside of the country gave me so many doubts and I know that deep down I wouldn't have coped (anxiety issues). I wanted to believe myself when I told people I would be fine with it but a huge part of me knew that my anxiety maybe wouldn't cope (and that's ok!). The hours were long and the location wasn't ideal but I knew that if I got the job I would make it work.
I was trying to prepare myself that I wouldn't get it, but when I got the email today saying I hadn't been successful, the tears just started to fall. I felt angry and like a failure, I started to doubt myself and if I will ever get a job.
On the plus side it was my first interview in 8 months! 8 months with nothing happening on the job search front, at least now I know I have skills that people are looking for and hopefully I will get some more interviews sooner rather than later (please pray that I do!). My resume has been revamped and I am hoping/praying that that will give me an edge and make me standout among the other applications.
I have been so thankful to have some great friends, I immediately messaged my bible study group telling them the news and they were so supportive. It was nice to have people telling me that I could cry and asking if I really was ok and that I will eventually get a job.
I don't know what the future holds, what I do know is that tomorrow is a new day and that means more jobs to apply for and I'm one day closer to finally finding that perfect job.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Five Friday Favourites

Another week another Friday Favourites, this past week has been rather quiet compared to previous weeks and due to the rain my early morning walks haven't been happening so I have been enjoying staying in my warm bed :) I love the rain and hearing it on the veranda is the perfect sound as I drift off to sleep.

Of course Tuesday I had my job interview and I will find out next week if I have the job or not, a recap of the interview can be found here, if you want to know how I went. I am just giving it to God and continuing to pray that if it's the right job then God will help me ease into working life, and if it's not the right job he will comfort me and show me what my next step will be.
My anxiety has been showing itself because of the interview so feeling jumpy/on edge is now a normal part of my day at the moment! I am thankful that new episodes of Good Witch are on Netflix so it's been nice curling up on the couch and escaping for a bit.

Last Saturday night I had a murder mystery party to go to for my cousin's 18th, which was fun. I had no idea what to dress up as (the invite said, jillaroo, outback animal, criminal, serial killer, police officer, backpacker or other outback themed character) and my original plan was to wear my flannelette shirt and go as a jillaroo but I soon realised that that had paint on it and I really didn't want to buy a new one for the sake of the party. Thankfully I remembered that one of my wardrobe staples is a trench coat and a quick Pinterest search gave me the idea of becoming a detective. I borrowed a magnifying glass, spent $3 on a reporters notebook, carried a small torch, wore all black (my trench coat was black, so just wore black jeans and a black long sleeved top) including high heeled boots and finished the looked with red lip tint and my glasses. I have to admit I looked really good, it took me no time at all to put it together and only cost me $3 out of pocket. It was fun to channel my inner detective for the night and I had loads of fun.
(The key necklace pictured was a gift from a friend and I LOVE it, it has inspire printed on it and I find its the perfect thing to wear when I need a pick-me-up or just want to change things up.)

Power Rangers - I was stoked when this was released last week on dvd and bought it immediately. I really enjoyed the film despite it not being something that I would typically watch. I loved the characters and how they were all people from different backgrounds who had to work together to save the earth. If you have a movie night coming up and are unsure what to watch I highly reccomend it and the chances are everyone will enjoy it regardless of the genere that they prefer.

Dance Academy: The Movie - another awesome film which is out on dvd! I loved this film so much that I even saw it twice in the movies. It was great to reunite with Tara and the rest of crew and see how much they had grown and matured since their time at the academy. It's an amazing film and if you loved the series (and if you haven't watch the series then get to watching it!), the movie is a must watch.

ReachOut.com Revamped - ReachOut.com has had a makeover and it looks amazing! Its so much easier to use and makes it easy to navigate to the parent specific and school specific sites with links up the top of the pages which contains a wide range of information and tools to help them understand mental illness in young adults. I was able to have a sneak peak at the new forums during the process and so while I knew what they would be like the rest of the website was surprise. I am a bit fussy when it comes to websites and if they aren't user friendly then I won't use them, ReachOut was great before but now its a whole new level of awesome. Plus its easier to use on smartphones now too, as ReachOut understands the need for young people to be able to access it 24/7 no matter where they are (this was one of the reasons for the revamp). If you haven't checked out the new version of ReachOut.com I highly recommend you do. To learn more about the revamps and changes ReachOut has made to their website click here for all the information (and to see some awesome gifs!).

Degrassi: Next Class season 4 - if you need me this weekend I will be watching the latest season of Degrassi: Next Class and then once I am finished watching it rewatching it. Degrassi is my all time favourite show, if I need a pick me up I watch it, if I need an escape or distraction I watch it, if I want to cry I watch it, if I want to laugh I watch it, if I can't find anything to watch I watch it ... You get the picture. I started watching it in high school and I haven't stopped watching it. This season looks amazing and should be filled with ups and downs. Degrassi: Next Class season 4 comes out on Netflix either the 7th or the 8th of July depending what timezone your in.

Board games - I am a bit of a board game addict and recently it seems I have been buying a lot of them. I have yet to play any of the following but they all look like good games and have decent reviews. I am going away for a weekend in a couple of weeks and I have a feeling that along with my usual favourites (Coup, Codenames, Spyfall 2, Apples to Apples) these will be coming with me.:
Game of Things - you get given a topic and everyone has to write something related to it down and you then have to guess who wrote what. It sounds like a good ice breaker game for a party and is bound to bring out some laughs.
Fluxx - (original one linked but I have the Zombie Version) - the card game of ever changing rules! A friend played it and told me about it so I decided to buy a copy for myself. There are so many versions out there including: pirate, star, zombie, Monty Python and Oz (as in Wizard of Oz) just to name a few! Each have the same base rules but with different action cards, I chose Zombie because why not? But they are all bound to be fun.
What Do You Meme? - I have just ordered it so have yet to see it in person, but it looks like Apples to Apples but with memes and as a millennial my friends are all obsessed with memes! It should bring a few laughs and will be fun to see what type of memes they have included (I am hoping for some funny cat ones).

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Interview Recap

Well today was interview day! My anxiety (no surpise really) decided to show itself with vengence, last night I had some anxiety induced wacky dreams and managed to sleep through my alarm (which wasn't a huge problem just meant I didn't go for a walk this morning).
My mum is actually on holidays so she offered to drive me as she had to pick up something near where my interview was, which was nice as while I like to drive myself, the roads were wet and I knew parking would be a bit difficult where the interview was. My employment agency likes to drive their clients to interviews, which may work for most people but it doesn't work for me. I do enjoy driving myself to interviews, as gives me a chance to clear my mind and just pray about all my worries. Thankfully as it was my mum driving I didn't feel the need to make conversation or go through interview questions/what if scenarious, which has happened when my employment agency has driven me in the past.
I got dropped off near the cafe where the interview was going to be 30 minutes before and it was nice to wander into shops and just give it all to God. I walked into the cafe 15 minutes before the interview and sat down, pretending to look at the menu and my phone. The people who were doing the interviewing noticed me straight away and before long I was in the middle of it all.
They were really nice and I felt comfortable with them all, I got asked all the standard questions and could see myself working there.
I was one of ten to be interviewed and the second person to be interviewed. I find out in a week or so if I have been successful or not and I am trying not to focus on it at all.
If I do get the job, I would be working 3 days a week (8.30-5.30) which is ideal, but I would need to complete training at their head office for a week on the other side of the country which I will face if the time comes. I would also start as soon as possible which isn't a problem for me as I really want a job and feel that once I get a job the sooner I start the better.
I didn't mention my anxiety as it never came up in conversation and felt that I didn't need to mention it either.
I am so thankful for those who prayed for me and were a huge support leading up to the interview. Those who know me know I like to overthink things (anxiety life haha!) so it was great to have a few people who I could talk through things with. I received a text from a friend this morning which was exactly what I needed to hear and really gave me some peace.
All I can do is wait, pray and know that God has a plan for no matter what happens!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Five Friday Favourites

Another week another Friday Favourites, I meant to get this out last Friday but life got in the way and I somehow got roped into baking for the youth group and joining them for croquet (yes you read that right!). So my day just got swept away from me and by the time I remembered I needed to finish this post it was Saturday so I figured I would just wait a week.

For those who haven't read this post, I finally have a job interview on Tuesday! My anxiety of course has made itself at home and I am overthinking every little thing to do with the interview (What will I wear? How will I do my makeup? What if I say something stupid?...) but I keep reminding myself that it's all in God's no matter what happens. Though I would appreciate your prayers regarding it if you remember :)

Now onto Friday Favourites for this week:

Osiris Envy glasses - a couple of weeks ago my glasses came! I am loving them so much, but I am finding it hard to wear them most of the time. I have always just worn them for computer work, but with these I can wear them all the time if I want/need and while I do notice a huge difference when wearing them it just takes effort. I live in sunglasses when I am outside (my eyes are super sensitive to light) so it just takes a bit extra to switch them over and remember to do it. They are also bifocal (so along with not being covered by insurance) which means that they are taking that much more time to get used too. I love the frames and have gotten loads of compliments on them by friends and family, I think the dark blue brings out my eyes and the shape really works with my face too.

Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh - I really enjoyed this book and found it a great read. Once I started I could not put it down.
Ryan and Lane are great individual characters and I loved reading about them both alone and together as they restarted their friendship together. I really related to Lane with how she saw herself and it was great to see Ryan break down the walls she had put up.
Ryan is struggling to break free of his past, but he can't let go of it no matter how much he tries as he is such a caring guy. I loved reading about his relationship with his sister and nephew and you could tell that he didn't want his father or his messy upbringing to define him.
Both Ryan and Lane don't have perfect pasts which adds another layer to the story and the more you read it the more you love them and want them to follow their hearts.
The story wasn't really fast paced either so by the end of it, I felt I really knew Lane and Ryan well
It did not go in the direction that I thought it would and the story had so much depth to it.

The description reads:
 After tirelessly climbing the ranks of her Chicago-based interior design firm, Lane Kelley is about to land her dream promotion when devastating news about her brother draws her back home—a quaint tourist town full of memories she’d just as soon forget. With her cell phone and laptop always within reach, Lane aims to check on her brother while staying focused on work—something her eclectic family doesn’t understand.
Ryan Brooks never expected to settle down in Harbor Pointe, Michigan, but after his final tour of duty, it was the only place that felt like home. Now knee-deep in a renovation project that could boost tourism for the struggling town, he is thrilled to see Lane, the girl he secretly once loved, even if the circumstances of her homecoming aren’t ideal.
Their reunion gets off to a rocky start, however, when Ryan can’t find a trace of the girl he once knew in the woman she is today. As he slowly chips away at the walls Lane has built, secrets from his past collide with a terrible truth even he is reluctant to believe. Facing a crossroads that could define his future with Lane and jeopardize his relationship with the surrogate family he’s found in the Kelleys, Ryan hopes Lane can see that maybe what really matters has been right in front of her all along—if only she’d just look up.

If you are after a new read to help get you through Winter, Just Look Up is it you will be surprised with how much you enjoy it and just how big an imprint it will leave on your life well after you've finished reading it. Just Look Up is out on the 4th of July and its a must add to book to your 'to read' piles.

Despicable Me 3 - last Tuesday I had no energy so I thought I would to the movies because why not? I really enjoy going the movies alone as there's no preassure to talk to anyone, you can pick the movie you want to see and no one will judge you for eating a whole pack of M&Ms. I have enjoyed all the Despicable Me movies so it was a natural choice to see Despicable Me 3. I really liked the film and it was funny, fast paced and just a feel good movie in general. I loved seeing Gru, Lucy and the girls return and the minions were a scene stealer too (I will say you do not want to mess with the minions in jail as while they look cute and innocent they can be evil/terrifying in their own right!). I also found the music was really well put together and made the film. If you are after a fun movie and loved the first 2 films Despicable Me 3 is must see.

Scunci braided elastics for thick hair - my hair is thick and fine so when I want to wear it up I have 2 options 1) use 3 elastics to hold it up which takes forever to do and not may not give me a good result or 2) use one of these elastics. I go the latter and since discovering these guys years ago I refuse to use anything else. 1 elastic lasts for months and is really strong and can hold my hair with no problems. I have never come across any elastic that is even half as good and they look really cute and stylish too.

Pitch Perfect 3 trailer - they're back and after loving the first 2 movies, I am looking forward to the 3rd (and final) instalment. The trailer looks like it should be a funny film and I can't wait to see more of Rebel Wilson's (Fat Amy) one liners!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A step in the right direction

Being unemployed is hard, being unemployed in this job market is harder. I have applied for so many jobs and when you get no response it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. So many people have their opinions on what I should be doing to get a job and it's hard when no one knows what you are going through or what its like to have to be picky when applying for jobs. I have always said that God has the right job out there for me and no matter what I will trust him with this stage of my life. A few weeks ago I started praying that God would guide me in the right direction and show me that I am doing the right thing with continuing applying for admin jobs (I've also expanded to applying for retail jobs but its been a dead end there).
Last Wednesday my phone rang, I didn't recognise the number and was surprised when it was from a company about a job I had applied for at the start of the month. I had been shortlisted and they were chatting to all potiential interviewees to find out if they had what they were looking for and they would call me on Friday with the results. I was pretty sure I had made a fool of myself and would no way get called back for an interview but it felt like an achievment just to get a call.
Friday moring I was in the car with a friend (and her two adorable kids) and had just finished telling her how I was finally feeling confident in my job hunt and had applied for a few potiential jobs that I felt I had a chance in getting an interview for and I might have a potiential job interview which was a huge deal for me. When my phone rang, I recognised the number from Wednesday so answered it and could not believe it when I was told I had an interview for the 4th of July if I wanted it (I was free but I would've cancelled anything because an interview in admin in this job market is unheard of). I told my friend who shared my excitement and wanted to know all the details. Having someone who knew my struggles (and whom I had confided in) celebrating with me made it feel more real.
It's not a job but it's an interview and that is something amazing, being able to tell people that I have a job interview when asked how the job hunt is going and the feeling of knowing that I have beaten out hundreds for the chance to sell myself is the best. I have no idea how the interview will go but at the end of the day it's a step in the right direction and I know God will guide me through this next step, no matter what the outcome is.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

An update on coping

Thought I would just do an update on how I am going since this post. Nothing has changed on the job front which is hard, but I am keeping on praying and I know God has the right job out there for me. I have been chatting to lots of people and using their skills to help me. I recently reformatted my resume after talking to some people at church who gave me some advice and I am really happy with it and feel that it's so much more professional now.
I am currently walking the fine line of wanting to apply for any job possible but also realising that I have to be picky. I am applying for a much broader range of jobs, not just admin and customer service. If a job is part time, in a supportive environment and I have the skills I apply for it. I applied for a job last week that looks promising so I am praying that that leads to an interview. My employment agency has also been putting my name forward for a few jobs that also look promising, so praying that they lead somewhere too.  I have no idea when I will get a job but I am trying to do everything that I can to land a job soon.
I do feel as though I am coping better, but I do have my moments, I also find I have these moments filled with anxiety for no apparent reason which are challenging and I never know how long they will last for. I am trying to get more in a routine with my sleep and along with regular exercise I am hoping these anxiety moments decrease.
I am realising that I am just in a time of my life where I need to take it one day at time and if I have days where I'm not coping then that's fine, things will eventually get better even if only God knows when that will be.