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!