Life Lately: September & October
Every time I think I’m finally getting on top of blog stuff again, life happens. It’s been quite an eventful last couple of months (all good things!) and although I wouldn’t say I’ve been busy, I’ve just wanted to focus on spending time with my family and friends without thinking that I need to fit blogging somewhere in between those mere two days off we call the weekend. I knew blogging would be hard once I started full time work and it’s definitely frustrating feeling like you’re always behind and can’t keep up, but it is what it is, I suppose. I’m still getting used to the fact that one or two blog posts a month is all I can seem to manage nowadays (I have to alternate my weekends between writing and photographing!), though I’m certainly not complaining because I’ve actually become so much happier since starting the full time work life. I enjoy the routine, being out of the house, as well as being around people, and of course, the steady income certainly helps too! Hopefully my time management skills will improve as I go along, but I think November’s going to be more of a quiet month, anyway, so that’s nice!
The most eventful thing I suppose you could say that’s happened to me lately was that I turned 30! Lord knows how I got to be so “old” so fast, but it definitely wasn’t as terrifying as I thought it would be and actually, I think it was one of my best birthdays yet. Since my birthday fell on a Sunday (30th of September, to be exact), on the Friday before at work, my colleagues surprised me by decorating my desk in my favourite colours (I say surprised, but we do this for everyone when it’s their birthday!) and sitting on it were the most amazing cupcakes from Sherbet Cafe & Bake Shop! They surprised me with the Go-To Super Handy hand cream too and as it was also another girl’s birthday during the week, we got a sushi platter for lunch as well. After spending so many years trying to leave the retail life behind me, it’s best feeling ever to not only finally be in the industry I want to be in, but to also work in a really fun office environment with a great bunch of people. It was a great start to a fantastic weekend!
Saturday the 29th of September was my dad’s birthday as well as the West Coast Eagles vs. Collingwood Magpies AFL Grand Final. I don’t usually care about football at all, but after getting my hair done in the city that day (I had to look cute for the big 3-0!), I managed to catch the last two minutes of the game at Yagan Square while I was on my way home. I figured I may as well stay and watch it seeing as though my family are huge Eagles fans and within the last minute or so of the game, they ended up kicking the winning goal! Being surrounded by all the happiness and cheer, I couldn’t help but get into it myself and in the evening at my dad’s birthday party, we had two big events to celebrate!
On my actual birthday, my family and I went out for brunch at Paper Avenue Café (I was dying to try their Strawberry Swoon latte and it did not disappoint) and afterwards, headed to Langley Park to catch the Eagles homecoming. At night, we went out for dinner to Modo Mio, an Italian restaurant at Crown, and it was absolutely incredible! For my entrée, I got the Crudo di Ricciola (lightly cured kingfish with blood orange - I often still think about how amazing it was!), the Tagliolini ai gamberi (prawn tagliolini with garlic, chilli and tomato) for mains and for dessert, the Panna cotta (vanilla panna cotta with poached pears, chocolate and pistachios). We drank cocktails and complimentary champagne, and overall, it was such a wonderful day. It doesn’t get much better than good food and good people!
Seeing as it was also a milestone birthday, I decided to throw a little house party for the following weekend. I absolutely hate planning things and being the centre of attention (I don’t think I could ever have a wedding!), but it was mostly an excuse to have all my favourite people together in the one room. It got stressful to plan at times, but in the end, I’m glad I made the effort and I had so much fun chatting, dancing, drinking and eating cake! Speaking of cake, I got my cake made by Cake Date; it was a semi-naked chocolate cake with caramel, pecan and coconut buttercream, and fresh pink roses (my favourite colour and my favourite flower!) on top! It was absolutely beautiful! If you want to see what it looked like, you can catch it in my Instagram Story Highlights. I think the only downside of the night was that I didn’t get very many photos - including of my cake - but it’s so hard when you’re busy trying to play host and talk to everyone. I suppose it’s the memories you make that matter most though. When the party ended, a few friends and I continued the night on by heading to our go-to bar Amplifier, and since my best friend knows all the DJs there (she’s cool), one of them wished me happy birthday from the stage and then another played Hearts on Fire by Cut Copy for me! The evening came to an end at around 4am with kebabs (a good night always ends with kebabs!) and although I’d much rather be at home on my weekends these days, I’m glad I have the occasional night out still in me! I’m not old yet!
So, if you couldn’t already tell, being 30 is going great so far and getting older really isn’t so bad! I think I've dreaded becoming another year older since about 25, so turning 30 was no different, and it's not like it's this life-altering event where you suddenly feel or look so much older! Age really is just a number, as they say! I’m well aware that I don’t have my shit all together, but I think I’ve always been a little bit of a late bloomer in life and have achieved those milestone moments later than most people. I try to remind myself that everyone's journey is unique though and no matter what society says, there's no “right” age we have to accomplish things by. The wonderful thing about getting older is that you stop caring so much about what other people think and the older I get, the more sure of myself I become and that’s a really, really nice feeling. If people want to judge me for the things I may or may not have in life, I think that says more about them than it does about me. A saying I love is, “Be happy with what you have while working for what you want”. It’s certainly the approach I’m taking towards life right now and for the most part, I feel more content now than I ever have in my 20s. I’ve got a lot of big goals ahead of me, but I try not to worry too much because everything else I've accomplished in life so far tells me I'll eventually accomplish my future goals too. My biggest goal for this year was to get a job, which I’ve done, and I’m happy just to relish in that for a while and enjoy the moment for what it is. I think it’s important to take a step back to just appreciate the present. I’m feeling pretty excited for what’s to come in my 30s, so here’s to a new decade and to new adventures!
Since my best friend was in town from Sydney for two weeks, I made sure to make the most of the time that she was here. The week after my birthday party, we caught up with our high school friends (April and I went to both the same primary school and high school) for dinner where we had lovely homemade vegan ravioli at Fizz’s house. We had pecan slice for dessert and drank cocktails, wine and port throughout the night! For a casual house dinner, I ended up getting quite tipsy and felt a little rough when April and I went out to breakfast (we went to Mary Street Bakery) with another group of friends (we randomly went out clubbing with them 10 years ago and we’ve been friends ever since!) the next morning, but we had the rest of the day to do absolutely nothing and it was the best! I can’t even remember the last time I hung out with April just lazing about together and it was actually really nice.
The following weekend, we met up with another friend for a two-hour walk around the Perth Foreshore on Saturday afternoon (we were so busy talking, it definitely didn’t feel like we had walked for that long!) and then the Sunday consisted of more breakfasting, this time at Sage and with our high school friends again. It’s funny how you can go months and months without seeing some friends and then all of sudden, see them every weekend! I think it’s always like that when someone moves away though and that’s definitely what it was like for me whenever I was home from Melbourne too. You make the effort because it’s not very often you’re in town, but when you’re all in the same city, you keep putting it off because you know they’re always there!
Just this Monday night gone, my sister invited me to join in with her trivia group for a Friends quiz night at The Old Laundry. The third Friends quiz night I’ve been to, I finally won this time (I say “I” because I always end up answering most of the questions myself, lol) and it was so much fun! It was also quite nerve-wracking too! It was tie for first between our group and another (we were called PIVOT!!, by the way!), so me being the Friends nerd that I am, I was elected to go up to the floor for the tiebreaker! The host was running out of tiebreaker questions, we were both that good, but then I ended up winning when I correctly answered how much the cast made during the first season (it was meant to be a higher or lower question, but I knew the exact answer, $22,000!). Don’t ask me how I even know that, but I guess spending the entirety of my teen years obsessing over the show finally paid off! We won a $100 voucher to the bar and we were invited to an exclusive “trophy Friends quiz night” where we’ll compete against the top victors from previous Friends quiz nights next month! I think I might study for this one!
Shiny new things
Being my birthday and all, I decided that my present to myself would be the new iPhone XS Max. I was unsure about getting the bigger iPhone at first, but after hearing so many people say you get used to it and that they could never go back to the smaller one, I put my trust in them and I’m glad I did because they were all absolutely right! Going from the small 6S to the huge XS Max was quite a big leap, but I’m over the moon with it (except when it can’t recognise my face first thing when I wake up, lol) and especially because it has enough space to fit all my music (I like Spotify, but I don’t use it exclusively because it doesn’t have everything). I’ve now retired my super old iPod Classic and although I still love that little thing, it’s super convenient having everything all on the one device now.
To go with my new phone, a close friend gifted me the Apple AirPods! They were something I had always thought about getting later down the line, but now that I have them, I can’t see why anyone would hold off on them! My work commute has improved tenfold and the sound quality is superb. I won’t go too into detail about the rest of the presents I received, but some other highlights include my new houseplants (my friends stalked my blog to find plants and pots that’d go with my room! Bless!), Bright Like Neon Love by Cut Copy on vinyl, my engraved ‘T’ necklace, Friends pyjamas (lol) and the Jo Malone Red Roses Scent Surround Diffuser. I did receive a couple of beauty things too (plus Mecca gift cards that I’m yet to spend; I’m waiting for the release of their holiday packaging!), so I’ll probably share those in a haul at a later date.
I’m quite taken aback by how generous my friendship groups were in planning presents for me and although I probably see them all a lot less now than I did in my early 20s, honestly, the best gift of all is having them in my life. It’s cheesy, but it’s true! I love that no matter how long I go without seeing my friends, we all just pick up where we left off and everything is so effortless. It’s definitely left me feeling very humbled and I am one lucky gal indeed!
The majority of September and October were spent listening to my Birthday Bangers playlist that I put together for my party and out of the whole party planning process, it was the only thing that I got enjoyment from! I will rename it to simply “Bangers” at some stage because even now that my birthday is well and truly over, it’s still so great! It’s a mix of ‘80s, ‘90s and indie dance, and I rediscovered some real gems while putting it together. Not that I don’t enjoy current music because I definitely do, but I feel like indie truly peaked during the mid-2000s and I bloody love this era of music so much! Bloc Party, Klaxons, Late of the Pier, Friendly Fires, Ladyhawke, MGMT, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and TV on the Radio… what a time to be alive! I’ve included some highlights in my September/October playlist.
A song I’ve been obsessing over these last couple of months is Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover by Sophie B. Hawkins. This was one of those songs I remember hearing a lot of on the radio when I was a kid and sometimes it’s nice to get all nostalgic with those ‘90s commercial hits! Sophie B. Hawkins also sings As I Lay Me Down, which is also another classic.
When it came to new album releases, I listened to Bloom by Troye Sivan, Indigo by Wild Nothing, EP III by Yumi Zouma and Honey by Robyn, which were all absolutely brilliant. I wasn’t a huge fan of the slower songs on Bloom; I’ve always loved Troye Sivan for how poppy and dancey his songs are, but overall, I really enjoyed it. As for Wild Nothing, Yumi Zouma and Robyn, they were simply perfection! Indigo provides the dreamy ‘80s-inspired goodness, EP III those classic Yumi Zouma chilled out tunes and Honey just makes you want to dance! It’s got me really excited to start putting together this year’s top 10 albums blog post!
Film and television
In two months, I only managed to watch one film, A League of Their Own. I’m pretty appalled by this, but I find it easier to watch TV shows during the week and I’ll reserve movies for the weekends, which I don’t always have free! I’m hoping to play catch up in November though because I’ve really missed my movie-watching. Back onto A League of Their Own, I came across this movie after seeing it on a “feminist movies” list and seeing that Tom Hanks was in it (he’s so great!), decided to give it a watch. Set in the 1940s during World War II, it’s about two sisters who join a professional all-women’s baseball team to fill in for the vacant jobs left by men at war. For a time where gender equality was unheard of, I think there are a lot of important messages in this film and although I love Tom Hanks, the main women leads were all absolutely fantastic. It’s a light-hearted watch all while being empowering and inspiring at the same time, and one I think remains relevant to this day. I mean, I can’t believe it’s only within the last couple of years that they’ve started an AFL Women’s League!
Another reason why I didn’t get a lot of movie-watching done was because I’ve been consumed by The Office! In my last Life Lately post, I was up to season 3 and now I’m almost coming to the end of season 5. I have to say, the middle seasons of the show are proving to be so much funnier than the early ones; Michael is a lot less of a dick and oh my lord, he is an idiot… in the best way possible! In saying this though, I do also think that Jim and Pam have become a little bit boring since getting engaged! I miss the will-they-or-won’t-they excitement! I mean, no couple could ever top Ross and Rachel for me, but still.
Around the web
One of my favourite types of blog post to read are people’s experiences within the blogging world, and I really enjoyed Jess’ 3 Blogging Trends That Aren’t for Me, Isobel’s A Spark of Inspiration and Michelle’s Everything I Learned When Revisiting My Blog Archives.
I absolutely loved Stylist’s article, How Frasier’s Roz Doyle Flew the Flag for Feminism. Possibly my favourite thing about this show was how well-written all the characters were and for a show that began in the early 90s, Roz Doyle remains a true hero to us all.
I’ve been reading Liv’s blog What Olivia Did for years now and I’m so excited for her new project she launched last month called The Insecure Girls’ Club. It’s a normal part of life to feel a little bit insecure, especially for women, and to create a positive space online where we can use our insecurities to empower one another is a really wonderful idea.
I’m a huge fan of Elle Fanning and I can’t wait to see her new film, Teen Spirit. Even more so because it features music by Robyn and Grimes!
New music singles I’ve enjoyed: Glow by Digitalism, Eyes a Mess by Broods (it’s a mash up of Gotye’s Eyes Wide Open and Hearts a Mess), I Want Your Love by LCD Soundsystem (Chic Cover) and Mass Grave by HEALTH and Soccer Mommy.
To celebrate Paris Fashion Week, HAIM joined a crew of models to sing Shania Twain’s That Don’t Impress Me Much in the streets of the beautiful city. It’s a lot of fun!
Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi and Troye Sivan collaborated together on a song called Revelation and it’s absolutely beautiful. It was made for the film, Boy Erased, one which I’m really looking forward to seeing.