Another monthly recap for you
This month has actually been CRAAAZY with events and amazing occurrences, so I can't wait to share that with you :)
There are just those good months where, you honestly feel like nothing is going right and then in a second of heartbreak and disbelief, it all changes for the best.
Here we go!
If you couldn't tell already, each line of photos are a completely different event. I have a lot of photos from each event, but I thought it'd look aesthetically pleasing if there was 3 photos for each (That was my favourites or best represented what I did)
1. Night Markets
Sometimes in Canberra, we get random Night Markets that pop up around the City. I LOVE Markets, and just touching everything that looks super cool or taking photos of everything. You can also find really cute and unique items at markets that are specially made, and who doesn't love doing that? I went with my Aunt and took heaps of photos of what each store was offering. Now I'm addicted to finding pop up markets and finding all these cute little knick-knacks that I totally don't need but I must HAVE.
Hopefully next time I find a market, I will remind myself to bring a WARM scarf and a WARMER jacket, 'cos I was beyond freezing and having my teeth rattle while I was trying to look at a range of soy candles.
2. Namadgi National Park
I love camping, I love all that nature stuff and going for hikes and having the smokey odour of the campfire singed into the fibres of your clothes and skin. I love it so much <3
But it can be a hassle to organise free time with everyone, get all the camping gear, find a camping spot (And if it's a holiday, FORGET ABOUT IT. Everyone is going out of town), and then depending on all of those things, how long will you be camping for and what the intensity of the camping will be. Decisions! Namadgi is perfect though for those who just want to burn some things over a campfire, talk and enjoy nature, and then maybe drive back home when it starts getting too dark to enjoy comfortably anymore. I got to roast marshmellows for the first time and NOT burn them *Success for me!* and they were delicious. I ate them roasted and unroasted anyway, so I'm not complaining much. It was just nice to get away from people and life and just watch a fire burn things in a gloriously fantastic way.
3. YSA Sydney Cruise
Mike and I drove to Sydney to attend a YSA Cruise, my first time ever on a YSA Cruise event, and we had hoped for a temple trip as well but that fell through because lack of attendance. Mike even got me to DRIVE to Sydney, which petrified me! I was going about 110mph and I was sweating from the intensity. My little Bee can only handle so much rattling and speed before I started to feel my steering wheel shaking and I thought I was going to be in one of those dramatic car crash scenes in the formula 1 races. The theme of the Dance/Cruise was Black and White vintage, and of course I always come prepared to be exactly the theme. I wore my 50's styled pin up black and white dress, and as soon as we started to walk onto the boat, I switched my heels to flats because NEVER SHOULD YOU EVER DANCE, IN HEELS, ON A MOVING BOAT. You will experience one of the worst motion sickness possible, and look like a drunk person as you're stumbling backwards 'cos you think you're still but in reality, you're taking people down as you're crashing landing to the ground. The cruise was actually so much fun, and because Mike isn't single he didn't need to worry about trying to pick up or impress any ladies there, so he made it his goal to make me look as UNSINGLE as possible. Kissing my forehead, dancing with me, always being with me. Let's just say that no guy ever looked my way because he'd be met by the gaze of my brother salsa dancing with me on the stage area.
We met up with Amy and Rob, two YSA's who are our friends down in Sydney (I'm sure you'll have seen PLENTY of photos of Amy on my blog, since every time I go to Sydney I try to organise to see her. Friendships with distance are always appreciated way more <3) and they introduced us to some of their friends, which is fantastic for networking because I am awful at introducing myself to new people. Absolutely. Awful.
My favourite part of the entire cruise was actually to see the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House, and Luna Park all lit up at night. The pictures do it absolutely NO justice when compared to seeing it in person. Even though it was windy as, and I was beginning to have my own person Marilyn Monroe moment with the wind and my poofy skirt, I LOVED the sights. I didn't get to meet some of the people I was expecting to, or to even say hi to one of them that I keep seeing at events and we make eye contact but never actually acknowledge each other, but maybe that will be cured in the future :)
4. Floriade Night Fest
Yes, another night activity. I'm a night owl and the night intrigues me, even though I'm terrified of the dark (I am a walking irony...I am so sorry)
Floriade is a huge tourist attraction for Canberra, putting on show a display of intricately designed flowers and entertainment festival. I rarely go to it. The only times I can remember going to Floriade is when I was a little kid, and when I was asked on dates during my youth. I live in Canberra, and yet I do not go to one of our most frequent tourist attractions.
I tend to blame it on my hay-fever which gets nearly unbearable at Floriade (I wonder why...) but in reality it's just because I'm not easily entertained by flowers, and the entertainment better be great if I'm going to go with someone and have it all be romantic with flowers nearby. It is not a normal occurrence to find me at Floriade.
And yet, I found myself at the Nightfest for 2015. I went with my mum, Hao (Aunt), and her partner Rod. Floriade COMPLETELY transforms at night, and for the better. What actually brought me to the Nightfest was a picture posted on Facebook about the Tunnel Of Lights that they had set up, and I just thought...'Wow, that'd be AMAZING to experience and take some photos of for the blog' (I've become one of THOSE people!) and I was right. To experience the Tunnel of Lights was a magical experience of disorienting lights and a line that I couldn't see over. Luckily, I had Rod to take some photos for me because he was significantly taller than the crowd who all swarmed it like moths with cameras.
I loved the dazzling light show on the water, and I even Soundhounded a few of the songs because they were well put together with the beating lights (Genesis by Justice, if you're interested in hearing it).
5. Trek 2015
Oh my gosh - this will be an ENTIRE post on its own, but to briefly summarise it, I can only say that it was truly and utter madness. 44km in 4 days, pushing these heavy carts and wearing Pioneer clothes, and I loved every second of it (Even the parts where I was Hangry and wanted to stab someone with a dirty spoon because they wouldn't stop talking, I loved it even then)
The last trek I went to was in 2010, when I was 14 and hadn't even joined the Church yet, so to come back and experience it as a YSA was something really special to me. I was originally planned to be on the Support Crew with the other YSA, but I much preferred to be walking with the Youth and supporting them during some of the hardest things they've probably experienced physically. Even I was straining at certain parts, and would often be shoved off the Cart because I'm only 45kg of pushing power. I'm not really going to make a difference.
My little brother, Nathan, even got to come and experience his FIRST EVER TREK! I was so excited for him, and even a little nervous because when I was on my first Trek, I almost quit around 20 times.
No dinner? I quit. There's no Wifi in the wildnerness? I quit. I was the whiney family member, and Savannah can testify of that.
It was easily the hardest Trek I've done out of the two, but I came out of that Trek much stronger and with a perspective change that couldn't have come from anything except a good enduring trial that pushes you to the hardest of your capabilities. I said multiple prayers on that Trek mid-walking because I thought, 'Yup. This is the point where I quit.' and yet we kept hitting points and then before I knew it, the Trek was finished and we were done and my brother and I BOTH made it out alive of the Trek! <3
I'll link my actual blog post about Trek -here-, but until then, I love Trek with all my heart and had the best fun supporting the Youth and walking with them again and even being a Support Crew member for a day.
6. Sydney Friends come to Canberra Friends!
This is a first for me, but recently (This happened the first week of October, but I've decided to include it in the September Recap because it felt like it was in September) I had a few friends from Sydney come to Canberra for a touristy type day and to see Canberra. Yes! People actually come to Canberra to see touristy things! I was just as amazed.
The last time I went to the Parliament House I was probably around the age 8-9 and it was a family trip with Mum's extended family from San Fransisco. I pass Parliament House whenever I go into the City, or when I drive to Institute and we have to go through the City way. It's really not this big thing for me, and yet to see the faces of Jarem and Amy (Rob doesn't count 'cos he is always there, actually) to see it made me look at Canberra in a completely different way. I noticed how beautifully laid out and planned everything was, how clean and friendly it looked, how nothing was ever too far from each other (You wanna drive to the War Memorial? It's like 5 minutes away from the Parliament House) and how gorgeous the weather was that day. We rarely get days that are my favourite - the 23 with a slight breeze - and yet here it was, ready to show off what Canberra was made of. You live here your ENTIRE life, and you start getting accustomed to things always being there. Yeah, Lake Burley Griffin is cool and all. The Carillon takes nice photos. Cool.
But when I went to actually look, purposefully, at these tourist spots, I came to realise their worth and how they're not just cool, they're bloody awesome!
After the Parliament House, we went to have lunch ('cos Canberra is apparently known for it's really nice food, none of which I actually seek outside of Kingsley's because Kingsley's is my food bae) and to try out the super shakes that got really famous on the news recently for being ridiculously large.
The Freakshakes definitely lived up to their names, and it was a struggle and a half to actually finish them (Which I didn't. I got halfway, and stabbed in my flag of surrender and whined the entire time about how much sugar it was and how I was going to feel it tomorrow when my thighs wobble at me with anger.
After that eventful experience, we went over to Lake Burley Griffin to walk off the massive amounts of Nutella and Pretzels we just engorged on, and talked until the sunset passed over, and it was time for the Sydneyarians(?) to drive back home before the Kangaroos and Wombats decided they too needed a ride back to Sydney on top of the hood.
My month has been EXHAUSTING, but an amazing kind of exhausting that leaves you smiling by the end of the day <3
(Compliments to Rob Le, who took these amazing photos of the Sydney trip and let me use them -unwillingly- ;D)
1. Earrings (Oh, Buttons - 3 for $25)
These earrings are the most adorable thing I have laid my eyes on, and I could not resist the sale/deal. I bought these earrings from the Night Markets and the shop is called Oh, Buttons! and has a beautiful range of cufflinks and earrings. I've been using these earrings heaps, and am eager to get more in a different colour range :D
2. Tags from Post-It (For scriptures)
I'm a giant obsessive lover of stationary. I used to tease my mum for loving her stationary with this gleeful passion in her eye, and now I'm doing it whenever we go to Officeworks. There's just something so fun and so joyful in picking a pen that glides nicely in your hand, or Post-It Notes that you can stick in your scriptures that have correlating colours to match your topics, or when you can buy double sided sticky tape for anything.
*Deep breath of swoon* It's beautiful and I can't handle it.
3. The Sacred Grove Poster
I've been looking for this poster for ages, and we actually own the poster that someone put in a frame and gave to us/my family as a gift, but I wanted my own. Finally, FINNNAAALLLY, we found it in the distribution store at the Sydney Temple and I screeched the whole way to the cash register with my money. It hangs beautifully above my bed, and the quote underneath the Sacred Grove says
-'What happened here changed the world. Let it change your life' -
You're going to find this absolutely horrendous and even slightly despicable...
But I did not finish any books in September *Gasp* THAT'S ABSOLUTE MADNESS.
I've just been so busy with other activities, and it's gotten to that place where I'm kind of obsessed with writing. I differ in moods from certain periods of the year. Perhaps the first 3 months is all about video games and I'm just slaying everything left, right, and center, but then the 2 months after that I'm really obsessed with TV Shows and I've marathoned weeks full of amazing plot twists and cliffhangers.
It's really complex that way.
I have been reading books, but I have no completed or finished any during the whole month of September :( I'm a little disappointed because of that, but hey! maybe next month I'll complete the whole Eragon Series or the Mistborn Trilogy. We just have to have faith, friends.
The books I was reading though was The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson, All The birds, Singing by Evie Wyld, and The Introvert's Way by Sophie Dembling.
1. Blue by Marina And The Diamonds
This is a song that took me by complete surprise. I've loved Marina and the Diamonds from their song, 'Primadonna' but that was a long time ago, so it was strange to come back to a familiar sound. It's a catchy song that has these lyrics that are so sad and broken. Not to mention that it's got a fantastic beat that gets stuck in your head after multiple times of replaying it.
2. WILD by Troye Sivan
I was never a Troye Sivan fan before this song. I knew he was a Youtuber, but he just wasn't someone that I was interested in learning any more about.
This song completely changed my opinion on him, and now he is the cutest and most adorable person ever :D It's a fantastic song, and it TOOK WEEKS for me to finally stop repeating this song and annoying everyone around me with belting the song at the top of my lungs.
3. Downtown by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
What is it with these absolutely hilarious and random songs of late? I'm not complaining, but I am in love with them. Uptown Funk and Downtown are two of my favourite random songs that just make me get up and start busting out my old white person dance moves.
4. The Alley by E^ST
I stumbled across E^ST on her 'Like a Version' on the BBC Radio. She covered, 'Bitter Sweet Symphony' by The Verve and she completely owned it as her own thing. I never really liked the original song, or at least when it would come on the radio or Dad listened to it, I'd just kind of brush it off. E^ST made it soooo much better and something that's different from the original. I absolutely love it and I know that E^ST will be one to watch get famous in a few months time. I bet you this.
5. On My Mind by Ellie Goulding
Looking at my list of September, I realise that I do actually listen to quite a lot of popular pop songs. There's nothing wrong with that, but dayum son...that's a lot of pop.
Ellie Goulding has always had a soft spot in my heart ever since Starry Eyed which she released in 2010. She's changed her sound plenty of times since then to figure out who she is as an artist, and also to be versatile, and I've loved every single sound (Except when she got with Calvin Harris...wasn't a big fan of that. Her voice is better than that)
On My Mind has this amazing beat that you just want to choreograph a bopping type of dance move to (That's what I do while I listen to it and I'm doing the dishes too. Kind of like the dance move that Katy Perry does in the Dark Horse video clip. That kind of bop/bounce to the beat)
6. New Americana by Halsey
I found Halsey actually through my other love, Twenty One Pilots. She was hanging out with them during the VMA's, and I was like...hmm, I think I've heard of her before on Tumblr but I've never listened to any of her stuff, so I promptly searched her up on Spotify and boom. Absolutely taken away by her song New Americana.
She's got such a distinct sound and this strangely accented voice that I can't resist. Her album isn't one that blew me away (Like what happened with me and Blurryface by Twenty One Pilots...I'm pretty sure I cried on first listening to that album) but it's a great album to chill out to with it in the background!
7. My Star by Tuka
This song I actually heard on one of the music channels on the TV, and before it finished, I had to Soundhound it because it was fantastic! It's very chill, and even has a bit of 'rapping' (If that even counts)
8. Dragon Me Down/As Long As You Love Me by Gardiner Sisters
This is a cover of two songs that I absolutely hated, until these Sisters remixed and it turned it into something that I was playing on repeat!
9. Lush Life by Zara Larsson
A completely random find, and one that I am so flipping happy to have. It's one of my walking songs 'cos of its catchy beat. I absolutely adore it.
What the heck is even this show, and why do I love it so?
Imagine every single horror movie that features teenagers and all the typical horror tropes and that's what Scream Queens is, but mix in the sassy humour of Glee and the background of American Horror Story (Cos that's who made this series)
It's only 2-3 episodes in now, and it reminds me a bit of Pretty Little Liars where you can't trust anyone and everyone has those really suspicious side view pans where you stop and think - 'oh my gosh...IS IT SO-AND-SO?!'
but jokes next week someone you didn't think has that same side pan suspicious glance and you're just flinging your popcorn in the air thinking, 'OH MY GOSH I WAS NOT SUSPECTING THAT THIS SUSPECT COULD BE SUSPICIOUS!'
Perhaps that's why people like mystery movies/tv shows?
Maze Runner The Scorch Trials
Scorch Trials is the sequel to Maze Runner, and it starts right back at where it left off in the first one. The kids find the hidden rebellion to take on WICKED with, but not everything is as it seems. Dun, dun, duuuun.
What made me love this sequel was (Dylan O'Brien) how hopeless and tragic they made it. I remember when I read the book that it was actually my favourite out of all of them (Mainly 'cos I remember just how Post-Apocalyptic this sequel was) and one of the few ones that I still remember a long time after finishing it. The book series was not a favourite, it was actually one of my least favourite series that I have read thus far, but they have been beautifully translated into movies. Perhaps that's why I honestly did not like them as books, because they come across much better as movies? Or because there were so many changes from the book series to the actual movies? Or because Dylan O'Brien is in it and I will love anything he is in?
A lot of people were a bit fussed with the 'zombies' in this movie, and that it basically just turned into a The Walking Dead spin-off or parody, but I think it was brilliant what they did with those infected by the Flare. I was basically bouncing in my seat from excitement from it. I felt their fear, I felt their hopelessness, and it was perfection. Also, I could watch Dylan O'Brien running for the rest of my life, but hopefully not away from me but into my arms <3 Catch me, Dylan O'Baein.
Just look at that gangly mess of arms and lankiness and perfection wrapped in one little adorable bundle of running. Be still, my heart.
1. Trek Flour Bomb War
One of the most hilarious moments on Trek was during the 3rd day, the Game/Dance/Fireside day. I am really not a big fan of party games, or participating in them. I love watching and commentating way more, so I spent majority of that day watching the games and sitting with the Youth who were still sick or feeling exhausted from our Trekking the previous days. At one point, I left to the tent where my little brother was chilling out, and we just hung out with one of the other Young Women. I was completely unsuspecting when two YW, Lexi and Eden, came to the tent and hit me with these small flour bags that were made out of stockings. It leaves a good flour mark, but without really leaving any damage. I ran out of the tent, ready for the oncoming slaughter from the YW that I saw were running towards the camp. Catherine got a good hit on me, then another Young Man almost got me but I managed to pick up the flour bomb that he dropped. Because I was having a How I Met Your Mother Styled Slap-Bet going on with the Pa of the family, Shoobridge, I decided to rip open the flour bag and without him realising it, innocently pour it on his shoulders. It brought the Slap-Bet style of War to an all new high, and I had brought it down upon myself. After my surprise attack, I kept flinching every time he walked past me or slowly crept up behind me, in fear that he would retaliate in some way that I wasn't suspecting. It still makes me laugh at how we entertained ourselves out on Trek.
2. Walks Around the Lake and Rediscovering Canberra
Sometimes when you're so used to something, you tend to stop seeing it all together. You pass it every day and it loses its meaning. It's just another building, or place. I can often badmouth or say that Canberra is boring, but that's just because I never really stopped to look at Canberra from an objective point of view.
Having my friends from Sydney come down and see Canberra in this exciting and new way made me actually really appreciate how beautiful and awesome Canberra is. We surprisingly have a hipster scene in Manuka, and some tourist sights that I didn't even realise were tourist sights because I go there so often (Like the Carillon, or Lake Burley Griffin where I go for walks and sometimes even dates)
But walking to the Carillon with them, taking the time to sit and read the signs and see WHY certain statues were there or just how gorgeous the lake looks when the sun is setting and the lights around begin to pop up one by one like stars. I am even more determined to find hidden gems and secrets in Canberra, to really appreciate the town that I have lived in all my life.
3. Salsa Dancing with Mikey
Something I have really missed with my big brother being on a mission was going to dances together and completely blowing everyone away with our awesome salsa dance moves. It was really fun to not think about trying to find some attractive guy at the Cruise and to try and flirt with them awkwardly and eventually not enjoy the Cruise by the end of it, but just to enjoy dancing with my big brother and try out some salsa moves which I haven't done in A LONG WHILE.
4. Strawberries dipped in chocolate <3
During Nightfest, we got to check out the markets there that had plenty of food and even some shop stores with clothes, candles, and other products. We had already eaten some donuts, and that seemed to have gotten me to a happy content level, but then I saw an actual chocolate fountain and they were dipping these enormous strawberries underneath and I almost cried from joy. It was truly a sight to behold. I had managed to convince my mum that I absolutely needed it in my life and in my stomach, and she agreed. So I was a happy little camper with my giant strawberries absolutely caked in Lint Lindor chocolate. Uggggh, it would not take much for a guy to swoon me over by just making me strawberries dipped in chocolate for dessert <3
5. At The Carillon with Hao
The Carillon has become one of my favourite places in Canberra, and this month I got the opportunity to go there at night with my Aunt after the Night Markets. It was absolutely exquisite. I took some photos of it, and just admired the possibility of getting married and taking photos there with my future husband. So totally romantic :P
Ever since I was young (About 7-9) I've loved keeping journals and just writing down every single thing I was feeling and experiencing at that time. It became kind of my own personal therapist, to write down the things plaguing me and to realise as I read it that they were actually really stupid or a lot less dramatic than I understood at that time. Journaling is one of my favourite things to do in this world, and I tend to forget how rejuvenating it can be.
I have a whole box filled with journals, notebooks, and little letters that I have collected over the years and it's such a joy to me to be able to go back on a specific day years ago and read the worries that I had, how my maturity has changed and evolved over the years since. So this past month has been filled with me writing at every available opportunity. In the car? Quickly write a few sentences or paragraphs. Cleaned the house and have nothing else to do? Go sit outside in the sun and journal. It is incredibly therapeutic, especially for someone like me who is anxious and over thinks and analyses everything and sometimes just needs things to be written down to see it in the bigger picture instead of hyper focused on that one spot. Even during Trek, whenever I found a free moment, I'd journal how I was feeling because that was what I wanted to remember. I still own my journal from my last Trek and sometimes I like to go and read it for the giggles, and that's something I can't replicate or do years later and try to write down those memories. They have to be written fresh, in the moment, and when it's happening. Journaling has lifted my spirits more than I could ever imagine, and my Future-Me will thank Past-Me for it.
That, and I get to see what a little whiney turd I am sometimes :P I don't like to complain or whine to family and friends 'cos that's so annoying sometimes. I love you family and friends, please don't be annoyed by me!
“No matter how difficult something you or a loved one faces, it should not take over your life and be the center of all your interest. Challenges are growth experiences,temporary scenes to be played out on the background of a pleasant life. Don’t become so absorbed in a single event that you can’t think of anything else or care for yourself or for those who depend upon you. Remember, much like the mending of the body, the healing of some spiritual and emotional challenges takes time.”
― Richard G. Scott
(Sometimes I'm the high-fiver, and sometimes I'm the high-fiveree. Sigh)