16 going on 17

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Today we touched down in Brisbane after about two weeks in north Queensland for a Christmas holiday together as a family. We all had a lovely time soaking up the sun (though, I was decked out in sun protection nonetheless - fair skin needs TLC!), strolling along the beach at dusk and eating copious amounts of gelato whilst admiring the beautiful island views with the sun reflecting on the water. I devoured two novels while I was there (Jo and I were reading them simultaneously and discussing our post-book withdrawals and ALL the feelings); a Court of Thorns and Roses, and its sequel, A Court of Mist and Fury. Sarah J. Maas wrote them so I knew I wouldn't be disappointed with the plot and character development. This book series is hands down my favourite out of everything I've read this year so, without giving too much away, if you're interested in a beautifully written story with Beauty and the Beast themes, LOTS of romance, magic, as well as adventure and action, I would highly recommend checking out the ACOTAR series - you won't be disappointed, I promise!

On another note, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas if you celebrate it, and that you're enjoying the holiday season. I can't believe 2017 is right around the corner; another year has flown by quicker than the last. 2016 has been... interesting. I am very curious to see what 2017 (my 20th year too) will hold and how life will continue to change and evolve. 

Here are a few pictures from our holiday, as well as some I took of my bedroom today. It was a nice, quiet day spent mostly listening to records, unpacking my huge suitcase and napping. I'm absolutely exhausted and at this point in time, think I'll probably even skip NYE celebrations and just rest up this weekend with movies, hot chocolate and books. Whatever your plans though - have fun and be safe! I will be back in the new year! 

P.S: Got a playlist here too, if you're interested! Also, did you pick up on the play on words in the title? The Sound of Music has impacted my life too much :')

a year in music

Monday, December 05, 2016
Oh, hey, yeah that's just me pretending I'm a famous musician...
2016 has been a "growing" year. I mean, you grow and develop every year (mentally and physically), but this year was really extraordinary for me. A lot of it was spent rethinking decisions and old habits, finding the meaning behind who I am as a person and what makes me "Maria". A big part of my life is my music choices. I spend a lot of my down time and commuting-time listening to new bands, rediscovering old favourites and trying to gather together the pennies needed for a gig or two. They say people don't make music like they used to, which is true, but if you think about it, why would you want people to keep making the same sort of music? New technology has allowed artists to create things that haven't been created before and I think 2016 has been a wonderful year for music, once you venture beyond the Top 50 Hits, that is. 

Since voting for the Triple J Hottest 100 isn't too far away, I thought I would share my Top 20 Tracks for 2016 and well as my favourite three artists for the year. 

Joshua Tillman's latest album. "I Love You, Honeybear" (2015)
Firstly, Father John Misty (Joshua Tillman) is at the top of the list. I discovered his music in August, his album "I Love You, Honeybear" striking quite a significant emotional chord with me. His songs are quite melancholy, but despite this, they rarely make me feel sad or depressed. Instead, I feel a sense of relief and calm. Would highly recommend listening to "Nancy From Now On", "Holy Shit" and "I Love You, Honeybear" first; grab a cup of tea too! If you're a fan of Fleet Foxes, I promise you'll like FJM, mainly because he was their drummer between 2008 and 2012. 

Julia's debut album "Don't Let The Kids Win" (2016)
Secondly, Julia Jacklin was an artist I discovered in June this year. Her single, Leadlight, popped up in my Discover Weekly on a Monday that I was feeling particularly lost and confused about where life was headed. She's from the Blue Mountains in New South Wales and has penned all of her songs, adding to the raw feel of her lyrics and the emotion in her voice. Her music has a romantic, nostalgic feel to it and the whole aesthetic of her debut album is focussed on the haziness of growing up, heartbreak and feeling lost at a young age. I've seen her live in Brisbane twice; firstly in a record store and then in late November at the Foundry. On both occasions she was an absolute vision and her talent is simply wonderful. She's currently touring Australia (ft. in a few Aussie festival lineups) and then she's off to Europe once again. My favourite songs (at the moment... it changes on a weekly basis because her vinyl is ALWAYS playing in my room) are "Pool Party", "Motherland" and "LA Dream". 

Angel Olsen's album, "My Woman" (2016)
And finally; this was a recent discovery and quite a difficult one to come to decision on: Angel Olsen. The reason she was part of my top 3 was actually because when I first listened to her music I really wasn't interested. Like, at all. In fact, it bothered me and I have no idea why. However, after I put a random playlist on shuffle and heard "Never Be Mine" and wondered "who on earth sings this?! I love it", I fell in love with the whole "My Woman" album and have seen her music and style from a completely new perspective. Her voice is a gentle reminder of Stevie Nicks' talent through Fleetwood Mac ballads and what a voice should sound like without the hideous autotune that pollutes all of our car radios today... "Sister","Heart Shaped Face" and "Intern" are some highlights for me.

Really quite difficult to pick from so many talented people, but these guys really stood out to me. A few other favourites include Broods (they were amazing live and my roommate just so happens to be related to them!), Montaigne (another awesome Aussie artist!) and Tash Sultana.

Oh, and here are my top 20 tracks from 2016. An eclectic mix ranging from Bon Iver, to The Temper Trap and Glass Animals. Hope you all have a lovely week! And three weeks until Christmas! Woo!

"nancy from now on"

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

I know, I know, I said this post would be up well and truly on Sunday but things were a little hectic over the weekend and not only did I put off studying for my finals this week in order to get in more family time, I also completely forgot about posting! In between sipping coffee at cafes I really can't afford to be regularly attending, listening to Father John Misty (the title of this posts is one of my favourite songs from him - listen to the Spotify sessions version too, absolutely brilliant) in hopes of mellowing out the crazy vibes during SWOTVAC and experimenting with my appearance (see here), I've had a pretty good run over the last few weeks. I'm still over the moon and deliriously happy about obtaining my driver's license and it's come in handy very much over the last few weeks for running errands/ driving my room-mates places. Finals are going as well as can be expected from someone who has pretty poor time management and is (in general) a little bit over the semester. I am proud of myself for how things have gone this term though, I handed in an assignment I busted my butt working on and am really keen to get the results back! Current mood? Tired... a little bit stressed (two more exams to go), but quite content. I bought a nice top today to wear to my roomie's engagement party and I have eaten dinner and am currently sipping a rooibos. Plus, I am wearing some of my favourite pyjamas and sitting in a tidy, air-conditioned house (I love our little home!). I simply cannot complain! 

I took these photos on Saturday afternoon with little Tess (my trusty and loyal photographer). We are both loving (okay, maybe just me... I basically had to drag her out of the house to take these photos...) the diffused light Summer brings at a quarter to six and the way it filters through the trees. This top I bought a few months ago during H&M's peek winter period of lace, layers and darker hues. I like it as a transitional piece, especially with this white skirt I pinched from Jo's wardrobe. Having sisters is great - endless wardrobe possibilities! 

Anyway, I hope you're all doing well. It's crazy how the year is nearly at an end already. This blog is nearing 7 years! Ahh!

white lace

Sunday, October 09, 2016

 "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers" - Anne of Green Gables

Guys! Hello! It's October, and I haven't blogged in a while. The last few weeks have been pretty busy with work, social events and a little uni work (emphasis on little), but most importantly, I achieved my main goal of 2016 - OBTAINING MY DRIVER'S LICENSE! I can now drive by myself! The test was last Tuesday and although I was incredibly nervous, I followed the advice of basically everyone around me and "remained calm"... passing with flying colours. I'm really proud of myself for getting organised, saving up for the lessons and sticking with it, despite how frustrating learning to drive has been (especially in the city) over the last few months. Achieving this goal prompted me to look back on my 2016 resolutions and see what other's I had paid attention to. This year has been very eventful for me; I crossed the QLD border for the first time... said "yes" to spontaneous adventures... ha, remember that one time I moved to Sydney for five days without properly thinking it through? Yeah me neither, must be someone else! :P 
Despite this year being one of the toughest for my mental health, it's also been very rewarding. I think I've really grown up and learnt a lot in a short amount of time. I'll be a 20 year old in four months! 

I'm home for the weekend again to spend some quality time with the fam before I go back to uni this week - something I'm somewhat looking forward to. I miss the routine of work and uni coming together and I think I need that to make me feel like I'm working towards a goal. Tess and I (well, mainly me) decided to take some photos too while I am here featuring this lovely blouse from Dotti. I bought it without even trying it on because I loved it so much - it has such an Anne Shirley vibe to it, don't you think? 
Hope you're all having an excellent weekend - and I'll be back soon! 

russian red // changing styles

Monday, September 26, 2016

Bonds T-shirt, Forever New skirt + beret, MAC lipstick in "Russian Red" 

I was reading Lauren's blog the other day - one I have been an avid follower of since I was 14 years old - and she was talking about how interesting it has been watching and reflecting on how her style has changed over the years. Some elements are still similar to what she used to wear, but overall, her look has changed. This really brought to my attention my own sartorial choices and how much it's all evolved for me over the last five years. I think at the moment I'm going through a period of my life where I like to keep things pretty simple in everyday life. T-shirts, jeans, skirts and sandals are generally the items I gravitate towards when I'm at uni, or out and about. This outfit here is a very 'Maria' assortment - lately I've been more focussed on being comfortable than anything else, and it's amazing what a bright lip can do to a basic top + skirt combination. This top is a classic Bonds t-shirt;  I love the cut of it, and the fabric is ridiculously soft and comfortable. Finding a top that fits you well if you have a generous chest is often quite the challenge, but I love this one. 

So guys! Two posts in the same 48 hour period (almost!), that's when you know I'm on holidays. Spring has definitely been brought to life for us Queenslander's; there are flowers everywhere and a delicious, non-humid warmth to the air that leaves you craving an afternoon by the pool. This week I have a long-awaited and much-deserved (thank you very much) break from the textbooks and although I am working 3/5 days, it's still going to be a lovely change from classes and assignments and general work overload. In between making coffees, I'll be drinking coffee with friends, I might go to the movies (The Girl on the Train looks rather intriguing), and amusing myself with music, reading and walking the neighbour's dog. Hope you're having a lovely end to September. 

Thanks to my beautiful little sister for capturing these pics for me - who knew a 13 year old could work a DSLR camera to such high quality!