the middle of age 21

Tuesday, September 04, 2018
Brisbane QLD, Australia

Hello! Remember me??

I'm currently sitting here at my desk, sipping at my third cup of rooibos for the evening (it's going to be annoying when I get into bed and realise I'll need to make several trips to the toilet...), and to be honest, I'm not sure where to start. The period between my last post (July) and now (September) has been quite... busy and eventful. Work life is really good - I'm enjoying working with all my friends at McDonald's again, making coffees and hosting kid's parties which is always a hilarious and rewarding way to make money. I also just got a new job at Seed Heritage which is so so exciting because I've always loved their clothing and I've been wanting to get my foot into the retail door for a while now. I start on Thursday and I'm very excited to make new friends, build my wardrobe up even more and gain some insight into the behind-the-scenes of the fashion world. Juggling two jobs could be tricky until I find my feet but I'm sure I'll be fine - as long as I can keep paying my bills that's all that matters! #adultlife

Me, 1 hour into arriving at any party I thought I was TOTALLY
ready to go to... smh. 
My personal life has been a little bit turbulent as of late - Max and I broke up at the beginning of August and, being my first break up, it really hasn't been easy. It wasn't messy or bitter in any way; just sad and really really hard. I'm still not really sure how to put it into words; as I said, I've not experienced this before. Going back into the "single life" routine has been okay - I've picked up a few new hobbies that have helped get my mind off any sad thoughts (yoga and meditation!!); I've been spending lots of time with friends, but also enjoying my own company too. I still consider him to be one of my best friends and thinking back to the time we spent together in the 7ish months we dated, I genuinely feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have those memories - particularly as it was my first relationship. I learnt so much about love and who I am as a person. It was an amazing, beautiful experience that involved lots of laughter, companionship and romance and I will always think back on it fondly. (And hey Max, if you're reading this, thanks for going on an adventure with me :))

Me, except at Grill'd, with a dine-in order and the cheeseburger
is actually the "Summer Sunset" on a gf bun
Anyway, so there's been lots of change in life lately. Some good, bad and just downright confusing... but the saying "everything happens for a reason" has been replaying like a broken record in the back of my mind. It's comforting as the future rears its interesting head at me each morning when I wake up and wonder what the day's going to bring.
I hope your life is going well - wherever you're reading this from and whoever you are. Hopefully I'll be back here again sooner, rather than later.


** Also, cheers to Carrie Bradshaw for comforting me in times of emotional weakness and interesting sartorial choices... 

"whoever said orange is the new pink was seriously disturbed"

Sunday, July 08, 2018
South Brisbane QLD 4101, Australia

My housemate and her family decided to throw a "USA" party last night and the costume range was quite broad so I decided to go as either Marilyn Monroe, Barbie or Elle Woods. All true (and blonde!) American icons in my opinion. I had a wig to pull off the whole Marilyn look, and a ball dress, but I ended up looking like a turnip when I put it on my head (which is also abnormally large, mind you), so I opted for this beautiful pastel pink wiggle dress from 'That Shop', some silk gloves and a neck tie to complete the look. It was a splendid evening for catching up with friends and drinking ginger ale (non-alcholic.. I was driving).

Anyway! Hi! It's been a while...since May actually. I wanted to check in today as life has been very full on and there's been a few changes. I recently finished up full time work in the office I had began at in January to pursue a more flexible, active lifestyle. I miss all of my co-workers a lot but sitting down for too long doesn't suit me very well so I'm back to making coffees until I figure out my next step. I applied to be a police officer as it's been my dream job for a while now, but unfortunately wasn't shortlisted. As disappointed as I am, I'm still going to apply a year from now. Another year of life experience doesn't hurt!

Other aspects of life are going well - I'm a little bothered about not knowing what to do between now and mid next year when I apply for the QPS again, but at the same time I really need to chill out and remember I'm fresh into my 20s and have my whole life to decide what I want to be. So, I've decided in the meantime, I'll continue to have fun with my friends and family, buy lots of fresh flowers for my room, make cookies, give Max lots of kisses, blog a bit more, go to the gym (exercise has been such a massive part of my mental health over the last year)... and hope I'll have an epiphany! Ha!

stroll through the neighbourhood

Wednesday, May 16, 2018
East Brisbane QLD 4169, Australia
Morning/ afternoon/ evening (whatever time you may be reading this)!

It’s well and truly transitioning into “winter” here in Brisbane, and when I say “winter” I’m referring to the period of a few months when temperatures generally flutter between 10 and 20 degrees, with lots of beautiful sunny days and cool winds. It’s not really winter on global scale but as a human that is fueled by sunlight, mild warmth and clear skies, it’s perfectly fine with me. I also love berets, coats and any excuse to layer clothing in a quirky (albeit sometimes eccentric) way.

Lily and I took these photos a couple of weeks ago; after a luxurious breakfast of copious amounts of avocado, grilled tomato and peppered eggs. To me, there’s nothing better than cooking up a storm in the kitchen on a Sunday morning and washing my brekky down with a coffee (or maybe three). These photos perfectly represent what it’s like in Brisbane at the moment, and this weather makes me deliriously happy, even when I’m stressed.
I’ve been slowly breaking out the sweaters, tights and layer-able mini-skirts, replacing their spot in storage with my lovely summer dresses and sandals. It’s a bittersweet feeling, but I know it’ll only be a matter of months before I’ll pull them out again and excitedly exclaim to all those around me “Oh wow! I remember this dress*! I just love it!” (*cough* literally September is when the weather turns putrid once again and my hair takes on electric-shock look thanks to humidity rearing it’s hideous head).
*can be interchanged for any summery clothing item really... ie, bikini, mini skirt, summer dress, basically anything that enables skin and sun contact.

Life has been pretty good lately – I find myself living for the weekend though, as working full time has rendered me with a lot less time to get other adulting things done… like laundry, keeping my room in a somewhat organised state, going to the dentist/ doctor/ dermatologist, buying groceries, calling my Mum (I have resorted to actually emailing her these days…just because it’s easier, I swear I’m a good daughter!!) and still seeing all my wonderful friends and of course, Max. I've been reading a book on "Adulting" lately - the author claims to have been the one who coined the term from the start, and based on what I have been reading in this said, step-by-step guide to approaching and being in your twenties (or basically just legally allowed to vote and all that jazz), she seems to be the expert on the matter. Being an adult isn't what I thought it would be. I still feel very young, lost and confused sometimes, despite having a full time job, driving around in my car, paying all my own bills, booking my own appointments, trying to get my finances in shape (I need to lay off eating out for a little bit I think... the main culprit is Grill'd and g&t's at bars.... $10 a pop adds up!) and making time for my my lovely friends and boyfriend. I remember as a kid looking at a 21 year old and seeing them as someone who just knew what they were doing all the time. Adults had the answers, they had it ALL figured out. But now that I'm here, living in this 21 year old body (don't get me wrong, it's lots of fun, and I love life, but I don't know all the answers), you kinda just have to trust your gut feeling and wing it. That's what Mum has taught me anyway, and she's the best person I know so if I try and live life with her in mind, I should be totally fine.

How are your lives going anyway? It's funny how quickly this year has flown. I've been at my new job over five months now - which probably means it's not really "new" anymore, and I've been dating Max for four months (tomorrow actually!). The transition from being single to being in a relationship was a surprisingly smooth one, and felt very natural which reinforces how right everything has always felt with him. Each week we’ve been trying to do at least one little date or outing so last Saturday morning was spent eating pancakes at the Manor on Charlotte St in the CBD, then we hopped on the ferry and sailed along the river for a bit before seeing the latest Avengers movie. I never used to be a devout Marvel/ superhero movie fan; I never read comics as a kid (except for Tin Tin and Asterix… amazing), but I started going to the movies a lot more when I moved to Brisbane in 2015 and with that came more and more cues to watch superhero films. The movie was amazing, and if you were one of the clued in folk that stuck around after the credits (ALL of them), you’ll be anticipating the arrival of Captain Marvel as much as me. Another reason Max and I are so compatible is our shared love for films – it’s funny, when he was single he would regularly go to the movies by himself, just like I used to. He’s the only other person I know who did that and saw no issue! I remember every time I would see a film solo (this was like, a weekly thing), and my friends knew, they’d be like “How can you see a movie by yourself?? Don’t you feel self-conscious that you’re alone??”, and I honestly never understood this. Seeing films solo is great, I highly encourage it. Though I do love seeing them with Max now too, especially when I can suffocate him with kisses in the credits.

Anyway, I need to close this laptop lid and get some sleep. I'm typing this at 10pm on a Tuesday night - spin class killed me, and as much as I think I should wake up at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning and go for a walk, I think a sleep in til 7am and a relaxed get-ready before work will be just as beneficial for my physical (and mental!) health. Sometimes the best form of self-care is to simply do nothing... just for a day. Wednesday's are often my low impact day... I think after work I'll head home, hit publish on this post (and you're reading it now!), knock back a couple of ROOIBOS teas (I do like to live quite... adventurously) and anticipate picking Max up from the gym. We haven't seen each other since Sunday... deprived would be an understatement, but at least I managed to do two loads of laundry and clean my room top to bottom in that time. Chicken soup is on the menu for dinner too tonight, followed by Mad Men and lots of laughter, because that's what happens when you put Max and I in the same room. Laughing. Constantly. 

eight years of avenue maria

Tuesday, May 08, 2018
Brisbane QLD, Australia
Photos by my lovely (and very talented friend!!) Lily Quirin

This Sunday I get to celebrate two wonderful things in my life – having this blog for eight years (my first ever post was published on May 13th, 2010), and my wonderful Mum as it’s Mother’s Day. 

When I look back on the kind of "online presence" I've had in the last eight years it makes me quite sentimental and nostalgic for how I've evolved, and also how technology and social media has with me. As much as I love the convenience of Instagram and how easy it is to share snippets of one's life, I miss the Saturday morning's during high school where I'd pull my laptop to my knees, have an issue of Teen Vogue in one hand, and a steaming cup of rooibos tea in the other, just anticipating reading all the wonderful posts my overseas blogging friends had published while I was sleeping. 
Here I am now, 21, working full time, living out of home, paying my own bills, driving my own car and spending time with my lovely boyfriend and my friends - but no longer such an active member of "the blogosphere". 

I think that's okay though, because I'm really happy with my life, and I feel that one of the best things about having a little corner of the web like this is I truly can revisit it any time, and the little flickers of creativity that rush through my fingertips when I'm editing photos or curating ideas reminds me exactly of how I felt back when I was 13 and hit publish for the first time. We're all still here really, us bloggers that've been around for lots of years... we're just sharing content differently, but not any less thoughtfully.

Life is so surreal sometimes, and it's always changing, but I think I'll always be that little girl who decided that she'd like to write a blog because maybe a few people would read it and enjoy. I'll always be the little girl who loves to read fashion magazines and dream up different outfits to wear. I'll always be the little girl that wrote this first ever blog post, and had these photos taken with her blogging bestie at the time, and had lots of ambitions and ideas. 

So... Thanks for reading today, yesterday, when I was 16, or even right from the start :)


Monday, March 12, 2018

My friend Lily (and a few other friends from my high school) moved about 10 minutes from my house and we spent the weekend eating food (carbs mainly - I nearly vommed after tonight's gym session so I feel that this choice was justified), laughing about stupid things that would probably make zero sense to anyone else (I don't understand our humour at all but it's thoroughly entertaining), me hogging Alice's bird (I don't know what it's name is so I'll just call it Gandalf for now) AND taking these amazing photos! Ahh. I have missed doing this so much. I love photography and being styled up and having photos taken - it's so much fun and despite the majority of the photos being ridiculous outtakes that included me snorting from laughter, picking food from my teeth and running through a park under torrential rain, they turned out so beautifully. Lily's immensely talented and has a brilliant creative eye so I was really excited when she offered to take some photos for my blog. This is the first set - she used pretty little fairy lights to create the dreamy bokeh effect - I love how softly focussed it all is. And there are more photos to come - we did quite a few outfits and I'm really excited to share them all! 

Quick update on life too: everything's really good! I'm 21 years old now and feel much wiser and different to how I did at 20 (just kidding... still an idiot)!! I'm still getting used to the full-time work week  schedule and balancing it with gym, blogging (haha... yeah it's been over a month since my last post I know), social things, love life (my favourite part tbh - hi Max!!) and staying relatively well-rested. I mean, I think I have it in an okay balance at the moment? I've only cried (like, REALLY cried) twice in the last month I think (and no, we aren't counting tears of laughter in that because that would defeat my point). 
I am happy! Really happy with life, and feeling lucky and very very grateful for what I have and what I've achieved in the last few months :) I hope you're reading this from a good place too, whoever you are! 

snippets from mermaid beach & life

Friday, February 02, 2018
Brisbane QLD, Australia
For some reason, I thought time would go slower for me now that I supposedly have my life together – alas, it is February 2nd already and I’ve been at my new job for a month and I’ll be a 21 year old in a matter of weeks. Weird to think of isn't it? I was only 12 years old when I did my first ever blog post on this platform - and now look where we are! Blogging took the back seat quite a lot last year despite my withdrawal from studies, so this year I’d really love to pay a bit more attention to this little hobby of mine and that started yesterday with a little “revamp” of the blog design in my lunch break.
If you’ve been a reader for a while you probably just choked on your cup of tea (or whatever it is you decide to down whilst you read about my….eventful existence!) because I tend to say similar things every blog post. But bear with me – this will be an honest effort to improve on something that really couldn’t get any worse (I am referring to my commitment here… or lack thereof with posting consistently on Avenue Maria).

I got my hair done again recently with Hair By Nina - she was absolutely incredible. Check out her website here
Fairy lights in my room keeping things as magical and as tumblr-aesthetic as possible... ha! 
Some outfits as of late. Did you know I love pink???

Since my last post a month ago, lots of things have happened. I’ve settled into my new job almost seamlessly and I really really do love it. My schedule is very structured and I feel like I’m living my best life because of it. Gazing into my wardrobe every morning at 7ish thinking about all the outfit opportunities I have is also a bonus, and you wouldn’t think this frame of mind could get any better but often my tummy is full of coffee and banana on toast so I guess it can. A new addition to the social aspect of life – in between going to the gym to die a painful (but rewarding) death in classes, catching up with friends and seeing my family, is the lovely boy who made a presence in my life very unexpectedly. I think that’s how lots of wonderful things happen in life – when you aren’t searching for them. The last two weeks we’ve been inseparable and despite his weird breakfast habits of mixing milk and yoghurt (yes Max, I'm exposing you), he has quickly become my “Liebling” – that’s German for "darling" I've come to know, which he speaks fluently (and beautifully), and any time spent away from him I seem to be counting down to when we see eachother next.

My friends and I decided to head to Mermaid Beach last weekend for some spontaneous "girl time". We went to the beach, the clubs and sat at the apartments laughing and enjoying eachother's company and it was absolutely lovely. 
Hopefully I'll have some other photos up taken with my actual camera soon - I haven't been home to see my little sister in ages, hence the lack of beautiful photography. Not many teens know how to work the canon like Tessie can! 


Monday, January 01, 2018
Brisbane QLD, Australia
You all know how I feel about New Year's Resolutions (based on previous posts over the years, however, upon reflection, I did indeed achieve a lot of what I wanted to over the course of 2017 and I find them to be quite positive (if you actually achieve and stick to them :P). Despite it being an extremely difficult year for me - and others - it was also equally rewarding and wonderful. A few highlights would have to have been:

- Buying my first car! Having this freedom is a feeling that one simply can't describe. I can go wherever, do whatever I want whenever I need to and I'm very lucky and grateful that I have a car to use under my name. 
- I lost about 17kg this year. I made huge changes to my lifestyle and despite the process being slow and frustrating at times, it has been wonderful to look back on the progress I have made to develop my fitness and my ability to really nourish my body with the right food. Keeping things in a balance is always important too though, and although I don't do it very often, there's nothing wrong with some brownies and chocolate here and there! 
- I dyed my hair blonde! This was something I never thought I would suit, but now I can't imagine my hair any other colour. I love it!
- Made some wonderful new friends, and left behind friendships too. A lot of my relationships came together and fell apart quite naturally throughout the year and despite being difficult at the time for a lot of the situations, I'm glad a lot of friendships/ romantic endeavours did come to an end. 
- Left my job at McDonald's! This was a recent thing actually! I've been working at McDonald's ever since I was 15 years old, and it's been a very rewarding experience for me. It prepared me so well for all areas of the hospitality and customer service industry and I think it's definitely one of the major reasons that I...
- FINALLY GOT A FULL TIME JOB! A wonderful, new job perfectly suited to my skill set and lifestyle. I am a Campaign/ Marketing Coordinating for a real estate agency and I absolutely love it. It's very similar to the work I did for this blog over the years so I feel very comfortable and although a little nervous still about all the newfound responsibility I have, I think I'll flourish very quickly. 

I'm honestly not sure what I would like to achieve specially in this new year. I just want to remain healthy and happy and safe, and I think that's the most important thing. Anything else will just be a wonderful bonus, ya know! 
What did you get up to on New Years this year? I had a wonderful NYE actually (had my first New Years kiss and it was every bit as perfect as the movies make it out to be!), and despite waking up a little woozy this morning from all the horrendous vanilla vodka we all consumed throughout the previous evening, I still made it to the gym this afternoon and cleaned my room so I feel rather accomplished. 2018 is off to a good start and I'm looking forward to what's around the corner for my 21st year on earth. I'll keep you posted!

 My NYE outfit that I (amazingly!) didn't trip over once in! What a miracle!