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 :)