- LENGTHY POST AHEAD -
There's something about summer that brings about ingrained nostalgia. It's something I can't quite put my finger on. It's a time I attach utmost sentimentality upon. It's surely not like any other season; it encourages an everlasting row of events and carefree behaviour. It also stirs the desire within to explore new things - which I've done plenty of, thus far. As such, I thought I'd kick off the holidays (well, mine) with an abundance of things I've been loving. Here we go, it'll be a long post!
LITTLE THINGS // Sunsets on the beach to mimic Submarine's beautiful ombre vibes. Picture via our impromptu dinner drive.
In my birthday month, I got gifted a few things I wholly appreciate. Henna is one of them. (You probably could have told by my Instagram photos.) Ever since I had henna done years ago I've been fascinated. Aarushi gave me a henna cone and I hadn't touched it till she slept over. She generously helped me with this design and I hope to be able to do it myself someday.
Speaking of which, sleepovers on cool summer nights are amazing. Winding down under the covers lets me rest easy.
Guess what? I'm also big fan rustic tones. I've enjoyed pairing them with accented metallics. On my wishlist was gold nail polish and thanks to Reneta, I was granted the completed look (above, on right). Sinful Colors, you've done it again.
Another universal favourite: tea. Amongst the jars of goods that Lauren kindly gave me, the Melbourne breakfast tea was best. It smells ethereal. Unlike usual boring sachets, the authenticity of freshly brewed tea leaves has made all the difference.
Polaroids have also been most aesthetically pleasing to me. Who doesn't love them? I don't personally own a Polaroid camera but all my friends do! I've had the luxury of being allowed to have some. For keepsakes, I've displayed them in my nifty wallet.
PRODUCTS // I've been praising the Fijian Water Lotus Shower Gel that came in a gifted The Body Shop set. It's a light and gorgeous-smelling shower scent, along with the rainforest oatmeal soap another friend graciously bought me. Both leave my skin feeling refreshed, as if I just hopped right out of the ocean and laid on the beach for a couple hours. It's a summer dream.
I've also miraculously found the best moisturiser for my combination face type - Lush's famous Dream Cream (Body Lotion). A skin product to live up to its name, I'll say. The soothing mixture of lavender, rose water, cocoa butter, chamomile and oatmilk equate to pure skin bliss. I mean, I've always seen moisturising as a chore but not with this. And, it just smells like heaven.
Out of the perfumes I received, my Mum's was my favourite. She took the sweet thought to give me a limited edition Marc Jacobs perfume set, as if she hasn't spoilt me already. Honey (Eau De Parfum) was my favourite scent out of the lot. I'm not sure if due to my long-lasting affiliation with honey itself, but I love it. It's not overpowering yet makes a sweet statement.
FILMS // Of course, I had to indulge in the classic genre of romance. Such a theme was evident throughout all the movies I watched: Endless Love, Let's Be Cops, Odd Thomas, What's Your Number? and What If. The last three mentioned were great beyond words - in terms of plotline, the surprising importance placed upon the theme of family and overall entertainment factor. I won't go into too much detail as I'm no movie critic, but I deemed these to be worthy of my hours. You may too.
However, another film that struck me was Men, Women & Children. It delves into and exposes the current society we live in, dominated by technology. It serves as a wake-up call to ask us: are we truly sucked into this vortex of miscommunication? Featuring contemporary issues like cyberbullying, eating disorders and online privacy cautions, it's definitely relatable material. The characters were a little lifeless - if that were the intended case, then I'd assume the intentions were to focus on the issues at hand. All in all, it wasn't bad and I was glad to have ticked it off my to-watch list.
MUSIC // As a matter of fact, I thoroughly loved the Men, Women & Children soundtrack. Bibio had collaborated with it to produce most of its soundtrack, which was spectacular. (Bibio has some impressive work that I already dig.) It was even on par with the movie soundtrack from That Awkward Moment - with charming songs like Crozet - Closed Shades, Night Drive - After Dark, Strange Talk - Morning Sun, Lavender Diamond - I Don't Recall and Crozet - We'll Be Gone By Then.
My top two albums at the moment are Max Relax and Submarine. I've revisited my everlasting love for Alex Turner's soulful voice and also found similar repose in Millions' recent album. Every single track off the Max Relax album is just about my favourite. They never fail to match my mood and provide overflowing relief. Whatever mood you're in, gladly have a listen!
On a side note, have you voted your songs for Triple J's Hottest 100? I know I have. It took me a painstaking hour to narrow down ten selections, to which I can deduct that 'Control' by Olympic Ayres has been my song for 2014. (As follows are Millions - Always, Sticky Fingers - Liquorlip Loaded Gun, The Drums - I Can't Pretend, GOVS - Australian Summer, Foster The People - The Truth, DMA's - Delete, The Creases - Static Lines, Bombay Bicycle Club - Luna and Yeo - Kobe.)
Alright, that's a wrap! Hope you'll come to find some enjoyment out of these favourites of mine, let me know if you do.
Instead of cramming my inner dialogue into one scattered post, I decided to take a cue from my dear friend, Meg, and compile it into Three Thoughts. I love this simple concept of hers that articulates train of thought exactly. (Click here for latest Three Thoughts post.) A favourites post is in the works but before I finish that off, it's best to get this off my chest!
I've less than a week before I take my leave. I'll miss home. I'll miss friends, social opportunities and summer endeavours. I'll miss stargazing in the comfort of my own time, digging my feet into familar sand and moonlit walks. I suppose I don't want to be forgotten. It's always been a trouble, this endless nerve inside of me, that worries me sick. Yet I realise I am very lucky - to be travelling, seeing old friends, going to music gigs, meeting new people, eating lots and lazing my summer away. It's odd when your life splits into two, and at times you just want to be involved in the parallel possibilities when you are, quite simply, here and in the now. I always aim to plan ahead and it can be a pain, especially when things don't quite go as envisioned. I am excited though, but I know these 6 weeks may be too long to endure.
2 // Whilst following the Sydney Siege play out over the span of Monday night, I couldn't help but feel angered. Angered at how people can be driven to such cruel, inhumane acts. Angered at the lives and potential now lost in the universe. It doesn't stop for anybody. Bad things happen to good people, do they not? I never really watch the news but that night I kept glued to my TV. (Pardon me, all this is unfiltered food for thought.)
What I also felt was a sense of security, after arising fear of course. I realised that our special security forces are insanely dedicated. I realised that I'm lucky to be living in a place called home, where our society is stable and based on democratic peace. I'm no expert but I know I am better off compared to other countries. We can often take for granted how privileged we are. I don't want to wait around for an unappreciateive day where it might be all too late.
Rest in peace, those two innocent hostages. They were young and had their lives ahead of them, it's too much of a tragedy.
3 // This festive season has fixated the notion of consumption in my mind. Now, it's a word with several interpretations. Apart from the obvious of downing food, it's presently a gift-giving time and it just really got me thinking. I love thinking up the perfect gifts for people, but of course that comes with one slight problem: money. I know people who throw around their money and fail to value it. Now it's not a bad thing, by all means go ahead and spoil someone rotten. But whatever happened to the thought that counts? There are gift sets and nice store-bought adorned cards, and sadly, a empty message inside.
Consumption isn't entirely bad though, because it can fall into another entirely great category. Experiences. I'm a huge believer of investing money in tangible moments rather than materialistic means. Travelling is a profound example. I can be contradictory when I say this, as I am, after all, a another teenage consumer. In a first world society, there can be some positive connotations surrounding consumption. Consuming media like music and film further enriches us. This influence can have more than just a temporary impact on our lives. There was an assignment about fashion from previous decades and I've come to realise that everything is borrowed. Everything has an influence on everything. That's some mind-blogging statement but quite logical when you sit down and think about it. Kind of like how energy is never used up, merely transformed. We are all souls who spread our influence and this inspiration cycle never ceases.
P.S. The kind Bella over at Sincerely, Isabella gave me the chance to submit a creative piece for her Art Collective series. If you're into incredulous rhymes, existentialism and interstellar wonders, you might be a fan. Check it out if you'd like!
Oh my, another weekend post? I know. Third strike and I'll be counting myself out. I've just been relishing in moments like these, before I head off for my calling this summer.
I basically spent the weekend with the best friend. You'd be well aware of Aarushi's appearance(s) on my blog, and that's because she's been there every step of the way. I couldn't think of anyone more attuned to myself as a person. She slept over on Friday; we made dinner, watched Odd Thomas and season two reruns of My Mad Fat Diary, and did each other's nails and henna - well, she helped me for most part. We fell soundly asleep and I thank the fact that it's comfortable we are together.
We found a way to our close friend's birthday gathering on Saturday. It was incredibly windy to say the least, but the mood picked up and soon we flowed with the speed of things. A comfortable pace, it indeed was. There were sporting activities I didn't partake in, but hey, I'm a professional longboard balancer and jetty sitter. Plenty of pizza, bare feet and riverside antics had me more than content. I'd say spontaneity struck again, which I've no objections to.
The following day was dedicated to filming for a school assignment. It was a good day yet again - with sugar, spice and everything nice. In the past 72 hours, I've realised how much more time I ought to spend with her. I should do so with more old friends, but part of me longs to meet more new people. It's odd, how we subconsciously chase after greater things in life when gold is right in front of us. I'd have to give credit to my wishful side sometimes, though. Without it I'd never be where I am now.
Second guessing. Eyebags and tears of laughter. An impossible list of music suggestions to get through. Friends to catch up with, both old and new. More people to get to know. Such little time. Do I stay on the plank, or jump and swim into the deep?
Saturday // Aarushi and I took Chantal out for her birthday. We had planned this day for a while now! The plan basically involved lunch and bargain hunting. I found a lovely attic-style café, with a simplistic dining lounge upstairs. Timber, hanging suitcases/lights and brick walls added to the cosy, warm decor. We very much enjoyed our toasted wraps to share, and afterwards headed to our main destination. Did someone say, clearance sale? One of our favourite boutiques had announced a clearance sale a few weeks back, and we knew it would be a perfect purpose for the day. We were amongst the first in a sea of teenage girls, hence we snagged up some great bargains. We ended up leaving earlier than expected, and went ahead with wandering about. Chantal's family invited me to dinner later, and we all had a hearty Korean meal. (How sweet are they!)
Sunday // A dozen girls and I celebrated Alyssa's birthday over lunch. (As you can tell, December has been jam-packed with birthdays.) We got a tad dressed up, which I find nice every now and then. We were taken to a gorgeous, quaint restaurant with exceptional food. I could rave on and on about their sweet potato crisps, aioli and herb chips and seafood pasta. Not to mention, they make some mean mint lime bitters. Alyssa's parents were so kind to have treated us to such a gourmet lunch! I couldn't believe how great the food was. We undoubtedly took heaps of photos but these are just a couple!
Yet another festive weekend, don't you think? I've just been shrouded by sweet company and I'd love to share that aspect of my life. I apologise for the lack of posts; life has been an eventful whirlwind lately, yet also calm and collected. I've been inarticulate with writing, and my blog drafts have piled up. So allow me to express myself through word vomit.
I'm just incredulous towards the fact of there only being a few weeks left of 2014! Honestly, I have no idea where the time went. We say it every year but alike everyone, I'm genuinely surprised. As such, I've been squeezing in time for friends and other priorities. I'll be overseas again for summer - surprise, surprise - due to reasons I may disclose later. I'm both reluctant and looking forward to my travel plans. (There we go, Rachel the living contradiction. Speaking of which: I seem to sleep well despite having grotesque dreams - lately it's been associated to houses, intruders, darkness and violence. Otherwise, I suppose I've been doing great.)
There's only a week of school left, and next year we'll be transitioning into upper school. I'd be sad to see 2014 go as it's been such a lovely year. Definitely the most eventful year, by far. I've learnt, seen and experienced so much. I've met and gotten to know just about a million lovely souls. My classes are fantastic, and the people in it, even more so. My English teacher, drama teacher and year coordinator - all my absolute favourites - are leaving and won't be here next year. It feels as if it's a greater allusion to potentially bad change. I know 2015 will inevitably encourage change, and I just wish it will not take away the joys I possess now.