Monday, 29 December 2014

2014 is nearly over!!!

Yes, I am still here.

More posts are coming soon I promise. I actually have so many ideas for posts, which is kind of the opposite of how things normally go when I haven't posted for a while.

I just haven't had the energy or the guts to post them I guess.

Because my favourite type of posts to write are the ones that provoke discussion. Like my last post.
Seriously guys, the comments on that were so interesting, and I read and really thought about every single one of them, and to be honest I agreed with all of them, and if I wrote that post again I would probably now write it differently after reading all of your thoughts on the subject too. The reason I didn't reply to the comments is because I felt I had nothing more to add, they were so well written and thought out.

You guys are awesome. :)

I plan to post again before the new year, but I hope you guys had a wonderful Christmas. It was about 26 degrees here, and we went swimming after Christmas dinner, and just generally had a lovely time with family friends.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Small blogs vs. big blogs

Hello again friends,

This is going to be a long one, so settle yourself down, put your feet up, and get comfy. :)
The first pair of converse, as mentioned in this post :)

I think the thing about the Internet is that it is unimaginable. In the same way that the Big Bang is unimaginable, or the vast distances in space are. We just can't wrap our heads around it. And that leads to the dehumanisation, or misunderstanding of it I think. The Internet is just so massive, and there are so many people who have access to it, that all of a sudden, it gets to a point where none of those people can be thought about on a human level, and they become numbers and statistics.

So we create little communities, within our friend group on Facebook, amongst fellow bloggers, and with the like-minded people we follow on Pinterest. And now we are amongst people again, and we know who they are, or we at least recognise their name. We can imagine them.

I have around a hundred followers, over all the platforms that people can follow this blog on. And I feel like I know most of you. I recognise your name, I probably went and checked out your blog if you have one, and if you've commented I have read and almost always replied to your comment. You are a person to me.

But I don't really want this blog to be bigger (well, not vastly bigger). Because I am wary of not having that human connection with my followers. Bloggers aren't so bad for this really, I think it's harder for vloggers. Some bloggers who are bigger still have an amazing connection with their audience. Take Rosie from Cider with Rosie, she has thousands of followers, yet she replied to this comment of mine (yes I screenshotted it, it was an exciting moment)
and she took the time to email me back when I had a question I wanted to ask her. And Joanna from a Cup of Jo structures her posts in such a way that she interacts with the commenters, and often posts about reading what they said at a later point, and she has I don't even know how many followers.

The thing is, I love having a small blog. And I love reading small blogs. There is a style of writing on small blogs that there just isn't in bigger blogs, because their posts are made to go viral, and be shared. Not that there is anything wrong with that, at all. I am a huge fan of those sorts of posts at the right time, but they are completely different to the blogs that the people that I know write. Big blogs (with a few exceptions) seem to all have post titles like 5 signs that you're on the right path, and, how to be more productive, and, the perfect fall cheese platter. They are interesting, and informative, but to me they seem ultimately pointless. On the Internet it is easy to get stuck in a spiral, reading content to get you motivated by speaking about motivation, or about how to know whether you are on the right path by reading about it rather than experiencing it. There is just something empty about those posts. I don't go away and think about them later. They don't make me question things.

I think smaller blogs (well, the ones that I read) are almost a completely different style of bloggers. We share thoughts and ideas, but in a completely different way. We share experiences, and decisions, and celebrations and woes. I think the important word here is share. Because big bloggers, while they are sharing their knowledge, it doesn't feel the same. And at the moment I just can't quite put my finger on why.

ps. I'm sorry I haven't been a very active blogger lately, at the moment I just need the writing side of blogging more than the community side of it, but I will be back with the comments soon. :)

Sunday, 30 November 2014

DIY Advent Calendar - Part 2

Hello again :)

In the first part of this advent calendar tutorial, I showed you how to make an advent calendar, so this part is going to be about what to put in your advent calendar.

This is primarily based off an advent calendar I made two years ago for a friend of mine, Laura (I know she'll read this and get excited about seeing her name, so here you are Laura), which is what is in the picture. It was really fun to make, and I think it makes a really special Christmas present if you have the time.

Things to put in an Advent Calendar:

Things you can buy;

  • Lollies and chocolates (just getting the obvious one out of the way first)
  • Pencils
  • Tealight candles (or bigger ones depending on the size of your calendar)
  • Scrunchies/hairties
  • Christmas decorations

Things you can make;

  • Pompoms
  • Cookies (stain-glass ones are fun for Christmas)
  • Origami pixie books ;)
  • Pressed flowers
  • A fortune teller ;)
  • Handmade Christmas decorations
  • Print out sheet music to a song they like and doodle on it and make it awesome! :)
  • Print out a recipe to food they really like, or copy a recipe of yours that they love to eat when they come around

Things you can write;

  • A coded message with the decoder
  • Inspirational quotes (making them relevant to the person is a good idea) :)
  • Translate a message into another language that they know a little or a lot of
  • Write down 10 things you love about them (this would be awesome just to do the whole calendar like this actually)
  • A letter/stream of consciousness

There you go then. I know it's quite close to the 1st, but I figure that you can bookmark this for coming years, and also, nearly the whole rest of the world is behind my time-zone, so it isn't quite as close to the 1st for you as it is for me. :)

I hope you had a good November!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

DIY Advent Calendar - Part 1

Hello again!

Advent calendars are arguably my favourite part of Christmas. I love opening the little windows each day, and the surprise of what waits inside. But I would have to say that I'm not a huge fan of the store-bought ones with the cheap chocolate.

 photo DIYAdventCalendar_zps52d5512e.jpg
This year I spied a similar one to this at a christmas market, but it was overpriced, and I thought that I could easily make one. So I decided to make one for my younger brother, and I thought I would share it with you guys, because it is surprisingly easy. He gets back from school camp the day before the 1st, so I'm going to have it all hanging up when he gets back, which will be a fun surprise. :)

Anyway, here goes!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Into The Great Unknown

Yesterday was my last day of school. Ever.

And that is scary and exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. I truly am venturing into the great unknown.

This year has been one of the best years yet. I have grown so much, and learnt so much.
I have come to terms with the idea of having many good friends, rather than a few best friends. I have done things I would never have dreamt of when I began school, like perform in a musical and travel to a big city & meet people from the Internet! I have learnt to relax, and be calmer. To work hard when it really matters in school, but to prioritise other parts of my life when it didn't matter quite so much. I was a part of a choir that rehearsed for 14 hours a week (at one point) in preparation for our time at the prestigious National Big Sing competition earlier this year. I have had my first boyfriend, my first kiss, my first break-up, and (unrelated) my first pair of converse. I have loved having free periods, and the freedom that year 13 brings, being at the top of the school. I have posted on this blog (semi) regularly, managing to always post at least four posts a month. I have read 56 books and counting. I have laughed, and cried, but mostly laughed, and made some of the best new friends.

And so next year I am doing something that excites me so, so much. Something that Meg, Jes and Sam encouraged me to do when we met. Something that feels like the opposite to the doctor I always thought I would become, because that is what both my parents do. Something that, because of my upbringing and parents, I never considered to be a possibility until these last few years. Something that, annoyingly, I won't need the Calculus, Physics and Chemistry I took this year in anticipation of a science degree.

Next year I am going to Wellington to study a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English Literature and German. (I'm excited just typing it!!!)
The Wellington waterfront (on a very good day, I'll admit)

When I was choosing my subjects, and what to do next year, I sometimes got confused between whether I should do what I love or what I'm good at. Because people told me to do both, often implying that they are the same thing.
But they weren't the same thing for me. For example, this year my favourite subject was English, but I was better at History.

Here's the thing though. Ok, so maybe my natural talent for History is slightly better than it is for English. But in the long run, what you do well in isn't just about talent. It's about passion and talent. A combination of the two. If you don't love something, you won't be motivated to do it, and you won't do as well. You need a driving passion to motivate yourself to continue at something for long enough to master it.
So, my advice, if I were to answer my own last question of the interview. Do what you love, because if you aren't already good at it, you soon will be. :)

Megan Beth KernaghanSamantha HeatherAnneLeahSineadJesAmyAbigailJessiJessLissaKristinaRajrupaClick here

All these wonderful women you see here helped me realise my dreams for next year, and so go ahead and click on their faces to see what they had to say about their adventure into the great unknown.

To be honest, at the moment I am feeling rather strange.
Finishing school is something that is sinking in over time for me, and it doesn't feel entirely finished yet, because I still have my end of year exams before I am completely free.

But this morning I woke up and realised I didn't have to go to school, and then I realised that I would never have to again.
And it just felt unreal.

Everything that I have known has just ended. But I feel as if my life is only just about to begin. :)

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Update and a promise

Hello again

You know when there is so much that you want to do, so you just end up doing none of it? That's me at the moment.

My amazing friend just also had a wee while off blogging, but then she produced one of the most vulnerable, heartwarming and courageous posts I have read, so I feel she was justified.

I, on the other hand, have been dealing with things internally that aren't really visible or quantifiable, but I have been busy.

Recently I have started writing everyday, and it is actually easier than it seems, you just have to sit down and do it. I have an A4 sized book, and I just write one page a day, sometimes it is a poem, sometimes it is a story, sometimes it follows on from another day, but it is such a good way of expressing everything bubbling around in my brain.

I am promising to you that my final great unknown post will be coming soon, so you can look forward to that. I know what I'm doing next year now, because I'm in my final year of high-school at the moment, and I can't wait to tell you all!!!

So, until then, eat cake and be merry!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Welcome to week 40

I hope that your last week was a good one.

Mine was. Tiring, but good.

Next to Normal is finished now, and I'm sad. But it certainly felt like we achieved what we set out to do, which was raise more awareness for mental health in our local community.

I'm going to miss spending everyday with some of the greatest people I know, though.

These are a few things that I have been looking at while I have been avoiding sorting out my life, but more on that soon. ;)

An article entitled Dear New Photographer, that while encouraging to a budding photographer, is also encouraging to any budding artist.

An awesome site that finds your photos on the web and helps you to check that no one is stealing your images!

I want to make these so badly... it will probably happen very soon. :)

I have also discovered the joys of Instagram!! I would love to follow more people, so please let me know who you are on Instagram. :)

This website that explains the movie Inception by way of amazing graphics!

And after so, so much searching, I have finally found the New Zealand blogging community! :)

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

How it all started: Musical Theatre

This is It's Leli's "how it all started" game, which I think is wonderful, and I have finally had the time to get around to and do.

 photo flowerline_zpsad90f4f0.jpg
Credit to my (very skilled photographer) friend Philip :)

It all started not that long ago, when I was 14. My friends and I volunteered to help with our school production of Fame by way of doing the lighting (with a teacher to help us of course). We sat up the back of the hall, an exclusive little club, yet all feeling a little excluded when we heard the cast warming up, and wondering at all of their in-jokes on our coveted trips backstage. The was the first time I had been a part of a musical, and I wanted to be on stage. Not that I would admit that to myself, when the opportunity came up to do the Sound of Music, I nearly didn't do it out of modesty and saying, oh, I don't really mind if I do it or not. The Sound of Music was the first time I was actually in a musical, and I loved it. I was only in the chorus, but there was the buzz of going onstage, and making new friends with the other cast members, and my fun little role of being the lady at the concert who continues to bow long after the clapping has ceased.

The next year was in a musical called Cats, which was a great musical, but I didn't enjoy it that much, because the cast of this one was very exclusively divided into principals and chorus, and most of the chorus were younger than me, but anyway, I sort of just skip over that one. But that musical took me to Tami, who is one of the most wonderful people I know, and started up her own performing arts school, which makes Mondays the highlight of my week. And this meant that I got to do Next to Normal this year, which has probably been the highlight of my year. I now know way more than the average person about musical theatre, but nowhere near as much as many of my friends.

So all of these things built up over time, and now I am a lover of musical theatre. Funny how things, just little things, if they happen at the right time in your life, can mean that you grow to love something.

 photo flowerline_zpsad90f4f0.jpgHere the original post to see how it all works, and these are the people I want to tag;
I hope you guys have a wonderful week, I have been having quite a busy one, so posts will return to normal next week. :)

ps. I now have an Instagram!!!!! So exciting!!!!! :)

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

The Great Unknown - Rajrupa

What subjects did you take in your last year of school? What were your favourite subjects?
I had taken up all science subjects because I was aiming to study computers later. So I had Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Computers.

What did you do in your first year after leaving school?
Well, within three months of leaving high school, college started! The next 4 years were gone studying Computer Engineering. During the third year we had a campus recruitment drive. Got a job then. Within two months of finishing college my company wanted me to join the job! So I did. My life is one long line with no break at all.

Did you do any tertiary education? If so, what was it?
Well, computers.

If you have had more than one job since you left school, what were they?
The one job I have is enough to drive me insane. I work 50-60 hours a week at least . So no, there’s no scope or will for another.

What job are you doing at the moment and what does it entail? Do you enjoy it?
The same job since I left college. Designing and writing computer programs! It’s gruelling, but yes I love it.

What job do you want to be doing at the moment?
I want to be living in an island of coconut grove in a small wooden cabin. I would sip coconut water while writing the next book of my hugely successful book series. That’s my ultimate dream job.

Do you have any regrets? Or any advice?
The only regret I sometime have (not always though) is - if only I had taken a break before college and travelled more. I love knowing people and seeing new places and it would have been a perfect opportunity!

Thanks Rajrupa! This was a very short and sweet interview, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's amazing how every blogger has such a different story. :)

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Thursday's thoughts

Hello everyone,
So, I don't have a Great Unknown interview for this week, because life happened, as I'm sure you all have experienced. But anyway, here are some of my thoughts from today. :)

I have been thinking lately about how much we are influenced by the things we see around us. And how this happens, whether we realise it or not. And how even if we realise that it is happening, it is hard to change how we feel about it.

For example, since watching YouTube videos, I have found that I am now far more interested in make-up, because I see people talking about it, getting excited about it, and explaining it. They have 'romanticised' the idea of make-up for me. Interestingly, I haven't started wearing make-up on a regular basis, but I think this is because the practicality and reality of make-up is not really something that I can be bothered with everyday.

And then there is the fact that I find myself looking forward to hot chocolates and cold winters nights, and autumn leaves, despite the fact that New Zealand is going into spring, and everyone here can't wait for spring and summer. And I can't wait for summer either, it is just that sometimes I will be reading a 'sweater weather' blog post and thinking, ooh, that sounds absolutely lovely, I wish it was autumn.

Also, just all of the little things that you get to do when you are an adult. Like go away for a weekend with friends and not family, or have a house of your own to decorate, or be independent. And to be honest, I mostly don't want to leave home yet, I'm quite happy being still at home (alas, not for much longer!) but because most of the blogs that I read are written by bloggers who are older than me, I see all of this, just casually woven into their lives, and it seems so nice.

I think that is probably the thing. That all of these things seem so normal to the people who have them, they're just an ordinary part of their daily lives. And so, we must think subconsciously that ergo they should be a part of our daily lives too.

ps. I just went through and replied to all the comments on the last three posts if you were wondering if I was ever going to get around to doing that. :)

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Blogger Love tag

Hey guys!
So, Sinead recently tagged me in this tag, and I think that this sort of tag is the best, because it can be hard to find other blogs out there, and I always love reading other people's recommendations. So here goes!

What was the first blog you ever came across?
Well, that would be A Cup of Jo, looking over my mum's shoulder. I still really enjoy reading her blog, it's a good'un. :)

Favourite beauty blog reads?
I'm not much of a beauty person, but I do enjoy Libby's blog, as well as Mint Candy Lilies, which aren't strictly beauty, but have some pretty good recommendations, as well as lovely personalities. Mostly I watch big vloggers like Zoella, Sprinkleofglitter, Tanya Burr and FleurDeForce for beauty related stuff.

Best blogging friend? 
I consider myself quite lucky, in that I have made quite a few friends in the blogging world. I have even been lucky enough to meet three of them, Meg, Sam and Jes, who I'm sure you've heard plenty about already. And then there is the lovely Anne, who I'm sure you have also heard about, as well as  quite a few others, but this does say best blogging friend, and those four are probably mine. :)

5 blogs that everyone should be reading?
1. The Wild and Wily ways of a Brunette "Bombshell"
2. All of the blogs of my blogging friends above, not just because they're my friends, but because they have the best blogs.
3. Cider with Rosie
4. Sleepwalking in NY
5. Dreaming Again

Your favourite way to read blogs?
On my laptop in the evening with a hot chocolate, often listening to music.

Bloggers that inspire me?
Without fail number one on my list of 5 blogs, she inspires me to write, and to think, and to be creative. It's Leli also is a wonderful blog to get you thinking. I love blogs that make you think, and help you to form new opinions. They say you should change your mind about something significant everyday, but I don't think I quite manage that! :)

Favourite blog design/look?
Gosh, um, there are so many good ones! I love Sam's, and Fleur's, and this isn't a blog design, but I love the feel of The S Diaries, the posts always transport me to wherever Shawnee is.

What is your favourite thing about blogging?
That it encourages me to write, and that it is something that is just mine. Everything about it I have done by myself, and so all of the achievements from it are solely my own, which is a pretty amazing thing. :)

Name a blogger that you would most like to see write a book in the future?
Just because I would love to have something tangible written by her, Meg from The Wild and Wily ways of a Brunette "Bombshell", but also, I think I would thoroughly enjoy a good fiction novel by Lissa from Sleepwalking in NY. :)

I am going to be a bit of a cop-out, and say, I tag anyone who wants to do it! Because I'm tired, and it's a Sunday afternoon.

Also, if you aren't a New Zealander, you may not know, but yesterday was election day, and we re-elected John Key as Prime Minister. I missed out on voting this time round by not that much though, so I was a bit annoyed that I didn't get to vote! Just a bit of current events for ya there. :)

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The Great Unknown - Kristina

What subjects did you take in your last year of (high)school? What were your favourite subjects?
My last year of highschool... oh goodness, that was so long ago (nearly ten years, since I graduated early). I was home-schooled, but I also took classes outside of home, and I remember my English/writing classes with much fondness. I think in my last year of school we went through Hamlet, and read it out loud, and I was Ophelia. It was so much fun!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Morning tea, macarons and mischief

Last weekend I met up with my dear friend, Laura, who I haven't been able to see much of recently, and sat in the sweetest little cafe and chatted.
How beautiful is she? :)

We recently got a new camera lens, and so I was so excited to try it out! It's a 35mm lens, and I think I'm in love. It is so very wonderful, if any of you are wondering whether you should get one, GET ONE!!! Downside is you might not stop taking photos, ever, ... but they'll all be beautiful, so who cares?!

We had a macaron and a hot chocolate each, and talked about all sorts of things. It was so lovely.
The cafe is in a little art gallery (don't art galleries always seem to have nice cafes?!) and so we had a little nosey afterwards as well. :)

As I was taking photos I could feel the funny looks, but in the name of all bloggers I continued. It's good to get my small town used to people having cameras, and using them. :)

Laura had a great time taking pictures too, the one in which you could see my shoulder is one she took. She actually took lots, but I was in most of them, and unfortunately I'm just not that confident about my face. I'm working on it, but for the moment I'm just not comfortable with putting up pictures where I was having a bad skin day, even though I believe that everyone of my friends is beautiful no matter what their skin looks like.

And there we have the double standards that I'm pretty sure most people put on themselves.
I hope you've all had a lovely week, I'm in the middle of mock exams right now, yay!

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