Monday, December 20, 2010

This Christmas...

I'm getting ready for: the arrival of my aunt and uncle from England(if they even manage to come with all the snow they're getting over there, delaying most of the flights out of London) who are vegos so we've had to do a little extra preparation for them and we're having a vegetarian Christmas for them which is exciting as we're going to try all these new recipes out of the various vegetarian cookbooks we've accumulated over the years. A Sweet Potato and Leek Roulade with a Christmas Stuffing looks like it's going to be the main attraction on our Christmas table this year.

I'm baking: music note shaped vanilla cookies as per the recipe from the new Junior Masterchef cook book(recipes are so much easier and much more to my liking than anything that would be in the 'adult' Masterchef cookbook) using vanilla extract and not vanilla essence. I ended up making 6 batches of them for all of mother's 30 piano students.

I'm listening to: Glee's new Christmas album. We haven't bought a new Christmas album in a couple of years and have stuck to the collection of carol CDs we already have but I was itching for a new one and I knew the Glee album would not disappoint. All the songs on it new so joyous and truly embody the spirit of Christmas, even with all the new carols on it that I've never heard before and the gospel twist on "Angels We Have Heard On High" was magical.

I'm decorating: my dad's Christmas tree. He's a bit of a scrooge so he only bought his own Christmas tree a couple years ago after I asked him to get one. so him, my brother and I were putting up the ball-balls,tinsel and lights over the weekend and we bought a nice gold, sparkly star to go on top as we couldn't find one in the shops when we looked for one in 2008(we didn't end up putting the tree up in 2009). It's been really nice to celebrate Christmas not only at my mum's house but at my dad's too.

I'm buying: the majority of my gifts online for the family(and even for myself as my mum hasn't quite figured out how to use paypal and online shopping sites)as I can buy more unique and tailor-made gifts for the recipients to enjoy. And as always there are huge discounts usually when buying online.

I'm attending: a Christmas carol concert. My dad, brother and I went to one this weekend at the local park which was much easier than attending one in the city as the parking/walking distance was less of a hassle and as we couldn't stay for long we had no trouble leaving easily. It was really nice to just spend the evening with other families who were getting into the Christmas spirit. They had candles you could buy for $2 but straight away my brother blew it out as well as attempting to blow out the 'big' candle that the organisers were attempting to light all the other smaller ones with to give to people. Luckily we managed to keep the second one alight, even though I did have to put my hand over my brother's mouth every now and then.

I'm loving: the fact that the whole month of December is special if you put in the effort and relish the jolly spirit of the season; not just the 25th.

I'm photographing: Our lovely advent wooden 're-useable' advent calendar. I've never been a fan of the chocolate ones and this one is so much more exciting even though we've had it for years and I probably know all the trinkets off by heart. If you count you'll find there are 20 toys as today is of course the 20th of December(for the next hour and five minutes anyway...)

Have a lovely Christmas all!

P.S. Feel free to use this as a blog tag if you're in a 'jolly spirit'.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Persistence, Luck and Success.

Being the brave 17 year old that I am I got my mum to ring up about this scholarship business and the lady who is supposedly in charge of the scholarships was extremely vague about the whole thing and didn't even give my mum the scholarship due date. After a long pause she managed to say they were due in August but still no date and she told us she would get back to us about it after she had a look into it. More than a week later we had no phone call back so my mum tried to get in touch another two times with her- we left messages with other people in the EF office and were told she would call back and that she was on the phone. I think this lady is actually a tad scared of my mother, who gave her a right telling off over the phone about the information that had been sent out to us about the US Visa application(it was all out of date, mixed up and just very hodge-podge, not acceptable for such an important matter). Then yesterday I saw I had an email reply from this lady about the scholarships; I'm guessing her nerves got the better of her and she decided she couldn't deal with another confrontation. Reading this new email she sent you wouldn't think that a couple weeks earlier she'd just told me I was too late for the scholarship. I'd say something fishy was going on there... But I'm not complaining because I got it! I won the scholarship! Well as my mum reminded me, I earnt it. As I'm sure you know from this post I really struggled with writing the darn thing and it took me a weekend or so to complete it so at least it wasn't for nothing. Unfortunately I didn't get the $2000(but I expected that, especially with all the dodgy-ness surrounding the issue...) but instead $500 has been wiped off my invoice so I am quite pleased with myself and....ridiculously happy!

You know, earlier in the year I really wanted some extra money to come my way for the exchange and I've always been one to try to get a hold of any 'luck' I can so I pulled out my 'trouble dolls' from my dresser. They were a present from my Aunt and Uncle when I was younger from one of their numerous vacations. Here's the little blurb that came on the piece of paper tucked inside the little box:

In the land of Guatemala the Indians tell this old story. They teach that when you have troubles, share them with your dolls. Remove one doll for each problem. Before you go to sleep, tell the doll your trouble. While you are sleeping the dolls will try to solve your troubles. Since there are only six dolls, you are allowed only six troubles a day.

I asked one of the dolls to help me get some extra money to pay for my exchange and popped the jelly-bean sized doll on the corner of my bed-side table. I knew this would be no small feat and that I may have to wait a while but several months later my trouble has now started to wither away and I owe part of it to that tiny little doll. My trouble dolls have never failed me, every trouble I have EVER told to them has been diminished in some way or another and usually obliterated completely. I have always felt much more relaxed going into an exam when I've told my trouble dolls, the night before, about my worries of forgetting all I have attempted to memorise.  I think it is much more reasonable to ask a jelly-bean sized doll to help with a trouble you have rather than expecting them to grant you a wish, a much more difficult task I would assume, although I'm no expert in the field of magic, luck and pixie dust.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Scholarship Fiasco.

I got some really gut-wrenching news the other day in an email "Unfortunately your scholarship application is too late. I am sorry that you have missed out". Thinking about it, I think in the next couple of hours I progressed through the seven stages of grief, for my loss of a scholarship...

Stage 1: Shock and denial
I re-read the email several times and just sat looking at the computer screen in complete disbelief- this was my worst nightmare.

Stage 2: Pain and Guilt
Then the tears started flowing and I ran to my favourite crying spot- my mother's ensuite bathroom. Gosh, I was such a mess! At the same time I was also thinking to myself "Why didn't I just do it earlier in the year?!"

Stage 3: Anger
Then the rage flowed through me and went a little like this... 'Stupid EF! They stuffed up once again! It's all their fault! They told me I had until November! RAWRRRRRRRRR!'. Something like that anyway...

Stage 4: Depression
Then I started to feel awful and was in a complete slump and felt like my life was taking a turn for the worse. I'd just had my high school graduation the day before and was already feeling sad that a big part of my high school journey was over and that university is getting closer. This news just made me feel even worse as the exchange was something to distract me from my troubles and instead it just added to them. Plus I felt all my effort was wasted and the quote "if you work hard you will succeed" was a load of balony.

Stage 5: The Upward Turn
The crying stopped.

Stage 6: Reconstruction and Working Through
I knew I had to do something about this whole scholarship thing and since the lady who sent me the email was one of the head staff in charge of EF in Australia I knew I had to go higher so I started searching for other places of contact internationally. I told my mum about it all and she's contacting the head office in Australia about it, although they've yet to return our calls(last time we had a problem with EF we had to phone twice to speak to someone about our issue and it looks like we're going to have to do that again). If we don't get a good response from them we're contacting the US office or even the Swedish office as that is the country the whole program stems from. I am thinking of posting my application to one of those offices to see if they think my application is still worthy.

[I should probably add here that I emailed the Sydney head office earlier in the year about the scholarships as I'd received no further information on the topic since being accepted in the program. One of the staff members said as long as I sent it in before the end of November that it would be fine. I even emailed a couple of weeks ago before I started writing the scholarship to check it was still by the end of November but had no reply. I've still yet to find out when this mystery deadline actually was.]

Stage 7: Acceptance and Hope
I'm starting to feel okay about it all now as I know that all that I can do is contact some of the other EF headquarters that are 'higher up the ranks' than the Australian one and if nothing else make sure that the Australian staff get 'told off' so that this never happens again. 

I am still very hopeful that my application will be considered and that I may be lucky enough to get some funding. They are only partial scholarships of up to $2000 but when I need to buy a new laptop, video camera and winter clothing any extra money is going to be of use.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


After taking advice from a couple of bloggers out there I managed to finish my scholarship essay! It's probably going to be way too long but I am just glad I have it done! Selina suggested I just write and worry about throwing in interesting/funny stuff later as I can always edit and hopefully without noticing it the essay will blossom of its own accord. This is probably why it's 11:54pm and I've only just completed it, I just started writing and didn't want to stop till I had it all finished . Plus now I can still edit it- as the majority of what I wanted to say is there and now I just have to fill in the cracks!

Linde suggested in my previous post that I do a mind map which was brilliant suggestion as I have used a lot of mind maps in my studying this year but had never thought to use one for this! I was feeling a tad on the lazy side so I googeld 'mind map maker' and ended up with the mind map below which made it 10 times easier to write the essay as I had the framework to construct my essay from. Even though it does look a little messy with all those boxes everywhere(which made my essay uber long) it just made everything 'click'.

(Click on the picture to see a bigger image)

I'd better get some shut eye so I can edit in the morning and send it off before I'm too late. Have a wonderful night/day everyone.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Why I don't want to be a journalist

One of the reasons I gave my parents for letting me go on exchange was that EF(the exchange organization) offered a partial scholarship of $3000. I really need that money, it would cover spending money for the year, pay for a new laptop or enable me to go on one of the discovery tours on offer from EF throughout my exchange year. I figure my chances of receiving it aren't too bad as I know there aren't that many students going on the program in 2011 from Australia(there was only 7 people from Perth at the orientation meeting I had to attend the other week!). EF only offers the scholarship to full year students so that cuts out a bunch of people as many people wouldn't want to go for the whole year and EF offers short programs for 2-3 months which I assume would be quite popular. Besides the advertising information we've received to convince us to apply for the program I've had no other information sent to me regarding the scholarships, I had to email asking for more details about it so hopefully that means other people have forgotten about it. My writing skills aren't too bad either but I'm really struggling trying to write the scholarship. You basically have to write an essay and incorporate the following questions into it:

. How have your experiences with people from other countries affected you personally?
. What activities have you been involved with during the past two years that you feel will enhance your experience as an exchange student?
. What benefits do you hope to gain from the experience of living in another culture?
. How will the benefits help you with your future goals?
. What qualities do you possess to be a "Junior Ambassador" for your country?
. How will these qualities help you in a foreign country?

I've barely finished the first question which I'm still struggling with. I actually have fairly decent stuff to talk about and I do believe I'm worthy of the scholarship it's just that I want to write it in an interesting way that'll make me stand out from other applications so I'm trying to incorporate humor into it but it's hard when there's a lot of pressure to do a good job on it, it's just feeling very forced at the moment. This proves why I wouldn't want to be a journalist, whilst I like the idea of it all I don't think I'm cut out for the pressure behind it- having to write an article within a certain time frame and doing it on a subject that may be chosen by someone else. What I like about blogging is that I can talk about what comes to mind easily, it flows much better when it's not forced and when there's no looming thought at the back of my mind that if I don't do a good job I'll be letting down a whole company, my boss and may be kicked out of a job.

Did I mention I have till the end of November to get this essay in by? This is going to be a long, laborious process but if I can finish it I think I'm in with a good chance.

I'm off to for my interview at the US consulate in the city to get my visa sorted out, so I'll let you know how that goes tomorrow. Have a lovely rest of your weekend!
During last year's summer holiday I compiled a list of things I wanted to complete over the period from December 09' to January 10' and I did have a few of the things crossed off the list but I've since revamped it a touch and I have put together a list of things I want to do before I leave for my exchange to America. Luckily I've finished earlier this year due to year 12 exams; my last exam was on the 15th of November whereas the lower grades(except the 11th graders who also have exams) at my school will continue their schooling until mid December. As I have no school looming in Australia for 2011 I have no excuse not to get cracking on the following before my departure on the 4th of January:

-sew a piece of clothing

-crochet/knit something

-dye my hair with sage leaves

-write a song

-re-learn the piano

-read the 2nd harry potter book

-complete travel journal from china

-complete a puzzle

-print photos from my computer

-organise photo albums

-bake pumpkin scones

-put up posters in my room

-make banana icypoles

-submit an app idea

-organise visa for the USA

-watch Camp Rock 2

-complete scholarship application for exchange

-find christmas present for my mum

Well I'll have lots to keep me busy for the next couple of weeks and lots of things to blog about so I shall report back frequently to let you know how I'm progressing. Golly, I love a good to-do list!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Plan.

So I've kind of mapped out my life for the next 5 years, after that I have absolutely no idea what will happen so I'm trying not to think too much about that.

2011-spend a year abroad in america to attend high school & become more confident and mature

2012- return to Australia to commence my bachelor of business at the nearby university, spend time with family, get a part-time job and raise a guide dog pup.

2013-go on a university exchange for the year to the University of Missouri-Columbia and live in the university dorms and hopefully join a sorority

2014- Back again to Australia to find another part-time job and complete my final year of university and do work experience

2015- take part in one of the Disney International Programs in the US and take a course in human resources, experiential learning and/or organizational leadership (more on this in a future post...)

That way I get to spend lots of time in America so I can fulfill my desire to live the American Dream as much as humanly possible but still keep things going in Australia.

As I was filling out my US visa application today I was reading the conditions on one of the forms which I have to sign to say I agree to and came across the point "TWO YEAR HOME COUNTRY PHYSICAL PRESENCE REQUIREMENT". At first I was a having a major freak-out because I thought it meant that after my high school exchange I had to stay in Australia for two years which would have completely abolished my dreams of completing part of my university degree over in the states. However, I started to calm down when I read the fine print underneath:
"Exchange visitors whose programs are financed in whole or in part, directly or indirectly by either their government or by the U.S. Government, are required to reside in their home-country for 2 years following the completion of their program..."
Which means it won't apply to me as I've paid for this exchange trip so I'll be able to go on the university exchange. The only problem is that the university exchange is going to cost around $20,000 and I highly doubt I'll be earning enough in my part time job to cover that so I was planning on getting a government loan for it which would pay for half of the trip(so $10,000) but I think you can now guess my dilemma; if the same visa condition still applies I may not be able to participate in the Disney International Program which I desperately wanted to do. My university does do partial scholarships of $2500 for the exchanges but that is only going to be marginally helpful. I really hope this doesn't put a spanner in the works for my 5-year life plan.

My mum did buy her first lotto ticket today so maybe if the cards are in my favour she'll win enough money so that I won't have to rely on the government assistance for the university exchange. *Fingers crossed*

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

To go or not to go?

I've actually been wanting, hoping, wishing and praying to go an exchange for several years. I'm going with an organisation called Education First(EF) which seems to be the front-runner in the exchange business as it's one of the oldest companies, having been around for over 40 years. I actually have to thank my school for exposing me to it(as much as I hate to admit it as that place has only given me grief for the last 5 years) as they had posters and flyers hanging up in the school library.

At first my parents didn't mind the idea and originally I was hoping to complete my final year of high school on exchange but after contacting my school about it they said I'd have to repeat a year once I got back as the schooling systems overseas would be so different. That was something I definitely didn't want to do but luckily I discovered you could still go on exchange after you finished high school and have it as your gap year before commencing university. Unfortunately as my parents gradually found out more about the program and how serious I was about going on exchange they began listing me all the reasons why I shouldn't go. They didn't want me to go to America as they wanted me to go somewhere I'd have to learn a new language, they said the cost was too expensive, they said I'd be wasting my time doing another year of high school and that I should just do a university exchange when I'm older.

I started to have panic attacks that I wouldn't be able to go on exchange- I couldn't get to sleep, I was constantly on edge and experienced this horrible feeling of anxiety that I'd never experienced before. The thought of going straight to university after year 12 petrified me. I had worked myself up to going to the states- suddenly I felt I was destined to go there. I was so determined to go there I pulled out every trick in the book in order to get myself a place on that exchange program. I listed all the reasons why I should go and also any arguments to counteract my parents' excuses of why I should stay in Australia. I told them how I didn't have a passion for any other nation as much as I did for the USA and that their high schools are so much more community spirited. I told my parents of all the new clubs and subjects I'd be able to try out for the first time. I told them I didn't have enough time in Australia to learn a language to enable me to go a foreign speaking country and that it wouldn't have been as enjoyable. I told them about how different the United States is in comparison to Australia and that it would be a completely different experience. I told them I needed this extra year to mature and prepare myself for university. I told them I truly believed the experience would be a huge investment into making a difference for the rest of my life. I told them I wanted to experience the life of American teens and how I'd met Americans on my school trip to China and they were the most wonderful bunch of people I'd ever met.

I also told my parents that I was willing to pay for the cost out of a bank account under my brother and I's name which had money we'd inherited from relatives who have since passed away. I think that was the main clincher that made them agree to let me go. Whilst I really did want to use the money to pay for university I knew that this was a much more worthy cause.

Being able to go on this exchange has been like a carrot dangling in front of my nose. It's helped motivate me to do the best I can in my studies this year. When I was at a point where I didn't think I was going on exchange I almost felt like, 'why bother with exams and study in 12th grade?'. If I did well at the end of it, my 'reward' would be going to university. It seemed more like a punishment.

It almost feels like I've won the lottery now that I've got my parent's permission and EF's acceptance for me to spend the next year in the United States of America. It's going to change my life and I know I'll be able to embrace university head on when I return- something I'm now excited about.

And you know what the crazy thing is?! Now my parents go on and on about how good the exchange program will be for me and boast about it to any person they meet. Even before I've stepped foot in America I've learnt something new from the exchange program; if you really want something and you persevere it will come your way.

Monday, November 15, 2010

When one door closes another one opens.

So I am finally free of the grasp of the Australian school system, exams, homework, terrible teachers, repulsive canteen food and people I'm sick of seeing each day. It was such a stifling environment, I don't feel at all prepared for the real world. Highschool in Australia has made me more reclusive if anything and I've felt the most antisocial I've ever been during this past year.

I don't even know what to do with myself now, I don't think it's really set in that I will never have to step foot in that school again. I do have my school graduation on the 29th though but I can cope with that, I'm looking forward to it- an excuse to wear my heels from the school ball again.

Originally the plan would have been for me to chill for the next couple of months until I started up university at the campus five minutes away, probably with most of the same people I've shared these high school years with. It would be something new and out of my comfort zone but I don't think I'd be able to take full advantage of it when I'm my same reserved self in the company of the same high school peers who expect me to stay that way. Deep down I know I'm more outgoing it's just that I've got stuck in a rut. Not only that but I'm afraid of getting older- I'm afraid I haven't made the most of my time and think people will expect more of me as I age although I don't feel any different. I can honestly see myself spiraling into a meltdown or some form of depression/anxiety.

I just couldn't let that happen. I knew I needed more time to prepare for university but staying in Australia wasn't going to help so I decided to take a high school exchange year abroad to the United States of America! I'll be doing an extra year of high school but as we finish school the year we turn 17 here in Western Australia I should be roughly the same age as all the American teens. Plus I'll be with a new year group at university so once again I can start afresh and make new friendship groups. In America I'll be able to start over, create a fresh new me and the wonderful thing is that no-one will know about my previous self in Australia. I'm going to introduce myself to everyone as Shivi(my real name is Siobhan) to reflect the new identity I'll be creating for myself. As long as I'm confident, cheery and chirpy on the first day I'll have no problem- I just need my first impression on people to be a good one and then people will just expect it of me.

There's a lot I'll share with you all about the exchange program but I'll leave that for another day.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


As you know I haven't really been posting on my poor blog for a while and I have some dissapointing news, I won't be doing any more until november 15th. Just thought I'd let you know that I'm not abandoning this blog and that I will be back it's just that I have my final year 12 external exams on next week and there's no time really for me to blog. But I will be back!

With all the stress I can relate very very well with that cartoon.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Oil Cleansing Method

I stumbled upon the 'Oil Cleansing Method' quite some time ago, which claims that using a combination of oils to cleanse your face will leave it free of blemishes and imperfections. The idea that I could clean my face with something so simple and inexpensive was very alluring. There are plenty of organic mass-produced, environmentally friendly beauty products out there but they're usually uber expensive and it's difficult to find ones that actually work and if they don't suit your skin you've wasted your money and the product just ends up going into landfill. So, my current fascination is with natural household pantry items, which usually consist of only one ingredient, that you can use on your face and body.

I would recommend using your oil concoction one a week or every fortnight; too often and your skin will feel dry and tight. The oil definitely doesn't make your skin oilier as most would assume. Conversely, it actually 'eats' the natural oil on your skin and washes most of it away when you wipe the rest of the oil concoction off your face.

Making the mixture is ridiculously easy; simply add 80% olive oil to a jar with 20% castor oil(which I bought from a pharmacy). All I did was put in four tablespoons of olive oil in a small jar, along with one tablespoon of the castor oil and then repeated this process until the jar was full.

To use:

1. Splash a little water on your face to moisten the skin.

2. Pour a roughly 50 cent sized splash of the mixture into your hand and rub your palms together to warm the oil.

3. Apply mixture to your face, gently rubbing in using a circular motion.

4. Lie a washcloth drenched in hot water over your face. The steam helps to lift the oil off your skin.

5. Wipe the oil off your face using the washcloth.

6. Rinse the washcloth and repeat steps 4 & 5 another 3 times to completely get all the oil mixture off your face.

The mixture really helps to get rid of impurities and with continued use your skin starts to become much smoother, clearer and fresher!

I love the oil cleansing method so much that I decided to make up a batch for my close friend, Chloe. A little preserve jar and a pretty ribbon made it a sweet present. I'd definitely recommend the oil mixture as a small birthday or Christmas present as it's cheap, practical and when presented in a cute jar can look very unique.

I'll be trialling a couple other natural beauty products in the coming weeks so it would be really great if you guys could test out these 'recipes' with me and let me know how they work for you!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Ball.

I've never really expected much from my school, it's not the kind of place where all your high school dreams come true and it's never like it is on television. So I was quite surprised when I received a shiny envelope containing quite an elegant looking invitation. Of course it lacked the personal touch of my name being written on the front of the envelope but we won't focus on the negatives too much.

I had always felt my school ball was years away but then all of a sudden it seemed to be just weeks away and I was desperately rushing to get all the last minute essentials. I honestly did not realise how many embellishments there were to getting ready for a school ball. You have the coursage which has to be kept fresh in the crisper and picked up on the day on the event. There's the ring which has to be not to obtrusive to get in the way of your clutch but not too small that it goes unnoticed. Plus there's the matching earrings. You must then trawl through magazines to find a suitable hair colour and choose a hairstyle, something worn by a celebrity, of course. Next you have to find a decent hairdresser and book in appointments carefully timed so that your hair colour won't fade and so you won't have to wash your hair on the day and so that it will last the night. Next comes emailing makeup artists for samples of their work and booking that in around all the other engagements booked in for the big day, such as having your nails painted but not buffed because your manicurist forgets to do so.

Do you know how ridiculously hard it is to find a decent looking ivory clutch? Prior to searching I was not aware of this fact so I had assumed a couple of accessory store's worth of window shopping would do the trick. Perhaps if I had been searching for a black clutch or even a bright orange clutch things would have been easy but because I had already chosen ivory shoes I had to have my clutch match. After two shopping centre trips, a look in the city and several hours on etsy I discovered you can find the perfect one for less than $20 including postage on ebay in about 15 mins. Well, where there's a will there's a way - and there definitely was a strong 'will' involved.

I do think my dress was quite stunning if I do say so myself, but it was a tight squeeze to get the final alterations done in time. Just four days before the extravaganza the dressmaker had cut my floor-length dress in two pieces!

Things went fairly smoothly the day of the ball, except for the fact the first time I had my makeup done I looked like a ghostly porcelain doll. After going back to this salon to get it re-done it still didn't look a whole lot better as the beautician just caked on an extra layer of product, so much so that it was starting to crack. A tissue to wipe 50% of it off did the trick though.

Once I'd been dropped off at a friend's house for the 'pre-ball' I knew I could relax. It was lovely to see so many girls who'd normally be in bland school uniforms, dressed up like princesses in floor-length ensembles. I hardly recognized one friend who I'm used to seeing with straight hair and no makeup, have her hair curled up around her head and wear beautifully blended eyeshadow. It's nice to feel special every now and again, sipping fizzy pop and nibbling cupcakes while have 3 people take your photo at once. It may sound contradictory but seeing everyone all dolled up really makes you appreciate the fact that everyone is and can be beautiful and it's amazing how a fancy dress and a dash of makeup can do that.

5 o' clock came and with that so did two limos, one black and one white. I couldn't wait to get inside, I'd have time for my feet to rest; I haven't worn proper heels in years! After a quick stop at the city foreshore to have one photo snapped before realising that a couple of minutes more and our hair would be swept up with the wind- no matter how much hair spray one used- we drove to one of the city's major hotels for the gala event.

A huge commotion errupted as we arrived at the entrance and I can truly say that we all felt like celebrities as we stepped out of the limo, all eyes on us. It almost felt daunting walking up the steps to the other magnificently dressed belles and beaus, everyone looked so sophisticated. The classic tuxedos, the ridiculously puffed-out tulle skirts, the voluminous hair , the iridescent makeup and matching clutches- it was the definition of eye candy. And with each new group of students rolling up in their classic, vintage or modern hummer-style limos, the discussions got louder and necks were craned to take a peek at who was arriving next and to see the transformations that had occurred with each individual's new attire.

The ball itself was something I'll never forget, there was I unity I felt between these 300 plus young people that made you feel connected to those you had never uttered a word to prior. I guess that's what happens when you're surrounded 360 degrees on the dance floor by your peers who all seem to be having the time of the lives(many of the beaus seemed to enjoy crowd surfing and wrapping their ties around their heads while the belles swished around gracefully as much as was possible in dresses that fit as if made for statues).

A huge Eiffel tower replica and old-fashioned lamp posts really made the ballroom feel like a "Night in Paris" - the theme of the evening. The addition of a mime who went round to tables with imaginary salt and pepper grinders seasoning our dishes and who somehow managed to set off a huge game of tug-o-war with all the beaus, really heightened the theme. Not to mention the tealight candelabras at each dinner table(which was a twist of fate as the event coincided with Earth Hour) as well as the 'frenchy' circus-style music. smoke and balloons that flooded the ceiling as the door to the ballroom opened at the evening's commencement.

This fabulous evening cannot of course be relayed in words, so to emphasise the sheer splendor of the night I shall let the photographs do the rest.

(photo credit: all year 12 students at Woodvale Senior High School)

Friday, March 26, 2010

I'm alive....

...and snapping! I simply couldn't write another blog until I had a decent camera, here she is(taken with a lot of effort from my old camera):

A letter on its way to New Zealand, whoever could it be for?

And I received an invitation to what endeavors to be one of the most enjoyable evenings of my life!

More shortly!

I can't wait to read everyone's blogs and see what I've been missing in the blogosphere!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

A treasure chair of goodies

I can be quite a messy person at times(well my mother would probably say all of the time) and I tend to leave any new things I've bought lying around the house, so my mother usually piles it all up and dumps it on my dining chair in the hope that I'll move it when meal time comes around but usually I just pile it all on the floor next to the chair(Sorry Mum!). A couple weeks ago this is what my dining chair looked like(minus the outdoor part), full of beautiful knick-knacks, including: a new Pyjama top and the accompanying adorable little price tag as well as a birthday present for a friend, something recycled, something reusable and something with a dash of blue. That assortment on the chair sums up how I'd like my own house to be in the future, full of beautiful, eco-friendly, kitsch and quirky pieces that will make my house, feel like a home.

That photo was one of the last pictures take with my treasured Pentax Optio S10 digital camera which conked out on me after only a year and a half of use. In the hope it might be fixable we took it to a camera repair shop but it was going to cost more than it was worth to have it mended, luckily though the man serving me was able to offer me a similar Pentax camera that has some new extra features and a slick exterior for the cost price of only $220. One hundred dollars cheaper than the current retail price, only problem is they have to get it shipped over and it's already been two weeks since I ordered it and I've yet to receive the camera.

On another note, remember this summer to-do list I wrote in November? Well unfortunately I didn't finish everything on the list but I am on my way to completing some of the other tasks: I'm about to start piano lessons this week, I've chosen the article I'm going to write, I've written about half of the song, I bought the fabric to make the piece of clothing and purchased some yarn for crocheting. So the list is still a work in progress. Rest assured I didn't spend my summer days doing nothing though, I've been preparing for school and catching up on note-taking and study from '09.

Back to organising everything for the start of a new school year then. Best wishes for anyone else starting back!

P.S. I also want to give a huge thankyou to Blaize for sending this award my way!

P.P.S With my new-found typing skills I touch-typed this whole post!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Can you spot the cat?

Milly The Cat

For the past two weeks we've been caring for an adorable little cat(for a friend of mine while her and her family took a trip to Bali), called Max, who is a girl cat. Being the feminine person that I am I couldn’t fathom calling such a sweet little cat … Max, so I changed her name to Milly as in Maxamillion(Who I think was some Roman/Greek god…? I only recognised it, as it was used in a film I watched recently). She’s been such a pleasure to have around and has really livened up the house, I’m really hoping we can get a cat of our own this year so I’m hopeful this ‘experience’ will persuade my mother.

Even though Milly is very girlie she can be quite mischievous at times, she scampers round the house, skidding on the slippery tiles(and has bashed into the glass back door a couple of times) and I’m pretty sure she's jumped onto almost every surface possible in the house, including:

The linens in the cupboard.

The top of the television cabinet, where she’s knocked down all the Christmas cards on numerous occasions.

The bookshelf and nearly the air conditioning unit.

The sinks.

Plus the piano, washing machine, dining table, kitchen bench(where she liked to drink water out of our glasses, when we had our backs turned), shower and the kitchen hot plates while one was turned on!(Luckily she didn’t touch the hot one and some aluminium foil along the edge stopped her from returning).

Did I mention she’s an indoor cat? So of course we took her for a daily walk with her leash and collar. She looked forward to going outside so much so she would whine and meow in the mornings until we took her out but she tried to do a runner a couple of times as she was able to slink out of the collar. She wanted to chase after bees; something that wouldn’t have ended well.

We did have a bit of a mini disaster occur when I went to go put out the washing once. You see, we have a fairly large gap at the bottom of our flyscreen door(from when we used to have rabbits that nibbled their way outside) and while the cat had been vacationing with us I always made sure the glass door was shut, as I didn’t want to risk her escaping but on this occasion I only left the flyscreen door closed and I started to have a mini heart attack when I noticed it open as I was about to come back inside. My first thought was that the cat had escaped as she’d been following me round the house all day and was desperate to go outside. Before I went into a full-on heart attack I went to go look for her inside the house as I was probably overreacting but even with my mother’s help looking in every nook and cranny we couldn’t find Milly. Back came the mini panic attack as I searched the whole garden, driving the neighbour’s crazy calling out “Miiiiiilllly!”(after a while I was starting to think I was pronouncing it wrong as I’d said it so many times). I peered over the back fences of a couple of the surrounding neighbour’s gardens but no such luck. I was really starting to doubt I’d ever see her again, we have 6 neighbouring gardens that surround our backyard so she could have been in any one of them plus she wouldn’t really recognise anything as she was in a new neighbourhood. Next I went round asking the neighbours to look out for a ginger cat that may or may not respond to either Milly or Max(I got some strange looks there) but no-one had seen her. I was deciding whether or not to cry as I walked back into our house, about to phone the local ranger in case anyone called in saying they’d found a cat, when my mother yelled out saying she’d found her! Milly was fast asleep laying on top of a row on magazines on a bookshelf that was hidden by a sheet(my mother seems to have a phobia of dust and covers everything up). I was so relieved I wouldn’t have to tell my friend I’d lost her cat; one of the happiest moments of my life.

But other than that minor hiccup everything went smoothly, except for my feet which kept getting scratched by the monster under the bed.

Friday, January 1, 2010


Hope you all had a lovely New Year and Christmas Day, I feel so giddy about it being the start of a new decade(I'm ignoring the fact that technically the new decade starts in 2011).

It's finally here.

Shame it's not really how the 2000s were depicted in those old futuristic films/tv shows(Think "The Jetsons") But perhaps that was a little too far fetched, I doubt even the 3000's will be like that. I think the closest thing to how I expected the 2000's to be is IKEA. Seems silly how a furniture store could be so advanced but it truly is. I feel they have revolutionised the way people shop and it makes sense. They make the process of shopping simpler and as a 'reward' for shopping there you get cheaper products. And it's the tiniest of details that all add up.

The flat packaging- they save on the decreased cardboard, giving you cheaper prices plus the DIY element of putting the furniture together saves you even more. Not to the mention the adorable and simple picture instructions.

(credit: greenbang)

The provided shopping lists, pencils and measuring tapes. Why didn't people think of them before?

(credit: unilinkbus)

The supplied shopping bags and no plastic bag policy; the store short cuts, making it ten times easier to manouvere round the shop; the beautiful children's creche; the "As-Is" section where you buy disouncted IKEA furniture that has been used or that has slight faults(I used to think it read "A5-15" when I was little and could never figure out what an earth it meant); the fact that they have everchanging showrooms where you can test everything out and see how it really looks plus the market hall where you can buy everything you see.

My favourite part of IKEA though would have to be the restaurant, I love how you serve yourself and the array of foods they have available for you to choose from(Did you notice how they even have jars of baby food available?) for just a couple of dollars. They also sell vegetarian and organic food, which gets a big thumbs up from me. Plus they encourage everyone to put away their own trays, which I whole-heartedly support. I really hate when people leave all their leftovers on the tables when it would take them less than 60 seconds to put it away. The cleaners already have plenty to do with cleaning away spills/dropped food and clearing away all the china/glass, plates and cups.

(credit: fredtexas)

And just to top it all off, you can buy the food they sell at the restaurant and cook it at home yourself. Next time I'm wanting to buy their organic pasta sauce, which for the quantity is far cheaper than the organic versions in the supermarkets.

(credit: ikea)

What I'm trying to get at is that I expected the noughties and the tens(anyone got a better name for the new decade?) to be a bit more innovative, simple and more eco-conscious. I guess I'll be visiting IKEA more often. Perhaps even on an ikea bike?

Several days ago my mum and I visited IKEA just to eat lunch there. That's just how awesome we think it is.