July Favourites 2016

I can’t believe another month has gone by already! We’re already one month down in the second half of the year! So in typical blogger fashion, I thought I’d share my July favourites with you.

Against the Current – In Our Bones 

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Against the Current is one of my favourite bands and so as you can imagine, I was super stoked when they released their album, In Our Bones. Very rarely will I come across an album where I thoroughly enjoy every song. However, this album is absolutely amazing. I thought I’d be sick of it by now after having it on repeat for this entire month, but I couldn’t be more wrong. I love the range of tracks on the album, going from a slower jam, such as Brighter, to a much more upbeat song, such as Runaway. Therefore this album is fantastic to listen to, despite whatever mood you are in. Although I love all the songs on the album, my favourite track would be In Our Bones.

Nature Valley Oats & Honey Bars

b001e6iumy_1-51_crunchyvarietypack2I’ve never really been a fan of muesli bars/oat bars (that sort of thing), but I think I’ve found the one I love! These Nature Valley Oats & Honey bars come in packs of two, and they are so delicious. Usually muesli bars are chewy, which is the main reason I don’t like them. However, these bars have a good crunch to them when you bite into them, and they’re not too sweet! I love that you can also taste the oats in it, because as you’ve probably guessed, I’m a sucker for oats. If you’re not a fan of oats or honey, they also have a range of other flavours so do give them a try!

20160713_171049.jpgCollared Skater Dress

Lately I’m really been digging clothes with the cute Peter Pan collars. For ages, I’ve wanted to start a collection of these clothes. This dress was the first addition, and I absolutely love it! I love skater dresses because they’re so flow-y, and easy to move around in. Although it’s currently winter in Australia, this dress is warm enough that you can just wear it with a cute cardigan! The dress was also on sale when I got it so what a bonus!

Cha20160713_200951.jpgi Latte

So I’ve never really been a coffee person, but I have always loved cinnamon. So I thought I’d give a chai latte a try, and I may or may not have been sucked into the world of coffee. I love the smell of the chai latte, especially since you can’t smell the actual coffee flavour (unpopular opinion). Everything about a chai latte just pleases me so much so if you are like me, and you don’t like coffee, this might just change your mind!! 

 

So those were a few of my favourite things this month. Sorry that a lot of it was to do with food/drinks, but do give them a try if you think you’ll like them!

Love,

Jess

 

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Self Belief vs. Confidence

As part of a leadership program, I have to attend talks about leadership once a month. The reason I’m telling you this is because there was this one talk I went to last week, which I think is worth sharing, especially given the society we live in today.

We had two guest speakers, both who have been incredibly successful in Australian sport. In the field of sport, you have so many people watching you, wanting to be just like you, and so yeah, they are leaders in this world.

The media will always give a biased opinion, and so how we perceive things will always be inaccurate unless we hear it from a first person perspective. In this case, the guest speakers were always exposed to the media because they had achieved a lot in Australian sport, and were hence often the centre of attention. However, what they told us (which we would have never inferred from the media) was extremely raw and important, and that is what I want to share with you.

Whether you’re a world famous athlete, creator, or academic, or you’re just a teenager in today’s society, you will always face judgment and critique. Wherever you go, people will always have an opinions on you and will make conclusions about what you can or can’t do. The fact that our society is so internet-orientated probably makes this worse because it means that we can just share something and immediately, people will form their judgments about what you post.

It’s hard because having an opinion about something is part of being human. It’s completely normal and we all do it. But what we have to be cautious about is how we express our opinions, because it can get to the point where you cause someone to feel unworthy, under pressure, or they feel as though you have put a load of expectations on them.

Because the guest speakers had started winning races and games, it eventually got to the point where people expected them to continue winning. Additionally, they had family, friends and fans, who they didn’t want to let down. Over time, this built up and caused them to feel under pressure as they felt like they HAD to do well to please everyone.
And that’s where the problem lies. You can’t please everyone. There will always be someone in this world who is unsatisfied with something you do.

As people, when we start to get good at something, we get more confident with it. And I suppose this is a good thing because confidence is a key trait that people strive for (Demi Lovato even wrote a song about it!). However, the time taken for us to lose this confidence is just a fraction of the time taken for us to build the confidence, because one harsh comment can just knock us down, and that’s just human nature. When we lose this confidence, we start to doubt ourselves and this causes us to slowly lose ourselves. But in order for us to succeed, we can’t doubt ourselves. If we want to do well, we can’t doubt ourselves. If we want to achieve a goal, we can’t doubt ourselves. So really, it’s not about confidence. It’s about self-belief.

For one to be successful, the first step one must take is to believe in yourself. As cliche as it sounds, it doesn’t matter if nobody else believes in you because you should be striving to achieve your goals for yourself. Yeah sure, it’ll be nice if other people are rooting for you as well, but at the end of the day, your goals will only affect you. If you believe in yourself and you think you can achieve something, then chances are, you are more likely to be successful! However, the other problem is that as people, we can’t help but consider what others think of us. It will get to the point where we don’t want to let people down, and I don’t want to sound cheesy, but those who care about you will still support you even if you do have a bad day. So don’t be afraid to try something different. Don’t be scared when you come across something that’s challenging, because if you believe you can do it, your loved ones will be supporting you. And if you don’t get there the first time round, you can always try again.

Love,

Jess

 

 

Student Life Hacks

Having only started university this year, there were bound to be things I was unaware of. However, as the semester progressed, I became aware of a couple of tips and tricks which made student life just that wee bit easier, especially considering how big of a change it was going from living at home to living by myself. So I thought in today’s post, I’d share a couple of these student life hacks so that if you are a uni student yourself, you can prepare for next semester.

1) Bulk Cooking

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Despite being a somewhat independent person at home, moving out was quite a drastic change. This is because at home, if you weren’t feeling up to it, you always had your parents who would do things for you. However, when you’re living by yourself, you have to do things for yourself or else it won’t be done at all.

One of the things that take up the most time is making meals. So if you’ve got lots to study that night or exams are coming up, naturally, you want to spend the majority of your time studying. However, you also want to make sure you’re staying healthy and spending only what you have to, so eating out wouldn’t be the most ideal choice.

In the first couple of weeks of semester, I only cooked enough for one meal because at home, I rarely had leftovers. However, that made me realise how much time I was spending each day on cooking. As you can imagine, this would be quite the problem given how long brown rice takes to cook, which is something I have frequently. So I finally came to the realisation, ‘hey, why not make a heap in one day and just put it in the freezer so that it is still somewhat fresh?’ Therefore from that day, I learnt to make bulk quantities of food and then I’d just freeze them. That way I would already have meals prepared for the next few days, allowing me to spend more time on other things.

 

2) Cash Out

Everyone knows that being a student means you’re poor. So as tempting as shopping sounds and having the freedom to go out as often as you want, your bank account won’t always be feeling up for it.

What I find to be the biggest problem is that when you’re out carrying around your card, you have all of the money in your account to spend. Even if you know you shouldn’t be spending so much, you still have the tendency to spend more than you need because with a card, you can. So by taking cash out, you can tell yourself, ‘ok, this week I’m going to be spending $x,’ and if you run out of cash… Well, I suppose that’s just tough luck, but it encourages you to spend a lot more wisely!

3) Post-It Notes and Highlighters

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Studying is not exactly the most eventful thing to do, but in order for us to do well, we don’t really have a choice when it comes to studying. So to make studying a little less boring, I find that colour really does help.

I find it nice to colour co-ordinate your notes. So perhaps have titles in one colour, sub-titles in another colour, and then your actual notes in another colour. If you’re someone who takes a subject where you’re required to memorise equations, I like to write my equations in a separate colour so that they stand out. Also, by using different colours, when you’re in an exam, you can kind of remember what colour different parts of your notes were and that may help you in framing your exam answer.

Another fantastic source of colour are highlighters. There’s always that one kid who has practically every highlighter colour you can think of, and yes, you guessed it, I’m that kid. This is because again, highlighters help a great deal if you want to colour co-ordinate and they make your notes so much more appealing.

Lastly, post-it notes. They are quite possibly the best invention ever when it comes to studying. If you know you’re struggling in one area of a unit, or you need to bookmark a page in a textbook, post-it notes are all you need as they allow you to easily flick to a specific page. Also, if you have an exam that is open-book, you will struggle to find time to go through all your notes in the exam. Therefore, if you’ve already used post-it notes, all the key pages you need have been bookmarked and so you can easily turn to that page.

So I hope these tips help you for the upcoming semester. Enjoy the rest of your holidays and be ready to start the new semester off well!

Love,

Jess

My 30 By 30

I never thought I’d be one of those people who made a bucket list, but now that I think about it, maybe I am? To be honest, the reason I wasn’t so keen on a bucket list was because I thought it was a little unrealistic to have a whole list of things you want to complete in your lifetime. However, I’ve come to realise that actually, bucket lists are a good thing to have because it’s a way in which you can set goals and think about what you want to get out of your life in this world where opportunities are endless. So here is a list of 30 things I would like to have completed, or be on my way to completing, by the time I reach the age of 30.

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  1. Graduated university.
  2. Found a job which allows me to use my degree and skills I gained at university.
  3. Get married – I feel like this is something every girl wants before they turn 30 though.
  4. On my way to having kids.
  5. I’ve been to NSW, VIC, Tasmania and QLD, and I’d absolutely love to cover the rest of Australia. Hopefully I can go on a road trip soon!  20150711_160201
  6. Visit China – This is something I really ought to do given that I am Chinese…
  7. Visit Palm Beach. And yes, before you ask, that is where Home and Away is filmed. So I guess that leads well into the next one on the list…
  8. Meet at least one person from the Home and Away cast.
  9. Be able to carry out basic conversations in sign language. The thing is, I started learning sign language online at the beginning of 2015, but as I got busier, I wasn’t able to continue with it which was a real shame.
  10. Reduce my fear of heights – I want to go bungy jumping because I feel like this could get rid of my fear of heights. However, I’ll probably be way too scared and freak out when I’m up there so that’s probably not the best way to approach it…
  11. Go to an international netball game. I don’t know if I’ve told you, but netball is my favourite sport. I’ve been to a couple of games where regional teams verse each other, but I would love to go to an international game. Preferably a game between NZ and Australia because that way, at least I support both teams (but NZ all the way! Haha).
  12. Go to America – Again, I feel like this is one that’s on most people’s list. However, I am a huge fan of Harry Potter and so I really want to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
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  13. Have bought my first car – At first, I really really really wanted a beetle, but then I realised that it’s not exactly the most practical car given that it only has two doors…
  14. Have bought my first home.
  15. Eat a cronut. Now I know this isn’t a difficult thing to achieve and you’re probably surprised that I’ve never had one before, but I just don’t have a sweet tooth so I haven’t found a reason to eat one… Yet there’s so much buzz about them, hence why I feel like I should try one.
  16. Ride a horse. My mum claims that I rode one when I was much younger, but I don’t remember at all so I won’t count that haha.
  17. See snow. Again, you’re probably wondering why on earth I haven’t see snow in my life before? Well you see, I was born and raised in NZ and in the North Island, it doesn’t snow. Although there was this one time where everyone said it did snow, but it was literally just hail.
  18. Surprise someone – I’m quite a sentimental person and so I think this would be the cutest thing ever instead of say, getting someone an extremely luxurious present.
  19. Attend a musical.
  20. Go for a massage.
  21. Go to high tea – I feel like this is right up my alley because I love tea and baked goods!
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  22. Meet a YouTuber.
  23. Have one day where all my meals are made up of breakfast foods. Breakfast is my favourite meal and so I wouldn’t mind having breakfast for lunch and dinner as well!
  24. See the ball drop at Madison Square Garden – yet another cheesy thing to do.
  25. Own a Christmas jumper. Yes, I am one of those people that absolutely love Christmas. The only reason I don’t have a Christmas jumper is because it’s summer during our Christmas and so it’d be far too hot to be in a jumper!
  26. Experience a white Christmas – this would be a good excuse to get a Christmas jumper!
  27. Run for charity.
  28. Have one day internet-less day.
  29. Visit at least one of the wonders of the world.
  30. Carry out an act of random kindness everyday for a week.

It’s safe to say that’s not a complete bucket list given that this is my list of 30 things to be completed by the time I turn 30. I’m guessing a lot of you will have similar things on there so I hope that you successfully tick things off your bucket list!

Love,

Jess