Fruit-Picking at Watkins Family Farm

My family has gone mandarin picking for a few years now, partly because it’s my sisters favourite fruit of all time and partly because it’s just a great bonding activity. This was the first time we’d ever gone to Watkins Family Farm though, and we were quite impressed! Located at Wiseman’s Ferry, it’s about an hour and a half from where we live but it was worth the drive.
Plus – shout out to Australia. We’re meant to be in winter but yesterday it hit 27 degrees celsius?! So blessed to live in this warm country.

Anyway, prepare yourselves for an overload of orange and enjoy some photos.
&, if they make you feel like eating some citrus – go do it! Vitamin C for the win!


Govett’s Leap Lookout, Blue Mountains

Whoops.. accidentally disappeared for the month of July.. Lots happened! Moved into my new house, got a new job, started the new semester of university.. pretty standard stuff.

Here, however, are some photos from my trip up to the beautiful Blue Mountains with my best friend. We both got new cameras recently – her a film camera, me a Panasonic Lumix GM1 – and wanted to get some good snaps. We like nature, we like cheese, and we like each other so we figured it was a good excuse for a day out.

I love these blue mountains we have here – no photos do the ginormity of them justice. It’s so peaceful, and quiet, (and cold) up there. Enjoy the photos from Govett’s Leap Lookout!

Traffic Jams | June

The average commuter spends 38 hours every year stuck in traffic. That’s about three months of your entire life & that’s ridiculous.
The number one way to make it all better? Music. Tunes. Jams. Jamming out to some sick beats in your traffic jams.

So without further ado, here are my favourite Traffic Jams from June.

Sydney Flower Markets: A Guide

If you love florals as much as I do (which is a lot), you’ll go absolutely crazy for the Sydney Flower Markets.Natives
I’m not an early morning person by any means, but you bet I’ve dragged myself out of bed at 4:30am to go buy some beautiful, fresh flowers.
Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 7.52.29 pm
Considering that I’ve been there two times now, I’m more or less an expert, so here’s my guide on how to do the markets & how to do them well:

1. The earlier the better.
The markets are open 5am – 11am, but at around 8:30am everything kind of starts winding up and the amount of blooms available really dwindles. If you get there earlier there is more variety, and some good deals. Also, Monday, Wednesday & Friday are the best days of the week to visit.

2. Bring cash monies.
If you go on a weekday, there’s a $10 entry fee so it’s handy to have that with you. As well as this, many of the vendors will give you a discount if you’re buying bulk & paying cash, and some don’t offer credit card facilities.

3. Park on top of the world.
Or otherwise known as the top of the car park. Driving around near the flower market itself can take foreverrr, and you can get stuck amongst the florist’s vans and forklifts. Head up the top of the multi-level car park and you get two bonuses: a) exercise walking up and down those stairs and b) the best view of sunrise in the area.

4. Do a lap.
Don’t buy straight away! Chances are there are cheaper flowers, better flowers or flowers you never even knew existed out there. Have a wander and explore before settling on specifically what you want.

5. Flowers are wet. 
They rest in water, and when you pick them up they drip water everywhere. Over your feet, and through your car. I generally just take garbage bags and layer them around my car, but you can also take buckets or storage containers. On this note, I always wear closed in shoes because the floors of the markets can be littered with leaves and water.

6. Don’t forget about GST.
At the markets, all prices are exclusive of GST. So a bunch of flowers that say $5.00 are actually $5.50 – not an issue, but just something to keep in mind!

7. Take care of your blooms when you get home.
Once you’ve picked your pretties, get them in your car and home asap. Then, strip the leaves off the bottom of the stem, and cut the stem at an angle. This will ensure your blooms last as long as possible!

8. Enjoy your blooms.
Enjoy the scent and site of your beautiful florals.  Have fun with them, flowers are the most wonderful pick-me-up and they can brighten up any space. Display your blooms proudly!

9. Nap.
Oh man, after a wake up call of 4:30am you need to nap. Get home, sort your flowers out and nap. Nap like you’ve never napped before. And eventually, you’ll forget the pain of waking up before the sun and all that will remain is the glorious memories of a hall full of flowers.

Studying Tips

Motivational Quote
As a student, I spend a lot of time at my computer, researching and working (sometimes) hard. I hand in lots of assignments and complete lots of exams. This creates a lot of stress and a lot of tears. Here are some things that I need to remember to help me deal with the pressure and the sad feelings caused by studying, and you might too.

Disclaimer: I am no studying professional, in fact I’m an avid procrastinator and after 6 years I still haven’t gotten it right. These are just the small tips that have helped me so far along my way. 

1) Avoid, at all costs, being at your computer for over 2 hours. 
Sometimes it’s necessary to sit down and cram for an exam all day, or rush for a midnight deadline. But sitting down and staring at a screen for too long can get overwhelming, and seriously depressing. I always try to frequently get up and move around, whether it’s making lunch, or just going to the next room to have a chat with mum.

2) Watching a TV show or going on Facebook is not a sufficient break.
Further reiterating my above point, you need to go AWAY from your computer for rest. Going outside is the BEST way to refresh yourself and energise yourself for more study. I like to go for bike rides or walk the dog.

3) Good posture changes everything. 
When you’ve been working for a few hours straight, the last thing you want is a sore neck or back. Having good posture can help your attitude to work and the way you feel.

4) Never, ever, ever forget to eat.
This shouldn’t be a problem for a majority of people, but sometimes I can get so consumed by work I either don’t eat enough, or eat a lot of junk. Eating nothing will result in exhaustion, eating junk will result in a sugar low (which results in intense depressing feelings, for me personally anyway). Eating affects everything about how you feel, so it’s important to do it right. Picture at the end of this post is of my favourite study snacks as of late – oranges and strawberries.

5) Set deadlines and actually stick to them.
Everyone knows the typical “I will start working at 9:00pm” and then “Oh crap, it’s 9:01pm, better wait until 9:15pm before I start” routine that so many of us do. But when it comes to assignments and studying, deadlines are your best friends.

6) Use rewards.
Literally treat yourself like a puppy. Every time you do something good, reward yourself. I often give my mum a packet of M&M’s and tell her to give me one for every 200 words I write, or for every milestone I make.

That’s it, that’s what I try to stick to as I study away at my computer. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t. But it’s always worth trying right? And with that, I leave to squish in my assignment due at midnight tonight.. Time to utilise the tips I just wrote hey!

Study snacks

Lord Howe Island via drone

My cousin packed all his camera gear up (he has a lot) just so he could get some amazing shots of this pristine paradise. I’m so grateful he did. This particular video he shot with his DJI Phantom drone, and the images in this video have not been enhanced at all – it really is this blue and beautiful.

Bonus points if you can spot the stingray at 2:15mins in!

Here are some of my favourite moments from the vid:

Golden hour glows

I find real peace in sunsets. I love to sit and stare as the clouds light up and fade, and the sun drifts down past the horizon.
I have been known to speed to arrive at a good vantage point for the spectacle, and I’m honestly surprised I haven’t crashed yet due to the time I spend staring up at the pink sky instead of on the road..
Here are some of my favourite ever sunsets I’ve had the privilege to watch.