Friday, 19 December 2014

From Student To Midwife Part 3: Summer Semester

I honestly intended to post so much more than I have in the past few months, especially about my midwifery studies. The fact that I haven't attests to how crazy and busy this semester has been. In my last update, my first semester in the Bachelor of Midwifery had just drawn to a close and my marks had not yet been released. Turns out I got credits in Nutrition and Health and Indigenous Australian Peoples, and as expected, failed Human Physiology. Failing Physiology is something that I really couldn't help due to my health last semester, so I decided that rather than wait to sit it again next year, I'd get stuck in and do it while the content is still fresh in my mind, which meant putting off Pharmacology until the end of next year and doing Human Physiology, Systemic Anatomy and Research and Evidence Based Practice this semester instead. 

I had no idea what I was getting myself into signing on for three units this semester. Let me tell you, it has been CRAZY!!! Summer semesters, being optional, are a condensed semester in which you "breeze through" up to three topics in each subject per week. All the lectures are online and labs are three per week. The assessments are constant and intense. The exams are terrifying. The workload is ginourmous and leaves you with very little free time. When you do have free time, your brain is so full of big words, you just want to curl into the foetal position and watch mind numbing TV. Or cry. I alternated between both all semester. 

Despite the intensity, I've actually found classes this semester quite enjoyable. The practical aspects of anatomy have been so much fun - we have done quite a few dissections and I enjoy working with the models until those dreaded things appear in the exams! The above photo was taken as I attempted to study in the revision lab. I was alone and bored and found myself playing with the body parts more than studying them. I've also made a few friends this semester, who are nursing students, which means that while I won't have any classes with them in the future, I've really enjoyed their company (and having people to study with) for the past few months. Also, because they're local, they are friendships that might just last!

Today I finished my first round of assessments/exams for the semester, just in time for my 21st party tomorrow night. My last exam was for anatomy and was a 50 question practical test on models. It was so intense and I walked away from it trembling a little because I found it so hard - I was not very well prepared! The good news is that I passed my midsession physiology exam though, which puts me in a very good position going into the final exam week on the 23rd of January! Between now and then, I don't have any more classes, but I do need to dedicate time for study, as I need every mark I can muster in those final exams and also have a research report due on the 5th, leaving little time for leisure following Christmas!

I still can't wait for this semester to be properly over. It's been a long 10 weeks and still four more to go! I'm really, really looking forward to starting classes at the Gold Coast campus next semester, where my subjects will all have a strong midwifery focus.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Salt Water Fixes Everything

Long, hot Australian summers are best spent at the beach or with a cider in hand. As the past few months have shown for me, salt water fixes everything - whether it be tears, sweat or the sea. I've had a tough time with uni this semester, feeling completely overwhelmed by my workload and experiencing anxiety over my exams. I have had assessments almost every week this semester and have more than once been brought to tears just entering the classroom. It's been very difficult.

My health has been worse for wear as well, and I've had a few relationship troubles peppered through the past couple of months - all those little obstacles life throws in your way to have you wishing for the fresh start brought by a new year.

If one thing has pulled me through these difficulties, it's my proximity to the beach.

The ocean has been a constant source of calm and comfort over the past few months, and I've found myself heading for the seaside, alone, quite often and not just due to the heat. The ocean offers me a calm like no other. It cleanses my soul and purges me of the negative thoughts and energy I'm carrying day-to-day. I'm not a very spiritual person, but I've never felt more close to the gods than when I'm in the sea.

The power the ocean has over me is awe-inspiring and goes back as far as I can remember. Running away from home as a kid always had me pelting towards the south wall, where I would perch atop a rock and let the spray of the ocean and ebb and flow of the tide wash my angers and upsets away. I would return home a different kid, the sparkle of the sun reflected off the ocean in my eye, and my heart full again just from watching the waves crash on the rocks as I curl my toes in the sand.

I posted the above picture to instagram the other day with the caption "I have sea foam in my veins, I understand the language of waves". The quote comes from the French film Le Testament d'Orphee - a film I have never seen, whose poetic lines have captured my imagination and spirit like no other. I find myself repeating it to myself like a mantra to get through hot and difficult days. The effect is soothing - I can sit back, chanting to myself and imagine the ocean wash over me, bringing with it a sense of calm that fights away my troubles and anxieties. I temporarily soothe my soul with these words as I eagerly await my next opportunity to head towards the ocean and replenish my calm and quietude in the foamy chaos of the sea.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Life Lately// Taking Stock

My study buddy napping on my lap

I've been a crappy blog reader lately, and for that I apologise! I must admit, I hit "mark all as read" *gasp* after about 10 posts today because it is simply too hot to be bothered with reading ANYTHING and I have plenty of uni stuff to read when it cools down this evening (will it ever?) and don't need to be distracted. The posts I have read, I have been pretty slack at commenting on too, and again I apologise! I just don't have the patience to type in this heat AND IT'S ONLY OCTOBER, GOD HELP ME!

SO, that is why I am bringing you a sorta lazy blog post today that I found on Laura's blog. Although I did actually really enjoy reading hers, as I hope you do mine!

Making: Bunting for my friend's wedding
CookingBetty Crocker's Gluten Free Choloclate Fudge Brownies *drool* 
Drinking: WATER! Seriously too easy to dehydrate in this heat. Plus, it cools you down for about 0.05 seconds.
Reading:The Night Circus for Sam's online book club!
Wanting: Spare time to go to the beach. And money, please!
Looking: For inspiration for my blog, and life in general, and motivation for uni and my business ventures.
Playing: The Kim Kardashian game. FML. 
Deciding: On putting my heart and soul into my business ventures. I'm a pretty half-arses kinda person, so this is tough for me, even though it will pay off.
Wishing: The weather would be a bit cooler while I'm getting uni work done.
Enjoying: Days at the beach and time spent with Jake
Waiting: For my pay to go in
Liking: The jacaranda trees in full bloom.
Wondering: Whether I have what it takes.
Loving: Jake.
Pondering: My life choices.
Considering: Giving up some things and taking on some more
Watching: New season New Girl and Bones, season 9 of Criminal Minds
Hoping:I pass all my subjects this semester
Marvelling: At how our bodies work.
Needing: Money.
Smelling: Like strawberry essential oil
Wearing: As little clothing as possible.
Following: my nose
Noticing: all the little things I love about my hometown
Knowing: How to classify epithelial tissue (how useful)
Thinking: About the future
Admiring: Amy
Sorting: Out my finances.
Buying: Arbonne. All the Arbonne. Oh, and a new bikini hopefully!
Getting: fitter. I joined touch football and am learning to surf and doing yoga!
Bookmarking: nothing much.
Disliking: wearing a lab coat in sweltering heat.
Opening: textbooks
Giggling: so much this morning that the water I was drinking came out my nose
Feeling: uncertain and unconfident
Snacking: On frozen berries.
Coveting: A complete make up kit and a new car.
Helping: My cousin build her business.
Hearing: Anatomy and Physiology podcasts, mingled in with jack Johnson and Sticky Fingers.

What have you been ding lately?
Thanks for reading along xx

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Weekend Fun// Sticky Fingers at The Northern

Ever since my sister turned 18 in August, I've been excited over the prospect of going to a gig at our local venue, The Northern with her. Yeah, we went clubbing on her 18th, have been to all ages events before, and have had drinks together elsewhere since then, but nothing compared to my excitement of finally going to a licensed, over 18 gig with my little sister at my favourite venue, and the chance to do this finally came on the weekend!

I had umm'ed and ahh'ed about buying tickets to Sticky Fingers for weeks before Shoni brought it up. The show sold out. Then the second show sold out. There, that was it, I thought. No tickets, no go! Until Shoni saw that one of her friends was selling two tickets to the Saturday night gig, that is!

When Saturday night rolled around, we were pretty damn excited. We ate dinner nice and early, and got ready together with Sticky Fingers blasting in the background while we sang along. I drove to the gig, again with Sticky Fingers blasting in the background and we got some drinks at the bar upon arrival, waiting for the doors to The Backroom to open. Being a sold out show and Rugby Union grand final night, the crowd at The Northern was huge. We met some real characters before the doors opened, and were totally surprised that we managed to make it to the front of the stage when they finally started admitting people to The Backroom, even with another stop at the bar along the way. Shoni was elated. The Northern is a pretty small venue that hosts some pretty big names sometimes and for some reason or another, it's the only venue left in our area that doesn't put up a dicky barricade a metre or so back from the stage.

The first supporting act was a two piece band who's name I forget, but who really made a great impression! They knew how to get a crowd going and the sound of the electric guitar and drums was sweet! We were right in front of the drummer and Shoni managed to catch his drumstick at the end of their set. The second supporting act was a one man band who cracked Shoni and I up with his hilarious tippy-toe dancing, but he was pretty good too.

By the time Sticky Fingers hit the stage, we were well and truly ready to get dancing! Their set was so full of energy, and we danced like crazy ladies, singing along to the words we knew and making things up for those we didn't! They played all our favourite songs, and Dylan even stage dived at one point, which was awesome! At the end of the night, Shoni and I trudged back to the car tired, but still buzzing from the music. Paddy's guitar pick in my hand (I complimented his awesome mullet and I like to think we struck up a friendship of sorts after spending an hour dancing at his feet!), and the first band's drum stick in Shoni's. 

If you've never heard of Sticky Fingers before, you should definitely check them out! They describe their sound as "a melting pot of reggae, psych, pop and bourbon. Hypnotising you into a swaying trance, then punching you in the face for dancing like a hippy." I'll leave a couple of youtube clips below for you to enjoy! 

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Book Review// Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent

It's been a few weeks now since I read this book, and it since has been borrowed by a friend, but the passionate stories within have imprinted on my mind as if put there by a branding iron! Peggy Vincent's captivating storytelling combines with a seemingly never-ending supply of interesting life experiences to make this book a quick and pleasant read - one that I finished in a single afternoon on account of walking around with it glued to my nose, unable to put it down. 

You may have guessed by the title that Peggy Vincent is a midwife, but she is not just any midwife - she is one of the pioneering midwives of America's recent natural birthing movement, and this book is a series of short stories which capture beautifully her career. It talks not just of beautiful home births, but also the challenges that faced midwives in the early days, battles against obstetricians and hospital policy, the challenges of setting up a birth centre, legal problems and birth complications, all done in a captivating way. 

It is a book that has reinvigorated the passion within me for natural childbirth. It has lifted my spirits in a time of struggling with university, despairing my choice to switch degrees into midwifery, and restored my faith that being a midwife is my calling. It awakened me to the stark differences between Australian and American birthing practices, and it left me swelling with pride for the profession that I have chosen to enter into. Having said all this, I do not think this book's magic is reserved for midwives or midwives-to-be. I think that anyone who loves a bit of riveting adventure would love this book, especially if you happen to enjoy non-fiction and be even just slightly partial to medical dramas (who isn't, amiright?). 

All-in-all, it is a compelling light read and I cannot sing it's praises enough. Amidst all the heavy medical textbooks and terminology I'm forced into reading for university, I really enjoyed this little reminder of what midwifery is all about and the magic of childbirth! 

Sunday, 5 October 2014

From Student to Midwife: Part 2 - Reflection on my First Semester

So, last week was a little quiet on the blog because I had exams. Incredibly hard exams. My first exams for my midwifery degree. In the above picture, I am procrastinating on the day before my physiology exam, with a terrible head cold and wearing a smile to mask the cold lump of fear in the pit of my stomach. As I've mentioned before, I've found this semester quite difficult. Going from an Arts degree to a Health degree is a huge transition, and so I'm a little out of practice with exams, having spent the past year and a half writing essays instead.

I found out last week that I have passed one of my subjects, however our marks aren't officially released for another couple of weeks yet. I'm fairly confident that I also passed nutrition, and fairly convinced that I failed physiology and will have to repeat it next year.

Right now, I have a few blissful weeks off before starting Summer Semester, which I opted to do this year to speed up my degree a little. It starts on the 20th of October, and I'll be doing Anatomy, Research and Evidence Based Practice and Pharmacology, the last of my generic health units before I start my midwifery units in February next year. Apparently Anatomy involves some viewing of cadavers, which both repulses me on one level and has my inner freaky, science nerd screaming "COOL!"

While I haven't enjoyed this semester quite as much as I was hoping, I have learned a lot and I'm one step closer to achieving my goal of becoming a midwife. I'm looking forward to a few weeks break and getting through a little more of my extracurricular reading about midwifery in the meantime. One semester down, seven more to go!

Friday, 3 October 2014

Bright Bedroom Wishlist & Moving Home*

Bright Bedroom

Those of you who follow me on various social media platforms will probably already know that I moved back in with my parents this weekend. There were a variety of reasons for this - the main one being my health and I've realised that it's definitely the right option for me at this time in my life. I won't be moving out again in a hurry, and for the first time in a long time, I'm finally going to have the money to decorate a little!

The above colour scheme was inspired by that awesome, lime green bean bag which is from Bean Bag Boss, and the brightly coloured floral duvet cover which is from K-mart and is currently on special for just $29! Moving back into mum and dads means that a lot of my stuff is having to go into storage, and I'll be back to a single bedroom again, so I like the idea of the bean bag so I have somewhere to sit and read, away from the rest of the crazy house, and can just tuck it out the way under the bed or in a corner when I'm done.

This is a slightly brighter take on the pastels that I usually go for, but I love that all I'd have to do is switch out the duvet cover to return to that softer look if I wanted to. I'm currently working on a bright/pastel granny square blanket to fit a double bed and think the pops of colour in this little collage would go really well with the yarn I've chosen. Any guesses what my favourite colour is? Hint: it's everywhere in the above picture! Follow the links below the collage to find out where everything is from! What do you think of this colour scheme? Anything in particular that you love from this collage?

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Casual Spring Outfit

Lately I have been thinking a lot more about how I dress and what style clothes I want to be wearing. Style is a funny old thing, and I find that unlike some people, I'm not attracted to any one particular style of dressing, but rather like to adapt my style to my mood, the weather and where I'll be going that day. As is begins to warm up here in Australia, I'm finding myself particularly attracted to clean, crisp colours, small details on colour blocked outfits and chiffon. The other direction I find myself dressing in is a floaty, bohemian style which very much suits the leisurely lifestyle in my beachy hometown, and then of course there is my perpetual love of vintage silhouettes and florals.

This outfit very much fits in with the clean, crisp look that I've been adopting lately, aside from the crystal around my neck, which I bought using a $50 voucher I recently won in Christina Lowry Designs' Facebook competition. These white shorts are probably my most worn piece of clothing at the moment, as I am willing the summer weather to really set in. I had my first beach day on the last day of September, and you may notice in these photos, I'm a little bit sunburnt on the front, and bright red (and in tonnes of pain) on the back of my legs. It makes a great (albeit unwanted) contrast with the white shorts, but hopefully it will turn to tan soon. 

Top: Temt
Shorts: Valleygirl
Shoes: Big W
Bag: Custom made leather in Bali (thanks mum)
All Other Jewellery: My regular, every day stuff, gifted

I've been wanting to share outfit photos on here for as long as I've been blogging, and I'm incredibly glad I've finally done it, even if I've just used iPhone photos and it's only a casual outfit. As my style (or styles) develop, I want to document that on the blog, become more confident in the way I dress, and share comfortable, everyday outfits that are easy and cheap to recreate, because as much as I love fashion blogs, there is nothing more depressing than not being able to afford the clothes that the people who write them are wearing. I wore this outfit today to meet a friend for coffee in my hometown and I felt incredibly put together despite only being in casual clothes. We had a great chat, talking wedding stuff (hers is coming up in April) and planning ways to convince Jake to move to Evans Head with me and join the rugby club with her fiancĂ©. Our partners have been good friends since before we met and I am really keen for him to get more involved socially in things in Evans Head, because as much as I love Lennox it's just way too out of our price range and Evans Head will always be home. What do you think of this casual style? Are you a one style kinda gal, or like me, do you match your style to your mood? 

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Book Review// Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin

For months and months, one name has been bubbling at the back of my mind. It's dropped into lectures, tutorials, midwifery blogs and conversations between peers. Ina May Gaskin - the mother of the natural birth movement. 

When you're a midwifery student, birth is on your mind 24/7. Every full moon, I look up at the sky and wonder how many babies are being born at the time. I see pregnant people everywhere, and I'm always itching to ask them about their pregnancy and birth plan. If I see a new mother, I immediately want to know what their baby weighs, how old it is and hear her birth story in excruciating detail. With my first semester as a student midwife drawing to a close, and exams and assessments stressing me out, I found myself wondering why am I doing this to myself? I turned to Clemmie Hooper, the writer of my favourite midwifery blog, Gas and Air, on twitter to ask which Ina May Gaskin book she would recommend to a student midwife, desperate to reignite her passion for caring for women in the midst of stressful physiology and nutrition exam prep. The answer - Spiritual Midwifery.

The book opens with a collection of beautiful, natural birth stories in which Ina May and her gang are finding their way as midwives and the mothers are made to feel empowered and beautiful throughout their birth. For Ina May and the Farm midwives and the women they serve, giving birth really is a spiritual experience. They are without fear and they ride their "surges" like a surfer rides a wave, finding their own unique ways to deal with the intensity of birth and help their bodies open up to bring a baby into the world. I was totally in awe of every single woman in this book! Never have I read such a massive collection of birth stories which are so positive about the experience and so natural in happening! 

The second part of the book talks in detail about midwifery practice, with more demonstrative birth stories along the way. Of course, as with reality, there are not always happy endings, but the statistics at the back of the book show a remarkable disparity between the birth statistics on The Farm, which show an overwhelming majority of natural births and extremely low intervention rate, and the rest of America.

I could not put Spiritual Midwifery down and I know it will be a valuable tool in my career. While reading my copy of the book, I envisioned creating a little "library slip" for the inside cover and lending it out to friends, family and colleagues over the years. Already it has made it's way to Yamba for one of my fellow midwifery students and good friends to read on her holiday. 

This book really opened my eyes to the magic of birth, and the power of the experience. While some bits were sort of hippy-dippy, overall, I absolutely loved it. The pages are interspersed with beautiful black and white photographs of happy families and women in birth, and gorgeous, symbolic illustrations are peppered throughout. It was both informative and entertaining, and I would recommend Spiritual Midwifery as a MUST READ to all expectant mothers, midwives and midwifery students, and as an interesting read to anyone who enjoys a good birth story!

Friday, 12 September 2014


Spring is right around the corner here in Australia, and it’s already starting to warm up, so inspired by Kate from Clear The Way’s Write It Out series, I decided to share this piece of writing I did last year in my creative writing class at University. It’s a little story about “Spring” returning from a holiday and setting about her work once more. It might be a little corny, but it was a fun little exercise to do to get me into a creative mindset. I hope you enjoy it.

Light filtering through the curtains woke me, and birds seemed to call from a distance as I pulled myself out of bed. It was my first day back at work after a long vacation, and the bitter cold of the morning did not sit comfortably on my skin. I dressed in layers, knowing that the day would get warmer as it went on, and set out for work. Eira had been the last person to work my post while I was away, so I was nervous to see what mountain of work was waiting for me as I made my way into town. Traffic was slow, and the coffee I bought on the way not quite warm enough to fight the cold of early morning. Sure enough, when I arrived at work and finally seated myself at my desk, I found myself overwhelmed by the amount of work I had to do. Eira always left me snowed under when he covered for me on my time off.

The morning went quickly, as I buried myself in my work. Lunchtime was just around the bend when I decided it was time to take a break and wended my way through the rabbit warren to the tearoom. Sipping icy cold spring water, I unbuttoned my cardigan and watched as the office birds flew in, eager to hear where I’d been. Conversation carried on politely through my entire lunch hour.
“I hate to rain on your parade, ladies, but I really must get back to work now.” A sunny smile, and off I went back to my desk, still not quite caught up on the work that Eira had left me. As the afternoon came to a close, I stepped out of the office glad to be going home and completely satisfied with what I had achieved for the day.

Warm sunlight mingled with a slight breeze on my cheek, and loose strands of hair danced around my face as I walked to the car. A feeling of contentment spread through my body, and I closed my eyes to enjoy the moment. I’m back, I thought. I’m back at work; doing what I love and I could already see the sparkle in the eye of those around me that came with spring. The sun glowed pink on the horizon as I pulled back into my driveway, and cicadas greeted me like old friends as I made my way to the front door. “Goodnight, sun!” I called out into the evening, as it disappeared over the horizon. “We’ve got a lot of work to do tomorrow.” It’s a tough job awakening the world after winter, and on the first day of Spring, I knew the both of us would need all the rest we could get.

Monday, 8 September 2014

On wearing glasses and body image

Lately I've been thinking a lot about my looks. I know that sounds narcissistic at first glance, but please let me explain:

We all know there is a lot of pressure in society for females in particular to look a certain way. We've all had to deal with stereotypes based on our looks, with judgement and criticism, and I'm sure that most of us, at some point, have been ashamed of our bodies, or at least certain aspects of them. I have been ashamed of aspects of my own body, and struggle with body image on a daily basis. I was bullied in school, first for having freckles and wearing glasses, and later for being "too thin". I was called anorexic, I was called "horse face" (my head is kinda long) and was ashamed of the body and face I was born with. When I was in year 8, the bullying (not just about my body, but about other stuff too) got so bad that I developed severe depression and was having thoughts I'm not proud of. It all culminated in me getting a ball to the face (deliberately), which pushed my glasses back into my eye sockets and bruised my face, with me snapping and hitting the main antagonist back (open palm, but to this day the only thing I regret about the situation is not doing it sooner, and not doing it with a clenched fist), and a change of schools which made me infinitely happier, and ended the bullying (for the most part. Teenage girls can be mean!).

The incessant bullying, the comments on my body, they stuck with me. I won't pretend that "what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger", because that is bullshit. The comments these people made to me, the confrontations, the name-calling and the insults have all stuck with me. They're branded in my mind and soul and I have to battle those demons every day. The things that have stuck most are the comments about my glasses. I know the word "nerd" is seen as endearing and "in" right now, but believe you me that when you're a preteen struggling to come to terms with being female, with society's ideas of what is "pretty", being called a nerd is not cool.

For years I struggled to accept the fact I need to wear glasses. I've had them since I was seven years old and so spent all of my teen and preteen life feeling ashamed of my freckly face and the metal frames that were perched on it. Despite needing to wear glasses pretty much all day every day, you will be lucky to find a photo of me wearing them in my teenage years. Every time someone whipped a camera out, my glasses came off. To my silly little brain, glasses were ugly, and wearing them made me an ugly nerd. 

I'm happy to report that somewhere along the line, once I left school I had a change of heart. Thanks to the sudden attention of boys, my confidence built. I'm totally ashamed to say that it took a male's approval to shake me out of my silly, unconfident, glasses-hating ways, but it's true. A guy told me I was beautiful while I had glasses on, and kissed me and I remember excitedly telling my mum when I got home "He thinks I'm beautiful with my glasses on!" as if it was a total miracle. I started wearing eye make up to accentuate my eyes behind the lenses, I bought a pair of attractive designer frames and I began to own those glasses! I began to accept them as a part of me! I wear them as if they're a banner saying "I'm an attractive, well-educated, intelligent and classy woman, dammit! And my glasses frame my face and draw attention to my sparkly green-brown eyes!"

Recently, I have begun considering getting laser surgery on my eyes to fix my short sightedness. It's something the teenaged me wanted for years, but 20 year old me is in two minds about it. Over the past three years, as I have come to accept and even love my freckly, glasses-wearing face, I've begun to feel like my glasses are a part of me. Contrary to my teenage years, these days you're lucky to find a photo of me not wearing my glasses! I feel as if my face looks naked without them, and as much as I'd love to not have to constantly wipe my glasses in the rain or wear safety goggles over my glasses like a fool in my lab classes so I can see my experiments, I think I would kind of miss them if I didn't have to wear them anymore.

It's been a long road to acceptance of my body and face and self-love for me, but I know I'm not alone in my experiences. Is it really so crazy to think that I may miss my glasses, which gave me such hell growing up, if I were to have my vision fixed? Won't I still be the attractive, well-educated, intelligent and classy woman without them? I'll just have to find something else to draw attention to my eyes and frame my face. 

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

My mini ecosystem!

I've been obsessed with the idea of terrariums for a while now. A little group of plants I don't have to water in a cute glass jar? Yes please! I'm a serial plant neglecter. The strawberries I planted when I first moved in to my house barely lasted a month, and it's a miracle the two palms in my living room are alive, considering how often I give them water (maybe twice in 4 months?). I thought about making a terrarium myself, but considering my history with plants, even after much browsing of tutorials on pinterest, I was reluctant to try it. That's when a friend of mine posted a couple of pictures of terrariums he had made on Facebook, asking if anyone would be interested in buying one. Ooh, yes please! I thought. Soon after, he started up a Facebook page for his terrariums called Brisbane Terrarium Co. and tempted me with picture upon picture of little mini ecosystems that pretty much look after themselves! It was really tough trying to decide on which one to get, but eventually I settled on this little one, mostly because of the cute jar if I'm honest! I was pleased as punch when I went to pick it up from his mum's house, and think it's a really cute conversational piece to have in my house. 

Since buying this terrarium, many more beautiful ones have been uploaded to the Facebook page, making me seriously consider buying another. I think two or three displayed together would look absolutely great, but since I'm in the middle of moving house, I will have to be content with one for now. If you're local to Brisbane/the Gold Coast/ the Northern Rivers area and would like a terrarium of your own, head over and like Matt's Facebook page to see which terrariums he currently has on offer. All the terrariums are very reasonably priced, and he offers pick up from Brisbane, or irregular delivery to the Gold Coast and Northern Rivers areas. 

Monday, 1 September 2014

From Student to Midwife: Part 1

What's in my bag: Student Midwife Edition

Considering the overwhelming amount of support I received from the blogging community when I decided to switch university degrees, I thought it might be fun to keep you all updated on how my midwifery studies progress. It's week 11 of my first semester right now, and I must say, I was quick to learn this degree would not be a walk in the park!

To become a midwife, as well as learning actual midwifery skills such as birthing techniques, how to check blood pressure, how babies develop etc. you also need a lot of foundation knowledge, which is what I am tackling in this semester and over summer semester. This semester I am taking Health and Indigenous Australian Peoples, which is a subject about cultural awareness in health care, Food and Nutrition in Health, and Human Physiology, and boy are those last two hard! Human Physiology covers such a ginormous amount of content that I am kind of struggling to keep up, and Food and Nutrition in Health is a lot more complex than I thought it would be.

As a part of Food and Nutrition in Health, we are keeping short food diaries and creating basic individual diet plans for ourselves to see if we are meeting our individual dietary needs. As someone who struggles with their appetite and has various food restrictions due to health problems, I've found it interesting and challenging so far! The food intake study is my main assessment for this class, so it will be interesting to see how I go with the theoretical stuff that goes along with it!

As for Human Physiology, well so far I have only had an online test which I passed (thank god!). I was supposed to do a closed book exam in week 8, but I was ill and so sat it last week instead. I'm incredible nervous over it, because by all accounts, it was terribly difficult!  As much as I love learning about the human body, I am looking forward to being finished with my foundation subjects and moving onto midwifery practice subjects next year!

Friday, 29 August 2014

Write about a favourite summer night from your childhood

The days stretch on in summer and the evenings creep up on you with sticky fingers, casting shadows as long as the day. The heat plays tricks on your brain as you walk back up the street, hair dripping, boogie board under one arm. Feet drag on the bitumen, and you jump at every rattle in the grass. Snake? No, just grasshoppers and butterflies bending long, yellow stalks in the dying sun. There is a chorus of birds and cicadas in the background, mixed in with the gentle whoosh of the waves you've not long left behind. Your mind singles out the whoosh of the tide, focuses on it, and reflects…

Anticipation builds as you wait, board at the ready, head turned as you seek out the perfect wave. This one you say to yourself. You jump forward onto the board, kick-kick-kicking as a wet roar grows louder in your ears. You look back - it's coming! You look forward once more and feel your lips press together, your brows knitting in concentration and determination. Your legs are pounding up and down, and then the wave hits you, picks you up and carries you toward the shore! Your face widens in elation, butterflies do somersaults in your stomach and you feel free! You twist your body to the right, wrenching your board with you to follow the wave down the line. The shoreline looms closer as the wave begins to fizzle out. You awaken from your reflection, hair still dripping, board under one arm and look up at the dying sun. The birds and cicadas come back into focus. The rumble of the ocean is replaced with a rumble in your tummy. A smile spreads across your face as you continue onwards, homebound.


Creative writing is something I've wanted to do a lot more of on the blog for quite some time, but I never seem to know just where to start. I recently found this prompt through Kate's new Write It Out series, which I came across on Tori's blog. With my new look, and desire for an update in blogging direction, it seemed like the perfect time to give something like this a go. If you're interested, head on over to Kate's blog to link up your own post, and find more like-minded, creative bloggers to follow. This is actually last month's prompt, but I will be posting this month's soon, in an effort to catch up!

This little reflection has me yearning for the long summer nights it describes. I'm sitting here in my big, fluffy dressing gown late at night with my skin tingling from an imaginary sun's touch. The summers here are long and dry and hot, but I wouldn't trade them for anything! I've recently swapped my boogie board for a surf board, but  ache too much in winter to head out into the deep blue, even with a wetsuit. Bring on summer, big, floppy hats and long days in the surf chasing the rush that only a roaring wave and a plank of fibreglass can give you. I'm craving the long awaited (our three months of cooler weather drags on forever) return to my second home, beyond the sand. 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

A Very Groovy Saturday

It seems the sun is taunting us here at the moment. A few days of sweet sunshine and now we are back to grey skies and cardigans. Jake and I made the most of the rainy Saturday we were given, with a late breakfast at Groovers Cafe and Restaurant followed by a few hits at the driving range and a snuggly afternoon with some movies on the couch.

Groovers Cafe and Restaurant is relatively new to town, but their good food, quirky decor and reasonable prices mean that Jake and I, being a mere 200 metres away, are frequent customers. So far we have only been at either breakfast or lunch time, but I hear they do a killer tapas style dinner accompanied by good tunes and cheap beer, too. I'm sure I'll test it out sooner or later! 

I got a little overexcited and forgot to take a picture of our breakfast this morning before we ate it, but you'll just have to trust me that it was good! Jake and I both ordered the Aussie breakfast - two eggs, turkish bread, bacon, mushrooms, potato (yes, potato!), pineapple, a sausage and cooked tomato and yes, it was as filling as it sounds! Jake joked on the way out that mine should have been half price, based on how little of it I could eat, and even he had a little bit left on his plate. Their coffee wasn't bad, either. I drank my first quickly before the food came to warm my belly, and savoured the second as we finished our meal. If you're ever in Lennox Head, I'd definitely recommend you check it out! 

Next up was the driving range - one of Jake's favourite rainy day activities. Nothing releases the anger of an incredibly active person having their weekend sporting plans ruined by the rain quite like whacking 100 golf balls as hard as you can from the safety of a tin shed. Apparently. Plus, the puddles make it easier to see where your ball went!

Finally, we retreated home for one of my favourite rainy day activities - snuggles and movies! Jake convinced me to watch Wolf Creek 2 (oh, the nightmares!) and then left me home alone to go to the gym while I watched Alladin to calm myself. When he got home, we finished off the day with a steak dinner and The Wolf of Wall Street. Nothing like a bit of Leo to ensure you have sweet dreams!

What's your perfect rainy day sound like? I have to admit, I think this one would be pretty tough to beat!

*Note: This is not a sponsored post, I just really love Groovers. If you go for lunch, I totally recommend the BLT*

Monday, 25 August 2014

Where I've Been...

A few instagram snapshots of my time away from the blog, for those of you that don't already follow me over there...

I've thrifted a vintage suitcase and a pair of hugging ghost salt and pepper shakers

Celebrated my baby sister turning 18.

Met my favourite band.

Caught a couple of flathead (and made them into a delicious dinner).

Hidden from the northerly in the sand dunes, admiring the beauty of the coastline
as Jake enjoys the start of the kiteboarding season.

Taken pictures of the sunset with visiting friends on the cold sand, then retreated to the warmth 
surrounding performing fire twirlers.