New Year, New Who?

I don’t know about you but I find the start of a new year to be a little bit daunting.
For as long as I can remember I’ve been on annual leave over the Christmas and New Year break. I almost wish this wasn’t so as this extended holiday mode means I start the year off, pretty lazy. I blame the holidays but perhaps it’s actually because the whole new year concept is a little overwhelming. I was definitely asked more often this year the awful and frustrating question “What are your New Year’s Resolutions”?
It might actually surprise you, but I don’t think I like New Year’s Resolutions. I actually love the idea of self-improvement, goal making, planning, prioritising. I just find it weird that it just happens on January 1st. I find it weird that we all sit around at the one time and make promises to give up smoking or take more holidays, or.. lose weight.
Maybe I actually don’t dislike New Year’s Resolution. I just dislike the pressure. I normally do come up with goals for the New Year but I take my time and it ends up being a while before I decide what I really want. They end up being like Valentine’s Day Resolutions. I’m a big processor and it actually takes me more than 30 minutes to assess the whole year and then decide on how I want to improve upon it and then somehow define and condense that into 2 or 3 simple statements. By then it’s normally the end of January and I feel like the moment has passed. It’s simply too late to have a New Year’s Resolution.
For me, all the typical New Year’s Resolution type things kick in once I go back to work. I can’t suggest to the world how I want to improve my routine until I see it. Until I remember what it feels like to wake up every day and go to a job I don’t love or come home to chores I wish I didn’t need to do or try and walk the work stairs and struggle. That’s when I start thinking up things like: Learn to be content, be more organised, get fit!
And so today, I am back at work. Back to routine. Back to the everyday. So today, I am dreaming. Dreaming of what I want, what I wish for and how I am going to make that happen. I have never been very good at large overreaching summarising type New Year’s Resolution like the above statements. Mine are always specific, small and potentially achievable. They are usually based on a review of years gone by and a dream of years to come. I hope you find some inspiration from these goals and are challenged to continually and realistically challenge yourself this year. Even if you don’t get around to starting until February.

Respond to texts promptly.
Go for a walk 3 times a week.
Save $100 a week in order to Vacation Overseas!!
Finish every book I received as a present for Christmas 2013 – (just 4). Read 8 other books this year.
Start University assignments 2 weeks before they are due – finish strong!
Learn to make lemon flavoured desserts. YUM.
Spend more time working on Connect Group/with Connect girls.
Read the New Testament.
Have freshly painted nails!
Write more. Even if it stays in a notebook and no one ever reads it.

 

These are the specific goals that actually represent several ideals that I want to embody more this year. That of inexpensive living, being present and available with people, working hard and finishing strong, engaging my mind, my body and my spirit in a way that produces a better, well rounded Steffany.
I hope I see you here again and I hope the fear and pressure of New Years doesn’t stunt your ability to dream in 2014.

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Trippy Lists

This last weekend I went on a trip with three main purposes. 1. Visit my dear friend Bec. 2. Take a long, long weekend off to celebrate another semester of uni being over and 3. To intentionally cross a few things off my list. We had grand plans, of which some went to waste. But we did cross a few things off and it made me realise a few others have been done since my last update.

22. Bake a cake.

Bec and I baked a layered red velvet cake this weekend. Here’s an in-progress shot to prove I didn’t just steal one from the interwebs. Layered cakes are not as easy at they look and I didn’t really think it looked that easy, but it was fun all the same.

IMG_4830

 

27. Spend an entire pay on shoes.

Okay so technically it wasn’t really a weeks pay. But I won almost the equivalent of a weeks pay in a Bingo jackpot. Yes, I play Bingo. It’s the best, especially when you win. I spent basically all of it on shoes. Sparkly shoes, boots, heels. Shoes, shoes, shoes.

51. Watch the sun rise.

Of course I’ve seen the sun rise. But intentionally? On purpose? Never. So this weekend Bec and I woke up at 5am and drove to the beach to watch the sun rise. It was quite literally, picture perfect.

IMG_5115

63. Skull 2L of coke.

This is one of those things that I must have put on my list mainly for kicks. Because in retrospect, why? Why is that something that anyone wants to do? It doesn’t even help you conquer your fears or gain some new skill or perspective. It was hard and all it gave me was a serious dose of caffeine and giggles and other things we don’t need to talk about. Oh well, #yolo.

Coke

Bake a cake
Spend an entire pay on shoes
Watch the sunrise
Skull 2L of Coke

Done and done!

Tick Tick Check

It’s time for an update on that bucket list because I achieved an amazing amount of things in a ridiculously short space of time.

 

35. Go to a drive in theatre

65. Go to the ballet

75. Eat a tub full of icecream in one setting

 

These are all relatively easy things to achieve I just had never gotten around to doing them.

I ate an entire tub of icecream one horrific Thursday evening as I majorly stuffed up the final part of an assignment. I think the icecream was bought as incentive and after I gave up – I just ate the whole thing.

On the Friday night of the same week, to celebrate submitting said assignment plus another, I drove down the coast and went to the drive in movies with two favourites. It was raining for so much of it, and we sat in the back of a car and got our ankles wet. It was AWESOME. I will definitely do that again.

On the Saturday night… I went to the ballet. My sister was a dancer for a couple of years so I’ve definitely seem some ballet – but never actually at this level. A bunch of friends dressed up and we went to Don Quixote at QPAC. While I’m definitely more of a theatre girl – I really loved it. It was beautiful and impressive. I got laughed at for my lack of knowledge of the ballet by the two obnoxious people in front of us and I STILL had a good time. What I’d love to do next is the Opera. I could go to QPAC every weekend and not get sick of it.

Follow Friday

Blogs you should check out.

Miss Pinches.

My lovely friend Hannah is an amazing blogger. Now that she has an amazing camera by her side, her blog has been ever better. She’s a brilliant list maker and pulls insight out of the smallest things. It’s wonderful to read because I know her and is a great way to keep in touch with her life, but basically, Miss Pinches is for the masses. I laugh and appreciate this blog so much.

My Favourite Colour is SHINY.

This girl can’t be stopped. Like literally, we are looking at a post every single day. So many people start blogs and then stop posting after ooo.. 5 posts. Tegan is getting set to hit 100 already! People who love design and beautiful images will get a kick out of this blog along with some personal insights as well. Hands up if you never want the blogging to end? *both of my hands literally went up*.

William + Laura

I’ll be honest and say that both William and Laura are individually great bloggers. But perhaps not as consistent posters on their own blogs as they are on their couple blog. This blog is pretty darn cute and I think every couple would read it thinking ‘I wish our lives were cool/photographable enough to warrant a couple blog’. Lately they’ve been showcasing their wedding shots which are pretty amazing. I even feature – so you should head on over there and love a little on that blog.

Sarah Starrenburg

If you’re looking for intelligent writing, prose, theological thoughts and other wonderous things I wish I could come up with in my head. You should read Sarah’s blog. She posts daily which for a pure writing blog – is AMAZING. I wish I could write like that. I think everyone does. Except Sarah, she probably wishes she could write better. Sarah is one of my longtime favourite people and is one of the most consistent people I know. Her blog is equally as consistent.

Kendi Everyday

This is my favourite fashion blog. Kendi reminds me of friends I already do have and makes me wish I could be her friend and steal things from her wardrobe. She posts a daily (get it!) outfit and other miscellaneous things thrown in. I think her style is wonderful, realistic, classy and I’m super envious of her hair. Ladies, you won’t regret subscribing to Kendi Everyday.

Girl Removed

This blog belongs to Gemma Bird. It’s a newly created, freshly, regularly updated travel/devotions blog that centres around Gemma’s recent move to Canada. I love travel blogs, they are always filled with funny little stories and tidbits of wisdom. I also love and miss Gemma, so this blog is perfect.

Tips for Success

I’ve had a lot of jobs. So I don’t know if that makes me qualified, or if after a lot of hit and misses I can just tell you what not to do, but overall, I’d say I’m a good administrator. I’m glad to no longer have ‘Receptionist’ as my work title, but I know how it’s done. That’s for sure.

Here are my top ten tips to keeping your job as a Receptionist:

  1. Be on time. The occaisional late day is acceptable and happens to everyone, but everyday? The traffic won’t change, you have to change to suit the traffic.
  2. Listen. If you don’t understand an instruction, or you didn’t hear it correctly. Ask again. Repeat that phone no. back. You might feel stupid at the time, but you won’t feel as stupid in the long run.
  3. Take your lunch break out of the office. Don’t sit at your desk. This basically goes for all roles but especially for receptionists. It looks unprofessional to eat at your desk and when a client arrives in Reception, you can’t swallow and tell him/her ‘Sorry I’m just on my break, let me find someone to help you’.
  4. Keep a working to-do list and calender. If the system you have doesn’t work, change it.
  5. Prioritise. Complete one job at a time and unless you are the BEST multitasker ever.
  6. Know your staff and your clients. You should know which staff accept telemarketing phone calls and which can’t stand it. You should know what clients to put straight through and which to grill for more information.
  7. Don’t take lots of sick days. Receptionists are normally young and people assume the worst. Better to be sent home than to be at home and have them in the office assuming. I’d say a working goal is no more than half the amount you are allocated per year.
  8. Limit your personal chatter, internet use and phone time. Companies only have a certain amount of tolerance, if any, for these things. Learn your company quick, don’t always follow other employee’s examples.
  9. Proof. Nothing worse than a typo in a phone message or on a contract. Double check who you send that email to. Things can always get awkward.
  10. Breathe.Some people just don’t understand how important Receptionists are. You run that office.

Things I care for..

The following list is things I currently care for:

  • Perfect nails.
  • Creative stimulus.
  • My job. Working hard.
  • Writing.
  • People reading quality books.
  • Letters.
  • Hugs.
  • Relaxation.
  • Preparation.
  • Motivation.
  • Sleep.
  • Doing my best.
  • Sweet texts.
  • Sweet postcards in the mail.
  • Understated outfits.
  • Promoting Kindle.
  • My favourite colour is SHINY.
  • People who just make things happen.
  • Innuendo.
  • Boy&Bear.
  • Responsibility.
  • Integrity.

To Do Lists That Matter

I write a to-do list every work day. Some days (most!) it’s huge and then like today, it’s really not. There are so many things I want to get done on the weekends and weeknights that I just never get to. Yet I can always achieve everything at work. The answer! A to-do list for life! This is my current to-do list.

  • Go to Harvey Norman and get a photo of Tegan and I and Laura and I at their respective weddings printed for the empty frames sitting on my desk.
  • Clean out my shoe closest. I have so many shoes in their I don’t wear and it takes me too long to find the ones I do.
  • Transfer all the Kindle files I was given onto my actual kindle. What use is it on a computer?
  • Pack up my books into a box. I own 200 or more books, and they just don’t fit on the bookshelf at Mum’s.
  • Start a book for 2012. Should at least include some goals, some pictures, some thoughts.
  • Sew that button back on those pants I’d normally wear all the time.
  • Bake some cookies.
  • Queue my tumblr up to 100 posts.
  • Tell my sister 6 things about why I love being her sister.
  • Paint my nails. Cut and colour my hair.
  • Vacuum my car.
  • Make some serious calls about this year.
  • Purchase some supplies for university this year.
  • Make myself a pretty calender/planner.

2012 is all about things that matter.

Oh Deary Me

I’m a gifts person. That’s my official love language. But it’s also a frustrating love language to have, so my second and the one I use/receive the most of is Words of Affirmation. That’s because I’m big on words. Yes yes, talking. But the actual words mean so much to me. I’m becoming a person who is conscious of what she says because words are important.

Terms of Endearment

A term of endearment is a word or phrase used to address and/or describe a person, animal or inanimate object for which the speaker feels love or affection. Terms of endearment are used for a variety of reasons, such as parents addressing their children and lovers addressing each other. (Wikipedia, 2011)

The other day I was discussing with my bestie Tegan and I decided I liked used the word ‘affectionately’. It got me to thinking about words that describe affectionate feelings and what are blogs if not for sharing thoughts. These are my thoughts on Endearing Terms.

Babe – this is probably the one term of endearment that I don’t even notice that I use. I use it in written form and it actual conversations. This word gets used for any friend who is an actual friend. They don’t need to be my bestie, but someone I see semi-regularly or catch up with on the odd occaision. If you are one of these people, you’ve probably received a text that starts like this ‘Babe! What’s happening with..’ or ‘Hey babe, did you know..’

Baby – Possibly the only thing my future boyfriend will ever hear me call him. Every now and then (like hardly ever!) I accidentally call friends ‘baby’. Only super super close friends and everytime I say it, I cringe and hope they heard ‘babe’. Sometimes Georgia gets ‘baby’. Cos she’s my little baby sister. Self explanatory.

Buddy – All close male friends will get ‘buddy’. It is my way of telling them I think very much of them, without them thinking I am in love with them. I hope.

Butterchicken – a Willis version of buttercup or other such words. Georgia loves to call me butterchicken. Extremely racist and patronising. I like it.

Girly – Favourite ladies will hear me say girly a little bit.

Bunny – originally something I picked up off Tegan Swanborough. And has really taken off. I hear my sisters friends saying Bunny all the time. It normally gets used like this ‘Hello bunny’, ‘Why are you such a naughty bunny’. NB is also, Naughty Bunny. ‘Stop being such a NB’.

Lovely – Gets used frequently in written communication. ‘Hello lovely’.

Pookie – I think this one is disgusting, which is especially why I like to use it every now and then.

I don’t really see a big need for anthing with ‘sweet’ in the title. Sweetie, sweetheart, sweet sugar plum pie, sweet cheeks, sweetness. Sugar is bad too, sugar babe. Maybe it’s just S words. Snookie, snookums, snuggle bunny, stud. BLECH.

Darling is even pushing it a little bit too far. Overuse of any word frustrates me, but overuse of terms of endearment is most likely to drive me crazy.

Fair warning.

Such a cliche.

I am the biggest cliche. Proof is in the following bullet points.

  • I actually have weak knees. I find myself just randomly collapsing, causing me to look like a foolish school girl.
  • When I meet someone I respect/am attracted to, I clam up. I’m that stupid girl who gets tongue tied and sits still with nothing to say. That’s not even close to what I am like naturally.
  • I love romantic comedys.
  • I love good music, coffee, shopping, long walks on the beach and going to the movies.
  • I’m easily distracted by a great pair of high heels or a certain High School Musical star.
  • Top 5 Places to visit: Paris, Rome, New York, Cairo & Tahiti.
  • I like roses, and red ones too. In fact they are probably my favourite.
  • Take one look at my bedroom. Pinks, poster bed, oodles of cushions, elaborate clocks, lamps and a chandelier.
  • I actually have walked into buildings/poles, tripped over guitar cases/nothing because I am distracted by something. Unfortunately, to make matters worse, sometimes it actually is because I am checking out a good looking gentleman.

However, despite all these things. I’m one of the weirdest/unique/quirky people you’ll meet.

The Last Single Girl

Recently my friends, namely my best friends, have all gotten boyfriends. And while I’m very happy for them and their insane bliss, it can leave one feeling a little.. well.. unhappy with her current status. I actually enjoy being single, so to remind myself of the fact, I wrote a list. A list of 100 things I’d like to do while I’m still single. Not all of the things on this list are things you can only do while being single.. but it’s just a motivating list. I’ll try and remember to take pictures and keep a record of stuff I do, and then I’ll blog about it. I made it a list of practical and fun things. Here goes nothing..

  1. Learn how to change a tyre
  2. Watch Gilmore Girls Season 1-7 in a straight sitting
  3. Learn how to surf
  4. Read every C.S Lewis book
  5. Learn to knit
  6. Sing in a musical
  7. Spend a full day at a spa
  8. Learn how to salsa
  9. Make a creme brulee
  10. Climb a mountain
  11. Go sailing
  12. Take a photography class
  13. Go on a vacation by myself
  14. Go to see a boy band in concert
  15. See the Eiffel Tower
  16. Ride a horse
  17. Ride something bigger than a horse
  18. Go to the Olympics
  19. Sing kareoke
  20. Ask someone fairly random out
  21. Go on a road trip
  22. Bake a cake
  23. Fly a kite
  24. Fall asleep in a meadow
  25. Fly business class
  26. Go to Uluru
  27. Spend an entire pay on shoes
  28. Perform a handbrake turn in a car
  29. Hire out a car that’s out of my price range
  30. Read all Harry Potter books
  31. Read all Lord of the Rings books
  32. Sleep under the stars
  33. Go skinny dipping
  34. Buy a stranger a meal
  35. Go to a drive in theatre
  36. Jury duty
  37. Join a book club
  38. Become a liscenced minister
  39. Throw a surprise party
  40. Write a will
  41. Buy somebody a bunch of red roses
  42. Plant a tree, or a flower bush, or a vegetable
  43. Write a novel
  44. Shower in a waterfall
  45. Learn to juggle with three balls
  46. Go in a hot air balloon
  47. Make a hole in one
  48. Watch every James Bond film
  49. Read a book a fortnight for a year
  50. Leave a love note on a windscreen
  51. Watch the sun rise
  52. Jump into a pile of autumn leaves
  53. Do a first aid course
  54. Go for a full day without talking
  55. Give blood
  56. Spend a whole day naked
  57. Get a regular manicure and pedicure for a year
  58. Be a bridesmaid
  59. Make cookies for someone
  60. Eat an entire pizza on my own
  61. Donate more than a weeks pay to something worthwhile
  62. Preach at church
  63. Skull 2L of coke
  64. Cook everything from a cookbook
  65. Go to the ballet
  66. Write a song
  67. Enter a competition
  68. MC a wedding
  69. Write a handwritten letter to 10 friends
  70. Blog regularly
  71. Turn my mobile off for a week
  72. Be debt free
  73. Be in a TV audience for something. Pref. Ellen
  74. Not shave for a month
  75. Eat a tub full of icecream in one sitting
  76. Balance a checkbook (or get in control of my finances)
  77. Kiss someone I hardly know
  78. Sponsor another child
  79. Make a signature dish
  80. See ‘Wicked’
  81. Buy an iPad
  82. Put $20 in a letter and post it to a random address
  83. Pick wildflowers
  84. Visit the Canadian Rockies
  85. Own all the Lori Wick Books
  86. Sing someone a love song
  87. Get a charicature done of myself
  88. Drive in a limo to somewhere unexpected
  89. Make a dress
  90. See Coldplay or U2 or someone really big in concert
  91. Alphabetise my book collection
  92. Meet Hayley Williams from Paramore
  93. Ride on a bike with tassels and a basket
  94. Buy a house
  95. Be on TV
  96. Dance all night long – like literally all night long.
  97. Get retweeted by someone famous
  98. Faint from excitement or happiness
  99. Watch all my best friends get married
  100. Love Jesus always.

I reserve the right to change this list whenever and however I want and to complete these tasks in the time frame I choose.