summer dreaming…

looking through my photos from lately, I can’t help spotting a sneaky little theme… it’s spring, the weather is alternatingly warm or crazy (they did say Australia was the land of ‘droughts and flooding rain’) and I’m deep in exam prep.

obviously, the solution has been to look out for the peachiest, melting-hot summer imagery I could find. it’s been like recreating Pinterest in real life:

to add to the theme i’ve switched my laptop to this wallpaper and this sweater is coming in the mail. come on already, summer!

{fyi: sunglasses from the cancer council (similar here). bowl candle from bella & toby. nail varnish from crabtree & evelyn. skincare from sugar baby’s new, classy vita skin collection.}

thinking about…

getting lost in this beautiful, slightly haunting photo collection. strange and lovely. this is my favourite post I’ve found so far.

lusting after this tartan tote bag. If you ask me, plaid is an all-year, every year trend.

loving the poem that won this year’s World Poetry Slam Championship (it’s at the bottom of the article!) I have so much respect for this amazing woman and her powerful words.

gazing at this gorgeous print. and starting to think I should put aside a special wall for prints…or not, if I ever want to save money.

moving back towards wearing eyeliner every day. I love how dramatic it feels! plus by contrast my dark eye circles practically fade away. my go-to is Stila’s, primarily because my hero Miss James uses it.

knowing that this article is true. I found it in a rough spell, and maybe because I’m a little superstitious – this article was published on my birthday! – it’s rung more true to me than every other “find your purpose” tool I’ve come across.

wearing white this summer. any bets how long it takes before I spill something on myself? I am loving this crop top and this perfect skirt.

feeling so overwhelmed by this third grade class’s answers to the question, “what do you wish your teacher knew?”

learning something new every day with Highbrow, who send helpful little emails each day containing information about a topic you get to choose. I started with “Science questions everyone should know how to answer”.

making my own kombucha. Crazy or awesome?

{header image found here}

five minutes

how was your October? mine was crazy stressful, but in between we had some beautiful moments. I kept my camera close at hand and I think I’m getting better at making it focus and balancing the light.

Here’s some of what’s been happening:

  1. the most delicious dinner I have had in a long, long time. and who knew asparagus could be used as table decorations?

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2. rain, which brought rainbows.

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3. I’ve been reading reams and reams of Collective magazine, an Australian publication dedicated to motivating brilliant people by telling amazing stories. They do these great watercolour quote pages each issue. I’ve also been reading the books of Lisa Messenger, Collective‘s editor in chief… I think everyone has those points in life where they feel unsure and look for direction. Reading Lisa’s sensible words was just what I needed.

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4. the moon is still my favourite target to shoot. I think it’s because my phone camera has no way of getting photos anything like this.

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5. What did you dress up as for halloween? I worked all day and had a quiet night in. With a little more eyeliner than usual.IMG_1377

xx

Dora

thinking about…

visiting Wendy Whiteley’s secret garden, a hidden spot overlooking the Sydney CBD that I just discovered online. Sounds magical.

learning to put my phone away and focus. this cute post has helped – it suggests you think of your phone as a selfish child seeking attention.

perfecting my flimsy hair with a bit of volume and some texture from this organic brand with the yummiest packaging. My hairdresser used a bit of this range on me when I went to get a trim and now I’m seriously tempted.

cooking up a storm for all my friends with birthdays around the corner. I made my boyfriend a tray of syrupy, sugar-dusted cinnamon rolls on his birthday and they went down a treat. There’s something so impressive-looking about serving them up in the tray too, maybe because it proves you didn’t just buy them from a store. The actual recipe I used was from this gorgeous book but you can find free versions that come pretty close all over the internet, like this one.

tidying my life up with my new diary. Since I got my first iPhone two years ago, I’ve been using Calendar exclusively because it’s so convenient to have my events sync between my devices and set myself notifications to stave off forgetfulness. Recently, though, I started missing the feeling of taking out my pen and writing down my tasks for the week, and looking at a page spread to see what I had coming up this week. September is a super weird time to buy a diary – I fielded some strange looks – but fortunately everybody has their financial year diaries on sale now so I picked up a sweet little planner for a song. as you can see here, I made a pocket in the back for those important documents you want to take everywhere.

indulging in this lip balm. it sounds, um, yum.

dreaming of closing my books and travelling to some faraway land (hello laughing New York lady in the image above!). it’s that time of year when everybody has had just about enough! from here on, it’s all about finding little sweet spots in life to get us through. this year has gone so quickly, there’s no better way to be reminded that life moves too fast to sweat the small stuff.

dealing with disappointment. a think I’ve had to do a little bit lately. I’m working on an in-depth post about this, to share what I’ve learned. in the mean time I’m staying positive by listening (read: crazy dancing!) to obnoxiously upbeat songs and focusing on things I can control, like taking care of my body and my mind with Blogilates’ positive little workout videos.

Much love,

Dora

image found on pinterest.

a picnic

Yesterday I had a picnic with my gorgeous friend Em. I brought gooey pastries and my polaroid camera; she brought teacups, chai, and her sausage dog, Ollie. The sun was out and we sat at the park and talked about everything. It was the perfect recharge to start off this week free from classes.

Look how cute Em’s shoes were! They were like something out of Alice in Wonderland.

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Those pastries were something else! We had a cronut and the most delicious almond croissant (the cinnamon roll lived to fight another day). Then we went for a  l o n g  walk in an attempt to burn some of the calories from the feast. Worth it.

thinking about…

catching back up on my sleep schedule. these past few weeks so much fun and work have been happening, the sleep graph is dropping and the coffee consumption is rising… with the break coming up, I’m in the mood for this sweater, if only it was available here!

decorating my office, when I one day have an office… this is the inspiration and and this is such a gorgeous home office.

taking advice from this blog on professionalism as a young woman lawyer.

enjoying nature. now spring is here there are flowers everywhere and it’s finally warm enough to enjoy being outdoors again!

feeling stressed,  then thankful when I lost my poor iPhone to water damage (in the toilet! oh my!) then Apple replaced it at half price at the Genius Bar. their customer service is amazing: so friendly but very no-nonsense. the whole affair also reminded me how darn useful my phone is! going without it – particularly the calendar and email apps – for two whole days was more disorientating than I thought it would be. now I’m thinking of getting my new baby a lovely new case to protect it.

celebrating this wonderful new personal security app. hearing about this was one of those ‘of course!’ moments.

contemplating this print to start the week off on the right foot.

balancing assignments, reading, exercise and work. I wish I could link to a helpful webpage or product on this, but so far the only method I’ve tried that works is to keep a to-do list and have a little perspective on life’s curveballs.

covering myself with this watermelon lotion and also a watermelon soap. the summer fever is setting in hard now and I’m loving everything tropical and fruity!

snoozy image from Miss Moss

no whining.

they say to do all things with love. they say to take the best interpretation. they say kindness is contagious.

in hard times, nothing ‘they’ say is any help.

tempers rise. words run too fast. and in the worst times, what ‘they’ say is thrown to the wind, maybe deliberately, maybe even for effect. and later we feel shame – embarrassment – that we could forget such basic parts of what it means to be a friend.

i have been so lucky in my loved ones. they are forgiving, kind, funny, generous, thoughtful. and even so, there are hard times, there are sharp words. so i can only conclude that this must happen to everybody.

so, to my companions down here in the trenches: I think we should keep trying. because every bit of progress we make is a gift to a deserving friend. and I think, even though we can’t be perfect, we’ll thank ourselves for it.

love,

Dora

x

gorgeous print from here with thanks to my blog hero Erin for linking me

thinking about…

  1. watching this gif over and over and sending it to everyone I know.
  2. printing these gorgeous (and free – how generous is that!) inspirational artworks for my space.
  3. sleeping in a clean, well-made bed. last weekend as a treat my mum did up my bed for me. I thought I was doing an okay job of it but this was a whole new thing. next laundry day she’s going to teach me how to get on that level.
  4. finding out that there are more CEOs of major companies named John than all the female CEOs of equivalent companies put together. this graph is a good visualisation of what that looks like.
  5. re-reading a beautiful old post I found in my bookmarks from back in my Tumblr days.
  6. needing some cute flats (maybe these?) for uni.
  7. washing and putting away some of my very heaviest winter clothes now it’s getting a little warmer.
  8. wanting a gorgeous, inspiring agenda like this one, or this.
  9. preparing for summer with cute workout videos like this one here.
  10. spoiling my friends with little gifts. A week ago one of my lovely ladies brought me a tiny present at uni, just to show she was thinking about me. It brightened up my whole day and I realised how nice you can make someone feel without breaking the bank.

xo

Dora

Image found here.

lately.

these first few weeks of class have been full of good things – catching up with friends, discovering new cafes on campus, great lecturers (and a few of the nutty ones, of course.) in between all that, here’s what I’ve been up to:

  • I splurged on this denim playsuit for summer. i’m so excited at the traces of sunny weather we’re seeing already!
  • going exploring. The cornflowers are at Sydney’s Grounds of Alexandria cafe, which probably has the most beautiful bathroom decor I’ve ever seen.
  • practicing with my camera – close-ups, pinhole, low light.
  • a dangerous new family tradition of putting together a huge, delicious cheeseboard to munch on while we prepare dinner.
  • taking time to notice the details.
  • drinking herbal tea and keeping my Vitamin C up to keep my immune system strong now I have to travel on the train every day again.
  • reading for pleasure in between reading to keep my head above water in class.
  • funny story: when we moved in to this house, the bath had no plug. that wasn’t much of a problem, since I mainly use the shower, but recently I started fancying a warm soak. we’re searching high and low to find a plug the right size – in the meantime, I’m using different heavy objects in my bathroom to weigh down on the sinkhole then seeing how long I can go without kicking them loose.

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warm quinoa salad

I think we all have a meal for one that we turn to when we’re holed up inside working. something healthy to help us when we’re almost in hibernation, but yummy and enjoyable to make. mine is this simple study meal, somewhere between a salad and a stir fry. it only needs one pot, and it takes about half an hour to make, or five minutes if you’ve got your quinoa prepared in advance.

here’s how to make it:

  1. for one serve, wash one-third of a cup of dry quinoa grains in a sieve and boil in a small pot until softened to the texture of pasta.
  2. while the quinoa is cooking, take one carrot and peel it, discarding the peel. then hang on to your carrot peeler and use it to slice the remainder of the carrot into strips.
  3. when the quinoa is fully cooked, strain and wash it again to remove any excess liquid and starch. keep it to the side while you heat some oil in the bottom of the pot at medium heat.
  4. add your strips of carrot and fry gently until soft. return the quinoa to the pot and add half a teaspoon of chilli flakes, if you’d like the salad a little spicy.
  5. wash a handful of baby spinach leaves and add them to your pot. they will fill it to the top at first, but put a lid over the pot for five minutes and it will simmer down.
  6. give the mixture a stir, then serve it into a bowl. you can garnish with some shaved parmesan or coriander.

what are your simple study meals? let me know in the comments!

x

Dora