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Film Photography (ha!)

I’ve loved photography for some time now. It probably started with MySpace when I realised that photos allowed you to save some really cool images. I must admit that as much as I love and can appreciate amazing photos, I’m just not that great at capturing them.

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A few years ago now, Matty bought me a Holga camera as a present. A Holga is a ‘toy camera’ which is built to allow light leaks, blurring and vignette effects. It’s essentially a crap camera which now has a cult following.

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There was a bit of a double exposure thing going on in this one

I am terrible at remembering to use it and bring it places with me. A camera just isn’t as convenient as a phone. But I did manage to pull it out for our recent engagement party. This is where the ‘ha’ in the title comes from.Isabell

I can, on occasion, take a pretty damn good photo on the Holga. I obviously didn’t take the shots above that I am featured in, but all the others were my doing.

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A past roll of film from perhaps 2012?

I think that the better shots that I’ve gotten have come from using the flash in a dark space. It does also love bright bright sunlight, like the photo below.

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It’s also fun to use double (or triple) exposure. I really, really need to play with this more because the photo of Lucy turned out awesomely.

Lucy thrice

But back to the ‘ha’. I had the engagement photos developed and when I picked them up I couldn’t wait to get a look at them. Oh my. In trying to recreate a great roll of film from an earlier date, I had tried the method of surprise photography, where snapping photos right up in peoples faces and blinding them with the flash captured some real life moments. Please scroll down to see my amazing skills.

Bec group Jas Jen

 

At least I can say that the photos made it feel like you were really there.

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What’s keeping me from achieving my goals

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Elizabeth from Delightfully Tacky wrote a post back in July about goals and dreams and it got the ball rolling in my mind. Even if it did take me almost a month to get my act together to write about it.

What do I really want to do with my life? Ugh. Sometimes I hate being so adult. But really I’m 25 and I feel like I should have a clear idea in my mind about me, and what I like, what drives me, and what I want to be doing. But I don’t really.

When I finished high school I had no idea what I wanted to do. As a teenager I’d gone through a few career wants but nothing really stuck. I saw a career adviser when I was nearing the end and he suggested a course for me to do. This was my first mistake. I was so happy to have someone tell me what I should do that I didn’t think about it any further. I took a year off and worked as a swim teacher, I went to uni for 3 years and only at the end of that time did I start to think ‘oh hey, so now what?’. My course was VERY open ended. The course guide stated at least 15 things that you could do upon completing the course.

Year 12: Mum and I

Year 12: Mum and I

When I got to the end of my degree (a bachelor of arts, with a media and communications major) I wasn’t excited. I didn’t feel that I had actually achieved anything because I didn’t have a job or a direction. This was the first time that I started thinking about what I was good at. I settled on being organised. I was good at that. I could do something with that. So I started a cert III in event management, which seemed to fit.

Bar class at TAFE for events

Bar class at TAFE for events

 

Or not. Yes I liked organising, but no I didn’t like phone work or crabby clients. I also got a terrible job in the tourism industry at the end of those 6 months which turned me way off. Noooww whaaaaaat?

Work play.

My current workplace

So I went back to working with kids. The swim teaching, and another job as a party host had showed me that working with kids was pretty damn fun and something that I was pretty damn good at. But now I’m nearing 2.5 years working as an out of school hours care coordinator and I’m over it. Again. I hate not being paid sick and holiday leave. I hate having to look for other shifts every school holidays. I am annoyed at the lack of organisation within the company.

I hate this.

So I’ve blathered on about work goals, but to me if you’re doing something 25+ hours per week then you better damn love it. There are other goals; some of which have been achieved like buying a house, and some which need to wait; such as becoming a mother.

Our little house

Our little house

What IS keeping me from achieving my goals? Probably a lot of it is fear of the unknown. Maybe I want to do activities with people living in aged care? Maybe I want to open my own play center? Maybe I want to get into visual merchandising?

And a fear of failure. What if working with the elderly isn’t anything like I think it will be and I’ll have to change jobs again? What if I open a centre and it fails and nobody comes? What if I end up setting up windows for Katies?

I’m guessing a lot of it also is that I don’t really know what I want. Everything has it’s positives and it’s negatives. And the other thing that plays on my mind is that I wish I had have thought more about my strengths and likes before now. I could have saved myself 3.5 years of study. Not to say that I didn’t learn anything from my time in further education, but maybe it would have been better spent doing a visual merchandising course. Or a diploma of children’s services (at an actual university or tafe, rather than awkwardly through).

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But even though some of my goals haven’t been met, I need to remind myself that it’s ok to be where I’m at. There are a lot of things in my life that are pretty damn great. And even if I’m not sure what I want to do career wise, at least I have a job. Emma from A Beautiful Mess wrote about changing dreams and it made me feel better, especially when she said “You are not a failure. Even if you’re feeling like one lately, please know I’ve been right there with you. I believe in you. You should believe in yourself”. Thanks Emma.

 

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Engagement on a budget

Yep, so you know that I’m engaged, right? After the squealing and the jumping up and down comes the scary bit. Oh my gosh the planning. So, so much stuff needs to be planned! I guess I hadn’t given it that much thought beforehand, but boy was I thinking about it when the whole ‘going to be married reaaal soon’ thing sunk in.

The first step was the engagement party. Matty and I wanted to have it as close to our engagement date as possible so that we could celebrate the event itself with all of our friends and family in one space, at one time. Saturday the 2nd of August it was.

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So the venue, the guest list, the decorations, whether we would be serving drinks and food… all of that stuff needed to be sorted asap. Ugh. So here comes the budget part.

For the venue Matty’s parents kindly agreed to let us use their backyard. Booyah, free! The decorations were of course crafted by me, no question there. The number of guests (we had approximately 100 or so) and therefore the food/drinks was the only real expense of the night. 

Matty designed the gorgeous invitations above and had them printed for a very reasonable cost.IMG_2207

We sussed out a catering and serving price from a company that I used to work for. Wow-ee am I glad that we did our homework. It was WAY WAY WAY out of our budget. I knew their food was good, but we couldn’t justify the expense. So we had a look around and found a company that could provide kitchen staff and servers for a much more reasonable price. 

I used my beloved Pinterest to help decide what food would work and could be made for 100 guests, as well as sticking to the party basics, then Mum and I got to work checking out prices. We scoured Costco (and took photos of everything!) and then the supermarkets to find the cheapest price for all the food stuffs (and liquor) that we needed.

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The creation of the ‘honeymoon fund’ envelopes

Costco ended up being an absolute life saver. We bought 90% of all the party supplies there. The rest came from Coles, Liquorland, the fruit shop and $2 shops. 

The food, aside from being cheap, was very time consuming to prepare. I may have over extended myself when I decided to make lolly skewers, cookies, antipasto skewers, fruit skewers and meatballs with dipping sauce. It was sort of fun though.

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The sign to accompany the envelopes

My snazzy fabric envelopes were handmade with fabric that I found for super cheap at a recent craft fair and the wooden tree sign was from a discount craft store outlet.

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I did have a whole lot of support from everyone. Mum helped me shop for all of the nourishment, as well as helping me thread skewers last minute. Sharon organised the entire marquee set up, and of course offered her house for the venue. My dad provided heating, chairs and fancy whiskey. Ron (and the other “uncles”) served as barmen. Matty set up the sound system and complained about being tortured whilst threading lollies onto skewers, haha. IMG_2412On the day we were actually pretty damn organised. Matty and I made some last minute food stuffs and then I was treated to a super fancy professional make up experience by my sister in law to be, Jess. IMG_2413

How all brides to be should look at their engagement party

How all brides to be should look at their engagement party

The night itself was fricking freezing. So much so that blower heaters iced over and many feet went numb. But the company was great, if not a little darn scary. Who knew that 100 friends and family in one place is reaaallly overwhelming? The food was delicious, the drinks were consumed, some terrible photos were taken (more on that in a later post), the kitchen/serving staff did a pretty good job, and everyone seemed to have a really good time.

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Our little ‘honeymoon haul’ definitely made us feel loved, as did all the sweet things that were written in our cards.

But back to the budget part. All up, the party cost a little over $2,000. For a guest list of 100+ including food, alcoholic drinks and kitchen/wait staff I feel that it was money well spent. 

My tips are: research, research, research (and document everything), shop around, do what you can yourselves and don’t be shy to ask for assistance (or to accept it!).

And I’ll just leave you with one of the many giggle worthy messages that we received. This one was from Matty’s indoor cricket buddies.

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So I eat some weird stuff…

As I was spreading some liverwurst onto some wholegrain crackers as a belated breakfast this morning I thought to myself “so I really do eat some weird stuff”. I have always been a bit of an odd eater. As a child, and as an adult too, I don’t find myself bouncing up and down excitedly to eat all those typical breakfast foods, or any food really before 9am. Eggs: meh, verging on gross. Cereal: maybe, but I’m not really a fan of the whole milk thing. Toast: In this house we don’t even own a toaster, so you can probably see how much we eat toast.

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When I was younger I have some odd food memories, such as eating liverwurst on slices of apple. Yes this memory is why I decided to buy some recently. I also remember being scolded for eating crushed pineapple for breakfast by school teachers. There was also this thing with those Country Cheese biscuits which involved regurgitation that shouldn’t be mentioned ever again.

Half veg, half meat lasagne

Half vegetable, half meat lasagna

These days I suppose I eat more ‘normally’, with a few odd things thrown in here and there. Say, drinking the Chinese vinegar soy after the dumplings are gone. Ahem.

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But let’s talk about all the great foods that are out there. Here’s what I’ve been loving lately from my beloved Pinterest:

  • Green Bean Avocado Fried Rice. This was yummy and oh so filling the other night.
  • Shaved Asparagus and Whipped Ricotta Pizza. I made this last night for Matty and his parents and we all loved it! It even got Matty and I to try asparagus.
  • Easy Lemon Curd. I made this lemon curd to fancy up (and to replace some very sad berries) on a pavlova for Easter.
  • Cheesy Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes. We’ve made this recipe a few times now and I’m putting it on the list for this weeks meals.
  • One Pot Pasta. I accidentally left the leftovers of this on the bench all night and almost cried on my way home from work the next morning when I realised.
  • Vegetable Bake. This recipe is GOOD. Who knew that grating and combining a bunch of veggies (and adding cheese and bacon) would be so tasty.
  • Roasted Rosemary Almonds. Matty requests that I made these probably once every few months. They’re great for a so-hungry-i’m-going-to-die-whilst-i’m-cooking-dinner-snack.
  • Roasted Beet Hummus. This was the recipe that started my ‘I’m going to make all the hummus’ feeling.

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So tell me about your weird food loves, or even hates. I wanna know!

 

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365 Project: 20-26 May

Day 136: The only photo that I was able to take of The Magic Castle (the magical performance part).

Day 136: The only photo that I was able to take of The Magic Castle (the magical performance part).

Day 137: DISNEYLAND!

Day 137: DISNEYLAND!

Day 138: Yes we traveled  across the world to go to Kmart. We also went to The Grove Farmers Market.

Day 138: Yes we traveled across the world to go to Kmart. We also went to The Grove Farmers Market.

Day 139: Sad to be back to reality

Day 139: Sad to be back to reality

Day 140: Fast food lunch after grocery shopping.

Day 140: Fast food lunch after grocery shopping.

Day 141: This was pretty damn creative for my first day back at work.

Day 141: This was pretty damn creative for my first day back at work.

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365 Project: 13-19 May

Day 129: We tried to squeeze in everything we hadn't done for our last day in Vegas. This was the amazing M&M shop on the strip.

Day 129: We tried to squeeze in everything we hadn’t done for our last day in Vegas. This was the amazing M&M shop on the strip.

Day 130: Bourbon Street New Orleans

Day 130: Bourbon Street New Orleans

Day 131: Our first burlesque and gay bar. Also our favourite place in N.O.

Day 131: Our first burlesque and gay bar. Also our favourite place in N.O.

Day 132: Today was all about steam boats, cemeteries and quiet nights.

Day 132: Today was all about steam boats, cemeteries and quiet nights.

Day 133: Rather tipsy from a few 3-for-1 drinks at Lucky Pierre's after a day on an airboat.

Day 133: Rather tipsy from a few 3-for-1 drinks at Lucky Pierre’s after a day on an airboat.

Day 134: Cheap alcohol and free mixers and snacks from the hotel equals and impromptu session by the pool.

Day 134: Cheap alcohol and free mixers and snacks from the hotel equals and impromptu session by the pool.

Day 135: We visited Universal Studios and wore many pairs of oh so stylish 3D glasses.

Day 135: We visited Universal Studios and wore many pairs of oh so stylish 3D glasses.

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365 Project: 6-12 May

Day 121: Got my ring back from resizing. I also got my hair trimmed (read chopped off)

Day 121: Got my ring back from resizing. I also got my hair trimmed (read chopped off).

Day 122: I keep admiring my ring in all different lights. Sparkle sparkle!

Day 122: I keep admiring my ring in all different lights. Sparkle sparkle!

Day 123: The pool cues are almost taller than me in the airport lounge.

Day 123: The pool cues are almost taller than me in the airport lounge.

Day 124: This guy at LAX had a bucket of biscuits.

Day 124: This guy at LAX had a bucket of biscuits.

Day 125: Perusing the menu for pre-show dinner before LOVE.

Day 125: Perusing the menu for pre-show dinner before LOVE.

Day 126: This is often my view of Matty. Queuing for 'V the variety show'.

Day 126: This is often my view of Matty. Queuing for ‘V the variety show’.

Day 127: I won back almost what I paid for Mothers Day dinner.

Day 127: I won back almost what I paid for Mothers Day dinner. This was my lucky machine.

Day 128: A parma with pasta. Whaa!

Day 128: A parma with pasta. Whaa!