27 Sep 2015

A Few Favourite Fonts

I love a good well-made design of any sort, and when it comes to type, fonts can make or break the finished product. As someone who's spent a bit of time over the years making cards, posters and the like and has so far failed to make a decent font of her own, I've experimented with a load of different ones, and I've finally curated a nice little list of favourites that I keep coming back to. You might even recognise some of them from my previous posts. The links to all these fonts are below. I hope they please some of you type lovers out there.


Always in My Heart // Code Light // Fancy Me // Eyes Wide Open // Honey Script // Mayonaise

I hope you liked this little collection. If you have any favourite fonts that you've found, be sure to leave them in the comments! You can never have too many.

xx

21 Sep 2015

Thought for Nought: Online Identities

Finding your own identity is a somewhat strange and unique process. There's a lot of mistakes, a lot of try-before-you-buy type experiences, and a lot of awkward, cringe-worthy memories. We all go through it: the process of piecing ourselves together. It's like an epic quest, setting out to search for previously undiscovered segments of ourselves that could be hidden anywhere. It's a perpetual journey. There are an infinite amount of pieces, but it gets easier. You lay out the foundations and build the walls until it comes to picking out window-dressing and little pieces for decoration, building a comfortable home for your soul to live in. You have the freedom to change it, too. To make renovations, tear down sections and erect new ones.

With all this work in building our identities and finally, after so many turbulent years, becoming comfortable with who we are, you'd think that we should have no problem displaying them. Of course there's going to be dark attics and dank basements, things that no one, not even you, really wants to see. But as for the rest of it, the places you are happy to inhabit inside your mind, there should be no shame in them, right? My experiences, and I'm sure many others', have told me otherwise.

Turns out there's a marked difference between being happy with yourself and being happy displaying yourself. We constantly make representations of ourselves that change in different contexts. Who we are with our grandparents is different to how we act around our closest friends. And I find that the same rule applies to our identities online, possibly even more strictly.

The Internet is filled with wonderful people, YouTubers and bloggers and artists and writers alike. They're all complex human beings, just like you, sitting in front of a computer, dealing with the hum-drum of everyday life. They all like a plethora of things, have innumerable interests and talents. So why do so many of us feel like we're stuck with just the one section of ourselves?

Society loves genres - categories that we can put things into and tie them up all neat and tidy. But people don't fit into genres. You can't take someone and pin them down to a precise description. You can never know everything there is to know about a person. They are vaster than oceans. The same goes for how we represent ourselves online. Besides blogs and channels that are specifically devoted to one particular topic, there are a lot of cases where people use the Internet as a platform to just be themselves. I like to think that this is what I use this blog for. And yet there is a little nagging voice in the back of my head saying "Lauren, you don't really write this kind of thing on your blog. It doesn't really fit. Maybe you should put it somewhere else."

Well, little voice, I'm not going to. I enjoy writing. It's a little part of me. And just because it doesn't quite mould with whatever this image of myself is that I've created here doesn't mean I shouldn't express it. Both genres and people are subject to change, after all. 

I say, push the boundaries. Raise your glasses to beauty gurus that share their love for video games, book bloggers that are passionate about food and sketch comedians that love a good rant. Just for one day, don't be scared of not getting views because you've not posted your typical kind of content, or dividing people with something new. Take a little time to make something that you really, truly love, and share it. Make yourself happy. It's much better than trying to shut yourself in a box.

*

Yes, you've probably noticed that this is part of a new series. I've been thinking about posting a different kind of writing for a while, and what better way to start off than by writing about just that. I hope to be a writer of some kind in the future, so why would I not do it?

Thought for Nought is going to be a series of informal and possibly funny babble about topics that I find interesting, and hopefully you will too. See you next time!

xx

15 Sep 2015

Japan Flashback! Part 5: Gion Corner, Instant Ramen and Going Home

Hello and welcome to the fifth and final part of my Japan Flashback! (Sad, I know). If you missed the previous parts, you can find them here:

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Day 9 (Evening): Gion Corner & Train Drama

After a lot of walking and temple-visiting, we finished off our day in Kyoto by going to Gion Corner - a popular theatre that puts on performances of things like traditional flower arranging, puppetry, tea ceremonies, dance and comedy. It was a lovely way to end a long day, finally getting to see some of the things I'd read about in action.


Unfortunately though, it wasn't quite the end of the day. Japanese trains are renowned for their punctuality, but sometimes, accidents happen. The train that we were supposed to be taking back to Osaka was cancelled and we had to brave the crowds of rushing business people. We spent almost an hour on the very quiet subway instead, which ended up being quite peaceful. It wasn't an altogether pleasant series of events, but it turned out to be a nice memory.

Day 10: Instant Ramen Museum & Saying Goodbye

Our final day in Japan was finally upon us, and so too was the highly anticipated trip to The Instant Ramen Museum in Ikeda. Leave it to Japan to build a whole museum about cup noodles.


It wasn't just a exhibition on the history of ramen and how it's made and packaged. We also got to make our own cup noodle to take home and save for later. We were of course limited by what we would be allowed to take through customs, but it was fun to design our cups and see them filled and sealed. And they were a great thing to have on hand after arriving back home completely exhausted.

We found some lunch, made our way back to the hotel to collect our luggage, and were off on the express train to Kansai International Airport. I was so tired that I didn't even notice that the whole thing is built on its own artificial island.


While we were waiting, I did one last exciting thing - had my first Starbucks experience. Yes, 17-year-old me had never been to Starbucks. 17-year-old me didn't even like coffee (oh, how things have changed). I ended up getting a Double Choc Chip Mocha, which I'm fairly sure we've not had in Australia, and it was pretty damn good. I also probably definitely needed the caffeine.

So, finally, after many hours on planes and not much sleep, we made it back into Sydney. I slept for 16 straight hours once I got home. I'm not exaggerating.

Japan was such a great experience and I miss it all the time. It was my first time being immersed in another country's culture, and I think that's a beautiful feeling. I'm definitely going back again sometime, especially now that my Japanese has improved by a lot.

I hope you enjoyed my little series! I'll hopefully be able to do more travel posts at some point in the future. Feel free to share your favourite place I went, or some of the places you've been in the comments! 

xx

9 Sep 2015

Wishlist Wednesday: Spring Is Coming!

Writing out and posting wish-lists is a bit of a strange thing to me because I constantly try to be content with what I already have in life. But on the other hand, I love looking though other people's wish-lists, favourites and hauls. I guess I really am a sucker for nice things. So, think of this less as a "list of things that I really want desperately", and more of a "list of things that I don't happen to own but think are great and want to share with you (and also wouldn't mind owning at some point in the future)". I would've run with that, but "Wishlist Wednesday" is a bit more to the point.

In the southern hemisphere, it's starting to warm up. The bugs are coming out, the sun is starting to shine, and the hay fever has started to annoy. Hay fever and insects aside, I love spring (as I'm sure I've said before). It's the time of year when I love wearing swishy skirts and tell myself to embrace actually wearing light colours instead of just admiring them. Spring is of course also great for reading in the sun, and it's slightly more acceptable to parade around in a flower crown.

Without further ado, below is a collection of things that I think are lovely, and also happen to be very bright and spring-themed.



I hope you liked these few little things and that you're now excited for spring! And if you don't live on the southern part of the globe and are preparing for autumn instead, I'm sorry. But at least your holidays are seasonally appropriate.

See you next time, when I'll probably be doing Tutorial Tuesdays or something because I apparently can't let day-of-the-week series go.

xx

6 Sep 2015

How To Be More Organised



Something that I take pride in is how organised I am. I can count on one hand all the times I've forgotten to take something to uni, not been up to date on readings or lectures or not known what was expected of me. Organisation does take effort - you can't just will planners and lists into existence (not yet, anyway). I recently sat down and made a note of my organisational habits that I think help me the most so that they can hopefully help you out, too!

Make time to plan - One of the things that I do is sit down at the start of each semester of uni and write down everything I will need to do over the following few months. This includes making a list of all my readings in a place I can easily find it, noting down all the dates of my assessments and making folders for all my resources for each unit. This can be a tedious and time consuming process, but I know that it will help me further down the line, so taking some time to get it out of the way is definitely worth it. If you're not a uni student, you can do a similar thing at the beginning of the school term, or even at the beginning of every month, if you so desire.

Keep your calendar up to date - I make regular use of the calendar on my Mac because it's so easy to scroll through and you can put any number of events on any given day. As I said above, I put all my assessment due dates and times in my calendar at the start of semester, but new things inevitably crop up after doing this. Make an effort to add in anything new as soon as you can after finding out about it, so it's still fresh in your memory - whether it be a new piece of work or a social event. That way, flipping forward a few weeks should give you a realistic idea about your workload and how to go about getting things done and when.

Make constant to-do lists - I keep two different checklists running all the time (digitally, so I never run out of paper). One of them contains all the upcoming things I have to get done, while the other serves as a daily list. I jot down things as simple as washing my hair, just so I know I've not missed out on anything and I have an idea of how much I have to do that day. I even include things like the book I'm reading or show I'm watching, which sounds a little crazy, but it serves as a reminder to take some time out and do the things that I like.

Try a day planner - Whenever my life gets a little messy and stressful, I take to writing out daily planners. The night before, I write out the times of the day and the things I want to get done, allocating blocks of time to each thing as I go. You don't have to include everything, but I find that pinpointing a specific time to do something helps me to buckle down and start doing it. Sticking with daily planners can sometimes feel a bit strict and become stressful in themselves, so remember to just do what you feel comfortable with!

Be flexible - Sometimes you add too many things to your to-do list to get done in one day, or you feel too tired or ill to continue and you just want to go to bed. Don't be too hard on yourself when this does happen. That's just life! The longer you keep up the organisation, the less things you'll have left till the last minute, so pushing a few items into the next day shouldn't be an issue. Also remember to take some time out or reward yourself when you get through a big day. Being organised doesn't mean constantly being busy trying to shuffle things into order, it's mostly just about a clear state of mind and knowing you're on top of things.

I hope that you found these few tips helpful in some way. Feel free to let me know in the comments!

xx

1 Sep 2015

Monthly Playlist: August 2015

Happy September! Winter is basically over now (not that it ever even really started properly. Thanks Australia.), and it's the season of hay fever and the infamous Green Day meme. Despite the itchy noses and irritated eyes, I love spring. Blooming flowers and sunny days really lift my mood.

Musically, this past month I feel like I've gone back to my indie/alternative trends (it's a genre that I've been having a constant love affair with for many years), and I think I've put together a nice collection to phase out the cold months and get excited about life for spring.

If you caught my most recent Favourites Friday post, you'll already know that I've been loving iamamiwhoami and CHVRCHES, but a lot of new amazing things have already come out since then! FKA Twigs' third EP M3LL155X was finally released (I love all of the songs on it, by the way), and Halsey's debut album BADLANDS only just came out a couple of days ago, and I've already listened to it multiple times and fallen in love with it.

And, of course, there's a little bit of catchy K-Pop at the end of this mix, because I just can't help myself.

I hope you like this playlist! Stay tuned for more in the future!

1. Ripple - iamamiwhoami // 2. Bodyache - Purity Ring // 3. Gasoline - Halsey // 4. We Sink - CHVRCHES // 5. Tap Your Glass - iamamiwhoami // 6. Castle - Hasley // 7. Figure 8 - FKA Twigs // 8. Leave A Trace - CHVRCHES // 9. Tête-À-Tête - Walk the Moon // 10. Sapokanikan - Joanna Newsom // 11. 행복 Happiness - Red Velvet // 12. You Think - Girl's Generation

LISTEN ON 8TRACKS

LAST MONTH'S PLAYLIST

xx