Tag: photos

100 Happy Days wrap up.

Yep. It’s me again. Talking about happy stuff. As usual. Geez. Give the corny gratitude shit a rest, you psychopath! Is what I imagine people think when they see yet another “happy” blog post title from me.

The thing is, I am not always happy. I get anxious, flat, sad and angry. And I don’t think it’s realistic to make yourself believe you can be happy 100% of the time. That’s a lot of pressure and a lot of inevitable disappointment, right? But I look for the ‘happy’ I can find, whenever I can. I work really hard at focusing on the positives – sometimes I succeed and other times I suck at it and figure tomorrow’s a new day. And that’s OK.

After 2016, I wasn’t sure what kind of year 2017 would be. I still don’t know – it’s only April! All I knew was that I was tired and that 2016 SUCKED. It had a very heavy, anxious, not-getting-anywhere energy about it. It was full of setbacks and disappointments. Insecurity.

Even though I know that we do not always have control over some of the shit that gets thrown our way, I really really really did not want 2017 to be more of the same. The one thing I could control was my attitude and my actions/reactions (well mostly haha).

When I heard about the #100happydays project, I was inspired. This would be how I’d start the new year. I would take a photo every day for 100 days of something that had made me happy.

An excerpt from the website…

People successfully completing the challenge claimed to:
– Start noticing what makes them happy every day;
– Be in a better mood every day;
– Start receiving more compliments from other people;
– Realize how lucky they are to have the life they have;
– Become more optimistic;
– Fall in love during the challenge.

Sounds awesome, right? I figured it would also help to keep me inspired and improve my story telling ability on Instagram.

So how did it turn out?

Pretty well! Sure, I took over 100 days to actually get there. But 100 photos were taken and lots of memories and cool stuff were recorded! I found myself looking each day for something great to photograph on my iPhone. Posting on Insta had gone from feeling like a sporadic chore to a fun part of my daily life. I found myself saying ‘yes’ to weird and wonderful things (a pumpkin festival anyone?) in order to experience the joy of something new and different! It was fun to capture those moments in photos.

While I admit that this challenge did nothing to quell my social media addiction, it did make me addicted to looking for beauty in each day. Even though I have officially finished the challenge now, I think I will keep doing more of the same. It really did make me feel good.

It’s so great to look back on the amount of life you can fit into 100 days!

I have only included some of the highlights here, but if you want to scroll back through all 100 days, you can visit my Instagram account: @awesomelyunpreparedblog ?

Would you consider doing this challenge? Have you done this challenge before? How did you go? 

 

The selfie struggle.

Oh, yes. It’s a real first world problem, this one!

Lately, I’ve been scrolling through my Instagram posts and asking myself what I can do to make my account look a bit more appealing. Am I showing a great variety of moments from my every day life? Am I getting better at telling the stories behind the photos (and not just posting something with very little captioning that doesn’t make sense to anyone but me)? Does my profile look colourful and is it something that would make me want to delve further if I wasn’t me?

I think I’m doing OK-ish, by my small fish standards, considering I started off with sometimes only 2 likes on my very first photos and now I can get dozen/s (I told you – small fish haha). There is definitely room for improvement and I know I am my own worst critic too.

One thing I noticed that my profile is missing is more photos of me! I know that when I scroll through someone’s Instagram account, I like to see the person behind the profile – it helps me to connect with their content. Makes me feel like I know them (even though I don’t – they could be serial killers for all I know – hahaha). As I am no longer a semi-anonymous blogger, I know that I need to start showing more of myself. Let the people who find me, get to know me better.

I don’t take many photos of my son (I made a decision early on in the piece to not fully reveal his face or identity publicly online) and my dogs only know a couple of poses: “THROW MY DAMN TOY” or “BLURRY AS F*CK”. My husband is a bit social media shy. I feel awkward asking to take pics of/with my friends for public consumption unless they are bloggers too. So that leaves me most of the time. I’ve got nobody else to fall back on ?

I also need to point out that I am concerned that I have a misshapen head and I do not have a reliable Instagram spouse (and admittedly I’m picky and I feel bad bossing someone around), nor fancy equipment to help me take consistently good selfies/photos of myself.

And even if I did, I would curl up and die of embarrassment if people saw me trying to get it right in fantastic public spaces, like all the really cool bloggers do. Because we all know it can take like 50 shots to get one good one (or at least that’s true for me and my misshapen head/face)!

*awkward too loud laugh*

Also, I hate the stigma attached to the ‘selfie’ phenomena. Sure, if you’re doing a Kim K and ignoring all of your life to get constant good shotz (yes I used the ‘z’ ironically) then you may deserve a little bit of an eye roll from everyone around you, but what if you just want a couple of nice shots to prove to yourself that you were actually out on a nice day or to capture your life because nobody else will? I get frightened of people laughing at me trying to get the right angle and making that embarrassing selfie face which usually doesn’t look anything like the person’s actual candid face.

It’s always a bloody relief when I find myself out with fellow iPhone photo obsessed peeps who don’t mind taking lots of pics of everything and understand when I want to as well!

Also, I know I’m getting a bit deep here, but I think I lack confidence and do not accept my face/head etc as they are. I want to get more body (‘face’?) positive.

Some of my favourite pics of my friends are the real ones. Where they haven’t given a shit and they’ve just gone for it and had fun. I want to be more like that.

Anyway, here’s a selfie I took at a wedding recently. I liked my make up that night and felt pretty – I’d put in a lot of effort and it was a big deal because I hadn’t been out in the real world for a little while. The lighting is bad because it was night time and the quality is bad because I used Snapchat, but I’m glad I took it.

I’m going to try to take more selfies and care less what other people think while I’m looking like a dickhead pointing a camera at myself.

Anyone got any great tips on iPhone camera settings/angles/best sides/tricking people into helping you??

Broken…the rules.

This post was supposed to be inspired by Fat Mum Slim’s September Photo a Day challenge, but I kind of failed today – oops! x1760_10152061051973218_1871294180_n

OK, so this isn’t a new photo. It’s a photo from a while ago that was taken on a nice beach day with Mr Unprepared and the Little Mister. Just think the opposite of today’s weather over here. At least there’s a broken shell in it? Because the prompt for today was ‘broken’? Gosh, I tried really hard to think of creative photos I could take. Due to the pretty crazy wind/rain storm overnight, I thought maybe there’d be something to take a photo of (although thankfully nothing around our home broke overnight – for once)! I did at one point consider taking a photo of my exhausted face (that storm was NOISY all night) and title it ‘A Broken Woman’. My most creative friend suggested that I crack an egg…but I had no reason to waste an egg. I have a dripping bath tap with a broken seal but it would not have been too easy to photograph. I was sh*t outta luck. Or creativity at least.

So I’ve cheated. I’ve BROKEN the rules. How convenient. I put my lack of creativity down to my BROKEN sleep last night. Sounds like we’re in for another rough one tonight too! This is why I never get too excited about spring on the 1st of September each year!

Anyway, I hope you all had a good weekend and that your Monday wasn’t too horrid. Back at it tomorrow! x

 

Gyeongpo: a nice surprise.

For many years, when I thought of South Korea, I didn’t think of beautiful beaches. I thought of cold winters with snow and an ‘inland’ kind of feel. I wasn’t very educated on my birth country, mostly by stubborn choice (such a rebel), because I wanted to just get on with being an Aussie and no-one was gonna stop me! How wrong I was (well there is snow and every country has an ‘inland’ bit but I had no idea how much more the place has to offer).

While we were away, we visited Gyeongpo. It is a place known for its beach and a beautiful lake (the water looks like glass). It looked like it was undergoing a lot of changes to make it look really fresh and modern, as it is not far from where the Winter Olympics will be held in 2018. We visited in June (the very beginning of summer – felt like an Aussie spring day when we were there), so people were sitting on the beach (some even braving the cold water in floating tubes) and spending a day in the sunshine. 

It was lunch time when we got there and the Little Mister was getting over tired and frustrated. He had also been refusing a lot of Korean food and not drinking enough, so wasn’t feeling 100%, we suspected. We were feeling a little worried about this as we tried to find somewhere to eat lunch. There were mostly seafood places and to be honest, they were a little out of our comfort zones as we couldn’t tell which places might be safer than others to eat. Eventually, with no choices left, we went to a place that looked popular and just took the chance. We were seated in a little room, with a low table and cushions to sit on – very traditional. We had to all take our shoes off and as we sat down we wondered if there was any chance in hell that the Little Mister would sit still and not get onto the table or start grabbing things that he shouldn’t grab!! We weren’t even sure what he would eat!

We ordered some sashimi, some sushi and who knows what else, thinking that we weren’t too hungry or sure of the food. Considering Mr Unprepared is not a huge seafood fan (outside of the usual fish and chips), this was a big deal haha. Of course we were fed several side dishes that were very new to us. Omelettes, tempura octopus, pickled onions, and a massive feast of other things I can’t remember right now! It was surprisingly enjoyable, although the raw fish was quite the adventure! Watching my brother and Mr Unprepared chewing (and chewing and chewing) on some of it was quite amusing. There was SO MUCH of it that our minds boggled because at home, it would cost a FORTUNE to eat that much food, especially seafood. I think we felt a little bad when we couldn’t finish it on account of all the side dishes filling us up!

The beach scenery:

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We walked a fair distance around one side of the Gyeongpo Lake. It was beautiful and people were riding bikes – tandem bikes, pedal powered wagons and all sorts of other creative bicycle typed vehicles. We did witness a little crash that left a couple of young girls in tears, but all in all it looked like great fun. It would be a great place to exercise every day. The pathways even had a harder surface on one side for bikes etc and a spongier, more forgiving side for runners and walkers. So clever. 

Check out the scenery (and my brother doing his photography thing while I just stalked him and took a photo of him taking photos because that’s not weird or anything). There are some Olympic rings taking pride of place on a round-a-bout by the lake. It will be so fun watching the Winter Olympics in a few years time, knowing that I have visited some of the places that are sure to be showcased. I’ll probably just ignore that pesky sports stuff, though. Haha.

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Have you ever been (pleasantly or unpleasantly) surprised by a place?

I have no idea where to start.

So I’m sitting here the day after we’ve flown in from Singapore. Our big holiday in Korea and Japan was quite epic. While I’ve been busting to blog about it all, I am finding myself feeling a little overwhelmed and not knowing where to start! My brain has been buzzing with ideas, but when I go to type, I just feel like I cannot even start to put it all together! SO MANY THOUGHTS, NOT ENOUGH WORDS FOR THEM ALL.

I have no idea what order to blog things in, what format, which themes to focus on from the trip and how to capture the real essence of the experience (while also maybe even trying to be a little helpful to other parents travelling with their toddlers). Do I do a photo a day? Lump together ideas like food, sight seeing, etc? Do I make it all chronologically ordered or is that boring for everyone but me? Um…have you met me? Chronic over thinker. I guess I’ll figure it out eventually…but until then…

Here’s a photo of my first meal of the holiday. A nice little dumpling soup in Singapore. We’d flown in, dumped our stuff in our nice hotel rooms, walked straight out the back to a bus stop and caught a ride to Orchard Road (the famous shopping district in Singapore). We needed some sustenance and this was great. On this day we had no idea what we were in for and just looking at the photo (besides wishing I had some of that soup right now) reminds me of that bewildered, OH HOLY SHIT WE’RE ACTUALLY DOING THIS feeling. It’s like a little thrill – an inner voice just yelling, “WOOOOOOHOOOOO!”

And another little inner voice whispering, “You have no idea what you’re doing, do you?”

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Camping 2014 – Daily photos: Beach time.

When we go camping, we have learnt to expect the weather to do almost anything. It’s the kind of place where you can experience a few seasons in just one day. On this trip, the weather was a bit windy, cool and cloudy on and off for a majority of the time, but we got a couple of really wonderful clear days. On these days we did all we could to make sure we had fun on the water. It was fun to watch the Little Mister running free along the sand of the safe little beaches. So much joy! So many happy dances!

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The water was so clear and in some spots it was shallow a long way out, which made it great for the Little Mister to have a splash around. We spent a good deal of time sitting with him in the shallows, getting sand in *ahem* places as we played with the muddy sand and made gloopy sand castles. On one of our beach days, Mr Unprepared asked me if I wanted to get out of the water or go and do something else and for the first time in what felt like months, I completely honestly said, “You know what? I’m all good. I am just content being right here in the moment.”

I wasn’t craving extra stimulation or new activities. I had nowhere else to be. There was no time limit. Nothing dragging me away. It felt so good and it was then that I knew I was starting to relax well into holiday mode.

Besides sitting on our bums in cold water, we also tried our hands at kayaking and paddle boarding.

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Above is a photo of my parents taking the Little Mister kayaking (he’s at the front on my mum’s lap). He would “help” to paddle and he really loved being out on the water in his cute little life jacket. They came back after a short trip and we asked him if he’d like to climb out and go do something else in the water, but he said no quite emphatically and so my parents had no choice but to take him out for another whirl haha. Toddlers are the boss.

Mr Unprepared and I also had fun taking the Little Mister out for a kayaking session and while there was one iffy moment when he said he’d like to get up and proceeded to make an attempt, we had a great time. I couldn’t really help with the paddling and the Little Mister didn’t really understand the concept of paddling in time with your partner, but we made it back to land eventually 😛

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Mr Unprepared and I tried our hands at stand up paddle boarding (we’d had a taste of it the previous year) and as there was quite a stiff breeze blowing the opposite way to where I wanted to go, I may have accidentally (but totally on purpose if anybody asks) ended up on that strip of land you see across the water. My centre of gravity when standing (due to the wind) made paddling difficult so I was on my knees mostly. You wait. When they invent ‘on your knees’ paddle boarding, I will be the champion and you won’t be laughing then. Luckily for me, my mum has any photo evidence of this and I currently do not. However, I did get a photo of my husband showing off.

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Let me add that he is bigger and stronger than I am so he had a totally unfair advantage. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!! Also, I almost paddled over a sting ray at one point so I had some challenges. But that is a separate moment to the time when I almost stood on one in the shallows and my family yelled a lot of nonsense at me that I didn’t understand, which was kind of scary. Mostly because of the yelling and not as much because of the sting ray. Sting rays are lovely except for the whole deadly barbed tail thing.

Anyway, that concludes my photographic record of 2014’s camping experience! You can see my other photos here, here and here!

Now it’s back to real life and routine. Routine that doesn’t involve daily afternoon cheese blow outs and lack of any serious decision making (being an adult is hard y’all). Now it’s time to make the house look nice, save like crazy and prepare for our mid year trip to Korea and Japan! I like 2014 so far 🙂

If you have any questions about what it’s like camping with a toddler, where we actually went or about anything you’ve seen in my photos, feel free to ask! You can find me on Facebook too x

Camping 2014 – Daily photos: Sight seeing.

Even though we’ve stayed at the same place for most of my life (we calculated that we’ve only ever taken 8 years of my life off from camping in the same town annually), there are some spots we just have to visit. You know, just in case something has changed. You never know. One of these spots (which never changes) is the historic water wheel. Which is also a great place to drive to when you’ve started to lose the plot because your toddler won’t do day naps while you’re away and if he doesn’t sleep soon, you’re going to get really grumpy. So you chuck him into his car seat super quickly (before he even knows what’s happening), strap him in while he calls out for his shoes…”Shoes! Shoes!”

…And then you reply a little more menacingly than you intended, “We won’t need shoes where WE’RE GOING.”

When your toddler falls asleep almost instantly from the movement of your car, you head towards the water wheel and it’s a really nice place to sit and relax as you soak in the scenery. Without ever opening your car door, because you just cannot bear to wake your child who hasn’t napped in days. So you take photos through the windscreen and Instagram them to kill some time. Then you drive home and your child wakes up, wondering if he did indeed go anywhere. Job done.

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We visited the water wheel twice in the same day, because later we wanted to show a couple of my mum’s lovely international relatives around. Oh well, I thought. The Little Mister will at least remember this time!

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The weather wasn’t as sunny by then, but I kind of love the way the light fell on the rocks and the water wheel (that thing to the right).

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We also visited the light house (that tiny thing in the distance that sticks up in the air).

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The Little Mister thought it was a castle. Which was quite cute, really.

See my other camping photos here and here x

Camping 2014 – Daily photos: Eat and drink.

Camping sure isn’t what it used to be. I have memories of eating burnt sausages, tinned spaghetti and if we were lucky we had a dessert of canned rice cream. Of course these things taste horrible at home, but while camping we were in culinary heaven! These days we are spoilt. I don’t know if we could quite call it “glamping” yet (or at least I am not willing to admit to it), but let’s say our campsite meal times have become a lot more creative and delectable. In fact, it could be argued that we eat better while camping than we do when we’re at home. I think I tend to justify it because we’re burning so many more calories while we’re away, but I will admit it isn’t exactly cost effective – we have to save that bit more to live like that. Still, we do save a lot of money by camping and being self sufficient in other ways, so…yeah, I’m just making excuses now haha. Also, we stay near a bunch of wineries, cheese places, chocolate companies and breweries. The local produce is spectacular and who are we to deny it?

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I got to sample some great beer and cider one day (mind you – not excessively but I’m a light weight since becoming a parent) when we toured around stocking up the cooler in our car (the weather was a bit iffy so we enjoyed a day of driving and sampling of all the yummies). It was wonderful – especially because Mr Unprepared was the designated driver. However, he may have got his revenge when I *aherm* fell asleep in the back seat of the car next to the Little Mister and woke up feeling a bit green as we were being driven around on winding, corrugated gravel roads while my loving husband ‘explored’. Blergh.

I think the rise of the portable Weber barbecues has played a part too. We noticed that nearly every campsite had one set up. They can be an oven as well as a barbecue, which means you can sit in your camp chairs eating a roast every night if you want to!! Amazing. We had just acquired one using a bunch of gift certificates Mr Unprepared had won through work, so we were really excited to give it a burl. We may have burnt a few things, but we were getting better at familiarising ourselves with its settings as the holiday progressed. Between my parents and ourselves, we were able to cook some great meals!

And of course there were the afternoon nibbles.

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We excelled at eating cheese, cured meats, crackers, dips and many other delicacies. We started off strong at the beginning of the holiday, but the nibbles plates became a little more sparse as time wore on and we realised we just couldn’t handle the enormity of it all anymore! I knew it was getting crazy when the Little Mister disappeared into my parents’ caravan and emerged with a sizeable chunk of stolen camembert in his mouth, looking very smug with his new camping lifestyle. He may not have been as smug when Mr Unprepared had to dig his hand in and recover as much as possible (it was a bit rich for this toddler’s tummy). Fun times!

Pictured above, you can just see Mr Unprepared sitting with his hoodie over his head and his wide brimmed hat secured on top. Unfortunately, this journey was filled with a few windswept, cold days and we were trying all sorts of things to keep the freezing air out of our bones. Later in the piece, some shades were rigged up around the sides of my parents’ annex (where we did most of our ‘living’), which improved things immensely.

Meal times were made a bit easier than last year’s because we packed our IKEA high chair (the ones you’ll find in most cafés these days – lightweight and easy to take apart or to clean). The Little Mister was contained for a while and we were all able to enjoy a meal together like at home. We also packed a little camping chair for him (very cute and panda ‘shaped’), which he was obsessed with. He had to know where his ‘panna’ was at all times and we often caught him trying to drag it into the van or goodness knows where else so he could sit in it and stuff random items into its little drink holder. I am not so sure about this panda chair, though. I am concerned about his lifestyle choices when the Little Mister is sleeping elsewhere…

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Although, my concern may turn out to be a bit hypocritical…

 

You can see some other photos here xx

Camping 2014 – Daily photos: Trees and sky.

I have been trying to think of the best way to document our latest camping holiday, but this is probably not it haha. I’ve decided to bore the pants off you all by posting a photo or two each day until I’ve run out of nice photos. Kind of like when you get invited to a relative’s house and you have to politely sit through their exhaustive slideshow presentation of their ’round the world trip (which they haven’t edited or selected highlights from AT ALL). Just bear with me, OK? 😉

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These were the trees that surrounded our first camp site (don’t ask – we had to move later in the piece – long boring story). These kinds of trees always let me know that I’m by the water – my happy place. One of them is paper bark and I have no idea what the other one is because I am a really crap botanist (or whatever people who deal with plants are called – I wouldn’t know because I cannot keep plants alive). All I know is that I love staring up at them against a bright blue sky and day dreaming (until my toddler yanks me back into reality with a safety related emergency or an attempted run-away of some kind).

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