13 Random Thoughts – Elevators

I am currently holidaying in France and making the most of some family time. Yesterday I got the camera out and decided to put minimum effort into my appearance before sharing 13 thoughts on the topic of Elevators. These include types of people on elevators, pet peeves, elevator etiquette and other random things that come to mind when I think of elevators.

I hope to do more of these casual videos in the future, where I can really just flick record and ramble on. Thank you for reading and watching.

 

Until next time

Xx

13 Tips, Thoughts, Advice and Things on Solo Travel

Hello again,

Today I posted a video about solo traveling in the hopes of inspiring others. It would be a shame to wait a life time to plan your travels around others, when you can do it all yourself. It is not everyone’s cup of tea, but something I feel you should try at least once. It can be just as fun and a great way to discover who you are and what makes you tick, whilst exploring the world.

Here are the first rambling thoughts about solo travel and my experience:

 

I hope you enjoyed and thank you for reading / watching.

See you soon

Xx

First French YouTube Video – Intro & Being Bilingual

The trouble I have writing in French is ten times greater than speaking it. This has led to the decision of pairing the French video with an English post with facts about me and being bilingual. Here are thirteen points I talk about in the video.

  1. I am half French, half Kiwi.
  2. I have lived in New Zealand all my life and have only spent a maximum of 2 months at a time holidaying in France.
  3. As a result my French vocabulary is lacking.
  4. I currently live in England, but have not visited France for over a year. Sad really, as I am now so close to those friends and relatives.
  5. Some of the French books I used to read as a child: Max et Lili, Pomme D’api (magazines) and Tom Tom et Nana.
  6. Disney classics such as Snow White, The Lion King and The Aristocats are forever French movies to me. I was forced to watch The Lion King in English when I was 10 and was not impressed. The voices and characters just seemed completely different to me.
  7. I only ever remembered my mother’s accent and did not register others when I was younger. Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis, Jean De Florette and Manon Des Sources are all movies that helped me understand different accents.
  8. On that note, I have immense difficulties understanding French Canadian. While backpacking in the USA I overheard two Canadians speaking and picked up on a couple of words, but decided they were speaking a completely foreign language.
  9. Faire la bise freaked me out when I was 17. It was the first time I went to France alone and I had forgotten all about kissing strangers on the cheeks. I was so used to the New Zealand hugging culture. I am a whole lot better with it now, but at the time it was rather uncomfortable.
  10. Feminine and Masculine. Do I even need to explain? Basically there are no strict rules. You just need to feel whether a noun sounds feminine or masculine and let it be known while forming sentences.
  11. Being bilingual is the greatest thing when it comes to having bilingual family members and friends. You can share your secrets out loud without worrying and even publicly discuss that man’s hideous shirt… Be careful he is not also bilingual. This can happen and will lead to a highly awkward escape.
  12. A promise to watch more French YouTubers in the hopes of learning to better express myself and learn new words.
  13. I did not mention this in the video, but feel a need to add it in. People often believe that being bilingual makes a person smarter?  As much as I love having both languages,  I may be the exception to this statement. I feel as though being bilingual gives me an additional opportunity to showcase my grammatical errors.

If you have also been blessed with both languages, please check out my video below.

 

Thanks for reading and see you soon.

Xx

 

 

Interview Advice From an Amateur – 13 Things

Interviews are one of those experiences that we all need to go through multiple times in our lives. I have not been on many, but enough to create a list of 13 tips, tricks, advice, lessons and other things on the subject. Can we also take a minute to appreciate my attempt to be extremely creative above. The original picture is of myself after my latest interview, which was in fact rather pleasant.

On with the list.

  1. Dress to impress. This obviously depends on what type of job you are applying for. As a general rule, it is not okay to wear jeans, a t-shirt and/or trainers to your interview. I may however be guilty of this. It was a last minute interview for kitchen hand and I was already out and dressed when I was called in. I thought it would be better to be timely over running home to change.
  2. Make sure you will be comfortable. It is important to look your best, but do not compromise fashion choice for comfort. If you are tumbling through the corridors and holding on to your potential employer for dear life… Those 5 inch heels were a bad choice.
  3. Be yourself. It may sound cheesy, but this is one of the most important pieces of advice in life and specifically during your interview. Pretending to be something you are not will see you failing or ending up in a job which is not suited for you.
  4. Take pride in the fact you got the interview. The people or person sitting in front of you were impressed enough by your resume and possibly phone interview to meet with you. Do not take this for granted, let it inflate your ego a little.
  5. Be confident. You have nothing to fear and nothing to lose. This is your chance to prove your worth and as easy as it is to say, you do need to at least portray confidence.
  6. Arrive early. If like me you are hopeless at directions, make sure you know where you need to be. Scope it out before interview day and figure out how you will get there. Nobody wants to employ someone who is never on time.
  7. Have questions ready. If you truly want this job, you will know what you want to ask. If you just need this job then use google and reword the top recommendations.
  8. Take deep breathes and remember there are no wrong answers. The questions you are asked in an interview are not straight forward. The interviewer wants to know that you can and how you have dealt with certain situations in the past. Have examples ready, but do not over study. Find a list of common interview questions (roughly 30) and make sure you can answer them all. Practise answering a variety of questions, rather than robotically answering just a few. On the day words will just flow!
  9. Sell yourself. I strongly dislike this term. I could easily give you a list of things I am bad at and working to improve on. Naturally, I pick at my faults and rarely look into my strengths. News flash – you have to. If you cannot convince yourself you should be the one to get this job, no one else will believe it.
  10. Group interviews. The idea of these terrified me until I had one. I find them easier. The interviewers want to see how you interact with other people and how you would contribute within a group. I never want to be the first to introduce myself, but second is always best. Being the first to volunteer is great, but getting in second (in my opinion) is just as good. Make sure you speak up and get your points across during group exercises.
  11. Communication. Most roles require you to communicate. If you are in a group interview make sure you interact with other candidates and show the interviewers how well you communicate. Everyone is somewhat nervous about the interview and showing you can still communicate well during this time will give you points. Try to imagine you already know the interviewer or that you are just meeting them in a café. Be professional, but relaxed.
  12. Be thankful. I have personally never written a follow up thank you note, but in some situations apparently this can help. I believe they have already decided whether you are in the running or not as soon as you leave the building. However, do make sure you thank everyone before you leave the interview. Basically use all the manners your mamma and papa gave you.
  13. Be prepared. Research the company and position you are going for beforehand. This is the stuff you should have robotically memorized. Make sure you do not shove all this information they already know down their throat. You just need to show you want this job enough to know what you have applied for. Bring a pen and paper to take further notes on the position – this makes you look further prepared.

The most important thing to remember is that interviews never go as bad as you expect them to. We tend to over think the process, when in fact it is quite simple. Be yourself and sell the real you. It is easy to focus on our weaknesses, but this is your opportunity to find and prove your strengths to both the interviewers and yourself. Stay true to yourself and if it is meant to happen it will.

Also, take feedback well. The way you are expected to ‘sell yourself’ in an interview is not always a given. Some companies will appreciate you pointing out and accepting your weaknesses, while others will want you to prove you are super human. There is no failing and always something to learn from the interview experience. Interviewers have been in your seat before and are hopefully human.

Good luck on your next interview and thank you for reading.

xx

 

Your First Home – 13 Things

A little over a year ago I moved into my first ‘home’. I had been living in hostels for close to two months and was ready to work and settle down. Prior to the hostel living I was staying with family and prior to that I was backpacking North America. In short, I needed my own room desperately and now that I had a job I could actually afford one.

This was my first flatting experience in a three bedroom apartment. Thankfully it came furnished and ready for the new tenant. I stayed there for 5 months and then moved to the house I currently live in with three other flatmates. I must say none of these experiences have been as bad as people warned. In fact I really enjoy where I am currently living and am happy I have avoided most horror stories.

I feel like nowadays it’s more common to be convinced to stay home. I kind of strongly disagree. If you are studying or trying to save money it makes perfect sense, but there is a lot to gain from flying the nest. A whole lot to learn about yourself and other people.

Here are a 13 observations from by first year flatting.

IKEA1. Furniture. Most of my observations revolve around buying things. Not all places come furnished and it is important to know what you will need. Also, think ahead, if your lease is only 6 months then do not buy useless furniture that you will need to transport down 4 flights of stairs.

2. If like me your first home is overseas, stop buying things. Get the essentials, but do you know where you will be next year? Can you attach Billy to your back? No, and I am pretty sure most backpackers will refuse him entry.

3. Billy? Billy the bookcase. You know the one everyone has from the magic land we call IKEA. Story time – Before moving day, my flatmates and I took a trip to IKEA. Coming from New Zealand (the land of deprivation) I had little clue of what to expect. I was told IKEA is like Disneyland on crack for adults. This is a pretty accurate description. We made our way through the aisles imagining what living together would be like, enjoyed some classic IKEA food and made long detailed lists of our must have items.

Anyhow, the point of this point is go to IKEA if you have never been. Get all of the essential first flat items that you will find in every single other flat. Be ware of the drawers. Yes, the bed with the drawers is just as useful as it sounds, however drawers are the most frustrating things to put together.

Cupboard

4. If you are reading this I am assuming you are planning on moving out or have? I can therefore also assume you have already discovered that sadly money does not grow on trees. However, people like to convince you that food does. Technically they are right. But it does not just appear and this is a pretty tough lesson to learn.

In the hostels there was generally one free meal a day and for the rest I would go out and purchase the essentials daily. This really is not a great habit when you are trying to live like a normal person. The reality is that no matter how much you try, the pantry will always be empty. Apart from those few random items and inedible things. Unless you like eating ketchup with a side of tennis ball and a layer of plastic glove or live in a supermarket.

Toilet paper

5. There is never any toilet roll, paper or whatever words you prefer. You may have bought a pack of 24 rolls last week thinking you could defeat the monster, but some how it has been gobbled up. You can try taking turns at purchasing it, but there will always be those couple of days when you are forced to run up and down two flights of stairs to use the one roll that is left in the house.

kitchen stuff
6. Pots, pans, spatulas, cutlery, white ware, glasses and colanders are all items you must purchase. You can try convince yourself you can live without a baking tray or frying pan, but you simply cannot.
7.  Pots, pans, spatulas, cutlery, white ware, glasses and colanders excite you. You can no longer walk into a homeware store with your parents and roll your eyes. You will not go into those shops without saying one of the following phrases:
  • “I have one of these at home”
  • “You know what I could use this for…”
  • “I have been meaning to buy one of these”
  • “No, that doesn’t match our color scheme”
  • “Can I have this for Christmas?”
  • “I really need one of these…” – Lets be real for a second. You do not ‘need’ the mechanical egg whisker, because no one does and you are vegan.

Recycling

8. Recycling sucks. I am pro recycling, I just do not enjoy doing it. -2 degrees outside and the last thing I want to do is the recycling. So what do I do instead? I have actually begun to convince myself that I should keep the cardboard boxes and bottles. Somehow I will need them one day or maybe I could start a cool project.

Here is an example of a recycled multiple photo frame piece of art. #proud #sarcasm

IMAG1514

9. There is a reason your mom told you to lay down some newspaper before trying new art skills. Now you understand why there is a deposit. I am exaggerating a little. I have never messed up that badly, but did go out and buy a number of cleaning supplies and tools that I have never used again.

IMAG1510

10. Investing in headphones is a good call. Sometimes you don’t want the whole house hearing you rock out to Hannah Montana’s Hoedown Throwdown. And sometimes you want to block out or courteously ignore whatever is going on around you.

11. While we are on the subject of noise lets talk neighbours. Some are pleasant and others decide to give you a speech on being too loud as you turn the lock into your new house for the first time. This did happen and it did make us slightly less compassionate towards the neighbour. It turns out he is just one of those people who enjoys complaining a lot. Watching TV at a reasonable level until 10pm has the same affect on you, as your kids screaming from 6am does on me.

FOOD

12. Take Out, Takeaway, Delivery and what not. I hope I am not the only person who buys far too much food when it comes to take out. I will make sure I get my moneys worth before paying for that delivery. This food has to last me two days. That is exactly what I am thinking when I order it. The result can go one of two ways:

  1. I realise my stomach can hold a lot more of this delicious food than I thought – possibly because I starved myself in anticipation for this meal. I end up demolishing the whole lot and passing out in a huge food comma.
  2. I force myself to eat half the first night before realising I ordered enough food to feed an army. I become the person I hate and have to throw away the insane amount of leftovers.

13. Realising you probably couldn’t move back ‘home’. Not that there is anything wrong with this, but I just cannot imagine it happening. I like the independence and have gotten stuck in my way of doing things. This might not mix well back ‘home’.

In saying that, going back ‘home’ was great. I visited for a month and must admit it was nice having things done for me. I realised how much I despise my two weekly (holy crap I have no more clothes) laundry sessions. The constant worrying about my location was both annoying and nice. Honestly 95% of the time it could take days, possibly weeks before someone would actually notice I was missing.

There you have it! Thirteen observations, lessons, tips and advice (or whatever you would like to class these things as) to do with moving out for the first time. I hope somebody out there enjoyed my rambling.

Thanks for reading.

Xx

February Favorites 2016

A list of 13 favorites for the month of February. I may risk sounding like every other person on this planet, but how is it already March? This year is flying passed and I’m trying desperately to have something to show for 2016. Time is currently not on my side.

In the video above you will find a range of things. We go from the music, beauty products, a spot of food to the essentials / things I have used an awful lot in February. This may be viewed as a slight parody, but I assure you I am not poking fun at these types of videos. I watch them regularly and thought I would give it a go. Unfortunately finding 13 things was not as straight forward as I had hoped. Since filming the video I have thought of a few more favorites and will list them below.

  1. Room by Emma Donoghue – I actually read this book in January while travelling, but had to leave it in Canada due to weight restrictions. I have thought about it an awful lot in February and am excited to watch and compare the movie.
  2. Twenty One Pilots – I do mention one of their songs in the video. At the moment the whole Blurryface album is a favorite.
  3. Fuller House – I cannot believe I forgot to mention this one. It’s a given!
  4. Sisterhood of The Travelling Pants – I needed to reminisce and watch this movie.
  5. French YouTubers – I am bilingual, however this is not a thing YouTube considers when making video suggestions. I have recently become obsessed with watching French YouTubers and learning relevant words and phrases.

Thanks for reading.

Xx