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Tell Me What You Want

*What You Really, Really Want*

Lately I’ve been thinking about how I can improve this here blog of mine. As it stands, I enjoy what I write about, and can only hope you enjoy reading it!

But I guess I would love some insight into the kind of content you’d like to see here, and what you enjoy reading about.

So, I’ve created a little poll and I would really appreciate your input!

To hash, or not to hash? That is the question.

I’m just going to put it right out there and say that I love a good hashtag. Heck, I even like the bad ones. I don’t know what it is about those little dudes, but I just can’t get enough. I am a hashtag enthusiast and I don’t care if you hate them.

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Interestingly enough, hashtags have been around for quite some time now, but only really became popular with the help of Twitter. Now you can find them just about anywhere. I only really got into Twitter a few months ago (and totally already have a handful of real people following me – @shell0belle if you wanna get in on the action), but have recently found myself scrolling through my feed on a daily basis. I actually think that if it weren’t for those little hashtags, I probably wouldn’t bother.

It’s gotten to the point where I’m now not only hashing my tweets and Instagram photos, but also text messages, emails and during proper face-to-face conversations with real people. If you’re going to tell me that you’re really hungry but don’t want to eat your home-made lunch? I’m probably going to throw #firstworldproblems right in your face. Not sure whether eat that cupcake because you’re meant to be on a diet? You’re going to get a #yolo from me.

Now I’m not one of those scary crazy people who add like a gazillion hashtags to their Instas – trust me, I have seen it happen, and it’s not a pretty picture. However, for some reason I feel incomplete if I don’t add at least one. Maybe two. Okay, make it three and I’m done. Promise.

So here are my five reasons why (when used correctly) hashtags rule! (#yourewelcome)
1. They can be informative and provide context for your photo, tweet or status update without having to write a novel about it.
2. They are fun to read. I actually like the word-merge and enjoy figuring out what the hashie is for. Kind of like a secret code but not really.
3. You can find other like-minded individuals who have used the same hashie, or enter competitions/join a common thread/link yourself to a big event by using a hashie that has been set up by someone else.
4. Sometimes they are really funny and often are relatable.
5. They are cute – # – need I say more?

#hashtagsforthewin #somebodystopmenow

2012 What?

Can anyone tell me where this year has gone?  I have nearly been living in Australia for a whole year now.  On one hand it has gone so fast, but on the other, I feel like I have always lived here.  I can hardly believe that this time last year we were frantically packing up our house and making the final preparations before the big move.

Settling in to a new country was tough at first – nowhere permanent to live, no jobs and little money.  Somehow things slowly took shape and fell into place.  I managed to get a job within a month of moving over, and less than a year later I have been promoted and can actually feel like I am working toward a great career rather than a job – I get to write and promote for a living!

2012 alone has just flown by.  I’ve crossed a few things off my 30 Things list and have made some good friends and enjoyed some wonderful experiences.

Let’s hope the rest of the year is just as successful.

What are your thoughts on 2012 so far?

High Tea

Mail Makes Me Happy

How cute is this?  Seriously.

Have I been online ordering more totally unnecessary but super cute bento supplies?  Guilty as charged.  I just can’t help myself!

I have also been testing Australia Posts 24-hour parcel locker system, and I gotta say, am loving it.  Sometimes mail cant always be delivered to our apartment – although I’m not sure why, cos the property managers are based in the same building, but whatevs.  So they get delievered to the post office down the road instead.  Great…handy…awesome.  Except they are only open until 5pm.  Wait, when are we supposed to get our mail then?  Apparently never.

So when I heard about the 24-hour system, I immediately signed up for the trial.  There are two locations currently availalbe in Victoria, so I picked the one in the cbd.  Once signed up, I received a unique postal address to use for any packages to be delivered.  This can be used as my delivery address for online orders etc.  Once the package has been delieverd, I get a text with a locker number and a pin code.  I then have 3 days to trot down to the 24 hour lockers, enter my deets and get my package.  How easy is that?!  You don’t get the same locker each time, but by using the unique address provided, it is all linked up to your phone and email so there is no confusion.

At the moment it’s just in a trial stage, but I would totes pay for this service as it is super handy, really reliable and the automated emails/texts are really efficient too.

If only they would pay me to say such nice things!

Lest We Forget

The design of the Shrine of Remembrance in Mel...
Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every year on April 25th, my mother would wake us up in the early hours of the morning when it was still dark.  We’d rub our eyes wearily, and reluctantly get out of our warm beds.  We’d rug up in our jackets, hats and gloves in preparation for attending the ANZAC Day Dawn Service.  Grandad would come around in his finest suit displaying his war medals proudly.  We were never ready in time for him, always running late still grabbing bits and pieces as we were shuffled out the door and into the cold morning air.

Once we managed to find a park (it was a struggle every year) and walk the rest of the way to the war memorial, it always surprised me how quiet it was considering how many people turned out.  Every one with their own reasons for being there, and their own family members to remember.  The service is hauntingly beautiful, and the stories told always made me tear up.  Hyms were sung, and The Last Post played on the bugle filling the cold morning air as the sky slowly brightened up and the sun rose.  I always got a fright when the gunfire went off, even though I knew it was coming.

Poppies, a symbol of remembrance
Poppies, a symbol of remembrance. (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

Once the service was over we would lay our ANZAC poppies at the war memorial next to the names of our family members who were lost in the war.  Grandad would then treat us all to McDonald’s for breakfast, which was right across the road.  I’ll admit that when I was younger, this was usually the reason I would get up so early, as McDonald’s was a huge treat for us!  But now the service means so much more to me.

One year my Grandad spoke to me about his experiences in the war and how he came to receive his medals.  Being a selfish teenager at the time, I was more interested in chatting to my friends online and thinking about what I should spend my next allowance on, so was only partly paying attention to him.  Now that he is no longer with us, of course I wish I could remember what he said to me so I can keep his legacy alive.  Hopefully Mum has some information she can share with me instead.

My Grandfather passed away in September 2010 and I have since decided that I am going to take up the tradition and attend ANZAC Day Services again.  I didn’t make it last year (due to the instability in Christchurch after the February earthquake) so today was the first time in probably nine years that I have gone to a Dawn Service.

It was cold, pouring with rain and so dark, but my partner and I braved the elements and walked to the Shrine of Remembrance here in Melbourne.   The place was packed and umbrellas were aplenty.  The service was slightly different to the ones I remember from home, but the message was the same, The Last Post played, and the gunfire still gave me a fright!

I thought of my Grandad this morning, and pictured him as he was all those years ago when I last attended the service with him.  Smart suit, hair carefully brushed to the side, and his shining medals for all to see.  I felt sad when The Last Post played, as it was also played at his funeral.  But I also felt sad for the soldiers who lost their lives in the wars.  They never got to return home, never got to see their families grow, and never got to tell their grandchildren how they earned their medals.

They will not grow old, as we who are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.  At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we shall remember them – Ode of Remembrance

Pinstagramaholic

My name is Michelle, and I have a problem. As each working day draws to a close, I make my way home with grand ideas of a nice long walk or a run (and let’s be honest, the most I can usually manage is a brisk power-walk), but as soon as i enter my apartment, something funny happens. I hear my iPad calling me from its red faux-leather pouch, begging to be used. So i spend the next few hours on the couch with my iPad instead, ideas of exercise becoming nothing more than a distant memory. Besides, there’s always tomorrow, right?

Now, this wouldn’t be so bad if I were doing something important like reading the news, keeping in touch with my friends/family, or ordering a cute handbag/bento/pair of shoes. Instead I am Instagramming photos or trawling Pinterest for cute things to pin on my virtual pinboard.

Random Cuteness for my Pinboard

It started off innocently enough. I joined Pinterest about a year ago now, and only really visited the site every once in a while. In fact, I’m sure I went for a few months without pinning a thing! And Instagram I had only ever heard about, and not having an i-product, I wasn’t too fazed. Fast forward to November 2011, when I decided that what I really needed in my life was an iPad.

That is when everything changed. There are apps for almost anything, seriously. So the first few months I spent downloading various apps – growing tired of many, but using others time and time again. Unfortunately there isn’t yet an Instagram or Pinterest app for the iPad, so I got the iPhone versions instead, and they are okay. I guess.

Continue reading Pinstagramaholic