• Waking Neighbours & Eating Cake Pops

    It’s the 6th of December and just after 5am. The house is silent and outside, it’s still dark. I’ve only just woken up when my family barrels into my bedroom. They’re already singing Happy Birthday when I lay eyes on them. Mom’s leading the pack, waving her hands to direct the traffic of bodies into my room – like some sort of conductor. My brothers are close behind, followed by my father who is flanked by our dogs and the one cat that cares enough to join in. Crumb (9) (not his real name) and Nugget (5) (not his real name) lead the singing. Their voices carry through our otherwise…

  • tea and autumn leaves on wooden background: 5 useless skills I'm great at

    5 Useless Skills I’m Great At

    We’ve all got things we deem ourselves to be great at; skills that aren’t particularly useful – but we’re kind-of-sort-of proud of them nevertheless. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I’m kind of good at these 5 things (and they’re almost entirely useless).  1. Quoting Dirty Dancing I’m not ashamed to admit it: I’ve seen the 1987 version of Dirty Dancing 9 times (and counting). I can quote a large portion of the film – not just the famous “nobody puts baby in the corner”  line. And, in case you were doubting my dedication, I’ve got a plant named Frances. There’s something about the film that I…

  • title graphic, flowers on white background: thank you

    Thank You

    Last week I set out to write a thank-you note a day. I knew it wasn’t an ambitious undertaking by any means, and that it’d be easy to achieve – but that’s wasn’t the point. The point is: I wanted to appreciate more. And I figured a good way to do that was to write thank-you notes. It didn’t really matter what I was thankful for on the day – little things like clean bed sheets and chocolate filled croissants or, bigger things like the dinner on my plate and the clothes on my back. It only mattered that I took some time to identify them. By the middle of…

  • Storm on the Horizon Title Image: How to be above average

    A Beginner’s Guide To Being Above Average

    The truth is: we can’t all go to space or, climb Everest or, write a one-hit-wonder that catapults us to fame overnight. But you know what we can do? We can throw away the empty toilet roll. And sometimes, that’s all that’s needed to improve someone’s day. On a day to day basis, it’s often the little things that count most. So here are 15 bits of unsolicited advice about kicking everyday mediocrity to the curb, from an 18-year-old who a) has a lot to learn about life, b) (probably) gets too little sleep and, c) is happy spending all day in her pyjamas.  “Great things are done by a…

  • title card - Storm on the Horizon: you're going to be fine

    To Summarise: You’re Going To Be Fine

    Dear Storm At thirteen you think you have everything figured out. You’ve got these big dreams and even bigger ambitions. Your future plans are typed out, taped into a notebook – your equivalent of set in stone – and you think you’re ready for whatever’s coming. The plan is to finish high school with all A’s and then dive right in to a journalism degree. You think you’ll work for a newspaper, write words that change the world, live in an apartment with French windows and a view of the ocean. You want to meet a boy who likes symphonies as much as you do and sip caffeinated drinks until…

  • title image for Storm on the Horizon: I didn't sign up for this

    I Didn’t Sign Up For This

    I was 9 when my mom sat me down an announced we’d be getting an addition to the family. Instantly, I was overjoyed. A puppy! A kitten! I began brainstorming name ideas – spot, meow, moo, fish? Then, I considered how much negotiating would be necessary before I got permission for the animal to sleep on my bed. That’s when mom popped my bubble. “How do you feel about having a little brother or sister?” A little—what?? I’d been an only child for 9 years (and it’d been great, by the way: no sharing my room, parents, toys, treats or cake). “Storm? How does that sound?” I’ll tell you the…

  • many cats sitting on pavement. Storm on the horizon title card: a review of cats

    Cats (a review you didn’t know you needed)

    If you’ve arrived at this post by asking yourself, “should I get a cat?” You can stop right here, because the answer is and always will be very simple: yes, you most definitely should. Growing up, my family always had pets. Cats, dogs and ill-fated fish I generally named Gerald or Steve. But no matter their size or stature, these animals were considered important members of the family. We proudly brandished our fur covered clothing to the world, while showing anyone who was willing to look the abundant photographs we kept on our phones.  But despite being raised as an all-round animal lover, I’ve always had a deep-rooted adoration for…

  • productivity tips title image: laptops, pens, hands pointing. A staff meeting.

    An Incomplete Guide: Increasing Your Productivity At Work

    Here are 10 tips to increase your productivity at work, from an 18-year-old year old who is a) not a professional productivity guru, b) likes making lists, and c) has been dubbed ‘an organised individual’  by her mom and 7th grade teacher.  1. Declutter your workspace Having an uncluttered work space leads to an uncluttered mind. Although trivial, a tidy (or, at least, tidier) space makes it easier to get work done – without the stress of not being able to locate your stapler or, get suckered by visual distractions.   2. Put your phone away Unless your cell phone is absolutely necessary to have on your desk, put in your…

  • blue sky. title image: on the edge of normality

    On The Edge Of Normality

    I had an image of myself, gliding gracefully into Work Life. I’d start my first day with a cappuccino in hand, sunglasses on my head; the wind rustling my hair just enough to get that ‘movie moment’ likeness. With a denim jacket slung over my arm, I’d glide across the streets in my four-inch high heels (like they were no big deal) and enter the towering building resembling Jessica Pearson from ‘Suits’: tall, elegant and ready for anything. But that’s not what actually happened. I ditched my high heels for sneakers before even stepping a foot out the front door of my house, tugged on the denim jacket two blocks…

  • Title image. Notebook, pen and laptop.

    I Wrote A Book When I Was 7 (it was awful)

    When I was seven, I wrote Standing in the Night: a four-page catastrophe, riddled with spelling errors and based (heavily) on a TV show my parents were watching at the time. Unsurprisingly: it’s not good. But despite its many (many) flaws, it will always be my own personal masterpiece. This story marks the beginning of my deep-rooted love for writing and has the sort of charm that can only really be created by a seven-year-old with high ambitions, and a stomach filled with cupcake icing. Since then, writing has played a key role in my life. While my friends played make-believe at school, I was hunkered down with pencils and…