Not just another anti-bullying campaign

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Bullying

On Monday at school, Bars and Melodies came to give an anti-bullying campaign. They sang songs that they wrote together and spoke to the entire senior school about their stories of being bullied and how they overcame it. It was a really inspirational event that came as a massive shock to everyone in my school (these boys are celebrities for crying out loud).

Bars and Melodies are a British duo. The team contains Leondre and Charlie who are 14 and 16 respectively. The two boys rose to fame on Britain’s Got Talent when they first sang their hit single Hopeful that they wrote themselves. Having the opportunity to listen to the stories of real people who are my age really puts things into perspective when it comes to bullying.

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Movie Review – Mockingjay Part 1

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Mockingjay Part 1 Review

I literally have one word for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and that is WOW! The movie was incredible; I would even go as far as to say it was better than the book. In my opinion, the first half of the Mockingjay novel was boring, and that is something I never say about a book. The first part of the book was centred around Katniss who, surprisingly (note the sarcasm), had post-traumatic stress disorder.

However, the movie was extremely fast paced and kept me on the edge of my seat. The storyline, whilst very close to the book, contained added scenes that made it impossible to stop watching, even as someone who knew what was going to happen. For me, my favourite scene from the movie was the rescue scene. This wasn’t in the book which is probably why I loved it so much.

As per usual with The Hunger Games movies, the acting was fantastic. Jennifer Lawrence, once again, was the only person who could be Katniss Everdeen. In this movie Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket) was a stand out. She played the political rebel with a dash of Capitol fabulousness perfectly. I was also very impressed with how Josh Hutcherson portrayed Peeta slowly spiralling into insanity.

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Teenage Fear

imagesBeing scared isn’t much fun. Whether it’s scared of what the future holds or going to see the next horror movie, being scared is no fun whatsoever. Of course, sometimes fear is healthy. In instances such as wanting to jump off a cliff, it is okay to be scared of dying. A good dose of fear every now and again (in safe situations of course, I am not talking about throwing yourself off a cliff to experience the fear of falling) is perfectly normal.

Why, you may ask, am I talking about being scared? My new favourite TV show of course, why else would any teenage girl have any idea. American Horror Story delves into the more extreme versions of fear. Some of these are murderous ghosts, asylum dwellers, witches and murderous clowns. The show plays on human emotions and makes you feel extremely scared the entire time. The best part of the show though, is turning my laptop off and knowing I am completely safe. It isn’t always like that when it comes to overcoming fear.

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If I stay – movie review

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If I Stay was a really touching movie. Since I’m a teenage girl I found myself really emotionally invested in the characters. I fell in love with Adam as Mia did. I cried, multiple times, all throughout the movie. As a real “sook” (as mum likes to refer to me) I always seem to find myself crying over any sort of hard-hitting emotional scene.

Since I am a real nerd, I did my research. I have loved Chloe Moretz for ages and my love for her has been reaffirmed in If I stay. She was a real standout and perfectly captured Mia’s character. Although Mia was the main character, I think the casting overall was great. Jamie Blackley (Adam, Mia’s love interest) whilst being incredibly good looking, was an amazing Adam. He really took on his character and made him alive.

My only problem with the film was the plot changes. It was overall true to the novel but I felt the few things they did change were too important to the story to have been changed. The main point they changed that was pointless was keeping a character alive longer than needed. It didn’t make any difference to the movie and only confused fans of the book.

If I Stay was a heart wrenching movie that is in the same category as favourite movies such as The Notebook and The Fault in Our Stars. I do, however, think that the director had so much potential but failed to fulfil it properly. There was so much that could have been done with the movie. Despite that, I did really enjoy If I Stay and hope they make a movie out of the second book, Where She Went.

Ash

Look, I liked the movie but I just couldn’t love it. I shed a little tear every now and then (nothing at all like The fault in our stars ) but I struggled with the emotional attachment. I also struggled with connecting with the characters in the book too, even more so than in the movie. I do not often say the movie is better than the book, but in this case I would happily say that if you had a choice to either read the book or watch the movie, I say go the movie.

Even though Ash and I are worlds apart in age ( OK maybe not worlds but a little different), we often share similar taste in lots of books and movies. This is one time I must say we are worlds apart. Love you Ash but this was just not for me.

cheers natalie

Is getting ‘likes’ really that important?

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Having lots of followers on Instagram may seem like one of the most important things in the world to some people, but to others it’s something that they just don’t care about. I can say that for me, at times, getting lots of likes on a picture on Instagram is important, but at other times it isn’t. If you took a look at my Instagram page you would see that I don’t post that much or that often and I don’t have a huge amount of followers. I am not really concerned with how many likes a selfie gets because frankly, it’s not the biggest issue in my life.

However, for some people it is. I know that as a teenager, some people need reassurance from other people to know that they are beautiful. There are many girls out there who won’t feel comfortable in their own skin unless they are constantly getting compliments and likes. For some people, this isn’t an issue because they have self-confidence, but for others, it takes more than reassurance from themselves to think they are fine. Instagram is one way for self conscious people to be told that they are beautiful, it’s actually kind of sad.

Personally, I think Instagram is spilt into three categories; the ones who don’t care, the ones who care too much and the ones who seek fame. People who are desperate for likes and nice comments fall under the ‘care too much’ category. People who don’t really care and just post whatever they want without stressing over how many likes or followers they have fallen under the ‘don’t care’ category. And the people who only care about having the most followers or likes strictly so they can brag about their own popularity fall under the category ‘seeking fame.’

I think that Instagram is fun but there are way too many people online who are so self-absorbed they can’t see anything beyond follower count and like tally. It’s so frustrating looking at people’s accounts and seeing a super high follower count but a low amount of likes (it shows that a lot of the followers are ‘fake’). Instagram is a hub for people who are self conscious to feel better about themselves based entirely on what other people have to say. I have nothing against people saying nice things, but I do have something against the people who spend their whole life fishing for compliments.

💕ash

I use Instagram along with Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. My preference is probably Facebook and I have found my age group uses it more than Ashlea’s. I have noticed her age group are drawn to Instagram, an app that is designed to post pictures, requesting comments and likes. On Facebook the user mainly chooses their own name (often adding in maiden names for searching old school friends) and it is clear who the owner of the account is. If you have set the security correct on Facebook, then only your friends or friends of friends can see your pictures and people wanting to join your friends list can only see your profile picture.

Instagram users tend to pick names which maybe be funny or quirky or slang and often hard to decipher who actually holds the account. This concerns me for the reason that gaining the greatest number of followers and then likes is what many teenagers seem to strive for on Instagram. Why you ask? I can only put it down to a lack of self-esteem and a desperate desire to show their friends (and complete strangers) just how popular you are. I wonder if teenagers understand how surreal this way of living is? People are not liking YOU, they are tapping their finger on a screen in response to a picture.

There are websites devoted to teaching others how they can get more likes on their Instagram pictures and how to get more followers. Spamming lb (like back) is one way which helps in growing the account but for what reason I do not understand.

I have recently looked a few of my children’s friends (and Instagram friends of mine) accounts and am shocked by the number of them who have over 400 followers. There is no way they know 400 people and no way they could name each and every account holder. I can’t believe parents never look at their kids accounts and ask a few simple questions – e.g. Who is this person? What is going on with the child to be so desperate to need constant recognition for just being themselves. While looking at some of the followers on one friends account, I read the user name and my parenting instincts came to play. It was a boys first name_second name_76. I then looked into this persons account and there was not one picture where I could clearly see his face. If I was the parent, I would be asking a lot of questions.

Come on kids, lets love being just who you are and enjoy socialising with YOUR FRIENDS online, not people you don’t know their real intentions.

Do you check your children’s Instagram accounts?

cheers natalie

Definitely not an iPhone…

c0cc932cb88c17a2fa38add04ee77381What a cool phone. I think I might install one of these in my house and take the kids iPhones away. Maybe then they might understand how easy they have it.

 

Malaysian Airlines tragedy…

5606422-16x9-220x1245606220-16x9-220x124graphic-showing-range-of-buk-missiles-and-altitude-of-mh17-dataAs I’m sure everyone knows by now, there has been a Malaysian Airlines plane that has been bombed straight out of the air in the Ukrainian air space. I am absolutely disgusted by what has happened because to me, it seems so inhumane. People who are willing to bomb a plane full of people (knowingly or not) are barely worth a second thought except to let them pay the price for their disturbing actions.

The MH17 carried 28 Australians who all perished in the missile attack ,which through no fault of our own, brings Australia into their war. The plane had 295 people on board, all of whom are without a second doubt dead. Even though all these people have died in one go, the thing that haunts me the most is the fact that not a single distress call was made by a single person on board the plane, meaning that everyone on board died instantly.

I think that all the excuses we have been hearing about why the missile was launched are totally bogus. I have heard that they thought the plane was either a supply carrier or filled with spies, either of which would result in deaths no matter what. I think that the whole ordeal is something that could have been avoided ( by Malaysian airlines). I don’t know much about what is going in between Russia and Ukraine, but I do know that no war is a good war.

💕ash

Such a tragic topic to discuss but one which cannot be avoided. Australia is generally a peaceful country and one many people from other countries would love to have the opportunity to come and settle. When a tragedy such as the Malaysian airlines missile attack occurs, and so many of our innocent people were targeted, we can no longer claim to be neutral. It is unfair on the Australian population who want to remain at arm’s length on what is happening in other war-torn countries, but this horrific event only proves that the world is a small place.

We are in this together, whether we like it or not, but how can the world ever get along?

I hate war ( like so many others) and I hate discussing it. However, it is out of my control when a world event like this happens and my children are asking me questions like WHY? I just don’t know why and I do not understand how people can have such disregard for human life. The passengers on the plane were just like you and I, living their lives peacefully, hoping to stay healthy and happy, spending precious time with loved ones.

Was there a baby on board who was giggling while being held tightly by mum? Was there a young child on board colouring in a picture, careful not to go outside the lines? Were there school mates leaving home for the first time to explore the wonderful world around them?  Was there a newly wed couple, beginning their new life together, dreaming of all life’s possibilities? Was there a retired couple, cherishing the time together they deserve having worked all their lives for this moment? Just normal every day people who were struck down because someone decided it was a good idea.

I have struggled talking about this event as it is so far out of my league. My children are confused, as am I, and we would like answers on why life has become a throw away commodity. Life is there to be valued, every single one, not discarded as pawn in a war over land. Have you discussed war with your children?

cheers natalie

Related Topics

http://vickynanjappa.com/2014/07/19/is-it-safe-to-fly/

http://sperrydox.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/458/

http://rachelfurolo.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/stepping-back-from-tragedy/

 

Movie Review – The Fault in our Stars

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The Fault In Our Stars movie was absolutely amazing. It may have been the most heartbreaking movie I have ever seen but that didn’t make me love it less than I thought I would, in fact, I think it made me love it more. The movie was such a close adaptation from the best selling book that it was bound to be a hit amongst everyone. Even though the book was a great read, I was a bit dubious over how well it would work as a movie. I was worried over nothing though since the movie was perfect.

I don’t think I could have asked for anything else for the film. The acting was superb. Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort did such a fantastic job at bringing Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters to life. All throughout the movie, I couldn’t fault the acting once. As well as Shailene and Ansel, the entire cast brought the book to life so spectacularly. Whoever did the casting of the film was so in touch with the characters and their personalities, just like the author John Green.

My favourite part of the entire movie was the ending. My least favourite part of the movie was the ending. This was the saddest yet perfect ending I have ever watched. It was so beautiful and true to the book. I don’t think I have ever cried so much, like ever. I think that this movie is appropriate for most people. I would avoid taking young kids though because the cancer is very realistic and full on all throughout the movie.

If you are looking for a good cry then this is most definitely a movie for you to see. I would suggest that if you are planning to read the book, that you do so before you see the movie because it is so close to the book that it would spoil it for you. The movie is going to be a massive hit so I would suggest seeing it. I’ve already seen it twice and I’m seeing it again soon and I don’t think I will ever tire of it.

💕ash

TFIOS

The fault in our starts by John Green was an emotionally exhausting movie. It pulled at my heart strings from the opening scene, making me fall in love with the characters, joining in their emotional journey. It is one of those movies where you leave feeling drained, maybe a little flat but very thankful for everything you have in your life.

16-year-old Hazel and 18-year-old Augustus meet in a cancer support group. At the time of their meeting, Hazel’s cancer is active while Augustus is in remission. They form a friendship which quickly turns into a beautiful first time love affair, sharing in their quirky sense of humour, especially about the cancer cards they have been dealt. The story has them travel to Amsterdam and this is where their unforgettable love is concreted and damaged at the same time.

When I read the book, I cried from a 16 yr old perspective who was dying from cancer. Already an emotional topic. However, the movie enable me to feel the mother’s perspective in such an over powering way. While I cried for Hazel and Augustus, I also cried for their parents, which basically meant I cried throughout the movie, leaving the cinema without a tissue left in the packet.

As sad as this movie is, the story line in divine and the characters feel like a part of the family. I have never been to a movie where people were sobbing, not just crying, but sobbing (including Ashlea and her gorgeous girlfriend Tilly). Definitely worth seeing as long as you are ready to cry and to leave the cinema emotionally wreck.

cheers natalie

The Fault in our Stars

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Ashlea and I are very excited about the release of ‘The fault in our stars‘. We have booked our seats for new Thursday. Whoohoo.

FOMO (Fear of missing out)

How do I teach my children to cope when they miss out on something, when at times I hate missing out too. This week a group of friends have headed off to Bali for a 10 day holiday. I am so happy for them as everyone deserves a break from reality. However, it is an opportunity I would have loved to partake in but just wasn’t able to co-ordinate everything.

FOMO (fear of missing out) is now a word used to describe what many young (and older) people suffer from. With technology at our fingertips, we are constantly being updated on what our family and friends are up to. These snippets are exactly that.. snippets of their lives. No-one wants to put an updated status of …’I just ate dinner of mash and sausages’… BORING. So everyone only puts the good things that happen, and sometimes these good things maybe slightly exaggerated too. 

I don’t like to miss out on the fun things in life, whether it be with my family or friends, but I understand that I cannot be a part of everything. However, it is always nice to asked. Cherishing in the moment is the most important thing, not wondering what I might be missing out on. When I am with my children, it is their time with me, and that is something that I do cherish. cheers natalie

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Fear of Missing Out is very real, especially in my generation. We live on technology and our lives our ruled by social media. I know that when I don’t have access to the Internet, I always seem to miss lots of Instagram and Facebook updates. I don’t think that I necessarily fear missing out on things but I do think that I can stress about missing important information. It’s so easy to miss photos, videos or messages that everyone talks about and it can only take one day to fall behind on what’s trending.

FOMO (fear of missing out) can be very real amongst many people. Not being able to join in on every little thing in life can be a major problem for lots of people. Since I have siblings, I see them do things on their own without me so I am used to it. As well as siblings, I have a massive family so missing out on things hasn’t always been an issue for me. I do think that having easy access to social networking that allows you to see what other people are doing, makes it easier to feel as though you are missing out.

The instantaneous jealousy that people can feel from seeing people do things that they wish they could do is probably a lot more common than missing out. I think that many people do have a fear of missing out and whether or not it is just feeling as if they aren’t wanted, it is a real thing for some people. For other people though I think it is more of a fear of being left behind and not knowing what is going on. If I were to classify myself into one of these fields I would definitely say that I have a fear of being left behind. see ya Ash

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