Tag: dreams

Abandoned Military Camp

Lost in the rolling green hills of central Taranaki, lies a place not many people know about. My father introduced me to this historic site when I was a child, and told me it was a secret. He had used the military camp when he was training at school as a young boy. It was then, 50-60 years ago, that the camp closed down and let nature consume what was left.

Today I returned to that site, not being there since I was a child myself, unaware of just how much it had changed.

Heads up: I wouldn’t walk through this place at night time.

Photo by Adambutchart

From the outside, it looks nothing more than just an old farmers shed that’s been forgotten about. But what’s inside is far more appealing…

Crawling over the wooden fences, worming my way around the pillars, I entered the place I haven’t seen in years.

Straight away, my heart dropped. This place looks completely and utterly haunted. The wooden benches attached to the concrete wall stuck out just as I had remembered. The long grass crept down the edge of the concrete, creating a waterfall effect, adding to the eeriness.

Finally some good news, I found a friend! This little guy scuttled away from me so quick I thought I had seen a ghost.

As I ventured through this not-so-wonderland, I felt incredibly isolated. The only signs of life were the spiders hanging down from their webs, which I had to avoid in order to keep my sanity.

Finally, some light. The last standing target from this military camp is riddled with bullet holes. I began to feel incredibly overwhelmed by the history of this place and left to scour the parameter.

From an aeroplane, you wouldn’t know this was here. I think that was the point in the first place. Somewhere you could actually feel like you were at war, consumed by isolation & fear.

After climbing the cliff-face, I discovered a bullet lodged into the mud. I wonder if my father shot this bullet, all those years ago.

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The Importance of Self-Discovery

The ability to be an independent individual who has fully discovered oneself is a rarity. Many of us breeze through life, living our almost forced realities while following the motto “life happened”. We rely on others far too much, how can we really understand who we are and what we really want in life when we seek the opinions of others to change our own minds? What we don’t understand is just how important self-discovery and independence really is.

The hardest part of getting to know yourself is without a doubt learning and accepting your flaws. This is so important, the fact that New Zealand’s suicide rate from 2002 – 2012 has stayed at a steady rate of averagely 11 deaths a year per 100,000 people. What is the main reason for this alarming suicide rate?

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A large contributor to these statistics includes self-esteem and bullying issues. If we are taught to control our bodies, to look after them physically and most importantly mentally, we should see a decreasing suicide rate in New Zealand. Even the ugliest things about you will bring the great sense of pride and fulfillment because, without them, you wouldn’t be you. After all, life is too short to spend it at war with your own mind.

We rely on others far more than necessary. We put out happiness in the hands of a significant other, as we think this will bring ourselves and them fulfillment. This is a critical error far too many people make these days. We don’t want to feel obligated and dependent on someone else, do we? Of course not. For some reason, people find it weird to go see a movie or sit at a café with a coffee by yourself. Why? You don’t speak to people while you’re in a movie theater, and what’s wrong with having some alone time in a café? We are unaware of how healthy these independent activities really are.

We must make decisions by ourselves, and for ourselves. We mustn’t ask for advice, place our responsibilities in the hands of others, and dwell on our flaws. In a certain way, we are born alone and we die alone, so it is our responsibility to look after ourselves and make the most of the time we have.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs.

 

Az4Angela: The Candle Queen of YouTube

Angela Julius, better known as Az4angela, is one of the most popular candle vloggers on YouTube to date. While she has recently begun expanding her creativeness, her audience exceeds 24,000 subscribers and has amassed over 5 million views on her videos. I recently had the chance to get to know Angela, as she shares her experiences with going ‘viral’ on YouTube and how it changed her life forever, as well as sharing some key information to those who want to get into the YouTube business!

Q: How has YouTube affected your life? 

A: YouTube has been a huge part of my life since 2008 when I first created my channel. I was always the kind of person who had a hard time speaking in public believe it or not. I have extremely high anxiety and dread speeches. YouTube is very unique because you can speak to thousands of people while you’re sitting in your room all by yourself. Eventually my YouTube life carried out into my public life, and it got easier for me to approach people!

Q: Did things start to change after you went viral? 

A: You could say that when my video went viral things took a turn for the worse. My Bath & Body Works rant video was very negative and people either understood my side of the story or did not. Most did not, which immediately was seen in the negative comments. I still remember the day I woke up to over 8,000 emails, thinking I must’ve been hacked. Once I figured out what happened I went into a state of shock. I didn’t really know how bad it was until I signed onto Facebook and saw my video plastered all over social media including local news. (Thanks Tyler Oakley…love ya!). After the initial shock wore off and time passed, positive things started happening. Gays loved my straightforward personality and they became my fastest growing fan base. I now have a candle group on Facebook which has over 1000 members. We talk about all the candles in all of the lands including sales and hauls!! New people are joining the group daily & it’s awesome to see the candle community growing!!

You can view that viral video here!

Q: Being a powerful woman such as yourself can really intimidate Neanderthal guys on the internet, do you ever have to deal with sexist comments? 

A: No not at all. To be honest most straight men do not follow me. My following comes from the everyday housewife, fabulous gays, and the youth who are just starting out on their candle journeys.

Q: What advice do you have to young people just starting out on YouTube?

A: ALWAYS BE YOURSELF.  If you start making videos on YouTube and pretend to be someone else or act out of your character people will see right through you eventually. Just be yourself have fun and always be honest… Honesty is always the best policy!

Q: Are you binge watching any TV shows at the moment? 

Right now, I am hooked on The Handmaid’s Tale by Hulu!!! I also love watching RuPaul’s Drag Race and basically anything on BRAVO TV. Andy Cohen is great eye candy & I keep up with all the housewives in all of the lands!!!

Q: Did you make a follow up to your viral video? If so, do we know what ever happened to ‘Jen’? 

A: Yes, I posted a video in regards to Bath & Body Works sending me both Winter Candy Apple and Iced Gingerbread for free, no thanks to “Jen”!!! And as for “Manager JEN”, I have no idea what happened to her. I wish her only the best and pray that she has unlimited wicks available to her at all times.

Q: What’s next for you in the world of YouTube? 

A: I will continue to record candle reviews but also branch out a bit. I now film hauls and product empties. I also film a daily show Monday-Friday called “The Angela & Judy Show” which features my co-worker Miss Judy as my side kick. I Periscope live and then upload the live feed to share on YouTube. We laugh, sing, and just share our daily morning drive to work. I also do giveaways with Door County Coffee from Wisconsin. They have the richest smoothest creamiest coffee around and if you haven’t tried them out yet you should! And I have partnered up with most Candle companies including, Yankee, Root, Colonial, Kingle, Goose Creek, Cottage and DW Home Candle.  I’m also huge into vendor wax right now!!! Make sure to subscribe to my channel to see which companies are safe to purchase from!

Q: Finally, probably the hardest question of all… List your top three favourite candle scents. 

A: Yes, this is a hard question because there aren’t many candle scents I don’t like, but if I had to choose three it would be…. Cherries on Snow by Yankee Candle, Toasty Pumpkin Toddy by Goose Creek Candle, and Lilac Blossom by Yankee Candle in that order.

 

Angela also inspired a minor character on the insanely popular FOX show Scream Queens, featuring Emma Roberts, Abigail Breslin, Billie Lourd, Lea Michele and so forth. If you’re after a candle-loving, warm hearted, quirky and absolutely hilarious YouTube channel to indulge in, Angela’s is the one for you. Angela is currently expanding her horizons and reaching out to those who might not be into just candles, thus her weekly show The Angela & Judy Show, which is taking off to be a huge hit in the YouTube community!

 

I look forward to seeing where Angela’s career is heading to next, and wish her the best of luck in all her future endeavours. One thing’s for sure – I’ll always be a follower by her side!

IMG_9380Where you can find her:

 

INSTAGRAM: Az4Angela

TWITTER: angelajulius74

TUMBLR: angelajulius74

PERISCOPE: Az4Angela
SNAPCHAT: Az4Angela

 

 

 

RAW: 10 Reasons Why I’m Proud to be Called Crazy.

“Have you created a life for yourself where you’re free to experience all your darkest fantasies? I have. I am crazy. But I am free.” – Lana Del Rey

Not long ago, I had a bit of a revelation in my life, and now it’s time to reconnect with my inner self I once knew. What does that mean though, and how do I accomplish this? Simple – by being as crazy as I want to be.

What a lot of us don’t realize, is that we are the ones who control our lives, not anyone else. And if someone tries to take that power away from you, then it’s time to do some thinking as to whether you should be allowing that person to be in your life. I am sick of hearing people say, “life happened” when what really happened is that you gave up. You let this happen, and now you have to deal with the consequences.

So, that being said, I’ve put together a small list of reasons why I’m proud to be called crazy. I hope you can relate to some of these.

  1. Being crazy is who I am. Don’t like it? Leave.
  2. I get to have as much fun as I want.
  3. I don’t care about what people say/think about me.
  4. I get to talk to my cat and tell him how proud I am that he bet up the neighbor’s cat that tried to take his food.
  5. I’m crazy enough to choose to be happy.
  6. I can walk away from a high paying job, just because I knew it wouldn’t make me happy.
  7. I get to choose who I have relationships with – NOT the other way around.
  8. I don’t care about how much money I have.
  9. I couldn’t care less about being successful.
  10. I do however care about how much love I give to this world.

I’m done being the one who fails to surrender to the opportunities life throws at me. I am now choosing to fill my life with the experiences that make me the happiest and bring me the most joy. I couldn’t care less if anyone tells me otherwise.

And if all of that makes me crazy? Then I want to be crazy.

“That is the key of this collection, being yourself. Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way to live” – Gianni Versace.

Adam Butchart, qualified and crazy journalist.

Blog Post: New Year, New Dreams.

My life has been full of experiences, and I’m not even 21 yet. I have learned countless lessons from my mistakes, which has made me a better person. Truth is, I am forever grateful for making mistakes. As an adolescent, I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do and became increasingly frustrated under the pressure of my friends, family and teachers to ‘choose’ a career path in such a short amount of time. This got me wondering, am I going to be caught in the deathly life cycle of school, work, die?

To put things in perspective, I was in Italy not too long ago and overheard an elderly couple from England talking about their vacation. This got me thinking about how courageous they are, as they talked of where they should travel to next, and how they’re going to get there. The couple had absolutely nothing planned for this holiday. These people are called non-institutionalised tourists; they take life as it comes, and simply go with the flow. If this adventurous elderly couple can truly understand the value of life, why can’t we all?

Just because you’re unsure about what life you may lead in 5 years, doesn’t mean you can’t make a start on what you want it to be now. 2017 is the year for new beginnings, the year where our dreams finally come true. It’s easy to obsess over the big picture and forget all the little victories along the way. It’s those little victories that can add up to something bigger than you could have ever imagined when you first started.

I’ve recently come to the conclusion that you’ve got to feed your dreams to keep them alive. It’s the same with nightmares; If you keep feeding that fear of not starting/doing something you’ve dreamed about, then the fear will grow bigger and bigger until it consumes your life completely.

2017 is here, only you can shape it to make it the best year so far.

“You, yourself, as much as anybody else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha

 

Coffee has taken over my life: Confessions of a coffee addict

Read the full article on Stuff.co.nz: http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff-nation/assignments/share-your-news-and-views/14345219/Its-taken-over-my-life-Confessions-of-a-coffee-addict

In the sixth century A.D, somewhere in the Ethiopian Highlands, lived a man called Kaldi.

One night, or so the story goes, Kaldi was checking on his herd of goats when he noticed something strange. The goats were dancing around the field, not just alert but hyperactive. He later discovered that the reason for this uncharacteristic behavior was that they’d eaten a strange berry from a tree that had grown in his field.

Curious, Kaldi decided to show the berries to an Islamic monk from a local monastery, but the monk thought the berries were potentially dangerous, and threw them into a fire. A rich aroma flooded the monastery, and the monks quickly salvaged the roasted beans from the fire, ground them up, and dissolved them in a cup of hot water – before one sipped the world’s first ever cup of coffee. The beverage later became Kaldi’s secret to waking up and staying alert throughout the day. Sound familiar?

I confess that I am a coffee addict. Yes, I have loved the bitter black beverage for years, and likely will do for many years to come. I don’t just drink it to stay awake. When I’m feeling stressed, I find solitude in coffee, and I feel a thousand times better after making and drinking a good cup of coffee. The taste and aroma blinds me from my worries. So, although I’m a very health conscious person who limits junk food and exercises daily, I still find myself drinking an average of three cups of coffee a day. The most I’ve ever had in one day was seven cups.

My drink of choice will always be the classic latté, although some days I feel adventurous and add a shot of hazelnut, or vanilla. As a 19-year-old student in New Plymouth, I usually make my coffee at home, but when out shopping/running errands in the city, I always find myself crawling into the local Starbucks. I find it hard to find a good cup of coffee in this city.

Recently I came to the conclusion that coffee has taken over my life. While working at my part-time job late last year, I had a caffeine overdose, and started wildly hallucinating. I couldn’t focus and had to take an early lunch break, where I consumed about two litres of water to flush the caffeine out of my system. This made me wonder why I drink so much coffee. I can definitely feel more alert after my morning fix, and I absolutely adore the taste and aroma of coffee, but is it really benefiting me? More importantly, does coffee contain any necessary nutrients, or is it just an addictive drug?

The main active in coffee, caffeine, is an addictive substance. It’s everywhere, in coffee, tea, soft drinks, and chocolate – all the good stuff. Studies have shown that people who drink an average of one cup of coffee (100mg of caffeine) a day tend to acquire a physical dependence that, when they stop, trigger withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, nausea, depression, muscle pain and more.

Debora-Dale Young, a pharmacist/technical consultant at the New Zealand supplements’ company Clinicians, warn people against drinking too much coffee.

“We seem to live in a coffee culture, with many people spending large amounts of money in cafes or on take out coffee to get them through the day.” While this may seem beneficial in the short term, she believes it can also have negative effects on the health of some.

What’s more, the Kirschman Nutrition Almanac on food composition states that coffee as a whole contributes little nutrition to the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of an average 68kg human. What else does this potentially dangerous drug have to offer other than alertness and a nice taste?

While the Kirschman Nutrition Almanac shows that coffee provides little to our RDA, there are in fact some essential nutrients in coffee. A typical cup of coffee includes Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 11 per cent of the RDA, Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5): 6 per cent of the RDA, Manganese and Potassium: 3 per cent of the RDA, and Magnesium and Niacin (B3): 2 per cent of the RDA. Overall, nothing spectacular. What’s interesting is how the latest release of the Diagnosis and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders from the American Psychiatric Association includes caffeine withdrawal as a mental disorder. Symptoms include headaches, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, depressed mood and difficulty concentrating. These begin about 12-24 hours after you have stopped drinking coffee, and can continue for up to 9 days. However, these symptoms can easily be avoided if you gradually slow down your coffee intake so your body can adjust to a caffeine-free life.

While caffeine is a drug, it’s actually beneficial to our health when taken in moderation. For a start, it can help to prevent the risk of type-two diabetes: studies show that heavy caffeine drinkers have a 23-50 per cent lower risk of getting this disease, with one study of showing a reduction as high as 67 per cent. It can also help you lose weight; several studies show that caffeine can boost the metabolic rate by 3-11 per cent. However, it is likely that these effects will diminish in long term coffee drinkers, so I’m out of luck.

What’s more, after you drink coffee, the caffeine is absorbed into the bloodstream and travels to your brain. The caffeine then blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter called adenosine. When that happens, the amount of other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine (which are helpful in terms of motivation) increases. Consequently, coffee does in fact improve various aspects of brain function including memory, mood, vigilance, energy levels, reaction times and general cognitive function, which is excellent news for my studying.

Bizarrely, our judgment of someone’s character can be influenced by something as simple as holding a warm cup of coffee. Professor John A. Bargh and Lawrence E. Williams from Yale University’s School of Medicine tested a theory: would people seem more generous and caring if they had just held a cup of warm coffee, and less so if they were holding an iced coffee? The two scientists decided to test the impact of warmth on the perceptions of students chosen at random throughout the Yale University campus.

Professor Williams predicted that holding the warm cup of coffee would make the subject more prone to have a positive and ’warmer’ outlook. Random undergraduate students were asked to briefly hold a cup of iced coffee or warm coffee as they wrote down specific information about an individual and his/her personality traits. Williams’ prediction was true, the students seemed to assess the random individuals as “warmer” if they had just held the cup of warm coffee as opposed to the iced coffee. This proves coffee is not just an addictive drug, we actually become happier once we have that morning cup of coffee in our hands.

Perhaps Kaldi was on to something when he stumbled across the coffee bean. There is overwhelming evidence that, when taken in moderation, coffee can definitely benefit our health. The key to living a healthy life is moderation. You don’t have to quit coffee entirely. You can drink an appropriate amount of coffee a day, treat yourself to a cinnamon glazed donut, and still be healthy. Everything in moderation, right? If we lose our sense of moderation, we lose control:

• You wake up and immediately reach for the coffee.

• You’ve experienced a caffeine overdose (hallucinations, nausea) due to drinking too much coffee.

• You find yourself unable to function properly past 3pm, and need another ‘fix’.

• The first thing you do when arriving in a new city is find the nearest coffee shop.

• You store a crazy and diverse amount of coffee in your kitchen.

• You make it a rule to drink coffee before any sort of function/meeting in order to stay alert.

• You’re constantly chewing gum to hide that hideous coffee breath.

• You make coffee so strong that it stinks out the whole house.

• You work at a café just for discount coffee.

What else does this potentially dangerous drug have to offer other than alertness and a nice taste?