Thursday, November 27, 2014

My Week in Pictures | November 21th 14- November 27th 14

Friday November 21st

I saw Monkingjay. It was amazing, cried twice. Katniss will forever inspire me.

Saturday November 22nd

Went to Glenworth Valley for an AMAZING day of horseback riding and quad biking. It was a big Au Pair group and we had so much fun.

A photo posted by Leah Helen (@pandora05) on

Sunday November 23rd

Day at the local 'baths' planning my Australia bucket list.

Monday November 24th

I learned than games are region locked in Australia... and finally got to play Pokemon by buying it through the Nintendo e-store.

A photo posted by Leah Helen (@pandora05) on

Tuesday November 25th

Took the girl to a giant pool. Such a fun way to spend the morning.

Wednesday November 26th

A rather sad day, and I had to break into Kate's open when letters for the first time.

Thursday November 27th

I organized a book shelf #supernanny #justkidding

My Week in Pictures | November 14th 14- November 20th 14

Friday November 13th 

Spent the day taking myself on a date :) I bused into the city and explored a little. Then I watched Interstellar on the largest IMAX screen in the world!

Saturday November 14th 

I spent the day with my host family. We had lunch and I went to my first Australian Cosco.

Sunday November 15th 

Went to a market with some other AuPairs. We stopped by for ice cream on the way home. :P

Monday November 16th 

Regular routine day of drop offs and tidying the house. This is my life :)

Tuesday November 17th 

Spent the day at Targona Zoo with two other AuPairs and our kiddies.  I think they all loved the water play area more than the animals!

Wednesday November 18th 

Tried to catch up on my NaNoWriMo project. This book is so much fun to write!! #NewAdult

A photo posted by Leah Helen (@pandora05) on

Thursday November 19th 

Went to Pottery Barn to get host girls stocking monogrammed. I got there before it even opened so had an amazing breakfast of coffee and carrot cake.

Monday, November 17, 2014

My Week in Pictures | November 7th 14- November 13th 14

Friday November 7th

I bused down to Bondi Beach to see sculptures by the sea. It was a really hot day!

Saturday November 8th

Went on my first boat party! Amazing views and a great time with friends :) 

A photo posted by Leah Helen (@pandora05) on

Sunday November 9th

Spent the earrrly hours of Sunday morning wandering around downtown Sydney

Monday November 10th

My sister posted a picture of my family back home in Canada! Missing them...

Tuesday November 11th

Everything is becoming routine now. Had the normal day of drop offs, shopping, cleaning, and play. Spending most of my evenings working on my novel. (And eating ice cream! )

Wednesday November 12th

Spend the day with the little girl. We made frozen cupcakes, watched frozen, and played frozen dress up! Perfect :)

Thursday November 13th

The snapchat says it all. Free anything is a win for me. Add me on snapchat to follow all the random moments of my life :) Pandora55

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Five Stages of NaNoWriMo (Star Wars Style)

Hey guys, Kate here! Sorry for my absence, but I’m sure as many of you can relate, it has been a crazy month trying to keep on top of NaNo! I’m a little ashamed to admit that I am behind—between school and work, I’ve had a hard time getting in my daily word count. Nevertheless, I’m a fairly good sprinter, and I just got to keep utilizing my tips and tricks, so I know I’ll just have to put in some crazy days towards the end of the month!

Although this is my first year participating in NaNo, I have written over 50, 000 words in a month and witnessed Leah’s various NaNo wins, so I felt pretty comfortable writing this blog. We’re just over halfway through the month, so let me know if you’ve gone/are going through these various stages.
You don't know what you're getting yourself into, young one

1.) The Eager Padawan (Nov 1st-5th):
you’re freshly plucked off the barren desert planet where you haven’t written anything recently, or been stuck editing, or just been working on the same thing. You see a new horizon: a huge challenge that you are SO ready for. You got your lightsaber…er, pen, at your side and you are ready to kick some butt!

2.) The Disgruntled Jedi Knight (Nov 6th-15th): Okay, maybe this Jedi thing is a little harder than you thought. Maybe you’ve fallen behind, or are just barely making your word-count. You’ve stared at a blank page for longer than you’ve been writing, and your fingers are starting to cramp when you first wake up. And the rest of the month looms like a desert full of Tusken Raiders ahead.

3.) The Desperate Dark Apprentice (Nov 16th-25th): Calling it “overwhelmed” is saying the least. You’ll do anything to make the first half of the month worth all the hard work, even join the dark side. You hate this book, this month, the world. Now, the rest of your life starts to slip away as you realize your daily word count is only getting bigger and bigger. And yet, a dark pride rises in you. As the dishes start to pile up, the book is the only thing that matters,

4.) The Dark Sith Lord (Nov 26th-29th): Sun…what…what is that? You’ll do anything to complete your word count, even kill younglings if you need to! You’ve truly given yourself to the power of the NaNo. There’s so much writing that needs to be done, and yet life wants to get in the way. Sweat pours down your neck at every moment, for every second away from your laptop is a second wasted. Your eyes are bloodshot, your hands tremble, and the end gets closer and closer.

My allegiance is to my word count, to the completion!
5.) The Redeemed Master (Nov 30th): You did it. Yes, yes, possibly at 11:59pm, you did it. You wrote your 50,000th word and finally the Force is brought into balance. A sense of relief, pride, and exhaustion hits you. It’s been a long journey, and possibly you weren’t always at your best, but you wrote like the true Jedi master you are.

Good luck NaNoing everyone! Let me know how it’s going in the comments!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

My Week in Pictures | October 31st 14- November 6th 14

Hello!  My second week in Australia has been just as amazing, and I've managed to do a little more exploring and make some friends.

Friday October 31st

Happy Halloween! We went Trick or Treating >^.^<

A photo posted by Leah Helen (@pandora05) on

Saturday November 1st

I meet two other Au Pairs at Dee Why beach and swam in the ocean pool!

Sunday November 2nd

Wandered around Manly beach. Then spent the night at Shelly Beach watching fire dancers and drinking cheap wine.

Monday November 3rd

Tried to decide what horse to bet on for the Melbourne cup... Unchain my Heart had the best name.

Tuesday November 4th

Watched a beautiful pink sunset from my room ( the picture does not do it justice at all! ) and thought just how happy I am to be in Australia right now.

Wednesday November 5th

Had the little girl all day and made a Play-Doh ocean complete with Nemo and friends.

Thursday November 6th

Took a bunch of selfies while filming my newest YouTube video. 5 Tips to Survive a Long Flight.

Friday, November 7, 2014

5 Tips to Surviving a 15-Hour Flight

Hi there! Leah here. Recently, I traveled from Vancouver to Sydney. The flight is 15 ½ hours, one of the longest non-stop flights in the world. It travels over the Pacific Ocean, passing over Hawaii, before landing in Sydney. Now, I HATE flying, so spending that long on a plane is not ideal. However, the flight turned out to be okay—and here’s how you can also survive a 15-hour flight.

1-Select your Seat Wisely

Choosing the right seat for your flight can make a world of difference. Know your plane and check out Know the kind of flight you want to have. If you like looking at the scenary, chose a window seat. If you want to get up and move around, choose an aisle. Also, you have to play your odds. It’s very unlikely you can get an entire row to yourself, but you can make it fairly likely that no one will sit in the middle seat. When selecting your seat, go for one that has someone either on the aisle or window already. It’s far more likely that no one will choose a middle seat, as opposed to a couple choosing the two empty seats beside you.

2-Stay Hydrated

I know you’ve probably heard this a million times, but planes are very very dry and staying hydrated will even help with jet leg. Don’t reply on the little cups of water they bring. Bring your own empty water bottle and fill it up once you pass security and ask the flight attendants once you’re on the plane. You don’t have to just drink water; have some juice or herbal tea. Keep your lips and face hydrated too by bringing travel-sized lip balm and face moisturizer to apply half way. It’s a really great pick me up during the flight.

3-Get Comfy

Select your clothes carefully; there’s going to be no runway shows up in the air. Layers, fuzzy socks, and an infinity scarf are my must-haves every time I fly.
 Neck pillows may not look glamorous, but they sure keep your tired head supported.  I like the blow up ones because they fold up so easily.
Take off your shoes. I recommend doing this early in to your flight, so you don’t have stinky feet! If you’ve been traveling all day before your flight, consider a new pair of socks just for the new flight.


Sleeping is the best way to pass time on a flight.  Now it can be tricky to sleep when you’re 30,000 feet in the air, but there are a couple tricks. Take some medication. If you’re an anxious flyer a doctor can prescribe an anti-anxiety medication that usually can ease in fears and make you a little drowsy.  Use this in moderation once you consult your doctor. You can buy sleeping pills at your local pharmacies. Personally, I like ZzzQuil Nyquil because they don’t leave you feeling drowsy. If you’re not into medicated help, you can use some natural methods, such as herbal tea, limiting caffeine and maybe putting a dab of lavender oil behind your ears. 
Also, don’t forget to pop in some ear plugs to block out the sounds of the plane.
If you absolutely can’t sleep, just close your eyes, get as comfy as you can, and listen to some music. Creating a sleep playlist can help you relax and rest.

5-Keep Busy

Load up electronics. Buy a new DS game just for the flight, or do what I did and weed your entire Animal Crossing village! You can always load a new television series on your iPad, or read that steamy new adult book.  Audio books can be really convenient on a plane. Or you can even try to learn a new language with fun phone apps like Duolingo! Don’t count on getting as much important work done on a plane; there’s usually not enough room for your laptop.  Use this time to relax with your guilty pleasures.

Want even more tips? Check out our vlog!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

My Week in Pictures

Hey guys, Leah here. I should have posted this on Friday! I'm a little behind. I've had a crazy and wonderful week in Australia! More updates soon, I promise <3 Also, from now on, I'll be posting my week in photos every Friday :)

Friday, October 24th

I spent all of Thursday and Friday on a plane. 15 hours total! Having a massive fear of flying, the flight wasn't actually as bad as I thought.

A photo posted by Leah Helen (@pandora05) on

Saturday, October 25th

This my first real day in Australia! I was greeted by my host family at the airport with a Frozen balloon. I know—it's as perfect as it sounds. I also got a house tour. I LOVE my room. It has a walk-in closet. I've always wanted a walk-in closet.

Sunday, October 26th

Today my host family and I went down to Chinaman beach.   It was so beautiful but reality struck when my host mom scooped a jelly fish off the beach and into the trees !!!

Monday, October 27th

This was my first day mostly alone. I took a walk and a lost dog ran up to me. I ended up having to call the local park ranger to get him home.

Tuesday, October  28th

Did some drawing and colouring with the host kid :)

Wednesday, October 29th

Host kid had never seen Finding Nemo so we watched it with the stuffie I brought! She loved it. But we (and the stuffies) had to hide under the blankets when Bruce and his friends were on screen.

A photo posted by Leah Helen (@pandora05) on

Thursday, October 30th

I drove my Prius Hybrid all the way to the shopping centre. Trust me, driving on the wrong side of the street is not easy!