Monday, 27 January 2014

52 Lists // Week 5 - Quotes

I remember being at Uni, having a terrible day and making a list of quotes to stick on my wall - and it worked - my bad days were short lives thanks to the motivation of this.

However, I often think a lot of quotes are quite cheesey but here's a few I don't mind...

1. "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on" - Robert Frost
2. "To live is the rarest thing in the world. most people exist, that is all" - Oscar Wilde
3. "The biggest failure you can have in life is making the mistake of never trying at all.” – Unknown
4. "Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!" - Dr. Seuss 
5. "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream" - CS Lewis
6. "Taking naps sounds so childish. I prefer to call them horizontal life pauses."
7. "The best things in life are free, the second best are very expensive" - Coco Chanel


Friday, 24 January 2014

Life Lately.

The weeks are flying by and it really won't be long until I'm bidding well to Sydney and off on my next adventure.

So far, Sydney has been a lot of fun. I arrived here at the end if December, two days before the New Year to be reunited with Hannah and Nikki, my university housemates, and to meet new friend, Ellen. We've done ALOT since I arrived - sandboarding, dolphin watching, beach/sun worshipping, the harbour, drinks at the opera house...all sorts! We've had a fair few nights out, which has also been something I've been glad of. I've caught up with a few friends here and just let my hair down really; it's been rather nice.

I have another two weeks left here; we have a lot planned! I did a skydive yesterday which was unreal, barbecues at the beach and the Ivy planned for Hannah's birthday next week, several more beach sessions, surfing AND this coming weekend is Australia Day which means the time has finally come - Avicii and the boat party!

When we leave our apartment in Surry Hills, we will be hiring a campervan (!!!) and driving from Sydney up the coast, eventually arriving in Cairns after three weeks. I'll go into detail about our route and plans at a later date (aka when I know what's doing on) but we will definitely be visiting Byron bay! Surfers Paradise, Brisbane, Townsville, Magnetic Island, Fraser Island and the Whitsundays; SO excited! This is one of the trips in Australia I have been the most excited about!

Afterwards, my plan is still uncertain. My parents arrive in a month or two and I'm still in limbo as to whether to begin my regional work or just get a full time job until they arrive, then potentially farm after or just pick up more work to save up. In July I'm going for a week or two in Fiji with Hannah, Ellen and Hannah's parents and am hoping to fit in New Zealand at some point before my year here is up.

But you know me, my plans change constantly!

Busy, busy!


Planning a Roadtrip // Sydney to Cairns

Tomorrow we're off - 4 girls, 21 days, 1 campervan! 


The Opera Bar

If there's one classy thing I highly recommend you do while visiting Sydney, go for drinks at The Opera Bar. The atmosphere is great, you get a cracking view of the harbour and it's pretty impressive.

We played dress up (I even brushed my hair for the occasion!) and we made out way down to the Opera House.

With it being Australian summer time, there's always so much going on here. At the moment, the Opera House has a pop up bar which gives off a festival kinda vibe - pimms and cocktail bars (also serving your wines, spirits etc) which is definitely worth a visit.

The harbour area at night is beautiful -
Definitely my favourite time to visit. Get yourself down there for a pimms or two, I'll join you 


Thursday, 23 January 2014

Coogee Beach

So, the blog has become a bit beach heavy - I know, I know...I can't help this lazy lifestyle I'm currently leading! Got to try them all out though, haven't I?

Coogee beach is probably the closest to our apartment and, aside from Manly beach (which I will tell you about soon), it's one of my favourites.

We've been here most weeks since I've been living in Sydney and thankfully the blue skies and sunshine always stick around. 

I spend my time tanning, of course, but mostly I'm in absolute awe of this surfers. Not only am I jealous of their talent (I'm desperate to keep learning!) but it absolutely fascinates me.

Our first encounter with Coogee was on New Years Day when we came as a big group for a barbecue. That's another good thing - free barbecues - bring your food, utensils and clean it down after and you've got yourself a good deal.

It's such a hard life...


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

52 Lists // Week 4 - Home

I swear these lists are setting out to make me miss home! It's lovely to think about the things that are home to me. I'm such a lucky thing!

This weeks list...

1. Walks in the countryside with Bracken
2. The smell of Yankee Candles
3. Mumford and Sons being played in the kitchen at weekends
4. My bedroom - full of photographs and home comforts
5. The smell of coffee on a Sunday morning
6. Hot lemon tea 
7. Cinnamon raisin bagels with Nutella
8. The sound of rain on driveway
9. The drive into the city for a night out with the Girls
10. My scruffy Barbour and Hunter wellies
12. Fresh vegetables from our garden
13. Beautiful orchids and flowers on the kitchen windowsill
14. Dinner with my family around the kitchen table
15. Text messages from my parents telling me about the same old, same old - the things I love to hear now I'm so far away.
16. The roaring log fire in our living room on cold evenings - curled up under a blanket with a cuppa


Monday, 20 January 2014

2014 // Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

I'm big on healthy eating - and one of my goals for 2014 is to not only keep my body healthy but also my mind. To accomplish this goal I need to not only get plenty of sleep, drink a lot of water, eat healthy and get plenty of exercise (whether in the gym or in daily life).

Since I moved to Sydney I have been doing a lot of walking around, mostly because the transport here (other than ferries and trains) is pretty poor and expensive, but also because I live in Surry Hills (a 20-30 minute walk from the main areas of the city). With my short term stays in various cities it means I can't really justify joining a gym at moment.

So in order to aid my health kick I've been living on salads lately but teamed yesterday evenings meal with a piece of grilled, peppered Hoki (White fish) and one of Ainsley Harriott's Mediterranean couscous sachets. Salads don't have to be boring!

A light meal like this is ideal during an Australian summer (and to make me feel less guilty when munching on those necessary 'it'll cool me down' ice creams)


Sunday, 19 January 2014

DIY // An Afternoon of Tie Dye

Yesterday afternoon the weather took a bit of a turn from the consistent sunny, weather of the past few weeks. We decided that we should do something fun and creative to entertain ourselves - tie dye!

Nikki is the tie dying guru of the group and, after purchasing the necessary equipment for the task, she talked us through it.

It depends how many colours you want and the dye stretches a very long way; we used four packets of dye (yellow, green, pink and blue), salt, four empty plastics bottles, boiling water, three tshirts each (12 in total - the dye would have done many more but we only used half a packet of each), a bag of elastic bands, trays to put the dyed tshirts in while trying.

First, you need to tip the dye powder into the bottles (each colour has a separate bottle - or use a jug per colour which would be much safer/appropriate - we just used what we had) and add two-three tablespoons of salt and fill with boiling water (be VERY careful doing this). You need to make sure the salt dissolves with the dye and water by shaking up the bottles. Repeat for each colour (see below)

The dye will stain fingers/colours/surfaces so either put a cloth/sheet/newspaper down or do it outside on the grass like we did.

Open your elastic bands out and set down your tins ready.

There are several kinds of designs you can do (check them out on the internet for detailed descriptions). I attempted a spiral; I say attempted as I had no idea what I was doing properly. You need to put your finger in the centre of the shirt and keep pulling the material around, you guessed it, in a spiral.

I'm aware this looks like a bundle...

Pull the fabric the tighter the better as it often has a better effect (according to Guru Nikki)

Tie the fabric with several elastic bands and carefully pour the dye on where you fancy! I did a colour in every section between the elastic bands.

After doing so I carefully moved it on some cardboard to start drying (resulting in blue fingers) NOTE: gloves if you don't want alien hands!

I did another two, following no design whatsoever I grabbed the top and bottom of one tshirt (bottom right) and added several elastic bands and a big knot in the middle, tipping several different dyes into the fabric

The cropped vest (bottom left) was done by taking several grasps of material and tying with elastic bands. 

We left them for 3 hours (overnight is better but we were impatient), then rinsed them out with cold water. If there are white patches on the fabric, the dye is likely to run into those patches but it will fade over time.

Leave to dry or put on a spin in the washing machine.

The dye will definitely run the first few times they are washed but Nikki assures me they do stop running after a while.

Here are the end results..

Very happy with the patterns I achieved but, an obvious secret, they are all completely random. You can't really go wrong with tie dye it seems, so have a go for an inexpensive afternoon of entertainment!


Saturday, 18 January 2014

Bondi Beach

I love Bondi - the hustle and bustle, the surf, the bars and restaurants...everything! 

I've seen so many beaches over the past five months but this has to be my favourite in terms of atmosphere.

We had a little walk along the beach and watch the surfers in awe of their skill. 

We made our way around the amazing ocean side pool and just stood for a moment taking in the view.

We spent a whole afternoon there before grabbing some food and having dinner overlooking the ocean.

Go to Bondi, you will love it!


Friday, 17 January 2014

Brighton Beach

As you know, when I first arrived in Melbourne, the weather left a lot to be desired. On one of the good days, I rushed to Brighton beach after work.

The disappointing thing about living in the city is that the beaches aren't great. I love St Kilda for its atmosphere and quirky bars but Brighton Beach wouldn't be near the top of my 'Go To' list.

I had a nice couple of hours in the sunshine but would definitely recommend St Kilda instead, or even Port Melbourne (which I hear is lovely!)


Thursday, 16 January 2014

52 Lists // Week 3 - A Rainy Day

Week three of my 52 list project; a list a week for the year. Obviously I'm away at the moment so this weeks list is responded to as if I were at home.

This weeks list; 

1. Bake something yummy
2. Curl up with a blanket, a mug of tea and a girly film/greys anatomy
3. Getting lost in blog lovin' reading my favourite blogs, update/plan my own blog
4. Go to the gym - boring but true.
5. Go out for food with my Ma

I miss rainy days at home...its surprised me - who'd have thought I would miss normality.


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

A Walk Around Sydney Harbour

The area around the harbour is a tourists dream; unfortunately we went on a particularly gloomy day. 

We started off at Luna Park

We checked out the view of the bridge and opera house from Milsons Point

We walked from Milsons Point to the bridge. I would recommend doing this even if you plan to do the bridge climb. The climb isn't for everybody so a nice strolls across the bridge. I'm waiting until my parents visit in a couple of months to do my climb! Exciting!

The walk leads you out into The Rocks, an area full of not only bars, restaurants and shops but also a lot of history.

Check out The Rocks Centre to learn a little more about the area and the history behind it.

Carry on walking on down towards the harbour and it will bring you to Circular Quay - this takes you towards the Opera House and more shops, bars, cafés and restaurants.

And you can get a good picture with the bridge too!

From there, you are right next to the Opera House! 

Things nearby to check out:
The Opera Bay - a must go to place for a drink - the surroundings are lovely.
Behind the Opera House (to the right of the edge of this picture) - The Botanical Gardens - I'm still yet to go but desperately want to before leaving Sydney.

The best bit about all of this? FREE! (Unless you want drinks, food etc. of course!)
It just goes to show you don't need to spend a lot of take in the touristy side of Sydney.


Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Federation Square, Melbourne

There's always something going on in Fed Square - from live bands, to daily free Thai Chi classes, to salsa dancing - it's one of my favourite places to sit and watch the world go by in the city.

Over Christmas, it was filled with beautiful trees and decorations.

Now the summer has hit, it is filled with decks and people! 

Head down there and see what's going on - it's a great place to discover new bands, new talent and the free entertainment provided.

Not only is great entertainment put on but it is home to a variety of lovely restaurants, cafés and bars. Try Time Out for a lovely coffee or Chocolate Buddha for a late night hot chocolate.


Monday, 13 January 2014

Southbank, Melbourne

Southbank is probably one of my favourite areas in Melbourne..there's something beautiful about being by the water on a bright, sunny day.

I've been down to Southbank a few times  during my time in the city.

The first, we went to Ponyfish

A quirky bar with a great atmosphere. You go down the steps just off the Chinese style bridge and are seated practically on the water. On a sunny day the place is jam packed but it is always worth going there for a drink.

My second visit to Southbank was with my old school friend, Matt. We had a lovely catch up after two years apart - he has been living in Perth doing his PGCE. We went for a lovely pizzas at Tutto Benne and ice creams by the river.

The third time was an outting for Nadia's 23rd birthday. This time we went to Il Primo Posto for a birthday meal, several bottles of prosecco and lots of fun. The food was fantastic and the staff were lovely - I would definitely recommend going. I had the salmon special which was incredible! From here we went to World Bar, a place which always has a good vibe.

We loved it that much the first time that we headed back to World Bar for a Christmas Eve drink or two. This time we had food - the proscuto pizza definitely gets a thumbs up from me!